weekends don’t really get better than this.  vienna teng on friday night, then george saunders and jonathan franzen on saturday.

saunders was well-spoken and very witty, and i’ve got to pick up tenth of december soon.  franzen was everything i expected him to be and more.  (which is kind of cheating because i’ve heard him speak before, so it’s not like there could be much surprise/disappointment.)  signings are always awkward, though, because what does one say at them?  other than thank you for your book and writing i love you kthxbye?

but, hey, maybe the awkwardness is part of the fun … one day, i’ll get farther away signed.  it’s the book i’d really like signed, and i’ve now had two opportunities to get it signed and left it at home both times, so, come on, sir, more appearances, more more!

(i actually took notes at these panels [i take notes everywhere i go], so one day i’ll get around to typing them up, especially because the franzen/shirky panel was really interesting.  lol, i should just type up exactly what i wrote down during it, no edits allowed …)

heh.  yeah, i’ve got myself a little infatuation here.

(what?  no one told nell to fall off the face of the earth.)

i had a giant brief due on tuesday, which meant that i spent my weekend whining a lot (apologies, twitter) (but, then again, not really) (i need an outlet) and ranting a lot and procrastinating a lot, but, to neutralise the existential angst i knew would accompany the brief, i went to go see the revisionist on tuesday night (after passing out for five hours after submitting said brief).

jesse eisenberg has been on my radar since the social network led me to delve into his backlog, but i didn’t really know much about him until i went to his talk at the 92y with thane rosenbaum.  i think it’s safe to say that people tend to have a general impression of him from his body of work; he plays the awkward and neurotic but charming and endearing character a little too well; and he’s very much in conversation as you’d imagine — awkward, yes, neurotic, yes, but charming in heaps and very sharp and smart.  and funny.  i’d known he’d written a play that he’d be starring in starting in february, and i’d known he’d written and acted in a play last year, too, but i had my doubts, honestly, in the way that i doubt every actor or singer or celebrity who decides to write.  (or, as is usually the case, “write.”)  after hearing him in conversation, though, i was very much intrigued (and very much in love) and curious, so off i went to the theatre, and i can say in all honesty that i really liked the revisionist.

i’m shit with summaries, so i’m not going to try to summarise the play here (google’s your friend), but here’s a bit i wrote in my journal when i got home.  i’ve edited out possible spoilers, and forgive the clumsy writing — i didn’t edit it at all:

"… I loved what it said about family — how we had these two characters who were so different — to him, family doesn’t mean much, but, to her, family is everything.  She lives all the way out in Poland but knows more about their extended family Stateside; he doesn’t really understand why she’d hang the photographs of people who don’t come to visit her on her walls; and, in the end, when she tells him the truth, … and he tells her he doesn’t care — that statement "I don’t care" means one thing to him and is his way of accepting her … but, to her, the words are a rejection, that it doesn’t matter, she doesn’t matter, he only chose to come to Poland as a last resort, anyway.  Even though he’s there visiting her in Poland, he’s no better than all the other extended family she hangs on her walls but to whom she doesn’t exist."

at least, that’s one thing i took away from the play, and i’m kind of dying to see it again because i do that — once i watch something i like, i want to watch it again (and again) (and again, sometimes).  (the same applies to films; there are honestly so few films i actually like that, if i stumble upon one i do, then i can’t get enough.)

there’s this beautiful scene in the play, too, where david (eisenberg) finally lets maria (vanessa redgrave) tell him who the people in the photographs are, and he asks her how many of these people came to visit her, and she tries to deflect the question, and it’s this beautiful but painful scene, so wonderfully acted by both of them.  jesse eisenberg and vanessa redgrave work very well together in the play, and, oh, god, vanessa redgrave — i don’t think it even needs to be said that she is stellar.  so stellar.

jesse eisenberg’s one to watch, i think, not just as a film actor but kind of just … as a creative person?  or even as a human being?  in the least creepy way possible, i mean.  i like his bluntness, the fact that he doesn’t try to project a persona or fit a mould, and i particularly like that he is clearly a thinking, introspective person who reflects upon himself.  he did an interview with vulture (i think that’s how i should cite it), in which he talked about the first play he wrote, asuncion, and there are two specific things he says that i actually wrote into my journal and replied to, not only because his responses were in themselves thought-provoking but also because they resonated on a personal level — and i’ve thought of posting them here, and i guess we’ll see if i actually do.

as of now, though, i’ve been youtubing interviews all week (and, also, branching out to watching interviews with keira knightley and carey mulligan, both of whom i basically think are wonderful human beings), while reading and journalling and working on my book.  it’s been a pretty exhausting seven days, i will say, and i’m glad that the weekend comes tomorrow!  it’ll be plenty busy, too, but the sort of busy i like because i’ll be doing nothing but focusing on my book and reading and, uhm, finishing cover letters in the spaces between …!  happy friday all!


Nell (넬) KJW Live on Tablo’s radio :3

(From ‘08?)

_ (underbar) from ‘Separation Anxiety’

귀를 막으면 조용해 지나요?
눈을 감으면 안볼수 있나요?

(If we block our ears, does it become quiet?
If we close our eyes, can we not see?)

마음을 닫으면 그 어떤 상처도
우리 받지 않을거라 믿었는데

(If we closed our heart, all those hurts,
We believed we wouldn’t receive them.)

지나고 나서 다 들리더군요
지나고 나서 다 보이더군요

(After it passed, we could hear everything.
After it passed, we could see everything.)

지나고 나서 모든 아픔이 물밀듯
그렇게 밀려와 참 힘들더군요

(After it passed, because all that pain advanced
Like the tide, it was quite difficult.)

함께 있으면 머물러 지나요?
머물러지면 행복해 지나요?

(If we’re together, do things stop?
If things stop, do we become happy?)

떠나려 하면 어떻게 하나요?
붙잡아봐도 떠나려 한다면?

(If we try to leave, what should we do?
If we try to hold on but we try to leave anyway?)

지나고 보니 다 똑같더군요
지나고 보니 부질없더군요

(Now that it’s passed, it’s all the same.
Now that it’s passed, it was all in vain.)

생각해보니 함께하고 있을때도
우린 여전히 많이 외로웠죠

(Now that I think about it, even when we were together,
We were very lonely after all.)

(I don’t know why I insist on translating [or trying to translate] everything I post in Korean, especially lyrics because I find lyrics trickier than interviews because my colloquial Korean is better than my more poetic Korean?)

eAeon, Jisan Valley Rock Festival 2012:  I’m pretty shit with titles, and I admittedly don’t know all the titles to his songs, though I know all his songs (don’t ask how that works), but here’s the set list as I recorded on Evernote:

01.  SCLC
02.  슬픈 마네킹
03.  창문 자동차 사과 모자*
04.  Close**
05.  세상이 끝나려고 해
06.  Give Me a Reason to Love You***
07.  Bulletproof
08.  날개****

* I think this was the song because I wrote down car? on Evernote because I wasn’t sure about this title.  I could be completely wrong, though.

** Mot song (not to say, my favourite Mot song) from their second album, ‘이상한 계절’

*** cover of Portishead song

**** Mot song from their first album, Non-Linear

The highlight for eAeon, though?  He performed with a live band.  As much as I do actually love the way he manipulates sound electronically (and I tend to loathe synthetic sounds), I am much more of an instrument person, so I was stoked just watching them set up guitars and amps and a contrabass, and, ah, of course, he didn’t disappoint.

(eAeon is one of the more interesting figures in the Korean music scene to me because I know he has a background in a scientific field, and I find people who change fields/disciplines interesting because they tend to have stories to tell and deep-seated passion for what they do and the integrity to do said passion justice [but that’s not to say that such passion and integrity are exclusive to such folk], and I find his music, whether as a solo artist or as part of Mot, to be fascinating and fantastically layered in ways you don’t find anywhere really.  His voice is also very tonally pleasing; on first listen, you might dismiss him as a not-so-special vocalist; but I listened to a lot of eAeon/Mot whilst in Japan, and his voice — and the confidence with which he uses his voice — really wraps itself around you and takes hold of you in a wonderful way.  Physically, he’s also not as I expected him because, let’s be honest, he seems almost frail in photographs and even on broadcasts [I wanted to hug him on You and I], but, in real life, he doesn’t come across that way, not in the least, because he looks to be made of sturdier stock than a lot of fellows you see floating around Seoul.)