Friday, March 11, 2011

It is finished

another 235 pages under my belt, under the bridge, safely tucked into my noggen, the old brain box. and that makes it done.  i think i know enough to write these papers with what i've read.  if i don't, that makes me a dummy, then i will keep revising my paper topics until i do. the topic will become smaller and smaller until i end up writing a list of things i ate today.  with extensive footnotes.

is it sacreligious that i like using the phrase "it is finished" as often as I can?  and when i type it, i like to say it out loud, just under my breath, and i add, "and with that, he breathed his last and gave up his spirit," even though those exact words are not in the Bible but are, rather, an amalgamation of multiple gospel-accounts of Jesus' death? so? is it sacrelig?

it's interesting to me how these words have become wrapped up in my way of being in the world.  i can't escape the fact that my life has been soaked in words from the bible.  i'm not trying to escape, but i think it's interesting to realize i couldn't even if i wanted to.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

where've you been, Kirsten?

i have, as of today, one book left to read for the two courses i am taking this semester apart from writing my thesis.  I have read 10 books for one class, and 11 books for the other class, two of which were over 500 pages.  I also read 7 journal articles which together are the page-number equivalent of one more book.  Tomorrow, I will read the last one, making a total of 23 books.  I have personal reading notes and critical analyses of each one of these books as a record of my toil.

23 books

Then there are the ~ 25 books I decimated - at least in part - during the second two weeks of January as part of my thesis work (something I've been neglecting shamefully of late).

25 books

My math skills aren't hot, but I think that's 48 books in 8.5 weeks which, according to my iphone, is 5.3 books per week.

48 books in 8.5 weeks
5.3 books per week

(Why does it feel like I read more than that? Maybe it feels like more than 5.3 books per week because reading Paul Ricoeur's Memory, History, Forgetting almost made me lose hope that a day would dawn when I would not be reading this book.  Finishing it, handing in my reading notes and blessed critical analysis - 40 pages of sheer agony - was a moment of catharsis, before which moment I had almost lost belief in my own ability to comprehend the English language.  The day I shut that book for the last time, they should have rung the church bells out in the valley, but no one told them what was happening and so the world spun madly, silently on.)

Oh there must be a point to all this.

yesterday i picked up the third last book from the library: Life Lived Like A Story.  I read for the afternoon.  I stopped and made supper.  I picked up my brother and his gf and we all went to a coffee shop.  I opened the book and  had an almost visceral reaction.  I think my body was rejecting the book.  it would not read it.  It just said, "No!" and tried to walk out the door before I ran and tackled it to the ground and wrestled it back into the chair.  Mind over matter.  Or will over mind and matter.

Continuing our journey back in time: the day before yesterday, I think I experienced eye strain for the first time in my life.  The small muscles all around my eyes started to hurt.  I couldn't focus them properly or find anything to look at where they didn't feel tired.  I spent most of the evening talking to Esther with my eyes closed while simultaneously imagining what my life would be like if I went blind.  In absence of other, sight-based, options, I decided I would be a modern day Milton.  I'd have two daughters and attempt to keep them from living their own lives so that they could transcribe my words by candlelight while I dictated the twenty-first century equivalent of Paradise Lost, or something of the sort.  Sounds fair, right?  Young life sacrificed nobly for the arts?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

only two days remain

only two days remain before i change numbers again.  i don't know if i care this year.  thirty threw me.  thirty-one threw me for a while too, but i've found other things to occupy my brain of late.
still, it's kind of a big deal to me.  i'm not sure what type of big deal yet.

anyway, i'll have to figure out some way of marking it when it actually happens. 
for now, i'll borrow someone else's words.

On Turning Ten - Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


i don't know what to write here these days.  here's some random stuff:
- the woman working security at the vancouver airport when i flew home was named dragana.  her name suited her.  she took away my yogurt after we had a brief (very brief) discussion about whether yogurt was a liquid or a gel (i deemed it neither, but how am i supposed to be able to argue effectively in that situation?)  anyway, she could have been less of a beeotch about it.
- saskatoon is cold.  i didn't leave the house for two and a half days after landing here, but i started to get prison pallor, so i ended up getting a ride from the house to a coffee shop.
- i have one semester left to complete of my masters.  i think it will feel strange to finish.  the past year and a half have gone so quickly but have been so intense.
- i am going to get an ordinary job next year.  i don't know yet what i'll do.  one thought that has occurred to me is bartending.  it suits my regular 'awake' hours and i like chatting with people.  but i'd want to work somewhere funky, so i think i'd need to go to school for that.  the idea of taking a year off is to NOT do school.  perhaps i am one of those perpetual students.
- christmas eve tomorrow.  i don't feel very christmas-y yet.  i've got about 16 hours to get in the mood. 

Monday, December 06, 2010


my hair is shorter than it has ever been and i think i love it.  i can hardly pinch any hair on the sides of my head.  it's about a 3/4 of an inch  at the front (only in order to allow my widow's peak to blend in instead of sticking up and out as grows)
the day after i got my hair cut, i worked on a paper at the library with a couple of classmates.
when one of the classmates arrived, she said, "i love your hair!  you look like an 80s rocker."
i think, "80s rocker?  excellent!"
then she goes on, "and a feminist."
i laugh.
she says, "that's not a bad thing."
and i said, "well, i guess i am a feminist in many ways.  i just don't want to look 'butch.'"
"you don't look butch."
"well, good."

it was funny.
but i'm feeling the urge to go put on more makeup.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

more moustache madness

The time? 10:50 pm
The place? Dairy Queen on Denman.
The moustache? Dark brown pushbroom
The man behind the moustache? A gentleman of approximately 25 years of age.
The comment? "Hey beautiful."
The accompanying nonverbals? Eyebrow raise and ongoing nodding of the head.
The response? "Hey."
The accompanying nonverbal response?  slightly furrowed brow while seeking to ascertain whether November 27s moustache man's comment was a response to a baseless belief in prior acquaintance. Absence of 'o-shit!-you're-not-who-i-thought-you-were' facial expression causes morphing of nonverbals into slight smile in response to the thought of having more supporting data for moustache theory. 
The prognosis for the gentleman's full recovery following the conclusion of Movember? Doubtful.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Side-effects of Movember

It's been 26 days of concentration on above-the-lip facial hair for many males.  I'm counting down until it's over.  Four more days.  I think I can make it.

I'm not opposed to moustaches.  Indeed, they can be quite dapper (i think that's the perfect word to describe a moustache, and it most certainly should be since it was created specifically to describe moustaches.  this is probably news to you, but the root word of dapper is dappled - this won't show up in your dictionary, though, because there's a conspiracy to hide this information.  merriam-webster's online dictionary tells me dappled means "marked with small spots or patches contrasting with the background."  As you see, a moustached face is a dappled face, but, obviously no man would stand to have his moustache compared with a small spot or patch.  So the powers that be decided to just dump the l and replace the d with an r (as a silent homage to the word ridiculous which is a close relative of the word moustache. again, don't look for this in your regular dictionary) and there you have it: dapper and bob's also your uncle.  fin)

the reason i can't wait for movember to end is because i think moustaches have a mysterious power over the men sporting them to modify regular behavior and make it something weird. it seems that, among some men, there's an assumption that a moustache makes them irresistible to women.  perhaps this is what happened with someone like burt reynolds.  could it be that the hair grows backwards as well as forwards, interfering with regular brain function and causing ordinary men to act in strange and unusual ways?  i have data which suggests this may be the case.

wednesday: i'm sitting in on a class for undergrads being taught by one of my profs.  it's a 200/300 level class, which means the students in it are likely 19 or 20.  at one point, i accidentally met the eyes of a very young but amply moustachioed male member of the class and he winked at me and gave me a sly grin.  what kind of grin?  a sly grin.  i look away thinking, first, he has no idea how much older i am than him and, second, that he is a truly unfortunate boy.  his moustache has twirled its hair around his brain stem. how he must be suffering.

yesterday: i'm walking down mainstreet in the s.n.o.w. (why does winter have to come every year?)  approaching fourteenth street, i hear the sound of a male voice saying, "gi-rr-lll."  (i can't figure out how to render the sound in text.  it was a verbal/oral equivalent of a whistle.  should it be g-errr-lll?)  i look to my left and the first thing i see is a thick moustache and i know i need look no further.  he can not be held responsible for his actions (i didn't mind what he did, either, just to be clear.  it's not insulting or invasive, just. . . perplexing.  what did he think was going to happen?  perhaps he was just practicing identifying individual's genders.  or maybe g-errr-lll is the only word he knows.  if it isn't the only word he knows, and supposing he was actually trying to attract my attention for realsies, he might want to consider choosing a few other words to pair with g-errr-lll and stringing them together into something like "g-errr-lll, you look like you're going to j.j. bean.  can i buy you a coffee?" Is a sentence is too much?  try a sentence fragment or two: "g-err-lll go j.j. bean? we go together?"  if even a fragment is too much, two nouns would suffice to convey his essential meaning: "g-err-lll! j.j.bean! coffee?" of course, people say all kinds of things to people they're actually not interested in.  i propose that, if your approval of someone's looks is unaccompanied by any desire to get to know them, you should just applaud.)

i digress.  i suspect g-errr-lll-man is likely not even aware of what's happening to him right now.  the mosutache is making all of his decisions at this point.  the good news is that, in four more days, his friends and family will know if he's lost forever, or if he has a chance of recovery.