Thursday, November 29, 2007

Umberto Growing Up

There are these little things that let you know your child are growing up. For me it is often not the obvious things--like Umberto needing deodorant this summer (no joke). It's the smaller things, the gazes, the hand gestures, the consciousness of things.

Last year, I bought all the kids Santa hats in some kind of cheesy attempt to get decent xmas pictures. I never did get the pictures because it's nearly impossible to pose my kids. But the kids loved the hats. Last year, Umberto wore his everywhere--to the park, the store, the library. He was made fun of a few times but it didn't bother him. Last night, the kids wanted me to buy them Santa hats, and I remembered that I had these ones packed away. I pulled them out, and they all wore them with glee. Umberto had his on this morning as he played Gamecube. We were going to the park to meet some friends, and right before we leave, he pulls off the hat saying "Oh man, I almost forgot I had this on." He grabbed his Yankee hat and left the Santa hat home. It made me a bit sad that he's gotten to that point of feeling self conscious about what he wears.

Then at the park today, he was with his two friends, the Hs and a girl they sometimes hang out with, C. We, the mommies, were watching them, and wondering what they talked about. We were laughing about they never tell us. Today as we drove home, Umberto told me. C had heard a ghost in the woods, Umberto told me. It said "Get out now before something bad happens." C ran from the words, the boys following her because they hadn't heard the ghost. Umberto said when they went back in he saw a shadow of a person who wasn't there, and then heard someone say "ouch."

I remember as a child being fascinated with ghosts, and seeing, hearing them in the woods. But it does seem to happen at a certain older age. And Umberto is reaching that age in some many ways. It feels a bit like mourning but with a twinge of excitement about what comes next.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Camille the Sculptor

These are not the best pictures but...Camille is pretty good at scuplting. These are her first two figures (after having played with Play-Doh in a long while).

Thesis Update

Monday...was despondent. Or should I say Monday found me despondent. Mondays are usually like this anyway, right? I don't know why but I just felt weary of school. There are times when I feel like all the hoop jumping might not be worth it. As I said to a friend that day "Why do we have to do what we hate to do what we love?" And that really sums up my feelings when I got back yet another critique of my thesis proposal. I just felt so done with it. It had been helpful at first but had reached the point where it was no longer helpful. It was just busy work I had to do in order to please other people.

I came home rather down. IMed with a friend, well, I bitched and moaned to a friend over IM. H came back from his study time, and pep talked me. Normally this would really piss me off. Monday, however, it worked. I went into school today, finished the 8th draft of my thesis proposal and the eighth draft of my SOP. My advisor had told me on Tuesday that the SOP was getting really good. And this afternoon I got back the thesis proposal draft with the comment "VERY good, and very concise. I think you're done." Hurrah.

Piper also cheered me up last night. We had a few minute of Piper craziness. She ran from the bedroom to the living room while we were getting ready for bed. I followed her to find her doing some kind of odd walk. She had her legs spread and was taking these big steps rather like a sumo wrestler. It was so random.

I laughed for a bit, and felt better.

My dreams have been very intense lately, and unsettling. There are emotions in them that I'd rather not think about right now. I wake feeling this intense longing. It makes me sad as if I can't be fully content with my life. Why is there always that desire for more? It bothers me when I have so much already. And I'm not even sure if I can put a name to that which I long for. I suspect that what I long for in my dreams is something that I would not want if I were to grasp it. I know this makes no sense but it's not something I fully want to disclose, nor something that I can fully articulate. Sometimes my life just gets complicated in unexpected, and unwelcome ways.

But mostly I'm happy. My thesis is ready to be written. The books are read, the notes taken, the proposal nearly complete. My kids are joyful (most of the time) and funny. My husband is beautiful, smart, funny, and kind. I am not forgetful of my blessings.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


"I would like to write in such a way that people feel a kind of physical pleasure in reading me. I would almost say that that this is the writer's sense of courtesy."--Michel Foucault--

Can I write words that touch, lick, nipple a long your skin across distances made of megabytes and electronic components? What ghostly hands rises from the grave to move along the length of spine? On my bookshelf sits hundreds of lovers. They are patient, waiting, waiting for me to feel their words to embrace me, move me. Are there orgasms in the these words? Orgasms in any words? What is this new pleasure? Is it something beyond the law of sex? Or is it sex? Sex with words?

Perhaps I can touch you. Can you feel it? Do you feel the hand that types this line. Imagine: the hand streched out towards you in your distance, one finger outlines your face, your lips. If you can close your eyes long enough you may just feel my breath against your ear. Listen.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pleasure and Learning--The Umberto Verison

Certainly, learning can be made an erotic, highly pleasurable activity. Now, that a teach should be incapable of revealing this, that his job should virtually consist of showing how unpleasant, sad, dull and unerotic learning is--to me, this is an incredible achievement. But it is an achievement that certainly has its raison d'etre. We need to know why our society considers it so important to show that learning is something sad; maybe it's because of the number of people who are excluded from it. Imagine what it would be like if people were crazy about learning the way they are about sex. They would knock each other over in a rush to get into school.
Michel Foucault

When I read this morning, I smiled, and thought about in many ways this is what I want learning to be for Umberto. I take great pleasure in my own learning. I want Umberto to feel this pleasure. Right now he does. He's so excited to learn new things. You can see him quiver sometimes. I love coming home from school or work and having him rush up to me, thrilled at a new bug discovery. Right now he's passionate and open to knowledge. I watched this being sucked from him in school. He started to tell us that he hated books. He said he was stupid. He knew that he was getting left out of something. There was even a moment when I started to worry that he wasn't smart. I'm ashamed to say that now but I started to get anxious because the school was anxious. I got caught up in the game.

Now we're out, and last year, I got caught up again. He was behind, he wasn't reading, he wasn't doing such and such. I realized at some point that this anxiety was driving us both nuts. I wasn't stopping to see that he got pleasure from learning new things. I wasn't helping him to discover that pleasure in greater ways. I wasn't sharing with him my own pleasure in learning.

This year, I've opened up to him. I've learned to let go of my own inhibitions, and to let my own joy out. I've started to laugh more, and to let his joy infect me as I let mine infect him. If I'm getting frustrated or impatience, I let go of our plans and follow something new. No we don't always get through my lesson plans but it's okay because we always learn something and we usually have fun doing it. I remember once thinking that fun wasn't what it was all about. And then I realized that this is exactly what it should be about. We've divided the world into fun and unfun things. Why? Why does it have to be this way? I have FUN at school and I have FUN learning. Why shouldn't Umberto? Why does he have to learn that the world is about work that is not fun? And why in the hell do we think fun is such a bad thing anyway?

I say yes to pleasure! Onward to fun!

Learning and Pleasure

Certainly, learning can be made an erotic, highly pleasurable activity. Now, that a teach should be incapable of revealing this, that his job should virtually consist of showing how unpleasant, sad, dull and unerotic learning is--to me, this is an incredible achievement. But it is an achievement that certainly has its raison d'etre. We need to know why our society considers it so important to show that learning is something sad; maybe it's because of the number of people who are excluded from it. Imagine what it would be like if people were crazy about learning the way they are about sex. They would knock each other over in a rush to get into school. Michel Foucault
Foucault's answer to an interviewers question made me smile this morning. What a wonderful image...people pushing, shoving, fighting to learn something. But no, my students never rushed to school eager for learning. They trudged in, heads down, tired, grumpy, bored before anything even got started. They were definitely much more excited about sex then they were about learning. For golden year, I got them excited. I was excited. It was contagious. But then the higher powers forced me back to drudgery. Excitement, pleasure is dangerous when you're trying to hold people down. And that's really why I had to stop teaching. I couldn't be a part of that kind of system anymore.

And I think Foucault is right on with this assessment.No one is going to continue on when they find learning so dull and boring. And not only that but what happens if learning becomes pleasurable. What kinds of discourses will be unmasked? In my experience, many. Discovering that learning was an exciting, pleasurable, freeing was a shock to me. I didn't know that learning could move me in such a physical way. But even with this knowledge there is a sense of loss always on the horizon. I still have to play within a system based on keeping people out. And yes I understand all the crap about standards but what is a standard when it excludes those who don't get a high enough fucking number on a test? Excludes someone who finds learning to be one of the finest pleasure?

In the same interview, Foucault says
"The degree simply serves to create a kind of market value for knowledge, to make those who don't have degrees feel they have no right to knowledge, are not capable of knowledge. Everyone who gets a degree knows perfectly well it's useless, it has no content, it's empty. But those who don't have degrees are the ones who set great store by them. Degrees are precisely for those that don't have them."
He acknowledges that his degrees have gotten him to where he is now but I think he offers a point to be taken here. All too often we assume that those who hold degrees hold knowledge. Is this necessarily true? And does this knowledge constitute all knowledge? I think too often, and I am guilty of this, I make these kind of assumptions about knowledge. It reminds me in a way of the video E posted earlier today. I see the degree as the carrot on the stick. Sometimes it gets in the way of the pleasure. I'm going to write that first quote and hang it up in my office as a reminder.

Knowledge as pleasure. Like sex. Something I look forward to each day. Something I savor. Something that rocks my world, shatters my universe, fragments my being. This is the way I want to know.

Another Link

To why we homeschool. E posted this video from YouTube, and I just thought it was so true, and so important. It's expresses one of the many reasons why we homeschool. Here it is.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Missing the Goose

Umberto is in Maine with my mom. I miss him dreadfully. He's gone with her before, and I know it's okay to let him go. But oh I miss him still. I miss his funny little ways. I even miss his tantrums, and sobbing "YOU HATE ME!" Having him absent...well it makes the house emptier. There's something missing.

And the girls have been awful without him. Really awful. They've hit, clawed, and screamed at each other since we dropped him off my mom's on Monday night. It's been a nonstop bitch fight. I never knew how much Umberto buffered between the two of them. I think they miss him too.

But he's having a great time. So much so that he wouldn't even talk to me on the phone tonight. He's playing in the snow, having fun with his cousins (who adore him as we all do), and getting spoiled by his aba.

Distance...funny how it makes love more known. I know I love Umberto but sometimes when he's driving me nuts, it's not the think I think of the most. But when he's gone, I realize how much he's a part of my life, how much he's a part of my soul. I don't know how parents who lose children do it. And I don't know how in 7.5 years this little person has laid such a claim on me.

My Nose

My nose...well, what can I say. It works. It's boasted a few piercings over the years. Oh yeah, it was the bane of my existence when I was a child. I was called "Pig nose" from most of Kindergarten on until high school. I hate my nose. Oh the hate isn't as bad as when I was a teenanger. I suspect if I had the money I would have had a nose job as soon as I turned eighteen. But alas I was poor so I just got used to it. I won't say that I developed a love of my nose because I didn't. I grew used to, I guess...or perhaps resigned is the better word.

When I see pictures, my nose is the first thing I see. And the picture usually gets delted.

I've always figured my nose was something Native, or African-American. I became a tad obessessed with finding out where the hated nose came from. My family is a bit sketchy on the whole family tree. I know that there's a lot of Scottish and some Native American. But my nose didn't really look like any of that ancestory. Yes, I admit it, I observed people. Looked at pictures--trying to find my nose. I think that I thought if I could locate my nose is some kind of history maybe I could come to love it.

H has been telling me that it's a French nose. But there couldn't be French in my family. Could there? Tonight we're watching Paris, Je T'Aime. It's a movie...sort of. It's shorts of different directors filming love and loss in the great city. And there's a short with Juliet Binoche. And holy shit, she has my nose. H has commented on this before...I always thought he was trying to be complimentary. I mean, what woman would not like to be compared with Juliet Binoche? But no, she does indeed have my nose. Maybe not so large but it's still there...the wide nostrils, the slight uplift at the top. So my nose is French. There's something my family isn't telling me...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Word Invention

Umberto likes to come up with new words. Our
budding Shakespeare. His newest is "cooshi." I think it's a combo of crowded and squishy. He uses this word whenever there is a crowd of bodies in a small place. So the other day I swear we were all in the bathroom which is not big (for those of you who do not have kids once you have them you will NEVER go to the bathroom alone again), and Umberto yells "It's getting cooshi in here!" And he's right, it was.

Words and Violence

This is the first paragraph of my new SOP.

Veena Das begins her book with a question “What it is to pick up the pieces and to live in this very place of devastation?”[1] From my work with a Latino Pentecostal church to my work on a woman who left a Mormon Fundamentalist group, this question haunts me. The people in these studies have survived various violent experiences both physical and emotional. And always this experience comes to me, the audience and scholar in the form of words. Das argues that violence returns and remains in the presence of everyday expressions. This suggests that violence is not something one can leave behind. Words in this descent become animated through voice, and it is this relationship, the relationship between words and voice, that can provide both the means to expression and the silencing of certain stories. Words provide a means of telling but what they tell are not always the stories one expects. Violence becomes something that in Das’s book that is not separate from how people conduct their lives. It is not something that happens and ends. Rather it is something that becomes entwined in life, and in the rebuilding of lives from violence. But the violence does not ever go away. It is always there, always waiting to emerge in words not expected, and in the silences forced upon people who created new tales for the violence. How does religion fit into this equation? How does religion both offer words and create silences around stories of violence?

[1] Veena Das, Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2007, 6.

Notes of the Day

1. Can I tell you how fucking annoying it is that I have to pay $30 to have my GRE scores sent to to two universities? And in addition to that amount I have to pay $6 to do it over the phone. And this is what universities in the U.S. use to gauge who's worthy of grad. school? I mean, really. Let's support the testing business shall we? Ahhh..capitalism. Love it.

2. I really like my new SOP opening. I'm going to post it in another post to see what my dear readers think (yes I just love that totally pretentious affectation from the 17th century novel). I just finished number 5, and am really hoping that it will be enough except for maybe some polish so I can get it out. I've submitted my application to Chapel Hill, and now just need to send out all the supplementary items (SOP and sample paper). But anyway, I'm scared as hell because there is a part of me that feels that there is no way I'm going to get in. I really have no clue what I'll do if I'm not accepted. There's just nothing I really want to do besides this, and while it might only be a's a year of being unhappy. I remember when I was little I'd want something so badly (like seeing my dad), and I would force myself to think that it wasn't going to happen so that wouldn't hurt so bad when it didn't happen. Of course it never always hurt no matter what I thought. I only got to save a bit of face if I acted like it wasn't going to happen (the on the time I acted excited, and my dad didn't show up, my mom turned to me, and said "See I told you he never comes."). I still do this, knowing that I get rejected, it's going to be very hard to not take it personally.

3. I'm starting to outline my thesis in greater detail, and have been making notes for my introduction. I'd like to have the introduction hammered out by the end of classes (Dec. 10). My proposal feels as good as it's going to get. I doubt if my advisor feels that way but after 7 reworkings, it just feels done. I'm sending it out to two secondary advisers, and hopefully will get their approval. Once this is done, I can submit it to our director where it will be signed and made official. With any luck I can finish it over the winter break, and then work on rewriting and editing over the Spring semester.

4. Excited about next semester. I decided to take a class in ritual with our new professor. It's a pain in the ass time which was why I wavered. I'll have to drive the kids to campus to meet Horacio on Thursdays (we've done this before so it's nothing new). But a couple of incidents occurred which made it really the only choice. But it will be good. I know little about ritual so good. And this class appears to have a theoretical emphasis so even better.

5. Thursday...Thanksgiving. Blah. Umberto went to Maine with my mom (I already miss him). We were going to just hang out here but H decided he'd like to go hang with some friends of his. They're having an "Other Family Thanksgiving Potluck" so it should be fun. We need to get out more. We tend to be a tad homebodish during this part of the semester.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Unpolitical Leanings

One of our favorite things to do is to take spontaneous trips to Barnes and Nobles. Horacio gets home at say 8:30, with us waiting, dressed, and eager to go. Why Barnes and Nobles? Well, it has attractions for each of us. I get to have pumpkin lattes. Horacio gets to read music magazines, and the kids get to play with stuffed animals and the Thomas Train table (oh, can't forget the peppermint brownies). And since we live on a pretty loose schedule, we can go at anytime and hang out until their 11 p.m. closing time.

Usually we only purchase coffee products but this time we got the kids some cheap books, and I picked up The Golden Compass. While Horacio was paying, Camille had wandered up the aisle to look at the magazines and books they had up front. She started laughing, and Umberto wandered up to see what she was laughing at. He started howling. They were both pointing and laughing hysterically by the time I got up to see what was so funny. It was this:

And while the situation in Pakistan is horrible (two crooks on either side vying for power), the cover is a tad funny. And maybe really what it shows is how amazingly ridiculous all these politicians are. Through the eyes of the child....

Friday, November 16, 2007


When I was pregnant with Umberto one of the things that excited me the most was the idea of read a louds. I had this vision of us, sitting in a rocking chair, or lying in bed, Umberto on my lap as I read to him. Before he was born I began to acquire children's chapter books. I read the Harry Potter series while he was still a newborn. I could not wait until the day he was old enough to begin this tradition.

Perhaps this desire grew from my own childhood. One of my happy memories involved read a louds. My mom, for all her faults, was a wonderful reader. She read to us all the time: C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, Dickens. I remember lying on the bed when I was sixteen listening to her read to my youngest brother. It was a rare moment of closeness and connection within my family. No matter how angry she was, or how depressed, she would always pull us to her and read.

Thus my son's told resistance to being read to was a tad disappointing. He could sit through picture books so long as they weren't too long but unless they were over in a few minutes he was gone. I persisted but after realizing it was really bothering much more than it should, I let it go for awhile. But last year I started to work him into chapter books. I began with comic books which he loved. They had length but lots of pictures. Then we moved to middle books: chapter books with a picture every couple of pages. Now we're at chapter books that have about one picture per page. Better yet Umberto loves our read alouds. The other day he trotted over our newest book in hand, and silently placed in my hands. I almost cried. It's funny how important this little thing is to me.

What it is I think is that I don't have many models for family. My own family was a mess, and there was very little that I wish to bring into my own family. But my mom did good when she read to us. It wasn't just that she introduced us to books. She opened herself up to us in ways she didn't during the day. She held us to her, and created each evening before a bed a safe place. Here no one was angry, or fighting. For an hour everyday, we were the family I longed to have. My favorite books when I was a child where things like the Happy Hollisters, the Little House books, anything with a happy family in it. And at night, I had that perfect family.

I have no illusions that my family is perfect or ever will be. But the one good model I can fall back on is creating a safe magical word each night. Everything else I cobble together.

I have a post about the actual books here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Memories and Meat

Umberto has finally reached a point where not only will he sit still for a chapter book read to him but he enjoys it. So far this year we've read The Little Prince and Witches by Roald Dahl. The former was a bit much for him, and I think at times he was bored, but he listened. He curled up beside me and listened. At the end, when I was crying (as I always do during that book) he looked up at me.

"Why are you crying?" he asked.

"Because the Little Prince has died." I answered.

" he hasn't. He's going back to his planet. He's just pretending to die so that he can get up there."

And really that is the point of the book isn't it? That adults just don't get it and children do. Umberto got it in ways that I couldn't. I found this to be a poignant reminder that I shouldn't underestimate what my children "get." Sometimes they see things different from they way I do but it doesn't mean that difference is somehow less sophisticated or wrong. It's just different.

Witches was just a good time. I love Dahl's books so much. These I came to as an adult. I had never read him until my mom began to read him in her second grade class rooms. Her children were always a tad horrified at his complete irreverence towards adults. He is delightfully naughty, and Witches was no exception. Umberto ADORED this book, and begged me to read it to him all the time. He was a tad confused as we use the word witch to refer to mama sometimes (in a good way of course) so I had to sort go through this whole thing about good witches vs. bad witches. I felt vaguely uncomfortable with this distinction but I know he'd just unfocus if I were to make it more complicated than that. But we will definitely be getting more Dahl books out. What's funny is that Umberto was not at all horrified in the ways my mom's students were. He loved the irreverence towards adults. I wonder if it's homeschooling or if it's just that parents are nuts, and really into self-mockery?

But the books I was most excited about where the "Little House" books. These were books I LOVED as a child, and reread often. Of course I watched the TV series but really I loved the books the most. They lead to wonderful games of covered wagons, log cabins, and other adventures. I remember how my cousins, friends, and I would pretend to go on the journey West. We'd cross the field behind my grandmother's house, and then end up on the woods. There was a tiny clearing bordered by four or five great pines. We would make that our cabin. It was great fun. So when the kids were all excited over a PBS show about log cabins, I suggested the books.

We started Little House in the Big Woods last night. It was very sentimental for me. I actually remembered the pictures and felt this rush of nostalgia as I looked at them. Then I started reading. The first chapter is basically about storing food for the winter....which involves a lot of animal killing. We're vegetarians. We're vegetarians because we don't want to kill or eat animals. Umberto was a full part of this decision. Each page kept worst and worst. First there were the dead deers in the trees accompanied with a description of the skinning, gutting, and carving up of the meat. Horacio's groaning at this point. Umberto is just looking at me, suspicious, a tad confused but finally says "This is deer that were once a live right?" "Umm yeah." "Gross." And it on it goes, until we get to "Butchering Time" which is when they kill the pig. At this point, Horacio is laughing just from the sheer horror of it. Umberto is totally upset about the poor "pig." And we are all begin treated to a graphic description of the pig's death, carving up of the carcass, etc. And then I read "He was blowing up the bladder. It made a little white balloon, and he tied the end tight with a string, and gave it to Mary and Laura to play with"(15). Horacio just lost it, Umberto's looking at me with his huge eyes asking "That's what they played with?" For me the worst part was how Ma made head cheese. Argh. I said to Horacio "Maybe this wasn't the best book for a vegetarian child." We talked to Umberto about how it was likely they didn't really have a choice because of hard the winter's were, etc. And then I told Horacio that it wasn't quite as romantic as I had remembered.

Memories are funny like that. I honestly did not remember that part of the story from when i was a child. And I would have been horrified as my dad slaughtered a pig on his farm when I was six. I was horribly upset as I loved the pig and saw him as a pet not as food. But when I used to think back on the book, I remember how the family relied on each other, Pa and his fiddle, Ma's hard work to make a home. I never remembered all the death.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Ursula often wondered what else she waited for, besides the beginning and end of the school week, and the beginning and end of the holidays. This was a whole life! Sometimes she had periods of tight horror, when it seemed to her that her life would pass away and be gone, without having been more than this. But she never really accepted it. Her spirit was active, her life like a shoot that is growing steadily, but which has not yet come above ground"(D. H. Lawrence, Women In Love)

I remember having moments of panics when I was in my early twenties. Suddenly, I feel this intense fear that I would die, and that this is all my life would have been. It seemed that I had nothing to show for the few years I had been on the earth. It was such a crushing feeling that I'd lay on my bed and not be able to move for a bit. So much, too much, of my younger years were spent in longing and waiting. Always waiting for love, for excitment, for hate, for passion...always something that I didn't have. And then when I had those things I'd always feel like I was waiting for them to end. I could never enjoy them because of this tight feeling that it would all soon end. It was a physical feeling too not just somethign I thought about. My chest would tightend, it felt like my ribcage was pushing in on my lungs, and I couldn't breath. And as this tightening imprisoned me, my limbs would feel get heavy, so heavy that each movement was exhausting.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Breaking the Law

Some pictures of the kids during our Atlanta trip. There's more here.

One From the Show

Of course I didn't take it...but it was him from the show.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Before the Show

Rather bad self portrait

The venue "Taberncacle" Camille said "That building is too SMALL for Morrissey!"

Camille looking very new wave.

Me looking even worst but Ihad to get the tee-shirt in....H just can't take a decent picture of me which means that he sucks or that I'm just very ugly!

Road Trip...Again

Stripped Of My Skin

There is a scene in Hellraiser, where the main bad guy (sorry can't remember names) is standing there without his skin. He is only muscle. This scene scared the fuck out of me when I first saw it. I had nightmares for weeks. Humans are just not supposed to look like that. They recently did a show here in Charlotte where the cardvers looked like that man. I couldn't bear it. I hated even seeing the posters.

Today I feel like those bodies. Last night, I wrote my Morrissey post, and didn't really think much of it. Then I laid awake thinking about how incredibly exposed I made myself to the public. And then I woke up at 3, and almost came out to erase it. I still might. H begged me to keep it up. He didn't think I exposed too much.

Of everything I've written in the last couple of years on this blog, that post makes me feel too exposed to you. Like now you could all hurt me if you wanted to. I don't like that feeling. I don't like that I put much so much forth in public.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Human Encounters III

"Surely it isn't a matter of conceit," she cried.

"That and nothing else."

She was frankly puzzled.

"Don't you think that people are most conceited of all about their senusal powers?" she asked.

"That's why they aren't sensual--only sensuous--which is another matter. They're always aware of themselves--and they're so concieted, that rather than release themselves, and live in another world, from another centre, they'd--"(Women in Love, D. H. Lawrence, 38).

I'm not sure how to began a concert review. It's something I'm not really good at. They seem so boring really but yet one feels compelled to write all the gory details. I stood in line for an hour! I meet some cool people! He played. He said. And then it all needs to flow in a logical order. I can't do that. You all know me too well. I'll just jot down some thoughts as they come. I'm including a set list at the bottom in case you're a real junkie.

First my regrets. I should have brought my camera. There was no checking of purses. I so could have gotten it in. And there was so many scenes to catch. But more on that later. I also could have gotten a good shot of him as he excited the building which leads to my second regret. Lack of planning. I should have Horacio meet me at the venue earlier. Camille would have gotten a chance to see him. Third tickets. Never again. I would have been at the barricade had I bought GA tickets. I could have touched him....swoon. Plus the people in my section were scary banker types, and one woman trying to be 20 again, stunned that I thought Morrissey was gay, and horrified by the New York Dolls.

Memorable Moments: Morrissey changing the lyrics in "Irish Blood, English Heart" to "I am longing for a time when Americans will vote out Republicans." Morrissey imploring the audience to have a "Thanksgiving not a Thankskilling." Getting to see Morrissey's ass crack! (oh my!) The moment during the end of "How Soon is Now" when he threw himself back onto the drum platform with his legs tucked up behind him, and just laid there with his arms out. Chasing his tour bus with Camille yelling out the window "Morrissey!!!!" and waving her hand off. Someone waved to us from beneath the shade. Alas we lost the bus before we figured out where he was staying as the tour bus felt no need to follow traffic laws. When he played "Last of the International Playboys" and kept hitting his chest, saying "Me! It's Me!" Meeting an awesome welder from Florida who got to touch Moz (his first concert too). Baiting Morrissey fans with snarky taunts that they didn't dare respond to! Yelling out "Jesse I love you!" so that the band could get some love, and having him wave in my general direction. Calling the kids on the phone, and giving them a chance to hear.

Oh yes, friends, he was pure sex on the stage. His movements, his singing, the way he looked at the crowd. When he sang "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want," it really felt he was looking at right you. The whole show had this intimate quality that was like nothing I've never ever felt at a concert before. He was sick, and yet his voice never cracked once. He sounded so beautiful...better than the recordings. And yes it was good to just be in the same room with him. The venue was small enough to make everyone feel like they were close to him. He is so full of something...passion, sex, emotion. I don't know but he's special. While his fans horrify me a bit, I do see why they love him and why they do the nutty things they do. I find that now just seeing him is not enough. I thought it would be but no. Like Lacanian's constantly absence of the other, I want more. I want to be in the front and just grasp his hand for a moment. But then will I get nuts and have to meet him? I am almost scared to do another show.

But then, well, this is balanced with a kind of disgust with him as well. I was reading Lawrence this afternoon, and came across the above quote. I immediately thought "That's Morrissey." If it's true that he's celibate, I wonder if it's a conceit. A way to be sensuous without being sensual? His fans hurt each other to get his shirt. They are beat up by bouncers to get to him, and yet he encourages them to do it. He still throws his shirt in, knowing that people break their legs over this stuff. He fires his opening band for the stupidest thing. He begs his audience to love him, and throws sarcastic insults when they don't' love him enough. He feeds off this kind of self centered ego stroking. There's a part of me that just really hates him. And yet, in a true Lawrencian manner, I love him as well. Love his ego which is surely a sign of insecurity. I love his pain. I love the sex on stage. And isn't there something dreadfully conceited about me for craving this, for loving that he bares himself on stage? Don't we feed him as much as he feeds us? What a strange relationship, that between rock singer and fan. And how strange, that old woman that I am, find myself caught up in something I thought I was much to old for.

Set List:

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before / Tomorrow / Irish Blood, English Heart / Last Of The Famous International Playboys / Sister, I'm A Poet / The Loop / I Just Want To See The Boy Happy / One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself? / Jack The Ripper / Stretch Out And Wait / I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris / All You Need Is Me / Death Of A Disco Dancer / Billy Budd / Let Me Kiss You / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want / How Soon Is Now? // First Of The Gang To Die


Monday, November 05, 2007

Human Encounters II

Horacio just left to pick up the rental car. We're heading out for Atlanta at eight (yeah right) or soon thereafter. Everything is packed. I spent my night having very strange dreams about Morrissey. And tonight, around nine, I will be rocking out to him. I am beside myself with giddiness over this. I still can't believe I'm going to be in the same room as him (albeit a very big room). Will he still be so sexy? That's the question right? Will his physical impression make the same impact as his musical impression? Or are they really one in the same. I'll let you know tonight.

I'm a bit nervous as I'm going a lone. I have a slight fear of big crowds so this aspect is the only countering to my excitedness. But I keep telling myself...even more human encounters...think of I'll the people I'll meet in line? Yes more crazed Morrissey fans....I am not alone! We'll see how it goes....

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Party On!

Umberto's dream as dicated to Horacio:

I had a funny dream. There was the bread. The bread had eyes, arms and legs, and he invited me to come to the party with his friends. His friends were the pots and pans. The party was under the sink. Then I said "I can't. I'm too big. I won't fit."


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Random Encounters I

This afternoon I sat, plugged into my Ipod, in a chain coffee shop. Spread out in front of me books, articles, highlighters, sticky notes, pens--the usual paraphenilia of a student. There were others near me but with Morrissey crooning in my ears, I felt, blissfully, isolated. I like this feeling of being apart even in a room full of people. Living in a city it is not often that I get this kind of seperatedness. And, of course, all that I'm reading today is about bodies: the sexualized body of the child connected intimately to the watching eyes of the parent body, the grieving body lost without the body of the other. The irony was not lost on me.

Looking up for a moment, I caught two men, across the room, looking at my Foucualt book. I had heard them earlier, as I ran to the bathroom, talking about Freud. If I had been closer I might have been tempted to not plug in, and rather, listen to their conversation. I plugged myself way after returning, and promplty forgot about them. As they were leaving, one approached my table. I dutifully pulled myself out of my isolate. Smiling, he said "Tell me about this Foucualt. I've been hearing his name lately. Who is he?" And I told him about Foucualt (dead French philosopher), his projects (genelogy, archology of knowledge), and his life (gay, died of AIDS). The man thanked me and said "Sounds like something I should read. Somethign I'd like." And I agreed. The man left, and I plugged myself way but this time I didn't feel so isolated. I felt a bit of warmth at this random encounter, this body moving into my space, jerking me back into being human.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Samhain/Day of the Dead

In our house, traditions get a bit tumbled together. This year our altar was accompained with some Samhain rituals.

I know a bit cheesy...but he is a Scottish poet...and it is the Celtic New Year...
by: Robert Burns (1759-1796)

OR auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!


Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to min'?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?


And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!


We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae mornin sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.


And here's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine,
And we'll take a right quid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne!


For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Jack O' Lanterns Are Scary

Or so sayth Camille. In the dark Umberto says they look like "floating orange orbs." Here's some pictures of our carving job. Costume pictures to come...I left the camera at my friend's house.

Happy Halloween

I left my camera at my friend's house so no pictures of the costumes...but I do have some of our Jack O' Lanterns!