messages to sea-change-:
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from namastesakhi :
could you please take me off your favorites list? and then could you erase this note as well? thanks :)
from readersguide :
I think you've gotten good advice -- Stick it out to the end of the year, so you can go back to it if you want. Take the Turkish Lady's advice, too -- I keep thinking about a friend of mine who was very close to being thrown out of a dept. here because they hated her project and thought she was a flake. She stuck it out and is now teaching at princeton. Get through this year. Teach. Take the LSATs. Give yourself the choice of options.
from elgan :
Good luck.
from asitwere :
Ummm... one more thing. If you DO go to Law School, definitely stop off in NYC on your way to DC and marry me, too. :-)
from troilus :
Would you like to visit Malta? Now? In view of the other considerations that are currently inhabiting your mind, this may well come across as a frivolous thought - and yet I must ask, since plainly put, I would like to meet you, and this seems as good an opportunity as any. I realise that we hardly know each other, and perhaps you are operating on a tighter schedule than I imagine...but this island would give you a laugh or three. And it is...different - not European, nor really North African. Two or three days would be enough to explore an island that can be driven across in the space of half an hour. If this idea at all strikes you as crazy, and therefore with merit, would you mail me at [email protected]? If not, feel free to disregard
from amarantha21 :
Hmm...at the risk of sounding officious and obnoxious: The things you list that interest you about law school (joining the fray to make this world better, the garnering of facts and formulating of arguments, wanting to be around peers who are male, earning of money as opposed to going into debt) seem nonspecific to the law per se (for instance, they apply equally well to my field), and even more troubling,remind me of the types of factors I used when deciding to go to engineering grad school. In the end, I would say that decision was made for all the wrong reasons. Make sure that you will actually like the process of learning the law--memorizing contract laws, writing briefs, reading hundreds of pages of dry legalese--before you throw your art history out the window or make a commitment to that future. And you're lucky you have such a great resource in Melinda. Don't just ask her what it's like--look at her old notes, read her textbooks, see what assingments she was responsible for! It's easy for people to consider things like law school or med school because it's such a high profile, obvious answer, and because it doesn't require prerequisite courses that give you a feel of what it will actually be like. But maybe there's a choice that isn't grad school, but isn't on the beaten path either, that would suit you more...Just don't be lazy about a decision that could affect your whole life, as I did! Use your incredible research powers to make sure you find a career you like, for all the right reasons. That may be law, but it may be something else. Also, maybe you just got sidetracked into the wrong type of graduate program. You've always seemed more interested in the ideas that art generates, as opposed to the objects themselves. I don't know what you could do about that now, but maybe find a way to navigate this grad program by doing your research on something only tangentially related to the program. If you could find a quirky, interdisciplinary subject and collaborate with people who aren't directly in your field, then maybe you'd give yourself more leverage in the eventual job market? Of course, I'm completely ignorant of the politics of art history grad programs and faculty appointments. I guess I'm just saying to think creatively and carefully about your decision and to not relinquish the possibility of actually LOVING what you do, as opposed to doing something that enables you to do other things you love.
from amarantha21 :
What things interest you about the prospect of going to law school, other than the lifestyle it would afford you? You've never really discussed law before so I'm just curious about it.
from asitwere :
I always thought you were a law student to begin with. You're quite fit for it. Enjoy interpenetrating bodies of water & attractive wheat fields!
from elgan :
Yes, I too noticed that Voldemort never appeared in Book VI, but the idea that Harry could be a horcrux did not occur to me. But now that you mention it, if it is possible for a living creature to be a horcrux, then it is possible that Voldemort did desposit a portion of his soul into the infant Harry, which could also account for Harry's ability to communicate with serpents in their own tongue. Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser.
from amarantha21 :
That's so odd--I just finished reading In An Antique Land, and I was also unimpressed. (It came highly recommended). Maybe some of Ghosh's other books are better? Also, do you know of an actually decent biography on Hester Stanhope? I checked one out of the library that managed to make her sound boring, so it would be great to read a better one. I hope all your school woes work out. You're definitely braver than I am.
from seastreet :
You're gone, like, forever?
from falo :
Rachid, yes. He sounds like a great guy and his extension to you of his hospitality, definitely a very nice touch. Apparently he wanted more time with you as well. Relax, enjoy the vaca, reset.
from elgan :
I have always thought that you would make a great travel writer. Why don't you submit some of your journal entries from your trips to some newspaper editors and see if you can get some work in that area? You are too talented not to find something suitable.
from elgan :
Glad to see you're home safe and sound and that your trip was so enjoyable. I have my fingers crossed that your relationship with Rachid will blossom.
from tater-fay :
stumbled upon you by chance..like what I've been reading..might be back!
from asitwere :
atyab tamanneyati fee-emtehanek!
from asitwere :
Hey not sure if you are planning to be there, but I'll be in Beantown next weekend. HOLLA at yo' boy!
from amarantha21 :
Goodness gracious he sounds like a jerk....and what man, in this day and age, does not know where a clitoris is? Was he raised in the wilds of Jupiter or something? Anyways, it sounds like you are well rid of him.
from readersguide :
Oh dear. Well it sounds to me like you handled it well. Hmmm. And he does sound like a twerp.
from asitwere :
I agree regarding my subjective reality (by the way I'm getting used to you referring to my personal situation as you answer questions... its interesting). I am curious as to how you feel about question #1 though: Is it possible that since there are so many Jewish people placed on high in American media and government (therefore worldwide media), that the plight of the Jewish people during the Holocaust has received a disproportionate share of attention when compared to other massacres/ethnic cleansings?
from asitwere :
Holy mother of Moses. You OUTTED him... that he didn't know where the clitoris is. WINNA! *bowing forward and extending arm in your direction*
from bluecinema :
yuck fuck yuck. my gut advice is to strategically tell some people what a horror this boy was in bed and that you didn't want to hurt his feelings by breaking it off when the program was so short. but that's base castration. but how many times have you undergone the equivalent from a man? it doesn't have a name and i wish it did, when a man invalidates your femininity. if you can hook up with someone else in the next week, i say do it. publicly. this twerp makes my blood boil. (doesn't know where a clit is? talks to his ex for hours? gets jealous of harry potter?)
from raven72d :
For the record: my congratulations to Melinda on the Bar Exam. I'm sure she'll do well.
from asitwere :
it will be a great day when she realizes that authentic Erin IS the appealing Erin.
from readersguide :
Harry Potter: Yes, definitely cinematic, especially the first few chapters. Yes, Dumblodore was definitely doomed -- I've been expecting this for books and books. I was surprised about Snape, too, although if you go back and read the first book, it was really hard not to believe then that he was pure evil. I thought it was interesting that Malfoy, apparently, isn't -- I wonder what will come of that. I loved the Felix felicitas potion -- what a great idea, and based, I think, on certain feelings you do have on days you remember as being the best in your life. And it was good to see Harry sort of grown up and acting reasonably, and I thought his relationship with Ginny was portrayed well in that it actually wasn't really shown very much. Unlike the Cho thing, which I found sort of unconvincing, I believe in the Ginny thing. Oh -- the book. I think it may be the sort of mix of good and bad that a person is -- that even Snape is. Without the book, remember, Harry would not have won the Felix potion, and would not have gotten the last memory from Slughorn. Even bad Snape did brew the potion for Lupin to keep him from changing. Also -- interesting that Snape actually invented the mean trick that Harry felt bad about James performing on Snape in the last book. Yes -- sad about another three years!
from bluesunhat :
Agreed, on wondering if Rowling was starting to write with the movies in mind. Various times in the book, it just really struck me that you could completely see the actors of the characters, doing what the character was in the book, as if it'd been written with the actor in mind.
from elgan :
I think having read War of the Worlds made all the difference to my understanding of the film, but Hollywood still took incredible liberties with plot and characters. The aliens were not E.T.-like whatsoever as described by H.G. Wells--these ones were entirely too humanoid in my opinion. Read the original. I think you will have the bad taste cleansed from your mouth.
from bluesunhat :
Will make a note of that (in regards to War of the Worlds). Just got back from seeing Howl's Flying Castle, myself, and found it to be a good movie. Although I have no clue how similar our tastes would be, it's along the lines of Spirited Away, and by the same director. Or producer. Whichever. And it's an English movie, so if it does sound of interest to you, may want to wait on it.
from minderella :
i would say only that i firmly believe a woman should take responsibility for her own orgasms, and not expect men to figure it out whether on their own or with instruction. there are surefire ways to get yourself off during sex, and you shouldn't be ashamed to go for it if he isn't getting the job done. most guys find that hot, anyway. also, do you bruise easily, or is he just totally nuts?
from bluecinema :
if you are having an affair, it should be for your pleasure, not for the other person involved. your concern should be having the experience you crave. fortunately it seems like your cup runneth over, and though it could lead to an awkward situation, i say go for yours.
from elgan :
Your description of the voluptuous young beauty and prognosis for her future uglification remind me of the people of the bright carvings in Mervy Peake's Gormenghast trilogy. They too were beautiful in their youth, but faded quickly into non-descript blandness once that bloom had passed.
from asitwere :
Wow. I'm SO happy for you!!! (I'm happier for MIH though, forgive me dear.)
from amarantha21 :
sounds like fun.
from minderella :
about the marathon: the gym also has this training program taught by a marathon runner... it meets like once a week and she helps you prep from nothing to marathon. it costs $100, i think, but might be a good way to spend that money, at least to prepare for the first one. i think i've definitively decided i'm not going to do a marathon. i don't think it's worth the risk of injury/wear and tear on joints. maybe a half marathon.
from minderella :
hmmm.. i remember someone saying something like "if i don't have sex this summer, i will die." glad to see there won't be any funerals. skillz. skillz. that made me laugh so hard, you writing "skillz" like that. i'm glad you're having fun! that's awesome! but now i'm extra confused... how are you working the roommate situation? do the other kids know/sense what's up?
from readersguide :
!!!!!
from minderella :
i TOTALLY saw that coming when you said you went walking around with him in the middle of the night the other day. i should've actually called it at the time. dang. anyway, if you both had to sneak out in order to hook up, then it wasn't random in my opinion. i realize you didn't want to write too much, but you really need to write more! more details! how could you make out with an israeli? what does he look like? how old is he? did you only speak arabic to each other when you were hooking up? we really need details.
from falo :
Hi SC. Well whatever it may have been, that entry had me literally howling with laughter, the introspection, ambulatory crazyhead, oh goodness. Good luck with MIH. Best, O.
from asitwere :
seme'et kasamek ennek tetkallemy araby bass. wahashteeny ya helwa...
from asitwere :
Taking in a lucky and peaceful existence shoudn't translate into 'owing back'. Life is wonderful in that way alone... you can live a full & happy one and never owe a thing. My theory is that this sweetness, in fact, is what makes unexpected death so tragic indeed.
from minderella :
the problem is that no one else has read any gift theory... so you can't apply all that theory to their intentions. if someone hinted to me that they had financial problems such that they were uncomfortable with buying a sandwich, i would totally buy them a sandwich thinking it would make their day because they characterized the cafeteria food negatively. now, obviously the guy should realize it's him, not the money, that is bothering you, but i am sure he was just trying to be nice. you should probably actually confront him and tell him that you did not appreciate him buying the sandwich or else he's going to do something like that again.
from morganlefae :
hey Erin, I'm doing this zine-type project during the summer ; do you want in on it? Oh, btw I added a link to your diary on my journal main page, is that ok?
from elgan :
Having a brother and a best friend in Israel, I know much about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from their point of view. I would be pleased to enlighten you on any questions you may have.
from minderella :
now you understand why i was so incredulous that you never ironed before. you wear so many things that are flimsy and delicate that would so benefit from repassage. i am glad you have discovered its joys, and just wait until you buy yourself a can of spray starch. that said, you can spend a whole day ironing if you get perfectionistic about it. *ps: you used marionberry's real name in the entry, don't know if that was a mistake
from harri3tspy :
Thanks for the note. I think you're probably right. But every now and then I wonder if I'm spending my time thinking about the right things. And yet, I really don't think I could do it any other way.
from readersguide :
Snow. Yes -- I'm beginning to like it more, actually. Part of my problem is that it's so foreign. I don't know much about Turkey, really. One thinkg I do like about it is all the foreign houses, the Armenian houses and the Russian houses. It kind of sounds like Berlin used to feel, when you'd walk around near the wall and there were all these old beautiful embassies sort of abandoned, or sitting on half a block. Anyway -- the sense of this odd and complicated history that is kind of over, and then the quiet, and the unreality of all this stuff happening in all that snow -- and Ka walking around in a daze writing poetry. Yes, I guess I am liking it!
from minderella :
"as for the sex with spies" - again, you made me laugh out loud. those awesomely built guys could toss you around like a ragdoll, friend. it's pretty hot. maybe you should consider it. :)
from readersguide :
What a strange place! I think it is the perfect place to read Magic Mountain.
from minderella :
cutting club. hehehe. awesome. today in class i was talking to a girl from upenn where she went to undergrad and she said marionberry and i was like 'oh! really!!!' waaay to enthusiastic for a normal reaction to that. she said how lush and beautiful it is up there in the summer.
from teranika :
When I lived in Germany one of the recurring frustrations was making a joke in German, and then having a German explain to me, "oh no, I don't think that you meant to say that..." until I then had to explain that, indeed, this goofy American did just attempt to make a JOKE! Good luck! This sounds like an AMAZING experience.
from asitwere :
Thank goodness I saw the number '3' in this entry today. On Sparkle, I think you're right that I placed a claim where I stated none. I don't think, however, this is a case of me wanting both my cake and to eat it too. My main point was "I know she has the right to flirt with whomever she wants. The entire rooftop, if she's inclined. I just didn't think she would exercise that right." This gray area of 'friends that have been physical' really is terrible. I much prefer the black-and-white variety. Alas, I am in NY and this seems impossible. totally impossible.
from readersguide :
Go Erin!
from amarantha21 :
ugh. how horrid. well, I am sure that you will do well in Level 3, no matter what the fussy teacher/admin thinks.
from asitwere :
No effing way you're gonna let 'em make you take Level 2. Not on my watch.
from minderella :
your best entries are when you are angry. i was ok until the part when you talked about going "bezerk" and then i cracked up laughing. i cannot, for the life of me, imagine you going "bezerk." this must be super annoying, but you will prevail. at the end of the day you're the one paying 7grand to do this thing - they really ought to let you do what you want. are you really going to hinder anyone else if you are in over your head? if how, so? it's your loss if you place yourself too high, right? and you're willing to accept that risk. anyway, i don't think you need to eat shit, i think you need to take the attitude of a disappointed customer. because that is what you are, in the end. and you have a right to superior service given the pretty penny you're paying for the privilege.
from minderella :
just FYI, i went to the gym today and was also dripping with sweat by the time i got there. this weather is disgusting. it was the first time that i walked out of a cool gym into a hot world. i'm so used to being hit with a blast of refreshingly brisk air that this was a very unwelcome surprise. i have faith that you will adapt, though. and good luck with the food. perhaps like prison, you'll end up losing weight because you don't want to eat any of it.
from raven72d :
You've never been to Volpukia... Or the Land of the Wild Pikachus! But... do beware the doom-haunted Isle of Man and the batrachian Manx... And shun the Andaman Islands and the vile, unhuman Andamaners...
from drgeek :
I must echo minderella here: a B+ in a grad course hardly qualifies as sucking, especially from Aardvark. An old saying from my days at Rottweiler Puppy Institute (RPI) applies. "A B+ from <hard school like RPI or Aardvark> is at least A from somewhere else." My grad school was into narrative evaluations, where a B translated into "well", and an A, "excellent". I think this means you've done at least "quite well".
from amarantha21 :
Raven72d pointed out to me that it has the title "History of the World Conqueror" ...anyways, it sounded really interesting and I'd like to know more but alas, that is not possible.
from raven72d :
Great photo...
from tcklyrpharsn :
Man, you know what's great about you? It's that you're not afraid to be like I SUCK and also, I AM SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOU in about five sentences.
from amarantha21 :
The book I was talking about is a PErsia book. It was written when the Mongols invaded Persia, by a Persian functionary who worked for the Mongols. It sounded interesting, but the people who presented on it for my hypertext class mainly focused on the digital divide between representation of Arabic texts and Western texts, not the book or its content itself. Sorry to hear that your grades have got you down.
from asitwere :
Hey I agree with your assessment of Johnson/the Tramp. I do want to clarify though that Tramp (bad) is different than Az (good). Az is the cool chick who works at Linc0ln Center [email protected] (one might call her Jaz Az). Tramp is the downright-trashy yet often funny neighbor who I'd been spending idle time with while in the 'hood. Pix to follow!
from minderella :
i hardly think a B+ qualifies as "sucking" but i'm sorry you're disappointed because i know you really enjoyed writing that paper and felt very solid about it. anyway, my thought is this: life is a series of highs and lows, being told you're awesome and being shown that you suck (in a relative sense). but anyone doing a phd at aardvark is far more awesome than sucky, no matter how you slice it.
from bluecinema :
You are NOT an ignoramus. You are an accomplished, wordly young woman. Keep your chin up.
from asitwere :
SWEET! My dad had a Lexus for a few years, and we loved it. Best ownership experience ever. We had a chance to drive an assortment of them, b/c the dealer gives loaner cars during service (never a problem, by the way), and they were all lovely/fine cars. Your folks are gonna LOVE this car. Aww on the bird... it's totally for the better. Kiss the CA sun for me!
from amarantha21 :
do you know anything about a book called the Jahanhay-i Juvaini? You are in an Islamic architecture program, so I thought you might know more about its background.
from coldandgray :
SHWEW, VERY NICE!
from asitwere :
loved it.
from readersguide :
Have you read <a href="http://smartypants.diaryland.com/041205.html">this</a>? The thing about travel in contemporary Mongolia is pretty interesting.
from readersguide :
It's by Ian Frazier, and it's about how Hulagu destroyed Baghdad in 1258.
from falo :
Hiya SC. Hey, no intentional technical slight. But now I know better. I suspect that you will find p'pt to be pretty simple once you try it (or it's mac equivalent) as well. I removed the note so as not to reveal the gmail addy. Congrats on your grants, I guess Kilimanjaro will have to wait. Best, O.
from asitwere :
Yay you! Congratulations on all the mooolaah. Shopping spree once my office moves to SoHo?
from elgan :
Don’t you wish all computers could be Macs?
from falo :
Hiya Guero. Windows machines running XP will also recognize cameras and automatically open up the software to view and edit pics and video as well. I tried to drop you an email couple days ago and it failed. (SC at D'land email) Anyway, your perspective on the tech savvy youth with whom you are competing will soon fade as you come to terms with how easy digital photography (and it's like) is done. For reviews, etc. try www.cnet.com (reviews) Best, O.
from coldandgray :
Right on.
from troilus :
It is hardly a novel thought, and certainly not of a piece with what we have lately been discussing, but it occurred to me today that it cannot really be said that there are any differences between all men and all women. Would you agree that species comes before gender, to put it so?
from troilus :
island, European island. Is part of the charm of climbing (in this case, 'walking'?) a mountain lost for you when you know that you will most definitely not be alone? From a brief survey of the literature it appears as if the area containing K. is quite a draw for thrill-seekers, climbers, trekkers and associated hangers-on.
from troilus :
As far as the trip itself, six months was what a denizen of your great country might call a 'ballpark figure'. Evidently I...struck out (excuse the poor pun). As far as acclimating myself to the altitude, yes, it would be wise that I did so, but on the other hand I live on a European from which tickets to Southern Africa are quite cheap. In any case, it's only money. Have you read Plato?
from troilus :
Your last note is the cause of some merriment. One of the reasons for which I thought I might be a somewhat ideal companion is that I 'suffer' in silence and don't really complain about much, barring acts of god. My attitude towards what most can expect from life is quite Hobbesian. Are you often jubllant? You do seem quite serious, but then your words are also by turns fluffy, enigmatic, instructive and passionate, so a dollop of good humour ought not to surprise.
from troilus :
Would you really be able to take six months off from your life and the real world to go gallivanting off to the middle of Tanzania? It almost seems too unserious for you - a quest without a raison d'etre. The idea appeals to me because I am known more for drinking from reason than from experience, and I'd like to change that. At this point you might reply, caustically yet reasonably, that there are safer ways of challenging yourself than climbing a mountain. But enough - I would quite enjoy accompanying you; so far as I can tell, we are as dissimilar as two people can be who are of the same type. p.s. I speak both Italian and French and concur with your preference - Italian is most useful when you are feeling jubilant. Are you often so? I most certainly am not. p.p.s in my (not so humble) opinion Jude is one of the best books published in English during the 19th century. You should read it.
from troilus :
On a point of order - did you have a particular date in mind for climbing Kilimanjaro? Are you soliciting applications for a companion? Between the Italian and French languages, which do you prefer? Did Jude the Obscure move you? You need, of course, answer none of these questions.
from asitwere :
Kilamanjaro... really. I'll do that. Who better with than you?? You let me know when you get out to that part of the world, you hear?
from raven72d :
ecmnesic... see Henry James, "The Sense of the Past".
from amarantha21 :
I've set up a new password for you. Let me know if it works properly.
from asitwere :
Holy crap, get me Acrobat 6.
from coldandgray :
Hope you get to sleep soon.
from amarantha21 :
Wow! That's how Hebrew works as well. The roots, they call Binyanim (which is related to the word for building.) But I' don't remember whether my Hebrew dictionary sorted by a words three letter root, or whether it sorted by the infinitive of the verb, the noun, the adjective, etc., all separately.
from elgan :
I hadn’t heard that puritanism had struck the belly dancers of Egypt. But I’m not surprised if this is in fact true. Fundamentalism ruins everything for everyone, that’s for sure. My teacher has been going to Egypt almost every year to take refresher courses and come away with the latest techniques, as well as importing gorgeous costumes and accessories. I think this particular trip is more in the way of vacation than anything else, but when she returns, I will ask her if what you say is true. It would be awful if it were!
from coldandgray :
Good luck (Libraries rule)
from troilus :
Apropos of nothing, I should very much like to meet you one day (don't worry, this is most likely one of those idle wishes one never aims towards constructively)..yet..have you ever thought of holidaying in Toronto during the summer months? Or perhaps that would be too prosaic...
from silveringrid :
this is a drive by shooting sort of note. moved to wyoming a while ago - used to read your old diary, am now getting caught up on the new one. minderella - is there a way i can get in contact with her - she sent me the new diary but of course, i cannot find the email. ah, the trials and tribulations of diaryland.
from writeandread :
Have you considered that the Great Scott may be trying to tell you exactly what he *has* told you? I.e. that, now that you are close to choosing a dissertation topic (if my knowledge of the US system is right), you may want to really consider whether this is exactly the field in which you want to work for the rest of your professional life or thereabouts, or whether your real passions lie somewhere else albeit still very close. It may just be a way to make sure you *choose* your subject. I get the feeling you've already done this on your own a long time ago, but he may want you to do it again. Of course, bad hair days are always part of the reason!
from asitwere :
Maybe it's already been two years, but by dearest cockatiel Burt (deBurt), is long since flown away. What a precious little soul he was, and I hope still is (though quite unlikely). As Albertine learns to fly, it's important to clip those wings. It seems cruel and counterevolutionary, but believe me, it's the sweetest thing you can do for your little birdie. Clip just one wing if you don't have the heart to discolor his full plumage. But Erin, seriously. Do it for his own good, and yours as well.
from raven72d :
Ummm... how would anyone know that something written in Scribble...errr...Foreign...errr.....Arabic... would be incomprehensible?
from shiitake :
Entitled students! My new favorite topic! I have to deal with these people a few times a semester, people whose strongest (or, quite possibly, only) argument is "I always get As, therefore, I should get an A now" for some paper that is missing a thesis/poorly written/without proper citations/insert paper-writing sin here. These are all freshmen, though. I wonder if they get worse as they go through the program.
from bluecinema :
my primary mode of artmaking is super 8. i just spent $200 (twice what i paid for the camera in 2000) repairing my super 8 camera. i just love the thing so much. and in this case i was lucky that the problem i had was wiring and nothing requiring replacement of a part, being as that there are no parts to replace them with. i also just got hooked up with a projector that had never been used before. i am at the mercy of kodak to continue making super 8. i'm not going to let it drive my carzy though. i will probably be bored with the medium by the time that happens, and desperately needing change.
from morganlefae :
re : boobage : much of. Which would explain a lot, yeah.
from morganlefae :
re : looking demure no matter what. That's funny - I am the opposite. I could wear a pleated, below-the-knee gray skirt, a buttoned-up cardigan and glasses, and it would still (somehow) look kinky.
from asitwere :
I'm not sure how many of your readers have actually MET you, so allow me to correct an item in your journal. You are VERY sexy. I'm not saying this in a disingenuous, half-ass way to flirt with you from two states away, but rather to clue you in on something about the way you carry yourself. I'm not sure what 'sexy' recipe you're using, but when you take a really pretty girl with round, soulful eyes, thrown in bobbing blonde hair, slender legs, an art history mind that had me convinced you were a law student, innate sex-crazedness, and an ass that I've yet to personally see but hear is quite fantastic, you pretty much land on 'sexy' no matter how hard you try not to.
from drgeek :
You point out: "I think you might be analogizing a little too much from the sciences to the humanities. I don't know what most science departments are like, but I imagine that they are filled with slender men wearing glasses and ill-fitting clothes." True, I am speaking from my own experience, but I think some care must be taken when making generalizations about both the similarities and the differences between arts and science programs. Most of the people I knew during my grad school days were generally well adjusted people, possessing reasonable social skills and a decent sense of fashion. Not all were successful in the dating and mating game, however. Those who had the most success (aside from people with "turn heads when you want into the room" looks and charm) were able to keep some semblance of an active life outside the academic sphere. I found that the focus of everything I was doing settled more and more on either my research or something related to it... and so my success when it came to dating was limited. I arrive at this conclusion because my social life improved significantly in this respect once I finished my degree... wearing more or less the same clothes I wore in grad school. Again, that is simply my own experience.
from drgeek :
You say "I am good-looking, and I am sex-crazed, but I am not sexy." I found that "sexy" and "grad student" were somewhat mutually exclusive modes of being. Grad school re-directs a lot of energy that might otherwise be used to make a companionable, attractive human being into the process of finishing a dissertation. Cheer up. Things will not always be this way.
from harri3tspy :
Congratulations on getting through it all. Your entries have had me reliving my coursework days. I have to say that I don't miss them much. And thanks for your note the other day -- the issue of art as mirror or catalyst has been very much on my mind. I hope we'll get into a discussion on some of those issues tomorrow.
from asitwere :
good luck presenting! indeed i'm sure they will bring out that gift of teaching you have.
from asitwere :
The dirty poetry... did you PS your readers offering to share some with us? It could have been my early AM haze. I'd love to receive your e-mail address... I'm sure Melinda forwarded the Mehndi party PDF to you... grab my address off there and say hello!
from asitwere :
Dirty poetry!?
from minderella :
oh for fuck's sake, erin. you really had to post that, didn't you? i thought you said arsemonger when we were talking on the treadmill. silly me.
from asitwere :
Wow, look at adorable little Al! Loving that you do the hanger/shower rod maneuver. I have some egyptian mirrors that I think you'd really love.
from amarantha21 :
Your Albertine is very pretty. What type of bird is she?
from falo :
Thank you for the visual feast. Hello Albertine! I literally laughed out loud when you pointed out that she is color coordinated with the paint.
from drgeek :
You sound exactly like I used to in grad school -- a little chit-chat with a beautiful, available woman and I was no good to nobody for the rest of the day. There is a certain intensity of feeling in unrequited love, or unrequited lust. In some ways I miss it, in many others I don't. Have you thought about using all this emotion to write bad poetry? I certainly did... and it even helped sometimes. The sign! Oh how I could have used that sign... but you're an attractive young woman. The sign might work for you. It would have never worked for me. Guys who wear signs like that rapidly get reputations as being WEIRD. :-)
from asitwere :
Happy Spring. Sounds like that boy liked you back!
from minderella :
i'd pay to see you walk around harvard square for an hour wearing that sign. cracked me up.
from minderella :
i don't think that's shameful at all... it's cool! what's shameful about it? it's inspiring, really. makes me want to write more emails to semi-famous people to just see what might come of it. did you send those by email or by post?
from asitwere :
I absolutely love museums also. Don't get me wrong. I was just trying to get you to go to the beach with me. :-)
from asitwere :
gosh, i'm really sorry about the tryptich here. but I seriously meant to say "Lose" instead of "Lost" in that sentence. Worth acknowledging and correcting, I thought.
from asitwere :
and... whoa there. I don't have a problem with minimalism in art. I just have a problem when artists put in minimal work. Though for a discussion of minimalism, and the value of studying it, I think the beach would be a perfect setting. Want to explain minimalism? Lost the $ 300 Million dollar museum. Now we're getting to the nexus of art and humanity. I like it so much better than the intersection of art and member's only society.
from asitwere :
you're wicked smaaht.
from enfinblue :
Whoops! I forgot to mention how well I could relate to the idea of dichotomous travel and settled selves.
from enfinblue :
I can relate to your feelings of horror and revulsion, in the senses in which you experience them; at the moment, however, my personal horror is mainly focused on the iron hand of control that I seem to feel a need to apply in all intimate situations that I get myself into...
from asitwere :
You're on. Let's do it over coconut drinks in Costa Rica, maybe?
from drgeek :
There's an old saying by a very conservative Catholic theologian -- the word mysticism seems to contain both the words "missed" and "schism". While I won't disagree with you in principle about Catholic revulsion for the Gnostic approach, I tend to center on the Platonist influences in Gnostic Christianity (we live in a corrupt Universe of low matter, true God is a pure being outside the Universe, what we generally conceptualize as God is false impression of an emanation of the true God) that tend to cut at the basic principles that mainstream Christianity embraces. Taken to their complete conclusion, none of us including Jesus contain any spark of the divine... which is heresy in the eyes of the Church. Aside from all that, the successors of Constantine wanted a defined, visible social institution to deal with... which Gnosticism does not exactly provide, as you point out.
from minderella :
also: re: art making everything meaningful... doesn't everything do that? if you were an american history phd, then everything you saw in boston (or wherever in the US) would be meaningful from that perspective. if you were a math phd, then everything you saw would be lines and curves and such - meaningful in that way. if you're a law student, then everything you see is meaningful in still a different way: tacit contracts, financial transactions, traffic ordinances - the law affects everything. so what you really mean is that you study art to make what you see *aesthetically* meaningful. yes or no?
from minderella :
it's funny, as i was reading that those guys had said they hoped one day you'd teach their children, my gut reaction was total disgust and indignation, like, "how f'ing offensive!" like telling someone you hope one day she'll be your maid because she's so clean. or you hope one day she'll be your hairdresser because her hair always looks so nice. because teaching children isn't a presitigious profession in this country, least of all to jocks. it's akin to anything else in the service industry. but i can also see how it would be flattering, if you thought someone was deeply invested in the academic development of their children.
from asitwere :
During my history of 'poor weeks', one of my favorite ways to economize was to reduce my food costs. It's all about making Spinach & Black Bean lasagna with sharp cheese and a bit too much garlic. YUM, I'm telling you.
from elgan :
Yes, your entries are most edifying. I really enjoyed this most recent one about the poet being punished for his praise, but rewarded for his invective. Good one.
from asitwere :
I really need to stop wounding you. *headscratch*
from asitwere :
Oh absolutely. I am totally incompetent around physics problems and drafting tables, but I'm strangely assertive around opposing brokers and even engineers with limited experience. And I think I will bring Inga to the coffee shop tonight... (my other friend also happens to be hosting there, so really, its club asitwere tonight). BTW, I disagree completely with your assessment that receiving a massage borders on prostitution. Massages are largely anagestic and therapeutic, likened to a visit to you doctor when you have a pain. Do you consider medical visits along the line of prostitution? I think most would agree medical or physical therapy treatment is extremely similar to a professional massage. For the record, Mel told me you weren't a law student (I was mistaken). I probably wouldn't have the gumption to debate with you if you actually were. :-)
from harri3tspy :
Thanks for the recommendation. That looks totally up my alley. I'll have to track down a copy.
from asitwere :
On guilt, Diana, and dining, you should assuage any such emotions at once. It was a complete joy taking you three to dinner, and I certainly don't see your taking ME to dinner as equalizing. What I did see as equalizing was me taking you and your (very sweet and complementary, if not the president of the Asitwere fan club) friend to dinner, and you writing me back saying you'd like to do the same some day. That's more than I could have bargained for, ya hear?
from asitwere :
I'm really glad we went out of our way some to meet one another. Mel asked me if you were what I thought you'd be like, and I said 'exactly'. (She rightfully recognized it as a complement). I'm glad that, amid taking a backseat, quite literally, to me-Melinda and me-J throughout the night, you had fun. Indeed we shall dine in Boston next time I'm up (could very well be worth a planned trip...)
from harri3tspy :
Thanks for the note. That's interesting. I tracked down the source of my vague memory about a legend of 8 horses, but it wasn't particularly illuminating. It came from a kids book by C. Northcote Parkinson of all people, a novel called Ponies Plot, which I read when I was growing up in London and in the obligatory horse phase. The book refers to paintings of 8 Chinese horses, each in a different pose and states that the horses are trying to welcome home a princess, each demonstrating its appreciation in a different way. But when I tried to look it up on line, I kept coming up with a different story of King Mu and his 8 horses. So perhaps Parkinson made it up. But in any case, it stuck with me all the years.
from asitwere :
On one hand, had I known the chic eurocar and svelte diner invoked memories similar to your 'most hellish 3 months', certainly I would have taken the local roads :-). But on the other hand, I'm glad you dissected a bad time from a wonderful place. The world shall soon make sense again.
from enfinblue :
Am catching up on your diary after an absence of weeks and in my delight am reminded of why I enjoy reading you so much!
from morganlefae :
Erin, the only reason you saw "a distinctly sexual overtone" in the words "Je sème l'or" is that the verb "semer" looks (and sounds) like "semen". Not that it _can't_ be vaguely sexual, it's just that no one but a really twisted french person would read "J'éjacule l'or" in "Je sème l'or". Also, I think you'll find that you omitted an "e" in "Mémoires d'outre-tombe" and that, in french, only the first word of a title has a capital letter.
from asitwere :
It seems as though we will miss each other. Enjoy the play! Had I known better, I would have arranged for you to stay Sat eve, also. (you still can)
from harri3tspy :
As someone who used to spend a lot of time in W. library, I've been thoroughly enjoying your descriptions of working there. My esteemed institution doesn't let us have carrels, only sterile lockers. The collection is fabulous, but it has none of the charm of W. And I still haven't forgiven them for moving the stacks around a couple of years ago. I hate having to resort to the map -- it makes me feel like a dilettante.
from morganlefae :
oh man, I totally can't stand Paul Auster either. Did you see The Center of the World? Apparently he was involved. Explains a lot. Blerch.
from asitwere :
I'm not worried about you. You're working out, your blood is pumping, and it's about to be Springtime. Look out, boys.
from elgan :
You may not have got to eat your cake, but what you did with it was much nicer, don't you think?
from asitwere :
You'd get laid as often as you'd like if it were important to you now. Who am I to argue against more disciplined priorities during a critical life stage?
from troilus :
I think the crux of the matter is intent - knowledge of Auster's intent in decscribing his women in such a manner is beyond all except for the author. You can certainly speak of patterns (you can, since I have not yet had the dubious 'pleasure' of reading him - when I want fluff I usually stick to the NYT) but motive...I think that's a bridge too far. Perhaps I have opted for mere legalism, but I prefer to stand by 'Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.' - which would seem to mandate silence about his motives on both our parts, since neither you and I are privy to his thoughts. No? On another note - do you deny that there are women (and men) whose existence is primarly oriented towards the satisfaction of their sexual desires?
from asitwere :
Ultimately, one should consider that I actually am incapable of the games. It was 11:47 AM, and I had to share my enthusiasm over the weather. Above all else.
from asitwere :
Damnit. I knew you'd leave a note of objection. I'd never play her for any kind of fool. I like her too much. Should we be emailing? APNY74 on AOL
from troilus :
On a point of order, as British members of parliament are apt to say: how can you infer misogyny on the part of Auster solely on the basis of his depiction of women in specific circumstances? Absent a more general condemnation on his part of what he perceives the feminine essence to be, how do you proceed from three women suffering to a greater or lesser extent from nymphomania to Auster as an irredeemable misogynist?
from asitwere :
Brilliant women are so hot.
from idiomatic :
i tried to send you an email at the dland addy but it bounced back. email me at [email protected]!
from idiomatic :
hi - did you see the feb 2005 national geographic? they have an article on arabia's "empty quarter" and a bunch of amazing photos. i just read it. i'll send it to you if you want.
from raven72d :
Heat... Heat is...soul-killing.
from falo :
Hiya Erin. I don't know if you would consider this, but I think it would be great to see some pics of the newly painted condo. Sounds really nice.
from elgan :
I have heard tell of the Keeper, but I have never actually seen it here in Canada. I will keep an eye out, since it does make a lot more sense than throwing away used pads and tampons.
from drgeek :
Speaking as someone struggling to lose some weight around his middle: loose clothes is a problem I'd happily have, given the chance. Revel in it... new clothes will come eventually. Congrats.
from asitwere :
Oh, and I used to bring my pet cockatiels into the shower with me all the time... they LOVE it. Something about tropical birds and humid air, I imagine... The best thing to do is put a hanger (even the dry-cleaner kind with the cardboard dowel on the span) on the curtain rod, and let the little fella hang out. Makes for like the cutest shower experience, EVER.
from asitwere :
"I am not so delusional as to believe that anybody or everybody wants to see my ass every time I sit down or bend over." Think again, hotshot. :-)
from raven72d :
Jeans falling off the hips = sexy. Underwear on lovely girls = bad (and useless).
from asitwere :
I meant to ask Columbia or NYU (the violets), but it came out all hasty. Awesome, by the way.
from asitwere :
Did u go to Columbia or some such? Don't even tell me you were Violet...
from asitwere :
I definitely will post more of the same. I think she's got real production value there... By the way I've been pondering a response to your many questions posed earlier, and it's been a useful introspective exercise as well. Will put all into words at some point for sure...
from minderella :
i didn't mean to say that criticizing paul auster is invalid, just that the comment seemed illustrative (to me) of a crotchety sort of attitude. because i had the impression you were expressing a personal distaste/hatred for the author because he portrayed a woman as wanting sex for less than admirable reasons. it may be chauvanist to paint women in that way, but there are women like that (crying, needy, desperate). anyway, it was just an offhand comment.
from raven72d :
City of Glass and Country of Last Things were delightful. And let see if I get this straight: you're upset with the author because his characters had sex? Or is it that you're upset that a girl might just decide to have sex because she's lonely or bored even with a man she dislikes?
from harri3tspy :
I have a love-hate relationship with Auster myself. I've read just about all of his fiction. Book of Illusions was one of my least favorite and while I sort of grooved on the NY Trilogy for a while, I ultimately found it vapid. I did love Leviathan, though. It's the only book of his I really like. Everything else just seems to suggest something that I'd really like but never gets there. It's cowardly prose.
from bluecinema :
i thought the auster criticism was warranted. i read moon palace and i liked it, but i am sick of lovely women running after old cantankerous pricks because the pricks are telling the story. it's like a craig's list fantasy. "horny guy seeking sub to come over and fuck me". that the narrator so closely resembles auster....i doubt the encounter had the "women do like assholes" poetry of notes from underground. it's one thing to go into a disagreeable man's bed because you see something underneath the rough exterior, but to go into the bed because you are "lonely"? i doubt a woman would have written the encounter that way.
from minderella :
i've never thought you actually sounded/acted like the dried-up whatever you keep claiming to be until the paul auster letter. that reeked of late middle aged feminist who never gets laid, disbelieving that a woman might illogically want to have sex with an asshole. is that really a reason to hate a book? anyway, that's the first time i've seen any actual manifestation of your supposed spinsterism.
from writeandread :
A diary *is* a place to vent after all. I find that recognising a physiological need to vent once in a while is a very healthy mental habit. Oh, and about Switzerland: I used to think the same as you until I came to live here. I live in a relatively large city (nothing compared with the US of course) which is a European hub for jazz music and contemporary art & architecture. It is incredibly multilingual, lots of people smoke (not that it's a quality, but still) and two other countries are a very short bike trip away. Yes,public transport works like clockwork and streets are clean, but that doesn't mean the place is boring. Of course, villages and the mountains are a completely different story, so I guess you were right in what you meant...
from culotte :
Thanks E. He revealed that he also was capt. of the table tennis team and "studied" mime. They have mime classes at Princeton? I'm only dating undereducated bon vivants from here on out.
from raven72d :
Short skirts are key things for lovely girls in the Cambridge summer.
from asitwere :
NOTE: This is not a backpedal. I'm actually a decent-sized fan of the prenup, particularly if my future spouse stands to earn substantially. (not sure how I feel about talking about it on a first date) Having said that, though, I think the prenup should be a lickety-split, quick procedure and not to be re-visited unless an unfortunate circumstance arises. Separate money is also cool, so long as there is also 'family money' that pays for family things. I've also found that while some people 'believe' in divorce, others do not (except in extreme abuse, etc cases). I fall into the second category, and I think to make my spouse (and my own family) happy, it's a useful step. Certainly not the most romantic one, though.
from coldandgray :
This is weird, when I added you to my buddy list, it said you had not been updating. When it crashed & came back I was excited to see that you had updated & then I realized you had been updating all along. Anyway, it is fun catching up with you.
from hungryghost :
I often talk about packing it in and going to law school, too. Three years, one big exam, no orals or dissertation, bountiful employment opportunities - tempting, isn't it? And yet, I know I won't do it.
from tcklyrpharsn :
I love Switzerland. It's absolutely breathtakingly beautiful in winter. Breathtaking. Maybe I wouldn't want to live there year round, hob-nobbing with the snow bunnies and swapping ski stories, but I wouldn't mind munching a paper cone of roasted chestnuts while gazing at the Alps at least one more time in my life.
from drgeek :
I think that you need not fear inheritance tax. According to Thomas Frank in his book "What's The Matter With Kansas?", the Republican Party prefers to trot out the abolition of inheritance tax (or as they like to call it "death tax") as the saving grace for small farmers who would otherwise lose their farms as they are passed down from generation to generation. This is hokum for two reasons. First, no small farmer (in Kansas at least) has EVER lost a farm due to inheritance tax. Second, those same Republicans are generally in the pocket of the agri-business lobby which poses a much bigger threat to the small farmer than inheritance tax will ever be. Besides, irrevocable trusts and other such shelters can sidestep inheritance tax entirely. Regarding the invisible spot, I have a couple myself. They fade in time, with no scrubbing needed... though there is this small part of me that fears that they will be made visible in the light of day somehow. But our missteps often more clearly represent knowledge and the acquisition of wisdom than bliss ever does. I think you will find a wonderful man who will end this period of self-imposed asceticism in your life. Of all the men in the greater Aardvark area.... it only takes one, just one.
from raven72d :
Switzerland is indeed vur' dull...but at least it's not Belgium, where there are Flemish, an ethnic group named after mucous. (And Romansch is a cool small language) The sugar daddy story... it's a pity he fled. You should have seen how much money he was willing to spend. Remember: as an attractive, clever girl, it is your right to have men buy you things.
from writeandread :
Your view of Switzterland is as inaccurate as that of your prospective sugar daddy. Is all of LA the same as Rodeo Drive? I realise that was not the point of your story though.
from writeandread :
Wait until you are asked to teach courses that are non-[language]ist compatible, the alternative being that the course does not take place because there are not enough [language]ist students to pay for it. That is not fun from the tutor's point of view either, I can assure you. As for why these non-specialist people do it: usually they (ill-advisedly) think it's the easy option, but this turns out never to be the case, when it's too late to change. Also, you should use one of those booklets the Japanese have to record all the coutries they've visited, don't you think?
from drgeek :
Let me say right away that I have only seen previews for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Based on that, I tend to think that the story is only unique because an intelligent, successful, responsible, caring man is choosing an insecure, slightly shrewish fat girl right from the outset, rather than patently ignoring an insecure, slightly shrewish fat girl and drooling after a series of stupid, shallow Playboy Playmate wannabes all the time. But then again, I don't suppose he could be an intelligent, self-aware, compassionate Prince Charming if he did that, could he?
from suta :
Pretty picture. Did you make the layout yourself? I forgot how I came here, but I think you have a nice diary. Wish you all the best. Sayonara. ^-^ Suta Mutou.
from asitwere :
Hey, that's a very refreshing thing to hear --particularly coming from you. (nice) Speaking about myself, I'm far more of a cultural-American than a cultural-Indian, as I've found many first-generation born Indians to be (but not all). I do hear of the Indian-male stereotype, and while it doesn't apply to me personally, I also think that more times than not, Indian women are the dominant of the two genders. I don't think I've ever been to Indian person's house where mom WASN'T the castle's queen. And then again, India is the only democracy in the world that has elected a woman head-of-state (twice). I think there was some movie with mattresses afire back in the 80's and boys like me have been doomed since. :-(
from periphrastic :
Who'd have thought an entry about cosmetics could be so enjoyable to read? I too sometimes want to be associated with a certain smell. Usually with me it's an attempt to emulate the femininity and welcoming nature of women role models, mostly my sister.
from raven72d :
Unheimlich, yes. Uncanny is a great word.
from raven72d :
Moralizing? Why? The sinking of Essex was just a random event, a risk in hunting big animals. Ships sink, lifeboats are hideous places, humans will suck out other humans' bone marrow to stay alive. It's all just...events. Why does it suggest any moralizing? I'd still eat whale or use whale oil...
from enfinblue :
Thanks sincerely for your kind remarks! Congratulations on the fitting into old clothes (funny, I just wrote something today about NOT fitting into mine!). Also, the tax thing does sound a bit funny, since you don't live here, in the most-taxed jurisdiction in NA. Perhaps someone made an error with respect to your bursary/scholarship exemptions?
from asitwere :
I realize that my "its" should read "is" and "are" should also read "is".
from asitwere :
I vote that cash income its taxable. If no portion of your stipend income are taxable, they would be the value of benefits (housing, reduced-cost books, etc). In non-academia, they would e grouped as 'employee benefits' and declared/taxed.
from dharmabum :
you've totally inspired *me* to read up on these women ... and i do think there should be classes taught on them, at least at university level if not earlier. very cool.
from raven72d :
Digby and Stanhope... You even found Isabelle Eberhardt... Wm. Bayer did a very good novel about Isabelle in the early 1970s. And you must look up Florence Baker-- very much to be added to the list.
from asitwere :
I soo need me a Jane Digby. Signed, sheik-esque New Yorker.
from hungryghost :
Actually it was at Asia Society. Btw, your Jane Digby unearthing is totally fascinating.
from writeandread :
Oh, just because there's very little to go on with visually for the period I'm working on (9th-11th century, and a bit western than the exhibition focus), so I'd like to hear more about what they have one this particular theme. The exhibition was advertised in one of the scholarly mailing lists but didn't give much details. There's often a very thick barrier between art historians and history/literature people like me, and I perceive this as unforgivable ignorance on my part.
from teranika :
Hi sea-change-, assuming I've correctly identified the leader of Aardvark: I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm a university science professor (female). When I was 14 years old I was told by my math teacher to forget science - girls are no good at math. Now as a woman scientist, I have faced many unnecessary hurdles, simply because I'm female. There are countless studies that women have to perform at twice the level of men to be viewed as comparable in reputation. It is sad to see someone in his position give credibility to the mentality that I've faced throughout my career, and you can be sure that you would NEVER see the likes of me even APPLY to work at Aardvark. Who needs that??? His idiocy has become self-prophecy. Although for a brief moment when I read his recent comments I thought, "at last, this mentality has been exposed publicly so that my colleagues can no longer deny that it exists." Sadly, even now that it is revealed that people in the highest places feel this way, no action is taken. I am not surprised, but I remain saddened.
from writeandread :
I was wondering if you saw the exibition at your university that has to do with the thing that people do when they kill animals for fun or food - if you see what I mean (I don't want to write anything googlable). Is it good? Mainly I'd like to know how far back the examples date.
from raven72d :
I remain convinced that even if Arabic insists on being written in Scribble, it could at least be put on paper in Boustophedron. Pretty much every language should be put on paper in Boustophedron.
from teranika :
Regarding Christo - I've never cared for him before, always thought of him as the "wrapper." But I've been to see the Gates twice already. One might EASILY argue that Bloomberg is politically motivated (I have no love for the guy). But keep in mind that Christo has attempted to put up The Gates since 1979, LONG before Bloomberg. What has decided it for me is to simply be there and see the goodwill that the project has inspired. There are cynics, yes, but every face I saw in Central Park had a smile upon it, including mine. I've certainly seen 20 million dollars wasted on much worse! And is it good for New York? Certainly. Does it mean that I will vote for Bloomberg? Certainly not.
from onlymayday :
Reading your entry I recalled a book I read, it's Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics, The Invisible Art". It sounds like it has nothing to do with art, and it is, in fact, written like a comic book. I read it for a theatre class and the principles still apply. It's a very interesting book in any case, and I would suggest it to anyone with any investments in any of the arts.
from raven72d :
I remember reading that architectural critics had written in the early 1970s that Leeds Cathedral would be the last cathedral ever built in England, since social critics/activists were appalled that a cathedral was being built with funds that could've gone to "social causes"...
from bluecinema :
i see your point about how the political wrangling behind art funding shouldn't get in the way of the enjoyment of art. but the gates lack resonance to me and many people i know. they lack the beauty of other christo pieces, and they seem to be lacking context - they could have just as easily been in any park anywhere. when i see them i think safety orange or home depot. because i live here it's next to impossible to separate the gates from the gates phenomenom. i didn't know you had to maintain an A- average. it's as if A is pass and everything else is fail in that context. that leaves you with little wriggle room.
from minderella :
assholes are good for art... tee-hee... that's a good catch-phrase. and you're right, it's true.
from tcklyrpharsn :
While on the one hand, I totally agree with your cynicism re: The Gates, I must mention that I personally know quite a number of visual artists and/or contemporary art afficionados who have made a pilgrimage to see the Christo, mostly because there hasn't been one available to see (in such close proximity, anyhow). It can be disheartening to see the mobs, but at the same time, it's generating interest, and what more can you ask for, really?
from asitwere :
Aww you should have zipped me a note. I live right on Upper East off Museum Mile!
from ghostlight :
I saw a comment by Christo's, whatever, female companion with the RED hair that I found interesting, because I've also wondered about the value of what Christo does - huge, expensive, non-functional and completely temporary. But something she said threw a new light on it I hadn't thought of that appeals to my nostalgic side. Aside from the immediate experience of the art, there is the temporariness of it, that one can walk in Central Park and remember, "Once, there were huge fabric gates here. Now, they're gone." "I saw them then. I remember that strange time. You never saw it."
from bluecinema :
first off, i don't understand why you're disappointed with your grades. do you absolutely have to get A's? as for the Gates, i haven't gone and i doubt i will. i'm sick of hearing about them. they're up while the olympic committee is here, i am against having the olympics here, as whenever bloomberg says something will be a boost to our economy it invariably isn't. it's also a pretense to ram through odious "development" projects like the west side stadium. bloomberg also said we couldn't have a rally in central park during the rnc because it would ruin the grass. what have the gates done to his precious grass? i think of grafitti as public art but that will get you jail time...
from elgan :
Will we get to see any pictures from your NYC trip?
from writeandread :
True, insecurity / inadequacy / whatever are feelings independent of one's material situation, up to a point. However, in academia this is paired with the constant solitude / autism / solipsism of one's enterprise. Some people enjoy and embrace it; others go mad; others remain, or become, mediocre and depressed. This is not to say that one should not go into this profession at all; however, one should consider whether one's personality and character are compatible with this particular aspect, which is not immediately apparent to a student. Is this long-winded or what? But I hope my meaning is clear.
from harri3tspy :
First, I believe your forward link (soothsayer?) is broken -- it goes backwards just like necromancy. Aside from that I wanted to respond to your earlier self-doubt entry. I am inclined to agree that gender is a component but a couple of other things are probably a bigger factor. The first is maturity, the ability to be comfortable in one's own skin and to admit what you don't know without necessarily being threatened by it. The second is passion for one's work. I'm still plagued with self-doubt on some things, but when I'm on the topic I love and work with, I am (usually) totally confident that I know what I'm talking about. I love to hear information I didn't know, because I'm so intent on putting all the pieces together. I am passionate about my subject to the point that I lose my self-consciousness. Perhaps when you find your topic you will feel more in command.
from enfinblue :
Interesting remarks. In hindsight, I regret making a females vs. males sort of statement, although I did mean what I said. I should have been more careful about context, however. My remarks stem from my own work and academic experience in economics. My observation has been that the women who stick it out in the field- and I say this as an advisor to undergraduate and early graduate student females- are women who are either exceptional or fearless. (Unfortunately, I am neither and so have not been terribly successful.) My experience has led me to believe that women count themselves out more often than men as unworthy or unprepared to enter the fray of a debate, or to ask for certain priveleges. I have more to say about motherhood as an "out" and so on, but I won't take up any more space here.
from writeandread :
Good to hear that you got over the post-marks blues. Do keep in mind that this sort of feeling (shall we call it a feeling of doubt/inadequacy?) will return regularly if you choose to remain in academia. With hindsight, I think the decision to be an academic should be based on one's readiness to put up with such bouts of depression on a regular basis. And with the loneliness...
from seastreet :
I think I'm going to drop my diaryland site and move to an actual domain, only I'm having trouble coming up with a good name. I like the-clap.com, but no one else seems to. Emmerdeur.com is also a possibility. Anyway, about the male tendency to colonize (or attempt to colonize) women's reading, I used to do that too, and am so hyperconscious of the number of years I spent being the bloviating putz who tried to get everyone to read whatever book he'd just finished that now I usually don't even discuss books with women because I feel bad if I mention one they haven't read. Like your list, though; have been meaning to read Tom Jones since forever. I've never finished Magic Mountain. Reading it used to put me to sleep. I want to try it again, though.
from teranika :
Liked your list - a neat idea. Interesting comment about your boyfriends. I think I'd rather have a nice dialogue about the separate books we each read. I like to tell him things about what I'm reading and why I find it interesting. Maureen Dowd tends to remind me of that television show Friends. Shallow but occasionally funny.
from raven72d :
Hmmm... As a male, I do like having girls I'm with tell me about books they've fancied-- and all the more so since I'm usually around girls who are academics and I live for new book finds. The ABC list is an exercise I must try... XYZ? Hmmm... Xenophon, of course. Y is for Yourcenar, Marguerite. Z is... Zazie dans le Metro.
from harri3tspy :
An interesting exercise. I may have to try it -- it looks like fun. I didn't take Maureen Dowd's comment as being about a fear of her list making her look bad but a fear of her list not being an accurate reflection of her personality (or at least the personality she wished to portray). I also thought the gender comment interesting and have met with the same experience. My husband's favorite book is Walker Percy's The Moviegoer. He mentioned it in passing on our first or second date and I read it immediately. But he rarely reads things I recommend and often doesn't like them when he does read them. Drives me nuts. But I think I have a much broader range of taste than he does. I tend not to recommend non-fiction to others unless I know they have a particular interest and he just doesn't read a lot of fiction these days.
from eileenroof :
Sorry to leave something so off topic but I read that Stella McCartney is doing a new line for Adidas that in accordance to her strict vegetarianism includes quality trainers that are not made of leather. I thought this might be of interest to you..
from raven72d :
Hmmm... but of course Marx did have checks coming from Engels' checkbook... and most of the time Karl and Jenny did have a maid...
from enfinblue :
Thanks for your comment. In truth, I'm not entirely sure if I believe that like films shouldn't be made at all. All I really know is that I experience reservations about seeing them myself. At least right now. As I said, I strongly suspect that I am just a generally frustrated woman. On another subject, just an odd thought but do you think that your marks reflect a judgment on the part of your professors of your work relative to what they think you are capable of achieving? I've had this experience, and grew to be grateful for the impulse that motivated it. Also, in looking at my work sometimes after falling slightly short of the expected grade, I've realized that I had taken leaps and chances in my thinking and left gaps that I was only later able to fill in. What I mean to suggest by this is that I've grown to be pleased that I've generally not felt constrained by my professors or my environment and I've forgotten about the grades. When I ran my first 5000m race on the track, in spite of the fact that I was an adult at the time, I cried in disappointment over my time. An older athlete pointed out to me that if I'd managed 15 minutes in my first race there'd be nothing left to reach for. For some reason, I think the reasoning is applicable to grad school :).
from readersguide :
Hi Erin, You don't know me, but somehow I stumbled on your diary and I enjoy it a lot. You can read mine if you want -- it's readersguide.diaryland.com. Not nearly as interesting. Anyway -- 1. The grades are disappointing, but it has seemed like you are going in the right direction lately. It seems that you know that you want to do the work, and you seem to be carving out a niche to work in, and you've fought back from the rather terrifying experience of last year. Could you go talk to your advisor? Ultimately, I think the grades aren't so important if they actually think you're actually doing okay. Hmmm. It does seem like he has confidence in you -- talk to him, I think. 2. I don't know about this understanding vs. planning thing. It's true that understanding does seem to get in the way of overthrowing, but look at what happens when people overthrow -- the same human flaws that complicated the first system tend to pop up again in the second one. People are complicated. Life is complicated. I mean -- progress can be made. Slavery can be abolished and eventually, hundreds of years later, there will be some equality. Meanwhile, insome other place, there will be genocide. Hmm, I guess I too hesitate to say that it's bad to imagine change, but I think it's nuts to imagine change without taking into account the inherent stupidity of people in general. This I believe to be true, although I almost invariably find people in specific to be unexpectedly intelligent. Or some of them, anyway. Good luck -- don't lose heart -- it seems to me that this is clearly what you're meant to do! Chris
from seastreet :
I find it incredibly odd that your diary- which contains its fair share of dirty talk, and more than its fair share of subversion- is not censored by the NYC Dept. of Ed. security system, but anything that merely contains the f word is. Thank god for loopholes, and viva la resistance!
from raven72d :
Every time I type "Arabic" and it comes out "Abaric" (I type with 1.5 fingers, after all), I try to imagine Abaric as a language written in nastaliq script, but boustophedron rather than simply right to left.
from asitwere :
Received another great recommendation for Hotel Rwanda last night. Thanks to you... now I have that AND Costa Rica on my mind! (Love it)
from stupidshit :
Thanks for the info. Maybe I will make a summer out of it sometime. Right now I am focusing on my trip to New Zealand.. I am sure theres waterfalls there somewhere. Maybe I can rapel down some.
from stupidshit :
Where did you go water fall rapelling? It sounds exquisite.
from elgan :
You are the most amazing travel writer. Seriously.
from asitwere :
Hey there... my journal is asitWERE. (you've listed me as just asit in your profile!)
from raven72d :
Buying a condo? Congrats...
from elgan :
Thanks for your reply to my post, and have a great holiday.
from amarantha21 :
Yeah, I read about that study as well, and it depresses me to think that being more competent, more intelligent, etc., makes you less desirable. But maybe that's not it, exactly--maybe it's more that men value intelligence in women, but not enough for the lack of it to be a deal breaker, while women are almost incapable of dealing with a man who is less smart than them. I couldnt respect the men I dated whose competence was in doubt, but maybe men aren't taught that they need to respect their partner's intellect (i.e. that companionship offers tangible benefits like cooking, cleaning, childrearing, ego soothing, regular sex that outweigh having a partner who's an equal), so they don't mind not quite respecting their spouse. Who knows. As for the math/science thing, well, there's lots of evidence that, on average, women are less skilled at spatial awareness and other science related abilities. They enjoy interacting with others and rate it more highly, and are more likely to define themselves in terms of others. The difference in these average inclinations and abilities is small enough though that it shouldn't explain the huge disparity between men and women in science. As a woman in the sciences, I can tell you why I am turned off by it--science seems to have no soul sometimes, it's dry and the glamour and sexiness of it isn't apparent on a day to day basis. You don't interact with others half the time, and interacting with men all day is tiring because they often talk about cars and money and other boring stuff. Science seeks answers that often have no impact on human beings or even living beings, except incidentally. Science also deifies the objective, and, though it's not actually true, it sometimes feels like there's no room for creativity or nuance. Also, most science (esp research) often either requires tedious slogging away with hands on stuff or requires thinking about hands on stuff, and girls in our society still play much more with dolls than they do with erector sets. (That's why there's an increase in women in pure math, for instance, but less of one in engineering) I think that there is a disparity in the number of women vs men pursuing science in other countries as well--if it's less, it may be that economic or familial pressures make women want to pursue the more prestigious degrees (my Indian dad, for instance, may not have paid for a sociology degree). The final thing is that maybe women in other countries don't love science more than women in this country--it's just that they don't expect to love their careers in the first place. Work is a job, and you work to support your family. Loving your work a conception that thrives in rich countries where people have a lot of leeway to mess up and start over, where being broke isn't always imminent, and that's not the norm in most places.
from teranika :
Hi Stranger. Wow. You've created quite a hullaballooo, at least within the diaries I frequent. But happiness in or out of marriage clearly an issue near and dear to many of our hearts. I've seen the same studies you mentioned, by the way. and I'm a single female in my thirties, who has found it hard to find a man willing to accept my ambitions. My first boyfriend told me we'd never stay together because he knew that I didn't want to stay home and watch the kids full time. (err, he was kinda right.) I'd like to recommend a wonderful book to check out, between your writing of Arabic novels there: Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier. She won a Pulitzer Prize - the book is a fascinating look at the supposed innate differences between the sexes.
from harri3tspy :
That women are disatisfied across the board in marriage sounds more true to me, actually. Social convention is against them and they would seem to potentially have more to lose by engaging in such a relationship. Additionally, I think for many women power (at work, in social interactions) equals sexuality. Marriage can feel disempowering in a way as a result. I still question whether it is really possible to examine this question without a class/race bias. My IQ was tested and retested as a kid, but I can tell you for sure that the very smart girls I dealt with doing educational outreach work in inner city schools were never identified in that way. No one was paying attention. I would, however, be very interested to see what exactly the studies did accomplish.
from shiitake :
Ay. Writing essays in another language wears out your brain much too quickly. I had to write a three-page essay in Spanish my last year of undergrad, and it took me a week. I've never had more doubts about anything I've written in my life.
from when :
Just out of curiosity, how do you actually deal with a bat in your apartment? I mean what is the standard protocol on that? Do you try to trap it? And if so, how? It seems like it would be really creepy.
from harri3tspy :
I was going to leave a note responding to your entry today, but I think I make it the subject of my own next entry instead. Lots of interesting stuff to ponder. I'm glad you have heat!
from shiitake :
interesting picture on the new diary. glad to hear things are going well.
from beuysgirl :
hey, just wanted to say hi, I'm still reading and enjoying. I wish you good things for the new year and new diary.
from thole :
the thursday next books are good escapist reading, and i've recently enjoyed "birds of america" by lorrie moore and "asleep" by banana yoshimoto. have you read "norwegian wood?"
from writeandread :
Good idea - and great picture! You've probably read it already, but Eco's Fucault's Pendulum seems something you would like. Also, the tone of your last entries made me think of The Revolt by Nina Berberova. It is short, a novella more than a novel, but it's worth reading and treasuring in my opinion. You know where my diary is...
from merris :
Glad that you're doing well. I read an absolutely amazing, profound book this past summer (during my darkest days) called THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver. And no, it's not a fanatical crispin proselytization disguised as a novel.
from elgan :
Wow, I get to leave the very first note on your brand-new notes page! I just wanted to wish you all the best for sea-change- and I’m really happy for you and your new-found contentment. I hope that wherever you go from here, it is abundantly furnished with beauty and grace.

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