Friday, November 26, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Walking the street from morning to night
With a star upon your shoulder lighting up the path that you walk
With a parrot on your shoulder saying everything when you talk
If you're ever feeling blue
Then write another song about your dream of horses
[judy and the dream of horses - belle & sebastian]
Friday, August 27, 2010
but still less embarrassing than my current Jonas Brothers fixation. It simply does not get cuter than this.
I mean, um, Arcade Fire.*
*But, no joke, their new album is really good. I thought about reviewing it. Then I thought about something else.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Dear 30 year old Kaitlin,
I wonder what you're up to right now. You probably won't remember to come back here and read this in nearly eleven years. You don’t have a very good memory and, let’s face it; these things don’t get better with age.
Let me tell you about what I know best, which is right now, the present. You’re 19 years, 5 months, and 22 days old, going back for your sophomore year of college in Albany in a week and a half. You’re excited to get out of your small town. In spring, you’re going to London (hopefully, more on that later) and you are unspeakably pumped for that. A little apprehensive, but so excited. Remember back to that, because anticipation is beautiful. I hope you have a lot to anticipate.
Seeing as I don’t have much idea what I want to be doing right now, in this moment, it’s hard to predict what you’re making your living on. Whether you changed my major or changed my college or changed my life. No matter what, I hope you are prosperous. At the moment, I’m in financial woe and it’s hard to be doing everything I want to do, including the English semester, and while I don’t hope that you are filthy rich because I don’t think our conscious could handle that, I hope you’re comfortable and don’t want for anything. And learn how to budget, Kaitlin, please.
Let’s get down to business. I hide it pretty well with cynicism and sarcasm but at heart I’m a romantic and that’s why I say this: I hope you’re in love. You aren’t right now, and have never been, and as a product of Disney and romantic comedies, would rather like such an opportunity. I hope you’ve been putting yourself out there, maybe I’ll learn. I hope he’s gorgeous and writes songs for you and lets you drive and makes you laugh. I hope you never doubt him. I don’t want to have children right now, but everybody tells me I’ll change my mind so you’ll have to let me know. But between you and me, I know it’s a sort of inherent fear of being pregnant and being a bad mother (we like kids, but we get so frustrated and glad to give them back at the end of the day!) so we’ll see how that pans out.
I hope you’re still in touch with all the best friends we’ve made, in high school and in college and in life, and I hope they’re all ecstatically happy and that we get together for nostalgic golf cart rides, that our children call each of us “Aunt”.
I hope you’re still playing guitar and writing. You know how we go all frustrated without an outlet. Maybe you’re a published author, but that’s probably wishful thinking. We aren’t very ambitious, but as long as you’re not working at McDonald’s. Scratch that, be ambitious. Our laziness disgusts me.
Make all my dreams come true. If you’re dead, I hope you went out with a bang and not through something horrifyingly stupid.
I hope you’re proud of the last 11 years. It seems like a long time now, but I wonder what ten years feels like to a 30 year old. To me, it’s almost unfathomably long. I barely remember being 9, let alone like it was yesterday. How well do you remember this 18th of August, 2010 AD, riding the train home?*
Anyway. Love music, love people, love everything, and I hope you’re happy, but if you dress like an old woman or have mom hair, I'll kill you.
Love, 19 year old Kaitlin.
* You finished Ender’s Game (Emilie lent it to you), watched two episodes of Doctor Who (the season 5 finale, you almost cried), listened to Band of Horses, Les Miserables, and the Arcade Fire, and started Siddhartha. Altogether very productive.
This is you on the train today. It's dark cause trains are dark but I didn't try very hard to get a light picture. My hair's too long and needs a haircut, and that's my favorite purple plaid shirt.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
*Found this quote in a drafted post from December of 2009. Seemed appropriate in the way that good advice usually is. No picture, too tired.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
In the past week, what with picking up and dropping off visiting friends at the local rail station, I've spent a combined total of 3 hours at the train station, and 5 hours driving to and from.*
So, besides knowing it like the back of my hand, I've gone from the annoyance of having to spend so much time there to a weird sort of fondness to everything about it. From the dancing taxi drivers out front, cracking jokes and turning their music up loud to pass the time, to the way that everyone people-watches when they're bored and waiting, so that instant eye contact isn't so awkward as it is elsewhere.
Mostly I've noticed the goodbyes and the greetings. When the train arrives, there's a slew of tight hugs, quick waves, and the clatter of rolling luggage as the waiting press forward, hoping they won't be stuck next to that crying child. But, before they can get on, the departing passengers have to come down the stairs, eyes searching the crowd for a loved one or a way out. Some people exit the platform by themselves, but for others there are yells and smiles, "How have you been?!"s, hugs and kisses and offers to "let me take that for you". It's such a joyful moment, impossible not to smile, coming off that steel beast and finally at your destination, stretching your legs and finding that someone has been waiting for you.
*Yeah. I counted.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I sing along with super scenesters reciting sufjan stevens songs in skinny jeans.
And if you suppose your speech is normal, it's cause your impediment is listening.
oh, so good.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
2. Enjoy humor without taking it too seriously. Nicknames? They're one-shot impressions, meant to make people laugh. They aren't character models or life sentences.
3. Be optimistic. Too much pessimism and life becomes a big I-told-you-so fest. Negativity is exhausting for those who spend too much time around it.
3.5 Love things. It not as easy as bitterness but it's more rewarding.
4.This whole blame-game? Bullshit. Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes there's no one character flaw or event you can ascribe it to.
5. Evaluate nothing. Feel what you need to, adapt how you need to. Humans are a flexible race.
6. This whole tough-love blog post is the lamest, I'm the first to say, but it's 4 in the morning and I feel inspired and I'd like to kick your butt without waking you up.
6.5 Go to bed when you're tired. Sleep schedules can be fucked up and sleep schedules can be fixed. Let's pull an all-nighter and get us back on track.
7. Remember those who love you. They're not going to stop for stupid reasons and they're not going to fail to gently push you back on the right track. It's when you hide in this bubble of fineness and only wallow when you think no one's looking that things get tough.
Next time, climb higher.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Think of all those films that tend to inspire extreme comments from their viewers, varying from "great" to "useless". The ones that pump up the action effects but we all know won't ever win an Oscar. In addition to the Prince of Persia, I'm thinking; Transformers, Boondock Saints, the X-Men movies, basically any adaptation of comic books/video games, or anything involving gratuitous explosions. I'm now going to share a secret, and it is this: I love those movies, but there's a lot of people that don't. Harking back to the aforementioned review, they are often described as "utterly pointless". Now, circling around to my original question; what is generally expected from our summer blockbusters, promising eye candy, stuff blowing up, and the after-taste that makes you feel all feisty?**
It seems to me that, as a general rule, the public overestimates what we're supposed to get out of these epics. They're pointless, they lack substance. But let's not underestimate the entertainment value of these shoot-em-ups and testosterone-fests, which is, after all, their main purpose as films. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is spending more time on their CGI than their story lines but I like it better that way. I'm spending way too much time staring at Hugh Jackman walking away from an exploding helicopter to really care about plotholes. Boondock Saints II was no Gone with the Wind, but it made me laugh, it entertained me, and it led me to leap off a bench and hurt myself afterward, which I'd say is a job well done for any action movie.
My point here is not that these sorts of films have a point. There's no morals to them, they won't win any awards, but I'm sure that I and many other fans would rather have it that way. If I want to be taught a lesson or made to think, I know what to do. But sometimes I just want to shut my brain down and watch some robots tear each other apart, and I'm grateful to the directors who realize this.
And if I want to watch an attractive American actor butcher a British accent and play a Persian prince, then bring on the sword fights and leave out the substance, it's summer and I sold my textbooks for a reason.***
*Next week's post: the ethics of twisting Shakespeare's words to justify action flicks.
**You know what I mean. Don't deny that you've ever tried to beat up your friend when the movie's over. We've all been there.
***It's sort of like I touched upon white-washing there, huh? Oh well, maybe another post.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Space is really freaking cool.
I've known it since i was a little oddball kid checking astronomy books out of the library, since the first cheesy sci-fi movie or first episode of Star Trek I watched with my dad, since the first fantastical story I read by Ray Bradbury. Whether it's real life or wildly imagined fiction could matter less to the aspect of how cool it is.
But it helps a lot when it's real.
This website absolutely blew my mind in a way that hasn't been blown since those times of being the only grade-school kid voluntarily in the non-fiction section.
I just wish more people realized how really fantastic everything outside of Earth is. There's some pretty crazy stuff here, but it's nothing compared to outside our atmosphere.
"We were put here as witnesses to the miracle of life. We see the stars, and we want them. We are beholden to give back to the universe... If we make landfall on another star system, we become immortal."
"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."
*Thank the heavens for Stumbleupon.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sometimes there are fantastic weekends with day-long festivals on the quad and over-tired giggling until 3 in the morning. Caring for/laughing at drunken friends, yelling at people from the third floor windows and resolutely ignoring the list of things that need to be done until Sunday evening after dinner.
Other times there are boring days full of class, and facebook, and Mario Kart. Sure, those aren't the days I'll remember but they're good nonetheless.
This coming week, preparing for finals and thinking about going home, while trying to ignore the fact it means leaving friends.
Preparing for finals and thinking about going home, while trying to ignore the excitement of seeing old friends.
Looking around the campus and realizing that the correct decision was made, and thinking about the next three years.
Looking around the room and wondering how in the hell all this junk got in in one trip, and how the hell it's all going to get out.
I love my life.
Here comes summer.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Looking like an idiot when the wind turns it inside out, versus just walking quickly and getting soaked.
Having your picture taken by a tourist on the Champs-Elysee.
Because I never wanna make you feel
That you're social
Never ignorant soul
Believe in what you wanna do
And do you think that is a major flaw
When they rise up in the falling rain
And if you stay around with your knuckles ground down
The trial's over, weapon's found
Keep my address to myself because it's secret
'Cause it's secret -cret -cret -cret -cret -cret -cret -cret -cret -cret -cret -cret -cret -cret
back right now
[Pavement - Gold Soundz]
Monday, March 1, 2010
Of course, perhaps this is early morning nonsense. I'm high on life, and I'm going to sleep.
Wait til you're alone and then dance away. It'll help.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
if the trials at hand are really getting you down:
we had a close call,
i didn't even see it, then another one,
and I hardly believed it at all.
what the writers say, it means shit to me now,
plants and animals,
we're on a bender when it's 80 degrees at the end of December,
what's going on?
only for you and me.
in a showing of hands, who's going back to the south?
we're hungry, next that i know
you're running the blender in a lightning storm
are disguised as a blessing, I'm sure.
and knowing ahead, there comes a fork in the road,
pants have got to go.
we're on an island on the Fourth of July,
it looks like the tide is going home.
in time, I'd find a little way to your heart,
down to the general store for nothing specific,
gonna wash my bones in the Atlantic shore,
only for you and me.
[the general specific - band of horses]
Friday, January 29, 2010
I'm the very first to admit that I didn't like Catcher in the Rye the first time I read it, in eleventh grade. I'd heard so much about the book, good and bad, tales about it lifting people out of their depression and rumors of its involvement in the murder of someone who only imagined. For whatever reason, it never clicked with me. It was the story of a misunderstood kid, yes, but it seemed like all he could do was make it worse for himself.
Maybe by that point in my life I was already too jaded to appreciate it as people who read it with an open mind do. Maybe, even at sixteen, I was exactly the sort of phony grown-up that Holden hated so much.
My opinion doesn't matter, really. It's a great book that sits firmly in the hearts of many. J.D. Salinger, the elusive and troubled man behind the heart-wrenching novel, a recluse for nearly fifty years, died yesterday in his home in New Hampshire. He touched so many, and will continue to inspire brand new teenager after teenager, looking for understanding, to reach for that golden ring and never give up.
Rest in Peace, J.D. Salinger, and may you find that peaceful place you never stopped searching for.
“Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behaviour. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as some day, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.”
Friday, January 22, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
In my movie-filled weekend of fluff and vampires, murder and romance, there was one film that stuck out in my brain, mostly because I couldn't decide how I felt about it.
The Lovely Bones was a wonderful book, a really intense look at how a family and a small 1970s town deal with the horrific death of one of their own. It's one of the few books that I can attest to making me cry* and so well written that you feel as if you've overcome something difficult by the end of it.
The movie doesn't promise the same intensity, with it's trailer that reads like a murder mystery and all the rumors of drama and creative difficulties preceding it. And it certainly doesn't deliver. Of the group I saw it with**, those who had not read the book mostly hated it, those who had read the book were mostly dumbfounded and unsatisfied, and everyone was more than a little confused.
The book's main focus is growth. Susie's development from murdered, vengeful child, to acceptance beyond death. The slow healing of her family, friends, and mere acquaintances; growing over the hole that her absence has left. The movie misses the boat on this almost completely, catching itself every now and then and trying to save the attempt with it's closing voiceover, which pans over those left alive and how far they've come. But it all feels very abrupt. One minute, we are having a look at the multitudes of other women that have been murdered by the same man, and the next there is a tearful reunion of the Salmon parents.
The film jumps from storyline to storyline with little to no ease, making what should have been a flowing and long-reaching story feel disjointed and confused. The CGI didn't help; for all it's beauty***, the glimmering shots tended to distract from the heart of the story: the people and their pain. A lot of time was taken up in these breathtaking shots that did nothing to move the plot along, and in many cases did more to add to the sense of confusion.****
While I didn't hate the film, I am disappointed. I'm the first to admit that films usually never even touch the wonder that books have, but I'm also easygoing as far as accepting a film for it's own merit and standalone value. However, The Lovely Bones does not have much of that. It's packed with painful (and not in the good way) suspense and some cringe-worthy moments, with some beautiful scenes and poignant moments, but in the end it does not reach its true potential, a truly regretful demise for the lovely bones of this story.
*To be added to the prestigious list of Harry Potter 5 (Sirius Black), 6 (Dumbledore), and 7 (everyone else), and Catch 22 (Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?), and probably very few others that aren't jumping to my mind.
**I would not recommend going to see it with people whom the only idea they have about your home is that it resides directly next to a cornfield. (It also doesn't help if you're blonde and have a beloved hat much like the one Susie wears.)
***My favorite being the sequence of giant ships-in-bottles crashing on a rocky shoreline, representing Jack Salmon's (the one and only Marky Mark) grief, taken out in the smashing of a hobby that he used to love to partake of with his oldest daughter.
****As a friend stated in the scene of Susie drowning as she struggles to reach Ray's gazebo, "When you die, you go to Atlantis?"
bet you never think it's right
bet you think you have to but it doesn't feel right
bet you never think it feels right
famous-sounding words make your head feel light
petals getting picked with the love-yous and the love-you-nots
five years going by, everyone is staying on their side
[don't you evah - spoon]
Thursday, January 14, 2010
A new semester, new dilemmas. For an assignment in my Media Literacy class, we are asked to pick one medium, and deprive ourselves of it for 24 hours.
Of the eight primary media, some are out immediately; I could go a whole week without coming in contact with a radio, I have to read books to study for my classes, magazines aren't prominent enough in my life to warrant depriving myself from, nor are newspapers or television. This leaves me with two: sound recordings and the internet.
In this fast-paced, media-saturated world, it's kind of a scary idea to be willingly withdrawn from the internet for twenty-four hours, despite how pathetic that may sound. I go on the internet during downtime, to idle on facebook or check my friends' blogs. I go on to check my personal email for any news from home, and my school email for any important things my teachers need to tell me. Most prominently, skype and facebook messages are my biggest link to my friends back home, and while I adore my new and growing friend group here at school, it's a bit daunting to think of willingly cutting myself off from the social circle that is sometimes the only thing keeping me sane in this new and stressful environment.
And there's sound recording. This is another fascinating blow, when I think about depriving myself and it becomes obvious just how dependent I've gotten on those recorded bits of music. To my mother's everlasting annoyance, I hate the silence. I usually have music playing, even if I'm not presently listening to it. Sometimes I'll turn the television on, just for the company in a lonely room. I put my earphones in to go to sleep or take a nap, and it takes me twice as long to fall asleep without that music playing in my ears.
To be frank, I don't want to go without either. The obvious one, I think, would be internet. I've gone days without internet before, not mindfully, but I have. The sound recording choice would make a more interesting study of my character, to be sure, and although it has a bit of a cop-out feel to it, as though I was unwilling to try and spend a day without the world at my fingertips, I think that's what I'll do.
Let's see if I go crazy in the silence.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
if the children don't grow up
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up
we're just a million little gods causing rainstorms
turning every good thing to rust
I guess we'll just have to adjust
with my lightning bolts a-glowin'
I can't see where I am going to be
[wake up - the arcade fire]
Friday, January 1, 2010
There is no better way to ring in the new year than to mention how my imperfect memories of history that caught my interest has come back to bite me.
It has recently come to my attention* that Nero, Emperor of Rome, in fact played the lyre and not the fiddle. Turns out the fiddle wasn't invented for another thousand years after his time. So not only was he not playing his fiddle while Rome burned, he wasn't even in Rome while Rome burned.
This may not seem like such a big deal, and it's not even a very important revelation that makes any difference at all. It's just another example of how historical fact tends to evolve into not-historical fact that sounds better, like how the Salem Witch Trial craziness was probably just caused by bad grain.
But it does kind of ruin the image that I daydreamed in high school Latin class, pompous little Emperor Nero dancing amongst the flames of Rome, playing his fiddle, pointing the blame at the Christians and thinking about how awesome he is.
Plus, it makes this song from the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer musical episode kind of defunct.**
In other fun Nero news, he also sparked my young scholar brain by proclaiming, "What an artist the world loses in me!" before killing himself, which he did right after trying to convince one of his servants to set an example by killing himself first. He'll forever be remembered as a very bad ruler and a guy who was kind of a dick.
And remember kids, everything is interesting if you think about it hard enough.
*Damn Wikipedia. Always ruining my misinformed fun.
**Not that I've ever seen the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer Musical.