Roseanne and J. Alfred Prufrock

At this point, your guess about why I am up at 4 AM watching reruns of Roseanne is as good as mine. I suppose there are worse things I could be doing right now than watching Darlene and Becky banter across the old brown couch. I forgot how funny the early episodes are, and I forgot how much they remind me of my family. Before the show started taking itself so seriously and before Tom Arnold came into the picture, it was a beautiful simply complex portrayal of blue-collar life in Lansford, a town not unlike Hartford City.

I am watching an early episode in which Jackie and Booker start dating. Most of the episode is filmed in a bowling alley, and the subplot is Becky’s first rendezvous with Chip. I remember why I love Darlene (Sara Gilbert). I think I might have wished she lived in Hartford City.  I look back now and think that she reminds me of my friend, Tisha: sarcastic, smart, and a little feisty. My life is better for knowing Tish.

I woke up at 3 AM—I laid in the bed for about 45 minutes before I gave in and finally got up—in order to begin memorizing “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” I am sure Bec will be thrilled that I am trying to memorize another poem. I think she got her fill of “A Supermarket in California.” I can’t imagine I woke up so early for T.S. Eliot, although the beauty of the poem does not escape me. Here is the opening, a loose interpretation of a sonnet:

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats 5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question … 10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

I am sure my early morning can be attributed to the stress of the coming two weeks. Or the stress of the next few months. I am take my comprehensive exams in August. While I realized they were looming around the corner like a teenage tranny at RuPaul’s dressing room door, making my book list and going over it with Debbie yesterday really hammered it home. I have six months to prepare for the biggest test of my life. And I have to pass it.

Because I have to break up my serious study time into small chunks, I tend to spend a lot of time stumbling around on the Internet. I have decided to stop calling it procrastinating, because I have learned some interesting facts and been able to find some helpful websites during these mini-breaks. I found this site last night. I couldn’t resist reading some of the other posts on the blog, but the one I originally stumbled onto was the best. This morning I found this: F*** My Life. You, the viewer, actually get to vote: does the person’s life really suck or did they deserve what happened? Genius.

It’s now 4:44 and the episode that’s on—Dan wants to get a family photo to send into their high school reunion committee and it just so happened that when he and Roseanne broke up for a week their senior year, he slept with the woman who is organizing the reunion—reminds me of how I feel about high school reunions: they are a mechanism by which some people reassure themselves that their lives turned out better than others. I am not sure this is how reunions function for my class. Maybe I am naive. Maybe when I finally get my PhD, I will go back to a reunion. Maybe I won’t.

I had a couple of good beers last night with my delicious chicken etouffee.  The first one was an oldie but goody: Skullsplitter Scotch Ale. I am finding that I really love Scotch Ales. They have some body and nice complex taste. I also had a nice Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Usually, okay sometimes, Chocolate Stouts are too sweet, but this one was particularly tasty with some nice coffee undertones. Brooklyn’s was the chocolate equivalent of Breckenridge’s Vanilla Porter.  I would drink it again. And again with HomeMade Peppermint Chip Ice Cream.

Maybe I am awake so early today because I am excited to get Minerva out of the garage, give her a bath, fill her up, check her tire pressure, and ride her all over the countryside. I mean I can’t go too far today, but I a girl can dream (funny Freudian slip I accidentally typed cream to begin with). I have until one o’clock when I am supposed to meet Julie at the Blue Bottle for coffee. Maybe I can talk her into beer at the Heorot.

Adult swim is really weird at 5 AM. Is it idiotic or genius? Frequently, the line is very fine, like one pixel fine.  And, I think Drew’s cat pooped over by the fish tank again. This is why I don’t get up early as a rule. This is why I am glad we are going to pull up this carpet this summer.

Oh, and I cut my hair last night.

Also this.

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3 responses to “Roseanne and J. Alfred Prufrock

  1. Multiple comments:
    -I loved Roseanne in the beginning but hated it once they started having frequent vistors to the island. (I’ll explain that if you need me to.)
    -I’m glad you are memorizing poems. Are you doing it for your own enjoyment or are you doing it to be able to quote on comps? I will never regret memorizing chunks of stuff to be able to quote on comps. I’m certain that the rest of what I wrote was nonsense but because I could quote from all the lit I talked about it seemed like I knew what I was talking about.
    -the constant repetition of 4:44 in my life on a daily basis is starting to freak me out.
    -Last night I thought I heard you and Minerva pull up outside
    -(sigh) – that’s about your hair
    -when do we get to see you again?

  2. Multiple responses:
    1) No, I totally get that. They seemed to have so many friggin’ guest stars during that final stupid season it drove me nuts.
    2) I am really memorizing them for my own pleasure. I have memorized: “What a Woman Wants” by Kim Addonizio, “A Supermarket in Califronia” by Allen Ginsburg and I had a couple of others memorized, but I forget them. I am hoping to memorize all of Prufrock, although it is pretty long.
    3) What else has been 4:44?
    4) I wish I would have been ridig Minerva instead of being awake and laying on the couch trying to fall back to sleep.
    5) I have a mohawk.
    6) Never…hahahaha!!!! Just kidding, but it may be a while!

  3. Only two poems I have ever memorized are the “To be or not to be” speech from Hamlet (had to do it as an assignment, and, 12 years later, still remember it word for word) and Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” (memorized it by choice0 which is a great one to recite when you’re having a pity party. With that said, I have zero desire to memorize Prufrock. I’ll quiz you on your progress when we get back from break.

    P.S. I completely walked out of class on Thursday without giving you cash for the coffee. My memory failed me. I’ll be sure to give it to you the next time I see you. Hey, if you get Prufrock memorized, I’ll reward your efforts by buying you a coffee. 🙂

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