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More on Red, for Torill

Torill, your red ankle boots and red Mary Janes are fab and all, but you simply must see my red crushed velvet boots. :D

I Miss Michelle

I miss Michelle, of the now offline I haven't seen her comment on Frogs and Ravens or Making Contact for a couple of weeks. How's it going, Michelle? Give me an update.

Arete and Me

People seemed to like it on her blog, so I thought I'd show off the pic here too. Enjoy.

Goodbye, Olympe.

Today I found out that on February 6, a friend of mine, known on the Ms. message boards as Olympe, committed suicide. We really only knew each other online, but I did meet her face-to-face once. For nearly two years (that I know of), she had been very, very depressed, so much so that she spoke of living as unbearable. We (the Ms. boards community) knew it was likely that she would take her own life--she talked about the moral and philosophical implications of suicide a lot, especially here (I warn you, this is a very emotionally draining thread). I've been brooding today, just thinking about her, hoping she's not in pain anymore. I don't know what else I can say about it right now.

Edited to add: I can't stop thinking about her, about this. I've had the most morbid, disturbing thoughts, imagining what she did right beforehand. What was her last meal? Did she play music? I keep thinking of the scene in Girl, Interrupted when Daisy has hanged herself; the 45 of Skeeter Davis's "The End of the World" plays over and over, and then Susanna finds her. What other things did Olympe do?

I also feel this urge to knit a shroud for her, which is probably the most morbid thing. She was found on 6 February, so whatever they did with her remains has already been done, so why do I have this foolish need to knit something for her?

MySpace and Other Social Networks

Hey, anyone out there on MySpace? My friends from home and I are pretty much addicted to it. It's interesting, all these new social networks--I'm on all the ones I've ever heard of--MySpace, Friendster, and Each has different affordances; Friendster is the least impressive in this regard. On Tribe, you can post ads if you're looking for a job, selling your car, etc. which is nice, and Tribe allows users to form clusters based on a common interest or identifier, such as Adjunct Professors and Blog Research. MySpace combines blogging with the social network concept--you can keep a journal for your friends to see, send bulletins to all your friends, and make comments under their profiles. On Friendster, you can make profile comments too (they're called "testimonials"), but the user whose profile is being commented on has to approve the testimonial. This makes the process slower, less spontaneous. On MySpace, approval isn't necessary, but you can delete comments if they offend you.

Not only are the affordances of each tool interesting, the genre differences are as well. Friendster and MySpace are both very hip, I'm-cool-without-even-trying, and sexy, almost intimidatingly so. It's a relief when someone makes fun of them. I find the whole phenomenon fascinating when I read it as an exercise in self-presentation and posturing, but hey, I'm not above such practices; I participate right along with everyone else. Since getting on MySpace, I communicate a lot more often with my friends at home, so I'm not complaining.

I've moved!

Just a quick post to say that Jess and I have moved to a very nice apartment in St. Paul that I LOVE. We have no internet access right now (won't be able to get that hooked up until a week from tomorrow), so I won't be blogging for a while. Wow, I hope I can get caught up in my Women's Studies class, do my syllabus for the (new) class I'm teaching, and get all this other stuff done by the 20th. Yikes. I feel like I'm going to have to work 14-hour days for the next two weeks. On top of all that, I'm really homesick. I've decided that I'm going to try to find work in the south after I finish my degree--the other day when my mom took me to Birmingham to the airport, I was nauseous in the car during the entire drive. As soon as my mom drove away, I started bawling and didn't stop for a good hour and a half. Ugh, I'm not happy to be back here. Is this what burnout feels like? I have so much to do and no desire to engage any of it.

Song Poll

One of those cute email surveys sent by a friend:

1. Name one song you hate to admit you like.

Here are three (how embarrassing):

"I'll Be"--Edwin McCain
"A Thousand Miles"--Vanessa Carlton
"Mmmmm Bop"--Hanson

2. Name two songs that always make you cry.

"A Case of You"--Joni Mitchell
"Romeo and Juliet"--Indigo Girls (NOT the Dire Straits version. Only Amy Ray infuses it with that intensity.)
An honorable mention is "The Circle Game" by Joni Mitchell
(Edited to add "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" by Elton John)

3. Name three songs that turn you on.

"Is It a Crime"--Sade

A Compliment to Remember

Lately, I have been thinking about compliments I have received throughout my life that have stuck with me and given me confidence over the years. Here are a few:

  • This guy I dated off and on from ages 19 through 25 (we're still friends) said that over the years that he has known me, I've become more and more intense, deep, compelling, intelligent, powerful, what have you. He said that he thought it would continue, and that when I'm an old woman, I'll be magnetic and utterly irresistible. I said, "Will I be like Dr. Walter?"

    (Dr. Elizabeth Walter was the head of the art department at the University of North Alabama--she retired right after I left, but I was lucky enough to have taken two classes with her: History of Photography and Art Theory and Criticism. She was fabulous, confident, a lefty feminist, with this booming voice. Everyone loved her.)

    He said, "Oh, yeah, even better." :-)
  • One of my grandmothers, who passed away when I was 19, gave me a book of poetry. The first poem was "The Builders" by Longfellow. She said that the poem reminded her of me. It's kind of an unspecific compliment, but I appreciate the thought.
  • My friend Scott said once that my personality has a lot more depth now than when I was in college. I don't know what that says about how I was then--maybe I was a little Paris Hilton or Anna Nicole Smith-like, but anyway, it was nice.
  • One of the professors I had at UNA, Lisa Minor, with whom I had taken several classes, told me soon after I graduated with my B.A. that when I was in her sophomore lit survey course, I was already ready for graduate school. :-)

Compliments are very important, at least to me. I need to be better about giving them to other people.

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