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Quote of the moment:
"When things are at their worst I find something always happens."
-W. Somerset Maugham
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Nov. 13th, 2007 @ 07:58 pm (no subject)
I think everyone might need to have a phase where they think that no one will ever understand them as completely as Joni Mitchell does, and I'm smack in the middle of mine. This woman. She knows.

Anyway, let me tell y'all that a break will be very welcome. I spent this whole semester being busy and (arguably) fabulous and for the first time I'm feeling really, really burned out. I want to put on my pajamas and watch Battlestar Galactica and stuff myself with butternut squash. Fortunately, Thanksgiving is coming up!
gregory peck smart is sexy
Oct. 27th, 2007 @ 06:13 pm (no subject)
I was just saying to Jessie that I think this past month has seen me at the happiest I've ever been. I'm satisfied (mostly) with myself, and completely satisfied with my friends, classes, etc. I've been doing a lot of stuff that I think trying to describe would be very difficult, so if I may:

Some pictures. They are mostly silly group shots.Collapse )
gregory peck smart is sexy
Oct. 17th, 2007 @ 11:36 pm (no subject)
When we came back together at the beginning of this year, Jessie told me often that I looked hot. "I know I keep saying that," she said, "but it's just - weight loss! and confidence! And I keep expecting you to put on a hooded sweatshirt and not wash your hair."

Well, a month and a half later it's midterm time and here I am. Never let it be said I can't give the people what they want. Tomorrow? Two midterms. One is in Sexuality in Western Culture, which I can very easily BS, and the other is in Physics. See, this is my problem with science. Am I bad at math? No. Definitely not. Am I incapable of understanding the concepts behind the theories? No! Not at all! I am fascinated and generally can grasp even complicated concepts with enough hand-holding. But where I fail abysmally is putting the two together - applying the math to the concepts. And isn't that what Physics is at its core? All of this goes to say that I am, in a word, fucked. I can hear my mom's voice in my head saying that just because I'm not naturally good at something doesn't mean I can give up on it, but damn it I want to. But I will not! I will persevere.

Last year I would often feel and act tired and frazzled. But that was because I wasn't particularly busy and didn't manage my time well. My fatigue and stress now? Totally genuine. Started my new job at the Hands-On Museum today, and I think it will all turn out okay. I'm taking a $1.50 pay cut to work a job across town that is not at all convenient to my life, which may seem insane, which is because it is insane. But I gotta do what I gotta do.
gregory peck smart is sexy
Oct. 10th, 2007 @ 02:26 am (no subject)
Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter. - Carol Bishop Hipps

Someday my peers will discover that I am not well-read or articulate or intelligent. I just read The Quote Garden all the time.

Today my new friend Jared Greenberg told me he's self-conscious talking around me because I'm so good at it. Talking, that is. I kind of see where he's coming from with that, because in a serious conversation with me every other phrase will inevitably be "I can't think of the right word" or "I'm not saying this very well" or "Are you getting what I'm saying?". I think this obsession with word choice and clarity is completely transparent and understandable, but it's getting worse as I get older. For each of my stories and essays now I've taken to going through them two or three times taking out every word I see as unnecessary. Sometimes it's even ridiculous things like nouns and verbs. Nouns and verbs, Amy? Seriously? It's become a compulsion, and it's feasible and some would argue even good to do in writing but in speaking sometimes I should probably just let it go. I'm not the great communicator I used to be, apparently.

(But I know what it means when I hear screams!)

Jared also told me about his pet theory: The Age of Irony. Self-awareness and meta-humor and cynicism and satire, and all that. I think my obsession with precision in speaking is a product of my being a product of such an age, as are The O.C. and The Colbert Report, and many other media texts. I see it but I can't dislike it because I do believe the Daily Show is what we have to do to get by. We had a talk about reconciling Jens Lekman and The Shirelles with the age of irony, and it was good. Been having a lot of those lately. Oh hey, train. Toot toot!

Today Jessie and I talked about how busy we are and how good it is to be so busy. I'm feeling involved with the campus, finally doing some feminist activism and boy does it feel amazing. I'm glad I waited out my freshman year to join the feminist club on campus, because now my analysis is more sophisticated and I have a better handle on what kind of feminist I am. We're making an unbelievable amount of friends, like isn't the supply of compatible people going to run out someday? Apparently, no, and our social circle keeps growing and growing and intersecting and now we have friends coming out our ears and among other things it reminds me that there's so much to live for and so much to do that relates not at all to the person who dumped me. Crass. True.

Can I turn the world on with my smile? Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over. - F. Scott Fitzgerald
gregory peck smart is sexy
Oct. 7th, 2007 @ 05:31 pm (no subject)
So for years people have been telling me I look like the daughter from Roseanne. I had no idea how to take that, and if anything thought it might have been some kind of a backhanded compliment. Being bored, tired, deeply unhappy, stressed, and in pain, I thought I'd turn to YouTube to pass some time, so I looked up clips.

The daughter from Roseanne? Totally awesome and completely attractive. I like how she's so wry and smart and cool. . .and what she does with her eyebrows when she talks. . .and anyway, the upshot of this is that the next time the one guy at the copy store tells me I look like Darlene, I will smile proudly and say, "What a nice compliment. Thank you."

In other news, I have too much to deal with and not enough to deal with it with. I think I have a job at the science museum here, and I know that I have a lot of homework and laundry to be taking care of.
gregory peck smart is sexy
Sep. 17th, 2007 @ 05:22 pm (no subject)
Since I have not much time, I will base this entry around an e-mail I received from my dad this morning.

You do go to class in between concerts, starting a knitting circle, and watching Doctor Who, right?

Class: Indeed, I do, and a lot of it. You know your enthusiasm about feminism is getting bad when you can stop a discussion with it - in a Women's Studies class. I just keep getting more and more excited and pushing and pushing and forgetting that not all of my classmates have read every issue of Bitch for the past three years including the anthology, you know what I'm saying? That's understandable. It's understandable that they want to talk about how they felt when Jagged Little Pill came out instead of contrasting Alanis Morrissette with Kathleen Hanna or Peaches. I just have to be patient. But it is so hard.

I do a heck of a lot of reading about sex, but it's all very interesting. Both my Women's Studies classes have had a good amount of theoretical stuff - Foucault, Chodorow, Lacan, etc. - and that's great and cool and different from the way in which I normally think about things. Sometime remind me to elaborate on my feelings about object-based sexuality, because they are strong.

Warren Hecht, my writing teacher, is possibly the best writing teacher rusty sensitive me could have asked for. He gives good criticism in a gentle way that doesn't come off as false or saccharine and pokes my ego in a loving way. Warren Hecht wants me to succeed, man! He's a weirdo shaped like a bear full of honey and he wears cowboy boots and speaks in a Brooklyn accent. I wrote my first story about a coin collector and found out today that he used to collect coins. He showed me pictures.

I also work and run. I work in the cafeteria wearing a dorky hat that squishes my hair and restricts my qi. I run when I can, which is as often as could be expected. I read before I go to bed and at meals. I knit while I'm doing my reading for school. Basically, I'm hecka busy and I like it this way.

Concerts: My Dear Disco, a soi-disant 'dance-think' band that knocked my freaking socks off. Seriously Dionysiac frenzy of communion with a higher power through music and dance.

Knitting circle: Success! So nice to talk about knitting with people who actually care, sweet and understanding as all my friends have been. Taught some people, learned from some other people, expect a bigger turnout next week when we're not playing Notre Dame (thank God we won).

Doctor Who: Haven't watched further than Blink so don't spoil me but man was Blink awesome.

After a summer of sloth, I'm whipping myself into fighting academic shape again. I'm a lean meaning learning machine! You know this because I called something soi-disant. Accept it.

ETA: This entry is now passe, but I'd just like to inform everybody that David Sedaris knew what he was talking about when he said "When shit gets you down, just say fuck it and eat some motherfucking candy". I've said it before and I'll say it again, but it's truer than true. This Watermelon Dum-Dum is doing wonders!
gregory peck smart is sexy
Sep. 11th, 2007 @ 09:47 pm (no subject)
The difference between writing when you feel like it and writing when you have to is the difference between an angel on your shoulder and a ton of bricks on your head. I'm late to the party on this one. I realize. But I just "finished" my first story for my creative writing class, and what astounds me is the sheer amount of effort it took to produce something so incredibly crappy. It's a story about nothing. It has no point. The dialog is soggy and the narration is dry. The ending is weak, there's no emotional weight behind any of the proceedings, the characters are completely unlovable and unrealistic. As a story, it makes a good paper towel. I wrote it though, on time, and maybe someday it will be something good and maybe someday it won't, and either of those would be okay.

It's really easy to buy into the romance and the mystique of being a Writer, and of the torturous self-doubt, jealousy, and immaturity that often involves. I fully admit that I have done it. But. . .there is nothing romantic or mystical about this. I've never had to write regularly before without prompts, but that is what writers do. If I can do this, no matter how crappy what I write is, I can be a writer. The pain and the anxiety will, I suspect, be good friends of mine, but maybe sometime there'll be some fulfillment maybe and I'll tell the stories I want to tell. I have to write, and I have to believe that whatever I write is okay to have written, and I have to believe that my style will be a good one if I stick with it.

This is good. This is wanting to go to the moon and then getting grunt-level training at NASA. This is wanting to be a ballerina and then putting on the toe shoes that make you bleed.
gregory peck smart is sexy
Sep. 9th, 2007 @ 12:16 pm (no subject)
I'm pretty fortunate in that I like most of the songs that use my name. Elton John's Amy is seriously funky and awesome, Once In Love With Amy is darn sweet, and even the Pure Prairie League "Amie" is catchy. I think I have found my Ultimate Eponymous Song, though: it is Amy by Ryan Adams. First of all, Ryan Adams. I foresee this being a big thing for me. I really want to get his new album, but eMusic doesn't have it, and that makes me sad. Why have I not been into Ryan Adams for the past, like, two years? I have a love of alt-country that will not die. Not that, of course, I would want it to. But I'm really into Ryan Adams now, guys! The song is a really good song that I would like regardless of the subject matter, very sweet and yearning, but the name is the cherry on the strummy sundae.

It's 93 percent humidity today. Do I have to go outside? Yes. Do I want to? No.

Sorry I taunted Oregon about us beating you. Ironic, because, you beat us, right? Am I right? Am I right? If I were a football fan, I'd be tempted to commit ritual suicide right now. You guys know how much I like it when Michigan is in the national spotlight, because of my deep narcissism and pride, but being in the national spotlight for total humiliation is a little bit rougher.

For the fifth or sixth time in the past few months, I have been told that I look Russian. This time it was a Russian doing the saying. I don't know. Admittedly, one of the times was Jessie telling me I looked like an old Russian woman in a museum cafeteria, so I'm not sure it counts. Also admittedly, I was wearing a hairnet at the time.
gregory peck smart is sexy
Sep. 7th, 2007 @ 12:37 pm (no subject)
So after last Saturday's castrating shame, which you've probably seen all over the place, Michigan plays Oregon tomorrow. I'm trying to not read too much into this Epic Battle Between Michigan And Oregon, but the significance does not escape me. I hope we can still be friends, Oregon people, even after we beat you.

I can't believe I've only been back at college for a week. It seems like so much longer. I was so worried about everything social, but most things have picked up where they left off. To a strange extent, actually. My social circles melded really seamlessly with the advent of Ben, and now it leads to awkwardness and weirdness, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I thrive on awkward. Awkward is my middle name. Awkward is the water I breathe.

And my classes? Fantastic, top to bottom! Really, how likely is that to happen? I'm lucky. On Wednesday night I had my first German class and I'd forgotten how absolutely thrilling it is to learn a language for the first time; the last I did that was in seventh grade and nothing's really thrilling in seventh grade. But pointing at things and acting things out and schreiben Sie bitte and all of this! Already I'm a big fan of German. This is only partially because the program involves watching video lectures done by the head of the program, who is really cute and nerdy and awesome. I can't wait to be as proficient in German as I am in French. I understand that I will have to. But it's exciting to think that I'll go from this wobbly baby German to confident young adult German. So far the only things that have really been pounded into my head are "Guten Abend", "Ich heisse Amy", "bitte", "schnell", "das fenster", and "Was ist deine Telefonnummer?"*. I'm not sure I could fake my way through a conversation.

My other classes are Women's Studies, Creative Writing and Physics. Women's Studies classes continue to thrill me, because you mean other people think about this? There are words for this kind of thing? One of my classes is Feminism and the Media; the other is Sexuality in Western Culture. I'm happy about both but really happy about the former because part of the way I enjoy pop culture and entertainment things is by critiquing them in a feminist cultural studies kind of way, and it's nice to know that that can be normal and even encouraged. Creative Writing will be good for me, because I will write and re-write stories regularly and develop the discipline to follow through on ideas. And the Physics of Music is making me miss playing the piano. My professor looks like Leonard Nimoy and prances around to the Skater's Waltz and already I think I love him.

So that is that! Fingers crossed that I'll escape the sophomore slump. Right now my biggest problem is finding a pinstriped suit that is tight and geeky enough to fulfill my requirements for Halloween. That's pretty minor, I'd say.


*"Good evening", "My name is Amy", "please/you're welcome", "fast", "window", "What is your telephone number?". My favorite of these is "Schnell!". It's a lot of what I like about German encapsulated.
gregory peck smart is sexy
Sep. 1st, 2007 @ 11:28 pm (no subject)
You know what's a good sign? When you get the textbooks for your class, sit down, and immediately start reading them. After wincing at the price, of course. Admittedly, these textbooks are pretty rocking: The Story of O, The Well of Loneliness, and Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Yes, I will get a grade for reading dirty books. Being a Women's Studies major may get you mocked at parties, but it does have some perks.
gregory peck smart is sexy