Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beautifully Different

I should have known.  After yesterday's post, I said that I really liked the #reverb10 prompts.  Then, they throw one at me that makes me roll my eyes.  Write about the thing that makes you different, the thing that makes people light up when you walk in a room.  Of course, those same things would make other people cringe when you walk in that same room.  I've spent my whole life being different and not doing too much to change that.  Now, I am surrounded by like-minded people, and I don't think I'm all that different anymore.  That's not a bad or a good thing.  I think it's pretty typical once you're over forty.  So, how about something different?


Spring 1999.  I am twenty-nine years old and starting my second semester of my doctoral program.  I don't know when or where, but I bought a square sketchbook, spiral-bound.  It became my idea notebook for the semester.  I picked it up tonight for no reason except that it was on top in the box of all of the paper journals I have ever kept, from the stapled-together pages of my fourth-grade journal to this.  What do I find in this one?

*We think there is a split between the human and the technological, but the cyborg shows how this is not true.

*[Student Name] left my office.  He said he wrote his paper because he didn't want to be boring and he wanted a topic you could disagree with, like I said to do.  He was trying to get me to feel I had pushed him to pick this topic.  He wanted to know how I picked the topic of the course and why it's what I research.  I didn't tell the full truth but some of it.  In the end, he is the only student I can say who wanted to question the topic.

*Gorgias was a doctor.

*[This was the semester I started my first blog in HTML.  I have notes for how to create an email link in Netscape Composer.]

*For years, I would never let my think of this night, telling myself that it was high school and it was over.

*Medical writing is about control, organization, objectivity; these memoirs are about a disease that wrecks havoc.

*Puck is in prison, and Rachel is on The View.

*[I have drawn a map to the Red Light Cafe on Amsterdam in Chicago.]

*AIDS is not just a disease; it's a lens through which to view culture.

*There is a model search going on outside Planet Hollywood.  There's also a convention of the American Physical Society.  Thousands of Physicists.  I'm terrified I look like one of them.

*When you drive somewhere, you have a strong sense of location that gives you a strong sense of place.  When you fly, you lose that.

*Should we focus on the power of speaking or on the power of being heard?

*Face-to-face communication parallels the missionary position.

*Trauma: any assault to the body or psyche that cannot be integrated into one's consciousness.

*I decided to go see Stepmom and found my fare card was damaged, which means I lost the money that was on there.

*Cf. Browning, pgs. 120-1.  Not only is secrecy key, but also the thrill of the unknown.  Will this be a night of quantity or quality?  Both or neither?  Will this be a night I love out a fantasy I've been playing in my head for years?  Or will this be a night I leave ashamed of my ever-increasing stomach?

*Get 3A batteries.

*Is associating homes with mothers always a bad thing?

*The fact that such places exist is proof of male privilege.

*At DBU, [Name Removed] and me and someone else talking about Madonna's merits.  Another early queer moment.

*Hertz: 21.95 + 47.93


  1. Clicked over from Holidailies. I'm not sure what #reverb10 is (will follow that link later), but this post was an interesting glimpse into a person I've never met. I wonder what my old journals would say...I don't think I kept anything except a few "magic notebooks" full of snatches of stories.

    Melissa from

  2. More or less ditto what MissMeliss said: came from Holidailies, enjoyed the glimpse.

    I kept similar notebooks as an undergrad and a grad student, with a similar wild diversity of topics, from the profound to the beautiful to the academic the mundane.