"You sound to me as though you don't believe in free will," said Billy Pilgrim. "If I hadn't spent so much time studying Earthlings," said the Tralfamadorian, "I wouldn't have any idea what was meant by free will. I've visited 31 inhabited planets in the universe...Only on Earth is there any talk of free will." -- K. Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Sunday, November 28, 2004

slowly learning

Once upon a time, I was doing some math homework. Let's just say it was second grade, approximately 1987. I believe it involved some subtraction. I asked my dad for some help, and after a few attempts, I started to get it right. My dad commented to me that I have troubles with new things at first, but after two or three tries, I learn it forever.

And oh man, I think he was right. I never really get things right on the first go around. Even the second attempt leaves me wondering what went wrong. For example:

School: I have tried to apply to graduate school two times. The first time I psyched myself out, bombed the GRE, lost my senior thesis, and decided to go to the bar and follow my boyfriend to graduate school instead. Bad move. The second time was a halfhearted application to ONE photo MFA program. Not surprisingly, it didn't work out too well. Now I'm on the third attempt. I know what I want to study, I'm excited about it, and I have put many hours into the applications. It seems like the third try is going to work out.

Traveling: I've been trying to go to India for at least 10 years. In college, when the option to study abroad came about, USC didn't offer a program in India. I could have applied to another school's program, but instead I chose to go to Prague. I loved Prague, and having the chance to travel in Eastern Europe (yay Dresden!), but I spent a lot of time wishing it was India. For the second at bat, I actually did apply to spend the summer in Hyderabad right after I graduated. I was accepted, I was making plans to go, and then at the last moment I decided to stay in Los Angeles and look for a job (some good that did me. Except it did produce Kim Miller. I love Kim Miller). So, here I go. Third try to get to India. I have a plane ticket, a visa, a passport, and malaria pills. Looks like the plane's going to take off this time.

Boys: Two down. Well, maybe more like 4 or 5 down, but who's counting, really?

Are we going to do some karoke before I leave, or what?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

it's snowing

I love the Jam. Why are they so good?

I had a dream that it was snowing, and then it was. I don't think I'll ever stop feeling like a 5 year old when it snows for the first time. Of course, 8 months ago all I could think about was how I wished it would stop snowing. Funny how emotions tend to regenerate. Snow is so sparkly and pretty and soft, though. It's hard not to want to run outside and pick some up and feel the flakes fall on your face.

I'm off to find a bridesmaid dress....

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

jecca+the world

My Real Astrology today reads:

Sometimes it's just not worth trying to gnaw through the leather straps; you're better off accepting your bondage, saving your energy, and escaping into daydreams. But in the coming weeks, Aries, you should definitely strive to chomp through the leather straps. In fact, you're likely to have excellent results whenever you do anything to wriggle out of your "mind-forg'd manacles," slip away from your volunteer slavery, or break free from your self-imposed incarceration. When you look back on your life from the perspective of next year, you will probably call December your Month of Liberation.

Which is mainly funny, because I have been saying the exact same thing. Not the part about gnawing through leather (not so vegetarian, I guess I could consider gnawing through some PVC), but about December being the month of liberation. It was just this past Sunday when I realized that I have the ability to change how I think about things: about people, about events, about humanity. Cheesey? Maybe.

I just want to make things.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

reading (like the festival, but more tropical, and with fewer rockstars)

For those of you who don't know, I'm leaving for India soon. I have a ticket for 6 months - from December through June. I plan to spend much of that time in a beach hut with a stack of books (clearly, this is when I'm not riding elephants, eating chickpeas and lentils, and playing with monkeys). This is where you all come in -- I want people to tell what their essential reading is. My limited backpack is going to be full of books, and I'm gonna read them all. So! Make me a list! I want to know!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

realist anticipation (or not)

I am now accomplishing things on a daily basis. It's been a long time since I've had that happen. All the "turn my life around" projects I started 6 months ago are coming to fruition. While this is in actuality really frightening, I'm too busy to realize it. I've kept the waking up paralyzed with fear to a minimum. I may actually be changing fear into anticipation. I've replaced 'Great.Perfect.Why don't I just die.' with 'Eh, it's all going to work out someday. I'll just do something fun right now to ignore the badness that just happened.' Youthful optimisim or blind stupidity? Facing the future bravely or digging my grave quicker than necessary? Taking a 22 hour flight to India or the Trans-Siberian express through the Central Asian steppes?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

it's french for mitten

I saw some snow flakes yesterday morning, but I can only find one mitten. Where is my other mitten? Anyone want to knit me some new ones? It can't take very long, I have very small hands.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


It's almost 70 degrees. IN NOVEMBER. Does this mean that "god" is a democrat? After the week everyone has had -- with the elections, the lathargy, the mild depression. And then we get an amazing warm Saturday. Maybe this is the beginning of everything coming to together. It's nice enough out for bike riding, the New Yorker has an Adrian Tomine cover and a new Johathan Franzen story, and coffee is just 10 minutes away. I'm gonna go lay in a field.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

options, moving on, there's always a tomorrow in baseball

Of course, everyone's first instinct is to flee. This is clearly an option. Brett just sent me a link to a Harper's article "A reader's guide to expatriating on November 3".

If expatriation sounds somewhat drastic (and ultimately passive and destructive, but that's just my opinion), there's always the option to marry a foreigner. Just two minutes before, Jeff had sent me a link to a website that seeks to hook up Canadians with Americans (seems like this would be an easier task with Mexicans. Just kidding. My apologies to NAFTA).

Or all the pissed off, let down liberal leaning pragmatic Americans out there could take an interest in local as well as national politics, start talking to their representatives, get involved with shaping what will need to be the new face of the DFL, and start producing candidates that stand for something. It really disappoints me to see headline on salon.com that read "Why did Bush win? Because Kerry was a bad candidate." If he was such a bad candidate, why did they get behind him for the past 8 months? Their finger pointing is misdirected and harmful.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

lighter fluid

there is only so much anyone can say about what has happened to our country in the past 24 hours, so I'm just going to say this:

yesterday felt unreal. as the election results started to tally up and all the networks were predicting a gwbush win, I started to be numb. I needed to feel something - I wanted to be cold and tired and excited and angry. I went down to the stone arch bridge and sat down in the middle of it, 20 feet above the river and 50 feet from downtown Minneapolis. I wanted to see the skyline burst into flames, I expected to see a dark cloud descending over the city. Where were the rioters? How long can we be expected to sit by while our own neighbors steal and lie? I wish I could let go of the feeling that someone will do the right thing - something will change and make everyone see that living in fear is killing all of us. Fearlessness, setting the sky on fire with my own match, seems to be the extreme sport of the future. Fuck. It.

Monday, November 01, 2004

tiny humans

Less than 24 hours away from a presidential election that has dominated the media for over a year now, and one of 4 Yahoo! headlines right now reads:

Scientists hope to find more tiny humans

That, my friends, is really funny.