31 July 2011

the only way toward more inspiration is more work. for a paper about modern China cannibalizing its people the reading is surprisingly boring.

30 July 2011

I am trying hard to feel that what I have is just rational anxiety, and that as a figment of my own psyche I can shift some mental furniture around for relief. This anxiety warps my sense of space and time; it is really consuming.

29 July 2011

Since when is baling on your responsibilities and drinking yourself to sleep at 1 in the afternoon a viable plan? Since today. I feel approximately 1000 times better.
scientific research shows Douglas Fir trees communicate and share resources. very very cool. I live in an area of deforested rainforest/bog where these trees tower over my neighbourhood. I love them, though I became a reading, sentient thing in another part of the country and they still seem a little foreign.
When I handed in my test my teacher asked me how it went and I said so-so. She was nice enough to say, good job for being out of german for so long, and do take the next course.

28 July 2011

One more night of insomnia and then I will have a foul grade to follow me around.

27 July 2011

My Opi says that I need German tv so that I can get some culture. Today he told me about Gemütlichkeit*. He has offered to pay for this endeavor. He offers to pay for nothing. He showers, I think, once a week to save water. It may be that he was certain my cable company does not carry Deutsche Welt and wants me to come and watch tv with him. But I now feel confident in reporting that learning something hard in school is psychologically made much easier with the support of one's family.

*spending time with other people, strangers in restaurants for example, like they are family, says Opi. Or following Google Translate


noun




  1. coziness
  2. friendliness
  3. snugness
  4. leisure
  5. comfortableness
  6. pleasantness
  7. informality
  8. good-naturedness
  9. approachability
  10. unhurriedness
Black coffee. Insomnia. The Guardian because I have run out of free NYT articles.

25 July 2011

I'm gonna be so glad when this class is over and I can sleep through the night. I am tired. My grandma is very proud of my funny story about my cat, though.

24 July 2011

I am having some success applying tooth-brushing gel to my cat's teeth with my finger. The label assures me it will spread throughout the cat's mouth on its own. I am proud of my cat for putting up with this intrusion so stoically and for not denying me snuggles on its account. The cat is such a happy guy he will purr at me for 5 hours at a time when I have insomnia, and the rest of the time he is not a snuggly guy. I feel it is part of my duty to protect his swollen gums and hence his teeth from extraction. His dandruff has been cured, and he enjoyed the breeze from inside the window this afternoon. Truly a banner day.
Trying to decide whether I will take a class on the graphic novel and history or cultural memory and history...
no good. addicts are sometimes such irresistible people. irresistible and repugnant with equal force. Amy Winehouse is playing on repeat in my nest. Since I've been on medication music had been somewhat annoying, this probably won't last long.
Last night I had an unpleasant train ride home. Some girl was trying to get two guys twice her size to fight after one of them might have said crackhead when she got on the train. She had already extracted an apology, her white-trash, honour-bound, belly jiggling as she shook her finger and raised her voice. The second time she got up to start something the Asian ladies moved their children out of the way. "If you don't stop yelling I will push this button," I said to her, lisping through my retainer. One of the guys she had been calling gay stood up and pushed her off the train. She fake wrestled as the door closed. A young woman said she'd been bothered by the same girl the night before. Two stops down the line I got up to get off and the boys high-fived me and shook my hand. I like having my hand shook for calling law enforcement. I caught my bus. On my walk home I saw a coyote trotting along the dog run looking especially fit. We did a little dance. I want to stay away from you, I mimed, stay away from me.

22 July 2011

Lady Wrenna has made a real live friend! A nice loud person who likes her some therapy. I am going to a movie I don't want to see tomorrow so that we can be better friends :)
Reisen mit meinem Kater

Für einen außergewöhnliche Urlaub, möchte ich mit meinem Kater nach Paris reisen. Mein Kater ist getigert, mit weißen spots an seinen Hals und Bauch. Er hat kleine weiße Füße und keine Schwanz. Wir würden im Frühling abreisen, denn das Wetter ist weder zu heiß noch zu kalt. Der Regnen gefällt mir und mein Kater hat nichts dagegen nasse Füße zu bekommen. Wir würden von Vancouver, mit Flugzeug Erster Klasse, abfahren. Vor dem Start, würde ich den Kater ein bisschen Artznei geben. Nach dem Start kann der Kater aus seiner Träger kommen. Dann würde er sich neben mir setzen um einen Film anzusehen. Nach der Landung würden wir mit dem Limousine in ein elegantes, raffiniertes Hotel. Wir würden ein kleines Nickerchen im großen, flauschigen Bett nehmen. Bevor wir ein Excursion zum Buchladen Shakespeare and Company machen, würden wir eine kleinigkeit Kaviar essen. Der Kater trabt rechts neben mir im Laden. Dann würden wir ein kleines, ruhiges Café, um Leute zu beobachen finden. Wir würden in einem kleinen Lebensmittelladen stoppen. Hier würden wir uns einige pâté für ein Picknick an der Seine leisten. Wir müssen vor dem Feuerwerk ins Hotel züruckfahren. Mein Kater mag laute Geräusche nicht.

20 July 2011

I have numerous projects to work on and deadlines to meet but I feel lost. This happens whenever I get busy for too long; my brain says, "bail." I could not tell you why I do not cope better if the script has remained the same since I was a little kid.

19 July 2011

The Nicholas book has arrived by courier, translated into British English, so I have decided to excerpt chapter one for the pleasure of all artists, wonderers, and potential childrens' story authors:

18 July 2011

My roommates frown upon me drinking bourbon (invalids of old got their daily ration!), but I prefer it to a cocktail of antipsychotics and benzodiazpines that doesn't quite get the job done.

I was a scientific research subject for money

and

the cat seems blissed out on his spa treatments

and

I bought Maker's Mark on sale for $30 and stashed it for a special occasion.

17 July 2011

Took my cat to the veterinarian for... a kitty makeover? He now has anti-dandruff treatments, a toothbrush, and shots for in case he makes cat friends. The vet, like the cat madam, recommends I take him outside on walks. What the cat really wants is complete freedom to go in and out as he pleases, and he is in possession of a strong cast of mind. I do not think he will compromise. If I can make tooth brushing happen, we'll see.

16 July 2011

Today was an open house at the cat shelter that provides cats to the pet store where I volunteer. It was a tiny house and there were cats in the living room and cats in the kitchen, cats in the bedroom and cats in the mud room. There were photos of cats in multi-portrait family frames. There was a wall with floor to ceiling cat beds up on the shelving, a chair full of snuggling cats, and doors that opened onto a patio patrolled by cats and little dogs. I sat down beside the cooler filled with juice and was quickly joined by a skinny black and white cat named Kramer and a grey cat whose name I did not learn. We sat there for about an hour, while the cats took a nap and I watched people approach a rehabilitating cockatoo with a scruffy regrowth of feathers who was making horrible na-na noises. The cat madam tried to get him to say "hooray!" She was very animated in her dealings with the bird, who she had rescued from a covered cage between speakers blasting, as the bird would tell you, noise. I tried to console a little girl who got barked at by a tiny dog, burst into tears, and headed for the door. I got up to eat some broccoli and sour gummy bears, and there were cats at almost all the chairs at the table. The cats didn't seem to mind the misting rain, and drank from a little fountain surrounded by pretty potted plants. I headed back to the kitchen to try to catch some stories from the cat madam and hooked up with Kramer again, who sat in my arms and let me carry him around. I love socializing with cats, even as in this case, an old cat with potential kidney failure, cats with cancer, toothless cats, and feral cats who watch from a distance. There is no feeling like the encompassing mellow I get from hanging out with cats. The cat madam was nice and kept wildly overestimating the number of cats that were actually in her care. Tomorrow she gets some chickens. I can see the appeal, but the chair was the only piece of furniture in the house apart from her bed.

15 July 2011

gazing though a shop window waiting for the Supervisor...

14 July 2011

I am a little less beside myself this week, having two test in a row, than I was last week, having two tests in a row, and I am less prepared now than I was then. I suck at this, I should've signed up to take the course for no grade, but this is what I want to be doing. I am writing an in-class essay about an unusual vacation, in this case a luxury vacation to Paris with my cat.

13 July 2011

If you have any small children in your life, you should really check out Phaidon's children's books. I have a soon-to-be four-year-old cousin who liked Beatrice Almaida's Bugs In A Blanket at three and I was delighted to find a whole series translated (with illustrations by Sempé!) from the French called Nicholas. I am only sorry I didn't think to check up on Phaidon on-line until after my disappointing last-few-days visit to the bookstore... maybe he has a back-to-school-present in his future? I have been reading him Curious George for a year, the little dude seriously needs some new troublemakers in his life. **Now I find out he already has Nicholas on Vacation, but his mom loves it, in capital letters. It is always more fun to be the discoverer of something fantastic.
I have a new feline caller... a big black cat who walks right up to the front door to nibble my catnip. This morning he had quite an audience as we tried to suss him out.

12 July 2011

Also, I had been wondering about the purple dresses...

11 July 2011

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge finally provides a quotation: with some kids from LA's Skid Row she painted a red turtle that she named William. This presumably references his earlier statement regarding that post-nuptial spin in the Aston Martin, "fueled by red wine." Royal banter, so polyvalent in its resonance these days; truly a schizo-girl's field day.
literally been watching my plants grow. my elephant ear plant unrolls leaves that are dark purple on the underside. it has one new leaf, a shoot that is still deciding what it is going to do, and a mini shoot in a pale shade of green from a bigger plant that died. this is the comedown from being enormously stressed out, I suppose. I have decided that I don't need to be, the grammar bits are falling into place quickly enough and I can in fact memorize things, plus I have loads of time whilst this is all going on to write my paper, but I'm not sure this will mean anything.

08 July 2011

I am in love with my avant-sciencey new retainers. Nothing could be worse than the old ones, which suctioned saliva to teeth coated in plastic. These ones are smooth, and fill my mouth so much I may refuse to speak until I am freed of them.
I want a lamp with six purple lilies spouting light. Points against include a cost of $120 and the fact that it does not go with my spare, germanic, Himalayan, or Scandinavian design influences. It would, however, go with my little violet lantern lights on a string.
Fridays are slightly useless. I need to recover from my German tests, which means even though I wake up at 6 am and sometimes can't get back to sleep, I want to spend my extra hours drinking lightly caffinated, highly astringent tea and reading art and culture magazines. In the afternoon I volunteer at an endless, thankless, mindless task at the city museum. I have a book about prostitution, trading sex for goods or entertainment and courtship as being on a continuum and I am fascinated (even though it is a simple and obvious premise). Except for when he was once high and whiney I always paid my own way but I figured it was because my boyfriend wanted money to spend on drugs and alcohol, and otherwise wouldn't see me, not that I was taking some sort of feminist position. I didn't want to put out and that is what this book traces the history of.

07 July 2011

whoa... last minute test preparation. the mind boggles. on anxiety help boards they always quote girls as saying, I didn't take the medication because I didn't want the adverse impact on my memory, mental sharpness, etc. (I used to be one of those girls, except no one offered the appropriate sedatives) and I overcame my worries without my whole life collapsing around me. I hate those girls.

06 July 2011

The dentist moved my appointment up by half an hour on a day on which I have a prior engagement. They say they made no change, which makes me furious. I just said fine, because being five minutes late isn't worth waiting two weeks over. Nonetheless, I fear my brain may not be working quite right.

04 July 2011

a walk and plant watering to avoid another panic attack this evening. it is beautiful out there though.

03 July 2011

2.5mg of brain-shrinking, carcinogenic olanzapine once in a while seems to keep panic at bay. a quarter pill of melatonin with a side of purring cat seems to put me back to sleep at 4 am. sometimes it doesn't matter where my feelings are coming from.

01 July 2011

It is July. My space heater has been on all day. It is cold.
It turns out language classes are a good way to meet people, in my case, especially people with atypical academic careers. I met a woman who is one year older than my Chinese medical and sensory history prof and wants to be a therapist. She loves her therapy that comes from a masters student at the Adler Institute at $40 an hour. She is animated, she is fun, I found out ways in which my hospitable German relatives are like hers and therefore, I assume, typically German. She says next summer there may be an exchange trip to the Frei Universität in Berlin and I wanted to transport myself there immediately. I also got to talk to a philosophy student. Because I managed to get done even more homework than I had to do I had lots of time to talk, like I never do, in class. The problem is, after I get home from these late night classes I wake up five hours later, which makes me feel kind of crazy.
My old psychologist can still calm me right down like nothing else. It's an eerie power for someone to have, and how, even at quite a distance now. His process is obscure but readily involves the use of Google.