Monday, October 27, 2008

You're sick, Jessie - sick, sick, sick

As you might have gathered from the title, faithful reader, I am sick. 

Note: I do not get sick.  June of 2006 was the last time I was really down, when I babysat my favorite children ever (I love you Henry and Katherine!) and they gave me some horrible nastiness, the kind that strikes at 1 am (I still love you Henry and Katherine). Ever since then, however, I have been following the example of all the hardy women in my family and building up a steely immune system that will live up to the family reputation.  In that whole two and half year time frame, I have succumbed only once to anything resembling illness. 

[Alert: Massive pity party to follow. Those with whining allergies advised to avoid.]

 All that to say, I do not get sick. Until last night.  When I woke up with stomach nastiness and yes, throwing up (sorry, gentle readers) and general misery. NASTY. 
So, that meant no classes today. Or library work. Or even school work. I croak bitterly when I remember my fond delusion of the morning, imagining myself sitting up in bed later on with books spread around, getting work done. Um, no. On my personal gauge of physical misery, these two facts in themselves are telling:
1. I did not feel like reading. Or writing. Even blogging. Gasp. Usually I have to restrain myself from dumping out my neurotic ramblings every day. The thought of writing a post crossed my mind around 2:30, and I groaned and fell into bed. 
2. The peanut butter on peanut butter crackers held no appeal for me. I scraped it off. O.F.F. And ate just the crackers. When even peanut butter fails me, the world is upside down. 

Yes, I tried to go to Student Health Services (insert bitter laughter). A friend even gave me a ride down. And the nurse and doctor were out (surprise), and my original opinion of Student Health was restored. Then I realized I was feeling rather worse and decided to drag back up to the room, praying all the way, "Please, Lord, just don't let me throw up right here in public." And He was merciful.

Now I am sad because I have to miss RUF. And seeing people. People. I want people. I don't want to talk to them, I just want to lie on a couch while they talk around me. I want the presence of other human beings, gosh darn it. And I feel like Typhoid Mary in enforced quarantine. 

In other news, our window is open and I slept for three hours to Kate Rusby music and October is wonderful even with stomach flu. And I happen to live with a nursing major who is taking excellent care of me and strawberry gatorade is really, really good, in fact I might live on it for the rest of my life. That and peanut butter-less crackers. 

I will go off to some far country
Where I'll know no one and no one knows me
It's there I will wonder in my long silent rest,
For it's you, lovely Willie, you're the boy I love best
-Kate Rusby, "Playing of Ball"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Do you ever find a song you want to live in?

They would drive all night with the windows down
in his ancient El Camino
He's got his arm around her and they're singing along
with the country songs on satellite radio -
and it feels all right. 
-The Spares, "Chapel of the Winding Road"

Yes. I could live in that stanza and be happy. Now I will proceed to listen to this song several hundred times a day for the next two weeks or so. I will attach my mind to a certain four lines or so and sing them constantly (constantly). In the shower at 6:30. At the desk while Valerie is studying. In my head when I should be paying attention to Dr. Brown and Japanese nationalism. Under my breath walking to British Lit. before breakfast. In the car driving to Books-a-Million. Every-where. 
So for some reason last night was very good. Nothing special, just chicken pot pie and Halloween cupcakes and friends. Not many especially quotable moments, or brilliant comments, just - ah, people. I like basking in friends. 

I also like autumn perfection days like today, when everything is deep and clear and brilliant. And spur-of-the-moment supper with Jim at 5 Points with the odd flute player man in the next booth talking about five to the zero power and cackling to himself. And pancake parties. And - sleep.
They're telling stories when the sun comes up
Driving through the mountains . . .
and it feels good to find someone who can see you. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

On holiday

Overheard - Michael and Lee playing Mario Kart.

Michael: I've got to find something to kill her with . . . die, woman

Lee: Bowser just stalled and died and I ran into him

Michael: Don't worry, don't worry, I'm in sight

Lee: . . . through the ages. Oh no, it didn't hit Peach. LUIGIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael: Y'see that? YES! What nowww? Check this out, you about to die people. UH I could've dodged it! (happy) I'm in first though. (singing) Hey Hey . . . we're the Monkees!
Let's glide to the championship, alright?

Lee: Now, Peach, you will be taken! We will have VEN-geance upon you.

Verdict: Endless entertainment. 
So, fall break so far = e-zackly what I needed. Yesterday we went to the Scottish festival, and ate Scottish food, and watched brawny caber-tossing men, and climbed (or, in Michael's case, ran) up Stone Mountain, and saw hairy cows, and listened to the bagpipe music float up as we climbed the mountain, and laid in the sun and wind until we got cold. 

Other highlights:
-drinking Strongbow on Friday night. I liked it. I liked it a lot. 
-I fell asleep during Braveheart on Friday night. I slept like a rock until Val shook my shoulder on Saturday morning. And I slept on top of Stone Mountain. And I slept on the way back from Stone Mountain. And I slept during Mario Kart last night. And I nearly slept during church this morning. And I slept on a bench in the sun while Lee and Val and Michael and Mr. Macon played tennis. Sleep is . . . good. 
-Authentic Mexican tacos tonight. Thank you so much to Michael's grandfather for making me commit the sin of gluttony. 
-Val's house. And her parents. I love her parents. Her dad pretends to strangle me and her mom laughs a lot and hugs me. I feel loved. 
-Deadly, spontaneous pillow fights in the basement, that explode in a rush of adrenaline and flying upholstery.

Homework? Who has homework? 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So today I've slung back and forth between hope and gloomy predictions. But a lot of hope. I think that's something, don't you? Especially when hope and peace have been pretty scarce around these parts. But yesterday and today I've had those spaces of Yes. Not an all's-right-with-the-world feeling,  just resting more in the place of things-will-be-ok. Of God-is-at-work. And you should all go read this article, because I love it and I can read it over and over and get something new each time. Thank you, Jason Boyett, for being honest. 

Ahem. Now I suppose I have to talk about actual real life stuff, since this blog has received criticism in the past of being "cryptic." *cough*StephenandLee*cough* 
Things like:
-Adam Wright's concert on Sunday night! Good crowd, good performer - why can't all my favorite musicians do house concerts? I'm a convert. Go listen to Adam and Act of Congress and buy all their CDs because I love them second only to Nickel Creek. Unless you bring in "The Well" - which just might be my favorite song ever - and bump them up to a tie.

-famous(ish) poet Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge on Monday night. I got to introduce her (thrill) and be one of the token students at dinner afterwards (actually, I was more excited about getting to eat dinner with Dr. Fisk, because she's pretty much the most amazing professor ever. And FINALLY teaching an English class again next semester which I will be the first to sign up for and I digress). She was . . . abstract. But very nice. Um, I liked her artist-y NY City clothes . . . there isn't much more to say. 

-Repentance. I get frustrated with repentance because I can never do it good enough (that is the way my twisted mind works). And then, through a series of un/fortunate events, God changed my heart about something I'd been completely blind to in myself. So . . . thank You. And yes, I can rationalize all day long (maybe it isn't God . . . how do I know it's really Him that did this?) because that's what my crazy mind does. I'm starting to begin to learn to tell it to shut up and say thank You. 

And fall break is in one and a half days and I posted a new poem today which is down to earth, I promise, and I fell in love with "10 Dead Dogs" by Wild Sweet Orange.

Belief, believe in me, cause I don't know
if reason's ever gonna see why love
would come to die,
to leave.

O my God, is this really what you want?
Would you tell us if it's not?
And could you rewrite the plot
and come and get us?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Public naps and poetry

I should be studying for my Legal Spanish that happens in an hour. I should be reading To the Lighthouse. I should be working on the introduction for poet Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge on Monday night. I should be packing for the retreat tomorrow or doing something productive so that I will not panic at my mountain of work when I get back at the end of the weekend. 

Instead, I am here to tell you that my conditioner smells like Fruit Loops.

Yes, I am willfully avoiding work. It started with my 8 am class being canceled. 

Note: After writing above sentence, I remembered my Poetry class (the canceled class), which made me remember working on poems yesterday, which made me remember the poem I wrote yesterday, which I had to go re-read, and anyway I just spent the last twenty minutes tinkering with it and writing the expository paragraph that has to go along with it. [Which, if you are interested, you can find at my new poetry blog.]

And that is what this day has been. Productivity in spurts, nothing very organized. I studied for my test on the quad, and the grass was soft and the sun was warm and I woke up half an hour later. It felt a-ma-zing. 

In other news: I got a spring internship. Um, YAY! It is with Birmingham Christian Family magazine. This means that I can register four credits as "Internship" on my official spring schedule and breathe a sigh of relief, instead of registering and not getting any internship and scrambling to find some class that isn't filled that I actually need. Thank You. I'm so happy about this. It is a big burden off my chest. 

In other other news, I'm having supper with my favorite brother after I get out of the aforementioned Legal Spanish examen, because he is on his fall break and I haven't seen him in years. Slight exaggeration. Why, yes I am rather hyper. Why do you ask? That's what sleeping on the grass in public does to you. 

And with that, I'm off to not be late to class.  

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mirror, mirror

Last week we needed handsoap in our little corner of the Phi Mu house. Since I'm a perfect roommate who never sheds like a cat all over the room or leaves her makeup scattered on the counter, of course I sought to remedy the situation. Enter Dial White Tea soap with Little Pearl Things. Which smells way better than the lilac junk we'd been using (imagine a hospital + rotten violets).

So today at home, I need more soap for my bathroom. But I don't know where anything is kept anymore. Mom directs me to her room where I find - gasp - Dial White Tea soap with Little Pearl Things. Um, I am my mother's daughter? Am I the only one who finds this slightly creepy?

Speaking of which - my mother does not have cancer.

On Tuesday night, I heard the word "biopsy" and started crying (this does not bode well for my future mothering skills, by the way - I can see it now, bursting into tears every time little Johnny skins his knee. "Really, Mom, it's not that bad this time!").
This is the mother who does not get sick, who has the pain threshold of some badly calloused old soldier, who is always visiting the sick/bereaved and stuffing their fridge with banana bread and chicken casserole.
And so Wednesday I prayed and tried not to think about it and had a minor freak out session when I was trying to study on the quad in the gorgeous, gorgeous first-of-October weather. And when I went back to my room, there was an email and the results were negative and I exhaled.

Thank You.
So I came home today, and spent the day with my mom. I cannot completely silence the voice that whines about the paper I need to write, the poetic analysis due Tuesday, prep for Pledge Bash tomorrow night - and then I remember "biopsy" and I am glad I spent today sharing salad and pizza and a garden tour and "What Not to Wear" with my mother. Because it could have been so different.