Sunday, September 30, 2007

On writing and not writing...

I'm one of those people who deals with their issues through their writing. Most of the time, I don't try to cover up that fact because writing is cathartic and gives me a safe reasoning space. I also think it works well as a healthy reminder of life's lessons.

The last few years of my life, I have been through so many periods of change. I feel like I'm the same person, but then I know that things have changed me. The most difficult part of all of this is that I haven't felt like writing. It’s been good because it forced me to deal with everything head on, but it is also sad because I didn't take the opportunity to expand my writing and realize what all of these things have meant to me and who I am.

I've gotten the writing bug back and I've been reading all of these fantastic books (Their Eyes Were Watching God has completely spun me around). My mind is so creatively charged. Organizing all these creative bursts feels like teaspooning a tidal wave into buckets, but I'm still figuring it all out. As crazy as it sounds, I'm enjoying it. I am happy to have the drive and interest again., For me to be a happy person, I have to create things.

Writing is both mask and unveiling.
E.B. White

A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one.
- Baltasar Gracián

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ty made me think...

Apparently, I must have needed a good cry because I watched Extreme Home Makeover tonight. It was the season finale from last year, and they were helping a family where two of the children had HIV. I was absolutely astonished hearing the story of these kids and how cruel and ignorant people in their community were to them.

On the show, they helped a charity that allows children with HIV or who have been affected by HIV go to camp. The camp was fantastic and did really wonderful things for the kids. Check out their website: Camp Heartland.

Also, I learned a lot from the following:

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.”
- Robert Kennedy

Well, there's a feeling in the air...

I love fall and all of the things that come with it: Halloween, Thanksgiving, theater season, colder weather, fall fashion, boots, bonfires, hayrides, big comfy sweaters, apple cider, anything with cinnamon, and everything pumpkin.

I am such a traditional Midwesterner, so sometimes (all the time, this time of the year), it is very difficult living in Florida. Not only do we miss out on a lot of those things that I love, but it is hurricane season here and about a million degrees.

One of the things that I still get is theater season. This past weekend, I bought my tickets for the next six months and am so excited about the shows that I'm going to see: Sinbad, a Mexican folk ballet, Gypsy, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, The Producers, Movin' Out, and Spamalot. I always try to select a variety of show types and pick some type that I've never been to before.

Last year, I saw my first opera (La bohème), Chicago, and George Carlin, but my absolute favorite was seeing Molly Ringwald in Sweet Charity. They were all fantastic, but that last one is probably due in part to the fact that I grew up watching Pretty In Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles.

The other good thing about this time of year is that I get the urge to bake again. By request, I made oatmeal raisin cookies today, but in the upcoming weeks, I'm hoping to try some new recipes. Cooking Light always has the best recipes this time of the year.

"Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter."
- Carol Bishop Hipps

Sunday, September 16, 2007

In between the stars we all find ourselves...

The title is taken from the Julius Airwave song Fur. I'm not entirely sure that I quoted it as it was meant to be read (heard, whatever), but isn't most music up to the listener's interpretation? Anyway, I happened across their album The City the Forest a couple of months ago, and I've listened to it at least once a week ever since. They're difficult to describe because I feel like their music can’t be pinpointed into a single category. It can cover a range of moods and emotions and sound and feel different on different days. The upbeat "Broken Bells" and "Appley" were what initially got me hooked, but lately I've been leaning more towards "Fur" and "Nannerl." Don't get me wrong, I love the whole album and am starting to get into their first album Dragon Are The New Pink.

A few weeks ago I was watching an episode of American Dreams and Ashley Williams performed "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" as Sandie Shaw. I have to be honest that I know little to nothing on both Williams and Shaw, but I was so confused to hear that song because I thought it was a Naked Eyes original. Usually when a song is that popular, you hear a lot about how it's a cover. What was even more interesting is that the song was written by Burt Bacharach - that guy is a song writing genius. When I started reviewing his bio on Wikipedia, I was astounded to see the following: "As of 2006, Bacharach had written a total of 70 Top 40 hits in the U.S., and 52 Top 40 hits in the UK." You can even check out Burt's Blog. Talk about a guy staying super cool.

I have been in the weirdest music listening mood lately. Today has consisted of listening to Morrissey, the Felicity soundtrack, Simon and Garfunkel, and Depeche Mode. All true loves in terms of music.

It's been a good day. It has been one of those perfect, quiet, and lazy Sundays. I woke up late, watched tv, cooked for the week, did laundry, and generally enjoyed the day. It may be dorky, but I love days like this filled with quiet moments and being able moving at a slow, calm pace. I guess this is exactly what I need to deal with tomorrow being Monday and everything.

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
- Berthold Auerbach

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Rumination on Dawson's Creek

I am a true Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Felicity fan, but this week I have been filling out my need for reminiscent teenage melodrama with a Dawson’s Creek marathon. Thank goodness for Netflix!

Watching this shows reminds me a lot about being younger. I would never say that adolescence was easy (middle school was beyond a total nightmare), but it seems that when I was younger, it was completely acceptable to be emotional and even a little dramatic. No matter the extent of the drama, there was always an understanding, maybe even an epiphany, at the end of day (show) that helped me to grow and be a better person.

When did all of that change?  Is there a specific time in life – graduation, college, during the first job – that you begin to realize or are taught that a little drama, even when it leads to personal growth and enrichment, is a severe character flaw.

I am not supporting a complete juvenile regression, but it seems like we're a little too difficult on ourselves. My life has gotten more difficult and complex as I've gotten older, so maybe it wouldn't hurt to give myself a little more forgiveness. With more rules, more debt, and a 9-to-5 schedule, it feels like it should be understood and acceptable if I need to be a little more dramatic from time to time. But then again, maybe I have watched too much Dawson's Creek.

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
- Nelson Mandela

Sunday, September 9, 2007

To Begin...

I find beginnings to be awkward and uncomfortable. They are full of frozen moments where you don’t know the right words or how you should act. You wonder how you will be judged or if anyone will even listen.

In starting this blog, I am taken back to my first attempts at short story writing. I realize that I still haven’t gotten over my aversion to beginnings. I was always better to just jump in, start writing, and then once I had the ending figured out, the beginning would become so beautifully apparent.

I’m doing this (starting a blog) because it combined my two favorite things in the world – writing and all things cultural (movies, books, music, and art). Knowing me, I’ll veer off on more tangents than imaginable, but then again, isn’t that the point. Maybe one of these days I’ll even figure out the perfect beginning.

Speaking of beautiful beginnings:

Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.
- from Their Eyes Were Watching GodZora Neale Hurston