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tired scholar
So here I am, on the left coast again. Or pretty close to it, seeing as how I'm 60 miles east of LA. In the blessed desert. It was 110 degrees when I rolled into town and about 99 at sundown.

And I guess I'm officially a professor now, too. At least that's what my faculty profile says.

Holy shit.

Guess I should clarify for the world at large... I've taken a visiting faculty position at a small, private liberal arts college in southern California (about an hour and a half from where I grew up) after 10 years in Indiana. This means (at least) two things:

1. I am finishing my dissertation as soon as humanly possible so as to be competitive for the tenure track job.

2. I get to eat Mexican food again!!!

Oh, and I get to teach. Which I love. Particularly when the class sizes are small (under 30 for the undergrad music history survey and about 12 in my graduate seminar).

I miss the bejesus out of my friends, and my cats are confused as hell, but I am still feeling pretty positive on the whole situation. We'll see how things shake down in the coming semester. 10 days and counting...

I'm going back to my sauvignon blanc, consumed in a camp chair because the movers have yet to get here with my furniture.

Finding my center...

tired scholar
Not so easy really. I ventured into "pre-yoga" yesterday evening, the class for little old ladies and people with arthritis (like me). Boy was I glad I started with that before moving on to Level 1. I never really had much of a sense for exactly what parts of my body were impacted by the RA. Now I do. Guess that's the point of the whole practice, really. Learning about your body, balancing things out, finding your center, blah, blah, blah...

I have never put much stock in karmic, new-age, metaphysical hoo-ha and I gotta say, this class had a little of that going on. This is not to say that I disrespect people who practice the intuitive arts, just that it's never done much for me. But I think I have some things to learn from it. Namely, to SLOW DOWN.

As much as I adore sleep I don't tolerate leisure well, and I always sort of knew this. But an hour of yoga brought to my attention not only the variety of kinks, weakness, and tight spots in my body, but also the fact that I have tremendous difficulty going an hour without looking at my watch. I managed to refrain during the class, but only through the exertion of rather a bit of willpower, which I'm sure I should have been channeling differently. So I'm going back next week, letting go, and seeing what yoga has to teach me, because it's probably worth it to master this whole relaxation thing. And also because I really like the popping sound my back makes when I rotate and stretch just right, aaaahhh...

Musicology poisoning

coming up
So I can't decide whether AMS/SMT this year was a good experience or a bad experience. Suffice it to say were busy as all hell at the IUP booth (good for job security if not for my nerves) and there was a fair amount of networking done on my part. I think I just should have skipped the IU party however, which only made me grumpy because of all the prospective students. Note to kiddies: don't expect me to convince you to come to IU when I'm up to my eyeballs in debt because we don't fully fund grad students. Also, in case nobody had realized it yet, musicologists and theorists are a sometimes painfully awkward bunch - something I think I'd just had my fill of by about 1.5 days in. Also, a certain prof needs to stop telling me I need to quit my job in favor of writing the diss faster and otherwise generally thinking he/she runs my life.

The best parts, though, should outweigh the tiring parts.

1. Got to see the mentor (aka musicology daddy... except that sounds wrong) and he is very encouraging re: writing and very sane re: keeping a roof over my head.

2. The other jazz and Bernstein guy? I can totally take him.

Anyway, I am super-stoked about continuing writing, but have encountered the first major reading roadblock, which I hope to have cleared in the next couple of days. But I still wrote a bit today. I've decided to aim for a modest 30,000 words, since we're still talking about academic, not creative writing here, and there's got to be some semblance of, you know, proof for what I put down.

Word count: 5,682/30,000

On the joys of the third space...

Misato grin
Out seeking some of the public private time I've been missing lately. A friend of mine is off traveling by himself and talking with him has reminded me that I need to spend more time alone. Not just alone in my house, but alone in public. To make use of the "third space" that the fin-de-siecle Viennese prized so highly (albeit largely because housing was so scarce and so shitty).

So today I went to brunch by myself at Uptown (mmm, eggs benedict), which gave me an opportunity to wade through my new employee benefits packet - turns out full-time employment has its upside. And now I'm sitting Soma (the only place I can get a decent approximation of cafe melange) and uploading photos of my Grandmother's 90th birthday party. Which was lovely, but bittersweet since her Alzheimer's has gotten much worse since I saw her last. I'm trying not to think too deeply about that since I'm pretty sure it's gonna cause a breakdown once I do.

Anyway, I think the presence of my BlackBerry is beginning to unnerve the natives, Soma being the location where the hipsters caffeinate. Guess I'd better move along.

Hey, all you people who live in Texas!

What should I do in San Antonio (other than the Riverwalk and the Alamo)? Any favorite restaurant recs? Some dive bar I simply must go to? Or, since I am in the retail mood, a shop I have to check out?

The driver (oooh, I have a driver) comes to get me at 3:10 am to take me to the airport. To sleep or not to sleep?
big pimpin'
Dissertation proposal approved? - Check.
Oral exams passed? - Check.

Candidacy and A.B.D. all in one go. And yet, I feel no smarter, more knowledgeable, or really any different at all today than I did yesterday.

So what now? Where are all those things I was dying to do once I had the time? Somehow completely forgotten them all. Maybe I'll just go buy Final Fantasy XII and not be seen or heard from for a few days. Except, oh yeah, I have to go to work on Monday.

Any suggestions from the blogosphere?

I HAZ PWND XAMZ.

big pimpin'
And there was much rejoicing. And perhaps some drinking. When your father suggests that you deserve a night of drunken revelry you know you done good.

And now, passing my written quals for my Ph.Dizzle has left me Lost in the Valley of wait, what? No studying? Oh.

So what am I supposed to do? Besides put up the tree, clean my disgusting study and bedroom, and, you know, eat a few square meals I cooked myself? Certainly not study for orals (actually, I have kind of been advised not to so much).

Oh yeah... that whole dissertation proposal thing. But first...

The BEST THING EVER! WHY AM I JUST FINDING OUT ABOUT THIS NOW THAT IT'S TOO LATE TO MAKE THEM FOR PRESSIES?

http://www.subversivecrossstitch.com/index.html

I think I may have to re-take-up cross-stitching. These would look good in my close-sized office. Or in my study.

Wait... what was the point again?

Boy, am I glad they decided to let Gandlaf smoke during Lord of the Rings.

And is anyone else incredibly amused by the fact that Jonathan Rhys-Davies is 3 inches taller than Orlando Bloom?

Anyway, the 20-hour Star Wars marathon has only impressed upon me that, as much as I love them, they are not very good films. And it has instilled in me the desire to consecrate my Christmas gift - the box set of the Lord of the Rings, because those are some of the best films - cinematography, screenplay, adaptation, acting, special effects, casting, etc. - that I have ever known. That and Legolas makes me kind of hot. And the hobbits are smoking weed - you know they are.

So, what brought this on is that I watched part of the cast commentary (the only part of the numerous special features I haven't seen) and I have determined that being part of the Lord of the Rings is very similar to being in grad school - you can't really explain it to someone who's never experienced it, you'll never forget the people you did it with, and you'll never be the same... which makes it, I suppose, also kind of like losing your virginity.

Add to that commonality with my life the fact that I prefer the company of men, am pretty fiercely independent, and have extensive knowledge of horsemanship (used to trick-ride), my screename suddenly becomes understandable. I knew there was a reason I always identified with Eowyn. It's a shame my unreasonable fascination with heroes always ends in similar fashion. Oh well. There will have to be a Faramir at some point.

[Shoot me now... I am the biggest dork on Middle Earth.]

It's been nice, but...

Misato grin

I'm outta here.

See zou all soon!