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I was angsting hard on Friday night about the fact that my departure for Psychology State was a mere! four! weeks! away!, and then a friend-indeed called and asked me to spend one of those intervening weeks in doolittleville. I said yes, because I can and because I want to help, so will likely fly from here to there and back again for a week at the beginning of August. That conversation ratcheted the anxiety over my schedule up considerably, but also threw my neuroses into a stark light.

My anxiety about going back to Psychology State is essentially academic post-traumatic stress disorder, mixed up with a sense of impending isolation and anticipatory low-level homesickness. I like being in Alaska, and am sad my time here is whooshing by so fast. I have been a busy girl, dividing my energy among lots of projects and people.  This is hard for me, and over the weekend I found myself saying "I just feel like I am doing lots of things, but not doing any of them very well!  I am not spending enough time with my grandmother or the baby! I am not being a good enough friend! I should be a better employee! I am a bad daughter!"  Fortunately when I floated this idea to my parents they assured me that a) I am a good daughter (Mom), and b) this is a grown-up reality, not a symptom of poor choices (Dad).   That second part in particular was very reassuring coming from my dad, who is dutiful by nature.  In that light, I am doing the best I can, and need to remember a series of truisms: life is dynamic; we all have finite time to spend; and sometimes "good enough" is as good as it gets.  My family appreciates the time we spend together, and I see my grandmother at least once a week.  My friends know how to get ahold of me, and no one has said they feel neglected.  The people I work with seem pleased with my productivity thus far, even if it is imperfect, and I still have time to do more.  And, none of these relationships - personal or professional - will come crashing to a halt on August 17.  Summer is ending, but it will come around again, with lupines and fireweed cycling past.  In the meantime, time passes no matter how I am spending it, so I need to take a deep breathe, try and get enough sleep, and Be. Here. Now.
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Summer is passing, at a rate I can't quite understand.

I arrived in Alaska mid-May, with three gorgeous, unstructured months ahead of me.  It felt like eternity, in the best possible way: endless hours with friends, time to soak up Alaska's uniquely precious outdoors, and seeing my family without a plane ticket breathing "hurry up and enjoy this!"

Somehow it is July.  My endless summer is half over, the lupines fading and the fireweed beginning to bloom.

I am partial to lupines and they say  "youth" in my personal language of flowers.  One of my favorite pictures from my childhood is baby Redzils toddling through a patch of lupines, grinning, with her red-gold ringlets swaying in the breeze.  They aren't spring flowers, exactly, but they bloom in early summer and fade away gradually.  Watching the bank of soft purple lupines which adorn the hill across from TDaC's driveway fade from brilliant purple to almost purple, with the greenery reasserting itself, cues me that nothing stays the same. 

Around here, the striking pink-red fireweed appears later.  The flowers open from the bottom up, over time, and when the top pods burst, with white seed cotton bursting free, winter is almost here.  Fireweed herald the return of termination dust, when Alaska's short green season ends, the land fades to a crimson brown, and snow settles over everything.  I don’t get to see Alaska's marvelous, albeit short, fall anymore - I am back east by then, turning my attention to school.  And seeing the fireweed bloom, with more pink blossoms bursting free each day, reminds me that fall and my new academic life are coming.

I have not been eating healthily or going to the gym, despite prior assertions.  I have been spending my time and energy on the people I care about, forging new relationships and trying to bolster old ones. I am enmeshing myself in the dance community here, trying to perform well at work, and spending the time I can find with friends and family (that full time job thing really gets in the way).  I figure the fall, when I am back to living a spartan life, eating my own cooking and waking up at the same time every day, is soon enough to start worrying about calories and lifting weights.  Right now I am too busy eating Thai food with my friends, staying up late and sleeping ridiculous hours, and trying to say "Yes!" to every good idea that comes along.

I don’t want summer to end. I am not ready, but I am slowly realizing that I don’t have to be. My endless summer is only halfway gone.  I still have almost a month and a half left, and I mean to make the most of it.  I bought new roller-blades, and the current plan is to get outside and skate as often as I can, rather than attempting to lure myself into a hot, stinky aerobics room at the local gym.  I am going to embrace the craziness of my summer and soak it all up, to inoculate me from the ennui of fall.  And I have to remember: this fall will be different from the four before it. The Wicked Witch of the South East doesn't control my academic destiny anymore, I am going to be living alone in a fabulous house, and dancing a lot. It will still be far from home, and maybe lonely, but ... as always, the good news (and the bad news) is that nothing stays the same.
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Just after Heather arrived in Alaska, I got a fortune cookie which reads:

NEXT SUMMER, YOU WILL DANCE TO A DIFFERENT BEAT

it has been stuck in my wallet ever since, and, as my life was changing, brought me comfort.
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Little things are making me twitchy.

The dogs are being noisy and continue to crowd around and breathe on me.  This makes me want to tie their tails in knots.

The sound of raindrops hitting the skylights is getting on my nerves.

My outgoing mail server wont accept my login, so I cant send email (Dave:  please call me when you get off work) 

These are all little, silly things but today they are getting to me for some reason.  Perhaps that giant life transition looming on the horizon (plus the no-sleep thing) is taking up a little space in my brain.
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Three days until I leave for Virginia.

I woke up with a serious case of the screaming mimis, thinking about it.

Thanks goodness I have an H visiting, since her presence means essentially that reality has been suspended until further notice.  The whole lack of reality thing is making the transitions a bit easier.
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Yesterday was a bad day.

I had a bad attitude.

My hipboots leaked, despite the patching I did.

I managed to get my foot stuck in the weir, which hurt.  And I couldn't get it out, so I had to sit down - in the middle of the river - and take the boot off to get free.  Then it took me several minutes of tugging to extract the boot, which was completely full of water.  Didn't matter much though, since having sat down in the middle of the river none of me was dry.

I branded a line into my left thumb, trying to get our stupid coffeepot off the stove.

And, later on, I was wearing my chest waders and drying my boots.  The waders are a pain to get in and out of and sort of clumsy-making, and I managed to step on a slippery boulder and fall-down-go-boom.  The lucky bit was that I didn't manage to break my right wrist, but the palm of my right hand, where the wrist and palm meet below the thumb, has a blue indent.  And my right thigh looks like someone hit me with a baseball bat.  It is truly a remarkable bruise - it looks like the special effects crew spent half an hour on me getting that perfect fade from black to blue, with the vein visible and a hefty, swollen redness underlying the whole thing.  If I can figure out how to get a picture of it (which is not a picture of my butt) I may even show it to you - I think it is actually sort of cool (in an, 'if I had my druthers I wouldn't have done it' sort of way).

Today has been sort of better. I sent out an email giving people my new address and my mom sent back a message that said, "I miss you already, and you are still here."  That is sort of how I feel too - I know it is silly but I miss my life here, already.  I am going to take Wednesday, after I get off work, to do a little prep (mail myself another box or two, figure out what goes and what stays) for departure and then take my very own best-of-Homer tour and sort of take my leave for another year.  My heart is here, and not with any person.  It is here with the waves crashing, eagles soaring, and mountains jutting above a peaceful little town full of Shiverring Gypsies, brisket sandwiches, and joy. I will be back.
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5:18 am.

Kiska is sleeping in my mom's room (where it is cooler). From my room upstairs I hear "Bark! Bark! Bark!" Then there is a beat of silence, and the house begins to shake.

Earthquake!


It was not a huge or scary one (4.89 magnitude), I just think it is cool that Kis alerted before it arrived.
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Fuck.

I just realized my summer is one third over.

I left Virginia on the 14th of May.  It is now the 15th of June.  One month down.

I go back on the 14th of August.  Two months to go.

And I havent gotten healthy or worked on my thesis at all. If i want to defend in October I need to have a complete draft by the middle of August, which means lots of rewriting, data analysis, and writing between now and then.

Time for someone to lock me in the tower, like Rapunzel, so I can focus.
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I was up until two am counting files, then woke up at 4:30 am feeling that my nose was going to fall off from the cold (the rest of me was adequately warm though . . .). I managed to go back to sleep with the blankets over my head until 7:20, then get all the stuff I wanted to have done before Matt's arrival taken care of by 8:20. He showed up just before nine, as I was "fixing" the wreckage of the electic fence using sticks as splints and lots of duct tape.

We worked the schedule out - I am going back to work on Friday this week, getting the Solstice off, and then working a six day shift after that. Hopefully we will have a full weir in by then so I can walk away for a couple of hours each day to take a shower and check my voicemail, etc. Six days in camp with no breaks might make me a little nutsier than usual. Oh, speaking of schedules: I will next be in the greater Anchorage area /  Palmer from Wednesday June 7 - Saturday June 10. If you will be around and want to connect, lemme know.

I ended up staying at work 'til 11:30 to help with the sonar, and finally left when it became obvious that my ability to speak English was compromised by lack of sleep (I kept talking about refueling the sonar and putting the generator in the water).  They were in the middle of a problem, but it wasn't one that an extra body would really help so I headed out.

At home I got scolded by my rotten neighbor because Kis was barking at him (yes, she was being obnoxious; however, he was being a jerk), had lunch with some family friends after a long, wonderful shower (ah, the joy of being clean .  . .), then had a discussion with my dad that lead to be bursting into tears over minutiae. Obviously I needed some sleep, so I took a two hour nap.  Following that, I went off to dance class. It bad been cancelled, which mades me sad since I wont be able to attend another until July 11 (since, I am working or out of town every Tuesday til then).  I bought some care package stuff for my sister, a tether for Kiska, and some M&Ms (the candy of choice in my life right now), then connected with my dad to visit his boat. I have now sat in it in the yard and in the harbor - I am excited that tomorrow I will actually get to go out in it.

Of coures you have to wake up early to fish, so I am off to bed now.  Sweet dreams.
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5/29/06 - Memorial Day Monday:

I froze my butt last night. Apparently my sleeping bag – a leftover from when I was with Mike and using mostly his gear – is not as warm as the down bag my mom sewed for Dad twenty-something years ago.  I need a new sleeping bag and a new tent and may actually get around to buying the bag at least, since being cold makes it really hard to sleep.  I got to bed late – after one am – and was up and about at four, then up for good at 6:30 when I put in a chattering teeth phone call to my dad asking him to please, please bring the sleeping bag with the broken zipper back. I was wearing poly pants, hefty wool socks, a long john top, a fleece jacket, a hat, my down blanket, a blanket Matt left behind, and that sleeping bag, and I still froze my butt.  When I woke up cradling my hot water bottle (a Nalgene I filled with boiling water before bed), I knew I was freezing.

It amuses me that there are men’s and women’s sleeping bags.  Mike said women’s bags have more padding in the feet and in the butt, but I think probably the real difference is zipper placement.  Men’s bags zip down the left and women’s down the right (so you can zip them together, I think). My bag is also narrower than my dad’s, so I feel more mummified in it.  Mummy bags are good for staying warm, but not necessarily for feeling like you can roll over without taking the whole thing with you. When I slept in my bag for summers in the bay, I would often wake up to find the whole bag twisted around me and the zipper in the middle of my back. It’s the non-institutional version of the straight-jacket, for people crazy enough to use sleep in mummy bags.

Camp life is good for me, because it provides a reminder to be grateful for things that I might otherwise take for granted. My new definition of luxury is taking clothes off when you go to bed, rather than adding layers; dressing for sleep rather than fisherman encounters (I sleep in what could pass as street clothes, because I know one of these nights I am going to wake up to some idiot who wants to talk about fish pounding on my door); and warm feet.

The dog of the day (Roxie) was shivering when we got up, so I took her out to the car at 6:30 and sat with her, heat going full blast, for ten minutes or so. Then I cracked the windows and left her there to nap in the warm car.  I came back to the weatherport and layered on more black fleece (Carhartt pants and black fleece make up almost my entire work wardrobe. I am wearing two black fleece items as I type this), then sat in front of the stove with my computer on my lap. It was good – I wrote one difficult letter (Dear Roommates, I am keeping most of your deposit . . .) and some emails.  I suppose I should have been watching Didson files, but I was not that motivated.

Mom and Dad came by after a while to trade me dogs and visit. While they were here they dropped off the (broken) sleeping bag and a mirror (Mom’s response to my comment that I didn’t know my hair was sticking straight up and didn’t care, since I couldn’t see it). She confuses me – she is sometimes a health nut who polices my food and sighs over my weight, but then she brings me a cream cheese brownie and hot cocoa for breakfast. I am realizing that I eat better when she is not around – when she is I either eat crap as a way of pointing out that we are distinct from one another or conform and eat her way, which emphasizes oatmeal for breakfast and the occasional chocolate willpower failure, leaving me on a blood-sugar roller-coaster.  I need to get back to the South Beach style of eating – I felt good and was eating well without feeling deprived  (I clearly remember being able to go up to a table holding a platter of sweets, pour a drink, and walk away without feeling resentful. For me, that was profoundly weird). It’s hard with no refrigeration, but I am going to try to head back that way whenever I can.

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Sunday May 28, 2006:

My parents swung by for a visit this morning, which was fun. I ended up sending Kiska with them and keeping Roxie (their older dog) since Kis was so excited to see them. She thinks it is kind of boring out here, since I am not throwing tennis balls (to rest her gimpy leg) and the water is too high for her to swim much. Rox is not quite the same guard dog, but she is easy company since all she wants to do is sleep.

Mom and Dad brought me yummy seafood chowder (sealed in vacuum-packed bags using my dad’s new toy), my sleeping bag (since I broke the zipper pull on the one I had borrowed), and some company.  Our friend Laura, who is a couple years older than me but works with my mom, tagged along. She was ogling fishermen, and despaired over my attitude, (me: “yeah, he is cute, but I am over here and he is over there, and there is a river between us”). Apparently she will be back once school lets out to coach me on picking up anglers in the river, which should be fun. Hanging out with her is always amusing, and I could use some company as I explore the area.

 

Mom offered to bring out the mosaic project that she has been trying to get me to work on for two years now. I told her no, I have to focus on my thesis when I have free time, which disappointed her. My dad started hassling me about my thesis, saying that he wasn’t sure we could go fishing Wednesday after all, since I had to work on my thesis, etc. Finally he asked to see what I have been working on, so I pulled up my correlations matrix (printed out it is three pages by four pages of numbers).  He seemed impressed and a little bewildered (exactly how I feel when I look at it, actually). My new threat is that if he doesn’t quit bugging me about having to work on my thesis, I will explain the statistics to him. That should keep him off my case for months.

My mom has taken exception to the notion that my life is unusual. She asked me, in full seriousness, “Why do you think your life is weird?” then dismissed my answer. My impression is that she thinks I am trying to single myself out as being oddly special and wasting energy justifying that perception. I don’t think her understanding is quite accurate: I believe my life is wacky, but so is hers, and so is yours. Life is absurd. Recognizing that and finding amusement in the absurdity keeps me sane and humble (along the lines of another favorite bumper sticker: “I am unique, just like everybody else”), rather than feeling like the universe is out to get me personally.

My cell phone just rang: it was Jacob returning my call from last week, wanting to know if I am busy today.  Answer: yes, and I’m far away too. I immediately tried to call Heather, holding very, very still.  No dice – it kept beeping “NO SIGNAL” at me.  Funny that it somehow got connection long enough for me to talk to Jake (who I haven’t seen in literally four years) but not make a phone call.

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On dancing: I have been to three belly dance classes here. This makes me a regular (there seems to be a fairly large cast who cycles through but not a lot of full-time regulars). I am enjoying the company and the classes. We do about an hour of yoga and evil abdominal exercises (some of them are hard but mostly they are ridiculous: i.e. put your legs up in the air in a “V,” then lift your butt off the mat twenty times). Then everyone changes into dance togs (skirts, cholis, hip belts) and we dance. In Virginia I am the fattest belly dancer. Here I am one of the thinnest ones and the most modest – feeling hopelessly overdressed is providing a good push to start wearing stuff that shows my belly in class.

 

They are working on zils, which is excellent practice for me.  They are mostly practicing straight triplets (right, left, right, repeated endlessly). I think it’s the hardest rhythm and also boring, so played some 3-3-7 during the warm-up and soon Rowan had me playing a counterpoint to the rest of the class to demonstrate how well the rhythms mingle together. It was cool to realize I can play against other dancers without losing the beat (I am so musically untalented that it took me over a year of dance to realize that you can hear an eight count, so this stuff makes me gleeful). I also get a kick out of the fact that Rowan asked to borrow our mnemonic for that one: “Got to dance. Got to dance. Got a chicken in my pants.” (if you zil on the syllables it makes up a 3-3-7).  She is now calling it “the chicken-pants rhythm,” which I love.

 

The nicest thing about being an itinerant belly dancer is that you can walk into a community just about anywhere. And belly dancers are, in my limited experience, fabulously nice.  I get a real kick out of the women in this class, and love having the girl time to counter my days with the all-male F&G crew.  They also have massive connections to the community so can answer all sorts of questions, like where to go for a haircut (this actually sparked quite a debate). Hanging around with them is sort of like instant-friends-just-add-drum-music, which is perfect for an introvert like me. It is looking like I will be able to perform with them at least once this summer too, which should be fun. There is no way that I am ready to demonstrate belly dancing as a soloist (even to friends and family), but I really do like performing with a group. It is sort of like donning an alternate personality for an hour, and I really like her.

 

Interestingly, I think I am becoming her (my bolder self) slowly.  I no longer want to throw up at the idea of dancing in front of people and am making real changes in my life to do what I want (rather than what is expected).  This spring was a turning point in this process of accepting myself.  For example, I had spent years not cutting my hair, since it would make me “look fat.” Eventually my patience for that argument wore thin; fat is something you are or you aren’t. Whether or not I am fat was not the point, and changing my hair was not going to change my figure. When I realized that, I had Marcia chop off all my hair. And I love it.

 

Along those same lines, I (pretending to be bold) invited the world to my belly dance performance in April.  I was originally self-conscious about my bare belly but self-aware enough to realize that the tank tops and jeans I wear do not conceal much beyond actual flesh. No one who has seen me fully dressed would be surprised to realize that I am curvy and a little soft in the mid-section. So, I invited my social group (only one of them came, but that is a separate issue, labeled “Where are my people?”).

 

At several points this spring, I have found myself thinking, ‘Geez! If only I could have been bold enough to do this (show my belly to other humans, rock out at the wedding with the little people, wear stupid hats in public, tell people “No” or “Let me think about it”) when I was sixteen, everything would have been easier.’  I am just glad I am figuring it now, rather than regretting it when I am 84. I must say, I knew that twenty-four was going to be a good year, and in that sense it has been. I am getting back to who I really am inside.

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Tomorrow begins my first four day sojourn on the river bank. I may be able to finagle an internet connection once or twice, but dont be suprised if I am not around.  The good news is I may finally have time to respond to some emails, and file them in my "Outbox" 'til I am reunited with my precious interweb.
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Tired.

Back in my yurt.

Maroo (aka "the baby") and I went to the zoo today.  It was great. We looked absolutely ridiculous  - she kept putting her pink straw hat on me and the best picure of the day has us both sticking our tongues out at the camera (yeah, I am responsible enough to be out alone with a munchkin, why do you ask?). We saw camels and tigers and bears, oh my.

Then a long drive to a place locally advertised as "a drinking town with a fishing problem." We had caribou steaks for dinner and then mom and dad came out to my yurt. I was deligted to have them, and SO ready for them to go home. I am just too tired for human interaction. So tired, in fact, that I will be brushing my teeth using my water bottle and going to bed with a dirty face rather than go in to use their bathroom. I just cant take it tonight.

Wedding

May. 21st, 2006 03:04 am
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My cousin and his new wife got married today.

When she walked down the aisle, everyone in the room got teary, including the macho groom.

The bridal couple is obviously in love and joyful in their togetherness, so it was special to be there when they took their vows.

She was luminous and very bridal. He was more dressed up than I have ever seen him (my mom jokes that this is the first time she has seen the top of his head in ten years, since he always wears a ball cap) and smiled smugly all day.

The ceremony itself was a little too Christian for me, but everything else was a delight.

However, I was a bit wistful as I watched the wedding and reception unfold. I finally realized that my wistfulness was probably a symptom of what-could-have-been. When M and I were engaged, we planned to get married in the spring of 2006, which felt very far away then but seems to have arrived. Julie's dress was very similar to the one my mom and I had picked out, and their arrangements were a lot like those I was beginning to make when our commitment to one another disintegrated.

All this really means is that the couple who married today have great taste (said tongue-in-cheek, since what I really mean is that they share *my* taste) and that my life today is not what I would have predicted a few short years ago. It is better, but different.

I had a good time at the party. I knew I looked great (pretty black dress, fun jewelry, denim jacket) and am so far past caring what anyone thinks about how I look that I spent a lot of time rocking out on the dance floor with the under six year old crowd. My aunt played dirty pool by snapping a photo of me teaching my eight year old cousin the Macarena (which I was doing because she really wanted to learn it and no one else would dance it), but we had a good time. The flowers and cake (both crafted by people related to me) were awesome, and I loved watching the kids run amok and adults reflect on the important people in their own lives (side note: I do not understand child free weddings. If you are celebrating commitment within your community and families it makes no sense to me to exclude children).

I hugged the beautiful bride and said "welcome to the family," which was trite but made her happy, and probably had a longer conversation with my cousin during the dollar dance than I had managed in the last five years.

I hope they live happily ever after.

And I hope that someday I find someone who looks at me with that shining love and wants to watch my baby cousins dance the macarena at our wedding.
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I am posting this from my yurt. Yes, the yurt sans electricity and sans running water seems to be within reach of either my folks' or (more likely) their neighbors' wireless network.

I am excited.

I want to post a long treatise on life the universe and everything, but instead I am tired and need to go to bed.

I will have to just say: getting here was long and exhausting. Being here is great. I am still discombobulated - havent figured out anything such as calling people or even knowing where I live, but all things in time . . .

This morning lacing up my workboots was deja vu all over again, as I begin yet another summer working for Fish and Game. This is my sixth summer as a fisheries tech. My first day back was unexpectedly long (10 hours, which I was not adequately provisioned for) and arduous (our bridge is currently not open to cars, so we had to walk incredibly heavy things like road grader blades across, down a hill, and through an alder thicket). I am tired and know that my shoulders will be screaming in the morning. When I came home from work, a friend of my dad's was there for the night with his wife and six of their closest friends. I probably would have spent another night in the house if not for them, but knew that I could not handle that much people right now, so made repetative wheelbarrow trips out to my yurt. I still dont have real bedding - just a sleeping bag - but will get it taken care of tomorrow. I am goign to wake up to a frigid yurt, but hope to be able to cope gracefully with it.

I am hoping to make it to my first bellydance class tomorrow, and hit the local library. Wednesday is my first all night at the river. Thank goodness for Kiska the bear alarm and confidence booster.
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I am typing this sitting cross-legged on my kitchen floor, eating cold leftover Chinese food with my fingers. My back rests where a table used to reside, and the silverware I should be using is more like silver?where?

I am packed.

I have about an hour of house wrap up to do tomorrow - rolling up my airbed, cleaning the bathroom, etc. I am glad I decided to have an official cleaning person come in. Washing walls and mopping floors is more than I could handle right now.

In the morning I will mow the lawn, sprinkle grass seed, and tighten the roof rack on my car (I need an engineer, but since none are likely to be wandering by I will have to rely on Dr. Google for directions). Then I will pack, go to Goodwill, go to storage, and hit the open road - hopefully by 9 am. The promise of missing rush hour traffic on the Beltway is very motivating.

My life is cyclical, and always in transition. Still, this is a big change. I was going through my desk and found a driver's license photo that was taken literally the day before I first came to visit the program I am now enrolled in. I was a week shy of turning 21, and looking at my sweet, hopeful face makes me feel miles away from myself.

That girl moved here with a man she was going to spend the rest of her life with. She believed that she was going to do great good things, and speed through the obstacles of a PhD. She bought a house for them to live in, and bounced gleefully about over her prestigous assistantship. She painted walls red and blue and yellow and hung pictures of Einstein and old book covers.

Now, three years later I have taken Einstein down and given my plants away. I am selling the house because I dont need the weight of sole responsibility. I have some friends here and have been learning a lot, but it is not the life I imagined.

Selling the house and moving Elsewhere is a huge transition, but right. I am simplifying and hunkering close to my kindred spirits. And the house will, hopefully, go to people who have the energy and cash to love it better than I have. It's been good for me - I am stronger for having had these last years, but it is time for new challenges and a new focus.

I will likely not be posting for a few days, folks, as I travel. Wish me well.

Agenda

May. 10th, 2006 08:53 pm
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Grade essays for 30 minutes.

Change the laundry.

Grade essays for 30 minutes.

Change the laundry.
Throw some things from the kitchen away (I find this remarkably gratifying . . .)

Grade essays for 30 minutes.

Spackle.

Grade essays for 30 minutes.

Pull everything out of the kitchen cupboards.

Grade essays for 30 minutes.

Pull everything out of my bedroom closet.

Grade essays for 30 minutes.

Pull everything out of my office closet.

Grade essays for 30 minutes.

Pull everything out of the bathroom.

Grade essays for 30 minutes.

Throw some more stuff away from the refrigerator.

Grade essays for 30 minutes.

At some point: go to bed.

Tomorrow:
- pack for AK
- prep to meet with R
- Meet with R (1pm)
- Meet with Julie (2pm) - give her essays
- finish packing and hauling stuff
- HIRE LAWN PERSON

** I am taking things out of closets and cabinets to ensure I know what has to be packed tomorrow.
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To Do Before I Leave for Alaska (in FIVE DAYS, aaahh!!!):

The current plan is for me to drive to Baltimore on Friday. My cousin will put me up for the night and deliver me to the airport on Saturday. 

Schoolwork:

Do meta-analysis.
Write meta-analysis paper. <-- It still needs an introduction and lit review.  This is the part I most hate having to write.  But it will get written tonight, since this beast is due tomorrow.
Give presentation on May 2

Prep thesis data master spreadsheet, with means, SDs, and correlations
Begin analyzing data (if time permits) <-- time will likely not permit
Meet with R and someone about model. <-- Thursday at 1 pm.
New: buy software.

Work:

grade 28 research papers (after they are turned in on May 2)
finalize and post the dev. study guide
finish multiple-choice exam
get exams photocopied

give exam on Tuesday <-- 9 am
give exam again on Wednesday <-- I pm
grade exams

Other:
figure out clothes for conference
go to Dallas and do the conference thing
get hair cut

take Kis to vet for health certificate <-- Thursday 9 am.
back up computer files <-- this is in my planner for Thursday.  Would it hurt an external hard drive to sit in a hot storage unit all summer?
pack for summer <-- all the suitcases are upstairs. I think I have to unpack from Dallas before I start packing again, which is slowing me down . . .

New and Scary:

Rent storage unit
Move all belongings into storage <-- I have made great progress towards that goal. Essentially all that remains are parts of my office, which will stay til after I meet with Roseanne on Thursday, some clothes I can't take to storage til I pack for Alaska, and some kitchen stuff. I was waiting on the roommates to get gone so I could pack up the kitchen, but they are annoying me, so I may annoy them by packing up all my kitchen stuff (you know, the pots and pans, dishes, and utensils. Oh, and the toaster).
Clean out house for Judy to sell. <-- if only my damn roomates would get their acts together.
Set up mail forwarding <-- this is in my planner for Thursday.
Call to adjust utilities

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