Friday, April 29, 2011


Oh my gosh, I'm so proud of myself! A couple days ago, I finally finished reading Una Nueva Tierra, the Spanish translation of Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. And it only took me two and half (well, closer to three) months! Alright, fine, I know that's kind of pathetic. But still: it's the first entire book I've ever read in Spanish! Wish I could say, "Next: Don Quixote," but I'm afraid I'm not quite there yet. I think next will be the Tao Te Ching.

I should celebrate by ... like ... eating tacos or something ... (-:


In my previous post, "Free Dirt" I said I found myself struggling to establish appropriate physical boundaries with four individuals--I should have said: five, including the church cat, Peaches. I have literally let her walk all over me.

Some of you may think I'm joking, but I'm not! I love animals, but I dread the idea of ever having a mammalian pet again. Haunted by guilt over neglecting the dogs we had growing up, I'm intimidated by the intense obligation I feel to fulfill dogs' and cats' need for affection.

This is why I'm always talking to Brandon about getting a lizard. "Let's get a lizard! We won't ever have to worry about it becoming emotionally attached to us! We can get a great big iguana, or gila monster, or even a monitor, and it can just live as a wild animal in our house--it'll be so great!" A tarantula would also be fun. Or a snake. Not a scorpion, though; they're icky.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pretty Women

One day my Hebrew prof. began the class by saying, "I am an unusually good-looking person." In fact, he wasn't really, so we all sort of smirked or raised our eyebrows, and he continued, "It's true! I am an unusually good-looking person. How do I know that? Well, by looking in the mirror, of course!" We still weren't getting it. "Because when I look in the mirror, I know just where to stand, and just the right angle to hold my head, so that I see myself in the best possible light, and dang, do I look good!"

When I was a child, people used to tell me I was beautiful, and I believed them, partly because, like my old Hebrew prof., I thought I could prove it to myself by looking in the mirror. Now, as an adult, I no longer have a sense of how pretty I am, because I don't trust my own perception and I don't trust anyone to tell me what they really think. I guess I consider myself to be kind of pretty, on a good day, in the right lighting, as long as my hair is doing something flattering. But I know I am not among the top tier of gorgeous women ...

One day I saw a woman on the train who just about made my heart stop--she was stunning--her face was just so perfect. I've always hated that stupid song, "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt, and yet it came true! Well, except, she never looked at me. And she wasn't with anyone. But, "I will never be with her" (sigh!) ... although that's really not so tragic as that dumb song makes it out to be. I just hope she has a significant other who appreciates the perfect contour of her cheek, the exquisite shapeliness of her mouth, etc. etc.

I never blogged about one of the high points of my time in Florence--seeing (adoring--really, just short of worshipping) Titian's Venus of Urbino. "The woman." I remember how I caught my breath the moment I first saw a photo of her in my art history textbook. The most sublimely erotic image of a woman ever painted.

But to think! She's not just an imaginary ideal! There are women, living, flesh and blood women as beautiful, as perfect as she, ripe for the enjoyment of some damn lucky bastard. I wonder if they know, these goddesses among women, the brilliancy of the radiance they possess ...

"Ah, pretty women ..."

I suppose they must know ...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Firewheel Tree

Virgie's Guide To Pasadena Trees
Episode #2: Firewheel Tree (Stenocarpus sinuatus)