Thursday, September 25, 2008


For a long time, I have wanted bangs. I have begged and pleaded with my hair stylists:

Give me bangs," I would say, "I want bangs. I need them."
"No," they would reply, "Your forehead is too small. They won't look good. Let's try the next best thing....side-swept bangs!"

So, for many years I settled with the ho-hum side-swept bangs. Some girls can really rock the side-swept. They look so cool, so chic. Me on the other hand.... I don't work them so well. Whenever I have them, they are never that short, and not really recognizable as true bangs. This is mainly because as soon as they get long enough, I shove them behind my ears. What I realized I really wanted was five-year-old, straight-across-the-forehead bangs.

This need was recently reinforced on my last visit home, when I came across some old pictures of myself.

"Gee," I thought, "Look at me! High-waisted shorts with the shirt tucked in, skinny legs, and bangs...I was more hip in'94!"

Exhibit A:

(On a side note, my dentist used to take polaroid pictures of all the kids who would come get their teeth cleaned and then put it on a huge polaroid wall. I have a little collection of me 'roiding in a dentist chair. My dentist was basically too cool for school).

Seeing pictures of me like this made me realize that even though I may never have skinny legs again, I can at least have bangs. I can be one step closer to hipness! One step closer to emulating my indie rock idols with bangs:

Chan Marshall!

Jenny Lewis!

Tennessee Thomas!

So last week, when I went to my hair stylist and she asked me what I wanted, I said,
"Little kid bangs! Even though I've been told that they won't look good..."
"Don't worry sweet haht," she said, "We can make it work."
"Aren't they high-maintenance?" I worried.
"They ah, but you can handle them, sweet haht."
"I'll try, Cathy!"

Here is the result:

These first three pictures are still from when my hair was salon-fresh, still nice and smooth.

(By the way, this is me experimenting with an AA shirt, trying to see if it can be worn fashionably backwards.[Oohh! The V will be in the back!] Experiment results : It can't).

The only problem is, the actualy cut is a little shorter than I'd like. I feel like I have doll hair or something. I usually just wear it up in a pony tail. I love the bangs, but I can't wait for the rest of it to grow out. On the bright side, I can definitely wear cutesy bows in my hair now:

Or I'll decide not to look stupid, and just wear it like this.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beef: Memory.

For some reason, so much of my memory is linked with what I was wearing at the time. For my first day of high school I wore this amazing collaged face tshirt of King Lear from the Globe Theater in London. My first night in boston I was wearing a black cardigan with a black skirt, black tights, my first pair of boots (black suede, knee-high) and a stonewashed blue tank top with an odd little shell print.
I don't know where the cardigan or the tank top is, or the t shirt. And it drives me crazy. Every few months I remember some piece of clothing I can't find and it sends me into a riot of torture: where could I have put it?? How can i possible not know where it is?? It's not like i go dropping items of clothing on the street. There's this red-tones bib dress from UO that wore once that I just have no idea where it is. Last week I'd thought of something else, but now I can't remember. These memory lapses are what drive me to insanity. They make me feel like I don't exist. If I really base memories on pieces of clothing, like files in a filing cabinet, the mysterious disappearance of them - without a trace - destroys my only tangible representation of that memory. I may as well have imagined it. I suppose I have a beef with memory; it's abstractness, it's lack of proof, it's complete unreliability, the way it absolutely refuses to document anything; its chaos. It scares me.

So I used to wear heels in middle school. Ridiculous heels, four inches tall (this was when I was of middle school stature myself). I never had trouble with them, I never found them difficult to wield. Perhaps it was my significant calf strength at the time from paper routes. I never noticed then how much of your calf is involved in the heel-wearing process. It's definitely on the front lines of heel campaigns.
But for some reason, I stopped. There was nary a heel to be seen on my foot all through high school and you can imagine my delight when - sometime in my sophomore year - the flat fad took off at an alarming and crazed rate. Still, though, it bothers me that I don't have heels. I feel clunky and insecure at a time in my life when I should be lightyears past the insecurities of middle school, a time when I did manage to wear heels. I think they actually look quite nice; it's not a aesthetic choice.
In conclusion, the time has come.
I feel like it will be a lot like wearing skinny jeans for the first time. You feel absolutely repugnant and ridiculous, bloated and comedic, like an imposter and a desperado all at the same time. But you adapt.

It will be difficult for me to select the right heel for this momentous occasion. Do I want to start small? Or just jump right in and give up my addiction to flats, as it were, 'cold turkey'? I've always imagined that if i became addicted to something I'd have to give it up cold turkey. Too much of the rest of my life exists in a liminal state, I don't know if I'd survive the fight through yet another.

This will be a lot like selecting the One. Like Neo in the matrix. Which heel will lead me to self-fulfillment? Which heel will open new vertical doors of actualization for me? Which heel can I pull off? Which heel will be a representation of all the other heels I've missed out on over the years? Which heel is my destiny heel?

You know, this investment of important abstract things in very unimportant material items is probably what got me into this existential mess I like to call 'Natalie's 16-present'.

What do you think?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Music Videos Part 1: Movies

One of my favorite things to do on the internet is to watch music videos on youtube. I think this is because I did not grow up in a household with cable television, which meant no MTV. No MTV meant no music videos (even though MTV doesn't play music videos anymore). To my delight, it is always fun when I find a music video that pays homage a film that I enjoy. Some might think it lacks new creativity, but I find it cool if the memembers of I band I like also like the same movies I do.

The Decemberists, "Sixteen Military Wives": Rushmore
The Decemberists + Rushmore + a political message = epitomy of awesome. I believe I first saw this music video on 'Best Music Video' lists. It's an obvious rip off of Rushmore. I remember the writer for the article's response to that was, more things should rip-off Rushmore. I couldn't agree more.

Chris Walla, "Sing Again": The Life Aquatic
Like many people, I absolutely love Death Cab for Cutie. With that said, I do NOT like Chris Walla solo. This song does not sit with me well, and this music video is extremely annoying. I think part of it is the obvious homage to the Life Aquatic Team Zissou costumes, but what made the Team Zissou uniforms so interesting is that they were all subtely different to fit each character. It is obvious in this video that it's the same stupid had and ugly blue shirt. I understand they don't have a large budget, but then they shouldn't have even tried. Ugh, just ugh. I also don't like the concept of everyone singing. Am I overreacting? This is the only video that I'm going to talk about that I don't like. Moving on...

The Shins, "Phantom Limb": Rushmore

These plays are directed by Max Fischer. Seriously!

Stars, "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Sigh, I love Stars. I love Eternal Sunshine. People laying down on cracked ice, definitely Eternal Sunshine. Stars' song could have very easily been in the soundtrack to the movie, but they did the next best thing and put the movie into their song. And that time you thought I was sad, I was trying to remember your name.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nostros: A Lyrical Tale of Ghosts, Daydreams, and Happy Endings.

I sent my delightful friends Scott and Brooke a mixed cd last week that, I must say, broke a few of my mixed cd rules. It's ridiculous how I have rules for mixed cds, and, indeed, mixed cds in general! It's as if I'm 12 years old, watching Say Anything, and wishing I lived in the 80s. Goodness, sometimes, I annoy myself.

Anyway, despite all my attempts at self control, I've enclose the track list for your perusal. If you were to choose one song that doesn't seem to fit, which would it be and would you consider it's odd-ball-ness in this musical smorgasborg to be complimentary and whimsical, like a cherry on a chocolate-sprinkled, chocolate-frosted chocolate cake, or revolting and jarring, like a cockroach in a Chinese chicken salad? Cause I've thoughts about the first question, and hold reserves regarding the second.

1. Inside: Bang Gang
2. Pocketful of Money: Jens Lekman
3. Metal Heart: Cat Power
4. Pills: The Perishers
5. Rose Parade: Trappers Cabin
6. Sweet and Low (Acoustic): Augustana
7. I See You, You See Me: The Magic Numbers
8. Breathe Me: Sia
9. Melt Your Heart: Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
10. Hallelujah: Jeff Buckley
11. Ride: Cary Brothers
12. Fade Into You: Mazzy Star
13. I Thought You Said Summer ...: Hello Saferide
14. Paperweight: Schuyler Fisk and Joshua Radin
15. Northwestern Girls: Say Hi To Your Mom
16. Such a Lonely Soul: Anna Ternheim
17. The Origin of Love (Hedwig cover): Rufus Wainwright
18. Love to Love: Djali Zwan

You Don't Know Me!

No, I didn't get mad at Malery again, it's a name of a new song that you should listen to. Natalie, since you've never lived with me what you don't know about me is when there is a new song that I really like, I play it over and over and over again. Maybe you knew that anyway?

Anyway, yesterday I was in the car with my mom and we turned on one of the independent college radio stations, and this song came up. This is my new song on repeat. I instantly recognized that it was Ben Folds, but I was surprised when I looked up the song and found out it was a collaboration with Regina Spektor. Her voice isn't distinctive until the very end of the song.

The music video is an unofficial user submitted music video, iPod commericial style. I hope you like it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


There were many things I was expecting to do while I was in Seattle: get over caffienated with coffee, fill my suitcase with new clothes (something Krupa made fun of me for), and go to the Space Needle. I was not, however, expecting to go to Bumbershoot, the annual music and arts festival that takes place in Seattle every year over Labor Day weekend. I didn't even know the festival existed until I arrived in the Emerald City. Even better, Krupa was able to score free tickets ($100 value) from her work...sweet!

Bumbershoot takes place in the Seattle Center, so while you're rocking out you're in the shadow of the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project (a building designed by Frank Gehry [ which by the way, evertime I now hear Frank Gehry's name, I think of Clark Duke saying 'Is this a Gehry?' from Clark and Michael and I laugh and laugh]).

Since Bumbershoot is a three day festival lasting from Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and I was only able to go on Saturday because I left for home on Sunday, Krupa and I tried to make the most of the festival. We tried to see a wide variety of artists:
-Neko Case (Yay! One artist I can cross off my 'Need to see' list, but I wish she could have performed at least ONE New Pornographers song, but I guess that is against the rules)
-Barcelona (a piano driven 'emo' band, who were okay. I felt like a babysitter at Warped Tour , with the average age of the audience being like 16...also it's depressing to see 16 year olds who have more hip style than I ever will).
-Lucinda Williams (I then felt young in this crowd, with the average age being 40. Krupa and I didn't stay long because we weren't into her music)
-Estelle (an R&B British singer who was really funny commentary. After she'd sing a song about an ex-boyfriend she'd be like "I'm SOO over that shit! So over!" and repeatedly urged people to have sex but "Be safe, be safe, be SAFE!"
-Band of Horses (I tried to call you during The Funeral! I really did! Also they surprising sounded kind of country on some songs)
-Beck (I'm not a huge fan, but there was no denying it was a good concert. He also had a cute, classy looking female guitarist, which made me envious)
but the great discovery of the festival for me was
-Thao with the Get Down, Stay Down

Thao with the Get Down, Stay Down is band I really wish you could have seen live. She had the cute girl rockstar thing going on. You know, cute dress with bangs, sipping a cup of beer while singing indie pop with lyrics that are darker than they seem, the front woman in a band full of boys. Her voice isn't as syrupy sweet or innocent sounding as I prefer with my indie girl singers, but I really enjoyed the music.You would have definitely been depressed. Before you get too sad, please check out her music video, lomo style.

It is hard not to get overwhelmed at a festival like this, and I had to quickly get over that I was not going to be able to see everyone I wanted to see (Nada Surf, !!!, AND M. Ward playing the same time as Beck? Ahhh!! Also, apparently David Cross was doing stand-up somewhere..) and how I should NOT have even LOOKED at the line up for Sunday and Monday (I am missing Tapes N' Tapes, Sons and Daughters, Ingrid Michaelson, Dan Deacon and Death Cab?! AHHHH)

Overall, it was one of the highlights of my trip to Seattle, and I wish you could have been there. I promise to do another Seattle post once I load all my pictures.

Say Hi (to your mom)

Rue, this is for you, two days ago. When you were a Northwestern Girl and when I was listening to it and weeping.



The death of life. When the sun boils down onto mortals, who shield themselves with fragile hands, feeling the flesh burn away in the face of divinity. When only one thought permeates through one's head:

Why the hell don't I have an air conditioner?

September 2, Honolulu, HI, temperature forecast: 84-90, with humidity climbing.

Uck. Welcome to paradise.