Wednesday, April 30, 2008

And the Summer is Off..with a Squish

Well, it's my first full day of summer break and I find out that due to some paperwork confusion on my part, my student loan to get me through the summer has not come to fruition, will not come to fruition, which leaves your faithful blogger with damned little to get him through the summer, meaning that he'll either have to dip into the mutual fund for another grand tax hit, or get a menial part time job, which will take out a chunk of his last summer of available time to work on his thesis before the school year starts up again.

With that lovely bombshell dropped this morning, I thought it best to get out in the yard to get something productive done, and set to work on digging the stump of the firebush out of the yard.

It turns out there is a rootball on that thing tight enough to make my spade pretty much useless. I've been digging a moat around the thing and am hoping to get under it, cut the main roots, and roll the whole mess out of the ground, which'll leave me with a good start on a swimming pool next to the driveway.

Groceries are up, gas is, in spite of Bush's "not being aware of" such a possibility a month ago, pushing $4, and the cars and people in the area around my neighborhood keep looking shabbier. I remember hearing voters getting interviewed on the radio four years ago. Several mentioned that they had voted for Bush so that "he would have to clean up his own mess." That sure didn't work. The person you'd love to have a beer with, for those of you who have been in bars recently, have a tendency to leave you with the bill on occasion.

A month ago, I heard a primary voter discussing the merits of the two Democratic candidates state that he was for Barack because Hillary didn't seem very nice, and he was certain that if he sat down across the table and had coffee with her, that he wouldn't like her at all. After the past four years, one would think that the public would have learned that beverage-based conversation is not the basis for choosing the leader of a country.

Capuccino, anyone?

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Bear is Dead

My final paper has just been handed in, which means that it's almost time to bid farewell to the Hallowed Halls of Heavilon for another summer. My Creative Writing undergrads have kinda dropped the ball on the portfolio deadline, however. This leaves me rather displeased, as it's cutting into my Summer Time. Grades Shall Be In Tomorrow.

And then I will go home and play in my garden.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Negative Space

Hey all--Still needing to graqde papers, collect portfolios, finalize grades, and write a 20 page paper, but I thought I'd update.

One of the novels we've read is Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf, wherein the main character is never really actually present. The novel forms a sort of world with a Jacob-shaped hole in it. It's an interesting concept for a novel and one which appears to work for other art forms as well.

James here in my grad office twigged me onto the Garfield minus Garfield website, which republishes the generally yawn-worthy Garfield comic, only with the animals edited out. The result is a grand improvement on the strip. Click on the link and see if I lie. April 2 was a good day.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It was someone in my was a dangerous freak storm... was, um, an earthquake? I snapped awake before 6 this morning for some reason and listened. shortly after I heard the sound of someone walking across my kitchen floor. As the hairs stood up on the back of my neck I realized that the house was making noises, that there was a stranger noise from outside. A storm? I was still groggy and thinking if the house was making all this noise in a storm I was in trouble. By that point I realized my bed was jiggling like a jello-mold salad. In my not-awake-state it briefly crossed my mind that a storm was raging and that the people who had broken in were shaking my bed. It wasn't until I woke up a bit more that I realized it must've been an earthquake or perhaps a powerful explosion somewhere. Sure enough, on the radio this morning, Indiana got a 5.2 earthquake. I haven't checked the basement, but I don't see any new cracks in the ceiling or other such damage. The chimneys dad and I worked on held nicely.
This marks my second Hoosier earthquake. The first one was a really amazingly unlikely combination back in 1986 when our house got hit by a tornado on the same afternoon as the earthquake. I believe the two events were separated by less than two hours. One nice thing about last night's earthquake is that, for about a half hour, it actually convinced the mockingbirds to shut the hell up--they've been singing all night (listen! I'm a Robin! listen! I'm a Blue Jay! listen! I'm a car alarm!...") and driving me nuts. Well, off to the Great Outdoors and then to my paper-writing.

11:15 a.m., and my lamp is still wobbling--evidently an aftershock. I was sitting here at the computer when my chair started moving under me, and the bookcase swayed. It lasted perhaps 15 seconds, all told. Evidently the mockingbirds are used to this now, as they started right back up singing as soon as the shaking stopped.

The 11:15 aftershock was 4.6. The mockingbirds are napping, and I think I might follow their lead. Avoiding D.H. Lawrence in such tectonically-active times is hard work.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A New List for Those Who Love Them

  1. A rewrite of my Mann/Lawrence paper, as my Prof didn't like the first one
  2. The still - unwritten Berryman/ Schnittke paper
  3. A 9-page paper on my poetic drift this semester
  4. Revisions on my pieces for the semester
  5. Grading 15 final papers
  6. Critiquing 2 short stories
  7. State Taxes, on which I'd been holding out until I got more money in the bank, cause if I owe for Federal, I sure as hell am gonna owe for State
  8. Reading an ass-high stack of LitCrit.
  9. Attempt to be in a good mood in spite of items 1-8
One thing might help with my state of mind and that is Lemon Jelly. The music outfit, not the condiment. Overheard this song on KUOW whilst staying with Pez over Christmas and remembered upon returning to check if they had a video. And they do, in which it appears Alexandr Solzhenitsyn has an acid trip:

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Preliminary Tax Situation--2008

It's interesting --well, not interesting, actually--in the past 12 years never have I earned so little, yet owed so much. Not since I worked in Russia have I earned the AGI I'm currently reporting, yet instead of a refund, I actually owe the Federal Government money. Color me pissed. In addition, I was notified of my "economy stimulus" payout a/k/a The Bribe to All Citizens the Government Cant Afford, and in spite of all I've just mentioned, I don't even qualify for the full $600. I certainly hope those jerks in their Hummers (who would name a car after a blowjob?) enjoy their economic stimulation. I, for one, have already spent it--on rent, gas, and utility payments. Thank god I won that poetry award, which won't even cover my mortgage payment and gradpad rent payment for the month. But I sure as hell have to report it as "income" on my taxes for 2008. Bitter, party of one?