Jan. 28th, 2004

sidewalksparkle: (watch and wait)
(O friend,
while the moon's bad,
and the king's gone,
and the queen's at her wit's end
the bar fly ought to sing!)

--Anne Sexton, "Sylvia's Death"

Last night I stretched out on my bed and read some poems by Anne Sexton. It had been such a long time since I read any of her work. Reading "Sylvia's Death" reminded me of how obsessed I once was with Sylvia Plath. I can see now that I was just another one of the thousands of teenage girls obsessing over Sylvia Plath, but even now I'm maybe a little bit snobbish and I think I was different. Instead of imagining myself to be depressed and in love with her idea of death, Sylvia Plath actually made me happy--not happy as in, "Oh, what cheery poems!" but happy that someone could brutalize words that way, could make a stanza that sharp and that clear and that relentless.

Anyway, I like Plath a lot better than Sexton, but Sexton definitely had her moments. I own Anne Sexton: The Complete Poems and it feels so good to be able to hold a volume in one's hands and to know it is something complete. (And to ponder how much was happening in the brain behind the book, to wonder what fraction actually got out onto the page.)

Sometimes I think "Who in the world am I?" after I critique established work, but I'm hoping my opinions can be valid without any proof that I could do better, just as well, or even make an attempt. I suppose everyone is entitled to have an opinion, but my wanting so badly to be a "real writer" makes me feel guilty about mine. Then again, if I can't figure out what I like and what I don't like, how will I ever know what I should write and what I should not write?

Today was a half-day from school. (It was scheduled and un-related to the snow, which is sadly turning grey and slushy in places.) Molly, Kristen, and I treated ourselves to a nicer-than-usual half day lunch at the new restaurant in town, Scotty's Brewhouse. We split an order of dill chips aka FRIED PICKLES, cooked in the same sort of breading found on those greasy mozzarella cheese sticks. They were surprisingly delicious. My tuna melt sandwich (good thing I'm not pregnant, wouldn't want to expose any unborn children to mercury!) was also really delicious. It's so fun to just sit someplace and eat and talk. As simple as it sounds, I'm really glad there are always new things to eat and new things to say.

I have so much homework to do. I really, really hate doing these research and writing projects for French. As a whole, we get very little out of them and they're boring and time-consuming. The only time I enjoyed myself (other than the food project) was when I made the Toulouse-Lautrec poster, and even then I stayed up far too late and learned hardly any new information. I knew a lot about Toulouse-Lautrec already, which was why I chose him--and being able to do that defeats the purpose of the assignment. This time I'm doing workbook pages and a poster about "le zouk" music--no danger of knowing too much there! I am starting from scratch. I also have to study for a Calculus test. I kind of regret taking Calculus, even though I enjoy the class ("C" grade and all). I wish I'd taken Earth Systems instead. I probably could have gotten an A, I probably would have been a lot less stressed out, and I might have been able to go on a trip to Mammoth Cave. Having a science instead of a math wouldn't have made me appear any less well rounded and even without Calculus I have enough math to get the academic honors diploma. Why I didn't listen to the nagging little voices in my head is beyond me.

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