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?