yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Well, here I am in Chicago at the AWP conference.  We've been having a good time -- rode the Megabus on Wednesday, getting dropped off near Union Station just a scant mile from our hotel.  Brogdon, Maria and I are staying at the Palmer House, and.. god, y'all, that's some swanky swank there.  One of our fellow conference-goers (who is wisely staying at the Travelodge; we booked our room before we found that the department was cutting our funding) calls it the four-dollar-banana hotel, for lo, that is the price of a banana on the room service menu.  But it's also absolutely gorgeous, and really with the conference rate it's affordable, even if not super-cheap.  No use crying over spilt milk, so I might as well just enjoy the luxury :)

Yesterday, the first day of the conference, I was a bad conference-goer.  I didn't even bother to show up to registration, much less attend any panels or talks.  Instead, Brogdon, J-Love, Annie and I went to the Shedd Aquarium.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  The exhibits are very well laid out, they have a great variety of different ecosystems represented (everything from the Amazon to the Mekong to the Caribbean to Lake Michigan wetlands), and at 17.95 for all that and a 15 min Planet Earth short on a big screen, it was totally worth it.  When I die, I want to come back as a Leafy Sea Dragon, is all I'm saying.

we continue exploring... )

...and then I talk a long time about queer poetics. )

And now back to rough drafts.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I have a new favorite topping combination at Hound Dog's.  Green olives, sauerkraut, and Cajun hot links on thin crust with spicy sauce (basically sliced andouille sausage).  Unfortunately, I do not foresee a good deal of this heartburn-deluxe pizza, because I may be the only person I know who would not only tolerate but adore this combination.

In other news, the quarter started.  I'm only taking the one class, a seminar in the 20C long poem with Brian McHale that is super-awesome while also being slightly frightful.  Currently reading for Thursday: Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red, a novel in verse.  I'm only about a third of the way in, but I can already recommend it.  It's a fast and completely engaging read.  I'm so in love.

Tried out for the Columbus Gay Men's Chorus after years of hemming and hawing over whether I should.  Helped in this by the fact that my boyfriend's in it; it's a bit of an incentive.  Had an amusing moment when Jarod reported that the director said to him "He's actually really good!"  Not really as insulting as it sounds; since it's an open chorus (auditions are for placement, not admission), the fact that I was tagging along with a significant other didn't really speak volumes about my abilities.  We're doing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in conjunction with the Columbus Children's Chorus, which is pretty awesome.  Show goes up the 20th and 21st of March; more on that later (and more on whether I got any sort of non-chorus role).

As you could surmise, things are going well with Jarod.  I'm very happy right now, even in the midst of this demon quarter that, for all I'm probably doing less work on a daily basis that last quarter, is still kicking my ass.  Although I did nearly die of sexual exhaustion over New Year's weekend, which would have been... awkward at best.

Currently teaching 110.02, which is the Literature-based section of First-Year Writing.  I like this group of students, I like my teaching slot (MW 3:30-5:18), and I'm glad to be working with literary texts -- it's fun.  Just recently got offered (and accepted) a section of 266, the undergrad poetry workshop, for spring quarter.  I'm over the moon about that, since I was in no way expecting to get to teach workshop a second time during my tenure here.  I have so many ideas for how to do better!

Turned in ~45 poems to Kathy at the end of Autumn Quarter.  She seems to be of the opinion that I've got length covered for my thesis, though I'm shooting for more like 60 poems.  We haven't actually talked about it yet, since she's swamped with other stuff, but I'm feeling more optimistic about my thesis and my writing in general than I have in a while.

Minstrelry's got a private gig coming up the first weekend in February, which is pretty exciting.  It sounds like it's going to be a really fun event.  My only regret is that a couple of fabliaux I discovered in my research -- "The Three Women Who Found A Penis" and "The Knight Who Could Make Cunts Talk" -- will not be appropriate to the occasion.

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

Poetry fun

Aug. 5th, 2008 03:05 pm
yrmencyn: (Default)
I'm reading Ben Lerner's The Lichtenberg Figures, which was due to the library yesterday, oops :(  It's a fantastic collection of mostly-free verse mostly-sonnets that I highly recommend.  Anyway, the reference at the end of this stanza made me giggle aloud, which rarely happens.  Unfortunately no one asked me what I was giggling at, so I'll just share it with you.  Shh, don't tell.
While you were at tennis camp, I was finger-banged

by a six-fingered man.  I replaced your dead goldfish
with another dead goldfish.  I put your dad in a headlock
and your mom in a home.  I ate your juicy motherfucking plums.

              from The Lichtenberg Figures, page 31
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
God this week has been grueling.  I finished everything I detailed for this week back in this post, but it wasn't really pretty.  Tuesday was given over almost entirely to grading one assignment, and it was only because I declared Wednesday's class session of 110 to be an optional studio day that I managed to get all the letters written for fiction workshop.

In other fiction news, I spent most of yesterday wandering around in my head with a queasy stomach, trying desperately to write something, anything.  Seriously, by standards and goals were plummeting by the second, to the point that I would have been happy just churning out pulp in order to fulfill the requirement of a second story.  I had this idea for a love triangle involving a comatose person (which, somehow, would fail to resemble Hable con ella), and I kept moving the people and genders around, but it was gelling, and it was HORRIBLE.  So I started writing a different story, and that worked better -- I liked the voice and the characters -- except that I realized at the end of the day that I had no conception of where the plot was headed.

Not fun.

But I kept writing, hoping the characters would do something, in that way characters do if you're lucky.  And one of them did: she died.  The wrong one.  So that was surprising.  But it turned into a story that was at the very least acceptable to my tastes, and might actually be halfway decent, though I can't really tell yet. 

This just confirmed that I am really not a fiction writer.  I may write more fiction in the future -- in fact, I hope that I do -- and I hope to write some non-fic as well, but poetry is really how my mind works.  So I think I might revise poetry today.  It seems like a good thing to do.  And then maybe tomorrow I'll do research papers.  I'm gonna make it, somehow.
yrmencyn: (food)
I'm reading Sarah Vowell's The Partly Cloudy Patriot right now, and one of the essays is an open letter to Bill Clinton, regarding her advice for his (then as-yet-unbuilt) presidential library.  But that's not important.  What *is* important is that she quotes three lines of poetry that I consider to be some of the best ever written, from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself."  (Specifically, they're from Section 51 of the 1891-92 edition, or just, uh, 'near the end' of the 1855 edition):
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)


I had a really good evening.  Kevin and I were both getting mopey and blah, sitting around the house.  So we figured, well, we have stuff to do, but by God we don't have to do it here.  To the coffee shop!  Unfortunately, there was an unusually large crowd there, perhaps thanks to Mozart's having an open house thing that crowded out some of the folks who usually study there.  Fortunately, we ran into Elizabeth and Amy, two great folks in the MFA program, *and* we managed to poach their neighbors' table when they left.  Score!  So we sat around and gossiped with them for an hour or so, which was really great.  I usually see both in them in the context of much larger, louder gatherings, so it was a welcome change of pace to just sip coffee and chat.

We went pretty much directly from Cup O' Joe to [livejournal.com profile] gothicsquish's opening at MadLab downtown.  There was also good fun to be had there.  All the pieces were interesting, and Squish has an absolutely gorgeous piece there that she hasn't posted online -- it's well worth the trip!  Also, cocktails sausages and do-it-yourself bruschette (ok, not really bruschette, since the bread wasn't toasted, but still delicious).  It was nice to get out and see work in an interesting space, and to get to chat with her and [livejournal.com profile] lucki_dog.  Kevin and I had been considering going to Tip Top for dinner, since it's right around the corner, basically, and we invited Squish, Lucki, and their friends J and M along.

I hadn't ever been to Tip Top before, but I'd heard good things about it.  As I understand it, it's run by the same folks who run Betty's and Surly Girl, both of which I consider to be broadly-appealing crowd pleasers, and Tip Top was no exception to the trend.  Not one but two of our party got a grilled goat cheese salad, which I nearly ordered.  I would have regretted not getting it, too -- it looked and smelled divine -- if my pot roast hadn't been so delicious and tender.  And the Ohio nachos (i.e. made with thick, crunchy kettle chips) and country fried steak looked pretty great, too, as did the corn chowder and the baskets of sweet potato fries.

And then to make it really fun, we ran into a former glee clubber of Lucki's and my acquaintance.  Apparently L runs into him strangely frequently, but I haven't seen him since... what... Europe trip of '02?  That can't be right, but it's what my brain says.  Anyway, it's weird, because I was just thinking about him the other day.  So yes, that was cool.  Hopefully the obligatory exchange of cell phone numbers means we might actually catch back up.

So yes, I would say it was a good night.  Old friends, new friends, medium-aged friends, good food, good art, good talk.  We win at socializing.

Hi peeps

Oct. 31st, 2007 10:34 pm
yrmencyn: (Default)
We-e-e-e-ell, it's been about two and a half months since I put up a substantive entry.  I don't even know how to give an update of everything that's going on.  I've been really busy for... oh, since school started.  Teaching is kicking my ass four ways from Sunday.  Not that it's too hard -- I think I'm doing a good job -- but it's just a lot of damn work.  I know the teachers on my flist are rolling their eyes and saying "Uh, yeah," but really: it surprised me.  I think it'll be better next quarter, since I won't be preparing lesson plans all the time, and I'll have some sort of idea what I'm doing.  Or I could be totally wrong, and it'll still be nuts.  Either way, that's part of the reason I've been gone so long (although I assure you, I've been reading, even when not posting).

My Student/Faculty Reading went well.  I got many compliments, and I felt like it was a very successful time.  I like performing.  I'm fascinated by the performance aspect of my profession, which I think many of my colleagues don't think about, or discount.  (Not to say they're bad for that; everybody has different interests.)  It was a great experience, and I'm glad that my family was there for it (Mom, Dad, my aunt, my sister and her husband, Kevin).  Poetry in general... I feel like my work is strong recently, and that's great.

The broader academic view... oy.  There's a good chance I'm going to be going back to school after I'm done with this degree.  I hate this.  I mean, I like to learn.  I really do.  But more grad school... man, I will have been in post-secondary school for nine years after I graduate with my MFA.  I'm burned out.  I don't know if I can handle three (or more) years after that.  And yet, it's REALLY hard to get the kind of job I want without a PhD.  So I don't know.  I'm looking at regular ol' academic PhDs and PhDs with creative dissertation, but I'm also keeping my eyes open for other ideas (university jobs that I might could end up with despite not having a PhD, prep school gigs, the dreaded adjunct positions, etc).

Er... that's about enough writing, I think.  Yep, yep.  Maybe we'll try to make a tradition of this.  And maybe I'll see some of you tomorrow night [I'll be singing! Songs!]:
yrmencyn: (Default)
So things here in Columbus-town are interesting, as always.  Last weekend Kevin was in town for my birthday/Mollie's birthday/Liz's move-out/why-the-hell-not, and in a surprising turn of events we ended up moving all his stuff out of the storage unit and into the apartment, thanks to the unexpected opportunity to press a friend and his rented moving van into service.  Now K's back in DC, and I'm left here with this bizarre apartment that's gotten stuck in the middle of a transition.  Which is fun.  On the other hand, Liz's old room has undergone adequate conversion into The Study, so I'm sitting in here at my desk looking out over the sunlit front lawn.  And a shirtless man wielding a wheelbarrow just jogged up the hill.  So that's something.

I should really be working right now, but I spent a little time earlier typing up the poems I've written so far for my independent study of poetic repetition, and in the process discovered that I've written more than I thought I had.  That seemed like a good enough reason to reward myself with a little break.  This, by the way, is the reason the reward system has never worked for me as a means of self-motivation: I'm too good at rewarding myself.  I think, "I'll just reward myself with a half-hour of TV after I read these two 20-page article," and if I'm being surprisingly diligent, I'll decide after the first article that it was really quite dense, and I deserve a reward now (more likely, I'll decide I deserve the reward after about half an article).

I'm trying to puzzle out my new neighbors.  I mean, there's a big PODS thing sitting on the lawn, which is currently being unloaded.  But... the apartment next door isn't really that terribly nice, as far as I can tell.  And PODS, while not super-expensive, just strike me as a slightly higher-budget solution than the next-door apartment signals.  I also can't tell who lives there (as is common, there are a lot of people helping to unpack, but it's hard to say who the actual tenant(s) are).  I'm pretty sure the guy with the puntable dog lives there, but I'm at a loss for the others, if any.  Time will tell.

Elisa and Francis got married down in Nacogdoches on the 28th, which was very nice.  They both looked fantastic, and I felt rather honored to be able to contribute my voice to their wedding.  Although they did make it hard for me by choosing the most emotionally-charged song in the American Catholic repertoire, "On Eagle's Wings," which has been sung at more weddings, funerals, and other major milestone events than I can possibly express.  Nice and easy to sing without choking up.  But yes, a lovely ceremony and reception, all done in-house: no wedding planners or caterers.  I have the memories of making countless fruit skewers to attest to this.

What else is going on... poor Jetta.  The AC died about an hour into my drive from TX to OH, which I guess really makes it "poor me."  It's in the shop right now.  Hopefully Tom (mechanic) will get back to me soon about an estimate, and hopefully said estimate will be less than astronomical... AC repairs aren't really know for their cheapness.

That's most of the news from Lake Wobegon.  And now it is off to Pistachio with the inimitable [livejournal.com profile] merodi_no_yami and [livejournal.com profile] flohchica!
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)
Hi, LJ folk.  How was your Memorial Day?  I have to say that mine was pretty nice.

I mixed up some barbecue seitan, along with some homemade barbecue sauce. (I love making barbecue sauce; it's so easy, yet so great once the long long simmering is over!)  We also threw some corn on the grill.  Kevin made coleslaw, and I made some bread.  So in the end we had something resembling Carolina barbecue sandwiches (i.e. pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw on top of the pork), except that the barbecued 'meat' was a patty.  Also various kinds of tasty summery beers -- you should try Blue Moon's Honey Moon Summer Ale, it's like spicy, citrusy candy, and yet nothing like their spring ale (which was also like spicy, citrusy candy).  After food, we [the roommates, basically, for a sufficiently broad definition thereof] played a couple of games; a five-person round of Puerto Rico, and a round of Chez Geek (which I sat out of in order to write a bad poem).

After Liz and her man had gone to bed and Mollie had left, Kevin and I sat on the couch and watched some more eps of Slings & Arrows.  If you aren't familiar with this show, you should be.  It's set at the fictional New Burbage Shakespeare Festival (similar to the actual Stratford Festival), and follows the off-stage drama surrounding the on-stage drama.  It's completely brilliant.  Those Canadians, I swear, they make some amazing TV.  A quick glance on Wikipedia seems to imply that the third season (from the summer of 2006) was their last; I hope this isn't the case, since from what we've watched so far of the first season it's simply amazing.

Today is a return to the real world of school, but honestly it's not bad.  In an amazing reversal of the usual order of things, the end of this quarter is very low-key for me.  I've got some poems to revise, and that's about it.  Unfortunately, this also leaves plenty of time for self-recrimination.  The poem I wrote yesterday for forms class is really and truly crap.  I mean, it is a turd of a poem.  I'm embarrassed to have sent it out to my class.  So last night I was beating myself up over it, which I normally wouldn't have time for.  Luckily, however, I was able to write a new poem this afternoon that makes me much happier, so maybe that'll be enough to make me feel like less of a hack in class.
yrmencyn: (food)
French 716.02: Take a 1.5 hour final test for no apparent reason, since I'm not even in the class
Art 895: Complete final project
English 662: Give presentation on project-in-progress
English 662: Complete prospectus for online literary journal (Monday)
English 763: Revise my seven poems for portfolio (Monday preferably, or Tuesday)
English 818: Attend final class session, during finals week (Tuesday)
English 818: Read and notate my stack of secondary sources
English 818: Write 10-20 pages on The Gast of Gy (Friday)

Totally doable, which is why I'm making vegetable stock right now.  It's great, you just save all your vegetable trimmings in a gallon freezer bag, and when it's full, you add some garlic, herbs, and a lot of water (and a bag of leek tops, in my case).  Simmer for an hour, and hey presto!  Stock.  Soon I shall bathe and revise poetry.

ETA: I always forget: making stock is like a contest to see how many pots I can dirty in one sitting, what with the simmering, the straining, the cooling, the storing. Good times.
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!


Feb. 13th, 2007 05:37 pm
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Oh day of no classes! 
Oh brisk snap of freezing rain on window-pane! 
Oh mug of hot chocolate with liquor in it! 
Oh Johnny Cash! 
Oh poems of Cate Marvin!
Oh warmth of blankets and warmth of friends!
Oh purr of cat and knead of paws!
Oh joy of quiet stillness.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Oh, food.  Sometimes you are delightful, sometimes I use the wrong horchata recipe and end up with a vaguely rice-flavored beverage with a texture reminiscent of... hmm.  Ok, you know how, if you put a dairy product in an acidic liquid, it ends up with a bunch of little curds?  Like that, but the curds are made of cooked rice and almond.  That shit is lo-fi, man.

Not to say I can't cook recently.  I've got a custard for Maritime Mist ice cream in the fridge, which I'll freeze tomorrow; it looks to be lovely.  Maritime Mist is a tea blend from the Great Lakes Tea and Spice Company, with an Earl Grey base combined with creme and vanilla flavors, and mallow blossoms.  I know, right?  Full of nummies.  I only fear it might be TOO sweet -- tomorrow will tell.  Also recently made, a lovely vegetarian shepherd's pie for a veggie potluck that people in Kevin's program do.  The 'meat' was mushrooms and lentils, a wine reduction, and the requisite carrots and celery.  In hindsight, some balsamic would have gone well, and I forgot to add any bloody garlic (which borders on the unthinkable), but it was still an unconditional success.  Oh, and just to prove I still have meat cred, I made some savory oatmeal with a bacon base for dinner this evening (I used the recommended 'heart-healthy' serving size of oatmeal for extra irony).

More words. Many more. On varied subjects. )
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Today was a really interesting day for me, artistically.  Wednesday nights I have my Word & Image seminar, and tonight we met out at the Ackerman Library, specifically at the Book Arts lab in that building.  It was really fascinating to see some examples of artists' books, to see what people have done creatively.  We have to do a final project for that class, and though I might do something totally different, I have all these book-thoughts in my head; the possibilities are so numerous!  I've got Liz checking out this kind of canvas that you can run through an inkjet printer (having, myself, no hand-drafting skills to speak of, I must use the computer).  I'm also wondering if I could get fabric to go through if I starched the ever-loving hell out of it?  The main problem is stiffness, and to a lesser extent strength: the material has to be sufficiently paper-like to work with the automatic mechanisms of the printer.  I know there are so many more things to do with book-arts, but this is just the current bug that's biting my brain, printed fabric.

[And then when I came out I found I had gotten a $50 parking ticket.  I knew that space was too good to be true!  Although I can say in all honesty that I saw no forbidding signage.  Oh well.]

My interest continues to be piqued by a mini-project for my Literary Editing and Publishing class.  Working in pairs, we have to present an introduction to a literary press or journal, and my partner brought to my attention Tarpaulin Sky, which appears to be mostly an online lit mag, but is also a press.  They make some really lovely stuff.  Their online mag is well laid out, but I think they really shine on their print work, which is just outta sight.  It's beautiful stuff.  Although certainly for visibility's sake one would like to be published by Sarabande or Copper Canyon (which, I realize, only poets have heard of, but trust me: they're bigguns), the product they're putting out over at Tarpaulin Sky seems like it must be a joy to hold and look at, on a totally extra-textual level (which is sort of where my head's at right now).

So rarely do I feel so full of ideas!
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: (Default)
Ye gods.  I am so out-of-date in the updating.  It's unforgivable, it really is.  So I guess you'll be getting random bullet points, because I know if I tried to do a full-fleshed narrative I'd be here 'til next week.  So in the order they first crop up in my brain:
List! )

And that about does it.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I'm afraid.  Over a year ago, I started making plans to overhaul my life and the direction it's going.  It seemed like the right idea at the time, and to be honest it still does.  I'm looking forward to working with other writers.  I'm looking forward to started somewhat anew again.  I'm looking forward to getting into esoteric conversations about rhyme and meter, imagery and metaphor.  I'm looking forward to all the surrounding material, but I'm afraid, because sometimes I worry that the core is rotten.  I worry that it's all a fluke.  I wrote some good poems, I guess, poems that I liked and other people seem to like, but I can't help but think I'm kidding myself.  I'm not much of a writer, volume-wise.  I've got well less than 100 poems to my name (and that's setting the bar WAY high, just so I don't accidentally lie) -- what kind of 'writer' turns out less than one poem a week?  It would be one thing if I edited and carefully revised, haggling with my inner editor over every precious syllable, but I don't.  The words come out of my head, they hit the page, I'm done.  I feel like I'm barely involved.  I worry that I'm a fake, that I got lucky, or that even worse, I had something and it went away. 

I tried to write tonight.  I wanted to write, I wanted to express what I was feeling about some life stuff, and what came out was a disjointed set of meta-thoughts and a set of four short stanzas that, even as I was writing them down, I knew were cribbing their form from a song I'd just listened to.  I looked back in my poetry journal just now (an actual book, not an online journal), and it's been over two weeks since I wrote.  And if we're talking about something that I really felt good about, it's been six weeks, with a gap of months before that to the prior good composition.  So... can I do this?  Am I going to fall flat on my ass?  Has my mother been right all these years, and it really is going to catch up to me?  I put a good face on it, but inside I'm terrified that this is finally the obstacle I can't overcome.

I'm not trying to be melodramatic.  I realize it comes off very apocalyptic, but really I'm just... resigned.  Which is probably the worst thing I could possibly be right now, as it will do nothing to get me out of this, but I can't find my groove.  I can't grab hold of the rope and rein in the words.  And all I really wanted to do tonight was to find a way to tell a couple of friends that I love them and that I wish I had the right words to really let them know that.
yrmencyn: (food)
I seem to have just broken a wineglass.  Blast.  I'm very annoyed, because it wasn't even mine and thus I feel compelled to replace it *rolls eyes*.  Hélas.

So, let's see.  A veritable bevy* of food-related items. 
1. DSC00014
I have eaten a lot of pistachios recently.  I bought a bag of them in some gas station in... I think Kentucky, but maybe Tennessee?  Anyway, I ate them all the way back from KFLC, spitting them into a soda fountain cup.  The shells, les voici (plus from other days afterward, of course).

2.  DSC00018
I made Giada de Laurentiis' Roman-style chicken tonight.  Well, kind of.  My memory failed me yesterday, and I bought pancetta instead of prosciutto, d'oh.  Still tastes good, nevertheless.  Oh, and I should have brought the chicken to room temperature before browning, then it would have... uh... browned.  Luckily I had some extremely gelatinous chicken stock/drippings left from a while back, so that makes up a lot of the lost flavor.

3.  John Folse (famous Louisiana chef) is hosting/catering a Friends of French event next Wednesday.  The plates are $50 apiece.  Apparently faculty had been instructed that they must invite (i.e. pay for) a student.  I had not gotten an invite (we'll skip over my being miffed, since the faculty member who likes me most... lives in New Orleans and doesn't associate with rest of the French Dept.), and thus I was very sad.  Let us observe the menu I was missing:
Canapés: Duck Rillette, Almond Mushroom Duxelle, Spicy Shrimp
Soup: Bouillabaisse
Salade Niçoise
Entrée: Coq au vin
Dessert: Baba au rhum
I mean, Goddam, how can I not be there?  And then today a little bird tells me Caroline didn't want to choose somebody, and just said "assign me somebody."  Well, she was never assigned anyone, so I assigned myself to her.  Now as long as there's still space left I get to eat the tastiness.  Whee!!!

4.  I adore Abita's seasonal beers.  Their current seasonal beer?  A "harvest lager," which is a nice crisp lager with -- get this -- a light taste of Ponchatoula strawberries.  It's delicious, much less fruity than a lambic but much more rounded than your standard beer.

&c )

* bevy is herein defined as "three or more"


yrmencyn: (Default)

December 2009



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