Monday, September 30, 2002
simplicity is priceless. for everything else, there's mastercard.
posted by renee 10:35 PM
Sunday, September 29, 2002
why, when i look at a scale and it says 134 do i always think "125 sounds like a nice even number?"
posted by renee 3:06 PM
in the gospel of luke, we read about several disciples of Jesus who had been up all night trying to catch fish. Jesus asked peter to cast his nets one more time that morning. although i'm sure he was certain they would come up empty again, he obeyed. and it turned out that he was wrong. the nets were so full of fish that the boat couldn't hold them all. and peter responded to this blessing by falling to his knees and saying "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man." if only that was our response to all of our blessings. if only i fell to my knees in humility when i see God in my midst instead of thinking "it's about time" or something equally as arrogent. i deserve nothing. therefore everything i have is something to be grateful for. how many breaths have i taken and not had a thought of the one who fit me with lungs? how many mornings have i opened my eyes and not been amazed that i still have sight? i am so unworthy. but again, there is grace.
posted by renee 2:02 PM
when it rains, i don't cover my head and run. i slow down, lift my chin and spread out my arms. there's something about embracing the rain that is symbolic of embracing life. all of life. not just the comfortable part. i love how you can't see the skyline when it's foggy. and the idea that the air is so heavy with water that it's opaque... amazing. put away your umbrellas, my friends. let the experience go on...
posted by renee 12:57 AM
Saturday, September 28, 2002
i watched a movie tonight where the main character had a fantasy of just disappearing from her normal life. she wanted to just go. not tell anyone where she was going. not make a plan. sometimes i dare myself in my head to do something like that. i'm tired of doing what's expected. i'm tired of everything making sense. i want randomness. i want realness. i don't want this "become an educated cog in the economic machine" business anymore. but you know what? i'm not brave enough. i will follow the rules because deep down, maybe i am a rules girl. and maybe that's not really as bad as some people make it out to be. as long as life doesn't get stale. i do love the details. i have to remember that. the details are as much a part of life as any big overthrow of expectation... sigh. i am doomed to live an average life. but maybe average, but supremely happy isn't all that bad....
posted by renee 12:40 AM
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
you know why we're all so bored? it's because life just isn't dangerous anymore. it doesn't supply us with any real challanges unless you count the "jungle" of the business world. and i don't. the only thing i really have to be afraid of is the rest of my life.
posted by renee 7:01 PM
"men look at women. women look at themselves being looked at." -john berger
why is that? i certainly have no idea. but i believe it. women's survival depends on the way they move, the way they look... at least to an extent. we have to control the effect we have on other people. we are thinking of how we fit into the environment around us, and guys are just taking it all in. that isn't something that feminism can change, no matter how vehemently they deny it. time to go to women's studies...
posted by renee 11:00 AM
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
i got a forward called "something to think about..."
1. No man or woman is worth your tears, and the one who is, won't make you cry. (Apparently worthwhile people are completely perfect.)
2. Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have. (Yeah, I suppose.)
3. A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart. (TRITE!! MEANINGLESS!!! TRITE!!!!)
4. The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them knowing you can't have them. (I must agree.)
5. Never frown, even when you are sad, because you never know who is falling in love with your smile. (Because the highest value in life is falling in love, not being real.)
6. To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. (Aww..... gag)
7. Don't waste your time on a man/woman, who isn't willing to waste their time on you. (Regardless, it's still a waste, no?)
8. Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one, so that when we finally meet the person, we will know how to be grateful. (Abusing grace?)
9. Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened. (Where do I start?... Live for the moment, guys...)
10. There's always going to be people that hurt you so what you have to do is keep on trusting and just be more careful about who you trust next time around. (First question: Who wrote that sentence!?! Second: How many times do you have to get burned before you figure out that you have to be careful about who you trust?)
11. Make yourself a better person and know who you are before you try and know someone else and expect them to know you. (True, true.)
12. Don't try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to. (Thank you, fortune cookie for the single and lonely.)
love advice these days generally stinks. and i am having a bit of a cynical week, it seems... maybe i'll be over it by tomorrow
posted by renee 5:39 PM
Monday, September 23, 2002
last week seemed like "controversy week on the mall." the infamous brother jed was here proclaiming the damnation of the masses and drawing crowds of angry college students to yell back at him. and there was a group called justice for all who put up a display about abortion that included very large, extremely graphic pictures of fetuses after partial birth procedures, among other things. granted, it produced quite a stir, both among the pro-life and pro-choice communities. there was an article in the daily about the way the display was disrupting normal activities for people who had to walk through the area to get to classes. there are a few food vendors that experienced a noticeable decline in their usual numbers because people were losing their appetites after walking past the pictures. there was an interesting quote at the end of the article from one of the vendors: "They talk about freedom for choice, freedom for life," he said. "What about respect for the next person?" YEAH!?! what about respect for the next person? what about life as usual? what about ignoring issues so that everyone is comfortable and happy all the time? what about the freedom to just live your day to day life and never see anything bigger than yourself? what about never getting your stomach a little upset by a taste of truth? what about it? until a generation finally starts trying to solve problems instead of pushing them under the national rug, we will never get anywhere. ignorance is not bliss.
posted by renee 9:39 PM
Sunday, September 22, 2002
“Do you always do what you like, Miss Beddingfeld?”
“Usually,” I replied cautiously. To anyone else I would have said “Always.”
“I pity your husband,” he said unexpectedly.
“You needn’t” I retorted. “I shouldn’t dream of marrying any one unless I was madly in love with them. And of course there is really nothing a woman enjoys so much as doing all the things she doesn’t like for the sake of some one she does like. And the more strong-willed she is, the more she likes it.”
“I’m afraid I have to disagree with you. The boot is on the other leg, as a rule.” He spoke with a slight sneer.
“Exactly,” I cried eagerly. “And that’s why there are so many unhappy marriages. It’s all the fault of the men. Either they give way to their women – and then the women despise them, or else they are utterly selfish, insist on their own way and never say ‘thank you.’ Successful husbands make their wives do just what they want , and then make a frightful fuss of them for doing it. Women like to be mastered, but they hate not having their sacrifices appreciated. On the other hand, men don’t really appreciate women who are nice to them all the time. When I am married, I shall be a devil most of the time, but every now and then, when my husband least expects it, I shall show him what a perfect angel I can be.”
Harry laughed outright.
“What a cat and dog life you will lead.”
“Lovers always fight,” I assured him. “Because they don’t understand each other. And by the time they do understand each other they aren’t in love anymore.”
-The Man in the Brown Suit
posted by renee 2:40 PM
Saturday, September 21, 2002
crying is good for you. necessary, even. but sometimes it's inconvenient. it happens at the wrong time, in the wrong place, in front of the wrong people. too bad, tears. stay in, stay in, stay in. i don't want you now. you don't even deserve to be let out anyway. tears craving release. not for logical reasons, just because it seems like they've been locked up too long. sometimes i feel justified, though. and sometimes i crave the opportunity to prove that i am. for people to say "no, renee, you're just overreacting" and for me to get to fight back and force them to see my miserable state and how much i deserve to feel this way. but really, that's probably just rooted in my desire to prove it to myself. and the realization of this mess only leads to the release of more claustrophobic tears from behind my eyes into the wide world. maybe i like feeling sorry for myself. that's dumb. i'm dumb. i need to go wash my face and start looking happy.
posted by renee 7:37 PM
Friday, September 20, 2002
mafiagoddess420: hello self
mafiagoddess420: hello self
posted by renee 11:04 PM
a response from my friend yiling to this morning's post:
and if he claims your shoulder, because he just loves how it's put together..well, every time you move your shoulder..
but every time you date someone, maybe you learn something special too, that stays with you later.
posted by renee 4:17 PM
every time you date someone, you lose something special. you can't have your first kiss twice. if someone calls you princess, you'll be reminded of him every time anyone else uses that name. if there was a favorite place to go on dates in one relationship, a date with someone else in that same place will bring back memories.
posted by renee 12:07 AM
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
today i was happy. i wandered around campus smiling, and i didn't know why. but sometimes it doesn't matter why. i kept noticing details that i wanted to remember, but i think that the fact that we can never keep track of all the details is part of what makes life so beautiful. you're never ready for everything. the world always has something left to surprise you with. and the complexity of it all.... i just want to soak it all in. i let mates of state, the soundtrack of my day, play with my sense of rhythm and i smile for no reason.
posted by renee 9:08 PM
three thoughts colon
thought numeral one period close parenthesis eat M&Ms for breakfast period
thought numeral two period close parenthesis i want to go to italy period
thought numeral three period close parenthesis yo hyphen yo ma is the proverbial bomb exclamation point exclamation point
i am not out of my mind
i am not on drugs
i like jones soda
and i don't like astronomy
posted by renee 2:15 PM
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
this morning i passed by a big truck emblazoned with the coke logo from hood to tail-lights. i couldn't help but laugh when i glanced in the driver's side window and saw the delivery man taking a big swig of.... coke. it looked planned. a living, moving ad. now here's the question: did he start drinking coke after he got the job? is it part of his job? or did he get the job because of a prior addiction? who knows?
posted by renee 11:31 AM
Monday, September 16, 2002
picture a group, upwards of thirty people, waiting for a bus on a college campus. suddenly, the visual pattern of vertical person after vertical person is interrupted by a girl's instantaneous fall to horizontal. the people around her glance over toward the sudden movement. they raise eyebrows and part lips slightly at her now still figure. the moment it takes to sink in passes and people leap into action, waving their hands over her face (which yeilds no response) trying to help her sit up, and get rid of the backpack that added to the impact of her chin on the pavement. her eyes open after a few seconds of lifelessness and look around her, frightened. someone calls 911. "we're at the circle of pleasant st, just south of university. someone fell. she wasn't responsive for awhile, but she's concious now." very professional. "are you okay? are you okay?" "i'm fine." heavy, dark drops of blood fall onto her white sweatshirt and pink windpants. "i'm fine." several people gather around her to get her off the sidewalk and over onto a bench. the rest step slowly onto the bus, lips still parted, eyebrows still raised. the bus driver gets out to see what happened, and if he can help. meanwhile, the bus is very full... bulging with people late for class. the situation of the girl forgotten, grumbles start to surface. "i'm so late." "get back on the bus," to the driver. all of a sudden, the eyes aimed out the window are brought back to attention in the bus as someone in the back starts yelling "get out! get out of our way!" apparently, someone else has fainted. whether from claustraphobia or malnutrition or anemia.... feet quickly shuffle back onto the sidewalk as two good samaritans lead another very shaky girl, with a blank expression, off the bus and towards another bench. and people are still complaining about lateness. finally refilled with people, the bus accelerates down the street, and takes a right on the bridge. it passes an ambulance. someone wonders aloud "i wonder if they know there are two people waiting for them now." an odd day. definitely odd.
posted by renee 1:16 PM
i used to think that i was pretty good at being vulnerable with people. it turns out that i'm just good at letting go more information about myself without letting go of power. somehow i figured out that you can look pretty vulnerable without ever being threatened at all. it's a handy trick, i must say. hopefully this semester will change that. i don't want to keep my tender spots all locked up inside me. most people do. but how can you say you trust people if you don't let them see the ugly?
posted by renee 8:33 AM
Sunday, September 15, 2002
i have been thinking lately that it is probably healthy to care what others think about you. (note: i do, and strongly, so this very well may be an excuse, and nothing more) i just think that we often don't have the most objective opinions about our own characters and actions. the ideal situation would be to find someone completely outside your life to determine if you've been living it up to par. i am biased when it comes to the issue of me. i usually think i'm right. i can make most things i do seem "not-that-bad" because i have the motivation to do so. i suppose that's why it's good that God really is objective, and just, for that matter. he won't be swayed by our excuses and rationalizations. he knows the truth. but the people around us, especially if they're not directly involved in the situation in question, often make better observations about the rightness of your action than you can. therefore, i care what they think. i don't trust my own opinion much. and while i am fully aware of the fact that you can never please everyone, it seems to me that if you are displeasing the majority, you've got a problem. maybe i'm crazy... but of course, i don't think i am. it wouldn't be very pleasant to really think oneself crazy....
posted by renee 9:43 AM
Saturday, September 14, 2002
i'm sitting fifteen feet from my roommate. both of us have our headphones on and are staring intently into computer screens, partaking in random electronic versions of card games. that strikes me as sad. it's like we're leaving real people behind for this false world of cyberspace. we sacrifice so much to escape. i'm in my comfort zone: the internet and moxy fruvous, i don't have to face anything i don't want to. even online conversations don't add the depth that would make them worth my time. just this evening a comment of mine about a currently strained relationship was followed by a question: "did you know they make low-rise pants for men now?" i don't care about low- rise pants for men. why are we so petty? why are we always "fine" and never "questioning my place in the world?" and as the gloria record accuses, we "float back to [our] car[s] on cinema air," never touching ground after the illusion. when did it get so hard to be real with people? when did we stop asking each other the important questions? i went to a prayer conference for the day today, and it was powerful. i was reminded how much my prayer life is centered around me. it's me figuring myself and my surroundings out... but sort of aimed at God... that's silly. i wish adoration was more my focus. i have a God who is so big he can hold the oceans in the palm of his hand, and all he asks from me is faith the size of a mustard seed. somehow i still fall short. ah, but there is grace. grace. beyond our imaginations, there is grace.
posted by renee 11:40 PM
sprouts are the new lettuce
posted by renee 6:24 PM
Friday, September 13, 2002
i wish i could remember to take a notepad with me everywhere i go. today, i kept walking past people that i wanted to remember. there was one emo boy, with cuffed jeans, a plaid, button-down shirt, buttons covering his man-satchel, and an original chris carrabba haircut. add the glasses and some $50 headphones and you have the complete stereotype. oh, and maybe some marajuana... anyway, i passed him only to happen apon a tall asian guy with khaki "clam-diggers" (or whatever those short pants are called) and a snoopy shirt. and later i saw a girl with way-too-tight everything... an old guy walked past her and was also aware of her problem, or so it seemed. i love looking at people and somehow seeing who they are beyond the outside. i wish that i was less common when it comes to appearance. although i claim the thrift shop, indie rock subculture, i really am just old navy when it comes down to it. sad, but true. there are some people who have this style... i can't really explain it, but their outer appearance reflects the way they are on the inside very accurately. i hope that's not me, or i'm pretty dang vanilla...
posted by renee 2:35 PM
Thursday, September 12, 2002
i usually don't like coming home from things by myself. that's one thing that's hard to get used to about college. most of my friends don't live anywhere close to me, so i end up walking home alone. most of the time, i feel fine until my hand hits my doorknob as i'm about to leave. then the devil on my shoulder pops up and starts whispering in my ear... " wouldn't it be nice to sit in your room and listen to music instead? really... i mean, probably no one will miss you anyway." but usually i can overcome that. it's the walking home that really gets to me. somehow i feel the most alone then. when everyone else is leaving in pairs or groups, and i wander off by myself. then the devil on my shoulder wins more often. i start to feel like my physical aloneness for that half hour walk is somehow symbolic of the greater aloneness in my life here. ah, but you see, i live on the west bank of the mississippi river, whereas most of my activities are located on the opposite side. and do you know what that means? it means that i have the privilage most evenings of seeing something that i find extraordinarily beautiful. the juxtaposition of the spectacular man-made skyline and its reflection in the river is always breathtaking to me. across the bridge at sunrise, and back the other direction far after sunset. both scenes leave me feeling somehow less distressed with being alone.... but no less alone.
posted by renee 10:57 PM
a family i know that has six daughters and a son went through about the worst thing imaginable this last year. it turned out that the father had been sexually abusing the oldest two daughters in their sleep. once, the oldest one woke up, but didn't open her eyes. the next day, she told her mom. he's now in jail. the girls are thirteen and eleven. usually, i would blame him and struggle not to go as far as hate. but this was different, somehow. in the period of time when he was separated from his family, but waiting for his sentencing, he was staying in another house and being counceled. once, he was found, legs tucked in, arms wrapped around, in a corner. he was rocking back and forth saying over and over "God wants evil men dead." and all i feel now is pity.
soft breath on smooth cheeks but the timing's
wrong and motives cloud with feral longings
and why so soon were clean hands soiled
and why this strech so slow recoiled?
could this be because of me?
a part i never asked for
and past to future creeps
guilty for nothing and the pain stems
leaf to leaf through anger leaving problems
so why did truth steal easy brows
and wrinkles form as aches endow
could this be because of me?
with tight lips the hurt would go
and past to future creeps
posted by renee 5:33 PM
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
i'm right, you're wrong = arrogance --> arrogance deserves terrorism
i'm right, you're right = ignorance --> ignorance deserves correction
you can't know what's right = lack of conviction --> lack of conviction deserves no attention
this media hype gets to me. i sound like a terribly ungrateful person, but i can't feel patriotic today. the year anniversary of a tragic thing that happened to us. and likely the very day that something terrible happens to someone else, who happens to be farther away than new york, so we don't care at all. hours and hours of tv coverage about the awful things that happened here. a column inch on the third page of the world section about the events in africa, asia, the middle east.... i don't care because it doesn't affect me. i was asked if i would even pay attention to the news if it fairly covered the horrors in other places as well as here. and i know i would likely not. it is hard for me to make things real that look like movies. i don't know if that is because i am flawed, or because mass media doesn't really make any sense.
"Why, do you not live on the other side of the water? My friend, if you lived on this side, I should be a murderer, but because you live on the other side, I am a brave man, and it is right." -- Pascal (I'll move on to other authors eventually, but this was entirely too appropriate for my feelings today)
posted by renee 11:37 PM
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
sometimes i have so many things to say that i take a step back and look at them. and suddenly i realize that i completely distrust my.... well, really, sometimes i have a flurry of words, phrases, sentences going through my head... but nothing at all to say. like now. jesus saves, and you can too, with these valuable coupons. my dad used to make mickey mouse shaped pancakes on saturday mornings. today i learned that hearing is an enveloping sense, which is why talking on the phone seems normal. and sight is a distancing sense, which is why people close their eyes when they kiss. one of the easiest places to find an uninhibited display of human selfishness is a dorm laundry room. i hate it when i know someone is messing up their life and i still can't bring myself to confront them about it. a girl who wouldn't even make eye contact with me in high school because i was beneith her recently sent me a long letter, a blank journal, and markers. the envelope had star stickers on it. on the inside of the journal, she wrote: No matter what hardships you may write inside the confines of this book, keep a smile on your face and a song in your heart. under that i wrote: Always appear to be happy. Hide problems. i like this boy who always avoids stepping on sidewalk cracks. just like me.
posted by renee 9:00 PM
one of my favorite things is taking showers so long my fingers turn to prunes.
posted by renee 8:35 AM
Monday, September 09, 2002
today i had an interesting discussion in which the following phrase stands out: "the real you is a jerk." also, the accusation (mild, though it was) that i am "heartless, cold and insensitive" (not necessarily in that order). needless to say, a range of emotion follows all such conversations. i, being unfortunately very affected by others' opinions of myself, proceeded to write a lengthy paper-journal entry about the lamentable state of affairs. but i'm in that writer mode where it seems like i can look in on my life from the third person and make the story what i want it to be. i have complete control over my emotions and actions and i choose them based on some internal measure of what is appropriate and what is not. but in reality, i mean real reality, that control is only an illusion. regardless, in the movie of my life i watched myself get up from my comfy spot under a tree on the mall and walk into an old classroom building of mine. then i transferred the outpouring of my "intellect" (not emotion) from my paper journal to a chalkboard in a random classroom. who knows why? maybe because i wanted to do something i've never heard of anyone doing before. maybe because i felt like i was being honest and i wanted to dare others to do the same. for all i know, some janitor will erase my thoughts before anyone who might care gets to read them. but it doesn't matter. an unrelated thought: maybe punctuation and capitals aren't superfluous.
posted by renee 9:29 PM
i want someone to fall in love with the way i eat a nutty bar
posted by renee 10:34 AM
Sunday, September 08, 2002
i think everyone should eat a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting every once in awhile. especially girls. i think girls are dumb. i hate it when girls complain (especially to guys) about how fat they are, even when they know they're not, just to elicit the necessary compliment. but i do it sometimes. and it makes me really mad when guys complain about how girls get angry about stupid things. they make the female gender out to be some amoeba-like mass with no regard to individuality. they claim that every one of us overreacts to petty missteps and uses threats of withdrawing the all-important physical affection to get what we want. if i hear another guy complain about that, i will not speak to him ever again.
posted by renee 3:08 PM
Saturday, September 07, 2002
camping rules. i don't understand why people sleep inside so much. maybe i'll move into a tent permanently. i hate air conditioning. i hate florescent lights. i hate cubicles. i hate dorm rooms. i want to be outside all the time. except in the winter. it's cold in minnesota in the winter. and actually, it gets pretty hot outside in the summer. maybe my idea needs rethinking.
posted by renee 3:58 PM
Friday, September 06, 2002
i just wrote a pathetically long-winded paragraph about how it isn't fair that my generation doesn't have anything useful left to discover. advances in medicine only tempt nature to invent the indestructable plague that will eventually kill us all. technology is improving to enable americans to be richer, fatter, and more bored. all we have left to create are more complete distractions to keep people's attention away from the fact that most of our existance is pretty meaningless. deaden the senses by stuffing them to the brink with stimulation... boo. but all my efforts were in vain as the fattening blackhole that is the internet stole my unoriginal thoughts and whisked them off to the netherland of lost term-papers, emails, and other bits of crucial information. no big loss to the world, though... i'm just sick of having my senses bombarded with stimulation to the point where i can't even sit and think for five seconds straight. boo on entertainment. i have nothing to escape. the real world is not a bad place to be. i think i'll stick around for awhile. (and guess where all that came from?)
Anyone who does not see the vanity of the world is very vain himself. So who does not see it, apart from young people whose lives are all noise, diversions, and thoughts for the future? But take away their diversion and you will see them bored to extinction. Then they feel their nullity withought recognizing it, for nothing could be more wretched than to be intolerably depressed as soon as one is reduced to introspection with no means of diversion. -- Pascal
posted by renee 3:40 PM
Thursday, September 05, 2002
i think something on the roof next to me just got hit with lightning.... and the rain is coming down hard.... and thunder this close never fails to give me chills. there's an undeniable power in nature that makes me leave my windows open during a storm, and turn all the lights off. it certainly doesn't make it easier to understand atheism, though. every time i walk across the washington bridge in the morning, especially later in the fall when the sun has barely risen, i am further convinced of God's power and also of his care for us. the aesthetic world around us is by far enough proof for me. but it's likely that i am inclined to believe anyway. life's been easy on me so far when it comes to questioning my faith. i haven't yet dealt with tragedy. i haven't been faced with heartbreak. i have never gone hungry, yet i haven't been dumbed by wealth. and i am loved in many ways by many people. but living in a world that doesn't present me with many critical problems doesn't mean that i have never doubted. in fact, i've experienced times of doubt that were fueled by the desire not to believe. for someone like me, having someone completely in charge of my life and my destiny isn't always an encouraging reality. i'd much rather have things go my way, in my time, and to my ends. but even my most desperate grasps for independence and self-sufficiency come up empty every time. i cannot satisfy myself with any explanations for life that don't involve a caring, powerful God and therefore a purpose for my existances. and storms like this one only intensify my conviction.
posted by renee 4:43 PM
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
this is my very first donation to the vast world of the web, and at the ripe old age of 19... i think i'll wait to put up anything real until i'm a bit more confident... it takes some of us less technology-savvy people awhile to get in our comfort zones...
posted by renee 9:49 PM