Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Wonder...

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if Jacques Derrida ever met William Strunk and E.B. White?

I don't know, but I imagine it would involve a lot of commas. Angry commas, with French words in italics and long, tangential commentaries on etymology. And parentheses. Livid parentheses, with honest, energetic, colorful words inside. (And perhaps a few lists of the items that make up a garbage heap thrown in for good measure.)

I could see it being jolly good sport, actually...

Perhaps Charlotte could referee. After all, they're all dead as well.

Could someone make that happen? Thanks.

I love Saturdays.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Life in 10 seconds

200 post-iversary!!!!

Now reading Derrida's "Force of Law," Griggs' Imperium in Imperio, Venice Preserv'd, Bain's Best College Teachers, and Austen's Mansfield Park. With a little Loomba's Post-colonial Shakespeares, Sensational Victorian (bio of M.E. Braddon), and Zizek's Monstrosity of Christ for light bedtime reading.

Abstract due tomorrow, conference in 2 weeks, work projects, summer research application due next week, three papers within the next two weeks...

And I don't think the germs got the memo that I didn't want to be sick this week.

Sometimes I think the grocery stores should not be allowed to put lemons on sale. Life has been stocking up on them lately...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Red Leather

I'm starting to have a piece-de-resistance kind of idea in honor of the upcoming Flying Fork Day.

It's Romeo and Juliet. A new film version. Based on the Yankees/Red Socks rivalry. It's called Red Leather. It's directed by David Lynch. And it goes something like this...

VOICEOVER (HARRY DEAN STANTON): Two clubs, alike in history...

--Cut to shot of a screaming fan being violently stabbed in the parking lot outside Fenway Park while rap music blares in the background. Cut to black.

VO: fair Boston, where we lay our scene...

--Handheld camera "runs" down Beacon Hill at night, breathing heavily, after a screaming Laura Dern. Fade to a high angle shot of a bouquet of red, red roses against the snow outside a florist shop on Harvard square. Fade to white.

VO: ...a pair of star-crossed lovers take their lives...

--Montage of Nicholas Cage...with Isabel Rosselini at sunset while an umpire in whiteface dances on top of a car waving a baseball bat over their heads and a majestic score borrowed from Gone With the Wind cuts to the violins. Fade to black.

--Scene change: Fenway park, seventh inning stretch. "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" plays cheerfully in the background and happy children wave at the camera. Slow pan to the infield.

DAVID ORTIZ: "Do you kick sand in my face, sir?"
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: "No sir, but I do kick sand, sir."

It's going to be brilliant.

Or further evidence that bad ideas spring from procrastinating minds.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Feeling Vulnerary

Today, the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day on my blog is vulnerary: an adjective that means "used to promote the healing of wounds."

That's not a word I would use regularly to describe myself.

(Partly because I didn't know what it meant before today--thank you Merriam-Webster for making me 0.1349% smarter than I was yesterday).

I'm more inclined to use the word vulnerable: "susceptible to being wounded or hurt." And I hate that feeling. In fact, I go out of my way to avoid it.

However, one of the things I love about words is the way they relate to each other on a root level. Both vulnerable and vulnerary come from the Latin noun vulnus, meaning wound.

(The Romans had a lot of words to describe injuring or killing things. Funny how that works...).

(Please also note, adding to my extraneous use of parentheses, that I didn't have to look that up. I just knew, 'cause I'm awesome like that. Although I did double check in my Latin/English dictionary. Yes, I own one.)

But I digress.

Sometimes when I think about brokenness and wounding, I get so caught up in thinking about my own propensity for being hurt that I forget about the possibility of healing. And, I want to push this one step further, I forget about my call to be a part of the healing of others.

(I'm especially thinking of Romans 12:6-8, and Ephesians 1 and 3:14-21. Which I did have to look up. Hmm...)

On the one hand, that's a lot of responsibility. There are good reasons I chose not to pursue a career in medicine. Seems like the blind leading the blind, to have the wounded trying to heal.

But there's another definition of vulnerary. As a noun, it means a remedy for wounds. That's not a role I can play. That part is up to God. I think, if I may fall back on the sheer beauty of grammar, I can fit much better as the adjective, "a word that expresses an attribute of [a noun]." It doesn't replace the noun. But it shows something about the nature of the noun.

So to be adjectivally vulnerary (oh, what a great phrase): What would that look like? While we're on the honesty note, I'm not sure I know. I'm not sure I'm ready to let go of the boundaries that keep me safe and me-focused. But I do think it's something to aim for.

And, in the wise (or not-so-wise) words of Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, "Therefore a health to all that shot and missed!"

(No, I didn't have to look that up either.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh Snow-Unaccustomed South

Oh snow-unaccustomed south, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

University, thy ways are so wise. When there is freezing rain starting at 8 a.m. and expected to continue until afternoon, thou dost open the campus at 11 a.m., so that the power has time to go out and the freezing rain has time to accumulate on the still-icy roads.

City, thou art a gem. When thou hast not plowed our road in four days after the snowstorm, thou dost--while freezing rain is falling, so that there will be a clean, until recently cooled by the weight of snow and ice, surface on which it can fall and stick, without the remaining snow to give it traction. In the same sweep, thou pushest all the excess of snow and ice from the main road onto the lip of our parking lot, creating the equivalent of a ski jump...from the outside. From our side, thou hast birthed a leviathan.

This parking lot, thou development divine, remains to be touched, except by the spinning tires and smoking engines of those that cannot live without their bread and milk.

How do I love thee?
I scarce can tell.