Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oh, procrastination.

I haven't updated this thing in an awfully long time, and because, well, I'm totally feeling the urge to procrastinate right now, and because Amanda tagged me, here goes:

8 Things I'm looking forward to:

1. Finishing these two paper-disasters.
2. Going to ALASKA on the 11th to see my sister, nieces and nephew!
3. Visiting the wildlife refuge, having "girl time" with my sis, and seeing Emma's ballet recital.
4. Finding a decent summer job (I hope).
5. Going to the farmer's market in Orono today. Yay for fresh fruit and veggies.
7. Having my friend Jon up here in the English department.
8. Ummm, if we're looking way ahead here, getting my Master's degree and (maybe?) moving to Boston.

8 Things I did yesterday:
1. Showered.
2. Procrastinated.
3. Worked on my paper (on The Handmaid's Tale).
4. Realized that nine pages in, I don't have much more to say.
5. Watched an old episode of The Office.
6. Spent some quality time with my husband.
7. Um... I can't think of much else. This is sad. Uhhh... let's see. I brushed my teeth.
8. Stayed up way too late.

8 Things I wish I could do:
1. Have time to read books that aren't in any way related to school.
2. Write 20 pages about sound poetry. Sigh...
3. Get up the motivation to run every day.
4. Get an awesome publishing job.
5. Move without it being a huge hassle.
6. Find time to work on all the crafty projects I've been wanting to do.
7. Find a decent art museum that isn't three hours away.
8. Stop overscheduling myself.

8 Shows I watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. The Office
3. I
4. don't
5. watch
6. any
7. other
8. shows.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Corn bread and poetry and eagles, oh my!

Well, this was a fairly productive weekend. Of course, when I say "productive," I really mean "extremely productive in the kitchen" and, simultaneously, "utterly and completely unproductive elsewhere." Rob and I made some delicious deviled eggs (and yes, I know they're easy to make... but ours had chives in them, which automatically makes them superior), a loaf of honey whole-wheat bread, and some corn bread. And now that I've read my friend Evan's blog about double lemon poppy-seed cheesecake muffins, which sound amazing, I'm definitely going to have to make those, too. I love baking and cooking, but I really need to have some sort of excuse to make large amounts of sugary foods (i.e., a group of hungry people at my house), as I've been militantly going to the gym for a reason (one that would surely be negated by aforementioned sugary foods).

In addition to the baking/deviled-egg-making, there were a few bright spots in the weekend; one was Friday night's poetry group at my house, which is always enjoyable. Some good people, those poets. :) I've been working a lot on my own writing this weekend, too, including a series of poems on individual artists, which has been fun. Another thing that made me ridiculously excited (and now I'm embarrassed...) was seeing a bald eagle from our backyard in Milford; Rob and I happened to be looking out our bedroom window when he spotted one flying over the river. It stopped to rest in a tree right across the river, so we grabbed the binocs and got a bird's-eye view (okay, now I'm just lame). THEN, we decided that it would be even cooler if we could drive over the bridge to Indian Island to get a closer look at the eagle. What can I say? We clearly lead a sad existence; we've resorted to eagle-stalking. Oh, well. Anyway, we got over there, and within ten seconds of being in the field, I managed to scare it away by attempting to get too close. I forgot about their impeccable eyesight. Oops. But on our way home, we actually ended up seeing the eagle again, swooping over the river, and coming to rest in another tree (far away from me, for a reason, I'm sure) with another eagle! I know. Life just doesn't get any more exciting than this.

On our way back to the house, we stopped in the parking lot by the dam in Old Town to watch the river for a few minutes. It was beautiful, in a strange way; the water was dirty and brown (and full of mercury, I hear), but it was mesmerizing to watch the ice floes swiftly fall over the dam and break into smaller pieces, as the sound of the river rushing filled our ears. The sound is almost deafening, but it's really peaceful, too; it's hard to explain. I think I'm going to go back on a warmer and drier day. Speaking of which -- I can't wait for those days to come. I just want to ride my bike and hike in the refuge and be outside, all of the time. I'm not very patient. Winter is frickin' long here.

Uh-oh- I just looked at the time, and I'm down to six and a half hours of sleep if I go to bed right now. Tomorrow's my 25th, so Rob and I are planning to spend the whole day in Portland/Freeport, maybe going to a museum, browsing some shops and going out for a nice dinner. It'll be nice to be in semi-civilization for a while. As much as I love the wilderness, I can't help but miss culture. I wish I could have both, but unfortunately, wildlife doesn't particularly mix well with tall buildings and crazy drivers. ;)

Oh, well.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What happens to me when I don't get enough sleep.

Who blogs at 1 a.m.? Oh, that's right: I do. After a lengthy ER visit last night that kept me up half the night, my sleep schedule is seriously warped. Hopefully I'll be able to remedy this over the weekend and get back on track. But here we are in the wee hours of the morning, and I'm still wide awake. My eyes are like this: OO. Ah, well.

So speaking of that ER visit, boy, was that fun. I guess it's the most interesting thing that's happened to me in the last few days, so I might as well tell you all about it. I'll preface this by saying that if you don't absolutely have to go to Eastern Maine Medical Center, do everything in your power to avoid it. Yes, like the plague (especially because that would definitely require a lengthy stay at EMMC, and you'd still have to spend 15 hours in the waiting room). Don't get me wrong: all of the doctors and nurses are nice and perfectly competent, but it's just that the hospital lobby is not a very pleasant place to spend half of the night. Between the man who was retching into a basin on his lap on our last visit and the oh-so-rebellious and angst-filled (and probably heroin-filled) teenager who was screaming and cursing into the waiting room phone (and who actually ripped the phone off the wall) on this visit, well, let's just say that I can think of plenty of other people who I'd rather spend an evening with. But alas, I didn't really have much of a choice but to go, because apparently, chest pains and crazy heart palpitations are not something you can just ignore. (Believe me, I tried!) Sigh. So two EKGs, four chest X-rays, one needle and many hours of my life that I can never get back later, they sent me home with the thrilling news that a) The blood test to look for clots in my lungs came back high (but hey! I'm young, so I'll be fine, right?) and b) I have to get a heart monitor. Hopefully it'll just be temporary. I'm not sure yet whether it'll be the lovely 24-hour type that means that I'll have wires glued all over my body or if it'll be the even better monthlong type that needs to be lugged around in a heavy plastic box. Sigh.

Ummmm.... don't listen to me. I'm obviously just really dramatic.

...Wait, no, I take that back. Listen to me! (After all, this is my blog. You can't just leave. Um, besides, all of the doors have been locked, and you are now confined to this nutshell. Sorry.)

Well, if I ever wanted proof that I need to get on a better sleep schedule, I guess this is it. I promise I'll write something less weird soon. And not at 1 a.m., either.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What on earth?

I used to blog quite often, in my undergrad years - and somehow, in the messy aftermath of a hectic journalistic "career" and now, grad school, well... I forgot that I even had a blog. This is my not-so-humble ('cause let's face it, blogging isn't exactly humble) attempt to try again. Of course, I'm also hoping that my efforts will be a little more mature this time around (although let's not set our hopes too high, dear, dear reader). This time around, instead of whining about my love life (which is now, thankfully, much more stable than it was when I was 18), I'll be writing about my humdrum little existence in Maine, where life is (as they say) as life should be- well, except for when it's -20 outside or when it's not, but I'm stuck inside writing a paper on Duddy Kravitz. I'm planning to post some of my poetry as well, so... uh... I hope you like poetry.

As for my blog's title, it originated pretty organically. I was perusing through The Mad Farmer Poems, a wonderful book of poetry by Wendell Berry, who is a Kentucky writer and a farmer. I came across this stanza, in the afterword:
"Because the silo is round
each note is round,
each note eternity in a nutshell,
and knowing this the mad farmer
knows also that his song can never be lost,
never exhausted, never indefinitely contained,
that the notes will circle and circle
until the storm relents,
until the door left open permits them

I just love that. But I also love the phrase "in a nutshell," which is delightful both in its strangeness and triteness. It's funny how we use these common phrases without pausing to wonder where they originated or what they even mean. So, dear reader, consider this your education for the day:
According to the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898,
Pliny tells us that Cicero asserts that the whole Iliad was written on a piece of parchment which might be put into a nutshell. Lalanne describes, in his Curiosit├ęs Bibliographiques, an edition of Rochefoucault’s Maxims, published by Didot in 1829, on pages one inch square, each page containing 26 lines, and each line 44 letters. Charles Toppan, of New York, engraved on a plate one-eighth of an inch square 12,000 letters. The Iliad contains 501,930 letters, and would therefore occupy 42 such plates engraved on both sides. Huet has proved by experiment that a parchment 27 by 21 centim├Ętres would contain the entire Iliad, and such a parchment would go into a common-sized nut; but Mr. Toppan’s engraving would get the whole Iliad into half that size. George P. Marsh says, in his Lectures, he has seen the entire Arabic Koran in a parchment roll four inches wide and half an inch in diameter."

Pretty nifty, huh? (And yes, I just used the word "nifty," and I did it without an iota of shame.) And so fitting, seeing as that's really what a blog is all about: capturing the noteworthy moments of our strange little lives in a virtual notebook, and explaining them in brief. A blog is a person's life, in a nutshell.

So here's mine.