Bless you, readers. Bleaders.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

When it rains, it flash floods
After I wrote my last post I ran into Erin Tuttle in Speaker's Circle. The You're-Going-to-Hell Brigade had been replaced with a nice group of Menonites, who were singing softly and passing out the most unoffensive tracts I've ever seen. It was a lovely change. But then Erin told me that Elliott Smith killed himself the other day. Man!

There are no words
I just got out of Human Sexuality class a half hour early, so I thought I'd take a little time to vent about how sickened I am right now. We watched a video on child molesters and their victims. I'm so enraged I'm shaking. It was worse than Happiness, and if you know me you know that's saying a lot. I mean, I'm not going to walk around Columbia looking for heavy traffic to walk into this time, but I can't promise I won't go throw up in the next trash can I see. I've never wanted to punch somebody so badly as I do right now. God help the next person I see walking around with a creepy pedophile mustache.

[Ed. Note: When I did a quick spellcheck on this entry before posting it, it tagged "pedophile" and suggested replacing it with "pedophilia" or - get ready for it - "bedfellow." Holy fucking shit.]

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Apparently, I'm going to hell. And so are all of you.
The You're-Going-to-Hell Brigade has been preaching for Speaker's Circle several days a week for a long time now. Every day the crowd gets bigger and bigger, and I have yet to see a single person who agrees with what they have to say. I'm actually very proud of my peers, though. While there's been a lot of heckling, a bunch of the people arguing with the Brigade have been Christian kids who are challenging their campaign of hellfire by sticking up for what they believe in, that the whole point of Jesus coming here in the first place was to tell us we had it all wrong and that we should just love each other already.

Ahh, the efforts of our hippie parents to train us to think for ourselves was not in vain. Kudos to you, mom and dad.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

What is that and why is it following us?

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.

- "Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear" - from Frank Herbert's Dune

Monday, October 20, 2003

Woke up feeling marvelous, even though I have a French test today. I love not being worried when my more cynical side says I should be. It takes so much less work.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

A cold day in hell
I just finished a paper which is due in about an hour. This is not an unusual occurrence. What's weird is that even though I didn't start it till eleven o'clock last night, I feel pretty good about it. It's even the full required length and not unnecessarily fluffed-out. I feel like celebrating.

I had a crazy experience the other night, lasting from about 12:30-1:00 in the morning. I was talking to Tommy on AIM, and the conversation was cut short by my internet commending its spirit into the hands of the almighty computer in the sky. Which happens, from time to time, only in this case it wouldn't get its act together. Tried rebooting, physically shutting down and restarting, everything, but no dice. Also, instead of behaving in the way it usually does when the internet is just temporarily down, it was behaving in the way a computer that does not and never has had internet access does if you try to use it to look at a web page.

Pop-up: "You are a fucking moron. The internet? What do you think I am, some kind of computer? I mean, Jesus. Would you like to work offline, or try again? You probably want to try again, don't you? Don't you? Peh. Typical."

So I picked up my cell phone, thinking that all was not lost, but it was,because I had no signal. No signal! Preposterous! I took the thing outside and couldn't get a signal there, either. Which is when I noticed the weird odor. The air outside smelled as though someone had been setting off fireworks, or raising the dead. Very sulphury and electric and strange.

Weirded...out! I thought to myself as I went out back to smoke a clove. And then the sirens started! A firetruck/police combo was whizzing towards my neighborhood, then turning into it, then driving all around, then slowing to a halt in front of my house. I was wondering if my house was on fire without my noticing it somehow, but it rolled on past and turned on the street running perpendicular to mine. Weird. Unsettling.

I have no idea if any of these three things were related, but it all seemed quite bizarre nevertheless. At least civilization didn't come crashing down around us like I was afraid it would, just for a moment before I realized the sirens were a firetruck and a police car rather than, you know, an air raid.

On an unrelated note, you lurkers should comment once in a while! There's a nice little pop-up box for commenting and everything. I keep watching my hit count rise and wondering who's reading. Here's a topic for discussion: lizard-folk. Are they deserving of the same rights as human beings? How can we prepare for their eventual take-over of the planet? Please make sure that your answers are formatted according to MLA specifications.

I'm just kidding about that last part.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Take a look at this article I found on Yahoo! Launch.

Ride of Fears! What's not to love about that?

Monday, October 13, 2003

Head above water
I'm really glad that with Blogger you can choose not to actually publish something you've just posted, but just save it and ponder over it for a while. I woke up this morning feeling really low, and I wrote an appropriately depressing blog entry, but had my reservations about publishing it that way because we all know how annoying I am when I'm depressed. So I figured I'd see if the day changed my mind, and it did.

For posterity's sake, here it is:

Things are getting somewhat better. That performance went well, more so than I could have hoped for (Everyone was amazed by my "clear and spot-on" blocking choices. What the fuck?), and I'm finally keeping my head above water in French class. I did realize, however, that there is a creeping depression coming on. Which is unfortunate. I think this was brought on by the untimely realization that sooner or later my cat is going to die. And then where will I be?

Man, I'm so screwy. Somebody tell me I'm being ridiculous.

Ruthie of now to Ruthie of this morning: You're being ridiculous!

See, I just projected that back to my earlier self and I felt gently scolded even then. Funny how that works. Anyway, I feel better now.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Dag, yo
I have to perform a poem or two today in Performance of Literature class. I'm a little worried that I won't get a good grade, just because I'm not doing something self-absorbed and arty like delivering the poems while hanging upside down from the ceiling and writhing about to the accompaniment of Tibetan Buddhist chant. I'm simply sitting there and doing them as sort of monologues, because both of my pieces are very internalized and broody and it just seems ridiculous to have some meaningless prop and try to explain later how, "The broken banjo is like the speaker's soul, man."

Maybe I'm just not cut out to be an artist.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Proud faces in the canyon streets
I went to Chicago for the first time last weekend. It's the weirdest and most intimidating city I've ever been in (not having ever been to New York). I lived in London for four months, but this was way stranger. I think it's because Chicago is not only big in the sprawling sense, but also big in the tall sense. And I am only a Very Small Animal after all. So you have all these ridiculously tall buildings to either side of you, and yet you feel closed in in a lot of places because of the el trains above you. And sometimes the ground slopes and you feel you're going down, down into a dark urban valley where terrible things could happen - yet none of it seems real; it all feels almost like a movie set. I spoke to my father about this on the phone, and he said that the Chicago streets remind him of canyons.

The other weird thing was the people, who all looked famous to me. Every single one of them. That didn't happen in London, which surely contains at least as many celebrity residents as Chicago does, and where I actually ran into one or two by chance. But stick me in Chicago and I'm staring agog at every person I see. It felt like being in a different country, too; when we ate at a little corner deli I ordered in a super polite and clear voice as though I were not speaking my first language. When the girl at the department store check-out counter starting chatting with us about the date she'd be going on later that evening, I was amazed to be having a conversation with such a strange and confident creature.

The whole reason we (my roommates and I) went to Chicago in the first place was to see Eddie Izzard (only the best comedian ever) perform. And he was fantastic, as always. It certainly wasn't his best material, and some of it wasn't even new, but we still had a wonderful time and laughed a great deal and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

I keep saying I'll probably end up living in Chicago at some point in my life. Not necessarily permanently, and not necessarily any time soon, but just some time, for a time. Walking around the city, gawking at the strange-yet-familiar landscape and the proud faces passing by, I kept thinking, "Yeah, I could get used to this." So there you have it. The place intimidated the hell out of me, but I kind of fell in love with it at the same time. What does it all mean?

Monday, October 06, 2003

Touez-moi maintenant, s'il vous plaƮt
I don't want to go to French class. My teacher hates me. Or rather, she refuses to acknowledge my existence, which I almost find to be worse. I mean, she'll answer a question when I go right up to her and ask it, but she will never call on me even if I'm the only one waving my hand about. Except for this ONE TIME, when I ended up making a completely ridiculous grammatical mistake that elicited a groan from the entire class - one of the "how could you possibly be so stupid and not have swallowed your own tongue by now?" variety. That class has turned me into the painfully shy quiet foreign kid, with everyone else rattling on in smooth, easy French while I struggle to string together, "Which way to the nearest building tall enough to jump off of?"

Also my teacher seems to think my name is Sarah. She hands my papers back to me just fine ("Here you go, Ruth,") but when she calls on me (I guess it's happened a couple of times) or assigns us into groups she always calls me Sarah, to which I obviously don't respond, further adding to her notion that I am a complete and total idiot. And even when she is answering a question or being remotely helpful, the woman absolutely will not make eye contact with me. Which is great. Because, you know, I didn't feel like a fucking gorgon already, thanks.

This is all quite unfortunate because I really like my French teacher. She's a very funny woman and good at what she does (if you only take into account how she treats the rest of the class, which is very buddy-buddy). She's very open-minded and believes that there is usually more than one right answer. It would be a fantastic arrangement if she hadn't apparently taken some sort of vow to avoid admitting that I am a human being at all costs.


[Ed. Note: I didn't go to class today. I went downtown and bought some cloves instead. Ha.]