Archive for the holy smartness batman Category

updated. that’s you.

Posted in dissertation, holy smartness batman, me on April 28, 2009 by drbolte

chapter 4 has gone through the first, and usually the most painful, stage of revisions–the director’s cut.

it is now complete and in her hands once more. i have clarified and bumped up the thesis, expanded in some areas where it needed expanding and have chosen not to expand in others because it is my chapter and i’ll expand if i want to, added in some KILLER criticism (including, unexpectedly but rather serendipitously, an article by my director!), and constructed a works cited page that was quite a bit longer than i thought it would be.

for those of you keeping score at home, that’s four of five chapters complete.

that’s about one hundred and fifty pages.  this one is by far the shortest.  i’m not really surprised, since i feel like i’m losing steam.

one more left.  i am aiming for may to be the month when i actually get this beast done.

(excluding the introduction and conclusion, of course, which won’t be touched until after i’m married for a month or so probably unless a) i miraculously speed through my last chapter and feel inclined to tackle the introduction or b) i’m INSANE and just decide to work on it during summer b anyways even though i’ll have two seriously demanding teaching jobs and a wedding to plan.  yeah. like i said. not happening.)

i’m not sure what it will be like to have EVERYTHING drafted. to actually have all of my chapters complete.  what will that be like?

regardless, today i met my goals. tomorrow i hope to do the same.  it’s rather a good feeling. definitely a unique one for me, that’s for sure.

california dreamin’: days two and three.

Posted in dissertation, etcetera, forward my mail, holy smartness batman, i promise you that you won't care, me, School, teaching, will work for food on January 2, 2009 by drbolte

day two was panel day.

i dressed up, amazing black pants and the new teal shirt i got from the cousin for christmas. i looked good, i think, but you could tell i wasn’t incredibly invested in the conference because rather than suffering for my art in my kickin’ black heels, i opted for flats.

no one to impress, you see.

the best of the panels came at 830 am…the microblogging session about using twitter and new media (i.e. text messaging, blogging, etc.) in the classroom and what it means for our way of approaching literary studies and teaching. i really, really liked it. it was interactive, fun, engaging, and involved a BOO oklahoma icon from a UT prof.

i wanted to yell GO GATORS! but i didn’t.  be impressed by my professionalism.

that was pretty much the highlight of my day. the rest of them were fairly boring, even though i had great hopes for the travel writing ones.  they were good–don’t get me wrong. the scholarship was solid and the papers were certainly intelligent and thought-provoking. but i think my general sense of detachment abou the whole process made paying attention more difficult.

it could also have been the fact that 8500 people were at the conference.  that might have had something to do with it.

day three dawned much better, though.


we began by visiting what was perhaps the best concierge desk in the history of the world. he checked in at southwest for us, printed our boarding passes, gave us a map, and told us how to cheaply and efficiently reach all of our desired destinations.

then, we trekked out to see the painted ladies.

lest you think that was something squirrely, these are the painted ladies:


victorian houses.  GORGEOUS.  it was a wonderful day, as you can tell from the photo–full of sunshine and not very cold at all.  unusual for san francisco, but a blessing for us.

we then went to fisherman’s wharf, where we saw these:


those are the famous sealions that hang out at pier 39.  they were pretty cute.  we ate some fish and chips, wandered in some TACKY tourist shops, and headed off to ghiradelli square. we shopped some, ate some ice cream, and then got back in line to ride the cable cars.  the interminable lines.  or at least it felt like it…

there, we were privileged to be entertained by none other than…escapeman.

yeah.  he was in a straitjacket, chained to a pole. he proceeded to gyrate and seize until he had freed himself (admittedly a nice feat) and then asked us all for money.

it was odd.  it was hilarious. it was bizarroworld personified.

then we walked through chinatown, which was awesome because i bought a t-shirt for $1.88. i didn’t do that in nyc’s chinatown and totally kicked myself for it.  no one can say i don’t learn from my mistakes.

know what i DIDN’T buy in chinatown?


(are you seeing a common theme? me and food…we need to be better pals that plan our interactions more frequently.)

oh well.

it was an awesome day, though. we felt like we managed to see much of the city by the bay for relatively cheap, and i felt like our walk through chinatown and back to our hotel felt like real travel and adventure as opposed to travel provided by an all-day cable car pass.

that may or may not make sense to you, but it does to me.

california didn’t disappoint, but by the end of day three, when i was preparing to get up at 330 to go to the airport for a 645 flight, i was ready to go home.

i hope the next time i go to the mla, i actually have a REASON to go.  you know, like real interviews or presenting a paper. i will say that my foray into giant conference world taught me that i am, in fact, smart enough to present at such an occasion, so next time i won’t be so intimidated.

but i was glad to get home, tired as i was.

and that concludes my travel stories.  boring, probably, but there you go.

you’re welcome.

shred day 9 (?) update: yeah, i tried to do level 2 again today and was pretty lame at it.  i am however (i think?) seeing muscle definition where there really wasn’t any before.  so, yay for that.  in related news, i am able to run a lot easier, except for today when my knees were not having it. i just don’t think that early morning is my time for exercise, as much as i wish it was. or at least not lately and not on a day when it’s maximum 40 degrees outside.

i’ve sort of abandoned the whole 30 times in 30 days thing since i took five days off for SF.  but i’m still committed to every day but sunday, and that’s kicking enough of my trash.

california dreamin’: day one.

Posted in dissertation, drama drama drama, grrrrr., holy smartness batman, will work for food on January 1, 2009 by drbolte

my saturday started at 4a.m.

if you’re horrified by that fact, think of how i felt when i had to haul my carcass out of bed having only slept for about three hours, ready to face a cross-country plane trip and the stress of a conference that was bigger and badder than anything else i’d been to.

good times, eh?

i got to the airport a bit later than i anticipated, only to find that my airline’s ticket counter was mysteriously closed.

as in NO ONE was there to check bags.  there was a line that wrapped around the terminal, but no one was there to get the process started, and i only had an hour before my flight.  so skycaps came to my rescue, and i was on my way.

what is it about smaller airports that the food choices are so abominable? what is about airports that they scalp you up one side and down the other for your money?  why does a bagel cost $40?  why do 8 bandaids cost $3?  i am fully aware of the truthfulness of the law of supply and demand when i fly.

i was hoping to eat before my flight, but i didn’t get enough time and if i had to eat a cinnabon, i would have thrown up completely. not that they’re not good–they’re great–but they’re also death in a box and who needs that before you get on a giant metal tube for four hours?

i thought you’d agree.

we landed in denver early. i was THRILLED because i was really ready to be off the plane. even if only for an hour, i needed space and time to stretch my legs.

and food.  seriously i was in massive need of food.

so we got in early and i was all YAYAYAYAYAYAY.

and then we sat.

for twenty minutes.

behind the plane that was at our gate that hadn’t left yet.

let me tell you, if there is a more frustrating situation, i really don’t know what it is.  i was not pleased.  the not pleasedness could have come from the fact that, at this point, i had been up for approximately seven hours with no food.

i don’t do well with little sleep and no food, just as an fyi.

so i ate a bagel and tried not to hate my life because i was getting back on a plane again.

but luckily, that plane ride was significantly shorter and was over very pretty snow-covered mountains, so i dealt well. and i arrived in san francisco with a degree of excitement that i didn’t really expect.  i got my bag in pretty short order and, after a quick call home to retrieve the confirmation number of the shuttle that i’d reserved, i went to find the shuttle pickup point.

which was supposed to be at the end of an arrow-filled route.

except that the arrows…they led NOWHERE.

exhausted and frustrated, i was about to cry when i finally found it.  whew.

so i made it to my hotel, only to realize that it was SWARMING with people and that everything i had ever heard about the mla–the chaos, the people, the insanity–was absolutely, 100% true.  good times.

long story short…TOO LATE!…i took a nap, ate some peanut butter crackers, waited for my mla roommate to get there, ate the most amazing crab cakes ever at an irish pub, and got ready for my foray into mla panel attendance.

it was a day.

so when you say customer service, what you really mean is…?

Posted in drama drama drama, etcetera, grrrrr., holy smartness batman, Uncategorized on June 19, 2008 by drbolte

went to the pharmacy today to pick up my grandfather’s medicine, which he thought he needed YESTERDAY OH MY GOSH WHAT A CRISIS but probably really needed by tomorrow night. but not one to procrastinate (*coughsandlooksforboltoflightningaccompanyingblatantlies*), i headed down there this afternoon.

usually covered by insurance, this particular prescription, because he needed the refill earlier, wouldn’t be. and it’s expensive. i was walking in there expecting the credit card to cry a little when i zapped it through the machine.

i WASN’T expecting it to be declined.


i was in the kroger pharmacy and attempting to spend the $300+ dollars and my card was declined.

that’s never happened before.

let me tell you the emotional process one goes through when one’s credit card is declined. through the exceptional humiliation of having a pharmacy tech tell you that you cannot, in fact, pay for the thing that she just rang up for you, you begin wondering if there is any reason said card should be declined and upon realizing that there isn’t, the annoyance quickly swells to anger and the potential of getting the patented family THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE voice on the phone with some credit card representative.

but mainly, there’s the shock horror and humiliation.

so i go out to the parking lot to call said credit card company.

the customer service representative tells me her name (don’tcare) and asks what she can do for me.

i ask if the hold has been lifted off of my account now that i have successfully navigated the electronic gauntlet asking me to verify certain HORRIFYING! AND ABSOLUTELY! UNACCEPTABLE! AND FRAUD DETECTING! purchases like…say…a dollar on itunes.


she checks.

and tells me that sometimes when the amount is above your “typical” spending amount, said credit card company will flag the account formyownsafety.

funny how that own safety didn’t involve, say, a phone call.

but i digress again.

i just wanted someone official to tell me that the flag had been lifted and that i could walk back into the grocery store and make the purchase and did i mention that it was MY GRANDFATHER’S MEDICATION?

i thought i might have.

so she tells me the flag has been lifted, that she has memoed my account to indicate that i was going to make that purchase, and that i should be fine.


then, instead of letting the ANNOYED CUSTOMER go back into the store to make the purchase, she tries to sell me identity theft protection.

i was…speechless.

and i said “no, thanks.”

the first time.

and then she said “you don’t want identity theft protection?”

and i said “no.”

(notice the notable lack of thanks that time. i was stunned that this woman had the audacity to think that a) this was the appropriate time to try to sell identity theft protection and 2) that i was the right customer since THERE WASN’T ACTUALLY ANY IDENTITY THEFT I WAS JUST TRYING TO BUY MEDICATION OH MY SWEET GOODNESS JUST LET ME DO IT THIS IS AMERICA.)

call ends with me annoyed and her apparently judging the fact that i don’t want an identity protection plan that really only helps me investigate and protect other cards since this card is in fact already protected. whatever.

i make the purchase without incident. although now i had to wait in line. but okay.

about an hour and a half later, i pull into an exxon station to try to fill up my car, pull out the credit card that i had used successfully all the way down here, and get the magical message: “please see attendant.”

imagine my surprise.

i hate everyone.

edited to add: i called said credit card company. apparently the incredibly logical idea to CALL people when their accounts seem crazy (CRAZY purchases like medicine. and gas.  oh the humanity.) has been trumped by the idiotically irrational and yet impressively big business-y choice of just declining cards. i’ll be trying my card tomorrow, and if it doesn’t work, i’ll be shopping for a new credit card company.

or just yelling about it on the blog.

either way, good times for you.


Posted in etcetera, friends, grrrrr., holy smartness batman, the joys of living in Florida on May 1, 2008 by drbolte

went to the beach today.

hilarity ensued.

and burning.  stupid burning.

behold my stupidity:

you’re going to think…no, those most be shadows.  what IS that on her feet and why does it start so abruptly at her ankles?

that’s sunburn, kids, and the reason is because i put the SPF 30 on (well…not well enough on the back of my legs…did i mention OW?) but apparently thought the white whiteness of the tops of my feet were immune.

because clearly my brain has shut off entirely.


pardon me while i stop blogging and flip over onto my stomach (way hard to blog that way, i would imagine).  any sunburn remedies?  i’ve tried the vinegar (i smell like a salad), took a hot shower (not very bad at all, actually), and am putting aloe on it.  but really?

owwws.  and worse? it’s all my own stupid fault.

but it was SO much fun.  i love florida.


Posted in blogging, books are bliss, dissertation, drama drama drama, faith is action, ghetto life, holy smartness batman, i hate vegetables, i'm so much cooler online, my amazing mother, perfect brightness of hope, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, teaching, TV and me are pals on March 5, 2008 by drbolte

point 1:

26,973 conferences with students left. they’re actually not as bad as i thought they would be, possibly because students actually have done what i asked them to do (for the most part) and come prepared with questions and at least part of a draft. maybe it’s also because i am feeling fairly forgiving, during this midterm week, of those who aren’t as prepared as others. who knows?

and as i’m sitting here, blogging inbetween most of my appointments, i realized that i am literally like a doctor. (i know…you’re like DUH. a literature professor is a doctor. we get it. don’t beat that dead horse.) no, i mean a medical doctor. i was listening to one of my students talk about her paper, and about the trouble that she was having with it, and i realized…i am diagnosing writing diseases, writing ailments, that infect the whole composition and then prescribing remedies.

i am a doctor! hooray for me!

point 2:

hunger but the appearance of a sparse cabinet. i haven’t any idea whatsoever what to eat. this is not a “i should eat healthy–what am i going to eat?” situation. i was considering eating deep fried wontons stuffed with cream cheese yesterday. i don’t care at all right now. yet, i am poor enough to not consider eating out every day until saturday, when i go back home to chill with mom, but i am lazy enough/internally stressed enough that i don’t want to try to be creative in my “what can i whip up out of macaroni and a package of hot chocolate” delusions of grandeur. it’s not really that bad, but with three people’s food everywhere, i honestly forget sometimes what i have and what i don’t have. i fear this may mean eating…well…not well for this week, which is i think exactly the opposite of what i need to be doing.

point 3:

one lesson plan to do. that one i think will be cake. oh dear. did i just really say that? oh bleak house, how i love thee. how bleak house, how i wish that you were written by a woman writer so i could include you in my dissertation since i just got a brilliant idea yesterday while sitting in class. oh bleak house, how you mock me with your 1000 pages and yet make me feel so very accomplished to have not only read you twice but taught you successfully once. now to wrap you up in a tidy package that engages issues of victorian crisis of confidence. that’s the task, you see. it’s so easy to just talk about the crazy characters for weeks. now? now i must make meaning out of it! it’s a task that makes me think of the lady in the water kid who reads cereal boxes. you know, it’s important, but it’s a little bit ridiculous at times too.

i am almost a doctor. yay for me. sigh.

point 4:

how i feel. i can’t describe it. i tried for my mom who, poor soul, is actually worried about ME rather than herself (i think that she would find some reason to be worried about me, because it keeps her thinking about things other than herself and i TOTALLY understand that, but i was legitimately so tired and worn out and stressed out this weekend that i understand why she would be…i was a little bit worried about me myself). the best i could do was to describe it as when there are so many things going on and you can’t quite get a handle on any of them–there’s just too much. so, instead, you sort of disengage and proceed on, feeling a little like a disembodied head floating around. that’s how i feel. it’s WEIRD, i don’t like it, and i don’t know why it is. my mind is working, working, working all of the time…but on what? it’s not as if i’ve achieved anything. instead, i feel like things are slipping through the cracks (although i actually am on top of most everything, thanks to the power of prayer and the Spirit bringing all things to my remembrance). i feel disconnected to most things that, i guess, seem unimportant to me. but i also feel TOO connected to things that are completely unimportant–twizzlers, stupid people and their stupid lives, sleeping too much, TV. i guess i feel pretty much like i’m running on empty and i’m doing whatever it is that i need to do, whatever occurs to me, to make the engine keep going just a little bit longer.

and i’m taking airborne, on the off chance that this “running on empty” feeling actually is, in fact, me running on immune-system empty.

point 5:

is it friday yet?!? please? pretty please?
point 6:

the people on facebook sort of scare me. i mean, i’m on facebook. i love facebook most days. i have something like 4300+ wall posts in the two years that i’ve been on there (yeah…i’m sickly proud). but now everybody’s on it (oh…days when it was only the college students, where art thou?) and there are five million applications and people use it as a therapy mechanism. listen. i have a blog. i love my blog. i speak honestly on my blog, but i understand that a) i am not really as anonymous on here as i think since people that i know and love read it and 2) it’s nevertheless completely separate from my real life and i’m not forcing anybody to read it, so i can say what i want and whine if i need to.

sometimes…people on facebook forget that i know them. i know what they’re talking about. and if they want to, say, be 12 year old girls about stuff and fight with their friends via their status updates i will, in fact, think that they are being 12 year old girls when they are…not. or if you post that picture that makes you look crazy, i’m going to think you’re crazy. or if you post albums full of you taking pictures of yourself (hey…i’ve done it…glorious photobooth inauguration), i’m going to think you’re really that bored or vain. facebook sucks you in, makes you think that you have a supportive community when, really, what you have is essentially a room full of people trying to look good themselves and thinking about/talking to themselves and their friends and their inside plans/jokes. so…please stop whining in your status updates. i’m working hard not to do it myself because, honestly, nobody really needs to hear it. or, if you’re going to whine, please at least do it creatively, okay?

point 7:

how cool is it when you get a dissertation idea from talking about a passage of poetry with a student? SO cool.

how much does it suck that it’s out of my period and i’ll have to put it in my epilogue? SO much.

how awesome is it that i even GOT an idea for my dissertation? SO awesome.

how many questions can i write in this way? SO many.

how much do you wish this post was over?

yeah, me too.

i bow at the feet of the velveteen mind

Posted in blogging, friends, holy smartness batman, Life on October 25, 2007 by drbolte

Please read this.

You won’t regret it.


Posted in etcetera, hilarity, holy smartness batman, you have to be a chick to understand on August 15, 2007 by drbolte

“I would eat a bird dipped in sugar if you gave it to me.”

Sadly, someone overheard ME say this. 


I’m occasionally called eloquent, I promise. 

(And, although disgusting, this is probably true of me tonight.)