25 February 2009

The Grape Etiquette: Advice for Drinking Parties

Thanks to a great site called Mobicapping Wine, I learned some basic wine tasting manners.

•1 Do not comment on the wine's characteristics until all tasters have been able to generate their own opinions.
•2 If you are a man, do not use after-shave. If you are a woman, do not wear exceedingly scented lotions or perfumes. For both genders, do not smoke. Any such miasma will surely hamper the other wine taster's ability to appreciate the wine's aromas.
•3 Do draw air into your mouth to better taste the wine. Although this may generate a funny gurgling sound, this is perfectly acceptable in the wine-tasting world.
•4 Do spit. Often there will be a designated cup or bucket for this exact purpose. If there is no designated cup or bucket, a drain or gravel floor is also allowable.

On Drinking

I found a journal entitled "Myth and Science around Gender and Sexuality: Eros and the Three Sexes in Plato's Symposium".

Here is the link: http://dio.sagepub.com.proxybz.lib.montana.edu/cgi/reprint/52/4/39

Note: If you are not accessing this from campus, you will need a library password (very easy to get if you don't already have one).

I also found an interesting Teaching Plan for the Symposium.

12 February 2009

My Cat

I named my first cat Captain Alex.

My family lived in Paradise Valley in an A-frame house.
One day, I came home from school and I couldn't find Captain Alex.
He was usually somewhere sleeping, or he was out hunting mice.
When he didn't come home before my bed time, I was so sad.
I worried about him.
The next morning, I still couldn't find him.
My dad went out to look for him beside the highway. He wasn't there.

As I told you, we lived in an A-frame house. The second floor was smaller than the main floor and there was a large section of roof with a door leading out to it. In the summertimes, my sister and I used to have picnics on the roof. The door out to the roof housed Captain Alex's kitty door as well. He used to climb a diagonal beam that made half of the "A" on the A-frame in order to get up to the roof and his door.

That evening, my dad found him curled up at the base of his climbing beam. He looked like he had been hit by a car.
It was hard to know that he suffered after he had been hit, but it was nice to know that he tried to make it home.

At first, pets are just fun, cute, & cuddly. But then, you grow to love them and know their habits, their personalities. Losing a pet is like losing a friend. I can't imagine losing a sibling. My sister is one of the most amazing people in my life. She is my friend, my family, my teacher, my student. I spent a good 16 years of my life with her day in and day out.
I would do anything for her; I would even break the law for her.

My personal relationships are far more important to me than are my public relationships. I believe that this is true for most people. This is certainly the case for Antigone.

Here is a picture of my cat Thizzle. He's got a lot of personality. Thizzle loves to play. The other day, he caught and ate a mouse. Of course, as a gift, he saved the head for me and left it in the hallway.

10 February 2009

Regarding Bad Days

What is a bad day?
A period of 24 hours in which a series of unfortunate events conspires.

I, myself, had a terrible day several weeks ago, and I have no idea why.
Nothing of note really went wrong.
It wasn't your typical bad day where you burn breakfast, lose your keys, and then later that afternoon slip and fall in the muddy parking lot after a two hour rain.
No, not that kind.
I really don't know what kind exactly.
Everything was happening as it did normally, but everything was more difficult than usual, more frustrating than usual. I missed my sister, I felt like I needed to be home, and I felt as though everyone was insulting me.
So really, it was a very weird, bad day because it was self-inflicted.
The reason I write this is because I was skeptical at first when Dr. Sexson implied that one could inflict a bad day on oneself.
I thought, well don't bad days just happen? Aren't they out of the power of our hands? . . . more externally formed? Plus, why on earth would you want to do that anyhow?
Of course I then realized that I had been the sole perpetrator of my bad day.
So I was the man I was looking for; I was Oedipus; I was Nixon.

05 February 2009

Anna Livia

February 2nd: a notable day.
Dr. Sexson's Anniversary
Groundhog Day
James Joyce's birthday

I haven't read very much of James Joyce's work, but a few years ago, I memorized the last part of his novel Finnegan's Wake and fell in love with it.
At first, I detested it. I couldn't stand it because I couldn't memorize it. The progression of Joyce's sentences and seemingly incomplete thoughts did not easily lend itself to memory. After hearing it so many times, saying the words to myself over and over, I finally heard a musicality in his words. I heard the metre behind it all, the song behind each word. I guess it was through this music that I felt as though I understood what he was saying, and i loved it. And, after that, I memorized it easily. (But I must be weak of memory, as I can no longer tell you Joyce's story. I think, though, that it's not gone forever. I might be able to pull it out with a little work. Help me Mnemosyne.)

Here's the piece. Listen for the musicality.
Yes, you're changing, sonhusband, and 
you're turning, I can feel you, for a daughterwife from the hills 
again. Imlamaya. And she is coming. Swimming in my hindmoist. 
Diveltaking on me tail. Just a whisk brisk sly spry spink spank 
sprint of a thing theresomere, saultering. Saltarella come to her 
own. I pity your oldself I was used to. Now a younger's there. 
Try not to part! Be happy, dear ones! May I be wrong! For she'll 
be sweet for you as I was sweet when I came down out of me 
mother. My great blue bedroom, the air so quiet, scarce a cloud. 
In peace and silence. I could have stayed up there for always only. 
It's something fails us. First we feel. Then we fall. And let her rain 
now if she likes. Gently or strongly as she likes. Anyway let her 
rain for my time is come. I done me best when I was let. Think- 
ing always if I go all goes. A hundred cares, a tithe of troubles and 
is there one who understands me? One in a thousand of years of 
the nights? All me life I have been lived among them but now 
they are becoming lothed to me. And I am lothing their little 
warm tricks. And lothing their mean cosy turns. And all the 
greedy gushes out through their small souls. And all the lazy 
leaks down over their brash bodies. How small it's all! And me 
letting on to meself always. And lilting on all the time. I thought 
you were all glittering with the noblest of carriage. You're only 
a bumpkin. I thought you the great in all things, in guilt and in 
glory. You're but a puny. Home! My people were not their sort 
out beyond there so far as I can. For all the bold and bad and 
bleary they are blamed, the seahags. No! Nor for all our wild 
dances in all their wild din. I can seen meself among them, alla- 
niuvia pulchrabelled. How she was handsome, the wild Amazia, 
when she would seize to my other breast! And what is she weird, 
haughty Niluna, that she will snatch from my ownest hair! For 
'tis they are the stormies. Ho hang! Hang ho! And the clash of 
our cries till we spring to be free. Auravoles, they says, never heed 
of your name! But I'm loothing them that's here and all I lothe. 
Loonely in me loneness. For all their faults. I am passing out. O 
bitter ending! I'll slip away before they're up. They'll never see. 
Nor know. Nor miss me. And it's old and old it's sad and old it's 
sad and weary I go back to you, my cold father, my cold mad 
father, my cold mad feary father, till the near sight of the mere 
size of him, the moyles and moyles of it, moananoaning, makes me 
seasilt saltsick and I rush, my only, into your arms. I see them 
rising! Save me from those therrble prongs! Two more. Onetwo 
moremens more. So. Avelaval. My leaves have drifted from me. 
All. But one clings still. I'll bear it on me. To remind me of. Lff! 
So soft this morning, ours. Yes. Carry me along, taddy, like you 
done through the toy fair! If I seen him bearing down on me now 
under whitespread wings like he'd come from Arkangels, I sink 
I'd die down over his feet, humbly dumbly, only to washup. Yes, 
tid. There's where. First. We pass through grass behush the bush 
to. Whish! A gull. Gulls. Far calls. Coming, far! End here. Us 
then. Finn, again! Take. Bussoftlhee, mememormee! Till thous- 
endsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a 
long the

04 February 2009


Wednesday, Dr. Sexson said that music was connected with sleep.

At night as I'm waiting to fall asleep, I sometimes hear music:
It's in my head,
but it sounds as if it's in my ears;
and it's so loud.

It sounds like a huge orchestra.
I love when it happens.
Some months, I hear it more often.

It's hard to explain it because it happens
right when I'm between
conscious and sleep state.

It's just this loud but beautiful noise.
It's never a song that I recognize,
and it's never the same.

Sometimes it lasts for just a moment
and sometimes it goes for a while,
but it always crescendos right before I actually transfer into sleep.

Hypnos: god of sleep