Friday, October 14, 2005

For the sake of my reading... this is going to be a brief overview... because this is now the only way that I remember what I do on a day to day basis (otherwise, it really does all blur together).

Last, last Mon: First reading group meeting, where we learned the dreadful news that we might actually have to buy our own books. Update: we have to buy all but one. Boo.

Tues: I turned in my first bit of written work as a grad student -- a response for Memoria (all about Plato... yep, riveting stuff).

Weds: In the evening, I attempted to make sushi. This actually kind of worked, although the rolls weren't very tight, so I had difficulty keeping things together. At one point I was actually hand-fanning the rice as it cooled, with my little decorative paper fan (I followed Joyce Chen's instructions very closely).

Thurs: Enjoyable class, but I had come down with an odd like 3 day "cold" that consisted of a runny (and alternatively congested) nose. Isn't it strange that the nose cycles are the inverse of what you would want? It's runny during the day when you don't want to blow into a tissue in front of people, and then at night when you're not in public, it's too congested to do anything about. Urgh.

Fri: After class, at our Mantis journal meeting, we had a Yiddish composer speak about his projects in creating music for modern Yiddish poetry. Supposedly I was doing work in the afternoon, as I was out all night at the party welcoming first years & re-acquainting w/ 2nd & upper years. Crazy -- I don't know how everyone fit into Joe's apartment... we were packed, and the noise of everyone talking was incredible. Wondered if the neighbors would complain, as we didn't leave till 2 am. I kept the alcohol consumption to a minimum, after my over-the-top screwdriver the previous weekend!

Sat: As might be imagined, I slept till around noon. Then I got to work on finding a bike on Craig's List. I love CL -- I found a bike for $80, w/ bookrack (necessity), and within 4 hours of making my initial call, the seller dropped it off for me. Perfect!

Sunday: With newly acquired bike, met up with Jill for a bike ride to the Menlo Park farmer's market. Easier typed than done. The mythical bike path was no where to be found, and we got lost when we ventured off the campus map's limited representation of surrounding streets. But once I spotted Peet's, I knew we were in the general vicinity (from a random comment made on a website about going to the farmer's market). Great euphoria & sense of accomplishment when we saw the white tents. Be still my heart: local, organic pomegranates. Messy as all hell to eat, as I found out when I burst some seeds at the sink the other day & got red droplets all over a cream colored tank top. Anyway, we had such fun going through the stands... almost everything organic or no sprays... all the farmers into talking about the produce (we got a lesson on rare apple varieties from a 22 year old who claimed to have 20 years of selling experience --black twig, favorite). And, adding convenience to our lives, the farmer's market is in the Trader Joe's parking lot. So I spent under 35$ on over a week's worth of produce, and lots of nice TJ staples (like risotto & polenta... I'm expanding my carbohydrate repertoire. I now have 4 kinds of rice, about 4 or 5 types of pasta, couscous, quinoa, and the above mentioned risotto & polenta). Oh and my new thing: crumbled feta. You can put feta on ANYTHING.

Anyway, afterwards we went to the Hillel House for brunch and jazz... talked to non-English grad students (novel idea), and left in time to do some more reading.

Now this past week has sped by...

Mon: Endless, endless search for the stupid campus bike shop. Misguided directions did NOT help (who can't tell right from left? No, OTHER left). Finally got there, bought a u-lock and bike helmet, got the hell out. Took a zippy trip to Mollie Stone's for essentials (read: Ben and Jerry's that was on sale). Got back, rushed to the talk on taste (about Denise Gigante's new book, which, from what I've heard of it, is amazing). Ducked out early to get to the Review Club meeting -- stomach was growling. Strange to listen to talk about the idea of control over the body (taste, sex) while your stomach is growling. Esp. when you get to talking about essential and nonessential cannibalism. Commiserated with others on this point -- the talk did after all coincide with the dinner hour. Great fun to be with all the English grad students -- talked with Sarah -- planned lunch date.

Tues: Biked to Sarah's for lunch -- Jill had already arrived. Talked about how Sarah catalyzed this huge change in my food habits, which led to my make-up revolution, which influenced my switch to natural household products/ cleaners... Best part of the day, definitely! I then had to register my bike w/ Stanford... the exciting point was getting free bike lights! Yay, I'm visible at night! However, nearly got hit by a car on the way home from Memoria -- don't know if they even stopped at the all-way stop, but I was already halfway across the road, and they clearly were not paying attention. Was immensely disappointed that they didn't stop or yell an apology, or something. When you almost run a bicyclist over on what is, after all, a very bike-laden route, I expect some sort of acknowledgement of wrongdoing! Not the way the world works, I'm told. Anyway, got home, talked to Mom on phone (she sympathized -- whereas Andrew was very blunt: "Well, you've got to watch out. But I'm glad you didn't get killed." Thanks, honey. He didn't seem to grasp the extent of the other party's guilt).

Weds: Got excited about TA-ing in Pedagogy, as we got to hear from undergrads on their experiences. In the evening went on a studio sponsored dinner trip to the Olive Garden. Unfortunately, we didn't split the bill very fairly (at least, not fair in the eyes of those of us who ordered vegetarian dinners which were significantly cheaper than others). But, it was cool to get to know the neighbors. And I discovered I think Tues night, that Lauren, who's in two of my classes, lives next door! Crazy. We agreed as we walked to class together today (arrived late, as I was biking at her walking pace, eek) that we'd never know we live next to anyone.

Thurs: Awesome Intro to Grad class -- Prof. L was there, and I got to talk a little bit about my feminist slant on Burke's rhetoric -- hysteria, Humpty Dumpty, "Adam's fall," and "uterine beginnings." To his credit, Prof. L told us, he did end up switching HIS terministic screen (from "man" to "human"). Didn't know that when I was up in arms while reading... Anyway, we had lunch together, which is always fun, and then I had a brief meeting and reading...

Fri: Hmm. What DID I do today? Class this morning was wonderful, except for the arriving like 2 minutes late part (hate that -- esp. since I was up early and left in time, if only I'd decided to ride my bike... but it was more fun getting to know Lauren a bit more on the walk over). Hmm... great speaker at the Mantis meeting, all about translation. Was tempted to learn Italian and start translating obscure novels. Had an amazing eggplant/ dried tomato/ ricotta cheese sandwich. Met with Prof. R -- about presentation, and life so far here. Very helpful. Visited library, biked home in skirt (glad for a woman's bike -- the lowered bar does make it easier). Now... back to reading. I'm just getting into Cloud Atlas, which has improved considerably now that we're off the Chattham Islands.

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