Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I decided not to pay the OU gym summer fee since I'll only be here another month, so something had to be done with lunchtime, besides eating ho-hos in the student union. So I changed into shorts and a t-shirt in the bathroom here at the Grad College where I'm working (accidentally draped my jeans over the sink- I forgot the faucet comes on automatically...) and walked over to the Physical Sciences building. Around here, it's called "The Blender," an eleven stories-tall hideous concoction of slab cement and echoing stairwells, birthed into existence by some form of brutalist architecture. It's an excellent building to ride out a tornado, by the way. I walked 11 stories 3 times, up and down, while I listened to my "workout mix," which by now is driving me crazy. I think I'll put Spanish lessons on my iPod for next time.

After, I wandered around the rose garden outside, stopping to sniff each variety. Then I picked one.

If you look for truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. Today, walking alone, I meet it everywhere I step.(tung-shan)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011



"There's a storm blowin' up, a whopper, to speak in the vernacular of the peasantry" ~Professor Marvel, "The Wizard of Oz"

Spring holds on late, a month late, with its claws. My cosmos seedlings and spirals of morning glories beaten down by wind and flattened by rain. Our grass finally burst into frog-green color and grew a foot high in the space of one afternoon, impossible. I try to write and the words stammer out a sentence at a time, slow as a clock chiming midnight, slow as the counted pause between the lightning and the thunder. Always, there is the weather.

When the tornadoes came yesterday I watched them on television. They are visible proof of emergent properties like collective sorrow or speaking in tongues- they are living, breathing, angry symbols of wind+earth. The sky yellows and hail comes sideways. We make preparations to run to the car- what to grab? Cameras, computers, my backpack with the flash drives. I think of all my photo albums- the baby pictures, the holidays, the gardens. I think of the carved pig from Morocco, the vintage cookbooks, the row of yellow-spined Nancy Drews, tiny pink shells from Vieques. What do you take? What is precious to you? More, what is irreplaceable?

(Chickasha, Oklahoma, May 24, 2011)

We get to the university just as the wind begins blowing debris over the car. My umbrella blows inside out. Our clothes are soaked. Half the town is inside the Student Union, in the basement near Crossroads Restaurant. I see: crying babies, a girl hopping on her pillow, a pair of border collies, an old man wearing Ray Ban bifocals, students from Hong Kong. I smell: the gated Starbucks, wet dogs, the heater coming on, whiffs of ozone everytime the front doors are opened to let another soaked person inside. We watch the televisions, we stare at our phones.

After the tornadoes, I find that the squash has a blossom.

If another storm doesn't come...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Skipping class

I skipped Zumba today- so tired! (Photography, grad college editor, poly sci researcher, anyone?) Spent the lunch hour attempting to knit a headband for little Emilie's birthday and reading Poemcrazy. To make up for the lost Zumba hour, I walked around campus and shot pictures with my iPhone. This is the one I liked the best.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's such a great day on campus-even though it rained! They are repainting all the telephone boxes (note the "Wet Paint" signs) so I shot a pic while walking to lunch. I passed by the "Bubble Boy," who wears goggles and a dust mask around campus. I feel bad for him. I need to take a picture of him, because no one else seems to know who I'm talking about. But Bubble Boy is quick. Too quick for me to pull out my camera phone.
I had lunch at "The Earth" cafe and bought a pound of free trade, organic Bolivian coffee beans...heh heh. They make a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich with Farmer's Cheese (what IS that?), avocados, tomatoes, and sprouts. Sprouts and braces do not mix, nevertheless.
I feel happy and hopeful, even though I'm having a problem finishing my last paper, which is due at 5pm tomorrow, and can't find my FEMINIST NOTEBOOK, which is due in one and a half hours (if my FEMINIST NOTEBOOK falls into the wrong hands, we are all doomed....) I made a list of projects I want to get done over the summer (Five, just the five), in addition to finally finishing the buffet I started last summer. All these things, in addition to working two positions...summer is my favorite time of year so I don't want to stress!

Here's to another fantastic year at OU!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gramercy Green

This is the building where I'll be staying later this summer. It's huge!