To Do The Things I’ve Dreamed About

October 26, 2009

One of my pinnacle moments of realizing what beauty means to me was when I read this from Elaine Scarry’s On Beauty and Being Just:

Because the sky is equally distributed throughout the world – because its beautiful events are equally distributed – it will not be surprising if the population in large numbers, or even unanimously, agree that the beautiful sky should continue. Because most of its manifestations – its habit of alternating between blue and black, the phases of the moon, the sunrise and sunset – are present everywhere, those voting do not need to know that they will be beneficiaries.

I mention this because I have a fantastic story to tell that reinforced this idea, and reminded me how much I love the sky.

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The Writer

October 21, 2009

by Richard Wilbur.

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten.  I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.


Have You A Future?

October 21, 2009

Alright, my past couple of posts have been out of pure anger or emotional euphoria. I need to post something a little more balanced. Here I go.

In today’s NY Times, Robert Bernstein, former chair of Human Rights Watch and current board member, wrote a piece for the Op-Ed section regarding HRW’s approach to “closed” versus “open” societies. He accuses HRW of focusing too heavily on Israel’s human rights issues and ignoring other Middle Eastern countries.

There seems to be an awful lot of opposition to HRW’s reports on Israel lately. Personally, I think they’re doing well. What surprised me most about Bernstein’s article was his statement that HRW “casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies.” This doesn’t make sense to me. Is he saying that reports on the US, Italy, and Brazil aren’t worth doing? Are their human rights violations less worse than those in the Middle East? Is HRW any less dedicated to other Middle Eastern countries as a result of their reports on Israel?

It just doesn’t make sense to me. True, HRW has published quite a few reports on Israel in the past few months. It has also had numerous reports on the U.S. and Russia in the past few months as well. Furthermore, while I don’t have a great or thorough understanding of how the reports are generated, I know that some countries are more difficult to enter than others. If a country will not allow HRW researchers to visit, then it becomes much more difficult for them to develop a report.

All in all, I’m glad that HRW and its critics can have this dialog and get it all out in the open. Look for HRW’s response tomorrow in the NY Times. I’m sure there will be one.


Dear JPMorgan Chase

October 21, 2009

WHERE THE FUCK DO YOU GET OFF CHARGING ME FOR MAKING TRANSFERS BETWEEN BANK ACCOUNTS?! I NEVER HAD THIS PROBLEM WITH WAMU. WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM.

I fucking hate Chase with a passion, and if I hadn’t just bought really cute Winnie the Pooh checks with this bank account number on it, I would close my account immediately. I fucking hate you so much.


You’re My Saving Grace

October 20, 2009

To be honest, I never thought I’d say this, but I think I’m one of those women who will never be married. And let me tell you why…

I had a conversation earlier today about relationships, long distance relationships, and some abstract concept of what it means to be in a relationship. What I’ve realized is that I can’t be with a man who won’t let me do what I want. And that takes a very secure man, my friends. I took a personality test on Facebook a while ago that told me that, of all the Hollywood female stars, I am most like Katharine Hepburn. Why? Because I will show up a man at any chance I get.

I can’t stand a man who thinks he can beat me, rule me, thinks he’s better than I am, thinks he can control me. And maybe that’s why I’ll never get married. The day I meet a man who can let me be who I am without compromising himself is the day I find my husband.

Fuck the rest, my friends. Fuck the rest. I’m going to bed.


It’s A Long Way To Go

October 18, 2009

I had a great conversation with a friend last night about the effects of public and higher education. He grew up with friends in the Lower East Side, and was arguing that some people just shouldn’t be forced to go to school. If they aren’t motivated, and if they have no interest, they shouldn’t be forced to go to school, let alone college. He kept using the word mentality, and that you can’t change their mentality. Instead, he offers “real life experience” as an alternative to school. He believes they should be allowed to join the work force as soon as possible, and that they can receive just as sufficient of an education that way.

To some extent, I agree. Some people just aren’t fit to spend four more years at college right out of high school. Some people aren’t fit to go to college ever. I’m sure that’s partly why it’s not required by law. But I do want to point out that primary and secondary education is required until 10th grade. During that time, especially elementary school, children are greatly shaped by their educational experience.

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Food Porn at its Finest

October 8, 2009

Today in my senior catalog class, we looked at The Diner Journal magazine, and I just need to share it with anyone who reads this.

It is one of the most beautifully made publications I’ve ever seen. The paper is a somewhat heavy matte, but the images still pop and appear rich. Its size makes it feel like a personal book or journal, but still a delicate object. And it’s got it all: food photography, food news, recipes…

I admire people who can make such beautiful books and magazines as art objects. I’m trying, I really am, but I just don’t have a great designer eye. For my senior catalog class, I have to design a book cover for myself, and for my business of art class, I have to create a promotional piece for myself. All useful, practical, and fun things to make – they’re just incredibly time consuming. Kind of like the diet analysis I’m avoiding right now for my nutrition class…