Friday, July 30, 2010

Words Which Should Exist, But do Not

Milan Kundera spent a great deal of time in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting discussing the Czech word Litost and how he has yet to find a suitable word in any other language.

Joel has a running joke at the Schadenfreude blog wherein he matches a picture which to a word which he painstakingly crafts (using Latin and Greek roots). It is very funny and, sadly, terribly infrequent.

This all relates to a running theme in my head that there should be words to describe certain emotional/existential states.

So I ask these two men, neither of whom read my blog, to come up with words to describe the following experiences (which must be universal):
  • The moment you realize someone you really like holds completely opposite (and unacceptable) political and/or religious views.
  • The guilt you feel because you don't feel guilty.
  • The enormous smugness you feel upon finding current pictures of someone who broke your heart long ago, smugness which far overwhelms any envy you may feel because this person is far more successful or so famous that you should find their present day pictures on the internet.
So, yeah, get cracking boys!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Girl's Best Friend

Lately, I have become somewhat obsessed with Jewelry Television.

It all started late one Saturday night a few weeks back. I was paging through the guide, mildly irritated that there was nothing to watch, when the word Gemstones caught my eye. "They aren't really selling loose stones," I thought, but when I clicked on the channel, I saw that that is exactly what they were doing. It struck me as so odd, the idea of buying gemstones from a television set, and I started to wonder who else was watching and who was buying. I have come to find the constant sales pitch of the announcers to be oddly soothing. I enjoy the random pieces of information about various gemstones (for example: moldavite was formed by/came from meteorites--I am so using that in a story some day). I like seeing gemstones of which I have never heard (chrome diopside) and evaluating them free of cultural baggage. The prices seem decent, but then, I really have no idea what gemstones are worth.

I suspect it is only a matter of time before I actually buy something and then I will be stuck wondering what to do with the beautiful, shiny objects.

I have not found myself similarly enthralled by the jewelry shows. I suspect this is because my inner magpie is not sated by items which have a function.

A few months ago, I received an email asking if I would check out a jewelry designer's website and post my honest thought on my blog. Now, ordinarily, I ignore these sorts of requests, but Sarah seemed sincere and I like looking at shiny objects, so I checked out her website, thought the pieces looked cute, flagged her email for later consideration, and forgot all about it.

This probably is a pretty good description of my relationship with jewelry in general. I fall head over heels in love with a piece, bring it home, admire myself in the mirror, put it away because I don't have that many places to wear jewelry, and then forget about it when the occasion for display presents itself. This may be, in part, because with the exception of my wedding ring, I don't wear jewelry very often. Even though I have two holes in each earlobe and one on the left side of my nose, holes that I really prefer to avoid re-piercing whenever the need for earrings arises, I rarely even manage to wear simple posts in my ears. You can forget about bracelets and necklaces and I have never quite figured out how one wears a brooch. I would like to say this is part of a larger problem I have with accessorizing in general, but I think it really is due the fact that I fidget. A lot. If left to my own devices, I play with my hair, jiggle my legs, and tap out drum beats with my feet, jewelry would just be another thing with which I would unconsciously fiddle. Which I know makes me look self-conscious, immature, and ultimately, unattractive (though, on the plus side, all that nervous movement may be burning extra calories, so that's something). And since the whole point of adorning one's self with decoration is to make one's self attractive to others, I would sortof be working against my own interests, wouldn't I? Not to mention that I have lost many pieces of everyday jewelry precisely because I unconsciously removed them, set them down somewhere, and forgot all about them until later.

It is unfortunate because I love jewelry. I see women wearing cool necklaces and bracelets and find myself wishing I had reasons to wear jewelry on a regular basis. I see pictures in magazines and think about how a few simple pieces paired with clothing I already own would recreate a certain look. I see pieces on other people and think that I, too, should get jewelry exactly like theirs because it looks so great. But in the end, I gravitate toward items which I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing everyday and avoiding the items I like so much on others
So today, I was reminded of Sarah's email and went and checked out her website. I have posted pictures of the stuff I like and, true to form, it all seems to have more sparkle than one tends to see out and about on a daily basis (I told you, there's a little bit of Corvidae in my DNA, shiny will beat useful every day of the week). I have no idea if she even remembers contacting me, but I figured since she took the time to read my blog, I should give her a shout out. I mean, her email spurred me to write (something I have had trouble doing lately), the least I could do is suggest people go and check out her work.

And wouldn't it be weird if she bought all her loose stones on Jewelry Television?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Very Disconnected, Disjointed Post Ruminating Upon She Sells Sanctuary

Jenny S. had an enormous crush on Ian Astbury when we were in high school. She told me she thought The Cult made the sexiest music ever and assumed this would be the sound track to her sex life, but then when she tried to fool around with this in the background, she was too distracted by the music to focus on the matter at hand.

On my wedding day, I was having my makeup done by Judie, who was so much more punk rock than I could ever dream of being, and ranting about this music being used to sell cars. And yet, doesn't this just sound like freedom? Like the American Dream of riding with the wind blowing through our hair as we speed toward the future? In retrospect, it sounds like everything sex and adulthood promised to be, though I would have to agree with Jenny that those guitar riffs are far too alluring to be relegated to the background.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Write Like Me

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I have spent a bit of time on the I Write Like website and, according to it, most of the blog writing I have submitted for analysis resembles David Foster Wallace, though an occasional post (or two) resembles Kurt Vonnegut (!) , H.P. Lovecraft, Chuck Palahniuk, James Joyce (!!!), Stephen King, Jack London, Vladimir Nabokov, J. D. Salinger, and Mark Twain. This is unexpected and strange and flattering all at once. I mean, I know it is just a silly game and that I can't read anything into what the algorithm tells me (especially when there are only 40 authors programmed into it. I mean, really, it isn't that I resemble any of these, it is that of the limited options available, I most resemble these. Not to mention that it seems the vast majority of people seem to be told they write like David Foster Wallace). But assuming there is something to this game, it strikes me as off that all these writers are male because I believe my voice to be feminine. Also, is it strange my writing resembles the works of people I haven't read much of and do not aspire to write like? (With the obvious exception of Salinger, who I have read a lot of and, let's face it, this whole confessional immature tone was pioneered by J.D.) If I am anywhere near as talented as the website suggests I am, I really need to stop goofing around and get cracking, don't you think?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Knitting Clock

Fred is a huge fan of wristwatches and clocks, while I am a huge fan of knitting. Something tells me we need this in our home.

The "365" was designed by Siren Elise Wilhemsen to "give a physical manifestation to the change of time." One day equals one row (round) and after a full year, one would have a two meter scarf.
As if this could not get any cooler, the balls of yarn hanging on the side are a companion piece called "More Time."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

YA Book Contest

Author and blogger Cindy Pon is currently running a contest. The prize is a collection of fabulous young adult novels with protagonists of color.

I have read some of these books and can attest to their excellence (The Wizard of Earthsea has been one of my favorites since I was a pre-teen) and I look forward to checking out the rest as my schedule permits (so many books, so little time).