"thirsty thursday" | thursday | november 9, 2006 | 8:53 am
HERE IS TOO TOO TOO MUCH.
I have been so busy in the last couple of weeks that I have too much on my mind and too
much to put down (right now) in words. I know, I know, I was supposed to try harder at
actually writing more and doing more and keeping up-to-date on my posts. Well, the best
laid plans of mohawks and men...
It is the worst time of the quarter: work is ramping up, energy levels are low, due dates
are on the horizon, plans for next quarter need to be developed, students are feeling the
drag, too. I am so tired. I feel so worn out. I get enough sleep (I think I do anyway --
like seven hours or so each night) and people still look at me and tell me I look super,
super tired or ask me if I am all right. Yeah, that's attractive.
I can only really attribute it to stress. The kind that gets into your mind and body
and deep down so that you don't even feel like you are outwardly stressed. I mean I
feel like I am busy and I have a lot to do, but I don't feel freaked out.
But you are, Blanche, you are.
That's the worst kind of stress. I suppose I should go hit a punching
bag or run around the block or some such. But I'm too tired. (Maybe I'll go dancing
It doesn't help that I have a mountain of work to do. It's already November. I really
need to get working on my exam lists. I really need to get to work on my seminar papers.
I really need to think about what I am going to do for next quarter's teaching. I have
to do all of this while keeping up with my current work, current reading, current teaching.
(On top of all of this, I foolishly decided that I would try to do
National Novel Writing Month again.
I haven't done it here in Seattle. I didn't participate last year. So I really wanted
to try this year. But I am way behind on my word count, and I'm not sure I'm going to see
the finish line. Why do I do this to myself?)
What about other things? What other things? Personal life? Bah. Romance? Bah.
Exploring the city? Bah. Getting a gaming group together? Bah. Singing in the rain?
Well, there is that.
read footnotes |
• • •
"birthday roomie" | thursday | november 16, 2006 | 11:01 am
APPY BIRTHDAY TO JANE!
Happy birthday to Jane! Happy birthday to Ja-ane! Happy birthday to Jane!
• • •
"twas a week before turkey day" | saturday | november 18, 2006 | 10:20 am
Y EYES HURT.
They feel like they're made of sawdust or something. Sleepy, tired, strained. It's
a result of being in front of the computer or in front of a book or in front of a
student paper too much, of course. This past week was particularly hard on my
peepers. I must have read like a thousand pages of text for class, for teaching, and
a little bit for fun. Add being physically tired and stressed out (though thankfully
not sick with the coughing and yuckiness that's been going around) and I'm a pretty
beleaguered dog. And no matter how much sleep I get, my eyes always seem to be tired.
If they are windows to my soul, then I must be in some trouble.
But there's a little respite in sight -- Turkey Day weekend! Almost five days away from
campus. Of course, those five days will still be full of things to do, work to do, and
and what not.
My roommate Jane and I are having Thanksgiving at our house, a sort of combination housewarming
and turkey day dinner Happy Turkeyhousethankswarmgiving! The main problem is that we don't have
a whole lot of room, and we have too many friends and potential holiday refugees. So,
we just decided to damn it all to hell and just invite everyone. So far, only about
eight are coming, but I'm sure there will be more last minuters. A lot of people we
know are going "home" this year. (See I don't even think I have anywhere that counts
as "home" to go back to anymore.)
I am just so tired. I am ready for this quarter to be over with, but not quite ready
to do the last couple of weeks push to get my work done and such. Fortunately, I only
have one seminar paper to write this quarter. I might even try to get it done over
Thanksgiving weekend (probably get it started is more realistic). Then I can (try to)
coast for remainder of the term. I don't know.
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• • •
"/sigh" | monday | november 20, 2006 | 10:56 pm
AM JUMPING ON THE BLOGOSPHERE BANDWAGON,
but I find it really disturbing and appalling and all sorts of over negative feeling
words at what my friend
Jentery showed me tonight:
"Student to File Suit in Taser Incident."
If you haven't heard about it yet, read about it, or better yet
seen it via the news, net, or
an over six minute video captured by mobile phone. It's frightening, gruesome, and
fucked up. And what might be worse, you ask? The neoconservative (or just plain
conservative) response to the whole situation, which I really don't want to enumerate
here or even lend linkage to. I'm shocked by all of it. And I'm trying to figure
out how to frame it to talk about it in
Happy Thanksgiving, yeah?
read footnotes |
• • •
"my body is rebelling" | tuesday | november 21, 2006 | 4:47 pm
That's all I'm going to call it because I refuse to give in to what I know my body
wants right now -- to let go, to fall apart, to use the downtime of the Thanksgiving
break to shut down and force me to do nothing but sleep and ignore the world.
This always happens to me. But I was hoping that I'd make it to the end of the
quarter at least before giving up the ghost. Hopefully, it's just some wet, autumn
allergies -- mold and mildew and I don't get along.
I started feeling out of sorts last night. My sinuses were a little stuffy and
I was super tired. My glands were swollen, and it felt like I had a sore throat
coming on. All the signs of a developing cold or upper respiratory infection
(which I had my fair share of last year about this time, too). It seems this
malady might be a seasonal thing. Great. Something to look forward to next year.
School's out for the week for me. I was hoping to spend most of today goofing
of some and catching up on some things left on the back, back burner. But my
head feels like it's full of lead and my motivation is zero. I just want to
crawl into bed and zonk out, but I can't even do that.
read footnotes |
• • •
"aches, hives, and scary dreams" | sunday | november 26, 2006 | 4:43 pm
Y GOD, I NEED A VACATION.
Or something to make the craziness and the absurdity stop. So I can catch up
a little, catch my breath, and just have some solid time where I am really, really
content and happy. It's just stress. I know it. And I know annoying, upsetting,
frustrating, and scary things tend to get magnified for me when I'm really stressed.
Ironically, just a few weeks ago, I was talking about not feeling like I was
stressed -- at least not outwardly -- but I knew it was lurking just below
exterior I was putting on for the world. Well, it seems life's throwing pebbles
(or maybe something
into my pool of keeping calm.
I'm not feeling as sort-of sick as I was this past Tuesday. I think spending most of
Tuesday and Wednesday doing nothing but sitting in bed or sitting on the couch or
sleeping helped a lot to ward off whatever has been nipping around my respiratory
system. I'm not a hundred percent, though. I have a little, tickly cough, and my
sinuses still feel leaden. But for the most part I feel ambulatory and able. However,
I don't seem to be able to rest well. I sleep, and I wake up groggy as hell. Even if
it's a lot of sleep or a little or what would normally be just right, I just feel
I don't know
what's going on
But I can try to contextualize: First, I decided over five-weeks ago that I really
needed to get my eating life under control. Coming out of the summer, coming back from
and starting back into the grind of the quarter, I really was eating terribly.
I was making poor food choices, as they say in pop nutrition. It wasn't like I was
bingeing (which by the way is spelled with the 'e' otherwise it would be
Dick's. But, like
with most bad habits, I nickeled and dimed myself calorically to the point
I just felt bad all of the time, felt fat all of the time, felt uncomfortable
in my own skin and clothes and face and body. So, I decided that the one thing
I could do that wasn't too hard or too time consuming or too troublesome or
too weird (and all the other panoply of potential excuses and rationalizations
and tribulations) was to control my diet. And I am enough of a student of
pop psychology (and nutrition)
to know that any kind of radical diet or
fad diet is destined for behavioral obsolescence before you even get started on
it. But I also knew that I needed noticable progress and change for me to
stay motivated. So, a personal compromise was struck -- I cut nearly all sugars
and most other easy carbohydrates out of my diet. Basically, junk the junk.
I ate mostly protein (of all different types, both animal and vegetable), vegetables
(the less-starchy variety), and things high in dietary fiber. Granted a few carbs
snuck in, a few sugars were had, but I did quite well. My mood improved. I felt better.
I lost some weight. Somewhere about the fourth week, I started feeling really bedraggled.
I didn't have any energy. I felt tired all of the time. I had bags under my eyes.
I couldn't get up in the morning. And I would sleep like the dead. People would
look at me and ask me if I was getting any rest. At first I thought it was
because I wasn't eating a lot of easy energy for my body, forcing it to draw on
fat stores rather food intake. So I upped my carb intake a little more. It's
helped, but I still feel tired most of the time. So, clearly there's something
else going on, namely stress (as the most likely culprit).
I'm trying to continue to eat better, low carb, hardly any sugar. It does
make me feel better overall. I've known this for most of my adult life. I am
much happier with a plate of chicken and tons of veggies than a plate of
spaghetti (though I like the spaghetti). But I'm not trying to do anything
as drastic as
and I know that I need to eat some carbs for the direct energy. The whole
purpose was to consciously correct the way I had been eating and to really
'get into the habit' of better eating, eating that makes me feel better,
makes me biochemically happier, and helps me lose the pounds. So far so good.
Of course, this week being Thanksgiving and the prime holiday season coming
up has been a challenge. But I don't mind indulging a little as long as I
keep from over-over-doing things (as I have been wont to do in the past).
Speaking of Thanksgiving, Jane and I had a combination turkey day and housewarming
dinner at our house this past Thursday. It was Happy Turkeyhousethankswarmgiving!
Because our circle of friends is so large -- since it swings out wide into the
English department and beyond -- we decided that we couldn't just invite some
people and consciously not invite others without causing some sort of socio-politico-departmental
drama (though sometimes people just have to get over the fact that we can't
make everyone happy). So, we invited everyone knowing full well that at least
half would have other plans. In this case, it's the invitation (the thought)
that counts. Up until Tuesday, we only had six confirmed RSVPers (which
brings up a whole other can of worms: those that are against RSVPing and
those that are against the sometimes necessary evil of
evites). Then on Tuesday,
two days before Thanksgiving proper, we had a slew of "Oh, yeah, we'll be
coming over" and "I thought I told you I was coming" and "We couldn't find
any better plans." (Okay, that's probably bitchier than it needs to be.) So
a total of sixteen people showed up for dinner. It was grand, though. And
once I got past the stress of making an eighteen-pound turkey (seasoned
with a parsley, rosemary, and green tea compound butter)
succotash, my famous savory homemade dressing (stuffing), and my newly
created recipe for drunken penne macaroni and cheese, I was much happier.
People brought over a ton of food and drink. We set up my old gaming table
(two long folding tables set side-by-side) and decorated with seasonal
flowers and candles and such. It was a good, filling night. Thanks to
Jane, Chris, Jay, Deborah, Curtis, Christian, his father, Keith, Tim,
his girlfriend Lindsay,
Nadine, and Emily for sharing food and warming our
home. Pictures forthcoming.
After dinner, a number of us decided to head out on
and find a place to drink, hang out, and continue the night's festivities.
To my surprise, many of the bars were closed (which is weird to me since
the holidays seem like prime bar times). We ended up at
(clearly there were some gays that knew that Thanksgiving meant more than
just dysfunctional eating and families) for a few drinks. After Purr,
a smaller contingent headed over to the
where Jason basically hoodwinked me into four, consecutive shots of
Tequila in the space of an hour -- that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
After the Madison, an even smaller contigent, meaning just Jason and I, went to
for afterhours dancing. I hoodwinked Jason into doing one more shot
at the bar before they stopped serving alcohol. Then there was dancing,
a lot of stumbling around with club people I hadn't seen in a long while, and
then home. Suffice it to say, the next day, Friday, was a day of rest.
But back to the main story: stress, strangeness, and surviving. I have been having
some weird emotional and somatic responses for which I haven't quite figured out
the exact cause or causes. I having some pretty intense dreams as of late,
usually waking up either freaked out or scared in some way. One dream, last week,
was about my family -- always a touchy subject with me and my unconscious --
and I woke up crying, something I haven't done in a while. Other dreams are
the standard menu of anxiety dreams, totally a sign of my burgeoning stress levels.
Besides a more than active dream life, I have been developing inexplicable
hives on the back of my head and neck. They kind of remind me of
So, I sorted through everything I could think of: mosquitos, bed bugs, lice, but
there wasn't enough corroborating evidence to support any kind of infestation
(since the symptoms were only on the back of the head and no where else). I talked
with my sister, and she suggested that I chuck all my pillows, rewash all of my
linens, and start there. I figured it was most likely an allergic reaction to
something. Changing my pillows and linens and laundry detergent seems to have
worked so far, but we'll see if it returns. Again, it could also be stress
related. Ah, isn't the mind and body a wonderful and wonky system?
I just have too much on my mind, I think. And it's starting to take its toll
on my body as I'm trying to work on my body, too. There's a feedback loop forming,
I'm sure. And here I am many paragraphs later and I have only just started
talking about stuff. Oh, well. I think that's enough gurgitation for
today. But you can see where I'm coming from at least. More soon.
read footnotes |
• • •
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