Sunday, March 21, 2010

Guerrilla Warfare, Pizza, and The Great Moth Massacre - All in One Day!

As the title of this post may imply, it has been a most interesting day. It was supposed to begin at 7:00 am, but I was so exhausted from traveling that I let myself sleep in until 9:00. Foolish, foolish girl! Two hours of potential writing time, wasted on a very creepy dream. Ah well, at least I don't have to worry about getting another sleep-deprivation migraine.

From the moment I awakened, there was work to be done. I worked on my paper on SOE (Britain's Special Operations Executive) in the Balkans until about 1:00, then took a break and cleaned the apartment. After that, I got back to work. The significant changes that I made to my topic and argument a few days ago have nullified a large portion of my research, thus making it necessary for me to frantically hunt down more sources. My work had good results: I managed to get another six pages typed. I hope to complete two more before turning in tonight (it's going to be another late night).

Cleaning is, unfortunately, a dangerous pastime for me. I dripped bleach on one of my favorite tops, thus permanently exiling it to the "at home only" drawer of the dresser. While I was stacking kleenex boxes neatly in the closet, one fell and hit me in the head. Naturally, it got me with the corner and managed to cut my head (first bloodshed of the day; sadly, not the last). I followed this performance by mysteriously cutting my knee while kneeling to clean (I still have no idea how). Then, I gave an encore performance by slipping on my freshly mopped kitchen floor and landing in a crumpled heap, smacking my elbow on the dishwasher on the way down. The bruise and bump add visual interest to an otherwise dull arm. After the fall, I decided that studying is much safer.

Around 4:30, my future roommate Brandi called and invited me to dinner with her, her parents, and her boyfriend. I decided that I needed to be anywhere that my computer was not for awhile, so I gratefully accepted. We had a delicious dinner at a cute little pizza place that I never knew existed (and will definitely dine at again in the future). Then we ambled back to the apartment to get Brandi's furniture moved in (she'll be moving in in May). I am so excited to have found such a likable, amusing roommate with so many interests in common with me! Jasper took an immediate liking to her, which is unusual - he's usually wary of strangers. He even attempted to help decorate her bedroom by offering her a few of his favorite bones - another unusual gesture. I have a very good feeling about this future living arrangement!

Brandi and I will be meeting up in a little over a week to write out a roommate contract. I highly recommend this to anyone who decides to get a roommate. Even if you really hit it off with someone, it is a good idea to clarify what each person expects and desires. I learned the hard way about bad roommates in the past. By making a contract, Brandi and I can discuss how each of us prefer to live (studying conditions, cleanliness, cooking preferences, etc.) and many potential conflicts can be avoided. Plus, it gives us a chance to know each other even better before living under one roof. We'll be spending a great deal of time together in the future, since we're both taking the same summer class and have identical schedules for next semester. So, it is necessary that we do everything possible to ensure that we get along very well!

In other news, I learned over spring "break" that I will be getting a substantial amount of money back from the government on my taxes. This windfall is going to buy my summer books and some of my books for the fall, as a well as a couple of helpful supplemental books that I have been longing for (there is an excellent history atlas and a large history book that, while not required, would greatly aid me in my coursework). As I was eagerly pricing out some of my books for the summer and fall, I was struck again by the strange paradox of academia: The more I learn, the more I find that I don't know!

Oh, are you still waiting for me to tell you about The Great Moth Massacre? Well, apparently, I have a large-scale moth invasion at the moment. I'm not certain whether they're having a revival meeting or are planning to attack me en masse as I sleep, but whatever their intentions, there are a heck of a lot of them. So, inspired by my studies of guerrilla warfare in the Balkans, I have spent much of my day engaged in carrying out guerrilla tactics of my own against these annoying winged creatures. I tried to convince Jasper to eat them, but he showed no interest. At last estimate, around twenty moths have died today. A few have tried to be clever by resting on the ceiling, but I found a surefire way of getting them - I shoot them with water from a spray bottle, then clobber them after they fall on the floor. It's messy, but necessary. I am determined to exterminate all of these invaders by the middle of the week.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"