If any of you hosted Thanksgiving this year for the first time, I feel your pain. At the last minute, my mom caught a nasty flu, so I offered to take over. Besides the initial anxiety, I was excited for the challenge. That was Monday. By Wednesday I had been to 5 grocery stores (French cut green beans are impossible to find!), 1 party supply store (I needed a table big enough to fit seat 8 ) and 2 miscellaneous household stores (festive decorations, pots and pans, etc). In two days I managed to spend over $250 and I was exhausted.
I met Brooke standing in line at the grocery store Thanksgiving Day. Both of us were buying last minute items. I needed salt, Brooke was grabbing cranberry sauce, and we were stuck in a line from hell. Through small talk, I learned that she was currently writing her first book. Awesome! Over the next 25 minutes, we chatted and she agreed to participate in my blog (despite being camera shy).
1. What book has been the biggest influence in your life?
The Bible. Which may or may not be ironic, as I’m now an atheist. I’m just amazed by its folklore. It didn’t necessarily inspire me to be an atheist, but it did show me a good example of how people can just make up a system of beliefs. Society could just as easily be worshiping Frith like the rabbits if they were taught Watership Down instead of the Bible.
2. What author and/or character do you identify with most?
There’s a book by Tanith Lee called Dark Dance which I’ve had a love/hate relationship with ever since I first read it. Much of this was because I loathed the protagonist, Rachaela, because of the passive, apathetic attitude she holds towards every aspect of her life. The story is heavy with an almost tangible depression, the prose dark and frank, yet so many of the motions she goes through are so utterly lacking in passion or feeling of any kind I hated her for being so uncaring. But now I identify with her in some way- unhappiness can sometimes make you feel the way Rachaela does.
3. What do you think happens to you when you die?
I take a spiritual and scientific approach. I feel we will exist in a spiritual form in another dimension. I hope so at least. If we go into nothingness, then life would seem unimportant. But if nothingness is what awaits us, than we can’t really question life after we expire.
4. Have you ever penned anything yourself? And if so what’s the recurring theme?
I have written a lot of short stories, but right now I am focusing on my first novel. I love the horror/gothic genre, but I also like romance. Currently I’m trying to mesh the two into one story. So far, it’s working!
5. If you had to re-live your life as a character in a book, what book/character would it be?
Hester Prynne. There are so many times I wanted to be inside her head and controlling her body so she could stand up for herself. I imagine given the time and place – perhaps even my sense of modern feminism might not hold up – but I just hate how victimized she is.
Thursday nights are typically mellow for me. Dinner at home with a few of my girlfriends, a bottle of wine and good conversation. No frills, just laid back fun. This Thursday in particular marked a huge event for Twilight fans. ‘Team Edward’ and ‘Team Jacob’ fans to be exact. The movie ‘Breaking Dawn’, part 4 of a 5 part movie saga, was released at midnight and my friend Yvette has been counting down the days since the release date was announced earlier this year. Please keep in mind that Yvette is 29 year old business professional who you’d never imagine “ooohing” and “aaahing” over a series that, for some reason or another, brings teen girls to tears. But looks can be deceiving and over the years I’ve come to realize that sometimes things just don’t make sense.
This Thursday, Yvette had a plan. She was coming to my place to hang out and have dinner with some of our mutual friends and then she was off to the movies with her boyfriend for the first showing. Over the course of the evening, each friend (myself included) enjoyed giving her a hard time, but she took our jabs with grace. After a few hours, everyone headed home and I was left with Yvette watching me put away the leftovers and rinsing off our plates. I heard her text message alert go off around 10pm and instantly knew it wasn’t good. Her boyfriend (he’s an EMT) got a call and couldn’t make the movie. Part of me thought he was lying (could you blame him?), but it didn’t matter because I knew what was coming. I had just told her my book reading plans for the evening, so I was an easy target and couldn’t say no to taking his place without looking (and feeling) like a jerk. If ever “ugh” had a face, it was mine at that moment.
Let me preface my experience by saying that I’ve never read any of the Twilight books and I’ve never seen the movies, except for a few scenes on cable while channel surfing. In the 12 minute drive to the theater, Yvette did her best to bring me up to cinematic speed and I did my best to feign enthusiasm even though we both knew the truth. I held in my frustration when I saw the line of teenagers (and their parents) lined up outside to get good seats. Some even brought folding chairs! Everyone was friendly and hyped, so I took the opportunity to entertain myself and ask a few questions to the youngsters surrounding us. All in all, I talked to 9 teens (6 girls and 3 boys). 2 owned the book series, but both admitted they had not finished them. The remaining 7 had only seen the movies. When I asked them what it was about the movies that made them so fanatic, I received a variety of answers. But my favorite was from Cassidy, 14, who so eloquently said “It’s really just a long love story. It’s all about love.” In a way, I have to agree because if I didn’t love my friend, she would be sitting in that line by herself.
I’m not going to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it. That’s not my style. But in my opinion, this video clip sums the whole thing up. WARNING: this clip *does* include spoilers. So don’t watch it unless you want to save yourself the money on a ticket as well as 1 hour and 57 minutes of your life.
If you’re a true fan, god love you. Perhaps in the right mood and at the right time, I might appreciate these films for what they are. But until then, I’m going to think of those happy Twilight fans lined up outside and feel old.
Every day, I comb the internet searching for random and inspirational things. Granted, my search isn’t always successful. But in-between I find funny videos, ironic art, sarcastic comments, and a million cute (insert animal here) photos that somehow pull my workday together.
This week I clicked on a link, that directed me to a blog, that lead me to a photo, that brought me to a comment, that made me challenge a viewpoint, which inspired me to Google a quote (that I misspelled), causing inaccurate search results. It was then that I saw “Ze Frank” as the first populated result and thought, ‘what the heck?’ and clicked on his website. Maybe you’ve heard of him, maybe you haven’t. Prior to my Google mishap, I hadn’t (a terrible shame, I know!). Yet I was immediately drawn to his creativity and the uniqueness of involving other people in his projects. Kind of like Post Secret, minus the anonymity.
The first project that peaked my interest was “Like Mom, Like Dad”, where people recreate old photos of their parents. What an awesome idea! I clicked around some more on his site and found the ‘letter project’ that he’s been working on since 2001. (Send him a photo for god’s sake! It took me 1 minute on my phone.) Ze is also working on “Young Me, Now Me”, which he’s turning into a book. The idea behind it is pretty self explanatory. You simply grab an old photo of yourself (or a family member – whatevs), and then reproduce the image (same pose, clothes, setting, etc.) as you are now. If you want to be a part of his book, you can submit your photos here. How cool is that?
The internet is filled to the brim with interesting ideas and creative work. If you find something that inspires you, or catches your attention – share it with us on Facebook or Twitter. When we find a gem, we enjoy passing it on. And we’d love for you to do the same!
Recently, my iPod nano decided to up and die on me. Apparently, Apple products are not invincible, despite what their employees and devoted fans imply. It’s impossible for me to work out (or live, for that matter) without music. So the same day, I went to Fry’s Electronics to grab a replacement.
If you’ve ever been to Fry’s on a weekend, you’ve pretty much entered my own personal hell. It’s hot, it’s crowded, people are eating snacks in line, and 9 times out of 10 there’s a screaming kid within earshot. Unless you’re a total masochist, do yourself a favor and go on a weekday during your lunch.
I spotted Alex Gutierrez holding a stack of DVD’s while waiting in line for a cashier and did my best not to stare. Unfortunately that can be difficult when someone is directly in front of you and you’re trying to avoid impulse buys on surrounding shelves. I’m sure someone somewhere needs a Pillow Pet and Almond Roca, just not me. While trying not to burn a hole in his back, two things specifically caught my eye. “The Crow” on Blu Ray (don’t ask) and a beat up copy of ‘Story of the Eye’ by Georges Bataille poking out of the back pocket of his jeans. Wasn’t Bataille’s work banned? I couldn’t help myself…
When i was in art school, we had to read Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky for a studio class. It completely changed how i approached and looked at art. Kandinsky was an amazing painter, but i really had no appreciation for him until i read that book. It’s his manifesto. He placed huge significance on these four elements: Line, Color, Composition, and Form. Which can be applied just as easily to abstract or figurative work.
Denis Johnson, particularly from his book, Jesus’ Son. The way he describes situations with an almost dream-like timeline is very relatable to how my memory works. He can find beauty in a totally insignificant “normal” situation. The narrator has a tendency to make terrible decisions without malicious intent. Sort of absent minded, but on some kind of weird road to enlightenment.
Hopefully heaven or reincarnation. or something cool. if there’s nothing, then it’s sort of like, what’s the point. i feel like art and creativity are proof that we’re more than just hollow organisms. like, i feel like we have souls, and when our bodies die, our soul moves on. i dunno, i’m not religious, it’s just something i’ve always felt was real.
No, i’m a terrible writer. maybe not terrible, but definitely not good enough to pursue it.
Sal Paradise in On The Road, probably. The thought of road tripping across America, to Mexico, etc… especially around that time period (late 40s, early 50s) would be incredible.
I’ve been back and forth from Orange County to Los Angeles County this week and have witnessed various “Occupy (insert city name here)” groups setting up shop on college campuses, in parks, etc. Seeing people give up their personal time on week nights and weekends to support a cause has always fascinated me. I’ve never thought of myself as a terrible person (at least I hope I’m not), but I’m kind of selfish with my “free” time. So with that in mind, I tip my hat to all the dedicated volunteers, selflessly standing up for a cause they believe in.
My fascination continued when I read about the closure of the Preston Library in Wembely, London. Yea, yea, I know. Other libraries are closing too. But this one struck a chord with me. Locals have joined forces in an effort to preserve what once was by erecting a “pop-up” library in its place. Geraldine Cooke is one of the many volunteers working hard to maintain their makeshift stand. Her parents campaigned to establish the Preston Library back in 1937, so it seemed only fitting for her to follow in their passionate footsteps. The stand is nothing fancy to look at, but patrons don’t seem to mind. Books are being donated by the stack, and volunteers are making themselves available to assist wherever they can.
About thirty minutes North West of Wembely, another stand alone library popped up. This one took up shop across from a local Starbucks near St. Paul’s Cathedral. Ashley Bignall is a care worker in south London who saw a need and made a move. His pop-up library “Starbooks” doesn’t offer desks, table lamps or free internet, but the people visiting his stand aren’t bothered. As with Wembely, donations are in abundance and patrons are in good spirits. We sure hope it stays that way.