Sunday, May 31, 2009


in albuquerque hanging out at holiday inn express with the parents watchin some cable tv.  having fun.  if a road trip from indiana to arizona seems like a wildly relaxing vacay, i think i'm going to be ecstatic when we get to AZ and then to SD.

today i napped in the car, drove and listened to middle cyclone and it's blitz!, worked out in hotel gym for 40 min, and then went to a nice dinner at Standard Diner.  super awesome.  i had a house salad with lemon vinaigrette, some lovely fish tacos, split a bottle of silver palm cab and a chocolate mousse pie with the p's.  it was really all insanely good and the place was totally charming.  

tomorrow we will be home and i am really looking forward to some swimming pool and sunshine.  yes, please.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

i need to read something that doesn't glow

too much computer time for jb.  my eyes feel weird for a minute or two when they look at the world outside my screen.  this is not good.  but vacay is coming quick quick and i will spend a decent amount of it with the good old traditional love of my life books.  i love the weight and permanence of a nice hefty hardcover (i know it will be with me forever).  and what real reader doesn't love the broken spine of a paperback?  all of my books have lovingly dog-eared pages, scrawly underlines, grocery lists, random phone numbers, daily plans, and these weird half star/half circle things that i've made since high school when i especially like something.  i live in my books and they're little unrepeatable individuals to me.  it is time to pick up a book.

feeling much more emotionally sunny today.  hung with the parents and got some sandwich dinner, walked around downtown with mums, watched a 30 rock rerun in their hotel room.  i've also got some big plans for the future health which includes outdoor activities and new recipes.  list of goal recipes thus far:

- a variety of veg/vegan dim sum with corresponding dipping sauces
- homemade juices/smoothies of the extraordinarily healthful variety
- spicy black bean soup
- chopped thai salad 
- spinach and interesting cheese quesadilla with salsa roja

also haven't had a drink since monday, so a big fat glass of red sounds just abt perfect to me right now.

'for a new goal also a new means--namely, a new health, stronger, more seasoned, tougher, more audacious, and gayer than any previous health.' -f.n.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

minor pain and inspiration

spinal tap went smoothly yesterday and wasn't really all that painful.  the almost-worst was waiting to get wheeled into the procedure room and the really-worst was the tugging feeling when they put the needle in and took it out.  i also hated how, as soon as they inserted the needle and started draining spinal fluid, my whole body got really hot and flushed, i felt immediately clammy and then there were these weird involuntary muscle twitches happening in my lower back and stomach.  i don't think body likes to have its bones fucked with.

anyway, it is OVER and i've slept like a jillion hours and no headache and just some general back soreness.  i've been feeling pretty depressed tho lately and some of it has to do with the possible MS situation and some of it has to do with my current work/life schedule that has turned me into a kind of vampire.  i've been working all night and sleeping all day and haven't had any time for exercise or fresh air.  it's time to upright the world.

some steps include: 

1. taking a motherfucking break from indiana.  my parents arrive tomorrow and we start our out-west drive on saturday.  before we leave, we'll see what fun activities there are to hit up in this town and then we'll visit maize for a nice dinner out.  then it's AZ and CA for sun, tan, wedding, beach, pool, friends, fam action.

2. general health restructuring.  i got a good thing started a while ago by going to Purdue's gym and focusing on eating more fruits, veg, and fish.  (i've lost 12 pounds even!)  but i want to step it up, especially in light of health concerns.  so i'm going to try to incorporate a decent amount of raw vegan into my eating and all the free co-rec classes i can into my exercisin.  

a girl i went to high school with and hardly knew (now FB friend, of course, cuz that's how FB works) just posted a note abt her blog which focuses on her attempts to go high raw vegan.  her body is, plainly put, sick ass hot.  she lives in hawaii, grows cool shit in her garden, surfs, cooks, writes out her recipes, and food diaries.  her blog makes me want to let lots of air into my house and eat crunchy green stuff. (  i'm totally motivated.

i've realized that i (happily) organize my life around Health, Happiness, and Success.  usually, they all coexist nicely, mutually informing each other.  sometimes, tho, one of them gets out of hand and the others suffer for it.  so, right now, success is taking a backseat to H&H and it will just have to sort it's own ass out along the way.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

i must admit, i do love summer in the midwest

especially a midwestern summer night.  and it's just starting to get magical out there.  not quite humid yet, but warm enough to walk beckett in shorts and a t-shirt -- even at 2 in the morning.  hard to believe that just a few months ago, i was putting on boots and a down coat.

lumbar puncture set for tuesday at 1pm, so please to be sending me your best and most sunny vibes.  i'm nervous as hell.  really, every time i think abt a needle in my spine, i want to puke.  but it's happening and i gotta reconcile myself to that.  will spend the next few days reconciling.  or in serious 'i'm not here, this isn't happening' levels of denial until i get some local anesthesia on the lower back regions.

but wine, pizza, and true blood (um, LOVE IT.  esp the lafayette character and the rene character.  someone watch this show and discuss it with me) will keep me going till then.

and work!  doing some work!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

it's been some stressball times for me and mine lately, but i see Beauty and Happiness and Light ahead.  

here's to hoping that we can get to those things in the next week even.  i bet we can.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

not terrible but not my favorite thing either

so i got the mri results today and they're inconclusive.  i have some spots on my brain (who knew?) that weren't visible in my last mri two years ago.  but there's a good chance that they're nothing and they're just visible now b/c the mri machine this time was much more sensitive than last time.

doctor said i can wait six months and see if the spots grow or i can have a spinal tap and know right away.  so i have a spinal tap in my near future.  there's no way i want to sit around for six months imagining myself with ms.  not happening.  much rather have somebody stick a big ass needle into by back bone.  altho, ICK, that gives me the fucking creepy crawlers when i think abt it.

but no dwelling, i've promised myself.  i'll just do what i need to do and be a grown up.  it is what it is, right?  better to face it now if it's something bad.

tonight i watched true blood and picked up a girl crush on anna paquin as sookie stackhouse.  she's all short skirts and dyed blonde hair and sort of broke, southern charm.  plus there's vampire romance and telepathy.  so now i'm going to drink some pellegrino, do a little work, and then put true blood back on until it's very early morning.

fish sticks and sweethearts

working, writing, cooking, waiting for mri results that never come, starting to work out at the gym again, staying up too late, sleeping too late.  that's what i do now.  best things have been whole wheat banana bread, baked ratatouille with gruyere, and a second installment of homemade fish sticks (they may sound gross, but they are not).

i'm tired and i've been thinking myself in circles with this school stuff.  time to get on a normal schedule and write normal.  no more squirreling around with wordsmithing until i'm floating around in the clouds with plato's forms of imaginary perfect sentences or whatever.

more coherent thoughts later.  it's 4:21am here and i'm fading fast.  back to semblance of normalcy soon!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

take that back

taken turned out to be way lamer than i had hoped.  it was, like, half a movie.  or a few good ideas for a movie and then no actual movie.  the ending SUCKED and nothing really came together.  so, whatever, guess my perfect action movie doesn't really exist.  bourne series came close, but they have the camera ish and the 10 minute-nobody-gives-a-shit-anymore car chases.

today i slept in and read a little and decided not to go to my student's memorial service.  instead, i took a long evening walk at celery bog and said my goodbyes on my own.  as an atheist and a disliker of social pleasantries, i think i would have felt a faker had i attended the ceremony.  so i walked and ran a little and listened to cat power's cover of 'breathless' over and over for an hour and i don't think anyone noticed that i was crying underneath my cheap target sunglasses on the way back to my car.  and who cares if they did.

then showered and made chili and corn bread and a green salad which i enjoyed with some rosenblum cab.  now to looking at some chapter drafts and trying to ignore my neighbor as he throws darts into the wall that divides us.  thunk    thunk   thunkthunk clack      thunk   thunkthunk           thunk       thunk.

man, i need to move out of this place.  he's been shouting at some dog he's watching too -- NOOOOOOOOO!  NOOOOOOOO!  FUCK!  STOP IT!  douchebag.  the dog stopped listening 10 minutes ago. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


feeling better.  my student has a memorial service tomorrow that i think i'll go to.  i'm a little hesitant abt crying in front of her poor mother tho, so we'll see.  

i enjoyed the majority of a ray's station cabernet tonight with some pineapple pizza and taken.  who knew i'd find liam neeson to be a credible action star?  and i totally do.  we haven't finished it yet and i'm just relishing the ass kickings that he's about to give.   i LOVE a well-done action/fight movie.  decent plot development and characterization + one on one fight scenes = maje filmic swoon for yrs truly.  i think part of my love is that it's actually really hard to do.  there's always the drawn out car chase snooze scenario or there's too much shaky camera so you can't actually see the fightin or there's the transporter ranunculus action sequence.  but pretty much so far, so good with taken.  plus, it takes place in the france (romantique) and there's famke janssen involvement.  if i could pick facial features, they would be similar to hers -- nice, strong features:  a big nose, big eyes, and a firm but not mannish jaw line.  to me that is so beautiful and haunting and ages incredibly well.

in other news, i got my student evals back today and nearly had a heart attack while scrolling down for the results.  i get so nervous!  i try so hard and i work so hard at these damn classes! very good, overall.  for the 'i would rate this instructor': a 4.8 for composition class and a 4.9 for great american books class.  and then similarly high marks for the 'this class challenges me to think' (of huge importance to me).  also, some nice comments abt my general teaching skillz of which i have been in serious doubt this semester.  very happy, tho i miss my 5.0s.  i plan on being back in the game next semester tho and i've got plans.

PLANS.  this is the summer, y'all.

Monday, May 11, 2009


forgot that i have a stupid brain mri tomorrow at 9:45 in the am.  thought it was wednesday.  and now it's 2:30am and not only do i not get to sleep in, i have to wake up and go through a creepy tunnel of technology.  hopefully with the end result being that i have no brain blotches to indicate ms.  anyway, blah.  i'm proud of myself for doing it, but why didn't jen of last week have enough foresight to schedule an afternoon appointment?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

and to the mothers!

happy mumma's day.  i can't even begin to find the words for my own truly beautiful moms.  she's out-of-control levels of wonderful.  


so i passed a really lovely and fun weekend in chicago with my ucsd girls (minus lorena, christy, and kim who were all really dearly missed.  really really really missed.).  we walked around downtown, had brunches, made a drunken late-night trek to a gentleman's club and bought sarah a lap dance, had fancy mexican food, pizza and cake, pajama party in sarah and erin's hotel room, took pictures by lake michigan.  fabulousness and hilarity all around.  

feeling their absence now that i'm back home.  sarah gave us goody bags at brunch on saturday and made a little speech that made me cry.  i love these girls a lot and it's really good to be around them.  they are all just health and happiness and success and beauty.  and what awesomely strong personalities.  everyone is just so damn awesome in their own quirky ass, awesome life ways.  i'm so fascinated by and totally in love with all of them.  it's really something special to be wildly excited by people even after 15 (!) years.  fifteen motherfucking years.  i can't even get over that.

i've been carrying a little weight of sadness with me since friday morning, though, when i found out from my department head that a student of mine died last week.  i keep crying about it, for her and for her family.  i wrote her a letter of recommendation two weeks ago.  she sat in my office and talked about her future, what she wanted to do after school, how much she liked reading and art.  i'm just so crushed.  she was so young and beautiful and i just can't believe it at all.  

so i'm sitting on the red couch, thinking about girls and girlfriends and crying for someone i hardly knew and just sort of feeling too much about all of it.  writing it out is good though.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

done at one

alrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!  both classes are graded, excel sheets filled out.  i'm gonna sleep on it and look again in the a.m. to make sure i'm comfortable with all the grades.  i've got a very generous C on the books, a very generous A- and one B+ that might deserve a nudge in the right direction.  we'll look at those absences and participation grades again in the morning.  until then, it's cleaning the kitchen and benedryl so i can actually fall asleep before 4.  it's embarrassing to get woked up at noon thirty by tony the maintenance guy so he can fix yr broken garbage disposal (which, whew, i did nothing to actually break).  answered door with sheet lines on face, shirt inside out, and a scarf on to hide the fact that i was bra-less. it's all class where i'm at, baby.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

special grading time

blah.  special grading time is not fun.  but i've got one class down and one more to go.  and then tomorrow is cleaning extravaganza day!  blah again.  but at the end of this week, i will have a sparkling apartment ready for a deanna visit and my grades submitted.  hurray!  

friday will find us in chicago at the conrad hilton, hanging out with the ucsd girls for sarah's bachelorette weekend.  dinners out, dancing, brunch at sarah's, working out n spa treatments, walk to the lake, rooftop hotel bar -- all seriously needed.  restorative.  unless i die of grading and cleaning and general grad school malaise beforehand.




well, there have been a series of nice evenings of which the most magical was probably saturday night with mariachi band and two dollar tecates at the black sparrow.  it was really something, actually, and i don't have 'really something' nights that often in this particular town.  there were couples dancing up front, like real dancing with turns and spirals and hip shakes.  the band serenaded our table and basically knocked vicky and i out of chairs so that we had to dance and then they went and played for the cooks in the back and there was shrieking and wooting and hollering and a guy in a for reals, embellished sombrero.  everyone was clapping and cheering and downing the drink specials right and left.  i woke up sunday morning with that vague raw-lipness from too much salt on the rim of my tecate.  v did say that lime and salt belong on everything and i'm inclined to believe.