I feel like in all interpersonal communications the past several days, I’ve been senselessly cranky, very much unintentionally so. I feel like these cartoon word balloons keep coming out of my mouth with all squiggles and stars and #@%#@#!s. I try to rope them in as they come out, and there are thought bubbles saying “wait, no, that’s not how I mean it.” but I’m doomed to watch the angry squiggles come out against my will.

So I put the Jenny Holzer thing below as a reminder to myself.

I decided to read some of my old journals from –geez– 10 years ago, when I was in Ireland. I think they seem disproportionately crazy. I remember the whole semester I lived there as a wholly positive thing. I was happy, I learned a ton, and I was reasonably healthy. Well, I spent enough time in pubs that all the beer and smoke finally made me feel disgusting enough that I started running every morning, but mainly to offset the trip to the pub later that day. I did drop a lot of weight while I was there. I had to stand in front of my mother for a solid 5 seconds in the airport before she recognized me, and the following semester a classics professor* told me I looked like a wraith of my former self. Anyway, it seems like I was having too good a time to actually sit down and write too much, except when something was under my skin. (If you’re curious about what was under my skin, it seems to be other people on my program, people I barely remember, not even the few I was friendly with, and next to nothing about the Irish (and Norweigian) people in my house who I was spending all that quality time at the pub with). So that, too, seemed disproportionately cranky.

But I’m determined to move beyond it, so I will share an excerpt of something else I found in that journal, a list of words I encountered around then, and liked enough to make a list of. (I have subsequently re-forgotten most of them, so they’re just like new!):

  • xenophilic— the opposite of xenophobic, i.e. the love of strangers and foreigners
  • autochthonous— indigenous (but it’s so much better than “indigenous” because you get that fantastic “chthon” root word)
  • supernatant— floating on the surface (from natare, to swim)

    OK, bedtime. I’m going to try to make a run to Paperworks before work tomorrow morning (since in addition to not being too web-present, the printing world seems to completely close on the weekend).

    *If you’re reading this and you happen to know the Wabash classics faculty of 1995, the one that said that is actually not the one you’re thinking of.