Try to remember


I'm kind of dazed, unsure of what to say. Friday was hands-down the strangest night of my life.

Today: I take communion, sleep, peel a tangerine meticulously, pine for a suitable poem and something disallowed to do. Tremendously irritated with my pictures because they're so, so predictable.

Hannah driving back from the hospital at four in the morning, the snowflakes dusting down in the streetlights and stoplights like ashes, something acoustic, me in my ridiculous shoeless state with my throbbingly too-large eyeballs, but still peace, rest soon.

F-R-A-N-C-I-S-C-O in an ambulance

(Everyone's fine I just like I said am unsure what to say.)

Today received a letter which nearly knocked me off my feet

today received a letter which nearly knocked me off my feet
your love is a song
with my eyes wide open

Your love is a song.

Elisabeth

But I never call her that; I call her Nuch like everyone else does.

A beautiful and eccentric soul. She is from many places—Israel, Tennessee, Uruguay—and has a faint accent to show for it. An anthropology major like myself.

She said, I don't like my chin in that picture! When I lose a few pounds, then you can.

I said, I'm not listening to you!

People's standards for pictures of themselves are so silly compared to their standards for pictures of other people. No one else is judging you like that!










January

January

Things that are making me happy

ily


rain

highways

driving with phampants

songs I know from Guitar Hero

baby carrots

realizing how much I've improved my study habits

music: Lisa Mitchell and Death Cab

a possible on-campus job

a flat-rate box from my parents packed full of tangerines from California

laughing at Plato

reading aloud from Jane Eyre at night with my friends

seeing The Princess and the Frog with my old roomie. New Orleans, twenties glam, Disney princess happiness. And at the $3 theater!

in church when you all say "Peace" to one another

Grooveshark

my hot water bottle

free on-campus yoga classes + the hilarity of a too-slippery yoga mat

Illinois fog


This kind of sky is what I'm used to in my home neighborhood — white, shadeless, giving no clue to time of day.




It has been wet and mild lately. Whenever the snow begins to melt, I am surprised to see that the grass underneath was green all along. How?






I holed up in the public library this afternoon with my computer and textbooks. I meant to just blaze through my psychology reading, but I got distracted with these pictures that I took on my way there. My new camera is proving to be a good friend indeed.

Last night




Night is when it seems beautiful to me here. Night redeems many places for me. The sky come close—other people go to bed—it is quiet; there is no audience.

Last night I stood in the floor lounge with the lights off, watching out the window from on top of the heater. Footprints in the snow on the quad, the rainbow kind of Christmas lights in someone's room, the shadows of bare trees come inside the room with the light of our nights.

That is how this town is going to be redeemed for me, I think. Night.

So I hope you like nighttime photos, because I'm thinking there'll be a lot of them on the menu for the next few months.

I read ninety-nine books in 2009

The best:

Girl Culture, by Lauren Greenfield

Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott

Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta

Selected Poems, by Anna Akhmatova, trans. D.M. Thomas

Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings, ed. Miriam Schneir

The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh

A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart, by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Women, by Annie Leibovitz

Notes from anthropology this morning



Draft. Obviously.

Days on the moon

Most recent roll from Diana, from when I visited the girl from the moon at her college. [I did know her offline first, so it was only a semi of a blogger meetup.]









On Haiti and emotional apathy



"But though natural likings should normally be encouraged, it would be quite wrong to think that the way to become charitable is to sit trying to manufacture affectionate feelings....The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbour; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.
-C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity

I think this works for the question of how to care about distant tragedies. Maybe it helps you to alter the quote thusly:

"But though natural [compassion] should normally be encouraged, it would be quite wrong to think that the way to become charitable is to sit trying to manufacture [compassionate] feelings....The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you ["care" about Haiti]; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you [cared about something], you will presently come to [care about it]."

It doesn't matter whether the present suffering of Haiti's people has had a great emotional impact on you or not. That's not something you need to exert yourself trying to control. But if you think it's worth caring about, act in accordance.

Incidentally:
How you can help with Haiti earthquake relief efforts via PayPal & eBay

And even:
Click to donate to relief efforts in Haiti at no cost to yourself

Sadness come knocking

will sadness come knocking


But I didn't come back here to cede another semester of my life to it.

Haven't seen the sun in days and it's coming back to me how much I hate this town. It gives me a trapped feeling.

Notes to self:

Sleep is not your hiding place
Stop forgetting to take meds
You're breathing
Eat this tangerine, for soon it will be gone.

In the center of some season



















argh

As in "xo"

"She was a lovely lady, with a romantic mind and such a sweet mocking mouth. Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one within the other, that come from the puzzling East, however many you discover there is always one more; and her sweet mocking mouth had one kiss on it that Wendy could never get, though there it was, perfectly conspicuous in the right-hand corner."
 - J.M. Barrie
Peter Pan

I was so bored with myself and my pictures today that I lay down in the snow. More to come from that.

Snow and I are in the honeymoon phase at present.

Resolutions

Untitled

To be on time: to class, appointments, trains, etc., and in responding to emails and letters.

To see one new country and one new state.

To submit a poem for publication.

To reread the Bible.

To get the best of being back at college.

To take five hundred pictures that are good enough to save each month.

To open an Etsy store.

To throw away less food.

To rock the boat.

Back at college

blanchard lawn
quad


I love my classes. I attend lectures and read my textbooks and listen to music and drink tea with my friends and that's all I need. Really. I'm rooming with two sophomores who I do not relate to at all, but my days are so full of things that I love and find important, I don't mind in the slightest.

My classes are:
  • Political Philosophy
  • Old Testament in Three Traditions (that's Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • The City in Cultural Perspectives
  • Intermediate Modern Dance
And halfway through the semester I'll be swapping the psych class out for sociolinguistics. My, but I love my major.

Also, I don't believe I've mentioned that I've decided to do a gender studies certificate in addition to the anthropology major. Cue intellectual swoon.

I've been taking pictures with my cell phone in the absence of a digicam. See above for a taste of my new habitat.

HOWEVER I am no longer camera-less. I bid for a while on a Nikon D30x which eventually got out of my price range. (When I said that I couldn't afford a replacement camera, I meant I couldn't afford to make the jump up to one of the low-end DSLRs that I hoped would be my next camera...I was blogging in the heat of the moment; please forgive my imprecision.)

But I came to the realization that another point-and-shoot would still be miles better than no camera at all, and bought a refurbished Elph that Q recommended to me. Twelve megapixels for a mere $160. It came in the mail today and I am looking forward to some good bonding time with it.

What's been happening in your life?

First Chicago adventure of 2010

International No-Pants Subway Ride (yesterday). I'm on camera around 1:30. Video by Phampants.

Outburst post. Stressed. (Clearly.)

This morning I was monologuing wildly with my cat and roaring RegSpek lyrics over the vacuum. At dinner I burst (actually burst, which I have never done before) into tears because I was hired for three separate jobs this year and only got to keep the most low-key of them — dog-walking — and I still don't know why, and because my digital camera just died and I can't afford to buy another one or to keep developing this much film. And in between morning and dinner I started putting the next two months of my life into suitcases.

My dad said maybe he should pay me for a poem, commission a poem from me on the event of — and I sobbed, "On the death of a camera." I just want a decent camera with more megapixels than a cell phone camera (sadly not true of my late camera) so I can try to sell some prints. And then maybe I can be self-employed from the box I'll live in, because there seems to be something unemployable about me.

To ring in the new year

My family drove down to Southern California to visit our clan.

The Central Valley was actually rather lovely in its wintriness.



 I met my blogging friend Cassandra. We went walking and picture-taking on the beach in La Jolla, because I had never been to a San Diego beach before.

Cassandra
La Jolla
tide

Cassandra chasing birds

We've been mutual readers for about a year and a half now, but this is the first time we'd met. In real life, Cassandra is graceful and has a sweet voice. You can tell she thinks before she speaks, because her words come out perfectly considered and aligned. She got lost coming to get me, but then she got unlost. She runs to scatter clouds of seabirds.

tide
tide
tide

And I stayed with my sister and brother-in-law in their little newlywed rental house. I love them so much, and they are so good to be around.

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