yrmencyn: (Default)
My new roommate moves in on Saturday, or maybe Sunday (depending on exactly how the timing falls over on her end).  I have to clean out the front room (until recently the study) and make it suitable for someone to move all their stuff into (that is to say, clean and inviting).  I've *really* been putting this off, for a couple of reasons.  First, I HATE change.  So changing my bedroom back into a bedroom/office is not only distasteful, but kind of upsetting.  When you pile on the fact that cleaning out the study basically means doing the last of the major de-Kevining in the apartment, there's a whole 'nother level of emotional weird going on there.

But I've got it.  I went to Target today and bought a new desk.  It's a Mission-style computer desk, which basically means -- for someone with a laptop -- that it's convertible into a large writing table.  I love it, not only because it was on sale, but because it feels like a more grownup desk.  It's not the light blue desk that's been passed around from family member to family member (since, what, the 70s?), it's not the desk that I abused all through undergrad, it's not the desk that, once upon a time, was my changing table.*  It's a new start, which I need right now.

So now I finally feel good.  I have a new desk, my computer sound system is finally hooked back up, I've started moving my books.  It's a good thing.

*No need to worry that I'm throwing away precious heirlooms.  First off, it's going to Goodwill.  Second, it was a cheap purchase from Montgomery Ward back in the day -- it's a wonder it's survived as long as it has.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
A number of you already know this, but we decided it was time to 'go public', as it were: Kevin and I broke up a couple weeks ago.

We're still friends, we're still roommates for another couple weeks, etc.

I might do a more explanatory post about it later, but for now suffice it to say that I'm pretty much ok, he's pretty much ok, all that.  I had my big crying jags for a few days, but the worst is over. 

I have no doubt of your sympathies and love, and I don't mean to shut that out, but I'm just not all that excited about that many sympathetic comment emails, so I'm disabling the email-comment feature on this post.  I just want to let you know, since I really don't think I'll be responding to them individually.  But you certainly have my gratitude, and even if I'm not responding, I'm getting them.  Think happy thoughts.  Send your love with your heart.  I'll feel it, I promise.

---------------

ETA: Jesus.  It's strange how this hits home the finality of it all.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
I totally did.  In my defense, when I woke up my back hurt a lot (it's still achy), and the thought of sitting in a desk chair to grade or revise was pretty upsetting. But you know what I did do? 

Lots of things.

I went to the farmers' market and got asparagus, tomatoes, and snow peas.  I also got some fresh cheddar curds from Blue Jacket Dairy, which are SO much better than the ones I got last time from a different producer (sorry, other producer: yours were softer and sweeter than I like).  Sadly, they were out of their Gretna Grilling Cheese, which is basically halloumi (God I love halloumi).  Must make it to the market earlier next week.  I missed out on many delicious things, like whole wheat flour and sorrel :(  But hey, cheese curds!  And I'll survive without wheat flour for this long.

And then I made tasty scrambled eggs with veggies, including some chives that, it turns out, are growing in the corner of the garden -- who knew?  We watched Delicatessen with lunch... it's an odd movie, it really is.

Tonight was very relaxing and wonderful.  It's the kind of night I wish I had more often (this is really no one's fault but my own).  First Kevin and I went out for dinner at the Olde Mohawk, in the German Village.  I had a bratwurst sandwich that just about made my cold stone heart melt with joy.  Bratwurst, sauerkraut, onions, swiss cheese, and an absurdly large schmear of Grey Poupon, all on a soft hoagie roll.  I haven't had that delirious combination since I was in Quebec in the summer of 2003 -- no one else I cook for regularly has my insatiable love of sauerkraut.  And then, just when I was standing at the Pearly Gates of Food Heaven, we upped the ante and picked up a couple of iced teas and a smorgasbord of tea cookies and macarons to-go at Pistacia Vera.

Why to-go?  Because we went to see Macbeth in Schiller Park, that's why.  Believe it or not, I've spent five summers in Columbus, and it's only now at the beginning of my sixth that I've finally made it to Shakespeare in the Park.  Why haven't I gone earlier?!  So wonderful.  It's totally free, the acting's not bad, and hey -- Macbeth.  It's no Lear, but it does have the "tomorrow" soliloquy, and some fabulous witchery.  I was, I should note, woefully underdressed.  Not in terms of formality level -- you sit on grass in a park, people -- but in terms of warmth.  It was in the high 50s by the time the play was over, and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  Thank God we brought two blankets.  I think by the time the next show is up (Tartuffe!) it'll be warmer at night, but if I should happen to go back during this run, I'm totally brewing up some chai or Somali tea and bringing it in the pump pot.

And then in and among these things I made seitan, shredded it, and simmered it in a spicy sauce.  And made bread dough.  All this, of course, is prep for our final poetry workshop, a potluck dinner tomorrow.

And that was my totally unproductive yet also productive day.  And I feel good about it, so there.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Greetings from our nation's capital!  Kevin picked me up from the Baltimore airport last night, nice and late (all my upcoming flights are late -- what is that?).  Since he has to be at his internship at 9am, we pretty much fell directly to sleep.  I'm sitting in a Caribou Coffee half a block away, trying to figure out what to do with myself for eight hours.  So far I've written a couple of emails, and that's taken up... a half-hour.  Woot! 

The times I've been to DC before, it's always been to see friends or friends-of-friends, so I've never actually done the usual touristy, except for the Natural History and Holocaust Museums.  I think here in a bit I'll hike down to the Mall and do the monuments.  I mean, it's what you do, right?  And I've never actually seen some of them (e.g. Vietnam War, Lincoln), which does seem... well, a bit inexcusable, honestly.  So yeah.  But if any of you have any suggestions on things to do and see, feel free to reply with a comment or just call me.  I'm currently at 17th & L (for those of you that really know DC too well), but anywhere in the Mall/GWU/Foggy Bottom/Dupont Circle area is totally in range.  Not to mention the fabulous Metro can take me elsewhere!  (I really, really love subway systems.  I don't know why, but they just make so much sense to me, in a way that buses, for example, never have.  Set me down in an unfamiliar bus system and I'm lost.  Set me down in an unfamiliar subway system and I'm pretty much instantly oriented.)

Already on the list: Teaism, The National Cafeteria of the American Indian (our joking name for the caf in the Nat'l Mus. of the Amer. Indian, which serves all traditional foods, apparently), the Pride parade (and thus by extension the Dupont Circle area), the aforementioned national landmarks walk.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I wrote quite a long entry about this weekend, but the tone was horrible.  I know this is just a blog, but I was seriously ashamed of the writing.  The tone was just... horrible.  Really horrible.  So instead just a little sketch about my busy weekend.

Thursday night: Larry's with the social psych people
Friday: Crazy busy.  Hectic.  Then Epilog, the 3rd-year reading.  I'll miss those folks.  Then a fun after-party.
Saturday: Farewell lunch for Kevin at Betty's and Pistachio (he's in DC, now, .  Potluck with artists' seminar folk.  Unpleasant performance piece viewed.  Hound Dog's eaten.
Sunday: Nausea.  Head cold.  Yippee! Three hours straight of working on poetry, revising for my portfolio.  Lots of recorded TV.

A little over half a day until I'm done with this quarter.  I'm actually fairly happy with my poems this quarter, now that I've done revisions.  I think I've made some vast improvements (including the murder of some of my darlings*), both in these individual poems and in my work as a whole.  Like last quarter, I'll post at least some of them in a locked post once I finish revising them tomorrow.

* There's a workshop cliche, "Kill your darlings."  Basically, it means "it doesn't matter how attached you are to a part of your writing; if it's not working, you have to cut it."
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Sisters visiting: exactly one
Restaurants visited: The Dube, Aladdin's, El Vaquero, Jeni's, Betty's, Pistachio
Plays seen: The Children's Hour, Mary Stuart
Movies watched: Bridget Jones's Diary, Blades of Glory
Seitan dishes surprisingly well-received: Mock Chicken Meatloaf (though it ended up tasting more like chicken taco filling)
Seemingly innocuous dishes ill-received: Green Beans à la vomit (seriously; they tasted like vomit)
Magical smoothies: two batches, thank you Kevin
Miles logged driving and walking around various neighborhoods: innumerable
Most commonly uttered food phrase (not about things I cooked, sadly; I was a little off my game): "This is so good."

All in all, a fine weekend with my sister.  It'll be fun when she and her man move up here in August, but for now I must send her back in a flying metal tube early tomorrow morning.

Glad that Kevin will be back tomorrow (he's been out-of-town at a wedding).  I really missed him this evening (part of the reason I decided we had to get out of the house and see a mindless movie, i.e. Blades of Glory); Sister (who is an expert at LDRs) tells me I'll get used to him not being around over the summer, though it'll sneak up on me at unpredictable intervals.  Good times.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Hi, flist.  Been a while.  The while, though, has been largely nice.  This quarter is much calmer than last, which is very nice.  So I've just been going around, writing my poems and reading others', occasionally going and listening to artists talk about their work, and pretty much having a quarter that's simultaneously relaxing and fulfilling -- how about that!  Of course this isn't 100%.  There are moments of stress, like when Faire happens to be on a weekend where I also have to write a major presentation on a book of poems, or whatnot.  Faire, by the way, went swimmingly.  It was a lovely faire day to begin with, and Minstrelry had two well-attended, well-enjoyed performances before the rain.  Yes, the rain.  It poured torrential buckets for a little over an hour, which effectively killed the faire in terms of numbers.  Nevertheless, the show must go on, and we still had our third performance (after it had stopped raining, luckily).  Very small audience (mostly cast, honestly), but still enjoyable.

What else.  Got Kevin moved out of his apartment yesterday, which was 'fun'.  Not too bad, really, since we'd already done some preliminary work (he more than I) and his parents came down with minivan and flatbed.  Only scary part was when we thought we might lose the mattress and box spring while going through 5th and O. River... good times.  And then there was the cleaning, which was also reasonably painless.  Saw Cathy's senior recital afterward, and was greatly impressed: the tuba is an underrated instrument.  Also, any recital which includes P. D. Q. Bach's "The Only Piece Ever Written For Violin and Tuba" (S. 9, 10, big fat hen) has got to be good, right?  Funny thing, though: I had worn a hat on the way over, and I accidentally left it it the auditorium when I went off to the reception.  When I went back to get it, I listened closely at the door to make sure there wasn't a performance going on; hearing nothing, I went in.  I went in, and was greeted by stares from audience members, as my entrance coincided with a vocalist's entrance to sing another piece (they had been quiet in polite expectation.  So what could I do but close the door softly behind me, go back toward where I had been sitting, and send a msg to Amanda, who was giving me a ride home, saying "Trapped in aud in recital will leave as soon as able sorry.  If must leave will understand."?  Ariel Matthys, soprano, does a lovely rendition of Schubert lieder, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, the sun is rising higher and higher, and the apartment is somewhere between gross and squalid.  We have guests coming this week, so cleaning is in order.  And finishing a book of poetry for Monday, and commenting on people's poems, and seeing a choral concert, and celebrating a birthday.  I should probably also finish scheduling classes for summer and fall.  Just your typical, lazy Sunday.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Ok, so: the first two panels are story-related and won't make any sense to non-readers, but panels 3 & 4 speak so, so, so truly to my relationship with Kevin.  I'm Dora.

HERE
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Greetings from Ann Arbor!  (Alright alright, stop yer hissing.)

This is an odd town.  It's super yuppie.  But still, it's very cute, and the grad students are crazy-unionized.  And the co-op is beautiful and not at all unreasonable.  Kevin's friends Margot and Adam are also very cute, albeit in a much different (and more positive) way that Ann Arbor.  There apartment is huge and lovely, to boot.  We're having quite a good time, and it's very relaxing.

Yesterday, after a ridiculous amount of running around doing last minute errands, we drove up here through light snow showers (oh, Ohio spring) and made it here around six.  We promptly set out to do the most important thing to do upon arriving: set up our Mii.  Having done that all-important task, we set out for the local Ethiopian restaurant, which has the same name as the one in Columbus, Blue Nile.  It's... well, it's not bad, really, everything's flavorful and it's all-you-can-eat, it's just that I expected it to be somehow spicy, after the manner of Ethiopian food.  It wasn't, but I guess that's a concession to Midwestern taste buds.  Tricky part of having pre-prepared all-you-can-eat: you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Anyway, after that we went to Leopold Bros., a bar that I rather liked.  Apparently it'll be closing in the summer, because they distill all their own liquors on premises, and the bar business isn't pulling its weight.  Pity, too, since they've got great big tables, nice bright lighting, and any number of board games you can play (including, strangely but happily, Settlers).  Their special liquor last night was a Pisco, modeled on a Chilean liquor made from muscat grapes. It tastes sort of like a light tequila without the bite.  Very tasty.  Also their MichiGin and Tonic (G&T+tart cherry liqueur) is pretty awesome.  Only bad thing about it is that you can still smoke in bars in Michigan (I didn't realize until last night how used I've gotten to the smoking ban!), so you marinate in tobacco smoke.

Wii sports and YouTube watching (House of Cosbys = genius) followed after a walk home in the falling snow (I swear to God.  Albino brain chiggers.)  And then the sleeps!

Today was most leisurely, brunch at home, then a lot of Wii'ing, then buying foods at the Co-op for the sweet potato gnocchi and Greek salad we made tonight.  And Jeni's for dessert!  During part of the food prep and for a while after, we played Settlers on the computer, because we are geeky enough that there was a laptop for each of us.  Oh glorious wireless,  Oh fabulous Sea3D.  We were enjoying it enough, and then we switched to a couple of crazy-ass Seafarers maps and it got even better!  Plus we ate of the Jeni's ice cream that we had brought with us for Margot's birthday present.

ETA: I just had the weirdest thing.  They call it a chipati, and apparently all the pizza places here serve them.  It's basically a salad in a thick, chewy pita, with this weird mayo/vinegar/mustard sauce.  It's totally bizarre, and yet quite enjoyable.  Whoda thunk?
yrmencyn: (food)
Despite not getting to sleep nearly early enough last night, and then having to get up far earlier than I wanted today, it's been a really good day.  Today, you see, was absolutely gorgeous.  High of 75, if I recall.  So I got dressed and had a nice brisk walk to school, turned in my poems, went to my last class session for Medieval, had a good talk with Dr. Green about ballad/folksong scholarship, and then came home on the bike trail.  Halfway down it, I took off my shirt to feel the sun on my skin, and when I got home I just continued the disrobing, eventually sitting outside reading and notating sources in a pair of gym shorts and a pair of sunglasses.  Most enjoyable.  Then to top it off, Kevin and I made some fantastic seitan tacos tonight, with all the fixins: lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, guac, sour cream, salsa.  Oh, and some Spanish rice, because why not?  We stuffed ourselves to the gills sitting outside on the back patio, then went for a walk that ended up at Denise's for some ice cream.  I'm feeling really wonderful right now.  The weather's finally taken a turn toward spring (even if it is supposed to get a bit chilly this weekend), I'm on track to finish my work for the quarter without any major difficulty, I had delicious homemade food and some ice cream down at the neighborhood shop, I have a boyfriend who makes me ridiculously happy, and all in all life is good.  Awesome.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
What a great weekend I had.  Kevin and I drove out to Urbana-Champaign, where he did his undergrad, and I got to hang out, meet a bunch of his friends, eat some tasty food... all in all very good.

We started out at "Y-Thai," i.e. the little Thai restaurant in the on-campus YMCA there.  UIUCers seem to have a deep attachment to this place, and it wasn't bad.  The Thai iced tea was especially nice.  Unfortunately for Y-Thai, it got overshadowed that night by a visit to Siam Terrace in downtown Urbana, which was just amazing.  Seriously wonderful.  I had the Poh Taek (a delightfully citrusy seafood soup) and a pork green curry, nice and spicy.  Also tasted over people's entrees, and they too were amazing.  You need to be eating there.

Before Siam Terrace, though, we wandered around campus, Kevin giving me basically his version of a campus tour ("This is where I did <extremely specific activity>... and over there [waves hand vaguely] is engineering campus.  I think.").  The library, by the way, is beautiful.  I wasn't able to go in the stacks, since they're only open to Faculty/Staff/Grads/Honors Undergrad (which really gets my hackles up, honestly, but whatever), but I did see this amazing grand staircase that was four kinds of library porn.

Saturday and Sunday follow )
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
I have this recurring nightmare.  In the daylight, I can never really fully remember it, but I know there's some B-movie horror stuff running around in it (some sort of undead, I think, maybe vampires or zombies?), alongside some uncontrollable media (e.g. TVs that turn themselves on, messages and programs on TVs that directly address me, threatening information thereon that only I can see).  IT all sounds fairly innocuous, kiddie stuff, but it plays on three big things my brain responds to: classic horror, which is just fodder for my overactive brain, a fear of losing control, and a latent cultural mistrust of mass media.  The worst parts of these dreams are when I think I'm somehow protected (the method varies from a vaccine to an amulet to whatever), and then the monster in question is able to harm me anyway.  Hate it.

I can always recognize the nightmares; they've got a set of standard features, and they're pretty formulaic.  And within the dream, I'm always aware of its irreality, but I can't wake up.  It's a semi-lucid dream, but not one where I'm lucid enough to control or end the dream, so it ends up being sort of like I imagine it must be to rise to consciousness during surgery. 

This is The Dresden Files' fault, I think?  Not that it was that scary, but Liz, Kevin and I watched the series premiere last night, and it's the only trigger I can think of (the premiere, by the way, was good: I'll continue to watch).  I was very glad to be able to roll over and cuddle with my boyfriend when I finally managed to wake up in the dark of the early morning.  It's hard to resituate yourself in the realm of the real, but having an anchor helps.

PS:  Dear Columbus snow-removal people:  The snow stopped falling almost 24 hours ago.  I know the main roads are your first priority, but I also know you hadn't even gotten to bloody High St. by last evening.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad there's a plow on my street, but it would have been much more useful, say, yesterday afternoon, before the snow had a chance to be melted by traffic and then refreeze.  I swear to God, I don't know how it is that this city is so utterly worthless when it comes to snow.  Arg.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Greetings.  I just wanted to note two things.  First, we had a lovely party here for New Year's, saw lots of old friends (including some I hadn't seen in, literally, years).  I made some tasty food, a number of people brought snackums and drinks, and all in all a good time was had by all.  The group singing of Auld Lang Syne (led by my copy of Barenaked Ladies' Barenaked for the Holidays) was a special treat, as was having someone to kiss at midnight for, I think, the first time ever.

Second thing is to say that I've just now finished reading Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game for the first time ever in my 24 years.  Yes, I know, I waited more than a decade too long, but you know how these things go: sometimes important books slip through the cracks.  It was really stunning.  It can be read as an insightful treatise on the problems of interaction with an extraterrestrial species, of course, and in the unlikely event that that becomes more relevant I certainly hope the book is required reading at all levels.  That said, I think it's hugely applicable right here, right now as a story about the dangers and consequences of dehumanizing the Other.  It's a sad habit we have as a species, our willingness to paint those with whom we disagree as obvious fools or fanatics, when an interior examination would almost certainly reveal an internal coherency -- and thus an empathizable connection -- to rival our own.

In other news, OSU starts Winter Quarter tomorrow, and I can't access the registrar's site.  Which means I can't view my schedule.  Kevin helped me recreate most of it from other sources (he's a smartie, and I was having a mental block), but I still don't know where my Art seminar is.  Or when.  Or, for that matter, what the damn course number is.  Good times.  Guess I'll be calling the Department of Art tomorrow.  I'd use their website, but it is, unfortunately, pretty much worthless, a monument to form over function.  All pretty, no content. *rolls eyes contemptuously*

I bought a leather coat last night; it is sexy.  I bought Marcus Samuelsson's The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa today; I've been VERY excited about this one since I saw it about a month ago.  Yay Christmas money!  Also had my glasses repaired today, since one of the lens-frames decided to break at the bridge while I was cleaning them a couple days ago.  All-American Eyeglass Repair, 999 Bethel Rd. (just east of Kenny), was wonderful: fast, cheap, and the repair looks to be both neat (you have to know it's there to see it) and sturdy.

Finally managed to get over to the departmental office to check my mailbox, where I knew my portfolio was waiting.  Also there was my commented final paper from Phelan.  For once, I was very happy to receive comments on a paper; he noted a lot of places where my argument was weak or, more frequently, underexplored, and the comments were actually truly constructive, in a way that I don't often feel like I've gotten.  This felt more like I was being approached as a peer by a more experienced colleague, rather than as a peon by a professor just going through the required motions.  Not to say I've had all disaffected, disinterested professors -- far from it -- but it's been a while since a prof and I have both been on board; I've written a lot of papers I could care less about.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I had a pretty great Turkey Day+aftermath, I have to say.  Baked some 'pumpkin' bread (read: buttercup squash bread) and headed over to Brian's for he and Meg's celebration, which was pretty fabulous.  Brian's family, Meg's dad, coupla friends... can't go wrong.  All the food was absolutely delicious, especially the turkey that Meg+dad smoked on Wednesday (ja, smoked, on a grill -- fabulous).  I stuffed myself rotten just like at a Bierschenk Thanksgiving, called friends and family, re-stuffed myself on the desserts, and then rolled home fat and happy.  With a turkey carcass in hand (more on that later).

Kevin came back over after his family celebration in Dayton, and we... I don't know.  Watched Firefly?  The days have all blurred together.  The great thing about this weekend is that not only did I have a five-day weekend (oh frabjous day), but I started feeling a lot better with the whole mono business on Thursday, and then really felt pretty damn good starting Friday, yet I still had the joyful excuse of recuperation to forgive my incredible laziness throughout the rest of the weekend (well, until today, when I had to read Foucault, Greenblatt, and Lentricchia, but that was only about 20 pages total).

On Friday we did a lot of walking, just because.  From my place to the Target at the Lennox, then over to his place, then on down to the North Market for Jeni's, then over to his friend Mary's place... all told about 4 miles.  I seriously love to walk; I need to start setting aside dedicated time for walking; it would be healthy both mentally and physically.  Also, it helped on Friday that it was a Fucking Gorgeous Day (tm), sunny and 65 degrees.  So strange for November, but I'll take it.

Saturday I went on a secret post-Thanksgiving shopping trip, about which I shall say more tomorrow or Tuesday, then did other things which, for narrative reasons, shall also be postponed in the telling.

All in all, I spent a ridiculous amount of time with Kevin, and in general took a breather.  I will, of course, be well-punished for this in the coming two weeks as I desperately attempt to finish everything I have to finish, but for right now it was totally worth it.
yrmencyn: (food)
There's something ironically satisfying about sitting here, watching a vaguely Thanksgiving edition of Iron Chef America (with special guests Giada De Laurentiis and Rachael Ray paired up with Bobby Flay and Mario Batali, respectively, whee!), and eating a mug full of instant Stovetop stuffing (don't worry, I'm having real Thanksgiving dinner later, this is just to tide me over).

It turns out I don't have strep after all.  My nasty, pussy throat is apparently not a secondary infection at all, it's simply an effect of the bloody mono.  Lucky me.  So now instead of the ibuprofen (somewhat effective, but I had to up my dosage, which was going to give me an ulcer) and the lidocaine mouthwash (pretty much ineffective), I have prednisone (a steroid) and Tylenol 3 (with CODEINE!).  Very exciting.  The steroid is already helping to reduce the inflammation (thank. god.), and the Tylenol 3 actually let me sleep through the night last night (well, except for having to get up to pee, since I'm drinking... probably a couple gallons of aqueous liquids a day).  So yeah, I'm thankful for that.  Also thankful for the wide variety of herbal teas on the market nowadays, since black tea (and even maybe green) would just dehydrate me.  Further thankful for a wonderful boyfriend, who came over last night and made dinner, then sat with me and watched TV until all hours of the night :)

Parenthetically yours,
Mike
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Hello LJ-land.  I've just been alternately busy, lazy, and dead-tired, that's what's been going on since... uh... September, effectively.  I had a good weekend, thought I'd jump back into my obsessive chronicling with that.

The weekend in question started on Thursday.  I had dress rehearsal that night, but more importantly Catie had mentioned a concert: Joanna Newsom.  I may be poor as shit right now, but I can definitely find thirteen dollars in my budget to see Joanna Newsom at Little Brothers, which is probably my favorite venue in Columbus.  She was delightful.  She opened with "Bridges and Balloons," right as Kevin and I finally got through standing in the long long line; beautiful timing.  I didn't even realize that she has a new album coming out, but apparently Ys drops on the 14th (i.e. today).  The CD apparently has heavy orchestration, but the touring group was this amazing folk instrument band.  Get this: in addition to her harp, two guitarists (who played guitars of various sizes), an accordionist, a banjoist, a non-trap-set percussionist, and a female backing vocal who also played handheld glockenspiel at times.  So.  Good.  I think she played the whole album straight through, from what I understand.  Only problem was that I wasn't entirely recovered from the venomous plague I had the past week, apparently, so I was very stiff in my back muscles (enough that the massive flow of endorphins was making me very dizzy), and toward the very end of the concert I was very nauseous.  Didn't ruin my enjoyment, though.  I <3 you, Joanna.

Friday the One Acts opened, and they went well, especially given that we were in the space for the first time ever 30 minutes before we opened.  Attendance was pretty decent, and Kevin brought me a rose :)  A cast party followed at my place afterward, about which the less said the better.  It wasn't bad, it's just that... arg.  Parties.  I enjoy them, but I'm getting too old for this sort of thing with people sitting in my living room drinking cheap beer and playing drinking games.  Why can't we just sit around and chat like civilized people?  Still, good times.  And remarkably untrashful.

Saturday and Sunday were mostly lazy days, which really wasn't entirely responsible but was most enjoyable.  The remaining two days of show went well, and though I did enjoy them, I'm also quite glad it's over.  It was a drain on my time, and the quarter's getting crazy.

I think that's about it from me now, kids.  I'll try to do better.  I know I've said that many times now, but I always really do mean it; it just doesn't seem to happen, is all.
yrmencyn: (food)
It's been a good couple of days, I would say.  Let's rewind to Thursday (and I realize I've been absent a while, but get over it), when I had my weekly poetry workshop.  Now, I'm going to start off by saying that I love all the people in my workshop, because they're smart, creative, and generally both articulate and insightful about what needs to be done to improve a poem.  Still, the first time through on getting my work reviewed was a mixed bag, because while everybody liked a lot of the imagery in it, they pointed out a lot of dead weight that needed to be axed, and then the general consensus was that the poem lacked a certain finish or punch -- i.e., where's it going?  All totally true, and I needed an outsider perspective to see it, since the damn things bounce around in my head so much I really can't step far enough away from my work to really do a good job of auto-critiquing (it's a skill I'm hoping to develop in the next few years).  This week, though, there were glowing reviews of the poem I had submitted, including an implicit comparison to Hopkins, which made me feel warm and fuzzy.  Not that the poem's perfect, not at all, and I got a lot of good ideas about how to tighten up the language in the less strong portions.  Still, ego boost.  I'm not above acknowledging this to myself.  Riding on the wave of that good feeling, I volunteered to be one of the readers at the next Mother Tongue reading, which will be at Barley's Underground (it's on High in front of the North Market) on Oct 26.  Mark your calendars!  I'll be reminding as the date draws closer.

et caetera )
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
See, I'm in hate with Cleanth Brooks right now.  Being "in hate" is analogous being "in love": it is a passionate, though ultimately transitory period of high wrathful dudgeon, destined eventually to subside to an abiding simmer of loathing.  My present wroth is caused by Brooks' essay "Irony as a Principle of Structure," which I just finished reading at Cup O' Joe, in preparation for class tomorrow.  It starts out (seemingly) straight-forward enough: Brooks basically asks why poetry uses metaphor so much (uh, basically because if you just said "X", that'd hardly be poetry [which... whatever, I have my reservations/objections, but it's not my essay]).  He then wanders off toward irony, which he sees as a contextual function.  I can vaguely connect this to metaphor, although honestly it's a stretch (which he himself doesn't make).  THEN, he [sort of] reveals that he's interested mostly in why critics of his age are so apt to cry "irony!"  Thus as a completely logical extension he begins to speak of the merits of a Jarrell poem.  And comes to a 'conclusion'.

I'm sorry, but, while he's got some good material in the essay (and in case anyone whose specialty this is reads the above: yes, I know I'm grossly simplifying his essay, in part for dramatic purpose), his structure is just not good.  I'm not requesting a five-paragraph form, certainly; that particular form is boring and excessively limiting.  But I wouldn't mind him actually sticking to an argument, or providing pertinent support, or maybe returning to a point to tie it together.  Right now he's got a through-composed piece, where what he really needs is a verse-refrain sort of gig.  It's maddening, it's like he decided "I'm a beeg eemportant theorist, I don't need to hew to standard rhetorical principles, reader be damned!"  Yes, we teach people how to write an argumentative paper for the express purpose of having them be able, eventually, to rise high enough in the academic echelons to eschew such forms entirely.

So anyway, you can thank Mr. Brooks for this actual update, since I just have to take a break before tackling the next bloody essay; hopefully it'll be more parseable so I can actually write a damn Statement of Understanding that doesn't have to include the phrase "irredeemably confused."

I've had a very good weekend.  Kevin and I got together Friday evening to go out, which is a sort of novel idea :)  We've tended to cook at home, or just hang out, or go to a gathering, or whatnot, so actual 'dates' have been less present.  After looking at some menus online, we decided to go park in downtown Grandview and wander about looking at places before deciding.  We did so, and eventually decided to go to Spagio.  The food was delicious (he had the potato gnocchi with veggies, and I had the fresh mushroom pizza), the waitstaff was attentive, friendly, and competent, and the atmosphere was trendy while still feeling cozy.  I may also feel somewhat biased toward them because of the bright and sparkly caipirinha I had to start off the evening while we waited at the bar (a caipirinha is similar to a mojito, but has no mint and is made with the Brazilian sugar-cane liquor cachaça).  Dinner was followed by a trip to Jeni's ice cream next door, where you really can't go wrong.  Cantaloupe sorbet, Backyard Mint, and Buttermilk Strawberry.  Mmm.  Hold onto the flavors of summer while you can!

We went and met [livejournal.com profile] nogoodnick and [livejournal.com profile] piobaireachd at the Arena Grand to see The Black Dahlia (stopping en route at Caffé Apropos to see some of Kevin's friends who were there for the weekly wine-tasting.  Of the movie... well, less said is more.  There were some moments that were good, but by and large it was a big disappointment.  I think it was trying to evoke film noirs of a bygone era, and occasionally the diction was perfect, but usually the effect was humorous, since... well, swing and a miss.  The styling, however, was very well-done in my opinion; it's a pity the rest of the movie didn't hold itself up to the same standard.  Oh, as a last note: while the movie was mostly a wash, the [unintentionally?] hilarious performance of Fiona Shaw as Ramona Linscott was worth the price of admission.  Almost.  Anyway, then we went back to his place and went to bed, it being late and all.

Saturday.  Oh, Saturday, what did I ever do to you?  You were supposed to be a productive day :)  Instead we ended up going to Penzey's (after a long saga involving the recalcitrance of Kevin's car to, uh, work), because that's what you do.  Oh, spices.  So inexpensive if purchased in small quantities.  We love you.  And then, of course, what does one do with new-bought spices but cook with them?  I'd had this idea for a roasted allium pasta sauce, and decided to try it out, so we headed to my place.  Although the recipe diverged from my mental plan at some point, the end result, with roasted garlic/onion/bell pepper and fresh garlic, plus veg stock, wine, and spices and just a touch of cream, ended up being quite delicate and very good with tagliatelle (although if I make it again I'll chop the vegetables finer to make a more homogeneous sauce).  Also a sort of mango wine cooler/bellini appeared at one point, with Covey Run's off-dry Riesling and some mango nectar.  Mmm.

Next, since it was stormy out anyway, I decided to try this intriguing recipe I'd seen for pfeffernusse cookies.  It was intriguing because the method was rather unusual... almost more like a candy recipe than a cookie recipe.  The results?  Wretched.  I mean, really, really unpleasant.  The cookies looked benign enough, but upon mastication they transformed into a substance midway between taffy and caramel.  Oh, and they had a sort of... crust?... that went crunch when you bit it.  The mouthfeel was horrifying.  I link the recipe here only so you can look at the method and go "huh?" So glad I halved that.  Do not make this cookie.  I compensated for the horrible failure by breaking out my mixer and making my old standby: chocolateless chocolate chip cookies (basic Nestle Tollhouse recipe, omit chocolate chips, add in whatever you like, in this case walnuts and chopped dates).  They are, as expected, perfect.  We ended up the night by watching the first few episodes of West Wing Season One, since Kevin had never before watched WW (SIN.).  Discovered that night on the Anime channel (who knew there was such a thing?): Bento Beat Box, an all J-Pop music video program.  Addictive.

Today we had brunch at Whole World, up at High and Como, and it was great.  Their vegetarian sausages were startlingly good recreations of their meaty brethren, and I really can't figure out how.  The texture was almost perfect, and I want to know how the hell they managed it.  Kevin suggested TVP, which seems like a possibility.  Mind-boggling.

And then we come back 'round to the beginning of the entry.  Ain't that a deal?

Other than Cleanth Brooks, the weekend has been wonderful.  I've tried to keep my cute down to an absolute minimum, but... *smile*  Like I told my sister a few days back: I'm really very happy.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Oh, LJ.  Has it really been that long since I updated you?  Ah... Jeez.  I have no idea where to start or what to say.  It's been too long.  Life is good in Columbus.  The days are turning cold, which is great -- there are no open windows tonight at our apartment!  Yay!  It's 54 degrees outside!

Classes begin tomorrow.  If I'm lucky, my brain won't spontaneously combust as soon as Dr. Phelan starts talking about Critical Theory in my 9:30 class.  Then on Thursday it's time for my first official workshop.  We'll see how that goes.  From the very small experience I have of workshopping, I expect a session full of arg and yar.  Hopefully some fun too.  Oh, and 17th century novel after that.  Sorry, I'm in the midst of doing that thing where I wonder what the fuck I'm doing.  Impostor syndrome and all that.  It's a pretty normal thing, it'll pass.

Kevin and I went to the Columbus Microbrew Festival last Saturday, which was spiffy!  Lots of tastiness.  And pours which were definitely in excess of the promised 4 oz.  And all for a very reasonable amount, which included a commemorative pint glass.

So many other things.  Parties.  Potlucks.  Walks.  Dinners.  Hanging out.  Meeting people.  I just can't catch up.  Hopefully I'll manage to do better now that I've got something resembling a schedule.  Night all, hope everyone's doing well.  I have been reading :)
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.

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yrmencyn

December 2009

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