Assignment: Every hour, stop and document what you’re doing at exactly that moment. Do this for an entire day.
I’m hosting my birthday party and my place tonight and this is the current state of my apartment:
In the past hour I’ve nudged a few pieces of trash nearer to the trash bin and feebly put some dishes in the sink. I am in serious need of pump up music, so I listen to the Indie classic, “Lisztomania”
Brunch with mom at our usual place, Cowgirl Seahorse. Mom has some self-professed verbal dyslexia so she usually calls it “Seagirl Cowhorse”, but today she gets it mostly right with “Cowgirl Seawhore”
I go to the supermarket to pick up beers for the party. Paradox of choice.
The first sound is me mopping a stubborn bike tire track. The second is me chasing a piece of dry spaghetti with my vacuum cleaner.
My party starts in 30 minutes but EVERYTHING LOOKS THE SAME WHYYYY
No one’s arrived yet so my boyfriend entertains me by juggling limes.
9:30 and 10:30pm
For my birthday I’m hosting a “Bad Movie Night”–a movie that is so awful it’s actually entertaining to watch. We’ve chosen “Garzey’s Wing”, a low-budget anime film. The characters are basically all voiced by the same two people, one of whom sounds like Lisa Kudrow on horse tranquilizers. This point in the evening I decided to cheat on the assignment and have some of my friends make sketches for me. The 9:30 sketch is by Brian Garvey, who’s trying to capture the anticipation of Garzey’s Wing (we still hadn’t started the movie). The 10:30 sketch is by Lindsey Daniels, who’s trying to capture our utter confusion (like, are they going to Gabajuju? or is a character named Gabajuju? or is Gabajuju a weapon?? etc.)
This is another one of my sketches. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but basically my mom has asked me to store a monstrous chair in my apartment (wider than my couch and almost as long). I’m supposed to hold onto this thing until she makes room for it in her apartment. (I feel like I’m representing my mom in a bad light here and I just want to say that in all other respects she is an awesome lady.) Anyway, here’s the chair, and my friend Eddie sitting atop it.
This sketch is by my friend Rita. The aforementioned Lindsey introduced us to a reality show called “Solitary” where contestants are literally put in solitary confinement. People are disturbed by this and there is a mass exodus from my apartment. Lindsey is apologetic.
I own mugs with feminist messages written in French (a fact unsurprising to anyone who knows me). I don’t really get the full meaning of “Femme de l’etre” though. At any rate, by 1:30am everyone’s left and Max and I are drinking tea.
Max has fallen asleep. This is what the apartment looks like post-party.
When Marianne gave us this assignment, I was worried that this exercise in introspection would drive me irreversibly to madness. But I actually liked making little doodles all day long. I don’t think that the assignment really changed the course of my day, because I was going to be eating, shopping, cleaning and partying regardless. Furthermore, the assignment was less disruptive than I thought it would be. In the morning I was worried that every time I stopped to document something I would lose all of my cleaning momentum, but actually I think the breaks were somewhat restorative and helped propel me toward my goal. As an aside, I don’t really enjoy taking photographs in my day to day life (you’ll note there are no actual photographs from the party), but having my friends create a few sketches gave me nice momentos from the evening that I wouldn’t have otherwise had.