Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Just thought I'd mention. Heh. Showed up for my Art final, and was told by the instructor, "I've been watching you all term and already know your grade, A+, you can go home." Didn't even take my portfolio or look at the extra credit stuff I did. He actually laughed at me for doing extra credit stuff. Aaaah. Ambivalence.

Them Pesky Centaurs

In case it hasn't been obvious, I've recently finished reading Ted Hughs' Tales From Ovid, and have been revisiting it chronically, even whilst getting a head start on Heinrich Heine's Journey To Italy. Over winter break I intend to finally make a trip to the library, seeing as my reading list at this point is only twice my height.

Today is the day of my final Final, Figure Drawing, I've posted here a pair of drawings I will not be handing in, so I spread them out on the carpet and took pictures of them with the digital camera - not the best quality bute eh.

In other news, I'd like to draw your attention somewhat belatedly to the Pro-Test movement, headed by Laurie Pycroft, a young man who at the age of 16 had the cojones to take on some of the (in my opinion) scariest people on the planet - Extremist Animal Rights groups. I don't know about you, but this kid inspires the heck out of me.

Winter break is almost here, which means, more than anything, that I will have time to seriously, seriously clean the kitchen. It might seem strange that I am looking forward to that more than any other side effect of a month long vacation, but you haven't seen our kitchen.

I've signed up for next term's classes - Math 111, and a 1 credit PE class.... Ice Skating.


Because I can. ...And fencing was full.

Still pending on the 1 credit voice class, but for some strange reason I don't think the instructor's going to deny me.

Every morning the grass and roofs are white with frost, which I get to see only because I wake up early to go to the gym before the sun rises above the houses and thankfully melts it all. We've been promised snow several times this week, something I have, as you can imagine, been quite ambivalent about, but now I am glad to say it probably won't be happening till next week at least. Snow during break is fine with me, snow while still rushing to class and waiting at bus stops? NA ah. It's averaging at about 15 degrees outside, and all the we all get home with chapped hands and knocking knees - last night everyone but me arrived home after dark (I finished early on account of my math final) so I cooked up a huge warm pot of stew and baked whole wheat low-fat garlic bread. I am quite popular.

Yui finally got her driving permit so Danika and I are going to practice with her a little in the parking lot later today.

And now I must be off, glory awaites... or slidenotes do, anyway.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Nine Tenths of the Pleasure


But other than that, joy.

Thanksgiving was incredible, music, food and family, what else could a person possibly need in life? Carried my textbooks all the way there, cracked 'em once, and just let things lie. The result was apparent in my grade on Tuesday's test - but I've since then been allowed to retake it, and managed to wrestle that 73% up to an 81... still not remotely the grade I was aiming for, but turkey will take it's due, and I've already started cramming for the final. Still managed to hold onto my perfect attendance record despite yesterday's game. Yui and I, as the 'foreigners who just don't get it' were forced to silence our anger and misgivings at the warped town. Yes, I suppose living across from the stadium is stupid, but what do I know? I'm still trying to figure out why they pick up the ball, why it isn't even really a ball since it ain't exactly round, and keep touching each others' butts.

We won, naturally, TAKE THAT BEAVERS!!.... Whoever... you are...?

And here I am, having done 4 practice finals this morning, and now procrastinating instead of doing another. I can almost smell winter break... my Figure Drawing Final, while an amusing concept at first, has turned out to be far from a joke; it is an hour and a half of slidenotes, that is, making rough but accurate copies of the work of the masters, then expressing in the margin our impressions of composition, figure-ground relationship, the use of negative space, the heirarchies of size and focus, and all in the type of language that appeals to this man, Adam Grosowsky, my brilliant instructor. It's going to be a blast. I also intend to represent this picture:

In charcoal for extra credit. Isn't Jessica beautiful?

I have a few rants planned, and more news to impart... but it's nearly noon and I have to do some more practice tests before I head out. Love to all and Happy Holidays whatever that means...!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


It's raining now, but it was a nice day.

It was a nice day, but it's raining now.

I've been going on an orange binge, the last couple days. It's flu season, and I guess my body knows what it wants, so I've just been heeding it and eating orange after orange and little else. Finally made it to the gym today, so hopefully the sugar levels won't be too horribly effected.

Made it to the bank around four, and wouldn't you know? They close at three thirty on Saturdays. Gah. Oh well, at least made it to Target and got the SD card for my camera, as well as a new pair of gloves and a hat! I finally found the hat to match my bogy coat!I'd like to quickly apologize to anyone whose sensitivities were offended by the unlit cigarette in my mouth, it was simply necessary to complete the image.

Today is Danika's birthday, so we're taking her out to dinner tomorrow to celebrate at an Applebee's. Should be fun, despite the latest unpleasentness regarding 'dish duty':

Iliana, Yui and I have naturally taken it upon ourselves to simply do the dishes when they need be done, regardless of whose they are... but Danika doesn't understand why she should do anyone's dishes but her own. After all, that's Socialism. As the only white girl in the apartment, we have resolved to humor her.

Tired now, and a bit headachey for no apparent reason, but still would like to call your attention to a few wonderful things:

My friend Jason has brought the movie Pray The Devil Back To Hell to my attention; I've yet to see it, but it revolves around the Women's Silent Protest in Liberia, and looks absolutely wonderful.

William Philips
, a ten year old boy from Arkansas has refused to say the Pledge Of Allegiance, based on the grounds that 'Liberty and Justice for all' does not apply to the gay and lesbian community. He is a very eloquent and compassionate child, and strengthens my desire to be a teacher more than ever. He mentions wanting to become a lawyer in his CNN interview, and I honestly hope he does become one some day, this country needs people, and children like him.

Stephen Colbert can sing
. This makes me inordinately happy.

There will probably be another post this week, with a rant or at least some Heine/Ovid quotes, but right now I'm going to curl up in bed and watch The Music Man for this first time. Good night and love to all!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vampires And Emily Dickinson

So, to be completely honest, neither vampires nor Emily Dickinson have ever been remotely palatable to me, and for very much the same reason, yet both have been the fail safe haven of Young Women throughout the ages. And both piss me off.

I'm talking, of course, about Twilight.

For those of you blissfully unaware of the raging fad, Twilight is a series of books chronicling the escapades of Bella, a gawky teenage girl and Edward, her breathtakingly gorgeous, 100-year-old, fast-car-driving, don't-love-me-I'm-dangerous vampire boyfriend.

Nothing new.

I'm going to approach this in two separate diatribes; the first about Bella herself, and the second regarding her alleged relationship with Edward.

Bella as a role model for young women, and a literary phenomenon:

The Marie Sue; a term few literary academics would use, but all online-writers are familiar with
- a self-character, usually embodying most if not all of the characteristics of the writer, yet still somehow managing to save the planet/win the game/get the guy. Marie Sues are notorious for being 12-16 and socially awkward; yet somehow the world sees past all that, as we know, the world is prone to do. Having a Marie Sue as your main character is not necessarily an indication of bad literature - quite the contrary. Meg Murry of A Wrinkle in Time is a Mary Sue, so is Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice, Josephine March of Little Women, and the main character of just about every other book you can easily compare to a tub of ice cream. This is very clearly a basic psychological tool in the development of the adolescent or pre-adolescent female psyche. We need our Anns of Green Green Gables in order to grow up believing we too could someday have dresses with puffy sleeves. We need our Polly Keefe's to let us know it's alright to be smarter than absolutely everyone else around you. We need every single one of these young ladies to confirm that while our loneliness/awkwardness/sadness often mistaken for maturity quite definitely makes us special and unique and like no other, ironically at the same time comforts us with the universal knowledge that we're not alone in that. Yes ladies, we're all, every one of us, special and unique. Why? Because we're sad.

Until the hormones let up a bit, that is. Then it's time to bake cookies or become a lesbian.

The first time the story of Cinderella was told, I'd bet my life it was by one 14 year old girl to another. Cinderella was a commoner, a trait quite easily corresponding to a more modern sense of social awkwardness. The prince, you'll notice, is very often a recurring theme. The reason why most books-for-boys end up with the bad guy getting caught, and most books-for-girls end with a wedding/date has been addressed more times than I care to recall or mention here, so we'll just leave that alone, shall we? And move on to the next bit of my rant.

The Beauty and The Beast; The dominant lover and abstinence:

Twilight, unlike most young adult fantasy stories... allow me to rephrase, unlike most young adult fantasy stories actually published is quite openly one long drawn out abstinent-teenager sex fantasy. The vampire thirsts for her blood, but he loves her, so he abstains. Talk about having your date and eating it too.

Edward the vampire routinely forces things on Bella in an amusing and 'romantic' way, he lifts her, moves her, at the end of the book even 'tricks' her into going to prom. Basically a pseudo-innocent way of demonstrating a relationship with the male as dominant, and female as subservient. Giving cloistered virginal girls a rush at the thought of a strong man, doing with her as he pleases. The rape fantasy, this time with sparkles.

But Edward doesn't have all the power, no, well, sure he's infinitesimally stronger, roughly 83 years older, naturally far more physically attractive than she'll ever be BUT-!

And this is important...!

She gets him.

....only she doesn't...

...That is... she's not afraid of him.... only she is... there's something... something that she has that no one else can give him and wouldn't you know? It isn't her blood. Or her body. ... What is it again? ...That's the one question that never seems to get answered, honestly, in any of these similar scenarios. Why does the prince love me? Because I'm Me. And this apparently is reason enough.

So. Bella and her cohorts are by definition awkward, oddballs, unequal to their lovers in physical attraction, not necessarily talented, intelligent or sweet... but inevitably harbor an endearing fascination with all things ethereal and other such fantasies.

The fantasy loves me because I love fantasy.

This misconception is slammed into our girls at possibly the youngest of ages - you love your doll? It must love you back, ignoring, of course the capability of stuffing to feel love. A young girl's need to feel beloved by imaginary characters soon passes from dolls to actors, but even there there is some basic conception of reality. You might love James McAvoy till your eyebrows smolder, but nothing short of pathology could convince you to harbor the idea that he knows you exist, let alone loves you.

With Fantasy-Fellas, it's different. They don't exist, therefore could easily love us. In fact, who else could? And what do they ask of us in return? So little! Merely that we fuel their nonexistence with our fantasies, and by so doing making ourselves ever so... 'unattractive' to those interlopers, Real Boys. EW.

And so Edward the vampire and his kind feast upon the desperate and unsuspecting hearts of socially inept young women. Brides so ugly and awkward and stupid [we are speaking teenagegirl-ish, here] that their one sole redeeming quality is that they are real, wed to grooms who, while embodying all that could ever be desired in a man, alas, must remain in the realm of fantasy, having only that one single fault - nonexistence. Yin and Yang, Beauty and the Beast.

That is to say, a beauty with acne, bad hair and braces, perhaps an eating problem, social leprosy, poor hygiene, perhaps?

And a Beast who doesn't exist. Ah. They're meant for each other.

And now I'm tired and my throat hurts. But that was freaking fun.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nourishing Breakfast

The breakfast of a true college student - cold pizza and an energy drink. Oh yes, feel that inevitable warmth that envelops your entire being when coming in contact with a true stereotype; the fact that this 'breakfast' is being eaten at noon, is merely a bonus. To be honest, I have offset the pizza/redbull combo with two vitamin C chewables and an apple. So ha. I can have my stereotype and eat it too.

Throat feels a little better this morning - Called the college health clinic to schedule a strep-test but the soonest they could give me is Monday afternoon; the nice lady on the phone advised me to avoid breathing on people until then. And so I shall. As my mother has often told me, oxygen is for wusses. Though I do take care to note that my respiratory system so far seems unaffected by the bug, which is usually the biggest fear to rear its head whenever my immune system takes a dive - still, I have taken the usual precaution of temporarily going cold turkey on my smoking habit. Day three now, and I've yet to bite anyone's head off.

Though I admit I've become far too upset about the Stupak Amendment the Health Care Bill has acquired during its time in the house - an amendment that guarantees abortion will not in any case be covered by the Public Option. That is, the portion of the populace for whom the Public Option was in fact created for, the people who by definition cannot afford coverage, and therefore presumably anything remotely like acceptable education, hygiene, nutrition and emotional and spiritual support, in other words the people who are most likely to make the kinds of mistakes, or fall victim to the kind of violence this procedure invariably stems from, will not qualify for it. It will be denied them. Bart Stupak, a Democratic representative from Michigan, insists this is nothing but the application of the Hyde Amendment to Health Care Reform. Which I believe raises the question, 'where's the reform in that?'

I'd like to take a moment to mention that the allocating of government funds to sponsor abortion is still... well, it grates, doesn't it? Whether or not the moral issue appears to us as clear as day - the American democratic majority is still Pro Life, and the federal government is an extension of public opinion, not a guardian of morality. If we allow our conscience to take exceptional rule to the law, what's to stop anyone else, and specifically religious groups, doing the same thing? Aren't we then as bad as them? Morality is by definition a gray area, in my opinion at least, Right and Wrong change, or at least shift slightly from one individual to another. You know what doesn't change so easily? Legal and illegal. So the idea is to make Legal and Right, and Illegal and Wrong to coincide as much as possible, by making laws that are right. So thank you Bart Stupak, for thoroughly messing that up... But you know what the really sad thing is?

There is nobody even remotely in my age group to whom I can talk to about this without getting this reaction: The head inclines slightly to the side, a single or both eyebrows rise, and the mouth quirks sideways. Oh well.


  • Lou Dobbs has retired, Iliana and I actually exchanged a high five in that regard; Iliana was born in Mexico, and I despise hate mongering, therefore we both benefit from a lack-o'-Lou.

  • Lemony Snicket's A Bad Beginning is now available online for free download; I strongly suggest you refrain from reading this horrible tale. If you don't believe me, please allow the man himself to dissuade you.

  • Heinrich Heine comparing Shakespeare to God:

I have been reading in the Old Testament again. What a great book! Even more noteworthy than its contents is its presentation, where every word is as natural as a tree, a flower, the sea, the stars - as man himself. It sprouts, it flows, it sparkles, it smiles - we know not how or why; but it all seems quite natural. This is truly the word of God; other works are merely products of man's wit. In Homer, that other great book, the presentation is a product of art, and though the material itself, as is the case with the Bible, is taken from reality, it is cast into poetic form, transfused, as it were, within the crucible of the human mind. It has been refined by means of the spiritual process which we call art. In the Bible no trace of art is evident. Its style is that of a notebook in which the absolute spirit, seemingly without the assistance of any individual human being, has jotted down the events of the day, almost with the same factual accuracy with which we write our laundry list. One cannot pass judgment on that style. One can only observe its effect in our minds. the Greek grammarians were more than a little perplexed when they were supposed to define some striking beauties in the Bible in the terms of traditional aesthetic principles. Longinus speaks of sublimity. Recent aestheticians speak of naivete. Alas! As I have already said, there are no criteria for judging this book... the Bible is the word of God.

In only one other writer do I find anything that recalls this unmediated style of the Bible. That is Shakespeare. With him, too, the word sometimes appears in that imposing nakedness which awes and moves us. In the works of Shakespeare we sometimes see the living truth without the covering of art. But this occurs only in rare instances. The genius of art, conscious perhaps of its impotence, for a very brief space transferred its office to Nature, and then once more asserts its supremacy all the more zealously in the plastic shaping and the artful entanglement of the drama. Shakespeare is at once Jew and Greek; or rather, both elements, spiritualism and art, prevail and are reconciled in him, and unfold in higher unity.

- Letter to Ludwig Börne from Hegoland, July 29 1830

Alright then. Time to get bundled up and off to math class.... The sun's finally come out, so that's something, though it's probably only going to last the length of time I spend inside getting dressed. Might take the time for an extra cup of tea.

Shabat Shalom!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Got my test back early because, I swear, the teacher has a soft spot for me. :D I handed in my test early, and two minutes later he called me over and handed it back. Bought an orange to celebrate.

Now I'm home, too tired to cook - we're gonna order a pizza. Throat hurts, but still riding on my 93% high, and listening to Johnny's CD. He's a guy from my Math class who plays the flute, mandolin, and guitar, and we exchanged CDs this morning. His band's name is ManOverBoard and they have a pirate theme, me and the girls are gonna go see them perform next month.

In other news Sesame Street is 40 years old, and Stephen Colbert gives us his own special view on the matter.

I need to get in bed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


As the title of this blog suggests, I am attempting to weather the passage from the universally acknowledged categories(laid out so helpfully by waitresses throughout the ages) of 'Honey' to 'Ma'am'. I am now a 'ma'am'; I have been a legal adult for some years now, and unfortunately the world has finally taken notice.

My main reason for starting this new blog is a series of comments made by my wonderful grandfather in regards to my old online journals - they are admittedly quite immature and by definition inappropriate, being, as they are, meant for the eyes of other teenagers and young adults, as opposed to serious and ever so dowdy people such as my family. So yes, we are all serious and sophisticated people here, which is why I am writing this post instead of doing yet another practice test for my midterm tomorrow. Imaginary numbers are bleeding out my ears. Supposedly the square root of (-1) was given the name 'i' based on the sounds made by the people it was inflicted upon, e.g. "Ayayayayayayayay!!!".

Today is Veteran's Day, and the college is closed, so I have spent the entire day at the kitchen table, curled up in a warm bathrobe and doing practice test after practice test since 8 o'clock this morning. There has been improvement in my scores, but unfortunately the slightly sore throat I woke up with has deteriorated and acquired the companionship of a headache. 2 Vitamin supplements, three oranges and 5 cups of tea later, I am still sniffling and wincing when I swallow. Oh well.

Am helped by Jon Stewart's coverage of Fox News' fraudulant coverage of the Anti-Health Care Bill Rally in Washington this Thursday.

Speaking of genius political commentators, I am almost at the end of my Heinrich Heine 'The Romantic School and Other Essays' book, and am trying to draw it out as much as possible. Here is a brilliant snippet from Ludwig Börne: A Memorial, a letter Heinrich Heine wrote his longtime friend from Helgoland on July 1 1830, in regards to where he would settle himself:

Or should I go to America, that monstrous prison of freedom, where the visible chains would oppress me even more heavily than the visible ones at home, and where the most repulsive of all tyrants, the populace, hold vulgar sway! You know well what I think of that accursed land, which I once loved, before I knew it well…. And yet I must publicly laud it, merely out of professional duty…. You dear German peasants! Go to America! There are no princes or nobles there; all men are equal – equal dolts…. With the exception, naturally, of a few million, who have black or brown skin, and who are treated like dogs! Actual slavery, which has been abolished in moth of the North American states, does not revolt me as much as the brutality with which the free blacks and the mulattoes are treated. Whoever is even in the slightest degree descended from Negroes, even if this is not betrayed in his color, but only in his facial features, is forced to suffer the most frightful humiliations, which we in Europe would scarcely believe. At the same time Americans make such a to-do about their Christianity and are zealous Church-goers. They have learned this hypocrisy from the English, who incidentally have bequeathed to them their worst characteristics. Worldly pursuits are their true religion, and money is their God, their only Almighty God. Of course, there may be many noble souls who in secret deprecate this universal self-seeking and injustice. But if they fight against it, they expose themselves to martyrdom, the like of which is inconceivable in Europe. I believe that it was in New York, where a Protestant minister became so upset about the mistreatment of the colored people that he, in defiance of this horrid prejudice, married his daughter to a Negro. As soon as this truly Christian deed became known, the people stormed the minister's house, and he was only able to escape death by flight; the house was demolished, and the minister's daughter, poor victim of the affair, was grabbed by the mob and had to endure its wrath. She was lynched, that is, she was stripped naked, coated with tar, rolled around in an open feather bed, and in this sticky feather covering dragged through the entire city in ridicule….

O Freedom! You are a bad dream!

And now, unfortunately, I must go back to doing practice tests and encouraging my immune system. More tea and unfortunately things that look like this: