Thursday, April 27, 2006


So I was driving to campus this morning, like I do every day, and I saw a girl loading her stuff into her car, apparently moving out of her apartment, and it looked like her mom was there helping her, and I thought, "Oh yeah! It's graduation day!" And my life isn't any different today than any other day.

Last night I went out to dinner with some friends, and one of them had just finished all her schoolwork and is graduating today, and a couple of others were done with finals and so were much more relaxed than they have been of late ;) and were reacting to the feeling of being "done." And my life wasn't any different than any other day.

Spring term starts on Monday, and there will be TONS fewer people on campus, in the cafeteria, in the parking lots. People will be playing in the parks, and getting off work earlier, and having scads of free time, like they only dreamed about during the semester. And my life...

You get the idea.

It's time for a change, people. It's time for my life to change, based on the season. For the past five years I have been working on campus, and since I don't go home for summers, nothing changes for me when it hits summer time, except that I want to spend more time outside. I, uh, work. Every day. The same amount of time each week, all year round. And I take a class or I don't take a class, and I, of course, work on my thesis. :P

Well, I'm done with all that. I'm done with the thesis hanging over my head. I'm done with not having real "breaks" from school over the summer because I was only taking one class during the semester anyway. I'm done with being mildly annoyed at the "seasonal" students and feeling "holier than" them because I am here all year round and how dare they leave all summer and then come back and clog up campus when it's fall again?!

Uh, you're not SUPPOSED to be at college all year round for year after year after year. College is supposed to be a seasonal thing. At church on Sunday a girl gave a talk in which she referenced a house in Phoenix that Frank Lloyd Wright built with this concept called "compress and release." The idea is that you come into an entryway, and it is a very small space, and so you aren't comfortable there, and you naturally move through it into a bigger, more open space. I can't remember exactly the point the girl was making on Sunday, but I do remember what I thought. I thought, "That's my thesis!" This whole thesis-writing thing is the "compress" - and it is supposed to feel uncomfortable so that I will move on and out of this stage onto the next thing.

And, boy, am I ready for that! But that does mean that I need to "compress" a little more. I need to do the "final lap" or the "home stretch" or whatever you want to call it, but I really need to buckle down and GET THIS THING DONE.

I was talking to a friend last night about a big decision that another friend is trying to make, and again, a connection between this other decision and my thesis (what's this about "everything reminds you of something in your discipline"? how about "everything reminds you of your thesis"?!) came to mind, and it was this: It's not going to get done until I do it. I know - DUH! But really! When it comes to things like finals week, there is this big glaring deadline, and you can feel like, "for better or for worse, by next Wednesday at 6 I'll be DONE." And then you take whatever grade you get and move on with life. Well, it's a little different with a thesis. If it's not good enough, I can't just take the grade and move on - I have to revise. And revise. And revise. Just ask Jeremy. So it's a little different.

And it hit me last week that I can make schedule after schedule, and get pep talk after pep talk from my great dad and my great boss / chair and my great friends, and they can tell me that I CAN do it and that it WILL be good and that I AM the most brilliant person they've ever met (and then I can tell them that they ARE delusional ;) ), but when it comes down to it, with myself and this other friend - the thesis / the big decision, it won't write / make itself. If I don't put the effort in, on a regular basis for a good long time, then I will continue to envy those who DO get to move on with life while I spend yet another year cursing the those "seasonal" college students who clog campus.

No thank you!

Monday, April 24, 2006

I've never even SEEN that movie!

So now that my self-imposed week-long blogging ban is lifted, you are all privy to the following nugget:

When my alarm went off at 7 this morning, I felt the need to prove to my friend Kevin, who was on my mind because I'm giving him a ride to the airport today, that even though it was raining outside, my "Thelma and Louise" impersonation was still valid. (I have NO IDEA what a "Thelma and Louise" impersonation would be like - see the title of this post.) And the logical way to prove that seemed to be to hit snooze. Every 9 minutes for no-I-am-not-going-to-tell-you-how-long.

That'll show 'im.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

So, it's been more than a week...

All I have to say about last Monday is this: It's April, people, we should not have HAIL.

And moving on...

My sis and bro-in-law bought a house 40 minutes from where I live. They'll move here the first week of June. And I couldn't be happier. :) :)

Lessons learned this week of no (read: very limited) blogging and gchatting:

  • I CAN set limits for myself. Even if it just to set my gchat status with the red dot instead of the green dot.
  • As people have been telling me for, uh, quite some time now, it WORKS to reward yourself for getting a certain amount of work done. Like Thursday night when I stayed in my office on campus until almost 9:30pm because I knew I was going to get to go to a movie with a good friend at 10. I DID IT! I sucked it up and stayed in my office, which I had already been in much of the day, and worked on the thesis. And made progress, caloo callay. I do think, however, that my rewards need to be attached to specific things with people. Much of what I LEAVE the thesis work for is to spend time with friends, so to use something specific like that as a reward was really good.
  • Since I had already stated that I was not going to be blogging all week, I didn't feel pressure to make sure I was staying up on other peoples' blogs (all 6 that I read regularly :) ), and, obviously, didn't feel any pressure to post. It was an interesting freedom, and made me think about why it is that _I_ blog. I think I'll write more about that later.
  • I need to exercise. I have been trying to eliminate peripheral things from my life so as to focus on my thesis, but if those peripheral eliminations, if NOT eliminated, could actually CONTRIBUTE to my peace of mind, and hence to my ability to get stuff ( i.e., thesis) done, then they should perhaps not be eliminated. What I am trying to say is, I went running again this week, and it was nice (afterwards), and I need to do that more often.
  • Relationships are really important to me. People are really important to me. And it's cool to me to see my friends becoming good friends with each other. I feel like, "Hey! See how those guys are all friends with each other now? I helped do that!" :) I have just been reminded lately that forming connections between people is one of the purposes of this life, and one of the main things that, to me, makes this whole thing worthwhile. And that's a good lesson, I think. A distracting one, at times, but a good lesson. :)

Other big news from this week:

  1. Justin, blessed friend that he is, mowed our lawn. The grass / weeds / mini-crop of grain was about a foot and a half high, and one wheel broke off the lawnmower part way through. And he finished anyway. WHAT A GUY!
  2. Justin changed the oil in my car.
  3. Justin changed the blinker bulb on my car.
  4. Apparently it's all about Justin this week.

I MADE PROGRESS ON MY THESIS! *happy sigh* Not a ton, and not "enough," but "some." And that feels good. And this week will be better! :)

I have begun to write down the names of the people who casually mention that they'd be willing to help me move next weekend. Don't make offers on which you are not willing to follow through, people. :)

I am reading the Old Testament, and am about to cross the Red Sea with Moses and the children of Israel. It's fun to read straight through all these stories. It's been a while since I've done that.

And I think that's it for today, folks. Blog out.

Friday, April 14, 2006

wow i'm stressed

My sis and her husband and their three darling kids are here, and I love Love LOVE to be with them, but it hit me again last night on the way home from my parents' house, where all the visitors are staying, that


And so little mental capacity to get it all done. At 9:10 this morning I ran out the door to my office, which I had just run into to get my milk from the fridge so that I'd have something to pour over my cereal that I planned to eat while the Tahitian teacher filled out the 20-minute survey that was the main purpose of our 9am meeting, which you'll notice, I was late to, and I just realized just now that I left the rest of my milk in the fridge in the other office when I ran back out of there to get back to this office to get things together to go to my parents' house and play with the kids for the day so that my mom doesn't go nuts with all those active kids. :)

And I said to my coworker, as I ran out at 9:10, "I feel like my life is in a downward spiral of unproductivity and disorganization."

Something needs to change. So I think I'll take a week of from blogging and gChatting. Will anyone notice? :) We'll see how that goes, but I am just crazily desperate to get things done that need to get done, and it is not happening.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

When things make you gasp outloud and then belly laugh for 10 minutes they just really should be shared

For all those who are having a bad day, things can always get worse.

Thanks, Ron. :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Family's a-comin'!!

My sister and her husband and their three more-than-adorable children are coming TOMORROW! They just made / finalized the plans this morning, and I AM SO EXCITED!! They will be here for a couple of days, house-hunting for their MOVE here sometime this summer. !!!!! This is all VERY recent developments, and EXTREMELY exciting to me!!!! (In case you couldn't tell by excessive use of caps, bold, and exclamation points.)

In fact, I am trying to think what would make me more excited...


Uh, nothing comes to mind. :)

But it has been a good day, so far, for other reasons as well:
  1. I got a good night's sleep last night. Still not enough, but more than in the last week and a half, and it felt niiiiice.
  2. I went to the dentist, and
    1. It was not painful.
    2. It was not super-uber expensive.
    3. I only have ONE cavity! And it's really just a broken filling. And it will be MUCH cheaper to fix than I was anticipating.
  3. Katie is playing French rap music in our lab right now.

And that is all.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I am the GoogleChat poster child.

(Note: This is a repost from last week. Uh, apparently I broke Blogger the first time I posted this, but now it seems to be working ok. And, no, I am NOT capable of just letting this post RIP - I really did have to repost it. Stubborn? Just a tad. ;) )

It is snowing. And it is April. And since not all of us have facial hair and a PhotoShopping spouse, we have to rely on other things to convey how we are feeling about life. And when I say "other things" I mean, of course, my thesis-thwarting nemesis: GoogleChat, Gmail's more-addictive-than-nicotine-or-Dr-Pepper instant messaging system. Or, as we call it in the business, gChat. (And, really, if you haven't tried it yet, you should! Unless, of course, you have ANYTHING that you want to accomplish in your life, in which case you should avoid it at all costs, by which I mean disconnect yourself from the internet, sell your computer, quit your job, and go live in the mountains, where you won't have a cell phone signal, much less wifi. Or indoor plumbing. But the whole indoor plumbing thing is a small price to pay for productivity, which is why you'll want to escape the gChat habit. But I digress.)

And so I know, from my gChat habit, that I am not the only one who is a little bitter about snow in April, as evidenced by yesterday's gChat with Lauren...

Lauren: it's snowing
Lauren: which is part of my malaise
me: ah!
me: and you've been so happy about it being spring-y lately!
Lauren: I know! it totally has ruined my entire life.

Lauren: I am not melodramatic at ALL

... and by Janell, who's gChat status this morning read: "i'd like to petition a formal complaint with the weather gods."

And as further evidence that I am hooked on this gChat thing to a really rather frightening extent, and apparently feel the need to use it constantly, since it's there, here are a bunch of the recent gChat statuses (statii?) that I have seen recently, which I apparently copied and saved just to prove that my friends are really funny...?

flee, snakes, flee! - Janell
Fry sauce should be only eaten by democrats - Josh
it's 1:38. I'm violently tired and can't sleep and have to be up in 6 hours. Hooray! - Lauren
me want sleepy - Josh
International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance - Janell
tomorrow is TUESDAY. let's get fired up. - Lauren
The camel is a horse designed by a committee. - Janell
economagic time! - Chris
endorphins, please. to go. - Lauren
H8TING APA - Jeremy
It's the end of the semester and we know it! - Chris
Is it 7pm yet? - Danielle
sleep chatting - John
...even if you are my least favorite vegetable! - Janell
another year without Armageddon. few! - Janell

And today's favorite, from Josh:
Sometimes I'm right but when I'm not Margaret lets me know

Right-o, kids, right-o.

And, since you asked (didn't you? oh, you couldn't care less? really?! then why are you reading my blog, huh? huh? huh? HUH??), my gChat statii have recently been the following:

blogging for a minute
the email, the email, woho the email
in Kiche class
thesisizing the day long day
lunch break
in Samoan class

And let's not forget the motto / love theme / repeating refrain of my entire life:

thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis thesis

...and right now, since I KNOW you care, it is:

feeling sick right now and likely to be hyper later from eating too many peanut M&M's response to which Danielle just gChatted the following to me, which I really feel sums up the joy that can come into your life as you let people know how you are feeling moment-to-moment, using the gChat status bar:

"At least you didn't just scarf down a pound of potato salad. "Hi, I'm Danielle - the Michelin Man's Wife. Lovely to meet you. Want some potato salad from HoneyBaked Ham?"

End of public service announcement.

And blog out.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

On running, umbrellas, and bongo drums

So I went running last night, inspired by my friend Lauren and all her talk about endorphins. And I inadvertantly ran for a full 30 minutes. Yeah, that was NOT on purpose. I wanted to do about 20 minutes, but once you get that far from home, you, uh, have to get back home. So I ran. And this being the first time I have run in...a while...I thought I was going to die. Those last 6 blocks were KILLER.

And then I got home (without dying, but thanks for your concern) and decided to walk for a few minutes to cool down. And that's when I saw him. This guy was running along the street that intersects my street, and he paused in his run to hold onto the fence and...retch. And then he ran a few more steps and retched some more. And then he continued his run and I continued my cool down walk and a minute later I saw him stop further down the street and lean over, put his hands on his knees, and retch again.

Poor guy! I hoped, for his sake, that he was training for a marathon and this was the 17th mile of his 18-mile run for that day. That's pretty tough of him. What a guy.

BUT! The point is - I was NOT that guy! I ran, and I felt awful while running, and I didn't yack. Celebrating the small victories here, people.

And another small victory / blessing in disguise - Since I didn't leave my house today until after the torrential rain started, I did the whole umbrella thing successfully. And by "the whole umbrella thing," I mean that I used it to avoid getting wet. Go me!

And in related news, last night Matt and Josh came over to practice their musical extravaganza for my birthday party on Friday night, and Matt brought the bongo drums that they want me to play in accompaniment to their guitars. And, uh, I'll need to work on that. But you should know:

For a good time - recite silly poems, like this one by Judith Viorst, with bongo accompaniment.
I wanted small pierced earrings, gold.
You gave me slippers, grey.
My mother said that she would scold unless I wrote to say how much I like them.

Not much.
Just TRY to imagine how A-M-A-Z-I-N-G that was with bongos in the background.

Blog out.

P.S. I killed it. Last night. In my roommate's bedroom. With the toilet plunger.