Friday, December 31, 2010

Some Winter Goals

- practice writing whenever and wherever I can
- run often, so that I can begin to call myself a runner
- lose 9 pounds
- find a pleasant job
- go for a tattoo consultation
- brush my teeth more regularly (since I can't have braces yet)
- continue to grow out my hair
- take more photographs
- publish Tom-Tom #8
- drink "copious amounts of tea"
- achieve a 4.0 in my fourth semester
- register for a 5k
- employ a knitting pattern
- fill two notebooks
- read 15 non-school books
- listen to Beethoven's symphonies
- have friends over more often
- court new friends
- write with integrity--even for school
- submit new poems to new magazines
- spend time alone
- get to know Tim better
- reduce debt to 500 dollars
- become more mindful about shopping
- start over in the morning
- take care of my skin
- dress up more
- take my vitamins
- work to become physically stronger

journal excerpt, December 31, 2010

New Year is important to me, but, like I said, the new year starts on Christmas Day in the afternoon. And I made several almost arbitrary beginnings at various points during 2010. What may or may not have been a wedding was nevertheless the beginning of an entirely different way of living: no longer alone and no longer a child. In August I bought a pair of running shoes and stopped drinking grape pop with sherry. In September I started my third semester of university determined to do well. In December I began building some sort of new attitude: I had friends over for supper and went willingly to work. On this last day, I still don't know how to make Tim happy. I am 15 pounds smaller, and I can run 2 km. There are 4 new A- marks on my transcript. I'm proud of them. They cost me. I am still broke, but I am well on my way to getting out of debt. A year is such a messy thing. Can anyone have a whole "good year"? I'm tempted to claim that I've had a whole "bad year", but it's not the right term. I'm ready for another start-over. I won't forget 2010, but I will try to build on it, and bury it a little.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

music in 2010

There was...

Lady Gaga
Some girls won't dance to the beat of the track
She won't walk away, but she won't look back
She looks good but her boyfriend says she's a mess
She's a mess, she's a mess, now the girl is stressed
She's a mess, she's a mess, she's a mess

My Brightest Diamond
There was a silver tree
Down by a river wide
That's where we would go
To hang our pretty things
& watch the wind blow

There used to be a tree
Where we took our pretty things
We'd hook them by a thread
Golden egg lipstick and feathers
Pieces of glass, chandelier baubles
And empty bottles of wine
And watch the light shine through

I'm afraid to forget you
I am remembering you
You were sparkling

The White Stripes
If you think that a kiss is all in the lips
come on,
you got it all wrong, man.
And if you think that our pants was on at the hips
oh well
then do the twist.

Tegan and Sara
look me in the eye and tell me you don't find me attractive
look me in the heart and tell me you won't go

where does the good go?

Ron Sexsmith
Whatever it takes my love I'll find it
Whatever it takes, my love

The Klaxons
all plans are golden in your hand

Un déluge de mots
Expulsé exprès
Pour laver mon cerveau
Et te défouler bien fait

The Beatles
Michelle, my belle
These are words that go together well
My Michelle

Cat Power
I believe in you

Joshua Redman
salt peanuts salt peanuts!

...and John Michael Talbot.
Where there is hatred
Let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon

Grant that I might seek
Not so much to be consoled
As to console
To be understood
As to understand
Not so much
To be loved
As to love another

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

happy Christmas

I wish you all the loveliest holidays, quiet, new underwear, snow light, and chocolate.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

on a Saturday in December

In Praise of My Sister - Wislawa Szymborska

My sister doesn't write poems,
and it's unlikely that she'll suddenly start writing poems.
She takes after her mother, who didn't write poems,
and also her father, who likewise didn't write poems.
I feel safe beneath my sister's roof:
my sister's husband would rather die than write poems.
And even though this is starting to sound as repetitive as Peter Piper,
the truth is, none of my relatives write poems.

My sister's desk drawers don't hold old poems,
and her handbag doesn't hold new ones.
When my sister asks me over for lunch,
I know she doesn't want me to read her poems.
Her soups are delicious without ulterior motives.
Her coffee doesn't spill on manuscripts.

There are many families in which nobody writes poems,
but once it starts up it's hard to quarantine.
Sometimes poetry cascades down through the generations,
creating fatal whirlpools where family love may founder.

My sister has tackled oral prose with some success,
but her entire written opus consists of postcards from vacations
whose text is only the same promise every year:
when she gets back, she'll have
so much
much to tell.

journal excerpt, December 10

It's finally happened, and I am alone with nothing to occupy me but my poetry books and this journal. I also have a pen I need to press down on before it rolls smoothly. My printing is decisive.

Tim and I are at his parents' house. I have finally escaped the laundry and the laptop at home.

I aim to finish this book by Christmas. A new journal for a new year? Yes, I think it's as appropriate as ever. Since I was seven I've been a writer. It's shameful that this notebook has lasted me a full semester. I've been neglecting a part of me that has outlasted my adherence to Christianity. I always suspected it would.


I'm close to finishing a poem. I hauled it out again two nights ago. Three cheers for me! Sure enough, now that I'm thinner, I look more like a poet. Soon I'll have mystique. It's ridiculous how accessible poets make themselves these days.

I am in love with the idea of being a poet. Embarrassingly naive? Maybe, but it's working.


By the way, I have a new idol. She rivals S.P. Her name is Wislawa Szymborska.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My little spruce tree died

It's a long story. I think it had been dying for months. I was in denial.

To cheer me up, Tim took me to buy a rosemary bush.

I've decided that now is the appropriate time to begin setting up goals and routines for the new year and semester. I'm finished all but one of my exams. Tomorrow I will stay quiet, and think.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A message for Katherine

I seem unable to comment on your blog.

Take note!

I have mailed you a delightful parcel full of W's, but the post office warns me it will take 5-7 weeks to reach you.

I'm sorry I'm such a starving student and couldn't pay for air mail.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thank you Jess

breakfast today

The bowl contains the best concoction I have ever concocted, hands down. Even Tim agrees. It is delicious, healthy, filling, and full of the protein this quasi-vegetarian needs so badly. It's also cheap and fast. I don't have a name for it yet, but I'm open to suggestions.

Mix in a large bowl:

1 small can or 1/2 large can chickpeas, drained
1 can tuna or salmon, drained
2 or 3 eggs
2 cloves garlic
salt,pepper and lemon juice to taste

and any or all of the following, chopped up:

red pepper
green pepper
green onions

Fry half a cup or so in a little olive oil until the egg is cooked and the chickpeas and vegetables are beginning to brown.

Mix dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of sugar in a salad bowl. Chop up some romaine lettuce and toss in the dressing. Throw the fried stuff on.

This is one of my favorite things to eat at the moment. It's also great with some cheddar cheese in a pita. The batter keeps for up to a week in the fridge.

Happy Saturday you all! I'm writing my last essay today.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

an update

After a long hiatus from blogging, running, biking, weighing myself, journaling, and attending class--in short, from everything except writing essays, the end of the semester is in sight and I miss you all.

Despite consciously slacking off on exercising, I am down two pounds to 152. I've been trying to keep eating well during this ridiculously stressful final month, and clearly it's paid off. But I miss running. I miss my bike and the high level bridge. I miss push-ups. I miss hooping. I miss stairs. I want to start lifting weights. Clearly, it's time to jump back into things.

(Some progress was made while I was dropping off the face of the earth. I hooped leftwards for almost a minute, and rightwards for seven minutes. I dealt successfully with several large plates of Christmas baking, eating a little of what I wanted most and not getting sick. I received a second surprised, "Wow, you look slender" - this one from Ros. I left half the hot chocolate in the cup, because I was full, for the first time I can remember. I bought a pair of leggings in size Medium. And I did a 60-second plank.)

My goals for this week:

- run or bike five days out of seven
- do twenty push-ups every day, in two or three sets, if necessary
- do fifteen push-ups in a row at least once
- climb 30 flights of stairs two days out of seven
- buy or borrow a set of dumbbells
- lose one pound

journal excerpt, November 25

I have this crazy idea to write a Christmas suite of poems, crazy mostly because I am an Atheist, and this holiday has been somehow taken away from me.

I want church, incense, carols, candles, a pagan tree, a creche.

I crave the spiritual discipline of a waiting season, of Advent.

Though I am as certain as ever that souls do not exist, I am equally certain that at times it feels exactly as if I had one. There is certainly some dimension of me that responds to everything (or nearly everything) the Catholics prescribe for the health of the soul.

It's presumptuous of me.