overexposed, commercialized, handle me with care
reputation changeable

Thursday, November 30, 2006

listening to: sufjan stevens, casimir pulaski day

did you guys used to get casimir pulaski day off? i did.

anyway. tonight was really great. i watched the office with jenny and then i did my trads1 reading at her house and played with her cattt. and then carlos and becca came over and we scrabbled. and drank wine. and i spilled some all over the table and felt really bad.

it's an interesting group of people. becca is very grinnell-earnest and jenny and carlos are very grinnell-cynical and i waffle violently back and forth between those two camps. it makes for good conversations.

also professor simpson liked my paper i wrote between 6-8am last week. i got an a/a- on it. (oh slanty grades, i hate you.) and i feel good about the upcoming papers. i can make them happen. it will be okay.

i think i need to drink wine and play scrabble every night.

i think i will go to bed now.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:54 PM
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oh man, i just glanced over and saw rachel ray's smiling face on my new box of wheat thins and it reminded me of this super bizarre conversation i had with dylan on the way back from the b&s meeting last night. i totally don't remember how we got on this subject, so i'll just start in media res.

dylan: oprah owns rachel ray.
me: what?
dylan: yeah, oprah owns 100% of rachel ray.
me: what? like... she owns her... public image? or her show?
dylan: i don't know, she just owns her. also, magic johnson owns 10% of coke.
me: really?
dylan: yeah, also he says he doesn't have aids anymore.
me: well, he is magical. allegedly.

also, last night i dreamed that keith called me because he wasn't sure if he should see the chronicles of narnia or not. he seemed reluctant, but i was trying to talk him into it. and for some reason it was kind of urgent. i think he was near a theatre or something and it was going to show soon?

my dreams are soo far behind on pop culture, god.

okay so that's all for real.

or is it?

okay yes, it is.

posted by ~renata~ at 10:24 AM
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listening to: tmbg, james k polk

whew! this morning i finally remembered to call my student loan people during business hours! when i went home for break my parents handed me a giant stack of mail (no joke it's like 3 inches thick... let me count, it's 9 letters) from my student loan bank and were like "um, you should probably figure out what this is about..." and some of the letters were like "hey, you owe us money now!" and i was like ahhhh. but i don't actually owe them money until may. grood. apparently when i consolidated my loans they had to tell the system i was repaying my loans and then deferring them? and then the system said, let's send her a lot of letters and freak her out. oh, student loans.

also, this is kind of naive of me i guess, but i'm surprised by how much money interest is! like i really don't have that much in student loans, considering, like, how much money grinnell costs. (THANKS SCHOLARSHIP.) but interest is adding like another almost 50% of my loans to how much i have to repay. (i'll disclose: my loan total is $11,621 and the amount of interest i have to pay is $4,649. daaaaang.) but my interest rate is 6% oh i don't understand math :( (funny thing issss i distinctly remember taking my business statistics class and i know there are special equations for this sort of thing and the interest problems always ended up with like really high numbers. but can i apply this knowledge to my own life? NO.)

anyway, i got up early specifically to work on my romantics paper so i can actually have progress to talk about when i meet with professor simpson this afternoon. so i'm going to go do that BYE.

posted by ~renata~ at 10:02 AM
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listening to: pocahontas, just around the river bend

asdkjasdka. i just finished converting all the parenthetical citations in my history paper to proper chicago-style endnotes. there are 98. when i revise the draft i hope to make at least two more quotations. triple-digit note numbers! could life get any more exciting? COULD IT?

yes, because tomorrow i have an office/scrabble group date. 4-person scrabble has so much more potential for excitement than 2-people! (for some reason i never really play 3-person scrabble. i assume it would offer a moderate level of excitement? 2-person scrabble, i feel, offers the greatest intensity.)

also, jenny and i got our parents matching christmas gifts. you should probably get one for your parents too.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:59 AM
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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

listening to: the byrds, turn turn turn

ahhh time management! here is what my problem is: the internet.

like i have more free time than i think i do? i never think i have time to do things like watch tv or go to the pec, because that's a solidly defined block of time. "an hour? heavens no, i have too much work to do." but then i cumulatively spend more than an hour messing around on the internet. it's dumb. but the internet has so many great things! like rentsecrets and online christmas shopping! these things are much better than edwardian romance novels. much.

tonight, i finished all my work for tomorrow, but i really, really need to work on my final papers. but i'll probably waste time on the internet. arrrr.

but! today i signed up for a free 10-minute massage next week. best use of the endowment ever? i think yes.

posted by ~renata~ at 7:24 PM
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oh ps, i compiled a list of my favorite rentsecrets. you should check it out, even if you don't follow rentsecrets. even if you've never seen rent. these secrets represent all that is glorious about the internet.

i think that image is too wide and it will break my layout but i don't even care because that is how glorious it is.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:07 AM
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

listening to: jefferson airplane, volunteers

i would just like to remind you all that english literature is quite often HILARIOUS.

for example: lord byron. hilariously bitchy and catty. and he had a clubfoot. anyway, for the romantics we have to post short responses online sometimes. here is mine tonight; don't worry if you haven't read don juan because i think you will be able to infer the hilarity.

I’d like to revisit Byron and religion, and specifically the ideas presented at the end of Canto III. Stanzas 101-3 use “Ave Maria!” and traditional Christian images like Heaven, the Son, and the dove. But stanzas 104-6 seem to introduce an almost pagan concept of worshipping nature—“My altars are the mountains and the ocean,/Earth, air, stars—all that springs from the great Whole” (926-7). His reverence for nature reminded me of Wordsworth—“yet having felt the power/of Nature, by the gentle agency/Of natural objects..” (Michael, 27-30). Is Byron’s presentation of Nature meant to be ironic?

Bryon also mentions two writers in these three stanzas: Boccaccio and Dryden. I looked up Dryden on that paragon of academic research, Wikipedia, and found this: “One of the first attacks on Dryden's reputation was by Wordsworth, who complained that Dryden's descriptions of natural objects in his translations from Virgil were much inferior to the originals.” Is Byron siding with Dryden as another way to attack WW? Am I reading too much into that? Is the whole thing making fun of Wordsworth?

Also, I looked up Onesti and it’s a story from Boccaccio’s Decameron (translated by Dryden), in which Degli Onesti is in the forest of Ravenna and sees a nude woman being chased by dogs and a knight. She is horrifically eaten by the dogs and Onesti realizes that the knight has killed himself because he was rejected by this woman, and his eternal punishment is to hunt this woman forever. Then Onesti invites the family of the woman he loves (but who rejected him) to the woods to watch it happen, and it convinces the woman to marry him. Seriously. Anyway, just thought I’d share in case that helps anyone’s interpretations of this passage. Is he contrasting the image of beautiful nature with this violent story to undermine the beauty of nature? I thought stanza 104 was really pretty and I would like to take it at face value, but I fear I cannot do so.

oh byron, you scallywag. (ps i wrote this on a deadline and re-reading it i notice it has some real clunky sentences. don't judge me, my ideas are valid. valid, i say!)

also, here is a poem i read for trads1 tonight:

"Upon Jack and Jill: Epigram"
Robert Herrick, 1648

When Jill complains to Jack for want of meat,
Jack kisses Jill, and bids her freely eat.
Jill says, Of what? Says Jack, On that sweet kiss,
Which full of nectar and ambrosia is,
The food of poets. So I thought, says Jill;
That makes them look so lank, so ghost-like still.
Let poets feed on air or what they will;
Let me feed full till that I fart, says Jill.

lololol 17th century fart jokes.

and now, should i watch nevada day part 2 or go to bed? i vote... bed. byeeee.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:51 PM
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posted by ~renata~ at 6:57 PM
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listening to: madonna, hung up

i think professor dobbs likes me? i just met with her to talk about my paper and it was all about how awesome my ideas are and how i just need to be more confident about presenting them. also she nitpicked a lot about topic sentences.

i'm so hungry all the time lately. i think stress is making my body eat itself. not cool!

also my room is really, really a ridiculous mess. i know i've said this before this semester, but it's the worst now.

pause. let me take a moment to reflect on life's beauty:
- the weather is really lovely for late november. for any time of year, really.
- i just staved off the hunger with a delicious stolen pear! mmm, stolen.
- less than 3 weeks left of this semester, no matter how tricksy these remaining days will be.
- my hair is very soft today.
- i have some bitchin' holiday gifts in my amazon cart.
- my favorite kind of pizza is in the dining hall tonight!! (roasted vegetables & pesto!)
- itunes just shuffled to abba!


posted by ~renata~ at 4:45 PM
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ok instead of going to bed, i watched studio 60. except i'm way behind on s60, so i watched nevada day part 1. i just have to say that i love tom and simon.

the only part that made me literally elohel was:

simon: there's a joint in the pocket of that jacket!
tom: let's smoke it!

i... don't know. i'm going to bed now?

posted by ~renata~ at 1:10 AM
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Monday, November 27, 2006

listening to: mark keali'i ho'omalu, ku'e hao o ka lanakila

i like: pistachio pudding. and my big tupperware cube of pistachio pudding. mmm.

i dislike: closing doors :/

i just went to a grinnell corps info meeting, and even though most placements don't start until august or so, there is a required pre-corps training week right after graduation. which cuts into project dinotrip, if not camp. similarly, tfa would cut into project camp green eyrie, if not dinotrip.

and the thing issss i'm really committed to roadtrip and camp. like both gc and tfa would undoubtedly be fabulous experiences (if indeed i got accepted to either one). but this will probably be my last chance to take a random extended roadtrip, especially one with both keith & priscilla. and it will probably be my last summer to work at a camp (although i guess not necessarily). these seem like sort of silly things to plan the next few years of my life around.

but i guess the thing i wanted to do most was peace corps anyway, and that has more flexible scheduling. of course this assumes i'll get accepted as a pcv, which i feel anxious about assuming, but doug cutchins says he's never known a grinnellian to get rejected from the pc. and i might not be a community service allstar, but i'm no... community service black hole.

i need to suck it up and embrace uncertainty for awhile, i guess.

at least i'll always have pudding. at least until my tupperware cube runs dry.

ps: thanks for the love, julia! <33 back.

posted by ~renata~ at 9:33 PM
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listening to: paul simon, another galaxy

ahhh why is teach for america stalking me? it's like they knew i was just looking at their website this morning and considering them, after rebuffing their previous advances. and then this afternoon i got another personal email from them. i am so easily flattered into interest! me? really? a previous tfa candidate specifically recommended me? you think my campus leadership is praiseworthy? you didn't just copy and paste this email individually to half of campus? really? ahh i don't know.

i still think the peace corps is the right program for me. but tfa is so valuable too. but. mmm. i don't know.

plus i know tfa has summer training, and i'm already fairly committed to roadtrip+camp this summer.

speaking of camp, today i sent jana a letter officially telling her i wouldn't be working at tapawingo this summer. it feels so final! arguably, when i told chick pea i'd definitely work at her camp and she said she'd send me an application, or when i filled out my tapawingo returning staff application in an obscene fashion and sent it to blue... those things should have seemed like a pretty good indicator that i wouldn't be returning. but somehow this polite but informal brushoff to jana seems really final.

i'm really excited about the prospect of working at chick pea's camp, and also her camp's schedule fits in better with dinoroadtrip. there are a million reasons i don't want to go back to tapawingo. but. i mean, i went there for 9 years as a kid, and i spent 2 flawed, but great summers working there. hmm. what really gets me, i think, is that i don't have many big life regrets. but i regret not going through cit at tapawingo. i always wanted to when i was a kid and then when i was finally old enough, i just... didn't. of course, it's impossible to really say... maybe if i had done cit for two years i would have gotten sick of camp and wouldn't have had as much fun on staff. but i can't help but wonder. oh well! i'm still thankful for the two years i got, and looking forward to this summer.

oops, i was just reading random plans and someone said "does anyone in art after 1945 want to drop the class so that i could get in... please, pretty please?" i'm so in that class and i'm kind of lukewarm about it. like it would be interesting but i'm not nearly so pumped about it as i am about civil war and disability lit. i didn't realize i was keeping enthusiastic people out of the class. hmm.

anyway, i'm going to go analyze some historiography and eat some dinner. yeahhh.

posted by ~renata~ at 4:30 PM
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Sunday, November 26, 2006

listening to: paul simon, how can you live in the northeast

hello friends! i am back in grinnell. hmm. i just unpacked a lot of laundry. i am embarking on an experiment. hypothesis: by bringing back extra clothes, i can make it until winter break without doing laundry at school. i'll keep you all posted on my findings.

i need to email president osgood to beg for money so i can go to the pop culture conference. but i'm nervous about it and i don't really know why. i mean he has a discretionary fund for this exact purpose. i'm just generally anxious right now, i suppose.

aaah sorry guys, i try to keep my general blog-angst to a minimum, but this semester is roughhhh.

more cheerfully, i present a vignette entitled "my dad: he tries."

the scene: the kitchen. the family is gathered around playing apples to apples. i am the judge of this hand.

dad (indignantly): how could you not pick neil simon? you love him!!
family: ...
mom: she likes paul simon.
dad (dejectedly): well, shit.

okay, it's wayyy funnier if you can accurately envision my dad's tones. hooray, family.

anyway i'm going to go do some work and go to beddd. with freshly cleaned sheets!

posted by ~renata~ at 11:39 PM
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guyssss i don't want to go back to school. i just want to stay at home and pet magneto and play scrabble with my mommm.


last night i dreamed that there was a quiz in the romantics seminar, and the quiz ws about rebecca by daphne dumaurier, and i hadn't read it and i was 99% sure that it wasn't even on the syllabus and i didn't think it was even a romantic novel, but i wasn't sure enough to confront professor simpson about it so i just made stuff up.

also, i just checked and it definitely is not on the syllabus. and according to wikipedia, it was written in 1938 but "It has become a modern classic of English literature, although it clearly was inspired by the Victorian tradition, and particularly by Jane Eyre. Rebecca may also have been influenced by Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey." so i guess it arguably could have a place in a romantics seminar. but anyway.

my point here is, oh my god my cat is adorable.

also i think trey is depressed. usually he's kind of jumpy (swimmy) and whenever you walk by, he freaks out. but now he just like, floats there. (he's not dead; he floats near the bottom. it's like the fish equivalent of sitting. i guess.) i think it's because i left his treasure chest at school. he likes swimming through the treasure chest. maybe he's a capitalist fish and he doesn't understand the sudden loss of his assets. it's okay, trey. i'm just temporarily investing them in the bank of on top of my desk.

anyway, i'm hungry, so i guess i'll stop complaining about how hard life is for me and my fish and go eat some greenbean casserole. mmmm.

but i'll leave you with this:
mom: (of my grandfather's new ladyfriend) ... so harriet and i are kind of afraid that she's some kind of slut-whore-golddigger.
me: (shrugs) i ain't sayin' she's a golddigger, but she ain't messin' with no broke nigger.
mom: (laughs for like 5 minutes) oh my god, i almost wet my pants. what is wrong with you?

and then reid rapped.

posted by ~renata~ at 10:35 AM
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Friday, November 24, 2006

public service announcement: tonight at 1am (midnight central time), the spike tv bond marathon is showing the living daylights. i cannot recommend this movie enough. james bond SLEDS DOWN A MOUNTAIN ON A CELLO.

oooh and tomorrow octopussy is at 8 eastern. that one has sharksss and clowns and james bond dressed up like an alligator. also a guy gets faceraped by an octopus and it's horribleeee but other than that it's an awesome movie.

plus goldfinger is at 9pm tonight. a classic. really, i just recommend that you sit down and watch the whole marathon.

seriously though, the living daylights. cello sledding.

posted by ~renata~ at 3:39 PM
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watching: MOONRAKER

this week, by the numbers:

pages written: 40
hours slept: ... less than 40
hours slept, wednesday night: 12
times i had to get perry jumped: 2
times i almost killed trey: 1
probable cases of food poisoning: 1
happy birthday, priscilla!!s: 1 (happy birthday, priscilla!!)
bond marathons: yesssss

woooo hey.

so yeah, this week pretty much almost killed me. it also killed perry and nearly killed trey. (turns out i accidentally left the dome lights on and drained the battery, so i had to call and get a jump. and then like, as the guy was walking back to his car, i accidentally took my foot off the clutch and killed perry. so he had to get jumped again. ahhhh. and then i made a bumpy turn and tipped over perry's fishbowl! he was in his travel cup, which has a lid, but still like 1/4 of his water spilled out. poor fishman.

anyway, then i ate dinner with megan, hooray! except i got reallly sick on the way home.

oh sweet, bond just invented snowboarding. a++. OH GOD ICEBERG BOAT YES I LOVE THIS MOVIE (note: moonraker ended, and this is the opening of a view to a kill. OH GOD YES.)

fun fact, when molly, tim and i watched this together we couldn't figure out why they played california girls during this scene, where he's skiing on one ski (which is actually a snowmobile runner). and then we realized it was supposed to be like he was surfing? and then we realized james bond invented snowboarding. yes.

okay so anyway, the point is, i totally physically exhausted myself and then possibly got food poisoning or possibly just got hella sick, and then i slept for like 12 hours. and then thanksgiving day morning i was SO. HUNGRY, having fully emptied my stomach the night before. but i didn't want to ruin thanksgiving so i was trying not to just devour all the cheese and crackers. but it was hard.

thanksgiving was awk. without going into family gossip, let me just say: my grandpa brought his new girlfriend and my uncle got totally krunkkk. mostly reid and i just caught each other's eyes and made horrified faces. and ate a lot. yes. also we played apples to apples, which didn't work too well because my grandfather doesn't really understand "fun" (he'd get so mad because he wouldn't have any nouns that perfectly matched the adjectives, and he really hated it when people intentionally picked nouns that didn't fit the adjectives) and my uncle was krunkkkk and my aunt didn't really understand the game ever. my nuclear family pretty much rocked it, though.

this morning i got up earlyish and had coffee with miriam&amanda, and then trina and i went shopping. we pretty much failed at day-after-thanksgiving shopping. we didn't start until 9, so we missed all the mad-early sales. and then we didn't really want anything? and also we didn't want to wait in line. also, i was driving, and circling parking lots + not being very good at driving stick shift=personal hell. aahh. i did get some cheap dvds at target (gifts. $4! for a dvd!) and for me i got a sweater and pajama pants at old navy. the pants were $10 (which is only like $2 off) and the sweater wasn't even on sale, it was just cheap to start off with. it's pinkkk.

oh also, i got tori amos's box set for 40% off!! it looks like a piano! SO COOL.

i love roger moore. he's like... not a very good actor, nor is he very attractive. and his bond movies are the most ridiculous ones of the series. but he invented snowboarding. love him.

aah. i wanted to take a nap before, but now i kind of just want to watch a view to a kill.

reid doesn't understand why i love the bond marathon so much, when we have most of them on tape anyway, or i could just rent them and watch whatever one i want, whenever i want. but i like it this way. it makes it more exciting. and it's soo easy, like all weekend just turn on the teevee, and james bond is there! no looking for a tape, or pressing play... pshhh.

hahah, i crack myself up (and reid):
commercial for sexy beach volleyball videogame: nine girls. one island. you do the math.
me: each girl gets 1/9th of an island!!

god. how i can i nap when there's hot christopher walken on blimp action to be had?

posted by ~renata~ at 2:30 PM
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

listening to: s&g, bridge over troubled water

aaah whoa hi. man, this history paper kind of messed me up. i think it's mostly troubling to me the extent to which i don't think i understand what i'm writing about.

i've been kind of creeping myself out, actually. like besides the bizarre blogging, there's been a lot of literal twitching (and shaking) and weird verbalizations to myself. like nmyehhhhh.

anyway, then i did go take a nap and had a weird dream. and then i woke up and had a headache and realized the only thing i drank all day was a mountain dew. dehydration ahoy :( but then i drank water and ate food and all's pretty much well, here. it's awesome how well things go when you take care of your body's basic needs!

i should get cracking on my annotated bib so i can go to bed early. and then go home tomorrow omg.

also, i just made a lunch date with megan! hott.

annotate, annotate, annotate.

posted by ~renata~ at 7:37 PM
(1) commented with care

listening to: ps, the boy in the bubble

woooo. here is a plan update i wrote earlier today:
i think i should insert a paragraph of apology in my history paper draft. dear professor prevost, i'm sorry that my paper is incoherent. i'm sorry its grip on edwardian historiography is tenuous at best. i'm sorry my paper is heavy on quotations and low on analysis. i'm sorry. i'm sorry. i acknowledge that this draft is heavily flawed, but it is due in three hours and i simply cannot fix everything before i hand it in to you. sincerely, renata.

speaking of which, ahhh, due in 3 hours, get off plans renata!! :O

oh, i should put some emoticons in this paper too.

The different ways British women were constructed in Anglo-Indian romance novels in contrast to male characters and Indian women exemplifies the anxiety about women’s changing roles and international sisterhood :O

Unsurprisingly, in these novels British men are nearly universally described as physically handsome ;)

Indian male characters can be portrayed negatively for a number of reasons, including excessive religious superstition, disloyalty, poor treatment of women, and greed :(

Barbie is “such an able energetic little creature, a delightful companion, with a sweet unselfish character, and a sunny face” :D


here is an email i just sent to professor prevost, along with my paper draft:

Here you go. Sorry the citations aren't right--I was doing them parenthetically along the way and ran out of time to change them to proper endnotes. I promise I'll do them over break, though!

Also, I kind of want to apologize for the overall inferior quality of this draft--I know it's not the final draft and it's not going to be perfect or anything, but this has been a crazy week for me and I feel like it's reflected in this draft. Aaaah!

Anyway, happy Thanksgiving!

- Renata

aaaaah indeed. i don't know why i felt compelled to add my primal scream to the email. but i did.

i spent a long time trying to think of a good title. the best academic title ever, i think, is the empire writes back. my title isn't as good. it is: "happy endings: anglo-indian romance novels, the empire, and british womanhood." or something like that, i might have swapped the order of the last two words.


anyway, now all i have left is half of my annotated bibliography and its cover essay. and reading for trads1, but at least i won't have to present tomorrow so i can kind of slack off on my explication. my plan all day has been to take a nap after i finish the draft and then work on my romantics stuff. but now that it's done i'm not actually tired anymore? a. dren. a. line. i am staaarving though. ooh, and it's alu gobhi night in the dining hall! devoursss.

aaaaaah maybe i should try that nap anyway i think i'm getting kind of crazy up in here.

posted by ~renata~ at 4:34 PM
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my paper has one page for every year old i am!

posted by ~renata~ at 3:00 PM
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my research methods have become highly flawed. all my articles are in wild disarray and i am reduced to picking up pieces of paper at random and hoping they have useful information.

i just hit the jackpot, though. "For women, the last days of the Raj offered opportunities for travel and work that would appeal to the adventurous modern woman, but its cultural role was finally conservative in that desire, romance and marriage constituted the ultimate imperial feminine goal."


i don't even know why i think blogging random thoughts about my project is a good idea.

i am very tired. i drank some mountain dew. it was yellow.

paper :(

posted by ~renata~ at 1:16 PM
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my friends, this paper, it is... crap.

i still have 5 more hours to work on it. but it's just a mess.

it's just a draft. but. i feel guilty because all along professor prevost has been like "make sure you're grounding this in historiography! you might want to look into x and y!" and i've been like "yeah sure!" and now i'm like, fuck, i wish i had x and y. and z. so much z :(


but. in 24 hours i'll be done with this. for 4 days. and i'll still have a lot of stuff i should be doing at home. but at least i'll be home.


posted by ~renata~ at 11:59 AM
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Monday, November 20, 2006

i got 99 problems :(

1. a bitch
2. a paper due in 18 hours
3. lack of attention span
4. poor grasp of basic historical concepts of the edwardian period
5. one still unread boring novel
6. chapped lips
7. sleepiness
8. mild sniffles
9. itchyyy
10. bored
11. seriously never going to finish my paper
skip a few
99. dirty socks

posted by ~renata~ at 11:11 PM
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haha oops, i have more work due in less time than i thought :O

i was kind of counting on the annotated bibliography for the romantics being due at 5pm wednesday, but i guess it's noon? and it has a 3-page essay with it, summarizing the trend of the scholarly works? i guess?

oh well, it'll... get done. and i'll sleep... sometime.

in other news, do you know who malachi ritscher is? because i didn't, until yesterday. but he was a jazz musician who immolated himself earlier this month in protest of the iraq war. someone told me about it, and i googled it, and all that came up were blogs and his wikipedia entry. he did this on a busy street in chicago and the news media almost totally failed to cover it. here is his self-written obituary and a column from the sun-times about it. it's not even a real article, it's a column, but it's all i could find?

what the heck.


posted by ~renata~ at 5:03 PM
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listening to: h-bel, paradise in gazankulu

oh, trads1. i am so glad to be almost done with you. today she did this thing where half the class had explicated one poem and half the other, and she asked for volunteers for each one. i volunteered for my poem, since that will at least rid some of my nagging dread about having to present an explication for awhile.

but the weird split class format, plus my own anxiety, led to a weird trainwreck presentation where like, i did it out of order and i totally forgot to read the poem first and whatnot, and at the end she was like "oh, i just realized you forgot to read the poem!" and i said "oh, haha, i guess i was just soo excited to talk about the poem that i forgot to read it!" and after class, she likes to talk to the person (or today, people) who presented, about how well their presentation went. and she just said to me, with this intense look in her eyes, "i know how you feel about being so excited to talk about a poem that you forget other things! next time just take a deep breath and remind yourself to read it first and get focused!" so... i guess i successfully passed off anxiety for enthusiasm? yes.

i did get my email grade for the last paper. it says "B. Let’s be sure to talk, Renata."

i don't want to talk about it. i am fine with that b. grumble.


so i really can't stop listening to paradise in gazankulu (this a link to an mp3!). it's one of those songs where like before i always kind of liked it and then suddenly it just clicked for me and i loove it. especially the background singers. love them. but now i'm really curious about the song. i looked up gazankulu yesterday. and i also looked up the lyrics, and a couple different lyrics sites listed the song but then said "lyrics removed at request of the artist." i know i've looked up other lyrics of his online, so it's not like harry belafonte just refuses to have his lyrics available online in general. so why?

i did find lyrics online at one rebel site, and i noticed that the original lyrics (this is a live version) have "free mandela" at the end. this one is "viva mandela," which makes since, since it was recorded in like... 1997 i think? after mandela was freed, anyway. he's always been an outspoke liberal political activist, so i don't understand why he would want to pull what's clearly an anti-apartheid song.

actually, i looked around at more lyrics sites and a couple others aren't available. and i know that he did write "turn the world around" (not available) and i'm guessing he wrote this? and he didn't write most of his stuff. so maybe he just doesn't want any of his own lyrics available online?


well, undoubtedly you'd all love to hear more thoughts on harry belafonte's mysterious lack of online presence, but i really should go read some percy shelley for classsss soon.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:24 PM
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Sunday, November 19, 2006

listening to: tori, total eclipse of the heart

omg. you know how sometimes you look at a post in a livejournal community and you just randomly click on someone's username and start idly reading their journal? you know? right? i'm not just a creepy stalker? anyway, i was doing this and someone's recent entry was: As W is hooked on "the Google", I am hooked on the iTunes, at least this afternoon. 99 cents for Tori Amos doing Total Eclipse of the Heart. All I ask is that I get to see some beauty in the world each day. So I've had mine for today.

omgggg tori doing total eclipse of the heart? i fucking love total eclipse of the heart. and tori, obv. how did that escape my radar? i kind of... have a lot of tori cover songs. and i'm plugged into a couple tori news-related things. so how did i miss it? well, i searched on itunes (and bought it, clearly) and i guess it was from one of the 6 live "official bootlegs" she released awhile ago, which i've kind of been wanting to get but not bad enough to actually buy them. (sidenote, i was at one of the 6 concerts that was officially recorded! the chicago one. i think that's kind of cool, personally! except i still haven't actually bought it.) anyhow, also it would explain why i haven't seen the song up for download, since my main tori download site doesn't put up widely-available songs, and since a lot of times tori only covers a song once live. so i guess this was it.

anyway, it was a well-spent 99 cents and a very serendipitous discovery. (it wasn't like i clicked the random person through a tori-related community or anything, either.)

okay. paper status=12 roughrough pages. i'm in okay shape. the next few days will be tight between finishing this up and finishing my romantics annotated bibliography (professor simpson wants some detailed-ass annotations! like 500 words, who does thaaat) but it should be do-able. if need be, i can skip japanese comics on tuesday since i haven't missed a day all semester. and it's not a real class anyway.

omg tori amos christmas cards. i totally made those myself one year, with the same line ("i get a little warm in my heart when i think of winter").

i was feeling kind of sick today, but i drank TWO vitamin waters and ate an orange and drank some green tea and also some water. and i feel better. grood.

in closing, i want these shoes real bad and i wish it were wednesday.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:34 PM
(2) commented with care

i don't want to jinx myself or anything, but this paper is coming together easy peasy. i guess having like 30 single-spaced pages of notes helps. copy, paste, add analysis!

the last step is still kind of tricky, though :/

posted by ~renata~ at 12:23 PM
(1) commented with care

listening to: harry belafonte, paradise in gazankulu

i can't stop listening to this song aaahh. i listened to it on repeat-one all day yesterday when i was working on my paper. at some point yesterday, i decided to just start working on my paper without finishing my last novel, because it was taking me so long and i was just getting extra stressed about completing the paper. i still need to finish the novel obvi, but i do feel better knowing that i already have 5 pages of the paper. they need a lot of editing, but SOMETHING is THERE. good.

did you know that Gazankulu was a bantustan in South Africa, intended by the apartheid government to be a semi-independent homeland for the Tsonga (Shangaan) people. It was carved out of the former Transvaal Province and given self-rule in 1971, with its capital at Giyani?

because i was unaware.

i was also unaware of chuck norris's stance on evolution... until NOW.

Alleged Chuck Norris Fact: "There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live." It's funny. It's cute. But here's what I really think about the theory of evolution: It's not real. It is not the way we got here. In fact, the life you see on this planet is really just a list of creatures God has allowed to live. We are not creations of random chance. We are not accidents. There is a God, a Creator, who made you and me. We were made in His image, which separates us from all other creatures.

By the way, without him, I don't have any power. But with Him, the Bible tells me, I really can do all things – and so can you.

there's moooore.

anyhow. my family's visit was a+! we got delicious dinner and saw urinetown, which i always forget how much i love. reid is walking around with a pimp cane--my mom used it after her hip surgery, and she decorated it with glitter paint. yess. (did i mention that reid sprained his ankle? because he did. hence the cane.)

aaand then i went to watch aliens 3, which was perhaps not the best use of my time this time of year, but how could i resist?

a highlight:
ripley: she might be infected with... cholera.
me: yes, in the future they still have cholera!
doctor: there hasn't been cholera for over 200 years.

also, when we decided that the best ziplock commercial ever would be "ziplock bags can even contain the alien! marla used storebrand bags, and her family got devoured."

ok! back to ze paper now.

posted by ~renata~ at 10:20 AM
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Friday, November 17, 2006

listening to: s&g, scarborough fair

i neeed to finish reading my last romance novel (i gave up on finishing it before the intro was due, but now i really need to do it...) and i need to start writing my paper. i know i'll feel less stressed about it once i start writing, but. starting. aaah.

unfortunately, midnight casino royale + 8:30am work + caffeine = tired, but unable to nap (i tried twice!) so i'm not really at a good brain functioning level to write. but tomorrow my family is coming! hooray! and in a few days i get to go home! (q: why is my family driving all the way out to grinnell when i am coming home in a few days? a: to see the campus production of urinetown. woo!)

i just need to get into gear. wooo.

apparently i'm a high priestess, so i should be good at this sort of thing:

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

so yeah! i'm going to go reveal some arcane knowledge, i guess! wooo and then bedtime.

posted by ~renata~ at 8:19 PM
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listening to: s&g, kathy's song

i have some further thoughts on casino royale, which i will share! they would be considered SPOILERZ, but if you're like me, it's not like you watch bond movies for the plot anyway. you watch them for the experience. if you're not like me, then skip this post.

okay then! so the thing that bothered me the most about this was that the violence was much more graphic than usual. like, i don't want to see bond villains violently drowned in a bathroom sink, or slowly strangled to death by hand. i want to see like, a villain in the water, and then you see the shark, and then you see the water turn red. yeah buddy, that's what bond movies are all about. alternately, i want to watch the guy ski off a cliff.

the problem with making the violence in a bond movie more realistic is that it forces the audience to consider the rest of the movie at a higher standard of realism. when you do this, bond looks like a sociopath. it also makes you consider things like the construction scene in madagascar. like, way to cause millions of dollars of damage to a project in a developing country, jerk. similarly, the lens of heightened realism makes bond's treatment of women less funny and more, well, sociopathic. it is better when it is more clear that bond is on the joke, that he knows james bond is an over-the-top character; a cartoonish person with cartoonish violence. even timothy dalton, who was supposed to be the "dark" bond, wasn't like this. like yes, it was grittier--felix got his legs eaten off by a shark!--but it was still clear that bond wasn't really... real. q's presence helped with that, i think. as did... i don't know.

in conclusion, sharks.

posted by ~renata~ at 3:05 PM
(1) commented with care

casino royale needs more cowbell. and by cowbell i mean sharks.

it was still pretty good i suppose, but i think the bond franchise is trying to take another turn toward the DARK and SERIOUS and that's really not at all where i personally would like it to go. that's fine; i'll always have octopussy.

posted by ~renata~ at 3:06 AM
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

interdisciplinarity will be the death of me :(

seriously, being an english/history major SOUNDS like it would be a very beneficial pair of majors. and it is. i feel like i have a better historical background than most english majors. and theoretically i write better than most history majors, although our history department is really writing intensive anyway so i'm not sure how much of a legup i actually have.

anyway. it's the little things, like two different citation formats, and endnotes vs. parenthetical citations, and past tense vs. present tense. anyhow, i met with professor prevost to talk about my introduction, and she said she's excited about the interdisciplinarity and thinks novels are a good historical source, but i need to make sure i'm grounding my paper in a historical, not literary argument. and i said, omg i know but i don't know what my historical argument is.

i think i'm in better shape now; i think my thesis is something like crappy edwardian romance novels of empire used an anti-feminist orientalist framework to define british womanhood in a way that refuted the new woman movement.


posted by ~renata~ at 10:50 AM
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

listening to: regina spektor, on the radioooo

today was good! i went to prison and we talked about david sedaris! the best part was how most of the guys were like "i really related to how he felt like a misfit in school, etc etc etc" (we read "go carolina" and "giant dreams, midget abilities"--the one about his speech therapy and the one about his guitar lessons) and someone mentioned david coming to terms with his sexuality, and most of the guys were like "huh?" and i guess most of them didn't pick up that he's gay, and one of them admitted that if he had realized that he probably wouldn't have related to him as much. breaking down walls, guys. figuratively.

and then i went to the shindig at professor prevost's house, and we watched rabbit proof fence and ate homemade gingerbread and talked about our privilege guilt.

and then i wrote a genius paper for trads1! i... assume.

goal: bedtime=midnight.

posted by ~renata~ at 10:25 PM
(3) commented with care

listening to: bnl, thanks that was fun

guess who got a free ticket to a midnight showing of casino royale?

answer: me!

partial credit given for the answer of anyone other than me.

anyway. there's so much good stuff going on but it stresses me out to think about doing it all. like there's this, and then tonight there's a film & dessert night at professor prevost's house, and on saturday my family's coming and we're going to see urinetown, and, yeah.

i did come to terms with something important: what's due on tuesday is a draft of my history paper. a draft. that means it's OKAY if it sucks.

i would still like to sleep for like five years. oh speaking of sleep. so last night, after watching 2 episodes of house, i went to bed. and after being tiiired all day i just couldn't fall asleep. around 2 i drifting off, but still sort of halfawake, and i heard a beeping. at first i though "it seriously is not 8am, is it?" but i quickly realized it wasn't my alarm clock. it was my phone. so i went over to figure out why it was beeping--it wasn't ringing. it turned out i had a text message! i hardly ever get text messages. it was from madonna and it concerned the plot of mary worth and it was def worth waking up for. aldo :(

devon: ooh! i've had fantastic foods soup cups, which are generally yummm, but i didn't realize they made other stuff, too. thanks for the link! (ps keith & priscilla, fantastic foods soup cups would be fantastic road trip items! add hot water and get delicious!)

christine: oh, i remember when you went, and i'm glad it was helpful. hm. i'll keep it in mind as an option if i get too much crazier.

posted by ~renata~ at 1:10 PM
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godDAMN these last few episodes of house are depressing! house and wilson and cuddy are so tragic. and that cop is a jerk. i mean, you know, house and wilson are technically committing medical fraud like every three days but god, why you gotta get all up ons?


ps: the best line of the twop recap is: "Chase, who hates fat people, assumes that they're looking at a diabetic with "blood thicker than pancake batter," but Cuddy says that is not the case." oh chase.

pps: OMG this recap has a link to the x-files twop page, and right at the top is the recaplet of the very last episode, which i never watched: In the second hour: with the help of Skinner, Doggett, and Kersh, Mulder escapes from prison and takes Scully along with him in search of this whole "truth" thing that he keeps talking about. Yeah, apparently the aliens are going to be here in about ten years. Then shit blows up, and Mulder and Scully go on the lam and, in the end, just spoon together and fall asleep like little baby cats.

what? why was mulder in prison? and not dead? what the hell happened to that show after i stopped watching it? additionally, why am i not going to sleep right now?

posted by ~renata~ at 1:05 AM
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

oh god! i just watched house from...3 weeks ago? first it ended with the most depressing montage o'sadness ever, and then house got arrested?

i was going to try to go to bed early but now i muuust watch 3.6!

i believe i have successfully transposed my personal stress onto house. but now i'm so worried for him :(

while i was watching, i scanned a sonnet! i kept getting three stressed syllables in a row so i can't tell if shakespeare was just feeling really emphatic about certain lines or what. professor dobbs is always encouraging us to talk about what role scansion plays in interpreting poems but i can never be sure if the poet is actually doing unique things with it or if i'm just grossly misreading the poem. anyway so instead i think the thesis of my paper will be SHAKESPEARE USES VERBS. i am 100% confident of that statement. aaaah house why are you only at 5%? moooore.

also i would like to say that i laughed at cameron's jokes this episode. i feel conflicted about this. basically whenever cameron does things that i like, i feel they are out of character for her. but i love: chase&foreman&house&wilson&cuddy. i love: feeling notcrazy.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:10 PM
(1) commented with care

listening to: bnl, brian wilson

burnt. out.

i kind of just want to sleep. i guess i technically could, since i did my work for tomorrow. mmm.

earlier i went to a presentation/event called "who would jesus vote for?" conclusion: ambivalent! jesus transcends party lines! it was really interesting, because it was set up so that people moved around to different tables with different themes, like "would jesus be okay with torture if it saved lives?" and "would jesus endorse separation of church and state?" and you talked to different people. but then at the end there was like a li'l sermon about using jesus to shape your own political views and entering the kindgom of god. but i guess the event was sponsored by the christian fellowship so, not totally surprising or anything. also: cookies and juice! yess.

my feet smell bad but my hair is clean.

times like this i always think about going to free walk-in counseling but i am not sure how effective it would be. i would say, "i am stressed because i have a lot of work to do" and the counselor would say what? "yes, you do." "go do your work." "it's okay not to do your work." i don't know. i guess the point of a counselor is that i'm not supposed to be able to guess what he or she would say, but i'm still doubtful. i think i should probably just suck it up and do my work.

posted by ~renata~ at 9:39 PM
(2) commented with care

yes, i just showered for the first time since saturday. it was transcendent.

btw i think i might be moving from my CAPSLOCK PERIOD to my italics period. next up: a blue period? (btw: why is picasso's blue period like the most commonly-known art thing? why not his rose period? that one was cheerier. or his african period? or his... i don't know, other period? picasso, i demand you try harder to make knowledge of you public. get with the program.)

anyway, i finished writing a draft of my intro last night. so much strife for one 3 page paper. but it's an important 3 pages, it needs to be the roadmap for like the like 20 or so pages to come. and right now i'm still not really sure where they are going.

in conclusion, here is a pretty sweet quiz. it matches your political leanings with PRESIDENTS OF THE PAST. hey, guess the caplock period isn't quite over.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (more info) (score = 100)
Abraham Lincoln (more info) (score = 93)
George Washington (more info) (score = 92)
John F. Kennedy (more info) (score = 87)
Lyndon Baines Johnson (more info) (score = 86)

hey hey lbj how many kids did you kill today :( but also, how many federal acts of civil rights legislation did you pass?

rounding out the bottom:

Warren G. Harding (more info) (score = 50)
William Howard Taft (more info) (score = 50)
Benjamin Harrison (more info) (score = 48)
William Henry Harrison (more info) (score = 46)
Herbert Hoover (more info) (score = 46)
Andrew Johnson (more info) (score = 40)

and pretty much in the middle: James K. Polk (more info) (score = 70)


posted by ~renata~ at 9:40 AM
(1) commented with care

Monday, November 13, 2006

additionally! the most recent comics curmudgeon post made me LOL SO HARD OH GOD.

the mark trail commentary, i think, is especially golden. but i'm a sucker for waiting for godot jokes.

what? oh, my seminar paper? it's totally 1 page long now. POPCORN/BLOG BREAK.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:45 PM
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listening to: caroline's spine, sullivan

i've been working on the introduction to my history paper for like an hour and so far i have: In 1877 Queen Victoria was crowned Empress of India, an event that had innumerable repercussions for both India and Great Britain. It is unsurprising, then, that India has long played a key role in British literature.

groundbreaking work, renata. good job.

i also have a rewards system in place: after i complete one page, i get to make a minibag of popcorn and consume it. after i complete the introduction (which is supposed to be 3-4 pages), i get to take a shower and go to bed.

i'm such a dirty hippie. the last time i showered was saturday evening :/


devon: oh, that's cool-- i just wasn't sure if you were joking or not and i'm all about being helpful if possible :)

megan: sure, i agree that preachy vegans are annoying. but vegan =/= preachy vegan, is all. if to you eating organic meat is healthier than being vegetarian, that's fine by me. there are plenty of reasons to be vegetarian and plenty of reasons not to be. all i ask for is RESPEK and i give it back, g.

sophi: MURDERER :O j/k lolz. like i said to megan above, it's perfectly valid to decide to eat meat if you want! especially if it prevents starvation!

posted by ~renata~ at 10:56 PM
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listening to: paul simon, rene and georgette magritte with their dog after the war

awhile ago i remember reading an interview with paul simon where the interviewer asked about this song title, and paul said something like "it was the caption of a photo in a book i was reading, and it immediately struck me as a great song title" and the interviewer was like "um... yeah, good thing you went out and wrote it before everyone else beat you to it!" just... sharing.

anyway, i want to blog a quick extension of my earlier bit about vegetarianism. basically i want to talk about: where is the line of preachiness?

i started talking about this in keith's blog comments, but i'll repost here:

i agree with you that being preachy is annoying. but i think it’s equally annoying when people are preachy about eating meat, but it doesn’t have at all the same societal connotations. like someone who says “hey don’t eat meat” is a self-righteous annoying hippie, and someone who says “man was made to eat meat! rawr!” is just keepin’ it real. i guess that’s more what i was reacting against than anything.

although also i think… i don’t know. “preachy” is a label with really negative connotations, but if you have a thought-out opinion on something what’s wrong with sharing it? like i’m preachy about voting, but that’s way more socially acceptable than being “preachy” about vegetarianism. i guess it’s like evangelical christians–they strongly believe that their beliefs will be beneficial to you, but it’s annoying to hear them. i guess where the line between opinion-sharing and preachiness is, is with repetition. like if just once someone says “oh, i think you should accept jesus christ as your lord and savior, he’s pretty cool” and i say “no thanks!” that’s one thing. if they follow up with “are you sure? he’s got magic powers” and i say “seriously, no thanks!” that’s understandable but a little annoying. any followup after that is kind of annoying.

similarly, i guess, a one-time “here are some reasons why i’m vegetarian, would you like to think about them?” is different from “hey a cow DIED FOR YOU” at every single meal.

thoughts? i know i'm definitely not usually a preachy vegetarian; a lot of people i know don't even know/remember i am. did my last post cross the line of preachiness? what about that guy's vegan rant? was it anti-vegan preachy? queeeee?

also, just to clarify from my last post--in case you didn't known from, like, knowing me, i'm not saying nobody can make jokes about being vegetarian/vegan or anything. just like, more mean-spirited attacks on vegetarian/veganism are annoying. also, as keith pointed out in his blog entry, there are a ton of reasons why people are vegetarian and conservation of resources is just one, so i didn't mean to make it sound like it was the only/best reason to change. or like there is a "best" reason for making a choice like that.

also, devon: i agree with keith's comment-reply to your comment. veggie people are easy to feed! veggie tray, hummus, boca burgers, cheese sandwiches, cheese pizza, pasta w/meatless sauce, veggie stirfry, bean burritos, baked potatoes, peanut butter. vegans are admittedly tricker but most reasonable vegans will be happy with like one thing they can eat (hummus!) and won't necessarily expect a whole array of vegan options at parties. pretzels and plain potato chips are vegan. teddy grahams are vegan (AND AWESOME).

also, thanks blog readers, for dealing with my ever-growing number of mild existential crises this year. it's hard out there for a pimp socially conscious girl :(

posted by ~renata~ at 6:23 PM
(2) commented with care

listening to: tori, rattlesnakes

okay, a few things! first, replying to comments, and then, a rant!

keith: yess. in fact, i think that quote bears repeating: "this trip is like a threesome. the more details we work out beforehand, the more comfortable everyone will be during and after." and thumbs down to freeipods.com! rawr. and yes, it was amazing frosting. we should pack some chocolate frosting and candy canes on our roadtrip. i like how all our food planning for the trip so far has been like... brownies, marshmallows, and now frosting. we are all so going to get scurvy. delicious scurvy.

priscilla: hooray, i'm glad some good is coming of this madness! and no, they did the soap song from the movie end credits. (full title: "snakes on a plane (bring it)".) also hilarious!

okay! and now a rant. triggered by a blog that talia linked to, but it's been stewing more generally. (so talia, i don't want to make it seem like i'm mad at you for linking to it or anything! it is a-ok with me but i still want to talk about it!) anyway!

i would like to rant about this blog's rant about vegans. it calls vegans hypocrites because vegans often drink alcohol and smoke, yet claim that being vegan is healthy. additionally, what is the deal with vegans who wear leather? the author of the blog entry proposes sending all vegans to africa so they could tell starving children they couldn't eat any non-vegan food.

it just rubbed me the wrong way. it's really common to rip on vegans and vegetarians for being self-righteous and hypocritical and stupid. i remember in high school i used to yell at nate/elmo for being vegetarian and eating fish. and it is easy to get defensive about your own choices. even if someone isn't a evangelizing vegetarian, it's easy to feel like "oh, that person thinks eating meat is WRONG and that means they think i'm wrong for eating meat! is it wrong to eat meat? hell no, so i'd better get sassy."

the point about sending vegans to africa was particularly low, i thought. why not send meat-eaters to africa so they can explain to starving children how they use a stastically disproportionate amount of resources to eat factory farmed animals and animal products?

it reminds of of an arundhati roy quote, which luckily i'm pretty sure i commonplace blogged so i have it online somewhere.

First of all, we have to understand that we cannot be pure. You can't say, "Arundhati, if you are against empire, then why are you flying to America?" Because we can't do it in any virginal, pristine way. All of us are muddy. All of us are soiled by empire and included in it in some way. We can only do our best.

that was such a wakeup call to me when i first read it, like oh DUH, you don't have to be perfect! you don't have to judge yourself or others for not meeting a perfect ethical standard of living, because it is effing impossible. you do get credit for trying!

like, yes, i still have some leather shoes. they are adorable and i'm not going to get rid of them because i stopped eating meat. in fact, i might even purchase MORE leather shoes if the situation arose. and sometimes? sometimes i still eat gelatin. and also apparently i've been accidentally eating chicken broth all semester. i'm not perfect, and you could judge me and say "god, you say you're vegetarian but you still eat s'mores, you whore." but still, by avoiding almost all meat products, i save an acre of trees a year. and maybe because i'm only like 99% vegetarian, i'm only saving 99% of an acre. that's still a lot of trees, okay. maybe i'm not saving as many trees as i would by being vegan. i've only been vegetarian for like a year and a half, so maybe i haven't saved as many trees as i would have if i'd switched when i was twelve. but when it comes down to it? it's still a lot of trees.

anyway, since i apparently slipped onto the preachy vegetarian high horse along the way, i might as well point out that you can get a free vegetarian starter kit online. being vegetarian is easy and awesome and you will save trees and animals. being mostly-vegetarian is cool too and it saves trees and animals also. if you become vegetarian, perhaps you will become famous like alec baldwin, weird al, and casey affleck. that's right: CASEY AFFLECK.

or you could keep eating meat and just stop making fun of vegetarians, okay. meanwhile, i will try my best to go back to being a non-annoying vegetarian. right after i eat my delicious, murder-free lunch.

eta: whoa, there's a followup conversation over at keith's blog, if you are interested!

posted by ~renata~ at 12:29 PM
(5) commented with care

>:O i just finished my 4th (of 5) imperial romance novel, and i decided to reward myself by watching the episode of house that i downloaded awhile ago. but it turns out that a) the file will only work as audio and b) it's the autistic boy episode i already saw. maaan.

anyway. only one more novel to read! these things are like 300+pages each so i'll have read over 1500 pages of craap. but i'm in okay shape, i think. i've already read some secondary stuff,and i can finish my last novel tomorrow. then i just have to write the intro to the paper by tuesday, and then oh god a draft of the entire rest of the paper by next tuesday oh god. i have no idea how to synthesize any of this right now. i assume it will come together somehow.

sorry, posts like this are hella boring. but... necessary. like photosynthesis, or wheat thins.

what the hell, i'm going to bed. nothing cures academic burnout like bedtime! (note: false.)

posted by ~renata~ at 1:26 AM
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Sunday, November 12, 2006

listening to: my neighbors watching the office

oh jim, you totally send dwight faxes from himself from the future.

oh muffin i stole from the dining hall, the fact that you got a little bit squished when i smuggled you out in my sweatshirt pocket made you even more delicious.

oh lilamani sinclair, lady protagonist of lilamani: a study in possiblities, you are a stupid crazy weirdo and i hate you. additionally i hate your husband, his sister, his brothers, his housekeeper, your old teacher, and... basically every other character in your book except maybe your dad. he's pretty chill, and i like that he wears an emerald green turban.

oh professor simpson's sore throat-induced class cancellation, while i regret your cause, the effect is most perfectly timed!

oh mary worth, reading comics curmudgeon has made me genuinely interested in your plotlines, and i sincerely hope that you throw down that whore ella byrd. throw. her. down.

oh freeipods.com, your continued refusal to credit keith and i for our completed offers makes me so angry >:O

oh blog entry, i believe you are now complete.

posted by ~renata~ at 9:30 PM
(2) commented with care

listening to: basement jaxx, take me back to your house

today's highlights: i went to the g-tones (male acapella group) concert this afternoon, and it was great. they have added several fabulous songs to their repertoire, including: "dr. worm," "crazy little thing called love," and "snakes on a plane." yess. the soap song was soo good. they started it off with one of them yelling "i've had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!" and then they all threw rubber snakes at the audience. so good.

i also walked down to mcnally's to pick up a few staples: deodorant, multi-grain wheat thin, and endangered animal dark chocolate (sea turtle and zebra!). yes, those are my staples, okay. i also impulse-bought some coffeemate in gingerbread flavor. i have added it to some coffee and am drinking it right now! it is pretty tasty! it's not as good as a starbucks gingerbread latte, but this whole bottle (which has 19 servings) cost less than 1 gingerbread latte. and also i added it to organic fairtrade coffee, so it is a more ethically sound beverage than its starbucks counterpart! of course, coffeemate is made by nestle, which a lot of people boycott for unethical baby milk marketing! oh, what's a girl to do for guiltfree, delicious gingerbread beverages?

also, i read an article and wrote an annotated bibliographical entry for it, for the romantics. i really like the title of the article i picked: "Of Heartache and Head Injury: Reading Minds in Persuasion." thundering good!

and now, onward to hot edwardian imperial romance novels!

posted by ~renata~ at 4:03 PM
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Saturday, November 11, 2006

i just got back from a totally awesome party. it is emily's birthday, hooray!

i think that my definition of "totally awesome party" differs from that of like 90% of college students. here is what my definition can encompass:
- disney singalongs, accompanied by clarinet
- double scrabble games!!
- chocolate cake with peppermint candy ground up into the frosting
- chill conversations on topics like shoes and academia (mostly shoes)
- an excellent assortment of people i already knew well and people i kinda knew and wanted to know better

it did not happen to encompass:
- crappy music
- crappy beer

also, i'd just like to pat myself on the back and point out my belief that the birthday card i made for emily was pretty great.

on the front i drew a talking birthday cake that says: "a talking cake says/happy birthday, emily!/this is a haiku." and on the inside it says: "have a lovely day!/you are one year older now/memento mori."

some people were going to another party afterward but i came back to read more bad novels. wooo. so i'm going to do that, but first i wanted to celebrate my awesomely chill evening interlude.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:06 PM
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listening to: simon and garfunkel, leaves that are green

so i'm sitting here reading & analyzing terrible edwardian novels and listening to simon and garfunkel, and suddenly this song comes on and the first two lines BLEW MY FUCKING MIND.

i was twenty-one years when i wrote this song
i'm twenty-two now but i won't be for long

but! the part about being twenty-two is IN the song that was ALLEGEDLY written when he was twenty-one! are we to believe that he wrote most of this song when he was 21 and then threw in an explanatory note about his current age while in the recording studio? if so, shouldn't it really be "i was twenty-one years when i wrote most of this song/except for this part right now explaining that i'm currently twenty-two/which i wrote just now"?


in other news, i finished up the terrible novel in old madras (fyi: mallender got his money back and married barbie AND found his uncle. it turns out he was shacking up with an indian lady and her family got pissed and cut off his ears, eyelids, and upper lip, so he's been hiding his shameful interracial love and disfigured face for the last 30 years. delightful!) and am now reading lilamani, which seems less terrible. but it's still pretty terrible.

an excerpt: "Though full eight-and-twenty, and mature of her age, her pulses had never quickened for any man, nor, in her belief, ever would. But, from the first, this thwarted artist and good comrade had secured a corner of her heart; and on meeting him again, she found that the same corner, not an inch more, belonged to him still."

damn, i was hoping this was going to be a hot lesbian coming-out novel, but i guess it's actually just setting up what a positively swell guy nevil is.

"Very clever of you to bring them here, and very clever of me to turn up at the psychological moment! A thundering good plan all round!"
"Thundering good!" she agreed frankly upon which conclusion they parted; at peace with themselves and the world.

phrases i need to add to my regular vocabularly: "damned," "thundering good!" and "hang the snakes' lovers!" also, i would like to note that i am faithfully rendering all punctuation. these people loved commas. THEY, LOVED, THEM.

posted by ~renata~ at 4:38 PM
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listening to: pj harvey, you said something

every weekend, my honest intention to be out of bed before noon FAILS. this morning i set my alarm for 10 and then lay there for 2 more asleep-ish hours. it didn't feel like 2 hours. but. well, here i am.

that's okay, though. i can still get everything done if i just FOCUS and don't be a crazy add-like person.

last night i went to watch aliens with jenny, eszter, james, melissa, and kate. it was good times. i guess they watched alien last week, which i'd never seen? but i think i pretty much picked up all i needed to know about the plot of the first one (ripley's crew got killed by aliens, ripley blew something up and escaped in a sleep tube). we msted it pretty thoroughly, and since james and kate are both on the improv squad there was a high level of humor. favorite recurring themes:

-"oh good, in the future they still have ____!" (i think the first instance of this was "in the future they still have big wheels!")
- referring to paul reiser's character as "paul reiser" and yelling at him every time he was on screen
- "sharp sticks!" (when one of the crazy marines is listing all the weapons they have- machine guns, grenade launchers, blah blah, he ends the list with SHARP STICKS, which we all thought was amazing. and thus whenever there was any sort of fight scene we'd be like "where are your sharp sticks?? use your sharp sticks!")


anyway, those aliens are creepy. dude. also, paul reiser is a jerk.

and now on to the day: lunch, errand-running, omgresearch, emily's birthday party. woooo.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:16 PM
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Friday, November 10, 2006

ahahaha amazing. i'm reading in old madras by bithia mary croker, which is a terrible terrible book, but it does have some amazing LOL moments.

for example:

Having folded up this epistle, Mallender lit a cigar, and went out to pace the verandah, forgetful and regardless of reptiles, till he trod upon the dead snake, and uttering a word which begins and ends with "D," he kicked the limp body into the bushes, whereupon Anthony, who had been summoned, and stood at the doorway at attention, was moved to say, "Master taking care, and never walking out of light. Other snake always coming, to look for lover!"

"Hang the snakes' lovers!" cried his master impatiently.

yesss. hang the snakes' lovers INDEED. also, i was thrown by the word that started and ended with "d". dad? damnd? i guess it's "damned" but who says "damned"? it's much more efficient to say "damn," and more logical to say "damn IT". oh mallender, you scallawag.

also, in case you were wondering, here is the rough outline of the novel i've been keeping for myself (so later i can keep it straight from all the other terrible novels i'm reading):

- Geoffrey Mallender goes to India to find his “uncle”—believes that his uncle is really dead and someone is impersonating him to keep Mallender from his money. Everyone thinks this is crazy, because if his uncle is actually alive then by seeking him in person Mallender would lose all the payments he gets from his uncle, since those are sent to Mallender to keep him from looking for his uncle. Or something, it’s kind of a weak plotpoint aimed at getting Mallender to India for some non-military reason.
- Mallender’s relatives in India, the Tallboys, think his mission is crazy and try their best to keep him distracted from leaving on it. They are successful for months.
- Mallender is attracted to Barbie, a poor but hot girl whose parents have promised her in marriage to the old and gross Col. Harris.
- Barbie falls off horse and Mallender helps her home; her parents and Col. Harris disapprove and tell Barbie not to see Mallender anymore.
- Mallender helps out the poor Miss Sims (who was going to kill herself), but it is overheard and misunderstood. Scandalous!
- Mallender gets a tip regarding his fake uncle’s whereabouts and goes off to investigate.
- Mallender accidentally runs out of money.

i'm only about halfway through but i feel confident that before the end i will add at least two more bullet points:
- Mallender somehow gets his money back.
- Mallender marries Barbie.

posted by ~renata~ at 6:41 PM
(1) commented with care

listening to: jefferson airplane, volunteers

i was just reading in the s&b how jefferson airplane played at grinnell in 1966. and now i'm playing them in grinnell in 2006! SPOOKY.

today i thought it would be a good idea to take a nap for as looong as i wanted, so i didn't even set the alarm. i napped from 1-4:30, oh my.

oh! i was just going to talk about how it hailed today and it's cold and i don't want to leave my room ever, and then i remembered i have an ill book due back today! eep i should go return that posthaste!

posted by ~renata~ at 4:55 PM
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ahahaha reid and i are facebook friends now! and for friend details, reid filled in "siblings" and "traveled together to: a heavily forested area."

yesss best obscure mst3k reference ever.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:24 AM
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

listening to: the byrds, mr tambourine man

huh. so ian says he sent the copy edited b&s to my campus mail box. but it's not there and i have to submit the finished paper tomorrow morning. and i work at 8:30 so i can't really do it real quick right after the post office opens. guess i'll just edit it real good myself.

tonight was pretty relaxing! i didn't get much research done, but i don't feel as shoulder hunchy. i watched the office with jenny and then we played some scrabble and bitched about people.

me: "and then i was like, fuck you. the end."
jenny: "i wish you had really said that to him."

me: "yeah, and another time he [enthusiastic b&s firstyear] showed up at my room to ask--"
jenny: "will you go out with me??"
me: "no. *holds hand out* you must be this old to date me."
jenny: *holds hand out* "this old??"
me: "yeah, that indicates the age level 'not a firstyear.'"

jenny: (after adding her leftover Z to my score) "ugh, you win. but it's not a win you should be proud of."

and now here i am, just about to copy edit the b&s. wooo. i made some tea to drink whilst i edit. it is tazo wild sweet orange. it kind of tastes like hot tang. good thing i stole the teabag from the dining hall, i think i'd regret spending money on it.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:04 PM
(1) commented with care

blogger, stop with your "timing out"! i will put YOU on time out. or on notice. rawr.

posted by ~renata~ at 4:10 PM
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listening to: indigo girls, tangled up in blue

today we had our burning ceremony for japanese comics & war. we, uh, burned all our stuff.

it's going to be a challenge for me to not waste all my time today. i really only have to do a half-assed explication for trads1 tomorrow, since half the class has a formal written argument due and she's going to ask one of them to present. but HISTORY PAPER OH GOD DO RESEARCH RIGHT NOW.

it's decidedly difficult, however, to argue with the temptation that says "dude, you deserve a nap." perhaps i will compromise: dude, you deserve COFFEE. coffee and edwardian romance novels of empire. mmm, the other!

in other news, i have a problem :/ i looked at the campus movie listings for this weekend, and i was like "oh, a scanner darkly, i think i've heard good things about that! but i don't know anything about it, so i will read this little blurb and judge it. hmm, futuristic society, drug use, interesting film style... keanu reeves! AWESOME!" and like up until that point i had been thinking to myself, but i actually said "awesome" out loud when i saw keanu's name. oh keanu, my appreciation for you walks such a fine line between ironic and genuine.

in closing, remember when i said if i were a furry, i'd be a shark? i think maybe i'd be this instead.

posted by ~renata~ at 3:18 PM
(1) commented with care

woo, i just sent a complete b&s off to ian to copy edit! what the hell, i just edited and laid out (and wrote new stuff for) the whole issue by myself, in one night. i feel like all those other issues must have been so inefficient.

anyway, it has some pretty good jokes and stuff in it. i would tell them to you, but instead i think i will go to bed.

posted by ~renata~ at 3:34 AM
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

HAYYY. oops, i didn't notice capslock was on.

anyway! hooray, virginia!

also, prison tonight was kind of amazing. we talked about feminism and gender roles and stereotypes, and. omg.

annie: so, what are some stereotypes about the way men should act?
tom* (mild-mannered white guy in his 40s, reminds me of miriam's dad): they don't cry. or eat quiche.
david* (young black guy, hopes to release a rap album upon getting out of prison): damn, quiche is good stuff!


anyway, i guess i am editing and laying out the b&s tonight because bryan and dylan are both too busy to come help? soo, um, keep me entertained plz. i'll probably be around for awhile. good thing i don't have history seminar tomorrow morning!

posted by ~renata~ at 9:20 PM
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listening to: don mclean, american pie

oh myyyy, virginia, hurry up and call your senate race!!

this article makes me feel justified in not volunteering to call voters: "Some voters, sick of interrupted dinners and evenings, say they will punish the offending parties by opposing them in today's elections. But critics say Republicans crafted the messages to delude voters -- especially those who hang up quickly -- into thinking that Democrats placed the calls."

of course, this is specifically talking about automated calls. but i feel that real people calls are pretty annoying too.

iowa went blue for our 2 statewide races (governor and house)! not that surprising, but woo!

also: dailylit has been emailing me abraham lincoln speeches every day, and today is the "house divided" speech.

If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed.

i kind of feel like you could replace "an end to slavery" with "the iraq war" or "the gays and their ceaseless whining for civil rights" or "the ladies and their ceaseless whining not to lose their reproductive freedoms". american politics right now are so spooky. this house is definitely divided.

where is our lincoln?

posted by ~renata~ at 2:03 PM
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listening to: basement jaxx, take me back to your house

keith is right, this is a really catchy song! :O

anyhow, here's a general hooray for democratic happenings! extra hoorays for sodak and pennsylvania!

also exciting: i'm taking david sedaris to prison tomorrow! woohoo! even more exciting will be next week, when we get to discuss david sedaris!

also exciting: apparently, the tourism name for eastern utah is dinosaurland. YES. ps priscilla and keith, it's possible i signed you guys up to get a free DINOSAURLAND TRAVEL GUIDE so that might come in the mail sometime or something. and, omg, YESSSS. i am so printing one of those out right now. or... next time i'm in a computer lab.

sandy: yess, thanks for confirming my hypothesis! sample size=2, results=totally valid.

keith: well, it's not really six. but last time i did a countdown i said seven so i might have rounded down a little bit. basically i think i'm probably going to be posting pretty desert landscape pictures whenever i start freaking out about something, so a monthly countdown probably won't be often enough. whatever. also! i DO have a no trespassing sign on my door! you used to be able to print off these fill in the blank posters from lemonysnicket.com. it has violet&klaus&fiona&fernald looking suspicious, and it says "FRIEND OR FOE! do not enter this room unless you are a really cool person looking for renata or laurie ." looks like enthusiastic firstyear thinks he's a "really cool person". hmph. and yes, boo to sneaky hidden meat!

madonna: sorry for calling your mix cd stupes :( i didn't know you'd be such a stupe about it :(

priscilla: president spark is 20 FEET TALL :O does s/he still have your vote?

posted by ~renata~ at 12:30 AM
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

listening to: madonna's stupes hippie crap

i am unsure if the b&s will actually come out this week, as the printing schedule suggests we will. i can't do much more until dylan and bryan like, write some articles. well, what will be, will be.

i thought of the other thing that really creeps me out about enthusiastic first year returning my stuff directly to my room: he could leave a NOTE! a NOTE is what a normal person would do, some sort of, "thanks for letting me use your stuff, you weren't in so i broke into your room and returned it!" yes, that would be better.

today i talked to my mom. since the last time we talked, she had adopted two cats and one semi-homeless man.

today i did not volunteer at all to help with the election. i am burned out. campus dems has burned out the campus with their intensity. i did not even volunteer to call anyone. i just. i don't know. i just can't believe calling people about the election actually helps even though i guess it does. it just annoys me to be called, and when i did call people in 2004 they mostly seemed annoyed, except for old people and the old people were probs going to vote anyway.

today in gradeschool class we had to roleplay killing a dog, and i found myself getting really angry at the other 2 girls in the class for flagrantly breaking 1940s gender roles.

grinnell, sometimes you are a creepy burnout inducing meat-grinder of a place. sometimes you are also a magical worldview-changing hippie paradise of a place.

ps: if anyone wanted to get me a gift for any reason, a massage would be great. just throwing that out there!

pps: sixish months!

posted by ~renata~ at 6:03 PM
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listening to: some hippie crap off madonna's mix cd

aaaaaah guys, sometimes people at grinnell are kind of creepy!

like! enthusiastic b&s first year? the other day he stopped by to borrow a mixing bowl from me. no big, he lives upstairs and he's seen me in the communal kitchen so he knows i have one, and he's borrowed it before and i told him anytime. not creepy. he also borrowed: a spatula.

then, this morning, i noticed the bowl and spatula sitting on the floor next to my box of cooking crap. what. the. hell. i know i never lock my door (most people at grinnell don't), but that's not a good reason to just walk in my room and... and return things! also, now that i think about it, i think he might have done this last time, because i remember thinking "oh, i wonder if enthusiastic first year is going to remember to return my bowl?" but then noticed it was in the box, so i just assumed he returned it and i forgot about it. this time though, i am 100% sure he did not return it to me while i was present.

i mean, there's nothing shameful in my room or anything, not like "oh god, the first year saw all the porn i left lying around" or something. but it's MY room and i COULD leave porn lying around if i wanted.

i don't know. i mean, i certainly don't think he's stealing or anything, and it's true that the door was unlocked, but i still feel weirdly violated. if you need to return something, you can just leave it OUTSIDE my door, okay.

also, there's a guy i talk to twice a week at fascist grab & go, because he comes and gets a meal from me. he usually comes kind of early when it's not busy, and he's friendly, and he always gets mountain dew. so a couple weeks ago he was like "can i have a turkey sandwich?" and i was like "yeah, and you want mountain dew, right?" this might have been mildly creepy on my own part, but he's a very regular customer and we chatted before that and. whatever. anyway, so twice a week i chat with mountain dew guy. on friday we were joking about something, and he said something like, "well, i don't think you're an expert, renata!" and i was like, omg did he just call me renata? what? i don't wear a nametag at work, and i'm pretty sure the only interaction i ever have with mountain dew guy is at fg&g. how does he know my name?

not to blow this out of proportion or anything, i'm not afraid of being stalked or anything. (except for by keith, but he has a long standing permit.) it's not like grinnell is full of people who follow you down dark alleys and whisper to you and touch you inappropriately or something. just full of people who are minorly unaware of conventional social boundaries and mildly creep me out.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:01 PM
(2) commented with care

hey, you should should vote today.

or be like keith, and refuse to vote in solidarity with disenfranchised felons (and people who were disenfranchised via forgetting to register on time) ;)

i'm sure you've heard this before, so i'm not going to beat you over the head with it.

try project votesmart if you're not sure who or what to vote for. or there's always the b&s voter's guide.

posted by ~renata~ at 9:41 AM
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Monday, November 06, 2006

listening to: joan baez, a hard rain is gonna fall

i just saw joan baez! and she played this song and we all sang along and it was in herrick chapel and it was so good for the soul.

i just. i have this thing about music, where i often connect to it really deeply but at the same time i don't get it. like i just... i can't read music, and i triedtried to be in band and chorus and i just don't quite get it. like singing and playing in tune? i'm not really tone deaf but i can't tell if i am singing exactly the right note. i can just tell if i'm close. and i don't really have the language to describe the way listening to certain pieces of music makes me feel, or how they sound, but it is important. sometimes i quote songs here even though it is kind of lame to post song lyrics in one's blog, but what i really want to quote is the whole feeling of the song, the words and the music and the singing, and it's just, you know. i guess that's kind of why i like posting mp3s so much too. like here, have this feeling.

cuz sometimes you can't just write it? you need the song.

and i find that i really do like singing. with a group. like as cheesy as it sounds, i loveloved campfires at camp, especially the slow pretty songs. but i still can't sing very well so i like to sing with everyone so you can't tell.

and tonight joan baez had everyone in herrick sing this song and kum bah yah and amazing grace with her. and it was so good. i wish you all could have been there and i wish i could sing like joan baez and i wish i could feel this free always.

here is a video of her singing this song (not from tonight). you should watch it and get in touch with your inner hippie folksinger.

posted by ~renata~ at 10:17 PM
(1) commented with care

ughs! you guys all know i am not exactly angryvegetarian mcdonatestopeta--i frequently ignore the gelatin content of foods, and this summer i accidentally ate some chicken broth-based soup--but i am pretty annoyed about a recent happening!

here is the happening!

the time: half an hour ago at dinner
the place: the wok bar in the dining hall
note to the reader: the way our wok bar functions is you pick out a bowl of veggies and stuff from a li'l salad bar, then you get to the end of the line and a helpful employee asks you what kind of meat and sauce you want. there are 2 kinds of sauce: the default one is "stirfry sauce" and the other one varies. then you hand over your veggies and another employee fuses your veggies with your meat and sauce, and magical things happen!


me: *hands over bowl of veggies* no meat, please!
helpful employee: ok! today's vegetarian sauce is lo mein!
me: ... the stirfry sauce ISN'T vegetarian?
helpful employee: nope, it's based on chicken broth, and it has oyster sauce!
me: wow. um, yeah, i'll have the lo mein sauce, please.

the thing that's really annoying is that our dining hall is generally pretty veg-friendly. everything is labeled ovo-lacto vegetarian or vegan. i guess the flaw with the wok bar sign is it always says like, "lo mein chicken or beef." so i assumed they weren't giving it the vegetarian sticker cuz they were assuming you'd want meat in it, not because of the sauce. you'd think they'd make some kind of point of saying like, "btdubs, the default sauce has two kinds of meat in it! lolz!"


posted by ~renata~ at 7:46 PM
(1) commented with care

listening to: the yeah yeah yeahs, y control

today my mom sent me a chocolate coffin and breast-cancer fighting argyle kneesocks (they're pink, and have little ribbons inside some of the squares!) and dr. pepper jelly bellies and HAND-KNITTED ALLIGATOR MITTENS. they are so great. i can make my hands devour so much now. i should wear them every day and post a picture. i'll probs post a picture later, in fact.

i am both tired and hungry right now. but i talked to vbrown and she counseled me on my mystery 4th class! i was debating between spanish (which i was hoping to take again at grinnell, but it would have been at 8am and with a lackluster prof), environmental history (which sounded soooo cool, but it would have been my third history class next semester), and art since 1945, which i ended up going with. it'll be a good counterpoint to my last art history class, the early renaissance. i predict: way less jesus. also it's taught by jenny anger, and i think that PROFESSOR ANGER sounds like a superhero name. "what's that? someone's violating the academic honesty policy? this sounds like a job for PROFESSOR ANGER!" "rawr! *smack* always! *smack* cite! *smack* your! *smack* sources!"

i hope we can all agree how awesome this would be.

also, i've been reading back archives of comics curmudgeon and i haev to say i am so, so amused by this. like just thinking about it makes me laugh.


ok i'ma go do some work, then go see joan baez!!

posted by ~renata~ at 4:57 PM
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listening to: tori, waitress (live)

omg. one more reason to be excited about this summer's roadtrip:

renata: when i was little i had this "desert life" book
renata: that put an eternal fear of scorpions in me
renata: the only other things i remember from that book are: you can drink water from cacti if necessary, and also some cute owls live in cacti
keith: yeah totally, I love those cute pygmy owls
renata: omg
renata: are they in utah and colorado too??
renata: if i could see them in person
keith: also I think sometimes cactis water ferments, so that would be fun
keith:!! they are like all over my neck of the woods and I didn't knoooow it!
renata: hhehehe, they are so cute

seriously, check out that effing link. SO CUTE.

renata: i swear there is another thing in south dakota that has ALL the presidents
renata: i think it would be so awesome to go and take your picture with every prez
renata: like including fillmore
renata: and 2 with cleveland
renata: oh here it is: http://www.presidentspark.com/
renata: holy god, they are 20 feet tall
renata: omg so creepy
keith: wow south dakota save some presidential statues for the other states!
keith: 20!?
renata: and it's just their heads!!
renata: aaaah
renata: oh it has a faq
renata: i hope one is "WHHYYYY?"
keith: if we could get onto Lincolns shoulder, that would be probably the best picture in the universe
renata: yesss
renata: man, they have an online gift shop and it does not even have plush presidents
keith: total failure
keith: but it does offer a brass Robert E Lee Bust so I guess it's just a D-
renata: he was not even president!
renata: president of REBELLING maybe
renata: (but not of the condederacy. just of the verb to rebel.)
keith: we should buy one and have him trying to take over in all of our pictures
renata: ahaha
renata: lincoln would be so sad
renata: and davinci would be so confused
renata: and priscilla definitely needs a historical plush of some sort
renata: to have some sort of response.
keith: "Who is this horrible bearded fellow? And why doesn't he like my model helicopter?" is what Davinci would say
renata: lincoln would say, "a house divided cannot stand :( :( :("

and now, i am le tired.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:25 AM
(1) commented with care

Sunday, November 05, 2006

listening to: tori, tiny dancer

hay sup. in the recurring theme of my life, i did not get as much work done yesterday as i had hoped. i did check out some totally great sources for my prison students' research papers. yess. some of them wanted some obscure stuff too: laotian literature, samoan literature, romanian literature, and moldovan literature. moldovan literature, seriously. oh, and stories written in the 2nd person. incidentally, the grinnell library does NOT have bright lights, big city but it DOES have THREE other novels by jay mcinerney. what? come on now, burling.

sometimes i re-read things i've written and i kind of want to punch myself in the face for being such a damn hippie liberal arts student.

seriously though, bright lights, big city. anyway, my point was, it's so awesome how engaged they are and how they are all really interested in learning (including about moldovan literature).

speaking of being a damn hippie liberal arts student, i'm really intrigued by the idea of terrapass. basically, you pay them money and they use it to offset the carbon emissions of your car for a year, by funding clean energy projects with it. this slate article weighs over most of my internal debate on this issue and ultimately concludes: By making it easy for the righteous lazy (a category that includes most of us, I'm afraid) to do at least something, TerraPass and its ilk are doing a good deed. I can't see why buying some emissions reductions or wind power at affordable prices isn't at least infinitesimally helpful, in the same way installing compact fluorescents in a single home is infinitesimally helpful. Buying a TerraPass is a little like voting—irrational for any individual, given that elections are almost never decided by one vote, but collectively beneficial indeed.

terrapass calculates that a 1994 geo prizm, in addition to being a totally sweet ride, is an "efficient" vehicle, which puts me in the 2nd cheapest category of pass (above hybrids but below "standard" and way below suvs), so it would be $40. i'm kind of tempted to get one for perry (again, after payday. such an investment, however, will definitely deplete my scrooge mcduck moneypool. sigh.) also, i just told them i drove the average of 12,000 miles a year but i have no idea. i think i probably drive less than the average, since i don't commute daily, and i hardly ever use my car in grinnell. but then i drive a couple hundred miles to and from grinnell several times a year, and when i'm at home it is like 50 miles (roundtrip) every time i go into town, which is most days when i'm at home. or this summer, i drove to and from camp every week (probs about 40 miles each way?) and into peoria (about 20 miles from camp) roughly weekly. plus roadtrippin'. i still don't think that adds up to 12,000 miles but i'm not really sure.

anyway obviously the better solution is to reduce driving and use public transportation, but that's not 100% possible given my current lifestyle (and, you know, that of most americans).

okay. i need to just... drink some coffee, comfort myself with some aphorisms (small noble things!!), and do some workkkk.

oh, and stop reading the archives of medium large, which is bizarre and hilarious and amazing. and, sometimes, victorian (i really want to cite that one in my history paper). and sometimes, robotic. i guess the basic premise of the strip is that it's a tv station? and there are some recurring "shows" like "victorian era superhero" (self explanatory) and "t.o.d.d. and son" (about a robot single dad and his adopted human son), and then some strips that are just random one-off jokes.


oh ps:

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

tight. i note that priscilla also got 97%, which makes me wonder if we missed the same question? also what question did i miss? looking at it again, i'm going to guess that the one about darwin was somehow a TRICK.

posted by ~renata~ at 1:39 PM
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Saturday, November 04, 2006

listening to: mark keali'i ho'omalu, halepi'owi

remember when i posted about how i should get some of this guy's music, but i should really wait for payday? i am pretty sure i neglected to blog that immediately after that, i decided, based on obsessively listening to all the amazon.com samples, to buy one of his cds right away.

anyway, i'm going to have to go head and give this album (call it what you like) the boron stamp of approval:

i also approve of the album cover art, which was clearly made in photoshop using the papyrus font. i know that sounds snide, but i mean it! i think it's charming. it's about the music, not the art, anyhow. and the music makes me want to dance! and surf? goshhh i'm kind of an objectifier in my consumption of "world" music. like i'll listen to the hawaiian music from the guy from the disney movie, and i love african rhythms when paul simon uses them (also: harry belafonte) but that's like as far as i'll go. i guess it's so hard to know where to start, though. and so hard to spend money getting into totally new genres of music. so that's kind of the beauty of "crossover" artists. but in making their work accessible are they compromising it or hybridizing it? how can i appreciate a hybrid without appreciating the original? and, as an outsider, how can i fully appreciate the original? god damn you, liberal arts education. why can't you just let me enjoy some sweet hawaiian music in peace?

i really do have to wait until after payday to get his other album, since now i have $9 in my checking account. but payday is friday, and i'm getting my back pay from sparc. then i'll be able to swim in a big pool of cash, just like scrooge mcduck. well, maybe a big pile of pennies. the point is i'll def have more than $9, though.

anyway, since i've already busted out the stamp of approval i'm going to approve of a few more things!

- crisp fall weather!
- yankee candles in pumpkin pie flavor! (especially in conjunction with crisp fall weather.)
- endangered species chocolate! (google says that address is their website, but it's not working for me right now. maybe it's just temporarily down. it's working now!) CANDYBLOG blogged about them too. delicious + fairtrade + ethical + delicioussss + animals. um, = this candy.

if i had a stamp of disapproval, i would use it on two recent purchases:
- wal-mart store brand nutrigrain bars. usually at the beginning of the semester, i get a big box of nutrigrain bars from sam's club, but this year i didn't have time to do it (and i forgot to over break). i noticed wal-mart had its own cheaper, store brand version of the product, and i thought to myself, "what the heck, i'm no snob! this will probably taste just as good, but cheaper!" blech, false! i'm not even a huge fan of nutrigrain bars, but they are quick and easy to eat, and have at least some claim to nutritional value, and they taste pretty alright. the wal-mart ones are so dry and... badly flavored.
- hershey's snacksters. bleh! i'm a big fan of the 100-calorie pack trend in general. woo, portion control! i'm also a big fan of chocolate! woo, chocolate! however, this product is a failure. it's a mixture of dried cocoa-puffesque cereal, weird space-age astronauty mini-chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate chips. only the chocolate chips are palatable. i would much prefer a smaller bag of just chips, because the cereal and mini-cookies are gross. the mini-cookies are especially heinous. thumbs down!

i would also disapprove of squids.

in conclusion, capitalism.

posted by ~renata~ at 4:21 PM
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Friday, November 03, 2006

i just watched last week's studio 60. obviously i watched it with my own lens of analysis, but offhand i would say aaron sorkin shares some of my anxieties about what it means to be a productive member of society.

also now i get to watch house! i can really only have one downloaded episode of anything on sam at once because there is like, no space left on this hard drive (i really need to sort things out and delete some junk, but... later...) so now that i've watched s60, i can delete it and procure house! and also download this week's s60. oh, i guess there wasn't one this week. well, toss out your 6-pack holders and call me a dolphin, cuz i am CAUGHT UP.

speaking of teevee, at the pec today i saw a commercial for FRUITY CHEERIOS and it had my favorite camp song in it! happiness runs in a circular motion, love is like a little boat upon the sea! everybody is a part of everything anyway, you can be happy if you let yourself be!

thanks, cheerios commercial!!

also! i was reading some random plans, and i read the pagan discussion group plan and it had listed some goddess chants or something, and one of them is a camp song! or rather, an excerpt of one is a camp song. we just sing the verse about flying around the world, not those hippie crap ones about the moon goddess. okay actually, i was just googling around and it seems like that actually is the only verse, and the pdc plan just has poor formatting that made a bunch of different chants look like one long one. also? i've looked at it on a couple different pagan websites now and none of them use the last line we have. we do:

wearing my long wing feathers as i fly
wearing my long wing feathers as i fly
i circle around
i circle around
the boundaries of the earth
the boundaries of the sky

but none of these have the last line about the sky. which is weird, cuz i like the broken paralellism. also, it rhymes. oh hmm, here it is with our last line (but broken up into two verses). and i guess it is an arapaho native american song? too bad it got stolen by both the pagans and the girl scouts. huh. uh, sorry for this long digression about camp/pagan/native american songs? but it's pretty interesting, right? right? no? okay.

anyway, i guess in a way it's good that snicketday got cancelled (at least, for us), because i am worn out. i am pretty sure i'm going to bed right now. 8 hrs driving (roundtrip) + a relatively early wakeup time tomorrow wouldn't be excruciating or anything, but NOT having them will definitely be good for me.

i tried to do some reading for history but i can't really process it right now. so. i think the best thing will be to go to bed now and get up refreshed tomorrow and do some effing work. this requires me to a) actually GET UP when i wake up and not just lie there in a meditative/vegetative state all morning (a serious problem for me on weekends) and also b) not waste all my time on the internet (a serious problem for me all the time).

aaand bedtime.

posted by ~renata~ at 10:55 PM
(1) commented with care

ughhh so highly unfortunate! so carly and i were going to go visit julia and see lemony snicket tomorrow! (ls was appearing at 10am so we were going to drive out this evening.) the website just listed a time and place, it didn't say anything about needing a ticket or anything, right. but suddenly it occurred to me that before we drive like 4 hours i should call and check. andddd apparently? it IS ticketed. and sold out. and no wait list.


i'm actually not too upset about it. i guess it's because the whole plan was sort of slapdash put together that i didn't have too much time to look forward to it? so it's kind of like "oh, i'm not meeting lemony snicket tomorrow. that's cool, i'm not meeting walt whitman tomorrow either."

anyway, i'm glad i checked before i left, but i feel soo stupid for not checking before. i guess i really just assumed the website would say something about it, especially since some of the other tour dates specifically said "tickets required, call X."

oh wells, at least i don't have meningitis! i went to the health center this morning just to make sure! (i had my coldish symptoms from yesterday, and then i woke up this morning and my neck hurt really bad, and i remembered all the scary meningitis stories from firstyear orientation, the ones that were like "my roommate had a headache and her neck hurt AND THEN SHE DIED TWO HOURS LATER." so i went to check. but apparently i have a cold and slept on my neck funny!)

also at least i'm not wearing any pants? this is the kind of scattered way in which i roll: i took my prison pants off to change before i left. just then, it occurred to me that i should double check about the lemony snicket thing, so i sat down, pantsless, to check. i pulled up the website, called the bookstore, called carly, called julia, and blogged about it. and still haven't gotten around to pants.


- pants
- work out
- shower
- ??
- graduate
- roadtrip
- ??
- !!
- .

posted by ~renata~ at 5:11 PM
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

hello! i am back from des moines. flags of our fathers is a pretty good moviee but it is kind of long and the smirky guy from bring it on plays another smirky guy and i just couldn't not think of him as the smirky guy from bring it on so basically his presence ruined the movie. basically.

also i ate: miso soup, vegetable tempura, edamame, cucumber california roll, and... some japanese vegetable california roll.

hooray, field trip!

i just sat down to do the rest of my reading for trads1 (we always have a reading we explicate on, and then some supplementary readings) and i decided, fuck it, i'm not doing this longggg reading, i'm going to bed. i explicated preeeetty recently so i don't think she'll call on me. but maybe that's just what she wants me to think ?:/ if she does it will probably be some sort of karma for skipping class yesterday.

but first i decided to tell the internet about my evening and my lack of commitment to trads1. also i think i am coming down with some sort of cold or something. booooo. also karma??

in any case: sleep!

posted by ~renata~ at 11:47 PM
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listening to: the presets, steamworks

i've been listening to travis's cb mix cd! travis is like the hippest person i know and his cd is pretty much above my coolness threshold. i like a lot of the stuff on it, but it's definitely not stuff i'd normally listen to. i guess that's like the point of the mix exchange, though. (here's my mix tracklist, if anyone's interested. we did physical cd exchanges, but if anyone's particularly interested i can probs put it up to download later. of course if you are interested, you probably have half these already from me previously putting them up to download, though.)

oh also:

Dear Kim, Renata and Keith,

Congratulations! We are pleased to accept your panel proposal. Additionally, we have received another excellent paper on The Sandman that we will be including in this panel along with your three papers.

[blah blah blah details]


[pop culture association lady]

P.S. Renata, my parents are alums of Grinnell (and I almost attended myself)--since it is so small, I rarely encounter anyone from there!

haha, joke's on you, pop culture association/american culture association! this school has pretty much driven me insane, and my presentation probably won't even have a complete thesis statement! actually, if i keep degenerating at the rate i have been this week (i think i've posted more of these stories on plans than in my blog, but basically i am losing my mind this week, ie not knowing what day it is, not knowing where things are [when they are 6 inches away from me], and a general failure to grasp basic concepts) my presentation is going to be scribbled in crayon. and i will be unable to find it. and it will contain the words "lolz" and "D:".

ps more people should do my meme.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:16 AM
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

listening to: the bird and the bee, fucking boyfriend

i bought a GOURMET PRETZEL ROD from the grill. it's a pretzel rod, dipped in chocolate, with mini m&ms coated around it. it was a new item and it wasn't labelled, but i was like whatever, it looks tasty and it's one pretzel rod, it can't be that much. it cost $3. $3 in fake dining dollar money, but still.

the grill is a stupid and illogical place.

i am failing at creating my annotated bibliography. i need to annotate like, everything, which means at least skimming, like, everything.

argh everytime i bite into this stupid pretzel, all the mini m&ms fall off everywhere!!

more people should do my meme! thanks mary and keith for doing it! (although you didn't post it on your journals so that i can tell you how you rock my world! and the world in general!)

madonna, "I WANT TO SEE JOAN BAEZ .. ANGRY FACE." is not an acceptable answer to the meme >:O

also, non-blogger users: if you leave comments as "other" instead of "anonymous," you can type in your name as a non-account name.

also i am so tired why can't i just finish my bibliography and go to bed plz!

tomorrow gradeschool class is going on a field trip to des moines to watch that flags of our fathers movie and get sushi. i was like, whattt and she was like "the school will pay for it" and i was like, a++ use of the endowment. i am mad it's on office night, though! also it's kind of ironic that this will be my SECOND free sushi of the week and i don't even like sushi that much. i mean, i like it, but i know some people LOVE it and i don't. we are going here. yumm, vegetable tempura and cucumber california rolls!! and edamame!! and SQUID >_< actually i should encourage all the omnivores to eat the squid sushi. and octopus. take that, cephalopods.

posted by ~renata~ at 10:07 PM
(1) commented with care

listening to: joan baez, blowin' in the wind

yess guess who got a ticket to see joan baez this monday? answer: me!

anyway, i'm feeling more stable today, which is a good way to be.

just to maintain it though, i'm going to start a meme! please do it, and also pass it around so that i can do it for you! it's kiiind of like the snaps cup meme, but more tangible (and thus more related to my existential angst). anyhow, here is the meme, which i've just made up:

Leave me a comment describing a way I have, in some way, made the world a better place. This could be on a personal scale-- "I like that you always email me Dinosaur Comics that you think I will like. It always brightens my day!"--or a bigger scale-- "I think the fact that you taught a bunch of kids how to do basket weaving will really empower them and prepare them to be leaders of the next generation."--or anywhere in between. Or do more than one, if you want. Then post this in your own journal so I can tell you about how you make the world a better place!

(i won't hold you guys accountable for any other stages of the girl scout law.)

okay i'm going to go take a nap now! this will make the world a better place by making it LESS TIRED.

posted by ~renata~ at 1:01 PM
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