I like books.


I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Writing Under Pressure

I’ve been working on my comps for about an hour and need to take a break. I started Friday at 1:00 and hammered out nine pages all at once on the big question that I have to answer. Then, I slept for a couple of hours, and yesterday, I finished the answer. This morning, I am looking it over. I’ve selected my second question and have done an outline and have the books needed for my support. I just don’t see how I am going to make it. I have until 1 tomorrow but I teach two hours in the early morning. I guess, from 9:30 until 1:00, I can hammer out what I need to finish. Damn, I hate working under pressure. Back to work.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Soups on

The Best Damm Cabbage Soup

I don’t know if it was because all I had was end of the month vegetables wilted in my refrigerator or because it was cool outside and the leaves were falling and I wanted smells coming out of the kitchen, but yesterday, I made, without a doubt, the best damn cabbage soup in the world.

So I started with some left over from breakfast bacon grease, enough to cover a soup pot bottom. I threw in some chopped up bacon, a bout a half of a large yellow onion minced, one garlic clove (also minced), two wilted carrots trimmed, peeled, and diced into very small pieces, a small piece of very wilted but not molded bell pepper, and one large stick of celery chopped, Then, I let them cook in that hot bacon grease for a few minutes, then I washed the hell out of a big cabbage that I bought at the market and forgot that I had,, and peeled off all the big leafy pieces that looked bad and then I chopped it into long strips and put in the hot pan on top of the other vegetables and bacon and bacon grease. Immediately thereafter, I poured enough water over the cabbage to just cover it and let it get hot. When it started boiling, I added about a half of cup of apple cider vinegar, some fresh ginger that I grated over the pot—probably two tablespoons of that—I keep my ginger in the freezer so I always have fresh, then I added about a fourth to a half cup of brown sugar and let it cook down. When the stuff was well tender and smelling like heaven, I added a couple of meat finds that I had cooked the day or two before like one half of a small steak, I cut into strips, and a hamburger patty that I had made hamburger steaks out of and it was nice and easy to crumble. After the meat had a chance to get all good in the cabbage soup juice and all hot, I salted and peppered it all one more time and served it over nothing cause it was so fucking awesome by itself.

Monday, September 06, 2010


Not having money really sucks. And, what money I have goes to things like bills, food, gas, and more bills. So, I've been looking at ways to cut down on my household expenses and have decided that over the next year, I am going to cut out buying detergents. These items are my biggest expense and are necessary but can be made cheaply at home. So, when I run out of laundry soap and household cleaner and dish soap, I am switching to home made and see what's up.

So, over the next few months, I'm going to treat this blog like poverty journal or a surviving poverty journal and talk about things like how to make it on little to no money. Coming soon, soap instructions but not until I actually make the soap and try it. Then I'll blog. For now, here's what I do when I am getting close to bare cabinets, soups.
My favorite soup recipe is more like a goulash recipe because I use hamburger meat, onions, bellpeppers, carrots, potatoes, and tomato sauce. I usually have all of these ingredients.
1. cook hamburger and drain off grease.
2. Sautee onions, bellpeppers, and if I have it garlic and celery.
3. Add cooked meat to satueed ingredients and pour into a big pot with some water.
4. Add carrots and tomato sauce and diced potatoes and anything else I have lying around.
Cook until all the ingredients like potatoes are done and let simmer on low for a few hours.
I serve with cornbread.
When I have money, I use stew meat or round steak chopped up.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Professional Development

I am at the PCA in St Louis. I presented a paper on Dora The Explorer and loved it, thought I did well, and had a lot of feedback from the audience. But, here’s the deal: This is the third conference in three weeks. I have driven to all three conferences and next week, I am presenting yet one more paper at one more conference. When I did this, I swear, I did not noticed they were all back to back. Consequently, I am at my wits end, highly emotional, and wanting to leave. But, I’ve learned a lot. Like when I was at the C’s, I learned how to do kick ass proposals. When at the CEA, I moderated for the first time, and here at the PCA, I attended a professional development seminar on putting together the employment package. They actually went from the CV, to the phone interview, to the contract letter. And it is getting close to that time of leaving the comfort of graduate school and entering the job force. I really am not looking forward to competing because I am older than probably all of the new PhD folk and that, I think, puts me at a great disadvantage. So, for the last four years, I have worked my ass off getting published, getting service credit, presenting at conferences, and doing whatever I can to make my CV more attractive. The cost: no rest.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Sadly, I have neglected my blogging. I have been so distracted by finishing my course work for my PhD, writing for publications, and working as an adjunct to support my grandchildren. So, blogging has fallen way down on the list of things I need to do before I go to bed; however, this year, I am going to try and update monthly. Besides, I am in the hospital getting giant doses of IV steroids and feel like I could move a mac truck with one hand. Yep.
Academically, I trudge on. I seem to fall in all the old traps that I see my students falling into: fast writing and slow to no revising. Also, I am so overbooked that months in advance my calendar is full. I booked to present at three conferences and am, to say the least, strapped for time to get the actual writing done for those projects. I am still studying for my comps, which, at the rate that I am going, will be a disaster.
I want to do the weeklong WPA conference training this summer but am going to have to kick my ass in gear to get a paper so I can get funding. Geeze. And, I am seriously thinking about starting a new literacy project here on the hill. Yeah, I know. But there are poor kids here too and poor kids who could use a good book to read and talk about and a place to hang out and do that reading and talking. I’m going to talk to one of the churches and see if I can use their space and let them help me sponsor it. That way it’s mine and I can do with what I want. Right? The Fort would be an ideal spot for a literacy project and I am sure I could get help from the community and I may go that route too. The smartest man in the world once told me to work in my community; help my people, and the work will be easy. Yes, that is what I need to do.
Okay with the chatter. Hope you all had a great holiday. Now down to business.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

In a few short hours, I will be 55. Fifty-five, I’m finding out, is not as hard to take as 50 or even 30. But, there are some serious consequences to living this long. I suppose the most worrisome is that I am having these little fantasies about the end of my life. Now mind you, that end is far away and I’m at least one hundred and I have many loving grandchildren who are fawning all over my death bed. I guess the natural order of life is the older you get the more real death becomes. Nonetheless, I am still here and am still working hard to get my PhD. So Happy New Year and hopefully the end of this decade will be the beginning of great things for all of us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It has come down to this

So, I am studying or my PhD comps. I figured, originally, that I’d take them around November; however, I, now, am setting a more realistic goal of around January or February. That way, I’ll have the rest of this semester to re-read the material and maybe do a little more outlining of my stuff. Hopefully before the end of spring semester, I will be ABD. Then, the matter of setting down and putting together my dissertation from what I’ve already written into a document to see what I need to add and if I need to add and where and how and so forth.

I came back to school around 2004, I think. Maybe the spring of 2004 and by the spring of 2005, I had my BA in English. I began my MA in Comparative Lit/Cultural studies in the fall of 2005 and finished around the same time I finished my course work for PhD. I know, very weird; however, I didn't really take thesis hours and instead, took classes for my PhD. So, here I am some four years or four and half years later and have become a Bachelor, a Master, and hopefully, soon, a PhD. What does all this mean? Not sure yet.