Just me, my non-drowsy cold formula and La Revue de Neuropsychologie Friday, Mar 21 2008 

I have spent most of this spring break not scrubbing toilets (good) and not reading up on negation and syllabic structure (bad) and not trying to come up with a semi-respectable noun classification table (worse).  I have been felled by an evil bug, which has caused me to sleep often (if often poorly) and wander around my apartment in my jammies.  I have not been very productive, which is making me feel guilty (and stressed).  Plus, my cold medicine gives me a tummy ache.  I’d stop taking it, but I prefer to be able to breathe through my nose; I also don’t like feeling my pulse in my head.  Picky, I know, but what can you do?

I have been lightly flirting with The Young Man via the Internet, although I’m not altogether sure if he realizes I’ve been flirting with him.  Since I put most of my eggs in the GSS basket, I need to backtrack and make it not look like The Young Man is sloppy seconds (which he is not).

Which leads me to my reluctant cougardom.  I keep telling myself that a) The Young Man is fond of me, though it is unclear how fond of me he is (and quite frankly, I have not earned the right to trust my own judgement again) b) I do not look like the stereotypical cougar (wardrobe by Forever 21, caked-on makeup), nor do I even look my age (as I have often been told) c) my squeamishness is more about a fear of being perceived as a creepy, cradle-robbing hag rather than a squeamishness about acting like a creepy, cradle-robbing hag.  As for The Young Man himself, he does respond with what appears to be enthusiasm, which is nice…but I bitch too much, don’t I?

I do need to make up for lost time, as I really thought I would have gotten much more studying in.  I did go to the library today and picked up a boatload of books, but I got a headache and took the books and my phlegmmy self home.

As for La Revue de Neuropsychologie…I hear the consonant clusters did it.


The Old Grey Matter Ain’t What it Used to Be Wednesday, Mar 12 2008 

I suppose it is blowback from My Foolish Friday (no real details, just trust me) that has caused me, of late, to not be the sharpest tool in the shed.  It started Monday, when in Phonology, a class in which I articulate very well, it seemed as though the wheels had fallen off.  I stumbled and stammered and made no real point.  Fine, whatever.  Everyone has off days.  Then I go to work and I’m faced with GSS.  I’m fine, but I felt especially compelled to prove to him that I was fine.  So I made a very lame joke.  But I bounced back, so that’s all right (after a fashion).

Today was also rough, intellectually.  At one point, I despaired of ever having a functioning brain worthy of graduate school.  What if this is the best I can expect from my brain?  That is not the attitude I need going into the Semantics midterm.  Especially since Semantics has sounded nothing but fishy – I get it, but I don’t buy most of it.  I hear a rumor that future classes might actually be less suspect, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

I just feel like I have been slacking off, which I probably have; however, I also feel that the harder I try, the less clarity I have (and I’ve recently gone on about my appreciation for clarity).  I need spring break now more than ever.  Sure, it will be a week of toilet-scrubbing, French syllable structure, French negation and, just for fun, some Bantu morphology.  But the amorphous quality this semester has had is getting me down.  And I need to reset myself to better cope with it.  And that is hard when every day is work and school, school and work.  Hopefully, just not having classes may jolt me out of this general malaise (which I insist is more than just GSS-related disappointment, because it has been simmering for awhile, and the entertainment value of flirting kept me distracted enough to not give it that much thought).

What it is, this malaise, this ennui, this weltschmerz seems to me to be analogous to wearing shoes that don’t fit.  I find that my life doesn’t fit anymore.  The last time I was this ready to pack up and move on, I was seventeen and about to become The Fresh Freshman (ugh, that sucks as a moniker, but we’ll let it alone).  I have joked that I would have walked the 170 miles to college, all my personal belongings on my back.  It isn’t so very far from the truth.  I’m chafing at the prospect of all the crap I still need to do before I move on.

And that, I truly believe, is why I have this nagging sensation.  I’m ready to move on mentally and emotionally, but physically I’m stuck here until the end of the semester (plus, I still don’t know exactly where I’ll be going).

And that’s why flirting with The Young Man and The Younger Man has not been particularly entertaining.  It doesn’t suck, to be sure, but it doesn’t seem to serve the purpose it should.  It is the equivalent of a candy bar – it’s a quick fix, a sugar rush, but ultimately, not nutritionally satisfying.

Haiku Monday 2 (Electric Boogaloo) Tuesday, Mar 11 2008 

Since I had a whole 2 comments that were pro-Haiku Monday, and since I am feeling the syllabic call, I welcome one and all to the second installment of Haiku Monday.

 Irony Poisoning
I like irony
as much as the next person
but there’s a limit

Bantu Morphology
It isn’t good when 
native speakers don’t know the
meaning of that /ya- /

New Hobby
Facebook is useful
when seducing the
cute Young Man at work

Bring on the razors!
Finally cracking forty
degrees!  It is time to start
wearing skirts again

Spring Break
A busy week of
Scrubbing toilets, research and
hopefully, a nap

Thank you for joining The Senior Senior for yet another installment of Haiku Monday.

Coming soon…Haiku Monday 3 (this time, it’s personal!)

Haiku Monday Tuesday, Feb 19 2008 

I had a Bus Epiphany today (after a long dry spell) – wouldn’t several haiku on the little daily episodes be neat?  We’ll see…

Guy on Segway
Goggles, slow rolling
You could have been there by now
Dude, why the Segway?

Survival of the Fittest
Cap, hoodie, no gloves
Dude, you are so cool

Berber syllables
A voweless word
Syllabic “r, ” sure, why not
not so much for “q”

Troublemaker (to GSS)
If you are having
trouble writing your paper,
I can crack the whip

Thank you for attending Haiku Monday.  If you don’t think it sucked, there may be more.  Sonnet Saturday seems like too much work, though.

Be my valentine, or I’ll have Chuck Norris kick your ass! Friday, Feb 15 2008 

I have been a busy Senior Senior this days.  There has been work (which has been crazy lately), and the hilarious (but in no way germane) Chuck Norris obsession which has taken hold of many of us in the Linguistics Department.  (It’s The Translator’s fault – he started it).  Oh, and classes, too.

And my Ambiguous Friend GSS has flustered me.  Yesterday, I check my e-mail and he has e-mailed me not once, but twice (and by that, I mean he initiated contact, instead of replying to me).  I would be sky-high, were it not for the fact that the e-mails were on a specific topic that he thought I might be able to help him with (as opposed to my e-mails to him, which are often random bits of sarcasm/whimsy).  Still, I consider him to be a friend, not just an Ambiguous Friend.  And if any friend e-mailed me with a, “hey, do you know what’s up with this?” question, I would do my best to answer.  (As Puppy Mama knows well).  So I futzed around with his question, and thought I might have come up with an answer, which I e-mailed to him last night.  Today, I was at work, talking to one of my regular students, when GSS interrupted and joking said, “You can’t talk to [Senior Senior], I get to talk to [Senior Senior] first.”  This particular regular student usually just does his homework, and asks me questions as they arise, so he deferred to GSS.  So GSS and I go over what the problem is, sitting close.  This was very distracting to me, as he smelled particularly good, and I thought idly about how I would like to kiss his neck.  Then he gets his laptop out (pardon me while I muse on the double entendre aspect of that statement…but no, I mean his computer), and when I needed to type something or whatever, I kept making errors (which I blamed on the unfamiliar keyboard, but which I suspect was due to extreme-GSS-proximity syndrome).

Long story short(er); we managed to figure the bulk of the problem out. 

GSS and I had had a briefly multilingual e-mail exchange the week before – he had, because of the smart-ass that he is, written a response in a language that he knows, but I am not even slightly familiar with.  I asked him a couple of times for a translation, which he (smart-ass that he is) refused.  Using a couple of on-line dictionaries, I plugged and chugged the words (which was difficult, as said language has a lot of morphology), and came up with something I could work with.  Earlier this week, I put forth my translation, but never got a response.  So I asked him.  When he had read the e-mail, he hadn’t put two and two together, so he reread my translation and found the e-mail with the original “furrin” language.  I did pretty well (although I whiffed the last part), and he said he was quite impressed.  What I’m parsing:  he skimmed the e-mail with the translation and originally did nothing with it (not good), but he has kept my numerous other e-mails (good), and when he was searching, he had a pretty good recollection what the topic was of each one – at least, as good of a recollection as I did (also good).  Meaning?  Who knows.

Epiphanic Monday, Feb 11 2008 

As I was telling Puppy Mama earlier, the craptastic weather we have been having wreaks havoc on the Bus Epiphanies, as you spend all your energy feeling miserable, wondering when the bus will come, trying to stay alive….  Fortunately, I have been having epiphanies in other locales, mostly at Hated Job.  The boring, repetitive nature of cleaning identical hotel rooms for hours on end lends itself well to rumination.  And this weekend has given me a bumper crop of new moments of clarity.  A short list of the best ones:

Toilet-Scrubbing Epiphany #1 – I have misgivings about online dating, mostly because I think the process is ass-backwards.  It seems to me that what you do when you post a profile online is to advertise an job opening, if you will, for a spouse.  Then you take your candidates and try to make them fit the position.  While I am probably not the best resource for romantic advice, I think it probably should be like this:  you meet people during the activities of your daily life, you get to know them and then you make the decision if a particular relationship has what it takes.  Again, not the best source for advice, but I’m pretty sure marriage shouldn’t be “the goal;” it implies that marriage is a static and terminal state.

Toilet Scrubbing Epiphany #2 – A cool idea for a party to encourage the meeting of new people, since as adults, our social circle gets smaller and smaller:  have your guests bring one person from outside the social circle.  A cool idea for those who successfully throw parties, at any rate.

Toilet Scrubbing Epiphany #3 – The trick in life is to find something that you do really well, as opposed to “pretty well.”

Toilet Scrubbing Epiphany #4 – The thing that frustrates me about Phonology is that it focuses too much on the synchronic, and not enough on the diachronic.  The thing that frustrates me about Syntax is that it focuses too much on the diachronic, and not enough on the synchronic.  Or at least, that’s how I see it.

Fantastic Syntactic Wednesday, Jan 23 2008 

Today was the first day back to class, and not a moment to soon.  However, the day did not start optimally, as it took a whopping hour and a half to get to class from my apartment this morning.  I can walk to campus in an hour and a half from my apartment, provided the weather is cooperative (no rain or snow).  And yes, we had much snow yesterday.  However, that does not explain why, in only one direction (the one in which I was traveling), the street was blocked up like the arteries of someone who eats a pound of butter every day.  I skulked into my very first class of the semester a half an hour late.  Yeah.

On a peppier note, I have been reunited with the sub-discipline of syntax; and despite my sometimes rocky relationship with it, I enjoyed it.  I may even have a topic for the end of semester paper.  Of course, it can all be shot to hell before then.  Tomorrow, morphology and phonology.  And photography.

Of files and favors Sunday, Jan 20 2008 

My mother’s computer died some time ago, so today I have been moving/deleting files like a madwoman.  I have saved most of what was on my old desktop by making CD backups, though I am unsure why.  Ever since I went laptop, I have mostly ignored my desktop; with an exception or two, I have not needed any thing that was on there (and what there was, I moved to my external hard drive months ago).  Since CDs are small, I can justify saving a bunch of files, as they no longer take up the room they did when everything was all low tech.  For example, I took the time and trouble to save all the old e-mails on my desktop.  Why?  Because I could fit them all on a CD, and still have room for more files.  I even read some of them (including those from the Ex when we were young and in love, so to speak).  I found them an interesting artifact, and I’m glad I bothered to save them, though I can’t imagine ever looking at them again.  Maybe it is enough to save them.  Dunno.

As for the favors (one of them being giving my old computer to my mom), I noticed that I lightly snarked about how I felt GSS gave me short shrift when he thanked me for the favor I had rendered.  Now that we’re seeing each other in person and all, he has been very appreciative, and has thanked me more than once this last week.  Maybe he’s just not an e-mail guy.  Not everyone is, I suppose.  And that does explain things – if he’s not an e-mail guy, he isn’t going to respond to every whimsical message I send out.

I just thought that every one under 40 was an e-mail guy.  Live and learn.

Crushaissance Saturday, Jan 19 2008 

I woke up this morning and, cursing being out of milk, making coffee impossible this morning, got ready to go to work.  I have been in a disgustingly good mood all week, even before, during and after the potentially fraught dinner with my Ex (which was not fraught at all [which is, by the way, an excellent phrase to determine American English dialects]).  Yes, I am pleased to be out of the house, and I always love a good semester.  However, GSS and I have been in the midst of what I have coined a “crushaissance.”  We just seem to be clicking in the way we were when I first realized that I had a crush on him.  It feels great, and it has been making the week that much more enjoyable.  Will this continue?  I don’t know.  But I’m bound to enjoy it while it lasts.

Ain’t Technology Grand? Tuesday, Jan 8 2008 

As I head into the final stretch of the Grad School Application Marathon, I find technology is less helpful than previously assumed.  All the applications I have done are filed on-line – once you pay the fee and click “submit,” you have applied.  No stamps, no semi-unreasonable fears that the Postal Service will lose your application, thereby ruining your life.  That is, in theory.  In practice, it is a little complicated.  Some applications have you upload pdf files of unofficial transcripts, your personal statement, and/or writing samples.  The people you have conned into writing recommendations also get an e-mail and upload the recommendations to the school in question.  Other applications do not.  So here I am, e-mailing cover sheets to professors, preparing hard copies of my writing samples or personal statements to be mailed (that’s right, mailed).  And I curse the insanity of having a half-electronic application.  I mean really, what’s the point of that?  Maybe it is a test to see how skilled you are at following directions.  Maybe I’m just paranoid.  And don’t get me started on the “fine” folks at ETS and the total lack of on-line score reporting.  I have to call my order over the phone?  And you’re still going to charge me a fee to do so?  (Okay, maybe I am going to get started on that.  But I’ll do us all a favor and stop now.)

Actually, a completely on-line experience doesn’t preclude insanity.  The Ivy League School e-mailed me today to let me know that they couldn’t access my writing samples.  I sent an attachment.  That didn’t work.  I sent a link.  Snake eyes there, too.  I was almost reduced to sending hard copies by Fed Ex (how low tech), but a final attempt at attachment sending worked out in the end.  But oof, what a hassle.

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