yrmencyn: (Default)
Um. Hi.  I don't even know where to start.  There have been a lot of things I've wanted to post about in the past... uh... couple months.  But I never seem to actually post, and I've been thinking about this.  Historically, I tend to post less when I'm in a relationship, but I don't think that's it.  I mean it's part of it -- I've been word-vomiting at Jarod, instead of doing it here, and then I just feel like I'm rehashing things I've already dealt with if I put it up here -- but it's hardly all.  Honestly, the other thing has been my stress level, which I didn't realize was so high until it dropped.

explaining myself )Upcoming events )

Anyway.  I'm sorry for being away.  I've been absent at best.  I'm going to try to be back, because this is important to me -- my friends are important to me.
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.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I feel very accomplished right now.  I took pretty much the whole day off on Sunday, because it was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS outside for the first time this season.  And then I slept pretty badly that night, so I had to come home and nap after teaching on Monday (thank God my afternoon classes were canceled that day [professor -- same one for both -- was out of town]), else I fall asleep at my desk.  And then, as naps so often do, even when necessary, the nap pretty much made me worthless for the rest of the day.  I made a delicious risi e fagioli soup with swiss chard, which I *am* proud of, but that was about it.

So I realized last night that I had about three days worth of work, and about a day to do it in.  I started in on it this morning, and the longer I worked the more I realized how incredibly fucked I was.  I mean really, royally screwed, as in neither prepared to teach nor learn tomorrow.  I was supposed to rehearse with Minstrelry tonight, but I sent them an apologetic email and put my head back down and worked more.

And here it is, a quarter after midnight, and I'm about to go to sleep.  I have graded papers, I have written a short-short story, I have written up commentary on a classmate's manuscript for baby fic, I have revised and expanded my lesson plans for tomorrow, and I have attended a planning meeting for the end of the year (yeah, I would have skipped that one, too, except I didn't realize until about 10 minutes before we started how slammed I was, and I was already sitting there doing work while other early-comers chatted around me).  I still have 12 poems I need to comment on before the undergrad workshop I'm sitting in on this quarter, but that's not until 5:30 tomorrow -- I've got three hours of freeish time sprinkled throughout the day tomorrow, and I should be able to squeeze that all in.

So I'm tired, and I'm stressed, but I also feel proud of myself for managing to keep my nose to the grindstone* all afternoon -- I'm generally not good at that kind of sustained effort.  And in the end I managed to dig myself out of my hole, so go me.

---

*I nearly said 'nose to the wheel', which seems to be a conflation of 'to keep one's nose to the grindstone' and 'to keep one's shoulder to the wheel'.  I think I sort of prefer the neologism to either standard saying, but oh well.

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!]:
harvest
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: (vdub)
Mwahaha!  My 4.0 reign of terror continues.  It's just fun; I never once got a 4.0 in a single quarter when I was doing my undergrad here, and now I've got it cumulative!  Anyway.  Guess Dr. Green thought it wasn't a bad paper after all.

EDIT: OK, I just checked back to make sure, and I did manage to pull off a four-point in AU03. Still.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Jesus.  This was a very long day, and it did not start auspiciously: while I was first sitting down to the computer, I looked out the window and saw snow flurries.  Yes, it was in the 70s yesterday, why do you ask? 

Anyway, my day was spent almost entirely in the process of writing my final paper for Medieval Lit.  It is, I swear, the longest 11 pages I have ever written.  Seriously.  Took me HOURS, which is just bizarre.  Also it's long in word-count.  For 11 pages, at the standard approximation of 250 words/double-spaced page, you'd expect about 2750 words.  I've got 3348, and that's with a half-page image and a fair number of block quotes.  Do I just use a lot of short words, or something?  Seriously.  Anyway, this paper has definitely made me appreciate the field I'm studying in, where we write papers but rarely.  I'm fascinated by theory and academic research, but I fucking hate writing the papers.  Hate it.  Violently.

The high point of the day was Minstrelry rehearsal this evening.  We've got our performance pretty much set, and it's timed very close to right.  We started off a little sluggishly, but it ended up being a very productive rehearsal.  In the interest of tightening up our act, we have a favor to ask.  A week from Sunday (the 25th, that'll be), we're going to try and rehearse at Browning Amphitheater at 11am, and we'd appreciate it if some of you would come and give us some constructive criticism/feedback.  I'll keep you updated on any changes.  Thanks in advance.

Anyway, Spring Break has now officially started for me.  I have finished everything I have to do for this quarter, save actually putting my paper in Dr. Green's box (and I'll do that tomorrow).  Now it's time for the ritual returning of library books (and boy do I have a lot of them).  Tomorrow, Kevin and I are headed up to Ann Arbor to visit one of his friends on her birthday; we'll be back Monday or Tuesday.  Thank God this quarter is over; it was really brutal.
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: (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.

/wins

Mar. 4th, 2007 03:54 pm
yrmencyn: (Default)
An email from my art prof:

Hi Mike,
I wanted to deliver your midterm grade before we meet for final
project presentations on Wednesday, so there is at least a slight
demarcation between the two.  You receive an "A" for a fascinating
and erudite presentation on musical notation which led to new ways of
thinking about reading, writing, listening, and interpretation as well.  Bravo.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Holy Jesus.  I just came back from Neil/Dodridge, and the roads are super-shitty.  It's completely ridiculous.  Can we get some fucking salt trucks on the road?  I mean, Jesus, it's like a half-inch of snow; can we not deal with a simple dusting of snow?  The answer is, apparently, 'no', since that light dusting has now turned into a smooth plane of ice in the travel lanes.  Honestly, Columbus, what the hell.

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

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

Anyway, I'm just doin'.  Gave a successful presentation on my progress on my final project for Editing/Publishing, so all I lack's finishing up in that realm.  Lots of editing to do on my poetry (and another poem to submit tomorrow, mustn't forget), and a paper to write for Medieval, but I think I'll get it all done without too much ulceration.  Oy!
yrmencyn: (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)
Work today pretty much blew, to put it simply.  There were an inordinate number of charts to file, and I did nothing else from the time I got there until the time I left, discounting lunch.  I made a dent, but not a big enough one; I'm going to have to work like crazy to get somewhere close to caught up tomorrow.  There should really be more than one person filing, for this volume, ugh.

So by the time I left, after my usual quittin' time, I was beat.  There was, of course, but one thing to do: go home to change, and immediately adjourn to Chelsea's to read a book, drink a beer, and consume an entire plate of cheese fries (and those of you who've been to Chelsea's know how big those plates are!).  I felt completely gross when I was done, but in a very satisfying way.  Sometimes it's completely appropriate to abuse your bodily systems in retaliation against ill-defined blandishments.

I read the first half of Tobias Wolff's Old School this evening, and I'm quite enjoying it.  The reason I'm reading it is because it's the common book for OSU freshmen, and I volunteered to lead a session in one of the survey classes discussing the book; Michelle Herman of the CW faculty has been harassing faculty and staff to lead them :)  In addition, and here's where this gets interesting, I've also volunteered to be on a related question panel on Coming Out.  Old School deals with the narrator coming out as a Jew to his New England prep school classmates, and Michelle and Janice Miller of the Statistics faculty thought it'd be an interesting idea to do a separate session, outside of class, to further explore the concept of coming out -- as a Jew, as gay, as an addict, as bulimic, what have you --, and I volunteered to do that as well: in for a dime, in for a dollar.

In a sterling burst of meta, it functions as a furthering of my own coming out process, which is interesting.  It's only in the past year that I've really started acting on my sexuality, so I feel almost like this panel is a bizarre form of non-film cinéma vérité/reality tv: see it as it happens!  Like CNN, but live-action and at Hillel!  So odd.

Um... I'm bad at conclusions.  It's a failing.  I'll leave with a couple of entertainment-related items.

1.  There is a channel out there that I recently found through [livejournal.com profile] queenmargot, called The Tube.  It's wonderful.  It's what MTV should be: they show videos, and that's pretty much it.  I've seen a couple of PSAs on there, but I don't really have a problem with PSAs, and a couple of promos for WAFB, the local network affiliate, but those aren't too annoying.  AND: they play videos from all over the timeline.  I've seen a few current ones, but also a whole lot of stuff from the 80s, 90s, even the 70s (concert footage, mostly), including a lot of stuff that isn't really MTV fare anyway, which is nifty (though don't worry, mainstream vids have a strong presence, too).  It's wonderful.  Baton Rouge, you can see it on Cox Digital channel 120.  Columbus, you can see it on WOW 140 or Insight 834.  Other markets, you can check the site.  Highly recommended.  Seriously, they're playing David Gray's "Babylon" right now, and it's (a) one of my favorite songs ever (b) never, ever, ever on the radio or the tv.  Score.

2.  Thanks to the inestimable [livejournal.com profile] puppetoflove, I can now share with you a link to the video of the Dixie Chick's "Top of the World" (originally by the fabulous Patty Griffin).  I strongly suggest you all watch it, even if you think "Ew, country music."  Reasons?  Well, first off, it's a great song.  Patty Griffin is by far one of the most talented songwriters of our time, and the Dixie Chicks are very talented performers, and this is a standout track from Home, their best album to date IMO.  If you've ever wondered what it is I see in the Dixie Chicks, this should answer.  Second, the video itself is beautifully done.  It's artful and technically skilled, and it actually adds a layer to my understanding of the song, which is something that I can say for only a tiny minority of music videos out there.

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