Saturday, April 26, 2008

Endnote love

I finally updated Endnote on my computer this morning.

It works now.

And it's made me so happy I almost cried.

I'm just sayin'.

That is all.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Food for thought

Given my recent lack of grocery shopping - which was, admittedly, supposed to happen today but was put off after a surprise request for five vials of blood rendered my left elbow useless for carrying much of anything - I've been living these last few days on some simple yet yummy meals. Thin almost-omlettes studded with mushrooms and onion and very coarsly ground black pepper. Fluffy oatmeal pancakes with syrup and applesauce. Brown rice cooked in veggie broth with kale and carrot. Roasted veggies tossed with olive oil on a bit of pasta.

Food can be a complicated series of relationships. I think rather a lot about food, but in a lot of different ways. I love food - love thinking about new meals, trying new things, turning to old standbys, perusing new cookbooks, heading to the grocery store. I also fear food (or, more accurately, "food") full of unpronouncable ingredients and enough chemicals that it never really seems to go bad. I wonder about it's production, and especially the issues around the labour and transportation and environmental conditions that all get wrapped up in it. I worry about food security issues, especially with the ever-increasing concerns about peak oil and rising food prices. I daydream about producing my own, both because of these worries and because of the fact that there are just so few things better than a plump, sun-warmed, fresh-picked tomato from your own plants coupled with a bit of fresh, home-grown basil.

I tend to eat in trends. I go through periods of loving particular foods, or particular types of foods, and eat them until I no longer want them. Then, it's onto something new, and I'll come back to it eventually. For awhile it was eggs - quiches and omlettes and scrambled egg wraps daily for lunch. For a week or so last month it was edamame with so much salt my tongue started to buzz. Sometimes it's pasta. Often it's sushi (but that I don't generally make myself.) Right now, it's veggies and whole grains which, all things considered, is probably not such a bad way to be eating. I'd like to give some more thought to the ethics of what I eat, though, and how my eating patterns fit into the larger scheme of things. I hardly think I need something else to dwell on, but it seems to be an important and (frightningly) timely issue.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Keywords for life

Current keywords for the best bits of life:

homemade salad dressing; poems of Pablo Neruda; gold dance shoes; The Quincunx; orange and grey together; "A Cook on the Wild Side" from Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall and the BBC; addictive no-knead bread with strawberry-rhubarb jam; fresh cucumber-apple-carrot juice; following along with Yoga Today; new contact with old friends; Iron and Wine; sleeveless shirts (finally!); green tea; Emmylou Harris with Mark Knopfler; mad sushi cravings; trolling Apartment Therapy; sleeping late; fresh spring bedding; newfound social life; finishing grading; Anthology of American Folk Music

Month and a half in review (bulleted edition)

Since my now next-to-last post, I have...

- almost finished teaching an undergrad course (6 more papers to grade!)

- finished my dissertation proposal

- started my dissertation ethics proposal

- complained a lot about both my dissertation proposal and dissertation ethics proposal

- submitted papers for publication - fingers crossed!

- been accepted to a summer program at Oxford

- successfully tested for eighth kyu in aikido

- panicked about being accepted to the summer program at Oxford

- had a long visit with my Sweetie

- ordered a whole pile of dissertation books

- started exercising again

- took a weekly swimming class to improve my skills

- gotten in touch with a few old friends

Lots accomplished. Lots still left to go. But, seeing things listed like this reminds me of the progress that I'm making, and that things are happening. Bit by bit. Step by step. Little by little. Plus, there are all the little moments in between the big things that just fill things out and make life all the better. Great conversations. Good meals. Hugs. Long walks. Compelling reading. Sleeping in. Staying up late. Napping.

There lots of stress, but there's more to smile about. Works for me.

Oops, I did it again?

No posts for a month and a half. I could say I've been crazy busy with the teaching and the dissertation and all manner of work things, and that would be kind of true. I could say that I just slipped into the ether again, and that would be kind of true too. I could say that I'm just plain old lazy and...well...that would actually probably be pretty true, especially if we factor the state of my apartment into the equation.

But, the truth is, I've been feeling like in writing this blog I've been becoming too serious. Too flat. Too not-me, in some ways. I feel so much funnier in real life. So much more animated and lively and silly. And while I'm not always all of these things consistently or simultaneously (especially now, when I spend a large chunk of my time as a ball of stress for various reasons), I just don't feel like they've been coming across. And, as a result, I'm faced with considering (yet again) what, exactly, I want this space to be, and how I want to be in it, and what I want to do with it.

Tonight I got dressed up all in orange and dark grey, and I walked across the street and gabbed and laughed and ate cheese and donuts with a friend for hours, and it was great. I came home and had a long online conversation with my Sweetie, and that was great too. Now I'm sitting on the couch, window open, breeze blowing, shoes tossed off on the floor beside me, and this is great too.

I don't feel like I'm capturing any of that - the little bits of my life that make it so great. Maybe it feels like something no one else would want to read. Maybe I just need to keep posting until I find some kind of a voice that works and that allows me to keep writing regularly, rather than in fits and starts. Maybe I really did just deserve that B+ that I got for creative writing in undergrad and this just isn't the venue for me.

For now, I'll keep on trying though, and will see what comes out. But, one thing I know is that while I don't necessarily want this whole space to be lighter as a whole, especially as I ponder serious issues in my own life and the world in general, I do want it to have more lightness working its way in.