Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shopping For Jeans: The Saga

Today I went to the stamford mall to look for some jeans.

That was a simple statement–one subject, two predicates. Was the execution of the statement simple? Let us see. I spent three hours in the mall today, and yes, I did come home with two pairs of jeans. One of those pairs is likely to be returned if I can find them in a shorter version at another store. But really, three hours for two pairs of jeans? Painful. I just looked at my hands and there are blue fibers under my nails. That is how many pairs of jeans I tried on today.

I always hate jean-shopping because invariably I go through six or seven stores and come out with nothing, after what feels like some pants-inured quest for the holy grail.

Everyone knows that the whole challenge for women when shopping for jeans is in how they fit around your hips and waist, and how long or short they need to be to the ground. Jeans were a great concept for men because they are made from a material that dislikes bending, and men are pretty much the same size from hip to toe unless they've been hitting the bean dip pretty hard lately. For women, however, the art of wearing jeans that fit around hips and butt but still make thighs look flattering is comparable to finding a piece of burlap that looks nice when wrapped around a blender.

Then, there is the complete madness of the shelves. Shelves that contain jeans are never in order, and half of the stickers running down the leg that proclaim the size are incorrect. The size that you want will, in fact, never be labeled, but just in case you then conclude that the unlabeled jeans must be the ones you want, the store has meticulously left just enough other sizes in jeans unlabeled so that you can't find a pattern in the system.

Stores try to make the process even more frustrating by folding all of the jeans into squares that make it impossible to see if they are straight leg, tapered, wide leg, bootcut or flare without picking up each individual pair and flinging it open. Frustrated shoppers who have come before you have already tried this method, so when you get to the shelf you have the option of picking through the stacks of folded jeans, or through the piles of abandoned jeans flung haphazardly all over the display.

Jeans hanging up are a little more helpful because you can gauge a little more quickly what they will look like. Pictures of the jeans' cut above the display table are also helpful. But for the most part, the whole process is still one of the most painful in the shopping world. And this is a from a woman who–trust me–loves her shopping.

Friday, December 26, 2008

writer's block

i feel uncreative. it used to be that my mind would be wandering aimlessly and i'd suddenly have this spark of inspiration, and i'd run over to my computer and quickly write down whatever phrase had come into my head. i could sit and write for hours; the stories seemed to pour out of me in a river of words and everything was fresh and new.

now i sit down and try to write and nothing comes. blank. even recording my day in a journal or in a blog seems trite and mundane. did my life become less exciting, or did i just use to see reality differently?

what is more, lately i look back on most of the things that i wrote and now they seem like crap to me. at least my thesis has some merit–not a whole lot, but some–and i would love to sit down and rethink it. but my fiction, my characters, my plots that i imagined were so unique and witty–they were all just imitations of already published works, other people's genius, poorly mocked by me. i am not a Poet, it seems.

how do writers write as they do? where does that holy fire come from–the flame that supplies all of the energy and wit that becomes translated into the classic novels that stagger me by their greatness? i could never write like austen, or doestoevsky or shakespeare, or faulkner. actually i could write like faulkner but i believe in punctuation. no, that's not fair. he won a nobel prize. anyway, lately i feel bummed that i'm not writing inspired, passionate works about the meaning of life.

maybe because i haven't found out yet what it is.

Monday, December 22, 2008

holiday fun at admissions

i truly have the best admissions office ever.

on friday we had our holiday party and had a healthy little competition in decorating gingerbread houses, and we ended up breaking down and forgoeing our original time limit of twenty-five minutes out of sheer need to win. courtney, ryan and i decided to bring together "the best of a classic christmas with a modern taste." hence, tiny tim and scrooge in the hot tub:

it was a tough decision for gail, who acted as judge, but in the end she made the right choice. which was of course choosing ours. here, a photo of the victors, proudly holding up our beautiful and unique creation:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

stresssssss

ugh. this has been a stressful week in so many ways. my mom called on tuesday afternoon to tell me that my sister had gone to the emergency room monday night with a gushing nosebleed, and she was choking on blood and couldn't stop it. the emergency room--and this kills me, for greenwich, connecticut--didn't know what was wrong and kept telling her to put her head back and not cough, which of course is totally easy to do when you're trying not to swallow massive quantities of blood. she said it felt like she was drowning. :(

so they sent her to the e.n.t. because they didn't know how to help her (in the EMERGENCY room). god. i hate to think what they say when someone comes in with an even more serious injury ("wow, he's totally bleeding and his eyes are rolling to the back of his head. maybe give him an aspirin? i dunno, what'dyou think?"). fortunately the e.n.t. was a much nicer experience, and they cauterized her nose and plugged it up with what she calls a nose tampon.

now she's walking around with her nose tampon, poor thing, but at least it's quelled the bleeding. now i just need to finish all my projects, read my applications, and contemplate the weekend.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

advent! advent!


little drummer boy, you still know how to make me cry. why am i always so moved?

i love christmas so much. is it wrong that claymation is part of what makes it so magical?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

strange science

last night lisa and i drove to hanover to do some christmas shopping and saw on the horizon what looked like the moon about to crash into the earth. it wasn't, of course. but it was, rightfully so, called the largest full moon in 15 years, mostly because it happened to fall at the point at which the earth and moon are closest to each other during the year. this led to a discussion of aliens, and of lisa consequently making fun of my imitation of alien-speak and their obsession with walmart (because its massiveness would convince any alien life form that it must be the seat of government).

scientists say that the oceans' tides are greatest when the moon is closer to the earth because they are pulled back and forth by the gravity of the moon and sun. and they say that the myths about full moons making people loopy are false–but wouldn't it be interesting if the gravity of the moon and sun did effect people's moods? i don't know how it would do that, but i bet there's a badly made scifi movie about it out there, somewhere, perhaps starring kirstie alley, mark hamill and christopher reeves.

and furthermore, here are some other unexplained coincidences that i think science should make a point to figure out. namely:
• why are menstrual cycles and lunar cycles exactly the same length of time, but have no relationship to each other?
• how do birds use the earth's poles to figure out what direction they're going in?
• how come bees can be taken miles from their hives and then be released, and can still find their way back? and if they're smart enough to do that, how come they haven't taken over the planet by now?

Friday, December 12, 2008

holiday cheer and web brainstorming in the burg

today is a great day! why, you ask? why only because we just had a super-productive web communications meeting w/ our friends in penn hall, and i think we've come up with some great ideas to spread the word about gettysburg college, and to highlight some more of the amazing things our students and faculty are doing--like the GRAB program wilderness adventure to colorado this spring, one of tons that they do, and in which they kept us all back on campus posted on their hiking progress through google earth and their blog.

now i'm off to our ees division holiday party and can't wait to be challenged by some extreme holiday trivia games--i have been watching all of my favorite christmas claymation specials on tv, just to hone my skills. what's the name of the bad guy in "santa claus is comin' to town" who makes toys illegal? burgermeister meisterburger.

yes. i am so ready.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

why does happenstance hate me today?

my only hope is that everything that is going nutty today, will be contrasted by everything going beautifully in days to come.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

christmas cookies!

kayla and i made amazing sugar cookies for christmas, and i took great photos, but unfortunately i cannot find where i put my flash drive, and so they'll have to wait. i know. without the photos this blog entry is pretty lame.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

i have the best job ever

excuse me if i have some pride for my alma mater, but it has just been announced that for the sixth year in a row, gettysburg college has been voted best place to work in pa. out of 100 companies which were awarded the honor, gettysburg ranked #8.

do you like my emphatic bolding? i do.

i'm sorry, can't talk anymore-must go sing my alma mater out in front of penn hall. web communications and pr will have quite a show if they look out their windows at approximately 4:30pm today. just a heads up.

Monday, December 1, 2008

labyrinth

december, i am sure, is full of tricks and surprises for me. some wonderful, others perhaps not. but at least it will be eventful, i am sure. this year's holidays, as always, recall how i spent last year's, and that unfolds a whole stream of meditations on where i've been and where i'm going.

it's always this movement, never ceasing, like the prelaid steps of a labyrinth. have you ever walked a labyrinth? not the kind with a tall hedge; i mean the kind with stones laid in the ground in a spiral, oddly enough a bit like the yellow brick road in the wizard of oz. you are supposed to take one step forward, and then two backward, one forward again, and so on, until you reach the center; then you turn around and slowly make your way out.


the labyrith has always fascinated me, as anything does that physically represents a spiritual stage in your life. if you could make your own labyrinth, what would it look like, and where would it go?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

testy

oh my lord, thanksgiving at my aunt's house was an adventure. five boys, one girl, three cats and nerf guns shooting nerf-sticky things everywhere. em and i surmise that some of it may have been showing-off, but probably the bulk of it is what they normally do.

they also have three of the fattest cats ever, who swing their bellies from room to room until they find you and come and flop down in your lap, rolling onto their backs. i loved them.

best quote of the evening: we were playing boggle, my aunt jennie, my sister, and my cousins david (19), christian (9) and gwen (10). at the end of each round we went around the table and everyone read out the words they'd come up with. david went last, and by the time we got to him, all his words had already been said so he said "well, i've only got one word left: teste."

aunt jennie, em and i all held our breath and looked at each other, trying not to laugh. then gwen perked up and said "oh! like someone who's testy!"

so innocent.

Monday, November 24, 2008

pie and the life of an insect

i have vermin in my house.

they are large, scary, insectoid type beings with big brown exoskeletons and lots of terrifying wavy tentacles. they sneak up around the sides of the oven and scavenge for food, and when i try to squish them, they scurry back into an impossibly tiny crack through which even my small hands cannot fit.

tonight i was baking a pumpkin cheesecake pie and one came creeping out from under the tea kettle. frustration welled up inside me as i reached for the nearest squishable weapon and once again it slipped back into the darkness before i could end its life.

it was a big bug. my mind began to wander and i began to imagine what it must be like to be this horrible, ugly insect. for some reason i started to picture it as an epic struggle, a constant battle for survival in a world where you are viciously hunted by loud, ungainly giants with kitchen spatulas and william sonoma aprons.

the insects suddenly have british accents and the largest one is gathering the smaller ones around him, saying a low, urgent tone, "listen, you must flee to the hills if i don't return before midnight," and the littlest ones are crying and being shushed by their mothers, when suddenly the air is filled with the deadly mist through which the faint outline of a large tube with "Raid" written on it–

–and then i remembered that the pie was going to burn.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

the greatest gift of all

today kayla and i decorated our little christmas tree, listened to christmas carols, and made gingerbread cookies. and the perfect end to the evening? the colbert christmas special. here, you can see jon stewart offering stephen a jewish alternative to the birth of christ:

if we only all could appreciate the greatest gift of all: being serenaded on a cold jerusalem night by rock legend willie nelson.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

wedding bells

my friend monica is getting married!! another friend engaged. i am so very happy for her, and it doesn't feel at all terrifying, as it usually does, to think of a friend engaged. maybe because we're a bit older. maybe because i met her boyfriend and i like him. anyway, i'm more amenable to thinking of marriage in general as a happy thing, good for society as a whole and not always likely to end in traumatic misery, as most of my family has been want to display.

love and marriage–not just a mirage? maybe. i should let life show me that the scenes of my childhood are not the fate of the whole world.

Monday, November 17, 2008

life: moderately entertaining

counselor fly-in tomorrow! i'm pretty excited; it's usually a good time and fun to show off campus to visiting high school counselors. other than that, life continues.

now if only it would snow, my life would be complete. well, my life would be complete with a few other things, as well. but you know. snow would be lovely.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a great week

i don't want to jinx it, but i may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

this weekend we saw west side story and it was wonderful. i thought i would make it without tears at the end, but yup, that didn't happen. oh well. let it be a testament to great dancing, lyrical singing, and overall moving performances. i think our musicals have room to be even better, but i definitely look forward to sitting in the balcony at the majestic for the next one.


on top of that, thanksgiving dinner last night was absolutely fantastic. now having volunteered for my second time to help serve the meal, i've decided that it's more fun to serve it than to eat it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

moral economy

i found on my computer today a short piece commenting on edmund burke, jane austen, and the idea of a 'moral economy' that i'd written senior year. my curiosity was roused to read it again in light of the present state of our own economy, and it struck me as very much relevent.

i had written it after listening to my english professor, beth lambert, stand up and discuss her views of what she called burke's 'chivalrous' ideals for government when he advised parliament to rethink their treatment of the american colonies.

jane austen, too, touches on this in the microcosm of her country villages. above all else, above her wit and her charm and her ability to see through all of the bullshit of the world, her first and primary goal is to show her readers what it means to act in the name of social justice.

though small worlds, her examples of moral and immoral leaders are subtle reminders of the dangers of social irresponsibility. sir thomas bertram in mansfield park struggles to control his slave populations in antigua, while back in england his children think of nothing but vanity, money, adultery and drinking. meanwhile elizabeth bennet teases that she really began to fall in love with mr. darcy "from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at pemberly."

but of course she does. that is when she discovers his humanity–that he is a competent and fair landlord, doting on and protective of his sister, and runs a moral household.

i hope we have come to a point where we will begin to consider more deeply, as i think we have as of late, of how the character of those whom we elect to represent us, reflects the our own character. i don't mean that the private lives of our leaders need to be splashed on every tabloid–but to quote a line from an old film, "my pa always said, 'never do anything you'd be ashamed to see written up on the front page of the news.'"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

salute

oh my gosh, it's november 9th already! hard to believe. i want it to be christmas already, but i start thinking of christmas in september, so that's just me. as it is, i had an exciting morning of church and then a trip to the dollar store to pick up some cheesy christmas things to send to my cousin richie who's in iraq. poor richie–he's really depressed right now, and who can blame him? war is dumb.

so i found a lovely christmas stocking, a stuffed raindeer, a glass jar with cocoa mix shaped like a snowman, and the pimpin'-est, tricked out animated gadget in the dollar store: a red convertible with santa and snowman figurines in it that bounces up and down and plays "low rider." perfect.

it's almost veteran's day so i salute the brave men and women who have fought for this country, but wish still more that they didn't have to. to you, my dear friends:
peace, love, happiness

Thursday, November 6, 2008

transporting sensations

another beautiful fall day. yesterday evening i was leaving the library right as the sun was setting, and it hit the white walls of penn hall so that they turned golden, setting off the vibrancy of the trees. i'd forgotten how beautiful the autumn is in gettysburg; i missed it last year when i was traveling.

it makes me think of marianne dashwood remembering the beauty of her childhood home as the autumn leaves are falling. isn't it nearly always that what we remember is so much more beautiful than when we see it anew? ah, autumn leaves...

"dear, dear norland! …with what transporting sensations have i formerly seen them fall! how have i delighted, as i walked, to see them driven in showers about me by the wind! what feelings have they, the season, the air altogether inspired!"

and yet, when caught unawares, i am still momentarily stilled by the quiet elegance of so much natural beauty around me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

new hope

wow. i can't believe it. barack obama is president! ok the entire planet is talking about this so i'd be just in denial of this monumental event if i pretended it wasn't a big deal. some conservatives are crying that the entire country really just wants to remain conservative, but i rather feel that that was disproven last night. we've had eight years of conservatives, and eight years of liberals before that. time for the pendulum to swing again.

i can't stand it-i feel i will burst. there's so much possibility of happiness; the world is on fire, sparking with potential.

Monday, November 3, 2008

judgment

i had a frightening and strange dream last night. i was in the jungle, or in some tropical place, and was pushing through bushes and tree branches trying to follow a stone path that wound through the jungle floor, and then came to a wall of rock. a set of stone steps were carved into the rock and i followed them up into the open air.

i was with my family, i think, or at least my dad, and when we reached the top of the stairs we found ourselves on the edge of a low precipice that sloped back into the bush, with little huts and other 'village'-esque elements all around. someone beckoned us into one of the huts and when we went in, we saw little statuettes and i realized that this was some tourist trap and felt mildly put off by the pandering of these pieces of religion.

then the dream changed and i was walking by myself through jungle again, only this time the foliage shifted into something more or less what you'd see in new england or parts of pennsylvania. i was following a long line of people who were marching towards a clearing up ahead.

here's where the dream becomes sickening. every single person in this line had a pike thrust through their body and jutting out of their mouths, almost in the way people used to be beheaded and then have their head put on a pole for display. it was awful. it was like they were still alive, and yet they were all suffering such agony. were they murdered, dead, alive?

i ran ahead but in doing so i had to run down the whole line of them, face after face of horrible disfigurement, but still i ran until i came to the clearing. and then before me were suddenly two lines, one on either side of me, of these poor people, and the lines tapered to an end at the clearing where a podium stood in the middle and an old man bent double over it, clutching the sides for support.

he had long scraggly white hair and an equally long beard, and it hung about him in a matted mess. his eyes were sunken in and his skin was completely lifeless. and then i felt a wave of it. some great evil had happened because of him–it was he who was responsible somehow for the mass murder of the bodies snaking towards him, and his milky eyes were cold, as if he sensed their protest.

then the speared bodies raised their arms and they were suddenly holding bows and arrows. it was a tribute. they had been conquered to be part of some army, and they were supposed to display their arms. in one movement they raised their bows, at first i thought in salute, but then they all aimed them at the old man. i watched him as his face contorted with rage and suddenly there was a flash of lightning.

by now i was standing practically next to the old man, and watched him look down in his left hand, in which had appeared a small ivory obelisk. it had an etching of Jesus Christ on it in dark reddish brown tones. he rubbed his thumb over it and looked up at the bodies before him, momentarily uncertain.

my own indignation and anger increased towards him as i took in this holy image of peace. my mind whirled around this strange thought from out of nowhere: Christ is angry that he has murdered in His own name. this is the final judgment.

as the old man looked down at his hand and then slowly up again at the arrows aimed at him, i sensed his fear, but i was pulled back and drifted away from the clearing before i could see what became of him, and the dream faded.

i woke up, feeling sickened. some of the messages in my dream are obvious, and yet, it was so random.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

serious accomplishment

ladies and gentlemen, i cleaned my whole house today.

this can't be taken lightly, as i've just finished six weeks of travel and the whole place was a horrendous mess. i vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed, wiped, plucked (you don't want to know), swept, dusted, folded, sorted, rearranged, and redeposited the cat whenever he got in the way by coming over to check out what i was doing (which was pretty much all the time).

i think i want to recover the couches, but that's a project for another day. besides, couch covers are expensive, and i'd rather buy shoes.

i look excessively forward to regaining a normal living pattern now that i'm home. i especially look forward to sleeping in my own bed, even if it is slightly uncomfortable because i need a real mattress. one day....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

delicious drama


i'm so excited to be almost done with travel and back in lovely gettysburg! and also quite exciting, coming up next week the owl and nightingale players present west side story at the majestic theatre in downtown gettysburg.

my personal favorite performance at the majestic was, of course, my own. not that i'm biased. but seriously, it was so much fun to collaborate with all of the gettysburg choirs to sing for the reopening of the majestic. if you haven't checked it out, walk into town and ask for a free tour (they actually give them). it makes you feel like you should be wearing elbow-length gloves and a long, slinky red cocktail gown.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

america: time to grow

despite stresses this week which are inevitable while traveling, i had a fantastic day on sunday. first, i arrived saturday evening at the hilton garden inn in williamsburg and unwound for the evening, sinking into blissful sleep. i slept in on sunday until 8:30am (beautiful) and then went and had a free breakfast (compliments of my hilton honors (TM) gold membership), consisting of orange juice, coffee, eggs, bacon, made-to-order french toast with powdered sugar, and strawberries and canteloupe. plus the waitresses were all super-nice; i think everyone is in virginia, but especially in williamsburg, perhaps because of the tourism, they seem to take special care to call you "honey" and ask how your day is.

after showering, of which i will not go into detail, i dressed and drove to the williamsburg visitor's center, parked, and walked across the bridge towards the historic area.

williamsburg is so neat. it's cheesy and obviously only fractionally accurate to eighteenth century life, but still so much fun. you can try on bonnets in the millinery, and tour the house of burgesses, maybe sitting in on a court case, and watch parades of fife and drum corps march down duke of gloucester street. but i say 'fractionally' not because historians haven't done their homework; indeed it's one of the most thoughtfully recreated historic towns that i've heard of--but because it's impossible to recreate the spirit of an era in its entirety because your interpretation is always filtered by the spirit of your own era and experiences.

at the same time, we can learn so much from history by viewing it from a modern lens...what it means for a tourist from 2008 to listen to a black slave talk about his daily life and show you the fields where he labors, and the shack in which he sleeps. or to sit down with a housewife outside her home and chat about the new popularity of coffee and the scarcity of pins. or to hear sounds of gunfire, then hasten over to the magazine to watch militiamen defend their supplies from quartered british soldiers. duh it's all acting. but it makes you think about where we've come from and what's changed today--and what hasn't.

i read today about the white supremacists (incidentally extremely unattractive) who "fighting for what this country stands for" were aborted in their plot to assassinate barack obama and several african-american school children. it reminded me of the plaque cemented to the pavement of that walkway leading from the visitor's center into historic williamsburg. if you stand with your back to the historic area, you read the following:
"democracy: a work in progress"

well, time to progress, america--ghandi was right: be the change that you want to see in the world.

Friday, October 24, 2008

get in touch with your inner eighteenth century


i am totally psyched to go to colonial williamsburg this weekend! i plan on stopping on my way to virginia beach for my last week of fall travel.

here are some of the highlights to experience in colonial williamsburg:
-beautiful fall leaves and eighteenth century autumn decorations on houses
-men in knee breeches and frock coats
-virginia's new government to debate the need for a national bill of rights
-fresh, soft gingerbread! mmm
-the local apothecary, blacksmith, and my favorite of course, the millinery

i don't know why i love colonial williamsburg so much. it's not merely that this blog is named after my senior thesis, which focuses on jane austen and eighteenth century concepts of marriage and social harmony.

i think it's that it was the time for an expansion of thought in every direction-politics, social contract, education, economy, gender relations, race, equality. not that everything was equal and liberal in the 1700s. but it was the age of women's first extensive foray into the trade world, of landed gentry and poor man alike calling the need for representation in government, and of john adams vehemently declaring that the clause condemning slavery in the original declaration of independence must not be striken from it--but alas it was. so was the eighteenth century not perfect.

but still a foundation for thought.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

technology has turned against me!

can't use email. 155 messages await their delivery patiently in my outbox. i guess they'll be waiting a bit longer. bed now, and contemplation.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

tuesday

i feel oddly lighthearted about tuesday. normally tuesday is vaguely disappointing because it's hardly anywhere near friday, but this week, despite feeling indisposed from a cold and sore throat, and improper outerwear for this sudden chill in fairfax, virginia, i find myself smiling up at the rich blue sky and feeling giddy with memories of happy childhood autumns, of pumpkin carving and jumping in huge piles of raked up leaves. can't we rake some leaves up outside the admissions office and jump in them? i would pay good money to see darryl do that, actually.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

in love with trees

ah, autumn. always so lovely. the trees are beginning to turn in gettysburg and this afternoon i took a walk on the battlefield. the air is still warmer here than where i've been traveling (such as minneapolis, chicago and milwaukee), and now the leaves are flooded with orange, red and yellow, while the sky is that rich azure that you only seem to see in october: my recipe, as i have said earlier, for a perfect fall day.

i wonder about the trees.
why do we wish to bear
forever the noise of these
more than another noise
so close to our dwelling place?
we suffer them by the day
till we lose all measure of pace,
and fixity in our joys,
and acquire a listening air.
they are that that talks of going
but never gets away;
and that talks no less for knowing,
as it grows wiser and older,
that now it means to stay.
my feet tug at the floor
and my head sways to my shoulder
sometimes when i watch trees sway,
from the window or the door.
i shall set forth for somewhere,
i shall make the reckless choice
some day when they are in voice
and tossing so as to scare
the white clouds over them on.
i shall have less to say,
but i shall be gone.
(robert lee frost)

Friday, October 10, 2008

huzzah!

good news: saw recently that the small human growing my coworker's tummy is doing splendidly. there were some funky ultrasound photos before so we were a little apprehensive, but now everything looks great!

this makes me feel like life is cool again, since my week has been kind of crazy and stressful and i seem to be having issues communicating clearly with others with the result that many people (aka, high school counselors, students, etc.) are getting frustrated. i don't know what it is--it's like the stars are aligned against proper communication. these are the times when my instincts tell me to go back to bed and not leave it until the winds change. but i must keep traveling.

at least i get to go home tomorrow *knocks on wood* for at least a week, and be in my own bed and drink from my own coffee cups. isn't it silly to miss your coffee cups? but i do.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

through a glass darkly

oh dear i love my life. i am so foolish when i worry about things that are truly inconsequential, when there is so much happiness before me.

i met a homeless man tonight and gave him my leftover dinner, and then felt horrible because it was not even remotely charitable of me since i wouldn't have been able to finish it anyway, but he was so thankful for it. it made me ashamed of my own blindness.

it's so easy to live in a bubble and get caught up in your own cares, but you just don't realize how much you really have.

for now, we see through a glass darkly; but then, face to face...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

traffic and poetry

such a day...it was cold (but warm, according to those who live here) and drizzling, and i saw five schools, had only a couple students come to my visits, but they were overall good visits, aside from the craziness of chicago construction and the weather. but i feel bad for construction workers, as they do very necessary work, without which we'd complain even more bitterly, and so it's quite unfair to get frustrated when there's traffic, when they're only maintaining safety.

i tried to imagine chicago as a sunny place, which is decidedly difficult to do in october, but i did my best. i am sure that, somewhere in the stretches of this mob city, there are lovely autumn days of golden sunlight and vivid splashes of color in the trees, with a rich blue sky overhead. i just haven't chanced on any yet.

the little cares that fretted me
i lost them yesterday
among the fields, above the sea,
among the winds at play,
among the lowing of the herds,
the rustling of the trees,
among the singing of the birds,
the humming of the bees.

the foolish fears of what might happen,
i cast them all away,
among the clover-scented grass,
among the new-mown hay,
among the husking of the corn,
where drowsy poppies nod,
where ill thoughts die and good are born--
out in the fields with God.

Friday, October 3, 2008

on a sadder note

i just found out that the mother of a good friend has extensive lung cancer, of the kind which we can't hope for much good. what do you say to that?

nothing, because every kind of consolation is impossible when you're twenty-three and you know that you're about to lose your mother.

another award-winning moment

i accidentally got into somebody else's car today, thinking that it was my own. to be fair, it was unlocked so it's not my fault if it looked similar to my rental.

that is all.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

vision

today, during my rep visit to the whitfield school, i was struck by a beautiful painting done by a student.

i had come a little early so i had to wait in the front hallway for someone from the college center to come and greet me. as i waited, i noticed the piece hung on the right wall near the front entrance, so i wandered over to observe more closely. once i started to look, i couldn't seem to stop.

when you first perceive a piece of art, your initial reaction is never intellectual, it's emotional. or at least, it's my opinion that if the art truly came from the soul, then that's what you see when you regard it. but it is always so, i think.

this was the sort of painting that you fall into. the brushstrokes are wide and curving outward, the body of the painting a range of deep midnight blue to aquamarine, as if the whole canvas encompasses the world and all of existence-and so this one did, actually.

it was a painting of all the major world religions, in harmony with each other. unfolded upon this blue-mother-sea canvas were six petals, like the peals of an orange, with a depiction of a mosque or temple or church, each in its own holy shrine. the holy places were all connected by a thick stretch of blue beneath them, and by intricate lines that wound around the painting and in between. the tips of each petal blurred alternately from white into yellow, orange and brown, or from white into blue and black: the spectrum of day and night. the whole seemed to express the sacred unity of purpose underlying all faiths, but the experience of beholding it i really only describe feebly. next to the painting the student had written a description and interpretation of her belief that every faith is essentially the same. i couldn't believe that a high school student had done this.

i had to tear my eyes away from looking, because at some point i felt that even though i were legitimately supposed to be entertaining myself, i had somehow sunken into a reverie that would have made it extremely difficult to suddenly spring back into my extroverted side as soon as my guidance counselor walked around the corner.

but i thought about that painting all day today, and about the relative idealism of a teenager; would she practice that wide-spreading love that we feel so freely when we're younger, before we're tested by all of the hypocrisy and cynicism of the world? how will we practice the values that we claim to believe?
i saw eternity the other night
like a great ring of pure and endless light,
all calm, as it was bright,
and round beneath it, time is hours, days, years
driven by the spheres
like a vast shadow mov'd, in which the world
and all her train were hurl'd...

Monday, September 29, 2008

to be, or not to be...happy?

a great day at work, a terrible day for the economy. but i don't pretend to understand half of what is wrong with wall street, aside from the obvious fact that it is failing. why that is, however, and what this bail-out bill actually proposed, or still less why it was voted against if it was meant to save the economy, no one can seem to tell me.

so i'm rather terrified with not knowing what is happening, which directly competes with the otherwise good day that i had. considering that it's monday and our office is so lonely without everyone there, i had a pretty nice transition back. my colleague, leigh anne, went for her ultrasound today, too, so i look forward to seeing the photos of twenty-week old baby.

so if i ignored the world, i would be singularly happy. but it's foolish to bury your head in the sand. even south park knows that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

tea and cakes and cakes and tea

a rainy sunday in gettysburg! today is a day to have tea in town.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

home in gettysburg

but only just for long enough to repack, kiss my cat, and head off to the midwest. i feel so impatient, but i don't know what for. it's like i must run around in circles to distract myself from whatever is sending my mind into space.

maybe it comes from reading david mccullough's john adams. he and abigail adams have always been inspiring to me; they both had such spirit, drive–passion in the vision that they shared for the future of this country. but they were apart so often and for so long, i don't know how they bore it.

what would they say of this country if they were alive today? i hope it would be positive. here, have some john donne–he always does me good:

as virtuous men pass mildly away,
and whisper to their souls to go,
whilst some of their sad friends do say,
"now his breath goes," and some say, "no."

so let us melt, and make no noise,
no tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
'twere profanation of our joys
to tell the laity our love.

moving of th' earth brings harms and fears ;
men reckon what it did, and meant ;
but trepidation of the spheres,
though greater far, is innocent.

dull sublunary lovers' love
—whose soul is sense—cannot admit
of absence, 'cause it doth remove
the thing which elemented it.

but we by a love so much refined,
that ourselves know not what it is,
inter-assurèd of the mind,
care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.

our two souls therefore, which are one,
though i must go, endure not yet
a breach, but an expansion,
like gold to aery thinness beat.

if they be two, they are two so
as stiff twin compasses are two ;
thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
to move, but doth, if th' other do.

and though it in the centre sit,
yet, when the other far doth roam,
it leans, and hearkens after it,
and grows erect, as that comes home.

such wilt thou be to me, who must,
like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
thy firmness makes my circle just,
and makes me end where i begun.

Friday, September 26, 2008

meditations

yawn. i miss my sweet love muffin. by whom i mean my cat. and no, i'm not ashamed that i have ridiculous pet names for him. he is also my pooky, my petite smook, and my little monster. i promise not to use such terms to any future children or husband...except maybe in joking. but really, i won't. but i can't resist with my kitty; he's too cute.

things that i've discovered in these first two weeks of travel:
-pittsburgh=reminds me of upton sinclair's the jungle, but i like it anyway
-ohio=some particularly excellent aspects, minus the extensive miles of nothingness
-michigan=mostly unremarkable

i realize that these are judgments founded on biased moments but again i can't help what i observe.

ok i'm watching tv and burger king just used the national anthem in its commercial, probably because of the debates tonight. i hate the marketing of patriotism. get off my national anthem, evil burger king marketing division!

nevertheless, i'd be a hypocrite if i claimed that i do not desire to wear the burger king crown every time i go in to get a whopper junior.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the passion of chopin

tonight i had a little chopin accompany my evening. no, i didn't play him, as there's no piano about in this hampton inn in columbus, ohio; and besides, i really butcher chopin so it wouldn't be pleasant for anyone to hear but myself. thanks to youtube, i was able to enjoy one of his nocturnes, which in fact is so lovely that i'll share it here with you. ok you should also here this one, since it's more famous so you may recognize it.

i do love musicians; and yet i don't think i could ever marry a man like chopin. i used to have such an admiration for him, because of that haunting portrait of him done by eugene delacroix, where his expression is so brooding. but, in the usual fashion of artists, he was so unsteady...and appealing as that is in many ways, the last thing i need is to marry a man who's even more unsteady than i am. so i still love him, but i'm reasonable. also, he's been dead for over a century, but you know what i mean.


p.s. i just noticed that there is a weird video of peasants on the first chopin piece. not sure what that is about, since it seems to be in german, which is even odder as chopin was polish and french.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

not only meaningful but sacred

traveling for the college so far this fall has made me deeply miss being a student. i don't mean that i don't love my job--rather, the opposite: that everywhere i go, i meet students who are on the brink of such a tremblingly exciting moment of their lives, and most of them don't even realize it. i didn't.

it makes me consider the thoughts that run through the minds of the students whom i meet. what about the ones who don't see college as a natural next step--not because they have other ambitions, but because they've been told that they're never going to amount to anything, or that they won't be supported in their efforts to get a college degree-financially or in spirit? what about those who really can't afford it? am i an elitist to feel sorry for these young people who won't be able to gain a degree?

being a graduate of a nationally ranked college myself, i of course have the biased opinion that, unless you are extremely motivated and talented, eschewing a college education is the equivalent of cutting off both of your hands. it doesn't mean that you can't succeed and have an incredible life--obviously a majority of the world does--but that so many doors will be closed to you unless you can prove through some other fashion that you've learned how to think. and yet, for all that my college fervently believes it can inspire young people to sense the world around them, i know that it's not the only means by which to do so, nor does every graduate leave with a profound concept of their place in the greater order. still, as one of my friends reflected when we were seniors, wondering why graduation was such a depressing prospect, college is "where you become who you're going to be."

another friend sent me a copy of the commencement speech of a writer who recently committed suicide, david foster wallace. i know--that's horrible, but his words were so haunting, not only because he said them before ending his own life, but because he grasped so clearly that an education--whether attained at college or in your back yard--is ultimately the culmination of your discovery that you alone hold the power to choose what direction your life will take:

"but if you've really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. it will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, loud, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars -- compassion, love, the sub-surface unity of all things. not that that mystical stuff's necessarily true: the only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're going to try to see it. you get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. you get to decide what to worship..."

~ek-onkar satnam~

Sunday, September 14, 2008

coco


i'm watching the coco chanel special on tv and it's so inspiring. i never knew anything about her life, except that she revolutionized the fashion industry, and introduced a corset-less woman.

Monday, September 1, 2008

sun moon stars rain

if by yes

ten points if you can guess the reference. twenty points if you can tell me what it means. to me it is hope. 'if' is possibility, and where there is possibility, there is always the possibility for goodness.

with that attitude ever-present (or at least i try to keep it so) i'm ready for the fall but still don't know what my future will bring, for my career, my life... i know–that sounds ridiculous; of course i don't know the future. but i have a bad habit of over-planning my life for all contingencies, with the need to control everything, and i'm really working on stopping that. it's ok not to know what the outcome of everything will be.

still, here i will take a moment to display my accomplishments thus far, due to planning and mental preparation:
• done: travel plans for pittsburgh, ohio and michigan (my first round of travel this fall)
• acquired: one (1) upright wurlizter piano with chipped paint and sixties'-inspired vinyl siding
• done: refinishing piano in more attractive oak or whatever the color was
• done: laundry at courtney's house while we watched miss pettigrew lives for a day

Sunday, August 17, 2008

mahna mahna

blah so i've been a boring blogger since i haven't updated in awhile. i've missed you, internet-friends...who are also friends in real life. and if you want to hang out, that would be cool.

of course, my busy schedule is one thing that prevents me from hanging out as much. i don't mean to make it sound like my life is so full of exciting things, because it's not, but i did go to ikea yesterday, which i find extremely exciting. quite level, in fact, with day trips to colonial williamsburg. aargg my cat just licked my lips. and you know where his face was a minute ago.

anyway, yesterday was a good day, as i not only went to ikea, but down to d.c. as well, where i saw the jim henson exhibit at the smithsonian and it was completely inspiring. it was in honor of our 'muppet family reunion', which to those of you who aren't familiar with alpha phi omega will make no sense to you at all. but the point is that it ended up being a group of random people who were able to go, instead of all of the members of the muppet family, so it was not the day we planned, but ended up being a lot of fun.

i was also driving my friend patrick down with us, and he ended up buying more at ikea than i did. that's the second time this weekend now that i've gone shopping with a guy friend and they bought more than me. and more domestic products, at that. am i an inspiration of some kind? i like to think so.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

i'm home from indonesia!

yes, my plane did not crash, as i had feared, after hearing about that australian plane plummeting 18,000 feet through the air before righting itself. i never used to fear flying, but after that i prayed the whole 40 hour trip home that i would land safely, no plummeting, no heart attacks from not dying but thinking that i might die. i'm not ready to face mortality; i prefer the freudian denial of turning death into a desirable thing, a la king lear. i'll explain it all later.

for now i'm momentarily in salisbury, ct visiting mt. riga and my aunt has taken me into town to check email while she does laundry at the laundromat. so no more for now, but i'm happy to be home and will have much to tell when i have settled back in gettysburg with my vicious beast, aka jack. i love you all and hope everyone who reads this is doing well!

peace, love, happiness

Monday, July 7, 2008

my alias:

vicki, aka our favorite hippo, was kind enough to find me this:

yay for otters!
reasons otters are great:
they are playful
they eat off of their stomachs

Sunday, July 6, 2008

lame, but true

i secretly love patriotic music, like "america, the beautiful" and "my name is richard henry lee, virginia is my home."

you know what i mean.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

survival techniques

i leave for indonesia in less than a week now and i'm a bit apprehensive. definitely excited, mind you, but nervous that i'll contract some horrible disease or stomach virus because my weak american body has been conditioned only to survive in a completely sterile environment, i.e., america.

i even had some stomach complaints in france when i first arrived there, and that was france. oh well. there will be so many amazing things happening, i hope, that i won't even notice if i'm rushed to the emergency room to be treated with five different medications to bring down the swelling.

bon voyage!

Friday, June 27, 2008

good forecast comin' right up

well, my aunt's wedding is this weekend. it's an outdoor wedding. and it's supposed to rain. and there is no tent. and no chairs. so we'll be standing. in the rain.

i stole a gettysburg admissions umbrella from the office today.

Friday, June 20, 2008

bbbedrunkennn

fabulous book club meeting tonight ladies. well done.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

almost-adventures

well, i've been proven wrong that you can, indeed, have adventures after 6:30pm. no, not that kind.

i was walking to the college so that i could play the piano in schmucker, but it was locked. disappointed, i pondered who i knew who had a piano. i called courtney, then darryl, but neither picked up the phone. being closer to courtney's house at this point, i decide to just wander over and see if she was home.

but when i got there, her car was gone, so i turned around and headed back towards the college. i paused by mcknight to rest for a minute on a bench, and noticed a girl in a blue shirt walking by me towards schmucker. i continued to watch her hopefully to see if she could get into the building, but she presently came back from the entrance, equally rejected.

i watched her round the side of the building and disappear from view. after a couple moments, i became bored and got up to walk home again. my path took me back around schmucker the same way this girl had headed down, and oddly enough as i passed by the building again, there she was, trying to pry a semi-open window fully open.

i couldn't help pausing. she looked up at me and laughed apologetically. "yeah i usually get in this way, but the window's stuck."

i blinked in surprise. "that's actually pretty clever." she nodded. "do you want help?" for some reason, this made her surprised.

"oh! sure, yeah, thanks." said she, so i dropped my music on the ground and walked up to the window. together we gave a push and ha! it went right up without sticking.

i watched as she proceeded to get a footing on a drainage grate next to the window, and hoist herself up and over so that her her legs dangled outside. apparently this was not as things usually go. "there used to be a chair here," she said, and finished by tumbling into the room.

i cried out "don't hurt yourself!" but she had already jumped up. now it was my turn. i had some apprehension, i admit; my window-clambering days had long been a thing of the past. before i could make the attempt, however, she called out to me, "oh don't bother. i'll go and let you in around the side."

thus ended my almost-adventure, but at least i did end up getting into schmucker and practicing. even if i did sort of feel old in comparison to this limber person. note to self: go to gym more often.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

first step: identifying the objective

goals for summer:
•gain mastery over underarm flab cruelly found only in women b/c of connection to breast tissue by regular toning and lifting exercises

•redecorate house. had dream last night that i found a beautiful bamboo coffee table that looked perfect in living room. will reality prove possible?

•pay off credit card and develop more economic lifestyle of eating and drinking (aka, not drinking b/c alcohol is costly)

•learn key indonesian phrases and basic understanding of language structure before leaving for indonesia so as not to look like stupid, arrogant american who expects everyone to speak english, even though they do, sadly

•train cat to stop breaking vases/flower pots/irreplaceable items out of plea for attention. will encourage him to seek attention in positive ways, e.g., cuddling in lap

•create photo albums and fill currently empty collection of picture frames that i have been meaning to do since last october

Thursday, June 12, 2008

top men of all time

harrison ford (in indiana jones/han solo years)
gene kelly
cary grant
johnny depp
james taylor
jimmy stewart
alan rickman
colin firth
josh bernstein (from history channel)
james marsden
patrick dempsey
jonas armstrong (robin hood series on bbc america)

other nominations?

Monday, June 9, 2008

progression?

approaching my next birthday, i begin to think again of where i've come from, and where i'm going. and in doing so, i find that i have gone all over the place and yet in some ways haven't moved at all, a bit like john donne's twin compasses that "obliquely run" and yet "make me end where i begun."

bear with me a bit; we're not done yet with the literary references.

i was remembering another entry from my journal from several years ago because i'd been brooding over the fact that a friend was getting married at what i considered to be much too young an age, even as i wished for such happiness myself. i had a dream then that i recorded and which i can still recall because of its vivid qualities. i offer it again as insight into my feelings now:
<><><>
june 13, 2005:
i dreamed last night of an intense, wonderful freedom.

i was with a large group of friends on a bright, sunny day. we were driving down a dirt lane with green fields on our left and a wood on our right. i sat in an open carriage with a young man who i couldn't really see; all i could see was the lane ahead of me, the horse drawing the carriage, the land, and the arm of this man-a black, tuxedoed arm-as he tried to control the horse. he kept losing the reins and i was laughing and enjoying the sunshine, and intermittently grasping his arm and the reins.

then we all turned down another road, all of our carriages, and came to a large clearing amidst tall trees where, spread out, were the interiors of a house without walls. suddenly we all split up, as if to play a large game of tag except it involved finding various clues and solving puzzles. and i found myself wandering down the lane and into a lovely field full of buttercups and wheat grass and i met someone from our party but we parted because we hadn't finished the game yet.

suddenly the field ended and i stood on the rocky cliff of the seashore and out among the shallows there was a large ship with sails, tipped up with its hull in the air over the rocks, like a beached whale. i asked someone where our name papers were, and they replied that they were up in the ship.

i climbed into the ship and was immediately in love with its ropes and sails and narrow stairways, and the bright, clear windows of the captain's cabin, but i couldn't find the papers. instead i found the ship's steering wheel and without thinking i reached out and turned it.

the ship lurched into the water, as if it were a great animal that could pick itself up, and began to sail.

at first i was horrified by what i had done by accident, but then i was thrilled by the deep blue sky in the horizon and the happy clear blue water. as i sailed, though, i accidentally ran the ship up against the shallows and somewhere i could hear my friend kristen chiding me to several girlfriends, "she knows exactly what she does and she does it anyway," but i knew that she didn't mean it angrily and somehow i felt as if she were smiling knowingly at me. i didn't care that i'd run the ship up; it was a challenge that i was happy to face, so i turned the ship away and sailed back on those beautiful waters, glad only to be the one who decided which way the wheel turned.

now, thinking about that glorious feeling of being out on the waves, in control of my own destiny and uncaring of what might happen so long as the decision were mine, i wonder what it means to be free. and what it means to be really, truly in love.

is it a freedom, a release, love? i never thought so, although in being bound we do have freedom from solitude, from loneliness, and from the startling unpleasantness of hearing one's thoughts echo back to one's head without being answered.

but for now the desire is to sail alone at full speed, "wherever the wind may drive the boat" until I find someone who is willing to sail alongside me and occasionally take the wheel.
<><><>
of course, as a recent disney film reminds us (yes! there is even wisdom to be found in disney!), reflection is good but brooding is bad:

yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery, but today is a gift;
that's why it's called the present.

Friday, June 6, 2008

i might have a ghost in my house

yep.

i came home the other day, and found that my bare escentuals makeup–and only this makeup–had been neatly arranged in a semi-circle formation. my makeup brush had been placed in the exact center of the semi-circle.

i live alone. and the cat doesn't have that kind of precision. and the likelihood that my landlord came over, fixed none of the things that i asked him to fix in the house, and then rearranged only some of my makeup is, well, unlikely.

i guess i shouldn't be that surprised; it is gettysburg. not sure how i feel about this. but nothing else has happened so far, so i guess i'll let it go unless something else inexplicable happens.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

birthday wish

i know what it is but i won't tell!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

a room with a view

"it was she who told me that you lived here."
"weren't you pleased?" she meant – "to see miss lavish," but when he bent down to the grass without replying, it struck her that she could mean something else. she watched his head, which was almost resting against her knee, and she thought that the ears were reddening.

"my father" – he looked up at her (and he was a little flushed) – "says that there is only one perfect view – the view of the sky straight over our heads, and that all these views on earth are but bungled copies of it."

Monday, June 2, 2008

a word on crust

as i sat down to table today to partake of the delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich that i'd made, i realized with a start that i was eating that sandwich with the crusts fully on.

you, my dear friend and reader, may not see the significance of such an observation, but to me the import of the event was groundbreaking.

for years i resisted eating sandwiches with the crust on them, to the point that to serve me such a sandwich was a wasted effort in sandwich-making. within the past several years, i have expanded my repertoire of tastes to allow that crusts may have redeemable qualities, and slowly but surely, i have begun to like eating the sandwich in its entirety: crusty, such as in a state of nature.

this acceptance of crusts is not to go unanalyzed. if we consider it for a moment, the crusts on a sandwich are like the parts of life that we initially find distasteful until we develop an appreciation for them. accepting crust into my life is, consequently, evidence of my growth as a human being and as a contributing member of society.

there are, i find, many benefits to crust as well. for one thing, it limits condiments on the sandwich from soaking through and getting onto the plate. it also provides a good grasping point for the fingers so that they minimally smoosh the bread apon lifting it to eat. crust, really, defines the limits of the sandwich in a powerful and irrevocable manner.

crust is the final frontier.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

countdown

birthday=18 days
indonesia=40 days

eep!

missing friends

last night i dreamed of my grandfather. first i was in greenwich, or france, or some combination of both, and i was walking down cobblestone streets and stopping in small shops. then the dream moved to a river and i was standing in a houseboat, which initially belong to my friend val whose job i took over when she left our office to move down to nc, and then it belonged to whitty, who also left to move south. it was hot and humid, and the sun was extremely bright. why was i dreaming of people who had moved away frome me?

then we were in a large house or museum... whitty was back there and she was telling me that i'd better eat the chocolate in little bowls on the tables before it was all gone. she disappeared, and then i was noticing the layout of the rooms, and there was beautifully hand-crafted furniture that i wanted to commission because the artist was so inexpensive.

a huge chest of drawers took up an entire wall in front of me; it was carved wood painted blue, and the center of the chest curved outwards in a large bubble onto which was carved a face, painted a deep red. it was a person, or a caricature of the sun or the moon. it was beautiful and earthy and calm.

and my grandfather was there and i started crying because i missed him so terribly, and felt that i'd never appreciated him enough when he was alive. he told me how proud of me he was, and how much he knew i loved him. or at least, he said something which i don't remember, but it meant: i love you and i know you love me.

sometimes language in dreams is startlingly clear; and sometimes it's confused or unspoken, but you remember the essence of what was communicated.

there is no greater pleasure

than sitting by a fire and staring, lost, into the flames.

the stars spread around you. you are alone and a part.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

long, productive day

today we were on staff retreat and talked about personality types and working to leverage our strengths and compensate for our pitfalls. i seem to be an 'infp', or in layman's terms, an introvert-intuition-feeling-perceiving type. this was both a very helpful and challenging realization, because it made me acknowledge that factual data and structure are often elusive for me, and i struggle to accept that others can see such information as important.

we did role-playing to challenge ourselves to play to a personality type that we were weakest in, so i had to do a mock high school visit to a group of 'st's, or sensor-thinker types who want facts, numbers and logic. it was like wearing an old man's shoe: awkward, and ill-fitting.

but moments of discomfort are moments where we grow, so i plan to keep on putting on an old man's shoe until it feels like a lilac silk prada kitten heel.

Friday, May 23, 2008

increasing yield

no, i'm not talking about admissions efforts on enrolling a larger class. i'm talking about gaining readership to this blog.

that's right: i have one more friend who has promised to read this blog, and thanks to him, i now have three people who swear that they read this blog.

that is, as my friend reminds me, increasing readership by 33%. success!

smile

tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. and that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with god and with eternity.
the alchemist


(ek-onkar satnam)


Thursday, May 22, 2008

more strange dreams...

...but i can't tell you what they were. partially because they evoked emotions that are difficult to articulate, and partially because they're too faded now to tangibly recall. that's the trouble with dreams; sometimes they're so vivid that you remember them from the time you were three years old.

and sometimes you can't remember them at all; but they leave you with a feeling that won't go away.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

good times!

chris is coming over this weekend! :)
goal for good times together=go see the new indiana jones movie!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

pensivity

charming in the dawn
there, the half-withdrawn
drenched, mysterious sun appears
in the curdled skies,
treacherous as your eyes
shining from behind their tears.

.....

all should speak a part
to the homesick heart
in its own dear native tongue.

brr

today is rather unpleasant.

Monday, May 19, 2008

what do you think?

should we allow henry purcell to be called one of the greatest poets of his age?

if music be the food of love,
sing on till i am fill'd with joy;
for then my list'ning soul you move
with pleasures that can never cloy,
your eyes, your mien, your tongue declare
that you are music everywhere.

pleasures invade both eye and ear,
so fierce the transports are, they wound,
and all my senses feasted are,
tho' yet the treat is only sound.
sure i must perish by your charms
unless you save in your arms.

metaphysical poets=amazing

Sunday, May 18, 2008

i am in love

with this:
i know; the desk and chair can't love me back. but at least they also can't break my heart.

and they're handcrafted!

Friday, May 16, 2008

plan b:

piracy.

whoa

have you ever been in a large group of people, and are chatty-chatty, and everything is going swimmingly, and then all of a sudden you completely zone out, the crowd rushes away from you and you find yourself, at once a part of and separate from others, standing in a sea of white noise?

and you think, what am i doing here?

and you're not necessarily unhappy, but you feel as if there is a time to be social, and time to be alone, and at this moment something has triggered your instinct for introversion.

reflection:
noitcelfer.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

relief

this week has been too emotional.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

weekend?

this week has felt excessively long.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

strange dreams

i normally have weird dreams, so i'm usually not really shocked when a real winner presents itself in my hours of somnolence.

last night i dreamed that i had gotten a new roommate, which i was actually contemplating in waking life, so that wasn't so weird. we were in a high school gym, however, for some reason, and discussing which spaces were his to use, even though i don't live in a high school gym.

then the dream changed and i was at an amusement park getting ready to ride a brand-new roller coaster. i have roller coaster dreams pretty often, and usually the roller coaster is out of control. in this case, it was a coaster created with magnets so that you sat in a car suspended from the track that stuck to it by magnetic force; there were gaps in the track so that part of the thrill of the ride was that as you sped along, the car disconnected from the track and 'jumped' the gap, supposedly to successfully reattach itself to the next bit of track based on the pure attractive force of the magnets in the track and in the car.

i was somewhat disconcerted but as usually happens in these dreams, everyone told me to not be so apprehensive and to appreciate the innovation of the latest in roller coaster technology. as usual, i was persuaded to ride it even though my personal feelings were against it.

i don't remember if we crashed; i think the dream changed at that point to something else...i was talking suddenly with the mother of a guy on whom i had a crush and she was saying to me how she would put up posters of him because he seemed to be missing.

this just goes to show that dreams really are completely incomprehensible sometimes.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

great expectations

i had no idea that buying appliances could consist of so much confusion and stress. i guess this is ignorant, but i kind of assumed that to acquire a washing machine and dryer, you simply bought a washing machine and dryer, and then it was hooked up for you. this is what lowe's promised in its commercials of charmingly befuddled actors who come into the store with a major home project that, upon asking a sales representative, they find–to their delight–that it's never been easier and cheaper to make vast improvements to your home thanks to the lowe's customer promise.

so i went to lowe's home improvement warehouse (TM) today to buy a washing machine and dryer and ended up with no washing machine, no dryer, and a new outdoor table and chair set. it was not meant to be this way.

the cheerful green table and chair set appeared before me almost as soon as i walked into the store. of course, this was cleverly done so that i would instantly be attracted to go and inspect, which of course i did. a little sign hung from it that proudly proclaimed "great deal!" initially i scoffed but when i grabbed the price tag hanging next to it and read $70.00, i realized that lowe's was not playing around, as one should not play around when lawn furniture is involved. there was only one box left of the set, so a guy moving the handcarts around had it brought to the check-out for me where i could pick it up later.

my journey finally brought me to the appliances section. i was met by a man who had clearly not found job satisfaction by joining the lowe's "team." for my part, i could have been a happier customer, but my one criteria, when asked what i was looking for in my purchase, being "cheap," i don't think i met his hopes for a customer to whom he could sell the highest end machines.

anyway, our exchange ended poorly after it seemed that the free home delivery and installation were only on machines of at least $400.00 each, and only if i installed an electric dryer. did i have an electric dryer or a gas dryer? i had no idea; i told the sales rep i would ask my landlord. i left the store to call my landlord and couldn't reach him. then i called my neighbors and asked what they had. "gas," the said. ok.

i went back in the store and over to the sales rep. "gas" i said. he nodded. "propane or natural gas?" he asked. i blinked at this new detail. i began to suspect that this was going to comprise of a lot more complexities than i had previously forseen.

"ok; so i can't get the free installation on a gas dryer?" said i. "no," he replied, with absolutely no will to live. "so," i concluded "i only get free installation and hook up if i buy a machine that i can't use?"

the sales rep paused, unsure exactly of how to answer "yes."

"yes," he said. i nodded gravely. "so, it would be better for me to buy this cheaper model that i can use and pay your delivery charge than to pay for the higher end model that i will still be charged for?"

he seemed unsure again of how to agree that that was the case. i asked him to write down the model number of the cheapest washer/dryer set and thanked him and walked back towards the check-out, where my lovely table and chair set waited for me to decide its fate. at that point, i was discouraged from spending any sort of money at all, but i decided to get it after all, and spent the afternoon putting it all together.

i'm happy to say that i love it and it was quite a redeeming end to my otherwise frustrating day. here is a picture i took with my camera phone, so it's not spectacular, but it gives you an idea of my new little outdoor area to relax and enjoy the sun. i plan on getting a firepit as well.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008

unfulfilled cheese longing

sometimes i say things that clearly separate me from other human beings in terms of weirdness.

today i went to giant to get some groceries and hoped, once again, that they would stock the various kinds of cheeses that i love. now, i have said in the past that giant has recently opened up their selection to a multitude of cheeses, and i admire that, but they nonetheless still do not carry buffalo mozzarella.

i know what you're thinking, because clearly the two people in giant whom i asked about this had the same reaction.

first i asked a girl at the deli counter, since the cheese kiosk is somewhat nearby. i didn't bother to ask specifically for buffalo mozzarella; i just asked if i could order something to the store that wasn't normally stocked. this seemed to be too much for her and all she could manage was to smile at me wanly and tell me that the deli manager would be back tomorrow.

i thanked her and moved on to the checkout line. i knew that i shouldn't have asked the woman who rang up my groceries, but through some perversity of human nature in which all i could contemplate was the sheer deliciousness of buffalo mozzarella, i brought up my question again to the cashier. she had basically the same response, but then she asked "well, what is it you want?"

i paused. "buffalo mozzarella."

as her stare deepened, her mouth dropped open slightly in some seeming combination of confusion and disbelief. i tried to explain, "original mozzarella is made from buffalo milk, but since everything is homogenized now, you always find it made with cow's milk."

she continued to stare at me. "you get it from a buffalo?"

"yes," i confirmed, and added helpfully "costco sells it so i didn't think it was too obscure."

apparently an unhelpful addendum, her continued perplexed staring made me too embarrassed to look at my neighbors in line for guidance. they probably thought i was crazy too. surely someone must know of buffalo mozzarella!

striking a novel thought, i offered "if you go to italy, that's how they'll make it. with a buffalo."

this proved equally counterproductive. as i got into my car and pulled out of the giant parking lot, all i could think of was the sweet, salty flavor of melted buffalo mozzarella on homemade pizza, and my heart ached.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

great band names to consider:

•busted cheese
•pants on my head
•butt of fruit
•tripe sponsor
•peanut butter & jelly controversy
•dental revelation


other submissions are welcome.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

virginia is for lovers

i can't believe it's may 1st already. a year ago today i was a senior, wondering what was going to happen to my life. well, i still wonder that quite frequently, actually, but my how time does fly.

i came down on monday to virginia and d.c. to do college fairs, and i'd forgotten how beautiful virginia is. and parts of d.c. for that matter. but more on virginia: it really is for lovers. i was discussing this with my sister; we were trying to pinpoint why, exactly, virginians seem immeasurably more laid back, happy and optimistic than your average new york city metropolitan area-dweller. is it the richer soil? the temperate winters? the abundance of waffle houses?

no matter which road you take from the north, at any point in which you cross from a non-virginia state into terra firma herself, everything becomes instantly more beautiful. this is not an exaggeration; i won't deny that i do exaggerate, but this is totally true. somehow, in an almost distinguishable line across the mason-dixon, to the south you can see lusher trees, greener grass, cleaner roadways, and lovely and vivid wildflowers that refuse to grow further up the road. and the drivers: careful, considerate, they let you pass in front of them without giving you the finger. can't we all learn a lesson from virginia?

when i was visiting high schools in the fall, i noticed that at almost every school i saw, students held the same view that they didn't want to leave virginia for college; i was annoyed at the time, since gettysburg is only 90 minutes away. but i'm beginning to understand, as i could only vaguely grasp then and on my numerous family vacations to colonial williamsburg, that if i lived in virginia, i might not want to leave either.

luckily gettysburg has a lot of lovely qualities that i admire in virginia, but virginia has it in the whole state. their state motto should be "you want to hug people when you come here."

Monday, April 21, 2008

a little marlowe is good for the soul

come live with me and be my love,
and we will all the pleasures prove
that valleys, groves, hills and fields,
woods or steepy mountain yields.

shall i go on? this is how spring makes me feel.

...ah, but

if all the world, and love, were young,
and truth in every shepherd's tongue...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

getting reacquainted with my memories

i am still reflecting on the enormously good fortune we seemed to have had yesterday on get acquainted day at the college: beautiful weather, fairly seamless event schedule, and lots and lots of excited high school seniors wandering around with their eyes full of stars.

well, maybe i took some poetic license with that last bit, but really, it was so gratifying to me to see how excited these guys were, and their happiness and energy mixed with my own memories of my get acquainted day five years ago, when i stepped onto gettysburg's campus and thought: oh thank god.

you see, this was because i had accepted gettysburg's offer of admission without ever having seen the the campus, and so get acquainted day had been my first actual glimpse of where i would be spending the next four years of my life. either i had taken a huge risk and would be largely disappointed, or–and i felt that this must be the case as i'd had such a good feeling from receiving the matriculation packet that it couldn't have been anything else–i would step onto campus and immediately feel the immense harmony and recognition of belonging that only someone can feel when they've made a huge decision based on very little insight and reasoning.

so there it was. i, watching the next generation of gettysburgians discover that the possibilities of their futures had all of a sudden seemed to explode open into the infinite, and i almost wanted to be a first-year all over again. take a first-year seminar again, go on my first-year walk, sit down with my advisor again for the first time and say 'i don't know what i want to do here' and have him say 'you can do anything'. and then finding myself going abroad, joining community service clubs, rediscovering music, writing a twenty-page research paper for the first time and thinking ha! i just wrote a twenty-page research paper.

flash-forward to graduation day when i sat in my ridiculous cap and gown on a white plastic folding chair out on the lawn in front of penn hall, and thought of the excitement of graduating, of feeling that at this moment, here was collegiate proof of everything i had done within the past four years. and laughing because kate stocker was the only bachelor of science in music education to be announced; laughing again when one cocky senior male kissed kate will on the cheek as he shook her hand.

and then in the instant that the ceremony was over suddenly feeling a rush of misery that it was all over. they call graduation a commencement ceremony to signify that this isn't the end, but the beginning. but how can you help feeling miserable, even if excited, that this world in which you flourished because of its endless possibilities, is now waving goodbye to you, pushing you out of the nest to put into practice everything you have learned while you were a student?

you might think it impossible to have such a mixture of thoughts and feelings over the course of a couple of seconds, one quickly succeeding the other 'in a quick staccato', as margaret atwood says it better than i do, but at least yesterday, feeling and remembering the feelings of everything that passed, it was fulfilling to think that these pleasures and new memories to be made were part of the next entering class's right. one set of parents, of whom the father was an alum, remarked that they still felt like gettysburg college students themselves, now in seeing their children matriculate. i guess i could feel that way too–and once a gburg student, always a gburg student. please forgive that cheesy ending because this college makes me freakin' emotional.

Monday, April 14, 2008

there are sick people

this is the most horrible thing. i've grown tired of joining facebook groups for various things, but i was invited to join one today to raise awareness of a man from San Jose who made an 'art' exhibit of tying a stray dog to a leash and leaving it to die in a museum. ugh. who could ignore that?

i won't go into the obvious truths of why this–no never mind.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

blech so sick of flying!

my sister was right; no one gets excited to fly. ok, well maybe they briefly feel excitement for food coming in little airline packets, and airline pillows, and looking out the window from 32,000 miles above the earth. but only briefly.

really, no one gets excited to fly; what they get excited for is to go somewhere and wake up the next day on a beautiful tropical island. so i just want it known to all those who think it's incredibly glamorous to travel by plane in heels and a business suit: it is not sexy. because sexy people don't have bloodshot eyes and rumpled blazers and don't hobble in their heels because people who say they're really comfortable wearing heels all day are lying.

now i sound bitter. i'm really not bitter, just tired. and it was fun to see boston; but i am so ready for pjs and my bed and my cat keeping my toes warm and everything lovely about being home.

the irony is that i go through these periods of wanderlust, where i tremble to get up and go somewhere away from where i am, always dissatisfied, and anxiously wonder if i will ever find somewhere where i know i would be truly happy to be settled. but i suppose the travel i do can't do justice to every city that i visit, as i spend most of my time in an unfamiliar rental car trying desparately not to kill myself or anyone else around me, which directly diminishes how much i actually concentrate on scenic vistas.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

manchego cheese!

i know i am inordinately excited over cheese, but you must admit that it is an amazing thing that giant finally sells more exotic products than craft american singles. i won't tell you how much a hunk of manchego or goat gouda costs, because i bought both, and if you knew what i paid for them, you'd reach through your computer monitor and smack me upside the forehead, à la V8 commercials.

but i don't care; i love cheese and tonight i'm indulging in annie's shells and chedder, made with organic pasta and goat milk. sorry, i have no more time to listen to your remonstrations. i have to go eat my manchego.

Friday, March 28, 2008

new car!

it took me some time to formulate why exactly i was so initially attracted to the toyota yaris in the particular jade sea metallic color.

then i realized that it was an exact throwback to the powerwheels (TM) little mermaid-themed convertible that i was completely enamored with as a child every time we went into toys-r-us. i seem to remember that it was a pale seafoam convertible with starfish on the hubcaps and a lilac steering wheel. and it had a sebastian the crab horn on one side. it was amazing.

alas, i have never seen it since it was that small, red-haired four-year-old staring lovingly in toys-r-us. wow that sentence had a lot of hyphens. anyway, here, at least, is my new car which begins to attempt to recapture what has now become lost to the ravages of time:

Monday, March 24, 2008

shh! don't tell

i have a secret crush on....
....gene kelly.

but i guess it's not a secret anymore.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

the touch, the feel of cotton

yesterday i treated myself to a trip to the laundromat since, being previously car-less, i haven't been able to do laundry since december. now, of course by now you are saying 'how the hell have you survived without doing laundry since december?' and the answer is that i did a lot of hand-washing, which is all well and good but limits severely how much you can wash, aka, not jeans because who washes jeans in the sink? at some point in late january, i believe, lisa took pity on me and let me do a load at her house, which was great but hardly covered the scope of my laundry needs.

but let me tell you that yesterday i did four loads of laundry, lavishly drying each load with two dryer sheets–why not go to town?–including all five of my towels–yes i own five!–and my bed linens, and last night i luxuriated in bed with the smell of fresh clean sheets which my cat quickly made work of covering with his discarded fur again. furry little stinker.

today i have clean clothes, a semi-clean house (i plan on taking care of much of that today), and i plan on taking a nice long walk in the not-quite-spring weather. and if i think of anything else clever to do, i'll do that too.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

oh to be a cat

check out this breaking news. it's basically scientific evidence that having soft, cuddly pets is the best kind of healthy lifestyle. basically, if you love sweet puppies with big watery eyes and little kittens with pink little paws, you have discovered the zen of true happiness. is that redundant? maybe. and yet i don't care because i'm too busy feeling happy about having a furry stinker of my own, the famous captain jack sparrow, named such for the scar left on his right eye from when he had an ulcer as a baby (i.e., like a one-eyed pirate).


hmm i guess you can't see it when he's sleeping. this is such a typical pose too. i'm always so jealous in the mornings when i wake up early and have to go to work, while he snoozes, taking up my entire bed, while i head off to earn money to buy him fake mice and kibble. i might enjoy being a beloved cat in my next life.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

goods and bads in march

so i should be getting my car on thursday. the downside is that regardless, i won't be going home to connecticut for easter as it's simply too far a drive to make if i have to be back for work on monday (yes i work monday–isn't that lovely?). so i'll be spending easter, the first easter in which i have done so, without my family and alone in gburg. fuuuuuun.

at least i will be seeing my sister on friday; we have a whole excursion planned to meet each other at longwood gardens just below philadelphia, and then we're going to proceed to see winterthur, the mansion owned by the dupont family who started longwood gardens. ok i know it sounds really cheesy, but we haven't been to both places in years and i'm totally excited!

longwood has acres of beautiful fountains and gardens to walk through, and my personal favorite, a huge greenhouse with lots of pathways and indoor streams and this huge hall with marble pillars and in the center, a sunken-in shallow pool with lily pads and all kinds of beautiful things floating in it.

and winterthur is such a cool house. the mr. dupont of the early twentieth century believed in promoting american trades and crafts, so he dedicated one room of the mansion to each state in the country. i love the new york state room–so federal.

this will make my easter not so sad :).

it's not just for the classroom!