Wednesday, October 31, 2007

but i thought . . .


it's interesting when you read something by/about a colleague('s work) when you thought you sort of had that colleague figured out (to the extent, . . . ).

recently, i read a review of a colleague's talk in which he "said" (calling it into question because i can't know what the summary denies or leaves out or edits and because i imagine my colleague saying something more expansive . . . ) that not only will film not replace writing but that good filmmaking calls for more and better writing. um. okay. the review suggests that without conventional moves appropriate to film, students' work may not be "valid and effective," (not "to be considered valid and effective," but "to be . . . ").

this surprises me. because sure, writing and rhetorical validity (obviously, our mutual concerns in institutional higher ed). but good filmmaking and writing? . . . (first, filmmaking is/as writing, filmwriting, or film-composition). well, we have a much larger scene to consider when making claims about rhetorical validity. i mean, right . . . filmmaking and writing can be mutually beneficial (good writing aids good filmmaking and vice versa; thus, filmmaking as writing). and, agreed: i have argued elsewhere that filmmaking (even very raw or maybe especially novice film-composition) can encourage better writing both in the moment/process and upon reflection.

BUT, i want to say that new media technologies enable us to make films. at all. to have a go. and to capture images that give us pleasure and to use them as we see fit. responsibility? sure. but responsibility to what has been, exclusively? surely not. so what then determines the state of being "rhetorically valid"? this is the crucial problem. because, when/if we imagine that we can so determine "rhetorically valid" as a state of a film's being, then we perhaps (?) reject a variety of film discourses and practices that honor films privileging radical ambiguity and ambivalence regarding conventional structure and "meaning." and then, when we imagine that we can know and name and evaluate "rhetorically valid" films, we once again deny rhetoric its (fuller/est) potential and create scenarios for overdetermined meaning(s) . . . in, . . . what?, our efforts to "manage" the genre? to generate FTE? to make polished films that will help our students' in their careerist efforts? to control our students' sense of ethical obligation to certain kinds of cinematic meaning? none of these potential moves seem completely wrongheaded, but it seems a shame to argue exlusively in terms of how film and writing are bound up in static conventions (that they are caught up in existing and evolving webs of discourse, sure). and i'm not saying that this is what my colleague or even his reviewer has argued . . .

. . . it's just that i keep hearing people frame up film in Composition in this way, via a sort of "safe" route, when really, this safe mode that we are able to control via our experience in rhetorical traditions (re: print culture)? it sort of rejects a lot of good film discourse and practice (especially indie practice, which finds potential and possibility in new media technologies and wants -- from my perspective anyhow -- shooting footage and editing as writing . . .).

and in praise of less than "ideally" determined film "invention" work that (has to?) happen(s) before one picks up a camera? oboy. speaking from my experience and based upon what i have heard hundreds of filmmakers say about independent filmmaking, some of my (our?) best justications for things that eventually appear on the screen in a final cut have come well after the fact, when viewing a final cut, possibly along with an audience. that is, i will have kept a shot in because, um, i liked it, it moved me, it seemed somehow pithy or provocative or interesting . . . but i had -- early on -- no clear, rhetorically structured and overdetermined claims that i could make about the shot.

once, i was watching my first documentary film, proposition 1984, with an audience, and it occurred to me that this one shot was "brilliant" (ha!) or, more appropriately, a "lucky accident," or, maybe most appropriately (given that i had no "justification" when "writing" it) a Warholian verison of "art" as "what you can get away with." the shot pictures a student wearing a band t-shirt that says "RANCID" and beneath it (presumably a cd or track title) "indestructible" . . . and it occurred to me (during the screening) that the shot images doublethink/doublespeak. Malcolm Gladwell will argue that surely i placed the shot in the film from my experience as a rhetor, unaware of my rhetorically "valid" move but operating subconcsiously via years of rhetorical training. maybe so.

either way, what happens when i script everything out before i pick up a camera/instead of simply picking up a camera and shooting that cool image and editing it into the final cut simply because i like it? it seems possible that i (may) miss out on a simple kind of "magic," and there is something so sad about that.

oh yeah, and we could argue that students don't possess sophisticated rhetorical training, so don't attempt to argue that your lucky accident can be mimicked or reproduced by your students. but come on. we know that they do, in fact, possess this very creative potential. maybe not overwhelmingly so (or maybe so, maybe even more so because of the ways in which students often resist the disambiguating forces of structured education) but maybe not in ways that align with our visions of "ideal" print texts. but so maybe they don't have our rhetorical training . . .

. . .but they know. sort of like i've said before, i'm just saying.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

shut up!

"Imagine you’re on trial, defending yourself, only to be judged by an anonymous group whose deliberations are held behind closed doors, whose unchallengeable standards are seemingly arbitrary."

sounds a lot like some of the messed up sh*t going on at and being reported on the wpa listserv, but actually, this is a review of Kirby Dick's This Film is Not Yet Rated, which attempts to describe the MPAA: "It’s not a system that would hold up in many courts of law, but it’s the way that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) classifies movies in the US."

This documentary came to our theater at last year's Sundance Film Festival. Eddie Schmidt (a very likeable producer) was there, as he had been before with other films, such as the Academy Award nominated Twist of Faith (we like Eddie. and Kirby). I'm adding this info just to plug the film and because i've been ranging around the idea of censorship (ever since both CJ and i have received requests that we, um, shut up). but so the film is very entertaining and lighty informative (if you don't know anything about the MPAA, and I knew very little). it's a great film for class because it's just that informative and not over-the-top didactic.

(re)enchantment, part II


via David Lynch, "Stay true to yourself. Let your voice ring out, and don't let anybody fiddle with it. Never turn down a good idea, but never take a bad idea. And meditate. [ . . . ] Grow in happiness and intuition. Experience the joy of doing. And you'll glow in this peaceful way. Your friends will be very, very happy with you. Everyone will want to sit next to you. And people will give you money!" (159) (emphasis mine).

p.s., i love these ads.

re(enchantment)

via David Lynch, "Anger and depression and sorrow are beautiful things in a story, but they're like poison to the filmmaker or artist" (8).

Friday, October 26, 2007

just when you think . . .

. . . that people maybe kind of like and respect you and are willing to help you out of a tough situation . . .

you get a back channel message that looks something like this:

"Could you kindly stop using the WPA listserv as your private whining and paranoia message service? Your flurry of messages today and similar ones in the past have brought me to the point where it's just about time to create a filter just for your address. While I try to avoid that, and have created such a filter only once previously for participants on this list, I'm really, really tired of your whines and overreactions to various situations. So how about, at the least, cutting down on the posts, or, if you need to keep up this sort of messaging, use a blog or private listserv."

voilà.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

shiny new projects


for my many handful of readers, i thought i'd update you on my current activities (no, the pedi never happened; more on that soon, via twitter). but so as far as my academic/creative projects go . . . while i continue to revise 2 films for publication, i am beginning work on 2 others.

first is i'm like . . . professional and will feature str8nime filmmaker extraordinnaire, M dot Strange. this film will explore ways in which new media technologies enable us to produce things of aesthetic, artistic, rhetorical and cultural value (but mainly, it's fun). the film wants to liberate (or highlight said liberation, which is by now passé, in a sense, but not so for a lot of academics) our creative and rhetorical potential (which seems to me to be both an ancient and contemporary concern; i mean, if rhetoric is about a *capacity* to discover . . . you see where i'm going). i want to toy around, generally, but i also have an interview coming up (hopefully soon) w/ M, who is doing some p-r-i-t-t-y cool stuff.

second is a film that emerges from my local situation. i can't decide if i'll call it footloose or spontaneous public dancing. this film will document the emergence of what locals call "the footloose law," which makes public dancing pretty much illegal (or at least highly regulated). this means that Provo-Orem has virtually no dance clubs. really. the film? Footloose? it was filmed here, in Utah -- Lehi, about 15 minutes from my campus, to be exact -- for a reason. so there is a local comedian i know who has footage of the actual City Countil meetings in which the law was discussed and debated and generally, in the end, embraced. i have a lot of research to do, but i want to know more. in fact, when our local Catholic Church moved out of its beautiful, historic, California-mission-style structure into a new, um, gym (which they are building the formal chapel), i wanted to buy it and turn it into a nightclub, supercoolstyle. but, um, i know where i am. but so i want to learn more about the footloose law and to document what i find. plus, i mean, w/ the Marie Osmond fainting episode, Utah dancing/dancers are a Big Deal right now.

so i'll be busy. i wonder if i'll ever finish those 2 books i've been plodding away on. quite frankly, it's not nearly as engaging as is filmmaking. what to do? for now, shoot, edit, enjoy . . .

Sunday, October 21, 2007

visualizing time . . .

via johndan, i found out about this visualizing time matrix and entered an image. it got accepted (yay) and you can see it, if you go to the site (via the link, above) and then type "kyburz" in the search field.

the image? above. and yes, i've posted this image here before; this is my fabulous invention. toilet paper that has a "tear edge" so that you can easily make that fancyresorthotel'ish edge.

relevant to how this image of t.p. "marks time": for me, it's about my diabetes insipidus -- not diabetes mellitus; i have told doctors and nurses before, "i have d.i.," whereupon they start asking how often i check my blood sugar and how much insulin i take (this inspires little confidence). d.i. is not that kind of diabetes. anyhow, d.i. is a hormone deficiency that essentially means that i pee a lot (whenever i say that, i hear Faith No More singing "we care a lot" with my lyrics). so, for me, well, i spend a lot of time in the ladies'. thus, l'image. a tiny victory.

why i should watch . . .

. . . the weather report.


as we headed out to do some errands, my jeans rolled up (from walking around the still-damp but freshly cleaned carpets), i was planning to wear my dansko clogs (no socks - i have hated wearing socks since i was a tomboy-girl growing up in Florida). Mike told me to wear my UGGs and a coat. i conceded to the UGGs but was sure my long-sleeved-heavy-knit-black-cotton crewneck would do fine.


so but 1/2-way to our destination, these giant, like-the-frogs-in-Magnolia-type-splats-of-rain/sleet/snow started dumping onto our Element in a doomsday freakshow. but so slowly, magically, they became big soft flakes, and they started sticking.


i don't tire of first valley snows. there's been snow on the mountains for weeks, but until we can afford to move up to Mt. Timpanogos, we're valley people, and so when the snow decides to stay here and not exclusively there, it's p-r-i-t-t-y nice. and today the sky is grey w/ heavy and important clouds (not like in this perfect image). grey & cloudy . . . so lovely . . .

. . . things i like, via: i didn't watch the weather report . . .

Thursday, October 18, 2007

too much celebrity

had to edit. can't say mean things about Ellen.

but this? this. has. got. to. stop.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

confessions . . .


i do not have an iPod. never have. don't know exactly how it works (i know generally but i'm also generally quite ignorant) . my friend calls me a "new media queen," which, given what i don't know is funny.

but so i think this is the iPod i want (8 gb). i don't know if that's foolish or not. maybe i should start w/a littlenano (redundancy noted).

so, generally then, i'm reaching out to my dear readers for advice, tips, what-to-and-what-not-to-do w/r/t iPod.

no laughing . . .

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Once

you must see it.

here is an enchanting little clip from Sundance 2007, where Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova perform a song from the film:

shows i follow (w/ notes) . . .

i've seen other people wondering what other people are watching. i'm watching (not ranked) :

1.) Heroes (although so far, season 2 is a none-too-engaging repackaging of season 1; i'm losing patience).

2.) 30 Rock (come on!).

3.) Dirty Sexy Money (Peter Krause is unspeakably good, although why is it that in every show, film or appearance, it must be made known that he is a jogger? the guy makes sure that writers write in a scene in which he jogs. what's that??).

4.) Lost (when it's on. the reveal of last season made it good all over again).

5.) Pushing Daisies (okay. this is kind of too precious. but Lee Pace, who was f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s in Soldier's Girl -- the true story of an army guy who falls for a transsexual and the horrific "consequences" of said falling -- is delightful to watch. there are some cutesy moments. too cute. wanabe-Wes-Anderson-cute-but-it's-TV-cute, but it's kind of fun).

6.) Entourage (goofy L.A. fun; Jeremy Piven in the role he was born to play. i'm a little worried about Johnny Drama; he's veering into latter-day-Seinfeld-Costanza stupidity).

7.) The Daily Show (still trumps Colbert).

8.) The Colbert Report (i laugh at that eagle every single time).

9.) The Girls Next Door (horrible guilty pleasure; i'm sort of amazed at how much Bridget lllllluuuuvs all things Playboy. it's actually kind of sweet. at least she knows what she wants and owns it. and yes, i "borrowed" from Clancy, here, but it's true; i watch it. something happened in my 43rd year -last year- i decided that it was time to own my desire to be blonde and wear pink, however silly, overdetermined, etc. there are limits, but not as many as there have been in seriousblackwearingtimes).

10.) The Soup. liked it w/ Kinnear. love it w/ McHale. G.K. side note: when The Matador played at our theater at Sundance, both Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear showed up for the intro and the Q & A. Brosnan was gregarious and fun and silly, signing *every* autograph requested of him, snapping photos w/ fans . . . his entourage had to pull him away so that they could make their dinner reservation at The Tree Room -- the fancypants and fabulous Sundance restaurant. Kinnear, on the other hand -- a guy i'd expected to be h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s and approachable and delightful as the persona he played for years on Talk Soup??? not so much. no, in fact, when the entourage left the stage, i was escorting them out -- part of my job is to intro the entourage and help them navigate the venue -- and approached Kinnear to sort of give a mini-hug/air kiss -type thing, which is what we do to flatter and generally show appreciation for the good work (and he was very good in the role). he recoiled like a frightened celebrity facing his Number 1 Fan. it was soooooo unpleasant. that's the part of the job i don't like; When Celebrities Act As Though You Are A Crazy Person, or some foul substance from which they feel they must keep some serious distance. i had a similar experience at Sundance one year with K.L. so now we refer to it as The K.L. Syndrome (actually, we say her full name, but this is a public writing space, and she is very important, and i'm sure it was just a moment, and i get it. the fame thing and the fear. but still. oh, and her husband is VERY powerful. so. K.L. that's all). so back to The Matador screening incident (the birth of the G.K. Syndrome): the next day, i was down at the deli getting some lunch during a screening, and in walked Brosnan in his ski gear (he'd clearly been out on an early run), and as we passed in the hall, he gave a winning smile and said "thanks again for last night!" . . . James Bond . . . "thanks again for last night" :)

11.) Monk. love it. usually watch w/ mudslides. it's a ritual thing.

12.) Psych. love that too. goofy fun. great chemistry between the 2 leads.

13.) Project Runway. "you're either in. or you're out." it's really that simple. v-e-r-y simple (CHLOE??)

14.) My Life on the D-List. i love Kathy Griffin more and more each time i watch her. she's simply fabulous.

there's more. too much more . . .

Saturday, October 13, 2007

i have a secret dream . . .

that the Arthur Beren Shoes site will lower the price on their Stuart Weitzman "Swashbuckler" boot from $498.00 to something more reasonable, so that i can buy them and look fab at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Friday, October 12, 2007

i have a secret dream . . .

that i will one day attend the Cannes Film Festival . . . and New York, Toronto, Telluride (probably the first and easiest logistical choice), SxSW, . . . but mostly Cannes.

que le titre choisir . . .


pour cette entrée de journal . . .


i could start with A.O. Scott's closing line of his review of films at the New York Film Festival: "Audiences in search of escapism may have to look toward France." because, well, filmmakers must might often turn to France (this filmmaker does).

then, there's this, much more clearly aligned with my filmmaking aspirations: "[Y]ou don’t have to be French to make a French movie." voilà.


of course, as i've said before, i've got a vibe on, a hopeful (and fearful -- the story is terribly difficult to experience) anticipatory joy for Julian Schnabel's Le Scaphandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly). see also the American trailer (a funny study in contrasts, although both are quite good; i, um, prefer the French). and The New York Times overview.

Schnabel won the Cannes 2007 Best Director award for the film. i. can't. wait.

another i'm excited to see is Le Voyage du ballon rouge (The Flight of the Red Balloon), directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien (see l'image, above) but i've told you that before. also, if you have not yet seen Paris J'Taime, you must (especially for Margo Martindale).


And Sundance 2007 Audience Award Winner, Once. A-Ma-Zing, especially the scene in the music shop where "guy" and "girl" first play together. i know i'm late in this game (the film's been out for quite some time), but i need to recommend it to you.

and because i'm not a complete francophile (mais très presque), i anticipate indulging an aesthetically pleasing nostalgic melancholia via Anton Corbijn's fictional account of "the story" of Ian Curtis and Joy Division in Control. there's also a frenchmyspacepage.

Read A.O. Scott's promising review for details.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

i have a secret dream . . .

that i will find the perfect boots today.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

negative space as rhetorical tool . . .

video

. . . for building anticipatory joy/excitement/angst . . .

. . . cinema is an art of resonance . . .

i like this film. i don't need to say more, but i was thinking
that if i wanted to talk w/ my students about negative space,
this film could provide us with an interesting exercise.

1.) screen the film.
2.) ask students to pay attention to how they feel as they watch.
3.) ask students to jot "affect" or "emotion" words as they watch.
4.) discuss.

i do realize that we might not consider the blank blue screen as negative space, and there's an entire Rothkoesque/Reinhardtian discussion to be had there. still, in maybe what we might call "traditional" film terms, the "narrative action" doesn't start until 33 seconds into the film. how do we tolerate, appreciate, interpret, feel about . . . experience this absence? i like to think we can get at it via affect and emotion (experience and reflection/articulation). maybe rethink negative space and its value (because we continue to privilege *action*, the *purpose* or *meaning* as though its context were irelevant or tangential). and so but i think it could be fun and instructive. and not dull. and not conventional. and what i especially enjoy is the very "mundane" nature of what we are seeing. but of course, it's not at all mundane; i would love to read the emotion words students associate with this film's traditional "action," especially given the anticipatory confusion/frustration. for me, it's joyful, vibrant, and it comes as a kind of relief, even though i am a fan of Rothko and color field imagery as a kind of action. but so is my relief due to the ways in which i have been prepared to view narrative action? are there ways of reshaping my inclinations to respond conventionally? would this be a valuable project?

lovelylittlefilm from Steven Ball at directlanguage.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

i have a secret dream . . .


that David Lynch will one day respond to the things i write about him here.

new feature: i have a secret dream . . .


i'm launching a new feature here. i want to share my dreams. not dreams as in those things i see in my head when i sleep, but, more, "secret" or otherwise "silly" or "impossible" dreams, desires.

. . . sort of like twitter posts, just updates on the status of my dreams/desires.

for some reason, i have this idea that marking my desires will be somehow useful, productive, and meaningful. but there's one key rule: posts must fall under the header "i have a secret dream . . . " and the post itself must be a fairly simply statement, no analyses. "simple" can also include an associative image, but again, no analyses. no explication, not even one single attempt (well, if you're moved to analyze in repsonse, that's fine, but i will be bound to simply making the statement). i can live with these rules.

feel free to post your own secret dreams in response, should you register something that conjures in you a desire to respond. or just laugh at my sillylittledreams. i don't know. it could be fun.

the blue key . . .


re: the previous post, David Lynch insists, "It's absurd if a filmmaker needs to say what a film means in words" (19). absurd? yes. part of the game? also, somewhat regrettably, yes.

also, in a chapter entitled "The Box and the Key," Lynch reveals, "I don't have a clue what those are" (115). ha!

personally, i think it's a subconscious homage to Godard (especially G's final cut reverie re: nature vs. the contrivances of human social networks), particularly the film he references intertexually throughout Mulholland Drive, Jean-Luc Godard's Le Mépris (Contempt).

Tarcher/Penguin, 2006.

manifesto . . .

thinking about revisions some of us have been asked to make to our films for an upcoming publication, revisions that want more "obvious" meanings on display, here's this, via Synoptique:

first, Mario Falsetto, in his Synoptique piece, "There is No Band at Club Silencio," articulating a sentiment i dare imagine Lynch confirming: "Cinema is an art of resonance" . . . . voilà . . .

so but then . . .


"I think it would be wrong to reduce Mulholland Drive to some kind of parlour game where the viewer tries to knit together the various clues, only to decipher the film’s narrative structure and offer up a grand interpretive scheme for what things might mean. The film’s narrative structure is but one element in a complex aesthetic strategy. Its power and mystery depend on many factors. Ultimately, mulholland drive is much more than the sum of its parts. Whatever meaning we might propose for such things as the blue key and the mysterious box that it opens, or the homeless man behind the restaurant, can only serve as partial explanation for the feelings the film generates. These narrative details don’t necessarily get at what is powerful about the film or why it resonates deep within us long after we’ve experienced it. mulholland drive privileges a particular approach to the unconscious and the process of making art. Lynch’s film argues that interpreting a work of art is of necessity a limited operation. Some things are best left ambiguous and mysterious like the world we live in. Take away that mystery and all we’re left with is some crazy notion that the world makes sense and that we actually know who we are and what we’re doing here. What makes David Lynch such an important artist is the way his work forces us to confront the certainties of our lives and contemplate the mysteriousness of being in the world. Added to this is his remarkable control of the medium. He seems to bring out the best in all his collaborators, and because of his attention to the precise details of making movies, a David Lynch film is as elegant in its construction as it is mysterious and profound in meaning."

i get it, the desire for "clear" meanings, especially in New Media publications that want to be scene and heard and discovered and taken seriously. obviously; we continue to work in a print-based economy . . . blah, blah . . . and so i get it. really. and, in fact, despite my deepest inclinations, some of the revision suggestions -- those that seem so clearly to want clarity from the perspective of print-rhetoric -- may help me to shape my film in ways that i'd originally desired -- simple. minimalist. this is really both interesting and troubling to me, that suggestions i'm associating with print-rhetoric want to and are able to inform my filmwriting revisions in ways that align with my "original" vision. yipes.

so. clarity. yes, i tend to overcrowd in early drafts, thinking that the screen simply must be filled despite my love of expansive negative space* and what it can do to create a contemplative relationship to the "subject," a sense of additional presence, as in a dream or in the case of a subject (the image or the problem under consideration via the narrative) suffering from some sort of lack or paranoia or amnesia.

Cinema is an art of resonance . . .



* via R. Berdan: "Positive space is where shapes and forms exist; negative space is the empty space around shapes and forms. In the photo below the black area is negative space and it serves to balance the area in which the marmot and rock occupy. Areas of a picture that contain "nothing" are important visual elements that provide balance in an image."

Monday, October 8, 2007

i want this . . .









. . . to feel such happy curiosity.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

dreams . . .

since Jenny posted her dream, i guess it's okay for me to post mine. (yes, i do indeed take some of my "cool cues" from Jenny).

so, in last night's dream nightmare, a female colleague from the Philosophy department had clearly been given my job as Theater Manager of the Sundance Screening Room during the Sundance Film Festival. i showed up to work to find the offices flooded with water and no one seeming to care about it at all; i pointed out that we had computers and things that might need protecting (or at least our care so as not to topple them or their dangling wires into the puddles). what the workers did seem to care about was Philosopher/Manager Chris' new mandate regarding how we were to conduct ourselves during the ticket distribution moment just before a screening. we were told to wear bathing suits and Santa hats, to give a patron a ticket along with a kiss on the cheek, and then to do a little twirl, once around, just before heading back up to the office for more tickets (as in dreamworld, this scenario resembles our routine in no discernible way). so, time comes to head out to the line, a big, single-file line that spread down the mountain (not at all how we do it). i'm wearing my blue speedo, an old favorite from my childhood, the one i wore during the boatwreck (i still remember going to the local and nonmassivelychained sports store years ago; we'd go every year for new suits because we were always swimming and ours would wear out anually. i'd have to search for my suit from among boxes, not hangers; Speedos were packaged in nondescript grey rectangular boxes, and i had to have a pretty big one for a little kid, which was always humiliating for my mother and probably wouldn't have been for me if not for said mother's humiliation. btw, the suit pictured is surely a much more updated version, mine a little less stylish, the blue a little duller. but i loved it. and i remember that the logo used to sit at the hip, just above where the suit ends and the thigh begins; i have a very clear memory of that).

so but back to the dream. i'm wearing some really old hiking boots i used to wear when i lived in Arizona (i recently donated them), and on top, i have some kind of brown wintery jacket. on the very top, said Santa hat. it's not a good look. not a good look at all. and, as you might imagine, i was the only one dressed in The Outfit. and i didn't get the sense that they had played a joke on me, so it was extra disorienting and weird for me, not to mention just plain humiliating (i've never been a big fan of showing leg; i've always been pretty ashamed of my legs, despite my lovely Grandmother's proclamation that i had "good sturdy legs" -- God love Grandma). . . . and then. i also seemed to be the only one who was having difficulty navigating the mountainside. it seemed to be a slippery, rocky surface, like one i remember from long ago, and i was falling on my side as i struggled to approach my patron (my person-in-line). after i did my horrifying deed (the kiss, the twirl), i scrambled up the mountain and was heading across the road, back to the office. there, for some reason, was a frat house just off to the left, a big frat party having its moment. clearly, i did not want to spend any time being harrassed by frat boys, so i set off with greater determination for said office, . . . and then . . . it faded . . . and, mercifully, i woke.

i see several different actually-lived narrative moments converging in this dream. the blue speedo (the boatwreck), my longtime loathing of the thighs, my actual hiking boots, my actual Santa hat (yes. i have one), the slippery rocks like the ones i used to fear when i went fishing w/ my Dad as a child (and the slippery rocks that we used to slide on in North Carolina, the ones upon which my sister Carrie slid, and, after an ill-advised attempt to sneak past the fallen-over tree trunk -- the one we used to grab on to in order to stop ourselves -- falling down the post tree-trunk 200 foot waterfall, nearly to her death. she survived, but it was gruesome; and i did have to run frantically up the mountain, scraping against sharp weeds and slipping in the mud to get to the gas station to call for help) . . . so much more.

the weird shift is that my dreams are almost *never* about my actual life as far as i can tell. the scenes i create are almost wholly imaginary. places i've never seen. clothes i've never worn. people and creatures and things i've never encountered. a parallel universe that doesn't *actually* exist.

my husband has *real* dreams about us all the time, and i often feel so guilty that i don't dream about us. and i feel angry about it, given that i'm seriously romantic. maybe something is shifting, something that will allow me to dream *real* dreams. maybe they will help me. i don't know.

Friday, October 5, 2007

it's official


i'm now working on editing 3 different films for display in valid academic venues (NCTE Convention; Kairos). i feel . . . i can't find the language for this . . . suffice it to say that despite my disputes w/ life in Utah, living here has at least given me the motivation to do what i want to do as a "creative artist" (i want to own that but feel i must still put it in scare quotes) and as a rhetorician. i mean, somehow, it happened here. maybe "this" really "is the place" (Brigham Young), or, well, it has been the place (we'll see).


there is a ghostly vibe associated with moments like this, when you realize that you are doing what you (have always) want(ed) to be doing. a private little buzz vibrates with pleasure . . . just hovers above the surface of your skin. angry at a colleague? gone. someone ignoring you? who cares? feeling a little less than ideally energetic? w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r . . .

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

desire . . .


i've been spending so much time making films that my reading has lapsed. i am just now reading Victor Vitanza's Enculturation piece, "Abandoned to Writing: Notes Toward Several Provocations."

and i find this . . .

"I will skip (rocks across the sur-face) what 'we' might want writing to want. Writing just wants. Wants, W.ants. It's not that writing wants what 'we' want when 'we' know what 'we' want! Rather, WRITING WANTS! Just WANTS."

seriously.