Showing posts from November, 2008

I Turkey, You Turkey.

I made me a turkey. But I didn't touch the guts. I barely touched the raw bird at all. I made my med school friend (who was visiting from NY) touch it because she wasn't afraid of the flesh. She does flesh. She even liked looking in at its cathedral of ribs.

So she rinsed it and I patted its butt dry (which turned out to be its neck--weird), we slathered the goosebump skin with butter and salt and pepper and popped it in the oven. Three hours later, a golden gorgeous beast.

If I do say so myself, it was a damn good bird. But not better than my stuffing. Boy was that stuffing good: cornbread, onions, celery, apples, bacon. Nothing over the top, but it was mighty tasty. Which brings me to wonder, who thought of the stuffing? Who was it that said, let's stuff the bird full of ... hmmm, I've got it ... BREAD! That'll be GOOD. Whoever they were, they were right on the money.

When we were sitting down to dinner and I had the table all set with my pretty red plates and real …

Work Gives Me a Tummy Ache.

I admit it. I hate to admit it, because I'm so blessed to have it, and someday I think I will like it. But it's my first year, and I find it terrifying.

I mean, it's busy. Not only am I teaching three new classes to students I haven't figured out yet, I'm also supposed to oversee a student club, develop a reading series, sit on two committees, advise a bunch of students on registration, and find time to write/publish my own stuff. It's hard.

And every time I have to go to work, it ruins my day. I come home in the worst mood, feeling terrible about myself and the world. While I'm on campus, I always feel like I'm bumbling about, like I have no clue what I'm doing, like I'm doing it wrong, like a fraud. Ten hours of that, and I'm bound to feel low, right?

I'm whining, I know. But I just realized yesterday that it's true: I'm not enjoying this. I want my mommy. I want to sit at her Thanksgiving table with her moist moist tu…

Double the Blogs, Double the Fun.

I've become increasingly aware that I never really talk about reading or writing on this blog--the stuff I'm doing and thinking and teaching about all the time, or whenever I get a chance.

This seemed like a problem. But it just didn't come naturally for me to talk about it here.

So ... time for another blog. This one you have in front of you will still cover everyday sort of happenings--my cats, my husband, outings and excurions and cookie-driven angst. But hopefully on the other one I will I'll post bits I've read that have struck me, stuff from podcasts and audiobooks I like, links to literary journals, maybe even stuff I'm writing.

It's called picking up handfuls of birds, from a line by Herbert I've had on my sidebar here. In case you don't get the birds, I'll post the entire poem over there at some point, and perhaps that will illuminate.

Anyway, happy Sunday. See you at the other blog, if you feel so inclined.

Cloudy with a Chance of Fish

Driving home from Coolidge corner and the sun going down. Gentle oranges, marshmallow blues, etc.

And in the middle, straight ahead, floating lonely at the end of Beacon Street: a big cloud, in the shape of a fish, precise.

This has never happened to me, seeing a cloud picture without looking for it. I can't even remember it happening to me as a grownup.

Has it happened to you?

New Look

Too much? Cheesy?

I'm afraid of it. I don't think I like these weird buttony things on the sides.

Your thoughts?

Success! Progress! Happy Cats!

Today was a milestone in our household, at least kitty-wise.
We fed them. They did this:

This may not seem shocking. They're just eating next to one another. But the proximity is key. For reference, the kitty on the left is my cat, Meatsock. The one on the right is Sam's, Tadzio. They're tough, territorial fellows. Or at least they'd like everyone to think that. They're actually desperately affectionate saps. I mean that in a good way.
Do they hate each other? Yes, yes they do. Since Meaty arrived, they pretty much haven't been able to coexist in the same room without a festival of hissing, a flurry of paw swipes. But slowly, in the last week or so, they've been cozying up to one another, relatively speaking. I caught them napping on the same bed a few nights ago. Not snuggling, mind you. But on the same bed. Shocking behavior.
And then. This moment! The one you see here! Eating! Right next to each other!
Granted, they were starving. They'd been alon…

From a Student Paper:

"I enjoy making mistakes for big events."

This sent my mind a-flutter, writing in the margins of the page. It was sort of an interesting thought: messing something up to celebrate. I think I know people who do that.

Turns out, on continuing to read, he meant, "I enjoy making MIX TAPES for big events." As in, like, music.


Still. Freudian slip?

Meet a Geep.

This is a geep, which is a bioengineered combination of a sheep and a goat. No, really. Did you know they could do this?
They--the proverbial they, which means smart people, scientists--have also figured out how to make real human blood run the veins of cows. And there are apparently some mice with teeny tiny human kidneys. So, soon we'll be harvesting cows for blood transfusions and organ transplants. I know not what to think of this.
I learned this on RadioLab. If you don't listen to Radiolab, I suspect your life is not as quite as happy and fascinating as it could be.
Anyway, since I heard the podcast, this question has been nagging me: How will God go about separating the sheep from the goats if they're all geeps? I'm not just being cute. I mean, the question amuses me. But I wonder about it. When Jesus made His statement on the subject (in Matthew 25: 31-34), did He know that someday we'd literally combine the two and mess up the metaphor? I assume the Heavens …

Confessions at 10:13pm.

Gosh you people are kind. Thank you for telling me I'm normal. Made me want to cry some more.

This post was longer. Was rambling on, saying nothing really. I have a cold blah blah blah. Sam went to bed early so I watched a dumb movie blah blah blah. Today a lady stuck a bunch of acupuncture needles in my face blah blah blah. I ate some SOY DELICIOUS "ice cream" because I have a cold AND a sweet tooth that won't leave me alone. Blah blah blah.

But really, all I want to say: I have a PhD in English, and I still, on far too regular a basis, mix up my their/they're/there and my no/know. Not like I don't know which is which. I DO. I just type the wrong one like ALL the time. What is with that? It's particularly embarrassing when I send an email to a student with that mistake. Head smack.

I'm secretary of this department committee, which means I have to take minutes. And I submitted my minutes for review, and this lady, who looks like my kindergarten teacher (…

I think I'm afraid of girls.

Before I explain, a plug for a girl I'm not afraid of: Tia, my niece. She is certainly one of the most elegant, intelligent, articulate females I know. Seriously. And now she has an etsy shop. So, go here. And buy a thing, if you like. Pretty stuff, no?

Also, my sister just found out she's having a baby girl. I'm not afraid of that girl either. (Although, I think my sister might be. She had her heart set on a family of boys.)

Anyway, this one time, last year, I was in the Dallas airport having some lunch and waiting for a plane. I was by myself and therefore earnestly eavesdropping on the phone conversation 9f the girl next to me. This girl was telling someone (a girlfriend), in perfect detail, the events of her evening the night before. I mean, this was thorough reporting. Something about noisy roommates and moving boxes. I don't really remember. But I do remember how it felt to follow her conversation. And how I thought, wow, someone is really willing to listen to that…

Gimme Pretty Food

Good day today. A TWO post day.

Sometimes, food is not good. Earlier today, I stopped to get an Italian soda, made the UNFORTUNATE choice of picking gingerbread flavored syrup (I KNOW. What was I thinking?!) and had to dump it out in a gutter. I think I was subconciously wishing for a cookie, and that was as close as I felt I could come.

But sometimes food is good. Tonight Sam took me to a fancy place for dinner. Lineage, in Brookline. I forgot how much I LOVE me a fancy restaurant. I didn't even know how much I loved them until I started dating Sam and he took me to Cafe Degas in New Orleans, Purple Parrot in Hattiesburg, Restaurant August in the French Quarter, and some place in Greenwich Village I can't remember the name of where I got the most aesthetically pleasing meal of my life, etc. Since we moved here, we've been attempting to be more financially conservative. To be, like, grown ups. But I'm so glad we didn't tonight.

Here's what I remembered, …

Boston MFA

Today Sam and I shrugged off our stacks of ungraded papers and went down to the Museum of Fine Arts, finally.

Although, honestly, I wasn't as dazzled as I had hoped. Maybe we just weren't in a art museum sort of mood. Or maybe it's because they're busy renovating and it's sort of confusing in there.

Anyway, we walked into the Impressionism gallery with tons of Degas and Monets and Renoirs that should have been, well, impressive. Sam said, immediately, "Well this is boring." Did I tell you why I love that man? Because that was EXACTLY what I was thinking, but I never think I'm supposed to say stuff like that. Sam, on the other hand, is refreshingly free of filters. At least sometimes it's refreshing ...

Still, blaspheme, I know. My artsy friends have stopped reading. I guess I'm just tired of seeing the images I've seen 5,000 times. They are beautiful, yes. But I can't really SEE them any more, you know?

But the visit ended nicely. On ou…

Fall Debris.

I find these autumn leaves shocking.

I mean, I expected them to change. I looked forward to the reds and yellows and oranges.

But I forgot: when leaves fall, they stay put. We are past the trees that look like they're burning. We're before the trees put on sweaters of snow. So now the trees are mostly bare, and at their feet are mounds and drifts of leaves. They fill the ditches, cover cars and sidewalks and speckle the street.

The other morning, driving down a street lined in swaths of gold, I saw a red boxey truck with an enormous black hose attached. Two men wearing galoshes and rubber gloves were using the hose to suck up all the leaves, shooting them into the big red box. They were vacuuming.

Which makes sense. In a place like this, where there are so many leaves, leaves upon leaves upon leaves, one must do something. Leaf collection can't just be rakes and bags in the front lawn, jumping and scattering the piles. Sometimes the cities have to get serious. Sometimes they h…

Healthy Shmealthy.

Went to this presentation on campus today, mostly because it involved a free "healthy" lunch. And the lunch was good, and healthy: grilled chicken with mango salsa, broccoli, salad, squash chunks. Finished off with a cup of light strawberry yogurt with fresh strawberries.

And afterwards, sitting there, listening to all of these feisty New England woman bicker back and forth, obsessing over calories and trans fats and pedometers and how many weight watchers points are in a chicken wing, I couldn't help but think, "Well, that was fun. Now it seems we should all eat a lot of cake."

I tried to tell this to the woman next to me. She didn't seem amused.

But I AM trying not to eat so many sweets, again. My witty and delightful Chinese herbalist (yes, I have a Chinese herbalist.) made a compelling case for it, having to do with my stomach chi or my spleen fire or something like that.

So, here's to cups of light yogurt!

No, actually, I find them to be yucky.

A Needfully Vague Account of a Teaching Adventure

Weird teaching day.

Student wrote story about having a continuous romantic relationship with the ghost of an old rock star. Weird, but potentially good story.

Trouble was, Student believed it. I mean, Student was the "her." Student felt she was the story. Student was in love and desperately missing her rock star ghost boyfriend.

I'd like to say more (as more occurred), but in the interest of good taste, I'll stop there.

I'm tuckered out.

Picking Wedding Pictures for Prints.

I find I like the ones where he looks sort of devious.