Sunday, October 28, 2007

my chrysler building

so i'm tired but i thought i'd share at least a glimpse at last night's festivities. here's me as marge:



and here's my chrysler building going down the stairs:




super wonderful.


Friday, October 26, 2007

halloween parties are coming

and i am nursing a serious death wish. this may well be a bad combo.

but i will be marge simpson and marge simpson is too much of a lady to bring a whirling dervish rampage of built up stress and rage to some nice mfa or phil student's fete.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

delillo is a cali-hater

so i'm putting together answers to my prelim questions now and one is on contemporary representations of landscape/ecological disaster. last night i was collecting quotations from white noise and found this:

"Only a catastrophe gets our attention. We want them, we need them, we depend on them. As long as they happen somewhere else. This is where California comes in. Mud slides, brush fires, coastal erosion, earthquakes, mass killings, et cetera. We can relax and enjoy these disasters because in our hearts we feel that California deserves whatever it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom" (66).

sounds to me like delillo's a hater and couches his hateration in the mouths of characters. i don't hate you california! i love you! and i wish you weren't burning down. kim, mills and soandso are really my only friends in socal these days but that's already three too many people to be stuck around clouds and ashes. plus, kim comes with a husband and baby and miller comes with some dogs and a man. i don't know what or who s&s comes with these days but the grand total of people i need to worry abt is already at capacity.

here's a better, more fun quotation tho from winterson's written on the body (my sexiness and desire question) when the gender-free narrator is finally reunited with her/his lover:

"This is where the story starts, in this threadbare room. The walls are exploding. The windows have turned into telescopes. Moon and stars are magnified in this room. The sun hangs over the mantelpiece. I stretch out my hand and reach the corners of the world. The world is bundled up in this room. Beyond the door, where the river is, where the roads are, we shall be. We can take the world with us when we go and sling the sun under your arm. Hurry now, it's getting late. I don't know if this is a happy ending but here we are let loose in open fields." (190).

love it! i am such a sucker for obsessive love novels. ooooh, that might be a fun class to teach! we could do love in the time of cholera, ada or ardor, what else?

Monday, October 22, 2007

who would've guessed?

it's monday morning and i actually feel better. i just made a list of all the things i need to do this week (which include going to the indiana dmv--blech--and going to the lady doctor for an annual exam--double blech) but everything seems supremely doable.

i guess i just needed a night of really horrible, fitful sleep where i kept waking up feeling alternatingly itchy and completely panicked.

the truth is, strong black coffee and kashi waffles cure most anything.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

trying to keep it together

prelims are looming and i've the tight chest feeling of near-hyperventilation. or heart attack. you know, whatevs.

i've been reading and drinking too much lately. my eye feels wonky and tired. i have a new image that pops in my head when i can't fall asleep (this should amuse/horrify russell since the last one seemed weird enough). anyway, it used to be that when i couldn't fall asleep i would imagine my head getting smashed in by an enormous hammer over and over again. it kinda helped me stop thinking so much. well, now, i imagine a huge sword lopping off my head at the neck which flings my head into a metal garbage can--you know, that old school kind that oscar the grouch lives in? it also lands in there with a resounding thud. maybe these are the sorts of things a girl should keep to herself.

so, yeah, i'm really holding it down over here.

i expect i'll feel better when i actually start writing.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

this weekend went by too fast. maybe that's cuz yesterday was land of the vicious hangover day. yeah, what happens when i don't have many social outlets and then there's an mfa fundraiser at the knickerbocker is that i drink several martinis and then at least three, maybe four jamesons. some three a.m. pizza and c.s.i saved my ass tho. i had a screaming headache on saturday but no sickies. so that's something to be grateful for i suppose.

for halloween party i'm gonna practice something called 'limits' to see if i know them. i used to, but good. now it seems not so much. anyway, tevs. if occasionally boozing it up like a total boozer is gonna get me thru the emotional toil of school, so be it.

tomorrow is officially one-month-to-prelims day. i've done all this research and looked thru a bunch of my books to find quotations and finished my questions but i am literally scared to start typing. scared, like weird feeling in my stomach scared. i guess b/c i know that figuring out exactly how to answer these dumb questions is going to be confusing and painful. and i kind of like the pre-writing phase where it all seems possible but i don't have to deal with pain of actually doing it.

but write i must! if you could send me good vibes for a month and two weeks tho, i would really appreciate it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

the second beauty

of a long weekend is the short week that follows.

so here i am, only two days into the school week and tomorrow's already friday. what glory. plus, mis estudiantes are doing el peer review tomorrow which means i won't be doing very much of that crazy "work" business. glory part 2: the beauty of being at the front of the classroom.*

not that the weekend promises to be special; my s.o. already informed me that this is to be a working weekend what with the due date of some kind of kant paper on the horizon. sounds fine to me tho since i have my own ducks to line up or whatever the saying is. making progress tho, making progress.

also, what do people get boys for birthday presents? i'm stumped. i mean, i wanna get something useful or, rather, not useless. but also personal but not icky sweet or anything. this is so difficult!

anyway, g'nite. i'm sleepy.


*not one to ever sell myself short, the real work comes again on monday when i get the pile of papers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

ghosty got here today!

it looks pretty ridiculous up here in my already crowded bedroom but whatevs. here's a pic (not my apt of course, altho i do have a strikingly similar black candelabra):



i was totally right abt having a backrest. it's lovely.

i was a pretty good girl today: went running at c-bog, did some prelim writing and watched 'reign on me' with don cheadle and adam sandler. i liked it a lot, really. it's not that often that you see movies abt intimacy between male friends and i find it very endearing. don cheadle does such a good job at being funny and vulnerable and annoyed and concerned. i think he's pretty fabulous.

got drinks with somaieh last night at 8 west which was good times. i give myself 2 more hang outs before i stop being sort of nervous tho. i'm never that great at hanging out with new people. i talk abt school too much and fidget.

i made philly cheesesteak without the steak tonight and pasta salad and both were tasty and totally blast from the past. the whole dinner just reminded me of my parents and living at home and how much i miss them b/c they're awesome. i can't wait for brother bear to be on school lifestyle so we can all hang at the same times. i will never give up school lifestyle--even if i have to go back to teaching community college. it just helps me have my life like i want it.

i can't stop thinking abt writing fiction lately. probably b/c prelims are looming. but it's gonna happen, even if it takes the rest of my life.

Monday, October 8, 2007

oh hangover

i've been drinking too much instead of working on prelims. and i have tentative plans to meet up with somaieh tonight for bottomless sangria at bea one.

well, i guess hangovers and overwriting is what happens when you drink too much. and drinking too much is what happens on a long weekend. inevitable, non?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

lullaby for strings

if i knew how (or if you could teach me), i'd link gershwin's 'lullaby for strings' to this post so that you could listen to it while you read my champagned version of what it's like for me to listen to it right now. which i'm totally doing. reading this post without the song is really totally pointless so i don't know. i mean, as far as i'm concerned, the rest of gershwin is completely pointless so i would never advise you to buy a cd. i did and the only reason i don't regret it is that i'm obsessed with this song. so, i guess you should email me and i'll send it to you via gmail.

anyway, david and i made the number one tonight which is not some weird sex act but is, instead, a traditional backman family dinner. steak, caeasar salad and baked potatoes. minus the steak for me of course. turns out the d doesn't drink as much champagne as me, so i'm like twelve sheets to the wind. and all i want is more champagne. but there' s no more champagne and here's what i think of 'lullaby for strings.' oh and you should drink a bottle of champagne before you read this so that you're not all judgey and shit.

makes me think of a humid night, couples twirling outside, dancing under twinkly lights. a quiet and slow happiness, very light, very charm and smiles. maybe a girl has a blonde bob with messy curls and charcoaly eye makeup and a chic but ruffley white dress. gardenias and honeysuckles and champagne but late at night after most of the party has died down and only the late night whiskey drinkers are left but they're in their most sweet nostalgic moods so instead of throwing things they breathe deep with sort of heavy hearts.
but, really, i guess i hear myself the first time i heard it. on npr by myself totally alone in my honda crv. i'm waiting quietly sort of spaced out with the windows down on a humid indiana night outside of david's place while he goes to get some sort of school stuff he forgot to get earlier. beckett's in the backseat but i feel totally alone and totally myself with one bare foot propped on the dashbboard.

also i think if i ever had a daughter i would play it for her incessantly. i mean, i'm more passionate about writing a book right now than i am abt getting a daughter. but you can't play a sweet song like this for a book, can you?

oh, email me for the song! i can't bear that no one else has heard it!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

umm, so, yeah

bought the chair. if i ever complain abt being broke now, don't listen. i'm obviously the kind of girl who can buy a nonsense chair instead of further paying down her credit card. one of my lawyer friends in san francisco who makes tons more money than me still uses a cardboard box to hold her toaster. and here i am buying a 'minimalist icon' on the government's dime.


i'm not fretting tho, i'm super excited to get it. mostly because it has a back and arms, unlike the stool i use now which is giving me a grandma hunch back and hurty shoulders. plus, i really don't want to buy anything that's throw away if i can avoid it. i mean, my bedroom furniture is my auntie's newlywed furniture from the 40s. i love that--the idea that she lived her life and folded her shirts and put them in that chest of drawers and now i'm putting my probably less perfectly folded shirts in there too. anyway, gives me a good continuity feeling and a feeling that i don't have to surrounded by shoddy ass ikea clapboard. maybe 60 years from now someone will have her stuff *and* my stuff.


but enough of that. now i go to finish grading papers for the students.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

office chair emergency

friends, if you don't contact me immediately to talk me down, i'm going to buy philipe starck's louis xvi ghost chair. i need a frickin chair for my office at home and it's a design classic. a design classic, i say.

that student loan money has gone directly to my head like some kind of crazy government champagne. i think i needz a serious intervention.

design classic!

Monday, October 1, 2007

october 1: manifesto day

sort of. today's the day (was the day, i guess) that maje academic lockdown starts. i have prelims in a month and a half and it's time to deal with that troublesome little reality. i am honestly more afraid that i'll get stressed out, not be able to sleep and re-break my right eyeball or newly break my left one than i am of failing the exams. so, it's time to prep. if i can get a bunch of writing done ahead of time, then i won't make my self sick in november. that's the running theory right now anyway.

the weekend was nice. saw 'the kingdom' on friday cuz i need my action movies and the j.garner knife fight scene there at the end took care of my need to witness fictional violence. very cleansing. on sat i went to indy and window shopped and then david took me to dinner when i got back. then we got hammered on bad martinis at capp & gino's and spent sunday hungover.

i got a pile of grading today too but since it's october, i can handle it without procrastination. so far. tomorrow i'm gonna go to campus with david super early so i can lock myself in my office and grade at least ten of those little suckers. then i'm gonna exercise and write and return phone calls.

in strange not-actually-news, for those of you who don't know me, i randomly obsess abt words and names. they just get stuck in my head and won't come out. lately, it's been odd euro names knocking abt up here. the ones that are stuck right now are:

hanni, mikka, siri and saskia.

twenty bucks says they'll get stuck in yr head now too. they're pretty little mysteries tho aren't they?