Wednesday, April 19, 2006

dun dun DONE!

There it is, kids! I turn it in tomorrow.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Time travel

I just got this email. I've got to say, my timing's impeccable.

(The following is an e-mail from the past, composed on Sunday, April 17, 2005, and sent via

Dear FutureMe,

Well, I hope you have (almost finished) your mfa by now, and nothing in our life has changed drasticly for the worse. Brain's great, eh? Six years by now! You go, me!

Give my love to everyone,


Friday, April 14, 2006


So, last night when I finally crawled off to bed at around 4:00 or so (I don't know why I can't get to bed at a normal hour anymore, but that's topic for another day), I was thinking about how lucky Brian and I have been since we moved here. I've finished not one but three degrees, he's started making art again and found a studio space to do it in, we've made a whole new set of wonderful friends and reconnected with old ones whe had lost touch with, and -- the most astounding luck of all, we have lived for nearly a year now practically rent free, exchanging odd jobs and cat-sitting for our apartment.

This housing situation has made it possible for me to devote all my attention to school, for Brian to accept fewer web design jobs and work more on his sculptures, and has introduced us to yet another round of really great people, including our landlady Jana and our upstairs neighbor, Ira.

So, the class I'll be teaching at New College is just the latest in what seems like an endless stream of good news. And going to bed last night, I couldn't help but wonder, in that it's-4AM-and-God-I'm-tired way, if maybe we didn't deserve it. After all, I've made so many mistakes in my life, messed up so many good oppurtunities. Could the universe really still have such a store of good luck set aside for me? Shouldn't a meteor be hurtling towards us or something?

So when Brian woke me up this morning to tell me the cat was missing, I couldn't help but see it as fate's fickle finger pressing down. Nine-One-One -- the cat that is -- tends to be a homebody. He'll usually hang out in whatever room we're in when we're home, and when he does go outside (there's a cat door built in to the back door, and he can come and go at will) he usually just sticks to the porch or wanders into one of the adjoining yards. It's very, very rare that he won't come when he's called, particularly when we're holding treats.

But this morning he didn't come, and he didn't come. Brian and I scoured the house and yard, checking every place we thought a cat might get trapped, or (god forbid) hide if he were sick or wounded. We pressed our ear to the floor, listening for faint meows from the crawlspace below the house and poked through the construction site next door. I even checked the refirgerator, on the off chance that he'd jumped in when I got myself a glass of water before bed.

Finally, we just decided we'd have to wait, and that if he wasn't home by 3 or 4 this afternoon, we'd start printing up lost cat signs and knocking on neighbor's doors. We were hoping he'd just wandered in to someone else's kitchen, or maybe fallen asleep in a patch of sunlight too far from our yard to hear us calling. I tried to work on my thesis, but couldn't concentrate. Finally, I just decided to take a book and lie down for a while, hoping my nerves would settle.

I hadn't even made it through one chapter when the cat walked in, looking sheepish but otherwise fine. We picked him up and hugged him (and for once he didn't complain about being held) and fed him an obscene amount of treats. And he's here now, purring and snoring and generally being his awful cute self.

I guess we're just lucky.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Poetry Thursday, plus good news

First the good news: I just found out I will be teaching in the fall, a course called Revenge, Justice, & Civilization: The Trojan War & the Classical Tradition, which was honestly my favorite of the three proposals that I put together. I am very excited, and very nervous, and very very wound up right now.

So, with the Trojan War as our theme, here's an excerpt from Christopher Logue's All Day Permanent Red, his reinterpretation of the battle scenes from Homer's Iliad.


Silence and light

   The earth
And its attendant moon
(Neither of great importance
But beautiful and dignified)
Making their way around the sun.

  Bread trucks have begun to stream
across the vast plateau,
fair skies, high cumulous cloud --
the birds are in full throat
as the sun lights up the east.
   Who is it sees
Set in the north Agean sea, their coasts
Nosegays of seaweed tossing Ida's snow,
The Isles of Imbros and Samothrace?
   And over there -- grapes ghosts and vocal grottoes --
Greece. Above it Macedon,
Its wooded folds declining til they meet
Those of Carpathia and Kagan Gorge,
Through which, fed by a hundred tributaries since
It crossed the northern instep of the Alps,
The Danuge reappears.
   Eyes to Italy
(Where squirrels go from coast to coast and never touch the ground)
Then up, over her cyclorama peaks
Whose snow became before the fire before the wheele, the Rhine,
Below whose estuaries beneath an endless sky,
Sand baars and sabre grass, salt flats and travelling dunes
Lead west, until, green in their shallow sea
That falls away into the Atlantic deeps
He sees the Islands of the West.
   He who? Why, God, of course.
Who sighs before He looks
Back to the ridge that is, save for a million footprints,
Empty now.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Oh really I'm fine

I shouldn't blog while it's raining. It's never anything a break in the clouds and a walk through the puddles won't fix.
I've been having trouble with sleeping lately. Not with falling asleep, I can do that fine. I just can't seem to stop sleeping for hours on end.

At first I was staying up late working, going to bed at 4:00 AM and sleeping in til noon. But for the last week or so, it's been shifting. I'll go to bed earlier, but sleep til one. And waking, I won't feel particularly rested, as I seem to have the strangest dreams right before I wake up. The predominant theme of these dreams seems to be guilt (my own), and sometimes retribution (other people's). Also fish. I've always been afraid of fish.

Tune in next week for more Nora goes stark raving bonkers!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Heck, why not have poetry Sunday, then, too.

It is national poetry month, after all.

The Good-Morrow
John Donne

I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I
Did, till we lov'd? were we not wean'd till then ?
But suck'd on countrey pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den ?
T'was so ; but this, all plesures fanices bee.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desir'd, and got, t'was but a dream of thee

And now good morrow to our waking soules,
Which watch not one another out of feare ;
For love, all love of other sights controules,
And makes one litte room, an every where.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

My face is thine eye, thine in mine appeares,
And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest,
Where can we find two better hemispheares
Without sharp North, without declining West?
What ever dyes, was not mixt equally ;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Day late Poetry Thursday

Time flies when you don't know what day it is...

Tom Clark
Artificial Light

Without it, what savage unsocial nights
Our ancestors must have spent! All those deadly
Winter nocturnes in caves and unillumined icy
Fastnesses: they must have laid around and
Grumbled at one another in the dark like the blind,
Fumbling each other's features for the wrinkle of a smile.
What tedious repartee must have passed! Perhaps
This accounts for the dullness of much archaic
Poetry, whose somber cast is notorious and must
Have derived from the traditions of those
Long unlanterned nights. Jokes came in with candles.
How did they see to pick up a pin, if they
Had any? How did they get dinner down? Think of
The mélange of chance carving that must have
Ensanguined dining after dusk! Lights out,
Not even love's what it's cracked up to be.
The senses absolutely give and take
Reciprocally. One wants to know whether that's
An elbow, a knee, or the night table
Before one returns the favor of a friendly nudge.
Wasn't it by the midnight taper all writers once digested
Their meditations? By that same light we ought
To approach them, if we ever expect to catch
The tiger-moth of inspiration that dances
In the word incandescent.

from Like Real People
Black Sparrow Press, Santa Rosa, Calif., 1995

Sunday, April 02, 2006


So here I am sitting in front of the computer at 4 AM, surfing the internet while my work sits untouched in a minimized window. And so I thought, why not take an online test for Adult ADD, because hey! There might be something to all that.

Incidentally, anyone know if those herbal remedies (hypnitol, Focus ADDult, etc) work?

Oh look, a peanut.