Wednesday, December 31, 2008


did you know that san francisco is full of wonders?  it has secrets on every street corner and treasures in neon alleyways.  i'll tell you more tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

holidays, bangs, french babies

okay, i'm going to be honest and admit that the best thing that happened to me this holiday season is my brother's introduction of capucine, french baby extraordinaire.  she kicks the british babies of the holiday right in the arse with her story, her ridiculously anime brown eyes and her total commitment to storytelling.  charm times a million.

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.

i've got totally cute coats, a fun leather jacket, new bangs, and total arizona relaxation.  i'm heading toward a half mla/half friends visit to san francisco and i've had a lovely fam visit replete with awesome new american dinner out (cocktails, salad, wine, mains, more wine, desert) plus all manner of cooking, lounging, playing wii, reading books, and laughing.  but key to my happy mood is the most charming capucine -- check out her hating carrots, loving jam and cottage cheese, speaking english, and having oddly vamipiric teeth on

do i need to produce french babies with saucer shaped brown eyes?  don't think so.  happy to watch them on the interweb tho!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

done and done (almost)

finished the grades.  will submit tomorrow morning and then start packing for the west!  (read: dresses, dresses, and more dresses).  i am seriously excited for some backman family time and then some mla/ucsd girl hang out time.  to celebrate, i'm drinking a newly made-up martini called 'use up this brandy that i bought for cooking.'  it has brandy, simply apple apple juice, lemon juice and a sugar rim.  it's pretty tasty and wintery akshually -- fitting since there's still snow on the ground.

it's not pretty snow anymore tho, dear reader.  it's dirty snow with ice crunchies.  and we all know how charming that is.  the kind of charm that sends me charging toward the west, gagging for a glass of champagne and anything chic.  which is why i have maje anticipation for a new year's dinner with the girls at levende lounge!  i am so curling my hair and putting on some heels for that one.  ah, just thinking abt a proper city brings sparkles to my heart.

so now i'm gonna restart that el cantante soundtrack (except jesus god for song number two which is an earful of terrible), make another brandy-apple, and pick up watchmen (with which i'm actually kinda bored, so hopefully it will pick up soon).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

my new secret love

i'm a little embarrassed abt it, yes, but i'm newly addicted to frickin prison break.  seriously, it's half retarded, but i love it.  kinda.  in that way where you think its crappy but keep watching it because you're bored but next thing you know you have little TV crushes on half the guys and all of the two girls on the show.  and sometimes there's good writing!  like when mahone goes,

"I need a junkyard dog who's willing to do the ugly things it takes to bring a con to justice." Pause. "Are you my dog, Brad?"

And Bellick goes, "Damn hell yeah I am."

and his voice is all gravels and monotone.  swoooon, if you could ever swoon over a man who looks like the human version of a pitbull and who you would never want to touch you in a million years.  ah!  there it is!  i secretly heart thugs.  srsly though, i think the guys who play abruzzi, t-bag, mahone, and sucre are all good in their parts.

plus, i buy michael and sara's attraction, which barely ever happens for me.  i have such a hard time believing movie/tv show chemistry.  but throw a sweet-looking girl in with a pretty boy who's supposed to be some kind of genius, i'm game.  argh, too bad it's all deus ex machina plotting and various lost type plot-progression stalls.  

argh again, i don't care.  all i wanna be is a junkyard dog for somebody and say 'damn hell yeah' like that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

{creepy ballerina}



what i'm talkin abt.  why i am suddenly into creepy ballerinas as an idea?  dunno.  probably because i have a little girl's fascination with the tutu.  i also heart messy buns and undone updos.  i imagine with some ghosty grey eye makeup and paley pale pink lipstick a girl could really get her haunted ballet thing together.  i would also add organic looking ring:

and kate spadey satin heels b/c even dead dancers have fun: hits the nail on the head with their 'pagan' section.  okay, enough foray into fictional fashion.  gotta grade.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

many things

many things!  

i think i forgot to say that there was a party last weekend that was an event.  lots of people, brewskis, an unimaginable number of treats, lots of red wine, drunkards, snobs, some sexy nerds, writers, a-holes, and goofballs.  pretty much everything you might want at a grad school party.  somebody (a girl, in the interest of full disclosure) told me i have a nice ass and a nice rack, somebody else liked my shoes, and another girl said my hair looked pretty.  so, overall, compliments + booze + party food = a fun night all around.

this weekend i went to purdue's winter dance works which was...something else.  really pomo hopping around, scooting across the floor, a few things i could label 'dancing' everything else i might call 'specialized movement.'  shit i couldn't do -- for sure.  shit i would want to do -- probably not.  interesting to see, esp because i knew some people involved.  so it was fun, if not exactly my bag.

i collect a pile of papers tomorrow and then its grade grade grade until forever.  i'm not fearing them or dreading them tho since i gave prompts that i actually want to read their answers to.  but i do have that gearing-up-for-work feeling that is similar to the right-before-a-race feeling -- like i want the gun to go off so i can just start working and stop anticipating.

i also feel a bizarre combo of rage with a healthy dose of impending freedom.  which will probably just land me at the bottom of a whiskey bottle on thursday night, but whatever.  it's good that i'm going to arizona and san francisco soon.  i think i may need to chill out a bit.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

silent and beautiful

it has been getting wintery in these parts and, thus far, i've been enjoying our bit of snow.  the midwest is still quite exotic to me, all told.  the snow and the vast empty cornfields make me feel foreign in a nice way.  kind of apart from everything around me and like the peaceful observer i have the tendency to be in a lot of areas of my life, i guess.  thomas mann wrote a lot about how distanced writers can be from the world and it's times like these that i'm compelled to agree.  but, then, i remember that i'm not really a writer (yet) and that there are so many things that have grown roots inside me that i'm a fool to think i stand apart from anything.

the editor's letter in this month's domino says that we like magazines because they're silent and beautiful.  i haven't thought too much abt why i like magazines so well, but that really rung true.  they're (at least the good ones) not blaring at me like the TV or sucking me into a really detailed plot line.  i feel like they steal me away into a really peaceful world where i can think quietly about what i find beautiful and how i want to surround myself, what everyday clothes and objects and recipes can bring to my sense of the richness of the visible world.

of course, we all know that silent and beautiful can be seductive in dangerous ways.  but here's to appreciating those qualities thoughtfully!  and here's to bust, to living etc., to domino and lucky and to nylon.  and occasionally instyle when i need to see what charlize theron is wearing in terms of diamonds.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

organization sunday!

it's sunday, it's 4 pm and i haven't done anything but eat peanut butter and banana sandwich and watch prison break on dvd.  time to make organization happen.  and cleaning of the dishes and taking out of the trashes.  gotta get my ducks in a row before finals week hits and i'm up to my eyeballs in freshman comp papers.  and, AGH! have to work on dissertation and finish two syllabi for spring and write that celanire paper.  if i don't get on this biz, my plan to go awesome will have really turned into an awesome sized FAIL.

and FAIL gets nobody a tenure track position at a school within reasonable distance of a beach. so onward!  to the paperwork! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

it's closing in on the end of the semester here and my brain's going crazy in a million directions, none of them productive.  i've gotta let some of this out:

* they don't seem to make ankle pants for girls with hips
* i think i'll be teaching watchmen next semester and i'm excited
* i love trader joe's marinated artichoke hearts
* i'm obsessed with facebook 
* there aren't enough blogs to read (where in the god damned world is hookers on stilts?!?! i don't want it; i NEED it.  and we all know that when you NEED something it's a RESPONSIBILITY.)
* i'm having serious writing anxiety.  and while this makes me feel closer to my students, it does nothing to help any of us.
* if i don't read a beautiful novel sometime in the next few weeks, my heart is going to explode from lack of good words.
* i'm rewatching buffy season 5 and it's bringing up ish from my past that makes me nostalgic, happy, and annoyed all at once.
* one of my favorite people in the universe is in the hospital eating ice chips after surgery and i hope that she recovers really fast and that nothing hurts too much.  i haaaaaaate when my people hurt.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

winter collection, continued

faux fur mini jacket, 3/4 length sleeves

any kind of black ankle pants, skinny or trouser cut

metallic peep toe platforms, ridiculously expensive or otherwise

and let's not make more of the ring than we have to, shall we?
it's pretty; we can leave it at that.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

like a summer with a thousand julys

thankful that the cinnamon rolls turned out like real cinnamon rolls.  i made them!

thankful that i have the sweetest dog ever invented.

most of all, i'm thankful for my people!  i think i have the most charming, sweetest, most interesting, most creative and imaginative family ever.  also the most fun to go to dinner with, play tennis with, cook with, go to the movies with, &c.

and its pretty baby's birthday today. so i say, 

There's snowflakes in the sky
And geese are flying high
But it's April in my heart again

Though leaves lie on the ground
The world just turned around
It isn't fall at all you see
It's spring that I have found

There's frost in central park
At five it's almost dark
What's the difference
When you've heard love's sweet amend
There's snowflakes in the sky
And geese are flying high
But there's April in my heart again

happy birthday, baby!
(you're like the kicker in a julep or two)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

what else is awesome

eating a late lunch of leftover lemon pepper pasta from trader joe's (with a little olive oil, sauteed garlic, basil, parmesan), listening to jolie holland's "the living and the dead" with its air of county fairs and dusty tex-mex catholicism, reading a new living etc.  and being on thanksgiving break. none of these things really go together, but they make me happy anyway.

also, i resolve to have tea and a cookie at 4:00pm every day for a week to see if i can make tea time a new habit.  

Saturday, November 22, 2008


i should be working tonight but i can't bring myself to grade papers and i still don't want to look at my dissertation intro. esp not at 11:30 at night. so i'm im-ing and eating see's candy instead. no booze for jb tonight as i overdid it a touch last night at brick alley pub for jessica's happy birthday. 

had a really fun time tho! danced a tipsy shag with tess (courtesy of aev's fine tutelage), drank some jameson, saw some mfa peeps i haven't seen in a while, and got to check out a new bar. basically a cleaned up luxie's but whatevs, still swell.  

tonight i've been thinking abt my spring look, which is silly since it's barely even winter. and i am rarely cohesive enough to actually achieve any specific look -- tho i've done pretty well with 'prim sixties' so far this fall, courtesy of jumper dresses, the tie-neck blouse, and black liquid eyeliner. anyway, plan to amp up the look for winter/spring by axing the prim and adding leather and cuff bracelets. i'm thinking 'rock girl' meets 'superhero' meets 'french mod princess' or 'fifties italian babe.' key to this look is young, fabulous and broke's leather jacket with cashmere hood and trim. too bad it's a million dollars *and* i can no longer find it online. siiigh. anyway, here's a little sample:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

work woot

found out that i got a proper lit class for next semester!  i'll be teaching 'great american books' and i'm really excited.  of course, i have to pass my syllabus and book list by a mentor professor and get observed a couple of times (yuck), but it should be really fun.  i hope.  years of teaching composition have made me a little depressed abt teaching in general.  like, i'm going to do this for the rest of my life?  wouldn't i rather own a little boutique of charming objets in san francisco? be a writer of fairy tales and love songs?  hopefully, though, a non-required course will refresh the enthusiastic teacher inside me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


i can only hope i look this grand when i'm a classy old lady with my wine and coffee hanging out in paris.  i am getting some grey hair these days which i secretly like!  i'm sure i'll dye it away when it gets too much and i decide i'm too vain to look old, but for now, i think it looks kind of neat.  plus, i do have plans to have awesomely long grey hair that i wear in a bun one day.

well, i just wanted to say hi before i headed off to grading.  guess i better get my head out of the clouds and get to it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

scoot scoot scoot!

those are happy noises.  watching v for vendetta in class this week, get the old thanksgiving break next week.  and this year pretty baby will be in town, so i will have someone to eat my traditional non traditional indian food with.

and mla saw fit to give me $300 in travel grantage so that i can visit my pretty city with (slightly) less monetary strain.  big time yay for a new year in san francisco.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

pretty sunday

i'm totally into lolita modeblogg these days, courtesy of s, who has yet to disappoint in the area of chic.

as a hater of sundays, i had a surprisingly nice and productive one today.  grocery shopped, commented on student drafts, did dishes, put up idea board (which looks suspiciously like a collection of cool looking stuff, but that's okay -- 'no ideas but in things,' right?), and went for a long walk at celery bog.

the walk was today's absolute high point and i have serious regrets about not bringing along my camera.  it was so cold and the sky was this really crystal combination of blue and grey and gold and there were old wooden fences and fall-colored trees and that big expanse of space you get in the midwest.  pretty beautiful and so totally foreign to me still.  anyway, i kept replaying my carla bruni and my jolie holland and just generally felt inspired and alive.  two very important things when soul-sucking winter is on the horizon.

i can't help but feel that really big and amazing things are in the works all around me.  i'm not sure where all this positivity is coming from, but i feel it all the time now.  i guess i better get to gettin on the writing front, so that my dreams don't absent themselves before i can make them real.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

blogger sucks. still can't edit posts. am annoyed. have rages.

oh, forgot!

tonight, i've decided that my gratefuls should be the embarrassing/intimate ones:
what's the point of having a blog if you're not gonna be honest?

so, the things i secretly like but don't tell anyone:

*being alone on thanksgiving with a bottle of wine (or two) and indian food
*the way beckett smells after a few days of not being washed
*watching like a million episodes of a tv show during the daytime when i should be doing        something like writing or grading

legen-wait for it-dary

turns out that when i think i want to stay in and write on a saturday night, i write for half an hour and then watch disc one, season one of 'how i met yr mother' while eating chocolate covered pretzels from trader joe's.  okay, i'm also drinking cabernet and dunking the pretzels in reduced fat jif peanut butter (creamy).  

i suck at being productive.

Friday, November 14, 2008

idea board purchased. prepped for ideas

it's leaning on my kitchen island now, half covered in plastic wrap, half exposed to the elements.  sadly, i left putting up idea board for tomorrow -- in favor of putting together a christmas present list which is really just a list of strange treasures from hammam towels to an expensive but superhot leather/cashmere jacket to that bust of apollo i just can't seem to stop wanting.  and some quatrefoil stationery.

* the entirety of carla bruni's 'quelqu'un m'a dit.'
* lemonade flavored vitamin water
* a sense of things, bill brown (for helping me get my thoughts organized)  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"the true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible"

once again, i'm ready to get serious and make out with this month's domino magazine.  i don't know what happened over there, but they sure turned it on.  now i've got big plans for this old crazy gilt mirror i bought years ago and i also cleared space for my big idea board.

today was super productive in an organizing-cleaning sense only.  no brain work happenin at all today.  but things were vacuumed, dusted, lysol disinfectant clothed, laundered, folded, and tucked.  

i do have a couple of ideas floating around in my head for the celanire paper, but they're at that stage where i'm not ready to sit down and make it happen.  and i haven't even had the courage to stare blankly at my dissertation draft.  i'm really banking on a productive thanksgiving break where i have whole days to do nothing but write and drink coffee.

before my midnight thirty bed time, i'm gonna go visit anthro online to see if this dress i want is on sale yet and then check west elm dot com to see if they have any cool bathmats.  i washed mine tonight and it decided to make a mess of itself with stringy bits and yarn blobs everywhere.  can't be stepping on that kinda mess.

just to mix it up, i'm gonna go with some invisibles for my day's three gratefuls: "the future" by jolie holland (thanx russell), the way the air smells on a really cold november night, and the invention of the novel.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

a fair distance from normal

bought the above tiny print from which is a pretty fun little web site that sells small pieces by young artists for about $20 a pop.  also, a percentage of the money from each print sold is donated to a charity chosen by the artist.  this one is "through the trees" by alika cooper and i decided to buy it b/c i find it sweet and b/c the cash goes to equality california (a group that works to secure equality and legal protection for lgbt individuals).  anyway, it's a fun site to check out occasionally even if the artwork is lame 3/4 of the time.  

i'm also looking into hosting a small event to raise money to repeal prop 8.  i know i'm in indiana, and people might not be interested, but i might give it a go anyway.  i've been dying to throw a ladies only brunch party that i could call 'tea and strumpets' for years now.  who doesn't want scones and raspberry tea and mimosas?  and if you can give $10 to support love in all it's manifestations, why not?

in tangential if not totally unrelated news, i was a good adult and went to my annual lady doctor appt yesterday.  i hate those things, for reals.  nobody but nobody wants to get their bits and pieces stabbed at with an extra large q-tip.  but the rn did exclaim, "wow! your cervix looks great!" which is something i've never heard before.  and then she gave me two sample nuva rings which saved me $90.  overall, prolly the best lady doctor session i've ever had.  

so today, i'm thankful for my great lookin cervix, raspberry zinger tea, and frederic fekkai salon glaze clear shine rinse (srsly, my hair is really shiny).  

hey, on a scale of, say, 1-5 in terms of girlyness, is this post like a 6?  

excuse me while i go bake some cupcakes and have a good cry.    

Saturday, November 8, 2008

never go with a hippie to a second location

okay, i swear i'll stop with the 30 rock stuff soon.  i'm just crushing hard on this show.  i'm so tickled to have it back in my life that i feel like every word out of alec baldwin's mouth is comic gold.  

today was one of those days where all of a sudden you look up and it's 4pm.  those are lame days.  but i did valuable things like talk to my moms on the phone and grocery shop and grade and totally eff up trying to get files from my stupidass desk top to my sexy new external hard drive.  srsly, i'm ready to put the compaq in my shower, turn on the water, and throw rocks until the damn thing sizzles and pops.  

but i have a new domino to read and most of a bottle of cabernet to finish, so all is not lost.  and sarah reminds me to be thankful for things.  a positive psychology textbook she read says to write down three things that you're grateful for every day.  it has lasting effects, she says.  and i buy it!  i mean, i try to be appreciative every day, but there really is something that happens in the writing of things, you know?  

so, in honor of that, i'm thankful for my health, my people, and my puppy.  but because those are too obvious, i'm also thankful for honeycrisp apples, big band music, and black liquid eyeliner.

oh, i'm also thankful for my dreams!  i know it's a total platitude that your own dreams are boring to other people, but i don't even care.  mostly my dreams have children's birthday parties or my cabinets are full of different kinds of gummy candy or i have a closet full of sequined dresses to try on.  do some freud on that shit and come up with something sad, i dare you. 


Friday, November 7, 2008


haven't done anything particularly P.I.M.P. lately, just like the word.

unless it's really cool to get accepted to a sci-fi lit convention in orlando, then i am totally pimpin today.  actually, i am really excited i got in, so i don't mean to sound too cool for international convention for the fantastic in the arts.  now i've just got to write a graduate-student-award winning paper and my plans to go awesome will be underway.  

i guess beckett was kind of a high roller today.  dog friend had a professional grooming session (bath and mani/pedi) and she looks all clean and shiny. but they used some kind of weird soap so now she smells like grandmas.

in other awesome news, the local blockbuster finally had season two, disc one of 30 rock.  in fact, after i grade a few papers, i'm gonna go watch it with it with a whiskey on the rocks and some cookies.  or some pinot noir and twizzlers.  what?  it's a good combo!    

Liz Lemon: Why are you wearing a tux?
Jack: It's after 6 o'clock, Lemon.  What am I, a farmer?  

Monday, November 3, 2008


today was boring!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

yes, please.

just some random things that are knocking around in my head this evening:

i'm hungry for cupcakes even tho i haven't had one in years and now they're some kind of popular bakery cliche.  i guess cupcakes can't get played out tho.

when i relearn piano i will learn torch songs and old standards.  then i can play them when i'm lonely or when there's a party.

i really want a corkboard (and a place to put this corkboard), so i can get all the images and cutouts and lists out of my head and miscellaneous manilla folders and onto something i can see all at once.  i think i'm wanting to see the big picture.

i ordered a stuffed uterus toy for a friend of mine (don't tell her) who has to have surgery soon.  i find this toy to be very funny and i think she will too.  it has a face and little fallopian tubes for arms!  (

i kind of like it when halloween isn't on a weekend day b/c then you get to dress up once during the week and then again on the weekend.  not enough opportunities for costume in this world.

my friend kim had a baby daughter last week and i forgot to use my blog to say WOW! and congratulations to the moon and back.  the daughter is called clara elizabeth and looks sweet and squishy (in that nice, baby way). 

i'm currently in love with the idea of getting rid of my desktop computer and then turning my desk upstairs into an old school vanity with a tri-fold mirror and a silver platter for my makeups.  so i can get ready for my day and special events while sitting down, like a lady.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

kate moss is so rocknroll

except for the no discernible musical skill, of course.  her topshop line is totally foxy tho.  may have to put a couple things on the old christmas list.

today i mostly focused on collecting all the necessary bits and pieces for my butterfly costume.  coming together very ugly betty, if i do say so myself.  wonky homemade antennae and all.  i'm very much looking forward to mel and jason's party tomorrow night!  it's been a while since i did any local socializing.  

now it's time to wash up and take a passel of material culture books to bed.  i'm obsessing over how to bend material culture studies to my will.  also obsessing over thomas' english muffins (100% whole wheat), any kind of vegetable soup, coke zero and twizzlers, and barilla plus spaghetti and red sauce (old school pasta like growing up! except with omega threes or whatever).    

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

sighing after sigh

i get attached to the silliest things, really.  right now i'm moping over the loss of rome after only two seasons.  and the show is pretty much terrible!  i mean, it's all people getting stabbed in the stomach, bizarre and nasty sex scenes, and general cruelty.  seriously, if you just happened to turn the show on at some random point you just might find cleopatra vomiting in a corner while mark antony buggers a hermaphrodite servant who is also simultaneously stabbing a member of the kitchen staff.  with political intrigue, of course.

but i'm gonna go out on a limb and call the whole thing watchable simply because of titus pullo and lucius vorenus.  i am a maje sucker for guy friendships somehow.  and these two are war chums and lions of men, really.  sort of enormous, butchery, war dudes.  but they're so devoted to each other!  and they do look fetching in their roman gear: rough cotton pullovers and huge leather arm bands.  (also, for the manly viewer, the ladies are regularly topless and usually little devils).

now i suppose i have to go do something productive.  i have made 20+ pages of a franken-dissertation.  so maybe i'll start working on my butterfly halloween costume!  that's it, productive.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

tea, cookies, billie holiday

this weekend has been a slow one which is fine considering the cold and considering my sort of whirlwind california thing last weekend.  david went to the store especially to buy me cookies and i found a collection of fruity herbal teas that my mom sent ages ago, so i lounged on the red couch enjoying those and listening to a billie holiday love song cd over and over again.  as a result, i'm basically healed.  except for immoderate level of snot, but i'll be ladylike and remain silent on the snot score.

finished a proposal for a conference on 'time and the fantastic' and sent it off.  hope i get in b/c i like the novel i wrote about (who slashed celanire's throat?) and i think a conference in florida with a bunch of nerded out lit&magic folks would be a swell way to spend a weekend.

in other magical news, i showed amelie in class last week.  i think many of my students found it too odd, or too french, or too something, but i was charmed just as much as the first time i saw it.  that last scene with nino on the motorbike, all sped up and accordianny, she presses her face into his shoulder... swoon.  i love so much the details in that movie.  okay, so yes, i love the details of everything and i love attention to detail in general so of course i'm going to love amelie for it.  but still.  but still!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

wedding weekend word pile

lounged by the pool in palm springs, both hungover and not.  wore two pretty dresses, drank too many margaritas, met soto's wife and baby (adorable on both counts).  volunteered to give up my seat on the flight home for $300 travel voucher/first class flight/one night's hotel stay.  hung out in sd with miller, sarah, and matt.  ate sammy's pizza and drank pellegrino.  fell in love with first class travel (oh my god, they use real plates and silverware and glassware.  and hang up yr coat!  who knew?).  the older gentleman next to me had two (free) screwdrivers on a 6:00am flight.  caught a cold somewhere in there and now i feel totally gross and hurty and it was all still totally worth it.

maybe i'll provide more weekend recap when i feel better.  right now i'm going to take some nyquil and leave the realm of the conscious.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

two dress weekend

gotta get up at 4:00am this morning (read: 4 hrs from now) and drive my sleepy self to indy to catch a flight to san diego.  at which point sarah will meet me and drive me to palm springs.  at which point i will put on a bikini and try to get some suns before attending a rehearsal dinner for soto's wedding.  and then saturday will be the wedding of my old friend to some girl who i don't know.  of course, said girl is already actually his wife and they already actually have a baby together and stuff.  so, it's not like she's new on the scene or something.  

as always when i travel, i'm looking forward to it very much while also wishing i didn't have to go.  i hate leaving my baby and i hate leaving my doglet.  will david eat right when i'm gone?  will beckett play nicely with the other dogs and not lick her paws too much?  who will i cuddle with at night time?  why are all the other people i love a boring-ass plane flight away?

but i got some magazines and my pretty little macbook to keep me company and i get to wear two dresses this weekend and, being a dress person, that's awesome.  

secretly, i'm bringing three dresses, just in case.

Monday, October 6, 2008

hi chi

visited the old second city over the weekend to visit sarah and mills and had a lovely time, all told.  beckett and i got in thursday evening and then the people went to thai food at joy's noodles while beckett stayed at home and napped on the couch.  then we watched the cubs while drinking brewskies at a local pub and it was very CHICAGO all around.

on friday, miller and i went to brunch at orange for fruishi and other deliciousness and then made cake and caramel vanilla bourbon sauce for said cake and then hung out until dinner and drinks.  dinner was francesca's forno in wicker park and then the easy bar or easy club or easy something where i had some whiskeys and we met up with bryson and jenny.  they are a super cute couple and laugh a lot together and seem generally like a perfectly happily newlywed couple which is what i like to see.  

next time i go to chicago i want to be sure to visit velvet hour and i want to try green zebra and also i'd like to do some shopping.  i'd like some new black pants, a brooch of some sort, and donna karan's "deco" tights that have been popping up in every magazine from bust to lucky.  

but first i must get a haircut!  what sad locks these are!  

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

he he hello

been gradin papers and watching ugly betty.  i think maybe for eternity.  i can't remember the last time i did anything different.

spinach enchiladas turned out pretty damn good, if i do say so myself.  tho probably any combination of spinach and cheese is going to turn out relatively palatable.  

i have that feeling that things are stacking up around me and i don't seem to have enough time or energy to get to all of them.  maybe i'm getting that feeling from the dishes and trashes that are beginning to accumulate in ye olde apartment.  feh.

i think it's just time to mix things up.  going to chicago on thurs and fri for some girl fun time with sarah and teh mills which i am super looking forward to.  and then soto's wedding in a couple of weeks which should also be grand.

i think i'm a little bummed because it suddenly became fall today.  it's been sunny and swell and then i go out to walk beckett this morning and it's all freezy and overcast.  bullshit central.

i also have noticed that i've been getting the rages while driving/walking around/grading/existing recently.  everything seems to be making me srsly annoyed.  perhaps a weekend of brunches and girl stuff will even me out.  if not, i'm sure to be at the black sparrow on saturday night.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


i got some slutteh heels in the ups today.  okay, yeah, i may be abusing some of my student loan funds, but they were on SALE!  and they fit just perfectly.  it's such a gamble with the internet purchasing, you know.  but i love them and they've got leather and buckles and i will be wearing them for the next week because i love them so.

tomorrow i'm finishing memento in both my classes and this weekend i'm trying my hand at spinach enchiladas.  i think that caesar salad and baked potato will also show up on the weekend menu cuz i'm in the mood.

ran today at celery bog and it was seriously crappy.  not sure why since the runs have been good lately but i was sucking wind like crazy and my thighs were so not cooperative.  plus, there were two other girls running in the forresty area and they were so speedy and poised and one of them left trails of vanilla perfume behind her.  but i saw the enormous deer again today (there were three of the magical little guys) and we stopped and looked at each other for a bit and i bet you the speedy girls didn't get to, like, have a moment with magical deer.  so there.  

Monday, September 22, 2008

a brief ARGH

what's up with blogger?  i can't edit any of my posts anymore.  guess i'll have to live my spelling errors and typos.  god, that makes my skin crawl.
i woke up on sunday morning to the sound of my neighbor vacuuming and i so wished it was my mom and i was upstairs at the old house in san ramon.  just a brief wave crash of nostalgia i guess.  when i'm hungover from too many 'southsides' at the sparrow, i want to comfort myself.  and what's more comforting that the sort of white noise hum of family puttering around the house and chatting and making you coffee and such?

obviously i'm going through some kind of missing my family thing after that family wedding in norcal.  sometimes my mom talks abt the idea of a 'multigenerational home' (a fancy way of saying 'yes, i still live with my parents,' really) and, maybe i've been watching too much ugly betty, but it certainly appeals to me.  maybe multigenerational compound-manse would be better.  or multigenerational-a-few-blocks-away-from-each-other.  i'm no big fan of communal living -- i like things to be clean when i want them to be clean and messy when i want them a mess and plus, i need my own bathroom -- but, man, how i love a busy house!  peoples coming and going and watching telly and cooking to opera music and bumping into each other in the kitchen.  dogs and cats and recliners.  oh holy crap!  i'm suburban!

yipes.  i guess you can take the girl out of the east bay, but you can't take the east bay out of the girl.   

okay, i'm gonna revise my bustling house daydream by taking it out of the ultra conventional burbs and moving it to a sprawling ranch in arizona with evening parties in the cactus garden and dusty dirt roads.  add to that a flat in a big city so i can go to the opera and we're set.  whew, that was close; i almost white-picket fenced myself into a jameson before bed time panic.

Friday, September 19, 2008

just sitting on the shelf

ah, fridays are nice.  today i went for a run and then had student conferences and then came back home, graded and took a nap.  and talked to sarah after that which was fun and catch-uppy.  now i'm ready for something to happen.  drinks at the sparrow?  phone time with the parents? snacks and wine? writing?  wandering aimless around the internets?
well, whatevs, i'm not stressed.  which probably means
 i'll wander aimless on the internets, i suppose.  
lately i've been craving the weirdest stuff.  i would think i was pregnant except for that i ABSOLUTELY AM NOT.  like, i'm obsessed with these blue diamond chili lime almonds and also these crazy german rye crackers and la vache qui rit light french onion triangles.  and coke zero.  and hummus made by a company called 'fountain of health.'  now that's just weird.  also, i'm sick to death of grilled cheese and tomato soup.  something's gone wonky.
okay, time to make a decision abt the evening.  i can't blog abt food all night and feel good abt myself in the morning.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Yay Area!

San Diego is beautiful and Arizona is restorative but nothing says home like the Bay. More specifically, the East Bay. Just flying into Oakland on Friday afternoon was fantastic. Nothing makes my imagination happier right now than seeing myself in a little two bedroom, two bath bungalow in some artist-filled area of Oakland. Well, I guess a tenure track job at San Francisco State and a little one bedroom apartment in the Richmond or the Mission would be right up there. And parts of Berkeley are super duper charming. But, man, I love those tan rolling hills with big oak trees that turn all green in the winter. And even rolling through the streets of Livermore in my parents’ Pilot was fun. I don’t know when they made Livermore into wine country, but good job! Cowboys out and cozy family wineries in!

On Friday I made Russell go with me to La Mediterranee so as I could have the vegetarian plate which is AWESOME. I effing love that restaurant – sort of slouchy elegant and cluttery and full of people and deliciousness. Then we drank wine in our Holiday Inn Express out of plastic hotel cups. Saturday was shopping and a quick dip in the pool and then off to the wedding.

Lovely all around. It was grand to see Ray and the kids and Ingrid and drink too much wine with the family. Reminds me again what a priority it is for me to get back there and reinstate some of those awesome family parties with food and wine and rough housing with the babies. The vineyard was perfect – small and gravel roads and chickens and little white lights strung over the tables and a barn and a cute family that runs it with a little toddler named Pepper who wobbled around on toddler legs and kept holding hands with my cousin Kari. The whole thing was preciousness in every direction.

Then Ingrid and her new beau came back to the hotel with us and we sat around in my parents’ room drinking more wine and eating Domino’s until we couldn’t take it anymore. Sunday was hangover, eating nachos at Max’s diner, and to the airport and then it’s planes and planes until Indy.

There is so much happiness for me in California. I have to hold onto that knowledge more and not let school and students and snow bring me down. I’m getting back there, even if I have to work at a community college in Manteca to do it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

beckett and the new pillows: a study

got some new throw pillows a while back and here is b putting them to use. like the little peanut angel sleepy monster that she is.

Monday, September 8, 2008

go awesome

i went to that job market meeting last wednesday and walked out with a migraine. for literals. it scared the shit out of me. they're all, like, "you should have at least two chapters of yr dissertation done and you should have already set up a this-and-that file with susan whatever and asked for yr letters of recommendation and given those recommenders a packet of information with this that and the other thing." none of which i have or have done. so, glad i wasn't harboring any dreamlets of getting a posh job this year.

but now i know what i really have to do and that's go awesome. in the next year, if i want a job in cali, i've really got to explode in a firestorm of academic achievement and glitter. so it's papers and conferences and hit screenplay and beautiful piece of artwork dissertation that some britishy press wants to publish. and then it will be a party in the stars for old jb.

saturday post

I’m in a really grand mood right now and it’s mostly due to the absolutely beautiful day that’s happening outside. Bright blue sky and sunshine and little breeze. I walked myself to the farmer’s market on 5th street today and bought some lovely heirloom tomatoes and a bunch of arugula and lettuce and a adorable bouquet of flowers in a little glass pot that the lady gave me for $3 instead of $3.50 because of it’s being so close to 12:30, the end of the day for her. So now I’m enjoying a late breakfast of strong black coffee and baguette with cheese and homegrown tomato. Yummm. I’ve decided to try to spend abt $10/week on locally grown products. Nothing tastes as good as fresh homegrown vegetables and I want to support the people who can get them to me instead of buying inferior products elsewhere out of laziness and sheer habit.

Yesterday, I decided to support J.Crew who offered me an extra %20 off their sale stuff and made me this sweet little dress:

I got it in ‘crazy rhubarb’ or whatever it’s called. For date night and parties and maybe even New Year’s Eve with silver heels and these art deco crystal hair clips I inherited from auntie. But Barney’s New York also has fabulous sale items and a metallic Helmut Lang shift dress is also vying for New Year’s outfit status.

Also, yesterday I made some maje progress on the school front. I created a new document and saved it as “Dissertation.” And then I pasted some quotations into it. Word.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

this site is dumb and is not listening to my commands.  i hate the nonlisteners.

beautiful saturday!

Monday, September 1, 2008

back to it

i am having the hardest time getting back into the swing of school.  i had such a lovely summer and now it's just gone.  i don't get it.

but tomorrow i have to wake up and teach again and then i have to wake up and teach again for the rest of my life.  sometimes i wonder if i've chosen the right profession, but then i realize that floating in the ocean is not really considered a profession so i chose the second best thing.  anyway, will finish the phd first and ask questions later.

had a lovely long weekend tho with visits to raven's enormous and pretty house in west laf and then to adryan's for welcome back party.  i played my first game of midwestern beanbag game (which i quite liked -- you get to space out and try to throw beanbags while drinking, what's not to like?) and i made a new appetizer recipe from martha stewart that turned out pretty well.  it was a blue cheese and walnut dip that had (in addition to blue cheese and walnuts) cream cheese, brandy, lemon juice, dash of hot sauce, salt and pepper.  i think some shallots or chives would have been nice too.

off to bed now.  blah, i'm not even sleepy.  i can't go to sleep at midnight anymore -- too early!  i wanna stay up and watch heroes season two and eat baked cheetos. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

cocktails and summer storms

school is fine thus far. altho i did briefly contemplate running away to spain on both tuesday and thursday morning when i had to get up at 7:30 (!) in the morning.  blech.  that kind of schedule is for people in offices, not for jb.  i would much rather teach those three hour night classes that end at 10pm then get my ass up at that kind of ridiculous time.  and i spent two years teaching 8am classes at dvc.  no wonder i was so depressed back then.

happy things this week included watching miss pettigrew lives for a day, getting new magazines to read, and rediscovering  my god how i love martha.  she's so perfectly pressed and waspy and has that creepy yet mesmerizing speaking voice.  i am fascinated by her.   this month's domino is decent but not wonderful -- the victorian gothic page was probably the most interesting page in the issue.  

but miss pettigrew... !  that i found to be most lovely.  definitely the prettiest movie i've seen in a long time.  frances mcdormand was her tough but vulnerable perfect self (as usual) and amy adams was precious and ciaran hinds was just dashing, i thought.  since i have a bit of a 40s fetish right now, the costumes and the set were magic for my insides.  it might be too girly and too stagey for some, but it was totally swoony to me.

now i've got to hurry and get in the shower b/c i must attend a phil/lit fete shortly!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

night before the semester starts and i'm definitely in planning mode.  not nervous tho, which is nice.  this is probably the first year of teaching that i haven't been nervous actually.  it will probably hit me right before i walk in the classroom and then i'll be all sweaty and out of breath and uncharming.  whatevers.  it's work and i've gotta do it, as much as i would prefer a lifetime of vacation.  plus, i'm out of money.

i am getting a little finish-line excitement tho.  i don't plan on finishing my dissertation this year or anything, but the fact that it's the last thing i have to do is very cool.  plus, i might try to apply to a couple of post-docs for next fall.  imagining that my way out of this town is getting closer is totally inspirational.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

bring it, spaniches

took the spanish exam this morning.  first i smacked it on the face and then i kissed it on the mouth and then i translated the hell out of it.  at least that's what my examiner said.  or maybe she just said i did very well.  either way.  

so last hurdle of true abd-ness is smacked and kissed.  hurray for that!

then i bought a sensible black dress at banana in celebration.  it will look good with some really slutty shoes.  i'm thinking something involving straps and buckles.  apparently i heart clothes right now instead of hearting home stuff.  which saves me from owning a bust of apollo for the time being, so that's cool. 

annual caucuses and convocation tomorrow which translates into telling teaching stories and checking out the new first-years.  all in all, not a horrible way to ease into the semester.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

texas doozy

"face cards are wild; 3s a jinx; 5s are 2s"

i can't stop watching 30 rock.  well, actually, now i can b/c i watched all of season one and that's all the blockbuster by my house has.  anyway, i heart tracy morgan.  and tina fey.  and alec baldwin.  and pretty much everyone except for dr. spaceman who is seriously unfunny.

anyway, gotta take the old spanish language exam tomorrow morning at 10am and i'm totally having a freak out abt it while simultaneously being totally bored of studying spanish.  i'll let you know how it goes.

whether or not i bomb tomorrow morning, d and i are going to indianapolis for back to school shopping and general end-of-summer adventure.  school comes monday and i am so not mentally prepared.  i did finish up my syllabi and get stuff copied and whatevs, but i can't help feeling like i might show up on monday in flip flops, stand in front of the room full of freshman, and go "huh? i have to teach now? nah." and then leave and go to tropicanoe and hang out on the lazy river.

but tropicanoe is only open on the weekends now!!! because goddamned summer is over and i hate it like a petulant child!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"i could have gone...a lot"

says georges st-pierre (in cute french-like accent), and me too, gsp.  but i am home after one cocktail!  and it's for the best.  not many peeps out tonight and it's not yet the weekend, so the red couch and dvds it is.  and i totally enjoyed my 'southside' cocktail at black sparrow (gin, mint, bitters, lime).

but whether the universe likes it or not, i'm committed to eking out the final drops of fun from my summer.  this means fitness fun jen meets going out fun jen, ufc style.  this is not the kind of thing i wish to maintain or anything.  but it's the end of my summer (yeah i know i already said that) and i want everything, so it's on; i'm going down swinging.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

it's 9pm and i can't possibly work.

i never should have had those three beers at dan smith's phil thing this afternoon.  every time i drink beer in the afternoon i end up with a killer headache and a total space-cadet thing for the rest of the night.  so now i'm too awake to go to sleep and to sleepy to go to the bar (not to mention the brewing headache).  

but, tevs, it was worth it to check out the dan smith apartment which is in these cute little condos on 6th street that i've been dying to see on the inside.  so it was posh and urban (looking) and he has a rad library and there's a balcony overlooking a cute old brick alleyway.  it's always fun to get a peek at a professor's digs.  and, of course, there was party food like hummus, falafel, cheese and crackers and we all know how extraordinarily happy party food makes me.

and i did go for a pretty painful run at c-bog before the party!  is that enough activity for a summer tuesday?  i think it just might be.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

today i was a shopping monster

because of the 60s.  if the 60s didn't invent mod little shift dresses, i would have half the money i've ever made probably.  anyway, bought one at anthro today and then bought a sweet little tie neck blouse at banana (inspired by lorena) and some true red lipstick at sephora and a throw pillow at pottery barn.  could have done more damage, i'm sure, but was finally able to get a hold of it.

until i got to trader joe's and then i lost it again.

but now i have some fun new clotheses and stuff like a big spanikopita and red oak lettuce and mini light baby bell gouda cheese.  

off to bed now cuz i drugged myself with some benedryl so that i could fall asleep at a reasonable hour.  errands tommorow, errands. (though i did finally register the car in indiana!  good job, jen!  thanks, jen.)

Thursday, August 7, 2008


let's plan!

it's august and here at nobeckettno we hate august because it means the end of all things that are good (summer) and heralds the coming of all things that are bad (school).  but with just a little planning and preparation, i can usually make the transition relatively painless.  and, let's be honest, ever since i finished coursework, school has been like ponies and clouds and sparkles.  except for prelims of course but i have shoved that nonsense way the fuck back in my psyche.

my new pre-semester plan involves one-hr work sessions for a variety of stuff.  i need to make them one hour at a time b/c i can barely manage to exercise and eat one meal before 9pm these days.  one hr per thingy is all i can handle.  i think it's the internets, personally.  too many blogs and funny lolcats and entries.  so as of right now my sessions are going to be:

one hr dissertation writing
one hr syllabus prep
one hr professional development work 
one hr creative writing
one hr exercise
one hr make out sesh 
one hr spanish practicing

that leaves a couple extra hrs for general bullshit-dealing-with, cleaning the apt, couch lounging, and what have you.   i am very excited to put this plan into action!  i think it will totally help with my procrastinations.  and i can cross some of this stuff off as i complete projects &c.

i should probably limit this kind of planning to my beloved 5x7 cards and not foist my life organization stuff on the outside world. as compensation, i promise not to go on too long abt buying pens or notebooks

wah!  just got the summons to drink at the sparrow.  ciao!!

i managed to get a brief sketch of my 'tito and the nails' story done on the plane to san diego

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

and how could i forget?!?!

the turf club.  

by far, one of the best bar/grill yr own food places in san diego.  and where i had my 25th birthday party for which miller baked her famous cannoli cake.  and where i used to meet rovner for after-work cocktails when he lived in that cute mother-in-law house down the street.

anyway, i'm abt to bust out my pilates mat for the first time in abt a year.  yipes.  wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

never far from shore

"but what he really cared about were friends, loyalty and good behavior.  taste followed a distant fourth, which is at it should be."

this weekend was fab friend reunion in san diego.  we fit a lot in, from a ucsd campus wandering to legit greasy mexican at rigoberto's in la jolla (it's no la posta, but it'll do) to checking out tattoo parlors to getting annoyed with each other's going-out habits on saturday night.  but a little disagreement abt where and for how long one should enjoy cocktails is bound to happen when everyone in a group is as individual as we all are.  and a group full of people with completely distinct personalities is fine by me. 

anyway, the trip was lovely even if it wasn't enough and was too much too fast if that makes ANY kind of sense whatsoever.  i left sd with a fucked up and sad black hole heart.  leaving my beautiful california and my beautiful friends.  i don't know if i really belong to san diego anymore or to san francisco but i do know that i belong around those girls and that i don't belong to indiana.  i felt so heart sick to leave that i could have thrown up my aorta and my ventricle and my pericardium in one great making-my-insides-my-outsides motion.

but here i am and it's nearing school time again and, thus, a school time manifesto will surely follow in the next few days.  i have big plans for one-hour work sessions that i need to think through.  and i have a maje interest in getting fit that needs some detailed attention.

now, in a brief homage to san diego, i want to list all my favorite places and streets and stuff.  it's just kind of a purge, so i can get san diego all out of my insides and commit to being back here.  feel free to skip if you don't know san diego or don't just love reading lists of cool sounding words or don't want to imagine what my memories are like.

zanzibar, aero club, the ould sod, upas street, dove street, the green arrow streetlight pointing toward garnet ave, cafe 222, harry's, parkwood apartments, earl's place, pepper canyon, learning to drink guinness and whiskey at the field, windansea, la jolla shores, tapinade, avalon tattoo, the hatchet brothers, bella luna, nunu's, the red fox room, banker's hill, golden hill, and the casbah.

ps - if you're in borders any time soon, check out page 83 of this month's domino.  thom from queer eye has the rustic beachy yet enormously rich and beautiful bar of my dreams.

Monday, July 28, 2008

and dr. bliss slipped me a preparation

so i slept almost all day on sunday. okay, it wasn't dr. bliss so much as it was me who slipped myself like a million glasses of wine and some sangria on saturday night at jamie's party.  which was good times overall and one of those old-school party jen kinda nights where i come home at 6:30 in the morning.  i can't really bounce back from those the same way anymore but they're still worth having, i think.

yesterday i ran at celery bog and read a little and today i went to tropicanoe cove again where i crisped my thighs and chest while floating on lazy river.  seriously, nothing takes the stress out of me like sunshine and water.  also got a nice lunch at jane's beforehand and then afterwards stopped by becca and david's to drop off an obscenely late baby shower gift.

like, the baby's done been born for like 2 months kind of late.  but she should still fit in her gifty, so no harm no foul.  and, i must say, she is the most precious little thing that i was totally charmed by all her squeaks and wooohooos and general baby gurgliness.  it was also really nice to hang out with becca and david again and chat school chat.  hopefully it won't be so long between visits.

after that i  had my first shot at making plantains which went a'ight altho i believe i would rather have them professionally done for me.  but they went well with some cuban style black beans and rice, avocados, tomato, &c.

tomorrow will be another busy kind of day and then off to san diego for friend reunion and revelry!  a thousand hurrahs for all the fun i've been having.

(zero hurrahs for the work i've been hiding from).

Monday, July 21, 2008

things i hate right now

in no particular order.

- summer storms
- vacuuming
- my current hair color
- not enough hours in the day and all that
- crunchy peanut butter
- not having hand lotion or chapstick the absolute instant i want it
- sonic youth

i know cool kids like sonic youth, but i gotta say, i'm not cool i've never been cool and i don't wanna be cool. sonic youth makes me feel nervous and sick to my stomach. fuck them and their noisies. i've read interviews with kim gordon and thurston moore in which they've been pretty charming, so as long as they're nowhere near musical instruments, i'm a fan.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

things i love right now

in no specific order

 - kohala spa and sports club lotion 
 - picking beckett up from the kennel (b/c it always makes me teary to leave her there)
 - david 
 - yoplait thick and creamy vanilla yogurt with trader joe's morello cherries
 - my cacti from tucson (even without proper pots)
 - tequila and soda with a splash of sour
 - raven 

honorary mention goes to rustica pizzeria and enoteca in milwaukee's third ward for being, literally, the most chic pizza place i've ever been to.  had a caprese panini and diet coke that really saved me from vicious post-wedding hangover and enabled a 5 hr drive back to indiana.  i don't have the energy to explain the rockin decor, but if you find yrself in milwaukee, do go check it out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

i should admit

that the midwest can be really sort of charming in the summer time.  june/july nights exclusively, imo.  it's stays sunny until 9:30 at least and then the sun sets all pale pastels over the old brick buildings and courthouse.  it's still warm and slightly humid and there are fireflies all over the grass around town and out by the cornfields if you're driving in between towns.  everything seems mostly calm and still and sweet.  it's perfect to walk down the street to the bar, in a sundress and flip flops.  not as perfect as if there were a beach close by, but perfect enough.  sometimes i can convince david to walk me to west lafayette across the pedestrian bridge for snowbear frozen custard.

and i've decided that for being so clean and so pure for the last few days, when i come back from san diego, i will treat myself to an evening of reading and drinking wine outside the knickerbocker at one of the little iron tables with the red candles.  not that being so pristine is doing FUCK ALL for my fatness problem anyway.  

but i don't want to let my negator pms emotions get in the way of my nice mood and my sincere (though possibly fleeting) appreciation of small town livin.  last night david and i had a fun little dinner -- chopped endive salad with marinated artichoke hearts, sweet pimento peppers, walnuts, lemon juice and shaved parm/toasted ciabatta with garlic n herb laughing cow cheese/little bit of cabernet/pellegrino/tiny little white bowl of grapes -- and watched some tv on dvd.  tomorrow i go to lunch and to waterpark, thursday i go to indy, and friday i go to wisconsin for bryson's wedding.  should be swell all around.     

Sunday, July 13, 2008

the new news

is that i was a lazy bastard all day today. lots of couch-lounging and dvd watching. i did manage to buy this dress (totally teaching attire. as long as it's okay to wear something called a "fancy vamp dress" while instructing sweet, innocent farm kids):

well, okay, it might need a pair of prescription glasses, a cardigan, and sensible shoes to belong in the classroom. but for night, all it needs is a lot of liquid black eyeliner and some peep-toe pumps. woot.

the approaching week holds lots of bureaucratic baloney for me, so i'm glad i got my lazy sunday in while i could. def planning on a water park trip or two tho which should break up the monotony of dissertation research, dmv visiting, spanish exam studying, &c. altho i am hesitant to go to waterpark before i receive my other newest online purchase:

this fun bathing suit is called "betty." and apparently i'm going through some retro thing right now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

clean and pure

ugh, the new lucky magazine was so boring it gave me a headache. so very not worth it. which means i'll probably go to borders tomorrow and buy every other magazine in existence so i can get the dullsville taste out of my mouth.

other things i did today were look at cfps for conferences and publicationy stuff and i actually found one that looks interesting so i started on a proposal for that. hung out at k.dee's for a bit and that little guy (who looks like the demon on season five of buffy that pushes spike off the tower and stabs dawn, the one with the extra blinky eyelids or whatever?) was playing guitar and singing which was charming if not a little loud to read snoozy lit crit of iris murdoch to. then picked up my car that's been sitting outside adryan's since her party on tuesday. which was sweet and fun (the party, that is) and probably a little more boozy than i intended but that's what social anxiety does to me.

now i've decided to get back on the straight and narrow by being clean and pure in terms of exercise and vegetables and pellegrino and non-booze, non-frozen pizza, non-taking benedryl after yr hangover and sleeping until 7 pm. some of this may be derailed by the potential local water park trip (tropicanoe cove!) which allows people to bring coolers and probably can not even be handled by the average adult without the consumption of some sort of controlled substance. but, until then, totally pristine on the insides over here.

i miss the tom waits concert. i wish i could have it back.

oh, and check out for awesome pix of both the 4 x 4 and 8 across variety (plus the awesome stories to go with the awesome pix). i am so inspired.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

let there be blowing-out and bliss forevermore

feeling happy and fine today as i was busy tidying, unpacking, and organizing many life-aspects. most pressing of which was my closet which was a sincerely messy if not an actually dangerous kind of place. now the closet is in fine order, but outside-the-closet is a lot messier b/c of the many things that need to be tossed and/or donated. i also uncovered all my little treasures from my vacations including some vintagey postcards from hawaii, some hot pink foam stickers with sparkles from tucson, a beautiful necklace i bought at bon, and some ripped out pages of magazines for inspirations (not that i need to be inspired to buy a $285 pair of gold rock and republic sunglasses, but whatevs).

i also did swisher today and hung out at k.dee's for a bit and ran errands with david. and i finished dharma bums which was mostly lovely but abt 1/3 annoying for all the buddhism. sorry buddha, but i love desire and i think all the best things in the world get made and done because of it. i also plan to attach myself to as many possible people, animals, things, and places as i can before i cash in my chips. but, kerouac, i forgive you for the spacey spiritual what-have-you because you write beautiful and lovely things abt people and naturey spaces, parties, and drinking wine. for the most part, the book made me want to be outdoors, suntanned, yelling and talking, drinking port, singing along with a shaggy guitar-playing friend, and eating really simple but well-deserved food. yay for that vigorous, life-loving writing.

good night!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

and back home

the 3/4 backman family road trip came to a close on sunday and i'm still trying to settle back into life in lafayette. it's been awesome to be with david again, playing tennis and seeing movies and even mundane grocery shopping type activities. but i miss hawaii palm trees and tucson cacti and beaches and warm swimming pools and all the general qualities of the american west.

so instead of learning that life isn't just one big beach vacation, i've decided to incorporate as much beachiness into my midwestern life as possible. which is why i bought a big gold seashell bookend for my office, why i will wear havaianas until snow frostbites my toes off, and why i'm addicted to the mango/coco lotion from kohala spa and sports club. also, i'm trying to figure out how to capture a 50s kona beach pin-up girl look without looking like a tart who bought too many clothes at tommy bahama. but maybe i'll bench that look pending further research.

i guess i shouldn't have started writing when i have a heavy heart. i'm gonna go play scrabble now and see if i can get it to go away.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

backman (leisure)

if i could smell like coppertone and salt water for the rest of my life, i'd be happy.  but the bulk of my western vacations are coming to end and i'm heading toward lafayette.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


tom waits show in phx was really magical. i woke up super happy this morning and i'm downright positive it was because of the show. perhaps also the fact that i'm in sunny arizona with the fam and swimming pool and tennis playing and inventive cooking and silly shopping excursions.

but, for certain, tom waits was the most. he stomped up dust clouds, kicked a large old bell, played guitar and piano, grumbled his lungs out, did some kind of brief/slow chicken wing dance, and wore a mirrored disco-ball hat that spun out light dots while he twirled in half-time to the drawn-out end of "november." so that was cool. i swear i'm gonna keep that concert in a little glass globe in my heart for any time i need to feel wonderful, artsy, inspired, or motivated to produce something cool.

more soon abt the trip to hawaii, my dueling "looks" for fall, my imaginary new bar called stella's under the sea room, how much i miss david, and shoring the fragments of anything beautiful i can get my hands on before i have to return midwest.

but now i go to ebay to search for tom waits posters that are cool and to the kitchen to make a shopping list for the greek food we're gonna make tonight. ciao!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

geese and baby geese in the target parking lot

was the best thing that happened today. david and i were leaving the store and he just stopped in his tracks and said 'hey!' and there they were: mama goose, three babies, and dad goose all walking in a little line right through the target parking lot. super cute and out of a children's story. like 'goose family goes to target' or 'grace the goose needs affordable home furnishings.' anyway, goose family was today's stand out.

followed closely by tennis with pretty baby and then indiana jones movie. all in all a nice thursday. tomorrow i will go running at celery bog and then hopefully out on the town. saturday will involve a nice trip to chicago with a dinner out at tengo sur, maybe brunch at orange. too much indulging round these parts lately.

which is why, ten minutes ago, i vowed to not overindulge until hawaii. oh, i can indulge--just not overindulge. so, it's vowed!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

spending money like i have it

is what i would title the last few weeks. it's time for me to rein it in a bit and thus it is even better that i'm going on dad-funded road trip home soon. and then dad-funded trip to hawaii after that. hurrah! i'm definitely looking forward to road trip with little brother. our last long excursion was the west texas road trip, like, five years ago and i'm still amused by those memories. especially this creepy little ghost town named shafter, marfa and its mystery lights, bag of gummy octopuses that turned into one amorphous gummy blob after too much texas sunshine, etc. this time our stops will be in memphis, forth worth, and las cruces. rock.

we also got tix to see tom waits in phoenix!!! i'm stoked for serious abt that one. i wondered if maybe tom waits would like it if i got 'real gone' knuckle tattoos and then i could show him and then he'd be my friend for life and show up in the movie for the hit screenplay i'm going to write. but russell said probably not. so i'm still holding off on the knuckle tattoos. even tho i had david write them in for me with russell's uni-ball pen after maize dinner the other night. after that, we went to knickerbocker and the door guy had knuckle tattoos so i spent half the night asking him ridiculous questions. siiiigh.

anyway, had another nicely active day and will soon watch a movie with the bf. and eat pizza. which is why, if anyone asks, i happen to still be a touch puffy even with all this tennis and running and whatnot. because i'm the girl who eats pizza and drinks wine at midnight on a wednesday. i think this is not wholly bad tho, as it makes me very happy and also a fun person to hang with on a wednesday.

Friday, May 16, 2008

i can make earthquakes in my dreams

so that's good. i mean, at least i can give myself superpowers when i need them (i.e. avoiding an arranged marriage to unnamed acquaintance dude).

it has been fun and active round these parts lately with brother bear in town (and thus extreme amounts of tennising) and some parties and nights on the town and various cookings of foods and such. and bombay indian food last night which was also lovely. tonight was watching a nightmare on elm street with pizza and wine which was totally fab.

tomorrow is mall for more tennis balls (and new shampoo for me), k.dees for study/writing time, celery bog for running, maybe maize for fun dinner, and then bars for good times. i'm already excited to get up for such a day.

although i have to say that the other night i had maje half-asleep panic attack, non sleeping kind of biz. like i decided i will probably die from a stroke (and envisioned the awfulness that that would be) then i decided that i probably need to worry about beckett dying soon since she's going to be nine this july, then i worried abt debts, school, potential skin cancer, blindness, &c. i have some going to sleep problems sometimes, so if you have remedies, please advise.

well, to my glass of wine and to a movie or scrabble or something now.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

we heart summer

especially the first few days of it, which are very precious. and my first few have been totally lovely. raven's 80s prom party was last night and was totally fabulous fun. david wore don johnsonny clothes and i found a pink sparkley poofy dress on super sale at macys. there was spiked punch and a vote for prom king and queen and lots of dancing and big hair and hot pink lipstick. then i had an interminable walk home with d and winship that may have been the funniest walk home ever invented except for the fact that i had on four inch silver stilettos that were, by 4am, quite uncomfortable. but it was the funnest night i've had in a while so cheers to that and cheers to prom pictures which i hope to see up on facebook sometime soon.

today was laze central and magazine reading in my pajamas and walking the dog in my pajamas and basically all abt staying in my pajamas all day long. it's been a successful day all around, i'd say.

i feel a burst of summer cleaning sesh for tomorrow with organization of things and various cleanings, clearing out ofs, tidyings, &c. then, after that, i will try to be health girl and sportsy. i do believe that i agreed to playing tennis, badminton, drinking tequila and playing chess with andre and jamie. i don't even like chess but i guess with enough tequila, i could be convinced.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

the real question is

if i wanted to survive on just vitamin water and candy this summer, could i do it?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

i am 32 yrs old today

and this is what i look like today:

which is old. am contemplating various forms of plastic surgery/chemically burning off my skin to start with new skin. some people think this is wrong but i think that they are either a) young or b) aging well. i used to think that stuff was sick also. but now i think i'm very self conscious anyway and i DON'T WANT TO LOOK OLD.

but i've also had 3/4 of a bottle of wine and have not yet opened my presents so perhaps i am grouchy. today i took myself to indy for some sport shopping and found a few salesy type things at j.crew and a big, gold necklace that i'm now having second thoughts about. then d took me to maize for dinner which is my favorite in this town and then in a little bit i will drink more wine and open some presents. i thought i wanted to take some time to reflect on being 31 but it turns out i don't. with the broken eyeball and broken mom and whatever else bullshit, i will just tuck 31 neatly behind me. i will start by opening a bottle of something nice and that little stack of prezzies downstairs on my coffee table.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

a fairly decent size hurrah

is happening in my insides. i thought i might externalize it into a party but the end of the semester is just too hectic. maybe something in a few weeks tho.

so, yeah, i'm finally ABD! and now i feel so very incredibly unmotivated to finish my 601 key text project. it was fun at first to map out the classes i would want to teach but now i'm at the part of the assignment where i have to, like, explain myself and cite sources and whatnot and i find that i very much do not want to do it. i very much would rather sit downstairs and watch movies with my bf.

the defense itself was a little nerve-wracking but then d took me to dinner and then we took naps (friday night naps, baby. you should try it) and then went to hang out with jess and stephen and mehdi and tess which was the perfect amount of fun. the rest of the weekend was spent looking at student drafts, fighting hangover, &c.

now i'm all full of summer plans -- to be healthy and workouty and keep the apartment tidier and read all the books on iris murdoch that have ever been written (well, that one would prolly make me wanna kill myself, so maybe not that) and make a dentist appointment for myself and all those other things i've got knocking around upstairs. including working on my tito and the nails story and my jessica pepperpot story, both of which i'm still very excited abt.

but i still have that fear that i'm actually not a writer and so when i sit down to write my brain says over and over YOU'RE NOT A WRITER and then i chicken out. so another summer goal is to shut that little guy off in my head.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

school freak out # 9,565

nervous for prospectus defense tomorrow. it's midnight and i had a margarita and watched superbad instead of writing my introduction. now i'm just staring at my prospectus and willing time to fast-forward me through the beginning parts of tomorrow. it's not working yet.

but i'll do it (the prospectus, not the time fast-forwarding bit) and it will be fine and then i will get some cocktails and feel relieved. so, here's to efficaciousness! may i find it in the next 12 hrs.

oh, i took lucky magazine's advice and bought myself some laura mercier mineral powder makeup and i LIKE it! my skin's super sensitive and it hates makeup but lucky mag was totally right and this stuff seems to actually be making my skin look nicer (instead of nice for one evening and then like someone ran it over the next day). not that you want to hear abt makeup or whatever, but i want to give my support to products i like. seems cooler than advertizing.

anyway, now i'm gonna walk the dog and stare at my prospectus some more. let's hope nobody asks me anything hard tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

michael cera has the sweetest face

except for this one student i had who had the most innocent baby face that he could have been in movies abt puppies and ponies and everything good in the world. but that's beside the point.

so, yeah, michael cera and jennifer garner save juno from utter attempts-to-be-cool oblivion. they both made me get teary while on the swisher. a sweaty, teary jen on an elliptical trainer is maybe not the kind of image you'd like in yr brains, but i wanted to express that juno has some nice sentiments, is all.

now i go to take a shower and to work on 601 key-text project (feh) and then on prospectus summary-introduction thingy (double feh).

but now that i'm a sephora beauty insider and they gave me a birthday present of body wash that smells like delicious cookies, the shower will at least be quite pleasant.