Sunday, October 26, 2008


Thursday, October 23, 2008


Finally found this Sedaris quote on Dooce that Andrew told me about:

I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.


By NO measurement is Sarah Palin and her family working class.

And how the fuck does one even spend 150,000$ on clothes?!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

this one goes out to the one I love...

5 years (and also on a Sunday!) since I met up with you at The Thirsty Mind.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

red in tooth and claw

Today started off frantic.

I woke up at 8:30, dragged myself out of bed, checked my email -- realized I had a meeting on campus at 9 am. Which meant prioritizing what I REALLY NEEDED TO DO: shower minus the hair, no breakfast, bike like hell.

After, I was sitting in the terrace room brooding over my notes before meeting with Franco. And this freaking BIRD FIGHT breaks out on the terrace. At first I thought it was a pigeon tussling with another pigeon. Oh no, my friends, nothing so innocent. So I opened the door to scare off the bird of prey, but it was clear the pigeon was no longer flight worthy -- flopping, limping into a corner, a wound in his back. I consulted Randy, who thought the culprit might be a kestrel (or a peregrine falcon? harrier? hard to say, even though we had a good view of him hanging out, waiting to swoop back in), and that the most humane thing to do at this point would be to let the bird of prey take its course. So I decided to work in the briggs room.

Back inside the dept: it looks like my dissertation is back on track for upstart figures. But in a more specific way. Franco says, a balance between my interests and his need for it to be a feasible project. Have at least a first Dickens chapter, and will need to write my way into successive arguments. GOOD NEWS: I get to read Felix Holt and Howard's End!

Tomorrow I need to get back to dissertation abstract work...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the need for narrative

So I bought this chocolate at Target, and the insert, with (not so) helpful pictures and descriptions, is for the wrong collection. So all I have to go on, is that the box contains: "sparkling pomegranate currant, golden Jamaican-spiced caramel, sunny tangerine coconut, sweetly floral almond jasmine, sensuous hazelnut orange, subtly spiced ginger pear." WHICH IS AMAZING. But the problem is, I don't know which is which. And turns out, it's REALLY F-ING HARD TO IDENTIFY THESE THINGS WHEN ENCASED IN CHOCOLATE. What would be a mind blowing experience, in which I realized, IT TASTES EXACTLY LIKE SUBTLY SPICED GINGER PEAR, is now COMPLETELY BEFUDDLING.

I just want to know what the narrative is, so I know how to taste it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

desultory thinker

The weekend means little these days. Except for the welcome party on Friday -- Long, who's dj-ed in the past, turned it into a dance party. Any English function that turns into dancing to Billie Jean is a success in my opinion.

My work this weekend has been: brainstorming around five or six different ideas toward a dissertation. It was back to the drawing board after my meeting with Franco last week, and so I've returned to some ideas I had initially passed over. What I'm learning in all this: I'm a slow, distracted, desultory thinker. I can riff off a close reading for any number of pages, but sitting down to think about terms/ideas in the abstract, creating a framework, is a different problem. I tend to have spurts of productivity, followed by complete boredom with whatever I'm looking at, followed by a random spark of an idea, which, after writing down, I decide is good enough to be the END POINT OF WORK FOR THE DAY, TIME TO CHECK POLITICAL BLOGS (It's never good enough to quit for the day.)

And then to take a break, I read Nancy Armstrong. Whose book, How Novels Think, is SO MUCH BROADER THAN MY UPSTART PROJECT WOULD HAVE BEEN. I guess this is what you get to do, after you've done the build up work. For now, I'm to narrow, narrow, narrow.

And to take a break from that, I plug along in my data entry "research" position.

And to take a break from this routine, I took a jaunt to Target (CHOCOLATE), and this morning, visited the farmers' market. Where I bought carrots, parsnips, potatoes, chard, and an onion, with which to make this winter soup recipe I found inspiring on The Wednesday Chef. And I bought a chocolate croissant: deliciousness. Made me miss Switzerland.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

kings of leon -- sex on fire

It was a day in which I gave up on my illusions of progress.

But at least this song is incredible.

Monday, October 06, 2008

sometimes, you just know dickens was having an inspired day

"The staircase was sacred to rabbits." -- Martin Chuzzlewit

Sunday, October 05, 2008

positive reinforcement

After agonizing over an email (in this case, emailing Alex with paragraphs on *why* this topic), I reward myself with food.

Friday, October 03, 2008

evidence that we are living in the end times

too familiar

I'm finding it uncanny to read A Christmas Carol and HEAR Scrooge McDuck delivering the dialogue.