Monday, October 3, 2011

Empanada Woman

I am thrilled.  It is rumored that the weather should be done in the 50's tonight.  This summer was especially brutal, and I am dying to feel some cold air on my shoulders soon.  I suppose I have been in a panic lately, thinking too hard about global warming, economies that are crumbling, the "bag of lies" fed to the American public, and can't help but feel like that panic is wasted time.  When the weather is extremely sultry, I begin to despair that it will never go away.  A cool wind is blowing in, and I am so happy.

I am getting excited about November-- National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner, and I cannot wait to get started.  I have gotten my account set up and I feel that this year will be a good one.  I am not allowing myself to begin writing anything until November 1st, but I am trying to hash out some sort of plot line or a character.  I think it will be a lot of fun.

The Academic Life (pt. 1)

I am thinking about the paper that I must complete tomorrow, and I feel like balking at it; "Anna Karenina" is staring me down and I would much prefer to read it rather than write a paper on the economic and environmental climate of Uruguay. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happiness and Wine

I was once compared to a bottle of wine; I came to realize that the kind of wine itself wasn't revealed, just the price of that wine.  A shameful comparison, mon frere; je suis une bouteille de champagne extrêmement rare.  I have been thinking of what it is that life is, and how strange and awful it can seem, and how wonderful and delicate, and so hard to hold onto in the end. 

Three days ago I came home to find a new statue of Ganesh upon my desk, on top of the copy of the Brother's Karamazov that my husband bought me, accompanied by a love letter written to remind me that Diwali was less than two months away.  My husband adores Diwali-- I was absolutely touched by this gesture.  Today he bought me a Brahma head to put on the mantle above our fireplace, which we filled with books yesterday (we needed the extra storage space).  He has given me a number of loving gifts; a record player, a kalimba, Santeria candles, postcards from the Musee Orsay in Paris, knitting needles from Provence, a phrenology head as a wedding gift.  In all the time that I have known him, he has never compared me to anything; he refuses to venerate me on a conceptual level, and loves me for all the things which make me human-- runny noses, headaches, bad moods, dreams that are totally flippant, irresponsible behavior.  I love him so much that, much like what Holly Golightly said she would do, I gave up smoking for him.

I have begun taking weaving classes, learning how to weave on these big, beautiful, amazing looms-- my hands are clumsy and I kind of totally suck at it, but I am completely in love.  I love the difficulty that surrounds weaving; the attention to detail.  I have to pay extreme attention to every move that I make on the loom, and the loom takes no prisoners.  No comfort is given to the weaver.  All in all, the work is hella backbreaking.

So, back to what I was saying about the bottle of wine.  I was juxtaposed against the value of another girl, and was told that I was like a thousand dollar bottle of champagne, when all he could handle was a fifty dollar bottle, or something to that effect.  I find this funny, because I have dirt beneath my finger nails and am chewing on the ends of my hair.  While I see myself as a rare bottle of champagne, it doesn't really matter, because love is a strange equalizer.  My husband has never put me in a competition with another soul; bless him, I know that there have been many times that I have not been so generous with him.  I've come to comprehend exactly how happy I am with him; how thoroughly fulfilled. 

Love, for it to be fully realized, must be so consuming that it becomes business as usual.  There are fifty dollar bottles of wine that suffice, and then there are those whose extraordinary price is no longer important, because it withstands time and it surpasses place and reason.  There are girls with shiny engagement rings on their fingers who have not been thoroughly honored, and kept out of convenience.  What a pity, what a shame.  I should perhaps be tipped over and spilt out of my contents, but will remain remarkable for simple being. 

Isn't that what the price tag was all about?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Anna Karenina/ The Devil and the White City/ Russian Winter/ The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist

Dearest gentle reader,

Since we last spoke I have finished three books and have gotten myself lost in nearly two hundred pages of Anna Karenina, supposedly the most important novel.  Ever.  This is according to multiple sources, including but not limited to Vladmir Nabokov and Orham Pamuk.  With names like that, what isn't to trust?  Reading is one of the only meaningful actions in my life; that, and the recent omnnipresence of weaving and giving French lessons.  I am sitting at my desk at the moment, this most locus that has become sacred, like a holy place.  Sitting at a desk makes me want to sigh in the way I imagine Proust did, and it makes me want to drink too much coffee, and live a life, whatever that means.

I have a test over genetics tomorrow, to which I stick out my tongue and roll my eyes.  I made a mistake with this semester, a grave and deep mistake that I am paying for now in my apathy.  Perhaps if I put in the slightest effort I can pull B's in my science classes.  For the love of all that is good in this world, what on Earth was I thinking?  Anthopology et moi, je n'aime pas.  Merde.

What I am thinking about Orham Pamuk, Jorge Luis Borges, J.M. Coetzee, Madame Bovary, Anna and Count Vronsky. 

Adieu, Bon Nuit, Manger mon merde, etc.

Hailey

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On Cleopatra, and, you know, other things.

Three days ago I finished the extensive reading on Cleopatra that I wrote about a few posts ago.  I am so glad that I decided to read it-- beautifull written, wonderfully delivered, fully realized.  It was a fantastic merging of historical fact, archaeological sentiment, literary theory, gender studies, and social commentary. 

I say that I am glad that I read this book, because I am often nervous about reading a book on Cleopatra.  So much of Cleopatra's historic legacy is lost in a fog of personification, lust, obsession, and a desire for a greatness that was and absolutley wasn't there to begin with. 

I find reading to be a terribly rewarding aspect of my own life, something that adds beauty and charm to my day-to-day existence.  I cannot help but feel that reading is important, life affirming, essential, something tremendous and meaningful, and something sometimes difficult to attain.  Books aren't cheap, and time isn't cheap either.  I am feeling bummed out over my semester, because there isn't a whole lot of literature involved in it, and I feel mired in a pit of archaeological doom and gloom.  One of my professors is a former forensic anthropologist that delights in the relating of stories about headless torsos, skin sloughage, serial killers, and pirates.  I don't know what I was thinking what I signed up for a bunch of technical classes...

I suppose I actually do know what I was thinking, and I can relate the kind of doom and gloom that I felt in the days that led up to the first week of school.  I was feeling a real doubt in myself, as well as in the point of reading books.  I suppose I felt that my desires and dreams were of little tangible value, and were therefore of no use and should be abandoned.  This attitude is one that I often take, and I cannot wait until, like the skin on a corpse 3-7 days into decomposition, can be sloughed off and removed for good.  (Isn't that just disgusting??!)

Until next time.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Last thoughts of the day

So, it appears that I am going to re-try writing in this blog (again)-- and I just ran across my favorite video (you know, like, ever):



If this video doesn't make you shed at least one tear, there is an issue of perspective that needs to be addressed.  The first time I watched this, I was crying uncontrollably.  I couldn't understand why I was sobbing with this great urgency, until I was aware of how unbelievablely amazing the human mind and spirit can be.  The ability to create, the ability to express, this beauty is almost too much for the human heart to bear. 

I just thought it needed sharing.

I found the "Happy New Year!" post that I forgot to put online. Here it is:

Happy New (September?)




















I might have lost my leg in the war...

What war?
The War of Love.
--The Felice Brothers

The above lyrics have absolutely nothing to do with this really, really past-due post, other than being a song that I adore.  Now that I am positive that any readership that I might have formerly enjoyed in completely gone, I can finally do something about my blog.  I don't know why I suddenly quit writing, but I do know that I have reached an impasse on my reading.  My book purchasing has overshadowed my ability to read, and thereby has become a chaotic mess.  I can't figure out a good system of organization for my reading list.  My husband, bless him, has the ability to make a Queue and stick to it, where I stack books and re-stack them to infinity, making no progress whatsoever.  My books and I enjoy a complicated relationship; I cannot do without stacks of books-- but lately, I have been having a hard time remembering what it is that I am reading and what it is that the pages are communicating.  My background in neuroscience is nil, so I am only assuming that the difficulty that I am experiencing has something to do with my lack of writing information down.

--Reading and diary keeping must go hand and hand, methinks.  I simply do not have the ability to remember all of the books that I have ingested without some sort of tangible form of record keeping.--

I have two stacks of books before me, one a foot high and the other three feet tall.  While I feel that the books take a divergent course, there is a sort of blending in regards to subject matter.  To decide which volume to begin with is confusing and a careful choice must be made.  I am debating between "The Invisible Mountain" by Carolina de Robertis, "Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions" by Lucy Hughes-Hallet. 




Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Literacy

Did I take too long in between posts?  I feel like I have.  I had to take time out from writing in my blog to do other things, like begin finally attending college. That was important.  Oh, yes-- very important.

Two things have become painfully real for me over the past few days:

There is no way in hell that I am going to be a French major.  As much as I love the language, there is no way that I could spend my life trying to learn another language.  And there is one reason for that:

People in my country cannot speak their own langa franca; in college (yes, it is a community college-- I understand this, but that should be no excuse) I have heard an amazing amount mispronunciations of easy words, I have witnessed fellow students stumbling over easily spelled out words; easy concepts like objectivity vs. subjectivity; bad penmanship runs rampant, and a staggering amount of students haven't the ability to understand a three page long story written by Garrison Keillor.



So, what is a girl to do?  A girl who is fairly literate, who enjoys the written word, and would blow a fortune in a bookstore if possible.

Son, there is only one answer to what I am feeling.  I am going through college to help those around me become literate.  Not testing literate, not I can read stop signs literate-- but for the love of all things Holy-- people need help learning how to actually read.



Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review: Lady Chatterley's Lover

As many of my readers know (thanks, both of you) I have been reading Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence.  I have sworn that not only would I obsessively up my readership, I would also include book reviews (for my own good, for your own good, just to make a point, because I feel like, because my analytic writing is really horrifying so I must find some way to improve it, etc...) on my blog.  I hope that the more of these I do the better they become.

I think that there are enough social parameters that I can skip over when it comes to this novel-- it was banned for obscenity, it contains language that was considered unacceptable, etc.  As I had written previously, this was the first D.H. Lawrence novel that I have read, though I have read some of his short stories and I wasn't unaware of him as a writer, and I had some concept of him as an artist.  I had a friend who was obsessed with good ol' D.H. and would claim up and down that there wasn't a writer in print who could match Mr. Lawrence at fiction.

There is no great action in this novel; most of the work happens within conversations and private thoughts.  The novel is known for obscenity and for sex-- as a post-post modern reader this is, of course, funny and uncomfortable.  The sex, and there is a bit of it, is not at all obscene by today's standards.  This was the first book of 2011 that I have finished, and after a point I had to start kicking myself into reading until the book was finished.  I enjoyed it, and I could understand and identify with some parts of the narrative-- but I couldn't help but be off-put by the overwhelming feeling that D.H. Lawrence couldn't really understand the female psyche at all.  I'm sure that this is something that most female readers can appreciate and identify with; I have heard the same sentiment uttered on other female ran book review blogs.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Grand Master


Bonne Annee, mon frere et mon amis-- Bienvenue!  I haven't written since 2010.  I wanted to start my blog out fresh and give myself a few days to figure out why I decided to write a blog in the first place.  It initially began out of the inspiration to create a fashion/ style blog, but I believe that the vision has changed.  A lot of what has been going on my life has been a moving away from style/ looks/ shopping etc., and has moved more into the field of reading, writing, thinking, seeking, eating (not eating), adoring, feeling-- with certain mixtures of anxiety, hopefulness, sloth and rude will.  Also, not having a camera is a hinderance in me being able to make a style blog.  C'est la vie, non?



Today actor Pete Postlethwaite died of Cancer; I don't usually take much notice of celebrity deaths but his was special; or rather, he was special.  He played the part of Friar Laurence in Baz Luhrman's Romeo+Juliet and delivered one of my favorite Shakespearean monologues, which I transcribed below:

The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels:
Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer and night's dank dew to dry,
I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
The earth that's nature's mother is her tomb;
What is her burying grave that is her womb,
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find,
Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some and yet all different.
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give,
Nor aught so good but strain'd from that fair use
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power:
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.


 find myself quoting parts of the soliloquy often-- that and with several from Hamlet which I am sure to get to sooner or later.




I am smack in the middle of reading my first D. H. Lawrence novel "Lady Chatterley's Lover" and I find myself wondering why on earth I hadn't read any of his novels before.  His writing is sublime-- quite English, quite sublime.  I want to, one day soon, write eloquent and important summaries of what I read and accurately transcribe my thoughts and feelings without being too abstract or too forceful and mechanical.

I have also been spending time trying to figure out exactly what it is that I want to do with my life.  I have spent so much time outside of what I want to do that I am excited to start making headway into knowing what it is that I want, which is to be a librarian.



Books, art, thoughts, films, music-- all of these things are tremendously important to me, and much of my life revolves around loving them.  As I come more into my own it becomes clearer to me that I must take action and live the life that I want-- which is to archive, protect and serve the written word and the dewey decimal system.





I want to be a librarian-- which involves six years of schooling-- and I want to be a great chess player.  If not great, than slightly brilliant.