timeripple: (fyeah curly redheaded heroines)
It is my one-year breakup-with-Boston anniversary. Not sure how I feel about it; trying not to think too much.

I will say that the food around here is better, though not necessarily the chai.
timeripple: (i said nothing)
I don’t understand how the year can have got to the end of June without my noticing, but I blame it on my housemate’s cat, Copernicus. He is an enormous ginger tabby, and most distracting, though a good companion. He likes to listen to me fiddling and serenading the neighbors with increasingly bizarre versions of Bach minuets on the fancy electronic keyboard. (This is not all that impressive, since two and a half Bach minuets and a very short Mozart thingy are all I actually know how to play.) He also likes to chase (but not eat) hair ties, and to crouch in his crinkly tunnel, only to spring out at a bit of plumy feather at the end of a string tied to a stick. He stomps across the floor if he thinks you’re not paying him enough attention.

In other news, I’ve been settling into my new home, figuring out my commute to work, watching Supernatural (it’s so bad, and yet so amazing), being polite to people with bizarre book requests, running events, filling in for our children’s buyer, reading ARCs at top speed, and totally failing to work on any of my own writing. Though I did rescue the new Penguin Classics De Profundis and Other Prison Writings by Oscar Wilde from the give-away shelf, and have started reading it. (It’s not directly relevant to my work, but it does have to do with applying Greek philosophical writings to Victorian life, so.)

Berkeley is so weird. It’s a lot like Cambridge, only more so. And I keep finding that people are very, very invested in promoting and maintaining a binary gender dichotomy. Is it because mostly I interact with fairly affluent parents while at work? And yet other people, who I might expect to be less invested, are equally so. Do they not realize they live in Berkeley? Does "Berkeley" not mean what I thought it means? I have to say, this is not what I thought the biggest cultural difference from the East Coast would entail. (Well, this and food service.) I didn’t think people would be surprised whenever I go around muttering “Gender is a social construct!” under my breath.

I miss you all so. I woke up this morning fiercely homesick for Wellesley. I’ve been thinking a lot about its rhetoric lately, I suppose; though what I miss is not the rhetoric but my people, both those I met there and later, elsewhere.

Also chai. I’ve found two good places near work, but so far everything in North Berkeley is complete swill, or worse. (Seriously. Last week I had a very nice cup of spiced hot water and mint that tasted like it had never seen tea. I could do better myself with a Lipton bag and no cinnamon.) Happily, the muffins remain excellent. As Oscar Wilde no doubt knew, it is important not to underestimate the importance of a good muffin.
timeripple: (fake texting (it's super important))
I am aware of the fact that I failed to post a single entry during May. In my defense, I was apartment-hunting (again) and generally being stressed with work stuff. And stuff.

But! The good news is that I have started a semi-professional book review blog, Clarissa's Bookshelf. It ties into my day job, so it definitely won't replace LJ, but a lot of my book-blogging energies are going in that direction at the moment. I'll still flail about dramas and life and books here, of course! As if anything could stop me from doing that (aside from LJ's apparent trajectory of rendering itself unusable, that is)!

Love you, miss you. Hope to post more once I've moved into my new place. It's in the Gourmet Ghetto, so... be prepared for a lot of flailing about food. Nom nom!
timeripple: (i said nothing)
I approve of all the Beethoven that’s going around the internet airways like an epidemic. An epidemic of AWESOME AND STRING QUARTETS.

Tonight in Korean class 선생님 corrected a future tense conjugation I’d done, explaining “you’ve got the rule right, but actually we don’t use it here because we don’t like to say the sound twice.” Guys, this is a language that breaks its own rules because it sounds better that way. I finally gave up all pretense at scholarly interest and scrawled “OH KOREA” in the margin of my workbook.


Since it’s again apartment-hunting time, here is a poem:

“Landowners”

From my rented attic with no earth
To call my own except the air-motes,
I malign the leaden perspective
Of identical gray brick houses,
Orange roof-tiles, orange chimney pots,
And see that first house, as if between
Mirrors, engendering a spectral
Corridor of inane replicas,
Flimsily peopled.
                           But landowners
Own their cabbage roots, a space of stars,
Indigenous peace. Such substance makes
My eyeful of reflections a ghost’s
Eyeful, which, envious, would define
Death as striking root on one land-tract;
Life, its own vaporous wayfarings.

(Sylvia Plath, 1956. p. 53 in The Collected Poems, ed. Ted Hughes, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, New York: 2008.)
timeripple: (fyeah curly redheaded heroines)
Tonight here am I, amid my few bags of stuff and pitifully small stacks of books, in my new room in Berkeley. My housemates are Danish, German, New Zealander, and Afghan-American, and they have all been most welcoming. The southern wall of my room is all windows that look onto the little back garden. And in the garden there are stars. My new sheets are inviting, and I can see my Hark! A Vagrant calendar hanging beside the door.

Home sweet home.
timeripple: (fyeah curly redheaded heroines)
I’m finally starting to do things I should have done three months ago (namely, apartment-hunt, think about whether I need to get a car, make plans. Yunno, the small things). In celebration, it is time for a book post! As previously mentioned, my Christmas present to myself was a stack of galleys purloined (with permission) from my former place of employment.

Without further ado! Scarlet by Marissa Meyer )

I have commandeered my dad’s car (and also my dad) for a trip to hunt wild apartments in Berkeley tomorrow. Wish me luck!
timeripple: (toma sakura)
“The sun shone so strong and bright, it seemed it would never set. People changed, things happened under that eternal sun. I wasn’t aware of it but autumn was shooting out buds. Then suddenly one morning the wind turned cold and the sky looked so high, a reminder of the passage of time, dashing my hopes that summer would never end.”

(Banana Yoshimoto, N.P. Because in some parts of California--okay, most of them--Gerard Manley Hopkins simply doesn't work. And I love this quote.)

Except I love fall.

Now, if only I knew where my copy of Kitchen was...
timeripple: (attir'd with stars)
My darlings, I have not dropped off the face of the planet—though it sort of feels like it—no, I am in California, and here I stay for the foreseeable future. Mind you, I can only deal with the future about two weeks in advance, so you see the problem with my life planning skills right here.

I have traveled by train and by car from one end of the country to the other, with lots of detouring in between and a brief stint where my friend M and I seriously considered becoming casino waitresses in Reno and then writing a trashy novel about it. [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli took me to a palace of wonders called Chocolate World and let me sleep on her couch and bond with Datte and watch all her con DVDs.

This has actually backfired, though, because now I’m in a KAT-TUN phase, and somebody needs to take all my music away from me, because I keep listening to 勇気の花 and then sobbing every time it gets to Hittori ja nai yo, nakama ga iru yo.

See, I'm crying again. No, stop. A road trip is more than what you leave behind. I have seen little harbor towns and shining cities and also elephants and a whole lot of sagebrush. I have participated in philosophical conversations about the human condition (lasting most of Kansas) and masqueraded as a German tourist (super useful for thwarting obnoxious panhandlers). I have visited the first coffee shop west of the Mississippi and driven past a mountain forest fire at night and seen the Milky Way.

Of many peoples—their cities he saw, and understood their minds;
Many perils his spirit suffered upon the sea.


Because a loose and selective translation of Homer is always relevant. Always.

More soon--I will try.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
Spring fever, I has it bad. I've been here a year and a half--the longest I've stayed in any place since college.

And you know what? It’s noiiiiiisy, and there are drunken college studentssss, and the fire alarm keeps going off for no reason, and yesterday the pilot light went out on the stove but of course we didn’t know that was why the entire apartment smelled like gas and called the 24-hour emergency line who told us to call the fire department who showed up and were nice about it but clearly thought we were morons, and then they called the gas company, who sent a dude over who was nice and said just call the gas company first next time, ‘k?

On plus side, my poetry class has started up. It was an eight-hour marathon wherein we ended up discussing a lot of musical movie clips. The Court Jester, I have to say, looks kind of awesomely like a cross between the Errol Flynn Robin Hood and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I’m going to make [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl watch the whole thing with me.

Unfortunately, we also watched and re-watched bits of The Wizard of Oz, and I now have Ding! Dong! The witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked witch! Ding, dong, the wicked witch is deaddddd! stuck in my head morally, ethically, spiritually, and ecumenically. THANKS A LOT.

Later in the day, I wrote a very bad poem about the epic doomed love between a whale and a glow-worm. I don’t even know.

We didn't get to it in class, but we were also supposed to watch Topsy Turvy, a movie about Gilbert and Sullivan creating The Mikado. Kevin McKidd is in it, and we had an imaginary conversation that went something like this:

ME: It's Lucius Vorenus! Hi, Lucius Vorenus!
KMK: Who? I am a Scottish actor, and my corset is fabulous.
ME: Yes... yes it is. But Lucius Vorenus will also be fabulous!
KMK: Will there be corsets?
ME: Well...no. But there'll be armor!
KMK: Close enough.

It suddenly occurred to me that The Mikado would be greatly enlivened (not that it needs it) by ninjas. Especially if the three little maids from school were the ninjas. From ninja school. Come on, wouldn’t that be AWESOME?


...


...


...


This is why I should not be in charge of things.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
Spring fever, I has it bad. I've been here a year and a half--the longest I've stayed in any place since college.

And you know what? It’s noiiiiiisy, and there are drunken college studentssss, and the fire alarm keeps going off for no reason, and yesterday the pilot light went out on the stove but of course we didn’t know that was why the entire apartment smelled like gas and called the 24-hour emergency line who told us to call the fire department who showed up and were nice about it but clearly thought we were morons, and then they called the gas company, who sent a dude over who was nice and said just call the gas company first next time, ‘k?

On plus side, my poetry class has started up. It was an eight-hour marathon wherein we ended up discussing a lot of musical movie clips. The Court Jester, I have to say, looks kind of awesomely like a cross between the Errol Flynn Robin Hood and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I’m going to make [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl watch the whole thing with me.

Unfortunately, we also watched and re-watched bits of The Wizard of Oz, and I now have Ding! Dong! The witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked witch! Ding, dong, the wicked witch is deaddddd! stuck in my head morally, ethically, spiritually, and ecumenically. THANKS A LOT.

Later in the day, I wrote a very bad poem about the epic doomed love between a whale and a glow-worm. I don’t even know.

We didn't get to it in class, but we were also supposed to watch Topsy Turvy, a movie about Gilbert and Sullivan creating The Mikado. Kevin McKidd is in it, and we had an imaginary conversation that went something like this:

ME: It's Lucius Vorenus! Hi, Lucius Vorenus!
KMK: Who? I am a Scottish actor, and my corset is fabulous.
ME: Yes... yes it is. But Lucius Vorenus will also be fabulous!
KMK: Will there be corsets?
ME: Well...no. But there'll be armor!
KMK: Close enough.

It suddenly occurred to me that The Mikado would be greatly enlivened (not that it needs it) by ninjas. Especially if the three little maids from school were the ninjas. From ninja school. Come on, wouldn’t that be AWESOME?


...


...


...


This is why I should not be in charge of things.
timeripple: (nyc summer)
[livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl and I are more or less moved into our Den of Asian Drama Awesome (which really needs a different name) and classes have started. [livejournal.com profile] snowqueenofhoth arrived this morning for a reciprocal visit and has collapsed into a nap. The weather is beautiful; I love this time of year, when it's getting cool but things are still green and leafy and just beginning to dry out.

New York Adventures, Part 2: in which we make exploding cake and get wet a lot )

In other news, I have a new best friend. I love it a lot. I love it more than I love my electric toothbrush. More than my rice cooker. Its name is... Swiffer.
timeripple: (nyc summer)
[livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl and I are more or less moved into our Den of Asian Drama Awesome (which really needs a different name) and classes have started. [livejournal.com profile] snowqueenofhoth arrived this morning for a reciprocal visit and has collapsed into a nap. The weather is beautiful; I love this time of year, when it's getting cool but things are still green and leafy and just beginning to dry out.

New York Adventures, Part 2: in which we make exploding cake and get wet a lot )

In other news, I have a new best friend. I love it a lot. I love it more than I love my electric toothbrush. More than my rice cooker. Its name is... Swiffer.
timeripple: (nakatsu fainted)
Only a few days left until [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl arrives and the fun Asian drama times begin! We need to think up a name for our place, since she will probably not be as amused as I am by the prospect of living at "The Heart & Lung: Food, Drink, and Oxygenation since 2002".

Yes, I do realize that nobody is as amused by that as I am. Probably nobody is even amused by it. This is because many people are in fact sane.

I've been packing my stuff and cleaning my soon-to-be-ex-garret like a good, responsible adult. But the number of books still on my bookshelf makes me want to cry. The thought of hauling it all down four flights of stairs makes me actually cry. (Better down than up, I suppose. I am strongly tempted to line everything up and just give it a good push.)

Grr. Why do I have so much STUFF?!
timeripple: (nakatsu fainted)
Only a few days left until [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl arrives and the fun Asian drama times begin! We need to think up a name for our place, since she will probably not be as amused as I am by the prospect of living at "The Heart & Lung: Food, Drink, and Oxygenation since 2002".

Yes, I do realize that nobody is as amused by that as I am. Probably nobody is even amused by it. This is because many people are in fact sane.

I've been packing my stuff and cleaning my soon-to-be-ex-garret like a good, responsible adult. But the number of books still on my bookshelf makes me want to cry. The thought of hauling it all down four flights of stairs makes me actually cry. (Better down than up, I suppose. I am strongly tempted to line everything up and just give it a good push.)

Grr. Why do I have so much STUFF?!
timeripple: (anenome)
Funny story about this song. It’s used to great effect in one of the episodes of Veronica Mars I re-watched, and I’ve had those few lines stuck in my head on and off for a few weeks now. So I looked up the soundtrack, and the library system doesn’t have it. So I looked up the artist, who (it turns out) appears on the Roswell soundtrack. It was only after ten minutes of tooling around on YouTube that I remembered that I HAVE the Roswell soundtrack.

It obviously didn’t strike me back in the day when I was watching Roswell for the first time, the way some of the original Roswell songs did (FAIL, DVD PEOPLE. EPIC FAIL). Funny how context changes things, what strikes me. I probably wouldn’t just listen this song on its own (hence forgetting I owned it), but with emotional or artistic context it’s suddenly interesting.

I also spent about ten minutes working out that all of the various ways “where the sun never goes out” could be interpreted basically mean the same thing. Goes out like a lamp; goes out of a house; goes out clubbing (hey, this is Art. It doesn’t have to make sense). Unless you were outside the house, in which case it doesn’t mean the same thing.

Look, there was probably still some residual chai swirling around in the old arteries at that point, okay?

I am happy to report that I am no longer high on chai, because I stopped drinking it after I noticed my hands were actually shaking on Sunday. My paper did get done the next day, with much grumbling and hatred and cheesy conclusion fail. Then I lay around in the path of my new rotating fan, slightly damp and whimpering a lot.

The next day I was walking by 7-Eleven and I had a sudden crazy thought. The words “Shut up and drink your Slurpee, kid” floated through my mind (from Troy in 15 Minutes). Slurpee, I said to myself. I don’t think I’ve ever had one of those. Or if I did, it was probably a sip of somebody else’s Cherry Cola something. Curiosity burned. I crossed the street and picked a cup at random. Two minutes later I had my first sip of blue raspberry Slurpee. And you know what, it was AMAZING. I had to go back and get another one after dinner. So cooling! So refreshing! So chemically delicious! Mmmmmm.

airport ramblings. look, you guys thought it was funny last time, okay? )

I’m going to go say hello to the JE fish before I freeze to death from loneliness and also cold, because HELLO CA IS FREEZING. D:
timeripple: (anenome)
Funny story about this song. It’s used to great effect in one of the episodes of Veronica Mars I re-watched, and I’ve had those few lines stuck in my head on and off for a few weeks now. So I looked up the soundtrack, and the library system doesn’t have it. So I looked up the artist, who (it turns out) appears on the Roswell soundtrack. It was only after ten minutes of tooling around on YouTube that I remembered that I HAVE the Roswell soundtrack.

It obviously didn’t strike me back in the day when I was watching Roswell for the first time, the way some of the original Roswell songs did (FAIL, DVD PEOPLE. EPIC FAIL). Funny how context changes things, what strikes me. I probably wouldn’t just listen this song on its own (hence forgetting I owned it), but with emotional or artistic context it’s suddenly interesting.

I also spent about ten minutes working out that all of the various ways “where the sun never goes out” could be interpreted basically mean the same thing. Goes out like a lamp; goes out of a house; goes out clubbing (hey, this is Art. It doesn’t have to make sense). Unless you were outside the house, in which case it doesn’t mean the same thing.

Look, there was probably still some residual chai swirling around in the old arteries at that point, okay?

I am happy to report that I am no longer high on chai, because I stopped drinking it after I noticed my hands were actually shaking on Sunday. My paper did get done the next day, with much grumbling and hatred and cheesy conclusion fail. Then I lay around in the path of my new rotating fan, slightly damp and whimpering a lot.

The next day I was walking by 7-Eleven and I had a sudden crazy thought. The words “Shut up and drink your Slurpee, kid” floated through my mind (from Troy in 15 Minutes). Slurpee, I said to myself. I don’t think I’ve ever had one of those. Or if I did, it was probably a sip of somebody else’s Cherry Cola something. Curiosity burned. I crossed the street and picked a cup at random. Two minutes later I had my first sip of blue raspberry Slurpee. And you know what, it was AMAZING. I had to go back and get another one after dinner. So cooling! So refreshing! So chemically delicious! Mmmmmm.

airport ramblings. look, you guys thought it was funny last time, okay? )

I’m going to go say hello to the JE fish before I freeze to death from loneliness and also cold, because HELLO CA IS FREEZING. D:
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
I'm sorry to report that this is not your high-on-chai report from the airport. There will be no high-on-chai report this semester due to the continued lack of chai at the school coffee shop. I apologize for this temporary lapse in service. Here, have an Airport Anecdote instead:

I made it to the airport with only my carry-on-- everybody is charging for any checked baggage these days. Bunch of tightwad cheapskates. It was really nice not to have to wrangle a suitcase, though. My flight was really late, it turned out, and I’d miss my connecting flight through Phoenix. I put on my best wide-eyed, hopeful smile and the nice ticket counter people fell all over themselves getting me on a connecting flight through Philadelphia instead. Once I made it through Security, boarding started before you could say “Emotional manipulation of customer service is amazingly effective!” Made it home without major incident, even though there was a huge traffic jam on the Philly runway and we sat there for an hour after the arriving flight was half an hour late. Stay gold, traffic control! There was also some amazing turbulence over the Midwest, but I convinced myself we weren't going to die and kind of enjoyed it.

Sundry Analepses )
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
I'm sorry to report that this is not your high-on-chai report from the airport. There will be no high-on-chai report this semester due to the continued lack of chai at the school coffee shop. I apologize for this temporary lapse in service. Here, have an Airport Anecdote instead:

I made it to the airport with only my carry-on-- everybody is charging for any checked baggage these days. Bunch of tightwad cheapskates. It was really nice not to have to wrangle a suitcase, though. My flight was really late, it turned out, and I’d miss my connecting flight through Phoenix. I put on my best wide-eyed, hopeful smile and the nice ticket counter people fell all over themselves getting me on a connecting flight through Philadelphia instead. Once I made it through Security, boarding started before you could say “Emotional manipulation of customer service is amazingly effective!” Made it home without major incident, even though there was a huge traffic jam on the Philly runway and we sat there for an hour after the arriving flight was half an hour late. Stay gold, traffic control! There was also some amazing turbulence over the Midwest, but I convinced myself we weren't going to die and kind of enjoyed it.

Sundry Analepses )
timeripple: (anenome)
At the airport. Got Twilight. Settling in for the lulz. See you on the other side!
timeripple: (anenome)
At the airport. Got Twilight. Settling in for the lulz. See you on the other side!

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