You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2008.

This week ended on a very high note, in spite of one of the worst Tuesdays in recorded history. Tuesdays have it in for me this year, I’m convinced. I feel like a marathon runner at the end of every Tuesday: I may not have won, but it’s an accomplishment just to have finished.

I’ve realized by the time I get here (and by here I mean this journal), I’ve had enough of my own dramatic life-happenings and angsts that I’d rather just write about stupid things I found on the internet. So, why break with tradition…
Should have been invented years ago.
The original (?) dueling banjos.
The octopus jig.
Star Trek XI: you saw it here first, folks. Unless you didn’t.
Hedgehog facial expressions – I didn’t know they made them, but they’re amazing.
Stomp out loud, shamelessly stolen from another friend.

Rogue Wave is mind-bendingly great music, so you should check them out.

School continues to be, quite suddenly, immensely challenging, not so much in terms of not understanding concepts but in terms of handling the workload of reading and writing. This is occasionally daunting, but overall I really like that feeling. I like that adrenaline edge, that “is this even possible…?” and the paper-writing euphoria when you’ve hit page 12 and are still going strong. I guess that’s weird…I don’t think many other people think of “250 pages by tomorrow?! BRING IT ON, I can take it!” in terms of anything approaching fun.

I have a pretty amazing group of classes this semester. In German Works in Translation, we’ve moved on to Nietzsche, who is not as great as he thinks he is. Also, Schopenhauer isn’t as great as Nietzsche thinks he is. Wagner isn’t as great as Nietzsche thinks he is; although his music is pretty great, he’s a jerk. Nietzsche is terribly quoteable, however. The thing is, you can’t really run around spouting out Nietzsche quotes without people looking at you strangely. We have excellent discussion in that class, though, and yesterday we had class outside on the grass, which was lovely.

Eastern European History continues to be fascinating. I’m so glad I’m getting a more thorough understanding of the history of that era and area, and everyone in the class is very full of personality. Student: “Napoleon got owned!” Professor: “He got what?” Student: “He, um…got beaten pretty badly.” I’m really enjoying the student-professor relationship this semester. I’ve become friends with most of the English professors, and I have a blast just talking with them about anything and everything. Sometimes it’s intellectual and sometimes it’s…not.

I’m finding I like Milton much more than I thought I did. He was an incredibly well-educated and articulate man, even if his ego was bigger than the entire British Isles. His pamphlets (First and Second Defenses of the English People, Areopagitica, etc.) are on the surface quite dry and very heavy, but they’re astoundingly well-crafted when you dig into them. I’m quite enjoying his unorthodox religious views, as well.

I think Eudora Welty is becoming my literary role model. The more I learn about her and the more I read, the more I find to admire. I read her One Writer’s Beginnings, which I think all aspiring writers should probably read, and Delta Wedding, which is one of the most insidiously-inside-characters’-heads books I’ve ever read, if that makes sense. It’s almost indecent, to know so much about a person. Her characters aren’t characters, they’re real people, and you get to know them the way you know a real person: by observing their actions and speech and their relationships with people. She is gleefully in love with life and frighteningly honest, and she grew up in a beautiful way. One Writer’s Beginnings ends: “As you have seen, I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.” She lived a long, healthy life, and she didn’t kill herself or kill anyone else or go mad or marry 5 different people; she was just a very observant, cheerful lady who loved to write incredibly complex people.

Ha! Thought you’d killed me off, didn’t you.

Och, life is so crazy. I have no time for any reading besides school reading, although I’m enjoying that, for the most part, except for those moments when it feels academics are consuming every aspect of my life. But, you know, aside from that. I’ve still managed to squeeze in some adventuresome outings and fun things.

But now, ze links!
I have found the most beautiful thing on the internet.
Russian couple reunited after 60 years.
Kathleen MacInnes, who is awesome, sings a waulking song, working songs sung by Scottish women.
An equally awesome song by some cool Scottish guy with a recorder.
Yet another one of those things I wish I’d thought of first.
Guess who?

I read The Unvanquished by William Faulkner for Southern American Lit, and I loved it! I read The Bear when I was much, much younger and hated it, I don’t quite recall why. Perhaps because I didn’t live in the South then. Anyway, now he’s awesome, and I’m really enjoying all of the reading for this class so far. We also read The Old Order by Katherine Anne Porter, and she’s pretty great too.

I read Journey into the Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg for Russian history, and it was somewhat traumatizing, but very very good. Yet another book all spoiled Americans should read…I should make a list.

In other reading, Milton is not as great as he thinks he is. Waverley by Sir Walter Scott has its poetic moments, but probably isn’t an all-time favorite. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole and The Man of Feeling by Mackenzie have their good points, but I’m glad to be done with them. Marx is highly intelligent, logical, and compelling, and were I a mill worker in the late 1800s, I might be converted. As things stand, I think he’s historically obsolete and long-winded (Sarah, don’t kill me). And I think my Logic teacher has nefarious plans for my soul.

I’m having so many great ideas for stories and art projects and photography and places I want to explore and things I want to try, but no time to execute them…which is always exactly when I’m prone to getting the most ideas. *frustrated sigh*

I feel like doing something very drastic. It doesn’t even particularly matter what it is. Restlessness seems to be a thing of the fall and spring for me, but perhaps I’m just getting a head start.

You seem to have stumbled upon a storytelling of ravens. Watch for falling collective nouns; you may find a wing of dragons or a charm of hummingbirds caught in your hair. Hardhats are recommended.

Follow me on Twitter

my read shelf:
Stephanie Ricker's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

A Storytelling