Saturday, January 31, 2009

reverse regionalism

Mike and I were shoveling my driveway the other day in order for me to leave my snowbound prison, and this car pulled up and the driver rolled down her window and asked, "Do you know where Dublin Street is?" Granted, I have not lived in DeSoto for very long and can (fortunately) not call myself a native DeSotoan, but all the streets in town have names like 'Pine' and 'Lincoln,' and Dublin just didn't sound right. I told her this, and she informed me that she was looking for an assisted living facility on Dublin Street. I don't even think there is an assisted living facility in town; I mean, this town is tiny. I told her this, also, and then she squinted, looked at me, and asked, "Are you from up North?," to which we replied, "Yes." And she was like, "Oh," and then exasperatedly thanked us for our 'troubles' and drove off. Really? I mean, I know I have had my share of laughs at the expense of native southern Illinoisians, and perhaps this is my payback: to be assumed that I am completely unhelpful when it comes to directions 'round these parts. What a b. Seriously.

Monday, January 19, 2009

100 days.

I don't know whether to blame the wintry crap weather, or the pre-graduation "what does it all mean?" anxiety, but lately I've felt rather blah. It's so easy for me to get mired down in this negative bullshit, and I was feeling lonely, when I got an email from my mom. She told me a story about my five year old brother Joe, and how when he returned to school after winter break, his teacher asked the class to share their best experiences of winter break. Most kids gave answers like "my new Wii," etc., but when my brother was asked about his, he responded, "spending time with my older sister." I can't get over how sweet that is and how much this kid unconditionally loves me. It's crazy. I feel like I spend so much worthless time worrying about what I don't have, and what I will never have, and I ignore what is 'really important' or whatnot. I feel like I'm spewing a bunch of cliched sentiments, but it's true. It really lifted my spirits to hear that, and helped put me at ease with a lot of the dumb stuff I spend so much time worrying about. He also told me later, "I know you were home ten days last time, but I wish it was 100." He reminds me that there is a lot of love out there that I take for granted and under-appreciate, and that I should consciously work on being more grateful.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

crossin' my phingers.

Todd has requested four tickets for Phish's June 20th show at Alpine Valley. We will not find out until the 28th if we have secured tickets or not. I really hope we do. After the Hampton, VA debacle, I'd like to get tickets... that are not $300+. Unlike most Phish fans, I am not a drug dealer or born of wealthy parents, so I cannot afford such nonsense. Here's hoping we get tickets...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

typical SIU runaround.

Annoyingly enough, my 102 class meets in a different location on Wednesdays, specifically, in the ASA building. I did not know how to even get to this building until early Wednesday morning, but managed to find the classroom after ending up in the Engineering Building main office, a courtyard, the dental clinic, etc. (This was somewhat serendipitous, though, as I've been meaning to schedule a dental appointment, and now I have!) I had made two lesson plans for this day, as I was not sure if I would be in a computer classroom. Happily, it was a 'SMART' classroom, but the podium was locked. Usually, one can procure a key at a nearby office or desk, so I went to a nearby office, only to learn that I would have to get the key at the... library. Which isn't across campus or anything, but not close by any means. So, I'm like, "I have to go to the library before EACH Wednesday class!?" and she's like, "No, you'll get a key to hold onto for the semester," which is fine and all, but I was hoping to teach on the computer that day. I had a PowerPoint presentation and everything! So, instead, I blabbered on about arguments and whatever the fuck else is in chapter two of Everything's an Argument. I'm sure the students would have preferred the PowerPoint presentation to my rambling, as well :) So, I've been trying to get in touch with this computer guy at the library, but we keep missing each other. And then the classroom I teach in on Mondays and Wednesdays was 90 degrees (no exaggeration; the thermostat told me so) on the first day, so I'm just truly blessed with my classrooms this semester. I'm thinking layering is in my future... teaching in a cashmere sweater the other day was disastrous, as I was profusely sweating in front of 20 disinterested, and most likely, disgusted, students. I continue to amaze myself daily with my poise and sophistication. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

thank you, Mrs. Judy Aufdenberg

I received a copy of Reader's Digest in my mailbox the other day, something I found weird, as I really didn't realize they existed outside of doctor's office waiting rooms. I assumed it was one of those free trials or something, until I saw that on the back of the magazine, it stated, "Mrs. Judy Aufdenberg of Jackson, MO sends good wishes to you with this new one-year, Reader's Digest gift subscription. Enjoy this gift and best wishes throughout the year. Happy Holidays!" The magazine was addressed to one Mr. Brian D. Roth at Apartment 3 on 404 E. Main St., DeSoto, IL. My boyfriend's last name is Roth, but he is Michael W., not Brian D. We also live in Apartment 3 of our building, but not on Main St. (although the address is quite similar: 407 instead of 404). Also, I do not know anyone from Jackson, MO, and certainly no Judy Aufdenberg (although I must admit her gift was quite generous). Isn't that weird? At first, when I saw the 'Roth' on the address label, I assumed it was from one of his relatives sending a (poorly-chosen) gift, but I suppose there is another Roth about town, bereft of a Reader's Digest subscription from a well-intentioned aunt or grandmother (you have to admit, a Reader's Digest subscription seems like a rather grandmotherly gift). In any case, I suppose I'll enjoy my free subscription and hope that this mail person's error doesn't result in some rift in the Aufdenberg/Roth family.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Something I've noticed in grad school is that whenever I email people, they sign with their initials: "Yours, AW;" "Cheers, BS;" etc. (On a side note, I hate the 'cheers'... we're not drinking. What is that?!) And I feel somewhat out of place, and possibly even child-like, responding "Julie." Did I miss something in PSW? Are we to use our initials in place of our names now? I just find it so odd. Is it considered to be less formal than signing, "Dr. So-and-So?" Perhaps this is flagrantly obvious, or perhaps I'm even creating some conspiracy which does not exist. But I feel like I'm the only motherfucker out there who signs her emails, etc., with her actual first name, yet I simply do not want to blindly follow suit and start signing 'JD.' Any help? Or am I just crazy?

... I probably am just crazy, as I still have a good amount of writing left to do, and a good amount of writing behind me. Some of my hard work recently paid off (specifically, in Shakespeare), so I'm hoping that trend will remain in place for my other courses. Wish me luck! (or sanity, whichever).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's official - I'm depraved.

When I bartend, I tend to watch a lot of game, one of which being "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" One of the questions posed yesterday was, "Which of these businesses is usually ran by children?" and I answered (audibly), "Chimney sweeps!" And then the possible choices were revealed, of course, not including chimney sweeps, but instead, lemonade stands. I conclude, not only that I'm utterly depraved, but that I've read entirely too much William Blake and Victorian novels.