Friday, February 03, 2006

Tonight we’re awarding the biggest, nastiest bitch of all: Miss F.

Miss F has been in everyone’s life at least once (if you’re blessed or too stupid too be aware of your surroundings) but I dare say joins us every single day in one way or another and in all shapes and forms. Like that wrap you can’t open, or the eternal red light keeping you from getting home, or that person on the phone talking about completely trivial stuff while you need to make a life or death call.

Yes, frustration is definitely a bitch.

It loves to haunt you when you’re alone with your thoughts. Like right now in this, the dullest summer of my life. My ex boyfriend (now good friend. No perks) always complained about how I think things over too much. He still considers me an over-thinker (a pathological condition born out of sheer curiosity for EVERYTHING), so do my friends. They believe I spend too much time in my little world. I can be loud and funny and quite the little entertainer but I’ve always enjoyed those quiet moments during which I wear my ‘deep thoughts’ mask and I look away as if some invisible company was performing ‘La Traviata’ for my eyes only, and when the Diva starts the aria my expression morphs into utter realization. A big event, but only in my little world.

This summer I’ve been harvesting frustration for the masses. It always goes back to the ‘I’m tired of my chosen college education, I’m tired of this country, I wanna go to New York and really apply myself’ mantra. True, I chose my education (Audiovisual Communication); true, life is not always what you expected it to be; true, expectations CAN be unfulfilled, and life tends to disappoint us in one way or the other. But it’s come to a point where the only thought of going to class in unbearable.

I’ve always loved to learn, and college was always an anticipated period during my life, but I feel like I’m not really learning. People always say that in college ‘they teach you how to think.’ For about 8 months now I’ve been getting the very latent feeling that each day I become more and more stupid. I feel like I haven’t learned a thing, and if I have it’s nothing that I couldn’t have learned by myself. It’s not that my institute is bad, it’s the major. It’s too basic, which can be good or, in my case, can be very bad. And frustrating. Very frustrating.

Audiovisual communication is like this: they teach you a little bit of everything. Filmmaking, advertising, TV, and anything in that area. But they don’t really give you the chance to major in ONE thing, you just get the tid-bits and the occasional – and very limited – workshop. I think my problem is there’s no workshop for screenwriting. We have a screenwriting class, but it’s obligatory to everyone so it’s pretty basic and you can’t really make much progress because not everyone is really interested in that area, hence, they stay behind or put a bad face/make a fuss during class.

I’d just like the chance to see if I’m talented, if I have a shot at writing, just to know if I’m wasting my time or I’m on the right track. If it’s the first I’d start focusing on other interests, and I have so many. I would’ve loved to study philosophy or psychology or history or strictly filmmaking, which I would define as audiovisual psychology, leaving out, of course, bomb movies where the cast includes a middle-aged sweaty action hero with a limited vocabulary, his bimbo girlfriend and the wise janitor/cleaning person/unexpected-prophet-who-always-has-the-right-thing-to-say guy.

Maybe I’m not a talented writer. Maybe my ego’s been puffed-up for too long by people who really love me and care about me. Maybe I’m not as smart as people and some certified tests say I am and that twinkle of wise-beyond-my-years in my eyes is just dust. What I do know is that I enjoy the road to self-knowledge further more than the concept itself. And it’s been a pretty wild ride, almost 21 years of breakthroughs, moments, realizations, one or two epiphanies, premature growth, delayed reaction, and still a lot to learn. As it rises in one of the scenes in my script:

I guess I whine because I’m past
the age where it’s... socially
accepted to have an existential
crisis. But it’s stupid to think I
can have everything figured out on
my twenties…

You should enjoy it. I’m tellin’
you, the day I realize I have it
all figured out I’m gonna be
really bored.

Yep, that’s a scene from the infamous script. Knowing how the world works I’ll probably hear it in some other movie with a completely different plot. Collective consciousness. We’re all thinking the same things.

What I don’t enjoy, and I’m sure you’ll all agree with me, is this imminent and unbreakable feeling of frustration that can only evaporate with a good smack on the face. I honestly believe Miss F can make us better people, because it obliges us to step out of our little world if we need a break from it. And when you step into the real world you realize there are far more important things than your ridiculous little script, than your mediocre major, than your country with a limited film industry, than your web log, than the ghosts from the past, than your own life.

It’s a whole world out there. And we’re all falling into Miss F’s web.

Here’s a song from the soundtrack I selected. Very ad-hoc for my mood.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Aunt Sofía

I have 4 nephews: 3 are sons of my oldest sister and the other one is my other sister's first. My 4 nephews are now together in my mother’s house, which is quite the special occasion, considering three of them live in the country side among vines of grape and the other is visiting from Austin, Texas. They’re 6, almost 4, 2 and the youngest one, the one in the video, is a year old. They’re a riot together.

It doesn’t cease to surprise me how much Pedro (6) and Diego (4) love their new cousin. They’re kissing him and playing with him and crawling all around the house all day long. They fight for his attention and are very sweet to him, while their mother (already mother of three boys) gives me a dreadful look as she says ‘they’re DYING to get another sibling…’ I just laugh and enjoy them.

The 2 year old is slightly jealous with the new baby taking all of the attention, so I multiply myself and give my time to all four boys. I’ve become quite an expert in putting the youngest one to sleep, while with the others I’m the cool aunt who gives them leg rides and plays airplane with them. My sisters and my mother are very surprised with my dedication and playfulness and are already offering baby sitter jobs to me. I must say, I truly admire them. Having kids is EXHAUSTING. My mom had seven. She’s my new role model.

I don’t get to see my nephews very often, which is a shame. The best part of having nephews is that it’s free love. You can love them like they were your own kids but you don’t have to raise them or change diapers. It’s heaven. Apart from the distance problem, when I did get to see them I sort of distanced myself from them, not deliberately, but because I have 6 other siblings to play with them and it suddenly felt too crowded. Now that most of my siblings are away for vacation and I’m stuck in Santiago I’m the designated kid entertainer. And I love it.

It’s remarkable how kids can transmit their energy to you. I was playing ball with them yesterday and I soon found myself laughing and having as much, and probably more, fun than the kids. And you can’t help but to feel special when they come up to you with a book and say, “will you read this to me? I like how you make the different voices.” Awww and double awwww.

It’s in moments like that or when they struggle to get your name out right that I remember how much I like and enjoy the company of kids. Specially if they’re my nephews and they think I’m cool.

Three of them are leaving later today and I’m proud to say I made the most of their time here. The other one goes back to Texas next week. I’m glad I decided to spend his time here in Chile at my mom’s house, where he and my sister are staying, because it gave me more opportunities to be with him. He can speak no more than three clear words and the other day he called me, “Pía”, which is the closest thing to Sofía. I felt like crying. I’m happy.