Sunday, August 27, 2006

tales from the transcripts...player one: oh, we don’t want to die.
player two: will we die?
player one: i don’t know.
player two: go for it.
so a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, chip sent me this quote by miguel de unamumo from his work called tragic sense of life...when the disillusionment of the mind and despair of the heart come together you finally have something to build on.

so, yeah, i think i'm pretty much there right now. anyone up for a trip to home depot?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

at the secret bat cave where i've been writing my 6000th version of my dissertation intro, although i'm finally convinced that this is the one, this is the right one. i mean i have bits of chapters written from all over the place, from all across time but this one at least tells the story of what i'm doing RIGHT NOW with the data and THAT'S IT...this is more new more new twists and turns...this fucker just needs to be done and done.

i think i found a cousin of mine on facebook, oddly enough. i did a global search on our last name and possibly found about 5 or 6 others that might be related. so, naturally, i started a facebook group. now i just need them to add me as their friend so i can invite them to the group.

yeah...i really need to yank the wireless card outta my laptop since even my armpit probably has wifi now. oh fucking hell i forgot to tell you -- weeds, season two just started. awesome. too bad dead like me is, uh, dead. but at least there's weeds.

Friday, August 25, 2006

i don't know about the lazy...but the crazy? we already know about that. cleaning up transcripts so that each line is numbered and i'm wondering, worrying if they all need to be in the appendices and who the fuck cares right now??? christ...just number the fucking things and get on with it. it's bad when you have dreams about the super-code that comes before the line numbering and i really just made that *super-code*'s more like a prefix code that tells you which transcript it came from at a glance and i woke up thinking "god, what if word can't do that with the autonumbering?" and then i got a packet in the mail, an advert for another drug and i'm thinking that i maybe should take it, as i decide to wash all the throw rugs in the house and forget to ask for a raise and dr b said the other day that watching tv in the morning is just as bad as drinking (really? is it?)...blah, fucking, blah.

and we're trying to fit in everything under my career objectives and i'm like oh yeah, what *are* those and i need to finish my cv and people are bugging me to fill out questionnaires right and left and it's all mine for the taking if i'd only wake up, wake up from this grand pause...

Monday, August 21, 2006

oooooohhhh boy. have you ever been in one of those lifetimes where everything suddenly implodes on you? where you don't even have time to explain what needs to be done because it needed to be done yesterday so it's easier to just do it yourself?

well, my boss is leaving in a few weeks for a new job and i think, yes, this is probably for the best because it's WAY less chaotic for her and her family. dorm stuff can really make your schedule, uh, interesting. but then i'm also like "great...what now?" it's not that i'm worried about the workload. but i am worried about the possibility of getting a new hire boss who will be tooooo new and i'll hate them for some reason. and i'm worried about getting a bad interim supervisor...the kind who wants to have 5 hour meetings 6 days a week.

i could apply for the job myself...but then you know me and stupid paperwork shit and i can imagine this existance of having to do icebreaker activities day after day after day...and teambuilding stuff...and training, more training, even more training. even she said that there was no way i'd like the job given that i hate all that crap. and she's right. i do. head's just spinning now and i'm afraid it's not the painkillers...which i did indeed get this morning after a trip to the ER last night (see? told you!)...and i FINALLY got a pain clinic referral...thank fucking god. oh...and i guess i need to work out the registration thing so i get insurance again...


Sunday, August 20, 2006

finally this week is over and i'm, of course, now in cramp hell so, yay, great and i have to wait until tomorrow to get a refill because i don't have any health insurance at the moment and the other day when jesse and i were driving we saw the latest geo billboard...that says 40% of grad students can't afford adequate child healthcare...and here we go again. so this is what happens...geo puts all its eggs in one usual it's the child healthcare thing...the university freezes wages because they know that for those of us that childcard has NOTHING to DO with a lot of us, the wage freeze is SO FUCKING ANNOYING because (1) the university fuckheads have frozen our wages and (2) they know that this is one of those issues where a lot of us are like "SIGN THE FUCKING CONTRACT GEO BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE KIDS."

see? a lot of us can't afford our OWN healthcare and bills (ask me about my water being shut off on friday!) so when i come home from work on a night like last night where i've just dealt with 100s of survey administrations in a damp, cold basement and collapse on my bed and apparently i was dreaming about the hell that it was all last night because chris said he had to wake me up because i was flipfloping all over and keeping him awake...when i come home from work i have to ask, you know?

what. the. fuck.

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1962...and the pill looks just the same...

and this is much less exciting than you think it's a photo of the american classic "pamprin" that i just took because my period started early ('s good to hang out with 100's of females for a week...sync-ing...) to go along with the 800mg of advil i took that didn't work...i had this weird feeling that it was going to start early on friday, the last time i could have gotten a refill on painkillers from my doctor...the way things are going right now, i should be arriving at the er around, oh let's say 8ish? maybe l will be there and i can give her those surveys again to fill out? hahaha. even in pain i still think of all the shit i have to do.

but it'd be much fun if that pamprin was more like some other drug that it looks like...feed your head.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

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god and psych...

so i snapped this on my mobile while we were waiting for people to show up to take the survey on saturday night (which was, of course, a complete nightmare)...the residence hall i work in has a library in the basement with a rather eclectic collection...

so i look at the psych section and there's the classic "principles of psychology" by william james and it's next to...

the new-agey "conversations with god" books 1-4

wwfd...what would freud do?

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help sign at the library in the building that i work at and it's ok, really, because pretty much every help sign in all of the system also tells people that they don't have change and i had to wonder who would go to the library for change when there's a change machine near by that's much closer but whatever.

all i know is that i'm still dealing with some kind of respiratory *thing* from spending way too many hours doing a lousy debrief in the damp, cold, moldy basement...wahhhhhhaaahahahhahahaha

Sunday, August 13, 2006

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michigan state?

ok so if you aren't from, well, the us then maybe you don't know (or care) about the big umich/michigan state rivalry. yeah, this is a lousy cell phone pix but in the campus-towny area of ann arbor, there are two movie theatres located very close to one another...and from my angle all i saw was the marquee for the one theatre, "michigan," and the marquee for the other one, "state," and i very subversive...

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umich...chris and i took a side trip to ann arbor, which -- and sorry to be the bearer of bad news, illini fans -- is a much prettier campus than ours (wow, how COULD that be?). i remember when r's husband, who went to purdue, exclaimed about how beautiful u of i's campus was and r and i looked at each other like "and WE'RE the crazy ones???"

seriously, though, the umich trip was four years after i was originally supposed to have seen it but we all know what happened there. actually maybe you don't so go look at my blog entries from summer 2002 and it's all there.

and this survey i saw said "have you or anyone in your family ever experienced a breakdown?" but then we saw the hotdog stand that's actually a soup stand and i learned that the internet, including the site wizzywig (a place that's amazing to see but then you're like,'s cool but i don't know if i want any of this) and others, is actually located IN ann arbor. seriously. the number of internet retailers that actually had their *real life* offices in ann arbor was kinda crazy.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

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the tribe has the deal is with outdoor wedding receptions is that if you have more than 3000 people at your wedding and less than a handfull of toilets at your have to install portapotties...which is both hilarious and disgusting (depending on whether you see them at the beginning or the end of the reception). but the best part of the whole thing was that they had tiki torches lighting your way and it was hard not to feel cast out of the tribe heading down the path to the toilets.

[postscript: seriously, cbs, so you decided to divide the tribes of the latest survivor along RACIAL lines??? are you that fucking crazy? why did you decide that you needed to do this? is hitler really not dead (and yet he must be the crypt keeper if he isn't) and he's on your board of directors? is some apartheid-era south african company now your daddy? wtf?]

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wedding even if you plan, plan, plan...some goofy shit is bound to happen at your (not mine) wedding. that's not to say goofy shit won't happen at my wedding but that's not really on the table right now, is it?

anyway, there were tealights on all the tables and polyester napkins and i guess it was bound to happen at some point but we look up and one of the napkins is completely engulfed in flames and it smelled like a barbie factory had just exploded...and damn, polyester really, really melts amazingly well so i'll have to remember than the next time i'm trying to burn up tacky scarves in my latest experiment in melting shit together to form new, uh, fabric...

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wedding in i forget where but somewhere an hour away from flint, michigan...somewhere out where the militia is near, i'm of the young, wedding for the young, wedding to remember...young.

and we danced for the first time and isn't that funny?

it's a little bit funny this feeling inside
i'm not one of those who can easily hide
i don't have much money but boy if i did
i'd buy a big house where we both could live
and i didn't remember the words until you sang excuse me forgetting but these things i do
you see i've forgotten if they're green or they're blue
anyway the thing is what i really mean
yours are the sweetest eyes i've ever seen
and then i wondered what it must have been like to have been that age again and still believe in the fairytale and hope you never know any other way?and you can tell everybody this is your song
it may be quite simple but now that it's done
i hope you don't mind
i hope you don't mind that i put down in words
how wonderful life is while you're in the world
that elton john...

Friday, August 11, 2006

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flint, michigan where you realize how stuck in time so many parts of our country are and it reminds me of southwest virginia only with closed down factories instead of closed down mines.

and i flew to detroit only in the middle of the orange alert moving to red...luckily the sign they had up to tell us was in greyscale so we had to ask, uh, which of those grey bars *is* orange and they made up put everything in our checked luggage and the department of homeland security had closed down all the vending machines and trying to take medicine out of a shallow fountain doesn't work as well when the pills start to dissolve and all you taste is the poison coming through and you must look mad ripping open packets of sugar from a closed down coffee vendor to dump into your mouth so you don't throw up and add to the liquid's a-no-no fiasco...

didn't i just get back from the uk? and didn't i just announce the study abroad spring break destination? and why exactly is it *brave* that i flew from champaign to detroit, as if that were a major terror threat (maybe in the *terror threats for dummies* series) and i say, sarcastically, i flew because if i didn't then the terrorists win.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

fun with words!

see ya, wouldn't want to be ya...
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
ugh. i hate all the double/triple/etc meanings of words sometimes. why does everything have to be so complex sometimes/all of the time? it just annoys me. kind of like the weather and the price of gasoline this summer. i mean i deal with these "loaded words" all the time in my writing...i just wish that other parts of my life didn't also come with so much baggage.

i don't think that this is going to be an easy year. you'd think that the longer you've been in a position, eventually things would fall into a groove...but that doesn't really play out in the real world, does it? instead you just learn to see more and the protective seal comes off and things get scratched up and messy and the things that seem clearly defined don't look anything like the actual.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

you see i think our priorities are all fucked up. we have a billion troops fighting "terrorism" overseas and yet...

on a listserv i'm on i heard the arguments today for a family event, the strongest voice in favor of it that emerged for me was from the guy who tormented me from about the 6th grade on until i ran, ran, ran from home...but you can never really run far enough can you? and he has three kids now and the idealist in me thinks that maybe he's realized how cruel kids can be and is raising his kids to end the cycle, the sins of the father. but the realist in me knows that it probably hasn't come up yet and if it has he's either playing the *outraged* father wondering how his kids are getting picked on or he's playing the *clueless* father who simply laughs and says "well, kids WILL be kids."

all this research others have done on the effects of bullying and yet we have a president running the country that was/is easily part of club...but the problem is not here, is it?

"why do you hate america so much?" said the bully in surprise to someone might just hate him right back.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

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move in day?

not for me

nor for anyone else

and don't even THINK about the state of the bathrooms... the guy that plays "house" on the show, uh, house" studied at the same college at cambridge that i studied at...good old selwyn. damn i didn't even know he was british but to hear him on the actor's studio right now is blowing my mind.

yeah, ok. that was a complete random trivia post...sue me.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

about the university freezing our wages until ALL current contract negotiations are finished...from GEO...our currently frozen wages...are another story. when the GEO repeatedly pushed the university [of illinois at urbana-champaign] on this unjust tactic, insisting that we bargain wages now, lead negotiator [and university counsel...a.k.a. the man representing "the man"] steve veazie snapped back, “just shut up!”

after a brief and tense standoff, veazie called for caucus and remained away for over an hour. he later stated that he regretted telling grad employees to “shut up.”

but veazie has already told us enough about the university’s attitude toward grad employees. our success at the table depends on the involvement of our members, and together we must turn up the pressure as the academic year begins.
and so it seems there's plans for a strike or somesuch in early september because the university isn't budging on this issue, trying to force our hands in agreeing to this shitty proposal that the university currently has on the table that calls for NO guaranteed wage increase ever and NO guaranteed minimum stipend ever.

so meanwhile, people like me, who work as GAs for WAYYYYYYYYYYY under any university department's minimum salary are really fucked. you know, and i hate that money comes into issue when it comes to my job, which i wouldn't trade for the world, but you have to wonder why working on the frontlines of undergraduate education results in the lowest ranking on the pay scale?

i'm writing as fast as i can...but it's just not fast enough and i want to scream sometimes because i spend half my day trying to figure out how to pay for everything (rent, utilities, etc) and then i pop another couple maalox...

Friday, August 04, 2006

long journey

the greatest
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
if i could, i'd spread the ashes across the earth to all the places he'd been and never been...but i can't...

and i finally check my messages to hear her voice on the phone blaming the son for being irresponsible through a back road disguised as self-flagellation...and i remember why i never check my messages...can't they be archived somewhere, transcribed and hidden away so eventually the story will come together for someone, if not for me?once i wanted to be the greatest
no wind or water fall could stall me
and then came the rush of the flood
the stars at night turned deep to dust
to mourn lost time seems like a necessary waste...catch22...but yet it must be done and they say she'll be amazing when she's well again...

why did i get broken? or, rather, was i ever together?
if you get cinemax, you really should check out the the mushroom club being aired now, which was nominated for a documentary short film at last year's academy awards. on the film's web page, it talks about why the director made the film and he said that it was the lack of response in 1995 to the 50th anniversary of the bombing of hiroshima...and i remember that lack of response...i was in england and there was a bbc documentary showing VERY vivid photos of the dead and the the us? nothing. and the enola gay sits at the smithsonian and i remember the end of the cold war and how we assumed that the only way it was going to end was to arrive at THE end...and there's some new series called jericho coming out this fall and i wonder how they can sustain a series about nuclear war but maybe if they can figure it out it will have that same impact today that the day after had on us then...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

the first words out of my mouth this afternoon were "so did she show up or not?" and he lost the bet...and so it goes...a double mourning and a plot, a plan to drive to nebraska...hate fills my heart and i'm not sure if it's god or her i'm mad at the most and somewhere out there eva met sylvia and off they danced...

should i be mad at the pathology or does it really matter what the diagnosis is? denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance and how can you ever arrive at the point where you say i guess we're all fucked and there's really nothing to be done? too much of too many people's lives have been destroyed and the son will be lost when the anchor gets pulled...yo ho ho it's a pirate's life for me.

but i finally asked him "there will never be any forgive and forget, will there?"

"no," he said.

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is this finally the damn mojito?

postscript: yes, it seems that my phone finally agreed to send it and now i don't really know why i wanted to send it to my blog in the first place...

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this is where i work. come by sometime and we'll paint it...seriously, they say the building will be ready by sunday but this giant trash bin is the only thing that looks halfway organized...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

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getting in wasn't super easy or clearly marked so we ended up in 100 parking lots until they finally got the messages that, fuck yeah, we are here for a FUNERAL AND WE ARE NOT TOURISTS!!! jesus christ. it *is* a little strange to attend a funeral where people are wandering around taking pictures, fat and wearing fanny packs, *fbi* tshirts (yeah, if you have a shirt that reads *fbi* you are probably not IN the fbi...), and meanwhile you're being rushed around because they are on a time schedule more tight than almost any other cemetery on earth...

so turn your computer sideways, i never adjusted the photo before i blogged it from my mobile but, yeah, that's the navy's 7-gun salute deal and no matter how many times you've heard it, it still makes you jump and there was a weird mix of all the armed forces conducting services all around and it just dawned on us that a lot of vietnam veterans are now dying of causes more natural than war...and then there were the newly fallen from the middle east...and the beginning of the end of those from the 2nd world war...

he was born in 1916...his parents came to the united states from syria around the turn of the 1900s...before the end of the ottoman rule...their reasons for immigrating were never spoken of...