Archive for February, 2002

February 25th, 2002

» emotional fanaticism

I stumbled across a website that gives free preliminary astrology reports based on your date, time, and location of birth. I didn’t bookmark it, and usually I don’t hold a lot of stock in things like this, but there were some parts I found interesting. I’m going to leave out the whole “real motivations” part because I think it’s less accurate, or at the very least more boring.

Section 1: How You Approach Life and How You Appear To Others

You are very strong-willed and proud, but intensely private and not easy to know well. Behind your quiet exterior lies a great deal of emotional depth, sensitivity, complexity, and also fierce determination. When you want something you go after it rather quietly but insistently and wholeheartedly – and you usually get it.

You are not a person who lives lightly or superficially. You want to live passionately and intensely and are not averse to challenge, danger, or to facing the darker side of life – human pain and struggle. You function well in crisis situations and often seek them out, for you enjoy the feeling of living at full capacity.

You are very intuitive about other people and especially about their unspoken feelings and hidden motives. You usually have strong, immediate gut reactions, either positive or negative, which prove to be correct. You approach life very instinctively and are not always fully conscious of why you feel or act as you do. You also have a very strong affinity with animals – an acute sensitivity and a nonverbal kind of rapport with them.

In relation to others, you are rather cautious, sometimes even suspicious, until you get to know and trust them – and trust doesn’t come easily to you. When you commit yourself emotionally to someone, be it friend or lover, you are intensely loyal and devoted to them and you also expect the same kind of unwavering, undying loyalty in return. If you are ever betrayed by someone you care deeply for, you are capable of hating and retaliating with as much fervor as you once loved. Nothing is done halfway. In fact, you are intensely involved and often jealously attached to whatever you care about, be it person, idea, or cause. There is definitely a streak of emotional fanaticism in you.

Because of your natural reserve, others may see you as something of an enigma. You are quite self-protective and often defensive.

Addendum: I’ve had several people ask me where I got this and agree with me that it’s spookily accurate, so I finally dug through my history and found the link. Have a blast!

February 22nd, 2002

» we love the career center

She bent forward furtively, eyeing the pepper shaker, then reached forward to lift it from the table.

“I love the Career Center, and I’m sure the Career Center lady is really smart,” she said, loudly and convincingly, into the shaker.

Silence from the pepper.

“They’ve sure helped me get my career on track,” she continued. “I especially enjoy their campaign with the fortune cookies for the major and minor fair.”

And don’t we all?

February 21st, 2002

» the way they like it

I wrote this for my Introduction to Women’s Studies class, and promised I’d post it. So I am.

“The Way They Like It”

She is a girl:
against an alleyway fence;
crammed in a photo booth;
on her back.

Last night, she thinks –
pleased, chosen –
he was sober.
Her reflection addresses her
from the cafe window,
a pucker-mouthed stranger.
She pulls back the collar
of her shirt to show him the bruise –
primitive, ringed with teeth.
In darkness she is
just a warm body, held
down, the way they like it.

Two tables over the man
watches the girl in the glass,
knowing.
Every night she is a smooth, blank surface,
every night a new history.
He stands and her boundaries shift,
her compass of hope swinging wildly.

February 7th, 2002

» English patience

He bent his lion gold head over the packet, skimming the me-on-paper.

“You have to be patient to watch The English Patient,” he remarked, and I smiled.

A good movie unfolds. A good movie trusts its audience and does not dumb itself down for the lowest common denominator. A good movie grabs you by the throat but offers its own in turn. It is like a book in that when you have finished you wish to begin again, to go back for what has surfaced. You clasp hands and evolve. Each experience is a new one, a movie you have not really seen before. Oh yes, you must be patient, but each moment is necessary. You have missed the point if you look away or tune out a bit of dialogue, a word, a syllable.

At 162 minutes it is a slow movie but it is also a lean movie, sleek, turning each moment on a necessary interaction. This movie is important because somewhere a wind has just picked up and two hearts are careening together.

February 5th, 2002

» defining cardamon

There sure are a lot of dangerous books out there. Consider: words change everything; writing creates and breaks down worlds. Consider we the people I have a dream heil heil heil. What you mean is not what you really say and ultimately it doesn’t matter what you mean. You let something go into the big wide world and you’ve created something new and it’s out of your hands. All these readers or listeners are crawling all over it, wielding sharp pieces of it in their hands and mouths, beating the walls around them, laying brick.

You have to be careful what you read. It may open your mind, crumble your little house. We see the world through language, through words. We make distinctions based on what we have words for, definitions we can use to shake out the important everything — sounds, sights, tastes. Et cetera et cetera.

What am I getting at? I had tea last week — the Tea of Good Tidings, Winter Fruit Blend, full of finest quality black tea leaves blended with fruit, blossoms, and spices. Juniper berries, orange peel, cloves, cranberries, vanilla, rose petals, almonds, black currants, blackberry leaves, cardamon seeds. And I wonder: was everything like this in the beginning? Everything so strange and wonderful and wholly beyond my ability to explain? I have no vocabulary for these tastes.

(This morning we started theory in my philosophy & literature class, and as I am the TA I don’t answer questions directed at the students. I wanted to, though, and so now I have.)