> jumping into life.


day after christmas: a storm on the horizon, low sky, high wind. my dad brought me breakfast in bed for no reason, and i ate my english muffin while i finished the first of my many christmas books and blew my nose every three seconds. strong black coffee and big fluffy blankets, knowing tonight will be spent in the company of loved ones, as have been the past few days, and i don't have to work until tuesday. all in all i am a happy duck.


"there is nothing like the feeling of leaving / when the things that mean the most to you / shine like mirrors in the sun // except the feeling of returning / when the things you took for granted seem like diamonds / in the eyes of everyone"


my first instinct was pure self-preservation: no, no, let me explain. i start with the words "this has always been my struggle," but immediately the word struggle makes me think of rwandan refugees or antebellum slaves, so there's the first humbling. we in this country rate our suffering on a scale of one to ten, i heard once. what we don't know is that the suffering goes to a hundred. regarless: by either of those scales, or any other, i've led a good life.

what i don't mean is to take that for granted. i am grateful for the blessings i've recieved and the opportunities i've been blessed with. the struggle i spoke of, such as it is, is this: i often feel guilty for what i have, but i feel as though i would be worse if i didn't take advantage of it. part of it is that my parents worked for this money, for this life, to give their children what they didn't have. i wasn't born into privilege or wealth (though i also wasn't born into poverty). when i was born, my parents were working their way through college, living a college-student's life, and we lived a long time in the lower part of lower-middle class. and then eventually, my parents made the american dream, worked their asses off, started their own business, and their business did well. really well. and now we have money. and i feel like it would be disrespectful of the work my parents did not to take advantage of that when i can.

let me stop before i get any farther: you're right. absolutely, entirely, ego-shatteringly right. i was being completely, and thoughtlessly, selfish and rude. however. my parents aren't paying for this, and i'm not going to ask them to. but arizona doesn't even have a minimum wage law; waitresses usually get paid about two dollars an hour, and college students and retirees don't tip very well. so i'm pretty sure there's no way i'm going to save a thousand dollars during the month of january.

that said, i still don't have the right to ask anybody else to fund my dreams, especially when they're as indulgent and luxurious as that one.

for the past few days, i've been meditating on a version of the second major precept of buddhism: possess nothing that should belong to others. this is a lot heavier than thou shalt not steal, and it's making me want to run off to the mountains again. i'm unmaterialistic in a way that i think only a fincancially-secure hippie student can be: my things are just things to me. my car and my computer are really useful tools that i know cost a lot of money, but i don't have any particular attachment to them. that would probably be different if i'd paid for them myself, but in a way i hope not. money is a means to an end; it isn't anything in itself. but still, you're right. i need to start taking more responsibility for it myself, and make fucking sure i'm not taking any of this for granted.

so thanks for the kick in the ass, guys. you've got me thinking about more than you know.


hey. so i need to go to new zealand in february or so to visit a really good friend of mine who is there and needs to be visited by me. except i'm broke, and tickets cost at least eight hundred dollars, going towards four thousand. so i'm making a shameless plea: there is a paypal button at the bottom of my page now. and everyone who gives me five dollars becomes my favorite person of the day. really. five dollars. i have no idea how many people read this page, but if y'all each gave me five dollars, i bet i'd be at least twenty dollars closer to new zealand. where they have penguins and monterey pines. if y'all each gave me five dollars every other week until the end of february, i'd be alot closer than that. it's easy. and if you were wondering what to get me for christmas, this is a good pick. really. five dollars. do it.


so here comes the end of the quarter, galloping up out of nowhere. it was september just yesterday, i know it, and i was baffled and struggling under the weight of school, thrilled and energized by the light of knowledge. understanding. and my first quarter here is four class periods, two papers, and one board-game-cum-exam away from completion. and i still like it here: in fact, despite my reservations, i've absolutely loved my science classes, and, as i said it to silke last night, catapulted myself squarely into the range of science dork.

i feel alive here; i feel my mind moving, stretching, grasping new things and reaching for more. i am reading a big, complicated book completely voluntarily and enjoying it more than i would have believed two months ago. (although, to be honest, part of what i'm enjoying is the mere fact that i know what the authors are talking about when they use phrases like alluvial deposit, arcto-tertiary derivation, and edaphic horizon.) i want a good book on geology or evolution for christmas. i wish i was taking conservation biology instead of opening the creative mind. i talked about dihybridization at the dinner table and mitochondria at the bar. but it has been like cool wind on a muggy day: rejuvenating.

the sky was close and pale all day today, swift wind making metaphors of the leaves outside my window. a breif snow that settled back into drizzle, and a long paper that needed two pots of tea to be coaxed into being. oatmeal for breakfast, lentil soup for lunch, a thick rice, lentil, walnut and spinach amalgamation for dinner, and tea tea tea all day: it is winter indeed. i've not gotten myself out of my pajamas or quite out of sleep all day; however, i have a planning meeting for the monologues in half an hour, so i suppose i should at least put some pants on. my plan for the night after my meeting involves a couch with blankets, a warm body, and some chick flicks. hopefully the snow will pick itself back up, and we can make hot chocolate and smile at the cold outside.


what i am looking forward to right now:

- tonight is the student art exhibit, which should be awesome, and then

- tomorrow is the weekend, and then

- next week is the end of the semester

- after which i am going home

- with no homework whatsoever to worry about

- and lots of time to read

- and sleep in

- and drink tea with friends

- and bake cookies

- and get laid.

as ani put it: oh yeah. oh, hell yeah.


So, uh, not to brag, but i definitely wrote 50,000 words in 30 days. And i definitely wrote about 7,000 of them between six o'clock this evening and about ten minutes ago. (They aren't all posted yet, because I'm about 15,000 behind on that. Patience, my pretties.)

I'm going to go sleep for a week now. Or at least until my class tomorrow morning.