"Fuckin' Rhinos." Oh, Skarda, how i will miss you.
Also: "Smith: where binary oppositions aren't all that opposed." (Though really, that's mostly only true of the gender binary.)
"You're writing and thinking well here." -Skarda on my Mary Reilly response paper
I think i've decided on my topic for my final Skarda paper (more pressing than most of my final projects as it's due April 22 at sunset) -- defending The Eyre Affair. This is not a huge surprise, since it was one of my favorites of the books we read in that class and she keeps saying it's not a very good book.
Dude, my "I'm done with ficathons for real now" fic? Has gotten praise from the recipient and other people. ::hearts:: (And i quite like the fic written for me.)
During Thursday night's poetry reading, Jane Hirshfield (the reading poet), noted that it was warm and extended her universal permission: that it's okay to nap at a poetry reading -- you just rest up and come back and there is another poem and eventually you get home and have insomnia. Ironically, hers was the first poetry reading in ages that i didn't doze off in.
Her reading kicked off the Women Practicing Buddhism weekend, but her poetry wasn't explicitly about Buddhist practice, which i appreciated.
I really liked the vast majority of the poems she read, though some of them were very powerful and moving at the time and then problematic upon reflection. Her poetry is very bare and evocative, and she uses interesting and compelling imagery and talks a lot about persevering through the pain of life.
She read us a haiku she had translated (i forget the original author) which she said changed her life. Basically it was: the wind blows terribly here, but the moonlight also leaks through the slats of the roof into this ruined house. (The idea that what lets the pain in also lets the beauty/joy in, and that some beauty/joy can't come in without some pain. And she also mentioned that the moon is frequently an image of Buddhist Enlightenment.)
In one of her poems she talked about washing one's face with cold water in the morning to practice making the unwanted wanted. In another she wrote, "The world asks only the strength we have. And we give it. And then it asks more. And we give it."
I forget if it was from her intro or from something she read, but she has a line about how "knowledge is erotic" because it inspires the desire to know more (intimately).
Commentary between poems: "People don't take up Buddhist practice because they're good at non-attachment."
In "Memories/Rwanda" she talks about how the river carries with decorum what it is given but then thet the river is sickened (continuing the multi-level meanings) and then the poem talks about being at a dinner table about to say something but deciding not to because it would be impolite and after she finished she said, "That poem is my penance for not having spoken at that dinner table."
In "The Poet" she asks that the poet have enough paper to make mistakes and go on. I really really liked that metaphor.
In "Milk" she talks about how wind without a hall howls in silence, and she talked about in times of tension, some things flare up and others dig down for the long haul (using the imagery of a volcano, i think). And concluding the poem -- i think it was her talking after she had finished the poem -- she said, "Every single glass of milk is suffering. I still drink milk."
"Tree" talks about a redwood growing next to a house and includes the great line: "soflty, calmly, immensity taps at your life."
At dinner one night last week, Ruhi talked about the Temple and Jesus, how Jewish practice is centered on the Temple and Christian practice is centered on Jesus, and how both include the idea the focal point coming again (the rebuilding of the Temple, the Second Coming of Christ) and it was an interesting conversation.
The Catholic Church already has married priests?
I'm tempted to do stuff like okcupid when i go back to Boston just to find people to talk to and hang out with. I suddenly understand the appeal of book clubs -- having a built-in group of people who have all read the same book and with whom you can talk about it.
firynze wrote: "Lastly, learn to spell (hell, just learn some English) before I answer your ad solely to find you and kill you in an inventive manner involving a typewriter." I am totally posting that in any online dating profile i ever make.
UPenn graduate admissions doesn't have voicemail. I did eventually get a real person, though. Decisions started to go out March 22. I haven't yet received one in my mailbox. I said i didn't mind knowing over the phone, and lo i am 0 for 6. So my brother and i did manage to each get rejected from our top choices.
I've been having a like-hate relationship with my hair all week. It was at that awkward hitting my shoulders stage, so obviously a trim was in order. However, short hair is not as wash-and-wear as long hair, though admittedly it takes less time to wash. Unless, that is, it's really short hair. So i've been feeling like Allie all week (which is disconcerting and wrongness) having moments of desperately wanting to hack off all my hair. I got it cut on Friday and it's longer than i had envisioned, so i'm still deciding how i feel about it. I hacked at the bangs some myself, which was obviously a bad idea, but it actually looks pretty decent. And i got a bunch of unsolicited compliments on it, which was nice.
On Friday, we watched the first disc of Firefly, whose episodes i haven't seen since they first aired (though i've seen all the other episodes 2-3 times). I forgot how all the dynamics are established from the very first episode, and how "The Train Job" despite being written in a weekend gets all the exposition out effectively in the first few scenes and also establishes all the dynamics. I think i have a soft spot for it because it was my intro. Other notes: (1) Joss continues to have masterful segue (2) wow the echoing themes, both within episodes and throughout the series (3) as on his other shows, everyone can be shipped with everyone else (4) Joss reuses his people like whoa, but we already knew that. Loves the show we does.
Saturday we watched disc 2, followed by a couple episodes of Wonderfalls because disc 3 of Firefly is all dark episodes (well, the first 3, so then we would have had to watch the 4th). We watched the runaway nun episode because Emma hadn't seen it before and then we watched the deportation episode and the Fat Pat episode. When i watched the episodes when they were airing (all 4 of them) i remember being surprised after each episode at the fact that i had liked it, because they always seemed from the ads unappealling. Watching this time 'round i seem to have less tolerance for Jaye, and her sister is actually growing me.
-In "Serenity," Mal calls Kaylee mei mei, which i hadn't noticed before.
-Watching "Bushwhacked," Kate asked something about supernatural, and Emma said the closest the show came was River. It occurred to me that "Reaver" and "Reader" (what Mall calls River in "Objects in Space") sound almost identical.
-Reavers, and Mal, are the only things that scare Jayne. And really, Mal is the only thing that scares Jayne.
-Seeing Jayne with that ear flap hat in "The Train Job" is so amusing having seen "The Message."
-I realized watching "Safe" (for the third time) that i hadn't been 'shipping the Simon/River this time around (helped in part i'm sure by the fact that i've been less interested in that pairing recently in general) and also that somehow it hadn't occurred to me that look, Joss has father issues. I mean, i knew that from his first two shows, but i somehow hadn't noticed in Firefly until this time around with the "Safe" flashbacks. And "Safe" is so "Family" (BtVS 5.06) with the whole "You have to get through me -- and me and me -- to get to this witch." River's "Daddy's coming" line freaked me out 'cause it reminded me of Dru's "Daddy's home" in "Reunion" (Angel 2.10). I was also realizing watching this time 'round that i was so not all over the 'shipping period -- not that i wasn't keyed to the subtexty moments, of course. I was also appreciating that there are so many casual instances in which characters don't conform to gendered stereotypes and no issue is made of it.
-I appreciate that Joss seems to have less issues than he did in his previous shows -- there's a happy and functional heterosexual couple; there's a representative of organized religion who is complex and not evil.
-It's interesting watching the series and being reminded "Oh yeah, that's where that popularly iconned shot is from."
Anansi Boys is such a different sort of book to American Gods, being, at its heart, even when things get dark, a comedy, which American Gods isn't, that I'm not sure that takes you very far. Anansi Boys isn't the offspring of American Gods. It's more like an embarrassing, but very sweet, distant relative. Possibly a second cousin.Yes, i rather suspect i won't be reading Anansi Boys. I remember him saying a long time back that people who liked books A and B of his would probably like Anansi Boys and those who liked books X and Y probably wouldn't. Trouble was, i loved and was indifferent to one of each of the books in each pairing. And unfortunately i can't find the entry now. But yes, sounds like a book i'll likely be skipping. Which since Anansi=Trickster should surprise no one who knows me.
-Thursday, March 17, 2005
I want to do another book that will be done in a year or less before I dive into something huge. (There are two huge books in my head, at present -- Time in the Smoke and Night. But both of them will wait for me.) I don't have to decide until I pick up my pen toward the end of the year, but I think Anansi Boys will probably be next.Now those titles sound interesting. And really i need to reread American Gods and all of Sandman and Good Omens and maybe Neverwhere, so it's not like i'm short on Neil Gaiman reading. (And it goes without saying that i have a long enough To Read list to last me a lifetime anyhow.) Oh and apparently there is or is going to be a whole slew of stories about Shadow.
-Tuesday, September 10, 2002
While Dianna Graf let me know that in the future, the word "darling" is going to be forbidden in the London Theatre world, due to potential sexual harassment issues. I don't know where such endearments as "love", "lovey" or "sweetie" stand in all this.
... many actors stress that rather than being unnecessarily affected, the use of the words is mainly because in their transient working world, it is virtually impossible to remember everyone's name.
I expect that the use of the word "mate" is probably okay. Unless it's a suggested course of action, of course.
-Thursday, April 29, 2004