Monday, October 13, 2008

reclaiming the future

____Come, my friends,
________'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
____________Tennyson (Ulysses)

i have had a few things on my mind. mostly good things. the sorts of fantasies and plannings that make a person feel excited about things that could happen in the future. in short, things about the future i'm excited about.

things about the future i'm excited about, a LIST:

____- since the best hairdresser i have ever been to is on the gold-coast, great haircuts for 2 years.
____- a world-class gym for $88 a semester. this is important, because my pale skin, dark-ringed eyes, and emaciated physique is slowly sagging its way from heroine-chic to homeless-worrisome. i'm hoping after my mother freaks when she picks me up at the airport (even when i'm fit and healthy she freaks), she pumps me full of vitamins, strange powders, homeonaturopathic everywhateveranythings, and usually, my skin goes rosy, eyes settle, and i'll take care of the gym part myself.
____- a sleep with no dreams. i'll feel like this is it. Athena has stepped in, called off the Furies- told Apollo to piss off. Orestes can rest at last.
____- air + light = feel better
____(and my mom's house is on the lake. a gentle sloping plot of grass from the back door to the water. it's a perfect place to lie and read. also, though by temperament i am not a 'live-at-home' person, i detest despotic autocracies, this will be a good chance to save some money, and let someone else worry about the grocery shopping so i can get this education/profession thing wrapped up once and for all! (freaking about freaking time!)
____- make friends. (this did not happen last year, but i find i am not jaded at present, i'm kinda... cautious and careful to make sure i don't repeat the same mistakes. so, this time, making friends will be on the menu, and will be considered important)
____- find a way to get a piano. either move my one, or buy a new one. either way, i'm going to have a piano, it's not negotiable.
____- discover things you need to know about, come to know them. I'm already making vocabulary lists to put on flash cards when i get back. swag, catamites, intestate, bivouack, midden, fey, mire, effigy (i already know most of them from looking them up, but still. i just wanna know lots of big words like anjie and gol and leila)
____- remove things from storage. now, drear friends, i'm a little hesitant to make this claim, because i'm scared some new atrocity will postpone it again... but i think there may be a good chance all my books will end up in a space that is more or less designated to me, displayed for easy access and reference on a shelf. now... don't get too excited, i'll believe that when i see it. but i have made this tentative reading list for the next 3 months in case i'm right:

________- On Democracy, Dahl (this is what I'm reading now)
________- Midnight's Children, Rushdie (when else will you have time to read 600 page epics? better get it done now)
________- the Orestia, Aeschylus (this translation won a bunch of awards, including the PEN/whichever prize- it also has an awesome 100 page introduction and, i'm searching for a new novel idea and i think i'm going to return to my roots and be too-smart and center it on something mythical. deal with it people- elevate your knowledge bases)
________- the Communist Manifesto, Marx
________- Hamlet, Shakespeare (ever since i finished Ulysses i've had an urge to re-read Hamlet)
________- Sonnets, Shakespeare (the Bill Bryson biography had a chapter on them, i'd forgotten how much i enjoyed reading these when i was younger... this will be my next poetry project )
________- the Life of Pi (just to get it done and out of the way)
________- Mary, Nabokov (i'm looking to expand my Nabokov, and this is the next shortest and interesting one i could find. I'm leaving Ado or Ardour for when i have more time, and i'm a little intimidated by Pale Fire, even though i'm obsessed with the title and mumble it to myself sometimes when something reminds me of it)
________- David Foster Wallace (as some of you will know, he was too smart for his body, and recently died by apparent suicide. i read a short story of his and was very impressed. i hear his novel his excellent, and i plan on reading it)
________- the Trivium (actually, this will probably be the first thing i read because it relates immediately to my final . final . final. choice on educational training leading to more-or-less vocation: (oh, by the way guys, i chose door number three, law at bond. i'm starting my JD in January) law. Also, i've been waiting nigh on 4 years to read this thing. literally, 4 years)
________- Poetics, Plato (short but important. also, i wanna make flashcards on this and memorize the basic features needed to qualify as a 'classical tragedy', it's various offshoots and so on. it means i can be a more conscious writer)
________- 'What is Literature', Essays by, Sartre

____- find decent video store. in LA i discovered something really wonderful, and that is: Q loves Fellini. and thankfully, he was reasonably prolific. i've got some work left to do.
____- get new music. do it now. if you dear friends, have discovered things you think i would like, let me know. i'll get 'em. (i haven't really discovered anything awesome since A, Weather- so... i'm way back in the day). Also, for a strange reason i can't quite understand yet, i craved listened to poppy, commercial, fun rnb last night. i haven't hard that urge since i was 15. i don't know what the big songs are... if anyone is into that sorta thing and knows what the cheese i hear on the radio is, give a brutha a heads up
________read, learn, prepare.
________two years to fix this mess.
________fix it.
________(i'll go more into this in another post later on)
____- learn French. there was much internal dialogue over this. i think in a career sense, the smart decision is to learn Chinese. it'll just be soo useful in the near future. but, my heart lies in French. partially, because it was a language i spoke fluently and have completely forgotten (which i have never forgiven myself for), and secondly, i have thus far refused to touch Proust, Baudelaire, and Montaigne, telling myself i'll get to them in the original. Also, i remember deciding that it was important that i did what i wanted in life, as opposed to what i thought was right all the time. so maybe, french is the better option. that's where i'm at on this one, but i feel guilty about it.

now we come to the point of today's picture, fashion.

the other night i was out. a girl walked past, thin frame, white skin. dark hair, in a strange modernist sort of haircut (but nothing insane, just... catchy). she had light eyes, and was wearing a short denim skirt, a tshirt-like-top, had her hair in a pony tail (and i can't remember her shoes). the back of her tshirt dipped down a little, so you could see some of her back from her neck down. her hair was up, so you could see a tattoo of a cross there. nothing too intricate, but it wasn't shy either- it was decently sized, and stood bravely. it was impossible to take my eyes off her. now, to some extent, she was beautiful- granted. but it wasn't that that had me staring at her- it was her 'look'. she had on three visible articles of clothing (shoes, top, skirt). with the tattoo and hair- that makes it 5 individual means of expressing her 'look' to me. it looked soo casual and relaxed, without the least trace of burden or strain or being contrived. i looked at myself- black jeans, once were skinny, now are looser, they come off looking 'fitted'. black cons. i had a black and white striped button up shirt, and a dark blue vest with only two buttons done. i looked like i had tried to look good. i looked fine, but the point was the trace of thought and work that had gone into the look. she was effortless. as though her clothes were a natural extension of herself. that's the holy grail of fashion.

so that brings us to now. those of you who know me, know that there are two looks i do well. (1) hobo bum. this involves me not-shaving, letting my hair look a mess, wearing ugly oversized cardigans, tshirts, dirty cons, and stumbling around a lot. (2) scruffy ivy-league preppy. this involves me making tactical choices to sort of... take away from the clean-cutness of the prep look. For example, soft-collared shirts instead of stiff-collared shirts. small tie-knots instead of big ones. cons instead of leather shoes. no belts. shirts that are only partially ironed. oversized v-neck sweaters that make you look 'messy'.
that's kinda my fashion world- more or less. i'm looking to expand that somewhat now. i'm a little keen for something new, but something that that young girl would look at and think: 'effortless'. Which is why i've put that picture there. that man is as about as conservative dresser as i am. i am conservative- i take the occasional risk, but nothing too insane. his hair is short, as is mine at the moment (and i'm still happy with that decision). He has funky glasses, which i need to get as well cause i'm going blind. it's going to be summer here soon, so i'm going to have to find some looser pants. and we both like solid-colored, unprinted t-shirts.

now, if he was going out on a saturday night, how would he dress to carry that same sense of effortless interestingness with him?

(please forward all pictures, ideas, descriptions, and details to me. here or at my email. there is much tactical deciding about my 'look')

(I may become embarrassed by the fashion discussion at the end of this post and delete it... so... grab it while it's hot)


Sholeh said...

There is nothing wrong with a little tactical fashion discussion! I think the only way you can be successful at changing your style is to be deliberate about it...but perhaps also not straying too much from what you're comfortable with.

I do not, however, have any specific suggestions. It has to FEEL right to you. I am, for example, a fan of the 1950s/60s look, although I don't often have the opportunity to really get into it. However, there are other people that don't like it, or would look funny in it.

You'll find your look. :-)

Anonymous said...

damn it:
kerouac is joining capone in three weeks - that would have equaled effortless personal designing done for you.....
photos will be taken none-the-less.

but you are effortless... much like a red, black and white herringdone jacket i once met.