August 18, 2012
super big retrospective!! of note: 8/15 - 8/17
1. have been spending a lot of time feeling alternately overwhelmed and ecstatic about the creative writing class i'm teaching in the fall, have been manically adding/deleting readings from the syllabus
2. right now, internet writing from blake butler, socrates adams-florou, xTx, frank hinton, shane jones, mel bosworth, ana c. and richard chiem, sasha fletcher and daniel bailey, chad redden, russ woods and steve roggenbuck is included alongside 'classic ass bros' like ernest hemingway, lorrie moore, nabokov, updike, david foster wallace, joe brainard, allen ginsberg. seems good.
3. i have read and reread a whole lot of really good things by these and more writers and maybe will spend time making a list of what i most enjoyed but right now i am feeling too hungry to do that
4. basically all of 8/15 was spent doing things to 'craft' my syllabus, 8/16 was a mix of doing syllabus and doing things irl like going to the gym, and 8/17 i spent in washington, dc alternating between panic and euphoria
5. on 8/17 i got up at 8:00 am, drove to washington, dc and arrived at the state department at 10:45 am to get documents authorized. this is a really scary place. it is like a more cramped version of the dmv and a more insane version of the afterlife reception waiting room in beetlejuice. many people seem to know each other here and come here a lot. this seems very bad and scary. the room is v. long and narrow with chairs in rows of three against one side wall and a place to form a line against the other. the door is the back wall and a row of plexiglass windows with women behind them is the front wall. once you have your forms filled out, you stand in line until a plexiglass woman calls you up and takes your forms and gives you a number. then you sit down between two strangers and wait. they stop giving numbers at 11:00 am but continue to authorize forms until each number has been addressed. i read 'grow up' while waiting for ~1.5 hours for my documents to be authorized. while i was waiting, the nice/trim ethiopian man next to me was replaced by a larger smelly man who slept on my arm and apologized for jabbing his elbow into my upper arm whenever he woke. while i was waiting, a man experiencing substance-induced psychosis with symptoms resembling paranoid schizophrenia attempted to pay for his authorized documents by digging through his pockets to produce ~25 crumpled $1 bills. while digging, he was also attempting (unsuccessfully) to balance and hold 1 big gulp cup, 1 subway soft drink, 2 wrappers from subway, a fedex envelope, and his returned documents via a series of 'juggling moves'. he became increasingly frustrated by these unsuccessful attempts and began to throw his personal belongings onto the ground/at the walls. his 'acquaintances' called out to him repeatedly and told him to stop this behavior, as he was in the state department and 'smelled like alcohol'. one of them approached him and tried to calm him down by collecting/counting the money and giving it to a plexiglass woman while the high person paced up and down the length of the room. this would have worked i think if the man hadn't banged into the trash can, upsetting his balance and causing him to grab his money from the acquaintance, shout 'i don't trust you' and return to throwing things. during this experience, the plexiglass women stopped calling out numbers. a middle aged middle eastern man in a suit who had been ahead of me in line when i arrived took photographs and video footage of these events while the high person's acquaintances questioned the legality of the middle eastern man's activities. eventually we had to evacuate the room after the plexiglass women called the police. then they brought him outside, brought us back in, and locked him outside. after the police arrived, the plexiglass women returned to authorizing documents and calling out numbers.
6. after going to the state department, i had to mail the documents, and then i had ~5 free hours until my friend's party in columbia heights. i spent this time driving to my 'regular' nail salon in georgetown, which was closed for the week, driving to an alternate nail salon and getting a shitty manicure, eating sushi at dean and deluca, driving to dupont and having coffee/working/skyping jackson at soho coffee & tea, buying alcohol, and then driving to columbia heights
7. at the party, i met a cat named carmine, had a lot of really good food prepared by my friends, drank the maximum amount of alcohol i could to still be able to safely drive home to maryland, and talked to my friends from my program about both grad school-related things and personal things (basically 'catching up' from a summer apart). it felt very good and relaxing to be around these people again, wish we had done things throughout the summer but then maybe we would have less to talk about now, idk. feel good about going 'back to school' and seeing them a lot more in the near future.
8. in the next week, i will participate in a dentist appointment, an optometrist appointment, a possible hair appointment, an organized writing marathon incl. other humans, multiple unorganized writing marathons by myself, a date night with jackson, a possible shopping experience and a possible second night in a row of socializing (tonight 8/18)