Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nothing to Blog

This should be my summer mantra - I'm just not finding things to blog about lately. I've been having good days and bad days living without TD - yesterday was a baaaaaad day. Today was an awesome day (which was helped by my dearest friend sending me lovely purple baby irises and having lunch with a new colleague who was delightful and who paid!). I'm starting to get my feet back underneath me here - I'm feeling better and building a life. I've stopped forgetting that I don't have to wait to eat until TD gets home (I was doing that for a few days - totally unconsciously). I've started sleeping better on my own and in a new house without a security system (which would really rock - remind me to tell you guys about the man who tried to steal my computer from my apartment by jumping in a window...I beat him off with a pillow...). I'm still waging my war against the occasional water bug (fuckers). I think I'm losing weight (this was a huge surprise!). I'm starting to hang out with colleagues once or twice a week - not too shabby!

The slacker article gnomes I've hired have not been writing this article (because the thing won't write itself, dammit) so I might have to redouble my personal efforts. I was hoping it wouldn't come to this.


Sunday, July 29, 2007


....note the little sliver of blue on the word counter stage right...

It's not much, but it's a start! I'll update at the end of today...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Follow the Crowd...

I did this because I've seen it pop up everywhere. But I don't really know what it means. Those questions annoyed me - are you more likely to critique others or avoid conflict? Well, I'm totally ready to critique certain people, but not others! I need shades of meaning!!

But, here it is. It sounds nice.

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Random Bits of Deep Fried Fluff (With a Side of Chili Cheese Fries)...

Why fight the random? Accept the random. Own the random. Flaunt the random.

1) S'okay. After what can only be described as a huge snafu with Steve Madden where I bought two pairs of my favorite ballet flats for $19.99 a pop (down from $69.95 people!) and the frickin' shipping label came off and so the shipping people sent it back to Steve Madden who then promptly re-stocked them, I became cross with the lady on the telephone. It wasn't pretty and I'm not proud of badgering the poor woman, but these shoes are massively on clearance and I have the most common frickin' ladies' shoe size on the planet! I can't bear to think of how close I came to NOT getting these. Fortunately, she found the pairs in stock (barely) and they're re-sending them at no cost to moi. I think I must have made her tear up a bit (probably because I was frothing at the mouth and expressing my ardent incredulity about why they re-stocked the clearance shoes rather than simply slapping a new label on the box and sending it out again. I mean, I purchased them - so I must want them, yes?). Anyhoo, because of the mental anguish I suffered during this 10 minute conversation (when I thought those red patent leather beauties had slipped through my talons), she offered to give me 20% off of my next Steve Madden purchase. Now, that's not cold hard cash, but it's better than a kick in the head. And I am a fan...

So, my question to the blogosphere: I need to have these in my closet, yes?

They're plum. Suede. With a kicky little bow. They would be $56. The other shoes are seriously the most comfy things I've ever had on my feet. Must make them mine, yes? Please, no tough love. How about if I wait for my first paycheck? (These aren't on clearance and aren't going anywhere I hope)...

2) In order to get a driver's license in this state, I have to re-take the written exam. The last time I took this test was 18 years ago. I'm sure that traffic law has been revolutionized since those Dark Ages, but why I gotta take it again? Groan. It will be me and 35 barely post-pubescent boys who smell like Clearasil and fear.

3) This year, I will be making more money than I've ever made in my life. And I'll also be poorer I think - there are so many bills. Bills that used to be shared with the Dutchling. Bills that know where I live and that will come and haul me off if I don't pay them. Bills....damn Direct Loans for giving me all that money. (This observation in no way negates the urgent necessity expressed in Bit of Fluff #1)

4) Tomorrow I have vowed (by Grapthar's Hammer for those Galaxy Quest fans) that I will begin writing the *Article* - I will write something, even if it's just the title and a bunch of random words strung together (Lemming! Gartersnake! Ratchet! Flagellate! Pogo stick!). Updates regularly.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

And So it Begins...

Well, as of today, I'm officially in a commuter marriage. And it kinda sucks.

I've heard from TD at the airport in between the two legs of his flight and he had a very weird encounter with a guy at a bar.

He and the guy start chatting and the guy says that he's married, lives in Dallas with a wife and two kids. And, supposedly he'd just missed his flight because he was talking up some cute girl in the bar who just left. And then the guy tells TD that he's also dating a stripper who's getting insurance money from her wrecked Mercedes to buy her and her friend boob jobs. And then the guy asks TD what he does and after telling him our situation the guy says two things:

1) "You gotta be careful about temptation - but not too careful, heh heh..."

2) "I coulda been an academic - the thing that was the most appealing to me would be teaching all of those hot undergrad chicks."

Now, TD was very upset and scandalized by this because he's pure and good and has never been touched by sleaziness. I, of course, said straight out: "The guy was lying, babe - he's just a loser stuck in an airport trying to make his life sound better (at least to his mind) than it is..."

TD said, "It never even occured to me that he would be lying..."

And this is why I love him and have absolutely no worries about anything while we're apart...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Why My Life Was a Joke Today...

The Dutchman leaves tomorrow - sadness - but I'm going out to dinner with two colleagues tomorrow night, so my sorrows will be drowned a smidge.

Two ridiculous things happened today:

1) Our water was turned off at 9:52 this morning. To the whole house. No water. Not a drop. The Dutchman was halfway through shaving....it sounds like something out of a movie, but there it is. Apparently, I neglected to put the water bill in my name - I thought our landlord took care of that. So, filthy me and the half-shorn Dutchman went to the local water resources office and paid them a fat $115 to turn it back on so we could brush our teeth and use the loo. Ridiculous...

2) After this mess was over (and I missed going out to lunch with 3 new colleagues today dammit!), we went to Denny's. After consuming the mini-burgers I felt better. We went to Home Depot to get those last little nit-picky things and then went home. And realized we'd locked ourself out of the house. This was actually the Dutchman's fault (he'd pulled the door shut locked without checking to make sure I had my keys). There's a ridiculous reason why we haven't been able to have duplicates made of the house keys. But suffice it to say that our landlord is away for 10 days and we have one key. That was in the house. With a cat curled up about 5 inches from it and looking at us wildly gesticulating through the front window with a look that said, "If you haven't brought me tuna, then fuck off."

So, we attempted a break in! And I'm actually happy that we failed because this made me feel better about my safety. Even though I'm sure that thieves would be more resourceful. So, we called the 24 hour locksmith and in 45 minutes a hillbilly named Trevor came to unlock our door. In the meantime, TD and I had lost 7 pints of blood each to the mosquitoes. Trevor had difficulty opening the front door (mumbling something about "old lock" and "difficult" and saying "dag-gummit" and "holy moly!" under his breath). So, I took him around back to try the back door and he finally got it open. He insisted on seeing my lease and one of my utility bills (which was good in prinicple but irritated me when every square inch of flesh on my body was itching). Then I forked over $55 in cash (no credit or checks).

So, today's lessons cost us $170 and 14 pints of blood. I feel like swimming in DEET....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Pictures

Sisyphus was wondering what our little alien spacecraft/grill looks like - here are a couple of pictures!

(the aliens had already disembarked before we fired it up...)

AND, because the hits just keep on coming, here is a picture of our new furniture delivered this morning:

Whaddya think? I still need to get a living room rug to "tie the whole room together" (to quote Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski) - I'm thinking of a natural fiber woven rug - maybe sisal. And my mom's bringing out some pictures in early August one of which will be hung over the couch.

Sorry not much more of substance - got the new HP book today but still need to finish re-reading the previous one. We're going to go wash our filthy car!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Random Bits O' Fluff

Haven't felt much like posting lately - just trying to get everything together and unpacked so that TD and I can relax a bit before he leaves on Tuesday (*sob!*). Here's my life in those oh-so-enticing bullet points. On second thought, I want to call these little morsels something more palatable than bullet points. How about canapes? Hors d'ouevres? Basically, this is my life in the yummy finger-food form of your choice...

1) We have unpacked my office up at school, hung pictures, etc. It took us from 8pm to midnight last night. I had 9 very heavy boxes of books and files and I had to raid the construction zone around the building next door to my department to get a wheelbarrow to take 3 boxes at a time up to my office. Yep, a dirty wheelbarrow (actually it only had some dried cement in the bottom). I was trying to look very casual as I burgled but I'm not sure it worked - I got a lot of strange looks. Especially because my department is in a new and very nice building. But, there wasn't any detritus trail left behind, I returned the wheelbarrow to the work site and TD and I didn't break our backs any more than we needed to!

2) Tomorrow we get our new couch and living room chair! Joy! My butt will be happy...

3) We are getting ready to grill steaks on a little grill we got from IKEA that looks a little like a silver spaceship. It's tiny and round with little legs that stick out.

4) I continue to love it here - except we saw one of these things (called a waterbug hereabouts) the other night - I know that this will to a certain extent give away my region, but it was so horrible I had to blog it. The horror...the horror....

We've taken steps.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'm Home!

We have arrived in DAC safe and sound and have almost finished unpacking the house (we got on a roll and went with it). My little house is just a perfect for me as I'd hoped - the living room is huge, there's a small but cozy dining room and the kitchen is just one step above a galley kitchen, but it's cheerful and clean and all of my things fit in with a little squeezing. The two bedrooms are very nice sized - almost large! We have a nice front porch and a huge back yard with landscaping all over (I need to figure out how to run the mower...). We have become so proficient at putting together IKEA and Walmart furniture, we should get paid for doing this stuff! But everything is together and our couch and chair for the living room are being delivered on Saturday.

But most important is the fact that I feel like I'm home already. Seriously, I truly do love this place, the town, etc. It's hotter than hell here and the mosquitos are having a field day with me, but it still feels great to be here. My aunt has already come by with my dad to help us unload the U-Haul and we're going to see her on Sunday for brunch. Today will be another day of tiny errands (Home Depot, to the department to get my keys, to the insurance agent, hanging pictures, etc.) and tonight we cook at home for the first time (as opposed to eating more take out - my body is dying for a green vegetable)!

I've been trying desperately to keep up with my Bloglines, but I do hope all is well with everyone! More soon...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blog Silence Forthcoming

Hola, Bloglets! Tomorrow we head out on the road to move to Dream Academy City - I will be out of pocket for several days, but will post updates soon - and maybe some pics of the new digs!!!

Hope all is going well with ya'll - wish us luck! Hilaire, have a safe trip, dear!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Who Needs and Alarm Clock?" or "Someone Wants Me Out Of Bed"

Medieval Woman still lies in bed after reading until 3:45 in the morning. She rolls over to find a more comfortable position and comes close to consciousness once or twice. Decides to sleep more.

7:36am - The Dutchman calls from Amsterdam to say that he's been able to get on an earlier flight that will get him home a full 5 hours earlier. Joy!

Promptly goes back to sleep with a smile...

9:45am - Samir at the U-Haul place calls to say that our truck will be ready for pick-up tomorrow. Joy!

Promptly returns to sleep....

10:45am - Two octogenarian Jehovah's Witnesses come to the door. They grab onto my arm like pitbulls. They try to stuff copies of The Watchtower into my back pockets. They keep saying that it's a lovely day (MW blinks into the bright light with sleep still in her eyes).

After chewing my arm off to get away, I decide that I will do what the gods' obviously want and get out of bed. I guess they got tired of the subtle hints and decided to send in the Jehovah's Witness Granny SWAT team...

Monday, July 9, 2007


....too hot....too humid.....can't think straight....can't blog...(*gasp!*)

It's so frickin' hot and humid here right now - around 90 degrees and SO moist and sticky! It's like breathing through a wet sponge.

The cats are draped on the furniture like limp egg noodles. I'm carting a fan into each room I'm in.

It rained a bit a while ago and that only made it worse. Not a breathe of air, nothing!

(whine, whine, whine.....pant, pant!)


Update (9:36PM):

The heat index at Chez Medieval Woman is now at "DEFCON Four: Fry an Egg on the Counter" - I just put an ice cube in the Furballs' water bowl to try to perk them up (much like you would a flaccid fern). I brushed my teeth and look down one and a half minutes later and the cube was GONE! This could have been the work of the little apartment gnomes who live in the walls, but I'm doubting it...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Best Sign Ever...

...on a local dry cleaners who's celebrating their 20th anniversary:

"Still the best place to stop and drop your pants!"


The Eight Wonderments Meme

Thank you all for your commiseration on the head trauma! NK, yours had me laughing out loud! :) The dent has been replaced by a lovely knot and it's still tender, but my cranium is still intact.

But now to business! Squadratomagico tagged me for a revision of the "Eight Facts About Me" meme - this one is much more challenging! I've been thinking about this meme for a couple of days and it's been a little hard to come up with 8 Wonderments. "Perhaps it's because I wonder about too little? Or too much?", I asked Hilaire in a recent email...8 facts about me seemed easier (e.g., some of you know that I bartended at a strip club for a while - fully clothed). But then I realized that the things we wonder about also tell us some facts about the wonderer, yes? Maybe even more interesting things...

So, (just to beat this personal wondering/personal fact dynamic to death) I've decided to list 8 things I wonder about and then in parentheses include the fact about me that I feel lies behind that wondering. A combination of navel-gazing and deep thoughts by Medieval Woman. I'm going to stay away from the wondering about what's going to happen with The Dutchman's and my living situation/marriage/dual, long-distance careers over the next couple of years. Anyone who has read my self-indulgent blogging over the last few months (but is any blog NOT self-indulgent?) knows that I wonder about this a lot. So, that wonderment goes without saying - these don't:

Question the First:
Will I be able to sustain my long-term research agenda? I realized the other day while driving TD to the airport that I do actually have a legitimate (i.e., not artificially bloated for the job market) research plan that includes 3 or so articles and a book. I even ostensibly have a second book project. But can I really do all this without the guidance of a dissertation committee? The answer is, yes - I know the "yes" intellectually, but I don't feel the "yes" in my gut at this point. I wonder, when will if feel the "yes"?
(Attendant fact: I'm obviously a totally healthy, newly-minted Ph.D. starting her first t-t job.)

Question the Second:
(PART A) I wonder when we're going to get incontrovertible evidence that there is intelligent life on other planets? And I know the old joke: have we found evidence of intelligent life on this planet? :) But seriously, I totally believe this and I wonder when (or if) this is going to happen.
(Attendant fact A: MW is a total sci-fi geek - but I wonder about this in a more Jodie Foster Contact kind of way than in an alien invasion Independence Day kind of way. Beam me up, Scotty.)
(PART B) I wonder what that proof of intelligent alien life would do to our Western religious mindset? Or any mindset - religious or scientific - for that matter. Seriously - for those who believe that God made man in his image and that was it, aliens would kind of blow that out of the water, eh? How would the religious right deal conceptually and practically with evidence of intelligent alien life?
(Attendant fact B: Medieval Woman secretly wants to see most conservative organized religions reduced to total doctrinal higgledy-piggledy...just the ones who say, "no gays, no chicks, no hanky-panky...")

Question the Third:
I wonder what it will feel like to be pregnant? I've stated in the past that TD and I would like to have a baby in the next couple of years. But I wonder what it will be like specifically to feel the baby move inside me?
(Slightly Buried Attendant fact: I have a hard time giving up control of things - especially where my body is concerned. Will having a child inside me moving of their own volition feel cool or creepy? Maternal or alien parasite? Hmmmm.....)

Question the Fourth:
Why do cats get such a buzz off catnip? I'll admit to sniffing it questioningly sometimes and it smells fresh and herby, but I don't get a buzz of it (alas, unlike other herbs...) - what gives?

Question the Fifth:
Is it all just chance? Sometimes I wonder about the random series of events that leads one to a potentially painful or annoying outcome. Case in point: I banged my head pretty bad last night. The reason I did this was because I saw what looked to me to be a baby fly buzzing around my office. "Baby flies?", I thought, "are they coming from outside or inside the house? Did I clean out that pot from last night? Ew..." So I went in the kitchen and leaned over the pot to make sure there weren't any gross thingys in there and - WHAM! - suddenly I didn't give a shit about the flies anymore. (I checked again this morning and there wasn't). The lesson here might be - just wash the fucking pot, MW. Don't look into it to see if you can get out off washing it for a while longer. But I slightly digress. Everyone's heard of the glass is half empty/full dichotomy - it's basically about interpretation - how do you interpet an outcome or the events that lead up to that outcome? If you extend your analysis far enough back from an event and also project far enough forward, you can find meaning (good, bad, or indifferent) in just about anything. So, I wonder: is there anything like destiny? Or chance for that matter? Or is it all just about interpretation? Is what we call "fate" or "destiny" or whatever large external guiding force we prefer really coming from inside us? From our own interpretation of our lives? Is this comforting or terrifying?
(Attendant fact: when the Dutchman is away, MW doesn't do the dishes as often as she should. Also, I simultaneously believe in The Force that Binds the Galaxy Together (and I do believe that it's always with me, Yoda) but I also cede no intellectual or physical power over my own life to The Force. Paradox?)

Question the Sixth:
How many more good friends will I make in my lifetime? How many more do I need? I would like to live in a place long enough to make a few good friends (rather than work acquaintances or colleagues) where I live - right now they're all in far away places...
(Attendant fact: I'm feeling a bit lonely right now - I realized that I don't have any friends in Dutchman U city - the one I did have has moved far away to be with her husband. I would like to have a drink or lunch with someone....but there's no one. Sigh.)

Question the Seventh:
I wonder why I'm terrified of spiders and not snakes? I've found that most people are afraid of one and not of the other. Why am I an arachnophobe? I've never been bitten by a spider (random factoid: unlike J.R.R. Tolkien who was bitten by a baboon spider - an African version of a tarantula - as a child. This is where his notion of Shelob, the giant, psycho spider in The Lord of the Rings comes from. My students loved that one...). But why me?
(Attendant fact: We have a picture on our fridge that is a polaroid of me and the Dutchman with a 6 foot python named Lucy wound around our shoulders and necks. Way cool.)

Question the Eighth:
I wonder, who wrote the book of love? :)
(Attendant fact: this last one is a bit of a cop out, but I've had that song stuck in my head while I've composed this post. And I'm hungry and want to go and eat Triscuits...)

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Sweet god.

I just rammed my forehead into the very pointy metal corner of the exhaust hood over my stove. I was leaning over to look into a pot and then - WHAM! - I wound up sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor cradling my noggin' and cursing like a sailor.

It still hurts like a bitch and I have a tiny dent in my forehead right at the hairline.

sniffle, sniffle....

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


1) Made some room in this crazy apartment by stacking already filled and sealed boxes into the hallway. This makes me feel immeasurably better.

2) Made a big honkin' pot of beef stew - will have enough for lunch and even dinner tomorrow (I could eat it for several days and not get tired of it).

3) Splurged on cable services at the new place - got HDTV and a DVR box - hot damn! Law and Order with no commercials!!!!!!!!

4) Cleared out safety deposit box and turned in the keys.

5) Did laundry.

Um. Not much else...

Monday, July 2, 2007

Prepare to Move!

Why fight the fact that I'm measuring my life out, not in coffee spoons, but it random bullet points? The past few weeks have been lived by working through "To Do" lists and time has been marked by scratching off completed tasks rather than looking at the clock.

So be it.

I'm moving.

As I poke my nose around the blogosphere to see what's up at Chez Bloggez Ya'll, I notice several patterns: 1) Those Doing Research (often at way cool places!), 2) Those Going Home or Beginning New Positions, and 3) Those on the Move:

1) Dr. Virago, Morgan, and Another Damned Medievalist are all in England doing research (oh, how I wish I were too!). Flavia is just back from a successful transcribing trip, and Ancrene Wiseass has just returned and finally shaken the creeping crud she caught (yay, antibodies!). Squadratomagico is prepping for a trip to India (although I don't think it's for research)!

2) Sisyphus is back home for a visit, Tiruncula is back at her favorite house in beloved Old City. Earnest English is traveling to see her family, moving to start a new job; New Kid is happily ensconced in her summer teaching gig, Heo Cwaeth is looking for summer fundage; and What Now is getting ready to start a new gig!

3) And then there are the big-time moves, and I count myself in this category. JB over at Age of Perfection is making a big move and talking about the expense of it (which I so feel as well, sistah!) and Hilaire blogs about the emotional and physical taxation of a big move away from her favorite city.

As usual, Hilaire and I seem to be undergoing very similar moving experiences. There's just so much *stuff* and it all has to go somewhere. Preferably with some sense of order attached to it. And then there's the sadness of saying goodbye. Hilaire is saying farewell not only to her partner but also to many, many friends and her home city - that's such a hard thing I can't even imagine it! I'm saying goodbye to The Dutchman (no, not forever, but tell that to my breaking heart...). I put TD on a plane yesterday to go home and to a conference abroad for 10 days. Not a very long time by any means, but I still started to cry at the security door where I was still waving crazily and blowing kisses as he got wanded because he'd set off the metal detector yet again. While he's gone, I'll finish packing up my belongings (I hate separating sets of things we got for our wedding - it's depressing. Whose books/movies are whose? I get four cereal bowls, he gets four; I get four champagne flutes, he gets four. It's a practical tedium that seems strangely like divorce...) - then the day after he gets back, we go pick up his leased car, get the U-Haul and load it, and then bright and early the next day, we pile the screeching furballs into the car and motor.

Ya know what? I'm sick to death of talking and thinking about the separation. I want to just get to Dream Academy City so I can start blogging about the new place, the new job, funny anecdotes about colleagues and students. I know that missing TD will be a part of that blogging experience as well, but I'm just eager for it not to be something I experience totally undiluted. Like drinking really strong alcohol without a little but of OJ or Coke to cut the shock of it.

But, that's just where I am right now - and I won't always be here. You guys don't mind, do you? :)

I'm going to go get Wendy's...