Sunday, March 21, 2010

RBOC, Sunday evening slacking edition

  • I think I've had it with Jim Jarmusch films for a while.  I remember when some of these came out ages ago, when I had no money to go to the cinema, and thinking enviously that they looked so damn cool: hit man with a samurai fetish!  Johnny Depp and Neil Young doing a Western!  Tom Waits and Roberto Benigni as escaped convicts!  (And, dear lord, some of them hit the big screen before I was old enough to take myself to an R-rated movie.  Jesus.)  Now that I've had the chance to sit down and spend some time with them, I find myself aggravated by Jarmusch's way of slapping together several totally incongruous things, throwing in a bunch of completely extraneous cultural references -- Iggy Pop as the "old woman" in a trapper camp, ha fucking ha -- and thinking that getting fantastic actors to play stupid roles will make everything work.  Can anyone recommend a less self-indulgent director for me to investigate at the video store?
  • I am sick nigh unto death of editing this bloody dissertation.  Even when I am aware of specific problems that can and should be fixed right now, it's a struggle to make myself do it.  Just one week left...just one week.
  • I had to replace my paring knife this weekend, somewhat to my irritation.  (I tend to use it as a utility kitchen knife, so it sees a lot of action.)  I only bought the thing six months ago when I moved into my current apartment, and it's already developed a potentially dangerous flaw in the riveting of the tang.  (Hmm..."The Riveting of the Tang" sounds like some kind of apocalyptic fantasy novel, doesn't it?)  I suppose it serves me right for buying a kitchen knife at the supermarket, instead of spending a little more money and getting one from a restaurant supply or cookware store.  In fact, as I learned today, I overpaid at the supermarket: the new one I got at a cookware shop is not only better regarded by foodies, but it's even cheaper than the one it replaced.  Sometimes penny-pinching grad students can outsmart themselves, it would seem.
  • After too many meals taken out this week as bribery for diss editing, I made myself a nice curry last night.  Well, 'nice' maybe isn't the word for it.  It tastes good, and I'm generally pleased with the seasoning job I did.  However, I went a little overboard with the Thai bird chilis, which I was using for the first time.  Luckily, I began to worry during the prep work that I was overdosing the curry with chilis, so I set some of them aside; had I not done that, I might have ruined the dish.  As it is, it's, um, hot.  "Real hot. Oh, it's fucking hot. Too hot? Not for me, I love it."  ...Except I nearly did myself injury by taste-testing the chili itself, just to see what it was like.  Hey, I like to know what the constituent ingredients taste like, okay?
    Meanwhile, the curry is really delicious, but I find that I have to eat a spoonful of yogurt afterward to douse the flames.  Last night, after both the taste-test and the first plateful, I was so alarmed by the burning sensation in my mouth and throat that I actually drank a glass of milk.  I don't think I've drunk a glass of milk in about ten years, but right then I needed it desperately.
  • I can't tell if it's better or worse being unemployed and writing through spring break than during an ordinary work week.  I think a little bit worse.
  • I feel a little silly and disingenuous complaining right now, because, well, [insert self-deprecating ramble here]...

    I won a postdoc.

    *clears throat* I, uh, won a postdoctoral fellowship.

    I still have
    trouble saying it out loud, because it feels like tempting fate.  No evil eye, spit spit, all that kind of thing.  But yeah, a one-year research grant came through.  And I am happy about this.  At least, now I know that I have something professional to look forward to doing, even if none of the longer-term teaching jobs comes through.  Naturally, being who I am, I could offer a short list of qualifications and complaints about this particular fellowship, but really, the only one that matters is that it's only for the following academic year, so I wouldn't get any break from the job application cycle.  But hey, research money!  Who am I to complain about that?


  1. Yay, a postdoc!!! Hooray hooray hooray!

    Are you going to have to move somewhere, or is this through your own school? Or is it just that they throw money at you???

    Huzzah! Now when you drink in celebration of defending and filing, you can have an extra glass or two in postdoctoral celebration!

  2. Thanks, guys! Sis, if I take the postdoc, I'd definitely have to move. I still have some other lines in the water, some of which have more long-term prospects than this one, so I'm going to wait a bit. I don't have to give an answer to this postdoc for some time, so I can actually see how good a haul I can drag in. Ridiculous, no?

    And yeah, there will be a lot of drinking that day, regardless of details.

  3. Eeeeeeeee! Postdoc! Well done.

  4. You won a postdoc?!?! That is awesome, congrats! Celebrate that right now!

    In less than exciting news, your curry story reminded me of two things. 1. I love curry but never eat it. 2. When my husband was a teen, he worked at a grocery story. Apparently, the guys who worked in produce had this special club and to get in, you had to eat a really hot pepper. I don't remember what it is called, but my husband says it is super insanely hot. Anyways, this new guy wanted to join the club, ate the pepper, and then immediately ran to the bread aisle where he ripped open some bread and shoved them in his mouth.

    The thought of some kid with his mouth on fire eating bread like a ravenous animal always makes me laugh.

    Congrats again!