sePtemBeR, 2000

September 1, 2000, 8:10 PM


Shit, man, i am at swat!! Multiple exclamation points, no less! I am so psyched to be here I can't even tell you. Two days of driving--stopped at Oberlin the other night; went dancing with Andrea Rock; hung out with Laura Kepner-Adney ('04, double-degree voice & ?; from West in Madison) and Ilana White (also '04, bass; from Villanova & PYO)--who are roommates! Damn small world [/socioeconomic class...]! Much fun. Stayed with Allison's sister Kelly, who's a graduate student there in harpsichord now. One of like eleven grad students on the campus. (Allison, Kelly, & I were all wearing black shirts and grey cargo shorts, completely by chance!) A rockin' evening; nicely punctuated the drive. The next day, woke up at like 9, on the road by ten. And yesterday, then, we drove into Swarthmore! I didn't quite believe that Madison, WI and Swarthmore, PA were connected by a series of concrete roads! Weird, you know, that they're on the same planet? Flying makes it seem like it's just ... well, otherworldly ... it is, enclosed in its own little arboreal bubble. Shit i love this place.

Got into the lodge, seeing people here and there--knocked Alyssa over on the lawn (outside sharples; dinner) when i saw her--and discovered my room is a shithole. Yes, folks, while the Lodges were cleaned this past summer, the basements were not, and have not been since the flood (hurricane) last fall! Roaches, a little damp, nastiness. Today I've been hauling the carpets out (dumped on the lawn in the courtyard outside now) and dragging Laurel, Allison, & Phil around to Target, Genuardi's, and Home Depot to get paint, Raid, mops, brushes, &c., to get this shit out. Wow. It will be beautiful--it will--but it will take time. Like, all tonight and tomorrow.

but last night. Got in, showered, ate dinner in sharples (barbeque thing; they weren't checking IDs so I just walked in), and then Mike Smith nearly knocks me over, having come running down from the bell tower where he'd found out that I was on campus from Alyssa. Sooooooo good to see my people! DamN! I love this place. Love it love it LOVE IT. He insisted we (Allison & I) come on the trust walk they were about to do with the frosh (he & Alyssa are CAs together) so A. & I abandoned our unpacking efforts and went with them. Getting to know frosh. They're all so cool. This is weird, being an upperclassman ... we're beginning to age, the '03 class, so Alyssa and Claire and Laurel and Eve and Phil and Brett and Mike and everybody are so imperceptibly more defined, more settled in our personalities, more adult ... it's one of the first things I noticed about the seniors on campus last year. It's so cool.

After the trust walk was the barefoot formal, where i hung around a little, and then Eve grabbed me and said, dip of the month? Hellzyeah. We went with people I knew and didn't--Ben Galynker, Adrian (-enne?), Shawn, Eve, Laurel, Alana, Joel B., Allison, Casey (freshman), Adrienne's friend ... mostly it. Much fun. "The Great Wind Blows." Barefoot walk down (note to self: shoes next time!). Dona Nobis Pacem in the water with Eve & Alana. Great fun! Damn. Again, i fuckin' adore this place. adore adore adore. Most of us crashed in Eve's room afterwards. I could have slept in Jenny's bed (since she doesn't get here till tomorrow and Laurel offered) but since I can't sleep in my own bed anyhow, what the hell. Much fun.

Now i have to go make the Raid stop fumigating ... it's scrubbing time ... ask me if I'm excited. Really. Come on. Am I excited. Ooo, roaches and dirt ... mmm.

It will be beautiful.

September 4, 2000, 11:13 AM

So, my previous entry was perhaps a little optimistic. Quote:

"It will be beautiful--it will--but it will take time. Like, all tonight and tomorrow."

Ha. This needs a little explanation. Yesterday, it rained. I was out driving with Brett, Laurel, Richard, and Joel. We went on some errands (i love having a car!) to Tar-zhay, Home Depot, Best Buy, Gateway, and Pier 1. Just shit like lamps, refrigerators, VCRs, &c. Pricing & buying (irrespectively). Driving around. Lots of fun. Brett had to go home by 5:30 for some dinner, so we dropped him off chez Willets (for the non-frogs out there: "shay willay" :-) and then went to Nifty Fifty's for milkshakes. mmmm. Laurel had gotten directions from some dude at Home Depot. Down the pike past Home Depot, turn right on Oak, Left on McDade, and then it's a while. That's wrong, apparently, but we drove for a while thinking we'd missed it before we realized it's supposed to be Right on McDade. I think there's a shortcut before Oak but we'll figure that one out next time--on the way back it was raining too hard to see the street name we turned onto. Laurel and I shared a coconut and chocolate malt (mmmmmm! i love that place! I went there last May with Chris, Jeanne, Lizzie Rothwell, Claire, and Anni, and that was my intro to the cute '50s diner that has won Best of Philly in many categories, has a ridiculously large selections of soda (i remember Anni got banana chocolate!), and excellent malts and shakes. This time we nearly got lost but had fun. (Note to self--never try to go again during dinner time. They're open till 1 AM on weekdays; 11 on weekends ... or is it the other way around?)

On the way back we couldn't drop Richard off at ML becuase on the Pike under the train tracks was flooded out--not the whole bridge, but some car had driven into the small lake that had formed in the hollow and water had gotten past the grille ... Joel and Richard had been excited about driving in floods, but having done it before, I know that cars get stuck easily with water in the engine. I feel like I'm killing childhood joy or something, but car trouble sucks ass. So Richard biked back (via the sidewalks), and Laurel and I dropped Joel off, found Jenny, and went out to Mertz Field where the Ultimate team was busy ruining their own field, mudsliding, laying out for frisbees in the mudbath that was the field. Alyssa, Amelia, Claire W., and Megan (the Willets basement residents quad) were there too, and the seven of us plus Andrew Stout decided to lay out ourselves, not for frisbees, but just for the hell of it. Mud. War paint. Wrestling. Fun! We paraded through Willets hugging our friends after that, then went into the first south bathrooms and showered all the shit off there so our respective bathrooms wouldn't get dirty, hehe.

Showered à Lodge Deux really fast, just washing, wrapped myself in purple pants and a scarf masquerading as a shirt, Jenny's New Year's tiara, and went to The Graduate at LPAC with the rest of the campus. I looooooove watching movies with these cats! I've said it before but i love it when the entire cinema sings in harmony to the Sounds of Silence during the opening credits and to all the tunes during the movie, when they laugh at the obvious forshadowing, when the clap and scream when Ben's father says,

Would you mind telling me then - what were those four years of college for? What was the point of all that hard work?

And we all scream and hoot and clap loudly. Alana noticed it, too--i've been rambling about it now and then, and god, but i love these people, and their collective reactions to these things.

We come home, and (I'd actually realized this before, but for the sake of the narrative this goes here:) realized that our goddamnèd basement is flooded! This was not what I needed. The last time they flooded, as far as I know, was Hurricane fucking Floyd last year! Not from rain! Shit. So, we kvetch for a while, and I'm especially not happy, because I haven't had dinner. Fuck fuck fuck. We're working on getting shit together, on possible options for moving. We think the best idea is still the original one, if it'll work, which it may or may not, depending on the weather. I will not live in a road prone to flooding from simple rain. Laurel and my deal: if she will be Maintenance Girl, I keep her supplied with dark chocolate. I bought her a dark Dove bar from Kohlberg Coffee Bar this morning, along with some chai for me (i'm on points! i'm on points!! :-). Keep your fingers crossed, y'all! I believe in fairies! I believe in fairies! Clap your hands, boys and girls! I believe ... ! Had dinner around midnight-thrity with Joel B. and Alana in Willets basement (didn't want to cook in mine; flooded and J & A were already chez eux).

Today I'm in a much better mood, or at least the basement hasn't re-flooded, so I'm all good. We made my bed (mattress, actually) last night and dragged up to Laurel and Jenny's room, so I got a great night's sleep on a comfy bed, and left for my 9:30 german audit (the prof didn't show--i guess they don't have drill, which is all that i'm taking, before the real class starts). Jenny told me she's been reading my demitasse cups!online journal all summer, and had even started a book I'd been rereading and had strongly recommended (Mists of Avalon)! That's so validating, in a weird way. I love my friends, and I love that this is a great way to keep up with some of them, if only in the most cursory and weird way. The internet is cool. Maintenance came and fixed the leaky sink and the rathole this morning. We're looking into getting a dehumidifier from Workbox. I believe in fairies.

Went to Parrish, and found the post office is in fact not closed for Labor Day! I could have kissed them. (CDW is, though, so I can't order my goddamnèd video card till tomorrow. They get no kisses.) I got my mail, which included 3 packages! Two from Gevalia--my beautiful demitasse cups for espresso! o but they are gorgeous! and my le violon d'ingres, Man Rayposter from eBay, now hanging above my mirror in SK's and K's room. Goddess I love that place, hehe. Also got decaf espresso from Gevalia, but I haven't yet carried it home yet. Three packages! I think a credit card bill, too ... oo, fun ;-). Am now on Kasia's computer (i want my DVI card! wah), listening to her mp3's (Dirty Dancing soundtrack, Ben Folds Five, Newsies, Boom Boom Boom Boom, &c.--eclectic but i love it) and am about to to find Ted Fernald, my faculty advisor, to get him to approve my changes in my schedule. I love Swat, even with a flooded room.

Got all my books for my classes--for Morphology, it's only the italian text i used last year -- so excited; it's this afternoon from 1-4! Russian novel i have 12 or so really really cool books, including Anna Karenina, which Rictor says changed his life; CS i have a really expensive hardback book ($70) but it's the only one for the course, and i can't get it used or from someone else because it's a new edition this year, but those are all my books. For music 13 i already have the books for last year. Still need the German text, about which I forgot. I'll check that out today. Spent $180 on books--not true, actually; more like $150 plus some temporary shelves so i can unpack into Laurel and Jenny's room--Old Guitar Playeri have my own corner now, and it's compact and beautiful. This is all i need for now, but within two weeks--hopefully before my birthday! wah!--i'm going to have to move. But anyhow. For now it's all good. I've got le Violon d'Ingres up downstairs (have been more seriously considering getting those f-hole tatoos ... (not really, mom; i'll let you know if and when the idea becomes more of one)), and today I'll go to the poster sale at Tarble! Gonna get a poster of Picasso's Old Guitar Player and put it sideways like Jennifer mistakenly did last year, hehe. Doesn't he look happier like that? I never could stand him right-side-up; too depressing. Much better like this, just chillin' and strummin'. Off to lunch. I love my 14-meal plan. I love Swarthmore, and again, even with a leaky basement. (We're considering astroturf. :-)

September 8, 2000, 6:06 PM

Cesaria Evora fading sonrous around the room with the slant-walls, sunlight white on the indented window walls, and jenny and laurel sleeping on their respective beds. afternoon. jeans are too big for me; laurel's belt holds them up. somnolent jenny is warm. laurel's curly head white-brown on the pillow. clicks of the keys.

I came back from flamenco last night and put on my character shoes (which i hadn't brought to class because it was the first day) and did flamenco steps and stomps to the Beatles that jenny had on mp3 from her computer. I want to buy a special and learn to stomp my heels and swish my skirts and twirl my wrists and click castanets. It has a saturday section, too, which i'm not happy about, because it wasn't listed in the course catalog, and of course i have orchestra from 9-12 on saturdays in the city, and will have to get there late. It's only 4 days but they're mandatory (and plus i don't want to miss them), so i talked to the prof and she said okay, just get back as quickly as you can. excellent.

jenny and laurel decide their room is the perfect room for seduction. i kind of agree--nice slant walls make it that much more intimate; creamish color, pillows and squish mattress and the contralto of ms. barefoot diva cesaria helps set the mood. my loud room will be just as cool but in a different way.

i'm so fucking MAD at Sharples! the bitches. i registered for my 14-meal plan, right, this summer, sent in the form and all, and then yesterday they tell me i'm on 20! they've lost my sheet and charged me $25 in points to change me over. the stupid thing is, I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE. This has happened in the past few days to Lisa Ladewski, Bonnie French, and Robyn Harshaw, to name only a handful. I think sharples is on crack. I hate them. at least i have points now. It's a conspiracy, though. Revolution. I'll email and bitch--last year when I did that, yelled at people becuase I couldn't change to 14 meals at the semester of my freshman year, and now you can. so see, i make a difference!

Must go to dinner before it closes. Joanna Curtis is 21 and I have a car. Tonight the lodge is going to party.

Post-Script: the basement is coming along. Painting almost done (just the green wall left to finish). Workbox knows what we're up to but doesn't care. Is supplying us with dehumidifying buckets and likely shipping pallets. I will move in soon!

September 11, 2000, 2:29 AM

Stressed girl i be.

found out that my lodge keys open bond, which has a piano in it. i went there after orchestra tonight (and after doing my russian reading) and harmonized some chorales.

still haven't analyzed the beethoven. am debating whether to stay up and do it or just go to sleep and take the consequences. already. damn.

haven't practiced once since i've been here. this workload is already too much withOUT viola.

on the other hand, i love beethoven's ninth, which we're doing in orchestra.

sharples fucked my points up.

my video card came but it's the wrong one.

i'm sending it back and am buying one from the guy who sold me my montior.

i adore alyssa.

nadav's cool, too.

my name for russian class is Zina. just call me warrior princess :-)

oliver got into PYO!

cantatrix rocks. Alana's in it with us, and we're going to have so much fun.

i get my own private italian drill section for morphologyi wanna major in comparative lit. Russian & french? ha. i'm doing russian novel AND auditing the drill section fall; it's cool to be doing both.

not chilling with my friends quite enough. jenny & phil and i had a nice long talk last night when i was mastering cyrllic, though. but i want to see more of mike, and alyssa. friday night i ended up just crashing in her bed. very good to just have her close by again. we slept pretty entwined. i love doing that. i miss her a lot when i don't see her enough.

mike smith, too. where that boy been.

the chai at the coffee bar ain't bad. and i have points with which to buy it!

periods suck. moods go crazy. everyone's reevaulating their lives right now and no one's too happy. we're all trying to figure out if/when to go abroad, blah blah, and what classes to add and drop before Friday when the deadline is.

need to finish painting my room.

soooo tired. slept face-down on the couch in lang today outside the elevator. had weird dreams about little people, i think. woke up and there was this amazing tiny person sleeping face down on this amazing tiny couch opposite me. it had small, thin hair and tiny feet, and was all curled up just like a real person. i thought it was a doll but then it moved, and then i realized the woman sitting next to it must be its mother, and it must be a baby, and the tiny couch must be that chair that's always there ... damn was i tired. it was so amazing, though--a little person. i said something incoherent about dreaming about little people, i think, and went to drill with couch marks on my face.

i hate drill. i can't identify downward intervals and MOVEABLE DO CAN KISS MY ASS. Nadav came today, the only one of us to be taking the class who doesn't have to. Props to him. "'nadav'--hebrew for masochist," says hollis.

bed? or beethoven? rar; we'll see.

do svidanje for now.

- zina :-)

September 15, 2000, 12:38 AM

R. is beautiful.

Having been doing linguistics all day, analyzing semantic value of morphemes and what heads of concatenative compound nouns are semantic and which are only syntactic, and if there's a difference, let me remove myself one level of abstraction from that above sentence and analyze the context of this sentence. (Aaaaaa ... semantics creeps into what i do! all day today working on that morphology assignment ...)

This is a personal journal. In a personal journal, by definition, i can say whatever the fuck i want to say. No censorship.

But again I must look at what I just said and say, no, it is not really a 'personal' journal, as i know of at least five people who see this regularly, and many more who will come across it from time to time. Therefore it is not personal, but relatively public. I do censor myself, and regularly. And I know there are people who see this who see R.

So, knowing all this and still stating the above, I must have had one of the following things in mind:

  • i hope he will see it
  • i hope someone will see it and tell him
  • i don't care if he sees it
  • i know that it is public but am playing the wussiest version of roulette possbile (oy, pechorin, the fatalist! you win as always) and taking a chance, knowing that this is public and not really wanting people to see it, but being the simplest and most afraid kind of daredevil by putting it up.
As you can see, i'm really grooving in this format. I've found a balance of censorship (mom, i'm sorry to say that you don't hear everything about what goes on here in swatland) and effusiveness. And I don't care. And i like it. Jenny wrote me a note the other day and left it on my bed:

"even weirder than my keeping up with you and knowing about your life cause I read your web page is reading on your web page about how weird it is that I know about your life through your web pg."

What do you make of that, jenny? ;-)

Hellish week. I was up till 5:30 the other night doing CS and theory, and didn't finish half my homework. Spent all day today doing morphology (and rehearsing with my quintet--i adore that shostakovitch!) that was due yesterday. Am all caught up. Need to keep up this pace to keep up with the work, though. I think it will cool down.

Still looking for something to characterize sophomore year. Have fallen into old grooves, which are nice, but i need a clear trajectory, as alyssa put it tonight. Freshman year had that. I am confident that sophomore year will have one, too, but it will take time. It's only the second week! Damn. Sleep, here I come ... PYO starts tomorrow. I have a 3-hour section of flamenco, too. Wow, what a cool sexy class. Black skirt & leotard & character shoes. Love it.

Laurel's turning restlessly--i need to get to sleep, for both of our sakes. A dry and chill friday night. One of my toes is frostbitten.

So what did I mean in the above statement? Am i trying to start the grapevine humming? no--take it at face value, no more, no less. He's beautiful.

September 18, 2000, 12:54 AM

Laurel's shaving her legs in the bathroom (i think). Jenny's musing over my
list of poems i have to memorize list. I have for the moment abandoned CS reading (found my lost book, spasibo à bozhe--$70 worth!) and am playing around in virtualness, with a background the color of one of my walls downstairs. Jenny is on the phone to her random English boy Will whom she met in New York last year and then dragged back to Swat (we went swimming in the crum last May). Or maybe she's just trying to call him. Laurel is showing me how to finger people in other domains. Ah, stalkerdom :-).

This morning after Russian i linoleumed the kitchen floor while Sarah Kate painted a tile or two. There are 15 cement blocks which comprise my floor, and since I have painted each wall a different color (orange, yellow, green, and purple), i wanted the floor to match. I laid it out according to the Four Color Theorem so no color is touching itself ever, including along a wall. Since there are 5 lodgemates and 15 blocks, everybody painted 3 blocks today (more or less--Jenny recruited her friend Rachel Block to paint two or three orange ones; Phil painted half a green one) and it's now beautiful.

Actually I'm lying. My floor is beautiful, and the colors are like i said, but i had no idea the four color theorem existed until i started telling people what I was doing today, and, true to form, the swatties informed me that there was a mathematical theorem that had been proven to represent what i was doing. So much the cooler--i now maintain that that was my intention all along. ;-)

The goal is to move me completely in tomorrow. That would be totally feasible if I didn't have a shitload of homework. As usual. CS to do (and it takes a long time!), ~250 pages of Dead Souls to read, and some chorales to harmonize for theory (only the soprano given). I hope to be moved in for my birthday (wednesday the 20th!), though! And have the kitchen such that I can make a cake in it. The linoleum does wonders for that!

Dork-estra tonight. Was fun despite my not having time for it (class from 11:30 AM to 10 PM on mondays is not really cool)--we read the second movement (scherzo/fugue-y thing) to Beethoven IX at tempo, hehe. Abram and i were rocking. neither one had looked at it before. :-)

weekend, excerpted:
PYO started Saturday morning. Fun to see my kids again, now that i know them. no food. drove into the city in my cool orange car with olivia and oliver. Good rehearsal. I'm sitting a little farther up this year, which means nothing except that (a) i'm not with Will ! yay!; (b) i get to sit with the really introverted but so so cool laura cline; and (c) i can hear more of maestro's nasty mumblings. but he's a BRILLIANT musician, and i LOVE working with him!

i almost got lost driving back to go to my flamenco section. as it was i was 1.5 hours late, but it was okay. i love that dance. i get to wear all black--tight tank top (i'm looking into a leotard) and big, full skirt to swish. all black, character shoes, hair up. i think i'm going to start having to wear bandaids on my heels to prevent them from being cut through by the back of my character shoes, though.

so i get back to the lodge around 3:30. I've had a great morning, but i'm really stressed, just from getting kind of lost on the Schuykill and Blue Route and turnpike, and then being really late (always stresses me out), and then having to pick up what we did in the first hour and a half, which wasn't almost anything and really wasn't a problem, but i think just got to me unconsciously. I got back to my lodge and decide i'm going to shave my legs, and start running the hot water, and realize that i just want a bath. so after i shave i draw a scalding bath that i can't even get into, and go downstairs to wait for it to cool and to talk to laurel and sarah kate. Sarah kate, who spen the morning running track in Baltimore, wants a shower so she takes one and i have to redraw the bath later, but whatever. Laurel, meantime, realizes i haven't eaten all day except for a banana and a pretzel, so she makes me ramen and forces a granola bar down my throat. i'm at this point wrapped in a towel and sitting in sarah kate's bed with my hair down, which is still faintly wet from the morning. i feel quite luxuriant, especially since i opened laurel and my bottle of sweet, dry white wine and am having a glass (intended originally to go along with my bath). Mmmm. I sew up the hole in laurel's shirt; i read Dead Souls (gogol, for my russian novel class. I'm getting so fixated by that culture!). I bathe. I bathe, fall asleep, wake up at 8:30 or so (Laurel's gone out to dinner with brett & abram & phil and people). Jenny's at vassar, SK & Kasia are who knows where, and i decide to do my laundry. it's the first time i've had since i've been here! too much to do. I bring Gogol and Rachmaninoff's "All Night Vigil" on my discman and sit in the basement of worth next to a sign that says "warning -- 2300 volts" on a huge deadbolted iron-strapped door, and a huge boiler. I listen to this heavenly russian music and read (it's hw! i'm justified! hehe) russian literature. i'm so fascinated by them, or at least am getting more so. i love that i'm taking russian novel and auditing the language at the same time. it's so cool. i'm also sort of subjecting myself to a regimen of russian music. i have a lot, and i'm pulling out the mussorgsky operas in the library--you can listen to music in the music library while you work; it's great--so i'm sort of going through a self-taught course of the russian greats. Not like i didn't know them, but more conscientiously and all collected. I LOVE their music. Damn but i LOVE it. and these vespers are HEAVENLY.

Laurel got back around 11, we prepared ourselves for the parties, and hit Paces and the WRC. Much fun, much revelry, much dancing. Fun to chill with Mike, Phil, Laurel until I lost her, Vinnie (fr: Vincent) who's '00 but showed up for some reason, &c. Love these swatties.

more of today:
Went by kohlberg after dorkestra for chai and chocolate, mm. Spent an hour i didn't have talking to Annaliese, then Julie & Bjorn. I love these people.

Cross your fingers for me and hope I can move in tomorrow. It'll take a lot of work, but we've got 5 people ...

list of poems to memorize:

September 20, 2000, 1:03 AM

I am twenty and I am clad in all orange.

I think this is a good thing. I know it is, but sometimes things--like eggplants--come and go. Sleek melanzana one day, macerated aubergine the next. Orange feels organic. I made this dress myself (people are impressed--no, a machine did all the work for me, but still i grin) and picked out its color and cut because of the anaranjado. I am immediately drawn to it in any context. Some go for large eyes, babylike proportions; i go for the blazing fall leaves. Olivia gave me a large orange skirt for my birthday. I was so pleased. I'll wear it tomorrow, the only disadvantage being that it's not full enough for flamenco.

I am clad in all orange and I am twenty.

I think this is a good thing. Nineteen, as Josh Tropp mentioned today, didn't mean anything. Not the chiffre at least. Neither does twenty except for the odometer dials both changing over. And what's in a number. That which we call twenty by any other name would be as orange. But the associations with teenagerhood are kind of over, aren't they? They almost were at eighteen--legal adulthood--but you were still a teenager for two more years. (Nothing profound is going to come out of my mouth on this topic, cher readers, so if you're looking for depth you can go elsewhere. I've been--not grappling with, but poking at--it for too long now for it to be momentous and sudden and thought-provoking.) Mike Smith told me this afternoon, you're no longer a teenager. I think I'll act the younger for it. I'm so afraid of wearing black and only that when I grow up. Julie hasn't lost her colors yet, though, something which she said she might. I can't see it in either of us. Especially me, since I know myself a little better, perhaps, than I know her. No, the orange is organic.

I spent the day in orange and in a tiara (jenny's, i must admit) and in the Sun Lab, for those of you who are interested to know how and where I passed my birthday. I made a credit card program in java, and although I still suck at the langauge, it works, compiles, runs, and catches errors (most of them--and not the way it's supposed to, with Exceptions, but fuck that). Started at 4:00 PM today, done (including dinner and a piano lesson) at 11:50, the earliest I've ever handed in CS in a looooong time. I was pretty damn proud of that. Of course now ::dealing out the cards for misery poker:: I have to finish my book for Russian Novel, write up half the morphology problem set, and harmonize some chorales with a given soprano & nothing else. There's a guy on the Bond piano; i'm very displeased with his piano-playing ass.

Tony Barone is cool. His birthday's monday.

Last night british Will came over--the same one as hung out with us last May 7th. We went to Kingdom of Vegetarians and conquered the all-you-can-eat Dim Sum, mmm. We saw a lion dance outside one of the restaurants--old hat (along with the floatable pao) to Malaysian-schooled Jenny; fascinating to me. He crashed in the basement, which is now finished (painting--not yet moved in).

Packages from my mother today. Baqlawa. Thank you, mom. We devoured it. So excellent; many compliments.

Work now. No sleep for the tired birthday girl. I'm going to wear my orange skirt tomorrow.

I am twenty. I hope I'm using my youth well.

September 22, 2000, 7:54 PM

I'm beginning to feel more like the reclusive, buried and swimming-to-stay-alive sophomore swattie that F was last year. What are you doing tonight, they ask. Um, well, I'm not behind yet in my work (having caught up this morning--finished that damned chorale with a given soprano only and handed it in), but I soon will be if I don't work straight through. Saturday night I'll take off and unwind. Winding and unwinding. Just like a coil, building up energy the week long and then releasing it. The release must be all the more violent because there's such a proportionally short time in which to let all that taut energy and stress out. Saturday nights, i have fun, ti porto a ballare, ti potrò bacciare, ti potrò bacciare; ma sabato sera ...

For tonight though I think i'm staying home. Dead Souls is coming along and I rather like it. The other day in class even though I hadn't finished it, there was a good discussion, mostly on the part I'd mostly read, so I was able to contribute something halfway-intelligent. I'm sure it's a universal phenomenon though I've never corroborated it--when in a discussion class, your entire feeling of self-worth for the hour and a quarter rides on if you say anything, what you say, and how intelligent (or banal) it was. If you say nothing, you weren't a part of anything, and you were useless to the group for that period. If you said something stupid, everyone in the class whom you know and don't know looks at you a little different, disregards your opinion, your professor thinks you're stupider than they did to begin with, and now the interesting stranger in the corner will never talk to you. If, however, you say something intelligent, even incisive or profound, or at least correct and not just parroted, you feel like an integral member of the discussion and like you've learned something. Of course, this isn't quite the case. You gain insight no matter what, even if you just sit in on the discussion. But the feeling persists. I've realized that even though there's a lot of reading for this class, I really like it, and I otherwise don't get to read during the semseter. I think I'm going to have to take more lit classes. I'm jealous that I didn't have an intro English so I couldn't take the Modern Epic this semester (Joyce, García-Márquez, and Tolstoy). They're killing themselves over War and Peace, though, i hear, and there are supposedly 50 people in the class. I like my 9-person Music 13.

I really do, actually--it's cool to build on what we've already learned, using the tools we got last year to do cooler and cooler stuff. I guess that's what taking an upper-level class is all about. The other day in Cantatrix, Laura taught us a cute two-bar 'kyrie' warm-up in two parts. Someone suggested that there could be a third, so I quick wrote it out, analyzed it in roman numerals, and filled in the missing chord tones as a bass line. Go me!

The music department isn't all roses, though--I spent half the afternoon doing harmonic dictations for Music 40C in Underhill today. That's actually completley untrue--I only spent from 4 - 5 doing that, but I'm so bitter about it that I'll call it three and a half grueling hours. There should not be homework for this class! I probably am actually learning stuff from this class, but I hate it. Moveable do! (You know you're a music dork when you see a sign that says "DO (the jolt)" with the 'do' in really big letters and the first thing that flashes through your mind is "... re mi fa sol ...") For Mike Smith, it's fine--he grew up on moveable do, using relative everything. Completely opposite from me, who hears everything on fixed do, and hears intervals only because she knows that C to E is a major third, &c. Moveable do for me is like moveable C. In class (drill) I sit there and can't articulate a bass line. I start to say, D G G, and then realize he wants it in solfège, so I begin again: re sol sol--but no, he wants moveable do, so I say, G C C, (which is ^5 ^1 ^1 in C major--if C were always do and do were always C, that would be correct) and then I stop, unable to find a system that I won't confuse with something else. Tom's scale degrees work fine for me. I wasn't ecstatic about them, because I feel like all these systems are a means to an end that I already have because of my perfect pitch, but David Shapiro's (current drill guy--only temporary; we'll have Daniel Wachs next semester) is mutually exclusive with mine. Tom's is not, is even helpful. Tony says (among other things, hehe) that at least it might help me learn to transpose. That's valid. I have no desire to fuck with my entire system of pitch, however, because it's not wrong. if it were wrong, i'd be open to changing it--i'm here to learn, goddamnit! Rar. nuff of that. I finished the homework, cheating on the melodic and harmonic and interval dictations because i wrote them at pitch first.

Last night was Theory, too. I was harmonizing the aforementioned chorale--it was due that morning; i got a small extension. Only the soprano was given. Did it modulate? (yes) To what key? (D major) Use at least two vii-dim-7 chords, one of which functions as a secondary dominant (i only used one, but I had several V7's as secondary dominants). Blah blah. So I'm pounding my head against this slowly, raising my leading tones and my temper, when I hear loud boys out in the hallway. I go outside of my practice room (the ridiculous cement one with a mural of four composers on the wall that had so much potential yet utterly failed. Bach is saying, hm, nothing well-tempered about this!) and see that the Feet (i'd link them but their page is all broken up currently) have just gotten out of rehearsal. Nadav and Mike come over--does Nori want a beer? the former asks in the obnoxious third person. --Yes, nori wants a beer. A beer would be really helpful in harmonizing this goddamned chorale. And it was. I sat in Lang with a small-but-happy green bottle, and harmonized half of the chorale, modulated fully, and then went to sleep (but not before visiting willets and having a brief conversation with some ham freshman Chris about the comparative value of eternal beer vs. Hector Berlioz--gotta love swat) and slept straight through Russian this morning. Hurrah for audits and beer! I've never been a big beer person--it reminds me of Prague still, because what else was there to ingest in that country? and i drink so little of it, but it makes me happy. Especially while harmonizing chorales. Perhaps I should keep some in my music locker ... ;-)

Laurel and Jenny and I have been sharing clothes to a ridiculous point. We're going to try to move me down today, tonight ... we'll see; Jenny's off at a small birthday shindig for Amelia--she has a friend in ML whose birthday it is tomorrow (hers was yesterday), so they're having a party halfway between the two birthdays, halfway between the two dorms--they're walking to the middle, and sitting down with blankets and food and music and having a party where they land. Cute. Laurel isn't back yet. Kasia's sick. No idea where Sarah Kate is. But I've got to get moved in soon. Anyhow, today Laurel IMs me while I'm working at the library:

Rolery (3:28 PM): do know where my belt is?
n0r1 (3:28 PM): i'm wearing it
Rolery (3:28 PM): hmmm. because i'm wearing your pants and i need it.
Rolery (3:29 PM): i stole kasia's.

Ha. I think that says it all.

I ran into Steve Dawson today, a senior (of '00) who graduated last year and is back for the weekend because his brother has a concert today or tomorrow or something. Caught him making the rounds in Lang. He's trading stock options or some such scary real thing now. I said, wow, the real world--scary. And it is! I love this college thing. There are so many things that are unique to it. Harmonizing chorales with a beer supplied by an a cappella group 'round midnight; &c. I'd list them but I'm sure if I look back at this journal at the end of college I'll see them clearly displayed. I'm very scared to leave it. I don't want to yet, so that's a good thing. I've heard that, as a senior, i'll be more than ready to leave. I can't believe it but I have faith the right thing will come at the right time.

Nothing you can know that isn't known
Nothing you can see that isn't shown
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
It's easy...

In response, steve said "the real world is a cool, cool place. Be excited for it." Damn but I hope he's right. I have faith.

September 27, 2000, 8:36 PM

The crazy dreams of a linguist.

Monday morning I woke up and went to Russian, not entirely at full capacity, but hell, i'd been up reading The Passion until 3:00 AM the night before--I want to do my paper for Russian Novel on it--so who's ever at full capacity on four hours' sleep? Sniffled through basic conjugations of verbs. Italian that afternoon, and i remarked to Titina, penso che sono malata. It had just dawned on me. In morphology we discussed ablauting verbs and I got chai from kohlberg. Music drill was again painful--the first two times through a harmonic dictation he played it in e minor, the third was in c# minor. I just put down my pencil in despair. Orchestra that night I had to leave halfway through; i was too sick to continue. Went home and read for a while, went to bed midnight-ish.

Nadav calls me psycholinguistic. I begin to believe he's right.

I had nightmares. You can tell how sick or well I am by my dreams, which, while usually weird, are never quite this crazy. Psycho. Psycholinguistic. I had nightmares about ablauting Russian verbs which we were being forced to learn for the literature class--i recited whole paradigms of obscure verbs with huge consonant clusters and only one vowel (there are ten!) changing in each conjugation, trying to memorize them, each time failing, ablauting, table after table of incomprehensible russian morphology ...

Four white walls.

I woke up at 6:30 dry-heaving, went upstairs to Jenny and Laurel's room, started muttering insensibly about wanting water while I was freezing and boiling at the same time, and they, responsible roommates that they are, walked me over to Worth and turned me over to the nurses. I spent the next 36 hours pretty much asleep, except for waking up for fifteen minutes at a time to see the doctor, have my temperature taken (i ran a small fever for the first day), or eat. Holding foods fine, but all I did was sleep. My body storing up. Laurel and Jenny and Sarah Kate and Hollis visited me. Jenny remarked that you can come here even if you're not sick, if you just need a quite space and four white walls. --Did she realize what she'd just said? That it was typical for a swattie to need four quiet white walls? --Yeah, it was scary, but typical. Laurel quoted the Plath poem 'Tulips': "I didn't want any flowers, I only wanted / To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty." They're right. My immune system had been low, i told the nurse--too much work; too little sleep. She said, of course! you come on campus and you get sick. UChicago may have the highest suicide rate in the country, but I bet we've got the highest sick rate. They don't believe in themselves enough. We believe in ourselves too much.

I'm out now, having done a little work today and my fever gone, but I'm still nowhere near optimal. Functioning better; a little pale (selon tony); still unable to play my Bartók exercise; behind on the homework. My profs are sympathetic and I've got extensions, but still, so much work ... this weekend, i fear, will be all work. I'm looking forward to being healthy.

Ognuno sta solo sul cuor della terra
trafitta da un raggio di sole:
ed è subito sera.

Ablauting Verbs:
One of the main phonological and morphological instruments in Common Germanic and practically in all Germanic languages was the Ablaut, the vowel interchange in the root of nouns and verbs. This specific feature, though known in all Indo-European groups as a phonetic means, was of great importance particularly in Germanic, where it was sometimes used instead of verb endings and noun inflections. Interesting, that the same way of "infixation" of different vowels into the root is known in Semitic and other Afroasiatic languages: compare the Arabic language which has kataba (he wrote), kutiba (written), katib (writing), kitab (a writing), 'aktaba (he made smb write) as different forms of the root k-t-b, and the English language which uses sing, sang, sung, song as different forms of the root s-ng. This is the Germanic Ablaut.

September 29, 2000, 12:12 AM

I have my computer back! Not that it was ever gone, but it was a bitch, and it was missing parts, and blah, and blah ... Mike and I went to Tar-zhay aujourd'hui and as we were pulling out, i saw the missing part on the rear dashboard and started screaming, "there it is!" Got it. Sucker. I made Mike crawl back right then to get it and i cradled it as long as he would let me.

Also purchased at the wonderful french discount store with the shopping-cart escalator:

  • a 100-foot phone cord--i now have a phone in my room!
  • a power cord for my boombox--i now have music (and mp3s!)
  • bobby pins--yay for hair; i love it
  • fabric softener--clean clothes, mmm ...
I'm so much happier for so few items' worth of life-improvement. Mike was over this evening, and he said, i've always wanted the Indigo Girls' Rites of Passage. I burned it for him right there. Yay, this is why i have this thing! So pleased that it works. mp3's of Rockwell Church (thanks, nadav) on the speakers right now. Taking it easy; PYO tomorrow and I've been sick. So no lesson, and no flamenco. But really i just need time and sleep.

Got a great package today from my mom! She's the cutest. Two boxes of extra-lotion, cold-care kleenex; vitamin C & echinacea; vegetarian boullion; lemon tea; honey; thera-flu; two little plastic lemons of lemon juice; hot cocoa mix. Mom, i love you! That was so exactly what I needed. I've been drinking it all night.

While I'm better, I'm not completely recuperated. This is good, sitting at home and just chilling with my computer. I may be an extrovert (Dominant Extroverted Abstract Thinker, according to the spark's personality test--if you take it, list me; i used, my body's been making me pay for this overwork. Even after sleeping for 36 hours in Worth during Tuesday and Wednesday, when I tried to go to class Thursday, my body rebelled, told me otherwise, and landed me back in bed. :

Written While Sick in Russian Novel the other day:
Och bozhe moj this is too overwhelming too many people: Perry in the corner mangling what little Italian he has, calling beautiful women fatal herbs, trying to be the young romantic hero and dismiss the weird intelligensia but embrace the intellect ("you’re weird"--I haven’t heard that straight-faced since early high school!); Bjorn & Michael sitting directly opposite me both of them with their hair down, the one chin-length and curly, the other halfway down his back, straight blond; Adrian with a bottle of spiked Fresh Samantha with his cute fur-lined fitted jacket in the corner opposite Perry; Erin the intriguing freshman I just haven’t had TIME to get to know , ... and so many more but those only inside this room! So much to learn here besides figured basses and epic heroicism in Russian literature and ablauting verbs!--people to learn, meet, know ... Leah Zallman the eternally adorable on whose whiteboard I wrote a short pitiful missive just now while taking a break from class to blow my nose; Russian (we used to call him 'villianous') Ben the enigmatic photographer; crazy, wonderful Spiegel; Jack who throws himself Dionysian into the weekend with an orgy of d’Indy and Chausson, maenads drunk on suspensions and tonic-dominant harmonies; Annaliese who was so recently Anni but is ever the same excellent person (yay for talks on telnet! for lovers! for Dar!); et cetera ... oh, too much to be to do to learn ... even word etymologies take up too much time. Please ... sanity ... health ...

So, obviously, I'm much better now, but my head still not completley unclogged, and the package today was so wonderful.

Mike & I hung out this evening. Target, and then he took my car into philly for sushi at Genji--from what i hear, ridiculously expensive but worth it all--and then back and forth between here (lodge deux) and PPR (palmer-pittenger-roberts, o ye uninitiated) for a bit after I burned him the CD. He's up at Parrish right now chez Erica, i think ... I'd go any other night--my kind of scene from what he describes--but really ... sick ... i'm going to sit here and be good to myself. Maybe i'll shower tonight so i can eat breakfast tomorrow. No lesson, no flamenco, just PYO ... love it.

Got a meditative playlist on Winamp. Mellow. One orange wall, one purple wall within my direct line of vision. One tequila bottle, one vodka bottle. One Picasso, one Price. Napster and downloads are ridiculously slow! Goddamn bandwith shapers. Things are a little too ... sedate? no. mellow? no. things, things, not tonight, but this year ... i don't know what i'm driving at. Maybe something along the lines of a boy. Maybe something along the lines of a little more sanity or health. It's all good, i have faith. Sleeping now, I think, as soon as this last Rockwell Church mp3 finishes ...

September 30, 2000, 2:50 AM

1:27 AM:
Brownies on the floor, hot and full of exploding mint which is not as exotic as it sounds, like the dorms that should have been so much but are just leaking faucets and cigarette ash. but the brownies themselves are exotic, never mind made from the box--it's
annaliese's recipe, so it doesn't matter if they're not from scratch--plus the fudginess and how hot they are in the middle of the room on a small carpet makes up for it all. i cut them slowly, wiping the accumulating chocolate and mint off on itself, perfectly crusted, chewy to the point of liquidity. so gooey that they prompt Abram to comment, "they're almost windows." [gu.i], get it? we did. love those swatties. "A linguist and she can cook," comments gabe--"what more could you want?" Indeed. i'm wearing eve's blue wig which she combed out for me. she says i look like a transvestite prostitute, and i suppose i do, mellowed out like this almost glazed and cutting brownies pointedly. not that transvestites cut brownies habitually. perhaps i should smoke. laurel offers to pour me a drink (gabe comments i look like i could use one); i decline. good and mellow and undrunk tonight; recuperation and brownies and a little bit of surreal smoke and blue hair for me instead.

2:50 AM:
Phish on the stereo, or rather the computer mp3 player. Hellzyeah. I don't know this group at all, but i like them because i've heard this type of music so long that it's kind of been absorbed into my bloodstream. Napster is downloading Pink Floyd, slowly.

This morning was PYO, and just PYO. No lesson; no flamenco. (I think that would be a parataxis except for the fact that neither fragment was a sentence.) Firebird and Brahms 3 all morning, baby. Yeah. Watched Jacob play for a while--he's back; couldn't stay away apparently--and damn, but when that violin is organic in your arm it's a powerful sexy thing. Easier on a violin than a viola--i stopped by Kellam's room where he was playing a mournful pachabel tonight in Willets Basement and (after retuning his violin--he was using A-420 or so) tried to play the instrument. So tiny and such a rich sound so easily. But when the bow hairs are wrapped around the string and a sound is absolutely caressed out of the instrument, damn, but damn. I need to practice this week. Couldn't this past week because I was sick. :-(

Bought a delicious sandwich from the Superior Pasta Co.--fresh mozeralla, basil oil, green yummy things, artichoke hearts. Drove back and was back on campus by 1:30 on a Saturday! Beautiful day. Nothing's orange yet (weird Eastern climate!) but it's chilly and warm and almost crisp ... not Wisconsin pre-October, that's for damn sure, but it'll do. Genuardi's with Laurel, looking for the makings of challah. Never actually got around to baking the bread (tomorrow?).

Somehow then, what with visiting the closing Sugar Plums in the Ville for the last time, installing ganked versions of Microsoft Office and downloading things on slow bandwidths, it was almost nine, and Sarah Kate had a dessert party for her track team. Mm fudge. A good time meeting people whom i really hadn't seen before. Some guy Sam looks quite Norweigan; hot. No idea what his last name is; I'll ask SK tomorrow. ;-)

Eve and Erin borrowed my car, drove it to Genuardi's, and deposited a brownie mix and a pack of York peppermint patties on my desk along with the keys. I made Anni's recipe for them:

brownie recipe is so easy it's embarrassing. i cheat when it comes to brownies...i use a mix. everything else i make from scratch, promise! anyway, make a betty crocker brownie mix, put half in the pan, put york peppermint patties on the batter (i break them in half first) then pour the rest of the brownie batter on the top and smooth it out. then bake...voila! brownies!

and mixed it in my kitchen, but walked it over to Woolman (chez Even & Cyndi, who were hosting this shindig-of-sorts) to bake it--i think our oven, like our stovetop, is gas, and i don't want to stick a match inside the oven. Maybe i'll call my mommy about how to do that one (because i really want to be able to use it!). Brownies, a blue wig, a cigarette (!), conversation, mellowness and just a chill evening followed. Evening was actually past but you can't call it 'night' when you're still awake, and 'morning' is even less apt. Though whatever it is right now i have no idea ... bedtime, belike. Good ____.

all this ©nori heikkinen, September 2000

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