Eye of the Story

The Evergreen State College

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rachel hatfield – week 10 journal

From the yellowed front page

She looks at me, mouth a familiar

hard line.

Hair pinned back, I see her black news print eyes

behind the lens of eighties eyeglasses.

Across the street another emptying factory.

Out of focus skeleton trees.

My mother and her friends

stand with signs and symbolism.

No tools and engine parts, wears a blazer

over oil-stained jeans and steel toed boots.

Faded April in Ashland is always cold but they

stay, protest anyway.

What better thing to do in the afternoon with

my mother’s place on the assembly line

packed up neatly and sent to Mexico.

Today I leaf through her scrapbook,

and on the opposite page is

my mother’s pink slip.

I see her now and we talk

about American cars,

and sometimes she looks beyond me,  back

to the chassis line.

And Homage to the Old World – 3.3.16 – Cooper Rickards

The Holy Roman Empire may be the invention of Irony.                                                                                                                         

I respect Charles V, because he is the only Holy Roman Emperor’s name that I remember. That has to count for something. 

I’ve seen the massive maps from the middle ages plastered over the Vatican’s walls. They almost got Europe right. Pay an indulgence to the church, save your loved one’s from an eternity of purgatory. God needs to hire more paper pushers. 

Imagine if Carthage had sacked Rome, instead of the other way around. Hannibal had three chances. He  poisoned himself in a cave, kind of like Socrates.  

What if Hector had slain Achilles? There are more editions of the Iliad published than the Bible. Virgil’s not as good, but he got paid. 

The Thracian Horseman inspired the image of St. George. I think Charle’s V won a lot of battles. I know he wore golden armor.

Nobody knows how Alexander the Great died.  

A Monkey Ate My Sunglasses – 2.25.16 – Cooper Rickards

A monkey ate my sunglasses. First, he stole them. Then he proceeded to eat them. It was a shitty day. He didn’t eat them right away, first he played with them a bit. He looked at them from all angles, the way monkey’s do. He made some monkey sounds as put them on his forehead. They didn’t fit right; he made some more monkey noises, and then he ate them. I had to run and find somebody that resembled a zookeeper, because they were some hefty, metallic sunglasses. I found some guy I thought was a zookeeper, and he ran over looking all worried. I walked away. I wondered, would they pump the monkey’s stomach? I don’t know how monkeys do with sunglasses. He just reached his little hands through the bars and took them right off my face!

I was taking a personal day at the zoo, because why not. The zoo would have been cool if I was with somebody to see the whole monkey thing. It would be a funny story, but now it’s just a weird shitty thing that happened to me at the zoo. It’s not funny. I think I paid forty bucks for that pair of sunglasses. I wonder how much a zoo pays for a monkey. This monkey was a chimpanzee. 

I left the zoo and lit up a cigarette. Three left. Monkey’s can’t smoke. Good for them. They are smart though, everybody knows that. Planet of the Apes smart though? Not likely. You blew it up! Exhale. God damn you all to hell! Inhale. The monkeys in those movies never wore sunglasses.

The bus is arriving but I’m still smoking, so I’ll walk. I spent the rest of the day furiously comparing myself to monkeys. Monkey’s can’t cook! A hearty, hot meal off the happy hour menu. A beer too. Monkey’s will seek out and eat fermented fruit, however. I bet I could get drunk better than a chimpanzee could.

I was alone at the bar. My girlfriend and I just broke up. She hated the zoo. I loved it. Monkey’s live in large groups. They are seldom totally isolated. 

“You want another one?” the bartender asked.

“Yeah.” I pursed my lip under the last sip of beer. “Hey do you know if a monkey eat’s a pair of sunglasses, do you think they would pump his stomach?” 

“I have no idea man.” He set the new beer on the bar next to the empty basket of fries and walked away, slipping out of sight. 

“Me niether.” 


JL- Close Reading

Jed Lickerman

Writing American Cultures, Jack Sukimoto – “JA/LA” pg. 94, bottom half:

“Most of the Japanese restaurants look to be pretty busy, and I wonder how authentic they are. My cousin said, ‘Seems like a lot of white people like salt and non-subtle foods.’ He was talking about how Sawtelle Boulevard has gotten increasingly expensive and the food increasingly less authentic.

What’s happening? Gentrification. The cost of living in the area is bringing more non-Japanese-Americans in and pushing JA’s out, and if places want to stay in business they have to cater to everyone. Since Little Tokyo has become a place tourists frequent, I can’t help assuming that things may be less authentic. But then again, that ramen sure was good. That brings up the question of what is authentic to a culture. At what point do we decide –or have the right to decide– what isn’t authentic anymore? And does it even matter whether something is Japanese or Japanese-American? I think there should be a distinction, though I’m not quite sure why.”

One reason that this passage felt inviting to my interpretation is that the author has yet to solidify his own. Another is that this topic is exactly the one that has been on my mind for a year or so. I eat a lot of Thai-American and some Japanese-American food. I think it tastes incredible, there’s so much to variety to choose from and opportunities for customization of nutrition and flavor, it’s affordable, commonly available and filling. For these reasons, and not to mention because of the main ingredients of the dishes, it is the absolutely perfect thing for vegans. After eating the dishes so many times they’ve become solidified in my mind as an accurate reproduction of what Thai food is because, of course, it’s all I know. Without anything to compare it to I have no way of knowing how “Americanized” it is or isn’t. Hearing similar questions asked by this author gave me a great opportunity to explore it a little. I decided to do a hands-on experiment to come up with pieces of an answer to “What is authentic?” I got two kinds of a Japanese dessert called “mochi.” One from Trader Joe’s and one from an “authentic” Asian-owned and -operated grocery. They are relatively different in flavor and texture, but they’re both based on the same basic invention and similar enough to share a name. The Trader Joe’s one is ice-cream mochi, a real thing in Japan, not made-up by us. The Asian-grocery is the other kind, a non-frozen, slightly more savory kind. Both were green tea flavored. I gave a piece of each, without identification of vendor, to three students and let them taste. I should mention some factors were too complicated to control and were left up in the air; whether the students had eaten mochi (ice cream or otherwise) before, along with the fact that the Asian-grocery actually sold the Trader Joe’s mochi as well. However, the later one was helpful for highlighting the indeterminability of authenticity. I asked the students to guess which one they thought was sold at the Asian-store and they were all correct in guessing the dry, savory one (please forget, for the moment, that the ice-cream one is also sold there). I could say a lot more about what you would maybe call “findings” from the discussion, but there’s really just one takeaway that helps me in my quest to answer this question. That is that foods that we think are more authentic and less Americanized are foods that just taste sort of weird and unfamiliar. The underlying assumption is that we usually don’t get served food that is too distant from the relatively small selection of flavors that we enjoy, and that might go for any culture or country.

Whitman Craig: More Weird Dreams Yay!

Last night I dreamed that I woke up in a shack made of dark grey wood. Pale daylight came in through the cracks in the boards and I went outside to discover that I was in a forest glen covered in wet moss and surrounded by looming trees. Everything was still, in the way the morning after a terrible storm is still, and sheep stood scattered through the grassier parts of the glen. But why did each of them hold one leg close to their coats as though it were broken? My only neighbor in the neighbor in the neighborhood, in the only other shack around, came out and began to tend to a little brown sheep with a back leg at an odd angle. We may have exchanged words; I wasn’t listening.

Thanks Winter’s Bone… at least the dream felt the way I imagined Winter’s Bone to be. Maybe it’s all this creative literature that I have been exposed to over the quarter but my dreams have gotten more vivid and strange. Maybe they are anxiety Dreams but they have an odd way of comforting me in the morning.

I wish I could capture the mood of these dreams and distill them into the imagery that I want for my film. The script at least exists, the good and the bad parts, it has a life of it’s own that dictates how I develop it. But I am still at a loss about what images will pervade the back of my character’s thoughts and projected onto their surroundings. The script is really half a story, the yet-to-be images its ghostly other half. If only I could (Oh how I am getting carried away by fantasies) give these characters images that both unsubtle and comfort them the way these dreams affect me.

I think that the very brief clip I made of fleeting projected images has the quality of what I want, vibrant yet warped, unobtrusive and striking. These images just need content. And on that point I think I’m falling victim to thinking about product before process. They represent subjective view-points anyway, let them be disjointed.


Cheryl Harai 3/1/16 Don’t give me insulin if I pass out


 I’m diabetic, don’t give me insulin if I pass out

I wasn’t feeling very well this morning, no real surprise. Some mornings my blood sugar is low when I wake up. Lately, I haven’t been able to eat enough to keep my levels up. I take very little insulin since the surgery. I sometimes resort to candy to correct the lows.  I was out with a friend and got dizzy, sat down and I guess I passed out.  

She told me that she panicked and rummaged through my bag. Seeing the insulin, she was sure that it would fix my problem. So she loaded up the syringe and gave me a good dose of it.  She had no idea what she was doing.  Later she would tell me that she saw on TV that people pass out from diabetes and if they do they need insulin. She thought that she was doing the right thing, and she almost killed me.

When I didn’t wake up immediately, she called 911.  When they arrived, she told them what she had done.  The EMT’s checked my blood sugar and it was 14. It should have been around 100.  They quickly put in an IV and started the glucose water.  A few hours later, I woke, in the hospital.  It took a couple of days for my levels to reestablish themselves.

I had a long talk with my friend, so did my doctor. She had relied on TV and movies to learn about my illness and emergency treatment.  She didn’t understand that it is more common for a diabetic to pass out from low blood sugar, where the treatment is to eat some sugar and then some carbs, then it is to pass out from high blood sugar. And if your blood sugar is high enough to make you pass out, there is lots of warning signs. Giving a big dose, unmeasured of insulin to anyone, is an almost sure way to kill them.   I think the doctor finally got through to her when he told her that.  She was told to always call 911 and don’t try to treat, unless you are directed to by a doctor. And never inject someone with anything unless you are sure you know what you are doing.  

I also have allergies and carry epinephrine in my bag for emergencies. That also has the potential to kill me.

It could have ended so much worse. I’m glad she finally understands that.

Jonah Barrett – Week 9 Journal: Making up for lost posts with excerpts from Tumblr ramblings

Every third chapter of the book—we’re calling it the Book now—is basically an essay about something related to what’s going on in the story. Except for this first essay I have to write about rockets and space shuttles and that’s cool at first but now we’re getting into the nitty gritty details about the world of engineering and it is so motherflipping boring I gotta say.

Y’know if I wasn’t so dumb and had more time to [procrastinate] study for this project I would’ve eventually figured out that instead of researching shuttles, which in real life have been discontinued for 5 years and I had to “reintroduce” in my story because I’m too lazy/stupid to invent my own vehicle, I could’ve researched Soyuz spacecraft–which is basically what Russian cosmonauts have been using since the damn 60s because who needs to invent new things if the old things work amirite??

Technically NASA is working on a new spacecraft called the Orion. Plan: since this is the future, Orion spacecraft have been proven to be unsafe and NASA has fallen back on using their old shuttles for missions. Yeeeaaaahhh…

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The Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington

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