july, 2001

Sunday, July 1, 2001, ~8:00 PM

"sometimes i really need a french-german dictionary." --nori
"well, you can pick one up cheaply next semester ..." --mom
"wait a minute! aargh! i'm turning into you!" --nori
"i hate that grammatical construction! it's so wrong!" --mom
"i can't really sympathize with you anymore -- i think this linguistics major is taking over." --nori
"you're becoming a descriptivist on me!!" --mom

Saturday, July 7, 2001, 12:01 PM

found some van morrison on my computer, and it's now playing itself in alphabetical order. damn that my modem is so slow it won't look up the actual order of these tracks. on to Brown Eyed Girl. they have stuff playing like this all the time in the office ... mostly music i don't know. it amazes me every so often just how much pop music i missed out on over the years. never heard of most of these groups -- not like i'd be out there buying half of it anyhow, but the fact that i only encountered van morrison this year or last is kind of appalling, no?

the office -- by this i mean madison hq of wispirg, a small office cooled by a ceiling fan and postered top-to-bottom with paper cutouts illustrating giant thermometers of the goals they're trying to realize and break this summer, of names of people who have had "hot nights" ($150 or more a night), with campaign facts, maps of wisconsin with the congressional districts outlined, &c. it's definitely the coolest work atmosphere i've ever had. one of the requirements, apparently, for these PIRG offices is that music always be going on the stereo. they go way out of their way to maintain this pumped-up, colorful atmosphere, and it helps a lot. canvassing is the hardest work i've ever done (well, non-academic, that is) -- it's physically grueling, and takes mental strength and a really fucking good attitude to get out there and have door after door after door tell you,

  • no, i'm really not interested
  • no, i voted for bush
  • no, i'm for big business
  • no, won't that raise our taxes?
  • no, i drink only bottled water

&c. they tell us that 80% of the doors we encounter are potential givers, but i'm not so sure about that. i think it might be more like 60%. still, only 15% of the doors you'll actually have conversations at (which is about half of the doors you'll knock on in a night -- people are never home!) actually give you money. and we're not talking the "suggested contribution" of $60 -- so far, with my three nights out on my own, i've gotten everything from $2 to $60. and much more on the "small con[tributions]" end of it, let me tell you. in waunakee last night, i was $8 short of a hot night, mostly from small cons.

and dude, do my legs hurt! this is certainly the most physically taxing work i've ever done. we're "on turf" from 4-9 pm daily, walking from door to door, trying to make good time to get in the most possible conversations, and turf can be hilly. on an average summer day it's around 85° out, but feels more like 90. the sun is beating down on you straight from 4-6 at least, and then it cools off around 7-9, which is nice, because that's when people get home and start giving you money. i'm going to get a farmer's tan if i keep wearing t-shirts, and 3-strap birkenstock tan if i keep wearing those. may go out and invest in some actual walking shoes today, however ... while i love these birks, i'm not sure they're suited to the five hours of hiking i'm doing every day in them.

canvassing is pretty cool. i expected to get sick of it and not be able to take it, but i think « ce qui ne me tue pas me rend plus forte » , right? and six weeks (five more) of this will certainly make me stronger if i can survive it. i've only actually been out on turf by myself for 3 days so far, because my first day was shadowing someone else, and we got the 4th of july off. hung around the house a bunch; finally got to talk to m., whose 7-hour time difference in combination with my job don't make this phone thing any easier; went out and ate at the Saz with stoll, then played some pool at his house. a good day and a much-needed break.

problem is, i'm not only trying to do this trying job, but also german (98% on my last test -- i'm feeling better about this crazy language, slowly) and viola. i could do the two, but the three might kill me. i try to get up at 6:30 am, i shower and eat breakfast and ich ziehe mich an, but then when i try to really wake up and do something focused for an hour or so like practicing, my body rebells and i crawl straight back under the covers. i wake up exhausted and go to bed exhausted. i'm running on 6h sleep. it's saturday now, and i just slept till 11:30 or so. if i can really do 5 more weeks of this, that will be great. i hope i can ... i think i can ...

meantime, as i said, german's going pretty well. just encountered the crazy rules about contextual adjectival endings, but in general i'm feeling pretty good about my abilities in the language. mom was cleaning (alexis' room) the other day, and found a maternity dress that she'd made for herself when she was pregnant with me. wow. asked if i knew anyone was pregnant. actually, my Deutschlehrerin is well into her 3rd trimester, so i gave corina the dress. cute; she laughed.

i think the project this weekend is painting my room. finally. we're going to tear up the carpet and reveal the hardwood floors underneath, too. finally, a room that's not a relic of seventh grade! :) the project is also lots of sleep, and recuperation for next week. i think this will work ... and if it doesn't, i will have a large curative factor here with me in august. alles ist gut.

marTin, you win -- it was Nietzsche who said « ce que ne me tue pas me rend plus fort » .

Sunday, July 8, 2001, 11:10 PM

the doctor said it sounded to her like some kind of italian noodle.
unfortunately, it's not half as cool as that. it means "twisted neck" in latin, i guess, and describes the pain i've been in today. woke up this morning and looked at my clock, something i usually do in a completely normal range of motion, and for some reason this time it felt like something snapped.

apparently this comes on with no forewarning, and is triggered by the most random things. it feels like a muscle's been pulled, but really one has just minorly detached itself from the base of the skull. ew.

so i bought advil and a malleable ice pack and i just chilled today -- read some "hitchhiker's guide," prompted by one of marTin's honors orals examiners showing up carrying a towel right after douglas adams' death. i've read it before but had forgotten (it's fun -- now i remember why i initially laughed at altavista's babelfish), and having finished the dykes to watch out for series that alexis lent me, i'm out of fluff. ben says:

Canvassing door-to-door in the sun is physically grueling work; I didn't find myself having enough energy even to read. Perhaps you're a tougher person than I

eh, i'm not so sure about that. we'll see how long i last -- my goal is still six weeks, and i've got one down and five to go ... but i certainly don't have enough energy to read anything non-fluff. got my brain full with german, and i'm just mentally exhausted after a day in the sun.

tomorrow, apparently, will be a day in the sun with a sore neck. :( oh well. aside from anything else, as i said yesterday, this is making me a stronger person in some ways. Was mich nicht tötet, macht mir stärker. something like that. i will be stronger, have a better attitude, be in better shape (i got walking shoes yesterday -- ought to help the feet a lot), &c. stick to my guns. T minus 35 days, and this time it's a countdown to positive.

Thursday, July 12, 2001, 10:59 PM

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."

apparently said first in german. (i punctuate accordingly.) i've heard it in french originally. well, they share a border. whatever. in whatever language, it's been the subject of my musings recently. i think they've come to an end.

that which does not kill you ... this encompasses a lot, from spaghetti to assorted jobs one might have. i like to think that spaghetti makes me stronger, but temping at WPS has really not led me to believe that i'm actually building character while double-checking a computer's scanning on automatically-processed insurance claims. tolerance for mind-numbing tedium, perhaps. character? no. that was two summers ago, though ...

... makes you stronger. the milk (ghost -- sorry, marTin) which my mom is currently pushing on me end of the gallon; it's cleanoutthefridge time to make room for new groceries, makes me stronger. huzzah ossification. things which i may not like, make me stronger. i'll accept all this as premises.

but at what point do priorities collide? at what point does an ideal situation turn into self-imposed boot camp? seems to me i should have figured this out by now, after years of doing exactly that. swarthmore, while my ideal school in so many respects, has done nothing to help this chronic syndrome i have of biting off more than i can chew.

and it's summer! this is not supposed to happen. so while this wispirging thing is not killing me, per se -- i mean, factually i'm still breathing and i'm actually pretty healthy what with all the walking around, and i'm even sporting a [modified farmer] tan -- it is killing parts of me. namely, the viola parts. and that's priority number Eins this summer, along with german. work is Zwei, and i need to keep it like that. the directors aren't going to be happy -- bruce already told me flat-out that i couldn't do part time when i called today.

when i called today, i was not malingering, so to speak, but just taking what my mom termed a "mental health day." those aren't permitted. oh well -- i spent mine fabulously. got off the bus a stop early on the way home, and stopped into the regent st. co-op, where i found stev[i]e hall working. he's graduated and going to u-chicago in the fall, still with emily hill as far as i know (how cute -- a virtuosic viola-playing couple!), and learning the bartók this summer! i chatted for a while, then picked up lemonade, fresh sourdough baguette, a nytimes, and organic oreos (recommended by steve, who really can't take the diminutive '-ie' anymore). walked home (i do like my walking shoes! so does my mom, who's currently sipping sherry and reading while wearing them), read the paper, got infuriated once more with our current buffoon of a president, and wrote him a letter about stem-cell research. german. viola -- good to be playing again. i haven't been able to, what with my neck and work since saturday. making me realize all the more that this job has got to give. i'll i'll just apply at the library, do it that way ... not top dollar but $3/h more than swat pays its librarians, and i'm happy with that. c'est la vie. guess laurel was right about her addition to the phrase: "except polio." there are debilitating circumstances, and i guess this is just one of them.

alexis, for what it's worth, is now at art camp and has changed her name to "firefly." please address her as such in the future. she's been doing some pretty cool stuff there, too.

one month exactly.

Saturday, July 14, 2001, 2:16 PM

mm. package, wrapped in pinkish paper and with »luftpost« stickers on it. can read some of the words, which is more than i could do four weeks ago. pictures; cds; eau de toilette; a laptop ethernet card; a yellow letter (et bien sûr un peu de plus). makes me very happy. 42 days at the time of sending; 29 now. to make them pass faster. i spent this morning enjoying the contents, esp. the goldfrapp cd. an interesting combination -- the hitchhiker's guide i'm currently reading, is a strange mix of roald dahl and vonnegut. it's lunatic perspective, but very fun. and highlighted by the goldfrapp -- well, that and lemonade, sunbathing in my pink flowered bikini on the porch, organic oreos, baguette, and this huge canpoy of leaves overhead i've never really noticed (eventually threw shade onto me by about 1:50 pm, so i only got about once and a half times through the cd ... have since brought my newly-confiscated discman (there are perks to cleaning your sister's room!) and huge headphones inside, and am listening to this synthesized barrage of strings and literally sotto voce sub-bass, in front of orange) ... accentuates the afternoon nicely. i'm trying to find a word that means highlight, accentuate, illuminate, without sounding flat and or popmous. something with gold implications. perhaps just the word "goldfrapp" will suffice -- somehow the title (well, technically "felt mountain") manages to convey the contents, to circumscribe and highlight the limbo of this summer, and to pick up on small illuminations of the past four or so months, not counting june and july ... pictures received yesterday. don't have many, for some reason -- i think there are more on the roll i currently have in use, but i have nothing on which to shoot off the remaining half, so i don't really know -- i only have a few right now, as i said, and half of those are the ridiculous ones eve took of noodle antics post- some dinner party, and in half the rest he's insisting he's not photogenic, and therefore making himself not be. these range from age a few months to the very recent, all making me happy. resolidifying the mental image. the voice coming over the telephone wires is from 4533 miles away, and the line goes out over what would be natural silences during face-to-face conversations. seven hours time difference, me at GMT -0500, him +0200, which means that at 11:30 last night there were thirty days left on my end and twenty-nine on his. talking at odd times, especially when i work. yellow letters back and forth across the atlantic par avion (luftpost). triggering reminiscinces, walking along the path (the only -- it's so small) at swarthmore, horizontal from lodge deux to the sun lab (greetings from the heart of the sun, he said), winding past the field house (finally discovered where it was), along the track, under the pollinating trees (flowers shaken onto my head; he's allergic) back to a dorm i never thought i'd visit, living like god in france, an orange pillow ... earlier even, though, mahler 9 with claire and gabe in the city. spoons and preplanned conversations in paces. a well-timed joint. porgy and bess, sharing a box with a couple thirty years older, and both the men stroked our hair. --elements of all this floating around this summer, and the sun on my shoulders reflects in the tracks of this luminescent cd. voices from a quarter of the way 'round the world, and twenty nine days (four weeks and 25 hours) until it's ... well, everything.

thanks for the package!

Tuesday, July 17, 2001, 7:34 PM

orange:~/school/deutsch/102> ispell -d german hausaufgabe_7-17-2001.tex

hehehehe. crack for nori is obviously not platform dependent.

penguin i did have a few reservations about switching from micro$oft to linux. but they were all assuaged by the rocking penguin at left (which i tell people is the sole reason i switched over when i don't feel like explaining, or when they're not going to listen to the answer anyhow and insist it's just because it's my boyfriend's OS of choice -- ahem, mother) -- okay, the penguin and the language compatibility. LaTeX still doesn't like words with accents, but it just caught me trying to make a strong verb into a weak one, so i am happy -- happier, in fact, than i was with little red ziggly underlines in Word.

the new TA in german leaves something to be desired, which is unfortunate. i liked corina a lot better. this guy is a linguistics grad student, i assume, with a background in old germanic languages, who says all his "ch"s like "sch"s, making his churches the same as his cherries. i don't like him much. corina learned german in berlin, and you could tell it. this guy speaks like a linguist (not to insult my own kind, but a facility and an affinity for languages do not necessarily go hand in hand!) plus, he's not much of a teacher. class doesn't flow; people don't volunteer answers. and because this is the same class as when corina had us, i can say with 100% certainty that it's his fault. :-P oh well, 3 weeks 3 days left of it. not bad at all. and i am learning, which is fun. we wrote a märchen today, hehe:

Ein Märchen
- Janelle Schwartz & Nori Heikkinen
17.Juli 2001

Es war einmal ein Luftballon, der ein hübsche Hexe darein hatte. Der Luftballon flog über die Bäumen, sehr hoch. Er war auch ein hässlich Königssohn, der in einem Baum Vögel schoß. Der Königssohn den Luftballon sah, und er sagte, "Was ist Das? Vielleicht ist es ein Vogel, und ich muß es töten." So schoß er an den Luftballon. Aber machte er einen großen Irrtum -- er sah die Hexe nicht! Aber die Hexe ihn sah. Sie gellte an ihn, und verfluchte ihn: "Du, hässlich Königssohn! Du bist ein schlimmer Mann! Ich verdamme dich -- jetzt wirst du ein gejagter Vogel sein, wie die Vögel, die du schoß!" So worde der Königssohn ein Vogel, und die Hexe schoß ihn mit ein Wurfgeschoß.

fun shit. probably all kinds of errors. oh well.

am really enjoying the time off this job. much reading, violaing, germaning, napping, and lounging has been done. and yes, i am looking for something part-time. i'm also catching up on my sleep. :) have now heard all the cds that marTin sent over, which took me a while, because there are six of them, all good. my favorite remains the goldfrapp. listened to ferry corsten this morning, one he made me very early on, which i had with me over spring break in FL, and listened to constantly along with tangerine dream's poland, and the mix tape ross had made alyssa. music from our boys. smitten x 106, as she said. still true and i think the exponent may have upped since then. just a tad. :) good memories -- parties and people.

damn. the batteries on my discman have been out for about an hour now. telling me to get my ass away from the computer (but i was doing my homework! --my ass you were, you finished that and then have been poking around online since!) and go change them, or better yet, practice. stamitz it is.

Thursday, July 19, 2001, 4:08 PM

i've got tangerine dream logos followed by mahler 7 on the stereo right now, one after the other, and i'm feeling not uncharacteristically metaphoric. i don't want to draw direct parallels, because that never leads anywhere, and what matter coincidences like this in matters of that which is born of metaphors? plenty, would say kundera -- this particular beethoven (a string quartet in his case; the 7th symphony in ours); that particular group of electronica (filed under "easy listening" at the exclusive co.). es muß sein. and it seems so fatalistic.

remember what i wrote almost four months ago?

March 28, 2001
ontology is recapitulating phylogeny right now in my head, or perhaps it's in that hidden layer between the voices of a bach fugue where my hot buttered soul lives (in the barn next year with ross, apparently)--just as my fins disappeared in the womb, i've gone through palestrina's counterpoint lessons in music eleven and from mona, through beethoven and eroica, and on to romanticism now in fourteen, at which point, stepping in perfectly on cue (or rather, presciently timing a joint in the sun lab one night), enter the ambient century: from mahler to trance and martin, filling me with electronica and logical continuations. and continuations. i'm not sure i believe it yet--it's hard to tell what i believe; depends on whom it affects and how, and what it might mean in the future (the Third Viennese School?)--and M. Electronica might not convince me, but ultimately if i scream perhaps we can sample it and call it Ambiance? i'm still reading, but i might be falling. how do you tell what is [music] and what isn't? ...

i've come a ways since then. the ending is different -- i've fallen; the third viennese school is happily imminent, along with a stop in madison and münchen beforehand ... but my metaphors still stem from the music. hardly surprising; i don't blame myself.

i wish that this were easier across 4533 miles. (ich weiß, daß ich ungeduldig bin!) and at least i've got structure to my day, as you point out, with german classes and practicing --

-- which deserves an interlude. i had my last lesson sunday, and the stamitz was limping along. coming, but slowly. a few pointed tips ("we have to assume that if stamitz knew how to write a septuplet if he wanted one!") and rictor today barely recognized the piece, with only four days in between lessons as opposed to the usual week. the wicked octaves just tossed off; the rhythms cleaned up and bouncing; the meter fallen mostly into place. i do good work when i set my mind to it. and i love playing. "do you teach", he asks, "? ... no? well, when you do, i think you'd make a good teacher." i've put the brahms aside for now and am focusing on this stamitz, to have it polished and memorized for whatever auditions i'm sure i'll have to play in Vienna in the fall. i'll have a lesson with diedre next week, whom i saw at the concert on the square last night, and who promises to teach me all about the intricacies of scales, which i've all but let go completely. i love having the time to do this! (huzzah again for having quit my job!)

-- but music, always the link. beethoven seven to begin with, you mentioned in paces. a symphony i didn't actually know, and i checked it out (and the score) immediately. at the same time threw off a reference to the bach cello suites, always closest to my heart. soon i had de-phazz, tangerine dream, pink floyd on my hard drive, and some combination of the above and bowie always streamed out of my speakers. your speakers. those in the robot lab. hazy nights falling asleep to a genre of music i still had trouble classifying. meantime, me still immersed in the brahms and other music of my orchestras, ensembles. spring break i took with me ferry corsten and tangerine dream's poland. mahler nine early on in philly (you sat with your eyes closed through half of it; translated movement titles to me). porgy and bess in the same concert hall. my final PYO concert of the year in the academy, even in the middle of honors orals prep. firebird and you said the tannhäuser overture gave you goosebumps. one song on banco de gaia's igizeh always made me cry (track 4). i heard bits of opera and tone poems resampled into this electronica. now, through the mail gibt es goldfrapp, more de-phazz, air ... and i work on stamitz, brahms e-flat. eroica in the fall (oct. 21) in münchen with rictor in the american sinfonietta. from mahler to trance. (mark prendergast, author, wrote the liner notes on logos.) from trance to mahler. to that german-speaking world, at least. i forget sometimes, or rather it's not readily apparent at seven hours and thousands of miles apart, the exact reasons i'm so attracted to you. the above chronicle should be a small part of a beginning to an answer.

it sucks, this distance. no two ways about it. i hate it and i hate telephones, too, but it's that or no voice at all. stoll cautioned against regimenting things, against forced emailing and calling, &c. and i'm conscious of that, but i want to communicate. if we keep communicating frequently it's my best attempt at simulating (this far apart) the constant contact we had recently, at swat. and i know it will all fall back into place in twenty-four days. (gott sei dank it's that few!) but in the meantime, i wish it were easier. and i'm not sure how to make it easier. it doesn't help that i don't even know how to release an old ip and get a new one in linux, and i can now do it in windoze. blah! i have got to be more self-sufficient about this, and it feels sometimes like there's an impossible amount to learn.

dude, man, it's capital X!
and these are consoles, tty1 - tty6

right right right. okay, i suck. i'm trying to learn.

vierundzwanzig. es ist zu lang, aber ich muß warten.
vierundzwansig Küsse.

Friday, July 20, 2001, 3:25 PM

it is three twenty-five p.m., and i am one happy camper. queued up i have: miles davis - birth of the cool; de-phazz - death by chocolate; tangerine dream - logos; goldfrapp - felt mountain; mahler - 7. a good lineup, even if this ancient five-disc changer won't play the burned cd (admittedly it was twenty cents, and i don't blame it) of miles davis. darn that dream anyhow. de-phazz is the electronic lounge i was in the mood for anyhow. anyhow.

today has gone much better than i thought it was going to. not that it had any excuse to have gone less well -- it is a friday, after all! class was kind of stupid, as is usually with this new stupid TA and his stupid schwartzwald accent. we read a Märchen that most of us could only get half of, which i suppose is cool, but his teaching strategy was to have us guess at the meaning of words -- "what do you think »Wiese« means?" --dude, i have no fucking clue. it's not a cognate or anything! just tell me and don't let me form wrong associations. (meadow.) so after two hours of stupid Frau Holle and the most backwards way i've ever seen of teaching the genitive case, i wandered down to wispirg, a block or so away, to pick up my check, expecting animosity for having quit, and encountered only normal atmosphere. less money than it should have been for that amount of work, but i made quota and it was as advertised. sort of. glad i quit -- even if i'm not making any money currently, it's better than making shit money for sixty hours of work a week. and this way i can practice.

cashed the check at the credit union, and now i have some money, at least enough to pay my bills. which is in the black, which is what i'm shooting for.

without time for lunch, i picked up a seventy-five cent sticky rice ball at the vietnamese ("I'm Here!") food cart (sukothai was closed, which meant no godlike squash curry) on the square, and meandered up maxwell street days on state street to MLK jr. boulevard, to the city-county building. i there took the silliest test i've ever taken in my life (with the possible exception of the CAT tests we took in third, eighth, and tenth grades -- that is, until i realized there were no consequences if i skipped the 10th grade ones, and therefore got 99th percentile on half the subjects and 0th percentile on the rest :), which was a prerequisite for working at the public library. (funny, how we have a civil service test for working at the public library, but no intelligence prereq for serving as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, being put in charge of decisions about stem-cell funding, and anointing yourself president ... not that i'm bitter!) i doubt i'll find any work in the next three weeks, which is unfortunate. the job market here sucks. if i'd wanted a job, i should have applied really early, and canvassed the entire city for one. like the opera house ...

... which was my next stop. i'd heard from stoll, who'd stopped there for a "business" lunch with his dad a couple days ago, that mark samuels was still working there, bartending. how apt for him. i love how he hated the ivory-tower bullshit of the east coast, but can bartend and shoot the breeze with joel, the accountant graduate of u-chicago regular, drawing parallels between the wines of california vs. france to hemingway vs. some other author. i wasn't really paying attention, i was more smiling at the situation. a smile i find i often wear in mark's presence, a sideways comment on his situation and his take on it. it's amusing. and i mean that in absolutely no pejorative manner. mark offers me a drink; i remind him that i'm underage; he reminds me pointedly that i'm not. right. i remind him i don't have a spare seven-fifty; he negates the price with a wink. he pours me an espresso martini (mmm) after having taken care of the lunch rush (meantime i peruse julie and jeanne's zine, which i still have stuck in my bag), and joel comes in and has a few regular martinis (gin; curled lime peel). i chill in the bar two good hours, joel getting mark to pour us samples of various whites, then offering to take us (well, mark's working still -- so, me) out someplace else for more drinks. i point out i'm (a) wearing cutoffs (joel's got his accountant digs on, jacket and tie) and (b) operating sans id. joel points out that (a) he doesn't care and (b) a woman has never been carded while with him. i would have gone if josh, friend of stoll whom i've met a few times, and waiter at opera house who'd just ended his shift and was about to leave, hadn't agreed to drive me home. i did not feel like figuring out how the bus routes were going to navigate the craziness and detours instigated by maxwell street days. oh well, i'm tipsy enough off this one martini and various whites. and i had fun getting that way, too. joel perused the dessert menu, ordered a flourless chocolate cake, declared he couldn't finish it, and gave me the rest. please note, liebe Leser und liebe Leserinnen, that lunch has now been a sticky fried rice ball, a chocolate-espresso martini, and half a (albeit small but rich!) flourless gateau au chocolat. it is three o'clock on a friday afternoon, joel has no intention of returning to work, and mark asks what i'm doing tomorrow (which happens to be nothing) and gives me his phone number before i leave. good -- i didn't feel like pushing mine on him, but wanted to see him before i took off for a semester of speaking the language of which he gave me my first official reference. (about three or so years ago, he handed me a book -- "teach yourself german" -- saying that i was the only person he knew who would actually teach themselves german. he's pretty right. :) excellent lunch and excellent afternoon. now the de-phazz is at more decibels than should be allowed in this quiet, academic, west-side neighborhood, and i believe i'll take a nap or read. i will upload this at about sixteen billion times the speed i previously have been -- with the help of a beautiful (yellow!) ethernet crossover cable purchased yesterday, dsl is now up and purring (never mind that it fucks up the phone lines with so much ambient noise -- phone filters are coming, they tell us), and then go purr by myself. lovely friday. this is how i like it.

le monde entier
n'est q'un miroir de ma beauté
ma peau aussi blanche, aussi blanche que la neige,
ma bouche vermeille come le sang ...
dada, c'est comme ça,
je ne sais pourquoi ...

well you got to meet me online ...
download you for a lifetime ...

twenty-three days.

sonntag, 22.Juli 2001, 23:12

ich weiß nicht, was ich machen muß, oder was ich darf nicht machen. ich weiß nicht, in welche Sprache ich schreiben und sprechen muß. ich will die zweite Person benutzen, aber es gibt keinen Grund für das -- ich denke, daß niemand liest das. ich kann nicht wissen. ich will sprechen, und wir müssen über ein paar Dinge sprechen -- keine Probleme, aber ein paar kleine Dinge in die Zukunft. was werde ich machen im Januar. ob wir zusammenbleiben durch den Monat nach Wien können, und so weiter. ich will sprechen aber die Telefone sind wirklich furchtbar und man kann nicht natürlich sprechen. wie das zu machen?

alana fragt, »könnt ihr wirklich über die Zukunft sprechen?« und ich habe »ja« gesagt. ich habe gedacht, daß nach die Woche in Juni, die Zukunft war sehr sicher. »August ist bald,« und ich habe an das geglaubt.

aber jetzt habe ich immer noch alpträume. ich kann nicht über die Schweiz in meinem Deutschbuch lesen; ich kann nicht blondes Haar sehen, ohne krank werden. diese Alpträume sind nicht so viel als in Mai, aber gibt es ein paar, und jetzt kann ich nicht aufwachen und sofort dich über meine träume erzählen -- ich muß dich anrufen, und dann kann ich immer noch dich nicht sehen.

mein Deutsch wird nach und nach besser, und ich freue mich über das. aber heute Morgen ich konnte nicht mit der Mutter in ihrer Sprach reden -- es war zu schwierig, zu früh (ein anderer Alptraum). anna sagt, daß diese Knabe wissen soll, was ich tue -- jaja, diese Klasse ist für mein Semester in Wien, aber denkst du, daß es keinen anderen Grund gibt? manchmal denke ich (ein bißchen) in diese Sprach -- das ist wie ich für dich warte.

also, weil ich nicht sage, in welche Sprach soll ich jetzt schreiben, ich werde nicht mehr schreiben. ... na, nicht mehr heute. ich kann nicht lang warten! schreib mir, ich bettele dich! heute gibt es genau drei Woche mehr. ich zähle die Tage auf deutsch und in tabletten -- ein grüne Woche und zwei blaue, bevor du kommst. ach, schau an -- die zweite Person, immer in meinem Gedanken. ich hasse das: die Entfernung; die Zeit; diese sieben Stunden und diese drei Wochen, die bleiben; die Alpträume; alles ohne dich. ich bin ganz liebeskrank (bist du auch?); ich bin dumm. ich hasse alles.

Wednesday, July 25, 2001, 2:21 PM

i never really realize that once a month i get angsty. (and i mean that in the english sense, not the etymological german one.) stupid, these phases. i guess half the population has learned to deal with it. perhaps the down-turn in the weather has helped, too. the humidity all but gone now. the other day i opened my viola case to practice, and because everything was so swollen with water, the pegs out of shape and sticking in their holes, thereby refusing to give, the d-string had just snapped. yes, it was old and needed changing (i ordered more), but the process of restringing it with a used string, then in so doing managing to misalign the bridge, was frustrating, to say the least. i think i've managed to readjust my string length without meaning to, which is okay because my intonation isn't the dead-on, center-of-the-pitch marvel it used to be (jaja, working on it), but i found myself wishing i knew how to make these instruments so i could fix them if i did fuck them up, and not have to come crying to my teachers and maestros (-i?) when the bridge is out of alignment. this digression, of course, with the help of our new dsl (the linux boxes are up; i have yet to network the rest of the house), let me easily find a luthier in munich at whose feet i intend to throw myself this coming fall, begging for a summer apprenticeship. i dunno. i don't know where i'll be in the summer, and i sometimes think it's scary to talk concretely past whenever you've bought plane tickets for, but right now this is the framework on which i'm hanging my dreams. sorry if it's scary; aber es ist auch fantastisch, ja?

i got my bow rehaired yesterday. just returned from picking it up -- this guy, charlie pinckney, works fast! new in town but came highly recommended to rictor, so i called him. offered me not only hawaiian punch but a choice of bow hair colors! i hadn't been prepared for this. some of my friends back east had their bows done with red hair (just typical white horsehair, dyed) and i saw Pamela Frank solo with Orchestra 2001 this past season who played with blue hair, but i think it makes you look less professional. i might do it sometime. i don't think so, though -- the bow he lent me for the duration (all 23 hours it took him!) had green hair, and it was strangeish playing on it. black (which color i ended up choosing) has more grip anyways, he says, and most bassists and cellists prefer it because of that. since i always like a ton of rosin on my bows, maybe i want to stick with the classy black? i like. we'll see how snooty austria makes me. :)

new books from the library. a couple viennese histories; a couple novels. i'd forgotten how i used to live at the library, especially during summers. i'm boredish these days, not that practicing and painting rooms and tearing up carpets doesn't keep me occupied, but having finished my sister's complete hitchhiker's guide anthology, i need something more. hurrah for books!

eighteen. i can't help but count down.

Monday, July 30, 2001, 9:15 PM

ester and ben lament that they hate the telephone. "nothing honest comes thru a telephone, or very little. i prefer email and letters: representations of voice rather than actual, physical voice. the latter is too imperfect," kvetches the former. i sympathize, kids. at least you're not off sailing the mediterranean for a week, sans any kind of contact. i'm fine; i'm dealing; but i wish i could of [sic; came out of my fingers and i'm leaving it] at least talked to marTin today, instead of rolling around in bed, the backs of my legs emitting enough heat to power a small village.

you'd think i would have learned by now. apparently not. in florida over spring break, i burned my calves and back under a cloudy sky, not expecting it (a sarong of sorts was covering my upper legs, so they didn't burn). so yesterday, when alana, laura kepner-adney, lydia, and i went to devil's lake to bask and eat and swim and hike, i put sunscreen on my lower legs but not my uppers, figuring that was what had been burnt before. where is the logic, i ask you? rar. so now i can almost walk, about thirty hours later. i ate dinner yesterday but since then have spent today sleeping, reading the once and future king, and being generally nauseous and unable to hold down food. tried one bite of bagels forever's poppyseed bagel with cream cheese -- usually my favorite food, or one of them -- and it came right back up. when mom got home she made me a strawberry shake, and at least that's some calories, but i don't want to push it into solid foods yet. skipped german, needless to say. oh well -- only kristin was there anyhow, my t.a. told me via email.

the once and future king, t.h.
white this book is not as cool as i'd expected it to be, it being a classic of fantasy english lit and all. i really should have read it after i did mists of avalon, because the latter is really coloring my perception of this one. oh well, it's well-written, descriptive, slow-going, and about seven hundred pages long, which is just what i need for summer -- especially today, when i couldn't really walk. i'm going to try to get into class tomorrow.

yesterday, alana and laura and i (lydia having left early to go see a show in town) got offered a record deal. we started hiking one of the trails, which i've never actually been on (we usually just scamper about the rocks which house all kinds of rattlesnakes, &c.), and sat down on a bluff and tried a couple songs. we were doing big sky, a 4-part piece, with three parts, really poorly, and when we finished this guy starts clapping and asks us if we're signed. we laugh in his face and he reiterates the question. um, no ("you're lying," laura tells him). he begs us to hear him out -- he says he's a ninth-level shaman, and to prove it, he pulls out these two little metal sticks and starts asking them questions and talking to them. he wants us to come with him to a clearing one rock or two higher up. we're skeptical, but we follow. "i'm not sure why i'm supposed to bring you here ..." huh? when his friends show up, we leave, asking some older hikers on the path to walk us back down. this guy starts crying because we won't take his phone number (laura finally copies it down out of pity) as the band shows up with their groupies. we went to parfrey's glen instead, which was near and just as beautiful. weird, tripping, wacko!

this burn had better heal in time for me getting my wisdom teeth out on friday! i have every confidence that it will -- the aloe that marTin gave me after i used up all of mine over spring break is helping; i'm a little less pink (though i'll have funny tan lines from this); i think i'll be able to hold food tomorrow -- and that my wisdom teeth will then heal quickly. thirteen days left -- i want to be whole!

the background today is ilana's, ester's friend. don't know her last name but should have credited it earlier anyhow. the whole country burned this weekend, it seems!

Tuesday, July 31, 2001, 12:40 PM

i've been thinking a lot about swarthmore a lot recently, and specifically this past semester, or perhaps year, there. i'm not sure quite what triggers it, and it's not quite nostalgia, just a happy sense of being. today it happened while i was toasting myself bread on which to put hummus and Gemüse, to make myself a sandwich. that hearkened back to so many meals-on-the-run chez Sharples this past year. i have rehearsal in ten minutes, and all i can grab is a sandwich -- or, alternately, after seven when tarble opened, Tarble Joe's sandwiches. usually tuna melt with swiss, provolone, mayo, and onions. didn't have to be a melt. he made the best ones. laurel's idea to get ingredients from sharples (beginning with the cooky party), and our subsequent weekly trips across the sharplesian plane and the mertz-ultimate field, carrying fifty-pound bags of flour, three dozen eggs, two loaves of bread, &c. egg sandwiches (sunny-side-up egg cum cheese on toasted bread, toasted in the oven on 200 briefly) in the lodge when i didn't have time for anything else, or pierogies, if there had been a recent raid on the pierogi bar. marTin had been to sharples only once in the year before i met him, and i think what with screw, and early honors orals, he ended up going a few more times, but he certainly influenced my eating habits there. what with his obstinate sticking to european dining times (5-6 dinner is an abomination! he'd rant, and i agree but tarble gets old for a vegetarian) and eve's cooking impetus, there were whole weeks where i didn't see the inside of sharples. and i liked it that way. marTin would come down intermittently, deciding he could work in my room, and i'd feed him malaysian peanut sauce (he preferred it in more of a soup fashion -- three parts sauce to one part rice) or carrot cake or whatever was on the menu (as willets basement started asking after a while) for the night. ramen with egg was a staple; one night he put german pancake in it and made pancake soup.

and the eating mingled with the music. franz schubert patrick bit schubert into my back once, eating the notes in blood-ink into the empty staves running across my shoulderblades when i was only half-conscious. dinner parties happened with less and less frequency, but we still tried to squeeze them in, especially when random friends from vassar, canada, brown, or harvard were visiting, often all at once. we were sleeping a good eleven one night, i believe. usually someone would descend on my computer and queue up hours of mp3s -- and the styles intermingled, depending on who was there. if laurel and jenny were there (as they always were), something folky was bound to find its way on. beth orton; dar; eddie from ohio -- people and groups i'd never heard of. marTin came in and for a while i had an item on my to-do list: watch as martin systematically fills up my entire hard drive with david bowie and random electronica, and i all but did. de-phazz, the lounge-electronica group of godsdog; elektrotwist (la philosophie dans le boudoir in the same vein; st-etienne ... i think i have every album pink floyd did now on my computer, as well as all of tangerine dream and the beatles. one night there was new pink floyd emanating from orange [computer], and it floated everywhere at once in the room, while i half slept and half marvelled at these sensations (two horizontally-laced shoes still outside my door).

... so here i am, listening to my roommates' music from this past year. lucy kaplansky, ten year night; nancy griffith, speed of the sound of loneliness; maura o'connell, feet of a dancer &c. ...

"i felt things i never felt before ...
and i still do"

--lucy kaplansky

the mix of music, inside the lodge and out, and perhaps the food, are the impetuses perhaps for what i'm trying to put my finger on. but i know it's also that there are only twelve days left till i see marTin, and three or four until i can reëstablish contact, when he gets back from sailing. i can't possibly even touch on everything i miss about him, or even begin to outline the symbolism of it all, because there's too much. all i know is in twelve days (we're into the one-syllable numbers here on out -- all of them in french, at least) i will have him back, here, and his eyes.

i miss all of this. i'll have it all back in some degrees from here on out, but never all at once in the lodge -- marTin and laurel and jenny and eve and this music, these crazy cooking nights. i'll have marTin in münchen and vienna; my girls scattered over the campus next spring, this music always, but there's a lingering nostalgia about it all. i should probably stop listening to beth orton; she's the one making my eyes water, dammiT.

all this ©nori heikkinen, July 2001

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