It's chilly (well, it's COLD) and it's almost Thanksgiving Break! I don't have any homework or anything to do today because it's the week of Thanksgiving. It's silly that we don't get the whole week off because all of the teachers pretty much slack off this week because it's shortened, and a few teachers are canceling class...
So tonight I'm relaxing for the first time in a while. It's been cold and rainy all day, so I decided to make a chilly, rainy day feast tonight. I made apricot risotto (dried apricots, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, vegetable broth, and seasonings) and sweet and spicy chicken and bell peppers (with hot chilies, apricot preserves, and other thai seasonings). I opened my bottle of Trader Joes Sparkling Pomegranate Juice and enjoyed the feast with "This American Life" in the background.
I could have called friends, because I'm sure they would have liked to partake in my fall feast... but I really just wanted to spend the time alone.
"This American Life" really got to me. The first story was about a woman who lived alone and died alone, and it followed the investigation of a social worker to try to find any living family members. I'm tearing up a little as I write this... The social worker investigated the home of the deceased older woman and couldn't find any sign of companionship besides the two dogs in the backyard (they were supposedly the only things the old lady had). She sifted through mail, documents, and so on, trying to find relatives. She finally found a twenty-year-old Christmas card from someone who had to be a distant family member. The social worker called the sender of the card, but they did not remember the old woman--eventually they came to the conclusion that she was a distant aunt of some sort. The story then jumped to a mass funeral for deceased persons without friends or family. The city cremates the bodies, and if no one collects the ashes for three years, they have a mass burial of all the ashes. Of course, no one but employees attend the funerals, and the remains of thousands of people are all buried at once under a marker for the three-year time period. It's a little eerie and unsettling. The end of the story poses the question: do people live alone by choice, or by circumstance? These lonely people being honored in a mass burial every three years don't have anyone to mourn their deaths... is mourning a privilage left only to those with people left behind to mourn them?
Usually as soon as it gets cold I get a little romantic. Actually, I began dating my last two romantic interests during the late fall... specifically November... which is now. It would be nice to date somebody this month. I mean, to follow tradition and all.
Instead of dating, I've been huddling around my apartment baking cookies and making cranberry tea... none of which are activities that get me a date. Well, I'd much rather be accumulating winter weight than slutting around a bar. But maybe I should stop baking, and put my tea in a thermos and get my ass out of my hermit apartment this week. It would be good for me all around.
Because we all know the best alternative to cuddling in a blanket by yourself is... steamy steamy love.
I think that Woody Allen is the most wildly romantic man I have ever seen. He's not particularly attractive or anything, but his observations about people and relationships are incredibly seductive. Lots of people don't like Woody Allen because they think he's annoying. Well, he's not the most pleasant of all people, but I think once you get past that you're able to see a wealth of beauty through his eyes.
I re-watched Stardust Memories tonight. It's one of his artsy mid-period films that fits into this languid Annie Hall type dreaminess. It's all about a man who constantly reminisces about his past relationships, especially one in particular--a beautiful, dark-haired mess named Dorrie. Every time he thinks about her, he remembers little things, like a particular way she smiled at him one day... and now, in the present, he's with a put-together woman, who's not at all brooding, but he still thinks about Dorrie all the time. The final scene is of him hallucinating his own death (sorry to give it away, like there was anything to give) and he thinks about a short moment with Dorrie, reading a magazine. And he romanticizes it in such a way that it almost brings me to tears. Woody Allen has this way of portraying normal situations as if every moment were the most beautiful and important moment in the world. He makes me fall in love with him, and with people in general, because he shows that in all people there is enormous potential for these perfect, beautiful connections.
This is the clip I was referring to: the part that really gets me is around 2:28.
I once told Neil that the sexiest moment I ever saw was from this movie, from a scene near the beginning, where Woody Allen is stroking the Dorrie character across her clavicle with his entire hand... you make fun, but you haven't seen it!
I had the total meltdown of the semester on Friday. I feel completely incompetent as a singer and miss everything that gave me comfort when I lived in Columbia. Here's a few things that I wish I had here in Bloomington:
-The old ladies in the First Baptist Church Choir (well, especially the not-so-old ones like Robbie, Colleen, and Norma)
-The ease in which I used to recycle. I can't find any recycling bins here in Bloomington and have boxes and boxes of recyclables stacked in my kitchen.
-Rachel AuBuchon, who (not-surprisingly) is irreplaceable.
-U Singers comradary
-Living with Mark, for SO many reasons. But specifically for his insistence that I do the dishes and keep my shit out of the living room.
-Reality tv. Bloomington HAS reality tv, but I'm too poor to afford cable right now.
-Gauchos, and how I could get three martinis and a plate of gross food for only 6 dollars...and watching Craig get ridiculously drunk...
-Schubertiads, formal and informal.
-Kyle Stegall and all the hillarity that ensued whenever we got together.
-The inevitability of running in to Dr. Budds (smoking) every time you set foot on campus.
-The comfort of knowing everyone in the music school...and the discomfort of knowing that almost everyone had seen my nipples at some point.
-The Legend of Neil's Uncircumcised Penis.
-The shopping. The mall here makes me depressed.
-The gays. And their innate knowledge that I was their queen.
-Dr. Crabb's ability to say terrible, terrible things when prospective students and their conservative mothers came to visit rehearsals.
-Whitney Reed and Neil Ostercamp, between whom I had so many inside jokes it wasn't even funny.
-Mark Woodward, and all the things we would do together whether it was watching Will and Grace with a plateful of terrible Chinese food, or stylistically interpreting Bach inventions, or annoying each other at all hours so it was impossible to do any work.