Saturday, January 31, 2009

95 Theses

I am hammering out my thesis... well, granted, not as we speak, but off and on throughout my day.

It is hard to come up with a lot of smart things to say. It is even harder to do so quickly and with originality. It makes me wonder for about half a second why on earth I didn't go into biology.

And then I remember that I loathe, loathe, loathe biology. And that it's good to finish what I start and knowledge and discipline are never worthless. And that I felt good about doing this thesis. Once upon a time, before I was beating myself up over the particulars.

And I am resisting doing that 25 Things About Me thing on Facebook because no one wants to read twenty-five things about me in a row. So I will give you two.

1. I fully intend to name any pets (probably cats, all female) I may have in my life after The Beatles. Maxwell Silverhammer I may be gone now, but I'm open to a second. Other possible names include Lucinda Sky (LSD for short), Father McKenzie, Rigby, Jude Refrain, Rocky Raccoon, The Walrus (Wally for short), Mr. Kite...

2. I really like dreads. (They don't have to be dirty and gross. If they're gross and dirty, you're doing them wrong.) If I had long hair, I would have dreads, but there is no way I will grow out my hair. Since I am committed to not growing out my hair... I'm contenting myself with looking for the one guy out there who has blond dreads but doesn't smoke pot and loves Jesus.

Back to the thesis grind....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Words Without Boundaries

I was sitting in grammar, minding my own business, taking notes on infinitives, when my professor said something along the lines of, "Put your pens down. I'm going to give you a question to think about for Tuesday." I finished my sentence, listening for the question while looking scrutinizingly into his sociolinguistics eyes for the answer.

"Is there a difference between 'infinity' and 'eternity?'"

My first thought was that he had gotten himself into a bet with the philosophy professor and had waded into deeper waters than he could handle alone. Fortunately, he's too cool for that and was merely having an in-class existential crisis, I'm pretty sure. I have a fairly brief attention span myself and have been known to ponder such questions while appearing to study infinitives.

But I did ask him why he asked us this.

"Well, if there's a difference, it's got to be a pretty important one, right?"

I've been thinking about it all day, whenever I get bored with writing the first draft of my thesis. I think I may have a hunch.

I think "eternity" can only mean "atemporal," while "infinity" can apply to time and space. And Merriam-Webster says quantity as well.

Hmm. "An infinite quantity...." Does that work? I don't know.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An Open Letter

... to the MLA Format and Style, Newly Updated:

You really have made my life so much easier easier when it comes to online databases, online periodicals, and no-pagination websites. Thank you, thank you, thank you. If I was going to graduate school immediately, I'd thank you even more.

There's just one thing. You got rid of underlining. Sure, underlining is "gauche." We have computers now instead of typewriters! We can italicize! Huzzah! Whoop-dee-freaking-doo.

I'm going to miss underlining. Underlining is retro and cute, emphatic without being offputting.So you messed up on your bibliography? You can last-minute underline it in pen. You can't hand-italicize.

I am so depressed about this. You do not even know. I'm going to have to listen to a lot of The Beatles before I feel remotely ok about this.

-------, Claire. "An Open Letter." Razhumikin Razzmatazz (2009): n. pag. Web. 27 January 2009.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the next five years

So, my assignment this weekend for senior seminar is to write a five-year plan. I have, thus far, muddled through life without any kind of real plan whatsoever, and now I have to write one. But what I wanted to write and what I will turn in tomorrow are two slightly different things. The latter will have such things as "financial responsibility" and "setting up savings" and "work on a film." The former looks like this:

I want to be stylish. Like featured-on-the-Sartorialist-twice stylish. Like distinctive, wear Chucks every day stylish. I want to have confidence in my own skin as I face the realization every day that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I want to be as fearless as freedom feels. I want to eat rice and beans most days. I want to be really, really excited about what God's doing. I want to have lots of old friends and lots of new ones. I kind of really want to be married in the next five years. I want to be wildly creative. I want to smell lots and lots of coffee. I want to be the best witness that I possibly can that God is real. I want to live with purpose and passion. I want to blog about the most interesting things ever. I want to lapse at will into a completely different language with ridiculous ease. I want to be very well read.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


1. I have accomplished watching the first season of Robin Hood and we are now onto the second season. (I know. I'm late. Don't give me any spoilers.) Everyone's hair is longer and Djaq has moved on from her Boy Scout vest to embrace her femininity with bangs and woman clothes. I can't decide if Robin has become more or less cocky...

2. My friend/my roommate's boyfriend has Mario sleep pants. They're fleecy. Isn't he cool?

3. Speaking of books I wouldn't be ashamed to be caught dead reading, I've been starting on Orson Scott Card beyond Ender's Game. Specifically, Ender's Shadow, which is about Bean. More on that when I've formulated an opinion. Everyone I know says Bean is better than Ender.

4. All of the Owens I know are adorable.

5. Grammar is mystifying. We acquire language with seeming effortlessness and there's a ridiculous amount of rules that we know that we don't know that we know. And there's things that slip through the cracks. And there's intentional slaps in the face of the rules. Like sentence fragments. I've learned by taking grammar that I suck at categorizing and memorizing the nomenclature of these rules. Oh, well.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Life is Buttercream

--I can't remember who it was who thought the last line of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" was "Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is buttercream."

--I could have sworn I heard a male voice call out my first and last name twice in a public place and I stopped abruptly and looked around but nobody fessed up to it. Rachel didn't hear it, but she says I have bat ears. My dear roomie also, similarly, heard a male voice call out her name today. None of these summons preceded apocalyptic prophecies, unfortunately.

If this happens again, I'm going to call it a hallucination and cut back on caffeine.

--Dinner? Two servings of ice cream. I'm making up for two whole days of healthy, well-balanced meals (which have included chicken, salad, wild rice, green beans, corn...)

--Latest report? "Vague snowlike substance. It's snowish."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

current events

1. Circuit City: Unplugged and In Canada. It sounds like an album, but what it really means is 34,000 lost jobs and a ton of going out of business sales. And fact, I do need a laptop--with a webcam for Skype. I promised my roommate.

2. I got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.

I could sing unending songs of how you saved my soul and I could dance a thousand miles because of your great love.

Joy is so inexplicably good to see and touch and hear. And the only thing better than experiencing it for yourself is experiencing it with and through other people. I love rejoicing with my friends!

3. This is the week of the truce: not only did Israeli and Gaza Strip militants take a breath, but Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox also reached a deal about Watchmen. The only graphic novel I've really ever read has been Persepolis, but I've heard really, really good things about Watchmen, so I'm looking into it. Literacy is good, and reading "noncanonical" texts for American Novel is already making me feel like I should read more.

4. For theatre people, this weekend's action verbs: to junk food, to not slack, to sloth, to therapy, to praise, to laugh at Bruce Willis.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

new year's resolution #156

Don't go to an airport without actually intending to fly. You can't take it.

I met a dear at the airport yesterday. C'etait... qu'est-ce que c'est "torture?" Even with am overpriced Starbucks caramel macchiato with loads of foam, the experience was difficult.

I guess it's the aviator in my blood, or the immigrant, or both--but I was filled with a wistful ache, my feet possessing an irresistible itch to walk everywhere. I glared at the posh people whose suitcases were stacked neatly, their European business suits and Spartan luggage organization betraying the fact that they do this all the time. I heard two sets of people speak French.

I love airports too much. The leaving. The coming back. You hear more interesting conversations in an airport than almost anywhere else. The gift shops."Notre nature," said Pascal, "est dans le mouvement; la repose entier est la mort."

Two things I know: God is in control, and traveling is imperative. Maybe next year I will know more.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I'm already bored with schoolwork.

Classes start on Wednesday. Bad sign?

(Next year, en Maroc, peut-etre? Sans les devoirs?)

In lieu of homework, I have been watching webisodes of The Guild. Not as intellectually stimulating, perhaps, but it also doesn't cause a lick of deadline stress. Nice'd. is available in Esperanto. True fact.

The charade is over; it is time to stop pretending to do schoolwork and start watching movies.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


the mildly abstract--

see below.


can I just say that I'm done with this ballpoint bull? I'm starting to dabble in calligraphy and the scritchy unreliability of nibs and wet watery colors floating at forty-five degree slants across the page is an irresistible combination. I swear those pens flirt with me. And I'm still obsessed with the black Sharpie pen... that felt tip number has feeling and verve and I'm starting to draw mildly abstract things with it, mostly rock stars with intense eyes that stare off from the page with black, felt-tipped moodiness.

two thousand nine--

I'm done thinking that this year will just make me another year older. Watch out, world. I'm almost free.