Friday, November 30, 2007

Monkey in the Middle

I have been thinking about academia and science lately and have realized that research projects cannot be too detached from meaning, or they will not be funded or cared about, but on the other hand they cannot be too functional, too close to turning into a cure or a solution, or they will be seen as crass.

Academic research in science paralyzes you somewhere neatly between irrelevance and practicality—one cannot dare get too close to either one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Cleverest

Sometimes I feel like I am from another planet when it comes to successful social interaction. I just arrived on earth about 5 years ago and am feeling around in the dark, just trying to make sense of the complex, changeable abyss that is socializing with humans.

The other day it occurred to me that when you are talking to someone who presents a new idea for something, it is always the best practice to open up the possibilities further {thats great and you could also add a plastic tray that catches the runoff...} than to shut them down by saying {thats not going to work because...}.

This may seem simple, but I think that when people hear a silly sounding new idea they have a tendency to want to quash it, rather than run with it. Maybe its some kind of evolutionary competition-survivial of the cleverest-but its just really unbecoming.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Poem With No Words

I was on the bus the other day,
riding up 5th Avenue.
It was day but it was dark.

I saw yellow leaves falling from the trees
at a curious rate.
The wind was blowing
and they were wet.

They fell slowly to the ground
and since the bus goes so slow
it seemed like the world
was slowing down.

The falling leaves were beautiful
they looked like poetry
but I knew I wouldnt have the

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lost in Space

We went to visit what had been an artists old studio. Nothing had been touched since his death in 1945. It was filled with paints that dried in mid-movement, neatly stacked and well considered cigar boxes and amazing all encompasing space-very high ceilings and wide undivided rooms-it is no wonder that cathedrals were built so high so as to be closer to the gods, there is certainly something divine about large spaces- and there was much, much light that lit the textures of quietness as it fell through the one large and perfect window from the wooded, bucolic outdoors.

Among other many things we discussed as we left I said to Joe that “empty space is not necessarily wasted space” and I wished that we had the luxury of living that way. Maybe some day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Quote of the Day

I found this quote and LOVED it deeply:

{Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once, beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something that needs our love.} -Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

These Boots are Made for Talking

I wasnt feeling up to much last week, so naturally I thought that I needed a new pair of boots.

I went to the store and they had a shoe that actually fit me, never you mind that it had a 3+ inch heel and was cinnamon colored leather that goes with nothing I have. So I bought them, in haste, in illogical desperation and in hope that they would be what I needed to turn this life around into a perfect and neat story of success, stylishness, happiness and brilliance.

I put them on at home and showed Joe and he told me what I already knew but had pushed deep into my psyche. They were just too big on the calf and Joe said that I looked like Santa. I stood there looking foolish and feeling defeated. I cant buy ANYthing nice, there is always some kind of glitch or run or I get it home and they forgot to take the alarm tag off. I wanted to stomp around like a 3 year old but the neighbors would probably call the police, these puppies were large and powerful and stomping around would sound more like a Clydesdale.

I removed them and put them back in their large black box.

I returned the boots to the store later in the week and felt a weight lifted off of me. I wore my old boots yesterday and realized that they just need to be polished actually and then they will be just as perfect for me as they day I bought them. These boots I was happy and certain about, it was instant love, it was a love that lasted. Still, years later, they are pretty perfect style-wise for me, the heel is low and they make me worlds feel fancier than when I wear sneakers. So now I just have to find the polish, I know I have it here somewhere.

Monday, November 12, 2007

No Country for Old Men

I saw a movie called No Country for Old Men last night, it was a Coen Brothers film so I was sort of expecting to be swept off of my feet like I was with The Big Lebowski. I wasnt.

The movie was very well shot and all of the characters were very “textured” as Joe aptly referred to them as. But it was relentlessly grim and ended with no closure. I can appreciate it as a film that was very well executed, but I dont enjoy violence and blood, its something I try to avoid in life and in art too.

As I was watching it I was thinking this: Life is just people hanging around living while other people die and dying while others are still going on living. How immensely bleak is that?

Now I want to rent A Spongebob film, or something very very light. Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Averse to Adversity

I will spare you the excuses about not blogging. I have just been busy, you understand.

I was speaking to my brother yesterday about my percieved graduate school troubles and he reminded me that everyone faces adversity of some kind and that you just cant let it stop you from what you want to do. Clearly put.

So I found some of these quotes to keep us all trucking along, whatever kind of a day you are having, who wouldnt benefit from a few of these gems:

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”-Proverb

“There is no education like adversity”-Benjamin Disraeli

“If you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually renewing itself, you can't help but learn."-Bernie Siegel

“Adversity precedes growth.”-Rosemarie Rossetti

“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.”-Horace

and this one, about fear, which I have posted before:

"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life-and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do."
-Georgia O'Keeffe

Friday, November 2, 2007

An Anthropologist’s Tendencies

So the week is over. The lack of posting is due to the fact that I have been running around, taking in bits of information, reading, complaining, walking, talking, not talking and drinking coffee all over town. Its wonderfully awful but not awfully wonderful.

I will end the week on this note. Because Anthropology is a social science, statements about groups come out of it, for example-this population descended from this group of people at this time, people with this gene are more prone to this disease, primates in this region tend to eat this fruit. This is different than medicine for instance, where statements about individuals are paramount.

I realized that I have problems with groups, but not individuals. When I think about group generalizations of any kind I can usually deconstruct it to the point where I say “well it depends on the individual”.

Also, as a coincidence- but maybe not, I have total social anxiety with groups but not with individuals. I was thinking I need to conduct a study where I am talking to one person and someone else joins the group and then another person and then another and how many people present does it take to shut me up because of my anxiety? I would say about 4, but it depends on the particular people, sometimes one person who I am especially intimidated by can shut me up and shut me down if we are the only two people in the hallway.

As I progress in this science game I realize that most things are grey and just someone's opinion and there are no facts only tendencies. Its kind of upsetting, I feel like I jumped up to grab the trapeeze bar and I didnt catch it because it does not exist and in its place is a cloud of cotton candy that makes me cough and does not hold me up and I am falling to the ground as a result of it.