overall okay but with stellar moments

unrelated thought:
water seeks its own level
i think people are like that, too.

like a bird freed from his cage
all night and all day i'll play and sing

and you do what you want
and i will do what i want
i'm now free of master and everyone
servant of all and servant to none

-will oldham


things i did today

1. hid from my life (i.e. skipped class and did not go to campus)
2. logged onto yim, stayed invisible, talked to h only
3. sat in my room with window wide open and door open, warm dry fall air blowing through my room and sunshine and idle resting brain
4. took a nap
5. walked to peet's and got a pumpkin spice latte
6. faxed some important things, decided to drop a class
7. watched a movie
8. a movie, did you hear me! i have not watched a movie since school started. ohhh the selfish indulgence of taking two whole hours to do nothing more productive than plunge oneself into the fantasy lives of others. delicious. (it was the sweet hereafter, i adore sarah polley)
9. made a haircut appointment and took a photo of my roommate whose hair i am going to copy
10. answered some emails i was feeling guilty for not having answered
11. read a novel! well, read part of a novel. okay fine, RE-read part of a novel. still. (it was diamond age)

i feel nearly like a human again. i feel like i've been on vacation.


week 9

work eat work sleep work eat work laundry work sleep work exercise work eat work sleep
...you get the idea.

caffeine intake skyrocketed there for awhile, upwards of two ridicularge coffees and several cans of pop (yes i am from the midwest) per day. coffee at night, mmm, nothing like the zingy rush of the first-time coffee at night. within a few days it shreds your insides and leaves you zombielike, but the first time is pure awake studious joy. too much caffeine and sugar and no exercise for weeks (months?) finally got me feeling lethargic and depressed so i am working on it now. sunshine and running and clean laundry, instant antidepressants.

i've been taking care of brain and heart, though. you would be proud.

next week housesitting five nights allbymyself in a huge lovely house beginning on halloween with pumpkin and candy. i predict that i will love having a bathroom to myself, and miss my housemates more than i am entirely comfy with. and watch too much television.

the weekend before this semester started i had the loveliest gluttonous weekend during which i shut myself in my room and watched the entire first season of the OC. 27 episodes! two days! this january two of my roommates and i are chipping in to buy the second season, and together we will reprise the debauchery on MLK weekend, right before next semester starts. i have to say, i like this ritual. i have to say, that will be an awesome weekend, if i can just make it there.


stretch me to the point where i stop

the quest for balance continues, but i think in the short term the quest for the multi-year fellowship must trump. it's only another month, i tell myself, but my self answers "i am tired and i miss my friends." i chose the big-picture-this, and i love it, but that doesn't mean that in the small moments, nested three levels deep, i wouldn't a billion times rather be going out dancing, or to sushi, or hiking, or anything.

it will be better after this semester.

one weird thing about my grad school experience is that suddenly the expectations imposed from around me are about equal to those i impose upon myself. sometimes even more. i suppose this is what catalyzes growth.

often i feel floating and i wish someone were near enough to understand what my life is, now.


the syntax and semantics of inversion

sometimes i disturb myself a little. i haven't always been this way, but ever since i fell in love with linguistics i can get a little...ferocious. like how they say a pit bull's jaws have a locking mechanism and once it's got its prey it is physically unable to let go. i think that is a myth but as a metaphor it is spot on. i see something i want and i focus on it nearly to the exclusion of all else, and woe betide those who would stand between me and it. i'm like that with my fellowship applications right now. i wonder if the professor who today gave me some suggestions knew just how seriously i would take them.

i'm starting to look at it and say "woah. that's good." it's the feeling i've been waiting for.

but sometimes when it's late and all my psyche knows is sheer exhaustion and mute focus and i've been writing for hours, i hate the work for making me do this. sometimes i feel like it's destroying me. sometimes i disturb myself a little.


CMT in action

okay. so i've never given birth, exactly, but i really think that if i had, i would say: academic work, particularly when the scope is large or the stakes are high, is a lot like labor. you try to get a little rest in between pushes. the process is long, painful, and often characterized by despair. but when you're done you just tend to forget about all that, you look at the product and you go "yeah. i made that. cool."

tonight was spent in a berkeley cafe. i ate a squash sandwich, drank a double latte, and pushed. my fellowship statement isn't quite born yet, but i think it's close. perhaps i need an academic doula.

but i must say, it was good to be out in the world.