Wednesday, September 28, 2011

everyone's a winner

A couple of months ago, Ann and I met up for drinks at The Delachaise when she was in town and, like we do, we started talking about boys. I told her about my then-current situation (just broke up with one guy, going on a date with another guy and carrying on a flirtation with someone else) and she said something along the lines of, "you have so much game!" I started laughing because "game" is the last word I'd use to describe my awkward and neurotic approach to the dating world, but she pointed out, rightly, that every time we'd talked in the past year, there was some combination of dudely happenings. 2010-11 has been a fruitful year. It's also been kind of emotionally chaotic--the whole navigating a big breakup, dalliances and their occasional fall-outs, breaking off short-lived but passionate flings. I don't want to get into it, good or bad, because I know some of those guys know about this blog and I'm not interested in hurting feelings or opening wounds.

But, "game" or not, it's been a fun year. And maybe I do have a little game, because I ended up with a whiskey-drinking, mechanically handy cook who just got a job at one of the best restaurants in the city (and is actually moving here, thank goodness.) being "smitten" with me. Game indeed.

Maybe he likes my drunken eye squint.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

time to breathe...okay, stop.

I took the GRE yesterday and now I have my life back for a very short period before I start thesis writing.

I pretty much expected to bomb the GRE. I spent the vast majority of my study time (about 3 hours a night, plus weekends) reteaching myself high school math. Math never never makes sense to me. I think it does and then suddenly a fraction appears but this time, you're not supposed to treat it like a fraction, you divide it! No, you reduce this one BUT NOT THIS ONE and god, fuck YOU, fractions.

So I only briefly skimmed the section of my Kaplan book that pertained to the writing portion and most of my vocab review was done using a Kaplan app on my phone.

Anyhow, the experience wasn't awful. The Prometrics center is like a goddamned prison (No talking about the test. No leaving the room, even to pee. All your stuff goes in a locker. No studying. Empty your pockets. Metal detector scan. Have your glasses checked for cameras. Each cubicle on a video monitor), but they gave me headphones and since I've been studying while listening to a White Noise website, that was peaceful for me. I feel like I did really well on the writing sections. First verbal was easy. First math was awful. I ran out of time before the last 5 questions (and the three before that were desperate answers, punched in before the clock ran out). Second verbal was a bit harder but still fine. Second math was easier but I still ran out of time before the last question. I got an extra verbal section for their testing purposes. At the end, you're given a 100-point range of scores for the Math and Verbal sections (I won't get final results until November). My math range was dismal. 370-470. But my verbal was 670-770 and I am almost certain that I'm at the higher end of that because I was pretty comfortable with most of the questions. All the programs I'm applying to require more than 600 on the verbal, preferably approaching 700. I'm more worried about that cumulative.

On that note, I've been busy making a list of the schools I want to apply to. That's another thing I need to start on soon--grad school apps. At least that one is easily done at work. So far, I'm definitely applying to LSU (they have a Women and Gender concentration in the Writing and Culture track of their English Ph.D), UT-Austin (for a Women and Gender/Public Policy duel masters. Everyone needs three masters now, right?), Rutgers, U of Indiana, U of Chicago and Berkeley (I probably have zero chance of getting in here but people keep telling me to just try, so fuck it. Why not?).

Life has been a real clusterfuck lately, but not in an awful way. There have been some shitty things, but as I said in that post, some good ones as well. The car got worse (the serpentine belt broke and the water pump may have seized up but that same guy I went on some dates with is working on it for me because he really is the nicest guy), the sinus infection got worse, a yeast infection appeared, I've had a run of terrible headaches, and fuck, I haven't slept well in a month. I'm trying to use the next two weeks to my advantage, since they will be a brief break for me. I want to finish a few books to catch back up on the months I had to skip. I want to keep riding my bike every day. I went out for drinks at Pal's last night and renewed my lust for moving to Mid-City. I want to sleep 8 hours in a night (and I plan to accomplish that tonight). those are the only goals I'm setting for myself and if I end up listening to The Big Chill soundtrack on repeat for hours while I lay on the couch and talk to Marla, that won't be such a bad thing either.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

dearest friend

Abigail Adams' correspondence to John Adams has made it into my "favorite bits of reading." Some excerpts:

I can not say that I think you are very generous to the Ladies, for whilst you are proclaiming peace and good will to Men, Emancipating all Nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over Wives. But you must remember that Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken--and notwithstanding all of your wise Laws and Maxims we have it in our power not only to free ourselves but to subdue our Masters, and without voilence throw both your natural and legal authority at our feet.

If you complain of neglect in Education in sons, What shall I say with regards to daughters, who every day experience the want of it? (...)If we mean to have Heroes, Statesmen and Philosophers, we should have learned women. (...) If much depends as is allowed upon the early Education of youth and the first principles which are instilld great benefit must arise from litirary accomplishments in women.

Hope is my best Friend and kindest comforter; she assures me that the pure unabated affection, which neither time or absence can ally or abate, shall e'er long be crowned with the completion of its fondest wishes, in the safe return of the beloved object; the age of romance has long ago past, but the affection of almost Infant years has matured and strengthened untill it has become a vital principle, not has the world anything to bestow which could in the smallest degree compensate for the loss.

'Tis no small Satisfaction to me that my country is like to profit so largely by my sacrifices.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

why don't you sit right down and make me smile

Lately I feel like my life is this constant cycle of getting really fucking stressed out, having a few brief moments of clarity, then sinking back under. Or, for a more-than-cliched metaphor, I feel like I keep breaking the water and sinking back under.

In this past week, my radiator has gone out twice. I've been reduced to carrying gallons of water and a roll of paper towels in my car. It is chugging along with water and prayer. I'm thinking the radiator will need to be replaced next week, which means getting it to Baton Rouge.

My mom has had the first round of injections in her back for pain management of her arthritis and a slipped disc that is causing some nerve damage.

The family dog has cancer. A surgery was performed last week to remove a tumor but biopsy results have come back and shown that they didn't get all of it, so they have to go deeper. The dog is 2. My parents are devastated.

Um, I gained like 4 or 5 pounds. Not a big deal in the scheme of things but I'm already stressed so, you know.

A very dear friend is having some heart problems, right on the heels of her mother having a health scare. My childhood best friend's father (who was like a second father to me) is having to undergo a heart cath after having had quad bypass 4 years ago.

I have a sinus infection.

I have been having a pretty bad bout of stress-induced insomnia and have been averaging 4-5 hours of sleep a night.

GRE+ school shit. ugh.


None of this scary shit is happening to me. To people I love, yes. But I can be there for them. Fall is coming up and with it: my birthday, Voodoo Fest, Halloween, the holidays, NYE in Oklahoma to see Flaming Lips, Alyson's wedding, the Angola rodeo, cooler (hopefully) weather. I went on a couple of dates with a real sweet dude, someone Alyson described as "one of the nicest people I've met in awhile." I have a fantastic support network. I did some freelance work and it became a bit of a big deal. I saw Ani Fucking Difranco at Target.

so, life ain't all bad. But I'd still take some calmer waters.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

i know more than i knew before

Today I had a full blown anxiety attack about the GRE and doctoral programs...mostly along the lines of "I haven't studied enough I'm going to blow it and not get into grad school AND THEN MY LIFE WILL BE RUINED OH MY GOD."

But this weekend, I got to (unexpectedly) see a fair amount of friends. I cooked delicious Indian food and baked brownies. I got a TON of reading done. I got to help three friends out in major ways. I had a mini dance party in my kitchen. I got a foot rub. I took naps while it rained. Someone told me I was beautiful. Three different people made an effort to calm me down when I lost my shit. Someone told me they missed me. I helped someone make a big decision. I met a dude from L.A. I ate an amazing homemade breakfast that I didn't cook. I took a long walk after the storm.

Not getting into a Ph.D program can't even touch that.

P.S. Who can be sad with this in their life?:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

from the office of "things we'll never say in real life"

I always laugh and look away when you catch my eyes, because I don't want you to realize how much I adore you.