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I Myself am Hell, Nobody's Here
House Fan Fiction by sy dedalus
So the haphazard end-of-season arc featuring the House-Wilson-Amber triangle and a new turn in the House-Cuddy dynamic has got me writing again. Two short finished fics so far which are linked below. I'm working on a longer one that I'll post here as I write it, though it's not in 'publishable' shape. I'd love comments on it. :)

Finished Material:
Cuddy's Shoes
A scene fill in for "House's Head." I wanted to explore the new House-Cuddy dynamic while waiting for "Wilson's Heart" to air. I didn't do much exploring. It's a run-of-the-mill piece, but I like it well enough. With some editing, it could be a nice, complex study, but I'm not much on editing.

Rated K+ | 2,484 | 20 May 2008

The Living
A quick post-ep one-shot for "Wilson's Heart" which one reviewer at ff.net described as hastily written and beneath me, which is pretty well the way I feel about the second half of it. It was something I needed to write as a stopgap measure to preserve my sanity while I work on the longer piece. I like the first half but don't recommend the second half.

Rated K | 1,136 | 20 May 2008

Unfinished Material:
WakingCollapse )
state the differentials
A car radio bleats,
'Love, O careless Love....' I hear
my ill-spirit sob in each blood cell,
as if my hand were at its throat....
I myself am hell,
nobody's here--
-Robert Lowell, from "Skunk Hour"

Welcome to my fic journal/archive. All of my fics will (eventually) be posted here. Until then, click on the fic to visit it at fanfiction.net.

I have a few different ways of organizing these fics for you. The first is complete/incomplete by length. The second is by pairing.

To read about the content of my fics, go here.

Never read one of my fics before? I recommend:
Knowing and Doing or Worst Foot Forward if you're a House/Wilson slash type
Nothing Like the Blues to Get You Down or Five Ways Out of Hell if you're a general, multi-character, or House/Wilson friendship type

Complete (12 stories)

Long Stories (100,000+ words)
Pairing: House/vicodin; Warnings: medical realism; Spoilers: "Detox"; Words: 152,600; Date: 2/22/05-7/18/06
Summary: Originally a fill-in for "Detox," this story grew and grew until it went post-"Detox." The physical effects of a week of cold-turkey detoxing and Wilson's role in the episode are examined.

Medium Stories (25,000+ words)
Knowing and Doing
Pairing: House/Wilson established relationship; Warnings: medical realism, T-rated sexual references, future-oriented AU; Spoilers: none; Words: 24,046; Date: 9/23/06-5/9/07
Summary: Two years into their relationship, House's leg gets worse and they must do something. A look at addiction and enabling with a small side of futuristic science.
Pairing: House/Stacy, House/broken heart, House/drugs; Warnings: Stacy, T-rated sexual references, House-style self-destruction; Spoilers: Season 1 and 2; Words: 152,600; Date: 11/18/05-1/10/06
Summary: A series of vignettes spanning the ten or so years from pre-infarct to Season 2 focused primarily on the breakdown of House and Stacy's relationship. Some Wilson-picks-up-the-pieces, but no slash unless you're wearing your slash goggles.

Short Stories (up to 25,000 words)
An Ordinary Evening in Princeton
Pairing: House/Wilson established relationship; Warnings: slashy doings, drunken idiocy, some grossness, one M-rated chapter; Spoilers: none; Words: 9,400; Date: 06/25/07-07/05/07
Summary: House and Wilson have an evening so ordinary that they must do something, anything to end the boredom.
The Inside
Pairing: House/Wilson established relationship; Warnings: medical realism, slashy doings, AU, first-person POV; Spoilers: none; Words: 19,700; Date: 06/10/07-06/22/07
Summary: House tries to unravel a case that's haunting him while dealing with his own sudden medical problem. My first try writing first-person POV.
Judging Distance
Pairing: House/Wilson established; Warnings: medical realism, slashy doings, AU; Spoilers: none; Words: 7,700; Date: 05/16/07-06/10/07
Summary: A look at distance, when it’s needed and when it’s not, in the early days of an established relationship between House and Wilson. This is a different sort of h/c fic, though it does mine familiar territory. See "The Inside" for a follow up.
Worst Foot Forward
Pairing: House/Wilson established relationship; Warnings: medical realism, high!Wilson, exploding fish, future-oriented AU; Spoilers: none; Words: 10,500; Date: 3/6/06-3/23-06
Summary: A few months into their relationship, Wilson has an minor accident which tests House's capacity for caring about someone other than himself.
Five Ways Out of Hell
Pairing: House/self-abuse, self-hatred; Warnings: drug abuse, unsafe sex, dark themes/nihilism; Spoilers: "Need to Know"; Words: 5,567; Date: 2/12/06-2/15/06
Summary: Following the events of "Need to Know," House tries five methods for overcoming the pain of loss.
Red Sky at Morning
Pairing: House/Stacy (dysfunctional); Warnings: Stacy, sexual dysfunction, chapter 4 contains explicit sexual content (chapter 5 is a clean version of chapter 4); Spoilers: "Failure to Communicate"; Words: 8,523; Date: 1/14/06-1/16/06
Summary: Picks up immediately following the last scene of "Failure to Communicate" and offers a take on the state of House/Stacy as of that episode.
Nothing Like the Blues to Get You Down
Pairing: House/Bacardi 151; Warnings: medical realism, alcohol abuse; Spoilers: "Acceptance"; Words: 10,286; Date: 9/16/05-9/24/05
Summary: A scene-fill for "Acceptance" which looks at the consequences of House's drinking with Clarence.

One-Shots (not chaptered)
Rosh Hashanah
Pairing: House/Wilson friendship; Warnings: none; Spoilers: none; Words: 790; Date: 4/25/07
Summary: Wilson reflects on Rosh Hashanah; House bothers him. A short take on their friendship. Can be read with slash goggles.
Pairing: House//Wilson established relationship; Warnings: M-rated sexual content; Spoilers: none; Words: 844; Date: 4/25/07
Summary: Pre-smut. Wilson returns from a conference to an impatient and horny House.
Guitars and Video Games
Pairing: House/introspection; Warnings: introspection, morphine use; Spoilers: none, but takes place between "Who's Your Daddy" and "No Reason"; Words: 1,323; Date: 2/22/05 - 7/18/06
Summary: During his pre-"No Reason" morphine days, House takes a moment to consider a few of the small changes he's encountered since the infarction.
The Better Man
Pairing: House/ego; Warnings: none; Spoilers: "The Honeymoon";
Words: 2,544; Date: 10/3/05
Summary: House sneaks into Mark Warner's room to see who really is the better man.
Pairing: House/Wilson first time; Warnings: egregious fluff; Spoilers: none;
Words: 459; Date: 4/16/06
Summary: Peeps, religion, and a surprise.

Incomplete (6 stories)

Long Stories (100,000+ words)

Some Days Are Worse Than Others
Pairing: House/broken heart; Warnings: medical realism, attempted suicide, House-torture; Spoilers: "The Honeymoon";
Words: 124,944 ; Date:
Summary: Based on the original ending of "The Honeymoon" leaked a month before the episode aired. House gets suicidal over Stacy. We go from there.
Of a Thursday
Pairing: House/Stacy; Warnings: Stacy, medical realism; Spoilers: "Three Stories"; Words: 88,162; Date:
Summary: The infarction: pre-, during, and post-. Focus on the medical aspects and the breakdown of House and Stacy's relationship. Wilson and Cuddy make appearances.

Medium Stories (25,000+ words)
The Perils of Coming Home Early

Pairing: House/Wilson first time; Warnings: Rated M for explicit sexual content; also contains fluff and not-so-realistic portrayals of male-male intercourse; Spoilers: "Love Hurts"; Words: 42,115; Date:
Summary: After his date with Cameron in "Love Hurts," House comes home to find Wilson waiting for him. We go from there.

Short Stories (up to 25,000 words)
Alphabet Soup for Passover

Pairing: House/Wilson established relationship; Warnings: future-oriented AU; Spoilers: none; Words: 3,956; Date:
Summary: House and Wilson visit Wilson's parents for Passover.

My Life in Drugs
Pairing: House/drugs; Warnings: drug use, drug abuse; Spoilers: none; Words: 11,063 ; Date:
Summary: House's various experiences with drugs over the years. Not written in first person, despite the title.

What Folly Reason, What Folly Hope
Pairing: House/ketamine; Warnings: medical realism; Spoilers: "No Reason"; Words: 17,736; Date:
Summary: A post-"No Reason" story begun during the summer between Seasons 2 and 3.

That's all of them.

Now here they are according to pairing.

House/Wilson established relationship AU
An Ordinary Evening in Princeton (short, T, one M chapter)
The Inside (short-medium, T)
Judging Distance (short, T)
Worst Foot Forward (short, T)
Knowing and Doing (medium, T)
Alphabet Soup for Passover (short, incomplete, T)
Rosh Hashanah
(one-shot, T)
Conference (one-shot, T)

House/Wilson other
The Perils of Coming Home Early (medium, M/NC-17)
Lent (one-shot, T)

Of a Thursday (long, T)
Hiding (medium, T)
Red Sky at Morning (short, T)

House/drugs, broken heart, self-hatred, introspection
Intervention (long, T)
Some Days Are Worse Than Others (long, T)
Nothing Like the Blues to Get You Down (short, T)
Five Ways Out of Hell (short, T)
My Life in Drugs (short, T)
Guitars and Video Games (one-shot, T)
What Folly Reason, What Folly Hope (short, T)
The Better Man (one-shot, T)
1 differential(s) or state the differentials
My fics always focus on House or Wilson--House more often than Wilson, and both of them more often than one of them. Some of the fics are slash, some are strong friendship. Only one is rated M/NC-17 for sexual content. I like to include Cuddy as a tertiary character but I rarely write Chase, Cameron, or Foreman.

My fics also almost always include a mix of medical realism, hurt/comfort (which is never resolved with sex, I promise you), serious drug dependence (and sometimes abuse), and an existentialist/House-oriented world view. Psychological self-abuse shows up fairly often, generally on Wilson's part, and physical self-abuse occurs somewhat regularly with House.

My favorite moments in any fic are the quiet moments between characters when most of the communication is non-verbal; I hope that the best parts of my stories are those quiet moments.

In one of his books, Kurt Vonnegut gave each of his prior novels a letter grade. Seems fun, so I'll do the same.

Intervention B-
             Okay for a first fic, but much longer than it should be.
Some Days are Worse Than Others B/B+
             The slow beginning really hurts it, but it has some nice moments.
Of a Thursday B
             Great potential which has not yet been fully realized. Also a little too fluffy at times.
The Perils of Coming Home Early C-
             Unrealistic portrayal of male/male anal intercourse; definitely too fluffy.
Nothing Like the Blues to Get You Down A
             This one captures the mood and the moment in a compact manner.
The Better Man C
             Believable but extraneous.
Hiding B
             The lack of an organizing structure negatively impacts the strong moments.
Red Sky at Morning A
             The goal: utter anguish, longing, and inner confusion. Goal achieved.
Five Ways Out of Hell A
             The goal: to demonstrate House's self-hatred. Goal achieved.
Worst Foot Forward A+
             The tension between humor and drama plays out perfectly. This is my first really successful story.
Lent D
             Saccharine crap. Fine if you like that sort of thing, but I don't.
Guitars and Video Games B
             Decent for a House-reflects-on-part-of-his-life one shot, but nothing more than decent.
What Folly Reason, What Folly Hope C-
             Could be better if I ever finish it. It didn't live up to its potential.
My Life in Drugs B
             Decent for an unfinished piece. As with "Hiding," the lack of an organizing structure will hurt it.
Conference C
             Dead-on average for a lust one-shot.
Rosh Hashanah B+
             It forms a quiet, delicate tableaux. However, it may not be as realistic as it could be.
Knowing and Doing B+
             Aside from the pacing and the loose threads, this story also succeeds. One could argue that the ending is a cop-out, though.
Alphabet Soup for Passover C+
             Hasn't lived up to its potential yet.
Judging Distance B/B+
             I never got a good handle on the voice and pacing in this one, but I like its quiet moments.
The Inside A-
             As an experiment in writing first-person POV, it's fairly successful, but it remains somewhat unwieldy.
Meeting F-
             Throw a dart at ff.net and you'll get something like this. I should delete it. Actually, I should be shot for posting it at all.
An Ordinary Evening in Princeton B+
             Proof that studying for exams over the summer really got to me. Unbalanced but fun to write.

state the differentials
So from my last entry in which I was lead to read again about Ashbery, I must again profess my love for Ashbery. Why? Largely because he writes lines I'm most intensely jealous of, wishing that I had written them. They are fresh and beautiful and utterly convincing, coming as they do amid great heaps of nonsense linguistic play. He mixes some deep-seeming philsophical moment with the telephone ringing - because the telephone always does ring: we are constantly interrupted, as he says so nicely in one of my all-time favorite poems of his, "Around the Rough and Rugged Rocks the Ragged Rascal Rudely Ran" (what a title!):

I think a lot about it
Think quite a lot about it --
The omnipresent possibility of being interrupted
While what I stand for is still almost a bare canvas:
A few traceries, that may be fibers, perhaps
Not even these but shadows, hallucinations...

This poem has spoken to me for years and years. (Oh, how Ashbery puzzled me when I was 16, 17 years old.) I keep coming back to it because it's so right. It's such a bare, succint moment about the anxiety of death, that final interruption. Not finishing life's work, being cut off unfairly from the attempt - this stanza most clearly embodies why Ashbery puts out almost one book per year now, and has been keeping up that pace for about a decade. But what I love about this poem and about Ashbery is that he doesn't stop at the anxiety of death, as many poets would. Instead, he goes on:

And it is well then to recall
That this track is the outer rim of a flat crust,
Dimensionless, except for its, poor, parched surface,
The face one raises to God,
Not the rich dark composite
We keep to ourselves,
Carpentered together any old way,
Coffee from an old tin can, a belch of daylight,
People leaving the beach.
If I could write it
And also write about it --
The interruption --
Rudeness on the face of it, but who
Knows anything about our behavior?

I have to pause and simply adore the humanity in this stanza. That we keep "the rich dark composite" to ourselves, the depth of self, and give the surface to God or anyone else. That the composite is made of any old thing - coffee from the old can, a bit of daylight, people on the beach: the memories, objects, and presence of which life is comprized. That this life is a patchwork so varied that any writing of it must contain the tin can as well as "the face one raises to God" (love that line so much), as well as what is added at every moment, the way life keeps building itself always, constantly - to contain it is nearly impossible. Ashbery comes closest of any writer to putting down all of life on paper. He does not discriminate. Not even against the interruption which forestalls life and the writing of life, seemingly rude "but who / Knows anything about our behavior?" There - that last line of this stanza - that is a typical Ashbery moment: a question so commonplace as to border on cliche which draws such resonance from the lines he's used to build to the moment of that line. A tolerant smile at the excuse. Because interruption is life too, and though they appear rude, interruptions (driven here by other people) can be well-intentioned. And often as not, Ashbery can make good use of them.

Now we come to the last stanza where we have prescriptive Ashbery writing in the imperative - as much, one thinks, to himself as to anyone reading. Because I don't believe his poetry is ever didactic, even if one can learn so much from it.

Forget what it is you're coming out of,
Always into something like a landscape
Where no one has ever walked
Because they're too busy.
Excitedly you open you rhyming dictionary.
It has begun to snow.

That last line intrigues me because it is such an abberation in what is otherwise a fairly straight-forward stanza. I take it as not only a change of conditions, something new, but also as an affirmation that life continues despite the interruption. And I love this line because it always, always reminds me of a favorite line from Wallace Stevens: "It was evening all afternoon / It was snowing and it was going to snow" (I never get the line breaks right - it's three lines total; from "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"). I love the inevitability of continuance in the Stevens lines: life breathes about us still, despite our not always taking notice. Never mind how clearly "It was evening all afternoon" captures the sky on a snowy day, or how the future seems to overtake the present.

To return to the Ashbery poem, it has only just occurred to me that the title bears a great resemblance to Dante's mountain in the Purgatorio. That is, I always imagine the ragged rascal running round and round the rough and rugged rocks of a mountain - not only round and round, but up and up, as one does the mountain of purgatory. But this reading implies that one is getting somewhere; to heaven in Dante's case. I don't believe that is what Ashbery has in mind. Rather, more like a track or an orbit - treading over and over the same path each year that is always, because of the dimension of time, changing.

And I love this poem because I love the way Ashbery reads it. One should always, if one can, listen to poets reading their own work. (Go listen to T.S. Eliot read The Waste Land - it'll put the fear of God or anihilation in you. Whereas it's hard to take Pound seriously when he reads his work because his voice is so nasally, though listening to him read his Usura Canto is like listening to a sermon on the fires of hell: brilliant.) Ashbery reads beautifully in a voice nearly devoid of inflection: the perfect voice for a poet to whom tin cans are equal to anything else. (Yusef Komunyakaa, on the other hand, or Kevin Young who emulates Yusef's readings, is big on emphasizing the breath that goes into a line and the jar of line breaks: not surprising since he is a jazz poet and breath is so important in jazz.)

Oh, I love poetry so much. It is ecstasy. Makes me wonder why I chose to concentrate on fiction, even if I do know the answer.

I close with two of my favorite poems which are similar in content and affect. Written seventeen years apart from each other. (Ashbery ages well.)

"At North Farm"
from A Wave, 1984

Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you,
At incredible speed, traveling day and night,
Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents, through narrow passes.
But will he know where to find you,
Recognize you when he sees you,
Give you the thing he has for you?

Hardly anything grows here,
Yet the granaries are bursting with meal,
The sacks of meal piled to the rafters.
The streams run with sweetness, fattening fish;
Birds darken the sky. Is it enough
That the dish of milk is set out at night,
That we think of him sometimes,
Sometimes and always, with mixed feelings?

Such yearning in the last four lines.

"This Room"
from Your Name Here, 2001

This room I entered was a dream of this room.
Surely all those feet on the sofa were mine.
The oval portrait
of a dog was me at an early age.
Something shimmers, something is hushed up.

We had macaroni for lunch every day
except Sunday, when a small quail was induced
to be served to us. Why do I tell you these things?
You are not even here.

Such loss in these lines. The dedication "For Pierre Martory 1920-1998" in Your Name Here suggests a specific "you," but there is never a specific "you" in Ashbery. And of course, the absence of "you" does not only imply death; "you" could be in the next room - the next compartment of memory, since this is a poem primarily about memory. But how suddenly those last lines come, with all their weight. That is Ashbery's genius: making the ordinary heavy and meaningful, and thereby reinscribing meaning in throw-away statements like "Why do I tell you these things?"

I can never read these poems without reading them as if for the first time. I love, I love, I love.
4 diagnoses or state the differentials
Wow. Why didn't anyone tell me to read some of Amy Lowell's poetry before now? Pound? Williams? No. Amy Lowell is the best imagist poet. What beauty in these lines!

This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;

Let us pause on the absolute exquisiteness of this line. This is one of the most perfect lines I've ever encountered. Just in and of itself as a simple image, it does everything a line of poetry should do (in America during the Modernist period, that is). Particular to imagism, it is perfect because one cannot read it without populating the landscape oneself. Moreover, it is an immediate line that strikes one with its surface yet conjours depth through personal associations. This line is imagism. It sure beats the hell out of the wheelbarrow and the white chickens.

But she continues. (These are the opening lines.)

This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,
And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows.

Yes! The rhythm is so nice, the images so delicately crafted. And if we add the title of the poem, "September 1918," we know that these lines are not as innocent as they appear to be.

And then this - this delightful turn in the poem's middle:

Some day there will be no war,
Then I shall take out this afternoon
And turn it in my fingers,
And remark the sweet taste of it upon my palate,
And note the crisp variety of its flights of leaves.

Yes yes yes! How I miss poetry that makes me ecstatic! Where has Amy Lowell been hiding all my life?!

I won't spoil the ending - perhaps the best part - for those who are interested. Here is the full text.

And the next poem I read I will quote in full because it too is beautiful in so many ways - the level of the line, the level of the individual image, how exact each one is, the metaphor derived from each image and built as poem goes on, and the raw, horrible yearning at the end. This poem bleeds.

"The Letter"

Little cramped words scrawling all over the paper
Like draggled fly's legs,
What can you tell of the flaring moon
Through the oak leaves?
Or of my uncurtained window and the bare floor
Spattered with moonlight?
Your silly quirks and twists have nothing in them
Of blossoming hawthorns,
And this paper is dull, crisp, smooth, virgin of loveliness
Beneath my hand.

I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart against
The want of you;
Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
And I scald alone, here, under the fire
Of the great moon.

Umph, makes me wish poetry was my specialty rather than fiction.

I had taken her off of my list. For shame. Back on it she goes.

In the course, still, of reading my friend's exams list (for which I just encountered Amy Lowell), I also re-read E.A. Robinson, whom I had not read since 11th grade English. I was very much impressed by him.

Take these lines from "Mr. Flood's Party":

There was not much that was ahead of him,
And there was nothing in the town below--
Where strangers would have shut the many doors
That many friends had opened long ago.

But even better, these two from "Luke Havergal":

God slays Himself with every leaf that flies,
And hell is more than half of paradise.

I understand the first and love what it means, but the second's meaning still eludes me.

Then there's these two, which I adore for the image and because it's so damn depressing and thereby indicative of Robinson's naturalism:

Or like a stairway to the sea
Where down the blind are driven.

(from "Eros Turannos")

Oh, how I love 20th century American poetry. My favorite!
state the differentials
From the time I knew I wanted to go to grad school to study 20th C. American lit, I was told 'you must take Spanish!' My response was always, no, I'd rather take German. I think German literature and philosophy was more influential on the 20th century than Spanish lit and philosophy was. They always said, well, your funeral.

Now that I'm reading this long 20th century, I have a tally of German/Spanish I've come across in it:

Dreiser - not finished yet, no German so far, but Minnie's husband is Swedish
DuBois - German epigraphs (mostly Schiller) and he occasionally quotes German in the text; no Spanish (nor any other languages except English and some Latin)
Masters - I don't recall any languages other than Engilsh, except for some Latin
Johnson - some French, as part of the book takes place in Paris; the protagonist goes to Germany, too, but I don't recall any German; no Spanish
Sinclair - this is an odd case because Jurgis, the main character, is Lithuanian and speaks no English at the opening of the book; Sinclair is careful to put some Lithuanian in the book; I don't recall any German, but Jurgis knows immigrants from all over north-eastern Europe, including Germany - and, Spanish immigrants in the Chicago stockyards in 1904? nein
Stein - Stein herself was half German and grew up speaking a mix of German and English; the Good Anna is German and speaks German-inflected English, but I don't recall any actual German words; not finished yet, but I doubt there's any Spanish to be found in this one
Anderson - some Latin I think; possibly some German as it takes place in northern Ohio; definitely no Spanish
Toomer - don't recall anything but English, though most of this book is written in Southern American, which is something of its own language
Lewis - Dr. Kennicott speaks a mix of German and English to the immigrant farmers who live outside Gopher Prarie; no Spanish (Spanish settlers in rural Minnesota in 1920?)
Robinson - haven't read it yet, but I'm doubtful
Frost - not reread yet, but I don't remember any of this work containing anything but English
Cather - Cather is the most "western" author of the American modernists and in her Nebraska setting she has many immigrants from Germany, Scandinavia, Russia, and, in this novel, Bohemia; Antonia, the title character, is Bohemian and speaks little English when she arrives on the prairie; I don't recall any German words, but again, not many Spanish settlers in Nebraska in 1915
Hemingway - ah, here we do get some Spanish because the climax of The Sun Also Rises takes place in Pamplona...and yet there is more French than Spanish and even a little German in this book

So that's lots of notches for German and only one notch for Spanish among the modernists.

I get why people keep telling me Spanish is key. They're thinking about the period from 1960+ when Latino/as began writing literature in America. And they're right, this work does fall under the rubric of 20th C. American lit. But the problem with that is that Latin American literature is most often taught -as- Latin American literature, solely, in a Latin American literature class. Otherwise, contemporary American fiction is not taught much. And honestly, the influence of Hegel, Goethe, Nietzsche, Marx, Kafka, Brecht, and Schiller is so much greater than that of a Borges or a Neruda. As these books I've been reading demonstrate, there wasn't a Spanish presence in the US until the mid-century, and even then it took a while getting into literature, whereas America -was- its German, Scandinavian, Polish, and Irish immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century. And the only way Spanish got on the list I have right now is because Hemingway -went- to Spain.

So, that's my rant on why I chose to take German when everyone told me to take Spanish. I've been very surprised at how large the German influence has been in these books I've been reading. Just to say...
state the differentials
It's time for more pictures of Binx. Binx's former boyfriend, Wilson, has been out and about quite often lately, meowing at the window. "Binx, there's Wilson! There's Wilson!" Binx has not been too interested. The last time I let Wilson in, they fought. I guess the honeymoon is over. (Wilson is the boy next door. He "belongs" to the nice hippies, Paul and Sally, who feed him a diet of raw meat for reasons that don't make sense to me.) But Binx does sometimes see Wilson. Here are the boys together at the window from a few days ago.

Binx really is that much bigger than Wilson. He's gimungous.

Wilson is very photogenic. He's a sweet kitty.

This is their relationship now: Binx is aloof, Wilson wants to cuddle.

I thought Wilson was a girl kitty for a long time because he's so small. Nope. Boy kitty. I *heart* my bisexual boy. (He has a girlfriend in Louisiana. She doesn't like him very much, but he's persistent. He once clawed a chunk out of my back because I was taunting her. He ripped some serious holes in one of my favorite shirts in the process. It's the only time he's ever attacked me (I deserved it...I was trying to catch her and dunk her in the bathtub...bad pet owner, I know, since she's technically my cat - I advocated to keep her after I found her abandoned in our storage room around eight years ago and fought for a few days with the parents over it because, of course, I already had a cat - though she can't make the trip up here, but she just invites mischief). He loves her very much. "Loves." She growls while he mounts her. Then he looks at any human present in the room, asking 'what do I do now?' She eventually gets away unharmed, as he's neutered and she's spayed, and he always seems confused afterward. But he's persistent.)
4 diagnoses or state the differentials
More pictures of my cute cat, who has to be dumped in whatever snow comes this way. Sometimes wearing his sporty IU kitty sweater that's actually a sporty IU doggy sweater, but don't saying anything - don't want to hurt his feelings.

Snow confuses him

Snow flakes are yummy...and calorie-free

Who's first, ladies?

(Don't get discouraged, boys, Binx likes you too. But no one tops his special friend Wilson. [Yes, that really is the other cat's name.])

Awww, isn't that cute?

Isn't that cuter?
state the differentials
I really need some of this: Procrastin-X which "suppresses the brain's guilt centers, which are active during non-academic activities, letting you take back control of your life." Hey, "isn't it time you enjoyed doing nothing again?" Yeah. I miss that.

(Thanks for the ref., LA. This comic is the shiznit...it will allow me to kill a great deal of valuable working time which I shall later feel guilty about killing. C'est la vie.)
2 diagnoses or state the differentials

I feel very loved. My students don't do nice things like this for me. Clearly I'm devoting my energies to the wrong group of people.

Thanks Taru, Benj, and everyone else! Redoubling the fic energies...wait for it...NOW! ;)

state the differentials