Archive for exploding confetti thing

2012 is going to be an adorable year.

Posted in Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Personal work, Rants with tags , , , on January 1, 2012 by ccartlidge



Note to Self

Posted in Aesthetic Day, Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Note to Self with tags , , on December 27, 2011 by ccartlidge

I gave the obligatory 30-day notice to my landlord today. I have no real relationship with her. All I know is that she seems like the best kind of landlord: an appropriately uninvolved one. She wrote the following reply, intended as simply polite, but which I took as spontaneously motivational: “sorry to see you go.  hopefully you are headed off to some new adventure.”

Visual manifestations of my mood:

[click on photo for links]

Which is to say “Curious, Motivated and Uncharacteristically Hopeful”

Note: do illogical things regularly and without irony.

Lesson Two: Finding Meaning in Small Talk Concerning an Impending Cross-Country Move

Posted in Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Personal work, Rants with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2011 by ccartlidge

Most people we love or have been close to in our lives have good intentions. We catch up and have conversations about the near-past, present and near-future, and we care enough about the other person to get the background information before moving on to more interesting discourse. Good intentions don’t prevent emotional incandescence or tetchy conversational evolution, regardless of how neutral the pretense. Association depends on interpretation. In other words, if I’m having a neutral conversation and it becomes partisan, it might be because I’m being to damned sensitive.

It might help to mention that I am currently transitioning from Portland (Oregon) to an unknown city via my home state of Maryland. After many months of vacillation, I decided to move and I’m still unsure if the decision borders on correct (read this if you care for even more elaboration on the subject of decision-making), but it’s happening.

It hurts to go, because it means leaving people and places I love. I don’t have to drive, I’m not even peripherally presented with ignorant or closed-minded people, development hasn’t ruined the gorgeous landscape, and I can go for a hike without even leaving the city. These are all reasons to stay. On the other hand, the economy is crap, over-educated creative types make up a significant part of the population (which is also a plus, but unfortunately we’re all unemployed and looking for the same three jobs), my family is only accessible via an expensive, annoying and ecologically insensitive day of plane rides, and I’m treading cold water.

I’ll only know in hindsight how much of this is rationalization, but this is in a strange way what I’m hoping for. I want to be sure about something again. Anything, really. Even if the only thing I’m sure of is that I shouldn’t have left Oregon, that would be just fine with me. I’m allowing myself to become covered in moss and this is disturbing and gross. I can come back. But only if I leave now.

I’ve learned that although I love Portland, I’ll never get that first year back. It was fucking magic. I didn’t mind biking in the rain, I had a ridiculously close group of intelligent and beautiful friends, I was working towards a goal. I was working hard, playing hard, and I was in love but all things come to an end. I got a Master of Architecture months ago. I bummed around for the summer. I was successful in both of those pursuits, but now I’m lost. The city reminds me of this daily. Growth and confidence are the only things I know I want for sure, and my instinct is telling me to leave to get them.

A conversation I had a few hours ago brought me to these words. When I tell people I’m leaving Portland, I usually end up justifying my decision partly by mentioning the new places I’m interested in. Currently I’m focusing on New England, specifically the original American Portland, the one in Maine. I know nothing of significance and I’m aware I might change my mind, but I’m drawn to it somehow.

It seems like the first thing that most people mention when the word “Maine” pops out of my mouth is that the winters are cold. God, really? I have no concept of weather patterns outside Oregon so thanks for mentioning this as I wouldn’t have ever known otherwise. The second thing is that it is a very small city. Again: thanks, I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO KNOWLEDGE OF HOW THE INTERNET WORKS NOR ANY ABILITIES IN SPATIAL RECOGNITION, COMPARATIVE OR OTHERWISE. Shit.

I know now I react this way because I’m sensitive about the subject, not because the person speaking thinks I’m an idiot. I’m still very unsure and it makes me uncomfortable to think that I am in the middle of making a bad decision. But I’ll never know if I don’t try, so I’m strangely happy to keep having the same conversation over and over if it moves me closer to finding my new goal. Bring on the unknown.

So if you live in Portland, Maine and you see a cold, lost, short-haired girl visiting alone in a brand new winter coat, come say hello and remind me that Maine is much colder and smaller than Oregon. I might even thank you.

The Art of Determining the Animal by the Smell of its Shit

Posted in Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Personal work, Rants with tags , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by ccartlidge

As it turns out, “Life, Death, Neutrality, Dogs” was just part one of a series based on making fermented cider from rotten apples. This part is about decisive intent being ever so rare! Fun!

Decisions are easy to make, yes they are. (No, they’re not.) They are for a number of reasons. (No, they aren’t.)

These reasons explained over the years and have become ingrained in us as a result of exposure in our collective childhoods. We are implicitly taught that life is black and white, that decisions are easy to make because the best choice is always obvious and surrounded by a bright halo and, in fact, the best choice is obvious for no other reason than only two choices ever existed in the first place. The wrong choice smells like manure on the type of summer day that turns breathable air into stifling-hot magma-gas and that’s never the best option.

I’ll leave aside personal feelings about the disgustingly corporate nature of American meat production, the unsustainable nature of raising livestock, and the fact that cow-flesh in particular is too greasy to make up for the uninspiring flavor and therefore is an unacceptably expensive meat to dislike but tolerate anyway (Or I won’t). Regardless, where halos remind me of the clinical phenomenon of organized religion, the smell of cow shit makes me nostalgic. I smell this and I’m riding the bus to school, getting secretly drunk with high school friends in an open field and eating freshly picked peas in a tree with my sister. Shit is deep.

The black-and-white posterization of life is a sometimes useful tool as art and analysis, but even then is inherently false. Cow shit smells like gray to me, even though it may just smell like shit to someone else. Most things do, although gray is sometimes green, chartreuse and bright blood-red.

That any decision at all has been easy for me to make is almost mind-boggling given the devastating amount of options to choose from, and scary too as this indicates a lack of analysis on my part. Were decisions easy because the choice was clear? Or were they easy because I wasn’t paying attention?

I wasn’t paying attention. Neither were you. The intellectual gravity of gray (and green and chartreuse and bright blood-red) is a force of nature: awesomely dark and wretchedly bright. The gray makes life worth living. Gray is the wrong choice, the best choice, and no choice at all. That shit is deep. And confusing.

Life, Death, Neutrality, Dogs.

Posted in Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Personal work, Rants with tags , , , , , , , on December 14, 2011 by ccartlidge

I’m not a writer. I just needed an activity I could take part in alone and drunk in a dark room. All people have their weaknesses, the comforting thoughts and actions that for better or worse become a temporal part of their analytical grieving process. As an attempt at growth, I’ve chosen to temporarily eschew my more instinctual, corporeal processes in favor of something more academic. So I write today.

Human life may simply be periods of grief and guilt and occasionally happiness with neutrality shoved between, like an overstuffed bookshelf. Some books are cover-less from years of reuse, others are textbooks covered in dust (because hardly anyone reads textbooks after class is over), others are gifts and still others are social buys which are only present as an homage to vanity and the wish to look a certain way to certain people. It’s unfair that dogma and social constructs fill in the neutrality with unrealistic expectation. This is a bit like proclaiming Catch-22 a classic after not being able to get all the way through and never intending to finish. All relationships with humans or dogs or inanimate objects end until one doesn’t. Even that ends in loss, however, so really all relationships end.

Death defines life and, despite best efforts, everyone dies. My parents will die. I love them. I LIKE them. Lots of people don’t have family they love and genuinely enjoy being around. I’m lucky this way (and I’m still an asshole). They’ve taught me or otherwise provided me the opportunity to learn every piece of information I know, and they are going to die one day. My only sister, one of the few people who at least pretends to understand who and why I am even if she doesn’t agree, might be continually disappointed by her students and children and get cancer and if she’s lucky will die before she gets too old to enjoy the rest of her life. And fuck my life. I’ll complain about terrible tsunamis and clear blue skies but perhaps never find another tornado equally matched. Even worse, I may not be a tornado at all but a sad, sad mist. I never want kids (because how could they turn out okay being raised in a culturally barren future-world by an angry, confused, feminist, anxious-as-fuck atheist?). I may never be calm or ridiculously talented or even be lucky enough to have a fleeting genius and I’m going to have to live with that. And then I’ll die.

All that might be true. The fact remains, however, that without horrifying inevitability, fleeting joy wouldn’t exist. Life would truly be neutral, and that would be the real tragedy.

I might get a dog. (I’ll call him Tom Selleck or Mustard Gas Dog. I like to think dog people are well-adjusted because for a few short years they have a companion who doesn’t judge and likes to cuddle.) I’ll deal with being the bad guy and learn from my mistakes. I’ll embrace the fact that I’m not nearly as charming or interesting as I’d like and stop dealing with my problems by finding other people with problems. I’ll make concessions to move on to something new.

I want to be a well-adjusted tornado so badly, but for now I’ll just deal and appreciate the truth that life averages out to neutral. Perhaps some unrealistic expectations exist simply as a reminder that lightness is an integral part of darkness.

Did I mention I’m not a fucking writer? Fuck.

The Doctor. Doctor Who?

Posted in Loves with tags , , , on December 8, 2011 by ccartlidge

Yeah, yeah, I know I’m such a damned stereotypical, hip, white, over-educated, geek-at-heart, liberal girl-with-a-crush-on-Doctor-Who. Might as well own it. It’s a bit upsetting that he’s holding a plastic bottle, though. Fuck Yeah Time Lords!

via fuckyeah! skinny guys.

(On a side note, I either need to stop giving away information about my weaknesses or just go ahead and dedicate the blog to them.)

Geek Punks spell it with an X

Posted in Loves, Rants with tags , , on October 7, 2011 by ccartlidge

I’ve totally been to this party.