Monthly Archives: January 2010

burns night.

It’s a Scottish thing. For being a connoisseur of obscure and other people’s holidays, I’m ashamed to say that before this past week, I knew hardly anything about Burns night. But I’ve done my research since and also attended a Burns night celebration.

It’s a night to celebrate the Scottish poet Robert Burns (no relation to me). Among other things, he wrote “Auld Lang Syne”. These appear to be the main components:

– haggis (if you don’t know what it is wikipedia it)

– an address to the haggis. this is sweet. here is the traditional address.

– eating tatties and neeps alongside the haggis. tatters= mashed potatoes and neeps= swede or rutabaga

– ceilidh dancing (scottish dancing)

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hard, hard girl

If you read my previous post, you’ll see it was from 2007.

I recently dug up archives of my maiden blog, a little xanga affair begun a year or two before my 2007 post. It’s funny to read it now, how I gush on and on. Surprising too, because I ardently avoided being overly personal with this blog -not that you could tell from my recent postings.

I haven’t had earth-shaking hypotheses or super-intellectual queries lately, and you have to keep the readers occupied. In this old blog, I shamelessly gush about how my day went, what I am thinking, almost like stream of consciousness. It was suitable for me then.

I feel much more guarded now. Just stay back now, and we’ll keep the details sketchy. When I wrote the posts I’ve been reading through, I was a sophomore in university. I had been out of my parents’ house for a bit over six months, and I can still remember how wide-eyed and optimistic I was. My roommates could have told you.

That apartment housed me for three years. Same bed, same window. When we first moved in, I remember wistfully looking out my window. At night, the street light cast a romantic haze on the sidewalk and I could imagine exciting worlds through the glass. By the time I left, I imagined no adventure or worlds.

Generally, I describe me to myself as a pillar of strength unto myself. But not as if that were admirable. Is this my innocence turned shrewd? I don’t think I’m too tough yet. But I’m definitely sporting some awesome armor. A good thing?

And now, despite my better judgment, this is much more first-person than I should wish, but so be it. With any luck, I’ll move on soon, and will post some dry, interesting bit of philosophy.

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Filed under 'bout me, complex things

me, three years ago.

“The preceding is stuff that I was thinking about today while I was working (i.e. vacuuming Jenny’s floors).

We often talk about how words are powerful. I was thinking about how powerless words are. Think about it, a word is just a set of sounds, or set of symbols, in the case of writing. We add all the meaning, intent and purpose. By themselves, words hold absolutely now power, influence or persuasion. Isn’t that cool how we get to use these little tools to do everything we do in the world.

Also, I was thinking how even in communication over all, words are probably toward the list of most powerful communication devices. Everyone talks about how actions speak louder than words. So there’s that. Then also nonverbals always carry more weight than verbals, especially when the verbals contradict the nonverbals.

So really its people that have all the power, I guess. No word is intrinsically bad, good, derogatory or otherwise. Weird to think about. If anyone ever wants to talk to me about stuff like this, you should, because nobody ever does, or at least I assume so, so I use this forum to talk about this stuff.

I also came up with this new idea of how to learn about people. Ask them what they like to talk about. Of course, you can tell things about people from what they talk about, but it’d be cool to ask them what they like to talk about, because, it seems, people like to talk about things that they don’t necessarily [get to] talk about.”

originally written and published January 12, 2007

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cockney rhyming slang

dustbin lids- kids

trouble and strife- wife

apples and pears- stairs

china plate- mate

rosey lee- tea

lady godiva- fiver (five pound note)

barney rubble -trouble

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sorry boys

I have bumped up against an unpleasant reality. I don’t know how to cook.

I can read. I can follow a recipe, and I can usually succeed at the above. But I can’t really cook. I don’t have scores of recipes or dishes wrought of my own experimentation. I get by.

Especially over here in Europe. There is some sort of subtle differences between even the basics, dairy, flour, and probably the baking powder. My pancakes have been less than impressive over here, at the least.

Part of me would really like to conquer this realm, despite it being so stereotypically girly. This year is a good place to begin. But where to start? And it seems a hard thing to seem justifiable to spend time and effort on. But I tend to devalue the merit of pretty much anything, so I shouldn’t trust myself.

I have also discovered I am the biggest recipe hater. No legitmate reason, expect when I’m restrained by what ingredients are on hand and forced to improvise. I have a lot of misplaced confidence in myself. Thus, I frequently deviate outside of my gastronomic knowledge, often to my detriment.

I can cook to please myself, but it’s time to move on and put a little dedication into it.

“‘ I couldn’t care less what she’ll wear or what she looks like. It all depends on what she cooks like.'” Mulan

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i wish i had a home.

I feel displaced right now. Somehow, I feel as though I am on some sort of mission trip that never ends, or sometimes that I am on a year long holiday.

It can be hard for me to believe that I am living here. I live here. This is my home for now.

I know that it sounds silly, but one of my biggest concerns is that when I come back to the States, I won’t have a home. Assuming I come back to the States.

Where my parents live isn’t home. I have lost my little apartment with friends. Can I go back to Florida and still find it a place to rest?

I have never given roots much weight. I always thought always living in one area was for sissies with no sense of adventure. But I think I begin to see how important it is to be established in an area. It galls me to no end that I will probably be just reaching a satisfying level of comfort and friendship in this city before I leave. Then I’ll leave?!

That is that for. So I don’t know what I am doing after this year. I don’t know if I want to forge ahead with being abroad, likely not. Do I want to go back to the States for some period? Likely.

Regardless, I think I had been tend to establishing myself somewhere and spending some a significant amount of time there. Enough time to feel like I belong.

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if george orwell had a blog, i’d read it.

Turns out he does.

Someone has taken his old journals and is publishing them on a blog posthumously 70 years to the day. How great is that?

It’s called The Orwell Prize.

One of my favorite Orwell quotes:

“I am not suggesting that one can discharge all one’s obligations towards society by means of a private re-afforestation scheme. Still, it might not be a bad idea, every time you commit an anti-social act, to make a note of it in your diary, and then, at the appropriate season, push an acorn into the ground.”

Shooting an Elephant

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Filed under Contingency, Lit