proustbot: (young and drinking in the park)
This morning is the morning that I am waking up in sleepy leisure in my childhood bed, rather than staggering awake in the dark and throwing all my shit in my backpack and running for the airport.

(That joy awaits next week.)

Let's do the year in review quiz, kids.

2016: Everyone bought champagne for mimosas, and no one brought orange juice, and there's a metaphor in there somewhere. )
proustbot: (liz)

ME: "Oh, yeah. That dude. I met him at an anthropology workshop. The workshop kind of confirmed the awfulness of current anthropology as a discipline."


[five minutes later]

ME: "What word can I use in this chapter that's like 'supernatural' but doesn't carry the extra Eurocentric garbage connotations of 'supernatural'?

VERONICA: "I feel like...there might be a whole discipline dedicated to solving this's on the tip of my tongue..."

ME: "If only I hadn't thrown that baby out with the bathwater!"


The Dude circulated his dissertation to his committee on Monday, following the most manic spurt of writing I've ever witnessed. (He claims to have written his conclusion in two hours.) Following that, we've witnessed various stages of euphoria and depression from the Dude, and we haven't been a particularly reassuring crowd. (When the Dude tells people about writing the conclusion in two hours, I think he is expecting a different reaction from the one that he inevitably receives.) But we went out drinking with a motley crew Tuesday night, so that the Dude could alternate between venting about academia and gushing about high-school-era hip-hop.

I have experienced many, many hours of venting in the last week, so whenever the Dude began to vent again (usually about how his advisor hadn't been over-the-moon when the Dude began their meeting that morning by talking about writing his conclusion in two hours), I could feel myself entering a disassociative fugue state. As an added bonus, the Dude had invited an acquaintance who has now made good in a way that doesn't affect me (insofar as I like her a lot but I don't need to impress her with my CV), but in a way that really mattered to other people in the booth with us. (Which is to say: I gave Lockwood some shit about her overly correct pronunciation of LaTeX and Lockwood reacted in such a way that suggested that I was HUMILIATING her in front of her IDOL.)

What I'm saying is: I spent a lot of time at that bar looking for an opportune moment to leave.

But I stuck around, and I'm glad I did, because eventually people peeled off, and it was just me and the Dude and Veronica and Betty, and someone said "thorough," and I said, "He's a good man, and thorough," and the Dude clutched his hands to his chest and asked if we could watch The Big Lebowski.

So we bought some Kahlua and take-out Korean food and tromped back to Veronica and Betty's house, and we watched The Big Lebowski. And at the end, as the credits rolled, Veronica and Betty and the Dude all sang along Townes Van Zandt's cover of "Dead Flowers."

And I thought, This is nice.
proustbot: (But it was she and not the sea we heard)
Wife A. decided to jaunt home for a few days, so I'm feeding her cat, Smallsie. Smallsie's name is ironic; he is a massive orange tabby cat. His shape can best be described as "bowling ball perched on tiny, dainty feet." He's not soft or squidgy at all; to pet Smallsie is to pet a dense, hard-packed body with an iron-like musculature.

So last night, after Ze Bar with Wife A. and the Dude and Lockwood (and after I dodged out on drinks with Thornton and Vidalia), I stumbled home to feed Smallsie. While he ate, I turned on You've Got Mail, and after ten minutes, Smallsie climbed up on my belly ("Oh, god," I groaned, "right on the breast...!") and proceeded to make bread on my brand-new T-shirt with tiny pricks of his dainty claws.

This morning, I drowsily repeated the process. We've now reached the part in You've Got Mail where Tom Hanks is about to discover Meg Ryan is the woman with whom he's been anonymously corresponding.

The Tombs of Atuan and All She Was Worth )
proustbot: (walk of shame/terror)
Two Pressing Questions as I grudgingly arise to greet the day:

1. Conan, what is worst in life? Is it proctoring a three-hour exam on a Saturday while being extraordinarily hungover?

2. Will my students notice/care if I administer this exam in sunglasses and pajamas?

(I like to brag about not getting hangovers, and while it's true that I don't get headaches or dry mouth, I do get filled with nihilism and smell alcohol-y, and also I want to take a lot of morning naps.)

(I had dinner at F.'s house last night with his husband and J. and A., and the five of us went handily through four bottles of red wine. And then I had a beer with Wife E. and the Dude and drunkenly meandered home at one this morning. And now: exam time.)

(Tonight is our annual dept party, a notorious venue for drunkenness and dancing. Am I going to make it? Am I going to make it?)
proustbot: (young and drinking in the park)
Three years ago, I did one of those little "year in review" questionnaires that used to be all the rage. Today, it amused me to fill it out again re: 2015, the little year that could.

2015 in Review )
proustbot: (young and drinking in the park)
Me and How I Met Your Mother )

How I Met Your Mother 1x01-1x03: Pilot, Purple Giraffe, and Sweet Taste of Liberty )

Um, this got longer than I thought it would. What can I say? I like How I Met Your Mother.
proustbot: (everybody's crazy about a sharp-dressed)
I turned over the keys to my apartment on August 13 and jetted down to the parental homestead for ten days of video games and sisterly bonding.

Dragon Age II, Tales of Xillia, and Skyrim )

On August 22, I flew back North to attend a dissertation defense and hassle H., followed by hijinks in Philly with TDR. I killed some time in DC, and then I came back for five nights of sleeping on the floor of The Dude's and Wife E's new apartment. When originally laying out my plans during the summer, I had budgeted a lot of dead time in the States, in case my Spanish visa proved difficult or obstreperous. Instead, I got my visa in record time and spent a lot of time wishing that I had planned differently, gone ahead to Spain, avoided the vagabond life of my current existence. But that regret faded in my last week of Baltimore -- it was worth it to finally be able to see Wife E again after a year of separation, and it was worth it to spend quality time with Ys, who will probably be gone when I return (if I return) next year.

And then I flew to Spain -- not the country of my heart, not exactly, but definitely a country within which I can comfortably live for the next year (or longer). Hurray for field years.
proustbot: (Floreat Etona)

[after going on a defriending spree on Facebook]
THE DUDE: "I mean, sure. Sometimes I feel a little bad when I defriend dead people."


[the opening line from a student paper]
"Besides just sitting and smoking a cigar in almost every image of him, Winston Churchill proved to be a very, very influential person."


THORNTON: "I have a long and illustrious career in the great art of badminton."


[in the aftermath of a party, as we drunkenly sprawl in our living room]
GOSLING: "So he says he studies Material Science, and N. asks him what that comprises, and then he...oh god...he looks at us and he goes, 'Materials. Your shirt. This table. This house. Trees. That's what I study.' It was the worst, man. The worst."

ME: "What are you talking about? That answer is awesome. That is my new answer for when people ask me what I study."
proustbot: (Mendou Shutaro)
Hey, guys, remember when we were all fourteen-years old and filling out quiz-memes on our LiveJournals?

Let's return to those times!!1 )
proustbot: (clint eastwood)

DARWIN: [staring down at my stocking feet] "Awesome socks as usual, dude."

ME: "...have you ever seen me in socks before?"

DARWIN: "Maybe not? Maybe I just assumed, given everything else I know about you, that you had a bitchin' sock collection."


VICTORIA: "Yeah, so when my mother was a little girl in Detroit, her neighbors were ham-radio operators. And sometimes their radio conversations would get accidentally picked up by her television. One of them was called "Hot Dog." And...I've forgotten what the other one was called..."

[Victoria calls her mother and has a muffled conversation]

VICTORIA: "All right, Mom says that the other guy's call sign was 'Dolly Dimples.'"


PROFESSOR: "And he teaches at that school up there...starts with a W..."

ME: "It's Wheaton."

PROFESSOR: "That's an all-girl's school, right?"

THE DUDE: "No, you're thinking of Wellesley."

SUFFOLK: [maliciously] "No, I think you're thinking of Wesleyan."


EVERYONE ELSE IN THE CLASS: [high-fiving Suffolk]

SUFFOLK: "I mean...all those W places up there in gets confusing."

proustbot: (Liberty Leading the People)

[SCENE: It's noon. A. and I just got home to find The Dude at our kitchen table. We prepare to start baking cookies. He is still in his PJs.]

ME: "Should we start drinking? I think we should start drinking. Hey, Dude, do you want a beer?"

THE DUDE: "Well, I think...guys, I think that I shouldn't start drinking for the day until I take a shower at least, you know?"

ME: "Yeah, that sounds like a pretty good rule of thumb. For life."


SUFFOLK: "I swear, if he does not wear a tux, I'm going to beat him to death with a chair."


ME: "So my mother thought that your facebook profile picture was actually a picture of you..."

FORMER ROOMMATE: "Really? Oh man, I can imagine that call home: 'Hey, Mom! My roommate is really cool! He's from Peru! He has a beard, he's kind of short...and he's fifty years old.'"
proustbot: (clint eastwood)
My advisor is offering a seminar next semester that conflicts with two other seminars I want to take (for giggles). I sat in the computer lab one morning and tried to strategize how to get two of the three professors involved to shuffle around their classes without letting my advisor know that I am taking classes solely for the sake of giggles.

This is my comps year. In theory. I should be grimly grinding away in preparation for my exams in the spring. In practice, I like to take seminars on totally unrelated topics, because, hey, sitting with a bunch of your peers and discussing books and sources and historiography is the fun part of graduate school. However, the advisor will not be sympathetic to this line of thinking, and I have successfully kept him in the dark about the many, many seminars I've taken and am taking. (Happily, he has not yet stopped to wonder about why all his colleagues know me so well.)

I was explaining all my ruses and plans to other grad students in the lab, and one of them raised his eyebrow and said, "[ profile] mutantkoala, every [advisor] story you tell is about how he sees through your intricately designed plans to deceive him."

Which is a very true statement -- although it may reflect more the stories I elect to tell about myself and less the perspicacity of my advisor.
proustbot: (Our sole remaining neighbor was the sky)
[SCENE: my roommate E. was just diagnosed with mono]

ME: "I'm just impressed that you're still...upright, you know? I feel as if most people with mono are bed-ridden for weeks."

H: "Eh. I had mono once. It was a bad weekend. And then I cut back on my work a little bit, and it was no big deal."

EVERYONE ELSE: [staring at him]

E: "Are you serious?"

H: "Wait, I didn't mean--"

ME: "You conquered mono on the strength of willpower alone?"

H: "You guys, hold on, that's not--"

D: "[H.] is a Nietzschean superman!"

H: "Guys, seriously, all I'm saying is: Mono and I had a staring contest, and Mono blinked."
proustbot: (liz)

D: "I find that Nicholas Kristof is becoming increasingly insufferable."

ME: "..."

D: [dangerously] "Go ahead. Say it."

ME: "Sounds like the caption to a New Yorker cartoon!"

D: "I knew you were going to say that."

ME: "Only, in the cartoon, we're both dressed as rodeo clowns."


ME: "Well, you know, once I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die."

V: "Dude. Everything you say is either a line from Johnny Cash or The Big Lebowski."

ME: "The good things in life!"


H: "Oh, man. She's always talking to me. For hours. Late at night. I think I'm in trouble. Could you just talk to your roommates and get them to tell her that I'm an asshole?"

ME: "Well...I think they'll do that anyway. Without me asking them."
proustbot: (But it was she and not the sea we heard)
Yesterday, I woke up at 4 in the morning, turned on the BBC, and began typing up an outline about the plurality of the Protestant Reformations as many people in wacky hats streamed through the TV and into Westminister Abbey. (I've gotten some grief about this from my cohort, to which I can only say: if you ever need to muzzily get up early to parse your indecipherable notes about Zwingli's interpretation of the eucharist in preparation for an eight-hour exam that you're about to take, wacky hats and organ music make a nicely soothing accompaniment.)

Then I packed up my stuff, went to the library, spread out my stuff on a group-study table, piled up my books like a fortress around me, plugged in my headphones, turned on my iPod, and took an eight-hour exam. (The questions I decided to answer involve the geographic multiplicity of the Reformations and the historiography of religious violence in early modern Europe.) I haven't taken a timed exam since undergraduate years, but I have written many research papers under ridiculous deadlines in the last three years, and that skill served me in good stead. I took one twenty-minute break to run up to the library cafe and eat a sandwich while flipping through Natalie Zemon Davis' Society and Culture in Early Modern France. Then I ran back down and kept typing. I produced 14 pages, which seems to be the average output for the people in my cohort who took their own exams that day.

Then I got on a bus with some friends and went downtown to the university conservatory, where one of the members of my cohort (who took his own eight-hour exam earlier that day) was singing with a Renaissance ensemble. Two hours of lute music later, we made sleep-deprived smalltalk and tried to go to our favorite pizza place around the corner, only to discover that their kitchen closes at 10. (10! On a Friday night! We were aggrieved.) So we went instead to our second favorite bar, where we drank beer and ate undercooked pizza and they mocked me for getting up at 4 in the morning to watch William and Kate wed. ("But I was just typing up notes," I wailed. "The eucharist! Iconoclasm! Institutional hierarchy!")

Then I went home, curled up sleepily on my roommate's bed while I talked to him about our days, and then curled up sleepily on my own bed. And went to sleep.
proustbot: (clint eastwood)
GERMAN COLLEAGUE: "It was like...what is the word in know, when you take delight in someone else's suffering?"

ME: "..."

THE DUDE: "..."

ME: "We...we just use your word for that."

(Turns out that he was actually looking for "Hohn," and he was surprised to learn that Schadenfreude has such an expansive definition in English usage.)


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