freewritin'

who knew it was possible to feel so many things at once on the near-eve of my departure: mild stress at the difficultness of airlines and the over-protective words of my parents, worry over the long journey, excitement at leaving for something new, pre-mature homesickness . . . but still the excitement, of getting back to london, if only for a few days, to meet with ped, who hasn't been deterred by my frantic e-mails and quick temper and who i still have some of the best intellectual conversations with, and marianne, one of my rocks last spring . . . to eat dinner with them and have drinks and pretend like it's the old days, when all we had to worry about were exams and papers and classes . . . to return to old haunts: mile end, portobello, spitalfields, covent  - and to likely go broke once again. and then to leave once more, this time for a place i know nothing about but that i know will change me in some way. for better or worse, that i cannot yet say.

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Last spring, as I was walking through Covent Garden, I was stopped by a man with a professional camera. He took pictures for a Japanese magaine, he told me, and would like to take a picture of me for a piece on London "street style." I think I was wearing something particularly eccentric that day.

So, naturally flattered, I posed for the guy. I wonder what happened to that picture. I should have asked for the magazine's name.

Alas - that is my claim to limited fame. I should probably get out more . . .

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I watched the news of the Andrea Yates verdict yesterday. 

In defense of her judgment - not guilty by insanity - commentators reasoned that the jury felt that Yates must have been at least temporarily insane to do what she did. Her husabnd was then put on. Yes, he agreed, Yates had to have been out of her mind to chase down her children and murder them. What other reason could there be?

I beg to differ. Andrea Yates was given the judgment of "not guilty" by insanity because we, as Western "civilized" people, are hyprocritical. Let me explain. What Yates did is not a hallmark in history. It is more striking because she committed the crime against her children, but the essence of what she did is present in other cases.
It was there in My Lai during the Vietnam War; it was there during Abu Ghraib in Iraq. The ability of "normal," ordinary Americans, Westerners, to commit horrific actions. To give into their basest insticts and submit without moral qualms to their despair, anger, and fear. And to kill coldly, but determinedly.

We're always so surprised as we hear of war atrocities - it's unfathomable to us. We've trapped ousrelves into this unrealistic facade of moral superiority and we can't even see what's right in front of us. War is a hellish jungle, and motherhood is a constant trial. Yates had untreated post-partum depression that spiraled out of control. She was NOT insane.

But instead of dealing with THAT issue, the complex, difficult one between mothers and their children, we reason that she must have been insane. And we put Tom Cruise on television. Because if she wasn't crazy, then what does that say about the rest of us?

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Weird happening (is that a noun?) today.
Last fall, when Tulane students displaced from Katrina descended upon my school for a semester, I happened to become friends with one of them.
White, southern guy from my very own state, Alabama. But definitely not a preppy, GOP stereotype: shopped at thrift stores, listened to world music, very chill personality, etc.
I interviewed him for a profile I was doing for the Nass, and we started to hang out. However, we eventually fell out over Winter Formals, a dance we were supposed to go together. It worked out for the best, as I ended up going with a Zimbabwean guy I absolutely adore, but I haven't seen Tulane guy since Feb.
I actually completely forgot about him.
Then I get an e-mail today asking if we still could be friends.
What?? It's been months!

And that was my random event of the week.

(no subject)

I take that back. I finally learned today to stop romanticizing these damn things and people.

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After 4 hours in the hot, treacherous sun amidst hundreds of people in Central Park, I finally got to see Amadou et Mariam. Before them were an interesting, bass-heavy, French dj group and Baba Toure.
Good, definitely, but not nearly as brilliant as the "le couple aveugle du Mali". C'etait magnifique.
"Est-ce que ca va??!!," they yelled. "Ouais, Ouais!!," we responded.


My boss today remarked how I had transformed to being outspoken instead of incredibly quiet, as he had first thought of me. "She was so quiet when she first walked in," he said to a coworker, "scared of her own people."

It's true that I am definitely introverted until I become comfortable in new settings, but the second comment struck me.
After being in a sea of white at college, it was admittedly peculiar to be working in an all-black office in my hometown.
But I like it. And I'm looking forward to more of it in Kampala.
Though that will be another story in and of itself . . .

(no subject)

I'm now old enough to know when someone is trying to use me.

But I don't play that anymore.
Thank God for growing up and learning.

(no subject)

I'm really looking forward to writing real articles again - interviewing people, recording quotes, the research - I really love it, and this tedious data-entry job I'm doing this month is driving me crazy.
But in other news, if I don't get shut out by the crowds, I'll be seeing these beautiful people perform this weekend at Central Park.





AMADOU ET MARIAM!
woo-hoo
Dans ce monde trouble, they are one of my favorite groups, ever.