"the rain in spain" | tuesday | april 11, 2006 | 7:18 am
NOTHER MONTH. Time keeps ticking. Daylight
Savings Time has started. The days are getting longer. And the weather's improving.
All good things. Except I just started a new quarter and have through the beginning
of June before I'm done. Things are pretty good. Just busy, as always. I must make
some time to write some things down. More soon.
read footnotes |
• • •
"brain drain" | monday | april 17, 2006 | 7:51 am
I really think that I do too much in too short a period of time. Then, by the time its done,
I'm either too tired or too overwhelmed to make heads or tails of it all. Since the end of
last quarter, through the week or so of spring break, till now has been crazy busy: school,
teaching, reading, writing, students, friends, going out, staying in, sleeping, partying,
flirting, sulking. A body can only do so much. No regrets, just weary.
The only option now is to whip out the bullet list (no fancy transitions or narratives today):
• Spring break, the week between quarters here, was spent just being a total slug, loser.
I did very little that required much brain-power. I'm working my way through C.S. Lewis's
Chronicles of Narnia.
I played a whole horde-load of
World of Warcraft. I watched
TV. I saw
V for Vendetta (and enjoyed
it very much). I hung out with friends. My friends Jason, Jay, and I managed to take a
little day trip to explore around Seattle and its outskirts. We hit
a neighborhood called Georgetown,
which is south Seattle, which is industrial and supposedly pretty up-and-coming, which is
nothing like the swanky Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, which boasts a bar
called the 9 Pound Hammer, which isn't very exciting in the middle of the day on a Monday alas.
(We stopped a local cafe called
The Two Tartes Bakery, where
the two cool kids behind the counter didn't know how to run the espresso machine and said
there wasn't much to do in Georgetown during the day.) It'll be neat place to venture out
on a weekend night. After getting all turned around in Georgetown, we hit
Saltwater State Park
(and now can say we went to the beach for spring break). Then we drove north to the
Des Moines Marina
(no, not in Iowa, and yes, because Jason likes marinas), where there was a really scary
man sitting in his idling car, next to the public restrooms, reading the bible, and
staring at people. Finally, we headed to west Seattle and had dinner in
which is directly across the bay from downtown, which is a strange mix of South Beach and the Jersey Shore,
which boasts a thin strip of actual beach, sidewalk, waterfront condos, and a bunch of
fish and chips places. Alki Beach (al-kye not al-kee) is supposed to be hopping during
the summer. We at at Spuds (for fish and chips). It was a good little trip.
• The first couple of weeks of the new quarter have been relatively uneventful, though busy.
I have lots of reading to do each week. I was originally registered for three classes, knowing
that I would drop one of them. I had to try each out. I was signed up for an
American Transcendentalism and Pragmatism class (think Kant, think Schelling, think Emerson,
think Hawthorne), a British Late Modernism class (think Woolf, think Eliot, think
Orwell, think Auden), and a Geography: Sexuality and Space class (think locating and
spatialising sex, sexuality, gender). I went to each class, did a little shopping, and
decided to drop the transcendentalism class (even the professor is pretty entertaining,
a bunch of my friends are in the class, but it was just too much work for my frame of
mind). My Late Modernism class (which also has a bunch of friends in it) is okay; the
professor is very nice, very chatty, but not very rigorous. The class has little to do
with my intended PhD work, but it's a nod to one of my favorite professors back in
Maryland (who passed away a few years ago and if things had been different would have
made me into a very different graduate student). My Geography class is pretty good,
very small, and an interesting mixture of social science and literary studies. I'm still
getting used to the idea that I'm taking a graduate geography course. I've already
done presentations in both classes, and both classes require a bit of reading each week.
Now I just have to keep up and think of seminar paper topics.
• A whole lot of drinkin' been going on. A whole lot. I'm surprised, actually, sometimes,
at how much. A lot of spring break was spent at local watering holes. My friend Andrew
introduced me to
George and Dragon
(206 North 36th Street, Fremont), an English pub where they watch a lot of football
(the real kind) and drink pint after pint. One of the male bartenders that works there
is unbelievably hot--tall, shavy headed, muscled, cute face, tight shirts, a little cocksure,
nice package. I could go there just to watch him work all night. Alas, the bar is very
straight, very meat-markety (for the heteros). I'll have to
Guerilla Queer Bar it.
Almost every weekend this past month or so has been spent either at someone's house or
in a bar. It all starts on Thursday night, which is the usual English Grad Pub night
(we haven't come up with a good name yet). Then there's always something to do, someplace
to be, someone who wants to go out. Birthdays, celebrations, goings away, comings back,
who-needs-an-excuse-to-drink type things. It's been fun. I just have to take it easier.
• One notable night of mayhem and debauchery was a house party at Andrew's house. He wanted
it to inaugurate the spring quarter; he wanted it to be a rager, a "kegger." He also wanted
it to be a mix of people rather than just only grad students. So we invited everyone we
could think of. A keg was procured. I made food. Music was lined up. And the evening
went off like a firecracker. There were tons of people. Someone brought a beer bong.
There weren't any kegstands though. It was a fun, debaucherous night. I don't think
there was any drama, either. We talked, we drank, we laughed, we drank, we danced,
we drank. Notable moments of the evening included catwalking on the very small dance
floor (which limited itself to the dining room) and being ninja-pirates with my friend
Curtis. Who could ask for more?
• My taxes are done. And I'm actually getting a good chunk back. Now I just have to save it
even though I really want to spend it on fun things. Like a new tattoo. Or a notebook
laptop. I need the money to get through summer, though, and I'd like to use it to do
some traveling once the quarter is done. So it's gotta sit tight.
• I am on a big "I need to be queer" kick right now. I think since I spend a majority
of my time with straight (but friendly) people, and in particular with straight men, I
crave being where the boys (and grrls) are. I've gone through phases like this before.
I just get inundated with the straightness of it all, and I want to run screaming to
the nearest gay bar or
Target to reaffirm myself. I love
my friends here. It's not an indictment of them at all. But life is just disproportinately
hetero for me, and I am always struggling to change that, to balance it out more. I'm
working on it. I try to hang out with my few gay friends more. And I keep trying to
get my straighties to come do queerer things with me. (Ironically, even organizing
Guerilla Queer Bar ends up being pretty straight since we go to a straight bar and
most of the participants right now are my straight friends.) Of course, much of what
I have been doing is going to bars. I've hung out at a few places including the
Madison Pub, which I like
more and more because it's so relaxed, and a new favorite place, the
Cuff, ostensibly a leather
bar but also very relaxed and fun. More on this later.
• I have discovered that Safeway now carries a line of frozen "dim sum" foods like
dumplings and -- to my delight -- cha siu bao (pork buns). They're not bad. I mean
nothing can compare to a great restaurant, but these are easy to get, easy to make,
and yummy in a pinch.
• I went to two local concerts in the past week. Both at the suggestion of my friend
Andrew. I live in Seattle, right, so I figure I should do some music-type thing at
least once in a while. The first was to see Andrew's favorite band
The show was at
Chop Suey (1325 E. Madison),
right down the street from me. It was an okay night for me; it was a Wednesday night
and I was beat tired. But I liked the band, who remind me vaguely of the Police or
early Sting, and even the opening bad was cool, Handful of Lovin' (who don't seem
to have a web presence), who reminded me of Dave Matthews. The crowd was really
straight (big surprise) with big tall (Seattle seems to be a forest of tall men)
frat boy types complete with baseball caps, plaid shirts, khaki pants, or slutty
girlfriend. I stayed for the whole show just chilling in the background. Andrew
was very sweet in how he totally adored the band and the lead singer -- straight
boys who crush on other boys is very cute. The second show was two days later at
Neumo's (925 E. Pike Street),
also right down the street from me, a larger venue space, to see
Band of Horses, who are
up-and-coming and really good. They're new (but not squeaky clean to the music
scene) and the lead singer's voice is startlingly clear. I had a much better
night at Nuemo's, which was also pretty straight (though a bit grungier and
• Last quarter, I had a student from the fall quarter challenge their grade. It
actually went up challenge process all the way to my director. There were emails
and meetings and this and that. Eventually, though, the student's work was
reevaluated by the director. He concurred with my original grade. The student
wanted nearly a whole point added (remember UW is on the evil 0.0-4.0 scale).
I'm glad to be reassured that my grading is fair and on keel. The whole process
is annoying, though, to say the least.
• My love life stinks. More later.
read footnotes |
• • •
"guerillas and flowers" | saturday | april 22, 2006 | 5:23 pm
AST NIGHT WAS GUERILLA QUEER BAR. It was
held at the
George and Dragon Pub
(206 N. 36th Street) in Freemond. We had a little less than twenty show up, mostly
my friends from school. One day
grow up big and strong. Here's some photos (thanks to my friend Jay) of the night:
read footnotes |
• • •
"best wishes" | friday | april 28, 2006 | 11:01 am
APPY BIRTHDAY TO NANCY! (Whose birthday is
always a reminder that mine is coming up. Yikes.)
• • •
last month |