so much hate..

on monday i joined a facebook group lending penn state's support and prayers to virginia tech. the summary of the group includes the number of victims -- originally at 33, but a member asked that that number be reduced to 32: thus discounting the killer.
i argued this. in a post that, i believe, has now been deleted, i argued that the killer is a victim too. isn't he?
this morning, i checked my personal messages to find an attack had been levied at me. and here it is.

boy i don't know: The killer does not deserve to be remembered. He was not a human being or a person worthy of anyone's respect. Please take that Bible toting bullshit elsewhere.

my response: excuse me, but i didn't attack any of your beliefs in saying that a person is a person. my "Bible toting bullshit" has nothing to do with my feelings about a killer being a person. commission of a crime does not strip a person of his humanity. what about that kid's poor parents? he's got 'em too. and i bet they're hurting just as much as anyone else's.
everyone deserves to be remembered -- even people who hurt others, even those who can't find it in their hearts to forgive.
in this time of tragedy and mourning, we should pull together - not fight about who's feeling the worser hurt. i understand your views, but i don't agree with them.
please don't message me again if you can't be respectful of my opinions.

it is so upsetting to find that so many people can't seem to understand that humanity is immutable -- nothing human is foreign, right? or is it that nothing foreign is human? we argued that in high school and it's still an enduring debate. i, for one, am not about to shun a member of the species for one act of pain and horror.


general update

because i've been overly philosophical/meandering lately, i haven't been a very good general update-er.
so, here goes.

though i've already covered this somewhat, going home for easter was great. i left state college thursday afternoon and spent a pleasant few hours on the greyhound alternating between speaking with an enlightened pro-lifer (yes, they exist!) and sleeping/reading/knitting. i finally arrived in king of prussia around 5pm and waded across several lanes of very scary kop traffic before stopping at the chili's and waiting, impatiently, for mike paul. *squeal* mike paul!
we had a wonderful time hanging out before gathering matthew from the airport. and i had a quite pleasant experience in the ladies' room in the airport marriot (mostly, it was clean and well-stocked with soft toilet and facial tissues). matt's flight came in on time and we all headed home to be dropped off by wonderful mike paul and spend some quality snuggle/movie watching time in matt's basement. it was good to see my baby. and, yeah, he thought the socks were sweet.

fast forward a few days and i'm again departing state college on a thursday, though this time early evening and accompanied by a friend of anita's and nick: andrew. he was headed toward tekkoshocon in pittsburgh and made for pleasant conversation along the road to 'toon town. we, unfortunately, had to strike up a talk with a rather bigoted (and possibly nutty) older gentleman who insisted on telling us about his UFO experiences and ..other things that i'd rather forget.
upon reaching altoona, i ended up riding the local inefficient bus system for about three hours (not exaggerating) until i could finally get to the campus where i had some nice coffee along with a mediocre sandwich. i also caved and bought a cookie. and realized that i "lost" my keys (turns out i actually just forgot them in my room in state college.. thank goodness!).
kira came and collected me and we went to her house, made a beer run, stayed up late.. in general, had a good time.
the conference went very well, but since i've already bored you with tedious details.. it was good. i presented (arguably better than any of my peers), was recommended for submissions to gertrude, a queer literary magazine, and praised for my criticism. my friend/acquaintance/peer cameron (of "medea" fame.. he was jason) said that he expects to read my criticism sometime in the future in some vastly published journal. he requested, in fact, that i take it easy on his works (he's going for an m.f.a. in poetry). it impressed me that someone, a peer, could recognize my worth like that and project such impressive things for me. needless to say, i was in a perfectly fantastic mood after that.

saturday, i went home and dealt briefly with a very unpleasant hispanic girl from philly. she insisted on tapping her foot in the air. the foot, raucously clad in 4-inch heeled, patent leather (read: shitty and cheap), squeaked everytime she tapped. i caught her eye and let her know that it was squeaking and she says "so, what about it?" in the meanest tone she could conjure. "could you please stop?" and her response? "well, it's a habit, so ..no" in similarly bitchy fashion. it was really uncalled for. i was very polite, i think and she just.. grrr. made it seem like i was asking for something completely ridiculous. i don't understand why people can't just be polite. i was trying to read for goodness sake! and she was squeaking!

in any case.. i'm back from that conference and i've been trying to catch up. italian studying (i have an oral exam thursday) is going well and reading is going equally well: finished the vulgar streak and working on mr. sammler's planet along with the puttermusser papers which i much enjoy. cynthia ozick = HEART. "paradise lost" is, unfortunately, not faring so well and i find myself uncomfortably relying on sparknotes.
today, i had an interview for the peer tutoring class. it went very well and i'll be scheduled for the class very soon. yay!
shortly after that, i studied for the italian oral exam with a classmate. we spent a great deal of our time together with me teaching her, through various methods, how to pronounce italian. it was fun for me to teach and i definitely helped her. it was also good to get a little practice with the language. while christine didn't help me, really, with my italian.. it was exceedingly flattering for her to praise my teaching ability and for me to be able to see her progress in her pronunciation. i'm proud of myself.

later today, i went to see janet lyon, english honors advisor who finally got back to me about applying to the honors college. she recommends i go ahead, though it'll be tough. after a brief conference with her, though, we both realized that it won't really be that much work: just 14 credits, 3 of which will be my thesis. so, 11 credits (roughly 4 classes) can easily fall into the two regular semesters i'm going through. if accepted (and i think i will be ::crosses fingers::), i'll schedule one honors course for next semester and hopefully honors option my peer tutoring class into counting for honors credit. otherwise, i'll hopefully work out other options. the thesis i can complete over the summer. yay! i even have a basic idea for it. something that i think will be both enlightening and wonderfully fun to work on.

this morning i was accosted by a squirrel. but, for the readers who may be faint of heart, i'll leave out the details only to say that i defended, verily, my bagel and did not catch rabies.

so, not that i've spent far too long typing this and wasted way too much of your time.. back to work! (links to come as edits later)

is death the road to awe?

i've been trying to relax by listening to some clint mansell. the fountain soundtrack is a beautiful piece of alternately soothing and inspiring music which matches perfectly any aspiration to studying or sleeping. in the wake of yesterday's violence, though, i am really pondering the idea of death leading to awe. first of all: how do we define awe? according to dictionary.com, the archaic/obsolete definition is fear or dread. i think we can safely say that death, or at least the possibility of it, brings humanity, as a whole, a great deal of fear or dread. the more modern term awe brings along with it "an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful" -- a subtle, but remarkable change.
as i sit here listening to both "death is the road to awe" and some weird rap played by my roommate, i wonder about that distinction. what causes, i wonder, admiration, reverence, fear?
yesterday we were all awed by the power of death over our peers at virginia tech: one man killed, including himself, 33 people. just one man. we won't forget him. is that awe? was this death really the road to awe for him? as we think on how fearful and upset we are, should we not also think of what sort of society promotes death as a road to awe? should we study and discuss serial killers or is that encouragement for those seeking fame through death? should we allow our news to cover the tragedies that take place all over the world -- war, school shootings, violence in so many forms. where is the morality and should morality even play a role in media? how vital is a moral to a reporter (as a professional, rather than as a person.. let's not pick on the media for doing the job that our culture has assigned them).

tomorrow is something called the day of silence. you can read more about it here, but, basically, it's a day in which (except for a few moments -- like my italian tutor helping me out) i and many others will remain silent to undermine the silence that keeps gays in the closet or allows violence against them to go on. tomorrow, i'll be silent in protest of the violence and in sympathy with the sufferers. maybe tomorrow i'll also be silent for the victims of one gunman and one culture at virginia tech.

along with everyone else with a heart..

my thoughts and prayers are with those suffering from the attack at virginia tech. both victims (those in the hospital and those not) and the shooter himself. pray for their families and for their friends and pray that whatever horrible derangement tormented the killer enough to become that.. well, pray that it's an isolated issue.

as you go through your day, are you telling those that you love that you are, indeed, still loving them? are you making sure that every conversation ends with a kiss? if not.. maybe you should start.


"in sunny santa fe"

not quite in santa fe, but los angeles?

so, i'm still seriously considering usc as a grad school. trouble is, i think i might not be good enough to get in. it's a hard school to get into and quite pricey.. something around/above $35,000/year. now, if i get in, i stand an excellent chance of receiving a fellowship to cover tuition costs and maybe even provide a stipend, but.. what if i don't get in? could i be happy working as a high school teacher? is it possible for me to quit school to go to work and then get back into it as an older student? ..would i be able to handle kids alongside ph.d work?

is this really even the appropriate time to get into this line of questioning?

on another note: should i apply for the honors college. it has a few perks and a few extra demands. thing is, i don't think i have enough time to finish up the 14 credits it demands or the thesis itself. frankly, though, i'm more interested in the thesis than in the courses. the larger environment of regular courses isn't really a problem for me and earlier scheduling, while nice, isn't really necessary for me since most of the classes i want i can schedule (yay for having tons of credits) and the guaranteed fabulous housing is both on-campus and unenticing. so.. the only real perk is the ability to graduate with honors and the idea of doing a thesis and having it be awesome. i wonder if there's a way i could do a thesis only. hrm.

more to come, hopefully, later in the week. things about the conference (it was lovely) and the conference this weekend. and maybe a little bit about lyle the crocodile.


the sea and the river

this has been a long week.
and it's still only wednesday.

easter was wonderful! matt and i got home friday evening and got to hang out a little bit with mike paul (HEART!) which was wonderful and then we went back to matt's house and hung out with his mother for a bit before watching legally blonde.. which we chased with a whopping dose of se7en and x-men. we watched a great deal of movies this weekend.. if you couldn't tell. in fact, we watched x-men 2 and fog of war on saturday, both of which were very good, if not a little too dry for late night watching (of course, here i refer to fog of war.. about robert mcnamara.. who some might call an adorable old guy). through watching all these movies, i developed a much more profound respect for two things: david fincher (director for both fight club and se7en) and ridiculous movies when you're in a good mood. legally blonde, a movie that i was not really prepared to enjoy, turned out to be really fun to watch and, while not something that i'll rave about critically, is a film that i will definitely watch again with friends -- if only for the sake of annoying matt.
i also decided that kevin spacey is possibly the best bad guy ever (sorry, ian mckellan, you're great, but serial killers > magnetic dudes).

so, movies aside, we had a great weekend. we got to see my dad and uncle on saturday afternoon for a little while and we got dad some pretty little baby daffodils from the boy scouts. they're adorable! (incidentally, we also got gramma some pretty tulips from the same scouts.. she really loved them. go buy flowers for your loved ones. now!).
my dad is looking a lot worse. he's living now with his mother's husband (so, dad's step-dad, bill, who is actually a really nice guy) and my uncle gus (because gus doesn't want to live in the house that he and his now ex-wife shared). dad can't even say a whole sentence without gasping for air and coughs hard enough to shake the house. i'm so glad that we were able to stop by on saturday, though, because sunday morning we went there for brunch after church (which, frankly, sucked. contemporary services blow) and dad was feeling really lousy. i tried to talk to him but i could barely hear him and i really didn't want to get in his face because i'm sick. blugh!
he's so sweet, though. he got me a great easter gift bag with some salt water taffy from the shore and some pretty pieces of jewelry and a little teddy bear holding a star that says "daughters are angels" .. it's all really adorable, but i can't help but think of how bad he must feel.. he missed my childhood and now he's sort of trying to make up for it, but can barely move without his oxygen tether and physical exhaustion.

i don't even know how to feel anymore... just a lot of regret that we couldn't be a family when i was younger.

all right, i'm cutting this already quite lengthy post short. hopefully, i'll find time to make a happier post later in the week. but, if i don't.. i'm at a conference all weekend -- wish me luck!


"if i could sleep forever..."

...i'd probably sleep off this awful sickness.

about 100 different varieties of pills and one revisited banana later, i'm heading to bed with little intent of going to morning class and only slightly more attention to showing up at italian tomorrow afternoon.

on a brighter note, i finished baby sock number one. yay!
this isn't mine, but this is using the same pattern i used.
incidentally, if you follow the link, the other pair of socks there is using the same color variegation as the yarn i used for my socks.
the finished one is absolutely adorable and i've already cast on the next. i altered (with the help of alison) the pattern somewhat, so it looks slightly different from the picture above, but you get the basic idea. when i eventually get photos, i'll post them. yay, photo posts!

in the meantime, leave me some feel-better sweetness.


"Nothing will come of nothing: speak again"

whew! what a busy few weeks i've had.
spring break was a blast (post with pictures upcoming.. eventually) and then i dove right back into schoolwork. the first week was pretty easy -- pleasant reading for classes, interesting poetry and whatnot. last week, though, was a nightmare. oh, sure, it was fun, but i hardly slept, i ate garbage (read: more candy than i've had since halloween age 10) and spent all my time not doing homework and hanging out with gay cowboys (and crew) instead.
that said: Crazy for You was amazingly fun and i can't wait to get involved in the next Thespians show. until now, my membership has been pretty ..lousy, but now i've grown really interested and i'm going to pledge more diligently and be more involved. yay, theatre! i think that, when i eventually get a teaching position somewhere, i'd like to work not just in the english department, but also with the theatre program. i love putting on shows, in any capacity, and would love to be involved with shaping shows at the high school or undergraduate level. *heart*

the cast party was crazy. after a whole week of running and exhaustion and wonderful shows, we ended up doing strike until 4am (or so) sunday morning. so, we postponed the party until sunday night (yes, that's the night preceding monday.. but morning class was canceled, so i felt ok going). it was, in a word, fabulous. we danced and drank and played kings and had a generally wonderful time. we drank a lovely beer (cheap and quite mildly delicious) called lionshead and knocked down a little bit of jim bean whiskey (which would be better if you had a sore throat, as it numbs the tonsils).
we also had an interesting stop on the way home: schwab for peeing. ::chuckle:: at least we had a key.

this week is shaping up to be a little more mild (read: no theatre), but no less wonderful. with challenging and pleasant books for class and very tough but learnable italian lessons, the scholarship angle is going well. work is going ok, too. making some decent bonus and able, so far, to get the mandatory shifts in (only need one more. c'mon thursday!). then.. i'm going home! friday afternoon i'm catching a greyhound and heading home to see my baby! more details on that to come, i'm sure, but right now i'm suffering dreadfully from what looks like either the beginnings of a cold or wicked allergies (hopefully the latter!).

to bed for me. enjoy your days, lovelies.