Thursday, February 28, 2002

waiting for laundry to finish spinning. laundry never looks to me like it's having fun in there. i've heard people suggest it; i just don't agree.
ho-hum. saw velvet goldmine today as planned. well, it was a combination of plan and luck, actually. i'd assumed it was in the evening and happened to casually check the schedule when i stepped out in the sunshine at 3:45. playing at 4:30, as it turned out. made it to the dfi, registered for membership but fumbled with the form when i realized i had neither my address nor my phone number with me and couldn't remember either off the top of my head. i'm a doof.
enjoyed the movie, though not as much as hedwig. the latter is more substantive. has more glitter per glam, you could say. i wonder if "curt wild" is a conscious nod to kurt veil. toni collette is incredible in everything she does. there's something riveting about her, she commands attention; and on a screen full of beautiful naked men, that's quite an achievement.

stopped briefly on the way home to buy groceries, then boldly, as though i had every right in the world, i made pizza. after i ate some and put some away for lunch tomorrow, i realized i felt fuller than i have in a while. not gross i've-eaten-one-too-many-digestive-biscuits (what pass for cookies in this country) full, but hot-food-satisfied kind of full. mmm.

sorry that last one was in such an offensive color. speaking of color, jesse and william have dealt with race recently. very different starting points, of course; both really insightful. being out of america, i'd nearly forgotten it was black history month. but maybe these posts are coincidental.
more linkagely, my latest find: baraita. lovely fluid and relatable, apart from the buffy/angel references, and not because i'm denied television in this place. i've never watched either show. please, tell me i'm not the only one. is it really as smart as all these people seem to believe?

i realized i wasn't dying to go back to alburtsland as planned to cook dinner w/ drea and katie. the train works on an honor system of sorts: you buy a ticket even though no one checks it. i at least interpret that to mean if you're lucky you don't have to buy a ticket and i've ridden back and forth numerous times without thinking too much about it. yesterday i had some change in my pocket and just for kicks, i spent it. 14 kroner on a ticket, less than $2, not too bad, especially considering that it's a 500 kroner fine if someone pops on and finds you empty-handed.
which is what happened, minus the empty-handed part. good decision, eh? best 14 kroner i've ever spent. nevertheless, i didn't feel like spending it again, or twice actually, out of paranoia, because the dourly uniformed ticket-checkers raised more alarm in me than the prison guards. also had been with people nonstop and thought some metime would be nice.
came home and stir fried. oh yeah. i had little idea what i was doing and did it anyway. it's part of the new meplan which, along with applying for a nonmetype job this summer ("working with kids? i thought you didn't even want to have kids") and doing such other nonme things as navigating and not getting sick on cruises (one ride out of two ain't bad), i've realizes is a major component of my general happiness in dk plan. even having plans! to get all meta. that's pretty nonme. so go, nonme, go.

right. so the stirfry wasn't great. liz who called, blessed liz, gave me tips for the future. orange juice? what the hell, in the true nonme spirit, i can try it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

off in a moment to see gosford park -- yes, again; i said from the start i'd have to see it more than once. cranky miserable weather outside, just the perfect kind to escape. this morning i woke up after a few hours sleep on my makeshift (god i love that word) alburtsland bed on andrea's floor to meet my class and walk two minutes to the most secure prison in denmark. as you'll perhaps recall, my crime class visited an open prison last week in jyderup.

well, from the outside, this one is different. there are walls for one thing. no barbed wire. a gate you have to pass through, security personnel. our guide, a nondescript blond guard, appears wearing a uniform that a catholic skoolboy would wear, enough to distinguish him but not to instill fear or knee-jerk respect for authority. no gun. there are no guns within the prison, or tasers, or clubs. some sticks and tear gas. that's it. in fact the most dangerous weapons in the prison are the knives on the counter of the kitchens where the inmates cook one meal a day. we have to give them knives, he shrugs, if we want them to cook; anyway if they wanted to stab each other they'd find a way, with or without them.
true nuff. same policy holds for the security of the prison in general. each cell is a little room with a door, no bars or anything; and the lowest wall in the complex, by the field where the inmates can hang out during specified time outside, is hardly intimidating. we shall not create a jail that's inescapable, he says, and whether he means cannot or will not i don't know. about one prisoner escapes a year and nearly all of them are found. this country's just too small to hide in.

granted i don't know much about the american system (teach me!) but my impression is that there's an astronomical difference between the treatment of prisoners and the philosophy behind the treatment. there's a respect between the prisoners and the guards here and not too much difference between them. the punishment is less harsh if you are found with hash within this danish maximum security prison than it is at all back home. plainclothed burly men don't sit in cages; they have tvs in their rooms, dvd players if they can afford them. they work 8 -- 3 for about a dollar an hour.
the inmate who talks to us at the end is actually left unsupervised for a few minutes. he's in there for trafficking hash. how much? two tons, he shrugs. he seems very open, says he doesn't blame society or his mother, isn't mad at the state, and won't return to prison cuz it's a waste of time. after some muttering someone asks, What about rape in the prison? rape?, he echoes, looking confused. there's no rape; there're no girls here.
when they get the feelin', apparently, they call hookers. they're allowed time with visitors.

on the way out, i notice butterfly stencils on the wall. i can't tell, and i still don't know, whether they're ironic.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

managed to celebrate purim more successfully today. after a ridiculously long series of classes (film, 8:45 - 11:45; mythology 1:50 - 3:10; danish politics, 3:30 - 6:30 -- lecture and then group presentations, with a free-pizza break/apology towards the end from our teacher) and a dash back to my dorm to exchange my bag o' books for a bag o' clothes, heatherwill mel katie andrea and i went to selena's, this cool two-floor cafe that's becoming a haunt, for drinks. i got a snowball -- too banana-y, not very strong -- and then mel and i split five-shots-for-100-kroner of cuba caramel. so good. on demand, i told the story of the holiday and afterwards was complimented with what is possibly the highest praise i can receive nowadays: that i'm a good storyteller.
when i was done basking, i solicited stories of embarrassment. a slow, steady start (cops interrupting hookups, skirts tucked in underwear) followed by a landslide (alcohol-related reputation injuries, public urination) left us laughing all around the table. we parted reluctantly. i'm spending the nite at andrea's as tomorrow morning early i'm going to the maximum security prison minutes from her dorm with my criminal justice class. so far it's been a much better week than last.

Monday, February 25, 2002

all right, i may as well just admit it: we didn't make hamentashen so much as we made pre-jammed triangular toast. but it's good pre-jammed triangular toast!

how it happened: after a wrap dinner, so we wouldn't be hungry while we shopped, we went to ISO, the supermarket near me with the distinction of having great food and employees who don't speak english. we located all the items on the list, only substituting margarine for butter. in the floury aisle a woman responded to our request for baking powder by pulling down a little brown packet from the wall. we looked uncertainly at each other and back at her. she nodded confidently. we shrugged and went with it.
back in my kitchen, we dealt with minor crises. no measuring cups! no, wait, there's something that looks like one in the back of the cupboard here. the dough's way too liquidy to knead. ha ha, just kidding, says andrea, i forgot to add half the flour. (flour becomes a theme later when the kneading starts. initially we're hesitant about using it; by the end, we're happily up to our elbows like kids in a sandbox.) the baking powder elicits a near-shriek as it's brown and smells like the inside of a havdala box. it's all we have, i say, just throw it in. no rolling pin! well, a newly bought can of corn works. we manage to pummel it to the reccommended thinness. how to measure the six cm for the diameter of each? just gimme a small glass, says andrea finally, and we use that. only later, when we add filling, we don't account for the fact that our cookies are smaller than they're supposed to be and later press our noses to the oven glass as the jam bubbles and oozes out of the cookie cracks.
all this to a soundtrack of near-constant laughter, interspersed with rent snatches and my camera going click.

the first batch is too crunchy. we name it 'the little fuckers' and move on. second, a decent consistency, still too much filling (andrea insists on spoiling them, but she's great at folding them up into the proper shapes.) we name them 'alvin and brittany' after the only middle children in popculture we could think of. the third batch, 'the accidents,' as they're mostly composed of extra dough, end up being the most successful.
they look disturbingly like biology diagrams, and the plain fact is, they're just not sweet. andrea encourages me to face up to this. eventually i do. the important thing is we (a) had fun; (b) didn't burn anything down or quit; and (c) baked! oh yeah baby. beat that.
my holiday! this morning i found myself at a table explaining purim to the group of mel who doesn't believe in religion, and katie and sam in identical gold crosses. i have only vague memories of last year yet i'm almost positive i told the story to someone then too. anyone remember what happened purim last year? i asked ben but of course he was no help. without access to my then-notebook, i feel so adrift.
i remember purim in israel easily enough. that was a riot. out til 4 a.m., singing, running around, covered in goopy fake-snow. my moment of glory, throwing a softserve cone at an assailant. the pride.

this year, andrea and i are rolling up our sleeves and trying to bake hamentashen. unsupervised kitchen use: exciting for both of us. tomorrow nite with heather we're going to obey the rabbinical mandate to drink. twill serve as a good antidote to yesterday spent lazing alone, plowing through rushdie, on the phone and/or computer.
funny: i keep running into accounts of blogging communities, people who get acquainted thru webjournals and then become friends in person. in my experience, it's often the opposite: my friends in real life go out and acquire themselves an online voice. also twice in the last two days someone has asked me why i spell my name the way i do. it's not big deal, folks. the 'h' is an unnecessary adornment; and we all know how i feel about jewelery.

must prepare cty curriculum in advance of march 4 interview. how to convince these nice people that i want to work with children? i haven't even convinced myself yet.

Sunday, February 24, 2002

prepare. this'll be a ross type entry, beginning when heather, andrea, katie and i lucked into a cabin together. we tossed our bags and went to look around. realization 1: we near80 american college students were sharing this boat with children, old people, and handicapped folks, and most of the boat's amenities were meant for them. after taking pictures on deck, by fountains, and other random places, people hit the only available entertainment: the duty free shop to buy liquor. heather proposed that she and i split a box of what looks like mini alky bottles in tinfoil. each is chocolate and contains a mouthful of a different kind of schnapps, whiskey, brandy, or vodka.
not too long after when i went upstairs i found the hall going full-force, with the DISers distributed in clusters in cabins around bottles and crackers and cans. will, heather's -- well, heather's something, offered me a screwdriver. the girls joined us in a bit and we hung out in our room until dinnertime, 8:30. then the rocking started.
we had this gorgeous free dinner buffet displayed for us and no one could eat a thing. our table looked like a painting of the Last Supper: people moaning, heads in hands, with will, our only male, presiding as the de facto jesus. amazingly i didn't feel sick, but the longer i sat there amongst the illness the weaker i felt. heather will and i ran off, but it was bad everywhere, like the plague had hit. people pressed to the floor; you could hear people in bathrooms. (realization 2: you get what you pay for and this roundtrip voyage + 2 dinners was only $133.) we went to the first floor where supposedly you feel it less and i lay down on the tile wretchedly, shivering. heather and will helped me up and to the room. andrea and katie were already there, andrea astonished: 'i've never been seasick before.' commiserated wanly. we slept.

saturday morning no one felt well enough to see the sun rising over the fjords. but by 8 the water had calmed, we had a makeshift breakfast, and when the boat docked we were ready to take oslo for all it's worth. agreeable weather, a couple degrees colder than copenhagen's, minus the wind, helped us along. we visited, initially as a group of 9, a beautiful sculpture garden of over 100 unique naked figures. the most bizarre one had a nude man attempting to throw four children off the bridge. no one could accuse the norwegians of being prudish.
we trammed back to center city, walked around in smaller groups. katie, our noble navigator, andrea elizabeth and i ducked into a 2nd hand shop and i emerged triumphantly not too much later with a sweater and a long, burgundy skirt. warm lunch. city hall, where they hand out the nobel peace prize and the architechture clashes with the artwork. the national museum where the Scream hangs, along with a couple other rooms filled with munchs. i had no idea i would enjoy him so much. andrea and i circled, speculating, admiring, entirely taken in. and leisurely we made our way back to the boat.

it was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous time, worth the discomfort of the previous night. i was determined that the evening would match. katie offered me a chewable tablet, which i downed, as advised by the ship's crew, at 7:30. earlier dinner this time: we convened and ravaged the buffet. heather, katie, cindy (a friend of will's and thus sort of absorbed into our group) and i decided to sneak into the sauna. cindy said sagely that, like seasickness, body issues are contagious, so we all agreed to just not think about it. for an hour or more the four of us sweated, took cold showers for contrast, and returned to sweat some more. in there, the boat rocking only added to atmosphere. we left, refreshed, bonded, and having survived the choppiest part of the trip.
nevertheless cindy threw up immediately, and not ten steps further towards our room, a little boy vomited all over the carpet. we nearly ran upstairs. i didn't feel anything and didn't want to risk it. i spent the evening safely secluded, talking to people, listening to music, rereading Midnight's Children. later, as a reward for my strong stomach, i had a couple more chocolate-alky bottles with heather. andrea even tried one, after much coaxing, which produced a priceless expression of horror that subsided as we commanded her to swallow.

now i'm back, feeling much the same as i did exiting the sauna. minus the brickred cheeks, of course. congrats to my lovely Colored Girls. we saluted them onship.

Friday, February 22, 2002

blizzard. braved class. bergman: persona, fantastic. mythology. boat. norway. anyone been? how does danny know so much about it anyway?
my colored girls are performing tonight. everyone, please, go, applaud, wish them luck. in exchange i'll kiss the fjords for you.
still snowing ...

Thursday, February 21, 2002

shouldn't travel without a camera, says cuong as he slips his passport in his camera case. 85 DISers are cruising to oslo tomorrow, me included. i have to go back to my room and pack but i'm taking a minute or two more on the sixth floor to digest. eric cuong and i -- well, primarily eric; he just narrated as he proceeded and let me stir a little -- cooked a lovely dinner and dessert: some vegetable, like heavy lettuce leaves with a spongy, broccoli look to them that we christened Green Brain, sauteed with onions, garlic, carrots, etc.; grains; and then a yogurt, honey, cinnamon and banana mixture. cuong threw in granola and it was perfect. we ate to nick drake and nearly finished a bottle of red wine in the process.

spots of today shined. criminal justice, rehashing the field study, someone objected to having murderers in the open prison. teacher told the story of one man, a softspoken older guy who after 15 years of marriage to an emotionally abusive woman finally snapped. he made sure she took a larger dose than usual of sleeping pills. then he put a pillow over her face. that led into a heated discussion about the different types of murder. should we make distinctions? (of course we should. we do, even in our u.s. proportional, retribution-oriented "justice" system.) i couldn't believe that some people were so insistent that the man couldn't be trusted not to kill again. he'll never have those circumstances repeated, teacher explained. some kids just didn't get it. i said, if a woman snapped after 15 years with an emotionally abusive husband and killed him, not only would i not be afraid she'd kill again, i'd probably cheer. why should it be different just because he's a man?
the situation made me think of andrea yates, whose fate is soon to be determined.

last nite, taking a break from writing a jewish history paper, i went to dinner with punk tweedledum-and-tweedledee, two deadpan girls from umd who sat next to each other, smoked three cigarettes each, wore black and told each others' stories. as it turns out, one knows lana and her v.m. crew, having served as the photographer for the show. today i had more random conversations, staving off a feeling of restlessness. my dreams reach back home, so i wake guilty that i'm thinking too much of people who aren't here. it's hard to anchor my mind in this place, even though i've been here for a month: when i see something, instinctively i consider reactions of faraway friends. i compare people i meet to people i know.
also feeling guilty about the question of dropping my jewish history class. i'm not learning anything, but the teacher's very sweet. i'd still have four if i lost it, and i'd have one less midterm when ben's here. but dropping a class makes me feel like a slacker. decisions ...

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

just returned from jyderup state prison, about an hour and a half outside copenhagen. doubtlessly, yesterday was practice; today it's really snowing, and sapna and i had to make our way through the white to arrive at 8:15. something mutely, eerily wild about snowstorms. i think of inmates throwing pointless tantrums against padded walls. you know it won't hurt you but you tread carefully all the same, even for a while afterwards.
in my case, i had to keep my head bowed, otherwise the wind blew the snow down my collar. it's a smart move in this country of cobblestones anyway, as if you don't watch where you're doing you trip.
but the prison: well, first off, it doesn't look like a prison. there's no wall, no barbed wire, no guns. (the guard held up her walkie-talkie and quipped, "there's my gun.") inside the buildings are painted as bright as the nursery skool or the folk college. a little room off of the main gym/weightroom area contains a solarium. you have to pay a little to use it, of course.
they make their own food, shop and cook in kitchens just like we have to do in kollegiums. my jaw dropped at the rooms themselves. kenneth, our inmate guide, had a radio shack set up: tv, computer, stereo. when they call them 'cells' they laugh.

kenneth's a smart, tan, well-dressed, well-spoken guy in his late twenties serving a three year sentence for drugs. i was never addicted, he says. neither were the folks he sold to. he never thought he'd get caught but he did, and compared to the closed prison he spent the first bit of his time, this open prison was heaven. here he gets to leave every day to continue studying -- which he'd started on the outside, with the intention of being a folk skool teacher. all the same, he's eager to get out. it's the little things, he says. you don't appreciate freedom til it's taken from you. you have to sleep without your girlfriend, you can't leave whenever you want.
would he be angry in the prison system in america? we see those programs, he says, laughing. of course if you locked me up in a tiny cell with a huge afro-american and i left after ten years of abuse (a girl and i raise our eyebrows at each other across the table) i'd be angry at the society. but here? no.
he doesn't look angry. he's sitting there, calm and sane, bulgy with strength but not it seems with anything repressed, a coffee cup in front of him and an untouched cookie. in two months he'll be out and living, in fact, in amager. oh that's where we live, says the girl next to me. we all look at each other. are we scared? is he scary? there isn't really a gate in this prison. if he wanted to run out and rampage through the town he could. but he doesn't, and the other inmates don't either. why should they? i'm wasting my youth in here, he says. i just want to get out, live again.

my teacher asks if there are more questions. i lean in. do the other prisoners look like you? his face crinkles in puzzlement. i explain: first day of class, teacher distributed a sheet of questions, one of which was, what do prisoners look like? everyone laughs, including kenneth. they come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, he says. they look exactly like you and me. a dwarf just got in from copenhagen. everyone laughs again.

reflecting, i don't think i'm scared. the recidivism rates are lower at open prisons. people are more adjusted to the outside world because they venture in it from time to time; they're never too isolated from it. right outside the not-too-tall walls it waits, a temptation, sure, but also a dangling carrot. they're not angry. not defeated, not resigned, not institutionalized. inside i'm still suspicious, even though teacher tells me he's never been a guide before, and he doesn't get rewards for saying anything in particular. some guides have been caustic or simmering. i still sort of wonder what criminals look like. i don't feel convinced yet. i wonder why.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

it's snowing. everyone around me is babbling. "snow! i can't believe it. wow." ... it's february. doesn't it always snow in february? we've been lucky it's only rained so far. snow's prettier than rain -- colder but prettier.

this weekend i'm cruising up to oslo. it's virtually like another study tour, as a DIS fullyear student arranged a special deal for those of us who're interested -- and nearly fifty signed up. luckily the boat's huge. and if you wake up at 5 a.m. and go out on deck, you can watch the sun rise over the fjords which apparently is a sight to see. (discussing in the lounge today, i said, "anyone read Hitchhiker's?" no one had. i explained that the man who designed norway's fjords was quite fond of them, even won a medal. people seemed to take that well.)

got up at 7 this morning. tomorrow will be another early morning, making, lord, nearly a week of them, as we have a field study to an open air danish prison. leaving at 8:15. i'm excited, i've never seen a prison before. everyone wears plainclothes inside: our teacher has requested that we not wear baseball caps so as to distinguish ourselves. we get a guided tour from some volunteer inmates, and if they volunteer to tell us what they're in for we can discuss it.
it seems like a pretty remarkable prison. inmates have phones in their rooms, some have televisions. they cook for themselves. there's also a maximum security facility in the area which we see on a later trip, and that apparently is more along the lines of what we americans are used to imagining, thanks to frank darabont movies. ... political science, criminology ... i wonder: should i be a lawyer?
my parents always told me not to be; no one seems to enjoy the profession; it's a pain in the ass to get in and stay in skool and i certainly didn't enjoy drudging in mel's office that summer. should all these negatives add up to a positive?
oh my lord, the sky's blue, like someone wiped it clean. there isn't a single cloudsmudge left. i wonder: is it a sign?

Monday, February 18, 2002

probably set the record for bizarre earlymorning crying today when, after waking pre-alarm from alarming dreams, i wandered down to the computer lab and checked up on weblogs. miz *don't call my daughter zabby* eliz's account, on top of ross and nori's glorying, and ross's comment on her page (i see they've finally become friends in my absence) made me drip a little. i couldn't wallow, i had class to go to. as i returned to my lair to get ready, i mused over eliz's take on comfort zones. mine are clearly defined; i'm posessive of them, suspicious outside of them. she cited her tendency never to leave her room, or if possible her chair. i countered with the fact that twice my mother has given me as birthday presents comfort zonish equipment, once a hammock, once a beanbag.
coincidentally a letter i received from ben today (of course i'll be your valentine) talked of what a typical evening at swat would be like if i were there. i'd dance reluctantly, make faces at some noisy overcrowded party, and we'd end up somewhere quieter talking or watching a movie. quite possibly. luckily it didn't seem to bother him.

the combination of the letter and eliz's statements about her discomfort in social situations made me ponderous. primarily, my thoughts ran as follows: yes, i like to be in warm cozy familiar places with warm cozy familiar people, preferably laughing, with my notebook at arm's length and a vcr nearby. would i enjoy the wild revelry that is present barn life? would i retreat from it, or would i rise to it (who are all these people?) what will happen when i go back? well, never mind that for a while.
last year i wasn't as cloistered as this past semester. whether it was jolly's influence, the hall's, being on campus, or having a lot of repressed highskool shit that needed to surface, i don't know. still, realizing that i had to get away. ignoring my occasional frustration and dissatisfaction, i was too content. i thought sometimes that i missed drama. i think what i really missed was challenge.
when i'm at swat, i often let myself get pulled into the position of Second. assistant-director, stage manager, some leadership-type position where i have say but not total control. thrown into a new situation, i've had to do things on my own. there's no jamie to navigate, no barnie to cook for me, no one to hide behind. i'm enjoying it. not eating as well, certainly missing the weekly tofu curries. but i'm enjoying it. i feel slightly more sure of myself. (bold statement, eh? some habits die hard.) i'm alone! and simultaneously not alone at all, and doing fine.
i can't speak for eliz, of course. i only own one pair of fleece pajamas and she gets a new pair, in a different shade of pastel, every year. but i think the funny thing about comfort zones is that there's always a lastditch one you carry around with you, in a bright red bag or whatever, and it'll accompany you much farther and is much more resilient than you might expect.

Sunday, February 17, 2002

i meant to see ocean's eleven about two months ago, during finals period, with becca. i forget what came up. so time passed, but i didn't forget. oh no, not i. the movie opens in copenhagen! who expects it? and it's my anniversary. what a coincidence. andrea, mel, heather, will, and i go. supposed to be playing at 1:15 -- oops the papers got it wrong, it's playing at 3:30. no problem. we sit at a cafe, mel and andrea buy me a celebratory vaffle and a diet coke, andrea continuously gives me sudden hugs; we reunite with heather and will, who got some work done in the meanwhile, and we watch what really is a terrific, if terrifically silly, movie. i'm a sucker for anything that sucks me in. LOTR for example. not great literature, not precisely, no. but involving. it takes me out of my head.

on the way home, i stare at the blinking sign across from me at the bus stop. drink coca-cola, it proclaims. it's two degrees outside.

i begin to feel slightly tired. didn't get much sleep. after very energetic discussion with eric over white mugs, me poring over his sketchbook, him helping me with a poem, i read for a while (see above ... put down To the Lighthouse again for it too. i wasn't in the mood for sad) and went to sleep at 12:30, setting the alarm for 5:55. even woke for it and made the call; unfortunately the intended wasn't there to pick up his phone at midnite exactly his time. no problem. i stay up for an hour, working on the poem, and doze off til 9. i go for a walk in a morning fresh as if issued to children on a beach. venturing back from sunlight to monitorlight i find my chap online, as well as darling miss lana. a sufficiency of sweet nothings exchanged and i was ready for the day.
what a lark! what a plunge!

what a year.

Saturday, February 16, 2002

hugemajorincredible post time, huh? refreshed after a bowl of oatmeal, leftover salmon quiche, and three of jolly's hershey kisses, having put down my bag, made plans to go for chai with eric, read a charming piece of sarah c. correspondence, and chatted with sapna, i'm flexing my fingers, ready to update. but chai awaits. let me try to simply hit highlights:
first of all, wednesday afternoon, heather, newkatie and i trekked to christiania for a cheap vegetarian lunch followed by what turned out to be an expensive dessert. after lingering for a bit, we went down to the glyptotek art museum, until the effects started to warp us and we decided it would be wiser to make it to our respective homes. the feeling steadily worsened, in my case into a harsh reaction. not knowing how to handle it and being by myself, i paced my apartment for three hours, struggling to make my brain perform small tasks like dialing the phone and packing, the latter out of pure necessity as we were leaving the next day. at 8, exhausted, i finally allowed myself to sleep. at 12, the phone rang. jarred, i stumbled to it. ben. calling. chills shook me, i could barely hear him and i felt like i might collapse. i managed to convince him through apologies and his confusion that i had to go. all right, he said at last, well, happy valentines day ....
i landed with a thud on the cold tile of the bathroom floor. calmed down. slept.

the next morning, still thick and hazy, i got myself to the bus on time and slept some more. 24 hours after subjecting myself to it, i emerged. never again. i felt rotten on and off for the rest of the day, crying on andrea's shoulder out of frustration, homesickness, and regret. but when i wasn't too distracted, i noticed the gentle green of denmark's hills whose grass never turns brown and enjoyed the modern art museum (newkatie and i smiled and shrugged as we entered, saying, 'art museum, take 2.' she'd had a rough time of it as well but she recovered sooner.) viborg, the 3rd largest city in denmark, is beautiful and the hostel where they put us up was one of the more comfortable i've ever been in.

all in all, a subpar valentines day. yesterday was better. i woke cheerful, and cheerfully prepped, dressed, breakfasted, and hopped on the bus. we visited a pre-school in the morning and a folk college in the evening, both filled with around 60 healthy, blond, vigorous individuals, separated only by about fifteen years in age. both featured unique pedagogical methods which, if one may judge by the participants, seem effective. overall i enjoyed the folk college more as we could interact on a more mature level with the students there -- we folk danced for an hour and a half, i was surprised at my own energy and at how much fun it was, danish dances as well as the virginia reel, and later we sang.

today we had two more guided tours, saw some of �rhus, the 2nd biggest city in dk, the best-preserved bogman around and a recreation of a medieval city. bussed home. it was a fun trip. they promised us great group bonding some of which occurred. i guess that's a topic for another time. for now, congrats to lana for a supposedly fabulous production. i have no idea how the swat one went, did anyone see it?
and congratulations to benandme -- one year old tomorrow. wow.

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

thanks to heather, i've been making the most of fat tuesday. mmmm yes. although i left the computer lab in low spirits, my nordic mythology class was as always a riot with the prof in the exact same sweater he's worn every classday so far. one has to imagine he knows. i spend half the period laughing and writing down quotes; once i've compiled a sufficient number i'll post them here.
that was followed by a better-than-average danish politics class. the DIS instructor gave a guest lecture on an article we read, whose author apparently went to swarthmore. cathy ta turned around and we smiled at each other. the article touched on many of the issues and contradictions of this place. you could tell, despite the attempt at evenhandedness, that the author was smitten. that's okay, i kinda am too. at the end of class, this chick shannon with whom i've been hoping to become better friends invited me to a movie tomorrow evening.

but none of that has to do with food so i'll skip to when i skipped back to DIS, met up with drea and heather and went skipping to her host family's house where in true host family style they stuffed us full of salmon quiche, green beans, rolls, and, for desert, banana cake. we lingered around the table in traditional fashion. i charted the course of the conversation from inital very awkward small talk to, eventually, royal family gossip (the queen's french husband, count henrik, had a nervous collapse after some three-decades and is headed back to frogland. the danes seem glad to be rid of him: pompous jerk never even bothered to learn the language) and sex jokes. when drea heather and i finally retired to heather's room to watch the usual suspects, the hostmom made us a tray of tea and american popcorn. topped off with carepackage candy. oh loveliness.

my wonderful mother just sent me an email. she's been babblebooking to keep up with me. 'for all that bar sitting,' she says, 'surely you've drunk something more interesting than hot chocolate!' and here i thought i was being moderately self-censoring for her benefit. she also said that following the links on my sidebar brought her to tinman's site. the whole bit made me laugh. hi mom. :-)
danish resistance museum tomorrow -- assumedly we'll learn more than just that the whole thing about the danish king wearing a yellow star is a myth -- then christiania with heather and a new possiblefriend katie, then the movie with shannon. after that, the field study trip to jutland. we'll see how often i'll have access to the net.
meditative. saw family life in film this morning which had me hostile right from the start. not because it's upsetting, i like upsetting movies. no matter how many i see, the good ones still get to me and i appreciate that. getting all twisted about for different reasons is a nice change. but this one (about a relatively normal teenage girl in britain's suburban 60s with disgusting narrow parents who whirlpools into insanity) irritated me, which is not the same thing. in a lot of ways it's like girl, interrupted. both are based on true stories, both involve young women whose mental maladjustment is a result of their environment, specifically a stifling family life, in that age when the gap between parents and offspring was at its widest (or so the media tells us.)
this was so heavyhanded though. it's easy to put all the blame on society. but the girl had a responsibility to herself not to do everything she was told, to make friendships, to find some kind of creative outlet -- small things that could improve her state tremendously. her own passivity it seems does her in as much as her dull parents do. they turn her into a victim; she lets them.

very unsympathetic of me. blah. it's sort of a blah day. i looked outside at what i thought was sky. a moment later i realized i was staring across an alley at a white brick wall nearly indistinguishable from what it hits its head on.
last nite the some of us opera-bound folks stopped for a traditional danish meal in nyhavn. first herring i've had here. it was delicious. carmen itself though -- set in spain, sung in french, subtitled on the little screen in danish -- was enjoyable but didn't make an impression on me. maybe it would have had i understood more, or maybe i'm just unused to opera.
not reading up on the show first was a mistake. over intermission, a few of us scrambled to read the synopsis in the program and try to figure out who you were supposed to feel for while some others explained. 'she's a slut,' said mel helpfully. 'really?' i said. 'this whole time i thought she was just being friendly.' katie shared with me that the sopranos and the basses are usually the bad guys. why should that be, d'you suppose?
luckily the end is very direct. i love you don't leave me/ i don't love you anymore i love him, ad nauseum, is pretty universal stuff.

Monday, February 11, 2002

announcements! oh what a lovely day 'tis. oh who expected such a lovely day? tra-la-la ....
well, to let you share in my giddiness:
first in the sequence of things i can reveal is that jocelyn my darling roomie chateau-partner from freshman year sent me a valentines box just thrilling with chocolates and little hearts that say 21st century sweet nothings such as, "fax me". i've danced around distributing them with credit to her and feeling like quite the sprite of generosity and sugary goodness and joy.
second, hesitant firmness is back in business. we've brought it back from the dead, given it a face life, and proclaimed it a dumping ground for random facts, links, and tests the newest of which is yami's still-in-development as-meta-as-it-gets Which Hesitant Firmness Blogger Are You? i will most certainly and with great delight post the link here when it's ready.

additionally we're going to the opera tonite. i'd forgotten, in my swarm of activities and worries and contemplations, that we have tickets for Carmen. still need to read up on the plot. i haven't been to opera since The Magic Flute when i was eight and my father lifted me up so i could read the english translations of the lyrics on the big screen at wolf trap. as i'm not really familiar with Carmen i don't know whether i'll have trouble following it. but who cares! it's opera. how continental and sophisticated we are for attending.

AND i can't really discuss This online unless i get Her permission but i'm very very happy for yet another of the whatrosswouldcall Loveless Girls who in february either hit a lucky streak or come into their own. dancing around the subject, i know. one hates to be indiscreet online. such a coming of age thing. ohh! joy. from far away the problems seem silly and besides the point, of course these things are never perfect. the point is the Thing itself.
i mailed my own valentine today too. happy eleventh everyone.

Sunday, February 10, 2002

heavenly IM conversations with ben and brig and emails from ross and 'relle make me nostalgic. if i hadn't had such a calmhappy weekend, i'd get maudlin. this place is growing on me though. the people particularly as i'd already been 75% in love with the city. i spent the entire day in pajamas -- andrea's pajamas to be exact. we ventured out around 11:30 to get pastries, mmm those flaky cinnamon things, and then on our way home met jess, so drea and i rebounded with her to get actual lunch food. that meant in my case shrimp in a pita with white sauce. bizarre. on the plus side, i realized i was relaxing with these people. thinking less, joking more. a sure sign of growing comfort.

drea and i hung out in her room telling more stories. (sounds like war stories) i have, i know, like a repertoire of around 30 and i love telling them. i really do. few things make me happier than recollecting the details, selena's wedding when the priest died in the middle of the ceremony or cousin pedro living in my basement or junior year when i burnt, blackened and shrunk, and gradually came back to life, or that first kiss under the laundry chute. i love who i used to be, who my friends were, trying to pin the right wordtail to the donkey that was high skool. i love the success: comprehension, empathy, in another person. it's performing on a small scale which is all i have the nerve for. internet aside, of course. i don't see my 63 visitors per day; it's different.

i'm sorry i don't have any links to share. ooh, wait, i can think of one: visit tinka. she's got a lot of interesting insights on denmark and danish culture. and becca's resumed posting! from rome. joy.
tomorrow's the eleventh. that's Six Days Short of a Year Day for those of you familiar with my history. it's also my two year anniversary of graduation from highskool. jdsers, help me out: did we graduate on the eleventh or was that the day i sat there and watched my loved ones collect prizes? either way, momentous. february's just like that. vday we leave on a tour of western dk. maybe they'll hand out chocolate on the bus. we can all retreat into the greedy corners of our minds, watch the countryside roll by, and ponder love ...

Saturday, February 09, 2002

i can hear the tour des chambres continuing outside. here (in andrea's room again) all is quiet. the way this works, everyone prepares a drink for the people who troop through, staying in each room for ten minutes or so, handling whatever the room's occupant has left lying around, drink, laugh, talk, move on.
i got here late, arriving in a hair-tangled flurry from dinner at mel's house. her host-parents are out of town. instead of throwing raucous parties, she's hosting three separate small events. tonite she cooked six of us a lovely dinner and dessert over which we had to linger and from which we then had to clean.
and to that katie and i had appeared in a hair-tangled flurry from our full day of touring denmark's viking sites. we met our nordic mythology class at 9 a.m. in center city, hopped on a bus, and between then and hopping off again at 5:30 we did a lot of trekking through sheep's droppings, mud, wet grass, hail and wind. it was worth it though. our mythology's teacher's a riot. if you can imagine it, he's a mix of hagrid and harry potter, with a little mr. miller thrown in. at one of the museums, you can try on replicas of helmets and chain male (sp?) so katie and i took turns taking pictures of each other. i tried to hold my axe with pride but the helmet was so heavy i had to hold the helmet up so it wouldn't smash my nose. yeah, can't really take me seriously as a warrior.

yet again last nite we couldn't find jazz. the place we had intended to go had a kr. 200 cover. instead we ended up at the student house, packed and well-atmosphered although full of sketchballs. one guy grabbed my waist at the bar and when i ignored him he did it again. a girl with him got me a discount on my drink and he insisted that meant i owed him a dance. date rape doesn't exist in this country -- one of the ways dk and most of europe is less advanced than we are. anyone who accepts drinks from a guy and goes home with him can't press charges no matter what happens.
these nice and entirely wasted folks let me slip away to nurse my hot chocolate without much protest. heather went to get a beer and came back twenty minutes later with a description of the guy who hit on her that matched mine. we laughed about it and later returning from the bathroom together we passed him, shading our eyes with the exact same motion, walking on.

Friday, February 08, 2002

despite nori's emailed warnings and invectives against women's magazines, i can't seem to help myself. i'm hooked. there were five thick ones left in our kitchen cabinet and i've pawed thru each now, page by page. not quite done with the last, a british cosmo. most likely i'd still be at the table if andrea hadn't called. dinner? ha ha, i'd already eaten (it involved the oven, which according to a new rating system still in development [for those of us whose kitchen skills are as well] was two points. another two because it involved more than one color. so did the pasta i made last nite. for no one else is pasta an achievement. well, for andrea, i guess, which is why we're friends. end note.)
we're meeting -- by which i mean The Group -- at 8 at dis. how grateful are we all that our hq is so centrally located. we meet there and spiral off in whatever direction please, in tonite's case to hear more jazz. tomorrow will be consumed from 9 a.m. to 5:30 with a nordic mythology field study, followed by a dinner party at mel's empty house and a drinking party at drea's dorm. called tour des chambres, each participant is responsible for providing drinks and a decorative theme for the hall as it parades through. sunday tentatively i have planned to see the georgia o'keefe exhibit at the lousiana, a modern art museum a train ride away. monday nite is the opera and tuesday nite is dinner at heather's. cooler than any of that, however, sapna left for paris this afternoon.

my first full week of classes behind me, i have the feeling time will start to move much more quickly. good thing or bad, i don't know. i think i'm growing more comfortable with the city. i've spoken at least once in each of my classes. for mythology i already handed in a paper (written over my lunch break today actually because i spent last nite swallowing emotional ipecac. that is to say, i read over the last couple months as recorded in my real space notebook and listening to the two mixes lana made me until i wept, and, feeling purified, could sleep.)
today's film was the french lieutenant's woman and i don't have time to go into it but see it if you get a chance. really interesting movie.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

just returned from a nice stroll with katie. set out to buy boots after class and ended up wandering for a couple hours.

yesterday i was particularly antsy, perhaps because of the antisociality of the night before. i chatted with random folks (one popped an invitation to another bar but i wanted another path to redemption), watched cabaret in honor of rebecca, blair, and other various deserving people having roles, and went home to study a bit before joining the crowd in the 6D kitchen to celebrate eric's 24th bday. unaccustomed to both beer and large swells of affectionate people, eric was on cloud nine. i sat at a table with a pleasantly tipsy cuong and two danish guys, one of whom doodled cartoons on newspaper while he talked and the other, tall lanky alex, with cheeks like a battlefield and frighteningly blue eyes, who was drinking orange soda as a break.
coincidentally his major here is american studies which means both north and south. his professor, he reported, told them that for people in the states having pride in having no culture is culture substitute. i refuted that and he asked for examples of real american culture. poetry, i said. do you read american lit? he furrowed his brow for a moment: 'edgar allen poe?'

we continued the discussion downstairs by the pooltables while we prepped to go to christiania for jazz, establishing that his major suited him to take over a small centralamerican country. cuong, feeling protective, warned me as we went to get coats of alex's predatorial reputation. although the prospect of a one-night stand with the future dictator of nicaragua was superficially tempting, i laughed and assured him i'd be okay.
alex, eric, cuong and i set off in the rain to the hippie haven, about a ten minute walk from our door. the venue was packed with smoke and twentysomethings, both equally funky. the first band was a lackluster rock group whose sax player couldn't hold a candle to sam dingman. the second was a woman wearing two slips and knee-high boots singing along valiantly to french opera. when she finished her aria, the spotlight shifted to the third band, this one authentically jazzy. people started dancing. alex offered to take my coat (cuong hovered) i refused nicely, and he hung back with his arms crossed. one birthday dance with eric -- i danced! i wasn't drunk! we laughed and stumbled through -- and i left with cuong. talked differences between ethnic here and at home. returned around 2:30, after sapna was in bed for a change.

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

phones should be outlawed. don't prattle on to me about their potential for good. last nite after getting off of mine and drifting promptly into sleep, i dreamt:
that i was dreaming in my house in dc about ben -- and suddenly he was there. we hung around, just laughing, wandering. got back into bed and the alarm clock went off realization: if i woke up he wouldn't be there anymore competing with a little voice that said, hey, maybe he will
woke up and he wasn't.
see? who needs it.
had a similar dream when i was in north carolina with lana, only in that dream ben was with us in that house and lana was eating dirt. it seemed quite natural at the time.

trooped off to a bar/club last nite, not with the intent of reminding myself why that's not my scene. after a lovely tho pricey sex on the beach, the place had worn out its usefulness and its charm. class today -- didn't want to get smashed, didn't want to flirt with sketchy guys, no room to dance (the place becomes a slow motion mosh pit you have to propel yourself through to escape). came home around midnite.

debating what to do now. read karen blixen in the library? find meself a movie and a place to watch it? finally got my hunger pains for a film soothed by the showing of truffaut's La Nuit Americaine yesterday in class, albeit at 8:45, which in this country is, like, dawn. oh god, too many women's magazines. they're fucking with my thoughts.

today at lunch i returned to my table after a very impressive trip to the bathroom (the trip, as i explained, was the impressive part). you have to walk through door after door.
me: and i'm always apprehensive that the next one i open will have a dead body behind it
andrea: what is it with you and dead bodies?
what indeed.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

i'm in a place where people use "gay" as an insult. it jars me whenever i hear it, like a couple seconds ago from a guy at a computer across from me. i don't know him and he wasn't talking to me, so how do i respond? the first couple times i was too shocked to react, although of course that's stupid -- i guess i'm just used to swat, and not even swat as a whole; my particular self-editing circles. here the rules are different, or there are no rules, or no one's set them out yet. it's hard to know. people have different unifying characteristics than i'm used to. they go to college rather than to swarthmore. they've decided to study abroad. they're american. that's about it. my jews in europe class is populated both by people who when answering questions about traditions say, "we ..." and people who dangle crosses over their collars. the professor asks questions about impressions of religions and i shudder a little waiting for the first faux pas.

i sit next to katie in that class, who wears her cross open and honest. she's lutheran, engaged to a boy who wants to be a pastor just like her father is and her grandfather too. (naturally it's a little political, she says of her engagement. it helps to know people, like in any profession.) her mother was born jewish and converted. my professor asks, "who is a jew?" and after various vanilla answers writes "jewish mother" on the board. jews don't recognize conversion. i sneak a look at katie, even though it's not my responsibility to assure that no one in the class is offended, see her leaning back, arms and legs crossed. look back at the prof, wondering if i should speak.
someone else mentions choice and the prof nods vigorously. of course, of course, everything's different nowadays. she doesn't erase the words on the board but they fade -- or their power does and maybe although i could be imagining it, oversensitivity and whatnot, katie begins to relax.

to what degree am i responsible and til what point should i keep my mouth shut?
meanwhile another question begins to be answered on cathy's site. she knows what she's fighting against.

Monday, February 04, 2002

writing on andrea's laptop which provides relief in the form of a standard american keyboard -- no more searching for keys -- in europe they wander, you know. at some point maybe drea's keys will be influenced by european keys and start meandering around the board looking for excitement. might as well enjoy the stability as long it lasts.
after my second class of the day, jews in europe (i took notes dutifully throughout. temple destroyed the 586 bce -- check. second temple -- 70 ce. i have evil memories of dr. granite [phd in theater, as it turned out, that fraud] lecturing on the same material. she and i were natural enemies. i rarely had it that bad with teachers. she took 5% off a test of mine once supposedly because i took it in pencil. memories of injustice remain with me. good thing i have so few.) (oh wait, i was in the middle of a sentence, wasn't i? to resume:) i took the train out to her dorm to meet her.
walked, looked wideeyed around the supermarket and opted for the pizza/pasta place instead where i got a forlorn excuse for a greek salad and we stayed so long talking the gruff men around us kept shooting us looks in mumbled danish.

criminology, my first class of the day, for which i had 120 pages of theory reading in nils christie's book plus a chapter of matthieson's prison on trial plus binder reading (gee, i could have just stayed at swat) was interesting -- a lot to absorb. i never realized the extent of the horror of the incarceration situation. on the other hand i found myself hostile to both authors, sanctimonious scandinavians!, for criticizing america, more than once making (notso)subtle comparisons to russia and nazi germany.

over our extended subpar dinner drea asked me about the negative aspects of 'friend. why are you curious, i said. because, she said, she asked her roommate once at college. gosh, said the roommate, i can't think of anything but i'm sure he's not perfect because only jesus can be.

NB: to all those who care about me, and i know there are at least three of you, i got wonderful emails today, please help me in my latest quest. i have to move one step up from my frozen french fries. but to what? how? supermarkets, though heavenly, are intimidating. i need to focus and for that i need advice, which you can feel free to dish out. go ahead, show off for the world!

Sunday, February 03, 2002

after a day filled with demanding liquids (diet coke, a hot chocolate that was very thick milk accompanied by a kebobed triangle of chocolate, a skimlatte with caramel, and an aquarius in an effort to appease and honor the gods of february) i'm trying to redeem myself with water and tea. in result i feel a little more wholesome, but draggy and tired. a long discussion with eric about globization, pulp fiction, and speed nearly put me to sleep.

this came on the heels of more walking. first i set out this earlyafternoon in search of a quiet place to sit and read criminal justice; i ended up in a park, although the wind didn't let me stay long. last nite i met heather at 7-11 at 10 and we looked for jazz. live music is supposed to be ubiquitous here yet we came up empty-handed, having confronted three separate private parties and an old white guy playing a guitar. we settled for barhopping and talk. (an aquarius, by the way, is a very pretty blue and tastes a lot like sprite. sipping, i thought of my friends who have birthdays this month where the calendar is a minefield)
things have a tendency to happen to me twice. the v-day anxiety is my own fault: i incurred bad karma when i broke up with avi in a letter to arrive then and ended with the words, 'happy valentines day.' when i wrote it i think i meant it sincerely. it didn't strike me how callous that was.
the anniversary anxiety stems from farther back, from sixth grade, when the other ben informed me sixdaysshortofayear that he liked rotem. i cried a little, realized the simpsons were on, watched laughed and forgot. i doubt somehow that i'd rebound so quickly now.
oh, for march 1. to know how it all ends and not have to be bothered by the living through it.

Saturday, February 02, 2002

walked out of my dorm into a day more beautiful than i deserved, mixed with equal parts blue and sunshine and a dash of wind. last nite got me all in a funk when my experiment was a washout. my enthusiasm spiraled down the drain as i watched and left me feeling sluggish, selfpitying, and out of place. girls concerned. finally they left and i trooped downstairs to be comforted by ben, who magically appeared online.
vowing to do better today, i left my unconscious roommate and ventured into the city on foot. tracing the route the bus usually takes, i wound over to str�get and from there to nyhavn, the canal area where jamie and i had our wonderful outdoor sm�rbr�d in wicker chairs with plaid blankets tucked up to our chins. inviting restaurants and my hunger collided but i was reluctant to go someplace with a tablecloth by myself (there are unwritten rules about such things.)
turned a corner and ended up in a very cute cafe that served me a sandwich i promptly made open-faced and ate european style, with a knife and fork. we've been informed that certain things mark us as tourists: traveling in packs jabbering engelsk, ordering and taking kaffe to go, and eating with our hands. god forbid we be so identified.

continued wandering, through the main shopping district and beyond it. i casually glanced up at a streetsign and saw i was where i'd casually intended to end up eventually: at the danish film institute. thrilled, i hopped in. a small screen like the ones they have in airports cycled thru the theater's showings that afternoon. i debated seeing boogie nights which i didn't like so much when i saw it the first time (about five years ago). after confirming with the perplexed lady at the desk that if i could prove i was a film student i'd get a free membership, i went out into the park, found a sunny bench, and read the copenhagen post and started singer's the slave for my jews in europe class.
did reenter the theater i loved already only to browse their book video poster collection and glance more than once at their cafe, Sult ('hungry').

found my way with no problem back to city center, and stopping to pat myself on the back i noticed a used clothing store. hopped in and bought a lovely purple something -- yes it's solid colored but it has gold buttons on it and it's not a shirt! exactly. bussed half the way home until irritation with the noise pushed me off and onto my feet again. something very satisfying about returning at sunset, having spoken maybe three sentences since before noon, thoroughly enchanted with this city i'd navigated myself around.

Friday, February 01, 2002

it's officially february
so far it's had a mixed start. on the happy side, i have some news to report:
1) only one month til ben and i see each other. yes, this is the way i count. february = 1 month
2) elizabeth the awol and stefanie the kindsweetandgood are together. i just discovered that it wasn't a secret, which i interpreted to mean i could broadcast it far and wide. ahh thrilled. ahh.
3) it's jamie's birthday. jamie!! who is now 20 and who has been since 5th grade one of my closest and most dependable friends. she's the one i traveled europe with after israel. enchanted by kobenhavn -- that's one of the main reasons i'm back here now. jamie who will always listen or cry with you (in or out of the girls bathroom at jds) or share in your neuroses or sing in public or gossip over chai. i love you, darling.
4) tomorrow is tamar's birthday. tamar!! who will also turn 20 and with whom i haven't spoken in weeks. i don't think she reads the site. when i get nostalgic or brood over past intense friendships, i think of tamar. whatever the reason that we've drifted, i still adore her and think she's one of the best people i'll ever know
5) spent a pleasant evening with eric and kong drinking hot chocolate and tea
6) was informed by sorelle that she is writing a short play inspired by an event in my life. she asked once what the best compliment i received was and apparently it made an impact. i can't wait to hear how the story ends as i myself never knew.

on the not-so-good front, i slept badly last night, troubled by dreams of death and dismemberment. i woke up and had to read a little to calm down. i could almost conjure up my father's voice intoning, "the great gray greasy limpopo river ..." one of the few books i remember ever being read aloud to me. i liked the independence of reading to myself but i think i missed on a little of the magic.

oh, and heh heh