Wednesday, June 28, 2006



i'm reading. i'm not going to finish the reading for tomorrow; this is the first time this has happened. only took a week, you might be saying. i spose so, but here's the thing: it's a freaking book. we are not going to talk about the book in a day, we are going to talk about the significant portions of the book, and i think i'm okay with those. also, we're 2.5 days behind in covering the reading materials during lecture. if i read this whole book by tomorrow, you can bet your pants we aren't going to finish talking about it. we need three days just to cover what we've already read but haven't discussed.

also, i'm almost thirty. i have earned this judgment call.

J. L. Austin, i will read you completely someday. and world, i am not one of those non-readers, it's just . . .

a 12 month master's degree is both the good and bad parts of bootcamp. woo, whip you into shape! boo, can't focus on anything for more than 90 minutes!

like the TA keeps saying, it's a survey. the worst thing i can do is miss the forest for the trees.

so, at work someone totally unnerved me by making an ethnic slur, like, right out in the open. story TK.

Monday, June 26, 2006


and now, the sads.

this girl is sad.

it's sort of rainy.

we had a good conversation this morning that was like: here's me telling you what i need! wait, backtrack! let me restate that in terms that don't shoot blame lazers out of them!

except that apologizing and meaning it still means the lazered party is sitting at her laptop with some small weepies because even though she asked you, has been asking you to say the thing about the needs, she didn't expect it would come out quite that way.

plus, it was about our apartment. our beautiful tiny matchbox perfect messy in-process apartment. which . . . i think of the apartment as a symbol of our committment--in absence of the words "married," or a kid, it's sort of the biggest one: we bought this home together. as the monkey himself said at the closing, it means we're legally bound. i don't like the city, and i'm bad at hanging things on the walls, but i don't think framed monet posters are necessarily a signifier of . . . homeness. it is my home. it's our home. and i did that freaking kitchen remodel practically by myself and i helped pick out all paint and i asked you if you needed help with the spackling and you said no, and back when we bought it you immediately left to be an artist and left me there with all the boxes and no way to move in because we were supposed to pick everything out and fix it up together and i had to pick out the sofa without you . . . so i'm sorry you feel like i'm treating it like a hotel in Bad Place City, because i show off that apartment the way some folks flaunt their giant diamond rings. and i know i shouldn't need to but i'm sort of crappy that way.

we'll hang some photos. and i'll order the fucking bookcase. but next time something is this important, you should really tell me before it gets to be a year later and i freak out and then the therapist yells at me*.

it is so dumb to be crying about this. i don't know what to say. school is hard.

*he didn't yell. but he did get very stern, and i was scared.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


mary jane, take me home.

what is up with wanting to blotto myself all weekend? not all weekend, but friday night, saturday after the show, now . . . my work is done, and i want to lie around in a stupor. and, you know. watch the gilmore girls. and not think about marx.

i was telling the one who's least afraid on the phone yesterday, during her hen party, that some days i can absorb more than others, and i'm not sure if it's the varying subject matter (theorists are flying fast and furious) or different states of mind--like i can only keep my academic on for twelve hours at a time before i turn back into a dummy. probably some of each. this weekend we got a piece of reading that i just couldn't parse--i mean, i read it all, but after spending hours on two pages and scouring the interwebs for some fred moten cliff notes, i decided to just read it and admit tomorrow that i don't get it.

i went to see three plays this weekend--more, oddly, than in the last month combined even though i'm so crazy homework busy. two of them were well-supported off-off productions that made me think of doing plays in seattle. remembering doing plays makes it even harder to keep reading fred moten.

the mornings, though, are good. they are (right now) the right amount of scary, the right amount reassuring. it's a nice reason to get up before eight. i hope this all works out.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006



oh, you guys.

five hours of reading yesterday.

five hours of reading today, and a written response to this morning's lecture.

if it doesn't sound like a lot, it FREAKING IS.

i'm the only MA student with a part time job.


made plans to go to the theatre on thursday. that may have been a giant mistake. seeing as how there's this roland barthes book plus two giant xerox piles i have to read for friday, and a couple of written things.

holy jeez. this is not college. i do not have time to join the rugby team. i will not be in the spring musical.

i will be wearing my glasses for the next 11 months.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


i wore the green dress, and: school rocks me.


i had about four gigantic cups of coffee, and between that and the sustained academic hard-on i could barely contain myself during the library orientation. that library has EVERYTHING. it has everything you could never dream of using if you wrote five zillion papers. the librarian is RAD and WANTS TO HELP YOU. one of the classes i'm registering for today covers dianne reeves. i can't wait to get started.

i was afraid (probably arrogantly) that the other students would be
mostly theatre majors who didn't know what to do after graduation and
so were dilletante-ing their way through a related masters. but
they're serious, and fun, and smart, and i'm not the oldest. i might be like the third oldest. there are extra people this year, too: they do the acceptances assuming a certain percentage of people will decline, and very few did. one woman is from ireland and has a gaelic name and she's funny and i love her. another one used to be a figure skater. they are my favorites, plus this one guy from korea who doesn't seem to talk much but arrived at the orientation wearing bright turquoise parachute pants and a breathe-right (tm) nose strip. i kind of love him.

i'm feeling very theory poor. these other students are mostly younger, but they came out of college with a lot more exposure to that stuff than i did. i just read a lot of american fiction and took acting classes. so, that makes me feel a little
gulpy. i'm imagining telling my advisor about my plans to study blah blah blah performance of gender and then admitting i haven't read a single page of feminist theory. but we'll see.

also, we got a course packet at the orientation, and then later the administrative guy was like, later you'll go get your course packet at this other location. and i thought, way to be ahead of the game, guy--you yourself handed me my course packet this morning.

and then i realized that that was the packet of readings for the first two days.

also, i look like a no-neck monster on my student ID. a male no-neck monster, with no discernable cheekbone activity.

still, though. things feel good. immensely good.

Friday, June 16, 2006


hot for teacher.

holy shit. the excitement about starting school on monday totally snuck up on me.

because it's monday. MONDAY. i'm a graduate student. MONDAY.

i think i ignored the approach because i couldn't handle the anticipation while still doing time at this USELESS, NECESSARY JOB, but now that it's almost monday . . .

today is my last day. as a full time wage slave. for a while.

that's a good day.

and you know what's totally making me cream my pants? the discounted theatre tickets. i'm aware of the irony; with the tuition i'm forking over i could afford VIP tix to everything on broadway. but still. everything i sweated over not having seen during the tonys award broadcast is now within my grasp. i think i should make haste, before some sort of mid-term is upon me.

anyway. back to thinking about what i'm going to wear on monday. it will probably involve hair ribbons.


happy anniversary, mountain flower.

(it went fine, by the way.)

the perfect way to celebrate today: see sheila's play.

if you've already seen it, i would go to this.

if you are bummed that you have to go schmooze with a casting director tonight rather than attend either of those events, maybe just make a small opportunity to say yes.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


more on DNA.

tonight is dinner with the monkey parents.

at dinner with the monkey's cousin and uncle, nice things were said (by the out of towners) about the monkey's parents, which sort of suprised me. it shouldn't; it's not like he's the product of Pol Pot and Squeaky Fromme. almost everyone has a few nice stories about their parents, even if overall you think maybe they didn't do right by you.

except the monkey, in all these years, has told almost nothing but negative stories. he's pretty honest about how they were as parents--unconcerned and unloving, cold, narrow, generally unexcited about him. it makes it hard for me to envision meeting actual people across the table tonight and not a pair of robots or cartoon ogres.

and upon reflection, i think they're probably not as off-putting as i have imagined, at least not on a surfacey, dinner-conversation level. he's also quoted some severely intolerant and racist remarks his mother has spit out on occasion, but i think almost everybody's got some family member somewhere whose beliefs (or ignorance, or hatred) embarrass them, and i doubt the big guns are coming to the table tonight.

i remember my college roommate erin b. telling me one day--soberly but not sobbing or in a rage--about how her dad held her down once and hit her legs with the heel of his dress shoe until she had big black bruises. a few months later he stopped by for family weekend and she introduced us, and i couldn't imagine shaking his hand, but in the context of the room, he was just a dad and it seemed like i'd make everyone very uncomfortable if i refused. so i just sort of shook, mumbled and left the room. i'd forgotten about the father part; i just expected him to be some loser in an "i hit children" t-shirt.

which means: there will not be child-eating ogres at the table tonight. they will be flesh people parents. there may indeed be old funny family stories that are heartwarming and true. maybe some will get told. i hope so. i want to be able to like these people.

(i also want to be able to go through the whole meal without dumping ziti in my lap. in truth, i'm far more afraid of embarrassing myself at the table than of a racist remark, and italian food has always been my waterloo--there are so many things to spill, and so many of them are red.)

it's going to be fine, but my secret hope is that it is a little better than fine, and that we can enjoy each other.

Friday, June 09, 2006


thank god; common sense and humanism prevail

the HPV vaccine has been approved by the FDA.

i'm tempted to go get in line right now, just to prove how strongly i feel about this. those mofos who preach virginity or death at least didn't snow the feds. this branch, anyway.


big DNA week.

so, in three and a half years, i have not ever met or spoken to the monkey's parents.

or, really, any of his family. well, one; i met his cousin when she was on a business trip through new york the first year we were here. she took us out for an expense account dinner. i had filet mignon and french fries.

tonight we're having dinner with her again, and her dad, a twenty-five-years-divorced bachelor DJ who the monkey says is possibly gay but no one's sure.

and next week, hell is freezing over. also, his parents are driving through new york on their way north and have agreed to stop and have dinner with us.

i have no idea if these people even want to meet me. they haven't really expressed an interest, so far as i know. all i know about them is that they sound like bad parents and are seriously roman catholic. their ambivalence towards learning anything about me seems to point to at least mild disapproval. after all, we are shacked up without the benefit of a sacrament, and then there's all the stuff they don't know but probably suspect, like how i'm a bedwetting liberal birth-control-using pinko feminist hedonist monster.

not cool. i should be giving them the benefit of the doubt. i bet they make a great margarita.

okay, so: i'm going to try to go in with an open mind. i am mostly not apprehensive; i mean, what could happen? i dump a plate of meatballs in the monkey dad's lap? i challenge his mom to arm-wrestle and lose? they frown at my salt usage?



obligatory vacation post.

i've been trying to post this for three days. as some of you probably know, blogger's been on the fritz. more interesting data to come.

* * *

i'm back.

because you are dying to know: the first few days of the vacation were problematic only because of the period i didn't seem to be having. it showed up late with no excuses, and i was a particularly grateful flavor of relieved. nothing kicks off a vacation like finding out you're knocked up.

but i'm not. so, good.

there aren't too many great, relatable stories from the trip, only small ones that don't make sense outside my family. i finally made good on the flipside of a horribly embarrassing past tendency and called my dad by the monkey's name. we finished a thursday new york times crossword together, one of those ones that has you rolling on the floor badmouthing will shortz's mom when you finally realize that .1 microjoules is actually an "erg." i went to wine school. i have a terrible nose, it turns out. my mom? actually pretty good. i think maybe smell is improving while hearing goes down the tubes.

i'm starting to see what getting old will look like for her--it's just the hazy outline, but it's sort of a sad picture. she seems sort of isolated from conversations, from people, from the fun that's going on around her. you know when you talk to her that chances are high she'll interrupt you mid-sentence with some sort of off-the-wall interjection, and i think it's because she can't follow what you were saying for lack of comprehension and her attention wandered. the overall effect is that she seems much less sharp than she used to, sort of wandery and selfish, like old people seem sometimes. which makes her seem old to me, and a little pitiful. don't get me wrong, she's not doddering or seeming like she needs one of those ear-trumpets (gargamel had one on the smurfs, do you remember?) or a guide dog. but it's changing her. more than it has to, i think. i hope she gets some better hearing aids, and wears them, and some of this is reversed. she's sort of shrinking into her life.

i should note, though, that she is also still my mom, and we still know how to party down in only the way co-dependent moms and daughters can. we ate potato chips on the balcony and hooted with laughter over old family stories. we got sloppy at dinner and flirted with the waiter. we got in our swimsuits and dunked toes in the pool and then decided just to sit by the side with diet cokes and long books.

what else. i had a picnic in an olive grove and sunburned my back. i ate raw beef. i walked and walked and walked. i took pictures (tk, they're still on my ipod). i decided to see what would happen if i drank a glass of wine every single time i wanted one. (it's good.) i rode a bike with my dad through the dordogne river valley, and we stopped at a french truck stop for lunch (french truck stop. all the workmen sitting down to lunch gave us the austere gallic eyeball as we bellied up to the counter, but by the time we left they were waving and bonjouring us all over the place). when we were gathering our gear to go, my dad did this thing he used to do when i was a child, when he was teaching me to ski. he'd take my little glove and sort of wrinkle up the parts from the wristband until the fingers, kind of the way you scrinch up pantyhose before you stick your toe into the toe part? and then i'd stick my hand in, and he'd help me get it situated. it helped me not get messed up about where the fingers went. when we finished at the truck stop, he picked up my glove liners and scrinched them and held them up for me to stick my fingers into, without thinking. i loved it.

there was something healing about the cicadas and the olive trees and the rivers and the cobblestones. i know; the word "healing" makes me puke, too, but it's true. it's nice, and it's meaningful, to get away from where you are. especially when where you are makes you angry. i always liked going places with fewer buildings, but this was especially good. i never needed it quite this bad before. there were these bushes in bloom all over that smelled like jasmine.

and then i spent a quickie in paris which included the single best coffee i've ever had, at an outdoor cafe outside the comedie francaise, and it was almost seven dollars but completely worth it, one small sunburn in the luxembourg gardens, and then i went home to the monkey.

who is just so good. coming home to someone is so sweet.

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