30 November 2010

My British psychiatric nurse thinks that I am unnecessarily unkind to myself. For instance, from the moment I get up I know that I will make a cup of coffee and drink it, all the while thinking how lazy I am that I am not already working. All day I will think how my work is not good enough, and then at night I lie in bed and have a panic because it never ends, and never is enough. Etcetera. I feel as if this state isn't entirely my own doing. I feel like I give people the impression that I am more capable than I am. I feel like this goes so far that I am unable to get useful feedback from these people. In this case my professors. And then I blame myself for not working hard enough. I will now remind myself that I worked to the point of psychic collapse and it still was not enough, and that literally half the people in each of my classes have reached the point of it seeming useless to show up.

29 November 2010

When I finally woke up around four it was dark and raining. I made French onion soup, steaming up the kitchen windows.
saved by the intervention of the snuggly cat.

28 November 2010

it has been several months of working until I was having panic attacks nightly and juggling medications and now that I am behind because of medication-induced sleepiness I am feeling it again and just want it to stop. so basically I am just having trouble working up the will to do the next two days.
coffee and clementines with me dad. "you must try one it's good," I say.

25 November 2010

Walked in the falling snow, baked madelines and drank hot cocoa. Like living in a children's book.
I wrote a reader response for class based on a blog post and a classmate liked it a lot. In my eyes it had become flabby in expansion. I read so many good writers I wonder why I don't take their writing apart and figure out how it works. I feel like I am missing a vocabulary I would very much like to acquire.
I get drunk on the options as other people blog about their love lives, or lack thereof.

20 November 2010

It has snowed. Outside the chill turns my knuckles blue and dry, even though it is wet slushy snow. I am tired and the new pills are a project (nausea, being driven to distraction) I don't have time for in the last two weeks of class. If ever. I have books everywhere and I don't have time to read them all. I don't even know if I want to read them all. I would if I could critically assimilate them. Sharpen sticks. Instead I am snowed in, fuzzed out, disconnected, overloaded.

19 November 2010

I have many, many pieces of paper filed according to subject... but I cannot find the one set (a historiography syllabus) I want.

18 November 2010

I have new pills to try. Am excited.

17 November 2010

today at the beginning of my first class a boy had a seizure. his whole body went rigid and shaky and he looked dead behind his eyes. He looked like an animal. I couldn't find my cellphone to call 911 and got dizzy. I feel like I should know what to do in health emergency situations (like when a crazy person runs on to the subway tracks) but I never do. a girl who wants to be a doctor ran to the back of the class and turned him on his side, speaking softly and reassuringly. someone at 911 wanted to hear how often he was breathing and she called it out. I walked outside because that's where even the boy's roommates had gone, to wait for the ambulance. it was pouring rain.

16 November 2010

When my mental state is rocky I eat peanut butter straight up. It doesn't even taste that good normally but when I am just edging out crazy...
I e-mailed my partner in peer-review an apology for being too involved in criticism, with not enough positive encouragement over the course website. I don't think he got it. After class on Monday I overheard him talking with the professor about changing his whole project in a totally unnecessary direction. It was awful. I feel like I damaged him.

14 November 2010

my little monkey.

13 November 2010

I'm reading modern Chinese fiction for the history paper I am writing and it is bringing back the part of me that once wanted to do comparative literature. The newness is a thrill.

12 November 2010

chickpeas in star anise and date masala
(adapted slightly from the ny times, after vij's of vancouver)

2 cans chickpeas (or 1½ cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked)
1⁄3 cup olive oil
1 medium-large Spanish onion, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 black cardamom pods
1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
3 whole star anise
4 teaspoons ground cumin

2½ tablespoons tomato paste
9 plump medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon himalayan pink salt

chopped cilantro to garnish

1. Drain the chickpeas and set aside.

2. With a knife, lightly crack the cardamom pods. Peel the shell to release the seeds and discard the shells. Grind the seeds together with the other spices in a clean coffee grinder, or with mortar and pestle.

3. In a large frying pan set over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it begins to shimmer. Add the onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until they have softened and started to brown. Stir in the garlic and sauté for a minute or so, until it, too, has softened. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the spice mixture. Add the tomato paste and all remaining ingredients and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes.

4. Add the chickpeas and ½ cup or more of water, enough to make the ingredients less than dry. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally to incorporate the flavors, and keep warm until serving. Serve with rice and salad.
I would like to ask your opinion on the scarf I am wearing but blogger informs me I do not have the license to my photo. The scarf is rust coloured interrupted by a narrow orange stripe with black stripes and black checked stripes on either side. Orange is my favourite color and this scarf makes me think of modern art influenced by world art in a moment of optimistic possibility. The thing is, my face is very Heinz 57. I think I may not look ethnic enough to pull bold off. I look like photos of my grandparents' parents, who were Irish and Scottish mixed with Alsatian, which is to say, they look like the poor white faces of boys who fought in World War I; unfortunate heirs to imperialism. Long-nosed. What's a girl to do with a generically old-fashioned face?
news from china
- assertive chinese held in mental wards
- life in shadows for mentally ill in china

11 November 2010

I just don't want to tell you about it.

10 November 2010

the cat love bank: a worthwhile investment.
in China there are monkeys who make liquor in stone pools on wooded mountain sides.
The people who didn't do the reading skipped class today and we got to have an actual discussion. Hooray!

08 November 2010

One of my profs (the other one) only takes people seriously when they are stupid or haven't done the reading. And say as much, loudly. If you haven't done the reading, you moron, I don't want to be bored to death as you demonstrate that you still feel entitled to speak.
I got an e-mail from my girl Joanna who is getting a double mastectomy tomorrow. She says thank you for the kindness, the sooner I can get this over with the sooner I can be done with cancer. Her grace and strength almost make me cry. I'm so glad I said hi so I could see this little window on such a good person.

07 November 2010

fairy tea that is rose and jasmine mixed together.

06 November 2010

It was a night of hot sweat cold sweat shallow sleeping. My morning coffee was bitter and too hot. It did not erase the feeling of being tired and flushed. I bought rain boots on the advice of my father, and lounging around-sleeping in-yoga pants on the advice of my mother. In the afternoon I slept and woke up still tired.

05 November 2010

Finally let go my self-destructing time-hole of a paper. The cat is sleeping, the dog is sleeping and it is time for me to get out for a walk.

02 November 2010

got psychotherapeutized with regards to my long-lost, so near, relatives and counselled with respect to my self-defeating practices of intellectual experiment. all in all a productive hour.

01 November 2010

usually curiosity is enough to keep me from it, but now I am lonely.
I need to take my professor's advice and just have some fun with it.