i have just received a serendipitous email.

at midnight i was still on page 140 of the 350-page scott novel guy mannering. i decided to check my email, and the professor of my 18th century seminar has emailed to cancel class because SHE has been unable to complete the reading for tomorrow. i am simultaneously a little annoyed that i’ve stressed so much to get it read by tomorrow (granted, unsuccessfully) and absolutely overjoyed to the point of wetting myself that the class is canceled and i won’t look like a moron during discussion.

sometimes, the gods are watching out for me. because lord knows the new catholic pope isn’t. in the words of my mother, “he just doesn’t look like very much fun.” and he has a very dickensian name. and in dickens, you know you’re in trouble when a character with a name that involves vermin is introduced. but i will not go into a commentary here on the pros and cons of the new papacy, since i really don’t know much about ratzy (including how to correctly spell his name). we’ll call him benedict. i have heard what others think, and for the most part it isn’t totally promising. the headline featured on AIM is certainly telling (while also humorously vague): “some catholics disappointed.”

that, my friend, is true during any stage of catholicism. or maybe more accurately: “some catholics in guilt-ridden fear that god or their mother or father what’s-his-name would be disappointed in them.”

life in other respects is generally kind of crazy. danny is in houston for about a week and a half, and i’ve been spending most of my time with him or with my nose buried in a book. or my laptop. but his time here has made it seem like he’s home to a degree that the reunion ceremony in fort hood just couldn’t reach. today we went and cruised the galleria. note to the ladies: very cute stuff on clearance at gap right now. danny also got a shirt to wear for our engagement portraits, which we’re getting retaken. after all, things can only get better when the first round were taken at walmart. and we haven’t actually posted our engagement in the paper yet, so we might as well take better pictures.

on the upside, i have found out that chances are good that i’ve had another paper accepted to a conference for next year — this time something i wrote as an undergrad thesis (and which therefore needs to be violently edited before i would even assume to read it out loud in front of people i respect). i submitted with some other grad students as a panel on victorian literature and medicine. collectively we represent gravediggers, quack doctors, rabies, and infanticide. a jolly crew are we. it was dicey for a while… we were having trouble locating a commentator for our panel. but one was actually found for us, and it turns out said found commentator is quite respected in our field. in the words of a fellow student, “now i’m really nervous.”

and on friday danny and i will be belatedly celebrating his birthday high above the houston skyline — or at least on level with it — at one of those spinning restaurants at the top of a skyscraper. the menu as posted online sounds fabulous, but i’m sure the prices reflect the novelty of a spinning restaurant and not the calibre of the chef. i’m psyched nonetheless. i like any occasion to wear a dress, since class requires, for the most part, nothing more than jeans and a tee-shirt.

well, it’s 1 a.m. i’m still quite awake, but danny has already crashed in anticipation of his golf game tomorrow, so i think i’ll join him.

in closing, a list of books i hated after the first read but loved with the fire of a thousand suns (or at least respected) upon second (sometimes third) reading:
1. tale of two cities by charles dickens (now included in my top five books)
2. wuthering heights by emily bronte (in the words of rin, it is SO NOT the greatest love story ever told, but when read without this expectation is truly wonderful)
3. heart of darkness (still don’t love it, but it makes the list solely because i have read it SO MANY TIMES for class)

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6 thoughts on “

  1. comment here

    hope you and dan enjoy dinner atop the spinning restaurant.

    and congrats on getting another conference presentation. so which of the medical maladies/mishaps are you?

    • Re: comment here

      i will be representing infanticide… but that’s really just a subtopic of my larger paper, which is on the medicalization of childbirth as read through two poems by minor victorian female poets.

  2. ah-ha! A (very valid) explanation for Vee being M.I.A. I was starting to wonder if you had perhaps fallen victim to either finals or the Plastic Scariness. But now that I know you are in fact not being attacked by a colorful beachball, I shall cease my worry and talk to you when Danny departs. 🙂

  3. second reads

    I whole-heartedly agree with the Wuthering Heights — couldn’t stand it at first. Same with Jane Eyre, which now sounds almost like blasphemy. Jane beats Heights hands down as best Bronte I’ve read, though of course I haven’t read anything by Ann. Must admit I
    loved Tale of Two Cities from the get-go, even read it for fun my first month of college, but Heart of Darkness definitely needed time to soak in. I don’t think I really liked it until I’d had a class that talked about post-colonialism, and then just finding those references made it interesting.

    Really wish you and Danny still lived in Charlotte, would make for much more interesting conversations than the endless chatter about “Lost” and other TiVo’d programs that goes on about the newsroom …

    Brad’s Heather

    • Re: second reads

      it’s kind of ironic… when i mention reality telvision in the grad student lounge, attempting to take a break from postcolonial theory, i can hear the wind whistling through the oaks that line the streets at rice. i am certainly the most reality television savvy grad student, and it’s not a good thing.

      i have to say that i wish i had loved tale of two cities upon first read… when i read it last semester i had to pause once in a while, completely shocked at how much i disliked it the first time around. but, of course, the first time i read it was in a high school history class. not the ideal context.

  4. at least the pope didn’t puke on you

    hey we haven’t talked in forever but i still love you! two weeks ago i dreamt that john paul II was hugging me and being all nice, and the other night i dreamt that the new guy threw up on me! wtf. some people have pipe dreams, i have pope dreams.
    glad you and danny boy are having fun!! ttys!

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