25 October 2011

I keep listening to this

Two weeks ago, NPR: Talk of the Nation broadcast Steve Jobs's 2005 speech at Stanford University as a way to commemorate his life. I have listened to it about five times since then because it is inspiring. If you haven't had a chance to read, listen to, or watch this, you should make some time. 

I want to highlight the parts that stand out to me:
  • Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.
  • [On typography]: It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of a practical application in my life, but it all came back to me 10 years later. We designed it into the mac.
  • You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them going backwards. You have to trust that the dots will connect somehow in your future.
  • [On being fired from Apple]: The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.
  • I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers.
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  • If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. And don't settle.
  • "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?"
  • All external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
  • Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
  • Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die.
  • Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
  • Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition--they somehow already know what you truly want to become.
  • Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
I don't know if everyone will find what they love. Is it something to be found? Or does this kind of love just develop because you do it everyday or you want to be better at it? Steve Jobs was really lucky to find what he loved to do, but he had to drop out of college in order to find it. I have found things that I enjoy and have a knack for, but I haven't fallen in love with anything yet. I certainly need more experience to improve on the things I'm interested in and then develop a love for them. I guess I like this speech so much because his story encourages me to just keep trying and move forward. The dots will align somehow. It was good to listen to being a recent college grad with no money and no foundation anywhere, really, except my family and my diploma. So Steve, I'm pretty hungry and I'm going to be foolish by trying all sorts of ways to figure out what to do exactly.

20 October 2011

I really adore you, St. Vincent, but

this song is waiting to be remixed.


I keep listening to this one by Joanna Newsom.


Does Not Suffice:

I will pack all my pretty dresses
I will box up my high-heeled shoes
A sparkling ring for every finger
I'll put away and hide from view

Coats of boucle, jacquard and cashmere
Cartouche and tweed, all silver-shot
And everything that could remind you
Of how easy I was not

I'll tuck away my gilded buttons
I'll bind my silks in shapeless bales
Wrap it all up in reams o' tissue
And then I'll kiss you sweet farewell

You saw me rise to our occasion
And so deny the evidence
'Caused me to burn and twist and grimace against you
Like something caught on a barbed wire fence

Now you can see me fall back here redoubled
Full bewildered and amazed
I have gotten into some terrible trouble
Beneath your blank and rinsing gaze

It does not suffice for you to say I am a sweet girl
Or to say you hate to see me sad because of you
It does not suffice to merely lie beside each other
As those who love each other do

I picture you rising up in the morning
Stretching out on your boundless bed
Beating a clear path to the shower
Scouring yourself red

The tap of hangers swaying in the closet
Unburdened hooks and empty drawers
And everywhere I tried to love you
Is yours again and only yours


For a while, I felt like she was singing the song I could not sing. In some ways, I still feel that way, but I also love how she strings these sounds, textures, and feelings together like beads onto a thread. Or packs them a way into a box. Or leaves them hanging next to each other in the cold, lofty air.

11 October 2011

Nate, wanna switch places?

Sometimes, I wish I had been born as the oldest child. As it is nice to have all the perks of being the youngest--you don't have to carry the burden of being the oldest like sacrificing your toys, always being "the responsible one," settling arguments, getting in trouble because "you should know better, you're the oldest,"-- the youngest usually lacks the creativity and decisiveness of older children. I have learned this by watching my friends who are the oldest children in their families. They take the lead in discussions, they usually have the best ideas, they usually contribute ideas, they seem to be more creative. When I compare my brother and myself, this is all true. He voices his opinion, he is more artistic and creative, he doesn't get annoyed when I ask for advice but doesn't really understand the concept of asking for advice because he usually just makes a decision, "It's up to you, Jessie." Basically, I'm saying that I wish I learned at a young age how to be creative and make decisions. I wish I had the burden of coming up with fun games to entertain my younger siblings or helping mum and dad feed the kids or do the chores. I think older kids just have a better handle on things, to say it simply and lazily.

However, I wouldn't really want to give up being the cute, adorable kid that was always allowed to play with my brother's older friends, or being daddy's spoiled little girl, or just being the sweet, youngest kid you just can't get enough of. I would miss that. That has molded me a lot, as well, but I want to be "cooler," like an oldest kid.