Archive | October, 2010

Overseen in Starbucks…

27 Oct

The Starbucks on the corner of Jackson and Wabash in Chicago has become my favorite place to disappear during my breaks from class.  There are so many different kinds of people going in and out, that I’m rarely disturbed or given a second look.  I actually get a lot of homework done, but my favorite thing to do here is people watch and, of course, eavesdrop.

I’ve become very good at inconspicuously checking people out.  Today, for example, I sat down next to Carl Swanson.  He works at the CNA (or so his prominently displayed badge said 😉 ).  He wore perfectly shined black shoes, a crisp white shirt, and ironed black pants.  His salt and pepper hair indicated his hair had, at one point, been jet black.  He pretended to read his paper for a while and sipped his tall black coffee.  While he pretended to read, he was really observing everyone around him.  He checked everyone out. He kept rearranging his legs and his arms; he couldn’t seem to get comfortable.  After about 10 minutes of fake reading, Carl jumped up and threw out the coffee he couldn’t possibly have finished, looked around a few more times, and bolted out of the shop.  I googled the CNA, hoping it would be some kind of government spy organization, but alas, it was only the headquarters for a major insurance things… or something.  Although, I’m pretty sure that that is a cover and that Carl Swanson is, in fact, a spy.  Or he had a blind date.  No… I’m going with spy.

I’m currently sitting next to three Indian business  men who politely asked to borrow my extra chair.  They are all sporting some very impressive black mustaches.  😉

I really do love Starbucks. 🙂

Change and Flexibility

20 Oct

I’m torn most days about the direction I would like to see my life go.  It’s scary to me that I’m only going to be 23, but there are already so many things that are very closed to me.

Everyday, I am more attracted to the idea of motherhood.  It’s the knitting of baby socks, sweaters, blankets, the idea of creating someone who is half of you and half of the person you love most in the world, the thought of being able to teach and show and shape another human being, the first steps, the sleepless nights, the first days of school — it’s alluring.  Is it anti-feminist?  I don’t think so.  It’s about embracing my womanhood and stepping into a new role and responisibility.  What could be both more powerful and more terrifying than having complete control over another human life?  Not much.

Conversly, how do I shake the things I’ve always wanted to do?  Things I’ve wanted long before motherhood entered my radar.  My M.A., PhD, being a professor, publishing, world travel, worldwide volunteer work… You get the picture.

And so, the real question is: What must be given up, and what is most important?
The answer:  Nothing will be given up and all are very very important.
How do I accomplish this? Change.  Change and flexibility will take care of everything.

My new plan you ask?  To produce the most cultured, educationally aware, and just plain kick ass kid ever.  What better education could there be than to watch one’s parents obtain higher degrees, to spend extended amounts of time abroad, learning the language and culture when your mind is like a sponge, to constantly volunteer to help others, to be well versed in Hemingway and Shakespeare before your 10th birthday, and to understand how to tear apart and rebuild a computer by your 5th birthday?

Just, you know, an fyi. 😉

Me and Poetry? Pass…

13 Oct

I’ve always hated poetry.  It was only two or so years ago that I actually started reading it.  Its grown on me to the point that I can read it for class, do the analysis and hold a conversation.  But anything more than that? No, thank you.  😉

Unfortunately lovely Professor Lukasik doesn’t share my lack of sentiment towards poetry and as we are now in our poetry unit in Creative Writing, I have been forced to write my first poem… It’s a list poem — no rhyming, no rhythm.. is that really a poem?

Anywho, I was thinking about what I wanted to write it on when I was going home on Monday.  I stayed in the library studying later than I really meant to and it was pretty dark and dead downtown by the time I started heading for the train.  A street performer was playing the saxophone down the block.  If I had any money on me and he was anywhere near me, I would have given him a dollar.  He was very good.
I couldn’t find the exact song he was playing on youtube, but here’s something for you to listen to while you read my first poem.. 😉


My Commute

I sit on the train and stare out the window

Like an observer of the world.

Restaurants and Starbucks roll by

Along with the people who inhabit them at this late hour;

Students, business people, couples.

Women practice self defense and kickboxing on the fifth floor of a gym,

Their movements fluid, like a dance.

Men play basketball just next door.

They cannot boast the same beautiful fluidity.

Dark office buildings move on by,

Highlighting the lone secretary working diligently into the night.

We pass the condos I will never be able to afford;

They stand tall overlooking the river.

The Chicago River forks around the Chicago Sun Times building,

Giving it the look of its own private island in the city.

The meat packing district comes slowly into view,

Butchers’ signs lit up like Vegas neons.

A block of doggie daycares whir by,

Abandoned in the lonely night.

Countless train stations blur together

Like a long forgotten memory.

The train pulls to a stop at Ridgeland.

A Metra train screams by in the background.

The night air is cool,

Fall is in full swing.

The house with a carousel horse on their porch stands solemnly and is quiet,

Not as loud and outgoing as it might seem at first.

My building comes into site, large and yellow.

My cats watch me from their second story perch,

Still as gargoyles, silent and gray.

My key turns the lock,

I am home.


It could have been much worse, but I don’t think I’ll ever be earning my living as a poet… 😉

Sunday Morning, Rain is Falling… <3

10 Oct

I really miss Jeremy during the week.  It seems like we’re always going in opposite directions and just see each other in passing.  I quit my job last week to try to find more time to work on homework away from home so that when we are home at the same time, we have more time together.  I’m very lucky to have a husband who is more than happy and willing to take care of me.  We’re really trying to be happy towards each other, to be appreciative of each other, despite the busy schedules and the constant school stress.

I think Sundays are one of my favorite days of the week lately.  Jeremy and I sleep in, go to brunch, and spend the day doing homework and watching movies together.  Its relaxing after our always hectic weekly schedules.  I know we’re both looking forward to the day when school is over. 🙂

I love Sunday brunch a lot.  We found a super cute cafe in Oak Park — The Buzz Cafe.  It’s delicious and has a wonderfully artsy atmosphere.  Sometimes, we’re so busy that it seems like Sunday brunch is our only time to sit down together and talk uninterrupted.  We talk about our future plans, our goals.  We reflect on our progress towards our goals.  We joke and generally just enjoy each other’s company.  Some days, we plan the layout of our house (my new office is now going to be in the attic with a fabulous spiral staircase 😉 ), sometimes we talk about when we want to start having kids, often we talk about our finances, we build extra rooms onto our imaginary house, paint imaginary walls, hang imaginary pictures; We debate the pros and cons of getting a dog, plan our future European tours, and discuss hair styles.  There seems to be an understanding between us that school and work gets left at the door.

I am very thankful for my husband and the life we have begun to build together. : )



Suicide Prevention Month

4 Oct

There’s significant debate over when suicide prevention month is.  I personally think October makes more sense, but hey, who knows… 😉
Anywho, in Modern American Lit, we’re studying Sylvia Plath again.  I’d only read “Daddy” in a previous class and didn’t know much about her.  That was also before my change of heart towards depression and suicide, so I’ve kind of developed a new appreciation for her poems…  Her final and successful attempt is a little upsetting, so I’ll let you google it if you really want to know… I made that mistake and my stomach is still a little upset.  Fair warning.
Therefore, in honor of suicide prevention month, and because I don’t have time to write a nice long blog for you, here’s some poetry for you to digest (I’ve also included a lovely analysis if you click on her name below if you’re so inclined to dig deeper).  🙂

"Lady Lazarus" by Sylvia Plath
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it----

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
0 my enemy.
Do I terrify?----

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Is an art, like everything else,
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart----
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash ---
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

Sylvia Plath