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 :) 

Tidbits

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: (qc - drunk)
Hello out there!  This isn't going to be too terribly long, since I'm pretty tired.  The drive up was not really eventful; we stopped in White House, TN (just a few miles north of Nashville), then in Cincinnati, then finally came to Columbus on Labor Day.  Got all my stuff moved in (and boy, was there a lot of it... I grossly underestimated the amount of crap I have, to the surprise of no one), went to eat with the parents and Liz at Aladdin's, came back home.  Looked around despondently at all the boxes.  Sent the parents off back to Cincy and puttered.

Good things about the new place:
    -So light and airy!  Lots of windows, very spacious.
    -Nice, quiet street.  I can't hear High St. from here at all, and even in the midmorning I mostly hear crickets, not cars.
    -There are yellow cherry tomatoes growing in the back yard.  Also grapes on the vine.  Also some squash.  How cool is that?
    -Etc.

Bad things:
    -It's an old place, and I think the building owner got the wiring redone at some point, but only partially.  So there's generally only one three-prong outlet in any given room, which is a little maddening.
    -Baton Rouge recycling?  Far superior.  Here you actually have to pay extra for curbside recycling (admittedly only $5/mo, but still).  So I'll be doing the dropoff game, I think.
    -None of my MEMK girls :(
    -Slightly white trashy neighbors, who are having a loud argument outside at 1:45am, because he accidentally locked her out and she's "been knockin' on the door for thirty fuckin' minutes!"  (First such incident while I've been here, though.)

In the time since moving in, I have:
1.  Unpacked pretty much everything, except for the books.
2.  Done a shit-ton of walking, which is AWESOME.  Most of it hasn't even been purposeful, it's just been walking for walking's sake.  My legs are kinda sore, but that'll pass if I just keep on truckin'.
3.  Bought a mattress and box spring, which were delivered today by the Original Mattress Factory.  Full bed!  Yay!  I'm looking forward to sleep tonight.
4.  Met the boy and approved.  Muchly.
5.  Spent too much money at various nearby eateries that I love deeply (oh well).
6. Hung around with [livejournal.com profile] lit_girl and Liz quite a lot.

It's going to be a good year, I think.  Once I get cable TV hooked up, I'll be totally good to go (we're splitting internet with the upstairs neighbors, woot wireless).  Oh, and buy bookshelves.  Must go on a bookshelf safari.

Updated contact info will follow in a locked entry; non-lj folk should email me for updates.
yrmencyn: (food)
This weekend is one of the first in a long time that I've been home, instead of gallivanting around the country or recovering from camp (or preparing for camp) or whatever.  As such, I've really been having a good time just relaxing.  Today, I went to Highland Coffees for the first time in a long time, the better to sit around, read, and drink coffee and tea.  I was most excited, since I'd received Middlesex  on Friday (and thus it begins!), and I was looking forward to a nice long session of caffeinated reading, sitting in the warm Louisiana summer air under Highland's bower.  Mmmm.  Anyway, getting to the subject, today I was wearing a shirt that was given to me by Dr. Ancelet.  It has text on it in French.  While I was getting a refill of dark-roast coffee (mmmm), the barista asked me what my shirt said.  I responded "Speak French on purpose!"  It was only as I was walking away that I realized I had answered the pragmatic question, not the actual one (that is to say, I had responded as above, telling her what the shirt meant in our lingua franca, rather than saying "Parle français par exprès!", which is what the shirt literally says).  The amusing fact is that I was, in a way, actually acting directly counter to the instructions of my shirt.  No real point, just recounting.

Middlesex, by the way, is wonderful so far (about a third of the way through).  I should expect no less, of course, since it's been recommended to me not only by national reviewers (and the awarders of the Pulitzer Prize) but also by [livejournal.com profile] rnbowpixy; personal recommendations carry a lot of weight.  It is absolutely nothing like I expected, but in a very good way.  Rather than being a stridently political book about an intersexed person (which I foolishly expected), it's a broad-reaching symphonic study of sexuality, love, immigration, and a myriad other topics that all combine to make up human nature.  Beautiful.

Last night Shane, Rebecca, and I went out to eat at J. Alexander with two of Rebecca's fellow TFAers.  I'd noticed the restaurant over by the Mall of Louisiana earlier, but hadn't really given it a second thought.  225 Magazine, however, recently ranked it as having the second-best salads in the city, and thus was Rebecca's curiosity piqued: as an Orthodox Jew, she eats a lot of salads when she dines out, since they're one of the few safe things.  J. Alexander's turns out to be a somewhat upscale steakhouse/Americana place that I found to be very pleasant.  It's got a very fancy feel without being overly stuffy or pricey, which I appreciate.  The cheeseburger I had was one of the best I've had in a long, long time, juicy and savory and full of beef flavor.  The wine also made me happy; I got a quite reasonably priced Côtes du Rhone, which was quite tasty.  Course, the tastiness was only enhanced by the fact that they serve all their wines in -- wait for it -- Reidel!  I mean, Christ, what restaurant in the 15$ non-steak-entree price-range uses that level of glassware?!  Very fun.  Even if the waiter was a little flaky, but I'm over it :)

My parents had been in earlier in the day to steal away my bed.  See, I had no plans of taking it to Ohio, and my brother's moving to a house off-campus in Austin this year, so he's getting it.  Mom and Dad drove from Nac, took me to lunch, helped me transport a dresser I bought home, packed up the bed, and drove back, because my whole family is crazy; we don't think that much of driving 10 hours in a day.  Did I mention lunch?  Yes.  I hadn't been to Parrain's in a while, and I was very happy to go there.  I hope they enjoyed it like I did -- I had the barbecued drum like last time I went there, because it's so. damn. good.  Our waiter... this is weird.  I got friended by this guy on Facebook a couple weeks ago, but I declined it (because I don't know him) and thought nothing more of it.  So yesterday, our server is greeting us and I'm thinking "he looks really familiar!  why?"  The bill comes with his name and... ah, it's him.  There we go.  So odd.

Also, did I mention a dresser?  Why yes I did.  The parents also took my dresser, which is a primary colored wooden thing that's been in my room since my childhood.  In its place, I now have a faux-pine chest of drawers, straight from your friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart.  About ninety bucks and three hours of assembly later (it took forever because my Phillips head screwdrivers seem to have run away, leaving me with only a multi-tool to work with), I now have a nice looking dresser that doesn't make me feel like a juvenile.  There was also a lot of cleaning involved, as you can see from the pictures below.

Pictures )

Friday night was also a night of fun and food (that seems to have gone on a lot this weekend, wow).  Erin, Katie, Mandi, and I started out by going to Waka House, a new sushi place out at Sherwood Forest & Coursey (give or take).  The sushi was quite good, and the value was wonderful: we ate until we were nearing stomach rupture, but we only spent 15$ plus tip apiece.  That's... shocking.  I mean, really.  Yay!  We continued by going to Hole Experience, where Katie and Mandi intended to get piercings.  Unfortunately, there were some issues, and it didn't end up happening, but still it was good times.  We had planned on going to see Clerks II, but it appears that it's no longer showing in Baton Rouge :(  I do note that it's still showing in New Orleans, but apparently only until Thursday?  So I guess I'll have to wait for it to come out on DVD.  Instead, we wet to see Pulse.  It was't a bad little flick, as dystopian cyber-horror goes.  I do have to say it was the most bizarre depiction of Columbus, OH I've ever seen.  I realize they were probably trying for a representative city of average Middle America, but... well, Columbus just isn't that urban of an urban space.  Sure, it's definitely a city, but that whole tenement-y buildings everywhere, full of urban angst and disquiet shtick?  Not so much.  Very amusing to those of us that know the city.

And now, finally, I think I've come to my conclusion.  Huzzah!
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
A bizarre AIM convo, wherein we talked about writing self-help books (don't ask):

[22:40:15] Him: it's tiring work
[22:40:29] Me: it really is.  I slave over a hot book stove for hours
[22:42:19] Him: my self-help pie better be in the mail, woman
[22:43:25] Me: hey!  I don't think you appreciate me and the work that I do!  I work at the cat shelter all day only to come home and bake you self-help snacks, while you drink beer and watch football!  I'm working two jobs to your one.
[22:44:14] Him: you're the one who decided that she HAD to have a job to feel like she had a life outside the house.  i never asked you to do that.  quite the opposite, if you'll recall.  and i appreciate you plenty, just more when you keep me in pies.
[22:44:51] Me: So that's all I am to you?  A pie factory?
[22:46:01] Him: you knew what this was.
[22:46:21] Me: I you've changed.  We used to make pies together.
[22:46:50] Him: well sure.  every relationship starts out with mutual pie-baking, but then it's understood that things evolve.
[22:47:06] Him: i've evolved into watching football and drinking beer, just like you always knew would happen.
[22:48:13] Me: My mother warned me about you.  I should have listened to her!
[22:48:25] Him: god, you always bring her up
[22:48:38] Me: well, better than YOUR mother.
[22:48:53] Him: now, don't you start with that.  i can't help it if she's schizophrenic.
[22:49:02] Him: and neither can she.
[22:49:21] Me: But you can damn sure well help it that you recommended she go off her meds.  Who DOES that?
[22:50:08] Him: look, you're always going on about living a more natural lifestyle, i just thought it was a good idea to see how she'd do without being all doped up all the time.
[22:50:22] Him: who could have predicted that she'd try to buy a factory farm with the family savings?
[22:50:32] Him: or that she thought it was a factory that makes farms?
[22:51:27] Me: well, I should have seen it coming, what with her being your family and all.  Pie factory, factory farm, farm factory... it's always the same with you all.
[22:52:16] Him: look, if you wanna break up, just say so.  the game is on and i missed most of the first quarter with all this yammering.  otherwise, get back in the kitchen and bake me a pie already.
[22:53:35] Me: honey, don't be like that.  you know I love you.  I know you're bad for me, but I just can't leave...
[22:54:12] Him: i thought so.  *slaps your ass* love you too, honey.  now move over, you're blocking the screen a little still.
yrmencyn: (food)
Fine, fine, so I didn't get around to major writing tonight.  It's his fault.  Well, and Whole Food fault.  I bought nummies :)  Some tasty vanilla yogurt, quite cheap and delicious.  The cheapness made up for the radical expense of the cherries.  I thought they were 7.97/sack, which was a little more than I was happy with, but the free sample (damn them) was good.  Turns out they were 7.97/lb, and the sack weighed just shy of two pounds.  I bought fifteen dollar cherries.  Ridiculous.  Ricockulous even.  Bah.  Still, they were quite tasty together.  I also took a swing through the olive bar and wantonly combined disparate olives and other pickled items into a delirious mess of olive goodness.  I need to not eat it all at once, which is entirely possible if I don't watch it.  OLIVES!  And creole tomatoes.  And fresh mozzarella.  I smell a mozzarella-tomato salad coming on!  And some deli ham, which doesn't really excite me that much, but hey, it'll still make a tasty sammich.

So, there you have it.  That's today's writing.  Maybe family reunion... tomorrow.  I haven't even flickr'd the pics, so I've still got a ways to go.  I did clean my kitchen, so that's worth something, right?
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
It's about work, which has been amusing me in so many ways, some of them sarcastic.

First off is the filing system, which is hilarious.  Even setting aside the range of shelves that reads right-to-left (yes.), it has some issues.  I know that electronic records are very hard for most medical practices to manage.  The only practice I personally have seen go all paperless is my glaucoma specialist's, and I think they just started out like that, without any prior records to convert -- LCA has the conversion problem.  So, yes, I get that, I do.  I realize that suddenly up and going electronic requires a massive amount of human and monetary resources, all at once.  But still, there's just no call for there to be at least four separate, non-intercommunicating records programs that I can think of off the top of my head.  Not to mention a desperate need for some standardization of file handling practices for the paper files, so you don't have to learn each area's separate quirks and madnesses.  Shelves would help too, I think.  Also helpful would be if people didn't misfile charts; there are only ten digits to work with, and it's a sequential system.  Quite simple.  If beginning student workers in libraries can file LC classification properly, this should really not be hard.  I mean, it's color-coded.  If it doesn't match, it's wrong.

Conversations have been interesting too.  I had not one but two funny ones in the last fifteen minutes of work, in fact.  I'll just recount the last one, since the first is probably one of those "you had to be there" things, where 'there' is defined as 'in my head and with my thoughts'.

Conversation 2, the one which is actually overtly funny: Mike and an unidentified nurse.

Mike: (walks over to collect some charts)
Nurse: Boy, you are H-O-T, where you been all my life!  What's your name what'chou do?
Mike: Heh.  I'm Mike, and I'm just here filing charts.
Nurse: How old are you?
A different nurse: Too young for you!
Nurse: Shut up.
Mike: 23.
Nurse: Well, 23 plus 23 makes 46, and I was born in 1960!  I'll take two of you for my birthday.
Mike: They sell us in pairs at Kmart.

The other amusing thing is coworkers.  My speech (syntax, prosody, accent) gets truly bizarre at work, because my brain likes to accommodate linguistically, and I've got at least two major dialects to deal with, plus a number of personal variations.  Coworkers also happen to include a cute boy, D, who is causing me to be crazy.  I know D is cute.  I know D is gay.  I'm pretty sure from conversation and judicious web research that D is interesting and fun.  The only problem is that he is not generally forthcoming with the random conversation.  This wouldn't be a problem, except that I'm the exact same way, so... nada.  I can't even manage to tell if he has any latent interest in me whatsoever.  I keep meaning to ask him out (just for, say, coffee -- the traditional opening gambit), and I had a perfect opportunity this afternoon.  It was VERY quiet toward the end of the workday, and in the last few minutes of my shift it was just me and him, all alone in the file room.  So what did I do?  Wimped out.  Instead of asking him for coffee, I asked him if he knew the password to the corner computer, so I could clock out.  Lame.  Hélas.  Tomorrow is another day.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
... just because I should be sleeping right now.

The night of cinema was absolutely fantastic, and a success beyond anyone's imagination.  We were expecting at most 100 people, and instead we sold out the Manship Theatre (near to 350 seats).  The audience seemed to enjoy it very much, which is great.  And the film Les Diaboliques was redeemed for my by seeing it on the big screen from a good print (first I saw it was in a 3 or 4 hundred level French class, in a chair-desk thing, in the hot and stuffy basement of Lord Hall, on a VHS tape that had been copied umpteen million times).

That film was an interesting experience, too, because of my seating neighbor.  I always forget who powerful a sense smell is.  About halfway through the film, my nose miraculously cleared up (this happens but occasionally, and haphazardly), and I could smell the guy sitting next to me.  Not that he stank, or that he was wearing any scents, but just him, himself.  I breathed in and smelled fabric, laundry soap, a slight salt tang of dried sweat, and underneath it all the low pedal note of man.  It was incredibly heady and sexual (I originally wrote 'sexy', but let us call a cigar a cigar), and I felt a bit invasive, perverse even, sitting there enjoying it without his knowledge (not to mention he's the student of a friend, and that's a little ooky anyway).  That's not to say, of course, that I didn't purposefully avoid breathing through my nose so the scent could clear from olfactory memory and I could let it wash over me again.  Repeatedly. 
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Wow, it's been almost a week since I updated.  Damn, bad me.  No cookie.  Well, I was in Kentucky for a while.  I drove up on Wednesday (12 NPR- and Pimsleur German-filled hours [And a book called A Treasury of Deception : Liars, Misleaders, Hoodwinkers, and the Extraordinary True Stories of History's Greatest Hoaxes, Fakes, and Frauds that wasn't terribly interesting, but made good background babble]) so I could attend the 59th Annual U Kentucky Foreign Language Conference.  I was rather less than excited about the conference, since I knew that I was breaking one of the cardinal rules of non-boring conference attendance (at least in my book): don't go it alone.  As it turns out, the conference was, while at times a bit lonely, overall a good time.  Working backwards: on Saturday I presented successfully (a UK grad student actually came to the session with the express intent of hearing my paper, oy), then went to the French and Francophone Luncheon with the expectation of making awkward small talk with random professors.  As it turned out, when I popped my head in to look around, there were two people in the room: the F&F organizer, and LSU's own Dr. Kate Jensen.  So I sat with them and talked about Jungle Jim's, and it wasn't unbearable.  Plus they served Kentucky Hot Brown (or at least the institutional hotel pan version thereof), which is a dish I've been meaning to try for bloody ever (though I still want to go have it at the L'ville hotel that's famous for it - name escapes me).  It was tasty.

On Friday, I went quite early (session started at 8:30!) to a session on French Lit in North America, which is, as you may know, kinda my thing.  I thoroughly enjoyed the session (especially the rambling piece from Stamos Metzidakis that blended memoir with social history of French in Missouri), and as I was standing around talking with the presenters afterward, one of them suggested we go grab lunch, so... okay.  Professors?  Have no idea how to gain information on local areas, I swear.  The appropriate method is to ask the locals, especially those you have met tangentially that day or the day before.  They will tell you the easiest way is to just walk down Limestone Ave. and see what you like.  We ended up eating at a place called Pazzo's, which does your standard pizza/calzones/hoagies thing.  It also has an impressive beer menu, although I chose not to partake (despite the apparent presence of La Fin du Monde and La Chasse-Galerie on tap; can't imagine Trois Pistoles was far away).  It's nice to feel like a colleague; doesn't always happen, and especially at KFLC, where the grad students are ghettoized: we didn't present with the 'real' presenters, but rather in our own sessions (*rolls eyes*).

Thursday was an odd day with a cute boy.  So I walk into my first session (interesting, if disjointed, paper on Hotel Rwanda in there, by the way), and there's this guy who's gone in right before me.  I note his general attractiveness in passing and move on.  Then he goes and talks to Dr. Willging from OSU, who happened to be chairing that session, and thus I learn he's an OSU student.  Interesting, but again, moving on.  He leaves at the coffee break to catch some papers in a different session, as do I (as I had been planning to do).  We end up going to the same session, and... ok, but again whatever.  Then the presenter doesn't have sufficient handouts, so we end up sharing.  At this point it seems we should introduce ourselves, we do so, and then I asked him for a lunch recommendation (I also knew he had been a UK student in his MA, from overhearing him talking with Willging).  As it turned out, we ended up going together for Thai.  Now, by this time, my gaydar has been routinely observing, and has come to some interesting conclusions.

For this next part, I'm going to put his words in bold with my [unsaid and not reflected in my facial expressions] simultaneous thought process in italics:
So yeah, Lexington's kind of bittersweet to me, since it's where I was for 3 years with my significant other.  (pronoun game, whee!)  He (HoYay!) died tragically (Ah.  Euh.  Oh. *personal foul*)...
Not quite so much a conversation killer as it seems in the retelling, actually, but I was terribly amused at my own thoughts.  Plus I could swear to God I got invited to both a club and the horsetrack, so I feel like I was not too out of line.  I'll keep in touch.  Never look a cooking-obsessed French-speaking gay man in the mouth.

In addition to conferential shenanigans (which also included more sessions and people than I'm noting here), I got to hang out a lot with Michele, and then with Carter when he drove over, and that was wonderful.  Cap it off with a visit to the Lenoues, where Jan couldn't not make an inordinate amount of food, and the Kentucky trip was officially a success, and not at all so soul-killing as expected. 

The drive back was greatly helped by the downloading last night of Mark Salzman's The Soloist in audiobook form.  I'd never heard of it, but it seemed the best choice out of the sometimes slim pickins of EBR library's NetLibrary affiliation.  It wasn't a masterpiece by any means, but it was reasonably well done.  There are worse ways to occupy ~8 hours of drivetime.  ETA: I just looked on Amazon, and apparently it's considered a YA book?  Perhaps... an older YA, I'd have to say.  Plus the addition of a couple of random German syntax points to my repertoire (and eventually they'll get around to introducing the numbers 6 and 7; they've already done the rest of 1-9, and the absence is driving me nuts, even though I know enough pedagogy to see where they're going; also the absence of the word 'never' is getting ridiculous, since it would have been a perfect introduction in the dialogue where the lady keeps blowing the man off).

Lastly: if your knee hurts after a long day of driving, you can do far worse to treat it than a piping hot bath followed by a bracingly cold shower.

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December 2009

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