A Quick Word

"In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism." -Hannah Arendt (1906-1975)

30 November 2009

Geared up.

Whew! So much has been going on-- Thanksgiving, term papers, figuring out study abroad, majors, minors, and everything else-- Christmas break can't get here fast enough. All that to say, I had a great Thanksgiving, capped off with the incredible experience of seeing John Williams conduct the CSO in pieces from David Lean's films, as well as Williams' own scores from Harry Potter (plus an encore in which he conducted such iconic numbers as the Imperial March, the theme from Superman, a selection from Indiana Jones, and the Sunday Night Football theme). Amazing.

Anyway, I am operating under a dense fog due to lack of sleep (only five hours), because I decided not to drive back to Champaign until eight last night. In hindsight, that may have been a bad idea. Bedtime, it seems, will come quickly tonight.

23 November 2009

Which humour controls writing?

I'm one paragraph away from completing all of my work assigned over break. I don't really know why teachers (even now) think that not having class for a week gives students more time to work on assignments. Because when every instructor takes this up this notion, one finds that "break" becomes more of a figurative term than an actual one. (More Latin than usual? Really?!)

Anyway, I'm enjoying this brisk autumn day in northern Illinois. It's cloudy, misty, and perfect for putting the Chieftains on repeat and pretending I'm in Ireland. I spent some of the morning looking at bald people on Google Images. My hairline continues to recede, and it is almost to the sad point where, if the wind blows any strand out of place, my scalp is rather visible. So, to take care of this problem, I aim to simply shave it all off rather than go with the unattractive "thinning hair" look. However, shaving off my hair will reveal my head's awkward shape that was previously masked beneath a bed of brown. My skull is flat in the back, tall, and has an interesting crown in the middle of its top that juts up like the nasal cavity of some ancient dinosaur. For comparison, the closest head like mine belongs to Tiki Barber (perhaps crossed with a bit of Yul Brynner for good measure). So, I'm a bit hesitant to make such a drastic change right now, when there exists little hope for getting my scalp to resemble the shade of the rest of my skin. (The last thing I want is to look like a bleached conehead.) We'll see. My dad says it will have "character."

I suppose that depends on one's idea of "character"-- something tells me that ours don't align.

18 November 2009

Before bed.

I'm exhausted. It's been a long day of paper writing, with tomorrow promising much more! (Joy!) Though now at peace, I'm still trying to work out this whole "life trajectory" thing. I know what I love and what I am passionate about and what I can do well. The trick is marshaling those things together into something coherent and marketable-- I need to make other people believe in them. If I can't do this, then whatever vocation I choose will not matter, as no one will see me as a worthwhile candidate for employment. As of now, these are my choices:
-Remain a Medieval Studies Major, English Minor
-English Major, Medieval Studies Minor
-English Major, Economics Minor
-Economics Major, English Minor

I am fairly confident I would struggle immensely with the Calculus part of the Economics Major/Minor, but it's a more practical option than my other two (especially Medieval Studies). And if I can't seem to excel in English (what does excelling in Medieval Studies even look like?) then struggling at Calc is fine by me if it means a better chance at employment. Writing and teaching have always been at the core of who I am-- what I have always wanted to do-- but I'm not meeting much encouragement on either front, nor am I confident that I would be received well as a Medievalist in an already shrinking field (the Humanities). Lame that the world operates like this and that esoteric vocations don't provide a future.

But, I suppose, thus is life.

11 November 2009

No regrets, but...

...I miss you.

And you, too.

10 November 2009

A night on the town.

Did you go there? Well of course I did, sir; it was only natural. She spoke to me so sweetly-- but how can you object? Sure, I suppose it does complicate things. Well just throw in human experience and it complicates a lot of things. Yes-- I said that. Haha-oh yes, I know. So stupid of me, so stupid. Well I don't plan on it. Not for so long, maybe less time. Maybe less-- it's just hanging there, you know? I know. . . so weird, somewhat confusing. Did you even get that? Did it sink in it at all because I was just like so confused the whole time and I mean can you believe her she's so arrogant! I am not dealing with that anymore, I'm just not and seriously-- the light was low. It was so perfect! And then-- how rude, I mean, I would never do that. I mean, I would never. Times are tough, I'm never quite sure about things. Not quite.

08 November 2009


...that last one made me feel better, though no less confused.

Soured expectations.

Why has my mind been so complicated lately?

Tonight is one of those nights where everything
And nothing
Crashes down all at once,
and if I could just understand,
if I could only grasp, reach out,
perhaps see-- but no,
the answers remain clouded to me.
To know, it seems, would be
And so, with the dithering,
The driveling, much is left to rot
In this sordid, splendid spot.
All hope has not completely left
Me, I know
That I am-- what I am--
And the tension can break.
The tension, sweet tension, tenuous
Stringent estrangement from parts
Of me
That lack, and are lacking.
I feel the frustration
Of Prometheus on the mountaintop,
My own Caucasus looming, and
The bindings binding me to stone
As that wretched bird picks at
My stomach.
A beautiful vista stretching
For miles into stunning infinity.
But I cannot reach,
Though god-like, I am
I am reduced to mere man
By the manacles, shambles,
And my own mind.
For, I find, that cleverness
Is at least, partially divine.
---As, perhaps, am I.

04 November 2009

For posterity.

This day marks a change.

02 November 2009

It's that time of year...

Well, now that Halloween is over, I suppose the ushering in of Christmas can begin in earnest. Sure, we still have Thanksgiving to look forward to. But in my family, Thanksgiving is merely the kickoff to Christmas-- a party for Christmas where we eat turkey and don't give any gifts.

So... here's to breaking out the Bing Crosby!