martes, 29 de diciembre de 2009

My dirty little secret

Currently listening to "Here Comes the Sun" by George Harrison. They should've let him write more songs.

I'm sitting on my couch. A lethargic couch potato. In my lethargic living room. With a big black screen staring at me, like some sort of ominous vacuum, spewing photons at 300,000 kilometres a second. They must've knocked some sense into my head. For I've just come to realize, I am so. Disgustingly. Sophomoric. So here's to a new year. And resolutions of my own volition.

A List of Vocations:
- interior designer
- sporadic writer
- kindergarten teacher
- naturalist
- food eater person

A List of People:
- Jane Goodall
- William Carlos Williams
- Seu Jorge
- Pocahontas
- Cooking Mama

A List of Something(?):
- tangible
- human
- alive
- naive
- hopeful

Tactfully,
T.J.

martes, 22 de diciembre de 2009

Blacksy

Currently listening to "The Happiest Christmas Tree" by Nat King Cole. Coming from a Christmas and jazz music aficionado, this is probably the single worst Christmas song I've ever heard. Ever.

So these past few days, I've been spending time with my sisters in Davis. They work during the day, come home tired in the afternoon, and take me out at night. I wake up early, make breakfast for them, lounge around an unfamiliar apartment for a while, make lunch when they get back, and like the excited little child I am, go out with them after a tedious day of nothing, really. We come home, I make dinner, we watch a romantic comedy, chat about how unrealistic some films can be (but secretly wish otherwise), and go to sleep. Boring, right? No, not really. As unbecoming as it is for a woman in the 21st century to enjoy the likes of a housewife (read the description of my typical day again), I actually really like it. I like caring for my sisters, I like seeing a warm look of satisfaction and gratitude replace the glazed stare of hunger and weariness after a long day at work, I quietly swell up with pride when they ecstatically devour my home-cooked meals and are immediately re-energized to embark on a rainy night journey with me into downtown Davis. I repeat, as unbecoming as it is for a woman in the 21st century to enjoy the likes of a housewife, I wouldn't mind being a housewife (for how long, is the question). Not to say I don't want to get a job or be economically independent or anything of the sort. No, I sure as hell would, but I think being a housewife appeals to me because I like helping other people, and loving them, and sacrificing a little of myself for them. I like caring for other people, especially when the feeling is mutual, and in many ways, I've lost that feeling ever since I got to LA. In LA, I feel like everything is, in the words of the Beatles, "I, Me, Mine". I study for me. I do this for me. I do that for me. I feel so fucking selfish all the time. Don't get me wrong, there are people I really care about in LA, and while I can't be there for them all the time, I show them through little actions, like cooking for them, spending time with them, helping them study, playing a song for them, surprising them on their birthdays, walking to their apartment at 3:00 am in the morning to be with them, etc etc., you get the idea. And while I don't verbally express a lot of my sentiments (I'm extremely guarded with my feelings, it's not a very good trait), I show people they mean a lot to me through these actions, and if they're perceptive enough, they know I care. But my point is, I haven't found anyone in LA I would give 110% of myself to. I haven't found anyone I would drop my books for to do something as simple as, say, watch the sun rise or the rain fall. I haven't found anyone I would share my whole heart, body, and mind with. I suspect that's what one would call "love." And even though I personally haven't been in love, I miss that feeling. I know, you're probably thinking, that doesn't make any sense, because how could I miss something I've never felt? Well, then, maybe I have been in love, but I highly doubt that. I think I've been close to falling in love, but I don't think I could fall in love with someone who'd knowingly love me just for a day. And shit, with both sappy fairytale definitions and heartbroken "been there, done that" definitions of "love" being thrown at you left and right, who can really tell what love is nowadays? Nay, not me.

On a lighter note, I welcome you to: http://yummypicks.blogspot.com. My mantra: food and music make anything better.

Tactfully,
T.J.

domingo, 20 de diciembre de 2009

I Was Kind of Tired When I Wrote This

Now you're a little bit of a letdown
Like the shady stars of a polluted night sky
Like the stars that do not exist
when you search and search,
but do exist when you stop looking.
The stars that happen to appear
in the peripheral vision
of your sad pussy eye

It's 3:00 am, it's very late at night
or would you like to consider it
very early in the city morning?
The chilly city morning that chills you with
its lonliness and its individualism
but heats you with its mad sporadic humbums
that roam the greenest intersections
and speak the honest-est truths

Time for a stroll, to assure the depressed,
the high, the weirdos, the fools, the selfish,
that in the end, it's gonna be okay
Running towards nothing, screaming, Moloch! Moloch!
into the eerie silence of the night, trying to minimize
attention? hah! the unconscious begs to differ
it lusts for misery, hate, rape! gyrating, moaning
in an empty fetal position

Under the streetlight, the shadow follows the feet
but by light of car, the feet follow the shadow
running, running -- I bid you farewell, they say.
If you run faster, I run faster, too.
so stop. stop running. inhale! exhale!
but even standing still, your shadow moves faster
than you. it's no wonder, shadows roam
this sad city, like the aforementioned humbum vagabonds.
maybe, maybe They
are the flesh our shadows?

Maybe we are they
or maybe they are us
or maybe, maybe
We are all Each Other

jueves, 17 de diciembre de 2009

Mushaboom

So this video was kind of on-the-spot. I liked the song I was listening to and the atmosphere of the scene (my apartment, last day before holiday break), so I decided to fuse the two, pepper it with endearing subtitles, and voila! I present to you...

"Gosh, I love LA" by Tactful TJ

video

miércoles, 2 de diciembre de 2009

Damn Vegetarian

The little girl brushed her greasy hair from her greasy face with her equally greasy fingertips. Gross. Her fingers looked like big, fat, delicious Polish sausages. Just as thoughts of cannabilistic cravings surfaced, she decided she would become a vegetarian. Which was quite funny, because just yesterday, she had coddled herself in the interpretation of vegetarians as idealistic, superficial saps. But now. It was different. OH, how different it was.

Her fingers were not fragile and beautiful like the ones she saw on the little Russian ballerinas in the golden music boxes or the girlish Victorian debutante piano players. Maybe becoming a vegetarian would help her become beautiful. Maybe making herself littler and weaker would make the things she managed to do right seem grander.

"It's an illusion."

A small spider resting at the tip of the little girl's mud-splattered shoe hopped onto her knee, then onto her blue cotton dress, landing right above her left breast. "I said it's an illusion. It's not that great being delicate and beautiful. It's kind of lonely actually, everyone just kind of forgets about you."

"But look at all the things you can do! You can fall a distance one hundred and one times your height and still live. You can kill an opponent fifty times your size with one bite. And BY golly, would you please get off my chest? It's making me rather uncomfortable."

The spider scuttled up the little girl's neck and onto her eyelid. She was very careful to keep her eye closed or risk accidentally trapping the spider in the crevice above her eye.

"Do you think the size of my achievements matters to me? I'm just a spider. That's what I don't understand about you humans. Everything is revolved around flattery, flattery, flattery! What happens when you die and everyone forgets about you? What happens when you die and you realize that you and I, spider and human, intellectual and bastard, we're all the same? Will it matter then?"

The little girl hesitated for a moment and closed both eyes. She felt the little spider hop down from her face onto the ground.

"I guess it won't. Unless there's some kind of afterlife. Then it would matter to me. Because. I'd want to be immortalized by what I accomplished while I was alive. I don't want to be remembered by my fat fingers or my greasy hair. I want to leave a legacy. Is that wrong? Is it wrong to want to be remembered? How else will dwarf and giant be distinguished? Now THAT's a scary thought, what happens to us when we die. Do we vanish like vapor into the air? Do we swim among the stars like particles of ambiguity? Do we lose all sense of feeling? Maybe we're all just insignificant vessels of flesh attempting to find something that means something to us, be someone who means something to someone. Maybe we're trapped in a puppet's body, controlled by an inexplicable worldly force and unable to escape. OH, I don't know. What do you think?"

Eyes still shut, the little girl awaited a response from her new friend. She waited for a long time, but was embraced by silence.

Growing impatient, she opened her eyes.

The little spider lay dead on the floor.

viernes, 20 de noviembre de 2009

My fartsy thoughts


http://thesneakygiraffe.blogspot.com/
The Sneaky Giraffe: An ecclectic collection of visuals brought to you by Tactful T.J.

miércoles, 18 de noviembre de 2009

Moldy Curry

Last month, somebody asked me what love was.
Last week, somebody told me it sucks.
I've never been in love so I have no idea
but yeah, if you care, here's my two bucks.

It's a passionate appeal
but really
not real.
It's tricky mirages
and naive foot
massages.
It's a selfish game
played just
for fame.
It's soft je'taimes,
whispered falsely
in REM.
It's Noahs concocted
from notebooks,
like Naoh wrought
from textbooks.
It's poison.
It's toxic.
It's deathly
like chopsticks.
It's schizophrenic.
It's carcinogenic.
It's fascist
like cannabis.
It's fat,
it's stupid
and naked
like Cupid.
It's weak honey tea
and moldy curry.
It's decaffeinated coffee
and hopeless vulnerability.
It's cruel.
It's tools.
It varies
like cherries.
It's scary,
it's haunted.

It's all
I've ever wanted.

domingo, 1 de noviembre de 2009

Private detective for hire

Currently listening to "The Race is On Again" by Yo La Tengo.

A few nights ago, while "studying" for biology, Moriarty challenged me to define a Lewis acid. After careful deliberation, I settled on the answer "an electron acceptor" (as opposed to a proton donator, the definition of a Bronsted acid). We agreed whoever was wrong had to call the number of an ad Moriarty had found on a bulletin board in the math and sciences building. The ad read "Private Detective for Hire" in big letters and displayed a rather flattering picture of Jason Schwartzman, followed by tearable tabs with the number 646-336-6222. After a civil altercation over our answers, we decided to just put the phone on speaker and ended up reaching the guy's voicemail, only to find that the number had been a clever medium to advertise the HBO show "Bored to Death". This witty voicemail message suddenly ended with an impending "Please leave a message" beep, and under the pressure of time, I candidly shouted "I love you, Jason!" I quickly closed my phone and Moriarty and I shared a laugh and quipped some funny comments. Then I realized I hadn't closed the phone all the way so whoever (if anyone) received the messages heard everything we had said about the call (I don't think it was necessarily anything bad, but maybe a little embarrassing). I decided the only way to mute our previous comments was to shout another well-articulated "I love you, Jason!" after which I made sure the phone was closed completely this time. Win!

















Tactfully,
T.J.

viernes, 16 de octubre de 2009

Stoned and slightly inebriated

Currently listening to "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" by Belle & Sebastian.

There's an enigmatic sense of freedom and individuality about driving through the streets of LA at night. The psuedo-relationships of my daytime life disappear and I'm heading towards something real, something personal, something soulful. I don't know exactly what that may be, but hell if God knows, my foot never leaves the accelerator. I'm carefree again, spontaneous and unsure, following one blinking star after another like unnumbered dots to be connected. With each path I take, a foamy trail of white wine is left across the night sky to remind me of where I've been, what I've done, and who I've seen. Life is sheer madness, madness to think, madness to explore, madness to live. Jack Kerouac is my friend, listening and responding to my boundless curiosity towards love, life, and self. He doesn't care if I steal his lines to describe this longing for escapism; in fact, he's quite flattered. Anything and everything becomes a philosophical musing of some type: whether over the length of telomeres or over the absurd lyrics of the latest indie song, no one cares, just as long as someone's talking and someone's listening. There will be times when speed limits are non-existent, these are the times of uninhibited lust for adventure; there will be times I experience flat tires, these are the times I forget to wonder and question; there will be times yellow means faster and red means go, these are the times of intense passion and keenness to love. But no matter what time it is, one thing is sure: I will never stop driving. Under the soft champagne hum of the streetlights and the ghostly glow of the moon, I will never stop driving.

Tactfully,
T.J.

domingo, 11 de octubre de 2009

Speaking of concerts

Currently listening to "Wonderwall" by Oasis. I swear it's been resonating through my apartment for the past three days. Four chord songs are always the catchiest.

I like to think the reason that makes Outsidelands the worst concert I've ever attended (well, half-attended) compensates by making it the concert I will never forget, no matter how hard I try. The fact that I arrived 20 minutes after Modest Mouse performed muffles the pain a little bit. But heck, MIA, Band of Horses, and Tenacious D were still worth trying to sneak inside. I mean, it's Jack Black. He was probably going to pull some ridiculous stunt like get naked or lick some dude's ass. The plan: Dixon (the lucky owner of an actual ticket) would get in first and inform me of locations with sparsely populated security guards. The actuality: They are literally everywhere, clad in their "you can't miss me" bright yellow jackets. So, to make a long story short, I jumped fences, crawled under fences, hiked through shady-looking woods, feigned diarrhea (like ten times! Embarrassing!), all this, only to make friends with baked delinquents, land in a police compound, get kicked out three times, and walk the entire perimeter of Golden Gate Park, all by my lonesome, in 60 degree weather. Having my friend on the phone squealing about how smashtastic the performances were while I really needed to pee made me a little happier. In fact, I think I might've peed a tiny bit just thinking about how much fun she was having and how much free stuff she was collecting. So happy that I've become incontinent. Needless to say, traversing the park with strange people on ecstasy who think my name is Sammy is an experience I probably wouldn't have come across elsewhere in my humble life. At least four hours of trying to get inside Outsidelands only to end up outside Outsidelands makes for a damn good story.

On another note, I want to go to the Treasure Island Festival next week. And Regina Spektor's going to be in LA October 28! My good friend purchased early bird tickets as a surprise and what a surprise it was until I discovered I have an organic chemistry midterm the very same night! I shed tears of blood as I write this.

Tactfully,
T.J.

sábado, 3 de octubre de 2009

Extended metaphors (unintentional)

Currently listening to "Firecracker" by Voxtrot. What an explosive song!

So I was flipping through my journal last night and came across this excerpt I found particularly snort-worthy. I wrote this after a Beatles tribute concert held by the White Ensemble during the summer. I think it was sometime in late August, just around the same time I discovered I had psychic abilities and almost started believing in God.

The sky was a sleepy grey. The crowd was restless. Something big was going down and we all knew it. Tonight would be the resurrection of The Beatles. Old, young, ugly, short, fat, beautiful, we were all there. And we were both thankful and thanked for it, too. "Thank you all for being here. If you would like to buy our CD or T-shirts, it would be of great benefit to us. And of great benefit to 94.5 KOIT. But most of all, it would of great benefit to Mr. Kite." That was the switch to the greatest musical orgy I've ever experienced. And the best part was it was with complete strangers whose names I will never feel obligated to know or remember. It was loud, rough, and lasted a little over 3 hours. Standing at the front, I looked back into the sea of people behind me. Together, they literally looked like a sea, steadily moving up and down, up and down to the beat of The Beatles. Every song I vocally desired was played within five minutes of my request. Strawberry Fields Forever, Revolution, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, you name it, I named it, they named it. The night ended with All You Need is Love, which is a rather romanticized ideal, returned with an encore of Back in the USSR, which I thought was a heinous choice for an encore, and ended with a second (and more appropriate) encore of Hey Jude, the ultimate sing-along! Funny thing, I've always dreamt about being within a 1-mile radius of na na na na na's, but being the center of it?

Best orgy ever.

Tactfully,
T.J.

jueves, 24 de septiembre de 2009

An Existential Schizophrenic

She was a librarian
black hair pinned back
hands folded in lap.
She sat at the front desk
imparting her owl eyes and Gogh ears
on the domain that was hers
and only hers.
"DaVinci in Row Five," she declared,
"Machiavelli in Row Eleven."
"Kierkegaard, you ask? Row Zero."
Head held high,
she answered question after question,
solved mystery after mystery.
And what about you? a familiar voice inquired.
In which row do you belong?
It was a simple question, an easy one at that.
She opened her proud lips but no sound came out
Flustered, she snapped --
"There's no talking in the library."

lunes, 14 de septiembre de 2009

Arrested Development

In an attempt to liberate his child from the all too well-known shackles of a high-expecting father (as well as a personal act of rebellion against his own father), Jason Bateman, a typical business-oriented man, watches in warm satisfaction as his son, a chubby-cheeked, pre-Juno Michael Cera, burns down the family-owned banana shack. The next morning, an orange-clad father of Bateman, imprisonated for defrauding investors and using his company as a bank for his family's personal expenses, looks his son straight in the eye and says with subdued tension, "There was $250,000 in cash lining the walls of the Banana Stand." You know, it's scenes like this that have me hooked on the TV show Arrested Development. There's something strangely heart-warming about an ecclectic family with wide-ranging personalities and incestual interests. Sibling competition, forbidden love, parental screw-ups...hello Wes Anderson? The narration/filming and quirky family dynamics remind me of The Royal Tenenbaums (one of my favorite films), and even the photo above is corroboratory of this statement. The absurd recurring jokes and foreshadowing techniques are sufficiently subtle to pass as just another one of Hurwitz's eccentricities, but noticeable enough to play catch-and-connect, which, I have to say, makes a non-frequent TV viewer like myself quite proud. Dixon introduced me to the show and I'm surprised I've never heard of it before, especially since the seriocomic humor is just my cup of tea. Usually, I'm not the most avid watcher of TV shows, but with the Velvet Underground playing in the background as the Bluth family members find themselves in the most realistically unrealistic situations, this might be an exception.

miércoles, 9 de septiembre de 2009

Hey Judas

When society becomes a burden,
look inside and find Tyler Durden
'cause you know he's the only one
who's brave enough to pull the gun

Forget the frail traitor -
the faceless narrator -
religion's no longer real
and anarchism's your last meal

Beyond the dull needle of prozium
lies the truth to Plato's symposium
so go ahead, put on your Fawkes mask
99 barrels will finish the task

They say it's not treason

if you got a good reason,
so when the world's in convolution
hell, why don't you start a Revolution

jueves, 3 de septiembre de 2009

A Toast to the World

Currently listening to "The Gift" by The Velvet Underground. Good storyline. Very Tarantino-esque.

Once upon a time, I ate a cold black plum and I swear it was the greatest black plum Cain ever reaped from the ground. I drank a glass of milk and I swear it was the tastiest milk on earth. I sat on the balcony on an upside-down box and I drank the night air and I swear it was the most nitrogenated air I ever inhaled. I stared at the city lights and I drank them too. I told the person sitting on the right-side up box beside me that I believed in two realms of life. The first was materialistic and jealous of the second and would not let go of the physical particles it possessed. The second was spiritual and introspective and so accepted only the metaphysical assets of the world. I explained that the city lights were a reflection of the stars and that was why the light bulb above us was so fucking bright, because of that one star that shone bryter than the rest. To test my theory, I wished upon a stoplight, but the damn thing kept moving before I could finish my wish. I laughed to myself but secretly I was disappointed. And so that night I drank the stars and I swear they were the most beautiful I'd ever eaten. They tasted like one dollar tacos on a Wednesday night.


Tactfully,
T.J.

viernes, 21 de agosto de 2009

Nothing to write
Only to wrong

miércoles, 19 de agosto de 2009

Dear Sir George Henry Martin

Now somewhere in the sleepless city of LA
There lived a young girl named Tactful TJ
One day her curiosity ran off with speedy Adidas
Left her in the dirt, she didn't like that
She said one day I'm gonna find my curiosity
So she drove away into the night
Her only passenger the Nowhere Man from Nowhere Land

martes, 11 de agosto de 2009

To talk of many things

A giant cockroach frantically scurries across the room, struggling to dodge a storm of cascading red apples. An Algerian man accountable for the death of an Arab stands indifferently over his carcass, shot multiple times for no plausible reason. A timid captain meets his doppelganger face-to-face in a dark L-shaped room, located on a lonely ship in the middle of the ocean.

Kudos to you if you can pinpoint the literary pieces that contain these mindwrecking scenes. They happen to be part of some of the greatest literary works I've come across, all portraying a human enigma I've never been able to fully wrap my head around - the id as a societal foreigner. The id by definition is inherently human, it defines our most basic impulses and wants - survival and sexual satisfaction - and constitutes the amoral, instinctual side of our personalities. As opposed to the societally influenced conscious us, the id is us at our most basic level. And despite this, we try to hide it away into the deepest corners of our souls, ashamed and embarrassed of the raw, infantile thoughts of our minds. We have this inborn urge to constantly suppress our "dark side" and mask them with superficial images of good and righteousness. We deny our primal desires when we know they are universally human and natural. We follow a path of artifical, self-created morality, but under what authority? We are unreliable narrators of our own lives. Repression of the unconscious mind can only lead to self-consumption; acceptance, on the other hand, fosters independence and self-discovery. Power to Hobbes, but I'm not saying we're inherently evil people. I'm saying we shouldn't have to feel like we have to mold ourselves to what modern ideology brands as bad or good. But I have to admit my criticism of this human hypocrisy is hypocritical in and of itself. I, without a doubt, fall victim to mankind's fixation with constructing a facade of virtue. There are a lot of things you don't know about me and well, I'm sure there are a lot of things I don't know about you. If I reveal them to you now, I'm still the same person, the same friend, the same daughter you've always known, but regardless, you will judge me. Perhaps that's the reason. We hide ourselves because we are afraid of being judged. Maybe I should return to God. That way, if I do something "bad", all I need to do is confess to be redeemed.

Hah. Fuck that. Writing is salvation enough.

Tactfully,

T.J.

martes, 4 de agosto de 2009

My Two-Buck Chucks

Under the blinking stars
that strangle our windowsill,
we lie supine on the bed
in the dim yellow light

we look up youtube videos --
of laughing babies,
and cats playing piano.

we listen to music --
Damien Rice, The Smiths,
and Cat Power.

we talk of interpretation --
musing over words
we don't understand.

supine on the bed
in the dim yellow light,
we question the meaning
of my two-buck chucks.

i have a strange inclination
that this could be
the very utopia
of Mr. Aldous Hux.

miércoles, 29 de julio de 2009

Secret sharer

Currently listening to "Mr. Radio" by ELO. For some reason, when I listen to this song, I imagine myself prancing hand in hand with Ziggy Stardust on the surface of Mars. I love it.

As habitual, I get this unexplainable urge to write with time I can't really spare. A meeting with Gauss, Kirchhoff, and Ampere looms over me like a porcupine-creating rain cloud, and although I have utmost respect for these fine men, I can't really see us being great friends in the near future. Things would get too electric, if you know what I mean. Kekule would be a more appropriate match. Or even better, Nietzche or Kierkegaard. Speaking of which, I remember people always used to ask me this question and I would never be able to settle on a response: If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why? That's like asking me what my favorite film or band is, or even worse, what my favorite food is. There's never a single answer. But despite all odds, I think I finally have found the right answer.

Tactfully,
T.J.

sábado, 18 de julio de 2009

He, She, and Them

Together they walked, into the screen, hand in hand.
The grey sky was illuminated by the lights of a sleepy city.
They were lost in confusion,
were the lights real?
Or was it a trick of the eye?
They didn't know,
but they didn't care.
It was a night of unspoken thoughts and unasked questions.
The film gave them thoughts.
The actors asked their questions.
But speak them aloud?
They dared not.
She in her yellow shirt, crying inside,
dying to know if she meant something to him.
He with his clouded spectacles, crying outside,
wondering if he still meant something to her.
Together they walked,
in all their confusion,
out of the screen and into the dark city night.
No more acting,
no more scripts,
just he, she, and them.

sábado, 27 de junio de 2009

At the corner of your eye

Currently listening to "Lion in a Coma" by Animal Collective. Very experimental. Experimental is good, in more ways than one.

Having the ability to feel is like having the ability to breathe or eat. You do it everyday, but you don't realize how important it is until you lose that ability. Feelings are the cause of wonder, desire, curiosity. They give you hope, bring you down, eat you up, spit you out. They are the dense iron cores of our constantly searching souls, and they are the media through which these souls shamelessly yearn for that missing 'something'. But despite the synonymous meaning of feelings and life itself, there's one thing in this world that makes me wish feelings were non-existent, that they could vanish as quickly as they are conjured, and that's looking into someone else's eyes and seeing nothing but a broken heart. Chin up, yeah? Better times are a'coming.

Tactfully,
T.J.

martes, 23 de junio de 2009

Flight 3126

I ponder a poem
as I sit in my seat.
I clear up some flem
and fiddle my feet.

It's a quarter to five
til Flight 3126 leaves;
to tell you the truth,
I feel like Christopher Reeves.

Like a flock of damned sheep,
or a herd of damned calves,
we head in the same direction
but ba to ourselves.

I pick up my pencil
and let out a sigh.
He picks up his iPhone
and just wants to die.

And so the time has finally come
for us to all fly,
we close our eyes tightly
and pretend not to cry.

The voice of God is heard.
It's time for soul sorting.
"Attention," It says,
"We are now boarding."

martes, 16 de junio de 2009

1, 2, 3

There are three kinds of people in the human world. The first are your best friends. They freely give you their shoulders when you're weak and never forget who you are even when you sometimes do. The second are your enemies. They cause the need for shoulders and try to break you to make themselves. And then there are those who don't fall into either category. They are not your best friends and they are not your worst enemies, they are people who don't expect to become a big part of your life, but somehow still manage to. Like the flicker of a flame, they come and go quickly, but burn ever so radiantly in the little amount of time they do exist. They may end up being someone you hate or someone you love or just someone you know, but each of them teaches you a new lesson, offers you a different perspective, gives you a little fragment of themselves that makes you a greater person. You may be someone I will always try to keep in my life, you may be someone I will never understand, or you may be someone I don't really know what to do with. Whichever you are, you have left me with something I can learn from and grow with -- and for this, I thank you.

Thank you for the guidance and knowledge you've given me, the discussions about music, writing, film, existence, and organic chemistry. I will never forget the Wes Anderson movie nights or the philosphical musings we have over random events. You are the only person I've ever felt wholly comfortable enough with to share my deepest art, writing, poetry, thoughts, and insecurities. I only hope to have encouraged you as you have encouraged me to keep creating and searching.

Thank you for the late-night talks in the laundry room, the writing and pondering underneath the dim glow of Christmas lights, the feasts of twinkies, beef jerky, pickled cucumbers, and soy milk. You have given me a sense of faith and imagination when sometimes I felt like I had none. The night we watched in silence as the city awoke and turn a dreary gray will follow me to my grave. I await the future shenanigans we will carry out -- making amateur movies, struggling through H-NMR spectroscopy, and exploring the city by night!

Thank you for the eternal sunshine you bring into my life, the daily play-acting we partake in, the rhyme wars and the nights of funky-colored nail polish. There's something contagious about the way you live that makes me go to class (most days) and wait for the green before I cross the street. You have an uncommon perspective on life -- one of both innocence and sagacity -- that I try to integrate into my own. From our sink squats to our shower songs, I look forward to sharing more laughter, pain, and tears with you.

Thank you for the thrifting adventures, the awkward eyelashes, the laughter and positive meaning you've showed me. You taught me "eco-chic" and sophistication. You always manage to keep a happy disposition wherever you go and you were born with style. Here's to many trips to Crossroads and naps in Chemistry class!

Thank you for your energy and personality, the "that's what she said" moments, the looks and the bitch rants about you-know-who. You are always the life of the party and you know exactly what to say to make me smile even when I'm in the worst of moods. And you have an amazing voice! You are truly one of a kind and anyone would be lucky to have you.

Thank you for always being there for me, for discussing with me our unconscious and conscious dreams over boba, for keeping my secrets and listening to me when I felt like I had no one else to talk to. Whether having life conversations in British accents or breaking into the pier at two in the morning and getting caught, you've shared with me some of the greatest memories I have this year. Thank you for the ears you lent me when I couldn't hear myself think and the sense you knocked into my head when I had none of my own.

And finally, thank you for the sleepless nights we shared, the shooting stars we counted, the feelings of passion, lonliness, and confusion you taught me. You brought a new kind of meaning to my body, my existence, my experience as an 18-year-old girl. You made me feel special and scared and beautiful and worthless all at the same time. Because of you, I experienced emotions I never knew I was capable of feeling and had thoughts I never knew I was capable of thinking. Because of you, I learned how to channel my emotions into something great -- art, poetry, and written word. Because of you, I stepped outside my comfort zone, tried things I was so scared of, discovered myself as an individual. Sometimes I think what life would be like if I never met you, and I realize it wouldn't be much of a life at all -- there's a folly in the spotless mind. Truthfully, I feel what we had together helped us both grow as individuals more than as a pair, but whatever ends up happening between us, I want you to know that you've been the strongest catalyst in my journey to find me. And for this, I thank you.

Tactfully,

T.J.

jueves, 4 de junio de 2009

Hazy yellow street lights

Currently listening to "Los Angeles, I'm Yours" by The Decemberists.

There’s something about this strange city that captures me. It’s not something concrete I can readily single out and describe, like the warm summer nights of Atlanta or the sandy shores of Miami. I don’t know, maybe it’s the absence of concreteness that I am in love with. The feeling that everyone’s here for a reason, but no one really knows what it is. The feeling of uncertainty and alienation, of moving together without direction. It’s like I’m on an endless road trip of self, forming new bonds and collecting new experiences like tokens, only to end up in the same place I started off. The car is full, but no one’s speaking. Just breathing, and occasionally blinking. We move in incarnate unison, but we stray in spirit. We’re not human anymore, just discrete aggregations of atoms, aimlessly searching for something beyond our own objective existence. One for one, all for none. But just for a single moment, the uniformity of our journeys, the sameness of our searches, the demands of our ids, bring us together, make us one. This single moment is what defines the very fabric of this great city. Yes, we are isolated. Yes, we are alone. But in our aloneness, we are one. We are the individual specks of light on the midnight city line, radiating in every color, every shape, and every size against a dark abyss. Some of us are blue Helio flames, making sure the world will know our names; others are hazy yellow street lights, easily forgotten and swept away in the hustle bustle of the city; and there are the few who come and go like ever-changing beacons of red, green, and yellow, giving us hope when we need it and slowing us down when we’re moving too fast. Our placement is arbitrary, our purpose elusive, but one thing is certain -- from this ambiguity, from this irony of solitude in togetherness, a sad collective beauty is crafted. As the city awakens and turns a humdrum gray, I realize in the few months I have slept here, breathed here, cried here, loved here, this city is my home.

Los Angeles, I’m yours.




Tactfully,
T.J.


martes, 19 de mayo de 2009

An Electric Parade

Inspired by you and Andrew Bird.

I saw you standing alone
in the middle of an electric parade
wearing that funny hat you always wear
The brown one with black spectacles.
You beckon to me
with your big, eager hands
and your smooth, deceiving lips
and your lye lye lyes.
A charming lost prince
searching for his Disney bride
himself dewy-eyed
and overprescribed.
Acid in his smile
He has me beguiled
like a phi phenomenon
like flashing lights.
I see you standing alone
in the middle of an electric parade
and realize
it is me.

sábado, 2 de mayo de 2009

Sir Clementine

There's a funny story behind this one.

A tap on the shoulder of a bright Clementine,
basking, ripening,
in a mutiny of words.
He smiles blindly and speaks with his eyes,
falling, rotting,
a wingless bird.
Blanketed by sunlight but unable to grow,
a worm, a memory,
finds him with Poe.
He's desperate for love, knows not where to look,
so he puts his face
back,
back
in his lonely book.

martes, 28 de abril de 2009

Thank you, Thank You Mart

Currently listening to "A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left" by the amazing Andrew Bird. He sings, he whistles, he gives me music-gasms. Concert July 10 at the Greek Theater, see you there?

I would like to dedicate this post to Thank You Mart, the greatest vintage store in Los Angeles. I am head over maroon-painted toes for this place. Thank You Mart is a smoky little Beatles-playing thrift shop, plucked from some grass bath in mid-1960's San Francisco and strategically placed in the beating heart of modern Los Angeles. Its clothing selection is delightfully eccentric and conveniently eclectic -- messy blouses, worn-out lumber jackets, psychadelic trinkets, humdrum scarves, floral aprons, and so on. There are these quirky tees with half-coherent, engrish-esque phrases that I especially enjoy, mostly because I find the thought process people go through trying to decipher a meaningless piece of cotton quite humorous. It bothers me when people try to assign meaning to everything. Meaning shouldn't have to be a precursor to a choice; if anything, labelling something with a determined purpose restricts its potential to be something greater. Understanding is not necessary for enjoyment, and clothes are definitely no exception!

Thank you, Thank You Mart.

Tactfully,
T.J.

lunes, 20 de abril de 2009

Disaster in construction

Currently listening to Cake's "Short Skirt/Long Jacket". I've been listening to them non-stop recently. Their style of music is a perfectly unbalanced conglomeration of singing and speaking, also known as sprechgesang. If the human circulatory system could be as syncopated as their beats, life would be swell.

I thought about this in whatever language we use when we think, and being me, decided to take an ignorant whack at Old English. In prose, of course, iambic pentameter should be left to Ol' William.

Blessed memories, why dost thou love and despise me so? Thou art a mother's hand, caressing my longing cheek, only to be betrayed with a sharp stake to the heart, reminding me of what has come and will not come again. The mind is a terrible invention. It haunts and thinks too much -- easily saturated with unspoken desires and enigmatic thoughts. I recite, only in moderation doth wonder bequeath contentment. And here I contradict myself. The mind is an irreproducibly majestic invention. Only in a confusion of good, bad, love, hate, yes, no can one discover not just contentment, but also greatness. Without the sharp stake, what is the mother's hand? The mother's hand is the sharp stake. 'Tis a truth that moderated minds beget moderated potential, and imbued minds beget imbued potential. The flower will not bloom unless inebriated with water.

What the universe has made a curse, the man hath made a treasure.

Tactfully,

T.J.

jueves, 2 de abril de 2009

The Human Paradox

Responsibility -
so often shunned as a heavy burden.
Overlooked,
underappreciated,
merely an extension of free will,
of autonomy and power.

You claim you worship,
not God,

but Will.
You take responsibility for
your great songs.
But what do you do when things go wrong?

You neglect responsibility -
Cut all ties
Make up lies
Close your eyes
As she cries
Desperately hoping for its Demise

You think:
if you can forget, so can the world
but when it does, you cannot.

Previously powerful,
now pitifully powerless.

Cold and alone,
you realize:
if embraced, Responsibility
is really
a blessing in disguise.

miércoles, 25 de marzo de 2009

The Mosaic Maker

The mosaic maker is the ultimate paradigm of the living. He begins with meaningless fragments of experiences, slowly piecing them together to reveal a grand montage, a greater truth. What he believed to be a mélange of cryptic, incomprehensible events he has rendered into a fathomable masterpiece.

miércoles, 18 de marzo de 2009

I dream of witches

Currently listening to "Into the Ocean" by Blue October. Subtlety at its finest.

Last night I had an epic moment while asleep. At about 4 a.m. in the morning, I began to reach for and grab at the witch puppet I have hanging over my bed. With my eyes wide open, I repeatedly mumbled, "Where is it? Where is it? I can't find it.." or some other mumbojumbo that defines this universal human enigma. My roommates say it went on for a solid minute. I don't recall a second of it. But I don't doubt any of it, I sleep express myself quite often. Sometimes more so than I am willing to when I am awake. There's a raw truth in the unconscious mind.

Tactfully,
T.J.

lunes, 16 de marzo de 2009

Absolute Truth

Currently listening to "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane. Brilliance exemplified.

There are good times. There are bad times. And there are times not meant to be classified as anything at all. This is one of them. Prepare yourself for a flurry of my whimsical musings.

I don't particularly fancy being judged. I don't fancy judging others either. Anyone who does may be honorably dubbed an undiscovered hypocrite. This consternation called Life is too complex, too opaque for someone to say whether something is right or wrong. On what basis do we have the right to determine moral arbitration? There exists no Absolute Truth, only truth. Perhaps this is why religion was created; to give a purely symbolic sense of stability to a weak human race unable to fathom that their existence may not be a tally of good deeds and meaningful moments, but rather, an ambivalent hodgepodge of experiences. Are you a good person because you choose to follow an artificially concocted, pre-destined path of charity? Am I a bad person because I choose to diverge, to wander onto an abstract trail that will probably get me farther than yours?

Do not judge lest you be judged. It is not a sin to want to experience things.

Tactfully,
T.J.

viernes, 13 de marzo de 2009

Purple

Green means go
Red means stop
But tell me,
what does

purple
mean?

They live your life
Do this, do that
"Remember," they say,
"Curiosity

killed
the cat."

We are all
Great Pretenders.
And so we remain,
until

the fifth
of November.

jueves, 12 de marzo de 2009

Bellamy

Currently listening to "In the Waiting Line" by Zero 7. I feel like I'm floating over rooftops when I listen to this song. The lines that define me no longer exist and my skin's a'tingling.

If there's anything of substantial value I've learned since leaving the motherhouse, it's that a person, no matter how iron-willed or uncompromising, will never truthfully know how she will act in a situation unless she personally experiences it. I remember when I expressed that sometimes you have to go against what you think you believe in to find out what it is you really believe in. I stand by my statement. Does this necessarily make you weak? Yes and no. You're giving yourself an excuse to do something you initially considered wrong because now you're curious, you're tempted, and in this manner, you're almost self-forced. You're making a rash, wanton decision, relative to the time you've repeatedly told yourself what you're doing is base to the point of blasphemy. At the same time, you're brave enough to explore outside your haven of safety. You're making a rash, wanton decision, but when else will you get a chance to do this? Carpe diem while the day is light. In this case, action itself is not the ultimate difficulty. The ultimate difficulty is the realization, the evaluation, the consequence. If you discover something 'unseemly' about yourself you never knew, you have to be ready to admit and accept it. At this point, Bellamy, there's no looking back. "What's done is done" - never regret anything, take every choice you make into your heart and nourish it with your blood and soul. At this moment you will know what it is you really believe in.

Tactfully,
T.J.

domingo, 22 de febrero de 2009

Margie

Margie stands at the door
Red, black and blue
Pupils shrinking, a white light beckons her
She is welcomed into the World
by strange man-hands

Margie stands at the door
Six feet tall
Towering over us all
Her soul's not touching the ground
And still she is so young

Margie stands at the door
A pretty girl
with thoughts of grass and sunrises
Hopping on one leg, square by square
without a care

Margie stands at the door
Flowers blossoming
She plucks poor petals
as a thoughtless smile clouds her judgment
And he knows it


Margie stands at the door
Hoping for something more
A puppeteer and a puppet, democracy and voter
Burning like a flame
She blinks once, twice

Margie stands at the door
Wearing a raggedy gray dress and cheap perfume
Soothing her bird's nest
Tussled by preying crows
The quiet silence of the night broken by the quiet rap of bone

Margie stands at the door
Wishing she were no more
Tragedy awaits her, and she him
Pupils shrinking, she patiently waits
for the day when the strange man-hands take
her again

domingo, 1 de febrero de 2009

Beauty in breakdown

Currently listening to "Stephanie Says" by The Velvet Underground. She's not afraid to die, it's all in her mind. I think we should all be like Stephanie.

My bed is what I imagine heaven to be like. It's a freaking package of bliss compressed into a cot of fiber and springs. It's my recharge station, my sanctuary of consolation, my trusty vessel to unknown destinations...but most of all, it's my personal asylum when I have random bouts of senseless thoughts and ideas. Take now, for example.

We all suffer the same way. No matter what we suffer from as individuals, I believe that feeling of affliction and remorse is communal and equally shared. You suffer from a wrong choice, I suffer from the death of a loved one, Albert Markovski suffers from Brad Stand suffering. When it comes down to it, there isn't any distinction. Just as music is the universal language, suffering is the universal emotion. It comprises intensive properties, wherein scientifically a system size or amount of material within a system is not pertinent to the actual property. Likewise, suffering isn't rooted in magnitude, but rather, existence.

Hands down, it's a necessary, understood evil. As cliche (and therefore very true) as it may sound, bona fide happiness cannot exist without depression, misery, and hatred. As mere humans, we are uncontrollably drawn to that "orgiastic state" of distress. Without it, we would only be and not feel. We would be statically living in a fucking utopia like little inhuman ants. A few months ago, I witnessed my first shooting star and someone told me to make a wish. My internal response? That there'd be no more suffering in the world. God, it's a blessing these overrated wishing mechanisms are as real as the words that come out of our president's mouth.


If anything, it's not our successes that define us,, it's our failures. We are not great because we conquered Mt. Everest. We're great because we tried so many times and failed miserably, but accomplished it in the end. Maybe this phase is a catalyst on my journey to become great. Or perhaps it will lead to my destruction. I don't mind either one.

But I ramble, what do I really know? ..I'm just a foolish 18 year old girl suffering from trivial teen drama, a damned conscious, and a side platter of existential dilemma.

Tactfully,
T.J.

martes, 20 de enero de 2009

This is the status quo

Currently listening to The Beatles' "Revolution". This song makes me want to buy a Guy Fawkes mask, get a horrible straight-bang haircut, and blow up Parliament. The raucous electric guitar sounds next to Lennon's vocals make for such a beautifully mutinous song.

Change is difficult. Breaking tradition requires undying strength, yet it's almost so effortless to do.

I'm gonna start a revolution. You know, we all want to change the world.

Tactfully,

T.J.

domingo, 11 de enero de 2009

Cockshit

Currently listening to Elliott Smith's "Say Yes". He stabbed himself to death. It can be concluded he was one hell of an artist.

When people ask me what my greatest fear is, I usually have multiple responses ready. Spiders. Death. Growing up. Disappointment. I lie everytime. You wouldn't expect it from me, but I'm a fucking great liar.

That's my greatest fear. Being lonely. Not in the sense that I have nobody around me (I cherish every moment I have alone), but in the sense that I've been living an untruth my entire life and I realize on my deathbed that no one ever knew the real Eleanor Rigby. But how much can we expect others to see us as we are when even we ourselves can't remove that mask? It's the vulnerability, the fear that others won't like what they see, we won't like what we see once the mask comes off. No more walls, no more barriers, it never comes back on. Fuck.

Life is a bitch.

Tactfully,
T.J.

domingo, 4 de enero de 2009

I saw the devil sleeping

The darkness pervades -
shades our eyes,
hides the truth.
Our only guides
are hovering bulbs of red.
They move past us quickly,
and leave us to find our way,
with the little hope we do possess.

jueves, 1 de enero de 2009

I hate odd years

Currently listening to the droning blow of the heater.

Do you ever have those moments when you know you're doing something against your beliefs but just want to keep doing it? You think one way and you feel one way, but you act another way? These are the moments that test our strength and conviction.

But I feel sometimes we have to go against what we think we believe in to find out what it is we really believe in.

Tactfully,
T.J.