19 April 2010

this is a test

26 August 2009


My family-cat, Socks, died today. He was 13 years old. He pretty much always looked like this.

27 June 2009


I just read through the majority of posts I made on an old, old blog of mine.

I used to be a pretty good writer.

I've stopped writing.

I'm busier now, and less unsure, but I wish I still had the same heart for writing that I once had.

28 October 2008

What I Believe, Or, Where My Vote Is Coming From

I believe that men and women have the right to do with their bodies as they please. I believe that while abortion is a painful, emotionally trying life-event, a woman should not be forced into a pregnancy she does not want. I believe that criminalizing abortion is not progressive; it will only make women feel more alone, more abandoned, and less equipped to understand themselves. I believe that even though a women does not support abortion, she can enact compassion, and hold her sister’s hand during the process. I believe that abortion should be a last resort for women, but still an option, and that women should have legal access to any birth control they need.

I believe that people should be able to marry whom they wish. Just as we do not discriminate against blacks who want to marry Asians, or Hindus who want to marry Christians, we should not object to gays, lesbians, or transgender people marrying their partners. I believe this world needs more love, not less, and a person’s gender holds no weight on the sanctity of a marriage bond, and that everyone should be entitled to the same rights that heteronormative couples enjoy.

I believe that the government has a responsibility to its people. I believe that although poverty and homelessness cannot be fully erased, we should try. More money should not be spent on homeless animals than homeless people. I believe that individuals have a right to the money they earn, but taxes on that income should be fair, and big businesses should not be given tax breaks because of their wealth and influence.

I believe that wars and violence should be avoided at all costs; that a president should not have the right to order invasions without Congress’ approval.

I believe that announcing your opposition to immoral practices does not make you a moral person. I believe that compassion and love are the best markers of a person’s goodness.

I believe that we should respect other people’s beliefs. I believe that most people are searching for the same things in life and in spirit, and that the path I choose cannot and should not be forced on anyone else.

I believe that education is valuable and powerful, and that we should be working as quickly and as best as we can to enable our youth to be better thinkers.

I believe that the arts should have a firm footing in our culture, and that a nation that does not support artistic enrichment is not developing fully.

I believe that slandering someone else’s name is a shameful way to gain popularity.

I believe that preying on people’s fears is a shameful way to attain your goals.

I believe that racism and prejudices of any kind should be eradicated. I especially believe that those individuals in power should squelch any racist attacks against their peers.

I believe the media has a responsibility to provide the facts about the people and events it reports. I believe that honor codes should be enforced for all news media organizations.

15 October 2008

This Scares Me.

Thanks to Feministing for the heads up.

20 August 2008

This Is Rough

It was raining. She had been forced to walk across the Square, constantly losing her sandals across the wide, dark puddles, their plastic soles slipping beneath her feet, making her stumble and mutter “Fuck” under her breath. She had been forced to park in a forgotten strip of spaces behind ugly buildings, and it was raining. She was slipping and muttering as she crossed the ill-defined parking spaces, walked north down one street, east across another, and then finally heading south to the bookstore where she was being forced to buy a book that she could have bought for much cheaper online, had the professor given her students more than a few days notice. As she slipped and muttered north, than east, than south, she was forced to pass a boutique displaying storefront dresses she couldn’t afford, much less fit into, and she was forced to remember her lumpy figure’s tendency to grow all the more lumpy and saggy in all the wrong places. In the bookstore, she was forced to ask someone where the books she needed were, after initially telling a clerk, “No, I’m fine, I’mjustlookingrightnowthanks.” The books were, of course, neatly arranged alphabetically on a shelf wearing a neon green post-it note with her professor’s name and title as a name tag. She had missed the obviously marked shelf. She had missed a lot of things. She was feeling odd, and uncomfortable, awkward without her usual social safety blanket draped around her shoulders. When she placed her books on the counter to be rung up, she realized she’d forgotten to buy the journal she wanted to write down her reading assignments. She was too embarrassed of her forgetfulness in front of the undergraduate ringing her sale to mention it. He was wearing a deliberately faded plaid shirt, the kind that snapped rather than buttoned, and an ill-fitting and not-at-all humorous trucker’s hat. She would later forget what his face looked like, but would not forget the way his conversation with her was flat and lifeless, too impartial to even be considered forced. The undergraduate didn’t know his way around the cash register, and she grew impatient even though she recognized that she, too, was new to everything. She realized, too, that she was not impatient for the undergraduate’s slowness in ringing her purchase, but for her own easing into her new city. She’d become mildly agoraphobic. Going to the grocery store and shopping in a busy aisle nearly drove her into a panic attack, which she hid, of course, behind almost-closed eyes and a weak smile. “What class are these for…” the undergraduate stated, more than asked. “English 600.” She waited for the glimpse of recognition in the undergraduate’s eyes, but none came, and she was mildly disappointed that once again, no one cared that she was a Masters student. “Would you like a bag for this…” Again, the words followed one another as simply and obviously as a caravan of bored pack animals. It was not a question. But she answered it anyway, “No, thank you, I’ll just carry them.” She had intended to get a bag, as it was raining, and she’d had enough problems trying to keep her shoes on. The undergraduate had further problems knowing how to ring up her sale and charge it to her credit card, and had to consistently seek advice from Dot, the much more lively attendant who, despite ringing up her sale (by proxy) didn’t seem to notice the girl buying the books at all. “Would you like a bag with that…” She almost said ‘yes’ this time, but instead, not wanting to contradict her original opinion, went again with a bored, “No, thank you.” She left the bookstore without being noticed, and again slipped and muttered her way north, then west, then south back to her forgotten parking spot. It was then she noticed row upon row of books filling up a window that was nearly covered with a climbing vine and ill-draping power lines. With the rain coming down, it seemed dreary, yet calming, and she wanted to take a picture of the scene. She had only her cell phone, and was therefore faced to take a picture that did not capture at all what she felt when she first looked at the window full of books. The picture now on her screen deadened the affinity she felt for the window and vines and books. She got into her car, and heard a song sang by an artist she didn’t know. It was a sad song that tried to evoke tears from her chest. It almost succeeded, but she was resolved to avoid tears. Less than a mile from her home, she realized that the car in front of her was being followed by an ambitious black mutt. She was driving behind a dog that was happy to run behind a car. When the car escaped him, he merely stopped, turned, and looked at the oncoming girl. She pulled up beside him, honking at him to get out of the road, and he looked at her, wagged his tail, and walked away.

26 July 2008

T- 5 Days

Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me; / For now hath time made me his numbering clock: / My thoughts are minutes...
William Shakespeare, The Life and Death of Richard the Second

Oh shit.

This is it, folks, 5 days left until I'm completely packed up in a U-Haul and a handful of family-sized sedans. 11 days until I'm left completely alone in a brand new house with myself as its sole occupant. I'm seriously wishing I knew someone in Oxford at this point. Because as much as I crave independence, I have no idea how to be a grown-up. See? I still say grown-up. Not adult, adult is too.... mature. 

My world has been a swirl of things the past few days. My financial aid issues are still totally unsolved. Know why? One digit of my social security number was entered incorrectly. A 3 was put in as an 8, and now my whole financial stability depends on some random student assistant who may or may not decide to show up for work on Monday. "No man is an island," indeed. 

On the plus side, I do have an address now, so I've been able to get my utilities turned on and school-related miscellany applied for. My pet application has been approved, so I can be a bona-fide crazy cat woman now if I wanted to be. Not that I have any desire to own multiple cats and wear ugly sweaters. No way. Nuh-uh. Not for me. At all. 

I *finally* found out who I'm teaching under in the fall, and what class. Thankfully, I got the class I wanted- American Literature after the Civil War! The professor sent me a copy of the syllabus, and of the 15 or so authors, I've read all but 2 or 3. I'll get to teach a lecture, and lead 3 discussion classes each Thursday (8 AM! 11 AM! Noon!). This sounds exciting now, but I'll probably want to shoot myself later. And know what else? Having a Facebook profile should be required for people I want to silently observe. The other TA for my class is apparently off-grid. J.P., who are you?