Twenty!

Drafts

These are all things I found written in drafts.  Some of them were as much as 2 years old!  I went though and deleted all of my stored draft posts so I thought I would share what I came across… give it a chance to be published like words deserve to be.  The context of each is totally unknown, which makes it more fun I think.  Enjoy

 

I totally just stole a stick of string cheese from my roommate and ate it while wondering what kind of young lady buys string cheese.  I’ve never lived with someone who is so incapable of enjoying good food. So bizarre!  But then, at least she has food.  To enjoy other advantages to living in the city, I’ve forgotten about groceries and food too often.  Cous cous is my life boat… I love the stuff and you can eat it for all 3 meals.

It’s Friday but, sadly, it feels like a Wednesday to me.  I ran through

Here’s a fact:  I’m wearing a hat, a scarf, 2 sweatshirts and Ugg boots

The narrator takes the story and crumples it up into a tight ball of pauses and character names and attempts to impart the feeling of the words on the page, and with a strong arm he throws it as hard as possible right at my face.  It hits me so hard that I gasp with air and realize that I have heard nothing for the past 5 minutes…

 

It’s 10:45 in the morning and I’ve been up since 8 feeling sick.  Sick, but I’m not  unhappy, if that makes sense at all…

When there isn’t an even exchange of love, or a balanced reciprocation, the person who gives more always get shafted.

“christmas lights and dead rabbits”

Did you know that goldfish are the most popular pet in America?  That doesn’t seem right for some reason.

 

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Art, Blogging Round 2, Philosophy, Plato

Art As Poison

*** A philosophy paper that I think might be interesting to others beside my professor****

Learning to love Plato and his philosophies is no easier than Plato thinks learning should be. When studying Plato, it seems normal to experience confusion and amusement, to critique his sanity and end feeling a sense of appreciation that’s somehow suspended between the aforementioned emotions. Plato’s aesthetic theory is no easier to grasp, for it condemns art and reduces the artist to a mere “imitator”.  Because he believes that art is imitation, Plato contends that it corrupts the soul and poisons the mind.  Albeit harsh Plato’s aesthetic theory makes sense when one has a clear understanding of his theory of “the forms”.

The suffix “-ness” is generally used to form nouns out of adjectives. For example, from “kind”, “sad” and “wild” come kindness, sadness and wilderness.  With the “-ness” they become more abstract ideas and thoughts. Something that is sad is more concrete than a feeling of sadness. Sadness is an idea and a feeling and something that is sad is the manifestation of that idea. When discussing Plato’s theory of forms, it helps to add “-ness” to objects so that we can think of the idea or the “form” of that object. What is the difference between a chair and chairness?  Chairness is the idea of a chair, and is what Plato believes is the true and pure form of a chair. Plato believes that truth only lies in the realm of thinking and that these invisible forms represent truth. Plato doesn’t think that the physical world is the place that people should seek truth, but that it is more attainable in the mind and in the form of ideas.

According to Plato, truth, while not attainable in the physical world, is also not easy to attain in the mind. He believes that truth is the direct result of education, examination and cross-examination of ideas. Only though very hard work is truth attained and deception is the only alternative to the struggle of educating ourselves. Plato refers to education as a turning point of the mind from deception to truth. “Education is the craft concerned with doing this very thing, this turning around, and with how the soul can most easily and effectively be made to do it… Education takes for granted that sight is there but that it isn’t turned the right way or looking where it ought to look, and it tries to redirect it appropriately”(1).  Either we struggle and learn, or we are deceived by the world.

Chairness twice removed is where Plato’s aesthetic criticism begins.  If we imagine Plato’s theory of forms (“chairness”), as the origin of truth, then a physical representation of a chair would be “chairness” once-removed, a representation of the true form of a chair. In Book X of The Republic, Socrates writes a dialogue between he and Plato:

“‘And what about the carpenter? Isn’t he a craftsman of a couch?’

‘Yes.’

‘And is the painter a craftsman and the maker of such a thing?’

‘By no means.’

‘But what will you claim he is in relation to a couch?’

‘This seems to me the most even-handed thing to call him,’ he said: ‘an imitator of that which those others are craftsmen.’” (2)

According to Plato, if a painter paints a chair, then he has painted an imitation of what was already a representation of chairness. A painting of a chair is twice removed from the true form of a chair, and Plato believes this is deceptive – a painting is too far removed from truth and indulging in something inherently deceptive corrupts the soul and negates the difficult path to enlightenment and truth.

Imagine for a moment that Plato and Van Gogh coexisted; Plato would have never approved of nor appreciated the Impressionist art movement.  Impressionism rejected classical form because it demanded such precise and realistic representations of the world. Impressionist painters wanted to evoke emotion and express the “impression” of a particular object rather than paint it exactly as it is. Take for example Van Gogh’s Room at Arles (1889). Van Gogh rendered a table, two chairs and a bed in a small, blue room. A closer look reveals that the perspective is more than slightly off; the headboard seems to be at an angle in the corner, yet the base of the bed is straight, although proportionally much larger than it should be. The line where the wall meets the floor is uneven, the chair next to the bed seems to be balancing on one leg and the chair in the foreground of the painting seems to be missing a leg. These details don’t strike the viewer at first glance because we understand it as a representation and an impression of what looks like a quite comfortable bedroom. Plato would maintain that Van Gogh’s masterpiece is imitation, and that imitation is poison for the mind. “…Imitative art is somewhere far removed from what’s true, and it looks like that’s why it can produce everything, because it gets a hold of some little piece of each thing, and a phantom at that” (2).  Perhaps if Plato had degrees of discontent about painting, he may have a greater degree of discontent with classic painting than with Impressionism because it doesn’t contend to be a perfect representation of an object.  On the other had, Impressionism is more abstract in nature, knowledge of detail is vague thus the end result may be seen as more of a “phantom” than a true likeness would.  Regardless, Plato’s aesthetic theory draws the conclusion that a painter, what he calls an imitator, knows nothing of what is being painted except for the way that it looks, whereas he justifies a carpenter or creator as having worthy knowledge of how to build what a painter simply paints.

Plato’s aesthetic theory indefinitely ranks art in the lowest sense of truth.  At first, this idea feels awful and wrong, but the concept grows easier to swallow when it’s applied as a general way of analyzing what we see.  As an Art History major, I have a deep reverence for art while sometimes I have the feeling that the significance of art may be overrated.  Art is not the ultimate truth, but it also shouldn’t cease to exist like Plato contends.  I appreciate Plato’s aesthetic philosophy in the sense that it maintains the importance of critique, examination and a struggle for truth.

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Twenty!

Stupid Cupid.

As many are soon to know, I joined a dating site about 2 months ago when I got back to San Francisco from my Summer in NYC.  It was something a friend had a lot of luck with and I didn’t see the harm in trying it out (still don’t, despite the story I’m about to tell..)  Anyway, I went on a few very nice dates, although I can’t say the forum of meeting someone online works well for me personally.  Mostly I get messages from neurotic, hopeless romantics who write waaaay too much about themselves and make bold claims about why I should date them even though they’re only 1 out of 5 of my listed requirements: reserved, tall, confident, logical and happy. I don’t know what it was exactly about how I described what I was looking for, but I was paired with rugged, 28 year-old outdoors men who recently relocated to the Bay Area from Connecticut or New York that worked in start-up technology companies.  They were all self-proclaimed “gentlemen” who opened doors and claimed to enjoy pinot grigio and a nice day sailing on the Bay.  Anyway, I didn’t believe them for a second.  They either wanted sex or a loving wife, as male nature would have it.  I’m too young for this bullshit.  So I stopped going on the website, but I still receive messages from guys and I haven’t closed down my account mainly because I see no reason to.  I might enjoy their pandering on my low-key weekends.

Until now.

I got a message today that went something like,

“I feel like I know you… like I’ve had a crush on you since kindergarden…”

From, wouldn’t you know it, my kindergarden “boyfriend”.  I’ve been caught on a dating site by my kindergarden boyfriend who I will, someday, wind up talking to at a High School reunion, and who still has lots of friends in my small home town.

Looking forward to avoiding Mr. Kindergarden in Sonoma this holiday season.

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Twenty!

Thank You, But No Thank You.

Today I went to a modern dance workshop with my Aesthetics class.  We spent 4 hours choreographing a piece that ended up being filmed and that will soon BE ON YOUTUBE.  I can’t decide whether or not it was worth it; on one hand, I did a tumble while everyone else did a graceful jog, but on the other hand, I watched my 6’4″ professor roll all the way across a room in a diagonal line when he meant to take a straight line.  He did this 5 times in a row–the whole class was busting up.  I can’t describe to you the hilarity, the pure joy I felt watching him try to dance… watching him skip around like a pansy and roll on the floor.  Not that I didn’t look like a total idiot also, but it was nice to know I wasn’t alone.  Anyway, the moral of the story is that I hate dancing as much as I thought I did.

The great part about the event was that I made a lot of new friends.  On our break, some of us went and had happy hour margaritas which were really strong and made the rest of the afternoon much easier to handle (although when we went back to the studio the director said, “well, it looks like you all found the bar!”  which I thought was silly of her–it was 5:30 on a Friday and they made us dance in front of one another for 2 hours OF COURSE WE FOUND THE BAR.

I plan on sleeping for 10 hours tonight and watching movies in bed in the morning.

Here’s to the weekend and 2 left feet.

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Twenty!

Cyrano de Bergerac

Today I was faced with an awful decision:  go to the opera, or watch the Giants make it to the World Series.  This was particularly difficult because these are two parts of me that don’t often intermingle.  On one hand, we have my dapper, bourgeoise side, which I’m increasingly becoming less fond of.  On the other, we have my home-town, beer guzzling, chicken wing-eatin, finger-lickin fun side.  A CROSSROADS.  Well, I’m pleased to say that neither side got the best of me for 2 main reasons:  the first is because my personal ethical framework was the winner in the decision, and I always opt for the plans I made first.  The second is because I had some friends texting me the score throughout the game/opera, and so I got to have my cake and eat it too.  The story doesn’t end well, though–Cyrano dies after a life of unrequited love and the Giants lose…. BUT IT’S OKAY BECAUSE WE’LL GET ‘EM IN PHILLY BABY!

I was struck by Cyrano and his willingness to live a life of pain to make his true love happy.  As romantic as that may sound, I also think he lived life in fear!  Even in his last breath he didn’t dare utter “I love you” to Roxanne.  Even though she knows it, and he knows she knows it, he still can’t say it to her face!

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Blogging Round 2

Introductions

It’s been a long time, old friends.  I’m back to my blog and I dare say it feels altogether appropriate  to call this post “Introductions” because it’s been that long. I’m pleased that I left a formal goodbye post because now, returning to this blog feels more like a fresh start and less like an apology for not writing.

Why have I decided to write for you again?  To be honest, I’m having a hard time.  Life is nothing to complain about, but sometimes the going doesn’t have to be relatively tough to be hurting emotionally.  I think it’s always important to keep things in perspective, which is why I feel like my woes are not substantial enough to complain about.

I’ve felt this way before, and that’s when I began my blog in the first place.  Today I said to my Mom, “I’ve worked so hard to build a platform that would sustain me at, the very least, a decent level of contentment and happiness.  Sometimes I guess that platform doesn’t withstand.”  But after I said that, I looked around and noticed that the things, the actions I associated with maintaining this level of happiness had dwindled.  When I transferred to USF last Spring, I stopped running, I stopped writing in my blog, and maybe rediscovering these things will help me climb out of the position I’ve found myself in.

The next few months will be hard.  I’m struggling in school, I have a demanding internship with the de Young Museum and I’m really missing close contact with my sisters, my Dad and some of my best friends.  I feel lonely in this nice apartment.  I feel old demons around me, I’m sure you know what I mean.  We all struggle with them sometimes.  I don’t, however, feel uncapable or hopeless.  I’m plodding along, trying my best, but somehow still performing below my usual standard.

I cry during Mad Men, during commercials, and once standing in line at Peet’s.

Yesterday I heard someone say, “When you die, you die in your own arms.”  I think that’s less morbid than it sounds and in a hopeful way, it’s true.  We, ourselves, are all we really have.  There was once a point when I vehemently disagreed with this but now I see that it is true.  Philosophically, nothing else is ours but ourselves.  But we exist with one another and that is not something I overlook.  We MORE than exist, we love and help one another.

Thank you for being my audience, I feel better already.

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