yrmencyn: (food)
I swear my days are slipping away from me.  I'm sitting here trying to figure out what I've done in the last couple of days, and I feel as if I'm missing chunks of time.  Course, I may have slept late for a while, so there's that.  I do know that I went out for drinks with a number of creative writers on Thursday night, and by drinks I mean 'a drink,' since (a) it was 10% ABV (b) it was $8 (c) I'm old.  The Piraat beer at Surly Girl is tasty, though, I'll say.  And it was really good to see those folks, since many of them I haven't seen since June.

And then Friday morning disappears into the mists.  But on Friday afternoon, I headed down to Thurn's Specialty Meats.  Y'all, I've been meaning to head down to Thurn's for a long damn time.  And it's well past time I did so, since I bought 2.5 pounds of the most beautiful andouille sausage, and it was only $12.40.  Love it.  I'll be telling you about it.  I already used some in a breakfast thing, and it was delicious.  Red beans and rice, here I come.

Anyway, Friday night was a going away party for Nick and Tania, two of my friends from way back when I lived with Kyle sophomore year.  They're headed off to New York, and I feel a little bad.  I fell out of touch with that whole group of people, and right as I'm getting back in touch a couple are leaving!  But hey, at least I made it there.  It was an elaborate ruse: fake reservations at the Columbus Fish Market, flimsy excuse to go drop things off at the party location, etc.  They were very surprised :)  And hey -- potluck! 

More rambling and food photos follow )

---------

On a totally unrelated note, I am officially a HUGE Valentina Hasan fan.  I say this without sarcasm.  She's got moxie.
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: (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: (armadillo)
Wow, I'm just really not normal, am I?  I was sitting here, and I thought "I'm still hungry, but not enough for a whole 'nother meal" (take that, Taco Bell's so-called Fourth Meal!).  So what did I do?  Did I... run to Taco Bell anyway?  Heat up some leftovers?  Go hungry?  Eat jellybeans?  Or did I go into the kitchen and make a little tiny portion of lentils?  If you guessed the lentils, you know my madness too well.  I dunno, I just LURVE LENTILS.  They're so filling, and they cost almost nothing, and they're absolutely delicious, so nutty and fantastic.  Throw in some minced onion, a little cumin, maybe some curry powder (or hell, just straight up turmeric and coriander)... you've got a party.  A delicious, nutritious, economical party.  I am such a dork :)

So, the weekend's events.  First off, since I know everybody's been wondering, the brisket was amazing :)  It was so tempting... a vegetarian even ate it!  In my defense on that count, I didn't even pressure him, I just turned around and he was eating it.  As he said when I questioned him, "It's a brisket made by a Texan, how can I not?"  I can't say I disagree.  The party was also fabulous!  The rain played nice, and though it was overcast the whole time it only sprinkled briefly, so we still boated, grilled, and swam, huzzah!  And then a large portion of Jägermeister seems to have disappeared over at Angélique's house, which was good times.  I think I may have taken... 6 shots?  I don't know.  I'd had quite a lot of beer at that point, plus swigs from a bottle of mezcal (the cinnamon-flavored magic that Michele brought me from Oaxaca).  Other highlights?  Black bean pupusas, crawfish pies right off the grill, fresh cracklins (read: still warm from the fryer), seeing quite a large number of my friends, staying up talking to Gél until quite late.  Lowlights are composed entirely of injuries: I cut my fingers a couple of times on twist-offs (did they start putting those on tighter or something?!), and I burnt my arm on the oven coil as I was warming the brisket: there's a really cool dark-colored blister full of liquid on my arm!

Failures, however, happened today.  Mainly these failures are sartorial.  See, I went through my clothes and got rid of things I no longer wear.  The thing is... I now have no cold-weather clothes.  I can list the cold-weather garments I have: a few pairs of jeans, a hoodie, a flannel, a weird cowboyish double-breasted corduroy shirt, and a couple of fleece jackets.  That's it.  See, two things have happened in the past few years.  First, right toward the end of undergrad, my arms grew a little bit.  This means that quite a lot of dress shirts just don't fit right, but unlike down here, I can't pull off the "look at me, I'm so casual with my rolled-up sleeves" look throughout most of the year.  Second, my style changed (for the better).  I've become much more comfortable and happy with my body in the last couple of years, and thus I've gotten away from wearing baggy clothes.  So I've got a lot of clothes, and not really bad ones, but they all need to be, like, a size smaller.  And I'm done growing.  So away they go.  I was really quite frustrated by this earlier, now I just find it ridiculous.  I'm going to be spending a lot of time in thrift stores.

Still, the day was not a complete loss.  Tasty pasta happened for supper (leftover brisket and carne asada pasta with dry gnocchi), the girls gave me a very sweet going-away gift (giant picture collage), and I finally bought a hands-free kit for my phone, thus enabling me to drive and talk at the same time without feeling like I have one less hand than I need for phone, wheel, and stick.  Plus I watched an inordinate amount of Sports Night, did laundry, and boxed up books (I have 14 boxes of books, total -- that's ridiculous).  And of course my tasty lentils :)
yrmencyn: (food)
The weekend hasn't been terribly productive, I'll admit.  It has, however, been very relaxing.  Saturday I began the day by doing some internet research for my paper for Dr. Stone: finding sources, basically.  I think I'll be writing on Guilhem de Peiteus' "Farai un vers de dreyt nien."  Every since I first read it, it's gotten stuck in my brain; the final verse throws up so many amazing images of distributed problem solving and vortices to my brain that there's GOT to be something to use there.  Soon, though, I headed off to the departmental crawfish boil.  Heather and Rich were kind enough to take me up to Todd's, since I had zero interest in driving my sick car that distance.  I adore crawfish.  I do.  They are delicious, delicious:
DSC00088

Of course, there wasn't just the systematic dismemberment and consumption of riparian crustaceans.  The French Department, by which I mean to say the grad students and, yes, the faculty of the French Department... played flip cup.  I give up, the world is officially too weird.  Pictures may be seen here, although I've done some judicious selection.  After the boil finally wound down, I got dropped off at Erin's, where I was supposed to have joined up with Erin, Mandi, and Katie three hours earlier.  Oops.  I still got to have the delicious food they made: Mandi's broccoli-cheese casserole, Erin's chicken masala, and Katie's Kahlúa cake -- yay to all, so good!

Today I've pretty much stayed at home.  I considered getting up around mid-morning, but then [yet another] heavy squall drove through, and I took advantage of the fact that I had nothing scheduled today, that is to say, I pet the cat a couple of times, then rolled over and slept in the midst of the storm.  Although I've done some more research today, I spent most of my waking hours reading.  A couple weeks back, I was reading TIME magazine, and I came across a review of David Mitchell's Black Swan Green.  It tells the story of a year in the life of 13-year-old Jason Taylor, each of the 13 chapters set in a different month (January 1982-January 1983).  Mitchell captures the life of Jason beautifully, all the confusion and uncertainty, the jockeying for position and belonging.  Plus it speaks to me on a poetic level: Jason is a poet, and Mitchell is too, really: his ear for the language is spectacular.  Anyway, after I read the review, I went and bought the book.  And I don't mean the next day or anything, I mean I got to the end of the last paragraph, closed the magazine, got in my car, and went and got it RIGHT THEN.  I suggest you do the same after coming to the end of this entry.

Other than reading, I finally broke down and braved the difficulty of my engine to go to the grocery store.  I bought the ingredients I was lacking for some red beans and rice to be made tomorrow (I can eat that for a LONG time, thus avoiding further grocery trips), and the things I needed to make a bread gratin.  Yes, a bread gratin.  I made a tasty beer bread the other day, and I combined cubes of it with an herbed béchamel sauce, some halved cherry tomatoes, and snips of green onion in a baking dish, topped it with some three-cheese blend, and baked it until it got deliciously bubbly.  It was scrumptious.  Seriously, so good:
DSC00112

Oh, yeah, and I scheduled classes for this fall on Friday night.  Poetry Workshop, of course, but also Intro Middle English (713) with [*check this*] Richard Green (PanOp players die laughing) and Phelan's Intro 20th Cent Lit Crit (767), aka "Everything you ever wanted to know about 20th century literary criticism".  Usually I'd be taking a greater proportion of CW classes, but there's only the genre workshops offered in Au06, and I've got to take 15 qtr hrs under my fellowship.  So... I'm taking the opportunity to front load some of my required non-studio classes while I'm still in practice.  Andrew (my advisor) is a little uncertain of my choices (especially when I had planned on taking two lit classes [McHale's 20th c. fic was already full when my window opened]), but hell, I've taken 3 and 4 grad-level classes at a time here in Louisiana; I think I'll manage.  Only thing which makes it a little freakier is that I've been used to a flat letter system in grad school, as opposed to OSU's plus/minus system, which makes it a little more tricky, less room for error.  Then again, I'm not currently planning on going on to a PhD, so it's not so much a big deal... still, better not to shoot myself in the foot.

Anybody as feels like praying, lighting candles, or just thinking happy thoughts, think them in Liz and my's direction.  There's a house that we desperately want to rent, we'll see how it goes.  [And, yes, I thought about the double possessive for a LONG time before putting it that way.  In speech I vary between that form and "Liz and mine's".  Go fig.]
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I was very drunk last night.  Very, very, very drunk.  How do I know this?  It's not that I chose to use SoCo as a mixer for my rum - although there's that, too.  It's not that I woke up covered with a blanket on the cold wood floor - although there's that, too.  It's not even that I puked three times (that I remember) - although there's that, too.  No, the real clincher is that when I took a shit this morning it smelled alcoholic.  My feces smelled alcoholic.  Blah.

I have slept a lot today.  After I drove home at around 9, I changed out of my clothes and slept until 1:30.  Then I took a shower and dozed on the bed until about 3.  Then I actually got back under the covers and slept until 5.  I also slept on and off from about 7 to about 9:45.  And now here in a bit I'm going to go back to sleep, because I'm still tired.  I really should have, I dunno, eaten something at the party.  Or drunk some water.  Blah.  Happy Birthday Rebecca; I should know better than to poison myself like this.  Luckily with enough sleep my body will heal itself; tomorrow morning I should be ok.  And ravenously hungry, if experience proves.

On the other hand, I just had a nice surprise, which made up for (1) feeling craptastic today and (2) Grey's Anatomy being very badly paced, IMHO.  I got my Annual Statement from the federal Direct Loan people, and apparently when I consolidated my loans, in the eyes of the government I paid off all my accrued interest from undergrad (in addition to the principal, but that doesn't really do anything tax-wise).  So... I downloaded the 1098-E, and went off to H&R Block's website to update my online stuff (luckily I hadn't filed yet; I'll wait a couple more weeks for other mysterious forms to come in).  And you know what?  My federal refund almost doubled.  YES!  That will make an impressive dent in my credit card debt.  I am so very happy.

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yrmencyn

December 2009

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