I've been camping out here in this apartment for a year and a half, though I expected it to be closer to three months. I have unpacked very little (linens, appliances, dishware, glassware, BOOKS, music, clothes) in that time. Also, I have not bothered to fix all the various broken/not particularly well-working problems. I have not lubricated the windows, replaced the toilet flappers, upgraded the laundry appliances, replaced the drooping refrigerator door gasket, etc. However, in the last week, I have fixed BY MYSELF (with the Internet) both the dishwasher and the garbage disposal. HURRAY FOR ME! These repairs make my life much easier. Additionally, I bought myself a rather smashing set of computer speakers and, while this isn't exactly a repair, I file it in the same category--it improves my lifestyle dramatically. For a year and a half I have only been able to listen to music through headphones (off the computer or the iPod) or in the car (iPod or radio). With these speakers, I can listen to my wonderful music collection (most acquired since moving since I haven't unpacked my CDs), read my audiobooks, and listen to my old friends at WAMU at home. I'm beside myself with joy. I almost don't care whether my subwoofer shakes the downstairs chandeliers.
I collected final papers today for my composition class and several students did not show up. I'm alarmed. This paper is in lieu of a final exam and I cannot understand it being too difficult to come to the classroom and hand in a paper. I don't especially want to read these papers. The ones I care about I've already read in draft form, and I'm afraid that I "checked out" of this course awhile ago, with a few bright moments since. Of course I will read and grade the papers and had better do so tonight or tomorrow. Grades are due Wednesday. I'll have a couple of hours to do it on Wednesday morning, but I'm pretty booked until Thursday evening otherwise.
Yesterday, I got rejected by the Ontario Review. I was secretly hoping that they would be the ones who would eagerly accept my story. However, now I can claim that I'm a big publishing failure because Joyce Carol Oates doesn't like me. I still really like her though. So, that makes the following journals that have so far rejected this story: Ontario Review, New Yorker (but rejected with a really nice phone call), Paris Review, Threepenny Review.
I went to Wal-Mart today, partly looking for cheap speakers and partly to buy more crappy workout clothes for next week's retreat (9 days away). I had a pile of crappy clothes and a printer cartridge on the conveyor belt. When I was signing the credit card machine I saw from my peripheral vision the cashier put something under her register--clunk. I checked my bags when I gathered them (something I NEVER do), and there was no printer cartridge. I asked if she had rung it up and she said "No" and pulled it back out from under the counter. She had already started to ring up the next customer, but she voided that, rang my cartridge, and I paid for it. She handed the item to me with a wad of receipt and never once apologized or instructed me to have a nice day or anything. I don't expect much out of Wal-Mart employees, and I'm not really mad, but I am desperately curious just what exactly this woman was thinking. Do printer cartridges not go with crappy clothes? Were the crappy clothes enough for me to buy in one trip? Did she want to save the printer cartridge for someone more important? To be clear, the cartridge was at the very bottom and directly underneath my pile of crappy clothes. It could not have been mistaken to be someone else's shopping. I really don't understand what happened.
I'm nervous as all get out about next week's retreat. I've got crappy comfortably clothes and a new zafu and driving directions. I'm horrified to learn that accommodations are dormitory style. I'm not confident in my ability to complete the training sanely or comfortably. I'm trepidatious about the food. However, I'm also very curious and eager about it all.
My colleague has prepared a participant survey to gather opinions on last week's annual general membership meeting. One question is going to yield data indicating that I'm a terrible speaker. I'm really quite a good speaker as long as I give a crap about the subject, and last week I just didn't. I cannot sell something I don't believe in or care about.
I ruined my beautiful gold-gilted, leather bound hymnal on Sunday, running after an angry soprano in the pouring spring rain. I wanted to help her, and did, but I'm annoyed about the hymnal. I'm professionally trained to treat exactly such an event, however, I'm inherently lazy and I forgot to perform the necessary actions on it yesterday when it happened. Way to go, me.
Got a wonderful idea for a new story Friday night. "Marching Band Jesus" is the phrase that arose in the moment, but I think a more successful title might be, "And Jesus Plays the Tuba." It's going to be about a weird, geeky, silent boy with long hair and sandals who plays the tuba, is the most unpopular member of the high school marching band, and who is involved in coincidences that look like miracles to the rest of the brass section. I think the football team might start to rub his belly for luck before games. It sounds more marketable than my usual fare of too smart suicidal young women at odds with the universe, right?
I'm panicky about my upcoming birthday. I'm very much looking forward to being something other than 30, but nobody special is planning anything nice for me, and this makes me very sad. Why should this year be any different, I guess. Of course it's positively unseemly to plan something myself and issue invitations. Instead, I will plan something just for me probably. However, I have been craving something that Badass Baritone has so far failed to provide, and announcing my wish in reference to my birthday might be a good way of getting it. I am timid in this endeavor. I don't especially want a regular homemade cake this year, but I'm not sure what else. Cheesecake doesn't sound very good; pie doesn't sound good; chocolate mousse sounds pretty good; ice cream cake sounds pretty good. Restaurant/bakery fancy cake sounds pretty good. Acquiring any of it myself sounds BAD.