Saturday, January 19, 2008

Things Have Progressed, While I Have Regressed

So my life has spiraled back to an earlier time when it would have been normal to go over to my folks to do laundry, live on money borrowed from family members, and drive an abused car (not abused by me, this time). But this doesn't remind me of being younger. In fact, it's completely strange because I haven't done this in so long. Okay, I've borrowed copious amounts of money from my parents over the years, but not while totally unemployed (oh, except the summer -- but I had things then -- you know, like an apartment). Going over to my folks' place to do laundry -- that is completely new. I've lived in apartment buildings that had communal laundry facilities, most of the time. I've certainly gone to laundromats, but I don't go if I have a choice. So now I drive over a bunch of mountain roads, then through Strip-Mall City to get to a freeway which gets me to another freeway and another so I can go and do my laundry -- oh and see the folks, too. My grandmother has graciously let me borrow money so that I don't have to freak out about money while I'm dealing with the breast thing. But dealing with the ongoing family drama? Oy!

I finally got my stuff from Adventure U shipped to me, so now I have academic books and thus much less reason to procrastinate working on that article that is due at the end of the month -- of course, what does this mean if I don't go back into the academy full-time? I applied to teach adjunct at a community college -- we'll see whether they'll be able to give me a class or two. But in the academy and in certain parts of the literary world, the attitude is that writing is a gentlemen's pursuit -- as if we're all informed amateurs, who can afford with our landed wealth, to write for the love of knowledge and literature -- for nothing at all. Monetary remuneration does not satisfy us -- we contribute to the world our words for the sheer love of doing so. Of course, I do write for the love of it, and, if you're in the academy, writing for publication is absolutely connected to your livelihood, but I wish I could write more and do other things less and that means getting paid for my writing. I have to figure that one out. Right now, as I told my grandmother, the responsible presentable version of me who gets stuff done is on vacation. So we're just holding on until then. Really, I'm laboring to figure out how to write about my recent experiences at Adventure U. How do I write about that? Who do I write it for? Who wants to hear about it? What do different people need to understand about all that stuff that I've been studying for a number of years but have only written about for the academy -- and all the Adventure U stuff which I've only written about for close friends? I can't quite figure out how to begin. I know that I have to find some little corner to write about and see what happens. But I also wish I could see myself writing something for New Yorker, or Harper's, or whatever and also contribute to my care and feeding while I'm doing that. On the other hand, my grandmother gave me some money so I wouldn't have to worry about money for the rest of the month. So maybe I should do something insane: like not worry about money until the end of the month? She told me that I really should be writing. Yeah, she and everyone else, including Absurdist Lover. I need to get working on that stuff. Oh and of course this article for Adventure U. Agghh.

I'm going to read a chapter of this book that I think will help me get into my research (and was also written by one of the editors and should've been read by me months ago -- like before I send them a proposal).

And by the way: Mr. Tabby is okay. The vet here who saw him (in this zoo of a clinic -- I'm not sure what I think about it -- it's crazy there) said that his blood work looked fine -- no suggestion of renal problems, which is wonderful. They had to send away for his hyperthyroid meds (in a paste), but he has seemed much more lethargic and unhappy when I give it to him, so I've been undermedicating him, which I know may not be the best thing, but there it is. They also checked his blood pressure, but they did such a half-assed job at it that I don't believe a thing they said. I don't feel confident in this vet like I did in Grad City. But anything's better than vets around Adventure U.


Sisyphus said...

Yay for tabbies doing ok!

I was going to say "email me if you want to scrabble online; I needed to pull that post so my fellow TAs didn't figure me out" --- but I don't want to seduce you into the evils of procrastination when you should be writing away. Oh, and I, too should be writing away. Meh.

Nik said...

I'm looking forward to hearing your adventures at Adventure U. I hope you write like crazy for the rest of the month.

AJ said...

Glad Mr. Tabby is doing okay. Quite the adventurer he is too! Too bad you can't outsource laundry, as tomorrow is "wash day" and I could throw your laundry on the heap! :) Hopefully your're writing now. I'll think of you tomorrow as I cobble together a paper proposal that is due . . . tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Sudhir Ventkatesh seems to have done a good job repackaging his academic work on the underground economy in a Chicago housing project into the lurid 'Gang Leader for a Day'--but there's always a mass market for vicarious slumming. There's probably a similar market for vicarious adventure.