Professing * Reflecting

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Funny or sad?

  • Those fifty midterms I have been avoiding grading all day? When I just finally went to my bag to get them. . .no midterms. Yep. I left them in my office at school. And how do I feel about this? Not unlike a school child on a snow day.
  • I got a rejection letter in the mail. I was confused for a good twenty seconds or so, because I had forgotten I had applied for a position there.
  • My dormant late 80s crush on Robert Downey Jr. has returned with force over the past six months or so. Why, you ask? I can only speculate, but to start I might consider what these three characters * have in common.

*Went to a screening of Zodiac last night. I recommend it, though it's looooooong and unwieldy in that David Fincher way and almost too carelessly misogynistic in that David Fincher way--but I think with a purpose, as the case was looooong and unwieldy. That, though, of course doesn't explain the carefully careless misogyny. Maybe the carefully careless misogyny falls within the parameters of the very sick yet very funny tone of Fincher's movies. The vehicle for so much racism and sexism is humor, and there's this weird sick humor in his films. Anyway--I do recommend it, if only for its unsatisfying, never-ending conclusion and its hilarious and disturbing send-up of police incompetence (or corruption. . .I can never really figure out which or if there's a real difference).

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Letter of Irritation, Girly-Girl Edition

Dear Otherwise Good and Nice Boy,

When I say I am going to hang out at home and call it an early night (yes, on a SATURDAY NIGHT), I mean it. No matter how sweet and charming and sexy and caring and cool and funny and smart I think you are, I am probably not going to be persuaded to change my mind. In fact, I do not want to be persuaded.

I am not being coy. I really do want to get into my flannel pj pants and outrageously large, mismatched wool sweater (it's 16 degrees fahrenheit outside) at about 7 p.m. and curl up with my chihuahua and a glass of red wine and finally watch Marie Antoinette, which I wanted to see in the theaters until reviewers convinced me it was a girlish mistake. And then I really do want to be in bed by 10 p.m. and maybe read a little of this book and be asleep by midnight on the outside.

And if I want to spend a Girl's Night In with Sofia and Kirstin and Martha and the Princess Puttalily Fandango (Chunk-o-Pup's name when she's feeling fancy on a Saturday night), I do not need to be ridiculed. Making fun of me in a playful affectionate ("You are so goofy and pathetic but it's cute because I know how punch drunk this month has left you") way is one thing, but making fun of me in a kind of belligerent and coercive way? Unh uh, not okay. Do you really want to shame me into hanging out with you?

See, I know when I need me some me time. I know how and when I need to take it. I know that tomorrow I will wake up refreshed and happy. I know that I will end up having LOVED every irreverent and visually absorbing minute of Marie Antoinette. I know that I will have really enjoyed that Southgate opens her novel with this Wilt Chamberlain quotation: "Everything is habit-forming, so make sure what you do is what you want to be doing." I know I will make some coffee and Irish oatmeal in my sunny kitchen. I know I will do a little morning reading and find this and feel real excitement for the coming Spring. I know I will feel a little more ready to face a positively bone-crushing March with its no less than a million and fourteen academic commitments.

Your contribution to my evening and my morning will have been to introduce a little bit of worry that maybe I will die alone because maybe I am lame and boring and pathetic. And then I will worry for you because I will be concerned that I hurt your feelings and I will see the beginning of the end of an otherwise very nice sort of friendship and I will fret that you are pushing my buttons and that everyone KNOWS what happens when my buttons are pushed. And then I will worry a little bit about my buttons and if they are neurotic or narcissistic or irrational buttons.

In the end, though, I think I will decide that my buttons are just fine, thank you very much, and I will get another cup of coffee and curl up under my puffy pink comforter and forget to be irritated about anything at all because I am happy by myself and with myself. And that really is worth something, isn't it?



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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dream proof of media overload (and all manner of other issues)

I know I am in danger of becoming that boring person who posts only pictures of her pet on her blog, so I will instead risk becoming the annoying person who blogs only about dreams. This week's dream log also serves as evidence that I have been spending entirely too much of Februrary watching television and reading blogs:

Monday night
: While passing by a cafe in a hotel where I was attending a conference, I noticed a man gesturing toward me. It was Larry King, eating a bowl of a oatmeal. (Some of the oatmeal was falling down his chin and into the folds of his jowls. Ewww.) So he says, in his exact Larry King voice, "Yeah, so sit down. Let me tell you something. Stop dieting. You're looking gaunt, here and here [gesturing toward each side of face]. You don't look good. And watch it with the booze, will ya? Now go." He goes back to eating his oatmeal, and I walk away with the distinct feeling that he had somehow mistaken me for Lindsay Lohan. I was upset not at what he had said but at the idea that he had not really said it to me.

Wednesday night: Matt Lauer totally felt me up. He was ostensibly measuring me for a bra for a segment on the Today show, but there was OVERT fondling.

Friday night: Last night's was the most detailed and emotional dream. Heather Armstrong decided to give me her life, complete with husband and child. I was to take over as her, to live in her house as her husband's wife and her daughter's mother. I kept trying to explain to her that I could not just fill in for her, because her child and her husband loved her. But every time I told her that she could not just be replaced, she would shake her head and give me this "you are so so naive or perhaps even slightly retarded" look. As she was training me, guiding me around the house (which was really quite spectacular, with all kinds of hidden spaces like a huge underground grotto with hot spring-fed baths), and telling me what to do, she kept saying, "You are going to have snap out of it and pay attention." I had this overwhelming feeling of complete inadequacy, not with the child or even with the impossible necessity of having to be a lapsed Mormon but with the idea that I would be a terribly inferior partner in the marriage.

So, yes, I think we can all agree that it's a good thing I will be seeing my new shrink again next week. I think I will just walk in, sit down, and bust out with, "Larry King thinks I'm too skinny, Matt Lauer and I got to second base, and I am a bad wife."

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

The showdown

Laptop vs. Lapdog



Sunday, February 11, 2007

Though you are the size of my head, I shall defeat you (or Die Froggy Die)

As you can see, things have been quite busy around here, with froggies needing to die painful deaths and such.

The Chalupa and I are getting along marvelously, but sadly it looks like this will only be her foster home until I find her a better, most perfect home. She is not doing so well with the many stairs involved in living in an attic and with the spastic dog downstairs, with whom she shares the yard. She loves nothing more than to be in my lap, but my lap is unavailable for large portions of the week--often 12 hours a day. I am in touch through the veterinary hospital and various rescue leagues with some wonderful people, so I feel confident we will find her a great home. Already there are a couple of good possibilities. Still, it will be a sad day indeed when she goes. There's always the possibility I will not be able to let her go, but I need to remember it will be better for her. So, for now, I will be making the garret the happiest possible foster home for Her Majesty, Chapula Chunk-o-Love.

In other news, the semester is off to a busy start. Once again, my course-release time (for research) is being sucked into the Black Hole that is my Toxic Devil Chair's service agenda, including the many obligations of serving on search committees for multiple searches run in the most stupidly fucktarded (and I am almost quite sure illegal) ways possible. My classes and my students are awesome. My colleagues (with exception of Toxic Devil Chair) are awesome. Foggy C, while fucked-up in various ways, is fine. My personal life, since resolution of Big Deal Personal Suckage, is full of all manner of bright and happy possibilities. If I could just find a way not to let Toxic Devil Chair toxify my life, I would be fine.

In New Year's Resolution news, "goofing off" is going particularly well, which is why I think I will ignore the prep for a class I have only taught once two years ago (a perpetual untenable position I find myself in due to utterly unrealistic demands of Toxic Devil Chair) and the stack of ungraded papers to go see Pan's Labryinth this afternoon and then settle in with the Chalupa for wine and Grammy fun (and froggy killing) this evening.

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