Thursday, February 24, 2005

Let's see... where to start... Well starting around Valentine's Day, actually, I've been feeling kinda run down and tired. Very strange. My mind usually feels sharp & engaged, but my eyes are burning and tired. Started wearing my glasses in the morning instead of contacts, thinking perhaps that was the problem. Doesn't seem to help. And I hate having bloodshot looking eyes. So gross! Very sensitive about eyes, anyway, as Mer can tell anyone -- yuck, they're like spheres of goo, but without them... well I can't imagine not being able to see. OK, anyway, moving on to actual events in my life rather than bizarre rants on eyeballs:

Last weekend was pretty low key. I had an essay to write, after all. Friday night we watched Night of the Living Dead, because I wanted to see the originals after the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Pretty good, with the satirical ending... rather bleak view of the world. Saturday was a quiet day, stayed on campus, and in the evening we were waitlisted to see this play, so instead we played trivial pursuit while drinking gin & tonics (my favorite drink, it seems "adult," & it really DOES taste like a Christmas tree). Sunday morning I had mentoring appointments, and in the afternoon we went to Rao's in Amherst for studying & Fresh Side (I love those ginger tofu rolls). In the evening we moved from the black & white Night of the Living Dead to the very '80s Dawn of the Dead. Interesting to see the original finally. It definitely had a lot more going for it in terms of, um, content. The new one is all special effects, and they seem to have forgotten to use the whole idea of the mall/ consuming/ commercialism, etc. The Romero version, although it might not be the most high tech (come on, the flesh eating scenes were CLEARLY latex and fake blood), at least had a POINT.

Anyway, we also watched Desperate Housewives with Karuna, which was another great episode! Overnight it snowed, so Andrew stayed till lunchtime. We ate at Blanchard (where we apparently were seen by half the campus), and then he walked across the snowy green to his car while I headed off to Clapp for my Stoppard class. Kinda funny having him around for what is normally a more hectic part of the week.

This week has flown by. Last Friday, PS, I had a major breakthrough with the thesis. Not in the productive I wrote 50 pages way, but in the wow, the way I was doing this really wasn't going to work, and this is a better way, even though it means scrapping 15 pages of writing. So it looks like my class relations chapter is going to be expanded to, somehow, be my entire thesis (along with my short stories...) Tomorrow will be my thesis work day, it needs some attention.

OK... so further big news on the grad school front. Andrew was rejected at Stanford last Friday. I was rejected at UC San Diego (on the same day!) But that morning, while waiting for a call from a prof. at Wisconsin, a prof. called from Brandeis to tell me that I'm in (which entails a 5 year funding package, free health care, etc.) Hmmm. I finally called this prof back, let's just go by M.S., and Prof. S. has this great English accent, and at one point actually said "Oh, excuse me, the kettling is boiling," followed by the sound of a whistling teapot growing louder in the background. So excellent! Apparently he was at Columbia the same time as two profs. here... That was a "small world" moment.

So eventually I did get the call from the Wisconsin prof, and we chatted for awhile (not quite an hour though). I feel like it would be a very "safe" place to go (she made it sound as if I'd receive a "warm welcome"). We talked about where literary theory is going (finally got in my comment about reading Eagleton's After Theory and feeling all jazzed that the field is wide open). At some point, I realized that I was sitting on my bed in my 5 year old delia's flannel star pajamas. Funny moments in the life...

So the BIG news, though... Today I got back &, like every other day, immediately checked my voicemail & my email. Saw at least one email from Stanford. Thought, OK, I'll open this first, probably a rejection, no big news, Andrew isn't in there. Opened it... wow. I've been admitted! With full funding, of course, because that's the dept. standard. Argh! Now what? Talked to Audra this morning about this worry... That I almost wished I wouldn't get into places that Andrew didn't, even if they are my tippy top choices. Talked to Mum a little. Must speak with Quillian & S. and... ahh... I don't know! I mean... their website says they generally offer places to 12 students a year, out of like 350 applications. And the prof. made it sound like this was an esp. competitive year... ACK. So direct any comments, opinions, pieces of advice, words of wisdom, to my "comment" feature, recently enabled by none other than my Andpew, who so should have gotten into Stanford... they don't know what they're missing out on =(

Still holding out hope that we both get into Brown, Berkeley, or MIT/ Harvard.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Food for thought:

After reading White Noise... I'm not exactly surprised... but just one example of the growing problem of living in a for-profit world... why are we selling products to people that contain chemicals that are unsafe, and, as the author points out, have plenty of safer alternatives?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ahh had such a lovely Valentine's Day weekend, it was a bit difficult to get back into the swing of MHC things. Here's the update:

Thursday: It was raining all day, as it was too warm for the snow that had been predicted. Around a quarter of 4, it started snowing. I wasn't exactly thrilled -- I was supposed to be heading out for Boston with K. (not a strange literary allusion to Kafka, btw). I left class on time (we were going over time but Prof. Shaw was kind about letting me go early), and rushed back to the Delles in the quickly falling snow. Really beautiful when it piles up at least an inch in half an hour, but, come on, bad timing! I was in such a hurry, and then I sat out in front of the Delles for nearly 20 minutes waiting. In that time I did see a fender bender, which was eventful (no one hurt, of course). I was so glad when K. arrived, I'd been worried she decided not to go due to the weather. I rode shotgun, dozed... the weather was weird all the way. The Mass Pike was fine, nothing sticking to THOSE roads (it'd been really slippery around MHC). We saw snow, sleet, and rain in Boston. Andrew had a "snow day" after the media hype about the storm (that never came, it might be noted. It's all a conspiracy).

Anyway, K. dropped me off at the Shaw's and I walked for what, one minute? to the apartment. Relaxed with Andrew and ate dinner... watched the OC... SO GOOD. Then we got ready to go to the Brothers Past concert. Ok, so I had all intentions of enjoying myself, but when I hit the cold sidewalks in the wet drippy weather... and there was a huge ass line... I had my doubts. Very vocal doubts. Luckily Andrew was patient (and had the foresight to quickly procure an alcoholic beverage for me once we were in). Once we met up with Jon & Jen and I realized that this was not the smoky, drug laden, beer soaked atmosphere of the Hartford Disco Biscuits show, I was happy. Definitely enjoyed myself! (Thanks Shmoopy!)

Friday: Andrew was off work early for his dental appointment, and I spent the whole day getting a rough draft of a chapter for my independent project. I went to the supermarket for dessert, and holed up in the bedroom, while Andrew cooked a romantic dinner. Definitely one of those "aww!" moments...He'd turned on the lowest light, lit candles, bought wine, and cooked my favorite, string beans (with steak & potatoes of course, but I was so impressed that he remembered my string bean thing...) Admittedly, Andrew does a lot (cough, most) of the cooking, but I was still completely impressed.

I think we caught up on Desperate Housewives afterwards, Andrew gave me the most amazingly packaged gift ever (wow the colors! lots of purple!), and we had dessert. Stayed up pretty late.

Saturday was a sleep in day & a shopping day. Andrew was on a mission to find a wok. We eventually found one at Bed Bath & Beyond, and I found some destressing gifts. Back home, Andrew made a pretty good imitation of my favorite dish at 9 Tastes: Mango fried rice. Again, very impressed with the culinary stylings! SNL wasn't good.

Sunday: Woke up kinda late again. Had many fraught discussions with Mer about her math class situation. Did my reading for the Stoppard class. In the afternoon we found a used copy of a play I needed to buy, and had a huge ass sundae at Herrell's (the Boston one). The guy working there was totally apathetic and unenthusiastic. He put on a little fudge sauce, and then methodically placed the equivalent of an entire hardened snickers bar on top of the ice cream. We had trouble finding the ice cream under the whipped cream and candy bar. Andrew had to put half of the candy bar into his mouth in order to break it apart into manageable sized pieces. Began laughing uncontrollably as he tried to chew it and discretely put it back into our shared bowl. Rather bird-like, really.

OK, so I admit, this has been a very food oriented post so far. The next section will be less so, I promise!

Monday: Arrived home via the bus. Large boy sat next to me. I always hate it when really tall/ big people sit next to me. They tend to overflow into my space. I don't like that. Anyway, luckily it was soon over and I slept most of the way. Back here I wheeled my little suitcase all the way across campus (the bus stop couldn't be further from the delles), went to lunch, class, etc. Did my reading for Tues. in the evening.

Tuesday: Early morning class (drat I left a worksheet at home). A quick visit to the CDC, then SAW tabling over lunch. I have concluded that the CDC needs to find a way to raise awareness about various fellowship & research/ intern opportunities. Maybe a newsletter with dates to be aware of, etc, instead of personal info. on the people who work there?

Anyway, the rest of the day was dedicated to rereading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man & writing a poem. Had a dinner meeting to discuss the future of the SAW table, too... Had a good talk with Anna about germs & being OCD & the viral perils of life at MHC.

Weds: Today's been rather crazy. All morning I finished A Portrait & planned for my MLA workshop tonight. Had lunch, went to the course I'm mentoring, read in the library, made copies for this evening, ran over to the arts committee meeting, ate dinner and planned further, led the MLA workshop, talked about Stephen's aesthetic theories in A Portrait with a student for an hour, returned to my room to find a message from a U Wisc. prof. I'd expressed interest in studying with on my voicemail, read for tomorrow, & now, I'm updating my blog! Thought I'd put that out there, mainly for the Andrew, who has trouble picturing me running about campus.

In further news, my eyes have been very tired looking lately and I seem to have little stamina. Karuna thinks it's all part of the cycle (she's probably right).

Oh, and Mum, thanks for the care package!!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

So this week started off with a bang --

Monday morning I was checking my email to see what happened regarding my emails to grad schools with updates. As I was sitting there I received a second email from U Wisconsin, saying that, really this information wouldn't do me any good after all, as they'd already made a decision! They're offering three years of guaranteed support as I pursue a PhD (probably through a TA position), and looking for a fellowship for my MA year. Wow! I was speechless. Andrew wasn't online and it was too early to call Mum, so I had a little I'm-so-overwhelmed-I'm-crying moment, wandered around my room, and got used to the realization that, really, I do have options now!

All day this news sunk in, particularly at the Student Achievement Event... What does one do when one is on stage? I awkwardly twisted my hands and shifted my eyes from Jojo to the floor to the windows... The alumnae were awesome... articulate speakers and the sort of women one hopes to become after being at a place like MHC. The U-Wisconsin materials were waiting for me in my mailbox (along with a nice letter from Mum). Back in my room I checked my voicemail... I'm SO glad I finally set that up last week. It was a professor from Wash. U, saying that I'm in & that I should call her. Their support doesn't look quite so appealing -- 2500$ stipend (I imagine per year). With any luck, however, either the Olin or Chancellor fellowships will pull through for me there... this is all so overwhelming and surprising!

Today was much calmer, as I went through my daily routine... time seems to have gone so slowly between yesterday morning and tonight. Crazy.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Ahh so the weekend is over. Last week was wonderful & busy, with the search committee for the English dept (they're going to hire a modernist), classes, Verbosity valentines, and time with friends. Thursday night Kathleen & I watched Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, and I realized that I had totally forgotten the ending. Oops. Friday, my supposedly "free day," was spent at the SAW table in Blanchard, at a meeting with my independent advisor, at the English dept. lecture, and then at the Thirsty Mind with the candidate. Dinner at Wilder was good, and I caught up with Rabia on the English dept. & grad. school & life post-MHC till quite late! We had a funny moment when I realized that my contacts were starting to get all dry and icky, and Rabia immediately got her eye drops, sat me down, and somehow got them in my eyes in the middle of my blinks. Definitely must get those next time I'm at CVS! That would be a smart thing to carry in one's purse... During the Francis Bok lecture I def. would have used them.

Later in the evening I went by Sarah's room to see how The Prince & I was progressing. She & Karuna were pretty into it, but I kept getting sleepy. So I finally headed back to my room and slept a loooong time. Had lunch with Karuna, Kathleen, Laura, Claudia, & friends at Blanchard. The chicken sandwich really is about the only thing there that I feel semi-healthy eating, and actually fills me up. Strange. Anyway, in the afternoon we had a Delles reading of our Stoppard assignment: The Real Inspector Hound & After Magritte. SO much fun. We've definitely stumbled upon something. It's so much fun to do a reading with friends. I hope more people in our class start coming, and that we can keep up the energy. Of course, I suppose Stoppard would be fun regardless, but getting to laugh with everyone and be a little theatrical is cool.

Later I went to dinner with Karuna, and we had a long talk with Anna & Hannah. It was awesome... One of those "only at MHC" chats that went on for a couple of hours and involved realizing how intelligent and interesting people here are. After, Karuna & I headed to D Becky & Liz's birthday party. Yummy cupcakes, I kept eating M &M's and my candy necklace and reading conversation hearts for dirty innuendos to joke about with Kathleen & Becky. Of course, the best one was "LET'S READ." Nothing says I love you like a good book. We also played clue. Rachel was the murderer. But we forgave her. Karuna got it right on one of her first tries. SNL was pretty awful. Paris Hilton isn't even good at playing herself.

Sunday brunch continued the conversation from Prospect the night before. Our search committee meeting concluded in agreeing to disagree, and realizing that we're really glad we don't have the final say. In the afternoon I finally caught up on emailing grad schools with updates on my grades/ PBK. I feel kind of like the annoying student who's trying too hard and being a bother, but everyone kept saying I should get around to doing that. Ack. Also had a good chat with the Merrers, and a brief catch up with the 'Rew.

Karuna & I watched some more Desperate Housewives... I think the next episode I needed to see was on tonight as a repeat. Such a good show!! This too will be a new tradition!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Because everyone wants to join in on the fun:

SITA3783: Hi Becky!Finally reading your blog, long time. Funny you talking about Andrew editing, can I? Did you mean to say you had seen "Meet the Fockers" instead of "Meet the Parents"???

speaking of which, I bought "meet the parents" on ebay so Tim & I may actually sit down together tonight and watch that!!

Rain here finally and a bit of snow in hills predicted. Heard you can get into Lost Lake and Cloud Cap at moment.

Is Andrew there this weekend?

Do you want a cake or large cookie compliments of MHC

[Just for the record, Mum DID send all this in just one IM!]

Will update tomorrow on actual activities & such!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Some of you may have noticed that I sometimes "edit" my blog if I have a mistake. This is due partly to my own re-reading, but recently Andrew has taken to editing my blog (apparently editing my personal statement for grad school ten separate times just wasn't enough for him!) Of course, the irony in all this is that I was at my English language class when Andrew sent me these IMs. (But, as we talked about in said class, there are different discourse communities that we participate in, each with varying levels of formality... Obviously my blog is toward the "informal" side of that spectrum...) So if you were confused when reading my last post, no worries, I've made a few edits.

Andrew: honey! sudafed is used to make "speed", not "crack"!!! :-)
Auto response from Pink Poodledog: english language class, then back here...
Andrew: crack = bad street drug
Andrew: speed = conceptual artist drug of choice (according to sedaris)
Andrew: :-D
Andrew: also i think you wrote "i'm not sooo addicted to that show" instead of "i'm NOW soo..."
Andrew: sorry to have taken to editing your blog, but that sorta changes the meaning :-)