[If you're wanting extra mo0dz, while reading this [moody] post, this is pretty solid:  clicktolisten]

I can't remember the last time I so desperately wished I had my camera with me.

I went running tonight.  Over the summer I worked out every other day.  Which was a real accomplishment, took some incredible chutzpah, because I have never done anything like that in my entire life.  I haven't regularly exercised since bi-weekly soccer practice during my freshman year of high school.
John Martin. Plains of Heaven (1851-3).

William Quiller Orchardson. The First Cloud (1887).

Atkinson Grimshaw. Liverpool Quay by Moonlight (1887).

Lucian Freud. Girl with Kitten (1947).

Ian Hamilton Finlay. The World Has Been Empty Since the Romans (1985).

Helen Beatrix Potter. Simpkin at the Tailor's Bedside (1902).

I'm watching a lot of films lately.  Which is probably good since I'm doing a film studies course at university.  But yes.  So watching a lot of movies and a lot of old movies at that.  And cinema is often about love.  People in love.  Falling out of love.  And having watched a lot of noir films at home and then seeing The Best Years of Our Lives today I just find myself thinking a lot about what love means and how people express love and the degrees of love and how all words, all concepts are constantly evolving.

I suppose what keeps rubbing me the wrong way in some of these films is how quickly people jump to say they love each other.  Maybe I've just been so over saturated with material I'm just waiting on the profession so it all constantly seems too rushed.  But I dunno.  Even with the compression of time that happens within film, I still feel like a lot of the time I have a different working definition of what love is from these people.  How soon you say it.  How soon you say it and actually mean it.  Or perhaps today's definition of love is very different from what it was in the 40s and 50s.

These pictures are from my first week in the new flat (forever a backlog on marionhoney).  Essentially, Rosianna hadn't moved all of her stuff in yet from her childhood home so we pretty much had no dishes to speak of.  So one afternoon Rosianna and I ventured out together and scoured our local charity shops and I brought home these items.  In total, I don't think I paid more than £5 which was astonishing seeing as I feel like even at the cheapest retail shop that's how much one of these items would cost.  I am a charity shop convert.

Since I've also had another charity shop day with Kayley.  We went to Richmond where they have what felt like a lot more options.  There I got a mirror, candle, and silver tray – all of which have been much loved.

Back in March, when I was back in Indiana for spring break, my dad let me play around with his old film camera. It's a Yashica FR-1 he bought in the late 70s. This camera took a lot of the pictures in my baby years when my parents had a brownstone in Hoboken. You can definitely tell in the disjointed photo albums when we switched from this to the proverbial disposable cameras of the late 90s.

There was an old roll in the camera, but when I got it developed all the prints were black with only unintelligible hints of images that had long been overexposed? Underexposed? It was a dead roll. We also tried to take it to Roberts, which is pretty much the only camera store in Indianapolis, to get the counter fixed, but they couldn't. So I just sort of have to guess how many pictures I have left.

I still have a lot to learn when it comes to film. I forgot to check the settings a lot before taking pictures which sometimes results in... green? I don't know. But man, it's so exciting and fun to see how they turn out. If this is hipster, then I don't want to be right. I've bought another roll.

Check out the ones I didn't like as much on Flickr.

This picture actually has nothing to do with the bookshop or haul.  I just liked the way the light was hitting my carpet this morning.

This weekend Half Price Books is having a nationwide sale in honor of Memorial Day.  Everything in the store is 20% off.  Which meant that my friend Emily and I were booking (oh yes, booking) it over to our local Indianapolis branch at 11am to put a gash in our summer budgets.

I had been eyeing this Salinger boxset for weeks. On Amazon it goes for around $60 and Half Price had it for $10+ under that. Tack on the promised 20% discount, really I didn't stand a chance.
This is a term that is thrown around a lot in higher education:  thinking critically.  Go to college, go to university, and you will be challenged to think more critically.  That little word duo has always thrown me off because I always assume that I'm not thinking hard enough.  I'm not analyzing things as deeply as they should be.  I always just assume that I'm not thinking critically, that I'm missing something.  Like there's always a level farther – more... "right"?  More "true"?  More "fair"?  Should that have been "truer, fairer?"  Whatever.  What I'm saying is this whole culture of critical thinking in university still baffles me.  Because I don't know what it means.  Or if I meet one person's meaning of it, I feel that there must be something more critical beyond that as well.

This is something that makes sense in my head, but I'm realizing that as I'm typing this out... it may not be translating too well.

For example, last night I went to a 70th anniversary TCM screening of Casablanca.  I was so effing excited.  Bogey on the big screen and not on my teeny 13" laptop.  Where do I pay?  Also, I just freaking love this movie.  I love Rick and Sam.  I love Paris.  I love the composition and the time.  I want Rick and Ilsa on that plane.

This may have been my fourth or fifth time seeing this movie.  All the other times, I remember it making me really freaking depressed after watching it.  I mean, I love the movie, but dammit I want that final frame with Bogart and Bergman.  But we're not given that.  And maybe that's why this film haunts so many people – because we aren't given that desired happy ending.  Also, just realized that you might not have seen Casablanca, in which case, sorry, but seriously WHY HAVE YOU NOT SEEN IT.

I'm also notoriously terrible for not getting films.  At least in my mind's eye.  I have friends that will bring up quotes or sequences from films I have seen, and I won't remember any of it at all.  And then during the actual watching experience, I'll not be able to decipher dialogue or not remember the names of important characters, even forget faces so then later on I'm all, wait who the hell is this guy and why is the protagonist so familiar with him?  Maybe I get too engaged in the story – the movement of the events, that my mind lets the elements that implement them slip by.  However, as a film student, this is one of the most inconvenient qualities about myself.

So anyway, this viewing of Casablanca was so different for me.  All the previous times I took away that Ilsa really had been pretending the entire time that she was still in love with Rick.  And that at the end she had always hoped that it would be Laslow she would board the plane with – as if that was her intention all along.  This time, so many things bothered me.  Rick's treatment of Sam.  I mean, I know that was how things were historically at the time, but if Rick is such a great chap, wouldn't he treat someone who cared so much about him a little better.  And even the portrayal of Sam.  The token black friend who is all smiles and carefree, trying to cheer up the depressed white guy.

And don't get me started on Ilsa.  I don't know why I saw her as powerful previously.  I mean, she's not a total doormat.  She did have the nerve to pull a gun on Rick.  But all those "oh, I can't think about this anymore—you'll have to think for me."  And the tears and just.  Like women just give up, have to rely on men to make the hard choices.  It just... it just bothered me.  Again, I realize that there were different social norms and gender stereotypes operating back then, but portrayals of women still exist like this today, be they period or present-day.  Like I just weep in the face of unbearable life conundrums.  As if crying is weakness.  As if women still aren't being targeted as a commodity to be won.  As if me and my friend didn't get blocked by two men commenting about our appearance on the way to the cinema

My mind is all over the board here now.  I'm just going to end this and say that I still really love Casablanca.  I'm not really sure if I'm watching it critically or not.  But I know I can't just see it as a love story that leaves me sad anymore.
I'm back again to explain one of my own videos.  Lord.

No, no, self.  Don't say "Lord."  I actually am writing this just as much for myself as I am for people who want to know about what the hell they just watched.

The images:

These have been sitting around for ages.  I have so much stuff sitting around that I'm not sure what I want to do with all of it.  I don't want to make the same music video over and over again with different images and a different song.  These in particular are from June-ish?  Summer 2011 I did summer school in Los Angeles and had a week break in between the sessions.  Kayley graciously paid for half of my plane ticket to Seattle to come visit her.  Stay her house (her house is the bomb).  See her town (her town is the bomb – they got coffee, books, and water.  GOOD JOB!).  Anyway, I don't need to get into the whole trip.  I would if I didn't just stop myself right now.  Okay yes, so.  Images from when I visited Kayley over the summer.

I'd been trying to make something out of them for a very long time.  Tried lots of different music.  But I never wanted to keep working on it.  Which probably meant it wasn't right.

Then I got this idea of making a video in which the soundtrack is just messages I haven't deleted off the answering machine on my cell phone.  Before I knew it, I was combining the two.

The audio:

is a mix the audio attached to the original images and messages on my phone from 2011.  I couldn't use all of them unfortunately.  But I really liked how in the editing process I found these unrelated images connecting to this one-sided dialogue.  They probably – actually perhaps almost certainly – have connections that can only be picked out by me, but hey, that's the way I've always made my videos.  A place for me to embed my own little secrets.

A lot of those messages I received while I was in London.  American phone was turned off so they all went straight to voicemail and I couldn't listen to them until I was back in the States.  Surprisingly a lot of casting calls.  Once upon a time, I submitted a headshot, and, well, people want you when you are not there.  It was probably for the best because I'm fairly certain my hair color and cut has shifted about forty times since whatever picture I put in.

I'm tired, but I want to write this.  So many posts have been lost because I put them off for a day.  And then another day.  And another.  That's what happened with the P4A night.  I really wanted to recount it bloggularly because it was such a fantastic evening, and then I let it go too long and now the essence of those feelings – I just would not be able to explain the night with the justice it deserves.  But let me tell you what happened today.

Today I went downtown.  Arrived in the afternoon, hung out until evening.  I was walking back from Spring Street.  I like to sit around in the cafés there.  Anyway, yes, so walking down 7th.  Which is one of the less-sketch streets, I would say, if you want to get back to Figueroa.  If you're having trouble visualizing what I'm talking about, just pull up downtown Los Angeles on Google maps.

Okay, walking east on 7th.  Got my headphones in.  And I see this guy a couple paces in front of me – he's holding up a bottle of Sprite.  And then he's dumping it on some girl's head.  At first I think, did this wacko just pour Sprite on a complete stranger?  Because the girl was completely ignoring him.  I imagined myself as the victim.  How would I react if some random guy came up behind me and poured soda over my head?  Would I ignore it to avoid confrontation?  Just keep walking.

I was catching up to the two of them, and it turned out that they must have known each other.  Some argument was brewing, and other people on the sidewalk were darting out of the way as the guy lunged at her.  It crossed my mind to ask the girl if she was okay.  If I was being harassed in the street, I'd want someone else to interfere.  But then I don't want to get involved.  What if this guy lashes out at me?  I didn't know what the situation was.  I didn't know what would happen.  So I put my head down; I kept walking.  I passed them.

I was hardly a block away when the screaming started.  I turned around, but there were so many people behind me that had also stopped.  But everyone seemed to be looking.  No one seemed to be helping this poor woman.  Who kept screaming and screaming.  I guess maybe the guy had grabbed her or threatened her or something?  Were they boyfriend and girlfriend in a fight?  I don't know.  But the next thing I saw was two policemen with guns running across the street.  And then the soda-pouring guy was on the ground.  Guns were pointed at him.

And it was.  I dunno.  I mean, I had had a pretty good day downtown and then this happens and it just shakes you up.  I was upset because I didn't help the girl.  Even though it was probably best that I stayed out of it.  But that's what every other person on the street must have been thinking too.  Just stay out of it.  What if the cops weren't right there?  Would we all have let this woman be assaulted in broad daylight?  All of us walking by, scooting out of the way of the commotion?

I know this happens everywhere.  But I can't help blaming LA for—for what?  For making me behave this way?  For having people that will not stop to help someone?  I dunno.  This was just a thing that happened that I didn't want fading away.