March 2006



Today’s featured bloggable cat is the Big Orange Cat, who scared the bejeezus out of me this morning by skipping breakfast (absolutely unheard of in Big Orange Cat-land), vomiting blood, and then following that up with bloody poo.

I was able to get him a vet appointment for the afternoon, and fortunately IB was on her way over to have porch drinks with me, so she talked me down and liquored me up until it was appointment time. Fortunately, also, I was able to get in touch with GB after his first class, and he blew off the rest of his classes and came home.

After 2 hours and $200 at the vet, we learned that his x-rays looked good (no weird masses or obstructions–just, as the vet so tactfully put it, “a large fat pad”) and his bloodwork was all pretty much normal. Translation: they have no idea what’s wrong with him, but it’s nothing obviously, horribly bad. So tonight he’s on Prevacid, prescription cat food, and a super-extra-dose of love, as we “keep an eye on him”–again, doctor-speak for “we have no freakin’ idea”–and keep our fingers crossed that he just ate something funky, and will be back to terrorizing the household with obnoxiously loud purrs and butt sniffs by tomorrow.

Some movies I just like. I don’t know why. But when Law & Order: It Never Ends finally ended (1 am on Thursdays, apparently. Who knew?), 12 Monkeys started, and I left it on. I like this movie. I think it’s maybe the only movie I’ve ever really liked Bruce Willis in, and I think Brad Pitt doesn’t suck in it, too. It’s not a movie I ever think of putting in my top 10, but I’ve seen it, like, four times. Because every time it comes on I say, oh, I like this movie.

I was thinking about this earlier, actually–I have actors that are like this for me, too–people I’d never think to put in my “favorites” list, but who I’ll always keep watching, regardless. William H. Macy is another one of those guys for me. How about you? Movies/actors you like more than you think you do?

I’ve started no less than four different blog posts today. I seem to be at some sort of blogging standstill. Part of this is due to the fact that I seem to be filled with vitriol and annoyance today, and I keep wanting to post really mean things that I KNOW will come back to haunt me later (like, things about my diss topic that I just shouldn’t say because really, how much “anonymity” can we really count on?), so I’m resisting.

Here are some random bullets of crap, random edition.

  • Why is it so hard to find 100% grapefruit juice? I’m drinking a vodka and “grapefruit juice beverage” right now. It’s really not the same. I’m not a huge fan of vodka-and-corn-syrup.
  • I have afternoon drinking planned tomorrow with the lovely and agreeable IB. I anticipate that this will be the highlight of my spring break.
  • Trying to come up with a topic for and prepare this lecture is kicking my ass. I’m going to do twelve different happy dances when this goddamn semester is over. Or when next week is over, even.
  • I wish I could tell y’all about the completely insane fieldwork I’m off to do in two weeks. I’ll have to figure out a way to tell you in code, because it’s just too bloggable.
  • I’ve been doing some of the exercise routines that are on the Exercise Channel on the Comcast On Demand. I did some crazy-ass ab workout and a completely sadistic leg workout yesterday, and my quads are nothing but pain right now. Does this stuff actually work? Will I eventually look different than I do now? I have this weird head thing that convinces me that things really don’t change,* and so it’s a mystery to me how weight is actually “lost.”
  • I think I’ve never felt more random.
  • I’m thinking of leaving Sprint when my contract is up next week. I’m not sure that anyone will sign me for a new plan, since I actually do have the Worst Credit Ever, but I’m thinking about switching to T-Mobile. I know all cell phone companies are evil, but I really hate Sprint; anybody have any hugely good or bad experience with T-Mobile? Or is it all really the same?
  • I’m having a bizarre craving for a brownie.

*a variation on this weird head thing is also constantly at work trying to convince me that everything changes, all the time, and without warning. Like Steven Wright said about his humidifier and dehumidifier, I think I’m going to put them in the same room and let them fight it out.

Have I mentioned how pretty GB is? Sitting here in the misty glow of Law & Order I caught myself thinking that again. Then I remembered I had other things I should really be doing.

Here are the first ten things I thought of, although the list really goes on much further. At last count, there are at least 36 things that I am either in the middle of, or I should be by now. Anyway, the top ten – in no particular order – though looking over this list, there probably is some order that I can’t quite see yet. Just need some perspective. And maybe to do one or two things on the list. But, back to the actual list.

1. Write dissertation.
2. Do dishes.
3. Or order pizza.
4. Grade papers.
5. Read 8 books that I need to use for #1.
6. Clip my nails.
7. Write dissertation.
8. If not do dishes, clean a few glasses for drinking.
9. Back up everything on my computer.
10. Check to be sure no one has found this blog using
the name of the creepy freaky dude from previous
entry, never to be mentioned again.

A murderous child on Law & Order: SVU! I’m a sucker for murderous children. And it’s got that guy from Dune!** Hooray for drama that’s not my own!

*God, I’m a dork. I can’t believe I wrote that.***
**And Oh. My. God. How old am I? Seriously, I know he’s been on a gazillion things. But this is how I always think of him.
***And it’s not, even. It’s on USA. You really should stop listening to me now. I might be becoming incoherent.

All I want to do is start working on my dissertation.

I don’t want to grade papers.
I don’t want to prepare this lecture.
I don’t want to read for the Horrible Tutorial.
I don’t want to do this god-awful lackey flunky indentured servant research assistant “work”.

I want to track down informants.
I want to go do all my scary fieldwork.
I want to transcribe interviews (insane, right?).
I want to write the goddamn dissertation. I want to start writing *now*.
I want to graduate.

Clearly: I need more free money.

I agreed to give a guest lecture for the class in which I am the Teaching Lackey. The “topic” I’m lecturing on is so vague as to not really be a topic at all; it’s remotely within my area, but it’s like, the three word synopsis of everything I’ve ever studied. The only suggestion the prof has offered is that I lecture on a) something “helpful” to me, and b) something tangentially related to the course.* So. I have my super-vague, wide-open topic to define, and damn–this is all just taking so much more of my time than I thought it might.

Do other people have problems with this sort of thing? I feel like I’m fine lecturing/speaking/discussing about a text, or an *actual topic*, but this whole choose-your-own-adventure type of approach is annoying. How do I define a topic that’s interesting, manageable, relevant to my work, AND won’t take me the rest of the week?

*This would all be much easier if I could tell you the course and the topic, but obviously, I can’t. Let’s see. Say the course is about “Music from the 1950s – present.” And say my dissertation is “Ventilator Blues: The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street as Utopian Vision.” And say there was a space in the syllabus where we’d decided my lecture would go, and the prof suggested I lecture on “British music,” and it should include some reference to footwear. Do I lecture about the Stones? About the Stones’ place in British music? About the Stones and another band? About the Foucauldian implications of platform heels vs. motorcycle boots?

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