Friday, August 29, 2008

Predictable--the opinions are more of the same, plus in list form

1) I'm trying really hard to not be apathetic about the national election. I think I am the only one who is apathetic about it; there's a polisci professor at my school who always wears bowties, and I have never seen him look this animated before in my life. It's just like... they've chosen the running mates--and I just got bored. (However, I will say that sometimes Governor Palin reminds me of Tina Fey and they could have so much fun with her if Tina was still on SNL.)

It's hard for me to see this as something that actually matters. In the grand scheme of things, America's just probably going to suck and I'm probably going to move. That sounded really jaded, didn't it? Yes, yes, it did.

(I'm going to get lynched by a bunch of really conservative homeschool campaign volunteers for saying that, if I don't get shot by very anti-2nd Amendment Obamites from the theatre department first.)

2) I've been kind of apathetic anyway lately. Like, today I wore pajamas. All day. I even had three meetings with professors. I hope I sent off enough subliminal messages of "Don't judge me; this is academia and we're postmodern now so it shouldn't matter that I did not care enough to appear before you in 'appropriate' daywear like jeans." I just... I just... I care about my thesis far more than I do about getting dressed. And I, very appropriately, I think, care about other things far more than my thesis. (Dr. B, if you ever read this, I don't care about a WHOLE lot of other things more than my thesis, but you know, the standard post-grad plans, family, sleep, etc. still reign supreme.)

3) Today I got a picture in the mail of me and my brother from Aletheia. So many wonderful memories... and it brought back his short-lived goatee in living color. My brother's zealous pursuit of facial hair, however patchy and/or BRIGHT RED, was really precious, you guys. (Yeah, I know! Bright red! And this is the gypsy-lookin' brother with the mad dark eyebrows and hair!) It was a really rocking picture. The colors were slightly funky, so I looked like I had gray-violet eyes. I was neo-Elizabeth Taylor only her eyebrows never stunk and mine do.

Sigh. I miss my bro.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday List Time!

1) I have succeeded in giving up my pretty-intense diet soda habit. I would not have been able to do this without coffee. Thank you, coffee.

2) I may or may not be up to something. What?

3) My roommate says that I sound weird speaking German. New French Acquaintance (yes, I have an acquaintance who is French, which makes this year already cooler than last year) might argue that it's because German is an ugly language; I disagree. I think I sound weird speaking German because it doesn't come as naturally as English or even French. I know how I sound speaking English (very animated); I know how I sound speaking French (very frontally placed and much more monotone). I'm now determined to watch a lot of German television so I can tell how people talk. My mom met this Vietnamese girl in the Harris Teeter the other day and she learned ridiculously good English by living here and picking it up. I'm determined to be one of those people who picks languages up.

4) There is no such thing as too much mascara. I mean, I'm sure there is, but I haven't experienced mascara satisfaction. Ever, in my life, yet.

5) Ionesco is better in French. I've come to really be peeved by translations; I think I just have to learn every original language.

6) Catch-22. Still need it.

7) Save me some time, people. I've been plugging Northanger Abbey at every single opportunity. It is time for all of you, especially my lovely girlfriends, to READ THIS BOOK and save me some breath. You will thank me later. Or sooner.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beginning of the Semester Update

Hello, world. I miss you. I used to have free time. Now I research puppet theatre and junk instruments and people; I'm loving it a little bit, but it means I have officially, officially asserted my ownership of the Theatre Arts computer lab in a way that kind of freaks me out. (Yo, I redecorated it. It's pretty rockin'.)

So, I have this friend who is a pretty rocking guy who reads my blog when it's not long and he pointed out to me that I am "too creative to go to Bible school." Thoughts?

My college library has lost its sole copy of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I will never be a literate individual. Dang. I did, however, check out short stories by Kafka. I'm not sure why I read so many stories by messed-up individuals. It's cathartic, I guess--I go through a trial by fire of pity and fear when I read Kafka. He just... he just needed a hug so bad.

Ok... speaking of short stories. "The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It's like The Scarlet Letter, but much shorter. And minus Pearl. Hated it, can't wait for the other stuff I'm going to read for SciFi class. Let's lose the Twilight-Zone crazy red hand blemish, let's think about robots and space wars.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Friday! LIST TIME!

1. It's early in the school year. It is August. I am fighting the crushes. Yes, I am occasionally plagued by mild-to-moderate distractions from men, usually ones of the "extremely unavailable" persuasion. This year (and by "year," I do not mean calendar year, I mean school year) it is, so far... ta-da... Phil Dalhausser and Dr. Horrible, of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Previous to this month, I had never heard of Phil Dalhausser or Dr. Horrible. Now, I've quite obviously heard of them both, let me tell you. Phil Dalhausser is a beach volleyball player. I used to, feministly, pooh-pooh beach volleyball for being the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue of the Olympics. Then I saw men's beach volleyball--and by "men's beach volleyball," I mean the very bald and well-shaped skull of Phil Dalhausser--and was reformed. Beach volleyball is, ladies and gentlemen, equal-opportunity eye candy. He looks like the Silver Surfer--only not silver.

My other new sort-of crush is on Dr. Horrible. Have you seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog? No? You're the worst Joss Whedon/musical/Neil Patrick Harris (NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!!!!) fan ever. You're so corporate you probably were anti-writer's strike. And you probably have no soul, so you would probably never sing along to the Bad Horse messages anyway.




(NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!!! I mean, DAG, yo! AND he sings!)

(DAG, yo!!)

2. Apathy. I let it slip in last year, ghostlike and invasive and unfortunate. I didn't care enough about what I should have cared tremendously about--others, my integrity, being positive, fellowship (which is, apparently, now available on Facebook to sessionites. Just a plug.). I feel the temptation to do that again--not necessarily in a major-rebellion way, but in a just blah way--and I'm fighting that, too. Help me, dear Lord. And help me, sisters. And You are, and you are. So life's cool.

Please suggest, if you can, authors and philosophers who care. About anything. I just want to see fervor.

I'm thinking Immanuel Kant. I hope in his native language.

3. The shows that I'm working on right at the moment make me feel fierce. I must be weird, because I really enjoy that there's a possibility that my oversized, tiny-print railroad books are going to give me major back pain and eye strains.


4. So far, and this is totally a Jesus thing, so let me just say, I love everybody at school. So far.
So, if you're at school--hey! I love you this year! Enjoy it while it lasts.

5. I have too much Flair. I wish you could delete individual Pieces of Flair because people keep sending me Pieces and I am completely and totally content with my current Flair--it includes Brian Williams, Buster Keaton in jail, Kuzco doing his "llama face," Magritte, "Zombie: Eat Flesh," gangster Gollum, and all the Flair pieces I've ever wanted. So, dear, dear, dear people, including my brother, no more "Sith Happens"--I don't watch Star Wars. No more "You Know Nothing of Javert" Flair because I got over my bad-guy crush on Javert by sophomore year of college. No more Flair spam like "I sent you this because I needed more Flair points." That's just going to make me hate the world and Facebook, and we've already talked about the fact that I currently love everyone at school. I wish this habit would continue, but in order to do that, I must have no more Flair.

Just kidding. I really don't care.

4. Coming up with a list of good places to film B-zombie movies in honor of Sci Fi and Culture, my other new favorite class besides German, LitCrit, and Musical Theatre Perf (by a mysterious coincidence, those are all of my classes. Yes, that's right--they are all my favorites) .

Babyland USA (home of Cabbage Patch Dolls) and the Salisbury-Rowan laundry room currently top the list.

Please suggest, if you can, other areas that would also work. I doubt I could get permission to film in Babyland.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

back at school... and maybe nuts

Some things... and by that, I mean, specific things about myself that I don't happen to like very well... some things never change.

Some lines... some eyes... some things will never fail to move me.

I am wired, dude. I am up and I am wired. I have crazy college jitters. I have just been up... so up... and just thinking things through, off-the-wall things through. And praying, a lot, because apparently I do that now. It's on my Aspirations for the Year list of things to do, so I'm accountable to my roommate about it.

So I just shared some secret plans that I've sort of made over the summer with one of my dearest friends--and if she thought I was nuts, she did not say so, which made me pretty incandescently happy. And she's feeling pretty good herself, it seems. So, go friends!

I'm also excited about underground theatre. I think it should happen. I was so inspired by this little friend I have and our deep talk about his cinematic philosophy of "motion graffiti." I can't do movies yet--I don't have a camera--so I will have to content myself with "live performance graffiti" for now. I want to study cultural, non-Western art. I want to write a lot of theatre, preferably with a bunch of other people. And then, dang son--I meet the freshmen and from what I can tell, they should be a creative, inspired bunch--wait, it gets better--and they sing, too. I know. My feet are cold because my socks have been rocked off.

If you, poor lost soul, are reading this jumbled mass of type relayed from a fevered, underslept imagination... you can pray for me, if you do that, and also, if you are an artist, and you know you are an artist, go make art! It's what we do!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Unsolicited Endorsements

And now, for another instance in which I proselytize regarding things I like and you should, too.

ANY AND ALL HARRY POTTER SOUNDTRACKS COMPOSED BY JOHN WILLIAMS: I don't think I need to explain this one. However, I will say that my brother does not agree. He thinks that John Williams is playing it safe with the boy wizard and his themes. To this I say, "Hedwig? Hello?" To this he says, "Aside from Hedwig's Theme, a lot of it sounds like it was borrowed from Hook!"

BANDANAS: Now that my hair has migrated from "fine, too short, I admit it" to "too long to fauxhawk--sad day!" I have been ganking bandanas from the land of the gangster. Bandanas are addicting.

MUTEMATH: I mean, have you seen the "Typical" music video? No? YOUTUBE IT, dillweed!

(Side note: I think I give them an unsolicited endorsement pretty much every time I write a post with unsolicited endorsements.)

Nope! No excuses! Youtube it, NOWnow!

HAROLD AND MAUDE: One of my favorite romantic comedies since Sunset Boulevard (which should tell you something--do not watch it if your definition of "romantic comedy" is "Sleepless in Seattle"). And the reason is mostly Bud Cort (I think I went into hysterical convulsions over his cameo on the third season of Arrested Development--that was such a good episode...) and Ruth Gordon (a talented actor who is also an absolutely fantastic screenwriter? What a novel idea!).


JONES CREAM SODA: Why? It tastes like heaven. As in, I will be disappointed if, once dead, I stick out my tongue as if to catch a snowflake and heaven does not taste like Jones Pure Cane Cream Soda. gives it four and a half stars, and Jesse and I give it a zillion.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Noncreative Process

Welcome to the last week before school, where I defer packing to a later date by blogging all...the...time.

Observation about writing:

Bait-and-switch does not work with writing. Bait-and-switch works pretty well with marketing. Abercrombie will tease you with hot, wet men and then sell you a baby doll t-shirt that will fall apart in the third hot-water wash. See? Bait-and-switch all the way, and Abercrombie's stocks are solid. However, if you start with a dark comedy, you sure as heck must end with a dark comedy instead of a melodrama. I'm still working on that. Darn you, melodrama. Chicken pox on all of your houses.

Observation on religion and creativity:

Here's a paradox that would have caused me to doubt a while back. If Christianity is real, Christians should make the best movies. However, they do not seem to do so. Is Christianity real? In other words, Christians--and I'm going to generalize here, so you can beat me up and steal my lunch money if you want to, but I've been pretty apathetic this summer so I might not cry-- believe they have a divine channel--the Holy Spirit--to the source of all creativity. Blaise Pascal (who I read like he's going out of style, 'cept he's not because he's BLAISE PASCAL) described God as "a master talent ruling all the rest." So, why do movies made by Christians tend to suck?*

(*Side note: There is no such thing as a "Christian" movie. It's a movie.)

And don't give me the "funding" issue. Look at "Clark and Michael." Does their production budget look intimidatingly unending? Look at any retro, cult-classic horror movie. Horror movies didn't use paper currency or financial backers until the eighties. The old stuff, like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, was made with sweat, tears, and real blood!

You know what I think? We could make better movies, but we don't. A lot of Christians are scared to be artists because it's not mainstream. It's not the clone thing to be an artist, to reference Steve Taylor's biting satire of Christianese culture, in which the point of being sanctified is not to be like Jesus, but to be like everybody else in the church.

You know what? That scares me. A lot of evangelical Christians are scared of Obama becoming president. That is a stupid fear. It's not like cloneliness. Cloneliness is antithetical to the entire Bible.

If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus and you believe that you are, innately, an artist of any kind, don't try to squelch that! You were born a unique expression of God's creativity and it's your responsibility to discover what that means for you.

I love entertainment. Nothing is more telling about a culture or subculture than the entertainment they produce. I want every country, every religion, every fringe group to produce a play and then I want to see it. I almost wish there were more Zoroastrians in the world because they'd make really awesome movies that would knock the entire Left Behind series out of the water. Maybe after I write my science-fiction musical, I'll write a Zoroastrian eschatology play. There is nothing better than a good ol' end-times piece of theatre. Just look at Endgame.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


1: Five, six, seven, nine...


1: What?

2: We messed something up, something about the order; I don't remember.

1: Five... six... seven... nine... ten...thirteen...

2: NO!


2: Boondoggle!

1: We'll be fine. Everything's in order.

2: No, it's not! We missed something...

1: Well, it's the order now!

I started writing this, and it started reminding me of the End of the World play, so I stopped.
I almost haven't written anything all summer--except for two letters to Cody, but it's summer, this is what I do-- so I was rusty. But the only way to get un-rusty is to write something, right? And that's also what I do, and that's what I love. So here goes a piece inspired by Facebook statuses and my den:

CLAIRE: Who's that in the corner?

(A tall lump is in the corner, covered in a tight cap and absently mouthing the lyrics to music streaming through earbuds.)

SISTER: Michael Phelps.

CLAIRE: Why is he here?

SISTER: He's waiting for a race.

CLAIRE: Okay...

MOM: Something might be wrong with the space-time continuum. Just letting you know. I had a little trouble cooking dinner tonight.

CLAIRE: Okay...

(A mustachio-ed young man in a Speedo and bling enters through the living room door entrance.)

CLAIRE: Dang, son. It's Mark Spitz.

(Michael Phelps looks up as if he's not paying attention, but he is. He's kind of intimidated by Mark Spitz, who has been known to not be happy about the possibility of his record being broken.)

SISTER: Doesn't he know that swimmers don't wear Speedos anymore?

CLAIRE: This is clearly Mark Spitz circa 1972 or 3, Boo. He won seven gold medals and he won them with facial hair.

MICHAEL PHELPS: (muttering) Aaron Piersol can't even do that. (mumble mumble mumble to iPod) Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur...

(Bloody French people come through the backyard door, eating figs and peaches on their way in from my family's verdant pasture).

SISTER: It's the French! I thought we killed you last night!

ALAIN BERNARD: We're ze French. We will never die.

SISTER: I resent the obvious implied contempt.

ALAIN: What can I say? We have a reputation to uphold.

Obviously, I cannot write this. It has tons of conflict (I have visions of Zombie French and Mark Spitz beating Michael Phelps into a little bloody pulp, and of Michael frantically searching for a hiding place in my tiny house that will accommodate his wingspan) but I haven't really got to the plot yet, and I got bored with this.

But yeah. Everybody's Facebook status is referencing Michael Phelps. Who remembered Aleksandr today? I ask you.

P.S. I want to go on record as saying that I like France and the French. It would be real cool if they were zombies, but then Jordan and Joe and I would have to kill them... I don't know how I'll resolve this.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pardon my French. No, really. It's slang and it's probably really unladylike.



Je vous prie de bien vouloir m'excuser pour cette intrusion qui peut paraître surprenante à première vue d'autant qu'il n'existe aucune relation entre nous.
Je voudrais avec votre accord vous présenter ma situation et vous solliciter pour votre aide.
Je me nomme Mlle TAPE Carole, j'ai 20 ans et je suis la fille
unique de mon Père Honorable JEAN-MARC TAPE, qui était un
très riche et puissant producteur en café/cacao, empoisonné
par ses associés lors d'un voyage d'affaires . Après la
mort de mon père, ma mère détenait une ATTESTATION DE SOLDE
BLOQUEE ET SECURISEE à mon nom dans une Compagnie de
sécurité de la place d'une valeur de (2.700.000 EUROS).
Ma mère mourut 4 mois plus tard d'une hypertension
artérielle dans une clinique privée à Abidjan.
Ainsi avant sa mort, elle me fit part de tous les documents relatifs justifiant l'existence d'un compte bloqué d'un montant de (2.700.000 EUROS) que mon père m'a laissé comme héritage et elle me conseilla sagement d'ouvrir un compte fiable à l'étranger dans lequel ces fonds doivent être transférés
selon le testament écrit par mon père.
Elle m’a recommandé aussi de chercher un associé étranger qui pourrait honnêtement me faire bénéficier de son assistance pour sauver ma vie et assurer mon existence.
- M'aider à vous rejoindre dans votre pays
- Poursuivre mes études
D'ailleurs, je vous donnerai 15% sur mes fonds, pour l'aide que vous voudriez bien m'apporter Je vous serai reconnaissante de pouvoir bénéficier de vos
aides et conseils utiles.
S.V.P veuillez garder la discrétion à cause des problèmes socio-politiques que nous vivons en ce moment en Côte d'ivoire. Mon père a été assassiné et "LES
CRIMINELS " qui l'ont assassinés en veulent terriblement à ma vie.
Je compte sur votre bonne foi et votre honnêteté
pour que mon héritage soit transféré le plus vite possible
pour que je puisse vous rejoindre.
S'il vous plaît, contactez moi urgemment par mail dès réception de ce courrier.

Dans l'espoir de vous relire et d'une suite favorable.

Que Dieu vous benisse


Mlle Carole Tape


Bonjour, Mlle Tape!

C'est quoi ce cirque?

....You know what?

Ce n'est rien. Je n'en ai rien à foutre.


Saturday, August 9, 2008


This is worse, much worse, than when Kurt Vonnegut died.

My other old-man/writer crush has been dead for six days, and I was vacationing in a neighboring state, blissfully unaware that my heart was going to be put through a veritable mosh pit at an unnecessarily lame hard rock concert.

I found out this morning that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died last Sunday. Thanks to the Cal Thomas column in the paper, of all things. I never read Cal Thomas; his picture freaks me out. But today's entire column was devoted to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and how perceptive and wise he was.

I immediately changed into black sweatpants; red plaid pajamas were just too cheery for such a dark week in the global scheme of things.

Although Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a bit like John Updike in the sense that you pretty much figured he was dead already and it always kind of surprised you that he was still alive and kicking, he was always more influential to me than John Updike. You would never see me quote John Updike on my facebook wall.

I'm now determined that I WILL finish August 1914, which is pretty epic and has been described as positively Shakespearean and which I have had for years without really finishing. (BECAUSE I SUCK, ALEKSANDR, AND I AM SO SORRY.)

(Note: if you have never read any Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, shame on you. Go read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich right now. It's SO much better than anything Tolstoy, and much shorter.)

I am in the depths of despair, and I will leave you with these quotes so you, too, can be crushed by the fact that this dear, bearded man will no longer grace us with his searing intellect or devastating criticism.


A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.

For a country to have a great writer is like having a second government. That is why no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones. (John Grisham and Danielle Steele, anyone? Oh, did I just hit a nerve?)

Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the 20th century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.

If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?

You can only have power over people so long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power--he's free again.

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Yes, Virginia, I Do Believe I Will Get Married

a. Clay Aiken? First Sir Robin, and now a father? He is getting entirely too much power.

(Also... this is ER's final season? Who told me? Oh, no wait! Nobody!)

b. Once upon a time, I was kind of monastic and moody and also fifteen and I decided that I wanted to get married so much (one day, not at fifteen) that God would deny it from me on the basis of marriage being an idol.

I have recently decided that that thought is stupid. I'm going to get married (yes, I know this) and my relationship with God is more important than that. So that was a stupid thought on my part. I did have craptastica theology on some accounts when I was monastic and moody and also fifteen. I don't recommend being fifteen, as a general rule, unless you are fifteen.

My friend Crystal is getting married. Actually, several of my friends are getting married. But with this friend, it is different. It is different, number one, because she is younger than I am. This makes me feel old.

It is also different because I am a bridesmaid. I love being a bridesmaid. I licked fifty-eleven envelopes for this woman's invitations. I felt so useful.

(My dress, by the way, is vaguely Lord of the Rings. More Arwen than Galadriel. When I wear it, my hair feels too short but my paleness feels just right!)

But anyway, it stuns me how happy she is--and how happy I am for her. I am unreservedly thrilled because of how wonderful her story is and how blessed and loved she feels. Some people seem to have the attitude, she has told me (because she is real, just one of the most genuine people you will ever know) that her story is good for her, but "we can't all have what you and your fiancee have." Well, I think that if God wants you to get married, He wants you to have that.

God wants to give me that.

I think my future husband is out there, somewhere, thinking, "Dang, son, I will never get married because my life will be so nomadic and exciting and cerebral and blessed that no beautiful woman will want to share it with me."

I have news for you, dude--it doesn't matter if, right now, you're rebelling or building shacks in Thailand. One of these days, you're going to be nomadic and exciting and cerebral and blessed, and I'll marry you anyway. I am not ready for G.K. Chesterton's "perpetual crisis" of marriage, but give me a little while, and we'll see.

(I don't think he actually thinks the words "Dang, son," because that is an expression pretty unique to me. )