Welcome

to the Gilliad.

Arrr.

i did like to be beside the seaside

but my vacation has ended so that’s over now.

it was so much fun. my phone got oceaned by accident, but still, fun! also, relaxing.

i have to say, it is NOT fun being back at work. my workload keeps increasing, partly through deadlines and projects and partly through teams and meetings. my department needs to hire at least two more people, and that’s not even including a replacement for a coworker who’s retiring at the end of the year. (they won’t, of course.)

god i miss livejournal cut-tags, because that’s where i’d stuff this:

adding to the overall burden are the side hustles (school, reviewing, freelance stuff) i take on so that i can feel like i’m not trapped in my situation.
for years, my goal has been to work hard in order to gain a secure enough footing that i can afford to do stuff like have a life outside of work; i’m now realizing that this will NEVER happen and i’m starting to regret expending the effort. meanwhile, i’m rarely able to see my family (let alone start one of my own), i’ve (probably) lost all my friends by now, and, in any event, i have forgotten how to socialize. (in that case, might as well review that audiobook, what else am i going to do with myself?)
i know i need to make some changes, but i don’t have much energy left at the end of the day. typing out this blog post, for example, has about wiped me out. (no wonder i have 147 unpublished drafts lying around.) i don’t have the energy to do anything. i mustered enough to post this just in case my handful of readers think i’m dead. i’m not, just so tired it feels about the same.
i think, if i really put my fried brain to it, i could muster an email with a vague subject line and no body text. no, actually i think i could muster (maybe) an unsent draft containing some of the above, and it would take me like 3 hours of procrastinating to even get to that point. all this is by way of explanation: it’s not that i don’t want to connect, it’s that i’ve got nothing left.
i almost deleted all of this, because i thought nobody wants to hear me complain. then i thought, fuck it, everyone else shares all their nonsense online and i am, on the whole, pretty good at not broadcasting every stray thought that wanders through my brain.

ugh i already regret this post.

Examinated

I have taken my comprehensive exam. I am finished with the coursework component of my degree; only the thesis project remains.

“So, you’re done with comps. What’s next?” asked a well-meaning professor during our post-exam cocktail hour.

“I’m gonna catch up on RuPaul’s Drag Race*,” I replied. “Provided I pass the test and *cue RuPaul voice* DON’T…F*CK IT UP!

The look on her face reminded me, once again, why I am temperamentally unsuited to the academy.

*Pursuer of virtue that I (occasionally) am, I elected to skip the most recent “Roast” episode in order to study. Time well spent? I doubt it, frankly.

Anyway. I’ve got my life back! (For now.)

Things I am looking forward to:

Tidying the House!

Yes, I know, and from someone who has been known to write “CLEAN THIS!” on post-it notes and stick them to every applicable surface. (Eventually, they all curl up and fall to the floor and then people find the dust-covered notes and laugh and laugh and laugh…)

But I do appreciate a clean living space, which is something that requires time and energy to achieve. Which I now have! (Well, the time. The energy still needs to replenish.)

Writing!

Along with leisure reading, I’ve probably missed this the most. Not only was I unable to devote much/any time to scribbling stories, I even had to take a break from my beloved writing group because research papers and discussion boards are not conducive to creativity.

Some Semblance of a Social Life!

Right. UGH. I feel awful about this one. It wasn’t my intention to drop off the face of the earth for several years (!!), but that’s what happened. I could (and do) credit the election for getting me to quit social media…but I also can’t deny that this pattern was already well established by November.

So I miss my family and friends (…if I still have any!) and hopefully they will forgive me for vanishing.

Wasting Time!

This one’s important, too. And thus far, I have addressed this serious matter with the gravity it deserves: by firing up Stronghold and building elaborate castle-mazes to trick the game AI.

Birthday!

It’s been a great one. More later.

Hard Work

Lately my life feels like a Rihanna video, by which I mean way too much of it involves cry-sulking in a bathtub. I guess it’s how I (don’t) deal (well) with stress.

I’ve got a paper to write for my digital media economics class (main takeaway: Netflix watches you watch Netflix) and an exam to take (whyyyyyyyyy) and a thesis committee to select (what.?!) and a proposal to submit (i can’t even…).

I just want my life back. I miss my family and friends, interests and hobbies, sleep and leisure…all the things that make me a person. (I miss this blog, too.) Maybe I’ll look back on this period and decide that graduate school was worth it, but right now I’m convinced that I’ve squandered several precious years of my life on…what, exactly?

If I can just hang on until the 15th (exam day), things should ease up a bit. I think. I hope.

Canis Rufus at the Hot Gates

There is so much I could say right now, but the most important thing is that six red wolf pups were born at the Museum of Life and Science. Red wolves were like the Spartans at Thermopylae (only 300 left!) and then this little crew rolled up, saying “we got this.” I realize that this is a terrible analogy, given that those warriors died, but…so might this critically endangered species.

ballgame

Last night, we went downtown to the ballpark. The Durham Bulls, not a team known for heart or hustle, lost to the Gwinnett Braves 8-6 — a surprisingly good outcome for a team that didn’t start taking the game seriously until the ninth inning, when they scored four of those runs.

However, this belated, partial recovery on the part of the Bulls proved that false hope is worse than none at all; the crowd, formerly content with watching innings’ worth of terrible plays punctuated by mascot antics, suddenly turned on the team and started booing the players.

(It made me wonder if the Triangle has reached Peak Yankee, as inebriated fans screaming “YOU SUCK!” is more of a Northeastern phenomenon than a Southern one.)

Certainly the superfan sitting right behind me (and screaming into the back of my head) was very disappointed. However, My Fella and I — who had no real stake in the outcome b/c FFS it’s minor league baseball — had a fun time.

beverly cleary turns 101 today

and i am reading A Girl from Yamhill, because i’ve got a tender morsel of free time for the first time in months. (that will soon change, but i wanted to make a note of it.)