Hold the pepperoni

Nothing to see here, folks.

Hey, did you know that I’m being sued? I don’t know how much I can say about it here, and I’ll certainly reveal more once all is said and done, but apparently the heinous act of being the heir of someone who dies without a will is enough to get your ass hauled into court by the person who was married to the now-deceased parent. Who’d’a thunk it? I didn’t realize. All I can say is, sorry I caused all that cancer.


So, I’m either pregnant or enjoying a MAGNIFICENT spell of pre-shark week pleasantness. There is the boobal tenderness that wraps around the band of my bra, the charming mood swings (great for professional AND personal relationships!), an appetite like a teenage boy’s (without commensurate metabolic exchange), and the zits. Good lord, the zits. I haven’t been this oily and spotty since Bowman Junior High, Plano, Texas, 1983? 84? Whatever the hell year I was in 7th grade.

I will choose to ignore this potential situation until AFTER my 35th birthday, this Saturday the 29th. Because that is Cocktail Day, and no damned fetus is going to stand between me and my Birthday Cocktails. And cake.

3:10 to Yuma and career crisis #48,534,853

This afternoon, Matt and I played hooky from all our responsibilities and caught a matinee of 3:10 to Yuma (funnily enough, it was 3:10 when we left the movie theatre). I thought, going into it, that it would be a movie about embattled masculinity, since in my dissertation co-chair’s film class we’ve been talking about … embattled masculinty in the Western (i.e., Brokeback Mountain). But it’s really not. Sure, all those tropes are there (first shot we see of Russell Crowe’s character has his saddlehorn in a tight closeup; the emasculated man who is struggling financially; the bad guy, stripped of his back hat, reveals his humanity), but this is really a bleak movie about the futility of doing the right thing. I don’t want to give too much away here, but the equation seems to be “do the right thing and hang tight to your morals and you end up just as screwed as the really crappy guy who has done unspeakable things to innocent people.” It’s pretty nihilistic, which isn’t surprising, considering it’s based on an Elmore Leonard short story, but it’s deeply enjoyable. I’ve been thinking about it all day.

And watch out for that amazing homoerotic climax between Russell Crowe and Ben Foster. It doesn’t get much more transgressive than that!

This is an overly simplified analysis of the film, one that really doesn’t do it justice, but I’m really tired and emotionally drained, so I’ll leave it at that.

After the movie, I bolted off to a meeting for the book I’m contributing to. My essay was being peer-reviewed, so I couldn’t really skip out on it. I knew that my essay was not great (and it wasn’t even finished because one of the people I’m interviewing specifically for this essay keeps rescheduling on me), but it’s hard to get your work peer reviewed and hear very little positive feedback. Like, next to none. (Someone did send me electronic feedback that was very positive, so that cheered me up a bit.) Whatever, I came out of the meeting with some good ideas for revision, ideas that will help me shape my essay into a more cohesive interrogation of the subject. But that’s not what was really eating at me by the time we all said goodbye.

What’s got me so freaked out (and a little depressed) is that I’m apparently supposed to transcribe an interview for this project, something I was told 2-3 weeks ago I didn’t have to do because we had an intern. We’re talking about an extra 4-5 hours worth of work sometime between now and mid-October. Now, that may not sound that awful on “paper,” but when you think about the fact that I’m either sitting in or teaching class for 12 hours a week, holding office hours for three, proctoring in the CWRL labs for 6, doing class prep, laboriously translating my Spanish reading, reading for my rhetorical theory class and Dr. P’s film class (admittedly, this is low-priority, as I’m just sitting in on this one, so the stakes are low, but it’s relevant to my dissertation project and therefore important), NOT TO MENTION parenting a toddler, exercising, schlepping, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and trying to be a fully present member of my family — oh, and meet OTHER deadlines for OTHER projects — I’m not seeing where I’m going to be able to fit in another fucking thing. Notice I haven’t accounted for doing things like sleeping and oh, I don’t know, maybe having a life. I’m thinking I’m going to have to lay off of therapy and acupuncture for a while because those both take about four hours a month and I just don’t have the luxury of that kind of time.

(I realize that that last sentence makes me sound like a privileged, spoiled little brat, but acupuncture and therapy kept me out of the puzzle factory this summer — it’s been a while since I’ve been to either — maybe that’s why I’m feeling so unhinged right now.)

This camel’s back, it is pretty much at capacity. I call uncle. Something’s got to give, but I can find no quarter. Maybe I’ll start robbing stagecoaches and torturing Pinkertons.

The Farmers’ Market of Anger

Today I went to the Triangle Farmers’ Market, as I do most Wednesday afternoons. This time, I used my debit card to buy $20 worth of wooden chips to purchase my goods with, since I never, ever, ever have cash on Wednesday afternoons.

I enjoyed visiting with my mama friends (including Jam, from whom I forgot to purchase some pad thai — doh!) and selecting some luscious plum tomatoes, some beautifully mottled bell peppers, and a fat little eggplant. And then I made the decision to check out the bread, because I’ve been wanting to have some toast with almond butter in the mornings.

I think the vendor was Texas French Bread. I approached, the guy said hello, was very pleasant. I said hello back and asked if any of the loaves were sliced. His smile froze and he very condescendingly said, “Neeeeew. None of them are sliced.” He then exchanged a somewhat smug look with the customer who had approached the other table; she said “it tastes fresher when it’s not sliced, right?”

“Right,” said Mr. Precious Bread, and he turned his entire attention to Ms. Doesn’t Need Sliced Bread.

Oh, I’m sorry. Perhaps you don’t see the toddler clinging to me like a gibbon. Ever try slicing bread with Mr. “Up Mommy” all up in your grill? Ever try to clean up oh-so-fresh bread crumbs from the kitchen counter while hustling to get out the door at 7:30 in the morning? Better yet, have you SEEN me slice bread? It’s not pretty. If bread was sentient, I could be tried for crimes against breadmanity, it’s that ugly. And if I’m going to pay $4 for a loaf of bread, I want even slices that are not my responsibility. And maybe I’m okay with sacrificing a wee bit of freshness in exchange for having bread I can actually eat and enjoy rather than maim and mangle.

Needless to say, Mr. Precious Bread did not get a single one of my wooden chips.

Is it cheating?

Is it cheating to look up English translations of your Spanish homework and answer the homework questions (in Spanish) based on the translation you read? Or is it a “by any means necessary” situation? I feel a bit dishonest doing this, but the alternative is to spend HOURS reading 19th century Cuban slang and trying to translate it myself and still not coming up with anything that makes any sense.

Why I love Anthony Bourdain

…and why I feel so lucky and grateful that a kind Craigslist community member alerted me to the fact that the Paramount had released (crappy) tickets to his talk next month:

“I should point out, by the way, that I’m guest judging again next week. Which means I know what happens. And while I am precluded from discussing future broadcasts by a confidentiality agreement rivalling the NSA’s in the severity of its penalties for unauthorized disclosure, I can reveal this: There will be a SlaughterFest of Horror, an Orgy of Bloodletting, Partial Nudity, Flammable Liquids, Unspeakable Misuse of Power Tools and Small Woodland Creatures, and the Plaintive Wailing of the Doomed. It will make Altamont look like Lilith Fair.” — “Sympathy for the Devil

Two things I will never understand

Women who complain in their blogs about the travails of being a mother. Yes, being a mom is hard. It can be really frustrating and exhausting and you often wonder what the hell you got yourself into. But the more you bitch about the ramifications of your own choice to have a child, then have another child, and cast yourself as “just a mom,” utterly devoid of a life outside of mothering, complain about the poop accidents, etc. etc., the more you start to look like an asshole. Suck it up and get your tubes tied, Job.

Why anyone would think that any product having a direct impact on your intestines should have the word “burst” in the title. Sheesh.


Yesterday was a long-ass day. And I’ve got 14 more 12-hour days this semester. I told Matt that I think I finally understand why he’s so tired all the time. He gets up around 6am M-F, goes to work, comes home around 6 or so, then stays up until around 11, sometimes a little later. I do that one day a week — Thursday — and on Friday, I’m totally wasted and useless.

I had a meeting with my dissertation co-chairs this morning, and it was very productive, even though it was only about 20 minutes long. I’ve got my marching orders for the semester — write a two-page abstract by next Friday, then go away and write. My first chapter! It is being bornded as we speak! In fact, I wrote a very short (2 pages) paper on the novel I suppose will be the jumping-off point for my first chapter (which will likely not be Chapter One) yesterday, so the juices are already flowing. I also have a sizable chunk of reading to do and some Spanish homework, but I’m so wiped out from yesterday that I think I’m going to go crawl into bed (with the Burke, for appearances), turn on the final third of the season two, disc one of Weeds I’ve got in the DVD player, and check out for a couple of hours.

Then it’s up to Oakville Grocery, which sells Parisian macaroons! Good Friday, indeed. (Kind of eases the pain of missing out on Anthony Bourdain tickets.)

The Lists

I have a little over two hours to kill before my evening class. How should I fill my time?

Things I should be doing:

  • reading
  • doing my Spanish homework
  • balancing my checkbook
  • paying my Visa bill
  • working out

Things I wish I was doing:

  • knitting
  • napping
  • eating chocolate

What I am actually doing:

Indeed, lolkitteh. Indeed.