Short month, long day
Wednesday February 07th 2018, 2:27 pm
Filed under: blah,myjobfuckingsometimesdoesntrock Tags:

One more candidate. One more dinner. 3 weeks of Thursdays I’d rather not.

Slog. Whinge. Trudge.



covers
Tuesday March 02nd 2010, 11:08 pm
Filed under: blah,Miscellaneous, Truly,self-indulgent Tags:

Your Ghost, In Spite of Me, The Killing Moon. Unexpected, the “bard of San Diego” and his guitar, singing my songs in a voice not far from what I imagine mine to be, but isn’t. A historical novel that isn’t trash (Booker Prize! It’s trash, but not! Though, judging the Booker by its cover [props to Sean for that, ages ago], this is one part Strange and Norrell with its black and white, three parts trash with its faux medieval font for “a novel”, Holbein portraits embedded in letters, etc.). That I’m enjoying. The Polish war novel just wasn’t doing it for me, had me stalled out on the reading for pleasure. Not that I expect a whole lot of pleasure between now and March 28. I have a chapter to write. It can be done; it’s been simmering, in various ways, on various back burners, for months and months on top of years and years. And it’s time to write the book that I will write, rather than the one I might have hoped I might write, at the cost of skipping the one before me. I’ve been entirely too sensible, too sensical on this site (recently renewed! no more domain squatters here, beyotch.) for quite a while. The charm of the enigmatic, hell, of the pretentious, diminished. Maybe I need to use more big words, as it were. While being fitter, healthier, happier, more productive, of course. So there it is. Airfare to the ford of Oxen in 2 1/2 months arranged, hotel in the city of the Palio arranged, and in the place, apparently, the Italians use as the placename for Bumblefuck. Which is charming, really. That was the day that wasn’t.



i fricking knew it
Monday March 01st 2010, 11:38 am
Filed under: blah,can't make that shit up Tags:

Via Ferule & Fescue,

[Social psychologist Joe] Forgas said he has found that sadness correlates with clearer and more compelling sentences, and that negative moods “promote a more concrete, accommodative and ultimately more successful communication style.” Because we’re more critical of what we’re writing, we produce more refined prose, the sentences polished by our angst. As Roland Barthes observed, “A creative writer is one for whom writing is a problem.”

Hah. Link here.



on the 700th playing of Pat Metheny’s “A Map of the World”
Tuesday January 05th 2010, 9:31 am
Filed under: blah,can't make that shit up Tags:

Only the first track, really; the play counts trail down to a mere 243 by the last track (the 28th) of the album.  Starting at track 9, the play count falls off as many as 25 to 30 between tracks.  Presumably because I get up off my ass and do something.  Morning music, first played for me by a friend in Ravenscourt Park, in a London and a life only hazily remembered.  I got this laptop in August 2006, so rounding to 1252 days, I’ve listened to the first track just under 56% of the time.  That’s mornings only, as well, and presumably made up for by all the time spent away, not going through my snail-slow routine of coffee (no longer biccies, alas), newspaper, wob.  Whatever.  I’m under-caffeinated, and on my way to Blighty day after tomorrow.  Much to do, much to do.



without nostalgia
Wednesday December 09th 2009, 1:13 am
Filed under: blah,Boozy,myjobfuckingsometimesdoesntrock,seasonal,Work Tags:

Well, I’m more annoyed than I was, because I got caught chattably online by an ex-student who was never all that great to begin with.  Setting her and her annoying self aside, however, I also had a lovely long chat online with Crazy (who, despite having any number of intoxicated excuses, still types so slowly it’s amazing she’s such a prolific blogger.). An unexpected addition to the lexicon of people who know I’m an asshole, but mostly harmless, who know I’m grown up but also a child, who know I’m a self-involved wanker but also have a big heart and love to give.  (Also, the period key on my laptop seems to be working only erratically.  I’m finding this very annoying, as my go-to expression of bemused detachment (………..) is complicated without the period.  As is, say, correct punctuation.  Grrrrrr.)  A brief catch-up, really, and moderation in booze this eve prevents the radical overshare.  Which is a shame.  As Crazy said (and, apparently there’s no archive to fbook chat.  Lame!  What will my biographer do?!?!?!), the having of the job is the luxury from which I view the crises of my graduates.  Which is to say, get over myself, and try harder to remember when.  But I do, vividly, remember when, and the dissatisfaction is not entirely born of the luxury.  Harumph.  Fuck this.  To bed.



bookish
Tuesday December 08th 2009, 12:27 am
Filed under: blah,Boozy,reminiscence,seasonal Tags:

I miss JW.  I didn’t realize that was the problem, that I lacked a blogosphere detractor who had my number and had no ready reply, as it were.  But perhaps it is.  Home, unsober enough that it feels much later than it actually is.  Authentically listening to the Cranes (third time on repeat – according to itunez it had been well over a year since I had last listened, an inexcusable lacuna.), and I dug up the entry from when I saw them, unexpectedly, in London (June 2004, titled “aged”, fyi.  I’m too lazy to link it.) Reading myself remembering things I lived through and have no memory of.  Pinspot?  Fine wine?  That’s where I last remember that tapestry, as a tablecloth?  I think I included it in a will I once wrote before I didn’t kill myself.  I almost recall it after that, but don’t trust the vague memories.  I also don’t trust the fact that I can’t recall a day when I didn’t drink.  Seriously.  I can go back months, other than swine-cold (when I think I was still self-administering hot toddies without the hot and without the toddy, boiled down to simple glasses of scotch), I just can’t fucking remember not drinking.  I’d ask my liver, but he’s asleep already.  All of which is beside the non-point.  I read my History, Theory, Text book, I check her footnotes twice and wonder about mine. I think of the voicemail left, on finishing the chapter, getting the tenure, winning the war, tigers and bears, oh my.  So much that is right, including a trip to The North and Scotland in mid-Jan, on mostly someone else’s dime.  I want to be “interesting and interested”, he said.  And the long pauses at Saturday’s dinner, the cabal of the under-tenured assembled for light chit chat, only the newest among us still so idealistic as to be rude.  And I lost that, too.  I’m often too tired to be interested, which is death to interesting,but Rochefoucauld doesn’t care that I have it backwards, leaving me unforgiven.  And now, having written several hundred words more than I wrote for my book today, my guilt and I are going to take the puppy for a walk, wonder why I don’t smoke when it’s so beautifully cool outside, and call it a night.



microfuckingfilm
Saturday October 10th 2009, 12:26 pm
Filed under: blah,HelLA,libraries,myjobfuckingrocks,myjobfuckingsometimesdoesntrock,whingeing,Work Tags:

Not quite as annoying as Jason Fucking Bentley, but pretty fucking annoying.  So, committee yay or no, the chapter shall be drafted by Friday.  Six days, for those of you playing “will he finish it in time” bingo at home.  Go ahead, put a chip on the number “6” if it’s on your card.  Big prizes!  Anyway, chapter is pretty tight, until the very last bit, where it stalls out a bit, mostly because it needs Grist for the Mill.  I’ve been circling around this particular text, indeed a particular page, which is inaccessible because it’s in Snooty English Library, and I’m well, here.  But!  The wonders of Inter Library Loan and my own stubbornness turned up a microfilm of the text in SEL, which arrived yesterday!  Hark, I said, there’s hope!  Except, of course, it arrived at 4:50, the microfilm has been designated as “library use only” and the fricking microfilm room closes at 5 on Fridays.  Oh, and thanks to budget cuts, is close all day today, as well.  FUUUUUUUUUCK.  In the 5 minutes I had, I desperately tried to locate page 125.  Only to discover the damn thing is unpaginated.  Ever try to count pages as they scroll by as quickly as you can on a microfilm reader?  Not easy.  I was almost there, but the uppity undergrad who was manning the desk (and undoubtedly makes bupkus) wanted to leave.  So, not wanting to be asshole professor, I left.  FUUUUUUUUUCK.  That said, the whole book looks pretty damn intriguing, not just the one folio, so there might be hope for an out-of-the-ballpark final part to the chapter.  Or, it just ends with a whimper.  I’m easy, either way.  Back to (other), less productive, less exciting work. Although I’m beginning to plan my 3 (!!!!!!) trips to Ingerland come the new year.  Places I’ve said I’ll go to look at books: Gloucester, York, Durham, Lincoln, Edinburgh, Aberystwyth, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Maidstone and Wisbech (don’t ask on those last two.)  Places I actually manage to work?  We’ll see.



ummmmmm
Wednesday October 07th 2009, 11:15 am
Filed under: blah,whingeing,Work Tags:

yeah.  about that silence.  it’ll probably continue.  The poodle scratches himself vigorously.  Did I mention we got a poodle puppy?  he’s pretty damn cute.  I wonder about lengthy trips, though, feeling it both unfair to YCT to upsticks and leave her with the dog, and also unfair to LD (library dog; don’t ask) to leave him kennelled or YCTBrothered for too long.  Who knows, though.  Deadlines made and deadlines missed, invitations offered, accepted, declined.  And renewal of deadline missed, perhaps, for next Friday.  Dunno. I miss smoking.  I miss England.  I miss weather.



the habit of rejection

I’ve gotten out of it, rather surprisingly, and thus this morning’s email from Big Grant Awarding Body, the polite decline and the boilerplate on how competitive it was, rather has caught me out.  And yet, the rather familiar ache in the pit of my stomach, the sense of “don’t those fuckers know I’m bigger, better, faster, more,” the rage and the grief all come rolling in.  Muted, of course, and yet not, which is confusing.  As this one isn’t a deal-breaker, a be-all and end-all scenario – there’s a mini-round on that in October, and the real deal in 2 years.  But I’m rocked slightly back on my heels, wondering why people don’t see – again, a familiar litany of emotions, frustrations, a long list of grievances.  I received a catalogue for a tiny, inconsequential press at home the other day.  The truly amusing part, and the reason it comes to my home address rather than the office, is that I applied for a job from this minnow school yonks ago.  Not only did they reject me (in 20-20 hindsight from a lofty good job, I can with full magnanimity say “fuck you, but good call – we would have hated each other”), but they added me to their fricking mailing list.  Minnows gotta grow somehow, I suppose, but the lack of taste is impressive.  Anyways, rejection with a twist, knowing it’s not the end of the world, having done this shit enough to know that this-too-shall-pass, and of course, always the timing, knowing I have too much to do in the short and medium term to let this stop me from getting done the work, use the muted grief to fuel rather than excuse, evade, avoid, (drink). It fades even as I get distracted while writing this.  I wanted to check TPT last night to figure out what time I was up and out of the house to the BL from April-September, 2004, the 6 months in which I wrote the vast majority of my diss.  But in checking it today, it’s not clear (despite my memory of such) that I posted before leaving the house to sit on the 9/10 bus crawling along Oxford Street,  reading literary theory and the occasional trashy novel, and sometimes Proust.    Whatevs.  Coffee, shower, read, write.



more work
Monday May 04th 2009, 4:12 pm
Filed under: blah,myjobfuckingsometimesdoesntrock,self-indulgent,whingeing,Work Tags:

oh yeah, that shit.  I’m fooling myself into writing the non-book by writing a non-talk for a local audience for Wednesday next.  Cuz, yeah, that’ll work.  Though, as a friend asked, “what are you doing working on something due in 10 days’ time?”  Alas, the answer is that I’m hoping my book isn’t merely a string of all-nighters pulled, as a significantly non-zero part of the dissertation is.  Whatever.  I’m glum and grumpy and moody.  Must be Tuesday. Or, shit, Monday.