Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolutions for 2008 - The Year of the F

And no, you filthy-minded blog-readers! I am not talking about an activity that begins with F and rhymes with "mucking." Indeed, the resolutions this year center around 3 less explicit f-words - fitness, finances, and fun. (I know, the "fun" seems out of place with the first two, but bear with me.)


Dr. Crazy fell so far off the fitness wagon in 2007 that she hardly knows how to talk about it. The exercise? The eating well? Yes, those things didn't so much happen. At all. Things really went off the rails in July, but they were already on that path from about January of last year. She blames the Book and the Job Search(es) but the reality is that Crazy is prone to letting the fitness fall by the wayside because she'd much rather not pay attention to it. But so. Crazy has many fitness goals for the coming year, which she has explicitly outlined for herself, along with plans of action for achieving those goals. The bottom line is this: with no job search stuff to worry about this spring, with an excellent teaching schedule, and no plans for conferences until at least spring of 2009, Crazy can really devote 2008 to getting herself in tip-top (ish) shape and, ideally, staying in tip-top (ish) shape from that point forward. It's all about accepting the fact that I'm old (well, or at least not 23) and I have to eat well and exercise forever in order not to continue expanding.


I'm in not horrific financial shape, but I've got a good amount of credit card debt. And it occurs to me that if I teach summer school this year (see above about excellent schedule in spring and no conference plans) that I can extricate myself from that. Which would mean being able to achieve the 14-year-old-girl resolution of actually having a savings account. Which means that I can start working toward the goal of actually buying something (a house? a condo? a luxury home for cats?) within the next five years. Because basically, it's been time for me to do that for a good while now, and I've just not cared enough about it to get on the plan. And so, as with the fitness resolutions, there is a very detailed plan of action that goes into effect tomorrow, which should, by January of 2009, see me as (except for student loan/car stuff) debt-free. Note to self: traveling to Europe 3 of the past four years and to MLA 4 of the past 4 years probably has something to do with my debt situation.


It occurs to me that I've managed it so that I have no major work plans for the coming year. I'm going to be taking a much-needed break, gearing up for tenure, working on teaching and admin and service related duties, and that's it. This is also why there's room for the whole "fitness" goal. But with that being the case, I think that I need to focus on making my life more "fun" in the coming year. Now, as those of you I met will probably note (I'd hope), I'm a pretty naturally fun person. So it's ridiculous that in recent years I've limited my main fun activities to when I'm away from my "real" life. I mean, come on. I should be having more fun. I have a less detailed plan in place for this final "F-word" resolution, but the night is still young.

So those are my resolutions for 2008. I'll keep everybody posted on my progress (even though nobody will really care about my progress but me, but posting about it will keep me honest).

Happy 2008, everyone! (And champagne is lovely. I love champagne with a love that is pure and true.)

The New Year's Meme

Ok, so I realized before embarking on this one that I did one that's almost identical last year. In the interest of continuity, I'm going to use the almost identical questions from last year.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

  • Got my book contract and finished the book manuscript.
  • Traveled in Scotland and Wales
That's all I can think of. But those are two pretty big things, so I feel that this is ok.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I sucked at my New Year's resolutions last year, although I did accomplish a great many non-resolution things, so yes, I'll be making resolutions this year and the idea is that I'll actually do them this time around.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not really.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My step-uncle.

5. What countries did you visit?

The United Kingdom

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?

Hmmm. Last year I said I needed to be in love again. The funny thing is, I'm still not entirely sure whether that happened. (Because I'm an asshole.) But so what do I want for the upcoming year? I think that perhaps the "in love" thing was a bit too ambitious. I think what I want in the upcoming year is more affection. I've got lots of love in my life, but not as much affection as I'd enjoy. Yes.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I suck with dates. I never remember even my closest friends' birthdays. Thus, no dates are really etched on my memory.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Obviously, The Book. God, my answers are boring this year.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Well, the job search(es). But I think I've come to terms with that, actually. More irritating to me in the present is all of the weight that I put on through those failed searches and through the completion of the book.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No. Indeed, I don't even remember really having very many colds. I think all in all 2007 was a very healthy year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I don't feel like I've bought anything that great this year at all. My plane ticket to the UK?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I probably shouldn't be doing this meme because no answers are coming to mind for any of the questions. I'm sure somebody did something worthy of celebration, but who they are is not occurring to me. So I'm going to say... in a lame reprisal of last year... The Man-Kitty (with the exception of that time when he sliced open a houseguest's arm :) )

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

You know, the first person who came to mind with this one was Britney Spears, but I don't mean it in a judgmental "she's a bad mother" way but rather in a "oh god, why does she keep spinning out of control! Poor Brit-Brit!" way.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Travel for conferences and job-search related stuff. This is one reason why I will not be traveling for anything work-related in the '08.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Fake relationships, The Book, the trip to the UK.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?

"Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie and "Stronger" by Kanye West.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

a) I think the same b) fatter c) I think the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Been more financially responsible so as actually to get rid of some debt and save some money; had more fun.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Freaked out about things; created unnecessary drama.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent Christmas in my hometown with my parents. It was a pretty quiet Christmas family-wise, though. I also saw the inimitable A., my friend J., and my high school BFF.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

I'm not entirely certain. I think maybe? But if I did, I think I also fucked it up. Maybe.

22. How many one-night stands?

Not a one.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Well, I do love that Moonlight.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is a very strong word. But let's just say that certain people in my world have a tendency to inefficiency that became incredibly apparent this year.

25. What was the best book you read?

No idea. And I refuse to rack my brains to come up with a definitive answer.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Tegan and Sara. Bloc Party. Silversun Pickups.

27. What did you want and get?

I feel like I got nothing I wanted. This year felt much more like a year of dealing with all the shit that was in progress as of last year at this time. Thus, what I hope is that a) I want some things that are brand new in 2008 and that next year I can have gotten them and then talk about that.

28. What did you want and not get?

Again, I don't feel like I wanted much. I felt sort of... bogged down... in the results of past wanting.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

I really liked Knocked Up. I suspect that the Savages would have been a favorite had I seen it =)

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 33 and I don't think I did anything. God, 2007 was a lame year for Crazy. OH! I know what I did! I got angry at FB because he didn't adequately wish me happy birthday and then I went and got drunk. Happy freaking Birthday. Must do something better for my birthday next year.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Having relationships that don't include the word "fake."

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?

"It is not easy to be stylish when you gain a bunch of weight."

33. What kept you sane?

I don't think I've been terribly sane this year.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Ok, I'm not sure, but I do feel a lecherous pull toward the aging cast of the Potter movies....

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

Nothing really, because I'm a bad citizen.

36. Who did you miss?

Nobody, much.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

Too many people to name just one, but it was fabulous meeting Maude Lebowski and Sisyphus and all the other bloggers at the meet-up whom I'd not met before! Also my friend G.'s parents, and FB's parents, and G's grad school crew.... and A.'s new love.... Indeed, I seem to have met a lot of cool people in 2008!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.

There isn't a thing in the world wrong with staying in the same place - physically, mentally, emotionally, whatever - and taking whatever time one needs to take in order to regroup. This is not to say I've done this - at all - but as the year ends, I realize it's what I need to do. I've been flailing around trying to do something - anything - for the past couple of years to get unstuck. It occurs to me that part of why I'm stuck is because I'm flailing around. I'm not talking about wanting balance or anything like that. I'm talking about wanting to take time just to *be* for a little bit without racing around and trying to become something else. So that's the goal for 2008.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I'm all alone now and I feel just fine
I don't feel much like doing anything
True love ain't that hard to find
Not that either one of us will ever know

- from Ryan Adams' song "Please Do Not Let Me Go"

Ah, Home....

Well. With the Man-Kitty in tow, I made it back to my messier-than-I-remember-having-left-it apartment, and I have oodles about which to write, including MLA (socializing, and one panel in particular that I attended, and also some more general thoughts about hierarchies in lit. studies), various Christmastime visiting (family, friends), plans for the New Year (the meme that's going around, other thoughts I had on my 4 hour drive today) and yes. So, if I were to post about all of that tonight, I imagine I'd write approximately 6-8 lengthy blog posts. Clearly, that won't be happening, so I'll probably save the MLA-state-of-the-profession-visiting posts for later and content myself with some New Year's posting this evening, as I spend the evening decompressing, not speaking, and drinking champagne with my kitty-cat. I had plans about going to the grocery store today so as to be properly outfitted for the "healthy eating" resolution, but I think I'm just going to go to the liquor store and order some takeout of some kind. Because what the hell - I may as well send the year out with a bang. More later, readers. Much, much more.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Oof. Wine, beer, whiskey, wine. Oof.

The blogger meet-up was awesome, yo, but Crazy may have indulged a wee bit more than she should have. She tried to go to bed at a reasonable hour (1:30 AM) but that plan was foiled by an Infatuation from days of yore who thought it was a good idea to have Crazy drink wine from the hotel minibar with him while she told him all of the reasons that he's a bad person and a narcissist (because Crazy's really charming when she's been drinking for about 8 hours). Crazy slept like an angel (i.e., she passed out) and then shamefacedly returned to her room around 7 AM, ordered a big room service breakfast, and slept until about 11:30. There really was nothing else for it. And now it's time to go to some panels.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Belated Merry Christmas

Howdy ho, readers. Dr. Crazy here. I am back in the land of my birth (well, just down the street from the literal land of my birth at a Panera with free wifi) and I thought I'd check in to say happy holidays and all that. It was a pretty quiet Christmas in these parts, which I think was fine, and now I'm trying to put the finishing touches on my MLA paper and to get out of the grumpy mood that I've been in for the past couple of days. I'd explain the grumpiness, but really, it's boring. Let's just say that Christmas is my absolute least favorite holiday and leave it at that. I've been spending a good amount of time reflecting on the year, too, and I'm thinking that 2007 may be one of my least favorite years, too. At any rate, I'm very much looking forward to starting the new year, and to being back in my own bed (that doesn't leave me waking up feeling unrested and achy, as does the bed at my mother's). The Man-Kitty's in fine form, enjoying his stay with my parents, and also enjoying the reindeer antlers that my mother bought for him (I know, it's really unbelievable, but he loves them, even if he does wear them around his neck like udders that jingle).

I hope you all had a happy Christmas, and I look forward to seeing many of you at MLA!

Later on, blogging peeps....

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Blogging from the Road

Well. My holiday travels are well underway, which is why I've been silent for the past few days. I'm currently blogging from an undisclosed location (not my mother's with the horrifying dial-up that tries my patience too much for me to blog from there) where I'll be spending the next day or two, at which time I'll then return to my parents and then it's MLA people! Huzzah!

Hmmm. Am feeling a bit hungry and tired. And I wish I were wearing different clothes. Hmmm.

At any rate, I shall go, but regular blogging will return after MLA.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Five Books Meme

Ok, so the plan originally was to be on the road to Hometown at this time today. But, in what is a holiday tradition for Crazy, she has postponed her travels because she procrastinated too much (enabled by physical discomfort that may be psychosomatic in nature) and so cannot travel according to plan. (Other "holiday traditions" of Crazy: Spending twice as much money on herself as on others; "ruining Christmas" in any number of ways, but which usually involve at least in part spending time with friends instead of devoting myself entirely to my mother; spending New Year's Eve drinking a bottle of champagne by herself, determining resolutions, and talking on the phone to long-distance friends who also don't have New Year's plans because at a certain point NYE becomes a holiday that is only for couples or for 22 year olds, and it's just less depressing to get drunk alone, to make plans to try to make the new year better than the old, and to have done with it. I'm sure there are more, but I digress.)

So somebody tagged me for the five books meme. And because Crazy sucks, and because she's been a lame blogger, she doesn't remember who. So, if you tagged me, well, then you should remind me of that and I can then link back to you. But at any rate, I was tagged (on friday maybe?) and so now here I am.

People have either been listing the books that they've read without much commentary or they've been talking a bit about them. Because I'm in the middle of packing and procrastinating, I think I shall include a quotation that I particularly liked from each of the books. My only criteria for the books I've chosen is that they are not books that I read only for work but rather that there was some corollary pleasure (at least) involved in choosing to read them.

1. Shikasta by Doris Lessing.

"They look at the sun as if they want to pull it down to them, they linger under a moon which is much father away than I remember it - and they hunger, they yearn, holding up their arms to the sun, and wanting to bathe in moonrays or to drink them. The gleam of light on a tree, or on water, the brief heartbreaking beauty of their young, these things torture them, without knowing why, or they half know, and make songs and tales, always with the hunger behind, a hunger not one of them could define. Yet their little lives are ruled by it, they are the subjects of an invisible king, a kingdom, even while they court Shammat, who feeds their hungers with illusions" (104).

2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments" (260).

3. Limbo by Alfred Lubrano.

"Mobility means discomfort, because so much has to change; one can't allow for the satisfactions of stasis: You prick yourself and move, digging spurs into your own hide to get going, forcing yourself to forget the comforts of the barn. In this country, we speak grandly of this metamorphosis, never stopping to consider that for many class travelers with passports stamped with new territory, the trip is nothing less than a bridge burning" (48).

4. The His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman.

"She had never dreamed of what it would feel like to love someone so much; of all the things that had astonished her in her adventures, that was what astonished her most. She thought the tenderness it left in her heart was like a bruise that would never go away, but she would cherish it forever" (The Amber Spyglass 463-464).

5. The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood.

"Lots of work. She worked at school and also at home; she worked nights and weekends. She got pitying looks from her colleagues, because gossip travels through universities at the speed of influenza and they all knew about West, but she didn't care. She skipped regular meals and snacked on cheese food and crackers" (187).

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Weird Week

I haven't quite known how to write in a real way here this week, or, if I'm honest, for a while. I've been in a bit of a state for about 12 different reasons, and that's had me turning inward, feeling insecure in ways that aren't characteristic and writing in my journal a lot. But so. What's going on with me?

The Market

Well. As I believe I've noted, I'm out. On the one hand, this hasn't been too terrible to deal with, and I don't want to pretend that my rejections sting in the way that they would if I were unemployed or underemployed or even unhappily employed. I only sent out a handful of applications, and well, what did I really expect? That said, I really had believed that the book would mean something market-wise, even as much as I tried to talk myself out of believing that. And guess what? It didn't. It doesn't. And so, well, that's made me reevaluate a bit about my value in this profession more broadly. I think maybe I've been wrong to assume that my feeling of being unappreciated is institution-specific. I'm beginning to think that this feeling stems from much broader sources, and well, maybe it's good to acknowledge that. And also to move on from that, because you know what? All of this putting oneself under one's own and others' microscopes is really debilitating at a certain point. I'm good at what I do; I've done well insomuch as I can have done well given a variety of constraints. The end.

The Job

Things with my job are... ridiculously good. I know, sick, isn't it? But true. First of all, it's not a done deal, but it may well be that I'm only teaching two courses next semester. Obviously I will have to trade my soul for this, but it may be a good trade, in that the soul-trading would get me a title and some decent admin experience. I'm thinking that having more admin experience would be a good thing should I ever want to move, as I have absolutely no hope that I'll ever be able to move within my discipline in higher education. No, moving might mean moving into administration. Is that what I want? I don't know. But I want to be able to be mobile. I do not want to feel trapped. And so, better to get this experience if it works out. (If it doesn't work out, it will be more because of my criteria than because of others' for indeed, I've got a wee bit of power in my current situation. Only a wee bit, but every little wee bit counts.) But even aside from this, well, things are just really good in my department and with how I'm doing here. This is a good thing.


Ok, it's lame to blame one's moods on the hormones, but for real, people, I become a maniac in the days before Lady Time. And this is only exacerbated by end-of-semester stress and any other stressors that I might encounter. But so I've found myself in tears more than once this week, which is odd as really, I don't cry nearly as much as I did when, say, I was like 19. Indeed, I'd begun to think I'd dried up. But apparently no. I'm thinking it might not be altogether bad that my emotions are actually running so close to the surface, as it may well mean that I'm not dead inside. Always nice to have confirmation of that :)


I'm less ready for the holidays this year than I've been in, well, years. I didn't even put up my sad little ceramic Christmas tree or my sad little nativity scene. And I suspect I won't. It just doesn't feel like Christmas this year. And none of my shopping's done, and I didn't send out Christmas cards and and and.

Not Related to Any of the Above

I've been in a pretty... intense... yes, I think that's the best word... place lately. A flying-off-the-handle-y sort of place. A cranky and petulant place. But the thing is, I don't think this is all necessarily bad, or doesn't need to be. I think it's because I'm in a kind of vulnerable place and in a transition-y sort of place. I think that when I come out on the other side, I will be GRAND. The difficulty, though, is that others have to deal with me when I'm in the intense, transition-y, flying-off-the-handle-y, cranky, petulant, vulnerable state. And that really sucks for them. And I know it sucks for them, and I hate that it does, but I can't stop it. Or I won't stop it. Whatever. At any rate, I'm hoping that this is a growing pains sort of thing and not a "I'm tragically fucked up and I drive people away from me" sort of thing. We shall see!

So yeah, it's been a weird week. And next week will be weird in entirely different ways, as I'll be visiting the family as well as some other important visiting. And then (unbelievably) it's MLA. And then, it's the new year! And can I just say, I'm ready for a new year? And in random moments I've been thinking already about resolutions and feeling excited to actually determine the final resolution list and to make a fresh start? What kind of nerd gets excited about making new year's resolutions? That would be Dr. Crazy :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Talking Shit out of my Ass

Ok, so that's a bit of a gross image, now that I see it written out, but this is the... evocative turn of phrase that Medusa and I have used historically when we're writing something that is just.... well, crap.

Ok, so to be fair, what I'm writing isn't *total* crap. I've got about 4 1/2 REALLY rough pages. Now, remember, I've got but 15 minutes, and so really I can only legitimately bring this thing in at just over 6 pages. Now, how much can a girl do in 6 pages? Not much. So it's not like the paper won't be done. The issue, however, is that this is totally new research, and as it now stands, what I'm writing is bag-o-licious. Not at ALL tight. The problem is that while I know where I'm going (ish) I'm not actually getting there. Well, I'm kind of getting there. But it is ROUGH. Why can't these things just write themselves? That's what I'd like to know.

Update (Barely)

Since I last posted, I wrote approximately one paragraph. Tragically, that was a paragraph *about* the paper in an email to someone, and not an actual paragraph that will be *in* the paper. But it did help me to structure my ideas.

In other news, I received a rejection in the mail, from the one place where I still had hope. 'Tis true, folks. Unless there's some bizarre 11th hour occurrence, Dr. Crazy is off the market. Luckily, this wasn't very disappointing as I'd already assumed that this would be the outcome. Nevertheless, it just goes to show you that you can have teaching experience out the wazoo, a solid and consistent publication record, a book contract, a demonstrated history of collegiality and service to your institution and community, and guess what? You may not even get an interview. On the other hand, you may be missing one or more of these things and you will get a slew of interviews, for any number of reasons. The point here is that there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. But so, if you'd like to feel sorry for me at MLA, I will of course accept any offers of drinks, for it's not like it matters if I'm hung over in the daylight hours this year! Hurrah!

In OTHER news, I've been fretting privately about the title of this blog, for it was looking like I'd be back to my four-course load in the spring. BUT WAIT! Indeed! It may well not be so! Of course, I may need to agree to something that will suck my soul from my body if I want to have but three courses, but I will not know the details until I meet with Program Director tomorrow. The question is, would I be able to say no even if the thing will suck my soul from my body? This I do not know.

The point here though, is that I am VERY excited about this potential course reduction.

Oh, the Writing

So today I'm taking a day off from grading (well, perhaps I shall grade some later, but for now, it seems that I will not grade today) in order to write my MLA paper. Once again, I'm trying to do too much, and so I'm doing my best to be as tight as possible. I'm really tremendously interested in what I'm discussing, so at least that's something. I'm not entirely sure, however, whether others will find it interesting. We shall see, I suppose.

In other news, BFF has been talking a great deal about the job market being ruled by "The God of Whimsy, whose name is Caprice!" This makes me giggle, and it's an image that definitely helps one to deal with whatever's happening on the job market - whether positive or negative - in a somewhat rational way, I think.

Ok, back to work, because I really need to get this thing written. So far, I feel like it's not going to include any critical context because I'm trying to do too much. Must fix this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In Which All Is Right with the World

Indeed, for I am feeling such a general sense of wellbeing and happiness that I feel like I should share it all with you. Why, you ask? Well, most of it's actually work-related, but there are some other things as well.

1. I'm done with grading one of the three classes, and well on my way to being done with a second. This is astonishing, as normally I put grading off until the last possible moment. Somehow I'm on top of things.

2. The course that I've been fretting over for next semester - the brand new course that I feared would not make its minimum enrollment - seems to be out of danger (commence knocking wood and crossing fingers now). But so yes, it looks like I shall indeed be able to go ahead with it, and that means I can now allow myself to get excited.

3. I got my hair cut and colored (for indeed, the going darker thing? Yeah, not really for me, so now it's brighter and I immediately look less washed out, which is a very good thing, as people have been telling me lately that I "look tired" which really is not the response I'm going for).

4. A Favorite Student, who is graduating, slipped a letter for me into his batch of reaction papers that I collected, and let me just say, it made me feel warm and fuzzy indeed. I wish that I could quote it here, but I feel like that wouldn't be a cool thing to do. Suffice it to say that even though I've been known to question whether my work here is appreciated, it is appreciated and it's appreciated by the only people who really count to me, my students. I am going to miss this student *so much* for he's really been just a bright spot in every class that he's taken with me.

5. Even though I've been a wee bit crazy lately, things are actually really awesome with me in the non-work life. Must remember not to be crazy in the way of a person who sabotages herself so that things can continue to be awesome.

I suppose that's all for now. Oh! Except for that the Man-Kitty has been exceptionally adorable and so perhaps you might like to see what he's been up to? Of course you would. So here is a picture of my adorable little kitty-cat, who has been very supportive and wonderful in recent weeks. (And sure, I realize that he's not *really* being supportive but rather just doing his own thing and I'm anthropomorphizing him, but whatever. It's time for a Man-Kitty picture in any case. And yes, this is one of his preferred positions for hanging out.)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Ooh! Very Exciting!

So I just received a phone call, and my household was selected to be a Neilsen Rating household! Huzzah! I have always wanted to be part of the television ratings! This is very exciting indeed! Apparently there is not a box that will get affixed to my television (where did I get the idea that this was how it worked?) but rather I will fill something out for a mini-sweeps week in the new year. And they will give me $30 for doing so! Just for saying what should be watched on television! Which I have always wanted to do! Crazy's voice matters! She is in a needed demographic for her viewing area! Huzzah!

(And yes, I realize that it is ridiculous how excited about this I am, but really, it's the simple pleasures in life.)

In other news, I've been wanting to post but I'm just too lame to write something worth reading. It's really a shame, because I'm in the mood to post. Ah well. I suspect that things will pick up once the semester is done and once the holidays are over.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Well, I Suppose I Can At Least Stop Thinking about It

As I've mentioned, I've been looking at the stupid wiki a lot lately, which has been a ridiculous way to spend my time, but I think that anybody can forgive me, given the time of year and that I did have a handful of applications out this year. I'm only human, after all. Knowing that such a thing exists, well, it's difficult to look away. Slowly, I've been coming to think that I'm pretty much done for this job season, and from the looks of things this evening, yep, I think that's true. There's only one place I've applied where there seems to be absolutely no action yet, and I suspect I'll know about that (probably also via the wiki, honestly) by the 15th. Now, sure, it's possible that the wiki is filled with lies (though I don't think so) or that some of the SCs are calling people in waves or something (though that seems unlikely) or that I'm an alternate of some kind and will get some kind of 11th hour interview request, or that the hold-out will be into me and ask for an interview (even though nobody else has), but realistically, I'm out.

It's strange. There is a part of me that's disappointed, obviously. But then there's also a part of me that kind of expected that this might happen. And I can shoulda-coulda-woulda all I want, but you know, I'm not sure if I care enough to beat myself up in that particular way. I really believe that I've done as much as I could have possibly done given the constraints of my job. And so, there we are.

So, I need to focus on other things, which I've pretty much been doing anyway, but so really I need to put this behind me. And I really don't think I'll do the market again next year. I'm going up for tenure next year, and you know, I think I'm done with the looking elsewhere. Where I am is pretty ok, and if I decide that I want to be someplace else, I'd rather make that choice based not on the constraints of the academic job market but for personal reasons that are specific. I don't know what that would look like, but well, whatever it would look like, it wouldn't look like the process that I've been part of over the past couple of years.

It's hard, because well, my job is fine. My location? Well, in some ways it's fine but I also know I'm not terribly happy here personally. And I know I would like to be more satisfied than I am, but I think that in many respects I've not been sure how to achieve that outside of going on the market, which is pretty silly given how little control one has over one's role as an applicant. The thing in my life I'm most satisfied with is actually my job. I really do good work here, and I really *like* my work here and my students and my colleagues. So why exactly have I been going on the market if that's true? Well, because going on the market means being able to see other possible futures, and I'm not terribly satisfied with the options for my future here outside of work. But maybe I've been limited in my thinking. Maybe the job isn't the index through which one should perceive one's future. Especially as I don't care terribly about being a tenured faculty member. I mean, sure, if I stay here then I want that, but I don't feel like that defines me or that it should define me. And so, next year the book will come out, and that will be awesome and an achievement that I care about. And next year I'll get tenure, and that will give me a certain kind of security here, and that's nice, too. But those things aren't everything, and I feel more and more aware of that the longer that I'm in this profession.

The things that matter most to me in my job really do have to do with what I provide for my students and the work that I do to make my university the kind of university where I want to work. This isn't to discount the reasons that I gave a while ago about why I chose to go on the market - those reasons are still there - or to discount the things I said in another post about what kind of a job I'd like. But I'm thinking that maybe it will be possible to think about my life - with my career as a part of that - in a way that doesn't make finding another tenure-track job the only way to achieve the things that I want.

And so, on the bright side, this means that I will have one rocking MLA. Because you know what? Nothing's more fun than an MLA where one is *not* interviewing. And really, all I want to do at MLA is to socialize anyway, so those places that think I'm not cool enough for them? Well, clearly they don't know what they're missing :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Ok, so I didn't get my snow day (although I did get snow), and I've been... I don't know. I've just been in a state for about the past week. I blame the following:
  • The book.
  • The end of the semester.
  • The MLA paper looming.
  • The fact that I'm in Laundry Dire Straits.
  • The sounds of silence on my end re: the few applications I have out vs. the mutterings on the wiki, which I know that I should not peruse and yet I do, like a freak. I know, I know: no news is good news. Except with the advent of the wiki, no news can make one feel like a loser, which really sucks. Especially as one may not BE a loser for real. Ugh.
This has made me a little... edgy. But there is hope, friends! I found a way to skedaddle from the office and now I'm home to Accomplish things and to have a relaxing afternoon and potentially a nap with my sweet, sweet kitty-cat. But first, there shall be a delicious home-cooked lunch. Indeed.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

RBOC: End of Semester Bad Blogger Edition

  • Well, the holiday season is officially here, for a certain Dr. Crazy officially made 2 students (that she knows of) cry. Nothing like watching students fight back the tears to put one in the holiday spirit. NOT. (And it always makes me feel like I might cry, and I wish that they understood that I don't like for them to be upset but it doesn't matter how hard you work or how much time you spend- sometimes you work hard and you get a grade that is lower than an A. Sigh.)
  • I'm also trying to figure out Christmas presents. It's times like these when I wish that Christmas did not fall at this time of year. Especially as my current list involves about 47 things for myself and only like three gifts for others.
  • I wish that I'd worked out more over the past six months. We all know what one of my New Year's resolutions is going to be.
  • The grading. Ugh.
  • Is it wrong that I'm praying for a snow day tomorrow just so I can sleep all morning? And do my laundry all afternoon?
  • I took on a new service thing for the spring. I'm excited about it and also I'm an idiot, as I already see where it can become a huge time suck.
  • No word on the limited job search, although the things on the wiki (which I should not allow myself to examine, although I do so every day) have me confused.
  • Hmmm. Let's try to think of something positive. Well. The Man-Kitty. He is a bright spot in all our lives, now isn't he? There will be pictures of him coming soon, as he's been posing like a champ. I think it's all of the America's Next Top Model he's been watching. He's all about angles and showing a lot of neck.

I apologize for the lameness of this post. Am too tired to post anything of any sort of substance. Now it's time for a cup of tea.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

All Seven and We'll Watch Them Fall....

Indeed, Belle has tagged me for the 7 meme, which has been seen, well, everywhere.

The rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Check.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself. Brace yourselves.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. I'm totally not doing this, as I feel like everybody has already been tagged. So, if you've not been tagged, consider yourself tagged.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. See my rule-breaking behavior re: #3.

  1. My favorite word in all of D.H. Lawrence's writing is "cockaloopy."
  2. When I was 7, I had these swimming lessons, and at the end of the lessons there was like this swimming exhibition where we got to show what we learned. As each group went, the instructors would afterwards give everybody candy. My group didn't get to go because they were running short on time, and the instructor gave us candy anyway. Not only was I upset because I didn't get to show off my swimming in the exhibition thingie, but I was utterly inconsolable because I'd been rewarded when I'd done nothing. The tears, they flowed freely.
  3. When I was 10 years old, I really thought that I would grow up and be a fashion designer. Huh.
  4. "To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal/ Light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle" - indeed, I still know all of the lyrics to "Ice, Ice Baby," as well as to other classics like the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere" and Candyman's "Knockin' Boots."
  5. I can cook in more than five ethnic traditions.
  6. I have a dimple on each shoulder, and more than once people, given the right lighting, have thought that one or the other was a smudge of dirt.
  7. I cannot resist a made-for-tv movie. Right now, I'm watching one on the Oxygen network about high society African-Americans on Martha's Vineyard in the 1950s and their daughter who wants to marry a white musician. It is awesome.