yrmencyn: (armadillo)
The most recent PHD Comic made me laugh bitterly.  No, grad students aren't being made to take unpaid leave or anything like that, but the economy finally got around to annoying me directly.  Every year at the AWP conference (the biggest creative writing conference), there's a pedagogy forum, wherein folks submit one-page papers outlining a pedagogical point -- an exercise, a bit of philosophy, whatever -- and then, if their paper is accepted, they sit around for a while and discuss pedagogy with other like-minded folks for about an hour.  It's also the easiest way to be an official presenter at the conference, which is the magic bullet that lets you access your travel allowance from the department.

Last year, when AWP was in New York, everyone and their dog suddenly decided to go the conference.  Times was, pretty much anyone who submitted a paper was accepted, but under the flood of submissions the process got MUCH more selective.  So in those plush economic times, our program director negotiated an agreement with our department chair such that anyone attending AWP could use their travel allowance, regardless of presenter status.  That offer was extended to this year, and thus there was very little discussion of pedagogy papers on our listserve, and most people didn't submit.  Hell, I actually wouldn't mind having the extra CV line, and even I didn't submit; I knew I had the money anyway, and I was busy.

Up through last week, the department chair was keeping the funding agreement on the table, but now it's been retracted pursuant to a memo from the College regarding non-presenter funding.  I'm not upset with the chair or with our program director -- they both did what they could, it sounds like -- but it still stands that people have been making decisions based on funding assumptions, and that rug was suddenly yanked out from under us.  I mean, I can swing it, and I think everybody in my hotel room is still going, so at least we don't have to scramble to maintain our per-person cost, but it remains annoying.

On the plus side, we managed to find a sub-100$ one-way flight down to TX for my brother-in-law, thus making it possible for him to work his alloted hours AND for me (and, incidentally, Elisa) to drive down to the grandparents' for early-Christmas (Grammie's doing Christmas the weekend before).  Woohoo!

And now that I've finished complaining mildly, I need to get back to work.  Have to read poetry manuscripts for the Journal prize (due Monday) and grade student portfolios (also due Monday).
yrmencyn: (Default)
It happened this afternoon.  The unthinkable, that is.  First I was walking down Calumet and saw a husky (or a malamute? or something like that? looked kinda like a Greenland Dog on Wikipedia), and I thought, "he looks so soft and fluffy!"  But, you know, whatever.  Dogs can be fluffy.

Then, though, then, I was at the co-op.  And as I was leaving, there was this adorable little corgi tied up outside while her owner picked up a couple of things.  It wasn't the common red coloration, either -- it was more like a blue heeler.  And it was very friendly.  And I thought "Aw, I want a little corgi to snuggle up with and take on walks."

Though now I feel guilty, because Phoebe is being extremely cute and playful :)
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
It is now 3:42am.  I have just finished my final project for Old English, a poetic translation of "Wulf and Eadwacer" (respecting the alliterative meter) accompanied by 5.5 page translation notes with critical reference.  I should be dead-tired, but I feel totally wired.  I really enjoyed this project, even if it did sneak up on me a bit (I thought it was due next week until two days ago; I've done pretty much the entire project in that time).  That's pretty awesome.  Now I need to go to bed though, otherwise my sleep schedule will never never never be anything resembling normal for, oh, the next month.


Dec. 2nd, 2008 10:50 pm
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Well, that settles it.  I'm sick.  When I'm sick I eat VAST amounts of food, and in the past five hours I've had: about a half-pound of cheese (and the requisite crackers), a plate of rice and black beans, another plate of buttered rice, an apple, and a bowl of corn flakes.  That's another whole meal, basically, and I only eat two meals a day.  And though I can feel that my stomach is full, my body still thinks it wants more food.  Stupid cold weather leaking in my window and taking up residence in my head.

Luckily it's a light sickness, one I can function during.  All it really means is that I have to (a) blow my nose a helluva lot and (b) seriously evaluate my desire to live when I wake up in the morning.  Or at least, that's what it's doing right now; let's hope it stays level or improves.


And now, as a reward for reading my whinging, a bit of workplace humor.  We were discussing tooth whitening systems, and my boss mentioned that he uses one his dentist gave him, a gel-based thing that stays in for 30 minutes and makes him drool copiously.  Not, he said, something you'd want to do at work (as opposed to, say, whitening strips).

Coworker: So you just sit at home and drool and watch... who's that guy that you watch... Anderson Cooper?
Boss:  Oh no!  I dress up for Anderson.  This is more for watching Rachael Ray.  I wouldn't want Anderson to think I didn't care.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Question:  Having watched 2 episodes of The Legend of the Seeker, should I watch the third episode, which is also saved on the DVR?

Rational Answer: No, no, a thousand times no.  It's really not terribly good.  In fact, it's pretty damned not-good.

My Answer, as it turns out: Oh, why not?  I mean, it's only 11:30 AND I don't have to work until 11am tomorrow AND it is, after all, delightfully cheesy.  Plus Richard's not that bad looking; if only he would stop wearing that silly shirt.

Oh, show.

I am intrigued by the writing system they've chosen to use, it's worthwhile noting.  From the few glimpses I've seen, it looks like Futharc runes and Greek letters had a love-child.  Of course, this will never be investigated, much as the actual underpinnings of the magic system will not.  That would take too much time away from the overwrought battle scenes.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Totally bizarre thing today: I'm sitting in the DMP, headphones in and reading, and about 5 minutes after the 3:30 class timeslot has started, an instructor runs in.  He's obviously very agitated, unnerved, and he says "A girl in my class, she fainted -- she fainted, she -- she's fainting..."  Before I even really realize what I'm doing, I'm running down the hall, dragging the instructor behind me.

I get into the room, and it's pretty obvious who the victim* is: she's sitting, shoulders slumped, pale (and maybe a little ashen, but that might be my memory adding some choice ornamentation), and her entire torso and lap are covered in red.  There was something red hanging out of her mouth.  She didn't respond to my voice, or to a firm shoulder-shake, so I told the instructor to call emergency services.  While I was feeling for a pulse, she suddenly came to, and seemed... well, honestly, fine, other than being shaken.  Anyway, I'm barking off information to the instructor, you know, "she's just regained consciousness, seems aware, breathing normally..."  She went to the bathroom with another girl to rinse out her mouth, and walked out of the building on her own power in the company of EMS.  The red, so far as I can tell, wasn't blood -- she had had a turkey sandwich and a salad, so maybe it was a raspberry vinaigrette, or something.

Anyway, this isn't really about her, but about me.  And I don't mean it was about my heroism, or something ridiculous like that.  Really, it's about the power and importance of First Aid training.  I've been receiving First Aid training in one form or another since I was... probably ten or so.  So when an emergent situation arose, I didn't have to think, didn't have to freak out.  I *knew* what to do, and I was able to remain calm, and keep everyone else calm. 

Everyone should receive first aid training.  Everyone.  It should be required in schools, in workplaces.  This situation wasn't terribly wretched, but it could have been, and I feel confident that I could have handled that, too, but that's not because I'm anyone special.  It's because I've been trained, which is an empowering experience.  And if the instructor in question had training, then he, too, could have responded just as ably; the experience wouldn't have been so upsetting for him and his class. 

I don't know where I'm going with this, except that I'm grateful in this experience, as I have been in other prior experiences, for the various authority figures who have compelled me to receive what training I have.

*This term seems odd here, since she was the victim OF any act, but the only other possibility I can think of is 'patient', and that seems inappropriate, too, since I'm not a medical professional.  Hell, I realized after this was all over that my Red Cross First Aid lapsed over this past summer, so I'm not even technically cert'd in that.


In other news, I had a lovely cocktail this evening.  I got a bottle of Old Overholt on Tuesday (only $14!), because I had a craving for rye whisky.  I found a recipe for the Bone cocktail here, and adapted it slightly according to convenience and on-hand ingredients:

2 oz. rye whisky
1 scant teaspoon 1:1 simple syrup (my current batch happens to be ginger-infused, which was kinda nice)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1-2 dashes Tabasco

Mix in rocks glass; add 2 ice cubes.  Slam quickly if you must, but I liked to sip it in a hot bath with a reading of Paulo Freire's "The Pedagogy of the Oppressed," which was a perfect situation except for the Freire.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Lines at the polls were actually pretty short this morning.  Elisa, Francis, and I left their place a bit after 7:00, walked down the bike path, voted, and were out the door at the Tuttle Recreation Center by a few minutes after 8.  Given that it's a good 25, 30-minute walk to Tuttle, we probably only waited for 20 minutes, which is awesome.  A poll worker told F & I that, had we come in for opening, as I had considered doing, we would have waited much longer.  Apparently everyone and their dog thought it would be smart to get there very early, and it backfired.

So at least in this one precinct, lines were not bad at all.  I suspect they'll get unpleasant around lunch, and truly horrible after work, so if you haven't voted yet, I'd say try and go off-peak.  Civic responsibility!

yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I really felt quite good today, and I have a suspicion as to why: Breathe Right strips.  I wore one last night, and it was amazing.  I haven't breathed like that in... ever, I think.  My nose is always a little stopped up, and I don't think I've ever really been able to breathe deeply without obstruction, at least not in living memory.  This is hard to describe, sorry.  Think of it as... it's like going into the mountains and breathing that clear, fresh air.  Only in Ohio.  You really can't understand unless you've been in the same situation.  Anyway, I might have to invest in these... permanently.  It's like a drug :)  And I felt amazingly refreshed despite not getting all that much sleep last night.  Woot!

Anyway.  So there was this huge bookfair today.  A professor emeritus died recently, and he requested that all his books be donated to needy grad students.  He remembered his days in graduate school, unable to afford books, and wanted to give others a leg up.  I... I couldn't stop.  Like Breathe Right strips, it was kind of like drugs.  I brought home a whole box of books.  This is a problem... it's sort of like a relapse, following my great Half Price Books purge over the summer.  And now my to-read pile is completely unmanageable.

Long list follows )
yrmencyn: (Default)
Hi folks.  Yes, I know I've been gone for a while.  Some of you have seen a couple of filtered posts, but a lot of you haven't heard from me since late September.  So... sorry.  I'll do my best to catch you up.

A lot of the reason I've been so reclusive is that I've been seeing somebody new.  His name's Jarod; he's a lighting designer in the Theatre department.  Elisa introduced us.  I've been enjoying myself immensely, often weirdly smiley for no particular reason, that sort of thing.  More on him as things develop, I'm sure.  We went to see this completely awesome play on Wednesday night.  It was the preview performance of the world premiere of Young Jean Lee's newest play, "The Shipment."  In the talkback afterward, she told us that she decides her next project based on the play that she would least like to write, and an African-American identity play seemed totally impossible and crazy for a Korean-American playwright.  So she wrote it.  And it's stunning.  You've still got a chance to see it; there are nightly performances through Sunday.  Tickets, here, are 10$-16$, and are totally worth it.

In other news, teaching is going well.  I'm enjoying my poetry workshop students, and I'm hoping that they're enjoying being in the class.  There are some really amazing poems coming up in there, and I'm honored to be able to work with all of them.  It's... well, it's nice to know I enjoy it.  I was worried that I wouldn't, and then I'd just be totally at sea.  I mean, I've been positing this idea of being a poetry teacher for a long time, of working with other poets to advance their skills and mine, and... what if I had hated it?  THEN where would I be?  So thank Christ for that.

Went to Florida for Kelly & Dan's wedding, stayed with Amanda's parents.  It was great fun; very relaxing.  Amanda's mom should be pleased to know that we were treated very hospitably :)  And I was so happy to be there for K & D.  And, you know, to hang around in the beautiful sunshine of Florida.  Woot.

Anyway.  Uh... fall is good.  I'm looking forward to the colder weather.  And hopefully the winter chill will force me to hunker down and write.  Must move fingers to keep them warm, and all that :) 
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
01. Think of the first word that comes to mind when you think of me.
02. Go to Google Images and search for that word.
03. Reply to this post with one of the pictures on the first page of results (don't tell me the word).
04. Put this in your own journal so that I can do the same.

Basic image instructions, for those who don't know: find the image location, and insert it into the markup below, replacing the example address.
<img src="http://www.example.com">


Sep. 30th, 2008 09:49 pm
yrmencyn: (bananas)
Little bits of info.

I've been spending a lot of time away from my computer, which is unusual for me.  But I think it's also good for me.  One side-effect is that, though I'm reading LJ, I'm not posting.  Sorry.

My Chacos broke at MiRF -- the footbed of the left sandal split almost all the way through -- and I just got a brand spanking new pair in the mail yesterday, 100% free.  They really do mean it about that lifetime warranty.  And hey, even though my color of strap has been discontinued, they must have had some lying around, because the straps are obviously new, but still in my color.  Yay!  I am free of the tyranny of socks (for another couple of weeks, at least, before it gets cold).

Meg, Brian, and I did end up going to the shrimp festival, which was hilariously tiny.  But we had a lot of fun finding it, eating fish and shrimp, listening to over-earnest Christian rock from a little stage, petting a sturgeon, hand-picking shrimp out of the world's largest cooler, and also picking up some frozen trout fillets, which were quite reasonable.  Oh, and smoked salmon spread for them (how was it, anyway?).  And then a couple days later we had a shrimp-beheading party (they freeze better without their heads).  Never fear: the heads are separate in the freezer, and will become stock.

I seem to have developed a huge crush on one of the farmers/boothies (unclear) at the farmers' market.  And while he does ping my gaydar, I'm honestly not sure if that's because I'm actually getting that reading, or because I want to get that reading.  Oh, wish fulfillment.  Hilarious.

Speaking of said guy, he sold me something like 30# of roma tomato seconds for 15$ two weeks ago.  I made a batch of crushed tomatoes so large that it wouldn't fit in my stockpot, and I had to clean out a Rubbermaid tub to use as a container first for quartered tomatoes and then for the strained product.  I now have 13 qt. of crushed tomatoes in the chest freezer.  Ridiculous.

Fall is officially here.  Amanda and I went on a spree Saturday night and used a pie pumpkin to make both pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, then used a defrosted pack of ground venison (thanks, Ike) and a butternut squash to make a butternut and venison rice bake.  And some toasted pumpkin seeds.  And pie crust cookies.  It was a bit much :)

The quarter started.  I'm doing well.  More on that later.

Other things, too, I'm sure.
yrmencyn: (food)
Oh. My. God.  I didn't even know that there were shrimp farms in Ohio, though I'm not surprised now that I think about it.  Freshwater Farms of Ohio is having its annual Fish & Shrimp Festival tomorrow and Sunday to coincide with the shrimp harvest.  I want to go and buy fresh shrimp, the better to freeze them and eat them all year.  Who's with me?

I want to be clear: I'm dead serious.  It's in Urbana, only a little more than an hour away.  Now that you can get ice again, I'll just fill up the magical ice chest of cold-holding +5 and we can take back all the shrimp in the world.  And fresh trout.  And you can buy a T-shirt.  And it's free admission to the festival.  Who's coming?
yrmencyn: (Default)
I had meant to do this one, but then I didn't have power for the better part of a week, and that was distracting.

Take a picture of yourself right now.
don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair...just take a picture.
post that picture with NO editing.
post these instructions with your picture.


Arguably I cheated, since I rotated the picture 90 degrees.  And that's editing, albeit of a rather rudimentary sort.  Anyway, this is what I look like when I haven't shaved for five days, haven't showered, and have just cleaned out my deep freeze and folded some clothes.  Yay.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Oh sweet heavenly moses yes, the power came on (at about 1:30 am). -- Mike
yrmencyn: (food)
Watching Bridget Jones' Diary with [livejournal.com profile] talyr.

Bridget: ...my most successful relationship will be with a bottle of wine.
Mike and Tal:  *clink glasses*

Mike, eating a tasty goat gouda and drinking aforementioned wine: I'm afraid I'm going to eat this whole half-pound of cheese.
Tal: *shrugs agreement*
Mike: More cheese?
Tal: Yes, please!
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
The dark: I'm still in it.  AEP tells me that I'll have power by Friday midnight latest, and I'm really really really hoping it'll happen earlier.  Say, tonight.  Not holding my breath, though.  [livejournal.com profile] knightvln was kind enough to hook me up with some ice from the B&N cafe today, so my chest freezer -- which had crept up to a slightly worrisome 38 degrees -- is back down to 35 this afternoon.  A lot of that stuff shouldn't be refrozen, of course, but at least it's not spoiling -- I'll just have to cook a lot of formerly-frozen items, is all. 

I've really been mostly ok with the blackout, but it's been hard the last couple of days, since the people across the street got power Tuesday afternoon.  Before, it was all community-banding-together-oh-look-how-fun-this-is-like-camping.  Now it's the haves and the have-nots :)  I'm just envious, is all. 

Bigger madness today was an eye appointment, where they took very high quality pictures of the back of my eyeball to have a baseline for comparison.  To do so they had to dilate my eyes.  Now, I'm not a huge fan of being dilated, but it's hardly a new occurrence; I'm pretty accustomed.  Today, however, I forgot my glasses at home, so I had to wear my contacts while dilated, which I've never done before.  I thought it would be pretty much the same, but it's a whole different experience.  I have NEVER felt so googly-eyed.  It didn't help that the nurse accidentally got two drops in my right eye, so one eye was more deeply dilated than the other.  I felt almost drunk.  I'm mostly back to normal now, although I can tell that my right eye is still wackajiggered.  Ugh.  Thank God I don't have to do that again for at least 4 more months.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Direct copied and pasted from an email, because I'm too lazy to write a real entry:
We're actually all doing ok, from what I can tell (we = the English Department + Minstrelry, aka "the people I see on a regular basis").  Yes, the power's out, but like I told Catie this morning: it's like camping, except I have a really, really, really good tent.

The limb's still obstinately sitting in its hammock of wires, but they seem pretty solid.  I figure if they were going to get ripped off the building it would have already happened, so I'm content to wait for AEP to deal with other, more pressing issues first.  Pete did come around yesterday, and when Ali told him that I had called the power company, who said they would, eventually, be out to deal with it, Pete said that he might just hire somebody to come out and deal with it.  *shrug* His property, I guess, though I think it's a little crazy.

Best news so far is that Francis is the awesomest person in the world.  After he worked a 13-hour shift yesterday (he's worked almost 40 hours in the past two days, since Don Pablo's is keeping their bar open late for all the powerless folks who want to get sloshed), he and Elisa came by with five big take-out bags full of ice.  It was actually more ice than I could fit in my coolers, even after I gave them a couple coolers and they took two bags away.  So I did the obvious thing and converted the deep freeze into a giant ice chest.  It's filled probably 80% with ice and frozen things, so I'm feeling good about it.  I rigged up the probe thermometer to give me an internal reading without me having to open the chest; it was sitting pretty at 33 degrees when I left the house this morning.  I realize this is the longest paragraph so far, but... well, this was a major stressor.  I feel so much calmer now that I'm not confronted with the possibility of losing a lot of food that I went to a lot of trouble to freeze carefully.  It definitely gives me an incentive to learn more about canning.

So yes.  All's remarkably well in Clintonville.  My boss just got a text from her girlfriend; OV has power back.  And one of the pre-quarter workshop students made AEP give her an estimate this morning -- she was told tomorrow evening by 8pm, worst-case.
Only thing I really have to add is that ice is seriously an issue in Columbus right now.  I drove out to Weiland's yesterday, following a tip that they had received an ice shipment.  After my 20-minute journey (I foolishly went down North Broadway, not realizing until it was too late that it was rush hour), I arrived to find out that, yes, they had had a shipment, but the 300 bags sold out in about 2 hours.  Thank God for friends and family in food service.

Best to you all.  Hope you Columbusites who are reading this are doing well.  And if you're without power, feel free to give me a call: I don't have power either, but I do have hot water and a gas stove, so you can bathe and cook.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Hi folks--

Really quick update.  Big wind storm in Ohio; 1.9 million without at some point in the last 24 hours.  60% of Franklin County still without power, including yours truly and almost everyone yours truly knows.  Yay?  I'm fine, everyone I know is fine, and the weather is supposed to be... well, frankly, gorgeous over the forecasted future, so that's nice at least.  I'm on campus right now, where there's electricity.  I'm about to head home and try desperately to find some ice (bad Boy Scout -- no preparedness!), so I can maybe salvage some food, since we might not have power for, oh, a week.  I'll check in later.

Love to you all.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Silver lining?  No one is allowed to judge me on amount or kind of food I eat.  I need sustenance!  I'm eating for two!  (Me + alien organism trying to consume my body.)  So if I feel like eating leftover rice mixed with leftover spaghetti sauce, which constitutes my third large meal of the day, even though I usually only eat twice a day?  Oh, and I slept for, like three hours this afternoon and I'm about to sleep again?  Whatever, I'm sick.  It's like being pregnant, only without, you know, the promise of new life.
yrmencyn: (food)
Hey folks, how's it going?  Just a quick update.  This has been a pretty quiet week; not too many exciting things, really -- and that's just fine with me, really.

An exception would be Wednesday night, when [livejournal.com profile] lucki_dog and I grabbed dinner at Flatiron, down near the Convention Center.  We'll talk about the restaurant in a second, but first the mode of transport.  Lucki often rides around on a scooter, and being as my car doesn't have A/C, it seemed just as well to take the scooter down to the restaurant.  I've decided that riding on the back of a scooter is a weird cross between riding a bike and riding a horse.  A bike because, well, it is.  And a horse, because I often felt almost like I was posting (def: post3, #10), anticipating bumps and curves.  My thighs are still a little sore today -- it feels like I was having athletic sex or something.  Anyway, I kinda liked the scooter.  I totally don't have the money to get one, but if I did I think it would be a nice way to bridge the gap between my desire not to use gas and my desire to go places the bus isn't terribly efficient for (read: most places).

Anyway.  Flatiron (link is broken atm, but it's the right address) is a really tasty restaurant down near the Convention Center.  Its website states that it's in the Arena District, which I think is unfair to itself (but then, I have a generally negative opinion of the Arena District, so).  It's actually on the OTHER side of High Street, at (roughly) Naghten and 4th, in a little skinny building reminiscent of NYC's Flatiron Building, hence the name.  Flatiron specializes in barbecue and vaguely New Orleanian dishes.  It seems like a really odd combination, but it actually works quite well.  Aaron had the N. Carolina style barbecue (i.e. a pulled pork sandwich with mustard barbecue sauce), and I had a muffuletta.  I was especially interested/excited by the muff.; while a well-done muffuletta is one of the pinnacles of sandwich-making, there are a lot of substandard ones.  This one didn't disappoint.  The balance of olive salad to meat to cheese to bread was spot-on, edging right up against the edge of too much olive without quite going over.  And although it wasn't quite as ridiculously huge as one from, say, Central Grocery, I still only ate half.  We both upgraded from the standard potato chips to their sweet and spicy fries, french fries with a dash of red pepper, a dash of balsamic vinegar, and heaps of provolone.  I'm not certain I'd always spring for the $2 upgrade, but they were quite good.  I got fried oysters as an app -- they were pretty good and had a tasty rémoulade, though I tend to like my oysters a little more cooked when I order them fried (if I wanted raw oysters, I'd just get them on the half-shell).  Aaron's spicy sweet potato soup was also good, though not what I was entirely in the mood for.  And the server was a doll.  She was hilarious, and very attentive.  And I'm pretty sure she thought we were on a date.

So, yeah.  Eat at Flatiron (veggie-folks, I'm told their portobella sandwich is one of the best ever, so if you've given up on the venerable mushroom sandwich you might give this one a try).  Next time I'm trying their catfish po'boy; if it's good, I may never eat anywhere else again, since I could live on a good catfish po'boy.

And in a couple hours, it's off to the Michigan Renaissance Faire.  Minstrelry is headed up, ostensibly for some guerilla performing, but really just for fun.  It's been a while since any of us have just gone to a faire as playtrons, so it should be fun.  We'll be back Sunday afternoon/evening; see you then.


yrmencyn: (Default)

December 2009



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