Sunday, April 25, 2010

More Sunday Night Musings

Another Sunday night, another Writing Center shift. Got my last hour open, so may as well waste a little time here.

Since last I posted, I've been to New Orleans for ACLA. The high points were definitely all the street-drinking and the insanely good food we ate (including alligator, and some phenomenal shrimp wrapped with crab, breaded, and served with a blood orange hollandaise sauce!). Low point was without a doubt Good Friday, where I, unlike certain other Catholics I won't name, fasted until 10:30 that night. I also resisted the urge to go to a strip club on Easter Sunday. Which, I figure, is a win for both me and God.

Given that my dissertation chapter is currently in the hands of my advisor, and I just can't muster up the will to go back and revise anything else yet, I've kind of been coasting since then. I work in the WC four days a week now (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday), and I spent a week prepping my application and interview for the Writing Center Admin job I've got next year (success! money! health insurance for a full year!). So any other kind of academic endeavor has been put severely on the back burner. I've been reading a few books, particularly a 600 page beast of a Vietnam novel called Matterhorn, which Captain Americanist recommended to me after seeing a review in the Times. Definitely a slog through the muck, watching many buddies die face down. Also contains one of the most disturbing "leech up the urethra" scenes I've ever encountered (and given my field of research, that's saying something). Tomorrow I may try to read through a theory book that my advisor left for me in my mailbox, apropos of nothing. It contains the cryptic note "Dubs, have you read this?", then has the name of a prominent theorist scrawled in a different ink. The theorist in the note is not the author of the book, nor is she referenced anywhere on the page where the post-it was stuck. She is cited in the work, but the index unhelpfully won't tell me where. So I guess I get to read this whole book now and try to guess my advisor's mind. Which, knowing him, will be assuredly surreal.

Still having my usual early-morning wakeups (today was at 4:30 and again at 5:30), though I'm pretty much used to them by this point. As I draw nearer and nearer to 30, I'm just tracking the slow deterioration of the rest of my body (matching up with the long-developing deterioration of my liver). Whether this will make my upcoming 30th birthday gala an epic drunkfest or a maudlin meditation on my own mortality remains to be seen. (I'll either end up sobbing into a boot of beer or attempting to jump over Lake Monona using only the power of my mind.)

I remember when my blog posts used to have some semblance of narrative coherence. Now, they're increasingly becoming just a collection of ramblings. Does this indicate some kind of lack of coherence in my life overall? Or am I just no longer prone to narrativizing the randomness of my life? Or maybe I'm just not having as much fun as I used to over a sustained period of time. (Wait, that last one is definitively true.) But it's an interesting question: what do we do here in Madison that's worth telling stories about? Vice is currently working on a folklore project, wherein she has to chronicle past tales of glory and shame from the department, and we were more than capable of providing her with many ribald tales of debauchery. But now, I ask myself what sorts of things we do that are worth memorializing in the epic sorts of narratives I used to craft on this blog? Events either boil down to "We got drunk" or "We got epically drunk, and I don't remember it enough to tell a story." The latter sums up Fangirl and Red-Headed Stepchild's recent birthday party/epic drunkfest, which others can chronicle but I cannot. But beyond events like that, I must question, am I really running out of narrative moments?

Jesus, that's sad. It's probably just indicative of my own general laziness and unwillingness to spend the extra time constructing coherence, rather than any commentary on the state of my life. Or maybe I just get depressed working in the Writing Center. Or maybe I need to stop having so many drunken nights, and instead actively seek out drunken adventures. Or maybe I just need to drink less, so I can remember the adventures we are having. Somehow that seems counterproductive...

Anyway, April's almost over, and my mood always improves once May rolls around. It means my friends will be finishing their course work, so they'll stop being so depressingly busy all the time. It'll mean a lot more weeknight escapades, such as porch drinking, terrace sitting, and general outdoorsiness. Bocce, grilling, fire-juggling, Up North drinking, etc. Plus that bottle of Oban Distillers Reserve is almost certainly going to get broken out for my birthday. And mayhap Virtue and I can finally plan the long-anticipated Oxford party. But I'll have to reread Brideshead before then, as well as brush up on my Jeeves and Wooster. Which will be difficult, but somehow I'll manage to soldier through.

Oh, and the recently revealed "Doctor Who" fanbase here in Madison is making me seriously reconsider my Dalek costume for next Halloween.