Sunday, September 03, 2006

Details as Part of Present Living

I don't have a very exciting life of late. I've been working on my dissertation to complete my MA, so most of my Friday and Saturday--not to mention, say all of the rest of the days of the week--nights have been spent here in my room reading, writing, and editting. I talked to my brother on the phone yesterday, and regardless of the fact that he tripped over his own shoes in his apartment and wacked his ribs on his coffee table on his way to the floor, he still told me that I don't have a life. For me, it was more of a "stating the obvious" moment than my being subjected to a round of insults from a younger sibling.

So, let's discuss some more interesting things.

Last night, I watched a UK "IQ Test" on TV called "Test the Nation." I recall similar, although less technical or useful, shows in the US. It was actually kind of interesting. They broadcasted all 70 questions and a variety of people participated. People at home could access (and can still access) the test online or with their TV systems to play. In the studio, there was a group of English "celebrities" also playing along. In addition, the studio had amassed groups of people who all fell in a number of prescribed categories. For example, there were vegitarians and butchers, state school students and public school students, footballer's wives (who the hell cares about them?) and estate agents. The highest score was attributed to an older woman among the vegetarians. At one point in the show, the host spoke to her. Apparently, the most interesting event that happened to her of late was her having purchased a plant, cared for it painstakingly, only to discover no less than six months later that it was made out of synthetic materials. I have officially lost faith in the superior intelligence of the British nation.

I was dismayed to discover that "The Friday Night Project"--another entertaining show--has left off the airwaves until January. It seemed ad hoc, but that may have been the technique of the presentation of the show. The hosts were good at responding quickly to their guests and providing a good dose of ridiculousness in addition to that in the form of games and sketches. They also chose more laid back, eager to participate guests, which created a different dynamic each show but also contributed to its entertainment value.

"The Friday Night Project" was replaced by the I'm-trying-too-hard version of the same thing in the form of the Charlotte Church show. Yes, a talented young lady for certain--in the singing department, and that only. In the comedic realm, she comes off as very affected and she appears to be a little diva who thinks that she is automatically able to successfully participate in all forms of entertainment. Unfortunately, she is a poor substitute for her predecessors. From her big entrance with the poorly written and sadly dull "This is my theme tune", you just knew that nothing was going to save it. Too bad my boring Friday nights are now officially shot. Time to start renting again.

In the music world, I have recently been trying to amass the better parts of new British artists that I will be missing out on in the US. Ray Lamontagne is on the top of the list--his music is soulful but without pushing that element too far. James Morrison is also good, although the songs that have been "released" are truly the best of the best--the rest of the CD, although very much together as a unit, just doesn't have the same power over the listener. Orson is good fun, but not much more. Korin Baley Rae (and I apologize if that spelling is poor) is rather happy-go-lucky with a simple message and not much feeling behind it. Any suggestions from the masses are more than welcome.

Fortunately, the Indigo Girls will be coming out with a new CD right in time for my return home at the end of September called "Despite Our Differences." Their most recent release came in form of a compellation CD called "Rarities" that featured recordings of some previously released and some unreleased music, and overall, it was a great listen, but something was missing that only comes from a recording that is produced to be a whole. All of the songs on "Rarities" were recorded in different places at different times, so as the songs were good on their own, they did not have the unity that a CD like "All That We Let In" had. I am looking forward to experiencing that again with their newest recording.

Yes, simple things in life, granted. However, these simple things are significant because they are the little details of life as I know it right now. In a very short time, I will be leaving off this life, and the things we tend to forget first are details like that--the shows we watched, the food we ate, the music we heard--what it was like taking a shower in the bathroom in our room or using the furniture and belongings we had. In this case, for me, I can't take much of this life with me. I have to sell or distribute most of my belongings I have here with people who will be staying. If I wish to come back here and see the city again, I will have to book a long, expensive plane ride and stay in a hotel room. The people who know me here will probably remember me for a little while, and the people I see only in passing will forget quickly if they haven't already. It's all part of life, and as this will happen soon, it has happened before and will happen again in the unforseen future.

I'm looking forward to the change again, but that is a difference. In the past, change wasn't so welcome. For example, when I was at Holy Cross and a student, I remember counting down the days between my arrival and becoming comfortable and when the whole experience would abruptly end when we graduated four years later. My anticipation of change in this case has no bearing on how I have perceived my experience here. It is more that I can pick up and be ready for adjustment without lurking fear in the back of my head.

So from what is a present, and about to become a past, self to a future, and about to become a present, self, you know how it will all turn out in the end. You'll read this one day and say "oh, yeah....I remember that..." and it will probably lead to recollection of other details that I didn't bother to write down. Some will certainly be lost as soon as I walk out of the door here for the last time, but I'd like to hope, and perhaps ensure to some degree, that none of those are the important ones.


─░pek Aral said...

Firstly thanks for the message you've written to my blog. :) ( Eve's Eyes )

To be honest, I'm not very mush used to messages. I write to my blog like a diary and when someone reads it, I get really surprized. Nowadays nobody reads anything.

I wrote an answer to your message at my blog. Now I'm planning to read your blogs. Just for a start, as I'm 34, I can say, if you're a person who's always looking for something ( no need to be defined), this psychology of yours will never change even by age, like me :)


Ipek X

mist1 said...

You make boring sound good. Sometimes, in between crises...I wish for boring to happen to me.

ellesappelle said...

There was one of those "test the nation" shows done in New Zealand as well, in a very similar format. It was quite fun... until my mum got a higher score than me! :) I'm very competitive.

booda baby said...

the things we tend to forget first are details like that--the shows we watched, the food we ate ... Oooh, that was such an interesting remark. I imagine you're in such a state of high absorption that it must feel like those details will be lost. (On the other hand, there's no accounting for the variety of ways we keep a record of our history.) I myself never recorded details - which might have been a big mistake. Or not. I guess I personally love the little stabs of memory and on some level, I know the 'facts' sit there, waiting to appear again, waiting for me to coax them out of the vault in my head or hunt them down in someone else's history-keeping. I can't remember the names of shows. Oh! The Alan Partridge Show (with Steve Coogan). How strange! When you wrote about Norfolk - I don't think I could remember that show. It was seriously brilliant satire. And Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Anyway, I tend to trust what plants itself in my head as an experience. And THAT'S why I love the historians so much, people who will keep the detailed records for me. YEAH!

Jim Craven said...

Thank you so much for responding to my blog entry about Connection/Disconnection. I just gotinto thisblog business a few weeks ago and yours is the first non-family comment I've received. Guess my blog is finding its way into the blogosphere. So you will always be special to me -- my first uninvited commenter. Best of luck on your future plans.

Jim Craven
Salem, Oregon USA

Jim Craven said...

Thank you so much for responding to my blog entry about Connection/Disconnection. I just gotinto thisblog business a few weeks ago and yours is the first non-family comment I've received. Guess my blog is finding its way into the blogosphere. So you will always be special to me -- my first uninvited commenter. Best of luck on your future plans.

Jim Craven
Salem, Oregon USA

Matt said...

You spelled editing wrong. :) Hey, the great thing about journals is that you're outsourcing a bit of your memory and you can always return one year later to see what you were thinking at that point. Speaking of having no life, it astounds me that on some days I'm thinking pretty much the same things I was thinking a year ago.

BionicBuddha said...

Interesting commentary on the rollercoaster, merry-go-round existence we are subject to as young what is next on your goals list...I guess I shall have to look forward to future episodes ;)

anonymous jones said...

Yeah, Australia has had some of those National IQ shows on the telly. They are pretty dumb. Nobody who is anybody really puts much score on intelligence quotient tests because they always have some kind of bias. Any teacher will tell you there are different kinds of intelligences. But what IS it with this British phenomenon of footballers' wives? I think it is not only you who doesn't (as you admit yourself so don't get cross with me) have a life - but the whole nation, as well!!!

captain corky said...

I kind of enjoy not having an exciting life anymore. I like the simple things and I really love the stupid things.

Nihilistic said...

Caring for a fake plant for 6 months...I wish I had a friend who did this...Then I could make fun and laugh and point for years and years.

da da said...

IT is in the details, the life you used to live, who you were. When I think of the memories I want to keep, its the details that slip away from me. I remember living in Germany and loving the countryside, but now all I can think of is the littel cups of coffee that I miss but can't quite place why. Still, here in the states its all bigger better more and I just can't subscribe to that kind of life. Details take you to strange places. I also struggel with why I remember the details I do. I remember things like the mole on my second girlfriends leg, but can't remember why we broke up all those years ago. I can barely remember her face... I just hope that dosent happen with my wife and family. Details are why all these little digital devices are being made. And its all a crutch i tell ya. A big fat crutch to lean on so you don't have to use that brain.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

It is hard to describe the banality of 'Test The Nation' to those living outside the UK.

I've just added you to my bloglist.

"Angeldust" said...

Hello there!

"Apparently, the most interesting event that happened to her of late was her having purchased a plant, cared for it painstakingly, only to discover no less than six months later that it was made out of synthetic materials."

Look at the bright side - this WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO YOU!
Besides, an MA in nothing to sneeze at.

Most real people "don't have a life"... they live it as you are doing, in your room one night a the time - putting in the time to better yourself.

There is a lot of pretence in "life living" by the “glitteratty”...

Values and priorities come much into account for others.
A quiet life can be just as well lived - if not better without the peripheral noise and chaos.

You are SOOO Ok girl!
Keep it up.
Love and joy to you

Clint said...

Interesting reading, nice blog.


Clint's Blog

Mike said...

Funny story about the fake plant. Forgive my stereotypical question but I have to ask. (I ask everyone from England this question.) Do you watch Coronation Street? I catch it every evening.

Cheers! chopra said...

thank you for your comments. i would have responded sooner but i can't figure out how to reply to your reply.

yer pal,

Matt said...

Anyone like Couples? I saw the first season on Netflix recently. Not bad. Not great, but not bad. It would definately be a mistake to try to translate that to "American," however. Wait a minute, I think they tried and it already failed....

Fake houseplant. I'm dying.

Historical Wit said...

One time my wife and i went on vacation and we got this guy to watch our apartment. We had this wintery looking arrangment in a clear vase, it was all dried willow in some twisty dried twigs in round river rocks in the bottom. Damn if we didn't come back and he watered it half full. I mean how the hell can't you tell that was a bunch of dead twigs?

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Anonymous said...

Hello. Prompt how to get acquainted with the girl it to me to like. But does not know about it
I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:

". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

"And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .

"When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.

"I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank

For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing

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