29 February 2012

Apparently making plans to meet with me makes The Girl Least Likely physically ill. I know she's shy and all, but it's really a bit much.
Feels like there should be brain spatter on the walls.
I need to have some sort of strategy brainstorm. I have way too much; too many facts.
Congratulations Mr CC Perry, you have been rescued from the dust bin of history! I'd had a photocopy made. Sometimes my packrat mentality pays off. So many wonderful photocopies.
My first task of the day: find the name of the Squamish guy who quashed the proposal of the Art, Historical and Scientific Association to build a model Kwakwaka'waka village on his ancestral land. It does not exist in my notes, or the very detailed archival study of the professional. Methinks it has been lost to the sands of time. I dread returning to the archives to read Parks Board fonds. I have one last stack of photocopies to check out.

28 February 2012

I have been keeping an even keel. Tomorrow I'm planning to camp out and write all day, then The Girl Least Likely and I will have a late cup of tea. I've been up since 4 am but it doesn't really feel like it. Nervous I guess. I suspect at the end of the day I will have a big bag o' facts and will need professional help to do another round of editing to put more of myself in.

26 February 2012

reading a book about Victorian masculinity and the history writing. Men of sentiments and men of science, who professed that feelings messed everything up. Gentlemen who pretended not to notice gender.

25 February 2012

Today feels like torture. I want to cry. I am scared to try writing.
one of his best photos

24 February 2012

Scheduled tea with my psychologist. He found a new tea house in the edgy part of town. Very exciting! He has never made me pay for his time. He used to be in charge of psychiatric assessment in a city hospital. He had the most calming presence. I hope it's still like that there, because after that I was in a hospital that was not so hot. Now he does research and sees patients privately, as part of his wife's practice. I figured I should call him when I was feeling good because he won't talk to me when I'm feeling bad.
Steve Jobs takedown via my new favourite news source Reuters and The New Inquiry. Totally just enjoyed that on my MacBook, but I did also find that my brief experience doing menial labour for the corporate world made me psychotic, so there were multiple levels of identification going on.

23 February 2012

I think I've spotted my first wrinkle! A smile line on the left side of my mouth.
This enormous 'flexibility' of industrial society, the ability to integrate or mitigate all serious opposition, and this scientific 'treatment' of symptoms of a profound malaise which is conveniently ignored - in short, the rapid acceleration of a way of life that can deliver joy to only a fraction of its members - has its origins in the blind scientism of the nineteenth century.

...'Whatever else ideologies may be,' writes Clifford Geertz, 'they are, most distinctively, maps of problematic social reality and matrices for the creation of collective conscience'...

The perception of reality in scientific terms is not the result of the successful, inevitable progress of the history of ideas. It is, rather, rooted in class society, and in this sense it was the Industrial Revolution that put the Scientific Revolution on the map. Defined as a commodity or as the crux of professional expertise, science was, in the nineteenth century, recreated in capitalism's image. The very success of the latter obscured the ideological roots of science, as might be expected; and the rather obvious decay in industrial society (whether socialist or capitalist) has led us, just as inevitably, to seek to uncover them. This may, indeed, strike at the very foundations of rational knowledge, but if so, I would pose the distinction made in the Introduction: rational or zweckrational? The former we cannot live without; the latter is crushing us beneath the weight of its instrumentality.

Morris Berman, Social Change and Scientific Organization: The Royal Institution, 1799-1844, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1978.
A thin black cat with a striking face came up to me at the shelter today and pressed her forehead against mine.
I am drinking a cup of ayurvedic tea with rose and chili in it. An inspired combination. It is to be research tea, to ease me through those creative moments when I want ten different pieces of information at once.

22 February 2012

My depressed and headachey mother is responding to cute stories with smiles. She also sniffed coriander seeds with me this morning. She has been working hard all day planning a foreseeable future's worth of lessons for her students, even though she says she just feels like crying. Since I started taking antidepressants this doesn't happen to me anymore. I lucked out. I barely understand what she is going through, but I saw her physically slowing down weeks ago. She has been more open about this episode than she has been before. It is awful not to know what triggered it and to know that this could go on for months.
My third and final perfume is the first perfume I ever bought, also by DS & Durga for Anthropologie. It is a small bottle, .6 of an ounce, and "A fragrant study upon the heraldic tinctures of medieval Anglo-Saxon families of Devonshire & Cornwall." It includes "Herbal tinctures of dwarf pine & fig leaves," while "Round cypress & cedar notes impart a cooling green freshness." It smells purple. I bought it because it reminds me of the gardens at the Cloisters in New York, and because I thought the amber scent that was my alternative was too sexy. Truthfully, after a full day of wear this one kind of gives me a headache.

21 February 2012

drinking cheap beer in an attempt to forget the fact that I consumed two cups of tea today that together made me feel sick. Wondering why is my body crazy like this.

*it is probably dehydration
Reading about fin-de-siècle art matronage as class-conscious rebellion, and European men's psychological link of primitivism with death via Heart of Darkness. JUST WHAT I WANTED TO KNOW.
I hate that partially conscious space between sleeping and waking in the morning. If I get up too fast sometimes the mental fog never clears. Luckily I have a cat who gets his purr on in just these kinds of situations. This morning was all velvety cat ears.
uh oh... found a store where I can buy DS & Durga's regular scents online. I can smell a birthday present for myself coming up. I am trying to decide among The Orchid Drinkers and Coriander, giving an outside chance to Siberian Snow if the jasmine is not overpowering...

*I also found a store within traveling distance that will e-mail me when their shipment comes in so I can go smell.

20 February 2012

I have a 2lb bag of gunpowder tea but I think what I really want is a piece of the blackcurrent and pistachio layer cake I originally had with the tea on a trip to Knows Perfume in Seattle.

I am eating a cup of leftover chickpea and almond soup with saffron instead. Mark Bittman says the recipe is Spanish; I say it's going in the vegan soup file unless you spice it up with some guanciale which would also be good.

1 onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup toasted almonds, crushed into big chunks (I forgot to toast them)
1/4 tsp saffron
2 cans of chickpeas (or you can fix your own)
vegetable stock to cover (about 6 cups)
handful of parsley, chopped
salt and lots of pepper

I cooked the onion until it was just starting to caramelize, then added the almonds and saffron. Then I stirred in the chickpeas, added the stock and heated the soup to a boil to mingle the flavours. Then I mashed some of the chickpeas to thicken the broth, and the parsley, and ground some pepper in.

My stock was made with an onion, two carrots, a large parsnip, a leek, celery with leaves, and for the last 15 minutes some parsley. I cooked the onion in some oil to start it out and boiled the vegetable for about half an hour, giving a fresher flavour than if it had sweetened up at an hour or so. I am still working on my stock so any tips you might have would be welcome. I find nothing tastes as good as the stock for la vignarola, once you put the peas and in my case chard in.
Today's perfume is brought to us by D.S. & Durga, c/o Anthropologie. It is called Petitgrain sur Fleur and is a blend of orange blossom wood co-distilled with its blossoms, tuberose and provencal lavender. I bought it because it reminded me of a men's cologne involving orange blossoms I once tried on and almost bought. As it has aged the lavender comes through more.
Just received my own fifty-five year old paperback copy of John Dewey's Reconstruction in Philosophy to go with the beautiful index Cloud, the, 3 by Helen Mirra. It has been carefully mended and is a lovely indigo blue.

19 February 2012

I have cleaned indoors and put on sandalwood perfume. I am drinking a very bitter yet floral ale. I watched "Gegen die Wand" earlier today. My biggest problem is deciding how many starry white lantern things to buy, large and small. This Sunday has been deluxe.
Today I cleaned my garden, putting the winter leaves in a paper bag to be composted. I planted new hellebores and narcissus, as planned filling out my garden a little more this year. Last year's bulbs should be happy to see the sun, I have snowdrops and more narcissus. My lamb's ear is looking a little raggedy. Then I came inside and drank cocoa.

18 February 2012

Having some sort of caffeine-induced meltdown. Make it stop!
My mother is depressed. This means that her many medications have been juggled and she is sleeping a lot, although she would be sleeping a lot anyway, and that she is really self involved. As they have aged, my father has become the more generous and self-sacrificing one, the caregiver. I think this probably sets an odd precedent for any potential man in my life to follow.

17 February 2012

book about presbyterian missions: make yourself visible!

aha! always helps to blog the lost. "Enduring Witness" has been found.

16 February 2012

It's usually just a casual conversation, and today I got to report that I was feeling well, but visiting my psychiatrist feels like a lot of work. It's mentally draining.

15 February 2012

Explaining my medication to a four year old: sometimes I get scared for no reason, and the medicine makes that not happen.
Not sure I can organize my thoughts. Not even sure where to start.
I got Valentines from the four year old Nicholas, including an expressionist line drawing of a skidoo in water. Nicholas was playing with a cardboard sleeve for a bottle of rum (Dad is a pilot who duty-free shopped for his ski trip on the way home from Hong Kong), asking what it could be (a rocket? a house for Tigger and all his favourite toys? a spy silo?), and generally running around in circles. I played him some Nick Cave on my iPod and he rocked out a little. He was reportedly trying to be funny earlier in the day and was told with a straight face that leaving your penis hanging out of your pants is very offensive. For my visit he was eating Hershey's kisses. After supper he made off to "play" with the heart-shaped box, making them ride in cars in colour coded patterns, and then, whispering to me, sneaking a couple on the sly. A four year old squirming under a coffee table to be more sneaky is pretty funny. "Can you sleep over?" he asked as I was leaving. For how lame I am at playing he is very nice to me.

13 February 2012

the feeling of a sedative hitting my bloodstream... delicious.
zomg bored.
Took a rest day and fueled up on carrot soup spiked with miso.

12 February 2012

I'm tired. Rather, the work isn't getting out. Only one more week to go until reading week, which I will need to spend reading and writing. But not traveling.
While putting clean sheets on my bed, I heard a purr. I looked for the purr but could not find it until, right there, snuggled in a little hollow of duvet and looking up with the most innocent of eyes, was the cat. Bed making was delayed and the little purr went on.

11 February 2012

"Do not panic," writes my German literature prof to the class, "like I am beginning to do. Remember I am at home, thinking of you."
He sent letters written by Novalis to his fifteen year old beloved, as she lay dying. Novalis wrote in some tricked out German, creating neologisms and an idiosyncratic grammar. A dictionary is therefore not very revealing. I am using Dick Higgins' translation to the "Hymns to the Night," which preserves Novalis' modern cadence with the German on facing pages. 

10 February 2012

more reading.

09 February 2012

Forgot my rain boots on the way to see the kittens this morning and ended up with converse so wet water was squishing around in my socks. BOO.

08 February 2012

sweet baby jesus my second adolescence is nearing an end. my orthodontist fixed my retainer this morning to move the recidivistic tooth that fell out of alignment when I didn't wear my retainer enough because it makes me lisp, and my tooth has straightened out. I should be out of my retainer just in time for my 29th birthday.

07 February 2012

I saw an awesome little orchid today.
woot woot! The United Church archivist got in touch to say that Goodfellow was a Presbyterian minister until 1925, when the United Church was formed, which would have shaped his views on natives, and pointed me to a book and relevant sources in the archives, should I wish to consult them.

06 February 2012

I found a small book written by my essay's protagonist, Scottish mining engineer Ronald Campbell Campbell-Johnston squashed in the end of a library shelf. It was protected by a cardboard sleeve, but inside the cover had fallen off. There is a nicer copy in special collections; I can't believe they are letting me take out of the library this gem from May of 1923. Ronald has two Campbells in his name because an early relative was a feminist and wanted her Campbell represented. Ronald was a sort of feminist too, traveling into the bush with his wife, whom he credits with collecting the stories he has written. The emphases fall differently from the stories collected by United minister John Christie Goodfellow and published for the Art, Historical, and Scientific Association as a fundraising venture ($50 cents for each forty paged booklet). Sometimes there are new stories, such as those about the mother of raven, and Ronald gets the family significance of the poles right, despite some nostalgic new age spirituality making an appearance. Goodfellow's account was made standard because it became part of an admittedly haphazard ethnography by Marius Barbeau.

05 February 2012

I have managed to talk myself down from a daily extra dose of antipsychotic. That is an accomplishment, I'd say. I tell myself my life is less stressful now than when the tranquilizing was initiated during the summer. I began losing weight almost immediately. I have read a lot and been patient to a fault, hunting down extra sources and waiting out my cat's stare-off with the surviving neighbour tabby outside yesterday. I have been coping.

02 February 2012

One of my "friends" from German class just let on that she hadn't noticed I'd switched sections all month. I'd been wondering what her deal was. Faux pas.
Evidently recovered.

01 February 2012

Anxious meltdown. Either my cup of tea pushed me over the edge, or it was seeing my mother.