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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wet & Rainy Days

... call for soup. 


Have been thinking of doing a bit more cooking lately. Maybe learn some typical Swabian/Bavarian dishes, now that I am in the region? 

Oi there

It was the first of May
A lovely warm spring day
I was strolling down the street in drunken pride,
But my knees were all a-flutter,
And I landed in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

Yes, I lay there in the gutter
Thinking thoughts I could not utter
When a lady passing by did softly say
'You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses' — And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

- Anon., "The Pig"

Sounds familiar

My sister held on to our old turntable
and all the old records we listened to
through the long Italian opera

of our childhood. So tonight
we sit in the living room with some wine
and Puccini, as the needle scratches

the black door of the past, the air comes to life
with that lovely, cornball melodrama,
and our father is sitting in his chair,

ice cubes clinking in his scotch,
and our mother is in the kitchen
trying to be quiet, trying not to disturb

Maria Callas as she explains
to Tito Gobbi that she has lived for art
and she has lived for love, but it's hard

to fry pork chops and dice an onion
without making a certain amount of noise,
and pretty soon my father is shouting at her,

he's trying to listen to the music
for God's sake, could she for once
show a little respect,

and our mother says nothing,
it's just the same old argument
between ghosts, after all—the music

won't let them sleep—
though it has my sister in tears,
and even Tosca has begun to weep.

- George Bilgere, "Tosca"

The inimitable

“I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”

“I can't sit still and see another man slaving and working. I want to get up and superintend, and walk round with my hands in my pockets, and tell him what to do. It is my energetic nature. I can't help it.”

“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing. ”

- Jerome K. Jerome

On proposals, to date

While considering options and flights: "Maybe we should just get married."

On proposals, again...

The morning after I told you that I love you, over breakfast: "I can see myself being married to you." "Was that meant to be a proposal?" "Only if you say yes."

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

On proposals

While hanging off of the edge of a cliff attached to one another with climbing rope looped around ever so much like bondage gear - that's a good time. I find that the threat of imminent demise generally helps with making one's case.

When we topped the climb you said "Did you ask me to spend the rest of my life with you because you thought we only had five more minutes to live?"

哎呀呀呀你這個死小子 XD

Good advice

"DON'T FUCK UP. Do you EVER FUCK UP." 

Made to be broken

Promise me no promises,
So will I not promise you:
Keep we both our liberties,
Never false and never true:
Let us hold the die uncast,
Free to come as free to go:
For I cannot know your past,
And of mine what can you know?

You, so warm, may once have been
Warmer towards another one:
I, so cold, may once have seen
Sunlight, once have felt the sun:
Who shall show us if it was
Thus indeed in time of old?
Fades the image from the glass,
And the fortune is not told.

If you promised, you might grieve
For lost liberty again:
If I promised, I believe
I should fret to break the chain.
Let us be the friends we were,
Nothing more but nothing less:
Many thrive on frugal fare
Who would perish of excess.

- Christina Georgina Rossetti, "Promises Like Pie-Crust"

Monday, 28 July 2014

算啦

話說,最近回臺北在東區一個陌生人的腳上看到一雙我超愛的皮鞋,當時很衝動想馬上去百貨公司找找看有沒有類似的。但是走兩步以後想到其實不特別想要再增加自己的物質負擔(因為太常搬家,而且每次都搬跨國,東西多真的受不了),也不想要再增加這個星球的環境負擔(生產任何東西都是用掉地球的資源啊),所以決定上健身房多多舉重取代買鞋子,因為身體本身的美比較容易帶著走(目標是脫光了更美,所以不用說有沒有化妝啦~我連衣服鞋子都不用)。

Painting the backdrop

I always think of social down time (no one calls, nothing to do, nobody to talk to) as time to paint the scenery. When the theatre is closed and the curtains are drawn, it's time to sew the buttons back on the costumes and touch up the backdrop again.

Except those times are kind of rubbish.

Today I discovered some great new music on NPR's Tiny Desk series, and there was no one to share my enthusiasm with. This is also why I hate travelling alone: all that joy and (metaphorical) ice cream and nobody's nose to lick (if you know, you know. if you don't, i'm not sure you'd want to).

I whinged a little to Julian (being able to do so is quite a luxury). But he still had to go out and couldn't stay to keep me company. So I photographed things, cleaned the flat a little, cooked myself a nice dinner, and read. Then I realized that as much as I hate these times, they're necessary and beneficial. I also realized that I can bring momentum into my own life, and that sense of mental and physical progression goes a long way to keep me sane.

... and of course it would be unreasonable to expect my life to be a party all day and all night all the time.

So here's to feeling desperately lonely sometimes. 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Watershed

Today, completely unbidden: "some stories have happy endings."

Might this be a watershed? 

Been there, done that

WE stood in the shrill electric light,
Dumb and sick in the whirling din
We who had all of love to say
And a single second to say it in.

"Good-by!" "Good-by!"--you turned to go,
I felt the train's slow heavy start,
You thought to see me cry, but oh
My tears were hidden in my heart.
- Sara Teasdale, "In a Railroad Station"

Just sayin'

Now thou has loved me one whole day,
Tomorrow when you leav’st, what wilt thou say?
Wilt thou then antedate some new-made vow?
Or say that now
We are not just those persons which we were?
Or, that oaths made in reverential fear
Of Love, and his wrath, any may forswear?
Or, as true deaths true marriages untie,
So lovers’ contracts, images of those,
Bind but till sleep, death’s image, them unloose?
Or, your own end to justify,
For having purposed change and falsehood, you
Can have no way but falsehood to be true?
Vain lunatic, against these ‘scapes I could
Dispute and conquer, if I would,
Which I abstain to do,
For by tomorrow, I may think so too.

- John Donne, "Woman's Constancy"

For my more Catholic moments...

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that. The church is Catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that body which is my head too, and ingrafted into that body whereof I am a member. And when she buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another. As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come, so this bell calls us all; but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness. There was a contention as far as a suit (in which both piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were mingled), which of the religious orders should ring to prayers first in the morning; and it was determined, that they should ring first that rose earliest. If we understand aright the dignity of this bell that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his, whose indeed it is. The bell doth toll for him that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute that that occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God. Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises? but who takes off his eye from a comet when that breaks out? Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another's danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.

- John Donne, Meditation XVII