Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Club seats

Oooh, we went to the corporate VIP version of the hockey game. This means parking about ten feet from the door and dining on prime rib and crab legs and cabernet in the Avison Young club and then taking your front row seats where waiters come by and crouch on the steps and ask you for your drink order. And then skipping back to the Avison Young club between periods where you have another, pre-ordered drink waiting (they're really efficient about the whole drinking thing). From seats that close you can definitely tell which players are good-looking. Great vantage on the rhubarb, too.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I got an article accepted for publication!

It's a "postgraduate" journal (which I think means mostly student papers), but it is affiliated with Oxford! Yaaaay!

Actually, it's that paper.

Thanks to PSWIP, who helped me edit it!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So what did you do during the crazy snowstorm of '09?

I tried flying home early, which meant spending two full days at LaGuardia (and then one night in Toronto), and subsisting for two days on terrible coffee and sandwiches, and finding a nice corner of the departure lounge with an outlet, where I could drag out all my notes and articles on Freud and Derrida and write my Psychoanalysis and Deconstruction paper.

And in between those two days at the airport (with cab rides to and from) some friends came over with wine so I really didn't have to leave the house at all. I heard it was a mess out there, though.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It finally happened!

You know those shitty ATMs that litter Manhattan and as a result of which, if you live here, your identity gets stolen from time to time (because you do use them, against your better judgement, because you are lazy)? You know, the ones chained to the outside of the bodega, because god knows the bodega isn't going to accept your credit/debit card, except for purchases over twenty dollars or some nonsense, but how much would you have to hate yourself to spend twenty dollars at a bodega? The ones covered in stickers and dog shit, that charge a two dollar withdrawal fee on top of your own bank's own $3 fee (I've never understood that - what, is the bank pouting that you took money out somewhere else just because you happened to be drunk in Alphabet City and really needed cigarettes and it was close and convenient)? So those ATMs always include the helpful security tip to wait until all your cash is dispensed before taking it, because the bills might get stuck coming out of their cheap dispensing device. And on account of that I always throw a glance at the one outside my building to see if someone forgot a twenty. And today somebody did! Free money.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Do I have to not fix everything around here?

After sleeping for 15 hours (man, was I tired and sick), I dragged myself out of bed and through the shower to my appointment at the Genius Bar, i.e. the tech support at the fancy Apple Store in Chelsea. You see, my computer had died the night before - in that most enviable way of simply going to sleep and never waking back up. And all of my grades were trapped inside. And let me tell you, babies, this was one of those times - probably the only time - that the problem was solved with a simple ctrl+alt+caps lock+power button. Boom, back to life. Grades saved.
"You should probably back up, though."
"Yes. Yes, I will."

Then I went home, only to smell gas in the hallway of my decrepit apartment building. I called the landlord and he was only mildly interested.
"We took care of that this morning."
"Well, apparently not, because the smell is back, and it's really strong."
"Ok, I'll send the super around again."
"Look, I don't know how to say this, but I've met the super, and... I'm just gonna call ConEd."
Which I did, and of course they asked me to wait outside the building for 45 minutes to let them in, and then I had to walk around with the guy while he used his EKG meter to detect dangerous fumes (oh by the way, at this point of course the smell is completely gone), and then after the shift change let a second ConEd guy in to do the same, at which point I snapped and said "Look, I have a paper to write. Here's my landlord's number. He's really the one who should be dealing with this. I don't know whether there was a fuel delivery today, or whether something has been done to the boiler. I don't know if the businesses downstairs use gas, or where the meters are, and I can't let you in to anyone's suite. Can you please just call him?"
"Whoa, okay lady, alright."


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cockroach update

So the cockroach is gone. Like I said, I was just gonna wait until a male friend came over. Well, one such friend locked himself out of his house and called me for refuge at 5:30 am on Sunday when none of his roommates would answer. I told him he had to get the cockroach.

"That's still there?"
"I read that post!"
"Well, now you have to take care of it for me."
"Sure, okay. I don't even mind - it kind of feels like meeting a reality tv star."
"And take out the garbage bag you put it in."

Friday, December 11, 2009

I passed my oral comprehensive exams

That's another hoop you have to jump through in the marathon on the way to the PhD (oops, mixed my metaphors). I went last that day, and my examiners said it was a "perfect way to end the day"; in fact, that it was "a model of how oral exams should be done" and that I had even "restored their faith in this institution's academics." I then went and got drunk for 9.5 hours. Wine is to the philosopher as soap is to the working man.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

What we talk about when we talk about philosophy

The ladies and I went to SPEP to find our future ex-husbands. We took the train, we brought six bottles of wine, we stayed in the conference hotel (I love staying in the conference hotel), we brought aerosol cheese and saltines, we attended some of the talks, we skipped some of the talks, we attended all of the wine and cheese receptions, we refilled our glasses in our hotel room, we passed notes (2009 version: writing a draft of an SMS and showing it to the person), we checked out our prospects, we turned down our prospects, we walked across the Potomac and ate an amazing brunch (Eggs Chesapeake: an eggs benedict with crab cakes instead of back bacon), we took the train home. We took pictures.

Friday, December 04, 2009

About that

Sometimes I will read pages and pages of my own blog (aka my internet diary). I'll skip to two years ago, and read a whole series of posts, and I'll get a vivid sense of what was happening then, what I was going through, who I was. Not that I ever publish the significant stuff, but what I do put down works well as a mnemonic device. It's like when you watch a movie adaptation after having read the book. If someone just asked you to rattle off the book, you wouldn't remember half of it. But if you watch the movie, even if you read the book years ago, you notice every little change, and remember everything that was left out.

So we broke up recently. It's difficult. But it wasn't right, and we knew it. And one of the reasons I knew, for my part, was because he never read my blog. He didn't read it, and that always bothered me. Sure we talked about it, and he had his reasons, and he would even read some bits if I asked him to, but it wasn't something he wanted to do. And that was something I could never come to terms with.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Omen Omener Omenest

The night that I got back, it was after midnight when I finally got home and I hadn't eaten all day while travelling so I grabbed the nearly-empty bag of avocado oil potato chips from the top of the fridge and crawled into bed and fell asleep watching tv on the internet. In the morning I woke up and walked over to my suitcase and flipped open the lid... and found the bag of chips, the stay-fresh clip reattached to it, sitting there amongst my clothes and toiletries.

The mom from the Sixth Sense knows what I am talking about.

The second day I got back I was blowdrying my hair and saw something approaching from the corner of my eye and screamed (that's reason enough) and then realized that it was a cockroach - one of those big brown fuck-you New York cockroaches, what I have never had in my apartment, and immediately (screamed again and) grabbed the National Geographic sitting on top of the laundry hamper and whacked the fucking cockroach to pieces (screaming and screaming), and then could not - could not - bring myself to get near it again to pick it up and dispose of it so I just slid the magazine over (still screaming a bit) to cover the corpse and that's where both are still. It will just have to wait until the next time I have a male friend over. I almost asked the FreshDirect guy to take care of it for me this morning.

And today, my third day back, I was walking up the stairs and encountered my across-the-hall neighbour talking to my downstairs neighbour because the latter had just been broken into and robbed. Cleaned out. And apparently it's not the first time that has happened in this building.

So that's great. Does that mean I'm done, because things happen in threes? Or does that mean that my home is warning me, sending omen after omen about some impending doom?