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!