Thursday, October 29, 2009

I turn my camera on

Seriously, children. I was useless today after 3 pm. I plugged some music into my ear and ambled around for a while, but dragged myself back before it turned into a proper walk. Then I went to the beauty of Chris Thile playing with the ASO and all I could do was smile really big and bask.

What has happened, I would like to know, that I wake up at 2 am and stay that way for the next two hours?

And why is it that when I have been trying to work really, really hard and get Lots of Stuff done so I can relax for a bit, that I crash and find myself incapable of doing anything but browsing Anthropologie and searching for the perfect pair of grey pumps?

[Speaking of which, let me introduce you to the latest obsession, also destined to be a serious relationship - Academic Chic. 3 female grad students and their gorgeous, creative, and inexpensive fashion. I love.]

Usually the crash coincides with an urgent desire to blog. And here I am.

In other news, my sweet parents decided, semi-spontaneously, to sojourn up to Townsend, Tennessee. Explanation. Townsend is the stuff of my childhood. I grew up going to Cades Cove and having our photo taken by the same golden tree each year. We usually stayed at one of the wonderful Pioneer Cabins, which has grassy meadows and a pond and goats (and the guy who played Birdseye Johnson in the television series of Christy. He is a former accountant. No lie). So the Cades Cove/Townsend area is one of my very favorite places on earth and I haven't been in four long years. That's where I'll be this weekend. I have three objectives:
1. Finish the Half-Blood Prince (why did I deprive myself of the sweet addiction of Harry Potter for so long?). Repress all consciousness of school until Sunday afternoon.
2. Sit by the river on the Abram's Falls trail.
3. Eat Bears in the Snow at the Pancake Pantry.

I am a simple girl. No, not that kind of simple.

Next time on your favorite (cough) blog: The exquisite mastery of Where the Wild Things Are. I love it. I love it so. much. It takes the themes of the book - the difficulty of living in relationship, the desire to go wild and live without restraint, and the isolation that brings - and takes it all really, really deep. It is visually beautiful and perfect and hilarious and aching and I want to watch it a million times over. Yes, it is my new Big Fish, my new Lars and the Real Girl. And . . . it has miles to go before DVD release. Dang it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The thing with feathers

Let me just say that when I started this blog o'mine and subtitled it "a catalogue of mercies" - it wasn't because my life was particularly full of sweetness and light.

I gave it that name because it was a huge effort, a conscious, counterintuitive, nanosecond-by-nanosecond effort, to see the good in life. So I tried to start by listing little things, things like the June sunlight at 7 am, or a cinnamon scone, or a friend's letter written in green ink.

Well. Be careful when you go titling something "a catalogue of mercies," because that's just what it'll become. I know I do a lot of whining, but the year and something since I started this has been chock full of unexpected good things. I'm grateful. So I'll list some more.

* The RUF retreat this past weekend. The girls who rode in my car are wonderful in every way, and I cannot rave enough about them. Or the weekend itself. My freshman year (at the same lakehouse), only one upperclassman talked to me. This year, we all talked and laughed together and there were no cliques and community is beautiful, isn't it.

* During tutoring tonight, I spent an hour and half with three freshmen athletes, explicating an Auden poem. By the end of the time, I was jumping around the cubicle frantically and writing on the white board and exclaiming things like, "And HERE is where he argues that Virgil totally fails!" It was really fun. And I'm a nerd.

* Google Calendar. My latest obsession, destined to be lasting. I love it so much. I can make lists! I can see my 4-day agenda! I can view my life in month, week or day mode! I can make events - and tasks!

* In other news, I love my roommate. Her name is Anna too! On our door there is a sign that says "Anna." It makes me smile. Every night we talk for a really long time and I can be my own neurotic, dorky self around her and she just laughs and still loves me. Also we have the exact same thoughts and sometimes communicate telepathically. I love being a clone.
Speaking of which, it's time for our nightly ramble of conversation. Good night, world.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Counting: My life in numbers

1. Things are still not where I'd like them to be, but I recently realized that God's goodness is much more real to me than it was two years ago. And He's really, really patient. Good thing because I'm stubborn. 

2. I took the GRE this morning, and did not die. Not as well as I hoped, not as badly as I feared. Next step: application essay. 

3. Residence Life, always in tune with the needs of students, bought two sets of cookware that 
can be "checked out" by all comers in the RL office.  I think that's gross.  

4. Last Sunday night, it was almost 11 and my suitemate and I had degenerated into nonsensical phrases and raucous laughter. All the sudden the conversation turned to Lamb Chop's Play Along. I loved Lamb Chop. I identified with her so much, probably because she was selfish and sort of irritating. Anyway, 11 pm = prime impulse buy time, so come Tuesday I picked up this in the mail:

Yes, I have my very own Lamb Chop puppet now, and she's GREAT. Last night we spent more time than I will disclose here playing with her and taking pictures. Look for a Lamb Chop photo shoot coming up soon. 

"I make de bes' picnic! Ham samiches, peanut buttah and jelly samiches . . ." Oh the memories.

5. Why yes, I am a senior in college. Why do you ask? 

6.  If I have so much to do, then why I am writing blog posts and eating lollipops and watching Shall We Dance, yes, all at the same time. Why not go write that quiz for tomorrow? Sigh, ok. After all, I am skipping that awful, terrible, really bad Spanish class that I do believe is slowly killing off our brain cells and turning us into zombies who can help the Profesora in her nefarious quest to take over the world. 

But maybe that's just me. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Who pulled the plug?

I'm tired.

Exhausted. Drained. Jes' plumb wore out. Beat. Sapped dry. Weary.

I have also noticed a distinct lack of energy.

I don't know why, ezackly. I mean, a fall break that was too early, yes, overcommitments, yes, a paper and grad school stress and party planning and concert planning and did I mention overcommitment, yes yes yes yes yes.

I'm used to my brain going a little wacky when life gets crazy and stressful. I'm a little bit (ok, a lot) OCD, so when I feel like my life is out of control I get even weirder than usual. The thing is, though, I don't want to give anything up. I like volunteering with Leonardo. Tutoring in the Athletic Department brings in grocery money. RUF is a non-negotiable, seeing as my life revolves around it. School is sort of what I'm here for, and I really do like all my classes except for the despised Spanish lit class (don't get me started). GRE and grad school stuff are necessary for my future and I'm excited about all the nerdy stuff in higher level studies. And then there's the extra social stuff - throwing the party was a blast and I'm thrilled about the house concert. I love hanging out with my friends. I really can't give anything up.

It's just that I feel like something with all the juice drained out. Running on fumes. And the bad thing is that I'm not just forgetting words and where I'm supposed to be, I'm a social zombie. It isn't cool when you find yourself stringing together a random garble of words and hoping they make sense and not having the energy to care if they don't.


Weekend, weekend, weekend. It's what I'm a-living for.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Surfacing for air

Ok, so I badly feel the need to write but it's almost midnight and I'm just plumb tired. So before I pull out an unpublished post I scribbled a few weeks ago - here's what's going in my life. Since you all want to know.
1. I am preparing for the GRE and fixing up grad school applications. Scary.

2. Saturday was perfect, so perfect and autumn and library with Deborah and talk with Kait and supper with friends and I want to live it all over again.
3. Fall break was last week, in Tennessee, and it was so lovely, a golden wheat field and river paradise that made me forget about school for four whole days.
4. Paper due Tuesday. Haven't finished homework for tomorrow, still need to buy book for Tuesday, and study for the music test same day, and work out somewhere in there cause I've been a bottomless pit of inhalation lately and it feels gross and dang I am a really mediocre poet which is worse than being just plain bad and -

5. Ready for another fall break. Sigh.

6. Is it Thanksgiving yet?

Anyways, here is the old unpublished post. Enjoy?

From the time I was quite small, I have resisted trends. I loved pale pink when hot pink was the fashion, and didn't wear jeans until I was 12 (I'm still not sure how I managed that. Shudder.)

But I'm giving into a trend now. You know that one on facebook that's been around forever where you name 10 or 25 or 371 random things about yourself? Yeah, that one. Sorry, folks.

1. I have this thing with planning for catastrophes. Once when I was eight I sat in the car with my brother and imagined what I would do if the telephone pole next to us started fall. How to get him unbuckled and which way to run. The paranoia started early.

2. The fall is medieval scholar season to me. Can someone find me a stone monastery where I can eat apples and cheese and practice my illuminated calligraphy?
3. Also, breakfast dates at restaurants scare me. Lunch is fun-get-together, supper is relax-and-good-conversation, coffee is catch-up time, but mention breakfast and I get unpleasant butterflies, this uncomfortable feeling that we're going to sit down and talk about something really big and serious. Unless it's a Saturday morning and we're going to the Pancake House at 5 Points. Count me in.

4. My OCD tendencies trace to very early childhood, when I had to wash my hands after brushing my hair and was paranoid about things like getting Windex on my toothbrush when the bathroom was cleaned. I also made both parents check my heartbeat every night to make sure nothing was abnormal.
I should have asked them to check my neurotic little brain.

5. College has brought out my extroverted side (I really like people). It's also toned me down (I use to be even more of an attention loving little freak). Both are good things.