Monday, December 21, 2009
Progress over the weekend: Argh! I did read 3 articles. Not all 6. Didn't read a single chapter of anything. Did read Self and Fitness magazines. Did make gingerbread (note: double - hell, triple the spices). Did clean house. Did finish Christmas shopping. Did hang out with M's cat to keep him company. Did practice Messiah in anticipation for the DIY performance tomorrow.
Did not write a single word. Did not do a single revision. Did not read a single dissertation-related chapter.
leave work; library - get books
head home; eat; grab book
head to M's - look in on cat; read chapter or two in book
head downtown, eat dinner with E
... this does not leave very much time for significant dissertation work...
Goal: by this weekend expand section on shift in moral thought and add the conclusion MW suggested. Yes, this will mean giving up some sleep, but since Self told me I sleep too much anyway (apparently over 8 hours/night is linked to early death. Who knew? Then again, my mattress sags so much and I wake up so often that perhaps I'm not really getting that much sleep ... ), it is in my best interests to keep myself up/wake myself up earlier.
For the new year (or sooner): an alarm clock that actually works. Or one whose authority I recognize. That's more accurate. My alarms do technically work - they ding at the appropriate times. I just don't actually get out of bed when they tell me to.
Friday, December 18, 2009
No dissertation updates today - my social calendar has filled up! Hooray for the holidays. By Monday (when I will write again. The blessing/curse of no internet at home), I will have read more about modern moral philosophy, the articles in my bag, and - and - and something else. To be determined.
Excited for holiday burlesque tonight - nothing says Ho! Ho! Ho! like twirling pasties.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Lunch with the office today. Not particularly looking forward to it - not feeling particularly sparkling or social. But I will be a grown-up.
Read 4 chapters yesterday in 2 books. That was productive. I should start noting how often I read and how much - that might help to keep me honest and working. Even if no one reads this blog, knowing that there is a public record of how little I do may help to motivate me to do much more.
One of the women in my program just sent me a recipe she made the other night in case I wanted to try it. It was wonderfully thoughtful! And it occurred to me that I could probably get myself to try new recipes more frequently if I then sent ones I liked to friends of mine to try.
These may sound like beginnings of resolutions, but they are not. Certainly not. But if I can't be internally disciplined, then I need to seek out external means to discipline myself into healthy, loving productivity. If only there were a way to do this with exercise.
More posting(s) on actual dissertation work later.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
500 words today without even really trying. I incorporated my edits and clarified some things. If I read tonight and also tomorrow, I should be able to write more Thursday and Friday. Having a full draft by the end of the month might actually be possible. I might actually be a Ph.D candidate shortly and then graduate and leave.
It is lovely to get together with friends before the holidays! My calendar has been filling up and that does make me smile. Generosity is particularly poignant and beautiful when the air is chilly and the ground is frozen. A warm intoxicating drink and a fire even more sustaining.
Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
ex Maria virgine gaudete!
Monday, December 14, 2009
How does one respond to her mother in such a situation???? Maria had a good idea - I may just give my mother a baby doll. It would be funny to give her a fake ultrasound photo and tell her that I got right on it when she said she wanted a baby, but I fear the joke would be misunderstood...
Almost no dissertation work all weekend. On the train ride up to Milwaukee I took a pencil to my draft and began editing, but I fell asleep a few pages in. I hope it was because the train was so soothing and not because I bore even myself...
To Do for today:
- Deliver coffee to Maria
- Meet J for a drink at 2 and catch up
- Finish editing (in pencil) draft
- Read at least 2 chapters of something
- Plan menu for week.
To Do this week sometime:
- Christmas shopping
Becca reminded me of a movie we loved as kids - Santa Claus: The Movie. It's only about $8 on Amazon, so I think I'll get a copy for her and for Ben. Hooray! Very easy and nostalgic. Nostalgia makes for some of the best gifts. [a cake of soap. a cake of soap.]
- While I'm shopping - socks for me
- Take shoes to cobbler
Friday, December 11, 2009
this year, for example:
- there will be lumps of coal in everyone's stocking
- there will be cookies (caramel nut slices and pecan dreams at the very least)
- there will be a strata flecked with sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli for Christmas morning
- this year there will be brandy and eggnog while we clean out my mother's room
For me, however, my special treat is literature like a down comforter:
"We lie together, skin close enough for grafting. When I kiss you, I give you all the words that room in the roof of my mouth. When you kiss me, you give me the shape of silence."
Oh, Jeanette Winterson, how lovely!
I wrote 1642 words yesterday. That makes 2601 words this week. I don't think I'll actually feel pleased with my progress, however, until I have a passed proposal. Until then, I don't know that any of the work I'm doing is any good, or if it is truly progress.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wrote my 1000 words on Tuesday. Hoping for about 1000 more today. The goal is a full draft by the end of the month. There are a few places in my current draft where additions and revisions will be relatively easy, and I plan to work on those first. There are others where revisions and additions will be more like pulling teeth.
There is a quote I am missing and I don't even know how to go about finding it. I'm pretty sure I read it this semester which should narrow down the pool of possible sources, but even with that limitation, I cannot find it. Something about the ethical value of a text - any text - not residing within the text itself but being a product of the interaction with the text.
I spent all yesterday evening looking for this quote and now I've spent all morning doing the same. This is very very frustrating. I am stopping now so that I can write, but will be haunted by these missing words.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
At one point you left to go above ground. You had people with you, as did I. It wasn't clear whether you left to try to disable the machine from above, or whether you simply escaped.
I tried to get in contact with you when it became evident that I could not stop the machine myself. I needed help and you were the only one who knew as much about it as I did. You didn't respond to my message - you sent it back: it came back unopened and rejected. I was so stunned by your rejection of my call that I didn't move away from the machine in time and was wounded. I kept trying to disable the machine but it continued to gain strength while I weakened. Finally I lost consciousness and woke up.
I still don't know what happened to the machine.
The dream was so vivid and this is a poor representation of it. It woke me up around 3am and I thought to write down what I remembered.
For someone who finds suspense-filled thriller-type movies very stressful, I do have the strangest dreams. Afterwards, however, I found myself thinking about my dissertation (when reflecting on your dissertation is soothing, you know the dream was stressful). I wrote those notes down as well.
My dissertation will take ethics for its topic, and one of the facets of ethical reflection on which I want to focus is the willingness to frame a situation as dilemmatic. This seems to be a crucial, fundamental ethical attitude which does not receive sufficient or thorough discussion. There isn't a situation for ethics until the situation is seen as dilemmatic and requires ethical response. If this is the case, how is it that some situations are seen as requiring ethical response by some people and not by others? I feared for a few minutes at about 3:30 this morning that I was still going to have to revert to a discussion of ethics as the development of procedures that can enforce for others the framing of a situation as dilemmatic.
I hope - but am not yet sure - and left my notes on this problem and on my dream at home (I am writing from my memory now) - that part of the solution (if solution will be the right word) will be found in a willingness for commitment and relationship. A situation becomes an ethical one for me because I have made it mine, because I have attached myself to it and because I have committed to it - become responsible to and for it. From that initial attachment, I can seek out means for criticism in order to develop an evaluative appreciation for the situation that can avoid narcissistic subjectivism.
Becoming an excellent person, ethically speaking, will involve seeking out more and ever more situations to which to attach oneself, becoming increasingly committed, taking on more responsibilities, seeking out new, more, deeper opportunities for response.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
"If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I."
I should get a proper notebook in which to record all of the lovely things I've already found and which I am certain to find.
- the coffee studio makes hot chocolate with nutella. file under "why didn't I think of that??" and "oh, my, this is tasty!"
- breathing. so good. particularly when paired with vocal warm-ups (as in, at the same time). dizzy but a rush.
- oh, and, as much as i hate to admit it: push-ups. kind of a rush.
- i did type up a timeline that has me graduating in December 2011. i think this should change - it doesn't leave any room for teaching. hm. i could teach in spring of 2012 maybe.
- my voice teacher thinks i am "a whole universe" unto myself. of course. who wouldn't say that??
- my brother comes home next month! now ... as i was saying, HI!!!
- neti pot, herbal tea, ear drops, real facial tissues (so long, single-ply toilet paper!) and deliciously scented moisturizer = feeling better. take that cold!
Will try to read/write something so that I have something to say to my dissertation director this afternoon.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I stuffed 2.5 trash bags full of clothes and shoes I've been saving for lord knows what reason - including all those jeans that *sniff* just don't fit any longer (okay, I kept 3 pair that are still too snug, but that's a lot better than ... er ... 10 ... ok ... 13).
Then I housed my summer shoes in cunning little plastic containers that I can stack on a high shelf in my closet.
Stuffed all my magazines and still-to-be-read issues of TLS in canvas boxes cheaply purchased at Walgreens (this was very important)
Set up a "workstation" underneath my coffee table with the littlest of the canvas boxes - I now have notebooks, writing utensils, my cuticle nippers (I'm obsessed. I admit it), hand cream, emery boards. I just need a giant package of post-its to make my workstation complete.
I am in the process of trying to procure a new bookshelf to make my space even more efficient - and to keep Cat (who may have to be renamed C. K. Dexter Haven. Because, doggone it, either I'm gonna sock him or he's gonna sock me.) from jumping to the top of the current bookshelf every time I open a book.
Then, once I sell my table and get rid of my old loveseat, then, I will be prepared to do dissertation work. Really.
One day I'll look back on all this and think of myself as ridiculously spoiled and wildly self-indulgent. Right now, it feels entirely necessary
Monday, November 30, 2009
At the wedding, the pastor read from and expounded upon 1 Corinthians 13. Love always trusts. Always hopes. Love endures. In his exposition, the pastor treated the passage as a text for marriage counseling. “Debbie, ‘love always trusts’ means that you always look for the most loving, most positive way of interpreting Doug’s behavior. When he’s late, rather than becoming irritated and angry and possibly even jealous, think, ‘he’s probably gone to buy me flowers’”
My first thought was “How simplistic! It’s one thing to love deeply, another to make oneself into a doormat, a fool!” And then I heard my own thoughts and was ashamed. Love believes all things and is never deceived. Love hopes all things and is not put to shame. Love requires complete vulnerability all of the time, forever. Love means being willing to never harden oneself against the beloved. Love loves the beloved even when it is unclear just how to go about doing so.
Love means not – ever – scolding my mother
Love means endless patience, no matter how infuriating she is
Love means pretending to be cheerful
Love means pretending to love her
It is so much work. And it is lonely. Extremely lonely. Once cannot very well call up a friend and say “Had the worst time of it pretending to love my mother today.”
We missed the reception. My mother felt unwell. My sister and I were, for various reasons, unable to drive. We missed the reception.
My aunt called my mother and accused her of ruining every family event, of having planned to avoid the reception, of lying about her health; she said she wished my mother had never been born into their family; she said she was sick of having to put up with my mother and was finished with her.
Love means it doesn’t matter whether I am loved. It doesn’t matter whether I am happy. I don’t get to count myself. Even if no one loves me, I have to love my mother (for example).
Love means becoming an eternal wellspring for the beloved, even if/when there is no one who can or will do the same for me.
How I wish, though, that there were a shoulder somewhere in this world with my name on it!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I love you. That is not true.
Dear Jenny Boully,
I love your words. No, this is not quite it.
Dear Jenny Boully,
I love the way you compose with words. I love what you compose with words. I read you and I do indeed fall in love ... only not with you. No, not with you. I fall in love with a cloudy November sky, a precise shade of blue, a pair of brown eyes. You confirm all my suspicions. Make me very uncomfortable. And I did laugh out loud last night, on the sofa, startling Cat.
When will you write again?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Not a chance must be wasted to-day!"
"acceleration is the change in velocity over time"
"I could leave my life. I could change completely. Is it time?"
"It would be wrong. It would be wrong because the promise told would never be the promise given"
"Momentum is a conserved quantity, meaning that the total momentum of any closed system (one not affected by external forces) cannot change. This law is also true in special relativity."
"thou shalt hear, "All here in one bed lay."
"So what should I say?
When I love someone.
You should say it"
"Theoretically, there will be no death, only an exchange of energy in what is likely to be another dimension"
"Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
Our eyes upon one double string. "
"holds that time is neither an event nor a thing, and thus is not itself measurable nor can it be travelled."
"Think you there was, or might be, such a man
As this I dream'd of?"
"This is because entropy represents the "potential for disorder" in a system"
"If I had had faith, I would have married Regine"
"The former, Chronos, refers to numeric, or chronological, time. The latter, Kairos, literally "the right or opportune moment," relates specifically to metaphysical or Divine time."
"When you said we would read this book together, I assumed you meant it"
"Eternity was in our lips and eyes, Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor But was a race of heaven"
"an impulse is defined as the integral of a force with respect to time."
"In winter or summer, ’twas always the same—
You could never meet either alone."
"Numerous studies have shown that the most vivid autobiographical memories tend to be of emotional events*, which are likely to be recalled more often and with more clarity and detail than neutral events. "
*may or may not correspond to any empirical data
Monday, October 26, 2009
Item: creamy polenta with gorgonzola and mushrooms
Item: wine-braised lentils with winter greens and a poached egg
Item: scoured, sanitized countertops
Item: a scrubbed bathroom
Item: a refridgerator emptied of molding contents (ok, ok, i know!)
Item: on-time bill payment (ok, i look really bad/lazy at this point!)
Item: laundry put away within 1 day of washing
I'm cooking again, my apartment is cleaner, I'm even thinking of *gasp* exercising - and none of these things seriously diminishes my work output. In my head I know this. But when I'm not getting work done, I can hardly bring myself to take care of myself in other arenas of life - it feels as though I'm "cheating" on dissertation. Silly silly silly. It has just been suggested that, when I'm not getting work done, that I make myself cook and so push myself (from another direction, as it were) to do dissertation work too.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
That was rather cheeky of me, wasn't it, sending you slices of my dissertation proposal and of a paper I've sent out for conferences with a letter squished between paragraphs? As though I'd spent hours and hours on the letter I sent you, when, really, all I did was take some beginnings and a bit from the middle (and that tiny end bit) and smash them together, as though they fit (oddly, they sort of did); as though, when you asked how the heck I'm doing, what you meant was: how is your work going?
I remember singing during recess. Trying to swear so I'd look cool. Trying to write a story as long as yours. Admiring your "wandering aimlessly" and then using it myself. When you and Andy hated each other.
If you write back, I'll try to respond like a normal person. No guarantees. I'm not sure I'm anything like normal.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
hey there sport! i am not going to be in an area that has electricity for the next few days (so i won't be able to fbook or email you). so happy early birthday! drink until you bleed!! we'll go ahead and get good and drunk in about 12 days!
what are the names of some of your $50-$80 bottles of single malt? i tried a few with you but dont remember any names. and the names of some high end ones you liked? a guy here has been asking me, and i would perhaps like to purchase a few of those for my triumphant return!
have a splendid birthday! let me know if you do anything fun so i can visualize it...then imagine myself there as well. kind of like i am photoshopping myself into an idea!
photoshopping himself into an idea?? that's awesome! hooray!
Monday, September 28, 2009
While tumbling down the rabbit hole, at what point did you realize you were falling? Were you always aware of the gravity that pulled you, or did it simply feel as though the ground had moved, er, lower? Having fallen, did you feel fallen?
How did you maintain your poise in Wonderland, and then again through the Looking Glass? What sort of an ethics can obtain when nothing is certain, or even appears to conform to expectations? If to advance, you must retreat, and, in retreating, find you have advanced, can you really plot your movement? Does every backwards-running take you forwards?
How is it that, confronted by non-sense everywhere you went, your answers remained so reasonable? How did you keep yourself from wantonly embracing the non sequitur?
Alice, do you ever feel yourself to be at fault for having succumbed to the pull of the rabbit hole? Perhaps you are simply the kind of person who is susceptible to finding such things, to falling in such ways? Perhaps your broad and active curiosity, your desire for expanded wonder are to be condemned: through them you are disposed to be drawn to ungovernable places. Do you never worry that perhaps you will find difficulties in becoming wife or mother thereby?
Having been to Wonderland and through the Looking Glass, what comes after? Is your life forever different? Can you return to your family and be happy? Can you even be content? Knowing there are other worlds, can you be satisfied with only one?
Alice, in whom can you confide? Alice, where is your home? Alice, whence are you drawn? Alice, whose voice calls you? Alice, does anybody even know your name?
Saturday, September 19, 2009
spiraling in an outward -
i think i've been here before;
this all looks too familiar and
i've heard this one too many times
[why is the measure of love loss?]
i think i have been here before
and i think i know you
i've heard this one too many times:
no, it's not you, it's me.
["why is it that the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear?"]
i think i do know you -
you're the one with the teeth...
no, it's not you, it's me;
no, of course, strangers.
[oh! I love you, well, because! Because you're the very best! Of everything!]
you're the one with the ... teeth?!?
oh! the stories i have to share!
of course, i share them with strangers,
breaking silences, hearts.
[counting your teeth with my tongue, I repeat: you are]
oh, the stories i have to share;
repeating my life for strangers,
breaking promises, hearts,
telling myself again, and again.
[a love story: I love you]
repeating my life for strangers,
this looks all too familiar
telling myself again and again. again
spiraling in an outward -
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Every time you make dirty insinuations about how dirty I am; every time you let me know that you might fantasize about me; every time you indicate that you might masturbate while thinking about me; whenever you let me know that I only have to call you ...; whenever you ask me if I like that, do I like that?; whenever you lewdly approve of my supposed desire for violence -
I am disgusted.
I am disgusted because I can't tell you to go f**k yourself in as serious a manner as I mean; I am disgusted because I feel pressured to play along; I am disgusted because, in order to keep peace, I feel compelled to pretend that what you say is witty, clever, subversive, edgy, hot.
No, I don't want to sleep with you. No, I don't think this "banter" is hot. No, I will never call you. No, I don't like being an object for your fantasy. No, I don't want to think of you being rough with me. No, I do not dream of you, in any way. No. No, No, No, No, NO.
But I also don't want to deal with coldness, silent aggression, sabotage.
Friday, March 20, 2009
sex is not enough
to produce tender love
loud hot night-s
special not celestial
yet I'd give any-y-thing to
lay beneath you
full with your smooth firm flesh
deep-ly plant-ed in
my little body
introduce me to the flavor of your sauce
I'm moist and fresh and delicious
feel my warm wet slot
take ample time and explore
insert that sturdy tool
position it in here
I could make believe
think these smile-s kisses
I did bloom under his
salty stiff attention
plow my bare garden
sow seed in soft earth
dig with hand-s
harvest bountiful food
wild vegetable fruit
We two can intoxicate
are a tremendous instrument
build-ing power-ful music
at a touch
but were we happy together
most would investigate the nature
and train to channel love
from the sun or moon -
to what end?
closed off so private
never will he navigate entry
though he may screw her pussy
she always clam-s up
as if just being near him
push-es some button
and she pocket-s her heart
adjust the light in our room
ask how did I drive you
we nibble-d business
like a giant pie
on-ly a hole
can it revitalize
like a flower protrude
poke a stem through busy
don't-s and must-s
tickle the wild today above?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The fiction I have read during the 2008-2009 Academic Year:
Angela Carter, Wise Children
Anne Lamott, Crooked Little Heart
Joyce Carol Oates, Rape: A Love Story
Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake
Margaret Atwood, Moral Disorder
Atterberg, The Kept Man
Tolstoy, "After the Dance"
Gail Tsukiyama, The Samurai's Garden
D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love
Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveler
Jean Toomer, Cane
E Ferber, American Beauty
Woolf, To the Lighthouse
E.S. Connell, Mr Bridge
E.S. Connell, Mrs Bridge
Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
the first 4 "Anne" books
It all seemed like so much more ...
I have found you/me, sweet "Infusion d'Iris" and I must have you, spray you everywhere, smell you everywhere.
[just like a girl to think thus. sure. ok. i get that. but memories are scented and i would like to be remembered. or not forgotten]
Prada, if you are reading this, send your love back to me. I'll take the 25 ounce bottle. Send it to the department - it won't fit in my mailbox.
all my love,
Friday, March 13, 2009
but if you had0000000 - or 000 or 000 or 0000 - then there wouldn't be 000 , now. there wouldn't be this, there wouldn't be these moments and, perhaps to you they are already indicative of something second best, of something gone wrong, of something failed (someone had blundered) but 000 , for 000, they are beautiful and precious and i, i have not lost a 0000best, a perhaps mistaken00000 , and so, no, i am not 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 , i will confess that the thought of you spending time with )))))))) wishing, wishing0000000000 made that choice, or that one or that one, so that you wouldn't have had to spend the time with me at all, would be with that ))))))))))))))))))))))) could have made0000000, 0000000 have made, is not a pleasant one for me, and it stings a bit, and i feel prickly; then i wonder, perhaps 000 0000000 was right, and i am prickly and this is why i "have no friends": i won't let others grow close to me, and so how 0000000 anyone's first best anyway? i will be00000000000 . i will grow more ...............and ))))))))))) and you can enjoy this, your 000000000or (00000000000000 ) until you meet a new0000000 and then i will )))))))))) and you will be so happy with that 00000000000 you won't regret any of the twisting and climbing (sometimes lonely) that brought)))))))))))))))))
Monday, March 9, 2009
In preparation of further "real" blogging, I reproduce here a list, written during the first week of January:
To Do (as in, ever):
1. learn to use a sewing machine
2. make a skirt
3. finish reading shakespeare
4. read chekhov's plays
5. learn to understand poetry
6. learn to read music
7. read more woolf
8. be able to bike 20 miles more than once this summer
9. train myself to wake up at the same time every morning
10. make that time somewhere between 6a and 7a
11. oh. dissertation proposal
12. read kant
13. read people who explain kant
16. do one free thing in chicago every month
17. organize something social for my pals
18. write letters to far-off friends
20. develop a well-stocked pantry and freezer
21. stop biting and picking at my nails
22. present at conferences this year
23. remain open to making new friends
24. go to the art institute
25. learn to knit or crochet
26. travel to another country
29. get a new cookbook and make everything in it
30. become a reproductive/sexual health care worker
31. become well-informed
32. practice gratitude
33. call and write gram
34. get a camera and use it
35. lean the "messiah" for next year
36. patch my denim quilt
37. become an herbalist
38. grow herbs (such that cat won't eat them)
39. get know my brother
40. stop making excuses
41. get published
42. be in a committed, healthy relationship
43. get a watch
44. write a book on women's relationship to the Pill
45. be comfortable around children
46. learn to wax my own bikini line
47. have a versatile, could-be-formal outfit with shoes to match
48. explore other chicago neighborhoods
49. journal more frequently
50. host a party
51. save money
52. love my mother
53. get my wisdom teeth removed
54. practice patience
55. be able to do 10 full push-ups in a row
56. be able to do pull-ups too!
57. write something creative
58. learn to dance
59. accept some of the invitations i would normally refuse (whirlyball?)
60. keep more secrets
61. drink less coffee
62. drink less alcohol
63. pay more attention
64. learn to whistle
65. resist impulse buys
66. be taken seriously
67. use my time efficiently
68. say less
69. mean more
70. become more proficient at the art of conversation
71. stop eating chemicals and processed junk
72. take my own advice
73. be consistently firm and loving with myself
74. learn to change a tire (car, bicycle)
75. go a month without spending a single frivolous penny