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)
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: (Default)
To Do List

Already done:
Provide feedback on 22 Visual Remix drafts
Write a poem for tomorrow
Memorize one of three Frost poems*
Organize the ream of paper needed for Commonplace Workshop II in a non-computer classroom

Due Monday (i.e. later today, since it's after midnight)
Comment on my classmates' poems
Comment on the undergrad's poems (I'm sitting in on an undergrad workshop)

Due Tuesday
Provide feedback/grades on 22 Commonplace manuscripts

Due Wednesday
Make marginal notes/write summary letters for four fiction manuscripts
Comment on (more) undergrad poems

Due Friday
Write a short story.  (Words thus far written: 0; ideas thus far had: 2,345,678; ideas thus far discarded as crap: 2,345,678)

Long term (by which I mean in the next two weeks)
Grade research papers (LONG overdue)
Revise first short story, and maybe second as well (but maybe not).
Revise poetry portfolio
Grade Visual Remix finals
Grade Commonplace redrafts
Find gainful employment for the summer (probably)

Not scheduled
Sleep

*My poetry workshop prof this quarter thinks we should memorize poems and recite them in class.  Although I sort of agree on an ideological level that we should know poems by heart, it's quite annoying when your plate is completely overflowing and there's no bloody time.  Let it be known that I memorized Robert Frost's "I have been one acquainted with the night" in about ten minutes.  Eat me, Robert Frost.  (But thank you for writing in terza rima, a helpful mnemonic device.)
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.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Sigh.  I'm writing my final paper for my folklore seminar right now.  I'm currently struggling  with length... you see, the syllabus calls only for "a research paper," but gives no length requirement.  Which is great, in a way, since it means that I don't have to worry about holding to a certain parameter.  The problem is that I then have to play this weird guessing game: how long does she want it?  I have six pages right now, and I'm honestly not sure if I'll more than double that; is twelve pages really sufficient?  My gut reaction is "no," but I also feel constrained by the miniskirt doctrine* -- I don't want to add filler just for filler's sake.

I feel like my own words to my students are coming back to haunt me!  Expand and explore, I tell them, and that should be my advice here, except that I'm not sure how to expand; it's mostly an observational study, and the only way I can think of to truly lengthen it would be to start going off on theoretical stuff.  Problem is, that's not interesting to me, and it would really change the nature of the paper (I'll already be discussing some theoretical ideas, and throwing in more would seem superfluous).  Not to mention that I only have a few hours and I'm constrained by my own procrastination (note that I'm sitting here writing up an LJ entry).

Ack.  Too short and I look like a slacker.  But how short is too short?  Hate hate hate.

*This is something one of my French profs at LSU told us about our papers. "They should be like miniskirts: long enough to cover everything, but short enough to be interesting."

ETA: Yep, 12 pages on the nose.  Let no one say my powers of estimation are lacking.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
The quarter that is.  I seriously feel like I'm barely hanging on at the moment.  It's mostly because I didn't start researching the seminar I have to lead tomorrow last week, like I meant to, and madrigal took up a helluva lotta time over the weekend, time when I could/should have been working on stuff.  I'll be fine, I think, but up til now I've been taking it all one day at a time, because that's about all I could encompass, but I've got to start adding an overlay of long-term projects.  Maybe this weekend I can get on more equal footing.  I say that every weekend, but one of these times I've got to mean it -- and this is a good weekend for it, since on Monday I have to submit my 5-8 pages of poems for a special week-long workshop.

Also, I had trouble being productive last night because I kept looking at pictures of Dan Radcliffe.  Have y'all seen this?  He's starring in the West End revival of Peter Shaffer's hugely important and controversial play Equus.  To promote the production, the PR team released a series of publicity stills.  And the thing is, Alan Strang (the main character) spends a lot of time being fully or partially nude... which is reflected in the pictures.  I remember saying Radcliffe would be a fine looking man when he grew up... I just didn't expect him to be so, um, grown by age 17.  Pictures can be seen here, or you can find some higher res ones here.  There are a couple more available on danradcliffe.com, but their server is being pretty much flooded.  I feel a little like a dirty old man, but, well, he's acting like an adult (and, as an aside: good for him, to take such a challenging and fulfilling role), so I'm damn well treat him like one.  You know what I mean.

Oh please.

May. 15th, 2006 02:25 am
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Hahahaha.  I finished my paper quite far ahead of my (very conservative) schedule.  It's done, thank you Mr. Pump-Pot Full of Coffee.  There's just one catch: I have run out of printer paper with 13 pages still to print.  It's not actually a big deal, since I can just yoink some from Shane tomorrow morning, but it's emblematic of the way this entire paper has gone.  Sheesh!

If anybody wants to read a paper entitled "Spiraling into the noosphere: Finding the contraclau in Guilhem de Peiteus' 'Farai un vers de dreyt nien'", just let me know, heh.  It's... odd.  I think I may have actually written on two topics at once, but I think I integrated them fairly well.  Kinda weird, but good.  Sleep now.

ETA: Heh. Poor little printer, I think you're getting too old for this. You still do ok on 'draft', but when you're printing in 'normal' mode you get confused and stop halfway through a page, sort of like an old man who stops halfway down the block to go "Am I wearing pants?" before realizing that, yes, you are, and then you have to regroup and be like "Oh, yes, the second half of page 10. Right."
yrmencyn: (Default)
It is 9:10pm.  I have 80 oz. of black coffee from Highland Coffees in a pump-pot in the kitchen.  I have 6.5 pages written (which is somewhat further than I expected to be with the material so far, so woot).  I have 14 hours until I absolutely have to leave to drop off the paper.  At a rate of one page an hour, I get 6 hours of sleep, and I'll go faster than that rate.  I've got this thing.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
So, last Friday I was pretty stressed.  And now I'm doing better, and thought I'd just give an update.

The poor sad car
This morning the other guy's insurance finally got a real contact with him (they've been playing phone tag), so I was able to start the repair process.  Estimate went very smoothly at Adams Collision, who I'm already feeling very good about.  $2711 of damage, but I don't have to pay one red cent.  My advice: if you must get rear-ended, let it be by an insured driver.  There was some very frustrating miscommunication on rental cars, but it needn't really be recounted.  Suffice it to say I had my engine diagnosed, and the engine trouble isn't related to the wreck, but is rather an odd coincidence -- the engine trouble is from my spark plugs marinating in ditch water for over a week after I forded the street in my Corolla in Lafayette a couple weekends ago.  So I have to pay for it, but at least it's just plugs and wires, not transmission or something truly wallet-breaking like that.  And once they drained the spark plug sockets of water, it runs SO much better, enough that I wasn't afraid to drive it around on errands today.  I'll get the plugs/wires replaced tomorrow, and then after Adams gets the parts in, I'll get a rental for the 8 days it'll take to fix my poor sad car.  Good as new!

The job situation
But before I can get my car fixed, I have to go to an orientation tomorrow at Louisiana Cardiology Associates.  Barring something completely crazy and unforeseeable, I'll start as a file clerk the Monday after graduation.  Will it be soul-crushing, suicide-inducing work?  Possibly.  But it pays, and they don't mind me disappearing for three weeks to go work at a heart camp (as well they shouldn't, CARDIOLOGY people!).  In addition, I have a strange enjoyment of clerical work.  I actually really like sorting things.  I like putting things in other things (stuffing folders, gift cups, whatever).  I can just put my brain on idle and use most of my brain for other things.  The trick is not to fall so far into the Zone that it turns into a fugue state.

Schoolwork
I've still not even started writing my paper for Dr. Stone.  However, I used a lot of my time today productively, reading and annotating articles instead of just reading TIME or a pleasure book.  As soon as I can sharpen my thesis statement (it's still a bit nebulous at the moment, I'm looking for the little bit of thought that suddenly snaps it into sharp focus), it should pretty much write itself, well in time for me to finish it by Friday (my deadline, in advance of the actual Monday deadline).  Still haven't met with Sylvie about the research assistantship stuff, but I think I'll try to do that next week.  I'm slowly working around to a 'fuck it' position.  I still fully plan to fulfill my obligations and complete a great pair of syllabi long before I leave , but it just ain't gonna happen by graduation, so I'm not really worried about it.  Fire me.

Yesterday was moderately unproductive in schoolwork terms, but I don't regret it at all, and I did get some annotation done.  More importantly, I saw Thank you for Smoking with Mandi.  I'm feeling that this entry is currently too long already, so let me just saw: hilarious.  I haven't laughed so hard in a long time -- it skewered everybody, without regard to politics or stances.  There were. no. heroes.  It also provoked thought, but without detracting from the pure enjoyment factor, which I think is important.  Following that, we went to pétanque.  Being forty minutes late, we didn't play, but I did take a great picture of this butterfly that was flying around alighting on anyone that would stand still more than two seconds.
Papillon de pétanque!

Post-pétanque beers at Chimes, congratulatory dinner for Tanja at Chelsea's (yay ABD!), Gilmore Girls and Scrubs at Erin's.  A good day.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
I am so frustrated.  I really need to find a job for the summer, outside of the 3 weeks in July I'm already committed to working at Camp Bon Coeur.  That big chunk of time, however, is proving to be a major problem.  A lot of places I just haven't even bothered to apply, because they're not the sort of jobs that one could, oops, disappear from for the better part of a month, especially not after having worked there for only a month or so.  But if I can't find a job, the possibilities go from unpleasant to really unpleasant: attempting to up my credit line and then maxing it out.  Borrowing money from the parents.  MOVING HOME TO LIVE WITH THEM OVER THE SUMMER DEAR SWEET GOD IN HEAVEN NO.  I seriously am starting to freak out a bit, and this on top of stressing over my final papers and things.

What's really exacerbating my frustration is that I got an email through the creative writing listserve at OSU about a job with American Greetings (the card company) working in their creative studio in Cleveland for a huge $15-20/hr with very flexible schedule.  But... it's in Cleveland.  1.  I'm not sure I'm really mentally ready to just up and leave Louisiana yet, and 2. Even if I were I don't have the faintest clue where the fuck I'd live for the summer (or for that matter where I'd put my crap in the interim).  And for that matter, 3. I don't even know if the company would be ok with me going away for 3 weeks, which I neither can nor want to not do.  But it just looks so tasty... arg!!!!  Hate.  I AM BEING DRIVEN MAD, MAD I SAY.

And. And! And? I nearly freaked out today. I was dead tired after my noon class (because I got up way before I ususally do in order to write a paper), so I went home between it and my six o'clock. As I was getting in the car, it started to rain, and it looked exactly like it did two days ago when I got hit. I started shaking and only narrowly held it together. I just really wanted to cry, because I was so frustrated with myself, because goddammit fine, I got in a wreck, move on, not every car on the road is waiting to hit you, you don't have to flinch every time you're at a red light and another car moves up behind you as they are wont to do, you insane batcase lunatic. I'm a fucking mess, I realize this. I need to chill for a bit, but I've got not only a damn research paper, but also finishing up my research assistantship stuff which I've been putting off which is absolutely no one's fault but my own and I recognize this but still JESUS it's not something I want to deal with at the moment and oh yeah at some point I have to deal with getting my damn car repaired probably right in the middle of my family being down for graduation if I time it super-duper-well as I have a terrible habit of doing and fuck it I need to sleep before I really go off the deep end. Ugh. UGH. Night.

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yrmencyn

December 2009

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