Monday, December 28, 2009


getting back on the midwest wagon here. barely. been trying to stay motivated about my resolutions, so i've vacuumed and tidied and organized, grocery shopped, worked on the diss, and caught up with friends. i've even (slowly) started working on the six pounds i managed to gain in the seven days i spent at my parent's place (!). i imagine that once i get back into my normal routine, the six will come off quite naturally. will keep you posted. i'm imagining i'll be back to regular weight/jeans fitting appropriately in the next week.

still feeling a bit bluesy abt leaving my beloved west. had to scratch a bunch of snow off my car today and use my special 'writing gloves' at vienna because it was fricking cold in there. (my writing gloves are cute little red fingerless mittens that mums bought for me last christmas and they really help! i never knew i would have occasion to really appreciate fingerless gloves.)

made my dad's famous caesar tonight for dinner and put too much lemon. tasty tho regardless. now i'm gonna look over some writing notes for tomorrow and pass out. i miss the super soft sheets at my parent's house. boohoo. (i'm whining internally now). boooooooohooooooo.

vacation continues on though! i will sleep till noon! you can't stop me from reveling in my free time, you stupid snow covered indiana!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

phx -> ind

sighs, sunny time vacay time is over. once again in an airport having eaten a mediocre bagel. thankfully this time i do NOT have a pile of blue books to deal with. finished those suckers, submitted grades, and ate/drank myself silly in arizona with my beautiful and nutty family. had a lovely time all around and, of course, am sad to leave. there really is something so soothing and healthy (despite the booze n foodfest that is the backman house) about the southwest for me. fixes my insides somehow. it's a combo of the time away from work, my messy apartment, my routine + loving family + starkly beautiful and exotic landscape. i just always leave feeling cleansed and ready to attack my life again with new focus and vigor. which i will address in a later post.

but before i board, i will say that the standouts of the week included a three mile christmas morning hike, a dickensian early christmas dinner, lovely presents, copious champers, buying treasures at bon, the inclusion of my brother's beautiful and charming fiancee in the traditional festivities (a perfect addition to the family!), tennis with my brother, IN N OUT, extended family dinner with liar's dice, lounging with food tv, shopping with mums, cooking with dad, ETC ETC ETC.

so good. too short, but enough to recharge and leave me feeling totally spoiled and immensely loved. (don't tear up at the airport, jb. don't tear up at the airport. ah, what the hell. who cares? tearing up.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

can she do it?

at indy airport with a carry-on full of blue books. had a mediocre everything bagel, some mediocre airport coffee, and i'm just about ready to tear this grading business up. i'm cruising on +/- 7 hours sleep in the last 48 and i'm feelin a little crazy. but trap me in a airplane for four hours, and i think i can finish it all. then i'm gonna drink a bottle of champagne and sleep for a week. maybe sporadically waking up for snacks.

finished a TERRIBLE second draft of chapter one last night. 44 pages of meandering crap, but an improvement over the previous version. i have high hopes that next semester will be more productive. i do feel like i have a million ideas and that i can sort it all out given a decent amount of time. so here's to hoping.

okay time to focus and knock some shit out so i can enjoy my family time in the southwest.

Monday, December 14, 2009


i need like nine different kinds of beauty help right now. one of the worst parts of end-of-semester-time (and wintertime in general, i suppose) is the total disaster mess i let myself become. i need a hair trim, an eyebrow wax, a pedicure, etc. i feel a total monster right now. though a hot shower after a trip to the gym has me feeling slightly less grotesque than earlier.

plus, there's the emotional ugly. it's the stacks of final papers and the sitting around in adidas track pants all day that does it. and INVARIABLY there's some student who doesn't remember when (and where) the final paper is due even though i've been plastering that information everywhere for weeks. this semester there were like 5 dudes who were completely clueless. all that wasted speaking. why did i even bother when they just figured they'd email me at the last minute anyway? sigh.

enough grouching. cardio blast was awesome today and i made a very delicious dinner that was grilled mahi mahi with an olive/caper vinaigrette (recipe for vinaigrette below), yukon gold mashed potatoes, and a happy little salad (with a squeeze of lemon and some feta, my new favorite dressing). very satisfying. i also vacuumed, did dishes, and tidied up around the apartment. which barely made a dent, but whatevs, don't hate.

before bed, i will read some more internet and then alphabetize my stack of final papers. everybody knows that's the first step in the grading process. the alphabetizing.

olive vinaigrette
(real simple wanted me put this on pasta with tuna fish, but i didn't do it. just put it on top of the mahi mahi instead. i also messed around with the measurements and ingredients a tiny bit, as usual. but this is what happened and it was damned good. and a little goes a long way.)

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp capers, rinsed, drained, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted, roughly chopped (i chose some that had been marinated and pitted)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
several good turns of black pepper

saute garlic in olive oil, add olives and capers and cook for a few minutes. add lemon juice and pepper and poor over something delicious. how easy is that?! (i guess that's the point of real simple, though, right? at least we know they're not false advertising or nothin.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

losing it lost it getting it back

end of semester work shitstorm over here. i've got student drafts coming out my orifices, my own looming chapter deadline (whhhyyyy can't i finish this chapter?!), and a large stack of finals coming my direction next week. add 15-20 degree weather, frozen car doors, pms face breakout, and malfunctioning apartment gear and you get a seriously cranky jb. not to mention the endless bureaucracy that is a relentless part of grad school.

but i got a bunch of stuff done over the last few days and i have some sense of freedom on the horizon. next semester also looks like some oasis of joy and productivity. so the current mantra is just get through next week. just get through next week. just get through next week.

if i don't go on a wild rampage of violence and mayhem in the next few days, you will find me soaking in champagne and christmas cookies in arizona. then maybe happy fun jen can come back and be pleasant instead of being this unshowered, disheveled, angry, and funless rage bomb.

prob i'll just get my period and be fine tomorrow. hormones! woohoo!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


apparently, broken garbage disposal equals water dumping out of my dishwasher tonight. BLAH. cleaning up that disaster mess sucked. because of course we didn't notice it until it had pooled up into everywheres. all of this made me seriously want a drink and i was supposed to go out to bistro tonight but that fell through and now i'm just feeling crappy with no recourse to martinis. usually i'm the first one to open a bottle of wine at home, but i'm just not feelin it right now. maybe that's because i want to murder my apartment.

grumpy. and now i want to treat myself to something but there's nothing good around.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

mid range lazy

all that productivity yesterday gave me broken brain today. so i taught, worked out, "made" some indian food (i.e. steamed a bunch of vegetables and added a jar of archer farms vindaloo sauce, which was good but not real-indian-food kind of good), and talked on the phone with deese for like two hours. and watched the end of the italian job which i believe to be a damn fine movie. actually clever heist movies are hard to find and then there's mos def as a plus. and mark wahlberg, and jason statham, and seth green, and charlize theron. so, yeah, like the movie.

i also seem to have broken or otherwise fucked up my garbage disposal which is both sad and gross. there are now potato and carrot peelings floating in a low pool of greying water in my sink. sigh. guess tony the handyman will come calling soon and i'll probably greet him, yet again, braless and pajama-ed in the mid afternoon. why is it that i ALWAYS manage to look like an unemployed and smell like a bar when he comes to fix stuff? i swear, most of the time, i'm clothed and smell quite nice.

tony will also have to help me deal with the toilet in my downstairs bathroom that has been running non-stop for two days. i tried jimmying several thingies in the top part to no avail. usually my random monkeying around with those pieces parts yields some kind of success. the constant noise is starting to drive me a little batty, tho, i think. like it's just generally stressing me out such that i might crack and start throwing things at the toilet soon. you'd think that it could be like one of those zen fountains or whatever. but it's not.

i think it's time to do some dishes in the unfucked up side of my sink, take some benedryl to drown out the noisy shitter, and focus on tomorrow's potential for greatness.

actually excited to get down with laptop and some vanilla chai tomorrow morning at vienna. here's to hoping that smart words come out my fingers.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

more productive than healthy

so it was reverse-o day here and i graded papers until my eyes were crossed. i wasn't totally unhealthy, but i didn't work out and i just ate whatever. whatever ended up being pumpkin oatmeal (really, put a few scoops of pumpkin pie filling in your oatmeal tomorrow. it's awesome, esp with a little almond butter and some blueberries), a veg sandwich for lunch (with blue corn tortilla chips and a pickle), and leftovers from last night. oh, also had a nonfat caramel latte while grading at k.dee's today. finally getting back on the coffee wagon occasionally. it's like i don't know who i am without it. it would be like waking up one morning and realizing i don't want whiskey anymore. i mean, who would that jen even be?

well, this jen needs a shower and a good night's sleep. tomorrow is an easy teaching day and a trip to the gym. hopefully i'll be combining healthiness and productivity from here on out. now, if the dog would just walk herself tonight, i'd be set. it's effing cold out there now!

Monday, November 30, 2009

healthier than productive

sunday blues are gone and monday business is here. today i made healthiness top priority (after teaching, of course), and decided to back burner the 1,000,000 papers i have left to grade. so i grocery shopped for the week, went to cardio blast and made a nice dinner. we had lemon cous cous, sauteed veg, and grilled mahi mahi, and some garlic naan. very tasty. and i just had two pieces of my mom's homemade fudge which i adore and which reminds me of my childhood.

but now it's 10:40 and i'm exhausted and slightly headachey. so papers will prolly sit around until tomorrow at which point i'm going to have to get pharmaceutical to get these bastards done (by Wednesday, as i promised). it will happen though, since all i have to do tomorrow is teach at 2:30. will park it at vienna and grade and write for the rest of the day. i really do love my tuesdays.

and next semester will be off the charts cool because i'll only be teaching from 3:30-4:20 mwf. how bloody amazing is that!?! with a schedule like that, there's no reason not to finish my dissertation by may. i'm gonna be a writing monster, for reals. and hopefully a job getting monster.

i'm still finalizing my syllabus, but it's an intro to fiction class that i'm going to do transnational / world lit style. it'll focus on journeys/quests as a theme and i think i'm gonna do revenge quest, quest for love, and journey to adulthood. maybe sounds weird right now because it's a little undercooked. what does not sound weird tho (to me) are my books! i'm almost sure about doing these guys:

The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat

Who Slashed Celanire’s Throat?, Maryse Conde

The Lover, Marguerite Duras

The First Man, Albert Camus

Changes, Ama Ata Aidoo

Nervous Conditions, Tsitsi Dangarembga

Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

yayys! got two african novels, two caribbean, two bi-cultural french pseudo-memoirs, one latin american novel (which i've decided is transnational enuf since it takes place in a 'port city'). the only challenge i foresee is freaking out with excitement for all these new novels to prep, and letting the class take up all my times. but i'm too happy to care.

now to do something school related before i put face to pillow.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

completely incapable of doing work today

was a good worker all break long, and then today NOTHING. could barely motivate to wash the dishes. just forced myself to take a shower and it was exhausting. at least i'm all prepped and ready for classes tomorrow. not that i'm ready to head back into teaching mode after this lovely holiday time.

quick recap: had some tasty indian food for dinner on thanksgiving, took pretty baby out for dinner for his birthday the next night, and generally enjoyed a lot of special food treats and sleeping in. and my presents were a success! i was afraid they'd be too boring this year, but he seemed very pleased overall.

now i feel like all the wind is out of my sails and i need a day to sleep off all the excess that i've been courting for the last few weeks. ready to get back into the fold tomorrow for sure! working out, grading, eating well..........okay, blah, just lost my steam. i prob just need a good night's sleep.

in closing, here's the frickin delicious apple cake recipe that my mom sent me. i have no idea where it is originally from, but i looooooooved it. fatty and bad for me, sure, but a very wonderful treat. (and it worked out really well for brunch, i think.) okay, goodnight people. i hope that i can gather myself together to write a little more frequently in the coming weeks. esp if i can make myself document my attempts at acting like a healthy adult before i head west for christmas (so that i can act like a spoiled, alcohol soaked child for a week!).


Caramel Glaze Apple Cake


1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

3 eggs

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

5 granny smith apples, cored, peeled, diced into 1" chunks

1 ¼ cups chopped pecans or walnuts (I used pecans)

2 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract

Caramel Glaze

4 tablespoons butter

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup light brown sugar

Pinch of salt

½ cup heavy cream


*Preheat oven to 325. Butter and flour 9 by 13 inch pan

*To prepare the cake, beat both sugars and oil in a mixing bowl until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift or whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, mixing just until blended. Stir in apples, pecans and vanilla, pour into pan. (my batter was very stiff -had to scoop it into pan).

*Bake for 50 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan while preparing the glaze. (I baked for 55 minutes).

*To prepare the glaze, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in both sugars and salt; cook over medium low heat for 2 minutes. Add cream and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

*Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick. Pour on the glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

pickled and pleased

uff, the weekend whirlwind of drinking continues. full update tomorrow, but it was another drag shows and champagne brunches kind of weekend. today did involve +/- 12 hours of champagne consumption and despite that somewhat horrifying fact, i feel great. must be b/c i ate my weight in brunch goodies. (oh and my apple cake went over like woah, so yay for that. recipe also tomorrow).

funny few days all around. today was unhealthy amounts of lady gaga, potato casserole, apple cake, mimosas, and bagels. friday was healthy amounts of hairy drag queens and unhealthy amounts of cheap vodka drinks (yuck! what was i thinking? not very me at all. i even had a peach long island at one point? wha?). woke up saturday feeling not pukey but certainly crazy headachey. too hungovered to go downstairs, i found a nearby dayquil and slept until 4pm. not really sure when i went to sleep, but that had to be closing in on 12 hrs. nuts.

needless to say, a bit of a detox is on the horizon. not going anywhere for thanksgiving should help in that regard. don't care for most of the trad fare anyway. it's indian food and scary movies for me and pretty baby. can't wait.

also exercise, vegetables, paper grading, and dissertation writing. will be good, for sures.


Monday, November 16, 2009

i'm a freak bitch, baby

yeah, been listening to a bit too much lady gaga today. but that 'bad romance' vid is pretty effed up and awesome. and i must say that there is something liberating abt putting yourself in the freak bitch category. it must be my suburban background, but losing that play nice mentality sure sounds good sometimes.

then i realize i'm mostly a really nice person. can't help it. and prolly freak bitches don't get really excited when their lemon couscous and veg saute turned out really well. so good! delicate, simple flavors but seriously hit the spot. recipe totally stolen from this food blog. just bought a box of far east pine nut couscous and made it according to the directions but put in some olive oil, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and zest of the whole lemon. sauteed zucchini, onion, carrots, asparagus, and garlic in a bit of olive oil. i hate cooked carrots so i really just barely sauteed everything and piled it on top of the couscous and sprinkled some parm and chili flakes. added a little balsamic for some extra tanginess. ROCKED. also heated up some garlic naan (international flat breads or some such? effing crazy awesome). anyway, very satisfied.

now headachey and sad at all the grading that has piled up during my weekend galavantings. siiiiighs. this is what i get for putting city fun first. (well worth it tho).

time to get at it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

down with boring, indeed

in the spirit of my previous post, i decided to taken raven up on the offer to visit her in chicago on friday night. even tho i (and the bank acct) could have benefitted from a weekend at home, the more action! more adventure! side won out and i drove winship and myself up to hang out at the palmer house hilton with raves and her friend chris.

car ride included spicy chex mix, brownie and coffees from starbucks, and dj win who played santogold and a bunch of other stuff that was fun and that i can't remember now what it was. got to chi around 6:30, got ready with the other kids, and took off for dinner drinks and dancing. dinner was fish tacos and a few other tasty treats at carnivale. then we stopped by their department party at the hilton on michigan avenue which was already folding up when we arrived. (while there i tried to invent a cocktail involving tea and vodka. fail. do not try this, even if you have a fruity type tea.)

from there we attempted a trip to pops champagne bar which was very cute but also very full. ended up at a piano bar called the redhead (or something along these lines) -- oddly, the same bar i ended up at with sarah and the girls during her bachelorette weekend. i think this bar is so unspeakably dull that it leads to crazy decisions. in the case of the bachelorette weekend, it led to a gentleman's club where we bought sarah a lap dance from a stripper with tape over her nipples. this time, we ended up at a gay club in boystown dancing to frighteningly loud techno and drinking vodka redbulls until 4am. highlight was def the drag queen who was a very well built african american guy sporting a black mesh top, gold corset, black tutu, tremendous eye makeup, and sparkly blue lipstick. AWESOME. LOVED IT.

crashed around 6am with the help of some prescription relaxers only to be woken up 5 hrs later by a text from brian who wanted to get brunch. oddly, i felt wonderful! i suggested we all visit orange and it was a success all around. standout here was the fruishi (obvs) and the mimosa flight. i had my three little champers mixed with watermelon, pineapple, and strawberry juice, respectively. whoever invented mimosas was a genius, i could have sipped those little lovelies all day long. instead, we went for a nice walk along the lake and brian decided to put some of his extremities into the lake which was entertaining.

then home, happy and tired and feeling very fulfilled. slept like 12 hours last night. now feeling entirely incapable of doing my schoolwork. will prolly put self to bed again soon and just get up early tomorrow. cannot wait for a good week of working out and healthy eating (gonna try the lemon couscous and vegetable saute from here).

at any rate, still terrifically tired and happy. it was a memories-to-keep kind of weekend. sleep tight, lovelies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

skyscrapers raced her and were left behind

art, love, and happiness: the new manifesto

there's just something about san francisco that brings out the manifesto in me. maybe it's drinking a beer at revolution cafe in the temperate fall afternoon, maybe it's the no-huevos rancheros with hipsters at saint francis fountain. but it's not all fists in the sky manifesto in me this time.

it's also the just-so rumpled elegance of russ and ciana's berkeley house, deanna's spare but luminous condo in the enormous jutting form of 1 Rincon Hill. waking up in her fluffy bed to that view put the stars back in my heart. getting to hang with fritz again, meeting his sweet new wife, trying a million delectable tasties at beretta, dragging mills and crew to 20 different boutiques so that i might find a dress for the conference. everything so woke up my insides. and while i feel an urgent desire to hit the gym and be a priest of restraint for for a while, i feel such immense clarity and happiness at my life, such as it is.

i just let so much drudgery into my day-to-day. enough of that. so, in that general theme, i say

more brave! more action! down with boring!

style: clothes with more guts and color
home: finish my flower string light project, frame the various prints laying around
write: take that dissertation down - every day now, no excuses. two hours creative writing every week (more after i secure a job for fall).
love: careful appreciation for the terrific in people and encouragement of their greatness, no more bratty petulance when i don't get my way
teach: with more joy and more art and more enthusiasm
cook: return of the green smoothie, full acceptance of shrimp eating, practice baking

it's time to get some punky aggression back into the game. time to stop thinking that my life is somehow waiting for me down the road.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the wrong side of 5am

up until 4? yes, sure. up at 4? no, no thank you.

alarm went off at 4:30 and i made myself some caramel tea and forced half a packet of banana oatmeal down before i hit the road for indy at 5. drove for an hour, bleary and cold-ridden and arrived at a chilly indy airport. took a dayquil, slept until denver. an hr layover, slept until sf with my only real discomfort being screaming ear pain upon descent. goddamn, flying with a head cold can suck.

then took the airtrain from terminal 2 to terminal 1 and took BART until montgomery stop. then walked to dee's place dragging my roller bag and carrying my heavy purse. by the time i got up the hill to her monstrous apt building, i was a sweaty coughing snotty out of breath disaster. i actually stopped to catch my breath before going in the building b/c facing the array of attractive concierge dudes in my state seemed really unappealing.

got into her apartment and passed out on her couch for a ridiculously satisfying two hour nap. during which i had the most amazing jen dream EVER! i know that reading abt other people's dreams kind of sucks, so i will keep this short. my girlfriends and i were in a lovely boutique/bakery run by a beautiful brunette french woman and her daughter (who was about 5 or 6?) and everything was just BEAUTIFUL -- cookies and little cakes and earrings and dresses and cafe au laits in adorable cups and bowls. she was giving out little tastes of intricate pastries and i had the feeling that i could have everything i wanted.

needless to say, i woke up feeling sort of enchanted and much healthier. took a majorly restorative shower and walked down to peet's coffee on 1st and howard where i'm now sitting with a nonfat caramel latte, staring happily at the san francisco skyline. just pleased as punch to be alive and in my proper place. yes, this city does magic to me.

soon i will meet the fritz (fritz!) and a few others for cocktails at bloodhound and then probably nyquil myself to sleep. tomorrow will involve miller and little brother and grading and polishing up that damn paper and then a lovely dinner out with the ladies.

oh left coast, i love you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

i refuse!

to get sick before my san francisco trip. so screw these sniffles n sore throat feelings. already i'm bummed that my super workout and super work plans for this week are pretty much ruined. but i just will not have my cali plans ruined. so i stayed home from the gym and let myself sleep a bit longer than normal this morning. had lots of tea, gargled with salt water (apparently this is a thing?), washed the sheets, and have been washing my hands like a maniac. don't want to get pretty baby sick either.

so i'm crossing my fingers that this thing gets no worse. i'm not even taking cold medicine b/c i read that it can just keep the cold longer. okay, well, if i feel like craps tomorrow before teaching, i'm taking some damn dayquil. i have two lectures back to back tomorrow and that's enough to wear me out when i'm feeling like my regular super hero self.

everything else in the life is swell tho. got into another conference -- this one is in april in montreal. hope i can come up with some cash to get the very least, it's a 'acceptance' line on the cv. i should probably stop with the conference thing soon tho and focus on publishing. but that's so much scarier!

okay, gotta read a little before bed and suck down another hot tea before that. let's cross our fingers that i wake up tomorrow feeling like healthy sunshine!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

another saturday for the record books

but it was halloween so i guess that sort of goes without saying. paid a visit to the english department party which was fun and lively and involved costume awards (for which i was nominated but didn't win - i was marge again this year and that big old blue wig gets a lot of giggles!). i had two newcastles and snacked some snacks in the kitchen and chatted with a few people and then split when i realized someone had drinked up all my remaining newcastles. boo.

walked to muse to meet raven, win, and others. did some dancing, hung out for a while, ended up at the black sparrow for more dance and somewhere in there the entire town got shitfaced. i must say, yours truly remained the paragon of mid-range tipsyness. intermittent club sodas do help in this regard. someone at the table next to us puked. right on the table, blech. someone else at that table was alseep (sitting straight up, head bobbing occasionally) for the entire time i was there which was at least two hours. everyone else was dancing maniacally, spilling shit everywhere, and causing general mayhem. win and i tried to give our whiskey shots away at some point and no one would take them. somebody swiped my black trenchcoat from banana that had my keys in the pocket (siiighs) and i borrowed win's 70s sport coat to walk home in. split before things could get any more wrecked and got home around 4? got a call at least a half hour later that the party was still continuing but by that time i was cozy in bed with my doglet and entirely out of halloween energy.

but, man, i got more attention as marge simpson than i have in ages! what's up with that? i can't even count how many boys talked to me last night. if i weren't wildly in love, i'd reconsider my hair style. :P

i will leave you with the gem of the evening, imo -- a voice mail left by win for adryan who lovingly took it down and posted it on fb. it was definitely funny at the time, but not nearly as funny as it is now. i guess some backstory is that win called adryan at like 1:45 and she didn't pick up so raven and i were trying to get him to hang up but he was resistant. so, in it's entirety for everyone's enjoyment:

You have been, I'm sure, happy this evening and I'm drinking water in a weird way. . . . Say goodbye? Okay, I'm supposed to be saying good bye and I love you, which is true. I do. Love you. But without the bye part. Because I'm just getting started. No. Not wrap it up. No. What's up. Yeah, that's it. What's up? Because I haven't seen you and it always makes me feel bad when I don't see you. . . [during which he's debating with Raven about why he never leaves her messages?] . . . I love it when people call me, even when I don't respond because the messages are the best and I listen to them over and over and sometimes I try to record them. Wait, are we walking?

Monday, October 26, 2009

saturday was a show stopper

okay, i've given myself ten minutes of blogging time, so if i run off into oblivion at the end, please forgive. i've yet to do some reading and i would also like to call miller tonight so that we might discuss an impending san francisco trip (!).

the most interesting thing lately was saturday, which began with english muffins and almond butter and ended with 5am pizza and some sort of domestic beer. i curled my hair, donned my new tocca shift dress (thx to discount web sites, hurrah), put on some glowifying avocado oil and met some folks for drinks at bistro where i enjoyed a french martini with a lemon twist.

from there it was to the black sparrow for cocktails and chatting and v.o. came out despite the fact that she and the others had been up till all hours the night before. patrick the funny waiter made me do a twirl in my new dress and we drank salty dogs and grey goose vodkas and got antsy enough to go dancing at zoolegers, the one gay bar in town.

where i decided that i MUST make this very sad and beautiful drag queen dance with me. she did not want to dance with me. neither did her blonde softball-girl friend. but my cohorts wanted to dance and so we did and also by that time one of our party began to feel restricted by her party dress which resulted in a LOT of knickers-seeing and general exposed skin. held up the front of her dress like a 3 year old. repeatedly. which i found immensely charming. (we had raspberry vodka and sodas here).

tired and hungry but not tired tired we all walked back to winship's for frozen pizza, brewskis, dancing, and playing music (and some slam poetry?). and i brought beckett over and she had a marvelous time getting attention and cuddling. i walked across the street back to my apartment at some ungodly hour, told pretty baby "i'm a revolutionary" (or something along those lines) and passed out until 2pm on sunday. with only the twinge of a hangover, mind you.

it was a strange night and fun and now i've gone over my allotted time by two minutes! off i go, into the overly complex and somewhat dreary world of iris murdoch. and then to the telly.

buenas noches.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

and a happy wednesday to you as well!

so wednesday was pretty good. taught a couple of decent classes and then skipped the gym to clean and organize around the house which was much needed. there was even a scrubbing of the shower involved.

then i made fish tacos (yum) with guacamole and fresh salsa, claro. ate them while watching a few episodes from 30 rock season 3 which is good and funny tho seems to be falling short of previous seasons, imo. we're only on disc one tho, so i'm hoping things will pick up.

gotta get up early tomorrow and attack a pile of midterms with inhuman dedication. promised to have them back by friday and they're just sitting in the corner over there collecting dust. but tomorrow i will make a cup of sugar cookie tea (obsessed, i'm obsessed!) and dive in. as a reward, i may head to bistro 501 for some wine with friends in the evening. i've abstained from the booze since big corn maze night out, so i'm feeling ready for a cocktail.

and after all the cleaning i did today, it (read: they) will be much deserved!

to bed!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

puffin likes almond butter too

made a quick indy run today for trader joe's supplies and a mall trip. i had hoped to find some tall wintery boots but ended up with several pairs of socks and two headbands from j.crew (?). random sure, but i have exactly zero pairs of matching socks right now (aside from the exercise kind) and my hair is driving me crazy. so socks and headbands.

and good haul at trader joe's where i bought 3 jars of almond butter this time because i am an addict. gave beckett the tiny bit leftover from my last jar and she definitely shares my likin for the almond butter -- she carried it around the apartment and finally settled down on her little dog bed until i was afraid she was gonna detach her jaw or get her face stuck in the jar. well, even puppies need treats from time to time.

made it home in time for a meeting with my dissertation director which was fine, but for which i really need to do more in the future. my writing output is not what it should be. but a new plan for tuesday and thursday coffeeshop writing mornings will be put in effect to remedy the problem. if i'm at home, there are just a million puttery things i end up doing.

now i'm in dire need of a shower and sleep. planned a lecture for tomorrow and have all my ducks in a row for the next (and close to final, hopefully) step in getting my stupid MS medicine sitch set up. let's all collectively cross our fingers for that one.

i'm also going to give sleeping a whirl without benedryl assistance. so let's cross our fingers for that as well. sleep tight!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

so sleepy tonight!

even tho i napped half my day away, i'm so super exhausted right now. i guess an evening of midwestern corn maze tomfoolery and attendant drinking really took it out of me. the sheer amount of junk food i ingested yesterday probably has something to do with it too. there was a spiked hot chocolate from starbucks (what? corn mazes are chilly!), a caramel apple and almost an entire elephant ear (which is like a churro, but a hundred times bigger), and then a margherita pizza and cocktails at sparrow. all very delish.

but there was a lot of walking, some see-sawing, and hay-pile jumping at the corn maze. and then dancing at the black sparrow, so i'm sure i worked off some of that biz...

overall, saturday was a total success. it was a perfect october night for the corn maze; we went to the 'haunted' one and the corn was so tall and eerie, it was wonderful! and there's just something foreign and scary about midwestern farms to a californian. and what a lovely fall, small town feeling in the air. the little concession stand thing above had to be one of my favorite parts of the night. i'm so captivated by lights, you guys, it's kind of silly. but it was all very tom waits scenario and felt very movieish last night. everything seemed charmed.

suffered a bit for it today, but all in the name of adventure, yes? i have quite a work week ahead of me now tho and i still need to catch up on my reading before class tomorrow. so it's time for me to finish sipping on my sugar cookie tea (so good!) and crawl in bed with a book.

xoxo J

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

i made shrimp scampi all by myself!

peeled and deveined shrimp even with these ex-vegetarian hands! pulling off the little feets was a little effed up, but i got through it. then threw the little guys in a bit of butter, olive oil, s&p and garlic. when they were all pink and looking edible, i put lemon juice, parsley, and crushed red pepper. piled them on some whole grain pasta with steamed brocolli and parm. very tasty! still adjusting to the texture, but will get there shortly. this will be an awesome and relatively quick addition to the weeknight repertoire for sure.

now listening to a bunch of old morphine which reminds me of angrier days and the late night runs i used to take around san ramon, heart broken and pissed off and fatter than i should have been. man, glad to be older and happier.

still love that chunky bass line tho, morphine. xoxo.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

tiny week ahead

i'm a bit sad at myself for not getting as much done as i wanted to during october break (no, really?) but there's just a tiny baby little week ahead of me now, and it looks to be pretty easy to deal with from over here on tuesday night. just some in-class writing and peer review for the composition class and a midterm review and midterm-taking in american lit. totally dealwithable.

hopefully this will allow me to get more of my dissertation craps done. picked up a pile of books yesterday at the library and i'm looking forward to settling into them. got some transnational lit stuff to try and win that mellon postdoc position at ucla in the fall -- it's a maje stretch seeing as the current fellows are all harvardy and cornellish or whatevers, but might as well give it a go.

hoping to get into a conference in canada, one at ucla, and one in san antonio too. getting all this school biz in order is a bit exhausting. but i do get to present on iris murdoch and alimentary imagery (read: food) in albuquerque next feb, so yayys to that! gonna make mother and father join me for a long weekend so i'll get a cv line and family time.

but what a snoozefest work post this is! i also went to the local mall today which was a MISTAKE. tried on numerous pairs of hideous jeans and a lot of sports gear that didn't hit the mark at all, man. i guess now i can continue my online shoppings with the mental comfort of knowing that there's nothing locally available. shipping costs suck, but not nearly as much as the tippecanoe mall. that place makes me want to kill myself.

well, my brain is buzzing too much to keep writing now. first to looking at a few of those library books and then to relax with the newest bust magazine. totally stocked up on magazines today, but i've rationed them out to myself. only one a night!

until tomorrow, internet. sleep tight.

Monday, October 12, 2009

greasy mouth and entire digestive system blech blech

i need to scrub out my mouth n' insides because dinner out tonight was not a treat. pretty baby and i thought we'd give bluefin bistro another whirl, since they're right downstairs and all. plus, they've been open for a while now and have revamped the menu. sadly, we were both disappointed.

i started with the spicy shrimp appetizer which came breaded and fried when i was expecting grilled, so that was kinda sucky. they were tasty tho TRES TRES greasy so i only had a few. then we got the 'mixed salad' that came with our entrees which was 99% iceberg and 1% chopped tomato (snooze). then i got a super greasy 'grilled' mahi mahi and a vegi and potato side (no choice about yr sides, btw. everything comes with the same side.) that was all grease and salt. david had an overcooked filet and we killed a bottle of klincker brick zin in no time flat. the wine helped the meal go down, but now i'm headachey and generally having crankiness. a little over $100 for that? not again, my friends. c-note dinners are hard to come by on the grad school budget, so i'll not be visiting downstairs for food again. i'd do some drinks there and i'd give desert a go, but blech-central on the food front.

tomorrow is another sleep-in day since we're on october break. awesomeness. i've got lots of work to do tho, so it's time to zonk out early and then wake up for a cozy fall workfest. got lecturin, writin, and organizin to do.

oh, i did lift weights again with d on saturday, that was cool. i'm pretty good at it and i'm getting better, y'all. soon i'll be up to 25 lb dumbbells in each hand for the clean n' press. doesn't sound like much yet, but it will be heavy enough for me and my wimpy arms. i still have my heart set on big muscles by december. i figure i'll scare colleges/universities into offering me a professor position with my uber-defined arms and thighs.

it's a no-flaw plan, really.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


i have them. i can tell because i've been making songs all night - about how many cookies i'm gonna eat, abt how hard life is for beckett (it's hard!), abt how much i don't feel like prepping a lecture tomorrow - it's endless, really.

all i really feel like doing these days is eating a lot and working out a lot. both of which i've been doing. after cardio blast yesterday, i met up with raven win and paul at d.t. kirby's and ate an entire (huge) vegi burger plus fries and three beers. it was heaven, not gonna lie. i was so stuffed tho that i woke up still full. which is kinda gross, i suppose. it was nice to get out and those brewskis relaxed my gym-tired body like nobody's business.

now i'm looking forward to a nice long october-break weekend which will be full of organization, writing, sleeping, and quality time with the bf. i feel like we've both been working so much that i hardly spend time with him (even tho we're like 5 feet away from each other most of the day). that's grad school for you; you can be in the same room and still be a million miles away.

i am so glad i'm not going out of town even tho it's rainy and dullsville here. dullsville is exactly what i want this weekend. and one date night and one night where we watch tv on dvd and eat candy until forever and tons of sleeping in and maybe hanging out at some coffeeshops.

okay, time to get it together and plan that lecture tomorrow. ah, friday, i'm so excited for you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

small problems with productivity

got derailed from my work plans by some cookie making. it had to happen. i mean, i had extra eggs! so coconut chocolate chip cookies are now sitting on my countertop being little temptresses. had two (and some cookie dough, don't lie, self) and they were pretty tasty. and i used half wheat flour and most everything was organic, so they're, like, totally healthy. i'm sure.

well, i did do my grading and reading for tomorrow and also found out that puffin (aka beckett) is allergic to ragweed and that is the source of her allergy torments over the last few months. does anyone know if ragweed is really common in lafayette? i guess i'll have to google it...

anyway, nice to know what's bothering poor piglet and that there are ways to help her in the future. as you can tell, she was also very concerned:

her other new nickname is snoozles, for obvious reasons. puffin is my favorite right now tho. funny how you can have a dog for 10 years and still come up with new nicknames. and songs, too, i'll admit. there are songs -- current one is 'beckett, grow your hair back! go beckett, you can do it!' much less funny in writing, i suppose. there's also a song abt how beckett likes to put herself to bed early sometimes, but i'll save that for another time.

for now, to sleep! and hopefully be ready for a slightly more productive day on the morrow.

Monday, October 5, 2009

full of energies

i was like a cardio blast demon at the gym today, i had so much energy. will prolly sleep like a baby angel and then be dead tired tomorrow as a result. but that's always a good tired anyway. i am so gym obsessed right now! and puffy cute gay instructor adam is back! i missed him very much and his sassy little hip hop cool down maneuvers. (let's not confuse cute puffy adam with my other favorite instructor -- cute nice-body ex-cheerleader whats-his-name who i also love).

got home starving and threw some tuna salad on a whole wheat tortilla with lettuce and hot sauce. inhaled it and then went about the business of actually making dinner, which was a vegi stir fry on top of rice noodles. super yum. this double dinner situation may take me more toward fatsville than i want, but i've been so good about exercising i don't really give a good god damn. and i feel frickin terrific, so there's that.

finally got the insurance situation rolling on my MS medicine front, so i hope to start that up on the quick quick. i still worry about not feeling as good after i start, but there's nothing like imagining that your brain is getting more weird white spots on it to get a girl in the mood for medicine.

tomorrow is a nice, easy day and i'm looking forward to sleeping in and some relaxed grading of papers. then maybe some more gym and maybe something fun in the aftertimes.

buenas noches, amiguitas!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

before bed

i thought i'd pop back in and say that my mood has improved. had a breakthrough on my winter look, which i really should have seen coming. for the last few weeks, i've been obsessing over shirley manson's character in the sarah connor chronicles. her stylez are all severe, structured dresses with futuristic touches. love it. see?

there's something sort of cruelly refined about it all. i love that her face shows her age and i love her big hair. her character gets more interesting as season two progresses, so if you start watching and think she sucks, give it time.

anyway, i stopped by the sale at's slvr store and picked up some gear that i've had my eye on since the full price days. bought these guys, which i consider to be a more casual version of "ms. weaver, stylish killer robot from the future":

almost bought this bad daddy, but decided against:

will maybe buy later if one of the new purchases doesn't fit. i better make a slow transition between killer robot and my current look which has just been dresses dresses dresses! and the kookier, the better!

well, no mall for me tomorrow. done spent all the fall clothes money i have for the time being!


well, nobody likes to be at home at 10:30 on a saturday night with nothing good to do. especially when somebody thought it was going to be cocktail night. but whatever. sometimes saturdays are disappointments. and i make my own fun.

so i'm just gonna stew around for a little bit and then get on with things. maybe i'll find something arty to do or maybe i'll get ahead in my reading so that sunday is freed up for better things. maybe tennis tomorrow and maybe the local mall (sad as it is) for new sports gear and a pair of jeans. i hate jeans shopping more than i hate bathing suit shopping, you guys. it's hard for a girl with big thighs and a smaller waist! if things fit my waist they have a death grip on the thighs and if jeans fit my thighs, there's a big old gap around my belly. not to mention that none of the fancy jeans help a girl out with this issue. so i'll be trolling around macys looking for trouser jeans soon. siiiiiiiigh. finding some sexy mean looking sports gear should lift my mood tho.

ugh, i don't like my life very much tonight. i wish i had more friends here. i think i'm gonna go sulk for a bit.

Monday, September 28, 2009

where does all the time go?

i feel like i've been running around all week and yet don't have many stories to tell. there have been gym classes, a pretty awesome martha stewart pasta recipe involving a spinach and pumpkin seed pesto, drinks out on the town, and a ton of grading.

one fun night started out with just me and the raves at bistro for some casual martinis. it ended up with us befriended by noisy, curious strangers and doing irish car bombs. and a shot of patron. and some champagne. then we got invited back to a portly man's apartment but we graciously declined and i walked home to sleep half of sunday away while raven got up for spinning class and some other really too active sounding stuff. lafayette can be a peculiar town when you let it be.

took becketts to the vet on thursday in indianapolis to fix her severe allergy sitch. i think there has been some progress. or maybe i'm just projecting because i spent $320 dollars on a variety of pills and blood tests. crossing fingers that doglet will be less itchy and less molty looking soon. i'm proud of myself that i managed to get her over to the vet, get a hummus sandwich at pita pit, and get home before teaching all while just vaguely hung over from a wednesday night at the sparrow. i guess i have been going out a bit more recently...

also learned that night at the sparrow why i don't like jenga and it's totally valid! in jenga, there is no winner -- there are only non-losers! how can you get invested in a game if the entire goal is not to be successful but to be not-unsucessful? that game is for people who hate themselves. or for people who like to see others fail and then laugh at them. so, i feel totally justified in my dislike. always rather achieve a positive than avoid a negative, right? so face on that, jenga.

tomorrow should be pretty much all sunshine and light over here, as long as i can get it together to work on my job letter and some conference abstracts. i have seriously burning daydreams about heading back to cali, so i'm sure i can find the motivations.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

what a full and lovely sunday

ended up with a more action packed sunday than i would have imagined. nice that i'm just showing movies in both my classes tomorrow. so, slept in and then had a leisurely english muffin and almond butter breakfast with my morning internet and cup of caramel tea. then david and headed to greyhouse for a bit where i worked on my job letter and made it almost readable rather than total rubbish.

came home, quick changed, and headed off for some tennis with a couple of english department folks. i had hoped to dominate and squash all contenders with my tennis skill and general aggression feelings, but i won one game and lost two. then it started to rain. but i did feel like i was getting warmed up and starting to remember how to play again; i mean, craps, it's been over a year since i've picked up a racket. gearing up for some consistent sunday tennis now and that makes me happy.

then home for some leftovers for dinner -- a new mahi mahi recipe that involved lots of sauteed onions, white wine, whole wheat croutons, and gruyere (well, recipe called for gruyere but it was way too expensive at storesy the other day so i subbed some parm and swiss and that turned out grand). had it with a lettuce, apple, pecan, and gorgonzola salad. so good!

then to raven's for some tv watching (new jason schwartzman show on hbo -- pretty funny!) and snacking that didn't need to happen but did anyway. had some nice girl time and made gym plans for the week.

swell day all around and now i'm ready for a good amount of asleep time before this looming monday. i'm thinking of all my friends and family tonight and wishing they were closer and wishing them lots of luck in their endeavors this week! it seems like so many people have big things to do. i'll close my eyes with good thoughts for everyone tonight. xx.

Friday, September 18, 2009

mucho mejor

closing in on 3 in the a.m. here in lafayette, in. pretty much my ideal bed time.

so the evening picked up. i realized that the sour mood was probably hormonally based--ah yes, the eternally elusive yet so right on time pms. an entire lifetime of this baloney and still i get confused. i should know that when i can't really figure out what's bugging me, it's prolly the premenstrual crankies. extra rage, extra malaise, extra whatever-that-other-french-word-is-that-people-mispronounce, well you know what i mean.

so, unhappiness pinpointed, i graded my last two papers and started on some reading. then texted by the raven (glowing peerless uproarious raven!), donned some liquid black eyeliner, messed up the hair, put on some black clothes and heels and headed to sparrow. enjoyed two ketel one n' sodas (+ healthy squeeze of lime) and chatted with a guy from her dance company whose name escapes me.

starving, i convinced them to go with me to d.t. kirby's where i inhaled a salad sandwich and their frickin magical house-made french fries with their magical house-made ranch. also had to have some ketchups, claro. split a bucket of beers and watched the drunks stumble around and be entertaining. watched the owners holler loud over the clientele, happy and prosperous with their cozy late night bar being the only one in town that serves food til three. their bar stuffed with people gulping beer and knocking back shots and sipping cocktails and crunching sandwiches made me so happy. i love love love the local places doing well and being successful. hope they're raking in the cash money.

so now i'm home after a responsible 4 drink night, content and bellyfull but not overly so. ready for sleep and work and sunshine and a good light run tomorrow at c-bog. happiness regained.

but before turning in, i'm curious to inquire about other drinkers out there. i find that four drinks out is a very lightly tipsy night for yours truly, mostly sober in fact. 6 is tips. 10 is drunk but not sick. more than that hasn't happened for a while, so that's prolly good. but by my calculations, a grad school night out can definitely end a girl up anywhere between 6-10 on any given night. all this bodes well for my liver, i'm sure. so what are your general drink numbers? i've lost all sight of what a "normal" person imbibes.

but i'd say i'm averaging 4-7 for nights out and 0-1 on nights in. positive strides for a girl who used to pride herself on drinking large men under the table.

now i just go for keeping things even. wink.

you shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you

listening to some bob dylan (i will NEVER get sick of 'like a rolling stone' no matter how overplayed it might be. i think it's just delightful.) and finishing up some grading, and then hopefully out for a few hours before retiring for slumbers.

def need a break from the student papers for a minute tho, so bloggery it is. had a pretty nice and productive day all around -- taught, did dishes, went to greyhouse with pretty baby to work for awhile. while there i enjoyed a nonfat chai latte and graded like a superhero, blasting through 8 papers--leaving only two more to go!

but somehow i feel a mite depressed in the back of my head. what's that about? i don't mind that my weekend involves no big plans; in fact, i kind of like that. class went okay today and i'm all set for monday already. so what gives? i can't put my finger on it, and i don't like that one bit.

to remedy, i will finish those remaining papers and do some cleany type housework. perhaps eliminating some clutter will help with my cloudy horizons.

hope to have something cheerier in the morning!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

in the throws of a minor gym obsession

went to another 20/20/20 class today with raven and the instructor was a cute, muscley, gay boy who had lots of rhythm. very fun overall. i am so obsessed with exercising again after my long break from it! i feel sort of ridiculously heavenly in my body right now. it's not all fab or nothin, but all the parts are working well and i haven't even been that tired at the gym lately. i guess i'm just stoked that over 3 weeks off didn't mess me up that much. and (knock on wood or other such superstitious behavior) i've not pulled anything or even overdone it. taking tomorrow off for good measure.

afterwards, i showered and got down with some annie's mac and cheese (to which i added some steamed brocolli and lot's of frank's red hot). not as good as the white cheddar version, but tasty regardless. had a little leftover smoked salmon baguette thing from bistro, but could only choke down so much of it. too fishy and too squishy for me at this juncture in my fish eating. i was waaaay more into the creme fraiche, capers, and other little bits and pieces than i was into the salmonyness. now i'm contemplating poking around for something sweet...

the other parts of my night mostly looked like this:

me, laptop, and bulldog cuddles. i looooooooove my cuddles from beckett. she's pretty cat-like in terms of affection, so the paw and face smashed into my thigh is pretty much all the snuggling i get until it's bed time and then she curls up by my belly and snores big snorey grumbles until morning. poor puppy is still allergy-ridden and losing hair left and right despite a change in her food and a new antihistamine. guess i'll be heading to a bulldog specialist in indy soon to see if he has any new ideas. pobrecita. she's still a happy little monster, so i suppose that's what matters most.

looking forward to the weekend very much, even tho it will involve a lot of grading. i expect that fun and happiness will abound as well.

sleep tight, internets.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

good and good

did a little 20/2o/2o class with raves at the gym today and it was pretty swell. everything seemed to go so fast that all of a sudden it was all done and i'm all tired and sweaty and sore and not bored. so that was cool.

then shower, light dinner, and meet up with several folks at bistro for half-off wine night and snacks. lovely lovely. glad i wasn't the only one who didn't want to wrap up at 9:30 when things seemed to wind down at bistro. several of us wandered the few blocks to sparrow where almost everyone enjoyed the evening special -- sam adams and a shot of bourbon. yes, please. i had one of those and two salty dogs.

finally, at the end there it was raves and win and i who (and i hope i'm representing them appropriately) NEVER want to go home and always want to stay stay stay and have whatever fun it is last forever. we decided to make this last midwestern fall/winter in lafayette the best one and full of adventures: apple orchards, corn mazes, big winter boots and hot buttered rums at the bar. i PROMISE to make this winter a not miserable experience. i have such a hard time here usually because i feel so trapped. and so cold! but adventures will abound.

because this is my LIFE! and i need to find the best things that i can where i am. so adventures to follow. stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ah, my body is mine again

finally went to the gym and it was awesome. did a 55 minute cardio kick class that was stuffy, hot, and chock full of people, and i didn't care at all! man, i needed that workout. after being sick for almost two weeks and stressbombed with school prep the week before that, i went waaaaaay too long in between exercising. and when i'm not working out, i'm generally a cranky girl. so yayys for the co-rec. i payed my $45 for the semester and, as far as i'm concerned, the pass has paid for itself so helpful it has already been to the mental health.

came home, vacuumed, showered, and ate the holy hell out of a hummus wrap and some way-too-healthy amy's vegetable soup. hot sauce, parm, and tons of pepper helped, but i'll not be buying that one again. hummus wrap, tho, was everything i thought it could be. one extremely large glass of cab and some sparkly water also played a nice part of dinner. and i made myself have three large waters before the wine so that i can hopefully avoid the post-workout wine headache.

feeling quite happy even though i tossed aside a little work in order to go the gym today. time to get back at it, i suppose. it's the closing days of on the road and the beginning days of the ethnographic profile unit for my respective classes. also in the midst of grading personal response papers and "writing" a job letter which so far has resulted in 5 papers graded and a lot of general staring. time to suck it up and dive back into the fray.

i think i'm going to sleep so very well tonight. i hope you do too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

the great honesty initiative

maybe this is a little heavy for a monday night, but it's a part of the larger jen's great health project which is currently underway here at nobeckettno. to ease into things, maybe i'll tell you that my simple but delicious dinner really hit the spot. some amy's cream of tomato soup with homemade croutons (garlic salt was oddly key here), parmesan, cracked black pepper and crushed red pepper. one small piece of organic spinach and feta pizza. one point five glasses lapostolle 'casa' cab. sentence fragments that i would scold my students for, but tasty dinner bits nonetheless.

so a lot of us have character traits we're not proud of, but i'm of the firm belief that people can willingly change most of these given real determination and some time to get it right. i have a trait that has begun to horrify me and makes me want to put down everything else until i iron it out. but, hopefully, i can fix this in addition to keeping my job and shit.

somewhere in my development, the old "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" turned into, "say the nicest thing you can" which is politeness gone all kinds of wrong. because instead of disagreeing with someone, i started to just pick out the things i thought were okay and respond to those instead. bad news.

i've grown into a MAJE conflict avoider. i hate upsetting people or even making them uncomfortable. when i realized i didn't even want to tell the blockbuster girl what i thought of a movie i had rented b/c she obviously liked it and i thought it was craptastic, i knew i had some ish. i mean, the movie girl will recover if i tell her i hated it.

now, i'm not a total fucktard agreer; i do disagree with people and i've had my share of arguments. i just see this gross thing in myself that i don't like and it's time now to knock it off. my urge to be nice is fine. i'm a kind person. that's good, and i'm glad i'm nice. but not at the expense of just saying what i think.

and when did my value become not giving my honest opinion, but making people happy? when did i decide comfortable was better than true? and a scarier question: why?

i think this will be a hard habit to break, but i'm up to it. and i think before i can figure out how to be honest without being rude, i might just have to wing it and go filter free for a while.

so, if i seem oddly bitchy for a while, sorry. xoxo.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

for reals, now.

it is time to get healthy.  i'm finally over this cold and i'm feeling good and it's time to get the ducks, put them in a row, and make them do turbo kick at the co-rec.  for effing serious.  i'm tired of feeling like i'm one step behind my life and three steps behind my health goals.  i've done well on the class prep front, slightly worse on the dissertation front, and suck balls on the working out front.

all will begin to be remedied on the tomorrow! i did some important things today too like washing the sheets multiple times (beckett had a minor poopcident, very fun to wake up to), washing beckett, doing dishes, planning classes, making comments on student drafts, &c.  

yesterday, i treated myself to a short indy trip in which i shopped my little organic heart out at trader joe's and saw my dress resolve crumble before my eyes at anthro.  but whatevs, it is a very multi purpose kinda dress and it was on sale and then marked down even more b/c of a little mascara stain.  $60.96 instead of $128?  you bet it's gonna happen.  and it's a little orange treasure, see?

not that i look quite like that in it.  add abt three more thighs to this girl's thigh and we're closer.  (sadly, my hair does look like this with some frequency lately.  bummer that the knotty, messy look only works on models.)  also got a whacked out necklace that looks sort of arty 60s.  decided to walk away from several cute but $$$ basics at the j.crew.  winter stuff at full price there is laughable.  $98 for a plainish sweater.  my arse.  and the blazer i crushed on for $188 had cheap-ass buttons and wasn't even properly pressed.  so eff that.  i'll pick it up in a couple months for $69.95.

well, i've hit my money and clothes threshold for a while.  and i swear, i don't want to step in a grocery store even once this week.  tho i stupidly forgot sparkly water, bananas, and diet caffeine free coke on my last run and those are all pretty much daily necessities.  (have gotten myself down to one coke a day, btw).

wore new dress out (along with a cute silver and crystal necklace from the parents) last night to meet up with raves, bk, and win.  had snacks and martinis at bistro and then a couple of beers at knickerbocker before retiring kinda early.  it was mellow all around, but very nice to get out of the house.  i've been feeling sort of shut in and depressed about it lately.  also stopped by k.dee's today for some tea and work time and that was nice.  so super sunny, not a cloud in the sky kind of day here.  

so, looking forward to an energetic and super productive week!  here's to a little less talk and a little more action.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

midnight, stuffed

we've been eating really late dinners recently and tonight was no exception.  sat down with a full plate of food at 10:30pm.  it's like spain all over again but without the beauty and general sexiness.  sigh.  but when breakfast happens at noon and lunch at 5, it's hard not to get hungry again at 10.  it's a little screwy, but it works.  i'm at a happy weight and i was healthy girl all day.  there was oatmeal with blueberries and almond butter for breakfast, veg sandwich for lunch, and dinner was grilled marinated mahi mahi, sweet potato, baked beans, and small salad.  pretty delish all around.

i'm such a creature of habit, it's kind of funny.  i get on food kicks and eat the same thing for weeks on end.  thankfully, pretty baby is like that too and doesn't mind that i've been making the same veg sandwich off and on for like a month now.  if you'd like to meet it, here it is:

it's made of:

- whole wheat arnold's sandwich thin
- 2 tbs. (or less) reduced fat chive and onion cream cheese
- tomato
- cucumber
- black olives
- sprouts
- walnuts
- red onion
- red leaf lettuce
- and sometimes avocado

vegetable sandwich's best friends are baby dill pickles and stacy's pita chips.  and sometimes hummus.  and always an ice cold caffeine free diet coke.  i am really in love with this sandwich.  

but enough abt me and the sandwich.  was a fairly productive girl today, but still have a few things to do before sleep time.  like put the damn clean sheets on the bed.  which i ALWAYS save until i'm tired and don't want to do it but obviously have to do it because there are no sheets on the bed.  (i only have two pairs of sheets and i hate putting a clean pair in the closet because they invariably smell like closet instead of right-out-of-the-dryer sheets and then i get annoyed).  probably this says a lot abt me, but i don't know what.

also should shove more dishes into dishwasher because my favorite little pot is dirty and i don't like to make my morning tea in any other pot.  there are a lot of reasons the little pot is the best one, but i haven't the energy to go into it.

and did you know that i drink tea every morning now instead of coffee?  ever since food poisoning extravaganza in san diego, i have almost no desire for our friend the coffee.  i'm almost sad abt it because i'm a coffee person, god damn it!  tea is for people who like doilies and british shit and things that need to be treated delicately. 

but, argh, i'm a tea drinker now despite myself.  i even bought a double bergamot english breakfast tea yesterday.   isn't it funny when you change right out from under yourself?  i love that people change, it reminds me that anything is possible in this world.  tho i usually prefer to do my changing on purpose.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

something sparkly

in the mood for something lovely, like a party or a trip or a special compliment or a new exciting happening.  been working hard and feeling sickly and now i'd like some excitement outside of the classroom, work realm.  gonna try to get something sparkly together soon.

and what should i be for halloween this year?  and can it involve pink crinoline without being little-bo-peepish?  gonna start some planning...

still have gnarly headache, so i think it's time to walk the doglet and head upstairs toward beautiful pillow and cozy bedness.  it is time for this cold to be gone from me so that i might get back to feeling like a human being again -- back to working out, responsible cocktail consumption, and better, less zombie-like teaching abilities.  

bought extraordinary amounts of produce at the grocery today to help out on that healing up front.  then i had mac n' cheese for dinner.  ha.  but it was amy's organic white cheddar and i put steamed brocolli in it AND i had a salad.  

anyway, here's to a clean(er) and happy september.  i'm ready for some excitement!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

long snoozy weekend

so that cold hit fairly hard and forced me to sleep away almost my entire weekend.  when i woke up, i watched a brickload of heroes season three.  not thrilling, but certainly healing.  all i had left today was a cough, screaming headache, and maje tiredness.  much improved overall, tho.  i'll not get into details, for your sake.

sent a chapter draft to rowe today which is good progress.  i also have a terrible draft of a job letter and a worse version of a dissertation abstract.  at some point today, i just simply lost the ability to focus on my job materials.  instead i played around looking for conference call-for-papers which is job-related yet way more fun than trying to write about yourself.  then i planned kerouac: day one for great american books.  there will be jazz, there will be about 15 minutes of the source, and there will be a mini-lecture on sal, dean, and the ladies.  friday, we'll talk america and authority, and next week onto my favorite on the road lecture/discush 'jazz, IT, and race' in which i get to explain what a wine spodiodi is and we all try to define IT without ruining IT entirely.

can't say that i dig everything the beats are up to, but long before i even knew who kerouac was, i had the "the only people for me are the mad ones" lines scrawled across poster paper and hanging over my bed.  and isn't it beautiful when your work feels like art?  there is beauty and joy and total embrace of life in those crazy speeding across america not afraid to be weird screaming maniac beats.  sadness, disappointment, wrong turns, and loneliness too.  but we'll save that for next friday when we say goodbye my 50s mad men.  until then it's all fabulous yellow roman candles exploding.

but enough about work!  in the actual doing-of-things arena, i am looking very much forward to the long anticipated date night (which was postponed due to sickness and general malaise).  also making an indy run this friday for trader joe's and (eeek!) a mall trip.  just basics, guys, that's all!  no party dresses, no leather jacket, no fancy knickers.  i may need supervision tho because i am craving a schoolboy blazer, something black and sequined, some kind of deliciously soft sweater situation, tight black turtlenecks, and something absolutely candy colored and childish.  okay, budget budget budget.  i will willpower myself into responsible spending behaviors.

so, i know you've all seen it before and are probably all blah whatever, but i can't help myself:

and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...

- j.k.

see now, aren't you glad i did it?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"my life philosophy?  i like the idea of being irreverent and free."  

- andree putman