Wednesday, August 31, 2005


There's something about this semester that's gonna age me, I think. I constantly feel like I'm drowning and it's all I can do to keep my head above water. Three classes, three preps, but I asked for it because I wanted to teach 101. I'm imagining things will calm down in a couple weeks because I deliberately front-loaded the grad course with Bourdieu--things get a bit tamer after him, I'm thinkin.

Then there's this other matter of which I shall not speak except to say that it's taking up literally hours. But fun. Fun, I tell you.

Weight is still being lost (like that passive voice?) and I'm feeling great about it. Pants I haven't been able to wear in FOREVER are fitting quite nicely. And no cravings. With the exception of that PMS outburst last week, I couldn't care less about food. It's fuel only. There for necessity. And even then sometimes I don't want it but I know I have to eat it. It becomes something of a chore.

Coffee, on the other hand, is in great abundance everywhere I turn. COFFEE. Nice.

Monday, August 29, 2005

for the love of Topper

One of the "children" I gave up when I sent all the stuffies back to Al was a penguin named Topper and now I want him back! Custody fight ensues.

We used to joke about making a little winter wonderland in the freezer for Topper when it got too warm for him to join us in the heat of the summer. Yesterday I saw March of the Penguins and, well, I laughed, I cried, I squealed. I never knew how fuzzy soft baby penguins are! And I love that when they get tired of walking, they flop down on their bellies and glide. I'd get tired of walking, too, if I had to walk 70 miles four or five times a year just to breed. Forget that shit.

Clever marketing scheme people don't seem to be taking advantage of: stand outside the movie theater selling stuffed Emperor Penguins, adults and fluffy babies. Oh, I'd be rich. Rich, I tell you!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

a new beginning?

Last night's dream: I'm in the hospital, very very pregnant with what I know to be a baby girl, and they've given me some kind of pain killer that makes me throw up endlessly. I'm delirious with nausea and I can't remember the name I had decided on for the baby, and all I could come up with was "Sedona." (I have been thinking about a new car, but a Kia minivan ain't it.) The nurses try to help me by getting me to walk around, but that only makes it worse, so they measure my belly (this part comes directly from "Taboo," the show on the National Geographic channel I watched last night, which dealt with rotting dead bodies and the people who measure the bloat...seemed like a take-off of Mary Roach's book Stiff, but anyway...) and tell me that the baby's big enough that it'll survive if they do a C-section.

Dreaming about giving birth--or being about to give birth but for the small problem of overwhelming nausea--has been said to symbolize a new beginning, a fresh start. I shall say no more for fear of jinxing myself.

Of course, this dream could also simply symbolize the bloat of my stomach after eating a bag of Doritos right before bed--the likes of which I haven't done in more than two months. It could not be avoided, people. It was PMS craving with a vengeance that wasn't going to go away if I didn't feed it with junk food. I do feel the guilt, I do. But alas, today's a new day. Simple as that.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

you don't look a day over 59

My mother, who will be 72 in September, has always had a slew of men at her feet (hint: this might go a long way in explaining some of the issues I have with men). She has also always been an avid dancer, going to the bars and clubs and VFWs a couple times a week. We kids have taken to calling these her "foot-stomping" nights.

I'm talking to her on the phone the other night. Here's just a snippet of the conversation.

Mom: So are you ever gonna get married?
Me: I don't know, mother. It's not as though I can decide that right now.
Mom: There's a guy up at the Chalet who likes me.
Me: Do you like him?
Mom: No, he's kind of a jerk.
Me: Okay, so that's settled.
Mom: But he dances with me all night.
Me: How old is this guy, 90?
Mom: I think he's in his late 50s. He thinks I'm in my late 50s too. If only he knew how old I really am.

She then goes on to tell me that she dances with him because there's really nobody else to dance with, but after they dance and she's taking a break, he stands by her trying to "control me all night long." The other night he asked if he could walk her to her car.

Me: What'd you say?
Mom: I told him no.

And yet, today when I talked to her, I learn that she spent all last night dancing with him, too. And she'll be back up at the Chalet tonight. My mother the tease. Leading this poor 50-year-old on.

And here's her youngest child worrying about wrinkles and gray hairs at age 32. I don't look a day over 29, do I?

Friday, August 26, 2005

This morning I noticed wrinkles around my eyes

Thursdays this semester might just end up being the death of me. If I thought Tuesday was tiring, talking for 3 hours straight, yesterday I was talking for six, and the subject matter got increasingly complex as I went. I start with 101 at 2:00, move to juniors and seniors in my rhetoric class at 3:35, and then go to my grad course from 5:30-8:30. By the time I get home, I'm tired but wired from all that stimulation and I can't settle down. So Belly and I took a walk and then I was on the phone until 11:30. Still wired, though. Didn't sleep well at all. And I'm no longer a successful nap-taker, so today will be interesting.

Then, horror of horrors! I noticed fresh wrinkles around my left eye this morning. I tried to wipe them away with a facecloth, but no luck. Shit shit shit. I'm only 32, people. The white hairs, left to their own devices, would age me at least five years. And now this.

Good thing I'm coming to terms with being an adult and all, because methinks I officially look like one.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

depression sells

Metablogging: My readership more than doubled from Tuesday to Wednesday. On Tuesday I wrote about first-day jitters and Chuck roasting himself in the sun. On Wednesday I wrote about how I was feeling down about things in general as a result, I think, of too much of those first-day jitters. Depression. We like reading about it in others? Makes us feel better about our own issues? I dunno. I'm just stating an empirical fact.

Don't you just love the retort, "I'm just sayin." That's what I'm doing here, I'm just sayin.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Feeling kinda down tonight, and I'm not really sure why. Too much anticipation leading up to the first day of classes only to find that things are fine and dandy and I've got a shitload of work to do? Perhaps. Getting lots and lots of good critical feedback on my book prospectus and realizing I've got a shitload of work to do? Perhaps. Feeling sorry for myself because there's nobody here to hug me when I get home or to sit and drink a glass of wine with me? Yeah. Maybe.

Snapping out of it even as I write. Mostly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Chuck roast

Why I love reading dooce every day: this photo of Chuck roasting himself in the sun makes me laugh out loud. Love him.

first-day jitters

I had really bad first-day jitters today, worse than I've had in a long time. I think it's because I was going back to first-year students after a year away from them.

Both courses went well, and I teach my social class grad course Thursday night. Gotta say this: after an entire summer of not really talking to groups of people for more than an hour at a time, I'd forgotten how exhausting teaching is. I'm wiped.

Monday, August 22, 2005

it smells like fall

The air: high 70s and crisp. Perfect for back-to-school. And for running in cemeteries. And for apple pies, reading on the porch, and sweatshirts at night.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

a beautifully sarcastic look at academic conferences

This article by Kay Ryan made me laugh out loud as I imagined myself in her shoes at the AWP conference. I love her crankiness and her general dislike of people. Funneeee.

Here's a brief excerpt (I had a very hard time choosing only one to post):
There is something inherently Monty Pythonish about panels. The set-up is perfect for farce: starched rigidity (topic, table, moderator, time limits, matching water goblets) combined with a thrumming undercurrent of overcivilized competition. Soon after introductions, the dramatic differences in style and talent among the panelists begin to tear the table apart. In the best panels a happy anarchy ensues, resulting in a shambles enjoyed by all.

Okay, I can't resist. One more:
We have to listen to so many dumb people; it’s such a pleasure to watch somebody’s brain working that fast. A second panel member, Cynthia Hogue, was also compelling, but not in that close-cropped-hair way I especially like. Hers was a more relaxed-haired intelligence.

I'm ready

School starts tomorrow, though I have a Tuesday/Thursday schedule, so I really start on Tuesday. I was reading back through my blog because I remember writing something about wanting to get lots of writing done over the summer. I think I can safely say I accomplished that goal, but just for the record, here's what I've done:

1. Revised an article that was accepted for publication. Thank the lord above that thing's off my list because it might have killed me if I'd had to work on it any longer.
2. Drafted a book prospectus with a killer title. Student Authorship in Composition: The Production and Politics of Belief.
3. Drafted an essay with Ron Fortune on literary forgery and whole-text plagiarism. That also has a killer title, but I can't remember it off the top of my head.
4. Became a faculty editor for Young Scholars in Writing, which involves working with students and their texts.

Not bad, not bad at all. Plus I moved, took a two-week trip to Massachusetts and New York, painted lots of pottery, had a bunch of parties, made new friends at the dog park, and made lots of progress in the mental health department. Not to mention losing a pants size and cutting out Diet Coke from my diet. And sugar. No more sugar for this girl.

I'm so excited about my social class grad course, as are most of the students signed up for it. And I'm anxious to get back to teaching first-year students. I'm exactly at the point where I need more interaction with people and ideas. And so a new school year begins.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

today I talked to the Queen

Mary called from Kuwait today on her mobile phone, making it clear that that's what they're called--not cell phones. She's found an apartment, but she didn't realize that when renting a place, it came with zero appliances, so she had to buy a stove, a fridge, a washer/ dryer, etc. Kitties are doing remarkably well, but Rooney's still whining about having no toys to play with. Today's temp was 117. School starts in early September, but she starts tomorrow, Sunday (their weekends are Thursday/Friday) because she's got to build a writing program or some damn shit like that. I recommended legos and offered to ship some if she ran out.

For those who want to know when she's going to set up a blog: it takes a while to get internet service in her apt because she needs to get a land line, and before she can get a land line she has to get a civil ID, which takes some time, apparently. She had to go to a doctor for some kind of exam associated with this civil ID (I think) and she said it was DIRTY. Ick.

Okay. Done with my reporter duty for today.

By the way, Belly was high-larious at Doggie swim. She wanted to go down the slide, so she climbed the first five steps but came back down when Auntie Julie yelled at her. She didn't swim so much as wade because, like her momma, she has issues with control. With that many people and dogs around, she didn't want her feet to leave the ground. That's my girl.

it's doggie swim day!

At the end of the season at Fairview Pool in Normal, they empty the pool of all chemicals and refill it for what they call Dog Days and what we call Doggie Swim Day. For a $5 donation to the Humane Society, Belly can swim in the pool with all the other dogs. Last year there was a big ol' bassett hound wearing a bright orange life preserver. Last year Annabelle was kinda freaked out by how many people and dogs were there, so she stood over by the First Aid door most of the time, but this year, she'll know so many more dogs. Molly and Milo and Henry and Cooper will all be there, as will Kramer and Tucker. Oh, it's gonna be a blast. Too bad I don't have a digitial camera. Phooey.

Friday, August 19, 2005

especially the part about the E

You're Anne of Green Gables!

by L.M. Montgomery

Bright, chipper, vivid, but with the emotional fortitude of cottage cheese, you make quite an impression on everyone you meet. You're impulsive, rash, honest, and probably don't have a great relationship with your parents. People hurt your feelings constantly, but your brazen honesty doesn't exactly treat others with kid gloves. Ultimately, though, you win the hearts and minds of everyone that matters.You spell your name with an E and you want everyone to know about it.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

nothing like a cemetery... produce one tired doggie. Ten minutes. That's all it took for her to get completely wiped out once I'd let her off the leash at our new-found cemetery. It's so beautiful there. Reminds me of the one in Syracuse I used to take her to all the time.

She doesn't get this tired in a full hour at the dog park. Godsend, this cemetery. Godsend, I tell you.

a funny thing I saw on the way to Kroger

That should probably read, a funny thing I heard on the way to Kroger...

A red Isuzu Rodeo with zero muffler and a penchant for announcing itself everytime its owner stepped on the gas. And a big red "for sale" sign in the front window. Ha! How much? I'll take it.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

drugs and the possibility of free massage

Today's doctor appointment yielded two prescriptions: one for an anti-inflammatory and one for a muscle relaxant to be taken before bedtime because it will probably make me dizzy. And if, in a week, I'm not all better, I get to go to physical therapy, which would essentially be doctor-prescribed massage.

In other news, I went into school today to find that all the offices around me have changed. This made me sad. I'm no longer in the office between Bob and Sally (note to Syracuse people: I am, however, in Dana's old office). I mean, I'm still in my same office; it's the people around me who've changed. Waaah. Low threshold for change, I've got.

Tomorrow night's the writing program's welcome back party at Julie's house. I'm in charge of the green beans. I kid you not. I couldn't think of a damn thing to bring, so Julie suggested green beans. Two pounds of green beans in my fridge, just waiting to party on.

And, in Belly news, we found a wonderful new walking route tonight--I hadn't realized I was so close to Constitution Trail on this side of town. It takes us by a cemetery that also has lots of winding paths. And the cemetery also has small inclines that almost resemble hills. I won't hypothesize on the effects of dead bodies on the ground's level of incline, I won't.

how I know I'm officially old

I'm going to the doctor today about aches and pains in my shoulder that are killing me daily.

Backstory: When I was born, I was so big--10 pounds, 14 ounces--that they had to break my shoulder to get me out. Poor Baby Amy. Apparently when a newborn has a shoulder broken during birth (I'm assuming this doesn't happen regularly) nothing is done because newborns heal easily. The bones aren't set yet, et cetera. I only learned about my traumatic birth when I was 28, but FOREVER my right shoulder has been a source of discomfort. Massages help, so when I could afford one, I'd go. The pain had always been here and there, but lately I've been in pain EVERY DAY. Almost all the time every day. So I bit the bullet and called my doctor. He shall see me at 2:15 today. Wouldn't it be nice if he prescribed weekly massages that were then covered by insurance?

What a way to begin life, eh? That, and I had to be rushed to Hartford, CT from Holyoke, MA because my heart was beating WAY too rapidly. I was born traumatized and overly excited. Shocking, no?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

piling it on

This article in the New Yorker reviews Harry Frankfurt's "On Bullshit" and and Simon Blackburn's Truth: A Guide. A couple delicious excerpts:
Anyone familiar with the varieties of “theory” that have made their way from the Left Bank of Paris into American English departments will be able to multiply examples of the higher bullshit ad libitum. A few years ago, the physicist Alan Sokal concocted a deliberately meaningless parody under the title “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” and then got it accepted as a serious contribution to the journal Social Text. It would, of course, be hasty to dismiss all unclear discourse as bullshit. Cohen adduces a more precise criterion: the discourse must be not only unclear but unclarifiable. That is, bullshit is the obscure that cannot be rendered unobscure.
And the following, which takes into account the effects of bullshit:
When the bullshitting is done from an ulterior motive, like the selling of a product or the manipulation of an electorate, the outcome is likely to be a ghastly abuse of language. When it is done for its own sake, however, something delightful just might result.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

writing as struggle

The more I write, the more difficult it becomes. My big insight today as a writing teacher. I'm working on a collaborative article with Ron Fortune on forgery and plagiarism and I have so much to say that I can hardly say anything. There comes a point when it has all become too familiar, too obvious, that I can no longer write to an audience who might not know what I'm talking about. The risks of leaving important points out, of talking down to my audience, of assuming they know more than they do. Christ. This is a good reminder as I get ready to teach first-year writing again. Writing is work. A whole damn boatload of work.

File this under: deep thoughts.

Monday, August 15, 2005

the one-week-left blues

Did I write enough? Did I read enough? Did I relax enough? Did Belly go swimming enough?

I got an article accepted for publication early in the summer, which allowed me to back off a little on the writing, but now I'm feeling guilty for backing off.

Did I go to my therapist enough?

The end-of-summer blues have descended. Cloudy cool day here today, which is certainly a contributing factor.

The good thing is that I know myself well enough to know that these blues are really about missing teaching, not dreading it, and in 10 days I'll be happy that things are in full swing again.

Until then, I shall write and read and take Belly swimming and see my therapist. Ah, summer.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Scrabble tile coasters: does it get any better?

I wonder if I'll get sued for copyright infringement by Hasbro for the beautiful Scrabble tile coasters I painted today at Christy's. I can't wait until they're ready! I can't wait to make more! Today I made Z (10 points), E (1 point), K (5 points), and H (4 points). Why these letters? Because none of them has any round parts; they're all perfectly straight lines. My hand's not steady enough for me to be happy with my version of a P (3 points) or a J (8 points).

Looks like I'll have to have another party just to put my coasters to good use. Perhaps a Scrabble themed party? Maybe for Halloween I should just go as the letter Z? Hmmmm...

wine, anyone?

The party was a HUGE success, I'm happy to report. There was a little bit of stress in the very beginning when Julia came over with Callie and Tucker. We'd put Tucker and Belly in the back yard and we must not have closed the gate very well because five seconds later they were out and Belly was running around exploring her new neighborhood. I know. Surprise, surprise. We got her back pretty quickly, but not before she had the lovely opportunity to roll in another animal's shit. Nice. So the party's about to start in twenty minutes, the cake isn't frosted yet, I'm clean and dressed and even wearing make up and now I have to bathe the beast. She got a half-assed bath, but she didn't stink anymore.

Kramer and Buddy were on their best behavior and Callie didn't leave Julia's side all night. It was Tucker and Belly who were the little nosey beasts. Belly figured out if she licked any food she automatically got to eat it, so she played that trick a few times. There was much alcohol imbibed by all, lots of laughter and ridiculous stories and an attempted robbery (doesn't that sound so dramatic?). My head's a wee bit aching this morning, but the shower and the breakfast helped. This afternoon I'm off to Christy's with Julie and Cherlyn to paint pottery.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

happy birthday, Julia

Yesterday was Julia's 40th birthday, and tonight I'm having a birthday party at my place for her. I baked a cake from scratch, but she insisted on doing the icing, what with it involving meringue powder and all, so she's coming over at 6 to help me ice the cake. The usual suspects are coming over to celebrate, and so are the doggies: Tucker, Kramer, Buddy, and maybe Ringo. The house is clean, the laundry's done, the cake is cooled, and all I've got left to do is walk the girl before people start coming over. That, and shower, of course.

So happy birthday, Julia. May this coming year be much kinder to you than the last.

Friday, August 12, 2005

the Queen liveth and sweateth in Kuwait

For those readers who are friends of the Mary Queen and are wondering whether she has melted to death or how the kitties are getting along in the deserts of Kuwait, never fear. I heard from her in an email today and she's doing fine, though she does indeed miss my calling and harrassing her on a regular basis. Kitties made it there fine, but they have no toys to play with, so Annabelle has been asked to contribute to their entertainment by shipping toys. Here's something to chew on: the Mary Queen has gotten a cell phone. Oh, and she's temporarily staying in some kind of palace.

The whole tone of this post is very odd, no? I feel like I'm reporting the goings-on of some celebrity everyone's been dying to hear about. Die no more. She lives. And it's 125 degrees there.

freon: the miracle gas

Central air's up and working again, you'll be happy to know. With the humidity at 99.99 percent today and the temperature at 87, it's gonna be DISgusting out there. But Belly and me, we'll be safe and cool in here. And the air conditioning guy was kinda cute, too. Belly's such a flirt, first yelling at him and then velcroing herself to his thigh. Maybe I should try that technique....

Thursday, August 11, 2005

why I sometimes don't like people

Last night Annabelle and I are taking our nightly constitutional on a street we've never walked on before. At one house on this street are a young couple starting their grill in their front yard while their two small boys, probably aged 2 and 4, are running in the street. Literally. So Belly and I are approaching them and the smaller boy looks as if he's about to run up to Annabelle, not a great idea. So I say to the mother, "She's not real great with kids," thinking that'll make her actually retrieve her child or do something other than scream at him to get out of the road. The little boy says "Doggie!" The older boy says, "Is he not nice?" referring to Annabelle. My mouth is open, I'm beginning to say something about how she doesn't like people who are shorter than her, when the mother screams, "No, he's mean."

"Not great with kids" does not equate to mean. I'm all pissed off on my dog's behalf, her being misrepresented first as he and then as mean. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

a line I love from Julie's book

"If it is true that we can revise only what is written, maybe it is also true that we can write only what has been revised" (115).

That, and:

"If Dave dumps me he owes me a dollar" (114).

Love it, Julie Wonka, I love it.

'n stuff

For about twenty-four hours I've been half-planning a last-minute, last-hurrah trip to Massachusetts to sit by Hillary's new in-ground pool for a week, but now it looks like it's probably not going to happen because the guest room (aka Amy's room) will be occupied by stepchildren. UGH. How dare they!

Julia gave me a long Oriental rug meant for a hallway, which I put in my dining room. Belly absolutely loves it because it smells like Tucker. She spends all her spare time--when she's not working--on this rug. This morning there was trauma involved with the administration of her monthly heartworm prevention pill. I stuffed it in cheese. She ate the cheese and spit out the pill. I covered it in peanut butter and put it on top of a cookie. She ate all but the pill. I stuffed it in her mouth and held her mouth shut for a full minute, all I could take. She spit the pill out. Finally, I wrapped it in turkey and quickly followed that up with a cookie and I'm pretty sure the pill went to her tummy. Christ. Then I had to apply her flea and tick stuff, which thankfully doesn't involve eating anything. When it was all over, she went to her Tucker rug and lay down and let out a deep sigh. The girl with the very rough life. Don't you just want to cry for her, Argentina.

What else... I've taken the initial steps to adopting a penguin: Learning to walk like one.

TV shows I've taken a liking to lately: Medium, The Closer, Boston Legal. I can learn to like television beyond Law & Order: SVU, I can.

Tonight I'm making homemade whole wheat pizza dough. YUM.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Happy birthday, Kramey!

Kramey, doggie of Julie and Rob, is eight years old today, on 8/8. Belly got him a present and, like the mature four-year-old girl she's become, she hasn't eaten it herself, even when I've left her home alone with it in the house.

Kramer kills me with how damn sweet and easygoing he is. He's a galumpher, part sheep and part buffalo. We love you, Kramey!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I love dogs AND John Cusack

Okay, so Must Love Dogs is a bit on the formulaic side, but it's an enjoyable formula nonetheless. The entire premise of the movie is a tad disturbing--that Diane Lane's character must ceaselessly search for a mate in order to be complete--but again, her mate ends up being the delectably charming John Cusack and, well, I just wanted to reach up to the screen and hug him and kiss him and go to the dog park with him. The couple meets at a dog park: it could happen here in Bloomington, IL, it could it could. This was one of those enjoyable formulaic romantic comedies whose entertainment value is in direct proportion to your ability to refrain from any kind of cultural analysis.

I have to put a nod out here to my dear friend Alyson, whose obsession with John Cusack, has, I think, run its course, but obsessions die hard, indeed. He's so goddamn charming. You gotta go see it if you haven't already.

And the DOG! At the very end of the movie, they show the two dogs who played Mother Teresa along with the copy, "No animals were harmed in the making of this movie. In fact, we were petted within an inch of our lives." Love.

One of the previews was for March of the Penguins and I don't think it'd be a good idea for any of my friends to go see that movie with me because I'm not going to shut up the entire time. I didn't stop oohing and ahhing and laughing during the PREVIEW. I'm gonna leave that movie wanting to adopt a penguin. My little man in a tux.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

one year ago today

Hillary, Annabelle, and I drove from Syracuse, New York to Normal, Illinois in one day. Sixteen hours, to be exact. We left at 8 am and got to Normal at about 12:30 am. Holy freakin' tired, batman. Driving on I-80 near Chicago with all the construction at 10:30 at night, I was white-knuckled and exhausted. The whole way down I-55, I had the music in the truck blaring really loud to help me stay awake. Turns out Hillary was doing the same thing and even Belly was singing along.

One nice thing about blogging is the chance to reflect publicly about the little moments and milestones that make life meaningful. It's hard to comprehend how much has happened in that one year. I remember saying to Hillary before she got on a plane back to Massachusetts, "Who's gonna bring me chicken soup if I get sick?" I felt so alone. Now I know that Julie or Julia or Kelly or Christy would bring me chicken soup AND saltines if I needed them. And I've figured out that I CAN do this professorial thing pretty well and I LOVE teaching graduate students. And I'm publishing. And I even have a new tomato plant (god help us all, senioritis). Julie gave it to me last night as a housewarming gift, and I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to keep it alive. Fried green tomatoes at my house! AND I have a couple of really good doggie-sitters who love Belly to pieces, so no guilt about going away for short trips. AND I have friends outside of school, a must for sanity. AND I'm down a pant size since last month.

Blessings. Count 'em.


Life is normal again. I've got my DSL hooked up and I'm sitting in the comfort of my own new home as I write this. The one thing I've discovered in this is that I really like working at Panera. Indeed, it shall become my fall semester writing place. M, W, F 9-12 I'll be there.

The party last night was a lot of fun. We played silly games and laughed a lot and even Annabelle got a housewarming gift from Cynthia and Joel: a big bag of Greenies. I didn't get to bed until after 1:00, which is way late for me, and I got up early to go to the farmers's market, so I am one tired girl. Tonight I'm staying in and reading.

One more thing worth mentioning: I'm currently reading Julie's book, Revisionary Rhetoric, Feminist Pedagogy, and Multigenre Texts, and I'm loving it--and not just because her real name is Julie Wonka. Strange that I have to read her book to realize that we have a lot of disciplinary interests in common, but I guess we've been too busy talking dogs and chocolate and therapy to really get into our common interests. We've just taken them for granted. Could I possibly be at a better place than here in the middle of cornfields? I think not.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I don't wanna go home

Panera: addicting. One could stay here all day, eat all three meals here, and be happily wireless. But alas (two times in one day I've used that word now) the beast awaits her mid-day walk, and I must clean the house for tonight's par-tay. Housewarming. A breezy eighty degrees and all is well. Wine, people, bring wine.

P.S. The very cute guy at the table in front of me just unplugged me. Go ahead and read that any way you want, Boss.

Shakespeare under the pouring rain

Last night's performance of Twelfth Night was, well, soggy. It was ominous when we got there, dark clouds, sprinkles, the sound of thunder in the distance. Before 8:00 we were treated to a light show by mother nature. By 8:00 it was pouring rain. I have a very hard time understanding the reasoning behind the decision to go on with the show nonetheless. How can one deny the pouring rain? The senses offered the most reliable proof in this case. One good thing: I had initially decided to wear a white shirt, but my I switched to a dark color at the last minute.

I stayed until intermission. The rain policy is that once you've seen half the show, you've essentially seen the entire show, so if they call it after intermission you're out of luck. I threw my ticket stub away with my soggy program only to find out that probably ten minutes after I left they called it and offered to exchange tickets. Phooey on that because even though it was pouring rain, I was laughing out loud, especially at Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Wonderful, wonderful actor. And Susan and Becky, the players did a wonderful job playing with all the sexual undertones, and I'm sure it only gets better in the second half. But alas, I probably won't be getting to see the second half. Oh, and Malvolio was high-larious with his new hobby of smiling for his lady. I can only imagine him in his yellow stockings.

The players did do a nice job with their references to "the elements" and such. I guess they never did get to the song with the famous line, "the rain, it raineth every day."

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Betty Crocker, she ain't

Oat bran muffins. Yummmmmy. Julia brought me some homemade oat bran muffins last weekend when I had just moved into my new place, and they were just the thing for a yummy mid-morning snack. And healthy healthy. Whole grains and all. So I asked her for the recipe and proceeded to make some last night. I added blueberries for yumminess effect. Well, like a ding dong,* I was using not oat bran but simply oats. There was nothing to hold the "batter" together, but I baked them anyway and, well, they turned out like very small portions of baked blueberry oatmeal. Not half bad. But not blueberry oat bran muffins.

Today's grocery list: oat BRAN, blueberries.

*Becky would correct me here and call me a ding ding. Pshaw.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

life offline

Holy addiction to the Internet, batman! I've got, at most, a week to go until stupid Verizon hooks up my DSL, and it might just be the death of me. My day is now scheduled around trips to either 1) the office or 2) Panera to check email and to blog. And I've found that I like working at Panera, the one in Bloomington--far less crowded than the one in Normal. Perhaps this will become my new spot when school starts and the Coffeehouse is overrun with people from school who I'd have to talk to instead of work.

Off to the grocery store to buy eggs and other various and sundry items. Various and sundry. Love it.

egg drop

How happy was Annabelle this morning when, after taking out the two eggs I'd eat for breakfast, I proceeded to drop the ten remaining eggs on the kitchen floor? Oh, happy day, says the Belly girl.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

phooey on central air

It doesn't really seem to work. Perhaps I'm too impatient? Never been accused of that, me. I turned it on yesterday to 73, left the house for a few hours, and returned to an 80-degree house. So, fed up, I lugged the window unit up from the basement and installed it in the living room window--the same window that Belly uses to yell at the new mailman, so that's one good thing. Frustrated.

I called my landlord and prefaced my comments with, "I'm really not the kind of person who calls everyday with a new problem." Of course, he spent a few hours at the house on Sunday fixing the dryer and the stove, but these things happen when a house sits empty for a year, yes? I'm really really hoping the central air can be fixed with a little tinkering from someone who knows what he's doing. I mean, the mailman needs to know who's boss.

Love my new neighbors, Jeanne and Travis. Jeanne is a counselor at ISU, so I can go to her with all my problems, which I'm sure she'll appreciate. And they love Belly, which is important. Love me, love my dog.

Today's agenda: figure out readings for grad course on social class in composition, get tires rotated (any double meaning there, boss?), get brake lights fixed, walk the beast, go to Tuesday night Farmer's market in Normal.

Oh, I almost forgot! Last night I watched Word Wars, a documentary about the world of Scrabble obsession and tournaments. High-larious. It was really a movie Hillary and I should've watched together, but since she's in Massachusetts and I'm in Illinois, all I can do is URGE her to watch it. She can't help but think of me.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Julie Wonka

Oh. My. God. Yesterday Julie, Julia, and I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and I am so so happy I went to see it with the one and only Julie Wonka. The FACES Johnny Depp makes were stolen directly from my good friend and colleague Julie Jung. Charlie: Do you remember the first piece of candy you ate? The face! Any mention of Willy's dad: the face on that Depp boy! When we got out to the parking lot, I asked for a replay but she couldn't do it on command. Boy, department meetings are going to be interesting this semester.

My favorite moment: during the scene when they're whooshing along on the boat on the wonderfully rich river of chocolate, Julia leans over and says, "It's like a log flume." On my other side, Julie leans over and says, "It's like a bowel." Both equally in awe.