23 February, 2010

reasons to have bangs/reading

I've never liked having eyebrows and today I decided to stop having them. There are kids at Oberlin who draw lines on their faces or grow half a beard, and I figure I won't be here forever. Maybe I won't even be able to have green hair when I'm older (that would be a tragedy but I'm slo-o-o-owly trying to adjust myself to the idea that maybe super-blond would look okay; red is definitely a trial and there's no way I'd ever go back to not dyeing it at all).

(I deleted the pictures because I think they're creepy.)

I'm also trying to give up makeup for Lent (to some extent). Although I just realized that drawing on eyebrows is going to take WAY more time. Argh.

Speaking of people who don't have eyebrows, I was thinking of writing about reading people. I mean, trying to figure out if people are Like Me (which means, I guess, ASD people, intellectually disabled people, and some people with mental illnesses, or people who are just sort of on the border of having something, but actually don't--well, if you know what I mean, you know what I mean, and if you don't, you don't). This is an activity that can be comforting and a lot of fun.

In Edinburgh there was this girl in my building who was also from America--an international student, a first year. I only talked to her a few times, but if you asked her a question, she would answer it and then say, "You?" I guess this is another thing that you either know what I mean or don't, but I wish I had tried to be friends with her. I wish I could have said, I know you plan out what you say before you say it, but you don't have to do that with me.

There is a way of being serious and concerned and planning things out, and if you pass to normal people, they fucking ride you about it. Don't be so serious! Don't get so upset! Why do you have to know exactly what's going to happen? Just be yourself! Just do whatever you feel like doing! Whatever I'm concentrating on is never as hard as hiding my look of concentration to calm the norms. Planning out what to say is not so bad, is even fun, but delivering it so it doesn't sound like a script is just--they frequently catch you, and if it's something that's supposed to be spontaneous, well--

What I'm trying to say is that even though I think Evelyn Evelyn is kind of a stupid idea, I wasn't that upset about it. I mean, I completely respected that other people were and admired them for saying so. However, then I saw this video (start at 2:20--however, a really good example is 4:10):

This video makes me feel upset because Amanda Palmer is using body language that isn't hers. I'm not into Jason Webley's music, so I don't know what his body language is usually like, but she doesn't move like that or make those kind of facial expressions or hold herself that way. There are lots of people who do have intense/scared/stiff/otherwise nonstandard body language who are musicians--like Jeff Mangum, Laura Marling, and Daniel Johnston. It's awesome that their fans like the way they move or don't move (in fact I'm a fan of all three of them, and love watching videos of them). But I've been a fan of AFP for years and her body language and expressions in that video are super fake.

It just kind of hurts my feelings as a person who actually moves/looks like that. Is that a weird thing to say?

ETA: I think when I shaved my eyebrows I was possibly in some kind of shutdown that I might still be in. I think I've been in it for like two days. The Longest Shutdown sounds like the title of a children's book or maybe something for the Guinness Book of World Records.

I think I might need to talk to someone, I mean I started doing this blog as a way of being absent because I didn't want to feel things that might make me hurt myself. For the past two months I've been returning, and that is an odd experience, like your blood coming back into your hands after you've been cold outside. I don't know. It would explain why I can't seem to get anything done, if there's actually something seriously wrong with me. When I think about the UK I almost can't remember being there. I think of time visually and it's just, August, Christmas. I know I was there but I can't see it.


  1. Of course, I'm not familiar with her body language normally since I'm not a Dresden Dolls fan but what about her body language was nonstandard? I couldn't see it.

    I'm asking because I'm currently wondering about my own body language at the moment. I made a Youtube video a while back (took it down) and I was surprised by how fake I seemed when I didn't really mean to.

  2. About the girl who always asked "You?" after she answered a question -- reciprocal questioning is something I'm trying to master right now. It's hard because when someone asks me a question I'm thinking about the answer to that question, and not about what their answer to the question might be, so I sort of have to kick myself in the brain in order to remember to ask them the same question.

    I also love spotting other people. And I wonder if they spot me, and I kinda wish someone would.

    It's really cool what Amanda Palmer and that guy can do in terms of playing one instrument simultaneously -- I wish they had just told everyone that they were learning to play one instrument simultaneously instead of pretending to be conjoined twins. I agree with your old teacher that when one grows up, one may learn that this is an iffy thing to do.

    Also what made me really uncomfortable about that video was the laughter. I couldn't tell if it was friendly or malicious laughter, or in fact what was funny about their act.

  3. sorry to take a long time to answer. whenever people comment here, I get all excited and want to answer, but I put it off because I'm excited. now everyone here is probably not checking back.

    anyway, the body language. Amanda Palmer is holding her shoulders up really high and basically looking really nervous and serious and like she's concentrating really hard, which isn't the way she normally looks. I'm particularly struck by 4:10-4:13-ish though when she adjusts the guitar strap and the audience starts laughing and she gets this really blanked/startled look on her face which is an expression I get a lot (in fact it's the title expression of this blog).

    I'm not saying that a person without any disability wouldn't ever have that kind of body language, but it does indicate a particular kind of oddness/shyness that Amanda Palmer normally doesn't display.

    Zoe, they should have dressed up as one person! That would have been a lot cooler. And I agree the laughing is the worst part--I feel like it would be a little less creepy if it was like "Evelyn Evelyn are really shy, let's encourage them" and everyone was yelling "you can do it" or something--as it is, the audience is startling them and scaring them, which seems mean.