Friday, December 31, 2010

resolute

Earlier today, I was really down. I spent most of the day alternating between lying on the couch and lying on the bed, with a brief break for crying in the shower. I was upset about a lot of things, but mostly this feeling of being lost.

Yesterday, I sat down and explained to someone why I couldn't date them and, in the midst of that, I said "you can't tie all of your self worth to one person." It took me some wallowing today to realize that, as true as that is, I've been tying my own to this idea of being someone's girlfriend. I can't be someone's rebound, or their conquest, or really even a makeout partner. I want to be this good time girl, but I'm not in a place to do that, because when I am, I just end up wanting to be cared about. I'm not trying to paint myself as a victim, because god knows, I'm not. We all make our choices. But I keep making the wrong ones, because, I realize, I wanted them to lead to dating. And that is not a place I can commit myself to, even though I want to. Because I don't really think I'm ready or able to be someone's girlfriend right now. I still have some Me work left to do. I thought I had done that work but the last couple of weeks have made it pretty clear that I haven't.

I don't really do the whole New Year resolutions thing, because my resolution is always to try and be a better person, but I think part of that is taking care of myself and not getting so lost in other people and what I think they think of me. Not going crazy and losing my shit. Not trying to perpetuate relationships with people who could not give a fuck less.

By a twist of fate, I'm actually at home, after reneging on my original intention to stay home in favor of going out with some friends. I'm singing along with Neko Case and Tori Amos and Marla is snuggling with me. I might still end up going see some people, but it's nice to be alone, to be happy with being alone, and clear my head a little. Being okay with myself is more important than kissing someone at midnight.




Happy New Year :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

poesie

Alyson and Cain came over tonight for dinner and drinking, after an eventful thrift store trip (I bought a dress and a book titled 'Socialism' that is going to make a lovely faux-gift for my old co-worker. I ALMOST bought a black lace sleeveless jumpsuit, but resisted the urge). While they were here, we got to talking a bit about writing and I mentioned that one of my friends has been on me to submit some poems for publication. The thing is, I only have 2 poems I could even submit and one of them is just an old reworked one. I can't find it in me to really write anything lately and when I do, it's never anything I'm proud of. Though, the poem I had published in the Delta was something I wrote on more of a whim than something I really poured my heart into. That said, it's also a poem I've never really been all that into (I'm dissatisfied with the line breaks and the last verse, but was persuaded into both by my professor and some classmates) I've decided to try reading some more poetry and see if that kick starts me. And maybe do some more-than-halfhearted investigating into a writing group around here.

Sometimes I still toy with the idea of doing a MFA in poetry or non-fic. But I just don't think I have the drive (or really, the talent) to see it out, despite what others seem to think. Maybe if I could pen something I thought half-decent, that would change.

For fun, here's my old Delta poem:

mai 1968
I have this fantasy
of running into the grocery store
past the produce and into the aisles
over-turning shelf after shelf
stacked with neatly arranged
jars and cans
watching them drop and explode
or roll towards the feet of
stunned shoppers

Liberez les haricots!
Detruisez la politique de classe d'epicerie!


then jumping into
a hot pink Ferrari
clouds of sandy dust
choking off my trail
as I race the sunset
into the desert

Free! Free! Free!

and while we're at it, here's the non-fic piece as well:
Made in America (TM)
I didn't feel like drinking, but since no one else felt like leaving, I went to the bar.
"What you want, baby?" The bartender's eyes never made it up to my face.
Cringe. "Can I get a Franziskaner?"
"Red one or gold one?"
"Red one."
"Man, what kinda beer is that?"
The man on my left pointed at the bottle in front of me. The bartender rolled his eyes and walked off.
"It's a German beer, it's like..."
"Girl, I know it's a beer! How you pronounce that?"
"Franz-ah-skaner."
"Franta-scanner? Sounds like Frankenstein!" He pointed at the cooler. "Tell me where them beers are from."
"Where do you want to start?"
"What's that one with the owl?"
"Hitachino Nest? That's from Japan."
"All right, what about that one? Foster's?"
"Australian."
"Chai-may?"
"Cha-may. Belgian."
"Delirium Treemans?"
"Tremans!" yelled the bartender. "That's what New Orleans public school education gets you!"
"Man, that shit ain't English!" He turned back to me. "TRIMINS. Where's that one from?"
"That one's Belgian too."
"Marid-sous 8?"
"Belgian, again!"
"Damn, Belgium must be the beer capital of the world! All right...Taddy Porter?"
"Hm...that's English."
"Finally! I'm gettin' tired of Belgium. Okay, what about that one?"
"Which one?"
He leaned across the bar, carefully avoiding his glass of Taaka, and squinted at the bottom of the cooler. "Dead...Dead Guy Ale."
"Oh. That one's American."
"American, huh? Yeah, that figures."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"but, I ain't all there/my head is gone, my brain is fried/and I'm standing right here"

These past few weeks have been a huge indulgence in nostalgia. I keep being reminded of things from years ago, whether through conversations with friends, songs, or finding old diary pages hidden in books. Maybe it's just seeing old friends again (even if they're not the same people I've been thinking about.)

Yesterday, Erin and I had a really good conversation, where she put a bunch of shit in perspective for me. I really miss having her around, being able to drive over to her house and lie on the couch and talk about nothing and everything for hours. At the risk of invoking a terrible cliche, I feel like she's one of the very few people who getsme. We just clicked. That's something rare and, for me, even rarer with women. She understands my actions better than I do sometimes. Like this:

Me: is it terrible of me that I kind of want to be alone for NYE?
I feel like you'd get that
and you'd understand it's not overly dramatic
Erin: nope
i support that 100%
Me: I don't know if it'll happen or if the pull of parties will get the better of me
Erin: i did that in 2006
if you recall
Me: but I kind of want to just get some wine and read a book
yeah, I do
Erin: yeah
NYE is a waste of time
basically
the best one i've had, besides one in asheville years ago, was that one i spent alone

Erin: being alone on nye is a good reboot, i think
gives you a purpose for the year
plus
you can get drunk without worries
Me: right
hahahaha
Erin: and not worry about crowds
and go to bed early
Me: it's just...this has been a rough year
and I like the idea of starting fresh
Erin: yes
exactly
that's why 2006-2007 new year's was so good for me
Me: I don't think I quite got it at the time, when you did it
I thought it was just depressing
but it's not
Erin: right
it does seem depressing if you've never been in that situation

Things weren't all melancholy though! Oh no, because I found some TREASURES while going through my book collection. Apparently, at some point, I must have suspected my mom of going through my diaries, so I tore pages out and hid them in various books. The thing is, I know there must be more because this stuff is pretty tame and I wrote about way worse shit in some of my diaries. I kind of wonder if I didn't donate some of those books to Goodwill. Anyhow, when I found these, after I finished peeing myself in laughter, I transcribed them for Erin:

Me: I'm about to list a bunch of books on FB for give away
I thought about selling them but I don't feel like bothering with it
I'm giving away American Psycho, to the chagrin of my male friends
but I can't fucking read that book
it's just too awful
Erin: yeah
no need to keep that one
Me: and I start to question my humanity when I'm reading passages about some dude kicking a shar-pei in the stomach until it dies
because it sniffed him
it just...turned my stomach
I shut the book and stopped reading
Erin: that sounds pretty disgusting
i couldn't do that either
Me: oh my god
I just found old diary pages
Erin: uh oh
Me: that I tore out and hid in my books
Erin: what

Me: hahaha 2001!
10:52- Friday
oh lord
boy issues
hahahahahaha
Erin: oh lord
ahaah
Me: oh MAN
are you ready for this?
Erin: uh oh
i dunno
Me: you are about to get some SRS TEENAGE ANGST
I wanted some dude to spend the night at my house (which uh, totally wasn't happening)
Erin: wait so you were like 16 then, right?
Me: "B said that even if his parents said OK and so did mine, that he still wouldn't come. I asked him why. He said that even though he was dating M, he would still at least try to get me to "do" something with him. He said sometimes he missed me. I miss him too sometimes. A lot as of late."
Me: yeah, 15 or 16
B was MY FIRST BOYFRIEND
who dumped me like like 3 times
this was after the 3rd time, when he was dating his ex again
Erin: a winner
Me: "I guess it's because he and M are having some problems. And when he talks about that, I guess it's like I get a little flicker or hope. Then, later on, he'll start talking about M again, and I'll feel bad. But I don't want to tell him so. I know B could never feel for me the love he feels for M."
Erin: yikes
angst^100
Me: hahahahahahaha
the next page, I start writing about some fight I had with a girl who was, at the time, my best friend
and who started dating B
like....6 months later
maybe 5
Erin: ugh
what a bitch!
Me: i KNOW
"Chad brought over 'Big Money Hustlas,' 'Rocky Mountain Picture Show,' and Orgazmo'"
ahahahahahhahaha
best.

Me: dude
hahahahahaha
Erin: oh my god
Me: so in the meantime! before K started dating B, I was dating B's friend, Chad
that other entry was from 1/26/01
this is 4/8/01
"I'm kinda depressed. I was REALLY depressed but that's subdued a bit. See...what happened was this...Last weekend, B came over. We kissed and stuff."
"and stuff" is definitely my way of saying we fooled around
"Well, I was planning on telling Chad. I was! But I got online right after. Ok, now it's 4/18 but I'll finish writing this and then say some more"
wtf, self
Erin: ahaha
and stuff
Me: "When I got online, I started talking to Chad and my friend S. I didn't want to tell Chad over the Internet, so I figured I'd tell him later. He asked me on there if B tried anything. I said no. Soon after that, S asked me if anything had happened between me and B. I told her there were a few kisses but nothing else. She copy and pasted it to Chad. When he told me he knew, I got offline and called him and B on three-way"
OH MAN
WHY DID I DO THAT.
"I told him there was only one kiss."
I am a liar.
Erin: ahaha
what
is this
Me: "We stayed together but we were both depressed."
Erin: nice

Me: S was this girl who live in Ill. who resented me for making out with W
because they had some sort of long distance love affair
so she was constantly trying to long distance hook up with my boyfriends
best relationships ever!
Erin: hahaahahahahaa

Me: I have got to go dig out this diary and find out what else happened!
not that I don't remember
but I don't remember being such a huge slut
hahahahaa
Erin: good call
Me: here's some from 1997-8!
2/15/1997: Dear Diary, Updates on latest crush. C is so fine. He got his hair cut in a bowl cut (HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA) and it makes him look older."
Erin: bowl cut
what
Me: I am DYING
I can barely fucking breathe
Erin: ahhaah
nice
Me: SO FINE WITH HIS BOWL CUT
"Today, he was pretending he was going to murder me. He tied me up in the shed's attic and said he was going to rape me. He was just kidding of course. God, I wish he'd ask me out. I don't love him, but I like him a lot. Oh well. Bye!"
Erin: what
oh my god
Me: a) guess I got THOSE proclivities at an early age. b) rape me! just kidding! biggest crush evar!"
Erin: ahhaha
Me: "4-4-1998: Yesterday, at the Spring Dance, A.C. pressured me to dance with W.D. I told W '1 dance.' He likes me but I don't like him. After I danced with him, he wouldn't leave me alone so every time a slow song came on, I had to go across the gym! He's so annoying. I don't know what to do on monday. Oh well! Bye!"
wtf kind of sign off is that?
oh well!
bye!
we danced to Usher- Nice and Slow btw
I still remember it as a hugely humiliating moment
Erin: awwww
but probably the highlight of his life

Needless to say, I have some diary reading to do!

Friday, December 24, 2010

blood-alcohol content

J: Trivia by myself tonight. Woo.
Me: Knock 'em dead!
J: I'll try We'll see what happens. My secret weapon isn't here.
Me: Whiskey?
J: Well that too. I was talking about you and your talent for remembering weird things like bread ties.*
Me: Whiskey and I are basically the same thing. Drink up!

I'm beginning to think this is true, after evaluating the amount of whiskey consumed in the past few days. A rundown, complete with drink list:

Friday:
Place(s): Work party, St. Joe's
People: Coworkers, T Leeps
Drinks: A bottle of white wine, 2 whiskey sours
Work party had an open wine bar that I took full advantage of because I had to stay and help with clean up later. I made off with a ton of food and 2 more bottles of wine. Met Leeps later at St. Joe's and drank whiskey until I realized I was past getting drunk and was moving into getting sleepy. Signed a cast.

Saturday:
Place: Eileen's Apt.
People: Eileen, Josh, Kelly, lots of other BR people
Drinks: 1/2 bottle red wine
Stolen work wine came into play here. Caught up with a bunch of people who have moved to NOLA from BR and overcame some of my awkwardness about seeing people that I perceive as "Ravi's friends." Had a good time until someone (a same someone that set off some bottle rockets in a house one time) threw Eileen's neighbor's entire lawn furniture set into a fire. Neighbor brandished pistol. I brandished car keys and evacuated. 

Sunday:
Place: Bridge Lounge
People: Ann
Drinks: Whiskey Sour, Cranberry fig mojito
Ann and I met up, catched up, kvetched up and drank up. I was going to stick with the sour, but Ann got a limey mojito that I liked and drank for her (which ended up being a bad idea, as all the sugar in that drink sent my body into a 15 hour tailspin). Left after much soul spilling and hugs.

Monday:
Place: Markey's
People: Quintin & Phillip
Drinks: 3? whiskey sours
P was in town from China. I met him and Q in the Bywater (without getting lost/accidentally driving to the 9th ward) and we played lots of shuffleboard. I was awesome and dominated. Assisted with trivia by knowing the treaty that ended WWI, which U.S. presidents were assassinated, Napoleon's last battle and what Christmas character was created in 1939. Ravi came into town this night but I left the bar before he got there. Watched the eclipse until 2am, went to sleep, was awakened by Ravi tap, tap, tapping on my bedroom window because I left him a key, but still deadbolted the door. Destroyed any lingering feelings Ravi might have still had for me by wandering out on my couch with crazy hair, sleepy/confused/angry face and smelling like whiskey and cigs. Hello!

Tuesday:
Place(s): Reginelli's, Markey's, The Country Club
People: Ravi, Amy, Barrett, Phillip
Drinks: Bourbon milk punch
Ravi and I met up with Amy and Barrett at Reginelli's. I decided not to drink. Went to Markey's, played more shuffleboard, continued to rule. Amy and I decided to go check out the Country Club. Decided to break drinking ban upon seeing Bourbon Milk Punch special. Watched Nightmare Before Christmas and explained to Amy that Ravi and I were, in fact, broken up. She seemed embarrassed, but things were fine. Barrett and Phillip came over, also ordered milk punches. Phillip was called a douchebag by the bartender for not ordering his milk punch at the same time as Barrett did, but since he HAD, we defended him. Bartender called Phillip "baby." 

Wednesday:
Place: Pal's Lounge
People: Ravi, Ann
Drinks: 2 sangrias
Ravi and I met up with Ann at what is now my favorite NOLA bar. Made friends with dogs, talked about stalkers, drank, took photos in photobooth. Ravi wanted food and asked me to go to a Burger King, where we were accosted by some people who screamed at us to buy them food and then to let them have my car. I gave Ravi a million horrible looks and an irritated talking to about the food in my freezer that is perfectly edible. Ravi stayed up 'til 4am because he drank a coffee at 1am, while I slept peacefully.

Thursday:
Place: My bedroom
People: Marla (cat)
Drinks: Blue Moon
I found a beer in my fridge and drank it, then got a very rare craving for RED MEAT. Realized that I am entering my moon phase (i.e. my period is coming soon to theaters near you. Theaters of war. Okay, I'll stop.) Discussed meat eating with Ann:

me: annnnnn
ann: yes dear
me: I am kind of thinking of going to bud's
after your FB post
is this advisable?
ann: um, always
me: I've never been
ann: WHAT
yes
go
#4
with sauce
do it

me: is the bud's on city park a drive through?
or do you have to go in?
ann: go in
you want to go in
me: I ask because I need to know whether or not I need to put real pants on
ahahha okay
ann: you don't have to put on pants
me: I have leggings on
ann: that's def adequate
me: I've been drinking
which I think helps
"GIMME A 4. URRRRP"
ann: definitely the sauce
that's the most important

(ENTIRE LAST HALF OF THIS ENTRY WAS LOST. GAH.)

(the SAUCE pretty much made that burger. Which was really good, but now I had requisite red meat eating stomachache. Still pretty much worth it. Would eat again. One day.)

Other things I have done lately include:
-Decided that The Cars' "Just What I Needed" is on my possible karaoke songs shortlist.
-Ate at Dooky Chase, a delicious Christmas present from my boss. Also got to meet Leah Chase. Want cookbook for her gumbo z'herbes recipe now. Also want Cajun French Dictionary. Also want to use "ze" as my definite article)
-Breakfast with Ann and Ravi at Maple St. Patisserie
-Getting a new phone. Thank GOD. Really considering running over the BBerry with my car. What a fucking piece of garbage.
-Reading and sleeping a lot
-Arguing with people about the fact that I am not and am not planning on sleeping with Ravi while he is down. Seriously, assholes. We're not. Because we don't hate ourselves and each other enough to put ourselves through that kind of pain.
-Shopping for a TV stand, but never again at Salvation Army, where used and abused furniture costs more than you'd pay for it new!
-Playing SNES
-Cancelling plans because I needed a night off (though I really did want to see Brass Bed and Feufollet).

I'm also thinking about not getting a Ph.D, moving to Mid-City, painting my toenails, getting clavicle surface piercings, and listening to Sleater Kinney. Those things don't necessarily have anything to do with each other.

I think I'll finish that red wine and go to bed early. Livin' the dream, baby.

*different colored ties on bags of bread indicate which day the bread was baked. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"how can I explain, I need you here and not here too"

After my last post, I decided, seized as I was by my inability to leave things undone (for reference, this whole falling out happened a year and a half ago) and a flaring up of my superstitiousness, to refriend AA on Facebook. He accepted shortly after and I IMed him and sent him that post. We had a good talk and, in the end, I was glad I had followed up on my fit of pique.

I have this sort of awful habit of clinging to unresolved situations, of trying to "right" them, even, sometimes, to further detriment of the situation (and/or my own sanity). I can't stand a lack of finality or resolution when it comes to my friendships, even though I'm generally pretty avoidant when it comes to other sorts of confrontation. I don't quite understand it and I know it drives other people nuts, but I can't help it. I'll think things over until I'm obsessing about them, dreaming about them, trying to figure out something, SOMETHING that will make it better, even when sometimes "making it better" is just dropping it.

The best explanation I have is that my best friend, Candace, was killed when I was 17, in a car accident, while we were in the midst of a fight and not speaking to one another. A few years after that, when I was 21, a very close friend/ex-boyfriend died of cancer. I had been avoiding him due to some things occuring that I'm still not really able to write about. The thing with Candace ate away at me for years and it was only through distance and some pretty intense counseling that I was able to get (mostly) past that...guilt. Guilt mixed with something else...maybe stubborness and a general inability to forgive myself slights. But I think it goes back further than that; I can think of similar incidents years prior.

There's more to this, but seeing as how I've typed three different paragraphs and erased them, I don't think I can write more without rambling, so I'll leave it here for now.

I keep reading the lyrics to Of Montreal's "The Past is a Groteque Animal." The song isn't that fantastic, but the words are.

We want our film to be beautiful, not realistic.
Perceive me in the radiance of your terror dreams
and you can betray me
you can, you can betray me.

But teach me something wonderful.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

moon phase

I don't really buy into astrology. I'm not totally dismissive of it, but I'm not someone who checks their horoscope every morning, who dates only within astrologically-prescribed circles, etc. That said, I do believe in the power of coincidence.

About two weeks ago, I started thinking about what book I wanted to read for December and decided to finally read Revolutionary Road. I pulled it from my bookshelf, tossed it on the coffee table and promptly became engrossed in finishing finals. A week later, the person who gave me that book (AA) commented on friend's (MH) FB post, after I hadn't seen any comments from either in awhile (AA and I are not friends on FB anymore, which made it stand out even more to me when I saw his name on my feed.) The next night, I had an incredibly vivid dream about AA, in which he was carrying me on his back through the French Quarter and I pressed my cheek against his, my hair blowing in my eyes and yelled, "I've missed you!!!" and he said "Where have you been?!"

Tonight, after much cajoling from friends and the internet, I decided to stay up and watch the lunar eclipse, in part because I always miss these astronomical events that will never occur in my lifetime (Halley's Comet came to mind, but that actually happened in 1986, when I wasn't even one yet, so it's not like I'd remember it anyway) and because I think it'll be interesting to see. And I get to go into work late tomorrow because I have overtime. So I decided to finally start reading Revolutionary Road while I wait for 2:17 am to roll around. I opened the book, intentionally flipping past the inscription I knew was in the front cover because I didn't want it to depress me. But my curiosity got the best of me, and I flipped back to remind myself what it said.

Your friendship, like a full moon, burns with light.
-Faiz


Who would have known that someone who thought I was intimidating would now be such a good friend. I don't know if you will ever know how much I appreciate what you have done for me. This book is a very small token of my gratitude.


Love Sincerely,
A


hm.

Friday, December 17, 2010

the Real

Earlier, I was in Walgreen's (which was strangely packed for 11pm), buying cat food for Marla because I haven't had time or money to go get the fancy stuff. There was a 5 for $4 sale, so I dutifully grabbed 5 cans and stood in line. When I got up to checkout, the cashier started scanning the cans
"Man, your cat is gonna be pissed at you! You out here at 11 o'clock, just now gettin' supper."
"Yeah, I feel like a stereotypical cat lady--late night, in line with 5 cans of cat food."
"Yeah, you playin' games, out here flirtin' with me and you need to be at home feedin' that cat! Cat prolly at home, layin' on the couch, thinkin' 'where the hell my food?'"

Tonight marks the finale of my first semester of grad school. I have bruised finger tips and a new knowledge of my body's extreme reactions to stress to show for it. I emailed my paper to my teacher, with a note apologizing for the heavy use of Lacan and attached a photo of a dancing toy Rabbi. I hope he likes it (the paper and the photo). I sent off my 25-pager at 2:45 this morning. Logic dictates I should be asleep right now, but my sleeping habits are shot to hell and I still have something of an adrenaline rush lingering in my system from the rush to finish. I'd write something insightful about grad school and the past 4 months here, but I can't bear to think insightfully right now. I also can't bear to think of the words "narrative structure," "patriarchal," "the Symbolic," and "Wuthering Heights." I will also never name a child Catherine. Just typing those words made me twitch. Hopefully this is all worth some As.

People keep asking me what I'll be doing with my newly freed time. It's not really so free, but I do have a week off from school and work that I'm looking forward to. I have 5 drinking dates scheduled on my calendar for the next 6 days. A random list of things I hope/have to do:
-See Ann, Phillip, Ravi, Devon + BR people in general
-Buy, write and mail Christmas cards
-Finish Christmas shopping/start and finish Christmas baking
-Take a day trip somewhere
-Make curtains for my bedroom
-CLEAN MY HOUSE. I can hardly bear it right now.
-Get another bookshelf
-Rearrange the living room?
-Unpack boxes once and for all.
-Build/buy a spice rack?
-Read Revolutionary Road (this book has me thinking about an old friend a lot lately, which has been kind of depressing.)
-Buy textbooks
-Read The History of Sexuality
-Other stuff that I know I want to do but can't remember.

Mostly, I want a little breathing room. I've been going going going with school and work and seeing people and trying to make everything in my life balance and be good. And those things are fulfilling to me, but I also just want a day that has nothing to do with someone else. That's maybe part of the reason I moved here, to reclaim that sense of myself and while, in some ways, I've felt that acutely, I also feel like something is lacking a bit right now. That...awareness (I can't think of a better word right now; forgive me) that was so accessible when I first moved here has gotten buried a bit. I think some alone time would help with that.

dream time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

humankind

When I said I was exhausted in my last post, I couldn't even conceive of how I was going to feel yesterday. Have you ever had a stress stomachache? I never had before, but I ended (I guess...I don't really know where Sunday ended and today began) the evening curled up in a ball, willing my stomach to stop attacking itself.

I spent a large part of Sunday in the library, lying on a couch in the 3rd floor study area and frantically writing a paper that was due today. I started to get hungry around noon and decided that, since PJs wasn't going to be open until 4, I should go home and cook some lunch. I made a black bean burrito and got through about half of it before deciding that food was a bad idea. My anxiety about my paper growing, I also emailed my teacher around this time, asking for an extension. I went back to the library and steadily spiraled downward. I started having trembling fits and nausea. I spent the next hour and a half throwing up everything I'd eaten since Saturday night (half a burrito and a banana. substantial!), because my body deals with stress by purging. Then the stomachache started. It was this deep in my center, burning, twisting feeling...like someone had set fire to my insides and was hitting them with a mallet. Every time I'd come to a block in a sentence, it would flare up. A particularly upbeat song on the iPod would cause it to twist. Nothing would make it go away. At one point, I was on my back on the couch, shaking all over, listening to Bee Hives and trying breathing exercises to no avail. I was getting pretty worried that I was drawing attention to myself so I came home and immediately got in the shower.

I wish I could write my paper in the shower. It never fails that, when I am under tons of stress, a shower will calm me. I put my shower cap on and sat directly under the spray, letting the rain sound and the water block out the world for a little while. I sprawled on my back and let the water spray on my stomach and the ache went away a bit.

When I got out, I wrote some more and decided, around 1am, to try and get some sleep. Except sleep was a mishmash of stomachache, shakes, worrying and lucid dreams (I always have those when I'm very stressed) where I kept thinking "When I wake up, I have to..." followed by some absurd task like "write a 14 page paper on carpal tunnel release surgery...it's due tomorrow!"I finally gave it up around 5am, made some tea and wrote some more, while getting sicker and sicker at the thought that my teacher wasn't going to grant me an extension. I caught another quick nap at 6:30am and then went to work...where my teacher FINALLY emailed me to tell me that I had until Thursday(!!!) morning to turn the paper in.

And, as miserable as today was, it was also kind of a reminder of how great people can be sometimes. In addition to my professor, Alyson spent a big part of the morning talking to me, sending me funny links (and some links to Tulane's mental health services website). Nancy bought me lunch (soup, since food still didn't sound or feel like a good idea. My boss bought me dinner (which I didn't really eat, but appreciated). My co-workers took some of my work. I called my mom. And it helped, a lot.

I was talking to both Alyson and my mom about how awful and debilitating my stress and anxiety were, how it had kind of taken me by surprise to be that physically affected. My mom reminded me that, on top of school stress, it was the holiday season (she's pretty familiar with my breakdowns around this time of year), that I was probably still dealing with the breakup, that I've been stressed about money, that I just started back on birth control and that all these things combined could have a pretty cataclysmic effect on my body. She's right, of course. I've been priding myself on how well I've been dealing with life lately, but maybe I've just been pressing it all down, into a huge knot in my stomach.

I also think that the help of people today was especially meaningful to me, because last night, I wanted to  be held so badly. I ached for physical contact, for someone to just put their arms around me and let me hide in them for a bit. Sometimes I joke about wanting one of those hug machines, because when I get really keyed up or sad, I just want something to stabilize my body. Since I don't have a hug machine or a hugger, I packed pillows up around myself, put an extra blanket on bed and Marla sealed me in by sleeping at the top of my head.

Friday, December 10, 2010

hit the wall hit the wall hit the wall

I'm exhausted.

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean much, since I still have a lot left to do in the immediate future. I have a 20 page annotated biblio that's due Monday afternoon, that I have not even approached "almost done" on. I have a 7-page final due for the bullshit class. I've done a bit of re-reading for that and taken about a page of notes. It'll come together fine. I just need to sit down and type it out, but every time I decide to just get it out of the way, my brain starts its slow-burn freakout about the bibliography and I go back to read/note-taking for that. I also have a load of stuff to do at work, so much that one of my doctors asked if I'd spent the night at her place to help her finish this stuff in exchange for some overtime cash money. I didn't say no.

I canceled a trip to Baton Rouge for Friday night that I've been planning for about 3 weeks. I almost let myself get talked back into going by some friends, but I can't justify it. I can't justify driving down there and spending money (because all I really want to do is get wonderfully, obliviously drunk) and time that I don't really have, especially when I'll probably be there the weekend after anyway. It hurts though, because  if there was ever a time that I wanted a break from reality, it's right now. I wanted to see music and dance and see all my friends and sleep on Christie's couch. I need some platonic love.

I've done really well at holding up so far, in the face of school/work stress + holiday/winter blues, but I can feel myself trying to slip into that place in my mind where I just want to be dark and dreary, mad and sad. I notice myself slipping into eating habits that are indicative of ED-land and I've made a concerted effort to put a stop to that immediately. I'm just kind of burnt out and I keep telling myself, "I will do this after Monday..." So far, that list consists of:
-Cleaning the house (this is kind of a nightmare at the moment)
-Get drinks with Ann
-Go to BR
-Write and mail Christmas cards
-Go thrift shopping for winter clothes (I've been cobbling together cold-weather outfits. Tonight, I wore leggings, a jersey summer skirt, an ACL t-shirt, a hoodie, a pashmina and flats to the library.)
-Go to the bank
-Figure out what I'm baking for Christmas (spoiler alert: if you get a present from me, it will be baked goods)
-Call my mom

I'm running on nervous energy right now (which probably has something to do with my recently-gone-to-shit sleeping habits--vicious cycle there), and I need it to last me just a little bit longer until I can crash.

Not everything is terrible though. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone who is coming into town for the holidays. Ann is already here, Phillip is in from China, Ravi and Devon will both be coming in around the end of the month. So the idea of fun soon kind of sustains me. The idea of getting done with classes and getting A's also sustains me.

So let's end on a good note. Marla is snuggling with me right now. My sweet neighbors (or "gaybors," as they refer to themselves) decked our 4-plex out for the holidays and it looks amazing. I bought this dress and it came in today and looks fantastic on. I'm going to wear it to a party that I'm attending as Alyson's date. I made amends (I think) with someone. I've been listening to Brendan Canning's "Something for All of Us" and it has been doing double duty as a walking/dancing and a study soundtrack. Check it:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"I like it all that way"

So, I wrote an article for goodnola.com called "Why I Volunteer." It actually took me much longer than I thought it would to write it because I realized, in the midst of it, that I had never quite thought about why I like to volunteer before. I'm happy with the way the article turned out though. I tried to keep it from getting too preachy.

This week has been insane but fun. Last night, A, B & C + me went out with our professor to Bruno's, where we had beers and talked about the ethics of humanism vs. those of religion. And we talked about silly stuff too :) The good doctor thinks I should be doing a Ph.D and waved away the list of reasons I gave him for why I'm NOT doing one right now (chief among them is my GPA). He wants me to come meet with him to discuss this, but considering he doesn't remember names from class to class (including those who have had him for multiple classes), I'm guessing that if I actually showed for our meeting, he'd have no idea what I was talking about.

I took off of work today because I have a paper to finish (that I'm so obviously working on!). Before coming to the library, B and I had coffee and stopped by the Maple Street Patisserie, where I had a pretty incredible guava jelly and cream cheese turnover. It was a nice way to spend the morning, before diving into some serious psychoanalysis. 

This Friday, A and I have plans to get eggnog daiquiris and go to Bed, Bath and Beyond in Metairie, in order to seek out a snowman that "pop, locks, and drops it" to Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz "Get Low." Nothing screams Christmas cheer like a snowman singing "aw skeet skeet, motherfucker!"  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm the kinda that you wanna

I've been in one of those paradoxical moods, where I am craving to be alone but also want to be around certain people. Because of school, being alone has won out. It hasn't been that bad though. I spent yesterday napping and going to the library. Today, after a hellish night due to a slight fever and the cats, I woke up and washed a blanket that a cat angrily peed on, before baking some bourbon-spiked banana nut bread to bring to work for breakfast this week. It came out really nicely.

I decided to walk to the library but when I stepped outside, I wanted some coffee so I walked down to Rue. Unfortunately, they were really packed, so I just turned and left and went to the library as originally planned. I read some Bersani and took some notes for awhile. Eventually, I started getting hungry and, not wanting to let things get too out of hand when I had 18 blocks to walk home, I left. I got my car and went to Rouses', where I walked around for a little while. One of my favorite things to do when I'm feeling particularly stressed is to wander around the grocery store. It's incredibly soothing to me for some reason. I ended up buying 2 apples (one of which I roasted with some cauliflower for dinner), a jar of Stubb's BBQ sauce, a loaf of bread, some grapefruit juice and a jug of sweet tea.

I think I've been kind of a weirdo lately, really inside my own head and indulging all my introvert behaviors (see: long walks, rambling grocery store jaunts, long out-of-the-way drives, going through old photos) but I've also been happy with myself. Sometimes, I like being the crazy cat lady.

101 in 1001- November update

17) Get another ear piercing.
I got my tragus pierced this month, as a birthday present from my parents. Christie went with me to get it done. I considered going to a different piercing shop, but ended up going to my old standby, BR Tattoo Clinic. I'm pretty pleased with the result. As Christie and I were leaving, a lady asked me what I had gotten done. I showed her and she gasped and said, "did that HURT?"I said, "Well, not too bad. I mean, you didn't hear me scream, did you?" She scoffed and said, "Girl, don't play. You know you about to go sit out in the car and cry."





19) Read 1 unassigned book per month.
November '10- Paule Marshall- Praisesong for the Widow
This was a beautiful novel. It focuses on one woman's recovery of her heritage through a series of seemingly benign events that turn out to be life-altering. A lot of the book is told in flashback. Though the main character is African-American and much of the book is focused on a specifically African heritage, I still found myself relating to the larger message about embracing and celebrating your past.

23) See 26 movies I've never seen, starting with each letter of the alphabet.
G- The Girl on the Bridge (1999)

24) Learn 1 new word a week.
Curistic- This one is actually kind of difficult to define, as it apparently no longer shows up in dictionaries, but the best way I can think to put it is a means of communication that relies on experience and connections between people, rather than a set of rules dictated by hegemony.
Isogram- A line drawn on a map connecting two points having the same numerical value of some variable.
Disembroil- free (someone or something) from confusion
Taki-Taki- An English-based Creole language of Suriname
Ingeminate- repeat or reiterate a word, typically for emphasis

29) Go on a date.
I actually started out the month with a date with J, at Port Royale. I guess we could call it a date. He wasn't sure, so he brought a friend. Then, because I hadn't eaten, I got pretty sick (not sick vomiting but blood sugar sick) from the 2 whiskey sours I drank and J accompanied me to McDonald's, where I got some fries. I would have actually had another date this month too, but I got accidentally stood up. I really know how to get back in the dating world!

Full list here

Saturday, November 27, 2010

whisper in my ear

I've been half considering starting some sort of blog/tumblr/twitter/socialmediajumbliation to give short accounts of weird things that have been said/have happened to me in amorous situations. This probably won't come to fruition because I tend to have a bad case of posting remorse and a well-honed sense of guilt when it comes to posting potentially hurtful things about people.

In lieu, here's my current favorite thing that's been said to me (during a make out session):
"What ethnicity are you?"

It was actually kind of flattering, in context but I like it as a stand-alone comment.

Unrelated: I have a bad habit of vaguely looking up and half-smiling when I notice people in my periphery. I say bad habit because, while polite, it more often than not leads to me making inappropriate eye contact. In the last hour, I've been winked at and gotten an incredulous look. Last week at work, I caught a guy scratching his crotch. We were both mortified.

Friday, November 19, 2010

pacing

Good things right now:
-People who love me and who I love
-A decided lack of cynicism
-Money
-A lot of fun lately
-New friends
-Independent study option for lit crit
-Weight loss, despite my crap eating habits lately
-Writing
-Job
-Lots of plans with friends in the very near future

Bad things right now:
-A lot of school work to do
-Never enough money
-Never enough time
-Flaky skin

This is a good pace.

Monday, November 15, 2010

who knows?

Gaev: You'll die, all the same.
Trofimov: Who knows? And what does it mean--you'll die? Perhaps a man has a hundred senses, and when he dies only the five known to us are destroyed and the remaining ninety-five are left alive.
Chekhov- "The Cherry Orchard"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

hip as fuck

Ann:but yeah, you're pretty much a hipster
as defined by clothes, haircut, and music
i think
Me:hahhahaa obviously
I guess. I like indie bands and I have bangs
Ann:YES
Me:clothes might be questionable
Ann:HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
i am lolling
Me:hahahaha
Ann:YES YES
Me:I have thrift store dresses

Friday, November 12, 2010

motivational speaker

R: so i got really depressed last night. "we make our own gravity to give weight to things, and then things fall and then they break and gravity sings" showed up in my feed as one of ___ statuses

i googled it and realized it was an ani song that you listened to a lot while we were breaking up
hour follows hour or something

me: yeah
I'm sorry

R: it's ok
not your fault or anything

me: I will say, it was a song I listened to because it made me feel better about the breakup

R: just an association

me: its one of those "no one's fault" songs

R: that's what songs are for

me: yeah

R: it's a pretty song

(...)
me: I liked the line "the most we can do is see each other through it"
you know, not to be...callous? but it's weird for me to hear that you were depressed
not that I don't think the breakup didn't affect you

(...)

me: but you're a lot more stoic than me and I'm not used to the idea of you getting depressed
and it kind of surprised me for a second, the idea that you might still get sad about it even though I still do and that's kind of obvious

I never really realized how much that song resonated for me until I just listened to it again.

Hour Follows Hour
Hour follows hour like water follows water
Everything is governed by the rule that one thing leads to another
You can't really place blame, 'cause blame is much too messy
Someone was bound to get it on you while you were trying to put it on me.

And don't fool yourself into thinking things are simple
Nobody's lying, still the stories don't line up
Why do you try to hold on to what you'll never get a hold on
You wouldn't try and put the ocean in a paper cup

'Cause I have had something to prove
As long as I know there's something that needs improvement
And you know that every time I move
I make a woman's movement

And first you decide what you've gotta do
and then you go out and do it
And maybe the most that we can do
is to see each other through it

Hour follows hour like water in a river
And from one to the next, we don't know what each hour will deliver
We just call it like we see it, call out loud as we can
And then afterwards we call it all water over the dam

Maybe the moral high ground isn't as high as it seems
Maybe we are both good people whove done some bad things
I just hope it was okay, I know it wasn't perfect
I just hope in the end we can laugh and say it was all worth it

'Cause I have had something to prove

As long as I know there's something that needs improvement
And you know that every time I move
I make a woman's movement

And first you decide what you've gotta do
and then you go out and do it
And maybe the most that we can do
is to see each other through it

We make our own gravity to give weight to things
Then things fall and they break and gravity sings
We can only hold so much, is what I figure
We try and keep our eye on the big picture
And the picture keeps getting bigger

And too much is how I love you but too well is how I know you
And I've got nothing to prove this time, just something to show you
I guess I just wanted you to see
That it was all worth it to me

Thursday, November 11, 2010

do dates

 Skip this entry. I just need to lay this stuff out so I can see it in a list.

Read:
A book for November
Chekhov- "The Cherry Orchard"- Nov 16
Cicero- Book 2 On the Ideal Orator- Nov 17
Eagleton, Said and Armstrong articles- Nov 18
Hurston- Their Eyes Were Watching God- Nov 23 (I'm totally not going to read this, even though I keep telling myself I will. I've already read it twice.)
Cicero- Book 3 On the Ideal Orator- Dec 1
5 articles for Annotated Biblio
     Regina Barreca, “Sex and the Feminine Text in Wuthering Heights
     Stevie Davies, “Baby-Work: The Myth of Rebirth in Wuthering Heights
     Margaret Homans, “The Name of the Mother in Wuthering Heights
     Beth Newman, “‘The Situation of the Looker-On: Gender, Narration, and Gaze in Wuthering Heights
     Patricia Yaeger, “Violence in the Sitting Room: Wuthering Heights and the Woman’s Novel”
A book for December

Write:
Assessment- Cicero (Book 2)- Nov 17
Good Nola Article- Nov 22
Assessment- Cicero (Book 3)- Dec 1
English Final- Dec 2
Good Nola Article- Dec 4
Bullshit Class Final- Dec 7
Rhetoric Final- Dec 8
Annotated Biblio- Dec 10

dizzy dizzy bright and busy

In some sense, right now, I am well and royally fucked. I get paid once a month and this past check was spent making up debts from my months of unemployment. Plus spent drinking a bit too much. So now, I have about $120 to last me until November 30th and I still have 3 bills due. I'm hoping for a bit of birthday money to tide me over and I'm going to break out a fancy new credit card to toss some debt around until I get my tax refund in January and I can pay everything off. Financial responsibility, ya'll.

What this means right now is that I am on none of my medication. No birth control, no Byetta, no Metformin, no Spironolactone. Complicating this is the fact that the prescriptions on the metformin and the spironolactone have run out, meaning I need to go see a doctor again. And when I go see a doctor, they're going to want to run bloodwork to see what's going on and I'm willing to bet they'll want to run a glucose test.  In short, this will be expensive. So, I'm not sure what to do here. I'm looking at different doctors I can see and there's a possibility that I can have the bloodwork drawn and run at my old job (where it would be free), but that would mean driving to Baton Rouge. I'm worrying a lot about this, because not being on my medication is having some really noticible effects. My skin is flaking and breaking out (this is not just due to colder weather. My skin has never done this before.), which is very sexy, as you might imagine. When I eat any sugar, I feel awful. It literally hurts. My co workers bought me a birthday cake today and I had one small piece. I've spent the hour and a half since, shivering, aching and blinking to try and erase the bluriness. I don't know how to describe your blood hurting but that's what it feels like. It burns and aches deep in my veins. This, in turn, makes me incredibly anxious. I'm a fucking bag of laughs to be around right now. A few weeks ago, I went out drinking with J and I had 2 whiskey sours on an empty stomach. 20 minutes later, I very nearly passed out at the bar. Even when I DO eat right (and I'm trying very hard to do that), I still feel awful. I've been sleeping a lot lately and I'm still constantly exhausted and sick feeling. Coffee almost makes it worse. So I've been taking vitamins and drinking tons of water. It's the best I can do right now.

So anyway, I don't know what I'm going to do right now. I've started drawing up a budget, a vert strict budget and I HAVE to make myself stick to it. I've budgeted the cost of the medications after insurance (which won't be accurate soon anyway, FUCK.) and if I can't get them filled again, I'll throw that money into savings (no money is currently budgeted for savings. I have to pay shit off first.). Christmas gifts are probably not happening this year, except maybe the parents, and even then they're going to be cheap. I might just bake for everyone. That depresses me though, because I really enjoy giving gifts to people. I'd had this whole plan to make preserves for people and give them out but, as cheap as that might be, I don't think it's in the budget.

Even with all that though, life isn't terrible. My mom is taking me to dinner for my birthday (which is Saturday). Christie is coming to visit for the weekend and we're going to write and walk and drink wine (great idea, right?) and I might make some chana masala and roasted cauliflower because I have the ingredients and it is cheap and delicious. I was invited to a party on Sunday by a classmate (the same one who offered to let me shower at her place when my hot water went out) and she's coming over, with another classmate, on Tuesday to hang out, so I'm excited about that. Genuinely excited because both of them are people I've wanted to get to know better for most of the semester. Also because, hey ma! I done made some friends in this here big city! I'm writing, both publically for goodnola and privately. As in poems. As in, wow, I have written nothing new in almost two years but this is happening. I don't have much time between school and work and homework, but, despite everything, things are good. I just hope I don't pass out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I forgot to publish this post when I first wrote it. It's now dated, but I like it.

I really enjoy the little routine I have set up for myself in the last couple of months. Oh man, I've lived here for multiple months! Of all my routines, I like my nighttime one best of all--I turn off the window unit in the living room and wake Marla on the couch. "Come on, bearcat! Time for bed!" Marla wakes and stands, waiting as I go to the bathroom to take my birth control. Once I gather my things to bring to the bedroom (normally a book and my phone, sometimes the laptop), she jumps off the couch and trots to the bedroom. If I'm going straight to sleep, I'll get comfortable and prepare a pillow lengthways beside me for her to lie on. She's a great companion. Lately, I've had a semi-irrational fear that she will pass away (she is approx. 9 years old, so my fears aren't totally unfounded), so I've taken extra care to snuggle her. I want to bring her to the vet soon, just to assuage my worries.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"i just want to be me/when I can, I will"

Christie and I were talking earlier and I told her that so many parts of my life are converging right now that it makes me think I'll look back on this time of my life and see it was an important one.

I've had a lot going on lately, not just in the here and now. In terms of the smaller things, I went out with my neighbors and made friends with them. I've been busy with school and work and I'm broke only 8 days into the month, which only drives it home that I need to draw up a strict budget and stick to it (though, in my defense, much of the money I've spent has been catching up bills that I was overdue on from unemployment times). But there's also the bigger stuff. I suppose what's of the most interest to anyone reading is that I've started seeing someone. Ravi knows about it and approves (not that he'd ever act as though that was his right) and the guy, J, is a good guy. It is, admittedly, a bit of a struggle  to adapt to the idea of dating again. Not just "getting back in the dating world" but the finality it implies for Ravi and I. I haven't held on to any ideas we'd be getting back together (in fact, we've both been encouraging each other to see other people), but it's still hard to move on from that relationship and finalize that end by moving on. That said, it's been very very fun to start seeing J and maybe that's a story I'll tell on here when I'm a little more comfortable with opening up about him in this forum. 

But there are other changes happening and those are a little quieter. I spent a big part of this past summer weeding out people in my life who I felt were not good for me. The next part of that is weeding out the parts of myself that aren't good for me. I've felt very good, mentally and emotionally, these past months, despite a breakup, move, and stint of unemployment that would have been devastating to me a few years ago. But I've also been carefully monitoring myself to try and keep those old negativities at bay. I've worked very hard to be frank about anything I need to say, instead of passive-aggressively goading people into getting me to say what I need to say to them. I've learned (and will learn over and over again) how to keep my mouth shut when what I have to say isn't beneficial and I've self-censored when there's something I want to say that will hurt someone else (unless the benefit is worth more). I've tried to mend some broken bridges, but also tried to keep toxic people away. I mean, obviously I'm not perfect and these behaviors will still occur but I'm working to curb them. 

Fall and winter always push me inside myself. In the past, I think that's why it was always so easy to get down, because I was so in my head and what was there was not happy. It's probably also why I started romances at those times, because I needed someone else to be there for me when I couldn't be there for myself (for the record, I've considered that might be where this thing with J is coming from, but I'm pretty sure its not). But it's also always the time I feel most alive, most myself. And right now, I feel that in a really pure way, almost raw. Like some sort of barebones structure of myself. I almost revel sometimes, in the idea that I am DOING THIS, I am broke and alone and HAPPY. And even though I'm not completely alone, I'm here alone and I'm not sad about it. In fact, in a recent conversation about the benefits of moving back to Baton Rouge, I firmly stated my intention to be here for "awhile." It's just something I have to do for myself and something that I may not ever have the chance to do again--to live for myself only. There's something huge in that, almost overwhelming when I consider it too much. There is this profound joy in very small things, like yesterday morning, I woke up early, leaving J sleeping, and made coffee in the french press and sat reading Chekhov in my office (what will one day be my dining room) and listening to Simon and Garfunkel while Marla sat in my lap. 

I'm half considering deleting this whole entry because I feel like I can't quite express what I want to say, but I think I'll leave it here for my own reference right now. 

Also, I've been reminded that, no matter what's going on in life, I still want to listen to Smashing Pumpkins when it's cold outside. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

where you went when you were alive

I've been shitty about updating lately, but only because I've been super busy. Between a full time job, full time school and trying to maintain a social life, things have been...cramped. But I'm not complaining, because this has been such an excellent month.

One of my best friends from high school, Chad, came to visit me. It was sort of strange seeing him, because I last saw him three years ago, after he moved back from Florida. He'd moved there to be with a girl I couldn't stand and he didn't really talk to me for about 2 years. But when he came to visit, we fell back into our old camaraderie and inside jokes. We went to Angeli's and the aquarium and we got ice cream at Haagan Daaz. It was just so good to see him and reminisce.

I found out my friend Nancy works in the same building as I do, and we've been having lunch together a lot. I've gone to a couple events at her place (a movie night and pumpkin carving), which has been nice both for hanging out with people and for having a fun evening for free.

My hot water inexplicably stopped working for about a week, which sucked. I was telling a girl in my class about it and she insisted that I come take a shower at her house if it didn't get turned back on soon.

I volunteered at Hollygrove Market and got free produce. I wrote a story for Goodnola.com about it, which should be published very soon. I'm working on another piece about why I volunteer and then I'll do another one on Nancy's theatre company, Girl Next Door Theater.

I did a lot of hanging out in Baton Rouge and I slept on Christie's couch and loved on my wonderful friends. I went to a wedding and ate brunch, I (re)met a guy(!), I went to Carlotta, I got drunk.

I had a series of conversations with Ravi about potentially starting to date other people and he has been nothing but awesome and loving and supportive. I told other friends about this and they were amazed. But it's really important to Ravi and I to be friends above everything else, to give each other mutual respect and support. I'm not being smug and saying my breakup is better than yours, but we were lucky to have a strong basis for our relationship and enough love between us to maintain it.

I went to Bourbon St. with another old friend, Michael, for Halloween (its been the month for reuniting with people) and we drank hand grenades, danced at gay bars, got loud and silly, screamed in shock at a girl walking down Bourbon with NO SHOES ON (NEVER DO THIS.) and got Popeyes' fried chicken at 1am. This morning, we went walking, had lunch at Panchitas and bought vintage t-shirts at Skip 'n' Whistle.

The job has been good and things are going really well at school. My lit. crit. professor invited me to a seminar, being held by a very prominent critic. He specifically mentioned that only certain students were being invited. :D I'm sad that I can't take any English classes next semester, but I'm scheduling 4 MLA classes, so it might actually be possible for me to complete this degree in a year and a half, like I want to do.

Today, I was walking down Carrollton, to go get an iced coffee from Z'OTZ, and I was listening to BSS. It reminded me of when I first moved here. I'd walk to Oak St. a lot, just to get out of the house, and those walks were sort of wondrous for me--the idea that I was walking around MY neighborhood in New Orleans, my new home, coming to terms with being alone and unemployed. I was so sad, but also happy in a burgeoning way, confused, lost but determined. All that washed over me as I walked and then I thought about how much better things have gotten in the past few months, how happy I was right there, right now. This is bliss.

101 in 1001- October update

18) Read 10 books from the Bloom Canon.
1) Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice
Yes, I'd never read Pride and Prejudice. Yes, this might make me a bad English major. What might make me a worse one is that, while I thought it was a good page turner, I didn't think it was an amazing book. I get the importance of it, but I'm going to stick with E. Bronte.

19) Read 1 unassigned book per month.
October '10- Stuart Berman- This Book is Broken: A Broken Social Scene Story
This was a pretty decent book. It does a great job of discussing the formation of the band, but I thought it kind of avoided discussing the conflict that is mentioned later in the book. Considering half the book is devoted to pre-band talk, it was sort of odd to gloss over things like relationships, divorces and, more pertinently, the almost-break up of the group. This could be due to the fact that the book was written by a friend of the band. Nevertheless, it was an informative read and there are some great pictures.

23) See 26 movies I've never seen, starting with each letter of the alphabet.
A- Ajami (2009)
E- Effi Briest (1974)
V- Volcano (1997)

24) Learn one new word a week.
Irruption- enter forcibly or suddenly
Epiphenomenon- a secondary effect or byproduct that arises from but does not causally influence a process
Vadose- relating to or denoting underground water above the water table
Prelapsarian- characteristic of the time before the Fall of Man; innocent and unspoiled

67) Learn to make 6 different cocktails from memory
1) Pimm's Cup (from the Napoleon House)
1 1/4 oz. Pimms #1
3 oz. lemonade
7-Up
Cucumber slices

Pour Pimms and lemonade over ice. Top off with 7-Up. Garnish with cucumber (I like to muddle the cucumber into the drink before putting it over ice)

73) Create an organized filing system for important documents.
Now my tax forms, passport, birth certificate, lease, and financial aid documents each have a place to live that isn't "giant stack shoved in a desk drawer!"

Full list here

Friday, October 22, 2010

"used to be one of the rotten ones and I liked you for that"

Yesterday in my literary criticism class, we were talking about Lacan's Mirror Stage and my teacher kept restating what the Mirror Stage was and how it "works." He followed this by saying, "I know I'm repeating myself, but this is a difficult point to understand. Difficult but important."

Sometimes I feel like that's the importance of this blog for me. I know I write a lot about the same topics, sometimes in the same way. But I'm going through something so huge right now, that I have to keep re-articulating it to myself, in every way that I know how to understand it because it's important to me to get it down. Important because I know I will want to read this over at some point in the future and I will want to know/reexperience what I was feeling here.

And in that vein of Lacan (sorry guys, we're taking a trip down psychoanalytic lane), I keep thinking to myself that the words are never going to be enough, that they will never be able to express the cadence of the emotions I've experienced in these past few months--those things are bigger than language, but the realm of language is all I have to express them, so I have to keep repeating it with all the words I know, cover as many facets of it as possible and hope that I'm giving myself a picture complete enough that I'll be able to evoke some of those feelings.

So I hope I don't become too irritating when I try to express all this clutter in my head, when I re-express it over and over and over.

Living in New Orleans is funny for me. Growing up so close to NOLA has the duel function of giving me more than a passing familiarity with the city but, within that, an understanding of how dear New Orleanians hold their city. The other day, I was talking to Erin and we talked about Chicago winter. She said she was scared of it and I said, "But once you get through it, you'll be a true Chicagoean!" And perhaps (of COURSE) a native Chicagoean would have something to say about that, but it's a measure of...of what? Of being true to a city, I suppose. But here, I always have Katrina lurking in the background, that thought of the worst thing one could tough out in this city, the biggest thing it could demand of its residents. When people from New Orleans talk about New Orleans, they are almost always talking about the city in pre and post terms. It has become one of those defining moments for New Orleans. I wasn't here for that and I'm glad I wasn't, but in some sense, Katrina put up a wall. You can belong to this city, you can call yourself a New Orleanian and embrace this culture, but if you want to be embraced in return, there's a certain amount of work to do and a piece of yourself that I think you must be willing to give.

I grew up loving New Orleans in a way that many who grew up in South Louisiana are probably familiar with--loving it as a city of escape. But moving here, being here, has been a metamorphosis of that love. I started wanting to belong here, be someone of here. I can imagine how this pales in comparison to the love of this city that a native feels, but it grows everyday. It grows when I merge on the interstate and pass the Superdome, when I have to take a "New Orleans left" to get home, when I drive down St. Charles, when I walk to Rue...it is that part of myself that is giving itself over to becoming one with this place, that is becoming inextricably attached to everything that New Orleans represents for me. And I think that, mostly, that's what this city demands. An unbreakable commitment that is beyond expression, but not beyond feeling.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"come on, it's such a joy"

I've spent most of this week reeling from the sudden change to my schedule. When I was unemployed, I'd usually stay up til 2 or 3 am, sleep til 11 then spend the rest of the day reading and going to class. Now, I feel like I'm back in my undergrad days. I'm particularly unlucky to have acquired a job right in the middle of midterms; I put off a midterm that I then realized was due a day earlier than I had originally assumed. This midterm is important to me because a) it's for literary criticism, a subject dear to me and b) the teacher is someone I very much hope to impress because I would like a recommendation letter from him when Ph.D time comes. So I worked from 10pm until 5am. I decided to go to bed at that time, because I only had a few more quote to organize and a conclusion to write before I turned it in later in the day. But I drank a huge glass of iced coffee around midnight and had paper-writing jitters, so I rolled around in bed for an hour, despite employing every single old method for overcoming insomnia that my old therapist gave me. The last time I looked at the clock, it was 5:35 and I guess I dozed off somewhere around there. I woke up at 6:50 and took a hot shower. That water could not get hot enough. I felt clammy and sick and I just wanted to be warm. I got out, wrapped up in a towel and finished the paper on the bathroom floor. Then I went to work and, later, class, on one hour of sleep. When I was finally able to sleep last night, it was my deepest sleep in recent memory. I haven't really been sleeping well since the breakup, waking up at least twice a night and sleeping very lightly. Last night, I slept for 11 hours, slept so hard that I don't even remember dreaming and when I woke up, I felt like I was still asleep. 

But I like the job well enough (though apparently I walked right into some sort of lady secretary turf war that my trainer keeps trying to enlist me in). I actually hope they give me more work than what I currently have, otherwise, I think I'm going to be bored a lot. I have my own office, I'm working for 4 very friendly doctors and most of my co-workers seem amiable enough. But there is one thing--everyone there calls me Amanda. This started because it was what was on my application and resume. When they called me for an interview, I didn't want to establish any kind of casualness for fear of looking unprofessional (yeah, I don't know.). Then I felt silly saying, "By the way, call me 'Mandi'" after 3 meetings. So I've been answering to and introducing myself as "Amanda." This has also happened in my English class, because I was intimidated by my teacher at first. Being called "Amanda" is uncanny for me in a way. I am just extraordinarily unaccustomed to it. The only time I'm ever called "Amanda" is when my friends are joking with me. My mom has called me by "Amanda" 3 times, ever. Even just seeing it typed out is strange to me--I have a "that's not my name" feeling toward it. I've slowly started correcting a few people here and there, so maybe it will change. But admittedly, there is this part of me that likes the feeling of having assumed some sort of fake identity (in the form of my "real" name). 

One thing I don't like about the new job is that I only get paid once a month, at the end of each month. Because of that, I've had to go off a lot of medication, including my birth control, which is $47 until I hit my deductible. The birth control will be the first thing to come back when I get money (trust me when I say that I am not a good person to be around when not on my BC) but the rest of it may have to wait, because I'll be playing catch up with this first paycheck.

I'm glad that it finally feels like life coming together, that it's getting good in a fuller sense (i.e. not just good moments in a sea of "okay" or sometimes "not okay" and "bad"). Autumn is here, accompanied by some absolutely gorgeous weather. I have an income. I have three stories on the roster for GoodNola. I am having a mild flirtation with a guy in my class. Classes are going well. I've lost (more) weight. I met some people and hopefully I'll work up the nerve to hang out with them again (I don't think I'd realized how bad my social anxiety had gotten until I was nearly overcome with fear when I went to meet Nancy the other night and there was a large crowd of strangers in her midst, strangers I knew I would have to talk to. I ended up having a lovely evening and meeting a new friendly person). I've gotten into a habit of writing little cards and notes to people, which makes me exceedingly happy because I find great joy in handwritten messages (sorry about my penmanship, everyone). I made up with an old old friend and we've talked on the phone twice this week. He's coming to visit and take me to the aquarium this weekend. It feels good to do things. I know that's the simplest sentence ever, but it's true and it is. 

I just can't do people. Why you gotta be so expensive, birth control?

class and human practice

...we have to say first that there are no relations between literature and society in that abstracted way. The literature is there from the beginning as a practice in the society. Indeed until it and all other practices are present, the society cannot be seen as fully formed. A society is not is not fully available for analysis until each of its practices are included. But if we make that emphasis we must make a corresponding emphasis: that we cannot separate literature and art from other kinds of social practice, in such a way as to make them subject to quite special and distinct laws. They may have quite specific features as practices, but they cannot be separated from the general social process. Indeed one way of emphasizing this is to say, to insist, that literature is not restricted to operating in any one of the sectors I have been seeking to describe in this model. It would be easy to say, it is a familiar rhetoric, that literature operates in the emergent cultural sector, that it represents the new feelings, the new meanings, the new values. We might persuade ourselves of this theoretically, by abstract argument, but when we read much of literature, over the whole range, without the sleight-of-hand of calling Literature only that which we have already selected as embodying certain meanings and values at a certain scale of intensity, we are bound to recognize that the act of writing, the practices of discourse in writing and speech, the making of novels and poems and plays and theories, all this activity takes place in all areas of the culture. 
-Raymond Williams, "Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"why must I feel like that?"

Sometimes, when you're in a funky mood, the best thing you can do is actually bring the funk.
P-Funk + dining room dancing= invigorating.

Friday, October 1, 2010

101 in 1001- September update

14) Finish my correspondence course.
As noted here, I decided to just drop the correspondence course because I simply cannot complete it in time without totally derailing my more important grad school studies. Even then, I'm not sure it'd be possible. My first list failure. Boo. Maybe I'll have money/inclination to take it again within these next 3 years. I probably won't.

19) Read 1 unassigned book per month.
July '10- Ann Patchett Run
August '10- Alice Munro Lives of Girls and Women
September '10- John Berendt Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

23) See 26 movies I've never seen, starting with each letter of the alphabet.
L- Louder Than Bombs (Glosniej od bomb) (2001)
(going with the English title here for my own purposes and because I watched and understood it with subtitles.)

24) Learn 1 new word a week and use it.
We're officially striking the "use it" part of this from the record. I simply don't talk to enough people lately to bust out my new words and Marla doesn't care. Your words for September are as follows:
Instantiate- represent as or by an instance
Propaedeutic- serving as a preliminary instruction or as an introduction to further study
Internecine- destructive to both sides in a conflict
Froward- (of a person) difficult to deal with; contrary
(I don't know if I should feel smug/cheerful/embarrassed that all of these came form my own reading, not from dictionary.com's "Word of the Day." I think I will go with a mix of all 3, maybe with "smug" coming out ahead by just a HAIR.)

62) Visit 10 historical sites in New Orleans.
1) Preservation Hall- I know this isn't an actual National Historic Landmark, but I feel like it's historic enough to warrant mention on this list. Christie and I did this on our Satchmo Walking Tour. I'd love to go back and actually hear some music when I get money.
2) Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop- I had actually never heard of this place. My uncle took my cousin and me here when she was in town visiting from Oregon. I had a Coke, because I felt unwell. Maybe next time, I will go swill rum.

80) Update and start reusing iCal.
If I stop using it, I will withdraw this, but for now, I have been using iCal non-stop. I even list my bills on there (due and paid dates)!

Productive!

Also, some housekeeping!:
36) Do 200 sit-ups in one sitting.
This has been edited from 100 to 200 sit ups, due to this challenge.

A question for you (this is probably just a question for Ann, but anyone else, feel free to chime in)!--Should I add any parades to this list?
88) Go to all the major Mardi Gras parades.
Krewe du Vieux
Carrollton
Muses
Endymion
Thoth
Bacchus
Proteus
Orpheus
Zulu
Rex

Full list here

fabalussss

Here are some great reasons to live alone:
-When you go on a week-long study binge, in which you are regularly throwing things in pots and eating them over the stove while you peruse Dangerous Liaisons and you don't have time to wash that pot and spoon, or the stack of dishes in the sink, no one will bitch about it.
-You can leave the bathroom door open
-For that matter, you have unlimited access to the bathroom (this is getting into dangerous "poop entry" territory)
-You can regularly walking around in a towel/robe/t-shirt without bitchery.
-The act of putting on The Pixies "Oh My Golly", pumping your fists in the air like you're a fucking ROCK STAR and loudly singing the lyrics will not piss off someone in another room (don't worry, it's not loud enough to piss off the neighbors) (I hope.) (except maybe that kind of bitchy girl who lives above me.) Bonus: you get to feel like a fucking ROCK STAR.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"I say more; expect no pleasure from it. Is there ever any with your prudes? I mean those in good faith. Reserved in the very midst of pleasure, they give you but a half enjoyment. That utter self-abandonment, that delirium of joy, where pleasure is purified by its excess, those good things of love are not known to them."
-Marquise de Merteuil to Vicomte de Valmont, Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Monday, September 27, 2010

wonderful tonight

For the first time in months, I feel relaxed. I'm curled up on my couch, in my leggings and Righteous Babe tshirt, sipping a large glass of wine and letting the cool air come in through the open front door. I haven't even turned on the A/C. It feels fantastic outside. 

I got a call this morning, asking me if I could come in an hour and a half early for my interview. With a little rushing, I was able to make it (10 minutes early even!). I chatted with the two people who had previously interviewed me, before meeting the doctor who would be conducting this interview. We sat down in his office and he immediately asked me, "What would it take for us to get you to come on here?" Talk about a surprise. I hope I kept my surprise in check, because I really wanted to say, "A job offer and $10/hr." Instead, I talked about good people, challenging work environments, benefits, etc. We talked a bit about the job and about New Orleans in general ("I'm a New Orleans boy, born and raised. I've been elsewhere...lots of elsewheres...but there's not a better place in the world than New Orleans. You should stay here, even if you don't stay HERE.") before he said, "Look. Your resume is...impressive. It's more than impressive. I think you would excel here and, to be honest...well I'm not supposed to say this but I'll say it...you're our first pick." 

After that, I went back to my original interviewers and was given a tour of the office. We sat down to finish up the interview and I asked about some specifics. I'd be expected to work a 40 hour work week, with flexibility allowed for my school schedule (so long as I don't take mid-afternoon classes). Normal starting salary for the job is about what I made at LCA, but they're going to ask for that to be bumped up, based on my experience and education. A formal offer will be made as soon as HR processes the background check and checks references. 

As I was leaving, I got a call from my former HR Director. "Did you just have an interview?!," she asked. When I told her yes and the company, she said, "Oh my God, one of their doctors called Dr. R--- and asked him for a recommendation of you!" "WHAT DID HE SAY?!!!" "He gave them a great recommendation and the doctor told him that the job was YOURS!!!" 

I celebrated by getting some (amazing) fro-yo at Pinkberry and reading Dangerous Liaisons outside. I'm so happy about this. Last night, I began to think I had been too cocky about thinking I would get this job, that I'd get a call: "So sorry, but we've actually decided to hire someone else. Best of luck!" I quietly considered the possibilities of subletting the apartment and transferring my degree back to LSU. Right now, I am relieved. And I am happy, both that I have a job and that I can stay in this city that I have grown to love more than I would have ever thought possible. 

sleepless long nights/that is what my youth was for

Things I did this weekend:
Roger DAT!
-Went flying in a private plane (a 1970's Beechcraft Bonanza) with some of my ex-co workers. In doing this, I also went to some unfamiliar New Orleans neighborhoods.
-Had breakfast in Jackson Square.
-Snuggled on Marla and tried to assuage my fears that she might die.
-Baked a batch of my favorite cookies, adding coconut and golden raisins, which made them even better.
-Smothered some okra.
-Applied for and got a (non-paying) contributer's gig at the blog goodnola.com. I'll be writing bi-weekly articles about volunteering in New Orleans, adjusting to the city and awesome things that the youth of NOLA are doing. Exciting!
-Read a whole bunch of Plato and wrote a slammin' paper on rhetoric in the Gorgias.
-Put off a bunch of other reading.
-Tried to troubleshoot my parents' computer issues before getting frustrated and telling them to turn it off, because they don't listen to me anyway and download oodles of stuff that slows the already ancient hard drive to a crawl.
-Ate too many of the aforementioned cookies.
-Finally downloaded Feist's "The Reminder"
-Anxiously refreshed the Saints vs. Falcons box score on 3 different websites and got pretty sad about the Saints losing in overtime.
-Planned my outfit for tomorrow's interview (this top in "new vineyard", a black A-line skirt and some modest black heels.)
-Put off ironing that skirt and shaving my legs, reasoning that these things are better done the day of anyway.
-Decided to stop fooling myself about completing my correspondence course, after finally figuring out that I wouldn't be penalized for not finishing it. I wasn't able to get a second extension and completing it by the deadline would just be impossible. It's just not feasible. I'm mad at myself for wasting the money, but also just to a point where I can't be too angry because I've already moved beyond it being a realistic goal. Maybe it's something I will revisit when I have more time, but jury's out on that still.
-Discovered Tulane allots a week's vacation for Mardi Gras, in addition to a (admittedly shortened) spring break.
-Trimmed my bangs, after determining that they look terrible in all pictures taken of me in the last month. (see above photo for a particularly egregious offense)


Things I will do this week:
-Complete this week's reading list:
*Dangerous Liaisons (no real rush on this, since my teacher could care less if we've actually done the readings)
*Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism (I plan to skim this 76 page document and obtain necessary information to complete the midterm for the above class)
*Gospel of Mark (same parenthetical as above)
*Frederic Jameson- from The Political Unconsciousness
*Raymond Williams- "Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory"
*Raymond Williams- "Charlotte and Emily Bronte" (I'm to give a 20 minute oral presentation on this paper this Thursday, complete with a handout)
*Dorothy van Ghent- "On Wuthering Heights" (already read--just skimming in order to effectively answer any comparison questions that may come my way during the presentation)
*William Goetz- "Genealogy and Incest in Wuthering Heights" (same skimming process)
-Go to tomorrow's interview and be awesome.
-Submit my "About Me" to goodnola.com
-Work on my presentation
-Get a Tulane ID card (I keep finding reasons to put off doing this)
-Do some research into volunteer opportunities to write about (thinking about something on Hollygrove Market
-Work on my take home midterm.
-Snuggle Marla
-Make a new massive reading list.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

flying high

Today has been a banner day!

I woke up to a call asking if I could come for a follow up interview for a job I'm trying to get. A little background:
As most reading this blog know, I've been searching for a job since mid-July. Things have been getting a little desperate--thank goodness for parents, savings and an insurance filing mishap that worked out in my favor. Otherwise, I wouldn't have an apartment right now.
So about a week and a half ago, I get a call asking if I could come in for an interview at a medical clinic at Tulane. I didn't even remember applying to this job, but I said sure. I got the address, the suite number, etc. I Googled-mapped the address and saw it was about 10 minutes from home. So I left 30 minutes earlier, thinking I was giving myself a good 20 minute barrier to get down there and find the office. This, in retrospect, was idiotic. It's New Orleans. There is a lot of traffic. And something is ALWAYS going on. So I get there with about 8 minutes to spare. I drive around to the parking lot I was told to park in and...it's full. I drive around some more and there is no parking. I call the interviewer and let her know that I will be a wee bit late, due to the parking situation. I find parking and dump every silver coin on my person into the meter. I enter the building.
It is the wrong building. "You need to go to the second floor and take the crosswalk to the building across the street. Go to the fourth floor," a security guard tells me. I do this. I pat the sweat off my face, walk up to the front desk and tell the receptionist I'm here for an interview. She looks at me like I'm insane. "We're not hiring."
'No no, I have an interview!"
"With who?"
"Ms. W--"
"That person doesn't work here."
Eventually she tells me "OH! I bet you need to go to HR." Okay, this sounds like it could be correct. I go down two floors, go through two crosswalks and go into HR. My legs are slippery at this point and I'm wishing I hadn't used lotion on them. I feel slimy. I walk to the desk and tell this receptionist that I'm here for an interview.
She too has never heard of Ms. W--.
I begin to cry.
A physician in the room and the lady at the desk both start trying to help me and track down Ms. W--. Meanwhile, I am desperately trying to call Ms. W because it is 25 minutes past my interview time. I finally reach her and figure out where i need to go. I arrive, sweaty, sporting streaky makeup and overall probably looking more than slightly off kilter.
But damn if I didn't ace that interview.
There were some awkward moments. At one point, I was talking and my nerves got the best of me and I ended up forgetting what I was saying. Suddenly I understood Miss South Carolina. I stopped, breathed and said, "I'm sorry, I'm a little lightheaded right now." I also called Ms. W-- by an incorrect name and said "Why break what isn't fixed?" before quickly correcting myself. But I can do everything they want someone in that position to do, I was able to offer ways to do it better, able to quickly come up with good responses to what-would-you-do scenarios and I think I appeared confident, or at least as much as I could possibly be in those circumstances. I'm excited that they called back. I think it'd be a good job for me.

After that call, I checked my email and saw Groupon was offering a $20 haircut. My hair is in shambles lately and I'd been bemoaning the fact that I didn't have $45 to drop on getting it cut well. I Googled the salon and reviews were excellent, so I bought the Groupon.

I had breakfast and, in my purse, I found a Gap coupon for 15% off (it was an old purse. And I keep everything in my purses), so I went there and bought 2 shirts that I've been eyeing and got the customer service of my life. Then, I went to Dorignac's.

I went there because Ann had given me a gift certificate as thanks for looking after Fred the cat. She told me I'd love it and she was right.Dorignac's is a little grocery store from the late 1940's and it's easy to imagine that you're stepping back in time when you go there. Their stock is amazing and there are lots of hard-to-find items there, as well as a lot of throwback things and many specialty LA items. Here's what I ended up buying (I went over the gift certificate amount by a bit ^_^)
-Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips (I don't know WHY, but these are seemingly impossible to find in NOLA, despite being able to find them anywhere in BR. I have checked 4 different grocery stores before finding them at Dorignac's.)
-A box of powered milk, for bread baking and for a project I'm working on
-1 box rennet tablets (I've been toying with the idea of making some cheese)
-1 box Ball canning lids
-A container of strawberries
-A jar of kalamata olives
-2 containers of creole cream cheese which I have loved for years--it seemed the right thing to do to buy some from Dorignac's.
-1/2 lb. of rare roast beef, on Ann's recommendation (it is so. good.)
-A brick of 1/3 fat cream cheese (this is my fave kind of cream cheese and another item that I can't find anywhere. Will be eaten with pepper jelly soon.)
-Swiss cheese

I came home and then got a message from a friend asking if I'd like to do coffee. We met and, post coffee, went to Sucre, where I had 3 macaroons--chocolate, hazelnut and pistachio. I'd never had a macaroon before. They were interesting--subtle, delicate and pricy. I liked them but I felt they were lacking a bit in something. However, my friend got some delicious coconut and basil gelato, the candies there looked extraordinary and the person who helped me was wonderfully nice, so I'd still recommend Sucre. Even the macaroon, if you're looking for a little treat.

We ended the night at St. Joe's Bar and actually ran into a guy who used to be friends with one of my ex-roommates. We caught up and he recommended the blueberry mojito. I'm normally not big on mojitos, but I liked this one. Maybe not something I'd order every time, but I'd get it again.

So, all in all, a good day. One that will end in about 5 minutes, as I've fallen asleep twice while typing this.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the art of doing

Once again, my procrastination has gotten the best of me and, at 2am, I just took a loaf of bread out the oven, finished a chapter of Plato's Gorgias and laid out my outfit for an interview tomorrow. I hope the outfit is okay--I almost went with a kind of frumpy fuchsia (sounds like an oxymoron but it's not) sleeveless dress, that looks kind of old on me. I decided on a simple black A-line dress (which my former boss once referred to as "short" but is the same length as the fuchsia dress that she loved, so I feel like it's okay?) and a green cardigan with low black heels. It's an outfit I feel comfortable and myself in.

Aside--I looked up fuchsia on wikipedia to see if there was another color on the color scale that better fit the description and I came across Antique Fuchsia, which needs to make an immediate comeback, so I can wear it constantly.

Tomorrow, I need to get up early, remove my leftover nailpolish, possibly paint my nails a more neutral color (currently, they are half-coated with my current favorite OPI Dark Room), remember to remove my nose ring, shave legs, style hair into some semblance of decency (my hair is badly in need of an unaffordable trim) and get directions to the interview. I'm not so worried about getting there as I am about traffic and parking, so I want to leave an hour early, to give myself plenty of time.

Then I come back home, whip up a quick paper on the first chapter of Gorgias and get to class. Which I could have done already, but...you know. Why do things before the VERYLASTMINUTE?

Depending on how well this interview goes, there's a small chance I'll drive to Austin on Thursday, since my literary criticism class was cancelled. But Ravi has a test next Monday, so he'll probably be busy studying. I'm still ambivalent about visiting, but I'd like to see him. We'll see. It's more likely that I'll be here, working on schoolwork and writing a presentation about Marxism in Wuthering Heights...which isn't such a bad way to spend the weekend either :)

On a last note, let me mention the bread. Lately, I've been baking this oatmeal sandwich bread from Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain (a book I desperately want, as I've loved pretty much every recipe from it that I've found on other websites and have loved most). I have really enjoyed this bread--it's a hearty, sturdy kind of bread, a bread that you don't feel (as) bad about eating, almost earnest with its oats and molasses. I've had it for breakfast many mornings. The thing is...I haven't much cared for it as a sandwich bread. The crust tends to be quite crunchy and thick and the bread doesn't yield in quite the way I look for in a sandwich bread. So, a few days ago, I decided to give Smitten Kitchen's wheat sandwich bread a try, because Deb has rarely let me down (anyone close to me knows that a large amount of what comes out of my kitchen is SK-inspired.) I put off making this because I didn't have powered milk. Today, I drove to Rouses' to get some only to find that the only powdered milk they had came in a $15 box that held more powdered milk than I will ever need. Not having time to go elsewhere before class, I gave up and decided to just sub while milk. It worked wonderfully. The bread came out quite well (a little on the small size, slice-wise, but that's my own fault for using a longer-than-average sized loaf pan), sliced perfectly, even with my cheapo serrated knife, and tastes amazing. It has a little more white flour than I really wanted, but it has that tender elasticity that equals perfect sandwich bread for me. Tomorrow's lunch might be a roasted eggplant and tahini sandwich. Hopefully a lunch that celebrates a new job! Cross those fingers.