the interweb

“the truth is i bleed you
when these frequencies cut me
i’m a slut with a mission
a singular vision
i radio heaven
i get mixed signals
i move the antenna
i switch the channels—“I Radio Heaven,” Over the Rhine

I find it amazing that I can always find something to do on the interweb, no matter how long or short my time frame. I heart the interweb – and it will be in my own home NEXT SATURDAY! What joy!
Meat Fest 03 was a terrific success – Sarah and I made applesauce, two kinds of bread, pork chops in a cider sauce, chicken stuffed with feta, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto, and my grandma’s famous mashed potatoes. We prepped a couple of pies but didn’t get around to baking them – maybe this afternoon. Nicole and Jody joined us – Missy and Amity couldn’t make it. 😦 Lots of food, lots of wine, some random stalking of the Picadilly guy, inappropriate questions, Yahtzee, and so much laughter. A terrific evening.
I’m totally in love with Over the Rhine‘s Films for Radio. They didn’t have it at Best Buy this morning – I may have to order. Wow.

quiet night

It’s Friday night and I’m hanging out at Sarah and Hannah’s, doing laundry and monitoring Acadia while Sarah is at work and Hannah is en route to Philly. It’s v quiet here, which is nice.
I came to the realization that one of the things I really miss about Rockford is the FOOD. Yes, there’s remarkable food down here – and lots of it – but these are the things/places I miss:
Bacchus – creme brulee and $2 cosmos for pub quiz
Basil Cafe – swordfish, wow! and their bread…
Beef-a-Roo – ultimate chicken club and cheddar fries
Cafe Patou – tortellini and a roll dipped in the crazy house dressing
Genghis Khan – James’s crazy buffet stir-fry with the sauce of your own making
India House – mm, naan
Mary’s Market – coffee every day for years
A Movable Feast – the basil sandwich, tomato dill soup, and a key lime square
Nippon – my first introduction to sushi and the designated birthday place for years
Thai Cuisine – nevermind the cockroach, eat the satay!
The Rose – tortellini or wild mushroom crepes with asparagus
Uncle Nick’s – best late night food EVER – best 90c lunch as well
This should be a good weekend. Hannah’s in Philly, Shawn’s in Missouri. Mark’s home in Rockford (eating at Nippon, if you must know). Sarah and I are going to have a Festival of Meat tomorrow along with Jody, Nicole, and Amity. Sunday is the first NaNo gathering down here. Somewhere in there I hope to make applesauce and homemade bread – get some reading done – finish cleaning and arranging my apartment – etc. Right now I’m content with a fuzzy helicopter in my lap. Awwh, Elijah, I love you too. I didn’t mean it when I said I was breaking up with you. You’re still my one true love.

payday

Hoo-rah, my first paycheck from the new job. It’s not stupendous, but it’s a check. I’m sort of struggling with the fact that not only has my household income decreased by half (without Nate), my personal income has decreased by half as well. So I’m living off of 25% of what I had two months ago. It’s OK – just an adjustment. Thank God (or Busey) for a brilliant employee assistance plan – I’m in need of more “professional” clothing and can’t afford it on my own.
Nearly done with How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton. It’s a good time. And no, I haven’t actually read Proust. Suck it. I started The Matisse Stories tonight at the library – that’s what happens when you have to wait around for a computer. It’s really lovely and is giving me lots of ideas for my NaNovel. Actually it’s mainly just lovely – I have no ideas.
Two words: Philip, wow. I’ve always wanted to be a muse. 🙂
I feel like all the things I have to say these days are either totally random (like the weird bird on my phone) or totally irrelevant or totally hyperbolic and ridiculous. Or maybe all of the above. My apologies. Hope it doesn’t keep any of you away.
Oh, and if you don’t have anything planned for next month and don’t particularly value your sanity, you need to check out NaNoWriMo. It is carefully organized insanity. Or something. I’m the Municipal Liaison for the Champaign-Urbana along with Robby, henceforth known as Bearded Library Boy. So if you’re here and you want to play (or, again, don’t value your sanity), you should sign up. It’ll be funnnnn……

mmmmatrix

There are two obnoxious small children at the computer next to mine. About every 2-3 minutes they will yell for the librarian (or at each other). As far as I can tell, the only reason they’re using the computers is so they can watch cartoons. Somehow going to the library to watch cartoons seems to be missing the point.
Work’s OK. It’s a job. I need to get more practical shoes – my wicked sexy interview shoes (OK, maybe they look like they belong to a Pilgrim) just aren’t practical for hours on my feet. A few more days in training, then on to the campus branch and my real job. I would say it will be interesting, but I have little faith in that.
My wall projects are awesome. I will post photos when I can, I promise. I made a makeshift memo board out of my entire living room wall – it doesn’t look as nice, but it’s definitely fun. And then there’s the postcard wall which makes me smile with its radiant weirdness. Up next, the wall of mirrors.
The Matrix Reloaded came out today, which is HOT HOT HOT. Now if only I can find a free DVD player….
Not much else to report, I guess. There’s so much in my life right now but I’m at a loss as to where to begin. Still no phone at home – I’ve decided to tell AT&T to take a flying leap and have signed up for digital cable instead. We’ll see how that works out. Should be a quiet week – nothing on the books til my meeting with NaNo Robby on Friday and the Celebration of Meat with Sarah this weekend while Hannah’s away. Last week was very full – dinner with Sarah and Shawn on Tuesday at my place. Dinner at Sarah’s Wednesday, then drinking coffee and reading until late late. Dinner with Hannah and the MFA poetry reading Thursday. Moonstruck meeting with NaNo Robby, reading, then random Bento boxes with Shawn Friday night (including the largest shrimp ever) followed by lovely hanging out, Dirty Pretty Things and Pulp Fiction. Saturday was gorgeous and unstructured – Jen and Joe and Russ and IBM in for the party – wandering around my sunny neighborhood, then dinner and the party and random head explosions. A Super Bacon Chicken Burger at the Happy Wanderer with Shawn Sunday, then pathetic begging as I had no hot water – somehow got suckered into watching my first Law & Order episode as well – playing with House of Leaves til late and not waking up alone. Monday a day of freedom and blues, then back to work.

against love

I finished Against Love: A Polemic last night and boy am I conflicted. I like the idea of the polemic – being provocative, making people really think about the issues – but at the same time Kipnis is so pat-herself-on-the-back about it that it’s a little irritating. After 200-or-so pages about how marriage is irrelevant (or is it?) and out-dated (or is it?), she concludes with a trite little paragraph about how “against” can mean either “opposed to” or “supporting.” So….what? At no point could I determine her position regarding love, marriage, relationships, commitment, etc – except that she really likes to talk. There were many valid points – but I wonder about the long-term influence of this book considering it is/will be so dated in about five minutes. I agree that marriage as an institution deserves SERIOUS investigation and criticism – we commit ourselves far too easily to a Judeo-Christian ideal of what a relationship should be like – and whoever said that marriage is/should be the culmination of love? One of her points seems to be that we are clinging to a dead (or dying) institution because we’re not brave enough to change it or to even realize that it’s fatally flawed. Yes? Maybe? If over 50% of (American at least) marriages end in divorce, then yes, the form (or the expectations for the form) is flawed – but that doesn’t mean that doing away with marriage-as-social-contract is the way to deal with it.
I guess in the end I don’t know how I feel. I’m one of those that left to pursue happiness – I think that’s one of the few “groups” that Kipnis supports(?) – and I don’t think I’ll ever marry again – but I don’t think that marriage is hopelessly outdated. I think we just have expectations and settle for less than them. It’s unrealistic to expect one person to meet all your needs – but it’s unfair to settle for much less than that – unfair to you and to the person you settle with/for. I think reading this book at this particular juncture in my life was good – and painful and strange – but my opinions are strong enough to be shaped and challenged by this strange beast of a polemic. If you’ve read Against Love, drop me a line and let me know what you think.
Other than that, a wonderful weekend. Really wonderful. Friends and food and laughter and sunshine. I feel like too too many entries are lists of adjectives – but that’s how I’m thinking these days. Once my phone lines are restored from the imaginary address I’m sure I’ll have more coherent thoughts – yesterday I tried to blog with a small child standing directly behind me and GOD was it irritating. I’m looking forward to the Interweb in the privacy of my own home.
Oh, a somewhat related note and a call for help – send me postcards! I have about 100 already but am papering my walls with them and would like more with interesting photos or from interesting locales. If you can spare a postcard and 23c, please email me and I’ll send you my address. I will also send you real mail in return – and that’s always a good thing. 🙂
Cheers, darlings. It’s been quite a month already.

le weekend

Septober 41st yesterday – Jen here for a while – lots of sun and warmth and laughter and friendship and love. Tomorrow off for Columbus Day – maybe my phone? – maybe getting some things done. The problem with nothing that MUST be done is that nothing DOES get done. More soon, loves.

life for rent

But if my life is for rent and I don’t learn to buy
Well I deserve nothing more than I get
Cos nothing I have is truly mine
—dido, life for rent

an up and down sort of day. relief and boredom, random crying at lunch, pie and a poetry reading. just – being – is hard some days – and other days there’s such joy. sat at sarah’s until 1 drinking coffee, writing letters, and listening to damien and dido. a nice night. i’m getting used to this.