Saturday, December 12, 2009

Every morning I dream of Coq-a-Vin

If I have learned anything from this trip, it's that roosters don't say "cock-a-doodle-doo" or "coq-a-ri-co" or even "keek-a-ree-kee." They say, "I hate you. You will never sleep again" and they say it ALL DAY LONG.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Just a moment

I am waiting for a handsome man to cook me my Tipofo breakfast of scrambled eggs, refried black beans, avocado, and fried plantains while I listen to a man hawking platanos at 7:30 in the morning by riding around town in the back of a pickup yelling "borato!" through a bull horn.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Tengo Sueño

Last night I dreamt that I was in the belly of a whale. I entered through its mouth and rode deep into the back of its throat. Its tongue was pink. I rode by its tonsils. They looked like party balloons. When I was deep inside its stomach, it was salty and I was not afraid.

Yesterday I broke some basic rules of traveling. I went into a new country by myself with no map, no guidebook, not even the name of a hostel where I could stay. I had the stupid idea of getting to "a beach," but I didn´t know which one. I found myself after dark on a bus leaving San Salvador towards a city that I knew nothing about, hoping to find a hotel where I could at least have access to the internet and find out where I was. I could not have told you what direction I was going in. It was stupid, and even though I kept telling myself that this was one of the stupidest things I had ever done and that I would never ever do it again, some little dark corner of my mind knew that I was full of shit, that I would absolutely do it again because I secretly liked it, that whatever was going to happen was going to be something that had never happened before.

On the bus, I sat next to a girl my age and we talked about what you´re supposed to talk about: I am from California, but I was born in Georgia. I am 29. I do not have children. I am not married. I have a boyfriend. I am traveling for 6 weeks. My boyfriend is working. I started my trip in Guatemala. I am leaving in a week a half. I do not know how long I will be in El Salvador. (I never get tired of asking or being asked these questions). But then the conversation changed into "Where are you going to stay?" and "Aren´t you scared?" and I told her that yes, I was scared, but that it wasn´t usually like this. When I asked her if she knew of any hotels in Son Sonate, where she was from, she told me "the only hotels I know of are hourly hotels." Then she offered to let me stay with her family. I hesitated and she said "if you trust me, then you can stay with me, but if you don´t, you don´t have to." In Spanish, to say you trust someone you say "Tengo confianza en ella" or "I have trust in her." Except "confianza" can mean three things: confidence, trust, or familiarity. I said yes, not because I was scared to look for my own hotel or because I was afraid of hurting her feelings, but because I knew it would be something I might not have the chance to do again.

So I went home with the girl on the bus. She was short and had red hair, pale skin, and freckles. She wore dark eyeliner and tight jeans like any run-of-the-mill Indie hipster in Oakland. One of the first questions she asked me was whether or not I used bronzing powder. The bus ride took about an hour, and while I was staring out the window, Rosalba was staring at me. We walked through dark streets to her mother´s house and we ate tamales that tasted like hot dogs and had bones in them. Her dog´s name was Beethoven, after the movie. She brought over friends and family and they laughed at my broken Spanish and were rightfully concerned by my stupidity at traveling alone after dark in a country that I knew nothing about. After they left, she and I talked about our novios and how handsome Leonardo Di Caprio is (she had a small picture of him hanging over her bed). We slept in twin beds in a pink room like she and her sisters had done when she was a kid. My bed had clean, thick white sheets, and I slept through the roosters and the dogs barking and the little kid with the air horn walking up and down the street all morning. Each was just the beginning of another dream.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stories from Guatemala

A few things I want to write about. They are not chronological. I didn't have time to proofread, either.

*I forfeited watching the sun rise of the pyramids of Tikal this morning (and paying $35 for it) in order to take a hot shower. I'm in the northern part of Guatemala at the ruins of Tikal. There are only three hotels in the 122 square mile park, and I forked over $40 to have my own hotel room and my own private bath with, yes, hot water in the morning from 6 am to 9 am. Forty dollars here is more than I usually spend in a day, sometimes two. My favorite hostals have only cost $4 a night. So I am living in luxury for a day. I had a fresh strawberry milkshake with my dinner last night.

*A few days ago, I was dropped off in what felt like the middle of nowhere at a hostal with no internet and no hot water either. We had electricity from 6 to 10 at night in a little open air pavilion with tables around it where we all ate dinner together. Afterward, we danced salsa in the middle with the guys who worked there. During the day we swam in a series of limestone pools that drop into one another or we went into caves holding candles that we had to hold above the water while we swam from room to room. I came down with a little bit of a cold and stayed an extra day.

*Last week, I was in Xela, a supposedly "European" city surrounded by volcanoes, but really it was full of exhaust and trash. I didn't like it, and it was really spoiled for me when, in the middle of the day on a busy street, a man came up behind me and put both his arms around me tightly, like he knew me. He wasn't drunk and he didn't grab my small backpack I was carrying. I think he was just fucking with me. I pushed him off of me, yelling at him. It sucked. I've lived in Oakland, I've lived in bad neighborhoods of San Francisco. I know how not to get my wallet stolen, how to live in a neighborhood alongside drug dealers and prostitutes, and how to say "no" to an aggressive beggar, but I felt like a target in Xela. I left early. I felt like it was a matter of time before something fucked-up happened to me there. I liked leaving.

*Guatemala makes me feel like I work for OSHA. I am constantly thinking "that is dangerous!" My grandpa would have had a field day here pointing out all of the dangers. I, too, want to put handrails everywhere. I stood on the edge of a very very very steep temple this morning, 1000 feet up, and could have easily fallen to my death. Last week I climbed an active volcano. People roasted marshmallows over the open coals. Big hot rocks were tumbling down the mountain a few feet from us. Chicken buses take turns so sharply they go up on two wheels. Let's go jump off this slippery cliff into the water!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Guatemala

I have not written for months because, well, I didn't feel like it. This field has been lying fallow. Now I am in Guatemala on a six week trip through the country, and I feel like writing again. Here we are. Here are some things I want to tell you, somebody, anybody:

*Guatemalans get around on old US school buses that have been painted bright colors and christened with names like "Gracias A Dios" which are painted above the front window. The drivers play loud reggaeton and drive them much much much faster than Mr. Stackhouse (my old busdriver) ever did. Most of the riders on the bus are Mayan women who carry large bundles on their heads.

*How cool is it that there is a country where the majority of the population wears its traditional dress? Seriously. How cool is that? The indigenous population wins my World's Best Dressed award. None of these folks are intentionally or inadvertently wearing some some trickle-down runway fashion from a few years ago. When a Mayan wears a poncho, it's because her mama and grandmama and great-grandma did, and because she probably wove the cloth herself! And to make things even cooler, each region and town has its own particular design that they weave so families wear similar outfits, like the Scotish used to do with their tartans in the olden days. Everyone looks great, too. There is little better in the world than a 4-foot tall, seventy-year old woman in pigtails. Mostly women wear the traditional dress, but I have seen a few men wearing hot pink woven trousers and vest with gold thread. Google it. I like riding the "chicken buses" because I can check out the variety of cool outfits. If it weren't insulting for a Gringa to wear Mayan clothes, I'd definitely sport a huipul.

*As much as I like checking out the Mayans's suave outfits, Mayan kids like ogling my lip piercing. First they look at me out of curiosity, but when they notice the fake diamond on my lip, they all look shocked. They tug on their Mom's skirt and point. I never stare back, but I do keep my face turned in their direction just to let them get a good look.

*Yesterday I began my Spanish lessons. I'm staying in Quetzaltenango, or Xela, with a Guatemalan woman in her seventies and her daughter and three grandsons. Gloria feeds me well and is insulted that I only ate three pancakes for breakfast. Today I am going to my first ever yoga class in Spanish. Yesterday I bought three copies of Cosmopolitan en Español from the mid-1990s at a used bookstore. Eventhough my Spanish isn't good enough to really understand exactly what the article is saying, since all women's magazines basically just recycle stories every six months, I understand a lot more than I would otherwise. I can't really bring them in to school though, since I'd feel a little uncomfortable asking my (male) teacher to help me translate "Six Sex Secrets You Really Need to Know."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Update

It's done. I finished my MA Thesis, packed up my car, and now I'm here in Big Sur. I've been here for over a month now. All I do is read, play the guitar, go to work, and drink martinis. I have never been happier.

I'd like to say that I'll write more soon, but we'll see.




...Oh, you know I will.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Taking (things to) a dump

Today I was talking to my mother on the phone. I told I was getting rid of almost everything I owned. All my furniture, a trunkload full of clothes and household things, three paper grocery bags of books. I like my stuff; I'm not a packrat, I use most of it, but I'm moving on Friday and there's not going to be any room for all of it. This is a big deal for me.

My mom, who is a packrat, can relate. She said, "Wow. It's like a colon cleanse!"

How poetic: I am getting rid of a lot of old shit.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Central Park

I've been watching a lot of Woody Allen movies lately. One can only write/work for so many hours a day, and then one watches Manhattan or Celebrity or Manhattan Murder Mystery and is comforted by the fact that there is someone more neurotic in the world.

All these movies have reminded me of my two visits to New York City: August 2001 and November 2001. The first one was a graduation trip with my then best friend and boyfriend. We drove up in her car. I bought a cigar at the gas station in the wal-mart parking lot. That was retarded. I used the nastiest bathroom I had ever seen in New Jersey. I was stoned and driving through the Brooklyn tunnel and I thought I was accidentally going to veer off the road and lead us all to our death. This was the height of my heroin phase. Don't get the wrong idea; I've never even seen heroin, much less done it. Rather, I was listening to the Velvet Underground all the time and reading lots of books about junkies. It was the beginning of a nasty downturn in my life that crescendoed (or de-crescendoed) in November.

Tickets were really cheap in November, and I was thinking about taking an Americorps job there. My dad suggested I pay the $60 and go check it out again and see if I could make it work. I stayed in a hostel, ate broccoli pizza, and mainly just walked around. One amazing night included a phenomenally bad rendition of "Crazy" by Patsy Cline in one room at a bar, and in the other a streak of blind luck at pool that allowed me to hold a table and keep playing game after game with a bunch of dudes. I wore only bright colors then: a hot pink tank top, a green scarf, rainbow socks, and powder blue mary jane sneakers, and always always a string of indian glass beads I had bought in Amsterdam.



I was profoundly sad like I had never been and never have been since. I had a broken heart and I was very lonely. One bright moment of the trip was a simple, shy, sweet boy sitting across from me on the subway who I saw reading the title of the Ladybug Transistor cd I had in my hand. I blushed, and said something about the peanut shells on the floor. He got off and looked back at me, and it made me happy for weeks.

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I were talking about New York and I dug out a journal entry from that trip. I was sad, walking around, and I just decided I'd sit in Central Park for the day. I sat there watching these kids play soccer, and I couldn't understand why they were just happy.

11/17/01

I'm going to try to organize these thoughts that I've been thinking for a long time. I don't think I'm a good enough writer yet to convey what I mean, but I'm going to try. When things get really bad, I often have the same epiphanal realization that the way we think about life is just all entertainment. When nothing gives you pleasure, and you're searching so desperately for something to make you happy, it is easy and logical to think that sports, reading, school, even humanitarian work isn't motivated by your fate in life, but rather something to distract you from a recurring and overarching wish to die. Maybe this is true. Maybe life is like going to a shitty matinee. You would rather get up and leave, but you've already paid the money so you might as well stay. I know this is a shitty metaphor, but it seems like so many people enjoy the matinee. Is life only worth living because it is better than death? Because we're too lazy to just count our losses and skip town?

But, of course, it is far more complicated than that. It seems like so many people don't leave. And a lot of intelligent people really enjoy life. Perhaps if I had proper chemicals, I would too. I suppose I'm stuck on the question: what if it isn't all for entertainment? Not that there is necessarily a god, but what if there is some good reason to live and live well that I, in my small 21 years, have yet to realize? Is there such a thing as real love? Do children really change everything? Perhaps I was created simply to make the world a better place for others to live in. If so, then what can I do to realize this? I'm also aware that kids don't want to die. They just live and enjoy themselves and cry when they hurt.

I wish I could find peace with some way of thinking of the world. I know this: that there is something about love--humanitarian love--and Jesus, etc. were real nice guys. I know that restrictions do not make your life better, but more complicated, and I know that most people, nay, all people are doing the best they can. Most people just exist. And they're trying to do what will make them happy. I wish I felt more of a connection with humanity. I want my life to be dedicated to others, and not just a few people, but a lot of people who need me to be who I am. Maybe this is already the case and I don't realize it, but it's not the way I could hope it to be.

Does it get better than little girls playing soccer? What about the smell of Aveda pomade? I like how Biff Brount is in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Decides to drink a glass of water and does it.

[heart]
Susanna



P.S. I moved to SF and everything changed. I've been, basically, happy ever since.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Names I Have Given My Cat


My cat's name is Theo. That was the name they gave him at the Alameda SPCA, where I first met him. Actually, we met online. I saw his photo, and it was love at first sight. I went to meet him the next day, and he charmed me by hissing at the lady whom I also didn't like. He head-butted my shin, and the rest, they say, is history.

It felt wrong to change his name, but I filled it out. Theo's official name is:

Theodore Underpants Randolph Wonderful

You can write it "Theodore U. R. Wonderful"

Here's a somewhat chronological progression:

Thebes
Theebies
Handsome
Taco
Sweetheart
Theodorable
Old Deuteronomy (thanks to my brother's friend, Norm)
Dr. Cuddles
Puddle O'Cuddles
Doogie Meowser Kitt Dee

I'll add more when I remember them.

Update: April 14th.

I forgot about:

Fluffle-up-a-gus
Cuddle Me Timbers

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I call it

You call it coffee.

I call it writing juice.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sing to me O Muse!

Writing gods, accompany me. I am entering the beyond. Let me not appear too simplistic or too full-of-shit. May my research prove relevant. May my argument amuse and hold together. May I finish on time and not be fatigued. May my computer last through the month. May I not be redundant or too clever. May textual proof emerge and may scholarly justification exist and be something I have already read. May my readers love my work and yet give me good feedback. May my body stay healthy, my sleep be undisturbed, and my bank account remain positive. May I be proud even if only two people will ever read it!

I must learn this again and again:

Nothing is more important than a clear thesis and paragraphs that progress logically with clear topic sentences.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recipes for Mama--#1

My Mama has had a hell of a time these past two years. My mama married my father when she was 18. He died when she was 56. This has to be the hardest time in her life. Her life and her self have been torn apart, broken, split, shattered, what have you, and she has a major wound that she has to heal from. We all do, but I think she has it the worst. I know when she reads this, she's going to think that I'm announcing to the world that she is having a hard time. Actually, that's not quite true. Considering the degree of trauma that she had to endure, she has been able to get up in the morning, walk out the door, and walk through the world pretty damn well. I want to be clear, though, that returning back to life as normal after a traumatic event has nothing to do with personal strength and isn't really something to applaud. Sometimes it's wiser to stay in bed and cry. Americans forget this. Anyway, all I'm saying is that my Mom has had a hard go of it, as anyone would, and I'm not making any judgement good or bad as to how she has dealt with my father's nightmarish death.


Let's go to another topic: Am I really Southern anymore? The end of January commemorated my seven year San Frantastic anniversary. My accent resembles that of a news anchor more than a person on the street I grew up on. I actually leave the house regularly without drying my hair, and I only wear lipstick sometimes. I drink unsweetened hot herbal tea way more often than sweet iced tea, and my favorite fried food is a jalapeno. And yes, sometimes, when people are really friendly to me and I don't know them well I think they want something. But I still have long hair, use moisturizer religiously, smile at strangers on the sidewalk, park a linen chest at the foot of my bed, call my Mama "Mama," and--the one really matters--if someone is upset, sad, tired, happy, or at my house, I comfort them with food.

But out here in California, at least among the folks I know, food that comforts is also good for you. At home, comfort food is chicken n' dumplins, country fried steak, honey-baked ham, grandma's green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese casserole, sweet potatoes glazed with brown sugar, black olives from the can, cornbread, biscuits and apple butter, pecan pie, and deviled eggs. (Actually, they're "aggravated eggs" because grandma, as a good Baptist, didn't like to even say the name of the evil one.) These are foods that I grew up eating, not every night, but regularly. And they are crazy (!) delicious, but if you are sick or sad, these foods aren't going to make you feel better, and they are going to hurt you in the long run.

I want to comfort my Mama with good food that makes her feel good and helps her body heal and be strong so she can walk around and do what she needs to do. Since I've lived in California, I have, over time, drastically changed my eating habits. Now I think of comfort food as food that's simple to digest, cooling or warming, satisfies your appetite and makes you feel good all day or evening. It's soup: veggie-heavy broth-based soup (noodles optional), miso soup with tiny cubes of tofu that you drink out of the bowl, pineapple-broth vietnamese soup with snapper. It's cold salads with gentle dressings like garbanzo bean salad with cilantro, corn, and egg and sweet miso dressing. It's sushi: cucumber sticks in the middle of rice rolled in salty, crisp seaweed. It's yogurt, fruit, and granola: the holy trinity of breakfast that tastes awesome, quells hunger, and makes you feel cold and good until lunch.

I know you're thinking I've got all "uppity" and gone fancy, but with the exception of the pineapple-broth vietnamese soup, these foods are easier to make than almost all of the Southern food I mentioned above.

Mama, I can't be there to cook for you, so, as I promised, here are some recipes that taste good, are easy to make with ingredients that you can get in Georgia, and are good for you. All I ask is that you put it in your mouth and chew.

Bean salad:
(I eat this all the time)

1 can S&W garbanzo beans (remember S & W because that's my initials; they are the best.)
1 can S&W kidney beans
3 stalks celery sliced (you can buy celery at any market. Make sure it's turgid, not limp, it's not super-dark green [that'll taste leathery], and that the ends aren't brown)
1 carrot, grated (Organic carrots taste better, and they're only slightly more expensive. It takes 2 seconds to grate a carrot, 1 second to wash the grater.)

Add some fresh cilantro (the cheapest, awesomest fresh herb) if available

Stock up on slivered almonds, currants (more delicious than raisins, not too expensive), and pumpkin seeds (way better than sunflower) at a health-food store with bulk bins (Whole Foods, I mean Whole Paycheck). Keep them in the freezer. You can add these three things to any salad and it's wayyyy better.

A chopped apple (fuji or pink lady, the rest are often mealy or too sour) is a nice touch.

That's probably good, but if you want to take it to the next delicious level, add a SALTED avocado and a SALTED hard-boiled egg. Please don't overcook the egg so that it gets that depressing gray ring around the yolk. If it's still orange-y clear in the middle, you are so lucky, salt it and eat half of it right then. It will flip you out with its crazy delicious power.

Dressing:
Don't do oil and vinegar, or any vinaigrette, it will pucker your mouth and ruin the sweet wonderful thing you have going.

You can find a SWEET miso dressing, or mix honey with one you get at the store
If you can find Girard's brand, they make a good "Champagne" dressing (there's no booze in it, though, sorry)
Or you can take that egg, that avocado, some plain GOOD yogurt (buy the fancy stuff on this one), some soy sauce, and honey and mix it up and that will work too. I mix SriRacha, or rooster sauce, a hot chili garlic sauce in there too, but I know you don't like spicy things.

Toss the hell out of it before you spoon it into your bowl. Leftovers are perfect for breakfast (try eating salad for breakfast and see how your day goes), but will keep for 24-48 hours.

You will love me for this one. I will become your favorite child.

"Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food" --Hippocrates

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A weekend is four days

This weekend my car got towed from a mall parking lot because I left it overnight. It cost me $457 dollars to get it back. I left the same car in another mall parking lot overnight four days later because I am proud and have a sense of justice. It was still there today and things are made whole again.

This year I have been waking up a few minutes earlier every day in order to have my brain be all spit-shiny fresh for longer in the day (I work better in the morning). I'm at 7:15 am now, but this weekend I woke up at 5:40 am one day, 1:00 pm another, 12;00 the next day, and 11:00 another.

I've been working at least two hours a day since January 6th on my masters thesis, but in the last five days I have read only one essay. I forgot about two quizzes I was supposed to take for Spanish class.

This weekend I kept forgetting to put my make up on. I let my hair air dry and I wore my boyfriend's ripped up t-shirt. A Smithsonian photographer spotted us behind the counter at the Henry Miller library and made me read to Eric for an hour while she photographed us.

I am not making enough money and I need more work but this weekend I went out to eat and it was on me.

This weekend I'm not afraid of what I'm supposed to do, write, or pay. I'm in love. I have been for awhile.

This weekend was perfect.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I can't help it, really.

I'm just kind of in love with Jimmy Carter. I heard him today on the radio, touting his new book We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land and he was also on the Daily Show. He's so just Georgia. He reminds me of my grandfather (Papa). He's lovely. Really.

Our grandoldgrossfather

So I am writing my graduate thesis now. My MA program is only two years long, and this is the beginning of the final semester. I have finished my coursework, and the only thing I have left to do is write a 60-100 page paper. Last semester I had to write three 20-page papers (plus a 15 page thesis prospectus) in about a month and a half, so three months to whip out 60-100 pages seems definitely doable.

I'm writing on the connection between James Joyce's Ulysses and Derek Walcott's Omeros. Everyone, with the exception of my professors and one other graduate student, hasn't known who Walcott is. He won the Nobel Prize in 1992 for this achingly, drippingly beautiful pseudo-Homeric epic Omeros.
(Walcott painted the watercolor on the front). He's a Caribbean poet from the small island St. Lucia. I like writing about islands because more often than not their cultural and national boundaries are determined by their geography. Culture seems neatly divided into little dots on a blue background. Plus, the authors are surrounded by the ocean, and isolated from whatever is "out there." Alienation bred in paradise? Sign me up please. I love it.

Reading Omeros makes you ache. You're washing a dish and poetry just falls out of your mouth. Here are a few lines, chosen randomly. Read them more than once:

. . .The river stops talking,
the way silence suddenly turns off a market.

The wind squatted low in the grass. A man kept walking
steadily towards him, and he knew by the walk it
was himself in his father, the white teeth, the widening hands.

***

And Istanbul's spires, each dome a burnoosed Turk,
swathed like a Saracen, with the curved scimitar
of a crescent moon over it, or the floating muck

of a lowering Venice probed by a gondolier,
rippling lines repeating some pilgrim's journals,
the weight of cities that I found so hard to bear;

in them was the terror of Time, that I would march
with columns at twilight, only to disappear
into a past whose history echoes the arch

of bridges sighing over their ancient canals
for a place that was not mine, since what I preferred
was not statues but the bird in the statue's hair.

***

Ahhhh, Walcott. He makes you sigh and ache at the same time. I think it's love.

BUT I am also writing about Ulysses. I was stoked to be able to reread this amazing book. I took a week off at the beginning of January to rest up my p(r)etty little brain and then I began reading a chapter every day. There are 18 chapters, but one of them is 180 pages long (I divided it into two days). A few weeks ago I actually wrote a carefully thought-out blog post about the experience of reading Ulysses, which I intended to type up this morning, but for some reason I have lost it. It involved ballerinas! How sad. Something about transcendence too.

I have hit the other side of that transcendence. For the past two days I have been locked in the drunken, absinthe-induced trip to the brothel that reads like a nightmare. It's absolutely filthy (probably why Ulysses was banned in so many countries for so long; interestingly, Ireland was the last country to lift the ban in the 1960s) and bizarre, and goddamn it that is exactly the kind of thing that I like. For some reason though, it drove me absolutely insane and I am seriously glad that it's over.

I read first thing in the morning, and by 11 o'clock the first day I was craving a beer. No, I am not an alcoholic and I don't just booze it up willy nilly before noon. At one point, Bloom, one of the protagonists, loses himself in a reverie induced by the red triangle on a Bass bottle which comes to represent the tongue of a panther, a ruby on the belly of a stripper, and his wife's dally hoo-hoo. Let me give you an idea of what it is like to read this by transcribing some of my reading notes:

p539 Bloom's middle name is Paula
p540 Bloom is a woman and a cow
Bloom likes anal sex
p544 "We'll manure you Mr. Flower"
(realization of sexual desires culminates in shit. Leads to thoughts of death)
p551 Nymph has no asshole
p553 Nymph splits apart
p569 Stephen talks about his "grandoldgrossfather" who made the metal cage for
Pasiphae ["to indulge her lust for the bull"]
p571 "dreams go by contraries"
fulfills dreams
p589 Stephen must kill the priest and the king
p590 King sucks jujube
p591 "you die for your country...let my country die for me"
p597 Bloom tells Cissy Caffrey she's the "sacred lifegiver"

I really like "p551 Nymph has no asshole. . .p553 Nymph splits apart." I didn't notice that on a first reading. Joyce is funny. Earlier on Bloom goes to the national museum to look at the marble statues of the goddesses ("aids to digestion"); he wants to find out if they have an anus. But Joyce writes it like, "I wonder if they have a." The period at the end of the sentence represents the anus. Tee hee hee.



I'm glad I'm out of the brothel, though. It was too much. But it looks like I'll be going back soon; I'm going to write about male characters in drag. Yay! Wish me luck!