Summer Plans...

Summer Schedule
Rise at 4:30
Run 5-10 miles
Lift weights and work abs
Eat Fiber One with raw eggs
Drink black coffee
Devotions for an hour
Pick up to babysit...teensit kids and take through highly structured itinerary
Read Anna Karenina/War and Peace/The Iliad
That's the morning.
Oh wait.

ACTUAL general resolutions
1) Run every day at least twice a week.
2) Use sunscreen.  Do not fry.
3) Make a reading list and read...most....some of the books on it.
4) Get a six pack.  Use sunscreen to make tan lines that look like a six pack. YEAH.
5) Embrace inner Nanny. Mary Poppins? Mrs. Doubtfire?
6) Practice saving money
7) Make platypi dough figurines
8) Paint lots
9) Plant something
10) Love God, family, friends

That would be awesome.  oh. AND go to CALIFORNIA.......HOPEFULLY......



goodbye beautiful fly girls!

Happy Stork


<3 Bellen Frances Diaz Mejias <3


Strawberry Wine

I wonder how much I'd like this song if I hadn't listened to it so much when I was...15...and 17 seemed old.


Petrichor, Africa

It isn't raining right now so this isn't super relevant, but who cares, because this is my new favorite word.

I've stolen, uh...reappropriated the definition and idea from lovely Shannon's amazing blog.

is the scent of rain on dry earth (according to Wikipedia). It comes from the Greek word petros which means “stone” + ichor, or the blood that flows through the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.
I am so happy there is a name for this smell. And in less than week I’ll be in the Kenyan highlands, inhaling as much of it as I can! I like to think of rain flowing through God’s veins and out to us, especially in a place like Kenya where rain is so essential; it’s like thunderstorms are roaring reminders of his original life-giving act, when his veins really did empty themselves for my sake."

Shannon spent most of her life in Africa and although I spent much less time there, and in Nigeria rather than Kenya/Tanzania, the word is still nostalgically African for me. I associate the smell most with the transition between the dry and rainy season in Ogbomosho. The harmatan had at that point past--that time of the year when dust blew in from the Sahara and fogged the sky--softly and instantly covered every pledge-wiped surface--was smelled, breathed, ground between the teeth and tasted.

With these dust clouds blown away there were weeks of brilliantly clear sky and brilliantly hot sun. My siblings and I wound down, just a little, during this time each year. We paused in front of fans when we passed them in the house (if NEPA, electricity was on) and stuck to mango tree shade, sorting bottle caps in the dirt or eating shishkabobs in the tree house. We planned, schemed, waited. We dug out our "swimming pool" (a few cubic feet) with blood, sweat and tears in the early mornings and anticipated the monsoon rains that would fill it.

Finally one morning would arrive, thicker and heavier than the rest, with a palpable kind of air. We stripped down to bathing suits, walked up and down, up and down the dirt compacted driveway, swung restlessly on the squeaky porch swing. Gradually the sky would darken. The palm trees would shiver, begin to sway. All our senses seemed to sharpen and we sat or sprinted from spot to spot in nail biting edge. Then the sky would really blacken. The mango trees swayed and rocked, deeply, angrily. We would hear the rain before we felt it, a rushing white-noise masked by the wind. A few heavy drops would strike the dry, hard dirt at our feet.

The storm though, the whole rushing front would sweep down our driveway towards us, we could see it coming, the dense silver streaks. Our parents stood together, protected, smiling, on the covered porch while the four of us raced toward the rain with flailing arms and drowned out happy screams like madmen. The sheets of rain struck our faces, our outstretched hands, instantly drenched us, ran the dust off our bodies in rivulets. We stretched back and caught water in our mouths. Then--back to the house as quickly as possible, to mom and dad, to the waterfall gutters and the thunder of drops on the tin roof.

We yelled because it was so much fun to yell, not because anything could be heard or understood. Water swelled the ditches, filled our "swimming pool" to the brink with opaquely red-brown water. It flowed in muddy rivers down the driveway, catching and sweeping down leaves, twigs, and other makeshift "boats" for races. We raced the "boats", raced each other, lay belly down in the streams and the mud and pretended to swim.

As quickly as the storm had swept in though, it began to pull away. The raindrops slowed. Trees swayed, but more gently. A lighter sky reflected and sparkled in the puddles and streams. We retreated then, with hair plastered to our heads and faces, to parents and towels on the porch.

The next day the sun would rise to bake the thirsty, soaking ground. The rich, heavy, rusty-clean smell of the earth and vegetation would rise with it, move through the open windows of our house and be inhaled deeply, this smell now known to me as PETRICHOR.


DUHHH people

When I was in preschool I was convinced that there were many things yet to be discovered--overlooked by grownups--that could be uncovered by myself, at the age of five, for the good of all mankind. Or for just mine. Among these:

--A different color. Who said Crayola figured them all out? I'd walk around the house, looking for something to stump my parents with. Or I'd close my eyes and try to imagine something outside the regular color spectrum really, really hard.

--A different letter. Whoever came up with "C" was lame because both sounds already existed. If I came up with a new sound and symbol would America add it to the alphabet?

--The solution to world hunger: grass. Cows ate it, goats ate it, why couldn't people eat it? Grass existed everywhere. Why did Mom buy salad when she could just ask me to gather it for dinner?

--Acorn flour/soup. Sadly, the Indians had beaten me to this one but I still believed I could reintroduce it to all my friends and family. I cracked open acorns with a rock and ate the white inside. It was bitter and nasty. I told my siblings and family that it was really good and that we should have it for dinner one night.

--The solution to missionaries everywhere: candy. My parents told me that not all our relatives were Christian and I was appalled. Why didn't we tell them that if they converted we'd send them bags of candy in the mail?

--Secret rooms, stairways, passages, trapdoors somewhere in our Richmond apartment. Someone had to have put those in sometime in the past 100 years. I imagined the room might be FULL of forgotten toys or, horrifyingly, SKELETONS from the time of World War II, the underground railroad, or King Arthur.

APPARENTLY or at least according to these two pictures I also pulled inspiration from "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".....................sugar and spice and everything nice!!! vs. gothic vampire child III VILL KEEEELLLL YOUUU if you come near this bambi-eyed brother i am protecting/corrupting.


Papers Houses Trucks and Archeology

I'm SO happy to be FINALLY finished....for all practical purposes at least. There is something incredibly satisfiying about the way the Alderman printers churn out finished papers. Each page took so agonizingly long to type but suddenly its just "whoosh, whoosh, whoosh....(whoosh X 15)...ding!"

My great grandmother wrote a book/manuscript for the family back in the...1950's I think...documenting her life as married to my great grandfather, a truck driver. She titled it, "I Married a Truck" I LOVe that she did this...and wish that I could know her more directly than just through typed words.

SHE grew up with nothing in the prairie and HE grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, even during the great depression. Then HE decided that he wanted to be truck driver...one of many half baked schemes filled with love and enthusiasm (on his part at least)...but not the most practical for their family.

This is an excerpt written about her experience arriving at his family's home, December 13, 1933.

The mountains were beautiful that morning, when I saw them for the first time. Small white clouds clung to the sides below us, and looked soft enough to sleep on. I learned later that they were pure fog when they dropped over a truck and made driving hazardous, but nothing could have spoiled the magic of that drive for me.

The family usually drove into the backyard to discharge passengers, but that morning Jack wanted to make a grand entrance so he drove to the front gate at the foot of the mountain. On a knoll above us stood the White House on the Hill, as they called it. On the other side of the highway ran the north fork of the Holston River. A little mountain gap came to the foot of the gate, and a little creek emerged from it to join the river. On all sides mountains rose dark with winter green common to the Southern highlands.

Jack sounded the car horn, and Dan, the white-coated house boy came down the hill to get my bags, closely followed by Jack's mother. We met half way.

"I'm so excited, I can't get down the hill!" she called to me.

“I'm so excited, I can't get up!” I called back. So we stood there and laughed like the two foolish women we were.

The house was an old one. We entered the hall that ran the length of the house to the den. The old open stairway was straight and a paisley Shawl hung in soft folds from the second floor to soften the wall. To the left was the living room, replete with Bokhara rugs and antique pieces. Across the hall from the living room was the dining room, with back hall and kitchen beyond. Soft oriental rugs hushed our steps as we went to the den. To the left of the den was the sun parlor, then full of Christmas greens gathered by Frank from the mountain back of the house. To the right was the guest room with a full window view of the mountain behind the house.

My family has actually VISITED this SAME HOUSE in North Holston....or rather...remainder of the house. It sinks in the middle of snake infested Virginia-jungle-like weeds and growth...but the tiled bathroom floors are still visible (I pocketed some of the octagonal quarter sized tiles) and the shape of the house can be made out (I also stole a moldy-ish brick from the foundation and it sits in our living room now)


holding breath holding breath holding breath.......

swim faster swim faster swim faster!!!!!!!!

wat leuk!



heelemaal niet.



Ca$h kicks Ke$ha's butt any day of the week

I become more scattered in everything--including taste in music--during finals week.

however fruit-loop hippie this paper is...

...i am PROUD because anything i sacrifice this much sleep for is beautiful.

Both Wordsworth in his Intimations Ode and Emerson in his Essay entitled “Experience” acknowledge the individual’s struggle with feelings of blindness and lack of insight. Each describes a kind of divine reality and light from which the individual can feel hidden. However, the location of this divine reality and light and the manner in which it can be accessed is radically different for these authors: Wordsworth envisions this divine reality in a pre-birth location. He uses landscaped map imagery to describe a heavenly sea from which the soul and individual emerge to travel farther westward and inland as the sun sets. The travelling and aging man moves with successive steps farther and farther away from this divine sea of souls. Reconnection to light and truth comes by looking back in memory over the landscape of experiences to the child playing on the edge of what Wordsworth calls the “immortal sea”. For Emerson, divine reality is not located in the past. Divine reality is part of what he calls “Fortune, Minerva, Muse, Holy Ghost” (295). It is the “ineffable cause” that animates all life, a universal and all pervading pantheist-like soul. Rather than be found by looking back through a succession of time this divine reality is coexistent with the individual--though still somewhat hidden and not fully comprehended. Emerson thus uses the idea of a body rather than a map to describe the human condition in relation to divine truth. The way to hope and consolation through darkness for the authors is best understood in relation to these concepts.

man oh man it gets even better, i speak even MORE in depth on sunrise star-rise beaches and brinks of sea soul eternities.................................and the experiences of the westbound man are like weighty chains because they make him aware of his MORTALITY and bog him down in prison imagery where luckily memory comes along which lets him look back and connects to his INNER CHILD who is also his FATHER and from then on it's rainbows and sprinkles.


I DON'T CARE if my musical taste is degrading today

i'm sure he's singing about DEEP and BEAUTIFUL things like, "what is the meaning of life lalala read the Bible everyday LALALA."

Good Goals for Today

1) Do not go mental
2) Memorize a semester's worth of art history before 12:30 today
3) Finish 20 page paper by 4 pm
4) Finish 10 page paper by yesterday
5) Start and finish 3 oil paintings
6) Think of Summer



Such a beautiful song and I want to SURF. or boogie board, like whatever.