Earring and Writing Day

I'm on my second pair of earrings today. The first is already listed and can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/63321989/felt-earrings-peach-slices

Peach maybe isn't the best way to describe the color of them, but I liked the idea of having slices of a fruit that doesn't really lend itself to slicing. We'll see.
The second pair will be in the same color, with purple buttons, and of the rectangular variety.

It's a light chore day for my mom. She just asked me to clear out the tupperware cabinet, which takes some time, and I have to find a place to stack all of the containers nicely for her to look over. But this will only take a few minutes.

We might start picking out photos for Maciek's etsy shop. He's intrigued.
And I might look into the feasibility of starting my own shop for jewelry, but I don't think I'll do it.

But my goal is also 750 words. A good chunk of a short I might see making its way into my honors project. I started it on the train yesterday but felt bogged down by all of the details I wanted to include to truly capture my grandma's house. I also started writing this section in present tense, which seemed wrong to me, but it's my default tense for writing now, and I figure I can always go back and switch, which will give me more opportunity to revisit what I had written.

Just to keep my new readers abreast of what is going on: I'm writing a collection of short stories as my honors thesis. Generally, these stories will deal with my immigration and problems associated with it. But in this I want to include some sort of slight formal exploration, dealing with plot, story length, and genre-blurring. Right now, I am asking myself if non-fiction has to be in first person.


127 Hours

Yesterday, I saw 127 Hours at Century.

*Spoiler Alert*

I knew James Franco's character was going to cut his arm off, but I wasn't seriously worried until I was walking up the ramp to theater #7 where I noticed a small white sign taped to the wall. It reminded viewers of the one graphic scene that had caused viewers to feel sick and almost faint. And then I realized what I had actually signed up to see, how every single shot in the film would hint at his entrapment and his eventual escape. I was sweaty and scared during shots at the beginning in which James Franco simply ran his hands across smooth rocks. That is effective filmmaking.
But from now on, I don't think I'll mention the arm thing, which was harrowing, but I think Danny Boyle didn't want to make it the focus of the entire film.

Here's why. There's a framing device used, shots of people on a crowded train platform, fans in a packed stadium, cars on a highway, all emphasizing the multitude of people everywhere else, except for where Aron Ralston was trapped. We get the sense that he wanted to be alone, and while I haven't read the book he wrote, I'm going to assume that this is something he had written about extensively. This is about as much as we get in terms of character development...and really about as much as we can expect, and as a result, a lot of the flashbacks revolve around his experiences with an ex-girlfriend, which allow us to escape the ridiculously claustrophobic conditions in the canyon, and also shows us what would prompt a person to go somewhere so lonely without letting anyone know where he was going.

This makes the people helping Aron in the end seem like they're functioning symoblically as well. He needs people to survive. He has learned his lesson. It's no longer just a factual account, and I respect the desire to incorporate a small arc, or a small emotional change into such a big, terrifying, and life-altering experience.

But did it work? Kind of. It was visceral. It made me at first want to get away from the crowds and the noise, and then it made me want to go right back, to never be alone.

And all of it, really, was pretty. A combination of the colors from Slumdog Millionaire and the movement and effects from 28 Days Later.

Dare we say that Danny Boyle is an auteur? And can we watch anything he makes without thinking of his big smiling face at the Oscars?


How Things Came to Be

I realized today, with the help of a critiquer in the forums, that my bio on Etsy is a little...slim. The fact of the matter is that it's very difficult for me to explain the circumstances of how this shop (FourElephants) came to be.

I'm in my early 20s, and since 4th grade I've wanted to either be a musician, writer, or maker of things. And my parents have been generally supportive, being makers in their own right. My mom for the longest time made her own wreaths (for every holiday imaginable), and my dad drew. My brother, too, has recently been bitten by the creative bug. He started a band and discovered that he wields a pencil very well.
But because we immigrated to the US from Poland when I was five, and because this carries with it a certain amount of "prove to those Americans that you can be worthwhile to their society," nobody in my family had ever considered any sort of artistic profession. The pinnacle of success would have to be something like lawyer or doctor. High-powered, high-earning, useful.
To me, it became pretty clear that this was not the way that I was going to go. And simply enough, I'm not doing it. But for my dad, it hasn't been that simple. He needs to work, and because he works, he doesn't have time to paint. I want him to paint. I want him to be able to do it for a living. It's a dream he has put off for many many years.
And this summer, I said, "Look, Dad. I can manage an Etsy shop to see where things go. For now, I'll put in some of my stuff, and some of Marcin's photos [to get him fired up about making things, too], and we'll wait for your paintings." Slowly, he's getting stuff finished, and slowly, I am becoming familiar with Etsy and its sellers.

This is the long-winded version of our story. This is our version of a collective.


Hold On Tight

In August, I bought a new laptop. My first MacBook. After six years, my old Compaq was slow and sad with about 300mb of RAM, unable to complete even the most basic task of turning itself on in less than fifteen minutes.

What I was most excited for in getting my new laptop was not the speed, or the sleekness, or even the satisfying click of each new key. I really wanted to get a new laptop sleeve. I had held off for a long time, knowing that my fifteen inch laptop was on its way out and that if I bought something ahead of time, I would only lament the fact that I did not own a laptop that would fit into my amazing new laptop protector.

On etsy, where I spend many of my waking hours, I came across Sandra's shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/sandrastju). In it, she had hundreds of sleeves made of heavy-duty felt and upholstery-weight fabric all of which could have cushioned my newest purchase.

But this is why I went with the felt sleeve (pictured above). The traction. I am absolutely clumsy, and whenever I have to walk somewhere holding my computer, the only thing I can think is: "Your hand is slipping. It is sweaty. That laptop will fall to the cement and crack into hundreds of pieces." But the felt that Sandra uses provides me with just the right amount of grip with none of the itchiness I normally associate with wool.

I also bought another case for my boyfriend:

The detailing on both cases is beautiful, and the wooden buttons provide an extra bit of smoothness.

You can find more sleeves just like these two at http://www.etsy.com/shop/sandrastju .


I was asleep again.

I'm on here today for two reasons. One, my term is officially over. No more papers, no more tutoring, no more cafeteria food. Until January 2nd. And Two, I made it to the front page again! I checked out the screenshot on craftcult.com, and I made a widget, and here it is:


Ballin' #2

Another treasury on the front page! I'm really happy with this one, too.