Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bliss

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving, I did--well, about 90% of it was lovely.

I spent a lot of time sleeping. That was the first really good and productive thing that I accomplished. I'd recommend it for anyone.

On Thanksgiving itself we celebrated with my Mom's side of the family. They all cook excellently and I really enjoyed talking to my relatives and my cousin's grandparents who are a wonderful Italian couple. They always make me miss Rome.

Friday, I went to go and see the new Pride and Prejudice movie. I did go in with some prejudice against the main actress and I do have a bit of intellectual pride when it comes to sensitivity in Jane Austen interpretation, so I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt. As a modern chick flick it was wonderful (compared to the average mass produced romantic sludge); as an interpretation of Austen, it was miserable. I'm glad I saw it once, but I won't be returning. Ok, end of rant . . .

Saturday, I got into a car accident. On the way home, I stopped and then slowly proceeded through a four way stop. Another car flew toward the intersection, failed to stop at the stop sign and darted through, missing my car by perhaps a few feet. That, therefore, was not the situation of the accident, but it could have been. My accident occurred 15 min. later as I pulled into my driveway. I looped around the gravel turnaround in the dark, as I have a million times before. However, this time I managed to cut the curve too tight (note, I was going fairly slowly too) and hit the back side of the van on a tree that sits right on the edge of the road. Brilliant, perfectly brilliant. I think I'll stop praying for humility for a while.

That evening, I attended a very ritzy piano bar with my dad and his boss and his boss' wife. After a while, a guy and a girl singer go up to the piano and begin a night of pleasant, group karaoke with songs from musicals, Sinatra, and other genres appropriate to the snazzy atmosphere and both Dad and my taste. We, of course, sang along, and Daddy, being the incredible vocalist that he is, entertained us with a couple solos. And I was mistaken for my Dad's girlfriend AGAIN. We need to start taking Mom out with us more. Overall, very fun evening.

Monday, I was back at school and doing something no one should ever ever do . . . writing a 11 page research paper in 24 hours. Never, ever again. It happened, but I'm not sure what it said; I hope it was brilliant . . . Ok, so I'm an extreme optimist--don't pop my bubble, it's pretty in here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Yes, I have a few spare moments to write hello and give you a quick update on life . . .

Life has been, well, rather quick. The last two weeks seem like a month, at least I got enough done in them to have been a very full month. The defining events of my life over the last few weeks: sniffing paint and killing things. See aren't you interested now?

Why did I sniff paint? Because I was the stage manager for The Cocktail Party. But, since I had almost no crew at all, that required set painting, prop finding and construction, setting up Coeli, running the backstage each show, and averting 100 minor crisis a day. The crew I did have (as well as our dedicated director Ariel) were very faithful, and somehow we transformed Coeli into a charming theatre in the round (well, a U shape anyhow). The six performances of the play were a great success and re-sparked or kindled a love for Eliot in quite a number of Christendomite hearts. Personally, I fell in love with that play. Wonderful acting aside, the lines are incredibly poignant. Eliot explores many of the same hurts and despairing relationships that he touches on in The Wasteland, but here he offers hope and a solution. His grasp of philosophy and psychology is apparent in every line and expressed through modern language that still manages to retain the lyrical beauty of poetry, especially in his more ornate passages. It is truly a play that you can grow with and through. I have lost count of the times I have read it, but it never fails to offer some new insight or reflection. As a result, I've found myself defending it on several occasions and would be happy to do so here as well if you are one of those who thinks Reilly's view of marriage is negative, Celia's fate was too shocking, Peter is a forgotten soul, or the line "Disillusion can itself become an illusion, if we rest in it" is completely cryptic. Enough said except go a read it, at least twice. It's under 200 pages but crammed full of reality and the struggle for truth and beauty in a fallen world.

Now for the killing things aspect. My floor was given the adventurous cross of being infested with lice this past week. One girl accidentally brought it from home and suddenly all hell broke loose. I had girls so paranoid that they wouldn't touch anything that anyone else had touched and were convinced that every cloth article on the floor was just crawling with miniscule invaders. One girl said even her feet itched to think about it. Treatment plan? Well, we all had to get our heads checked (and as a "clean" case I did a decent amount of the checking), a process that is reminiscent of those nature shows on gorillas I watched as a kid; then, every cloth article on the floor had to be put in an air-tight bag for 10 days or put in a dryer on high for 30 min. and then put in a "clean" bag; all dirty clothes (a.k.a. anything you've worn, touched, or that's seen air in three weeks) had to be bagged for 10 days in a "contaminated" bag or heat washed and dried; then, we vacuumed everything possible; and finally, the whole floor is being sprayed by a dude with pesticide stuff. All this took about 20+ hours out of my week to orchestrate; gotta love health regulations in a large dormitory. My 30 girls loved it too . . . well, we tried to convince ourselves it was an exciting adventure instead of the pain it was--it makes a good story anyhow. In sum, we actually saw no lice, only a couple nits (the eggs), we learned a lot about lice (including the grammatical forms of louse and lice and the etymology of the phrase "nit picker"), and we have a VERY clean hall (definitely a good thing). Isn't life amusing?

Other than all this craziness, I've written two papers and done a ton of thesis research in the last 36 hours and am cramming some more in before I go to see Erin. Let me repeat, I GET TO SEE ERIN!!!! Yay Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for this year. God has taught me so much about myself and about life in the last year; maybe it was a hard lesson at times, but He's given me so much strength and grace to live each day anyhow. I would be miserable and pathetic apart from Him, and still He calls me to perfection and helps me to keep trying to obtain it. God is so good!

On that note, I hope you all enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving. You're all in my thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mea Culpa

To my dear friends who actually still faithfully check this blog, I commend you for your fortitude despite my business and negligence. Forgive me. Why have I been so busy? . . .

Currently, I'm stage managing a production of The Cocktail Party by T.S. Eliot. Quite frankly, I've found it to be his most approachable play. I love it's recognition of the profundity and eternal significance of the everyday sins, desires, attitudes, and moments of inspiration. Eliot manages to capture the timeless questions of lovers, friends, spouses, and those whose mission it is to help others, and then he proceeds to provide direction for these lost souls with a subtle Christian influence communicated through superb psychology and sincere dialogs. If you haven't read it, I'd highly recommend it with the suggestion that you picture it all as you read--the humor is sometimes subtle but wonderful and the language unites the colloquial with the profound beautifully.

I'm also in the process of researching and writing three papers but we're not going to talk about that right now . . .

Thesis stuff is going well. I just committed an unpardonable sin (well, at least I always told myself I wouldn't do it) and decided to focus the second part of my thesis on an application of modern feminist and true feminist philosophical tenants to a Jane Austen novel. Remind me never to say never to things like writing a thesis on Jane Austen, because whenever I say that it seems to happen. God has a lovely sense of humor.

This weekend's itinerary runs something along the lines of: write paper, go to wedding, write paper, attend a bit of Pub Night, arrange a movie night for my girls, write paper, maybe go to an RA hang-out night, write paper, paint flats, write paper, go shopping for more play stuff and recruit more people that I can order around, ummm maybe most of the paper will be done at this point . . . So clearly, I'll probably head out first thing to spend part of the day with Larry instead because we both need a break and the weather is supposed to be in the upper 70's. ;)

Oh well! I hope you're all doing well, and I'll try to be a bit more faithful about writing.

Meanwhile, check out this guy's pictures (you can skip the swimming pool one). He does chalk drawings that look 3D when seen from a particular angle. The coke bottle one is particularly impressive. http://users.skynet.be/J.Beever/pave.htm

Note for Englishy people: Google just opened a new tool that has thousands of online texts and online criticism for old and recent works. Not all of it is public domain (like on Project Gutenberg, etc.) so it can't all be printed, but it's searchable and a great new paper resource. Have fun! http://print.google.com/