yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
This is a pity party!  Seriously.  So, I finally got a call back from Overseas Motors about the AC in my car.  Oh, Jetta, Jetta, Jetta.  What have I ever done to you but love you, coche?  So.  On the front of the compressor, there's a clutch assembly.  Or, I should say that there is usually a clutch assembly.  In Coche's case, however, the clutch assembly has broken off.  So... if I'm lucky, then Tom can find a clutch assembly.  And that'll be three to four hundred dollars.  If I'm less lucky, then he has to buy the whole compressor.  Possibly from the dealer (oh, dreaded words).  And if that's the case, I'm looking more at six to eight hundred.  Kill me.

So... the cheap option I'm not happy about, but it's about what I was hoping for.  The more expensive option, though... ouf.  I mean, I have that money in my savings account.  And this is, arguably, what savings accounts are made for, but... well, I was hoping to, you know, eat with that money during the lean month (I don't get paid between Aug 31 and October 31).  I'm sure I'd pull it together, and Kevin -- being an amazing person -- has promised to make sure I don't starve to death, but... I don't like it.  I fucking hate car repairs.

So to 'celebrate' I'm having a pity party.  I made ginger beer today so we could make Dark and Stormies tomorrow (more on that tomorrow), so I just... well, I'm testing them out.  In a papasan chair.  Parked directly in front of the TV.  With some leftover shrimp and grits.  Yeah.  Partay.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I feel like a total fuckup.  I've got a number of things with upcoming deadlines, and I'm just not managing to hit any of them properly.  The physical, I finally just broke down and scheduled through the Student Health Center, since nowhere else seems to be any cheaper (except the free clinics, and I can't get to any of them because of prior stuff), and it's the only place I could get an appointment in the next couple weeks anyway.  I still think the insurance situation is crap, but the scheduling problems are solely my fault; I've known for months I needed to get a physical.

I also need to deal with car stuff.  I kept meaning to get all registered in Ohio, but then I put it off and put it off, and now it's too late (since I have to request that the title be sent from Capital One's files to the Ohio Title Office, which takes time, on top of running around to about twelve other places to get various forms and things).  My registration in TX runs out at the end of June, so I'm just sending in my papers to the state of Texas and coughing up the dough for a registration I don't really want (and which may not even be legal, since I'm... sort of an Ohio resident).  On top of that, my inspection also runs out in June, and I don't even know what to do about that.  I have to get it inspected in TX, but I won't be back there until late July.  I guess I'll just be driving with an expired sticker for three weeks or so.  Oh, and there's a note on my registration renewal form that says I need new plates.  Which I guess I might do in Texas, or just hope I can hold off the hounds until August, when I might be able to get registered in Ohio?

This just aggravates me.  I don't think of myself as a particularly disorganized person, and yet here I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to make things work out, largely unsuccessfully.  I couldn't even find my damn checkbook, which seems like a good thing to keep track of, doesn't it?  Summers are supposed to be relaxing, I thought!  But if things keep going like this, it's going to be hell on wheels.  Yay, summer.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Boo :(

So, a new low-cost carrier has launched in Columbus, name of Skybus.  They have some AMAZING fares.  Specifically, the first 10 seats sold on each flight are $10 (yes, that's ten dollars).  There's not many destinations available, but one of those available is Los Angeles area, or to be more specific: Burbank.  'Why, self,' I thought, 'you have a friend in Burbank itself!'  So I emailed [livejournal.com profile] alstaria, figured out dates that worked, and I bought a roundtrip for $40.80; the taxes and fees were greater than the fares themselves.  So I was very happy, and I forwarded the itinerary to A, who was also very excited. 

Until she noticed that I had not bought a roundtrip Columbus --> Burbank --> Columbus, but rather Burbank --> Columbus --> Burbank.  And the change fees are draconian.  And the cheap seats are all gone.  So now I don't get to go to sunny California in June :(  I'm really disappointed, because I've wanted to visit for years, and then I fucked up -- no one's fault but my own -- and now that went down the drain.  The one silver lining is that, because of their federal pre-certification status, I may be able to get a refund (usually impossible with Skybus), but that's cold comfort.  Sigh.

Anyway, check them out.  Their fares, even the ones that aren't ridiculously amazing, aren't half bad, they're just more than I really want to spend right now.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Holy Jesus.  I just came back from Neil/Dodridge, and the roads are super-shitty.  It's completely ridiculous.  Can we get some fucking salt trucks on the road?  I mean, Jesus, it's like a half-inch of snow; can we not deal with a simple dusting of snow?  The answer is, apparently, 'no', since that light dusting has now turned into a smooth plane of ice in the travel lanes.  Honestly, Columbus, what the hell.

In other news, I've had a pretty good day.  I spent some time tonight at the Hop along with [livejournal.com profile] gothicsquish, [livejournal.com profile] lucki_dog, [livejournal.com profile] piobaireachd, [livejournal.com profile] cmd_bakotl, and Squish's friend Adam.  We drank a good number of tasting pours of wines at Camelot Cellars (25 cents per taste, at least during the Hop; it's a steal!), saw some really wonderful paintings at... um... that gallery that always does member-curated shows just south of Camelot Cellars, wandered in the (at the time) lovely snow, and all in all had a nice time.  Following our time in the Short North, we retired to Neil/Dodridge for a tasting of various scotches that Pio had brought back from her time across the pond.  Sweet Jesus, 16-year Lagavulin is a delightful wallow in peat.

Before that, I did some work on my final project for my art seminar.  I'm planning on doing a multi-layered text piece, using some ivory broadcloth and the magic of iron-on transfers.  I had thought to maybe try and do a simply embroidered illuminated capital for the top sheet, but it turns out that that is too far beyond my skills to even contemplate.  So instead, maybe I'll do some illumination digitally before I print that one onto the transfer paper.  Anyway, I went out to Jo-Ann's to buy some fabric.  I had forgotten how much I hate fabric stores.  I think they're poorly labeled, in general.  So unless you're looking for, say, cottons, you're screwed.  I was in fact looking for cottons, but I also needed some other notions, and they weren't easy to find.  Seriously, just some labels.  A little signage.  That's all you need.  It did snow on me a bit as I was driving home, so I guess tonight's mess isn't a total surprise.

Anyway, I'm just doin'.  Gave a successful presentation on my progress on my final project for Editing/Publishing, so all I lack's finishing up in that realm.  Lots of editing to do on my poetry (and another poem to submit tomorrow, mustn't forget), and a paper to write for Medieval, but I think I'll get it all done without too much ulceration.  Oy!
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Argh.  I am in such a weird headspace right now.  I am... contemplating my academic future, and being uncertain of it.  This all started on Wednesday in workshop, when Andrew went on this long talk about What Comes Next.  Now, this is all well and good, but it started throwing me all sideways mentally.  And then I went in to talk with him today, just about my summer plans, really (mostly to see if I could work at Camp Bon Coeur this summer through an exciting combination of independent study and, uh, independent study), and then it went on this big bender off toward What Comes Next and What Is My Plan, not to mention Where Is All This Going?  And... oh God.  Oh God.  OK, so... yeah.  I'm freaking out.

See, I was in a PhD program, yeah?  I was in a PhD program, and then I quit it, because I was going to Follow My Dreams and Do What I Loved and blah, blah blah, blah blah.  'Cept... sigh.  Ok, so, I could be done after this degree, I could.  I could get my MFA, maybe do a post-graduate fellowship, do some visiting work, etc etc and maybe that would be enough.  The MFA's a pretty decent credential, I like to flatter myself that I'm a pretty decent writer, I'm motivated, maybe that would be enough.  But at the same time... a PhD would help.  A PhD would be a not-illogical choice.    I've got options, I could do a PhD in either French or English, within English I could do an academic or a creative dissertation.  I could stay here, or I could go elsewhere.  I could go to a translation program (they do exist).  But I don't know!  I mean, my God, this was supposed to be IT.  And the thing I say, that studying literature was killing my love of literature, it's still true.  And yet I love theory, I do.  Well, parts of it, anyway.  And I think there are fascinating things to be said and done in the study of literature.  But I don't even know what I want to do, what I should do.

And I don't need to know yet, not for at least a year, but now that the evil demon has reared its ugly head I can't put it back in its box.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.  Hatred. Goddamit, I need to freak out to someone but Kevin doesn't know the field, and I can't freak out to Andrew.  Maybe I could freak out to Kathy, but I haven't seen her in a while.  Sigh.


EDIT: Hahahahaha. So I went with three other CW folk to see Ted Kooser read at Ohio Wesleyan tonight. Kooser, for those who don't know, is the immediate past Poet Laureate of the United States. He was talking about how he was an insurance salesman for a long, long time, and then things changed, and now he's a full professor of English with an honorary doctorate. "So you see," he said to an audience of mostly students and academics, "there are other ways than going to school for years." It was pretty hilarious, and darkly apropos.
yrmencyn: (food)
I have been utterly slothful today.  It started with getting up late (like, 10:30), and just went from there.  I got to school a little before one o'clock, printed out what seems like the entire collected works of the poets of the Creative Writing program for the Lynn Emanuel workshop, and managed to read, like, a third of them.  At most.  On the other hand, I managed to drop off some books and pick up others en route from Denney to Journalism (where the LE workshop is), and to get coffee in my snazzy green mug, so I guess there's that.

I lucked out in workshop, as I'd actually read Sean's poems, and was already familiar with most of Ida's, so I wasn't totally in the woods.  The workshop, actually, was a bright point of productivity and intellectual "on-ness" in my day.  It was really quite interesting.  The "enabling fiction" (Emanuel's term) of the workshop is that each participant's packet of poems is a coherent chunk of a manuscript, and we're mostly discussing structure, the ways the poems do or don't work with and talk to each other.  I'm still a ways off from putting together a book-length anything, so this was a fairly new way of approaching the work.  I thoroughly enjoyed today's discussion, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week, especially [selfishly] tomorrow, when we're theoretically discussing my work.  Ooh!  Plus she passed around Stephen Dobyns' book, The Porcupine's Kisses, which has Dobyns' poems interspersed with line drawings and woodcuts by Howie Michels.  Since that sort of together-but-apart combination of word and image is something I'd like to explore with my work, this is really cool to me.  Suffice it to say, it's on order from the library.

Anyway, then I descended back into sloth.  Over at [livejournal.com profile] bustysinclare's, I managed to read through the Lay of Bisclavret for tomorrow's medieval class, and I read through the poems we'll be discussing tomorrow with LE, but other than that I was pretty much useless.  By the time I had to leave (because my contact was being completely screwy), I had given up on even commenting the poems for my regular weekly workshop -- it was about all I could manage to read through them.  I was just intellectually dead.

Home was no better.  I basically wrote tonight off as a dead zone.  Instead of doing, you know, work, I read the internet while Kevin cooked some stir-fry (despite having had a tasty matzo ball soup at Busty's, I was still unaccountably ravenous), and I made something which superficially resembled a pavlova.  A pavlova is a Kiwi/Aussie dessert that's basically whipped cream and fruit on a giant meringue.  Well, after hand-whipping the egg whites to stiff peak (...I know.  I don't know what I was thinking, either), I put it in the oven as prescribed in my recipe and ended up with... a giant marshmallow.  Methinks the given temperature was just too low.  You want it still soft and fluffy on the interior, but you should have a crispy exterior.  Mine was more like a humongous expertly toasted marshmallow: golden brown, but still very soft.  I don't know.  Maybe I didn't whip them firm enough (my arm about fell off), maybe the oven was too slow, but in any case it was not quite right.  Still, with Cool Whip and the caramel-apple/peach topping I made, it was a diabetic's nightmare of a tasty dessert.  And the trash monster can have the rest.  Except not the topping.  Mine!

Anyway, yeah.  Wasted day, homework-wise.  This will only mean I have to work harder tomorrow.  Arg!
yrmencyn: (Default)
Arg.  My bloody mp3 player is sick.  I think this has something to do with Windows Media Player.  Allow me to explain: after I upgraded to WMP 11, I noticed that my computer was much more lovey-dovey with my Zen (like, it recognized it, could read its directory structure, that sort of thing).  So I opened up the Zen in WMP, and then the madness started, because it said "Would you like to sync?"  I had a couple new things in my library that weren't on the player yet, so I said 'sure!'  Heh.  Bad move.  The Zen doesn't use any sort of internal directory structure, it just throws all the files into one folder and then makes an ad hoc database of ID3 tags at startup.  WMP, however, is very uncomfortable with this concept for devices, so it likes to impose a system on it.  So when I told it to sync, it looked at the fact that a lot of my music on the computer is well-organized in hierarchical folders thanks to the eMusic Download Manager, and it just copied that over, ignoring the fact that the files in question were already on there.  So then I had duplicates of quite a lot of music.

It was going to be very annoying to fix them.  Plus WMP had wandered around on the internet and helpfully updated some of the album info, undoing customizations I had made, and therefore made everything a mess of confusion.  Then, when I tried to use my normal software to fix the problems, it balked, presumably because of the psychotic tree structures.  BUT, I can't just format the player and re-transfer all the music, because there are things on the player that aren't on the computer.  And my usual software is too confused to manage to transfer it all over.

So I'm now using Windows' newfound ability to trawl the depths of the player -- which was the original source of the evil, you'll note -- to transfer all the data off the player by brute force.  I will then format and reload all the music, not using WMP.  Hopefully this will work.  There's also the mild possibility that this is a player hardware problem, but I really have no way of knowing until I get a clean format.  If nothing else, I do have another similar player just lying around that I could use (although it doesn't have quite all the features I want).  Hélas.  We'll see in another 40 minutes or so how this all goes.
yrmencyn: (food)
What the hell.  It's like I have a 50-50 chance of making seitan successfully... I don't get it.  I took the standard recipe and halved it, since that was how much gluten flour I had.  I had a scant cup of gluten, so I also made the liquid scant.  But it still should have worked; proportions were the same.  I altered the spicing, but the spices aren't water-bearing or water-sucking, they're just spices (with the possible exception of the ground-up bouillon cube, but even so that shouldn't change it much).  I used non-standard liquids, but still: a liquid's a liquid, as long as it's aqueous.  I may have overdone the yeast a little bit, but I'm not certain if that accounts for the bizarreness.  The bizarreness, by the way, is that the seitan categorically refused to become, you know, seitan.  It wouldn't form a gluten matrix, which... ok, but... the flour is pure gluten.  If you put it in the presence of moisture and look at it funny, it should make a protein matrix.  Not a moist, non-bound blob.  I ended up (well, I should say the trash ended up) with these little blobs that resembled nothing so much as polenta dumplings. 

*throws hands up in the air in a sign of exasperated defeat*

Fuck you, fake meat.  My fried potatoes sauteed in bacon fat were delicious, and the bacon bits weren't made of mush.  So there.

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December 2009

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