Y'know when you have some caffeine to prepare yourself to work/give yourself more energy, and instead of making you more awake and focused, you just get sort of scatterbrained and sleepily jittery?
Yeah. That's what's happening with me right now. I had some chai to work on this paper (and ugh, I'm tired because the goddamned cats were in and out of my room all night, wanting to CUDDLE and PLAY!) and instead of it increasing my focus, it's just made me kind of jittery and nervous. Besides I'm freaking out a little about going back to school, mostly for various emotional reasons, and this is seriously not helping. At all.
I don't know. I mean, on a certain level I'm glad that I had work to do over this break since it kept my brain from atrophying in absence of school, and all (and obviously I'm grateful that I got the extensions, because there was no way in hell I would have been able to get it done with all the seizures I was having in the last few weeks of the semester), but ugh, it really does suck to have work to do when on winter break like this. I'm freaked, is what I'm saying. I never feel totally comfortable at school, and I'm so much lonelier and sicker there - like, always.
I do always do better spring semester than the fall one, though, because I'm going towards more light and warmth and longer days, as opposed to fall semester, when I'm going towards darker and darker and colder and colder and it's like some kind of hellish descent. Fall semester really fucking sucks. All the time.
Also? Grateful for these paper topics. It's been an American Studies-heavy semester (next semester is going to be an English-heavy one, and I anticipate it being way harder), so in the past couple of weeks I've written on Trainspotting, Citizen Kane, His Girl Friday, Twin Peaks, and now Mad Men. (The Twin Peaks research also got me a chance to correspond with Ms. Sherilyn Fenn, a.k.a. Twin Peaks' Audrey Horne - a fangirl's dream, if ever there was one. She was a peach.) Not that there aren't difficulties associated with this shit, because trust me, there are, but it's much easier when you're studying something you really find to be a lot of fun.
All this popular culture studies stuff has really given me a new appreciation for aesthetics. I've been following lots of variously aesthetic-focused blogs and I really do think it's just as valid as the study of anything else - I don't see why substance and style have to be pried apart and differentiated (they certainly aren't in film), or why styles and aesthetic can't be every bit as thought-provoking as a "higher" form of culture. And I don't think one has to be "trained" in this stuff to appreciate it - you just have to have a good eye for what you find beautiful and visually arresting, and cultivate and seek out what you like and find compelling. Sure, having studied art or film or fashion helps, but I don't think it's a requirement if you have a natural compulsion towards it.
I caught Vertigo on TV the other night after the Golden Globes (which were really good this year! Good show, good show), and it's still one of my favorites. Just hits all the right notes - dramatic and romantic and tragic and deeply creepy. Kim Novak gives the shivers - good AND bad ones! (Jimmy Stewart just gives me the bad ones.) She's exquisite. My favorite scenes are the early ones, seeing her dreamlike, haunted wanderings around San Francisco, her obsession with the portrait (that portrait still gives me major fucking creeps), her almost out-of-body hurling herself into the San Francisco bay. The sensuality, the paranoia, the obsession - it's all some of my favorite stuff.
And who could forget that fucking hair swirl?
More shivers. I read this terrifically creepy short story by Joyce Carol Oates called "Fat Man My Love" about Hitchcock from the perspective of one of his blondes. She's great when she's not completely grossing me out, which can definitely happen. I can kind of overdose on her stories a little bit and end up a bit woozy.
Enough morbidity! Let's see some aesthetic perfection! ANTM again, here. From the "short cycle," Ms. Rae Weisz:
Also, my absolute all-time favorite photo from that show: Cycle 11's Lauren Brie:
I feel a little better now. And now, to the paper-writing!