Monday, December 29, 2008

A Look Back at London

As 2008 has closed and 2009 has begun, I decided I would highlight all of the beautiful memories I have of last year. There are a lot. So, as my life has been divided into quarters for almost four years now, I will be reminiscing according to season, starting with Spring (why Spring and not Winter? Because how much do you really want to hear about the insane 18 credits I took and bad dates I went on?).

To say London was "amazing", "life-changing", "earth-shattering" sounds too cliche, but I can't think of another accurate way of describing my experience. I can still feel the Tube racing through the underground veins of the city, a facade heartbeat the whole city thrived on. I spent days and dollars exploring the markets and still can't believe some of the treasures I was able to find. I danced the lindy-hop with a nice British boy. I saw and heard Big Ben strike midnight!

Some specific memories:

Discovering the secret identity of my homestay dad.

Learning how to say, "I would like asparagus" in German.

Crying on the couch of an almost complete stranger.

And of course, because I can't learn how to sing a different tune, I wanted to thank everyone who made my stay in London and the rest of Europe possible and beyond enjoyable. I know we will cross paths again, and I look forward to that day.

And new year, new blog! Follow me to Merci Me!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Grato Per Questo Momento Nel Tempo

Venice recently experienced its highest level of flood waters in over 20 years. What are people to do? With everything under three feet of water and the level rising, people ill-prepared to handle the drastic lifestyle changes, and holiday shopping still left to finish?! How will we ever survive this?!?

We put on some wellies and continue to eat our baguettes....or whatever is Italian for baguette.

In light of the recent economic clusterfuck, things have been bad, especially in the academic arena. There are job freezes across the nation. My institution recently cut 20% of the budget, which is roughly $10 million. The humanities are getting hit hard, as the sciences are more "important", "imperative", other "imp" words. This is an awesome time to graduate from college with a degree in Comparative Literature!

Again, I must pause and say HOWEVER.

This is an opportunity for a shift in priorities. Like a good friend of mine said, "Well, now we don't have to worry about money, because there isn't any." Perhaps we won't spend our hard-earned (or easily-applied-for) money on ridiculous things like this. Maybe "quality over quantity" will creep into our consumer mindset. We might even reach out to each other, because we can't wade these waters alone. Community could be important. Sharing resources, ideas, love. Creating a support network out of the people you already know and trust and allowing yourself to let more people in.

And gratitude. Gratitude is the only positive emotion I can consistently recall. I am very lucky in that I don't know anyone at risk of losing their job, nor am I at risk to lose mine (that's mostly because I don't have one). I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world (views of the sunset over a blushing Mount Rainier are free). I still have my hearing and can enjoy musicmusicmusic. I still have my sight (although my glasses really do nothing for me, I need a new prescription). I can feel my heartbeat and the blood rush to my cheeks after rushing in from the cold Seattle snow. I can smell and taste the most amazing double-chocolate-and-molasses cookies made by my lovely roommate.

In conclusion, times are harder. Times will get harder. But I'm grateful for the now, the moment, this small ticktock of time that is entirely mine to do with what I choose. And my hands may be a little cold and my hair may have split-ends, but I am very happy. Thank you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pride and Prejudice

Almost two weeks now, and I still feel elated and proud (elatoud?). Perhaps Little Edie captures my sudden patriotism best.


For most of my life, I have been proud to be a Californian, but not so much proud to be an American. In the last couple of weeks, this sentiment has switched. I am appalled, although unfortunately not surprised, with the recent passing of Prop 8. I cannot elegantly nor adequately express myself via this writing. It would contain a lot of expletives.

Yesterday, thousands of people across the nation protested the passing of Prop 8. In Seattle alone, six thousand marched from Broadway to Westlake Center, shutting down traffic and inspiring some woman to stand naked on her balcony while watching the passing crowd. Unfortunately, Virginia Woolf trapped me in my apartment and I was not able to attend, but here are some images from the protest:

Something must be done, and it must be done now. This is ridiculous that certain sects of our society still don't have equal rights. It makes me clench my fists and dig half-moons into my palms. It just doesn't make any sense.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Did You Do When We Did?

My roommate and I were on our way back to the car, getting ready to call this beautiful night a night, when we heard euphoric shouting and screaming and chanting. We decided to find out where it was coming from. We ran over to the Ave, the main thoroughfare adjacent to campus. Hundreds of students were pouring through the streets. They came baring grins and peace signs. My roommate and I became part of the crowd, aligned ourselves with the energy and exuberance that was ravaging through each and all as one. We found ourselves in Red Square on campus. No one knew what we were doing, but it didn't matter. We were there relishing the moment, our moment, everyone's moment.

The above video is not the best quality and exceedingly long, but captures some of what went on last night. More later on the craziness, the glory, the absolute-mind-fuckingly-fantastic euphoria that infected the corners of my eyes so that they would not stop tearing up.

Thank you. All. Thank you so very, very much.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Dream

Last night I had a dream that I made a skull out of glass. The glass was tinted lime green. The glass hold no holes, it was a solid skull. I had filled it with water, but there were pockets of air caught inside. The skull was imperfect, warped. The jaw was small and lopsided. One side of the forehead was bigger than the other. The air bubble would get caught behind the eye socket and look like a monocle. An inside-monocle. I kept showing people the skull that I made. "Look at the skull that I made!" I said. I would hold it up with my arms straight in front of me, my fingers gripping the strange smooth grooves of the superciliary crest. I slept with it clutched to my chest.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I found a hair in my water this morning.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's Just Nice

The other day, I had lunch with my friend Kendal. He recited a poem for me. How many times have you had a poem recited for you?

Privilege of Being

Robert Hass

Many are making love. Up above, the angels
in the unshaken ether and crystal of human longing
are braiding one another's hair, which is strawberry blond
and the texture of cold rivers. They glance
down from time to time at the awkward ecstasy--
it must look to them like featherless birds
splashing in the spring puddle of a bed--
and then one woman, she is about to come,
peels back the man's shut eyelids and says,
look at me, and he does. Or is it the man
tugging the curtain rope in that dark theater?
Anyway, they do, they look at each other;
two beings with evolved eyes, rapacious,
startled, connected at the belly in an unbelievably sweet
lubricious glue, stare at each other,
and the angels are desolate. They hate it. They shudder pathetically
like lithographs of Victorian beggars
with perfect features and alabaster skin hawking rags
in the lewd alleys of the novel.
All of creation is offended by this distress.
It is like the keening sound the moon makes sometimes,
rising. The lovers especially cannot bear it,
it fills them with unspeakable sadness, so that
they close their eyes again and hold each other, each
feeling the mortal singularity of the body
they have enchanted out of death for an hour so,
and one day, running at sunset, the woman says to the man,
I woke up feeling so sad this morning because I realized
that you could not, as much as I love you,
dear heart, cure my loneliness,
wherewith she touched his cheek to reassure him
that she did not mean to hurt him with this truth.
And the man is not hurt exactly,
he understands that life has limits, that people
die young, fail at love,
fail of their ambitions. He runs beside her, he thinks
of the sadness they have gasped and crooned their way out of
coming, clutching each other with old invented
forms of grace and clumsy gratitude, ready
to be alone again, or dissatisfied, or merely
companionable like the couples on the summer beach
reading magazine articles about intimacy between the sexes
to themselves, and to each other,
and to the immense, illiterate, consoling angels.