Professing * Reflecting

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Kiss! Chase! Tilt! (a rune reading)

Isa Wunjo Ansuz

Question: Am I intuitively moving toward where I need to be?

Ansuz: Ansuz is the rune of language, creativity, signs, and messages and is associated with learning, the spoken word, scholarship, and those we respect and admire. Sometimes indicates help or advice coming from one held in high esteem. Situations may change quickly. Dreams will provide guidance.

Wunjo: Wunjo is the joy rune and is associated with good fortune, domestic happiness, comfort, fellowship and harmony. Existing relationships will be happy and new attractions are possible. Creative, artistic, and intuitive concerns are well aspected and could bring an increase in money.

Isa: Isa relates to ice, cooling, and freezing. It tends to bind and solidify the messages of surrounding runes. Plans are slow to develop and it may be necessary to let some old plans go, especially to avoid a rut. Some kind of suspension of movement is indicated, but this could also bring safety and clarity.

My reading: The first two runes indicate that creativity or creative pursuit is at the heart of the question. Wunjo in the middle position suggests artistic endeavors bringing not only success but also harmony and happiness. Wunjo acts as a key rune here and asks you to pay attention to the messages of both Ansuz and Isa. Ansuz is also a powerfully creative rune, especially as creativity applies to language. It suggests that you should rely on the advice of those you admire but also on signs, messages, dreams, and your own intuition. Ansuz, also called "the poet's rune," indicates a period of intense inspiration. Wunjo and Ansuz together indicate newness and quick changes, and the idea is that going with changes rather than being afraid of them or trying to stand still will bring inspiration and joy. Isa is a rune of very slow change, and I think it is highly significant that a rune of sudden change and a rune of slow change or stagnation lie on either side of Wunjo or joy. Being too safe may lead to a rut. To me, this means you cannot go wrong with whatever love objects you are kissing or muses you are chasing. Hell, even the occasional windmill tilting is not a bad idea. It's all in the "ing"! While the track may seem a little wacky, you know it's right.

Musical Rx: Morphine, "The Night"



Not not goin' nowhere

I just found out Ex-Turned-Friend is moving . . .like really moving, far. I am sad. Kicked-in-the-stomach, iron-weights-on-my-chest, weepy sad. This sucks.



Friday, March 30, 2007

A return to Poetry Friday, e.e. cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

women and men (both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then) they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men (both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

--e. e. cummings

Lines of certain poems knock around in my head. Some make sense, according to the situation, for example, "half a league, half a league, half a league onward" when on the last leg of a long run, drive, etc.; "at length a universal hubbub wild / of stunning sounds and voices all confused / borne through the hollow dark assaults the ear" when walking into a crowded noisy bar (What? Bars don't make you think of Milton's Satan's journey through chaos? Weird.). Others, like the few snippets from this poem, seem to arise for no reason at all. I still like to think there's something meaningful and important about when and where and why "he sang his didn't he danced his did," "someones married their everyones," and "they said their nevers they slept their dream" are bouncing around in my head.

For those in the rune queue, I am looking forward to doing at least a couple of them this weekend, so stay tuned!



Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Chihuahua Wednesday

Ok, all of you Chalupa junkies, here's your fix--Chunk-o-Pup being a guard dog in the backyard:

I love this one, because for a moment unless you are looking really closely, there's no real sense of scale. Chihuahua or Giant of Cute? No way to be sure.

All right, all right, fiends--one more. This is the Chalup in her new bed, a gift from the Sister of Medusa.

Yes, she really is that really really adorable in real life.

By the way, if you are waiting for a rune reading, they are on the way. Next in line are Artichoke Heart then Profgrrrrl. Addy, did you really want the reading about the call or has the mystery been solved? I am loving doing these. In may take me a little time in between readings, but I promise I will get to each one!



Crazy for you (a rune reading)

Laguz (reversed) Gebo Sowelu

Runes are read from right to left. The right and the left represent two pages. The middle represents that which holds them together or keeps them from being turned. I usually think of the right rune as the present situation, the middle rune as the obstacle or the vehicle (i.e. that which is blocking change or that which will allow it), and the left as the result of the first two.

What does the future hold for querent and the object of her infatuation?

Sowelu: Sowelu is the sun rune and is associated with strength, light, clear vision, good health, good luck, and energy. It sheds a positive light on the other runes in the cast, suggests hope, and indicates eventual victory. Could represent the love of a man for a woman. A happy romance may be suggested.

Gebo: Gebo is a love rune and is associated with gifts, partnerships, and generosity. To those who are unattached, Gebo could indicate a new relationship forming. It indicates a need to share and to give of yourself. Literal and figurative gifts (talents, skills, creative abilities) should be given generously but responsibly.

Laguz (reversed): Laguz is the water rune and is associated with fluidity, lack of control, sensuality, and a feminine sexuality. Reversed, it indicates a tendency to try too hard and to control a natural ebb and flow that cannot be controlled. The counsel of Laguz reversed is moderation, of emotions and in all forms of consumption.

My reading: Here the two runes on each side of Gebo represent two possibilities for the relationship. The middle rune in this case works as a key that unlocks each possibility, depending on the choices made. Gebo itself suggests that the two people involved are exceptionally talented and have much to share with one another. You are capable of having a deeply mutually beneficial relationship, but this requires giving of yourselves and sharing your talents freely. If you do, the relationship will bring that which Sowelu offers--energy and good fortune to both of you. If competition, pettiness, or emotional stinginess replaces giving or if the infatuation begins to eclipse all other individual needs, the storms suggested by Laguz reversed will drown out the sun. When this happens, the tendency is to push, control, and overindulge in all the wrong ways. The placement of the runes suggests that returning to the strength of the relationship (Sowelu) is only possible through unselfish affection and respect (Gebo). The fact that Sowelu represents a man and Laguz a woman should not be overlooked. The key to bringing and keeping these two together lies with the messages of Gebo. There will always be a push and pull between these two strong egos, but Sowelu in the first position casts a happy light over their chances.

Musical Rx: Annie Lennox, "The Gift"



Monday, March 26, 2007

Happiness (a rune reading)

Runes are read from right to left. The right and the left represent two pages. The middle represents that which holds them together or keeps them from being turned. I usually think of the right rune as the present situation, the middle rune as the obstacle or the vehicle (i.e. that which is blocking change or that which will allow it), and the left as the result of the first two.

Ability to recognize happiness

Wunjo reversed: Wunjo is the rune of joy, good fortune, harmony, and love. Reversed, it indicates disharmony. Could indicate untrustworthy colleagues. Often associated with a highly emotional period, leading to depression and digestive problems.

Raido reversed: Raido is the travel rune, indicating inner and outer journeys, and is a rune of action and movement. Reversed, it indicates disrupted plans.

Isa: Isa relates to ice, cooling, and freezing. It tends to bind and solidify the messages of surrounding runes. Plans are slow to develop, and it may be necessary to let some old plans go. Everything is on hold, but this can also bring clarity.

OK, so here's my reading: You are perfectly capable of clearly recognizing and achieving happiness. I see the middle rune as representing an obstacle and it indicates that your plans have been consistently disrupted. You are starting from a baseline of disharmony and heightened emotion (wunjo reversed), then you hit more road bumps and disruption (raido reversed), and so of course this is going to lead to a state of suspended happiness (isa).

The fact that the first rune I drew was wunjo, which simply means "joy," indicates to me that you are capable of recognizing and experiencing joy, even though the rune is reversed. The other runes show that it's just being impeded, and not by you. The message is to ride out the turmoil, to rest, and to meditate. You'll find clarity and, yes, happiness. The numbers 7 and 3 are also associated with these runes, indicating that seven or three days, weeks, months, or even years might be of importance.

Musical Rx: Lucinda Williams, "Joy"




I went through a little witchy phase when I first moved to Crowded American City. I was known to make potions and light candles and celebrate the occasional solstice. I spent a lot of time in witch stores. I even have a tiny gold pentacle on my charm bracelet.

My preferred method of divination as witchy Medusa was reading the runes. I love runes, or my "magic rocks" as one or another of the ex-bassists used to call them. During the witchy phase, I owned three different sets. I bought sets for I don't know how many friends for how many birthdays. I now own maybe six in all, most incomplete because I used to take raido with me every time I travelled, and raido never quite made it back into the set. So I have about five raido-less sets, and as of last week one brand new COMPLETE set made of dalmatian jasper. Freckled runes! Right on!

Before the very auspicious reading I did last night, I have no idea when I last did a runecast. According to the dusty old rune journal I just dug up, I stopped doing regular casts in 1998. I did daily casts! I really was witchy! Of course that was back when I have actively not writing my dissertation, but still. . .I was committed to the runes!

So anyway, I am resuming this old (ancient even!) habit. If you'd like me to do a runecast for you, leave a comment with the "concern" or "question" you'd like to address in mind. Hmmm. . . weekly rune readings with Medusa? Possibly. After all, I do have a couple of books to not write :).


Sunday, March 25, 2007

I heart my liver

Every so often, I will do a "detox," which means not drinking a drop of alcohol or taking any medication (ibuprofen, Benadryl, etc.) for 1-2 weeks. During these times, I also drink lots of this milk thistle, licorice root, ginger, star anise fruit tea that is supposed to cleanse the liver. I also cut way down on sugar as a nod to the pancreas.

I am in Day Seven of one such detox (totally necessary, as last conference was particularly pickling) and feeling all groovy and health-conscious and virtuous and zen-like about the temple that is my body. But here's the thing. All the while, I have a nagging, certain knowledge of my true motive: more than anything, I do the detoxing ritual with the idea that it will keep my liver functioning properly for a lifetime of the drink.

That still counts as healthy living, right?


I miss Conference Land

All this week I have been doing the "last week at this time" thing and trying to account for why in god's name I love a conference so much. Is it the travel? To some degree, yes. I can be giddy like a little child just by traveling to a fruit stand 10 miles down the road. The new sights! The new sounds! The adventure! But I also know that it's the shot in the arm I get from the (here's where I geek out, folks) the scholarship--my own and others'. I love the panels, the discussions, the casual conversations, watching graduate students suck up to muckity mucks, and even all of the pretentious and ridiculous performances of scholar-ness. I even enjoy the bad shoes. I just do not get ANY exposure to this kind of interaction at Foggy C. Because of TDC, it's much better to keep my research pursuits on the downlow.

I am realizing over and over again (or forgetting and remembering, habitually) how maddeningly difficult it is to do what I want to do at Foggy C. And it's not that I should not do it, because of the institutional culture, as TDC would have me believe. In fact, I am required to be active in my field, to give conference papers regularly, and to publish. I keep thinking that I just have to play it smarter, to not discuss these pursuits with TDC, and to somehow find an intellectually nourishing environment in this job. I wonder, though, if that's really possible.

What a conference shows me is just how starved of WHAT I DO for most of the year. Yes, I get a lot out of teaching. I consider teaching to be just as important as research, and I am exceptionally good at it. I put a ton of energy into my teaching, and I get energy from it. I get good ideas for my research from my teaching all of the time. But it's just not the same as being with and talking to other people who are actively involved in research. Is once a year (and I do tend to do all my conferences in the Spring) enough to sustain my energy?

A huge part of the problem is TDC. . .*poof* . . .She sent me twenty-one emails last week. Twenty-one.

Ok, that's enough poof-worthy bitching for a Sunday morning. I have a snoring chihuahua to feed, a novel to read, and a condo-association meeting, in which we discuss what to do about the drunken musician who is suing us, to attend. (No, somewhat unbelievably, the drunken musician is not an ex-boyfriend of mine. I don't even think he's a bassist. That is, however, the first thing I am going to ask at the meeting. "Is the plaintiff a bassist?" is in fact the only question on my "Condo Meeting, March 2007, Re: Lawsuit and Various Liability Issues" list so far.)

Labels: ,


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Do you miss the Chalupa?

I thought you might.

Here she is making her sulky Dobby face, which is why I felt compelled to give her a freedom sock. Ignore this reference if you do not know Harry Potter and simply bask in her glorious cuteness.

Coming soon. . . .VIDEO. (At which point I will just go ahead and officially change the name of the blog to Professional Chihuahua, Ph.Dog.)


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rock-n-roll miscellany (in which I link to myself in a frenzy of self-absorbed self-reflection)

While it seems as though I headed my last post with a poem from a fifth-grader on a class trip, it is in reality a matter of not knowing how to get the captions with the pictures I took in Conference City. I kind of like what the mistake has produced, though--my imaginary fifth-grade, budding-anarchist thoughts on the state of the nation in poetic form.

I am back home from what turned out to be a rocking and exhausting conference. All manner of good professional things that will keep me insanely busy for the foreseeable future happened, as well as some personal fun with old friends and some camaraderie bordering on creepiness with The Grand He. I am also pretty sure that the daughter of a famous critic (and a great critic in her own right, but I am being cryptic) called me a whore in an elevator, at least in a roundabout, rhetorical (perhaps fictional) way.

My illusion of coming back to much less work, having finished the conference paper and trying to balance writing and teaching, has proved to be just that, an illusion. TDC is ever toxic and positively rabid in her demands. Still I am somehow re-energized and reminded of why I am in this profession, something (mystification?) a conference always magically does for me.

In home news, the Chalupa did brilliantly at her vacation home with Milo and Kitty. Remember More Fun? It's almost time for him to roll back into town with the rock-n-roll circus. I returned home to a message from him, reporting that he and Feste and Demetrius (a.k.a. the Now Married One True Love) were hanging out all weekend in Best City in All of Texas, feeling nostalgic for their beloved Medusa. Must find a way to get my work done and enjoy this year's Season of More Fun.

Labels: , ,


Monday, March 19, 2007

Home, safe and secure


Spikes, barriers, heavy artillery

Cops love me




Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I am done with the filthily stupidly theoretically dense paper and it really isn't that filthy or stupid at all. Needs some tweaky* but I am pretty happy with it, happy enough anyway to deliver it.

I am very close to getting out of here for a few days. This makes me ridiculously, deliriously happy.

Chalupa is going to be staying at her vacation home, the home of my friend Paloma and her dog, Milo. Milo, an Australian Ridgeback mix weighing in at about 125 lbs., is literally 15 times bigger than the Chalupa. She could not care less about him, even though he steals her toys and follows her around the yard, peeing immediately on any spot she has sniffed for more than two seconds. She is, however, insanely in love with "Kitty" (because that's what Paloma names all her cats), a Katrina rescue from New O.

I will try to blog from the road. Yay! The road!

*Okay, that's a typo but I like it, so it stays. What exactly is a "tweaky"? Whatever it is, I think we all might need a little.

Labels: , , ,


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Can I move to Mexico City?

It seems like an excellent, most desirable plan.

There I will reunite with Tomas, the first boyfriend of the (14-year-old) Medusa.

There I will bask in the sun and do . . .something both important and fun.

I will have window-boxes full of azaleas.

Can you tell I am in paper-writing hell?

Hate the filthily stupidly theoretically dense theses to which I am attracted.

Next year for this conference I am going to write about Robert Downey Jr. doing lines off of Jake Gyllenhaal's bare chest--apropos of nothing, suckers!!!!

In other news, it has been 601 days since I smoked a cigarette.

I might take up smoking again when I move to Mexico City.

I refuse to write a paragraph of more than one sentence for this post.

I would like to be drunk.

Or even just hungover.


The chalupa, on the other hand, is quite content.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Day of beauty

Must get ghost photo off top of page, as it is now creeping me out.

So I have the research for the paper done and the paper mapped out in notes. It would make sense to write the thing today then, right?

Right. But instead I am going for a hair cut, highlights, mani-pedi, bra fitting/bra buying, and conference outfit shopping. I just found out it's likely to be 70 degrees in conference place during conference time, and this changes wardrobe plans SIGNIFICANTLY. I forget what 70-degree clothes I have in my closet, so the only logical plan is to buy new 70-degree clothes.

I am such a sensible girl.

Because I can't resist, here is a shot of Chalupa traversing the tundra in her favorite sweater and thinking longingly of the ancestral homeland.

Labels: , ,


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ghost photo

As I was uploading the latest Chalupa photos from my camera, I found this. I didn't take it. I have no idea how it was taken. That is my hand and the angle shows that the camera was on my desk pointing toward the study door. Maybe as I was reaching for the camera or as I was setting it down, I accidentally hit the button? Or maybe, as I have long suspected, there are ghosts in the attic. This must be the same one who turns the t.v. off and on, the techie ghost.

Isn't it so cool?


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Duh: a Cautionary Tale and an Apology

Before you spend three weeks purchasing and gathering materials for a conference presentation on kinda sorta brand new research and three days reading a bunch of crap out of the crap you have purchased and gathered--three days of the mere five you have to write the conference paper, you might want to take a look back at the abstract of said paper in the approved proposal. If you do, you might see that you are presenting a paper whose topic is almost completely unrelated to the research you are preparing to do. You might also see that the topic, while not as kinda sorta brand new as the imaginary topic you are about to spend money and time on, is even more abstract and difficult than the abstract and difficult crap you normally do. You might also wonder what your real proposed paper has to do with the topic of the panel (which you created) and the other papers on the panel (which you chose). You might also decide it's no wonder that you decided you were writing on the imaginary topic because the imaginary topic does actually have to do with the panel topic and the other papers, while the real topic. . .well, not so much. You might also realize you're fushizzled. Deeply deeply fushizzled.

I am going underground to write this impossible paper. If all you see here for the next few days is a series of Chalupa photos and/or the occasional one or two-word post (Fuck! Help! Dear God! The Humanity! Send Back-up! Fuck Fuck!), I hope you will understand. On that note, I leave you with "Chihuahua in the Sun."

Labels: , ,


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Pencil Thief

More proof that she may in fact be my dog--her clear preference for the Dixon Ticonderoga #2.



Saturday, March 03, 2007

Get off my pillow, interloping fiend (a photo essay by Chalupa)



PSA: Gyllenhaal alert

Jake Gyllenhaal will be on this morning's Today show, within the next ten minutes or so.

Updated to add: Lame. Jake said a few words, then Robert Graysmith (Gyllenhaal's character in Zodiac) yammered on and on about the STILL! NOT! OVER! case. I wanted Mark Ruffalo to run in screaming and punch Graysmith in the face. Then I wanted Robert Downey Jr. to show up and snort some lines of coke off of Jake's bare chest.

Labels: ,