- 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?
2 years ago