Friday, December 15, 2006

Oh, she's leaving (leaving) on that midnight train to Pooletown.

Things I know for certain:

Between now and Christmas, I will be knitting until my hands bleed. I'm going to try my bloody hand at socktops.

There's a margarita out there the size of a kiddie pool with my name on it. Pass me the water wings.

I will be studying for the PRAXIS at some point during the break. The Spanish and education parts. Not my idea of fun, unless I convince myself that the practice questions are Jeopardy questions.

Things I do not know for certain:

What my final grades for this semester are going to look like.

If I will have internet at home over break. Seems as if there is a strong possibility that I will.

If I'm really going to be awake enough to make the trip home.

Well, most everything, really.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

From inside the quarry.

I don’t want to be afraid of the blank page. Or if I am afraid of it, I want to be only because I am so eager to fill it.

I am tiring of writing, and I am tired of not being able to write.

A fresh notebook used to excite me, but now all these books with crisp, clean pages are still empty. Instead, I find myself half-trying to chisel half-formed ideas into academic stone.

What I really fear is ending up with a lap full of formless gravel and an untouched sheaf of paper.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I know that you don't care.

German, Quia workbook due
Teach Dr. Howe's 202 class
Present COM 181 project, turn in paper

Give culture presentation
Turn in two papers for Dr. Howe

COM final
Waag's final

German final

Culture final and paper due
MLA final paper due
Sign up for PRAXIS exam

I'm not sure if that exercise of writing it out like that helped or not. And suddenly, finals week actually looks a little scary.


Overdue trip to Wal-Mart will commence in five, four, three, two...

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Beautiful, beautiful Order of the Phoenix sneak peek.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Minty fresh.

It's St. Patrick's Day season again. Here comes the cold, and all that. And I'm celebrating with a new wintry design.

Here's a rundown, free-stylin' the list:

  • Today was the last day for Dr. Howe's class. I see post-Waag lunches happening for the remainder of the semester.
  • I have at least three different Spanish poems in my head. Uninvited.
  • I'm cold. Yeah, that's all there is to that.
  • I'm going to see Happy Feet tomorrow -- and it just happens to have the teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix among its previews...
  • I forgot to eat supper. Crap.
  • I think I left my umbrella in FH 406. Luckily, that's where I have German in the morn.
  • I think I've been ripped off by a seller. It's been almost a month since I ordered my copy of Speak English Like An American. It's a no-show.
  • Why are FreshInk cards leaving me? The bookstore is no longer going to sell Hallmark cards. I can just feel the joys of my life slip-sliding away.

Simon says: You know, the nearer your destination, the more you're slip-slidin' away.

Is that so?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

More in the way of Facebook theft and song surveys.

I am to choose an artist and answer these questions / finish these sentences by only using song titles belonging to the chosen artist.

Mayer, of course.

Are you male or female? Daughters.

Describe yourself. Bigger Than My Body.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Why Georgia.

Your best friend is... Comfortable.

Your favorite color is... Another Kind of Green.

What's the weather like? Covered in Rain. (I really do hear thunder out there.)

If you life was a TV show, what would it be called? Wait Until Tomorrow.

What is life to you? Wheel.

What's the best advice you have to give? Why Did You Mess With Forever?

If you could change your name, what would you change it to? Victoria. Well, it's either that or Lenny.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Yes, I admit, I got a drinkin' problem.

Does anybody remember that David Ball song from back in 1994, "Thinkin' Problem"? Oh, country music. Oh, childhood. Anyway...

The title of this post is indeed not referring to my fancy for margaritas or my growing fancy for Killian's Irish Red. Rather, I'm referring to the fact that when I go to WalMart, about fifty percent of what fills my cart is beverages or beverage mixes.

Just tonight: orange juice, soy milk (I'm giving it a shot after seeing The Corporation), cranberry-apple juice, Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea, and spiced apple cider mix. Also, upon further inspection of my box of Great Grains, I discovered that the cereal people decided that adults like surprises in their cereal, too, and there inside was a three-bag sampler of Tazo tea. I mean, I know that the cereal aisle is laden with subliminal messages -- mostly found kids' sugar cereal shaped like cartoon characters -- but I really think I subconsciously registered the free tea label on the box. Why else would I buy a whole grain cereal? I mean, seriously.

I've just recently become obsessed with interesting things to drink. Perhaps it is the Starbucks culture infiltrating my system. But I've noticed that everywhere I go, I'm either going to have coffee, or more recently, a cup of tea. And honestly, it excites me. Just this afternoon, my mom, sister, nieces, and I had what unexpectedly turned into a tea party. I had, for the first time ever, milk in my tea. Oh, the glory. I'm practically a new woman. Anyway, I took pictures of the event, complete with a miniature Dora the Explorer tea set, and I need to put them up on Flickr.

Perhaps I should go on a diet where I do nothing but drink fluids. Something tells me I could be very happy.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lighten up.

It's definitely time for some mindlessness.

This is the "soundtrack to my life" thing where I put iTunes on shuffle and let it pick the songs that will accompany the following scenes in my life. I stole this off someone's Facebook. Isn't it funny the things that it assumes would be a part of everyone's life? Anyway, no time for analyzing. I just thought that some of these were kind of appropriate, some funny. And what's up with all the James Taylor?

Opening credits: "Picture" - Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow
First day at school: "My Stupid Mouth" - John Mayer
Falling in love: "Levon" - Taylor Hicks
The fight: "Things Change" - Dwight Yoakam
Breaking up: "Reelin' in the Years" - Steely Dan
Prom: "Walking Man" - James Taylor
Life's okay: "Girl on the Wing" - the Shins
Mental breakdown: "I Walk the Line" - Joaquin Phoenix
Driving: "Sweet Baby James" - James Taylor
Flashback: "Handy Man" - James Taylor
Getting back together: "At the Stars" - Better Than Ezra
Wedding: "You've Got a Friend" - James Taylor
Birth of child: "Blue Eyed Soul" - Wilco
Final battle: "One of These Things First" - Nick Drake
Death scene: "She's Only Happy in the Sun" - Ben Harper
Funeral: "Yesterday" - the Beatles
End credits: "Empty" - Ray LaMontagne

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Real quick-like.

People are not projects. I don't want to be your project. I don't want you to be my project.

God forbid we lose so much respect for one another that we forget this.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Make no mistake; this is not a poem.

I know it could be worse. It always can be.
I know that it's all probably self-inflicted.
I know that it's probably PMS.

But I'm tired of working and not getting finished.
I'm tired of light bulbs blowing.
I'm tired of dragging soggy leaves onto the carpet.
I'm tired of being in the library
and hearing people text messaging
and the TAB and M not working on my keyboard
and someone sitting in my place.
I'm tired of the long line at the coffee shop.
I'm tired of detours.
I'm tired of too many pennies in my change purse.
I'm tired of all these little things,
even if they happen only once.

I know that the grass really isn't greener on the other side of right now.
I know that hindsight is 20/20.
I know that I will look back and sigh.
I know that what doesn't kill me makes me stronger.
I know that this too shall pass.
I know that I'm making a mountain out of a thousand little molehills.

But is it too much to ask to be bored?
To entertain whimsy,
To go out because I want to and because I can,
And not to worry that I'm screwing up my entire future
with five minutes of breathing easy?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills.

I talk about growing up a lot. How that's what I've been doing for the last twenty three years. How that's what I'll be doing for the rest of my life. And sometimes, when I'm brave enough, I try to imagine what my life will be like in five, ten, or twenty years. I'm usually quite unsuccessful at it. Because, one, I am so unclear about what it is that I want in life that the image is too blurry to make it out anyway. And two, because I find it easy to convince myself that there is no way of knowing what will happen, and therefore, there is little purpose in playing the what-if game.

I had to play that what-if game today, though.

It was less than an hour ago. I was singing along with The Shins' "Pink Bullets" on my iTunes, heating up some left-over chicken and biscuits dinner-in-a-box I'd "made" last night, and thinking up ways to avoid doing my homework. My phone rang, and it was my sister.

With the recent deaths in our family and the financial and legal challenges that come along with it, I'm getting quite used to this being the topic of my phone conversations. But as I told Holly yesterday, talking about money gives me a rash. Probably because money generally signifies responsibility, and we all know that the thought of responsibility makes me come unglued. But you know, I'm dealing.

So this particular conversation with my sister started off with references to will-making and life insurance and all those pleasant things that I've grown accustomed to talking about. But before I knew it my sister was asking me if, at some point in the future, I would be willing to be listed as guardian of my nieces in the event of my sister and her husband's death.

[Insert silence here.]

What happened, though, was so contrary to my form that I'm still in a bit of shock. I was already nodding my head affirmatively and prepared to give a yes before my sister was finished asking the question. I, the me who hems and haws at any sort of decision or responsibility, discovered in that moment that if there is anything I am sure about in my life, it is that I would accept responsibility for raising Victoria and Kathryn if I had to. I would not bat an eyelash in doubt.

It is a responsibility that I hope I never have to assume because it would be indicative of other unspeakable tragedy. But as I leaned against the kitchen counter in my unkempt apartment that reflects my relatively self-centered, college-student life, I was able to look into a possible -- but not probable -- future in which I was okay. I was responsible -- not because it was a characteristic of my personality, but because it was the role in life that I had assumed. Through that tiny window of possibility, I could see that everything was going to be okay.

There is a lot of talk about life being what you make it. And you know, I can see that. But we can spend so much time trying to make life be something that it isn't, and in the meantime, we end up missing the life that is or forgetting that, sometimes, life has a way of making itself for us. What we can do is become the sort of people who make decent decisions in our given cirumstances.

For me, the future is still just as blurry as ever. I don't know what will happen. None of us does. What I can say, though, is that the present -- which is always morphing in and out of the past and the future -- came into focus some. And that's all we can really ask for.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

This silence is so loud.

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Maybe it's because it looks like Harry Potter could live there.

Words cannot describe how much I adore this house. From the outside, that is. I'm sure if I ever saw the inside, the whole thing would be demystified. It belongs to the university, and it's the Nash House, whatever that means. I have no idea. I almost plough over pedestrians every time I drive down 16th because I am so enchanted by this house and I fail to pay attention to my driving. But it's just so, mm, cottagey? I just think it's adorable. So today when I was taking a different route home from a meeting at Alexander Hall, I rummaged through my bag and found my camera so that I could take a picture. Maybe now pedestrians won't be in so much danger. But I doubt it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Thank you for riding the Raven.

Twenty-three is the age that scares me. It is the threshold of oblivion. It is the age when the numbers start to blur. Or perhaps that was twenty-two. If twenty-two was the apex of the hill on the roller coaster, twenty-three is the initial descent. I know it sounds like I am describing turning forty and rolling over the hill. Maybe forty is that big drop with lots of air-time, but this twent-three that I am contending with now is that first teaser hill. The one that makes you realize there's no turning back.

I don't really like roller coasters that much.

And I never thought that age would bother me. Age ain't nothin' but a number, right? Maybe so, but if time passes without fail twenty-four hours each day, these numbers start to add up. How did all these "sands through hourglass" pile up so quickly, and who is shoveling them? Call me Hootie (or the Blowfish, if you prefer), but I don't want to believe in Time. Just thinking about it is enough to make me hold my breath -- an attempt to slow things down.

But as for the age of twenty-three itself, well, I don't know. It's less about feeling older and more about being more aware of time. But so far, I can't say it's wonderful. In the course of the few days since my birthday, I've suffered several minor set-backs involving everything from inexplicable numbness in my hand (they all say it'll pass) to a series of road detours that made me feel like I was in a maze with no exit.

Surely it will get better.

No I'm not colorblind
I know the world is black and white
I try to keep an open mind
But I just can't sleep on this tonight

Stop this train
I want to get off
And go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But honestly, won't someone stop this train?

Don't know how else to say it
I don't want to see my parents go
One generation's length away
From fighting life out on my own

Stop this train
I want to get off
And go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But honestly, won't someone stop this train?

So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun

Had a talk with my old man
Said "help me understand"
He said "turn sixty-eight"
"You'll renegotiate"

"Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
And don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train"

Once in a while, when it's good
It'll feel like it should
And they're all still around
And you're still safe and sound
And you don't miss a thing
Till you cry when you're driving away in the dark
Stop this train
I want to get off
And go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
Cause now I see I'll never stop this train

"Stop This Train," John Mayer

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Calm between storms

Thank God midterms are over. I can't believe it's already time for the homestretch, though. Things aren't looking too terrible, though. For the first time ever in my life -- I think -- I got all As at midterm. I don't know whether to be proud or scared. Final grades are never the same as they are at midterm.

With all this new-found time in the wake of midterm, I'd like to welcome back The Loose Association.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Get ready

This camera -- or one similar -- with be mine come this weekend. It will be nice to have a good digital back in my hands. Oh, the places we will go.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

For those to come.

Today is the last day of Banned Books Week. If there is any one issue that I actually do care about at all, it is the freedom to read. Thanks to ALA, here is a list of The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000.

For fun, I am going to bold the ones I have read. Because I am a little lazy, there are ones that I own, but I haven't read them yet. They will be italicized. And there is a far-too-large amount of them that I am ashamed to say that I haven't read, but have full intent to do so. As a sort of goal-setting exercise for myself, I'll underline them.

Of the books that I have read on this list, I want to thank every teacher who made me read it, every library from which I borrowed it, every store from whose shelves I purchased it, and my parents for allowing me the freedom to read it. You are all wise folks.

  1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
  8. Forever by Judy Blume
  9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  15. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
  16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
  17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
  18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  19. Sex by Madonna
  20. Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
  21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
  27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
  28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
  29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
  30. The Goats by Brock Cole
  31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
  32. Blubber by Judy Blume
  33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
  35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
  37. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  40. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
  41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
  46. Deenie by Judy Blume
  47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
  50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
  51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
  55. Cujo by Stephen King
  56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
  58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  61. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
  62. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
  64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
  65. Fade by Robert Cormier
  66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
  67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
  69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  71. Native Son by Richard Wright
  72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
  73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
  74. Jack by A.M. Homes
  75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
  76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
  77. Carrie by Stephen King
  78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
  79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
  81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
  82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
  83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
  87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
  88. Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
  89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
  90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
  91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
  93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
  94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
  95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
  98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
  100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stood on the corner for a while.

Some time between now and 1 o'clock, DHL is supposed to be delivering the fourth version I've had of this cell phone. I'm really about to give up.

Anyway, to ensure that I do in fact receive the package -- as I didn't yesterday because I forgot to tell Cingular my apartment number and then they gave DHL the wrong phone number to contact me...the freaking phone company forgot my phone number! -- I am spending my between-classes time here instead of on campus. (Yes, I'm aware that sentence was nearly impossible to disentangle. God, I love punctuation.) Normally, I would camp out on the third floor of Waterfield and read copious amounts of Spanish literature. But no. I tried to tell myself I would do my homework here. Of course not. I'm shopping on iTunes and looking at exciting, new production pictures for Order of the Phoenix.

And blogging.

And now, a random thought on life and literature:

Plot. The representation in fiction of a character's efforts to achieve a purpose in the face of obstacles, concluding with his decisive success or failure.

-- Theme and Form, 1964

In creative writing classes, we talk about the differences between character-driven and circumstance-driven plots. The circumstance-driven one is like an action movie where what happens to the characters determine how things end up. The character-driven one is a story that is moved along, complicated, and resolved because choices that the protagnist makes. It's the difference in an external locus of control verus an internal one. So of course, the character-driven plots make for better, more meaningful stories. They are significant.

So yeah, this applies to life, right? You can float through life like a piece of crap and just let things happen to you, or you can make decisions. I just realized the other day that letting life come to you (er, me) is basically living a circumstance-driven plot. It's a crappy story. Anyway, the moral of this story is that I'd much rather live a character-driven plot. Even if it means making some bad decisions here and there, of which I am scared to death. If nothing else, it makes for a better story, eh?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Of cell phones and ice cream cones

I have had considerable technological trouble with my cell phone over the past several days. First the screen wouldn't work. They sent me a new one, but I couldn't get the cover off of my old phone to put onto the "new" one. This new phone, in less than twenty-four hours, has screwed up twice by shrinking the volume in the earpiece two half a notch above audible. Something tells me that this "possibly reconditioned" phone will be going back to the folks at Cingular.

I do. I appreciate technology, but the thing is that when we rely on it and it then fails us, we suffer unnecessary stress.

Anyway, on my way back from the Cingular store -- whose associates really could not care less -- I decided I needed a butterscotch-dipped cone from Dairy Queen. While I was waiting for my butterscotchy goodness, I noticed what I have been looking out for for weeks. The sign. The sign that says that DQ hibernates for winter, starting October 31. The sign that strikes fear in the hearts of many. The sign that incites panic throughout the land -- of Murray, anyhow.

They handed me my cone -- and I have to say that the butterscotch shell is way better here than in Henderson -- and I took it to my car where I rolled down the windows and played "This Time of Year." As I sat there, I really didn't know how to feel. Glad that it's getting cooler and that the leaves are changing colors? Sad because I was alone? Nostalgic about the past -- sad that it's gone or happy that it happened? I didn't know how to feel, but I was feeling something.

I did learn something, though. Apparently, butterscotch-dipped cones are the favorite among many. I sat there for just about ten minutes during a relatively slow part of the day, and I saw about three other people with them.

One of them happened to be middle-aged man in a business suit who seemed to be spending "quality" time with his wife and two kids. He never got off of the phone for the duration of the visit. I say visit because he was standing next to his big truck while his over-made-up wife -- who was abstaining from DQ's cool treats, certainly to maintain her figure -- tended to her SUV with Soccer Mom stickers on the back. For a while, they all four stood together in the parking lot, but no one seemed to notice any of the others. The kids, of course, were enamored of their (chocolate-dipped) ice cream cones. The man held his idly while conducting some supposedly imporant business. The woman/mother/wife pranced around a bit in her high-heeled boots and repeatedly smoothed her blouse to ensure that she looked just so.

They continued this way until I finished my own ice cream, so I naturally, pulled my car into gear and left. By that time, I was glad to leave. I knew for sure, then, what it was that I was feeling. It was a bit of sadness. Not for me, though. Suddenly, I felt less alone that any of them standing there. But I also felt happy that my family doesn't have to schedule slots for superficial quality time. We are aware of one another. And I also felt a responsibility. One that reminds me that, if and when I have my own family, I want to have one that is connected, that isn't just a loosely associated group of people who are more interested in business or in themselves than each other.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Heart aflutter.

The loves of my life -- at the moment:

  • Butterscotch discs, by the bagfull. I've been on a tear to find them. Rite Aid finally got me my fix. Don't know what my deal is. This summer, it was butterscotch-dipped cones from DQ.
  • Construction paper. I've taken to making my own postcards to send to people, a la construction paper, index cards, and Mod Podge. I found fun new colors at the store today. Hoorah.
  • The prospect of Scrubs being syndicated on Comedy Central starting Monday night. I've been wanting to get into this show. I've looked at every video rental joint in Murray, and ain't a one of 'em got the seasons on DVD. I've never even seen the show, but I hear it's good. You should look at the reviews on Amazon. A solid five stars. Season Four is sold out at WalMart. That's gotta say something. Anyway, I have to figure out how to set my VCR to tape while I'm at class. For the love of Zach Braff, I swear.
  • A love that will never die.
  • "Three More Days" by Ray LaMontagne. It's on his new album Till the Sun Turns Black, and you can hear the song here. I don't handle heavy new-music-saturation very well. With Continuum out there now, it's got the priority. I'm going to try to digest one Ray song at a time, I guess. This one has my attention right now.
  • Windows-up / windows-down weather. It depends on your location. Windows up in your house, apartment, or room. Windows down in your car.

We have a good thing going.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What's 'washed up' mean anyway?

I just want to congratulate myself on finally sticking with a blog design for a while -- a "while" being over a year.

In the past when I was a more regular blogger, I redesigned this blog quite frequently. I've blogging a bit more these days, and as it is a fallish Friday afternoon with little to do, I thought, Hmm, why don't I look into changing the blog?

But here's the truth, I like what I've got going. I still like the colors, and hey, it's fall again. It's fall, again?! When I decided to look back at the files I created to develop this design, I was surprised to see things like "Last modified September 15, 2005." At first I just thought that my tinkering around with the computer had caused the system to recognize today as "modification." Oh, but no. 2005. A year ago today.

As normally goes my astonishment by time, I can't believe that a year ago was, well, a year ago. Last night, while I was celebrating Kathryn's birthday at Sissy's, I realized that it'd been a year since I made those Elmo cupcakes. (We had Wal-Mart-made Dora cupcakes this year, by the way.) It's the little things like that mark off time. Seemingly insignifcant moments that are lost in the whirlwind of time, swiftly blown a year, two years into the past before you even know it.


In other news. I want to see the new Zach Braff movie. It is playing in Paducah. Anybody? Anybody?

Also, rumors are swirling that I am getting a digital camera of my choice for my birthday. I can barely contain myself -- from both peeing on myself and spending all day shopping on Amazon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The purest little part of me

This afternoon, as I turned onto the sidewalk that runs along the street that crosses my own, I saw a school bus rumbling down the road. In a matter of the seconds it takes to walk a few feet down the sidewalk before crossing the street, I was taken back to those years when, every afternoon, I filed through the gym of the elementary school with all my bus-riding peers, all of us with backpack straps twisted hastily over our little shoulders. (There was also the slung-over-one-shoulder style, but we weren't that cool yet.) We would spill out onto the sidewalk with the canopy where the smell of diesel exhaust reigned, and we would scatter with the excitement of going home and with the anxiety of accidently boarding the wrong bus. But I would eventually find number 9114 among the buses lined up like a row of grungy rubber ducks and settle into my sticky faux-leather seat for the long ride home.

What astonishes me is that I am the same person who rode Karen Frederick's school bus every afternoon, swinging my little feet over the dirty bus floor and watching cornfields zoom past my window. Somewhere deep inside me, there is a self that has not changed one bit from that little girl. It's not quite as hard to comprehend that I am still that kid as it is to understand that that kid would become me. (Yeah, I'm not sure that makes sense, either.) I had in me then what it is that makes me me now.

When I think back to when I was younger -- even to my total ignorance -- I see those memories through my eyes. Not through "my eyes now" or through "my eyes then." Just through my eyes. Maybe hindsight is 20/20, but it's the circumstances that change, not us. Not the real us.

As I turned onto my own street, I was met by three boys who looked to be between the ages of seven and thirteen on bicycles. They rushed past me with their shaggy little-boy hair brushed back by the wind and with sufficiently mischievious looks on their faces. They barely acknowledged me, and even if they did take notice, they probably looked at me like I was some stodgy, old semi-adult with whom they could never relate. But I felt something different. Kindred, almost.

See, inside of them are twenty-two-year-olds that they don't recognize yet. And inside of me there is a seven- and a twelve-year-old that has never and will never go away. And inside all of us is that wizened adult who, although we'll never believe it until we reach that age along the timeline, really does understand what it's like to be us. Because we never age, really. Perhaps we understand more about the world around us, but we are who we are, forever.

It's the only evidence I have, intangible as it is, that our souls are eternal.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Twice as much ain't twice as good

Back when I was a groupie -- we'll pretend I'm not now -- I used to write what I called the "obligatory concert post" (see 1, 2, and 3) after a John Mayer concert. Maybe this is it. Maybe not.

Well. I guess it is.

In a way, this was the least exciting concert yet. coughcoughmoreconcertstocomecoughcough That is not to say anything negative at all about the experience. Part of it is that I hadn't had the chance to psych myself up for it. I was more concerned with safely making the 400-mile trip to Muncie, IN. With that finally behind me, it was less than twenty-four hours until show time, and it still hadn't sunk in.

The other factor contributing to this lessened sense of excitement, I think, is a sheer sense of maturity. Holly and I have individually done a heck of a lot of maturing over the past two years since we dropped off the tour circuit. Of course, John Mayer had dropped off the tour circuit, too, to do himself some maturing, which is so incredibly evident -- through his musical finesse and his lyrical explorations -- in the new album that went on-sale today. Like he says in the improvisational introduction to "Something's Missing" on the John Mayer Trio album, "It's only music now." If you need concrete evidence, he's played fourteen shows thus far on the tour and not once has "Your Body is a Wonderland" appeared on a setlist.

I think he's trying to say something. And I like what he's saying, too.

Anyway, the show was beautiful. And I'm not going to pretend that I didn't scream like a twelve year old -- or a trashy forty-year-old woman with rose tattoos, alternatively -- every time he went into jam-mode or announced a set change. But this was the first time I wasn't holding a camera in front of my face throughout the whole show. (Though I would have if I could have. And Holly did the picture-taking this time, anyway.) I just held onto my twelve-dollar beer with one hand and tapped the beat out on my chest with the other as I sang along.

He didn't play one of my favorite songs, though, one he has played on every show of the tour except ours -- "Gravity." (It just made a very poignant appearance on the wonderful show House, by the way.) When that track started playing this afternoon after I bought the record, even though I've heard it a hundred times, I had cold chills. It's that powerful, and I was quite disappointed when he neglected to play it. However, he did dazzle us -- and redeem himself -- in the encore with surprise performances of the throwback tunes "Victoria" and "Love Soon," albeit a fragmented jumble of forgotten lyrics.

There are two types of love. The one that fades in the event of prolonged absence, and upon rekindling, there is no hope because the flame has gone for good. Then there's the one that endures separation, and when one returns to the ashes, the flames jump up and dance just as wildly and even a little bit more brightly, as if no time had passed at all.

Call me crazy for likening the last one to music. That's okay.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Is it just me or is Facebook getting out of control? All of the little features it adds almost semi-daily are becoming a bit unwieldy. And I officially don't like it when everyone can see that I wrote on Such-and-such's wall three minutes ago, edited my profile two hours ago, and visited the restroom half an hour ago. Getting personal, don't you think? Soon, we'll all have a FacebookCam that we have to tote around with us so that our friends can have full accessibility to the minutia of our daily lives -- because it's interesting! I'm just waiting to install a GPS chip in my wrist.

Then again, we have become a reality television and blog society. After all, here I am. I know there are analysts out there trying to make sense of our newfound curiosity in the details of each other's lives, so I am sure my musings are rudimentary. But it is quite strange, don't you think, that while we are becoming more and more interested in each other, everything is becoming more and more impersonal. We have fashioned a two-way mirror for ourselves. We can watch people's lives from the anonymity of our computer screens and television sets. We have become more comfortable divulging our personal lives to the anonymous masses than to real people who are able to reciprocate tangibly.

I have to say that it scares me. It calls up some spine-tingling philosophy that claims reality is nothing more than self. With all these means of seeing each other through detached lenses, I can imagine a society of isolated individuals who can only imagine that they themselves are real and everyone else is a specimen to be studied for entertainment. I don't know. I know it sounds crazy, but I think all these silly little time-wasters like Facebook and blogs and the majority of television are indicative of a disease our whole generation is suffering from and we're too distracted with ourselves to see it.

It's hard to see the hole when you're at the bottom.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

So, Rand...

I actually just made myself laugh out loud. I felt like a crazy, old cat lady -- minus the cats -- alone in my little apartment laughing at myself.

See, I've been listening to both the Jimi Hendrix original "Bold as Love" and the new John Mayer cover of it -- you know, for analytical purposes. Well, I was sitting here at my computer, wasting time by looking at Seattle Weekly online, and singing the song. (It wasn't long before I realized that I could have been listening to the real musicians sing the actual songs via iTunes.) The end of the chorus goes, "Yeah, they're all bold as love / Just ask the axis." Now, honestly, I wasn't even aware I was singing. You see, that's what happens when you're the cat lady. You start performing socially unacceptable behaviors without any cognition of it. But a little something jolted me out of my neurosis: I sang the lyrics like this, with every ounce of sincerity that I have, "Yeah, they're all bold as love / Just ask the atlas."

Okay, I realize that it's not that funny. After all, I think the atlas is more capable of answering any kind of question than the axis. It's just, well, that my subconscious self wholeheartedly believed that those were the lyrics. I guess you had to be there, but of course you weren't or I wouldn't have been singing to begin with. I hope.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Thank God.

I got to listen to a preview of John Mayer's new record tonight on Star 98.7. All I can say is that it is convincing. Believable. Know what I mean? It doesn't seem like he's trying to be anything. I know he's said that he wouldn't release it until it felt perfect, and I think he did a good job. No song, from what I can tell from one listen, seems like it was thrown in for the sake of having another song. I'm not sure if this makes sense, but this record feels 3-D. Each song does. It makes everything that came before it feel a little on the thin side.

But anyway, you can ignore all this because love at first sight isn't reliable. We'll see, though.

And P. S. This article is a good example of why I love John Mayer. He uses the word "opine" for goodness' sake. What more might one ask for?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Down home, down low

Every great now and then, I try to cook something. Indeed, I was inspired the description Jenny gave last night of her most recent culinary masterpiece that sounded vaguely reminiscent of something baked in a wood-fired oven full of hand-hewn cedar chips fresh from the Alaskan forest. In creative response, I -- of course -- decide that I'm going to try my hand at turnip greens.

First off, I am not sure what my recent obsession with turnip greens is. On a whim, I tried some at the Shoney's in Donelson, and they were amazing. Granted, I've had turnip greens before, but these really struck my fancy. Ever since that fateful encounter, I have been on the hunt for turnip greens as good as these. Several plate lunches later, I am still at a loss. And the canned versions at the store look like the same lumpy mush I get in the restaurants -- not the leafy glory from Shoney's. So today, while perusing the produce at WalMart, I decide I'm going to cook my own. Fresh.

After piecing together the logical parts of about three recipes I found online, I cooked me some turnip greens. I even "cooked them down real low" -- whatever that means -- as every person who celebrates the turnip green knows is the proper preparation. And what do I get? Mush.

This is why I don't cook. I mean, my greens were edible and all, but I would just as soon go to Shoney's. And that's why I will live my life broke.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lessons Learned, Courtesy Summer 2006

When one lives out of a suitcase – or several suitcases – personal items tend to go missing.

I have a very long way to go on my quest to speak Spanish with a modicum of fluency.

While rainbows are often considered signs of peace, they are, for my family anyhow, more like harbingers of hard times to be gotten through safely.

I really will miss being a computer lab supervisor.

Getting around without my own personal means of transportation is not nearly as difficult as it may seem, but having my car back is like reuniting with an old friend.

Slipping knives into your mother's carry-on luggage is only funny after airport security clears you to board by reason of insanity.

Mountains really are my favorite vacation destination. To look at -- not to climb.

Changing my own guitar strings really is not the insurmountable task I had assumed.

General household cleaning really ought to be done on a regular -- preferrably weekly -- basis rather than attempting a huge overhaul once every two years.

Having a camera means nothing if you don't carry it with you. Subsequent lesson: Having a bulky camera is incredibly inconvenient.

Pay very close attention to bills from Murray State University.

I really do love music. I am still on a Ray LaMontagne high, by the way.

And lastly, I know I've said it multiple times before, but many things have made it apparent to me that this particular summer is a very distinct dividing line between two eras of my college career -- the first four years and these last 1.5 years. I can name you some very obvious differences between these two chapters, but I get the sense that it's something more. I don't know what that is yet, but I have my eyes open.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Too many things left to be unsaid

So, I'm Mexico. It's true.

Today, instead of tagging along with some Carhartt folks, I stayed in bed kind of late. (By "kind of late" I mean late enough for the maid to ask me if I was sick. Mm, no. Just lazy.) I don't have the means -- or the balls, honestly -- to meander about the city by myself, so sleep seemed like the best answer. I'm getting picked up at 1:00 so I can go sit in on five hours' worth of Spanish and English classes. The English teacher is the craziest Grammar Nazi known to man. During his smoke break yesterday, we debated the pretentiousness of impeccable grammar and the differences between American and Canadian English. My kind of fun. Things: So far, so good.

Along the lines of language: Holly had mentioned the author Bill Bryson to me a while back. Well, during my most recent tryst with Barnes & Noble, this guy's name was spied out of the corner of my eye in the philosophy section. With much interest indeed, I picked up one of his books called Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States. Oh, what a perfect pair, me and this book. I enjoy it so much that I even put in some quality reading time during the flight down here. That's saying something.

Rumor has it that I will finally have my car back when I return from this little jaunt. These two months without the Buick have been trying times. It will be nice to have it back.

Time for the shower, but before I go, I have a comment or two on the land of Mexico: Tell me, what is up with it being 70 degrees? I mean, I am eternally grateful, but something about this doesn't seem right. And the sky is big. I mean, huge. I had no idea how little the sky is at home. I hate to sound as cheesy as John in "3x5," but there are clouds and mountains for as far as the eye can see, and here, that's pretty dang far. But I do have my camera, so let's hope for some photos.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

This ain't no time for that ball and chain.

Ray LaMontagne's 2004 Trouble is the one of the best album's I have come across in a long time. Yes, my interest was piqued when Taylor Hicks sang the title track on American Idol, but the countless number of Soul Patrollers who recommend this CD know what they are talking about.

While I really enjoyed Taylor's version of "Trouble," that rendition was no indication of what this record would be like. I was actually a bit shocked when I listened to the thirty-second preview on iTunes and it sounded nothing like what I'd heard on television. But I listened to the other previews, and I liked the sound of this guy's voice. It was unique. He doesn't sound exactly like anyone else, but I would say his voice is unique in the same was that Ben Harper's voice is unique.

I read customer reviews. People were fawning all over the album. When I saw that iTunes listed Iron & Wine as one of Ray's few contemporaries, I knew I was onto something. But I still needed to give him the final test. Lyrics. If I look up the lyrics of an artist I'm considering and the words don't do anything for me, I drop them. I know lyrics by themselves aren't much without the music around them, but you know, even some of the best music has a hard time carrying a crap lyric. So I looked ol' Ray LaMontagne up on Let's Sing It, and I wasn't disappointed. Don't know why, but a line from "Hold You In My Arms" did it for me:

"When you kissed my lips with my mouth so full of questions"

It's a nicely turned line, true, but it's not the only one. There are all these people these days and their socially aware songs, and this artist has his, too. And it is quite thought-provoking. It's called "How Come."

"Love can be a liar / And justice can be a thief / And freedom can be an empty cup / From which everybody want to drink"

Yeah, check out that nice way of not ending a sentence with a preposition -- and then the big ol' subject-verb disagreement. Okay, despite all the grammar incongruencies, he's speaking some interesting truth there.

Also, the song "All the Wild Horses" reminds me so much of the score of Brokeback Mountain, I can't convince myself it didn't make a sneak appearance on the soundtrack.

Anyway, every song on this album is good. Right now, I am sort of partial to "Forever My Friend" and "Hold You in My Arms," but I do not dislike any of the songs. I bought the album Thursday afternoon before I went home. I put the songs on my iPod and played straight through to Calvert City. This is profound, you know. I get impatient with new albums with which I am not familiar, but every song held my attention. I even restarted a couple songs to get another go 'round.

Yesterday afternoon, I tried to take a nap, letting this music to put me to sleep 'cause it's that type. Soft, folky, and a little solemn. But I could not get a wink of sleep until I had heard the whole album. It was too good to sleep through.

Also, thanks to Gray Charles, you can download Ray's version of "Crazy" (think Gnarls, not Patsy) here. Yeah, he might sound like he's gotten a shot of novacaine in the tongue every now and then, but what great singer doesn't slur a bit?

So here's the point. I haven't totally absorbed this album yet, but I have enough faith in it to recommend it to you. Plus, "Ray LaMontagne" is a really fun name to say.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ain't nothin' like the real thing

Gray Charles has posted a rather long interview with Taylor Hicks. By "rather long," I mean that it was posted in eight segments. So if you do go to try and read it, you'll have to click back a page or so to get to the beginning. It's very good stuff -- a highly recommended read. It was nice to hear a "real" conversation with him. Does it make me a bad person that it was kind of nice seeing that he's not afraid to drop a bomb here and there?

My Soul Patrol t-shirt is supposed to arrive today.

I gotta quit this.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Radio war

I found this survey on someone's journal, so I thought I'd give it a spin here. If you don't know about, it's a site that hosts taste-tailored radio stations. Honestly, I don't really use it all that much because I end up finding too much music that I like, and I will, in turn, spend too much money on iTunes. But I do use its little tool that tracks what songs you play on your computer, and that's what generates that "10 most recently played" type deal on my side bar. And my profile keeps statistics on artists and songs that I listen to. So on and so forth.

This is, according to the most recent stats, the top ten artists I keep playing on my computer. There are a couple ties, so I am going to combine them. The questions are relative to the numbers.

1. Taylor Hicks
2. John Mayer
3. Iron & Wine
4. Dixie Chicks
5. John Mayer Trio
6. The Shins / Relient K / Better Than Ezra
7. James Taylor / The Beatles
8. Johnny Cash
9. Dwight Yoakam
10. Ben Harper

What was the first song you ever heard by #6?

For the Shins, I'm pretty sure "Caring is Creepy" came first in Garden State, so that one. Relient K? I bought "The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek" before I ever heard a song of theirs. "Pressing On" is the first track. And Better Than Ezra? The best guess is "Extra Ordinary."

What is your favorite album of #2?

This is possibly the hardest question ever. Room for Squares has a special place in my heart.

What is your favorite lyric that #4 has sung?

My favorite to sing has been "And it wrung me out / And it strung me out / And it hung years on my face / God help me, am I the only one who's ever felt this way?" from "Am I the Only One." One of the best, though, is actually a Patty Griffin song they did called "Let Him Fly": "There's no mercy in a live wire / No rest at all in freedom / Of the choices we are given / It's not choice at all / The proof is in the fire / You touch before it moves away / But you must always know how long to stay / And when to go."

How many times have you seen #5 live?

Technically, never. But if you drop that little "Trio" offa there, I've seen him three -- going on four -- times.

What is your favorite song by #7?

James Taylor? "Steamroller." The Beatles? I've been on a "Hey Jude" kick, but "Eight Days a Week" was my first love.

What is a good memory involving #10?

Every time that Dad is in my car and "Suzie Blue" comes on, he always gets really excited because he loves the horns. It's kind of cute.

Is there a song of #3 that makes you sad?

Iron & Wine has a way of putting one in a somber mood. However, "Passing Afternoon" reminds me of the fleeting nature of time, which is always a little sad.

What is your favorite lyric that #2 has sung?

Oh, dear. I am really supposed to pick one, solitary John Mayer lyric? I'll just go with the one I remembered fondly yesterday from "Perfect Sense": "If it ever gets bad / I mean really bad / I'll move to Nova Scotia and forget the life I had / I'll be up at nine each morning / Down by the shore / Collecting things that fell off boats in storms / Okay, so I might never / But it's nice to know the option's there."

What's your favorite song by #9?

I am glad you asked because I just realized that I do not own my favorite Dwight Yoakam song, "Things Change." (Just bought it.) "Streets of Bakersfield" makes me happy, too.

How did you get into #3?

Well, I heard Sam Beam's version of "Such Great Heights" in Garden State -- great movie, great music. When I ran across the song a while later, I heard it and instantly knew that I recognized it from the movie. I tracked down the Endless Numbered Days album when "Such Great Heights" wasn't enough Iron & Wine to do me.

What was the first song you heard by #1?

Oh, Taylor. I guess this would be from the American Idol audition when he sang Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come." Love at first bite.

What is your favorite song by #4?

I'm really into "I Hope" from their new album. Good song. It's an anti-war tune, and John Mayer on guitar doesn't hurt a thing.

How many times have you seen #9 live?

I don't think I've ever seen Dwight Yoakam live, but you know, there were a bunch of concerts in there when I was little that I barely remember. Lots and lots and lots of country.

What is a good memory involving #2?

Oh-so many. Just about every memory there for a couple years was scored by a John Mayer song.

Is there a song of #8 that makes you sad?

"Sunday Morning Coming Down," no question. This song is about the most lonesome song in the world.

What is your favorite album of #5?

Well, considering there is only one, I'm going with it. Try!

What is your favorite lyric that #3 has sung?

"A baby sleeps in all our bones / So scared to be alone" from "Passing Afternoon."

What is your favorite song of #1?

This is indeed a difficult decision. I'm going to go with original, non-American Idol tunes. My first favorite was "Hell of a Day." The grooviest song, though, is "In Your Time." Also, he does a mean cover of "Georgia On My Mind."

What is your favorite song of #10?

"Show Me a Little Shame" is on up there.

How many times have you seen #8 live?

That'd be none.

What is your favorite album of #1?

Well, these options are sort of limited, but I'll go with Under the Radar.

What is a good memory involving #9?

Dwight Yoakam reminds me of Justin Downing, back in the B-Unit days. *tear*

What is the first song you heard by #8?

This is nearly an impossible question. I can say that the first Johnny Cash song I ever loved was "Tennessee Flat Top Box," but it was back in the day when CMT was playing the video of his daughter Rosanne singing it.

What is your favorite cover by #2?

I have this bootleg of John Mayer singing Guns N' Roses' "Patience" that I really enjoy, especially when he tries to sound like Axl Rose at the end. Pretty good stuff. Funny, actually.

Okay, well, there's that. Glad I got it out of my system.

A simple phrase hard to put into words

So this might be the first entry not really focused on music in, well, a freaking long time. Maybe, I did have a neat thought as I was driving down 641 yesterday...

I did my last microteaching thing today. It was okay. I really have mixed feelings about being a teacher. There are moments when I feel like I have a certain knack for it. And then there are moments when I am certain I have definitely gotten in over my head. Too bad those moments alternate like a strobe light in my head. Is that called manic depression? Ah, dear.

However, one thing I know that I have a knack for is creating really cool manipulatives to use in the classroom. (What am I? A kindergarten teacher?) Last night, I made some things I am calling "conjugation cubes." Basically, they're a set of three cubes that you can move around and, by so doing, make Spanish sentences. What I like is that they are sort of, um, interchangeable. Right now, they are covered with pronouns, regular -AR verbs stems, and present -AR verbs endings. I realize that none of that probably makes any sense, but here's the point. They could be covered in something totally different. They have Velcro covers that you can take off and replace with different Velcro covers. I have to say that I am pretty dang proud of them. You should ask to see them sometime, and I'll let you have a look -- as long as you promise not the steal the idea. A patent could be in the works...

So I know I am weird and all, but I got a little something for you. I had something like reverse deja vu this weekend. Maybe that's not the way to describe it, but I'll try. For who-knows-how-long, I have had this sort of "flashback" to a place that I've never been. Weird, I know. Well, this weekend, I was finally there. That's all I am going to say. I know that dreams and dream-like states are the hardest thing to talk about. It is so fascinating to the dreamer, but when you try to explain it, it doesn't make a lick of sense. So there.

Well, I have to go give up the rental car now. I suppose I could get all of my stuff out of it first. It's back to the ol' Taurus for me. It drives like a tank. It will definitely feel like that after driving a little tumble bug for a couple weeks.

Hmm. Yes, I think the music-related posts tend to have more substance. Therefore, I'll let you in on my 641 musings.

Music -- all forms of creative expression, really -- is like an imprint of the soul. I had heard some lyric -- could've been "I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for" or "I hope you can feel me in the air" or something else of that nature -- and I began thinking about the separate entities of body and soul. You know, questioning it, considering the magnitude of its implications, what have you. And it ocurred to me that art, namely music, is a way of extracting soul from the body. We can use our mouths to put forth a voice or our hands to write a story, but what is left on paper or in the air isn't our body. It's something intangible. And I have a hard time believing it's just particles in the air bouncing against one another. Maybe it is. You know, I really have no idea. But it's through those airwaves or rearranging molecules or whatever that people are able to connect with one another. Here's what I am saying. Sometimes knowledge -- specifially, really knowing someone else -- seems so inaccessible. Even attempting to comprehend the concept of "soul" boggles my mind. But there is something about creative expression -- be it a painting, a dance, a song, a poem, a nicely turned phrase in a conversation -- makes knowledge a little more accessible. It puts the soul in a language we can understand.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Your plans to make me blue

I went home this past weekend. Well, it was more like I went home on Sunday afternoon and came back here on Tuesday morning. Anyhow, I ran the batteries on all of my music-listening technology by the time Tuesday came around, so I spent the entire ride home flipping through radio stations. I was very hard-pressed to find any music at all, much less any that was decent. Once, I gleaned a line or two of "Do I Make You Proud" (not that it's great music) from underneath some static, but when I tried to go back and find it, it was gone.

Finally, when I was rolling down the hill on 641 into Murray, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" graced the airwaves. I was singing along -- thanking God for Marvin Gaye -- when I remembered that I bought one of his greatest-hits type CDs waaay back in 1996 (omg, ten years ago) for my thirteenth birthday party. You know, it was one of those birthday parties that sold itself as a "dance" party at the community center. So in an attempt to come up with some "cool" dance music, Mom let me buy the "Macarena" CD, and for some reason, she thought it wise to get some "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," too. Now, for the life of me, I cannot figure out what exactly we were supposed to dance to this, but twirling animated raisins come to mind. Anyhow, I'm thinking Marvin and his tunes didn't go over very well anyway. I'm remembering far too many rounds of the macarena dance and something about that choo choo train song.

But that's beside the point.

This is the point: What ever happened to my Marvin Gaye album? Upon research, I've discovered that it was Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye. The poor thing is probably floating around in a black hole somewhere with Los Del Rio and a mismatched pair of brightly colored bobby socks. And you know, I remember at the time thinking that fourteen dollars or whatever it cost was too much to pay for just one song that I wanted. (Now, you can buy the thing brand new for less than ten bucks anywhere.) But I did listen to the whole album long after the party -- along with Justin Mooney's copy of the Eagles' Hell Freezes Over that I ended up with -- and I did appreciate it. But oh! how I would appreciate it now.

The chances of me finding my copy of it are the slimmest of slims. I could just break down and buy it now. I could. But there's something about the fact that I already own it somewhere that's holding me back.

Oh, what's goin' on, what's goin' on?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Perhaps the planets aligned.

While doing the rounds, I happened upon this:

According to, the album Continuum is due out on September 12 -- three long years and three long days after the release of Heavier Things.

Tour dates have also been set. How convenient that the last night of the tour is my birthday. And how convenient that the tickets go on sale tomorrow morning -- technically, today. Atlanta, though, is not exactly convenient. But it's not impossible.

Yes, I am aware that all I talk about any more is music and the people who play it.

To keep up with this tradition, I'll note that I went and saw Justin and Century Century play at Vitello's tonight. I knew all but one song, which kind of makes me proud. I was able to tap my foot knowlingly along as I stood at the door and made people's change for the three-dollar cover. I'm not exactly sure how I got that gig, but as Justin suggested, I should tell you folks that I was a "hard-ass bouncer" for the show. I don't know about hard-ass, but I did kind of have a power trip when two girls without the appropriate amount of cash ("Oh, all I have is debit...") finally realized I wasn't going to let them in and turned away. Oh, yes.

Shake, shake that Polaroid.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Moonlight through the pines

The coroner pronounced the Buick dead yesterday. Hopefully we can all dry our tears, though. There may be life after death. The insurance people calling it a "total loss" doesn't mean she can't be fixed -- just that fixing her will cost more than she's worth. But the family and I are talking it over, and it looks like her mechanic dependability -- and the $800 air compressor we put in less than a week before the wreck -- are worth more than a used car that just might blow up at any minute.

I met with the Fulbright rep on campus today. That went well. We just talked over the possibilities and application and stuff. The application process is a doozy -- that's how told me to spell that -- if there ever was one. Turns out, though, that if I apply this year and don't make it, I can apply again next year for the same program at the same time. Thank you, overlapping 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years.

I'm kind of stressed out about all of it, though. Between figuring what to do about my car, the increasingly insane summer class, and Fulbright to think about, I'm getting a little crazy. Just because it's summer. I could excuse this during the school year because it's supposed to be hectic. I just want to relax, really.

To make up for it, I did some impulse shopping. I put my little toe across the line and ordered a Soul Patrol t-shirt from Neighborhoodies. I know, I know. But it's cute. I got it in "asphalt" (err, dark gray) on gray (err, light gray). I should be ashamed, but I'm not.

I had the strangest realization yesterday: I love songs about Georgia. It's true. I must have some subconscious fascination with the state. And I always that it was North Carolina... Huh. It occurred to me when I listen to Taylor's (who would've guessed?) cover of "Georgia On My Mind" for the thirty-fifth time. "Why Georgia" has always been close to number one on my John Mayer list. And then, today, when I was rummaging through some Iron & Wine songs to learn to play on guitar, I remembered that "Sodom, South Georgia" is the song that, every time I hear it, I start making amazing lesson plans in my head -- see, I could be teacher -- about the use of figurative language, specifically similes. Beautiful song. And I ended up learning to play it, by the way.

Papa died smiling / Wide as a ring of a bell / Gone all star white / Small as a wish in a well / And Sodom, South Georgia / Woke like a tree full of bees / Buried in Christmas / Bows and a blanket of weeds -- "Sodom, South Georgia"

Everybody is just a stranger / But that's the danger in going my own way / I guess that's the price I have to pay / Still "everything happens for a reason" is no reason / Not to ask myself, "Am I living it right?" / Why, tell me why, why Georgia, why -- "Why Georgia"

Georgia / Georgia / A song of you / Comes as sweet and clear / As moonlight through the pines / Other arms reach out to me / Other eyes smile tenderly / Still in peaceful dreams I see / The roads lead back to you -- "Georgia On My Mind"

Monday, June 12, 2006

I've been running ever since.

I am beginning to wonder if I have ADHD.

It has come to my attention (deficit?) that I am incredibly fidgety. I cannot cannot cannot sit still. I remember that when I was a kid, my mom was constantly on me about messing with the mini-blind string behind the couch and about kicking things with my feet. I pop the battery cover on the remote control incessantly. Too bad that the remote for my TV now has a screwed-on battery cover. In my education class right now, we have little name plates that we've made for ourselves. If someone ever needed to know my name, they'd never see it because I am flipping and twirling my name plate around the whole time. I am a pen clicker. I cannot help myself.

Being an education person -- God, the regret -- I have to think about these things. And as I have come across some ADHD symptoms, it is like looking in a mirror. All the signs are there. I don't have the patience to proofread. My mind is incredibly scattered. Just look at the babbling incoherence that is my blog.

My whole life -- or just recently, whichever -- I have been trying to channel that confused and pent-up energy toward something. I have wondered why I have about nineteen hands-on projects going on all the time. I have a new one, by the way. I have a dulcimer now. Play me some mountain music, yeah.

Interestingly, according to those personality/learning styles assessments, I hardly ever come out as a kinesthetically-inclined person. I am beginning to think they are all wrong.

Now, I think I am going to go run a lap or something, thank you.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Will it go 'round in circles?

This happens about once a year. I rediscover the John Mayer that I love. I know. I have a tendency to be gross about my fandom. But I don't care. This time, it was Taylor Hicks' fault. Well, there were several things -- some involving Taylor, some not.

One of them happened when I was in the shower, and I had my iPod/FM transmitter/jalopy stereo system going. And Taylor's live version of "Tighten Up" came up on shuffle. He started off the jam telling about how the song was from 1973 -- think that's wrong, by the way -- and he was singing it. You know, the year. And he starts doing this "Way back, way back, way back, way back in nineteen seeeeventy-three" scat type thing. And that's when I had the epiphany. This style reminded me so much of some of John Mayer's stuff. I went back and listened to "1983" and some other live tunes. The pieces started falling together.

I had read -- somewhere in what I like to call my "research" -- that Taylor (yes, first name want a piece of me?) wants to tour with John Mayer. I kind of laughed at that, but now, I'm catching the groove of this. It all makes sense.

I've been doing this thing which John Mayer once called a musical family tree, or something. Basically, it's just listening to the music that influences the music you like, and you keep moving around, listening to the influencing artists. It wasn't long before I got to the Taylor Hicks/Ray Charles/John Mayer connection. There are some other overlapping things, yes.

Turns out, though, that it's that "soul thing" (I wrote a sufficiently cheesy journal on my page about it) that ties them up together so nicely in the music-loving part of my brain. It's when each performance of a song is an individual work of art. The music and lyrics as they appear on a page might very well be art, but when they are given breath, that's when they come alive -- obviously. I've watched somewhere around six or seven versions of Taylor singing that semi-lifeless "Do I Make You Proud" song, and each time, he does what he can to give it breath. He injects a little improv, and you know, soul. And it works. Not every singer can do that. It really does take an artist.

That's why, back in the day, I could listen to three different versions of "Your Body is a Wonderland" or "Daughters" or "Something's Missing" or "Covered in Rain" and it felt fresh and soulful each time. And that's the point, apparently, because as it turns out, John Mayer has a MySpace and uses the blog feature. And on there, he mentions something about the Trio song "Vultures" going on his new album (next month, maybe!) and being a different creature than the one we know because it has grown. A song is not just a song. The performance -- the living soul in it -- has everything in the world to do with it. It's not art until there is actually an artist behind it.

That's the problem. There is so much music right now -- pop crap -- that is just manufactured. For instance, I really like Maroon 5, but I remember at the Nashville show, I was so impressed with how much the song sounded exactly like the record. And that didn't sit well with me. Now I know why.

I mentioned this on the thing. I like the imperfect music. It's like that thing Holly talks about -- the "needing to be airbrushed" factor. I like the music that isn't flawless. It's when the sour notes in Taylor's version of Elton John's "Levon" and John's "Man on the Side" become the highlight of the song that you've found something. It's a little bit of Soul peeking out. Paula Abdul might be hopped up on OxyContin, but I think she was actually right when she told Randy that what might seem pitchy to him is really the essence of Taylor. When the song's grabbed ahold of you and those kind of notes bust out, it's real. And that's what I like. Real.

I remember the first time I encountered it. About eight minutes into John's nine-minute version of "Covered in Rain" on Any Given Thursday, he comes up for air after about four minutes of tripped-out jamming. After a little bridgey thing, he starts singing the chorus again, and it is this huge burst of emotion. And the song was no longer just a song. It's the same thing that happened when Holly and I first heard the acoustic version of "Disease." It will make you cry, and you almost cannot explain why. But it's because it's not fake music. Turns out that Rob Thomas has a soul.

So, yes. That's what I love. Real music, warts and all.

As a closer here, I have a few John Mayer things that I didn't know until just recently:

Again, the Continuum album is supposed to come out some time soon.

He's on the Cars soundtrack. The folks at iTunes won't let you just download his version of "Route 66" though. It's an "album only" track.

I bought the new Dixie Chicks album about a week ago, and today, I found out that he's featured as the lead guitarist on the track "I Hope." I don't know how I missed that.

And like I said, he's blogging on MySpace. And has been for a long time. Check it out. The man has the best vocabulary I've ever seen in my life.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Is this goodbye?

Well, today has certainly been interesting.

I was going to watch Kathryn while Sissy paid a visit to the dentist. I was going to meet her in Draffenville at 1:40. I left my apartment at about ten til 1:00, and at 1:25, I was still sitting in construction traffic -- not even out of Murray. I'm not even sure if I'd passed Circus Skate yet. But finally, they let us through, and I turned into the Draffenville DQ right on time. Sissy was coming down the road behind me, so I did a little doughnut in the parking lot and jumped back in the road. And then about a quarter of mile from the dentist's office, it happened.

Yep, I had a wreck. The car in front of Sissy came to a complete stop because it was making a lefthand turn, but it had to wait for oncoming traffic to pass. She got stopped. I got stopped. The car behind me, however, was cruising on at about 35 miles an hour. Into my rear end. And it bumped me toward the left -- also commonly known as "the other lane." Luckily, Sissy's bumper kept me from sliding into the path of an oncoming car. Narrowly missed, indeed. My right headlight area crashed into her left taillight area. So there we were in a three-car pile-up of sorts.

Without going into all the details about the police report and the crazy tow truck driver who sped off without me giving him a destination, I'll say this. The woman who hit me has all the responsibility. Her insurance is supposed to pay for my damage and Sissy's, too. The tow truck driver suggested that my car might be totalled because it's a 1998. The frame might be buckled. I don't know. I do know that when we finally had the police officer call the driver and get him redirected toward Murray Auto Body, he set off down the road with my muffler dragging along behind the car. It probably fell off somewhere on 641, who knows.

The car, at least, did not burst into flames between the accident scene and Murray. My old Taurus has been hanging out at Sissy's as a spare vehicle, so I got it. On the way home, I swung by the body shop, and it was sitting there looking sad and droopy in the drawers.

I hope this isn't goodbye for the Buh-yoo-ick. We have lots of niiice memories.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

All centered now.

I finally figured out how to center my blog. It's a glorious day.

The iPod recovered. And I hooked myself up with an FM transmitter -- as Holly suggested -- and now I can enjoy my music in the car. I very excited about this. Now, I could stand to get a charger to go with it. It really never ends.

Well, I found a new best friend: I'm finding and enjoying all kinds of new music. The problem is that my iTunes bill is racking up. Not cool.

Tomorrow's the first official 5-week summer class Wednesday off. This makes me happy. It's not as if I am dedicated every fiber of my being to this class anyway, but it will be nice to have it out of my hair.

I have a few goals for these five weeks, and I'm not meeting them very quickly. I need to find a job for next semester. I need to work on Fulbright things, and by that, I mean that I need to find out about the program in general. And I need to be working on Spanish. I have hardly practiced since school's been out, aside from singing some along with some CDs I got in Spain. How am I going to be of any use in Mexico come August?

I'm going to watch Kathryn tomorrow while Sissy goes to the dentist. So. Yeah.

I've discovered -- long ago, actually -- that I have a very difficult time finding a way to end a blog entry. Perhaps I should think up something creative to do instead of just concluding with, "Well, I guess that's all I have to say about that."

Thanks, Forrest.

Monday, June 05, 2006

It's going around.

It seems all of my unnecessary technological comforts are crapping out on me.

The real disaster is the ol' digital camera. In my heart, I am unwilling to lay the Canon Powershot SD100 (aka Really Really Obsolete) Digital Elph to rest. Partially because I just re-upped my Flickr account. Apparently, I have dropped it or jabbed it with a sharp object in the LCD screen region. When I turn it on, it looks like digitally shattered glass. When Holly and I were at Nick's and I was getting ready to show her a picture on the camera, it took me a minute or so to realize that this wasn't a picture I had taken. Anyhow, the dismay is great. The seemingly nice four-year service plan I purchased does not indeed include accidental damage. So here I am. It can still take pictures I suppose, but fun stuff like aperture and shutter speed -- which I have just learned how to use in my photography class -- are now completely beyond my control. It's a sad day.

And now, my iPod is going through its first big crisis. Something about a corrupt file. It's pretending that I didn't just spend something like twenty minutes creating all new playlists. There's no music to be found on it, but interestingly enough, there is no free disk space either. So I'm downloading some God-Help-Me-Save-the-iPod application from the Apple website. I'm assuming this problem is recoverable.

I think I'm going to do some sort of burnt offering and spread the ashes around my laptop. Just in case.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

He shall beat Levon.

The first week of my second summer class has already passed. Amazing how quickly that week went by compared to the first week of the two-week course. I guess everything really is a bit relative. Anyway, this education class I'm taking now is probably going to be quite easier than the photography, but you know, it'll be five weeks of suckiness. I don't know. My boat's just not a-floating with it.

However, this weekend has been good. My Best Friend Forever Slash came down and saw me. We had us a fun weekend full of various quantities of things like making tacos, walking to the BP, going to Tessa's wedding, spending too much money (see: next item in list), securing Seattle plans, but mostly being disgusting about Taylor Hicks. When you listen to a mix CD of his Idol performances on repeat, a strange thing starts to happen. You realize that all of his songs are really about an assortment of abuse and harassment. Who knew?

It's definitely shower time, so oughta be taking care of that business here in a minute.

Geek update: Harry Potter scarf is almost two-thirds done. That mother is going to be forever long. As a matter of fact, the pattern that I'm using called for four skeins of the red yarn, but I'm definitely running out. No doubt I'll be warm come winter.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Final thooought.

The end of Photography has arrived. Folks, I didn't think I was going to make it out alive. My feet killed me from standing in the dark room for eight hours (or more) at a time in order to print my pictures. I hated most of them. I had to drop extra cash for more paper on which to print my pictures. I was generally frustrated.

And then, last night at about 1:00 am, I finished. I mounted all my pictures on mat board (with precision, might I add), and I set all twelve of them up on the chalk tray to get a good look. And I was happy. I was actually pleased.

Then came the critique in class today. And guess what. The professor was pleased, too! I was quite proud, until after class. That's when I about had a heart attack. You know, in a good way. (If that's not contradictory, I don't know what is.) Proud isn't the word to describe how I felt after the professor used the word amazing to describe me and my photos. And then he suggested that if I got bored with my English and Spanish education studies, I should look into photography. I couldn't believe it.

And to think I was considering dropping the class after the third day.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Quick update.

Photography is crazy. I shot pictures all afternoon and evening yesterday. And then I went to the dark room, and all that developing jazz took me almost three hours. I'm not sure how well my pictures turned out, but it's looking bleak. I guess I'll find out this afternoon 'cause I'm going back here in a minute to print some pictures. We have eight prints with the theme of shadows due Friday. I bet it will take me today and tomorrow to get my prints done. 'Cause, you know, I have to figure in American Idol time.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Back in the habit

Like Sister Act 2. But this is probably just a phase, right? I'll get tired of blogging again and quit. Again.

Day One of photography. Not stressing yet. Today was pretty laid back. The big news is that I think I might've broken/sprained (more likely the second one) something in my foot. I was just walking down the steps to go into Fine Arts before class and my foot just did something funny. Nice omen, eh? Now I am limping around. Anyway, we went around campus and took pictures on a group roll of film. I think mine sucked. I did take a picture of a dead baby bird, though. That's gotta count for something. I mean, I probably contracted avian flu. Great. Look at all the sacrifices I'm making for the class. Breaking some bones, starting an epidemic... What more can one ask for?

I started a roll of film this weekend. I reckon I need to clear it off before class tomorrow, and I need some pre-highly-valuable-course-fee-film practice. So I'm going to drive around and snap some shots to make myself feel better about the photographic crap I produced today. I didn't perform well under the pressure of five of my classmates watching me take pictures with a camera I wasn't used to. Hopefully I can do better by myself.

On an unrelated note, grades come out over night. Oh, the anticipation.

I took some knock-off Claritin before class, and I'm feeling a bit spasmodic. Thank you, high school vocabulary.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The beauty of the light switch

At this point in my life, I have so many things going on that I wonder why I do this to myself. I enjoy the fact that I have taken on a multitude of ventures. There are so many of them, I am not sure which one to deal with first.

I am amazed at how beautifully the trip to Mexico has come together. One minute, I am wishing that I could spend some time down there studying, and the next minute, I have been accepted as a quasi-intern for two weeks to help bridge the language gap for the company my mom works for. I'll probably be in Durango, Mexico, for the first two weeks of August.

In the rapid search to find a way to get to Mexico, I was also directed toward the Fulbright program. I am now planning on starting the application process to be an English Teaching Assistant in Argentina for their 2008 school year (March through November). This is similar to the Spain program I considered in the past, but with the hemispherical changes in the seasons, Fulbright's Argentina program works nicely with my December 2007 graduation. To be accepted as a Fulbright grantee is a prestigious honor. In some ways, I feel inadequate, but at the same time, I have never come across an opportunity more perfect for me. No kidding, the program description says that they give preference to graduates with degrees in Spanish, English, education, or TESOL. Three out of four ain't bad, I say.

It is unbelievable how much my decision to become a Spanish major has changed my life. Yes, of course, graduating in five-point-five years (instead of four-point-zero) means that I'll be left here in the wake of all my friends (especially my bff/), the two best professors I've ever known, the 762 campus prefix, and a billion other things that I have grown to love that are moving on.

I am tempted to believe that I am just another case of arrested development, being afraid to move on to the "real world" and avoiding it by staying in school. But something tells me that if I had graduated with only a secondary teaching certificate for English, I would have never had the opportunity to become whatever it is that I am bound and determine to become. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I am not worrying. I feel like I am slowly whittling out my passions, and once I find them, I don't think there is any stopping me. I know. I am usually not the cocky sort (how about that false humility?), but I'm beginning to see how I have inherited a sense of determination from a long line of hard-heads.

This morning at the desk, I have been knitting because I have finished with finals, and I've nothing else to do. And knitting lets me think and be productive at the same time. In the middle of all those thoughts, an image I haven't seen in years appeared in my mind. The house where my parents live -- one of the places I call home -- was my grandparents' before it was ours. Off to the side is what we call the "building". I am not sure, but I think my grandfather built it himself. (The fact that the house and the building are so close together that it's a fire-hazard tells me that, yes, he built it.) He was a man of determination. He was a farmer, but he was also an inventor. Innumerable times have I heard my aunts and uncles tell about how he fashioned tools himself if he needed to do something and didn't have the right gadget -- either because he was frugal farmer or because the tool had not been invented yet. (Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.) I've heard how he invented the automated tobacco-plant setting contraption years before it went on the market.

But this morning, a simpler "invention" came to my mind. I guess you could call it the precursor to the modern light switch. This building off the side of my house is lit by a bulb turned off and on by a chain. The problem my grandfather faced (and probably created himself) is that the bulb is located in the middle of the room. By the time a person clambered over all the monkey wrenches and anvils strewn about the darkened building in order to reach the chain, several bones would be likely broken. He remedied this simply. He tied a long string to the end of the chain and tied the other end of that string to a nail in the door post. When someone walks in the door, all you have to do is pull the string that stretches to the middle of the room and there will be light. My dad, who has filled the building with his own tools, gadgets, and general beloved junk, keeps my grandfather's lighting system in place. A "normal" light switch could easily be implemented by my brother-in-law who is an electrician. But we keep it, I guess in a sort of reverence to my grandfather and his mind.

I am sure he was not the only one to think of this solution to the unreachable chain. But the point is he did think of it. And he implemented his solution. He had a problem and he wasn't going to let it stop him from doing what he wanted to do -- which was to keep both shins in working order. And I think I've inherited this. And maybe I've inherited a bit of his zaniness, too. For example, when he got his cordless phone in the early 90s -- the prehistoric model with an extendable antenna a yard long -- he rigged it to his overalls with a shoestring so that he could carry it with him while he mowed the yard. I, too, have had my own harebrained ideas about what will work and what won't. (The cordless phone lost reception so far away from the base, and he wouldn't have heard it over the lawnmower anyhow.) What I have learned, though, is that if I don't take the risk of looking like an idiot (who can't even graduate on time), my life will be far less beautiful.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Thanks for nothing

I have been known to boast about the C that I made in CIV 101. I know I cannot completely blame the professor that taught the course for my indifference to the development of human civilization, but wasn't it his job to pique my interest? Anyhow, it really bothers me now that I lack a general knowledge of history. It's my fault, I know. And I have learned a lot since my freshman year, and I would like to learn more. Because I've finally started to realize the immense significance of knowing the journey that man has taken.

This doesn't mean that I am going to bust out my CIV text book and read it from cover to cover. As a matter of fact, I don't know what happened to that book (which was the beginning of the end of good relations between myself and Bradley bookstore). But I am fairly certain it got lost in the blackhole of letting someone borrow it.

I go into all of this because I see that each individual person internally goes through a sort of microcosm of history. This is what education is about. It is supposed to bring us up through all the experience of history so that we can progress -- instead of reinventing the wheel. It speeds us through our own dark middle ages through to a renaissance and enlightment and so on. We go through our own reformations and revolutions.

And I think that's profound.