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the cinnamon peeler's wife

3.17.2005 at 1:25:00 PM


woo hoo! spring break is almost upon us. i finished my arabic final, which proved to be quite impossible. the prof thought it would be fun to use verbs in the 8th form in passive imperfect subjunctive forms. so much to talk about (bolton as the new un ambassador, wolfowitz as the head of the world bank, the acquittal of robert blake, the 3 billion dollar hotel in abu dhabi), but alas i am not going to. my symposium is keeping me crazy (you can check it out!) and i am going to go party. i got a job (in foreign policy!) and it pays well! this is such a relief. other than that, i am going to enjoy spring break. but to not leave you completely hanging, here is a fun puzzle to complete. i shamelessly stole this idea from someone else's blog. enjoy!

3.13.2005 at 12:42:00 PM

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

T.S. Eliot (1917)

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats 5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
It is perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
. . . . .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


(the mpre is over! i read dante's divine comedy in an italian class in college. eliot takes his epigraph from the inferno. Count Guido da Montefeltro, embodied in a flame, replies to Dante's question about his identity as one condemned for giving lying advice: "If I believed that my answer would be to someone who would ever return to earth, this flame would move no more, but because no one has ever returned alive from this gulf, if what I hear is true, I can reply with no fear of infamy." maybe instead of the aba model rules, we should be studying dante?)

3.04.2005 at 4:38:00 PM

kudos and cringes

kudos: to martha stewart for taking her prison time head on and not whining about it all over the press. sure she was in a federal minimum security place, but she was still incarcerated, it was no time off in the hamptons! her stock survived (and has been rising steadily) and her recipe for orange-chocolate lace cookies is still the best!

cringe: as if the story wasn't bad enough. mukhtar mai, the woman in pakistan who had been sentenced to gang rape by her tribal council, raised her voice and took the issue to court. well the rapists had their sentence overturned, with 5 of the 6 set free! the story just gets worse, with the molesting of her brother. her story is detailed on her website. interestingly a local imam stood up against the tribal council and used his pulpit to call for the authorities to take action. in the end mukhtar mai, along with supportive others, brought the case to court. it took a strong woman to bring such a case, and she used her monetary award to start a school in the village. now with the rapists freed she faces not only personal danger and but in one act the courts have announced to pakistani women that their rape is justified.

kudos/cringe: maria full of grace is a good movie, kudos. it explores the lives of columbian drug mules and the dangers they face. the cringe-worthy part is the number it will do on your digestive track. just thinking about it makes me gag.

cringe: my education symposium is killing me. why are speakers so finicky? why can no one give me a straight answer? who said third year was easy? i have no clue what is going on in my classes, as i am usually working on the symposium while sitting in class. why did i pick education as a topic? i don't care about education anymore! i just need to get past april 4.

kudos: damien rice, closer doesn't really have a soundtrack, but the one song at the end of the movie by rice: blower's daughter, is amazing. heart-wrenching actually.

cringe: i have to take the mpre next weekend. i just sat through a wonderful 5 hour review course. i can't imagine a better way to spend a sunny sunday afternoon. at least they tried to ply us with junk food. the best is the emphatically ridiculous examples: like if a juror is about to get hit by a bus and the lawyer on the case yells "get out of the way", disbar him right away- no de minimis contact with jurors. oh ethics.

kudos: thanks to lala i have been listening to sodastream and enjoying them greatly. those aussies are very cool.

cringing kudos?: so the brits at least are being honest that muslims will face far more scrutiny in terms of security. yes there is all that stuff about racial profiling, but if they are going to do it anyway, at least someone had the guts to be straight about it. and what did you think, that you could look like me and breeze through security? oh the joys of "random" searches.

kudos: i went to the sheetal boutique in bombay and now i saw their website. wow, their clothes are very unique and cool. very bombay in feel. ok a bit too pricey and midriff revealing for me, but fun to look at nonetheless!

cringe: my car is acting up and is at the mechanics. no transport, well at least there is the #2 bus. maybe this is a good thing, i am sure the walking is good for me.

kudos: to mafia and texas hold'em and hours of wasting time hanging out. yes it was lots of fun, with little sleep, and lots of laughs. alas my room is still a mess and my homework is giving me disappointed glares. aah another weekend in c-bus.

ethically yours (well at least as much as the aba requires).

3.01.2005 at 2:13:00 PM

i hate february

what self-respecting month has less than thirty days? march is here already? i want february back! give me my two days!

i spent the weekend in chicago and now march has come and surprised me. i have so much work to do and so little time to do it. rather i have so little will to finish it, i would rather sit on the couch and watch jeopardy. plus the snow outside makes me want to stay put in front of my fireplace.

road tripping is great. i had fun with azthebaz and lala.
chicago was lots of fun. i met up with lots of people, played poker, went shopping, had a few interviews, went to a couple random parties, and generally chilled. i am taking the mpre soon and i attempted to study during the trip. it was largely a failure. some things i learned on the trip:
1. do not eat huevos rancheros early in the morning (really this one is important)
2. all muslims are connected in a ridiculous way and on devon you will always run into people you know
3. gambling is very addictive, if i actually did it i am sure i would lose my life savings on texas hold'em
4. desi children can not pronounce the groceries which they are sent to purchase on devon
5. some people care a lot about instrumentation of music and they can talk about it for a long time
6. leather shoes need lots of moisturizer
7. everyone looks better in dim lighting
8. wearing hijab is a acquired skill and i could get rich by selling instructional videos (okay maybe not rich, but it would be funny)
9. damn, a suit and heels makes one want to earn real money (or at least boss others around)
10. saidian is now a word (from edward said).

*other than that school is killing me. i am wasting time watching movies. i saw my beautiful laundrette (again), the village, napoleon dynamite (again), swades, and moulin rouge (again), and eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.

a friend had her second baby. a bunch of us visited her in the hospital and as we walked out, i think we could all hear that stupid biological clock ticking loudly. we immediately squashed that, though her baby was so adorable.

johnson v. california was finally decided last week and the supreme court held that even in the prison context, strict scrutiny was the appropriate standard for racial segregation. again oconnor was the author for the majority opinion, is this another sign of an impending cj-ship. my particular interest in 14th amendment jurisprudence makes this case especially interesting.

federated just bought out may company. i am sure no one cares but azthebaz and i. interesting for the department store mkt. as trends go, i am sure the sec will approve this one. this continues in the downward spiral of department stores. the large behemoth department stores no longer anchor malls and people have been steadily moving their business to small specialty stores or larger discount retailers like target. so malls with only one or two department store anchors are becoming the new norm. federated is putting its macy's brand on all its stores, like bon-macy's in seattle or our very own lazarus becoming just macy's.

yesterday a car bomb killed over 100 people outside a clinic in hilla, iraq. more and more people are dying. today a marine and fellow law student who spent most of the last two years in iraq spoke with some of us about his experiences. it was very interesting to hear his perspective and his frustrations. his most intense sentiments were about how life in the us is going on like normal. we, as americans, don't realize that the country is at war. we go on with our normal lives, watch american idol, go shopping, etc. he wished that the war was reality in our minds.

one last thought: sour gummy jolly ranchers will give you a tummy ache. here is a nice pic i took on the road.