Thursday, October 28


The midterm is thankfully over and my poor heart can rest after the adrenaline of beating wildly over the worried indecision of how Margery Kempe and Julian of Norwich used prose and why litotes influenced or did not influence the telling of Beowulf. I would mention more but I'm afraid it would surpass my opinion and give anybody else clues as to what horrors were encompassed within that small innocent-looking manilla envelope.

It is very very strange to be back on here again. The BLT--the Great Vespa--is . . . as he ever was, only he said things had been "swell" while I was gone. I hope it was only correlative and not causal. I would hate to think the world doesn't revolve around me. Enzo is as Enzo ever was but I wasn't here early enough to see the cornetti dragon and so my heart is broken as well as recovering from the adrenaline rush of an exam. Poor Enzo probably does not realise how precious he is to international bloggers. He must be the one constant in the world . . . Nobody has commented on my new sweatshirt yet and my conversation, my inner dialogue is becoming increasingly boring. I dislike it. I think I will check out a book from the Library.

Wednesday, October 27


I have midterm notes to write about Old English Poetry, Anglo-Saxon England, Anglo-Norman England, and Chaucer. Chaucer and I don't get along very well at all. Truth be told, I don't like him. I'm all huddled at the kitchen table with a curtain of wet hair and one of my dad's old cardigans and an empty coffee cup. The pair of socks I'm wearing is beginning to have serious holes in them; I grieve. I would much rather be rereading good books and writing the paper I'm supposed to be researching for my class that just took place in Dublin . . .

I'm cooking tonight. And I have a stupid midterm tomorrow. I am feeling utterly pessimistic. Whine whine whine. Why do I write about whining? It is absolutely pointless except to mock myself. There are flies all around this room and they are bugging me to death. Oh, the pun. Can't wait till the first frost, really. Nasty little buggers all dead on the ground and then I will be free of the pestilence.

Things to do today:

1. Laundry

2. Midterm Notes (must be done by 1830)

3. Dishes

4. Dinner (start at 1830)

5. Reply to an Email (now you know . . . )

6. Order Textbooks

When put in a list, it doesn't look so bad, really. Some people don't think of it that way, but it works for a few of us. The dishes are easiest, then the laundry started. I can work on my midterm exam notes until it is time to make dinner, and then afterwards reward myself with the writing of an email to one of my friends. I think maybe some more coffee or some nice tea would totally get my head out of the plaster from the wall I've been banging it against and then I could turn on Dave Brubeck's Take Five and seriously get to work.

Weird, really--I do not have that hard a day at all, and it is nothing out of the norm. I just have to get up the motivation to do something about it, and that is what interrupts my actual work. I feel so childish when I get like this. How embarrassing.

It also might help if I stopped running at the fingertips here. Right. Off . . . of . . . blog . . . sign . . . off of . . . internet!

Tuesday, October 26

drunk on words, maybe; or just tired

I ask a general pardon of the amusing things I say when I am physically exhausted. They surprise me, too. I should probably put in effect a plan to be off of the internet and write only in my journal when I am ill or tired out or mentally drunk on words.

"Do you ever get drunk on words?" asked Harriet.

"I am seldom sober," said Peter, and then I can't remember how the scene went except that they hashed out the idea of Wilfred, a character in Harriet's novel who they decided would be a paranoid religious fanatic. That is why he hid the handkerchief. See Dorothy Sayers' novel Gaudy Night for more info and a marvelous read of introspection of characters I am very fond of.

That's not what I meant to write, though. I meant to say something about Joy, who was my roommate for the past week in Dublin. I can say nothing bad about her, except that sometimes she is inexplicably kind and it is embarrassing to the rest of us because we are not.

We were talking about a song that we were listening to from the speakers of this very laptop from which I presently peck, and we were putting things up and making last cups of tea before we turned out the lights. She said it sounded like water--rivers and waterfalls and the ocean all running underneath in a field of blue. Those weren't her exact words; I only remember the image they put into my head when I heard them.

"I can see where it sounds like water; it reminds me more of the ocean than a river, maybe because I've lived by the ocean most of my life. What it really reminds me of most often is driving."

I put a band on the end of my hair, which I'd just finished braiding.

"You know, when you just come up to see the horizon and you know it has been there, forever." I stopped for a moment, wrinkling my nose at the prospect of an eternal horizon and musing upon the fact that I was confiding rather private images of a song to someone I didn't really know at all. Ignoring my momentary reservations:

" . . . like seeing the horizon, only for a split second feeling that you will always be able to see the horizon."

I ended lamely and looked my reflection in the window with an expression of confusion and disgust. Joy turned out the lights on her side of the room and was crawling into her bed. I couldn't see her face; it was covered in a white duvet cover over the bed when she said, "I think you'll make a great writer, someday."

"Thanks," I said, surprised, "I want to be a writer. I'd love to be a writer someday. Ha--if only one could make a living off of it," I said in jest. The song ended, and I turned out the overhead light feeling not a little unsatisfied with myself.

Back to Chaucer, I suppose. I thought maybe if I wrote it out I would understand, but I don't. Crumple and aim with stunning accuracy at the wastebasket.

Sunday, October 24

check-in queues

The airport was humming softly and busily, and the check-in desks were queued from two miles away, and the Stansted Radisson Hotel was standing calmly and cooly smelling of lemongrass. I was in a check-in line, one of the first people, and the only one humming.

A lady with a kerchief on her head was in front of me, then a young man with red hair and yellow and black paraphernalia of Machine Head scatted about his luggage and clothes (costume? uniform?), and then a foreign couple with dark olive skin and short hair. Caught in a daydream about carpeted floors and acrobats catching wine bottles, I didn't realise how fast the line was moving until I had automatically stepped up to the desk.

"I'm traveling alone, this is my only piece of baggage, I haven't got anything sharp and I haven't left my luggage anywhere and nobody has asked me to carry anything," said I, all in a rush. I relinquished my passport and a crumpled piece of paper with flight reservation numbers and pass-codes on it, lifted my luggage onto the belt, and looked up.

"Ah! Zank you. I feel like a par-rot by thees time mos' days," said the woman in the blue suit behind the desk with a decided accent.

Wednesday, October 13

a mock trial

And so I walked back to my room on the second landing, trying to figure out how and why what I had assumed would be a mild victory over a common opponent turned out to be a total failure, at least on my part. My ability to cope with my own feelings is a weakness that must be mastered. After a skirmish like so, I have learned that it is best to not try and nourish a wounded pride or resentful vanity or even give ear to what my other emotions are telling me.

First, calm down. Do not start a long term project or try to write something to cheer myself up or beat myself to a pulp. Sit silently and think, or do something productive. Do not use fiction as an escape. Think, recall, and replay. Where do I need to apologize? What should I have done? By the time the sitting and thinking part is over, I am usually ready to go and talk about it or somebody has come to my door wondering if I still exist.

I don't understand why I do the things I do or think the things I think sometimes, when others are very different from me. Especially the thinking. My assessments of people can be totally wrong or "very insightful" and there are times when I never know the difference. Unfortunately, there is something fascinating in the human method of going about the thinking process that involves a subjective and biased perspective as well as a good bit of guesswork. A lot off people don't like to admit that; doing so admits in turn that they might be wrong sometimes. How damaging to the human sense of pride above all . . .

I felt first very angry, then resentful, and now I only feel foolish.

Monday, October 11

on sir gawain

This poem emulates the style of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and was written as a partial piece about one of my exams that I took--the class was on Arthurian Legend and I very much enjoyed it.

As a child, I read this story, on a day quite sniffly
When at home, was safe from the stares of librarians,
And was poured tea, by my pillow a pile of books
Laid down while my Mother did sweep and mop
So besieged on the sofa I silently pored
Over hours and ages of honorable knightly deeds.
The strength of this story and its strong hero
As fine as had those faithful fives—how fair
That he could cleave to such a creed
And yet fall because he was fain to bid farewell
To the fervor of life, and so that fateful fabric
The now-garish green was girded about him forever
That in remembrance when asked he could rede
Other knights who in ignorance acted arrogantly
And better the knights so bold and yet brash.
The valour of this knight, and virtue--
Humble yet with honor held--
Appealed to my idealism true
Gawain the title "hero" truly held.

copyright rika m. 2004

Thursday, October 7

listening to evanescence, oddly enough.

My cat is making me tired; she is sleepy and purring on my lap and very soft indeed, inducing me to smooth her fur (already smooth) and talk to her as she drifts off. Unfortunately there is an element of osmosis to this, and I am becoming sleepy too. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I was very bugbitten last night and kept waking up in the middle of the night, early in the morning, blah . . . I didn't sleep well. I have bug bites all over my arms and head. Due to the itchiness of them I am wearing a t-shirt instead of my traditional practise of Finals Sweatshirt Week.

I have my final exam for my Arthurian Legend class and though it shouldn't be too hard, I still have a paper to write and a lot of stuff to do on top of it. I'm not feeling as overwhelmed as I am finding it just plain hard to wade through all of this stuff. My life over the next month is going to be full of people, and I keep butting heads with a couple people that don't want to understand that the ends are never justification for the means. Thank goodness some of them are online and not all face to face.

I need to find a way past this so I can concentrate on my classes and my work. I must find a way past it. This is so stupid.

Sunday, October 3

the smiling yet sleepy one is me.

I just got one of the best compliments I've ever had from a professor! Yay!

Unfortunately, I also happened to poke a friend at the wrong time and I got snapped at in a most disagreeable way. Stupid online communication messes up facial expressions. We are still friends and there will be better days.

Meanwhile, any messages may be forwarded to:

the smiling yet sleepy one
cloud 9, 7th heaven

Saturday, October 2

in rucksack

  • textbooks
  • laptop compy (headphones, adapter, screen-cleaner)
  • favourite writing utensils (fountain pen, mechanical pencils, extra ink, .5 and .7 lead, nice fat eraser)
  • personal journal
  • travel/class notebook (moleskine)
  • Bible (NIV)
  • personal documents (tickets, I.D., etc.)
  • disposable camera
  • bottle of water
  • lotion, chapstick, chewing gum
  • fold-up-able umbrella
  • towel.

And the weather looks cold and rainy! Woohoo!