The Downlow

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austin, texas, United States
aspiring writer, English and journalism student, hails from Texas. likes include writing, coffee, books, whisky and people.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

by loving you more.

This morning there was shooting at the biggest library on campus, right down the street from my dorm.
I woke up late for my 8 am, so I decided to go to the newsroom instead because I had work. I figured I would be late to class either way but I could make it to my job on time so I might as well. I was at the bus stop right by the library waiting to catch one to the communications building when a guy ran up and started waving his arms at me, so I took my ear phones out. All he said was that there was a shooter in PCL and I had to move. Me and this asian kid backed up about ten feet and stared at the building for like three minutes, and all I could say was, ohmygod, is he shitting us? Until a lady came out and told us someone was shooting off a gun and to move. Then I figured he wasn't shitting us.
I was in the newsroom all morning watching things unfold. There were a hundred things no one could confirm, and several that could be confirmed but were, in fact, not true. In the end it turned out the shooter was a nineteen year old math major with an AK 47. He killed himself, and no one else was hurt, thank God. 

Today was weird. Police cars, helicopters, news vans and swat tanks lined the streets I walk to class on every day. The school was on lockdown, campus was closed, classes were canceled, I had to basically walk around the whole perimeter to get back to my dorm and when I got there I crashed and took a six and a half hour nap. The thing is that the whole time, while everything was going down, I just kept thinking about how if I had woken up on time and gone to my 8 am, I would've been in the building adjacent to PCL, the library where the shootings occurred. Kids who were late to the lecture heard the gunshots, and there were rumors that the gunman spent some time right outside the door. Why did I oversleep this morning? It's only happened once before.
I guess it's just a little strange, or maybe unsettling is a better word. Last night, before the campus settled down to sleep, no one could have known. I'm just glad everyone is okay.

Monday, September 27, 2010

like a muthafuckin scratch&win,

I've gotta be honest with you, I'm feeling a little too lazy right now to type anything original. This is a poem I wrote for class. It's completely unrevised. Enjoy.

Life of Fiction.

clutter, clutter, clutter,
the desk in the corner.
The one lit by the sun
coming in from the balcony window.

Pens, pencils, sharpies,
highlighters, far too many flashdrives
to ever really be necessary
a broken lamp cover
picture frame upon picture frame
a drawer with a box full of notebooks
moleskins full of words that still need typing
and edit after edit
and nothing ever really gets done around here.

I shove homework where I can’t see it
school is not as important as this
family does not mean as much as this
not friends, not careers, not life
nothing makes my heart beat quite as forcefully
as a burst of inspiration
as typing the paragraph
that will become 1k
then 2k
then page after page of my obsession
characters fill dreams at night.
déjà vu comes from novels you’ve started and stopped
and eating doesn’t seem all that important
when you could be holed up in a dimly lit room
creating a world you never knew you craved.

You have meetings, you have class,
you’ll never get published without a degree
(college provides some interesting material)
you go back a week later and it hits you
the depression. God, was I really going to publish this shit?

Print. Crumple for Closure. Hide it in a file you avoid.
Maybe pretend to live for a week,
and then you begin to feel empty.

Back at my desk,
clutter, clutter, clutter,
far too many flashdrives to ever really be necessary.
It’s the one where the sun shines in
from the window to the balcony
and the air is filled with the sounds
of fingers pressing down on keys.

By the way, in case you were curious, I kind of love you.

by the way, if anyone jacks any part of this, I swear I'll come after you. It will involve the legal system. I've been watching law&order for eighteen years, don't test me bitches, and don't even get me started on my vast knowledge of copyright laws.

p.s. I'm reading this book right now, Life After God by Douglas Coupland. It is beautiful. That is all.

Friday, September 24, 2010

dear gravity,

I'm sorry it's been so long. At least I think it's been a long time. I don't really remember. I have had a constant stream of busy and I really want to crash. Actually I want to eat. Why isn't there food in front of me?
Writing has been sporadic, but it's been going. I haven't written every day, but I've written a lot on the days that I've written.

So this photographer asked me to go with her as a reporter to a city in west Texas called Marfa, which is basically a dairy queen and these things called the Marfa lights (google them). I didn't end up getting to go, because apparently my editors needed me here, but I would've been covering a group of students going to this festival called El Cosmico, and I went to the festival's website and there was this paragraph about this thing called mañana, and I couldn't figure out what the hell it meant.
I mean, obviously mañana means morning in Spanish. And if you didn't know that, then that's what it means. But reading through the paragraph, I felt like it was something entirely different. They were talking about finding mañana and believing in mañana, and I was like what the fuck is mañana? Is it part of the Marfa lights? and then it hit me. They were talking about remembering that tomorrow would come. mañana meant tomorrow.
I think it stuck in my mind so much because I remembered high school me, who honestly really wasn't that different, I don't think? But the thing is, I wasn't stressed then. I never was, because if I had a huge assignment due the next day but I was too tired to finish it, it didn't bother me to just go to sleep and figure it out in the morning. I never had issues with sleeping on it. If something sucked, my mantra was basically "in a few hours, things will be fine." I think I forgot my mañana. I'm glad El Cosmico reminded me!
Oh, and the Marfa lights are really cool.
I'm not really a fan of DQ, though.

My stomach is rumbling. Today was long, and I wrote a story about an educational owl. I am happier than I have been in a while. I think I'm going to sleep soon.

I hope your dreams are beautiful,

P.S. people who shouldn't care about me but do will not cease to surprise me. I am obsessed with kindness.

P.S.S. sorry it's just another picture of my face. or plural pictures, I guess. whatev.
Also, I posted this the day after I wrote it, because the night I wrote it, I was too tired to press the post button. <3 @ you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

next to heartbeats.

Today I wrote roughly 2,000 words. It needs really intense editing but I think it's the start of something good. It's eventually going to morph with 3. I was sitting outside under a terrace while it was raining when I was writing. That's all.

Sorry no picture again. I'm gonna start carrying my camera around campus so I can take pictures of things that aren't my face. :)


Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm shiney and I know it.

But really I'm mostly just bored. I'm sitting in the newsroom right now, waiting for my story to be edited with absolutely nothing to do, happy enough that I could literally start laughing and bored out of my skull. Today was one of the most stressful days of my life, and I can honestly say that I cannot wait to spend four more years worth of days like it, even though I might have to cry myself to sleep at night sometimes. You see what news writing does to me? I feel like I'm back in my junior year of high school, new on staff and bumbling around like a stupid goat while I demanded to be at the top. I mean, I guess that's what I am. Minus the demanding to be at the top thing. 
... For now.

By the way, "like a stupid goat" is literally the stupidest simile I have ever used, ever, and you just witnessed it.

I don't really have anything to say, I've gotta be up front with you. I'm typing to avoid the desperate nothingness that is sitting in a chair looking at a mac that may well have been constructed before I hit puberty and thinking only about how good the cookie I had earlier was and lamenting the fact that I no longer have it. Because I ate it. And I have my laptop with me but it's about to die. And so is my phone. Pretty soon I'm going to be all alone with nothing but the pre pubescent Macintosh and the nine or ten other people in the room who all have something to actively work on, and then all I'll be able to do is fume with jealousy. And by fume I mean type a bunch of things that don't make any sense and post them as a blog. I'm really sorry I've been so incoherent lately, I'm just finding myself with constant busyness exchanged with stints of unusually free times.

Yesterday I thought I lost my flash drive with all of my writing on it and I literally almost peed in fear. So I ran to the comm school, which is a billion miles away, and it was still in the newsroom in the computer I had left it in. On Sunday. Trustworthy journalists? I think YES.

OOOOOPS I've gotta go. I have things to do now YAY.

I'll be back tomorrow or the next day! 
Loch :)

p.s. sorry no picture, I don't have access to any that I could publish without getting sued at the moment. :(

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

let the clocks be reset!

Right now I'm waiting for an academic advising appointment to talk about double majoring in English. I felt like I needed a collegiate background in literature, yeah? Except guess what, my school doesn't have a literature major, rude. And at first I was like, ECKHHHH everyone who majors in English becomes a teacher, which I absolutely DO NOT want to do (unless it's at the collegiate level, in which case I would consider), but apparently the program is really literature heavy and I can do a focus on creative writing, which I am most definitely down with. Plus, the academic advising office in the communications school has free cheez-its, so I feel like even if the double major falls through, the appointment was entirely worth it.

Today in sociology it occurred to me for the first time that maybe the reason I'm getting educated and reading books and things like that is due to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I mean, I'm gonna be honest here. Not tooting my own horn, but I think I'm relatively intelligent. But, is that because I convinced myself I was intelligent and then acted in a way so as to make it true? Like, does believing I'm smart make me smarter? Does believing I can write make me a better writer, because I act in a way that would improve my writing skills? And does believing I can't whistle hinder my many, many attempts at mastering that fleeting skill? :(
If that's the case, then why the hell do things go bad, ever, at all. Come on people. JUST BELIEVE. 
But seriously.
With all of this in mind, I wonder what would happen if people understood that all they needed to do to get better was believe they were better and then act in a way to solidify that fact. Because reality is a social construct. Nothing is  true unless you think it is. What would happen if everyone believed? It's an interesting world to imagine, and a little frustrating that it isn't happening.

So I'm debating something, and I want feedback from y'all.
I started this blog to talk about my literature related ventures and it's ended up being a lot about that, but also a lot about just my life in general. Which is great and all, but I would love for it to be a litttttle more about my literature related ventures, you know?
I have a lot of issues with posting things that might be published, but this poetry class I'm taking is leaving me with a lot of things that probably won't ever be published, at least not in the near and foreseeable future. So how would you feel about me posting some of it every so often? I WANT FEEDBACK ON THIS. 
This is not a decision I am making/will make lightly. Posting things I've written really scares me, for legal reasons. The idea of plagiarism really scares me. But not making you happy scares me more. Having my ego injured scares me most of all. Let me know what you think and I might post some stuff!

I wish all of you were here in this waiting room with me. Its small and I'm alone and out of cheez-its.
I wait for 11/11/11 11:11:11 specifically so that I can wish you all the happiest lives that earth has ever contained.
Loch :)

p.s. I wish it were rainy today in Austin.
By the way, I'm still in a good mood. I hope whatever I wrote last night was coherent. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

i'm so far gone now

Today was uplifting. Actually, I don't know if that's the right word.

... no, yeah, it's definitely the right word.
Right now I'm super ready to go to bed. Like, all I have to do is crawl into my top bunk. But for some reason, even though I really don't have that much to say, I felt like blogging was necessary.
Tonight someone asked me to classify what I was writing as a particular genre, and all I could really think to say was science fiction. The weird thing was I didn't realize how right it was until I'd actually said it. Then, I was completely appalled when I explained to them my love for Ray Bradbury and they informed me of just how little they'd enjoyed Fahrenheit 451.
There is nothing not to enjoy about that book. If you disagree, reread it, darn it. It's a beautiful piece of literature!

I should really, really sleep. My eyes are drooping, and this morning I literally stared at my coffee maker for ten minutes trying to decide whether or not to turn it on because turning it on would mean that I would have to drink the coffee and then go to class and not turning it on would mean I could just crawl back into bed.
Also, before I go, I just want to say that Ke$ha's video for Take it Off is literally what I want my life to be like. She unzips her chest and glitter flies out!? I don't understand what there is not to love. And please watch the California Gurls video if you haven't already. omg katy perry is so FOINE
And Lady Gaga wore a meat dress to the VMA's. That is all I have to say. I am obsessed with her.
I'll blog again tomorrow. I'm not sure when? But I promise I definitely will.
HAVE A GOOD NIGHT, have the sweetest dreams the world will ever know,
loch :)

P.S. right now I'm reading At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft. Pick it up. Boy's got skills, yo!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

walk a little farther to another plan

My roommate looked at me funny when I took that picture. I adore her, by the way. I should've been reading about a journalism scandal. Obviously, I wasn't.
Right now I'm sitting in the laundry room, pissed because some jerk decided tonight was the night to take up three of the four machines even though I need two of them, sippin on mountain dew/coffee (separately, of course), and trying to talk myself into writing a review I need to have done by tomorrow morning. I spent this weekend with one of my best friends (see picture two) at her school, which is like twenty minutes away, and it shed some light in unexpected places. I'm in a generally good mood right now. I think my biggest problem is that I haven't really been making decisions.
I was at the computer store this week and like the jobless idiot I am, I spent a trillion billion more dollars than I should have on script writing software, basically a super fancy version of word, which makes novel writing feel a lot more legit. Also, I found my think spot. I think things might be going alright again on the writing front. I think I was just taking the wrong approach.

You know what I really want to do? I want to live on a beach. I thought for a really long time that my dream house would be in a really woodsy area in a big secluded house on a lake with a lot of mountains and that kind of thing, and maybe one day that'll be what I want, but lately when I'm daydreaming it always seems to come back to the ocean. I don't know if it's the idea of being in the warmth all the time or the way the ocean looks but there's something about it that I'm feeling this weirdly intense attraction to right now. Maybe I'll splurge and go to graduate school in California. There are journalism jobs there, yeah?
I had a really bad dream last night, and I don't really want to go back to sleep. Good thing I have an assload of stuff to do that'll basically keep me up all night.
I promise you I love you with all of me,
Loch Loch Loch.

P.S. Loch is not my real last name, it's the name of the street I grew up on. That being said, yesterday I was told that to find out what your stripper name would be, you use the name of your first pet and then the street you grew up on. Wanna know what mine is? Rusty Loch. lol/fml.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

a thousand clever lines

I want to stop thinking and write. I can't get my brain to turn off and it's really beginning to get frustrating.
This morning I woke up congested. Usually rainy weather is my favorite but walking to my 8 am class in the downpour was unexpectedly miserable. The coffee I made was beyond repulsive, either because I'm coming down with something or because the particular blend blows, and after I forced it down and the lecture ended and I walked back to my dorm to nap until my 12:30 class, I laid down in bed and suddenly it was like every unfortunate situation that's happened to me in the past month or so started playing on repeat, and I spent two hours lying under my comforters, trying to figure out if my stomach hurt so bad because of the coffee or me being hungry or the things I was thinking about and trying desperately to figure out where exactly it was that I had gone wrong and why I couldn't stop remembering. I went to a few other classes, and now I'm back in my dorm, watching the rain through the window to the balcony I can't use and pondering why it's not seeming to make me as happy as it usually does, wishing my foot didn't hurt so I could go jogging and that I hadn't eaten all those saltines, and trying desperately to just write, but nothings happening. I have a feeling this ties into a lot of other things that I hadn't anticipated and I probably should've taken that into account earlier.
What do I do now?


Friday, September 3, 2010

this grave shift is like a slave shift

Yesterday I did three things I hadn't planned on doing.
The first is relatively unimportant, but I just wanna put it out there. Jogged two miles. WHAT.
After that, I went back to my dorm, and I picked up my phone, and I realized that it doesn't delete text messages. Ever. Every freaking text message I've ever send from that phone is in there. So, I did some cleaning. Some very specific cleaning. I feel a mixture of intense nostalgia, empowerment, and a rather potent ironic sort of feeling that I can't quite place.
Lastly, I went to a meeting for the TV station on campus. I fully intended to sign up for the news program, but the girl in charge of it started talking, and I was like, you know what? Fuck broadcast. I like print. So in short, I basically signed up for every sketch comedy show on campus.
Interesting enough, ne?
always yours,

p.s. it's rainy in Austin today.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


So I woke up disgruntled at my journalism professor for scheduling a class at eight am and quickly transitioned to a strangely good mood for a hungry college student stumbling as she attempts to put shorts on in the dark because it's too freaking hot out to wear pants. Just imagine, if I had gone to school in Michigan like I'd planned, it would already be jeans and hoodie weather! Anywho, maybe it was that I fell asleep watching top chef and muttering to myself how much I missed actual meat that wasn't served in a cafeteria, or maybe it's because I've been jogging every night (isn't that supposed to do something with endorphins?) but my mood is beginning to move in the direction of up.
That's not to say that writing is following suit. Because it's not. I blame that on a combination of a sudden change of atmosphere and a lack of thinkspot in my aforementioned nonthinkinducing (word?) dorm. The best thing I can think to do is write as much as I can for school. I'm already mid tryout session for the newspaper on campus and I'm going to a meeting tonight for the TV station and I think I'm doing film club (writing scripts would be interesting, I think) plus my poetry class is getting the gears oiled a little bit, although ironically enough it seems to be getting a lot lot lot more prose out of me than poetry.
People have a tendency to come this school in packs, I've noticed. Everyone's high school friends are here. It's been a little disconcerting, not gonna lie, because a grand total of one of my high school friends are here, and I love everyone else's high school friends, but I think maybe writing might come more easily once I get a niche? But the past few days I think I may have stumbled upon the beginnings of said niche. yay :)
Every day feels like a friday and I'm wondering if that's ever going to stop. I've actually been doing my homework for once in my life and, my friends will be comforted to know, I've only sat down and ate nutella from the jar like three times. I've been kind of healthier than normal. I've been jogging on a real track, in circles! Granted it's indoor, but still. I'm thinking this whole college shenanigan is going to provide some interesting material, regardless of it's failure to manifest itself as of late. Somehow I feel like it'll show up soon.
I think you are beautiful, no matter what they say. If you are reading this, I adore you.

... :)