Saturday, February 24, 2007

Time for less alcohol, more Adorno

Admit weekend hit us again. I hosted a fellow Oregonian in 19th century British lit. They arrived on Weds, and I went from a full day of PWR & the open house (ugh. I hate the open house. 18-year-olds asking "Rhetoric of Fear. So what do you read?") to the pizza party & wine. Then I hung around the dept. on Thursday, took a nap in the afternoon, and went out to dinner with the admits. Three Seasons again, but this year: so much food. I sat next to some of my favorite admits, and we decided to revert to frivolous topics as often as possible. Preferably involving Britney's lack of hair (we covered why typing "Britney shaved" into Google does not in fact yield the news story). Then all the cool kids started drinking at Nola's. Lost track of time.

Friday I basically slept. Some reading. Grey's Anatomy watching. The OC on youtube (thank God someone put it up). Waiting up for my admit to see how dinner in the city was.

Today I hung out with my admit in the morning (we chatted over oatmeal), and then hung out in the dept. Ostensibly to do some reading away from my computer, but in actuality to hang out instead of do reading. Somehow we ended up reading Joyce's dirty lust letters and The Pearl (19th century erotica, basically). A happy mispronunciation resulted in the coining of a new term: smeries (smut series). I read like 4 pages of Adorno. Then I ended up going out to dinner with the group at La Strada. Vegetarian risotto... good. Lemon creme brulee and chocolate souffle with vanilla gelato... so much better than the main course. And my espresso came with an information card. You know, so I could bond with where the coffee beans came from (somewhere with little rainfall, unlike Palo Alto tonight).

Back to my real life: The Golden Bowl and PWR lesson plans.

Also: How is it that the Studio 3/4 trip to Hobee's tomorrow is now down to four people? I'm sad more people didn't sign up. Seriously, free brunch. I think it's going to be basically Adela and I catching up.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How did this happen?!

You are Jack the Ripper

You are completely insane. You do things spontaneously and always live in the moment. You are unconventional and strange, but you can act otherwise to fool people into believing that you are normal. You also may or may not be angry with prostitutes for giving you Syphilis.

Take this quiz at

Monday, February 19, 2007

This is how I feel

In which I learn that my smoke detector works

The title kind of gives this away, right?

This past Friday I was walking home with Meredith from a workshop/group talk about developing papers into articles. And gradually we acquired a group outside the studios and stopped to talk, as I saw basically everyone I know in our buildings. Which in itself was interesting. Anyway, we soon parted, and I realized I should make something for dinner. This is all set up, of course you've already seen, for why I had something to think about while ostensibly cooking.

I set water to boil, and proceeded to fold clothes and think. And think. It took a while for the potholder on the range top to start smoldering. The smoke alarm started blaring. I knew not to open my door (that sets off the building's alarms). I had turned on the wrong burner; I took the empty pan off the heat, dumped the smoldering potholder into the sink, opened a window completely, and waved clothing under the smoke detector. Which did, to its credit, finally stop blaring.

The pan was fine, the potholder was easily taken care of, and dinner was still ready in 10 minutes.

And luckily my neighbors did not knock on my door.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sunny spring day -- mid Feb.

Sometimes I love California.

We must have had a high of near 70 today. I wore sandals. As I could have predicted from my bed, no one came to my office hours this morning. But it did mean that I got some reading done before noon. Our "retired" admit committee went out to lunch with the new, up and coming committee -- ostensibly to pass on our wisdom. But I think they already have it under control: they have not one, but SEVEN Excel spreadsheets. And that, in my opinion, = organization.

Anyway, we went to the Cantor Art Museum's cafe -- unfortunately named the "Cool Cafe." I'm not quite sure what they were going for with that name. The failure of creativity becomes more conspicuous when it's situated by the Rodin sculpture garden. And when you compare the cafe's name to the food they serve, which really is quite good. If you're going to eat on the Stanford campus, please, please eat at the Cafe. Lots of organic & veggie options. Beet salad. Purple eggs. Incredible mochas.

It reminded me of last year, when we took the retired committee to lunch... also at the Cafe... also on a particularly beautiful day.

After getting home, I didn't really want to spend the last of the day in my tragically-unsunny studio (no direct sunlight, ever. not even a sliver of a ray). So I did my biweekly grocery shopping extravaGANza! today. Walked to Mollie Stone's (I'm finding that I enjoy walking there more than biking. I discovered a route that takes me through a small park). Got milk at JJ&F, because somehow it's less there. Then I did the shopping center trip. Somehow I spent an hour in Target. I too am mystified. I bought mopping cloths and method shower cleaner; I need to do a deep cleaning before I host someone next week. For some reason I bought a box of Choxi chocolate. Seriously, a box made of chocolate, containing chocoate. It's ridiculous. Who does that? When I buy a box of chocolates, it's because I want the excitement of not knowing what the hell's in the middle of each of them. Having a solid block of chocolate, which doubles as a freaking BOX, does not excite me in the same way. What do you DO with this thing? The function of a box is to shield its contents. But when the box itself needs to be shielded, then what do you do? Buy a bigger box made of chocolate? You can't leave the box on the table to gather dust. You certainly can't eat it in one sitting. It's a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, boxed in an enigma... or something like that.

Anyway, I'm incredibly glad that I won't be needing to enter Target for another three months or so. Trader Joe's was much easier.

Grey's Anatomy: one hour of my life, 20 minutes of time within the narrative, ending with Meredith supposedly dead.

I don't believe it.

Bought new types of tea today. This is something I really don't need to see when I'm making tea, by the way:

It's a monkey, making a cup of tea, DRESSED IN A CAP AND JACKET.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Highlights lately

It's been a while, it seems, since I updated substantially... and I'm having trouble motivating myself to 1) read Brecht (although he's much easier to read than, say, Adorno), 2) read Benjamin and prepare my presentation for Tuesday, and 3) make sure I have something planned with which to take up the last 20 minutes of my class on Monday (taking the students to the Writing Center = an excellent idea).

The last week has been busy and incredible.

- Dessert night about a week and a half ago. I love hazelnut chocolate cake (or as Andronico's calls it, gerhard michler). Medium seemed not up to par -- more melodramatic (of course the first time I subject others to watching it, it's less entertaining than usual).

- Playing Mafia last Friday. I'm a more believable liar than truth teller, apparently.

- Class on Monday: I had my students ripping apart Boothe Prize essays.

- Weds night: after a day of conferences with students, Sarah invited a group of us out to dinner with the CSN speaker. Perfect dinner & discussion. Which ended in politics, as all good discussions seem to do.

- Thursday: Conferences with students all day. Had one no-show. Back to school for the lecture, which was excellently entertaining (on nasty characters). Ended up going to dinner again, and felt guilty that someone else couldn't take my place. Especially as I'd gotten to enjoy their company the night before. But the best part: impromptu slumber party at Sarah's: talk over tea, the combined powers of Simon & Clever (the dynamic-grey-tailless feline duo), memories of admit weekend two years ago, and coffee in the morning.

- Volunteering for the Valentine Party. I had a bad conscience because I didn't do my CA service hours last quarter, so I was one of the first to sign up for this. Adela had also volunteered, and we drank champagne and wine and ate cupcakes while watching a door (we were supposed to count how many people left. I kept track on the pool score chalkboard. We saw one person leave, and one person enter). Best way to get service hours ever. I had the perfect excuse to act the wallflower at a party and people watch, while catching up with other CAs (example: hadn't seen Raj since our retreat last Sept.). And we were rewarded with bottles of champagne to bring home with us.

The walk home in light rain was also beautiful.

And now today I've slept in (till around noon), done some reading, some cleaning, and some dinner making. In between work tonight, I think I'll do laundry (Saturday night laundry is becoming my tradition) and watch some SNL.

Off the cliff

So this is where we stand at the end of this week's Grey's Anatomy:

- Izzy is holding down a man crushed by a car as he goes into seizures.

- Alex monitors a woman found under cement as she goes into surgery.

- Meredith has been flung into the sea by an injured man.

I get that it's a cliffhanger. But this is ridiculous, and I protest waiting a week to find out whether the little girl bothers to tell anyone that Meredith is drowning.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


My little blue spruce Christmas-tree-turned-houseplant is growing: I noticed yesterday that four new branches have sprung out, young green & delicate.

Clearly, spring is here. Or maybe it's the larger pot & "all natural" soil. Yeah, you probably thought all soil was natural, right? Au contraire: Home Depot differentiates between organic, "all natural," or, you know, chemical-additive (addicted?) soil.

Here's me & the tree at Christmas, by the way:

Friday, February 02, 2007

Dear God what is that thing?

It looks like an updated furby.

Fat Cat

This is ridiculous: a huge Oregonian tabby.

I wish one would wander by my building in search of kibble.