Friday, July 31, 2009

Fussy Fan Fridays

So, now I can no longer tell the sounds my computer makes apart from either the air conditioning unit outside or the man with the leaf blower in the street.

Houston, we have a problem.

Baby, hang in there for a few more weeks. Just a few more. You can do it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Computer Language

Computers bring out so many wonderful things from each of us: high-speed communication, world-wide shared writing, community networking, and the ability to learn new languages...or express old ones.

Come to think of it, that last one has been a key outcome of my time on the computer in the last week, and it's not always a good thing.

The computer language I've been speaking so much lately is generally not expressed in the roman alphabet, but rather through symbols like #, @, %, and &. Often in 4-letter combinations.

My computer is old. It is crotchety. It has a short attention span, and an even lower tolerance for multiple applications. It throws temper tantrums and sulks at the slightest provocation.

As it turns out, my temper is just as short.

I wonder why I am so comfortable speaking to my computer in expletives, when I would shrink from using that same vocabulary around other people? When I think no one is listening, it's amazing how much anger I can express.

It says something about how close to the surface those words lurk, how much anger I am capable of holding in reserve (perhaps unhealthily), and how little restraint I really have. It also says something about my expectations and claims on my time. And my peculiar ideas about how anger should be held and expressed. (Inanimate targets not generally providing much satisfaction.)

Come to think of it, the things my computer language says about me aren't much nicer than the things I am saying to my computer.


Life in 10 seconds

Started reading Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series. Now have four books actively reading. Really need to finish these dudes (esp. Lit Theory; hit the post-structuralists and remembered why I don't like Derrida).

Rediscovering how hard it is to remember to eat protein/veggies when I cook for myself. Carbs are so much easier to come by. :-/

Body now complaining about all the *fun!* exercise this weekend. Hush, feet. The end.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Life in 10 seconds

Finished Owen Meany. Still reading The Illiad and Literary Theory. Started Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White. I'm now up to 48 books out of the BBC's top 100.

Found a desk chair at the Habitat ReStore for $5.00. It's nice, with only a little wear on the leather seat. The hydraulics (?) work well. And it's black, so it matches my desk.

Lots of rain and hail this afternoon, so I had to go for a 3.5 mile walk afterward, just to get my feet muddy. :-D Good stuff.

The house smells like Febreeze, Goodwill, sea breeze candle, and burnt bacon. Yum. Not.

The end.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Solidarity of the Scar

If you read the title and instantly knew what I was talking about, you're well on your way to sharing in the fascinating and complex solidarity of the scar.

a.k.a. Harry Potter fandom.

Official announcement: I am a geek. I am a literary geek most of all. And so, with some inbred sense of sheepishness, I joined the crowds flocking to the theater last night to watch the 12:01 premiere of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

There were a lot of high schoolers there. And middle schoolers. Not a lot of college grads or adults. But oh, the dynamics were fascinating.

I think everyone in the long lines waiting to enter the theater took a turn pointing to the few, the proud, the unashamed who were wearing Harry's signature round eyeglasses, a maroon-and-yellow Gryffindor scarf, or a full-length Hogwarts robe. The more subtle fashionistas had opted for the temporary tattoo of a lightning shaped scar on their foreheads.

And I think every uncostumed individual in those long lines was secretly envious that they had lacked the courage to dive in 100% and would therefore be sorted into the disappointing-by-comparison Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff if their turn ever came.

I know I was. Especially when the news cameras were right next to me in line.

When we marched into the theaters at 12:14, no one waited for the big screen to tell them to turn off their cell phones. As soon as the lights went down, little blue lights winked out all across the room, like an aerial view of a gradual power outage in New York City. The chirping noises of various phone models never fail to amuse me.

There was some whispering during the previews, a little last-minute plot-catching-up of friends who *gasp* hadn't read the book. Some final wagers on the merits of Tom Felton, a few parting shots about the robes vs. casual clothes debate. But the funny thing was, unlike the usual movie theater commentary, in which TMI is a standby, here, everyone knew. Everyone cared. Everyone had an opinion. We all had the decoder. We spoke the same language.

That's why people unashamedly showed off their Kleenex packs in the way back from the bathroom.

(That's also why I accidentally went into the wrong theater when I came back from the bathroom. All the marquees spoke the same language too...a two word-language: Harry. Potter.)

That's why no one minded the spontaneous, "When I say Harry, you say Potter: Harry - Potter - Harry - Potter," and many, in fact, joined in. That's why there was a theater-wide cheer when John Williams' music crept out of the speakers and wrought iron-looking letters began to form in a swirl of dark clouds.

That's probably why I felt like I should issue a public apology letter when I rattled my box of Mike 'n' Ikes in the middle of one of Dumbledore's conversations with Harry.

It was 3:15 a.m. when we left the theaters. I'm pretty sure that what was I thinking? was on many a mind, especially of those of us who had to work this morning. But I'm also pretty sure that I'll never do this again was not. Because I, at least, know I'll more than likely be doing the exact same thing for Deathly Hallows. Except with Kleenex.

Now that's what I call solidarity.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Poem About Loss

I moved recently.
When you move, you lose stuff:
Like your address book,
And thank you cards,
And office supplies,
Including stamps,
All things which, seemingly,
Would be in the same box,
But are nowhere to be found.
A sad story:
Sad, but true,
Like a poem someone writes
While standing in an animal shelter
But living in a "no pets" apartment.
And then you find the address book,
And thank you cards,
But the office supplies
And stamps
Are still nowhere to be found,
As if your neighbor adopted
The golden retriever puppy
And the persian cat
But left the litter of kittens behind.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Life in 10 seconds

Just moved. Needing to get a desk tomorrow to avoid further back pain. Now reading The Iliad, nothing like the movie Troy. Also reading Eagleton's Literary Theory; he should be paid by Tylenol for instant headache creation. A Prayer for Owen Meany by Irving is much easier on the brain. In love with farmers' markets. Not so thrilled about humidity.

That's it.

LOLz on Literature

Literature. Everyone gets overwhelmed by it from time to time.

funny pictures of cats with captions

I think I'm about 60 stories up - without a ladder. *Needs more bookshelves.*

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Fourth!

How do you score? Civic Literacy Report

(I managed a 30/33 - whew!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Trash Conundrum

There's something about a full trashcan that really wreaks havoc on the moving process.

It's as if the entire system of cleaning, packing, and moving suddenly gets constipated.

The solution is so simple: take out the trash. And yet, when I'm feeling a little a lot overwhelmed with life, it's much easier to collapse on the bed and claim defeat by the small dimensions of the largely decorative trashcan I inherited from my grandmother.

I feel somewhat sorry for the trashcan. It's not at fault because I just realized how much stuff I've hoarded over my lifetime. It doesn't look very comfortable either, stuffed with freshman health papers and scraps of cardboard and old instruction manuals. But then again, that's its job, so I can't feel too bad.

Moving is a daunting task, no matter how many times you tell yourself, "I don't own very much stuff." It may not be furniture, but you do. You really do. Chances are good, you'll stuff most of it in another closet by the end of the week.

What is more, moving involves change. A lot of change. Change is scary, especially when it means accepting new and broader responsibilities.

And so the trashcan becomes a bizarre metaphor for my capacity to absorb change. It's full. End of story.

Except that it can't be the end. Because I really do have to finish packing by this weekend. And I can't do that unless I have someplace to put the trash. So...

Bring out the big trashbags.