Begin the Begin


From January 2009:

So, it’s 2009, and I’ve gotta say I’m pretty glad. I put some stock into the theory of the numerological year, that we go through these nine-year cycles. At least, I’ve found my years to fit this pattern pretty consistently. Last year I was in a 7 year – the lowest energy in the cycle, and have now entered the 8 year. Karen Cornell, numerologist once told a friend of mine, when she was entering her 8 year, that she’d feel like she’d “been shot out of a cannon!” It’s supposed to be the highest energy year, and very auspicious for success. As if that wasn’t enough positive power of suggestion right there, all the astrology books point to this being a great year for Aquarians. Jupiter, the planet of luck and expansion, has entered my sign, suggesting a golden year. I’m surely ready for that.

And the thing is, I feel it. I definitely feel the energy shift. I mean I sort of do feel shot out of a cannon. I was totally in the dumps all through December, and worse after Xmas, but then in the week leading up to New Year’s, something just changed, and I’m not going to question it one bit. I’m all about riding the wave.

So, as for India, I got my ass in gear about that, and I’m definitely going. It’s so funny how once I started, everything sort of fell into place. I have my plane ticket. I finished all my vaccinations yesterday, which I’m still in some pretty serious burning and intense muscle pain from, fuck. I got permission to be gone from my apartment for longer than my lease allows, so I’m squared away there. I got someone to check in on my place and take care of my mail while I’m gone. I found out I could set up automatic bill pay to take care of most of my recurring financial concerns. I sent off my India Visa application today. Not to jinx anything, but a lot of loose ends that just two weeks ago seemed enormously overwhelming and impossible, are, well, pretty close to taken care of.

And as for college, I’m kicking even more ass on that front. I don’t know if it was that last post (which I did take down, for my own reasons) or what, but I decided it was worth honoring the fact that I have real concerns about whether I’ll like living in Bellingham. I can’t shake the feeling that it’s just too similar to where I live now, and Orcas is a place that I have loved, that my life wouldn’t be the same without, a place that has been very close to my heart, in some ways more than any other place I’ve lived, but I’ve stayed too long and it’s at the point where I feel so claustrophobic and caged living here that it’s hard to remember that I have loved this place. And for whatever reason, Bellingham just doesn’t feel different enough – it’s a pretty small town, and I have this feeling that I might still feel a bit caged and cut off there too. And I don’t really know how to put this into words, b/c I honestly do like Bellingham, but it doesn’t feel all that alive to me, or that diverse, and I’m afraid I won’t find people to hang with, that I’ll be real lonely. A friend who went to school there as an older student (she was 24 I think, so older than a lot of undergrads but still younger than I am) said she had a hard time with that. I have this feeling like I’d drown in bluegrass music while craving rock. I could be totally off-base with this feeling, and it could stem from being so past done with living on Orcas (and hearing so many people say how comparable the two places are), but I do feel it’s at least worth honoring that feeling enough to explore other options.

I still love Fairhaven and their program, all the classes they offer, the alternative, interdisciplinary structure, the exchanges they have with other schools, and something called the Adventure Learning Grant, which is another awesome study abroad opportunity. I get excited reading the course descriptions, so it’s still on the table big-time. I’m also hoping to visit Bellingham again, sometime this month, to get more of a feel for it. I’ve been there a few times, but it’s usually been pretty brief, and another visit couldn’t hurt.

I just feel so much better that I’ve decided to consider other options. I had the best freaking time last year when I visited Emerson, and so I decided to go ahead and apply there, as well as another school in Boston. The cool thing is that they are part of the same consortium exchange thing, where students at one can take classes at the other, which makes me feel better, because there are things I like about both, and it widens the possibilities for classes to take.

Another place I’m looking at is Portland. I’ve loved that place every time I’ve been there, and of all the places I’m considering, I’ve visited there the most, which actually isn’t saying all that much. And lately I keep hearing what an awesome literary scene they’ve got going on there. To me it feels vibrant and alive. They’ve got some great schools that are totally up on the interdisciplinary studies deal like Fairhaven is, and have some really strong writing programs to boot. I can’t even count how many times I hear that Bellingham is Portland-lite, similar in some ways, but lacking in others, and without the same sort of diversity and vibrance, and it’s like, why go lite without at least considering the real deal? So I’m looking into two schools there.

And then there’s Olympia, which is also on the smaller side, but I figure it’s good to have another in-state WA choice in mind, and Evergreen has got to be one of the most interdisciplinary schools out there. I visited once, almost five years ago, and it was pretty cool. I like that they really have a holistic approach to any subject, and they have some programs that look awesome, and one includes a trip to Egypt, which of course caught my eye. I also read that the whole school is completely energy-efficient, which is way cool.

All in all, I’m considering six schools, and let me just say, just the idea of considering more places than just Fairhaven has me feeling tremendously better. I thought that being set on Fairhaven was good for peace of mind, in the way that it left no uncertainty, it was settled, but I think that that settling wasn’t quite honest with myself. I could easily end up choosing that school, and I could just as easily choose somewhere else. The point is, it’s like a huge gust of fresh air to my spirit, the fact that it’s more open now. In the end it’ll come down to where I get accepted, what my financial aid packages look like, scholarships, where my credits transfer, and where each college ranks on my own personal preference list (which is TBD as of now, pending more visits to the ones I can visit before I leave).

In the last week, I’ve rocked my applications to all six – the apps are all in, the transcripts and recommendations are requested, forms are faxed, and many essays are written. I just have one supplemental essay left to write. One school also required a graded paper, and the coolest thing is, I checked with admissions, and I get to use a writing piece that was workshopped at the Orcas Island Writers Festival! I figured it would count, because the workshop leader who evaluated it (they wanted a paper with instructor’s comments on it) usually teaches grad students, and that just had to count for something, and it did. I’m psyched, because I think it’s a good piece, and the comments on there are great and extremely thorough, with a balance of praise and suggestions for improvement.

For some of this stuff, I’ve had to dig through the bowels of my memory to contact former teachers and advisors. In one case there was someone I had to find, and I could only remember the first name (I mean, it’s been like, nine years here), and they didn’t even work at the school I used to go to anymore, so, google has been my friend in finding old profs and the like to fill out forms. It was kind of cool, searching that stuff out. I found that one of my favorite professors, who I had in my first semester of college for intro astronomy, is getting all these grants for really cool studies (that honestly I don’t entirely understand exactly what these studies are). It’s just cool because that was one of the best classes I ever took, it really got me excited about learning, and that’s the best feeling (and can be rare sometimes) to have in school, so it was just nice to see successes for that prof.

So yes, I am kicking ass on these applications. By Sunday I should be done with that one last essay (if not tomorrow), and then I move on to doing everything I can to apply for scholarships, and then financial aid. It’s a LOT to get done in a short amount of time. I’ve sort of thought of the fact that I don’t have New Year’s resolutions, but very ambitious January goals. If all goes as planned, I’ll be leaving Orcas on Feb 2nd. I’m trying to set myself a schedule in the meantime, since I’m currently unemployed, to work at this stuff 8 hours a day, more or less, because there’s so much and so little time, but I think I’m doing pretty well so far.

And then I get to unwind with Grey’s, which I think I become more obsessed with every time I watch it, I see more layers. It’s not quite the same sort of intellectual stimulation as House is with all its mysteries, but it’s not exactly lacking in that either, and it has emotional drama that sometimes I think is a bit absent in House.

There are some things that I think the writers of Grey’s do really well, and one thing I noticed immediately is that every character is likable, even the ones you hate at first. Alex (my personal favorite of the dudes) is an ass in season 1 (didn’t really like him at all then), but you very quickly get to see the other sides of him. I love him and Izzie together. Another example, probably the most obvious, is Addison. You want to hate her, because she comes in takes Derek away from Meredith, but even in the very next episode when they work together and Addison defends Meredith, well that’s big, and the more she becomes a regular character, the more you sympathize with her and like her. And she’s one of the wittiest. I think the same is true with Mark. He sort of comes in as a sort of bad guy, the manwhore, the guy who Addison cheated on Derek with, the guy who totally harasses interns, but before long, you see other sides of him too. And then the same is true of Lexie, Hahn, Rose, Sadie. What I’m saying is, every single character is complex, with different sides and ultimately in some way, very likable, and not in a love to hate way, but in a really likable human way. That’s sort of unique in TV.

I feel a little ridiculous, but I so love this show, love the character development. And, like with all shows I like, I get very curious about the writing, like how do they do it? Each character’s story slowly builds, and they intertwine in these amazing ways. It just intrigues me as a writer, b/c it boggles my mind a little, how much it seems everything comes together seamlessly to create this great and complex story, how some things build and build and build for episodes, and just how it all comes together. I love listening to the commentaries too because it gives me even more insight, and intricacies and layers I might not have noticed.

I also LOVE that the episodes are named after songs, and I think that’s pretty much without exception (there’s some question about “The Self-Destruct Button” but still). I didn’t think they all were, I was like, there’s no way there’s actually a song called “The Deterioration of the Flight or Fight Response” but there is, by the Flaming Lips. I am just waiting for an episode to be named after a TOOL song, that’ll be the day. I think it’s possible. My world will be complete. Tori, Fiona, Soundgarden, Jeff Buckley and some others would be cool to see as episode titles too, but one named after a Tool song would just rock my world.

Well, not really, but if everything goes as swimmingly this year as my astrology suggests, and I’m swimming in unexpected fortunes and soulmates and financial windfalls and being showered with luck (obviously exaggerating here) that would just be the icing on a great 2009, lol.

Currently Reading:
“Musicophilia” – Oliver Sachs – this book is great. I mean how could I not love it, when it’s about music, and about really obscure medical (mostly brain) stuff? Music and seizures, musical hallucinations, music’s affect on all kinds of disorders. Ahhhh I love it.

Currently Listening:
“Cannonball” – Damien Rice – an old favorite. I have a strange relationship with this song. I love it, yet there was always a bugging quality about it, it just felt too catchy and generic, in music and lyrics and that always bothered me, but then the last time he gets to the chorus, he changes up the words, so among these lines like “Life taught me to die/Love taught me to lie…” which just doesn’t have a real spark to it, he almost yells, “Come on courage, teach me to be shy,” and that kinda stops me, like, what exactly does that mean? I like it, it’s unusual, and he sings it with more feeling. So for me, that line makes the song.

2 thoughts on “Begin the Begin

  1. Glad to see you’ve come out of the darkness of that last post, Chrys. I can’t wait to hear your impressions of India, and I hope you have great news on the school front when you return. Have you and Leo compared notes on Musicophilia? I believe she read that lately, but she hasn’t mentioned what she thought of it. I’m curious about it, as I’ve read one of Sach’s other books (The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat).

  2. Excited to hear you are headed to India. The low you seemed to be in, at the beginning of the year has certainly passed.Is musicophillia any good? Would you recomended it to me. I have not read any of Oliver Sach’s books so far.

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