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Apr. 4th, 2010

After quite a while of saving up, I bought a Kindle dx. After some going back and forth, I decided to name it Walter.
Walter is quite charming, bringing me a much-needed dose of Stephen Fry (Revenge as awesome). I'm going back and forth between what I should pursue next. I've been delving into Hobbes' Leviathan, but I think I've read it before and its growing tedious. Already put a (free!) Tolstoy book on Walter, but I may hold off on that for a bit until I've done my "intellectual" reading. This is truly an amazing device, though I am quite paranoid about it getting damaged, and am currently distrustful of the case I have on it. Small matter of annoyance to replace the case for something more confidence-inspiring, but I shan't take it out of the house before that's settled.

Can anyone recommend a good book on general German history? I know bits, based on overviews in my Western Civ. texbook, but I'd like to know more about Germany, and not just issues regarding the Third Reich.

I already have to make my Fall Schedule, and I'm going mad. French or German? French or German? I'd prefer Russian, but I'd have to take classes at a different university, and I don't want to get into that mess. I could take both, I suppose, since the next problem is trying to devise a way to attend 5 classes, not 4. This is easier said than done, as several classes share the same times. I could take both languages, I suppose, but the various materials for each are terribly expensive. I'm quite good at picking up reading foreign languages, but I don't speak them very well. hmmm.

Just finished watching the 1st episode of the ne Doctor who series, starring Mr. Matt Smith. Now seeing several actors in the role, I recognize that I prett much like all the doctors. Misapprehension dissolves with a single smile, a single line, a hop skip jump into the next cosmic catastrophe.  

Back to life, then.

Blessed be the neglected things...

I don't think I've played a game of chess with a human being since October. I do believe I'm going to go mad.

Things I haven't done, for lack of free time:
  • I haven't read The Brothers Karamazov. Yet another "Been putting off since October" activity.
  • Painted. Like, anything.
  • Finished Oliver/You belong in the world of forms --it's on the cusp of completion, and has been there since...November 30th.
  • Re-read The Liar, by Stephen Fry. That whole book (pardon my English) was a complete mind-fuck in the end. I loved the book, don't get me wrong. In the end I just couldn't distinguish what was fact and what was fiction with any real certainty.
  • Read & type notes a couple chapters ahead n my Western Civ. textbooks. Easier said than done.
  • Decide whether or not "Mourn" is going to be a play, a collection of disjointed poems, or a musical. ha!
  • Clean my room (yeah, yeah, okay. But seriously, all my possessions are either pouring out of (collapsing) cardboard boxes or piled precariously on top of the bookcase. It's madness!)
  • Find a better copy of "Meditations on First Philosophy." One without both the glaring and hellishly misleading typographical errors. Seriously. This  edition is worthless. (The publisher is Classic Books America, just as a warning).
Ah! Tired!


I think I'm going to go insane if I read or write another word about or by Freud.

Thanatos, baby. That's what it's all about.



Okay, I haven't actually posted an entry since November. I've been terribly busy with school and associated concerns. It's my first year at college, and I've been a little crazy. I drink coffee now, despite preferring tea. I've eaten more Ramen than I ever thought possible. Sleep has become a luxury, to be enjoyed between 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM (not counting the mandated fall-on-your-face afternoon naps). Essays are as long as Napoleon is short, and professors vary between lovably (or unforgivably) eccentric to inconceivably knowledgeable. I'm reading books I never thought I'd be able to understand, and delving deeper into books I love.

College is lovely, and miserable, and hellishly...new? Inspiring? Difficult? Boring? Fascinating? Unexpected? 

I've always wanted to find something I knew better than anyone else. I wanted to be the Half-Blood Prince of my own potions textbook (if you understand the metaphor, I salute you!). I've never known anything better than the way it was taught to me, but I've always dreamed of it. I think I could find something like that at this lovely institution.

 I know Plato better than anybody. Well, not anybody, but I do know Greek Philosophy better than anyone in my class. I certainly revere it. I like Descartes, ant Nietzsche is fascinating. Ayn Rand will always get a pat on the head; Dotoevsky and Kierkegaard will always arouse my curiosity. There's countless other philosophers and writers and thinkers that I've been drawn in my, and countless more that I long to explore. Hegel, and Aquinas, Spinoza and Marx, Heidegger and Hume. Judith Butler and Derrida. Immanuel Kant and Rousseau and Sartre, and so on, and so on, ad infinitum.

At some point in time I will change my major to philosophy. It's the only potions book I can contribute to. History is said and done, It alone cannot change anything, the passage of time will not bow to memories of fallen leaders and great civilizations. The world bends to the will of its own philosophy, whether it realizes it or not.

Now to move on!

Lovely books:

Making History--Stephen Fry (The Hippopotamus & The Liar are also quite good, but Making History is y favorite of the three)
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (and subsequent books in the series)--Rick Riordan
And then there were none--Agatha Christie
Good Omens --Terry Prathchett & Neil Gaiman
The Ringmaster's Daughter--Jostein Gaarder

Amusing Movies, television, and other visual media:

Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog
A Bit of Fry and Laurie (It hasn't been running for quite a while. It's finished, it's done, it's over.)
Lost (finally, some answers, sort of. Why did I get sucked into this insanity?)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (I've been singing/humming 'Wig in a Box' for a month now)

I'm abount half-way through the first Diskworld book. I have a Jodi Picoult book sitting on my shelf. Descartes in my backpack, David Hume berating me, and half a dozen chess books all vying for my attention. College, for all it's lovely qualities, has cut into my reading time dramatically, which is a shame. It also cuts into my (independent) writing time quite a bit. Oh well.

Off to the theater tonight, writing essays in panic tomorrow.


You Belong in the World of Forms

seven (technically eight) days into NaNoWriMo and I am persistently an average of 4,000 words behind. This is possibly because I edit my work as  I write, as I hate altering my writing.

It's "Oliver," of course. The novel I have been diligently not working on since 2007 will now be written, sleep be damned!

So then. In the process of following a very concrete outline, my dear William Thornton has surprised me greatly. He's become decidedly three-dimensional as this week has gone by.

So then. I've been working on the title, as "Oliver" just isn't doing it for me any more. You Belong in the World of Forms" is the new working title. A  bit long for my tastes, but better suited.

On an unrelated note, I now see Byronic themes and moral conflicts rooted in evolutionary theory in every Buffy episode. Ah, college. New lenses for new analysis of nonsensical occupations!

And that's it! Back to work I go. Or sleep, rather.

Giles: I was ten years old when my father told me I was destined to be a Watcher. He was one, and his, uh, mother before him. And I was to be next.
Buffy: Were you thrilled beyond all measure?
Giles: No, I had very definite plans about my future. I was going to be a fighter pilot. Or, possibly a grocer.

Alright, I adore Rupert Giles at the moment. How did I never watch this show when it was actually running? I was so deprived as a child.

Sep. 16th, 2009

Ah, I haven't had a moment's peace for a few weeks now. In fact, I don't have a moment's peace now, as I'm desperately trying to shorten  my Atlas Shrugged essay to comply with the word limits.

I like all my classes well enough. Love my ethics and morality class. Dislike my Western Civilization class, but am muddling through.

My art history class is nice. Though I got a weird look from the professor when I pointed out a few similarities between Jan Van Eyck's Annunciation and a bit of Roman Mythology. I suppose that's a no-no.

Anyway, my semester project is....the Unicorn Tapestries! a lofty undertaking, but I now have a reason to go the Cloisters for the first time. In fact, I don't think I've ever been to a real art museum before. There's been a local museum I've gone to a few times. But the display changes every month, and its always something like children's books' illustrations, or Tiffany lamps.

Ugh. Back to my essay. This has got to be the most depressing literary task I've ever had the misfortune of undertaking. Shortening a piece, when every word is crucial.

Writer's Block: On the Road

What's on your perfect playlist for a cross-country road trip?
I've never gone on a cross-country road trip before; I've only left the state a few times, and that when I was very young. Still, I have been on longish car rides. So here it goes, the ideal mix:

1. One Day More. Les Miserables
2. Opening Ceremony. Chess the musical
3. Bohemian Rhapsody. Queen
4. Wish you were here. Pink Floyd
5. Cleopatra. Adam and the Ants
6. You can call me Al. Paul Simon
7. The night Chicago Died. Paper Lace
8. One Night in Bangkok. Chess the musical
9. Merano. Chess the musical
10.Tangled up in Blue. Bob Dylan
11. Picture Book. The Kinks
12. Come Dancing. The Kinks
13. I can't decide. The Scissor Sisters
14.Sympathy for the devil. The Rolling Stones
15. Lily Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts. Bob Dylan
16. Strip. Adam and the Ants (seriously, it's really catchy.)
17. Video Killed the Radio Star. (i don't know who sang this originally, but it was in the musical "Back To the 80s")
18. Cocaine. The Grateful Dead (It's sort of required for car trips, don't you think?)
19. Kiss me Deadly. Reel BIg Fish
20. One Two Three. The fix (musical; song performed by John Barrowman. Check it out on youtube!)
21. Maxwell's Silver Hammer. The Beatles
22. The Day the Music Died. Don McLean
23. Scenes from an Italian Restaurant. Billy Joel
24. 96 Tears. ? and the Mysterians
25.Lovers in the Backseat. Scissor Sisters

So there you go. Top 25 Car Trip songs. This exercise taught me something that I've been suspecting for a while. I'm a total Theatre queen. Audience Queen? Eh, the sentiment still applies. This list took forever to create, in part because I kept thinking of Chess songs. Soviet Machine. Pity the Child. Commie Newspapers. Then I thought of the song "Homo Christmas"by pansy division. After cracking up at the thought of that particular song wafting out of open car windows, I decided it didn't quite fit.

I'm going to have to bust out my folk stuff again. the concept of listening to a "band" is rapidly becoming foreign.


This country is already six feet under...

if cancer patients are nazis, if citizens are members of the KKK. If 80% must sacrifice their insurance for the sake of 20%. If a voice of protest is a voice of a terrorist. if the people are to be ignored by elected officials. If common sense gives way to the "common good."

Well, I think Atlas is going to chuck this ridiculous planet into the cosmos and cut his losses. i certainly wouldn't blame him. Would you?

For the love of this godforsaken land, I have to get out of this place. And if I end up in the hospital again, please let me still have insurance, not this bullshit Obamacare.

Don't you love being able to blather on endlessly about the soviet agenda and believe every word? And not wonder if you've turned into a conspiracy theorist?

A Eulogy for the Dearest Ianto Jones

dear everyone:

Tomorrow I will be holding a very small funeral for the adorable, the private, the loyal-to-a-fault, the charming, the pleasing, the self-doubting self-depreciating Ianto Jones. Ianto--you swiftly became my favorite character in Torchwood. You didn'd even get an "I love you" in the end. (Don't think no one noticed, Russell. If ever I see you on the street, you're getting a well deserved slap across the face). I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.

Ianto, Ianto. In five days the Whovians and the Woodies have gained more insight into a quietly enigmatic character. Everyone's always so hung up on Captain Jack Harkness, they never stop to wonder where Ianto came from and what he left behind--and I'm not talking about Lisa. I'm talking about a sister he loved, his troubled relationship with his father that he tried to conceal in vain. I'm talking about the thrill he gets when Jack embraces him; the restraint, the  "decorum and tranquility" he exercises around not only his peers, but himself. Never disgraced.Even in the poor decisions, the rampant tears, the determination to cling to what was lost so very long ago--Ianto Jones was never disgraced. He held fast to his principles, his convictions. He held fast to his great loves--Lisa, even when she was all but dead; his dear Captain, when all seemed lost. He held fast to his obligations--To Torchwood, to his family, to the Captain, Gwen, the world--despite overwhelming pressures to let go. Even if it meant shooting Owen Harper to preserve the balance of time and space. Even if it meant never seeing his sister or his niece and nephew to avoid reminding them of past pains. Even if it meant becoming a fugitive, accepting a relationship that was not entirely equal, dying not knowing if you died for love or for mere companionship. Even if it meant putting yourself in danger, time and time again. Even if it meant offering up your life.

Ianto Jones was never disgraced.

So take this man, I implore you, as a model not of how to live, how to think, how to be, but as a model of what to admire. A model of what to tip your hat to on the street. Welcome his kind with bowed head and warm heart. Give them the nod. Somewhere out there, there is a Ianto Jones looking for a "Well done" and a handshake. GIve it readily. There is not anywhere a man or woman that has not dedicated their very being to something only to be grossly underappreciated and unrecognized for their true merit. Think of them. Think of Ianto.

If nothing else, think of how good he looked in a suit.

(note: This small funeral basically consists of wearing all black and watching torchwood series 1&2 with a box of kleenex. I will be in a pitiful mood. My sister will no doubt join me, though she will most likely forget to wear black and will forget to finish Children of Earth. Yeah, so it's a pity party of one, pretty much. I'll manage.)

To quote Gwen Cooper:

"There's gotta be something that you can do, 'cause otherwise what's the fucking point of you? You bring him back, do you you understand me, Jack fucking Harkness? Do you?"

(Granted, this was series 1, End of Days, upon Rhys' momentary death, but the sentiment still applies.)

Okay, Okay, I'm done.

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