Friday, May 25, 2012

Mission Accomplished

I have officially signed and returned my job offer documents. I begin training on Wednesday May 30th in Manhattan. I still can't believe that I found a job so quickly and that I am going to be able to move to New York without going into debt or working in food service. Then again, I've kind of been planning this for almost a year so this is absolutely how things SHOULD have gone. I was just really prepared to be a brokeass failure for at least a month or so. Instead I have a job that pays well and a sublet with very normal people in a very not scary area so I can take my time finding a good place to live long term. So yeah, I'm pretty pleased with myself. You may have picked up on that in previous posts but I didn't want to gloat until those papers were signed. In my previous post I said something about how I'd be making around $200 a day. I thought about it and that will only probably be true once I start making commission (then it could be even more) which wont be for a little while. I just figured as long as I'm gloating I don't also want to exaggerate.


My bag is packed and I have folded and sorted pretty much article of clothing that I own. There are some in boxes downstairs that I'm unsure of but...theyre already in boxes and out of the way. The last things I have left to do are pack my "carry on" and decide what shoes I'm bringing with me. Part of me wants to only bring one pair of sneakers, one pair of flats, and one pair of boots and buy more if I need to but that seems irresponsible. I'll see what I can fit I guess.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Packing For Forever Or At Least Until July

This whole New York thing is happening in, oh, 5 days. As the days pass I'm sure I'll go through my stages of grieving for Vermont, but right now packing is my main concern.

Because I found a job earlier than expected (technically the results of my background check still aren't in and I haven't officially been hired, but...they told me to plan for it so I am), the first few weeks of my time in New York are going to be kind of a shit show. Originally I was going to stay at a Howard Johnson's in The Bronx for four nights and switch over to a vacation rental in BedStuy until I can move into my summer sublet which is also in Brooklyn. I realized, though, that the whole point of living at home this year was to save money so this move would be easy and so I wouldn't have to live in any super ratty places while I figure my shit out. So now that I actually do have a job I am allowing myself to stay at a Holiday Inn in Chelsea. It's a bit more expensive than the HOJOS in the Bronx but its much closer to work, less sketchy, and generally a better move, I think. I never traveled during or after college so I am simply not going to feel bad about spending 800 dollars for four nights in a hotel. I am going to let myself enjoy it. Also I am going to be working and by my calculation making about 200 dollars a day anyway. Same goes for the vacation rental, which is actually a lower nightly rate.

So everything is good...but packing for this kind of semi-transient lifestyle poses certain unique challenges. I'm taking the train down, I don't know when I'm going to be able to come back to VT and do a more thorough move and all I should really bring with me is one big suit case and one midsized work bag that will fit my laptop and some books. I'll want a decent range of clothes for loungy casual to business casual to business fancy as well as some fun going out clothes and enough workout gear to allow for the fact that laundry might be an infrequent event for a while.

The real problem isn't actually what I am bringing. It's what I'm not bringing. I've borrowed two more big suitcases and I'm going to pack one for fall and one for winter. I'm still going to have a lot of clothes that I'll either need to get rid of or find a place to stash so it isn't all in the way. A lot of it is just crap I bought on sale at Old Navy without trying on. Some of it is so crappy that I don't even really want to give it to goodwill. Some of it is nice stuff that doesn't really fit but that I might be able to sell for cash or consignment at certain thrift stores. That stuff will need to be cleaned. Some of it is dryclean only.


OK I know this isn't interesting but this is what I am dealing with right now and it's causing me stress. It will all get done but I can't seem to deal with it for more than an hour at a time. I keep saying Ill wake up early and just get it all done but...that hasn't happened yet and now I have 41/2 days to sort it all out and some of that I'm sure Ill want to be doing other things. Worst case scenario is that it doesn't get done and I'll come back later in the summer and finish. I'll have to come back once I actually move into a long term place anyway. Alright that helps. Breath. I can handle this. Aaaaand go.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Three Big Problems And Some Ubsubstantiated Theories On How To Handle Them

Aside from the anxiety that comes with finding my own personal path in life, there are also three big existential problems that occasionally infiltrate my egocentric inner monologue and leave me somewhat paralyzed. Here now, are those problems, which I think we all struggle with in one way or the other, and how I manage them when they become...problematic.

1. I and everyone I know is going to die, and we are probably going to do it by way of a prolonged deterioration of both physical and mental capacity.


Because I am a godless heathen death itself isn't actually that troubling to me. I won't exist anymore so really, my death is everyone else's problem. I do however have some pretty serious apprehensions in regards to eventually losing my memory, my sight, and my ability to function independently. It is the same problem that every single person on earth has, which does comfort me, but there is really no reconciling that anxiety when it strikes. Even more troubling is that this is also going to happen to everyone I love and in most cases I'm going to have to watch. It's all very upsetting but at the same time, I feel like a jerk whenever I worry about it because technically, dying of old age is what we all hope for, and there are a lot of people who don't make it there. Cancer is tragic. Murder is tragic. Dying of old age isn't pretty, but it is the best case scenario in its own morbid way.

"Solution":
I once took a course in Psychological Anthropology. In one lecture we were discussing pharmaceuticals in different cultures (and how really, alarmingly ahead of everyone else America is in the pill-popping race) and the professor brought up the eastern notion of approaching life with a "wistful melancholy" instead of expecting happiness and feeling like sadness is a failure. It's a lovely and poetic term that to me meant the idea of giving yourself permission to be at ease with life's inherent sorrow. I realized that part of the reason I feel so terrible when this issue of mortality and old age comes up is because I want to be compassionate, and somewhere wrapped up in my definition of compassion is an obligation to fully internalize other people's pain and suffering. This isn't wrong but it isn't necessarily helpful, either. Empathy is important in comforting other people so one can't shirk the issue altogether, but I don't think anyone feels any better when you fall apart in front of them no matter what the circumstance. The same goes for out of context moments of death related worry. If I start fretting about death and dying, and if that fretting turns into panic and paralyzation, I'm really not of any use to anyone, least of all myself. I guess my point is that when this issue arises, and I feel myself starting to panic about it, I try to call on "wistful melancholy". This at least calms me down and allows me to carry on with my life while still embracing the issue so it doesn't catch me off guard when this philosophical dilemma eventually manifests in a concrete way.

2. No matter how many friends, romantic relationships, or pets I accumulate, no matter how much I travel or how often I blog, I am only ever going to understand a tiny sliver of the human experience.

Sometimes I'll be in my room folding laundry and suddenly the rest of the world and all of the people in it feel like an abstraction that I can't ever touch. There is a distance between our innermost selves and rest of the world that we can't really cross. It's easy enough to ignore this little problem because...it doesn't really matter and the alternative in which we can peer into each other's consciousnesses is highly unsettling as well. I suppose I'm talking about every intellectuals favorite philosophically pliable entity; that of "The Other". Really, The Other is everything which is not ourselves, but it can also be everything that is not LIKE ourselves. Anything we consider to be an extension of ourselves is with us in our definition of normal and safe and what is Other is unknowable and distinctly separate. We can enter into a conversation with The Other but we can never really cross that distance and be with them in sameness. That just really sticks in my craw. I don't want to just sit around in my little sphere of me-ness assuming that I'm right about everything. Actually, I do want that but when I think about it I don't want to want that and that fact that I do want that makes my brain hurt.


One of the reasons I became an English major is because I view literature as the ultimate record of the human experience. I don't really trust history because it has to be written by someone and one culturally chauvinistic historian can really screw with perspective. Narrative speaks for itself. A book written by a homicidal racist rapist will still reveal something about the time he was writing in. Of course those revelations are usually subjective and pose certain threats to empirical knowledge, but that's not my problem. The Other exists in the past as well and it's much easier to get to. But the past is easier to analyze. Today I feel like I am a step behind progress all the time and there are Others of all kinds out there up to shit that I know nothing about and probably never will. It's irksome.

"Solution": Move to New York City. Question: True of False: New York is a physical incarnation of cultural consciousness. Answer: I don't know but it's comforting to think that it might be. If all kinds of people from all around the world know about New York City and have some idea of what it represents, even if that idea is completely nostalgic and silly, then the idea of living there makes me feel better. I have a lot of other reasons for moving there so I'm not a complete psycho but this is part of it. I like having the option to at least close the gap between myself and Others physically, if not consciously.

*Note: I actually only think about this kind of thing like....2% of the time. After reading this I got a picture of myself swooping around Manhattan grabbing people by shoulders and just staring them in the eyes for 20 seconds and then moving on. It was hilarious but that won't happen. The Other is a good catch all term but I am aware that using it too often makes one certifiably creepy.


3. Me getting everything I want in life is possible, but my happiness is entirely irrelevant to the greater good of humanity.

A house of some kind, a husband, a baby or two, some pets, some expendable income and a decent metabolism. My idea of a contented existence is simple and I have all of the physical and socioeconomic prerequisites to assume that I will have all of these things as long as I don't fuck up at work too badly, get my face fucked up in a fire, or develop a fetish for meth addicts. Because there is no reason why I shouldn't get these things I am inspired to try my best to get them. I see a generally happy future for myself no matter what ups and downs might happen along the way. Expect the best, plan for the worst, as they say. Most people on earth don't have the luxury of adopting such a smug little attitude towards their future. I can't even comprehend the levels of suffering in the world because I honestly can't think of a bad thing that has happened to me that didn't have a silver lining of some sort. Unfortunately happiness isn't transferable. Even if I donate money to help those most in need I can't actually donate any of my high standard of living and even if I gave up that standard it wouldn't really help anyone. There's always something. I'm not an engineer or a doctor and my skills are really only useful to other people like me. My personal success is useless when it comes to making the world a better place. But most of the time this doesn't occur to me and being an activist just isn't in my future unless something really drastic changes. I'm just getting started and I want what I want and to get it I need to hoard what I have and be selfish. It's the way it's gotta be but it makes me feel pointless, which actually doesn't bother me as much as you might think, but it's a problem for me none the less.

"Solution": This one's got me pretty stumped. The best I can come up with is that because I am of mixed heritage I don't have to feel too bad about my ancestors being directly responsible for the post-colonial disaster zones which hold a lot of the worlds suffering. I may have some white guilt but at least I'm not English or Spanish or German.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dress Well And Walk With Purpose






I probably shouldn't wear my bright blue elastic ankle Victoria's Secret sweatpants out of the house when I get to New York. I probably shouldn't even bring them with me.  Bu they're so comfy and bright! Can't I be comfortable if I'm at least colorful? No. One does not move to New York City and insist of wearing sweatpants in public. I'm sure people do it. There are all kinds of people in New York and not all of them give a shit about what they're wearing. My hope for New York (for at least the first few six months or so) is that it will inspire me to be the best version of myself where I feel like a badass even when I'm not really going anywhere.  For me that's when I'm dressed well and walking with purpose. Ideally I have a caffeinated beverage in one hand and a attache case or shopping bag in the other so no one tries to hand me anything on the street. Even when I'm making a beeline to Duane Reade for tampons and pimple cream and heading straight back to the apartment to wallow I plan on wearing a blazer and proceeding as if I'm on my way to meet someone important. "Oh these? They're not for me. They're for Brooke Shields." Ha...no no. I don't think Brooke Shields gets her period.


My sweatpants are actually cooler than this. The lettering is embroidered and outlined in rainbow and goes all up and down the leg. And there's a tiny silver  pocket on the butt. They are both awesome and completely heinous.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I Am Moving To New York Prior To May 30th

Pending a background check and a bit of bureaucracy I will in all likelihood  be starting my new job in NYC on May 30th. This is great! The only complication is that my sublet doesn't start til June 15thish (Actually July 1st, officially...but...I got a little lucky). So I have to find a place to live for two weeks where I have enough personal space to mentally process the stress of a new job, a new city, and an abrupt departure from Vermont. A hostel, people's couches, and tiny rooms with no closet or bureau just won't do. I have two weeks to sort it out and I have connections to fall back on and enough savings that I'll be able to foot a motel in Brooklyn if I need to for at least some of the time. I'm not worried...but I am feeling a little frantic about the whole thing. Excited, but frantic. So I need diversions in between the endless hours of scouring the internet for lodging options and obsessing over which of my clothes are taking the initial trip with me. Making lists soothes me, so here are my lists of things that I need/want/hope to do between now and May 28th (I plan on taking a bus down that morning to wherever I end up staying).

General:

 What Needs to Get Done
Pack A Bigass suitcase with at least 2 weeks of clothing, towels, makeup, shoes, and a computer
Fix My Computer and/or Buy A New One

What Really Should Get Done
Pack up everything I'm leaving behind for now so it's not in the way
Give Away/Sell All Not-New-York-Worthy Clothes

What I'd Like To Get Done
1 Hour of Rosetta Stone Spanish Per Day
Continue with The Real Book Project
45 Minutes of Cardio Every Day



Regarding The Real Book Project

Instead of doing whatever songs I feel like, and not actually doing that very often, I will go by this alphabetical list, which is based off whatever songs first come to mind when I think of each letter. Some I've done before. Some I'll have to learn from scratch.

A-All Of Me
B- Black Coffee
C- Cry Me A River
D- Don't Explain
E- Evry Time We Say Goodbye
F-  Fly Me To The Moon
G- Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You
H- How Insensitive
I- In A Sentimental Mood
J. TBD
K- TBD
L- Lush Life
M- Misty
N- (The) Nearness of You
O- On A Slow Boat To China
P- Pennies From Heaven
Q- Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Corcavado)
R- Round Midnight
S-Skylark
T- There Is No Greater Love
U-Unchain My Heart (This Is the only U song in the Real Book)
V- TBD
W- What A Little Moonlight Can Do
X- Ha...yeah right.
Y- You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
Z- TBD...probably not gonna happen

Friday, May 4, 2012

Let's Get Romantic...FRANKENSTEIN Style

I was going through an old flash drive today and I came across some of my old papers from UVM. Some of them were early drafts, others were half-asses bullshit that I am amazed I turned in, and some were more or less legit. Here is one that I remember distinctly. I had forgotten to turn in my works cited page, originally left out page numbers, and apparently missed an entire page during my proofreading stage. I ultimately fixed all that because my professor was also my advisor and pretty much insisted that I do so even though my grade was finalized.  The thing about the grade was that it was fine. My Professor's note was "This paper really should be in the B range if I go by the component rubric, but I'm going to give you an A- because it was so well written." What a shame that he was the only person who ever got to read it! Not anymore. I know how much everyone loves an 8 page critical essay of some old-ass books.


Emma Sklar
12.15.09
ENGS 144
Final Essay            Inter-subjective Relationships in Emma and Frankenstein
                                          (Reciprocal Acknowledgment in Romantic Literature)

We will be victimized by the Frankenstein Factor, by being intimidated by the method rather than focusing on the effect. No technology to date has been able to dehumanize and demoralize with the power of drugs, poverty, neglect, despair, narcissism, and blind hedonism (Gaylin, p. 23).
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Jane Austen’s Emma explore human relationships at nearly opposite ends of the literary spectrum. The first is dark in tone and imagery and laden with dire circumstance, while the latter is effervescent and seems disinterested in man’s potential for evil. However, both texts present the issue of the individual need for reciprocal acknowledgement, or a truly inter-subjective relationship. The Creature first needs victor to recognize his subjective consciousness, and later asks for another creature to be made, upon realizing that a reciprocal relationship with a human was impossible. Emma’s situation at the beginning of the novel is one of “suffering from intellectual solitude”. In both situations, there is a desperate need for recognition and an inevitable desire for romantic union. In the context of British Romanticism, both of these novels make explicit the inherent conflicts in the discussion of the self and individual human consciousness.
Frankenstein’s Creature is in the unique position of remembering the birth of
his own consciousness. Unlike most humans, The Creature was not granted reciprocal interaction with other conscious beings during the formation of this consciousness, and as a result, The Creature experiences a profound feeling of incompletion.
It is with considerable difficulty that I remember the original era of my being; all the events of that period appear confused and indistinct. A strange multiplicity of sensations seized me, and I saw, felt, heard, and smelt at the same time; and it was, indeed, a long time before I learned to distinguish between the operations of my various senses. By degrees, I remember, a stronger light pressed upon my nerves, so that I was obliged to shut my eyes. Darkness then came over me and troubled me, but hardly had I felt this when, by opening my eyes, as I now suppose, the light poured in upon me again. […]It was dark when I awoke; I felt cold also, and half frightened, as it were, instinctively, finding myself so desolate…I was poor, helpless, miserable wretch; I knew, and could distinguish, nothing; but feeling pain invade me on all sides, I saw down and wept (Shelley, p.88).

           
Here, The Creature’s existence has no order, and his emotions are subject to the chaos that most humans have the luxury of forgetting. This feeling of dejection at the end of the passage suggests that part of Frankenstein’s failure was in creating a being that would be thrust into the world alone when inter-subjective interactions are crucial to the formation of normal human consciousness. The Creature’s rage and destruction are born of his alienation (“What chiefly struck me was the gentle manners of these people, and I longed to join them, but dared not (Shelley, p. 95).”). The resulting guilt over his assault on innocent victims only fuels the cycle. This guilt suggests that the consciousness that The Creature possesses is basically human, but perverted by its being unrecognized by other humans. Guilt implies empathy, and within empathy live the traces of commonality. The intricacies of The Creature’s consciousness are un-doubtably human, but without recognition he is fragmented, and thus ultimately doomed.
Frankenstein originally rejects his creature based on his objectionable physical appearance, much as he rejects a possible mentor earlier in the story based on superficial qualities.
M. Krempe was a little squat man with a gruff voice and repulsive countenance; the teacher, therefore, did not prepossess me in favour of his pursuits (Shelley, p. 36).
Scientifically, The Creature is a marvel, and other than his horrifying appearance there is not much that wrong with him (granted his being made from once-dead body parts, much worse images of how he could have turned out come to mind). Victor’s intense reaction to The Creature’s gruesome appearance is laced with the notion that The Creature is somehow responsible for this reality and is thus not deserving of any attempts on Victor’s part to confront his creation. This calls into question the mental status of Victor in the wake of his isolation. His lack of human interaction may have stunted his judgment and hindered his ability for compassion.
I beheld the wretch- the miserable monster whom I had created. He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixated on me. His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks. He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs (Shelley, p. 46).
 Victor flees the Creature and does not return, although The Creature has not yet committed any egregious acts. In his essay “The Sublime”, Edmund Burke quotes a passage from Paradise Lost to show how obscurity and darkness are naturally conducive to terror.
The other shape,
            If shape it might be called that shape had none
            Distinguishable, in member, joint, or limb;
            Or substance might be called that shadow seemed;
            For each seemed either; black he stood as night;
            Fierce as ten furies; terrible as hell;
            And shook a deadly dart. What seemed his head
            The likeness of a kingly crown had on.
                                                Paradise Lose, II, 666-73(Burke, p. 331)
The parallels between the language of Victor’s description of The Creature and this description of the “king of terrors” are indicative of Victor’s connection to fear through visual representations of evil. Burke says that in order to “make anything very terrible, obscurity seems in general to be necessary (Burke p. 330).” Victor obscures The Creature’s true form by fleeing from him, and thus his terror is inevitable, and since The Creature’s consciousness is developed in part through his relationship to Victor, that terror is inherent to The Creature’s understanding of himself. Obscurity is the opposite of reciprocal acknowledgement between two conscious beings. Victor has made it impossible for The Creature to ever have an un-obscured relationship with humanity. The Creature is aware of this absence and attempts to reconcile his position in the world by asking Victor to create another being, who is assume top be female for romantic purposes.
I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create (Shelley, p. 125).
Victor ultimately refuses. The Creature cannot forgive him. Both characters are thus poised to follow a path of misery and destruction.
Emma’s circumstances are somewhat less gloomy, but her actions in Emma are driven by similar desires to those that motivate the Creature in Frankenstein. Emma’s privileged position in her community guarantees her a certain level of recognition, but not the kind of recognition that allows Emma to assert her individuality. For that Emma must seek out relationships in which she can exercise her consciousness. Emma is lacking in “equal” companionship.  Her various advantages are listed early in the novel in order to explain why Emma finds such companionship difficult to find.
The real evils, indeed, of Emma’s situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself: these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments. The danger, however, was at present so unperceived, that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her. (Austen, p.1

 Soon after, it is explained why such a condition is problematic for Emma.

It was true that her friend was going only half a mile from them; but Emma was aware that great must be the difference between a Mrs. Weston, only half a mile from them, and a Miss Taylor in the house; and with all her advantages, natural and domestic, she was now in great danger of suffering from intellectual solitude. (Austen, p. 2)

It is this lack (or “suffering”) that keeps Emma busy meddling in the lives of people over whom Emma can assert her influence. In her exchanges with Harriet, Emma only sees the ways in which Harriet needs improvement, rather than the strengths that Harriet already has. The idea that Harriet might have opinions of her own is unimportant to Emma’s quest. This behavior makes clear that Emma is not only in need of a reciprocal relationship, but she is also in need of the ability to recognize in other people a consciousness equal to her own.
            Despite its narrow frame of reference, Emma’s world is one more relatable than that of Frankenstein. The characters operate under reasonable motivations, and contain just enough contradictions to make sense as real people. The relationships in Emma seem to either work or not work based on the presence of inter-subjective understanding between those involved. Emma’s relationship with Harriet early on does not operate in a reciprocal fashion, and the results are indicative of Austen’s tendencies in forming her characters. These tendencies are explained in Hina Nazar’s essay “The Imagination Goes Visiting: Jane Austen, Judgment, and The Social.”
Austen identifies individuals as socially embedded persons whose subjectivity is developed, in significant ways, in an inter-subjective context. To make this claim is not to reduce subjectivity to its social determinants, or to identify to individual as a social being only; it is however, to interrogate our attraction to a self-legislating subjectivity that has nothing to learn from others. (Nazar, p. 157)

Emma certainly operates within these conventions, and it is only through her bad
behavior that she can come close to the point of interrogation which Nazar describes. Control is an important theme in Emma, and much of her interactions with Harriet depend on her want for being in control. What is revealed to her through the ultimate backfires of her schemes in regard to Harriet is that the world does not always operate in accordance to her suppositions. Emma’s uncomfortable cart ride with Elton (when it  has recently become obvious that he was not interested in Harriet but in her instead) plays the role of a moment of recognition for Emma. However, Emma does not change her behavior after this. That recognition had not yet synthesized into self-interrogation. In her essay “Emma and Miss Bates: Early Experiences of Separation and the Theme of Dependency in Jane Austen’s Novels”, Margaret Moore elaborates on Emma’s issues with social failure and lack of control.
Jane Austen’s heroines not infrequently react to painful social situations by physical withdrawal…If physical withdrawal is impossible, mental withdrawal is an approved defense, provided it does not conflict with social responsibilities. Where neither physical nor mental withdrawal is permissible, role reversal is commonly adopted. The heroine consoles herself with the thought that in the deepest sense it is others who are dependent and she who is in control (Moore-p. 575).

 Emma’s use of manipulation and disguised motives are certainly not the product of reciprocal respect between she and her friends, and the failure of her projects is an indicator of the problem with self-centered operations. Emma ultimately ends up with one of the only people who can accurately see her for both her faults and charms. However, there is evidence that Emma’s ability to partake in a relationship will always be tainted by her proclivity towards self-indulgence.
While he spoke, Emma’s mind was most busy, and, with all the wonderful velocity of thought, had been able- and yet without losing a word- to catch and comprehend the exact truth of the whole; to see that Harriet’s hopes had been entirely groundless, a mistake, a delusion, as complete a delusion as any of her own- that Harriet was nothing; that she was everything herself; that what she had been saying relative to Harriet had been all taken as the language of her own feelings; and that her agitation, her doubts, her reluctance, her discouragement, had been all received as discouragement herself. (Austen, p. 372)
This passage comes directly after Mr. Knightly has professed his love for Emma, and yet none of her thoughts focus on him, despite being in reference to him. Emma reciprocates what she decides is love for Mr. Knightly, but this passage suggests that this love is constructed. Even if she does want Knightly for herself, part of her motivation seems to lie in Harriet not having him. It is unclear whether or not Emma reciprocates this clarity in her understanding of Mr. Knightly’s true character, but her move towards a relationship where that recognition is a step towards an interrogative relationship with herself. Emma is probably too young to have stopped alienating people with her ego-centrism, but the slight reparations made by the end of the novel enforce the importance of reciprocal relationships.
Frankenstein did not build a monster. He built what could have been human and turned him into something monstrous by rejecting him. Emma is unsure of what her life is lacking, but she senses a lack and sets forth to correct it. Both Emma and Frankenstein’s Creature are born of unique conditions that dictate some form of isolation. Even though Emma is often conceited and somewhat conniving, and The Creature is responsible for several deaths, both characters are innocent in their initial intentions; they wanted to break their isolation and enter into some kind of meaningful relationship with another human being. The characters in these novels show that no matter how strong an “I” might be, there is always weakness in standing alone.
           







             

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An Excercise In Not Taking Myself Too Seriously

I was going to do a Real Book post today and I just didn't like the way my voice was sounding and my piano playing is particularly atrocious today. It was making me feel bad about myself and generally frazzling my composure. I realized that was silly. My blog shouldn't stress me out. But I wanted to get something recorded today so I decided to sing a song partially in a silly voice. I also decided to wear a ridiculous hat. I chose a Beatles song because John Lennon was always asking engineers to make his voice not sound like his voice. All My Lovin came up on my Pandora while I was working out last night and its been stuck in my head so I whipped out our Beatles fake book and got down to business. I did change the key on this one because my Silly Voice is a little inflexible.




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Here is the same video sped up to 110%  just for fun.

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