Friday, September 30, 2005

Don't you give up now...

There is so much to look forward to. I haven't been this way before, anticipating what the next day could bring, loving being in the moment, loving the right-here-and-now, but I so am.

It's not been easy. It's been a gradual process, oh, so slow, learning to live in the moment; not to be so absorbed with the future that I lose touch with reality. There have been too many times in my past when things don't feel real; when I think back, and can't remember for sure if something actually happened, or was just a dream. I hate that feeling. I'm learning that I can have a focus (graduating in a year and a half) without it being overwhelming; that I need to soak up every moment of my life now. I try too hard sometimes, I work too hard, and it's destructive because I've felt my life passing by...but haven't felt as though I was truly living it.

I've been spending more time outside lately than ever before, loving this weather -- some of the last perfect weather we'll have; snow will be coming all too soon. And I'm savouring every moment I spend with wonderful people, imprinting these beautiful moments into my memory. My week has been a series of beautiful moments, wonderful memories, and anticipation for what lies ahead; which beautiful moment is right around the corner?

I'm in my room, with the little plastic globe lights on above the window, glowing balls of light against the blackness of the night; listening to the Beatles -- the "Abbey Road" album -- and the quiet wave-like sound of traffic, and mulling over beautiful moments from last night...

...sitting crosslegged on a futon, knees almost touching, eating delicious food and drinking wine...watching a video that was dubbed -- and never should've been dubbed. There were times in the movie, even (especially?) the most serious parts, where he and I couldn't help but dissolve into laughter, because the dubbing was so horrendous. I discovered that he isn't a Movie Talker, thank goodness, but just does the same thing I do; no running commentary, but comments occasionally on things that strike a funnybone...being enveloped in soft fleece...surreptitiously gazing at his hands as he played with his empty wineglass; maybe it's because I was trained as a musician for so long, but I always notice hands, and he has beautiful hands; strong hands, with long, slender fingers; hands that play the guitar, work out, and cook really, really great food.

I love that there is nothing at all pretentious about him. He's open, utterly real, with no scheming or trickery - and that is something that drew me to him in the first place; those eyes, they're so honest. He is very calm, which is amazingly nice; there are times I'll stress out over an assignment, but when he walks into the classroom, all my stress evaporates. It's as though he radiates calmness, and most moments, that's exactly what I need.

Thursday, September 29, 2005



See, Cass? So much better than Lunchables. ;)

Ye have been warned:

...or suffer the consequences.

Tangentially related, I have no outdoor plants, but I have two here in our dorm room; Florence, an ivy I bought from Target, and Freddie, a spiky/grassy/palm frond-ish plant I got for FREE.

Florence thrived for a while under the wonderful sunning and watering I lavished on her, but now she's dying. 3/4 of her leaves are all shriveled up, and even the main stalk that was flourishing, is exceedingly limp. This makes me very sad, because I thought I was doing all the right things -- and now, this.

Apparently this has had a negative effect on Freddie as well; he's looking rather yellowish and droopy, too.

WHAT IS WRONG?! I'm putting Freddie up for adoption today (open adoption; I want to be able to visit his in his new home, see if they're killing him, too). I know he can have a better life somewhere else; but I'm still confused and hurt.

MARY, did you have something to do with this?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

one two three, four five six...

(one two three) Stepping forward, following back; traveling. (four five six) Spinning, twirling, stepping back. (one two three) Clasping hands, arms around each other. (four five six) Separating, dipping, coming together again. He suggests the moves; he leads; I follow. He's good at guiding; light pressure from his hand on my back guides me in the right direction; I'm good at following. We are comfortable in our respective roles, moving together. (one two three, four five six)

(one two three)

He suggests another move: "Should we travel again?" (four five six)
"Why, yes. (slight rest) Where should we go this time?" (one two three)
"The South of France, perhaps?" (four five six)
"Ah, along the Mediterranean?" (one two three)
"Yes. I hear it's great this time of year." (four five six)

The American Waltz. I swear I will have the rhythm stuck in my head -- and in my hips, in my feet, in my back -- until the day I die.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

O! Ye Drunken Sloth

So tonight my brother-in-law asked if I was drunk yet. I said no, for that was at 7, and I hadn't had a drop yet - that I was aiming for around 9. I flipped back to my Chaucer (Canterbury Tales) text online, and this is what was staring me in the face:

A lecherous thyng is wyn, and dronkenesse
Is ful of stryvyng and of wrecchednesse.
O dronke man, disfigured is thy face!
Sour is thy breeth, foul artow to embrace...


I wasn't a "dronke man," or even a "dronke" woman; I was a woman who went out tonight with one great person and talked and laughed over one tall amber beer for hours.

And I found out that one tall glass of beer is enough to make me want to TALK FOREVER. So I kept my mouth shut when I got the urge to tell him every single thing about me or about my family or about my neighbour's kids, the ones with the dog.

Silly me, I was so excited about spending time with him tonight that I, um, forgot to eat supper. So that beer was on an empty stomach, after walking a mile or so. We sat and talked and laughed forever, and after that, we walked some more and we played pool and talked and made more plans.

And now I'm tired - but it's a good tired. The "I just had the best birthday of my life so far" tired; the "I just spent the evening with one of my favourite people" tired; the "I had the most wonderful day, ever, and now I have to set my alarm for 6:30 AM - that is SO inhumane" tired.

Someone pinch me. I must be dreaming.

Monday, September 26, 2005

On my mind:

It's fascinating to me how, if you had a room full of people, each person is, potentially, attracted to a different person than another person is. Of course, there are the "I hEaRt BrAd PiTt" people, but that's another story.

I love watching people, couples; watching them interact with each other, wondering what it was about the other that attracted them to each other. I love seeing plain, ordinary people completely in love with each other -- and, more than that, just completely LIKING each other.

I used to think that would never happen to me, that I would never find someone I would choose above all others to spend time with; whom I would never tire of seeing; whom I could respect and admire and love and find completely endearing; whom I could spend time with, and with whom all silences would be comfortable, not awkward.

Reading Heather and Jon's sites helped me a lot - helped me believe that ordinary people do find That Person. That Heather isn't Leslie Ludy or Shannon Harris helped a lot, made it more real. I love this post of hers; it helped so much.

I don't despair anymore.

Party like, it's my birthday! & St[a]ir Crazy

I make myself laugh sometimes. Hey, it's free -- and usually clean -- entertainment.

Every day, I notice beautiful little things, or special little things, but on my birthday, I notice them even more.

For example:

"The sunrise! Look at the sunrise! It's so beautiful. Well, it's my birthday, after all. Thank you, God, for the sunrise for my birthday!"

"I get to shave with my Intuition today! For my birthday! Yay!"

Then I got to my contacts; my right eye felt awful with the contact sitting on it. "Come ON, eye. WORK WITH ME. It's my birthday, remember?"


The stairs here are a killer. It's crazy, how mcuh doing hundreds of stairs a day can change one's body so much. This weekend, I was at Mom and Dad's putting on my shoes, and my hands ran over my calf -- and I shrieked. There, on my leg, was a defined muscle. On MY leg, there was a defined muscle. On my leg, there was a DEFINED muscle. On my LEG, there was a defined MUSCLE. (insert reverent pause here) And then after I had lots of good food for my birthday, I had to check to make sure it was still there, that the extra goodies I had consumed hadn't made it go back from whence it came.

Seriously, though, there are SO MANY STAIRS. The other day, I went up a flight, and another flight, and another flight, and another flight, and finally I got to where I just stood still and LOOKED at the stairs that were left, willing them to disappear. A guy behind me started laughing, "You know, it DOES go faster if you take them two at a time."

Sunday, September 25, 2005

VERY Social Dance

"Partners are in the closed position, close together, standing erect, with cushioned knees. Movement is smooth, calm, and graceful, using long-reaching steps, and keeping the feet close to the floor. Movement should be continuous, with the partners striving for a feeling of oneness."

Mom: "'Striving for a feeling of oneness'?! I DON'T THINK SO."


Exchange between Roomie and myself:

d: NO! I totally just spilled squash on my laptop.
R: Seriously?
d: yeah, but it's okay - I'm licking it up.
R: eew. that's gross.
d: hey, nobody else ever touches it!



Thursday, September 22, 2005

I need to go to down to the kitchen and steam some rice so that I can have supper tonight, but first, I have to jot down some things...

I just got out of my WWII Holocaust class, and I am overwhelmed. It's a senior-level class, with an emphasis on discussion, rather than lecture. We don't focus on what the Holocaust was, the facts and figures, but instead, we focus on the memories OF the Holocaust -- how it is remembered, why we should remember the Holocaust, what we should do with the memories (or SHOULD we do anything?). There are so many times in class when I cannot write fast enough, when I cannot get all my thoughts on paper as I wait to take my turn to speak. It is so intriguing to me, and now that I am comfortable in the class, I speak my mind much more often, with no adrenaline spike or galloping heartbeat.

Today, as we did on Tuesday, we focused on various memorials to the Holocaust. We have to understand that there IS no Perfect Memorial to the Holocaust -- that it is impossible. It can't be a Jewish memorial, for Jews were not the only victims; there were Jews, yes, but there were Roma, homosexuals, 7th Day Adventists, etc., as well. It can't be a "Martyr's Memorial," for they were not martyrs, in the true sense of the word. Yes, they died for a cause, but for the Nazi's cause, not their own. Should it be abstract? Should the emphasis be on the Jews? Even the word, "Holocaust," is referring to the Jewish portion of the victims; why is the entire episode labelled with a Jewish term?

Today one of the memorials we focused on (and the one that sparked my interest the most) was the preserved concentration camp at --I believe -- Auschwitz-Birkenau. It isn't a "memorial" the way many are, as it isn't a sculpture or work of art, a slab of marble or carefully crafted bronze. Yet it is carefully created and formed to evoke certain feelings from the general public. Many people like the fact that the barracks, the grounds, have been "preserved," yet what they are getting is NOT the true Auschwitz they think they're getting; it's been carefully reconstructed. The buildings are whole, clean, and the ground outside has grass and flowers. There is no disease, no gunshots, no death. There are no guards, there are no spotlights, there are no dogs. There is no fear. It is merely a group of empty buildings, restored to evoke feelings from us. But as I told the professor, these feelings -- they are our imagination. It is not a true memory. Instead, the buildings instill in us a false sense of authenticity, making us believe that we know what it must have been like to be there.

So should the buildings be continually restored, so more generations can "know," enabled with this fake reality, to imagine the way things might have been? One member in my group stated that he likes the way they're "preserved;" that this way, people will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, and remember the way it was.

"But," I said, "Should we? Should we remember? They are not our memories to have." We will never have the exact feeling or thoughts that the prisoners did; instead, the reconstructed surroundings give us a false sense of authenticity; we are using the surroundings to try to imagine what it could have been like. We are stealing and warping the survivors' memories, twisting them with our own biases and reactions.

Should the buildings be "preserved"? Yes, say some, for we will Learn from the Experience; keeping these buildings there will ensure that this sort of atrocity will never happen again. I have to disagree. Obviously, the world has not learned, has not bettered itself, by having the reconstructed concentration camps -- for genocides are occurring at this very minute. We will Never Forget! is the cry of people remembering the Holocaust -- yet, truthfully, they are fooling themselves; if they truly would Never Forget, they would be doing something about the genocide in Darfur, they would've done something about Pol Pot's slaughtering of people. Yet obviously, they don't want to; if they refuse to acknowledge that the genocides are occurring, they don't have to do anything about it. That is the level to which our society has stooped, and it sickens me.

Another picture showed a crematorium; the Germans had blown it up when the Allies were coming in, to try to destroy the evidence. There it is, a mound of blackened timbers and metal, with grass beginning to crawl up the sides. And I have to say that I much prefer this memorial than the reconstructed barracks of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This one, at least, is real; it is truthful; it is not adulterated, it is not altered. It is not part of an eerie, somber "Disneyland" that tries to get us to see what Auschwitz-Birkenau felt like. It's there; we know what happened, but gradually, it's being healed -- just like the people.

On my mind

It was a funny feeling last night when, for the first time ever, my DAD insisted that I call a guy.

I'm very glad he did.

And I'm very glad I did.

Because, for real, I don't know any other guy who, among other amazing characteristics, can use the phrase, "Curl up with a good book" twice in a week without sounding at all femmy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

On humanity (On, humanity!).

I hate crying, I hate being vulnerable. I guess there are just some days I loathe being human, and today is one of them. The horrid thing is, there's nothing wrong, really, nothing at all, yet I keep crying. It helps to remember that right now, on this Earth, there are millions of people who feel the same way I do.

I just finished my only class for the day, and am listening (on repeat) to Gabriel Fauré's "Pavane," played on acoustic guitar. It's amazingly lovely, and at the same time unspeakably sad. If today were perfect, I would wrap myself in a quilt, hunker down in the corner of a huge room, lean my head on someone's shoulder, breathe in the scents of coffee, organic shampoo, and laundry detergent, and just stay there for hours. The rain is pounding against the windows; the fierce, rapid heartbeat of a dreary day.


Yesterday I went to the Catholic Cathedral in town, and boy was it gorgeous. It had been under renovation for three or four years, and they just finished this spring. I hadn't been in it before, but I've always loved the way it looks so foreign, like a beautiful Andalucian tile-roofed church from the 1600's flung across the ocean, somehow ending up here in the mid-west. The inside is beautiful, not quite as breathtaking as the outside, but still nothing to be sneezed at. The service was quite nice, and I didn't feel quite as out of place as I had feared; I went with my friend Meghan, because I wanted someone In The Know to hiss "Kneel...KNEEL!!!" at the appropriate times.

I partook of the Eucharist, and when I got to the Communal Goblet of Wine, I wasn't prepared for the kick it had -- it was the Real Stuff (seven days, and I can buy my own ;) )!

It was a beautiful service...yet it's seemed as though many in the congregation were merely going through the motions, as though it's just something they do, with no meaning behind it -- like they don't take it seriously. I think L. hit it on the head the other day when he said that it seemed like it was, "All ritual, and no substance."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Concentration (or lack thereof)

I'm finding it horribly difficult to concentrate tonight. Perhaps it's because my brain hasn't quite made the switch from the Summer Mode to the School Mode, but I find it nearly impossible to focus my concentration on my textbooks.

Or maybe it has a bit to do with the weather. My window is to my left, and the wind is blowing gustily tonight at a beautifully crisp 61 degrees; not too cold, but chilly enough to slightly numb my fingers. I can't -- won't -- close the window, for I love the breeze whistling like shrill voices through the metal screen, the smell of the outdoors, the sound of traffic and occasional voices, the caress of the wind on my body. I love waking up when it's absolutely freezing in the room, yet I'm cozy, curled up inside my cocoon of quilts.

Tonight the full moon is golden, rising in the sky behind a bank of small silver clouds, and the eerieness and wildness of it all has me itching to go do something. The only ways I want to spend tonight are these: I want to put on a sweater, call someone, and go for a walk on this wild night; to sit around a campfire by a lake, listening to the crashing of the waves, looking at the stars, feeling the brisk wind around us, yet staying warm from the flames; to sit outside in the darkness, warming our hands around cups of hot tea; or to be indoors, windows thrown open to the wind, sitting cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by plants and art and quiet light, sipping wine, writing our papers, and listening to beautiful acoustic guitar.

It's funny how normal things, when done with someone else, someone intriguing, are lovely and completely unordinary. I love school, I do, but right now, a series of back-to-back weekends with weather like this would be perfect.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


This morning I didn't need to set my alarm clock; I woke up at 8:40 to a man bellowing, "You wanna play baaaaallllll? YOUUU WAAAAAAAANNNNNNNA PLAAAAAAAY BAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL?!"

There's a football field just below my window; we don't have a football team here anymore, but the local middle schools/high schools use it for their games. Today it must be middle-schoolers -- they almost disappear under the bulky uniforms. They're totally cute. Number 41 is lying on the field right now, with a group of people clustered around him. I hope he'll be okay. :(

Last night was beautiful; L. and I went for a long walk by the lake; we got there just a bit after sunset and got to see the moon rise over the water. It was so gorgeous, a trail of diamonds sparkling their way across to the horizon.

It's really nice out today, partly cloudy, in the low seventies; really great weather, especially considering that L. has an off-road bike race today that's 40 miles long. FORTY. Like, ten more than thirty. Twenty times two.

There are times I don't know if he's amazing, or just insane. Maybe both.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Social (not Dirty) Dancing

I'm in a Social Dance class that meets one night a week. Last Wednesday night we met for the first time, and out of the 20 guys, I ended up with one who had no rhythm whatsoever, and didn't even TRY to dance the way we were supposed to.

But L.* joined the class yesterday (he really wanted to, and I really wanted him to), and, MAN, it was so much fun to dance with him. It was wonderful. There were times when we would almost get the moves, and a few magical times when everything worked perfectly -- our feet took the little steps they were supposed to, our turns were exquisite, and the teamwork was a thing of beauty. The little old lady who helps teach the class came over to us a few times and complimented us, "You two look so good!" Rock on!

* He was in one of my classes when the semester started, and then, after we started talking, joined two more. And I'm very happy. There are a few days when all my classes are with him, and it's a great way to start the day, to get to see one of my favourite people.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


"Do the chickens have large talons?"

Sunday, September 11, 2005

with a quick one-two

Tonight I was stalking down the aisles of SuperWalmart --kill me now -- in search of a fan (we were melting in our dorm room this afternoon). The layout of the store makes no sense, and it's like a Sams Club, only huger and more full of stuff -- it seems like more stuff, because it's not in bulk, it's still in little packages. It's packed with hard-to-find things like fans and salespeople. GOSH.

To get to the housewares section, I had to walk past the little-kids clothing section, and my hormones nearly grabbed a 12-Month-Boy checkered shirt off the rack and clasped it to my chest or stuffed it in my bag and took it with me. AAAHHH. It was as though my Maternal Instinct came across me in a smotheringly hormonal wave, and I wanted a kid RIGHT NOW. GET ME ONE NOW. What, they're on backorder?

Times like tonight, I can hardly wait to have a Little Boy with brown hair and blue eyes and checkered long-sleeved shirts and corduroy pants and little brown loafers; who loves to be read to, and likes bugs and dirt and guitars and frogs and watching his dad shave in the morning.

all hot and steamy

(that's incorrect; the humidity is actually 88%. THEY MESSED UP.)

Days like today, you don't even need an oven. Or a stove. Want something baked? Leave it on my desk. Here, I'll just fry up those eggs for you ON MY HANDS.

My poor roommate is sick with the flu today, in this sticky, miserable weather. We have practically no air movement in our room, even though the window and door are flung wide open, hoping to invite even the slightest of breezes. Tomorrow and the weeks following are supposed to be in the mid-60's, which is my favourite weather; maybe today is just meant to make us appreciate tomorrow's weather even more. Ugh.

Friday, September 09, 2005

High, everyone!

I spent my day in emergency rooms and two different hospitals. At the second one, I was being given anaesthetic through a PLASTIC TUBE IN MY ARM, and when it kicked in, dude, it was so totally great. I was feeling loopy, light as a feather, like I was floating. I grinned up at the nurse, and she told me it was okay to giggle.

The last thing I remember before drifting off was telling the room, "Man, DRUGS ARE SOOO COOL."

I hope they realize the drugs in question were the ones they were giving me, not, like, the four lines of cocaine I snorted last night.


(I'm okay now; I had had something sharp lodged in my throat, and the first hospital I went to referred me to a different hospital, where they got me all doped up and threaded a camera/probe down my oesophagus, past my vocal cords, through my stomach, and into the beginning of my small intestine. And I have PICTURES of it all!)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Niche marketing myself

For as long as I can remember I always wished I could fit in, to have my own little place in amongst a group (preferably without posing or pretending, but if it needed a little help, I'd do it). For a while I was in theatre, so I was in the theatre group; I was a music major for two years, so I was one of the Music Elite, and I loved that, because it was real.

I've always been fascinated by Art People; they seem so free, so themselves, interesting and unique. I never attempted being a part of the Art Crowd; when they deserted the art room, though, I'd take my homework in there and sit by myself in the huge room, the high ceilings, the enormous windows flooding the tables with light; and I'd breathe in (not too deeply, heh) the scent of oils and acrylics, the powdery, clinging dust of chalks, the sharpness of turpentine, and just revel in being.

This semester I'm taking a drawing class, and there's a gorgeous room here with tall ceilings, skylights, and so much light and air I could go crazy with the sheer joy of it. My room is messy, but it's messy with art things: huge pads of paper, Lincoln Log-esque stacks of chalks; stamps, ink, charcoals, tape, tubes of watercolours, and hairspray (a cheap fixative so the chalk won't smudge) -- and I love it so much. I've always been thrilled at the feeling of chalks, the texture of papers, the clear, smooth watercolours, but I never knew how to wield them properly. I am so excited for this semester, to finally learn how to use them all, to have my hands make what my eyes want them to.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Font of knowledge

Another thing - I always get a fuzzy little feeling of pride and contentment when I recognise the fonts used on syllabi, forms, signs, etc. My "Mesoamerica" class syllabus uses Papyrus and Times New Roman (in 12 and 10 pt font), and when I recognised that, I felt comfortably at home in the class.

Silliest thing I heard today:

"But really, if you have a question, please feel free to ask it. There are no stupid questions."

Sorry ma'am, but oh yeah, there are.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dear Spammers...

I rarely receive e-mail from people I know; when I see that my inbox is stuffed with TWELVE! NEW! MESSAGES!, I don't even hope that they're Real Mail anymore; I'm resigned to the fact that they'll all be spam. That way, too, when I actually DO get Real Mail, I'm totally excited.

Some spam subject lines are so up-front, right to the point:
"2GB SD Card, $25 Off D-Link orders over $..."
"Truck Survey - Ford Or Chevy? Get A -$1OO- GasCard!"

I do get a kick out of how some spam subject lines are so personal, though:
"Danika, would you like to win $500?"
"Danika, are you lonely?"
"Danika, meet Christian Singles in your area"

And then some are just way too personal, and don't apply to me anyway:

But the one that tempted me more than any others, so that my fingers just itched to click the link:
"Your high IQ score"

That one totally made my day. It'd be great if all spam was like that one:
"Lookin' good today!"
"Hey beautiful, come get your $50"
"Revlon or Cover Girl? You don't need it, baby"

Monday, September 05, 2005


My attempt to justify eating the rest of a Skor bar for breakfast: Later, when I'm craving something sweet, it won't be here, and I'll have to make do with an apple or ricecake, and then I'll feel so health-conscious!

UPDATE: Or, later, I might reach for the candy corn. I might not. But I might.

(I knew that late-night candy-run was a bad thing...)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Here to stay...

Fall is in the air today, and I can't get enough of it. The air is cool and crisp, cold enough for a jacket, yet I have my window wide open - the breeze washes over me and makes me want to wrap myself in dark brown corduroy and lie under the stars, build a bonfire, sip scalding cider, try some hot rum. It flutters the fabric behind my bed, the fabric that covers the cinder-block wall, the fabric my brother brought with him from Malaysia. It makes me yearn for birch trees, for orange and red and yellow maple leaves, for brown leaves that crunch under my feet. For shorter days that are full of perfect apples from our tree, tart and sweet, for hearty soups and stews, for pumpkin pie and days spent baking and mornings when the world is turned silver with frost.

Days like today, I can feel London - the heavily moist air swirling around me, the dark clouds scudding across the sky as I traipse down twisted side streets, and for a ghostly second, I can hear the rumble of carriages, the clack of horses' hooves, fragments of Old English, and then they're gone in a chilly breath of wind.