December 16, 2010 § 8 Comments
I like tea.
And I’m not even British. I like tea, I drink copious amounts of it, and I have since I was twelve or thirteen. Most of the time, I’ll just throw a tea bag in a big ol’ mug and curl up around it, and since I have many big mugs, I somehow never got around to using the nifty little teapot my mother gave me for my birthday one year, which separates into a pot and a matching tea cup.
Somehow, sitting at my desk, doing Spanish exercises and pouring myself tea, it somehow elevated the commodity, the necessity that tea has become in my life to something more. It slowed me down, from unnecessarily hectic to calm. There’s something magical about a steaming cup of tea.
I haven’t really been taking my time with things recently. I’ve been increasingly impatient, I’ve thrown knitting away in disgust much more than usual. When I do sit down to knit, I only want to get it done and over with. It’s not even that I’m that much under pressure, because uni is easy this semester and I’m way early with presents this year, but somehow I’m cracking. I haven’t been taking my time.
Maybe I need some medium-size projects. All I have at the moment are sweaters and teeny things like camera cozies or single socks in thick yarn, and no grey area in between at all.
But maybe what I need is more tea. More sitting down with a tea pot and a small cup. (Small, in this household, is anything under 350 ml. We have mugs going up to 750 ml here.) More enjoying in small quantities. Less flitting from one project to another. Maybe even less composing hateful monologues to my Spanish teacher in my head.
More clearing my head, and breathing in the fragrant steam from the tea cup cradled in my hands.
December 14, 2010 § 1 Comment
Today, for the first time in my life, I’ve applied something I learned in 5th grade that I found, up until this day, to be remarkably useless. This may be due to the fact that the novelty of winter and being shut indoors all day is slowly but steadily starting to wear off, or that I’m procrastinating, or that I’m afraid I’ll make a total prat out of myself today.
I have a sinking feeling making a prat out of myself will be kind of unavoidable today. Not that I don’t do this on a regular basis, and usually voluntarily too. I’m a person who’s not in the least afraid to burst into song while walking through crowded streets, especially not around Christmas, when I can’t seem to step outside my door without starting to hum some carol.
And yet, personal interaction with semi-strangers continues to terrify me. Which is why I cannot for the life of me figure out what I was thinking when I contacted a girl from my Spanish class asking whether we could meet up, speak some Spanish, to cure me of my crippling inability to formulate a coherent Spanish sentence when I have to do so in front of my class.
The problem is a) my crippling inability to formulate a coherent Spanish sentence in front of strangers, b) that the first time I saw her, I wanted to grab her and furiously make out with her, and c) that I’ve been procrastinating all day, so my room looks like my stash exploded and my muffins are nowhere near existing, and d) I have no idea what to talk about with a stranger. I’m terrible at small talk in German, okay at it in English, and have never attempted it in Spanish, which makes me assume I’m terrible at it.
(I don’t know where my Spanish-related pessimism stems from. I think it might be in part from the fact that I went from upper third of the class to lowest of the low, due to this course mostly being taken by students who’ve spent time abroad. The other thing might be that I’m supposed to be on the level I officially had in English after I finished high school. The problem is that my English was vastly better than B2 even before I went to the US (in 11th grade), and I keep forgetting this, so I feel like my Spanish has to be as good as my English after this semester. Which, to put it mildly, is a slightly insurmountable feat. Also I keep forgetting that I’ve been studying English for 11 years.)
So I made a mind map. Which, for the record, I don’t think I’ve done since 6th grade, and never voluntarily.
So, basically… I might resort to orchestrating the inevitable ‘my… you sure have a lot of yarn’ moment earlier than the natural progression.
I might not know when to utilize the subjuntivo, or how to conjugate many of the irregular verbs especially in subjuntivo – but I can tell you, without any subjuntivo-inducing uncertainty, that I can totally monologue on knitting for a while.
And if all else fails, I’ll just get her drunk on mulled wine and make out with her.