Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Gearing Up for Summer

Well, as you all know, my academic year is done. And for the past couple of days, I've been pretty much as lazy as it is possible for a human being to be. I mean, even the Man-Kitty is beginning to find me boring. I lie around, I nap, I read, I nap, I eat, I talk on the phone, I go to bed. This is not because I have nothing to do - in fact, I've got kind of a lot to do. But shifting gears into summertime mode isn't the easiest thing for me. Without teaching to give order to my days, I have a hard time getting into a routine.

The other thing that makes getting into a routine almost impossible is that I am going to Europe in mid-June, so pretty much as soon as I get a routine going I'm going to screw the whole thing up. And then there's the fact that when I come back from Europe, should the enrollment make, I'm teaching a summer class, which will be yet another different schedule. And then it's August, and well, time to get ready to go back to school again, right?

Now. What do I need to accomplish this summer?

  1. Write conference paper/present it.
  2. Revise mini-article/finish editing mini-journal.
  3. Get back in the groove of working out and eating like a rational human being.
  4. Get tan. (I mean, really - what's the point in all of this education if one can't lie in the sun at least a little bit?)
  5. Get shit together so as to go on the market (as I think it's really something I've got to do, whether I dread doing it or want to move or whatever).

This doesn't seem like that much, except for that I'm deliberately leaving a bunch of crap off of my list because I know I won't get it done, even though I want to get it done. Like, for example, I really do want to beat my dissertation into a real manuscript and get a proposal together and get it out there. Like, for example, I really would like to have some kind of boyfriend. Realistically, though, these two things will just not be achievable this summer. Ugh.

Ah well. Enough of this whining (or if it's not whining it will become whining momentarily). I'm going to go eat some sort of bad-for-me food and lie around some more. (I blame my cat for this turn toward a life of sloth. He is a bad role model.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Should Have Quit While I Was Ahead

Ok, so my eHarmony membership was to have run out on the 10th, but because I didn't change a setting or something they automatically renewed me (charging me for it, which is annoying). And so, thinking since I paid for it anyway, I decided to respond to a bunch of people, not really paying attention - and I responded to a guy I know. Like know in real life. He had worked at my university, and I met him like twice, so I don't know him know him, but still. Of course, because I am a space cadet, I didn't realize I knew him until he emailed my work email. Yeah, that's right - he completely eschewed the whole "stages of communication thing" and emailed my "real" email. I feel like that is both creepy and annoying. Ugh. I totally should pay more attention to a. the people around me and b. the pictures on this thing. It's just that at a certain point all of the dudes run together picture-wise, and so I've stopped scrutinizing them until things move along a bit more. Sigh. I hate online dating. It's so lame.

Jiggity Jig (As in, Home Again)

Well, my faithful readers, I have somehow survived the long weekend in Hometown. It's times like these that I know that it's for the best that I do not live there, as if I did I don't think I would be able to survive all of the going out and the madness. Now, I know what you're thinking: if I lived there full-time, things wouldn't be so mad, right? Yeah, I think that's a false assumption, looking at the fashion in which my friends who live there conduct their lives. No, it's good that I only do it up like that a few times a year.

So yesterday I packed up my little Man-Kitty into his new carrying case and we headed home. While the Man-Kitty does like his new carrying case much more than his old one, he was miffed that we had to leave my parents' house. He's very into visiting them. It almost makes me feel bad, except this morning when he woke up he was all snuggly and purry, and I believe that signifies that ultimately he really does like me best. (Of course, what choice does he have, really, since when we're at home I'm all he's got?)

But so now it's time to work. I've got a paper to revise, a paper to write from scratch, and that special issue of that mini-journal to put together. The likelihood of me making any progress on these projects is approximately .05%. The reality is that I will probably take to my bed with a book and laze about today, although I will feel guilty for doing so. So I suppose this post is done, and I will leave you with a picture of the Man-Kitty in his new Carrying Case. He's such a ham.

Friday, May 12, 2006

"Real" Boy-Craziness vs. "Imaginary" Boy-Craziness

Well, since posting last night I hung out with my parents, talked on the phone about my Tale of Craziness from Wednesday night, got a lovely and long night's sleep, and did some preliminary internet investigation related to a person whom my friends are variously calling Dr. Menudo (related to his high school hair-cut), Dr. Strangelove, and, perhaps my favorite, "Big Papi." With an overall sense of well-being washing over me, I've been doing some reflecting this morning, and my (scattered) thoughts are the following:

  • No longer being a babe in the woods, I am under no illusions about what Wednesday night probably was in terms of "making smart choices" (being "smart" was the absolute last thing on my mind), finding a lasting relationship out of those events (umm, unlikely), or well, whatever. But what's awesome is that in my 20s, when this sort of thing happened more regularly, I would have spent the subsequent 48 hours wondering if the dude "liked" me or beating myself up for being easy. This time, I have just been thoroughly enjoying the fact that it happened without feeling guilty. This is fantastic.
  • "Real" boy-craziness - i.e., thinking about a boy (well, man) with whom one has... spent some time... is infinitely more satisfying than the rigamarole with the online dating. Why? Well, because it's not grounded in what basically amounts to a resume. It's grounded in some sort of chemistry - which is the one thing that all of the compatibility matching and such cannot guarantee. Yes, I've met people with whom I'm "compatible" personality-wise, but I have not met people in the online arena with whom I've felt any sort of electricity. And thus, I think one of the things that I disliked about it was how it frustrated any boy-craziness in which I engaged at the moment of first meeting. I love boy-craziness. It's so fun, and such a fine way to spend one's time. Having it disappointed or thwarted at the moment of meeting is a real let-down.
  • While "real" guys may let a girl down ultimately, so too may the imaginary ones, even if the boy-craziness isn't immediately thwarted. I think that I looked at the online dating thing, albeit with a heavy dose of cynicism, as a potential "answer" to the problem of disappointment in love. If only I "matched" with a person online that this would then eliminate some of my (admittedly wide) margin of error. The problem is, I'm not the sort who really buys into the idea that one can shop for a mate like one shops for most things on the internet - comparing costs and features, thinking about the look of the thing, etc. Much as with shopping for a properly fitted pair of trousers (the bane of my existence), I can only do this thing in person because I'm a "hard fit." Maybe. Or so I think at the moment.
  • As for the whole "margin of error" thing, as much as I want a lasting, committed relationship, I wonder if I'm really ready for it. I feel like I "should" be ready, but the thought of giving up all Wednesday Nights like this past one in favor of "settling down" really doesn't sound too appealing to me - not in the abstract without a person attached to it. I'm thinking that maybe I've put the cart before the horse here - that what I need to do is to find a person who inspires that desire to move on to serious commitment rather than having "serious commitment" as the agenda before there's even a person in mind.

So. Today I'm going to go and work at the Family Store for a bit, and then I am going to go with FHS (Friend from High School), her friend H., and FFH's mom shopping and to dinner. Tomorrow I'm spending the morning with my mom, and then I have FFH's graduation and party. Sunday I'm (obviously) spending mother's day with my mother, and then home again home again jiggity jig on Monday.

Oh, and I should probably mention related to the dude of Wednesday night: given the strange circumstances of the night/morning, no contact information was exchanged between us. That said, the great thing about hooking up with people with whom you went to high school is that this doesn't need to make a difference unless you want it to. I'm not sure what I'm thinking about any future contact with him at the moment, but the option is open, should one of us choose to explore it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Postcard from the Edge: An Update from the Road

Hello, everybody! I certainly wish that you could all be here in cold, drizzly Hometown with me on this fine Thursday. Just to give you a sense of my activities since my arrival, I thought I'd jot you a quick note. Suffice it to say that I am currently operating on 3 hours of sleep (from 7AM to 10 AM), that I went to... six?.... bars last night, two of which were having their karaoke nights, that while we had every intention of making it an early night and we did get a ride home by midnight, Friend From High School and I then called another friend to pick us back up (after we'd eaten a fortifying greasy sandwich) to go to another bar, and we ended up in a limo (totally odd) with a lawyer and a chiropractor formerly known as cool boys in high school, after which we then watched a Tom Clancy Novel Movie in the lawyer's parents' basement. Oh, and did I mention that the whole Field of Dreams theory totally works (at least for a probably casual encounter), that the dry spell is over, and that "just right" in person is very, very easy to determine? Yeah, 'cause that's why I got no sleep. The summer is off to a rockin' start indeed, my friends, a rockin' start indeed.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Well, not really a vacation. More like a visit to Hometown, where Friend from High School is (finally) graduating from college this weekend and where I will go to spend Mother's Day with my mommy. The Man-Kitty will be along for the journey, and I shall take photographs of him that I will post upon my return. (These should be very exciting, as both of my parents have procured gifts for him, and I procured a new carrier for him, which I think he will like better for the four-hour drive because it should allow him more freedom for stretching.)

In other news, things are pretty much all wrapped up with the semester. Grades are posted, I met for the last time with my thesis advisee (who gave me a present! I'm so excited! She so didn't need to do that!), I had lunch with my mentor (who is just so totally great, even if he does work on American Writer I Can't Stand), and now I'm going to finish cleaning up around the house and pack for the trip.

Tomorrow promises to be very fun, indeed, as my Friend from High School has her last final and we are going out tomorrow night with a bunch of people to celebrate. Perhaps I shall be the Kissing Bandit? I feel that to be the Kissing Bandit would get my summer off to a good start....

I shall try to post from the road, but if not, I shall definitely be back next week. Yay summer!

Oh, and if you're looking for an interesting read, check out this post over at Bitch Ph.D., as well as the comments.

In Which Dr. Crazy Feels Like Goldilocks

I know. You've been waiting impatiently to hear my report from the weekend, and I have failed to deliver until Tuesday. What is wrong with me? Don't I realize that people all over America, nay, the World, want to know what happened with the Greek?

Well, actually, I'm sure you've not all given it very much thought, but as I did promise an update, I should give one, right? But so here's why I haven't written until now: it's because I didn't quite know how to write yet another post in which I say, "Nice but so not for Dr. Crazy." Is there something wrong with me that this is my response to things with all of these suitors? Is there something wrong with them? What gives?

Before I delve into the analysis of all of that stuff, the deal with the Greek was this. He is huge. By huge, I do not mean "not an Adonis"; I do not mean "I am so picky that I can't overlook some things." I mean that when I sat next to him at the movies that I could hear his breathing, as if it was labored because of the extra weight he's carrying. I mean that when we went to dinner, he had to specify to the person seating us that we needed a table because he's too big to fit in a booth. And so I had a nice time with him, and I he is a nice man, but no. I cannot sign on for somebody who would be a candidate for gastric bypass surgery. And so I didn't know how to write this post for three days because I felt like I was shallow for feeling that way or that I am too judgmental or something, but the thing is, maybe I just need to embrace the fact that I'm shallow, because clearly, from the whole "The Chemist is too small!" and "The Greek is too big!" reactions, I'm only in the market for somebody who is "just right."

Yes, in part this is physical. But it's NOT only physical. It's also that at the end of the day I don't think that I'm looking for "companionship" or "a nice man" to spend time with. Not that I'm looking for a mean man, or that I don't want a companion, but I am not yet at the point that I am willing to settle for any kind of companionship that presents itself to me.

I am not a lonely person. Yes, I have lonely moments. Yes, I want a boyfriend. Yes, I am dying to have some kind of sexual contact with another human being. But I don't think that I'm cut out for a system that is supposed to be built on liking somebody for their personality first. That's not how attraction works for me. And I don't believe (ultimately) that attraction can develop over time. I think that there is an immediate spark with people with whom we might end up - maybe we don't always recognize it as physical attraction or chemistry or romantic feeling, but I do believe that there is an immediate spark that happens in person when we meet somebody. And I don't think that there is any replacement for that.

And maybe it is possible to meet somebody online and then to feel that spark when you meet in person. I'm not saying it isn't. But that has SO not been the case for me.

And so. It is summer. I'm going back to being a free agent. And I feel like somebody will come along. I mean, hell, I met my last pseudo-boyfriend at my house. (Well, I was sitting outside and he was my neighbor's friend, but whatever.) I didn't even go out, and I found a way to get laid. And I've been working out and I look really good right now, and well, I think I'm going to operate on the Field of Dreams theory of dating - that I'm building it, and so they will come. And if by summer's end I'm still in these dire straits? Maybe I'll give online dating another try. Or, more likely? I'm going on the market. It may just be that this city is not for me.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Poetry Friday - Stevie Smith

"Conviction (iv)"

I like to get off with people,
I like to lie in their arms
I like to be held and lightly kissed,
Safe from all alarms.

I like to laugh and be happy
With a beautiful kiss,
I tell you, in all the world
There is no bliss like this.


That's right, folks, I have not only finished GRADING but I have also finished TABULATING FINAL GRADES! It is true! I am very productive and on top of things!

This, in spite of the incredible lack of judgment that I exhibited in participating in Dr. Medusa's Happy Hour last evening. Or, perhaps this wildly irresponsible behavior actually made the grading possible? It is hard to know, though I do know that it probably was a good thing that I went to bed at 9:30 PM because it meant that I was up and at em' at 5AM with a bee in my bonnet spurring me on to grade like a machine!

Thoughts now that I've graded all of my students:
1) I still need to do some tweaking in the grade break-down in my writing classes. I'm making too much work for myself.
2) I think I need to be a little tougher on my intro to lit classes - either that or my section this semester really was just stupendously hard-working and/or bright. I don't like giving as many A's as I gave - it takes some of the joy of the A away when everybody gets one. That said, they earned them, so it's not like I'm going to take the A's away. I just may need to change things up a bit the next time I teach the class, make things a bit more challenging, I think.
3) I am so glad the semester is over.

So now, to post the grades, to email some students, to do some stuff around the office, and then to shop for outfits that might be appropriate for a day-to-night date.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Looking for Dr. Crazy?

She is over at Dr. Medusa's Happy Hour.

Come on over!

And, no, I am not done grading.

Talking on the Phone with Boys - Still Procrastinating after All These Years

Last night, I had a Grand Plan to complete all grading for my writing classes so as to be able to tabulate final grades today and to post all grades for all of my classes Friday. What did I do instead?

1. Long, excellent conversation with the Greek, who seems to be a bit of a workaholic, but that's actually kind of ok with me, as so am I, and if the other person is wicked-busy with work it takes the pressure off of me to be constantly available. What else did I find out about the Greek? 1) He watches American Idol and other reality TV (much of it very, very bad); 2) He doesn't believe in camping or other activities that don't involve indoor plumbing as recreation or as relaxing (which puts us on the same page); 3) There is some sort of ancestral home in A Famous Greek City-State, though it sounds as if he hasn't been to it for a very long time. (Also, it sounds like this ancestral home is not unlike the ancestral home of my stepdad in Lebanon, which is kind of falling apart and has squatters in it, according to those who've visited recently. In other words, fantasies of Greek Shipping Heirs should be kept at bay, even though there is an ancestral home.); 4) Plans for Saturday were finalized, and we shall be going to see Thank You for Smoking in late afternoon and then on to dinner.

2. As if that wasn't enough, I then had to return the call of my First Love (who called while I was talking to the Greek, and I hilariously said to him, "I'm sorry, I'm on the phone with a real boy right now, so I'll have to call you back," and I hung up on him) with whom I had an excellent, long conversation, in which I counseled him on the sad state of his love life. Apparently he keeps trying to go out with girls and they keep ignoring him. Not even rejecting him - just not even responding. It's a real problem. So in response to this, he's developing a crush on his ex (not me) again, even though she probably doesn't feel the same way about him, and spending lots of time with her and helping out with things around her house and things (which is the way he shows love). I told him he has to talk to her, but I wonder whether he will. He can be kind of stupid about things.

At this point, I realized that it was just too late to continue grading, and I went to bed. Of course, I told myself that lie about how I could wake up early in the morning, which was not at all something I did - or, rather, I did wake up, but I decided it was more important to lie in bed and to think about what I'll wear on Saturday. While I feel like I may need to go shopping (thus further ignorning my grading), I am very pleased with my hair and eyebrows. So glad I went and got all of that done on Tuesday! Let's hope that this first date doesn't end up in the same pathetic first-date-that-was-last-date place as all the others. It would just be too depressing.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Final Word - a Kind of Meme

Via Dr. Medusa, who had it via Profgrrrrl. The idea is that you post the last word of your dissertation. Not sure what it all means, but my "final word" was (drumrolling....)


Huh. Well. Make of that what you will. I've got some ideas on why that's where I end (you know, existential ideas that don't relate to the content of the diss), but there's no way that I can articulate them to anybody outside of my own brain.

I'm It! I'm It!

Adenostoma over at "What an Untenured College Professor Shouldn't Be Doing" tagged me for this meme (and, since you mentioned it, Adenostoma, I think I came upon your blog for the first time last week or the week before, and so you're not yet on my blogroll, but yes, you're on my blog-reading radar - and now you'll be on everybody else's, too! :) ) So now, on to the meme!

I am eating a scone from Starbucks (thus rendering my workout from yesterday null and void).
I want a boyfriend. How lame is that? But I feel like I've got most other things....
I wish that I could stop time, thus allowing me to hang out and relax for as long as I wanted and then to start time back up when it was time to get work done - in other words, I want no consequences for procrastination.
I hate people who, when they find out that I'm an English professor, say they'll have to "watch their grammar" around me.
I love my family and my kitty-cat.
I miss my little grandma who died a couple of years ago.
I fear walking over bridges and/or driving over big long bridges. You wouldn't think this would be a big problem in the Midwest, but in my current location I've gotten "lucky."
I hear the sound of my fingers tapping on the keyboard. Otherwise, all is silent.
I wonder what my cat thinks about when left to his own devices. I mean, sure, he thinks about food and napping and grooming and stuff, but I wonder what else he thinks about (if anything).
I regret not having studied abroad in college. I know - how lame! - but for real, that's the first thing that comes to mind when I think about "regrets." Oh, and the second is going to graduate school and racking up debt during the boom economy of the mid-to-late '90s. Smart about finances, I am not.
I am not getting my work done, obviously!
I dance whenever the mood strikes and sometimes with my Man-Kitty, though he doesn't really like it.
I sing in the car, at home, in my office, all the time. I like singing.
I cry when I watch The Ghost Whisperer. Don't mock: if you watch the show, you too will find your inner cry-baby.
I am not always good at doing what's best for myself.
I make with my hands things to eat. I'm totally not crafty, so other than that, who knows.
I write too many negative comments on student papers and not enough positive ones.
I confuse being flattered with being loved/respected. Not all of the time, but it's something I've got to be really careful about.
I need to clean my house.
I should finish grading and tabulate final grades for my writing courses.
I start my vacation from teaching on Monday!
I finish my vacation from teaching on July 3 (sigh)
I tag whoever in the free world who hasn't done this yet, though I suspect everybody has.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Grading vs. Anything Else

What will win, in such a stand-off? You know the answer, but here's my story.

On Thursday, I received 24 movie reviews from my intro to lit class. On Friday I received 40 8-10 page research papers. Since then, I have graded approximately 8 papers - the ones for students who wanted comments. Today was going to be a major grading day - finish the grading today (ideally) and then tabulate final grades for the writing classes tomorrow. What am I doing instead?

1. Working out. (It's about time - I took the last two weeks off.)
2. Going to the salon to a) get my eyebrows waxed because I'm too lazy to tweeze for myself and they are way out-of-control, b) get my hair cut, though I think I'm kind of growing it out again - who knows?, and c) get my hair highlighted so that it will look like summer hair instead of drab dirty-blond winter hair. Did I mention that I made this appointment this morning? And that I don't technically "need" to get my hair cut for like 2-4 weeks? And that in part this whole thing is inspired by the upcoming (though as yet unconfirmed) meeting with the Greek? But not only that, as I am going to Hometown next week, so it's not like I don't want to look great for that, too....

That's pretty much the whole day right there (because yes, I slept until a blissful 9:30 this morning. Love classes being over. Totally.). Well, no reason not to put off the grading for one more day....

Monday, May 01, 2006

"Nobody Likes a Braggart," As Crazy's Mommy Says, So Here's a Boy-Crazy Update

Yes, I had to get the "Professor of the Year" post off the top, even though I'm still really over the moon about the whole thing. And so, by way of doing so, I thought that I would update you all about what's going on as my eHarmony membership inches ever closer to expiring.

Well, what had been quite a ... lurching ... correspondence with the Greek, as I think the spaces between posts about him probably indicated to you all. However, since "Greek Easter," things have seemed to speed up considerably. We are emailing more regularly and - gasp - we actually spoke on the phone on Friday. It was a good conversation, and I really enjoyed talking to him, and he's kind of sarcastic (good) and funny (good) and also smart (good) and very down-to-earth seeming(very good). He's divorced - did I mention that before? - but no kids. Well, unless we count the Man-Puppy as a kid, which I don't because it's much more like a stuffed animal. At any rate, when we got off the phone on Friday, we discussed meeting, and I think that this is going to happen this weekend. And I think that we are going to go to the movies (how old fashioned, and yet, how awesome). Anyway, so that's that.

In other news, The Chemist is very sweet and is my friend, but he's almost too sweet even for just friendship with me. I'm so glad we never dated really - I think that I would have broken his heart. I'm a lot of good things - don't get me wrong - but I'm just not particularly "nice."

Yeah, and other than that there's a guy I'm kind of blowing off because, well, I'm tired. And also, in spite of myself, I'm a little bit excited about meeting the Greek and I want to let myself be excited about that without pursuing another e-relationship as a way of warding off disappointment. That's just too depressing, that whole thing.

So yes. Saturday with the Greek. It should be interesting....