Thursday, May 31, 2007

love and organization, houses and homes

thus far, being on steriods is pretty interesting. i have this, like, limitless energy to take care of bullshit chores that normally make me want to run in the other direction--altho i'm sure part of my need to stay busy is related to the fact that i can't actually do anything abt the variety of craptastic things that have recently invaded my life. at any rate, i've cleaned my apartment, gone through all of last semester's papers, visited the library, gone running, walked the dog ad infinitum, paid bills, made calls to various insurance organizations, painted my fingernails (like, what? i haven't painted my fingernails in four years), etc.

i'm going through some weird home nesting thing...totally obsessing abt home furnishings and getting everything organized. i also want to make my office at school look more 'amelie library' which probably just means finding precious things to hang in imaginative positions. in a similar vein, my dissertation director recommended this book to me called 'the poetics of space' by gaston bachelard to help me think abt space, materiality, thingyness in murdoch. i picked it up at the library today and so far it's totally fun. i only made it thru the intro and 6 pages before my eyeballs wanted to quit on me but it has chapters like 1. house and universe. 2. drawers, chests and wardrobes. 3. nests. 4. shells. etc. i'm especially excited abt 6. corners and 10. the phenomenology of roundness. anyway, he says this lovely thing abt houses that makes me feel not so bad abt my urge to get my apartment all together and comforting:

'the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace. thought and experience are not the only things that sanction human values. the values that belong to daydreaming mark humanity in its depths' (6).

so i'm just making a protective space for imagining my way out of some of this stuff. and things are getting better. moms is out of icu and seems to be getting healthier. no diagnosis for sure yet, but she's stable and even talked to russell on the phone today. so, whew. worrying abt her has been eating up my insides. i need many more years of trips to anthropologie for window shopping, many more years of lying in the couch watching hgtv and stand up comedy, and a fricking lifetime of advice.

this post is poorly written, sorry. maybe some beautiful, magical things will start happening and i can write abt lovely summertime fetes and votive candles and wine parties or something soon. but here's a nice little bachelard line to end the evening:

'thus we cover the universe with the drawings we have lived' (12).

and a ginormous thank you to the people in my life--the ones in the middle, the outskirts, the outposts, the rest-stops, the red-light districts--this last week was especially hard and you all really helped like the magical creatures you are. thanks.

Monday, May 28, 2007

i miss

it's one of those rainy summer days where all yr plans to go for a nice long walk get busted. there are plenty of things to be done inside--throw out student papers from a year ago, go through all my class notes and organize, etc. but all that sounds like the lamest of the lame. i've watched too many old movies, i don't have tv and if i play scrabble again i might just flush all the damn vowels i get down the toilet.

i'm still trying my hardest not to freak abt my mom's health. but i find myself crying at the least thing or for no reason like yesterday when i came up the stairs with a pile of clean white laundry. i miss when i lived at home and she used to wake me up in the morning by opening my blinds and bringing me a cup of coffee. i miss senior year in high school when we would go to lunch and see a movie on wednesdays. i still believe she's going to be fine. if i didn't, i wouldn't be in this shithole of a midwestern town. (plus, my dad said i'd just get in the way. thanks to papa b for keeping it real). they have her intubated now and barely conscious but i know that's better for her than being all anxiety ridden. they might be able to start treating her on tuesday when they get a blood test back. i just want things to turn around. i just want even the first sign that she's getting better. i just want to hear her voice on the phone, even if it is sick and scared.

i miss all sorts of things today. the rosie's crew in bloomington-normal for all the crazy nights and happy hangover mornings, dinner at lucca's, walking dogs with aev in the mornings in our pajamas with coffee like the whole town was our front yard.

i miss all the dinners with chida and lorena in san francisco, when no boys ever seemed to like me but it only sort of mattered.

i miss freshman year in college with sarah when no one else in the world could make me laugh like her.

and i miss dee but i just miss her all the time so i guess that's normal.

maybe i'll just go out and jog in the rain after all. sitting around wishing things were different has to be one of the worst feelings ever.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

i think i'm just going to stay in for a while

this last month is definitely in the running for the shittiest month of my life award. the shitfest even started one month ago today. anyway, on the way home from my first of three steriod ivs, david and i got in a small car accident. minor, but enough to fuck up my hood and my headlights. really everything is just fine and my iv thing went fine--they even had cable tv and a flat screen--but my luck's really just not so hot right now. best, i think, to lay low. i absolutely do not believe in fate or destiny or god or some higher spirit or even karma. so i know this isn't some bad real-world 'final destination' thing. it's just us and we're responsible for ourselves (will say that neither david nor i were responsible for that guy who drove the wrong way down the alley behind my house). but, hey, reality can be a real bastard to deal with sometimes. for totes, the reality i've got in front of me right now is decidedly unfun. but i have to figure out how to deal with it instead of the sporadic crying thing i've got going right now. it may have taken me a long time to learn, but ignoring what's going on around me just doesn't work. in fact, that strategy has kicked me in the ass more times than i would like to admit.

right now there's not much i can do abt my mom except for call and try my hardest not to cry when i hear her voice sound sick and tired. :( i haven't figured out how to do that yet but i'm trying.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

let's try this again

monte's blog: nel mezzo del cammin

various quiches

i decided to pay no mind to that yahoo sentence. if monotony is the key to the skinny life, fuck it. it's my summer time and if i don't have access to an ocean, you better believe i'll be cooking and drinking lots of moderately priced wine. so last night i tried quiche which is funny because i generally hate eggs. but at aparajita's class party, she made two frickin awesome quiches and i've totally been craving them ever since. so i made was tomato and gruyere and spinach and onion with baguette and salad. unfortunately, i believe i under-gruyered the quiches. but, experiment was fun regardless. and will probably be fun tomorrow, re-heated for breakfast since i wake up at 1pm these days.

in unrelated and more depressing news, my mom is in the hospital. she's had pneumonia for what seems like forever and had trouble breathing yesterday. breathing trouble + my mom's worrying tendencies = panic attack so my dad ended up calling 911. it seems like she has some kind of auto-immune problem since they just found out she's also severly anemic. i'm trying not to freak out but what bugs me most is that my mom might be scared in the hospital all by herself. the thought of my mom scared and alone makes me want to cry and then just get on a plane right now. which, honestly, i might start looking into tomorrow. i mean, what good is an unemployed grad student daughter if she can't fly off to arizona at the drop of a hat and entertain her mother with drinking and debauchery stories?

but i start my own hospital adventures tomorrow with an hour long iv drip of steriods. then i do the same thing on thurs and fri. david's coming with me tho and promises to be more interesting than the family tv programming that will, i'm sure, be rocking st. vincent's pavilion b. jesus fuck, when did i get so old that health problems started being an issue? i mean, i hate to blog abt this shit all the time but when yr body is not behaving correctly, it is completely consuming. i also think it's very uncool that my brother's celiac disease is auto-immune related and that my optic neuritis is auto-immune related. wtf?

since this blog is highly depressing these days, i would like to recommend reading abt monte (aka soandso) and his current experiences in africa as he helps set up a self-sustaining children’s home for kenyan orphans: nel mezzo del cammin. i'm not even kidding; he's really doing that.

if you'd prefer something raunchier, something truly fabulous with just a hint of self-loathing, my fave blog of all time: orange bottles/silver cans.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

variety and hoop earrings

i read this really depressing sentence the other day in a yahoo news "article" about weight loss:

"since variety stimulates the appetite, the more monotonous your diet, the less you’ll eat."

yipes. there go my recipe experiments and every other fun thing in the world. i made some good vegetarian enchiladas the other day that were relatively healthy. but i probably ate too much of them. :( so, yeah, getting fatter over here. finals + loss of vision = treating myself to a lot of things that are only making me rounder. the opthamologist said the eye thing should start getting better by next week so maybe then i'll be less prone to treating myself.

cuz i have this vision of myself over summer that does not include a pudgy belly. more like the bronzey girl who hangs out by pools and wears white tennis skirts and one of those perfumes by escada that smell like sexy fruit punch (they have names like 'ibiza dream' for reals) . and, since this is a fantasy vision, i'll also add to that some enormous hoop earrings, a really nice phone and some ultra posh sunglasses. i'll stop there tho b/c i think the next step would be, like, a pearlescent escalade and demanding that everyone call me poodle or something.

anyway, i start a two week course of steroids next week. rad. my neurologist said i might get anxious and have trouble sleeping which means i might actually get something done instead of reading blogs and playing tennis all day.

one-eyed tennis is pretty hilarious, btw.

Monday, May 14, 2007

orangina and sunshine

a year ago yesterday you kneeled down next to me in your kitchen and i kissed you.

and you're still brand new to me. wow.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

i don't have ms!

fabulous. nobody can really tell me what the hell's happening inside my head and eyeball but whatever. at least i'm not dying of cancer or some freaky degenerative disease.

made caesar salad tonight but it was more lemony than i would have liked. i just never seem to make it just the way my dad does. i also made bruschetta and drank some wine and now i'm going to finish the first draft of my prelim reading list for rowe. drinking + this wonky vision thing is actually kinda cool. as long as you don't have to focus too hard. it's very 'i stared at the sun too long during my acid trip/ecstasy binge'.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


well, i've got ocular neuritis. which, i'm told, does occur in healthy people but most often occurs in people with ms. so, potential major bummer. i had an mri today to find out and i should hear in a couple of days. mri's are scary. there are lots of loud jackhammer noises, beepy noises, whirring and clicking sounds. i also had to get a shot so they could see "contast" and pay attention to my "orbits." whatevs.

i also took took two relpax for my migraine which is kicking ass even tho i still can't see anything out of my right eye. yesterday, i got a shot of imitrex and a big old needle full of painkiller in my ass. good times.

anyway, big ups to david who is keeping me distracted with movies, milkshakes and lots of lovin.

oh, and the bosom doctor says all's well but ordered an ultrasound to be sure. fun fact: mammograms are ineffective on women under 35. who knew?

right now, i'm going to make a sandwich with lots of arugula and then david and i are going to bed bath and beyond to hit up those massage chairs. after that, it's anybody's guess. i might just drink enough maker's to knock me out until friday.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

kicked it in the er

so body freak out 2007 continues on, much to my surprise. on thursday i got another nasty migraine--probably from staring at the computer screen and writing like a maniac. but this migraine is special b/c it comes with the addition of not really being able to see out of my right eye. awesome. so the david and i spent most of our sunday at home hospital where i found out that i don't have diabetes or brain cancer. a minor fyi to our friends at home hospital, it is so so so not cool to give a girl a cat scan and then leave her alone in a sterile, depressing eye examination room to freak out for an hour. not cool! i've never fretted so fucking hard in my life. by the time dr. soandso came back to say "cat scan normal," i was practically convulsing. anyway, he said 'ummm, dunno' and gave me a referral to another eye doctor.

so tomorrow i get to go see the bosom doctor and the eye doctor! throw a bajingo doctor in there and it would be like my ultimate nightmare doctor scenario.

anyway, i guess it's 'force jen to get over her phobias' week over here in the greater lafayette area.

i'll stop writing abt doctors and my health now. lemme just get something out of my system by giving a goodnite shout out:


ah, feeling better already.

Friday, May 4, 2007


finished grading. will submit monday. now i'm going to hit the couch with some pellegrino and living etc. then i'm gonna type up my rough draft reading list to send to rowe. the reading list thing is pretty fun even tho i keep getting sidetracked to sit down and read over my favorite parts from books i haven't looked at in a while. so far i got sucked into marguerite duras' the lover and gabriel garcia marquez's love in the time of cholera. i'm such a sappy romantic when it comes to the books except that i prefer them to be obsessive and full of sex and heartache.

i haven't really decided where to draw the line of disclosure here with this blog, maybe because i'm convinced no one reads it. but i feel compelled to write out some of my anxiety abt having to visit the doctor on monday. if you know me, you know i have a paralyzing phobia of doctors, doctor's offices and hospitals. i freak out so bad that i've literally been diagnosed with white coat syndrome--when you get high blood pressure at the doctor's office and nowhere else. look it up, fuckers, it's real. anyway, i have to go for (yet another) breast exam with a specialist on monday morning. unfortunately for me, i have tits as dense as rocks. i put this one off forever b/c i really do feel like it's nothing. but then there's the off chance i've been ignoring cancer for, like, a year. so i'm freaking out a little bit.

alright, i kinda feel better having put that into words. now back to denial, my couch and that home mag.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


i'm done writing. i slid that damn paper under sfdh's door at 11:30 tonight and officially said goodbye to coursework. i could say a bunch of nasty things abt why i'm over grad classes but it would (mostly) be the exhaustion talking. so, instead, i'll say that i'm actually looking forward to the prelim process--if not the actual prelims. a whole summer of books, tennis, sunshine and my guy. it just sounds like the best thing ever to me.

also talked to lorena tonight and started making plans for a san francisco visit which is really exciting. sounds like my whole group of college girl friends may be able to make a short trip. man, i miss that city. it is absolutely the city of my heart. barcelona runs a close second but my brother doesn't live there and neither does my deanna or little lorena. so sorry, barcelona, you lose.

here's to hoping my summer is everything it could be.

oh hughesy!

you just saved my life.

i got a one-day extension on that jamaica kincaid paper. which is awesome cuz, as it stands, wow. really quite something. i mean, i could have been done in 27 minutes, but no one wants to read that kind of paper.

now i can ease up on the panic writing and concentrate on maybe making some sense. which is its own burden.

and, tomorrow, i'll stop writing abt these god damned papers. you may get a nasty jamaica kincaid quote or two before then tho.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


slowly but surely working my way toward being done with school. i just finished paper #3. it's 22 pages of what i'm politely calling 'stuff i'm not very proud of.' but it's motherfucking done and that's what counts at this point. i'm delirious--from writing, yes, (it's still hard for me) but also from frozen pizza, ice cream cake, sour gummy life savers and peanut butter twix. also two cherry coke zeros and two big bottles of pellegrino. all i want to do right now is eat and have sex. well, who am i kidding? that's pretty much all i ever want to do. except for usually i'd toss 'read books' into that mix but now i'd rather crawl across glass than read a book.

last year when i finished i watched a solid 8 hrs of buffy by myself. the semester before that i drank several whiskeys, ate potato chips and watched 'lost in translation.' even though i still have to grade and finish/submit a prelim reading list, the first thing i'm gonna do when i'm done tomorrow is go to borders and buy a bunch of fashion mags and living etc (best brit home mag ever invented). then there will be whiskey. even tho david won't be done, i'll throw myself a private martini pajama dance party and see if he can say no.

but, until then, i have one more 20 pg paper to write. and it's due tomorrow at 5pm! and it nearly 1am here! and i have only 3 pages of typed up quotations from a jamaica kincaid book i didn't even like! fuck.