25 Facts About Someone Who Reads Books

Here is a tag-type thing because I can have fun here. It's possible. Not that I don't have fun writing the other posts on here, but there is always that fear that what I've written is terrible. I also realize that while I do talk about myself constantly on here (technically, it's a blog, thus a vanity project of some kind but all writers are vanity projects), I don't make lists about it. Also, I hate the term "bookish" so let's just say that this is 25 Facts About Someone Who Has Spent A Life Reading Books.

If you have a freakish education at least use it, use it.Collapse )
  • Current Music: The Book I Write - Spoon
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Movie Reviews

Yesterday, I had a patch of bad mood but then I signed up for an online sloper course and had a talk with someone so it wasn't a total waste of a day. I realize now that I am generally bored with most clothes in stores. Even my beloved UO is becoming a bit too similar for my liking. All these stores, they produce clothes that are already in style rather than being ahead of the curve or having any individuality to their garments. So I decided I'd prefer to start learning how to make clothes for myself, exactly to my size. Thus, a sloper course. A sloper is a building block for your pattern collection, which usually includes a bodice, two types of dresses (one for wovens, one for knits), pants, etc. What you can do with a sloper is you can play around with the style lines any way you want and can be guaranteed that it will fit you, as it was played around with on something that already fits you.

And who knows. Maybe this is my first step into pattern making. I wanted to be a costume designer once I started sewing in college. But that sneaky Camus stole me away in my first English course on modernism.

Plus, it will save me money in the long run, as I won't be buying patterns all the time anymore. It's a win-win. But less talk about garments, I have movies to review.

Life After Beth (2014)Collapse )

Smithereens (1982)Collapse )
  • Current Music: Loveless Love - The Feelies

Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone (2007)

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It's been a strange ride with Neon Genesis Evangelion. Initially, I had planned to watch it immediately after RahXephon but I didn't have the funds then to purchase it. Even then I figured I probably wouldn't like it. Lo and behold, five years later, I really loved NGE for the emotional impact it had on me which culminated in one of the most brilliantly animated spectacles, The End of Evangelion. Before I knew it, I was defending NGE on Tumblr, constantly questioning myself, WHO AM I?, and incapable of thinking about NGE without associating it with a milieu of Of Montreal songs.

My experience with NGE had a succinct end, at least until another viewing. I had thought it was the end. But deep down, I knew I was wrong. I had seen those pictures circulating about on the internet about a "Rebuild" of Evangelion. Curiosity claimed me. I mean, I could put full trust in Hideaki Anno. Certainly, Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone would be executed with the same level of emotional depth that the original series and film had been. Right?

I used to think that being alive was pointless.Collapse )
  • Current Music: The Past is a Grotesque Animal - of Montreal

Yea or Neigh

I've been wandering about lately which means that I'm popping into the local used book stores more often than may be healthy for my bank account. But they're cheaper than new books and often look like new books, so I'm saving money somewhere in there. Even if they don't look new, I'm still delighted to find the belongings of old students, with their notes intact. It's great to have another mind helping you along the way, mentioning references you may have never noticed.

My last two trips have left me with William Carlos Williams' Imaginations, a collection of his prose works (my previous professor, Dr. Huang, would be pleased), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, as well as The Novels of Hermann Hesse and Henry Miller: Three Decades of Criticism, which are collections of literary analysis on both authors. The more I read about Hermann Hesse, the more I feel one of those strange connections with him, as Walter Benjamin felt with Franz Kafka. In terms of library findings, I am now reading Osamu Dazai's No Longer Human because I live and breath on depressing works about alienation apparently, and Benjamin's -abilities, another book of literary analysis on a writer who wrote mostly about literary analysis. And arcades. My love for Walter Benjamin is possibly the only thing I wear on my sleeve.

I have one chapter left of Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra and it's hard for me to believe how all my life, Nietzsche was presented as the founding father of nihilism when he wasn't. In fact, I have never seen such misinterpretations of a writer's work. Yes, "God is dead" and all, but it's far more complex than "there is no god, life is meaningless." Life is meaningless is perhaps the furthest opposite of Nietzsche's intentions. "God is dead" is about the fact that we need to leave behind the values and morals of those before us, that have been policed upon us as "morality", and create our own values that bring meaning to our lives.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra is also the most beautifully, playfully written philosophical text you could find (is it a philosophical text? Is it a novel?). Nietzsche plays with words throughout the entire work and it brings a sense of buoyancy. I wonder sometimes if word play is something that is inherent to the German language; whether it is or not, Nietzsche was quite apt at it. I feel as though reading Nietzsche has given me a much better understanding of Hermann Hesse and reading Hesse has given me a much better understanding of Neon Genesis Evangelion (it shares one too many similarities with Demian).

Speaking of Evangelion, guess who has the first Rebuild film being shipped to her address as we speak.
  • Current Music: Bohemian Dances - The do

In the air, at all times

The season has shifted, the scent of fall is upon the air. The weather has changed from hot and dry to cool winds that sift through my hair. Darkness comes upon the day before I can remember what I did during the afternoon. Nature reflects the changes that have come upon me. Or I am projecting, which comes to me with natural proclivity. Once again I am reborn, I like to think. A new person. Reconstructed. But I am never recreated so much as I am the foundation that is continually built upon. There's an infrastructure of me somewhere underneath these meek, self-effacing bricks. (But don't we know better, me. Don't we know how much you crave attention while simultaneously wishing you could hide.)

Much has happened in the month of October. I feared that getting help for my problems would mean an end, but it's been perhaps the best decision I've ever made in my life. Having someone to counter my thought-process has been incredibly helpful. I'm not "cured" and I don't think I ever will be. The thoughts and feelings that have been incurred upon me by troubling chemistry will continually shape the way I perceive the world. And I have to be okay with that. Eventually, I have to accept myself for never fitting in with a group rather than feel as though there's something disastrously wrong with me.

I've been learning to accept those more negative feelings within me - jealousy, bitterness. More and more, I see how much of me is in my characters. All of them, really.

Perhaps what frightened me the most was having a project for October, the Misato costume that consisted of a dress and a jacket. The jacket did indeed happen, in one day. I spent all this time and energy for a few hours in a costume. Did I really enjoy making this project, I wondered. Was it really worth consuming my entire life for a month? Part of me insists that this was yet another grand scheme that will never pay out. Another part of me believes that there is a con waiting to see a Misato costume sewn by me and anyway, we sure did love wearing that jacket out the day after Halloween.

Everything is a process for me. There are no answers. I have been fed on the words of Friedrich Nietzsche this past month and all I can think about is how creative works have redeemed me. How creation is the only redeeming factor of the human race, for the one who creates and the audience. And I have had much to think about on Neon Genesis Evangelion, reminding myself that when I'm afraid of people and trying to avoid them, there's probably something they're trying to avoid as well.

All I have to do now is face that which frightens me the most: the future.
  • Current Music: False Alphabet City - Eleanor Friedberger

Sewing Woes

It's been a while since I secluded myself in a hermitude of fabric and attempted drafting pieces. And here I am, one week from Halloween, with a dress that still needs small details finished (those always take the longest) and a jacket that has only had one muslin with horrific fitting. A muslin is a mock-up of the pattern you are making, which you can only see in the two-dimensional form that you have been provided by whatever company produced said pattern, often in much cheaper fabric than what you intend to make the garment out of. This allows you to see fit problems directly on your body (or your dress form, but I don't have the money for that). My major problem in life is that I can find patterns that will fit my bust and my hips, but they sag and droop on my torso.

I made two muslins for the dress, which really ate up my time, but you know what? It was worth it. It was worth that extra effort, because the dress fits me perfectly and this is even taking into account the fact that I worked with a stretch-woven this time. Polyester, a fabric I've never worked with. I've seen this costume made up in knits far too many times and while there is a certain ease to knits (no binding needed, generally), I wanted a fabric with a little more structure. Also, the bane of my life: I wanted to challenge myself.

This dress, the Misato Katsuragi dress, has proven that sewing dresses is no small feat, especially if one is in the mood for perfection. French seams were essential to appeasing me, a process in which you bind the raw edges by sewing wrong sides together first, trimming that seam, and then turning over to the right sides and sewing the seam again. The jacket may or may not happen, depending on how imperative it is to me to show absolutely no raw edges, even in the facings.

I apologize in advance that this is going to be a post entirely on the sewing process of this costume, but that's where I've been lately. If I had Xenofever in 2013, you could say I am experiencing Evanphilion in 2015. Don't worry, there will be plenty of Nietzsche in the future.

You"re now in a relationship with the polyester.Collapse )
  • Current Music: Angel Attack - Neon Genesis Evangelion OST
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Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Vol. 1 by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

Apologies, the Halloween costume from hell has taken over my life. These alterations are insane and I was at a point recently where I felt as though it was impossible. I went to a dark place then, somewhere I haven't been for the past few weeks. The very next day, I received my wig from Arda Wigs and so happy was I to see the fantastic color that I was ecstatic to work on my costume again. Sometimes all you need is a break and a little push.

I had forgotten that I wrote a short review on the Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. 1 manga adaptation by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, so in lieu of writing new content, here is the thing I forgot to post. It's not very well written or thorough, but I figured I would save that when I reached the end of the manga. Also, I've been feeling really down about my writing lately which is probably why I haven't been posting here as often. Or it's the costume. One (or both) of the two. I get into these kinds of fits regularly though. I'll get out of it. I'm certain.

What, are you a poivoit?Collapse )
  • Current Music: Nothing's Wrong - Architecture in Helsinki

Questions on the Novel

I stumbled upon Paper Fury while searching for something - I can't remember what, as many a writer will tell you about their browsing history on search engines - but I noticed that they had a few questions about the novel one is writing. And far be it for me to forget that egotistical side that comes with being a writer. This is meant for NaNoWriMo, but past attempts have proved I am a failure at that (and too much of a perfectionist) so this is for the novel I'm working on currently, M+I.

The short explanation of M+I is that it hates me, it has far too many characters, and it insists upon taking place over a span of ten years through four different perspectives. It has forced me to give some of my characters questionable names. It has eaten my social life. And it continually demands more and more of my attention like the surly adolescent it has become (I've been writing it for 17 years now and it keeps insisting it can drive).

It's my baby, I guess. But I'm not going to coddle it just because it came from me. If anything, I'm going to be more critical on it.

Onto the questions.

All of the characters?Collapse )

Costume Obsession

I'm still attempting to get myself together and I apologize in advance for the lack of content. It's possible that my obsession with my Halloween costume is taking over - I just purchased a wig and I feel a little giddy about it. First wig and all. I considered purchasing temporary dye, but no way am I putting cheap gunk in my hair (even though my work place is incredibly accepting of divergent hair colors) and I can style it without having to worry about that on Halloween. I've done enough research on how to style and care for wigs.

I was also very particular about the color of the wig because I am a stickler for details when it comes to costumes. This will destroy me. I know. But it seems as though with everything in life, creations of mine must be held up to a certain ideal that I can never achieve. The dress is coming along very well, with the exception of fitting in the waist but this is a perpetual problem with sewing. Reasons not to have an hourglass figure. You're always fitting garments to your bust and hip size. Luckily, I make muslins in advance.

The weekend was fairly busy for me, as my niece stayed over and insisted I watch Fairy Tale with her, her show. When I wanted to watch Iris, the documentary on Iris Apfel, she groaned but we watched it anyway. Then, to make it up to her, we watched Silver Linings Playbook together, one of her favorite films. It was okay. I'll go into more detail later, but I felt like the film tried too hard to give everyone a happy ending, even if it meant sacrificing the integrity of the characters (obsessions aren't given up over night). A happy romance is not necessarily my thing either, even if it is a "quirky" (however you want to define that) romance that is littered with witty dialogue that no one would ever utter in real life. When my niece was upset with me for not appreciating the happy ending, I informed her that I preferred American Hustle, which ended favorably for most of the characters without disregarding who they were. She was very miffed.

Then, on Sunday, I was in Santa Barbara when the weather gods decided to bless California with this thing people in the north and on the east coast refer to as "rain." In fact, it was really quite pleasant to stroll the streets in rain, wearing a dress as I felt the drops upon my legs. It was a momentary lapse in the perpetual fear and doom that plague my demeanor, feeling such a pure and unadulterated form of happiness.

Perhaps one of the strangest things for me, as I become accustomed to this emerging person who was hiding, is that there are certain feelings returning to me. For one, I realized that I do indeed have a sexuality and it isn't that abyss of nothingness. It's exactly what I feared. I should have listened to my instincts in college, but I thought I was being dramatic. It's not very dramatic at all, really. Just a fact. That's all. A realization.

But it's fun to be attracted to someone. To know that you find them appealing and they'll never have to know. To keep it secret. Before, I was so afraid of being attracted to people because I told myself all the time that I was completely undesirable and that to be attracted to them would allow them to know of my attraction, which they would surely rebuff. I'm learning that attraction can simply be for the self. To acknowledge, but not to act on it. Maybe someday I'll have the courage to go through with it. But not today.

EDIT: Did I forget to mention? Forget to mention Memphis Fellini? I finally got around to watching Amarcord. And I found a Criterion Collection release of SATYRICON in stores! (As I said to myself when I started watching Neon Genesis Evangelion: what am I getting myself into?) I love Fellini's films though, so it's inevitable that I'll love this one.
  • Current Music: Bet You Don't! - Matthew Friedberger
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