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The Excellent Neon Fish
24 July 2005 @ 05:26 pm
I think it's time to update this thing, seeing as it's been close to three months and all. Except that at the moment I don't really have the time to do so. Poke me and remind me, if you care. I'll try to do it tomorrow or something.
The Excellent Neon Fish
02 May 2005 @ 09:07 pm
Suh-WEET! Okay, I really need to be doing Greek, but I'm incredibly happy right now. Just got confirmation that John and I have a room in Cambridge for the summer! Squeee! I'm going to be taking Latin at Harvard, and he'll be interning at the State House of Representatives...and we'll both be working in order to be able to eat/pay rent, but the really sweet thing is that the rent is WICKED cheap for Cambridge. We'll be in an apartment with an Emerson student and another couple (who have a longhaired cat who is incredibly affectionate - yay!); John met the Emerson student when he went to see the place and she seems really friendly from her emails. And, the room is really big and furnished, so no hassles there.

I just need to find a job. Does anyone have any advice for finding a job in that area? I plan to go up around June 15 (my class starts on June 27, and although earlier would probably be better for job hunting, I have SO many people I need to see in Reading, Philly, WV, and possibly Jersey? so I really can't see going up any earlier...); I need a part-time (less than 30 hours, probably) job, doing just about anything. I would LOVE to work somewhere in Harvard Square. So hard to find summer jobs that late though. So anxious about that part.

Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Pet Shop Boys: Flamboyant (can't get it outta my head!)
The Excellent Neon Fish
29 March 2005 @ 09:08 pm
London, Day 2...will update later with more detail when Internet is not costing me 5p/minute.

British Museum this morning, followed by lunch of dumplings and noodles at Wagamama. Shopped a while in an academic bookstore called Unsworth's, was heaven and bought four books (including good novel I'm reading now, In the Image). Then went to Piccadilly Circus and wandered around the West End and went to Trafalgar Square. Came back to my hostel and hung out for a while, reading some more, got a quick dinner of Chinese, and am back now to be a loser and stay in and finish my book tonight, and write postcards :)

More details later on, right now I only have six minutes left with which to check the friends page ;-)
The Excellent Neon Fish
28 March 2005 @ 10:45 pm
The karaoke is so loud I couldn't hear myself talk. Wish I were bold enough to go up and sing but I hate singing in front of people that I don't know really well.

I got here (to my hostel in London) late afternoon and was a bit worn out from the train ride and then walking a ways after getting off the tube, because the station I was going to get off at turned out to be closed, but I didn't realize this until after we'd passed the station before it. Met my roommates in my hostel gradually; one's from Jersey (the English Channel isle) and is an auditor at some firm, she's about 23 and was just taking a holiday for herself to do some shopping. One was from Colorado and also Wisconsin; she sounds exactly like Natalka. She's been traveling around Europe for a few weeks and is leaving tomorrow. Four others go to U of Alabama and are here for spring break; they are all very friendly despite their accents. The last is a guy, who I haven't yet met. I had dinner with the English girl and the girls from Alabama, then we hung out in the bar for a while, but I was a little out of it and bored.

Tomorrow I'm not CERTAIN what I'm doing...I might tag along with the others to go to the London Zoo, but I might go to the British Museum and then wander round alone afterwards...

Very excited to be getting to know London. More tomorrow, maybe?
The Excellent Neon Fish
14 March 2005 @ 01:15 am
So, I *think* that the process for a person who is studying abroad, with regards to housing, is to have someone else stand in for them in the housing lottery and make their choices in absentia. I've emailed Ken and Gill and am getting confirmation on this, but I'm 99% certain that is the case.

So, with that said, I was wondering if there is anyone on my friends list, presently at the Rock, who wouldn't mind doing this for me. I think the housing lottery is coming up in a month, so I want to have someone squared away who knows what my choices are by then. It wouldn't take much, you'll let me know my housing number and I'll let you know my preferences and you can write them down and take it with you and make the choice for me - shouldn't take but a few minutes :)

Just comment if you are willing to help out, and I'll email you with the necessary info. Thank you SO much in advance to whosoever might be willing!
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
The Excellent Neon Fish
03 March 2005 @ 10:30 pm
For Women in Ancient Societies, we have to read a lot of critical writing along with our primary stuff. That's great for me because it gives me a lot of exposure to the literature of a field that I'm really interested in.

Thing is, it's not entirely a history class. It's sort of a mishmash history/classics class that is partly focused on historical examinations of women's lives and positions in ancient Greece and Rome, and partly on the representation of women in classical literature (epic, lyric poetry, drama, etc). Naturally I am more inclined towards the former approach, but I appreciate that it's so all-encompassing because it is and will continue to give me a tremendous exposure to important classical literature, and I absolutely LOVE said literature. I read Homer and my heart goes all aflutter at the beauty of it; I think Sappho's poetry, though sadly fragmented, is still beautiful; and y'all know from the class I took last fall how much I love Athenian tragedy and comedy.

But I'm not much into the scholarship written about said literature - or indeed about any literature. I'm sitting here reading this article about Sappho that I need to finish for tomorrow, and the author is picking apart her use of sound (which is difficult to follow, since I'm not yet skilled enough to read the Greek, and the translation of course doesn't use sound in the same way) and repetition and stuff, and what this represents. And I'm sitting here thinking - why does this matter? Why is it important? Who cares if Sappho says eraton in line 17 that echoes the eratai of line 4? It's funny. I love picking apart literature myself, because I love literature period. I like to read books and see things in them and write papers about the meanings that I see, but truthfully I couldn't care less about what anyone else sees in them. I know this seems like a shallow thing to say. But I suppose to me it doesn't matter. Literature is so subjective. I mean, yes, history is too. Historians are on this never-ending quest for answers that they know they will never find. But I suppose I see a deeper understanding being reached constantly by history, whereas literature is kind of more exclusive. Are you looking for a greater understanding of something? What is it? Is it philosophical? Historical? I mean, the only perspective you are getting is that of the people who write these books. (And I know, in a sense, the only perspective a historian is getting is that of the author of her sources, but the point is the sources are clues, not the final word on things.) Looking at Sappho's poetry will obviously help illuminate for the historian the situation of women in archaic Greece, but that's only one dimension of it. There are other sources out there too, other records, other writings, that will eventually lead to more possible "answers." What is being looked for in the study of literature? Is there a goal, other than dissecting something as much as one can?

I know I am looking at this from a narrow perspective. I think my goal in my academic pursuits has always been to gain a greater understanding of human society of the past and present, and I've found history to be a truly ideal path to that understanding, in a way no other discipline has opened my eyes. (Sociology came close, but I found something missing, and I also found the excess of theory not to be particularly helpful. The best field in the world is social history. What a wonderful marriage of disciplines!) I suppose I'm glad I never convinced myself I should be an English major simply for the reason that I love literature; I could well have done that. I mean, not to diss any lit/English majors on the friends list (I know there are at least one or two), because I'm sure people will ask me the same questions I'm pondering about history. But this all just really struck me while reading the Sappho articles. I'd much rather read historical papers using Sappho as a source than literary analyses of her writing. I'll analyze and appreciate her writing on my own, thank you.

PS: I was so proud of myself. This article excerpted passages from a French author, untranslated, and I was able to read them with ease! I also think that I am not as bad at Greek as I've been fearing, because I was able to parse a lot of the Greek passages in there and if my vocabulary were broader, I might be starting to actually read that too...
Current Mood: contemplative
The Excellent Neon Fish
24 December 2004 @ 03:10 pm
I just finished making coconut pudding. It's rather lumpy from the coconut milk, flour, and sugar combining, and from me mixing it with a fork rather than a whisk...but it's really nice anyway. It's a lovely dessert because it's only mildly sweet and I absolutely love coconut, so it's perfect for me.

I also made some curry a few days ago, though with a pre-made sauce. Still, it was quite good, with lots of different vegetables and some seitan in it. It lasted me a couple meals and was very very good.

For today's lunch I had some seitan with a vegetable-based gravy, and these lovely potatoes steam with olive oil, garlic, and herbs, the idea for whiched I gakked from barbarian_qulan. I was going to have some broccoli with it but I discovered small bits of mold on my organic broccoli that I'd had left over from a few days ago, when I made the curry, so that got nixed. Oh well. Should have made my green beans but I didn't think of that. They'll probably be made for dinner, with some pasta or somesuch thing like that.

The crowning glory of the week has been the couscous. I miraculously found this Moroccan-style spice mixture at a wonderful store in town called Butler and Co., which specializes in international foods, which was almost exactly the same mixture as my mother uses to season couscous and the soup she makes to go with it. This is especially notable because we don't buy our mixture - my (paternal) grandmother makes it herself. She actually roasts all the spices, things like cinnamon and I think a touch of coriander, and rose petals, among lots of other stuff, and grinds it all up herself. We get a big jar from her every year when we visit and it lasts for many batches of soup. The stuff I found in the store wasn't as finely ground as what I'm used to but it was certainly good enough! I also bought a box of instant couscous (which can't, of course, compare to the stuff my mom makes from scratch, but I don't exactly have 4 hours to spend making couscous by hand) and got the recipe for the soup from my dad. Although it wasn't as flavorful as what I'm used to (I was probably really skimpy about the spices, but a cup of parsley and half a cup of dill seemed like a WHOLE hell of a lot to me!) it was still really good and really comforting...plus it was a HUGE batch of soup so it's been lasting me all week.

Although we will definitely enjoy a few meals out, I'm looking forward to doing more cooking with John. I mean, I certainly make myself meals when I'm here but I rarely make things from scratch, starting from raw ingredients. It takes up so much time. I'll have pasta with pesto from a jar or I'll quickly steam up some vegetables to have with some seitan, or make the TastyBite Thai noodles my mom got for me...but rarely fresh stuff. It's been a lot of fun and I'm really enjoying it so I should do this more often.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
The Excellent Neon Fish
20 December 2004 @ 10:29 pm
year 2004 meme stupidityCollapse )
The Excellent Neon Fish
17 December 2004 @ 07:49 pm
I've always loved John's comics. I mean dang, I have several of them for my icons right? They're charming and sweet and funny and just a perfect representation of him.

But this one is just amazing. How better to appeal to my inner dorkiness...and make me melt into a big gushy puddle at the same time?

Current Mood: gushing
Current Music: TMBG: Birdhouse in Your Soul
The Excellent Neon Fish
15 December 2004 @ 01:16 am
So I might have to change my screen name. I'm not sure yet. I just know that the family is getting rid of its AOL account - which may or may not mean my AOL screen name for AIM will disappear. (Can anyone confirm or deny this for me?)

At any rate, just in case it does go bye-bye, I have created another screen name - realcranbonite. Add it to your buddy lists in case mmbedelahfish goes bye-bye.

For that matter, I've now permanently switched from mmbedelahfish@aol.com to dmazuz02@simons-rock.edu and am just cleaning up the last of my business with my old address. Please send any future email correspondence to the simons-rock address!