29 November 2011

midnight musings

I'm currently doing the "up in the middle of the night even though I have to get up in the morning" because I'm freaked about the end of term. And possibly other stuff. Not sure. Either way, I keep tossing and turning, wondering if my sore throat indicates the beginning of a cold (in my head, I hear my mother's voice telling me to take zinc lozenges, which taste vile, but head off colds in a marvelous way; I may take her advice tomorrow after tutoring--tutoring with zinc breath would just be yicky), thinking over all I have to do (making a schedule mitigated some of this, thank God--now it looks possible), and trying to talk myself into sleep by going through the imaginary knitting bag (yes, for real...or for made-up).

At any rate, the tension's enough for me to be struggling to relax enough for sleep to happen. I'm up browsing Ravelry, hoping that the cough syrup I just downed to make my throat feel marginally better will make me sleepy enough to go back to bed. If not, I may be the person in the back row of the classroom with the dark circles beneath my eyes and the really awesome finished mittens, zany from reading Shapiro at 2 am (I'd really prefer sleep than finishing the mittens tonight, though, and I'd rather read Shapiro over my breakfast cereal).

Okay, weariness seems to be returning, so I'm for bed, in hopes that I'll stay there this time. Happy dreams!

25 November 2011


Earlier this week, I braved the chaos that is the thrift store on 50% off day, in search of something with long sleeves. I became what I term "edgy" within a very short space of time. It's the sort of feeling that makes me wonder whether or not I'll be bursting into tears in front of a crowd of strangers momentarily.

It may be the general stress of the end of the semester. It may be something else entirely. Who knows? But the anxiety that lurks beneath everything has resurfaced at intervals this week, and crowded stores are, as I am well-aware, a trigger point for this. Exiting the store and returning home where quiet reigns solved the problem, but the anxiety continued to lurk.

As Black Friday has spread northward, I am celebrating "Buy Nothing Day" almost incidentally. Very little could induce me to enter the mall or most retail outlets today (if, superhero-like, going would prevent a major disaster, then yes, I would go; since going might induce a panic attack, it's better to stay home and attempt to focus on my paper). I don't need to go to the grocery store today, only the library, so buying nothing is a given.

I think Buy Nothing Day is commendable, but there are many days in the year when I do buy things. I go through spates of cleaning out our excess, but the fact remains that I truly do have more than I actually need. This North American problem of acquisition has been debated, constantly, by many people wiser than myself. My own contribution today is my wondering what it accomplishes. Where is what I value? How would I react if I suddenly found myself with drastically fewer items in my possession?

The answer is that I simply don't know. I know that I am far more a product of my culture than I would like to be, and that I sometimes envy my friends who could care less about stuff. I confess an attachment to my stuff. I'm very fond of the books on the shelves, the teacups in the cupboards, and the yarn in the chest. Sometimes, getting rid of old clothes that I don't wear anymore is a wrench. Getting rid of books is even harder, because it feels like getting rid of friends.

Is this attachment to things okay or not? Again, I don't know.

Where is my treasure? And where is my heart?

12 November 2011

thinking about books

In the middle of taking a short break from Deeley's fantastic Four Ages of Understanding (I want to own this book so I can underline and make comments in the margins and muse over it more, and I can't afford it right now as it's out-of-print), I've drifted over to the blog.

Books are a way of life with us. I grew up in a house full of books. If I wanted to read something new, it wasn't hard to find. I didn't even have to go the library (although I did, quite regularly). My own home is full of books, and it seems we're always ending up with more. From where I'm sitting, on the bed in the bedroom, I can count at least nine books on the nightstands and the bed. The bedspread is patterned with books. If I go into the living room, there are three tall bookcases, all pretty much full. There are stacks of books for a paper I'm working on. There are library books on the hallway bookcase, and a bag of library books in the living room. The bookcase in the spare room has a few philosophy books and my small collection of craft books on it.

Yep. We're addicted. I vividly remember my dad grounding me off of reading for an afternoon when I was a kid. It was horrible. I don't remember what I'd done, but I'm pretty sure I never did it again. Six hours without reading was a nightmare.

And on that note, back to the Latin philosophers.

09 November 2011

I'm sitting here at my desk at school, staring out the window occasionally. I'm not entirely sure why I'm exhausted; I just know that I am. I think I slept last night, but apparently it wasn't enough, and the caffeine in my tea isn't doing the trick.

So in my sleepy state of mind, I've been sending emails about fairly important stuff (let's hope I emailed the right marked documents to the right people, since comments on someone else's homework are likely to be less than useful) and trying to figure out money things. I hate money sometimes. Or rather, I hate having to deal with money and not having enough of it to easily handle stuff at any time of the month. The hope is that once I can get a full-time job, this will be less of a problem, as J. and I will then both be working full-time, and neither of us will be paying tuition. Still, sometimes I wish I could pay my tuition with knitting. That'd be good. Also if I could barter baked goods for a working vacuum.

I realize that there are many advantages to a monetary system, but bartering has its charms when you don't have to live with it on a daily basis (as I don't know what it's like when you do).

As I'm retyping sentences and then deleting them, I should probably stop this and try to do something more productive, like homework. If I can stay awake.