Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blondes and Brunettes and Redheads, Oh My!

I watched Easy A this weekend (great movie, by the way) starring Emma Stone, the adorable redhead of Superbad and Zombieland. It all started when it occurred to me that she was a really cute redhead, but then I had to observe that her hair is far too red to be "natural," so I did some research and found that Emma Stone is naturally a blonde! I have always been interested in the idea of changing my color (bored with blonde sometimes; I've been feeling that way off and on for most of my life!) and this made me think about the possibility that I might  actually look fine with a color besides blonde. Also, colors always can go back!

So I started comparing celebrities who do different colors. I tried to find the cutest pictures of them, at least trying to be attractive in the specific images.

First, I am considering the cute Zooey Deschanel, seen as a blonde in Elf and a brunette nearly everywhere else. To me, it's obvious which one is cuter. She is definitely meant to be a brunette! The blonde hair washes out her face and the brown hair makes her big giant signature blue eyes POP:

Next I can't help but observe the Disney princess Hilary Duff. She is one who is known as a blonde, but has been a brunette on occasion. When I compare pictures of her in the two states, I believe that she is a very attractive blonde, but admit that she looks best as a brunette. Of course, in this image, she has less make-up on in the blonde picture, which changes the comparison:
Some other actresses commonly known with one hair color and sometimes appearing with different hair colors...
I believe that Ashlee Simpson is attractive no matter what. She looks great as a blonde and as a redhead.

Anna Torv, as Olivia Dunhan,appears as both a blonde and a redhead on Fringe, but the impression left by her hair is distinctly related to her hair style and her personality type. The Olivia of our world is serious and her hairstyle is very spinsterish while the Olivia of the other universe, the redhead, is a more fun, quick to laugh, person and her bangs soften her face. Olivia needs bangs, and honestly, Anna Torv looks better as a redhead, to me.

Little known fact: Katy Perry is a natural redhead. This is the only picture I could find of her in her natural state and of course her dark haired style is her celebrity look so she is more fixed up in this picture. She looks like a completely different person in these two photos, but she seems attractive in both. She certainly wears more make-up now! 

Hayden Panettiere looks attractive as both a blonde and a brunette/redhead, but she looks more natural as a blonde than anything darker. I like her both ways though I have seen pictures of her without the make-up and she looks much better plain as a blonde than as a brunette. 

Lastly, our famous Emma Stone! Here she is, both hair colors. What do YOU think? 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weird Observations about my Musical Taste

This is not an exhaustive list, neither have I chosen to qualitatively analyze it at this time. This is merely an observation.

Bands I feel like I should like more than I do:

  • Sufjan Stevens
  • Ryan Adams
  • Freelance Whales
  • Crystal Castles
  • Fleet Foxes
  • Mumford and Sons
  • Wolf Parade
Bands I love unreservedly in spite of known flaws:
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • A Fine Frenzy
  • Bon Iver
  • Glen Hansard
  • Sara Bareilles
  • She & Him
  • Thirteen Senses
  • Tilly and the Wall
This issue will be revisited in future. Consider this a post-it on the subject. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Adore You. I Want to Follow You.

Go Epic or...

I have this strange, unaccountable fear of failure.

Wow, that's a friend-making way to start a conversation.

But really, cutting right to the heart of the matter, that's my fear. I think that is everything in my life in a succinct little nutshell.

While I can't say that failure characterizes my life in any particular way, the fear of it, the dread of it, especially of it being known, terrifies me. It's a strange thing because (commence therapy session) honestly, I don't think badly of others who fail, it's just that I hold myself to this ridiculous standard. "You're your own worst critic," I've heard a million times, and that's true, but that's not it. That's not the problem. The critic of what? What I have been too afraid to actually do? No, I don't criticize myself enough. If I kicked my own butt and called myself a fool more often, maybe I'd actually accomplish something. That's the only way that last one got written, believe me.

So, what of the colloquial "Go epic or go home"? I sit there shivering in the cold thinking, "What if I'm not epic? What if they send me home?" and I change the whole thing to "Go epic or don't go," and I don't go.

So what if I fill my head with the colloquialisms and let them rule me. They are said often because they are proven right, after all.

"The only real failure in life is the failure to try."

"The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure."

"There are no failures, just experiences and your reactions to them."

"There are no secrets to success; it is preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

"Life's real failure is when you don't realize how close you were to success when you gave up."

"I didn't fail the test I just found 100 ways to do it wrong."

"Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street."

...You get the idea.

I think that those of us who are afraid of failure have to get over ourselves. No one cares that much about our failures, and success means too much to let it get away. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One Week

This is the movie that's inspiring it all.

Check it out!

Monday, April 18, 2011

100 Days

At the moment, I am obsessed with the idea of the last summer of my "youth." This year I finished the single greatest accomplishment of my life to date (ahem! I told you I would mention it every chance I get!) and now I am sitting in the pleasant, shady little spot that is still fresh enough to be comfortable: educated and not yet employed. It's too soon to be worried, after all I have had a number of interviews already, they just can't hire me yet because I am still teaching until the end of next month. I am not worried about anything right now except perhaps the thought of getting a job sooner than I want to. Right now, I am anticipating a summer of fun, abandonment, daydreams, books, writing (yes, that again), adventures, road trips, and anything else new, unusual, and in any way exciting that I can squeeze into my schedule. I am hoping to make the whole adventure an adventure in and of itself. It should be a period of discovery, hope, newness, and starting all over again as something different. Or maybe just starting over as myself again, because it's been a long time since I've been that, and I miss it. I miss me, the reader, writer, adventure-loving dreamer. And now I am free to be what I want to be again!

I have this fascination with road trips, though not usually in the form of road trips themselves, but rather in the form of road trip movies. This weekend I watched One Week for the first time. I thought it was an amazing and incredible movie... I sympathize with the main character entirely; I mean, it's hard to imagine what one would do at only 29, hearing they have cancer and will likely live for only a short time. I can understand his desire to have an adventure. It makes me want to have my long-awaited adventure now, before I have to make it fit into the little piece of my life that's left. I love stories like this though; it's important to think about life like this. Haven't we always been told, profoundly, to live like we're dying? If I found out my time was through, there are a lot of things that I'd want to do, and being with everyone I love for every remaining moment of my life would not be the plan. There would be time for that, but that wouldn't be everything. What about the adventures we dream of, the parts of our lives that we have always wanted and yet we never pursue. We only have a single life to live, just one opportunity to realize and fulfill those dreams. We should take the opportunities that we are offered and use them. We cannot let our dreams go to waste! Once our lives are over, no one is going to live our dreams for us; if they haven't been fulfilled, they will simply die when we die. 

I have a goal to pass the next 100 days (well starting in about 30 days, when my semester ends officially) having daily adventures of searching and discovery--I hope. I will document those days, and I will have them. I have a trip to Tennessee planned, and a trip to Montana planned, and a trip to somewhere all by myself in the planning. I am dreaming of that adventure now. The time will come...soon!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


My real friends say I'm waiting for what started long ago
And life is what you make of it.
So come on now let's go
Cause still I'm bored lately
Do you feel the same?
Being young it drives me crazy...
And this world's insane.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Road Trips, and Other Adventures

I have finished my Master's degree.

I keep reminding myself of this lately because, for some reason, the reality of it hasn't quite kicked in yet. I know that I am finished, and this opens up a few doors to me in terms of possible future adventures. I realize that I haven't done nearly as much as I wish I've done. Some people have made fun of me because completing a Master's degree is doing something, something big, but then again, the people who say it haven't done it. My Master's program has been a matter of locking myself into the deepest privacy I can get myself into and writing alone. All of it has been writing alone. Yeah, what an adventure. I have to admit, of course, that the completion of my thesis project and my Master's degree has been a personal achievement. It was worth everything it cost me, but now it's time to live a little.

Tonight I watched my favorite movie Elizabethtown for perhaps the hundredth time, and I was
reminded again of all the things that used to inspire me when I was younger. I remember the phone conversation between Claire (my heroine) and Drew... "Everyone has to take a solitary road trip at some point in their life--just you and some
music." I have wanted to follow this advice for the past six years, and I have decided that this year might be the one where I have to follow through. I want to get my music and my car and myself and hit the road.

There are a million things I want to do, and life is too short to save them.

Traveling at the Speed of Life

It seems incredible to me that life goes as quickly as it does. When lost in the swirling abyss of a stress, it is difficult to imagine ever being out of it. And once out of it, it seems a little over-dramatic to call a merely stressful event an "abyss" of anything. But really, it has all been a whirlwind. It has been as dramatic as it sounds. Life has gone so fast, and the thought that it has all slowed down suddenly is both overwhelming and confusing.

Right now, I just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy whatever comes. I know it's going to come quickly, but I'm prepared!

And this image was taken by me on my 35mm Canon Rebel! It represents my feelings on the above subject :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The End of an Age

Last night, for the first time in a long time, I felt really sad about the idea of not being a teacher anymore. I love working one-on-one with my students, conferencing with them about their particular struggles as writers, and learning about each one of them on an individual level. I have students who have specifically chosen to take my class semester after semester just because they enjoy my teaching style and my conferences. I was working with one particular student that has been with me for a year and it made me sad to think that he was about to finish the course and then probably not be working with me anymore. Then I thought, "Well, maybe if I start teaching higher level...." but then my mind finished that thought for me. "Not if I'm not going to be teaching anymore!" It's not even about teaching itself that I become sad, but about Prairie State. I have always wanted to return to that school after graduation, I have wanted that full time position for so long, but it didn't work out and it makes me sad. I can't afford to stay there without decent pay (and adjunct teaching is simply not enough money to live on), but I can't imagine leaving. I don't want to leave; I love my students and want to continue teaching my night classes with my fun, energetic night time students. I love working with adult returning students too. I don't know, the decision to stop teaching seems like a logical position to take, and yet it makes me sad. What to do...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bad Habits

Writing has become kind of this habit with me. But when do people talk about their "habits" and mean the nice things that they do? The understanding of what a habit is always has a distinctly negative connotation to it. People with bad habits skulk in dark corners of rat-infested alleys to keep people from seeing what they are doing; the goals of people with "bad habits" are to keep their habits secret so that no one tries to take the habit away. This is how I see my writing.

I have a terrible dread of having my writing read by others. I used to think that I could express myself only through writing, but now I realize that while I express myself that way, clearly, I want others to see into me through writing as little as I want them to see into me through my spoken words. I am not particularly interested in using my writing as a means of sharing myself. I want my writing to speak of things beyond me, to showcase lives unrelated to mine, and to share truths that are not of myself.

I hide in corners to scribble furtively on blank pages, and then I stuff the pages into my pocket to destroy them later. No one sees what I write, because I have an unnatural fear that people will read my thoughts and think they know me by them. Or worse, that they will read my thoughts and realize that they never knew me, because then that will be my fault, and that would be even worse.