Pins and Needles

My daily confession: I decided to drop art. I went to class yesterday with such a mixture of dread and resignation that my stomach hurt. I had worked on my sketches for homework really hard, but one look at the wall where others had posted their work and the last thing I intended to do was take any of them out. I was a few minutes late and I slunk in the back door. When I approached one of the tables I saw our initial assignments spread out with tracing paper and grades on them. Her grading system is a series of a check mark for adequate, a plus, a plus plus etc. Only 2 of us got checks, everyone else got variations of the plus.

I already know I can’t draw, that’s why I took the class. She’s supposed to be showing me HOW TO. Not just telling me to do it and then showing me that I can’t. This was supposed to be my fun class. The class I took just for me, to find joy in and improve my painting, one of the outlets for my own excess creative energy. Instead it is an ordeal. So I simply slipped out, went to the registrar and withdrew. I am already way over the mark credit wise. I don’t need that course. It will give me more time for homework and one day I will take drawing at the YMCA or a community college where they actually care about me succeeding. I don’t really give a crap if 80% of the class took drawing all through high school. They should have an advanced beginner class then. Instead of this beginner class  which is _required_ for any other art classes. It lumps in people like me, actual novices with people who are much more advanced.

So, that made me feel sad and dissapointed in the school and in myself. I am surprised at what I am enjoying the most. That seems to happen every semester. I am endlessly mistaken about which class will be my favorite. I have to admit I am a total fan of French. It’s very challenging, especially in light of the Spanish I know. There is like a weird thing that happens in my mind where I think in English, then Spanish, then French…all in a few seconds. Kind of a flutter effect. It’s especially noticable with numbers and the alphabet. Today was the first real exam. I studied hard for it. The book we are using is above average, it has a workbook and accompanying CD’s with dictation. I looked up some special words and phrases and memorized them to use in the paragraph we had to write about ourselves. (I like fencing and I am studying to be a priest.) The professor is tres entertaining and a gifted educator. One of my friends from last semester and I were the last ones taking the test and we stayed behind and she repeated some of the dictation again for us slowly to make sure we could hear it well. in other words, she is making sure we are learning it. Which is more important frankly because I plan on visiting France in the future and I know I will need the language skills.

I also like the Feminist Philosophies class. It’s thought provoking and revs up my CPU. Last night I was reading a paper called “The Possibility of Feminist Theory” by Marilyn Frye. I found it to be eminently approachable and while it failed to completely answer the question, it advanced the conversation significantly in an interesting way.

Yesterday was actually a little tough physically. Both mom and I seem to be having a flare up of fibromyalgia. Probably kicked off by a low grade infection or even the weather. Not entirely sure what starts it. I do know that my stomach is starting to feel a bit painful today which is not a good sign. I hope I am not also going to have a little flare up of that as well. So the main symptoms of Fibro are complete and utter exhaustion, pain and tenderness throughout your whole body and a feeling like you are coming down with something. After Senate last night I was so wasted I couldn’t get the energy together to go to fencing or the College Democrats meeting I planned on attending. Sam Rasoul was even on campus! Instead I took myself over to Metro for a little TLC. I just needed to be taken care of some and to rest.

I was in luck. I had a wonderful server named Sophia. They had added a couple of new appetizers to the menu for fall and she described them very well. I decided to try them based on her recommendation. I started with some Revolution Teas Earl Grey to chase away some of the cold and ache, took something for the pain and started reading some of my philosophy homework. The amuse bouche was a blueberry lime beverage. It was tart and tangy. Served cold in a chilled shot glass, it was good for what it was, but it was cold and damp outside and I was just not in a cold fruit juice mood. They brought out some of the new dinner rolls served in a cigar box. They’d been browned a little too much. Maybe just kept in the warmer too long. It’s hard with home baked bread though. I cut them slack on that. Still, I love the flavor of a fresh yeast roll. They are somewhat dense, they are kneading them a bit too much which gives it that toughness. Didn’t stop me from eating 2 while I waited for my first app. Kobe beef app served with apple butter (I think it was the apple butter from the Homeplace!) and asian slaw of some kind. I ignored the greens and focused on the beef which was deliciously, perfectly cooked to a rarish MR. Melt in your mouth tender with a wonderful flavor. It had been marinated in Miso, something I had not tried on beef before. I ate it in approximately 4 minutes. It was just yummy.

My second choice was tiger shrimp scampiied with a side deep dish pizza served with caramalized onions and fontina cheese. The shrimp scampi was out of this world. The shrimp were clean and sweet, the butter clarified and rich, laden with garlic. There were about 3 triangles of deep dish pan style pizza accompanying  the shrimp. (Think about half of Pizza Hut’s personal pan size) Covered with fontina and caramalized onions it had a sharp, tangy, disctinctive flavor that counterpointed nicely with the richness of the shrimp. There was one giant piece of sundried tomato strewn between the slices of pizza. It was just bursting with flavor and I wished a piece had been on every slice. I had dessert, a little bit of chocolate comfort…the Pot du Creme which as I’ve mentioned before is the best dessert I’ve had in Roanoke so far. (At $2 it’s probably also the cheapest.)

As one of the assignments for my poetry class I visit this site called and take field notes while listening to poetry. It is very interesting. One of the authors I heard that captivated me is named Gregory Whitehead. One of the poems he created and recites is about screams and is called “We All Scream Alone” and one is very intimate and is called “What Words Want”

I am working on a few new ideas for some poems to turn in tomorrow. We will workshop them next week.

Last night I also stopped by Barnes & Noble to pick up The Fall on DVD! So happy it’s out. I am carrying it around with me, which is slightly ridiculous I know, but I think I might come across the odd moment or opportunity to play it on some of the nice equipment somewhere on campus. It would look fantastic in HD. The weekend is shaping up to be an exciting one, with Dick Schmidt, the editor of Forward Day by Day preaching at the Gathering kick off this weekend, Sunday School starting and possibly getting a visitor from Greensboro.

My song of the moment has to be Sia’s Day Too Soon. it perfectly reflects how I feel right this minute.


2 thoughts on “Pins and Needles

  1. Salut,

    I stopped by to give you my chocolate pot de creme recipe since it sounds like you like the stuff. Mine’s usper easy – just have to be sure to use fresh eggs.

    Hey too bad about that art class. Sounds like you did the right thing – and don’t forget drawing is just a skill that anyone can learn. Being an artist is all in the way you look at the world and very people are there.

    Bonne chance avec le français! A bientot.


  2. I took an art class at college once and ran into the same problem. I love the idea of drawing but am not that kind of an artist by any stretch of the imagination. Other people coudld draw much better. Fortunately I had a professor who emphasized what you could do, not what everyone else did.

    Thanks for the link to I’d never heard of it and it looks like an interesting site to check out.


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