November 16th, 2009
In the last few months, I’ve:
- clawed my way onto the Island Itself,
- moved house,
- finished two gigantic book-editing projects and a handful of other gigs,
- comprehensively overhauled my academic plans,
- similarly reshuffled my professional life,
- been quite ill,
- gotten much better,
- married off two dear friends,
- started the most intense and expansive project I’ve ever done for money,
- sort-of learned to cook, live, and host visitors in an apartment the size of a creme egg, and
- obtained sufficient shelf space for the NYC branch of my personal library.
Something I haven’t done is write here on or the Hope Mirrlees site. Or much at all, outside academic work and work-work. A part of that is the reality of cognitive side-effects of medication that left me without a functional short-term memory and devastated my vocabulary and my ability to string together simple sentences. That’s behind me, for the most part—I’m back to my usual spoonerisms and faux-Oxonian spaciness, but that’s to be expected as finals approach. (The fact that my academic research this semester centers on Kelly Link, Kathryn Davis, Dracula, and my favorite critical thinkers has been a huge help keeping my brain squishy, but it’ll be good to get back to my personal projects as well.)
It’s wonderful to be living in Manhattan—something I never imagined would be possible until the recession changed things so much. I loved living in Brooklyn and although our relationship was challenging and our breakup ugly, I imagine Queens and I will be friends again. But this is the New York I fell in love with as an 18-year-old kid with a big suitcase coming into Grand Central for the first time and my god, look at that ceiling. There is a machine-holiness about this place, and I don’t expect I’ll ever get over it. (Which isn’t to say I don’t miss Portland and my people there and the City of Books. I do, daily.) But there’s a lot of good here, and I look forward very much to unfurling a bit as Things continue to ease up.