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realization. [May. 25th, 2011|06:22 am]
[Current Music |grass widow: to where]

i am exhausted from trying to get this prospectus finished. and today i am going in for CT scan of my lungs, the 3rd one in a little over a year. i'm hoping that my lungs show improvement - i've been on prednisone for a little over 3 months now, and am feeling much, much better.

but today i was reading someone's blog about sarcoidosis, and how it's really hard to deal with a diagnosis that could be chronic. i've had two of those in the last year. two.

and, like the person who was blogging about this, i have gone through all the emotional wildness associated with diagnoses like this. i've been angry, depressed, hopeless...and also very grateful for amazing friends and family who have been there to support me and hug me and just let me cry. because i have cried. a lot.

i've had a really hard time with people who have only told me that i shouldn't freak out because i'm doing everything i can, and that's all i can do. but i don't want to talk about them.

so today i'm going for this scan. if it's good, great. if not, i'll probably have to have a pretty major biopsy of my right lung in the next couple of months. if you have any good wishes, happy energy, or prayers to spare, i sure would appreciate them.

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(no subject) [Sep. 9th, 2010|05:06 am]
I read Shakespeare and the Bible, and I can shoot dice. That's what I call a liberal education.
-- Tallulah Bankhead

I don't deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it.
-- Flannery O'Connor
All it takes is a couple of Flannery O'Connor references and a two-step around a pool table.
-- Adrianne
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i can haz new blog. [Aug. 31st, 2010|12:15 pm]
[Current Mood |hopefulhopeful]

i've decided to start a wordpress blog as a sort of catch-all for some of my interests. there are three entries so far: 2 largely about glenn beck, and 1 about scott pilgrim. yeah, y'heard.
it's nothing superacademic or super great or anything, i just decided that this journal (when i do write in it) is about the very very personal things. and i have built up a veritable army of neuroses about writing about my interests (read: for school/career/etc.) that i thought i would just disarm the panic button and set up a fun space for myself where i can write about the things that really get me going/make me happy/make me angry/make me THINK. without all the crazy pressure to make things convincing/perfect/airtight. know what i mean? it's just healthy to write, and healthy writing sounds good right about now.

here it is, if you'd like to take a peek... http://ladolcevitamin.wordpress.com/

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some days... [Aug. 10th, 2010|12:41 pm]
...i long for the sweet sharp scent of pine needles and cut grass, the relief of an odd breeze shifting the humid air, and nights dancing with fireflies and drunken footsteps and the creaking of old porches.

i think about how different life feels in that place, steeped in the slowness of country time, surrounded by the calm, the creative, the accepting. such a small town, but expansive enough to hold a place for everyone.

i miss the slow whiskey drip, and the tartness of lemonade or wild berries; the fragrant evenings and afternoons in the meadow; the dark basements full of music and laughter, the heart-stopping lust of it - that feeling that something is really about to happen, around the next corner, or the next...
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maid of honor speech. [Jul. 31st, 2010|12:34 pm]
[Current Mood |happyhappy]

today, my best friend in the whole world is getting married. here's the speech i'm going to deliver:

Hi. I’m Erin, and I’ve known Irene since 1983. She was my very first friend. When Irene, Steven, Mickey, and Kyung showed up on our doorstep to introduce themselves when they moved to Wagonwheel Way, I was only 3 years old. I’m pretty sure Irene offered me a plate of cookies and I’m pretty sure I immediately hid behind my mom’s legs. I couldn’t have imagined that the pretty girl dressed in pink would also become my very best friend in the whole world.
To know Irene, as trite as it might sound, is to love her. I don’t have to tell all of you that she is one-of-a-kind. You showed up to celebrate one of the most important days of her life with her, so she must hold a very special place in all of your hearts too. You know how kind she is, and how funny. How smart she is, and how quirky.
Well that quirkiness has roots. Growing up, Irene was more than just my bff. She was also my big sister. And like any good big sister, she taught me a lot of interesting things – like the delights of kimchi-and-mayo sandwiches on wonderbread, the virtues of pickles for breakfast, and how to incorporate pink into any – and I do mean any – outfit.
She introduced me to the wonders of boys, too. Mickey and Kyung might be surprised to hear this, but Irene kept a secret trapper keeper under her bed, and in this trapper keeper were magazine photos of her favorite TV and movie stars like Cory Haim, God rest his soul, Mark Paul Gosselaar, Christian Slater, Kiefer Sutherland, and MacGyver. All famous, all hunky, and, of course, all blonde. So I wasn’t really surprised when I met Schuyler for the first time. I’m pretty sure Irene was destined to marry a blonde with movie-star good looks. Well done, Irene.
Like any good big sister, too, Irene had her fair share of fun at my expense, including several times when she thought it would be hilarious to undo my bikini top, throw it across the pool, and then holler at the top of her lungs for help. I’d jump in after it and some family member – usually Steven, who frequently had the thankless task of babysitting us – would come running out to see what was wrong. There I’d be – dogpaddling frantically across the pool, and Irene would just sit in the Jacuzzi and cackle.
But as I was writing this speech, and thinking of what I could tell you about what Irene was like as a little girl and how important she has been in my life, one image kept coming to mind and it’s the best metaphor I can think of for the special kind of friend Irene is.
When we were little, we used to play ‘Snow White.’ Irene always let me be Snow White, which meant that she was my Prince Charming. I would pretend to be dead, and Irene would clap a hand over my mouth, kiss the back of it, and then pick me up and carry me off into the sunset. For a while this worked just fine, until I outgrew her in both height and weight. Then it didn’t work so well. But I still insisted on playing Snow White, and so Irene was stuck lifting about 80lbs of dead weight off the ground. It’s a wonder she doesn’t have back problems. It’s even more of a wonder that she kept on doing it.
But this is the sort of friendship Irene gives, and I know many of you have had the good fortune of knowing what I mean. When the weight you carry seems impossibly heavy, Irene offers you her strength to help you carry it. And she offers it so graciously – with love and laughter, without hesitation. And that is true friendship.
All I can say is it’s a good thing she found a Prince Charming who is twice her size and who can easily carry her off into the sunset, because we all know how much she deserves this happy ending.
Irene, my best friend, my big sister – I love you. You are a light to everyone here, and we are so lucky to get to celebrate with you today. If everyone could raise their glasses with me…..Irene and Schuyler – here is to a lifetime of love, laughter, blessings and, most importantly, friendship. Congratulations.
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(no subject) [Jul. 22nd, 2010|12:38 am]
some times i wake up while driving in the car, eyes tearing in the bright sun where only moments before there had been a cool moonlit path and an old craggy wall, ears expanding with FM sounds when wasn't that just your voice in my ear?
some moments are like this, some psychic reconnection after so many months of static and brief glimpses of a life almost-lived.

dislocation is a palpitating heart: uncomfortable and unsafe.
i want my strong beat back, my brave inner drum.
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ok. [May. 27th, 2010|01:09 pm]
[Current Mood |happyhappy]
[Current Music |the innocence mission]

it's good to be writing here again. & after a couple freak-out posts about family + health and such things, i'm going to write about something else: love.

being with my dude in his country is wonderful. beyond wonderful, really. he has loved the states for a long time + is really happy there, but it was important to me to experience denmark + get to know his life here. i knew i'd be happy just to be with him, but being here has taken it to a new level. i'm not sure how to explain it other than to say that my admiration and respect for him have grown even more since moving here. i like the way he lives. i like where his priorities are. i like his steadiness, his compassion, his strength. + oh boy do i love his family. + his friends. you figure when you love someone they must come from good people. i just didn't realize how good. everyone is kind + welcoming + patient. i feel at home here. so add denmark to the list of places i call home: san diego, bloomington, boston, odense.

having time to think about my life has been good and difficult. there are some changes that are in order, but nothing that is insurmountable. one thing i like about myself is my openness to change and growth. + it helps that my favourite one supports these things so much, every day. it helps that i finally feel safe with someone. like, safe in a real way, the way i feel with the people closest to my heart.

+ there's been this change that only fully came into focus yesterday. i think it happened because i've been stressing about all this stuff, and the level of stress has been new + intense + driving me nuts, and then it hit me: at some point you start living your life with someone. your decisions matter more because the happiness of someone else - someone very deserving and important - is ever at the forefront of your mind. your decisions now affect that person in very immediate ways. + this is the best motivation i have ever had to push myself in new + wonderful directions. in this light, the things that have lately been weighing on my mind seem less like limitations and more like opportunities for growth + growth + growth. isn't that a nice turn-around?

i think i have found the best person in the world.
how wonderful + beautiful he is!
how lucky am i!

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i did it. [Apr. 27th, 2010|01:53 pm]
[Current Music |superchunk: slack motherfucker]

first-ever talk about my research, and i am addicted.
it went well! they even laughed at my dumb jokes!
& i answered their questions with at least a small measure of intelligence!
& i got to say 'anarchy in the UK! woo!' with a fist-pump to match!
& i got great & helpful feedback from the chair!
& i am now eating chocolate and will go watch 'lost highway' as a reward!
& yay!
just YAY!
yay! for progress and for the knowledge that one is truly making it.

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'research' + such things. [Apr. 26th, 2010|05:12 pm]
[Current Mood |energeticenergetic]

if you didn't know already, i am living in denmark for a few months. i'm officially on leave from my program, which means a load of time to think, read, not-teach, and procrastinate by looking for a dress to wear to my bestie's wedding.

in all seriousness, though, i'm only like 10 days in (not counting my AWESOME trip to beirut) and my head already feels clearer. my dude is probably the most zen person i know, and he has been taking care of me like nobody's business. i had some pretty major health scares (one of which involved exploratory surgery) over the last couple of months (i think february and march hate me), and i am still come down from that stress. i am no good at waiting, let me tell you. and the time between appointments and procedures and procedures and results was purgatory at its worst.

in any case, things are still inconclusive with some of this health-stuff, but (ohpleasepleaseletthisbetrue) it doesn't seem like anything is too too terribly worrisome at this point. i am taking vitamins + loading up on antioxidants. i ride my bike close to 5 miles per day to and from school here and we eat right and sleep a lot. we do yoga on the weekends and i am on a high-dose of laughter. i also eat chocolate because g-d-it it's good for the soul. i am doing what i can.

so i'm a 'visiting scholar' at the center for middle eastern studies at syddansk universitet in odense (hans christian anderson's hometown. what what!). somehow i convinced them they should take me in. not only did they do that, they gave me an OFFICE. with a computer and, most amazingly, a NAMEPLATE! nothing like this sort of treatment to make a girl feel official. it's nice to be surrounded by folks who work on the region where i want to be doing research. my department back home is an awesome place, but only one person works on the middle east and he's a geographer. one former colleague who works on islamic issues in the west is now a professor at tulane and has some qualms about SDU; he spent some time in this exact department while studying in denmark (he's turkish but spent 19 years here), and has some things to say about the way they theoretically construct muslim identity. i haven't gotten that far with these folks yet, but it's been a while since this colleague was here, so i'm assuming (and hoping) things have changed. in any event, everyone here has been delightful.

and tomorrow i am visiting the chair's MA class (on religion and culture in the middle east) and giving some kind of talk about my 'research.' hahahahahahahaa! oh dear. i balked at the idea first, but i think it will be good for me. in any event, it certainly has lit a fire under my ass, and i think i can now tell you IN ONE SENTENCE what my dissertation is going to be on. apparently that is how one shows that one really knows her research. again, ha! but it is a step in the right direction.

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i live for this. [Mar. 15th, 2010|12:18 am]
best student email ever.
you know i cried.

I just wanted to thank you for being such a good T.A. I've never
had a T.A. be this helpful or concerned with my learning and
success at UCSD. I know I haven't applied myself as much as I could
have, it's just a little hard maintaining full time status as a
student, employee, husband, and father of two. I didn't commit as
much time to this class as I wanted to, however it's people like
you that make learning a enjoyable experience. Sorry I didn't
attend the study session at Porter's, I had to pick up my son from
daycare, however if I ever see you at the whistle stop I owe you a
drink. Once again thank you and continue to improve peoples' lives.

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