January 14th, 2003

i do it for the joy it brings

Sometimes my life is just SO good.

I went to lunch at Davis because meals yesterday were really poor and i needed actual food. I saw lilithchilde, whom i hadn't seen in a month. We got to chat briefly before she had to go back to work. "We should have tea sometime." Honey, you really are such a Smithie. :)

And then when i got back to my room, i saw the following e-mail from the professor i had e-mailed asking for a letter of recommendation for the Oxford summer program.

Dear Elizabeth,
Which program are you going to go on? Most prefer letters of
recommendation to be sent directly to them. Write me a "horn-tooter"
letter specifying which program and why and listing other splendors of
your academic achievement, and I will sing of symphony of praise. You
did pass Romantic poetry with flying colors.

In the cause,
Pat Skarda
i fight fire with words

the closing of the Oscar Wilde Bookshop (on Christopher St. in NYC)

My friend Allie went to NYC this weekend and mentioned in her LJ: "[we] went to visit the Oscar Wilde, the first queer bookstore in the world, which is closing next Sunday. *sigh* Which is an incredible tragedy. But I won't start ranting about that." Reading The New York Times online today, i saw that someone else had almost the same reaction i did.

from "Closing Time" by Bruce Bawer:
It would be heartless not to mourn the passing of the Oscar Wilde Bookshop. Many middle-aged gay men and women can remember a time in their confused and anxious youth when, making their way to that tiny, book-crammed space on Christopher Street (the original location was on Mercer), they bought books that helped them understand and accept who they were. I've always resisted the romantic notion of a gay community, but if such a thing ever existed, places like the Oscar Wilde Bookshop were at its center.

Yet sad though it is to lose the Oscar Wilde Bookshop — or, for that matter, any bookshop — the fading of the gay bookstore as an institution is far from a tragic sign. Yes, in part these independent booksellers are a casualty of competition from bookstore chains and Internet booksellers. But their decline is also a reflection of something very positive — namely, the entrance of gay Americans into mainstream culture over the last decade or so.

Increasingly, gay men and women are open, fully integrated members of society. Consequently the need for specifically gay institutions is fading. A generation ago, places like the Oscar Wilde Bookshop were thriving because mainstream bookstores simply wouldn't have stocked a gay book. It was a time when gay novels — that is, novels written by gay people, about gay people, for gay people — were the only way for gay men and women to escape from a world in which they were despised into a world in which they were taken seriously.
I know, i know, i’m just begging for an argument about homogenization and assimilation and cultural appropriation and anything else one can think of. There is the argument that large chains only stock the really popular and the most mainstream books as well as the argument that the community, the supportive atmosphere, the whathaveyou, that stores specializing in GLBT merch offer is important. That’s valid, though it begs one to point out that as long as there is a demand for said specialty shops, they will continue to exist. If people purchase all their GLBT stuff from the big chains and/or online, then these small specialty stores will fold. Supply and demand and all that. I could start really channeling my father here and make analogies to how good American liberals decry the proliferation of chains (McDonalds, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, etc.) especially in foreign countries even when people say they want them, and make really mean comments about the idea of having “save people from themselves,” but i won’t.
you think you know...

more reasons to love Hampshire (http://www.hampshire.edu)

sittingmallard: so, yeah Hampshire has a fully functioning farm with llamas and sheep and goats and lots of cows
VelmasLizard: wow, i never knew that
sittingmallard: and chickens, and pigs, and probably some other stuff too that I don't remember
sittingmallard: yeah, we have a CSA program so all the people here that live in the mods (apartment like things) can buy really cheap, totally organic food
sittingmallard: yippie
VelmasLizard: very cool
sittingmallard: indeed
VelmasLizard: What does CSA stand for?
sittingmallard: community supported agriculture
VelmasLizard: ah
sittingmallard: you give them money in the spring so they can buy seeds, and the farmers will split up whatever they grow with whoever gave them money. so some years you end up with so much food you can't eat it all, and some years you don't.
sittingmallard: it's a rockin' system
VelmasLizard: wow, that really is
anime night

"I'd say she was an angel but it's stupid and it's obvious"

Have spent much of my night wrapped in the Hug my mother made me, IMing away. For some reason i think of Nefertiti every time i see myself in a mirror in this shawl and this haircut. Not sure why.

The Chase-Duckett dining room is so pretty. Why i have never eaten in there before? (Answer: Because i am too lazy to leave my own house to eat unless it is closed, i am desperate for non-meal-plan food, or someone invites me to a meal in their dining room which almost never happens.)

And speaking of beautiful... she really is. And i am so messed up. You ever get that vibe that you just don’t really wanna be friends with someone? ‘Cause i do, but it doesn’t actually override whatever other vibey shit is going on. And really, i’m just gonna live my life and not obsess. Stuff will happen and i’ll react and really, that’s how people go through life. Wasting time obsessing is just that, wasting time. Have much better things to spend brain energy on. Like Oxford.

Stop stressing out. Nothing in your outer world has changed significantly -- you're simply getting impatient. Ignore what you can't fix, and it will soon shrink back to its usual proportions.
At the crossroads of disaster and the imperfect smile,
With the angel in the streetlamp that blinks on as I walk on a mile, the blessings.