Friday, March 31, 2006


maybe it's rained once before so far this year, but in my book, this is the first time. last night, as i sat at my desk, i had to take my headphones off because i thought i was hearing static. for a moment the blackness out my window turned into a radio tuned off-kilter. but it was the rain.
the rain.
the rain.

i love the rain. it rained all night and is still raining today. softly, softly. it pitter-patters on the bedroom roof. when i woke up i was dreaming that it was raining in the room--it was oddly pleasant.

the rain feels good. it is soothing. today i'm going to visit a long, lost friend--and that will be good too. rain hits the sidewalk and is kicked up by tires rolling by on the street. rain creates an entire symphony of sounds that winter does not know.

today feels threaded with a million intricacies. but i like the way the rain falls.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

untitled sadness.

Today started out perfectly--I walked out the door this morning thinking that I just might enjoy the calmness of it all. Unfortunately, it took a turn for the worse shortly after arriving at school--and plummeted even further into the depths of horribleness by late morning. Then there was the perk of listening to a reading by a very wonderful and humorous teaching candidate (that part was good--really good even). But then an afternoon spent on the phone and sending e-mails to individuals concerning the horribleness.

And now I just feel sad--and a little bit like crying. Because there are certain aspects of my life that I put my heart and soul into, it is a very real bummer when something doesn't work out. I know, I'm not explaining myself--and maybe I shouldn't write anything at all. I'm leaving out the details because the details don't matter.

Today included a very heavy decision that will affect someone else more than it will ever affect me. And, believe me, I don't like the feeling of playing God.

ok--now I'm crying. And even though someone else would say that the horribleness is not worth it--I find it impossible not to care.

I think I could use a (very long) walk. The clouds look comforting.

grEy day

There are different qualities of grey/gray. There is grEy and there is grAy. Today is a grEy day--and it feels good that way. I wanted to take a picture of it this morning, just the sky, nothing else, but I was too lazy. That is part of the difference between grEy and grAy. If it had been a grAy day, I would have had the energy to grab my camera on the way out the door (it was sitting right there), go outside, and point it up at the sky. And then I would have proof of this perfectly monotone sky.

I like grEy days because they're quiet. And everyone else is quiet too. I am more calm on grEy days, less rushed, more introverted. GrEy isn't tired, it's not quite sleepy, rather, it's simply comfortable, like sweatpants, but better held together. GrEy is, however, more thin-skinned than grAy. GrEy leaves me feeling more sensitive to the subtle differences in things. GrEy is soft on the edges and deeper in color. It's not as exciteable, loud, and whitewashed as grAy days and definately not sharp-edged and washed out like it is on yellow days. You can do things with grAy, but grEy is what it is. Maybe that's why I like it. It is what it is.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Trying to write a paper on the MLA Style Manual

My cat wants to sit on the desk and look out the window. Should it make me nervous that, as I reached my hand down to pet her, I gently said:

"There's no really room any for you."

This disturbs me. My brain is collapsing.

dying for fresh air.

I opened the window behind my desk for the first time this year.

I took Anu for a walk this morning and could have kept going indefinitely. It helped me to think. But, alas, I do not have time for leisurely walks today. Therefore, the window will remain open until I turn into an icicle. Who knows, maybe it will get the creative juices flowing--or, for that matter, maybe it will get any juice flowing.

Either way--I like the way the sounds of the street seep in and get under my skin. It makes my thick, black coffee taste even better...the sounds are rough and grungy and contrast well with the iridescence of this porcelain cup.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

getting side-tracked

At the moment I'm drinking wine with a German name from California and eating French cheese from the local grocery store. It's a good combination--although I can only hope that it will go so well with writing. I blame Amber for the idea--although, it IS a good one.

Before the glass of wine, I reached over to the bookshelf on my left and picked up a journal from 4 years ago. I'm not sure why--it just happened. It is large, sketchbook size, with a hard cover and handmade paper. On the inside it is filled with interesting observations and thoughts and creative ramblings. There are drawings and images pasted in with glue that threatens to give out from the test of time. It is the year I fell in love with V. and got engaged. For the first time in many, many days, I found myself able to focus. So I read the entire thing. And when I finished with that one I moved to another shelf where another 15 years of journals are kept and read through a few more.

Still, no writing has been accomplished. I find myself at a loss....not knowing what to do. Maybe by the second glass I'll be ready to just write. You know, like I used to back in 2002.


This morning, after I read my last post, I was embarrassed for publishing it. I was cranky because...well, ok, I'm not even sure why. There are any number of reasons for my silly irritations--the ones that I just now started to write about and then deleted. In all reality, it doesn't matter. Anyway, maybe it's just the planets and moon again...since, it seems, I'm not the only one feeling like this these days.

Lately, I feel very throwing a temper-tantrum. I would like to find a very poetic or cutting edge way to write about it...but, let's face it--there's just no good way to whine.

And I think there's only one cure for this mood I've been in. It's called: Writing.

Friday, March 24, 2006

too many options...

lately, yoshitomo nara's art "speaks to me."

v. and i just got web hosting along with our own domains. cool. now we can be in control of our own websites without relying on bsu. however, it is quickly turning into too many options. such as: what should the title of my new website be? what should it look like? do i want to switch my blog from blogger to wordpress? if so, what do i want the template to look like? do i want another e-mail account? if so, what should it be?

ok, maybe i'm over-reacting. there isn't much here to decide. maybe i'm just frustrated with the fact that i feel like my life isn't allowed to be about anything other than school. this alone makes me want to SMOKE. unfortunately, i quit 3 months ago.

really, the only option that is causing me confusion is whether or not to switch to wordpress or stay with blogger. blogger's been a pain in my ass lately. then again, i've finally gotten comfortable with using it. yes, i'm a technological idiot. and if my husband points it out to me one more time, i'm gonna lose my mind.

i've been getting antsy lately--wanting a new "look" for my blog. however, one of the dumber things i've recently done is create a second blog. i've spread myself too thin. one option is to start a 3rd blog--a hybrid of both Blue Dog and this one--and kiss the old ones goodbye. my only concern...will i lose readers? being redirected is a pain. then again, do i even have many readers?? well, i know i have some, but how long will you follow me around as i traipse about aimlessly?

perhaps, what it really boils down to is that it has more to do with wanting to physically move...and less to do with blogs. am i having underlying issues, or what? i mean, do you care enough to change the link in your sidebar? it gets lonely in cyberspace without friends. if there's no community, then what's the point?

anyway, i'll let you know when the website is up and running. until then, what's YOUR opinion on the blogging issue?

by the way, i just watched an excellent film...Bukowski: Born Into This. it reminded me of a life i once lived (minus the booze, the abuse, the women)...the life that was lived for words. oh, the purity of it all. how i miss i want it back.

tasha, i'm coming over to ask for a cigarette. don't give me one.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I took that nap...and it swallowed me. The next thing I knew, V. came in the bedroom saying: "It's 7:00. When do you want to eat supper?" Good god, what happened?! I deliriously got up, got dressed, put on my jacket, my shoes, and headed out the door for Chinese buffet with my hungry husband. I was still half asleep as I piled stir-fry and wontons on my plate. At the end of the meal, my fortune cookie said something horrible like, "Hope for the best, but expect the worst." Luckily, Vinny's said something about saving the day--and I'm banking on that.

I have been exhausted often lately. It seems I'm still "recovering" from the Ugly Monster Illness. But, unfortunately, I think today it was accentuated by a student who has started making a habit out of causing considerable drama in my days. He is, what I would call, an expert crazymaker. My students mean a lot to me and I like to think that I have good rapport with them. Actually, as a teacher, I think it's one of the strengths I value the most. But I have one particular student who is doing a fabulous job of draining my energy--completely.

I'm still waiting for Mark to come out with that book on teaching. And when he does...I hope there's a chapter on dealing with situations like these.

In the meantime I think I need to learn how to say enough is enough. And although these words have had no effect on the student, I guess, at this point, I need to learn how to say it to myself. I'm done thinking about this. Enough is enough.

It's time to write.

this is how i feel. i think it's time for a nap.

early spring, early morning

Outside I hear a soft sounding bird whoo, whooing. A morning dove? The sun rises so early. I'm barely ready for the day. The cat purrs on my lap as I write. I just want to go back to sleep, but instead, I push myself forward farther into the day.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


today--finally--i did some housekeeping on my dear ol' blog. maybe blogger will quit messing with me now that i've finally cleaned up around here. yep--i alphabetized the blogroll. next is my music and books (haha--just kidding!). and i also added a few blogs of note including: jeppe, loralee, K, jes, megg, pollard, and tiffany. the more the merrier!

this morning...

...the moon rises perfectly. or is it setting?

For the first time in a long while I woke early, still in the dark of night, to write. Just the moon and I--meeting like old friends.

Monday, March 20, 2006

2 hours and 17 minutes left of spring break...

...technically speaking, that is. And as predicted I did not accomplish as much as I had hoped to--but I came close. There are just too many variables when trying to plan life, even the day to day kind.

So, how am I going to enjoy these last couple hours?? Yep, you guessed it. Studying.

Literary Cats...

I don't know what it is about literary criticism and cats, but they seem to be drawn to it like moths to a lightbulb. And, by the looks of it, Viscosa isn't the only one.

Nor is she the only one that starts to feel sleepy the second she gets near the big ol' Norton Anthology. See her eyes? Yes, it happens to me too.

non-Oscar Wilde presentation thoughts...

Lately, it seems, I have very little time for blogging. This is unfortunate because I actually feel like writing. This is typical of me--I finally get going good on one thing and then find myself excited about something else. I think it's the high of actually producing, a creative rush that makes me feel like I'm on fire in a million different directions. Thoughts and ideas rarely space themselves out evenly, instead they come all at once. But this is starting to sound rather bi-polar isn't it? I prefer to blame in on life as a grad student. I don't ever remember my life being so black or white, so on or off, before. Needless to say, at the moment I'm feeling "ON"... and I can live with that.

But the reason for this post was to link to my other blog where I wrote about my trip to Chicago. It is brief and badly written, but alas, I am beginning to realize that I may never have time to write about it better--not in the near future anyway. The part about the Girodet Exhibition though--reminder to self: write about that.

For now: back to work.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Blogger won't let me read my comments and the neighbors keep running over our trash can.

These things make me very unhappy.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (angel singing noise)

I did it! I finally, actually ACCOMPLISHED something! I am DONE with my first comprehensive exam. And I even ENJOYED doing it! Oh heavenly writing!!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

finding focus...

My mind is turning into an unruly beast. Or worse, it's acting like a 2 year old that won't listen. Today marks day 2 of writing my rhet. theory comp. Yesterday the first half came somewhat easily, but today my brain is starting to buck. I'm having difficulty with wanting to say everything all at once and therefore not being able to say anything at all.

Oh, but I know it will come. The books I checked out from the library are reminding me how absolutely fascinating some of this stuff is. It's good to come back to it now that I've gotten the bitter taste out of my mouth. I can also see that I have a lifetime of learning in front of me.

Today, however, I have just 2-3 more (coherent) pages to produce. Then onto planning an Oscar Wilde presentation...and then Comp. #2. But I need to relax and enjoy the process of this. I should know by now that it's only when I get nervous or overwhelmed that I begin to suffer from the ugliness of Defiant-unruly-mind Syndrome.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I'm home!

...and it feels so good. My everyday world feels like it's in bloom once again--and literally, it is. There is an explosion of amaryllis red in the living room. We love our plants...and once in awhile they even love us in return.

As for the animals...aww, their tails haven't stopped wagging since I walked in the door last night. I missed them so much...and Vinny too. We even went out for breakfast together to celebrate my return. Do I feel loved? Yes. Did it feel good to get away? Yes. But even better to return.

Now, however, it is time to get to work. The sun is shining across my desk (and the purring cat stretched out on my desk), spilling across my keyboard and onto my white-white hands and arms. I think I might even enjoy this. And THAT, my friends, is a GOOD feeling.

(ps. more on Chicago to come)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Heaven: Day One of Spring Break (for me anyway)

Ok, so technically Spring Break means nothing to me considering that I will spend it up to my chin in work, but something about knowing, at the back of my mind, that we're on break adds a certain calm in my approach to the day.

On Sunday I'm headed to Chicago for 4 days to go to a buying show for the flower shop. It will be a long 12 hour ride each way but, idealistically, I'm going to get a lot of reading and planning done in the car. Then for the next several days I get to spend several thousand dollars of someone else's money. Granted, I don't get to keep the stuff I buy--but the thrill is still there. I also, hopefully, will visit The Art Institute of Chicago--which is the REAL reason I'm going. Will I even have time to go there? We'll see. I have to remind myself that I'm going there to WORK. Still, I will sneak as much play in as possible including (worst case scenario) a hot tub and good food...maybe something Cuban or Greek or Indian or French or African... oh my!

Maybe I'll even be able to sneak a peak at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago--If I'm really lucky, that is.

Anyway, besides gallivanting around the Midwest, the REAL agenda for this week is GETTING THINGS DONE!!! Including:
  • Write Rhetorical Theory Comp.
  • Write Genre Comp.
  • Plan Oscar Wilde Presentation
  • Plan class for Donovan evaluation
  • Read Lit. Crit.
If time:
  • Get started on MLA or Langston Hughs paper for Lit Crit. ok--i'm stretching the line here...I only got books from the library--but, in my opinion, that does count for something.
I'll also be working at the gallery a couple days. I can see already that I've set myself up for defeat. But who knows--it IS possible if I stay FOCUSED. Some of it, I'm actually looking forward to. I do, however, look forward to drawing lines through it. :)

Here's to Spring Break!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

refresh: when life returns to the classroom

Today, in class, a student wrote about his observations of the newly formed rivers in the street and the way the water's current carved tiny caves beneath the surface of the snow. Another student wrote about the exhaustion that he can't seem to shake and the self-contained solitude he's built out of his 3 room apartment. Someone else wrote about the thoughts at the back of his mind that he can't quite get to, the ones that are now going to bother him the rest of the day. Then there were the observations on ice and walking, those neglected bare patches that somehow evaded the sprinkling of sand. I wrote about the thick snow, the way huge chunks fell from powerlines and weighted branches, compressing and encapsulating my world into a dense forest within the space of 3 trees. We fell into fits of laughter after someone read their observations on the girl in class wearing sunglasses. Afterwards she explained that she had been the victim of snow falling from a pine tree. More laughter.

We talked about writing today. Not citing sources. Not paraphrasing. Not researching. Not introducing direct quotes. None of it. We took a breather, a step back from the endless technicalities and instead talked about learning to pay attention and to communicate what's going on.

It was some of the best writing of the semester. Oh, and it felt good to remember what is most important: that we are Writers--every single one of us--something that, I feel, "theory" and regurgitated pedagogical justifications too often neglect.


Maybe it's the oddity of having slept in an extra hour, until 6. Or maybe it's the phase of the moon and alignment of the planets. Or the fact that I bought coffee this morning instead of making it...

but I feel wildly optimistic about making giant leaps of accomplishment over the next week and a half--with a running start, like puddle jumping--over huge, deep, murky Minnesota puddles. I feel myself flying mid-air...through the gray sky of motivation.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Dear Blog,

The last time I wrote here was Saturday--and now--it is already Tuesday. I have neglected you and, for this, I am sorry. Lately I find myself filled with thoughts--one after another after another after another. I cannot keep up with them. However, since I can't seem to wrap my head around any one specific thought at the moment, I will instead write a list.

Last night I only got a few hours of sleep--so here's the deal...I'm going to take a nap.
And when I wake up I'm going to:
  • Get started with R.T. essay
  • Write artist statement
  • E-mail images of paintings to R2AC
  • Grade exercises
  • Plan class
  • Read NYT Review on Indian authors
  • Make book list and e-mail N.--including thank you
  • After trying unsuccessfully to learn how to cross things out on my own, call Tasha and ask her.
And adding to the list (for maximum sense of accomplishment):
  • E-mail Donovan
  • Do laundry
  • Check MNPals for Indian authors
  • Order book by Nair and Divakavuni

My motivation for making this list is that, for some reason, it seems to soothe any impending anxiety. My motivation for completing this list is to learn how to draw a line through it on blogger.

(ps. please never mind me. this post shouldn't be made's just that, it seems, I've forgotten how to use pen and paper.)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

saturday morning surprises...

our landlord wants to sell the house we're living in...but he promises that we won't have to move before our lease is up. the people interested in buying came to look today--they didn't give me the time of day--after all, i'm just a renter. ugh. maybe their nice. but on the surface they just seem like little entrepreneurs. i was actually starting to really like our current landlord. what will happen? we'll see.

in a way, it seems like another gentle nudge from the universe saying: move on. it is time...or at least, it will be soon.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

the truth is...

...that I'd really like to write something here, but I'm still stuck in a DayQuil liqui-cap balloon. Actually, I'm in the transitional period between that and NyQuil bliss. During this in-between period, my head starts feeling like it might explode from sinus pressure. Oh, but I feel great! (at least compared to a few days ago.) Feeling like hell never felt so good.

but writing? ........................................huh?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

because i'm sick of looking at my ugly mug (& you probably are too)'s a photo of georgia o'keefe instead

On realism in art, Georgia O'keefe says: "Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things. "
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Georgia O'keefe is one of those larger-than-life artists that I hadn't really cared about until a few months ago when I started working on a series of abstract landscapes. I checked out a book on her from the library because I was looking for new ways to combine colors. The book weighed a good 20+ pounds and was only the first half of a 2 volume set. I guess I wasn't attracted to her before because she was TOO popular, to the point of trendy. But then I got interested in her lesser known work and sketches. Turns out, she's one helluva woman. I mean, look at her--

By the way, this is the road to her house:

If she were still alive, I think I'd go visit.

images from: