annogus

Oh hey. I'm Anna, a working girl in Grand Rapids, Michigan, blogging about nostalgia, creativity, and societal woes. My vices include soda, nail-biting, and sarcasm.
Recent Tweets @annogus
Posts tagged "my attempts"

image

IRL Things:

This has been my lunch spot for the past two days. Sure, it’s a little sparse, but that blue sky is just raging.

I took Wednesday off this week just because. It turned out to be one of the first truly beautiful days so far. I took a walk downtown, renewed my license and library card, bought a stack of records at Vertigo, and enjoyed some tasty sushi.

From the Interwebs:

That Just Means He Likes You
It’s generally accepted as common knowledge that when kids are violent with each other, “That just means he likes you.” (I’ve heard it said for girls as well, though much less often.) So where is the line? When does it stop being cute? Or does that just morph into the hunter/prey romance narrative we’re taught?

How did society become so oblivious to the fact that we were conditioning our daughters to endure abusive treatment, much less view it as romantic overtures?

Justice Alito’s Quote of the Day
In the SCOTUS deliberations on marriage equality this week, Justice Alito expressed concern that same-sex marriage was just too new and that society should move ahead on it’s own time through elected representatives.

“[W]hen the Supreme Court struck down the bans against interracial marriage in 1968 through Virginia vs. Loving, SEVENTY-TWO PERCENT of Americans were against interracial marriage. As a matter of fact, approval of interracial marriage in the US didn’t cross the positive threshold until — sweet God – 1991.”

The reason we don’t leave it for the people is because rights of marginalized people shouldn’t be dependent on whether privileged people choose decency over the maintenance of undeserved privilege.

The Objectification of Jon Hamm
A really interesting thing has been happening to Jon Hamm recently. He’s being treated like an actress. And it’s weirding him out. As it should. Hamm is an outspoken advocate for women, so perhaps this random role-reversal can shed some light on the ridiculous and reductive things the media does to female celebrities.

Pope Washes Women’s Feet in Break with Church Law
My views on the papacy and worldwide church structure aside, this act is very powerful. And the fact that there is actual backlash against something so incredibly and obviously Christlike is simultaneously horrifying and telling.

And finally, a pretty thing for you. One of my favorite collage artists: Joe Webb. His work is nostalgic and romantic and a little disconcerting. Go look at them all.

image

EDITED!

Less than 20 minutes after I post this, two delightful articles come to my attention. I’ve gotta share them with you.

10 Breathtaking Isolated Vocals

Sometimes, with all the actual music stripped away, you understand why the vocals have been buried by bells, whistles and effects but equally there are moments when what remains is fresh, fascinating and a breathtaking world away from what we thought we knew. Here are ten naked vocals to illustrate the special alchemy each singer brings to the party.

The History of Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally’s Awesome Marriage
Sometimes there are celebrities who give off the vibe of being really awesome people. It might just be good PR, but this couple rocks it.

My lil’ tumbles is four years old! Here are some snapshots of the past four Springtimes. 

2009

In the height of film-school craziness, Steve convinces me to sign up for this tumblr thing that everyone is using. My first post is this photo of Dan and Jeff from our 16mm II shoot Lost in the Park. 

2010

Starting new job at GVSU. Getting re-acquainted with these crazy kidsRediscovering this recording of my three year old self conversing with my family and having a frank discussion about relationships in The Little Mermaid. Enjoying Springtime on the West Side

2011 

Starting to dip my toes into feminist rantingLots of karaoke and bowling. Briefly housing an adorable cat wanderer. Sadly can’t keep him. 

2012

Crazy heat-wave in March. Porch-sitting at the new place. Settling in and decorating

2013

It’s 33 degrees outside with a chance of flurries. Clinging to the hope of warmth arriving soon. The forecast for April 3rd is 50 degrees. Come to mama, baby. 

image

IRL Things:

I (thoughtfully) spent my tax return on some fun things this week. Some spring wardrobe additions, a new camera lens (Sigma 50mm f/1.4), and a Casio keyboard.

I am an absolute music novice, but I’ve been thinking a lot about music creation lately (more on this later). So I’m starting from the beginning. So far I know about Forks and Chopsticks and how to play “You Are My Sunshine”. It’s gonna be a bit of a process. 

Meanwhile, in other concepts completely foreign to me… I start a 401k next month. What up, adulthood?

Ok. Onto the things I dig.

Currently Reading:

What We Talk About When We Talk About God
Rob Bell’s newest book. I’m really enjoying it. Honestly, the only other book of his I’ve finished is Sex God. All the others I read while attending Mars Hill during his time as teaching pastor. It was just kind of repetitive, “Yep. I get it. You said this last week.” It’s nice to read fresh content that he’s written free of pastoral constraints. 

Who Told You That You Were Naked?
I just picked this one up yesterday after watching a fantastic livestream discussion organized by Crunk Feminist Collective. The book is about reconciling theological and sexual ethics, specifically in the lives of black women.

There has been a lot of writing the past couple week around Steubenville, rape culture, etc. Here are a couple of my favorites.

5 Ways We Can Teach Men Not To Rape
Zerlina Maxwell went on Sean Hannity to debate the effectiveness of guns in rape-prevention. (Don’t even get me started.) She was then bombarded online with racially and sexually charged death threats and general vitriol. Regardless, she wrote this piece on Ebony. I would try to pull a quote, but it’s all great. Go read it in full.  

A Letter to My Sons About Stopping Rape
I love the way this is written. Been struck lately by how important it is to teach kids about bodily autonomy and respect from birth. 

Cabin-Time x Wilderness
Here’s a pretty thing for you. Cabin-Time is a roaming creative residency where some beautiful things are created. My friend Carson created this gorgeous video during their last session. 

Tongue Tied - Tina and the Total Babes
Been trying to force Spring into being by listening to as much upbeat rock’n’roll as possible. Cheap Trick, The Detroit Cobras, The Ramones, etc. This particular hook has been in my head all week. One of those crank-it-and-dance jams. 

And finally, Jean Claude VanDamme smelling some chocolate. Happy Friday!

I’ve seen this practice floating around the interwebs for a while. Most recently, Elizabeth’s 25 before 26 recap and new 26 before 27 popped up on my feed, and sparked some inspiration.

I know the arguments for and against posting goals publicly, but I’ve really enjoyed and been inspired by the blogs I’ve seen do this, so I’d like to pass mine on as well.

If you know me at all, you’ve probably seen my lists. I’ve got paper lists, digital lists, short term, long term, etc. They’re not perfect, and I’ve rarely held a completed list in my hands. But I love them so. 

This type of list intrigued me. It feels like a very positive collection of goals, experiences, and practices. And it’s got a deadline. 01.26.2014

And guess what? I’m probably not going to do all of them. If I do, hey, that’ll be crackerjack, but I probably won’t. I’ll miss some, I’ll partially complete others, and some I’ll knock out of the park. (what is up with my idioms today? Do they feel wacky to anyone else?)

image image image

So I ask for the blessings of the saints upon my humble 25 before 26.

1. Practice yoga once a week
I’ve been doing this for a couple months already, but it’s an amazing practice I don’t want to lose track of.

2. Create four pieces of non-digital visual art

3. Have an LP listening gathering

4. Write to my government representatives

5. Make dinner for a group of friends

6. Watch 50 films
I mean film-films. Not movies. I watch a lot of movies and not enough films. You get me? Those dramas, foreign, and art-films that you know are good but just sit in your netflix queue.

7. Update apartment decor
Already have some plans started for this. Wall art, rugs, etc.

8. Write five poems 

9. Read all the comics I own before buying more
I have a problem. I own probably 30 comics and 5 or 6 graphic novels that I have yet to read.

10. Collaborate on a creative endeavor 

11. Sing more duets at karaoke.
Most of us go solo week to week, but every once in a while we’ll do a duet and it’s super great. More of that.

12. Write women & media manifesto
Have had some thoughts and research swirling around in my mind for over a year now. Gotta get it down. 

13. Add to DSLR kit
Lenses, audio, flash, cam support, some or all of the above.

14. Try three new recipes
I know this sounds tiny for a year, but I always make things I already know and love. Keyword here is NEW.

15. Pay off 30% of student loans
Already in my budget/plan, but looking forward to crossing this one off.

16. Digitize my 16mm film
I shot a roll of 16mm film of my grandmother for a class five years ago. I still haven’t gotten it digitized. 

17. Go skinny dipping
Have never actually done this.

18. Decorate office space

19. Create three expression videos
I make a lot of scrapbook/recap type videos, which I love. But I also love making more expression-based videos like this or this

20. Build a fort
Yeah, like with blankets. 

21. Travel outside of the midwest

22. Blog once a week

23. Take the bus/walk more
I know this isn’t very measurable, but I know I’d fail at a measurable goal. So I’m just counting it as a habit I’d like to increase. I’ve been doing decently well considering it’s winter.

24. Re-sew my comforter
It got ruined at the laundry-mat last week. It’s one of my favorite things I own. I will salvage it. 

25. Shoot two rolls of 35mm film

That’s it! You ready? I am. As a wise woman once said…

image 

(“Our Ladies” art by Heymonster at Society6. Go buy them all.)

Well, guess this is happening.

[A quick and dirty little vid blog of my Halloweekend.] 

I had a great Halloween run this year. Halloween has become pretty much equal to Christmas in my enjoyable holidays book. I am all about it. I decided on my costume months ago, had most of it assembled by the beginning of the month, and was really happy with it. 

image

Jem! (If you don’t know it, look it up. It’s also currently streaming on Netflix. Do yourself a favor and check it out.)

This wig, you guys. It was the first piece I bought and I fell in love with it. For a girl with a pixie cut, it was crazy-enjoyable to have beautiful, flowing, pink hair. The day I got home from work to find the package, I may or may not have spent the next few hours just chillin’ in the wig, watching TV, eating dinner, etc. 

I even went as far as buying blue contacts, but that was slightly dumb. I have never worn contacts before, and I didn’t get them fitted to my eye or anything, so my eyes were just kind of like, “nope!” and refused to cooperate. I finally built up my tolerance up enough to wear them for about an hour or so, but I wasn’t able to wear them out anywhere. Put them in to snap a few shots, though. 

It’s pretty much impossible to find pink eye shadow bright enough for Jem, so I ended up using lipstick. Well, no, I ended up using lip stain, which was also a mistake. Let’s just say Sunday and Monday I had to use a little more coverup than usual. Worth it. 

image

I’ve seen some fun Jem costumes and cosplay with the dress she wears during the theme song, but I already had all of these pieces, and I thought they worked pretty well. (Also wearing bubblegum pink tights and purple wedges which you can’t see.)

My biggest slip up is that I didn’t get ANY photos of the earrings! I bought replicas of her hologram/Synergy earrings and totally forgot to take a, “Showtime Synergy!” photo. 

image

I had two nights of costumed revelry!

Friday night a group of us walked downtown to Stella’s. We bought some drinks and were more than pleasantly surprised about 20 minutes later when a dance party erupted. The rest is a blur of colored lights and costumes (as shown in the video). 

image

Richard HarrowMax FischerThe FlashFievelMiss FrizzleCarl SaganJemDr. Who and Amy Pond.

image

Magnum PI showed up a bit later.

Saturday I went to two house parties. Lots of candy and friends and dancing and such. In the costume contest, I was awarded the prize for Most Nostalgic Costume, which is so perfect I wouldn’t even trade it for best overall.

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from that night. There was so much 90s nostalgia my heart was about to burst. There were so many great costumes, but I didn’t want to completely flood your dash. 

image

St. Francis of Assisi and Ash 

image

Steve was also Magnum PI, Dexter, Alex Mack

image

Buster Bunny (she had a Babs too!), Bob Ross, Kid Vid, Amy Grant circa Baby, Baby.

image

Austin Powers and Ursula

image image

The Nanny and Ernest.

(all photobooth-style photos c/o the talented Tyler Card. You may remember him from his crazy-amazing functional camera costume that made the interwebs rounds last Halloween.)

And as a bonus, I got to Skype with my 2yo nephew last night in his Robin costume. Thankfully their neighborhood in The Bronx wasn’t hit by Sandy very badly, so they got to go out trick or treating last night. 

image

Too freaking adorable. (photo c/o Gareth Manwaring)

Hope you all had some spookin’ good times! 

A counselor once asked me the question, “What is the lie you’ve been told by life? That you are too much or not enough?” I’ve been told both and believed both, but especially the former. I’m too emotional. Too opinionated. Too tall. Too much. 

Tuesday evening I was listening to Springsteen on my drive home from work. Tougher Than the Rest came on, and as I listened, I just started crying. It caught me off-guard, and it took me a little while to unpack why it affected me so much. At the time I just kept thinking, “That. That. I want that.” I went home and listened to more of Bruce’s love songs to try and pinpoint what that was.

"We swore we’d travel, darlin’ side by side
We’d help each other stay in stride
But each lover’s steps fall so differently
But I’ll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me.

It’s unfortunate that romance has become such a minefield of patriarchy bombs. (Even the word has negative connotations for me. Tasteless chocolate, guilt-ridden jewelry commercials, etc.)

My brain seems to approach so many situations (or even day dreams!) with a barrage of culture criticism, ”Do I want this because it’s a legitimate expression of affection? Or am I just socialized to think that it is and I’m really buying into the patriarchy?” It’s a downward spiral, folks.

When constantly submerged in feminist blogs/essays/etc, my brain has the remarkable ability to twist normally positive messages into subconscious insults. ”You don’t need a significant other to be happy,” turns into, “You shouldn’t want one at all.” Loneliness and the desire for companionship equals weakness and a need to re-evaluate one’s priorities. It weighs heavily on me sometimes, this feeling that wanting a companion is somehow a betrayal to the movements I care about. 

I don’t think that’s what any individual writers intend, but between the endless writings of principle and the mainstream portrayals of love, it starts to feel like we’re allowed to have either passion or equanimity in relationships, but not both.

The thing is that equanimity and mutual respect are exactly the things that can make passion work in the right way. That’s what Bruce understands. Side-by-side. Together. It’s an invitation to vulnerability. Not knowing the answers to many things, but knowing that you want to figure it out with this person. This invitation from someone who sees you as an equal is so much more appealing and exciting than the empty adoration of someone who wants to treat you like a possession. 

"Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
I wanna guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims
And strap your hands ‘cross my engines
Together we could break this trap
We’ll run till we drop, baby we’ll never go back
Will you walk with me out on the wire
'cause baby I'm just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta know how it feels
I want to know if love is wild, babe 
I want to know if love is real”

"Together, Wendy, we can live with the sadness, I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul."

That line. Oof. Right to the core.

That’s legit passion. And that’s what I want. I want someone who is balls to the wall, all chips on the table, wants to be. with. me. That’s it. Someone who is not afraid of my “too-muchness”. Someone who says, "So if you’re rough enough for love, honey, I’m tougher than the rest."

Well, the first day of fall is quickly approaching. Since I was somewhat MIA from blogging this summer, I never got around to posting the “Summery Summary” as Jon coined it. So before we descend into sweaters and scarves, here’s one last look back on the warmer (scorching) days of 2012. 

[porch sitting]

[accidental quadruple exposure at an arts festival]

[Friends outside the ice cream shop]

[Dan lying in the street]

[Fotini lighting off a firecracker]

It’s been a lovely summer. Pure Michigan.

Shoreline Shoot 5x5 - Just five, five-second clips from last Wednesday.

Two weeks of shooting wrapped on Burst Theory Monday night. Even though I was only there part of the time shooting behind the scenes footage, I’ve still got that post-project melancholy. I’m sure my sleep-deprived body wouldn’t have made it many more days, but it’s a bittersweet ending. I’ll have to be satisfied with seeing the wonderful crew on my computer screen for the next month or so while I sort through and edit the footage. But I miss them already.

Last Wednesday, we shot at a beautiful beach location in Muskegon. Zac and Craig couldn’t have prayed for a better sunset backdrop.

The crew broke for lunch around 10pm, and I walked down to the shoreline to finally dip my feet in the water. My feet sank into the sand and I didn’t roll my jeans up far enough. The warm waves sloshed up around my knees. The moon was a perfect crescent and the stars were free of city-haze.

And my incredibly talented friends were behind me, preparing for five or six more hours of the exhausting work they thrive on.

Sometimes I make things while listening to sappy music. Last week, I made strawberry jam. Thought it might make a nice, summery vidblog.

Bonus points if you spot the continuity error.