Well thank christ I got memed by Neva, so I could climb back on this here bloggy thing. It's been over two weeks since I posted, and this has not been a conscious decision at all. Even though I waxed lyrical about the need for distance and a break in my last post, this was not intended as my swan song. Honest! I have missed blogging, and more to the point, reading you all--I've not even been able to lurk. Here, in a nutshell, are the snivelling excuses for my absence:
Sick as a DOG.
Enjoyed a few days languishing in my snot-infested, "my body is telling me to take it easy, let me recline in my bed, drink tea, and read novels." Then moved onto a few days of "OK, why am I not getting better? I am BORED of this already, and classes start in two days, and husband is finding this newfound role as single parent and nursemaid to Camille on her deathbed a leeeetle tiresome.
Then on to: "Fuck, classes have begun. I do not have syllabus. What am I teaching again? Did I order the books. FUUUCK!" (all this punctuated by much nose-blowing, and hacking up of phlegm).
All this, along with a myriad of others things:
--About 500 deadlines at work coming to a head.
--Community volunteer work--and yes, I'm a fucking saint. We're organizing our annual neighborhood Home Tour, and yeah yeah it is very rewarding, but it takes bloody FOREVER. And I could not get out of it, having bad habit of sitting at meetings in February and saying "hey, I can do that, and that, and that, and THAT. COUNT ME IN!!!" and then resenting the shit out of it when it's time to walk-the-walk.
--New semester at preschool for son. Transition of teachers, anxiety and teeth gnashing on my part, but not, thankfully, on his....
--Trying to work on own academic writing/publications. Whoring around on the other academic blog I threatened a while back in the process, and finding that that type of blogging is far more angst-ridden and less fun than this type of blogging (go figure).
--Looking--with nauseaus pit in stomach--at upcoming Job Market list and prospects, and do soul searching about all that shit (for another post, methinks)
--Planning for son's fourth birthday party this weekend. Dear LORD! gift bags? (where did the days of a balloon and a slab of cake go???) Invitations? CAKE?? Homemade??? Balloons? Pizza? "Healthful snacks??" On this score, I think we have been very wise, and arranged an offsite party at local kid museum--complete with a slime-workshop. Nonetheless, I am stressing like only I can when I have too much spinning in my brain. Mainly about the cake, which I have apparently selected as the sublimated focus of all my anxiety. Mommyguilt--uh, I mean, my creative spirit--has me making a cake from scratch. A "construction site" cake has been requested. I originally lept on this with whole hearted enthusiasm. How hard can it be? A bit of chocolate butter icing and some matchbox diggers, and we're done, right? But now I am vexing over the aesthetics of the venture. Will it just look like a bunch of vehicles chucked on top of brown cake with holes in it? Do I include white plastic male construction workers? (cheaply available at dollar store, but not reflective of gender and racial diversity I like to brainwash my kid with). I will keep you updated and post photographs of the final accomplishment. Even if it does look like a poo-poo cake with white boys and their toys on it.
OK--so now to the meme. I am notoriously bad at having to select "one" of anything in these things. But I'll give it a stab.
1. One book you have read more than once:
First Term at Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton. This was the first in a series of frightfully British "girls boarding school" books that she wrote, and I lived vicariously through them all. And let me say, they are fucking awful, and you should never let your daughter read them. They divide girls into two types--evil ones who hate school, and are spoilt, and do not do their work, speak their minds, and are generally either fat or whorish (if especially bad, they wear a hint of rouge and brassy jewellry). The good ones who are "jolly" and rosy-cheeked and become Head Girl. I wanted to be one of the good ones...
2. One book you would want on a desert island:
25,000 Crossword Puzzles.
3. One book that made you laugh:
Straight Man by Richard Russo (recommended by Neva, devoured by me and Old Man)
4. One book that made you cry:
Ayun Halliday's Mama Langa Ding Dong (The Big Rumpus) sent to me by the sweet sweetney. This book carried me through those first days of languishing in bed. I cried, I laughed, and I got even more snot-ridden in the process. If you have not read it, go and get yourself a copy NOW.
5. One book you wish you had written:
All those Harry Potter ones. I would be fricking rolling in it.
6. One book you wish had never been written:
The Bible. (KIDDING!)
The Baby Book, by William M.F. Sears.
(cowardly disclaimer: it's not so much that I wish it had not been written, as that I had not read it. It did a complete number on me, as some of you know...)
7. One book I am currently reading:
Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood (weird-ass shit, but marvelous)
8. One book I keep meaning to read:
Ulysses, by James Joyce (my old man is a Joyce Scholar, so it would be a nice gesture on my part don't you think? But somehow I can only make it through Joyce's freshman fodder--Dubliners and all that.)
Oh, and The Devil Wears Prada. Equally challenging, methinks.
9. One book that has changed your life:
Jeez. This is a tough one. Uhm... I am not one for momentous life-changes in one sitting. This might indicate a shallow personality, I realize. Books that have had a profound influence on me: Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace, Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Zadie Smith's White Teeth, Toni Morrison's Beloved.
Oh, and Delia Smith's Complete Cookery (I shit you not--and there is a whooole post brewing on Delia, let me tell you. Excited???)
Stay tuned for update on cake-making adventures.