Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I'm Bored

I am off on Wednesdays, but I know school is in session because, what am I doing right now? Sitting on my bed, chewing my pencil, searching in the dictionary for how to say "drag show" in Italian (part of my homework is to discuss what I did over the weekend). I also have to read eight poems and 44 pages of a novel I haven't bought yet.

I am quite pissed because one of our kittens chewed up my laptop adaptor. Thankfully we have a spare in the house, but now I have to start shoving the whole damn thing (plus my cell phone charger, and practically anything else of value) into my closet every time I want to go downstairs and get a drink or something. Egad.

I was going to go food shopping today but I didn't get up early enough to stop Mother from going. I don't usually allow her to go alone because... Well, let me put it this way: she came home with six boxes of assorted Entenmann's Little Bites, some cookies, and some other crap. I mean, she got some fruit today, but really. This is how my mother has stocked the house since I can remember. She gets regular food, but for some reason there's an unwritten law that we must have the most insanely unhealthy stuff, and in bulk. Are we preparing for a possible emergency situation where we will survive on polysaccharides? I don't get it.

I can't complain, though, because she also came home with tofurkey, fake ground beef, fake Canadian bacon, fake chicken nuggets - the works - and a big smile on her face. She tries so hard, God bless her. It can't be easy to have a crazy veggie like me in the house.

*Puts down the books and ponders what to do for HNT tomorrow*

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Back to School

I just typed up this long-ass post (and I mean long) and hit the wrong key and deleted it all. Don't you just love when that happens?

*Sigh* I have such a headache right now but will try to rewrite it all while I let the ibuprofen kick in.

Today was my first day of school. I only had three of my classes, but they seem good so far. First I had a "writing seminar" that is required of honors students. They have recently revamped the honors program, doing away with the section of it that I happen to be a part of. This class is required for the six of us who are in that section, and that is how many students are in the class - six. It's not the first time I've been in a class of this size, it happens in the HC (honors college) all the time. We are all still in the HC, but now incoming freshmen don't have the option of being in that section anymore. Whatever, it's complicated.

Professor G is teaching it, and although it's a "writing seminar," he has constructed it like an American literature course. We're reading everything from Truman Capote to Philip Roth. Should be a lot of fun but definitely more work than I expected. After that class, I had Modern English Poetry, also taught by Professor G. We'll be reading T.S. Eliot (I'm one of those people who drools over "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"), W.B. Yeats ("Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold..." *Sigh*), Dylan Thomas, etc. as well as many other lesser known poets. Exciting stuff, man, and lighter reading than the novels of the other course.

Ended the day with Italian. I have Professor M, whom I have had for Women's Studies but never for Italian. He's the best.

I'm being recruited for a sorority. (Stop laughing.) Well, they're trying. It's not working. Three members I know in the HC have approached me about it, and they have been e-mailing me to ask if I will go to any of their rush events. I said that I would think about it, but it is unlikely because:

a) I'm not the sorority type, by any means, regardless of how atypical they claim this one is,
b) I'm too cheap to shell out the money for dues, and
c) We have decided to start putting out our feminist magazine twice a year instead of once, which is really exciting but means less time in my schedule.

Monday, August 29, 2005

My Baby's Gone

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Boyfriend left this morning. He piled his bags and himself into a cab bound for the airport while I stood on the sidewalk, biting my lip, trying not to cry.

It has been a tough day. I miss him already.

When Fellow Seeker discovered that Boyfriend was gone, he immediately recruited Veteran Seeker, Skeptic, and most of the people within earshot to call me and cheer me up. And they did. What amazing friends I have.

So... silver lining... Boyfriend will most likely move back in four months. *Crosses fingers and wipes eyes*

School starts tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it because I love school, but I'm also dreading it a bit because I know that everyone and their mother will ask how my father is doing. I know that they are concerned, and I appreciate it, but God, is it hard to explain to everyone that he is not much (any?) better than when I finished last semester. *Sighs*

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Give Peace A Chance

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Happy HNT. You got my mug this time.

Once again, I can't sleep. I thought it was because I drink caffeinated beverages all day long, but tonight I didn't have any and here I am again. I have way too much on my mind. Have you ever been in bed and your mind is just racing and you're thinking to yourself, "Shut up, shut up, shut up!" but you never listen to yourself so the rambling continues? Lately, I go to bed, I lay there, I can't get my thoughts to simmer down, I get back up. It's a vicious cycle. I was eating Ben & Jerry's Phish Food a minute ago but I clumsily dropped one of those little chocolate fishes onto my new t-shirt and now I'm pissed.

Have any of you ever taken the Jung-Myers-Briggs Personality Test? It is a psychological test that determines your personality type, but it's not one of those cheesy online quizzes. It's a legitimate test that is used quite often in the real world. I had to take it for a class during my first semester of college and it was extremely accurate. My personality type was INFJ. I just took the test again on this website and found that I am still an INFJ, or a Counselor Idealist. This is what it says:

The Counselor Idealists are abstract in thought and speech, cooperative in reaching their goals, and directive and introverted in their interpersonal roles. Counselors focus on human potentials, think in terms of ethical values, and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (little more than 2 percent) is regrettable, since Counselors have an unusually strong desire to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their companions. Although Counsleors tend to be private, sensitive people, and are not generally visible leaders, they nevertheless work quite intensely with those close to them, quietly exerting their influence behind the scenes with their families, friends, and colleagues. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.

Counselors can be hard to get to know. They have an unusually rich inner life, but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. With their loved ones, certainly, Counselors are not reluctant to express their feelings, their face lighting up with the positive emotions, but darkening like a thunderhead with the negative. Indeed, because of their strong ability to take into themselves the feelings of others, Counselors can be hurt rather easily by those around them, which, perhaps, is one reason why they tend to be private people, mutely withdrawing from human contact. At the same time, friends who have known a Counselor for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that they are inconsistent; Counselors value their integrity a great deal, but they have intricately woven, mysterious personalities which sometimes puzzle even them.

Counselors have strong empathic abilities and can become aware of another's emotions or intentions -- good or evil -- even before that person is conscious of them. This "mind-reading" can take the form of feeling the hidden distress or illnesses of others to an extent which is difficult for other types to comprehend. Even Counselors can seldom tell how they came to penetrate others' feelings so keenly. Furthermore, the Counselor is most likely of all the types to demonstrate an ability to understand psychic phenomena and to have visions of human events, past, present, or future. What is known as ESP may well be exceptional intuitive ability-in both its forms, projection and introjection. Such supernormal intuition is found frequently in the Counselor, and can extend to people, things, and often events, taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come, as well as uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.

Anyway, I posted this for a reason. It is going to lead up to my treatise on idealism. More to come soon :)

I Can't Sleep what better way to pass the time than to rob something from Dena? :)

1. Nervous habits? Nail-biting.
2. Are you double jointed? Highly doubt it.
3. Can you roll your tongue? Yep.
4. Can you raise one eyebrow at a time? Not really.
5. Can you blow spit bubbles? No.
6. Can you cross your eyes? Of course.
7. Tattoos? No, I'm fickle and have a low tolerance for pain.
8. Piercings? Only my ears.
9. Do you make your bed daily? Nah.


10. Which shoe goes on first? The left one.
11. Speaking of shoes, have you ever thrown one at anyone? Who hasn't?
12. On the average, how much money do you carry? Not much, usually $20 or less.
13. What jewelry do you wear 24/7? My silver claddagh ring with the garnet heart. You know, this one.
14. Favorite piece of clothing? Anything black. Slimming, baby.


15. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? I twirl it. I'm not afraid of a challenge.
16. Have you ever eaten Spam? Years ago, during my pre-vegetarian days.
17. Do you use extra salt on your food? Rarely.
18. How many cereals in your cabinet? Tons but I don't really eat them, my younger siblings do.
19. What's your favorite beverage? Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino
20. What's your favorite fast food restaurant? I don't eat fast food anymore.
21. Do you cook? A little bit.


22. How often do you brush your teeth? Twice a day, minimum.
23. Hair drying method? I put some crap in it and then just let it dry on its own.
24. Have you ever colored/highlighted your hair? Sure, several times. Right now it still contains remnants of Amber Sunrise, which I did in January 2004.


25. Do you swear? Yeah, way more than I should.
26. Do you ever spit? Only at the dentist's office.


27. Animal? Elephants.
28. Food? Vanilla Bark Tofutti Ice Cream. I could live on that stuff.
29. Month? April
30. Day of the week? Friday
31. Cartoon? The Simpsons
32. Shoe brand? Not too particular about that.
33. Subject in school? English
34. Color? Blue
35. Sport? Baseball
36. TV shows? Sex and the City, Arrested Development, Rescue Me, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, 30 Days, Desperate Housewives
37. Thing to do in the spring? Drive in the rain with Simon & Garfunkel playing on the radio
38. Thing to do in the summer? Go to plays, museums, and parks
39. Thing to do in the autumn? Return to school
40. Thing to do in the winter? Read a good book over a cappuccino

In And Around

41. In the CD player? Sarah McLachlan
42. Person you talk most on the phone with? Fellow Seeker
43. Reading? Who Cooked the Last Supper? by Rosalind Miles, The Educated Imagination by Northrop Frye, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd, and a few others... I know I have a problem.
44. Do you regularly check yourself out in store windows/mirrors? Occasionally.
45. What color is your bedroom? Lavender with green ivy and vines that I painted along the walls.
46. Do you use an alarm clock? Yes.
47. Window seat or aisle? Window.


48. What's your sleeping position? Fetal position on my side.
49. Even in hot weather do you use a blanket? Yeah.
50. Do you snore? No.
51. Do you sleepwalk? Used to. Not anymore.
52. Do you talk in your sleep? Used to. Not sure if I still do.
53. Do you sleep with stuffed animals? Rarely.
54. How about with the light on? Can't.
55. Do you fall asleep with the TV or radio on? Once in a while I leave the radio on and go to sleep listening to classical music, but that's about it.
56. Last interesting person you met? One of Boyfriend's friends.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Back to religion. Yeah, it didn't take me long :)

So, I'm reading Who Cooked the Last Supper? and Miles is writing about monotheism and how the introduction of it into the world really screwed us women over. I mean, seriously, it did. And there's a passage on the Adam and Eve story which is really the essence of that poem I wrote that gave my mother pause:

For woman could never recover from one primal, overwhelming disability - she was not male. The ensuing syllogism represented a triumph of masculine logic. If God was male and woman was not male, then whatever God was, woman was not. St. Augustine spelled it out: "For woman is not the image of God, whereas the man alone is the image of God." As man stands beneath God in the hierarchy, so the woman, as further removed, comes below him: in practical terms, then, setting every man over every woman, father over mother, husband over wife, brother over sister, grandson over grandmother. In every one of these new systems, God freed man from slavery and took him into partnership for eternity, while women were never even apprenticed to the celestial corporation. [...] (pg. 91)

Under the father god, only man attains full adult freedom and control. Woman in diametric contrast is sentenced to a double subordination, to God and to man, as St. Paul instructed the Corinthians; because "man is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of man... neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man." [...] (pg. 92)

Women and men too had to be brought to believe in women's inferiority, to know that her rightful place was, in every sense, beneath the male. Accordingly the patriarchs of the One God embarked on a strenuous and hysterical myth-campaign to account for and enforce the subjection of women. Its essence is neatly summed up by St. Ambrose: "Adam was led to sin by Eve, and not Eve by Adam. It is just and right then that woman accept as lord and master him whom she led to sin." [...] The Adam and Eve myth, possibly the single most effective piece of enemy propaganda in the long history of the sex war, had other crucial implications. It performed the essential task of putting man first in the scheme of things; for in all the father god religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, God creates man first: woman is born after man, framed of an insignificant and expendable lump of his bony gristle, and taken out of him like a child from its mother. (pgs. 93-4)

Yes, she is harsh, I warned of that. But look at what she's saying here. I have been thinking about it nonstop, and you know... what the hell?

I was speaking to Mother about religion yet again the other day and I finally admitted to her that I don't think I can ever buy in to Christianity again. I told her that I can't imagine myself believing in a religion that degrades women so much or asserts that people will burn in hell for all eternity. Just can't do it. There is no way around the doctrines of the church, my friends. Either you can accept those things or you can't. I have been shifting for years and I think I am in the final stages.

Because I am not an atheist, that leaves me with very few choices, does it not? I cannot turn to any of the other monotheistic religions without encountering similar, if not the exact same, problems. The only religions I know of that are female-centered are goddess worship ones, and I couldn't embrace those. Besides, I don't need my spirituality to be female-centered, I just need it to allow me to express myself as a female without being put into a box labelled Dutiful, Submissive Wife or Will Never Be A Pastor, I Swear on it.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Sweetest Thing

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On Monday afternoon I was traveling on a bus, on my way to see Boyfriend. He was supposed to meet me about eight blocks from the bus stop, so when the bus stopped, I hopped off and began to walk. I got a call on my cell phone - from him - and he asked me why I was walking so fast. I raised an eyebrow. Was I breathing heavily when I answered the phone? Why would he think I was walking fast? I said, "I'm not," and he replied, "Yes, you are, I can't catch up with you." I whirled around to catch a glimpse of him behind me, halfway down the block, with flowers.

This is the second time he has surprised me with flowers. He did it one morning while I was still interning, called me at the office and told me to come downstairs.

Il Migliore, I swear.

Now, remember that teeny tiny problem I mentioned when I first wrote about him? Yeah, that one. In ten days, he is moving away due to circumstances beyond our control. 1,800 miles from me.

So, our days are numbered. Virtual breakdown imminent. Stay tuned readers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Behind These Hazel Eyes

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Happy HNT! Yes, this is a small picture and not too revealing, but I would like to write on the subject of eyebrows.

Today I had some of the hair on my face ripped out after having been drowned in hot wax. Always a fun procedure. I especially like it when they make small talk as they're doing it. ("So, you're in college? What's your major?" *RIP*) The first time I got my eyebrows waxed was in May. I avoided it throughout my teen years and had no intentions of ever getting it done until Sister, in a fit of rage, referred to me as Bushy Eyebrows. (She has called me worse, I should have taken it as a compliment.) I rolled my eyes in my classic fashion and marched straight into the bathroom to look at the alleged bushy eyebrows. Were they really that bad? If so, how could my family have allowed me to leave the house this way? Why didn't my friends tell me?

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(By the way, this is how they looked.)

I sought the opinions of those closest to me. Cynic said that I was crazy and that I didn't need to do anything with my eyebrows. Father said, "What are you talking about? You have beautiful eyebrows!" Mother's response, however, was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. "Well... you could thin them out, just a little bit."

For some reason, my mother's opinion is like a Supreme Court verdict to me. She may not come right out and say she doesn't like something, but I can read her. If I ask her opinion and she casually mentions that maybe the other shirt would look nicer, I will walk around self-conscious the whole day, thinking that everyone is pointing at my shirt and laughing. (Alright, I exaggerate, but still.) So when she didn't fawn all over my eyebrows, I got the hint.

It took time for me to make the decision to get them waxed. It may seem like a stupid decision, but it was monumental for me. I felt like I was compromising all my feminist principles. I spout my fervent opinions on the rights of women and the harm done by false ideals of beauty, and then I'm going to run to the salon to have hair that God apparently wanted on my body for some reason ripped out? Every month? (Since I started, I once skipped a month and the woman reprimanded me, saying that my eyebrows had lost all their shape. Give me a break, they weren't growing out onto my ears or anything.)

I like the way they look when I have them done, but I still feel like a total sell-out. I guess that once I got the whole crazy business into my head, I had to get them done, otherwise I would have been walking around, thinking that everyone was staring at my freakish face. Damn social conditioning.

Just curious what people think about this, especially the feminists out there. Is it fair that we're pressured to do this crazy shit? Men don't have to. But then, where do we draw the line? I don't think it's fair that we have to go crazy to shave our legs and armpits just so that we can be considered "attractive," but you won't catch me not doing it.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

9 to 5

School-less, job-less, I drift along. I actually do have things to work on before school starts, which is good. I never wrote about my meeting with Mentor, but it was a couple of weeks ago and it went really well. He wants me to become involved in a couple of projects he is working on. Firstly, he asked me to edit the book he's writing. Can you believe that? 21-year-old undergrad me. Obviously he will have it edited by his publisher, but he wants me to go over it first. When he asked me, I said, incredulous, "But you were my professor, I was your student." He said, "Yeah, but this is your field." I have a field. Sweet.

He also asked me to develop/head a writing program for a new organization he's starting. I might be able to swing some college credit if I do it. I'm incredibly flattered that he assumes I'm capable for the work he's asking me to do.

I'm also reading two excellent books: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and Who Cooked the Last Supper: The Women's History of the World by Rosalind Miles. Boyfriend gave me A Fine Balance; he's a smart one and knows that the fastest way to my heart is with a book. I'm only 100-something pages in (it's 624 pages) but I'm already quite hooked. Who Cooked the Last Supper is wonderful too. My only reservation (I wouldn't call it a complaint, per se) is that I think the book would alienate male readers. I couldn't stand Feminism is for Everybody for that reason. Yes, patriarchy is an evil institution, nobody will acknowledge that more than me. But, while this book is highly enjoyable and insightful, I am a few chapters in and she has already told me that women originally ruled the world until men grew jealous and violently forced us into submission. Okay, maybe that did happen, but... I don't know. I think that a history that glorifies women over men is just as bad as the prevalent one that glorifies men over women. But that's a flaw of mine: I can't just take history objectively, I keep thinking, "Why did that happen, though??" Good thing I changed my major from history back to English. (Note: I'm not saying the history presented in the book is real history. Just thinking out loud.)

Friday, August 12, 2005

Don't Dream It's Over

I made it through yesterday. What an emotionally draining day.

As I said, it was the final day in which all of the fellows and the three main staff members get together to present, reflect, and look ahead. We made group presentations on social issues, turned in papers and journals, filled out evaluations, and did a ton of other things. Four alumni of the program came back to tell us what they are doing now. Med school, teaching, international work... unbelievable stuff. These people only left college about three or four years ago and are all so accomplished already. It was inspiring (and intimidating, of course).

I got pretty depressed towards the end of the day when it kept hitting me that we won't all be together anymore (next summer the fellows scatter to the wind, most go abroad). I also felt badly after presenting my internship report. One of the things we had to talk about was what we are most proud of and what we wish we had handled better. I said that I wish I had handled the whole summer better in general because it was so tough this year. I know I did okay, but I wish I had done better. Then I got some voice mail messages on my cell phone from my mother with more family drama, and excused myself to the ladies' room to cry a little bit.

When I returned to the table, I saw that they were in the process of giving out the gifts. Each year, they choose a book that they feel is most appropriate for each fellow. It is such a sweet tradition. Last year, they gave me American Apartheid because of my interest in race relations and community development. As soon as I walked in, Program Coordinator picked up The Color Purple by Alice Walker and said, "This one is for a woman whose words are going to change the world," and she gave it to me.

When it was all over, everyone was hugging each other and saying goodbye. We will still hang out once in a while, but you know, it's not the same. Fellow #9 came up to me and said, "You're a filthy liberal beatnik, but I love you," and hugged me. He's nuts. He's way more liberal than I am.

On a lighter note, they gave a quiz on history/geography that was insanely difficult, and split us up into groups in order to take it. My group included Fellow #5 (English major), Fellow #8 (Communications), and myself (English). We guessed all the answers and joked that it was biased towards all the International Studies majors. In the end, after all the quizzes were graded, Associate Director announced, "The winner is the only group that has no one interning at an international organization..." We won Borders gift cards. We could not stop laughing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

On Bended Knee

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I posted my HNT photo early to keep from pulling all my hair out. This work is excruciating. Looks like I will be pulling an all-nighter.

Let That Be Enough

Today is the most stressful day of my entire life. Not to be dramatic or anything.

Tomorrow is the final hurrah for the summer fellowship program, which is really sad because next year most fellows will travel abroad and we won't have the same communal experience as we have now. I will really miss it. The fellows are amazing, and everything we have been exposed to has been remarkable. I will definitely be sad when it actually hits me. Today is not the day. Today is the day to be stressed.

I have to make two presentations tomorrow, as well as turn in an individual paper, a revised group paper, several evaluations and reports, and twelve pages worth of journal entries. I am seriously overwhelmed, so I decided to blog. It calms me :) That and Double Stuf Oreos.

Last night was the dinner and classical music concert for all of the fellows, their bosses, and the people who are essential to the program. It was lovely. My boss couldn't make it, which spoiled it a little for me at first. I just sat there while everyone chatted with their bosses. It wasn't too bad, though, because I began mingling with people anyway and having a good time. I saw one of the panelist judges who interviewed me when I was applying for the fellowship over a year ago. He looked at my name tag and asked, "Did I interview you?" I was surprised that he remembered; they interview forty people each year. He was very nice. I remember my interview like it was yesterday: sitting there, facing the scrutiny of four very important people, trying not to sweat or stutter, sipping my water... While the others asked about my future goals and aspirations, he asked me which Dickens novel is my favorite. (Hard Times, of course.)

Anyway, I gave my speech last night. It was a little rushed because we were running late. It went well. I made them laugh. Afterwards, people approached me to ask about the concert hall. One of them asked if I work there. I had to say, "Um, well, no... they just asked me to speak. I don't really know anything." That's always a fun thing to admit.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


I would like to say something shocking. I am getting tired of only writing about spirituality. There, I said it. Hate me if you will. I am getting tired of spirituality altogether, if I can be so bold as to admit it. The whole thing is making me sick. I am so drawn to it and obsessed by it, and yet, right now I'm frustrated with the limitations it poses. Maybe I need a break. I have broached the subject here before and now I think there will be a shift. I'm not saying that I will never write about spirituality; it will still come up quite often. I just think that I will be including much more. I like to consider myself a well-rounded individual, after all ;)

Now, I have several spiritual things to write about but I'm not really in the mood. Let me sum them up briefly: Spoke more to Fellow #5 about anger at and disbelief in God. Went to temple with Veteran Seeker, the rabbi was so unenthused that it was comical, had an excellent discussion afterwards about how I became a Seeker and on the nature of evil in the world. Had a discussion with Skeptic about what I have recently written here, specifically about being angry at God. Skeptic seemed mildly amused by this recent turn. He is great to talk to about these things, has such interesting views.

So... recent news...

1. I got a scholarship. Very happy. I have been waiting on that decision for months and I finally got the letter in the mail. Fellow Seeker was on the phone at the time and did the drumroll for me as I opened it. This one, combined with my other one, covers half of my tuition this year. Woohoo :)

2. I proudly shoved my magazine into Mother's face so that she could read my poem. She oohed and aahed over my name on the staff list but as she read the poem she muttered, "Oh... What is this? What did you write? Oh..." The reception wasn't good. She completely missed the point. She said the poem seems to be saying that it sucks to be a woman. I said, "No, it's about the way the Adam and Eve story portrays women, and how troubling that is." I was really disappointed because my mother is one of the few people who really gets me. Just completely understands me through and through. But I guess that can't extend to all things. I asked her, "So, you don't like it?" and she managed, "I like that it rhymes."

3. Boyfriend met the family today. He came with me to visit Father, which was good because I have lost the will to go on my own. After that, he came over to my house for a barbecue with my wacky family. Seriously, they're cracked, but in a mildly entertaining way.

Note: Boyfriend wants a more interesting nickname, but I am not taking any of the suggestions he has posed thus far. If it were up to me, I would start calling him Il Migliore, but that might give him a big head :)

4. I have to attend an important dinner this week with all the fellows, their bosses, the program people, etc. We are going to a classical music concert afterwards, and the director of the program asked me to prepare a 3-4 minute speech on the history of the concert hall. She said that they chose me to do it because of my "musical background and conscientious research skills." I have been scratching my head for a while, trying to figure out where they got the idea that I have a musical background. I mean, I played piano in second grade but quit. Tried my hand at guitar at 13 but quit. Sang in various shows and groups during high school but... You get the idea. Musical? *Snorts* I suspect that they wrote this e-mail to another fellow who turned it down first :P I'm flattered, obviously, but I don't like public speaking and this is a big event.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Future

I had to go to my campus today to pay tuition for the fall semester. Today is the day that it's due and today is the day that I pay. I'm not normally such a procrastinator, it just completely slipped my mind. *Shrugs shoulders*

Afterwards, I walked around campus distributing copies of our women's literary magazine. I'm an editor so I get to do fun things like fill up our racks in the library. I actually do enjoy being an editor, though. I'm more proud of having my name on the staff list on the inside cover than having one of my poems in there. I'm not much of a poet. I am the editor-in-chief's successor for when she graduates. More responsibilities! Yes! :)

While I walked, the sun beating down on me as I lugged a heavy pile of women's self-expression in my arms, I realized that I miss school tremendously. I always do this. I miss my summer fellowship program during the school year, I miss school during the summer, I'm always missing something. I just think that academia is the best thing in the world. I have wanted to become a professor for a long time, but now I am having a hard time narrowing it down to one field. I have already changed my major twice, my minor about five times, and when Mentor urges me to go straight to graduate school after college, the best I can give is a noncommittal shrug.

It would be great if I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

It's Me

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Happy HNT!

I know I did a neck shot already, but this one is slightly different and I'm not feeling all that creative this week. Will do better next time ;) Besides, got some nice sunburn action in there.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I never thought that I would be sitting in the office of a Catholic priest, and yet, yesterday, that's exactly where I was.

I had lunch with Future Priest and then had an appointment that he made for me with Priest. We spoke for close to an hour. He did most of the talking because he had a lot to say, but he did give me a chance to ask questions and comment, as well as articulate the problem. I gave him my I-Don't-Think-God-Loves-Us spiel and he gave me the free will argument. I brought up the tsunami and said that God could have stopped that without hindering anyone's free will, and he said that the world operates by natural law and that God didn't cause that directly. I said that people say that God doesn't intervene in our lives so as not to undermine free will, but in the Bible, He did it all the time, and he said that God does intervene and pointed to the giant crucifix on the wall behind him. He gave me all the right Christian answers but whenever he mentioned Christ dying for our sins, I had to refrain myself from asking, "But Father, how do I know that?" I decided that the most respectful thing to do would be to ask him all the questions I had as a Christian rather than bring up the doubts I have about Christianity as a whole. I wanted to ask him how I can believe those things again, but I decided to be realistic. No one else can tell you how to believe.

The most helpful thing that he said was about St. Thomas and how he doubted and struggled until Christ appeared to him after the Resurrection. He said that Thomas then had a more significant experience than the other eleven disciples. He said, "Jesus died to save us from our sins, not from our minds," and that it is a good thing that I'm questioning. Just before I left, I told him that I don't have those loving, trusting feelings towards God anymore. How do I get them back? He took that to mean that I felt God had deserted me, and he said, "He has already begun to come back. God is working in your life right now. Do you know how?" I shook my head and he gestured towards the door, to the outside room where Future Priest was sitting and waiting for me. He said that God is using him as my friend, giving him concern for me, and that it can be reciprocated, that God can use me as his friend as well. I thought about how fit I am to be used for anything right now, laughed and said, "Not any time soon," but he looked at me and said, "Don't be so sure."

I had dinner with Boyfriend and Boyfriend's Friend, who is only in town this week and who I had just met. She was very nice. Over dinner, religion briefly came up and she said that she considers herself "spiritual." Boyfriend asked me how I would describe myself and I said, "Confused."

After dinner, coffee, and Boyfriend's departure, B.F. and I talked for a while. Her father is Jewish and her mother is Catholic, and she said that she has found that people who have been raised in very religious homes (in the Evangelical tradition, for example) tend to be a little lost at our age because they don't know what to believe. I told her about my visit with Priest and we talked about the merits of Catholicism for a while. She suggested I get a catechism book, then added, "But that [Catholicism] might not be for you either, and that's okay."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Carry That Weight

I got a postcard from Prague this morning. Group Leader (remember her?) is there for the summer and sent me the most lovely one. On it, she wrote about her experience there and mentioned that she is still praying for me and my family. She ended it by writing 2 Cor. 4:8 at the bottom before signing her name. I am rusty at my Bible references. I asked Fellow Seeker if he remembered which verse that was but he didn't. I looked it up and - I know, the suspense is killing you - this is what it said:

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair [...]"

Now I remember! St. Paul, our not-so-favorite writer. He did write some beautiful pieces, though. Even Fellow Seeker agreed that this is a nice verse.

Later in the day, F.S. was telling me that he would be doing a lot better if he was still a 'Christian.' I said that I felt the same way, had even mentioned it here a while ago. He said, "At least they have a road map. We don't," and I added, "Yeah, we're just... floating." I suppose that's the best way to describe it. I wonder how people live comfortably without religion in their lives. Were they raised differently than F.S. and me? Not necessarily. Are they stronger than we are? Or just different? I mean, it's not just an interest for us. It goes beyond that. Tonight F.S. was asking why religious people believe certain things, and I said, "Because they have to." Like I'm any different. We may not be believing the same things all the time but I have to believe just as much as any of the people that I have been so hard on.

Anyway, F.S. just spent a couple of days at my place, and the other night, he was telling Mother about the picture that is up in his old church. It depicts the Rapture: Jesus standing with His arms open while His people are sucked up into the sky and chaos ensues on Earth. Cars and planes are crashing, there is fire, blood. In fact, it is mentioned in Killing the Buddha - a woman enters a church with a gun and shoots at that sadistic picture. Mother, in turn, told F.S. about a gigantic poster that we used to have in my house when I was a child. She got it at some Christian festival because she thought it looked cool. It was a cartoon depiction of heaven, hell, Christ, angels, the whole thing. I remember that it showed specific people in hell, sort of like a modern-day Dante's inferno. Darwin was there. I believe Freud was too. Just faces, tortured faces, in the fire. Mother admits now that it was kind of a sick poster. Can you imagine looking at a poster like that every day as a young girl? No wonder I'm so screwed up.

I have been thinking a lot about children and faith lately, particularly because my siblings are young. Thank God that my parents are no longer as religious as they used to be. When I was three, I was given an award at church for having memorized 1 John 1. There are home movies of me reciting scripture and doctrine at four and five. I knew all of those child-appropriate stories from the Bible, like the one where God floods the Earth and drowns everyone except Noah's family, and the one where God kills all the Egyptian firstborn. Church was such a huge part of my childhood. Not just church on Sundays... Father drove the church van, Mother sang, both of them taught Sunday school, held prayer meetings in our house. For many years, almost all of their friends were from church, most of our social outings were church-related, church, church, church. Then when I was ten or eleven, we just stopped going. Stopped cold. The people at the church turned out to be jerks and we never went back as a family. I mean, occasionally, on holidays and right after 9/11, but not consistently. I went back by myself as a teenager and continued for a few years. I am still the family member who goes the most, and I never go.

I don't blame my parents for giving me such an extremely religious background, and I don't blame them for unraveling much of it either. That's what people do. They feel passionate about something, they want to share it with their kids. They get burned, they retreat. I've done it too, I just haven't had kids to drag along for the ride.

So, while I look at other people and see that religion and spirituality don't have such a strong hold on them, I can sort of forgive myself for allowing them to have such a strong hold on me.