Sunday, August 27, 2006

Racking up the Hepatic Odometer

Ah, college life. I really thought I remembered it, but it appears I haven't. Not to mention, grad school adds an interesting twist, namely, the need to cart 4 boxes of books from home to weigh down the rather battered bookshelf left behind in my overpriced apartment. Oh, and the get-togethers, which are frequent and multi-layered. There tend to be a couple over the course of the week, and then some more intricately-constructed serial affairs on the weekends, such as this past Friday's soiree for the English department. All of the professors were there, and I chatted with most of them. Over the course of one conversation in particular, the professors were engaging in a round of good-natured one-upsmanship. One woman, very charming, who I remember from my undergraduate years, mentioned that she had kissed Allen Ginsberg, and, being a woman, that list is presumably relatively short. Another British prof leaned over to mention that she had actually danced with Prince Charles, which certainly got the admiration of all present. As she was sharing the particulars of her story, I thought if they looked over at me, sitting on my chair with my sparkling pomegranate juice, I'd drop my bombshell: I've met Orville Redenbacher. Twice. They didn't really look my way, so I stayed put, but popcorn is trump and everyone knows it. I sat back, comfortable knowing that my experience that would have annihilated all other competitors.

The Allen-Ginsberg-snogger leaned over and we talked a bit about sparkling pomegranate juice, and, being in the English department, we tried to figure out how the brand name [Izze] was pronounced. Was it "eetzee" or perhaps "itzee"--Italian or of some sort of Pyrenees dialect, etc? We decided that the best way to know was to find out where the stuff came from. In looking at the can, which looks rather like an oversized Everready battery, we found the company is in Boulder, Colorado. We looked at each other. "Definitely 'Izzy'" we both decided.

As that party wound down, the grad students were all conspiring to go to a downtown bar, then, after a few drinks, head over to another one not terribly far off. I reminded myself that these are 26 year olds, who are able to absorb such quantities and somehow shrug it off the following day. I, however, tend to stumble around like a drugged ox, uttering monosyllables, and in general acting much like many of the neighbors I'd have had if I had actually rented the first apartment I saw on my arrival here in Lafayette. Considering that the tequila shot I'd consumed as a matter of tradition had caused me to break out in a sort of cold sweat, I'd decided that, after a spot of wine, the aforementioned snakebite (ugh, ugh, ugh), and sizeable quantities of excellent food, it was time for me to sleep on a mattress that was not inflatable and bask in some real, bonafide airconditioning. I arrived in Indianapolis after 1:30 am. The lawn doesn't need to be mowed, and I was able to work on record reviews and writing while the gang at school prepared for their Sunday party.

Grad school--it's all so exciting. At times I feel I'm living The Secret History or The Cheese Monkeys but then I realize no one's died or gone crazy just yet. We still have two whole semesters before summer break, though. Who knows what might happen in the meantime? Pix forthcoming.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Progress being made

After putzing around the house yesterday, I managed to finally get off my duff and take a whiff of the lovely cool air outside. Doing so made me feel guilty as hell for not getting more done on the house this week, so I slunk back inside, put on some grubbier gear, and propped a ladder against the house and started painting. The green is all but done. I only have the eaves of part of the house left for trim.

In addition, I managed to draft a total of SIX record reviews, which I'm sure will please the website. It's likely they've forgotten all about me, as I haven't shown up on their radar since June. I'm not out of the woods yet--I still have about 24 more discs to review. The price of greed. Beware, children, and take heed of my plight when you reach later life!

The landlord for Lafayette has called me back to inform me that indeed, I have been approved to rent from them and can move my items and accoutrements starting tomorrow. Good thing, as my duties at the university start that very same day. I'll be packing up the car this evening. I'll devote next weekend to getting the bike up and running so that I might be able to tool around the town without being impacted by British Petroleum.

But no, the lawn's not been mowed, the housepainting isn't completed, the backporch woodwork ain't varnished, nor is the closet door. In spite of that, however, I'm gonna just sit here and drink some Cabernet.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A serious lack of Progress?

In this two long weeks that I've had between my job of ten years and my new ocupations as grad student, I'd had such high hopes, such high hopes...finishing the housepainting, restoring light fixtures for the living room, tuckpointing the foundation to list three things. Of the above, none are done. It's either been too hot or too wet for any of the outdoor tasks. One lovely thing I've found out about house repair tasks is that they don't go anywhere.

Dad was kind enough to assist with the relaying of the two chimneys, seen above, before the roofers came. We were in a time crunch--the mess needed to be made on the old roof before they tore it off, so we had one weekend to do the masonry. Right in the middle of the worst of the heat wave. We fried like eggs. That, the roof going on, and packing for school remain the only items in the "completed" column. Oh, and hacking down the jungle my flowerbeds became.

In new news, I've put in the deposit for the Grad Pad, which will be taking the form of a former upstairs bedroom in a formerly quite impressive large house on 9th Street hill in Lafayette. A refrigerator is parked in the former closet, but hey, I've got a kitchenette, as well as the original upstairs bathroom, complete with enormo-tub. No lease signed yet, but deposit has been made, application filled out, and assurances made. I assume I'll be moving in Monday, with a phone call being made sometime this weekend.

What a thrilling post. The blogging thing is rather new, and it's taking me a bit to get into the swing of things.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ok. This Blog thing is new. I'll at least give myself that. But when I can't even log into my own blog or even find it on Blogger, I figure there is some sort of problem.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Here we are--after some trials and tribulations in getting a username and blog title. I'm in. Another blip in the blogosphere. Ta-da.