Friday, April 27, 2007

even the sap in the trees moves nasty

thankfully, that brief but violent attack on my emotions is all but dealt with. apparently my turn around time on hurt feelings is like 48 hrs. cheers to being old enough to have a decent hold on myself, to being old enough to rightly trust my instincts.

i have zero cheers, though, for turning 31. which i just did 25 minutes ago. fuck getting older; it's retarded. i always thought i'd age gracefully like my mother. turns out i'm way more vain than my near-saint mums. i guess i should have seen it coming. i mean, sarah's nickname for me in college was 'vain bitch' there for a while. so i put the first dollar in the 'i look like someone punched me in the face' jar. we'll see what the men in white coats can do for me in 5 years.

until then i suppose i'll just have to be glad that my life is pretty much the way i want it. sure, i'd like to have some money left at the end of the month, more control over what i teach, fewer dark circles under my eyes and a light blue vespa. but i have the sweetest sleepiest bulldog, real friends who i love and miss, a sick awesome family and the first relationship in my entire life where i don't have one foot out the door.

i also have three papers to finish before i can be officially done with coursework. so i'm gonna get on that.

Monday, April 23, 2007

kicked it in the sun

i had a lovely weekend until i got unexpectedly punched in the heart last night. i don't want to talk abt it, i might never talk abt it. all i can do right now is play "let's just keep it together" and that's barely working.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

costa rica, my dears

why is it that every time i travel i drink way too much the night before? at least this is no spain, 2001. several bottles of wine, skinny dipping in my best friend's parents' pool, vomiting in an airplane bathroom sink and ending up in sevilla for tinto del verano.

at least tonight it was only one bottle of wine, talking to little brother, sloppy packing and watching 4 weddings and a funeral. oh, incidentally, another to add to my list of things that make me cry like a little girl: the w.h. auden poem that the adorable scottish guy reads at the funeral. runny nose kinda crying with that one for real. like makes me resent myself for ever writing that dumb ass carrie bradshaw made my eyes water.

see you monday. with a tan.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

books: they can't all be good

blech to nuruddin farah's maps. if you want a bunch of freudian family romance crap and dream scenes, help yrself. otherwise, avoid at all costs. i really don't need to read abt boys getting their penises squeezed by mother figures or abt those mother figures' menstrual cycles. also, btw, farah, nobody likes to read abt someone else's dreams. laaaaaaaaaaaaame.

you are the wild blue sky

i can hear warm talking like a party from the restaurant downstairs and strains of piano. it makes me simultaneously happy, like i'm involved in something fun and sad, because i'm right outside of it. i do like coming home to an apartment above a restaurant tho. it always looks warm and pleasant in there with candles flickering on tables and servers rushing around in black aprons. downside being that i constantly want to go out to eat and i totally can't afford it. it's sort of like i imagine sarah feels living right next door to a mexican restaurant with outdoor seating and flowers and pitchers of margaritas visible everywhere. i don't know how she doesn't just mainline margaritas all day every day, living next to that.

it's been a weekend of reading and writing which is pretty boring and sort of depressing. but if i don't get all this shit done ahead of time, i'll be ruined when i get back from my mini-break. i might be ruined anyway. i guess i better get on that manifesto to finish out the semester--i need to give myself a real serious pep talk before i end up with my first B since 1997. not that i'm so smart or anything, there's major grade inflation in grad school. so if i end up with a B, it means i really preposterously tanked on something.

i kind of feel like crying but it just seems like it would take too much energy. i almost published with that last sentence as the ending but it seemed too sad. so in an effort to effect The Policy (see or something like it, i'm going to focus on the nice parts of this weekend.

i took myself to celery bog on friday and today for run-walk which is mostly walking with very little running. but it feels so damn good to be outside and to remember that i have a body that i don't care how little running i do. and there were two girls with three of the tiniest littlest dogs ever invented running around off leash and i got sort of mobbed by them at one point. the dogs, not the girls. it's atually rather pleasant to get attacked by tiny dogs.

also, jose cuervo 1800 silver + margarita mix + extra lime + salt rim = my new favorite drink. they have to be enjoyed in my thick pint glasses with the big cobalt blue stripe for full escapist effect. come over and i'll make you one.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


i just bought a box of sour jelly bellies, a bag of weird raspberry licorice and some diet rockstars to "help me get through writing" this weekend. it might be time for an intervention.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

hoy decimos basta

to jelly bellies, to late night snackery, to generalized laziness, to all bad (but not all naughty) things. a real manifesto for the end of the semester is coming soon. i just don't have the ganas to do it now.

so i just killed the bag of jelly bellies the p's sent me for easter. hopefully, that will be the end of the nightly jelly belly orgy i've been having. really, i paid no heed to the number of bellies i shoved in my mouth or to the specific taste combo. it was just total artificial fruit flavored sluttery over here. i have a real problem with any sort of gummy fruity soury concoction. and it has to stop.

esp if i'm going to be in a bikini in 9 days (!). i'll apologize, in advance, to anyone who may be working at, visiting, or even just driving by el gran papagayo (el papagayo royal?) resort and spa next week. maybe i can get it together in the next few days. oh well, no one to impress in costa rica.

in book news, i give a general thumbs up to maryse conde's who slashed celanire's throat? totally kept me reading and you *know* i'm into any novel that has representations of hell, the devil or the underworld. and this one has a beautiful caribbean woman who may or may not be possessed by demons b/c she was a human sacrifice gone bad. also featuring giant black dogs that slash people to death, mysterious deaths by bat wounds, a water siren, a nun named antonine, and a collective narrative strategy reminiscent of faulkner's 'a rose for emily.' also lesbians. and brief prison sex.

Monday, April 9, 2007

back to work

had a lovely time in second city with sarah. we all went to kafka and bought wine and went to french vietnamese at viet bistro for dinner. it's just so effing nice to be in a proper city with stylish places and bars and things to do. makes me wonder how fast i can wind up this whole grad school thing. anyway, we drank lots of wine and then slept in and sarah and matt made us a huge brunch which was awesome. i brought my camera but totally forgot to take pics. of course. matt took lots of beckett photos on his camera phone tho and sent them out to a bunch of people who probably didn't care. but he called her the easter bulldog so maybe they thought that was funny?

anyway, i miss seeing sarah regularly. she makes me smile and laugh and feel normal and happy. which puts in greater relief the fact that grad school makes me feel not normal and not happy. somehow i feel that california is the solution. that, and summertime cuz david and i plan on making lots more chicago trips when this 'classes' business stops being a problem.

Friday, April 6, 2007


i had a very complimentary meeting with a professor today. a professor who i thought saw me as a sort of dilettante, so the positive evaluation was a little unexpected. anyway, it made me really happy since i've been feeling especially like a dumb dumb and maybe like my passion for this stuff won't get me as far as i hoped it would. i have a lot of self-doubt, especially at the end of a semester where i know i have approx 70 pages of new material to write. what's up with these motherfuckers wanting two completely different papers this semester for each class--and papers that don't draw on the same theory or theory you've worked with before? if the motivation behind these paper guidlelines is that someone doesn't think grad students do enough work or try to skip out on work, i'm gonna mess somebody up. i've never worked so hard for so little cash and so little recognition in my life.

oops. i think the bottle of cote du rhone and my generalized anxiety is starting to piss me off. poor bf and sarah might have to keep me out of a fight tomorrow night.

anyway, bottom line, somebody other than me thinks i'm a good writer and that's nice to hear.

yes, please!

i get to visit sarah tomorrow in chicago and i am super excited. not only to get out of small town indiana for a moment, but to hang out with one of the best most funny girls ever. plus, she's getting her hair done which means she'll be ready to go out on the town, big time. and we get to have an atheist's easter brunch on sunday that is rumoured to be fabulous. i can't wait.

tonight we're laying low--drinking wine, playing scrabble and sharing music. and i have another pile of grading to get through as well as Ways of Dying, Paredes, Who Slashed Celanire's Throat? and Mumbo Jumbo by Monday, Tuesday, Tuesday and Weds, respectively. At least they all look pretty interesting.

i am in the mood for a party like you wouldn't imagine. i feel like i've been either sick or busy like a crazy person for a month now and that makes me feel like drinking whiskey and getting in trouble. unfortunately, last time i felt like that i went to sarah's and drank so much wine that i puked a vibrant maroon on her bathmat and slept til 2pm in my party dress. then proceeded to eat all the good left overs from her party and drink all her coke zero until i could manage to drive myself the two hrs home.

so here's to maybe avoiding some, if not all, of that.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

bad, weather, bad

cold today. and there were those snow bits that aren't actually snow. which is totally baloney cuz it's supposed to spring now. so i graded 18 papers in two hrs this morning and broke my brain in half. the rest of the day has been, well, i don't really remember.

i can't possibly come up with good things to say right now, so i'll turn to patrick chamoiseau whose novel texaco i nearly finished for caribbean lit class last night. it's sort of slow going but really beautiful if you read it out loud. there are a ton of echoes though--like gabriel garcia marquez and ben okri (read famished road!) off the top of my head and the book jacket says rabelais but i can't tell if that person actually read the book or just happened to notice that the narrator reads rabelais. but i won't hate b/c i couldn't finish the damn thing either. anyway....

'i felt my heart go voom-pow for him.'

'i sowed sweetness into each of his pores, i sucked his soul, i licked his life. i forced myself to melt us into each other, to give him anchor. my papaya turned into an octopus to suck him up and hold him there. it turned into apple and pear and small gilt cage, into arroz-con-pollo, into sweet liqueur on which to suck, into 120 proof tafia, temple of still drunkennes, into white-madou to be caught drop by drop with a stretched tongue, turned dangerous like the datura flower which paralyzes the legs...' (357)

seriously, arroz con pollo. that's brilliant. book also featured a character named ti-cirique which i might name a cat or a child if, perchance, i ever end up with either.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

stinky trees

is it all over the place or is there just a total preponderance of stinky trees in the midwest? the two worst offenders are blossoming their gnarly selves up and down the purdue campus these days--a) the one with white blossoms that smells like a combo of piss and fish food and b) the one that drops green balls that are the most abject concoction of shit and vomit ever invented. really, i just can't it more poop-smelling or is that a hint more vomit i discern?

horrible no good very bad.

makes me miss the honeysuckle/wisteria combo of the historical norcal backman homestead.

Monday, April 2, 2007


monday's are rarely as bad as i fear they might be. so, yeah, today was fine. i taught and then i had 'culture and mourning' class (just as not-uplifting as it sounds, btw) in which i gave a little presentation on that dangarembga book. it went fine, not perfect of course b/c of...well, b/c of me being me, i guess. how it is that i can teach a room full of distracted and sometimes confrontational 18 year olds but totally mentally spaz out at talking to a bunch of grad students is beyond me. but i'll save you from an exhaustive examination my personal hang-ups.

so i thought of other things that make me cry pretty much on demand and i'm sure it's revealing but i don't know. and i'm not embarrassed of them either, even tho you cold bastards maybe think i should be.

1. the end of amelie when they're buzzing around on his motorbike/scooter and it's blurry and they're totally in love and she smushes her face into his neck
2. when smith shaves his head for samantha in sex and the city; also
3. when carrie breaks up with russian guy and says, 'I'm looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love.'
4. 'no lies, just love' by bright eyes when he says, 'I will be pure/No, no, I know I will be pure./Like snow- like gold-/like snow- like gold--'
5. when buffy dies at the end of season five.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

every time

i cry every time i read tsitsi dangarembga's nervous conditions. like somehow, this time, nyasha won't go completely nuts and puke and starve herself and hit her father and wind up in the hospital. all i know is that when tambu says "she sobbed up great lumps of pain," i end up doing it too. because it's too hard to see her defeated; it crawls up into my insides. i mean, "nyasha's energy, at times stormy and turbulent, at times confidently serene, but always reaching, reaching a little further than i had even thought of reaching...nyasha gave me the impression of moving, always moving and striving towards some state that she had seen an accepted a long time ago." last week in class, mullen said that he's spent a great deal of his life obsessing over native son. that book certainly sticks with me for at least a month after i read it. but i'm totally haunted by nyasha. more than ada, more than fermina daza, more than v. maybe not more than slothrop.

probably this is all compounded by the sunday blues too. i hate sundays.


i played tennis, went to trader joe's, only graded one paper, cleaned the apartment and drank a bottle of barolo.

oh, i also ate a pizza olympiad which is totally in the running for best frozen pizza ever. neck and neck with red baron 5 cheese. anyone that tells you frozen pizza is bad is a liar. it's awesome b/c you can cook it ten minutes longer than the directions say and end up with good crunchy crust instead of flaccid crust like you get if you order delivery.

tomorrow paul and whitney move into the lcg building which means i have to get my ass up and help at some point in the am. i'm really not a fan of the am hours of the day, unless it's the side where i've been up all night. speaking of, it's 3:19 here and i'm gonna look at this month's bust before i go to bed. it's totally a sleep like a baby angel night.

oh, and beckett learned how to go up the stairs yesterday! we came back from grocery shopping and she had climbed up all on her own. of course i'm afraid she's going to try to climb down on her own and then i'll come home to a doggy with a broken neck and need therapy for the rest of my life and be heartbroken. but so far so good; no dead dogs.

buenas noches.