Thursday, November 30, 2006

Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

Today was one of those days when I found myself wondering what it might be like to have a child. Such thoughts aren't rare of course -- I'm almost thirty, and Brian'll be inching into late-thirties territory come May. Some might even say we're adults (though they wouldn't say that whilst looking over our finances, or while evaluating our housekeeping skills, for that matter).

Anyway, all sorts of things trigger these thoughts -- friends getting ready to welcome their own bear cub into the world, pictures like this one, the little boy who stopped in front of Brian and I while we were on our way to the post office and cried out "I'm jumping up and down!!!!" while leaping clumsily into the air -- even the advent calender my dad sent (which looks just like the one my sister and I used to take turns opening as kids) got me thinking of the long slow march of time and the need for some sort of generational continuity.

One of our dog-park aquaintances runs a little dog walking business on the side. He's out of town this week, so Brian and I have taken over walking some of his clientelle, which includes a funny little pair of Maltese that Brian and I walked before I headed off for work today.

As little dogs go, this pair seem to fall into the cute-but-awful school -- neither smart nor socialized, and somehow undoglike in behavior, refusing to walk or be walked with any sort of discipline or enthusiasm, but rather dragging against their leashes, and alternately cowering from and attempting to chase pasing cars and pedestrians.

Despite all this, I do like these small dogs, and so when one of them (I never learned to keep them straight), ended up with a small remainder of poop stuck to his backside, I did what any responsible doglover would do, and attemted to scoop said remainder off, my hand safely wrapped in poop bags, as Brian distracted the dogs (now within the sight of home, and straining eagerly at their leashes) with the promise of invisible treats. Unfortunately, right in the midst of this delicate procedure, the dog's long lsutrous and fancy tail moved, creating a poop-smear flag that danced jauntily behind him for the rest of the walk home, mocking my efforts.

It's an oft-repeated bit of wisdom that pets -- dogs especially - can work as a stand in for actual human parenting. And as I Brian and I held the wiggling dog betweeen us in the bathroom, endeavouring to wash poop out of white fur, I realized that parenthood can wait.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

So not cooking dinner right now

I should be making carrot soup. I found a recipe, I've got the ingredients -- heck, I have enough carrots to fill a small village with carrot soup, thereby creating an underwater city of in-the-dark-seeing, orange inhabitants (our veggie box has been carrotacular these past few weeks).

But am I cooking? No. I'm eating goldfish and wondering if I have a toothache (or am I just tense?) and poking around on these here internets. Because apparently I am determined not to eat healthy, fresh or local. Ever. Ooh, I wonder if there are any brownies left.

So I found out today I will most likely not be doing Latin next semester -- the grad student who was the independant-study impetus is going to France for a year, and there's going to be an actual, formal class offered (the Classics department! It just doubled!), so I don't see much of a point in offering it around to anyone else. Ah well. The good news is that my life is a heckuva lot more managable, what with not having to prepare an extra course in a dead language I've never taught before.

Anywho. Brian's home from jujitsu. Best go see if we can't scrounge up some soup somehow. 'Night all.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Obviously, this posting every day is starting to wear

You know what song makes me angry? That "More Than Words" song by Extreme (do you italicise band names? I'm too lazy to check). I mean, how lame is that song? Ooooh, how do I know if you love me if you won't have sex with me? Oh, boo hoo, I'm so pensive. Plus, the hair. Ugh.

Hmmm. According to Wikepedia, that song came out in 1990. Maybe it's time I let that anger go, eh? I mean, I can remeber hearing that song (and being annoyed by the lyrics) on the bus on the way home from Junior High. I'll have to add 'get over Extreme anger' to the List of Things I Need to Do Before Turning Thirty in April (ha! what an awesome addition to any to-do list).

And it's entirely possible that I'm just dirty minded. Cause reading over the lyrics, all he ever asks for is some hugging.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Oh, so many things to take in over the past 24 hours. Last night, my friend Hope took me to see Cat Power at the Fillmore ("to cheer you up," she said, which makes me wonder how down I've seemed lately). Whatever the reeason, I'm glad she persuaded me to go (easy to do: just hand me a ticket and say 'here'). Chan Marshall's such a lovely singer, and so endearingly awkward on stage (usually the awkwardness of others bothers me -- I'm so shy and clumsy myself that I find it excruciating when it's reflected back at me. But this was just such an honest and straightforward awkwardness, it was welcoming).

Then tonight we went and saw Vajra Sky at the Rec Vic on Haight Street, followed by drinks and food at the Alembic. Plus to top it all off I'm reading Seneca's "On the Shortness of Life," from which I get this morsel:

Of all people only those are at leisure who make who make time for philosophy, only those are really alive. For they not only keep a good watch over their own lifetimes, but annex every age to theirs. All the years that have passed before them are added to their own. Unless we are very ungrateful, all those distinguished founders of holy creeds were born for us and prepared for us a way of life. By toil of others we are led into the presence of things which have been brought from darkness into light. We are excluded from no age, but we have access to them all; and if we are prepared in loftiness of mind to pass beyond the narrow confines of human weakness, there is a long period of time through which we can roam. We can argue with Socrates, express doubt with Carneades, cultivate retirement with Epicurus, overcome human nature with the Stoics, and exceed limits with the Cynics. Since nature allows us to enter into a partnership with every age, why not turn from this brief and transient spell of time and give ourselves wholeheartedly to the past, which is limitless and eternal and can be shared with better folk than we?

What more can I add to that? Sometimes you just gotta be mute.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

One of my favorite poems

Leda and the Swan, by W.B. Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By his dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
How can anybody, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins, engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

One of the things I like about this is the way that it presents the stark inevitability of the story -- from Helen's conception, we go to the "broken wall, the burning roof and tower/And Agamemnon dead." It's just so beautifully done.

The cat is objecting to my typing and I should go (I'm jarring him slightly everytime I move, and he gets this look in his eye. Could I be any more of a tim'rous beastie?).

In other news, I want this. Anyone got 60,000 Euros lying around? I could be your hermit-for-hire.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I simply can't stop eating beer bread. And it's so easy to make, and the house smells so good when it's baking, and oh! is my life hard.

Here's the recipe. I made it up (using half-remembered recipes from my youth and whatever I could find in the kitchen) Thanksgiving morning:

3 cups flour (this was the one thing I had to run out and get Thanksgiving day, and they only! had! white! flour! at the one grocery store still open. So the bread I've been playing Chronos-and-his-children with is made completely of unhealthy and uncomplex carbohyrates. Oh well).

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt (plus a little bit more)

3 tablespoons sugar

approx 3 palm-fulls of fennel seeds

a little more than that of sesame seeds

about half a stalk's worth of rosemary leaves

grated cheese (I've been using Pecorino Romano, which has a nice sharpness that goes well with the yeasty beer flavor. As for amounts, I have no idea -- I've just been going with what looks right - maybe 1/4 a cup?).

1 bottle (12 oz) beer (I've been using Sierra Nevada).

Preheat the oven to 375. Mix together the dry ingredients, then add the beer. Stir until you've got a nice dough-like consistancy (you might need to add more flour if it's too sticky). Oil up a bread pan and plop it in. Bake for about an hour.

So yeah. It's pretty yummy. And you've got to start eating it, see? 'Cause if we all gain a few pounds at once, we'll look the same as ever relative to one another, and won't seem to have gained any weight at all. And that's what makes America great.

You know, now that I think of it, we totally have oat flour in the pantry. Hurrah! Time to try out a new recipe!

Friday, November 24, 2006


Sleepy and restless today. Perhaps my tofurky did not agree with me. But we got a fair amount done today, nonetheless: walking and feeding two (well three if you count ours) housefuls of pets, making a long overdue trip to RadioShack (finally I have toner cartidges again) and generally cleaning up after yesterday's messy cooking extravaganza (we went to a friend's house, but I managed to trash our kitchen anyhow, even though all I made was beet salad and beer bread. Cooking is an art. Oh, yes).

In other news, I've become addicted to looking at Craig's List real estate listings for other cities. Do you have any idea how cheap land is on Prince Edward Island? Or apartments in Crete?. Oh! Or a secluded island home!

I'm ridiculous. Someone really needs to take my internets away.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Simple Gifts

Oh, I'm just so gloomy today. Hardly appropriate for thankgiving. So, in honor of the day, a list of things I'm thankful for:

1. My writing window looks out at ground level. This part of our apartment, towards the front of the house, is partially below ground, so I look out at the garden at the garden's own perspecive, flush with the clover and well beneath the roses. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and loved looking at things from underwater. The simplest change of persoective does so much sometimes.

2. Brian is a wonder. He's talented and educated and possesses a native intelligence about the workings of things that puts my absentminded movements through the world to shame. Plus, as my mother noted this past summer, "he's very good-looking" (and now my mother's blushing).

3. We got fresh herbs in our CSA box this week, and the kitchen smells like a holiday.

4. I have a wonderful mentor at school (the word 'mentor' seems bandied about a lot in buisiness contexts these days, but to me it'll always be the goddess Athena appearing in disguise to Telemachus). He's got me teaching Latin next semester, and is almost entirely responsible for the rest of my teaching career as well.

5. The cat is fat, and likes to lie next to me, snoring.

6. I've got more good books to read right now than I know what to do with. Some I can't mention because they're Christmas presents to be (I have to make sure they're good before I go giving them away after all), but they are, each one of them, so satisfying and fascinating in their own right that I'm having trouble deciding which one to pick up next, and so just keep handling each one in turn.

7. My family is far away, but I know they love me.

Seven seems a good number. Happy thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Another poem today, because I'm working

Gnosticism VI
by Anne Carson, from Decreation

Walking the wild mountain in a storm I saw the great trees throw their arms.
Ruin! they cried and seemed aware

the sublime is called a "science of anxiety."
What do men and women know of it? -- at first

not even realizing they were naked!
The language knew.

Watch "naked" (arumim) flesh slide into "cunning" (arum) snake in the next verse.

And suddenly a vacancy, a silence,

is somewhere inside the machine.
Veins pounding.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Like a little motor

My hand is on the cat and the cat is om my lap. Kind of a funny sensation: purring in three dimensions. The cat's so much frendlier now that the weather's cold. He comes running to greet me when I get home, and pops up next to me sometimes in the night, his fur still cool and smelling like outside as he kneads a soft patch by my head.

Anyway. Working on a plan of attack for Latin next semester; I'm thinking we'll work our way up to Ovid, then spend as much time as possible on the Metamorphoses. I figure it's good fun for poets and gossip-lovers alike.

Tomorrow i've got to turn something in for workshop. I'll most likely go with Metis revisions, unless inspiration strikes sometime in the night. It could happen.

Mmmm. Cat is warm. All we need is a cozy fireplace and a library. And a haunted tower with a secret passage that leads to a damp, neglected crypt. Or something.

Monday, November 20, 2006


by Tom Clark, from Night Sky

Black doldrums, then a stir, then tackle snapping —
Which would you prefer, the calm after, during
Or before the storm? Anxious news flutters
Its broadsides across our ragged, tattered
Sails; lightning darkens, and it rains more
Than if the sun, drunk the night before,
Staggered by a wave, fell below the hatches;
While the moon, tossed overboard, washed ashore
On that island which no sailor reaches,
Returns to haunt our sea-locked ship, and night
Comes back to unsettle restive stagnant day.
A rotten state, finally, bearded by flies,
Dogged by the death of the wind at noon
And the breathless simoon at evening;
Black doldrums, then a stir, then tackle snapping.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Instructions for Being Sick

1. While reading, realize you have a headache.

2. Decide to rest your eyes for a moment, see if you feel better.

3. Sleep for five hours.

4. Wake up, feeling groggy and feverish.

5. Decide to read a bit, see how you feel.

6. Repeat step one.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Headache plus crashy Firefox. What better recipe for snappy blogging?

Do you want to see my desktop image? Of course you do:

Friday, November 17, 2006

Just a report today.

Oh, I just don't have the posting in me today. I'm neither happy nor angsy enough to generate blog content.

Brian got up early today and cleaned the house. The house is so much pleasanter clean, but I somehow never think of that when it's dirty. You'd think cause and effect would be easy enough to figure out.

I found out today I'll be teaching agian next semester. The course the committee chose (wow, there's a lot of double letters in 'committee') isn't my number one favorite of all the courses I proposed, but I'm thrilled nonetheless.

So,I'm working on Latin for tonight, and reading Marcus Aurilius.

Eh, that's all I got. Take that, NaBloPoMo.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Thursday List

Five Things About Me You May or May Not Know:

1. My face's overweening youthfulness is well-established. At twenty-two, I got carded on my way in to see "Fight Club" -- an R (or was it PG 13?) rated movie. At 29, I'm still semi-regularly carded for alchohol, and the first thing I remember after waking up from surgery this past fall was the nurse saying "how old are you honey? 'Cause you look 12" (in my post-surgical haze, I felt obligated to tell some sort of joke at this, and was really frustrated that I couldn't think of one).

2. My lucky color is green. My favorite color is infinitely mutable (right now it's orange), but green has been my lucky color since the third grade. I've never lost a game of parchesi, I always play green and that's that (I also have not played parchesi since the fifth grade, for fear of losing my streak).

3. My favorite number is four. I don't know why. I also like the word twelve. I can remember, as a kid, looking forward to saying, "but I'm only twelve!" when called upon to performe some great feat. As near as I can recall, the situation never arose.

4. I don't particularly like cake. Cheesecake I despise*. I do like chocolate, though.

5. For the longest time I was convinced that, at some point in the distant and hazy past, I had known how to make sandcastles with rooms and hallways inside. As a child I was very frustrated that I couldn't remember how this was done. My sister could make timy wigwams out of moss and twigs. My twigs always snapped or catapulted the moss off their backs. Which doesn't have anything to do with the sandcastles, really -- I just wanted the list to look symmetrical (with long entries on either end).

* EDIT: As I was falling asleep last night, I got to thinking: I don't think I actually dislike cheescake -- I often like it once I'm eating it. It just doesn't tempt me at all for some reason. So I guess I'm against the idea of cheesecake. Lemon mirangue, too.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lazy Wednesday

Class, then wine with poet friends. Now I'm on the couch with fizzy water and cheese and crackers awaiting a late dinner with Brian. Not a bad life, but what I really want is a way to segue into this image (via Boing Boing):

It makes me larf.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sunny Tuesday

Sure enough, it's sunny today and I miss the rain. Everything's so green though. That's the odd paradox of winter in San Francisco: it's cold and rainy, but never so cold that things stop growing, so the rain only makes things greener, pushing out the gold dry grass and replacing it with bright new growth.

I've found out I'll be teaching at least on class (an independent study in Latin translation) next semester, but I'm still waiting to hear back about the rest. My aim is to get enough teaching gigs to quit my day job and just write & teach. Here's hoping anyway. I do like my office job (as office jobs go, anyway), but I'd so much rather just structure my own schedule around doing the things I want to do (as opposed to the things I don't mind doing, so log as I'm getting paid.

Anyway, speaking of which. Back to writing for the morning, then off to work.

Monday, November 13, 2006

No prayers for November to linger longer

Actually, I'm rather enjoying the rain. But, gah! has it rained a lot the past few days, that chill-bone, tree-stripping rain particular to November. Today was just so chilly and wet, which made the poem we read for Keats class seem as if it were written for an entirely different season (and to be fair, it was written in September, which is a season unto itself):

Ode to Autumn, by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

And speaking of Keats and other heroes who died too young, Achilles by Elizabeth Cook is proving to be brilliant. Definitely reccomended for the literature dork in your life.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Chilly Sunday

Oooh, it's so cold here -- low 60's according to my widgets! Brian's usually the more-easily chilled of the two of us, but for some reason he's decided the house needs airing, so I'm sitting here, all bundled against the cold, while he sits obliviously next to the open door in nothing but a tee shirt (and pants, you dirty-minded guttersnipes). Brrrrr.

I just finished mopping the kitchen floor. I'm such a hopeless mopper -- I really just moved the dirt around a bit. But it actually does look much nicer, and I feel like I've done something at least, so I can justify taking the rest of the day to hit used bookstores with my friend Justin. I'm probably not going to buy much, as I could blow through my whole savings if I allowed myself free reign in bookstores, but the copy of Achilles (by Elizabeth Cook) that I ordered through Modern Times last week came in on Friday, and picking that up should satisfy my book buying urge.

Noonynoonynooo. I guess that's it for now.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

an open letter to the monster cat

Herr Katze:

I understand that, as the weather gets colder, it is only natural to seek out the body heat of other warm blooded critters. But would you please stop lying on my chest with your face scant centimeters from my face? It's kind of creeping me out.


One Who Feeds You

PS: I would like to get up now.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ten things I've been enjoying lately

1. The latest issue of Tin House (esp. the interview with Lynda Barry).

2. "The Red Balloon" on You Tube (Oh, except it was removed for 'terms of use' violations. Poo. Nevermind).

3. Dream Angus, by Alexander McCall Smith (thanks for the reccomendation, mom!).

4. Soup with leeks and potatoes in it.

5. Wearing sweaters and generally bundling against the chilly fall weather.

6. The 'Dykes to Watch Out For' archive on Planet Out.

7. Sneezing

8. Homemade pizza with tomatoes and green olives and yummy melty cheese.

9. The wine with a cowboy on it that we got over at Bi Rite.

10. Latin.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Maybe I’m amazed

In a comment over on Tricia’s blog earlier today, I mentioned how reluctant I was to move to San Francisco lo these many years ago. Nothing against the city itself, really – at the time I’d never even been to San Francisco, and could hardly imagine what it’d be like (I didn’t even imagine there’d be hills. How could I not know about the hills?). It was the change that frightened me: the huge, life altering, move-across-the-country-and-what-do-you-mean-I’ve-got-to-fly??? of it all.

But looking back, I can’t believe that the rightness of our move out here, or our lives out here was ever in question. Everything in our lives, it seems, has come together in amazing and unexpected ways. Case in point:

Brian's latest work-in progress

When we lived in Massachusetts, Brian wasn’t really sculpting – one piece a year for Christmas, maybe, but that was it. I wasn’t writing, either. In the going-on-four years we’ve been here, the essence of our lives have been transformed, brought forth from itself in ways that are at once the most natural and the most amazing things.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

When the Dog Bites, When the Bee Stings

I really love teaching. It's without a doubt the hardest thing I've ever done (think you know about something? Try preparing lectures on it and then fielding random questions about that and everything else you know for three hours), but it's also absolutely, positively the most rewarding job I've ever had. Think of all the best conversations you've had in your life, and multiply them times a million. Plus you get to make people read things you love. What's not to like?

It is hard. And I can't beleive how busy I am (I'm teaching one class this semester. One. How do people ever do this full time?). My writing is paradoxically hindered by teaching and fed by it. One of my old writing profs used to say that teaching takes us a lot of oxygen, which is true, but oxygen's rare on really high mountain peaks too, right? And people seek those out. Once you get used to how thin the air is, you can enjoy the view.

In other news, yay!

via boingboing

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

And now, a bookshelf interlude

One of the first things I do when I find myself at someone's house is start poking through their bookshelves. Partly it's curiousity about the bookshelf-owner -- do they like Jane Austen? Do they own a copy of The Story of O? And part of it is that I'm just plain addicted to reading. I can't go a day without it, and can't have any text in front of me without wanting to read it.

When I was a kid, my mom would often ask me to clear the table for dinner, only to find me a half and hour later, completely absorbed in the leftover newspapers from breakfast. I'm the world's slowest filer, too -- do you have any idea the things that get stuck in files? They're facscinating. And don't get me started on the internet -- for every hour of research I do, I spend at least two hours on blogs or wikipedia or true life ghost story pages.

Anyway. Here's a picture of my bookshelf (the one in the living room, by the front door):


Monday, November 06, 2006

Oh, Monday is such a very long day.

I just got home at 11:00, having left the house at 9:30. But I do love Mondays. I get to have my Keats class, and I get to hang out and drink beer with poets afterwards. Which is why this post is so short. The End.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A bit of what I'm working on

The Age of the Earth:

First there was the void. And from the void were born the primal things: the earth and the pit below the earth, and gloom to fill the pit, and love (also known as desire), and night.

Night was the world’s first mother. She lay with Gloom and gave birth to Day.

Next Earth brought forth from herself Uranus, the sky, to cover her. And Uranus lay down upon the Earth, and they had many children.

The Principle of Intrusive Relationships:

When an igneous intrusion cuts across a formation of sedimentary rock, it can be determined that the igneous intrusion is younger than the sedimentary rock.

First came triplets, the Hecatonchires, all boys. They were strong and wild, and Earth laughed as she watched them, each hundred-armed and fifty headed, as they gadded clumsily about, stumbling and interrupting and doing many-handed somersaults, which is really the only way to do things when you have one hundred hands. And Earth was happy. She soon gave birth again to three more: the Cyclopes. They were loud and clever, and so she named them Lightening, Thunder and Bright.

Uranus lay with her again, and in time she gave birth to a dozen children: six boys and six girls. These children were beautiful, well-formed. They moved freely between their mother and father. Some guided the sun, and planets in their courses; others were more conceptual, and embodied fertility and memory.

Uranus loved these handsome children, but despised their siblings. He hated to see the hundred-armed boys crawling on their mother, their rough flesh an affront to her purity. He hated the flash of the Cyclopes’ hammers, hated their alien rumbling cries.

So he exiled them from his sight. The Hecatonchires he cast into Tartarus, beneath the bed where their mother Earth lay, and the Cyclopes he forced beneath Earth’s mountains. There they scrabbled amongst the hot, fractured rocks, living only on sulfate minerals and hydrogen split from water by uranium’s radioactivity.

The Principle of Cross-cutting Relationships:

Faults are younger than the rocks they cut.

Earth loved all her children, and could not forgive their father’s cruelty. She sang lullabies in the dark, pressing her lips against the rough mattress, and could hear her hundred armed boys clap and moan. When the Cyclopes lit their forge, she would cry out in pain, and Thunder would echo back a rumbling cry.

The universe in those days was a bedroom. It was small and dusty and all that was in there was an old bed and a wardrobe with a door that stuck in hot weather. Earth lay in the bed, broad-breasted, the secure foundation of all forever. She smelled like copper and wore a flannel nightgown.

She mourned her exiled children, and could not bear to look at the sky, her husband. Finally she went to her free children, the Titans, with a sickle she had forged from her own flinty flesh.

“Take this,” she said, “and end your father’s cruelty; set your brothers free.” The elder five Titans trembled, fearing their father, the distant lord of stars. Only the youngest, Chronus, dared take up the scythe against his father, for he, of all his brothers and sisters had no calling, and embodied nothing but himself.

He secreted himself behind his mother’s bedroom door waited in ambush. When his father was distracted, he leapt forth from behind the door, swinging wildly. So Uranus was unmanned, and his castrated flesh sunk into the sea. And where his blood and semen hit the Earth, giants and nymphs and the goddesses of vengeance were born.

Earth took the ancient ocean as her second husband, and life began: trees and flowers springing forth, and animals, and the first men creeping from the folds of her nightgown.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

And Saturday, too!

Isn't it frustrating how, when you're in a funk, it's completely impossible to remember what being happy feels like? I know I was happy just last week. Ecstatic, even. Poop.

Brian's off at his studio. I drove him away with my histronic discontentedness, what with the sighing and the moaning and the flying off the handle at things which are really fine most of the time. Maybe falling to the floor and demanding he find a sane girlfriend is not the best way to keep a man. Hm.

Monster cat is very much attached to me today. I can't sit or lie down without him curling up on top of me. Frustrating and comforting all at once.

I wish I were a lighthouse keeper (why? What would lighthouse keeping do for me that house keeping does not? I think I just want aloneness, wet rocks, a snug room, and the wild sea). Stupid automated lighthouses. Stupid sonar.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday friday

I don't work on Fridays. I don't have school, and I sit around the house and think of all the work I need to be doing... lecture notes for Wednesday, line-edits for workshop this Sunday, reading for my Keats class on Monday. Plus housework, and writing, and I should be going to the gym, too, to try and keep too much scar tissue from building up inside me, making the next surgeon's job more difficult.

Have I mentioned that I hate my scars? When the bandages first came off, I loved them -- they were so narrow and elegant and neat looking. But now the lower one has gotten all raised and bumpy and just horrible looking and I hate it. And there's nothing I can do, really, except smear more cocoa butter on it, and feel its ugly wormy edges, and wish I'd somehow done better at forming scars, that my body didn't have this embarrassing tendancy towards excess.

So anyway, I have plenty that I should be doing, and even plenty of fun, interesting books that I could be procrastinating with, but instead I'm sitting here, with the cat as usual, wishing I could think of something to do.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tonight the moon has a silver ring

There's a ring around the moon tonight, which always makes me a bit morbid and over-dramatic. I blame childhood exposure to poetry. It seeps into your bones at that age.

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

It was the schooner Hesperus,
That sailed the wintery sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughter,
To bear him company.

Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax,
Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,
That ope in the month of May.

The Skipper he stood beside the helm,
His pipe was in his mouth,
And he watched how the veering flaw did blow
The smoke now West, now South.

Then up and spake an old Sailor,
Had sailed the Spanish Main,
"I pray thee, put into yonder port,
for I fear a hurricane.

"Last night the moon had a golden ring,
And to-night no moon we see!"
The skipper, he blew whiff from his pipe,
And a scornful laugh laughed he.

Colder and louder blew the wind,
A gale from the Northeast,
The snow fell hissing in the brine,
And the billows frothed like yeast.

Down came the storm, and smote amain
The vessel in its strength;
She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
Then leaped her cable's length.

"Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,
And do not tremble so;
For I can weather the roughest gale
That ever wind did blow."

He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat
Against the stinging blast;
He cut a rope from a broken spar,
And bound her to the mast.

"O father! I hear the church bells ring,
Oh, say, what may it be?"
"Tis a fog-bell on a rock bound coast!" --
And he steered for the open sea.

"O father! I hear the sound of guns;
Oh, say, what may it be?"
Some ship in distress, that cannot live
In such an angry sea!"

"O father! I see a gleaming light.
Oh say, what may it be?"
But the father answered never a word,
A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,
With his face turned to the skies,
The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
On his fixed and glassy eyes.

Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed
That saved she might be;
And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave,
On the Lake of Galilee.

And fast through the midnight dark and drear,
Through the whistling sleet and snow,
Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept
Tow'rds the reef of Norman's Woe.

And ever the fitful gusts between
A sound came from the land;
It was the sound of the trampling surf,
On the rocks and hard sea-sand.

The breakers were right beneath her bows,
She drifted a dreary wreck,
And a whooping billow swept the crew
Like icicles from her deck.

She struck where the white and fleecy waves
Looked soft as carded wool,
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side
Like the horns of an angry bull.

Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,
With the masts went by the board;
Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank,
Ho! ho! the breakers roared!

At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,
A fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair,
Lashed close to a drifting mast.

The salt sea was frozen on her breast,
The salt tears in her eyes;
And he saw her hair, like the brown sea-weed,
On the billows fall and rise.

Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow!
Christ save us all from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman's Woe!

I used to love this poem when I was a kid. A sort of horrified love -- I was afraid of rings around the moon and sea weed, and had weird nightmares with cartoon sea captains lashing themselves to masts on dark stormy nights (am I just making this up, or did Mighty Mouse do a version of this? Is that just my id?).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Oh, November. I'm not so fond of you.

I mean, November's nice and all, with the Thankgiving and the pies and the harvest and stuff, but I'm really not digging it this year. I know, I know: we're just one day in. But that one day? It has been sucky.

It all started last night. The jelly beans my co-worker generously shared got me sick. Like, literally sick, with the urping and the moaning and everything. Not exactly what I needed to get me going on my lecture notes for Agamemnon. Then 10 people were shot in my neighborhood.* 10! Shot! With guns! And then I lay awake all night imagining how horrible if Brian got shot, or I did, and what if a stray bullet came through the window while I was up late working at my desk, and Brian slept through it and woke up to a dead me on the living room floor.

Anyway, most of today was merely mediocre. My class tonight was low-energy and blah, and I really couldn't seem to engage the students for any length of time. And then I made an embarrasing mistake and gave my students incorrect information which I'm going to have to correct next week (nothing says 'I am an authority on the subject matte who you can trust' like telling people to forget what you told them the week before). And then I opened a letter from my insurance company letting me know that they are "reviewing" whether or not to pay the latest of my medical bills, which totals $55,499.15.

Which is kind of an awesome realization: I spent (more than) $55,499.15 in only three days. And I barely got out of bed! But think of all the better ways I couldv'e incurred that much debt in three days! Brian and I could have gone out for Thai food in Thailand! I could have paid off my student loans -- and gone out for pizza!

Anyway. I'm sure the rest of November will be just peachy. For tonight, though, I think I'll just pretend it's April. Happy Easter everybody!

*okay, so nine people were shot. This morning the paper said ten. Humor me, I'm grouchy.