Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Eliot & stuff

My brother, Chris, requested new pictures of Eliot. Considering most of what I do these days revolves around Eliot, it seems appropriate. My chapbook project with Scott (including a fine digital art piece by said Brother, Chris) is done, so that's nice. Not done, printed, but done, laid out, etc. Also working on like 100 other things, including an epic birthday project for my husband, who's turning 30 next week. But I can't tell about it here. . .I may ruin the surprise. Selling the house is a lot of work, but just may be worth it all in the end. The new house in Colorado has actual siding on it, windows, a door, and stairs inside! So exciting. Just can't wait to move. Chicago has run it's course. . .I'm so done with this place.

I'm running again, I guess I can say, and it feels SO good to get back into some semblance of shape. I ran 6 miles today, which is probably the furthest I've run since the marathon in October! Aaaah. Feels like home.

Wish I had more time to keep recent stuff here. There's just too much going on, loose ends, la la la la. Mostly cleaning, I suppose. I complain about a 1300 sf condo. . .imagine a 5 br 4 ba house! With the mess spread out, it won't seem as bad. . .this is my hope.

Monday, May 15, 2006


I have to say, the weather out here has been so bad this past week, I can barely stand it. My hubby Brian gets to go to San Francisco for the week for a conference. . .and I get to stay here, cooped up in this condo while it rains. . .some more. No fun. I'm feeling extremely in-between right now, between houses, between locations, between jobs, between exams and dissertation, between semesters, between buying and selling. . .it's all very unsettling. I'm looking forward to being rooted down somewhere, anywhere, really, for longer than a few years. Feels very much like what I imagine purgatory is suposed to be like.

I don't have a whole lot of interesting blog-worthy things to report, but I did have a terrible trip to the Lakeview Whole Foods store today. I think I may have been there once when I was pregnant, but I don't usually shop there. BUT, Eliot's recent obsession with Goldfish (which my pediatrician called "junkfood" and told me to go to Whole Foods and buy him hotdogs. . .yeah! For real!) has pushed me over the edge. Because Brian is out of town, I have the car, so Eliot and I ventured out. First of all, it was raining (no kidding, it has been for a week!) so I decided that parking in the garage was the best bet (yes, it's a big city, and most grocery stores have garages). We parked, took the elevator, grabbed a cart, and hit the aisles. Well, this place is tiny. There is barely room for two abreast, even in the produce section. We ended up doubling back for tomatos on the way out because there was, literally, no way to get to them without waiting for like 10 minutes for people to get out of the way. And I'm not really the kind of person who minds waiting (another of the 100 reasons why I don't belong in Chicago) but Eliot has a patience span of about 8 minutes, so shopping needs to be quick. In a new and unchartered store, this was a challenge.

The aisles were so thin that I had a hard time passing other people if they weren't pressed up against the side of the aisle. Traffic jams everywhere. Lots of women with babies, but all of them were rude and at least three of them huffed at me for looking at the cheese for too long. I wasn't aware that there was a time limit. Yes, the food is healthy and it's nice to know that mostly everything you pull off the shelf is not going to rot out the insides of my child. But at what price? My sanity? It was terrible.

Then when I checked out, I asked about taking the shopping cart up in the elevator. "Not allowed" they said. We bring to food to you. What kind of car do you have? See you in a minute. That was it. I assumed they brought the food to your car. . .I didn't have any other information to go on, not to mention Eliot had expired long ago and was screaming. So I forgot to get my parking ticket validated, went up to the car, and waited for the grocery guy.

So there I was waiting, Eliot having a great time running around a mostly empty floor of the parking lot (I had a hold of his hood, of course. . .) waiting, waiting. Then I realized I didn't get parking validated, so we went back inside, down three flights of stairs, to the Customer service desk. "I'm waiting for my groceries" I said. The guy (also white) looked outside at the curb. Is your car there? he asked me. Where? Out there in the loading zone. No one told me there was a loading zone. Oh, he said. There is. Right there. He stamped my ticket. Back upstairs we went to drive back down and finally get my groceries (which I paid a fortune for, by the way. I don't think anything in that store is actually on sale. . .). I pulled up and loaded up. "We thought you went home" the bagger/loader said. "I wish" I said. What a nightmare. I'll never go there again.

What I also found interesting is that we have almost the same assortment of organic foods at my Jewel store down the street (which I can walk to, by the way). What a rip off. What a token city experience. I hate this place.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

When all else fails, do it yourself

Just when I thought the difficult tasks were over, we've decided to attempt to sell our own condo. We're doing the buyowner thing, which will be great if it works, but expensive if it doesn't. (You can check out our place if you're curious.) Cleaning up this place was no small feat, but I think it looks great now, and hope we get some people to come look at it soon. The waiting game is not one I play well.

I turned in grades yesterday, which was sad because there is no potential teaching job on the horizon in Colorado. It is clearer and clearer to me every day that I love teaching, especially teaching beginning creative writing. Over the years, I have managed not to let the challenge overwhelm me, and now it's just plain exciting. I hope I can find something, even an adjunct position, in Colorado next year. We'll see.

I am officially working on my dissertation, mostly just thinking about it and what it might actually end up looking like. I'm thinking I will concentrate on these strange and columnar prose poems I've been working on here and string them together into a longer sequence. I really love how they seem to float and evaporate. Of course, inevitable, I will be asked the ever-stupifying question "What do the mean?", to which I will have to say, "I don't know. ..you tell me." Anyway, I'm writing the "prospectus" which is a bizarre document for a poet to conceptualize, and was characterized aptly by my friend Anna Marie yesterday as "something useful for a theoretical project but just wierd for a creative one." How do you pre-view your own poetic and creative project beyond ten feet in fromt of you? I'm a little perplexed and a lot stifled, but maybe it will prove to be valuable in the end, in nothing else to be able to talk about the collection.

I recieved my beautiful Briar Cliff review yesterday, in which my poem appears on the last page. I never know what to make of that. The grand finalie? A trifiling afterthought? I'm not complaining, especially because the magazine is just so stunning. And it's a poem about my mother, which is coming out just in time for mother's day. How swell.

I hope to be posting more now that the house is clean and we're on the market. Some new poems, if I can pull it off. Maybe even a series. We'll see.

I've been working with Scott Glassman again on another collaboration, this time as a participant in Dusie's chapbook collective project. Exciting stuff. So far, it's pretty intense and charged, but we're only about halfway done. . .