june, 2001

Freitag, 8.Juni 2001, 6:55 PM

argh. i'm not quite sure how to classify this angst (angst, not Angst) i have these days. i think the easiest term for it lis 'lovesick'. i wake up and am distraught to be in my own bed. i lie there for a while, bemoaning my situation, and hanging on to whatever dream i had. i wander around the house for fifteen minutes in a towel, unsure of what to do with myself, with the day, with the summer. inspiration strikes and i occupy myself for long, lucid periods ...

during which i do what? ha, nothing. heute (freitag), ich habe gegeekt around für ein bißchen, trying to get pppd to work and figure out where the fuck my chat script was (if you ever see this, you'll know i got it working -- i'm writing from orange, and won't upload until i get the goddamn modem beaten into submission). turned on yellow and played even more, hehe:

nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8

i think i'm going to skip german 101 and go straight into 102 ... taught by a TA, and an intro UW class -- what difference will it make? i'm reading the first sechs chapters of my buch beforehand, and i might know basic past tense by then. i think any class entitled 101 is probably a good one to skip.

ben was in town briefly. ari's here for drei woche, and stoll's here for der ganze summer, ich meine, auch alana. und emilie? (now there's a deutsche name for you, walgenbach.) michael leaves in a few days, as does joel-o (who hitched a ride from oberlin on our way back).

leaving was not the easiest thing i've ever done in my life. if by being in love you intertwine yourself with the other person, i'd so completely woven myself into marTin that two and a half hours away was hard. let's try two and a half months now, shall we ... ? these past few days, i have had no appetite, my face has been half water sometimes (and only a kleenex to dry my tears), and i'm getting a crash course in the definition of the word "pine." this summer had to happen, i suppose, in order for me to reorder and reëstablish myself. i need to set up viola lessons, learn german, do something else before august. but i hate it so passionately. it's the only thing about which i'm passionate anymore, which is scary ... good, i guess (and i flinch while saying this), that it hadn't been longer, and i hadn't lost myself farther. the extraction would have been that much more difficult. now i have 2.5 months, during which i will regenerate (and write a shitload of email, believe you me), and after which, god willing and the river don't rise, pretty much everything will be perfect.

here, there, and everywhere. jaja, i understand it so much better now. garcía-márquez, kundera, you were right. and i didn't know how you could be.

nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8
nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8

repaint my room. set up viola lessons. read a generative theory of tonal music and gödel, escher, bach (and all the dykes to watch out for series). become a linux guru (ha; it took me 20 minutes this morning to figure out how to write to a floppy disk!) (but gabe recommended me books, and i've got some networking to do here zu Hause ...). learn german. get a job. yeah, i've got stuff to do.

nori@yellow:~$ pwgen 8

Friday, June 22, 2001, 3:27 PM

i hate money.

this is not news to anyone who knows me, or to myself. every so often, though, i am reminded of the absolute evilness of money. money is the path to hell. fuck "paved with good intentions," the cobblestones are full-out quarters and dimes and susie b.s and lira and yen and marks and oh, i guess euros now! fuck this all.

i only hate it, of course, because i don't have it. any of it. if i had a ton, i might marvel at what money can buy (just about everything), and i'd take advantage of my wealth and fly to germany and back biweekly, i'd get DSL to replace this archaic modem, i'd put myself through college. but not only would i do that, but i'd be able to do things that i really should be able to do right now, like, oh, say, picking up developed film so i can see pictures of my friends, now held in limbo because i don't have the cash to retrieve them. i should be able to buy thai or african food now and then on the library mall after class, i should be able to re-hair my viola bow and buy myself a beautiful G. Henle Verlag edition of the Brahms Op. 120 viola (/clarinet) sonatas, i should be able to buy myself a Semesterkarte (für die Bus) instead of having to hit my parents up for these things.

unfortunately, this town is just not hiring. specifically, me. i think there must be something on my résumé, hidden between the lines somewhere, that says "do not under any circumstances hire this woman!" and i'm not sure why. it's not as if i have a PhD in Islamic Studies from Harvard; it's not that I'm overqualified for any job i'm applying for. i merely want to take dictation or file books. (no, really, i don't, but there aren't any openings for a violist -- Diedre and Rictor are locking down the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra -- and the linguistics department at UW isn't doing any summer research, so what alternatives am i left with?) my temp agency, always reliable in the past to hook me up with a good soul-sucking 9-5 job, has failed me when i told them i needed afternoons (Deutsch 102 is in the mornings). the résumé i sent to Explo was good -- i was qualified and would have done a great job! -- but the bitches seldom returned my calls, and then hired someone else. i mean, i'm glad i'm in madison this summer -- this german class is what i needed, and i love my viola teacher -- but you'd think that then someone in this crazy town would give me (less than) a living wage to serve coffee. nope, all the restaurants here are overstaffed or requiring extensive experience. well, fuck you too.

so, i'm turning in an application at the library as soon as i can get my ass downtown and schedule the required dewey decimal system test, and i finally called wispirg today, and we'll see what my interview on monday turns up. i would like either job, and i think the PIRG pays a lot better -- and is more socially conscious, for that matter. they're a good organization from what i can tell of them -- good intentions but a lot of overhead. which, of course, means i get money. which is the objective. i think i'll pin my hopes on them instead of the library. but still, this rigamarole is insane! please, i'd like to be able to pay my credit card bill, and other necessary expenses. (finally got my money back from www.cdw.com today, the bitches! after a month or so of battle, and a year or so of them sending me junk mail in the form of highlighters, 3-inch D-ring binders to keep all the junk mail they sent me in, &c.)

i just want some kind of financial stability. and this is unfortunately something i don't see myself having for a while. the more i look at this crazy job market, the more i realize i could never do anything for a living except play viola. gott sei dank that i've gotten back into that! (see more happy effusiveness on rictor, below.) i can't ever see myself behind a desk, and even though anything computer-related is certainly the most lucrative now, and wouldn't take huge amounts of effort to learn, and would even be fun, that's all about making money. i want to enjoy what i do, and that for me means playing viola. it's the only thing i can do and love and get paid for. so, i had better go practice ... in a few minutes ...

meantime, monetary gripes and frustrations aside, madison is good. german 102 started last monday. i read the first six chapters of the text by myself and just skipped 101, and while i don't have perfect paradigms of all the pronouns and articles in all cases, and while i can't pull up genders of half of the wörter we're using so far, i'm more than keeping up (come on, it's intro language, and it's UW kids), and i'm so glad i'm not in 101. this way, i'll learn more than just the conversational past tense -- which i don't think comes until chapter 4 or 5 anyhow -- and be able to function in whatever random german-speaking countries in which i'll be prowling around this fall (-- in a yellow convertible, hehe! i got an international drivers' license yesterday ...). my german should be passable in seven weeks, hopefully.

and in seven weeks, marTin will be here! he's flying in to Virginia for Nathan's wedding, and then up to Madison to chill here for a while before we both go over to München on the 23rd (finally booked my tickets yesterday), where we have a week and a couple days, i think, before i'm due in Vienna. i'm very happy about this. upset by some news, ja, but i have every confidence that it will get glossed over or at least forgiven in seven weeks. and i've got a lot of german to learn before then! :) and hey -- his 1.8 cents a minute calling plan is fabulous, and i just found a US one that has 5.9 cents/min to germany. not bad ... now if only my fucking modem would stop being so slow, so i could sign up!

i'm taking viola lessons with rictor noren again this summer. last summer i only got in three, working as i was full-time, and being in prague and italy with PYO. but i had my first one a week and some ago, and one again yesterday. not only am i doing basic techniquish things that have been needed (sevcik shifting -- middle of the book, not the god-awful ones Uncle Joe had me doing; kreutzer; some vibrato-widening things), but i'm playing the Stamitz D-Major concerto, and my Brahms E-flat Op. 120 No. 2 viola sonata just came in the mail yesterday. joy and rapture indeed. i really like lessons with him.

ah. rage at the world vented. happiness with viola and marTin's coming expressed. and many subjects delved into, my mental state cleanly reflected -- no longer, dear readers, am i monomaniacal, a tunnel-visioned, starry-eyed lover. well, yeah, of course i am, but now i've got some kind of other structure. looking for a job (ha); viola; hanging out with friends; learning german so i can talk to mine ... with pppd working (old modules not compatible with new kernel -- took two weeks almost to figure out and fix, but now both orange and yellow are online, glory hallelujah), phone rates as reasonable as they are, and august impending (shut up; i'm pretending), summer is good and livable.

now, if only i could find a job ...

Tuesday, June 26, 2001, 12:30 PM

i got a job.

yes, folks, Nori the Unemployable has been Employed. she is now working for wispirg, wisconsin's local grass-roots organizing non-profit, working on a campaign to clean up wisconsin's ever-more-polluted waterways. there's a proposal going to the DNR at the end of the summer, which if it passes there will be turned into a bill that we can actually vote on and pass. i'm not only going to be a regular door-knocker-on-er, apparently -- i'll be a Team Manager or Field Leader or Field Team Manager or Team Leader Manager or something like that ... it means my interviewer yesterday thought i had not only passion and motivation but pep and verve, or something like that. frankly, i'm at a loss to see how i managed to convey concern for the environment, passion about the issue, concise and clear thinking, and clear, succinct communication in my answers to her two questions -- but hey, who's complaining? gotta love the liberal arts education. i'm serious! winter break when i came back from my first semester at Swarthmore, ben immediately noted that i had a more forceful way of speaking. slower, with more pregnant pauses, and with more weight. cool, hey, because i still talk a blue streak colloquially when you let me (my mother still complains she can't understand a word i'm saying, ever).

so this all means that i have a summer job! and i get not just $275/wk base pay, but $325/wk. after that you get 35% of everything you solicit past $90/night, and apparently that's usually sizeable enough. only problem with this thing (besides the going door-to-door, which my mom is not happy with)? is that it's 1 - 10 PM daily, M-F. this means, because my class starts at 9:30 AM and goes till 11:30 AM M-F, that i'll be out of the house and working thirteen hours a day, and then i'll have to come back and practice viola. hopefully rictor'll let me take saturday lessons. then, all weekend, i intend to lie on the beach and bake. (wake and, haha. if i ever find any in this town.) let's just say i will be earning my money.

so yeah, i start monday, and do six weeks of grueling labor -- german + viola + activism -- and then everything ends friday, august 10th. the 12th marTin flies in, and the 23rd we both fly out. i will have earned enough by then to justify quitting before i leave (which is good, because otherwise i'd have no free time), and then get 1.5 weeks here and 1 and some in münchen before i go to vienna. damn will this be good.

need to vorbessern mein Deutsch, though. i keep saying that, i know. in every email i write, in every daily entry, i say i need to work on my german. yeah well, it's because it's the truth. i'm getting better, certainly (and i mean really, what are you going to expect from someone who's so far had seven days of formal instruction?), but there are stupid errors i still make that i just don't have in my head. it's all a question of mapping thoughts directly to language without translation, and i suppose that takes a bit to set in. cutting new grooves in neural highways, what-have-you. hey, i'm not the psych-minor / cog-sci-concentrator, yo.

it's funny, though, being an incognito linguistics major in that intro deutsch 102 kurs. today we learned reflexive pronouns and verbs, and not only was i writing glosses in french (tell me with a straight face that "sich beeilen" does not map better to "se dépecher"), but discussion of the grammar is so much easier, and so much more universal than it is to any of the other kids in the class. one of the adult students had had some latin, and asked if the use of the dative case when the reflexive verb took a direct object ("ich bürste mir die Haare") didn't correspond directly to the dative of possession in latin. the teacher concurred, but would never have pointed out something like that herself, because it wouldn't help almost anybody. the discussion of weak vs. strong verbs today has been covered in many different classes i've taken; today the quite-applicable word ablaut was not mentioned once.

ich koche mir ein Grilledcheesesandwich. hehe. ah, agglutinating languages.

it's fun to recognize these patterns in languages and know that they map to some formal system. i remember i started getting this idea maybe in 9th or 10th grade, when i started studying italian (informally) for the choir's trip to italy in 1996. i'd had latin by then, and some smattering of spanish, but really only french. so to take a formal approach to another romance languages and begin to draw all kinds of parallels was fascinating. i became so intrigued and wondered why no one had done anything about this, delved into it ... anna, of course, was the one who said initially that i should be a linguist and told me to take an intro course (which i did, 101 at UW my senior year). you mean, there's an established discipline about this stuff? hellooooooo, mr. chomsky. yeah yeah, late bloomer. i still love it. it's fun that german is indo-european -- that english is germanic, for that matter -- but non-romance, which is all i've studied so far. parallels but on a different side of things than i've been looking at with the italic group. and now i can understand all that depressing poetry i used to sing. :-)

saturday and sunday past, i spent in chicago with anna's family, without anna, seeing cirque du soleil. pretty fucking fabulous stuff. highly-choreographed, acrobatic dancing and danceish acrobatics, to a live electronic score, huge amounts of crazy lights, and clowns to boot. as the italians say, c'è uno spetaccolo. certamente.

jetzt ich muß zu den Zahnarzt, who's going to tell me that i need my wisdom teeth out. damn. then back to play viola, and make cheesecake with ari and stoll später. yeah, summer's good. wish i had boy here but i'm talking to him quasidaily, which is fabulous, and i'm online as much as i possibly can be with this god-awful modem (hopefully dsl is in the near future of 2801 Regent St.), so we're in contact. 47 Tage.

Thursday, June 28, 2001, 8:52 PM

i just got carded. this is so obnoxious. restaurant proprietors, i am twenty years, nine months, and eight days old, and you can serve me wine. really. i'm not trying to buy cases of beer (i'll get my mom to do that for me if i feel the urge); i'm not entering a bar and ordering martinis -- i am simply requesting a glass of white wine with my meal. and apparently there's some fucking law in this country that reads something like this:

ARTICLE 107.3.40:
Legal adults will be allowed to vote in their country's elections, buy cigarettes and pornography, be subject to trial as an adult, and may consume alcoholic beverages as much as they like on their college campuses without fear of arrest or other retribution, so long as they maintain orderly conduct and do not break shit or otherwise cause a disruptive scene (i.e., barring all fraternities and (erstwhile! -- ha) football players), but shall not be allowed to participate in a quiet domestic meal in the company and with the consent of their parents or legal adult guardians, in which any form of alcohol is consumed. If this is attempted, the otherwise-adult will be subjected to a form of embarrassment and demeaning known as "carding," and shall then be denied the pleasure of a pino grigot with their meal, unless they produce a reasonably-convincing false ID, which they can procure on any street corner for a quite modest fee."

people, don't make me buy a fake ID. i don't need it. in three months i will turn 21, and will be completely legal for everything except renting a car in this wineforsaken country. however, in two months i will be in germany, and then austria, where the legal drinking age is something like 4. they're starting to serve beer to belgian first-graders. i mean, in eight weeks, people, you won't care. why do you care now? i give you my word i am not an undercover cop.

i stopped pouting long enough to enjoy the meal mom took us out to (les trois femmes, selon notre plaque -- ha, and i want to capitalize the Substantiv ... enough german for you, dearie). the tiramisu wasn't exactly screaming "pick me up!", but it was damn good nonetheless.

turns out rictor will give me lessons on sundays. hallelujah and draw a breath; i was afraid he didn't teach on weekends and this job was going to totally sabotage half the purpose of this summer (it being twofold: german and viola, both in preparation for the fall). another lesson today. it was good, and i love working with him, but i've got a fair amount of work to do. and it's damn hard when it's 90 degrees out and mosquitos are flying in your face. mom called about air conditioning the other day ... hope something comes of it. may have to invest in another fan.

i think i have a quiz tomorrow -- or shall i say a Quiz -- so i should go perhaps learn some Wörter. flashcards -- cute as they are, alexis -- are not exactly my speed, so maybe instead of studying i can do a little programming and make my computer flash german vocabulary at me in the form of xmessages. haha, sounds like a plan.

and i think i'll have some wine while i'm at it. bitches.

Saturday, June 30, 2001, 11:25 PM

spring cleaning in this household lasts all year, i guess. we've been attacking things at a moderate pace. today it was alexis' room; after that it will be mine (i want to paint the walls, and to finish moving my boxes from school in). i was looking for a wine glass tonight and ended up washing about six or seven that i didn't need, just because they were dirty. i'll finish tomorrow. the "clean-kitchen fetish," as laurel described it, kicked in and i've scrubbed the stovetop and three of the four grease-encrusted burners. next under siege are the counters, and perhaps the rest of the cabinets out here. this all after my room, of course.

and this is assuming that i'm going to have any time to clean, after monday. i should quit kvetching about that and just start believing that i'm not going to die and that this will be not only profitable, but fun, and good for the environment. everybody wins. and i can deal with thirteen-hour workdays ...

my toenails are golden again. painted them in honor of summer, as ritual. marTin thinks gold is vulgar, but then he's not here to see my toes, now is he. i did alana's toes too when i was over there this afternoon. swatties acting like little magnets around the country -- now in berkeley there are not only alyssa, laurel, and ben, who are living together, but also sean, who lives in the area to begin with, and rebecca and ester, who are visiting respective "bunnies." today at alana's house there was me, alana, and joel (price), a not-unusual combination, but still three out of 1400 or so current students (never mind that joel is '00 and a year graduated). joel's going with his girlfriend, another swattie, up to alaska for some time in august; marTin will be here for a while. joel was the first swattie marTin met -- he spec'ed with him; made him want to come to swat. ::whistling:: iiiiiiit's a smaaaaaaall socioeconomicclass, aaaaaaaaaafter aaaaaaaallll ...

and hey, i have new birks. my old ones were fallen apart to beyond the point of repair, which is kind of sad, since they're only 3 years old. i hadn't really realized that you're not supposed to let the sole wear down and eat into the cork, so that you're walking on about a millimeter of lining. oops. my mom had size 37s (i usually wear 38s) in brown that she hasn't been wearing almost at all, and donated them to the nori-must-be-shod cause. they fit perfectly well, and it's like having new feet. i hereby reiterate my praises of birkenstocks, those wonderful shoes!

i tried to resurrect my C tonight, in a vague attempt to create that flashcard program i was babbling about. then i realized that i never actually learned C in cs21, only a bastardized version with all kinds of book libraries that obscure the real functions. and i'm talking basic functions, like inputting a string or floating-point value, or even a character or integer! i don't care -- just don't tell me that saying

int i;
i = GetInteger();

will actually get me anywhere in <stdio.h>. because it won't. bitches. i'm now very frustrated with what appears to have been a worthless class.

well, not worthless, i guess. that class introduced me to unix, and fueled my general-yet-vague sense of geekiness, which i'd been passively fostering ever since i picked up QBasic from watching my dad write programs into our AppleIIc in what must have been second grade. that was as far as i'd gotten programming-wise, but i did know my way around a windoze box, no problem. general yet unfocused acumen, which cs21 ("unix and c: the imperative paradigm") helped to concentrate and direct, at least momentarily ... probably would have ended there -- i remember resolving to (and having a crisis about) not take any more cs classes last fall. i felt like i was dropping my masculine, geeky side, and laurel sympathized, having dropped physics in a similar vein. ah, my gender issues. someday i'll write about them, put them in a tidy box and post them online, and never have to deal with them again. they've been pretty dormant since april. i'd like to keep them that way. i think that's due to a beautiful symbiosis i've got going here ... but i digress (well, not really; marTin <=> computers in a lot of ways, but hey). were it not for the aforementioned geek, i'd most likely never have gotten up the energy to get over my microsoft inertia, still be running windoze, and know a lot less about computers than i do now. which is not to say i know anything, i just have more pretensions now. :)

wow. too bad i have no tolerance for alcohol. i mock my mother on a regular basis because her one glass of sherry over an egyptian-french historical romance/thriller will knock her out, but i'm sure i got my lightweightedness from her. this is all evident, of course, in the progression of tangents in the above paragraphs. damn this second glass of wine.

i'm not much of a patriot -- never was one, and don't get me started on the reasons why not tonight -- so i missed the 300,000-person spectacle that is Rhythm & Booms tonight. oops. oh well, it's not even the fourth yet. i believe it's off to bed for another evening of dykes to watch out for (alexis lent me her collection), followed by sleeping in. mmmmmm, sleep. i intend to enjoy it while i can ... not much left in that area!

for those of you who are webjournal-voyeurs, chris fanjul has recommenced his. always worth checking out, judging from previous entries.

all this ©nori heikkinen, June 2001

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