Books, Film, and Music, discovered in January, 2010


  1. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad.
  2. The Beginner’s Guide to Immortality, by Clifford A. Pickover
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
  4. Archetypes and Collective Unconscious, by Carl Jung
  5. The Interpretation of Dreams, by Sigmund Freud.


  1. Avatar – twice. A very good movie with Sigourner Weaver, but I don’t think it was quite as good as it was all hyped up to be.
  2. Sherlock Holmes – best movie of the month and maybe of the year (haven’t gotten that far yet). Robert Downy Jr. is pure brilliance, and Jude Law is a favorite of mine.
  3. Up in the Air – a wonderful, deep movie with dreamy George Clooney.


  1. Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds : a reggae band from LA that was opened at a show by my man’s band, The Bend, at the Clubhouse
  2. Sinclair’s Revenge: a local punkish reggae band that played with the Bend at the Clubhouse and Martini Ranch
  3. Tribal Seeds: a reggae band from San Diego that played with the Bend at Martini Ranch
  4. Midnite: a very famous reggae band from the island st. Croix with strong influences from Rasta, Jah
  5. Boards of Canada: a very famous electronic sounding rock band from Scotland


whats in the bag?

what you carry with you shows alot about who you are. many people do this, they list what they carry in their purse and it reveals whats important to them. so here  I go:

I carry a liz claiborne brown leather bag:

  1. my passport. This shows how remarkably lazy I am because I have yet to get my permit or liscence so this is the only photo ID i have. Its in a cute floral case that i got for xmas.
  2. my black leather wallet with my food handlers card, and never enough money. im in culinary so its required to be liscenced, and i love this wallet because ive always been a fan of men’s accessories.
  3. my grey zippy bag that has my chapstick and pencil/pens. im always writing little notes down, since I AM a writer, and i thrifted this little bag, its adorable.
  4. my black blackberry-looking samsung phone, which ive dropped way too many times. its a miracle it still works.
  5. my silver 120 gig ipod which i adore. its currently like sixty gigs full of every artist and genre you could imagine and its useful when im bored, in the mood for a certain song, or getting tats done.
  6. my vintage pink floyd dark side of the moon silver cigarette case and a teal lighter. Im always losing my lighter to the color changes all the time. i bought this case on my favorite ebay-type website for all sorts of random stuff.
  7. my heart of darkness book by joseph conrad, an interesting book im reading for literature about the congo and the excessive greed of the aryan race.
  8. a water bottle; i have a new resolution to drink lots of aqua.
  9. a bottle of motrin for when my little friend pays me a visit or for when the headache god smites me.
  10. My red franco sarto glasses which I ADORE. have I ever mentioned that he’s my favorite shoes/eyewear designer? pure italian genius
  11. my pretty eyeglasses, which I rarely wear because they make me look nerdy as can be, but which helps me in not being blind
  12. pure passion vanilla body spray which helps when the car smells funny or when i smell like certain undesirable habits

oh, exciting news of the day: I GOT ACCEPTED TO ASU. I mean yeah, who doesnt right? unless your an imbecile. but im still excited because for a while I thought I was. :p

oh, and I found a heart breaking little peice from NBC nightly news about the rescues going on in haiti. I didn’t really get into the issue until I saw this, but now I feel very sad for these people and will try to write more about it when I have time.

sexual theory

click on the photo to see a clearer version

I recently wrote another paper, even longer than before, that I submitted to the APA for review. They’re taking eons to get back to me, so I thought I’d give you a little preview. It is about answering the question: where does sexual orientation come from?

in regards to this chart, created in the 70s by Bem to chart feminine and male qualities, etc, etc, here is a quote from my essay:

“According to the Bem Sex Role Inventory, a measure constructed by Sandra Bem in 1977,  gender can be measured and fit into four separate categories: masculine, feminine, androgynous, and indifferent. An androgynous person is one who has a high amount of traits in both feminine and masculine categories, and indifferent is the opposite; one who has a low amount of either.” —The Shadow-self and Sexual Theory

I think it is interesting that sexuality can be be put on a graph; all your male and female qualities put you on a spot on the chart. Where do you think you are, or do you even agree with this inventory?


time travel and pickover…

A natural misconception of time travel is the form in which it takes place- that it is a structured method by means of a man-made object or machine. What is time travel? The idea that one can, in theory, change his previous actions to create new results or jump into the future to take a sneak peak of what is to come. With technological and scientific advancements, is it not possible that within the next thousand years, a form of time travel could manifest itself? Or are we perhaps searching for something that is already in our grasp? –From on Time Travel and Seperate Realities December 27th

My goal for this year is to write one essay a week throughout the year and collect them into a book that I hope to be published. This is a little sliver of my first essay on time travel being an actuality instead of a possibility. It was inspired by the book Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves by Clifford A. Pickover. Because the book inspired me to write this eight-paged thesis, I decided–what the heck. So I sent it off to Pickover himself, and was suprised and delighted when he replied. Here is the email for your (and my) gratification:

From: Cliff Pickover

To: Claire Nusbaum <>
Sent: Sun, December 27, 2009 4:17:40 PM
Subject: Re: On Time Travel

Hi Claire, nice to hear from you!

How did you learn about my book “Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves”?
The follow-on to that book is “A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality.”

Thanks for sharing with me your essay.  Judging from what you wrote,
you might enjoy “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle.
Tolle’s idea is that we are unhappy because we live too much in the past (perhaps regretting some events)
or we live too much in the future (thinking only about how life will be once we attain some goal or status) —
but we don’t know how to be happy here and now, which is the location in which we actually spend our lives
He gives tips for trying to be more aware of the beauty of the “now.”

Sometime, tell me more about yourself.  Thanks, and happy holidays!

Regards, Cliff  


On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 5:27 PM, Claire Nusbaum <> wrote:

Hi, my name is Claire Nusbaum and I have a huge favor to ask of you. Personally I consider you one of my literary heroes and was inspired by your book Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves. I wrote a short essay on time travel, and thought that if you had a spare moment, you might take a look at it? I’m a senior in highschool, but I aspire to be a writer and metaphysicist, and I find your books the most intriguing I have read in a long time.

hope to hear from you,

Claire. 🙂

I screamed when he popped up in my inbox.

artist and writer of the week…

my favorite kind of artwork is the provacative kind; the one that provokes an emotion out of the viewer, whether it is disgust or awe. Erwin Olaf‘s work does both at the same time. He is an exceptional photographer whose work can be considered controversial and thought-invoking, statements about society or people intrinsically.

Olaf works in Amsterdam in an altered church hall (scandalous!). He mixes photojournalism with artsy photography. He “explores issues of gender, sensuality, humor, despair, and grace in each sucessive series.” All of his work is symbolic and he often does wonderful nudes.


this polish author, Joseph Conrad, who learned the language English when he was twenty-one, is one of the most prolific writers of his generation. Most of his literature are involving the sea or being on board. His style is modern romantic, and my favorite book of his is Heart of Darkness.

His homelife was very interesting. His family was very poor and his father was exiled to a small city north of Moscow for organizing an uprising. Conrad was an orphan by the age of eleven.

fashion is an aphrodesiac…

one of my favorite hobbies is fashion; shopping, putting together outfits, critiquing fashion trends, etc. My ultimate favorite stores include H&M, Mango, Zara, Anthropologie, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Bebe, Gap, and the Black and White store. However, in light of recent events..that is, H&M has been discovered to have dumped hundreds of good quality clothes in their dumpsters rather than handing down the line or giving it away to the thousands of starving and unclothed people in the middle of winter…i have thus crossed them off the list.

Nevertheless, there are some essential peices of clothings and trends that have caught my eye for my winter 2009-2010 collective.

  1. the leather jacket. always in style, the leather jacket comes in white leather, brown leather, and black leather. I currently have a wonderful white leather jacket from H&M that retailed for about fifty bucks.

this is an awesome weathered leather jacket from

2. cardigans. This is a classic, as well. Whether solid color or floral print, these are the best long-sleeve choice you could make.

here, she is wearing a wonderful yellow cardigan from target.

3. overlarge knit sweaters. I love these. Throw this on with a pair of leggings and your set.

here, this girl is wearing an overlarge blue sweater from storets.

4. huge scarves. Scarves have always been popular in wintertime, but now we’re looking at scarves that eat your chest. Or look like it anyways.

This girl is wearing a huge wrap-around scarf. doesn’t she look comfy and warm? it’s from topshop.

5. Boots. This years favorite kinds of boots include: vintage cowboy boots, kneelength, boots with leg warmers, and biker/army boots. Uggs are out, people. They are ugly as futch and make you look like a ugly eskimo.

this fashionista is wearing leather knee-length black boots. I love em, and they’re from Zara.

well, those are my top five trends for this winter. Came a little late, but I watch people make the trends first, not the stores. enjoy !

a taste of my poetry…

I sometimes feel as though my soul has a mouth which cries through my eyes—

Dark nights, it weeps, this shadow-like portrait of myself

And even when I close those flowing lips, still I feel the swell of the tide

Until the woes of me come flooding out like the Nile

There is no sadness quite like this disparity, complete abandon;

Lying in a dark hole that grows but never fills, calling out to those

Plastic dreams that never last and people who come and go unnamed,

And crying for the dawn when the sun never rises.

The Savior is a cruel allure that sparkles from the safe, straight-lined distance,

And disappears when shone on the light of one in need of saving;

And in this shadow where the waves crash and break, I am alone

Save my eerie, ghostly reflection that says more than I can.

I sometimes crawl toward my center, feeling for a calm in the storm

The warmth I find is only tactile and never penetrates

Through my cold shell and chambers of my even colder heart

From which this dark and dreary spirit pours into my hands

I sometimes know why, I sometimes forget

I sometimes cry—unknowing

Always alone

                           —Jan. 4th

I haven’t written any decent poetry for a good two or three months now. Until some lonliness descended upon me from feeling the usual disconnect from the general public. Then I felt a need pouring out of me to express this utter black hole of despair I sometimes, sparingly but awful anyways, feel.

I found something interesting in Clifford A. Pickover’s book (as I always do) Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves. He talks generously about writers and artists, and the link between creative energy and mental illness.

“…a significantly large number of established writers and artists have had bipolar disorder…writers, artists, and composers who had bipolar disorder: Sylvia Plath (the bell jar), Whitman, Vincent Van Gogh, Mahler, Poe, Herman Hesse, Rothko, Twain, Tennessee Williams, O’keefe, and Ezra Pound…established artists have a remarkably high incidence of bipolar disorder or major depression.”

It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who feels most creative when wallowing in a pool of ick, and totally dry when happy as a clam.