Found at the top of a page of Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad, written in pencil: “May I wear your white gloves tonite?” I wish I knew the story behind that. I sometimes love things written in the margins of books even as I wince at such desecration. In fact, I wrote a whole paper about a poem dedicated to such things.

This article has been all over the news, but it’s still intriguing.
My brother is hilarious.
Completely ludicrous.
I love these commercials.
I would never want to be blind, but if I were…
Pretty much disgustingly cute.
Ten years ago, I would have been begging to see this movie, and as it is, I still think it’d be cool.

There are some incredibly unfortunate amongst the members of the country club. There are two (two!) women named Pudge, then there are Toody, Ruffles, Bunny, Twink, Cissie, and Kitty. I am not making these up. And some of these ladies have normal names, and they go by these nicknames on purpose! I don’t understand.

There’s one jolly older man at work who says “Good morning glory!” to me every morning at work, which I think is very sweet. I have to admit, however, that every time he says it, I can’t for the life of me figure out how to punctuate the phrase.

Speaking of work, I had another hilarious conversation the other day! It went like this:
Lady: “Do you know where there are any swamps with alligators near here?”
Me: *pause* “No.”
Lady: *persistently* “Well do you know who would?”
I transferred her to golfcourse maintenance for lack of anywhere better (they’re going to hate me down there) and laughed and laughed.

I had this crazy dream the other night that I was a guy (very John Crichton-esque) stranded and bumming around this filthy, rough border planet. It wasn’t set in any scifi universe I know of. This was a very seedy place…I was keeping my eyes open. The main export on this planet was a particular breed of animal very similar to an eyeless sheep. Supposedly they were blind, but I saw one skitter away when a man began absently fiddling with one of the cattle prod thingies he had, so I suspect they had radar of some kind or some kind of rudimentary eyesight after all. It was kind of hard to tell one end of the animal from the other, so the farmers who raised them painted circles on the head, about where the eyes should’ve been. It was all very weird…

After work, most days I go to pick up Dad from work, and I usually have to wait a few minutes. There are wild blackberries growing at the edge of the parking lot! We used to pick berries every summer in Indiana, and I do miss being able to go outside and pick as much as I wanted. Everyday I’ve been picking them at Dad’s work, and they’re all warm from the sun. Sometimes I think I get funny looks from other employees (I’m still in my work clothes, usually a skirt and heels), but it’s quite excellent.

The other night, Mom called to tell me to get some heavy winter gloves and bring them out to the barn. When I got there, they were chasing the cats away from a good-sized bird. Dad took the gloves and took the scratching, pecking creature out to the woods (no gratitude, I tell you). But the odd thing was that I said, “Oh, it’s a nighthawk!” Then I couldn’t figure out how I knew that, and I figured I must’ve been wrong. But I googled it, and I was right. So what I don’t get is how I know random bits of information. I’m always blurting things out and then not remembering how I know them. Is that from reading too much? I was reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and knew what was going to happen for a big chunk of it, even though I don’t remember reading it. Is it really possible for me to have read so much that I’ve forgotten almost all of it, just leaving enough to give me obscure answers when I need them? That’s creepy.

Speaking of Rebecca, it was very interesting. I don’t know if one could call it “good,” exactly…there was a presentation last year comparing it to Jane Eyre, which I still don’t get the point of, but it’s good in the same way as a lot of the books in the literary gothic class were. Fascinating but not quite admirable, if you know what I mean. Murder is bad, kids. Don’t try it at home, no matter how nasty the person may be.

Shirley by Bronte was good, although a little baffling until I realized it was mostly written as a statement about women. The title character doesn’t show up until almost 200 pages in, and even after that, she’s not exactly the main character. But she *is* much more like a heroine of today, so much so that you don’t at first realize what a shocking character she must have been back when the book was written. I think this would be one of my favorite books if I were born in 1829. My 1829 self would be quite inspired; my 1987 self just finds it mildly interesting. It’s kind of like when I read The Phantom Tollbooth and knew that my 10-year-old self would have been madly in love with it, but my 20-year-old self just finds it mildly entertaining. Sigh. I need a time machine.

I read The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, which I was at first a bit ambivalent towards. I think this was because of my antipathy towards most frame narratives; Heart of Darkness is practically all frame-narrative, in its way. But psychologically it was quite interesting, and by the end it had provoked all kinds of thought. I’m reading Lord Jim, also by Joseph Conrad, and the frame narrative doesn’t bother me nearly as much so I must be getting used to it. Lord Jim is utterly fascinating thus far, and I’ve already written out some quotes to keep.

I was talking with a friend about poetry today, and Victor Hugo came up. This is my favorite poem by him, and also my favorite translation of said poem. I think it’s inexpressibly sad how a translation can completely ruin some foreign literature…

Words, words, words! Sometimes I am overwhelmed with what I can do with every little word, and I find it astounding that we aren’t all so shocked and horrified by this loose-cannon power that we aren’t all silent the whole time. And then, what’s worse, we even write down these explosive things, leaving them to be stumbled across by others in the future! And yet, at the same time, I could not live without them, and I want to write these dangerous little things for a living! Truly perilous, indeed…