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Last Updated 24 March 2004


Time: 10:15 pm EST
Date: 24 March 2004
Reading: Lots of lit theory and criticism on "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Hearing: Humm of processor fan
Inspiration: The date

Entry: Long away

I know, I am such a slacker. Coulda, shoulda, woulda won't get me anywhere with any of you so I will just get to the updating.

Had spring break, if one can call it that. I spent it visiting some newer friends, Stacey and Rachel. I spent a lot of time outside. I had all my mid-terms before the break so I had nothing to do school work wise, and that was excellent. I ate good food and laughed a lot. I can't think of a better way to spend a break other than with you all.

Of course the following week was loaded with school work, and I've been in that position ever since. I don't think it will slow down much until the semester ends in four weeks. I can't believe how the time has flown! But my fall schedule is planned, only a few classes left and I graduate in the fall. Hurrah!

Let's see, some projects I have in the works right now are: refining a paper from my Chaucer class last semester for submission to the English department essay contest again this May; I've started a short story in the form of a folktale/magic tale that I am trying to finish by Friday for the Coraddi deadline, though I don't think I'm going to make it (hopefully they'll extend the deadline. I just need a week longer!); a feminist/new historicist paper on Charlotte Perkins Gillman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" for a presentation in lit. theory; finding a poem to memorize for recetation later in April.

I was happy to receive my invitation to Delta's wedding in July. I think she still wants me to perform for the nuptuals; I hope she does. I'm very happy to see her getting hitched to such a great guy. They compliment each other so well, and it's easy to see that they are in love. As always I send them my best wishes and love.

Another friend, my sister Marisa, is in the process of buying a home in the mountains of Colorado. I'm so excieted for her and I cannot wait to visit her there, help her landscape, garden, build, renovate, anything. It will be good for her to have her own space, away, peacefull. Love and light to you, my sister.

Eric's father is still hanging on, though it seems to be getting more and more precarious as the days pass. He's started a new therapy and the results have yet to be seen, but it is early yet. I am hoping that you all will send positive energy our way because we could use it.

So that's all for now. I will keep up more regular entries in the next quarter. Bright Blessings to you all.

 


Time: 3:27 pm EST
Date: 03 March 2004
Reading: Everything for Exams tomorrow
Hearing: Lovely singing of the Springtime outside
Inspiration: Taking a break from cramming...

Entry: Yet another questionaire

1. What were your favorite childhood stories?
I don't really remember what my parent's read to me when they did read to me. I remember liking books from school; Curious George stories, Paddington Bear stories, Greek/Roman mythology. When I started checking books out from the school library on my own, they were typically books on mythological creatures, unicorns, sphinxes, gryfons and dragons. I remember reading three books in grammar school that I've been dying to find again. One is long out of print, a book called Tomorrow's Sphinx by Claire E. Bell. The other, whose title I can't recall exactly, was something like The Difficulties of Being Leon (I Mean Noel). All I remember about that was that it was fairly surrealistic and that the book cover had big purple asteriks all over it. The third, which I have found but have yet to read again, is Ronia, the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren. I also liked Charlotte's Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Superfudge, Romona Quimby Age 8, Freckle Juice, and Bunnicula.

2. What books from your childhood would you like to share with [your] children?
Certainly the three I'm looking for, Charlotte's Web, the mythology and fantasy titles (because that is what lent me such a generous dose of imagination and creativity), and much of the classic children's cannon. To that I will include the Harry Potter books, more recent Newberry/Caldecott award winners like The Giver and Holes, and tons of picture books.

3. Have you re-read any of those childhood stories and been surprised by anything?
I haven't been surprised really. I recently re-read The Phantom Tollbooth and was amazed at what it is really talking about, and how all of that just soared right over my little head. I think the last time I read Charlotte's Web I cried.

4. How old were you when you first learned to read?
I knew how to read before I entered Kindergarden, maybe just a smidge early. It was when I started reading three levels above my own that my folks started to get worried.

5. Do you remember the first 'grown-up' book you read? How old were you?
I read The Hobbit around eight, without any parental prompting, and at ten I picked the rest of the LOTR series. I guess that's about on time. Soon after that, I read Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn. But the first "adult" book I read was a book on unexplained wonders of the world like Stonehenge, the great pyramids and the sphinx, the oracle at Delphi--it was great and loaded with diagrams of the sites and all this information on archeological digs and history. About that time I picked up Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose...I was 13, I guess.


Time: 3:54 pm EST
Date: 01 March 2004
Reading: Books on the Harlem Renaissance, Ghost Rider
Hearing: Remnants of "Into the West" as performed by Annie Lennox
Inspiration: "What do you see on the horizon? Why do the white doves cry? And all will turn to silver glass..."

Entry: LOTR Oscar Sweep/Little Test

I found this intelligence test here, and thought it might be fun to see where everyone else places. E-mail me your results because I'm curious.

The Seven Intelligence Areas

Linguistic: 9

Logical-Mathematical: 3

Spatial: 6

Bodily-Kinesthetic: 7

Musical: 12

Interpersonal: 3

Intrapersonal: 11

A Short Definition of your Highest Score

Musical - the ability to understand and develop musical technique, to respond emotionally to music and to work together to use music to meet the needs of others, to interpret musical forms and ideas, and to create imaginative and expressive performances and compositions. Possible vocations that use the musical intelligence include technician, music teacher, instrument maker, choral, band, and orchestral performer or conductor, music critic, aficionado, music collector, composer, conductor, and individual or small group performer.

In other news, LOTR:ROTK swept the Academy Awards last night, winning all eleven of the nominations it had garnered. I was very pleased, as you can imagine. It it about time that Peter Jackson and his crew got their props, it just sucks that the Academy can get off thinking that this ceremony will make up for the last two years. The films totally deserved to sweep everything they were nominated for in the last two years as well. I'm still miffed about Andy Serkis not getting nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and I'm still angry that Sean Austin didn't get nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Roll. I was actually surprised when "Into the West" won the Best Original Song Oscar, because, frankly, I thought that "I'm Going to Find My Ain True Love" by Sting and Allison Krauss from the film Cold Mountain was better. But, that's cool, so long as it isn't Disney! All, in all, I'm a happy girl today.

 


Time: 7:19 pm EST
Date: 29 February 2004
Reading: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart
Hearing: Academy Awards Pre-show
Inspiration: Leap Year, Falling Behind

Entry: Describe Perfect Writing Place

Outdoors:
Somewhere deep in the cathedral of the green woods there is a circle of worn stones. They have been untended for centuries and the grove has reclaimed the space once cleared and sacred. In the morning, there is a mist there, wetting the stone and deepening the emerald boughs of oak and ash and thorn. When the sun pierces the veil, it slants just so through the leafy canopy, dancing with speckled shadow along the loamy bed of the grove. It is very quiet, the birds sing far enough away to be heard faintly, and nearer, a brook mummers an aqueous sonata. The air moves gently in a breeze that just disturbs the ferns and leaves enough to allow for the shift of light from here to there and back again. There is a hollow in the base of one old oak tree where I keep sheaves of waterproof paper, pens and coloring implements, as well as natural inks and pigments. They are never disturbed, for there is no one else who knows of this tranquil deep—those who knew of it before have passed beyond the veil.

Indoors:
When one knows the way, there is a path that leads from this grove deeper still among the trees to first a natural, spring-fed well that is low and deep, then on to a lush English cottage-style garden, slightly unkempt. Winding through the mounds of flowers and herbs, fruits and trees, the path ends at the stoop of a small thatched cottage painted white and green. Through the carved wooden door that creaks pleasantly on old iron hinges, one enters the warm, well-lit place. There are but two rooms, the main room divided invisibly into hearth room, “office,” and parlor; and the second room is private and closed off—containing a bedroom and lavatory. Above the hearth is a huge stone chimney where herbs are hung to dry and a black-painted mirror. The mantle has treasures untold, and today, the fire heats a cast iron kettle of water for tea. A besom by the fire contains pine and fragrant cinnamon bark, wafting spicy scents throughout. The area opposite the hearth is a parlor, but it is in no way so formal. There is a low table and mounds of pillows for lounging, but also a comfortable sofa and reclining chair complete with end tables. Along two walls, floor to ceiling, there are full cases of books for all tastes, but mostly dealing with the Mysteries of love and faith, and lore of civilizations. They look well-read and they are tastefully accented with conversation pieces—an astrolabe, a glove, old maps, and photographs. The “office” is fronted by an enormous bay window that looks out over one half of the garden and part of the woods. Anything the writer desires is at their fingertips, and beyond that, the bookcases and hearth are only steps away for fueling the mind and body. There is a large formal desk, a computer, and an office chair, all connected to the internet and other luxuries. The bay window has a seat, and in its compartments are journals and places to compose one’s thoughts. There are controls for the stereo and a guitar in the corner for releasing excess thoughts. All is well lit naturally and by soft lamps, candles, or moonlight in the night. The colors throughout are neutral, tending towards warmer tones for the encouragement of creativity.


Time: 9:11 pm EST
Date: 18 February 2004
Reading: Wallace Stevens, e.e. cummings, Stanley Fish, Wolfgang Iser (Reader-Response Criticism)
Hearing: Hildegard of Bingen
Inspiration: Nothin really

Entry: Firsts & Lasts (Yes, it's cheating)

FIRSTS

- First job: Outside of working for my parents, IvyWild Costume Shoppe (formerly Peterson's Partyland, in Co. Spgs.)
- First screen name: Andromeda, and variations thereof. That's still the name I use most, even though the reason I chose it in the first place is no longer applicable.
- First funeral: Jen Martin's grandmother my Jr. year of high school. I would have liked to go to my grandfather's internment, but it was in CA and I was only 8.
- First pet: I don't know which came first technically, but an onery calico cat named Beaviscavitch (Bea-bo), and a half-beagle, half-springer spaniel bitch named Elasvites (Elsa).
- First piercing: I had my ears pierced when I was 16, much to my father's chagrin. Lucky for him, I am allergic to most metals, so I cannot wear earrings without my lobes swelling up and leaking puss for weeks afterwards. Lucky for me, the holes are now closed.
- First Tattoo: Shucks, not yet! I know what it will be though, and where.
- First credit card: First and only--Capital One Student Visa that started out with a $300 limit.
- First Kiss: First grade, Webster Elementary: I was dared to kiss Nathan Apple in the "tire." I did, and I remembered it until high school when he returned from a long trip away.
- First one that mattered: See above answer, since I kept crushing on it for so long. But perhaps the "real" answer would be a toss between Travis Montgomery in 7th grade (braces and all), or Adam just before he left for home.
- First love: Adam, and Marisa
- First enemy: Nicky Crandall, I guess, simply because she hated me so much it wouldn't be fair to her to say no one.
- First big trip: My family drove out to California in our boaty Oldsmobile station wagon on our first family vacation. Nothing like vynal seats in the summer, no air conditioner and five people in one car on a five day road trip!
- First concert: Dave Matthews Band, or Melissa Etheridge, I can't remember but they were so close that it doesn't matter really.
- First musician you remember hearing in your house: My mom played lots of Beach Boys, Barry Manilow, Jim Croche and Judy Collins. My father played classical, Kingston Trio, and Herb Alpert.

LASTS

- Last car ride: Home from the grocery store. Duration: 15 Min.
- Last kiss: Eric (mmm-mini crullers)
- Last library book checked out: Um, 25 books of criticism on Chaucer and his poem "Hous of Fame."
- Last movie watched: Whale Rider on DVD. In the theater, Big Fish.
- Last beverage drank: Water, 64 oz.
- Last food consumed: Big green salad, sardines, and a bit of pasta.
- Last phone call: Eric
- Last time showered: Yesterday a.m. I can't shower everyday or my skin becomes like a lizard's.
- Last CD played: A Feather on the Breath of God: Sequences and Hymns by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen by Emma Kirkby and Gothic Voices (a gift from Adrien for my birthday), before that Lavalek by Groupa (in the car)
- Last annoyance: Waiting in line at the tax office for a half hour only to be told that I needed to call an 800 number. I didn't get angry with the clerk, it's just stupid though.
- Last soda drank: I cannot remember.
- Last ice cream eaten: About a week ago, Eric and I bought some ice cream with Andes Mints broken up in it. Tasty!


Time: 9:26 pm EST
Date: 12 February 2004
Reading: Marianne Moore, Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, William Carlos Williams
Hearing: James' mix CD (James Brown, Afro Cuban All Stars, David Garza, Bebel Gilberto, & Bob Marley)
Inspiration: All the love in my life...

Entry: The Breakdown

This weekend was my birthday, for those of you who read this and don't know that, which are likely few. So I just thought I would send out a public thank you to everyone who thought about me on the anniversary of my birth and those who took the time to send me very personal and very thoughtful gifts, cards, and pieces of their souls. I love you all, so much.

On Friday the 6th, I spend the entire day after work looking, or rather, hunting down a gift for Fred, a co-worker with eccentric tastes, and that is putting it mildly. I went everywhere, and everything I saw that screamed Fred also screamed, "someone's already gotten me for Fred, move along!" I didn't find anything definate on Friday, and our joint, annual birthday bash was being held at his house the following evening. I was preparing that night to make a pumpkin burbon cheesecake (to which Eric has assigned the very impressive Cheesecake Conniseur rating of 9!), but I wanted to get Fred an actual gift, because I love doing that. On Saturday, Eric and I went out together, with the intention of getting a really nifty smoking-type jacket at a local thrift store, but to no avail. I had to go with something I'd found at World Market: a hand carved wooden monkey puppet wearing a fez and a matching vest, like an organ grinder's monkey. It was spooky looking, and I knew that it was something that no one would be getting for him. Eric said that Fred had mentioned a theory about gift giving: "The point is to get them something that they aren't expecting and something that they didn't know they wanted." I succeed! He actually loved it, and now the freaky monkey is sitting on their fireplace mantle! I'm so happy I went with something original, and avoided all that other stuff--because he got it all from everyone else as I suspected he would, and they would have been duplicated.

As for my "booty," everything I recieved was so thoughtful, and though I'd have been just as happy receiving a nice card or a phone call, I love all the usefull gifts as well. Eric gifted me with a very comprehensive and portable French grammar book that will come in very handy on my trip this summer, as well as a copy of the movie Whale Rider on DVD. He made me breakfast too, which is always nice. At the party that night, Fred and his wife got me a Mideval Cookery book with authentic recipes from the middle ages and detailed passages about culture and meals in Medieval times. Another co-worker, and becoming friend, Rachel, got me a book also, along the same theme, about how to plan a Medieval festival. Both parties know about my deisre to have a Medieval wedding in the not so distant future and knew that their gifts would help with the planning phase (which, for the record, has yet to even begin, and NO there isn't a date yet!! ;) ) I also received some handmade soap and a light catcher from some of our crafting/artistic friends Bevin and Becky. Otherwise, the party consisted of excellent food prepared by Teri (a gift in itself) and lots of laughter and conversation with friends new and those made long ago. I played my guitar for Fred as a sort-of secondary gift (though I was REALLY nervous and I don't know why!). On Monday, I received a package from my best friend and soul sister, Risa. She had copied out some recipes from her personal kitchen by hand and personalized them with positive sayings and affinities for herbs used in the recipes and the like, making them magickal indeed. I cannot wait to try them out, because even on paper they look delicious. Then today, my soul brother, James Brown Buddha, sent me a care package as well--one of music! A recording of his new/current band's first gig from back in November of 03, a tape of a rehearsal, and a fun mix CD that I'm listening to as I write. I love it, as it is all the music I know James listens to all the time. It makes me feel connected to him even though the distance makes me feel quite disconnected at times. It was just what I needed from him. Eric's parents made a little collage of my poem (posted in the previous entry) that is suitable for framing, and I'm certainly going to hang it up somewhere. Good cards full of wishes and love from Eric's brother Mark, Grandma, my Grandmother in Colorado, Stacey, and Marisa--all are sitting on my wood stove next to the computer where I work, and I can see all their bright smiling faces in the colors of the cards and the handwriting. It's like you are all here! Well, sort of...I thought I would feel old, and I did before the party. But now I just feel really special and well loved. THANK YOU ALL!

In other news, I received my first two tests back for the semester with A's, for French and Earth Science, which I'm pleased with. I'm attempting to write a folk/magick tale for this semester's Coraddi magazine at school, as well as brush up my research paper from last semester's Chaucer class for the English Department Essay Contest. All in a semester's work, I guess. I don't feel so overextended as I have in past semesters, though the reading is far heavier than even last semester. Lots of linguistic philosophy for Lit theory, much of it incomprehendable until I read an "English" translation online or in our subsequent textbook. Lots of French translation for my reading course. Currently it is easy, but we are going to be moving to Sartre later in the semester, which should be very interesting. Great poetry in Modern Poetry, and an ongoing discussion with the professor about my insights that I can't manage to say in class, or don't get to. I really like my professor for that class--she's great and very interesting. She's the wife of my academic advisor, who is a Shakespearian, while she is a Modernist, a Pound/Eliot scholar. What an odd match...At least I thought it was. My Earth Science teacher is such a guy, but that's okay I guess since the subject can hold my attention when he cannot. So far so good.

That's all for now. I will update again soon, likely this weekend. Keep your eyes open. OH, two funny things I heard over the course of the week: "I kick so much ass, it's amazing my foot hasn't fallen off!" and Fred mentioned seeing a gift that's up his alley, a stuffed Sigmund Freud doll with a wind up music box inside that plays "Memories." HA!


Time: 5:32 pm EST
Date: 06 February 2004
Reading: Ferdinand de Sausser and Jacques Derrida, T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, "Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road" by Neil Peart
Hearing: Sjofn by Gjallarhorn (read the review!)
Inspiration: The date of the Entry previous!

Entry: Promised Poetry

I remember promising (probably in the last quarter archived) to post the poem that got published in the UNCG literary magazine/journal, Coraddi. The issue was recently released (officially on the 10th though), and I thought it best to post it here now for those of you who have been itching to read it. Thanks again for all of you who went through my poetry on the poetry pages of this very website and chose your favorites. I took all your suggestions into consideration and entered the most popular choice [Allegro (Woman!)] and wrote the following poem. Unfortunately, only one was chosen, and it was the newer of the two, which no one had read. So, here you go, and thanks for your patience! Enjoy!

 

A New Organ
Jennifer Paige©2003

She has been expertly dissected,
hardly recognizable as instrument.
Peeks at passing innards--a danse macabre;
trackers, stops, keys and pins,
wires, sliders and bellows--
the anatomy corpus.
A thousand silver pipes
packed like coffins,
sacrosanct,
easily tarnished by sinners' fingers.
Now sacred music sleeps.

After the service, we welcome the new organ.
Sunday-best-dressed
congregate,
Pastor presiding.
Many hands make light, disorganized work
relocating boxes.
The sanctuary balcony must be girded,
steel beams placed strategically,
re-engineered for the weight
of this fragile beast.
Pastor jokes, "Don't sit in the back under the balcony from now on."

Sweat wiped from the good doctor's brow with giddy palm,
the music director conducts, winces at
each creak or groan,
covers his eyes--see no evil.
This group has need of a shepherd.

Enter life-worn Gibson, man with guitar's name and
keyboardists' slender fingers,
a long-ashed Camel perched on his lips.
He probes the delicate filigree,
surveys the damage--two sliders snapped--
a complicated salvation
for supplicant fingers.
He knows her secrets,
resurrector of sound from slumber.

I watch his holy work, enrapt.

He tranforms reluctants to workers,
offerings to shine the brass
chime like a carillon.
Conversations ascending--
Jubilation! Finally the full Bach repertoire!
Sighs of awe at three whole pedal boards!
We move the heavy console together.

Sunny Sunday afternoon acquiesces to Autumn dusk light
and we are homebound.

 

Later this evening, I will be reviewing the album listed above. Be sure to check it out!


Time: 10:34 pm EST (time for me-me's)
Date: 19 January 2004
Reading: Too Much!!!
Hearing: "Sex Machine" by James Brown (Hines)
Inspiration: And to the Brown Buddah: "Rub my berry fo ruck!" & "HuH! HIT Meh! UH!"

Entry: On Meeting Stacey (Finally!)

So, I apologize for not updating about this earlier, but it took me some time to really soak it in, to soak HER in. That is a good thing, by the way. But for those of you who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, let me catch you up.

Stacey contacted me through a pagan website that we are both members of, I for a long time, and she had just joined up at the time. Or anyway, she just found me there, saw that I lived near her in NC and dropped me an e-mail. I love that! So, we started writing each other letters (yes, letters! The long and handwritten kind, because there is nothing like FEELING words, they are sort of magickal that way) and kept writing for about two years. We have a lot in common, not only with our spiritual paths and our general curiousity about religion, but also in life experience. So we became fast friends. What's so odd is that as close as we live (relatively) we'd never actually met each other...in two years!

So, in an e-mail volley that lasted a week or more, we finally set up a time and place to meet at last. So last Wednesday, we met in Raleigh at the Olive Garden for lunch. I arrived a bit early, about ten minutes I guess...I was excited. I was sitting in the lobby waiting, watching ever single person who came through the door to see if it was her. And suddenly there she was, glowing, peeking her head in the causeway and telling the hostess that she was meeting someone there...I immediately gave her a hug. She was excited too, and we just had this energy happening all afternoon...it's hard to explain...because it wasn't static, it was ambient...like it had always been there throughout time, and we'd just brought it back into the forground for a second. Granted, I feel we know each other fairly well through our letters, but our souls hadn't recalled the other exactly until that instant.

Okay, anyway, we met at 11:30 and stayed at the restaraunt untl nearly 2:00! We talked about everything, from children to our faith paths, friends and lovers (the one's we are with now, our soul mates). It was a good meeting, and I enjoyed it very much. She made me laugh out loud...anyone who can do that is worth keeping around!

So, in the future, there will be more entries about Stacey as we travel our road together, as she grows and changes, and I do the same. I can't wait to meet her daughter, her husband, and her child on the way...how delightful and wonderful to make new friends! It's something I haven't done in a long time, and it just feels nice to know that I'm still capable of it.

More as it comes...


Time: 9:25 pm EST
Date: 16 January 2004
Reading: "Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road" by Neil Peart, and much more (see below)
Hearing: Den Feule "Quake"
Inspiration: Many things, and a call from my Brother

Entry: Week1, Semester 2, and Perhaps Predictions

Gods, I have a lot of work this weekend! By the reading load, you'd think I were a grad student, but alas, I am only a Senior. This week classes began and after having two sessions in each, I feel it is safe to give an initial opinion of each. Granted, this is subject to change without notice at any given time. First, my schedule is now on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8:00-1:45. I have four classes, each an hour and fifteen minutes each, with a fifteen minute break between each course (so that they always begin on the hour or the half hour). My first course is an English course, a critical theory course. It is also speaking intensive, as opposed to writing intensive, which will come later this year. I feel a bit odd knowing that the only "papers" I will have to do for this class are essentially transcripts relating to my oral presentations. I am not comfortable with oral presentations, despite all my years as an actress/performing musican. It scares the piss out of me. So, obviously, there will be some major fears overcome this semester if I am going to get good marks. I'm going to have to articulate my thoughts without much opportunity for revision, something I really and truly dread. No more "um," "like," or "you know" for this semester. I must learn to speak as well as I write. Anyway, the professor for my theory course is from a Latin country originaly, I assume, and his accent is making me want to answer him in French for some reason. That is not good, simply because I am certainly not yet comfortable responding in ENGLISH let alone FRENCH! Our assignment for this weekend is to read (or re-read) Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Birth Mark" and the introductory chapter in our text, and the novel "The Great Gatsby" as they will all be employed in discussion next week. I know one person in the class, as I have had her in three other English courses, Natasha. She and I are in a discussion/reading group with two other people of questionable quality...we shall see.

My second course of the day is French. It is the second installment of the intermediate level, which I somehow managed to receive an A in last semester, much to my surprise (I think I was one of maybe three persons in a class of roughly 25 to receive a high mark). The professor is another native French speaker, originally from either Thailand or Vietnam, but recently returned from visiting her family in France. She speaks very quickly, partly because of her recent travels as well as the tendancy I think Asian women have towards it. Her voice is almost annoyingly chipper and high-pitched, and I am relieved that I don't have her first thing in the morning. She is much more amiable than Professor Levine was last semester, and so far the course looks as though it will be mostly reading and translation of short stories written at about the high school level. That is a comfortable level for me, still challenging but not tedious. If I can get a bit ahead, it will be cake. We do have a play by Jean-Paul Sartre on the docket--nothing like reading existential drama in a foreign language! Again, another familiar face from two previous French courses, Sarah. She is a biology major, and generally pleasant and bright. (Though she also had Professor Levine last semester and received a B for the course, which isn't bad, but it has left her a bit disenchanted with the language. We got spoiled with Professor Jones at the 100 level!)

Thirdly is what I think will be my most exciting course, Modern Poetry. I've not studied in depth much literature after, say, Yeats, and certainly nothing American after that point. But there are many poets I've been both interested in learning about (Philip Larkin, Alan Ginsberg and the Beats) and dreading learning about (Robert Frost, for his general likability, William Carlos Williams because his verse seems so simple but it's not, and Ezra Pound because he wiped the face of MOdern poetry with a bizzare and greasy cloth and the residue won't seem to come off again). The professor is the wife of my academic advisor, a former Shakespearian actress (as he is a scholar of Shakespeare), and total free spirit. I felt a kinship to her the moment she stepped into the room, as there is something about the way she carries herself, and the way that she speaks, and thinks, that is admirable and even something I would desire to emmulate were I to be a professor. This class is also speaking intensive, so no real papers, per se. I do have to write two short essays following the recital of two memorized poem over the course of the term, and one group paper about a certain "school" of poets, which I have decided for myself will be the Beats. Our first assignment was to read (or re-read) various Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson poems for discussion last class. I drool over Whitman, and I am liking Dickinson the more and more I study/read her work. Dr. T. said once that a poem I'd shared with him reminded him or her work. I am seeing now just what a complement that is. After class on Thurs., I asked the professor if she would mind if I e-mailed her with some outpourings of reactions to the poetry that I have that either may not be appropriate to discussion in the class because they are too personal or just irrelevant, and to strike up a repore with her as well and gain perhaps a deeper understanding of both the poets/poetry and the form/structure/meter/etc. I deffinately don't feel like I will get as much out of this class as a survey course as I would like. She said that was fine, excellent in fact, and that she would e-mail back what replies/info that she could. Yay!

My final class of the day is a freshman survey lecture course of Earth Science. I have to sigh at this, because again I am surrounded by negativity and the attitudes of students who often have no motivation to be there at all, let alone to learn something, because their bill is footed by rich mummy and daddy who have always given them everything their little materialistic hearts desired, ie, they have never had to work hard, if at all, for anything in their entire papempered existance. When they are then asked in a class of this scope to do, say, a ton of reading (as we were assigned this weekend), there are deafning tsks and put-out sighs, great rollings of eyes and defiant mutters under the breath. Certainly, I don't need the added work load of over 100 pages of essays on science, even if they are something I've wanted to read anyway ("The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" by Richard Feynneman and other essays by Stephen Jay Gould), in addition to my English readings, French translations, and general reading of the actual class textbook (!). And the fact that our professor has a particular Pennsylvania accent, that makes it SOUND like he's a totally cocky ass-hole (which I'm sure he isn't, actually), that makes it even worse. When he assigned the work he sounded smug, like he was thinking, "man, I'm really sticking it to yous guys this MLK--heh, heh..." But I can tell he knows a lot about Geography, and with it Earth Science, so I'm excited. So long as he doesn't talk about football during classtime any more in the future...

After classes, I work at the library until 5pm. I don't know what the Coraddi schedule will be like this semester, but I hope that it still will fall on Tuesday nights. I will just stay in town and study until the meetings, then head back after. I'll be working at B&N on MWF to try and flesh out my bank account in preparation for the trip to France this summer and the trip to Colorado following closely thereafter. I have a feeling that my stress is going to be generally heightened this semester as it is. With the pressure of last semester's grades (straight A's and President's List) and other successes (getting published in Coraddi and winning the English Department Essay Contest for a Research Essay), and Eric's dad's cancer progression (as opposed to remission as we'd all hoped and prayed). I know that I can only do what I can do, that I will do the best I can do, as I always do. I have a feeling that the year is going to be a bittersweet one, but right now it's just a feeling (not a hunch or worse, a premenition, on the "bitter" bit, that is), one of maybe painful growth spurts. Rather appropriate as I am in my academic adolescence...my mental bones are stretching still further.


Time: 1:38 pm EST
Date: 11 January 2004
Reading: "Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road" by Neil Peart
Hearing: My father's voice
Inspiration: Phone Call

Entry: About Ember

How we met each other is so quiet, so matter of fact. I don't think either of us expected that breezy summer night to have the deep lasting effects on our spiritual lives as it did, and still has. I'd been hearing about her for weeks, my girlfriend at the time would drop Ember's name whenever I'd talk about needing to learn how to play guitar in order to accompany myself singing. Shea (the girlfriend) had invited me down to Pueblo to stay in her grandparent's house while they were on vacation, as a sort of second house-sitting assistant. We would sleep in the trailor outside the house, in the side driveway, so that we wouldn't be disturbed by other family members dropping in. This was a second attempt at a relationship for Shea and I, the first one ending in the previous November when the phone just stopped ringing and she (allegedly) went back to the girl she'd been seeing the entire few months we were together. When she proposed the little vacation from Colorado Springs to me, I jumped on it. I needed to get away from my mother and that house, where all of the memories of my parent's marriage and recent seperation seemed to close in around me on a daily basis. The plan was to find work in Pueblo and stay the summer. I never did find work that summer, but I did discover Ember and Brandon, music, and a whole lot about Shea that I didn't care to know.

So one night, after Shea got off work from her pizza delivery job, we bought a case of Bud Light and sat out on the porch drinking and talking. She thought it might be a good idea to check and see if Ember was home. She called and soon Ember was pulling into the driveway of her sister's house, which was next door to Shea's grandmother's house. She wore a pair of tattered jean shorts and a white ribbed tank top (wifebeater, as they are often called), and her tatoos peeked out from various points of exposed skin. Her hair at that time was fairly long, blonde and curly, but she didn't fool anybody for a femme lesbian, at least she didn't fool me. So we sat on the porch of her sister Amy's house and drank beer and chatted, getting to know one another. Shea disappeared somewhere and I started letting the beer do my talking for me. I spoke of my concern for Shea and her continuing relationship with this other woman, how it was really causing us to argue and her to smoke too much pot due to the stress of keeping two jealous women. Ember listened patiently, interjecting comments about both Shea and the other woman when they were appropriate. I started to get mad at Shea and the situation she'd put me in by asking me down to Pueblo, away from her girlfriend whom she could not seem to let go of. I realized that she'd been pulling the wool over my eyes with her sweet talking and her playing at affection with me, again. Ember said that whenever she got in a bad mood she would turn to music. I agreed that it was a more constructive way to express oneself and ones emotions than bashing the other person's face in (not that I could have nor did I consider ever kicking Shea's ass, though she deserved it certainly).

Ember returned from her jeep with a white Ovation 100 acoustic guitar. I had been considering getting one very similar in design but wearing my favorite emerald green finish. I mentioned my desire to learn to play, and she offered to give me lessons, to teach me what she knew (which was a whole lot!). In the meantime, she started strumming some chords and I selected the few that I liked and we put them together. She started putting a rhythm to them and I helped her pick the arrangement further. Then I had her play the "riff" over and over again while I wrote what would become the lyrics for our first song. Forty-five minutes later, we were finished. I'd written my first song complete with accompanying music and we'd written OUR first song of many in just under an hour's time. We were both amazed, and had it been a song that wasn't imbittered about the subject, I'd have likely shared it with Shea immediately. As it happened, the rest of the night she didn't show, and the next morning we called it quits. She graciously allowed me to stay at her grandmother's for the duration of the summer, but that was soon remedied with an offer from Ember to stay with her at her mom's house. From then on we were fast friends, and constant musical soul mates. Every time we get to see each other (which is rare now that she is still in Colorado and I am here in North Carolina) we try to write a song, and we certainly share everything we've done musically in our time apart. She has been performing quite often at open mic's and shows via invitations from friends. She's gaining the experience on stage whilst I'm gaining the experience in life. It should make for good music in the future.


Time: 9:00 pm EST
Date: 10 January 2003
Reading: "Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road" by Neil Peart
Hearing: The Frost Maiden by Hednigarna
Inspiration: Snow

Entry: Motion Forward

Just thought I would do a quick update to catch everyone up on the going's on in my world. This weekend was spent (and will continue to be spent tomorrow) in the company of friends and cleaning my house. Friday night we went to assist a friend from B&N, Starr, and her husband with their computer woes and got a wonderful dinner and long visit out of it. They are wonderfuly honest and earthy people, real and without pretention. They are the kind of people who impress me the most, even though they come from humble or rough and tumble beginnings. I strive for that face of mine to be the one I present to people first, and always. We returned home quite late, around 1 am. Needless to say getting out of the bed this morning was difficult, despite the brightness of the sun on the day-old coating of snow still covering the ground. We went out for bagels this morning, and brought some home for the rest of the week. I cleaned the kitchen and started making a burbon-pumpkin cheescake from a recipe I found on Epicurious.com some months ago. I hope it turned out okay, but we won't know until tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we are meeting with the Hurlburts (friends of the Taylor family and sort-of adopted parents to Eric and myself) for lunch and then a matinee of Tim Burton's new movie, Big Fish. I'm wondering if this is based on a book that came out a year or so back that was fairly popular at B&N...if so, I'm sure he gave it a thourough Burtonian treatment. It's a musical, and with any luck, the soundtrack is done by Danny Elfman...a treat everytime. I can't wait to see it. Then we'll return home, I'll likely clean the bedroom (the last room left on the list!), or I might just save that for Monday since I have the day off. Classes begin on Tuesday, and I'll be in GSO until 5pm. It will be nice to get back on a regular schedual again, I must say. It helps me to dicipline myself with exercise and chores as well as what to do with my free time, as it becomes less and less available as the semester goes on. I hope to have Mr. Fransuave Sweaterman over before he heads back for Cornell on the 22nd. Maybe next weekend. On Wednesday, I'll be taking the Civic in for an oil change in Raleigh and have proposed a meeting (finally) for a friend I met online via The Witch's Voice about two years ago now. We've never met, and she only lives about 40 miles away (if that). So, I thought it might be nice to actually meet and have lunch or something before the semester gets too hectic. Then when I call to invite she and her husband and young daughter over to games or something in the future, she won't feel uncomfortable.

It will be nice to have a nearby friend. Though I've actually been getting a bit better with that. I've recently become attatched to another girl from work, Rachel, whom I like very much. We have a lot in common and are in similar places in our lives (though she must be younger than I am by 5 years or more). She wants to have Renaissance wedding and I've sent along some links I'd bookmarked in researching my own upcoming Medieval wedding. I told her that we could learn about the process together. I look forward to getting to know her and her fiance better in the coming months.

Last week, Ember called me. I was so happy I just didn't know what to do with myself. I called her back almost immediately and we chatted for about an hour, catching up on the last two years we've missed out on. She said she'd called because she didn't want to lose touch with me like she seems to have lost touch with all her other friends. I told her that I always know how to find her, just find her mother. We lamented the loss of Brandon, a mutual friend who seems to have fallen on troubled times and has lost touch with even Ember, his best friend. She and he have a fairly deep psychic connection, unlike the last thin thread remaining of what he and I used to share in out heyday. But she mentioned that she felt like he needed her, and has been trying to find him for the last few months. The time she felt him calling out to her seems to correlate to the time I attempted to find him again as well. I've decided to start including him in my prayers and rites again, sending, at the very least, positive healing energy his way, and perhaps a psychic beacon. I do worry for him as a teacher worries for her charge, and he was mine once. I know how tender his heart is from all the many years of bruised abuse and unlucky love. I'm still his sister in many ways, though we have been estranged many years now, for reasons that are no longer relevant. He was last living in Denver, but he could be anywhere now, as he tends to be quite flighty and contrary at times, especially when his emotions are tattered or his blood is rich with alcohol. I hope that he can find the right path, that he can find music, and that it will lead him back to the arms of people who are able and willing to protect him as he heals. Mote it be...


Time: 8:58 pm EST
Date: 02 January 2004
Reading: "Seventh Son" by Orson Scott Card
Heariing: Loreena McKennitt
Inspiration: Winter's Heart

Entry: "Living lightly on this earth..."

I cannot believe that the winter break is nearly finished; just one week left to go. My classes officially begin on the 13th of January, and I will be going Tuesday's and Thursday's only--that is a nice way to cut about $15 a month off of my fuel costs. I will attempt to work at B&N for the remaining three days of the workweek, leaving my weekends free for study and homework. If I feel my grades taking the toll of my time spread too thinly, I will have to make a sacrifice. It shouldn't be too difficult though.

I've gotten nearly nothing done from a list of "to do's" I made for the break. I've nearly finished two things, and nearly started a few others. I had planned to research folk/magic tales and their structure so that I might attempt to construct one for the Spring semester Coraddi. I've discovered a few things that I could have assumed were true but I still have no idea what to write about. Perhaps the pressure of the "call for entries" will light the fire under my butt and get me writing before the semester starts eating away at my free time.

The holidays went well, and I've come out only a few pounds heavier. But I did get some brand new running shoes that are encouraging me to get them on my feet and take on the pavement to obliterate those extra pounds and the 10 more left to lose. This weekend, Eric and I are taking the new camera out into the woods for experimentation and to learn just exactly how it does all the things it does. That should be a lot of fun. Otherwise, I've been working and working and working...the other reason why my list of "to do's" is still incomplete. But, if you haven't noticed it already, the Reviews page has been updated. Granted, it's just a book review (of a damned good book, mind you), but rest assured there will be more reviews of various media coming in the future. I simply have to decide on the format for the CD's and things. I thought to copy James, but I think I can manage something that is a hybrid of his thoroughness and something I created too. We'll see.

I hope you are all well this (secular) New Year. Many delightlful things are afoot in 2004 for me and mine. May blessings and love and light be with you and yours in all your endeavors. Live lightly, Love fully...

 


 

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