Saturday, March 29, 2008

Don't Even Know Where to Start

Wow, it has been ages. I have tons to write about, which is why I haven't been writing. So much has been happening and I haven't had time to write any of it down and now I seriously don't even know where to begin. I think I'll just have to post one of those annoyingly long lists of things that have happened in the past two weeks. I have work life news, social life news, love life news (yes, really!), travel stories, and the usual sort of observations that are really only entertaining to me.

But tonight I actually have to do some reading and research since I have spent the whole weekend conveniently ignoring the fact that I'm a graduate student who has papers due next week.

Consider this a promise of more actual news to come eventually. No promises as to when "eventually" may be, but if I don't have time to sit down and hammer out a freakin' blog entry sometime before the end of next week, then things are just really out of hand over here.

At least now you know I'm still alive though, right?

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Cautionary Tale

Yesterday, my whole family left the town where we had been attending (or, in my case, participating in) a wedding all weekend. We drove an hour and a half back to the city where I used to live last year while I was working on my MA and where my brother and sister live currently (technically, I lived and went to school about half an hour away from said city, but you know what I mean, it's all one big urban/suburban region). My parents still had a few hours to kill before they had to go to the airport, so we went to a Mexican food restaurant and met my aunt and uncle there. Maddi also drove into town to meet us for lunch.
Two hours and several strawberry margaritas later, my brother suggested that we go back to his apartment to play Rock Band. Maddi and I had been planning to go to the mall to buy sunglasses for Las Vegas (two days 'til Vegas!) but I was like, "Oooooh, Rock Band!" and Maddi said, "What is Rock Band?" and I said, "I've been wanting to play Rock Band for months!" Which is why I ended up at my brother's apartment with him, Maddi, my brother's roommate, another one of his good friends, and my sister (who, incidentally, had begun the afternoon by saying "I'm just going to have one margarita because I have to go home and study this afternoon." HA.)
Here comes the cautionary part: DO NOT start playing Rock Band if you ever want to do anything else again in your life. Definitely, definitely do not buy it. Because we started playing Rock Band at about 4:00, and six hours and four or five beers later I couldn't even talk any more because I'd been singing so much and laughing so hard and yet I was still perched on the end of the couch hoarsely yelping, "Do 'Don't Fear the Reaper' again! Again! I want to be the cowbell!"
It was so much fun. I know I'm probably the last one onto this bandwagon (as I usually am with anything that's remotely popular), but if you haven't played it yet, your mission for the week should be to befriend someone that has it. But don't say I didn't warn you about its immense time-sucking qualities.

I'll post more later this week about Roomie's wedding. I'd do it right now but my laptop is about to run out of power and I don't feel like digging through my suitcase to find my charger. Plus I might want to include some pictures. All I will say right now is that the wedding was ultimately beautiful and so much fun, and if there were such a thing as a Bridesmaid of the Year award, I think I should be a nominee. I was trouble shooting all night in heels and a form-fitting floor-length satin dress. Surely that's something that could go in the "Special Skills" section of my resume.

Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day, by the way! I'm hanging out in MA town tonight with Maddi and some of my grad school friends and Maddi's boyfriend and some of his friends. It should be a good time. Then tomorrow evening I'm flying out to hometown for a couple of nights. So if you don't hear from me for a while it's because I'm once again trying to figure out how many time zones a person can visit in a ten day period without going nuts.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I made it through the first half of the semester! My spring break officially begins in six hours. I just have to get through one more seminar tonight and then it's vacation time.
Unfortunately, I think I'm getting sick. Or rather, I hope I'm already as sick as I'm going to get and that it's not going to get worse. On Tuesday one of my profs mentioned in class that she thought she was coming down with a cold, and Nicole said, "Well, colds aren't contagious, are they?" and I said, "Yeah they are," and I guess I had to go and prove myself right because not 24 hours later I was walking across campus thinking about how my throat was feeling a little off. And now I'm all sneezy. Fortunately, the only symptoms so far seem to be this incessant sneezing and slight fatigue (which may actually be caused by the fact that I haven't gotten more than five or six hours of sleep per night since Saturday so I can't entirely blame that on the cold). Tomorrow I get to spread my germs to an entire plane full of people! And between now and next Monday I'll be traveling through/hanging out in seven different cities or towns in three different states (not counting the suburban town where I am currently sniffling away on my couch). Hello everyone! Enjoy your virus! I brought it all the way from the east coast just for you!

Oh well. I just can't wait to get onto my plane tomorrow morning. 3 and a half hours of reading trashy magazines and dozing sounds pretty amazing right now. Between now and then I still have to do a bunch of stuff. Take my dog to get his nails trimmed, drop my dog off with the friend in City A who has oh-so-kindly agreed to dogsit for me, buy a few things at the drug store, pack.
Actually, I can't wait to pack. It's supposed to be 90 degrees in the city I'm flying to tomorrow. 90 degrees! I will have you know that at this exact moment it is 47 degrees where I am, and I woke up this morning happy that the highs are going to be in the 50s so I can take the dog for a long walk in the "warm" weather. But now I get to pack a bathing suit and actually wear it! And between the wedding (which involves a rehearsal dinner and a bridesmaid's luncheon) and St. Patrick's Day bar hopping with my grad school friends and then several nights in Las Vegas, do you have any idea how many opportunities that is to create cute outfits? Cute outfits that don't involve sleeves or thick tights?! I have a closet full of sparkly, shiny, skimpy, maybe even sexy tanks and halters and dresses, many of which have not had the occasion to be brought out of the closet since I moved to University Land. I'm telling you right now that I am waaaaaaay over packing. And that one entire suitcase is going to be nothing but my cosmetic bag and shoes (and school books, but who wants to think about that?).

P.S.-I still haven't heard from the job I applied for-or rather, I got an e-mail saying that they would be calling me next week but then I never got a phone call, so I don't know what that means-but yesterday I got a job offer from a company that wants me to do some work for them this spring and early summer. I didn't apply for this job. One of my professors recommended me to them, which makes me really happy. It means s/he obviously has some faith in my work. Anyway, this isn't a paying job, but it would be good professional experience of the sort that I really need to fill out my resume. And even though it's not a paying job, it doesn't matter because my goal is just to add a job in my field to my resume this summer, and if I do this job in the spring/early summer I could spend the rest of the summer doing a bartending or waitressing job and making good money without having to feel like I wasted the whole summer doing something that I can't even put on my resume. It would be the best of both worlds, I think. Here's hoping this works out! The job is mine if I want it, but it all depends on scheduling, so keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Give Me A Break

I'm so ready for spring break. I'm ready to dance at Roomie's wedding. I'm ready to get some good food in my hometown. I'm ready to lie by the pool in Vegas with a pina colada in hand. I'm ready for a night of parying at the Playboy Club at The Palms, complete with bottle service (which, incidentally, was my father's idea, and when he called me to say, "Would that be okay with you if we went there on Friday night? And would you ask everyone else if they want to go [everyone meaning Maddi, my sister, my brother and his friend, my cousin, and her husband]?" I was like, "Are you crazy? Who is going to say no to that?" As predicted, nobody said no.)

This next week is going to be rough. I have a big paper due in my class on Wednesday and a big presentation due in my class on Tuesday. This means I have a ton of research and reading and writing to do this weekend and next week, and yet I can't seem to stop accepting invitations or offering my help to people. Last night I attended an obligatory social event (I'm not being facetious, I really did have to go for the class I teach) and then I ended up at the bar afterwards, and one drink turned into 3 drinks and sitting at the bar until 1 a.m., which is what always happens. Today I have to go to a class that got rescheduled after it got canceled last week. Then I still have to do all my usual Friday stuff (cleaning the apartment since I didn't get to clean last week since I was out of town, grocery shopping for some staples because I'm out of everything but am still in town for another week, working out). So I doubt I'll get started on any homework until 8 or 9 tonight. Tomorrow I volunteered to help a friend and her husband move into their new apartment. I'm only going for a few hours, and it should be kind of fun since so many of us are helping out. Plus who couldn't use the good karma from helping a friend move? I'll need someone to help me move some day I'm sure. But still, that's a few hours out of my day on Saturday. Sunday a friend invited me to her movie discussion club since her husband can't go, which I'm not going to turn down because it's a chance to see a pre-release movie for free and I never get to go to movies lately and I miss them. I also have a dog play date planned for Sunday afternoon which I'm not going to cancel at this point because we've been trying to get everyone together for literally months now. On Monday I agreed to go out with some friends of my mom's. They're this really sweet older couple. My mom used to babysit their kids years ago when they were all living on the same military base in Germany, and coincidentally I have ended up in the same town that they have been living in for years. I met them when my mom was in town last September, and now they periodically take me out to lunch. I'm not sure why, actually, I guess just to make sure I'm doing okay. Like I said, it's very sweet and I get a free restaurant lunch out of the deal which, admittedly, is an incentive. So yeah, Monday is not an ideal day for a two hour lunch, but it's another one of those situations where we've been trying to find a time to get together for six weeks or so now and I don't want to cancel on them now that we've finally coordinated something. Tuesday night I may have to babysit for a friend so she can go to marriage counseling (this marriage warrants a post in and of itself; I'm amazed that men like her husband still exist in the twenty-first century). Wednesday night I'm supposed to go to dinner with my cousin and my aunt and uncle who are in town visiting her. And I applied for a summer job last week and they told me they'd be calling me this upcoming week, which hopefully means I'll have an interview I'll have to squeeze in there somewhere.
And then Friday morning I have to take the first of four plane flights I'll be making in ten days.

Ah, my life. It doesn't feel fair to complain, though. And to be honest, I don't even think I want to. How can I complain about having too many invitations, too many people I enjoy spending time with, and a career that keeps me too busy? I'm really, really lucky that my "problems" and my "stress" aren't really either one of those things at all.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Still Alive

Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since I last posted. I knew it had been a while, but I didn't realize it had been ten days. Sorry about that.

Of course, the frustrating thing about keeping a blog/journal is that when there are a lot of things to talk about, there is no time to write about any of it. So I'm writing right now only to say hi. I'm still alive.

I had a busy week of classes last week and then I was at a conference in KC, MO all weekend and I'll really have to tell you more about that because it was good times, but the bullet pointed summary is as follows (Because, let's be honest, will I actually ever get around to telling you the whole story? Probably not):
-This was my first time doing some sort of committee/collaborative work at a conference as opposed to presenting a paper, and it ended up being a great choice. I got to know a lot of people very quickly, and it's much easier to meet people through working than it is to have to awkwardly stare at people's chests deciphering name badges at cocktail meet-and-greets.
-Besides getting to hang out with the University Land contingent, I also got to see two of my good friends and two of my profs from my masters program. We got to spend a ton of time together over the weekend, and it was so much fun catching up.
-The barbecue IS good there.
-Dozens of buildings surrounding the hotel were linked by these gerbil-tunnely things suspended over the streets, making it absolutely unnecessary to venture outside at all the entire weekend. I was there for three and a half days and probably spent a grand total of twenty minutes outside.
-There was a ton of shop talk, and the gossip level this weekend exponentially increased from the norm (which is already pretty damn high). I don't know if it was because we spent a substantial amount of time drinking (not drunk, but just drinking together makes people want to tell good stories), or because the possibilities for gossip were greater because we could now not only gossip about University Land but about all the other people at the conference. Frankly, it kind of stressed me out, because I realize that if I gab about other people, they're definitely talking about me as well. But there's also nothing I can do about it, that's just the nature of the beast. All I can do is try not to give everyone TOO much to talk about.
-One of the most amusing revelations of the weekend? I was talking with some of my friends and my boss (a fellow grad student who is ABD and lectures the class I TA) and we were talking about the relative hotness of academics (you know, how there's "hot" and then "hot for a professor" and how those are generally two different things). So I said, "Yeah, I'll look around a room and be happy that I'm the hottest one there. And then I'll realize that it's only because the room is full of old bearded guys. Woohoo, I'm the hottest person in this room full of academics! What an accomplishment!" And my boss said, "Shut up, you usually ARE the hottest one in the room even when it's not old guys." I laughed and said, "That's definitely not true." And then she said, "Okay, full confession. Don't get mad at me...but when we first started classes last semester, my husband was asking about all the other TAs and I was listing you all and I said, 'There's Nicole and Anna and, damn it, what's her name? Pretty Pretty." And she said "Pretty Pretty" in a sort of voice that brought to mind Barbie dolls and cheerleaders. I was like, "Oh, ouch!" and she explained that she figured out quickly that I had a brain, too, but she said that to this day her husband will still say to her, "How's Pretty Pretty?" The whole thing makes me laugh, and I suppose in a way it's flattering. Better than being Ugly Bitch, for instance. But I'm not sure that "pretty" is the first impression I want to make, although I know that my boss is utterly right about me, because I don't think "smart" or "confident" are the first impression I make. Although I like to think I'm those things as well. I don't know how to change that, though, or if I really need to be concerned about it. I need to think more about it because there are bigger issues at stake here. However, like I said, it could be worse.
-I spent almost as much time sneaking away to the gym or happy hour as I spent attending sessions or panels. I don't feel at all guilty about this. And the panels I did go to were (mostly) worthwhile.
-When you're slightly drunk and with six other people that are also slightly drunk, nothing-and I mean nothing-will be more amusing than a revolving restaurant.

Anyway, I don't promise that posting will get any better this month. It's a really hectic time of year: mid-semester grading, lots of class projects, trying to apply for jobs and get my act together for the summer, working on a submission for another conference and the paper I have to present at one next month, and then spring break, of course.

So yeah. I'll do my best.