Tag Archives: art

Me and My Pet Bear Named Mouse

In lieu of writing more words today, I’d like to share with you a picture I drew of my new pet bear and I walking on an enchanted pathway of fruit through a forest filled with fruiting trees. My bear’s name is Mouse, and I’ve lost both of my feet as a result of the mystical journey. Nevertheless, I am happy to be alive and have a cool pet bear.


Pet Bear




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RIP: Fake Epitaphs for a Real Life


You don’t often get to say “I drew my own grave today.”

R.I.P. Emily Drevets, 1989-2280

What will they say about you when you pass on? Who’s opinion matters the most to you? Do you think you’re on your way to being remembered the way you want to be remembered?

I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, but I came up with some true and hopefully true epitaphs that might adorn my tombstone, even though I’d like to be cremated and have my ashes spread in a vegetable garden. Making epitaphs is more fun than suggesting ash-scattering locations.

She always answered her email.
A consummate professional and friend.
Her emails were easy to read and contained very few typos.
She never dumped her personal life onto her Facebook friends.
She never gave money to the homeless. She just didn’t know what was the right thing to do.
She tried to get what she wanted out of life. She was pretty sure she knew what that was.
She sought out the unknown unknowns.
She called her mom every week.
A frugal dresser.
She wasn’t too picky about the food she ate.
She never spent too much on cosmetics.
Paid little attention to things that bored her.
She never knew quite what to do with Twitter.
Oft more afraid than others knew, she sometimes struggled with asking for help.
She wanted to remember everything, but only remembered some things.
She wanted to do everything, but only did some things.
She enjoyed sharing mundane details of her life with other people.
Mighty consumer of oatmeal and peanut butter.
She never understood fashion.
She had trouble understanding why others might feel differently than her about some things.
She told multiple people she wanted to be a tree but never became one.
She didn’t know what the criteria were for regretting something.
She really liked the sound her iPad made when it closed.
She finally walked on foot through the mountains.
She found love in the end.
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The Best Thing I Have Ever Written*


*This is how I felt immediately after writing this blog post. Upon reading it through a couple of times, I’m not so sure this is true. Nevertheless, the title remains.

You can feel it when you meet someone, when they let you in on their jokes or if you find they prefer to be the one making all the jokes or if they want you to entertain them, or if they expect something of you that you’re not going to give them.

Social interaction is a drug. It’s hard. It’s something most people have to do. It’s why humans are animals and animals are some of humans’ favorite things, because somewhere in there we’re laughing because what if we were the ones sniffing each other’s butts and isn’t that pretty much what’s happening at bars on Friday night anyways?

It can be wanting to be loved and cherished by everyone and wanting to get invited to their birthday parties, even the ones where you have to dress up and wear pearls and pretend that you like shaving your armpits because it’s better to have parties to refuse than no parties to go to at all.

It’s pretending to like people that you don’t like and pretending to hate people that you’re in love with and finding those people that you don’t have to pretend for, ever, and those are the best people of all. Because they’ll see you say something incredibly stupid in a crowd of people and know that that one statement isn’t who you are, because none of us are just one thing or just one sentence. And we have the lizard part of our brain and the dog part of our brain and the robot part of our brain and the iPhone and the troll and we’re all living together under one roof and sometimes it gets really crowded in here and a little smelly because – let’s be honest – we’re smelly people and the sheets have that human scent to them, but it’s kind of nice in the way that it’s a smell that reminds you where you are and signals to your body that it’s okay here, you can sleep with your mouth open.

And social interaction is everyone being the person that sleeps with their mouth open but only some people are allowed to know about that part of their lives even though if you took it one level beneath the surface you would see – and you would really see – that everyone has these embarrassing secrets that they only reveal to true friends and that we’re more alike than different even though we don’t know everyone’s names or their whole stories but that’s okay because sometimes words just get in the way of things and besides in 1,000-10,000 years all the words we use will be obsolete anyways and our Facebook pictures will have decomposed into virtual fossils that scientists will have to try to understand because our cultural customs – why are we always grinning at the camera – don’t make any sense anymore.

Photo credit: Subharnab, flickr

Photo credit: Subharnab, flickr

And the only thing that will be left after all is said and done is the feeling in the air and in the soul of every living thing that there were other living things here on this earth that felt things towards one another and created things together and despite their very thick skulls that kept them apart, managed to communicate something of who they were to another and were able to be heard. And it will be nothing more than an electromagnetic exhaust in the breeze, nothing more than a lurching in the belly of some kind of future-human with three heads and a heart bigger than the foot or in the aliens that have colonized us, but it will be there as sure as the sun is going to explode and as sure as the universe will continue expanding until all of us are asleep and no one can watch it anymore like a television left on after everyone’s gone to bed.

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Turns Out I Hate Crafts

The first of thousands. Literally thousands.

Having recently arrived home, where my nuclear family lives, including one bride-to-be, I have been confronted with some uncomfortable realities. One of these is the fact I don’t have my own room. Another is that there countless people (5) saying good morning to me in the  early hours when I would rather hear only the sweet hum of my aging computer. The most pressing one, however, is the fact I will physically have to do things to help my sister in her wedding preparations, and it is going to be much more work and much less glamorous than I had previously supposed.

Though I spoke boldly about how much I was looking forward to the wedding stuff and being a best maid, etc. while stationed abroad, I had no concept of what that would entail. At a distance from the nuptial hubbub, I played to my talents, which are blogging. While at home, however, I can no longer blog it in. My blogging in no way, shape, or form helps my sister. If anything, it’s a distraction and a nuisance.

Oddly enough, what my sister actually needs are people to work like indentured servants on a variety of craft projects, since she’s into the “make it right the first time” movement. It’s also cheaper than buying things from Martha Stewart. Currently we’re making big yarn globes, which will look pretty cool whenever we’re finished with them. But that’s not the point. The point is that I don’t like crafts. I’m also not very good at doing them. Consider this: the most artistic thing that I do regularly is doodle, and I only do that when I’m incapable of focusing on something else. I never choose art or crafts as an activity in and of itself, and almost as soon as I start one, I wonder when I can stop.

Here’s what’s going to happen: as soon as we start making another one of those globe things, I will instantly regret being a part of the project and begin counting the minutes until I can leave. This will to lead to me doing a poor job, which will in turn lengthen the project as we drape and re-drape strand after glue-soaked strand of yarn over the balloon. Secretly I’ll hope that by doing such a poor job you will never ask me to help out again. I recall all my former valiant words with chagrin as I’m faced with these simple tasks that prove too taxing for my attention span, which barely rivals that of a goldfish.

Instead of pretending I’m capable of attending to detail or caring about any aspect of a craft project except for finishing it with speed, from now on I’ll only do the most mindless of tasks so I will be free to distract others. This is my true gift to the wedding enterprise. My hands may be clumsy and my mind distracted, but my comments and interruptions are endless.

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What My Doodles Say About You

Note the random bunny

Dear Arabic teacher,

You’ve probably noticed that I spend an inordinate amount of time in your class doodling. This doodling occurs either during discussion, while we’re watching something, or while you’re talking. It does not occur while I am talking.

My doodles are usually a hodge podge of abstract shapes composed of curved lines, straight lines, circles, triangles, and dots that are inspired by natural matter. I also occasionally draw words spelled out in big pattern-filled block letters, or fields of teddy bear heads, with the odd rabbit, lion, fox, or raccoon head thrown in there. On a handful of occasions, I’ve resorted to drawing grotesque human heads as well as what might have been horse heads. These phenomena will be explained shortly.

Now that we’ve discussed the types and nature of the doodles, I would like to tell you more about what these mean in relation to your class and more specifically, my presence in said class. The mere fact I am doodling does not mean I am not paying attention. Indeed, drawing little designs on the side of my paper often helps me focus. That being said, this is probably not what’s happening in your class.

Depending on my hunger and current level of lack of sleep, my doodles might mean that I am barely listening to what’s going on and, if called on, will flail until the class rescues me out of embarrassment. On other days, I am completely aware of what is going on and just waiting the opportune moment to astonish the class with my insight. On yet other days, the discussion itself might be laughably ridiculous in either scope or tone and all I want to do is yell, “You clowns! Look at yourselves!” But instead I’ll boldly continue doodling.

A good rule of thumb is that the more complex the doodle, the less attention I am paying in your class. A simple teddy bear head may mean I just needed some cheering up and so quickly drew a friendly friend on my paper to lift my spirits. However, experimentation with different kinds of teddy bear faces, animal faces, or especially human faces means I’ve floating in another realm altogether and am not paying attention in the slightest.

So, is this a problem? Does my doodling constitute a threat to my progress as an Arabic student? Well, yes and no. The doodling itself is not the issue, but is only a symptom of a wider phenomenon that I would like to call “not caring.” Should the doodling be eradicated, it would likely be replaced with staring out of windows, and/or tearing up little pieces of paper. So what is the solution? As I stated earlier, I do not doodle when I’m talking, an action that requires my full attention. If there were some way for me to remain talking the entire class, or at least 75 percent of the class with the rest of the time being spent in preparation to speak, I think we would see a radical reduction in the frequency and quality of the doodles, something that would hopefully indicate a parallel increase in the rate of my Arabic learning.

I’m free on the weekends to talk about your teaching strategy centered on catering to my completely reasonable needs. Please get in touch with my secretary.



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