Monday, December 18, 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006

Meet Marshmallow

Everyone, this is my cat, Marshmallow. Say "hi!" Marshmallow! (meow) Isn't he a little cutie? That's DEFINITELY not me in the picture, though.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Case of Anna O. and the Black Snake

"Was Anna O.'s black snake hallucination a sleep paralysis nightmare: Dreams, memories, and trauma" -Powell, R. A., & Nielsen, T. A. (1998).

The other day I was sitting and talking with Dr. Breuer about this awful experience I had recently with a black snake trying to attack my father. You see, my father is very sick much of the time and it is my job to take care of him. Often he is in bed unable to move much if at all, and he sleeps quite a bit. Once he is asleep, there is nothing I can do to wake him since he sleeps so deeply. If you recall from the introduction at the top of my blog, Dr. Breuer is one of my doctors that treats my Hysteria. Though I must admit, I am beginning to think that they are the crazy ones and they have made up this whole disease they think I have.

In the house we live, there are snakes that live underneath the foundation. They are black and poisonous. The other day, one of them got into the bedroom where my father sleeps and I saw it slithering up closer and closer to my father. From the chair where I was reading, I began to cry out for him to wake up but of course he wouldn't. It seemed as though the snake was possessed by a demon and had it out for my father particularly and was racing towards him as if for vengeance. I tried to get up and grab something to hit the snake but to my terror I found that my left arm would not move!!! Then my voice stopped working, and I could no longer cry out for my father to wake up. Furthermore, my thinking was not in English!! My native language is English, but my mind was thinking in German. I do not even know German, nor have I even taken any lessons in it!

So, I had to resort to only thinking and praying in German that the snake would not bite him. From that point on my memory is foggy... I am not sure if the snake bit my father or not. I remember for days after, I could no longer speak with my words, only in my mind. The German was gone, but I could not form words with my mouth. I don't know why that is, but I was so frightened by the whole experience that I think it caused my vocal chords to be paralyzed as a result. Now I am terribly frightened that my father might be sick from the snake bite and that I don't know it. What if the poison works slowly, and tomorrow morning I find that my father will never wake again?

I told Dr. Breuer about this, and he told me I must have been dreaming it. He said it did not really happen. I don't believe him. He also told me that the reason I thought my arm would not move was that WHILE I was telling him the story, my arm had been hanging over the back of the chair and had fallen asleep. I just don't understand how this makes sense! How could it be that I could confuse the present moment with my memory of what had happened with the snake? He also said that only a few moments ago I had woken up after retelling this story as if I had been asleep while telling him.

This must be another one of Dr. Breuer's tricks. He tricks me all the time. I think its rather mean of him, but he says he isn't tricking me and that its my mind that tricks me. I was becoming more and more agitated durong this session, and as if it was a sign, a train whistle blew loudly outside his office. It was as if the train whistle was my own thoughts screaming for Dr. Breuer to shut up and leave me alone. So we ended the session and that was that.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Carnival of Cinema

Check it out!

My post on Diane Arbus and the film, "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus" is being featured on The Carneval of Cinema, hosted by a great film review blog, Nehring The Edge

You will have to go the bottom of the page to see me, but it's there!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Squabbles between Gen Xers and Baby Boomers

I am 26, I am not sure where I fall in terms of generation. I seem to fall smack dab in the middle between Gen X and So I either don't know what I am talking about or I have an unbiased view.

The relationship between Gen Xers and Baby Boomers is bitter sweet, much like how teenagers don't appreciate their parents wisdom until they have kids of their own. Be patient though, their generalized disdain will soften around the edges.

The main generalizations:
Baby Boomers: stubborn, community oriented, activists.
Gen Xers: self-centered, bored, adaptable.
(I dont think anybody in real life falls into any of these categories, but this is just the general consensus as far as I understand it).

Some people think that it's post modernism to blame for the differences in values between the generations. I have not read Fredric Jameson's work on Post Modernism, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, but from all of my art history classes, I could have sworn that in Art Discourse, no one can really agree on when exactly it began? Many believe it began in the 1950's, but not everyone. Not only that, no onee can even aggree on what post modernism is let alone if it is still a current phenomena.

Another issue I have with a generalization the Baby Boomers have of Gen X feminists: "Embrace your inner slut," seems to be a common stereotype a lot of people think of when they think of the contemporary feminist. Mind you, I am not offended. Its just that I hate it when people assume that is the message of Third Wave Feminism, because its not. If it wasn't for 3rd wave feminism, feminism would either be dead in the water or feminists would go on trying to beat the male species down with their ideologies. It's not about embracing your inner slut, its about being okay with who you are and not having to explain yourself to anyone, especially 2nd Wave Feminists.

Alright, alright. This isn't my favorite kind of blogging (going on a rant), but I just had to say something about the subject after I read this article .

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stella Lai


Stella Lai, the spotlight artist of the week, is a Chinese-American painter who grew up in Hong Kong and now lives in San Francisco. You can currently see her work at the University of Virginia Art Museum along with other artists from both China and the US.

The reason her work caught my attention was that these are paintings and collages, not digital work. They are so precise and mechanical, they look like they were done with a computer, yet they also have subtle traces of a human. To me, they are wrought with the nervous technological energy of modern culture. Hong Kong used to be a place that was oozing with rich cultural history that was visibly evident. Granted, I have never been to Hong Kong, but when I think of contemporary Hong Kong I think of a large, bustling, and hugely international city much like New York. Of course in New York there is a rich culture everywhere you go, but has evolved into its own unique isolated culture of New York. I imagine that Hong Kong is similar? (I think that kind of environment is very stimulating and fascinating).

The bi-polarness of her work reflects the manic traits of modern culture. Yes, her work is primarily about Chinese culture, but the meaning of her work can be applied to any modern culture; bi-polar histories with hyperactive metropolis' overtaken by a monster in the disguise of consumption.

"Using a visual library of fragments of Hong Kong's history, I have created paintings that accurately reflect the city's present nervous condition," -Stella Lai

For more info, click here

Monday, November 27, 2006

Birds the size of Skyscrapers

I was laying on the ground, looking up. I must have been outside somewhere because there were tiny grains of sand and pebbles which made the ground sharp to lay on. I could see blurry images of buildings in the distance. I couldn't see myself, it was as if my eyes were a video camera and what I was seeing was a home movie.

Then I saw three large birds, about the size of skyscrapers walking towards me. They were pecking at the ground as they made their way closer. They looked like those cute little brown birds that are all over Washington DC year round (I think are scavengers), only they were enormous.

I then realized what I was. I was a bread crumb. The birds weren't out of proportion, I was. I was a bread crumb and they were most likely going to eat me.

I wasn't scared though, I was more interested than anything else. It was just such a curious position to find myself in. How did I get there?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An Ode to Thanksgiving

I love the holiday traditions, the love of tradition will always win me over.

I thought I would toss a nod at Thanksgiving and point you all to a creative article by Garrison Keiller, called A Quiet Life Among Autumnal People

Happy Thanksgiving, hope it's a good one.


There wasn't any more doing to be done. She was feeling entirely uncreative. She hadn't showered in a week, and her bedroom was starting to smell like the sweaty shoes of someone who doesn't wear socks. The photographs she had been taking were taking on a kind of despondency, completely void of "otherness."

There was a reason she hadn't taken a shower in a week, it wasn't that she was just lazy. This had in part to do with why her photographs weren't working anymore. She just wanted to hear something else from her mind. Those voices that everyone has, not the voices people with schizophrenia sometimes have. She wasn't "crazy". It's just that she had been watching too many movies.

She popped a peppermint candy in her mouth, the kind grandmas usually have in their purse.

Her thought patterns were definitely non-linear, but not crazy. Discipline was all she needed.

Discipline. Perfect time to practice this by finishing the thought on how photographs and showers were related. The last time she took a shower she had noticed in the mirror before she got in about 3 dozen scratches on her back. A lot of them were in a pattern, short diagonal slashes going in a horizontal pattern across her back. Strange. Especially since she had been reading about all those Female Hysterics in the 1900's who's common symptom was Dermographism. Dermographism? She had read about the doctors who treated the hysterics. They loved to play a game with this disease. They would write all over the hypnotized women's bodies with tongue depressors, as if their skin was a blank canvas; covering every inch of it with words and pictures.

Wait, had she dreamed this? Maybe it was really two weeks ago that she took her last shower. Or maybe it was yesterday? Were the scratches really there? yes, they were definitely there. She saw them with her own eyes. Why were they there? She hadn't scratched her self on accident. It was the morning, she had just gotten out of bed. There was no explanation for the scratches.

When she saw the red inflamed marks in he mirror, she got a camera. The camera would be a record. An artistic record. Where were the pictures, hadn't she developed them yet? That would be proof that it wasn't a dream. She hadnt taken any good pictures of anything else since. Thats why she her pictures had been despondant lately.

Out of toothpaste again. No shower, no socks to wear with her sweaty shoes, and no toothpaste. Gross. Well, it was supposed to be gross. It didn't bother her though.

She left her dirty apartment for the cold winter outside. She had an apple and a Pb&j in her bag. She passed by a man sitting on the sidewalk, all slumped over like a rag doll. His legs were stretched out straight in front of him, but his head, arms and shoulders drooped so severely that his forehead almost reached the ground. 'He must have been very flexible. Every few seconds he shivered (like when your spine shivers). She passed him by. But then she turned around and walked passed him again. After all, she was sure he wasn't crazy either. The people who are labeled as crazy are never the real crazies. She made sure no one else was looking, because that's just the way she operated. She didn't like other people watching her. She didn't like attention. She put the apple on the ground just barely touching his hand. He didn't notice, he just shivered again.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Artist Spotlight: Peter Hujar


Edwin Denby

(not sure what this one is titled)

I will always be drawn to portraiture photography, especially when its phantasmagoric like Peter Hujar's.

These photographs look like something I could dream about. You know those really vivid dreams you have where you don't necessarily remember the plot, but the images are imprinted onto your mind throughout the rest of the day? Any time you close your eyes, instead of seeing those little white dots, you would see an image from your dream? It reminds me of Fredrico Fellini films.

Peter Hujar's work is being included in an exhibit at the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA). The exhibit is called The Downtown Show: The New York Art Scene, 1974-1984, which includes work by over 200 artists. If you live near the area, I would highly recommend going (it's also a travelling show).

Monday, November 20, 2006

TiVo, PVR, Replay TV, etc

Just a quick question:

Those of you who have any PVR technologies in their homes (like TiVo, Replay TV, etc.):

Are they worth the money? I am considering getting this as a gift for someone this holiday season. What are your thoughts and recommendations?

Naomi Wolf

I met one of my all time favorite feminist writers this weekend.

Naomi Wolf is an incredibly famous feminist scholar and I got the opportunity to hear her speak to a very small audience about progressive interfaith religion. The only reason I was able to go was because my boyfriend was a main organizer of the event. It was a kick off event for a new Think Tank called The Institute for Progressive Christianity. (which isn't about being religious, etc; but about how people can fight the christian fundamentalists who try to control public policy.

Naomi Wolf wrote a revolutionary book in the early 90's about the female image in American media called The Beauty Myth. It addresses how the ideal standards affect areas of everyday life; violence, hunger, sex, religion, culture, and work. Everyone should read it, not just women because it addresses how this phenomena affects all members of a society. This book has had a profound impact on my life.

I was so nervous, but I think I did alright considering how much I like her.

So, I met her, shook her hand, told her how much The Beauty Myth impacted my life, and she signed my copy of her latest book The Treehouse. She wrote on the inside dedication page, "For Beth, Love thyself, Naomi Wolfe"

I suppose there are advantages to living in Washington.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Edit Made 1.29.07; Please Note: I have been receiving a lot of site visits and comments from people who are searching the Internet about the well documented disease Dermographism. The following entry is meant only as a creative exploration on the symptoms of the 19th Century disease known as Female Hysteria. Please understand that Dermographism is a separate disease from this, and they are in no way linked except for the fact that many Female Hysterics of the 19th century exhibited symptoms of Dermographism. People who have this skin writing disease are not known to exhibit ANY symptoms of Female Hysteria. If you believe you have Dermographism, please consult your doctor. Otherwise, this blog entry is only meant as entertainment.


Remember when I mentioned the famous French doctor, Charcot, who hypnotized his hysteric patients and made them do weird things? There is another thing that he did with them that is interesting.

Its called dermographism, which is an actual disease and has no explanation as to the cause of it. It is also known as "skin writing", where you can outline images or words on a persons skin by lightly drawing with a finger or object and minutes later is will appear red and inflamed as if they were scratched or whipped. It used to be a lot more common, and it was also a common symptom of the hysterics. In the present, it only occurs in some degree in about 5% of the world's population. It is speculated that it might be caused by a viral infection, antibiotics, or more interestingly- emotional upset.

This means that if someone is upset enough, they could have this as a temporary symptom. That would also lead to believe that a person could will themselves to have it. If its possible that its a disease of the mind, then couldn't it be possible for someone to consciously choose to make them self have it? Could this be something that I could make myself do through my own concentration and will? Could this be a party trick? Please note that this is a completely harmless disease and there is no pain or discomfort associated with it. Imagine, you are at a party and everyone is showing off their "tricks" (double joints, wiggling ears, crossing eyes, etc) and then someone says they can write on their skin with a feather. Then they outline the letters of their name on their arm and minutes later is appears. Spooky.

Charcot did this to his hysterics often. There is one picture (that I have yet to get my hands on) where he outlined the words "Satan" on the back of one of his patients. This is bringing to my mind the Salem witch hunts.

But, why is it less common now than it used to be? Perhaps it was a disease linked to hysteria (with symptoms that are less common nowadays also). Since dermographism is a real physical disease that is caused by the mind- then wouldn’t that mean that hysteria was a real physical disease also? OR (!!!) if you can will yourself with your mind to have dermagraphism, couldn’t you will yourself to have hysteria? Where do you draw the line between physical disease and mental disease? Are depressed people depressed because they have a chemical imbalance, or do they have a chemical imbalance because they are depressed? The chicken or the egg?

Thursday, November 16, 2006


The other day I went to a concert at the National Washington Hebrew Congregation in DC. Its a concert they hold every year where groups from different faiths perform music in their cultural or religious tradition. There were traditional Buddhist dancers, gospel choirs, Zulu choir, Baha'i, Sikhs, traditional Kirtan, Temper Chai, and a Muslim rap group.

I volunteered to be one of the run crew- meaning that during the show (which is being recorded) I help put the mics in place, time the performances, make sure the performers enter on time, etc. I have never done this kind of work before, but since I used to be a set painter for theaters they assumed I would know what I was doing and insisted that this should be my job. right.

Actually, it turned out fine. Though, it was a fly-by-the-seat of your pants kind of thing and the sound system wasn't the greatest.

The rest of the run crew I worked with were Mormon. I don't know why all the Mormons happened to be on run crew- because they seemed to be the only Mormons there in the building (some 3,000 people were there).

I don't go to church on a regular basis, and I don't adhere to any particular religion. I feel that spirituality for me is a very individual thing and I haven't found any one religion that suits me... Though I was raised non-denominational Christian, so I culturally identify with this.

One of the Mormon's asked everybody in the group "So, what church do you belong to?" Everyone said LDS, and I quickly said (because I didn't want to open up an invitation for him to try to convert me) "I'm non-denominational Christian, but I haven't found a church in DC yet because I just moved here." Then I quickly changed the subject by asking a question about one of the sound Q's.

So the concert goes on somewhat smoothly, and ends. It was actually quite a moving event. At the end, all of the performers got up on stage and sang a few songs together. It was quite a sight to see Muslims, Baptists, Mormons, Buddhists, Sikhs, Protestants, and Hindus all singing together.

So then its time to say my "goodbye's, nice to meet you's" to my Mormon run crew friends...

The same guy who asked what church I belonged to leaned over and said to me as I was leaving, "You know... you should come be a part of the Mormon church. The Mormon's have the answers to ALL of life's questions. They really do!!!" I am not exageratting. That is what he said, verbatim.

Hmmm.... didn't I just tell him that I was non-denominational Christian? Wouldn't that disqualify me from being a prime candidate for being a Mormon convert? Shouldn't he just have left me and my assumed religion alone? Shouldn't he have held back any urge to advertise his religion since we were at a inter-religious event? What did he think this was, a free for all? Did he come to this thing just so he could try to convert all the good ol' fashioned Christians, Hindu's, Muslims, Sikhs, etc to Mormonism? I found it very offensive that he said this to me.

Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough to come up with a good response. I just smiled and said "It was nice to meet you, have a nice evening."

Damn I wish I would have said something smart that would have stopped him in his tracks and made him feel foolish for saying that. It was entirely inappropriate.

I could have just been very direct and succinct by saying, "This is an interfaith event, please don't bring your agenda to events like this."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Time For a Reality Check, Ms. Zacharek

I read an article today in the online magazine Salon, about a movie recounting the life and work of the famous photographer Diane Arbus. The movie is called, "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus." I normally very much enjoy reading Salon, I think they have a lot of intelligent left-leaning things to say. But the article published today by Stephanie Zacharek, their regular film critic, really bothered me. She obviously does not know anything about Diane Arbus' work, and she takes the opportunity to critic Arbus' work when she is really supposed to be critiquing the movie.

You can read the article here (you will have to watch a short advertisement to visit the site for free), but basically the gist is this:

"But the portraits taken by the real Diane Arbus have a distinct sense of otherness: She doesn't commune with her subjects -- she displays them. There's rarely any evidence that she actually likes them, or has even thought about them as human beings."


"The movie asks us to believe that the woman behind the camera was actually a nice person, which is a lovely idea, until you actually look at her pictures."

However obvious it is from just reading those snippits above, let me have some fun by pointing out how this commentary is not intelligently executed:

For example; The famous photograph, The Twins (pictured above). If you actually take a moment to ponder the photograph you will notice that the identical twins are much different from one another. It is a comment on comparisons and what it means to be "pretty." It is not about putting them on display. You could perhaps go so far as to say that its a comment on how American society puts twin girls on display by constantly comparing them to one another. However, if you were to say that Diane Arbus' work is about putting her subjects on display you might as well say that about every photographer. Isn't that what a photograph does automatically, by putting something into a frame?

It is well known among the art community that Diane Arbus photographed "freaks" because she felt like a freak herself. She felt like she was on the edge of society just like the people she photographed. This is completely contrary to what Ms. Zacharek is saying- that she photographed them to point out their "otherness." The only way Arbus pointed out their otherness was by saying she as an "other" too. Diane Arbus felt like she was one in the same with the people she photographed. That's why she photographed them.

As far as talking about the "niceness" factor of Diane Arbus- why even bring this up? What makes Ms. Zacharek think that just because her pictures weren't "nice" cuddly pictures of babies wrapped in silk in a blooming flower bud (Anne Geddes) that she isn't nice? What kind of ridiculousness is that?

By the way- however futile, I did post a comment about the article on Salon similar to what I wrote here.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kyoko Hamada

Kyoko Hamada

This artist is from Japan, and is one of the most up and coming photographers right now. Her work is really simple and stark, with a lot of crisp linear lines. There is something about her work that I can't quite put my finger on...because I've seen work that is similar in style, but there is something different about hers. I think it has something to do with the relationship between the objects. For example, the boy and the building- on so many levels they are so much opposite, but also so similar. Or, the grandmother and the girl; the bleak optimism that takes up the physical space between them.

Through putting these scenes in a frame, the ordinariness of these people and objects somehow escapes the invisible obscurity they would normally have. You know what I mean? Like, I am walking to work like I do everyday, but that simple act can escape obscurity because I have decided to make it different.

To see these photographs properly, you will need to go to a different website. You can see more of her work here.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Johnny Cash

I could write something about the elections and how happy I am about how it turned out, but I don't feel like it, so I'm not gonna.

Instead, I want to tell you a story about the Late Great Johnny Cash. He is one of my all time heroes, I absolutely adore him.

There is a great story about Cash and an ostrich I read in his autobiography and I will retell it here. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. He truly is an inspiration, and I don't care if I am being over the top. I love Johnny Cash, and don't ever forget it. I even named someone else's dog after him.

At one point in his life, Cash lived on a farm with June. The farm had a lot of acreage, and Cash liked to take frequent walks there. They had two ostriches that lived on the property that were mates. Ostriches mate for life, I believe, so they get pretty attached to each other.

Well, one winter, it was so cold that Johnny and June were worried for the health of the ostriches, they were afraid they would freeze to death. If you know anything about ostriches, you know that they are not the friendliest of creatures. If fact, they are downright awnry. They even have one very long, sharp, big claw. They can make a defensive kill by using the claw to slash the victim vertically through its gut, making the guts spill out every where.

Anyway, because he felt bad for the creatures, Cash tried for days to persuade the ostriches to come into the barn where it would be warmer, but they refused. One day while Cash was out on a walk he had discovered that the female ostrich had died, she was laying on the ground frozen. So, they buried her, and felt bad for the other ostrich because he had lost his life long companion.

The male ostrich became quite angry and hostile throughout that long, cold winter, and he only became more and more angry and hostile. Cash thinks this must have been a result of the ostrich's grief. Any time anyone went near the bird, it would hiss and posture the intruder.

Well, on another cold day, Cash was going out for a walk along the same path he always went on a walk. Along the path, he noticed that the ostrich way sitting right in the middle, but he decided to keep walking. After all, he wasn't going to let some bird threaten him. So he walked by, and of course the ostrich hissed and postured him, but Cash just continued his routine walk. On the course, he decided he wasn't going to let the ostrich think he could bully him around, it was his farm! So Cash finds a big stick and carries it back with him in case the ostrich was still there.

Sure enough, there was the ostrich. So instead of quietly walking by like he did last time, he decided to raise the stick up in defense to give the bird a little scare when it hissed. When he did this, the ostrich jumped up in the air and knocked Cash over. Cash got back up, and the ostrich was still meaning to make a move. The ostrich jumped up again, but this time instead of knocking Cash over, he stuck his huge claw out and began to make a slice vertically going downwards on Cash's stomach. Luckily, Cash was wearing one of his thick leather belts, which prevented the bird from making the complete slit which would have in turn spilled Cash's guts.

Cash ended up in the hospital for weeks after this, on a lot of pain killers. He almost died, save for the belt he was wearing.

Can you imagine if this was they way he actually died (which could have easily happened)? He was middle aged when this happened I think, and he still had a lot of great music accomplishments ahead of him so it really would have been a huge shame. Though, you have to admit, that would be a pretty good story to go out on.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Then of course, there was Election Day

Many people may not realize this unless you live in DC or the immediate surrounding area, but folks who live here can't vote today. May seem shocking, yes, but it really does make sense since DC is not a state. After all, what would we do, just pick a random state and vote? I don't think so, though that would be nice.

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up, a third of the Senate, and 36 governorships.

Have you ever wondered why its always in November? Congress picked November because in 1845, when more than 60% of the country lived on farms--November was when harvest work was done.

It's always held on Tuesday because many people had to travel a day or longer to get to a polling place. Most Americans wouldn't travel on a Sunday.

Maybe I should have followed in tradition and taken a day to travel to Oregon so I could vote.

Yep, that's right- I didn't file for my absentee ballot in time (45 days ago). I am ashamed, but it's true. There, I said it.

Oh, and the moon is 93% full. It will be full tomorrow when we should hopefully know the results... Fortuitous for ballot counting scandals?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hysteria and Anna O. background Info

That's Rosie the Riveter vs. Sigmund Freud, ha ha.

Kind of funny I am posting two blogs this week associated with Freud. I actually have a book I have checked out from the library called "Freud on Women" which I think I will sit down and have a nice chat (er, I mean read) with on my couch this weekend.

Anyway, if you have read my first blog you might have guessed that I am currently doing a personal research project on 19th century Female Hysteria. I find this subject fascinating. If I were to go to grad school, it would probably be the topic of my thesis (no matter if I was studying art or women's studies). There is not a WHOLE LOT of information on the subject readily available though. I think there is a library somewhere out in Maryland or Virginia with some good research books on the subject. There are some OK websites, but nothing, so far that I have found, that does the subject justice.

I will start with the basics in this blog. It began with the ancient Greeks who believed the cause of Hysteria was a misplaced uterus. They believed that a woman's uterus could float around in a woman's body and get stuck in places that it shouldn't. They basically diagnosed any woman who was depressed, excitable, nervous, whatever- as having Hysteria. It was a catch all for women who had things "wrong" with them, but that the doctors could not diagnose.

Nowadays, the term Hysteria is not used in the medical or psychology field, and has not been since in the 50's 0r 60's (I forget which). It was decided that it was a disease based on sexism, and not anything medically proven. Though, I have heard rumors that the term may be making a come back, but it would include men in the equation as well.

You may be wondering what Hysteria is, right? Well, it can mean a lot of different things. Symptoms include "faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and a 'tendency to cause trouble.'" Medically, the term was assigned to someone who for no plausible reason becomes temporarily paralyzed in a part of their body. They have done brain scans of people with this problem and have found no reason to believe that this is a psychological problem since the scans show that the brain is in fact sending signals to that part of the body to move when the patient tries to move that body part.

In particular, I find the 19th century the most interesting time for this "disease." Freud and another psychologist named Josef Breuer made this century famous or Hysteria because of a study they published called "Studies in Hysteria." They mostly believed that the cause of Hysteria was sexual frustration. Freud further developed this idea to include the root cause of repressed memories and later changed the name of the disease to Conversion Disorder. Any time a woman seemed a little weird, too excited, too sexual, too paranoid, creative, or too whatever- it was thought that they had Hysteria.

One of Freud and Beuer's famous patients was Anna O. You can read her short biography here which will also explain the title if this blog, "The Talking Cure."

I have a feeling that there are a lot of cases out there that are much more entertaining to learn about, especially in Jean Martin Charcot's legacy at the famous Salpêtrière hospital in France. He did demonstrations on the resident patients there with crowds of people watching as if it was a circus act. He would hypnotize the women and make them do various "tricks," like barking like a dog, eating off the floor, and other such embarrassing acts. He would treat their illness by performing "genital massage" to relieve their sexual frustration (apparently was the cause of Hysteria). Actually, I read that the treatment of Hysteria in Dr. Charcot's experiments is how vibrators were originally invented.

Anyway- I will give updates every-once-in-a-while as I learn more.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

On the Floor

On the floor

I hope he doesnt mind, because I am posting this without his permission, but this film was written, directed, and produced by Craig Stinson (who also created the pop art inspired portrait of me at the top of the page). I thought I would feature it on Anna O. since I think it is a great short film. In fact, it was recenty featured on The Independant Film Channel as the IFC Media Lab winner for the month of July.

I might consider featuring a work by an emerging artist once a week. All you lurkers and readers; let me know if you think this is a good idea and if so, tell me about any artists you know (music, photography, any kind of art) who you think should be featured.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Here is a little bit of culture for all you fellow Americans.

What do you think of when you think of New Zealand? I usually think of beautiful, far stretching, foggy and mysterious landscapes- and that's about as far as I think about it. It's one of those places where it seems like a great place to go if only for they mystery of New Zealand. Didn't they film Lord of the Rings there?

Well, the indigenous people of New Zealand are called Maori and they only make up about 14% of the population there. I suppose you could sort of compare that to the Native Americans of America- and the rest of the population just migrated there one way or another.

Anyway, the Maori culture apparently still affects the New Zealand way of life in many ways. One of their traditions is creating orioris. Try looking that word up on the Internet and you won't find much (I tried). Basically, and oriori is a chant or song performed for any purpose but usually the meaning of the chant is tied to change and transformation.

I came across this website today for a major art gallery in New Zealand called the Auckland Art Gallery. They are closing their doors for renovation and they are celebrating it as a hibernation using an oriori they created. They are having various artists (who have exhibited there before) contribute to the exhibition by performing the gallery's oriori and then taking a nap right there on the floor. Sounds crazy a little, maybe even a little too "hippie?"

Explanation from the website:
"An oriori is a Maori chant, performed for a wide range of purposes. Oriori combines Rachel Rakena's interest in states of flux, Jane Veni's interest in sound, and Kurt Adams' exploration of animated drawing. This project contemplates the Auckland Art Gallery's imminent redevelopment, putting it to rest to imagine its next reincarnation."

I think its actually really interesting. Imagine if we performed oriori's for different events in our lives; births, marriage, death, anniversaries, birthdays, graduation, retirement, adolescence, first jobs, second jobs, etc. If we didn't just celebrate the beginning of things, but the ends, breaks, middles, and pauses of things too? It would actually give more meaning and give us sound reason for certain things in our lives.

I guess what I mean is, I know I find myself second guessing my decisions and what I am doing with life- and to tell you the truth, I dont always feel confidant about my situation in life. I think everyone feels like that from time to time, right? Orioris could help us remember that every step we make, no matter how big or small, is helping us imagine the next one.

Maybe some people reading this will think I am being a little too idealistic or optimistic, but maybe it would make change a little more bearable and less scary if we had orioris

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Freudian Slip

I have never been one to dress up as a "sexy nurse" or other ridiculous "sexy" costume for halloween... I never understood the point. My best ever costume was one I pulled together last minute from what I had in my closet: A Gun-Slinging Chinese Cowgirl. It consisted of an outrageous, bright-red line-dancing dress, pig tails, gun holster with water guns, cowgirl hat, Mary Jane Chinese shoes, and Geisha style makeup. I wonder now if this was kind of a racist constume, especially since Geisha's are Japanese. But I would like to think rather that I was challenging stereotypes by being 3 stereotypes rolled into one package. Afterall, isn't that what Halloween has mostly evolved to, making fun of stereotypes? Think about most of the costumes and traditions surrounding Halloween- witch decorations in people's front yard, slutty costumes, racist costumes (like the ever popular dressing up as a Native American costume). These are all only representing one stereotype at a time. I say, if you are going to dress up as a stereotype- you might as well go crazy and be several stereotypes at once. Like, be a sexy old lady dressed in male drag. If you do that, it becomes that you are actually challenging the stereotypes since you can't put them into any one category. I say, confuse people- thats the most fun I could ever have on Halloween. Absurdity is so great, which is why Halloween is so fun.

This year, I think I might take the advice of The Budget Fashionista and be a "Freudian Slip." She says to do this: "Head to your lingerie drawer or to the nearest Target or Wal-Mart for a full slip (you know the kind your mother told you to wear underneath thin dresses). Using fabric paint, write the words "ego","id", etc all over the slip." Awesome.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Kitty's Home


Since I moved to DC almost a year ago, I have been missing my beloved feline friend, Obsidian. I had to leave her in Portland, and thankfully my mother has been dutifully watching over her, though her husband has not been terribly thrilled.

Obsidian- I have had her since I was in high school- she has been with me through more than any boyfriend- and most of my now friends. I used to feel the same way about my car- my truck (Sam, the '89 Isuzu pup). But the truck is gone now, loooooooong gone in a dump pile somewhere- reincarnated as a garbage disposal or something.

So, Sid (as I like to pretend her name is- Obsidian is a bit of an embarrassing name?) along with my dad, are right now as we speak, in my apartment in DC. Yes, my dad took her on a plane and brought her here to stay. My mom's husband decided he didn't want the responsibility of a cat over the holidays. So, the poor thing, skittish as she is, got on a plane with my cat-terrorizing dad.

Here is a bit of history on Sid: I have no idea what the first year of her life was like. She just showed up on our doorstep one day when I was a senior in high school. She was obviously hungry and very scared. But her hunger trumped her fear, so she came to us for food. She seemed like she had been on her own for quite a while and had to fend for herself. So, we took her in, fed her, and eventually one day she became known as "our cat, Obsidian." As a result of her first year of life as a stray cat, she has always been a little more squimish than your average household cat.

My dad has a long, sordid history with cats which includes chasing them with brooms for fun. I don't know why, but he thinks its funny when a cat puts it's ears flat and hisses, growls, and runs for it's life with its hair sticking straight up.

Needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive about my dad making the 10 or so hour plane trip, which included a plane transfer with a layover. I am happy to say that she made the trip without even so much as a peep (according to my pop), and since has been trying to get used to being in DC in a new apartment. I don't think she is having an easy time of it though, since she tries to hide under the bed or in the kitchen cabinets every chance she gets. My dad has been surprisingly sweet and doting to her though, always insisting that she curl up on his lap so he can relentlessly pet and scratch her chin.

The broom chasing is still going on probably right now as I am writing this. My dad is a traditional guy as far as gender roles go. I have long given up that fight with him, so I do most of the domestic stuff when he is around. I can justify it because he is my guest staying with me in my apartment- I would do that for any guest. Anyway, there have been several times while I'm in the kitchen that I hear LOUD cat screams, hissing, and scampering.

That's right, its my dad chasing the cat with a broom. Don't worry, there is no physical violence, it just sounds violent. I don't think there is anything I can do about it at this point since this is the way its always been. Though, I do think that it will take her much longer to acclimate to her new home once he leaves....

Ed- you may be the only one who finds this amusing, but I want to assure all others who read this- there is no animal abuse going on here.

Oh, and thanks Dad, Mom, and especially Suzanne for getting her out here. It was definitely a family affair.

Friday, October 27, 2006

yellow pillow case

She said she wouldn't go there. She had been over this one too many times and now it wasn't worth the ambiguity that she usually favored. "Where will we go now?" He wanted an answer, but she couldn't give him any. It wasn't okay to be normal anymore, it had to be different now. Everything else had become different, so this would have to be too.

Waking up with her head on the yellow pillow case was the only thing she could count on, but she didn't want to count on that anymore. It was too much for her to commit to. What else could there be? There had to be choices, something to lean back on- like that game you used to play as a kid when someone stands behind you and you have to close your eyes and fall back into their arms.

"Wait, whats that called again? Oh yea, it's called Fountain Head- that book you used to read out loud to me. Did we ever finish it? I think we only got to page 92. We should finish that you know. Finishing things is good." Silence.

"It wasn't me that you thought you were talking to. It was someone else. I don't know who you thought was going to be there on the other side of the door, but it definitely wasn't me." She forgot how trivial and benign speech could be. Where did the time go? Everything was so different now, and everything felt so old. The paper she wrote in perfect cursive, her high school essay, "Forging Though the Wilderness: A Story of Witch Hunts in Connecticut" was fragile now, like old paper crumbling in hands. The paper had been aged, but not by time. The fibers had been forcibly changed, dipped in sepia and laid out to dry in the hot sun on the green wooden table in her childhood's backyard.

"You think this is a metaphor?" he asked her. "Well, its not. This is real life. We have to make decisions and stick by them. You cant just start reading a book out loud to someone and then never finish it." She imagined what it would be like if she just kissed him. Would he shut up? She didn't particularly find his lips alluring. They looked chapped, peeling, sticky, and white- like he really needed to drink some water.

She stood up and pulled her pants up- they always fell down a little when she sat and then stood up. Constant readjustment. Constant readjustment? She constantly had a lingering feeling of malaise. She was always readjusting to the disappointment she saw in his face.

She could paint a portrait of his face in a hundred different ways. She could spend the rest of her life doing that. But what use would that be? Each time she finished one, she wouldn't know what she was supposed to do with it. Give it away as a Christmas present to different people? She was always broke, but Christmas presents of someones face probably wouldn't go over very well (at least behind closed doors). Especially of his face. His face constantly changed. Constant readjustment. His face was constantly readjusting. It was ugly in a pretty way. She felt the opposite about her face- pretty in an ugly way. She wondered if it would ever be pretty in a pretty way, or ugly in an ugly way? She was tired of the not knowing for sure. Except she knew for sure she wanted to get rid of the yellow pillow case.

The yellow pillow case had to go. They always pick up the trash on Fridays, so today would be a good day for that.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Google Images

Here are the pictures that came up when searching on Google images for people I know. This may only by funny to those mentioned here (but who else is reading this anyway?)

Hey, I have an idea- Wouldnt it be funny to have your Halloween costume be your Google Image picture?


My boyfriend:

Elissa:Oh wait, that's actually her! (on the right) She must be famous.



My Dad:

My Mom:
This is actually some art that comes up from a Google search from a class she teaches

My Brother: A music video he produced:
On the Outside

My Older Sister:

My Second Oldest Sister:

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

From Ed: The Male Species

Let me introduce myself. I'm the "Guest-Blogger," pen-name "Ed." I was asked, by the owner of this blog, to contribute a post this week and run with some thoughts. The prevailing thought? Men of course. The infuriating, fascinating, mysteriously uncomplicated (or so it only seems?) male gender.

Lately, I've been dating older men. It's just sort of happened that way. Not too much older, mostly in the age box of 29-36, OK that's two age boxes. So sue me. I've been told many times that if you don't want to deal with silly relationship and dating issues you should look to older men, those who are obviously more mature and adept at dealing with their and your, issues. I was told they were mature, I believed they would be mature.

But alas. It's really never that simple, is it? Case and point. The older guy who picked a fight with me (over nothing) while he was drunk, walked out on me at 1am, failed to return a phone call, an email saying "OK, whatever, let's at least be friends" and also erased me (ERASED!) from his myspace profile. It takes a bit of effort to do this, I have people I don't talk on there but I don't make it a point to go erase them, effectively saying "I am ending all communication with you and this is the big gesture." And why does should this guy, at 29 years old, be erasing people from a myspace profile? Not the definition of maturity.

But I'm a young, intelligent, reasonably attractive mid-20 something girl, and I do what we would all do, cry into the ice cream for awhile and then hit the bars with some friends to meet someone new. Which I did.

This one seemed promising. A no games, straight shooter; if I like you, I like you kind of guy. Called immediately, called when he said he would, did all the normal prerequisites, inviting me out, walking me to the car, an excellent kisser, etc. But on the third date (granted two of these so called dates had technically been "group outings") I made a rookie mistake. I let him stay over. In my defense, the dude's
a bartender, he gets off at 3am, and if you want to hang out with him at night you're either sucking down G&T's and later trying to remember if you drove, rode your bike or walked to this bar in Oakland, or hanging out in your bed...with him...because that is the natural place to be at 3am.

So of course, he stops calling after that. Typical right? But he's 30. And seeing as we had been out a few times before, I wasn't thinking of it as a one night stand kind of thing. Naive? Could he not at least call to say, thanks but no thanks? He's 30!

OK, so maybe I'm whining now. I apologize. Another example however; The 30-something Dude who took me line dancing. Yes. Line dancing. I thought this was a joke, and I was happy to be in on it, except that it turned out to be deadly serious. At the end of the night I asked how old he was. Here's a hint, it's always a bad sign when they answer that question with "how old are you?" What do you say to that? You could just tell them, but why are they avoiding a simple question?

He never told me how old he was. I heard from someone who knew him that he was 36. OK then. Being 25, I don't see that dating someone who is 36 is out of the realm of possibility. I do however have certain qualms about dating a man who won't tell you his age and has some kind of cagey reply to that question.

Maturity. A hard thing to come by in the male gender. Are they actually getting younger as they get older? Are the good one's just being weeded out?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Birthday Dinner

Let me just say that my boyfriend is very sweet. His intentions are always good, he is my sweetheart. He has been very good at putting up with me the past couple of days, and did a good job making me feel good about my b-day.

Yesterday was my birthday. I wasn't very excited about it this year- maybe i was having some sort of pity party about getting older- about where the time has gone- about what little I have accomplished compared to what I want to accomplish...

I have decided that the next twelve months are going to be a time of major transition. I am going to feel happy and satisfied with my efforts. What will it take for me to feel satisfied with them? That I am trying. I am going to try harder than I ever have before at actually DOING what I say I want to do. Which is painting on a regular basis, taking lots of pictures, and trying to get my art career off the ground.

Back to the birthday. Daniel took me out to this really interesting restaurant in Silver Spring. Its called Jackie's- a 70's inspired gourmet TV dinner restaurant that shows old black and white movies. Pretty unique I thought. Good food too. He is also getting me a digital camera- so that means I will get to start posting pictures!

Is it really a sin?

It is very likely that I am missing some Bible passage somewhere that touches more on this subject. I am by no means an expert. If you are reading this and you know of something- please let me know.

Did you know that no where in The Bible does it say anything about abortion being murder? The only thing it says about the subject is that it is a sin for a man to hit a woman who is pregnant and cause her to have a miscarriage, and that this is less of a sin than murder. So if The Bible doesn't consider a forced miscarriage murder, then would that conclude that abortion (which is basically a forced miscarriage) isn't murder either? Let me be clear, I am not stating what my opinion is- I just want to open it for discussion.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bill Clinton as VP?

I read an article in the Washington Post this morning about the possibility of Bill Clinton running as VP along side Hillary Clinton this next presidential election.

This is just speculation of course, Mrs. Clinton has not stated anywhere that she is planning on running, let alone has Mr. Clinton stated that he would even want to run as vice president. But it is an intriguing idea, don't you think?

My first reaction to this idea was "wow, that would be so great. I love Bill Clinton, even if he wasn't perfect (ie. the not calling what was going on in Rwanda, genocide, and not stepping in sooner, was appalling)."

Can an ex-president who has already been president for two terms, run for vice president? At first, you would think of course not and assume that would violate The Constitution. According to the article though, its highly debatable.

Just as back up information; The Constitution says that a person can be eligible to the Office of President as long as he or she is a natural-born U.S. citizen, at least 35 years old and a resident of the United States for 14 years. Okay, so what does that have to do with being a VP? Well, the 12th Amendment says in Article II, that no person who is constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President. Amendment 22 says that a person cannot be elected president that has previously been president for 2 terms.

Well, that makes sense, right? Maybe not.

Think of it this way: This suggests that a president cannot be ELECTED president for more than two terms, it doesn't say anything about SERVING as president.

If say, Hillary became incapacitated or assassinated, Bill would then serve his duty as VP and serve as president. He would not have been elected, Hillary was elected. He would be serving as president. He just wouldn't be able to run for president the next term from that post.

So this is where the debate comes in. Doesn't that seem unfair? That an ex-president could possibly weasel his way into a 3rd term? Wouldn't that be a disrespect to the whole Roosevelt thing? A complete disregard of what obviously is morally fair? Well, politics isn't about morals. at least on paper.

Here is where you can get nit picky. You could say that if Hillary runs for president with Bill as her VP, the American people would be voting for them as a package, not one or the other. So, he would therefore be technically elected if he ended up having to take office. "Electing a president means electing a vice president and contingently electing him as president."

I don't know, I sort of agree with the notion that he would technically be ELECTED, not SERVING as president. I think it only seems fair. If say Mrs. Bush ran for president and Mr. Bush ran as VP- that would just seem..... well, COMPLETELY WRONG and almost fascist.

Perhaps since people are living longer now, we should amend the whole Roosevelt inspired amendment. Maybe it should be that a president cannot run for more than 2 terms in a row, but can run again for a third term at a later date?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fortune Cookie Love at Eastern Market

I think I need to take more risks, be daring- live a little more. Cliche sentiment? maybe. Read on, if you dare.

The trendy little neighborhood in DC known as Eastern Market is a mixed bag. You will find foo foo restaurants, bars and dive restaurants and bars. Its a great place to hang out and live if you are a 20 or 30 something living in DC.

A couple of friends and I are waiting for another friend to get off work (she is a stage manager for theaters; as in theaters with plays, Shakespeare, etc). We were on our way out to Arlington to this great movie theater that was showing Office Space 2, where you can catch a cheap movie and drink lots of cheap beer and eat buffalo wings. I didn't even know a place like this existed in DC- so I was thrilled to be going on this little adventure to say the least.

So Sharon was running late- as is usual, just the nature of the theater beast. So Jesse, Daniel and I are just standing at the metro stop waiting- we were running out of time before the movie started- it looked like we were going to be late.

Daniel suggests that we go grab a quick beer while we are waiting. Me, being the more practical one, says "Are you crazy? She is going to be done any minute, and then either we wont get to drink our beer or we will be even more late!" The boys won 2 to 1.

Their reasoning was this "Come on, what is the likelihood of Sharon calling us at the exact 10 seconds when we are handing the cash over to the bartender? If she calls us before we order the beer, then we just cancel the order and go meet Sharon. If she calls after we have made the order, then we will just down our beers fast and go! There is a 1 % chance of her calling during the monetary exchange!" Whatever. so we go.

We walk into this little Irish dive bar- my favorite kind of place (not kidding). The bartender is a plump blond woman with her hair in a long ponytail (like she hasn't had a trim in ages). She asks for our IDs, and as I am pulling mine out of my wallet I notice that a fortune from a fortune cookie that I have been carrying around for months was static clung to my license. It reads "A very attractive person will desire your company." Immediately I take it off- but then I had a second thought. What if I left it stuck to my license- I wonder what the bartender would do? Its like a sociological experiment. Normally, I would probably have chickened out and not done it, but for some reason I decided to do it.

So I hand over my license and the woman is standing there looking at my license for what seemed to be 2 minutes. Then she looks up at me and says "a very attractive person wants to see me, huh?" and then lets out a cackling loud laugh. I just sort of laugh shyly and say "Oh, is that my fortune? It must have gotten stuck." She looks at me and makes eye contact and grins from ear to ear- like she is suspicious.

Anyway- so we are handing our money to the lady, and guess who calls during the 10 second exchange? SHARON. We all start laughing our asses off and loudly try to decide what to do. We hadn't accounted for this possible scenario! We decided to get the beer and down them as fast as possible.

So the point of the story I suppose is the fortune cookie. I love doing things like that- totally weird things just to see what peoples reactions are. I want to do more of that. Maybe I could start some sort of art project that logs such experiments with photographs...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The End??

Go to my new site!

There will be no heaven vs. hell apocalypse as described (if you interpret it in the literal) by The Book of Revelations- it will be nature that ends us all, and humans who provoke her. But it's no big deal really- planet earth will never cease.

Like a picture book for adults:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

crazy dreams

My boyfriend and I were on a road trip with a bunch of friends from college and high school. We were headed for the beach, but we had a long way to go since we were starting out in Eastern Oregon. If you know anything about Oregon, you know that there is nothing in the eastern half but random small towns; the kind of places where they hold Renaissance Fairs and where ideas for movies like "Deliverance" come from. You must realize we are ALL from Oregon, so we are used to that sort of place.

So we stop in one of these towns for a quick bite to eat and to take a rest. We meet this nice seeming fellow who is boasting about the town's scenic and little-known treasures. Of course he knows we are not from the area, since we have "city fashion." As he is grinning from ear to ear, he insists on us following him in our car to a "hot spot" known as "Elk Ridge" where apparently there is a fabulous lookout point looking over a huge wildlife preserve of wild elk. We are all for it, so we pile into our car and follow the guy for what seemed to be 15 or so minutes up a winding and narrow road with huge Douglas Fur trees jutting into the road.

Finally, we reach a long dirt driveway and pull up to a HUGE house. We are thinking, "hmm, this is strange, maybe this wasn't such a good idea...we are already behind schedule and at this point we will barely be getting to the beach before dark." But we get out anyway after the nice young man gets out of his car, smiling, waving for us to get out and follow him.

I don't remember all of the details from this point forward, but we go up closer to the house, and a band of about 20 people come running out of the house, grabbing us and forcing us inside and put us all in separate rooms and lock us in there. Somehow we find out that these people are all family and that they are performing a yearly family ritual where they poison the sacrificial people, and them perhaps eat them.

I remember feeling quite calm through this whole experience, sure that we were going to get out of this in one piece. Somehow, I find my boyfriend and tell him that we need to sneak out by ourselves and then call for help for the rest of our friends. He thinks it would be a better idea for us to corral all of our friends and overtake them. I am entirely convinced that this is the worst idea I have ever heard of. Then, we overhear some of the family talking about a shuttle bus that goes too and from town, so we sneak up to where the shuttle bus is waiting and get in the back, crouched down low. There is a blanket in the back seat that we hide under so that no one will see us as we drive by. As we are driving we notice that more and more people are starting to show up to the house, and that is what the shuttle was for. So my boyfriend and I pose as people attending "the party" who forgot something back home. We get off at the first payphone we see in town. We call 911, tell them what happened and they rush over to where we are. We get into the cop car only for them to return us to the house. THEY WERE IN ON THE WHOLE THING. We soon find out that apparently THE WHOLE TOWN is in on this party.

Thats all I remember really, because I think my alarms started going off therefore interrupting the dream even though I continued to sleep.

What does it all mean? I am not sure. If you have ever seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Hostel, then you probably realize that this dream sounds a lot like a mixture of these two movies. But the turning point of the dream is the most important, which is this: When my boyfriend suggests that we should all band together, and I immediately disregard his idea as ridiculous.

In retrospect, his idea may have been the better idea since we were just returned to the house after we had tried to escape on our own. Perhaps if we had banded together, we could have forced our way out by shear strength in numbers and gotten into our car.

I think this somehow represents how I take control over a lot in our relationship, and then never want to admit that we should have done what he had suggested in the first place.... But the other thing is this: the only reason we are living in Washington DC is because of him. I didn't really want to move here, but here we are. I think at times I have resentment about this even though in retrospect I am now glad we live here. Neither of us want to live here for long, and its a great place to get our careers off the ground. At the same time though, I am jealous of my boyfriend for actually knowing what he wants. In turn, i try to control a lot of other things in our relationship. And just like the dream- what he suggested actually turned out to be the bset thing, getting out of Portland and lifting ouselves up out of boredom, hopelessness, and poverty. This may be what that dream was about...

the week at a glance

Check out this week's Harper's Weekly Review. I recommend subscribing to this... always puts things into perspective for me about how much is really going on at the same time and how absurd it all is... enjoy.


Research by U.S. epidemiologists and Iraqi physicians found
that 654,965 Iraqis have died as a result of the Iraq war,
though half of households surveyed were unsure of who to
blame for the deaths of their family members. President
George W. Bush said that he did not consider the study
"a credible report." The United States Army was planning
to maintain current troop levels in Iraq through 2010, and
to replace its advertising slogan, "An Army of One," with
a new slogan, "Army Strong." Insurgents in Baghdad fired
a mortar round at an ammunition dump on a U.S. military
base, setting off large explosions that were felt miles
away, and the judge in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial
once again expelled Hussein from the courtroom; one of
Hussein's co-defendants then called the prosecutors
"pimps and traitors" and punched a bailiff. Another
defendant declared, "I wish to be executed and finish
with this court." North Korea's Dear Leader Kim Jong Il
was said to be at risk of losing his access to McDonald's
hamburgers and Hennessy cognac if sanctions on luxury goods
are imposed in response to his country's recent nuclear
testing. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld showed
reporters a satellite image of North Korea. "Except for
my wife and family," said Rumsfeld, "that is my favorite
photo." Canadian troops in Afghanistan were finding it
difficult to destroy forests of ten-foot-tall marijuana
plants where the Taliban hide. "That damn marijuana," said
one soldier. Right-wing columnist Christopher Hitchens
confessed that he had eaten a dog.

Two trains collided while traveling in opposite directions
between the French city of Nancy and the grand duchy of
Luxembourg, killing six people. Floods killed 37 people
in Thailand, and Israeli airstrikes in Gaza killed nine
people. Libya announced that it would provide laptop
computers for 1.2 million schoolchildren, and Chinese
Wal-Mart workers unionized. Americans were claiming
political asylum in Britain. In China's Shanxi and Shaanxi
Provinces, families with dead sons complained that corpse
brides were in short supply. A study suggested that an
increasing number of British students are working as
prostitutes in order to pay their university tuition,
and California researchers found that women dress more
fashionably when they are ovulating. A Vietnamese death-row
inmate convicted of possessing heroin worth more than one
billion dong had her sentence commuted to life in prison
when she was discovered to be pregnant. A Virginia couple
were trying to give back their fifteen-year-old adopted
son, who turned out to be a sexual predator. "They just
told me he was hyperactive," said the boy's mother. A
Pennsylvania woman was arrested for beating her baby's
father with the baby. In Bombay, where the city courts
faced a backlog of 16,234,223 cases, police arrested a
drunk three-foot-tall man for extorting money from people
with a meat cleaver. "Everyone pampered him because he
was so small and cute," said the man's brother. "But he
has brought great misfortune for the family." A Minnesota
school principal resigned after shooting two orphaned
kittens on school property.

In Israel, four doctors were arrested for carrying
out illegal, non-consensual medical experiments on
their patients; the U.S. Department of Justice accused
blacks of suppressing the white vote in Mississippi;
and Adam Pearlman, the "American Al Qaeda," was charged
with treason, making him the first U.S. citizen so
indicted since World War II. Dubai's ruling family was
sued for enslaving children as camel jockeys. A family
representative argued that the suit was spurious, since
Dubai has replaced child camel-jockeys with robots. India's
Supreme Court ordered the seizure of 300 macaques who had
terrorized bureaucrats and destroyed top-secret defense
documents, and the Philippines rejected a plan to help
a monkey-infested island by importing monkey-eating
eagles. In Uganda, a mob armed with spears, machetes,
and clubs killed a lioness, mutilated the carcass, and
imprisoned the remains. Thousands of villagers in the
Indian state of Jharkhand fled their homes in order to
avoid a herd of rampaging elephants. "The elephants," said
a forestry official, "are out to avenge." "They destroy our
crops in the field," complained a farmer. "Sometimes they
damage our houses also." Donkeys were increasingly popular
with Mexican farmers. Swiss researchers in Syria discovered
the remains of an extinct species of giant camel, and a
Virginia biology teacher was suspended after compelling
her students to pose with the bones of a century-old corpse
in Pocahontas Cemetery. Walnut-related crimes were on the
rise in the United States, and a pile of jelly left over
from a wedding party's jelly-fight sparked a terrorism
alert near Leipzig, Germany. An Italian sociologist moved
into a cave, where he plans to spend the next three years;
two Indianapolis morticians ran into a burning building
to save three corpses; and fish leapt from the ocean near
Hawaii in anticipation of an earthquake.

-- Rafil Kroll-Zaidi

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