Thursday, August 30, 2007

the end of an automotive era

This will likely be one of several posts about the current car crisis in my life. S. noticed last night that Alcatraz was leaking gas, so I called the mechanic to get him in this morning. Asked them to check the gas tank and to also take a look at the clutch, which S. has been saying needs adjusting. Well, it needs a little more than adjusting. It's the hydraulic system, whatever that means. Translation: gas tank, for which they don't even make parts anymore: $550. Fixing the clutch: $700 something. Total amount to sink into a 1995 car with 179,000 miles: more than $1200. Ack.

So it looks like I'll be saying goodbye to Alcatraz Prizm sometime in the next couple weeks. Hoping I can take advantage of some major Labor Day deals or some such. I'm feeling overwhelmed by the entire process. There's too much to research, too many ways I can get ripped off. Moan. Groan. Whine.

I've had Alcatraz since 1996, and I bought him when I was working at Better Communications as an Executive Assistant making $27,000 a year. I'd had to get rid of my little Mitsubishi Precis because it was a piece of shit, and I decided to go all out and get a new car. I paid $10,400 brand new and it's given me 11 and a half years of reliable service.

I'm feeling a bit like I might have to have a memorial service for this car. It's seen me through SO MUCH of my life.

On this, more to come...


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

visual representation

I came home last night to see this on the chalkboard.
He's trying to remember. He really is.
Above the title was a shopping list, and he'd gone out and gotten everything on the list, so all that was left was remembering my book title. What a night.


Monday, August 27, 2007

proof that I'm working on the book

I've just retitled it: From The Affective Economics of Plagiarism to The Affective Economics of Citation: Reconceiving Authorship and Plagiarism in Composition Studies.

Better, I think. More about what I'm actually doing.

A conversation between S. and me this morning:

A: I'm going in to school early to try to get some writing done on that damn book.

S.: This is the one you're writing by yourself, right?

A: Yup. What's its title?

S.: Something something Plagiarism in the City.

Exactly, my dear. And the movie just might star Sarah Jessica Parker. Though I'd rather see Scarlett Johansson in the lead. I've loved her ever since Lost in Translation. Perhaps the sequel to my book could be something like Lost in Plagiarism.


fall writing schedule

If I write it on the blog, it becomes law. If I write it on the blog, I'm somehow more accountable than if I were to write it only in my calendar.

Monday 2-5

Wednesday 9-12 OR 2-5, depending on the week (grad committee meetings sometimes get in the way of the morning)

Friday 9-12

INVIOLABLE. Must get book written. Must prove to myself that I'm capable of getting a book written. It's not that I don't have enough to say. I've got PLENTY to say. I'm more and more persuaded that good writing is 90% good organization. I've got so much to say and I'm just not sure where to put it all. Categories. Chapters. Claims leading into one another, building on each other. This, I remember, was also the hardest part of the dissertation.

And the other thing I have to resist: the temptation to simply turn one of these chapters into an article so I can get relatively immediate gratification.

I'm officially at that point in my career when there are TOO MANY things I want to do. Will I have enough time to do them all? I'm so excited about literary forgery and what it can teach us about writing. I'm fascinated still with Mark Hofmann. I want to write about the personal essay and representations of trauma. But first, the book. The book the book the book.

At times like these I'm so grateful for my classed attention to promptness, that fear of tardiness that translates so often into a nice strong work ethic. Cuz, well, it's easy to get overwhelmed.

If I force myself to attend to these things at least 9 hours a week during my 3 semester, things should be moving along.

Stay tuned.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

last night I went to bed at 10

I'm just sayin'.

Things are a-changin.'

This morning I got up at 7. Woke up at about 6, got out of bed at about 7, and by 7:30 I was walking Annabelle before it got too hot for us to enjoy it. I watched all of one inning of the Cubs Giants game cuz, well, they started at 9:05. Dang west-coast trips. But I woke to the news that they won, 4-2. Go Cubbies!

This being up in the mornings thing might just work out for me. I may need a nap every day at 3:30 or so, but still. I get lots done, look up at the clock, and it's still only 9:30. Dang.

Even though the new semester has begun, my office at school is still so quiet. No Wonka to come have lunch with me--she's on a Monday/Wednesday schedule, I'm on a Tuesday/Thursday. And not very many people walking by. Whine whine whine.

No sounds except the humming of my diet coke-filled fridge. Sigh.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

my favorite "after" view of the floors

living room after
Originally uploaded by aerobil
It looks kinda like we're living the good life over here, eh? Look at those floors. Look at those walls. Look at all the coordination--but not TOO much coordination--going on.

If you click on the photo, you'll see more pictures of before and after. It's too bad I don't have a clear photo of S.'s house when I first met him. It was something. In fact, S. made the observation recently that the only item currently in the living area (dining and living rooms) that was there when I met him is the china cabinet. Um, yeah. As you look at the photos, be sure to note the piss-stained rug. That was my favorite. *sigh*

And I'd like to officially pat myself on the back for being genius enough to find those pillows that match the walls just incredibly. Also, thank you to Kohl's.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

now, what was I working on?

I'll always look back fondly on the afternoon in mid-summer when I decided I needed something physical to do, a project of some sort, so I decided to tackle the hallway bathroom at S.'s place. It was wallpapered and so it took the most energy of all the rooms we painted. One room led to another, and now the entire upstairs with the exception of the master bedroom and the kitchen have been repainted. Here's the list, so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment:

1. hallway bathroom painted red, new fixtures, new mirror, towel racks, etc.
2. living room painted "old mill blue"--a bluish purpley color
3. master bath painted "flatland," a mocha-ish color, new medicine cabinet, towel racks, etc.
4. hallway painted yellow, or more precisely, "willow's gold"
5. second bedroom (now the guest room) painted yellow
6. third bedroom (now my office) painted a blue-grey
7. dining room given a new coat of white paint
8. foyer painted "English ivy" green
9. And the biggest improvement of all: piss-stained carpet torn up, rolled up, and (I wish) burned up in favor of laminate flooring.

I'm planning to post pics soon--they're on a different computer, so it'll take some conscious effort on my part, but I promise they'll be here soon.

So, back to the question in this post's title. After all this home improvement, all these "projects," I seem to have forgotten what it's like to work on scholarship. And I kinda miss it. The Wonka and I are going to set up regular weekly working meetings at the coffeehouse so we can be sure to get stuff done and have some fun doing it. I'm at the point in my life when I actually have to think about "balancing" things; shee-it. Before, there was nothing to balance. Well, there was, but it wasn't quite so obvious.

current obsessions: the Protestant work ethic; our feelings about the work ethic; the grad course on intellectual property I'll be teaching next semester....

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Monday, August 20, 2007

holy shitters, it's good to be back

online, that is. on the blog. on cable high-speed internet. glory be.

My home office is set up. I'm unpacked except for random crap like a box filled with seasonal decorations (e.g., Spike the wooden snowman), a sewing kit, and a few small games. Don't know where to put them.

I told S. a while back, before we moved in together, that I don't know how to live with another person. It's been a REALLY long time. Like, I dunno, 12 years since I last lived with someone. And I was 22 years old. A lot has changed since then. I've developed my annoying little habits. Have learned to fall asleep in a particular position. Have become accustomed to living most of my life without the TV on. And Belly and me--well, Belly has lived most of her life with just me. She's no longer the only dog in the house and I wish she could tell me how she's feeling about that. For the first few nights, I think she was still wondering when it was time to go home. I've set up her bed in my office so she can be with me during the day when I work, and we still take our walks mostly alone and we still have important snuggle time in the mornings.

Right now the most disruptive parts of our lives is the sleeping and the waking. S. gets up for work at 5:30. I get up at 7:30 on an early day. The house isn't soundproof enough for me to keep sleeping--at least not yet. Mayhaps I'll become an early-morning person and get all kinds of work done and stun the world with my brilliance--the brilliance that has been dormant as I've slept most of my mornings away.

We'll see.

First night of classes tonight. This means I'll miss The Closer. But the trusty DVR will save me. And the Cubbies are on at 7. I get out of class at 8:20. Ugh. Race home. Race home. Have I mentioned that my commute is now longer?

'tis indeed good to be back.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

I's still kickin'

The blog these days has become like one of those friends with whom you really need to catch up, but you know it's gonna take a while so you keep putting it off until finally those friends either a) give up on you; or b) assume you're dead.

I'm not dead.

I moved in with S. and there's SO SO much unpacking to do. And there's still a little bit of crap at the old house. Including poop in the yard. Lovely, I know.

Hillary came last week and we put in the laminate flooring. Holy shitters that was a lot of work. When I get my home computer set up, I'll post pics. Hillary is an incredible friend: who else but a friend who's known you since you were 10 would come to your place for a week to work? She worked her ass off. My ass worked, but not like hers. Dang.

School starts in a week, and as soon as I've got my crap unpacked at home, I'll be ready. I miss students.

Belly's a little bit confused still. Each night I think she's wondering why we're not going home. But we have a new nightly ritual: after our walk, we go into the guest room and lay down on my old bed and she chews rawhide while I rub her butt. She needs to know she's still my precious girl. And she needs to have her rawhide in a room without Scully and Mulder. Rawhide with more than one dog in the room is never a good idea.

It's been quite the summer. I'm exhausted but happy.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

this new hobby of mine's getting in the way

Yesterday I was at S.'s place in the afternoon because a) he was home sick with a nasty sinus infection and needed to be taken care of; and b) my air conditioning was on the fritz on a 90+ degree day. I brought over all the stuff I'd need to begin crafting my syllabus for the Intro to Grad Studies course, spread it all out on the dining room table and proceeded to watch the Cubbies lose 10-6. I had it on mute at first. I'd read a sentence, look up. Read a sentence, look up. Um, this is no way to concentrate. Didn't get much of that syllabus written. And this is a new course for me, and I've got ideas. Perhaps the whole class could take a field trip to Wrigley. Or something.

They're on at 1:20 today, and I'm gonna allow myself to watch only if I've gotten a whole bunch of that dang thing done.

How'm I gonna get through September and October?

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

dang, what a game

Go Cubbies! Bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, one out, and the winning run scores by stealing.

I'm just sayin'.

Perhaps I'll wear my Cubbies hat to the dentist tomorrow.