Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Made This For You

In order to relieve the boredom of Summer Two-Thousand-and-Ten I decided last Sunday to make a quilt that's not even really a quilt but actually just pieces of cloth sewn on to each other. To make this the longest project ever I didn't use a sewing machine and I decided to make a video of it. Lucky you! This video took up about 25 GB of harddrive and a billion hours to edit. Which is good I guess, since the point was to entertain myself for a long time and it worked. One of the downfalls of the video though is that it's really boring to watch someone sew things, even for like, 4 minutes. Remember last year when I made a video for no reason? This is kind of like that, except my hair is not as terrible/AWESOME.

Anyways, here's the finished product:

Before we talk about it, here's the video:

how to spend a sunday from Emily Choo on Vimeo.

Everything is made up of old clothes, thread, and a shoelace. And also a hat and cotton balls.

It took me 7 hours to sew that shit because I put individual windows on the blue and purple buildings. I wanted them to look like buildings but they kind of just look like blue and purple rectangles. The white thing with stripes is also a building that I couldn't be bothered to put windows on.

The yellow thing is not, in fact, a giant spider in the sky, but the sun! The green thing is not a volcano, but a tree! The black blob is not a poodle, it's a cat! The red thing is a sidewalk.

In 10 years when I'm really famous people will want to pay me for this decorated piece of cloth. Keep that in mind. That's about it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

One Less Sad Robot Looking For A Chance To Be Something More Than Just Metal

[jack's mannequin - miss delaney]

this song reminds me of high school. it is my favourite jack's mannequin song ever. have you ever lay around your room singing this song really loudly? you should try it.

because i couldn't find a picture of a hipster eating peas in a kitchen with a white table and this song makes me think of that, you have to look at an avocado instead. which is fine because look how pretty it is.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Want the Ocean Right Now

About 3 months ago I had to choose between going to the University of British Columbia or staying in Montreal and going to Concordia. If you've been reading this you know I've decided to stay in Montreal. Or maybe you just guessed.


1. The program I want is better here.
2. It's cheaper.
3. UBC didn't give me enough time to decide.
4. I still have a love/hate relationship with Montreal and want to learn to love it more.

All in all, one of the main reasons I wanted to go to UBC was because I wanted to move out of my house. Then I realized I could still do that in Montreal, so I chose Concordia and found an apartment for the fall. But there's something really daunting thinking about spending the next 3 winters in this city.

It's probably because I'm sitting here and it's summer and I'm not as busy as I'd like to be that I feel all the feelings I felt that made me want to leave this place in the beginning. I think it's a feeling a lot of people have and sometimes it has nothing to do with geography, just a simple desire to "get out".

I love Montreal most of the time, but goddamnit, I want to see the ocean. I want to be in Seattle or Vancouver or San Francisco and I want to be there now. I would write this off as "cabin fever" or a case of "got-nothing-to-do-this-summer" but I've always had a love affair with the west coast, so. I know it's silly because I idealize these cities but I will never stop until I go there. Which I will, one day.

I don't regret choosing Concordia. I think it's the right choice for me and I'm excited to move out of my house and start something new. But I'm still dreaming of the west coast.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

and I found stories from June 2009 that I'll never publish

Yesterday was a bit of an unusual day. You may have noticed there was no music monday (perhaps you didn't). That was because I turned off my computer and didn't turn it on again until around 2am Tuesday morning.

See, yesterday after I ate breakfast at noon, an unexpected thought fluttered through my head: what if I don't use the internet or my computer for the rest of the day? So that's what I did. The idea to do it came before the reasons occurred to me. There are 1 and 1/2 reasons.

1: Every once in a while I have a strange desire to pack up and disconnect myself from the rest of the world. You know, like Chris McCandless. I feel like too many things control me, and many of them stem from my computer or the internet. I want to stop caring about twitter and email and what happens next on whatever TV show I'm watching. So I turned off my computer.

1.5: I'm tired of being disappointed when I wake up. I don't know where the disappointment comes from because I have low expectations (or do I?) for almost everything, but there it is in the morning. So, again, instead of checking autostraddle every 10 minutes or playing bubbleshooter and not being able to stop, instead of sitting hunchbacked over my desk musing over how huge the internet world is and how I can access so much of it from inside my room, I closed my computer and went out into the real world.

Just kidding. I didn't go outside. But I did really turn off my internet.

Fourteen hours without a computer is not really that long. Every time I go to New York or Philadelphia I have no internet for about that amount of time. Granted, I do have movies if I want, but mostly I count on sleeping for over half my trip.

Before I had a laptop I was still using the giant desktop in my basement, which one day, decided it would just turn off whenever it felt like it. As you can imagine, this was highly inconvenient. One second I'd be chatting on MSN writing a paper, and the next thing you know I'd be staring at a blank screen. It turns out the fan was broken, so the computer would heat up and not cool down and then it would turn itself off so as not to explode. That took a while to fix. My dad said I could use his laptop from 1995 but I would've rather smashed my head in with a brick, so I did my homework instead.

In any case, I figured I could handle a day without my computer, and it would be a good character builder or something.

The first thing I did was clean my desk. It took me a while. I found lots of old school shit, scrap papers, important documents, and old birthday cards that still had money in them. That was the most exciting part. I made $140 for cleaning my desk! The universe is trying to tell me something maybe.

I didn't have my itunes to listen to so I had to listen to CDs the way they were meant to be listened to. I listened to Around the Well by Iron & Wine, Asleep at Heaven's Gate by Rogue Wave, So Jealous by Tegan and Sara, and You Can Play These Songs With Chords by Death Cab for Cutie.

Then I started an art project that I can't tell you about because it's a secret. But it took me a long time. Luckily I had all this space on my desk to actually make "art".

I finished reading 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'. It was good! I haven't completely processed my feelings about it yet though. I think it might actually be one that I won't read again unless it's to quote something.

I talked to 3 people I hadn't talked to in a really long time. Tania came over and we played video games in our sweatpants and that was nice.

Sometimes I really wanted to play bubbleshooter but mostly I didn't miss my computer. I didn't have any emails to read and I sifted through tweets but none of them were at me so all in all I don't think my presence on the internet was noticed or missed. That's okay! It made me feel good actually. Like there's no reason for me to sit in front of gmail all day.

On that note, I'm going to go use the HMV gift card I found while cleaning my desk and then I'm going to do something that doesn't involve staring at a 13" screen.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

what's so easy in the evening in the morning's such a drag

is it weird now that i cry in the morning instead of at night? usually people cry at night because they feel lonely and alone but i've started crying in the morning when i see people getting up to do things and there is all sorts of organized chaos and i just want to sleep a little longer.

have you seen my plant recently? remember when it was this big

now it's this big

and you can see i have new things on my window sill. i have a fake watering can and some seashells. they were gifts and i think they make everything look prettier.

i don't miss anything, 'cause i never had it so good in my life. but i still cry in the morning, and sometimes at night 'cause my room is big and my things own me.

the mask i polish in the evening by the morning looks like shit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Butter Melts Out of Habit, You Know, the Toast Isn't Even Warm

Habits are really strange. You might not even realize you have certain habits because they're so insignificant, like the direction in which you brush your teeth every night. And you can get away from those habits, something in your life can change, but it's so easy to revert back to the patterns you followed before. Sometimes habits are comforting; they're consistent, they're familiar, they're right where you left them. But then you realize that they're there and it's strange and you can't stop yourself.

I have a habit of brushing my teeth in a certain way every time. I rinse my mouth out in a pattern with a yellow cup -- first with hot water, then cold, then hot, then cold water to rinse out the sink. It keeps the water temperature even. I rotate in the same positions every night trying to fall asleep. My fingers have learned habits so I type my password immediately after my email address even when it's not necessary. I read the comics in the same order every morning while eating breakfast. I sit in the same seat in the same metro car at Cote-Vertu every time, every single time. Walk down the stairs, turn right, it's the second door in the car after the TV, the seat across from the metro map. When I ride with other people I make them sit there too.

Sometimes habits are disarming. When you realize what you're doing it's sudden, it's awakening. Sometimes your feet just walk and before you know it you're at the bus stop and you don't know how you got there. Then you furrow your brow and try to think about it, but it seems inconsequential, takes too much energy --

And we learn other people's habits too. We come to expect the way someone answers the phone, we feel comforted by the smells of shirts because someone washes them that way, we are balanced by another's routines, "making a temporary sense of the senseless, choreful day". When it changes we are alarmed, suspicious. We want things to go back to normal. Your life is unnerved when you build your habits around someone else's habits and then their habits change.

Returning to old habits feels weird -- why do I always sit in the same spot? Is it really necessary? But then I sit there anyway, just because. Just because it's easy, and I remember it. Perhaps my habit remembers me. It says hello, it welcomes me back, and though it may be uncomfortable at first because I don't want it! I don't want it anymore!, I eventually settle back into my routine and then I forget that I had ever tried to do something different.

It's hard to change a habit. There's just nothing else to do, it seems. It's lonely, a little, realizing you haven't changed at all. It hurts, thinking that you can't. You convince yourself you don't need to change anyway, after all, your morning routine is harmless. It's not killing anyone. So then everything is the same, all the time. All the goddamn time. The places you go, the bars you haunt, the streets you walk, the words you say, they're all the same, the places you go, the bars you haunt, the streets you walk, the words you say, they're all the fucking same.

So you resign yourself to a life of grayish suits, tired shoes, and a battered briefcase.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It Never Ends The Way We Had It Planned

[iron & wine - muddy hymnal]

this song kind of reminds me of passing afternoon, which is one of my favourite iron & wine songs ever (i know, i say that about all of them).

this song actually makes me think of: dry, desert, south, dirt roads, rural, church, but none of those search terms resulted in good pictures in the 5 minutes i spent looking. but i do like this one.

(art by bernie fuchs)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

i step in puddles and i don't care.

i step in puddles and i don't care
how wet my feet get.

i fell asleep at 9pm
while i was still at work.

no one notices the water in my shoes.

one time i whispered, "i want to go home,"
while already lying in bed.

"but you are home," was the response.
i knew, but she didn't

know how sincere i was.

i want to cry so badly that i laugh.
i want to sleep so badly that i lie awake all night.

i strain my ears and try to hear
but the suburbs are quiet all the time.

and when i open my eyes in the morning,
i see walls and not a window of blue sky.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Philadelphia Smells Bad, But I Like You

My room is the same as when I left it, just cleaner. The walls are still blue. The calendar is still on June. It's like time stopped when I left, and now it starts again the moment I walk in. Now my bed is unmade as I lie in it. My desk is messy and my bag is half unpacked on the floor.

Feels like home, I guess.

But my clothes still smell like you, and my bed is too small and empty. The mirror in the bathroom is too big. The floor is cold, and my heart hurts.

Who is going to light sparklers with me and listen to Death Cab for Cutie?

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Sun's Coming Down Hard, It Burns The Bones

[the temper trap - fader]

this song is really good. it gets stuck in my head. hey, did you know that i was in america for the 4th of july? it was nice. loud bangs are still going off every once in a while. also; happy canada day!

Friday, July 2, 2010

if this, then this

when i say shut your eyes, shut your eyes. okay. now shut your eyes. do you hear the piano through the open window? it is our neighbor playing erik satie. now when i say open your eyes, open your eyes. yes. good. open your eyes. do you see christmas lights and birds and stars above you? they are blowing in the wind. yes, even the stars. they move like static to the wind. i am wearing your sweater. it is wrapped around my body and it smells like you. i feel safe and sound and sadder than i have ever known. i cannot cry because it is inside of me like a giant swell of a wave, like a sigh, like a... like a... like sigur ros on a sad day.

i am afraid i am bad at this dance we are doing.

why does it hurt like this. i shut my own eyes, very tight. very tight so no light can come in. i shut them tight. if i can't see this maybe it is not happening. it hurts to be near you. everything hurts so very much.

i see christmas lights and stars. i think briefly of russia. white walls and red sheets, red carpets. this time is not that time. my hands and feet are numb and i want.

i crawl and i am slow. i am slow and i am shy. i am afraid i am bad at this dance we are doing. i'm afraid i will not let myself get better because i think i have sewn my mouth shut. i can't tell you where to turn. you will never get there until i tell you how to get there and i will never go anywhere now because when i go without you i just cry [everything makes me cry] so now i crawl and i am slow. maybe because you are listening i am embarrassed for you to hear.

and i keep expecting you to walk through that door.