Professing * Reflecting

Friday, November 30, 2007

Poetry Friday, Basho

Even in Kyoto
hearing the cuckoo's cry
I long for Kyoto.

This seems somehow appropriate given last night's fortune =), the upcoming grading incarceration of the weekend (and the next and the next), and the closing of a very intense semester, teaching-wise. The haiku actually perfectly encapsulates a number of the ideas that have become the near-obsessive focus of my classes.



Thursday, November 29, 2007

From the fortune cookie company, Duh™

"Music, travel, and challenges are the key to your nature."

Oh wait, I don't believe I have a nature. But if I I did, these would absolutely constitute the essential key to it.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This pretty much sums up my post-holiday mood

Today on my drive to school, John Lennon's "Imagine" came on the radio and I burst into tears and cried hard for a good fifteen minutes, in traffic and uncontrollably.

Judge me if you must.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating the tryptophantabulous day! Happy Thursday in late November to those of you not celebrating the joys of colonial conviviality!

I have holiday company. It's okay. Really. I also have wine. Lots of it.

Happy happy!



Sunday, November 18, 2007

My father's daughter

My father, in his own words, has been "upset since the day [he] was born," but in a funny, boisterous, ranty, somehow stoic, super Irish way. The "upset since the day I was born" is part of the whining speech, delivered to chronic complainers: "What?? You're upset about something? Why shouldn't you be upset? What's wrong with being upset? You probably should be upset. I've been upset since the day I was born."

Believe me, he had good reason to be upset from that day he was born in 1930 in Southern New Mexico. The times, they were not good. But he and his family made the best of them, and he became a successful man, a good father, and whatever the opposite of a "whiner" is. He never ever complains but oh my god does he rant. The rants, they are endless. I really can't list them all. The most frequent: IDIOTS. The most random: Kenny Chesney. The most recent: unflattering chunky clunky shoes.

So, because I am my father's daughter, here are some things I am TOTALLY AGAINST for no good reason:

1. Flameless candles
2. Andy Rooney's eyebrows
3. Robin Thicke
4. The following words: moist, girth, corpuscle
5. Tom's of Maine
6. Facial hair trends, such as the goatee (or any imitative and therefore uncreative creative facial hair)
7. Caller ID entitlement (not leaving a message on the assumption that I will see that you called and therefore call you back)
8. Olives & mushrooms (I know, everybody loves them. I dare you to make me like them. Stuffed and/or alcohol-drenched not included.)
9. The U.S. media's "predator" fetish

(Okay, so there are good reasons to be upset about one or two of those, NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH IS ROBIN THICKE, but we ranters have our convictions too.)

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Poetry Friday, Lee Ann Roripaugh

Girl with a Bowl on her Head

When I was a girl, my mother
always made me

wear a wooden bowl on my head.
She wanted to

keep people from looking at me
and it worked. No

one ever really saw me, but
only the bowl,

or what they thought they might have glimpsed
concealed below,

and soon I became secretive
as an acorn.

I cultivated a new way
of seeing and

became a connoisseur of strange,
vegetal things

kept hidden inside--the second

bell pepper nested inside the first
like a Russian

doll, green, with the intricate curl
and fold of an

ear. Or how the inscrutable
placid carrot

ripening into anarchy
splits wide open

and bares its ropey length of barbed,
thorny spine. Or

the tearing apart of spicy
cool globes of or-

anges to sometimes find an extra
section, the size

of a lima bean, tucked between
two large sections

like a flower pressed in the pages
of a thick book.

Hungrily picking and plucking
at the thistled

leaves of an artichoke, down to
the translucent

purple-tipped petals that flutter
thin as gills, down

past the nest of buttery fur
cropped close like a

scrub brush that comes off in sticky
clumps, all the way

down to the green, sweet creamy heart.

Time to end Brautigan season. (Never fear! He'll be back!) Here's one of my newer favorite poems, because I miss one of my favorite bloggers and because it's an amazing amazing poem.



Tell me no no no no no no nooooooo

There's a certain something . . . *poof*

Sleep deprivation + cold medicine = a very very silly Medusa.



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And from one of my very favorites!

William Shakespeare

Fear no more the heat o'the medusa
Nor the furious winter's rages.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

(Though I would not put too much faith in these words. The heat of the Medusa is still to be feared, Imogen is not really dead, and those country boys are not what they seem . . =)

As seen at Crazy's and everywhere



Achoo! ough ough sniffle

Hab a cowd. Dis thucks. Da good newbs: the rebisions are done. Yaay! Da bab newbs: cowd.



Sunday, November 11, 2007

Farewell, Norman

Norman Mailer died yesterday. I met him once. Kind of.

I was staying at a friend's house next to his house in P-town. During my stay, I walked on the beach every morning and saw him a few times. One morning, he stopped me and asked, "Are you Russian?".

(I'm not.)

I was too stunned by his Norman Mailerness and the abruptness and oddness of the question to ask him why he would ask.

He said "Huh" to my "Uh. . .nooo" and kept on walking.

Now we will never know.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Contradictory note to self

An elegant reading is not necessarily a good reading. Oh how I love an elegant reading.

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Poetry Friday, why Brautigan is the Chalupa's favorite poet

Hey, Bacon!

The moon like:
mischievous bacon
crisps its desire


I harbor myself
toward two eggs
over easy.

The Chalupa says: Are you kidding me seriously? The title with the bacon! The simile with the bacon! The harbor of the eggs! The man, he is the genius!

Medusa says: Mischievous bacon. Mmmmmph yes. Crisps its desire. Uh huh mmmmph uh huh. The moon like mischievous bacon crisps its desire . . . perfect brilliant delightful beautiful. Some poems turn me into an idiot critic. This is one of them.

I am still in the middle of the writing marathon, interrupted this week by a whirlwind of classesmeetingsprepgrading, but continuing through this weekend and I HOPE not beyond, at least with this project. Still, life will be madness until Thanksgiving.

Forgive my spotty blogging. Here's an adorable Chalupa:

(in the place where the bacon happens)

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Oh dear god HOW did this movie escape my gaze for so long?

I actually do know why it took 5 years before I would watch Unfaithful. 1) I tend not to like movies about infidelity, because such movies tend to demonize anyone or anything that threatens the heteronormative cocoon of the young family (Fatal Attraction being the über example) and to privilege the heteronormative cocoon as all that is good and fulfilling and meaningful in the world; 2) That one character Diane Lane plays in all her movies? Reserved, guarded beauty who needs to be drawn out by men far more passionate than she? Yeah. I find it annoying. I know, I know. She's a great actress yadda yadda she's the real deal yadda she's nuanced and intriguing and REAL blah blah blah. So sue me.

I did like this movie. Although it does all the normal stuff with the young family cocoon and in the end moralizes monogamy by telling us cheating leads to shame, guilt, child neglect, violence, death, and murder, I did love that Connie sleeps with Paul Martel not because she is dissatisfied with her life or her marriage or her husband but because Paul Martel is charming and attractive and she wants to have a lot of sex with him.

And also?

Do we want this NOT to happen? No, no we do not not want this to happen. We, the viewers, want this to happen on screen more than once and in fact as often as possible. And I refuse to think that we are completely on board with the melodrama of the consequences. In fact, I almost think it wants to be comic in its over-the-top third act. The snow globe? The elevator stalling? The "can I help you with that, buddy" as the body is stuffed into a car in Soho? The random rear-ending and trunk malfunctioning of the Mercedes with dead body in the school parking lot after the son's play (in which the son's a bunny)? Have you ever seen so much attention paid to a body in a rug in a drama? I mean, I know Connie objectifies Paul. I know I objectify Paul. (Where did this Olivier Martinez come from and where is he now and why in God's name is that place not my bed?) But he is literally turned into an object, and I would say an (intentionally or not) comic one.

All of this said, I can't think of a more enjoyable movie to watch late at night after a long day of writing. Here's my final takeaway: 1. Don't cheat. 2. It's awesome to have sex with a Frenchman in a room FULL OF BOOKS!! 3. It's morally wrong to want to live in the city. 3. BOOKS AND SEX! 4. It's morally right to want to live in the suburbs. 4. BOOKS EVERYWHERE! 4. Don't forget going into the city to work even part-time is dangerous; 5. SEX EVERYWHERE! 6. When you get caught up in the winds of New York City, you want to have sex; 7. Having sex with anyone other than your husband makes you a bad mother and a bad driver; 8. Cheaters and murderers take a lot of baths and showers; 9. Especially don't cheat on Richard Gere; 10. My Gael is in danger of being replaced in my imagination by Olivier Martinez, if only for a time.

OK, while breaks like these are a necessary part of the writing process, I must get back to it. I leave you with a difficult choice, the kind of cruel cruel choice mandated by the heternormative machine.



Friday, November 02, 2007

Poetry Friday, Guessard Whoigan?

After Halloween Slump

My magic is down.
My spells mope around
the house like sick old dogs
with bloodshot eyes
watering cold wet noses.

My charms are in a pile
in the corner like the
dirty shirts of a summer fatman.

One of my potions died
last night in a pot.
It looks like a cracked
Egyptian tablecloth.



Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rest in Peace, little Kitty

I have spent the early morning hours today with my friend, Paloma. She awoke to find her cat dead. Looks like Kitty simply died in her sleep, peacefully. Kitty was a Katrina rescue, only two years old and perfectly healthy. She was absolutely fine last night, hanging out with the whole crew for our little Halloween celebration. She crawled into bed with Paloma last night as usual, curled up and went to sleep.

So sad! Paloma is distraught. The Chalupa and Milo are mopey. (The Chalupa and Kitty loved each other.) I wonder what in the world could have happened. Poor Kitty! Poor Paloma!