December 31, 2007
Today Amy gets back from Indiana, so we get to see her and reunite in all of our roommate awesomeness. It's good being back with my old friends again. Nat and I were saying that we're more reserved with other people - not that we're not ourselves, but we're different. I know personally I swear less and make less sexual innuendo when I'm not with my roommates. But I suppose that's just me.
Andrew leaves tomorrow for Ireland, so we're hanging out today and it'll be fun. More pictures to follow.
December 26, 2007
On Christmas Day, my family and I went to see the new National Treasure movie. I wouldn't necessarily say it's a good movie, but it's entertaining. You know, plot holes, some cheesy lines, overacting, the works. Dad liked it, and both him and Mom talked their way through the movie - "it's the second desk!" ect.
I also saw Blood Diamond for the first time the other day, and let's just say, Leo is hot. I mean... conflict diamonds are horrible and we should strive to end the demand for high priced diamonds which put countries in civil strife over the gems. No seriously, Western meddling in the affairs of nations with resources in high demand has proven to be disastrous (diamonds, oil... hell, even spice in the Middle Ages). We should not mess things up elsewhere, anymore. Let's try that for awhile.
Tomorrow I have doctor and dentist appointments, then either tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning I'm heading over to the Twin Cities to see the roomies and Andrew before he leaves for Ireland on the first. It'll be fun. Nat's coming up for New Years and it'll be the first time I've seen her since graduation. MOK Unite! We're going to come together and form some monster evil fighting machine, like when the Power Rangers fought the Puddys. Sweeeeeet.
Ok. I'm going to watch the rest of this horrible movie.
December 18, 2007
December 14, 2007
It snowed once before, but only a little bit. Not enough to last through the next day. It was a magical time when it snowed before, though. It snowed the day of the Tree Trimming party, just 30 minutes before it started. The Tree Trimming party is where YDS takes off for the afternoon and comes together to decorate the (locally-bought) tree, and our dean of students, Dale Peterson, hangs the first ornament. It was a lot of fun and made me realize how much I've come to enjoy and appreciate the community YDS has. I mean, I wrote on my application that I wanted a strong community feel as a part of my education, but it was one of those things you wrote because it sounded good and I knew YDS was all about community. Oh, the irony. Jaded woman says she wants to join school because of the community and then truly comes to appreciate the very thing she exploited in order to gain admission. Sounds like a Christmas miracle! Watch for the 3 night mini-series on your local channel.
It's reading week right now, so classes finished on Tuesday and next week is finals. I wrote out a schedule of things I wanted to accomplish each day, and surprisingly I've stayed mostly on task. True, I've done things not on the schedule, like my laundry, but I was hitting rock bottom in my clothes choices. I wore my super holey socks - more holes than socks! But otherwise, I've been really productive. I did write myself inspirational notes and put them all over my apartment (by my desk, over the sink, in the bathroom mirror). Who isn't inspired by "BE PRODUCTIVE STOP MESSING AROUND"? I am, that's for sure.
I'm already finished with two classes - Political Economy of Misery and Iconography of Christian Art. I had a group presentation in my Misery class, so that was over on Tuesday. For my iconography class I went down to the Yale Art Gallery and wrote about a painting they had there - you know, symbolism and possible uses in the future. So those are done. The only classes I have left are Ruth and Esther and New Testament. I have a paper for Ruth and Esther and I started writing it yesterday. I'm already over half done, so I feel really encouraged by that. I want to finish before I start studying for New Testament, which I've planned out for tomorrow and Sunday. The NT test looks to be the devil incarnate, so I'm either going to A. Study and not sleep for three days, or B. Feign pregnancy and go into labor right before the test. Maybe fake my own death, too. We'll see.
The test really is hazing. We have three essay questions to answer and have to outline one of the Gospels or Acts (minus Mark). It's just a big kick to the ovaries because I know I won't need to know that much detail in my future career. Whatevs.
I'm going to go work on my paper some more before I go Christmas shopping with Olivia (whoo!). I'm also going to Tartuffe tonight with Becca, so that's exciting. I enjoy both of their company greatly. Tuesday my friends and I are celebrating the end of OT/NT by going over to Mike, Caleb and Marshall's house and I'm making Chicago style pizza. Whoo! More on that when it goes down. Paper now. Christmas music too.
December 11, 2007
“But even before the little brown speck, there must have been the conditions, the setting that would allow it to exist in the first place.”
In the video, we saw the ballooning and shrinking of women and the heavy black marker of plastic surgery. Call it negative body image, but there must have been the conditions, the setting that would allow it to exist in the first place.
Many characters in the Bluest Eye hold unattainable standards of beauty; it is no surprise and no coincidence these characters are female. Claudia destroys the blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned dolls she is given at Christmas. Pecola finds her eyes won’t disappear with the rest of herself, and hides behind her veil of ugliness. Polly fixes her hair up like she saw Jean Harlow do in a magazine and remains engrossed in the films she watches.
As members of our society, every day we’re bombarded with images and ideals that demand more than we have to offer, yet we strive to meet them anyway. We push and pull and stretch ourselves beyond our means, judging others and ourselves with the weight of the world on our shoulders.
This is what women had to live up to in the 40’s.
This is what we’re faced with today.
This image is from Axe and Tag Body Spray commercials. Axe is owned by Unilever, which also owns another company: Dove, the company who produced the Onslaught video. What message does that send?
Claudia eventually concludes this: “The best hiding place was love. Thus the conversion from pristine sadism to fabricated hatred, to fraudulent love. It was a small step to Shirley Temple. I learned much later to worship her, just as I learned to delight in cleanliness, knowing, even as I learned, that the change was adjustment without improvement.”
And here is my entry from my last dialogical notebook. At the end of Dr. Towne's book Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil, she suggests living in everydayness as a way to combat all of the -isms we encounter daily:
Living in everydayness seems too simple, too easy. Where is the commission and subsequent report? What big action plan is there to convince people of the drastic change needed?
I think the Bush Civil Rights Record speaks well enough for the big action plans and commission reports. This document drives home the point that government – especially a government run by New Haven’s favorite son – will do little to nothing to make our society one where everyone lives with hope. From Omi & Winant’s reminder that Regan suggested civil rights work was finished to the bullheaded manner in which Bush regards civil rights issues, the government has failed the people again and again. It is thoroughly discouraging to be shown so bluntly of how the issues I care about are utterly disregarded by those persons in power.
It seems to be about what looks good on the front page of a newspaper; “President Bush frequently speaks about the importance of diversity and exhibits such a standard within his own Cabinet. However, his actions with respect to affirmative action are not in line with that professed commitment as he has undercut programs designed to achieve diversity” (ix). Or how about Title IX funding? The report states, “President Bush attempted to redirect Title IX enforcement, but ceased his effort after overwhelming public expressions of support for the law” (xii). See, he’s listening to the needs of the people. Every time I read a newspaper or watch CNN, my hopes for an equal society grow a little dimmer. The nation takes on Orwellian overtones of all are equal, but some are more equal than others.
The government cannot help us, but we as individuals posses the ability to live deliberately in everydayness. Everydayness, while seemingly simplistic at first, can dwell in an abstract form if not taken seriously. The practice of living in everdayness is grounded in our day-to-day being, but what that truly means is “we must order and shape our lives in ways that are not always predictable, not always safe, rarely conventional, and protests with prophetic fury the sins of a fantastic hegemonic imagination (and theological worldviews) that encourage us to separate our bodies from our spirits, our minds from our hearts, our beliefs from our action” (Townes 163-164). Intentional, measured, deliberate, resonant lives.
Everydayness reminds me of the end of Thorton Wilder’s Our Town, where Emily is brought back to Grover’s Corner and shown the minute, day-to-day living. After being shown one of her birthdays, she asks, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it – every, every minute?” Everydayness is living life every, every minute. Only after Emily has died does she realize the importance of everydayness in her life, the grand moments of weddings and first kisses along with the small moments of walking home from school and birthday mornings. Likewise, while big sweeping social programs are important in some aspects, the moments in between our heartbeats and breaths are the ones most important for enacting change. By living intentional, measured, deliberate, resonant lives, in conversation and community with like-minded people, we can pull the richness out of our experiences and work towards eradicating the systematic misery surrounding us.
I got a H- (meaning pretty damn good), so I thought I'd share.
December 5, 2007
If you have poor eyesight, as I increasingly do, you realize that sometimes you just look ridiculous. For example, when approaching someone that you think you might recognize, you have to get close enough to them to see the specificities of their face. In the process of approaching them, you have to look them in the face to try and distinguish features. From the outside, it looks like you are blatantly staring a stranger in the face. This is 100% true, because you are blatantly staring someone in the face. They may think you know them somehow, or that you want to say hi. Once you realize you have no idea who this person is, my suggested strategy is to avoid eye contact, but if you do make eye contact, smile a little bit (no teeth). Do not say anything unless they say something first. Then hurry away as fast as possible.
Obscene Library Books
Due to my wide variety of interests (often obscure and completely random, sometimes offensive), I read a lot of books with strange titles. Recent titles of books I've read include Pornified, Sex with Kings, Cunt, Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, Female Chauvinist Pig, The Undertaking, The American Way of Death, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers, and Virginity or Death (all recommended, by the way). In researching my honors project, I checked out a lot of books that included any mix of the words "Mel Gibson," "Passion," "Christ," "Violence," "Martyrdom," "Masculinity," "Blood Sacrifice," ect. I've learned that at some point, either in a checkout line or at the circulation desk, another individual is going to be look at the books you check out and judge you from their titles. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to buy your books online. You will never get the "WTF?" look from home delivery. The person packaging your order may make the look, but if you can't see it, it doesn't exist. If you're not made of money, you'll have to endure the silent judgment at some point. If you know someone who works at the library, try to go when they're working so they know of your odd quirks. Otherwise, keep your eyes down and make the whole ordeal as fast as possible. Minimize whatever conversation is necessary. Sandwich the questionable book between two safe buys, like travel guides to non-exotic locals like Cleveland and computer manuals. Plus, if you're really uncomfortable about whatever it is you're buying, just pass it off as a gift. This tactic doesn't really work at the library, though.
Or, you could always woman up and take pride in what you read.
Frequent Mailbox Checking
If you feel the need to obsessively check your mail box, do so when no one is around. If someone is around, make sure to not check your mail box the next time they're there. If they only see you do it once, then it may just be the only time you've checked your mailbox today. The key is audience.
Be awkward like fauckward!*
*There is no perfect rhyme for awkward, but I think it fits nicely this way.
I arrive at my classroom to find it empty except a TA. Was class canceled and I didn't get the e-mail? Where is everybody?
"Am... am I early?"
"Um... Class starts at 9:30."
This is a class I've had all semester and here, the last week of classes, I show up a half hour early. Figures. I rock.
Then I killed a butterfly because I used a disposable cup for my coffee at the refectory waiting for class to start, surrounded by the second-career students who naturally wake up at 6 because they've been conditioned to do so by corporate America.
December 3, 2007
Does that piss anyone else off too? I'm glad to know they're taking the time to tell me what THEY'VE decided is immodest. Let me run out and change my wardrobe now.
47.5% of their all-male respondents chose agree or strongly agree to "A purse with the strap diagonally across the chest draws too much attention to the bust." How about 100% of me, myself and I say that a purse with the strap diagonally across the chest means I've never forgotten or lost my purse in the entirety of owning one, I don't have to worry about it being stolen, and it's more comfortable.
71% agree/strongly agree with "The lines of undergarments, visible under clothing, cause guys to stumble." You know what causes me to stumble? Teenage boys thinking it's their place to tell me what they have issues with in the way women dress.
63% agree/strongly agree that it's immodest for girls to reach into their shirts to adjust bra straps. Let's see you wear one and then complain about it being immodest to fix it.
I think the thing that annoys me the most is the presumption and audacity to do a whole survey of what specifically males think is immodest. Where's the partner survey on what girls think is immodest? I think being a jerk is immodest, but no one's asking me to rate it on a 5 point scale. Other gems of this survey - conceived by two teenage guys (big suprise). The logo alone is infuriating. It's a girl covering her the lower half of her face, suggesting that guys can go ahead and tell us what's not modest and we'll comply, but they sexualize the image nonetheless. Go on head, fill out the survey and we'll hop right to, fixing our immodest lifestyles so you won't "stumble" anymore. Let's just cover ourselves right up so YOU don't have to worry about being tempted into sin. We can't have you wear a burqua, though, 'cause that's what the terrorists make their females wear.
I'm adequately annoyed now, thanksverymuch.
December 2, 2007
December 1, 2007
I have a lack of Christmas music on my computer, just that one CD Katie George brought over to the Mirror last year. Today I perused iTunes' holiday music selection to see if I could find anything worthwhile. They had a bunch on sale, but I just couldn't find one worth committing to. My test for a good Christmas CD is Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. I don't know what it is about that song, but it hits me right here (imagine me pointing to my heart). If I hear Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and feel misty on the inside, probably a good cd. If not, probably not. So, sorry Sarah McLachlan. I cannot endorse your Wintersong CD, even if it is only $7.99. You did weird tremolos and I can't have that. Hell, I even dipped into the worst compilation company ever, aka the shitty Now That's What I Call Christmas, and they failed me. Although how much can you expect from a company that puts out Now That's What I Call Thanksgiving? I might have to individually search by song through iTunes to find the best of each version. It'll be intense. Anyway, I'll find something awesome in time for Christmas.
By the way, does anyone else think the lyrics to Baby, It's Cold Outside sound a little iffy? A little like a roofie? I can't think of James Taylor slipping anyone a date rape drug while I listen to Christmas music.
November 26, 2007
November 19, 2007
By comparing different accounts of parables and miracles in the beginning of Mark, the construction of the disciples’ misunderstanding is teased out. Parables and miracles operate in a pattern: a main parable/miracle occurs in a public sphere and later in a private sphere, Jesus explains the parable or performs another private miracle for the disciples. Even though Jesus gives the disciples privileged information, they still do not understand. The last verse in Mark 6:45-52 demonstrates the inability of the disciples to grasp Jesus’ parables and miracles, only to be repeated in Mark 8:17-21.
There's a lot more I wrote about, but I hope it turns out well. My TA, and my New Testament class in general, is pretty on top of grading so I hope it won't be ages before it's returned. I included this picture of Jesus, hoping to get a bump in my grade. It's based off a photograph of Jesus, so it's pretty historically accurate:
There's nothing like Jesus 'rangling a dinosaur. By the way, I'm a big fan of funny Jesus pictures, so if you have any, send them my way.
I don't know if I wrote about this yet or not, but a few weeks ago a YDS student died. It was very sad and sudden; as most people have learned to read not only the official words but also the silences and what is officially unsaid, she took her own life. Young-In was in my Ruth and Esther class, my favorite class this semester. It's a smaller class, only 15 or so students (mostly female), so we got to know about each other more so than in the large lecture classes. Even in this more intimate setting I still feel as if I didn't know her very well, but her death affected me more than I thought it would. That same week, a woman from Minneapolis was murdered after answering an ad on Craig's List. While also very sad, it hit home even more when I found out I knew her roommate Matt, a friend of mine at Hamline. It was a rough bit there, but I wanted to share the website Young-In's family and friends set up for her. I like looking through the pictures and seeing another side of someone, a side I hadn't seen and probably would have never seen had it not been for her death. In my Death and Dying class at Hamline last semester (one of my favorite classes I've ever taken), I wrote my final paper about online memorial tributes and the way the internet functioned as a means of informing people about death. It centered mostly around the shooting at Virgina Tech and how social networking sites like Facebook worked to spread information on the survivors, injured and deceased. So the online tributes to Young-In and Katherine are of particular interest, not only because of the connections between these people and myself, but the way other's memories are helping to create and memorialize other individuals in this new medium.
I left Connecticut on Thursday and have been in Minnesota with Andrew since then. The bastard gave me a cold so I have a sore throat and sniffly nose, not to mention I kinda felt like vomiting last night (although I had just eaten Indian food, so who knows). It's cool though; he gives me a cold, I gave him the Clap, everything works out. So far since I've been here, I've went out for sushi with Kari, Becca and Andrew and then we saw a comedy show with Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black (funny!), saw Beowulf in 3D (lots of near naked Angelina Jolie!), went to Underwater World (sharks!), had breakfast with Erich and Kari before then went back to Green Bay (Neighborhood Cafe!), had Indian food and played some Guitar Hero with Drew and Amy and Anna (curry!), and spent lots of time hanging out with Andrew (boyfriend!).
Tomorrow is our one year anniversary! It's pretty exciting. Andrew doesn't have class in the morning, so we're going to go out to eat breakfast, then tomorrow night we're going to Ichiban, a Japanese restaurant. Usually we go for the sushi bar, but we're going to do the whole cook-at-your-table thing. Then, we're going to see American Gangster. I'm really psyched to see it since I love gangster movies. We both picked out Irish rings online, so tomorrow we're giving them to each other and, like, it'll be sooooooooooo vomit inducing cute and, like, everyone will totally know how much we're in looooooove. Like, for serious.
But it will be a fun time.
I've decided to switch my MAR concentration. I'm currently in the Women's, Gender and Sexuality studies concentration and I've decided to focus on Religion and the Visual Arts. I want to do my PhD in Film Studies and focus on how theology is conveyed visually through film, so it would make a lot of sense to study religious art and how people have conveyed theology visually through art. I decided what I wanted to major in by seeing what areas I was taking the most classes in; now that I've been at YDS for a semester and am planning my coursework for next semester, I've looked at what areas I'm taking a lot of classes in, aka my main interests. It only makes sense to 1. take classes that are interesting to me, since I'll do much better in them if I actually like what I'm studying; 2. be in a program that will allow me to take the classes I'm interested in; 3. earn a degree in something that relates to the other areas I want to work in.
Here's what I want to take next semester:
Theology and Cinema
Christianity and Culture
(one more I can't remember. Sorry. Maybe religious drama history)
So, makes sense to be in a program that lets me take lots of visual arts classes.
Being at Yale makes me realize how old school they are (no matter what type of progressive face they put on). Not always in terms of politics and worldviews, but mostly academic styles. The Bible classes are still stuck in a socio-historical framework and just recently they're starting to consider different theories such as post-colonial, feminist, queer, Marxist theories for alternative interpretations. I think the religion academia has trouble escaping from the socio-historical viewpoint because for so long the Bible was read as history and literal (two separate camps, at times). Other literature has been open to other theories because they aren't steeped in the tradition of being read as History. So while Yale Div has many great opportunities for me to learn about lots of different things, the interdisciplinary viewpoint I want to study in will probably have a harder time of being accepted in a specifically religious academic field. I think Film Studies will be more open to reading film in a religious light than Religious Studies will be to consider film as a legitimate discourse, not a pseudo-scholarly side project.
Anyway, I have to go pay attention to my biff (bf, boyfriend. He hates the term biff). Have lovely Thanksgivings.
November 11, 2007
I went to New York this weekend to see Tessa and The Farnsworth Invention, Aaron Sorkin's new play. It was AWESOME. It was so good. I really, really, really liked it. And, in typical Sorkin style, there were some Sports Night repeat lines - the bit about Cliff Gardner from the second season, for certain. It was well-written, well-acted, plus Tessa got us great seats in the third row. It was excellent to see her again, as I hadn't seen her since August. I'm definitely making a return trip. Lots of fun.
Ok. I'm going to go procrastinate now.
November 6, 2007
The Red Cross, as always, is giving much needed support. There's worries of typhoid and other diseases, but they're also in need of basic supplies like food and fresh water.
It'll take 90 seconds and three mouse clicks to help out.
November 1, 2007
Christmas commercials I saw while watching The Office and Scrubs: 3
Halloween cards I received: 1
Halloween cards with notes from Grandma asking what I want for Christmas: 1
Days until I fly home for Thanksgiving: 14
Days until I see Andrew: 14!!!!
October 31, 2007
One day I also want to have a worm compost. Maybe not right now... but some day.
My friends Olivia and Sarah and I were talking at lunch today about American Girl dolls and how we should make our own feminist version of the dolls - one who attended the Seneca Falls convention in 1848, one who worked for women's suffrage in 1920, one who participated in the women's movement in the 70's, and one involved with the womanist movement. It'd be awesome. The 70's one comes complete with a package of birth control pills. We'd call them American Womyn dolls and life would be awesome. I'd buy one for my kids.
Want to know what I finally decided for my costume for Halloween?
I made my very own homemade sushi yesterday for dinner - all by myself! I'm such a big girl. I ordered a rice steamer online, and it's soooo cute!
I had only made sushi with Oren before, so by myself for the first time was exciting - who knows how I could mess it up?!
I made too much rice, so I ended up making about 4 rolls - or about 2 rolls too many. Next time I'm just making 1 cup of rice.
I put cream cheese, cucumber and avocado in my rolls, but I was thinking about it today and I could always put tuna in mine. I'm not sure how if the canned tuna they have in the store works, but we'll find out next time.
P.S. You can tell I sadly live alone since I'm making sushi for myself and taking pictures of it. Aw.
October 26, 2007
Next Tuesday I have a group presentation in my Political Economy of Misery class, which is shaping up nicely. It's on Texaco, by Patrick Chamoiseau. It's about the history of Martinique through the eyes of a shantytown founder. It's pretty interesting, but I only started reading it this past week or so I'm not finished yet. I can't bring myself to read a novel when I've got tons of other reading due sooner, but I figured I should at least start the text so I know what I'm presenting on. But after yesterday, I'm about halfway through it, so that's not bad. I was going to read a little bit every night before I went to bed, but it's hard to get into at first and sleepiness doesn't contribute to that very well. Besides, I like my pre-sleeping reading to be 100% for my own pleasure. Recently I've reread Reading Lolita in Tehran and Blue Like Jazz, and am now on to one of my favorite authors, Nick Hornby. He's so great, I love everything he writes. I bet I'd even enjoy his grocery lists. Right now I'm rereading A Long Way Down, his most recent book. It's about four strangers who meet on the top of a building on New Years Eve, all planning to kill themselves. It's v. good.
It's Halloween weekend, and tonight there's a party at the Div school. I love dressing up for Halloween, and right now I can't decide between three costumes. I could go as what I was last year - a member of the Rockford Peaches for A League of Their Own. Or I could dress up like I did this summer for costume day - Rosie the Riveter. Or I could go with a costume idea I've had around for awhile - Lovely Rita from the Beatles song. But the dress I bought for that is super itchy, so we'll see.
For years, my favorite Beatles album has been Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Before I left, Andrew ripped a lot of their other albums for me - so not just the bunch of random songs I had before. I have to say, the White Album is inching up to the top of the list. And Revolver and Rubber Soul are really good too. And Abbey Road! They're all so good. But I definitely woke up with Glass Onion from the White Album stuck in my head this morning. And Sexy Sadie is maybe my favorite song on the album, with I Will and Blackbird and Happiness is a Warm Gun and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and Helter Skelter... well, all of them. I also really like Love, but that doesn't count since it's not one of their original albums. But a lot of the songs are really good. And some of the songs from the Across the Universe soundtrack are pretty good. I just like all the Beatles songs.
Most Fridays I don't have class because instead of having three lectures a week, we have two lectures and one discussion section, so I didn't have class this morning. I haven't been outside yet, but I saw a group of people walk by in winter-like coats. I think I might have to bust out the peacoat today. I checked the temperature too, and it's low 50's. We'll see. Ok. I'm out.
October 20, 2007
Monday is my first midterm exam at grad school. Well, I had a somewhat midterm in my Iconography class, but it consisted of 10 true or false questions and 10 fill in the blank questions, so it wasn't a comprehensive, exhaustive exam or anything. My test is in New Testament, so along with the final and the exegesis paper, it's one of the main sources of points for the class. I wonder if you get points for good spelling. Anyway, I shouldn't be procrastinating as much as I am, but I'm thinking I'll be sleeping with my study guide under my pillow tonight. Education by osmosis.
Last night I went out with my friend Marshall and two of his friends from Chicago. It was really fun, I hadn't been out to the bar in awhile (not since Erich's wedding... so not that long really. A while since I'd been out in New Haven). People are already starting to get dressed up for Halloween, so we saw a Jack Sparrow out, and some other costumes. While Marshall and I were walking from the bar in search of a taxi, we passed these people dressed like zombies who were staggering along the sidewalk (I'm guessing from the alcohol and not from rigor mortis, since one of them looked like she was going to vomit on the Yale Art Gallery) and one of them decides to be weird and pretend to be a zombie. I'm sorry, but fake zombies are no issue. I don't care if you're drunk and want to weird people out, it's not going to work for me.
Real zombies, on the other hand, are a big issue and everyone needs to have a zombie survival plan. You need to think about your home, your work, the places you go and what to do in case of a zombie attack. Do you have big windows? How many entrances/exits in your residence or place of work? Do you have access to weapons? Have you considered different plans if the zombies are the slow, staggering Night of the Living Dead zombies or the fast, running, freak-your-shit-out zombies of 28 Days Later**? My old apartment was great in case of a zombie attack. Lock the door on Snelling (no windows to break through), lock the big metal down on Englewood and it's virtually impossible to get up to the apartment level. Plus, we could go across the rooftops of all the businesses on Snelling - all very useful businesses in case of zombie attack - a hardware store, a restaurant, all with very little street access. I should have lived there forever. But seriously. You need to prepare yourself, or at least have an idea of a plan. Consider yourself warned. It's like a public service announcement.
Next week is the Div School Saints and Sinners party. Apparently everyone comes dressed up as something saintly or sinnerly, and it's a good time. You can go literal (slutty anything) or metaphorically (someone wore a sign "Babylonian Isle" and put egg cartons all over them - so Babylonian Exile/Eggs-Isle). Erich and I were brainstorming ideas for both of us - something slightly offensive but still funny. He likes being someone "above reproach," so we were coming up with ideas like assassinated John Lennon or JKF. Katie and I are going as the same thing, but we're in different time zones so it's ok. I'm going as Joan of Arc, but post-bonfire. I think it'll be good, especially for the party.
Along with my quest to be more politically vocal, I'm also working on being more environmentally friendly. I don't know what it is, but here I'm more concerned with my "environmental footprint" than I ever was at Hamline. I think it might be at Hamline there really wasn't a lot of action - just a lot of talk, while here at least small things are offered, like using your own mug at the coffee shop or a place where you can keep dishes in the Refectory so if you want to reuse a plate, you can. Anyway, I've been thinking for awhile that I've wanted to buy reusable sacks for my groceries. I bought some at the store yesterday and I'm excited to go grocery shopping next so I can use them! It was kind of funny/irritating since I bought my sacks and started filling them up with my groceries, and the young gentleman who was checking my groceries finished scanning and started helping me pack by putting some of my groceries in plastic bags. I mean, I just bought reusable grocery bags and you're putting my groceries in plastic bags. Did he miss the point? Or thought I was running out of room in the bags? I don't know. Anyway. Now I have two Stop and Shop reusable bags. They have their logo on the side, so that's annoying, but whatever.
My birthday is a long ways off still, in February, but I know what I'm doing. Kari and I are hanging out! We are hanging out ... and going to see a Spice Girls concert. The things I will do for her, seriously. I can't believe it. A fucking Spice Girls concert. She had better get me an awesome birthday present (not from the concert, thank you). But at least I get to have birthday breakfast with her! Hopefully, anyway.
I think I've procrastinated here enough, and I can move on to my next procrastinating tool -washing dishes. Then, seriously, I am going to study. I think I'm going to go outside since it's a beautiful day. When I was walking down to the little market down the street (procrastination 1 of the day), my skin soaked up the sunlight like a sponge. I miss spending lots of time outside every day like I did during the summer. I am going to sit in the sun and get some Vitamin D, since my cave of an apartment barely lets any light in, and no directly sunlight (damn northern exposure!). It will be wonderful and I will absorb the sun and the New Testament at the same time.
* This means I don't buy exclusively Pringles and Pop Tarts. Sometimes, when I feel super grown-up, I get Pringles, Pop Tarts and Eggo Waffles. Ok, just kidding. Maybe.
**I know they aren't zombies in 28 Days Later, but the Infected. So technically they're still alive and don't need to be killed only by destroying the brain, but they're still zombie-enough where there's no coming back from being infected and the only thing you want to do is eat human flesh.
October 17, 2007
Bush has appointed Susan Orr to the head of the family planning section of the Department of Health and Human Resources. This position "oversees $283 million in annual grants to provide low-income families and others with contraceptive services, counseling and preventive screenings."
Orr, however, doesn't put the "plan" in "family planning." In 2001 when Bush moved to remove the requirement that federal employee's health insurance cover birth control options, Orr said, "We're quite pleased because fertility is not a disease. It's not a medical necessity that you have [contraception]." Another fine quote from Orr, "It’s not about choice,” said Orr. “It’s not about health care. It’s about making everyone collaborators with the culture of death.”
Additionally, she's a strong supporter of the Global Gag Rule, which states that no federal money can be sent overseas to any health clinic that doesn't promote a straight abstinence-only policy. Health providers can lose all funding for any mention of family planning, or god forbid, abortion. (Thankfully this provision has been removed in the past few weeks, after being in place since early 2001, when Bush approved it in his first few days in office). There's lots of reasons why this doctor shouldn't be in a position of power to approve funding for low-income individuals and families in need of family planning and reproductive health services.
Unfortunately, the position is appointed and not subject to congressional approval. However, you can sign this petition and let Bush know how you feel. I did.
More information found here and here.
October 13, 2007
Beatles covers in my iTunes: 37 - 32 from the Across the Universe soundtrack
Total number in my iTunes: 186 Beatles songs (or forms of them)
Sunflower bundles bought at the farmer's market for Katie's wedding bouquet: 3
Days until I get to go see Andrew again: 33
Days until our 1 year anniversary: 38
As of Saturday, Bacher sisters: 3
October 3, 2007
You can be a Muslim, but you can't be an Islamic person. Islam is an adjective that has to do with the religion and traditions. Muslim is a noun (a Muslim) and an adjective that has to do with the people. To go with the definitions of the words, Islam means submission, surrender to the will of God, and peace, while Muslim means someone who submits.
Someone misused "Islamic" in my Iconography class today. I think a lot of people here don't have much experience in religions outside of Christianity. Even Judaism is stretching it sometimes. Sometimes I think being multi-traditional means knowing about all the different denominations.
I went to the Peabody Museum the other day to see a mandala being made by Tibetan monks. Monks work for several days making a really elaborate piece of sand art that they destroy when they're done. It has to do with the impermenace of life and that crap. After we saw the mandala, then Mike, Marshall and I wandered around the museum. It was a pretty fun Friday afternoon, in all.
September 30, 2007
It's the picture of Paul Newman dressed up in different outfits depending on what type of dressing he's selling. Seeing that mock statue of his head as Cesaer makes me happy every time I pull the dressing out of my fridge. I couldn't find a picture of the French dressing, but let's just say it involves a beret. He's Cesaer, he's on a tropical island, he's on a ranch... What can't Newman do?
I've always wanted to be one of those angsty old women. You know, one of those ones that yells at misbehaving kids and is feisty about something random, like the signs on park benches. I was thisclose to being one this summer. I worked at a day camp this summer, and my campers were 6 or 7, so pretty young - first and second graders. We were at a roller rink and it was almost time to go so we were rounding the kids up. I checked the bathroom and when I waiting for a camper inside, I could hear these older kids talking shit outside by the water fountain. They were swearing, being catty and they were only 13 or 14, middle school or early high school at the latest. I knew one of my kids was standing in line at the water fountain and she didn't need to hear that. I just wanted to give those girls disapproving looks and tell them they needed to watch their language around young kids and I'd smack them back into the stone age if I heard another peep out of them. Unfortunately, some OTHER mother did the same thing before I had the chance. Damn, I was so excited to be able to tell those middle school kids off. Maybe it was all the little kids around, but there's no excuse for middle school kids being bratty in public. Jeeze, they can be little shits to their parents. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to more opportunities to yell at kids for misbehaving when their parents aren't around.
I decided I was going to try two new things: 1. drink more water and less soda and 2. use the voice that I have.
1. Drink more water and less soda.
Soda is flavored sugar water while water is just non flavored no sugar water. Plus it was cheaper. I don't like paying for bottled water because it seems silly that I should pay for something I can get from my kitchen for (virtually) free. and it's pretty much the same water. However, I keep forgetting my water bottle in my fridge, so then I buy one from the refectory. Since I'm also trying to be more ecologically conscious, I feel bad throwing away a water bottle I just bought. So I bring it home, fill it up with water and put it in my fridge. By now I have probably 6 or 7 bottles of water in my fridge in addition to my hard plastic water bottles. I just feel bad throwing away water bottles when I know they're not very recyclable. Plus Yale has it's own bottled water center so it seems like Yale will plaster their name over anything and sell it for 20% more. If they figure they can do it with degrees, why not bottled water?
2. Use my voice.
I hear about a lot of political issues every day - I do read the news - and I always get pissed off when something doesn't go the way I want it to. But then I think about it, and I didn't really do much beyond keep myself informed. I didn't write anyone to tell them I liked or disliked their actions or tell anyone about what I thought, or anything. So I have little right to be angsty over outcomes when I didn't do my part. So along with drinking more water, I've decided to take a part in speaking up. I went to a documentary this summer on sex education in the Minnesota Senate, and one thing the filmmaker said was that very few people let their representatives know how they feel on issues. If politicians don't know how their constituents feel on specific issues, how are they going to accurately represent them? One politician said not one of his constituents told him they were for the sex ed bill. I'm sure he didn't ask everyone, and it seems we always just assume that someone else is doing the speaking for us. I'm sure at least one person in his district was for comprehensive sex education. So I've decided that I need to let people know how I feel about the decisions they're making that affects my life and the lives of the people I care about. The first e-mail I sent was to the mayor of San Diego.
I'm not a very public person in issues of my personal life. I'm very transparent on how I feel with Andrew because well, he's the one concerned; everyone else gets a fairly opaque view of my relationship because honestly, it's not their business. I'll share if I want to. It's mostly my mom I share with and even then I'm tight lipped. However, Andrew and I were talking online the other day about some of the people I've dated in the past and saying everything about them all at once made me realize I dated some real assholes. It wasn't like I found out anything new about any of them, but listing one after another added up to a lot of douchebags who didn't put me first, or second, or third, or fourth, or fifth. I can only think of one person I dated before Andrew who I still even remotely like and I suppose it's because he was generally nice through the whole time we saw each other. It's sad when being nice is a plus as opposed to a given. Anyway, the trip down memory lane sucked and hurt but made me appreciate Andrew even more. I'm very excited to see him in 4 days. He's one of the good guys.
The first thirty seconds of this song are awesome: The State of Massachusetts. P.S. I spelled Massachusetts right on the first try.
September 26, 2007
She is one of this year's Yale Chubb Fellows, which brings in well known individuals to lecture to Yale College (the undergrad school), but also to the university and community in general. It was an awesome experience, and a great lecture. She touched on a lot of issues, but her main point was that everything is related to everything else - life and issues are circular in nature. If you are a feminist, then you have to be anti-racist and anti-classism and anti-violence, ect. The way we think about equal pay affects the way we think about foreign policy affects the way we think about history affects the way we think about the death penalty, and so on. Family forms influence the type of government we have, and if we have families filled with violence, it will reflect in our government. She made a really astute statement on the current government/Republican party. Their politics on the death penalty and abortion are seemingly contradictory - but to them what matters is who makes decisions, specifically the state. Individual choice subverts. In terms of birth control and homosexual sex - they're against any sex that doesn't end in procreation.
Some other great quotes from the lecture:
"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off."
"If racism or patriarchy has a beginning, then it has an end."
"The only real form of arms control is how we raise our children."
"Some say the end justifies the means, but the means are the end."
A fact she gave: in 1979, the average Fortune 500 CEO made 40 times the amount the average employee earned. Now, the average Fortune 500 CEO makes 424 times more than the average employee.
I went with one of my friends Sarah and it was a great time. I don't have any pictures because my camera batteries died, but my memories are enough. Until I grow senile and it's the only memory I have.
For awhile my peace lily has been wilting a bit, so I did a little internet research and guessed I've been overwatering my plant. So, I checked out the pot and yes, my plant was sitting in a pot of water. So, I have to go buy a new pot that will drain water properly. And maybe I'll find another plant that doesn't need to be drained. My apartment doesn't get a lot of natural light, and it's killing me. I love natural light, especially in the morning, and the apartment jas none of it. I think the lily is dealing with that better than I am. So when I go plant shopping in the near future, I need a low light plant that can be overwatered.
Friday I don't have any class, so I think I'm going to head over to the Peabody Museum of Natural History. I'm pretty excited to have a low key day at the museum. I've been thinking about heading over to New York in the near future and hitting up a bunch of museums there, so this in my own backyard is just as good.
Tomorrow is only one week until I come home! And only 8 days till I see Andrew!
481 days until inauguration 2009.
September 24, 2007
As a self-identified awkward person, I've accumulated a fair amount of knowledge and skills in passing off, or simply living with, my awkwardness. It would be cruel of me not to share this valuable information with other awkward people. It's my good deed of the day. So, here for all to share, Lindsay's Guide to Living Awkwardly.
First, what to do if you respond to someone who is speaking to another person around you. For example, I was sugaring my coffee in the refectory one morning last week and someone walked in and said hello. Not looking up, I said hello back, at which point I did look up to realize that I had no idea who the person saying hello was, and that the woman was saying hello to someone else in the room. Now, this has the potential to be a crisis. Another example: As I was walking to class this morning, someone I vaguely know, an acquaintance so to say, walked out of his building and said "Good morning." I looked towards him, the sun flashed in my eyes and I couldn't tell if he was speaking to me (the nearest person) or the person further away. As I continued on, he went to the other person and had a conversation with him - so he might have been intending the good morning for me, or for the person he had an actual conversation with. So, what does an awkward person do in situations like these? First, don't let others (those maybe not apparent of your awkwardness) know you feel/are awkward. Keep on going like the fabulous person you are. Maybe they'll mistake your awkwardness for being friendly. In the two examples above, the one this morning is easy to do like this. The first case, where I looked someone in the face and realized they weren't talking to me, wasn't as easy to play off. The rule of thumb is to not say anything more, because your rambling isn't going to help. It's just going to make you look gawky and a little senile. In worst case scenarios like this one, you evacuate. Finish your business (throw a lid on the coffee) and bolt. You can't be awkward if there's no one to be awkward around.
Another situation: You are walking right behind someone who is walking slower than you'd like them to - but there's not enough space to pass or if you do, you might have to start a conversation with them and you're in a hurry. Additionally variations include walking right behind someone who you know has the same destination but you don't want to talk to them. They meander about, shuffling down the path and you're in a hurry to run home and grab your ID card so you can buy lunch today. Here's what you do - before you can take any alternative course of action, you need to first adjust your walking pace so you won't overtake the individual, but you also won't be right on their heels. Allow some buffer space and readjust as needed, in case the person slows down more. Then, look ahead in the path to see if there's a spot where you can take a different route than this person. Try to break away as soon as possible. If you can't break away, keep a fair distance and perhaps find some distraction, in case the person does want to talk to you. If you have an mp3 player, now is the time to pull it out and use it as a reason to not talk to them while you pass. If you must make conversation, keep it brief. See the reference to rambling earlier.
As I keep being awkward, I'll let you know more of my tips.
September 20, 2007
Anyway, I'm excited to get the review back because then I can see where my writing stands compared to grad school expectations. For Hamline, after I finished my FYSEM summer reading paper, I thought it was pretty good. Reynolds, however, disagreed and to this day, it's the only C I've earned on a paper. But it was helpful in making me realize where my writing needed improvement and how to make those changes. Reynolds is really good at setting up guidelines for revising writing and all of the structural and content-based aspects you need to look at. He's probably helped my writing/revision process most of any teacher I've had, with Polk and Thompson from high school (the bastard) coming in second and third for grammatical issues. To this day, Thompson is still one of the biggest jackass teachers I've ever had a class with, but also to this day I cringe and rewrite whenever I use the word "got," "get," or the passive voice.
From what I heard in class, I'm excited to read the book I Am, by Athalya Brenner. The book is set up around the concept of women in the Bible sitting around a table telling their stories, but also acknowledging commentary/literary pieces written about them. For example, Dinah puts her situation in terms we're used to hearing, like date rape. Mom, I think you'd like this book too.
Next week Gloria Steinem is giving a lecture downtown. The only unfortunate part is I've got NT section right until it starts. I'd never make it downtown and find a seat in time if I stayed the whole time. I'm torn between missing section, which I don't want to do, and seeing Gloria Steinem. Uuuuughhhh. There aren't many sections and it's important to go to all of them, but... Gloria Steeeiiiineeeeemmm (that was me whining). There's really only one option here, though. When am I ever going to get a chance to hear Gloria Steinem again if I miss this? Maybe again, but, maybe not. I'm sure sections won't miss me.
Tomorrow I'm going shopping for a dress for the wedding with Olivia (I had to change that from "wedding dress" to "dress for the wedding" ... could have been misleading). I'm excited and annoyed all at the same time. I'll let you know how it goes. I fly home in two weeks from today! I'm excited to see the family and Andrew especially. I've also heard rumor of a lot of people that'll be at the wedding or in town for the weekend. Some high school people (Yang, Christine, Matt Lawton), people from church (the Eberts, Grace), the Lithuanians, ect. And I think Neal is coming into town! Woo! I'm excited. Since Erich and Katie aren't having a reception, I think everyone should go to St. Brendan's Inn on Saturday and celebrate without them. At least, that's what I plan on doing. I'm also psyched to spend some time in St. Paul. I haven't seen my St. Paul family since my going away party (obviously) so I miss them. Plus I get to spend extra time with Andrew! And Kari.
Everyone should check out my brainchild: Overheard at Yale Divinity School.
September 16, 2007
I'm conflicted. I'm not sure how I feel about that new Beatles musical movie. I want to see it because the trailer looked good, but once I found out it was a musical I got iffy. I've listened to some of the song portions on the website, and I'm not a big fan of some of them. But then, some of them I really like. I think if it just contained all Beatles songs I'd like it much better, but I guess I just have to see it. It's directed by Julie Taymor and I do think there needs to be more women directors, so I want to support that. Plus I really, really liked Frieda and she directed that. Andrew and I are going to see it when I'm home for the wedding, so huzzah. Here is the website if you want to check it out: http://www.acrosstheuniverse.com/
Um, I kinda started a fire on my stove today. But other than that, I have to get back to my reading. I really didn't do much this weekend and now I'm looking at the pile of books and kicking myself. My apartment is really cold too. I'm wearing the wool socks Anele knitted for me, and usually I don't pull those out until November. Damn northern exposure! I'll have to tell you about the stove another time, unfortunately. Oops.