Sunday, November 26, 2006

Spiders and Slumber

Woke from a dream [I'd keyed myself into my brother's house and then started organizing things in the bed of his pickup truck, then walked back in to put the keys away, only to hear him still in the house, likely wondering what in hell I was doing] and began reading the last 4 pages of The Gold Bug by Poe when I saw movement along the edge of the quilt I had shrugged up to my shoulder. This is what it was. The spiders have taken to sleeping with me, it appears. After saying several nonsensical words which sounded like Daffy Duck on slow playback, I slunk out from under the covers and got a glass and trapped him. Bleah. After taking a couple of pictures, I took him out past the driveway and dumped him into the grass. I then finished up on The Gold Bug, which, after 3 attempts in junior high school, I never got all the way through. I'll have to see whether I can do that with Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It isn't that I don't think it isn't a good book. It's just that it's so easy to put down and not pick back up again.

Tomorrow I head back to the Hallowed Hall of Heav for the final weeks of the semester. This is my floor. On a Sunday. No students. I do find it rather difficult to concentrate on work while there, even on quiet days. After all, there's the Internet. The soda machines with Fresca, the Nectar O' the Gods. The junkfood machine with its lovely spinning snack spirals. The latest issue of The Exponent to ridicule. etc. But I doubt I do much better here at home, where I've got far more distractions. I've got papers to grade and a letter to write. And reviews to type. Oh, scratch most of that--just realized I still have two poems to write for workshop. I think I have a rough draft of something somewhere.

My floors are getting dusty. And I really need to strip the wax off my kitchen floor. It's grody-looking. Nothing like the magic of creative avoidance, which makes household chores wondrous in comparison to the task of grading papers.

Oh well. Back to work.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Well, here is proof, for those of you not exactly sure what Davo has been doing, that he is, indeed, instructing students in "the art of writing." I have started reading papers and it is a task I find myself easily tiring of. Perhaps it's the turkey and all that food I ate yesterday that's making things a bit draggy. Or lets just face things: perhaps its just reading the papers.

After a brief sun-filled nap on the couch, I had more Thanksgiving leftovers and went to town on the laundry. Changed the sheets. folded things up, put things away. Wrote drafts for three more reviews. Worked on my CV. Worked on my resume. Washed dishes. I need to get all these things done so's I can focus on things poetical. Right now, after all that food, I'm still having difficulty rolling over and getting out of furniture, in which I find I sink lower than in times further in the past, such as, eh, last week. I hope to be on the 4-paper-a-day plan, which will have the papers done by Tuesday, that way I've just got the no-doubt enjoyable final presentations to grade. The rest of the semester will then be taken up with writing and revising. Cake, right?

Monday, November 20, 2006

And the semester comes down...

Well, I've collected my final term papers for the semester. They sit in a rather thick stack, in folders, on the passenger seat of my car.

I'd thought of bringing them in, but decided against it. I'd like another couple of days without any dealings with the freshmen for a while. I had late-night emails from students, on the eve of the due date, asking questions that should've been asked about two weeks ago. Ah, time management skills. I'm sure the final result in those folders is gonna knock my socks off. There are times I have to wonder if I can teach my way out of a wet paper sack. This is one of those times. But then again, students have to listen to important instructions. Ah, well, so I'll sit here with a glass of orange juice, listening to Motown (?!!), and think of all those other things I get to work on this week in addition to grading those papers weighing so heavy in my car. And then I'm gonna go to bed.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

This pic accurately depicts what I've been looking at for the last month. Much typing. Much typing. a paper on a poem cycle I couldn't quite understand. Typing poems for workshop. Typing a book review for Sycamore Review. Assignment sheets for my poor deluded freshmen. Frantically trying to find something to do with my Long Poem project, which needs to be at 15-20 decent pages by the end of the semester. And record reviews--I've been neglecting them and now those in charge have been starting to ask questions. Not suspicious-type questions, but an APB has gone out for a disc I've held less long than others in my stack. So it appears I'll be listening to lots of classical music over the course of Thanksgiving and Winter breaks. I've gotten two reviews done since yesterday evening and hope to get another in the can before I switch gears and attenpt to come up with something halfway poetic. Much typing. Much much typing.

In other news, the weather in Indiana has been horrendous, with typical extended periods with overcast skies and cold temperatures, combined with blowing rain and leaf-clogged storm drains. My upstairs neighbor, the man of the repeated weeknight alcohol gatherings, finally went over the top with a Halloween bash on the preceding TUESDAY night, with over 15 in attendance directly over my head. Doors slamming, Madonna's "Like a Prayer" blasting, and one particularly annoying drunk undergraduate who sounded like every bad stereotype of a sorority chick, whose voice could cut glass. I heard every inane thing she said for the evening. Finally, after having my windows rattling with every hop up and down on their floor, my radio's antenna wavering to the point it would tap on the wall, I got out of bed and went to knock on the door. They were loud enough not to hear me. So I open the door and yell up the attic steps. That also is not heard. I repeat it: "It's late. Shut the hell up." Those on the upstairs landing look down at me with some curiosity. The evident host of the party arrives, wobbling, at the top of the stairs. In a rather pathetic little-kid whine, he says "but it's my BIRTHday..." I look at him a moment, taking things in. "Happy birthday. Shut the hell up."

After some further discussion, I went back to my room, with earplugs in and both fans on high. After another half hour I was able to get some sleep. He's been fairly good about being quiet since then. That goddamned subwoofer he has. I mean, who in their right mind would buy a subwoofer when one lives in an apartment, aside from outright intent to annoy one's neighbors? Bass frequencies that low carry through fan noise and even earplugs. I've tried it. nothing will keep that out. The whole apartment would vibrate. Little bastard.

In happier news, now that I've written my paper on John Berryman, finished the book review, and such, all I have to do is to write and revise poetry and do record reviews for the next month and a half. I'll be famous. All over the Interweb. It's all part of my insidious plan to take over the worrrld.