Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button from Even Lin

Tonight I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with a friend. Incidentally, I once said that I wanted to start alienating this particular friend for various reasons, but I am glad I never went through with that plan, because we've both grown up. Despite our infrequent get-togethers, I enjoy my time with her and I was pleased to see, today, that we can have mature conversation mixed in with a smattering of laughter. That's really all I need in a friendship, to start.

The film was beautiful but very long (by the 2-hour mark I was wistfully recalling the cautionary words of A, who said that to watch a movie is to invest a considerable amount of time and sometimes mental energy). Because of its beauty, I was distracted from the general theme of death until the very end, by which point I was surprised to have been so blind to the abundance of depressing themes.

To my movie-going companion I bemoaned the fact that the film's enlightening, insightful messages about life were so subtle. They were there, to be sure, but the story seemed so very plot-driven that these poignant insights were skated over and left back in the too-short moments of the story's greatest emotional depth.

Nevertheless, it made me think about time and cherishing life. I have so loved, in the past few weeks, encountering these grand themes in such salient forms; the world seems to be telling me something beautiful.

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Monday, December 29, 2008


flowers in december by °°k°°.

Blogging, all of a sudden, has as many strange quirks and customs as the real world. There are "right" ways to blog and "wrong" ways, and there even seem to be formulas for how to become rich and successful while blogging. It's kind of silly and kind of maddening. You're supposed to have a theme for your blog if you want to attract more visitors and readers, apparently. You've got to be organized and to only just divulge enough of your life to be enticing but safe.

I guess my problem with blogging "success" (aside from my gratuitous use of unnecessary quotes) is that I always thought of it as a personal journal that happened to be open to the public. That was all. And a personal journal doesn't necessarily have a theme. I mean, perhaps posthumously, with some knowledge about the author, you could summarize the thing sort of generally, like with Anne Frank. She was a girl who matured very quickly during an extremely arduous period both historically and personally. But when I blog or journal, it's generally not with these sort of themes in mind. 13 Years of Clutter was definitely the exception, because I had a specific project to document. But otherwise, my thought process does not work in a way conducive to these themes.

However, I do very much admire people who can channel their intriguing thoughts into this format and garner attention and well-deserved praise for it. With that, here are some of the blogs and sites I have been admiring lately. Some may be repeats, but let's just say it's for the purpose of list-making.

  • iCiNG: Inspirational, fashionable and upbeat, Gala Darling's site is everything I could ever want lately. She always links amazing things/people and has a lot of optimism to share.

  • Project: Happily Ever After: This lady has decided to create a "project" for the things in her life that cause unhappiness. I like this approach a lot, and the idea that you can consciously change what you don't like about life is appealing to my current mindset.

  • Debauchette: NSFW, generally. There is a lot of sex writing in this call-girl/"courtesan"'s blog, but the mystery woman is truly intelligent and sees the world in such an interesting way that I do recommend it, in spite of its inherent controversy. Judge her all you want, judge me for valuing her writing - if you shed your expectations for this blog you may find some really hard-hitting insight about human nature and society.

  • Decorating Nature: Less a blog than a quick collection of some amazing, creative photographs. :)

  • an aesthetic feast: Fashionable and food-loving, this girl posts such cute things and has a strangely captivating writing voice.

  • The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks: Just for fun. :) I love hilarity and irony.

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Friday, December 26, 2008


De-cluttering is slow going. Mostly because I'm afraid of incurring my mother's wrath if I should throw away something she hasn't approved. I continue to be overwhelmed by how much crap - namely, storage bins and boxes - can fill this place and how little it will be possible to shut it all away for the purposes of a streamlined home look.

Anyway, my biggest plan for the break, other than de-cluttering, was thinking and reflection. I have indeed been doing a lot of that, but ironically enough, it's been mindless in form. I sit and read articles and the occasional blog online all day, pause to read a bit of a book or two, then eat awful food. So I thought I would share, over the next few posts (if I can be bothered to stay invested enough in the theme for that long), the links I've been frequenting.


I'm not entirely sure what I enjoy most about this online mag thing called Salon. It could be the Life section dominated largely by advice from Cary Tennis. Or maybe their end-of-year book recap that has left me with plentiful new literary recommendations, ones I will probably never have the time to finish. Their movies section is also getting a lot of traffic from me because I'm real into the ideas of lots of movies right now. That was a dumb sentence.

Anyway the article that really made me interested in Salon was "What your loneliness is telling you," not because of any particular home-hitting value in the article, but because it is intelligently written and reminded me, in the second-to last paragraph, of the very thing I am striving to do this winter.

One of the things that our culture really tries to discourage is thinking, reflection, seriousness. I think that we have to have more confidence in our ability to be thoughtful people.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Home again, home again

I'm home for winter break! My break is always unreasonably long (ha ha, I'm not gloating) and my friends usually return to school before me, so I think I may very well be continuing my de-cluttering project over the next month.

Returning home has already been somewhat stressful. Even aside from all the traveling (I was en route for almost 12 hours yesterday, which doesn't sound bad, but it was real bad), I came home to find that my mother needs $1,000 from me to pay off her old University of Phoenix debts or something. It really depresses me and troubles me that my mother needs so much financial help to me, even though I'm only twenty years old and don't even have my own stable source of income besides the work study that I do to support my educational finances.

Discovering that she needed to borrow from me today put me in quite a bad mood, but then I spent some time with my best friends here at home and had such a good time that it relieved some stress. They are the one constant that I can rely on for smiles and good memories - the real reason I come home, honestly. I would say that I come home to see my family, but actually my family stresses me out. I think this is true for a lot of people. (Is it?)

So in order to avoid family woes as much as possible, I am planning on devoting my time to things that make me happy over this break:

  • De-cluttering. The house looks rather worse than I think I left it, despite my mother's claims that it is better. But de-cluttering always gives me a strong sense of satisfaction that I intend to re-invoke while I'm back.

  • Reading. A new guy friend of mine has inspired me to be more thoughtful. I have been a fan of the library since the end of high school (it sounds weird to say that - maybe I'm a late library-bloomer?), and I'm thinking of getting some Umberto Eco and perhaps Oscar Wilde to curl up with.

  • Being creative. The same friend has inspired me to be more creative with my time. All of my past breaks from school have involved relaxing via mind-numbing intake of non-enriching media. But I do love music, and I love the prospect of writing (the act itself is a slightly different story). There are several projects in these arenas that I want to throw myself back into.

  • Spending time with my friends. Friendship is one of the most beautiful things I have right now, and that may sound cliched, but only because the truth about friendship has already been discovered millions of times over. I love my friends.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Denying Responsibility

It sure is annoying how a boy can make you think about him constantly even when you no longer want to, isn't it? I'm actually pretty pissed at him, but we don't need to go into that.

This excerpt about the subversive nature of love is pretty interesting. Despite having never been in love, it makes a lot of sense to me, because of the way I imagine love to be.

Here in the dorms it seems like love and relationships are the only things on the girls' minds. How bittersweet, seeing as we'll be leaving for a long break in about two weeks.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Things i Love Today:

- the guy who brushed his fingertips along the Christmas trees lining Astor Place between Lafayette and Broadway, smiling to himself
- fallen leaves on the ground that look like paper stars when the light catches them and I see them out of the corner of my eye
- hearing two guys singing this song in unison as I walked down Washington Place
- getting an 88 on the Human Development test I thought I failed and then getting it raised to a 92
- when my entire German class exclaims in upset unison about getting a recent test back. Those kids are too much haha.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

"Rabbit rabbit"

Happy December! I have not been posting much, not for lack of exciting material. Thanksgiving was a really great break for me. I went to D.C. and had a very cathartic, enlightening conversation with my good friend S on the bus back to New York at 10 p.m. Saturday. The two of us discovered, among other things, that the present does not exist - only the past and future - and felt very wise/deep.

But the most valuable thing I took away from the conversation was something S imparted to me while we were discussing our respective, overwhelming levels of stress. She said, and it is so simple: Thinking about the things that stress you out is not going to help you. I told you, simple! But it's something that has helped me immensely in the past few days to control my stress level. For the first time, I am really taking things one step at a time. This morning, I woke up with that familiarly vague sense of panic that my day ahead was going to bring chaos and stress, but I murmured, "First things first. Get up and eat breakfast." And it soothed me.

It remains to be seen whether this attitude is a false sense of security about all the stressful things I still have to accomplish. But whatever it is, it's a quick fix that seems to be working.

Anyway, here is a really cool song that LJ user binsybaby, a very talented artist, posted today. It's a 8-bit Nintendo version of You Can't Hurry Love. !! I loved that song already, but this makes it even more awesome.

You Cant Hurry Love - MISA SUGIYAMA

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