Thursday, March 20, 2008

I love you with all my heart

the perfect thing for today. first day of spring, a walk in the perfectly cool weather, the slight breeze, and the Amelie soundtrack carrying me along. and oh, this, on the sidewalk. something that may have always been there, but never noticed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

nyu!

Today Yesterday, just as I stepped out the door to walk to work, I picked up the mail and gave everything a quick scan and saw a small envelope from NYU. With a purple congratulations! printed on the bottom corner. I could hardly believe it as I ripped it open and it told me welcome to the class of 2012.

This was extremely exciting and happy news to me and I listened to happy !!! music all the way as I strutted to work with a big smile that nothing could falter.

This is after all, my first official college acceptance, and I'm SO glad it's from NYU rather than UCSB because at least now I know that I am capable of getting into something good. Also, I totally expected their decision to come out long after all the other colleges, so that it would basically be meaningless by the time I got it (this is presuming that I'll get into one of the other colleges I applied to already and would be attending one of those since NYU's financial aid is shit and I can't afford it..) NYU was my dream school for a long time, before I discovered UChicago, and I'm still rather fond of it because it is in the heart of new york city. It is only the reality of finances and logistics that prevent me from being over ecstatic about this acceptance.

Still, this is one of the few really good things that's happened to me in a while, and now I'm slightly more optimistic about good things happening in the future...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Failed seamstress

I think I should really just give up on ever doing anything crafty or artsy completely and stick with the one thing I'm actually good at--writing.

Why, you ask?

Well. Today I watched an episode of Project Runway, which was kind of exciting and really inspirational and made me want to bust out my sewing kit and customize shirts or just make nifty new things. After wasting time on Craftster and other assorted diy-inspiration sources, I found this oversized, relatively hideous but warm red sweatshirt I got from the Science Center that I knew I was never ever going to wear. I figured I'd attempt a very very simple reconstruction and make it into a lovely warm red cardigan, and I can cover up the hideous science center logo with some felt and witty applique.

Everything seemed to be going well. And by everything going well, I meant that I cut open the front center, sewed one of the sleeves to its proper width (it was massive and monstrous on me), and then I turned it right side out to test it out. It looked promising. Despite the awkward shoulder areas and cuffs, there was potential. I wondered if for once in my life, a sewing project I attempt would not turn to hell...

And then I decided to cut off the half of the sleeve, the previous sleeve that had now become the excess.

I made sure to turn it right side up to ensure that i wasn't cutting off the wrong section of fabric.

when I turned it right side out again to test out what should have been a well fitted, lovely and successful first sleeve, it fell apart.

I had cut the wrong fabric.

Despairing, I hacked off the whole length of the remaining, jagged fabric and convinced myself that maybe I can make it into something cute and short sleeved...despite the fact that the fabric was rather thick and totally inappropriate for cold weather short sleeve cover up. I refused to let what was a perfectly decent but unattractive sweatershirt go to waste. I cut off the other sleeve as well, and contemplated creative crafty ways to fix my utterly stupid decision.

I considered attaching another colored fabric for the sleeve, and actually found a relatively matching black corduroy material that would surely produce an awkward finished product, but could at least be displayed as some interesting sewing project. But I didn't really like the idea of having to sew together another sleeve and somehow attach it to the short sleeves without it ending up like a fabric puke. I looked at my sad, cut off sleeve and suddenly got an idea.

Although the half of the sleeve that had been originally intended to stay on was ruined forever, the other half was still intact. And after I turned it right side out and slid it over my arm, it actually sort of fit! At the very least, I'd be able to use it as an arm warmer or sew it back on.

With that in mind, I cheered up quite a bit. It wasn't hopeless and maybe I'd get something out of this after all...

Then I realized that the shoulder/armhole area was just completely awkward and still ill fitting on my doomed creation. I reasoned that if I was a proper seamstress, I would have cut off the sleeves and redid it in the first place. So I marked the point where my natural shoulder sat and cut, cut, cut.

Which just resulted in a far larger cut than I had anticipated, as the armhole of the original really is massive. Now the whole upper half of my once-precious sweatshirt disappeared. So what the hell, I went ahead and cut open the rest of the way, justifying it by thinking that it'd be like taking it in so that it fit.

After pinning the horrid remaining two sides and trying it on, I realized that my mission was truly an impossible and unsavable one. For one thing, the whole thing was now too small. Sure, I could attempt to make it some form fitted vest or blazer--but knowing my crafting abilities, that would turn into further disasters. I can't quite reattach the sleeves in such awkward layout and I can't imagine how this thing could go any worse or take a turn for the better.

Fantastic. Now I sit, left only with the numerous stabbing by my incompetent pinnin and scraps of depressing red fabric scattered everywhere.

Sigh. I suppose, always a good reminder that I should leave the cloth making to the designers, and stick with wearing the few things that fit and make me happy.

Friday, March 7, 2008

those little moments in between

Ah, Miranda July.

I knew I liked you when I watched Me and You and Everyone We Knew. I fell in love with that movie the first time I saw it. And I still adore the soundtrack, and turn to it every time I need something truly uplifting and inspirational...not in that sappy, sentimental marketed Christian Inspiration/Self Improvement way, but the sort of inspiration that actually makes me want to do something. Anything, any small thing. Things like leaving a secret in a Postsecret book (I flip through all of the copies at work and look for secrets people slid on. So far, I've found two), making a mixtape for a stranger, doing a small favor for no apparent reason, leaving art at a park...and it is one of those soundtracks (f0r me, at the very least) that inspires me to write. Really write, anything, a short story, a random thought expanded, something pretty, something silly. Anything.

And then I read No One Belongs Here More Than You, Miranda July's collection of short stories, and I fell in love. Completely, utterly head over heels in love. In these simple moments, often times awkward, tender, insignificant, she captures something intimate. It is refreshing, the characters who are sweet in their strange ways, caring in their detached manners. It is in the same vein as the movie, but in words, she can call to mind these situations and images, snippets of dialog that merge into these charming, bright and sweet short stories I want to reread and live in.

It just makes me wish that I shared Miranda July's easy ability to see the beauty in so much in life...and realize that for many of my favorite artists, be it writers, actors, musicians or painters, the reason I love their art so much is partially because of the attitude behind them. This same sort of attitude that generally translate to their life and personality. I see this in the blogs of my favorite artists and writers, I see it in the style of favorite actresses and photographers, I see it in the quotes and traces they leave behind.

And I suppose, I'd like to openly admire my love of July. And take what I can from her work and ideas--to never take the little things for granted and let life blossom around me. Not to sound horribly inspiring and you know, hopelessly idealistic (which sometimes I really think I am, and other times I am truly one of the most cynical and morbid people you may ever meet), but these little tender moments can sometimes mean so much.

And on that note--I realized that since my legal name is still my Chinese name that essentially no one knows, and soon I'll be off to college with no one who knows me as "laura" and a name is something I can basically change in any case, I'm actually contemplating a new name as honestly Laura was kind of a spur of the moment thing without much thought that I grew into...

So, brainstorming names and daydreaming about the future, again.

Monday, March 3, 2008

boy tasting wild cherries

Luna-Indian Summer (Beat Happening cover)

Just, forget about me, for a moment.

Sure--this is supposed to be my blog. My thoughts, my obsessions, my fears and worries, my ideas. Let's pretend for a moment that this is not mine but yours. And yours, although you don't know it yet.

Just like how some songs, books, films have that effect on you...they sneak up on you, before you even realize what they've done. Suddenly the characters are speaking to you, for you. And if you close your eyes for a just a moment, you'll fall into their world so utterly and completely, and you'll become one.

So let's pretend. Here we are--as one.

And here is a song that you've heard, inadvertently, that wrapped its soft caresses around you and suffocated you in its beauty, a song that wrapped you back in time, to a moment, a snapshot difficult to forget. A song so simple, so tender, so sweet and unassuming that it almost passes you by--almost.

But when you pause for a breath, give it a hint more of attention, it swirls and fades into something altogether. And when it is the perfect moment (and those perfect moments are so surprisingly common, any daily thing turned into a precious memory...), this song, those few opening guitar strings, simple words that paint movies and stills onto otherwise blank walls or dreary skies...it becomes you. And all those darling little moments you longed for are suddenly so possible.

And it is so convincing, so easy to slip into it. Even when you're not sure what exactly things mean, or how certain things are going to turn out. You're not afraid...maybe just a little. But the fear only pushes you on, because, look to the sky, the dyed colors that the sun provides, look to the trees, these trembling leaves quivering with anticipation, look to the cracked pavement, the dirt underfoot, your computer screen, the curves of your keyboard...look anywhere.

Time capsules, each line is a time capsule that brings you so easily to a different life...

Breakfast in cemetery
boy tasting wild cherries
touch girl, apple blossom
just a boy playing possum


we'll come back for Indian summer
and go our different ways...