"musings on stuff" | monday | may 1, 2006 | 9:08 am
I sometimes think I spend way too much time thinking about time. I remember a
study I participated in once, back at Maryland, that was about perception of time in
relation to getting older. I think the general hypothesis was that as a person gets older
their perception of time "moving faster" became more and more pronounced. Makes common
sense, right? (Of course, it has to do with the fact that after a certain age, you realize
that life is just the eventual hurtling towards death. I know, I know, overly dramatic.
But still.) It probably doesn't help that I've been reading T.S. Eliot's and W. H. Auden's
poetry for class; the modernists were definitely concerned with the apprehension and
understanding of time. The end result, study or not, is that I am thinking a lot about
the hours, days, months, and years that seem to be passing faster and faster.
The past couple of weeks have been up and down. Fast and slow. School has been all right.
Busy with reading and trying to stay a little bit ahead of the game. It's midterm already.
Time to think about my seminar papers due in a month or so. I've already started a little
bit of research. Classes are pretty relaxed. Teaching is going all right, though my
students (yet again) are finding the concepts about diversity and multiculturalism
difficult. I had conferences with students last week; they're working on their first
major paper, and some of them are stressed out about it, which in turn makes me stressed
Last weekend (not this past one), the last weekend of last month, my friend Nancy was
in town for work, a conference, and crashed out Saturday night through Monday morning
with me before flying back east. It was really nice to see her, to hang out and catch
up, and to show her more of Seattle. We ate a lot of yummy food (notably at the pricy
(1100 Pike Street) and
(429 15th Avenue E)), had drinks (at the
Cuff (1533 13th Avenue), where Nancy
got her ass grabbed by a really drunk bear, and
Purr (1518 11th Avenue),
and did a little bit of sightseeing.
Other highlights of the past weeks include going to a bar for my geography class; the professor
thought it was a great idea to go to the historic
(double entendre galore), which is the oldest existant gay bar in the city, though it seems
to have changed clientele since the 60s (with the building of the new stadium), though there
are still faded pictures of butch lesbians and men in drag on the walls. The class was
reading Gary L. Atkins'
which is a very interesting genealogy of gay life, spaces, places, and history in Seattle. The
Double Header is one of those places.
I also went to a English sponsored talk about the "state of the department" given by
(who famously wrote
How We Became Posthuman
and other science/humanities must-reads). It was an interesting talk. Basically, our
department--like departments across the country--are trying to figure out how to
stay competative and valuable and intelligible in a day and age when the humanities
are struggling for attention, for legitimacy, for students, and for funding. Hayles
was very friendly, cogent, almost grandmotherly, though I don't think I would ever say
that to her face. I got to meet a bunch of faculty whom I have never seen before. I also
ran into the grad department chair and my faculty advisor, both of whom I have yet to
ask to be on my committee. But, one step at a time.
But life hasn't been all work. I play. A lot. Probably entirely too, too much. In fact,
I am thinking about a moratorium on drinking. Though, as drunk logic dictates, anyone who
claims they are going to stop drinking (methinks I do protest too much) is only postponing
the inevitable. I have too many friends and compatriots here who enjoy the night out at
the pub. A lot. Probably entirely too, to many friends, in fact. But graduate students,
if you didn't know, depend a great deal on their cohort and on their ability to cleave away
from graduate life--one way, alas, is through the drink. The last four or five weeks I have
gone drinking at least three to five times a week. A week! There was Andrew's
kegger, the week trips to the College Inn, and
various other excursions out. This past weekend alone consisted of Thursday night at
College Inn (which graduated to the Cuff), Friday night out for my friend Curtis's
Murphy's (which graduated to
SeaMonster (2202 N. 45th Street)
and then to Dick's afterward for burgers), and Saturday night out with my friend Jane
(we went to my friend Calla's housewarming, then the Cuff, then Madison Pub). Crazy.
Granted not every single night out is to the point of smashedness. My body is definitely
not a happy camper. So, I should stop for the time being. Alas, alack, my birthday
is coming up this weekend. So much for my protestations.
My birthday is the cause for some consternation. I don't know exactly why, except
for the usual "I'm getting old" insecurities. I think it's a combination of things:
getting older, being in a new city, being far from old friends and family, being
interminably single, being a graduate student (still), being poor, being unsettled.
My friend Melanie called up last night to ask me a question about one of her
students and the conversation turned to my birthday, to which I politely said I
wasn't feeling very chipper and didn't want to talk about it. I know that kind of
put her off. But I will come around. I just need to sort through some things,
and in the end, say fuck it and go one with my life anyway. (It doesn't help that
this past weekend has been once again trying with my upstairs neighbors, who have
woken me up at odd hours with their stomping about or playing the electric guitar.
I need to move.)
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
--T.S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton"
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• • •
"happy birthday, mr. president" | saturday | may 6, 2006 | 11:10 am
DSTRAVAGANZA 2006 IS WELL UNDER WAY.
Yep. Today is my birthday. Do I feel older? A little. But as I said before,
I think I feel older a little bit every day. I'm tired, too. Today is the third
day of the 'EDstravaganza', which started on Thursday. Details are forthcoming.
But, here are my natal day predictions for today and beyond:
"For a satisfying day, build your ideas into something solid -- creativity is strong." and
"It's time to nip a growing problem in the bud by taking immediate and positive action.
To be on the safe side take a few moments beforehand to make sure that you're considering
all the long-term ramifications."
About love: "This is it -- there's great fun to be
had, and you will endear yourself to just about anyone in range. Try to make sure that
you've got someone watching when you head out tonight."
For career: "The stars say work
should go well now, but that's not all there is to life. If you're willing to take a
chance on romance, the returns could be extremely beneficial for your overall morale."
Amen to that!
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• • •
"a whole lot of something going on" | wednesday | may 17, 2006 | 10:18 pm
OOK, A MID-WEEK POST. It's going to be a short
one, though. The hour's getting late, and even though it's not quite half-past ten yet,
I'm beat-down tired. It's been a pretty full, mentally taxing day. Between conferencing
with my students, reading for upcoming papers, and just trying to stay relaxed in the
face of the end of the quarter, I don't have much energy left. Bed will be a good thing.
(And I hope that the powers that be will be kind and let me actually get some solid
sleep tonight.) It seems that since the end of my birthday weekend, all the stops
were taken out, and life (mainly school) has nosed into overdrive. There is less than three
weeks to go in the quarter. I have two 15-20 page seminar papers to write, a class
to wrap up and grading to do, and sundry other end of the term duties. I hope to get
my papers done early. Of course, that means freaking out early. I'm going to try to get
a fuller update in sometime this weekend. For now, goodnight.
read footnotes |
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