Wednesday, October 29, 2008

definition of a true friend

I'm talking the other day with the Wonka about how much I hate the thought of being the center of attention at the wedding next Saturday (next Saturday!). I hate all of the expectations that come with it, even if my friends really don't expect me to play the role of "bride," I've internalized--we all have--those expectations and they make me sick.

Julie Wonka is the friend who, when I told her that I wouldn't mind going to look at dresses if it weren't for the goddamn people who work in these places with all that emotional labor they're paid to do, told me she'd be my buffer, and she wouldn't let them near me unless it was to bring me a dress in another size or something. Save the bullshit for other customers.

So when I was talking with her about my issues with being the center of attention and such, she said, and I quote, "Do you want us to look away?"


Sunday, October 26, 2008

anger on Normal Avenue

Julie Wonka was quite pissed when she woke up one morning a few weeks ago to discover that all of the Obama yard signs on her block were stolen. So she decided to respond to this rhetorical violence with some rhetoric of her own. She went to Menards (a Home Depot-type store)--a feat in itself, as the last time I went to a home improvement store with the Wonka, I had to respond "yes" when she asked me if this experience made me wonder how she ever made it through the day. Once at Menards, she purchased a massive piece of plywood, some red spray paint, and an entire roll of "private property" yellow tape--you know, like the crime scene tape you see on tv. Getting this piece of plywood into and out of the Rav-4 was no easy task and involved quite a bit of swearing, but she did it, and she made this sign:

She took it down a few days later, when her partner told her that he was having a hard time sleeping for fears of crazies firebombing the house. The smaller sign is still in the yard. But on Wednesday, November 5, we're hoping to pull the plywood sign out again. And then we'll sit around in a circle and drink champagne.

Don't fuck with her freedom of speech. Try to silence Julie Wonka, and she'll only respond even more loudly.

Friday, October 24, 2008

because we spend a lot of time on the couch

Old couch. Could not accommodate two adults laying down at the same time. Also could not accommodate the entire family on the couch at the same time:

New sectional can. The chaise end of the couch, the part covered here with a brown blanket, might also come to be known in this house as the built-in doggie bed. When we got up this morning, Belly was all sprawled out on that end. I thought they'd like the corner best, all snuggly and surrounded:

Yes, we're in an economic crisis. This means we'll be spending more time at home. This means we need to all be able to fit comfortably as we watch the 8 best Cubs games ever, a birthday present from my hun bun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

on the day of my birth

I had a wonderful birthday, complete with a terrific celebration with friends on Saturday night. Damn, I got some good ones. Friends, that is.

And, well, some good presents too.

I sent off the little book. Fly away, little book. If the world decides you should live, you shall. If not, well, we'll talk about that later.

AND I learned that I won a teaching award I didn't even know I'd been nominated for.

M. made me a beautiful besprinkled cake--yummers! And A. made me an apple pie that rivals even my own. Now we've just got to get S.M.B. to participate in an apple pie bakeoff and all will be right with the world.

Thank you, friends, for being so good.


Friday, October 17, 2008


For the midterm in my doctoral seminar in rhet/comp, I emailed each student an individualized question and they had 4 hours to compose a response, which they then emailed back to me. The following week, one student asked what the average page length was, and without really thinking through the effects of what I was about to say, I told them it was about 7-8 pages. So of course the people who wrote less than that felt like they didn't do enough work (the theme of the seminar is rhetorics of work in comp).

It then occurred to me that we never really get over this internalized message that more pages equals better work. I told them about the damn book manuscript I'm working on, that it's just over 100 pages right now, that I feel like it's wimpy, and in that very moment the best metaphor occurred to me. My book will be a frisbee, I said. I can ask the publisher to print it round, and its title, which previously had no colon, could be The Affective Economics of Citation: A Frisbee.

K. revises for me on the spot. No, she says, The Affective Economics of Citation: Fetch!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


First, we're getting married November 8, people. I know, I know, we said we were doing it June 13. But S.'s stepmom is having a hard time finding someone to come to the house to actually marry us, and lord, the stress that comes with the IDEA of being the center of attention for such an event is making me break out in hives. Really and truly. I've got bumps all over my freakin' body. So we're gonna get married in a very small ceremony on the 8th with only a handful of close friends and family. Parties to follow, one here in IL, probably in the spring, and one in June, on the 13th still, in North Carolina. And I promise not to wear a dress. Jeebus.

We need a new roof. The one that is currently covering our heads is likely to collapse, and soon. Lordie pie. Anybody got $7,000 they don't mind parting with? All that money and it's not even anything fun. We got to pick the color, though. Hunter green, to match the shutters.

Wrigley had been limping on and off for a few weeks, and on Monday morning she couldn't move, so we brought her in, they did x-rays, which revealed that a) she doesn't have arthritis, which is a good thing because she's so young and arthritis at this age would be a sign of something much worse; and b) it may just be the way she's formed that causes this little ridge on her elbow, but in order to find out we've got to keep her inactive for two weeks. Um, let me say that again. WE HAVE TO KEEP THIS DOG INACTIVE FOR TWO WEEKS. My immediate response to the vet: can we leave her here? And if not, can I stay here for those two weeks? They gave us some doggie downers for her (poor thing), but so far they seem to not be affecting her. Not taking her on walks is breaking my heart. She's such a happy happy girl, up for anything, and she loves her walks like Belly does. Please please please let her be okay.

I told S. last night that fall is gonna be a busy gift-giving time for him now that we're getting married two weeks after my birthday. heh. He says he can deal with it.

I think I may be ready soon to send out a full draft of the effin' book. I'm really not sure how I feel about it anymore. I need someone else to read it. But it's a little scary.

So, the hives. Yes. My arms are covered in bumps. My neck, my legs, even my ass. It ain't pretty.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Today I'm wearing the Wrigley Field sweatshirt I bought for myself when we went to see the Cubbies play in August. It's chilly out.

Today I guess I'm begining to understand better what it feels like to be a Cubs fan. God, I love those boys, but what on earth were they DOING these last three games? Where was my Rammy the clutch hitter? Where was Soto's Rookie-of-the-year performance? Where was the PITCHING?

Being the optimist that I am (as if), I tell myself that now I can schedule my days around other things and I can bond with other Cubs fans who feel the same pain I do. Okay, really, they feel it so much worse.

And then we take the girls for a walk.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Start time of Game one of postseason Cubbies: 5:30

Start time of my doctoral seminar in rhetoric and composition: 5:30

Guest speaker of said seminar: Julie Wonka Jung

Start time of Game two of postseason Cubbies: 8:30

Start time of Biden/Palin debate: 8:00