Friends Hanging Out



Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Tempus Fugit. Sorry for the creative block I’ve been stuck under for the last many months! Here is a drawing of the thing I am today (a supervisor who is still getting the hang of supervising!):

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I was browsing YouTube mindlessly–as one does–and came across an adorable video of a baby elephant trying fruitlessly to help up a larger elephant which had fallen down. How sweet!

Skip to 2:16, by the way. The video is actually mostly boring.

But I could not help but be reminded of a passage from The Physiologus, a text  written in Greek in the second or third century as both a guide to animals, trees and stones, AND an explanation as to how each of these natural specimens can be seen as analogous to Christian theology and ethics.

Now, before you go and accuse me of being some sort of an intellectual or something, it’s not like I went and read The Physiologus myself! I just happened to read the passage in my copy of  Umberto Ecco’s On Ugliness, a lively exploration of the Grotesque in Western art and literature! I don’t even KNOW Greek, and my Latin is getting a bit rusty–difficile est tenere quae acceperis nisi exerceas, as they say! So, just to be clear: I’m just a REGULAR JOE.

Anyway, on to the elephants!

In the mountains

An animal known as the elephant exists.

…This is the elephant’s nature. If it falls down, it is unable to get back up again, because it has no joints in its knees. And how might it fall down? When it wants to sleep, it leans against a tree and hunters, who are familiar with the elephant’s nature, go and saw the tree trunk halfway through.

The animal comes to rest and then falls along with the tree, and begins to send forth loud trumpeting.

Another elephant hears this and comes to help, but it is not capable of lifting up its companion: therefore both begin trumpeting…

and another twelve elephants arrive, but not even all of these together can lift up the fallen beast; therefore they all start trumpeting: finally a small elephant arrives, puts its trunk under the fallen elephant, and lifts him up.

What I take away from this story is that elephant hunters need to follow through with the rest of their hunting plans, and that elephants are disorganized. Oh! Also that Europeans in the Middle Ages were pretty uninformed about elephants. What you SHOULD take away from this story, gentle readers, is that the Elephant is MAN, after falling into SIN…

Then the great elephant arrived, in other words the Law, and it was unable to lift him; then the twelve elephants came (in other words the prophets), and they weren’t able to lift the fallen man either; finally, the holy spiritual elephant arrived, and he lifted the man up.

An Update and Some Photos!

Next week I will have lived in the Boston area for a full year! I will have been living in the Real World, away from school and the family for TWO years! I will have had this blog for two years, too.

A lot has changed over the past year! I am now a barista, for instance, which is invigorating, if a little overwhelming for someone who has worked neither retail nor service before. (Spellcheck suggests I replace barista with barrister; I am not a barrister).

I’ve made more friends, and I’ve kept doing theater at a steady rate! I’ve gotten to know this area pretty well, and now that early summer is in full swing, I can almost forgive (an admittedly mild) winter for lasting so long. I’ve learned to play the ukulele adequately! I’ve learned a lot about vegetarian cooking. I’ve learned some Norwegian!

Life is pretty nice, I think, even if I have no vision of myself in 5 years whatsoever–like, not even a glimmer of a hint of what or where I’ll be. Heck–even next year I can only envision where I’ll be because I’ve signed a year-long lease starting in September. On the “Life is pretty nice” side of things, here are three botanical photos I took the other day! I have not really put much of my photography on this blog, as I was REALLY into photography in college, then lost my spare camera battery…but now I own a sweet camera my brother got me, so I should get back on the horse.

I was going to upload a bunch, but maybe I should use a photo website to do that and link it here.

Also here another song I wrote for fun:

Three new small songs!

Some of you may have seen these already, but for those who have not, I have made THREE NEW SONGS! Note: They aren’t about me, unlike Kimbap Baby!

Kimbap Baby

I wrote a ditty! With MUSIC!

My First St. Patrick’s Day/My First Racism!

Wow! Boston really likes St. Patrick’s Day! I was on the T earlier, and there was nothing to be seen but green and Guinness memorabilia! Green glitter wigs, green headbands, green everything. It makes sense in a city with a historically substantial Irish population, though I doubt most of the yelling college kids I saw today were themselves Irish.

Anyway, this St. Paddy’s day vortex of colleges and pubs that is Boston has inspired me to type up my first St. Patrick’s Day memory.

One Friday, long ago, when I was a little first grader, my teacher reminded all of us kids to wear green the following Monday in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. I relayed this information to my Grandmother (with whom I lived) once I got home. She was NOT pleased. She explained that we were SCOTS (she was, at least) and that wearing green showed support for the IRISH. Not only was my grandmother of Scottish descent, she was a solid anglophile (the house contained lots of miniature English cottages, Britain-themed tea towels, etc, that she got visiting England). Honestly, I had never even heard of the IRISH. But the message was clear: whatever the IRISH were, no grandchild of hers would be condoning their holiday!

On Monday, I arrived at school wearing all ORANGE, in a sea of green peers–I don’t even know how my Grandmother managed to get so much orange on one little girl–I felt very conspicuous, but proud. My favorite favorite teaching assistant came up to me and exclaimed, “Why Anna! You’re not wearing any green! Did you forget it was St. Patrick’s Day today?”

I stood tall and declared, “I’m a SCOT, and we HATE THE IRISH.”

“Oh..but Anna…I’m Irish.” Tears appeared in her eyes!

I could have died right there–I don’t know if I had ever felt so awful as I did then. I would never have guessed Irish was a type of PERSON, much less wonderful Miss O’Brian (name changed because I don’t recall her name at this point).

“I–I’m sorry! I don’t hate you at all! I promise! I didn’t know what Irish was!!!” now I cried, but she hugged me to show she wasn’t mad, and then I made some shamrock-themed arts-and-crafts.

My grandmother was an overall awesome and admirable woman (for example, she was a Woman’s Air Service Pilot in WWII), but whenever St. Patrick’s day comes around, I wear green and remember that awful experience. I learned to take what she said with a grain of salt for the first time that day, as she was clearly uninformed on the whole Irish issue, and had made me into a jerk by mistake.