Tuesday, November 30

Be obscene

I just got the latest Marilyn Manson CD the other day, Lest We Forget. I have to say that I love it. I haven't really been a hardcore listener of MM, except for the occasional excursion with "The Beautiful People" [it's all relative to the size of your steeple]. But I love that MM has covered one of my favorite Depeche Mode songs, "Personal Jesus," which I caught on the radio and which convinced me to buy the CD in the first place, and Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," which no-one could not love. At any rate, it's a good CD, and well worth the money.

I would also like to take this moment to let you all know that there's a "whole 'nother" side to me that you might not suspect. I'm kind of a closeted punk/anarchist. Some of you know that I'm relatively anarchy-inclined when it comes to religion - I'm just not comfortable with mass groups deciding what I should believe [or who I can and cannot marry, for that matter]. I just do not understand why anyone with so-called "Christian values" (or morals, or whatever they're calling them these days) can act in a manner that is so incredibly un-Christian. Christ I'm sure was a fine upstanding black man, and you can see that he fought for the underdog, for the minority. And now we see these old white men in the old white house who have the control of this diverse, striking, and amazing patchwork of people living trying to make a living in this country.

And I think it's disgusting.

I want to be able to say what I want without having to be politically correct. I'm sorry, but sometimes there are jsust too many people to please, and frankly, everyone cannot be satisfied. That's what we get as Americans - freedom to think and feel how we want. However, acting upon either of these things is punishable if it offends too many people. Bullshit.

Okay, so I don't really know where I was going with that, and I'm tired, so I'll cut it short. Good night.

Monday, November 29

In which Crimson finishes ...

... the post she started in Buddhism. Apologies to all who noticed the lack of posting over the holiday. Today's the first day I've had any real contact with a computer since last Tuesday.

I got to spend last Thursday with thirty-nine of my closest relatives. Actually, no. I only knew fourteen of them - the other chunk, which I can't really call a half because there are so many of them, is part my grandma's previous marriage. I don't really know the "other chunk" that well. We rarely see them. Most of them live out-of-state, anyway. Some of them came all the way from Florida, Montana, and California. That's a long-ass drive.

So, since there was no way we'd have been able to fit forty people comfortably in my grandparents' house [although it's quite large], my grandpa decided to use the community room that's located out by the grain elevators, where of course the air reeks of rotten corn. [Keep in mind that the town they live in, Albert City, is very small and has a motto "How Swede it is." I was going to take a picture for proof, but I never got around to it. They have one of those dala horses, too. It's gi-normous.]

And we ate. There was a twenty-two-pound turkey, lots of hamballs, two different batches of green bean casserole, and cinnamon applesauce ... along with about a million other things. We didn't eat until about two, due to the tardiness of the cabbage. I did not partake of the cabbage, but plenty of others did - you could smell it in the air later as they were ... digesting it. [Yuck.]

I also played a new card game, Quiddler, which is loads of fun. You get to make words and get high scores and stuff. I liked it so much that I made my mom get me the game, even though she was going to get one anyway to have at our house. I thought it would be a good game for us college peoples.

All in all, it was a good time. I slept on a bed for only one night, and in the living room for the rest of the time. I bought the new Harry Potter because I thought I needed to, but I fell asleep while I was watching it the night before I left. I didn't bring it back, because my brother Matt helped pay for it. I thought I'd be nice for once.

The only thing I bought on the gigantor shopping day after Thanksgiving was a lot of yarn. It was on sale, and I am a slave to fibers. I also splurged and purchased two knitting magazines, Cast On and Vogue's new Knit 1. Let it be known that I am a yarn ho.

Monday, November 22


"And a climax in their monastic life ..."

I'm in Buddhism class right now. The prof. is absent today, and we are watching a film. I just saw a bunch of monks bowing. When they sat upright, they did the wave. Not the sporting event way, but rather an undulating fashion. It was exciting.

Anyway, Dustro's leaving today, some time after he goes to lit. class and after he turns in his senior paper. I have to admit, I am jealous of those who are turning in their papers. I know that I'm going to have a difficult time with mine, because I find it difficult to concentrate on papers. It's hard for me to get very specific about one topic, mostly because I'm too lazy to do any large amounts of research.

We shall see.

I'm heading out tomorrow, and I'm not sure when. I don't know if I'll be having a voice lesson, I don't know if I'm supposed to pick up my aunt in Clear Lake, and I'd much rather ride with Tim. I hope I don't have to pick her up. I don't know how to get to where she lives, and I hate driving with her. All she does is sleep and snore. Kind of like my roommate. Who knew? And how do I have these tendencies to attract those sorts of people?

Okay, well that's enough for now. I'm going to attain enlightenment.

Friday, November 19

When it rains

I'd like to take this moment to thanks the band Garbage for the song I'm only happy when it rains. The reason is because I have found that this seems to be very true - for me, at least. Well, maybe not all of the song, but definitely the title. I get almost deleriously happy when it rains. I just get all smiley and abnormally content. It's a very nice experience.

So tonight, I'm going to see a dance performance, Airstream Orange. After that I'll check out a comedian, Amy Anderson. I hope she's as funny as RT says. I'll report on both of these later.

And I'm forseeing a night of Margaret Cho and junk food in the near future - woo! [Also, woo for skipping Buddhism yet again. Senior-itis has taken over.]

Tuesday, November 16


This morning I and three others woke very early, at about 5.45, in order to do some homework. This wasn't your run-of-the-mill homework, though. We got up early so that we could meditate for our Buddhism class. It was definitely an awakening experience [pun not intended] and something to which I wish I had more time and energy to devote. Zazen is sitting meditation. It consisted mostly of sitting cross-legged on the edge of a round cushion facing a blank wall [except in my case, there was an electrical outlet there to distract me]. Did I mention that we sat there for forty minutes? I actually think it was somewhere around thirty ... we started a bit late. I certainly didn't think we sat there for even that long.

Anyway, after that there was a lot of bell-ringing, chanting, and bowing. The bowing was a little awkward, because we were doing it the wrong way and the woman* who was leading us through this thought we weren't going to bow ... but she showed us the proper way - down on your knees, hands on the floor [palms up], and touch your forehead to the floor. We did this three times, then finished the other bits of the ceremony.

It was very cool to be a part of. Afterward, we went to KwikStar for a BS's-daddy-sponsored breakfast, then went back to our rooms to go our separate ways for the day. I ended up reading a little of a book for about half an hour. I slept after that, waking up occasionally and smelling remnants of the incense the woman had been burning. My skin seems to absorbed it a little bit, and it's kind of nice to have that kind of reminder of this morning.

* Note: the woman, I later found out, is French, not Asian.

Sunday, November 14


I'll give you a quick briefing on Iowa City ...

I just have to say that Patrick is one of the most stunning people I have met. His fashion show ended up not being really about fashion, but instead a commentary on the world. Most fashion shows [that I know of] don't usually have a plot, much less a setting. The setting that Patrick invented was one of post-apocalyptic anarchy, in which there was a drug dealer adorned in glow-sticks, a bride [Patrick's boyfriend, filling in at the last minute, who looks bafflingly like Eddie Izzard when dressed in drag] who gave birth to a dead baby, a prostitute, a groom, and an old woman who wore a very large coat with moth silhouettes scattered about it. Patrick did all the work - he wrote the script [which he read while the characters did their acting] and the music [which had an industrial/techno sort of sound], designed the set and costumes, and all in all produced an awesome show. To me, it seems as though he's had a 180-degree turn from who he was in high school ... and I absolutely adore him and envy him for it.

Also, there are some awkward differences to be experienced between people who go to state schools and people who go to private schools. Or at least RT and I thought so.

In national news ...

Wal-Mart has become kind of stalker-esque, and apparently some Americans have thought of a new location for Atlantis. Those Americans think they know everything - they think they're so smarty.

And in local news ...

I made dinner last night with TB and pinkoperadiva in the newly-completed Larsen kitchen, and we did it Olive Garden-style. It was good times - we had crusty-yet-soft bread with yummy dipping oil, salad with Italian dressing, Roma tomatoes, and parmesan cheese, pasta with tasty sauce, and a little white zin for fun. I also bought new blue dishes in a gorgeous cobalt blue color. After dinner [and donating some leftover salad to a hungry RA], we purchased some Ben & Jerry's and plopped in front of the tv to watch the remade version of Freaky Friday, which was pretty fun. Jamie Lee Curtis is such a flexible actor.

I auditioned for the Vagina Monologues today, and I'm excited to have a chance to actually perform in it instead of sitting passively in the audience. "My vagina's angry. It is. It's pissed off."

Also, I never realised until today that I had so much emotion invested in my friends and their well-being. It kinda freaked me out a little bit, but then I understood that it was okay to love your friends and to want to take away their problems, because you know they'd do the very same if it were the other way around.

Friday, November 12

In fashion

After Paideia today, RT and I are road-tripping to Iowa City to see Patrick's fashion show. It's tonight at 9pm. I'm excited - so excited I might even come back with an extra hole in my face. Who knows?

Wednesday, November 10


I have done so many things today.

(1) I have squirted myself in the face [including one of my eyes] with soy sauce while preparing my veggie sushi.
(2) I have learned that John Ashcroft has resigned from Bush's cabinet today, and that he believes that his "energies and talents should be directed toward other challenging horizons." Somehow, I can't help but be suspicious about where he will focus his attention next.
(3) I wrote a few words for NaNoWriMo, which is going very slowly anyway.
(4) I signed up to get a daily digest of news from the BBC [which is how I heard about Ashcroft], thanks to a suggestion from JH, who is currently one of my favorite people.
(5) I went to an orientation session for my study abroad trip, which included vehement warnings on traveler's diarrhea.
(6) I purchased a new knitting book because I liked the patterns and the pictures were brightly colored.

On second thought, I accomplished fewer things than I thought. But I am going on a field trip tomorrow, perhaps to watch turkeys get butchered. Huzzah.

And for clarification, a classics major includes both Greek and Latin, whereas, if you major in only one, that particular language is your focus. Also, I'm going to the monastery for Buddhism class. If you really want to come along, BS and I are planning on going very early on Friday morning. This excursion will possibly include DR and ES, if they can drag their asses out of bed.

Tuesday, November 9

Aurora, too

It seems that the biddy has resurrected herself, at least in the blog-ly state. It's good times.

Also, a while after I posted about the aurora borealis, my mom called. She and my dad had gone outside of town, and my dad was, of course, taking photos. Or at least trying. I think he broke his camera at some point. Some button popped off and he was "muttering some interesting words," according to my mom. It was a strange-yet-beautiful phenomenon, not only to be seeing this amazing display of nature, but to be seeing the same thing at the same time as my mom and talking about it together over cell phones. [I even took my earbud thing for its first test-drive, and it was fun and exciting. At least for 11pm it was.]

Today, however, was not as good a day as all that, except for the fact that it's Dustro's 22nd. I talked to the head of the classics department today for the first time - does that seem odd to anyone else? I mean, we have a small department [two profs and a head that we share with religion], and you'd think that she'd see my name on the very short list of classics majors and say to herself, "Hmm, I don't think I've talked to this person ever before - maybe I should look into that." Of course, I could be trying to make excuses for not taking the initiative to go and talk to her myself. I've been a Latin major for at least two years now.

Sometimes being a slacker doesn't pay off. No, wait. Being a slacker rarely pays off.


By the by, the top chunk of this post was meant to be posted last night, but we got done early for once [at 10.30!], so I didn't have a chance.

Also, I'm feeling a little bit better about the whole major/minor situation, in that it's looking like I'll end up getting a classics major with a Latin minor [sorry that I didn't mention that before]. I think, in most respects, that it will be fine. Fine.

And I'm supposed to be going to meditate here in a few days for my Buddhism class.

Sunday, November 7

Aurora borealis

Thanks to TB, who called me from my Greek-translating stupor, I got to witness a stunning display of the borthern lights [or northern dawn, if you're going for a literal translation]. It was baffling and wonderful and amazing. Shortly after I went outside into the chilly night, TB's parents called and told him that they could see it at home - about 250 miles southwest of here. I, being the good daughter that I am, called my dad so that he could check it out, too. I don't know that he did, of course, but he's usually interested in astronomical phenomena, so I thought I'd give him a heads-up.

I did a quick search for the conditions needed to see Aurora borealis, since I couldn't remember them from astronomy last fall. The National Weather Service came up with this, which explains that it is caused by the solar wind coming in contact with the Earth's magnetic field, causing it to glow. It's usually seen between the latitudes of 55 and 80 north, but Decorah's a whopping 43.32 and Winterset's 41.35.

It's amazing, and not usually something you see this far south. [This is the second time I can recall seeing the lights - the last was when I was in 5th grade or so, back in Winterset, which, as I said, is much farther south than Decorah.] ES told me that tonight was the first time she'd seen them ever, and she's from much farther north, in Minnesota. Brilliant.

Such beauty can certainly put things in perspective.

Thursday, November 4

Six things

After listening to a lot of viewpoints, discussing the election at the PRIDE meeting, and just venting a bit of anger, I've had time to consider a lot of things.

(1) I will not move to Canada. I may go abroad after I graduate, but we'll cross that bridge once I have my diploma in hand.
(2) Skipping two classes to watch some of season three of The West Wing with ES and some other people was good times, and so was the margarita I had during.
(3) Bush sucks, and so does this conservative climate. This is why we're just going to have to work harder.
(4) We will win. Human rights will prevail - it always has. Sometimes it just takes longer than you think and you have to go through sucky, drawn-out processes.
(5) As much as I love BS's choir, I'll be glad to have those two extra hours per week. I'm sure she will, too.
(6) I am in dire need of a nap.

So now I'm going to make a final list of the classes I'm taking next semester, and then I may go nap in a lounge to get rid of this sleepiness.

Wednesday, November 3


Today is a day of mourning, and some of us wore all black.

But there are good things to talk about, like Obama beating Keyes in Illinois. And MJD's brown bag lecture on The Da Vinci Code and Mary Magdalene. It was very thought-provoking [and there was a huge turnout], but like most of her lectures, it left more questions than answers. That was fine by me, though. MJD's an amazing woman, and I'm so excited to know her and to be going abroad with her.

To know or not to know

This is kind of frustrating, to not know, to just watch, to have to refresh a computer page every minute or so in hope of an update. It's also frustrating to be in a county that has a pink-ish tinge to it on the election maps on CNN. And to think that Iowa could be one of those red states soon. I even yelled at my mother today for voting for Bush.

Oh, what a world.

Tuesday, November 2


Today is the most important day of your life, at least for now. If you haven't voted, get out there and make your voice heard. Remember, you're not allowed to complain unless you vote.

Monday, November 1


I've finished my paper, thank heavens [or maybe thank the Buddha]. It's a badly written paper, and I don't expect a very good grade on it at all. I think I pretty much butchered the ideas of emptiness and no-self. Ah, well. Some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

Having finished this paper, I've noticed a lot of bloggers joining NaNoWriMo [National Novel Writing Month] and I have to admit - I'm kind of intrigued. I've written short stories before, and I think it would just be really ... interesting to write a novel. I don't know how I'd manage to do a novel when I can't even write a measly four-page paper, but still ... it would give me something to do during those long nights at the paper. Something to ponder over dinner, I think.

Also, today I gave my Greek prof. the scarf I knitted for her. It's Lion Brand Homespun, a simple garter stitched scarf that only took me a few days [once I settled on the yarn and the pattern]. Anyway, I just got a thank you note in my email, and she kept trying to insist on paying me, but I refused. Here's the note.

I wanted to thank you again for the *really cool* scarf--and of course not just for the finished product but also for all the time you put into it!! You're sure you won't accept any compensation for it??


It's food time, so I'm off. I'm sure there will be something or other later during work.