Professing * Reflecting

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

That year we went for vapid and pale and slutty

Dr. Crazy, our dear reader Ambiva, and yours truly may or may not be somewhere in this photo.


Happy Halloween to all!



Saturday, October 27, 2007

Today's reading from Eat Love Ni-na-ni-na Bleak Anna

As some of you know, I ward off the winter blues by reading certain books that I consider to be the literary equivalent of comfort food. This year, through a series of (happy?) accidents, I have ended up simultaneously re-reading Bleak House and Anna Karenina while reading Eat Pray Love for the first time.

Today is a gray, gloomy, rainy, raw day so I thought I would take a little teeny break from work to do some comfort reading. And how could I deny you this pleasure? I will not.

Gather 'round.

It was my most sincere belief when I left my husband that we would settle our practical affairs in a few hours with a calculator, some common sense and a bit of goodwill toward the person we'd once loved. My initial suggestion was that we sell the house and divide all the assets fifty-fifty; it never occurred to me we'd proceed in any other way. He didn't find this suggestion fair. So I upped my offer, even suggesting this different kind of fifty-fifty split: What if he took all the assets and I took all the blame? But not even that offer would bring a settlement. Now I was at a loss. How do you negotiate once you've offered everything? I could do nothing now but wait for his counterproposal.

Eighteen of Mr. Tangle's learned friends, each armed with a little summary of eighteen hundred sheets, bob up like eighteen hammers in a pianoforte, make eighteen bows, and drop into their eighteen places of obscurity.

"We will proceed with the hearing on Wednesday fortnight," says the Chancellor. For the question at issue is only a question of costs, a mere bud on the forest tree of the parent suit, and really will come to a settlement one of these days.

What was particularly annoying was that Levin could not begin to understand whom he was contending with, and who profited by the delay in terminating his business. It seemed that no one, including his legal adviser, knew this. If Levin had understand why, just as he realized the only way to get a train ticket was to stand in line in front of a ticket window, then he wouldn't have been irritated or offended; but no one could explain to him just why all the obstacles he kept running into existed at all.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Poetry Friday, Brautigan yet again

The Pumpkin Tide

I saw thousands of pumpkins last night
come floating in on the tide,
bumping up against the rocks and
rolling up on the beaches;
it must be Halloween in the sea.

More Brautigan for Halloween! I think Brautigan month might be turning into Brautigan quarter or Brautigan Autumn or something.

It's a beautiful fall day here and I am feeling energetic. I have managed a feat of sheer genius by clearing a space in my teaching and meeting schedule to finish up two research projects that must must must be done by mid-November. My students will be enjoying a two-day Halloween break (to be worked into all of my future Fall schedules if and when I get tenure) and I will be busily churning this stuff out. Send me some good work vibes.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One way to get tenure

Remember Mrs. Ralph, from The World According to Garp?

Florence Cochran Bowlsby, who was best known to Garp as Mrs. Ralph, would live a life of larkish turmoil, with no substitute for sex in sight-or, apparently, in need. She actually completed her Ph.D. in comparative literature and was eventually tenured by a large and confused English Department whose members were only unified by their terror of her. She had, at various times, seduced and scorned nine of thirteen senior members--who were alternately admitted to then ridiculed from her bed.

I heart Mrs. Ralph. I haven't stop laughing, at various points of the day and out loud, since I recently re-read Garp. (Not to worry, I am still also re-reading Eat Love Ni-na-ni-na Bleak Anna.) She "was eventually tenured by a large and confused English Department whose members were only unified by their terror of her." Hee hee heh heh HEE. Oh how the thought of such a thing warms my little black heart.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007


Smoov it on out.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Woo hoo hoo hoo hoo!!!!!

Aw yeah.


You tend to know these things after so many years of hanging out with rockstars - Test your drug knowledge

Via the preggers rockstar, Luckybuzz =).



Friday, October 19, 2007

Poetry Friday, Richard Brautigan (again)

A Good-Talking Candle

I had a good-talking candle
last night in my bedroom.

I was very tired but I wanted
somebody to be with me,
so I lit a candle

and listened to its comfortable
voice of light until I was asleep.

I think I have declared it Brautigan month at Professional Mirror. His stuff is just fitting my mood lately. I have seen a few recent posts around my little blogland discussing loneliness, so this one seemed fitting. It addresses the lonely but with the lightest of touches and more than a hint of everything is going to be just fine.

My mood has dipped this week. It made me realize just how happy and upbeat I have been this Fall, so I am not inclined to let the dip dip any further. A few things have brought me down: that asshat in my comments telling me I am a loser for being alone or that I am alone because I am a loser or some such nonsense which is nevertheless rude and hurtful; an INSANE amount of work combined with that time in the semester when you begin to think it an attractive idea to hurl yourself off a very tall building (or two); a ridiculous chain of events that has me having to go into work two weekends in a row; and the stalling out of the re-thing with Narcissistic String Theory guy.

Anyway, yay to Brautigan and good-talking candles and Autumn and boo hiss to asshats and too much work and narcissistic foolishness.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Guess what I got in the mail today!!

Guess which one I will at some point deny owning . . .



Monday, October 15, 2007

Calling bullshit on this one

I was going to reply to this in the comments but decided to be put it front and center.

roger wellor writes the following in response to last night's "Lockdown" post:


that's a hell of a word to apply to a lover you presumably had some role in choosing.

I love Dr. Crazy's blog, but she sometimes doesn't seem to think things through and has a tendency to look outside when things don't work.

If a lot of stuff isn't working out and you are the common thread?

You might be the common thread.

With that said, I always loved my sister's approach. When the lockdown came she would sit on her bed, drink Gin and weep.

She'd always feel much better in the morning.

Eh hem . . .

Dearest roger,

You, or the careful reader, might notice that "unworthy" is part of the rhetoric, that of the love sonnet tradition, I use throughout the post in humorous contrast to images from space movies. Lover? Beloved? Heart like a sealed tomb? For good measure (or the critically challenged), I throw in shout-outs to some famous sonneteers, that common-thread dysfunctional figure in the Western tradition who fucked up things with Beatrice AND Laura AND Stella.

The lockdown metaphor is a playful (perhaps too facetious for some who might like to keep the ground sacred) way of discussing the difficulty of distancing oneself emotionally after a breakup. Yes, I have a lot of experience with dating and relationships. I have had many relationships. Tumultuous short-term relationships. Beautiful long-term relationships. Some have ended badly. I have had horrible breakups. I have had peaceful partings of the ways with people who are now close friends. I am the common thread of that narrative. Is there something wrong with me? Can we "blame" me for not finding "success" in love? Only if we see my choice not to be in a long-term relationship as dysfunctional, and we define "success" as finding ultimate happiness in a long-term monogamous relationship and being in a stable couple. Heteronormativity, anyone?

I am a sexually active woman of a certain age who has not chosen the path of marriage and children. Of course I have a long relationship history, and that history is NOT the story of trying and failing over and over again to land that man. With your common-thread theory, my dearest roger, you imply that my and my friend's (not sure whom you are addressing with the "you"--I assume a sort of everywoman) love troubles result from some pathology deep within us that make us unsuitable for healthy relationships. Who's serving up a steaming plate of unworthy there?

But maybe you are right. Perhaps I do need to take a good long hard look at myself to see why I keep "failing" and why I am so fucked up and how I can even see the choice to be a single sexually active childless unmarried woman as a viable one that might be empowering and might not result in being ridiculed as someone's bitter, weeping, cowering and infantilized sister sucking on a bottle of gin.

Yes, I will look deep deep deep inside of myself to see what the problem is. Thanks for reminding me that my behavior needs to be carefully monitored and controlled.

Kisses and loving glances,


Sunday, October 14, 2007


Dr. Crazy
has written a brilliant post about lockdown, the term I use to describe the emotional process by which unworthy lovers are forever shut out of the heart of the beloved. I think Dante or Petrarch or Sidney probably described it first, but I am the first to elaborate on its power via the analysis of space movies.

In any case, in occurs to me that the re-fling with Narcissistic String Theory guy might be always already doomed because lockdown was initiated years ago and my heart is not unlike a sealed tomb to him forever more. See this door? It's like my heart. See that opening, with the mist and the possibility?

Under the right wrong circumstances, it's closed.

Anyway, Dr. Crazy has written a post most excellent describing with precision and humor this devastating process of the heart. Go read it, and--hey--give her some love, because she has just gone through something worthy of the initial phases of lockdown. We may go to Crazy Medusa's to discuss or to avoid discussion of this. I have an early day tomorrow, but perhaps I will just stop by for a wee nip and a chat . . .



At long last . . .I, the Chalupa, make the return to the internets

Good morning of the fine autumnal day, my friends! I offer the apologies for my absence of late. The Mama Medusa, her days are of much the busyness, and I in turn have greatness of responsibility in "holding down the fort." Some of the days I spend the whole of my time visiting my comrade, Milo, dually holding down the fort of the friend and neighbor, Paloma. There is much of the guarding and barking and the patrolling of perimeters. We are the fearsome pair.

The chill, it is now biting the air. This is the hard time for the chihuahua, for we must find the ways to keep warm, with the basking in the sun and the burrowing in the cozy blankets and with the donning of the outfits. The bite of the chill signals the most important of holidays in the Medusa household--All Hallows Eve. This will be the first of my Halloweens with the Mama Medusa, and we have the big plans. My costume is in the making, and it will be of such fantasticness! I will not reveal the surprise now! You will see the glorious disguise of the Chalupa, if you are able to recognize the Chalupa! HA! I make the Halloween joke! Here I am in my cozy bed practicing some scary faces.

That is all for now, my friends of the internets! I will try not to be the stranger! Chihuahua kisses and warm wishes for the delightful Fall to all!



Saturday, October 13, 2007

So it turns out I am sort of a jackass . . .

The second third (non)date was great. His friends are lovely and hysterical and fun. A friend I had met during the first Narcissistic String Theory Guy go-round was there, and he was warm and welcoming. Actually, they all were. I did get the feeling I was one in a line of women he has brought (brings?) around, although nothing specific gave me that impression.

It was a delightful evening, a non-date but a delightful evening.



Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lame wooer

So tomorrow night is my second third date (the first third date being five actually I recently realized it's only been four years ago) with Narcissistic String Theory Guy, and he suggests we go over to his friend's house for a small gathering involving food, drinks, and baseball watching. Why do I feel like this is lame? I mean I love the baseball, but quite frankly if I were having a night of baseball I would want to watch it alone or with my friends and in a bar or better yet, in Fenway Park.

All week I have been looking forward to spending time with him, and this idea of hanging out with him and friends I have never met just seems . . . I don't know. I mean--I am still getting to re-know him and I don't know at all where I want this to go or what I want this to be, if anything. Am I being a jackass?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Frantic Bullets of Crap

  • Middles of the week are hell this semester. Every week I am pretty much completely consumed with teaching and meetings for three days straight, unable to come up for essential things like air, food, blogs, and the new Netflix supplied crack-cocaine of Medusa, Rescue Me. This would be fine if it weren't for the fact that all of the "real work" of prep, grading, research, and writing has to happen during the other four days.
  • Check out the new look-of-the-week feature on my sidebar. As some of you know, fashion is one of my favorite, most obsessive hobbies. When putting together my own outfits (which I never like to do until the day I am actually wearing it--making mornings frantic and packing a total nightmare) I have one or two looks knocking around in my head from one of the dozens of fashion and street fashion blogs I read every day. I do try to adapt the look to be age and work appropriate but some days I end up looking like a Swedish teenager. I thought it would be fun to make the influence factor more of a conscious process, so each week I will be posting a picture (or two) of the look inspiring my wardrobe choices for the week. You can click on the photograph to get to its fashion blog of origin. This week: rocking out the late 80s/early 90s Peter Pan look! with Marlboro Reds! in Paris!
  • I have a third third date with Narcissistic String Theory Guy this week. I am not sure how I feel about it. Part excited, as in I can't wait to see him and hang out with him. Part cautious, as in not sure what this is all about. Why are we seeing each other again? Why now? I think this part-excited, part-cautious attitude would be okay, but the thing is that part of me is TOTALLY excited (wanting to throw myself into this) and part of me is TOTALLY cautious (wanting to run in the other direction as fast and as far as possible). So how can I be part totally something or even two somethings? Well, that's the fun (and the crazy) of me.
  • Chalupa photos soon, I promise!

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

A report on my Dickens

As I reported a couple of weeks ago, I lost my Dickens but then found it hiding in the hallway with the kiddie lit and Pope. Wol popped in to say "hello" for the Great Mofo Delurk 2007 and wondered which Dickens I had decided to re-read.

Well. You see, before I had even lost my Dickens, I decided--based on various predictions and recommendations regarding the winter, gathered from sources such as my old Portuguese neighbor (who was raised on boats), the Farmer's Almanac 2008, and my own inner Eeyore (who suffers from S.A.D. and should probably permanently wear one of those therapeutic light visors)--not to take any chances with the winter blues/comfort-inducing effects of Dickens ratio and therefore to re-read (naturally) Bleak House. But the night I lost my Dickens, I still had to re-read something to fend off the chill and brace myself for the season. Anna Karenina Ni-na-ni-na turned out to be the obvious substitute. The next day I found my Dickens, AND to make matters worse my copy of Eat Pray Love (brought to my attention by Dr. Crazy) came in the mail.

So, you got it, now I am attempting a simultaneous reading of Anna Karenina Ni-na-ni-na, Bleak House, and Eat Pray Love. I feel like no good can come of it, like the time in graduate school when I completely intertwined White Noise and The Counterlife in my head and almost wrote a seminar paper about Nathan Zuckerman's multivalent fear of Mr. Gray and Nyodene D (not that that wouldn't have been a totally brilliant paper). On the other hand, I feel like Eat Love Ni-na-ni-na Bleak Anna might be just the kind of super literary comfort food combo I need to face the winter.



Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Heeere lurky lurky lurky lurkers . . .

Come on out and say hello!

Found over at Maggie May's.