Friday, 15 April 2011

Shut It Down

Over the past three weeks, I went back to the US for a marathon tour of law schools in New England, reconnected with tons of friends, more-than-friends, and frenemies, made what was probably the most difficult decision of my life, and then linked up with David and Emma in London and went backpacking in Turkey for a week. And at no point during this period of high-stakes decisions, interpersonal dramas, and novel desserts did I feel compelled to write about my day on the internet.

This is either a sign of maturity or a sign that my life has gotten so boring that I don't feel as sassy firing stories out into the ether, but either way, I think it probably means that it's time to shut it down. When I started blogging eight years ago - eeep - it was right after I left Fargo to go to college and knew absolutely nobody, and so nobody I knew read my blog, and it was a good way to brag and vent and process very new experiences to an undifferentiated mass of readers. Now, I think the only people who read my blog are people I know, and I feel weirder about bragging and venting to them, and the experiences don't seem so new, and in any case, the advent of Facebook and Twitter means that I'm more or less covered for my lingering fits of exhibitionist self-performativity.

I've been crap at blogging lately anyway, and I'd rather bow out gracefully than watch my readership continue to dwindle into the double digits. If I resurface and pick up blogging again, it'll be anonymously, and at a time in my life where it serves a purpose that picking up the phone and calling somebody can't quite serve. Until then, know that the glory days of this blog were probably my favorite experience that will never end up on my CV, and wish me luck as I drop offline and try to handle all this on my own. It's been all kinds of fun.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


You know who would risk missing a bus to New York and getting stranded in Cambridge for a Hubbard Park from Darwin's? This guy, like anybody who is reasonable and has good taste in sandwiches.

(I still managed to make the bus, which I am now on and about to eat my priceless sandwich and pass out, because I made every appointment and meeting today despite getting three hours of sleep, most of it on a pre-dawn Greyhound. I'm the definition of classy today.)

Friday, 25 March 2011

Game On

This is the new obsession that is guiding me toward completion and publication of my DPhil. I feel like anthropologists have an unfair advantage in the crazy book titles category, although "Living with Crazy Buttocks" is obviously tough to beat. (That doesn't mean I won't try.)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

This is the Wire, and We Are Now Down to It

Visiting law schools next week was supposed to give me a solid month to make this decision, which I had kind of envisioned making while sitting in contemplation on a plateau somewhere in Turkey. And then that fell apart yesterday, when all of the financial aid information - and a new batch of deadlines - came through, which turned this into a $160,000 question that requires an answer by April 1.

Obviously, that's like super exciting, and a fantastic opportunity, but it took me ten minutes to decide what to put on my bagel this morning and you can imagine how I've been handling these developments. (I got approximately two hours of sleep last night, and when I spilled a spoon of basmati rice on my sock yesterday, I almost burst into tears.) I've developed Stockholm Syndrome with all four of the schools I'm still considering, and the thought of visiting all of them and then making a decision within 24 hours is kind of terrifying, especially when it involves a kind of financial commitment that makes me uncomfortable even when I'm playing Monopoly. The worst part is that I don't even get to have a revelation in a desert in Cappadocia, and will probably instead be making it on Delta - Delta - somewhere above the Atlantic, at 5am, while watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls on their awful in-flight entertainment and trying to get Rory Gilmore to help me understand how to pick schools before I land at Heathrow and have to phone it in. AWESOME.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Acronym Game

In one paragraph of my DPhil, I've managed to use LGBT, UN, UDHR, ICJ, NGO, ECOSOC, UNGA, and GEAR. One more and I would have a cubed hat trick.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Gross Adventures in Doctoral Study

You know when you read a novel and it says that somebody smelled rotten milk and they retched? And you're like, whatever, plug your nose and I don't understand what the big deal is? Everybody just shut up and leave them alone.

I've never smelled rotten food and almost vomited before, mostly because I pride myself on having a kitchen where I notice when things have been neglected for so long that they are chemically transforming. The same is not true of the basement of my department, which is nominally used by an entire building full of faculty and students but doesn't seem to have anybody specifically tasked with cleaning it. And earlier this week, I opened the kind of gross fridge in the communal kitchen and literally almost threw up. (I didn't, because I have an iron constitution and also because I really wanted coffee and my tiny jug of milk was in that fridge.) It had kind of smelled weird before I left with my brother on vacation, but now it smelled rotten, mostly because everything inside was rotten. Like, there was my milk, but there were also four other things of milk, all of which had curdled, probably weeks ago. There was what appeared to be a piece of bread, which had been completely encased in fuzzy green mold. There was a package of salami labeled "April 4," which had begun to grow moldy, which led me to believe that it was not this April 4, and was possibly not last April 4 either. It was like a Steven King novel.

Except Kathy Bates did not break my knees and make me do it, I did it voluntarily, because I am apparently at the point where I will edit journals and do my taxes and scrape mold out of butter compartments and still think of it as a break from my work. And that is why I spent the next hour taking apart the fridge and scrubbing sheets of mold off the interior so that I can use it instead of walking to our apartment - literally 30 seconds away - for milk. It's probably good that I'm going to the US next week.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Fights in Our Household

RT: "Ooh, sorry I wrecked your progress narrative."