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kiss me with those red lips

The overflowing trash can in Jordan's office is fifty-five percent full of Twix wrappers, thirty-five percent York peppermint pattie wrappers, ten percent ginger candy wrappers, and an empty cold medicine bottle is perched on top. It is finals week and we have barely left this room in the last three days.

I have also decided that, while tweeting about one's stress- and study-related antics during finals time is perfectly acceptable and even therapeutic, it borders on cruel to tweet about how relieved one is to be finished with one's finals. Because the people who are still immersed in the utter un-knowing of whether or not they are going to make it to the end of their own (e.g., me) then have to read those tweets and feel wistful. Maybe this just means I should get off Twitter. Most people, it must be said, are very, very boring tweeters.

This paper on Dracula is going to have to come out of me at some point in the next two days. I'm only finishing my first semester of graduate school and I'm already made sleepy by the critical work that's being done in my discipline. Reading lackluster articles, while necessary for the purposes of citation in my paper, is really, really not what I want Tufts to be paying me to do. I don't know if I came here thinking I would be doing something else or if this is turning out to not be what I want to do. Or if maybe I can do what I want to do, I just have to figure out how to do it within the system of frankly masturbatory academia in which I'm going to inevitably be immersed.

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writing again

I knew if I just kept sitting down and reading this book and my notes on this book and thinking through the ideas there that eventually I would encounter a thought of my own. The book is Badiou's Ethics and the paper I'm writing on it is for the eyes of none other than the department chair whose disappointed chastisements I've weathered all semester, wishing all the while that I could get myself to speak up in class like he wants me to.

I've been frozen all semester, academically. Part of it is just that graduate school is hard, and I knew that part was coming. The part I didn't anticipate was the veritably Coleridgean wave of self-doubt toward my ability to do written work. Today marks the breakthrough I've been waiting for since September, though. I started reading again this morning. Happened across that old infamous Larkin paper from my junior year, the one that won the Louise M. Young award at AU. Became suddenly capable again.

The moral of the story is, Philip Larkin never fails.

good vibrations

First of all, the fact that Washington, DC sent me an email alerting me to a "hypothermia danger" because their weather was getting down to 27 degrees Fahrenheit has convinced me once and for all that my nation's capital is utterly ridiculous. Can't function in 27 degree weather with snow that doesn't even stick? Come on. Govern your country, people.

I nickname every place that becomes important to me, which is why my locations may seem cryptic. The nicknames are purely for my own benefit, and their significance is pretty arbitrary, even to me. Still, the moment I nickname a place, I start to feel more attached to it. My parents' new house I nicknamed the Castle because it is so much higher in the hills than the old house and thus looks out regally (I think) over Boise. I called the AmLit office the Clubhouse because of the way it was tucked in between things in the most obscure corridor in the Student Center at AU. It felt secret. My place here I almost immediately dubbed the Hub, for Torchwood-y reasons of making myself feel more top-secret than I actually am. And moving in there felt very much like a literal centering of myself, of planting my base of operations. And Jordan's place I call la Cage, fondly after La Cage aux Folles. Because my life became exponentially queerer and more ridiculous the moment ze entered my life.

My final thought for the evening, as I prepare to dive back into Badiou and Ethics and writing papers I am terrified of, is that I'm very glad I came to Massachusetts. I've made it my home.

falling off of lj

I periodically fall off of lj and stay off for ages. It's too much, writing and writing and posting and not knowing where the characters go. Whereas I know where the paper pages I write go, which is into the collapsible ottoman at the foot of my bed.

And inevitably I come back to lj. Someone unexpected urges me to post again or someone reads an old poem and asks why I don't write anymore, and I find myself here again, apologetically scrolling down the flist, clicking through my icons and laughing at them in surprised recollection. I am a sporadic person, and I think I'm finally going to allow myself to admit this. Maybe even embrace it.

I've got to start writing again. Not only because seminar papers are due in ten days and I've got one page of forty-five. Not only because I'm procrastinating those forty-four more pages. Because life gets overwhelming so, so quickly when I'm not writing. It's as though the pent-up words I should be writing block up my common sense organ. So here I am, writing again.

new interest

I've been assigned to read Miller's Ronin for a contemporary American literature class (subtitle: Cyberpunk). It is the first time in college I've studied anything more recent than Larkin. It is also the first time in college I've studied American lit that doesn't fall under the heading of "African American Literature". There was a memorable time a few years ago when Professor Sha called "American literature" an oxymoron, a belief I don't necessarily subscribe to, but which I find endlessly interesting in light of the quicksilver sea of academia I'm about to enter. The canon expands and expands, and theories of literature splinter and branch, until you've got people writing something called "eco-crit" on the Batman comics. And on the other hand you've got Professor Sha, a brilliant (and I mean it) man, who maintains that all Western literature was building up to the British Romantics and has since gotten less and less interesting. Eloquent, smart people can argue anything, and that's exasperating to some, but I'm just so excited to dive into it.

ANYWAY, derailment of thinking about the canon aside, I'm six pages into Ronin and have decided I'm going to try out the comic book and graphic novel genre this summer when I have loads and loads of time for leisure reading. Recommendations?

die welt ist alles was der fall ist

Singing solo for 25 minutes is so much harder than you'd expect it to be. Unless you're Renée Fleming, in which case you must be so toned i could break my finger with a friendly poke in the ribs. Not that I would venture to actually poke Renée Fleming in the ribs. My senior voice recital looms. Also, the choir has concerts this weekend, which means my mind is stuffed full of early Handel, and it turns out Handel made beautiful amounts of no sense at all in the early years of his career.

In other news, one of the roommates' mom bought our apartment a blender. I've had a smoothie for breakfast every day since Sunday, and I've forgotten my cup in the AmLit office on campus every day as well. I'm slowly accumulating plastic travel drinkware, and my editors must think I'm trying to claim all of the deskspace for my own.

In still other news, one of my senior thesis mentors expressed great confidence in my ability to pull this 50-page project off in the coming weeks. This was exhilarating and terrifying, since I've only got 11 pages as of today.

having just watched the history boys

And sitting on my white chair, the glow of the Christmas tree behind me spouting over the edges of my vision, I looked over to the side and saw Grenye and Fletcher kiss. They were standing in the doorframe of the kitchen, silver bows I'd tied out of strips of tulle and strung up for Christmas framing their heads. Behind them, I could see a V of Kelly's back folded into the dark green silk dress she wears when we all make dinner together. Her spine twisted gently, half a beat out of time with the Norah Jones song playing, as she moved slivers of onion around in a pan on the stove. I felt as though the utter randomness of things had just walked in and caressed my cheek.

ugh

I am not well. It is a good thing I have a doctor for a father and an aspiring doctor for a roommate; if it weren't for them, I'd probably still be shivering in a ball beneath four blankets, two hoodies, a t-shirt, and a tank top. I've been a godawful facebook- and email-responder, a terrible lj friend, and a lackluster student for the past few days, and for that I apologize to the world in general. I promise to stop coughing strep bacteria all over everything just as soon as possible.

Yech. Must return to midterm paper on Wolfgang Iser. Conclusion: Reader-Response Criticism = not my bag. I briefly considered just writing "BOLLOCKS" in red Sharpie on a piece of filler paper and turning that in, but have since decided that would have been a bad choice.

ACK.

I'm overflowing. I am, quite seriously, overflowing. I haven't gone back and read old lj entries for at least two years, but it occurred to me this morning that I have been posting fragments of everything from dreams to heartbreak to epic simile since 2003. That's half a damn decade.

It is easy, in looking back, to forget to think of past versions of myself as entire human entities. Plus, I spend almost my entire academic life as a deconstructionist, which means I spend almost every intellectual moment of the day denying and deferring the possibility of a coherent self. Happening upon January 2005 in my journal entries, however, jostled my comfortable fragmentation of the self. That is, I've come up against the fragmentation of the self once again, but in a much more personal (electrifying) way than is usually the case. In simpler terms, I am frankly astonished by the things that really happened to me--indeed, the things that, in rereading, are happening to me right now all over again. I've just been reminded of the sheer volume of things that have happened to me, things that are inextricable from who I am and at the same time things that I haven't thought about in ages.

And so I say that I am overflowing. The entity called I is occurring all at once, and indeed it always does, but it is when we come to the startled awareness of the synchronicity and multiplicity of self occurring within the boundaries of our skins that we begin to overflow.

And, as a deconstructionist, I love overflow.

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asshats

I keep laughing at myself this week. I will literally stop walking and plant my hands on my knees and laugh, not because I've been particularly clever or witty (although I am that now and again), but just because I exist. There is something about existing that, when I am feeling free and human, strikes me as just so fucking hilarious that I can't so much as shift my weight from one heel to the other without crowing triumphantly.

It is because of this mood that every time someone has asked me how I'm doing this week, I've responded with, "I feel like such an asshat." Because it is the only phrase I can come up with that seems to come close to correct.

In other news, I got memeified by the lovely project_lyse . *rolls sleeves purposefully*

letter meme!Collapse )
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