30 September 2011

a swatch from my rainy-day purple dress.

29 September 2011

Ich bin müde und will nicht meine Hausaufgaben machen. Ich muss einen kleinen Aufsatz über eine Deutsche Person schreiben. Ich wollte über Johannes Gutenberg schreiben weil er ist eine frühe Neuzeite Figur, aber das Buch habe ich in dem Bibliothek gefunden ist zu kompliziert, um die Zuordnung schnell erledgt. So werde ich über Martin Heidegger schreiben, darüber ich in diesem Sommer gelesen hat.

28 September 2011

it is difficult to photograph myself with my computer, you can tell from my face this is a very serious proposition, also that I have just been reading Maus and Art Spiegelman's parents are on their way to Auschwitz. here you have a big cream sweater, 10% angora, with zip up the back, rainy day approved. it is longish but shorter in the back and gets worn with light coloured straight jeans, heavy break above the white converse shoes. to my left is part of my tomato garden.

27 September 2011

I got a comment of "superior" on my Sunday morning writing assignment. I am pleased because I can do even better. I also spoke up in class for a change and found that I think the opposite of what a lot of people think. So of course were I to try to chime in on the basis of what they were saying I would find myself with not much to say.

26 September 2011

Renaissance miniaturists often depicted scholars as isolated figures - immured in libraries, working alone at desks laden with classical codices, and accompanied, if at all, by a sleeping lion. [...] In fact, [...] scholars rarely lived, and never worked, alone. they renewed the traditionally monastic customs and usages of academic life. And they created new forms of intellectual sociability and new academic institutions.
Anthony Grafton, The Past as Revelation. I like this story: I have a pendant with a seal of a lion on it.
I have rainy day outfits, designed to go with my rubber boots; however it's too dark even to post a photo. I am excited about tomorrow's tights made with real wool.
An dem Bus sah ich meinen Opi. Ich ging zu die Universität und er ging ins Krankenhaus für einige Tests. Er beschwerte sich über den regen und dass ich ihn nicht an diesem Wochenende besucht. Ihm wollte ich besuchen, aber meine Mutter war zu gestresst. Es freute mich ihn zu sehen.

25 September 2011

Procrastinated hard today, making room for the pile of clothes on top of my dresser by moving my summer clothes into a little plastic bin in my closet and piling up stacks of books. That took about ten minutes. I'm really good at ruminating emptily.
I finished my reading (after a cat snuggle making the most of a torrential downpour) and handed in my short assignment on time, to a mix of nervousness, caffination, "well, that was obvious," and "damn, I should have used the longer version of that quotation." Now I have the rest of the day to work... sadly not to go see "Cave of Forgotten Dreams"... last night going to sleep I had a brainstorm that will make it possible for me to finish my paper.

24 September 2011

this week I read 395 pages of Palestinians being terrorized by Israelis in graphic novel form. I've gotta say, 400 pages for one class about does my attention span. now I have to read some Marshall-the-medium-is-the-message-McLuhan. online. i am a snob and am feeling very lazy. also, I want to say: you know what makes me feel secure? material possessions.
Lately I've been listening to The Beatles and feeling groovy like. I like the later Beatles, I like the white album. My headphones have gotten damaged hanging out in my purse again, turning the bass on the right side into static.

23 September 2011

Got a big happy dose of attention today. I ran into my mentor/editrix in the elevator and when I said I was busy she know immediately whose class I had chosen. I got a start on German easy readers from my exceptionally helpful German teacher. She's willing to make this an ongoing project and I'm thrilled that this stuff exists, also that she has lots of ideas and is so willing to help. Also talked to my friend in German class. She congratulated me on my endeavors in self-medication. I generally underestimate how much it means to say something out loud and be recognized but it really can be enjoyable. She had no understanding of what being medicated is like but she mentioned a support group that she goes to where they talked about this sort of thing. I told her the last time I did support groups i ran into people who'd been in jail, and I live far away. That she could relate to.

22 September 2011

I was spoiled with attention my first week back at school. Now my existence feels tedious and I miss talking to everyone. I have so much work to do it is ridiculous. I don't know how people manage a full course load. My self-prescribed medication change has freed me from nightly panic attacks for the first time in memory. I feel like this should be cause for celebration, but of course no one else gets it. Taking less antidepressant makes other people seem more annoying, so if it doesn't cause anxiety I think I'll go with more.

20 September 2011

The paper that I absolutely could not connect with by the academic blowhard... I'm glad I didn't put in a whole lots of extra effort. My professor transfigured it into many, many interesting term paper topics with little apparent effort at all in a post-class e-mail. Now I can re-read.
Gestern ging ich mit dem Kater zu einem Spaziergang. Wir patrouillierten in den Vorgarten, wenn wir sahen eine andere Katze. Mein Kater miaute dreimal in einem fremden heulende Stimme. Er ging langsam auf die andere Katze. Die andere Katze weglauft. Mein Kater versuchte, sie zu jagen, aber ich, die Leine hält, war zu langsam. Wir liefen durch die Hecke des Nachbarn und aus den Augen die Katze verloren. Ich sagte mein Großvater diese Geschichte und er sagte, die Katze weggelaufen hat weil sie war eine Mädchen. Kommentaire auf Deutsche bitte, ich brauche die Praxis.

19 September 2011

Without my extra antidepressant I sleep more soundly... usually... but I feel exhausted by dinner time.
Indeed it can't rain all the time. We have here a beautifully mild autumnal day. My cat wants to go for a walk and I will indulge him, just as soon as I finish watching John Berger's Ways of Seeing on YouTube. I am almost organized and up-to-date. The up side of running all over the land doing errands was that I got some concord grapes, still warm from the sun when I got them home to eat.

18 September 2011

most. boring. reading. ever. some people appear to become famous academics by being gigantic blowhards.

at least now I have beer to take the edge off this morning's cup of coffee.
This morning was a passel of annoyances. I woke up at 5 am when I had been planning to sleep until 8. I had an assignment to turn in electronically by noon but my internet wasn't working. So I had to wait until the coffee shop might reasonably be open and walk half an hour in the rain to get there. The coffee shop had internet, because it has a different service provider than I do. Half an hour after I arrived my housemate called saying that not only was the internet out, but so was the phone and tv. Also he thought I was a raccoon who had chewed in to the house through the wall while I was trying to fix the internet at 7 am. What a pile of crap.

16 September 2011

In 1964, having spent some time myself in a psychiatric hospital, I read The Three Christs, and soon after came on Laing’s early books, which confirmed what I had seen in it. It has made me very wary of reading ‘case histories’, written about the disturbed by those who believe themselves to know better. It also seemed to me, aged 16, that The Three Christs of Ypsilanti contained everything there was to know about the world. That’s not the case of course, but if resources were short, I’d still be inclined to salvage this book as a way of explaining the terror of the human condition, and the astonishing fact that people battle for their rights and dignity in the face of that terror, in order to establish their place in the world, whatever they decide it has to be.
-Jenny Diski, in the LRB
Today I got to talk to the cute philosophy grad student in my German class and found out that we share an interest in historiography.
Last night I had no anxiety attack. I have made some changes to my medication that may have helped. I'll spare you the details, but one thing I did was divide my dose of antipsychotic so I take part an hour earlier. I think it might be the big hit of antipsychotic causing the problem. Part of it, anyhow.

15 September 2011

My ambiguous coffee date occurred.
The weather has turned. It probably won't stop raining until next July.

14 September 2011

I think my coffee date may have turned into a date date for coffee. I will report my findings tomorrow.
Now - the comic book, It was the War of the Trenches.
Even though I don't understand some of what is going on my German class this term is non-stressful. I memorize vocabulary on my bus ride to school. My partner in class is Swiss-German and speaks German to me in class. Some of the time I have to answer in English but I hope he sticks with me so that I can hear more German.
Yesterday was overwhelming - I overdid it on the curiosity - but I think the anxiety I felt in the evening would have happened regardless. I have ideas to pursue and a deadline I've set for myself next week and those are good things.

13 September 2011

Today the person I wanted to talk to was not holding office hours so I camped out in the chair beside by her door waiting for her to finish teaching her class. My guru arrived and offered places to begin with hermeneutics and aboriginal humour. I decided to take the class with the comic books and German.

11 September 2011

Whenever I get anxious I feel as though I am going crazy, because that is what crazy felt like. Anxious but certain I was right. The people closest to me make blank faces and act as if I am a foreign and traumatic sighting when I show I'm slipping. In order to cope better I am supposed to come up with more "realistic" assessments of the situation. In reality I don't think I've worried myself crazy, except for the times I did actually let my worry grow into something crazy. Now my anxiety feels contentless, which is a relief to me, because if my worry had contents I would end up alternately curled in a ball on the floor crying and doing embarrassing crazy things, announcing my craziness to the world. I am better, but not as good as I have been. This is not a place to rest because I still just worry I am going to go crazy all of the time, and that I won't be able to do my work like this, because when I was crazy I would try and try and not be able to think coherent thoughts, and so I spend a lot of time doing not much. I have trouble thinking logically and making decisions when I am this anxious. I am supposed to ask myself what a friend would say to this and decide I am being too harsh but I have no idea what to say to myself. I have a friend on the basis of me not saying anything about my crazy and overwhelming her. Even though she wants to be a therapist she wants little to do with abnormal psychology. My doctor would say my medication has mostly protected me and offer more, but none of my friends believe in taking medication. I have long experience of my medication not working well enough and no one helping me, or even pointing out it wasn't working very well, until after I screwed myself over and relapsed by abruptly stopping it. Now how can I be right if the time I felt most sure of it I was completely insane?
I do not think it is possible for me to overstate how much I enjoy long weekend lie-ins with the cat. Yesterday I got to read with the cat beside me and today he snuggled and snuggled as I tried to coax myself awake. I even got bonus evening purring over my heart calming me down as I worried I have become anxious so much I no longer know what I am worried about. People who visit often think my cat is skittish because he runs away from them, but he is the calmest one in the house.
My professor gave interesting comments, stuff that involves more creative writing than anything else. This inspires me.

10 September 2011

I am sick of the 9/11 coverage. It was a moment, we all felt it, and reliving it in the shortest possible clip of a plane crashing into a building and exploding played over and over feels sick. So, for that matter, do the memorials, marking the landscape into perpetuity. Isn't this what fuels the insurgency in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan still, a persistent feeling of being wronged? To say nothing of the infinite cycle of reprisals in the Middle East. That stuff is fucked up, and this whole thing as a justification for war (and if we can't find allies they'll nonetheless lend us credit enough to bankrupt our largest economy in the world!) reveals a stupendous lack of imagination, and of decency.

09 September 2011

Had tea with my psychologist. We talked about walking cats and my research. He spoke Italian. When I was a proper patient he was a mountain of calm. Now he has lost a lot of weight, looks much smaller and is much more animated. At the last minute he suggested I go without an antidepressant as it was making my chin twitch. An antidepressant is an upper so it might be making me more anxious, but might also be helping me to focus. Coffee can do that also, and I haven't been able to drink real coffee. I outlined my psychological problem and he referred me to his self-help writings on the subject.

08 September 2011

yayoi kusama: she lives in a mental hospital in Tokyo and makes art with polka dots. Here is an interview.

07 September 2011

My professor from last year is going to help me revise my "do you want to go to grad school" paper so that I can get consistently better writing results. She says no one is working on the topic, which is great. Other gems: "ooh, you have no confidence, I was like that," and "I know its time to write when I get really bitchy." So that was my first day of school. I went to a whole bunch of classes: French (it's been a long time but I understood), German, rhetoric, and the experimental poetry of Susan Howe. I think Susan Howe is something I could take on in my own time, French is more languages than I need for my present purposes, German will be a challenge and rhetoric is more classes than I need, but could be a blockbuster of theory and midrash. I need to pick one.

06 September 2011

My sanity seems to have returned. I wish I could have made it do so a couple days ago. I don't think I did anything special. I read a comic book about comics for one of my classes and the prologue to Lorraine Daston and Peter Gallison's book Objectivity, because dealing with multiple epistemologies is something that Anthony Grafton's book on the footnote raised but did not deal with to my satisfaction. He held to a Platonic conception of objectivity as it was maintained within Christian thought, whether his subjects were Christian or not. In the afternoon I went to a barbeque at Omi and Opi's house and blew bubbles for my four-year-old cousin to chase, for about five minutes. We had a warm beer under a raft of awnings and sun umbrellas. When I got quiet after supper they shepherded me inside to watch German tv, though I didn't really understand a thing. My cousin gave me a hug and a kiss goodbye, which was special because he usually makes a big deal of not saying goodbye to me. My family was really easy to be around which has not always been the case.

04 September 2011

My sister showed up smelling of incense so awful she smelled like a dog. It's so far out of my aesthetic reach I am afraid to even comment. It is invasive and awful.
All in all my life is going very well and a new opportunity may be presenting itself. Last night I sat on the beach with two girls my own age, a group within which I have spent hardly any time for the past four years. I did it, at least we can say that. I have been finding it difficult to do things, specifically to write this last paper. I have been feeling consistently anxious and ill at ease. My mind is all blank and buzzy. I have been feeling broken and vulnerable. Broken is a sorry state involving very little confidence, but this in itself I find is not uncommon amongst people my age.

03 September 2011

watched "the whistleblower." powerful stuff. 1999!
blessed be... the housemates' house guests are gone. they sat around laughing at how stupid they were. I wanted to bash my head in.