Professing * Reflecting

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

My nephew Ozzy says I am 27 years old today. Let's go with that!


Friday, June 22, 2007

A lesson on their heritage, or Papa's definition of classy

Papa, father of Medusa; grandfather of Ozzy and Katydid
Katydid, 12-year-old niece of Medusa
Ozzy, 8-year-old nephew of Medusa

Scene: Papa's car, en route to lunch

Katydid: Ozzy, you need a haircut. You look like a truckdriver.
Ozzy: Nuh uh!
Papa: What's wrong with truckdrivers? What's a truckdriver supposed to look like?
Katydid: Well, I just mean his hair looks like too long and scruffy. Truckdrivers aren't very . . . classy.
Papa: Hmm. Did you know I drove a truck for a while? Your great-grandfather drove a truck sometimes. Five or six of my uncles drove trucks for a living.* In a way, you come from a family of truckdrivers. Truckdrivers are still some of the best people I know.
Katydid: Really?
Papa: Yep. Sometimes classy is about who you are and how you treat people, not about how much money you make or what you do. Plus, driving trucks is kind of cool.
Ozzy: [a huge smile spreading across his face] My hair is truckdriver cool!

(Now we know what I can do if I do not get tenure--follow in the family tradition. You think I'm kidding. Not even.)

*My father's father had 11 siblings and his mother had 10.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Finding zen in the Deep Red

The list, untouched, of to dos before leaving tomorrow morning:

--Print out Big Project materials and pack all work-related papers/books, including: Big Project stuff, reader's report for revise & resubmit, revise & resubmit essay, de Man, Milton, DeLillo, Uncontrollable Putty: Toward a New Prosthetics*
--Pack the Chalupa's bag, including: hoodie, collar & leash, blankie, Squeaky Face, Mouse Baby, greenies, P-nuttier treats, Trader Joe's bones, lip gloss (i.e. her nose balm she likes to put on when I put on my lip gloss), Cosequin, health certificate
--Pack all electronics accessories, including: laptop power cord, cell phone charger, camera battery charger, extra camera battery, camera laptop cord, ipod charger cord
--Pack Father's Day gifts and cards; Mother's Dubliner cheese; gifts for the kiddies
--Quick trip to gym
--Quick shopping trip to Marshall's
--If time, exchange new cell phone that I hate (requires trip downtown, likely not going to happen)
--Two loads laundry
--Pack clothes and toiletries
--Pick up bookshelves from Sabine and deliver home
--Do dishes
--Car to Paloma's garage

Keeping me from the list is lots of lounging in the bed with the Chalupa, sipping coffee, reading some blogs, seriously lusting for this perfume, and considering ways in which to keep myself in tact during my visit to my family. Recent intense conversations with my mother, my sister, and my father tell me that I will not be finding an oasis of calm in the Deep Red.

For example, I had an hour-and-a-half conversation with my father last night, during which he told me everything we had to worry about in order of increasining importance, from my 12-year-old niece being more interested in social events and her sports and dance teams than in her schoolwork to a relative being in pretty serious debt. He asked me why he, at 76 years old, still had to worry about everyone and why everyone's problems--which he is bound by duty to worry about--did not get any better and in fact seemed to get worse, and why no one was getting him a rocking chair and telling him to go out to the porch to relax. He did not seem amused when I pointed out that my sister and I are CONSTANTLY telling him to go and relax while we take care of things. When I reminded him that he insists each and every time we do this that he wants no part of this relaxing nonsense, he explained that as soon as someone (anyone!) else in the family is as competent as he is to take care of business he would be more than happy to stop worrying and TCBing. He then assured me that he would explain in much more detail all of the things we should be worrying about, from global to local, during my visit. Woo hoo! Please don't get me wrong. I love my father and my family deeply. It's just that we are all really truly batshit crazy.

I am always concerned with steeling myself, reinforcing my sense of self, before I visit my family, with the idea that I will not slip into old patterns and will not push their buttons or let mine be pushed. I am thinking now that maybe "steeling myself" is exactly the wrong strategy. Yesterday I found this quote, from the Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön. (Did you know that Chödrön went to Miss Porter's School? Since I am now obsessed with Little Edie, I am also obsessed with anyone or anything to do with Miss Porter's School.) Anyway, the quote reminded me of how I usually feel when I am with the gypsies:

"In the most ordinary terms, egolessness is a flexible identity. It manifests as inquisitiveness, as adaptability, as humor, as playfulness. It is our capacity to relax with not knowing, not figuring everything out, with not being at all sure about who we are - or who anyone else is either." (via whiskey river)

This endless adaptability, this sense of play, and the kind of inquistiveness that comes from not needing to know is precisely the way I feel when I am with the gypsies or on certain other kinds of adventures--the feeling I was so angry that I could not achieve this last time because of the big fat egoist ways of the Nemesis. There is nothing more important to the Nemesis than proving who she is. That's her toxicity--forcing the "who she is" of herself onto everyone else with an endless litany of "I do this like this . . . I did this so that this will be . . .I am the kind of person who . . . I I I I I I." This time my attempt to let go and find the gypsy floating-self feeling again, because of that recent experience, just led to radical insecurity.

Still, I tasted a bit of it. What if I try to go with this flexible sense of identity during this visit with my family? Ex-shrink is the one who originally suggested that I reinforce my sense of self and fight for that sense of self while on family visits. But that's the point of American ego psychology, right? Rather than trying to shore up my identity--my now adult identity vs. my then child/adolescent identity or whatever--what if I just let go of the concern with who I am and who they are? Will it work if I am the only one on the zen vibe? Especially in my mother's house, where all that happens is endless figuring out of the most mundane details, of when this will happen and how that will happen and why this isn't happening as it was supposed to happen at this exact minute and when it is not happening we had better talk about or call someone to see why it is not happening in the way it has been scheduled to happen?

I say it's worth a shot. At the very least, I might have something amusing along the lines of Zen Action A leads to Super Neurotic Reaction B to report here.

*These may or may not be the real books I am working on--anything to protect my wildly speculated upon identity, you know.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Stressed-out gypsy

My adventure with More Fun was not as carefree as I would have liked it to have been. If I weren't so loathe to admit it, I would say that the sucky situation of last week brought on by the putrid behavior of it (leaving him/her genderless) who shall now be called the Nemesis of Medusa was a bit too much to be overcome during my short trip. More Fun did his best to make me feel better, including affectionately demanding many times that I marry him, tell the Nemesis to fuck right off, and move to Rock-n-Roll Circus Land.

I think more than anything I am jealous of my gypsy friends. I was too aware that I had to come back to this. How dare NoM fuck with my gypsy time and my summer adventures, as few and far between as they are! I don't even feel like doing my work--work that I was excited about and work that makes the gypsy time all the more fun--since NoM pissed all over my career.

At least it has come to a showdown. I have to try to remember that and to move ahead, even though I am uncertain of what's ahead. Isn't that the gypsy way, after all? Day after tomorrow I leave for the Deep Red for a long visit with my family. I hope that change of scenery does a bit more to dispel the NoM nastiness in my head.

The Chalupa will be joining me on my travels! We are very excited but a little nervous about the long plane ride(s). Any advice on how to handle a wily Chalupa in a airplane cabin? Chalupas on a plane! Chalupas on a plane!

OK. . .I am going to end this disjointed and kind of nutty and kind of ranty and kind of maudlin post and go to the gym or drink some wine or both (but not at the same time obviously). The Nemesis just fucking sucks so fucking much, for fuck's sake! (Ahh . . .cursing does help, it really does.)

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Man, do I need this

The Season of More Fun could not come have come at a better time. I have done all I can do for now about the miserable situation (thanks for your kind advice, all), so I am clearing out for a few days. What better remedy for suckage than More Fun and the rock-n-roll circus? None, I say! None!

I will hit the road! I will be free from this! Suckage be gone! Yes, yes, yes! Goodness shall prevail.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

At long last . . .Chalupa video!

Sorry for the darkness and the lack of anything really happening in the video. We are still working on the technology and the directing =).

Still, just seeing her taunt and try to bury her bone in her giant fantastic rosebud bed, as well as occasionally looking at me like, "Hey, c'mon, crazy lady with the camera, let's play" might be enough to make you melt from the cuteness. You can also hear the signature Chalupa snort. She snorts constantly, but I think in this case it's some sort of warning snort to the bone. Enjoy!



Friday, June 08, 2007

Cryptic and desperate plea for advice

How do (or would) ya'll handle unfair treatment by a superior especially when his or her actions could seriously jeopardize your career? How do you keep it from sucking all of your energy, energy you need to spend on your work? How do you do what you can to fight it then draw the line and redirect your energy toward the major, time-intensive projects you need to complete? How do you put a limit on how much mental space you are going to allow the fuckwit to have? How do you handle the anger and frustration of someone putting you in a deeply unfair situation?

I am thinking voodoo doll, but I welcome any and all suggestions. Help!

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

For those of you who are writing this week. . .

A fabulous meme, found at Life & Times--the random academic sentence generator from Pootwattle the Virtual Academic and Smedley the Virtual Critic!

I am in love with my generated sentences:

Pootwattle Pootwattle the Virtual Academic(TM) says:

The culture of system is, and yet is not, the de-eroticization of patriarchal grammar.

Smedley Smedley the Virtual Critic(TM) responds:

Pootwattle's lukewarm affirmation of the relationship between the culture of system and the de-eroticization of patriarchal grammar narrowly avoids withdrawal into conscious unreadability.



Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Chihuahua Wednesday, Funny Faces Edition



Monday, June 04, 2007


How can I look like Lisa Ling, Christina Applegate, Fiona Apple, and Jennifer Aniston, all at once?

The wonderful Lina (in one of her other incarnations) turned me on to this celebrity face recognition demo a long time ago. Every now and then I fall under its narcissistic spell and check my celebrity lookalike status. Go try it. It's fun and, as you might gather from the above, wildly accurate.

Updated to add: Today, via a picture with my hair down and makeup instead of no makeup and pulled-back hair of yesterday, I am the spitting image of Natalie Imbruglia, Izabella Scorupco, and--again, still, inexplicably--Fiona Apple. Such baffling and wonderous technology!



No one loves me (a Medusa pity party)

Evidence that no one loves me:

Exhibit A. Got an email from The Grand He this morning, reporting that his "joyous wedding" (who the fuck says that, besides the pod people who write for Hallmark cards?) went off without a hitch and AND that he and the Mrs. just returned a wonderful honeymoon in my ancestral homeland. They went to my homeland for their honeymoon!??!?! Words fail me.

Exhibit B. No one has replied to the very important business emails I have sent out in the past few weeks. I know, I know--it's summer. Still. Should I actually use the phone to contact these people? That seems totally insane.

Exhibit C. No one comments on my blog anymore. Is anyone there? [tap tap] Is this thing on? Hello?

Evidence to the contrary:

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B: Ambiguous Friend wants to go out to a favorite spot for dinner and then to a movie this evening. Hmmm. . . wish I weren't so ambivalent about Ambiguous Friend.

Exhibit C: Rumor has it that Diego Luna, Alfonso Cuarón , and my boyfriend will be teaming up again for Mexico '68. Proof that God loves me.



Sunday, June 03, 2007

Done and not done


Last week's list:
  1. Plan summer class
  2. Work on Major Project due to publisher tentatively in June:
    1. Email several people I want to be involved to ask them to be involved, including AB, AE, LE, and KC.
    2. Look over some guidelines and sample thingies
    3. Decide on several important details regarding format and content
    4. Email some other people
    5. Compile
    6. Write proposal
    7. Cross fingers
    8. Send
  3. Clean out study by: filing this year's course materials, move boxes to basement, moving big photo project somewhere, setting up sewing machine, cleaning out files, and getting S. to come over for an estimate on finishing shelves.
  4. Meet with TDC
  5. Scary medical test Not such a big deal at all, turns out
  6. Insane Workout Plan 19/20 days; 5 lbs. lost
Things done instead:

1. Wrote last-minute proposal for grant (Very good money. Keep your fingers crossed for me.)
2. Partially cleaned out second closet and gathered shoes to take to Salvation Army
3. Corresponded with directed-study student about project
3. Watched Grey Gardens three times. It is a little distressing how much I find myself identifying with Little Edie.
4. Watched Tape twice. I can't believe Linky didn't write this movie, as he is the master of what I call the "what?-what?!-what! conversation"--those conversations you find yourself in that are contradictory and confusing in terms of what is being said but that keep you talking because you ARE certain you do not like the weird power dynamics of the conversation. The dialogue of such a conversation intermittently lapses into this:

Person A: What?
Person B: What do you mean, what?
Person A: What are you talking about?
Person B: What?!
Person A: What!

Nearly the whole of Tape is a brilliant example of the what?-what?!-what! conversation. It's dead realistic in terms of how conversations go (a Linklater hallmark, to my mind).
5. Upgraded my sad, old, dying cell phone to this one. It was cheap with my free upgrade, but I am not sure I like it. I am, however, apparently a sucker for a promotion involving the seven deadly sins.
6. Sent flowers to my awesome niece for her 7th grade graduation
7. Talked to my eight-year-old nephew about the potential scariness vs. the potential coolness of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (It's very important to him that the potential coolness outweigh the potential scariness, and he will often send me to a movie ahead of him so that I may determine the scariness-coolness ratio.)
8. Read Falling Man
9. Fretted

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Friday, June 01, 2007

I got a fevah. . .

. . .and the only prescription is more chihuahua!

With her friend, Milo, in Paloma's kitchen

And at home being generally adorable