Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Still No Description But...

I am at home, and it is getting decidedly harder to tell where I have matured... I guess it could be in that I actually recognize when I am being stupid and childish. But that still doesn't stop me from not answering my phone, waiting ten minutes, and then calling back just because I got a lecture on how I should answer my phone because they pay for it.

I still love them, and appreciate them. But the fact that they are human is all too clear this close. I want to go back to Austin again... somewhat. Half of me does. The rest of me wants to stay here. I both love the attention and hate the aggrivation- which comes packaged together. I like talking to my mother, but finding out that she doesn't remember what I have said, and finally getting her to admit she wasnt listening... it makes me so mad. And then I lecture her, and she goes "Now wait a minute... just who is the parent and who is the child? Have some respect for your mother..." and then we go another round. I must be a masochist to love these people.

I called up just about everyone from the old days- Sarah, Carrie, Jessica. Not Joseph. I have a number for him, but I think it is actually his mother's cell, and on top of that I am afraid. I don't know how he would react to me... we claim to have made up, but whether or not that is true... after not having seen him for so long or heard from him... its scary. But I do not hate him. I still care for him very much, even though he dissappointed me more than anyone. I would very much like to pick up where we left off, and continue having fun... I think we could do it. What happened will always be there, but we can still be good friends. Baz Luhrman...something like "friends come and go, but for the precious few you should work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older we get, the more we need the people we knew when we were young" Joseph one of those 'precious few' ? I think I will try the wussy way first and talk to Sarah to see if she knows what is going on with him. If not, I may have to bite the bullet and go over there alone to find out if we just gave each other lip service last time we met.

I was thinking about him today as I picked the blackberries in the back yard. I honestly think that they are the best birthday present I have ever received from anyone besides my parents. (The computer and the car do top blackberry bushes) Every year, I get beautiful bushes that grow larger and larger, white flowers, and then plump fruit. I get the experience of a true harvest, and all the blackberries (one of my favorites) I could ever eat. I get to make cobblers that would otherwise cost upwards of $15 each for the price of flour and sugar. It is hard labor picking the berries, but very satisfying. It is simple work that allows the mind to relax. Its a simple puzzel of how to get the berries without getting pricked by the thorns. The physical labor, the bright sun on my back, the sweat on my face and arms and the light cool breeze... I actually was concious of all of this today during my two hour harvest. I pulled nearly three gallons of berries which are now soaking in the sink. I also checked the grapes, figs, herbs and tomatos. I definately want a garden when I am able to have a yard. So much work, but it is simple and there is something very... calming or pure or just... well relaxing about it. Joseph was definately a true friend, if only during highschool, he was there for me when I needed him. I will always be greatful for the time we had.

In other news.. Brian James Buzbee... my little cousin whom I once handcuffed to the toilet and put makeup on, is graduating from highschool this Friday. I saw his senior photo, and I am suprised by how much he looks like his father. This... is not a good thing for him. But he is still handsome. I know it is just highschool, but I can't help but feel proud of him. It is so weird... it wasn't this big of deal for me when I graduated.. so why is it this way for Brian? Who knows... I just hope he has grown out of eminem music and learned some financial responsibility. Unlikely, but still... I think the next few years for him will be as enlightening for him as it has been for me. Still... he is getting $500 for graduation. Uncle Jimmy can't make it back in time from Florida, so he mailed the money home and Mom is going to give it to him with his card. I hope Brian realizes now how lucky he has been- getting a new truck, motorcycles, dirt bikes, four wheelers, golf clubs.. all from Uncle Jimmy. I really hope he knows how much he is loved. If I ever catch wind of him not getting it, I might have to tackle the brute and chain him to the toilet again.

Okay, well that is it for now, except to say that I am having anime withdrawls. I cannot get bit torrent to work properly on this computer and therefore I am not able to get my usual shows. I will have a lot to catch up on when I get back to Austin, but I do not think this is bad for me. I can still get manga through mIRC... and I guess if I really wanted, I could get my anime that way as well. But its just a bit more of a pain in the ass. I should be able to go a whole week without anime.

Monday, May 23, 2005

One More Note

I have already entered for tonight, but I am bothered so I will say it now.

The past few times I have posted, I have been disturbed by my profile description. The incident is true, and I do not think it is a lie that it was an accurate description of my life when I first put it up there. But now, it seems somewhat sad and pathetic. Not somewhat. It is sad. I have come to the conclusion that life is not something which can be bumbled through, and still be well lived.

I need something more appropriate... something to describe where I am right now. But I am not sure what. Liminal zones... are they real? Can you ever truely be in a concrete form or arent you always shifting, changing, molding yourself into something better? I think I have given up on the idea of a gateway to adulthood. What I am going to replace it with, I am not sure.

Can someone else let me know if you think this way too? Why is this so difficult? Forming my own philosophies on life... I think that is the best way to describe this.. maybe working theories instead of philosophies? In any case, are other people as haunted as I am by the nature of objects, events, people and the relationships between them? Do other's abstract notes from their everyday life and attempt to weave them into a comprehensible pattern?

Bah.. it is too late right now and I am not up to the challenge of defining my current state. But I will come back and edit this post. When I am ready to lay the old self definition aside for good, I will post it here for reference. Then I will have a new self description on my profile. Something that describes myself as I am now, and reflects the changes I have gone through.

For sure, I am no longer bumbling through life, showing a surprised and indifferent face wherever I may show up. I will no longer allow myself to be so directionless.


That is what this post is. But it is something I wanted to do before I crept away to bed.

My most recent influence is a manga I have become determined to purchase- Vagabond. It is about Musashi Miyamoto.. roughly. It was based on a book about him, which was based on his writings and historical documents. The art is, in the truest sense of the word, inspiring. As I read I want to stop and pull out my own paper and watercolors and pens and attempt the same thing. Why I do not... I might be afraid that I could not match up to this artist. Even when the directions for beauty are right before me...

haha.. wow that sounded weird. It also brings up the question (to me at least) that was raised in modern arc history- can something that is a copy have beauty in its own right? Something is lost in the translation when Le Corb's buildings are copied. Won't the same thing happen to a master's drawing? And yes, this man Takehiko Inoue is worth compairing to Corb. At least as far as manga is concerned. The efforts shine through on every page.

I often wonder if I take words too seriously- whether read or spoken to me, they seem concrete when coming from other people. My own words are vapor before them. In any case, I have taken this manga to heart. The characters, the art, the life of this man who is being drawn out. I want to research him for myself. To know how much of what I see has been confirmed. There must be a reason why he is idolized so much, the worlds most renouned samurai.

Reading about this person taking off is an adventure in itself. I see the lessons he learns and I remember the maxims I have been told. Simple things that sound true- someone is always better, pride goes before a fall, drop the rocks. But while the maxims breeze through the air and into oblivion carying on as if they were sweet nothings, the struggles he goes through to learn them physically hit hard. And yet, I know that they will most likely have all the same lasting effect as those sweet nothings. So if this is a true story, and he learned these lessons and kept by them ever after.... what is the difference? The first is being told. The second is being shown. And his.... would be experience.

I cannot judge whether I am ahead or behind here for my age, and all the while I tell myself it doesnt matter because no one else is on my same road. The importance and love of family is the only great lesson I have experienced. This lesson weighs on me daily, and there is rarely a day that goes by when I do not stop to think about how lucky and greatful I am that my parents have done so much for me. I am serious. It hit me yesterday as I was thinking over them, that I had made it a daily ritual to think about how wonderful they truely are. They have given me so much, and have asked for very little in return. And I am mellower towards them. I feel the change in myself. I have more patience, I have more respect. I can hold my tongue and consider what they say. I can admit that I value their oppinion. Of course, I am still too childish to tell them how much I truely love them. I am tearing up right now thinking about it.

Heh... I guess this is another lesson that comes packaged with it. The definition of love. Or at least the ability to distinguish it from amiable indifference. I was an idiot for thinking friends were the same as parents. I am consistently hurt and disappointed by friends whom I have taken great care to be kind to. But while I have hurt and I am sure, disappointed my parents, they have never let me down. Their love scares me, because I have never seen the bottom. It traps me, because I love them just as much, and want to make them happy. I can't run away from their love, because it is so big. And I may have written it before, but I am not sure that I am capable of loving another being as much as they do me. How can I measure up to what they deserve in a daughter?

This is what has been engraved in my mind thus far in my life. Is this more than most? Am I missing more than most? Musashi had to step on a nail and climb a mountain, to see that his mountain, although formidable, was not the largest, to understand that there is always someone greater, and he is not seeing everything yet. Did the mangaka mean to communicate that the physical experience of this effort engraved in him the meaning of the lesson the same way one terrifying moment drove understanding into my heart?

In every movie, in every book, and in every legend, the wise man is old, and has lived a full life. Some say it is better to learn through others experience, but I am beginning to think that knowing something, and having learned it are different. You may know what others tell you. But you learn through your own experience. And it is only what you have learned that you take with you in your heart and in your actions. Knowing happens only in the mind... it doesn't change actions.

So for now, if I want to take this as my truth... I should test it by living? This summer was supposed to be about experience anyway. Experience work, experience travel, experience what the definition of home is, and daily routine. Maybe... maybe if I start to push myself to live a little more, I will become more satisfied with myself. It is something I have commonly experienced and maybe even complained about... I spend so much time worrying and avoiding work... but when I throw myself into that work, it is utterly enjoyable. The movement of muscles, the feelings of accomplishing something.

So why is it that I avoid work, and instead relish in being able to say I have done nothing all day except read 20 volumes of manga? Why does it please me to be able to say I did not sleep all night because I was playing a video game, and then slept all day? It does nothing to increase my joy. Instead, these activites are like being put in suspended animation... nothing happens in my own life except the passage of time. They are ways to escape reality... and yet my own guilty concience perhaps reads into them and pulls reality from them, haunting me and appeasing me. Maybe a trick for myself to make me believe I am progressing. But no matter how much I analize these things... I only know them, I have not learned them.

I think I might make those great efforts to make this summer about action, and see what comes out of it. At least I might finally learn what the definition of 'hard work' is.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Its Over

The semester is over and I am in a new position. I have nothing to do. Currently, I have no job, and I have no classes. I am in an apartment alone, so I don't even have family responsibilities or chores if I do not want them. It is very odd, and elusively terrifying. I have two and a half months completely FREE.

What am I going to do with this time?

I found myself on the bus coming back from my last final, wishing I had taken at least one summer course... art for non majors 2. It would be fun. But I can work on my own without having it be an assignment. I suppose that will fill up some of my time. I have to finish Scott's commission, and then I have recently applied for a second commissioned work for an infants room- an armoir. Hopefully the lady says yes, and I will have myself another $200 - $300 dollars for a week's worth of 'work.' Don't get me wrong... it is labor intensive and I will definately be putting in more than 30 hours on it, but to actually call something you love to do work is.. well a bit deceiving. Its being payed to play constructively. I still have my doubts on my ability though... its silly really. I know that I can paint it nicely, but I have this complex, delusion or whatever you want to call it that tells me I am not professional. Someone somewhere has not rubber stamped me, given me a license and said 'go fourth young woman, and paint really expensive pictures for strangers.' I will continue to tell myself to shut up though, and just get on with it.

For the rest of my time... hrm.. well I keep talking about Japan, so I guess I need some funds. That means finding a more stable job than independent muralist/interior designer. Hopefully I can find some office work, $8+, 30 hours per week or more. If I do that, I will have no problems paying all my expenses for this summer, and will be able to save up maybe enough to buy a plane ticket- the major expense btw.

Alisa has taken to the idea of coming with me to Japan for 10 days, her mother has given a preliminary okay. She can undoubtedly afford this, and so Japan is looking like a very real possibility. If not the architecture school, at least I may make one of my goals come true. This is essential for me to continue as a person.

The question is where to come up with the remaining $2000. I figure I might average $900 a month, doing well in a job ($1,800). Plus $800 from Scott, plus $200 from baby armoir, plus $50 from Marcus for Smoke Element Dragon. I am needing to pay off my credit card, and then make up for expenses at the end of summer- which takes care of all the payments for commission. This may sound bad, but it is extremely good as I will not have to borrow from my parents again. I am thinking I might be able to take a loan out from the bank.. but I am not sure how good my credit is. It should be fine, even though I have made a few late payments every now and then. Selling one of the cars is not an option according to my parents.

*sigh* I will figure it out somehow. For now, the key is to find the best possible summer job so I can get the ticket, and finish out my commissions with style.

I am also going to go home a few times over the weekends, just to spend time with my parents and maybe with Sarah, if she is not too busy. Hopefully I can use this summer to figure out exactly what I am going to do for the next three or four semesters, so that I can graduate with my friends. Also, I need to clean myself up a bit more. Do more exercising- hopefully in the form of kayaking on the river. Now that I have my truck, its only $25 for a whole day, instead of $20 for an hour. But I need to be careful on my expenses, otherwise I wont be able to end this summer with Japan. This time, I need to keep my eyes steady on the goal.

Monday, May 09, 2005

An Hour Later

and the world still goes on. Granny Ann died today, around 11:30 pm. Beth was with her at the time, and she went in her sleep. It took me almost this entire hour to actually cry. I felt guilty at first, because she didn't know she was so sick at the hospital. I felt like we lied to her, and betrayed her somehow.
Right now, I am not thrilled about being alone. This entry is in Microsoft word first because my internet went out today. I want to call Jinny, even though we are not really on good speaking terms right now. I thought about it, asking her to go for a drink. But I don't want alcohol right now. It would be more like a big dessert binge… at half past midnight the only place open I think would be Motzarts. Its kinda a dull thud-lump in my throat, like a weight on my insides creating a burning where the stress is. Really tired all of a sudden too, but I don't want to sleep. I half expect to see her ghost one last time like so many of the supernatural experiences my family claims. I think if I do see her though, I might loose it. No sleep for a very long time.

The funeral will be this Thursday. My parents are leaving on Wednesday and will be back Friday morning. Technically, I could make the funeral. I would be fine, as long as there were no layovers or late planes. My first final is at 2pm. I could see Boston, and Granny's grave. I could talk to family members I have never seen before, and hear stories about Granny when she was young. The things she couldn’t remember when I talked to her about her childhood. I want to do that. But I do not think I could leave like this. My parents will most likely go in my place. Brenda and Gerry are paying for it all out of Granny's Estate.

It has been a bad day. Or it was a bad day.. technically, we are 45 minutes into May 10, 2005. A new day, which could be better. I have a review session tomorrow for architecture. I called Sarah today about that class… I do not think I can pass it, so I am wondering if I should even try to complete the third paper or do well on the final. I am running out of time to decide. In the meantime I should be doing my anthropology paper. I will work on that tomorrow, after the review.

As a side note, I really hate the reasoning "Granny wouldn't have wanted…" how does someone know? Granny never stated one way or another on her views about me skipping classes. This is what dad said to me in a rationalization of why I could not go to the funeral. I had already come to the conclusion myself that it was not a wise choice, but he said that and made me want to fight against it. Does it mean that I have grown more mature since I was able to bite back on what I was thinking, and let his words go?

Granny is gone…I feel rather emotionless, and this in turn, makes me want to cry and scream more. I think I could understand the Roman idea of professional wailers right now. Whats inside me right now, it just wont come out. I feel so wrong for not being able to break down and cry. When did I get like this? Granny is gone… maybe if I type it a few more times it will sink in and feel real.

Heh.. and the most guilty part about this situation is.. its not about me. But I am the one I am writing about right now. It hurts, I want other people. But at the same time, I can't cry, and for me to tell someone… would feel almost like an invitation to pity me, pamper me, give me attention. A loathsome request. Yukkuri, Yukkuri… I will wrap my head around my feelings and this situation, and then perhaps.. I might be able to say this happened. But how can I use my emotional state right now as an explaination without it being an excuse? Nothing happened to me. I am fine, here, and healthy… well, minus physical signs of mental stress. I am afraid of the bathroom again. The mirror. What I might see. I want to lay under the hot water and rest, but I am afraid to close my eyes or put my head under water.

What a predicament. heh.. I called her anyway. Some things transcend petty fights.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sensory Deprevation, Cats or Pets in General and the Future...

So I was hoping my next post would be a big table of all my pics from camping last semester, but its not looking that way. Instead we have for your entertainment ruminations from the mind of Isabel! Enjoy.

I have always liked caves and dark places. When I go on tours in caves, my favorite part is almost always when the tour guide does the inevitable- turns out their flashlight for a full minute to give you a taste of true darkness. Everything disappears except for your mind. Even your hands and arms feel slightly surreal. You can feel them move, but not see them. You can hear 20 - 30 other poeple breathing heavily in the cool damp air underground, and the echoes are so loud... just from breathing. The time is always too short. I want to explore the situation more. I have tried replicating that feeling at home, going into a closet and stuffing the cracks shut in the darkest part of the night after drawing all the curtains as tight as possible. Its not the same.

The closest thing that comes to that feeling of complete darkness is when I shut out the lights and shut the door in the shower with a lot of steam. The first few minutes before my eyes adjust, without my glasses I can see nothing. There is still light, yes, but my eyes are not good enough to distinguish the lines, so its like a very thick, very dark fog, with hot rain beating down on top of my head. The heat makes me dizzy and I feel disoriented just enough to recognize my own body as a slightly darker shade than the rest of the darkness.. with no specific shape. The bathroom surfaces send back the sounds of my breath and heartbeat, and as the water fills the tub individual sensations of water drop, cold ceramic and rough warm plastic meld into a liquid envelope. I am just there, alone, with the blurred sounds of water vibrating in my head.

This is the number one reason my baths are so long. Even though my eyes adjust eventually, I am too overcome by the heat to open them. In that foggy state I can think of many things. The most frequent and first thing that happens is I continue with my own side story of a manga, book or anime that I have been paying attention to. I am 21 years old, and I still play pretend in my head. But its nice. Often in the middle of the story I loose interest and just sit with myself. Its a very relaxing thing that I hope I never forget how to do. Not sleep, not sing, no work nor lists in my head. Just me sitting and not thinking. Paying attention to my body and trying to empty my head of anything but the direct experience at that moment. Every sound, smell, touch and taste. Every pulse and twinge and light tug at my hair and pressure on my skin. Its overwhelming at times, and then I sink back into just sitting and being. I think I must be weird for that, but... I am somehow okay with it if I am.

Finally if I have made it so far past myself and the time, I generally start to come back to my senses by thinking about abstract things that... may or may not be the usual stuff. I am usually past to do lists at this time- its more theoretical and ethical concerns. What is the nature of a friend? Is it an equal give and take relationship, or can it be fine if one person values the friendship more than the other? is that a sign of weakness for that person, to be more dependent? is it a sign of trouble when the care each takes with the relationship is unbalanced? Today was obviously started with the nature of my actions- the love of the dark and denial of myself.

But often is the case that once a thought is started I do not see it through to the end. I started wondering about my future, and then in my cooldown phase, about kyuubi, once she jumped up on me. Kyuubi first since the other is bound to turn out longer and with more loose ends.

I have not always been great to kyuubi, and I know this, and obviously am admiting it. I am too selfish- but as kimi wa petto has brought to the forefront- arent all owners selfish? The animal has no rights, and depends soley on the owner for sustenance, companionship, shelter, and health care. The pet cannot be selfish, because if they are, the owner will get rid of the pet. Thus the'unconditional love' they give the owner is actually a necessity for them. They might really hate your guts but have no choice... if they were human... or had human traits. They harbor grudges though, and they have their own private lives we know nothing about. No matter how dependent they are on us, they still are separate beings with their own will and personality. Its so strange. Completely useless, but necessary. Thats what kimi wa petto describes a pet as... necessary for companionship because humans betray, therefore we can never wholly trust them. I find this interesting in itself.. but I am not sure what to say about it except I cannot say it is a lie.

I want to be better to kyuubi... not be so selfish. We get along better now.. and its not because she has calmed down so much as we have been together for some time and I know her better. I have learned to call her and she may not always come, but she will answer and let me know where she is. Its an interesting low toned meow. She has learned that I love to have my shoulders and arms masaged before I go to bed and oblidges before curling up at my side. We still have not agreed on her propper position in the bed. I do not like her putting her butt in my face or on my pillow... :( we will work on it.

There is prolly more that I wanted to say, but I am getting sleepy so I am going to hurry up the rest of this. I am sure my future will concern me again at some point, and I will make another entry for it prolly twice as long as this one.

First off... architecture school is looking far away. Even more so since I am unsure of actually wanting to be there. Origonally, I wanted to get in for an interior design major. No one has caught this nuance at home yet... they all just hear architecture and think the most impressive building designer. I want to do more of decoration.. though I am not even sure interior design means decoration so much as it means psychologically laying out an interior for functional use and mood enhancers for consumers/patients/clients. So even if I get what I first wanted, its going to be a hard thing to explain. Although I know this shouldn't bother me.

Now I did become interested in the real Architecture major after taking the survey courses. I am facinated by some of the buildings and ideas behind them.. also I am very unsure that I could ever do a project in such detail and with so many meanings assigned beforehand. Okay so I could do the meanings.. but to make it revolutionary or at least on a par with the norm but not a copy? Yikes. But that is fear.... so if I really want to do it, I should try right? Thats what the cliches say. But I am worried because the survey courses are not holding my interest... if I really liked architecture, wouldn't I want to live and breath it constantly? I like looking at the buildings and hearing about them, but I have no desire to actually do the classwork, and its excruciatingly hard for me to actually pound out an essay on my own beliefs about a building. I would rather be doing vocabulary for Japanese.... so did I just latch on to something because it sounded good, or am I too caught up in a hobby? And can it be a hobby right now because I am seriously searching for something I could do for the rest of my life?

Because of the facination with Japanese that just wont quit right now, I have decided that I will probably just graduate from the liberal arts college with a Japanese, or Asian studies major, and during that time I will up my grades and seriously consider about graduate work in architecture. I am worried though about going for graduate school in the same school that I did my undergraduate work. I am also worried about the amount of money all for an architecture major.. when I am unsure of what I would be doing with it after I received it. I think I have lost some of the goal here at college. It is not the major which is an end, it is a means to a job- one of many. I may not have to be an architecture major to do interior design in the outside world. I think I need to talk to a counselor seriously about these kinds of things because while I do not like being told that I cannot handle the hard route, to actually succeed on the hard path is not the point. The point is the destination, and a back road is just as good, if not as prestegious.

Finally... I am looking forward to working this summer instead of going to school. I have not had a break in a very long time. I think that this summer, a break and a two week trip to Japan, might be very useful in helping me stay focused on the goal. I have been to focused in school, and forgotten that school is a means to an end, not a life style. I am not doing myself any good by skipping out on classes or homework.. I am here because of myself, so I should not complain about it right? I am very fortunate to be where I am. I need to bring this to the forefront in my daily living and be happy with it. Even if I know it mentally, right now, it is not in my heart.

Future Goals : the same as usual- live more honestly, figure out a life path that I will like, have fun but do not be lazy. (The first and last one are the hardest!)

thank you and goodnight ladies and gentelmen of the jury.