La Vie En Rose for 2007 January

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A song for the new year:

A long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember the last thing you said as you were leavin’
Now the days go by so fast


And it’s one more day up in the canyons
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
If you think that I could be forgiven... I wish you would


The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl


And it’s one more day up in the canyons
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California... I think you should


Drove up to the Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her


And it’s been a long December and there’s no reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better that the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass


And it’s one more day up in the canyon
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean... I guess I should

[Comments] (2) Happy new quarter?: During a conversation with Leonard I realised it has been some time since I actually wrote something. Well, here is something: I've had a self-revelation, and that is I am not very good at getting ahead during holidays. Here is what I am good at:
Sleeping 10-12 hours a day
reading trashy books
Hanging out with my friends
doing field work (Leonard pointed this one out.

So generally speaking, I am good at being on holiday on holidays. This would be fine, a time and place for everything, if I were not also good at being on holiday when I am NOT on holiday. So now is the time to get organized & ready & do all the things I meant to have done. There is recycling for taking, lemons and grapefruits waiting to be picked and juiced/eaten, the gym to go to, and a thesis proposal just waiting to be written. My hope is that, having percolated in my brain for so long, it has basically written itself and will come pouring out onto the page once I sit down to write it.

I have, however, made progress in the apartment hunt, which is good as it will be nice to be settled in somewhere with all my Serbia books unpacked and sitting on the self looking at the desk, for the time of thesis writing is at hand. Unfortunately, apartments in Bakersfield are much more expensive than they should be, but I have narrowed my options down to basically two promising places. One a cute bunch of cottages on D street off of 23rd, a nice location but so charming I'm afraid they will turn out to be a little on the expensive side. The others are less charming but charming nonetheless, on Oleander near California, hidden back away from the street, and the best price I think I can get without living in a dump. And a pool! Unfortunately I haven't actually talked to anyone involved in the letting of these apartments, only left messages on their machines. By my powers of deduction I found the add for one in the paper. Alternatively, there are other possibilities, and the possibility of a roommate. We shall see.

[Comments] (2) Miraculous: These last few days the heater has been "broken." I have been fretting what to do without actually doing anything. Then last night I awoke because I was suffocating under the three blankets, electric blanket on high, two cats, sweater, and down vest I had piled on in hopes of keeping warm, when the heater miraculously turned back on. If only all of my problems would magically be solved by miracles in the middle of the night.

[Comments] (2) Hazy shade of winter: I spoke to soon and the heater broke again. this time I will really get it fixed. In the meantime I survive by huddled in my room around my $10 space heater I bought from Target for my bathroom so I could take baths in winter without my top half freezing off (this was before I figured out that my bathroom was always freezing because the vent was closed). Unfortunately I think the faithful blue electric blanket is on its last leg. I had both sides on high, which would normally broil a person but was barely enough to keep me from freezing. Luckily I had two furry heat pads cats. I can't really blame the blanket because it is about a jillion years old. Actually I don't know how old it is. I at least have been using it since high school, because I remember coming home from one late night play rehearsal and mom had turned it on for me (it was very sweet but I had to turn it off because I was up till about 4 at kinkos, if I recall correctly... those were the days... hahah).

[Comments] (1) Again?: Heater is fixed. Susie and John have come and gone. Pat & Shannon threw spoiled Susie & Beet a lovely shower, which was so nice and tons of fun. I got to see lots of people I haven't seen in ages and probably enjoyed it as much as Susie did. Now I am huddled in the library preparing for a very hectic week. (at least the beginning will be).

Yesterday was my last night at the bookstore--for good (though I did say I'd step in for emergencies and will probably work HP7 night if I am around... but hopefully I won't be). At some point I decided it was more important to graduate in June and remain a sane and healthy being while writing my thesis than continue to bring home $300 a month. Not to mention I was going batty from the erratic scheduling. Not once this year was I scheduled at a time listed in the "availability" I so carefully wrote out for the manager. Coincidence? If it was a passive-aggressive contest between me & her for control over my schedule, I think I won. Besides, I like to think I've reached a point in my life where my time is worth more than slightly above minimum wage. In that note, I've signed up to take the CBEST in Feb. and plan to start subbing once I get my scores & do all the paperwork. Plus that way I'll have some teaching experience for my resume in case I have to go job hunting. In the meantime I am taking three classes plus writing my thesis which should be enough for anyone's plate. And I am brainstorming about ways to save money since I am now a pauper:

Avoid unnecessary trips across town to save gas (ie stay at school in between my classes on Monday and Wednesday).
Bring tea to make instead of buying drinks at the coffee shop, my own packed healthy lunches and snacks instead of attacking the vending machines (long night classes require material comforts & I have three of them this quarter).
Eat only spaghetti and pb&j. No fancy frozen meals from TJs. No eating out.
Hm....
Maybe not working in a bookstore will reduce my book-buying temptations. In that vein, perhaps I should take a different route home so I am not driving by Inn-n-out when I am weak with hunger.
No browsing through the Target clothes and accessories section when I am there to buy cat food and toothpaste, even if it is just the clearance.

[Comments] (5) I always take the long way home: Just finished with my lecture for class (one of two I have to do this quarter--the next one will be on women during WWI!). I am super relieved because it went pretty well, even though I am no so well-versed in post-revolutionary American history. Mostly it was discussion, on the Midwife's Tale and The Return of Martin Guerre. Ta-dum! Now I had better hurry home & write a smallish paper. Maybe not straight home; Denise the temptress invited me to meet her & Jenn at In-n-out for din din. Lucky it is cheap. Tomorrow I am going to the dentist like everyone else (not so cheap, but hey, I won't be American if I don't have nice teeth!).

[Comments] (1) Something new everyday: Someone is going back and forth into their library study room. how annoying. I wish I had a study room, I could really use it this quarter, but I applied and I guess they are all given out. This women leaves her door open so I hear clearly her coughs and whispered phone conversations... or conversations to herself. Humph. I just signed onto AIM for the first time in months and now am catching up with my swiss friend I travelled with this summer. We are speculating about travelling through Eastern Europe and I learned about a psuedo-country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnistria) I never knew existed. Now I have to go there! Anyway. I've noticed a lot of people do this, so I am going to be a copycat & try this year. We'll see if I can keep up.

1. Encore Provence By Peter Mayle (Dec 28-Jan 1) I love Peter Mayle. Reading his books makes me crave chevre.
2. Return of Martin Guerre by Natalie Zemmon Davis (Jan 1-8) A book I read for class—both of my classes, actually, which is a nice exercise in double-tasking. I found it very interesting and enjoyable, something I would read even if it weren't assigned. The movie was great, too.
3. Literacy and Longing in LA by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack (Jan 15-20) I checked this one out from work—one of three hard-covers I snagged before I left. The cover and the title caught my eye (it was on our Christmas catalogue) and I wanted to read it when I saw it was about a book-obsessed woman who dealt with her inadequacies by going on reading benders. I related to it more than I like to admit, but I liked the beginning better than the end. It was full of great quotes and references, pretty well-written, and I'd recommend to anyone obsessed with books. Didn't hurt that it was set in LA.

Movies: 1. Le Retour de Martin Guerre. (Jan 10). For class—we just had a huge discussion about film and history and blah blah. The whole thing is Natalie Davis was uncomfortable with the deviations from the historical record that the film took, so she wrote the book… I like the book a lot but I liked the combination of the book & film best. It's a really great story.
2. The Americanization of Emily (Jan 16 or 17, I don't remember). This was my Christmas present from Chris. I can see why he bought it for me, another great war/love story. Julie Andrews. Lots of debate about the morality of war. What could be better?

[Comments] (2) NYC here I come!: I just booked a flight to go see Leonard for spring break! Should be fun, I'm very excited.

[Comments] (2) Library culture?: I really, really don't understand why people think its ok to talk in the library. Seriously people are walking around in the stacks talking on their cell phones. Or sitting in the chairs just chatting with each other. Not even bothering to keep their voices down. I have told off about 5 people in the last week. I hate being so anal retentive but I don't see any solution except to spend less time in the library and I am behind on my french homework as it is. Oh well. Maybe I will just go to Dagny's instead. Noise doesn't bother me when its SUPPOSED to be there.

[Comments] (1) But don't turn my hope into a weapon: I am full of hope.

[Comments] (3) Interview me: It looks like I am going to be interviewed over the phone for at least one of the schools to which I applied. I know they will ask me about my dissertation, why I want to go to that school, how on earth I am going to research allied experiences in the Balkans if I can't read Serbian... stuff like that. I suppose the good thing about a phone interview is I can write out answers to questions I think they will ask and have it in front of me during. Does anyone else with experience in these matters have an idea of what else they might ask me?

La Vie En Rose for 2007 January

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