Rustic Bench Image by Joe Bly


Last Update Performed: 24 February 2005


Time: 9:17 am EST
Date: 24 February 2005
Reading: Merchant of Venice by "Skip" Shakespeare, Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen, Hip Logic by Terrance Hayes
Hearing: Beekeeper by Tori Amos
Inspiration: Spring-ish

Entry: Idintification with the Land

Yesterday was a lovely day, sunny and crisp, slightly breezy. I smelled the frech bark mulch in the air--acrid and familiar. it;s a smell that makes one wrinkle up the nose and gives one comfort all at the same time. Manure is like that for me as well. ET thinks it strange that when I smell manure I inhale deeply and sigh, relieved. I know somewhere on a cellular level what it does for the land and the things growing there. Spring is such a time of mixed emotion for me. I feel the energy latent in things and I'm excited to see the first bursts fo life. I feel connected--deeply connected. But then I am also sad, because my most favorite season of winter is at an end and I can no longer identify with the land. I make a metaphor for myself in the fallow field and the dormant oak. Only in the very early spring can the metaphor extend more positively, where I see in myself that same potential energy--getting ready to bloom. But once the buds from the limbs poke their leafy heads or the first blush of flower announces spring's arrival, I am cut off. The Earth passes on without me and I am disconnected and a bit bereft. Then the oppressive humidity and heat of this hellish summer flaming around me, broiling me alive in this uncomfortable skin. Then, thankfully, the respite of autumn, where my brittle body flakes away like jewel-toned leaves--little sail boats on the Styx. And at the first frost I am freed, my spirit esxaping with my breath ina stream of steam and evaporating in the crispness of the birttle air. The mind is active on a higher plane, active when the body is not. And therein lies my strength--my dominant air qualities of sign Aquarius. I am not of the body. I do not feel comfortable there. Somday, I may. I simply have not yet.


Time: 6:40 pm EST
Date: 06 February 2005
Reading: "R&J" William Shakespeare; Chattahoochee by Patrick Harris; Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen
Hearing: Generation 80's Retro Radio (iTunes)
Inspiration: I'm becoming an oldster...

Entry: My "doves"

I had some time on my hands so I thought I'd update briefly. School is surprisingly uneventful. I have a lot less work than I'd planned at this point, which is good, I'm not complaining! I have a lot of reading, like last semester, and I'm keeping up with it. I'm having some trouble with my Old English class, only because we are learning the language at an excellerated rate and I'm just trying to be my perfectionist self. That isn't really required of me at this point, as the professor said that every year everyone passes the class even if they fail the grammar tests in the beginning. But if I failed, well, I would be pretty angry since it is sort of a focus of my future academic platform. So, I'm trying hard...it's fun and I have been complimented on my accent. Yay!

So, wedding planning...causing me a ton of stress. If anyone has a few thousand dollars lying around, that you don't need, send it on along. I don't want to skimp on the food, and we already found a good location for the reception. It costs a lot for the rental of the space because it is novelty and a state historic site. I don't know that it's overpriced, but it is expensive. Being that I've never done this before, the sticker-shock is giving me some anxiety. I'll be amazed if we keep it under $10,000--anything more and we will be in some financial straits. Hell, we will if it gets to 10K. My father made a point of telling me that the average wedding ceremony costs about 12K--thanks, pop! Send a check!

The problem is that I want to be planning right now, not studying. I want to be able to work to afford these things without such a strain. But that is not the case and four months earnings and time are given to making up for my four-year hiadus from school. POOP! I don't think I've slept without grinding my teeth for the last week. Not good for the TMJ, the migrains, nor the stress headaches. Wee! Why am I doing this again?

Tomorrow is my 29th birthday. I'm becomming an oldster, and the stress and general body-aches I'm having are a sure sign of it. Feeling a bit depressed, not necessarily due to my birthday--just a lot of things. I miss people, I miss parts of my self that were surfing a lately as a year ago but have now buried themselves (rather, been buried by me). More than myself are suffering from this: I'm short-tempered at home, I yell at the cats, and I eat...too much. The "cure" is easy enough, but as I often find with myself at times like this, I sort of like being depressed. I had the OB-GYN switch my perscription for the Pill to a lower hormone variety, and I am hoping that will help me during "that time of the month" and soften my mood swings. I am also hoping that I won''t gain weight from the switch. Yeah, you'll hear it if I do.


Time: 4:42 pm EST
Date: 25 January 2005
Reading: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Not You, Not the Rain by Sirkka Turkka
Hearing: KRCC, Public Radio at Colorado College (streaming)
Inspiration: A kick in the butt from James

Entry: Major Update

Okay, so I'm combining the '04-4th and '05-1st quarters together (since the former has only one, pathetic entry. So, I'll post the X-Mas letter here, and add more comprehensive information for those of you who already knew all of this:

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

January 2005


Dear Friends,

This letter comes after the holidays, embarrassingly late for holiday cards to accompany it. I hope to make up for that fact with the length and breadth of the letter itself. Taking a cue from the traditional “year in review” type missive, this will update you on what Eric and I have been doing and our plans for the New Year, 2005.

Any letter from the two of us wouldn’t be accurate unless it stated how busy we are with work, school, and the house. But 2004 took us to new extremes of accomplishment and exhaustion. The most significant event for us was the passing of Eric’s father, Dick Taylor, this summer after a long battle with cancer. After living with his diagnosis for nearly two and a half years, the end was sad but not unexpected and a relief to the family’s suffering in many ways. Dick was an amazing man, well loved by his wife and sons and remembered by all with only the fondest memories. In only three short years of knowing him I’d come to think of him as a second father. He is deeply missed.

We were kept busy before and after his passing, and things are just starting to settle down to the more familiar buzz of normalcy. Time for working on improvements to our home and garden has been rare, as one can imagine, but the summer of 2004 saw an addition of approximately 200 square feet to our vegetable garden. One third of that was used to indulge my taste for hot peppers, and the rest of the addition, as well as the original garden plot kept us supplied with fresh veggies well into the autumn months. Summer 2005 should allow more time for landscaping, planting, and perhaps a new and improved deck. Eric finished a utility shed and workshop outbuilding that is fully wired for electrical and even air-conditioned. It was an excellent value addition to the property and very satisfying to see as incentive for upcoming improvements. The next indoor project is a renovation of the bedroom to include newly designed closets, new carpeting, and a paint makeover.

Eric is still employed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working on the computing initiative there. It’s kind of a combination of computer technician and customer service representative, a position he’s very good at. The job is looking more and more permanent with each passing year, but in that statement lays the frustration we feel already. He’s kept a part-time position at the bookstore, working there a few nights a week. This leaves little time for home improvement projects to both his mother’s and our own home, but he still manages to fit these in whenever he can.

I have just one more semester remaining before graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May. I’ve been doing very well in my academics and have made the decision to forgo taking on an MFA program in Creative Writing in 2006 and will opt instead for a Masters degree in English in the fall of 2006. But there is a lot to plan before then. For the moment, I’m focused on finishing up this final semester before the next stressful but exciting interlude—wedding planning!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Since the New Year, we've, of course, been busy. The wedding planning has begun, and we spoke with Pastor Colley on the night of the 6th to discuss the date, time, money, and style of the ceremony. Two ceremonies are inevitable, one at the church and then a handfasting at the reception. The wedding will be laid back, business casual dress and a very informal reception following. Then, later in the evening, we will have the handfasting and medieval themed reception. BUT, all of that shall be disclosed in a more formal manner. We intend on having an informational website with everything you need to know, so please be patient.

We finally began the bedroom renovation on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s B-day. We both had the day off and not much planned, so we decided to rip out the closets. We have been generally in awe of the sloppu workmanship done on this house by its previous owner/renovater. This demolition simply reiterated what a shotty job the man did. But the work needs to be done, as we now have a mildew problem on the south facing wall that had made its way into the already hideous carpeting. So, we are planning to lay a new sub-floor, moisture barrier, cushy padding and new silvery-grey carpeting. The closets were located on the north wall, built to surround the doorway and giving the clausterphobic effect of walking through a tunnel upon entering the room. No more--the closets will be re-built along the eastern wall, surrounding a window which will now have a window seat/storage beneath it. The closets will be shallower in depth but will be floor to ceiling for plenty of storage space. We've already replaced our bed with a FABULOUS Temper-Pedic matress, for which ET plans to construct a platform with still more storage beneath it. We intend, while we have the wall construction going on, to install a pocket French door that will close off the back of the house from the front, but still allow light in the afternoons. (We still plan to install a stained-glass transom above that door as well--I love natural light!) Once the construction is complete, the room will be painted a deep blue and we will keep crisp white trim and possibly also white furniture (though I would like to use some deep mohogany distressed dressers from Pottery Barn...). It is being billed as a place of serenity, tranquility, peace. Nothing that can inhibit that or promote disharmony will be allowed into the room--no school work, no bills, no paper except good books for reading and perhaps stationary for that long lost tradition of letter writing. This is going to be a strictly enforced rule!

Until then, we are sleeping in the living room. This is not so bad considering our new X-Mas T.V. and newly-expanded DVD collection. I don't so much like the cats sleeping on the new bed, but since it is still the old bedding, I'm not gonna get bent out of shape. I am a bit concerned about being displaced during my last semester at UNCG. But so far the work has been okay, not overwhelming, and I like all my classes at this point. There is some overlap, which is nice, a bit less to remember come mid-term. My grades last term were excellent, all a's and 1 B (in math, which is really good for me actually), so I want to keep that trend this semester, my heaviest yet, and graduate in May in the top of my class. I can't wait to be done with my degree.

There is so much going on for me right now. Lots of meetings on campus for various organizations and "Lists," and it seems like everyone is getting married around here. This Saturday, I've been invited to Bevin's batchelorette party (which ends up at Legends, a gay club in Raleigh). We've started a Hiking Club, and are trying to hike once or twice a week, weather depending. I'm writing poetry, learning Old English, studying Witchcraft academically(!), and learning all about the history of Britian (until 1600, anyways). Throw Shakespeare and some women's literature in there and I'm one happy gal! Huzzah!

(I can't believe it, but Ani DiFranco's new album is ACTUALLY good! I thought she wouldn't make it back to us alive!)

I mean to do some serious additions to the poetry areas of this page, and sometime soon I'll be changing the journal format to a MoveableType blog that I can update remotely. That should increase my productivity here. But until then, I hope this really long entry keeps you happy for a few days to a week.

I miss you all, let me know if you're still reading this (esp. Nick and Risa)!

 



NEW QUARTER

 


Time: 8:49 pm EST
Date: 22 October 2004
Reading: The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing; Cymbeline by William Shakespeare;
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Hearing: My Launchcast Station (jpaige89@yahoo.com)
Inspiration: Change of season

Entry: New Quarter Update

I've fallen a bit behind in updating my journals all around. It's getting to be that time of year when I seem to always be writing, at least in the past it has been so. We'll see how things go this 4th quarter. School is keeping me busy--lots of reading and papers coming due. The semester is almost 3/4 finished and soon it will be time for finals. I'm projecting ahead to the next semester planning my schedule and crossing my fingers that I am able to get all six classes I need in order to graduate in May. I've also started preliminary research into MA programs for English and Medieval Studies for Fall 2006. In between, of course, is the wedding planning and the wedding itself. Lots to do, and lots of stress to go with it. Things with the Taylor clan are still a bit erratic and there are tensions and concerns surrounding financial descisions. I'm trying not to get involved with that because I don't need to drive any further wedges between the Matron and myself. The wedding will do enough of that in its time, I'm sure.

Monday begins another go at losing 40 pounds by this time next year. That is realistic and I know I can do it. I won't be this size for my wedding, simply because I cannot afford that much fabric for my dress! I'm doing it for myself. And I will succeed. Why wait until Monday? Well, the annual pumpkin carving party is this Sunday at Fred and Terri's house and you know there will be great viddles. I'm allowing one last splurge before the holidays, and that is it.

In other good news, I'm working on a new poem. Having added the poetry writing class this semester has slowly gotten my creative juices flowing. I've written some good form poetry, a terza-rima sonnet and a villanelle, as well as some forms of my own design. This one that is in developement is definately free verse, but a three part, sectioned poem based on myths close to the sea. I'll be turning it in to the workshop next Thursday and should get feedback within two weeks. I will share it here shortly. Until then, back to reading.


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