To comment on the matter that I avoided the other night because the parties involved were sitting right next to me... I think I've nailed one of the reasons Eric drives me so up the wall. I resent the fact that he belongs in Jim's family by birthright, when I "fit" and appreciate things so much more than he does. I guess I wouldn't mind so much if it weren't so certain that I won't get to be a part of that family for the long-term. But as is, I just seethe.
And another, similiar. I shall wait.
Reminders to self—narrative vs. philosophy in Dune books. Will write more when there aren't a bunch of people sitting over my shoulder (not that I'm embarrassed, it's just distracting).
"Crossing 42nd is really just a neutered desire to cross 15th."
Chased the sunset a day early; my grandmother was worried I'd get snowed in if I kept to my original flight. Not a lot to say, really—got up, found maps of Japan for the grandparents, had lunch, sat in an airport, had a nasty bumpy takeoff, flew for a while, landed, ate some dinner... pretty standard travel day. Except I did get so angry at the last fifty pages or so of the Simarillion being lists of names. I can't STAND it when books do that. I want a story to go all the way to the back of the goddamn book. At least have an appendix worth reading! SHEESH!
I am reminded how much of a Barrick I am every time I visit my grandparents and keep my grandfather company up until 3:00 AM. I wonder sometimes why my brother didn't inherit the sleeplessness from Dad and Grandpa... but then again, he's always been a person apart from my mother, father, and I. Hard, hard to sleep at night when I worry about work, about school, about my future, about the present, and about all the maybes in life.
In other news, in re-reading the novels past Dune for the first time since I was 11, I find them barely more satisfying than before, when I stuck through Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, and finally threw my hands up in despair on God Emperor of Dune. A discontent with Herbert's explanation for the Jihad, with his method of revealing people's motives, and with his utter lack of ability to create characters who I can identify with. I have loved Dune, re-read it perhaps once a year for over a decade, all without really liking any of the characters (with the possible exception of Stilgar). It's been no secret to me that my love is based on the society of the Empire and of the Fremen, the societies that Herbert precedes to destroy in the later books with a lot of religious nonsense. Any wonder then that I appreciate the "prequel" books, albeit in a different sense?
Top reason I wish I'd brought my camera along : to photograph my cheerleader cousin's bedroom. It was probably the strangest looking teenager bedroom I've seen outside of a movie. Downright creepy. Also so I could have taken a before-and-after picture of the snow; 60 degree weather has reduced the snow cover down to 2 or 3 feet at Grandpa's, and less than a foot in town. Hey, at least it meant that I was able to actually get up here today. And now, let the true do-nothing vacation commence.
I am so incredibly thrilled that Miyazaki's Spirited Away got Best Animated Film tonight. He's deserved an Oscar for a long time, and I was just sure that they were going to give it to Ice Age instead. Bonus points to Adrien Brody for being as tactful as he could when he went overtime on his speech, and for being about as adorably nonlussed as an ACTOR has ever been to be surprised with his Oscar.
Well, out of all the things I expected to be doing today, going to the NCAA Women's basketball tournament at CU Boulder was not one of them. CU won, which made my Uncle Bud happy... I just found it interesting to be at my first basketball game in, oh, ten years. Grandpa and Grandma are still snowed in but we hope I'll be able to get up there tomorrow. I can only take so much of Aunt Nancy's family.
I was going to write something about flying and fear, but I don't really feel like it anymore—too tired. Perhaps I'll remember tomorrow.
Here's hoping I make it where I'm going.
Well, it was nice to see that my crazy religous Montanan aunt hasn't totally warped my cousin who I haven't seen in 12 years (since he was two). He seemed like a relatively normal kid... and certainly thought I was a lot cooler than the cheerleader cousins do. Some gratification for my day.
From an interview with an insider in the educational-materials industry, I think this is about the most horrifying prediction for the future I've heard in a long time : "When students are obliged to learn phonics up through the sixth grade (the focus should shift to reading stories at about grade three, according even to conservative academics) because this is what Texas has been told to believe is right, they sour on the whole idea of reading." How can people not understand that if we fail to instill a love of reading in our children (or at least an acceptance), we're doing a greater disservice than we could possibly incur without physical violence?
What can I do? What can I do that's unrelated, seeing as I can't do anything to change anything, meaning that anything related is destroying me. And there's nothing, NOTHING that's not related! I can't cook! I can't do anything online! I can't read! I can't even goddamn drive, because my parents have my car. And so I'm stuck, specters on all sides.
Pi(e) day, walks-and-talks with cuties, a reality show I enjoyed (TLC's Faking It), a gorgeous walk home with sun shining while rain sprinkled my glasses and the hugest freaking rainbow I've seen in a long time... (not in that order) 'Twas a good day.
Two finals down. Might as well be three finals down, considering the only one left is editing. Editing shmediting.
I had cause today to think about why it is I write this damn thing every (or nearly every) day. There's several reasons, of course, but I think the most prominent is the desire for me to have a way to record my own life. I first became obsessed with the idea my freshman year in college. I realized that a total of perhaps eight pictures had been taken of me since I was nine. That I had very little of my personal writings stored anywhere. That I had no idea what I had done on any given day for most of my life. For other people it's extremely boring to wade through days and days of "I'm tired, don't want to write anything," but when I wander back through my own archives, each date and bit of text, no matter how short or inconsequential, serves as the cue for my memory of that day. It may be a fuzzy memory (and of course, the system doesn't always work), but for someone with terrible long-sequence memory such as myself, that tiny cue is an invaluable aid.
What is it about funny kitty pictures that make me so much happier than I was before funny kitty pictures? Unfortunately, the ultimate repository of funny kitty pictures, My Cat Hates You is down at the moment, or I'd go and waste more time there. Perhaps, however, it's for the better in terms of my final tomorrow... which I've barely studied for anyway. I guess I figure that really, when it comes to this particular class, there's not a lot more I can do than have shown up and look at stuff on the bus tomorrow (shrug). Tomorrow, though... is going to be the kanji-and-grammar-cramming sort of night. Yay. I love it when you get tested on a whole bunch of obscure shit that you're expected to "know" but no one actually bothers to really KNOW because you can always go look it up.
The finals distraction has begun, inaugurated with a search for a decent IM client for Linux (as much as I like booting up Yoshiko for the express purpsoe of sending a few ICQs...) Got gaim installed, but it is so very very ugly. It probably wouldn't be so bad if Windowmaker was doing a better job of skinning it? I don't know. Anyway, John and Ty, if you see me online, message me, because I'm too lazy to go boot Yoshiko up to find your accounts. ;)
I hate hate hate the weekend before finals. Particularly when two classes are having finals the last week of class, rather than over finals week proper, meaning that finals week is effectively two weeks long. Twice the headache and twice the avoidance-of-doing-anything. Except finally switching over this page. Nothing accomplished over the weekend other than accidentally pissing off Kate and having to get a cab called for me on Friday. Hooray.
I really do think that A Life Less Ordinary is my favorite romantic comedy of all time. Holly Hunter is terrifying, though.
I didn't eat for 34 hours "today" except for the coffee I drank around 10 am. Ryan would be aghast, but most of my friends just take it in stride.... I flirted with the idea of just not eating at all; considered, when Jim asked me if I was hungry, saying no (I wasn't, really). Alas, my sense of responsibility kicked in, figuring that if I totally starve myself, I'll stay just as sick or sicker than I am, making me even less useful tomorrow than I could be. Not that that's very helpful anyway. Would that I could pitch in on the Perl, but no, I'm not nearly that cool. I just get to drive the boys to distraction with bug reports. Hooray.
Getting only about 4 hours of sleep a night, having two or three deadlines, and then getting sick... not really a good gameplan. Just a note to self, there.
Long letter will be written on Wednesday, I be with the promising. Long frustrating day today... what else is new? Meetings and more meetings for the last two weeks and all this week. I've been working ~25 hours a week lately, only getting paid for 20, and only getting about 2 hours of work done outside of meetings! ARGH!
Sad that my in-bed-by-midnight resolution only lasted about two and a half months, but hey, at least it lasted that long. Dreams and fluff at night, powdered with indecision and doubt. Days, a press of a leg, the brush of a hand, a glance, a momentary flight of imagination. Can't concentrate at all lately... I find myself admiring an arched eyebrow in class, a chance smile on the street, a dimple in a coffee shop. Missing the days of more-than-chance and intent and not-being-tired. Sigh.
Snicker. How predictable I am, ere the finals week does loom. Still a week or so off, but I'm in full homework-avoidance mode. I suppose I did get a lot done for TC 596 today (a LOT), but I'm not getting taped tomorrw in class on that stuff. Sigh.
I got my What's Playing? toy working again! Woohoo!
From scribbling on a pad of engineer's paper in the Roma today :
I saw a cat on the Ave earlier today, the same cat I've seen running inot Orange King occasionally. I wonder whose tuxedo'd cate she (he?) is, trotting around in the strangely warm February sun. Funny that I first saw her an hour ago and that just now, as I write this, she comes wandering back from her sojourn to Brooklyn or 11th. Perhaps the Thai restaurant over there gives her fish scraps?
Lovely piano echoing through the Roma today, soothing accompaniment to translation homework. The best part to coming in when I do is Peter's music choices. His smile, conversation, mochas, and discounts are all appreciated, of course, but it's the music that seals my devotion.
I entertained the idle thought a bit ago that he might somewhat choose music based on the patrons in that day (i.e., me, considering how often our conversations run to music). Not the case, I think—simply happy accident that he tends to choose excellent things to play.
The schedules at the Roma will be changing soon, along with the quarter, and so perhaps some day before too long I'll have to change my own schedule again, adjusting my Stranger-reading and homework-doing afternoon to another day o fthe week. Perhaps Peter thinks it strange, or amusing, I showing up on his shifts; perhaps he doesn't notice or care. For my part, I feel that good music during my self-alloted coffeehouse time is too precious to fuck around with. Particularly considering that I'll soon be completely berefit of the experience for six solid months.