18 September 2006

I was Really Looking Forward to Writing my Manifesto

So, we were reading Hegel in one of my classes last week, and I guess I didn't know that slogging through 200 pages of 19th-century German philosophy could somehow be made worse, but it can be: by slogging through 200 pages of the wrong book of 19th-century German philosophy. Yeah, the bookstore somehow managed to order Hegel's Introduction to the Lectures on the History of Philosophy instead of Introduction to the Philosophy of History. Which is awesome, because I love wasting my time. I would have read it just for fun anyway.

But actually, it was a little bit awesome, because the book we got was part from Hegel's own notes, and part reconstructed from his students' notes taken during his lectures. That being the case, I read it totally looking forward to the book's seemingly inevitable descent into:
-"thoughts are not the thing itself"?! WTF? -- check on this during office hours.
-OMG 'Geist' again can U explain I missed class Weds...?
-Dude I don't know what he's on abt 1/2 the time!!! Mid-term better be mult choice.
-I know right?!? Hey want to grab a beer tonite?
-Yeah awesome but how about Heckels, I jilted barmaid at Die Fledermaus can't deal w that scene now
-Buxom one? NICE.
-ha ha yeah but thought we were betrothed or something, might have to duel w her brother now
-Whoa bummer
[Drawings of clear boxes of various sizes (reproduced in Fig 1, below)]

Unfortunately, the German students were apparently a lot more attentive than I would have been in that class, because it was just a lot of droning about World-Spirit, and randomly capitalized nouns.

I can't say I didn't get anything out of it, though, because now I can finally put my finger on what makes me different from Marx: he reads Hegel and is inspired to craft an insightful and revolutionary social theory; I read Hegel and am inspired to blow off the last 50 pages and watch Project Runway instead.

13 September 2006

I am Being Punished for my Horticultural Hubris

I thought I was starting to do pretty well taking care of houseplants -- I had five that were attractive and growing, needing new pots every once in awhile and stuff -- but ever since I moved last year they have been slowly dying. This sucks for several reasons, not least of which is how it's super depressing to be surrounded by dying lifeforms. And I feel terrible throwing out a plant just because it's dropping leaves and looks sickly, so I keep them around until they're just a few brown sticks. Sometimes I keep them around after that, because I'm a terrible housekeeper.

But also, two of my plants were my grandmother's, and my grandfather gave them to me to take care of after she died two years ago because he was worried that he would kill them. No pressure, right? Well, one of them was a Christmas cactus, and I knew it wasn't long for the world when I came home from school one day to find a branch amounting to about two thirds of the plant lying on my desk, no longer attached -- but I was able to root about five babies from the part that fell off, and distributed them to various people I know who can be trusted with plants, including my mom, who is so good with plants that my parents last year got about a half-bushel of peaches from a tree that sprouted from a seed in their yard. From a seed. That shit is like magic to me.

Anyway, I still have the second plant from my grandmother, one that my grandfather got when a florist dropped the ball on delivering an order for the memorial service (side note: they called to ask if he still wanted the arrangement, or if he'd prefer a live plant. Yes, please do send me a funeral arrangement to display in my home. That will really take the edge off the loss of my spouse of 60 years), and said, "Now, take good care of that one -- that's your grandmother's memorial plant." NO PRESSURE. Cut to today:
I am terrible granddaughter, unworthy of memorial plants.

Now, you might be thinking from the picture that it is not depressing because of the dying plant, but because my apartment is apparently a barracks. It isn't really -- there just happens to be a cinderblock wall here and there. But because my two super-low-light plants are doing OK, I decided that maybe the others are dying because I get no sun in my house except for one big window, and I moved the saddest plant over there, and I will open the blinds for it during the day. I had to make a klassy dining chair/cinderblock wall/dying plant decorating element because I don't have any occasional tables lying around. I think maybe it's perking up after just being there for today -- I'm almost positive only one leaf was up when I left this morning. I hope so.