(1) Mon Jan 02 2006 11:49 PST Darn those muggles:
A long time ago, when I first went away for college, Mom bought me a toolbox and filled it full of a hammer, nails, screwdriver, etc etc. Such a useful thing to have, but I never could find it when I got back from study abroad, so I had to suffer through my last years of college hammer-less. I eventually decided I must have left it in my dorm room.
Today I went into Susie's room to see if I could find an index card box that I once owned but thought I might have gotten rid of and I noticed a toolbox on the shelf. Could this be the mysteriously vanished toolbox of years ago? I asked myself. I opened it and found, amoung other things, a lock that opened with my combination, and a set of batteries for my huge MAG-LITE. Ta-dum! I wonder if it's really been sitting there in plain view on that shelf for 3 and a half years...
(5) Sun Jan 08 2006 13:14 PST Deathly:
Other than the snot, the coughing, the feeling miserable, being sick really isn't too bad. It's a nice excuse to sleep as much as I want, and not go to the gym. I've spent the last few days curled up in bed with JB and Tonks, reading.
I finished The Truth, and next was the surprisingly good novel that I picked up from the advance review shelf in the breakroom, called, ironically enough, Bed Rest. Since it's due to be published in may, I'm doing as I thought I would and writing up my comments to said to the email address on the back. I'll post my review to LibraryThing so you all can see it too, as soon as I'm able to add more bookies to my catalogue. And maybe Susie can borrow it next time she is up, if she wants.
Now I'm reading The Great Irish Potato Famine. I don't know what it is about history books, but some of them are interesting and easy to read, and some of them just aren't. It's like a certain magical touch that is some books is lacking. Fortunatley, the Irish Potato Famine is one of the former, but unfortunatley, my overall History of Ireland book is one of the latter. I feel asleep about 3 times while I was trying to read it on Wednesday. By contrast, I stayed up till midnight reading the famine book yesterday. I'm almost halfway done, which is my goal for this weekend, but I also want to do some work and finish reading my French Revolution book, so I must try to keep a balance.
As much as I've *cough* enjoyed beign sick this weekend I hope I'm better tomorrow as I have to drag myself out of bed to go to class in the morning. Of course I can always come straight back, which is what I did on Friday.
(1) Tue Jan 17 2006 00:03 PST Meet the pros of con:
"What does that mea--? oh I get it."
(1) Tue Jan 17 2006 17:33 PST It only hurts when I breathe:
I've somehow managed to pull a muscle in my chest, or something, probably from coughing, or something. but it feels a lot better today than it did yesterday so is hopefullly healling. Other than that I am almost mostly recovered from my illness. I'm just back from LA, where I did some important work and equally important hanging out with Christina. We met up with Ron in a Hollywood tapas restaurant and sat their for four hours eating and chatting, which was v fun.
Now I get to read an article on French Political Thought at the Accession of Louis XVI and write a critical summary by midnight.
(2) Wed Jan 18 2006 12:17 PST Random:
I am now my own friend on Facebook.
(3) Wed Jan 18 2006 22:31 PST For the uniformed:
HBP paperback to be released July 25. (Less importantly, Da Vinci Code paperback to be released March 28.)
The news on AD taken from tvguide.com (via Rob):
Question: Do you have any information about Arrested Development? — Willie
Ausiello: The grapevine (and the current issue of Television Week) is telling me that Showtime recently sweetened the negotiations pot by offering to pick up Arrested for two — count 'em, two — seasons upfront. That's a lot better than the paltry 13-episode commitment ABC was prepared to make. Meanwhile, at press tour on Tuesday, Fox president Peter Liguori confirmed that it is "highly unlikely" that Arrested will live on at Fox (no, really?), although he said he's holding off on making a final decision until after the show's last four episodes air in February. "It is regrettable that we did not find the audience that that show deserved. But it's a [Twentieth] property, and if there is interest from other networks, it's the studio's right to put it up to bid."
More on actual life later.
(1) Thu Jan 19 2006 20:33 PST UCP:
I just noticed one of mom's sweatshirts. I had forgotten about it, but it's really funny so I thought I'd write about it and let everyone else in on the joke. This is what it says:
University of California, Provo.
The trouble with sleeping in is, even though it feels so lovely, it really interferes with my ability ot get stuff done. Of all the things I need to do today, I've only managed to prepare for tomorrow's famine discussion, and that only partly. I'll have to wake up early to look at the questions in more detail, because Dagny's kicked me out at 7, and tonight I still have to revise my critical summary and think about the article for work. If only the laundry and dishes did themselves...
It was my plan to retain sanity now that I've started school again my allowing myself to read one chapter of a non-school, non-work book every night before bed. Now I think sanity will have to go. I've made great headway into Lies My Teacher Told Me, but only moderate progress into A Different Shade of Colonialism, which needs to be read by Monday, and I don't know when on earth I'll do it. It's not like my school books are boring. They are actually very interesting. There are just a lot of them.
I also might as well give up my gym membership since I never have time to go anymore. Becca and I have talked of doing Pilates together, and since I never see her that might be a solution.
Bah, this wasn't supposed to be a complaining entry about how little time I have. I'm actually very up about things, though you wouldn't know it from reading the last few paragraphs. My classes are really interesting and going very well and I have a clear idea of where I want this all to take me. It's just a lot of work. I'm not sure if this is a result of the higher level of education, or the new approach I am taking to it--no longer slacking off or taking the easy way out. Maybe this is a result of what I learned my the last year-ish of college and the 2-ish years of working for PK, in combination with the fact that I have now reached the pinnacle of agency in education. With no stupid GE requirements to fulfill I really absolutely don't have to do anything at all that doesn't interest me.
Blah blah blah why am I still talking when there is work to do? Sometimes I feel like I talk talk talk all the time and have no idea what I'm talking *about*. That's how I felt yesterday when I was discussing Baker's analysis of documents as a reflection of political thought, but my professor said he really enjoyed my comments. So maybe I am saying something, after all.
Time to get the sheets from the dryer.
(1) Fri Jan 20 2006 14:55 PST Eye kan spile:
There are certain words you'd think I'd have learned by now. Like soilder. And sufferage.
Sun Jan 22 2006 12:25 PST Up and Down:
I saw Brokeback Mountain yesterday and now I'm sooooo depressed.
On the other hand Friday night I saw Howl's Moving Castle at FLICS, and it was really cute. Plus I stopped at the booksale at the library after work yesterday and got 7 books for $2.25: The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, From Isolation to War, 1931-1941, Inherit the Wind (yes, the one we read in Mr Adam's class freshman year), The Irish Upstart ("research" for a possible money-making venture), Quentins, and The Little Prince. Too bad my LibraryThing is full and I can't add my new books...
(3) Sun Jan 22 2006 13:29 PST Surreptitious cuddling:
I woke up in the middle of the night and there was a large kitty next to me. When I woke up again the kitty was in his bed on the floor. But now I know.
(4) Tue Jan 24 2006 12:19 PST Willpower (or lack thereof):
Stacy left her cheetos on the desk at work. Bad move, Stacy.
Tue Jan 24 2006 13:26 PST Scientific method:
I've come up with a new research methodology. Here is how it goes: orchestrate a conversation with a friend in which I complain about my lack of a question to ask. Pose a theoretical question I could ask, but have no desire to, or no way to answer it. From that, come up with an alternative/related question that I want to/can answer, and say, "If only I could ask this…" Then wonder, "Why can't I?"
So maybe it is a bit accidental, but it seems to have worked so far, since its discovery. We shall see.
(4) Tue Jan 24 2006 14:01 PST Ouch!:
Stop me if I've quoted this already. But it's one of my favorites:
What struck me most about these men was the way in which they blew their own trumpets in full retreat and while flying from the enemy... They were all saying, "We will you bring the Kaiser's head, miss"; to which I replied, "Well, you had better turn round and go the other way."
(15) Wed Jan 25 2006 22:31 PST Yay, good things::
I got an A (well, A-) on my first critical summary for professor hottie's class. My first grade since I'm back in school! Unless you count the quiz in Irish history, which I also got an A on.
I went to Russo's on my break between classes to see friendly faces while I studied, and I had a good time.
The stupid book is now over with and I think I will like the rest of the books we are reading this quarter.
JKR, like Susie (was), is in Romania helping orphans.
I made several history related jokes in class that made professor hottie laugh.
I got to show my picture of the replica of the Rosetta Stone, the one that says "Captured in Egypt by the British Amry in 1801."
Sun Jan 29 2006 12:11 PST Words I should know how to spell #2:
Mon Jan 30 2006 22:06 PST But why are they never played on the radio?:
Today was not the worst day ever, but it could have been a lot better. The high point was when "Summer Sunshine" came on at Quiznos.
(2) Tue Jan 31 2006 12:26 PST Note to Self:
Do not attempt to read at the dog park ever again.
Imperial Leather now has dirt all over it. How... ironic.
(4) Wed Feb 01 2006 16:01 PST As the page turns...:
I've been getting the urge lately to write a soap opera set in a bookstore. Can you guess why?
I can just see it now... A scene of passionate embraces in the crammed breakroom is interupted by another employee letting a 5-year-old into the restroom.
There are three major problems, though, that I can think of in regards to this endevour.
1. I don't have any spare time
2. The drama that happens is much to specific and personal, so as to be easily recongnizable thus offending people
3. The above leading to potential termination
Still though... think of the possibilities!
(4) Thu Feb 02 2006 10:08 PST I think he gives me too much credit:
(About Imperial Leather)
Me: It's like... You can't self yourself and other someone else. It's more complicated than that.
PH: That was very well explained. (And I don't think he was joking!)
(1) Tue Feb 07 2006 19:17 PST Crazy like this (newly addicted to The Bangles):
The song I listened to 20 times at work yesterday came on when I was having dinner with Rob. It's a sign, I'm sure. But of what... remains to be seen.
Fri Feb 10 2006 16:45 PST Food posioning:
It occurs to me that my aversion to mexican food may also be partly psychological: the only two times I've had it since The Incident have been after grandparent's funerals.
(5) Sun Feb 12 2006 12:09 PST TV & I are breaking up:
In wake of AD's sad demise, I'd thought I'd found a replacement in "Love Monkey." No such luck. I found out last night that it's"on hiatus and there's no scheduled return date." It's too much heartbreak in one weekend for a girl to bear.
(1) Sun Feb 12 2006 18:50 PST Thinking late thoughts:
I've forgotten what it's like to write a paper. And how the melancholy mood always strikes at the perfect moment to encourage unproductivity.
(1) Mon Feb 13 2006 08:17 PST Words that start to look funny if you look at them long enough #7:
(4) Thu Feb 16 2006 17:36 PST A bit of light reading:
I have been reading big fat textbooks for so long that, now that I am reading The Burning of Bridget Cleary (a trade-sized paperback), it feels wrong in my hand.
Fri Feb 24 2006 14:05 PST 3 weeks till spring break:
I tried hard to resist going back to my school-time blog posting habit of "ack, paper" and "omgihavesomuchtodo" etc but I seems I don't have time for anything else.
(5) Sun Feb 26 2006 16:55 PST ...and other thoughts:
Why does they saying go "things don't always work out the way you plan them to?" [emphasis added] Nothing works out the way you plan it to.
(1) Mon Feb 27 2006 23:39 PST Ode:
Yeah, I wish I could be like Stacy, and immerse my problems in work. And in a lot of other ways too. Stacy is great. Happy Birthday, Stacy (half an hour early).
(7) Tue Feb 28 2006 20:15 PST Is this weird?:
I kinda wish I'd been alive 100 years ago so I coulda been a suffragette.
(6) Wed Mar 01 2006 23:12 PST Whiney Whine:
Mom seems to have a habit of going to the hospital during the end of the quarter. The nurse remembers me from last time, sitting there with my laptop. Somehow I think this whole thing would be a lot easier if *I* could sit there reading a Nora Roberts novel instead of freaking out about all the work I have to do.
Everyone keeps asking me if they can do anything for me but no one wants to write my research papers. Or take this dog off my hands. Poor Gretel has been sooo neglected and I just don't have the energy to give her the attention she needs. I am soo tired all I want to do is sleep sleep sleep but there is research to be done and I have to wake up in the morning and do it all over again.
(5) Fri Mar 03 2006 08:18 PST One good thing:
I totally had a dream that I met Rupert Grint! It was totally awesome. He was sitting next to me on an airplane or something, and we had a long conversation and he signed one of my HP books! Then I thought to myself, Christina will KILL me if she finds out I met him and didn't get an autograph for her, so I got one for her too. Man, I wish that had really happened. Maybe I will pretend it did.
Fri Mar 03 2006 12:19 PST Lalala:
It is almost my birthday. I am so excited, can't you tell? It has always has the misfortune of falling on tenth or finals week. Oh well. I'm sure you all are smart enough to figure out great presents for me if you intend to do so but just in case here are some things I would really like:
Amazon.com gift certificates for texts. Russo's gift certificates are always useful.
Course in Serbian on CD rom. Not the kind you just listen to, a full course. I have one on my Amazon wishlist but I am not sure if it the best kind. The one advertised in Newsweek also looks good.
Nice black DMs with a buckle, like my brown ones only black, or even better like the ones mom has. Size UK 4.
(1) Fri Mar 03 2006 20:52 PST The problem with elitism:
In some ways, there is nothing I love better than to feel smarter than other people. "Oh, you want to visit Czechoslovakia? Good luck with that. You might want to drop by the USSR while you are in the area. That is, the area of DOESN'T EXSIST ANYMORE!! HAHAHA!" Or at least that is what I think in my head.
But the problem with all moots you find in your brother's eye is the beam in your own. Or something like that. I know I do it too. In my mind it will always be Constantinople. Discussing Petrograd in class, I timidly asked PH, "That's St Petersburg, right?" It was changed at the beginning of the war to not sound so "German" ie Freedom Fri-burg, then again to Leningrad, and back to St Petersburg... no wonder I'm confused! So many names of places are forever stuck in my head in their 1918/1919 incarnation. My research paper is on the Salonika campaign, not the First World War campaign in what is now known as Thessaloniki. In fact, I'm sure the reason I call a lot of things by their right and proper name is that they reverted to what they were in WWI era after being something else. So maybe I shouldn't feel so smug when people talk about "Yugoslavia."
(1) Mon Mar 06 2006 16:11 PST
War Life by timetable?:
I made, as I always do about this time of the quarter, a little chart with all my hours and what I am supposed to be doing during those hours. People look at the chart and freak. They ask when I am supposed to do things like eat, and don't seem pacified when I point to the little blank spots in between blocks of "work on paper" and "practice lecture" and "read book." So maybe it is a bit Hermione-esque. But I decided, as motivation, each hour I do what I am supposed to be doing will be $1 towards a new pair of shoes!
The problem is... my schedule started today at noon. And I'm already 4 hours behind.
(2) Mon Mar 06 2006 16:29 PST Typo:
Six countries initially agreed to pool their cola and steel resources
(3) Mon Mar 06 2006 18:08 PST Rainy Day:
The house is so quiet. Don took Gretel away to a new home, where she has 2 1/2 acres to run on and kids to play with her. I am sooo sad. I just want to wallow in my sadness and maybe read a good book, but instead I have to prepare a lecture on Ireland in the EU and read about the Holocaust. blaaaaaaaaaaah
(3) Thu Mar 09 2006 09:27 PST How lame is this?:
While I am stuck at home this weekend writing papers, my friends are running off to have fun at Mammoth. Traitors! Turncoats!
(2) Thu Mar 09 2006 13:41 PST Testament of Experience:
I'm using Olive King and Isabel Emslie Hutton in my research paper. These were the first two books I read back when I started working for PK, and I'm noticing all kinds of good stuff I didn't know to notice back then. I think it will be a good research paper.
Speaking of good books, I am taking another class with PH next quarter. It is a 300 level 20th century Europe, so basically I am using it an excuse to write another paper that will help me along with my thesis. But the books he's assigned are very good, three of them by women! including Vera Brittain, who, amazingly enough, I have never read. This is probably surprising as she is most likely the only women in WWI book most people have read, if they have read any, but she is in France after all, and I don't "France." Anyway, it will be good to read her and see what all the hype is about. Aha, my prejudices are leaking out already. But once I have read the book, at least they will have backing. Or maybe I will be surprised. It's not that I am expecting it to be terrible, I'm sure its really quite good; I am just expecting it to be not as good as some of the really good ones I have read.
Fri Mar 10 2006 11:44 PST One less thing to stress about (or is it?):
Well, my lecture on Ireland & The EU is over & done with. Why I ever picked the topic of the last day of class I have no idea, I guess I just wasn't thinking. I think it went ok. I have never given a lecture type thing so I was pretty nervous but once I started it was fine. I didn't even look at my notes. I really wish I'd had someone to do a practice run on, though, because it only took 40 minutes so I could have added a lot more stuff--the suez crisis, 'founding fathers' etc. But the remainder of the time was taken up debating the merits of the EU with Dr Murphy and the other grad students. Is the whole thing going to collapse, like the British Empire? or the Soviet Union? I hope not.
(2) Fri Mar 10 2006 17:11 PST But at least the dishwasher is fixed:
The neighbor has been playing the same four songs for the last four hours: Skater boy, Because of you, Boulevard of broken dreams, and Wake me up when september ends. I appreciate, I really do. NOT.
I just devoured two Salonika accounts. I don't really feel like doing anything except maybe watching GOF but I have to leave my DVD unopened in case someone gets it for me for my birthday. Plus, you know, there are those two papers to write...
Sat Mar 11 2006 18:12 PST History unfolds:
Milosevic! Dead! What does it mean? Where will it lead? Those smarter (or more daring) than I will speculate... the rest of us will wait and see.
Sat Mar 11 2006 21:36 PST Do I have "I like creepy guts" written on my forehead?:
Because two of them tried to hit on me at work today. It was actually pretty funny. The first time, I was standing talking to Tora's brother while Tora was ringing some guy up. Right before he left he dropped his business card on the counter, saying, "I don't normally do this." Tora looked at it, and he said "It's for her," pointing at me. I may have managed not to laugh until he left the store. This guy's name is "Jewel."
Not half an hour later, Denise comes in and I told her about the incident. Some guy came up to be rung up and as I was doing it Tora left for lunch fifteen minutes late. "Thanks a lot," I told her teasingly. "I was trying to coordinate our lunch breaks so Michael and I could have a date, and you totally ruined it." As this guy left he said, "Michael is a lucky guy, by the way." We all laughed very hard. What makes it funny it Michael is married... I wanted to have lunch with him so we could exchange the gossip.
When I walked out on my lunch break to meet Michael there were actually a ton of my work friends waiting with presents for me. What a nice surprise! I felt loved all day.
(1) Sun Mar 12 2006 10:23 PST Suprise return:
Someone knocked on the door... "Who could that be?" I wondered out loud. I opened the door and who should come tromping in but Gretel. Apparently this nice lady had found her out by Panama Lane, dodging traffic! Now mom wants to keep her again, but she won't come near me.
I need a vacation.
(1) Sun Mar 12 2006 19:31 PST I couldn't get a clear view:
Gretel has been an absolute angel all day. Whatever it was she did to get "sent to Siberia," she is trying pretty hard not to do it again. Poor thing. Must have been quite the experience for her. A family of girls appeared after church wanting to meet her and going to take her for walks every few days. So maybe it will work out.
I promise myself that as soon as this week is over, I'm going to go the gym again. And stop living off of Trader Joe's frozen food (though there are worse things off of which to live!).
(3) Mon Mar 13 2006 11:53 PST "You're 23!!!! SO OLD!":
It would be depressing to sit & think of all the things I'd have liked, and planned, to have done by this point in my life. But really, in spite of it all, I think I have done pretty well for myself so far. There's hope for the future, anyway.
(2) Mon Mar 13 2006 17:33 PST Tale as old as time:
My room right now resembles the beast's lair from Beauty and the Beast.
(1) Tue Mar 14 2006 17:16 PST Birthday envy:
Yesterday I was talking with my friend Kristi about how on her 23rd birthday we were on a plane to Paris. Then today I was reading Elsie Corbett and: on February 10 “I celebrated my 23rd birthday and became old enough to go as a VAD to a base hospital in France” (57-58). She was being held POW by Austrians in occupied Serbia.
It is not as though I want to be taken prisoner by the Austrians. I just rather wish I were doing something more exciting than writing about it. Such as on a plane to Paris...
Anyway my birthday really was far from boring or disasterous. My kind friends led me to believe they had forgotten (though I had my suspicions) then appeared on the doorstep with cheetos and diet coke and chocolate cake and kidnapped me to go on a shrimp adventure. Delicious and fun times all around. What wondeful friends I have. *pets*
Thu Mar 16 2006 20:24 PST Yikes:
I've never ever had a finals week this stressful. Thank goodness tomorrow it will all be over. I cannot wait!
(3) Fri Mar 17 2006 01:49 PST *blinks*:
Survival is in sight! Almost there!
The problem with this hour is it breeds pessimism and self-doubt and thoughts of *gasp* "B"s!
(1) Fri Mar 17 2006 16:03 PST Liberated from communism:
Papers turned in, finals completed for better or for worse. Now that I am free, I hardly know what to do with myself, except all those little things that pile up when you are so deperatley busy you can get away with not doing them. But shouldn't a girl be allowed to celebrate? I thought of a bit of pleasure reading but then remembered susie has the book i really want to read.
(1) Fri Mar 17 2006 23:19 PST Hazard:
Xochitl is curled up on my bed. A new development! I am scared to get in it because I might lose a limb.
(1) Mon Mar 20 2006 22:13 PST Confidence (or lack thereof):
I'm so paranoid about my Irish suffrage paper. I'm too scared to look back at it to see if it really is awful, and I'm half tempted to email Dr Murphy and ask to redo it but its getting a little late for that.
(3) Mon Mar 20 2006 22:15 PST Is it just me or is there something wrong with this sentence?:
"She was a product of her country and her time, part Czech, part Slavic, with a drop of Russian and a whiff of German in the blood."
(3) Thu Mar 23 2006 12:42 PST European History jokes are funny!:
Me: blabbering on about a delicious sounding Basque dish I want to share with John. "But I doubt they allow splitting..."
Leonard: "They must! They're sepratists!"
Sat Mar 25 2006 16:41 PST Some advice:
The fact that I am an employee in a store you are patronizing (or not) does not mean I am a worthless human being for you to shit upon. You do not have the right to use our private bathroom. Do not make one-worded demands, and do not allow your children to do so. "No," is not a proper answer to "May I speak to so & so." If I am calling on the phone, it is because *you* chose to order a book from us, so there's no need to be rude to me. Don't demand to know who's calling, say ok, and expect me to know I'm talking to the person I've asked for. Don't force me to ask you to take a message. I'm going to the trouble to call you & remind you about a book you ordered; if you're not going to pick it up, the least you can do is let us know so we don't keep calling you. Not being trained to work the post office does not make me stupid. And the fact that I engage customers in conversation and help them with multiple problems does not make a bad employee. Thanks.
Sun Mar 26 2006 17:10 PST But why is free voice mail risky?:
Would you like to receive a $500 FREE Shopping Spree and risk free voice mail for 30 days?
(1) Tue Mar 28 2006 17:43 PST Nothing falls like...:
I love the weather we are having. Perfect mix of sun & gloom and just the right temperature with wind & rain thrown in for good measure. It reminds me of an English summer.
I've been running errands all day so I feel super productive dispite the fact that I have not done very much work. After photo-copying some books for myself at Office Depot (so as not to live in fear of the notorious UCLA library recall) I bought some treats: bright and bold colored pens, post-it flags, tabs, and pads. This excites me to no end. I'm such a nerd. Also went to Target and practicsed self-control with my gift cards. I did buy a shirt, but everything else was stuff I needed and on sale. I also, as I have been meaning to do for some time, stopped by the Indian grocer near target to see if they have henna. I picked up a box for $4 and if the picture on the cover is to be believed, its body-art quality which is the best kind for hair. Still, I plan on doing some internet research and a strand test lest I turn all my hair green. Then I went to Youngs to load up on diet coke only to find at checkout that the sale doesn't start until tomorrow. Lame.
Tue Mar 28 2006 22:06 PST I'd rather play than get things done:
Spent way too long looking at henna info online instead of doing things I should be doing. God bless the beginning of the quarter. Apparently Mumtaz al-aroosa is safe. I think I'll do a strand test now.
(3) Wed Mar 29 2006 10:07 PST A funny joke:
President Bush, First Lady Laura and Dick Cheney were flying on Air Force One. George looked at Laura, chuckled and said, "You know, I could throw a $1,000 bill out of the window right now and make somebody very happy."
Laura shrugged her shoulders and replied, "I could throw ten $100 bills out of the window and make ten people very happy."
Cheney added, "That being the case, I could throw one hundred $10 bills out of the window and make a hundred people very happy."
Hearing their exchange, the pilot rolled his eyes and said to his co-pilot, "Such big-shots back there. Hell, I could throw all of them out of the window and make 56 million people very happy."
(1) Wed Mar 29 2006 22:48 PST Appropriate enough for a history girl:
(I hate how these things never look like they're supposed to)
Thu Mar 30 2006 17:19 PST Random misc:
The font on those word verification things is so hard for me to read I often get the letters wrong.
ME: I'm going to Walgreens in my pjs.
MOM: At least your pjs are nicer than most people's clothes.
I wish I could just be a student and not have to worry about money as well. I wish being a student could be my job. That would be so awesome. I would be really good at that.
(1) Sat Apr 01 2006 20:42 PST This is why I fail at math:
Susie and I ordered desserts to go from Applebees. We argued about the music on the way over and ended up listening to Disney music so we could sing along. The girl who came out to give us our blondies was super-nice and said "Are you guys listening to Disney music? My best friend and I have all of those downloaded on my computer, I thought we were the only ones who did that."
I had signed the receipt and handed it back to her when I realised--the bill was for 9.86 and I'd rounded up, but I hadn't rounded up very much. By then it was too late to do anything. "You're not supposed to leave them a very big tip, just like a dollar," Susie said reassuringly. "It wasn't a dollar," I muttered. Susie suggested we call and compliment her to the manager to make up for it. She pulled out her cell phone and dialed right away. It was the same girl who aswered the phone. "She's going to tell them we gave her a fourteen cent tip!" I wailed after Susie asked to speak to the manger, "to compliment one of her employees." "I'm a horrible person!"
Sun Apr 02 2006 17:01 PST Vera Brittain and other thoughts:
Susie and John have come and gone. There is a kitty on my bed, and I'm completely absorbed in Vera Brittain. I wish I had more energy to focus on all the other things I need to do but more than that I wish I only had to focus on one thing at a time; which is what I need to do, anyway. And about Vera: is it "Vira" or "Veh-ra?" PH says "Veh-ra" but he also says "Bulgah-ria" and all kinds of other things differently because he is from that place north of here. Why do I like Brittain? Why don't I like her? I do think she's unfairly pedastal-ised at the expense of other women whose war-time and literary contributions, in my opinon, far eclipse hers. Which is not to say Brittain's were not substantial, I like reading her narrative and seeing how it fits in--or doesn't--with other retropective accounts, and I can't wait to read her published diary and see where she contradicts herself. I've come up with the elaborate metaphor where Brittain represents, psycholocially, many things in my life I have hoped for that have not come to pass. She is jealousy itself, the girls I have known or seen and wished I myself were more like, in certain aspects. (Or perhaps whose success I felt unmerited?) Details are too complicated, probably too personal, and almost certainly won't make sense. But there is a cat on my bed, and at least my hair is a pretty shade of red, and what does this have to do with the war anyway?
Mon Apr 03 2006 20:15 PST These are times I rather wish I had a teevee:
My espn is on auto refresh and we are not doing so well. The woe! But on a happier note, Rob forwarded an email saying VH1 is going to air all 8 episodes of "Love Monkey." Ah well, eight is better than 3.
(3) Mon Apr 03 2006 20:39 PST:
I have always hated Florida
(2) Mon Apr 03 2006 22:06 PST I become more like Hermione everyday:
(but at least my hair is a pretty shade of red).
PH thinks VB is full of herself, as well, and manipulating her war-time experience in her account to suit her own purposes. So my aversion to her is not all psychological. We had a long conversation about it after class. I still want to do my paper on her, though, and compare her with others (betters).
This class is really weird. It's part distance learning, there are some students in Bakersfield, some in antelope valley, and some in visilia. We have one lecture a week and online discussions. I hate this for several reasons. The online discussions are annoying. Nothing will convince me it is a suitable substitute for classroom discussion. It's a lot easy to just say things, rather than having to type them out; although you have a chance to hone your ideas, a lot of things that get said in the spirit of conversation that won't come up in this type of media. But perhaps I am bringing unfair expectations from my grad seminar, where we always had really good discussions; based on their writing the people who are in this class (many of them are at a lower level or aren't history majors... or both...) wouldn't be able to have that kind of conversation. It's all very high schoolesque and rather unsophisticated. Which presents a dilemma to mee... as part of my extra work I came up with half the questions for discussion and since I know better, I am to go in and add where I see fit and correct any problems. I think it would be a lot easier to say "you're wrong" diplomatically in a classroom where you have the benefit of tone inflection etc to emphasize that you are not being mean and the other person is not really an idiot, even if they are. I feel I have to be super-duper extra careful to pull that off in a post. I don't want to come off as a snotty know-it-all. Even if I am.
Another problem is the only one lecture... I really enjoy lecture. I think I always have, if its a subject I enjoy, so I'm feeling a bit gypped with just one per week. I could just sit and listen for hours--well almost. I spent today's whole lecture on WWI wanting to interject. It's such a pain to do that the way the class is set up, it's like a theatre. We (the students) can't really see one another and PH is way up on a platform. If you say anything you are supposed to press the microphone in front of you so the other locations can here you, and the camera zooms in on you. It turns interjecting into interrupting. Plus there is only the one jam-packed lecture, so I didn't want to bring up something PH had deliberately left out in the interest of time. In the end I only said one little piece on the white feather campaign, biting my lip many times and writing little scribbles resolving to ask about them at the end if there was time. But by the time the lecture was over and he asked for questions, everyone got busy packing up and suddenly bringing up Belgium and propaganda or the role of class conflict in women's volunteerism didn't seem such a good idea. I'm a bit sore about it since we ended twenty minutes early, despite half an hour of technical complications at the beginning of class. Of course PH said after class I should interject wherever I see fit, but WWI is really the subject I know most about so I doubt I'll be so much in this position again. Which is maybe a good thing and next time I'll have more actual questions instead of things I just want to bring up. I thought this class would be a good opportunity to learn about teaching, since I am in a lot of ways serving as a TA. And I still think so... But it would be so much better with actual discussion, and it's making me really wish I were going to a school where I could take my actual classes with other grad students or at least upper-division history students in order to engage in actual discussion. The next grad class is on early America; I don't think so. As the grad coordinator said, "that's on the wrong side of the pond" for me.
This entry is bordering on what could potentially get me in trouble, maybe I should make my blog anonymous. If you've read this far I can't believe you haven't died of boredom. All I seem to have to talk about these days is school. This doesn't bother me, though... There are other things, but I don't like writing about them before they happen as they inevitably don't come off how I planned. Of course the flip side is by the time they do happen I have been thinking about them for so long I forget to right about them. Here is one: I found an intensive Serbian language and culture program I really want to go on in summer... in Serbia. It's only 500 euro for three weeks instruction, room & board including food! Of course it costs and arm and a leg to get to Serbia... all the same, we'll see. Some other things: I went to Pilates tonight and am sure to be sore tomorrow. I've been doing some DVDs Becs got, but no one kicks my but like the 24 hour instructor. And... hm, no, I think I'll write about that later.
Tue Apr 04 2006 21:34 PST Less Hermione-like:
Sometimes I think that is MUST be easier to give it all up and get a job that doesn't require so much thinking.
Thu Apr 06 2006 17:19 PST What are you doing here?:
What am I doing here? I got asked this today, but she meant why aren't I at some better school, rather than what is the purpose of life and I am fulfilling it?--the answer to which I'm afraid is no. One of those weeks.
(2) Thu Apr 06 2006 23:41 PST Nice!:
You're The Guns of August!
by Barbara Tuchman
Though you're interested in war, what you really want to know is what
causes war. You're out to expose imperialism, militarism, and nationalism for what they
really are. Nevertheless, you're always living in the past and have a hard time dealing
with what's going on today. You're also far more focused on Europe than anywhere else in
the world. A fitting motto for you might be "Guns do kill, but so can
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Fri Apr 07 2006 22:46 PST For a sea view I have no need:
Some recent thoughts: If you want something done properly (or at all), do it yourself. But I can't depend on myself to do things properly, or at all, either. Quite the catch-22, isn't it?
(5) Mon Apr 10 2006 22:40 PST The Great Escape:
Lately there's been a gray cat hanging around who thinks he has the right to come inside and eat food. He was inside tonight when I got home from pilates, but i was quicker than him and trapped him in the kitchen. I came up with an elborate plan to get him into a kitty carrier but this involved the help of another person, so I called Becca and she came over. She went inside the kitchen to scare the cat out the now-open door, while I waited outside holding the carrier to the opening. But no cat was forthcoming. We switched places and I searched the whole house; no cat. "Rachel, if you wanted me to come over, you could have just invited me. You didn't have to come up with such an elaborate excuse!" But I swear there was a cat! Finally I moved the washer to see if he was hiding behind it and saw the whole that leades to the underneath the house. "Aha," I said. "If I were a cat, that's where I'd have gone, too." One can only hope that this cat has been scared out of coming into our house ever again.
(6) Wed Apr 12 2006 07:38 PST Cat-22:
I've been shutting the door pretty often these days to keep Mr Gray out, which is driving our cats slightly nuts... though I always let them out & back in when they ask. Last night I noticed Mr Gray peering longingly into the window of the door as if he would like very much to come inside (and eat). He is acting as though he wants to be our kitty but doesn't quite know how. He is pretty tame and will let me near him but not too close. Anyway I felt sorry for him and was taking a small dish of food outside when I saw Tuxedo Tom go running from the vicinity of the (closed) kitty door. So now I'm afraid if I start feeding Mr Gray it will encourage TT to hang around more. Oh how I wish I wish we were ride of him!
(4) Wed Apr 12 2006 23:35 PST Past and present, they converge on either side:
Should I take European Colonialism with Murphy or Gender in East Asia with Orliski this Fall? I am too tired to weigh the benefits of each but they exist.
(2) Thu Apr 13 2006 14:48 PST I must not tell lies:
I am reading Journey into the Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg which is about Stalin's reign of terror and really quite absorbing. I almost wonder if JKR didn't read it before writing Order of the Phoenix.
we were all supposed to pretend that syllogisms invented by sadists reflected the normal processes of the human mind.
Really, everything does revolve around Harry Potter.
(1) Sat Apr 15 2006 18:41 PST Sleeptalking:
A rough night & a bad case of the why mes.... Why did I put my sheets in the washer? I don't have the energy to clean anymore and I want to take a nap.
(1) Sat Apr 15 2006 23:21 PST There'll be blue birds over...:
A nap and a meal, and Amanda came over to visit, and I feel better. Dead ferret impressions are always enough to cheer one up.
I have a new friend. I have to say I never understood the beanie baby thing, but I am always falling in love with the soft cuddley oh so cute TY stuffed animals that we get at the store. I especially fell in love with this one & have been wanting to take one home for ages, but always resisted because technically, I don't need a stuffed animal. But I swooned over him so much my friend Bri bought him for me today. He is the cutest little crocigator, and his name is "Chomps." I worn him on my head for the last hour of work and people swooned/looked at me strangely as appropriate (though Bri did say threateningly, "He'd make a cute purse!"). Red doggie is relieved to have someone to share cuddle duty with and I am already thinking what a great travel compainion Chomps will be because he can double as an airplane pillow!
Tue Apr 18 2006 20:37 PST Always look on the bright side:
I'm so exhausted right now that I even considered withdrawing for the quarter... but I quickly came to my sense. [That was a typo but I decided to leave it. Yes, I only have one sense.] I had a meeting with the grad advisor... We have an ongoing joke because his office is right next to Murphy's and I am always there to see her, not him. We discussed my thesis committee and he thinks who I have in mind will work fine. I am also thinking of taking French in the fall, though I won't get credit for it; I'll just be "taking advatage of the resources the university has to offer," which, few as they are, I may as well do when I can.
I don't know what else. PH said I have promise--in the context of further graduate studies, he also mentioned Yale, which presumabley means he thinks I could get in there. I ought to gather these nuggets and horde them together when I need them; sometimes I get so pathetically discouraged. And academic praise is surely a better source of comfort than drugstore cosmetics or chocolate... okay maybe not the latter.
I think if there is one thing I am really good at, besides being a nerd, it's working at the bookstore. I am really good at that. Of course I had to come running home in the middle of work today to make mom a cup of tea because she was freezing and insisted she wouldn't live an hour till Cheryl got back from Fresno. Lucky for us Len is coming back from NY and hopefully things will be a lot easier then. Big changes all around. No wonder I'm so tired. Can I go to bed yet? Still so much work... how will it ever all get done...
(4) Wed Apr 19 2006 12:43 PST 1917:
I am so relieved that L. is coming out. I feel like I am France & Britain (ok let's not forget Serbia, Belgium, Italy, Romania and Russia depending on what month it is, the colonies, the Arabs... and those other places), exhausted with my efforts, and he is America coming in on my side. Maybe now we can win the war.
(2) Wed Apr 19 2006 23:36 PST Woes of a grad student:
Why can't we have debates on the drawbacks & plus & nature of different kinds of sources, and how this related to everyone's papers... for four hours? Instead of having to sit for over 2 listening to some women jabber on about newspapers and city directories in turn-of-the-century Dallas... which no one, surprise, is doing a paper on? Why do I have to waste my time doing hours of reading that is not only not related to my topic of interest, is not related to paper I am doing and is not related to anything really, except what we are being yacked at about, and some stories we are supposed to discuss but never have time for...? Ok, so I don't but I'm supposed to. I don't think so. I know I am just being selfish. My interests are so different from everyone else's... there will never be a class that will suit one person entirely... I'm sure some felt this frustrated in the seminar last quarter when I was having a ball, so this is only payback time... it is not so unusual for there to be a requirement that it too basic for me to actually need it, but some do... and I know I like the book that everyone else hates, and hate the book that everyone else like. So yeah, I'm being selfish, but I don't care. MEMEMEMEMMEMEEEE. Blah. Luckily this post doesn't make much sense. out it goes anyway. I'm not here to impress anyone.
(1) Fri Apr 21 2006 16:27 PST Canabalism:
Susie: I don't think we shoudl feed a jellybean to Tonks.
(3) Fri Apr 21 2006 20:04 PST Isabel Hutton wrote this about her marriage:
I had at length accepted the proposal first made to me in the Mosque of Suleimani and repeated in more orthodox surrondings. The main problem was how to carry on my profession so as to fit in with a military career, and the obstacles seemed insurmountable. Clearly, it would be a case of 'never the time and the place and the loved one all together'. Still, if it were undertaken on a day-to-day basis might it not work out in the long run? So we were married in the old, grey city of Edinburgh and set out together upon an uncharted voyage which has not yet come to an end.
Leonard and Sumana are now married. Congratulations. May your obstacles not be insurmountable, and your voyage together joyful.
(1) Sun Apr 23 2006 15:42 PST Sorry!:
...for ignoring everybody. Hopefully I will be able to hang out... sometime. Unfortunately, most of the people I am "ignoring" don't read this.
(4) Mon Apr 24 2006 18:02 PST Selfish:
The History Department changed its schedule for Winter Quarter. Just for me! So I can take Women's History and Historiography, which previously were at the same time. Yayayay! I am that special.
(2) Tue Apr 25 2006 15:02 PST Gulag observations:
Don't try & keep your preciouss kitty on a diet when you are reading such books as Journey into the Whirlwind and Survival in Auschwitz unless you want to feel like the big bad prison guard who isn't giving the poor prisoners enough to eat, simply because they were falsely accused of being a Trotskyist or happened to be born Jewish.
(1) Thu Apr 27 2006 22:36 PST So much:
Leonard is here and as a result I have come home to delicious meals waiting for me! It feels very domestic, but I wish it weren't so late by the time I eat them & everyone else is in bed. I worked a full shift today and am tired tired tired. But it was very very fun, one of my coworkers came in and showed me her wedding invitations and her bridesmaid dress. And other fun things. I am so vair vair tired... Tomorrow I have the day off which is good as I will hopefully be able to catch up on things I need to do... yikes.
(1) Fri Apr 28 2006 20:43 PST Personality disorder? or polyjuice potion?:
So I didn't have today off after all. Opps. The insanity must be catching.
So far today I have been "Anne," "Mom," and "Susie."
(2) Wed May 03 2006 00:57 PST What else?:
For some things there are no words.
And for others there are too many. Specifically the Schlieffen Plan. It was the first of the "terms" I answered (explain the historical significance and provide a relevant date) on the midterm I took yesterday. I had just finished squeezing in everything I thought was necessary to explain the historical significance of the Schlieffen Plan and was about the turn to the second page of my bluebook when PH eyed my prolific writing and asked, "Is that all one term?" rather loudly. I know how the rest of the class feels about me because I remember how I felt about the guy who announced casually last Wednesday to our research methods class that he had 6 pages of his rough draft.
These things are fun but school is taking a backseat right now. Everyone has been so nice & I think things will be waiting for me to pick them back up when I am ready.
(1) Wed May 03 2006 22:13 PST In perpetuity:
Anne: One word, Alyson
Leonard: I think that's two words, Anne.
And it doesn't mean what we thought it meant.
There's something wrong with everyone's hearing today. Me: I keep yawning and wanting to fall asleep.
Alyson: Did you say chocolate brownie icecream?
(1) Mon May 08 2006 13:04 PST Where we sing until dawn of our fears and our fates:
My mom passed away last Friday in the afternoon. I was talking to her friend Sunny while Leonard, Alyson, and John were playing Settlers of Catan, and I was feeling tired, so I decided to take a book in and read next to mom. I was thinking I should get a pillow, too, when I looked at her and realised she was no longer breathing.
She had been sleeping peacefully, and we had a good night with her the night before she died, and a really good week. Leonard, Susie, my aunt Anne and my cousin Alyson have been here all week and we have made a lot of memories. We have been posting a lot on my mom's weblog.
I miss her so much already and I think the time ahead of me will be even harder than the time already past, but everyone has been very wonderful to me and I'm glad I don't have to do it alone.
This song has always reminded me of my mom and how she was always strong and full of hope above her troubles. This is getting a little bit cheesy but I think I'm allowed to maudlin.
If your life is a rough bed of brambles and nails
And your spirit's a slave to man's whips and man's jails
Where you thirst and you hunger for justice and right
And your heart is the pure flame of man's constant night
In your eyes faint as the singing of a lark
That somehow this black night
Feels warmer for the spark
Warmer for the spark
To hold us 'til the day
When fear will lose it's grip
And heaven has its way
And heaven has its way
When all will harmonise
And you know what's in our hearts
The dream will realise
Heaven knows no frontiers
And I've seen heaven in your eyes
(1) Tue May 16 2006 21:55 PST The way the light rose--rose that morning:
Utah & back. Frantically cleaning, clearing, & packing house. I feel like I've missed a lot but haven't been missed... and that I'll never catch up.
(1) Mon May 22 2006 11:17 PST Like EU day, kinda:
Last night I said to Becca, "How often to you get to celebrate an important event in European history when it actually happens?"
Is this a cause for celebration?....
Mon May 22 2006 21:36 PST:
V tired & feel as though I've accomplished nothing. Tomorrow it starts all over again.
(4) Tue May 23 2006 19:35 PST Unrelated:
Now I remember why I don't like Firefox. I can't scroll down by pressing the spacebar. This is why I deleted it last time I downloaded it after I discovered tabbed browsing in Safari.
(3) Tue May 23 2006 19:38 PST Tell me no...:
Let's read the trees and their autumn leaves,
As they fall like a dress undone
At the end of summers, love will find lovers
Who need the shadows of a winter sun
Don't tell me you're leaving we can hide in the evening
It's getting darker than it should
If we read the leaves as they blow in the breeze
Would it stop us now, my love
The moon is milk and the sky where it's split
Is magic, and we all need to believe, that we can
Wake up in the dream, it's not as hard as it seems
You know its harder to leave
I heard you say underneath your breath some kind of prayer
I heard you say underneath your breath that you never
want to feel this way about anybody else
Time enough for hard questions
Time enough for all our fears
Time is tougher than we both know yet
Time enough for tears
Time enough for being braver
Time enough I love this time of year,
Time is tough, its running away from us,
Time enough for tears
(2) Wed May 24 2006 22:17 PST Alone:
Life is so sad & lonely now that I don't have an ice-cream scoop.
(2) Wed May 24 2006 22:22 PST There's always at least one idiot:
Yet if they do [practice abstinence] and they marry someone who has also abstained and they remain sexually faithful in marriage, their chance of contracting AIDS is 0 percent, and there is not even a need for a condom!James Hansee in Newsweek
(1) Thu May 25 2006 16:36 PST Question:
Is it okay to post-date a check for the billing due date but mail the check now?
Thu May 25 2006 22:29 PST Between the crosses, row on row:
They have started a poppy appeal-ish thing here in the US now, too. At least I think they have started, it may not be new but it is the first time I have encountered it. There were a bunch of cute old veterans in the grocery store handing them out and I gave them a dollar.
I certainly don't mean to criticise, but I think it makes more sense to do the poppy appeal in November, because "In Flanders Field" was what started it all, and it's for the Veterans of Foreign wars. But on the other hand, I suppose all wars might result in poppies, and they do tend to bloom in spring, war or no. Perhaps they are planning on doing it again in Novemeber. We could do worse than having more remembrance.
In Britain the poppy appeal is a matter of social conciousness. Everywhere one goes there are young city bankers in their suits wearing poppies, quite pleasing to the eye and heart. The tube posters--a young mother and her child, widowed and orphaned by the First Gulf War, standing in a field of poppies--always brought tears to my eyes, and I thought to myself, as I did earlier today in the grocery store: I'm not against the men [and women] who fight wars, but the ones who make them. Tony Blair has a poppy on every night when he appears on the news. Rubert Grint was wearing one at the Harry Potter premier.
I think if ever I were to get a tattoo, it would be a Flanders poppy. That's how much of a nerd I am.
(2) Mon May 29 2006 08:46 PST History jokes can be funny part 7:
Why don't they do re-enactments of the Hundred Years' War?
Because it would take too long.
(2) Tue May 30 2006 23:57 PST The industry needs to be changed:
Here is the problem with guidebooks. I have been puzzling and puzzling over which ones to buy for my upcoming trip. My dear friends at the bookstore gave me a nice basket of goodies when I came back to cheer me up, and in it was one on Serbia, so I am well covered in that respect. However... Eastern Europe doesn't have Greece or Turkey (explain that to me!), Europe on a shoestring has just about every country that could be remotely defined as European, but that means you have to pay about $30 and carry around 5 pounds of rainforest (nooo, lonely planet probably uses recycled paper) for four pages of information on Salonika (or whatever they call it these days). Mediterranean Europe has Greece and Turkey, but excludes Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYROM and includes Italy, France, Spain, Morroco, who needs them? Western Balkans is more detailed and reasonabley sized, but has neither Greece, Turkey, nor Bulgaria.
It seems to me that there is a very simple solution and I'm surprised no one has put it into action. All they have to do is bound each country cheaply (much easier to carry about in day packs that way) and have people pick out whichever ones they want, maybe getting them all bound together as an option. Or have them in a three-ring binder, what a concept. It could even be a supplement to their regular guide books, on a website somewhere, for people like me, who have very picky plans of where they want to go for very specific, obscure reasons... Although, really now, is it so hard to imagine wanting to visit both Croatia and Romania? Is it really such a strange concept to have a guide book encompassing all the Balkans? (Susie: "What's a Balkan?") Why just the "Western Balkans?" Is that more of the "Western bias"? (I doubt it; Romania and Bulgaria will surely join the EU long before Serbia and Bosnia will) Why not include Greece? They are part of the Balkans too, though they are loathe to admit it... Anyway, I can't imagine it being any more expensive than having to buy 3 or 4 different but over-lapping guide books.
The other thing they could do that would be a good idea is hire me.
(1) Wed May 31 2006 13:25 PST "I'm so relieved. It's like you're never officially going until you've bought your ticket, you know?":
Leave: July 13, 2006
Depart 01:58 PM San Francisco Intl.,(SFO)
Arrive 09:45 AM Frankfurt Intl.,(FRA)
Depart 09:50 PM Frankfurt Intl.,(FRA)
Arrive 11:40 PM Belgrade,(BEG)
Return: August 30, 2006
Depart 01:05 PM Belgrade,(BEG)
Arrive 02:35 PM Munich,(MUC)
Depart 03:50 PM Munich,(MUC)
Arrive 06:40 PM San Francisco Intl.,(SFO)
What I really like about the ticket is the price, especially considering two stops, where most were much more than this one ended up being, and had three stops. What I didn't like was the fact that I don't get into Belgrade till nearly midnight, because of... "a twelve hour stop in Frankfurt?" But disgust quickly melted into a pleasing vision of myself running from the airplane, jumping into a taxi and yelling "go!" and trying to cram in as very much as I can. According to the website, central Frankfurt is only 20 or 30 minutes away from the airport. So I don't mind midnight in Belgrade quite so much.
(3) Thu Jun 01 2006 10:00 PST You talk my ear off, and I'll do yours:
I wonder is other people get as bored by my topic as I am by theirs. Like, "who is this girl, and why is she so obsessed with Serbia? Who cares about Serbia? Women in Serbia in 1915 is possibly the most boring topic ever."... And only when I mention Winston Churchill and the Dardenelles campaign does anyone perk up. But I can't bring myself to care about McClellen. Not even enough to find out if that is how you spell it. I rejoice in the fact that the research methods class is over and I never have to hear about McClellen again.
On a related note, if you are tired of hearing/reading me talk about Serbia, than you might as well break off the relationship now because that is all I am going to talk about for the next...ever.
(5) Mon Jun 05 2006 20:04 PST *whine*:
Today is a month since mom died, and I would just like to point out that I am having a crappy day. Probably made even worse by the fact that I just got back from an awesome weekend. Class was fine and everything, but I'm not in the mood to make myself concentrate on schoolwork, which means that I pretty much have nothing useful to do other than polishing the handles on the kitchen cupboards and I don't want to do that either. Tomorrow is election day and I haven't figured out who I am voting for, and since I've pretty much ignored all the propaganda I don't know what I'll do. Maybe moveon.org has a voting guide for me on the website. They probably do but I haven't been reading the emails, shame.
When I went on campus today I saw a bunch of kids playing on campus--their school must be out, but their parents' school isn't, yet. It reminded me of when I was a little girl tagging along to her mommy's classes at CSUB. I lost a pound puppy out by the lake-ish thing I walked by today. Seeing the kids there brought it all back and when I got to office hours I had to leave for a minute and come back before I could talk. I really wish I were the type of person who could hide from one kind of thought with another, but right now I don't want to think at all, and I can't concentrate. PH was nice enough to invite me to eat after class, and we talked about my trip and things to do, how to avoid getting sick, and I got to play with Lily. I wonder if I ought to just pick up a book now, even if its not exactly school-related, instead of sitting here all night wondering what to do and letting the whole thing go completely to waste. I want to read Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon before I go, but I don't think I'll have time and of course I don't have it, due to the ban on buying new books till I am done reading the ones I have. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel more up to working on my paper. I have to get cracking because it needs to be done this week.
(4) Tue Jun 06 2006 10:26 PST But nothing can stop a hungry cat (and Tonks is always hungry):
I just let Tonks out and now he is crunching away at the cat food. Did I let him in without remembering it? Does he know a secret way back into the house? Am I going crazy?
(2) Tue Jun 06 2006 12:09 PST There's always something to relate to:
Instead of Rebecca West, last night I read a bit of Lauren Willig's Masque of the Black Tulip.
Men come and go, manuscripts remain constant. Or something like that.
Wed Jun 07 2006 15:03 PST Finals week:
I have never seen this many people in the CSUB library, ever.
I came because I thought I would be able to concentrate on my paper better. Who am I kidding? The internet still exists to distract me.
Also: I'm not alone! There are a pile of books on Yugoslavia on a nearby table. Someone else is interested in Yugoslavia enough to do a paper on it!
(1) Thu Jun 08 2006 17:17 PST Bah:
Final over and done with. I hope my rant against totalitarianism and how it destroyed the lives of the authors of all five books we read counts as an essay. Now for a paper-writing marathon. I'm still having trouble concentrating, so that should be fun. It's officially due on Saturday and I had high hopes... but now I can't remember when she said was the last I could turn it in. Tuesday? I only want to take one incomplete, so I am doing as ever much as I can. After this I will only have one paper, and I can get to work on finishing the article for PK. Then I can not think for two months. *Basks in the thought*
(3) Fri Jun 09 2006 11:33 PST History & other stories:
The internet hates me, but in a way it is good to have it out for most of the day as there are then less distractions, but I do feel so cut-off from the world. Still, I finished The Masque of the Black Tulip last night when I was done working, instead of doing nothing online. Sometimes I wonder if Lauren Willig isn't too clever for her own good. It rather makes it seem as though she is trying too hard which is always annoying. Still I am excited for the next book, because it looks like it will be at least partially set in Ireland, and I think the main couple will be Geoff and Jane, what do you think Susie? I always really enjoy the parts about Eloise, the history student and researcher, as I can often relate to them.
I am finding some interesting things in my research. For example, here is a little note that Christabel Pankhurst wrote to one member of the War Council in Ocotber, 1915:
"I am glad to know that you feel so strongly about Serbia. Sir Edward Grey’s crimes against Serbia has put the Empire in danger and has stained our national honour with a stain that cannot be wiped out..."
I think it might be necessary to make my own research trip if I am going to continue along this path. There are a lot of things published, which is fortunate, but there are also a lot of things that aren't. including top secret war office type-stuff, and who knows I might make some exciting discoveries. There are also some juicy tidbits at the IWM that await being used for something good... like my thesis...
Edit: Heh. The French foreign minister's name is Declassé. How... déclassé.
Fri Jun 09 2006 18:17 PST L'internet:
The internet really does hate me. I spent quite a while on the phone with an AT&T tech support guy yesterday and he made me unplug all the phones & filters but no give, and it went out again today even earlier than the last two days. They said they could send out a guy to fix it, free if it's an AT&T problem, but will cost at least $60 if it's our problem, and that seems like an awfully big risk for internet I'm using at most for another month. So I think I will just cancel it and demand to not have to pay for this month (ha!) and do without. It will be good for me...
At the very least it will mean I get out more. Now I have retreated Dagny's, seeing as the CSUB library keeps ridiculous hours even during finals week, have a shield of earphones and provisions of an italian soda, and am about to retreat again into the mysterious events that besieged the War Council in 1915. Serbia is more inter-related with the Dardanelles campaign than previously suspected. When I figure out what I think if Winston Churchill, I will let you know.
Mon Jun 12 2006 09:28 PST Ahh, the joys of procrastination:
With the internet down, as it so often is these days, what do I do when I don't want to work on my paper? Why, read Chronicle of Youth which, incidently, is for another paper.
Mon Jun 12 2006 13:11 PST War council politics is more like junior high than anything else:
One thing I have discovered while working on this paper is it is impossible to say, Lloyd George and Churchill generally agreed with one another and disagreed with Lord Grey and Asquith. There is no generally speaking. Lloyd George agreed with Asquith on this issue but disagreed with him on almost every other one, and Lloyd George and Grey wanted the same thing (sometimes) but for different reasons. Lloyd George and Churchill agreed on Serbia but disagreed on the proper way for doing it. Six months later they all changed their minds, and came home & wrote in their diaries mean things about the person they were supposedly "closest" too. And this is all within the context of one tiny issue of policy. Well perhaps not tiny... All in all I am glad I have not chosen to make political history my main field. What I am wanting is a well-done history a la Macmillan's Paris 1919. All the ones that exsist are too specific on the wrong topics for me.
Tue Jun 13 2006 08:57 PST Typo:
"Serbian Relief Fun" should be "Serbian Relief Fund."
Tue Jun 13 2006 11:41 PST Small rant:
I wish I could use < block quote> in MS word. It's impossible to get to formatting right.
(2) Wed Jun 14 2006 11:14 PST x-me:
I finally got fed up with the internet and called to cancel. They are stopping billing today and disconnecting it Friday. Of course now it is working again but for how long? I decided I could live without it to save $50. It will be good for me. In other news I finished my paper and now I'm sick of the word diplomacy. I went to see X-men in celebration with friends & it seemed the like the word "diplomacy" is thrown about like... a thrown-about thingie. That movie has seriously the BEST dialogue ever. I have never seen any X-men movies nor do I know anything about it except that Ronnie was the blue guy (the diplomat!) for halloween last year. So I sat next to Chris and asked questions/make snarky comments the whole time, and we got yelled at by our neighbors who were clearly trying to enjoy a good quaility film. Trying very hard. I must have missed Chris, who was gone for like a month in Europe, because I didn't mind the puns so much. I don't mean to be too overly hard on X-men, I was actually much more entertained than I thought I would be. I was considering just coming home to read but I am glad I went to the movie.
Today I am going to a wedding. It makes me feel so old to be going to my friends' wedding.
(3) Fri Jun 16 2006 13:56 PST Spam:
I love the emails like this:
No more excuses, today is the day you get that degree
I am now officially internetless at the house, so I will have to rely on Dagny's and the library and kind friends. Considering my permit expires today (I came to return all my books) it will probably be more of the first and third.
Thanks to a friend of a friend of dear Jessica, I now have a contact at the Belgrade embassy, probably someone to put me up in Sarajevo, and potential travel buddies to Dubrovnik. This is so awesome! Now I have done a fair bit of relaxing and fun times since I finished the one paper (friendies from the bookstore's wedding, street fair, hanging out, etc etc) I need to buckle down and get started on the next two projects I have to finish before I go.
Mon Jun 19 2006 17:19 PST Internet Cafe:
Procuring internet is more difficult than expected. I am at the Spotlight cafe now because the Dagny's internet wasn't working. At least I can be grateful that I live closer to downtown than school so I can spend my $1.50 internet fee on an Italian soda or brownie instead of parking. I think this place is technically closed but there are theatre people about and I still feel reasonabley at home here so I am staying for the time being, though I am feeling so tired... And some of my emails require thought to be answered, so now that they are downloaded I can answer them at home & send them tomorrow. Or sometime. Perhaps it is good training for when I will have sporadic internet on my travels. Something like three weeks till I leave, and still so much to do--yikes! I spent much of today reading Vera Brittain's war diary, which is somewhat depressing. This rambling should stop now...
Sun Jun 25 2006 17:10 PST Still alive:
I only get internet at intermitent moments & never seem to do anything productive with it. Lots of fun last few days. Much-anticipated Fiona Apple concert plus some unexpected things. Bought a backpack. Less than three weeks before I leave! Lots of work to do but we are getting there.
Wed Jun 28 2006 12:06 PST Bah:
I wish I'd have known about this when I booked my flight: http://www.exitfest.org/
(4) Mon Jul 03 2006 19:42 PST Why are you going THERE?:
While it might be good for me to be getting used to only having sporadic internet, I hope I get better at making posts in the short time I *do* have, if for no other reason than for the sake of those who might be worried about me. Though my family members & close friends behaved reasonabley enough (I think they are used to me & may have been expecting this trip for a time) I am getting used to friends & acquaintances' negative reaction when I tell them where I'm going. "WHY?" "Oh my GOD, be careful!" Although, they do seem placated when I tell them it's actually quite safe to travel in the Balkans, so long as one doesn't go to Kosovo, the only region that is relatively dangerous. (Secret: I am actually planning on going to Kosovo.) A surprising number of people, when I say I am going to Serbia to learn the language, ask which language is it, exactly, that I am going to learn. I've started to tell people, "Europe," first, then Serbia & vicinity when & if they ask for more specifics. This usually produces a better reaction. Maybe people have difficulty remembering that the Balkans actually are part of Europe.
(1) Tue Jul 04 2006 18:31 PST poke:
I finally figured out that one of the emails sent by the Serbian workshop includes a list of student's names and nationalities. There are 40 althogether, and 4 Americans including myself, but they all have Serbian last names. One guy from New Zealand, and the rest are from places like France, Czech Republic, and Romania. I guess I'll know tons of people from all over Europe now, but I'll really have to learn Serbian if I want to talk to any of them. I wonder if there will be many beginers like me.
I sent an email (in English) to a Belgrade hotel asking for a reservation & if they could pick me up at the airport since my flight doesn't get in till 11:40 & the guide books warn against the airport taxis, but this was their response:
WE CONFIRME YOUR RESERVATION.
MENAGER: NELU MADJINCA
Thu Jul 06 2006 18:01 PST:
I am reading Rebecca West's Black Lamb & Grey Falcon (thanks to Alyson). It is really a great book, and well written. I love reading it because I feel like it's filling in a whole (just one of many) in my knowledge of Yugoslav history. I really wish I'd started reading it earlier, or that I could do nothing but read it for the next week to finish it before I go, or that I was feeling braver about the possiblity of taking a huge, hevay book with me so I could read it while I am there. Oh well.
(1) Mon Jul 10 2006 11:47 PST:
I have often driven from LA to Bakersfield on the 5, and as I pass through the mountains, tried to imagine if that is anything like what Serbia looks like. Everytime I think about my trip I get really excited for about 2 seconds, and then very stressed out about how I will ever get everything done. Before Wednesday.
(1) Thu Jul 13 2006 11:23 PST Last boarding call:
Leaving soon from Uncle Leonard's house. There is hope that Tonks will settle in nicely here, & Denise is the hero of the hour.
(7) Fri Jul 14 2006 04:48 PST Hello from Frankfurt:
Sitting in an internet cafe because I was smart enough to not print out the address of my Belgrade hotel. I am doing pretty well despite the lack of sleep, my sytem is all messed up from sleeping 2 hours Tuesday, 11 hours Wednesday, and it´s Thursday & I slept prob about to hours on the plane. I learned itäs always important to read the fine print because the Luftansa flight I was bragging about actually turned out to be operated by united. Bleah. I was seated in the back of the plane next to the little girls that the stewardesses had to keep on eye on and they had to play patty cake the whole time, double bleah. But I made friends with my seat mates--on one side a nice russian lady (I showed her my letter and she asked if I was going to Kiev) who made sure I woke up in time for breakfast (why did I onlz fall asleep at the END of the fllight?) and on the other side a guy who works for Levi and his wife. We chatted a good deal of the way about comon interests--travelling and history of gender and public health. V fun. They were headed to Brussels and thinking of relocating there. I had to wait in a super long queue to get my boarding pass for Belgrade ebcause for some reason they didnät give any of the connecting flighters their boarding passes in SFO. Triple bleah. But now I am all set. Once outside I stood looking like a dumb lost American tourist in from of the ticket machine until I was befriend by a nice Indian banker who helped me buy my tickets, escorted me to Frankfurt, and took me to lunch in a yummy rainbow cafe thai place. Now I am off to go look at some pretty art if I can find it. Sorry for the typos, this keyboard is weird.
(2) Mon Jul 17 2006 05:54 PST Short update from Valjevo:
It looks like I will not have as easz access to the internet as I had hoped, so please don,t be worried if i disappear from online for dazs at a time. There are lots of eye candy european boys for me to look at here which is nice. I like Serbia a lot and my host family is the best. i am certainly not going to go hungry and will porbably gain about ten pounds by the time i leave valjevo. i need to run back to my home now because i am starving and need a nap. i wish i had time to write about more of my adventures.
Fri Jul 21 2006 08:17 PST There is no internet in Serbia:
I have finally had enough gumption to come to the internet here at school to say that I am not really planning on making use of it anymore. It is far too much of a pain and not really worth it since it is so slow and avaiable only four hours a day. It's disappointing because I hoped to be able to update more often about my adventures but I will have to revert to more quaint means of communication. So please don't be worried if I seemingly drop from the face of the earth. I am having a great time here in valjevo and will tell all about it when I get home. Ciao.
Tue Jul 25 2006 07:21 PST:
Rachel called me this morning. Her phone card lasted about a minute and a half, half of which she spent asking why I wasn't up at 6 AM. She says she is having a great time, it feels like it's been a month, and she misses my voice and loves me, so I'm passing that on to everyone else.
Also, I got this email from her a few days ago:
i made friends with a swiss guy who is taking a van to albania via montengro and macedonia. i'm going to go with him, plus some other cool people, a danish guy and a new zealnder. lots of nice people.
Have fun, Rach! - Susie
Wed Jul 26 2006 06:01 PST Valjevo part iii:
Suddenly everything is in French. Thanks to Susie for updating what I was planning on writing here, now that I have a few seconds while we wait for the rest of our group to go to the pool. Serbian is a hard language to learn buit mostly Iam having fun. I know it is probably not quite as hot in valjevo as it iis in Bkaersfield, but do think of me, without airconditioning. Ciao.
Fri Aug 04 2006 02:00 PST VALJEVO FINAL PART:
Today I am off on my grand adventure to montenegro and other parts. The theory of class this morning imploded (everyone is too tired from the last night celebration I think) so I am on the internet, but I didn't go to class anyway, or get to sleep in, because I was dragged out of bed by my host family who demanded I pack at once so they could clean the room. It wasn't a huge deal because I had mostly packed yesterday anyway but I am sosososo tired and I wanted to sleep. They really don't sleep here in Serbia. Even the mother, who is probably in her 60s, goes to bed at 2, and they wake up at 5! yow. Anyway I guess they are rather sick of us and I am glad we are leaving today, not tomorrow as was the original plan, because otherwise I would probably be sleeping in Jean Louis' van.
I don't really think I have learned very much Serbian here. Of course I have exponentially increased my knowledge of the Serbian language since I've been here, but that is really not saying much. I don't think the classes were that well organised, and also my brain became quite fried by the end of the second week, as I haven't had a proper thinking vacation in a while, so I haven't been able to take as full advantage of the intensitivity as maybe otherwise... but still I think I will be able to pick up a good book in Belgrade and continue my studies on my own much more sucessfully than had I not come, and anyway that was never my only reason.
I have certainly learned a lot about the culture, etc. Thing sare so so different here and it seems like the surface, most obvious, is only the smallest beginning.
I have met so many cool people from different parts and that is a real asset for aspiring vagabonds such as myself. I am actually really looking forward to picking up French again when school starts, because I would like to be fluent in *some* foreign language and anyway I am closer in French than in Serbia. Vera, my roommate, said that the first foreign language you learn is the most difficult, and after that it gets easier because you know how to do it. I hope that she's right. But I really have to say that at times these past three weeks I was tempted to say, maybe I won't get a Phd in History, so I don't have to learn Serbian. But I am sure some prospective and things won't seem so bad. And everyonce in a while I get stuck by pangs. For instance I was at the host family of one of my friends, and I told the mother I am studying the first world war, and she went off about how her grandfather had fought in the army, retreating across Albania, to Corfu, than Macedonian, and back to Austrian again. How I wished I was fluent in Serbian so I could have asked here in greater detail about her grandfather's experiences! The best I can do is promise myself I will come back.
In the meantime I would like to paraphrase some letter of Dr Inglis, and say that, "someday we'll have loads to tell you", and I am off.
Tue Aug 08 2006 07:08 PST Rachel Says:
They don't call it montenegro for nothing: ciao, i am safe in budva, but someone is waiting for the internet so i must go. much love to all
Wed Aug 09 2006 08:45 PST Budva:
I'm so glad that you are all considerate enough to not want to flood my inbox with comments while I have limited internet access, but really, you needn't worry. I have gmail.
I am in Budva at the moment as Susie reports. I left Valjevo last Friday with an international crew, and we were all quite relieved to see the back of it, although Valjevo's one redeeming factor is that you can make anything into which your car fits into a parking space. We stayed the night in Zlatibor, a Serbian ski resort which is quite happening out of season as well, and our Norweigen friend's boyfriend was there on a medical conference so she left us there. We continued on to the newest inedpendent republic, though some amazing scenery and mountains (hence the title of the below email). We kept passing places where I would ask, "Did this used to be called something else?" because I have read about so many of these places. We drove over a very small part of Lake Scutari, now called Skadar or something, amd through Podgorica, and it feels really weird to be making a holiday where so many tragic things happened, people dropping dead on the side of the road, but everyone else seems to have forgotten. I am re-reading Two Vagabonds in Serbia and Monetengro, which was orginally published as The Luck of Thirteen, to remind myself. It certainly keeps things interesting. I am having a really great time in Budva, bascially doing a whole lot of nothing--beach sitting etc. Yesterday we rented a pedaline and boated around the former fishing now resort island of sveti stephan. The weather has been hit and miss but generally pretty nice. I think I will probably be heading to Albania later this week, but I'm not sure about after that. I am trying to keep things flexible because right now I am with some cool people and I want to keep that going as much as I can.
Ciao, ciao. I wish it were easier to call the states because I miss you guys (some of you =p)
(1) Thu Aug 10 2006 09:43 PST Travel plans:
I'm leaving Budva for Albania tomorrow. I will stay in Tirane for a day or possibley two, then head south to the nice beaches on the Ionian (?) coast. From there is a short skip & jump to Corfu, and I'll probably spent a week or so in Greece before heading to Salonika and from there north back to Belgrade. My original plan was to get to Salonika via Macedonia, but hey, things happen.
Today we took a day trip to Centinje but unfortunatley for Centinje it was pouring the whole time. It might have been a nice time. It's kind of depressing to be on a beach resort when it's raining, especially in this internet cafe which, like the one in Novi Sad, doubles as a gaming salon, only with louder games. So I'll be a little glad to see the back of Budva and Monetenegro and hopefully heading somewhere that isn't as touristy--Albania, which might almost be like pioneer tourism, and then when I am sick of that, head straight back into "package tour heaven," as lonely planet calls Corfu. The historian in me comes out all the time. Cetinje was the royal capital, and I pictured Jan and COra Gordon travelling there nearly a hundred years ago. It's not to difficult as I don't think much has changed. I've been faithfully documenting things that strick me as particularly poignant. They don't have many billboards, here, for instance, instead simply spray-painting their advertisments on rocks or buildings or the back of street signs. Everywhere you see "Da," or "HE" (Cyrillic for "ne") in reference to the recent reforendum. What does slabodan--freedom--bring Montengro? Certainly not a respite from Serbian tourists, at least not here in Budva.
Sat Aug 12 2006 07:35 PST Wet paint in Tirana:
Now I am here in Albania. I have to admit to being plesantly surprised at how nice Tirana is, although maybe that has something to do with low expectations to begin with. Actually I am not sure if nice is the right word, but anyway I am enjoying myself. There's a strange feeling about this city, as though it is being built, and all in a hurry. Last night we ran into some friends (not my personal friends, obviously) and chatted with them on the street for a while when we realised the blue line we were standing one had been freshly painted. Everything is under construction. Driving into Tirana was like driving onto a huge construction site. We think it has something to do with the mafia. There is a sarcastic tourist slogan that goes, "Come to Albania, your car is here already." Something like 70% of the cars we see on the street are Mercedes. There seems to be no rules for the road. You just go where there is a potential opening and hope no one hits you; walking is much the same.
As soon as we got to Tirana we met up with one on Jean-Louis' friend from the assosciation for handicapped Albanian children (for which the van was brought). Okay, so not quite as soon as--in Albanian time a hour means three and a minute means ten. We are staying with him for the time being which is very nice, he is showing us around the town. At the second I am out doing touristy stuff but all of the museums are closed for seista until 5, so we're having an internet break.
It is a great relief to have my banking problem sorted. It took Wells Fargo about a week of withdrawls in Germany and Serbia to figure out I was doing unauthorized foriegn activity (I forgot to tell them I was leaving, I guess) by which time I had paid for my course and taken enough dinars to last the three weeks, so I didn't realise my card didn't work until I got to Monetenegro. I send them a desperate message online and they were nice enough to remove the hold without talking to me in person, since the way the phones work here there is no real way for me to call them. All the cards last about 1 minute.
Tomorrow I think I am going to the south of Albania, which doesn't seem like very promising land for internet use. As always, don't worry if I seem to disappear from the face of the planet.
(2) Sat Aug 12 2006 07:47 PST I miss:
kitty, flammin hot cheetos, real cheese, inn-n-out, lettuce, air conditioning, my bed.
Mon Aug 14 2006 06:31 PST Vlora:
My international travel group has slowly splintered, so now it is just me and my friend Daniel, from New Zealand. We had thought we didnàt learn anything in the two weeks in Valjevo, but discovered upon reaching Albania how difficult it is to get by without even being able to say the words for §hello§ and §thanks.§ Sorry this keyboard is weird. I canàt be bothered to figure it out. We spent a relaxing day here on the beach and then walking around with our backpacks in search of pizza. Now weùre going to try and work our way down the coast to Corfu. Itàs very nice here and feels undiscovered, except by local tourists.
I do find it a bit funny that I am using the internet more now that Iàve left the place that promised °internet access.°
Thu Aug 17 2006 04:55 PST Quick update from Saranda:
Safe, happy, and on my way to Corfu.
Fri Aug 18 2006 05:32 PST "Package tour heaven":
I am totally not sold on this Corfu place. Tomorrow we are leaving for Salonika if all goes as planned.
Sun Aug 20 2006 07:22 PST The Greeks call it Macedonia, too:
I am finally in the city of my dreams, Thessaloniki, as they say now. It's actually very nice, except for the heat, and that fact that nothing is open, since unfortunatley it's Sunday. We even had to try several internet cafes before finding one that wasn't shut.
We arrived 3:30 this morning and spent an hour wandering around looking for Salonika's cheapest hotel, but finally settled on a more expensive but findable one. So far there hasn't been much to do but wander around and look at the shut shops, but those seem very nice, and I have caught glimpses of the port, which I imagine to be full of transport and hospital ships, and the White Tower, where I imagine the likes of Olive King and Elsie Corbett dining in their SWH uniforms.
I am afraid I judged Corfu a little too harshly in my last entry. It is actually a very nice place, if overly touristy. I think the most unfortunate choice was to stay as this hostel-resort place instead of in town. Sunrock is rather in the middle of nowhere and there is not much to do other than go to the beach, and I am at this point pretty much beached out. They don't even rent bikes (with the mountains this is rather understandable) or peddle-boats. I really wish I knew how to drive a scooter so I could have seen more of the island, which looked quite nice according to what I saw of it. The real fault of the place was the owner family, who were unhelpful and bordering on rude. We managed to escape and go to Corfu town for a day, and I liked what I saw very much there. At a restaurant I ordered grilled prawns as a treat for myself and was horrified when they brought out the prawns, unshelled, head & all... I had to decapiate them myself. At some points I really feel like a spoiled, uncultured American, and a very girly one at that--espcially when it comes to using "Turkish" toilets. Anyway, I think it definitley would have been better to stay in town and rent a car to see the rest of the island. It's unfortunate that you need a car to see most of these Greek islands, but oh well. I'm more of a town girl anyway, and now I am in a real town. We made the best of the beach anyway and went with some others to a "nudist" beach--it wasn't very lively, there was only one naked guy there and some others clad in bathing suits--to do mud baths. Underneath the sand was this mud stuff perfect for masks. Quite fun. Our bus left Corfu at 7 pm and as I mentioned, arrived in Corfu at 3:30. Actually it was either an hour late or the time changed again. Or I never changed my watch in the first place. I think it was 4:30 when we got in. But you have to think there is a more convienvent time to make an 8 hour journey. The other bus leaves Corfu at 6 and arrives at 4. They are always full-up (we had to sit in the very back and we bought our tickets a day in advance) so you would think they would offer more, but apparently the buses in Greece are state-controlled prices so maybe there is no motivation for competetive things like convienent times. I was afraid I would get sick but I took drammamine and sleep fitfully most of the time & survived. I hope next journey I take will be by train, though, I am kinda fed up with these buses. At least nothing could be worse than Albania.
I am really quite happy just to be here, and I don't know how long I'll sat or where I'll go next, but probably Macedonia. I'm not ready to go home yet but hopefully I'll feel differently in 10 days. We'll see.
Sun Aug 20 2006 07:41 PST PS (Addiction):
They have CHEETOS in Greece. But they aren't flammin hot.
Sun Aug 20 2006 09:07 PST Illusions, Michael:
"The final countdown" just came on in the internet cafe. Cheers.
(4) Wed Aug 23 2006 13:42 PST From FYROM:
In Skopje at the moment, which is much nicer than I expected it to be. I had some decent Indian food today. Back to Belgrade on Saturday and my flight leaves on Wednesday. I am actually starting to have moments where I think I might get on it, so that is a good sign.
Sat Aug 26 2006 08:18 PST Brushing my teeth from the window of a train:
Came to Belgrade via an overnight which arrived at 11 am, tho I think it was supposed to arrive 6 or 8. Now I am staying at a hostel called "Monster" which convinently has free internet. I'm pretty tired tho.
Uh-oh. Apparantly there is a sickness going round the hostel. Well I suppose if there is a time to get sick on my trip, now is it (actually about 3 days from now would be best).
(3) Mon Aug 28 2006 05:49 PST What kind of a person steals another's juice?:
It's rainy and gloomy and my food in the hostel keeps disappearing. Belgrade seemed to have lost its charm, but things are looking up, as they are wont to do after a cup of tea. I have found the perfect bag! Sadly it is only perfect except for the color--brown. I have until tomorrow to decide if I can abide by a brown-colored bag.
(1) Tue Aug 29 2006 15:19 PST "Thinking I had everything we'd need":
Tomorrow I am leaving Europe. All that remains is a shower and a sleep, packing, and changing enough money to get me to the airport (it's funny how fast that stuff goes away, even here, in the land of the cheap), and dragging allll my stuff, which is significantly heavier after today than before. I had quite a lot of luck with presents and with book shopping: bought several books for studying Serbian, a dictionary, and some great books on history, about which I am very excited.
I am having so much fun travelling that I don't want to leave, but it helps to think about a cozy bed and cozy pjs and a cozy kitten, with freshly washed clothes that have been DRIED in a DRYER (this invention seems not to have made it to Eastern Europe yet) and a tummy full of Inn-N-Out and Flammin' Hot Cheetos. I just try not to think about how much, when I've had my fix, I'll want to be back right back where I am now.
(4) Wed Aug 30 2006 20:42 PST "These dreams took me so far":
I am back safe at Leonard and Jeff's, sharing my Turkish delight from the bazaar in Skopje with Jeff. It's sooo nice to be back in American, the land of freeways and cheetos, or, as Georgia Nicholson calls it, "Hamburger-a-go-go land." Tonks remembers who I am, I think, and it's nice to be back on Dave again, downloading my 200 emails and uploading my 800 pictures.
(1) Fri Sep 01 2006 00:22 PST Thanks a lot, jet lag:
I did the worst thing you can possibley do and laid down for a little nap at 5... and just woke up. I can only hope I'm still tired enough to sleep through the night.
(1) Fri Sep 01 2006 23:56 PST sooooo Tired:
I have done nothing but sleep for the last 2 days. I slept all day today, then met Gabe for dinner, and now I am so tired I'm going to sleep again. Somehow I don't think this is normal jet lag--aren't you supposed to be awake sometime? Maybe I am just worn out.
Rufus keeps trying to drink from my water glass. I don't know why because he has a glass of the exact same water (yes, he drinks from a glass) downstairs. Last night in the middle of the night (or was it the middle of the day?) he knocked it down & spilled water everywhere... including my computer... but it only got a little wet and I wiped it off right away so I think it's ok. New battery!
Sat Sep 02 2006 09:07 PST Clumsy:
When Rufus isn't knocking over the glass of water, I am. Maybe it's time to buy some bottles? (or sippy cups?)
Sat Sep 02 2006 14:50 PST Grr:
Trying to upload my pictures and getting very frustrated with Yahoo photos. Technology in general in not cooperating with me right now so maybe I'll just turn off the computer and read.
Sun Sep 03 2006 23:38 PST Blah blah blah:
Apparently cheetos and chocolate digestives don't make the best dinner.
All this fussing about photos makes me wish I could afford to get all my APS negatives digitized.
Slowly I'm getting back on my feet. Actually ordered some books I need for the paper I'm
supposed to be writing these two weeks.
I think Rufus is sick.
And other thoughts. That I don't remember at the moment.
(3) Mon Sep 04 2006 20:41 PST Futurama:
Spent this evening researching for phd programs by looking at staff research interests at various universities. I really want somewhere with someone good in gender, first world war, AND south-east europe (britain is a given, I think) but it looks like I'll only be able to get that in places like oxford, cambridge... maybe birkbeck. yale. I guess the whole thing with picking a topic no one's doing is that no one's doing it. A lot of the schools I looked at had one or two but not all three. I guess I'll just have to decide which is most important. I have to do all this early on because the application deadlines are soon for scholarships. The only real ones are the big name really competetive ones like Marshall & Fullbright. But, like everything else, someone has to get it, so why not me? After all, I'm doing a very original topic.
(1) Tue Sep 05 2006 05:54 PST Awake at 4:40 :
With all kinds of thoughts running through my head. The one that finally made me turn on my laptop was that I could make a chart comparing all the schools I might apply to. But then I remembered that I don't have word on this computer. Maybe I'll try to go back to sleep. It's amazing how fast one's life can go from really exciting to really boring.
(3) Wed Sep 06 2006 14:29 PST More findings:
The University of Liverpool has a surprising number of good & relevant historians: David Dutton & some others I've never heard of till now, AND an archivist program. Is Mark Mazower at Birkbeck or Columbia? He has staff pages at both, but the Columbia one is updated with more recent publications, and the link to his at Birkbeck isn't on the staff page, so... Shame. The combination of him and Joanna Bourke would sell any school to me, and BIRKBECK. I think Margaret Higonnet is retired, otherwise Conneticut would be even more tempting, but still, Janet Watson, AND she's the grad coordinator. But I reaaallly want to go to the UK. And my observation still stands that if I want someone good in all three fields, I'll have to go to a big name school, Liverpool being the exception. Maybe that can be my backup. It would be even better to find a univerisity that offers serbian language courses. I'm still hunting, and I've discovered google spreadsheets. the real drawback is you can't add to a box, you have to type over what you've already put in it. And while I'm complaining, why isn't there a slot in Librarything to put how much you've paid for a book? Some of us like to keep track of that kind of thing. AND I wish this new yahoo photos would come to my account already. It's supposed to be good and I'm worried it will suddenly arrive and have some new solution for something I just spent the whole previous day doing the hard way. I'm working on an abridged album for my trip.
Thu Sep 07 2006 20:45 PST Bookoverload:
In a fit of productivity I discovered that the Times Literary Supplement on which I had banked so much of my paper is available at the SF public library, so that's where I went today. I took the MUNI because, hey, it's fun, and $3 is less than I would have paid for parking. Books! Everywhere! Books and more books... that I would actually want to read. Books for the taking, for free. That's the kind of library that makes the theory of libraries actually work, unlike some *coughcsubcough*. Most libraries have shelves with books and some empty spaces. Not this one. There were book carts on the edge of every row where they put the books they don't have room to cram on the shelves. Actually, it was a bit disorganized and made the ocd bookshelver in me tick a little, btu mostly I gazed in wonder and killed lots of time wander aimlessly through travel and history.
The TLS let me down a little bit, but I did find a few useful things (it's not an academic library, after all). However, I wasn't able to check any of them (here is where the libraryness theory breaks down) because technically you are supposed to be a resident of San Francisco to be a member, and techically, I'm not. I do think I have a paper that will do the trick, but I didn't have it with me, so I had to leave all the lovelies behind. I was even going to check out the Testament of Youth videos to watch, for kicks. I'll have to go back. Espcially since the copy machines weren't working so I didn't copy some of the reviews. But still, there was free internet, and it was great for people watching. Lots of homeless people. It seems to be trendy amoung homeless people in SF to have backpacks instead of shopping carts.
I bought some small consolation presents at the Friends of the library bookstore, and took myself out to a sushi restaurant I found on citysearch.com, since I've been craving sushi since about Greece, and now I'm happy as a clam, or perhaps a spicy tuna. I noticed a Mediterranean restaurant, also, so maybe I will go when I go back, and see if I can get the falafel I unsucessfully hunted for all over the Aegean.
Sat Sep 09 2006 18:02 PST Long way home:
I'm in the blah stage of reverse culture-shock, the one that sucks so much, because everything seems like it would be better if I was back where I just came from. The fact that I knew this would happen--once I washed all my clothes and had a few good soaks and my fix of American food and sleep in a real bed--doesn't make it any easier. Nothing tastes right. Even my preciousss cheetos seemed a bit off when I first had them (and I can't seem to find the Chester fries I was so addicted to before I left anywhere! Woe!) Good roads have lost their novelty. The Safeway that seemed glorious and overwhelming a week ago now lacks charm and character. Why do you need 30 different kinds of mustard, and aisles wide enough to walk down without knocking something over, anyway? And the tomatoes... no way can go from eating Serbian tomatoes to eating Safeway tomatoes without a hitch. It just can't be done. You might as well not eat a tomato at all. And everything here is so expensive Everything's relative of course, but now my relativity is a bit skewed.
(1) Sun Sep 10 2006 15:50 PST Pictures!:
For those who care to see them, pictures of my recent trip can be viewed here. I made an abridged photo album of 300 pictures (all that fits into one yahoo!photos album) and it was really hard to narrow it down to just the best ones. I took over 3 times that many pictures myself, which is not to mention all the pictures taken by others. And I even made sure they were in the right order and added titles to all of them and descriptions to most. *whew* I just did a slideshow view and it took 23 minutes... but considering it took me two months to take all of them, well... Anyway, if you're interested.
Sun Sep 10 2006 16:37 PST Lust (of the wandering kind):
Man, I can't WAIT to go travelling again. I was just looking at my countries visited map (which I can't get to show up right here for some reason) and thinking of all the places I've yet to go, that I'm so longing to, and my new backpack has only been used once, longs to be used again, plus I have been thinking and thinking and THINKING about packing and really want to go on a long trip & really get it right, to live on bare essentials and be free as the wind, and take trains everywhere and taste that travel air, there's really nothing like it. *sigh*
The optimistic me says if I get a good scholarship I'll be able to spent the few months between finishing my MA and starting my Phd bopping about Eastern Europe. If not, well... we'll see I guess.
Mon Sep 11 2006 20:52 PST Some thoughts on the day:
For a lot of people, September 11 is a tragedy in a very personal way. For me, it's not. It may seem crass or insenstive or may get me put on some kind of watch-list, for in most ways it's just another day. I'd say it didn't have any real effect on me but that's probably not true, it's just not so easy to see. I was 18 in 2001, and those are big years. I think it's hugely significant that I became politically aware in an atmosphere that was so shaped by the aftermath of 9/11. I don't know anyone who was affected by it personally but it was a really tragedy. I've become a secondhand witness to so many tragedies that maybe in some way I'm just saving my emotional capital to spend on something that most people don't bother to remember. Or maybe I'm just jaded with all the politicians--and I do mean ALL the politicians--using it as a tool.
Judge me if you will. I'm not especially proud of this--maybe I wish I felt more emotionally about this day. (I know it's something I'm capable of. Every time the 5th rolls around I find myself counting up to it, then counting back. How many months, it feels like forever, and no time at all, all at once.) But honestly this is what I am feeling, and thinking, today, and though I decided a dozen times over not to share it, now I am, for whatever reason.
(2) Tue Sep 12 2006 16:50 PST Academic woes:
I am pretty much ready to be settled in where-ever I am going to settle and start the school year.
I'm beginning to worry that not only will the books I ordered not arrive in time for me to finish my paper here, they won't arrive before I have to leave. I absolutely can't go on without Janet Watson, and I seem to have very cleverly NOT BROUGHT all my other secondary sources. I thought they were in a file in my suitcase but they are not. It's not a huge deal but I had hoped to have this paper done before I started worrying about other ones, added to the huge mess I am going back to since the house did not, as I had hoped, sell while I was gone, nor was it even put on the market, added to the fact that I am missing two classes already since school technically starts today... why did I get so grumpy all of a sudden?
(1) Wed Sep 13 2006 11:53 PST The New Age of Packing:
Seeking advice and maybe giving some.
Here is an article that mentions LUSH shampoo bars (found in LUSH cosemtics) which reminds me of a topic that I and I know plenty of others have given a lot of consideration over the past few weeks. I know a lot of people who are confirmed carry-oners. I am not. For a number of reasons, the most obvious of which is that often I'm going places for a length of time that requires an amount of stuff not permitted for carry-on. With my newly re-affirmed vow of packing as lightly as ever possible, I have been puzzling over this, but the fact remains that I'll never be carrying on a bag on a long trip to, say, Europe, because I am too dependant on my swiss-army knife and probably dozens of other things that are banned for carry-ons, but I won't think of them till I am in the middle of packing. So there is that.
But for shorter trips, say 2 weeks, espcially within the US, I doo like to carry-on, and with the new rules that seems hopeless. I have puzzled and puzzled and everytime I come up with a new solution (usually involving LUSH) I think of something else.
Sumana has mentioned tooth powder to replace toothpaste, which seems reasonable and I'll have to check it out even if I do end up checking. As I'm afraid I will.
Long have a been an advocate of solid shampoo for travel and ordinary usage.
- LUSH also has solid conditioner. Which can also be used as shaving cream. And a leave-in/ styling cream.
- Massage bars can be used as lotion.
- Those facial cleansing wipes can be used as facewash AND body wash plus you save room not having to carry around pouffy sponge, but soap was never really a problem to replace since it's so easy to get nice ones in bar form. I guess that's more a hint for people who are into multi-tasking their toiletries like I am. (Shampoo bars also make great body-wash and, as the website points out, laundry soap. I washed my clothes with Godiva for 6 weeks). Of course, I'm a little weary of the quality of the cleanser in those facial wipes, I'm afraid it might make me break out, but since I can't seem to tell what makes me break out these days, my skin just breaks out whenever it wants, I can't see how using this for a week or so will make too much of a difference. And there's always the TimeWise cleansing bar.
- But here is where the puzzle breaks down. I'm very picky about my moisturizer and what gets put on my face, any old lotion won't do, and it should have sunscreen in it, and it certainly doesn't come in solid form. I'm not putting massage bar on my face. I suppose I could just buy some when I get where I'm going (this is the fall-back solution but it would be unwise, I think, to spend $30 on all new toiletries that you wouldn't be able to take back with you, just so you don't have to check you bag. But maybe one or two items) but that would mean satisfying myself with a drugstore moisturizer, not likely. I'm sure the powers that be are busily working out a solution to this in their labs. I hope. If I already exsists I certainly don't know about it.
- Then there's makeup. I can live without foundation, and it comes in solid form anyway. Lip balm is allowed, thank goodness, so I assume lipstick is too, but maybe not lipgloss. What about mascara? Perfume I can also do without, and there's always LUSH's temple balms.
- I also like to take Febreeze on a trip but I suppose that's out.
- I wonder if towelettes are allowed. I mean, you can squeeze them and drops of liquid come out.
The list just grows and so does the headache.
(6) Wed Sep 13 2006 15:30 PST Vote:
What should I be for Halloween? Ginny is out, I was her last time (and the time before), so I was thinking VAD or ambulance driver... ambulance driver would be easier but VAD could be cuter. Or I could be something that didn't make me look like a total nerd for once. Thoughts? Suggestions?
Wed Sep 13 2006 21:38 PST Phil Angelides is my choice for Governor:
Says an email from Wes Clark. Mine, too. His name was on the student loan check that arrived in the mail today. (Not that that has anything to do with anything, and not that I'm going to use it for anything but paying off the interest on my other student loans before it compounds.)
(1) Fri Sep 15 2006 11:49 PST Room to make big mistakes:
Last night I met up with Kristi, whom I have not seen in two years. We went to a greek restaurant, Mezes, and had a delcious dinner, then met up with some of her friends and a trendy apartment. Not surprisingly the theme for the night's conversation was travel; we swapped stories from our most recent trips (she was in Latvia and Prague while I was in Serbia. We briefly considered meeting up but apparantly Eastern Europe is actually bigger than it looks on the map). Some of her friends had just gotten back from a trip to Turkey, and her roommate from a "Bar" trip (which is something I suppose like an "LSAT or MCAT trip"... or perhaps an MA thesis trip???) around Europe.
The merits and demerits of travelling alone were discussed. They seemed to have been travelling in big groups, a method of which I am skeptical. I think best is with one other person, but with the trials of the road, incompatibilities, etc it would be difficult to get on with any one person for any length of time. I suppose my experiences of actually travelling alone are slightly limited. They all agreed that the worse part is you start to get paranoid, which I definitley agree with, and that the worst is when you're alone on an overnight train. Which I haven't experienced personally. Although I have set off on many a long trip on my own, I always end up meeting people whose own agendas coincide with mine, which I think is a lot more likely to happen on the road than at home. Even in my last days at the hostel in Belgrade there were several people passing through that I could have tacked onto had I been going on. And it's so nice knowing you can do whatever you feel like doing, and that if you get sick of whoever you're with you can always ditch them with no hard feelings, which you can't very well do if it's someone you planned your trip with.
But I think I'm just looking at it from a different angle. It's tons of barrels of fun to go with your friends on little week or two trips wherever, but I am thinking about these long cross-continent trips that last months. Two very different things. Also I just watched Cabaret, I don't know how that is affecting my thinking.
Mon Sep 18 2006 13:51 PST $203:
for French books. That is all.
(1) Tue Sep 19 2006 13:42 PST I never thought:
I'd be one of those girls who carries a purse AND a backpack. But now it seems I am. I'm taking two classes in a row, with the entailed books and laptop, which really requires a backpack. But I hate backpacks for two reasons: it's really hard to rummange and walk at the same time (this is why I hate sightseeing with a backpack as a daypack; hence the purse) and they make my back all sweaty. Plus if I am running errands or working after my day as school it is more handy to have a purse and leave the heavy backpack in the car. *sigh*
(2) Wed Sep 20 2006 08:59 PST I hate:
CSUB. This is seriously the least user-friendly college ever.
Thu Sep 21 2006 15:46 PST Bit by a bug:
I was just randomly thinking a thought trail on my way back from the gym today when I started thinking about the ferry from Corfu, and some group of backpackers who were on it from another hostel, and they were going to Athens, I thought. ATHENS. Suddenly I was struck with such a longing it was all I could do not to drag out my backpack and head for the hills (the hills of LAX). Now I am looking at flights to London for ten days in December with a whirlwind tour of phd programs in mind. I'm hopeless. =(
(5) Thu Sep 21 2006 15:54 PST:
I finally gave in and bought MS office ($90) and now I can't wait to get it! It left Dallas today and is coming to me by the 26th. Now I'll be able to write my papers all on my laptop and make as many excel spreadsheets as I want!
(2) Mon Sep 25 2006 14:57 PST The temptation of Rachel:
Chatting with a guy in french today, he said he is getting confused with Turkish, as he is brushing up for going back. I asked when is he going back? And he said December, want to come? Yes, I'd love to, esp. for $500 round trip, but if I go anywhere in December it's to Britain. Though I'm dying to go to Turkey, esp with a Turkish speaker. It might be better in spring or summer when there is sun.
I dropped by my professor's office to quickly discuss research topics for her class & ended up staying nearly an hour discussing applying to PHD programs etc. I'm going back next week with my CV & spreadsheet to formulate a "5 point plan" or something.
Added to this I panicked this morning about PHD language requirements. I think I am taking care of the French pretty well, although this class is a lower level than I expected I'm making the most of it & really studying & practising. Doesn't change the fact that I need TWO and there are very few places in the world where one can learn Serbian. I might have to learn German after all, which wouldn't hurt anything but time. But then I remembered hearing about another summer course in Novi Sad... I loved Novi Sad. Exit festival anyone? I really don't think I was made to live on this continent.
I had a real moment yesterday. I decided to mop the floor with the foolish optimism that maybe someone would want to see the house today (assuming it actually ever gets on the market). I got the water and the mop and the mop spongey part absolutley disinigrated the moment it hit water, but I didn't notice it until there was a huge stripe of disintregated mop bits on the floor. Now that I think about it, this is probably due to using the mop to wipe up that super-crazy ZAP! crap the last time I cleaned the kitchen floor... two months ago. I bought an extra mop head when I bought the mop, but where did I put it? In the cupboard, sure, but it wasn't there so chances are I packed it, and in which box? There was another mop head which didn't fit on the mop, tho I gave it my best shot, and I ended up having to use the mop head solo on my hands & knees to clean up best I could. My life was so difficult, it was the most difficult life that has ever been lived. This mop disintregrating business was the last thing a poor, hardworking soul like me needed. And to add to the unfairness of it all, I couldn't even complain about the unfairness of it all to the world (count yourselves lucky) because I didn't have internet at home). Which I need to do FRENCH HOMEWORK. Woe is I. *eyes roll*
(3) Wed Sep 27 2006 08:55 PST:
How did I miss this HUGE EU news yesterday? I have been living at school & work for 12-14 hours everyday. I feel like I'm in a hole. I want to cry.
Thu Sep 28 2006 19:55 PST RUDE:
Why why why do people think it is ok to hold conversations on the phone in the library? It is NOT.
(2) Mon Oct 02 2006 12:41 PST 201:
Je ne m'ennuie jamais. Je traville trop.
Tue Oct 03 2006 18:10 PST A fail to kiss is a fail to cope:
For the last few weeks I have been dreaming about a scholarship that is so great, it pays for everything for a degree in the UK, from one's flights over to shipping one's "books and shoes". Today I sat down with one of my professors to go over a plan for getting into a PHD program & paying for it ("I like a challenge," says she) and browsing some websites I discover the deadline for this scholarship is not, like I thought, in November, but October 4. For those of you who don't know, that's TOMORROW.
A few telephone calls ascertain that they don't consider late applications, at all. Wailing with despair I left the office, kicking myself and saying this is just what I deserve for not paying closer attention. Sitting in the library, whimpering softly, I realised that everything is online except for the transcripts, so if I really rush, I could get it done, and have the transcripts arrive a day or so late, MAYBE they will look at it. MAYBE. Well it's better to try than not, I figured, so I have been running around frantically trying to do these things, calling in favors, making pleading phone calls, and crawling on my hands an knees into various offices. FOUR letters of recommendation in 24 hours. I guess a different way of looking at it is, what a lucky girl I am, having four people who are willing to do that for me. That's on top of the application itself, and an endorsement from the Dean. Aieeeee...
(1) Wed Oct 04 2006 00:08 PST I must be crazy:
My new motto is "if pigs are flying then they already have wings." This attachment to sleep has got to go. Of course, I never sleep well when I'm stressed out. I'm tired now but by the time I get home my mind will be racing.
These early deadlines are insane, right? back me up here. Most people don't figure out their plans (if they are changing) for the next academic year until May. What I really hate most is the fact that I feel like I am going through my panic/clueless phases of life like a chicken with my head cut off, no idea what I am doing.
(1) Thu Oct 05 2006 17:10 PST The post it takes so long:
I think the irony of it all is that I DID manage to get all the application materials gathered in time... but it wasn't sent by the coordinator by midnight. Still, there's hope. It seems like such a small thing... Anyway, perhaps the really amazing thing is that I did something that seemed at first quite impossible.
Now I am working on all the other applications that are coming up, in between french homework, papers, reading... Luckily only two more this month, and hopefully I'll be done with the rest in November. The good thing now I already have all the references, personal statement, research statement done, though I'll have to work on a more detailed research propsal and writing sample. It's annoying that I'm only half-way through this program so only have half of what I'd like to show for it. It's so much easier to apply when one is finished with one's degree. Also wouldn't it make things much easier is transcripts transfered schools along with students? Then one would only have to order one set of transcripts, from the school one is currently attending, elimiating the need for frantic rush orders and running about the continent. But then, I guess, how would they rip you off?
(3) Mon Oct 09 2006 00:16 PST The beat goes on:
Class, homework, reading, work, grad school applications, running around chicken-like, headless... this is what my life consists of for 12-16 hours every day these days. I just: finished a paper of Vera Brittain from Spring Quarter FINALLY (because I want there to be an actual grade on my transcripts when I send them to schools), realised how hungry I am, and checked my email for the first time all weekend. Still to do tonight: French composition. I wonder what would happen if I turn it in late. Tomorrow I have class from 9-12:30 and work from 1-9:30. So I'd really like to get some sleep. And there is still an article to read for discussion. Well, maybe I can do it, only 200 words (compared with the 4500 I just cranked out on women war writers, tho, in English). It would be jsut my luck to have this French class screw up my GPA.
The good news is I found my pen drive. (without it I can't print so this is really good news). It was in a purse I swear I looked in a dozen times but whatever. Maybe Tonks borrowed it and put it back when I wasn't looking. It wouldn't be surprising; he did that thing where suddenly he's outside but I don't remember letting him outside again. Or maybe I'm just going crazy... Everyone else in the "24 hour library
hellhole room" is packing up so maybe I will too.
(4) Tue Oct 10 2006 10:30 PST Trouble in Paradise:
What kind of a deadline is the 15th? A Sunday? I have to stay up till 1 am to call & ask if it's ok taht my application won't get delivered until the following day since there aren't any postal deliveries on the deadline date. My guess is they just don't change the deadline year to year. Hopefully it defaults to the nearest business day and not the nearest business day previous to. Ridiculously early, anyway, says I.
I suspect that one of the cats has peeed in my room, but I can't find the habeas corpus, which leads me to suspect Tonks, but he has never sprayed before and I don't know where he would have picked up the habit or the idea that he could use it as revenge. JB is not known for her malicious tendencies, either. But perhaps it is a cry for attention against all the neglect with which I have been treated the poor kitties these weeks. I resorted to kicking them out of the room when I left this morning. Not too much of a disruption anyway since tonks doesn't sleep on my bed! Anyway it may have been my imagination.
I have just a few hours before I go to work & I'm working how I should best spend my time: gym (not likely to happen), back to bed (more likely) or revising my writing sample (perhaps most practical). I'm so glad I don't have to work the rest of this week after today. This crazy lifestyle was a real kick in the pants that I thought I needed, but it's really starting to wear me down. I wish wish wish this stupid application that is due so early wasn't the one I cared the most about. All my other ones will be so much better because I'll have had more time, and have done ones before. It's the same with the scholarship. But maybe they have to make it so early because there is so much competition and they want to weed out the slackers! I really hope I luck out and my "original way of thinking," as one professor put it, and research experience wins me over people with better grades and perhaps more organizations skills. Blaaaah....
Wed Oct 11 2006 09:19 PST My life is soo:
soo soo tired. And it's only 9am. And sick. Blah. I tried calling the dept of the school of the ridiculously early application and I didn't succeed. telephone technology elludes me. Oh well. I will just sent it to arrive Monday, there is not much else I can do about it, is there. I can't even care, I am so tired. Just class to get through, a french interview which I will probably fail, and then I can go home and have a nap in my pee-scented room before I start all the other thousands of things I have to do. Luckily tomorrow I don't work so I can really sleep in. I am sooo worn out. This is what I mean about not doing well on no sleep. Even if I get 5 or 6 hours a night this eventually happens. I'm sorry to be such a complainer, hopefully there will eventually be soem good news to compensate for this.
(1) Thu Oct 12 2006 18:37 PST Franticness:
Only to arrive at Fed Ex at 5:10 when last call for express packages is 4:45. Oh well.
(1) Fri Oct 13 2006 08:43 PST Vanity:
Here is the thing that bothers me most about the application I just turned in (besides the early deadline). They wanted my picture. Attached to the front page of every copy of the application I sent in. Which added like an hour to my prep time since I had to find a good one, print out 6 copies, and cut them to fit into the little box (actually I recruited Chaz for this job). But why does it matter what I look like? How do my looks have anything to do with my academic ability? I'm sure they just want to put a face to the words but it all seems a bit odd to me. (I used the picture of me on the train from Novi Sad.)
Tue Oct 17 2006 14:23 PST I'm a mooch, you're a mooch:
For details on the past weekend, see here. I am in the process of working on a wishlist for Christmas, as requested by Susie, but I still need to sort out some of the books I need for class before I post it.
Speaking of books for class, I signed up for this great website, bookmooch.com, where you can get books for FREE! Just by trading other books. So by giving away some books that I don't want or need anymore, I have gotten books that I do want/need for FREE! Including 3 books for class so far. Which is really great. Books for classes are generally so expensive, nothing beats getting them for the price of sending another book out on a swap. Even though I love all my books and like to have them decorating the shelves, I don't mind parting with some of them that I know I'll never read again, to give them to someone else who will love them, and get books that I haven't read yet for FREE! Yay.
(7) Tue Oct 17 2006 16:53 PST Long boring update:
I was at dagny's working on my french homework... which has to be done online since the workbook is on this website, and the connection suddenly expired and wouldn't let me reconnect so I lost all of the work I'd done. Fab. Of course, the work I had done wasn't very much, I don't know if that makes it better or not.
I convinced the people at Flame and Skewer to make me a gyro like I had in Greece & Albania, with fries, but it still doesn't taste right. It needs tzatiki, I guess, and perhaps the meat is not shady enough.
Then I spied a for sale sign on the home front! I couldn't believe it at first, I thought "bad news, the neighbors are trying to sell, too," before I realised it was in our yard! Of course this means I'll have to live as spotlessly as possible from now on (which may involve buying a new mop), lucky I spent Sunday cleaning. I do think I need to unpack the box of winter clothes, though. It's getting a bit nippy especially in the evenings, and I have only a few sweaters and light jackets to call my own. Everything else is in the *other* box, the one behind the bookcase & underneath several boxes of crystal. I may have to call for help. I barely managed with the box of clothes I did unpack Sunday. I dropped it twice. Those things can get heavy. Anyway, I had to be unpacking because my bottom sheet, from the set I have had for over 5 years, from when we first moved into the house, ripped. I have been patching them for a year now hoping to "mend and make do" but the damage was finally irreparable, and it spread even worse because I couldn't do anything about it & just slept on it anyway for a few nights. Still, I wasn't too worried because it was time for the flannel sheets that I got for Christmas last year, anyway. But of course, these sheets weren't in the bag that I thought they were in (I wonder why Susie labelled it "Rachel's sheets") nor where they in the easily accesible box of "Rachel's linens." All the same, it's worth it to have them nice and cosy on my bed, and Tonks was just thrilled to see the flannel sheets emerge. He likes them even more than I do & has been sleeping on them constantly.
Overall it was a nice weekend of break from schoolwork, even if it was cleaning (I scrubbed the tub and used it for a bath!) and sucky Universal Studios (I have no idea why anyone would go there when all the other parks are so much better, and now I realise why I had never till this point in my life been there before. Nor will I go again. I would rather just go to the Citywalk. There is, after all, a LUSH there). I got to see Jess finally, and her cute house in Pasedena. We met up with her & Chris for a short time in old town. ("Old towns" are so different in Eastern Europe from places like pasedena... you won't find pottery barn there, unless it is a real one. Just walled, cobble stone, windy, narrow streets, into which cars are not allowed, but mopeds whizz down at a threatening speed, you'd better watch out or you'll get run over. Old men sit in derelict shops & bars & coffee shops, old women manage small markets or bazaars, people hawk their wares on blankets or tables, stray kittens break the hearts of tourists, old fountains leak puddles onto the uneven streets, calls for prayer are heard from the towers of mosques... perhaps the only thing the two kinds of "old towns" have in common is that they both make me think of the Corrs song.) After the park I went over to Rob's and we watched Curse of the Wererabbit while recovering from the crappiness. I fell asleep after the movie and when I woke up he was watching college football, so I stayed for a little while longer, hoping in vain to see USC lose. I wish my Bruins had a better football team but I suppose their day will come. I never used to care about football at all, but I find my pride vis-a-vis all things Bruin increases as time passes. I actually think it is a compensation for going to such an unknown, overall crappy school now. Walking to the history forumn with one of my professors, she observed that we seem to be hypersenstive about being "Bakersfield," and in compensation, viligantly read NY Times, and other such symbolic acts. It's like the British in India being more British than the British in Britain. I cheer for the UCLA football team because it's a way of reminding myself, and others, of a level of validity in my education.
Sometimes I think I think too much.
I hate being one of those people who holds phone conversations in the library... actually I never was till just now, but the lady from the finacial aid office called me about the frantic scholarship application of a few weeks ago. I had about given up, but apparently they have all my stuff & will look at it. Apparently they has 90 applicants and are only accepting 4, so I musn't get my hopes up, but it's nice to know at least I have a shot, so it was worth it to do all that franticness.
One month till my next application is due, but I'm working on it now & going to sent it early to avoid more franticness.
Also I am calling for a ban of the post office. First off, Leonard's packages of heirlooms disappear of the face of the planet. This is quite unacceptable. How does one lose a large rubbermaid tub full of scrapbooks, hardcover OEDs, baby blankets, etc.... I mean really, HOW? Earlier this summer I had a real spook when I recieved not one but TWO of Aunt Jeuney's yearly newsletters addressed to mom. I didn't really look at them, just wondered why someone was using Aunt Jeuney's address lables. Then I saw something that looked a lot like a younger version of myself. One of them had picutures from her 80th birthday party and had handwritten on it something like "Dear Frances, thanks for all the hard work you did for my party..." The dead trying to communicate to the dead through the living? No, just the post office delivering a few pieces of mail about 5 years late. So perhaps there is hope for Leonard's packages after all? And the silver earrings from Dublin that were supposed to be Jen's 19th birthday present? I haven't forgotten, USPS.
Then I stopped getting my mail recently. I was so absorbed in franticness that I didn't notice for a while, but when the $160 worth of transcripts never arrived I suddenly realised that I also hadn't gotten the book and DVD I'd also ordered, or any bank statements, or anything AT ALL. I had my mail forwarded to SF for the summer, and stopped it when I got back, but I never got my mail until I spoke to the postman in person and he said he hadn't gotten anything, but he'd give me my mail. Thanks. I spoke with him again after the crisis, and he said he's gotten another forward for me. It must have been my stop forward, put through as another forward, only about a month after I submitted it. BRAVO, USPS. I stand and applaud your incompetence, which has managed to reach a level beyond comprehension. Is there any other company that would get away with this kind of crap? I'm afraid this may get me taken off Bush's communist alert list, but perhaps what needs to happen is the PS should be privatized. I don't know, I'm not an economist. But if nothing else, going to the competition will show the USPS what's what, and maybe they will be motivated to change their ways (yeah right). It may be a bit like, to borrow from a really old Newsweek that I read recently, cleaning my house with baking soda and vinegar while everyone in China is lining up to buy a car for the first time... but doing something is better than doing nothing. From now on I'm going to reduce my use of the postal system to the bare minimum. I will pay all bills online if I possibley can. Packages will be sent via UPS or FedEx or DHL. Especially important ones like grad school applications. I don't want them showing on the doorstep of the board of graduate studies when I've already recieved by degree from somewhere else because the first place never got my application... till now. Anyway, who's with me?
That's ok, I don't mind travelling alone.
Wed Oct 18 2006 12:48 PST Happy Birthday:
I have a constant headache. Actually it's a sharb, throbbing pain at the top of my head. A double dose of asprin has done little to dull the pain. I am convinced it is a brain tumor. Perhaps it is from eating too many Chester fries.
(1) Fri Oct 20 2006 13:11 PST:
Yay I made it through another week! There is something liberating about a Friday afternoon. Even if I have a million things to do, I have all weekend to do them in (even if I don't, cause I hafta work) so I can ignore them for a little bit and have fun for once! and maybe a nap! I am really, really hungry.
(5) Tue Oct 24 2006 18:06 PST Have to eat them all in just one sitting:
I like to have a little book that I can read in the bathtub, on my breaks at work, or before bed when I simply can't take anymore of the Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire. A few days ago I finished Persuasion which I picked up for $.50 at the SF Friends of the Library bookstore after having been influenced by a viewing of "The Lake House" in Belgrade. Movie-watching in Belgrade is actually a very satisfying experience because it is invariably either hot or raining, and you are invariably tired with sore feet from sightseeing. Sitting down in a cool, dry theatre is a very pleasant way to spend two hours. It only costs $3, and you can get popcorn and drinks for about $1 more, because the movie theatres have not yet comandeered the concession business, and they are instead provided by little guys with carts outside. Unless the movie is for children, it has subtitles instead of dubbing so you can pratice your Serbian and at the same time understand the movie!
Anyway, I was enchanted with the climax of romanticism that only Jane Austen seems to be able to pull off (though Charlotte Bronte does not do too bad for herself) and when I had finished with it I felt almost betrayed that it was over. I read over my favorite parts a few times, and it was all I could do not to dig through the boxes of books in the garage until I came upon that treasured inheritance, the Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen, to satisfy my need for more Austenness.
Now I am reading The Story of an African Farm. I first learned of this book (and relatedly started to want to read it) in my first post-graduate run-in with women & colonialism. Then the book & its themes were beat mercilessly against my head, over & over again, when I read Testament of Youth. My battered dover thrift edition of this book travelled with me across the Balkans, but the journal-writing, out-of-train-window-watching, Serbian-learning traveller will find but little time for reading on a trip, and Dracula seemed more appropriate at the time. Now I am studying women and colonialism again, african farms seem more appropriate, and I finally beginning to understand V.B.'s obsession with Lyndall... I meant to have some quotes, but the book is at home, and I am at the library, and I will be here some time.
(1) Mon Oct 30 2006 17:55 PST Gyspying:
I went to Target today for an eye appt. I really needed new glasses since they got scratched somewhere along the line and I decided to get contacts too... It took me almost two hours to put them in and take them back out again. I have to practice again when I get home tonight. I figure I will get better at it with practice... I have never been too good at touching my eye but I guess you can get used to anything.
Yesterday I was at Becca's carving pumkins and watching Prarie Home Companion. Now I am at Becca's to make a red cross armband for tomorrow--I'm going to be an ambulance driver! I have two halloween costumes this year because I went to a gypsies, tramps & thieves themed party on Saturday, so I was a half-hour gypsy (that's how long it took me to throw together my costume and I must say it looked pretty good). All this in between French interviews, research proposals, and getting ready for my lecture on colonialism during WWI for my British Empire class. I think it's time to go watch Gallipoli, I want to see if there is a good scene from that movie to show in class, since last time I gave a lecture I ended about half an hour early.
I was feeling quite down and discouraged last week, but I think I was having an allergic reaction to Bakersfield. Now I am quite pep & chipper, and I have lots of hope, if I'm as busy as ever. I always alternate between thinking I am special stuff & of course I'll get into all the places I am applying, to thinking I am second rate at best & just dreaming, and I'll never be able to pay for it anyway. I'm sure the answer is in the middle and anyway the best I can do is apply & see & that is what I am doing. One only has so much control over one's future, and I have done the best I can and I think that is a pretty good job. For example taking French because I know it will help my career. Well, nothing keeps me grounded and happy like school, so I will just be glad to go on in my little way. Quite the opposite of "a striving, and a striving, and an ending in nothing" (African Farm).
(1) Wed Nov 01 2006 13:54 PST Wishlist:
I can't believe how long this is taken to do. Since I am facing a potential/hopeful overseas move next year, I am only asking for things I need & will use in the next six months.
Check my amazon.com wishlist. I have added all of the books below plus some useful travel things that I want. I don't care if the things are actually from Amazon. It's just an easy way to keep track of things.
Gift certificates for Trader Joes, Target, Russo's, etc, or a spa-type place where I can get a massage, which would be really really nice.
Travel sheet (an REI gift certificate would probably get me most of the travel things, plus I have a co-op membership)
These cute & comfy shoes, in black, size 7 (Chaco's Andale, Women's Isabella)
Bain Attwood, Telling the Truth about Aboriginal History, (New South Wales: Allen and Unwin: 2005) 1-74114-577-5
Richard Evans, Lying about Hitler 0465021530*
Eric Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). 0521439612*
Arthur Marwick, The New Nature of History
Irène Némirowski, Suite Française *but it's cheaper on amazon
Josephine Tey, Daughter of Time (New York: Macmillan, 1951) or any edition
Melton A. Mc Laurin, Celia A Slave Girl 0380803364
H.G. Wells, Ann Veronica (any edition)*
Lisa Dicapro and Merry Wiesner, Lives and Voices: Sources in European Women's History (New York: Houhgton Mifflin, 2001) 0-395-97052-0
Ellen Carol Du Bois and Lynn Dumenil, Through Women's Eyes : An American History through Documents (Bedford, St Martins) 0312451466
French for reading by Sandberg
*These books I can get through Russo's. I get a great discount so this is where the gift certificates come in handy. Or you can call & order them & say they are for me. Also remember bookfinder.com. I don't care if books are used as long as they don't have highlighting all over them. Yay books!
(3) Sun Nov 05 2006 15:47 PST Nothing to talk about?:
I often think of good weblog posts to make, but by the time I get to an internet I either have forgotten or I don't really have the time write out a long post. The obvious solution is to write them out as I think of them and post them when I get to an internet. But it always seems there is a better use of my time than writing out a post that won't get up till who knows when (even if it is re-arranging my toiletries)... and I always think I will remember, haha.
Susie has been up this weekend and it was nice to have company. It sure gets lonely on my own. I have been jittery because tomorrow I have to give my lecture for the colonialism class and that type of thing always makes me nervous. I obviously don't have a problem being in front of people, but here there is so much opportunity to look like an idiot. Of course these are people who are mostly taking the class for GE so I don't think many of them would even notice if I said something stupid. Maybe it just takes getting used to. Anyway I have most of my info, I just need to organise it and scan some pictures that I want to use. I wish the library was open later. You wouldn't believe the lackadaisical attitude towards quietness that seems to prevail. Some of these people, if they were in YRL, would have been murdered (but quietly) by now.
FYI I have been updating my amazon wishlist. I really want to Little Mermaid DVD.
PS here is a funny quote from this weekend. Susie and I were discussing how best to get Dewars to John without it melting. Rachel: I have some frozen water bottles. Susie: We could freeze the ice-cream.
(3) Mon Nov 06 2006 12:58 PST Whew:
I am glad that's over. I suppose teaching is one of those things you just have to get used to, and I am not yet used to it. Still, it wasn't a total disaster, and I think the movie was a great success (I showed parts of Gallipoli). Now I have to go to work for eight hours. I've been up since six since I wanted to go over my notes & scan some pictures to show (the media library wasn't open yesterday). I was going to buy some cheetos to treat myself for getting done with the lecture but the student union is out. Now if I don't get my butt out the door I won't have time to eat before I have to clock in. I'm a bit disillusioned with my life at the moment (rather like the Anzacs with the British after the First World War) but I'm sure that will pass.
(2) Tue Nov 07 2006 19:47 PST A striving, and a striving, and an ending in nothing:
The old German from The Story of a South African Farm haunts me in the same way that Boxer from Animal Farm haunted me for months after I read the book. I think I figured out why. The tragedy, and the goodness of the characters, wouldn't be so heartbreaking if it weren't that they were so trusting and idealistic that they ended up being compliant in their own demise. Life's not fair! One ought not expect literature to be, then.
In other news I just picked up my new glasses. I was luke warm on them at first but the girls talked me into them over another pair, and now I really like them. I am still in that woozy getting used to them mode, but amazed by how clear I am seeing!
(3) Wed Nov 08 2006 13:09 PST Decided:
I think I will go to SF for Thanksgiving. And I think I will take the train! actually it will cost about the same as gas, with my student discount, and if it's a little more it's worth it for the hours of study & the lack of enviornmental guilt.
Emotional trauma all evening, watching the climatic battle scene of Gallipoli three times (which equals watching like, 3,000 people die), and a night of nightmares... it must 9th week. But I'm happy about the House, if I'm not happy about other things.
(2) Thu Nov 09 2006 13:57 PST Something missing?:
You may remember, I used to swear by Let's Go. This is one of the main reasons why I don't anymore.
(1) Thu Nov 09 2006 19:16 PST Lame:
Firefox downloaded updates and now it won't start! Nothing works as well in Safari! I even restarted my computer... does this mean I hafta download firefox again? What about all my bookmarks??
Update: fixed. But dang it, I liked having the x button for tabs in the same spot, not on each tab.
Fri Nov 10 2006 16:31 PST Nothing important:
I am feeling jittery because I got an mysterious email from a school demanding to know why I haven't sent them some form I have never heard of. And because I want to book my train ticket before more options sell out but I don't have my ISIC card with me for the discount. But, yay weekend. I need to go buy a wedding present.
Sun Nov 12 2006 17:59 PST From Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth:
When the sound of guns burst over London at 11 a.m. on November 11th, 1918, the men and women who looked incredulously into each other's faces did not cry jubilantly: "We've won the War!" they only said: "The War is over."
Deeply buried beneath my consciousness there stirred the vague memory of a letter that I had written to Roland… "As I listened," I told him, "to the organ swelling forth into a final triumphant burst in the song of victory, after the solemn and mournful dirge of the dead, I thought with what mockery and irony the jubilant celebrations which will hail the coming of peace will fall upon the ears of those to whom their best will never return, upon whose sorrow victory is built, who have paid their with their mourning for the other's joy."
(This was supposed to go up yesterday, but instead it's up today.)
Mon Nov 13 2006 07:49 PST Reason #37 I wish I lived in the Wizarding World:
Up ridiculously early trying to sort out the stupid form... killing time on the internet at Kinkos hoping the lady in the UK will respond to my email since the fax didn't go through. I suppose things are better than the days of sail ships, but it's still quite annoying, and there's nothing technology can do about the time difference... until they invent a time turner.
(1) Mon Nov 13 2006 13:10 PST Just whining, ignore me (unless you are really bored at work):
Today is one of those days that started off bad & just got worse. My usual solution is just t go back to bed, if at all possible. My French composition wasn't done, so I skipped out from school after the history lecture. Was just getting cosy with a kitten and The Second Battlefield when I got a phone call, someone wanting to see the house. Of course they can't be bothered when I am away all day, but when all I want is to sleep, they come in droves. I considered just staying but decided I wouldn't rather, and came away here. I had a ton of things to mail, despite my ban on the post office, I am poor, and I don't think UPS has media mail. So I stopped at the po, and waited in line for nearly half an hour, yay. I would have been at the end of my rope for the 50th time today but the lady saved me, I think, by not making me pay for forwarding a package that was refused delivery & sent back to me. yay. That is why I took it there (in hopes) instead of elsewhere as I am still doubtful about the usps' capability of actually delivering things...
Anyway here is why my day sucked. I woke up at 7 (3 pm in UK) to try & fax the form again, because it didn't go through last night, I thought because the fax machine over there was turned off. It didn't go though. This is where we last met. After waiting & waiting I decided to just scan it, but at that point someone was on the only kinkos computer with a scanner. I waited for him to leave. He left, but the computer was still waiting for him to come back. I didn't want to wait 8 more minutes so I asked a lady to cancel it out so I could get on. She waited until there was 1 minute of waiting left & then restarted the computer. I waited... finally put in my credit card & it ate it! I asked for help again... it spit out my card but still wasn't working, so I left in a fury, having wasted an hour of my morning. This was supposed to take all of ten minutes so I would have time to do my 250 word French composition... I was up till 1 reading the second battlefield for my meeting which was canceled... (luckily) I went home & got my school stuff & went to school to the computer lab there. Had an email from the lady saying please do send the scan. The scanner didn't work. Switched computers. Finally sent it at 9:01. (5:01 pm Uk.) FAB.
It is all these little things that seem like the end of the world when they happen. I know it isn't the end of the world. But it seems like it. I wish I wasn't so high-strung, I used to be easy going. I wonder if it's all worth it, but that's such a 10th week thought I don't think it's actually valid. I just need a break I guess. (I can tell when it's time for a break because I get irresistible urges to pack my backpack and head for LAX... oh wait, that's all the time...)
Fri Nov 17 2006 12:37 PST endless finals... i hate the quarter system.:
I have discovered the group study rooms in the library. No more people having conversations & answering their phone bothering me! Instead all I have to do is put up with a strange clicking noise... but that is not so bad... and hope no actual group comes around wanting to use it. I installed myself in one at odarkthirty this morning when I arrived at the library to review the video the paper that was due today was on, only to discover I'd left my earphones at home.
Now begins an intense period of work. Little sleep last night and a race to finish the french online workbook this week. I am about three chapters behind. It has to be done by Monday because if everyone is done we get a takehome final, but if one person isn't... and I don't want to be that person! if it were only me I wouldn't care. Actually it just has to be mostly done monday, she said we could have tuesday to finish chapter 5, but since I'm spending most of tuesday on a train that doesn't do much good. Actually there might be internet on the train but it probably costs like $20 or something.
first though, I hafta type up my notes on this book that is, according to the email sent to be by interlibrary loan, EXTREMELY overdue. I'm going to ask my professor to return it and hopefully they won't charge her, haha.
PS: I have received no less than THREE emails from airlines about winter specials. I deserve a medal for not having booked a flight to London. I was this close, too! Only $600... too bad I don't have $600.
Sat Nov 18 2006 14:48 PST:
I am not going to finish in time
(2) Tue Nov 21 2006 19:26 PST Safe in SF:
Here I am. I miss my babies already but they are in good hands. It was nice to take the train up, especially as I am so tired, all I had to do was relax. It took a few more hours that driving would have but so what. I am so sleepy that I want to go to bed right now, but I also want to wait up for Leonard to get back from work. Hm.
Thu Nov 23 2006 23:44 PST Thankful:
I suppose with all the self-pitying I hadn't really thought of all there is for which to be thankful. I have great friends and family, wonderful kitties, and a brain in my head that works most of the time. It could be a lot worse!
Jeff & Leonard made another wonderful Thanksgiving feast & I had a fab time talking with everyone, and I'm as stuffed as the turkey was earlier, haha.
(2) Sat Nov 25 2006 23:01 PST:
Had a great time in SF. This evening we went to see City Lights, a Charlie Chaplin silent, with the city orchestra performing the score. It was pretty awesome. Tomorrow I am leaving early, but the thought of going home to an empty house (but the kitties!) and finals does not fill me with holiday cheer.
Mon Nov 27 2006 17:02 PST:
Now that I am back I am glad to be back. Jenn & Denise picked me up & took me to TJs for supplies. My kittens are angels & cuddle-muffins. After this week I will be done with finals & this quarter & (hopefully) after next week I will be done with applications. Then I can concentrate on relaxing and thesis and (hopefully) moving. Haha!
(2) Wed Nov 29 2006 10:17 PST What was that British Empire Thing?:
Done with my final. Now just some papers to write... when I handed in the final my professor went on about how much she liked my last paper, which is odd because I didn't think it was that great. (But she didn't really like the paper that I did think was pretty good.) The whole time she was talking I wanted to ask, so why did you give me an A-? I'm such a wimp! But apparently it convinced her I am Capable of Things, which is Good. As I am not feeling so Capable myself these days.
I am now panicking, as I am wont to do, about my future. What if I don't get into a phd program? Unfortunately none of the back-up plans I have come up with so far make very realistic back-ups plans. Joining the state department? That is probably harder to get into than grad school. Tutoring English in Belgrade? Wining this contest and becoming a travel writer for Lonely Planet? Who am I kidding? The only good backup plan I have thought of is a MLIS at San Jose State. More school! Why not? Of course, and this is not surprising, I much prefer a back up plan that involved Europe. But there is the whole visa problem. The only decent job I have a semi-decent change of getting is teaching at a jc, and even that is iffy. So what is a girl to do? I hate this questioning, and how it comes up every year or two, without fail. I just feel so unqualified for and incapable of everything.
PS: Serbia to join NATO? Interesting. Maybe I can work for them.
(2) Fri Dec 01 2006 16:21 PST The Queen:
I was happily typing away on my paper when Chris called me to let me know that "The Queen" is showing in Bakersfield. We hurried off to the first showing, because he has Boar's Head tonight, I'm working tomorrow, and who knows if it will still be playing because this is Bakersfield, after all. I have wanted to see it since one of my professors mentioned it and Leonard and Joellen had a discussion on the symbolism of the stag over thanksgiving. It was really good & a pleasant interlude. "Nuanced" is a word used by the rolling stone review which I think suits. It's also impressive how they managed to find good actors who look so much like the people they are supposed to be playing. I really like Cherie Blaire and the portrayal as the whole Blair family as opposition to the royal family. Now I am having a hot dog at Chris' and will soon go back home to finish my paper.
(12) Thu Dec 07 2006 13:15 PST Thanks to you, now I get what I want:
Just checked my grades for the quarter--I got all As!!! As in, four point oh! Hurrah, this is the first time this has happened since study abroad, and I think those were inflated. I have been working very hard in grad school & finally feel like it has paid off.
I thought I posted this Tuesday. I dunno what happened.
Tue Dec 12 2006 12:06 PST Book round up:
I've been reading a lot of really good books lately, fueled in part by my recent addiction to bookmooch.com. Considerately, I won't go into details about Feminism and History, for example, but here are some of the more exciting ones I have been reading.
The Deception of the Emerald Ring: this fabulous book came out in the nick of time to save me from post-finals stress syndrome. I read it in the two nights after I finished my paper. It is the long awaited third in the Pink Carnation series, and I was wrong about one of my predictions but right about another. I loved that it was set in Ireland since I have learned so much about Ireland this year, one of my professors being from there… It delighted me, Lauren Wilig is as clever as ever, and I dooo wonder how she managed to write that book during her third year or law school? Things like that make me feel so incompetent. I think what I love most about those books is Eloise, whom I find so relatable, going off on her mental vacations and running around London researching in archives. And that yummy English boy…
Rite of Passage: Tales of Backpacking 'Round Europe: This book was disappointing, but probably because I expected too much from it. I had wanted to read it forever and finally agreed to buy it for myself as an end of quarter present. All the reviews said it would evoke bittersweet nostalgia for one's time backpacking in Europe, and it didn't really do that for me. Most of the stories were forgettable but some really good, well-written and thought-provoking, so it was worth reading for that. I just had too high of expectations.
A Year in Provence: More travel writing. Do we see a theme? Actually I am doing a lot of travel writing reading in semi-research for my own genre-breaking novel, yet to be written. Besides I just like it. The first Peter Mayle book I read was Hotel Pastis, which a friend had bought then lent me. I caught her eye because we were in Provence together. I used to dream about spending a summer living with a family in some lavender-covered mountain village, or working at a hostel in a tiny village by the sea. To perfect my French, of course. Needless to say this is my kind of book. It made me crave goat cheese day in and day out. I have a very susceptible mind. I would recommend this to anyone who likes France and French food. (Which sad to say is not everyone, not even in Bakersfield, haha.) Peter Mayle is a great writer, I like him better than Bill Bryson because he actually talks to people in the places he goes.
Silver Wedding and The Liliac Bus: The same friend I went to Provence with recommended I read Maeve Binchy but I never got around to it until the Bookmark closed & I bought Circle of Friends to use up my credit. Now I am working my way through books by her because I love the little details in her character's lives, they are all so different and interesting. It reminds me of "what a tangled web of lives we lead" or something like that, because I find it to be true. Plus they are set in Ireland, what more could you ask? For me these are guilty pleasure/ bathtub reads.
That's all for now. More later, though at some point in this vacation I might actually do something that doesn't involve lying in bed reading.
Tue Dec 12 2006 12:23 PST:
I wrote that last entry yesterday but I couldn't put it up because the website was working. Now I have done something that doesn't involve lying in bed reading, I cleaned practically the whole house, and, as I can never resist a freshly cleaned bathtub, had a nice relaxing bath at the end of it. Today I am going to work in the yard hopefully as well as hopefully finish up my grad school apps. I am full of hope. I am lucky not to have to work this week due to an altercation with my manager when I asked for some days off. She was very rude about it! I would rather she'd have just said no than treat me the way she did. But now I can hopefully get a few things done. Plus I can actually pretend I still like Christmas, being away from the store. I am feeling much more relaxed and carefree now that school is out, but I still do have a lot of things to do & there is still a knot in my right shoulder from carrying Dave around, I try to remember to switch but never do. At least I don't have 500 books to carry around as well. At the moment. Lucky yous, there aren't too many pointless entries like this one because of my lack of internet.
Sat Dec 16 2006 09:45 PST:
In Costa Mesa helping Susie move. My arms are sore.
(2) Tue Dec 19 2006 19:00 PST:
At Becca's, stealing snatches of internet. Apparently I entered my bday wrong on one of my applications. Fab. Will I survive my third holiday season of working retail? Time will tell. I used to like Christmas.
© 2002-2010 Rachel Richardson.