Wednesday, April 30, 2003

last seminar, including dinner prepped for us by our lovely unique prof, over. the night before, instead of doing catch-up reading for seminar, i wandered down to sarah's room. she and her quad convened. somehow, and for the life of me i can't say how this happened, elisabeth and i started bonding over poetry. (poetry! isn't it great!)

from her room we retrieved a browning book and read the pied piper of hamelin aloud; her dorothy parker portable, a different published copy than mine; an ogden nash; a billy collins; a fran lebowitz (i don't know the woman but elisabeth pressed her book on me, assuring me i'd fall in love); o there were thousands more. we recited and flipped furiously through pages to find the poems we were thinking of.

britta contributed, asking thought-provoking questions like "who'd you rather be locked in a room with all day, william blake or ezra pound?" and "what's your least favorite poem?" that one took a minute. eventually i settled on "tyger, tyger" because really -- no, really -- i intensely dislike that and always have. i used to sit opposite a copy of it posted on my seventh grade english classroom wall and mutter curses in its direction.

last night, more pedantically, i watched secretary again. i found it even more beautiful the second time.

Monday, April 28, 2003

this is my favorite kind of day. just a couple of degrees too warm, enough so that breezes are welcome and so that you want to throw yourself dramatically to the ground and not get up. i've only gotten a chance to do a little bit of the latter: i had the first of my last classes to get through first. that went well and now it's over, like, ososoon, so many things will be.

i'm trying to put together the set of ten poems i'm submitting for the english department's approval. that means both revising new things like mad and going through old things, considering them. personal poems that reflect on an experience or situation that's no longer applicable i dismiss out of hand. but what about old-favorites like 5'1"? should i keep everything recent so that the tone/style is consistent? is stuff that's been published automatically preferable to stuff that hasn't?

i don't envy people who have serious work to do at this time of year. that's a strong argument against the honors program, in case you're looking for one, or for being rich and indolent. i bonded with my friend adam this morning over our shared opinion that we could have done well having been born in the late 1800s. if you're rich, of course, you can do well virtually any place or time, unless you're hit by unavoidable grandscale miseries like plagues or reality television. but to be well-to-do and of-age in the 'tens and 'twenties, to be able to flit between berlin, paris, and new york, to trailblaze by drinking highballs, wearing short skirts, and writing verse that occasionally rhymed and occasionally did not ... ah, that's the life.
then, to die, dressed to the nines, cocktail in hand, in a car crash in the spring of 1929.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

"The base is with Santorum, the White House is with Santorum, and this is gender, not race," said a GOP aide. "The reason Lott lost is because those three factors were moving the other way, against him"
from white house defends santorum. not that you'd expect any better from bush, but still. besides, "gender, not race"? homosexuality = gender? since when?
Francis said that was good politics, adding: "Swing voters want a very moderate approach to the whole issue of gay assimilation into mainstream America."
i'm underutilized. everyone else is overstressed. not an ultimate combination. i'll all right though. with movies, with pleasure reading, with catch-up history reading (see, it's not all fun and games), i'll get through it.

Friday, April 25, 2003

having changed clothes, at last, i'm officially done riding the wave that was yesterday. what contributed to that serendipity i can't hardly say. some combination of pheremones, some configuration of aligned stars ... but let me skip How and get down to What.

perfectly pleasant day on campus: productive meetings, hawking co|motion to pre-frosh at the activities fair ("feminism is for kids!"), watching the delightfully witty-wise if rote postcards from the edge. then (penn)becca called with instructions. come into the city! and look cute about it.

[cue faint twinkly music]

met (penn)becca at the theater where she's been interning and had a lovely indian buffet dinner with her and her boyfriend. at the cash register the restauranteur asked me, "who's paying for you?" "i am," said i. "no, i am," said he, and that was the end of it.
sailed out of Samosa.

back at the theater, (penn)becca and i cleaned and set up and prepared to bartend for the post-production party in the theater lobby. i insisted on handling the wine and beer while becca took care of soda. somehow opening beers and handing them to people thrilled me. it must have shown because the tip jar filled and filled. certain socially-awkward middle aged men kept meandering back over to us, possibly because at least we'd smile at and talk to them -- even, in one case, in broken, high-skool, but assumedly adorable french. in return, they contributed generously to our evening total. $20 EACH for 45 minutes of easy work, during which we drank as much wine as we wanted. my god! if i'd known men would pay me to be sweet and cute i'd have embarked on a career as a geisha years ago. or at least something other than an intellectualish, writerly feminist.

i wonder if this means i can flirt, after all.

the septa train intended to take me home rolled in 20 minutes late. this would have been inconvenient except that it enabled stef and eliz, who had gone to see the incredible Cho, to not only make that train but also to accompany me home. and back home, still feeling desirable, i got to be with the only one i desire. really, how nice.
septa, both ways, into and from the city: $7.50
vegetarian buffet dinner at samosa: $9
plus all the wine i could drink at becca's theater open house

net change in my financial status after this evening: +$11.50

HOW is this possible, you ask? how can a person MAKE MONEY having gone into the city and eaten and drunk sumptuously?
for tonight, i'll leave you to mull. well, with one hint. i looked CUTE.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

second revision: actually, this one many of you have not seen before:

I miss Israel
I said it)

A beach at the end
of every bus ride, the attendant
anxiety sweeter than salt-

water: getting there alive,
the relief would make me buoyant
and prone to burns.

In Jerusalem, I scribbled every word
the puffing, pacing mayor
said, and,

on a different page, the
angry-tired Palestinian, Youssef:
Your independence,

my catastrophe. I was so innocent,
I was surprised. this was 2000,
things were good then,

hopeful. when I was up North, an Arab
family gestured me onto their porch
for nuts

with everything to say to each other
and no shared tongue, we smiled
awkwardly and ate.

back on kibbutz, no one read newspapers.
I used them to clean mirrors
in hadar ochel bathrooms (my first taste

of a blue collar). people who walked by
nodded �hi,� respectful;
I could be their daughter

everyone took turns doing
this kind of work. still, the political void
rang in my ears until relieved

by a visit to cousins in Tel Aviv
The government dissolved again (they
sighed) Well,

every Tuesday and Thursday.
they fed me, walked me, even dug up
Shabbes candles so I�d feel

at home. See,
I did feel at home, especially on Fridays,
when busses stopped. Religious families

bundled to Shul and Seculars
hit the beach. I�m not observant
but it was spiritual:

dining out on Passover,
hearing Hebrew, sleeping in the desert,
just walking

through the sky-blue city
of S�fad. could you live here?
my friends asked each other.

not until Peace, we said, but felt
on the precipice of it, assumed it could happen
any day. two years later

escaping college, I spent
the spring in Denmark, the country
I knew from Number the Stars

No one carried guns, not even
cops in Copenhagen: even some of
the prisons had no walls

I trekked to classes over cobblestones,
passing pastel buildings,
hot-dog vendors, falafel stands, and

Palestinian protests in halting Danish
to halting Danes: flags and the word
Hitler I recognized: but by then, I�d seen it all

before, shuffled through a gauntlet
of police the only time I tried the city�s
only synagogue, handed my passport

to the guard at the gate and answered
his questions as flashbulbs popped:
over two years, I�d learned

the limit to how Left I could go
if I couldn�t let go of what I�d left behind me,
always planning to go back.
revision. please tell me what you think (better? do you miss something?)
the love song of t. stearns eliot

T.S. Eliot (what did his friends call him?)
loose within the gilded cage
of Harvard, age 19, produced
his best. Without tax forms to file or a split-
level home, Eliot (how did his fellow
snobs know him?) penned Prufrock, a love song, and
my favorite poem.

Decades later, he embraced
the Catholic faith to such a frowny-faced degree
that he chased his chaste and nervous wife
out of the country, across the sea, to an asylum
(she�d decay in pine for him, her coffin
set above the ground)
and buried himself in Ezra Pound.

I prefer Prufrock -- old, bemused,
peering at the life he missed. Only, characters
don�t exist, except that the artist
and the art are fused
Genius leans in and
I can�t resist:
a patient on a table, I am kissed
by someone I abhor -- the tryst so good that, Doctor,
I want more

and which is worse:
seeming to endorse you by confessing I adore
some of your adolescent brilliance � or
leaving the fanfare and the accolades for critics who,
like mermaids, sing them, each to each, relishing
the high notes I can�t reach? -- I wonder
if you�d like me.
I�m the age you were, but far less surly
I giggle more, I�m vaguely girly;
and though I�ll admit that you were wiser,
I�m not a Nazi sympathizer.

still, I�m sure we could agree
we�ve hit the nadir with Fox TV; we could share
a table, raise a glass to a culture gone ersatz; pun
through a series of tea-timed chats; and if we felt
particularly free of the claims of identity
you and I could hit the town:
� me in sunglasses, you in spats �
buy ourselves tickets and laugh through Cats
at least til conscience wakes us, and we drown
the latest set of words of wisdom from my brother as he readies himself to plunge into the real world has nothing to do with politics and is very much worth reading. okay, there's a tiny smidgen of politics at the end, but for the sake of the funniness that comes before, i imagine you can overlook that.

comments are suggesting i put on shakespeare. what madness is this? anybody want to see / never again be subjected to uncle willy? anybody have a favorite? twelfth night might be mine. then again, no one could do a better job in it than helena bonham carter.

i'm more or less done for the week. a lovely feeling. perhaps i will watch one of my many movies, my collection having bunnied recently. a few serious items remain on the to-do list, to-be sure: finish revising poems for my class's live! reading in may (i'm thinking terrible twos, the love song of t. stearns eliot, and at 70, a nice chronological progression), finish revising and hand in 10 pages of poems for the possibility of summer money ( => which?), various mailings, applying to the phoenix, blah blah blah. nothing that compares to anything anyone else has to do.
maybe i'll go into the city and see becca. that's what i want to do. maybe we can break pesach together. becca, what do you say?

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

my wonderfully wacky history prof decided that my american social history seminar should be midsectioned by a seder. she printed out copies of a feminist haggadah for everyone and appointed me leader. a couple people in the class had never heard the story or tasted matzoh (can you believe it? in this day and age?)

we went through the whole thing. sort of reminiscent of seder I last year wherein i improvised a seder at a hotel, explaining as i went to bemused onlookers and eager-to-be-supportive friends. this one, however, had a distinct political agenda. i found that charming, if occasionally over the top. i'd never had a seder like that before.

mere hours later, i was in a full car driving to bryn mawr to rent a movie from the Good video store around here. as sarah kelly and i browsed the adult section, for kicks, a man with bloodshot eyes approached us and asked if we'd help him pick something out.
s. kelly and i escaped, rejoining the others. we ended up with adventures in babysitting. (such fond memories of that movie -- my summer camp used to show it to us. in fact, it was the first pg-13 movie i ever saw.)

tla was also having a 2 for 1 sale on used movies. figuring whatthehell, i bought 2 movies i haven't seen but have heard are excellent: mifune, the 3rd danish dogme film, starring the woman from high fidelity, and nine queens, a spanish heist flick. for good measure i got the kingdom too, lars van trier's ultra-exciting x-files-meets-ER danish tv series. all for $18 total! not that i need your support, or anything. that is not what this webjournaling business is about.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

happy easter! as we all know, jesus was way cool ...

back at swarthmore, life is calm. everyone lounges about in the sunlight. doing work, of course, but still lounging. it's fun being a bunny in springtime watching the other bunnies, especially when i have relatively little work to do myself. i may have an ear infection; otherwise, my cold is receding, leaving me hale and hearty. i find everything cute, and i'm eating much too much passover chocolate. possibly those things are related and the candy's releasing a steady stream of seritonin. what a nice thought.

the other night i got to spend time with kross. we visited with various seniors whose inevitable taking leave of us in a month or so i refuse to think about. we parted only to reconvene at 25th hour. it made me think. like most of the spike lee movies i've seen, it needs a good editor: easily 20 minutes could be trimmed off. that was, however, one of the only things that reminded me it was a spike lee joint. the mirror rant and the setting in nyc -- right. but where were the overt racial politics? what statement was he making about the white -- or, in some subtle way i couldn't really understand, the black -- community?
ed norton and philip seymour hoffman delivered. just a day's work for them. poor ed: in how many movies does he have to play a violent, self-destructive outlaw? poor cousin phil: in how many more movies does he have to play a sexually frustrated loser? but this is what we love them for. nobody does it better.

also saw possibly the best swarthmore theater-department-theater production yet, roger babb's take on brecht's man = man. at points, it felt professional. at points, i thought, what am i doing pretending to direct? i don't have this kind of vision. sure, he's been doing it for ages, it's his job. but it reinforced my decision not to do a show next semester. i'll leave that to people who share his passion and who are testing out their own abilities and visions.
i'll concentrate on films. and snood!

Friday, April 18, 2003

here's a meme: google the people you've kissed in your lifetime and see what comes up.

#1 -- appears only in the "last will and testament" of my highskool's class of 1999, the class one year older than we were. xxx is first on the list of things given to a girl who actually, at one point, dated my older brother. if the school hadn't discontinued the tradition immediately thereafter, xxx probably would have been on the list of things given to me too.

#2 -- appears in a review of a play he was in at yale: "For all his talk about death, Harold Ryan (xxxx xxxxx) tries his best to kill the show. Yolen�s direction no doubt encouraged xxxxx to take Ryan over-the-top, and rightly so, but unfortunately xxxxx decided to shout most of his lines. xxxxx does well when he quiets down but does so too infrequently to create a character worth watching. Without any compassion for xxxxx's shifty-eyed killing machine, the heart of Vonnegut�s play is lost."
my god, if he'd been a shifty-eyed killing machine when we dated, i woulda let him kiss me with tongue.
ps: now he's gay.

#3 -- last i heard, xxx had gotten fat and religious. fittingly, he appears on the internet only in the form of a boring, bloated d'var torah he got published.

#4 -- no mention. an internet void. considering the xxxxx-shaped void in my life, it seems appropriate.

#5 -- appears as a kosher cook and on a frank cho webpage, having submitted an excellent entry in a contest. someone on a message board responds, "wow!! xxxxxxxx is awesome!" of course, i recognize the someone -- she's a mutual friend -- but that makes the compliment no less true.

#6 -- don't remember his last name, can't google him. i mean, i only knew the guy several hours.

#7 -- the most infamous. in this swattie's journal entry, he plays an equally infamous historical character: "I had on more than scarves, I was clad as Salom�, dancing to Alan Hovhaness' The Rubaiyat, while xxxxx xxxx (Herod) watched. After the entire fucking Big Room of Sharples was watching for a minute or so ("take it off!"), he raised his voice, and said, "I am well pleased. You may have anything you like, up to half my kingdom." I had to ask for the head of John the Baptist."

when i tried another innocuous-looking link, a series of porn pages popped up and took over my computer. i am now officially freaking out because there are two windows that i cannot manage to close. argrgrhghhghhhhhhh. now i'll have to clear the history.

#8 -- a very common name, it seems. actually two of ross's pages pop up. the boy's only distinctive mention.

#9 -- he won a debate award. good for him.

#10 -- ah ben, the b. loved. for now, at least, the buck stops here.
so it's passover. i should say something profound.
well, i went shopping today. i bought possibly the most bizarre item of clothing i've ever owned. it makes me exceedingly happy (ask me to show it to you. hell, ask to borrow it) at the same old place, of course, where the owner says Wow you've got a haircut! with the same resentment that always hangs around her words, like air quotes. actually my haircut has garnered more praise than i could possibly have expected. how wise i was to get it done the day of my last performance: i could coast on it for the next few weeks and compliments could gently phase out of my life rather than simply not be there one morning when i woke.

at the seder, one of my parents' dazed family friends approached me and said words to that effect. actually, her exact words were, "oh darling. oh you look so nice. you know, when i first saw hilary clinton, i didn't think much of her, i didn't think she was going places. but look at her now! she's really pulled it all together and she just looks fabulous." then she beamed beatifically at me.
this is the same woman who, at a similar event when i was 13, approached me when i was standing with a good friend. "hold on to your innocence, girls," she told us firmly. "it's all you have. and when it's gone, it's gone."

my mother puts on two seders every year. every year they're planned and orchestrated perfectly. she cooks for 23 or 24, everyone eats off china, we read the same haggadah (published 1975. the only woman anywhere to be found in it is the barren woman who at one point god makes the happy mother of children -- hallelujah!). my grandfather leads. we read the four questions in three languages. as each of my brothers and i passed through fourth grade the same wonderful teacher taught us to recite them in yiddish. it got a standing ovation when my older brother first did it, lo these many years ago. when i did it, it brought tears to my grandmother's eyes. when my little brother did it, everyone found it charming -- and he's been doing it every year, ever since.

seders over with, today we've been eating leftover passover candy and we went as a family to see christopher guest's newest A Mighty Wind. i can't remember the last thing i went to with a group that big -- and it made everyone laugh. also it made up my mind about applying to the phoenix (stupid newspaper) next semester for my old position. i want an excuse to see a movie a week, it's as simple as that.

there is a whole entry to be written about identity and being actively rather than de facto something or other, but i think for now i'll wander downstairs, eat more matza, and watch more directtv.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

my brother informs me that he's coming down tonight. packed and ready by 11: all right. whisked to washington where i'll wake up tomorrow in the stress of a completely different environment. family! and no bread for eight days. last year i was in moscow.

happy pesach, easter, or anything you celebrate. if you celebrate. if you don't, my god, how do you mark the passage of time?

Monday, April 14, 2003

the long-awaited and much-hyped meeting of the parents went off without a hitch. (pun intended. ha ha.) we began the morning by meeting his mom and harry, her sheesh-what-do-you-call-a-live-in-long-term-boyfriend and dashing through the woods in an attempt to catch the crum regatta. in this charming swarthmore tradition, students make their own boats and have to sail them around the bend of a river. so i'm told anyway; naturally we were too late and missed the action and the awards ceremony.

trekked back to campus. my parents rolled in, reminding me that for three sets of parents we had three s.u.v.s: a lexus, a mercedes, and an acura. after a brief howdyado in the parking lot, we took two suvs a two minute drive to breakfast, at which i was struck by terrible cramps. all the women at the table ordered a spinach omelette; i barely touched mine. it required enough effort to keep up conversation with ben's mom and my father. everyone else seemed to be doing fine, even lingering post-coffee until i, maddened by my desire to get somewhere where i could lie on my back without eliciting stares from bluehaired women, urged us out.

i got my hour of recooperation time. meanwhile his dad and lisa, his what-do-you-call-a-wife-from-whom-he-may-or-may-not-still-be-separated, and his sister showed up, signaling a changing of the guard. i joined the crowd in the ampitheater, the prettiest least used spot on campus, for a gammalan concert. i can't believe i'd never been to one before, it was so much fun to watch. then we dined at dahlek, our ethiopean mainstay, where people lingered over spiced tea.

good times. no one fought, no one died. in the car at one point my parents told me that they would help me to live in new york this summer. they're nicer to me than i deserve. after they left, ben and i were so depleted that we crawled into bed at 9:30. over the course of today, i've had to administer two stern doses of 'quil to keep a bourgeoning sick at bay; luckily it's worked. i managed to get my last seminar paper written, printed, and sent.

and i got my lottery number. not that it matters: my fourth year, and yet another in which i don't have to go to the lottery. i'll leave skool without having ever had the pleasure. but i'm still obscurely proud of my number. out of 1,470 or so, i'm 25.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

[at the end of a conversation with mother]

m: so we'll see you tomorrow then!
e: yes, see you tomorrow.
m: oh, ester?
e: yes?
m: there's no ... reason for this, right? for us and ben's parents to meet? there's nothing that's going to ... happen?

it took me a second to understand what she meant, then i laughed and said no. what i should i said is, Damn, mom! you're ruining the surprise!

his parents are divorced, too. what could be worse than having to clasp hands, look around a table of frozen family members and say, "we have some news" ... twice?

Friday, April 11, 2003

if you see me, say congratulations.

i didn't get the grant -- i just heard today, which means i either need to rethink my summer or plow ahead regardless -- but i miss hearing that word.

on the brighter side of things, ben is a hero, as is reported in today's daily gazette. there will be much music in may because of him. and brigid and i got the two rooms we blocked for on the 2nd floor in parrish. the inimitable rajaa is going to be our RA. my fourth year and i've never had to go through the lottery.

for the first time in 2 years and 2 months, my parents and ben's parents are going to rumble. i mean meet. on sunday. we are very nervous about this. i mean excited.

another seminar paper due tuesday, this one about the decline of steel under vile mr. reagan. as i break from depressing deindustrialization reading, i get to read bonfire of the vanities, with which i'd like to start a bonfire on my own. how come nobody told me this book was (a) so badly written, (b) full of stock characters, offensive stereotypes, cliches and ethnic slurs, and (c) predictably paced and uninteresting? tom wolfe comes off as a smug snobby postmodern bastard. maybe it is a successful satirical send-up of the 80s and i'm too oversensitive to appreciate it. but i'd watch american psycho twice over anyday than read a page more of this ellipses-italics-and-exclamation-point driven drivel.

there: i've said my piece. now i just need to track down some money for this summer.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003


ESTER and S.KELLY walk into the dining hall. ester carries a white plastic bag full of half-full bags of doritos, two library books on the decline of steel manufacturing in america, and her bag, roomymarroon with a long strap. within it are ester's wallet and her notebook. actual value: c.$250, incl. money in visa account. sentimental value: through the fucking roof.
s.kelly carries a nearly-empty gallon jug of green tea (actual value: nil. sentimental value: nil.) they sit at the end of a long table, putting all their stuff on the seats beside them, except for ester's roomymarroon bag, which she places by the foot of her chair.
FRIENDS arrive, and with each new addition, the STUFF moves farther and farther down the length of the table, away from s.kelly and ester. an hour passes

ester tells the story of how problematic man visited her poetry class today
first, some girl wrote a poem making fun of maya angelou for being fat. i was the only one who didn't find it clever. alienating enough. within the poem, however, the girl describes a nail clipping as being round "like a nubian hip." that was when problematic man burst upon the scene. but before he come open his mouth, another girl said to the poet, "i love that you used the word nubian. it's so ... exotic!"
problematic man staggered back, then regrouped, setting his lasers to Stun. before he could shoot, another boy offered, "i guess some people would have a problem with it or call it 'cultural appropriation' ... but i don't believe that exists." the rest of the class murmured agreement, continued to praise the poem, and then moved on. problematic man slunked away, rendered impotent once again by the innocence of freshmen.

ester and s.kelly powerwalk back to the dining hall, ester clearly upset, s.kelly singing songs to distract her. one song melds into another and soon s.kelly is singing angrily about the living wage and democracy campaign.

FLASH BACK, MONTAGE; V.O., s.kelly singing:
1) ester and s.kelly gather up their belongings and leave the dining hall.

2) BEN walks into the dining hall and sits in the chair vacated by ester. glancing down, he notices the roomymarroon bag, recognizes it, picks it up, and hands it off to FELICIA, who lives in the building next to ester.

3) ester, near tears, describes the bag. dining hall workers lean on their mops, shake their heads and shrug.

ester and s.kelly powerwalk to the library. before they reach the door, someone calls their names. MARC, who knows everything, tells ester where her bag is.

it was however too much stress for one evening. s.kelly and ester decided to take time off, visit krispy kreme, rent soapdish and recline til 1 a.m. at stef and eliz's. a wise choice.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

i've realized i no longer enjoy people with strong personalities the way i used to. recently i sat near and overheard the nonstop conversation of a person i once at least found amusing. this time i had vivid fantasies of the use to which a 2x4 could be put.

this discovery comes on the heels of another, a related epiphany that burst upon me last year: a person who doesn't dress interestingly can still be interesting. think about it! don't pretend i'm the only one who has been in the past limited by these prejudices. this is america. we love rugged individuals, loud-mouths, winners, and trendy dressers. it's who we are. it's why we watch sex and the city and gangster movies, why we love marlon brando and jack nicholson. it's why the quakers aren't cool (in case you were wondering) and why god help religious fundamentalists of all kinds, cuz god knows we won't.

hopefully this doesn't indicate a new anti-social tendency on my part. if i get too much more anti-social i'll end up kaczinskying myself into a corner. i've already mentally disengaged myself from the people who invited daniel "yet another simplistic one-sided speaker" pipes here last night and from the people who covered the advertising signs with self-indulgent, snotty posters of their own. i'm not officially the scion of any department. the only dorms i've visisted this semester outside of danawell have been parrish and worth. i'm not playing ASSassins. i didn't even participate in a sager orgy. i mean, come on -- someone out there should be staging an intervention. what does it take to get you people alarmed?

at the same time this may go down as my favorite semester. (whenever i get happy i figger it's the happiest i've ever been. it's bullshit but at least it keeps me cheerful. -- in other words, it's my religion.) well, maybe i speak too soon. seminar today we'll be reviewing my second seminar paper and i don't have excessively high hopes for it. i liked the reading for it a lot, as it turned out: mccarthy vs. murrow, evil vs. good, battling it out through television. that's my kind of social history.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

rabi puts it, so succintly:
anyway I have clearly been in college for too long, because dancing around with nearly-naked people while girls in lingerie have sex with boys in drag seemed almost normal. (well, maybe not normal so much as non-extraordinary.)
for the first time last night i was one of the girls in lingerie, and none of it was mine. people counted my layers for me: three on top, three on bottom, nothing on my stomach which is still impressive, even when i think about it. i am not the kind of person who goes around inviting people to stare at her belly-button.

not that there's anything wrong with my belly-button.

for about 45 minutes, it was fun. i enjoyed dancing with some people and seeing how other people were dressed: rebecca made a terrific cabaret girl, sarah kelly was packing heat, jonah deserved some award for his white muumuu and huge pink hair.

but by the time both buildings were filled like matchboxes, and several people had shoved me and stepped on my toes and ground naked against my back and i'd seen enough nudity for several kubrick movies and i wasn't drunk, nor planning to be, i was ready to go home.

Friday, April 04, 2003

forsook sleep last night for a league of their own -- admittedly a strange decision. it did remind me that i'm right about something i say a lot: tom hanks is way past his golden age. the man is a comedian; he should play unlikeable funny-looking smartasses, like other comedians do. he's good at it and it's good for him.
it's been a strange few days, and with sager, the cross-dressing gender-bending transgressive carnivale, coming up on saturday, it doesn't seem as though things will cool down for a while. leading up to sager, different groups on campus sponsor presentations and talks on sexuality. these end up being mind-bogglingly specific, to the point where one wonders who actually goes. last night's was B4T, a transgendered caribbean-american, imani henry's, performance art piece. and it was really good. afterwards, eliz and i talked gender for hours.

there is of course no limit to how long you can talk gender. it's a fascinating subject and i think, outside of academia, one that's largely unexplored. if we take for granted that gender is a construction, doesn't switching from one to the other reinforce the binary? why not expand, or blur, the definitions of "male" or "female"? or why not work towards the creation of a third category, like genderqueer? we thought one possible answer for that last is that gender is tied up with notions of attractiveness. to pull back from both Male and Female and to declare yourself genderqueer is to potentially limit the number of people who could want to sleep with you.

sex does not = gender. but eventually everything comes back to sex.

i haven't taken a class on the subject, largely because such classes are theory heavy. are theory, even, and theory makes me gag. there aren't [m]any trans people at swat so the organized discussions here are abstract and frustratingly unproductive. it's important to make the campus a trans-friendly space, but only god can make things ex nihilo. maybe not even god.

now to read more about television for my seminar paper. unfortunately, so far, that has been only a quarter as interesting as i expected.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

unsatisfactory laundry experience + being called a jap in my poetry class (although the perpetrator apologized afterwards) + going to a film festival of sorts on campus and finding the audience to be indie-trendy-artsy-barnhards and the films to be pretty self-indulgent and unremarkable = craving for a chocolate bar, which i'm now eating sulkily. it's too much for me, actually; it's making me kind of sick, but i can't throw it away.

arrggh!! what if i apply, as previously posited, to film skool, and what if, by some chance, i get in, and the other people who go are like that. i'd never be thin enough, or mismatched in precisely the right way. i'd never have the right glasses or bag or shoes or taste in music. if i wouldn't be a groupie i'd be an awkward outsider, like i was this evening, and sure, i'm exaggerating, but i was filled with an annoyance so intense i snapped at ross and left ben without saying goodbye.

if i don't go to film skool, what will i do? once again, google provides the answers:
Ester will provide invaluable input on a number of issues impacting New York City - from health to homelessness to education

Ester will help us understand a young child's need to bite

Ester will often seemingly heedlessly throw herself into the thick of the fray, enthusiastically giving as good as she gets.

"Ester will have a healthy baby." (not for another ten years, i hope)

Ester will graduate with a certificate from the Partners in Ministry program

ester will be sold as a mix with conventional diesel

Ester will only generate anger towards people of other faiths
man, this is looking dire.
can democracy and the middle east mix? all the pieces seem to agree that america cannot force the western kind on the eastern world. that's about as suprising as experts agreeing that water is wetter than sand. still, the arguments are fleshed out and well-reasoned. besides which, each of them is a refreshing combination of ideological opinions: anti-war and critical of the status quo, for example.

don't take this as a sign that you should try to engage me in person on the topic of the war, though. i will continue to find things to distract me. oh look! a bird! ... i will however drink to it, as should you.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

choose your favorite from the following, produced by the allmighty google:
Ester is a passionate collector of diamonds, men, red Cartier boxes, and Faberge eggs.

Ester is emotionally unstable and even attacks her parents and hits them.

Ester is a cheerful personality full of life, of positive nature, with good spirits and nice smile.

ester is a colourless mobile liquid with a pleasant fruity odour

ester is often referred to as banana oil.

Ester is neither an anarchist nor a polygamist. she is in good mental and physical health.

Ester is one of those fresh new bandsthat proves that spirit of rock and roll is very much alive

Ester is going to be the Forest Gump of the Bible.

Ester is just getting hotter and hotter (and, no, it's not menopause)
i volunteered to write two seminar papers back-to-back because, frankly, what else do i have to do? i'm not bitter though. the weather's getting warmer which is totally what i was counting on to lure me out of a post-adventure funk. perhaps i should be outside frolicking in it instead of inside listening to Company and watching my flowers die.

scw needs a bio for me. last semester it was "if you rearrange the letters in [my name], you get TREES BLOOM, which makes a lot more sense." at the moment i have no ideas and little inspiration. suggestions are most welcome.