Jun. 6th, 2014 08:09 am
intertribal: (peace)
"Blindfold" - Curve

Now I remember two days that mean a lot to me
I remember the two days when every hour was a minute
And every minute was a lifetime and the ocean was a sea
And you dragged me into the mountains with a flimsy guarantee
The stronger the man, the stronger the woman
If it ended now, would you be willing?
See how it feels for me - do you believe in me?

"Blinding" - Florence + the Machine

No more dreaming of the dead as if death itself was undone
No more calling like a crow for a boy, for a body in the garden
No more dreaming like a girl so in love, so in love
No more dreaming like a girl so in love with the wrong world

"Blindfold" - Morcheeba

Spring has gone
And summer keeps on coming on
I'm so glad to have you
And it's getting worse
I'm so mad to love you
And your evil curse

"Blind" - Michael Gira

Please don't ask me a question
It'd just be misunderstood
And if you could step inside me you'd feel what hatred brings
And if you saw with my eyes you'd see what self-deception means
I was younger once and I created a lie
And though my body was strong
I was self-deluded, confident and blind

"Blindsided" - Bon Iver

I'm not really like this
I'm probably plightless
Would you really rush out?
Would you really rush out for me now?

"Blindness" - Metric

What it is and where it stops nobody knows
You gave me a battle I never chose
I was the one with the world at my feet
Got us a battle, leave it up to me

-- side note: Can I just be Emily Haines?  Check out her fucking sunglasses in this "Help, I'm Alive" video.  
intertribal: (tongue)

Dude: Letting people down is my thing, baby - find yourself a new gig, this town ain't big enough for two of us
I don't have the right name, or the right looks, but I have twice the heart
Dudette: If I spilled my guts, the world would never look at you the same way
And now I'm here to give you all my love... so I can watch your face as I take it all away
Both: I know I'm bad news, I saved it all for you.  I want to teach you a lesson in the worst kind of way -- still, I'd trade all my tomorrows for just one yesterday.

I have no idea what's going on in this video, but I've always loved this song.  When I heard it I immediately associated it with my "super-couple," the one I've been writing about since middle school.  For a while I was going to have their first book be my first book - I had worked exhaustively on the outline, written sizable chunks of the story, was living and breathing the characters - and then earlier this year, I decided I couldn't write their story now.

You see, my "super-couple" have always started off as best friends.*  The exact details of their unconscious coupling has changed over the years.  In the first version (the middle school one), the guy had always had feelings for the girl, and she is eventually convinced after some dangerous encounter to give the relationship a shot.  In the second version (written while I was in college), there was mutual unspoken tension that was never acted on because the girl was afraid of intimacy and the guy was afraid of commitment, and when it finally is acted on, it's when the guy has a girlfriend an ocean away.  In the third version (drafted last year), they start a FWB relationship that emotionally destroys the girl and initiates a cycle of jealousy/revenge/sabotage.  Their relationship has gotten progressively darker each time - I almost wondered if I overdid it with this last version, because the guy is such a selfish asshole and the girl is so pathetic.  Her friends stage interventions repeatedly and they never work.  Anyway, the thought of writing about these two right now is just like "NOPE NOPE," - I am just not in the right emotional state.  I know some writers are all about "spin that angst into writing gold!" but I need writing to function at least a little bit as an emotional escape for me.

So I'm writing the story about Americans studying abroad in Indonesia instead.  It's going well so far.

Other songs I've associated with my super-couple over the years (they have a lot of problems):

  1. "Limp" - Fiona Apple: "You feed the beast I have within me/ You fondle my trigger then you blame my gun."

  2. "Suspension Without Suspense" - No Doubt: "Now that I've/ forced you off, do you hate me?  Do you want revenge?"

  3. "Nothing Better" - Postal Service: "Don't you feed me lines about some idealistic future."

  4. "Push It" - Garbage: "I was angry when I met you.  I think I'm angry still.  We can try to talk it over."

  5. "Paradise Circus" - Massive Attack: "It's unfortunate that when we feel a storm we can roll ourselves over cuz we're uncomfortable."

  6. "Slide" - Goo Goo Dolls: "I wanna wake up where you are, I won't say anything at all."

  7. "Closer" - Nine Inch Nails: "I wanna fuck you like an animal."

  8. "Ways & Means" - Snow Patrol: "Maybe I can do it, if I put my back into it.  I can leave you if I wanted, but there's nowhere else that I can go.  Maybe I won't suffer, if I find a way to love her - I'd be lying to myself, but there's no way out that I can see."

  9. "Drowned World / Substitute for Love" - Madonna: "Traveled round the world, looking for a home, I found myself in crowded rooms, feeling so alone/ Should I wait for you, my substitute for love?"

  10. "Sometimes It Hurts" - Stabbing Westward: "God, I hate myself when I try to get over you."

  11. "Filth Noir" - Zeromancer: "Sometimes you just have to risk it all to get what you want."

  12. "Leif Erikson" - Interpol: "You come here to me, we'll collect those lonely parts and set them down."

  13. "Teardrop" - Massive Attack: "Love is a verb, love is a doing word."

* Same first initials too.  Same last initial as well, on his part.
intertribal: (city)
I watched Norwegian Wood a few months ago (haven't read the book, I know, a thousand suns of shame).  I didn't think that I would ever be in the position of relating to the girl described as "outgoing and lively," but man, I was definitely Team Midori.  Maybe because like Midori, I've been hurt too much in the past and I just want to be happy now.  So Midori is in love with the main character, Toru Watanabe, who is depressed and attached to this suicidal girl Naoko who's off at a resort-sanitarium.  And I have no idea how it is in the book, but in the movie it comes across like he's just kind of like, man, I know Midori likes me, but I don't know what to do about it, so I'm gonna do nothing and just sit here quietly with my dark thoughts, blahrghgh. So there's this part where Midori finally tells him, "I'll wait, because I trust you, but when you take me, take only me"... fuck it, I'll just post it.

I'm reading through the Goodreads quotes from the book and they're a little eerie.  Especially this and this.  And this letter is from here (I guess this is from the book?  It almost made me cry though):

midori toru
intertribal: (fuck)

All I can do is fight, even if I know you're right.
Pretty fingers holding fast - maybe it's your violent past?
All you can do is hide - God bless the darkness of the night.
intertribal: (Default)

I promised Lindsey I would write this entry.

I recently decided to re-write a series of books I first wrote in junior high and high school (I wrote one book a year).  They were really quite terrible in too many ways to mention, but I was also a teenager.  I wrote most before I read anything truly good.  I decided this mostly because I think I had some really fun ideas in those books, especially pertaining to politics and religion, which are my favorite subjects, and like I "owed it" to the skeleton of this seven-novel series to not just let it crumble in obscurity (born in lust, turn to dust).  I think I also decided to do this because these characters were people I knew, long-forgotten friends who saw me through my most hormonal, unstable years.  And I missed them.  We've been through a lot together.  I named the series after Walton Ford's "Sensations of an Infant Heart" (this is the only thing I've ever written to Harper's Magazine about - I emailed the woman in charge of the art department and said, "So I have this picture from your magazine of a chained up monkey strangling a parrot and I have no idea who it's by, please help?" and she wrote back, "Oh, it's Walton Ford.  What a picture, amirite?").  I think I knew while writing it that it was juvenile and half-baked and that I wasn't ready for the story I was trying to tell.

I started publishing short stories a couple years after I finished the last book of this series.  I don't feel very much for my short story characters.  This enables me to do to them what I could never have done to these first proto-characters, my Adam and Eve.  It enables me, supposedly, to view them objectively.  There are some that have stayed with me more than others, like Lizbet from "Pugelbone" and the unnamed narrator from "Intertropical Convergence Zone," because they were drawn from places close to me emotionally - Lizbet was drawn from my blood, the army guy from, well, my dad and Suharto and other larger-than-life Indonesian men from my childhood.  But most of them are pawns.  I like to think they're reasonably well-rounded, but it's entirely possible that they read a little cold and distant because of this wall I put up.  I put the wall up for reasons that I thought were good: I was way, way too invested in my proto-characters, it got in the way of the story, and in the end their characterization suffered for it. "Are You Hurting The One You Love," indeed.  I know that Kill Your Darlings refers to words, but after this series I decided to use it with my characters.  These characters' next permutation were still near and dear to me, but much less so.  Because I was also becoming a better writer throughout this whole process, I associated the technique with good writing.

And I think this affected the way I read other books and watched movies/television, too.  I stopped getting emotionally involved with other people's characters.  I had gone through a period where I was very involved in fictional characters - incidentally, at the same time I started writing my overly-emotional series - and I was embarrassed by that side of me.  Sure, there were characters I liked, a lot, like Dale Cooper and Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks and Starbuck and the Agathons from Battlestar Galactica.  I think I only ever fell in love with Billy Budd, of all characters, after the calamity of The Song of Roland (and yes, they all end up dying, always), and maybe a little bit with Yossarian.  It took me a long time to find a female character I genuinely liked, and then I found myself much more sympathetic to a whole host of them: Eleanor Vance from The Haunting of Hill House, the narrator of The Bell-Jar, April from Revolutionary Road, Lily from Run, River.  But for the most part I appreciated these books and movies for other reasons - words or stories or ideas.  A lot of my favorite stuff, like A Sound and the Fury and The Violent Bear It Away and almost everything I've read by Cormac McCarthy, were populated entirely by noxious, terrible people. I wanted to see their worlds collide, I wanted to watch them climb over each other and go up in flames, but there was no visceral attachment.

Then I decided to rewrite this series.  Around then I started watching The Tudors (I know, I know), and I got all invested in the tragic queens.  I've gotten invested in television characters before though - I think it's an effect of spiraling melodrama, it catches you up the way sports catch you up - so that in and of itself was not worth much.  But I did end up writing a story based on Jane Seymour and Anne Boleyn, because they wouldn't get out of my head.  And then when I came back to DC this semester, I started watching that free Netflix series, House of Cards.  And I "met" Peter Russo.

Everyone I know who watches that show - and my sample size is all male, for what it's worth - loves the main character, Francis Underwood, because he's "boss" and callous and cool and is in control of everyone.  I think Francis is evil and horrible and shitty, but I totally fell in love with Peter's character.  I would start episodes being like, "Peter, you'd better not [insert stupid thing here]."  And Peter is a terrible judge of character and an addict, so there's a lot of "Oh Peter Russo no" in the show.  Peter is weak, while Francis is strong.  Peter has big dreams and really deep lows, while Francis is always level-headed, rational, logical, focused on the prize.  At the time I wasn't sure why I loved Peter so much.  I decided later that he reminded me of who my male proto-character was turning into, and man, I always loved/hated that guy - and it recently occurred to me that my proto-character evolved this way because he's like the id version of myself: the volatile, angry and depressive mess driven by resentment and self-hatred.  Starbuck is the female version of this, which is I think why I like her.  And my female prototype, the stoic good girl, is my super-ego side that most people see on a daily basis while I work and study and listen to people's problems.  This is a surprising realization, to say the least (and not one I was at all expecting), but may go along the way toward explaining why I keep writing this duo over and over, until the end of time.

Organizing and planning the rewrite is like a drug to me now (the outline for the first book - thankfully I scaled it down from seven to three).  I do think that the edited/overhauled version has a lot of potential.  I think it reflects how much older I am now - the characters and their relationships and the context they operate in are all vastly changed, having been boiled down to their core and seen for what they really are: damaged people, in many ways, the full extent of which I couldn't quite fathom as a high-schooler.  I also think it picks at a raw nerve in me, and I've always picked at wounds.

I still can't shake the feeling, though, that real writers don't write this way - not the ones that end up living relatively healthy, balanced lives, anyway.  I know that Caddy was Faulkner's heart's darling, but Caddy was barely ever on-page and never heard from directly - which mitigates, I would think, the detrimental effect of an emotional attachment to one's own creation.  Because writing is business, right, it's politics and nothing personal?

intertribal: (want me to get you something daddy?)
So, The Dark Knight Rises - the last Nolan Batman movie (God willing).  I really liked Batman Begins, which I think I saw in theaters with Christina when neither of us knew what we were expecting - and we were both like, "I think I really kind of LIKED IT" - and have a special relationship with The Dark Knight, which I saw on my own in a shopping mall/movie theater in Surabaya after I bought a canvas bag that said "Life.  Industry.  Work.  Strength."  I saw The Dark Knight Rises last weekend in another shopping mall/movie theater in Jakarta with mixed company, and I felt frustrated and disappointed with it. 

Many people have talked about the questionable politics of The Dark Knight Rises - I particularly like Abigail Nussbaum's review (but when is that ever not true?).  Others have pointed out that these weird fascistic/Randian trends have been in Nolan's Batman movies the entire time, although I must confess I didn't really see them.  To me Batman Begins wasn't very controversial politically, and The Dark Knight was about the classic dilemmas facing public servants trying to do the right thing (I think the most interesting character in it is Dent's) as well as the personal mental collapse that takes place when you decide you can't take trying anymore (see for instance "that's it, I'm moving to Canada" on a much more mundane level, or "fuck iiiiiit" in meme terms).  In the Order vs. Chaos argument, I think a pretty compelling point was made for Chaos, even if officially Order won out.  The Dark Knight Rises, on the other hand, was really playing up the 1% vs. 99% thing, and the 99% pretty much turn out to be duped by an evil that has no motivation other than to be evil.  It actually kind of reminded me of Michael Crichton's "environmentalists are actually engineering global warming to scare us all into going with the Kyoto Protocol!" as well as of that terrible book by Glenn Beck.  The 1% don't even really commit any sins except their parties are boring.  And then there they are, being thrown out on the streets and executed by exile onto a sea of thin ice!  Even Catwoman, the "Robin Hood" character, is all "Batman, you don't owe these plebes anything, they stole all your money."  So yeah, all that: kind of sucky.

Beyond that, I didn't find the movie as much "fun" as I did its predecessors.  I had heard a lot about the explosion in the football stadium scene beforehand but it did not pack the emotional punch that it truly should have, given me and my inclinations.  I actually felt most emotional in the opening scene, during the nuclear physicist's surprise kidnapping.  I don't really know why - maybe the claustrophobia and imminent death involved for such a small pack of people?  But the police being stuck in the tunnels, then surprise!liberated and being gunned down like Theoden's Riders in The Return of the King - meh.  The random schoolbus of orphaned boys - meh.  The pit?  I did feel a twinge when Bruce Wayne makes it out at last, but it was for the cheering prisoners still in the pit, not Bruce Wayne.  This one just didn't click with me.  It felt cold and distant and unwilling to really give of itself.

On the other hand: Alfred the loyal-unto-death butler and Gordon the beleaguered police commissioner were great.  I think those two and Blake (the scrappy new cop) were really the actual soul of the movie, as far as it had a soul at all - the most human characters, at any rate.  Batman/Bruce Wayne was just kind of annoying/useless (ironically), Catwoman was like What Happens When Men Write Women #5a, or so, and Miranda Tate would have potentially been a competent character if not for the barren face heel turn.  Cillian Murphy as the Scarecrow was also fun. 

If anything I sort of wished Batman was erased from this movie, and that it was just the tale of the horribly dysfunctional city that had to fend for itself - that there truly was no ubermensch to save it.  Because I'm fond of Gotham - have been since the beginning - and I was always fiercely of the belief that the League of Shadows was wrong, and Gotham should not be sacrificed as hopelessly corrupt.  Maybe that's because I come from a city that really reminds me of Gotham, sometimes ("criminals in this town used to believe in things - honor, respect!"), and Gotham being assailed by Chaos was like the Jemaah Islamiyah era here, when hotels were being blown up; and the Gotham being assailed by Quasi-Revolution is like what's happening now, with people burning suspected thieves in the street.  And let me tell you: we have no ubermensch.  What we might have, if we're lucky, is a Gordon, a couple Blakes.  We certainly have plenty of Alfreds.

ANYWAY.  Something else I realized while watching The Dark Knight Rises: I think I may be finally shifting my gaze from older men (father substitutes, all) to men my age (the "damaged" ones, but oh well).  I was way, way more attracted to Joseph Gordon-Levitt in this movie than Bruce Wayne (that scene where he's running to the hospital with the rifle!  Rarr!), and that is new.  I was talking about this with my mother, and concluded that regardless of who I actually date, my ideal type seems to be this older, married, brooding political scientist type that is clearly a doppelganger for my father.  And it's also!  A completely safe, riskless outlet for whatever feelings I might develop, because I know in my hardest of hearts that nothing real can actually happen there.  There was no possibility of anything developing.  I couldn't really get involved.  I wasn't going to get heartbroken.  Plus it let me deal with my Daddy Issues.  Sort of, anyway.  I mean, the walls I put up -- both because my father died and everything normal and happy was shattered, and probably just because of me, because I was born nuts -- were miles high.

But I think that's starting to change, and that's a good thing.
intertribal: (fly girl)
I have been in DC for two weeks now.  So far I have:Oh shit.  The roof is leaking.  BRB.
intertribal: (book of black valentines)
I'm going to DC for the weekend to search for housing in person.  And I haven't really been able to think about much else other than housing, so I hope I find something over the weekend so I can stop worrying about it.  I feel slightly like I'm going on one of those America's Next Top Model frantic go-sees, where the models have to scurry around an unknown city trying to make various appointments within four hours or whatever.  Sadly neither DC's streets nor its metro system make any goddamn intuitive sense (compared to New York's).  So looking at the bus maps I'm like "hoooow does this fit what I see on Google Maps...?"  And then I realize I have to turn the map 100 degrees.  Regardless, I will be in the far NW of the city, basically on the DC side of Bethesda. 

As my title indicates, my other obsession right now is Twin Peaks.  I'm showing it to my mom.  Basically I can't imagine a more perfect television show for me. 

I'm not really depressed - I mean, I even feel less anxious than I was earlier in July - I'm just kind of in that tense, awkward limbo between my life in Lincoln and my future unknown life in DC/grad school.  I just tell myself this is a "new adventure," to be all open and chill about it - remind myself of the mindset that I had when I went on my internship in Indonesia during college, because that was actually one of the happiest recent times of my life.  Basically, I'm trying to channel Agent Cooper. 

My friend Lucia is getting me this for my birthday.  Hooray, dinosaurs.

I was recently told that I was more fun than someone thought I would be.  That's nice, right?  Then again, this person was also amazed that girls like horror movies.
intertribal: (Default)
I feel like I haven't been to LJ in a while, but that isn't really true.

Dude I'm dating came back from Morocco recently - said there were some nice scenes of police beating protesters because they didn't have the proper permit to protest, of course.  Also, there's a large, beautiful mosque in Casablanca that is built on artificial land on top of the Atlantic - it's architect didn't take into account that the Atlantic will someday come back and bite that artificial land in the butt, eventually sinking the mosque.  It also cost the country a lot of money and displaced a bunch of poor people without compensation.  He also tried to climb this mountain, but failed.

Saw X-Men, don't have anything to say about it beyond what I told [ profile] cafenowhere (Leland Palmer as Dean Rusk?).  Yesterday I watched an interesting little extremely low-budget horror movie on Netflix called The Ceremony (don't ask me what's up with that cover), about a guy graduating college who finds that his roommate has left behind an odd little book surrounded by a ring of burning candles.  Being concerned about fire safety, the main character blows the candles out, and being a curious student, starts reading the book, which turns out to be a history of a ritual used to summon Satan, here "the man in the white suit."  Of course he reads some unfortunate parts aloud and things start happening around the house, culminating in a phone conversation where he tells a friend, "The furniture, it came alive.  It had to be contained."  It takes its cues from Paranormal Activity and had some interesting touches, particularly when the main character learns to his horror that he can understand as well as speak the language being spoken by the presence in his house.  It's creepy, it has a cast of essentially one person, and it's well-made on a shoestring budget.  Good job, director James Palmer.  Horror fans, check check it.

I've been putting all my writing efforts into the novel, which is now at 77,000 words.  Unfortunately, it's nowhere near finished, so looks like I'll be overshooting that 100,000 word goal.  This is how it's getting done: I made an extremely detailed outline of 10,000 words, and I'm writing it scene by scene, often out of order.  I do foresee problems with flow and continuity and a believable evolution of characters, doing it this way, but at least it's getting done this way, right?  I'm going to quit my job in July to devote the rest of the summer to writing this thing before I move to D.C. to start graduate school. 

Had a David Lynch moment today while driving to work.  We've had construction in the left lane of this one big swerving road for a month now, so all the regular commuters automatically drive in the right lane even before we're told to merge right.  But today there was a new big flashing construction sign telling cars that the right lane would be closed up ahead, so go into the left lane.  Everybody's like, wow, maybe they finished the left lane and are starting work on the right lane?  And after about a mile of driving in the left lane, with no sign of construction on the right, the old familiar big flashing sign pops up telling cars that the left lane was closed, so we all scoot back over to where we started.  Calisthenics for cars, I guess.  Speaking of David Lynch, I'm trying to convert my mom to Twin Peaks.  It's going... interestingly.  One of my tactics is comparing it to our favorite shared show, the British cozy-mystery series Midsomer Murders.  They both feature a gamut of weird people in seemingly-innocuous, scenic small towns, grisly murders, and supernatural undertones.  If you're unfamiliar with MM, I've always thought it was what Hot Fuzz was tipping its hat to.  MM is also one of the few TV shows to ever make me cry (in the episode "Green Man," which is very environmentalist).  Someday I'll do an ode to my favorite MM episodes, cuz it's a wonderful show.

I'm almost done with Alan Heathcock's Volt (one more story to read).  Also almost done with Godforsaken Lord of the Rings (two more chapters).  

Here's an acoustic version of Korn's "Freak on a Leash," with Evanescence's Amy Lee.  Shut up, I don't shop at Hot Topic!  Also, Evanescence did a cover of "Thoughtless" that I like, but a lot of Korn fans are all "what the fuck this song has to be full of AGGRESSION and RAGE D:<" and I'm like, whatever.  


Apr. 20th, 2009 11:42 am
intertribal: (monster man)
"It’s hard to think of a single important American writer to come along in the last 30 years who didn’t log at least a couple of semesters in an M.F.A. program somewhere."

Cormac McCarthy, anyone?  Pretty sure he never went to an MFA program.  He wrote his first novel while he was working as a freaking mechanic.  Oh God, the guy is my freaking hero: "McCarthy used the money he had made from All the Pretty Horses to buy a new pickup truck. He kept on writing."  Also, he looked a bit like my other hero, Josh Brolin, when he was younger.  Y/Y?

Speaking of No Country for Old Men, this picture is orgasmic to me:

CORMAC MCCARTHY What would you guys like to do that's just too outrageous, and you don't think you'll ever get to do it?

JOEL COEN Well, I don't know about outrageous, but there was a movie we tried to make that was another adaptation. It was a novel that James Dickey wrote called To the White Sea, and it was about a tail gunner in a B-29 shot down over Tokyo.

C.M. That was the last thing he wrote.

J.C. Last thing he wrote. So this guy's in Tokyo during the firebombing, but the story isn't really about that. He walks from Honshu to Hokkaido, because he grew up in Alaska and he's trying to get to a cold climate, where he figures he can survive, and he speaks no Japanese, so after the first five or 10 minutes of the movie, there's no dialogue at all.

C.M. Yeah. That'd be tough.



C.M. So tell me about this horrible dog. Was Josh [Brolin, who plays Moss] just terrified of this animal? You pushed a button, and it leapt for your jugular?

J.C. It was a scary dog. It wasn't a movie dog.

C.M. It was basically trained to kill people.

J.C. It was basically trained to kill people.

E.C. The trainer had this little neon-orange toy that he would show to the dog, and the dog would start slavering and get unbelievably agitated and would do anything to get the toy. So the dog would be restrained, and Josh, before each take, would show the dog that he had the toy, he'd put it in his pants and jump into the river ...

intertribal: (Default)
I had this dream last night where I was four months pregnant (by an unnamed Pittsburgh Steeler, at that) and freaking out, so my mother "strongly encouraged" me to get a late-term abortion... which I did.  I'm pretty sure I've interpreted it to satisfaction.  It's not as disturbing as it sounds, except for the Pittsburgh Steeler part.  I hate the Steelers.

Then I had a dream about inducting my father into some hall of fame for the dead and getting into a bitchslapping fight with one of his younger sisters about who had the right to talk about him.  That one I'm having more trouble interpreting.  But I'm feeling strangely about everything lately.  Sort of like Starbuck after she comes back from the dead.  If you haven't seen "The Ties That Bind", then nevermind. 

Anyway.  As crazy and psycho as I am right now, I think I'm actually starting to see some semblance of clarity.  Some light at the end of the tunnel.  I'll write more about it at some hypothetical future-point, when I have "time".  And no, I won't quit school.  It wouldn't be Ganzian.  Speaking of whom, I was looking through Tim Griffin's Big 12 updates for the past month and guess who's at the top of his "big 12 bowl observations".  THAT'S RIGHT, BITCH.  Despite the factual error in there (concussion =/= bum shoulder), Tim Griffin is the man. 

the pigskin review )
intertribal: (it's always the same)

Me and Piper?  Same person.  Believe me, I often imagine myself wielding an ax and wearing way too much leather.  And we all know me and motorcycles.  I told my mother I wanted to ride a motorcycle before I die and she was like, "Grrr."  I think that's actually the sound she made.  I'm pretty sure that she has been on one, but my mother's one of those "do as I say, not as I do" type of parents - that's what you get for having been a hippie, mom. 

Piper:  Leave it to me to fall for a dead guy.
Phoebe:  At least he wasn't a warlock.

Of course she does end up marrying a whitelighter. 

Also, thank God for an A in Topics in Economic History.  I don't want to never be able to think about Malthusian pressure again, since I use it to argue everything these days.  And thank God for my disaster shows, because I can't watch SportsCenter fawn over Texas.
intertribal: (capitalism.)
Your Famous Last Words Will Be:
"So, you're a cannibal."

in which I try to see how many times I can say no. )

You Are Punk Music

You've thought long and hard about what mainstream society has to offer...

And you've pretty much decided that most normal things aren't for you.

You're creative, expressive, and likely to do things yourself.

You are a rebel and a fighter. You'll defend your point of view to anyone.

in which my life is laid out )

You Belong in the Baby Boomer Generation

You fit in best with people born between 1943 and 1960.

You are optimistic, rebellious, and even a little self centered.

You still believe that you will change the world.

You detest authority and rules. Deep down, you're a non conformist.

What Generation Do You Belong In?

in which I tell the truth and you can't handle it. )
You Are 40% Normal
While some of your behavior is quite normal...
Other things you do are downright strange
You've got a little of your freak going on
But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

in which I fail, fail, fail. )
intertribal: (jeepers)
I just turned away from a beggar when somebody grabbed my shoulder outside the bowling lane bar that stands between the grocery store and my apartment, and I was thinking, shit, they're getting more aggressive.  I tried to keep walking but the "excuse me!"s got louder and I thought, what, does this guy actually need help with directions?  I turned around.  He was slightly brown, with slightly off-color black hair, the kind of half-Mediterranean, pseudo-Arabic look that anyone who knows me should know is one of my types.  Holding a bottle of beer and a cigarette. 

"Do you speak English?"  Earnest, smiling. 

"Yeah..."  I pulled one earbud from my ear and became suddenly conscious that I was listening to "Hotel".  It's on my "boys will be boys" playlist.  It's a cynical playlist, but on my way to the post shop I was going through Hole, so it's not as bad as it could have been. 

"Oh, good, listen, can you sign my t-shirt?"  He thrust a red pen at me.   It would stand out against all the messages in black on turquoise. 

"Uh, why?"

"Cuz we're having this contest, to see who can get the most signatures."  It was loud inside the bar, even though it's 4:45 in the afternoon. 

"Sure..." I took the pen and stabbed myself with it while trying to open it and carry my box of oatmeal that the check-out nerd had not even asked if I wanted a bag for, instead insisting that I show him the contents of my purse and not even bothering to help pick up the change i dropped in my efforts to show him the bag while holding my wallet, the receipt, and the box of oatmeal - he bothered me.  He looked like Napoleon Dynamite.  The point is, now there's a red blur on my index finger.  It almost looks intentional. 

"So what's your name?"


"Ah, and where're you from?"

"The U.S."


"New York."  I hesitated, because I'm not really from New York. 

"Can't place it - oh, in the northeast, right, in the northeast?"  I'm glad I said New York.  He would have had trouble placing Nebraska. 

"Yeah, in the northeast.  Where should I sign?"

"Oh, anywhere, anywhere you want.  Just sign your name and a message, or whatever you want, doesn't matter." 

I signed his shoulder, in red ink, and I didn't remember until later that you're not supposed to sign your name in red ink - it means bad luck or death or some kind of doom.  I thought about a message.  I asked him where he was from, and he said "Here".  Melbourne?  Melbourne. Damn and I was hoping for something more exotic.  I didn't write a message.  What the hell would I have written?  I gave the pen back to him. 

"Well, good luck with the competition."  I walked away.

"Say, Nadia, what are you up to?"

I looked back over my shoulder and shook the box of oatmeal - packets or sachets, pick your English.  There were people coming up behind him, Asian couples in sunglasses and straight hair, the kind of trendy folk who fit the cars that are always parked along Little Lonsdale - black clean cars with novelty leather.  I thought about it.  There's a slew of things I could have said.  I could have walked back toward him.  I've had "Reasons to be Beautiful" on repeat, on my own playlist, called in my trademark sarcasm, "stronger, faster, better".  He was smiling at me, but now that I think about it, I can't remember what he looks like.  I keep mixing him up with the other one, you know, the one I'm in love with.  "Grocery shopping." 

"Ah, need some uh, need some fiber?  Are you okay?"

"Oh yeah, I just need breakfast."

He looked at his watch and laughed.  "This time of day?"  Oh what, I thought, you're drinking beer before sundown. 


"You're doin' alright, you're doin' alright." 

I replaced the earbud and resumed listening to "Hotel", and I went home, and nobody stopped me again.  I saw sad people on the tram heading for places with names the Australian government stole from the Aboriginal people.  On my way to the grocery store, a couple excitedly walked between two paused taxi cabs and into a stream of traffic, and nearly died.  The girl covered her face and ran back onto the curb with the taxi drivers laughing at her and the car that almost ran her over, a father with his little girls with their palms against the glass, speeding past, the father probably cursing like my father would have been.  I don't know where the couple went, because they hurried back the other way down Swanston Street, the boy chasing the girl.  I guess they didn't need to go to QV after all. 
intertribal: (supervixen)
This video makes me very hot for Robert Del Naja (the blonde, singer).

4:05-3:59 - Grind, baby.

Also, get your lulz for the day.
intertribal: (kate the great scholar)
Glory to God!  I'm finished!  (though not for long... two more essays on the horizon, but at least those look more interesting... well, not to say that I didn't learn some things about Japan's domestic politics, which is always nice, kate the great scholar likes to learn)

Some questions, though, before I go:
Why do I derive incredible joy from writing the list of works cited - more joy than I get from writing the essay, and unrelated to the fact that I'm at last "finished"? 
Why do I immediately start listening to "The Last Day I Was Happy", my AC song, when I finish writing the political science essay - and hence triggering various memories, subconsciously if not consciously?
Why do I associate pleasure with political science?

To quote Kim, "dude, I am like, fucked up." 
intertribal: (Default)
inspired by the facebook group kim joined earlier this year, "Help!  My Roommate is in Love with Her Professor!" and my own need to distinguish various girl student - male teacher relationships, to avoid being mistaken for the wrong type of coed. 

This is kind of an unusual quiz.  It operates by checks.  It's separated into categories.  Check every statement in each category that coincides, then count up the checks.  Whichever category has the most checks is your winner.

Category A
_  She says he's confident, but he's full of himself, and doesn't always know what he's talking about.
_  She keeps a list of mistakes he's made and puts it on the internet.
_  She likes to hog discussion time and talks down to other students.
_  She's very concerned about advancing in her field.
_  She likes getting into fights with him.
_  She might sleep with him just because she wants a challenge.
_  She forms opinions quickly and has no doubt that she's right.
_  She believes intelligence and correctness is the most important trait of a professor.

Category H
_  She says he's a moron. 
_  She never goes to office hours.
_  If he asked her to get drinks, she would attack him with pepper spray, claw his eyes out, make sure he's fired, and have him arrested.
_  She doesn't respond to his questions in class.
_  She doesn't understand how he got hired.
_  She didn't change her mind about anything even though he tried to convince her otherwise.
_  She writes bad reviews of him.
_  She does the readings, but throws everything away at the end of the year.

Category O
_  She says he's a good lecturer.
_  She does everything she has to do, but no more than that.
_  She took his class because her friends were taking it.
_  She skims the readings.
_  She only complains about class when there's a lot of homework.
_  She's never googled him. 
_  She's talked while he's lecturing.
_  She rarely brings him up, and certainly not during semester breaks.

Category V
_  She says he's hot.
_  She always wears low-cut shirts to class.
_  She giggles and wiggles a lot when she sees him.
_  She doesn't get her work done.
_  She's not very interested in the subject.
_  She's like this with all her male professors.
_  She really wants As, but she's not all that smart.
_  Friendly, nice professors are her favorite.

Category T
_  She says he's a genius.
_  She laughs very loudly at his jokes.
_  She rattles on and on after class about points he made, on every argument, straight from her exhaustive notes.
_  She thinks his wife and children are really cute and perfect.
_  She buys him Christmas presents.
_  She has a life outside of him.
_  She's considering this major just because he's such an awesome professor.
_  She often refers to him in a parental way.

Category N
_  She says he's a genius, hot, and a good lecturer.  And doesn't know why he's not tenured yet.
_  She knows where he lives.
_  She doesn't like to remember that he's married.
_  She constantly does all her work and her grades drop in other classes because of her attention to his class.
_  She dedicates Tegan & Sara songs to him.
_  She wants to know his life story.
_  She's jealous of other students when they get too close to him.
_  She has a list of little quotes of his that appear meaningless to most people.

ARCHANGEL (SATAN).  Your roommate's not in love with her professor - she thinks she's smarter than him.  Of course, she thinks she's smarter than everyone.  She seeks to rise in the ranks and possibly knock him off the top.  She will have succeeded when she publishes that controversial book that disproves everything he's been saying for the past ten years.  However, she doesn't actually think he's as dumb as she may say - she knows he's formidable - and does not dislike him as a person.

HERETIC.   Congratulations, your roommate is not in love with her professor.  She hates him, in fact.  The thought of him repulses her, and given the chance she would like to strike him down - but hell, he's not really worth the effort of a big sabotage attempt.  She won't be discussing him any further and will forget about him soon enough, except maybe to tell friends to steer clear of him. 

ON THE PEWS.  Your roommate is not in love with her professor.  She's indifferent and treats him like she would any other professor.  He may make some small minimal impact, and she might save a couple of the readings, and certainly boast about her grades, but no more than that.  She won't try to befriend him or send him emails, and doesn't plan on seeing him again, because he's not very important to her.

VIRGIN SLUT.  Unfortunately, your roommate is a ho.  Your roommate is not in love with her professor, but she's in lust with him, and hopes that the feeling is reciprocated - it's her only chance at getting straight As.  She chooses classes based on professors she predicts will be likely to be nice to her or at least want to bone her, expects to get good grades in return, and calls this networking.  She doesn't actually give a shit about him, though, so after the final grades are posted, he's dead to her. 

THEOLOGIAN.  There is love, but it's strictly platonic, as well as harmless and unlikely to cause mental duress.  She regards him as a father figure.  She will get starry-eyed when she hears the man speak forevermore, probably dedicate her thesis to him, and create a facebook group in his honor.  In return, she will get glowing recommendations.  She will also, however, have boyfriends, a regular life, and simply tell her children about good old Professor So-and-So and what he taught her about the aboriginal tribes of Papua New Guinea. 

NUN.  Yes, your roommate is in love with her professor.  Completely and utterly.  It will probably fuck her up for at least a while.  While the attraction is sexual, your roommate is not a ho and will probably never sleep with the professor, because she would not want to risk him being censured.  She cares about him as a person, admires him greatly, feels sharp emotional pangs around him, probably thinks about him many times throughout the day, and lives not for the good grades on her papers but the comments in the margins.
intertribal: (Default)
interpret what you will.  I don't feel like self-analyzing right now.  all I know is every time I hear this song I feel the need to post the lyrics, so that's what I'm doing. 

I've never met her, and I don' t mind
I've seen her face a thousand times
she hides behind her hair and I wonder if her love is like mine
face up, I'll face the day
three weeks you flewaway
I'll never blame her, I'll never let you make me hate a girl that way
touchdown, I hear the score
I watched you slide out through the backdoor
I never met her, but when I do,
I'll thank her for saving me from you
- Veruca Salt: Never Met Her

this one too.  I think this one is more about me and political science here in college.  I am very committed to political science.  It's a little scary.  Although reassuring, to know that this is my calling.  I mean, even if it's not fate, I don't care, you know, I'll do it anyway - that's how much I love it.

the corporation - cow rifling through burning trash

I wish I had a metal heart... I could cross the line
I wish I was half as good as you think I am
now that we know they're telling lies when they say
no one gets hurt, and therefore nobody dies
you know it's hard to believe anything that you hear
they say the world is round
I wish I was as big as you, you'd have to tell the truth
I'd be nothing you could hurt, nothing you could use
I want to be dependable, I want to be courageous and good
I want to be faithful so that I can be heroic and true
I want to be a friend you can rely on, you can lean on and trust
I want to understand so I can forgive and be willing to love
I wish I wasn't flesh and blood
I wouldn't be scared of bullets built with me in mind
for then, I could be saved
My sweet lord, take care of me for I think I'm done
Kiss my mother on her cheek and lay my burden down
- Garbage: Metal Heart

the war tapes: size does matter in iraq


when figures from the past stand tall, and mocking voices ring the hall
imperialistic house of prayer, conquistadores who took their share
they keep calling me
- Nine Inch Nails (Joy Division): Dead Souls

the fog of war: bombs over tokyo


all I am now, fall, fall for a way down
more than a handshake or a grin
more than a test for old friends
I'll wait till Monday for a step outside
you can pretend all you want to, I don't mind
one more chance to, chance to do something
- Denali: Do Something
intertribal: (Default)
I. From Paul Brooks, former editor of Houghton Mifflin (which published Rachel Carson's The Edge of the Sea and Silent Spring), about Rachel Carson:
Born in 1907, she had made her own way by her talent, persistence, and early awareness of what she wanted to do. She was going to be a writer... she assumed that the way to become a writer was to major in English. But in her junior year, fascinated by a compulsory course in biology, she switched to that field. Had she abandoned her dream of a literary career? Only later on did she realize that, on the contrary, she had discovered what she wanted to write about.
II. Part 1 of a new project I've come up with - translating things my father has written in Indonesian into English. Mostly so I can figure out what he wrote about, partly so I can keep up my Indonesian, and partly just to spread the word.  This is the opening paragraph called "'The West' and Serat Kala Tida." (Serat Kala Tida is a piece of famous Javanese literature, apparently)

Pujangga pamungkas, Ronggowarsito, menjelang akhir hayatnya menulis Serat Kala Tida atau Puisi Zaman Gelap. Puisi sarat keprihatinan dan mungkin rasa putus asa ini kelahirannya memang mungkin tak terelakkan. Sejak runtuhnya Majapahit sampai ditulisnya puisi ini di tahun 1873, Jawa, pulau dan lautan sekitarnya digetarkan dan terkoyak-koyak oleh kobaran peperangan, kegaduhan pemberontakan dan aliansi-aliansi politik yang kacau. Di abad sembilanbelas, Jawa dan sekitarnya memasuki puncak tragedi sejarah.
English (or my best attempts at it):

Approaching the end of his life, the final poet, Ronggowarsito, wrote Serat Kala Tida or Poem of the Dark Ages.  The creation of this poem laden with concern and maybe a feeling of hopelessness was indeed perhaps inevitable.  Since the downfall of Majapahit until the writing of this poem in the year 1873, Java - the island and surrounding seas - were shaken and torn by fires of war, tumultuous conflicts and chaotic political alliances.  In the 19th century, Java and its surroundings arrived at the peak of history's tragedies.

III.  Professor Cooley liked my crazy 5-page memo.  Correction: he "really liked it".  When he came into the Poli Sci office to say my memo was on his door (when I followed him he just handed it to me though), he said I "should do something with it, like maybe a senior thesis topic."  Which is pretty awesome.  Although I was talking about a lot of stuff in the memo, it was all stuff that I feel pretty passionately about... the legacy of colonialism, modern colonialism, nationalism, the relationship between Southeast Asia and the West, statebuilding... I can do that.  I can be that. 

I love that he handwrites his responses to the memos, and that he writes long-ish responses.  And so many comments in the margins, from agreement to suggestion to tongue-in-cheek: I wrote how much I hated all of the readings and I had low expectations for the last one I reviewed, and he wrote, "I aim to please!"  Aw.  I like feeling validated.  He also wrote that many of the assumptions I was criticizing in the memo were unfortunately the assumptions that many in the international relations academic community are stuck in - assumptions, in particular, about third world countries and how they relate and compare to each other.  And while I don't like those assumptions, it's always more fun to write when you're trying to change minds, rather than preaching to the choir. 
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