Tuesday, May 30, 2006
When I began making a list just two days after a shopping expedition, I realized things had gotten out of hand. I thought back to my grandmother who grew up during the depression. She hated spending money on frivolous items, but went overboard when it came to food. She stopped using her oven about ten years before she died because she stored food in it. The laundry room was filled with canned goods. An assortment of food was always stacked on the buffet in the dining room. When my mother and I cleaned the house after her death we found a bottle of Karo syrup from 1976 and frozen fish my grandfather had caught in the late 80’s. I decided that I couldn’t go shopping again until I ate the food that was in the house.
I’ve gone a week now and each day the process gets a little more creative. Two days ago I dug chicken out of the freezer. I have no idea when I bought it. Yesterday I ate a slice of ham that may or may not have been edible. I also reheated some soup to which I added a cup of water and a cube of bouillon. It’s surprising to find out how not hungry you are when your only option is a can of tuna.
At this point I’m down to a handful of oranges, a bag of salad, soup, a few things of yogurt that may or may not have passed their expiration date, and of course multiple cans of tuna. Just now I had a handful of Altoids to wash down a slice of bread with peanut butter. Good times.
Monday, May 29, 2006
One minor piece of the book that piqued my curiosity was Beauvoir’s relationship with writer Nelson Algren. The two had a romance over a period of years that at times seemed more emotionally passionate than the relationship with Sartre. (Of course, this is all from the perspective of the book’s author so who knows what it was actually like.) Many of Beauvoir’s novels were loosely based on events from her own life. Algren hated the depictions and found them violative of the personal intimacy shared between the two. At first he distanced himself from Beauvoir, but eventually he stopped talking to her altogether.
Huh? Beauvoir was a writer! She worked through her thoughts and problems by writing about them. How could someone who loved her so fiercely and begged her to marry him not even begin to know or understand her? And from another writer?
Was either party at fault? Was she insensitive? Did he allow his ego to get in the way? Why did he think it was wrong? Why did she think it was okay? Or were they just too different? For some reason I can’t seem to wrap my hands around the whole idea. At the same time, the event serves to make some sense of why she would stay with Sartre.
The frame and I have had many fights over the years. When I first assembled it, I realized that my box spring was just an eensy bit tinier than the frame and as such was prone to becoming loose. The base of the frame had only a middle bar and two side railings to support the box spring. When the box spring became loose, it would flip causing one body to fall on the floor and the person on the other side to go flying. At first this happened rarely, but as time wore on the plastic edging on the box spring came off and the flip occurred more and more.
In the past year my bed has catapulted two different men out of my arms at the most inopportune of moments. After the second time I was miffed. I'd like for my bedroom to be a hospitable environment. I figured that requiring a guy to sign a release of liability before he was thrown was likely to kill that feeling.
So last week I set out to find a new frame. Since my budget was tight I found a very simple one at West Elm and then used a 20% off coupon. All in all, I paid $215 including tax. The new bed is lower to the floor, sturdier and as a bonus has slats that prevent any tossings. This frame also matches the rest of my furniture.
Like I said it's pretty basic, but I really like it. I took the box spring off which makes the mattress a teensy bit more comfortable. Putting it together was fun, too. Somehow I managed to get the thing home, drag the 7 foot, 100 pound box up the stairs, and assemble the thing. I also carried the box spring down the stairs to the extra bedroom. If you know how short I am then you realize what a feat this was.
Also, if any one would like a full-size bed frame, you are more than welcome to the old one. The flipping problem could be easily remedied with either the right sized box spring or by placing a sheet of plywood across the bottom. I was just ready to part with the frame and start a new history.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
In the book right now Sartre had planned to have his American lover in Paris for four months. Beauvoir, in response, scheduled a four month trip with her lover in Chicago. At the last moment, Sartre’s fling decided not to make the trip. De Beauvoir goes on to Chicago, but decides to amend her original plan to two months. She leaves her lover disappointed in Mexico only to return to Paris and find out that Sartre’s girl has again changed her mind. Sartre never offers to modify his plans for Beauvoir. Even as Sartre’s fling is on her way to Paris, Beauvoir is sending letters to her lover trying to explain that she loves the lover deeply, but cannot marry him because of her loyalty to Sartre. Uh, okay?
Funny how the woman who is credited with creating one of the earliest pieces of feminist writing might also be viewed as the world’s biggest doormat. And yet oddly, Sartre’s influence greatly contributed to what she would become. Had Beauvoir fallen in love with a man who favored marriage and monogamy you have to wonder how different her life would have been. Would her time spent writing instead have been focused on husband and family? Many of Beauvoir’s novels are based on her real life experience. Would she have had such stories to tell had she lived a different life? Would she have been as focused on her writing if not in a relationship with another writer? Would her husband have encouraged her to write the way Sartre did? Would she have had all the free time to work on her craft had her man not been busy chasing other women?
Then I think of one of my favorite actresses – Katharine Hepburn. She was a smart, no nonsense straight shooter who stood on her own two feet. She also spent the bulk of her life in love with a man who refused to divorce his wife. What about Eleanor Roosevelt – often considered as one of the greatest First Ladies in history? She was not there when her husband died, but his mistress was.
Okay, you say, fine, but these are all women of history. That isn’t the way things work today. Really? You think Hilary Clinton would agree with you? How about Kristin Armstrong? What about all of the women who have established careers, but feel like they did so in favor of a life without spouse or family? Is there something in women that makes us feel like our significant other’s happiness is more important than our own? Is it cultural? Biological? Do we only put ourselves first when there is no other person to place ahead of us? Can independence only be found through loneliness?
I know that there are women out there who have won success without the price of losing love. Ayn Rand is one who springs to mind. However, women like Rand seem to be more the exception than the rule…and tonight I’m just wondering why that is…
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Inside the package was a copy of Daughter's Blower by Damien Rice with a note that said, "Ask and you shall recieve."
Also included was a copy of the Feminine Mystique.
Seriously, it was so neato.
When my brother was three my mother had my father construct a drawing table in the kitchen. That way he could draw in the presence of my mother because they didn’t like to be separated.
I could not draw to save my life, nor did I favor the companionship of others as a little kid. Instead I sat in my room reading or playing some form of make-believe. Sometimes I’d sing along to the 45’s my dad bought in high school. Every so often my mother would open the door to find me engaged in conversation with an inanimate object or dancing wildly around the room.
I wasn’t wholly without artistic pursuits as my mother later pointed out. She thought I had the sound of a folksinger and one year bought a Joan Baez tape just so that I could learn the words to Christmastime in Washington for the holidays. My dad played the guitar and used to have me sing with him. Around age 7 or 8, he started bringing me with him to perform at the Sunday evening folk mass. I continued to study voice until the end of high school. I dabbled in writing. Between 3rd and 4th grade my grandmother introduced me to beads. My first necklace was alternating pink and white pearl beads with my name spelled out in the center.
For some reason, the bead work stuck with me and off-on I’ve continued to do it. A few weeks ago, I was wearing a necklace that a friend from law school complimented me on and I realized that I had made it. I offered to make her one as well, so I pulled out my beads the other night.
Here’s some of my old stuff:
Here’s the necklaces I’ve made in the last two days. I still haven’t done the one for my friend yet. I’m trying to get warmed up and back in the mode.
For further inspiration I went down to Harwin Street to pick up some items. I’m not quite sure why everyone calls it Harwin Street as the name technically is Harwin Drive. Anyway, it’s this area that basically sells a bunch of wholesale junk. Years ago, my friends and I used to go down there to get knock-off purses. I have no idea if they still sell those. I would imagine they do. They have just about everything down there and it’s super cheap, cost-wise and quality-wise.
Here’s my stash from the trip. All of these bracelets were $2.50 with the exception of the one on the far right. (It was $4.) The atrocious necklace was a whopping $6. I plan to take it apart and do something fun with the animal charms, but I haven’t decided what yet.
Another bracelet that I plan to dismantle:
In other news, I accidentally hand washed another new shirt that apparently was supposed to be dry-cleaned. I thought I was actually being good by hand-washing it because the stuff felt like t-shirt material. It was rayon! I’m attempting to revive it right now, but it appears to have lost all elasticity and has stretched in some places while shrinking in others. It was so cute. One of those longer length tanks with v-neck, drawstring at bottom and little flows of fabric that hung under the drawstring. It was black with a cool screen print on it. I’m tempted to cry over this one.
I have now ruined two of the three shirts that I bought earlier this week. Two shirts that I could not afford to begin with and only got to wear once. Sigh. The third shirt has not been worn yet. I’m not sure I want to risk it!
Saturday, May 20, 2006
The good news is, I’ve gotten a lot done. What do you think of the new set-up for the blog? I spent all day today figuring it out. Trust me, when you’re not the least bit technically inclined, organizing a blog is not a task for the faint of heart. For the past hour I’ve been oohing and awing over the page. Yeah, I know. I need a life.
I’ve added a list of other law bloggers. If you would like to be added to the blogroll, just drop me a line. Feel free to add me to yours. If you do, I’ll send you a nickel….or I can fabricate a salacious love life for you.
I am slowly adjusting to the fact that I have no purpose in life until I head off to Paris. To add insult to the injury of all the free time I have, I have no money to spend to fill my days. I think tomorrow I’m going to hunt around and find out which days are free for the museums around town.
I’ve spent the last week either sitting at my keyboard writing or cleaning something in my house. With the exception of a few handwash items, I’ve got nothing left to do.
In order to get some sun and maintain my sanity, I’ve been trying to get outside at least once a day. Yesterday, I went to the park next to the Menil and journaled until I had sweated out about half of my body weight. Today I walked up and down Westheimer in the Montrose area making a list of all the cute outfits I want to buy in a few years. You know you're poor when the thrift shops seem pricey.
I’m hoping that some time in the next few days, I’ll sit down and go over the essay I wrote right after the trip to Boston. Because it’s around 20 pages, I think I’m going to serialize it and spread the postings out over a few weeks. For anyone who’s feeling antsy, I’m planning to make it my first official foray into fiction, so it won’t be the real deal, but hopefully it will end up being saucy.
I’m also trying to figure out exactly what I want to do while I’m in Paris. If you have any ‘must-do’ suggestions, please send them my way.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Update (5/19/06 12:15 pm): Wh-what?!? Somehow in the last 12 hours my sister has decided to change the song on her page and it's now some crummy little upbeat song. How dare she? This also makes me paranoid that she has somehow found my blog. Great. That would be just like my family to find the blog, read it daily, and never mention it to me. They keep it together by holding it all in. I keep it together by letting it all out.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
So the end of finals is always a sort of let down. For four months you’re in a race against time – trying to read as much as possible, learn as much as possible, and be able to spit it out in a limited time period. Once you’re done, you’re not quite sure what to do with yourself. Some people just enjoy the time off and relax. People like me feel lost and without purpose.
Right now my house is paying the consequences for this behavior. In the last few days I’ve done the following:
- Set-up for the end of year luau party
- Gotten my student loans for next year
- Ironed about three months worth of clothes (including cloth napkins)
- Washed over a months worth of dishes
- Ordered a new bed frame to replace my broken one (don’t ask)
- Returned a map to Amazon (they actually sent it without the map)
- Boxed up and sent an item that my mother left at my house when she was visiting
- Paid bills (which reminds me that I need to prepay my ones for while I’m gone)
- Shredded a zillion things with my name and address on them
- Emptied the shredder and filled up about three bags worth of trash while cleaning stuff out
- Taken a year’s worth of dry cleaning to the cleaner (which amounted to only five items – god, I love being in school)
- Swept the entire house
- Mopped the kitchen floor
- Vinegar washed the wood floors
- Windexed the mirrors
- Done the requisite long phone call to the parents
Thank goodness I still need to:
- Renew my lease
Do more dusting Bleach the kitchen counters Laundry Scrub my flip-flops Research what plugs I need for Europe Clean the bathroom and bleach the tile floor! Make a list of books I want to read this summer
- Learn French
- Get my comforter dry-cleaned