Wednesday, November 29, 2006
No one ever said this partying business was so glamorous.
You can never say I'm not honest on this blog. There has to be some value in being upfront about one's fugliness.
No more drinking for me until Saturday. I'm hosting.
Regret of the night: not getting Dustin or Justin's (can't remember his name) phone number. Cute boy, new to Dallas. Good target.
Listening: The Fray...song #6....whatever it is.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
4:22pm: Looks like the outing to Dada is on for tonight after class. I'll likely be dragging along half dead, until I hear Hardin Sweaty's rocksmithy goodness at least. And I'm sure there will be a walk down to Cafe Brazil after the show. So, that means I have to be in class from 4:30-7:10, followed by the half-hour drive home, followed by feeding and shooting the Schnauzer full of insulin, then I'll meet up with Elise at her house, at which time we'll hop on the road for the 45 min drive to downtown Dallas, probably arrive at Dada around 9:30 or 9:45ish, and the boys will likely perform at 10 or 10:30. Maybe later. I'm thinking it'll probably be a 2am night. We'll see. I'm going to die from overexertion someday.
2:45pm: At the university, finally. The stupid--excuse my language--CUNT that teaches the class before my lab took the liberty of letting my lab go without telling me. SO, I wasted an hour at the jc when I could've been here working on my godforsaken paper that still isn't finished. Looks like I'm going to end up reading what I have and talking the rest. Pray for my soul. And the peeps wanna go to Dada to see Goose's show tonight. I reallyyyy need to stay home, but an outing sounds sooo much more fun.
Noon: Just graded an assload of quizzes. I'm going to take an hour-long nap before I go teach at the JC and head to the university to finish up the mock conference paper and make copies of my presentation handout.
Listening: "Good Love is On the Way"....John Mayer
9:29am: Got up at 7:15, got dressed (sort of), took mom and Scooby to the vet. Scooby has an ear infection, his sugar has been high, and he has a cold, so we dropped him off to have his sugar checked while I ran Mom over to the rental car place. I was sitting in the car trying to cat nap while she did her dealings with the Enterprise folk when suddenly she appeared at my window. The city's (for whom she works) account had lapsed because they haven't rented a car in forever. Mom recently got rid of her credit cards, sooo I had to fork over the $300 deposit. It wasn't a problem, mind you, but I had to sign for everything, blah blah blah. My first rented car, and I don't even get to drive it.
After all the car drama we picked Scooby back up, and I'm working on my paper. Mom, in the meantime, is tooling around until the cell phone store opens because her Razr inexplicably died last night. No warning, no signs, just died. Good times.
Almost done with the paper! Sort of! 3 more pages to go!
2:25am Tuesday, November 28: I've been up working on a paper. Got home around midnight from movie watching with my boys (Charles, Goose, G.). We watched Team America: World Police, undoubtedly the most irreverent and hilarious movie on earth. When I got home I worked on my paper (due tomorrow [today] at 4:30, by the way) of which I had all of 3 pages as of midnight. I ended up working for an hour or so, watched the gawdawful season finale of The Bachelor: Rome (what a fucktard for picking that cornpone freak, Jenn). They never pick the virgins, I swear. Virginity is the kiss of death on reality TV. Anyway, so after I wasted that hour of life that I'll never get back, I scooched down under my covers for a good sleep. My brain had other plans, and I ended up getting back up and working on the paper. Up to about 6 pages now (of a projected 9). That shouldn't be too hard to crank out in the morning.
On the docket after sunup: wake at 7:15 to take Mom to pick up her rental car. She's off to Austin for 3 days to a seminar. Then going to the university to finish my paper in the office. Then off to the JC to teach a lab (waste of time). Then back to the university for class. Then I have to come home and shoot up the diabetic dog with his insulin. After that, who knows! I'll give you the skinny as the day goes on.
Listening: "Irreplaceable"...Beyonce (I'm going to hell for this)
Friday, November 24, 2006
This year, I fear to say, left me with a distinct lack of excitement over the holidays, and a distinct lack of excitement that Christmas is coming up. I'm not sure if this is a natural part of growing older, if work has so overtaken my life that everything else pales in comparison to a good night of drinking and debauchery, or if my family just leaves me cold without the buffer that my grandparents used to provide.
I sat back today, looked around, and wanted only to retreat to my bedroom. I wanted to clean instead of spending time with my family.
My 15-year-old cousin was huddled in a mass on the couch with his very blonde girlfriend while his siblings and L's three young'uns screamed and sputtered over rousing rounds of Connect 4. Cousin and his wife sat at the table and heckled the kids from the dining nook while we waited for L to amble in an hour late. Talking seemed all but impossible without a barrage of half-witted, smartassy remarks. I would stray to the other room to escape the noise and flippancy at intervals in a vague attempt to maintain my sanity and text message friends. My lifelines. My kindred.
My mother, generally my rock in situations such as these, is currently undergoing some sort of weird empty nest psychosis akin to that which we both endured right before I left for college at the tender age of 18. She's snappy, she's a little needy, and generally back-handed with her remarks. Given, I haven't been home much lately, and the will to be out until all hours of the night at least 4 nights a week is intensified by a creeping round of depression. Not to mention the fact that I've fallen off the South Beach wagon because Mom doesn't care to do it anymore and insists on stocking the house with chocolate, chips, and all manner of processed shit. It's not her fault I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to food, but for God's sake, can't we go back to broccoli and cheese?
On a happier note, I'm thinking of buying the following with the rest of my gift card from Scamazon:
The Epicure's Lament, by Kate Christensen
Collected Prose: Autobiographical Writings, True Stories, Critical Essays, Prefaces, and Collaborations with Artists, by Paul Auster
Invitation to a Beheading, by Vladimir Nabokov
The rest of the night: more paper grading, reading The Blindfold for the Estella discussion
Watching: Cider House Rules
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I'm notoriously handsy when I drink. I like to love everyone! Now, given, this is generally limited to hugs and whatnot, but I'm afraid I was a bit more forward last night than I generally tend to be, and of course G. was the target. G....my friend and NOTHING more.
In my defense, whenever I moved away I got reeled back in, so it wasn't technically ALL me. And hopefully he won't remember it today anyway (somehow, I think I might be wishing on a defective star with that one). No kissing, no intimate contact, but I'm pretty sure there were some scratches on his back this morning.
Edit: Not a big deal apparently. We giggled about it tonight and probably gonna go out tomorrow and/or Friday.
Today was full of sleeping and fiddling around. I probably should've worked at some point, but I'm saving all the paper grading goodness for the rest of the weekend. Starting tomorrow. Yes, that sounds promising.
Trying to decide what to spend the rest of my gift card on. More Paul Auster? Probably.
House was a fantastic episode this week. I know, I haven't been gushing nearly as much as I usually do, but let that not diminish the fact that I LOVE Hugh Laurie and want to have his children. I have my dvr set to record every episode of Blackadder so I won't miss any of Hugh as Princie.
If anyone is looking for a good time, we'll be trekking to Rubber Gloves in Denton on Friday night to see Hardin Sweaty.
Monday, November 20, 2006
I had a crapload of tasks to get done this weekend, and I succeeded with flying colors. First and foremost, the thesis proposal has officially been sent to the entire committee and we're scheduling my defense. I also got a bunch of papers graded (still behind, but at least I'm making headway), and got some research done for the 18-page term paper that's due in Thesis Director's class after Thanksgiving.
In addition to my very important school stuff, I also took some time to read FUN STUFF this weekend.
On Friday I received a delightfully delightful package from Heather F. She was kind enough to send me three books for my birthday: Oracle Night and The Red Notebook: True Stories both by Paul Auster. The third was a picture book that I remember fondly from my childhood, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Admittedly, I teared up a little bit when I saw the picture book. It's a good memory, and only Heather would think to send me a picture book off of my wishlist. She's just cool like that.
I also received a FABULOUS birthday card from Amanda A. that also made me tear up.
I've known both of these ladies online for a zillion years (Heather-5, Amanda-3ish) and I don't know what I'd do without them. I consider them just as close to me as any of my "real life" friends that I see every day.
So, back to the bookgasm from this weekend. First, I took the time to finish City of Glass since T. was on the verge of killing me dead if I didn't move along with The New York Trilogy. Given, I'm still not done with the whole trilogy, but I'm reading the 2nd novella, and I'd say I'm more than halfway through the entire thing.
I couldn't resist taking a look at The Red Notebook since it was sitting there calling my name. I'm a sucker for Paul Auster's memoir writing since I read Hand to Mouth. The Red Notebook did not disappoint. It's a small book--only 110 pages or so--and is a collection of true stories Auster has collected from his own life and experiences of friends, etc. It's so telling to read this book as I'm working my way through his fiction because he draws heavily from his own life. For instance, the use of the red notebook image is something from his own life, but also something that carries over into City of Glass. Most of his fiction is informed heavily by issues of chance and how those can skew and shape our lives, and it really shows in The Red Notebook as all of the stories are wild, true, and soaked in strange twists of fate.
Now, it may sound dorky to those of you who are not as apeshit-crazy about books as I am, but Paul Auster is most certainly a new literary crush. In the past I've generally had lit crushes on characters (Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightly, Stephan from The Vampire Diaries) but this one is a full-on fascination with a writer. Given, I've had other writerly fascinations as well, but this is in a new league. It actually started with Auster's wife, Siri Hustvedt (I know, I know, I'll shuddup about her already), and I figured I'd give Auster himself a go since he's obviously a very smart man for having married my dearest Siri. So, now that I know Auster is fabulous they make up my favorite literary couple, and I'd love to have an intellectual threesome with them. Their themes are similar, their styles are similar, and they're effin' awesome.
In fact, to tell you just what a dork I am, I received a prayer box necklace (picture of which will not upload...STUPID BLOGGER) from TheOtherFeminist for my birthday! So, I had to come up with something to put in the box. Some put in smelly herbs and concoctions, some put in spells, prayers, mantras. I, dearest readers, put in one of my favorite passages from a book. It reads:
My characters. I am making them and not making them, like people in my dreams. They discuss, fight, laugh, yell, and weep. I was very young when I first heard the story of the exorcism Jesus performs on a possessed man. When Jesus talks to the demon inside the man and asks for his name, the words he cries out both scared and thrilled me. The demon says, "My name is Legion." That is my name, too.
Yes, I realize I put a passage about Legion in my prayer box necklace, but it's such a disturbingly wonderful, poignant turn of phrase that I couldn't help myself. And even though I've posted it here before, here's the entire passage--all of which would not fit in my prayer box:
I am afraid of writing, too, because when I write I am always moving toward the unarticulated, the dangerous, the place where the walls don't hold. I don't know what's there, but I'm pulled toward it. Is the wounded self the writing self? Is the writing self the answer to the wounded self? Perhaps that is more accurate. The wound is static, a given. The writing self is multiple and elastic, and it circles the wound. Over time, I have become more aware of the fact that I must try not to cover that speecheless, hurt core, that I must fight my dread of the mess and violence that are also there. I have to write the fear. The writing self is restless and searching, and it listens for voices. Where do they come from, these chatterers who talk to me before I fall asleep? My characters. I am making them and not making them, like people in my dreams. They discuss, fight, laugh, yell, and weep. I was very young when I first heard the story of the exorcism Jesus performs on a possessed man. When Jesus talks to the demon inside the man and asks for his name, the words he cries out both scared and thrilled me. The demon says, "My name is Legion." That is my name, too.
--from A Plea for Eros: Essays, by Siri Hustvedt
Recently watched: The Passion of the Christ, Art School Confidential
Recently listened: John Mayer Live
Friday, November 17, 2006
What part of the past would you bring back if you possibly could?
I would go back to those years when my grandparents were healthy and our family was all together. Every day was fun and full of laughter and we were together. Now everyone is....separate.
What character trait would you alter if you could?
Perfectionism. I procrastinate or avoid doing things if I don't think I'm great at them. It holds me back sometimes.
Which skill would you like to have the time and energy to really work on?
To focus more keenly. My focus seems to come in spurts, and if I could maintain it, I would accomplish much more.
Are you money poor, love poor, time poor or freedom poor?
Love poor in the romantic sense. I'm also time poor, but the love thing is the one bugging me as of late. It's just nice to have someone around, and I'm finally able to admit that.
What element of your partner’s character would you alter if you could?
No partner, see above. But I will say that a partner's most integral qualities are intelligence and a general vigor for life. Grab it by the throat and all that.
What three things are you going to do next year that you’ve been meaning to do for ages but never got around to?
Travel to Europe (I hope).
Get back to the 'zine.
If your fairy godmother gave you three wishes, what would you wish for?
If I'm being selfish, I'd go with independently wealthy because I'd love to pay off my loans and build a house. I'd also wish for more time to read and many travel adventures.
What one thing would you change about your living conditions?
I'd have my own place. As much as I love my mom and enjoy hanging out with her, it would really be better for me to be out on my own right now.
How could the quality of your free time be improved?
If I had more focus (mentioned above) I would get my work done faster and have that "more time to read" that I wished for. Vicious cycle.
What change have you made to your life recently that you’re most proud of?
I'm trying to take some more time for me so I don't go insane. However, that also puts more stresses on my time issues since I need to be working all night every night. I've sort of fallen off the South Beach wagon (big bummer), so I hope to be back on my health kick soon and that'll make me proud!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I just got an e-mail confirming my acceptance to an International conference in Writing Center studies. So that makes five conferences for the spring:
Pop Culture (Albuquerque) - a graphic narrative paper related to my thesis
College Teachers of English (College Station) - a film/children's lit paper
Rhetoric Symposium (here in the 'Merce) - a visual literacy/comics paper
International Writing Centers (Houston) - aesthetics and writing center spaces
Critical Children's Lit (Nashville) - comics/adolescent lit, a dry run at my dissertation topic
I'm gonna be so broke and dead in the Spring. Can you tell? And I'm taking a course over literary theory. And finishing/defending my thesis. Hmmm, maybe I'll ditch the College Station conference since it's the least important to me.
Listening: "All These Things That I've Done"...The Killers (my ringtone)
Edit: Thesis Director strongly advises me to ditch the College Station conference. What she says goes!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I'm also getting my PhD application packets together, and I'm drowning in papers to grade.
However, I do have a bit of good news. I got accepted to one of the national/international Children's Lit conferences, which means I'll be meeting a lot of very intimidating people in my field from March 29th to 31st in Nashville. I'm very nervous about it, so I'm going to stop talking about it, lest I get sick to my stomach, and I have to go teach a class, so there's no time.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I don't have a clue why I was making this face. G's just taking it all in.
Crystal and T. The cutest couple everrrr.
TheOtherFeminist and her hubby. The pics are compliments of these two.
Jeremy looking quite concerned at Charles' state of inebriation.
Elise and T. The night just got more out of focus!
Jeremy and Elise in the coolest pic of the night. Bright lights, big city!
Isn't it a great hat?
Abby, laughing. Her natural state.
The cake was AMAZING. Too bad we forgot what was left at Pete's. It could've been my breakfast!
Abby and Brendan and the quesadilla of doom.
Brendan and Josie. She's got an MFA from Yale!!! Eeek!
Myself (and my fake eyelashes) and Michael. Pink cheeks all around!
My favorite pic of the night. Michael fixed this one up, OtherFem framed it, and it now has a place in our office.
More to come!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
The day started with Os's birthday tribute at his place, followed by a multitude of sweet messages from you all and a barrage of birthday MySpace comments. I let my classes go for the day (who wants to teach on their birthday?) and Thesis Director took me out for lunch. I guest lectured in D-rock's graphic narrative class (went well) and headed home early to prepare for the evening. It takes a while to strap on the fake eyelashes, so I needed a running start on the primping.
Straightened hair, fake eyelashes, wicked makeup, and a camo t-shirt, jeans, and a pin-stripe jacket later I was ready to roll out. We all met up at Elise's house at 6:00 (Charles, G, Jeremy, Elise, Crystal, and myself), putzed around, and left about 7:00. We arrived at Pete's in the nick of time and met up with T., OtherFeminist, and her hubby. We had reservations for 15 and I think there were 12 of us total by the end of the night (Abby, Brendan, and Josie arrived late). The drinks were flowing hard and fast while we were at Pete's, and because I have fabulous friends, I bought none of my own drinks. After 1 vodka tonic, 2 cranberry and vodkas, 3 Jager bombs, and a shot of Grey Goose I was feeling GOOD. I'm happy to say I was called onto the stage for birthday celebratory embarrassment before I was too drunk to walk straight. The really kickass part is that my friends not only requested I be called on stage, they turned my name in as "Estella!" Yay! I got to do the chicken dance with 3 other girls and one visiting Australian guy. Good times were had by all. Abby brought an amazing cake. White cake, whipped cream frosting, decorated with strawberries and white chocolate scallops. Yuuuum. And the weirdest part of the night was running into a girl that one of my friends dated in high school. They later married and had a kid, and she recognized me from across the bar and chased me down for a hug in the bathroom.
Around 11:00 or 11:30 we changed locations, opting to check out The Beagle on Greenville Avenue for ass shaking. Fabulous ass shaking music, crowded dance floor, drinks flowing (a few offered by strangers), and I commodified G because he has great rhythm, he smelled nice, and he's the perfect height (the top of my head just rests under his chin for easy leaning and wiggling).
We eventually ditched The Beagle and hit up Taco Cabana before we dropped T. and Crystal off at their truck and made our way home. I took advantage of G. for some platonic snuggle-sleeping on the way home.
In addition to the merriment, my friends treated me with some amazing gifts--proof positive that this group knows me through and through. Elise had mentioned repeatedly that I would love her gift, and oddly enough that was everyone else's comment when I asked if they knew about the gift. Turns out, they were alllllll right. She got us floor seats to the Dixie Chicks concert at the American Airlines Center on December 5th!!! And since that's a class night, she already cleared it with Thesis Director. I screamed when she gave them to me, we hugged, and jumped while *squeeeee*ing.
When we got to Pete's, T. whipped out the gift from he and Crystal. Again, proof that they know me too well: they got me two of Paul Auster's books (Brooklyn Follies, and The Music of Chance) so I wouldn't have to spend my Amazon gift card on them, and because T. knows how much I adore T.S. Eliot--"The Waste Land" in particular--he got me a copy of Eliot's The Waste Land and Other Poems.
OtherFeminist remembered how much I love her prayer necklace and bought me a bright, shiny one of my very own. It's goooorrrrgeous, and I can't wait to wear it.
Unfortunately, I left my camera full of really embarrassing pictures at Elise's house, so you'll all have to wait a day or two for those.
Many of my birthdays have come and gone and been pretty painful. My younger years--especially high school--were spent wondering if my dad might take the time to call or send a card (and he didn't from the time I was 9 until he died when I was 18). Later I struggled through lots of lonely times when I had very few friends, we were spread out, or just not interested enough to really celebrate. The last few years have been spent mourning those I lost (grandparents, the ex). To have a big group with me yesterday was a tremendous boost.
While I've always had a wonderful group of friends, I feel like this group of us now is quite kindred. We're all book nerds (or nerdy in some other artistic way), we're close to each other, and we know each other very very well. It was an amazing feeling to have everyone with me last night and I can only hope for such wonderful birthdays in the future.
P.S. If you need my new cell # because I haven't e-mailed it to you yet, drop me a line! I upgraded to a raspberry pink (the color of my first car) Razr today!Listening: "The Long Way Around"...Dixie Chicks
Friday, November 10, 2006
Last year on my birthday I asked the day's visitors to dream up the most outlandish present they could think of. I've decided it's a good tradition to carry on, SO, if you could get me ANYTHING in the world...what would it be. A gold star for everyone who says Hugh Laurie!
And Os is too sweet. Go check out his birthday tribute HERE.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
The good news is that my birthday is tomorrow, and I'm having a kickass party. We have a reservation for 15 at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar in Addison, and it promises to be a good drunken time full of song, merriment, and debauchery. I heard something about a permanent marker to keep track of the number of shots I've done by tallying them on my arm. I can attribute this little piece of drinking wisdom to my Thesis Director who gave E. the idea.
My mom got me a $50 Amazon gift card, and it's taking all of my strength and reserve to NOT go apeshit ordering books and music. I would dearly love to order a bunch of Paul Auster's books, and finish out my set of Siri Hustvedt writings--in addition to some obscure music. However, I haven't caved yet. Give me time (a couple of hours), and I'm sure I will.
Back to the applications, but I wanted to pop in, say hello, and wish you all well since I probably won't be around until the hangover has subsided on Saturday.
I think 26 is going to be a good year!
Listening: "Summer of 69"...Brian Adams
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Friday night was a meeting of the minds at E's house (really, a school type thing) but afterwards we usually stay and drink ourselves into oblivion. Friday was no exception, and I had extra company because G was there (haven't talked about this one before). The night wore on, many shots were had (tequila, kahlua, crown) and it turned into a slumber party for the vast majority of us.
Saturday I woke up too late to take G home and get back home to shower/change etc. for a lunch I had planned, so we stopped by my place, I changed, he loved the dogs, and I came up to the office for a spell. I don't think my hangover kicked in until around 1pm...in the middle of lunch. I pretty much wanted to die after that, but I pressed on...BECAUSE...Hardin Sweaty had a show at Dada on Saturday night. Being the trooper that I am, I headed over to Dallas around 7:45, met up with the band and their respective girlfriends (my friend Amanda, Goose's gf "B", etc.). We made a quick trip down to Condoms to Go to check out all the oddities, stopped by an art gallery (The Kettle), and eventually landed back at the venue for a friends reunion of sorts. Amanda, Crystal, and I hadn't all been in one place in over 2 years, so it was quite a time. Hardin Sweaty rocked out like never before (my face is still a bit melty from all the radioactive rock goodness), and after much dancing, flailing, and swinging of hair, we went next door to The Bone for grindy-dancing. Much to my chagrin the music was sucky and there was no one there, so we gave it up and went to eat at Cafe Brazil. I think I rolled back into my garage around 3am, and I've never fallen into bed and asleep so fast in my life. I didn't even take my makeup off, and I have the pimple to prove it.
That leaves yesterday. This is a short description: worked on my proposal from noon to 5:45. It's not done, but it's damn close. I think I only need to write 2-3 more pages and the fucker is finished. SO HAPPY. Just in time for me to guest lecture on Maus 2 days this week and go out for my birthday on Friday night.
That is all for now. Time to catch up on blog reading!
Listening: "Life is a Highway"...Rascal Flatts
Thursday, November 02, 2006
The discussion forum is up and kicking at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/estellasrevenge and we'll begin our first book discussion on November 30th. We'll be discussing The Blindfold, by Siri Hustvedt. It's a fantastic book, so I hope you'll join us. Nicky will be leading the discussion and I'll be pitching in as well.
Edit: Check out my kickass header! Heather's handiwork. She's so good to me!!!
The weekend looks as if it's probably going to be a busy asswhip, but a fun asswhip. I have get-togethers planned for Friday and Saturday night, which means I'll be working my tail off Sunday, I'm sure.
I'm happily curled up in my bed right now since I opted to stay home today. Thursdays are technically my day off, but I usually go to work anyway. However, since I have a hair appointment at 2:45 I didn't see the point in driving out of the way to work. I have big plans to write, read, and lounge today. I need to re-read Maus I for a class I'm guest lecturing in next week but The New York Trilogy is staring at me from the floor, and I can hear T's voice in my head saying, "Hurry up and finish it!!!"
Tuesday night was quite eventful. The fire alarm in the English building went off around 6pm while we were in Thesis Director's class, so we all ended up in the parking lot freezing our respective asses off. We finally gave it up and went to Molina's to finish class there. It turned into a long night of drinking, but somehow it got me writing again, so I can't be too bitter that I was slightly hungover yesterday.
Bookish Estella goodness coming in the next post!
Listening: "Voice Inside My Head"...Dixie Chicks