ZINE FEVER

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 12.12.06 AM

Inspiration never comes steady, it just hits and slows and comes in waves. Projects like Daily Art are sometimes excruciating because I’m so all-or-nothing, and it’s everything until it isn’t. When I do feel the familiar art fever, I let myself become swept by it, because it’s when I’m most happily prolific.

That being said, it’s midnight and I’ve got wild zine fever.

I–I made my first zine last night! Well, my first art zine, at least. It’s nothing wild, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do! I’ve made little photo books before, but not quite a zine. I was massively inspired after the past weekend’s event, so here I am! (This’ll be relevant once I’ve posted about the art fest I went to.)

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 12.12.33 AM

This first zine was a semi-angsty October-related pseudo-therapy fest. It was tossed together in less than an hour, an inky collage salad. I jotted down phrases that made sense, phrases that I felt, doodles that harkened back to early days. Octubre. Fall. I’m thinking of pulling writing snippets from the blog and translating them into zines, recycling emotion and text and visuals all in one.

So now I’m brainstorming possible zine ideas. Identity? Emotion? Fake unprocessed therapy? Nuggets of realization? Love? Beards? Single stretched poems? Photography?

Any ideas? Do comment! Anything small, anything great, anything will do!

Advertisements

Reflections

edd4af17-1c60-4f4c-a838-77766f6d890d

Now you can say you’ve had Vietnamese butter barbecue.

Seafood sizzles on the family-style butter doused griddle. Hot pockets of grease bubble onto my wrist as I turn the onions. My best friend gingerly puts the salmon on its side, browning slowly, as I stab a squid into the griddle. Ssssss.

We sit in silence. I contemplate the comfort of home, a home, of my best friend’s home, where I feel free to be myself and accepted for who I am. Her parents’ eyes still bug out each time they peer over and I’m there, in the backseat, unannounced for the 10th time, spacing out. They gasp.

Over the cash register we order our three cups of gelati, Italian ice combined with vanilla ice cream. The sun sets behind us as we stand by the parlor, eating quietly, plastic spoons scraping against blue paper cups. How do you reconcile a disliking of people with the desire to help them? By cognitively differentiating between patient and stranger. So are you still having a spat? Yes, but it’s not personal.

disposable film 35mm photography

This might be the last best friend sleepover in a while. The fact that I’m done is slowly sinking in–emphasis on slowly. It’s coming in bits and pieces, waves and wrinkles, unraveling, unraveling.

Months ago, the ‘future’ seemed muggy and incoherent. I could barely see past the next five, ten, fifteen years. Now, the ‘future’ has solidified into something uncomfortably rigid, and if I really wanted to, really wanted to, maybe I could look past the next thirty or forty years. Life will life, but the least I can do is plan.

May 2018

Medley | Photo Diary

IMG_1048

Right now I’m perusing the Internet for places to develop color film. Last year, I ordered four rolls of film; that, along with my two disposable cameras, meant I had six rolls to shoot through. I have barely gotten through one. Film is expensive; I am cheap. In comparison to digital, film is pricey–each shot must be worth it. It’s time-consuming, too, sending the rolls to the lab and waiting weeks for it to arrive, if ever. (I lost a roll last year, alas) But while I peer over digital images, I value my film ones. I hang them on the wall. I milk them, post by post. I have loved film for years, and yet I have been so stingy with it.

Photography and I have had a rocky relationship the past few years. Long story short, I’ve always loved photography, dreamt of being a paid photographer, became a paid photographer, stopped liking photography. It felt corny. People would always bring up photography in conversations, ask about photography–photography, photography, photography. It felt cheap. But now I miss it. Well, not the paid part. I miss wanting to take photos, and feeling compelled to do so. I wish I’d taken more photos when I was in DC, New York, Philly, but I was on that strange photo-taker’s block. Now I’m in a still city and aching to take more pictures. Maybe I’ll just start with film–I’ll carry my film cameras around.

——

IMG_1028

I’m really happy to be working towards this particular career path in Psychology. It’s do-able. It feels right. As much as I love creative pursuits, I’m not willing to eke out a paltry living for the rest of my life. And while I enjoyed aspects of Communication–interviewing, writing and transcribing in Journalism were rather useful skills–I was continually led towards a primary, unwavering interest: Psychology.

Now, in the interim, I’m teaching, working with a Professor who studies literacy and development, and getting to better understand this field within Psych (For any or all Psych nerds, it’s IO). I’m eyeing the Master’s; I never thought I’d pursue graduate school. But the more I learn about IO, the more crucial it seems to know. Ah! It is useful; it is fascinating; it is lucrative; it is meaningful.

——

IMG_7820A hodgepodge of more unrelated thoughts:

  • Bojack Horseman’s rolled out a Season 5–tissues are at the ready.
  • Identity V remains alluring, as usual.
  • I’d like something to celebrate, just so I can drink more Bailey’s with the boyfriend.
  • My student gave me pumpkin tea the other day, and ever since, I’ve been hooked.
  • Boyfriend and I stumbled upon an artsy street the other day, which housed indie shops and rooftop restaurants and a Trader Joe’s.

——

IMG_8022.JPG

One of the things that initially drew me to blogging 10 years ago was old-school style blogging, like web-logging, like jotting down journal chunks of your day-today. The online web-log, shortened to a blog. But I turned from Tumblr to WordPress, which I set up like a small artsy hub of creative expression. From time to time, though, I simply want to revert back to the old-school blog style, where my entries cover the mundane, the intangible, the thought-y, the daily. I’ll try it. Again. And again. It’s been a long time since I have written.

中文

IMG_7908.JPG

I’m relearning how to read and write Chinese–this time not as a stubborn child, but as a vaguely determined adult.

I’ve been Americanized beyond repair, I noted half-jokingly to my boyfriend. I have. I think English; I can only read English; I speak English. My primary language, a primary avenue of thought and communication, has been hijacked by my second language: English.

By the time I became cognizant of this (and dismayed), I’d reached the point past psychologists’ hotly debated critical period. Based on this theory, people have a limited gap during their childhood in which they can easily learn their first language. Beyond the window, however, learning languages became incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

I hadn’t learned enough about developmental psychology at the time to realize that the ability to learn language is more nuanced than that. Recent studies suggest that the window to learning language extends through adulthood.

This isn’t the main motivator for relearning Chinese, but it’s a mental block I’ve removed. It’s not that I can’t learn the language–it’s that I haven’t been trying. As time wears on, though, I can feel the demarcation between cultures becoming darker, more delineated, skewed towards Americanism. Americanism and its flat accents and clunky words; Americanism and its hot dogs and violent pride. Americanism and its wealth, its comfort, its clean-paved roads.

You can take an alligator out of a swamp, and put it in the desert, but it’ll always have come from the swamp. Said alligator can acclimate. Said alligator can learn. But said alligator will always be slightly out of place. This is a way for said alligator to murkily recall the murky swamp.

My goal is to be able to read a Chinese newspaper–eventually, to read Chinese poetry. It’s a lofty goal; I can barely recognize a handful of characters, let alone understand a headline. But I’ll learn the most common 1000 words, and chug towards my goal. The next time I go to China, I hope the signs will morph, from unrecognizable images to decipherable words, and guide me.

Series of Fun Dates | Photo Diary

Everything’s been a blur of work, dates, work and rest lately.

I perused through some photos to see, exactly, what I’ve been up to the past few weeks. They’ve been dotted with a series of fun dates with the boyfriend–visits to the art museum, walks around hipster district, strolls around the lake, movies and dinner, etc.

IMG_7070-2

IMG_7083-2

IMG_7084-2

Our first trip into the city. We stopped by for grilled cheese sandwiches and bruschetta, then strolled around the shops and homes. I got my art fix at the hipster-y district, which housed some small galleries.

IMG_7075-2

Later in the afternoon, we ventured to a larger art museum nearby, where I saw works by the Guerilla Girls– in the flesh! I’d spent a few classes in university learning about them, so it was incredibly cool to visit a gallery featuring their work.

IMG_7167-2

I’ve always loved furniture stores–vast, spacious, and littered with soft beds and pillows and imaginative decor. I tagged along on boyfriend’s furniture shopping for a desk to one of the largest furniture shops in the area, where we hung out for hours.

IMG_7252-2

The other day, we visited one of his favorite restaurants, only to catch the annual accordion-tuba concert, which ended up being a mix of light comedy and yodeling. Yodeling! I’d never heard anyone yodel before.

The food, also, was terrific. We ordered wiener schnitzels, with fried potatoes and a light chocolate cake.

IMG_7172-2

Silhouettes by the lake. We took a rowdy walk around the lake after stuffing ourselves full with food, and ended up racing back to the apartment.

Rosy

IMG_6831.JPG

Pink Matter by Frank Ocean is stuck in my head.

It’s midnight. Even though I tire around 11, putt-putt on home around then, I still wage a tiny war against sleep, oft dragging it out past midnight.

I wrote in a notebook today for the first time in a long time. A brief, messy, scrawled journal entry. I am happy. I haven’t properly written in months. My old journal is somewhere, but I haven’t written in it. When I recall it, it holds a different type of energy. Tired, overwhelmed. Nearing the end. I wish I’d taken more photos with my friends, but I remember how exhausted I’d been at the time; there were just so many events…

This’ll probably all sound choppy. It’s late. Not writing makes me write choppy. The less I write, the harder it is to write.

Time flies. For a few weeks I lamented the number of hours in a day, not because there weren’t enough, but because there were too many. Now, it’s the other way around. I’m so happy, I wish for more hours in a day. I wish to stretch this happiness out, taut like putty. To max out on a happiness so simple that I marvel at its simplicity.

I feel as though I’m still getting where I’m going, so it’s not a sense of destination arrived when I write that life feels kind of perfect right now. I mean, it sounds facetious, or superficial, because there’s always something bothersome, right? But I’m at a place where everything feels as though it fell perfectly into place. There’s the happiness of being by the people I care about; there’s the happiness of doing something I enjoy and being well-compensated for it; there’s the happiness of pursuing something I’ve always loved.

Everything’s just woven together so seamlessly I can’t tell if…it’s just a rosy-hued haze? It’s just a satisfying combination of purpose, love, rest, and work.

It feels good to write. Sometimes I smile at people and my face will feel frozen. Or words will get caught in my throat. Or they won’t be there at all. In a lot of ways, writing’s just easier. Right now, it is more difficult than usual, but that’s only because I haven’t done it in a while.

Purplish Abyss

img_5644

What I am trying not to face: a lurking purplish abyss.

It sits in my chest. It rises at the prospect of change. Of goodbye’s, packed bags, new cities, separation, winters, fluorescent lights. Of time passing by too slowly. I see myself trudging through snow, finding pockets of peace, but also succumbing to the abyss. I don’t want to, clearly, and most of the time, I don’t, but it’s growing louder.

This, now I know, is the cost of attachment, of love, of care, of connection, of all the soft squishy-icky-gooey things of cotton-candy existence. Indifference renders you apathetic. But things akin to the four-lettered-word, they’ll leave you with every variation of human emotion.

(That, I guess, is the price we pay.)