Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ticket to Ride

Too busy for HNT this week. Sorry I don't have any nekkidness to share with you all. I know you're disappointed.

I won't have time to post anything else before I leave on Friday, but I will post whenever I can while there. Until then, friends...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

All Those Years Ago

I had Wendy's for dinner and I feel fat.

Actually, I technically only had Wendy's french fries because I ate my fake chicken nuggets while Sister ate real ones. I told her that while hers taste better, no one was harmed in the making of my dinner. She gave me her "The chicken was dead already, it died of old age" line. Maniac.

So I saw First Boyfriend on campus yet again today. I don't know if the term "boyfriend" is really appropriate here considering we only dated for a couple of weeks when I was fourteen. He was two months shy of his eighteenth birthday and had already graduated high school, which was just so cool. He was a twin - they weren't identical but they might as well have been - and I actually liked his brother because his brother was the smart one in the honor society while he was the unmotivated one who had no post-high school plans except drinking.

Here is how we met... On the last day of my freshman year, I met Hopeful Director. I met him through a friend in the morning, but by the end of the day I had inadvertently run into him several times. A few weeks later, my summer vacation was off to a terrible start. I was bored out of my mind. Childhood Friend went away for the summer and I had nothing to do. One day I got a phone call from the friend who had introduced me to Hopeful Director. She said that he wanted to know if I would be in an amateur film he had written and was now shooting. I jumped at the chance to do something. The first day of rehearsal was when I met First Boyfriend and his twin. I broke up with him after a slutty girl told me that he told her that he had dumped me. He swore it wasn't true but I didn't believe him. In retrospect, I probably should have taken into consideration the fact that she liked him and was jealous of me. Oh well.

F.B. apparently decided to go to college after all. I saw him at the Dean's List ceremony last year, so he must be doing well. He graduated but he still attends my school for his graduate degree. The strange thing is that F.B. doesn't recognize me now. I looked very different when I was that age. (I was a blonde, for one thing. Mini identity crisis, I suppose.) When he sees me on campus, he stares, but it's with interest and not with recognition. It makes me laugh. If he only knew that he already dated me seven years ago.


Note: Wendy's does not serve fake chicken nuggets. We got the food to go and I had the fake meat at home. I confused a lot of people with that. Sorry :)

Monday, September 26, 2005

She's Leaving Home

*Sigh* Weekend minus internet access equals bad.

It's so good to be back in cyberspace. That's a painful separation right there. In spite of that, however, I had a great weekend. Very relaxing. I saw some good movies that I hadn't seen before (Troy, Napoleon Dynamite) and ate a lot of vegetarian Chinese food. On Sunday I went to church with Fellow Seeker. I think it's funny that we're on similar paths, all the time. I mean, it would have been difficult if I had called him up, told him that I wanted to go to church, and had him laugh at me and ask, "Why would you want to do that?" Or vice versa. Which, a couple of weeks ago, would have been quite probable, on either side. But he understood why I wanted to go. I didn't even have to articulate it. So, after catching up over dinner (I hadn't seen him since the Buddhist art exhibit), we went to the Episcopalian church he used to frequent, the one I loved visiting with him. It was different. I mean, it wasn't different, but we were. I had been just dying to go, drawn to it for some strange reason unbeknownst to me, and yet I didn't feel what I had hoped to feel. Neither did Fellow Seeker. We couldn't even follow the sermon, the guy's point and inflections were both so muddled that we began passing notes. I felt like I was fifteen again. (Actually, I didn't pass notes in church at fifteen. I was actually into it then.)

Quite disappointed. Anyone who thinks it's fun to be a doubter is sadly mistaken. I was sitting there, looking at those other congregants, envious of their faith. I wish I could just have a simple faith and not ask questions like, "How could God love us so much if He sends us to hell?" Do you think I enjoy poking holes into religion? I really don't. It's not fun anymore. I just haven't been able to find a way to stop my mind from doing just that.

*Sigh* Anyway, I suppose I will deal with that when I get back from my trip. I leave on Friday. Program Coordinator from my fellowship program mailed me a book entitled Flying Without Fear, which I thought was so sweet. I am less nervous than I was before, which is good. Pretty excited, too. I could certainly use a sixteen day vacation with my handsome beau. (Who couldn't? :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Driving Me To Drink

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Happy HNT! Thursday has sneaked up on me and since I am running out of ideas and the last beer shot was so popular, I knew you guys would love this one. (I'm so gonna get yelled at by a couple of teetotaler friends of mine, I know it.)


This morning Fellow Seeker texted me to see how I was doing and we got to talking. I sent him a message telling him that I want to go to church with him on Sunday. To my surprise, he e-mailed back that he has also been doing some soul searching lately. He asked what conclusions I have come to. I told him that I haven't come to any yet, but that I don't think that being so angry at God is helping matters. He said that he thinks that we have been accusing God of the things He has done wrong but not acknowledging the good things. Hard to disagree with that.

Why be angry at God? Well, look around the world for a minute and I think you'll have sufficient reason. But you could also do the same in order to find reasons to be thankful to God. So... I don't know.

What I wanted to say about idealism is that I think it often gets confused with pessimism. I can't find the text I wanted to quote from, but it said that idealists (based on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test I wrote about here) are constantly working towards self-actualization and perfection. We are often disappointed because things fall short of the ideal we have in mind (for ourselves, the world, etc.). So, for example, if I see the glass as half empty, it is because I can imagine a glass that is completely full and wonderful and refreshing! Maybe it is the same thing as pessimism, but somehow I think there is a difference, and that difference is essential to my philosophical outlook.

This all relates to God because I cannot simply sit back and thank Her/Him for everything good in the world while so much evil exists. It is not because I like to focus on the evil alone; it is because I think the world should be perfect if a perfect God created it. Why the hell not? I can't reconcile a loving, omnipotent God with the way Her/His creation has turned out - it just doesn't make sense to me. People come up with explanations like, "God did make the world perfect, but we sinned and ruined it," but give me a break. That doesn't solve anything. If anything, by that logic we have more power than the omnipotent God does because we can undo what She/He has done.

My problem arises when emotions come into play. Intellectually, I have been having a very hard time believing in God, but emotionally, sometimes I wonder if I'm one of those people who needs to believe in Her/Him. Is God a crutch for those of us weak enough to need one in order to get through life? If God really exists, I would hate to think of Her/Him that way. In the song that I used to title this post, John Lennon wrote, "God is a concept by which we can measure our pain."

U2 also has a lot of spiritual quotes. In "When I Look At The World," it goes: "When you look at the world / What is it that you see? / People find all kinds of things / That bring them to their knees / [...] I can't see what you see / When I look at the world / [...] I'm in the waiting room / I can't see for the smoke / I think of you and your holy book / While the rest of us choke." In "Peace on Earth," they sing, "Jesus, can you take the time / To throw a drowning man a line?"


All bitching aside, I miss God. I miss the hope She/He gave me. I don't really have much hope anymore.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Baby, Let Me Follow You Down

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Boyfriend sent me a package full of presents, which I received on Monday. This is my favorite one. At first, I didn't realize who it was. (I'm so Western, it's disgusting.) Then it occurred to me that elephants don't normally sit like that. I soon realized that it's Ganesha, the Hindu god who is known as the Remover of Obstacles. Boyfriend knows that this is something I can use right now.

I miss him.

He has not even been gone for a month yet but it sucks big time. Sometimes I will be sitting in class and I start daydreaming about the first time I saw him, or the last time I saw him, or some moment in between.

However, I have good news. In two weeks I am getting my ass on a plane to spend two and half weeks with him. That's right, folks. Screw school and all my responsibilities! (Actually, I have so many days off during those two weeks that I am only missing a couple of days, but let's not spoil the moment.) I have never flown before and have had a gargantuan fear of it for quite some time, so send some prayers/good vibes my way :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Change the Locks

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Happy HNT! I bit the bullet and got a haircut. And another perm, while I was at it. What can I say? I'm lazy when it comes to my hair. I have gotten cuts and styles in the past that required blow-drying and it just ain't happening again. Flipping my hair back and forth a few times (with gel added for good measure) is about as girly as I get. I was not meant to have straight hair, God, what were You thinking?

Spending an afternoon in a beauty salon is always fun. I have the stereotypical talkative hairstylist. She's the best. I can predict the conversation before I get there. Stylist yells at me for not having come sooner. She calls my hair disgusting (I'm not offended, usually I'm inclined to agree with her.) She and the other stylist have forgotten that Mother is my mother. At some point I call her "Mom" and they freak out because Mother couldn't possibly be old enough to be my mother! They fill us in on everything that's going on in the old neighborhood (they are located a few blocks from my old house, I cross a bridge to get to them, I am one loyal woman). Mother makes some comment to Stylist about making me look good for insert current-boyfriend's/crush's/loser-Mother-wants-to-set-me-up- with's name here. I roll my eyes at her in the mirror in order to convey that she is offending my feminist sensibilities. Stylist asks for details about said fellow. She finishes my hair, calls me beautiful, and yells at me once last time for not having come sooner. She has given Mother a cut and style that Mother drools all over, until she gets home and looks at it again. Mother then proceeds to wash it out and do it the way she wants after all.
We just dissected this poem in class yesterday, and it's one that I had read before and absolutely adored. I thought it would go well with all my death talk.


Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom I once loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be for what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

Edward Thomas

(Thomas was killed in WWI at the age of thirty-nine.)

Monday, September 12, 2005


I always do this. I always blog when I have homework to do. What's wrong with me?

Anyway, my weekend was pretty nice. I have discovered that nighttime is not a good time for me to be at home alone with my thoughts, so I made sure that I wasn't at home alone with my thoughts on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night. On Friday, I went to my old neighborhood to have coffee with High School Friend. She is a sweetheart who's a graduate student at an Ivy League but is too modest to make a big to-do about it. I had a great time talking to her about so many things. On Saturday night, Mother and I went to the state next door (it's only 20 minutes from where we live) to have dinner with Mother's Friend (the one who took me to that concert, for those of you who were around way back when). It was a night of frozen watermelon margaritas, man-bashing, singing AC/DC in the car and listening to the two of them pride themselves on how cool they are, because their mothers never hung out with them the way they hang out with me. Awesome.

Last night I called up Best Friend and returned to my old neighborhood once again to see her. We had such a great discussion while walking by the river. She's one of those people who really, truly gets me. The funniest part of the evening was when I was driving her home. She lives around the corner from where I used to live, which is why we became best friends at the tender age of seven or eight. We had been talking about how strange it is for me to see the old neighborhood and how we feel old sometimes, and as soon as we turned the corner, I saw a familiar face crossing the street. I yelled out, "Oh my God, it's Pedophile!"

Pedophile is a middle-aged man who lives on Best Friend's block. When we were in high school, he used to follow us around the neighborhood. It was creepy. Day or night, we would hear him on his bicycle, slowly keeping pace with us from behind. If we ran, he sped up. Whenever we went anywhere, he would always appear. I doubt he was a real threat, otherwise he would have done something - perhaps he was just lonely and wanted friends - but when we were out alone at night, it was scary to have a middle-aged man follow us around. Anyway, I haven't seen him in years and B.F. hasn't seen him in a long time either, and all of a sudden, here he was. Right while we were talking about change and getting older and old times. We laughed so hard.
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Alone Looking at the Mountain

All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I.

Li Po

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Great Unknown

I am still in bed. The room is as messy as it was in my HNT pic, only now there are pieces of the Sunday paper strewn all over the covers and the floor. In place of the beer is hazelnut decaf coffee in my favorite lime green mug with the word friends painted on it that Fellow Seeker gave me for my birthday. The four people I live with either have left or are leaving and the house will be mine. I do not plan to move at all today.

So, in my infinite wisdom I have decided to take this opportunity to write one of my more meaningful posts (well, meaningful to me). It's always fun to write little vignettes about my day at school or my cat chewing up my laptop accessories, but the real reason I have this blog is to puzzle out the mysteries of life.

Existentialism has been coming up a lot recently and I would really like to get down some ideas about it before they are lost forever in the abyss of Sojourness's brain.

Fellow Seeker's birthday was a few weeks ago. I gave him a book of existentialist writings (because philosophy, and this one in particular, has been our fascination for the duration of our friendship and beyond). I have a habit of destroying the books I give as gifts by writing messages on the inside cover. In his, I wrote "To my best friend who agrees that life is meaningless and who does the best job of carving out meaning for himself of anyone I know."

This was inspired by the definition of existentialism that I found on the back cover of another book entitled Basic Writings of Existentialism: "belief that because life has no inherent meaning humans can discover, we must determine meaning for ourselves."

The other day, existentialism came up in my American lit class. Professor G gave us a piece to read on existentialism in American literature that contradicted the idea that European fiction writers alone imbued their characters with a sense of hopelessness and despair.

Existentialism has always made a great deal of sense to me. I think that I was an existentialist long before I knew what it was to be one. Even when I bought into church teachings lock, stock and barrel, I was always fascinated with/consumed by the idea of death. The finality of it. I think about it so much that it's morbid. For example, sometimes I will be sitting in class, listening to the professor, and then it will hit me that s/he and everyone else in the class (including myself) will be dead one day. It depresses the hell out of me, and apparently I'm not alone. Read some of the existentialist writers some time, you'll see. This is something humanity can't escape from. We used to (and still do) create possible after-death scenarios and believe them with all our might in order to cope with this reality, but we are no closer to knowing anything about death than we were millenia ago.

How do we ignore this overwhelming reality and just live for today? I'm the type of person who overthinks everything. I think that this accounts for why I am so obsessed with figuring out the universe. I can't just pick a religion or no religion and leave it at that, and it's not solely because I want an intellectual challenge. Uncertainty about why we're here and where we're going and what it all means - the unknown - makes me crazy. As I said, Counselor told me last semester that I'm frustrated with my humanity. I suppose that's true; I mean, I don't expect to be a goddess or anything, but being human means being ignorant on so many levels and not being able to do anything about it.

Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Well, Well, Well

Read this, it's very thought-provoking and is a good preface to my upcoming existentialism post:

Scarcely Heard Question: How God Could Have Allowed Catastrophe to Occur

(And yes, I remember that I promised a post on idealism. I will write it as soon as I comb my bedroom for some pertinent information that is lost somewhere in here.)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Working for the Weekend

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Happy HNT everyone. I'm running out of squeaky clean ideas for photos. Suggestions are welcome.

This was my Labor Day. Messy room, books everywhere, in pajamas at 3:00 p.m.... yep, school is in.

School Days

Yesterday Professor G came into class and gave us a writing assignment to do on Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. He gave us an hour in which to do it and said that we could leave and work outside if we wanted to because it was such a nice day. Will wonders never cease? It was great. Future Priest, Mr. Dirty Jokes and I went outside to work. Eventually F.P. wimped out and went back to the classroom. M.D.J. and I, however, roughed it out, even when Mother Nature was against us. Squirrels were raining acorns upon us and bees buzzed in my ear. All in all, however, it was such a nice way to start the day, out in "the wild."

Today I had no classes but I had to work on campus. I'm an "ambassador," which means I'm one of those people who represents the college and helps out at events and stuff. I get to wear a t-shirt and a nifty nametag. It's easy money. Today I spent two hours helping lost freshmen find their way around campus. When I showed up, I noticed, to my dismay, that they had a stack of bright orange
stickers ready for us. This was ammunition for a couple of smart-asses of the male persuasion to walk up to me with smirks on their faces and ask, "Ooh, you can help me? How?" Another ambassador and I walked around campus and talked about school and books and belly dancing, and I got sunburn. That was about it.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Burden of Proof

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That's me and Fellow Seeker trying to look enlightened.

He, Veteran Seeker and I went to a Buddhist art exhibit today. The artwork was exquisite and we got into some great spiritual conversations, as usual. For example, I related the story of how I got into a debate with Mother this morning. I didn't mean to, but these things just happen when we talk about God and religion. I said something about the Bible contradicting itself (we were talking about Pat Robertson's whacked out comments and I mentioned how one of the commandments is not to kill but in the Old Testament God sanctioned tons of killing) and she said not to talk like that. I said it before and I'll say it again - sometimes I think that she expects a Zeus-style lightning bolt to strike me. I asked, "What kind of God would punish me just for questioning?" I also asked her what kind of God would let horrible things happen to people, like what is going on in New Orleans or what has happened to my father. Nobody has any good answers for me. They keep telling me that I should be thankful because God gives me breath every day. Okay, fine, so since God allows us to live, we shouldn't ask why we have to suffer so much. Riiiight. I don't understand why we have to be accountable to God but S/he doesn't have to be accountable to us.

We also kept pitting the Judeo-Christian God against the eastern ones. For example, the tour guide showed us a tangka painting where the Buddha had a thousand eyes. F.S. leaned over and whispered to us, "Our God only has two." On the other hand, I told them a story about a woman who went to the Buddha when her child died. He told her that he would bring the child back to life if she could bring him a mustard seed from a house where death has never entered. She searched and searched, obviously unsuccessfully, and in the end, understood that death is universal and buried her child in peace. I was like, "Geez, at least Jesus brought the dead child back to life. Buddha sent this woman on some sadistic wild goose chase in order to make a point!"

We talked a lot about doubting and questioning, and I told them about how Priest confused me when he talked about St. Thomas. He acted like Thomas was a great role model but I was always under the impression that it was a negative thing that he doubted and wouldn't believe in the Resurrection until he saw physical evidence. I asked, "Didn't Jesus say, 'Blessed are those who aren't losers like you'?" It's true, isn't it? I haven't read the story in a while.

After the exhibit and dinner, we went to the used bookstore. Recipe ... For ... Disaster. Well, not really. I made them swear not to let me buy anything. (I already own too many books and just don't have the time to read them all.) This bookstore, however, has a ton of tables outside with books that are only $1. So, I modified my rule. I said that I could buy something from those tables, but nothing inside the store. Come on, that's fair! I wound up with a tall pile of seven books. They talked me down to five:

Pepperland - Mark Delaney
Only Human - Jenny Diski
The Thousand Faces of Night - Githa Hariharan
Esperanza's Box of Saints - Maria Amparo Escandon
Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation - Mary Daly

Quote of the Day: We were picking out all of the books about spirituality and religion. At one point, F.S. thought he saw the word 'God' in a title but it turned out to be 'Gold.' After that, I started searching for a book with 'God' in the title. When I finally found one, I shouted, "I've found God!!!" Hee hee. (Okay, maybe you had to be there.)

Friday, September 02, 2005

All I've Got To Do

*Sigh* Friday night. Yes, I can do the stay-out-late-on-the-weekend thing, but I also happen to think that there is nothing finer than staying home and relaxing after a tough week. Tonight is a night for Indian food, reading, and putzing around in pink plaid boxers. Oh yes :)

I made it through my first week back. The only classes that I haven't told you about yet are biology and lab. I haven't had lab, and won't have it until the week after next, but I did have biology. I have Professor O.

Last semester I began this course and I had Professor O. I went to class on day one and found him intimidating. I subsequently dropped the course, not because of him but because I didn't think I could handle more than 12 credits combined with my family situation, and the most challenging class was naturally the one to go. Anyway, on that first day, Professor O spoke at length about global warming melting glaciers and how everyone who lives on the shore will drown in a few years (I live three blocks from the shore). He gave a quiz on the first day to see how much you remembered from the prerequisite biology course that precedes this one (it didn't count towards your grade, but still). is not kind to him at all... one student simply wrote "RUN RUN RUN." I'm worried but I'm planning to work my ass off so we'll see what happens. He wasn't too bad on this first day, he told some cutesy jokes and the question on his quiz happened to be one I knew the answer to (miracles do happen).

Aside from that, my courses are all going well. I am remembering my Italian and analyzing poems and literature and having a grand old time. In poetry class today, Agnostic asked me which of the four poets we have read so far is my favorite.

a) Thomas Hardy
b) Gerard Manley Hopkins
c) Rudyard Kipling
d) Charlotte Mew

I told him that I really like Hopkins but the fact that he's religious gets on my nerves. Then I thought to myself, Did I just say that? Wow. Don't even talk to me about Kipling, the damn racist. "Gunga Din" made me sick. He could take his white man's burden and shove it up his ass for all I care.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Head Over Feet

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Happy HNT! These are my footsies with their flip-flop tan that will take weeks to fade.