the smell of old
Thursday March 29th 2007, 7:51 am
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It was on my hands, for a while, even after I’d washed them. I went to a quasi-local library/repository, to look at a book. A conceptual placeholder, really, to come to contextualize all I plan on seeing in the UK whilst there in just under two weeks for just over two weeks. So odd that it’s become a place to visit rather than a place I simply was. There’s much grief there, still, unexcavated and undiscussed. Far more horrifying, though, was the realisation that I hadn’t looked at an old book in _years_. That I’d considered images and microfilms and copious notes from years past, but the actual smell of the old, the handling of the old, well, it predates actually finishing the degree. Meaning it’s been _years_. I got all anxious and shit about getting my eye in, etc., but, insert bicycle-riding analogy here. Various vagaries, and I got only 2 hours or so with the codex, but it was enough to tell me it’s worth revisiting on the other side of the England trip. And to prompt the thinking, along with a certain horror about how much research I could do, truly, before writing the book, rather than scraping along with what I’ve done so far. The flip side, of course, is that I started working on one particular author in Summer 1999, and it’d be nice to get my book out before that hits 2009. Oxford! London! Mebbe Cambridge and Gloucester! (Lowinger Maddison, I’m looking at you, you churlish fuck. I’ve wanted that one page from that one book for almost 3 years now.) OK, drowned the post-book blues what with the movies and the booze. Spring break, right? Beach tomorrow, grading on Friday. Live a little, bitch – you might never have a tan again…..

Tuesday March 20th 2007, 7:10 pm
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Stolen from Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog:


by Anonymous

Whan Adam delf, and Eve span,
Who had to write two bookes to get tenure?

Back to work. As a colleague said, “You can’t hide from grading.”

walk of shame
Monday March 19th 2007, 5:02 pm
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Some sort of e-mail and blogger breathalyzer might be appropriate, in my case. Please excuse the drunken posts of extreme self-indulgence. We will return to our regularly scheduled programming of, ummm, self-indulgence, as soon as this hangover goes away.

Monday March 19th 2007, 6:53 am
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OK, now I’m properly shitfaced. two bottles of wine into it, the typos coming fast and furious, and, well, what can I say. (other than do, please, forgive any typos. I’m drunk. the words, they’re sober.) But I am drunk. And having watched Clerks II, and, well, I’ve worked retail. A varieties of retail, actually, from folded clothes to well-stacked paint, but, yeah, I’ve worked retail. I don;t wish I were 18 again, cuz, well, teeneagedom and the subjunctive both suck. And I don’t wish I were in contingent land again, cuz, well, contingency is all I ever wanted not to be. But, consistency is all I ask / and all I ever wanted / consistency is all I lack….” and drunk, now. But in a good way.

Monday March 19th 2007, 5:06 am
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If I weren’t straight, I would definitely be gay. Me and my recently ex-foliated self are thrilled beyond words my friends are getting married in Zim. Not because it changes the fabulous relationship they’ve had for _years_ – they met when I first moved out of college housing in grad school, which makes it Fall 99. But because I feel like shrieking and running around in circles like a giddy bitch because IT’S ABOUT FUCKING TIME, YOU TWO. I hope you get database programming floral boy to make some special suggestions, or even coordinate. And if not, well, as you know, nigh on, but not quite, embarrassing tons of love sent your way. I’ll try and shut up now, but I feel like I’m 12 and queer. Which I probably am, but hell, people are polite enough not to point this out.

Monday March 19th 2007, 4:50 am
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A friendly reminder that I’m always the victim: see?

OK, we’ve got that out of the way. One of my closest friends from the UK is getting married. In Africa. Zimbabwe, to be specific. In 13 days. Airfare runs from $2500-7000, and God how I wish those were Z$ Zimbabwe dollars, as $2500 would only be USD $10. That would rock, as far as airfare goes. But I just can’t afford 1 1/2 months – 5 1/2/ months rent to get to the Z for 6 days, including 4 days of to and fro travel. I love this couple with all I am, but can’t make it. Though I’m hopeful it’s a shotgun wedding.

I’m drunk. One bottle down, next bottle freshly corked. The only sensible reply to an ex in town with her kids for a fencing tournament where I ran into a whole rash of faces I haven’t seen (nor wanted to see) since 1994: drink, drink, drink.

As they say, I’m not an alcoholic. Alcoholics go to meetings.

I managed to have a single, social smoke last night with the cool kids at a party. And I managed not to go out and buy a pack today. So, check me out, social smoker.

“Don’t look back / You can never look back.” (Does one lineate lyrics as one does verse?)

It’s proving quite difficult to get people to sympathize with my plight that I may not be teaching again until January. I’m suffering. I’m afraid of the big, bad unstructured time. Which is why I’m on my second bottle of wine this evening – they’re the ones with the final tomorrow, not me…..

More later.

rinse, repeat
Saturday March 17th 2007, 5:42 am
Filed under: inner-polish-teenage-girl,nostalgia Tags:

“You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

“No, but you can tell how much it’s gonna cost….”

Some Kind of Wonderful. Who knew?

loud silence
Thursday March 15th 2007, 6:43 am
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Reminiscence, I would have to say, is one of my skills. Mad skills, as it were. I do it so it feels like hell / I do it so it feels real. Or something. Though the key is to figure out not _what_, but why. An argument, as I keep telling my many, many, many kids. Who needs to reproduce when one can teach? All of this shit went down 2 1/2 years ago, and is caught up, not in itself, but in the end of my 6+ years in England, the completion of my degree, and as the marker of what it was _not_ – the still bigger ex. It was all a matter of re-learning that I could fall in love (or, even, that I gave a shit about the possibility of doing so) in late 2004. I see Montaigne’s peddling trivial banalities on Quote of the Day, “There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.” You don’t say. Anyhow, I’ll sign off this evening (as grown-up sensible me knows I have to do _all_ of tomorrow’s reading tomorrow, plus comments on student paragraphs, plus meet with a prospective grad by 3pm. Which might be close) with a quote from a series of journal-esque things I unearthed this evening. (Actually, that sounds rather grandiose. I’d noticed the notebooks in my desk drawer the other day and made a mental note to see if they were blank, and therefore good for manuscript transcription next month, or in fact were the ones that had writing in them. The latter, apparently.) From the day after the beginning of things with my dinner companion tomorrow, a shamelessly self-involved statement about,well, how it’s all about me, “23/8/04. Ah, the delectable, delightful, doleful agitation brought about by myself. By another? Nah.” Having no subtle response to my own impossible words, and no desire after this afternoon to ask WWZD, well, I’ll quote someone from years before that morning, “If you can’t fuck it and it doesn’t dance, throw it back.”

quiet and loud
Friday March 09th 2007, 4:06 pm
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Much, much to say, pretty much none of which will be said here. But reading the Times this morning, an article on the so-called “reading wars” and the force-fed methodology that, in fact, rests on tenuous evidence whilst stressing that it is grounded on scientific research. Bah. This line leapt out, “Madison officials received a letter from her and the center’s director, saying that because the city’s program lacked uniformity and relied too much on teacher judgment, they could not vouch to Washington that its approach was grounded in research.” (

Relied too much on teacher judgment? We’ve stopped trusting our teachers. With good reason, I imagine, in some cases, but surely not all. This is a trust-based economy, and one not subject to the standardization some might like. When manufacturing human minds – not brains – the options for successful standardization are somewhat limited. Trust my judgment motherfuckers, as it’s likely better than yours. As is the case with most teachers out there, sweating, suffering, meaning it, and working their asses off.