Monday, February 28, 2011

Best quote ever

you prolly all saw this on my facebook, but here it is again. This is the best advice I could give any guy, because, well it's so applicable to ME!

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."
— Rosemary Urquico

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Februari update

so it's time to send out a musing on the last month of my life. That sounds incredibly dramatic, and it has been to some extent. I will update based on area, so skip to whichever you are most interested in.

I'm currently in my third semester at Iona, taking Greek Drama and 14th century litterature. The Greek drama is pretty sweet, and oddly, I understand why it's considered the purest of art forms.(please note we've only done tragedy so far. I'll let you know what I think of the's going to be pretty raunchy, so beware!)
The Greeks wrote tragedy to invoke pity/fear in their listeners. pity for the protagonist and fear for themselves that they might be guilty of the same mistakes. Thus the theatre was an educational experience. There are only two students in the class, so if I close my eyes, I pretend I'm in oxford, where they model their courses on the mentor/mentoree model. A handfull of students do the reading, take notes, then meet with a mentor and discuss. This is the most helpfull of methods, and I'm glad I can be a part of it in Iona. My prof has a masters in medieval writing and a phd in 20th century american drama, yet a passion for the greeks, so it's nice to know that you can be well rounded in the field of litterature instead of becoming incredibly specialized in one area only.

the medieval course turned into an independent study, and since my professor is an alumnus from Fordham uni, she's decided to have us meet in fordham's Walsh library, the library of the gods! They serve sushi in the library cafeteria as well as the standard bad coffee, but their genius is in their reference library. It's larger than the library at Nyack, and chock full of very usefull reference books. They also have a bookscanner, which means I can scan in books and use them later on my computer!!!!!
what fun! Dr C. basically threw out the syllabus after meeting with me once, and we're working on a thesis length exploration of flemish influence on english culture, more specifically chaucer in the canterbury tales. It's a very interesting area, and I sort of have an advantage because I read dutch. This has the potential of branching out into my phd work. I hadn't originally thought of myself as a medievalist, mostly because I was resisting the Inklings and their pull, but what better place to begin my studies than at the beginning of the english language as we know it? I can work my way up from there, branching out with more research in different areas later, but in essence, the time period I'm most drawn to-the 1910-1950 english and american writings (which is a huge range of writing) is grounded in medievalism and classicism. It will be satisfactory to my somewhat Khobolt-ish tendencies to bury myself in research to begin at the roots and work myself up. So, last night was my first night in Fordham and I loved it! please make sure to remind me of real life if I become to owlish.

My paper is accepted to the Elizabeth Maddox Roberts conference. now I just have to write it! I'm looking for influences to pull into the paper, as there isn't enough on the writer to use just her own work and commentaries. I am able to go to the conference thanks to my tax returns which, because I'm a student now, are ridiculously high. the four days will be a fun relaxation for me and a chance to meet professors in a field I'm interested in. I'm a little worried about fitting in, to be honest, as I don't know allot about american literature. I hope to find in the conference a group of people who are creating art and literature for the same reason people have been doing it since forever, to understand the world they are living in now. I find I miss that creativity in the research I do. It can be very dry, and I have to keep reminding myself that everything I do has or should have relevance in my day to day life, and in the lives of people I meet. That's the hardest thing to balance, because working a full time job and being in school requires most of my time, and I am relying on the friendships I've already made. I only wish those friends would stop moving away :-( I don't have time to make new friends

Work is continually a challenge. I've made the colossal switch in my mind, that although everything should be done with excellence, not all things will be so. my job is a job, and it can't take over my life. I'm learning the art of good enough. Because in the long run, this is a temp job and I need to learn boundaries. I'm more and more amazed to find how different my missionary trained intuitions are from the real world. growing up, it was all for one, we all pitched in, helping where we could. I felt like I was a fullfledged member of the team, making beds and cleaning (although I prolly did less of that than I remember) working as a volunteer on the ship, for love europe and for de bron. That mindset does not work in the real world where a salary is earned based on a set parameter of effort. going beyond that is danherous to my health and I am the sole protector of my own health. It's a maturity thing

Social life. I get incredibly lonely at work because there is little or no real interaction. it's a series of tasks I need to perform, much like a machine, for other who have the creative imput. I then feel like I MUST have friends to hang out with or else! so I feel a lot less connected to the world than I in fact am.
I had D. come up to stay with me from Belgium for two whole weeks! that's pretty amazing! and I'm heading to Philly on saturday to see M. and I was in the city three days in a row, going to the met with friends, seeing brooklyn with A and J and back to the met with R. so socially, I'm doing ok, I just feel like a zombie after work.

N and I bought a punching bag. I've used it once and it feels wonderfull. I have to be carefull though, because I've gone and damaged my back from prolongued studying and desk-sitting without proper posture. It's pretty painfull right now, and I'm seeing the chiropractor very often :-( (again, yeay for taxes!)

I also, under the influence of R, have bought the bestest cookbook eva!!! How to Cook everything Vegetarian. now, I'm not a vegetarian. I don't like labels, so I won't admit to joining any following, however much I would like to. I like the occasional chicken, and of course, there's sushi. But vegetarian dishes are so Jummy! and, oddly enough, I feel comfortable cooking them. I should have know, because all these years, I've loved reading Brian Jaqcues redwall series, mostly because of his dialects and food descriptions. seriously add nuts or honey to anything and I'm there. I should have seen this coming, because as I look through the cookbook, everything sounds good! it's like those dime novels, I just can't put it down!
I made a cauliflower couscous that is out of this world

1/2 c whole almonds
1/2 c parsley
3 tbsp olive oil
small cauliflower (chopped)
small onion (minced
1 c couscous
1 1/2 c white wine, water, vegetable broth or a mix (I used the wine and it was a bit strong, maybe diluting it with water?)
semi hard goat cheese
2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

1) in a dry medium, deep pan with lid stir the almonds untill they begin to pop (on medium high)

2) set aside and chop

3) add olive oil and onions, cook till transparent and soft. Add cauliflower, salt and pepper. cook untill coated with oil and soft (5-10 minutes)

4)add the couscous, stir in untill slightly toasted and covered in oil.

5) add paprika and water/wine/stock, stir and cover for about 5 minutes till couscous is cooked

6) sprinkle in chopped nuts and chopped parsley and sliver goat's cheese on top.

it's devine...

ok. enough of an update.
things I want to do for fun very soon. make myself another summer dress and hand stitch it. It's refreshing.

things to deal with in march: still not having a date for 2011. it's my goal to be asked out at least once by a semi reputable person this year. it's not happened yet. but I have faith.

I would love to hear news from all of you!

Monday, February 07, 2011

I was recommended this poet by a professor at the college I work at. something in it made me want to cry. It's the most hopefull apocalyptical poem I've ever read. Please read the poem now, before reading the rest, because I will spoil the effect of the poem.
I love the strangeness of the horse. it's the common horse that we all know, but when they come again, they are in a different catagory. we let them go because we created our own solution to transportation and agriculture. and we let the horses go. Then when our own world is destroyed by us, the older world begins to reassert itself, but we are not complete. but somewhere, over the furthest reaches of our vision, the horses were there all along.
In a very personal way, I see this the mercy of Gd. What a fearfull word, mercy. there is redemption for choices made. the horses will look strange when they are brought back, but with training and fustration and hard work, they will bring restoration. I don't know if that was too obscure, if so, I hope you enjoy the poem for what it is. I think I'm going to add him to my poetry shelf.

The Horses

Barely a twelvemonth after
The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
Late in the evening the strange horses came.
By then we had made our covenant with silence,
But in the first few days it was so still
We listened to our breathing and were afraid.
On the second day
The radios failed; we turned the knobs; no answer.
On the third day a warship passed us, heading north,
Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day
A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter
Nothing. The radios dumb;
And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
All over the world. But now if they should speak,
If on a sudden they should speak again,
If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
We would not listen, we would not let it bring
That old bad world that swallowed its children quick
At one great gulp. We would not have it again.
Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,
Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,
And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.
The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
They look like dank sea-monsters couched and waiting.
We leave them where they are and let them rust:
'They'll molder away and be like other loam.'
We make our oxen drag our rusty plows,
Long laid aside. We have gone back
Far past our fathers' land.
And then, that evening
Late in the summer the strange horses came.
We heard a distant tapping on the road,
A deepening drumming; it stopped, went on again
And at the corner changed to hollow thunder.
We saw the heads
Like a wild wave charging and were afraid.
We had sold our horses in our fathers' time
To buy new tractors. Now they were strange to us
As fabulous steeds set on an ancient shield.
Or illustrations in a book of knights.
We did not dare go near them. Yet they waited,
Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent
By an old command to find our whereabouts
And that long-lost archaic companionship.
In the first moment we had never a thought
That they were creatures to be owned and used.
Among them were some half a dozen colts
Dropped in some wilderness of the broken world,
Yet new as if they had come from their own Eden.
Since then they have pulled our plows and borne our loads
But that free servitude still can pierce our hearts.
Our life is changed; their coming our beginning.