(not exactly) Midnight Rambles – May 30, 2015

I’ve got a deadline the day after tomorrow but I haven’t done any writing since the last time I’ve mentioned I’ve written anything – it was probably three days ago but I can’t remember. Today just doesn’t feel like a writing day, I’m completely fatigued from waking up unreasonably early today (period cramps) and the unbearable heat doesn’t help either.

Spent most of the afternoon napping due to the aforementioned fatigue, and also because it’s the only way my abdomen would stop hurting, but I only woke up several hours feeling even sleepier than before. In a puddle of sweat – I know, I disgust myself. With a painfully parched throat. Remind me never to take naps again. Besides, it’s only going to screw up my sleeping schedule even more.

Woke up to find out that my watercolor painting of a Moonrise Kingdom screencap finally got noticed on Tumblr and people are reblogging it, so that’s good. I don’t really like to admit that getting notes on my artworks gives me a sort of satisfaction but it does – I’d like to think that I’ve put a lot of thought into every artwork I’ve successfully made and put up, so knowing that people like what I’ve worked so hard on makes me happy. I hope that doesn’t make me a narcissist.

Continued with my personal mission of watching every single film Scarlett Johansson’s been in this evening. Finally watched Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation. The film’s always been on my to-watch list since I’m a massive fan of Sofia Coppola’s, but I’ve always put this one off because I felt that I’d be rather uncomfortable with Charlotte and Bob’s relationship. Strangely enough, I ended up finding their relationship pretty cute.

This was one of the most beautifully crafted scenes in the film. So much unspoken intimacy between the pair – the sharing of the cigarette, the karaoke songs themselves, the way both characters communicate with only their eyes, rather than spoken words in the scene.

This was possibly one of the most memorable scenes in the film for me, for something I really appreciated in the film was how Bob and Charlotte’s relationship remains unconsummated throughout the film despite the obvious attractions between both characters – this scene was absolutely crucial to juxtapose that sense of affection they have for each other to the realistic boundaries that laid between them. On a side note, can I just point out how marvellously expressive a simple gesture like the gentle foot rub Bob gave Charlotte is?

Given the odd sort of tension and repression between Charlotte and Bob that underlies the entire film, I loved how Coppola’s resolution to that wasn’t a conventional, fairytale-like ending, but a mature, mutual understanding between the both of them – that they have lives to return to, spouses and families they’re responsible for, and that their obvious age gap (rather subtly pointed out in the film) would render a sexual relationship between them rather inappropriate. It’s so poignant, and so painfully realistic but so gratifying as well. It stops short in becoming the cliched, melodramatic romantic comedy ending, but it gives viewers just enough to let us know that the pair is, ultimately, satisfied with the few days they’ve spent together.

The film was not only brilliantly written, it also looks and sounds completely stunning – it’s a Coppola piece after all. Her works are the sort that fill you with such irreconcilable wanderlust that leaves you in a state of trance for a while…it sort of makes me want to head back to Paris, my favourite city in the world.

I can’t believe it’s been two years since my trip to Paris, I really miss that place. I miss being there with my best friend, waking up right next to the Sunday market, getting hot chocolate from the cafe right opposite our shabby little hotel, strolling to the Eiffel Tower with the rest of our friends in the middle of the night…I even miss going to classes at Sciences Po, I miss the route we used to take, walking past the brasseires and the fancy boutiques and vintage stores along Boulevard Saint-Germain, staring at the clothes we can never afford. I really want to live there someday, within the Latin Quarter, in convenient proximity to my favourite bookstore. I don’t know what I’ll do there; I don’t even know how to properly speak French so I’m going to have to learn that first. I suppose I simply like the idea of being there.

I think I’m going to attempt to finish a paragraph or two of my writing in the next two hours, before I head to bed, since I won’t have much time to write tomorrow. Tomorrow’s an unusually packed day. I’ve got to babysit my brother while my parents are out, and then I’m heading out with my best friend. I’m not even sure where we’re going as yet. Another friend wanted to grab lunch. We were supposed to watch the St. Petersburg Ballet’s production of Swan Lake tomorrow but some stupid klutz (me) forgot to book tickets. Ugh. Will someone – anyone – please help me get my life together?


Oh look here’s my stupid face. Oh, and here’s Mackenzie Davis

Here’s the deal: something really cool happened over the past two days and then something pretty awful occurred last night – it was a complete and utter shit storm that I don’t wish to get into, so let’s focus on the “really cool” something instead.

Two days ago, whilst on my Halt and Catch Fire binge-watching spree, I casually tweeted something about Mackenzie Davis who plays my favourite character on the show. A production assistant of Huffpost Live somehow got hold of the tweet and approached me to ask if I’d like to ask Mackenzie a question over webcam for an interview they’re doing with her. The thing is, I don’t particularly like going on camera my face doesn’t look very good on camera, and I hate my voice even more, but I eventually agreed to it since it was a priceless opportunity (though I do suspect that my late night wooziness paired with caffeine induced delirium had a part to play in my uncharacteristically spontaneous decision.)

And because I’m a person who likes to see things through, including agreements made at 2am while I’m lying half-asleep in bed, there’s now a video with my stupid face on it going about the internet, which you can watch HERE. (Good job, overcaffeinated brain.)

God I really hate how I sound.

On a brighter note, Mackenzie Davis saw that stupid face, and I got to ask her a question on sexism, to which she had a pretty interesting answer, though it wasn’t quite what I expected – then again, I’ve gotten too much accustomed to this sort of response to sexism over the past couple months:

Either way, I adore them both for speaking up so openly about their feminist beliefs albeit in very different ways, especially since the “f-word”‘s gotten increasingly controversial in recent years. With that, I’ll just leave you guys with one of my favourite quotes from Mackenzie:

“The word has a bad rap as either unappealing or too confrontational. But I think the best thing is to just keep using it until it’s so normalized that no one can have a negative reaction anymore. Feminism is rooted in racial rights and gender rights, and all of those things intersect, and to say that that’s not something you can stand behind — it confuses me. I think it’s a really great word.” – x

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
― Louis L’Amour

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Attempting to get myself to start writing. It’s awfully hard to write openings but I can’t seem to write anything – prose, essays – otherwise. I’m strangely compelled to get through my writing systematically (although other writers have suggested not to do so) for fears that I’ll stray from what I’ve originally planned to write – I suppose that was cultivated over years of churning out argumentative essays for exams.

Someone please disconnect me from the internet because I really need to start churning out word after word if I’m going to meet the June 1st submission deadline.

Moonrise Kingdom painting

I was stuck at home today because I scraped and bruised my knee pretty terribly yesterday while running for the bus (in heels), and since I got bored, I decided to watercolor a Wes Anderson still.

I initially planned to paint the still of Suzy Bishop looking into her binoculars from the lighthouse but someone’s already done that so I picked this still instead because of Suzy’s cat. The cat turned out to look sort of like an owl, but then again, cats do look like owls.

I’ve put this up on Redbubble, so if you’re interested in getting this as a print/poster/merch, do check it out.

Meanwhile, I shall go back to nursing my stinging knee. :<

(I’ve watched Mad Max: Fury Road yesterday and I’ve got a ton of things to say about it but my knee hurts. Just give me some time to mope about my knee before I write my review/analysis on Mad Max. But if anyone needs to know, I loved the movie and I think everyone should go watch it. Unless you’re really that against monster trucks and loud music and violence.)

“The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions-there we have none.”

– Virginia Woolf, “The Second Common Reader”

File under things to note while attempting to read Ulysses. 

“Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive.”

– Charlotte Bronte

Comic Relief

So I spent my entire day doodling this silly thing because I felt obligated to after seeing this post from one of my favourite ballet tumblrs, Cloud&Victory. For days I had the most stupid and funniest image in my head of the Hulk doing ballet (and being perfectly elegant while doing it), and not being able to contain the hilarity of it, I started working on the doodle. So here is Hulk and co practicing assemblés, just as I pictured it.

For those who aren’t familiar with ballet, an assemblé’s something like this:

Except the hands may be placed in several different positions depending on what the situation calls for.

Since Natasha and Steve have proven to be pretty good gymnasts themselves, they can do perfect assemblés. Tony attempts to propel himself upwards with his suit – he can’t jump in that clunky thing – but ends up being all uncoordinated and clumsy, while Thor doesn’t understand what an assemblé is so he does a grand jeté instead. And then there my contribution to the “Clint Barton booty appreciation” thread – a reference to the comics. And Hulk is, suprisingly, the most elegant and delicate dancer on the team.

I’m so pleased with this silly thing I don’t even know why.

“… and the weight of the earth is pressed to my ribs.” – Virginia Woolf

Had a strange dream last night that I can hardly remember now, but the suffocating anxiety continues to sit atop my chest like weights bound to a drowning body. I’ve been trying to get through the comics I got on FCBD and catching up on sitcoms I haven’t been watching for a while to get out of this depressive rut but nothing seems to work. It’s feels like I’m stuck wandering about aimlessly in a limbo, that I can only get out of once I get back to sleep at the end of the day. The funny thing is, what bothered me about the dream seems so trivial now that I’m attempting to write about it – it makes me seem like a child with petty abandonment issues. To be fair, I’ve had countless, recurring dreams about being left behind on the bus by my mom when I was a kid. I’m not sure where that came from, but I’m pretty sure Freud has something to say about it.

I can’t get into the details of the events that unfolded in last night’s ordeal, since the fragments I can still recall don’t seem to make any sense when pieced together, but there was this bit involving my best friend having to go away for some unfathomable reason. I wasn’t half as upset in the dream as I was when I woke and realised that my best friend will have to go away to college in September, and I won’t be seeing her for months on end (since I’ll either be staying put to read English at a local university or heading to UCL – which is still a considerable distance away from Glasgow. More than that, I realised that all my friends, well, the ones I’m actually comfortable with, will be scattered all across the world come September and we’ll all be in separate time zones.

No more heading out to the movies together, no more browsing bookstores, libraries and art galleries just for the fun of it, no more crashing at cafes being a little too loud while high on the alcohol some friend pilfered from their parents. I know this sounds completely juvenile and stupid (am I juvenile and stupid?) but I don’t really want my best friend to be so far away I can’t ask to hang out with her at the drop of a text. I know I’ll make new friends when university starts, but it just won’t be the same. They won’t share an inexplicable love for Wes Anderson’s films, they won’t understand my overwhelming outpouring of admiration for Tilda Swinton, Rebecca Mead, Tavi Gevinson, Sadie Stein (…the list of smart, accomplished women whose careers I covet goes on,) they won’t know about all the shenanigans that went on in Paris, or during our art lessons, or the week-long outdoor camp we were both stuck in!

I know I’ve dealt with this before, with every new school or new class I’ve entered, but it’s been a while since this happened and I’ve been much too settled within a comfortable bubble I’ve built myself. Then again, I can only remember wanting to create a new persona for myself every time I’ve had to make such an adjustment, but I’m over that now. I just want to remain who I am currently and I suppose everyone around me will just have to take me for who I am – I’m not going to mould my personality around the people I’m with anymore.

“Better to be decisive, wilful, than polite, yielding, deferring to other person’s choice.”

– Susan Sontag, “Reborn: Journals and notebooks

It’s reached the point where I’m scared about the prospect of going to university. I was so excited about it before, with the umpteen revisions of my admission essays, the thrill of the wait, the even greater thrill of getting acceptances from the universities I’d never have thought I’d get into, but now that fall’s nearing I’m starting to get slightly queasy about the realities of being in a completely new environment. I’ll probably get along with the professors – I know I will, since I usually get along with the teachers – but I’m not too sure about everyone else around me. Either way, I can’t get out of it (not that I don’t have the option to, but no one – including myself – expects me to take that option) so I’ll just have to get through the next few years and hopefully, graduate with a first class degree and get my grubby self into Oxbridge for my Master’s.

I have to scrub up and head to work now. That will probably keep my head from worrying about the future for the next few hours. As unfulfilling as this job is, it’s really great at keeping you occupied.

On a side note, there’s been several calls for writing submissions for various competitions and literary magazines, so I’ll be busying myself with those for the next few weeks.

“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.”

– James Joyce, “Ulysses