Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Animals in Halloween Costumes

Happy Halloween! Here are some animals in Halloween costumes (courtesy of attackofthecute.com ) in honor of the holiday:

PS. The debate team is going as the breakup of the Eurozone. I'm Estonia. Holla!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm

Classes have been canceled today and tomorrow due to Frankenstorm. The most important thing this did was postpone the day my GSST midterm was due by 2 days. It's kinda sick that 2 days off school doesn't mean I have time to realax, but rather that I possibly have time to catch up on all my shit. Yayyy college.
The official name of Frankenstorm is Hurricane Sandy. I chose to assume it's not accident that she's named after my hometown. You know, it's somehow significant.
My professors have been emailing me like crazy. First they were all emailing to affirm that class was happening. Then after the college decided to shut down for 2 days, they were all emailing canceling class and giving homework instructions. Awesome.
I went to Trader Joe's yesterday, to load up on Frankenstorm food storage. The shelves were bare. Literally. I've never ever gone to a grocery store and seen it with bare shelves. Isn't that something that only happens in zombie apocolypse movies? No, apparently it's a real thing. I ended up walking out with: chips, salsa, trail mix, chocolate, and juice boxes. Should get me through the storm. If it doesn't my roommate has a chobani food storage to rival the Mormon's. Seriously though we have like 20 things of yogurt in our fridge. Yes.
Everyone keeps warning that the power's going to go out. I've filled all my water bottles full. If the power goes out, and I can't use my computer, I'll die. No more homework for Hannah. I'm missing my generator from home.
Have I ever written about that ridiculous generator we have at home? For years, Lorin owned the Cummins distributorship for the mountain states. Cummins, among other things, manufactures industrial strength generators. So before he sold it, Lorin had a generator installed in our backyard. Not any generator, though. One that would last us a full month without power. It's the size of a car. I kid you not. So I've never had to worry about power outages, but now I do, and it sucks.
Wish me luck for the next few days. Hopefully I have power to blog. I might write something ahead of time just to keep the blog up.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quote Sunday

For graduation, someone gave me a copy of Clayton Christensen's How Will You Measure Your Life?  It took me until like a month ago to actually get to the point of reading it, just because I was busy and had other books I was more interested in reading. But I read it, and as it turned out, I really loved it. There's one part in particular that I've been thinking about a lot:
If you give in to "just this once," based on a marginal-cost analysis, you'll regret where you end up. That's the lesson I learned: it's easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. The boundary—your personal moral line—is powerful because you don't cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there's nothing to stop you doing it again.
I guess I've been thinking about that because it's something that I've lately found to be true - 100 really is a lot easier than 98.  I think it's because I'm on my own, and there isn't anyone enforcing any rules or morals on me. If I don't want to go to class, no one will make me. And if I want to shoot up heroin, no one will stop me. I'm totally at liberty to do what I want. (Asterisk for clarity: neither of those activities have been happening.) As I've been growing into and adjusting to that freedom, I've found that there is power in establishing personal moral lines, and in following them. There is power in saying "this is what I do because it's what I believe is right."

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Currently

Here's what's going on in my life via a list of 10 things:
1. The week before break, school work picked up big time. I thought it was temporary, but it's just as bad this week. It's by far the most work I've ever done. It stresses me out.
2. I got a flu shot, of my own accord, without a sucker after. Don't anyone ever tell me I'm not an adult.
3. I applied to a poetry workshop today. I'm worried I won't be able to get in, but at least I applied, eh?
4. Last week I watched this entire season of ANTM in under 24 hours.
5. I hate cafeteria food. It's gross and shitty. Fuck cafeteria food.
6. My current nervous habit is that I paint my nails and bite it off the next day. The good news is that I'm still not biting them!
7. I've got a crush on the new Macklemore & Ryan Lewis album.
8. It's parents' weekend. It's a little sad that my parents aren't here. Like it's okay, but I'd like to show them my campus at some point.
9. To make it through this week, I needed some sort of reward to look forward to. So this afternoon me and my best friends are making pillsbury sugar cookies - the ones with seasonal shapes in the middle. So excited and happy about it.
10. I brought my Teavana tea from home when I came back from break. It was my best idea ever. I love tea.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Breathe

This is an unexpected, but nice, follow up to yesterday's post.
As we were starting the practice yesterday, the leader said "Breathe in the good. Breathe out the bad. Breathe in all the love. Breathe out all the hate."
I thought about that all of yesterday. Here are my lists.

All the hate:
-Being annoyed when I don't have enough space
-Feeling stressed about the enormous amount of work I have this week, and the minute amount of time I have to do it
-Yesterday's bad hair day
-Facebook
-Feeling like I'm not enough; feeling like I can't deliver like I'm expected to
-Convincing myself that I'm all alone in this here world

All the love:
-Cozy sweaters
-Dinner with my favorite people on campus
-The people I got to visit with at home; the people who still care
-Best friend skype time
-Baking
-Washing my hair
-My Keurig

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wobbly

I started doing yoga twice a week with the yoga club when I first came to Swat. I'm not especially good at yoga, but it is an incredible study break and time to be at peace. That makes it invaluable. On Thursday mornings, the "student wellness coordinator" lead the yoga. Her first class - which was 3 weeks into the year for various reasons - is something I've been thinking about for a while, but haven't quite had the words for.
She led a fairly difficult practice. Too difficult for me, at least. And for a few other people there. Each time we would go into a pose in which we would struggle and our muscles would do that shaky thing - I know you know what I mean - she would say "if you're feeling wobbly just concentrate on your breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Lean into your breath until you don't feel wobbly." I was more wobbly than I really want to admit. It was a hard hour for me. Lots of concentrating on my breathing.
As we were ending the practice, we were sitting in lotus pose. She recited the traditional finishing statement (chant? prayer?) the she added "I hope you will be able to carry this deep yogic breath with you throughout the rest of the day, and when you feel wobbly, lean into your breath." And, honest to God, I  nearly started crying at that.
It wasn't that it was the incredible a statement, but that it was just what I needed to hear. Because I did feel wobbly. I was happy, but I was also still scared, and unsure of myself. (Not that that ever really goes away.) I was wobbly. Having breath to lean into made all the difference.
I'm much less wobbly now, but sometimes I still get wobbly. So I breathe. And things work out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

15 things I love about my college

In no specific order:

1. It's a place I miss when I'm gone.
2. The super incredibly awesome friends I've made
3. The people on my hall who I love lots and lots
4. Hall traditions: Sunday brunch, Monday morning kickoff & Spot it
5. Parties, and dancing at parties
6. Peaslee
7. Being entirely in charge of establishing structure in my life
8. Yoga & Pilates
9. Being close to Philly and the authors who read there (Sandra Cisneros tonight!)
10. Seminars and my small discussion-based classes
11. This is not a college where everyone dresses up all the time. Hello hoodie and jeans, goodbye makeup
12. Community community community
13. Campus is beautiful. Coming back from break to a campus fully immersed in fall was one of the best surprises yet.
14. Painting my nails pretty much all the time
15. The posters in my little dorm

(16. Blogging study breaks!)

Monday, October 22, 2012

This is a girl who speaks her mind.

I know this woman who totally hates the word bitch. She always said it just wasn't okay to call people dogs. Then one day we were talking about it, because I still didn't quite get where she was coming from, and she said something along the lines of "It means something different when you get called a bitch entirely out of hate. And I'm sorry to tell you this, but you're the kind of women who's going to have that happen to you." I think I should clarify that that wasn't an insult, but a kind of quasi-compliment. Anyway, I kinda got it then, but not really. 
A few weeks ago, it happened. I'd rather not go into the whole story, but it ends with me getting called a bitch. And it totally stung, because it wasn't the nearly-endearing word that my friends use, but this thing made to make me feel bad, to make me feel ashamed or timid, to make me quit fighting. And I got it then. 
I don't know if this means I'll cut bitch out of my vocabulary. Probably I won't. I haven't yet. But I've been more aware of it when I say it. More aware of how it can sound. I dunno. I guess my point is that I think we could all afford to be more aware and more careful of the language we use. Because as Arundhati Roy says, "language is the skin on my thought." 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Quote Sunday

My book this week was Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Yes, I did have to read it for my English class. But I think school books - when read in their entirety in a week - can count for me. Especially when I like them as much as I liked Aurora Leigh. It's a novel written in verse. It wasn't always easy to read, but I love Aurora as a character. She's just awesome. I like to think that if I had been around in the 19th century, I would have been just like Aurora.
A big part of the novel is Aurora struggling with how she defines art. Here's an incredible explanation:

Art sets action on top of suffering:
the artist's part is both to be and do,
transfixing with a special, central power
the flat experience of the common man,
and turning outward, with a sudden wrench,
half agony, half ecstasy, the thing
he feels the inmost - never felt the less
because he sings it.

Goosebumps, am I right?
PS.
One of my favorite sentences in the book was "And art: you swim with feet as well as hands." Yes.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vests

I just don't understand vests. Personally, I think that being forced to wear a vest would be a certain kind of hell.
If I'm cold I don't want a vest. And don't give me any of that shit about "if you keep your core warm.." If I keep my core warm I might was well keep my arms warm too. I have never been in a circumstance in which my core was cold but my arms were not. And I don't foresee finding myself in that situation, because I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist. Like seriously, when would I wear this
If I could be wearing this:
The only explanation that I can think of for vests is the starving middle class going to REI and thinking, I would have gotten the coat but Bush tanked the economy so I think I'll save 50 bucks and skip the arms. 
Hopefully it doesn't come down to relying on Mitten's tax cuts to stimulate the economy so people will start wearing coats again. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Not Toys

When I started driving, the thing I constantly heard from my parents - besides "don't hit that" - was "cars are not toys." It wasn't that I abused cars, or was even that dangerous. Just that cars should only be used from getting from place to place. End of story.
Sort of. Enter Lorin's 70th birthday.
A few weeks before Lorin's 70th birthday, Judy was feeling bad that we didn't have anything very good to get for Lorin's birthday. We had the idea of paying for him to go on a fishing trip to Alaska with his best friend, but since his friend had gotten that for his birthday, and Lorin was planning on going anyway, it wasn't much of a gift. Then Judy thought of buying a Polaris RZR for up at the cabin.  If you're not familiar with RZRs, they're like amped-up golf carts. Basically. They look like this:
And they're designed to do this:

So last summer we ended up with a RZR. I'm not a big fan of it because the seat doesn't adjust and it's too far back for me to reach the pedals and steering wheel in a way that makes me feel safe ( #shortpersonproblems). I can reach them if I scoot forward, but I know that if anything were to happen I'd totally loose control quite quickly.
Fast forward to this weekend. We're in Moab right now. We brought the RZR. I decided, when we were about to leave, that it was high time I learned how to pull a trailer. So I drove all the way down to Moab with this set up:

I actually did pretty well. I didn't even get close to getting in an accident. The only problem was that I didn't watch the gas gague very closely. But we made it to Moab with 1.5 miles left to go, so no harm no foul.

 Anyway, we're down here and my cousins (the ones I always call the kids) and my aunt and uncle are here and it's just great. Yesterday we hiked to Delicate Arch. Then we got lunch. I thought I'd ordered myself a shake, but Lizzy felt like I ordered it for her.
























So anyway, after that, Lorin decided that I ought to go on a ride in the RZR. So we went over to a road called Fins N Things. It was the weirdest thing. We got in the RZR, and Lorin pretty much just started driving over rocks. At angles that it didn't seem possible to go over. I swear there were multiple moments when we were straight up or straight down. And it was fun, but I also kinda hated it. It stresses me out, feeling like I'm perpetually in a position which could be fatal. Even though I know we were totally safe, for me off-roading is too full of anxiety to be that much fun.
The whole time I just wanted remind Lorin, "cars are not toys."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

David Sedaris

Have I ever blogged about my love for David Sedaris? I dare say I haven't. I love David Sedaris a whole lot.
I first fell in live with David Sedaris courtesy of This American Life, which I also love, but that is perhaps another blog post. This summer I listened to every single TAL with David Sedaris in it. Once that was over I bought all his audio books. Those lasted me like two weeks. David Sedaris audiobooks are possibly the best thing in the world. So so so incredibly funny.
David Sedaris is coming to Philadelphia. But tickets are $50 and I just can't manage to afford that. It kills me.
So yesterday, I was very very happy when, on my facebook newsfeed, was the link to a new David Sedaris essay in the New Yorker! It has the components of all of David Sedaris' funniest stories: his boyfriend Hugh (see below), living abroad, and fascination with dead things. So go read it, because this essay made my day.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Heavy Boots Playlist

So I have a playlist on my phone titled "Heavy Boots". This is the aptly-named playlist that is the combination of songs that make me cry and songs that just have the right sound for heavy boots days. It's the playlist that I listen to when I feel sad, when I journal/blog about feeling sad, when I walk to starbucks to deal with feeling sad, or when I have myself a cryfest.
So yesterday we went to see a movie. Before the movie they showed this preview:

It seriously made me cry. Like hard. After that I went home and watched it over and over again and cried some more. It's been a while since I had a good cry. After I wrote in my journal and listened to my Heavy Boots playlist, which I will now share, because what else is a blog for?

Heavy Boots:
You Run Away - Barenaked Ladies
Wild Horses - The Rolling Stones
Colorblind - Counting Crows
Skinny Love - Bon Iver
Us Against The World - Coldplay
Timshel - Mumford And Sons 
How You've Grown - 10,000 Maniacs
Holiday in Spain - Counting Crows
Paperweight - Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk
After the Storm - Mumford And Sons 
Rivers and Roads - The Head and The Heart
18th Floor Balcony - Blue October
How We Love - Ingrid Michaelson
Look At Miss Ohio - Gillian Welch
Funeral for a Tree - John Powell (yes it’s from The Lorax and yes it makes me cry)
Red Hill Mining Town - U2
Green Eyes - Coldplay
Winter Lady - Leonard Cohen
Yellow - Coldplay
A Long December - Counting Crows
Marry Me - Train

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No place like home

So since I've been back in the 801, I've been hanging out mostly. And doing homework. Sam picked me up at the airport on Saturday, which was really sweet of him. He's even a decent-enough driver. He did run the car into a rock in the driveway his first week of driving, ruining the front bumper, which was slightly vindicating for me. He did good driving home though.
I spend Saturday around the house talking to the family and catching up, then we went to dinner with my aunt and uncle and the kids, which was awesome. Sunday was church and family dinner and hanging out. Yesterday I went to breakfast with my friend, then to the cabin with my parents (we went on a hike and I spent time with my horse), then to coffee with other friends, then a few hours of homework then dinner with the family. Basically all I do is socialize and homework. I have so much homework. But it's been nice.
Except being home is weird.
It's weird because it's different. Coming home now is so different than when I came home from Europe. From Europe, I was gone almost a month, but I came back and got right back into my life. This time, I'm home, but it's not where my life is. My life is at school. At home, I've got lots of relationships and people I care about very deeply, but that's all. It's weird to come home for vacation. Like this week really feels like a vacation. What?
It's funny to feel a little bit homeless. Like I've got school, which is not really a home and I've got Utah which I feel removed from and I'm just like where do I belong? But it's okay. It's good. You know that Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's song  that says "home is whenever I'm with you." I feel like I'm in that spot right now - and I'll probably be there for several years. Home isn't a house, or even a state anymore. Home is people that I love that are spread all over the country. And that's alright.

Monday, October 15, 2012

15 Things

15 things I know to be true (prompt stolen from Jeannie):
1. Healing comes through helping others.
2. Prayers, like people, come in all sorts of forms and none are more or less valid than the others.
3. Leggings are, in fact, pants.
4. Any money I scrape together as an adult will go toward travel. In 10 years, I will probably still be wearing the clothes I am today. But I'll have visited more countries.
5. Siblings are the best. It would kill me to not have Sam around.
6. In another life, I would have been a cowboy
7. Having a good place to cry is essential.
8. A few dear friends make all the difference.
9.  I'm a feminist.
10. I will be my own kind of feminist and will not be made to feel like I should act or speak certain ways because of that identity and what people expect from a feminist.
11. Actually, number 10 applies to everything and lots of identities,  not just feminism. Also it's really hard.
12. Kids need heroes.
13. Usually it's the random moments that happen, shit you buy, and conversations you stumble into that matter the most.
14. Journal journal journal (or blog).
15. Baking is one of the best cure-alls for a heavy heart.

So, I just realized I've blogged about most of those things in the past. Oops. Still believe in every one of them.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Quote Sunday

So for my Religion class - the one that I had to write that op-ed for - we have to watch the documentary series "Eyes on the Prize" about the civil rights movement over break. I've been watching it, and there's this one part that blows me away. I remember learning about it last year in my HS Civil Rights Movement class, but it feels even more powerful now. 

In January 1956, MLK’s house was bombed with his wife and 10-week old baby inside. He came home, went inside and found out they were okay. Then he walked outside and said this to the mob that had accumulated outside
If you have weapons, take them home... We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love... For what we are doing is right. What we are doing is just. And God is with us.
It gives me goosebumps every time. To say that after your family has just been attacked - it just shows so much authenticity and love and faith and commitment to nonviolence. What a man.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Op-Ed: Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Well, I wrote this Op-ed thing for my religion class. It's not super awesome, but it's basically a glorified blog post (contrary to what my professor believes). Also, I should clarify that I actually like activists today - Occupy and PETA included - I just argued the premise I was given to argue. Go figure.


Waiting in line at Starbucks the other day, I found myself behind someone wearing a shirt that proclaimed INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE with the caption Legalize Gay Marriage. Driving home, I passed a car whose bumper sticker had that same quotation, but this time the caption read Abortion is Murder: Reverse Roe v. Wade. I wondered how such dissimilar groups could use the same rhetoric to make their points.

In 1963, eight white Alabama clergymen sent a letter to Martin Luther King Jr. – who was jailed in Birmingham for his work on the non-violent protest campaign against the city’s government and downtown retailers – arguing that racial segregation should be fought in the courts not in the streets and accusing King of being an outsider causing unnecessary trouble. King’s response “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” – from which the quote I encountered was taken – has been used to justify activist movements ever since, because many activists – fighting for issues ranging from abortion to gay rights to environmental to poverty and welfare to education to animal welfare to gender issues – consider themselves successors to the principles laid out in King’s letter.

These activists see injustices that, in their opinion, “degrade human personality” and decide to fight them. Some of them are really changing things but the majority of those activists who adhere to the principles laid out in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” are failures. These are the movements like Occupy Wall Street and organizations like PETA, who put King’s words on shirts and bumper stickers, who quote him in speeches echoing out of megaphones, who set up tents in parks and hold up home-made signs, and who ultimately fail to bring about meaningful change. These activists have no right to use King’s letter to justify their political movement – none at all – because “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is an all-or-nothing deal. You can’t hand pick your favorite quotes and ignore the rest of the letter.

As a whole, the letter has a twofold mission: to explain the nonviolent movement, and to chastise moderates. King explains that his nonviolent movement is based upon the idea that unjust laws exist and must be disobeyed. If they are disobeyed without creating violence, the opportunity for dialogue is created and things can be changed. The biggest obstacle to this, King argues, is the moderate whose “lukewarm acceptance” is based on a desire to keep an easier peace without tension rather than to take on the task of building a difficult peace rooted in justice. At the core of this letter is a challenge to those eight white clergymen – and the national culture they represented – to help King achieve justice for all.

However, when the letter is taken apart, the meaning is compromised and the pieces are dangerous. Take, for example the famous quote – one that, I might add, is embraced by Occupy Wall Street – “The question is not whether we will be an extremist, but what kind of extremist we will be… Will we be an extremist for the preservation of injustice or will we be an extremist for the cause of justice?” Out of the context of the letter as a whole, Bin Laden might easily have interpreted this as a call to action. Being an extremist for the cause of justice is what Al Qaeda is all about. Yet King certainly would not have supported Al Qaeda. Or another example: “an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty … is in reality expressing the very highest respect for the law.” Sounds like classic Thoreau, but would this not condone honor killings? If a father feels that the morally correct thing to do is to kill his own daughter and if he is willing to go to jail for it, then has King not given him the go-ahead? Yet, once again, we can be certain King would not have condoned honor killings.

King was a figure who changed the face of America. It is only logical that aspiring activists study his methods, writings, and speeches. It’s even fair to say that today’s activists have the right to pick and choose what parts of King’s work they ascribe to. In fact, this is just what King did with his own mentors – with Ghandi, Rauschenbusch, Niebuhr, Thurman, Tillich, Buber, and so many others. But today’s activists cannot simply pick the parts that seem to support their cause, as they currently do. To continue to do so undermines the meaning of King’s work, as well as the integrity of their own, and is downright dangerous. Today’s activists carry the responsibility of thinking critically about their mentors’ work and creating a unique ideology on which to base their movements, if they truly strive to bring change.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Life update.

The days are getting shorter and it's making me sad. I hate looking outside and seeing it dark before it's even 7. Every year the days get shorter, and every year it fouls me up. Gross.
You know what else is gross? I'm sick. I've been surviving via nyquil and dayquil. And lots of sleep. My whole body is like "instead of going to class you should sleep and drink medicine." And I'm like "you're so right body, but I've got to go to class because I've got to succeed in college." So there's that.
In other news, I've been using reading glasses lately. I've never needed them, but these days I'm reading so much (100-200 pages of HW a night), that I was getting serious headaches from small print. So I bought myself a pair of minimal magnification reading glasses. And they help a ton. I find that I can focus on reading better when I can see the words more clearly. Go figure.
That's all the news I've got. I'm going to go to GSST now. And then I'm going to come back to my dorm and sleep.
Xoxo

PS.
I really like Whitman today.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Midterm Week

It's midterm week. I am stressed. This is my busiest work week yet. I'm promising myself a day of shopping in Philly and possibly a manicure if I make it through this week. Shameless rewards.
When I was getting ready to come to college, I, like everyone else who has ever gone to college, was bombarded by advice. Some of it was really good, some of it was mediocre, but by far the best piece of advice I got was keep your room clean. It sounds dumb and trivial. And it's also really funny advice for me, because I'm not even a kinda clean person. My room/car/locker were always a disaster. But I came here, and in my efforts to do well, I tried to keep my room clean. And guess what? It totally helps.
When I feel stressed or anxious about work, I have my room neat and organized. It's wonderful. It makes me feel so much more in control to come back and know exactly where all my stuff is. To come back to a made bed is the best. Or a clean desk that I can work on. Or a bookshelf organized with all my stuff. Even little things like having all my drawers closed makes me feel better.
So even though this week is stressful, I'll be fine because my room is immaculate.

Monday, October 8, 2012

About me:

I like the smell of my horse in the pasture in summertime, of foggy days out East, of 
my favorite perfume. I like the touch of dreams, of a cool breeze, of a new book cover.
I like the taste of  Starbucks americanos with soy, of orange rolls my mom made from 
scratch, of fresh peaches. I like the sight of ink on paper, of fields trees rivers mountains,
of an open road. I like the sound of substantial conversation, of stories being passed down,
of birds in the morning. I like the feeling of being thankful, of slowing down, of getting lost
and going on adventures, of unprecedented courage, of being enveloped in love and life. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Quote Sunday


Carnival

By Rebecca Lindenberg
The mask that burns like a violin, the mask
that sings only dead languages, that loves
the destruction of being put on. The mask
that sighs like a woman even though
a woman wears it. The mask beaded with
freshwater pearls, with seeds. The plumed mask,
the mask with a sutured mouth, a moonface,
with a healed gash that means harvest. A glower
that hides wanting. A grotesque pucker. Here’s
a beaked mask, a braided mask, here’s a mask
without eyes, a mask that looks like a mask
but isn’t—please don’t try to unribbon it.
The mask that snows coins, the mask full of wasps.
Lace mask to net escaping thoughts. Pass me
the rouged mask, the one made of sheet music.
Or the jackal mask, the hide-bound mask
that renders lovers identical with night.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Same Love

I know it's been a video-heavy week, and you're going to have to forgive me that. It's because 1) I've been swamped with school and 2) there are so many awesome videos this week. So here's the last one. It's this incredibly awesome song about gay marriage/rights/love. Really it's about love. It's been all over facebook, and I can't stop listening to it. It's just so incredibly awesome.
Damn right I support it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Book a Week

So I have this new goal: to read a book a week. I read this article a long while ago, and had thought about it, but decided it wasn't really a goal I needed to set for myself. After all, I read plenty. I don't need to set such a lofty goal. And I didn't want to turn reading into some sort of chore that I felt obligated to do.
But lately, I haven't been reading as much. (Well, with the exception of the six days I spent doing nothing but reading Harry Potter). And I miss reading. What's more, I've been wanting to establish more of a routine for myself. I think it'll be much easier to get up and establish a routine in the morning if I know I get to wake up and read for an hour. Doesn't that sound lovely? Since I have later classes, it just means getting up around 9 instead of 10 or 11. I can totally do that.
Also, I think it'd be rewarding to read a book a week. On weeks that are busy I can read a poetry collection. And maybe some week during a break I'll drop everything and read Moby Dick. I like that it's flexible like that. But still, at the end of the week, I'd know that I'd read a whole book. Which is something to be happy about, no matter what the rest of the week was like.
But there's another reason I wanted to do this. I found when I was reading Harry Potter that it helped a lot with homesickness. I'm not really that homesick. I'm very happy where I am. But I have moments of crippling homesickness. I found that reading seriously minimized it. I'm not sure I can explain why exactly, but I think that it's because characters in a book are some sort of friends and family that I can intimately connect to, which is what I miss most about home. So I'm going to keep reading a book a week, because I like the way it alleviates homesickness.
So there we go. This week's was the last 3 Harry Potters. I'm not sure what I'll read next. We'll wait and see. Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Oppression into Opportunity

So Nicholas Kristof is one of my heros. This isn't unique at all; I think he's a hero to anyone who's read the book or his columns or has encountered him. He and his wife Sheryl are - through their book Half the Sky and their writings for the NYT - foremost responsible for bringing issues that women face throughout the world to the consciousness of the international community.
On Monday night, the documentary film based on Half the Sky got released on PBS. I watched it online and it's stunning. The women it highlights - particularly the ones who've started organizations and are changing lives - are breathtaking. Seriously, they bring so much hope into the discussion of these issues that can feel so huge and unbeatable. And I think that's the real genius of the film, that there is hope. One person at a time, people are changing the world. And we can help. So maybe in the next century the world will change and women in the world will have the same rights as men.

You can watch the film online through October 8th. Here are the links:
Episode 1 here:   http://video.pbs.org/video/2283557115
Episode 2 here:   http://video.pbs.org/video/2283558278

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ian

Obama emails me like 6 times a day. It's because we're BFFs, not because he's always asking for money. Anyway, earlier this week, he emailed me this video. It's so beautiful and touching. It definitely made me cry.


PS.
I finished the Harry Potter series. I read it in 6 days. So much fun.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Peaselee

So here's the fun fact du jour: I joined the debate team.
I did debate in high school, but I had a complex relationship with debate. On one hand, I really loved it once I was at a tournament, in a round, debating. On the other hand, I hated getting ready for tournaments, hated preparing cases, hated the busy work of the class. So it was something I did really casually, as a sidenote to whatever else I was doing.
So then I get here, and a guy on my hall is the VP of the debate society and I he talked me into going to the first meeting. I wasn't sure about it, but Swat was hosting this novice tournament coming up, so I stuck with it. So I've spent the last few weeks working on cases and going to meetings as such.
This weekend was the tournament and I loved it.
We do APDA debate. It's so much more fun than high school PF. It's not evidence based at all; it's all about the actual arguments you can come up with. Each round is on a different topic - our cases this weekend included: UN veto, the French burqa ban, JK Rowing, airport full-body scanners, and nuclear energy. And you just take the position, give a 7 or 8 minute speech on it, and see what you can do. I had so much fun and I'm so glad I decided to do debate.
There are also tons of perks that come with debate. For one thing, the people on the team are awesome and I love hanging out with them. Also, see. it's the Peaselee debate society, named after some guy named Peaselee who created for an endowment for the debate society. So we've got a shit ton of money. Free travel/accommodations for tournaments (going to Harvard this weekend!) and a van and funds for our parties. Added bonuses, much?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall is here

It's the first day of October. As far as I am concerned, that means fall is here.
Yesterday was the perfect fall day. We have this big beautiful courtyard outside our dorm, and I sat outside for a while. The ground was covered with fallen leaves, and every time a little gust of wind came, more leaves would dance toward the ground. It was a little chilly and I wore a sweater but sat in the sun. It was beautiful.
For some reason, this year I've been looking forward to fall an extra lot. I think it's partially because I think of school starting and fall coming as synonymous. Obviously that's not true, and going to classes while it still feels like summer is a certain kind of torture. It's harder to get into school and doing work when it still seems like summer.
Fall is my favorite time of year. I don't think this is unique even a little bit. Fall is just so cozy. Fall is when I wrap up in blankets, and wear big sweaters and boots all the time. Fall is brisk walks outside and leaving the windows open all day. Fall is browns and reds and yellows and oranges in their pretties forms. Fall is the ideal time to curl up with books and hot tea, and enjoy the way it feels like a luxury. Fall is a certain kind of living when taking moments to myself is easiest and most rewarding.
I love fall. I'm so glad it finally came.