Monday, November 23, 2009

On our way home

Just got off the phone with little brother. I mean younger brother who is twice my size. He wants to go to Peru during spring break with Bama RUF. I told him about Miami. We chatted about movies (like The Full Monty which is oddly very good. I'll explain later) and the quiz I'm writing for tomorrow and he made me laugh, as always. It turns out we both have class til 5 tomorrow and neither of us are skipping.

But we'll both be home for supper. And I'm looking forward to that, to my family sitting together, and Jim's hilarious stories and Mom's random phrases that make Jim and me die with laughter and she doesn't know why, and seeing Dad happy and trading jokes with Jim.

Can you tell I'm ready for school to be over?

And that is why I'm sitting here in the last half hour before that class I really want to skip but am attending anyway, writing about how my brother's phone call made me happy when I should be writing about the plays of Calderon.

Yes, I am ready for a break. Not from friends. But I want to hang out with my family, and see Kait, and read Deathly Hallows and every Frederic Buechner book I can find. I read Godric this weekend (in the summer I read On the Road with the Archangel), and I love his stuff a lot.

"This much I will tell: what's lost is nothing to what's found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You hold me glad

Tonight, I saw a fat and fluffy raccoon scamper over the sidewalk. The sunset spread a sheet of red-gold light against the evening clouds, and the air was cold and smelled like leaves and pine needles.

Everywhere, beauty.

I should be writing a sestina, but instead I want to tell you that the past several days have been better, OCD-wise. Quite a bit better. I am able to slow down my mind and trust God a little bit more and realize that this is my battle to fight. So I've been fighting.

So far I have hesitated to write directly about that on this blog. I'm not sure why. But anyway, I bear the official diagnosis of "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder," only I don't wash my hands a million times a day (um, that's when I was a six year old hypchondriac. Yeah). Anyway, I've been astonished and, well, relieved, to learn that so many other people also struggle with it. With me, it takes the form of (ahem) "recurrent, unwanted thoughts." So instead of having to check the actual door 30 times to make sure it's locked (which is what some people do), I have to go back and check the door in my mind. And that sounds really abstract. Sorry, folks.
But the point is, you can do stuff to make it better and things have been better this week. And I am grateful.

In other news, I feel subdued, but that's ok. I want to go and sit with people who are my friends and just be quiet and smile and listen. To just - be. To not plan or make conversation or exert energy of any type. Is that ok?

I took an hour and a half dreaming nap yesterday. At 4 o'clock of the afternoon. It was wonderful.

I want to be home and baking. Yes? Yes.

Acquired music from Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack by Karen O and the Kids. It's lovely stuff.

Took me so many miles and they never wore out
my worried shoes
I looked all around and saw the sun shining down
took off my worried shoes

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Here in college, my cooking creativity has grown exponentially. For better, or (often) for worse. The better includes things like learning how to boil pasta in the microwave, or using whipped cream cheese on top of my beans-rice-salsa in the absence of sour cream. Things like stirring in some peanut butter with my oatmeal (divine. And comforting).

Sometimes, though, things go too far. There are only so many things you can change before your creation morphs from yummy with a twist to some food-version of Frankenstein's monster. And that's what happened this morning. One element too many, and my morning oatmeal turned into a peanut butter-cocoa-brown sugar-applesauce bomb. I blame the applesauce. And myself.

Of note:

*I went to Nashville this weekend with Anna and we stayed at her sweet grandmother's house. Then we walked around Vanderbilt and the ginkgo trees there captured our hearts. I've got some serious university infatuation going on.

*In a poetry thesis meeting, Dr. J. and I were talking about my stuffs, and I expressed the fear that my poems are too serious. See, they tend to come out sometimes more sad or cynical than I would like. I mean, I try to fight my pessimism, ya know? And I'd like to write stuff that reflects hope and redemption. But you can't just sit down and say "I'm going to make it turn out this way," or it comes out forced. So I asked him how to deal the fact that I'm not going to write cheery stuff, but I also don't want to give in to full-out cynicism. He smiled. "Just accept it with a whimsical smile," he said.
Strangely, that has helped.

*Grad school update: GRE fun again next week! I'm not studying any math this time. Ha! Personal statement is written and enduring the scrutinizing eagle eyes of respected professors. I'm trying not to dream too much. It's hard.

*Exciting: I've long been obsessed with this band called The Format. I mean, I love them. A lot (even the "Does your cat have a moustache" song, and that's just not a comfortable image). Only problem is they split up a year or two ago, so no obsessively following their tour dates and waiting for them to come here. Good news, though: one of the guys has formed another band, called Fun, and I like them, I like them much.

*In other strange news, I forgot to eat dinner last Thursday. This testifies to my busy-ness because, as most know, I have no hunger tolerance. Feed me. Feed me now. That's my motto. When I don't care about food, my world is upside down. All that to say - last week was insane.
This week? This week I have time to lie on the bed and read Albion's Seed and write blog posts.

*Last Tuesday I watched Shane for the very first time. He's beautiful.

Shane! Come back, Shane.