"As I was walking around dusting things off in my room, I came to the sofa. For the life of me, I couldn’t recall whether I had already dusted it off or not. Since these movements are habitual and unconscious, I felt that it was already impossible to remember it. If I had in fact dusted the sofa and forgotten that I had done so, i.e., if I had acted unconsciously, then this is tantamount to not having done it at all. If someone had seen me doing this consciously, then it might have been possible to restore this in my mind. If, on the other hand, no one had been observing me or observing me only unconsciously, if the complex life of many people takes place entirely on the level of the unconscious, then it’s as if this life had never been.” —Tolstoy’s Diary, February 1897 (bold added by me).
"Banding together with a bunch of like-minded citizens to make a big noise is a great way to get noticed, to rally similarly-outraged others to a cause, and to shift the terms of the public debate. OWS has done all that. Now they’ve got to get some sympathetic folks elected to public office, because that’s how this democracy thing works, when it does. Anyway, if our democracy really is irredeemably broken, the polls would seem to suggest that further camping is unlikely to turns things around."
I can’t help but feel that when you woke up with a fresh newspaper, you could ritualize it—have a nice cup of coffee, spend a few hours submerging yourself in every crinkly page. But with the internet, while theoretically you can ritualize it, it feels a lot more like pour yourself some coffee, sit back, but don’t drink it oh my god just RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN.
“This is what I thought: for the most banal event to become an adventure, you must (and this is enough) begin to recount it. This is what fools people: a man is always a teller of tales, he sees everything that happens to him through them; and he tries to live his own life as if he were telling a story.”—Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea (via sunrec)
Second week in a row my spending makes it seem as though I’m living an extravagant weekend lifestyle, when really I’m parking my car in places that are unlimited on Sunday but loading zones and 2-hr parking spots during the week, and then not remembering this is the case until Tuesday afternoon.
I’ve been basically gone from tumblr for a little while.
I’ve been working on my graduate school applications.
On Saturday I took the GRE Lit in English exam, which meant getting up at 6:45 in the morning. Some time ago I made up my mind not to study at all for the exam, which is basically impossible to study for anyway. It’s recognized by most schools as totally pointless (only required by 2 of the 5 I’m applying to—one doesn’t seem to really lend much weight to it at all, and one I’m not gonna get into anyway).
Although I had some last minute doubts (and some unpleasant dreams about the test the night before), in retrospect I am very glad I didn’t waste my time studying for it.
I think I did just fine, and taking everything with a grain of salt made the entire situation seem just totally ridiculous. ETS makes everything as uncomfortable as possible for takers of the subject tests—they’re always held in dank basement rooms with shades drawn. We had to write our row and column number on our admission ticket, so to make those easier to figure out they crammed all the tiny desks together back to back—your desk literally touched the chair of the person in front of you.
Everybody looked miserable. A lady ahead of me in the line going into the test room had a stack of index cards that wouldn’t even fit in her closed hands, and she was flipping through them and cramming AS WE WERE GOING INTO THE ROOM FOR THE TEST, like she would somehow work everything out in her mind at that extreme last moment.
ETS really has it worked out. They’re the only folks that make these tests, and the tests are required all over the place, so. They’re never gonna go bankrupt.
I’m almost done with the zillionth draft of my personal statement, and I’m pretty sure I’m just gonna call whatever I have final tonight and move the fuck on, so as not to edit the damn thing endlessly.
I’m giving a presentation tonight providing some cultural and historical background on Shakespeare’s witches in “Macbeth” (for my Shakespeare and Film class).
I’m going to spend the rest of the week sprucing up my essay on the role of the Cossacks in Isaac Babel’s “Red Cavalry,” a chapter from my Bard senior project that I’m basically rewriting completely so that it can be my writing sample for grad schools. This’ll require reading some Shklovsky, some Russian Formalist theory, which is actually stuff I really really love. So this shouldn’t be too bad.
I read a Shakespeare play a week for class.
After this week, assuming I get all this done, I’ll have only my final paper for Shakespeare and Film and any revisions of this personal statement (hopefully I’ll be able to use a version of it for every school) to go.
SO YES I HAVE BEEN VERY BUSY.
But I’m starting to reach the end of it. The end’s in sight! Grad apps are almost all due on December 1st.
I’m taking Russian at Penn next semester, which is exciting.
And I think I’ll have time for more internet silliness soon. More time on tumblr, looking at silly stuff, gonna start from where I left off with the 30 day drawing challenge.
So, stay tuned, if you’re there.
Also, in addition to reblogging neat photos and whatnot, I’m gonna start just venting here more I think. Writing about shit, although not to the absurd, rambly extent of this post…just an every-now-and-then a sentence or two kinda deal. If these posts bore you, O Reader I Might Be Making Up, you can just ignore ‘em :-0.