19 hours ago
31 December 2011
30 December 2011
29 December 2011
Post-Christmas blahs are officially not leaving. This morning I bought my cat a proper bed (he uses a box) and visited my psychiatrist, then drank tea on the couch knitting the back of this sweater and listening to PJ Harvey.
27 December 2011
Frustrating... I can read newspaper articles in French, which I haven't studied in almost ten years, but not in German.
Today it was raining but as I did nothing yesterday I headed out into the world. I spent my Christmas money on an embroidered silk blouse and enormous bell bottoms. My face is having problems with the light today, but you can see a picture of my blouse.
26 December 2011
My little cousin Nicholas makes me like boys more. For Christmas I got to play with diggers who were going to visit their friends in a hotel (he leads a life privileged with lots of travel) and let him open his present the first thing when I walked in the door. The second thing was reading Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss (he grinned saying it was going to be very silly), and the third thing was eating a chocolate St Nick. He advised me that next time he would like me to get him a toy, like everybody else does, rather than books. My mother advised me that I should start writing kids books that don't suck. My mother got him a fireman's coat, hat, and ax, and after that he spent the whole evening running around in reflective gear chopping at people and boxes. "Give me a hug with one arm like I chopped your arm off," he said when he left.
Am trying to decide on black or cream Agent Provocateur...
23 December 2011
I am alternating some tedious German translation with tedious cookie baking. I got to talk to my four-year-old cousin Nicholas on the phone. He was playing with a "gun car." "Are the cookies for me?" he asked. Of course they are!
It took exactly one week to get my passport renewed and sent to me in the mail. I think I am on the "nice" list.
22 December 2011
I passed my German class! I am an anxious wreck because I worked hard and just couldn't do better. Doesn't usually happen to me.
Was playing catch with my cat. He can jump up on his hind legs and bat a ball bounced his way right back at me. Unfortunately he finds this boring, and would rather ramble freestyle.
Because I complained that the family that makes my organic Tie Kwan Yin in the Wuyi Mountains of China was not rolling the tea leaves tightly enough, leading to a less than usually pungent brew, my supplier offered me free tea to help move that shipment along. Being the exploitative first world consumer that I am, I naturally accepted. They sent 100 grams of Tie Kwan Yin, along with 25 grams of Pumpkin Spice tea, and three little sample packages, including Gyokuro Yamashiro, fig and burdock, and chocolate chili chai. YUM. A Christmas party in a box! I buy fairly traded coffee, but I'm not sure we can say the same of my tea.
About to embark on reading my first academic article in German.
21 December 2011
I finished up my Christmas shopping yesterday, and brought home paperwhites in an effort to feel festive, but ended up just panicking over the extra five dollars I'd spent. While I was Christmas shopping I read some of my primary sources on the bus. Some of my books finally arrived at the library, but I am to some extent still dependent on other people to make my projects work. Interlibrary loans is looking after the one major source I want for my Anne Carson paper, because it deals with archiving, but warns they might not be able to get it until January, and I am hoping to hear from the Kwakwaka'waka museum in Alert Bay about biographies and stories regarding two men who sold totem poles and house posts for my other project. In the mean time I am reading things on collecting and primitivism in an effort to account for the understanding and motivations my amateur society brought to the items they purchased. I'm also waiting for an article in German, "Progress and the Museum" that underlies some of the theorizing of the "museumization of culture," or movement of more and more people towards collecting and preserving products that have lost their original function and are in danger of disappearing altogether, where modernization implies a constant renewal of our material environment and all of it immaterial infrastructure. Mostly I have been sleeping and drinking tea, though.
19 December 2011
My cat found his Christmas presents early. I had put them in with the family gifts and forgotten to hide them better. He seemed to have a lot of fun, though, playing with his new sponge ball in the bag, and then going back for more and finding his catnip pillow. No doubt a treasure hunt is more fun for a cat than the alternative. I still have a new cardboard scratch box to present to him on the big day.
15 December 2011
Word from a trusted German major is that the test was mostly about comprehension and some of the questions were silly. I got attacked by a kitten today. Needed a big hug from my cat to feel better.
14 December 2011
Now I am going to stop judging and do some internet yoga. Then mulled wine and Christmas tree decorating. Judging makes me feel mental.
I am feeling mostly brain dead. I am waking up in the early hours and trying to read difficult things all day long. I am recovering from overmedicating myself after my brain started to go bananas due to my failure at studying German. No one was around so I told a guy on the internet that he had gotten a long way being a jackass and should own it, even though he has a schizophrenic child to deal with and refuses to see any of his behavior as relational. Why do I expose myself to this? It's like he's applied the sociology of parenting small children to himself.
13 December 2011
Word from an esteemed classmate is that the German test was "horrible and brutal." So we have solidarity in our sorrows. She says not to worry about it too much, but she has a bigger cushion in her grades than I did.
12 December 2011
On the plus side I'm really psyched to write a couple of good papers.
I treated myself to nothing as my performance on the exam was sub-par. Last semester I could do this, this semester I clearly could not. I am feeling a bit crushed. I had all kinds of complex grammar down but the test was mostly comprehension of stuff, and I could not.
10 December 2011
09 December 2011
Woke up very early this morning on account of having fallen asleep at 7:30 last night. I bundled up and took my cat for a walk in the frosty morning. This is no longer a cause for his celebration, but the kind of pampering he has come to expect. He doesn't really like the cold, but he likes to rub his cheeks and scratch his paws in front of the door, presumably to keep away other cats. I was itching to get out to the tea shop, but stayed in and am being rewarded by some German starting to stick. There are only so many days this kind of thing can go on for, badly, and luckily this time I had enough scheduled in. Yesterday my doctor said to me, they wouldn't have given you the book if someone at your level couldn't be expected to do it: take it from someone who was a success with textbooks.
07 December 2011
05 December 2011
Three hours of studying has been done. All in the time it normally would take me to commute, only less exhausting. If this keeps up I will have lots of time for paper writing as well as swimming, going to yoga, and holiday shopping. E-mail remains very stressful.
Today is the first day of my winter study-vacation! I am starting in on some German review with the lovely, snuggly, cat sleeping alongside me. Am tempted to make a flip book of the cat's cute poses.
04 December 2011
I've been hit hard by the end of term come-down. My head feels perpetually fuzzy and any type of work, including making soup, skews in my perspective into an insurmountable challenge. The good response to to keep on keeping on. The bad response is to do nothing. I've been vascillating.
No matter what time I get up, my cat's snuggle me window opens up at 9.
03 December 2011
I don't wanna work today. I'm going to take a little time out to do some fun reading. I phoned my Omi to thank her again and she and Opi were preparing herring to smoke and/or pickle. Herring is my Opi's favourite. He is always funny on the telephone. He was talking about how Omi went overboard buying the herring, internet advertisements for losing belly fat on his recipe and losing all hope for me to come over and clean herring for him. He made it funny.
01 December 2011
Today I bought chocolates to demonstrate St. Nikolaus Day to my German class. I am also going to offer up some Lebkuchen. My Omi helped me practice my pronunciation and fixed many mistakes. My cat snuggled up to the pillow I was lying on last night when I was having trouble sleeping. It's nice to be loved in spite of being wildly screw-uppy this week.