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8/6/08 02:56 pm

so I stopped dreaming about kites and started making them

orange rayon sail, blue plastic bag tail

When we got to the beach our kites didn't fly. Amy's spun in sad little circles no more than a meter off the ground and mine wouldn't do anything but nosedive into the sand over and over. Tiago is brazilian,we met him on the beach. Been flying and fighting kites since he was seven, told us in his town in Brazil there is a church with curved turrets and he is one of only three men in the town who can make a kite rest high against the turret's side and leap off again into the wind with just a little jerk of the string. His kite was simple, just red tissue paper and a carefully constructed three piece bamboo frame, but it dove and climbed and danced however he wanted it to.

Amy is captivated by Tiago's little kite

I worked so hard to make that kite that I could not just let it fail. I un-stuck the frame and reattached it the opposite way, and it FLEW it FLEW it FLEW I have never felt so proud and joyous in my life.


in the works: I'm starting simple but gonna move up to more complicated. My friend's boyfren works at a wind power company in california, makani power, they go kitesurfing after work and on th weekends. I guess making a kite that could lift me would be the greatest but I am not going to let the dream get ahead of me, gotta focus on the immediate challenges first.

Khemda gets here in thirteen days.. I guess we will do a lot of biking and kiting and building. East Campus rush is soon and me and Amy's project has yet to be so much as sketched.. we are making a strandbeest, those creatures that Theo Jansen makes. Something like thisCollapse )
although the ones that I truly think are beautiful are these

when I wrote to Theo Jansen in May asking about maybe being, I don't know, some kind of apprentice, or intern, I was not even sure it was his real email (it was a yahoo account). But he wrote back to me--
"Dear Carmel, Thank you for your message and offer. Sorry I really prefer to work on my own. I hope you will understand. I wish you a lot of success finding a place for an internship. Best, Theo"

I was devastated but also giddy at receiving any reply at all. "Since 1990 I have been occupied creating new forms of life," says Theo to me, I am sure he is talking to me, he wrote back, he prefers to work on his own but he wrote back to ME. "I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind, so they don’t have to eat," he explains to me, in Dutch, of course, and I understand every word by watching the lines in his face that form themselves into the shapes of the creatures. His dvd shows shows clips from when he was young. At age twenty something he made a UFO, set it adrift over Amsterdam and chuckled his quiet, solemn chuckle while the city's hobos, suits, babies and lipsticked ladies panicked and loudly proclaimed their alien invasion theories on national television. The subtitles do not make very much sense but you can hear them say OOFO, OOFO! and point excitedly.. Theo just chuckles.

"I want to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives," says my grandfather Theo. I am adopting him as my grandfather I am not sure if he knows that yet but let me make it clear, Grandpa Theo, I expect a card on my birthday, okay

I wonder if I will make anything of myself

2/22/08 03:33 am - been thinking about comix these days

and had some shrinky dinks lying around. a tribute!

school is hard but I'm doing alright. how are you?

11/19/07 11:13 pm - Solómbra

My grandmother, Mazal, has skin like green almonds. The down on her cheeks is fine, almost imperceptible, and the hair on her head is like dandelion fluff. Her body, though, is solid, and her red hands have ten ridged seashells of fingernails. She pressed her hands over mine on the table, then released, and we sat quietly in the midday sun. On the neighbor’s white plastic picnic table, five glass bottles stood shining in the light. The neighbor’s table was identical to my grandmother’s, but my grandmother’s doesn’t have an umbrella sagging blue and heavy over it. The bottles were full. Wedges of watermelon and tomato, pink and broken, were pickling inside like chunks of fish or beef. Nodding her chin at their house, their stucco half separated from hers, its twin, by a pipe along the wall, she sucked air through her teeth. “She is sick, you know, a shame, it’s a shame,” she said, heaving a sigh. “Such a waste of good watermelon…”

My grandfather, Ya’akov, was out back. Behind the house the ground is a pincushion, thick with acorn spines and thorns shaped like teeth. On the patio he sat in his rocking chair and smoked. “Okh, alakh alakh alakh hamalakh,” he mumbled, the cigarette long and straight in his creased mouth. I sat on the steps and tried to translate. Oh, gone, gone, gone is the angel. Oh, gone, gone, gone, gone. “Ija mia,” he called to me, “Come sit on the swing.” My grandfather was like a potato in the campfire, wrapped in tin foil and placed in the coals until the foil is blackened and hot. When the wrapping is removed the potato’s skin is hard and brown, leathery like his neck, chest and arms. When I came near he always put out the cigarette but the scent was an enduring one in the wood of that chair and in his undershirts. When I was sick of the bitter smell I would bring a pomegranate from the bowl on the table inside. When he broke it in two the rind sprayed a sour-sweet mist into my face, stamping out the odor of the cigarettes, and we each took half. The kernels beneath the shell are droplets of flesh and juice encased in a clear, taut membrane, each one three millimeters across, five long, and it requires careful fingernails to peel back the bumpy yellow paper that covers each red colony without puncturing the kernels themselves. He glanced down, noticing my bare feet, and made a clicking sound of disapproval with his tongue. “You will cut them on thorns, mi kerida, why do you not put on your sandals…” I grinned, and we peeled. Neither of us bothered to spit out our seeds.

At noon I sat on the metal stool at the table in the cramped kitchen, squeezed between the sewing machine and stove. My grandmother used to be a seamstress, but now that she is old she mostly mends shirts for soldiers and shortens children’s pants and sleeves. She wears simple dresses in flower patterns that she sews so that they bend and sway like grass, but do not billow. Now she was bent over the table, pounding at the phyllo dough that rises into flaky sheets, crackling like dry oak leaves. Can I help, I asked. When my fingers clumsily smashed the corners of the cheese-stuffed triangles I was folding she tut-tutted, smiling, and moved my hands with hers.
“The coffee!” he bellowed suddenly from the patio. “The rice,” he called again as he came back inside, voice raised over the creaking screen door. “Are you making the rice yet? Fresh, Mazal, fresh, it needs to be fresh, and the fish too, I didn’t have Solomon bring it all the way from the city for nothing, it needs to be cooked, it is almost dinner time, are you cooking yet? Are you going to let it all spoil?” My grandmother set her pastries aside and put the fish in the oven. After dinner I helped her drag the bucket and mop from the bathroom and overturn the chairs onto the sofa, clearing the floor. The water sloshed noisily over the linoleum and he called again, this time from the living room – “Mazal, did you give me the money from that skirt you did the other day?” I saw the frustration in the set of her jaw, and excused myself to the bathroom.

The marriage of my grandmother and grandfather was the bond of a child and its shadow. She, the shadow, was accustomed to him, accustomed to trailing in close proximity, to following his lead. The irony of it was that he, the child, was unendingly frustrated by her shortcomings and limitations – yet was as dependent on the comfort of his shadow’s presence as she was reliant on him for her prompts and cues.

Washing my hands, I heard her voice rise to meet his as she replied evenly that yes, she did give the money to him from two days ago, and also from the sleeve work yesterday morning, and also from the jacket of a few hours ago. My grandmother sometimes left the house when my grandfather’s demands became too much, walking behind the dining hall, past the nursery and between the cactuses before returning home. Her walks were short, not just because she would become tired and short of breath. Over the years he had become a part of her life that was as inextricable as the fence and the tree by the pool, intertwined.

When I was younger I would ask my grandfather to play backgammon with me, delighted to face a wise, seasoned veteran. At the start of every match he demonstrated how to cup one’s hand to toss the dice, criticizing my technique; “Keeping them in your palm longer doesn’t make you luckier, girl.” When we played I liked hearing him crow at his doubles, and groan at my bad luck, but he did not want to play very often. He did not have any interests, any desire for discussion or conversation, any questions or any real responses. The white jasmine arching over the path was a source of pride for him, but it had been growing wild in recent years. At the table in the front yard he was the fixture to match the bedridden neighbor’s pickled watermelons. I thought of him as a man of permanence, a kind of fossil of sturdy aching limbs and leather sandals, his body firmly and obstinately in existence. He was not wasting or wilting, as far as I could tell. I imagine some years ago he began to hollow himself out gradually from within. His baked skin and thick arms remained externally intact, concealing the excavated interior, even as my grandmother grew more bitterly and puzzlingly tied to him. I did not anticipate the question: when the child is suddenly gone, who teaches his shadow how to go on?

6/9/07 09:06 am

3/17/07 06:49 pm - khamtzutzim

RICE on feb 10
OLIN on march 16
MIT on march 17

ahhhhhhhhh life is amazing!!!!


I mean she even cooks me pancakes
and alka seltzer when my tummy aches,
if that ain't love then I don't know what love is!

2/7/07 04:48 am - impromptu

לפעמים הלב מתחפש לכרטיסיה
בכיסים יש לי רק פקק של עט.
בכרטיסיה יש כבר 12 חורים, או 10
(קשה להבחין, זה עבר כביסה)
למישהו יש ניקוב?

2/5/07 03:32 am

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11/25/06 08:26 am

Found this picture of Tivon (taken by Ben Mor, some guy I don't know). It's beautiful and reminds me of a lot of things even though I didn't take it. Senior year has been okay. I feel the urge to update when I'm feeling shitty but so far 12th grade has been far far far better than 9th or 11th! Language and Comp is kicking my ass but otherwise I'm managing. Currently reading T Zero, Italo Calvino, read that shit, it's wonderful. I'm pretty sure some day I won't miss everything so suffocatingly so I'm not too worried. Things are good and they will be great, even.

9/4/06 05:20 am - bad to worse

אם בלילות אני לא נרדמת
אני על הספסל שבגן
יושבת וחושבת
מתי אני אנשום אותך
איך אני אהיה שמחה
כשאני אראה אותך

אם בלילות אני לא נרדמת
אני על הספסל שבגן
יושבת וחושבת
איך הוא כותב לי מכתבים
אני והוא יש לנו סודות יפים..

(I could really use some pink handlebar bicycle tassles)

8/30/06 07:15 am - all i wanna do is ride bikes with you,

What a good month. I don't really care that I haven't done any summer work yet, or that I don't think I'm going to finish, or that soon I have to do college apps, or that school is starting. It was really hard to say goodbye but saying hello finally felt so good that the goodbye was worth it.

The best things we did: the Cyclone at Coney Island (even though I lost my mom's cell on the ride I didn't care because I was too busy and concerned with what appeared to be my own imminent death/destruction by roller coaster), Hummus Place (122 St. Marks Pl!), Holyland Market (across the street from Hummus Place), camping at Stokes State Forest, Zaha Hadid at the Guggenheim, Half Nelson, Little Miss Sunshine, hold hands, bike ride, spoon, stay up late, ride the ferry, eat falafel, play backgammon, buy cymbals, get lost, get found.

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augustCollapse )
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