to the Gilliad.



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.)


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.


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.


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.)

I Cut My Own Hair


You’re going to have to take my word for it, as I’m not up to taking a selfie this (or ANY) morning. I ought to be like Sia and appoint a diverse coterie of head surrogates to represent me.


So I watched a few YouTube tutorials, grabbed some scissors, and started snipping. The result is not terrible, despite accidentally cutting my own hand in the process. Did I mention that I have never really gotten the hang of scissors? HA.

The result was not great, either. However, it cost me ZERO DOLLARS and that was what I needed.