Monday, March 28, 2011

"How exquisite the bliss!"

Right now, I'm exactly where I want to be, which is laying on my bed. I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing, which is squishing ice cream between the two sides of an Oreo and then devouring it...while watching short films. I've had worse Mondays.

I like this one for the most part...even though both of the characters are stalkers. It has good music.

A Thousand Words from Ted Chung on Vimeo.


Friday, March 25, 2011

"Different, Not Less."



A class that I'm taking requires me to spend at least 20 hours volunteering with a social worker. I chose to help out at a facility that works with adults that struggle with mental illness. I find these people incredibly fascinating. Some would talk all day if they could and some are very private but I've been amazed at how supportive they are of each other. The program encourages socialization and gives them somewhere to be, which is something everyone needs. The social workers there are all more than happy to answer all of my many questions. It's been great.

The first day I was there I sat in on a group therapy session and they all took a turn introducing themselves to me. One little elderly man spoke up and said:

"Do you spell your name with an E?"
"Yes, I do."
"That's good because boys spell it the other way and you're not a boy."
"No, I'm not a boy."

The next time I went I sat in on a Schizophrenia group therapy session. The social worker took a few minutes to let each of them do what they called "checking in" and share how their week was. I noticed that most of them measured their week in terms of "loud" or "quiet." It was interesting. A few said their week had been bad because everything was loud and confusing with a lot of delusions. Others said it was a good week because it had been very quiet. We then played a round of charades, which turned out to be a terrible idea. Afterwards, I listened as they talked about anger, which has been their theme for the week.

Today everyone met together and we watched this movie:



which I loved and most of the clients ended up being really fascinated by. Most of the adults there do not have autism, but I think they liked seeing someone as unconventional as themselves and what she was able to accomplish. They asked a lot of questions about it afterwards and the social workers started a group discussion about autism and what we know about it. There was a lady that kept saying "different, not less" over and over again to anyone that would listen. It was a good day.

"Some people might think if I could snap my fingers I'd choose to be "normal." But, I wouldn't want to give up my ability to see in beautiful, precise pictures. I believe in them."
- Temple Grandin, This I Believe

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not my finest moment.

Last night I woke up mid-sentence and realized that I had been talking in my sleep. It's not something I do very often, but it does occur when I'm overly tired and I always say really stupid things. The last time this happened was September when I sat up and asked Maria if it was Christmas.

This time Maria claims that I was discussing the final episode of a TV show that I've recently been indulging in.

I woke up to Maria (laughing): "Erin, are you talking about Pretty Little Liars?"

Me: What? No!

(I was)

My unconscious mutterings have forced me to face the fact that I'm addicted to the unintelligent and poorly scripted first season of Pretty Little Liars. Don't worry, I've already admitted that it's a problem and I am seeking remediation. But seriously, who is A??



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Avoidance.

Sometimes, I write a blog post to avoid my math homework. Like right now. Listening to this song:



Sunday, March 20, 2011

"When I write a poem,

I process experience. I take what's inside me - the raw,chaotic material of feeling or memory - and translate it into words and then shape those words into the rhythmical language we call a poem. This process brings me a wild kind of joy. Before, I was powerless and passive in the face of my confusion, but now I am active: the powerful shaper of my experience. I am transforming it into a lucid meaning. Because poems are meanings, even the saddest poem I write is proof that I want to survive. And therefore it represents an affirmation of life in all its complexities and contradictions...because poems can be shared between a poet and an audience, they also become a further triumph over human isolation."
-Gregory Orr


Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Nightmare

Two nights ago I had a terrifying dream that a huge tornado hit Provo, followed by a tsunami. A result of watching CNN, no doubt. I recognize that it is highly unlikely that this would actually happen. But it was still horrible.

I was standing in a room of a tall building when I realized something was very wrong. I looked out the window and saw a gigantic, twisting, eerily silent storm heading right towards me. I was pulled out the window into the water from the tsunami and was drowning when I woke up. I found myself trying to explain to my roommate why I woke up crying. So terrible. Praying for the people of Japan.



Also, I thought this was a well-written article.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2 am and I'm thinking Kierkegaard?

I can't sleep. Every time I try my heart starts pounding and my head starts racing as I think about all the things I have to do. I was on campus for nine hours today, came home, ran three miles and I still can't sleep. Chronic stress?

So instead I'm reading some of Kierkegaard's essays...which I love. I like philosophy and I think Kierkegaard's ideas are my favorite thus far. He was one of the few philosophers that believed faith to be the ultimate principle that should guide humanity, plus his hair was pretty neat. I've picked out some quotes. I love quotes...almost more than Oreos.


"There has been said much that is strange, much that is deplorable, much that is revolting about Christianity; but the most stupid thing ever said about it is that it is to a 'certain degree' true."
"The opposite of sin is not virtue, but faith."
"God created humankind in his own image and in requital we created God in ours. A person's conception of God is essentially determined by the kind of person he is."
"Man almost never avails himself of his freedoms, freedom of thought, for instance; instead he demands freedom of speech."

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Bachelor

I told my little sister she could have a couple friends over to watch the bachelor finale tonight. There are no less than ten girls sitting in my living room right now.

Who will he choose???



Facebook Fast

For those of you who regularly stalk me on facebook, you have probably noticed that you haven't been. Yes, that sentence makes sense and no, I didn't "defriend" you because you started dating my ex.

About three weeks ago, I was looking at my profile and realized that I was tagged in over 1,000 photos. I thought to myself, "That's absurd." My self responded and said, "and a little creepy." I am virtual "friends" with over 500 people. Hmm. I suddenly felt like I live in a fish bowl.

The lack of privacy disturbed me. I think that people are meant to float in and out of one's life for one reason or another, but facebook kind of halts that "floating" process. I mean, as much as I love finding out that the guy I sat next to on a plane two years ago had macaroni for dinner, I could probably be filling my brain with more valuable information. Its capacity is limited, after all.

So for now, I'm footloose and facebook free. It might just be a phase, it might not be. We'll see. If you need to get a hold of me, call me. If you don't have my number, there's probably a reason.



and if you haven't seen this, you should.




Friday, March 11, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Fork"

My days are starting to blur together.

School is trying to kill me. I'm not kidding. It's beating me with a stick.

Oreos for dinner. They shouldn't be called Oreos...they should be called MOReos! Delicious.

For the past week, I've been woken up at 3am by an intense craving for peanut butter. Strange.

"Woken" is a weird word. The more I look at it, the more bizarre it looks to me, like the word "fork."

Lecturing the class I TA for tomorrow. Nervous. Very nervous. Explaining how Galton, Darwin's cousin, coined the term "eugenics." Watching a BBC clip about the Nazis. Spanish presentation after that, TA office hours, then writing a paper on neoplatonism.

College. I need more Oreos.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This I Believe

Last August, I was in a bookstore (yes, I realize that this is how I often start out my posts, I spend a lot of time in bookstores) with some friends just looking through the shelves. This book caught my eye:


I opened it and found a collection of essays people had written about their core beliefs and values. Each essay is short, just a few hundred words or so. I sat on the floor and began to read furiously. I was so intrigued by it. A friend I was with surprised me with it for my birthday a few days later...and then it sat on my "I intend to read that" shelf until a few weeks ago. I finished it the night before last. Anyone out there reading this blog: READ THIS BOOK or at least check out their website.

I read most of this book with a pen in hand and felt distressed when I tried to read without one because there were so many beautiful things written that I wanted to mark.

I've written one of my own. Still not sure if I'll post it.

------------------
"Aim for truth without accusation, patriotism without political cant, and faith beyond religious dogma...Your beliefs are in jeopardy only when you don't know what they are."
- Jay Allison

"I believe that curiosity, wonder, and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds and great teachers; that restlessness and discontent are vital things; and that intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways less intense emotions can never do." - Kay Jamison

"I believe in feeding monkeys."
- Harold Taw

"...true presence or "being with" another person carries with it a silent power-to bear witness to a passage, to help carry an emotional burden, or to begin a healing process." - Debbie Hall

"I believe in reading books because others dislike them or find them dangerous. I believe in choosing the hardest book imaginable."
- Rick Moody

"Only curiosity about the fate of others, the ability to put ourselves in their shoes...creates this shock of recognition. Without this empathy there can be no genuine dialogue, and we as individuals and nations will remain isolated, segregated, and fragmented."
- Azar Nafisi

"I believe in people. I feel, love, need, and respect people above all else, including the arts, natural scenery, organized piety, or nationalistic superstructures."
- Leonard Bernstein

"If I have one operating philosophy about life, it is this: Be cool to the pizza dude, it's good luck."
- Sarah Adams

Monday, March 7, 2011

Boys go to Jupiter

I just walked home in the rain, which was nice, but would have been nicer if I'd remembered my galoshes, dag nabbit. On the way home, the sidewalk looked like this:
















All of the worms were crawling out of their worm houses to keep from drowning. I aimed my steps carefully to avoid them, partly out of instinctive humanity, and partly because I didn't want worm guts on my shoes.

After a few minutes of this, I started noticing a repetitive "stomp" behind me. I looked over my shoulder to see a guy a few paces back who was very focused on intentionally stomping each and every little worm, sending them to an inevitably squishy death.

I watched him for a minute, trying to decide if this was a testosterone-driven action, or an individual tendency to be naturally destructive, or if he just really hates worms. I'm still not sure. Those poor little creepy crawlies just picked the wrong sidewalk today and happened to cross paths with a worm murderer.

This and That

1. I think I found the apartment I'm going to be living in this summer. It doesn't smell like eggs and I didn't see/hear any squealing 19-year-old girls...two things that currently plague me.

2. I decided to go home and see my dog tonight because I needed a confidence boost. Nothing does it quite like an adorable furry creature that's so excited to see you she forgets to breathe which makes her appear to sneeze incessantly.

3. I keep sleeping through my alarm, so I decided to record a new one on my phone. Tomorrow my roommate and I will be waking up to this:


It's going to be a great day.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hypothetically Speaking

Last night, I had a dream that I was on a spaceship watching a news report about how the
ship I was currently occupying was about to be attacked by 20,000 turkeys. I think the premise of the dream may have stemmed from a blog post I wrote a few days prior to this.


When I woke up this morning, I was confused. After realizing that the stray feathers in my hair were merely the result of a hole in my down comforter, I was suddenly disappointed. and bored. So BORED. Have you seen how often I update my blog? That's how bored I am. I kind of wish I was on a spaceship about to be attacked by Thanksgiving's main course. I would really like for something exciting to occur, and soon.

Do you remember the game MASH? The game that 10- year-olds play when they can't pay attention in church? I remember I used to play with my cousins Danielle and Rachel every time we visited them. The main point of the game is to predict your life. Your house, your spouse, how many kids you'll have, etc... I was thinking about that and about how if I could have any life right now, it would go as follows:

I would live here:















Boston, MA. I don't really know why. I've never been there but I've always heard good things about it. It seems like a well-rounded place to live.


I would be a videographer/ film editor for these people:
















I would reside in an apartment similar to this:















My pantry would always be stocked with these:

















And at the end of the day, I would come home to the love of my life:
















His name would be Max, short for Maxwell. He would be gigantic and cuddly and I would love him no matter how much he sheds.


Yes...that would be nice. Well, I'm off to the library.


The Technician

I could probably watch these short films all day, but I understand that not everyone is as enthralled with them as I. I fully recognize that asking you to watch seven minutes and 35 seconds is quite the time investment for a youtube video that will require you to read subtitles. However, if you're waiting for your spaghettiO's to heat up, or your roommate to get out of the shower, or are trying to avoid that research paper, this might be just the thing.



Thursday, March 3, 2011

"...beholding beauty with the eye of the mind"

Today was a beautiful day. It was chilly walking to school this morning, but it was the refreshing kind of overcast chilly that feels wonderful. When I came out of class it was sunny, but I realized it had rained a few minutes before because I could smell it in the air. It was perfect.

I usually try to avoid sounding like a Hallmark card and I'm sorry if the sentiment is too much, but today was one of those days that make all of the really hard, tedious days worth it. I don't know why exactly. My day consisted of class, work, gym, and a really delicious granola bar. Nothing different than usual. But that was kind of the beauty of it. It didn't require extravagance, which I usually think is the best (and most cost efficient) kind of beautiful.


ps. I rid myself of my facebook for a while. The last time I tried to do this, there were a few people that took it as a social rejection. I promise it's nothing personal.

pps. I watched this movie the other day. I love it, probably because it has Alan Arkin in it. Consider it one of my recommendations. You will probably want an edited version.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Zombie Roommate

Last night I was quietly reading a book when my sleepwalking roommate randomly sat up in her bed and yelled, "What the hell is going on?!"

I just looked at her. She looked at me, blinked a couple of times, and went back to sleep. I knew she would.

Also, I like this for the most part: