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music to my ears

apparently i am on a music binge. that's been starting to be the case after i got rid of cable tv. unless i have a dvd from netflix in, i'm listening to music. today's delivery contained 3 cake cd's and 1 neil diamond greatest hits box set. :). let amazon's customer algorythm try to figure that one out. i also bought nirvana's nevermind when i was in seattle. seemed fitting. and it has not left my car since i got back. i had forgotten how much i love every single song on that album. it is also bringing back memories of why i loved it at a 14-year old.


i had several things that i wanted to post about, but then i ran into a hardcore traffic jam this morning, it threw off my schedule, i was barely on time for the exam i was to proctor, and all of the happy things i had to say flew out of my head. so instead, i am going to vent.

first, let's deal with the situation that put me so off kilter: MTSU. i know that education is not your top priority MTSU. you've demonstrated that to me in a wide variety of ways over the years. i know that tournaments bring in a good bit of money that help to keep our institution going, but i fear that we have become so focused on raising money that we've forgotten what we're raising money for: education (ostensibly).

but what really made me grumpy was the total lack of warning that the routes to campus and many of the parking lots would be closed. it made for a real headache getting in to campus, terrible traffic jams, i saw at least one accident, and just general mayhem. if i had known about the chaos that MTSU had planned, i would have also planned accordingly and adjusted how i came to campus and where i was going to park. if education were our top priority, then MTSU would have informed/educated everyone on the situation they would find when approaching campus today.

second, rivermont apartments: i've had enough. it used to be a nice place to live. the new management is worse than useless though. every time i have come in with a maintenance problem, she thinks that denial is the best course of action for everyone. pretending that there aren't rodents in my attic and in my wall will not make them go away, no matter how many times she tries to convince me of it. that means that i don't sleep well because the rodents are clawing, scrabbling, and sliding in the wall right by my head when i sleep. in addition to not sleeping well (hence me being grumpy), i'm worried that hte critters will chew through the wiring, start an electrical fire and burn the whole place down.

i'm seriously unhappy and disappointed. this is not what i pay rent for, and i pay an extra amount of money to live in a nice place, so it would be nice for them to keep up their side of this contract.


home sickness

i had the weirdest thing happen to me today. out of nowhere, i had a sensation and gradually some images came with it. there was a sense of being surrounded by wood, and some smells, and a sense of warmth. and then i was able to picture a store that used to be in the mall when i was a little kid. i remembered that it had a huge wooden spoon suspended from the ceiling and that the store had a lot of scandinavian and bavarian things in it. i held on to the feeling to explore around in it and it dawned on me that i was homesick for some of the settings, people, and customs i had experienced as a child growing up in michigan.

in the architecture of very scandinavian places, there seems to be a lot of wood involved and i could see large beams that framed doorways or entranceways. i miss some of the smells that come with that, and also just the sense of those people. i know that i still hold on to some of this because i'm the person who looks for lingonberry pancakes or crepes if they are on a menu someplace (when everyone else is getting buckwheat pancakes). and while i have learned to love a great many things about the south, for the first time in a very long time, i felt like i wasn't at home. i missed the sense of place where i grew up and i realized that part of this is scandinavian cultural stuff...heritage. it's the food and the smells, the people: the way the people talk and look and dress, the places: the architecture, the materials, and the setting. it's all of that.

so i spent the morning looking for places in the US that have a significant scandinavian ancestry. looks like i grew up in the thick of it, but there's still a lot of it in the pacific northwest.

while i've been able to tell people that i'm looking to move to a place where i can be surrounded by trees (ie, a forest, preferably a pine forest) and have ready access to mountains, i wouldn't have been able to stress what i'm looking for in terms of cultural heritage. well, i said that i was looking for a place that was more liberal, but that's not very specific. there's still a sense of wood to it all, but it's wood that is used in building and in creating a setting rather than just living woods. and i miss swedish customs and foods. it's been forever since i've seen depictions of st. lucia or places where you could buy a st. lucia wreath...heck, we've not celebrated st. lucia day in my immediate family in ages.

and i have no idea why those thoughts hit me out of the blue like they did. but now i'm eager to go find those things. it's a need that i didn't realize i had...

how to avoid the plague

despite everyone around me dropping like flies, i've managed to avoid the cooties that are going around. of course, i'm trying to sleep as much as i can, eat healthy, and i am packing in the vitamins. the two oranges i eat every day should count for something as well. :).

but here's to hoping htat i can avoid the killer flu and seriously nasty cold that is going around right now!!!

grumpy? me?

i've had two people comment on my mood today and it's made me wonder how much i've been grumpy lately.

i got a splendid nights sleep last night. for the first time in at least two weeks i was able to sleep through the night because both neighbors didn't cause a ruckus all night long. i was getting stressed out because one or the other would make loud noises at least every hour, all through the night and i just wasn't getting enough sleep. i've been trying to get in early lately to try and take an evening nap just to make up for lack of sleep during the night. yesterday i got an evening nap and a full night's sleep. the thing is, i'm still tired because i'm making up for serious lack of sleep.

but when i got into the office one of my coworkers asked why i was all smiles. and i said that i thought that i was usually all smiles. shortly thereafter another coworker came in to my office and noticed that i was playing Personal Jesus, so he asked, "should i even ask how you're doing today?" now, normally if i'm playing dark music, it means to leave me alone because i'm in a mood and want to wallow in it (and typically that mood is anger). but it was just a song in a list of music that i was listening to today. so i told him that this wasn't grumpy music even though that particular song was kind of dark and that i was actually in a very good mood today.

but that i got two people commenting on my mood made me stop and think about just how grumpy i might have been lately. i hate to think that people walk on egg shells around me or think of me as being a doom and gloom kind of person. granted, i'm in that final grad school gauntlet, so the stress level is high...but aren't i normally a cheerful person? maybe it's just that i'm a person of strong emotions and fickle moods and a lot of htem just see me when i'm on the war path (because i usually want to talk about it and see if we can do something about it).

okay...the other factor for me being all bright and sunny might be that i'm a little twitter-patted at the moment. but it's not a big deal, nothing is going to come of it...but i'm still enjoying the feeling of it. and i'm looking forward to seeing him tomorrow and being flirty. :). just thinking about him makes me smile. and i'm content to let it just be that, not try to make it in to something more. in part it's a practical thing. he's in school for two more years and i'm trying to be done this summer so i can move away. so there's not enough time to make anything of it. i also need his help on the art project that i'm working on, so i don't want to burn any bridges with him (and i think that my professor has picked up on how much i go to this other person for help because he makes comments like, "well i could help you with this when you get to that point...or you could ask ben...").

*sigh*. :)

the 1980s part II: the revenge

so i was in the sculpture studio yesterday working on my final project (and also there as a creative mental health outlet) and i was noticing how much the look of the student population has changed. it was like i had stepped back in to 1982 when i walked in that room. i saw clothes that i haven't seen since i was a little kid. there were the cotton stretch leggings, skinny jeans, lots of zippers and bracelets. it was a mix of 80s pop/new wave and a whole mess of 80s punk. and we spent the day listening to david bowie. at one point we switched over to what i thought was some obscure 80s new wave band, but it might be a new band...that just sounds like 80s new wave.

it was really interesting.

no cable

so, my christmas present to myself was to give up cable tv. it kept getting more expensive, with rates going up every other month, the quality was unreliable...and i was wasting my time watching it too much (when there wasn't even that much good stuff on). so i got rid of it.

and i've found that i write in my physical paper journal much more. i'm reading both stuff for my dissertation and stuff for fun (be it brain candy or just stuff outside of my discipline). i'm also eating through my netflix at an amazing rate. but that makes my tv watching more manageable. if i watch for an hour and a half to two hours ever other night, then that's not the massive amount of tv that i used to watch.

i'm also cooking again and spending time creating creative things for mealtime. i've started practicing my banjo again. i was hoping that i'd start exercising again, but so far that hasn't happened. i need to just start somewhere with that and move on from whatever pathetic beginning i have to something of more substance.

but life is different. it has more variety. and it means that i spend less time on my couch...and that's a good thing.

spending spree!

okay, i really am not in a financial situation where i can afford to binge spend...but i have. i've managed to be more reasonable about christmas presents this year (and that's hard to do when you get to buy for little kids...because they are a lot of fun to buy for), but then i went and dumped a crap ton of money on things for myself.

i have new glasses...and of the frames i picked out, i did select the cheapest ones. but it was still expensive...with the eye exam and the high index lenses (because i am seriously blind), it ended up being near $400. i also decided that i wanted fancy hair, so i went and had a few highlights put in when i got my hair cut the other day. that's another c-note.

but the largest binge has been on books. i went junk book crazy. now that there are real science fiction/fantasy books for women, i'm afraid that i'm behind on my readings. and now that i'm going to take a break from academic reading for a couple of weeks, i'm going to binge on emotional vampire porn. so i have the twilight series, the kim harrison books about the detective witch, and some of the laurell k. hamilton books about anita blake. when i'm ready to start being professional again at the beginning of january, i will be in the mental and emotional state of a dreamy 14-year old.

and i like it. :)

oh the holidays

so i've been a bit of an emotional roller coaster lately. there's the end of the semester stress, the dread of extended periods of time with my family for the holidays (because they are almost always a disaster), and then there's the whole season affective situation.

i've dealt with the family situation by backing out of several events or insisting that i have my own transportation so that i can leave when things start to get stressful. so far that's worked fairly well, but apparently my mother is now on a weepy tirade about how obviously i'm mad at the family and don't like them. rather than asking me about it, she's calling everyone else in the family to get them all involved in the drama. my sister clued me in so that i'm not blind sided by it whenever this passive aggressive game surfaces, and while i'm rolling my eyes about it, i'm not too phased. i just need to be sure to limit my time as much as possible because my father's way of dealing with such an extended interruption to his normal schedule is to get nasty. so i'm planning on not invading their space for very long. and that will upset my mother. stay too long and dad gets upset, don't stay as long as humanly possible and mom gets upset. either way, people will be unhappy. but this way i don't have to be there for it and hopefully i won't be a radioactive mess for weeks afterwards.

speaking of which, i'm just now pulling myself out of a funk. i think that it was in part inspired by the stressers listed above, but also because of holiday parties. when i spend too much time around large groups of people, rather than getting grumpy and lashing out at people like my father, i get intensely uncomfortable and self conscious. so i'm telling myself that i was acting rather foolish and weird. i got so anxiety ridden about it that i hardly slept at all sunday night. i'm glad that this week i'll have limited human interaction.

i'm also thinking about getting rid of my cable tv. for one thing, the bills seem to get more expensive every other month and that would be a nice economic relief. but i also think that i tend to just sit myself down in front of it and do a whole lot of nothing for hours. the other day i turned on my stereo and did some baking and cleaning and i felt great. but i hardly ever do that. i just sit paralyzed in front of the tv. i think that i would get more done in general, but specifically on my dissertation and exercise regime if i simply took the cable away. i think that it woudl also help with depressive funk tendencies.

in terms of other things i've done for myself, i just went and picked up my new glasses and this afternoon i go in for a trim, but more importantly i am getting my hair highlighted. i'm excited. oh! and i got suckered in to joining the science fiction book club again and have all of the twilight books now. so i have reading material to take out to the coffee shop with me. :). which is my form of parallel play (it mimics human interaction without all of the effort or stress).

i'm waiting to see how i'm fairing by the new year. i have high hopes that this is the year that the holidays won't chew me up and spit me out!

poo on you, george r r martin!

okay, i am personally suffering the consequences of procrastination and am behind on my own writing...but part of what i look forward to is fun read and i use that as bait to get me through work related writing. so despite a very weak attempt at compassion and understanding, i'm opting for being unreasonable and petulant about this situation: i just got an announcement from amazon pushing the release date for the latest fire and ice book back by a year. rather than it coming out in the next couple of months, i have to wait an entire year!!!

grumpy. very grumpy. grrr.....