Tuesday, January 5, 2016

tell me about your day

As Anomalisa gets underway again, I reflect on the days that were full of life. And I reflect on today. I think of full days like some speech tournament days--good and bad--or when I met my first girlfriend in Salt Lake City, or my second in Memphis, or my third in Burbank. It is not that many things need to happen. It is just that something needs to happen. I've written before in this blog--so very long, it seems--about the moments worth repeating. But, it could just be about the moments... the mundane moments.

Today, for example, I awoke just before my 6:11am alarm. I actually have several alarms set, most of them on my old phone which is now just a glorified alarm clock. The 6:11am is louder and on my iPhone. I was awake early enough that I did not have to rush. I fed the cats and headed out, stopped at Starbucks on the way to work. Taught class at 8:00am and at 9:50am. I got a good impression of both set so students. I've got a good feeling about this quarter. It was the first day of the quarter so class didn't go the full time. We went over some basic course stuff, the syllabus, and talked about the first speech that students need to give.

Day one so my office hours weren't going to involve many students, but I was busy--servers were slow and I had to go to the financial aid office, which took 40 minutes, mostly spent waiting in line. The food court was packed so I didn't really get a good lunch. Ate a Twix that was in my desk. Nice healthy, all-day-on-campus meal. First day of forensics doesn't involve the assistant coaches much. We just have to introduce ourselves to the new students.

During forensics, Dani (who I've probably mentioned in this blog before) performed one of her interp pieces for Brian (who I've definitely mentioned before) and Jackson, and I was in the room so I thought I might be asked what I thought, but honestly I think I was falling asleep, sitting on the couch in our speech team's squad room. I was glad when no one asked me what I thought.

Hours later, in the first night of a class called "Constructing LA: Interviews to Narrative" I was scribbling on the syllabus notes about where might go with my big narrative paper in that class, something about our--and I put "my" in brackets--inability to connect with people. Not wanting to be asked what I thought about that speech--yeah, that counts.

I hadn't gotten around to texting my ex about what I'd found out at financial aid and found another message from her after forensics. Something else I wrote on that syllabus tonight was about why when I saw Adaptation. back in 2002 I excitedly told my wife about it when I got home and insisted she see it right away, but when she asked me outright last Friday about this movie--Anomalisa, I was hesitant to say how much it moved me. Was it because she and I don't have the connection we used to have? Or, more specifically, because I don't want us to? Or did this movie get to me so much that I just didn't want to talk about it right then, right after I had just seen it and then ran into my ex in the lobby of the Arclight theater. She lives near there and had just seen The Big Short, which I had already seen...

Speaking of which, earlier I had been talking with Dani about screeners she had and I mentioned seeing Trumbo and how it pissed me off and seeing Spotlight and how it pissed me off and seeing The Big Short and how it pissed me off as well. And, Lane was nearby and she was surprised, wondered why I didn't like those movies. I had to explain, I definitely liked those movies--loved those movies--but their subject matter was stuff that made me angry.

TA meeting had a lot going on, but wasn't that exciting. Notably, I mentioned the idea of putting a book together after my master's thesis is finished. I think there's something to be built out of pieces of the thesis, and pieces of this blog, especially the first year. Something worth putting out into the world in a more... Acceptable? Format than a blog. Tell a story about the way this blog began. Something else I wrote down on the syllabus tonight--

Meanwhile, I'm thinking about the animators taking their time with Lisa singing "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" when stop-motion animation doesn't often deal in such, well, mundane action. Gumby back when I was younger, something like Wallace and Gromit lately--these things don't waste time on character moments like this. It's more about action. They also certainly don't animate sex like this movie does.

I want to write about where I was in my life when this blog began, or the better place I was when I visited Woodstock and met Danny Rubin--and Schulman's piece about us provided insight into Rubin's state of mind at the time and why he might not have been too willing to talk to me so much. Tonight after class I was talking to Lane--first time that we're classmates--about this and how in my master's thesis, I will be dealing in the way I used blogging to move past depression and anger over my separation from my wife. How there were a couple alternate causes as well in a change in our living situation and in grad school getting started and the three things twist together into something that has, ever since, been mostly good.

I managed dinner of a sort when we took a break from the night class. I talked about this blog in class. I scribbled down ideas on how to put Anomalisa into a paper this quarter, or Adaptation. or Groundhog Day. Movies are the narratives that separate me from the narrative of my life.

Sometimes when I need it. Sometimes just... as a passing activity.

I find characters to spend time with like Michael and Lisa, like Phil and Rita, like whomever.

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