The wilderness

A mountain near Chuzenjiko that we almost climbed, 19 July 2008. I love the way that Japanese mountains look: this clearly could never exist in Charlottesville.

Guion said something interesting yesterday when we were at the church series, “Good News for People with Big Problems.” He was explaining his current position to some new-ish friends; how he gets paid to do one thing–write great poetry. And he was talking about the feeling he gets when he sits down to write–a feeling that is purportedly shared by his fellow MFA’ers–the thought: “I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea how to write!” But then you do. And you keep venturing into the wilderness.

The other internal wilderness in my head right now: the notion of graduate school. Yesterday, I spent some down-time doing practice GRE questions. The analogies absolutely killed me. You can’t figure out an analogy if you don’t know what “adumbrate” means! Le sigh. I was simultaneously daunted and excited. Daunted by statistics like the fact that UNC now only offers a Ph.D. program in English and accepts a mere 18 of the 400+ that apply. Excited by the idea of getting to be in school again. I miss it. I need to talk to people who have master’s degrees or Ph.Ds in English. I’m going to e-mail the few that I know this week and ask them in the most polite way I can think of: “Was it worth it?”

I’m reading my first Pynchon novel now, The Crying of Lot 49. He writes like a post-modern Dickens (the fateful coincidences; the intentional and hilarious naming of characters, e.g., Oedipa, the protagonist, and Mr. Fallopian). I’m not sure what I think about it yet, though. It’s pretty confusing.

We have our church classics book club tonight. We are discussing Walker Percy’s Love in the Ruins. I hated it so much. I can’t even say how much. So I might not. I might just let everyone else talk about it tonight and try to discern why people worship Percy as a Giant of Literature at our church. Maybe his non-fiction stuff is good. I can’t say I’ll ever attempt to read another one of his novels, though.

We got Halloween presents from our parents; it was super-cute and exciting. Mike and Windy sent us chocolate bars, and my mother sent us a package full of candy and her prize-winning (at least, in our house) Halloween cookies. Guion says he doesn’t like them, which I think is super, because that means I get to eat ALL of them.

Monday Snax

So, yeah, not a lot of time for blogging this past week. But a lot of time for browsing blogs, apparently!

We had a nice, peaceful weekend, got to see some old UNC friends who came up for the UNC-UVA football game. And I got to read for hours and hours on Sunday, and that was lovely. I have missed being the triumphant reader. I’m plowing through three large books (The Corrections, The Feminine Mystique, and Love in the Ruins) at a breakneck pace, since they’re all due back to the library fairly soon and I don’t think I can renew them. The first two are great; the third I’m reading for book club and I’m really not liking it. Percy’s racism and sexism is kind of unforgivable. At first, I chalked it up to the protagonist’s bigotry, but now I’m not so sure.

I also finished another calligraphy job for my dear Katherine’s wedding! You can check it out here.

Easily digestible snax for your Monday afternoon. Flurgh. Smaller than usual, because my post got deleted again. Oh, well. Guess you’ll never know what interesting things are on the Internet this week.

Writing on the Wall. Grace painted this verse from Galatians on the wall of Brandi’s baby’s nursery. Amazing! She free-handed it, too. I think my calligraphy business is in danger… (Como Say What?)

Visual List Maker. Again. This child amazes me. Why didn’t I inherit this talent? So cool. (Only by Grace)

From Japan: Colors and Prints. One of my favorite days in Tokyo was wandering around the art museum, looking at historic prints. These are lovely; they remind me of how totally enamored I am with Japanese art. (Oh Joy!)

Last Night I Had This Dream. Angela is dreaming that Guion and I have doppelgangers–who are unfaithful to one another! What could this mean? (Wxtchou)

I Would Make This Face Too If Someone Handed Me a Wolf Puppy. This is not an intelligent link; I just think it’s funny. Who is handing Hayden Panettiere a wolf puppy? Where does one obtain a wolf puppy that one may subsequently pass off to a young starlet?? These are the enduring questions of my life. (Best Week Ever)

Anatolian Shepherd Puppies for Sale. Will you just look at some of these faces? Man. This woman is a friend of my boss’s. I need one of her puppies. (Bay Haven Farm)

Between Two Ferns with Bruce Willis. “Did you know that some actors turn down roles?” (Best Week Ever)

The Zach Galifianakis Swimsuit Calendar. On a related note: I’m so glad this happened. (Vanity Fair)

The Definitive Gossip Girl Hookup Chart. Again, I would like to reiterate that I do not actually watch this show, but I know enough about it to find it hilarious. This flowchart in particular demonstrates the extreme absurdity of this production. Courtney, you had better study this like it’s a midterm before you go to Manhattan. (New York Mag)

A Micnic! Our utterly fabulous wedding photographer, Meredith, just got a Mini Cooper and took this adorable outing (Mini + picnic = micnic) with her boyfriend and sweet Lab, Orvis. Wish I could have been there! Looks divine.  (And Unlimited)

Rubber Stamp Business Cards. Dang. If I only had $64 to throw away… (Oh, So Beautiful Paper)

A Zadie Friday. I’ve always liked Zadie Smith, even though I never really love her novels when I finish. I think she’s a great writer, though. I read the piece “Sweet Charity” in The New Yorker this morning over my muesli. (The Book Bench)

Berlin #4. I’ve never been much interested in traveling to Germany until I saw this post. So charming and autumnal. (Ida Nielsen)