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Archive for February, 2009


Long day full of not a lot.  Didn’t have class this morning, so I got to sleep in and make Lewis a tasty weekend-like breakfast with some of the tasty hot sauce he made yesterday.  I did manage to mow the lawn today, which was a really nice excuse to hang out in the decent weather and sunshine.  Did a little weeding even, and spend a while gazing lovingly at the waxwing flock in our tree.  I need to spend more time outdoors that doesn’t involve moving from one location to another.  I’ll be happy when it’s toasty enough for long enough to read on the lawn again.  It’s been so damp this winter!  You know, for Davis.

Did manage a few accomplishments today.  Bought my tickets to San Diego for my grandparents’ joint 80th birthday party in April, so that ought to alleviate some parental worry.  Also turned in my neuroimaging quiz, which went slightly crappier than I could have hoped.  I’m definitely a little out of my league, so getting a decent grade I’ll consider a triumph.  I really have no idea what I’m going to get as a final grade in that class – as far as I can tell, it’s going to be entirely dependent on 3 quizes, the second of which I just finished today.  Got an A on the first one, and I’m feeling B on this one… so hopefully I can nail the last one as scrape by with an A- or such in this class.  Phew.

I also baked a loaf of bread!  I haven’t made this recipe for potato bread for a few years, so it was a nice one to come back to.  The potato in it always makes it turn out nice a moist and smooshy, which is great.  I did forget to put the butter in, but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference.  All in all, pretty great.  After all that, I was pretty pooped today, so I sort of slugged around and ended up needing to go out for dinner, despite having lots of food here.  I was just too knackered to cook, and was feeling really ready to get out of the house anyway.  So Lewis and I had a great sushi dinner, and I was feeling much more relaxed and put together by the time I got back home.  Though we did reneg on a pictionary party with the philosophy grad students.  We’ve got a party to go to tomorrow, so I’m not feeling too bad… but we are so terribly unsocial some times!


What a great day I had!

I only have an hour of classes on Thursdays, so they’re basically my best day.  But today was especially great.  We’re doing student presentations in semantics, so all I had to do was hang out and listen to some folks chat.  Went and had lunch out in the sunshine with Lewis, and hung out a bit in the library.  Picked up a book I needed, and also a Dickens book I think I’ll read.  I’ve never read any Dickens, but I’ve been rather into the Victorian-esque stuff for the last few years, and it seems like this isn’t far off that mark.  Though truthfully, seeing Masterpiece Theatre’s “Oliver Twist” was the real inspiration.

Came home and had a very nice lazy afternoon getting some small work done.  Decided I wanted to do something exciting with my evening that involved more than television, though… so I made pizza!   From scratch!  It was so fantastically exciting, I don’t think I can really capture that in the old blog.  I really should have taken pictures… but anyway.  The dough making was really, really easy (much easier than making bread!) and it only necessitated that Lewis and I walk to the store to pick up our topping ingredients while it rose.  I love it when your dough rises just exactly like it’s supposed to!  By the time we had shopped and walked back home and cleaned up a bit, it was all ready to go!  So we made half a sausage/veggie combo, and half a barbeque chicken.  Good gravy was it good.  If for some reason I had mozzarella around regularly, we’d be completely doomed.

And in the meantime, Lewis tried his first go at making Tabasco-style hot sauce!  Turned out pretty darn good.  It’s just got jalapenos and habeneros and vinegar… but it’s really sweet and nicely spicy.  Put it on the pizza and it was great.  Looking forward to maybe making eggs or potatoes or something with it for breakfast.  Seems like the perfect topping for some breakfast spicyness.  Mmm.  We’re spoiled people.  Full of our own handiwork.

Ooh, and we watched Bill & Ted over pizza.  Can you really top that?  I don’t think so!


I forgot to mention the most important part of my day yesterday!  First I suppose I must publicly admit that I really enjoy birdwatching, and I have since I was a little kid.  Anyway, having looked through my bird books a million times, there are a few birds I’ve always wanted to see.  Long story short, the cedar waxwings were high on my list, and yesterday I found a whole flock in my back yard!   Watched them for as long as I could before we had to take off for school, and it was most excellent.  Here’s a triumphant picture I didn’t take, from the excellent Cornell Ornithology Lab:

Cedar Waxwing!


My day was pretty bueno.  I did take the opportunity to sleep in this morning, and it was fantastic!  I don’t skip class very often- in fact, I think this was the first time I’ve missed Quechua except the day I was sick, and let me tell you, sleeping in on a Wednesday is pretty dang fantastic.   My Wednesday was especially empty today at that, since the class I TA for had no homework due this week thus I didn’t need to meet with my professor.  Yay!  So one meeting was all I had today, and it went pretty well.  Talked to my QP advisor about some interesting issues today, and he seems to be really into what we’re doing, so that’s nice.  Now to polish off my blissfully short week – one class worth of student presentations in semantics, and a cancelled Friday class!  What luck!


Blog, I had such big plans for you tonight.  But my legs are absolutely killing me (I do not know why.. they do this sometimes) and now I’m not sure how much I can stand before I go to bed.  I can at least hit the major points… maybe it’s time to go list-format:

The Great:

  • semantics presentation went smashingly!
  • triumphant post-presentation hot dog lunch with my sweetie
  • got a surprising amount of work done
  • excellent Obama speech watching!
  • settled on San Diego travel plans finally (I owe Lewis for this one)
  • went out for pie and coffee this evening just because!

The Bad:

  • cat tried to bite me, shame on him.  had to swat him with a midterm I was grading.
  • my legs… boo!

You can tell it’s been an excellent day when I have to grasp at straws like that on my bad list.  What’s even better… I’m not sure I’m even going to go to class in the morning.  I’ve left it up to morning-me to decide, but I’m feeling rather self-congradulatory, and like I deserve a little spoiling.  Besides, I’m taking Quechua pass/fail and I’ve got like 99% at the moment.  I can well afford a little slackage.  And sleeping in!

Coseriu, Schmoseriu

Presentation tomorrow. Stupidly dreading it. I’ve practiced twice today, and it’s alright. Important to keep the eye on the prize: moving my mouth for 25 minutes, then being done doing that.

For immediate regret:

This has been one of those days.  One of those days where I watch my fingers tap, so slowly, on these keys, amazed that somehow my thoughts appear before me.  Amazed that my fingers have the ability to move.  That muscles contract, release; digits navigate seemingly without direction.  These days are so draining, so disheartening.  The feeling of agency is both absent and wrenchingly present.  The only thing which prevents my poker face from cracking is ennui, perpetual motion in a frictionless world.  I want to walk outside.  Plod slowly across the grass, saturated with two inches of rain.  I want to walk until I can’t walk any more.  And then I want to sit down in the cold, and the wet, and cry.  Cry until the sun shines, and everything is just how it’s supposed to be, and I have forgotten this night, this feeling, all of these insecurities and disappointments.  It’s been so long since I have had one of these days, so long since the world felt so bleak and distant.

Rational me, peaking through these clouds like a crepuscular ray, knows that the sky will clear.  That no problem I have is so enduring, or even extant, that sleep and hard work won’t succeed in the inobservable erosion of dispair.  Crepuscular me prevents me from walking outside, from acting out, blessed with enough foresight to realize that making a scene today because I’m overtaken by a feeling of ineffectiveness and hopelessness will be quickly overtaken by the repercussions reaped tomorrow.  Because there’s some kind of faith in self that knows pressing through this day at all is a victory.  That I have not succumbed to irrationality, to crying, to fits, to disappearing.  A several-years-ago version of myself was very fond of disappearing.  It was never as liberating as I hoped, for being unfindable is more damningly lonely than feeling forsaken but reachable.  It never made the world more tender.  And it never stopped me from casting myself down on days like today.

So I here sit.  Undisappeared.  Unfunctioning.  Having those seeping crises of faith that I live with, like a condescending, abusive, conjoined self.  Despising my inability to maintain perspective, and cringing at the thought of assistance.  This feeling is so tarnished, so leperous, that I can’t stand the idea of someone trying to help.  It’s something that should not be seen, let alone contemplated, and should be burried by my better self.  Out of sight, out of mutual reality, banished from external discourse, and forgotten.  Makes me wonder why I blog it.  Maybe I’m hoping the universe has a feed reader.   And is going to leave a better version of myself under my pillow, like the tooth fairy.


A lot of things happened today, but I only want to talk about the food parts!  Lewis and I mustered up the gumption to hit up the Co-op in the now regular bi-monthly real-food-buying extravaganza.  We used to shop more often, but lately it’s been one of those things where we only make it to the store in times of dire necessity, and it was one of those days.  I managed to make breakfast this morning, but only just, as we were out of milk, all bread products, and yogurt… thank goodness for a squirreled away container of rolled oats, and a cupboard hiding some soy milk.  The weather was really beautiful today, so it was a wonderful day for riding around town.  The Co-op is really great on weekday afternoons when it’s calm and the cashiers aren’t busy or rushed (not that it’s really any less friendly in there when it’s busy, I just get nervous in a crowd).  We bought a million tasty things, baaaarely managed to fit everything on the bikes, made it home, and had teeny ice cream sandwiches!  Spent the rest of the evening doing laundry and finishing my Quechua and semantics homework for the week, and then made dinner.  We picked up a whole trout (not rainbow, but “golden”… I think it was localish?) and cooked it up in some parchment with some veggies for dinner.  Also made really delicious Indian-style fried potatoes to go with it.  Oh!  And we finally got to use Lewis’ bun warmer!  It worked very well, to our mutual delight.  Rolls were kept butter-meltingly toasty without getting too hot or crispy.  Yay!

Beat to a pulp

Day got a bit better then I was expecting this morning.  It’s good to have your day surprise you.  I took the bus to school cause I was feeling really uninspired, so I ended up getting to class late.  I’m never late to class, but it turned out not to be much of a big deal since we were still in the midst of settling down when I got in.  Quechua went very well, though it was pretty chaotic.  I will be glad when that class is over, and I wish I weren’t.  It’s just not really my bag.

Anyway, I followed it up with a great meeting with the professor I TA for to prep for grading the midterm, and then another great meeting with my paper advisor.  He told me my work was really good, and he thought I was doing a very nice job, and all was not lost on my paper.  It was really relieving to hear he’s got high hopes for my paper still, cause I’ve been feeling very lost on it.   So good news there.

The only downside for my day was I finally sat down and put everything I needed to do in the next few weeks and the list is very much daunting.   But in a week… I’ll be past all the worst of what the semester has left, I think.  All my semantics homeworks will be in, my presentation over, and my last pre-final neuroscience quiz.  Phew.  Besides, I got everything done I needed to do today.  It’s just gonna be a long week!

The King (and Swing)

Urgh, I’m having one of those gloomy sidekick kind of days.  I woke up with “Blue Christmas” stuck in my head.  Subtract out the holiday-ness of it, and you’ve sort of got my soundtrack of the day.  “I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue…” … day.  Sigh.

I don’t even think there’s anything amiss, other than it’s been raining for a solid week.  Maybe that’s enough to bring a girl down in this land of bright sunshine and relative warmth.  Partially I know it’s because I’m stressed out about the semantics presentation I have to give next week, though that in itself isn’t either very important or very difficult.  Maybe it’s just the only thing I have to stress about?  I’m feeling underworked again.  Like my quarter is filled with people who have low expectations of me.   This makes me tired, and perpetuates this feeling that I have nothing to give.  I’m not a person who can run with an idea very long without guidance or support or counsil.  I have to monkey-bar my way up the ladder, I don’t sail on my own.  And I’m lacking those in-between-y grips.

I guess when it comes right down to it, I’m always just me, swinging into the unknown again and again.  And there are a lot of days I don’t feel like I have anything worth sharing.  And lonely on these bars without someone on the ground watching.  All I can do is keep swinging, and wondering where these bars lead, and how soon and how far I’m going to fall.