31 May 2011

When life gets too rough sometimes I just have to take a little vacation with Proust. Swallow some pills, but take a vacation with Proust. After thirty pages detailing Swann's jealousy of the woman who isn't a good match for him in the first place (& etc.) most problems seem more manageable.

28 May 2011

Three projects on the go. I have determined that I have enough days on the schedule I have been keeping to review my German before the class begins later in June. I am a little less worried; I had gotten bent out of shape. I have removed the devil's claw weed from the garden plot where I will grow my lettuces, kale, chard and stir-fry mix. I like green things. Now I need some sun to show up so the seeds will grow when I put them in the ground. I am a little stuck on the paper I am researching about an amateur art, historical and scientific society, not sure of my ideas.

26 May 2011

I wish I could go to New York to see the McQueen show.
at the Met
in review
no fraud on my bank card, just a momentary hallucination or inability to read the electronic statement.

25 May 2011


Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple of years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know that it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. Its gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just gotta fight your way through.
— Ira Glass (marry me) 
Today I visited a classical style Chinese garden where they called the koi to eat with a gong dipped into the fish pond. Pretty cool. However my fish needs no invitation, whenever I walk into the room she goes bananas in front of the glass.

24 May 2011

Today I woke up to an e-mail from a prof who gave me A's saying she is willing to talk to me about hermeneutics, watched a movie about outer space half empty room with school children, got to drive a water taxi (I do not even drive a car), visited three museums, found out my favourite tea is back in season at my favourite tea shop, chatted with my favourite tea fairy, had a ladybug land on me, and saw a baby duck snuggled up to its mom sleeping while a dad duck watched the family out swimming. It was a uncannily good day.

23 May 2011

I am so tired all the time if I were paranoid I would think that I have a disease. My hands smell like fire.

21 May 2011

Today was an ideal day spent researching a quirky amateur at the library with some heirloom tomato plants at my side.

20 May 2011

tea in the sunshine with a very smart man today. learned what an intellectual does on his summer vacation. a successful and socially competent intellectual. he thought my past life of comparative literature student would have been awesome. I thought but did not say that a life free of mental illness would have been awesome.

18 May 2011

fraud or misapplied payment on my bank card...
out in the garden... tearing out the Weed From Hell and then planting in little pots my watercress and white lavender seeds. Now a cup of tea and some German revision. So nice this morning not to have to rush anywhere.

16 May 2011

rushing through the archives and celebrating my mother's birthday for a second day, bored bored bored. I was born to people who repeat the dull bits of the evening news, who talk and talk and never say anything.

15 May 2011

My cat, delightful beastie that he is, crawled in bed with me this morning purring and licking my nose. He did not want to be patted, just to get his pungent cat breath all up in there.

14 May 2011

On creative writing. I do wish for greater technical ability, though.

On the pornography found in Osama bin Laden's hideout.

On what happens to the Asian-American overachievers when the test-taking ends.
No job, but a rapid transition from relief to heartbreak, to thoughts of how difficult I will be to hire, to resignation - I didn't give a good interview and know that what I wanted last time was more education, and that is what they got in the person they hired. Then I got the flu. All in a a sorry and sordid tale.

11 May 2011

The waiting is killing me... I find out tomorrow. In the meantime I am diligently reading Edward Said. It is boring me as much as my blogs are boring you!

10 May 2011

Last week I got a new fish, Guppy, who is white with orange tie-dye markings. At first I thought she might die of shock. She lives on my desk in a water garden consisting of three small potted plants and a handful of floating ones. She zooms around in a fluttering of fins and the cat strains his neck to drink over the lip of the bowl.

The last goldfish I had in a bowl lived two and a half years before dying in a heat wave. This time at least I know to change the water and add ice cubes if it gets too hot.
I went to my interview. I didn't know what to expect, for some reason I thought it would be more of an academic discussion, since that was what I entered into on my cover letter. I didn't talk about colonialism nearly enough. Instead I fumbled trying to describe my work habits. My supervisor was really nice to me, reminding me of just how much experience I had. I hope.

05 May 2011

If I get the job I will miss my five minute tea making ritual and mid-day snuggles with the cat. I am working hard researching a paper I have done a ton of research for. I am amazed by what I have dug up and will spend tomorrow at the library building a beautiful introduction. None of this allays any anxiety. I am not quite sure where it comes from but it certainly comes on after a day spent reading. This evening I opened a bottle of wine made by my dad's golf buddy, the father of the girl who got breast cancer, and it was effervescent. It should be really bad but it isn't sweet...

04 May 2011

squee! I have in my (reversed) little claw a painting, the very first I have ever owned. A sort of magical thing. It says, "we will start room by room." Thank you Megan Chapman!
The cat has conducted an initial survey and it seems that yes, my little rhizomes are at work: this summer my garden will have calla lilies of the delicate variety.

03 May 2011

Got an interview for a plum summer job. I had been worried that with the gap in my resume I would be unhirable, but in this case my experience lines up so that I have a good shot. If it works out it will help my resume along very nicely.

01 May 2011

Helped my sister move today. I think I got a sunburn in my eyes while guarding the pickups. While out of my sight one of them lost her mattress, which was funny because my sister wasn't there when it happened. When we got there she had been crying because the renters at her new place, who were supposed to be out yesterday, were still there. The mattress was found, holding up traffic. When we got to the new house, a couple of East Van kids were lying on the front lawn doing yoga in their underwear. "Ew," said the boyfriend, and then the girlfriend began petting a wriggling worm. Then my sister went inside, looked around, and began crying on the phone to her landlord: the previous tenant had left black skid marks on all the walls. So she was overwhelmed. Pizza, beer, the end.
I had tea with my old psychologist. He bought me tea and we sat beside an enormous window while the rain poured down outside. He had lost a lot of weight which made him look older. He no longer works in the psychiatric assessment unit in the big city hospital where we met. He commented on the scariness of the neighbourhood just a few blocks east and told me about his job getting research to clinicians and how he loves to give talks. He told me about writing a song about Japan with monsters and sweet nature stuff and about places he may or may not actually have travelled to with his wife. It was not a clinical clinical conversation. The person who had been my rock was mostly just being a person, someone with the ability to be a little unhinged while avoiding any trouble. I talked about what I had been trying to learn about, and the paper about cannibals I still have to write and how reading seriously and carefully has been more innately interesting to me than arguing for fun, to my detriment. He hugged me goodbye.