New TV on My Radar

I’m terrible at keeping up with TV shows, especially those that require a chronological viewing in order to understand ongoing events. One of my favorite shows is The Walking Dead, but I’m a whole season and a half behind, so I haven’t been keeping up with new episodes.

This is usually why I end up watching things like The Big Bang Theory , because I can find them while channel flipping and they don’t require the same level of commitment.

Nevertheless, I’ve managed to tune into a three new shows this season and have done a relatively good job of keeping up with them. (We’ll see if I stick to it or not.)

Continue reading “New TV on My Radar”

Proust Questionnaire

Several years ago, I used to spend a ridiculous number of hours watching Inside the Actors’ Studio, hosted by James Lipton. The show had a blend of celebrity, study of craft, and personal exploration, all combined with Lipton’s unique soft-spoken tone, that made it fascinating.

At the end of every episode, he asks ten questions, an adapted version of the Proust Questionnaire. I am always fascinated by the answers given and couldn’t help thinking what I would say should I ever become a director and appear on the show.

Here are my answers to those ten questions as I would give them today.

1. What is your favorite word?

I have many words and phrases at catch my attention and linger. Some due to meanings, some just because of how they sound. At the moment, “indubitably” comes to mind as a favorite. I like the playful way the syllables fall of the tongue. It’s a fun way of saying, “Absolutely. Yes.”

2. What is your least favorite word?

Should. I don’t like the way “should” tends to put me into a state of arguing with reality, which just causes frustration.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

I’m tempted to say “everything,” though that would be an untrue exaggeration, because not everything can be pleasing or enlightening in life. But every time I take a deep breath and think about the world and all its interconnections, I very much want to believe in the beauty of things.

4. What turns you off?

Humiliation. The feeling that I am being judged negatively by others.

5. What is your favorite curse word?

F*ck. Sometimes it’s the only word that fits, and it’s hands down the best curse word in the English language. Here is evidence.

6. What sound or noise do you love?

My niece’s squealing laugh. The patter of rain on my window. The crunch-pop sound of snow beneath my feet.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

The screaming of car brakes. Nothing good comes from that.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Explorer. I imagine this in the sense of seeking out new realms as yet unseen (providing the conquer, destroy, and colonize aspect could be taken out of the process), of which there is not much left on Earth. In which case what’s left is space (the final frontier), so maybe a more accurate answer is Astronaut.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

Coal miner. I don’t like the idea of the dirt, grit, or dark.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“You did good.”

Post inspired by Daily Prompt: Inside the Actor’s Studio.

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In other news, the first trailer for Maleficent, staring Angelina Jolie, is out. I am cautiously optimistic.

The Bio Meme

Apparently the rules are: You comment, I give you an age (please tell me how old you are, or risk having to time-travel to find out the answers) and you respond to the meme questions with what applied to you back then, and what’s true now.

The lovely wordweaverlynn gave me: 16, which was 1996 and I was a Sophmore/Junior in high school.

I lived in:
I’m trying to remember if my family made the transition from Willowbrook St to the mountain house before or after I was sixteen. It maybe have been during that year, because I remember my parents having to drive down the backside of mountain, bouncing over potholes in the dirt road and then drop the youngest off at elementary school, me off at high school, and the middle kids off at middle school – in that order.

Living in the mountain house was an interesting experience, not only for the drive, but also for the mountain folk, giant spiders, occasional fire warnings, snow, horses and wild dogs, and general sense of disconnection from town.

Now:
I live in an apartment with my good friend. It’s my first on-my-own-adult-home and I’m very happy there, in part because I was lucky to get the end apartment, which seems to have it’s own backyard. After being here, I don’t think I could live in the mountains again and having to deal with driving down HWY 17 and all the hassle of not living in town.

I drove:
Nothing. I didn’t even have a license, let alone a car until after I was 18. It’s was public transport all the way, baby.

Now:
I’ve recently sold my Susy Subaru Forester for M’Lady Cavalier. M’Lady is doing well by me so far.

I was in a relationship with:
Myself. I had a few crushes and some good buddies, but no romantic relationships.

Now:
Same. It was just me enjoying being with me.

I feared:
Being mocked, being made fun off, being embarrassed, being unloved, having no friends. I transitioned friendships every year of high school. It was like my friendships reset every summer and I had to start over at the beginning of the school year. I always had friends, but I was also always adapting myself to the new set of friends in an attempt to make sure I fit in.

It’s why I’ve always had a problem watching movies that rely on embarrassment humor (think Meet the Parents). If a character is being humiliated in some way, either from acting stupid or being mocked, I’ve been known to cover my face while cringing of even run from the room so as to not have to face it.

Now:
Embarrassment is still a thing with me, but not as much. I know how to process it better now, and my focus has shifted from friendships to career. All my fear of embarrassment and being mocked is now in relation to my writing and tied up with the main fear of failing as a writer.

I worked at:
Oh, I don’t know. I kind of worked at school, but not with much effort. I kind of worked at friendships. I only worked at art or writing when I felt like it, which wasn’t much. I just remember spending most of my time hanging out with friends. So maybe that’s what I was working at, trying to fit in.

Now:
So, so many things, including my day job and trying to be a working writer and trying to be healthy and be a good friend and be responsible about adult things like paying rent and more than I can seem to fit in a day.

I wanted to be:
An artist, as in painter. Though I think about that time I was starting to become disillusioned with that idea, as I realized I didn’t have the kind of dedication to really hone the craft or be creative in a way that would stand out. About that time, I was starting to shift my interest into becoming a writer.

Now:
A lover of life everyday in every way. And, yeah, a prosperous writer, too.

Cross-posted to my livejournal. You are welcome to comment either here or there.

Being a list of 5 things

1. Kinderbard – Songs for Children Sung by Characters from Shakespeare
Kinderbard is an awesome project to create that uses Shakespeare and music to inspire and educate children.

“We want to bring into the world the first in a planned series of books, music, and interactive apps containing songs for children. Each song is ‘sung by’ a character from Shakespeare, and is true to the quotation spoken by that character, and on which the song is based. Many of our songs address issues with which children can identify, such as anxiety, sibling rivalry, even bullying. Some are just silly or funny. But they are all lovingly created, and professionally performed, produced, and mastered.” — quoted from here

If you watch the video on the kickstarter page, you can see the love that has gone into making all of this. Daeshin Kim is organizing the project, while his wife is creating the art and his young daughter is singing the songs. The project is in fact inspired by the challenges the daughter had to face when the family moved to Paris and how music and Shakespeare helped her adapt to a new language and culture.

The project only has a few days left to gain funding, so I’m trying to signal boost and get others to join in. It certainly helps that in every interaction that I’ve had with Daeshin, he has been generous and kind, so I hope, hope, hope that the funds for this project come together.

2. Rereading The Martian Chronicles
The Martian Chronicles is a collection of short stories that have been strung together into a novel, which presents earth’s colonization of Mars. The first expeditions meet with challenges from the Martian natives, who are an advanced race in their own right. In one such story, “The Earth Men,” the company lands hoping to receive acknowledgement and fanfare in this first interaction with an alien race, only to find the Martians to be bored and annoyed by their presence.

As the colonization continues and more and more humans come to Mars, we see new kinds of stories, stories of people reshaping a stranger world, of strange people finding peace in solitude away from the red tape of Earth, of people fighting back once Earth tries to bring it’s red tape to Mars. Some stories are better than others of course — and certainly, being written in the ’50s, there’s not much space for women who are little more than background — but on the whole they are stories with interesting characters, stories that analyze humanity and society by situating it on an alien world.

I actually picked up the book to reread just a few days before Ray Bradbury passed away, the coincidence of which added a new level of poignancy to the reading. I remember being immediately smitten with the book when I first read it in school. “There Will Come Soft Rains” remains one of my favorite shorts stories, and in rereading it again now, I’m still amazed by the way he spun the story and how it still both moves me and gives me chills. Really a fantastic book — just one piece of evidence showing how amazing Bradbury was, and I’m already looking forward to reading it again someday.

3. Snow White and the Huntsman and the fabulous witch
I was going to write a post all about how, while Snow White and the Huntsman was a flawed movie in many ways, Charlize Theron was gorgeous and wonderful, bringing a haunted, unhinged depth to Queen Ravena (that pretty much carried the movie), and how I really do love the queen in the Snow White stories in general, because Snow in her purity is rather boring, but Gemma Files (aka [info]handful_ofdust) already wrote about it in her fabulous column and said it so much better than I ever could.

The only thing she didn’t mention is Theron’s fantastic costumes throughout the movie. Her gowns were amazing, like this one with the amazing headpiece and bird’s skulls around the neckline or this one that’s made with dung beetle carapaces or this one that looks like chain mail. Gorgeous.

Photo 184. Speaking of fairy tales…
I was introduced to this story at PANK Magazine by Rachel Rodman, called “Experimental Breeds: Bears, Clothed In Rumpled Hoods, Pipe “Rapunzel” To The Sleeping Pigs,” which fractures multiple fairy tales and mashes them together. It blew my mind. I mean, literally I was left sitting in my chair, slack-jawed, and unable to think properly — mind-blown. Go read it.

5. Pants
Yesterday, I arrived at work, only to immediately rip a hole in the seat of my pants. It was NOT awesome and set a bad precedent for the day. However, that evening I went to the mall to replace the pants that ripped, and … I ended up buying myself a whole new outfit, pants, shirt, sweater.

Considering the fact that shopping can sometimes be a stressful and/or depressing event for me, finding a whole outfit that works perfect, makes me feel good, and that I love is a really great feeling.

Don’t I look cute! For joy. (^_^)

[Cross-posted to my livejournal.]

A list of things I've been meaning to post

1. I’ve received an acceptance for one of my poems. Will give you the when and where once the contract is signed, but in the meantime, yay!

2. I’ve also received a rejection for a very short story I submitted, but I don’t feel bad about this because: a) I generally don’t worry about that sort of thing, and b) see above.

3. I totally rocked my Minnie Mouse ears on my trip to Disneyland last weekend. We hit the theme parks hard over those two days (for example, on our last night there, we rushed through nine rides in two hours).

4. which I’m pretty sure contributed to my being sick all last week (that and the crazy work schedule I’ve been having lately).

5. The result of which is that I did not run last week (rest was needed), though I haven’t been sticking to my training schedule anyway.

6. My writing is going well, however, as evidenced by my multiple NaPoWriMo posts and the progress I’m making on “The Witch of the Little Wood.” I’m hoping to have the draft done by the middle of May at the latest.

7. [info]alg posted a call for submissions for a Buffy verse anthology that I may have to write something for.

8. Another awesome market is looking for reprint submissions for an anthology of speculative feminist poetry. (I’ve submitted a poem thatmight work.)

9. During Easter, my mom pointed out that as soon she had grandkids, she would no longer making easter baskets for my siblings and I — not exactly good incentive for us to start breeding. 😉

10. I just like nice, round numbers.

[Cross-posted my my livejournal. If you feel inclined, you may comment either here or there.]

I'm getting settled back in …

… or at least as much as I can as I’m still sick, am not sleeping in my own bed because I’m house sitting, and will be this very week looking for an apartment to move into with my friend. Needless to say I’m going easy on the goals this week and they almost all revolve around finalizing my trip to Germany.

This week I need to
— get my photos together, posted to flickr, and labeled
— post some of my experiences from germany
— scan some pages from my travel journal for posting
— more of the same, I’m sure, as I get to thinking about it

* * *

The one report that I have for this week is that I came back to a rejection from Zyzzvya for a set of my poems in my mail box. Ah, well, on to the next market.

[x-posted to my livejournal. If you are inclined, you can comment here or there.]

Wait. What? Where am I?

On twitter today, I described my state of mind to a friend thus: “I’ve been like a chicken w/its head cut off & replaced w/a tornado. Funny, but not functional.”

I didn’t bother making a goal list this week. My one goal: get all the little do-dads done so that I can make it to Germany with my sanity in tact. If I can manage to accidentally slip something creative in there, then sweet. But I’m not exactly aiming for it, ya know?

Thoughts on Interpretation

As you probably know, I’ve been posting various art-related entries to my tumblr. I recently received an interesting comment there to one of my posts with my morning journal pages (this partucular one incorporating my drawing of a tree), and I thought it was interesting enough to share here.

searchingforsuperpowers wrote: 

your tree is bent to the “mother side” which would lead me to ask questions about your relationship with your mother. You added bark, which signals the need for protection… i could go on… my own quote.. (the tree is the wondow to the soul) 

My response: 
Wow. Hah. I can’t say that I put that much thought into it. I just sort of needed something to draw, saw a tree on the cover of a book similar to this, and so I drew it. But perhaps your suggesting there are some subconscious tendencies to this, which is to be expected, I suppose. It’s common that unexpected meaning comes out when you create something.

Or to think about it another way, once any art or writing is made, it owns itself and is free to be many things to many people. Anyone can take any piece of art and interpret it as they will. At that point, the art begins to say less about the artist than it does about the person interpreting it. 

Your response tells me a bit about you, that which fascinates you, and the way in which you view the world. You seem to show your spiritual side here, and certainly your passion for trees. (I would be interesting to learn how you developed your theories on trees.)

As to my relationship with my mother… we are very close, always have been. I must admit to some recent tension due to a series of recent challenges, which have affected the entire family. The result of this was that I have been the stable rod supporting my mother’s emotional rollercoaster. A role I’ve been honored to play, able thus to clearly see my mother grow and become a stronger person. But I’ve also recently reached a place in which I have had to seek my own sanctuary, my own space for personal emotional growth. A goal I’m still in the progress of working toward.

Maybe all that is in that little sketch that I threw together yesterday morning. I’m not inclined to think so (it was such a quick little drawing based on an existing tree), but who knows. Many, many things are possible. (^_^)

How to Be Alone

This was so moving and beautiful! I really, truely, deeply appreciated this reminder of what alone can mean and be, and felt the need to share it. It makes me want to go take a walk, wander the city streets, or just be still for a little while.

Wish I were, wish I might?

From livejournal’s writer’s block forum: Do you wish you had grown up in another time and/or place? If so, when, where, and why?

No. If I grew up in another time, another place, then I would be another person. For all intents and purposes, I like the person I am. I enjoy my life. I don’t really see the point in wishing for something that can’t be changed. That’s a form of arguing with reality, which seems rather silly to me. Right now, my life is imperfect, but then every life is. Exchanging my current reality for another would mean exchanging my current joys, sorrows, and challenges for a new set of joys, sorrows, and challenges. My life would not be better or worse having grown up elsewhere — just different.

I do enjoy imagining what it might be like to have grown up elsewhere and elsewhen. That’s is what writing and reading are for.

In books, I can follow a character into a different life. Watch them live and make choices, having grown up in places and worlds and times that are often very, very different from my own. I get to see them make choices that I might not choose to make.

In writing, I get to not just follow, but create. I get to imagine and invent a world and characters to fill it. I get to try on their skin and walk around in it for a while. In that way, I get to superficially experience lives that are quite different from my own, and for me, that’s enough.

What about you? Do you wish for a life that is different from your own?

[x-posted to my livejournal. If you feel inclined, you may comment either here or there.]