Thursday, April 29, 2010

Come on, Universe. Please?

Currently the skies are as cerulean blue as I have ever seen. There isn't a cloud in sight. It is decieving; all that sunlight bouncing off of the buildings. It is also windy as hell and only about 34 degrees outside. It does not feel like spring in the slightest. Even the snow storm last night felt like a winter storm, not a "spring storm." And the 16 inches (16 INCHES!!!) that fell on Friday definitely didn't feel like a spring storm. As ridiculous as this sounds, it is hard not to start to feel hopeless.


A. will be packing tonight for a 9-day turkey hunt. He has been looking forward to this for months. He put in for vacation time months ago, and has been obsessively studying maps and videos since. He has even taught me how to purr and cluck like a turkey hen (using a slate thingy and a stick, not my voice! Gah.) Every morning for, oh, the last six weeks or so I have awoken to the calls of a turkey hen. He hops out of bed, ready to read more about turkeys until he can't take it anymore and he has to practice his calls. This is how I wake up. Every. Morning.

I must say, I have been a really good sport about it. While this behavior inches me closer to the edge, it is what has kept A. sane. It makes him happy and relaxed to have something to study and a hunt with which to look forward. He is so excited -- so relieved -- to leave the job he hates for a week and spend that time in country he is less familiar with than his traditional haunts. He can't wait to go to sleep under the stars and wake up quietly at dawn. He needs to fill his lungs with fresh air and empty his head of the annoyances of interacting with people all day.

This is his therapy. I may blather on to a patient woman in a small but tasteful office once a week, but he needs to go outside and not talk to anyone for a while. This is his balm to a life he is not too happy with right now. He really, really needs this week in the wilderness.


A. has been applying to jobs for just over a year now. He has received two interviews, a few rejection letters and more often than not, inconsiderate silence from the parties on the other end. For him, it has felt like a year of being told he isn't good enough. That working his way through college and graduate school was an utter waste of time. That he will never live the life he wants. That the little bit he is asking from the Universe is still more than he deserves. That his working toward a goal was foolish nonsense. That he has been duped.

This isn't true, of course. But hoo boy, Ii think it is hard for him. He can only hear that it isn't him, it's the job market so many times, you know? He can only leave the house to go to a job he loathes without any prospects in sight so many days. The process of putting himself out there at the mercy of a shitty economy has been dehumanizing and cruel.

It doesn't matter that others are going through the same thing. It is especially hard for me when a friend gets a promotion or a job they have been hoping for. A. is so kind, he only ever says that he is happy things worked out for them. He never lets himself say (or even think?? I don't know.) that he wishes it was him, just that once, that was delivering some good news.He is so generous and kind. He is so smart and perceptive. He is passionate about conservation smart land management. He would be such an asset to an agency. Why can't they see that?

He needs to be in the wilderness for a while.


The weather forecast for the entirety of A.'s hunt has been getting shittier and shittier. It is going to be cold, windy, rainy and snowing. Turkeys tend to shut up during weather such as this, making it nearly impossible to find them, much less lure them in with calling.

I am so nervous about his trip. The last thing he needs right now is for this trip to be a miserable bust. Plus, it makes me all sorts of uncomfortable to think he might be wet and cold for days on end. We just bought a new tent, as ours was destroyed by the shitty weather in his elk hunt that went bust. So at least he will have a comfy, roomy tent. But still.  I hope that just being out there will do him some good, but damn, it would be great if things went his way for a bit.

Now, don't get me wrong. He is not moping around the house, nor do I think he is spiraling into a depression. He does a great job of finding ways to keep himself happy and he tries not to dwell on the negative. But he is very discouraged when it comes to finding a job in his field. He is still funny and still laughs and is kind. But I can see how this weighs on him, and it is really breaking my heart. What can I do?

I want so badly to go have a talk with The Universe and say, "Hey. This is a good guy. Why are you being such a dick to him?"

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Five

1.  I got my stitches taken out this morning. Now I look like my eyebrow has been chewed on, but for the most part it looks and feels great. I don't think the scar will be too noticeable, and I am less concerned about it than I thought I would be. I never once freaked out about the stitches. Major victory in battling The Crazy!

2. I found this awesome, Hippie Approved coffee "sweetener." It is agave nectar flavored with organic vanilla beans. It is delicious and low glycemic. It took some fiddling to figure out how much to use in my coffee this morning, but I am here to tell you I am happily caffinated.

3. It is snowing here again. We woke up to not quite two inches of very heavy snow, and are continuing to be buried under wet, large flakes. We are under a Winter Weather Advisory, and are expected to get seven inches with 40 MPH winds.

4. Please tell me what Spring is like. In detail. And send pictures. Thanks.

5. I still have not purchased anything with the bit of birthday cash I received in February.  I am not much for shopping. Especially for myself.

So. What should I get? If I don't purchase something soon I am just going to toss that money on top of a car payment or something. I doubt that is what the generous gift-givers had intended. So.

I have been slightly obsessed with getting a Clarisonic Mia every since Slynnro talked about her full-sized gizmo. I would really love not to have pores like my mother. I love my late mother to no end, but I still do not want to inherit her skin. But, I feel totally ridiculous spending that much money on something for my face. My SCARRED face! My goodness.

But, I would kind of like an iPod Nano, too. I think. I hate buying another Apple thing that is going to trap me into only Apple software, etc. etc. I currently have a 7-year-old G4 Powerbook. It still works. It is slow compared to computers now, but it absolutely still works perfectly.

But the operating system is this [--] much to old for ANY contemporary software or components to work with it. So frustrating. And of course, everything I used on that Mac is not compatible with our Windows 7 machine. I don't know if adding a Nano to the mix will just send me over the edge of Computer Bullshit.

Or, maybe a pair of Chaco sandals? A comfy pair just for running around in, not for fly fishing.

Or - maybe a sewing machine? I would loooove to learn to sew, and already have a bazillion projects in mind. But what if this ends up being a hobby that never goes anywhere? 

I don't want a Kindle, mostly because I am trying to get all of my books from libraries.

Help me brainstorm some "fun" things to think about getting. Not just practical stuff.

Happy Friday to you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Five

1. This morning I hopped out of bed with loads of plans and motivation. I was going to make yummy oatmeal with a bit of brown sugar, raspberries, and apricots, then bring the recycling to town, haul ass on some final projects at work and call it a day.

Instead, I took one step in the shower and proceeded to ever-so-gracefully fall. Hard. I had one leg hanging out of the tub. I tried catch my fall with my hands, but they were mysteriously totally ineffective. I stopped my fall with my left eyebrow on the edge of the tub.

I had used an olive oil sugar scrub the night before and forgot to rinse out the tub. Let that be a lesson to you. Don't forget to rinse OIL off the floor of your slipper TUB. Jesus, I feel like an idiot.

2. I sort of kicked ass, though, for being such a dumb ass. Once I realized I'd split my face open (!!!) I turned toward the shower, gingerly held the wound open and rinsed it really well. SUCKED.

3. I have 8 stitches. Eight! So far, I have not freaked out. I didn't have an anxiety episode when they gave me the numbing shots or the stitches, either. Yay for crazy meds!

4. I meditated during the whole procedure. Cooky as shit, sure. But it totally helped me keep my shit together.

5. I am off to get some Tylenol and take a nap.

Happy Friday to you!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Up and Down

The Mountain Bluebirds are back!!!!!!

Oh, Winter. Your grip on us has finally been broken. That said, I would appreciate it if you went easy on us during the upcoming snow storm, okay?


I am reeeeeeeaaaaaally missing DC right now. So freakin' much.


So. You know how I've been waiting for my IRB approval letter? Since February?

MY ADVISOR HAS HAD IT SINCE FEBRUARY 23. He received my copy as well as a copy for his files - ADDRESSED TO HIM.

I only know this because I called and pestered the administrative assistant in the Research office until she tracked down what was going on with my letter. She sent me a scanned copy within five minutes.

TWICE I had mentioned to my advisor that I was waiting for this letter. It was the SOLE SUBJECT of one of the emails.



Have a good Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Twilight Zone

I had the most disturbing, vivid dream last night. Again, it was one of those that when I woke up and fell back asleep I rejoined the dream where I left off.

I was pregnant. Twice.


Somehow I got pregnant with a second baby when I was a few months pregnant with the first. Now, it wasn't just that I was doubly pregnant that was so stressful, it was that I was pregnant at all. I really don't want children, so dreams where I HAVE to have children stress me out very, very much. (I have these dreams frequently.) To the point where I am all weepy and sad and stressed when I wake up. And for most of the day.

(How foolish will I feel if I do want a child later? Eh. Doubtful.)

(Also, nevermind how much I hate that I worry/think about this in the first place - what does it do to my feminist cred, after all: Does this make me evil? Less woman? No, no. I know it doesn't. Do I? Gah. NEVERMIND.)

Anyway. I gave birth to the first baby, a boy, in some weirdass clinic that had to close because something was broken but they let those of us who were there finish delivering. So thoughtful of them! We were all on institutional-green dentist chair-like contraptions, not hospital beds, in the same room. AWKWARD.

I delievered The Boy in about five hours, with only mild discomfort. How is that for awesome! I named him Dylan. Suddenly, Sundry was next to me and was looking for her pants so she could go home. I offered her a pair of mine that I assured her I hadn't delivered my afterbirth in. WEIRD SHIT.

Then, I had the girl. She only weighed five pounds. She was so tiny. Again, a five-hour, not-to-bad delivery. A. was just as stressed as I was about having kids but thought I kicked ass delivery them. So, it wasn't all bad.

I will spare you the many, many, many other details, including not having cribs, caseats, clothes and having to carry the babies in Ann Taylor Loft paper shopping bags. Ann Taylor to the rescue! Oh, and when the boy nursed it was like suction hell, and when the girl nursed, she kept falling asleep and I didn't know if I was supposed to wake her up. She must be hungry, yes?

Anyway. Navigating through today is much like waking up in the Twilight Zone.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Who Wouldn've Imagined Tuesday Would be Better?

Thank you for letting me freak out a bit. You guys are great. And all reminded me that yes, this is part of the process, the battle wounds I will have to show for it later.

And indeed: good enough is good enough.

UPDATE: This post over at Write to Done couldn't have been better timed.


I g-chatted with BlackSheeped last night and that pretty much made my week. My mood lifted immediately and I remembered just how wonderful my life really is.* How could it be anything other, with people like her in my life?

She sent pictures of Monk and Cab, and well. Enough said.


I had very bizarre dreams last night. It was one of those nights when I wake up from the dream, then drift right back into and continue the storyline. Eh.

Do any of you watch Medium? I do occasionally. I hadn't yesterday, or even for a few weeks. However, in my dreams I was Patricia Arquette's teenage daughter and could hear someone, or something, downstairs. I was standing in her bedroom, asking her to wake up and help me check it out. I was really worried. She was convinced she was dreaming me standing there and wouldn't get out of bed. Sure enough, some scary guy came upstairs and then there were scary "government" (wha???) people outside and it all got scary. Scary, scary. Over and over.

So, needless to say, I was pretty ready to get up this morning and push those dreams aside. And I had a great morning. Played with the pups, made A. laugh his butt off, made the bed, and had a load of laundry going before I even hopped in the shower. I love mornings like these.

A. helped me get the final ingredients ready for dinner and we tossed everything in the crockpot. I even remembered my lunch, and the carton of unopened half-n-half I have been forgetting to bring for my work coffee for over two weeks.

Apparently, a good freak out, BlackSheeped, your comments, followed by a "fuck it, I'm watching Opening Day baseball" does a woman good.

Oh, and it almost feels like spring outside! I saw loads of robins last night on the way home (but no Mountain Bluebirds yet, :-( It is so late! ). Even the little half-inch of snow we got last night has nearly all melted! The skies are blue. Spring just might show up yet.

Happy Tuesday to you!

* I haven't had my coffee yet: how would you write that sentence without it ending in "is?"

Monday, April 5, 2010

Where I Swear An Awful Lot, Thanks to the Thesis and Grad School Hell

I got feedback from Former Thesis Advisor Who Has Been Reinstated, Dammit (FTAWHBR).

It was vague-ish feedback, but enough for me to know he was unimpressed. I don't really care if he  is impressed or not. My respect for FTAWHBR within academics is waning further and further. The thing is, he made all good points. I read his comments and thought, "Oh, yeah. Duh."

I am feeling overwhelmed. On the one hand, I really want to dive back in and get moving on the changes he suggested and move forward while I am inspired by his comments and wide awake and full of energy. Before I have spent my energy on a nine-hour work day. But I can't. I still have six more hours at work. And it is a good thing I am at work, because I am soooo behind here that I need to bust ass and try and get a few priority projects of my desk.

There are no minutes of my day where I am not under the pressure of deadlines. My back is bending from the pressure.

I feel like I am fucking up everything, everywhere for no good reason. What is this all for? I am not proud of the thesis; I don't think it answers any worthwhile question. When stating my thesis (of the thesis, ha!), and then trying to answer the "So what?" question, all I can come up with is, ""  I just want to finish. Rather, I don't want to not finish. Does that make sense?


Let me share my never-fucking-ending mental dialogue:

Take a deep breath. I just need to back up, clear my head, and revise my plan. Clarify and purge anything that is getting in the way of a clear argument.

What argument? What the fuck am I doing? Do I have any goddamn clue of what I am  doing? I am such a goddamn phony. If a degree is confired upon me it just proves what a joke academia really is.

This is a learning process. That is what this is about. It is to learn how to conduct research.
In my case, it is to learn how NOT to conduct it. Jesus Christ.

I just want my life back.

I can get it back when I finish.

What if I can't finish? I have never not finished something! I have NEVER had any trouble at all with academics. I swear, I used to be an imaginative, critical thinker. I could concentrate and focus and made some pretty fucking fantastic observations, if I do say so myself.

Where did that go? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?


I am tired.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Showers. In the Solid State.

Soooooo. I have been a tad occupied by The Thesis lately. So much so, that I did not realize until a few hours ago that Easter is this Sunday. Yeah.


I turned in some sections on Tuesday. I am finishing the Intro and doing more reading while waiting to hear if I am going in the right direction.


I took last night completely off and played cards with the ladies. It was so fun, and exactly what I needed. I came in last both rounds. It was awesome.


I don't know what my officemate is listening to, but it soundd an awful lot like the theme song to the Wonder Pets. While ridiculous, this has delighted me to no end.


I am delighted I know what Wonder Pets are. I am so, so happy to have my nephew, M., in my life.

I love when he has this expression on his face. I feel the same way in the snow.


It is snowing. We woke up to six inches of snow this morning,and it is still coming down. It is a spring storm, heavy and wet. It will all be gone in a few days.

The bummer of it all is we finally could drive the car to the house two days ago. It was so sweet! No more loading the truck up, driving to the highway, parking the truck, hauling all our shit to the car, driving into town, etc. Reverse and Repeat to go home. No more!

Until today.


Stupid snow.