Monday, October 30, 2006
Thanks to Gypsy Poet for the pic.
I could be the last person on the planet, but I finally saw Shaun of the Dead. In fact, I think I watched it the better part of three times yesterday (was on Comedy Central). Shaun (Simon Pegg) could very well be my new celeb-crush (along with a new'ish fixation on Ed Norton). Fun movie.
Other than that, didn't do a whole lot yesterday except read a book for Adolescent Lit. The book: Song of the Magdalene, by Donna Jo Napoli. I was iffy about it at first, but in the end I liked it. Kinda reminded me of The Red Tent--Biblical historical fiction and all.
Gotta go teach. I hope you all had a nice pre-Halloween weekend.
The proposal still isn't done. It hates me.
Listening: "Voice Inside My Head"...Dixie Chicks
Saturday, October 28, 2006
The Halloween party was quite a time last night. I blew off enough steam that I think I can carry on with this thesis proposal business now. I refrained from going to either the poetry reading or the costume party as Jesus and opted instead to be a vampire. Think boots, lots of black, and kickass makeup (red eyeshadow, fake eyelashes, etc.).
Listening: Nothing, because our office radio is still at C's house. I knew we forgot something.
Edit: Been here for about 2 hours and I've chunked the old draft and am piecing together the new draft. I have 4 pages (of 15). *string of unintelligble curse words*
Friday, October 27, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
OK, not just today. I've been rather worthless since the weekend, too. With the exception of Sunday. Sunday I did some stuff.
I need to do the following (to-do list for my own good):
Write letter for DO to sign
Finish grading this MASS OF PAPERS
Read some theory for my thesis (Kristeva, Derrida, Bakhtin)
WRITE MY THESIS PROPOSAL WHICH IS DUE MONDAY!!!!
And tomorrow and Friday I have parties to attend. Halloween ones. And a birthday one on Saturday.
But all I wanna do is sleep. Why, oh why, did the insomnia have to strike last night? I got to bed at 3:30am and thought seriously about just coming to work at that point. I was very motivated in the middle of the night.
Listening: the hum of my own doom
1. One book that changed your life: Oh my God, what a choice. I would have to say the book that has touched me in the most profound way (and it's not really a book) is T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land." I'm cheating and calling it a book because sometimes it comes alone in book form. Good enough for me. After reading this particular work it was undeniable that I would get a Masters degree and PhD. I fell in love when I read it and realized what a profound impact the written word can have on a life. Thanks, Dr. Stayer!
2. One book that you've read more than once: The Great Gatsby is the book I've read the most. I think 4 or 5 times. I love that whole "dark side of the American dream" thing. I'm just that cynical, I suppose. What can I say, I love gorgeously written cynicism.
3. One book you'd want on a desert island: What I Loved, by Siri Hustvedt. It's complicated, it's creepy, and it's incredibly wonderfully well written. I could read it endlessly.
4. One book that made you laugh: gods in Alabama, by Joshilyn Jackson (and that lower-case "g" is not a typo). This book was sort of like living in my head. She wrote many of the things I want to say but rarely do.
5. One book that made you cry: The Book Thief. Probably the saddest book I've ever read, but also one of the most powerful.
6. One book you wish had been written: Weird question. Not sure how to answer that. Perhaps if Jesus had written a memoir. In the meantime I'll just have to read Christopher Moore's Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal.
7. One book you wish had never been written: Letters from the Other Side by Will Cunningham. THE most worthless piece of shit book ever. There are angels in it with French accents and berets. 'Nuff said.
8. One book you're currently reading: City of Glass, first in Paul Auster's New York Trilogy. It's fantastic so far. In fact, I need to get my ass off the 'puter and read for a few minutes before bed.
9. One book you've been meaning to read: THE HUMAN STAIN! Most of you know I've been reading it for months. I have no idea why I can't seem to find the motivation to pick it up and finish. It's a fantastic read!
10. Six people to tag: Whosoever wants to fill it out! Lemme know if you do fill it out so I can come wallow in the bookish love.
Listening: "Adagio for Strings"...Samuel Barber
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
In other bookish news, in keeping with my promise to make time for fun reading, I finished Paul Auster's memoir, Hand to Mouth, last night. It was fabbbulous. It tells the tale of his early days as a high school student who dreamed of not working a "real job" and his subsequent adventures in living the writing dream: time in Paris, Mexico, New York City, working on an oil tanker, etc. etc. It's pretty inspirational for those of us who have the same sort of dreams but are too addicted to money to quit the "real job." (I blame it on student loans.) Auster also met some really interesting people along the way: John Lennon, H.L. Humes, and a bunch of "nobodies" who were just as interesting as the "somebodies." Only 169 pages--go pick it up!
Listening: the elevator hum
Monday, October 23, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Tonight I finished a book for class that was nothing short of shocking, sickening, but in the end quite affecting: Push, by Sapphire. It's about a girl who's sexually abused by her father AND mother, not to mention a barrage of other horrors. Just when things seem like they can't get worse...OH they do.
Elise and I went out to lunch at a fabulous dive of a Mexican food restaurant today, and after stuffing ourselves with seafood (catfish, shrimp quesadillas, ceviche, more shrimp...a platter for 2) we decided to go to Half-Price Books and see what we could dig up. Like we don't each have 2.2 zillion unread books as it is.
At Half-Price I picked up Hand to Mouth, a memoir by Paul Auster; Saturday, by Ian McEwan, half of which I read a year or more ago; and Selected Poems of Anne Sexton. I've loved Sexton's Transformations for years, but I thought it time to dive into more of her confessional train wrecks.
After Half-Price Elise and I were feeling a little (a lot) let down by their recently downsized fiction section, so we rounded the corner to Starbucks (pumpkin spice latte for me, white chocolate mocha for her) before we popped by Barnes & Noble for more book browsing. I bought my mom a "bake your own dog bones" kit and for me:
The Shawl, by Cynthia Ozick (at Elise's recommendation)
The New York Trilogy, by Paul Auster in one easy-to-tote volume
Since I'm done with Push I think I'll start The New York Trilogy. Upon a first look, it doesn't look like something I'd go for, but I trust that anyone married to Siri Hustvedt, and with Auster's reputation, is going to titilate me with his words.
Listening: Charlie's Angels on TNT
Friday, October 20, 2006
The conference went off with a few hitches but nothing major. In a little while I have to go to the evening reception then drive one of the presenters back to Dallas. I'm gonna pick up my mom on the way for company because this lady is a douchebag.
I'm so emotionally drained right now that I just want to crawl under a rock.
On top of the exhaustion, the Barrister finally e-mailed back to break the bad news that he met someone else from Match around the same time he met me and they "hit it off in a big way" and will be going exclusive. He would like to go out as friends sometime. Yadda yadda.
While most of you may assume I'm crying and broken up because I liked him, the honest truth is that I'm crying because I didn't feel that strong connection with him that I had hoped. I came home from date two rather disappointed (thus the lack of details on the blog). I hoped we might go out again and hit it off better--or that I might actually feel something for him. While I will remain friends with him and would like to go out on a friendly basis sometime, it's just a reminder that another one bites the dust and I'm still dangling out here, feeling like an ousider, more devoted to my work than human contact, and I'm fucking lonely. What I did like about him was the fact that he was also passionate about his work, and he even had a healthy respect for my work in academia. That's about as far as it went. What I miss about a relationship is the "best friend" factor. Having someone around who knows you, or at least wants to get to know as much as they can. I don't expect someone to "complete me" as sappy movies are so fond of these days, but just someone who respects and admires me. And who laughs with me and wants to be a presence in my life. The Barrister didn't give me that best friend type of feeling.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Halloween is quickly approaching, and with the holiday comes all the costumey festivities. This year I've decided to outdo myself with the weirdness of my costume. A little backstory....
We're teaching a sequence on religion in the freshman English classes at the university this semester, so a friend of mine and my office mate got us an "Ask Me Jesus." Now, if you haven't seen the "Ask Me Jesus" anywhere, it's a foot-tall pink Jesus figurine that spits out answers like a magic 8-ball. Simply shake and you have the wisdom of the ages at your fingertips. For instance, some of Jesus' favorite words of advice are: "Watch for the lightning!" "Let me ask my dad," and, "I died for this?"
In the spirit of the quirkiness of such a bauble, I'm going to our university Halloween bash (the Edgar Allen Poe-try Reading) dressed as the Messiah himself. But not only the Messiah, a Messiah with all the answers. After I drape myself in sheets and throw on my Jesus sandals I will proceed to carry a styrofoam block with the appropriate advice attached. Anyone can ask, and I'll have all the answers.
Note: image courtesy of the Gypsy Poet.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
As you may notice, I'm getting into the Halloween mood with my vampiric Estella up top (thanks, Heather!). Very moody, wouldn't you say? The color scheme is still a work in progress, and Blogger is being putzy (nothing new there), so I'll have the template all shiny and fixed up by tonight, I hope.
Heather F. has been kind enough to accept the job as Assistant Editor of Estella's Revenge. She was kind enough to design the site and she always has great ideas, so I know the place will be in good hands while I'm all crazy-fied. We've been offline for tooooo long already, and I don't wanna waste any more time. You can bet things will be up and running again on November 1st.
I wish I had entertaining things to say today, but I'm doing student conferences all the live-long day, so I'd better run (screaming).
Listening: The Killers
Monday, October 16, 2006
My uterus is currently staging a hostile takeover and winning by a mile. I fucking hate womanhood (except for a few choice parts of it). I feel like a very messy fire hydrant.
I watched Kill Bill, Vol 1 last night, and OH MY GOD. Loved it. Absolutely flingin'-flangin' loved it. I've never loved Uma Thurman but I love her now. And I love Lucy Lu even more. New girl-crush perhaps? Oh yes, I say. I will be watching awesome girl-samurai movies ASAP. In fact, to your left you'll see the ever-meek Lady Snowblood. Rock out, Lady Snowblood. In the meantime, call me Lady Snowflood.
I had a sudden attack of "must buy fragrances" yesterday which resulted in the purchase of Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion and perfume spray from Bath & Body Works as well as the purchase of the Brown Sugar & Fig perfume. I can't stop sniffing myself. I seem to have an unconscious urge for all things Japanese. Now if sushi was just on the South Beach diet. I could certainly suck the fish out of the sushi rolls, but the rice is a no-no.
Listening: the songs in my head...oddly enough "Red Right Hand" is today's in-head song of choice. Fitting given my fiery, bloody mood.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
My nerdy Englishy heart loves this one, too. Gotta wait for it to be reprinted, though.
Enough procrastination. Back to the thesis proposal.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
First things first, I haven't heard from the Barrister since Monday (e-mail), and I'm not sure what to do with that. Perhaps he's lost interest. Perhaps he's busy. Perhaps a rogue pterydactil flew in through his balcony door and stole him. I'm honestly not sure I give a shit. Who knew? OK, I give a little bit of a shit, but I won't be crushed or anything.
Yesterday I vowed to stay in my office all day and work. I ended up going to lunch with Thesis Director and then after my last class we both ditched work and went to G-vegas book shopping. Nothing like being able to blame not working on a thesis proposal on the actual Thesis Director. I bought Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Heather's been telling me to read it for ages), a collection of the Emily Strange comics, and The Killers new CD, Sam's Town. I don't love it as much as Hot Fuss, but who does?
15 pounds down on South Beach. Now, if I'd stop eating this strawberry cheesecake shake from Sonic perhaps I'd stay less fat. I'm dangling over a slippery slope...and it tastes like strawberry cheesecake.
OK, must make myself get back to work. I'm going to let the soothing sounds of the elevator going up and down and opening by itself lull me back into a writing-rhythm.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
It's days like these, when I've been grading papers for 2 hours--and can only see a long day of shit spread out before me that won't end before 8 or 9pm-- that I wonder why I'm in this field. I'm 25, I live at home, I work two jobs--roughly 60 hours a week including schoolwork and all the bullshit I do from home, and I make no money. While other people are buying houses, going out, reading, getting married, havin' babies, taking vacations, etc. I'm wound so tight over my thesis that if you stuffed me full of coal you'd have an assload of diamonds in roughly 3 days. My future success lies with a handful of professors and the decision of a few PhD admissions committees.
I'm out of Excedrin, I feel myself winding down, and I wanna throw something. No Zoloft in the house, no alcohol in the house that's legal to drink according to South Beach, some Ativan but I don't have time to go to sleep. St. John's Wart! Nature's tranquilizer. Comere, babies!
To do this week:
Write the review for the journal (totally blocked up because I know nothing about multi-ethnic lit)
Draft my thesis proposal (no problem, just another 15 pages!)
Grade another 80 essays plus the ones from the jc (knocked off 40 position papers this morning but there's always more to do)
Read the chapters my classes are discussing tomorrow
Get a chunk read for a class review that's due next week
Do stuff for the conference we're throwing
Smile...lest people think I'm stressed out or unfriendly. God forbid.
Listening: The Killers...because Hot Fuss is the best album I've heard in 5 years.
Lifted from the illustrious Lulu....
1) Would you bungee jump? In a heartbeat! I'm an adrenaline lova.
2) If you could do anything in the world for a living what would it be? Read books for a living and write about them. Oh, wait. I do that.
3) Your favorite fictional animal? Dodo birds. It's fun to say, and they're cute from all the drawings I've seen.
4) One person who never fails to make you laugh? Gooooose! And many of my other friends, but Goose makes me heave with laughter.
5) When you were 12 years old what did you want to be when you grew up? An immunohematologist. Say that five times fast.
6) What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Give the alarm clock the evil eye, say "fuck", and hit snooze. Or this morning I peeked out the blinds because it's raining. I suddenly found myself in a thrilled state of silence and awe.
7) Have you ever gone to therapy? No, but I'm sure I could use it. This depressive/obsessive personality thing is tiring. Not to mention the trust issues and tendencies toward overreaction. Or maybe there's no curing a Scorpio.
8) If you could have one super power what would it be? Hmmm. The power to be decisive when deciding on a super power.
9) Your favorite cartoon character? Tough choice. No it's not...Stewey!!! With Roger the alien from American Dad running a tight second place.
10) Do you go to church? The last time I went to church my political beliefs were mocked within the first 10 minutes and I found myself gazing out of a mass of Bush supporters. Maybe the Baptist church just isn't my bag.
11) What is your best childhood memory? Hanging out with my grandparents while my mom was at work. My grandfather taught me to play poker, tie my shoes, and we had good talks. My grandmother let me help cook, watched National Geographic with me, and she chased me around with a flyswatter when I needed it.
12) Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual? Yeah, pretty much. But I'd still like to try it once.
13) Do you own a gun? I have a laser gun in my ass.
14) Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex? I actually slapped the hell out of my first boyfriend when I was 14. Not my shiniest moment.
15) Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? Yep, I was in choir. I used to sing for people quite often, but I could never beat the debilitating stage fright.
16) What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Height and eyes. But it all really comes down to personality, comfort level, intelligence, and integrity.
17) What is your biggest mistake? I dunno...there are so many to choose from. Probably staying in one of my past relationships for too long. Which has now thrown me over to the other end of the spectrum into a nice combination of fear and distrust.
18) Say something totally random about yourself. Somehow one of my front teeth got chipped within the last few days. Not a serious chip...not even noticeable, but I can feel it with my tongue and it's driving me batty.
19) Has anyone ever said that you looked like a celebrity?
Several people have said I look like Maggie Gyllenhaal. The body, certainly not, but I guess I can see some of it around the eyes and with the upturned nose.
And a few more have told me I look like Joan Osborne. Probably the wicked eyebrows, nose ring, and curly hair is what does it here.
20) What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you? Hmmm. I usually revolt against romance. However, I would have to say....bought me a Christmas tree. Neither of us had had one for several years, so he went out and bought a tree with all the fixins.
21) Do you actually read these when other people fill them out? If I wanna know more about 'em!
Monday, October 09, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
The second date with the Barrister is tonight. 8:00, his place, dinner, comedy watching.
I'm SO behind on everything for school: reading, paper grading, reading, reading, writing.
So, with that, I'm off to try to catch up.
Oh, and how could I forget? I've lost 14 pounds in 2 weeks. I feel fabulous!
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Notice: the blog isn't really on hiatus, I'm just going to be out of town until late Friday night, so I probably won't get 'round to posting again until Saturday or Sunday. I'll be at a conference in Savannah, so pray I don't urp on the podium or anything. I haven't yet, so hopefully I won't start now.
P.S. I had the shittiest inadequacy dream last night. Woke up feeling all woozy. Ugg.
Listening: "Warning Sign"...Coldplay
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Speaking of creepy, Lurcher #2 just WILL NOT go away. He's not stalkery per se, but he is stupidly persistent and optimistic. I finally resorted to flat-out lying to him and saying I was seeing someone and it would be innapropriate for us to meet. Then he popped up yesterday with an e-mail that said, "Still taken? Let's go out for drinks."
NOOO, fucker. NO NO NO! The Barrister and I, after analyzing the guy's behavior to this point, decided he's most likely married.
I think I'm going to forego a date with SoD. Nice as he seems, I think I'd have more fun talking to my dogs for a few hours than seeing a movie with him. And, there was one more seemingly nice, well-spoken fellow who e-mailed just this weekend, but I fear he's too far away even for me to drive (Arlington).
So, the match.com experiment fizzles, but I must say it was entertaining while it lasted. And it seems that there are a few men who can appreciate my humor, and at least one who might even like the rest of me to go with it. We'll see if it sticks.
Listening: "Get Right"...Jennifer "Skankmaster" Lopez
Monday, October 02, 2006
I haven't had this good a time in a long time.
Expect me to be ridiculously smiley and obnoxious at school tomorrow, folks!
Listening: "Mexico"...Jump, Little Children
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I'm at work on a Sunday, grading papers, whiling away the hours until the moment of truth tonight. And my fucking ovary hurts. Did I mention that?
I'm so uninteresting.
22 papers down, 22 to go. Fuck me.
Listening: "Ride"...Cary Brothers