Saturday, January 31, 2009

A letter

Dear Mama,
You know I love you dearly, but I suppose it has never occurred to you that I don't always explain all my motivations to you, and I would deeply appreciate it if you would not tell everyone my business in a manner that suggests that you understand all the deepest inner workings of my mind.
In fact I don't tell you all my motivation precisely because I know you will tell all our relatives of all my actions. I know you enjoy laughing at me for the excuse I gave for no longer wanting to go out with Mr. M. David, so if you must know, I didn't want to go out with him because I found his odor distasteful. A fact I did not want to reveal knowing that you are not to be trusted with information, and knowing that it could all too easily get back to L and then back to poor M. David himself.
It distresses me that you misinterpret my tact for silliness,
You're daughter,
J. Anderson

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mount Rushmore gives me the creeps

I think that Mount Rushmore is one of the weirdest things in America, and I don't mean weird in a good way.

Take a good look at it.

Aren't you terrified that this happened?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Philosophy of Jenna

I went to see "Revolutionary Road" with M and S . I shall summarize in a sentence.

"Two terrible, and unremarkable people yell at each other again and again"

I hated it. It was all about being trapped in suburbia, and trapped in their lives, and trapped by everything. They want to escape to Paris where somehow things will be magically better even though the wife is clearly insane, and the husband has not talent or ambition to speak of. When I was young I probably would have like it, but I feel I have grown out of that now.

When I was young (because now I am old) I was a little in love with misery. I thought that being miserable was synonymous with being important, and I was properly miserable almost all the time.

There is a line in "A Room With a View" which I love. The Elder Mr. Emmerson turns to Lucy and says,
"I don't believe in this worldly sorrow, do you?"

I no longer believe in this worldly sorrow. Thoreau talks about "walkers" people who are truly awake in the world, those who marvel at it's glories, and who find that it is enough to stand in a field, and those who are not "walkers" are "sleepers." I think those that buy into the worldly sorrow are "sleepers," and it is simply too easy, too complacent, too passive to live life as a sleeper.

I strive to be a "walker."

Of course I am not always successful, I don't think that anyone is, not even Thoreau, but there is an everlasting fount of hope for Thoreau believes that we are born every moment. Every moment we have the opportunity to be born a "walker."

I am well aware how romantic and naive this all sounds, for I spent my teenage years as a very cynical sleeper. But I like to think that these beliefs are not born out of naivete, but of the second innocence that William Blake references in his Songs of Innocence. Not a naive innocence of the world, but to experience things that are sad, and find your way back to a wiser innocence.
To choose innocence and joy, in the style of Don Quixote.

I know that I am very young, but I have had small tastes of sorrow. I am not completely unaware of terrible things, but I choose, and I strive not to be destroyed by them.

I find that I am unable to say what I want to say in a very clear or eloquent way.

I shall instead close with another quote from "Room With a View" whose literary merits may be small, but it expresses nothing I don't believe. I shall take the line from the movie, rather than the book, because I think it a bit more poetic.

"by the side of the everlasting "WHY" is a YES and a YES and a YES!"

I suppose I am a proper transcendentalist now a days.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sundance Volume 4

500 days of summer

Wonderful! So honest and real, despite the heightened colour palette. Joseph Gordon Levitt, I have a big crush on you. You were really fantastic in this film, and you broke my heart on the scene on the park bench. Great soundtrack. Beautiful and funny and new and fresh. I hate to compare it to Annie Hall, but I think that it’s new in the way it approaches relationships the way that Annie Hall is. Let’s face it, I don’t think the movie would have been made without Annie Hall, but it’s original enough on its own to not just be a vague shadow. Zooey Deschanel, I secretly wish I was you, you have so much charisma. Heartbreaking in the happiest way.

Really funny, with dance numbers and many pop culture references which I always like because I am a pop culture junky. This movie has no choice but to become a classic.

An Education

It was all right. I’m not sorry that I saw it, but it really had nothing to say, and said nothing in a not very interesting way. Just rather blasé if I may say so. I thought the ending was a little too wrapped up for my taste. I wanted her to really suffer. It drug, and I was ever so slightly baffled at the voice over at the end. “I said I longed to see Paris, as if I had never been.” What does that mean? Does anyone know what that means. Truly entertaining though, with great costumes and beautiful shots of Paris, but really I think it could just as easily been made for Masterpiece Theatre as for a real movie theatre. It was just sort of same old same old stuff. There was nothing new or edgy about it. I think maybe 20 years ago it would have been new. Also the Q&A with the director afterwards was the most boring one ever.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sundance Volume 3

Cold Souls

I was worried that this movie was going to come off as pretentious. It does, in some ways, follow a certain art-house formula, in the tradition of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Being John Malkovich" but it managed not to take itself too seriously with plenty of humour and satire, as well as a lovely performance by Paul Giamatii.

There is a reason why Paul Giamatti is an Indie darling, and I'm pretty sure he deserves all the acclaim he receives. There is something about him that makes you wish he was your best friend, that you could go for long walks in comfortable silence together. There is something reassuring about Paul, and his unparalleled ability to look utterly pathetic. I loved him in this movie.

It was the kind of movie that you could just float through. Being a film student I often watch movies critically, and what I have begun to look for in a movie is one that consumes my critical inner monologue. When I can watch a movie and it elicits emotion rather than a review I know I've found something special, and this was just such a movie.

This is my favorite movie of the festival.

So far...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sundance Volume 2

Thoughts on Mystery Team

I laughed quite a bit, but I wanted to be in stitches.
Why so many naked ladies?
Donald Glover has THE most beautiful skin I've ever seen.

Exercise: The Worst Thing Ever.

This week I decided I ought to exercise because I've been having trouble sleeping and lately the entire goal of my day is to wear myself out enough that I pass out from exhaustion. It's been working really well. I prefer to wander about out of doors, but with the air so bad and me with my asthma (sucks to you asmar!) I've been advised to stay indoors when possible.

The being forced indoors is bad enough without the insomnia, but with it I have been forced to use the dreaded exercise machine, and it has told me that I'm shockingly out of shape.

Back in the day I used to go to the gym 5 days a week and work out for an hour and 15 minutes. 75 minutes! I was an animal! Half an hour on the bicycle, half an hour on the elliptical runner and 15 minutes on the rowing machine. At the time I remember thinking "I want to get up to an hour and a half"

I know its not that impressive but this was the pinnacle of my physical fitness. Now I get on the elliptical machine and I feel like I'm going to die the entire time. I'm trying to take it easy, only forcing myself to do 15 minutes and then work my way up to 30.

At around 9 minutes I find myself crying out "THIS IS THE WORST PAIN EVER!!!!"

I never would have imagined things had gotten this bad. I knew I wasn't Lance Armstrong but I thought because I could walk somewhat briskly for extended periods of time that I was at a reasonable level of physical fitness, but it's not at all true. I am an embarrassment to myself and others.

But the thing that pisses me off the most is that everything scientists say about exercise is true. It makes me feel better, I sleep better, I have more energy, I feel more mentally sound. It doesn't seem fair that there are people who find exercise fun.

Also I find it almost impossible to spell. Every time I have written the word "EXERCISE" I have spelled it wrong and have had to look up the proper way to spell it. I don't know why it's impossible for my brain to learn how to spell this word.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sundance Volume 1

I am taking the Sundance Film Festival workshop. Basically I get three credit hours for going to movies for two weeks and then writing a paper about them. I have been terribly excited for months and tonight I saw my first Sundance movies.

A few times I have ventured up to Park City to admire the beautiful people all dressed in black who converge on our humble state once a year, but I have always felt like a bit of a poser, because I wasn't really there for the festival was I? I wasn't seeing films I participating, I was just there to soak up the general splendor through some sort of osmosis.

But no more! I saw two movies tonight. The first was "Mary and Max" a really, truly beautiful stop motion animated film from Australia about a long term pen pal relationship. It was unique and clever, had beautiful music and a touching story. The grizzled man next to me was weeping through most of it. The audience was really responsive and there was a Q&A afterwards with the director which was really exciting and amazing. "What a wonderful way to start out the festival" I thought, "I hope all the films are like this."

My hopes were immediately dashed when I skipped over to the Broadway to catch "Lulu and Jimi" A hopeless German film that made absolutely no sense. It's difficult to include gymnastic competitions, castration, abortions, crystal balls, murder, robbery, 50's rock and roll, and impalement on a high heel into one motion picture but so it was, and that is only scratching the surface. This is one of those movies that I can't quite believe got made. I can't believe that with all the people that it takes to make a movie, no one said "um...guys, this is complete crap,"

Incomprehensible is not the same as important.

Artistic types tend to find that concept difficult.

2 down 8 to go. Already a broad spectrum. Here's hoping for more wonderfuls like "Mary and Max"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day so far, in feelings.

Woke up, felt reluctant to start the day. Went to work, and felt bored, and achy and melancholy, but I couldn't quite pinpoint why. Realized that it was almost time to leave work. Felt glad. Went home, and made lunch, called mom and felt exuberant about the day. Drove to school, felt grateful for the sunshine. Got to class, felt dumb. Went to International Centre to turn in my study abroad application. Felt scared. Went to the Art Building to pick up my Sundance Film Festival workshop syllabus. Felt excited. Went to the library to work on online class. Felt distracted, and thirsty.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Frankly my dear,..

I just finished reading "Gone With the Wind." Sometimes I like to think that I will marry someone big and strong and manly like Rhett Butler. But in my heart I know that I'm going to marry a wimp who will go to the Opera with me.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I don't know if this is any good. I'm rather too close to tell, but in an effort to do things that I'm afraid of doing I'm sending my child out into the world in a small way.
This is something I've been thinking about for a long time, inspired by a late night viewing of "Hook" and this passage from Peter Pan,

"Hook heaved a heavy sigh; and I know not why it was, perhaps it was because of the soft beauty of the evening , but there came over him a desire to confide in his faithful bo’sun the story of his life. He spoke long and earnestly, but what it was all about Smee, who was rather stupid, did not know in the least”

Anyway, here goes...

My life did not begin until I came to the Neverland, so it seems unnecessary to document in detail such an uneventful time. Indeed my existence prior to the Neverland seems unreal, and when I cast my mind back it seems difficult to fathom. Before the Neverland it was all dullness, and misery. It was all painful reality that had to be faced over and over again as I grew up. There was no place for adventure, for heroics, for swashing and buckling, there was no place for James Hook, and I felt it keenly. However, if I set my brain in a backwards direction and let it float easily in a general sort of way I find snatches returning and if I very much wish to, I can remember my young adulthood, my adolescence and even my childhood.

As a child I was unpopular and lonely, an outsider throughout my school days. I had a series of health conditions that left me confined to my bedroom for many of my young years. I was more fond of books and poetry than most boys my age, so even the days that I was well I had nothing in common with my peers.

I know that some of you will understand this isolation, and this loneliness, and others will not, and it is impossible to describe completely the pain that comes from alienation from your peers. It becomes easier and easier to stop trying, and to slip deeper and deeper into your own personal Neverland.

Being a thoughtful boy I did well in school but I despised it just the same. I went to university, where I was equally unpopular, and got equally good marks.

As a young man I was unhappy. Not only with my life but with the world in general, and in an act of desperation, I set myself adrift on the sea, in a sort of indirect attempt at suicide. To do anything so definite as to shoot myself seemed extreme and dramatic, even for my tastes, but the sea held romance, and possibility, and mystery. To die at sea was every sailors wish, and if fate wouldn’t cast me to the waves I would cast myself.

With nothing more than three weeks provisions I set myself adrift in a skiff, and figured that if god or fate or destiny wanted me to live they had three weeks to arrange it. As for me, I had washed my hands of the business.

By the fourth week I was still alive, or at least I think I was. I found myself lying on my back and sometimes when I opened my eyes the sky was a bright burning blue, and sometimes it was deep and full of stars, and I soon lost track of time. It may have been five weeks, or years that I drifted on the open sea, and I began to imagine that I had died and I was making my way across the river styx, and even now I’m not entirely sure that I survived.

It was Mersa who saved me. It was she who took me to the Neverland. I found myself on the beach of the Mermaid Lagoon. Of course I had no idea who had saved me, or when, or how, only that I found myself grasping at warm sand, and my eyes burned by the brightness of the sun.

I supposed at first that I had landed at last from my long journey across the River Styx; that I had found my way to paradise. In a way I suppose I had. It has been suggested by many that the Neverland is paradise, or a sort of transitory paradise, for people die here too, and maybe then they make their way to real paradise. Perhaps the Neverland is a sort of cosmic waiting room, for lost souls, for no one comes to the Neverland unlost. But perhaps to live without the possibility of that last great adventure is more hell than paradise. but I am no theologian and these speculations are neither here nor there,

In any case my first impressions of the Neverland were of sun and sand, though I suppose somewhere my brain must have registered the gentle sound of waves lapping against the shore. I lacked the strength to lift my head and have a proper look around, and soon I succumbed once more to unconsciousness.

When I awoke again it was to the sound of sweet feminine voices pulling me from the faraway dream place where my mind had rested so long. Slowly I opened my eyes. I was afforded only a momentary glimpse, for the Mermaids grew suddenly shy when I awoke, and vanished.

But the loveliest remained. She hair jet black with a green blue sheen, and eyes like the sea.

She was, and remains to this day the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.

Beautiful , you must understand, in this particular context refers to a quality beyond a mere pleasing visual aesthetic. It is a poetic use of the word that not all men will understand. It could be argued that her features were not arranged in classical proportions. That she was too pale, her hair to dark, her eyes too clear. Men seem always so eager to find fault in beautiful women, and I reiterate that she is the greatest beauty experienced by James Hook.

I suppose I make a great sentimental fool of myself.

With a sweet smile she gently lifted my head, and brought water to my lips, and I realized how deeply thirsty I was. When I had had my fill I searched for my voice, which seemed trapped somewhere in my throat and I was only able to manage a whisper.

“Where am I?”

and she answered,

“This is the Neverland,”

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I Love My Chucks

When I was in middle school my longing for a pair of Doc Martins was so intense that at times it caused me physical pain. Tragically I lacked sufficient funds, being only 12 years old and my mom insisted up and down "I'm not going to buy you $100 shoes. You don't need $100 shoes."
"YES I DO!!!!" I would cry inside

I was completely convinced that were I to get a pair of brown steel toed Doc Martins I would instantly have legions of friends. I dreamed of walking into class, my Doc Martins distressed from my wearing them so very very often, this would make them cooler because by wearing them for long periods of time would infuse them with my essence, making them unique and special. I would be in class, and the cute boy next to me would suddenly say "Wow those are great shoes,"
"Oh these?" I would ask, and then we would make out.

You must understand that I had no friends in Middle School, and through unusually cruel geography I carpooled with all the Queen Bee's of my school. The "it" crowd. It was a truly terrible time. You might think that this proximity to coolness and popularity would rub off on me, but you would be completely wrong. I don't think any of them spoke to me the entire school year, and on days when the other moms were driving I was frequently forgotten and left at school, and forced to walk home in my utterly pathetic shoes.

They all had Doc Martins. This was the X-factor! I didn't take into consideration everything else about me that made popularity utterly impossible. I ignored my predilection for books and PBS, my love of star wars, and the fact that at that time of my life I only listened to swing music and 1930's/40's jazz. Surely all those would be overlooked if only I had a pair of Doc Martins.

Of course I never got them, and I was never popular, but I developed a hatred for brand names. I now refuse to purchase anything emblazoned with "Hollister" or "Aeropostal" (which is why I've never bought anything from either store.) I refuse to be free advertising.

The only name brand I do go in for is Chuck Taylor Converse, because Converse make everything all right. I find it odd that I should still look to a shoe to solve all my social problems. I like to imagine that people may look at me and say "Look at that unremarkably dressed young lady, oh wait, she has converse, and they're a little distressed, that makes them unique and infused with her essence. I guess she must be cool." I find myself thinking this about other people, so I assume that they are thinking it about me, and I think I have given those shoes much more power than they actually possess. I think I'm in a bit of a Chuck Taylor bubble and I have unrealistic faith in their influence over others. I can't help myself though, I love my chucks.

And nothing ever really changes.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Resolutions

My new years resolution is admittedly a little vague. It's more of a general theme then solid goals. I wish to live more elegantly, in the sense that I want to do more with less. There are many aspects to this resolution that I shall outline, presently.

First of all I think I could do more if there was less of me, so I'm going to lose my final 5 pounds. I've already lost 10, so I know I can shed the final 5.
Keep things tidier. I am happier when my life is clean and organized. I am happier when I plan enough time for all the things I need to get done. It's a little thing that makes a big difference.
I want to concern myself less with stuff. I'm such a consumer, and I spend the little money I earn on useless stuff. I need to think to myself "Do you really need this DVD?" I want to simplify my life. Stuff doesn't make it simpler.

There is of course my old standby Resolution: Go on at least one date! I was reading an article on MSNBC and it said "make dating goals and stick with them, even if it's as simple as going on one date a week." ..... ONE DATE A WEEK? I'm psyched if I go on one date a year! These people must be in some sort of fantastic dating community where men are falling out of the sky and asking them out.
I know it's partly my fault. I'm shy and can be scared of boys and I come off as off-putting, but seriously one date a week? There are weeks were I don't have time to catch a movie with my friends. Weeks where I don't find the time to do my laundry. How am I supposed to cram in a date, plus the hour and half of preparation and terror before hand? (to clarify it doesn't take me an hour and half to get ready. I get ready early, so I have plenty of time to panic and calm down, and then panic again)
I'm sticking to my one a year. Last year I upped it to two, and I barely made it (does it count if they're both with the same boy? I declare it does!) so maybe I should raise the stakes a little. Challenge myself.

I resolve to go on three dates this year!

I didn't just say it, I resolved it, and now I know it will happen.

There are other goals too. Vague whispy things, that I won't speak out loud, for fear they will dissolve, but they're ever present in the back of my mind. Ambitions and hopes, but I don't want to jinx anything, so I shall leave you hanging in suspense, wondering at the inner workings of my mind. Just know they are there, that shall have to be enough.

This post has devolved to ramblings, enough now...enough.