Friday, November 30, 2001

just got back from seeing the cutest, sweetest movie i've seen in a while -- italian, which makes everything better -- free, even more so -- and w/ becca after eating warmcomfortable indian food -- so perfect. i had a kickass rehearsal too where i got to take the reins as khadijah was busy w/ kwanzaa celebrations. i forget sometimes how much i like to do things on my own b/c i so often put myself into a subordinate, second position. it's safer (no worries of failing) but it's less fun and less rewarding. i left rehearsal thrilled, actually feeling like i'd accomplished something.

around 4:30 yesterday i wandered over to elizabeth's room to say hi and ended up spending 7 straight hours in her company. louisa, cadelba, emily morris (who i've always thought was intimidating but turned out to be easy to talk to -- and she laughed at my jokes! even the ones liz repeated to her that i was afraid might offend) and brigid (who i really want to be friends w/) also made cameos. liz and i watched greenaway's awful version of The Tempest which got 10 points for being risky and different and -4,678 for being pretentious, pointless, unintelligible, gratutiously nude w/o being arousing, heavy-handed, pedantic, and dull. it was my fourth greenaway film and i mean it this time: i am not seeing another.
we kept going to sorelle's room b/c liz intended to program but we just hung out instead. they make me really happy, i'm not sure why. i often felt freshmen year that the big lack in my life was that i didn't have people to laugh with. that's unreasonably important to me. people with well-developed senses of humor are way-the-hell-up-there in my pantheon.
they brought me to a QSA meeting which was also way less intimidating than i expected it to be and i finally left at 11:30. having not returned to the barn since i left at 8:50 a.m., i decided not to buck the trend and detoured to ben's. every once in a while i remember how utterly lucky i am. it's this silencing, humbling feeling i don't know what to do w/, the kind you get from standing in a museum.

home tomorrow oh-so-briefly to see more people who i'm utterly lucky to know. wow i've got it good. i only wish i knew who to thank.

Thursday, November 29, 2001

my week essentially ended yesterday. classes feel like an afterthought, like "oh yeah, i guess i should go do that ...," not particularly important. i don't have huge weights on my mind. yet i'm still sweating and getting headaches which vary in position (so i know that they're not signals of oncoming migranes, thank god) intensity and type of pain. the worst ones hit yesterday morning while i was struggling blearily to make it thru Murder!: the pain was extremely sharp, about the width and height of a coin slot, and located unusually on the middle-top of my head.

anyway, they're just aftershocks i expect and will eventually fade out. i just sat w/ stefanie for about twenty minutes while she was trying to finish up three things before running to catch a train. as frazzled as she was, she also made excellent company. i find it easier to be a good person -- think the thoughts a good person would think -- around her. maybe her goodness is contagious. that's not what makes her fun, of course, per se; but it adds a deeper element to the cheery-goodhumored-warmth everyone loves her for.
before that, i hung out w/ rosa at the study abroad office and hung out w/ ben (time w/ him! during the day! incredible) during which i babbled about how things shouldn't be "reduced to science." i mean, wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to know how things worked? we could just marvel at zippers or television; we could live in a perpetual state of awe. or make up myths that we didn't really believe in but which served to comfort those who needed to know and entertain everyone else.

i alarmed my mother by not being coherent last nite. i guess i should just go to sleep before i do more damage. the strangest dreams keep plaguing me tho: last nite i dreamt i was in a fairy tale. seven other girls and i sat around a wooden table and each had one specific complaint she kept harping on. i don't remember what mine was but i started pulling my hair out. i had this thick glossy black hair that fell halfway down my back and when i looked down after a certain point, i saw what must have been most of it in a sad-looking pile on the floor.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

now is the time to tell me you like the new design. i spent all evening wrestling it into submission; i'm still sweating in fact. sore, exhausted, but happy. come on, tell me it was worth it.
my friend ari wrote a really sharp, funny entry yesterday. as i'm too near braindead to do any independent thinking, i'm going to urge you over to him. i myself got 2 hours from sleep last nite, between 6 and 8 a.m. i flunked my stat midterm early, left the room in a daze but ran into elizabeth and bridget who for my amusement played an ultracompetitive game of tic tac toe glaring across the table at each other and never looking down at the board. also they're witty, which helps.
i went home to be further comforted by ben who was serendipitously at the barn when i arrived, ready to hug me and tell me it's all going to be okay. (i think cliches exist specifically for times of stress) ross and i kept each other functional through the nite, brainstorming ideas, reviewing each other's drafts, suggesting corrections, mindlessly transferring popcorn, chocolate, and edamame from fingers to mouths. rebecca came home late, laid herself facedown on the common room floor in a position that looked like she'd landed from a fall, and stayed that way for a while. joel, the only one of us who seemed not to have a workload, tried to soothe.
anyway, it's better from here on out. i keep discovering more reasons why i should/need to stay on campus this weekend so i'm somewhat turn. mckeownlanajamienomi tho is a strong pull ....

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

listening to beth orton, shoulder muscles so tight i feel like invisible fists have dug into my skin and grabbed, determined to hold fast, about to go take my 2nd stat midterm and miss my film class, and when i'm done to go see/review/preview/fuckthemallwriteareviewofHarryPotter for the phoenix but first maybe grab dinner at kohlberg -- have to eat something -- altho it won't be as nice as my impromptu sharples lunch where the girls i happened upon bought me food so i could sit w/ them while they discussed SQU, leading me to wonder how it came to pass that my female friends right now are queer[friendly]. spent much time poring over Murder! documents w/ ross, reading bits aloud in funny voices and laughing. it'll be less funny when i finally get home and finish the review/preview/fuckthemallreviewofHarryPotter (estimate 12) and roll up my sleeves to start writing. must finish and have printed out by 9 a.m. ohdearohdear.

Monday, November 26, 2001

i spoke too soon. not long after i started playing w/ the template once it was fixed, i discovered that netscape's interpretation was smugly, inexplicably fucked up. i'd been in a good mood up to that point -- that soured it. i deserved it tho really: i should have been working on Murder! rather than my dumbass website. with some effort i forced myself to leave the screen for the page and made an outline and emailed it to the prof, asking for an okay. (desperate for approval? me? go on.) conflicting opinions from my editor of the phoenix, who wants me to write a review of a student production on campus, and the director of said production who would really rather i didn't. meanwhile i'm sulky b/c i just want to write my review of harry potter.
frustrating/boring stat review session (midterm tomorrow for which i have to miss a film screening that i can't make up because the films are on 16mm); a semi-cathartic scream w/ sarah k.; and home to miso soup and tempura. the worst thing, hands down, about moving back onto campus will be missing the food my flatmates cook. ah well.

going home this weekend (right? right?) to see ms. mckeown and ms. warner in concert. that will be relaxing. two people whose online journals i checked had private entries today. ["what's with today today?"] i've torn a lot of hair out. i barely notice til i look down and see hair like shrubs growing out of cracks in a wall. i wonder whether other people think i'm weird, constantly tugging at, straightening or curling my hair. i wonder if i would be so fixated if my hair were short or straight. i wonder whether everyone's kind of tired of skool at this point or whether it just happens to be the folks i spend time w/ and/or read on the net.
thanks to rabi, i finally fixed this page so that it looks the way god intended on netscape. i can't vouch for the other way-too-sophisticated browsers (opera? what?); i was quite pleased just to see that it worked on the conventional ones.

last nite i read over the poem i wrote in vermont and decided i still liked it. an achievement of sorts since i haven't written many things this semester whose appeal endured beyond the original few minutes of composition. in celebration of bucking the trend i give you:
snow white's stepmother ordered snow white's
heart, raw and chapped as a February morning,
then sat, with a glint in her eye like headlights
off of February ice on an unexpected mountain turn,
and ate it. I always admired that bit
of cannibalistic competence: there, i thought,
is a woman who gets things done. i imagined
the step-daughter's heart beating down
the door of the step-mother's throat. (Disney doctors,
as though playing Operation, plucked that scene
from the movie. Made it that much less Grimm.)
I like to think of the evil queen for a moment
playing hostess to two hearts -- minor and major cords
in clashing keys -- sick with the pounding, desperate
not to regurgitate the essence of her enemy all
over the kitchen floor and give herself away.
i don't recall what inspired it. of course it's still rough; feel free to advise.

Sunday, November 25, 2001

marc suggested the color. i'm sitting w/ him now in his dorm in the lull b/w dinner (for which rob joined us, offering buddha-like advice) and co|motion (ross calls them "commies": damn catchy and a pun to boot). i spent nearly the whole day w/ ross for the first time in a while, working on our latest Murder! assignment. he surprised me relatively early while i was still in my crazy pajamas. i went to sleep late after one extensive conversation w/ lana and another w/ ben. the latter ended only b/c the batteries on my phone died.

nori suggested, in response to the previous entry, that perhaps she'll never get married and she doesn't feel there's anything wrong w/ that. got me thinking a little. it's assumed that people factor marriage into their life-plans, if not make marriage their goal. why do countless movies and books end either at or two-steps before the altar? because it's the pinnacle of achievement? or because nothing interesting happens thereafter?
hmm. do most kids this age (help me out, kids) fantasize about their wedding day? i just realized i never have. for one thing, i don't look good in white ...
oh so much. i'm back at the barn, deposited here by parents who took a cursory look around my apartment and sped off home. we drove all day, making it from my grandparents' house in manchester back here in about 6 hrs, with stops; they still have another couple hours to go. considering the state we were in when we left i was scared we wouldn't make it to new york. (my brother lost one of his case logics in packing -- he thinks he placed it momentarily atop the car and then forgot about it. he and then the rest of us beachcombed the stretch of street b/w the motel, where he was packing, and my grandparents' house, for it, to no avail. all his dvds and a number of cds it would give you a heart-attack to mention! i'd cry.)

eventually he went, taking my oldest cousin w/ him. they go to skool w/in an hour of each other so they always carpool to thanksgivings. my cousin is a film major; so it's funny to go to family events b/c all questions about the subject and such are posed to him. he was surprised to hear that i was planning to minor in it. i'm the only girl cousin out of six. the boys range from standing six-inches-taller than i to a foot or so taller and have changed little otherwise since i've known them. they're very polite to me, occasionally stooping to joke about my "veganism," leftism/pacifism, or feminism. it's pointless to correct them -- i'm accused of not having a sense of humor about myself.
friday i went shopping w/ my mother, my aunt marge (the mother of my cousins who shares a name w/ my mother) and my aunt jane (her lovely never-married manhattanite sister). it was nice to get a break from the cloistered family feeling. everyone from my grandparents down to my little brother is a supervisor: we're constantly looking over each others' shoulders, asking what's up and suggesting better ways to do things. when we're not micromanaging each other's affairs, we're arguing politics/listening to my father lecture; reading new yorkers, newsweeks and sections of the new york times (or books,) sleeping, playing scrabble, watching cnn, or, in the case of the boys, playing video games downstairs. everyone otherwise in sight of everyone else. i read most of truman capote's in cold blood and started interpreter of maladies, which nearly made me cry. i answered "why copenhagen?" about 25 times, and "how's ben?" another 20. i tried not to miss the internet or snap at family members. for the most part i was successful.

i had weird-ass dreams tho. the first was that it turned out i was ten years older than i'd realized. amnesia had wiped my memory of giving birth to dan blim (he's a senior here). in some hazy way, matt rubin was involved and i had definite negative feelings about the whole thing. in the dream i thought, "oh, so that explains it." in the second dream, my bedroom was converted into an unused room in the top corner of a skool building. quite depressing.
on the more positive sleep front, i bought wonderfully comfortably warm bright red fleece pajamas. my cousin jeff upon seeing me model them called me mrs. claus. my dad compared it to a shador -- all i needed was a veil. i think the outfit resembles a sari; clearly it's up for interpretation. anyway i slept in them the last nite and had no bad dreams.
now i'm back at the barn, alone again, tho i talked to lana for over an hour and then briefly liz. maybe i'll slip into my pajamas. maybe no harm can come to me in them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

doesn't take much to make a good day (or should that be, to make a day good?) possible ingredients: leaving your last class pre-break. hearing the foreign study coordinator whisper "you're in." lunching w/ stefanie, maria, ben, sorelle, rebecca briefly / sarah k. blocking the hallway saying an extended goodbye. going upstairs to eliz's room w/ sorelle. laughter. kohlberg chai. reading vagina monologues in sorelle's room. helping maria make her love mix. watching cat on a hot tin roof w/ lodge 4 girls. saying an extended hello.

i'm sortof in the midst of packing. ma famille should be arriving soon in our new *shudder* SUV. they keep calling and saying it'll be later. whatever. i hope i can do laundry up in vermont. and that the holiday won't be stressful.
happy thanksgiving everyone (as sarah c. put it, "happy turkey, or vegan substitute")

Monday, November 19, 2001

this is courtesy of william and kat:
Full name: ester sarah bloom
Name of school: swarthmore college
How often do you check your email: like five times a day.
Color of eyes: someone once said honey
Hair: auburn. this is very important to me. it makes baby jesus cry when someone dismisses my hair as brown.
Height: 5'1.5"
Zodiac sign: cancer but close enuf to leo that i don't make any sense (the two are opposites) **is this ridiculous stuff important to me? clearly, yes.

Have you ever...
Gotten drunk: yup
Gone out wearing your PJ's: yup -- spent a whole day in them once in cty. horrified becca, i'm sure.
Missed school because of rain: my mom believed in mental health days. and senior year, i didn't even need a reason
Kept a secret from everyone: yup. on the other hand, yesterday i was praised for my "emotional honesty".
Had a crush on a teacher: kind of. my face turned red when i spoke in his class and he appeared in my dreams sometimes. he also seemed particularly awkward around me. at the end of the year, i gave him a rutabaga wrapped in purple ribbon.
Been on stage: hell yes. i've gotten much more timid in my old age, but i used to get a thrill like nothing else walking out in front of an audience.

Shampoo + conditioner: herbal essences (despite the warning someone gave recently that it makes one's hair fall out) (??)
Town to chill: amsterdam
Cereal: kellogs 19s. the box alone serves as a comfort object.
TV shows: simpsons, sopranos
Movies: gaa, too broad. pulp fiction, fight club, being john malkovich, all that jazz, high fidelity, terms of endearment, chinatown, shawshank redemption, empire records ...
Scent: french vanilla; hazelnut
Musicians: ani, tori, alanis, bjork, joni, aimee, jill (it's like listing smurfs!)
Favorite person to talk to online: michael
First crush: noel airman
What is on your walls: pictures of my friends; sentimentalia; a cool collage my oldest friend's little sister's friend made
Ever been skinny dipping: yup
Worst feeling: depression + headache + nausea
Best feeling: having great recent memories and continuing to do things that will produce more
Word or phrase overuse: bite me; your mom. i'm such a kid.
Get along with parents: really well
What are you wearing right now: dark blue shirt from mustard seed over magenta express tank top; jeans; poland socks; docs; my hair down
Are you lonely: oddly, never when i'm blogging

Last 24 Hours...
Been mean: probably. i'm in the process of testing limits w/ people. also i was w/ liz h. this morning
Been sarcastic: see above
Met someone new: kinda --
First thing you thought this morning: i violently didn't want to wake up, which doesn't often happen to me

In the future...
Where do you see yourself in 10 years: hopefully in some small-but-cool city on the east coast, writing, w/ a close group of friends, a decent amount of optomism, a college degree, a job, and perhaps a PLTSO
Future son's name: jake or zev
Future daughter's name: eleanor, dorothy, morgan, lily, or daria
Where do you want to live when you get married: in a small-but-cool city on the east coast somewhere near my parents

When was the last time you...
Went to the beach at night: in n. carolina w/ lana this past summer
Spent some quality time with yourself: lunch. i finally caught up w/ my real notebook -- i hadn't written substantially in a couple days.
Read a book for fun: stayed up til 2:30 last nite rereading Goblet of Fire
Believed in yourself: oh for god's sake

there was more sappy stuff that i edited out but that last i just had to leave in. happy new week, everybody.
happy november 19 geoff, if you're reading this. happy wednesday-before-thanksgiving, ben, if you're reading this. gee, what a historically significant week this is for me ...
i'm listening to the Girls w/ Guitars mix that lana made me. she and jamie arrived friday nite while ben and i were w/ the maria's-birthday crowd at harry potter. the experience of seeing the movie was definitely as much fun as the movie itself: in the car or standing in line, i would periodically emit excited, high-pitched noises or clap my hands; either ben or sorelle, depending on who was looking at me at the time, would smile indulgently. everyone was pretty excited and high-pitched actually. i thought the direction was sub-par, some choices awful; but when chris colombus didn't interfere -- let the story tell itself, essentially -- it worked. he really would have to strive to ruin something as quality as harry potter. still, they should find a new director for the next ones.

returned to the barn to a squealing mass of lanajamie which attacked me on the stairs. (why do people insist they look alike? louisa assumed they were dating) somehow we made it into the apartment, played musical beds until lanajamie and i settled into ross's bed w/ ben on the couch. saturday morning, we woke at 10:30 and immediately started talking; after a couple hours, we were ready to meet the day, and, adopting becca's friend geoff b/c (swat)becca was busy and ill, drove into philly to see (penn)becca. we brunched at morning glory, got a flat tire, watched w/ awe as jamie navigated awkward social situations, laughed a lot, reminisced, bought ben a harmonica in the key of e from a fun, sarcastic clerk, and made it home about 5. just in time to deliver ben his harmonica for the bob dylan concert and split up for two pronged shopping ross and becca had left us to do for the party: jamie and geoff to buy liquor since he's 21; lana and me to buy groceries. the highlight occurred when we passed a squat, aproned employee saying: "he asked me to marry him. i couldn't tell if he was serious, and i had just come out of the seizure --"

we brought all the stuff home (like $120 worth, all told,) set it up, and borrowed a tape of My So-Called Life episodes to relax. ross and rebecca returned and made signs of the trivia people had sent w/ their RSVPs, as per instructions. the funniest one i thought was "my parents are 1st cousins." others were striking or funny too. as (good) folks arrived for the party, they spent much time contemplating them in the hallway. they also ate all the food and drank most of the liquor. butbutbut i'm not a fan of parties: they make me kind of irritated b/c i see lots of people i'd love to see individually but can only speak to superficially for like 10 minutes, max, in that kind of setting. for a while, i drank some and the alcohol propelled me thru a number of such encounters. since jamie and lana were not exactly in their element, they retired to my room and changed into pajamas, and before long i joined them, rather relieved. ben returned, glowing, from dylan. by 12:30 i was curled up, asleep.
that's the third barn party i've fallen asleep at. we've only had three. well, i didn't choose any of them; i refuse to feel guilty.

this morning, my girls left, early; ben moved onto the bed which kept me from getting depressed. mariah appeared surprisingly to walk me to my meeting. after that and rehearsal (somehow i'm the nonthreatening, comforting, positive one; i feel like some of the actors don't really respect me or at least don't take me too seriously) i hung out w/ elizabeth and her little sister. later after dinner w/ ben and a good co|motion meeting, she (minus the sister), sorelle, and i hung out for another two hours, forgetting the time. i have to remember it now of course -- i should sleep -- but it's been such a pleasant weekend i'm loath to slip out of it. hmm. maybe more rereading Goblet of Fire before bed.

Saturday, November 17, 2001

don't have to time to write really. jamie and lana are here and we're about to run into the city to meet pennbecca for brunch. saw Harry Potter last nite AND it's benandmine 9-month anniversary. much excitement. must go.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

last nite i was so enthralled to return home to a computer in my room that i could use to surf the net that i started playing around w/ webdesign. i was rusty, having not touched the stuff since september, and before i knew it three hours had passed. the evidence doesn't reflect the time put into it, i know, but i was just getting reacclimated.
following that, ross recruited becca and me to work on the invitations for the party sat. nite. after all the disagreements and ruffled fur got smoothed, we ended up using two pictures: one of me kissing the blow-up doll annie got me for my birthday, and another of rebecca and joel posing the toy liz got me for the same occasion. (well, technically, for lonlier occasions than those, but whatever.) the caption reads "life is lonely at the barn ..."
it's pretty funny, i think it looks good, and last nite we were up til three printing them out, writing names -- i must have addressed 25 or so to people i wouldn't recognize and more to a lot of folks i would only smile to in passing. it kept striking me how funny it is to be sending bizarre photos of yrself to strangers; then again, is it much weirder than allowing those same folks to read about yr life in a webjournal? -- putting stickers and cute messages on them. this morning ross and i rose early to stuff mailboxes before class. talk about initiative.

my prof sat next to me in polisci thru the first group presentation. he asked if i was a senior b/c i had "the senior confidence." i admitted i was not, and he said, "well, maybe it's b/c you write those reviews." later after my group presented he told me we were excellent.
quite flattered, i ran down to meet joel and our film prof for lunch. joel has been taking a bunch of his profs to lunch in our dining hall recently but this was my first time along w/ him, and actually we had a lot of fun, remaining way past the time when normal people left (dining services folks appeared to pry our trays away.) we talked movies of course, and childhood and television and differences b/w europe and america. finally we walked back upcampus together w/ soft-serve cones, discussing gender issues in film and brainstorming women who are portrayed as smart, funny, and sexy.

bottom line: it's been a lovely day so far. i could even presume to say, perhaps, the beginning of a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

so the way that i found out today that i got into my copenhagen program was that DIS sent a like-five page long email about how they're going to keep us safe abroad. they want to put my parents and any friends i choose on an email list so that they (parents, friends) can get their mailboxes filled w/ assurances of my welfare or w/ updates on my condition if i'm somehow kidnapped by retaliatory taliban forces and held hostage. or something. i don't know, denmark seems like a safe country to me. it would be a long, cold crawl for vindictive middleeasterners and what would they make that trek for: to see tivoli?
i'm kinda thinking i'll have less to worry about there than i would here in the US. is that naive?
everything has become more complicated since break. what is that? it kind of happened last year too: initially i hummed; then suddenly there were so many obstacles to contend w/ that i was only off-and-on happy until almost the end of the semester. certainly i'm in a better state in general than i was then but it still feels like a funny pattern to me. maybe i'm just not good w/ fall.

lots of goodstuff going on or on the horizon tho. harry potter on friday (ben and i already bought tickets). then my friends from home are coming to visit -- perhaps two, perhaps as many as four. AND the dsl cables finally arrived that enabled we barnies to hook up our individual computers in our individual rooms. internet! in my room!
also enjoyable: becoming friends w/ elizabeth who is blissfully, unrestrainedly sarcastic, yet sweet. sorelle and maria came over for dinner last nite and we discussed our possible living situation for next year. and rebecca and i had a long in-bedroom talk. those are the best kind but oddly there haven't been many of them til now. bedrooms were for seclusion. hmm.

film group presentation today; polisci tomorrow. i want to stop fighting w/ people. it's ridiculous. i want positive thoughts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

(this post is dedicated to my friend ari who said he doesn't get a sense from my entries of how i feel):
i am coming to realize that i really don't enjoy arguing. that would sound banal except that it's a shift. growing up, i argued w/ my family -- rather than chat around the dinner table, we had intellectual debates. i argued w/ friends, altho poor liz used to beg me to stop. maybe this is karma since now i want it to stop and it won't. this is argument overload. this is ego against ego, competition, bickering, quibbling, aggressiveness, defensiveness, exhaustion, apologies, irritation and snapping twenty-four hours a day. or at least that's my perception. ... already i feel defensive because look! i've presented a viewpoint; now i expect it to come under attack. sheesh.

yesterday, talking to rebecca's mom post-dinner (a disabled car forced her to stay an extra night,) she asked what my plans were for next year. i outlined options and pros and cons and she commented, "it really sounds like you want to get to copenhagen." since that hadn't been the conscious point of my shpiel, it surprised me a little to hear her say it. truthfully
i waver. on one hand, i'm scared of change, i worry too much, i get depressed w/o sunlight and when i'm too long by myself. on the other -- this being the side i'm trying to stress when considering next semester -- i'll be in europe in a beautiful little city that'll be at least somewhat familiar, i'll be taking interesting classes, i'll meet people (?), and i'll be doing all the things i'm too scared to do, which will feel like an accomplishment. even if that sense of accomplishment won't be enuf to comfort me exactly during the dark cold lonely hours i spend curled up in a corner.

but the bottom line is i'm going (unless the foreign study office finds unearths some startling information from my past that dissuades them.) maybe by the time i'm done i'll be confident enuf that i won't mind if an ugly picture of me gets put in 100 mailboxes for comic purposes. yeah, that's a good goal.

Monday, November 12, 2001

i should be working on my documentary research for one of three group projects i have due this week. luckily such things require less individual shit to shoulder than having papers or midterms, so having these in bulk doesn't seem to be as stressful.

last nite, rebecca's mom took rebecca, the two other barnies, stefanie and me to an italian place for dinner. choosing locales is always more frustrating than it needs to be. my only preference is always "please not chinese" altho often that's what ends up happening. in this case my wish was honored. stef, becca, and i shared vegan pizza (i love how waiters no longer react when you say, "i'd like the 79, only no ham and no cheese") and the table discussed how views of sex and sexuality are different now than they used to be.
stef ross and i returned to the barn to hypothesize about bob dylan -- i boldly put out the opinion that straight men and straight women like dylan b/c they find him sexy in a very heterosexual way, and that accounts for what i perceive to be his smaller popularity in queer circles; ross and stef were skeptical -- and rehash old love stories. then we went to elizabeth's Simpsons premiere party, crowded primarily with staunch supporters who laughed at every joke. elizabeth and i sat next to each other, agreeing quietly that the show is about half as good as it was at its peak. still, it's almost the only tv worth watching.

gradually the thirty or so folks there (ross called them "nonthreatening") dispersed, leaving the co|mo girls to finish the leftover food and meet. afterwards, sorelle, stef and i convened in the hallway, joined by elizabeth's roommates w/ whom i've never had substantial interaction, to discuss body image, weight, Weight Watchers, and our parents' relationships to each other and to us. one specific question: why do people we're not close to feel the right to comment to us on how we look? ... open informative and caring but my headache got stronger around 11 and i had to excuse myself to go back home, knock back some NyQuil, and call it a weekend.

Sunday, November 11, 2001

i have "gutten murning zonnenshtein" ("good morning sunshine" in german) in my head. of course i only know the chorus. it's like that day i was walking around w/ ross and would periodically shout out "kate!" i was stuck on that particular part of the ben folds five song. kind of frustrating but fun as it drove ross nuts.

i slept nine hours last nite after returning from monsters inc., which was not as cute as toy story but cuter than kittens on calendars. the little girl, who may have been asian even (revolutionary!,) kept calling the monster "kitty" which cracked me up. ben and i joked about how we never get a chance to do normal non-swat things together; just going to a movie seems like an event.
... that would give me a grand total of TWO events for the day, then, b/c the Class Matters facilator, who looked like the older, sweater-wearing guy from being john malkovich, kept calling the workshop "a learning event." that aside, the experience was less fluffy than it sounds, in large part b/c it was enriched by the presence of one of the most respected professors on campus. impressively, she voiced her frustrations, experiences, and opinions openly despite the presence of ten or so of her [potential]students in the room. she gave the day a gravity it might not otherwise have had and set the standard for all of us. if she could lay herself out there, who were we to be timid?
perhaps because people were given courage by the professor, who i just couldn't bring myself to call by her first name, people spoke out on a lot of very touchy issues and we got to discuss many of them as a group. not too much resolution, of course, but it felt good to be sitting in a large circle of swatties and strangers (two aged hippies: one flinty, self-confident, bright but smug/ the other fragile, frequently falling into tears, barefoot and new-agey; four passionate, leftist twenty-somethings w/ similar haircuts from pendle hill, a service community near here; and an older man from philly) and hearing everyone discuss different kinds of shame and guilt, how to cope w/ anger, and stories from their lives.

we ended early which many of us appreciated and co|motioners hopped off to dinner. i think it was worth it, altho i can understand why a couple folks i've talked to who attended it last year found it unproductive.
now i have to start today, also packed, but featuring a Simpsons premiere and party in the evening.
oh and i'm sorry comments are on the blink again. i'll have to find another service; this is getting ridiculous.

Saturday, November 10, 2001

lots of interesting unusual exposures today. first congressman john lewis came to speak to us. i really enjoyed it on a visceral level: he's got wonderful presence and a wonderful voice; he told stories that he'd clearly told a thousand times -- i mean, they're history; i mean, i actually learned about them last semester -- and he told them well.
afterwards someone who was not as enthralled by a longshot had some legitimate complaints. she didn't like that he was so political (i.e.: safe,) that he focused entirely on the history of the movement and his involvement w/ dr. king. still, i was invigorated. for me, it was enuf.

then i went to rehearsal where another one of the cast members cried. this is such an intense play. i mean, i think khadijah and i handled it well, and she's not the first, but still: i get taken aback when i see how easily the actors are personally/emotionally affected by the material. (we also had an upfront conversation about how non-black i am. she said it was okay, partially b/c jews initially came from africa. that last part was of course silly and meant as a joke. still, i felt obscurely a couple degrees closer to comfort. altho i've been much more comfortable progressively as a whole. anyway.)

then i went to the class matters workshop. (it's about how class ... matters.) almost all of co|motion came, which was fun. not so fun, alternatively: during the first exercise, we had to go meet people we didn't know and explain why we were taking the workshop. i began telling one girl, pretty frankly, that as i'd gone to an all-white mostly-middle-class skool, swarthmore is as diverse a community as i've ever really been in. instantly she said, "i'm horrified." i guess i could have been thankful that she was being frank but i found it just unpleasant: like i'd made myself vulnerable and she'd responded by spitting on me.

most of the people, however, seemed nice. other quirks surfaced as we played the principal game (before which elizabeth told me i had a skeptical expression on my face so i made a conscious effort to look openminded and optomistic.) the game itself was interesting, if not too subtle. each participant was randomly assigned a cup of poker chips, each worth a certain number of points, and a badge, either triangle, circle, or star shaped. we had to make deals w/ each other -- you couldn't make even trades -- and the goal was to get as many points as possible.
actually i think i'll discuss the outcomes and repercussions tomorrow. tomorrow the program goes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. it will be intense, i imagine. but hands-on stuff always makes time pass more quickly.

afterwards co|mo came back to the barn. we hung out in my room, where a fun dynamic reigned for awhile and sometimes i was overcome by flashbacks to unsuccessful sleepover parties of years past. in general i think we had a good time; i was just very sensitive to mood shifts and people being uncomfortable. i tend to get hostessy at such events, which is why i sometimes avoided hostessing them in skool. it makes me stress too much and then not enjoy myself. but we bonded, no fights broke out, and no one cried, so by standards of years past, it was remarkable.

Thursday, November 08, 2001

hit my funnybone. damn chair. just spent the afternoon w/ sorelle who is luckily as big a dork as i am: her reaction to my worrying about housing for next year was "plan this far in advance? awesome! let's go print out the possibilities and go over them right now!" no fooling; it was incredible.
at the very least it's comforting to have solid options.
last nite i watched crumb w/ catharine. initially she was more disturbed than i was. before long, tho, i caught up. it is a very disturbing movie. well-made of course. but disturbing: the main character, who is, believe it or not, more normal than both of his brothers, is a gangly, bug-eyed combination of steve buscemi and woody allen. he sketches compulsively; in fact, he's famous for his zap comics and whatnot; only most of what comes out of him are pornographic cartoons where huge, muscled, overbearing women (emotionally) abuse and are (sexually) abused by small men. there's more to them than what appears certainly; still, hearing him confess laughingly to being hostile to women and the exposure to all the images exhausted me. also it made me feel lumbering and large.

this evening i'm dining w/ jolly and seeing marc's interpretation of safe sex. should be interesting. everyone involved has worked their asses off. well, we'll see.
ben called me lady macbeth. twisted, man. twisted.

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

i noticed today how the whites of my fingernails look like crowns and how this one girl in my history class has a perfect 45-degree profile. the bottom line of the angle extends from ear to chin, the top from ear to the tip of her forehead; you can imagine both extrapolated into the air. this gives the impression that her face, tangential to both lines, is looking out from the jaws of an alligator. or, as she's generally unsmiling, from the inside of a bonnet: she looks like the kind of person who would have been burned as a witch for being judgemental and insufferably disdainful of unenlightened christian customs.
this kind of observation can be very distracting. luckily the topic in history today was interesting, for the most part, altho my bitterness towards the prof sometimes obstructs my concentration. (how do i stop taking everything so personally?)

hung out w/ jolly some, lunched w/ co|motion ("get a new name!" insists ross,) then went to film, where we discussed the three straight hours of "reality" television we had to watch last nite. as i hadn't seen any tv for months, the huge screen, stereo sound, commericials and general idiocy left me feeling dazed and displaced. as though my brain had been yanked out, used as a whoopie cushion, and given back to me, deflated.
but the discussion was fun. i talk too much. bad habit. bad.

dinner w/ ben and rob was actually decent indian food. i still have the taste in my mouth, which is a pleasant change. certain thoughts keep cycling thru my mind: housing for next year (on campus or off?); publications; copenhagen; the onion; housing for next year (should i be approaching people to block w/?); summer jobs (i need one, and it has to pay); housing (ben says no one knows who i am. should this bother me?) ...

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

more joy today, brought upon by a combination of sunlight and scholastic serendipities. i got my stat midterm back (passed! which, as i'm pass/fail, is all i needed to do; plus i was relieved to find myself squarely in the middle 50% of the class) and took my polisci exam w/o any serious problem. got back the paper from that class too, the third and last to be returned of the hell-papers i wrote in the week prior to break. out of the blue, i got the best grade of the three on that one, which i composed while half-hysterical. i don't recall even having a brain by the time i got to that one: i was lost among scattered papers and overturned books; my eyes glowed faintly from three straight days of staring down a monitor.

apparently that's a recipe for success. go figure.
anyway, i was doubly-giddy, feeding off of philo's energy (clean almost 2 weeks: the change is remarkable) and the b.'s smiles over lunch. i trailed b. to his room where we argued about religion and the fate of judaism and the holocaust and by the time he mentioned israel i'd had enough. these are all subjects i can't discuss objectively, much as i perhaps would like to. periodically we interrupted our debate to be nice to each other, to laugh, or in his case to cough violently -- he's still ill -- but i still left feeling slightly defensive. enough of my happiness was left to carry me home to eat dinner and read history. ha! american politics likes me even if american history doesn't. maybe i can salvage that american studies major yet.

Monday, November 05, 2001

i know i've written a lot today and shouldn't write more, but i just had to share some joy. i bumped into liz h. in parrish and we began one of those aquaintance chats. we're in co|motion together, we know a number of the same people and like the same things, but for whatever reason we've never spent extensive time together. well! today was the day. sorelle appeared and the three of us walked over to where there were nice comfy chairs and tables you can't put your feet on and had hilarious, occasionally soul-searching conversations. it was one of those priceless moments that make you glad you're in college after all (and have better things to do than homework.)
other people kept coming by too: another liz from co|motion, a freshman who's much nicer than the three of us (she said her roommate voted their houseplant to be more evil than she); garret, who has a funny radio show sunday nites and who almost decided to come to denmark w/ me; one of sorelle's friends who faded into the couch for a while and then left (she says he speaks for 20 minutes a week and you just have to be there when it happens); stefanie who appeared before and after her radio show and who chided us for neither listening nor coming to visit; cadelba, sorelle's roomie, w/ stefanie, altho she disappeared; and louisa, who waded most confidently into our wavelength. at the end a whole crowd appeared and we dispersed, promising to meet again.
one of the more serious-ish topics was that sorelle and liz both agreed that before they knew me they found me intimidating (??). i was skeptical and they couldn't explain. apparently i also roll my eyes a lot. [note: naturally i wasn't the only one put under the microscope; i just feel less comfortable writing the observations we made about the two of them.] we talked about saturday's Class Matters workshop and co|motion in general and sarcasm and coping mechanisms and being mean and at points i laughed so hard i couldn't breathe. an excellent way to spend an afternoon.
i had a rather bizarre dream in which society was a group of giants from which young women had to escape. escape itself involved a long-drawn out and complex process of tricking the giants, confusing them, and finally slipping free. i was sort of one of the women, sort of watching; the problem was that i felt sorry for my giant and we had a good relationship. the consequence was that i was helping him catch me and he was helping me run away.
i went to sleep at 10 last nite w/ a migraine. it was my second in three weeks, which is unusual for me, but which makes sense considering the emotional turbulence. i guess my body was just exhausted. have you noticed how ridiculous depression seems to you when you're not depressed? that's how rational people react to you when you're driving yourself crazy. even if they've been depressed, they simply can't recall how it felt; they can't empathize. yet when you are depressed, you can't imagine being in that healthy, rational, one-with-the-world state of mind, and when they are, neither can they. it's a paradox: no one healthy can really help anyone depressed. certain approaches work better than others, i guess. the best, in my experience, is just getting the other person to go to sleep, if you can manage that w/o condescension (nothing is worse than hearing "go sleep it off.") sleep is a great dissembler. when you awake, you have an instant of choice where you can return to your previous state or try something wholly new. it's an opportunity waking life rarely affords you.

yesterday was my brother's 21st birthday. jesochrist. he has a fantastic way of dealing w/ depression: he turns it to anger. when we both lived at home, i remember vividly how he'd march upstairs, slam the door, and pace his room, muttering curses i could occasionally make out through my closed door across the hall. sometimes he'd throw things. sometimes he'd spend hours writing Rants, which were scathing, often funny, & extraordinarily long. but when he emerged, in general, he was fine. anger is easier to work off, i think.

here's hoping this coming week involves neither anger nor depression. i'll deal w/ everything logically and calmly, and there will be no disappointments too overwhelming. i will keep perspective. not that i can truly remember how shitty i've felt off and on the last few weeks (see above,) but i'm reasonably sure it sucked.
happy november, everybody.

Sunday, November 04, 2001

a thought: autumn is an adolescent, carelessly dropping her clothes in bright messy piles. nature, like a true mother, comes sighing in, picks everything up, takes it away, and returns some time later to reoutfit her ungrateful daughter with everything freshly-laundered-green and new.

i'm not really a fan of fall.
mmm, that post-party dehyrdration headache that has nothing to do w/ alcohol -- didn't touch a drop last nite -- that's more like the residual shock of moving from a place crammed w/ people -- if i ever make a movie, it will include a scene from a party in which the music is suddenly muted and you can watch the dancers w/o the distraction of the beat -- to a place as solitary as a bedroom. i'd say the formal was a success. scores of kids turned out, everyone playing along, either bearing masks on sticks or having them stringed to their faces, in old prom outfits and in some cases perfectly-coiffed hair. my mom had urged me to get my hair done; if i hadn't been by myself in the city yesterday, i might have. but there are certain things you can do alone, and thankfully for me watching films is one of those (saw man who wasn't there before heading back to skool: interesting and in a way incredible; i still need to write my review;) but changes in appearance are better attempted in the presence of others. just in case you need reassurance.

for the first half of the ball -- and it felt like a ball, w/ all the girls in their bright flouncy dresses -- i danced w/ rob, ben's roommate, boisterous and sweating energetically in a stunning, dishelved suit. we hadn't talked in a while so he filled me in on his recent on-the-wagon life in full volume. people assumed we were dates, which was fine, as my date was busy w/ the turntables, wearing one of ross's tuxes and a yellow ruffled shirt and a mask rebecca had made, covered w/ Smarties.
oh dear, i have to go meet the crew and then the cast; then study for polisci; then meet Co|Motion. well, i'll finish at some point. suffice it to say, it was a good time and i'm glad i went.

... [2:30 addition:] rehearsal went by quicker than expected. i have some time to breathe before i start memorizing facts about the supreme court.
the crew meeting threw me a little. our producer who hadn't been to the masquerade asked us all how it was. immediately i said "fun" -- no one else spoke. once i leaned back, the other girls chimed rather different opinions. mostly they objected to the techno and the fact that they could count the number of black songs on one hand. one person said, "hiphop's more relatable than house; everyone can dance to hiphop." weird for me b/c of course i noted there was a lot of techno (as per SAC instructions) but the lack of rap or r&b didn't occur to me. i felt the need to defend the party some, quietly, b/c, as always, the people who made it happen are close to me, and b/c i enjoyed it. but i also felt guilty for not processing musical alienation.
makes me conscious of being the white girl.

Saturday, November 03, 2001

i'm at penn, staying in at becca's b/c she's out and i'm tired; but instead of sleeping immediately i'm roaming the web; and having come across jackie's new four thing meme, i thought i'd try it out. i'm omitting parts b/c that's my perogative. and making it three b/c i like the number three, it's easier than four, and anyway that's my perogative too. feel free to adopt and adapt -- that's the point of these things. the cred goes to jackie.
three things you'd eat on the last day of your life:
a cinnabon. w/ my fingers.
ben and jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (not all three at once tho. major sugar overload)
three least favorite cds in your collection:
the paul simon concert in the park cd my brother gave me for my birthday a couple years ago. love s&g, can't stand p.s. on his own. don't know. that counts as 2 since it's a double cd; &
one of the later indigo girls cds i never liked, like nomads, indians.
three movies that made you think:
breaking the waves
three celebrities you'd have sex with:
jim carrey
ani difranco
edward norton
songs that frequently get stuck in your head:
independence day (ani)
bitter (jill sobule)
silent all these years (tori)
things you'd like to learn:
how to play the guitar
how to get along w/ people when i first meet them
how to write good papers
beverages you drink frequently:
diet coke
tv shows from when you were a kid:
get smart
inspector gadget
(my addition, in honor of the last couple weeks)four comfort books you reread in times of stress:
haroun and the sea of stories
harry potter
the hours

Friday, November 02, 2001

shit i'm in a hurry. but quickly:
1) lana made vagina monologues!! oh happiness, oh joy
2) heading off into the city to see angels and an ecstatic tho exhausted becca who says this is the best production ever put on of anything ever (and you know she's right 78% of the time)
3) why is this my second numbered list in a row? sheisse
4) ben's sick and he's djing the party tomorrow nite -- which is not so good -- but his links page kicks ass: check it out. and he's not too bad either.
5) it's a beautiful day
6) had a fun lunch w/ mariah
and, well, yeah. i feel better. i've felt better since yesterday afternoon. i'll bet i can make it a full day of good feeling -- hell, maybe two! my mom fedexed me my prom dress and she has now told me i'm special in 50 different ways, thru email, in writing, and over the phone, and see 5) and see 1) and see 6) and see 2) and 7) i'm going to copenhagen (well, w/ any luck) and everything's going to be fine. no really. it is.
oh! and if anyone's interested in joining me at the new coens brothers movie, the man who wasn't there, at the ritz 5 at 214 walnut at 12:30 tomorrow afternoon, i'd welcome the company. or you could just send mental warmth or something; that'd work too.

Thursday, November 01, 2001

1) comments are working again! so you can react now to the fact that:

2) i am a good consumer. i bought two cds today WHOLESALE: one mckeown and one phil ochs. something moved me. there i was at borders -- there were so many options -- and i needed distraction so immediately and so thoroughly -- and i had the money (well, sort of). i went for it. because:

2) after a short period of calm, i broke down again. i went to talk to my history prof about my paper. i went in confident, explaining that i felt like my trouble was a common, valid one: the class as a whole did badly because although the assignment was vague, he wanted something specific. this was exacerbated by my personal problem of having tried to write three papers in three days -- a ridiculous and futile enterprise, as i now recognize. he nodded at each of these statements and then explained each away, continuing to nod and smile as i felt my voice grow increasingly sticky in my throat. then with a final flourish he asked, "is this your first history class?"
no, i managed to choke out: i took history last semester. he said a few more things i don't remember, asking periodically, "you see what i mean?" i nodded and nodded and nodded my way out the door. barely out of the building before i was in tears and not long before i ran into lousia. i threw myself on her and

4) lousia comforted me. she had her own breakdown on monday; she gave me some off the cuff reassurances, enuf to help me compose myself. then we lunched and talked and walked, going over her problems and mine. i just needed to verbalize, to get it out to someone and she was there.
it worked: i feel somewhat better. now i have distillation on, which so far is certainly worth the label price. my mom is fed-exing me my dress for the formal this weekend. tomorrow nite i'm going into ohilly to see becca's production of angels in america, which she's been driving herself crazy making happen. hopefully i will sufficiently lulled and distracted. hopefully i'll even stumble across some sort of long-term cure, so that this bipolar unstability finally stops.