my car is officially texan.
i went to the tax collectors office in downtown houston this morning to transfer my title and get new license plates. i’m not sure how i feel about this new identity as a texan driver. since august, my out-of-state north carolina plates have acted as a material apology for any driving blunders. when i crossed three lanes of traffic because i realized that i had to take a left rather than a right on bissonnet, those “first in flight” plates were the understood “oops! my bad” to the disgruntled driver on my tail.
no more such excuses.
i considered getting rice tags, but in the end it seemed a little pretentious. and expensive. an extra $30 a year. i could order many pineapple pizzas for that money. plus there’s always the possibility that i won’t make it through the program, and then i’d be haunted by my rice license plates, which would literally be at my back every second i was in the car. maybe i’ll get rice tags as a present to myself when i walk off the rice stage as dr. ford. oh, wait. dr. smith.
but getting the new plates was definitely the major accomplishment of the last two days of fall break. i also prepared notes for an hour-long class discussion i have to lead, finished mansfield park, read a pretty substantial hunk of gaskell’s north and south, identified some sources for my 19th century seminar final paper, finally comprehended derrida’s concept of futurity (alas, only after his death), and wrote about three (very dense) pages of a paper that before break seemed completely impossible. and yet i still feel like i got absolutely nothing done. this is what grad school does to you.
but i have found one way to curtail the sense of utter despair and confusion that comes with school. because whenever i start to feel completely hopeless, i remember how i willingly submitted applications for the opportunity to do this. not once, but twice. and while i’m always stressed and while i often have a novel that resembles a phone book or doorstop to read, it helps to recall the moment i finally got into school, after so much grief and money and effort. rice actually was the first school that offered me not only admissions but good money. they called me while i was visiting danny at fort hood — my last visit before he was deployed. it was a great way to see him off, because i was optimistic about my future (and, in turn, our future). we celebrated with obscene slabs of beef at outback. so whenever i start to feel like a total dunce, i remember that i was chosen out of over 500 applicants. they must have wanted me at some point. now it’s my job to prove that they were right.
but enough ego-boosting. to shove myself off my own high horse…
three things i have done that are embarassing:
1. i’ve seen amy grant in concert.
2. i once bought 5 arby’s roast beef sandwiches because they were a deal. i planned on saving them and eating them over the course of (at least) a week-long period. i ate them all within 24 hours.
3. when i was still dancing with a studio, one of my recital costumes was a light blue bath towel with a huge felt rubber duckie glue-gunned to the front. we wore these with thick black tights and white jazz shoes. i wore this. in public.