Eye of the Story

The Evergreen State College

Category: Week 4 Journal (Page 1 of 4)

How Ozu Has influenced My Work

When I started, I thought my project was going to be more documentary in nature. It was going to focus on the lived experience of my friends in the DIY music scene and their life at home. However, after I got started it quickly became about me—my life growing up in the suburbs, struggling with depression, and the solace I found in the music scene. What developed as a central conflict in the film was loosely based around my relationship with my brother.

Ozu’s films are about domestic drama. Drama which is often fueled by differences in values between older and younger generations in a changing Japan. While the conflict in my film has little to do with the relationship between different generations, it does focus on the cultural and the domestic. The culture of people who find loud music liberating—people who help out and go to shows. It is fascinating to me how my project evolved from something that was non fiction and became entirely fiction.

Movie Idea

The following is an idea for a feature length film I had.

The film centers on a young man who is the last person in existence. There was no apocalypse or war or plague. Everyone is just gone. He simply woke up one morning and realized no one was on earth anymore. He didn’t have any strong relationships or family so it wasn’t to big of  change for him. Or so he thinks, as time goes on in the film we watch his character go mad and become extremely lonely and even more depressed than before everyone disappeared. He begins to wonder if its all a dream. This causes him to feel like he needs to wake up and he tries everything to do so but nothing works so he turns to trying to hurt himself awake. He decides that falling will wake him up, as the sensation of doing so generally wakes him up. He goes to the largest building, which he recognizes as somehow familiar in the city and jumps from the top, however he lands on a car appearing dead and not waking up. Everything goes black. However he awakens from the top of the car and is faced with an animated character who takes him back home and nurses him back to health. The character becomes his best friend and it is implied that they he is possibly just a figment of his imagination. The man then starts seeing other animated characters. These imaginary friends begin to populate the empty world and the character seems to be in a better mental state. he now has relationships and friends. they get into silly situations and hijinks. All the while the man feels in the back of his mind that none of them are real and he is crazy. but he doesn’t care. However all the fun comes to a stand still when the main character sees a real life human woman who seems oddly familiar. They both can see the animated characters and begin to have a relationship. The animated characters become a bit jealous and they plant a seed of doubt in the man’s head by telling him that if he created them, then it’s possible he just made up this woman. the man starts to spiral out of control at the thought of nothing being real and is tormented by the city of animated characters. In order to escape it all he believes he just needs to get away with the girl. So they both leave the city behind, and go into the surrounding wilderness. This is an exciting adventure at first, free of the characters who he now believes were somehow real because they stayed in the city, though as things progress he is more and more suspicious about the girl. in conversation it is brought up that it’s possible she isn’t real. he realizes that he doesn’t know where she comes from and when questioned the girl doesn’t know either. When it becomes apparent that she isn’t real either this is when all hell breaks loose. The other characters begin to reappear and the environment bends and twists and transforms into different trip landscapes that are all obviously unreal. The world then swallows him and suffocates him. his last sight being that of the girl floating above him in a void of white light. Suddenly he wakes up. it really was all a dream, he was in coma after he tried to kill himself by jumping off of his office building. it was a miracle he survived. He was driven to suicide about a year earlier after the stress of losing his job and separating with his girlfriend. it was her who kept him on life support the entire time he was out. they are reunited and make amends, all is seemingly coming to a close when the man sees out of the corner of his eye the cartoon character that was his good friend. the film ends with the open question of what the hell was that?

Week 4 Journal Macsen Baumann

At various times in my life I have stumbled upon stretches or segments of reality that are incidentally surreal, that somehow seem to exist apart from everything else and carry a quality or otherness that is unapproachable.

The first of these incidents that I can recall (at least for now) took place when I was very young. I was in a school, a small one that I did not attend but instead was watched over at in the afternoons while my parents worked. Myself and the other kids in the daycare were not supposed to leave the designated daycare room, and on most days we did not. One afternoon, however, I slipped out, with a friend, while our caretakers weren’t paying enough attention. We roamed the halls, which were eerie in their emptiness, moving slowly across the school. Eventually, after getting lost a few times, we arrived in front of the gym, its door ajar. Beyond, in contrast with the daylight and the fluorescents, was utter, inky, black. I mean unnaturally black. The open door seemed to lead into nothing, but an overwhelming and almost sickeningly massive amount of nothing. At the time, looking into this space set something deeply unsettling upon my little preschool self. Looking back it seems silly and yet lingeringly haunting.

After looking, we ran into the gymnasium like we were going to run forever, and what that run felt like is something I wish I could articulate.


Lists. I make them once or twice a year.  I lose them almost as fast as I write them. So what’s the point.  I guess every so often I convince myself that I’ll ahve my shit together this time. And so I’ll write a list.  Keep a planner. I’ve had this las planner for maybe 4 months.  Maybe 3 and just purchased it late in the year because I lost the previous one.  As I look through it for this date, I see I was on top of things in October, almost made it into November.  Then a few blank pages, weeks.  No cross outs to mark the passage of a day or confirm the completion of a plan.  I pick up a few days in late November, I must have had a dental appointment.  I have been having them so frequently I wonder if novacaine is addictive.   It looks like I went though the trouble of slashing through some empty dates with a pencil around this time.  I’m all about calendars when I have dental appointments.  I imagine they charge you if you miss an appointment at the dentist.  

What a Feeling – Flora Tempel 1/29

Do you ever get that feeling that you’re looking back at yourself, while in yourself, and you can actually see your life, without all the lies you use to cover up the imperfections?

And then you think, “Who’s life is this?”

And then there’s a snap back and you remember that it’s your life, for a reason.


I’m on the train, heading home. I’m too giddy, really, to be getting any work done. I’ve only been away from home for something like 40 hours, but it feels like far too long. I text my partner, over and over, lonely, alone, missing him beyond belief, feeling un-grounded. What a feeling to be a queen beside you, somehow.

The problem is not the distance, or the time. It’s something deeper, something that grows out of my stomach, around my hipbones. 

I don’t really know what it is.


The things I want in life are dreams, big dreams, and I’m always labeled an overachiever.

But sometimes I wonder how much easier it would be to just be an underachiever. I read an article about it the other day, a woman talking about how she always just lives in the moment and doesn’t try to achieve anything remarkable, just to support herself and enjoy her life, and have a happy family.

And then I think, all I want is to live in the moment, enjoy life, and have a happy family. Everybody needs someone around.


I need to get a bunch of things done this weekend, and I have good plans to do it. Write for my internship, write for class, get some exercise, do dishes, make some food, do something fun, do dishes, do laundry, do dishes…

Mostly, I want to get off this train and see my partner. I stand in the window, watching the train pull into the station, and I see him, standing there against the car, a stress-cigarette burning out in his hand. But you’ve got stars in your eyes. I want to  wrap myself into him, what a feeling to be right here beside you now, holding you in my arms, remember that this is a real life, that everything will work out eventually.

Mostly, I won’t get anything done this weekend.


Some day in the future, I imagine, I’ll have that normal life I want. I won’t have to thank the universe that the college I wanted to go to was only sixty miles from my home. I won’t have to compromise on how many nights I can spend at home in my own bed, or how often I can eat a normal breakfast at a normal hour with my partner. I won’t feel like I’m just barely struggling to survive, creating a small mountain of mediocre work – some day I’ll actually be living.

The problem here is how much I wish that day was today.

Not because I don’t accept that this is a step my life has to take. I’m grateful to be here.

No, it’s mostly because I have such a clear vision of the life I want. To be able to sleep in my own bed, with my partner, every night. To have a little home that’s actually put together because we’re planning on staying there. To have a small business, something fun and creative for our community. To write books and small things for publication, anything really, just to write in a logical, routine manner. What a feeling to be a queen beside you, now.

That’s all I want.

Small, neat, bright, clean, routine.

A normal life. 

I wish I could be there now.

Kassandra Williams-Week 4 Journal Entry

Here is an attempt at turning my research into writing:

She was known as Harriet Henderson when she came to town. She was 22 or so, her oldest child 4. She had married John Leland at age 17, back home in Harrisburg, Oregon.

Olympia was small and Washington still a territory at that point. It was 1878. The “Indian Wars” hadn’t been fought too long ago. Back then they kept a cannon in the middle of the town square to defend themselves against the natives. In her lifetime, town square would become Sylvester Park and they would put a statue of the park’s name sake where the cannon used to be. The Neuffers built a storefront in sight (now a florist and banh mi shop). The Neuffers also found a baby on their porch, and Harriet just might’ve been the one who left it.

I read a quote from someone who lived between Harriet and I, maybe in the 1940s, who declared the statue “bad”.  I’d never noticed anything amateur-ish about the statue of Old Edmund all the times he’s gazed over me- at “Music in the Park” when I was really young, or when I finished the last Harry Potter book beneath the park’s trees.

He still stands there, still in time, and I try not to pass through his park anymore. It’s the domain of the forsaken, the afflicted and the addicted. Speedheads and junkies riding tiny bikes. I feel bad for them but I’m so tired of being yelled at just for passing by.

Weirdly, I feel safest passing through Sylvester Park at night.

Daniel Bigelow is credited with establishing the residential eastside. He was the enterpriser that spanned the gap between exploratory commissions and cannons in the middle of “town” and the industrial slide into modernity. He is adequately remembered and honored for his role in Olympia’s history. His house still stands, a gingerbread cottage perched on the slope down to the water.

It’s obscured by a large bloc of replicated waterfront condominiums, buildings that exude a vibe of single living in the glamorous 1970s. I do not understand who the hell lives in these condos- I’m one degree seperated from every living thing in this area most of the time and nobody has ever mentioned to me that they live there, let alone invited me over. But there are so many of them, how is it possible?!

But the many patios facing the bay, punctuated by bobbing white boats, betray occupancy with their windchimes and plastic chairs. Surely they change but their adornments are so prescribed, so similar, so slowly evolving, that I’ve never bothered to notice.

Long before all that, though, that land was the Bigelows’ and they filled it with fruit trees.


J. Kirby Dialogue on Syzygy

-Take a syzygy for instance

-A what?

-A syzygy. It’s when three celestial bodies line up. Like when there’s a solar or lunar eclipse—that’s a syzygy between the Sun, the Moon and Earth. Conceptually you could draw a straight line through all three. That’s a syzygy, a linear conjunction of three celestial bodies. It actually has meaning in many fields beyond astronomy but that’s the one I’m most familiar with.

-O.K. Syzygy. But what does that have to do with your “problem of the other?”

-Umm, let me see. Take the syzygal conjunction of the Earth and the Sun with the moon in between the two. This would be an extreme example of the specific other problem I’m getting at, but basically what I am interested in is the absence created by the moon’s interference with the space between the Earth and the Sun. Actually, let’s pretend that we have two suns, one at each end of an invisible line with Earth-like planet directly in the middle of the two. Following me?

-Yeah, two Sun’s facing each other with an Earth in the middle of them.

-Ok, good. So it doesn’t necessarily matter where the placement of the Earth in between the two is. All I’m concerned about is its representation of absence. As in, there is a shadow cast upon the face of each Sun, and at the same time the Earth either fully or partially blacks out the other Sun. So how this relates to the problem of the other is that the idea of a person, be it your lover, your friend, or just some stranger asking you directions are a Sun at the opposite end of a syzygy where your idea of that person, the image of that person, and most importantly the language that they speak, intermingles with their image, idea and language to create an alien world in between the two of you which becomes nothing but a shadow, which is worst when you are in direct alignment with one another.

-Wait, what!? I mean I get what you’re saying conceptually. At least I think. But I really think your over thinking things here. I mean I don’t know if you should read more philosophy or just stop reading philosophy because I think things are a little simpler than all this crap. Why can’t I just take you for who you are?

-Because, who I am is a man of Ideas, of metaphors. You are a man of things and actions, probably more of a man than I could hope to be. But the simple point of the matter is that you’re proving my point. Sure you can feel things for me, you can have emotional resonation like compassion, and you can see yourself in me. But you cannot be me. And once you come to that conclusion, you come to the ultimate paradox, that being that there is nothing to be but your own unique self. But your self is created by interaction with everything that is not you, everything that you can only relate to by deception or adherence to false dogmas and ideas, or at best the resonation of emotion which some call God. But after one see’s these for their deceptive and metaphorical nature, what then are you left to relate to other than absence, other than the shadow that exists in between you and everything else?

-Shit, man. Can you just shut the fuck up and I’ll buy you some ice cream.

Max Melaas “The Back Burner” 1/20/2016

                It’s I who live there now. I shall here attempt to sketch a profile of my incense burner, which is on a small table beside me.

                On three delicate, sweeping, tiny brass legs it stands, a squashed spheroid for a body capped with a tall dome for a lid, an antique teapot of copper sans handle and spout. Halfway up the body, atop a narrow striated band that encircles its midsection, are three brass loops for metal chains, equidistant from one-another as are the feet below, but staggered in such a way that, were one to connect the loops into an invisible triangle, it would oppose the triangle similarly created between the feet (and, given its larger size, most likely win). As the unit’s free-standing state precludes their necessity, the chains, hanging from their loops, are pooled nearby, with a large hook at the mass’ center. Perched atop the dome lid is a small brass flange with which one might open the top. It is molded in a semblance of a flame.

                Above the band that bears the brass rings, the body and lid both are embossed with a swirling labyrinth of lustrous spirals and crescents; waves upon a tumultuous sea, a bank of fog obscuring the horizon, smoke gliding thin upon the wind. From the darkened gaps between the tin and copper wisps, faint white tendrils rise, as ghosts, curling and looping and unfurling, dancing and joining and separating on their quiet ascent until they vanish high in the still air, whispering, suggesting memories of cinnamon and sandalwood as they go.

                What distant, half-forgotten dream is this of which the burner speaks?

                Come now.

                You must listen.

Two men in a hallway – 2.5.16 – Cooper Rickards

“How long?” He choked

“Five minutes.” He gasped.

“Five fucking minutes Jesus Christ!” His hand tightened around the harpoon gun in his hand. The man in front of him leaned against the glass siding, clutching his side. 

“Just enough time to -” The assailant said, glancing behind the man with the harpoon at the submersible airlock.  

“Not enough for you!” The man in the lab coat was sweating. He unlocked the firing chamber on the harpoon. 

“It’s a two seater, you know, I reprogrammed the launch codes when I landed.” The wounded man blurted out through bleeding teeth. How long had they been standing there? A minute? Three minutes? More like thirty seconds. Already too long. The nervous technician holding his weapon to the wounded assassin stopped. The launch codes.

“You’re bluffing. You didn’t have time” He stated, his voice lacking resolve. There was no way this man had the time to reprogram anything when he landed. There was also no way he had time to reprogram anything now. Fuck! Three minutes! “Fuck you you’re bluffing!” shouted the scientist who’s name was Gary. This man would not be the death of him, no sir! This infiltrator, this murderous scum, this extremist product of military brainwashing, he would not be the end of Gary. 

“I was bluffing.” Conceded Evo, the saboteur who had rigged this submarine base to explode and was bleeding from a gunshot to his left side. “you’ve got two fucking minutes.” He growled at Gary as he attempted to stand. It was nice, Evo thought, that there were lights around the outside of this transparent hallway. Through the glass Evo could see an increadible number of brightly colored fish, the likes of which he had never before encountered. Evo leaned his head on the glass, gazing deeply at one purple and yellow fish. He admired the fluid transitioning of color and – 

“Fuck you!” Screamed Gary as he fired the harpoon. It flew cleanly through Evo’s torso and embedded in the security door behind him. Gary dropped the weapon in recoil and turned towards the airlock. “Oh my god one minute one minute one minute” Gary yelled at himself as he climbed into the submersible. He had shot the man with a harpoon! What the actual fuck had just happened? The submersible powered on. One minute. Gary pushed the right buttons and he was away. Thirty seconds. “Oh Fuck!” Gary let out to himself. He thought of the surface, of the sunlight, of how close he had just came to death! He had killed a man! He had avenged his friends and colleagues! Gary swelled with pride and adrenaline as he navigated upwards.

Zero seconds. The facility sitting on the bottom of the ocean exploded in a torrent of debris and bubbling shockwaves. Gary is directly above the explosion and is consumed by the deep. 

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The Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington

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