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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Wind and Woe and Other Melodramatic Railings Against Fate

I like rain. I like rain and storms and, as you may recall, Dear Reader, I have being skirting the grating edge of strident in my recent, constant demands for a storm. I would like to take this opportunity to point out that the underlying premise for this particular desire for storms is that I am not in the storm, or that, if I am in the storm, there is a cosy bed and a cup of hot chocolate waiting for me when I get out of the storm.
Which makes the fact that on this dark night, this stormy, wind-whipped night, I am NOT at home all the more galling. I am, in a word, in the computer lab at school, my beady-eyed, black hearted wretch of a computer having decided, in a series of jeux unworthy of the village coquette, that today was its day of rest.

Oh well, back to memo writing. Somewhere, after all, there's a puppy waiting for me to come home.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Ah Ha!

My Democracy and Coercion professor mentioned shower epiphanies today, not expressly by name but certainly in substance.
I felt very vindicated.


Sunday, September 19, 2004

Down with Summer!

These are the days of September that I love best: cool, crisp, days with the sky swept clean of clouds and the bright sun and the russet ends of the leaves. Dante and I went to the park to study this morning. (Well, I went to study; Dante went to frolic and chase the squirrels-- and if there's anything in this wide world cuter than a corgi running up and down the dappled hills, I haven't yet seen it.)

Give me autumn, any day in autumn. Give me apples and pumpkins, leaves in red and gold-- I am sick of summer's ease and lethargy.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Maybe I Just Need a Glass of Merlot

I have Billy Collins' Litany in my head today.

You are the bread and the knife
The crystal goblet and the wine.

Poems run in my head like songs. For two months after September 11th, the falcon turned and turned in widening gyre; I could hear nothing but the falconer. I suppose it is the nature of words to do that, stick and not budge, leave a smudgy, stubborn residue on the glass--

And where, I will ask again with increasing shrillness, is my storm?

The skies are dark, the forecasters have been handing out tornado warnings like candy, but where is my storm?

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of the rain on the roof.

I am settling into a routine of things. I haven't quite managed to put the house in order yet, but I am quite happily living out of my room and my kitchen, jetting to and from school in my cheerful little car (albeit paying exorbitant rates for parking on days I sleep a smidgen too late and can't park at the school). One day I might even learn to parallel park at a meter, but who teaches you these things in Texas? In driver's ed, the teacher pulled some golf clubs out of the SUV, said good enough in a pat-on-the-head sort of way, and checked it off the list. I hate to play into the stereotype, but that's God's honest truth. Cross my bluebonnet heart.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Caution: You May Need a Dentist Directly After Reading This Entry.

Today, while driving to class in the rain and listening to the soundtrack to Emma, I was reminded of a line I love from the movie:

"I rode through the rain! I'd - I'd ride through worse than that if I could just hear your voice telling me that I might, at least, have some chance to win you. "

That from darling, darling Mr. Knightley, parfait chevalier gentil from my idealistic adolescence.

And because I am at the point of sugary, molasses-y schmaltziness today, that point at which teeth explode on contact, (blame it, if you will, on the fact that I've been working on a memo about suicide pacts all the long, dark, lonely night), I have decided for your entertainment and edification to collect a list of my favorite ridiculous things that people say in movies. Ridiculous in that I am puddle-like in the face of them.

Much Ado About Nothing
"Peace, I will stop your mouth"

That Touch of Mink

Philip: Hang up the phone.
Cathy: I will not.
Philip: Hang up that phone.
Cathy: My lover's waiting in there for me!
Philip: Well, after we get married I'll invite him over for weekends.
Cathy: We can't get married! I have problems! I'm inhibited.
Philip: We'll work on them together, shoulder to shoulder.
Cathy: I'm unstable! What kind of mother would I make to our children?
Philip: Well, we'll try three or four and if that doesn't work we can breed poodles.
Cathy: I also lie.

Ever After
"I kneel before you not as a prince, but as a man in love... I would feel like a king if you, Danielle De Barberac, would be my wife."

Love Actually
“Beautiful Aurelia, I've come here with a view of asking you to marriage me. I know I seems an insane person - because I hardly knows you - but sometimes things are so transparency, they don't need evidential proof. And I will inhabit here, or you can inhabit with me in England.”

An Ideal Husband
"Arthur: I love you. I love you.
Mabel: Is that your reason then?
Arthur Goring: Mmm. Mabel, I said--
Mabel: I know.
Arthur Goring: Well? Couldn't you you love me just a little bit in return?
Mabel: Arthur, you silly! If you knew anything about anything, which you don't, you would know that I absolutely adore you.
Arthur: Really?
Mabel: Mmm.
Arthur: Well, why didn't you say anything before?
Mabel: Because, dear boy, you never would have believed me."

Monday, September 13, 2004

Call Me Miniver

It is such a shame about the libraries of this past half-century. There's no beauty in them, no architectural joy, no love of books, no love of readers of books. They depress me in the way that the National Cathedral depresses me. (Oh, it's all very impressive when you're eight, but after Saint-Chappelle or the Hagia Sophia or Notre Dame you realize just what an abomination its bland walls are, those blank, factory-discount buttresses.)

The proper place of libraries has been ceded to bookstores, outsourced if you will, to commerical enterprises who gain through enticing customers to browse and peruse and lose themselves in the wild urge to possess print and binding (and are less irate when you spill coffee on it). I don't necessarily feel morally outraged, as I am perfectly at ease in any shopping venue, but I mourn the loss of those old wood panelled rooms and threadbare rugs, the scent of old polish and paper, the cosy intimacy of a book and a comfortable chair and an afternoon to read and relish. In a bookstore, there's a subtle emphasis, as there should be, on the eventual purpose of buying, an underlying sense of being unsettled until one is finally out the door, purchase in hand. The pleasure of libraries is that no such exigency exists.


These memories have been brought to you by the Quita Woodward Reading Room at Bryn Mawr, a perfect example of everything a library should be.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Hurricane Season

I am, I must admit, a little soaked to the skin, a little wind-blown, a little rumpled and askew. Law school will do that to you. As I lie here watching rosy fingered dawn (stock epithet second only in my eyes to the wine-dark sea) and the morning lark, I am infinitely grateful for this moment of respite.

On theme but not point, I miss Texas storms. I miss the wild rolling sound of thunder over the plains and the rain, thick and sudden. I miss cyclones and tornados and hurricanes--

This grand deluge we were promised and then cheated of is salt in the wound. Ah me.

And now, it is time to prepare for the shearing, as yes, this is finally the day on which my hair is cut. Like the young novice, I am ready to take my vows, don my wimple, walk in the path of the austere and the holy, and sneak out of the convent at night.

Friday, September 03, 2004

I Love Dahlias

Really, they're the most splendid little (big) flowers. They were my reward today for going shopping all by myself and only having a (minor) heart-attack once (when I tried to park in the apartment-in-Beijing-sized lot in the Adams-Morgan Safeway and found that I had backed myself into a very tiny corner). They're marvellous even though I broke a knife trying to cut the stems. I have two on my desk (golden and pale with tips of pink) and three downstairs on the kitchen table.

And now back to Boston Ice Company vs. Edward Potter which has nothing to do with dahlias at all.

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