Saturday, July 17, 2010

blogging instead of playing spider solitaire.

Hi, I'm going to tell you a little about how my life is going right now. Not that you asked.

I'm in limbo again. Actually, I've been stuck in limbo for a pretty significant amount of time. Neither here nor there, waiting for this or that to finally happen. Recently I've been waiting for news on whether or not I'll be getting a very important scholarship for the program in London, and it makes me anxious. I've been back from New York for a month now and time is flying, but I'm finding myself growing bored again. The excitement of the last two weeks of my trip, coming back and visiting with family and friends in Salt Lake, Kamas and Provo were exhausting and I was totally grateful for the chance to chill out and babysit a kitty in a cute apartment and have time again to think. Well, it's been a week and I'm bored.

I watch a lot of tv these days, and I noticed tonight when I was spending some time with friends that television is all I talk about. While I watch tv I knit. I just finished a hat that is much smaller than I was expecting to be, so maybe I'll try to sell it as a children's hat. Today I started a shawl with some $20 golden yarn that I bought in New York and I worry it won't be as pretty as I had hoped. Yesterday my little sister came over and I took some gorgeous pictures of her modeling some recent projects.

Guys, my sister is beautiful.

I've also been baking pies. After watching the entire 2 seasons of Pushing Daisies in the last week I have an uncontrollable desire to bake delicious pies. So far they have been perfection. Perfect crust, perfect filling. I'm in love with my pies. So far I've only made banana cream and a berry pie, but I plan on getting some more fruit and experimenting.

Not to brag, but I make a perfectly tender and flaky crust. And this berry pie was a divine conglomeration of three distinct berry flavors, all tied together with a little sugar on the flaky crust. Those were my sister's words, not mine.

Let's see... Oh, I also recently finished editing a 90 page thesis and got paid a little for it. I wish I could get more jobs like that. Anyone need an editor?

On another note, I've been feeling a little lonely lately, missing my Provo peeps and the new friendships I made in New York that never had the chance to develop to their full potential. I miss Alexis and Liz and Andy. I hope I can be friends with them again some day. I was lonely when I was in New York, and these people totally made my time there worth it. Tonight I spent time with three of my most favorite people, and I realize what joy friends bring me in my life, and I love the thought that I have no idea how many wonderful people I am set to encounter in my lifetime and how they will change and shape me and my existence on this earth.

Well, I think that is all for the night. Thanks, Internet, for listening. You're great.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

summer reading

I have a bit of a habit of marking up books when I read them, probably from the 20 years of schooling and 2 Humanities degrees under my belt. It is always handy when writing a paper on a novel to go back and find interesting passages already marked up. The problem, however, comes when I am borrowing a novel and my fingers just itch to write all over it and I can't. And so then I usually type out the passages that interest me to look at later if I need to. Now, the problem with this is that I rarely go through and open random word documents to look at, especially when I always seem to misplace the important documents I have (I have no idea how this happens, but I can't tell you how many times important things have just disappeared from my computer). Solution? I will blog my favorite passages as I work through my summer reading list. This may prove helpful for me, and possibly entertaining for anyone (or any two or three) who actually read this blog.

I'm currently working my way through On the Road by Jack Kerouac and I am thoroughly enjoying what for many is the American dream: cross country road tripping. My Brazilian friend is also reading the book and said that he would love to hitchhike across the United States but would never dream of doing something like that in Brazil. Of course, I said. This sort of travel is an American institution. Who doesn't want to see this continent, from sea to shining sea? I know that the need to travel across this place is an itch I someday hope to scratch, and I have always wanted to read this book and the adventures outlined here. And at this point in my life, I feel like I can relate to Sal Paradise as he abandons his day to day life and sets out to see the country. I'm at the point now where he makes it from New York to San Francisco, has run out of money and has to find a job, and when he gets into trouble for not doing exactly what he should on the job he thinks, "he was right; but all i wanted to do was sneak out into the night and disappear somewhere, and go and find out what everybody was doing all over the country" (60).
Me too, Sal, me too.

I love how getting a job to make ends meet for a time becomes part of the adventure, as it has been for me this summer as I take on odd jobs and move about the country, sleeping on couches and just trying to get by until the next chapter of my life begins.

And so, here are some passages I enjoyed tonight as I continued reading On the Road, and expect more to follow as I finish up the book.

"I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was--I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn't scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost. I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that's why it happened right there and then, that strange red afternoon" (15).

"I spun around till I was dizzy; i thought I'd fall down as in a dream, clear off the precipice. Oh where is the girl I love? I though, and looked everywhere, as I had looked everywhere in the little world below. And before me was the great raw bulge and bulk of my American continent; somewhere far across, gloomy, crazy New York was throwing up its cloud of dust and brown steam. There is something brown and holy about the East; and California is white like washlines and emptyheaded--at least that's what I thought then" (71).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

London calling

It's coming on a month since I blogged last, and even though this last month has probably been the craziest and most eventful in months, I haven't felt stable enough to sit down and write a blog. Or maybe I should say I haven't felt like I could give my full attention to such a task. Until right at this moment: the first time in nearly a month that I have been totally and completely by myself.

I had 2 goals I needed to accomplish this summer. The first was to live in New York and the second was to not pay rent for at least two months. New York: check. Being homeless: so far so good. Since I wrote last I have spent part of a week in a hostel in Boston, a night in a friends apartment in New York, part of a week in a lovely home in Maryland, a night in my old apartment in New York, a few nights on my sister's couch in Salt Lake, a couple of couches in Provo, a bed and a couch in Kamas, another few nights back in Salt Lake and now I am house sitting for a nice girl with a lovely cat while she enjoys a cruise. I'll be here for 2 weeks and then I'm back to couch surfing.

I kind of really don't mind this lifestyle. I don't mind living out of a suitcase and I don't mind sleeping on couches. The best part is that I haven't paid rent for a month now, and I'm getting paid to stay at this girl's house for the next two weeks. Sweet deal, yeah?

After the summer is over I'll hopefully be starting one of my biggest adventures yet: moving to London to do a PhD at the London Consortium (part of Birkbeck College) in Humanities and Cultural Studies. If I can find the money to go it will be a dream come true. Last week I had an interview over the phone with the professor I would be working with and they emailed me two hours later telling me of my acceptance. I honestly couldn't believe it. I was slightly worried about the interview because I could hardly understand the British accents over a speakerphone, and I was uncertain of a few of their questions, even though I tried to answer as if I did understand what they said. Thank goodness for the last 15 years of my life watching Beatles movies, Monty Python and Doctor Who, or I may have been completely lost in that interview.

Guys, I'm moving to LONDON!

Well, maybe. I hope. It depends on a lot of things that I'm working on right now. My goal is to get all the paper work figured out this weekend and send it all in on Monday.

I was looking at the courses I'll be taking this fall and I got all giddy and light headed just thinking about them. Here are some of the course titles: "Coldness: Toward a Political Thermodynamics of Culture", "Down: Meloncholy, Depression and Regeneration", and "Scratches, Traces, Spacings". Does that sound awesome or what?? Ok, maybe I shouldn't get too ahead of myself. I still have to raise thousands of dollars to go.

I was just thinking the other day that I didn't want to wait a year to go back to school and now I may not have to. It feels good to think that I don't have to put my goals on hold. I'm excited.