Sunday, January 31, 2010

embracing imbalance

so i read all these food blogs and they're mostly about "healthy balance." you know, working out, eating well but not obsessively, enjoying a drink or two, &c. i really respect that concept and i keep trying to make it work, but i've just recently come to terms with the fact that i simply am not capable of achieving balance. never have been. maybe someday i'll be able to pull it off, but certainly not now.

so i've decided to embrace my cockeyed, screwball, up-and-down lifestyle. there's always one thing totally dominating my time and right now it's work. i've been going nonstop lately on school stuff. i've checked a zillion things off my to-do list, and i have a zillion and one left. i'm playing catch up in every other area of my life, but god damn it if i'm not on top of this school shit. maybe barely keeping my head above water, but it's working. so i haven't worked out, called my friends or family, or done anything nice for myself in forever.

this weekend, though, i did try to level things out a bit. vacuumed the apartment (yikes, dog hair everywheres), grocery shopped, and went to a cocktails and movie night at vicky's place. i very much enjoyed the array of spicy snacks, drinks, and company and managed to get not totally soused. which meant that today was pretty productive.

but not productive enough. gonna get back to it here and maybe one of these days i'll get a better amount of fun, friends, and culture back in my life. i fricking hate how STUCK i am right now. no concerts, no art shows, no trips, no new restaurants or bars, no nothing. just work and snow and fucking fellowship applications and lectures and postdoc things due and grading and SHIT! GAH I WANT SOMETHING THAT LOOKS MORE LIKE A LIFE!!!!

but i'm embracing, not bitching. embracing. breathe. if i work hard enough now, i can earn something lifelike for next year. and i have to keep telling myself that 'unemployed phd' is a fine job title as far as i'm concerned. if i know you, i might try to sleep on your couch next year. but by that time, i will have shifted to total fun imbalance so don't worry, you'll enjoy it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

disco disco good good!

free from headache. i slept until a ridiculous 3:20pm today! even though i REALLY did not want to get up that late, it's probably good that i had mistakenly set my alarm for the p.m. rather than the a.m. i got less work done today, but i am completely without head and neck pain. hurrah to that. sometimes the body just demands things.

of course now it's 2:30am and i am nowhere near sleepy. but i've got to prep and teach tomorrow, so it's time to hit up the medicine cabinet and benedryl myself to bed.

this should be a productive and healthy week, i think. lots of meetings, classes, and writing ahead but it's all pointed in a good direction. i think i may have sorted out my MS meds stuff after another series of phone calls and i should have some important school shizzz out in the mail by tuesday.

had an awesome giada halibut salad tonight and am looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. cooking is really my only hobby these days, but i love it to pieces. beyond the deliciousness of the results, it's the one thing i can do where i am entirely focused on the task at hand. there's no planning my future, no worrying about what other things i should be doing, no negative thoughts of any kind. there's just chopping, slicing, measuring (and not measuring but guessing), tasting, poking, and burning my fingers as i grab things straight out of the oven or pan. anyway, i adore it and i'm glad that i'm making the time. cooking may literally be saving my sanity these days.

yay to food and yay to a pain-free monday on the horizon.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

salads for EVAR

it was a migraine weekend over here in indiana. both friday and saturday it's been headache central, so i haven't done much other than a little light reading and some fashion mag/online window shopping. i've got a decent wish list for wardrobe additions that was fun to compile even tho the finances are not really in a state for wish-fulfillment. i have also decided that i'll be sporting some big 60s hair on occasion. life in lafayette needs some drama.

oh, i also totally lost my shit at the grocery store last night. that wasn't fun. i probs shouldn't have gone out with the headache, but i thought i could have a nice leisurely grocery shop and whatever since i wasn't going out for cocktails or anything. well, i was wrong. i did have a nice leisurely shop in which i picked up a ton of produce, some fun yet healthy treats and a bunch of staples since pretty baby and i were running low on a lot of things. last week was busy and neither of us got to the store.

so i finish up and realize there are no tellers. it's midnight (thanks to my ass backwards sleep cycle), and they're saving money by making everyone use the self-check shit. which is fine when you have a couple of things. not fine when you've got well over a hundred dollars worth of food for you and your special someone. long story short, i've got bags of groceries stacked all over the place, the robot lady keeps telling me to rescan my last item and put it in the bagging area, but there's no more room in the bagging area and there's no room in my cart b/c it's full of stuff and i've got bags and bags of produce that would take forevs to weigh and figure out the numbers for, plus i have wine and beer and the real person attendant is nowhere and my head is screaming and the heat is so jacked up that i'm sweating and flushed so i totally started crying, paid for what i had scanned and left with 3/4 of my crap still in the cart.

not a proud moment for jb. (oh, i also started my period yesterday, so there's that adding to the crazy). honestly, tho i don't even feel bad about leaving the rest of my stuff in the cart. i just wanted a PERSON. those machines are not really human being friendly and if that store doesn't think it's a priority to have people around then i don't want to shop there anymore. so the payless on beck lane can suck it. i went to another grocery store today and spent my money there -- where they had the human being service that a girl with a headache needs.

tonight, my entertainment was an enormous salad and some garlic naan and a fat tire. very delicious. i have two favorite salads right now -- one is red oak lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, carrots, olives, toasted pecans, and gorgonzola with a sprinkle of balsamic and the other (which i had tonight) is red oak lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, carrots, olives, toasted pumpkin seeds, and feta with a good squeeze of lemon. i could eat these salads CONSTANTLY i love them so much. do normal people crave salads the way i do? man, what i wouldn't give for a garden. can't wait until i have yard. i need more dirt and plants in my life.

well, since headache is still with me, i think i will go cuddle up in my bed and rock back and forth in the fetal position until i fall asleep. SO saturday night, i know.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

you've gotta feel it deep and leave it all on the floor

said some old blues guy, some time in the past. it's been my motto, especially for teaching, for a real long time now. something about that particular phrasing hits home, helps me immerse myself and stop the self-doubt and urge toward perfectionism that can be totally crippling (and make a person's life suck). i think it also captures the passion and willingness to open yourself up, to put yourself out there that any kind of performer has to have to be any kind of good.

i don't think my classes have been especially passionate or moving lately, and i really wanna change that. i think assigning seven novels that i've never taught before may have been a mistake...hard to be eloquent when you've just only figured out what to say. but i've got to get excited again and stop all the worrying. worrying, you've been a part of my life for so long, i'm not sure what i'll do without you. i banish you nonetheless. and good riddance.

wrote a job letter today for a postdoc for which i have the old proverbial snowball's chance in hell. sent off an article for publication (it kinda SUX but i wanted to get something out there), and almost finished polishing another pretty crappy article destined for the same mediocrity. but it's progress and it has got to get done. if you don't try for anything, you'll never get it, non?

i think it's gonna be a non-stop workfest grindhouse shithouse shitstorm for maybe even the rest of the semester. but in ten minutes, i'm gonna try for my eight hours. and then tomorrow morning i'm gonna work on the joy.

and the leaving it all on the floor. for reals.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

just gonna check in real quick like to say it's busy busy around these parts. i picked up some steam and have managed to get some shits done. lots left to do tho and i am exhausted. i hope to amp up the blogging soon -- maybe get some more direction and document some of my local adventures with pix. for instance, there was a wine and pizza night at the sparrow last night that was both delicious (fig, bleu cheese, and carmelized onion pizza? yes, please.) and entertaining. that kind of thing needs to be recorded for posterity, obvi.

anyway, about to die of school overload but i'm pushing forward.

onward and upward, everyone.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

back on track is looking more like off the rails every day

siiighs. had a failure day today and no one likes the failure.

sat at vienna making a mess of the same two pages for three hours. got frustrated and took a break to call my doctor's office about getting on the MS meds. again. it was unwise. i should have known better. i totally teared up outside the cafe b/c the office manager told me that she was *not* the person i needed to contact, but instead i should be talking to my drug company. even tho both the drug company and the insurance peeps said to call the doctor. so i'll be playing call-everyone-and-their-god-damned-mother again tomorrow and see what new crap they will invent for me to do. really, it would be amusing if i didn't need to be on medication that i can't seem to get. at least i feel fine. i need to get more mean with these a-holes.

tevs. after writing disaster mess and doctor disaster mess i went to the library to screen some vids on africa and the caribbean (cote d'ivoire and guadeloupe, specifically) for my clase. THEY SUCKED! all the ones that i found (and there weren't many) were either in french or so totally 80s and craptastic it would be punishable by law for me to make anyone watch them. so there was an extra hour or so down the shitter.

yeah, crabby pants backman over here. crankiness led to poor choices re: booze and stacy's pita chips. so we can add self-control failure and healthiness failure to the growing list. did manage to not meet others at sparrow for half-off wine night and pizza tho. that's something. i def did less damage at home than i would have there. will save that for next tuesday. ;)

and i did head to the gym yesterday, so i'm feeling nicely sore from that still. and will head out again tomorrow. i just wish i could get myself riled up about the semester and whatnot. guess i need another manifesto. right now it just feels like brain confusion and dread. oh, and maybe some wintery depression feelings. i am prone to those.

sorry for the whinging, but it had to come out. will upright the whole collapsing structure on the morrow. after i hang out in bed, hiding from the world for a while.

Monday, January 11, 2010

workin on workin

day one of spring semester. lost whatever excitement i had. now drinking some wine instead of finishing up my wednesday lecture. i think it's just a little petulant child sitch where i'm having a hard time transitioning from lovely vacation time to "work time." i give myself a day or two before i'm back in the swing of things. i am looking forward to taking myself to coffee first thing tomorrow and knocking out my chapter one revision. it's time to get the show on the road with this writing biz.

had a pretty awesome last holiday weekend. met some folks for martinis at bistro, moved over to sparrow where many beers were ingested and then wrapped the evening up with an ENORMOUS vegi sandwich and fries at kirby's (+ a fat tire. and a guinness. and a shot of tequila rose. which reminds me of a patron shot that happened at bistro). anyway, that sandwich saved my ass and i woke up on sunday headache-free and without any pukey type feelings. i did have a general spaciness and what have you, but that's to be expected. it was super swell to see my drinking buddies again and i got lots of hugs and cheek kisses and general good cheer to make the semester seem less dreary.

last night i made macadamia crusted mahi mahi, mango/pineapple salsa, and beans n rice. was pretty good. better tonight tho cuz i toasted up some of the leftover macadamia nut topping and added it to the fish and lots of extra lemon. not sure if i will repeat this one, but it was super easy (esp for an alton brown recipe). i think the fish was just a little too bland/buttery for my particular set of tastebuds. i prefer lots of spices and strong, tart flavors. at least when it comes to fish consumption. happy to experiment, though, as always.

okay, tired of listening to my neighbor bang some overly emoting skank. i mean WOW. what a faker. gonna put my headphones on, turn up the serge gainsbourg, drown out porny mcgee, and finish the lecture.


Friday, January 8, 2010

a little bit rock star, yeah?

so even though one of my goals for 2010 is to deal with my hemorrhaging bank account, i decided to spend my christmas money frivolously. i mean, it's holiday cash, peoples. it deserves something shiny. so i was crushing on this pair of tory burch pumps and then they went on sale and they had my size available. when the shopping gods smile down on you in that way, you don't look them in the mouth or whatevs. you know. (i've had a benedryl so as to get myself asleep before 5am, so it might be a mixed metaphor night.) anyway, ya esta:

they may be a bit hard to see, but you get the general picture. black leather, gold studs, nice heel height and shape for the rough midwestern winter months. should go with many wardrobe items and will fit in nicely with the more ballsy look i want to cultivate. idea here is that clothing ballsyness will serve as an assist to my overall demeanor. esp given the fact that this afternoon, my director stared her oddly penetrating eyes at me and said 'get it done.'

yes, ma'am.

(i secretly like to be bossed around sometimes. and stern ladies do so keep me in line.)

anyway, LOVE my new shoes. they came in the mail today and i stomped them around the apartment, making david pay attention to them. and to the cute box and wrapping they came in also.

but on to more serious things. my new year's resolvers! maybe better understood as goals!

- find a way through the bureaucracy maze and get my first tysabri infusion (hopefully in feb)
- more green smoothies
- fish 4-5 times a week
- serious gym action + free weights at home

Beautification Situation
- be better at maintaining hair/eyebrow/pedicure conditions
- do my god damned dry cleaning
- buy new sugar scrub
- dress cool n shit

- write every day, extra on tuesdays and thursdays
- apply for postdocs
- no more conferences
- do a good job teaching my lit class but don't sacrifice the writing
- finish. don't worry about next year too much. just finish.

Financial Disaster Management
- cut grocery bill by 1/3 by sticking to my list and taking advantage of sales
- no new dresses! (i am allowed a new pair of jeans and one pair of slacks)
- cut bar bills by taking advantage of good specials and interspersing club sodas
- cut restaurant bills by going out on half-price wine night. save 1/2 of dinner for leftovers
- try to get travel grants for my conferences

- arrange girl's reunion in arizona
- try lots of new (but affordable) recipes, practice baking
- talk to my mums 1 or 2 times a week
- keep my apartment tidier
- more arty, less academic

alright, i am feeling very chilled out in an extremely benedrylled kinda fashion. sweet dreams all! i think 2010 is gonna be big. and i'm excited to get going with this semester (but i'm feeling too floaty and sleepers to put an exclamation mark here.)


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

don't look back, baby

2010 inaugurated by a hard drive crash that wiped out everything but a newish version of my dissertation.

music gone, pics gone, a million various and sundry writings from the last two years of my life. two years of private, creative, and academic writing has just been skidaddled out of existence.


good thing i am not a girl who believes in portents, signs, or other such mystical stuffs. it prob would not bode well to have things go that sideways on jan 3. but lesson learned and new jump drive acquired. new external hard drive will be purchased on the asap and never again will i leave my digi life all unprocteded. and thank all that is good and reason-filled that i emailed myself that diss chapter. it's not the newest, but i'm trying as hard as i can not to pine for those minor changes and two pages of new material that are now off in the ether.

so the going motto for 2010 is don't look back.

even tho i feel somewhat like a kid who's been spun around a million times before taking a swing at a pinata, i know i will find my footing. and i'll try to see this as a fresh start to the year. 2009 was kind of a loser year anyway. i mean, i traveled a touch, i saw my friends, i was a good teacher, and i was a solid (if occasionally a bit bitchy and maniac, sorry luv) girlfriend. but i also got a whole lot of barely anywhere with my own academic progress and got diagnosed with MS. (and let's not forget that god damned spinal tap that led to the diagnosis. i seriously vote that worst thing of 2009. no one wants a big motherfucking needle stuck in their spine or to feel the numbed out but still there sensation of their spinal fluid dripping out of their body. gnarly.)

in a weird way, i feel like i have nothing behind me. it's all future. tomorrow's thursday and it all starts now.

Friday, January 1, 2010


lazy day around these parts. had a mellow nye at home last night with my man and some home-made cookin, nice wine, and caramel apple pie. woke up hangover free which has to be some sort of new year's day record for me. one i probs don't care to repeat, but one my this morning self sure did appreciate. to make up for it, i had some champagne this afternoon while watching a scary movie and eating snacks. nice indeed.

haven't made any official resolvers for 2010 so far, but they will be coming soon. (i'm definitely my father's daughter in the quasi obsessive list making dept.) but the big ones are ones that i've been working on and been serious about for a while -- like finish my bloody phd, keep it strong with my handsome and inspiring bf, make sure my dog stays alive and healthy, and keep good track of my friends and family. of course, all of these things need maintenance and attention like anything living and breathing does.

all in all, i'm feeling positive about the big stuff and ready to stalk, tackle, and submit the rest. let's all get rowdy and successful in 2010.