It feels like life is finally getting started after a few years of treading water.
  • Tonight I've spent a couple hours putting together my lists for General exams - the last step I have to take before my Dissertation. It feels like a monumental thing compared with the puny papers I still have to write. I have my teaching assignment for next year and am daily feeling more confident and in control, professionally, than I ever have.
  • Also, last weekend I signed a lease on a lovely little apartment in a lovely little neighborhood.
  • Most importantly, though, the ball is really rolling for my lovely young man to finally come to the U.S. and make me an honest woman. We're doing the final bits of paperwork and beginning to plan the big day(s).
  • I'm slowly getting a plan for financial stability and responsibility together. It's far off and optimistic, but not outside the realm of possibility.



This is supposed to be the Year of Financial Responsibility, but I'm finding poverty to be in direct conflict with that particular goal. When does this get better?


Oh wow....

It's all coming together! Today our visa petition was approved and other developments in life are so very exciting. What a good day to be alive!


Eating? Disorder?

Whenever I feel like starving myself I look at 1 cup of oatmeal with brown sugar.doc

This is a fascinating essay written by a model who occasionally writes on Jezebel (anonymously) about how screwy the modeling/high fashion world is from the inside. In this episode, she talks about how going to Paris Fashion Week inspires her to a new level of disordered eating (which, luckily, she doesn't seem to have really succumbed to). "1 cup of oatmeal with brown sugar.doc" is a document analyzing her favorite recipes for calorie content, documenting the details of various regimens and diets she tried, and recording bizarre calorie-burning tips, such as "Drinking COLD water burns extra cals bc your body must use energy to bring the water up to body temp."

This all sounds like standard starving-model crap, but then you realize she sounds totally reasonable and relatively well adjusted. I mean, living with these impossible, unattainable, and frankly unattractive (angular, bony, shriveled) ideals paraded constantly, who doesn't head for the cold tap to down some cold water to kill appetite and burn a couple calories while you're at it? And add ice.

For the record, I have a relatively healthy body image - I don't have what you'd refer to as body dysmorphia and I'm pretty realistic about the difficulties of reconciling wanting to wear a size 8 (or 6, or 4) with being six feet tall and REALLY liking butter. But all the same, it's hard to not want to be skinny and wear Prada or Naeem Khan or whoever else...


Graffiti aus Berlin

While in Berlin, I took a lot of photos of graffiti that I found amusing or impressive. Here's an example of the former, seen on Oranienstr. in Kreuzberg. (This is arguably my favorite street in the world.)

I assume this sort of graffiti is done with a stencil, but I always wonder if they're made by hand or mass produced. Is there some magical shop where you can buy snarky graffiti stencils? Or do you have to order them online?

Now, I'm not a vandalism kind of girl, but I do find myself sort of itching to come up with a brilliant idea, and to take to the street with my home-made stencil, a can of spray paint, and no fear whatsoever. But maybe I'm just feeling a touch rebellious.

Also, why don't you see this often in the States?

A list of relevant links:

Stencil tutorial
Gallery of stencil graffiti
The Hipster/Yuppie version
Ostensibly the original

Here we go again...

Toying again with the idea of jettisoning LiveJournal. May as well give this a try for a while. For now, here's an amusing link:

Werbung gegen die Realität

They've taken photos of instant food packaging and photos of the final prepared product to point out just exactly how much food advertising polishes the images they put on their packaging. Quite terrifying, but somehow amusing at the same time.