Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I spent a lot of tonight cleaning my room. There are heaps and piles of stuff everywhere. I haven't even made a dent in the giant black hole yet, but whatever. The point is that I feel like I cleaned more of my mind than my room.

I'm a packrat, but I love throwing things out. That doesn't make any sense.

I finally put my jeans from the ninth grade era into the donation pile. I've been putting that off for years. I thought it would suck, but it was actually quite liberating.

I almost threw away something with my full name and social security number on it, but then I realized it and ripped that shiz to shreds.

I found dozens of half-finished fragments of songs. Most of them were awful, but one looked promising. I think I'm going to finish it. I'm so glad it was only a fragment. If I had finished it at the time, it would have been terrible. It means something totally different to me now than it did a year ago when I wrote it. I love songs like that.

I don't actually have anything more to say.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

You Are Beautiful- I Love Coincidences

Once upon a Harvest Day a few years ago, I was walking around Yardley Borough with some friends. We saw a flower box that had "Remember... you are beautiful" written on it in marker. This was coming at a time when everyone present had to remember just that. It made everyone's day. I thought that it would make a lovely addition to my graffiti photography collection, but I didn't have my camera on me.

The next time I was in Yardley was for the next year's Harvest Day celebration. I walked though the entire town, searching in vain for the flower box. I was pretty sure that I saw one with some black smudges on it, but I couldn't tell for sure. It made me pretty sad.

A year or so later, I was talking about photography with my friend Shauna. She showed me a picture she had taken of a similar flower box. I told her about the one I had seen in Yardley. She told me that she and her friends had been the ones who had written it and that the one in the picture was a recreation because someone had scrubbed the writing off the original.

Funny how these things work out, isn't it?

And most importantly...

...why scrub away such a wonderful message that so many people need to hear?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Random Memory

I had to read Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut as part of my summer reading requirement for AP Lit. I got it from the library in this huge anthology that I'd really like to own, except that I'm not kidding when I say it was huge. It was probably pretty funny seeing me carry that giant book around. But that's besides the point.

One night in July, I was reading on the couch late at night and I fell asleep. This happens often when I try to read late at night, and I usually wind up having a dream that relates to what I was reading.

I awoke to a late-night news program about a fully automated supermarket. You thought that self-checkouts were scary? You have obviously never seen this. The carts were computerized and could help you find anything you needed. They had little scanners so you could scan products to find information about them. Then, of course, there were self-checkouts. I think there was one person in the store just to make sure that nothing was going wrong. The news said that one of these stores would be opening soon and that they might become more popular in the next few years.

In context, it scared the shit out of me.

By morning, I assumed that the news program had been a dream. It seemed a bit too outlandish, not to mention too coincidental, to be true.

About a week later, I told the story to my mom. She told me that she saw the news program because she was half asleep in her chair.

Oh my God.

*cue Twilight Zone music*

Inspired by a Bumper Sticker

If you've ever seen my car, you know that I'm a fan of bumper stickers. I saw one today that really made me think. It said "God is too big for one religion." I love it.

One of my fundamental problems with most organized religions is that they teach that their way is the only right way and that anyone who doesn't agree is wrong and must be punished. The way I see it, claiming that you understand the universe enough to say with that much certainty that everyone who doesn't agree with you is going to Hell is kind of like claiming God-like status. Isn't that supposed to be wrong?

For the record, I don't intend to attack any particular religion. It's the idea itself that bothers me. This is also simply my interpretation of what I see and hear.

Anyway, it got me thinking about what I believe. I guess I see God as more of a... presence? Idea? I'm not sure what the right word is. I personally think of this presence/idea/whatever as being represented by multiple deities, but the face that an individual person gives to God doesn't matter. It's the concept itself. I believe that you can call God whatever you like and interpret it in an infinite number of ways and that it's all okay if you don't try to say that your way is the only correct way.

That made me think of an argument I had with my uncle last summer. My uncle is an atheist and a philosophy major. Needless to say, he shot me down and he shot me down well. It was a really interesting argument, though. It made me wonder if I believe in essentially everything because I'm afraid to believe in nothing. I would be afraid to believe in nothing. I'm really terrified of Eternity and the thought of eternal nothingness isn't really something I can handle. Am I just fabricating a belief system because I'm scared of eternal nothingness, or do I really truly with all my heart believe that there is something more?

Then THAT led me to our discussion of existentialism in English class last semester. I am obviously not an existentialist. I mean, really- I wouldn't exactly be keeping this particular blog if I was, now, would I? But that discussion led me right back to the same place. Do I believe that everything has a purpose because I'm afraid of the idea of nothing having a purpose? Is my fear of nothingness the reason that mundane things are so profound to me? It would pretty much blow my whole view of life.

Then I laughed at myself for questioning my view of life because of a bumper sticker.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just a naive little girl in a silly little world where God is an idea and tiny little things have meanings that you need to figure out and put together like pieces of a puzzle to understand life/the universe/the afterlife/something/anything/everything. Or maybe I'm enlightened. Who knows? I sure as hell don't.

I'd like to thank the owner of that car. That bumper sticker really affected me and I'm going to remember it. I might even get one to add to my collection.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Letters and Numbers

The question: If you could be a letter or a number, which would you choose?

Someone once gave me this answer:

"You can't be a letter. You're nothing but a number, no, a series of numbers. Whether it's your age, your income, your GPA, your dress size, your zip code... it doesn't matter. It all comes down to numbers. People judge you by them. You can deny it all you want, but you can't change it. We're all just statistics. You are nothing but a number."

I guess I'm crazy, but I'd like to disagree.

Numbers represent all the things in life that don't last. They matter in the moment, but they soon fade away and you forget them. Numbers aren't constant or permanent. They're just momentary glimpses into your life at that moment. You can change them when the moment changes. After all, dates and times are numbers, too. They fade away.

Letters, on the other hand, are more memorable. We use them to communicate. A world without letters would be cold and lonely.

Most importantly, large groups of numbers just make bigger numbers. Large groups of letters make words and sentences and stories.

In short, I would choose to be a letter. Which one? Maybe x. It's not a letter that you use very often, but it has a very nice sound. It's also one of the few letters that can stand alone. A stand alone x has different meanings depending on the context. It can mean treasure, kisses, mistakes... I like the letter x.

Don't listen to the pessimists. Be a letter. Make a statement.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

I haven't done this in a while. (note from 2/3/09)

I had another one of those thoughful nights filled with wonderful feelings and figured that it was time for another note.

It has been snowing all day. There's only about an inch on the ground, but it's enough to make everything quiet and peaceful. It's pristine, white, and untouched. I love being the first to step in a fresh blanket of snow. I can only imagine what Freud would say about that.

I got all bundled up in two hoodies, my jacket, my scarf, and my brother's gloves. I have small hands and I can't wear adult gloves, so I wear the ones meant for 7-14-year-olds. I kind of looked like I was going to blow something up.

It is beautiful outside. Everything is white except for the sky. The sky is purple. I love the way snow clings to tree branches and makes them look like crystals.

My MP3 player was not cooperating. The only word I can use to describe my mood is "floaty." The music it was playing was absolutely NOT floaty. It seemed firmly set on angry. I am not angry right now. Ok, maybe I am. The economy bothers me. I don't like having my hours cut to a third of what they used to be. School bothers me. My 40 pound bookbag is going to turn me into Quasimodo. Oh, and the layout of the country is not really in my favor. But that's not the point. To quote the Hoh, "World peace, starving children." I'm not angry. I'm floaty. I threw a snowball into the stream to prove my floaty-ness. It bobbed around and then started to shrink slowly until it was out of sight. I kind of identified with the snowball and even felt sympathy for it. I'm kind of strange that way.

Before I knew it, I was at the playground. I'm pretty sure I just automatically walk there whenever I leave my house. Stupid little delinquent that I am, I decided to go on the swings after dark. I didn't get arrested. When I got on the swing, "A Sorta Fairytale" by Tori Amos started to play. That's floaty. It was perfect. It brought me to a world of swirly happiness that is short-lived and bittersweet. I thought of dancing in the field near the playground and making snow angels. Then I realized that I was alone. I sang into my scarf because no one could hear me. The song fit my mood so well that I set my MP3 player to play only Tori.

I went the long way home. Everything was perfect. I am alone but not. I took my scarf away from my face to breathe the cold winter air. It was as satisfying as a cold drink of water on a hot summer day. The snowflakes stung my face and blurred my vision. It was wonderful. I was grinning from ear to ear. I thought about the coming months and realized that I have never been so excited in my life. Everything was quiet and peaceful, pristine and white. It was a perfect evening.

I still feel all floaty inside.

My Evening and Comments on Life (note from 9/12/08)

I am so happy right now for no reason. No, in spite of reasons not to be happy. I think that's the best reason to feel good.

Earlier tonight, I went to Barnes & Noble in the pouring rain. My mom asked if I was meeting a drug dealer. I told her I was going to a bar and then assured her that I really am the only teenager in America who spends her Friday nights at the bookstore.

I pulled into the parking lot and my aunt got out of the car parked next to me. What a coincidence. I've been running into family members in random places a lot lately.

I wandered for about an hour and a half. I browsed each section at least twice except for the computers and technology section. Once was enough there. I find it amusing that Barnes & Noble has a "New History" section. Please tell me that I'm not the only one who sees the irony there.

I find that my tastes have changed a lot recently and become rather eclectic. Anyone who says that people don't change has just never experienced a major change. I have. I am an entirely different person today than I was a year ago. I suppose that means that I could be an entirely different person a year from now. This is both refreshing and terrifying.

Talking is so much more cathartic than writing, and writing is usually more effective than typing. However, something about putting this out for some indeterminate person to read just feels right.

Back to my evening. By my second perusal of the literature section, I believe I began to hallucinate. I heard the voices of people I know, some of whom I haven't spoken to in years. I have yet to discover the meaning of this. An Asian male winked at me in the philosophy section. He could have been fifteen or fifty. He could even have been a figment of my imagination.

So what was the outcome of my trip? I spent money I don't have on books I don't have time to read. Irresponsible, yes, but so satisfying. I do these types of things when I am stressed and in need of happiness. I bought a huge Edgar Allen Poe anthology. You have no idea how happy this makes me. I don't know that I want you to.

I used a plastic bag today because of the rain. It made me feel guilty, but books don't like rain very much. Barnes & Noble bags are very nice, though. I'm sure I'll find a way to use it again.

The cafe smelled very good- a combination of coffee, chocolate cake, and something burnt. It's a wonderful smell to associate with books, solitude, and silence.

I had soup at eleven o'clock. It was just one of those days. I'm going to have bizarre dreams tonight and I'm okay with that.

I'm listening to Who Killed Amanda Palmer. I love it. I think I have a crush on Amanda Palmer. Scratch that. I've known that for months. I have 12,508 songs on Rhapsody. I think I love music just for being music. Actually, I've known that for a long time, too. I love some music more than others, though. Like this song- Ampersand. Beautiful. I wrote the lyrics on my English notebook. Ask me and I'll show you.

I reccomend meditation. Whoever you are, still reading this, you should try it. If you can empty your head of all thought for even five minutes a day, it makes the day to day wear and tear much more bearable.

Congratulations on making it this far, if you have. I'm tired now and will probably be going to bed shortly. Writing this made me feel much better. Thank you for reading. Say something so I know you got this far. Maybe I'll give you a cookie or something. Good night.