31 January 2012

I have to decide whether I am going to attend my graduation ceremony, and whether I want to include one or both of my middle names on my diploma. Opinions, please.
My class was cancelled, meaning I don't have to go traveling on this rainy day. My cat is snug as a bug under the quilt on my bed, where I had been trying to fight off anxiety that didn't dispel as I slept with a calcium-magnesium pill, a cup of tea, and a big book. Maybe a walk later. I am also anxious because I decided to use my commuting time to work and it's not going fast, and so can't pick up the books I need until tomorrow.

30 January 2012

I think I successfully talked myself down from an anxiety attack tonight. That would be a first. Overall conditions seem not all that bad. I don't think I've needed extra antipsychotic since my soo anxious post six days ago, so thanks for the sympathy, it really helps. I am going to try to make the most of my evening and read my totem pole book.
I went to the library today and picked up a book on my totem poles in intercultural perspective, which is my final research destination. Then I carried on to the public library to cruise a card catalogue for obits for my reverend historian story-collector, and to pick up cookbooks. I am very greedy when it comes to cookbooks and may have carried home a 1000 page behemoth for just one recipe for chickpea and almond soup, when what had got me started in that direction was the memory of a tomato salad with thyme I can't even make this time of year. My load on the way home was very heavy, as I was carrying with me my computer for some early morning translation, and another big book that proved to be of no use. Now I have a lot of translation to do having unburdened myself reading news for two hours.

28 January 2012

Corresponded with a professor I admire about the conferences and workshops she is attending this semester. It is a privilege to get a sense of what she does in terms of career-building, also her mind goes very interesting places and she is not afraid to experiment so it is fun to follow along. It felt good for a minute to have a connection to what is going on with a real historian as I spent my day (and will spend my evening) delving into anthropology for an historical project. Initially I had been intimidated about saying anything about the aboriginal people at the center of my work; now I am reading into the problem in some depth.
It's a lonely Saturday with piles of notes to work through.

27 January 2012

Satisfying auditor stress-relief valve let out some steam today as I did not hand in the essay that was due. It would have been good practice, but I have another essay to revise, and another to conceive, and thinking about my ideal job or workers' rights made my head feel suddenly quite empty. Mostly it was a rough week. On my way home I bought things for la vignarola and tried to decide whether my garden needs more helebores. I would like to say I am doing the whole artichoke thing for the vignarola but I am getting them from a can because I cannot bear to waste all those artichoke leaves, and because it is not really spring yet.

I had library success finding an edition of John Dewey's Reconstruction in Philosophy, to which Helen Mirra (click the link!) has published an artful and poetic index, Cloud, the, 3, and coming up with more than I ever knew I needed to know about totem poles and a puzzle about how various sources became connected. No reason to stress.

26 January 2012

I understood my German class today. We were discussing Freud on the uncanny and ETA Hoffmann's Der Sandmann, both of which were significantly difficult texts, which is probably why the discussion was so simple. I read The Sandman in English and then started it in German, and translated the first part of the Freud, then read it in English. Der Sandmann is a psychologically acute portrayal of psychotic thinking.

24 January 2012

sooo anxious. send hugs.
Syrian authorities to the Arab League:
They can head to New York or to the moon. So long as we are not paying for their tickets it is none of our concern.
source

23 January 2012

Having to read a translation simultaneously along with a text is extremely tedious. Translating word by word is at least interactive, but even slower, worse still when we are talking Romantic poets who don't make any logical sense anyhow. I am beginning to think that alternating short sections of text may be the way to go.

21 January 2012

In the pursuit of more vegan lunches I am making my own vegetable stock. For one thing, I need a bigger pot to make the investment of time stock takes worthwhile. Having only made chicken stock I brushed up on my methodology with (shhh) Martha Stewart, and Alice Waters's Real Simple Food. Then I chunked up an onion and fried it until translucent, added a leek, two carrots, two parsnips, a couple small sticks of celery with leaves (the leaves are all-important) and a celery root and tried to heat them up in the oil. The pot seemed too full; we'll see. With my vegan lunches I inevitably get extremely hungry and have to work in a peanut butter sandwich once a week.
My cat was so excited the snow had melted this morning he decided he had to go for a walk right away, as in, throw a coat on over those pj's ma, it's time for some action. It was wet but he made a go of it. Then he followed me around meowing, so we played ball a bit. My cat has a bit of a belly, which my father and my nurse make fun of, but finding a lower calorie food that is healthy and agrees with him is no simple matter. He is now curled up sleeping next to my books. Good kitty.
My psychologist just sent me a funny e-mail about himself falling over doing yoga. His indignant thought that he should not be falling over was funny. He is not a person I can picture doing yoga, balding, small round glasses, secular Jew, over fifty, and yet, in our city, if you are at all interested in being well, yoga is inescapable.

20 January 2012

I went to see "Shame" today. For a movie that was full of sex it was decidedly un-erotic. On the way home I contemplated the prevalence of gay sex in my library erotica anthology, and in "Shame" and thought that percentage-wise, gays and psychotics make up roughly equal portions of the population, and what would it be like if they were represented with equal currency. I, for one, could do with less gay sex in my library, as I could do with less BDSM in the online community. "Shame" gives equal play to sex and mental illness, and for that it is both redundant (linking sexual excess with mental degeneration, à la nineteenth century syphilitics) and innovative (the mental degeneration was nuanced and sensitively portrayed, with gendering duly noted).

19 January 2012

Mary says its not a big deal just to give me her notes so I am going to take her up on it, while I experiment with trying to listen.

It was a day of racing everywhere. Had cats with vomit and diarrhea everywhere to care for first thing, then straight to the psychiatrist, then waiting for a bus in the cold, deciding I had enough time to cash in my milk bottle money for a latte and finding the tattooed guy at the cash register gracious in his acceptance of the complement that he makes the best coffee and it was a shame he was not making this one, then bus to rapid photocopying and straight to my class in order to get a seat in the tiny room, then not understanding a lot of stuff, then talking with my professor about what I didn't catch on Tuesday, then to the library to poach an English translation of the text we are reading next week (with Freud on the uncanny! joy!) and accidentally finding the kind of erotica collection kept by an academic library (further study is necessary) and racing for the bus to run to make my final connection home. I feel hyper alert.

18 January 2012

I can have a notetaker for my German lit class, but the process involves e-mailing all the students in the class that someone with a disability needs a notetaker, and there are only thirteen of us around one table and I don't want the mental barriers to go up, and letting the disability resource center pick the notetaker, when someone very generous has already been letting me borrow her notes. I mind being outed and I mind the nice person who is supplying me with German vocabulary and shrugs about getting paid possibly not getting the job.

I spent half the day with google translate trying to make out what Herder and Goethe admire about Shakespeare and half the day reading translations side by side with the German text. It's been productive but I'm having a panic attack because I overslept and missed my language class this morning. Rationally, I should not be feeling like this.
It was my cat's first snow day. Knowing he hates the cold I let him pop out without his leash. He left teeny tiny paw prints in the fresh powder and snowflakes fell on his back. He scratched the mat and hopped right back inside. As we all know my cat is super cute.

16 January 2012

This carrot soup with miso is good but only really complete when you add the sesame drizzle.
I am hungry for communication and want to tell you something you can relate to, but I have spent the last few weeks hanging on by my fingertips and that is all I have. My medicine made me fall asleep at 7:30, and then so anxious I had to take my backup medicine to put me to sleep at 3 in the afternoon. Nobody around here minds this much; it is an accepted way of coping. I want sympathy, I guess, for my neurons being flagrantly wimpy and out of my control. Instead of wandering, which I love, I came straight home to make up for lost time. Sick time never feels like my time, though, and inevitably I would rather recharge than be putting myself out there with my academic writing.

14 January 2012

My new med dose is making me feel jittery! At 5 am! After 9 hours' sleep! Good because I was sleeping twelve! Hopefully over the next few days things calm down! It snowed! I think it is raining now. My cat is snuggled up to the wooly stuffed cat I bought at Christmas. I feel like a good cat mother for only bringing home nice friends who will snuggle with him.

13 January 2012

dammit... my efforts to watch "Shame" on the Internet have been foiled. Maybe on the weekend I will make it to a show.

I bought lamb for my quince tangine thing; it felt really carnivorous to be standing at the nice butcher ordering up my desired cut and portion of meat after my week of vegan lunches. The roast was three pounds; I took half; less than the recipe called for but more than enough. After buying my expensive meat I bought expensive saffron, thinking I'd better make the best expression of the recipe possible, in honour of both the currency and the little lamb. I have a big bag full of cheap saffron I throw into tomato curry, but real saffron is a whole nother deal. Saffron, like quince, is ineffable. I stood in the market inhaling my magical quinces and then got the hell out of there.

11 January 2012

No luck with the aboriginal museum. They don't keep the kind of information I would've wanted to know and the person who might have died in 2006.
I understood very little of my German literature class taught in German, but I answered two questions and when I stood up with my paper to audit the class the professor offered to briefly recap during his office hours and a student from across the table offered her notes saying, "I can totally sympathize, I remember last year." It's so nice to be with such supportive people but my German really is terrible.

I have a bunch of homework to do but am trying to keep the balance of work and healthy stuff from last week. Yesterday I went shopping for more kale (all-out this time, I couldn't carry any more home), miso, noodles and seaweed products, also lamb stock to make special Claudia Roden-inspired Egyptian soup. I found quinces, which are an ancient and enchanting fruit, for more Claudia Roden-inspired dishes; it was a lucky shopping trip. Today I took the cat out and he sat on the fence and watched the world go by and then I did yoga. It took me hours to come down.

10 January 2012

Woot woot! I am in contact with an aboriginal museum keeper about some totem poles collected in the 1920s.

09 January 2012

The cat chair. I took him for a jaunt when he wanted to go out as soon as I got home and am being rewarded with sleeping in my vicinity. My bulbs are coming up, one helioborus has buds, and my skimmia saxifrage, survived the mild winter. I guess I will have to pull the dead leaves off.
Exciting news - the copy of Litia Perta's thesis, "Archiving Self," has arrived from Berkeley containing an all-important chapter on Anne Carson. I cannot wait to pick it up tomorrow!

*Now that the thrill has worn off I am having a panic attack at my workload, that is, the prospect of actually writing the paper. My other paper is researched out, I need to put this in a drawer for a few days, while I type up and play with my notes.

08 January 2012

I went swimming today. I have goggle face and my arms, my spindly little arms, are tired.

07 January 2012

shameful confession #2: my cat is wandering around with powdered cheese on his back.
My old boyfriend thought I called the cops on him because I secretly wanted him found out for drug use. That's bullshit. I didn't tell the cops on him or his girlfriend, who was a med student doing opium with him and could have met with severe repercussions. He used to brag about how he'd talk to the cops when they showed up at his parties where he was using drugs; I thought he was potentially reckless and suicidal because I was paranoid and could talk himself out of any unwanted attention. My paranoid is not like what happens when you use drugs, which he thought allowed him to empathize. Of course dealing with me was too stressful, but the rest of it was lies. Why can I not get over this? I should consider him not a friend worth having, but here I am, telling the internets, to avoid drunken e-mailing.
My favourite beer is called A Wee Angry Scotch Ale. What's your poison?

06 January 2012

My German literature class looks exciting. We start out talking about the Aufklärung, one of my favourite historical moments, and we read Freud's essay on the uncanny auf Deutsch. It is going to be a challenge and I am glad to have the security of auditing. I had borrowed a cute blue mug with white dots from the history department to have my tea in and on the way back up in the elevator who should appear but the hottie professor of medieval studies. I did not greet him; he gave me my worst mark ever in a class I did all the work in. Soon, though, everyone else emptied out of the elevator and he said hello to me. He asked what was going on and I said that my health had been bad and that I had just finished my final requirements for graduation. He asked about what after that and I said I'd really like to try for grad school, and as we stood in the empty hallway he gave me a introductory how-to of applications. "Do I make you nervous?" he asked. "No, I'm just a shy person, and you gave me my worst mark ever in a class I did all the work for." I also kept sending him drafts of a paper I was struggling with which he kept saying were good and then he gave me a C- on the paper. I never get C-'s on papers. He tried to assure me all was not lost, and by the end of the conversation I was jittery because grand school! caffeine! cognitive dissonance! and also maybe I cannot help myself.

04 January 2012

Luxury cabbage products (Lacinato kale) were on sale at the health food store for $1.50 a bunch. I bought two for chickpea salad with Hollyhock Salad Dressing, and now I'm regretting not having really gone all out, what with the piles of red kale there too. It was a productive afternoon of lunch-stuff making; I have chicken soup with fava beans on the go too. I could probably go vegan if it weren't for my love of chicken soup and parmesan cheese.
I survived the first day of classes! There was a weird low blood pressure situation when I got out of bed, leaving me hunched on the kitchen floor such that I almost didn't make it anywhere, and then I took my celexa and I was fine. An adventure in invalidism. I tried the other German 310 prof's class and it involves more practice, which I desperately need, so it looks like I will be continuing with the early rising.

03 January 2012

I thought today was the first day of school but no one else turned up for class. Oops. I picked up some books at the library, really good research on an early twentieth century figure in a remote location, theoretical reference materials and comics by Ben Katchor and returned home in the rain. I had been worried someone else would get to the books before me anyway. Oh, and there was a very old Asian man online chatting to "Olga's Girls" or similar in the commons of the new library.

01 January 2012

it's so quiet it feels like the world died.
Correction - I can mostly get the gist of fluff pieces in German - like of the New Year's fireworks in Sydney.