Happy Easter. . .

Matt and I are spending a quiet day together today. I'm going to make a pork roast and grade papers, and he's going to work on homework. That's the extent of our Easter holiday. No dyed eggs, no chocolate bunnies. Not having kids makes Easter a very low-maintenance holiday for us.


So whatever you happen to be doing today, I hope you have a nice Easter holiday. That's filled with peace and blessings. Happy Easter!!

I Heart Spring. . .

Spring's here and it's absolutely beautiful in our little town. Aside from being allergic to everything, I really enjoy spring in Central Texas. Almost as much as I enjoy the fall. . . almost. So, it's the Friday before Easter and I had some errands to run today and while I was out, enjoying the 72 degree weather, I stopped into the park to snap some shots--yes, yes, I'm even more photo crazy than I was before, but Stephenville is pretty photogenic!

Though it takes a lot for me to go most places, this place, where I can snap pictures and just hang out, all alone, with only the occasional other human being doesn't so much scare me anymore, maybe I've just been there enough times?

Anyway, it was off to the park. In style, of course. . .



I mean, who can commune with nature without cute shoes?! Okay, but seriously, it's absolutely gorgeous out there this time of year, so quiet (and those shoes are sooooooo comfy). . .



Everything's so green right now. It might not stay that way once it warms up and summer comes, particularly since we're still under drought conditions, but for now, it's really pretty.



This Gazebo is probably one of my favorite places. Surrounded by picnic spots where park-goers can bar-b-que. . .



It's also dimly lit at night, which makes it both spooky and scenic. Love it! But what I love the most, I think, is how everything is starting to bloom. I couldn't find any bluebonnets yet, but I did find these cute little purple flowers, pretty much all over the place. . .



Oh, and I love this little picnic table out by itself, under a tree that hasn't started to refoliate yet. . .



Of course, on closer inspection, the table and sidewalk have been graffiti'd by some local with too much time on their hands. . .



And, so has the tree, apparently. Way to keep it classy, peeps. . .



What's a park without a little bit of sexy graffiti? I mean, seriously. This is actually the only place in the whole park where I found anything like it. The rest of the public space is remarkably clean--both in terms of age appropriate and of being un-graffiti'd. I'm sure it won't take the city long to get out and clean this up. Though, I'm not really clear on how one would remove graffiti from a tree. Anyway, other than the lovely purple mess, the park was every bit as scenic as I expected it to be. Sometimes, small town living isn't so bad!

Happy spring and I hope you have a wonderful Easter! XOXO!!

Snap!



I got a new toy in the mail today. I know I've been promising you pictures of my new mixer, which I would have posted when it came last week, had I had a camera that worked. As is, my camera was dead, so I decided I wasn't buying another cheapy camera that was going to cost me $100, take crappy pictures--because they all do--and then die. Nope, not happening. So, I went to Adorama and got myself a Nikon D3100 DSLR. Finally, I got a DSLR! I couldn't be more pleased. I actually compromised, because I have no idea what to actually do with a DSLR camera, and got a refurb. I've been messing with it and you have got to see the picture quality on this thing!

Chewbi was intrigued by the color (the camera's red) and by the flash. . .


Galileo couldn't care less. This is his unamused face. . .


Poor Ani, he's not very happy that I'm taking his picture. He just got groomed and he doesn't much care for being naked--totally mama's fault for not getting him to the groomer quick enough. . .


Sorry buddy!

But seriously, look at that. Those are the clearest pictures I've ever taken! Maybe it's that I've been taking tons on my iPhone and they look like crap, so these would naturally look better. But check these out--Oh mama!! They look amazing! I even got one of the elusive Raspberry KitchenAid 5Qt Mixer. . .


I couldn't be a happier camper if I wanted. Now, I think I'll go take some more pictures of. . . everything! Woohoo! Then, maybe I'll bake a cake!! Okay, no, I have to grade, but I'll spend the whole time wishing I was baking a cake. ~.^

My Marriage is Not Legitimate. . .

I've been trying to follow the discussion as SCOTUS decides whether or not to permit gay marriage. As a supporter, I hope they see reason. As a cynic, I have moments of doubt. My faith in our government, and particularly in some of the supreme court justices--Antonin Scalia, for instance--is fairly low. But yesterday, amid the debate, defenders of "traditional marriage" in the anti-gay rights camp made the argument that gay marriage can never be legitimized because marriage is for purposes of procreation. This is where they about lost me.

If marriage is solely for the purposes of procreation, then my marriage is not legitimate either. And neither are the marriages of every infertal or child-free couple who cannot, or will not, be bringing lives into our already grossly overpopulated world. If that's the best they've got, they're not taking into account all of the American citizens who don't have children. They're theoretically de-legitimizing a lot of unions so they can make a point that's bigoted and hate-filled. It's astonishing to me the lengths people are willing to go to in order that they might defend "traditions" that are ugly and dehumanizing.

Thankfully, SCOTUS seems to think it's just as ridiculous as I do. Justice Kagan slapped that argument down by asking the council whether he thought it would also be constitutional for marriage's to be denied couples who're 55 or older on the grounds that they cannot procreate. The anti-gay marriage lawyer, Charles Cooper, agreed that it would not. And even Antonin Scalia, whom I have almost no faith in, jumped in. He recognized the unconstitutionality of depriving marriage on the grounds that it's traditional purpose is procreation, saying, "I suppose we could have a questionnaire at the marriage desk when people come in to get the marriage — you know, Are you fertile or are you not fertile? I suspect this Court would hold that to be an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, don’t you think?” Yes, I do, and so does every other rational mind.

Ultimately, the point is that love is love. It has nothing to do with whether or not you can procreate, what sex you are, what color you are, or any number of other artificial criteria people try to force on an institution that's based on affection. And even though it's currently shrouded legal jargon and formalities, I think SCOTUS will ultimately see that, too--or at least I hope they do. But just for the record, a lot of gay couples do have children whether through adoption, surrogacy, or IVF. There are gay couples with kids and straight couples without. Procreation is hardly the point. Love is the point and gay couples are just as capable of engaging in loving, committed relationships as straight couples. Love is love.

The Magic Spreadsheet

I'm a pretty avid reader, and though right now I'm not exactly what I'd call an avid writer, I'd really like to be again. I think I'm about coming back around to having the urge to write for the first time in a long time, which is fantastic because for quite a while there, I couldn't even think of it without being totally and completely turned off. Thanks, thesis! You see what you've done to me?! Eh hem, anyway, in the interest of getting back into the grove and writing again, I found something awesome that will help hold me accountable. Behold, I bring you the Magic Spreadsheet and the Magic Spreadsheet Facebook group. Now go check this thing out and sign up. I signed up today and I'm going to try to use it to hold myself to a writing schedule. It seems like a really neat idea!

Now I just need to decide what to work on. I have a few WIPs and a few ideas floating around in my brain for new stuff. Do I want to start something new to kick off my return to writing? Or, do I want to go back to something that's already 52k+ words in (like Love's Daughter) and wrestle with it some more? I just don't know. It doesn't seem like it would make a good start to go back to something that had me stumped last time I worked on it. Might start something new, good vibes and all of that. Maybe what I should be doing will come to me in a dream. . . although my dreams have been really disturbing lately, so maybe not. O.o

Rearranging the (Virtual) Furniture. . .

I changed things around again. It actually got to the point where I felt an urgency to change the previous header and background. It was completely impossible to resist. I actually felt like I might freak out if I had to look at the previous design for one more minute. So, rather than losing it, I just found something I like better. There's already plenty of pink in my life (huge understatement), so making a change here blog felt good and since my current interest is steampunk and this felt a little bit steampunk to me--no idea why, but it's pretty anyway, don't you think?--I went with it.

It would seem this is also my 380th post. I'm actually closing in on 400, which makes me feel awesome. For a long time, I felt like I was the kind of person who started things, but never finished anything. Then I graduated with my BA, which was huge. Then I graduated with my MA, which was even bigger. Two things, finished. So, while blogging doesn't exactly have a "finished" it's probably the only hobby I have that I'm interested in all the time and that I've stuck with for a long time--except maybe for gaming, which I've been doing for 14 years now, trumping my 10 years of blogging. Holy cow, I've been blogging for 10 years this April! That's outrageous. . . in a good way, of course. I've almost been blogging for a decade. Crazy!

On the Illusion of Safety. . .

I made Matt go with me to Walmart yesterday afternoon and for the first time in a long time it had nothing to do with my agoraphobia. He didn't complain, he was happy to go with because he's worried about my safety. The rash of armed robberies in town has me pretty freaked out and though he would never admit to being freaked, he is, too. Mostly, though, I think it's because he works at night and I'm alone. He even asked me the other afternoon if my clip was loaded--I assured him it was--and made sure of where my gun was. Four armed robberies in as many days in a little town like this is an absolute crime spree. No one in town is prepared for it. One of the little flower shops in town even has their doors locked and patrons have to ring a bell to announce themselves to get inside.

So, on the way to Walmart we got to talking about why this thing has our whole community so worried, and why it has me so freaked out in particular. When we lived in Waco we wouldn't have thought twice about four robberies in four days, we'd have just gone about our business. It's a big enough town that the odds of being involved in a robbery were pretty low, it was a fact of life, and robberies in bigger cities are pretty common place. Here, though, where the whole community consists of 15,000 people, where everyone is lulled into a sense of security by the fact that small towns are generally safe places to live and work, this sort of criminal behavior becomes personal. They robbed two gas stations, a Cash America store, and the Dollar General that's less than a mile from where I live. I've been to all of those places, except the Cash America. I shop at the Dollar General sometimes. So when places you patron in a little town like this are robbed at gun point, it's a big deal.

And honestly, it has me feeling a little bit violated. When we lived in Waco, my agoraphobia wasn't quite as bad as it is here. Strange, I know, but I think small towns are the ultimate step in hiding from the world. Here, I can live in a small community and pretend that the big scary would doesn't really exist. I have a legitimate reason to stay home and shop online because we can't get a lot of things in town. It's hard for me to go anywhere alone, but I manage because it's a safe community where I'm never far from home. I patron the same establishments repeatedly, which cuts down on my fear just a smidge. Then something like this happens, armed robberies rock our "safe" little town, and the illusion is shaken. We see behind the curtain, that no place is truly safe, and a world built around the idea that it is becomes a lie we tell ourselves. At least, for me. I feel like I was lulled into a false sense of security, one which I was more than happy to believe, and that I wanted never to end. But lately, with the crime in town, it's impossible to feel safe.

Now, though, the SPD is saying that they've detained two suspects. Ironically, they were arrested getting gas at the first place they robbed. That's either bold or stupid, or they've got the wrong guys. Although, they have pictures of them, so I don't see how they could have the wrong guys. But, they're still not confirming that they've arrested the guys who hit all of those stores, which is just a sort of smokescreen. I won't feel safe again until these guys are behind bars, until it's confirmed, because they could still be out there. And I certainly won't be going anywhere alone until we have more confirmation. Now I'm wondering whether or not I'll ever feel completely safe here again. I'm sure, given time, the feelings will fade and the illusion will be soundly back in place, but it'll be fragile and easy to tear down next time.

And maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe I'm being dramatic, but that's how I feel. If Stephenville isn't safe, no place is. You'd think that would be something I would grasp completely, particularly since I'm a fan of true-crime shows, which always seem to showcase small towns that are rocked by gruesome murders, but I didn't, not until it became personal. Lets just say that from now on, when Matt insists on locking the front door, I'm not going to scoff or shake my head. I'm going to get up and lock the front door

Still & Quiet

I had one of those moments of perfect peace and quiet this morning. Those blissfully silent moments when the only sounds were my breathing and the distant sound of cars on the near-by highway. Matt had come to bed and was telling me about last nights 7th Sea game when he started to drift off to sleep. The dogs were blessedly silent, which is so rare that I actually noticed it. That's when it happened, when my mind just slipped into this state where I was a part of the silence. I concentrated only on what I could hear, but didn't seek out new sounds, only accepted them when they presented themselves. It was sheer bliss.

Sadly, those moments can't last forever and Matt disturbed it by rustling around in the covers, trying to get the blankets off of himself. I was snapped back to reality, which was just a little bit sad, but I climbed out of bed feeling pretty good anyway. Something that I really needed this morning because I had really vivid, disturbing dreams all night, which are thankfully fading from my memory, but are leaving me feeling disturbed, like I need to scrub my subconscious with something sudsy and happy. In lieu of that, I just settled for a fluoxetine and a bowl of multi-grain cheerios, and I'm fine with that. It could have been a much worse morning.

Without Nuts. . .

Several weeks ago, I sent Matt to the store for some things. I asked him to get Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom Ice Cream while he was there--if you haven't tried it, it's great, you can get it at Walmart and it has no added sugar. The only two requirements were that the ice cream not have nuts in it and that it was either chocolate or vanilla, or that he get one tub of each. Easy, right? Oh, and I told him to get bananas. I even texted him a list, so he couldn't forget. So when he came home with two tubs of Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom Banana Split Ice Cream, I wasn't too happy. It was exactly what I asked him not to get.

His explanation:
You wanted something without nuts and they didn't have chocolate. So, I got that one because it has chocolate in it. And, like, cherries and pineapple and stuff.

Facepalm moment. . . So I tell him that it also has nuts in it and he's completely dumbfounded. The man didn't bother to read the top of the tub and says he didn't know that banana splits have nuts on them. Oh, he also forgot the bananas. Thanks, honey. So, I've been eating it, even though it's not my favorite thing, and spitting out the nuts--which is what reminded me of it and prompted this post. I know, it sounds gross, but its how I always choked down rocky road, too. I literally hate almonds and walnuts. Hate them. So I suppose next time if I want something done right, I need to do it myself.

Banana split. . . seriously. God, I love that man, even when he completely screws up the little stuff. :)

Back to Work. . .

Spring break is over, so I'm back to work this week. Monday night, I dreamt that my first day back to work, Tuesday, was complete chaos. That my students wouldn't sit down and listen to me, but opted instead to rather loudly watch a video on one student's laptop. That I gave them another instructor's handout and then tried to get them back, which was a mess. And, to make matters about a million times worse, that my supervisor was there to observe my hectic class. Unsurprisingly, I woke up in a terrible mood, with a pounding headache on Tuesday morning. That right there is a great way to start back to work after a week off.

But, despite by terrifying awesome subconscious predictions that my day would be a wreck, it was actually rather nice. I had students during my office hours, which made sitting in my office for two hours before class completely worth it--of course, I also use my office hours to plan out my classes, so it works either way. I got lots of student emails, which I'm always grateful for because it means my students are comfortable reaching out to me. My classes went really well, my students were all well behaved, save for a few stragglers coming in late, which I can forgive since it's only the second day back from spring break and they're still mentally checked out--but then, who isn't?

After class I had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Young for a while. My management books say that having a mentor is a really helpful thing for young professionals and if that's true she's definitely mine. I've known her and been taking her classes for 9 years now. She was my thesis committee chair and so oversaw all of my thesis work. She has always been an inspiration to me, so I thought I'd talk to her about how she conducts her Engish 111 class and whether or not she would be willing to share her materials with me. She agreed and said that I could observe her classes when I asked. We talked a while about virtue, or lack there of, of PowerPoint something she doesn't use for a multitude of reasons. It was lovely.

I also had the chance to speak to her about how I might draw some conference/publication papers from my thesis work. She gave me some ideas about how to get started, including which conferences I should send proposals to, and said that we could get together and take a look at my thesis sometime. Even though I'm not her student anymore, she's still willing to help me, for which I am eternally grateful. I'm not sure what I'd do without her, to be honest. We even talked about a paper she recently gave that sounds really interesting to me and about the virtues of conference papers over publications when you're just starting out. So I'm thinking I may reach outside (way outside) my comfort zone and see about presenting at some of the conferences next spring--the deadlines for submissions are at the end of this year, so that gives me plenty of time. Might be that I can work on this in the summer, when I'm off work.

So far, my week back to work has been nice. I had a completely dreamless sleep last night, which was a good thing because my dreams have been really bizarre and disturbing lately. Of course, I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. because I couldn't keep my eyes open and slept until 7:00 a.m., and still felt like I hadn't rested at all well. Oh, and completely off topic here, but I splurged this week and bought myself a new carpet shampooer, a set of plates, and a KitchenAid mixer. I've never had a stand-mixer so I'm really excited, I love to bake, and wait until you see the color! Pictures forthcoming after it gets here Friday! But, for now I'm off to get some grading done. Might as well try to make today as productive as yesterday.

Wherein I Ramble About Gaming. . .

Matt and I spent the day together yesterday gaming. It has been a while since we did that, so we had a really nice time playing 7th Sea (my favorite game hands down). It was awesome, in fact. But the thing I don't so much like about those all day gaming sessions is that they tend to make the day just disappear. Bye bye Tuesday, it was nice knowing ya. I once lost an entire Christmas break like that, except we were playing Shadowrun almost non-stop. . . for five weeks (Matt was working at home then). I hardly remember it, except to recount what Akasha was doing during that time--trust me, don't ask, the explanation is long and would make zero sense to anyone but me and Matt.

You know, it just occurred to me while rambling along, because you know I had zero intentions for this post when I started writing except to write, that I don't talk much about gaming. I suppose it's an issue of relatability. I figure it won't matter to anyone but me, so I don't talk about it because it's such a fringe pastime that few people can relate to it. I mean, lets be honest, how many people who hear the word gaming think of table top/pen & paper role playing games? So few there's not really a number here. Or really, how many people who do know what table-top RPG's are know that there's a lot more than just D&D out there, that D&D was just the first? Most people hear gaming and just think of video games. That's what the world is coming to. Having an imagination isn't popular anymore, I guess.

And it's something that comes up with Matt all the time because we can't seem to just go to a game shop and buy gaming books anymore. Most game shops are just Magic and other CCG card games, and some still carry Warhammer miniatures. But try finding books, it's ridiculous. Even the game shop in Waco, where 15 years ago he could go and find books lining the walls and shelves, is now mostly cards and miniatures. They still have books, but their selection isn't great. We can sometimes get books at Hastings, but even then the selection is terrible. And dice, don't even get me started. When we want books and dice we have to buy them online and wait for them to get here--and a lot of gaming books have gone to PDF eBooks now, so same price without having something to hold in our hands. Not. Awesome. And we're inclined to blame the rise of the MMORPG for the death of table-top RPG, which sucks because it takes so much more imagination to sit down and play Dungeons & Dragons than it does to run from pixelated quest-giver to quest-giver.

The sad thing is, companies like Wizards of the Coast have to do things like put out a new iteration of D&D every other year to make any money thanks to the MMO industry. Every time we turn around a new edition of D&D is out, or is being play tested, and they're all starting to suck. I haven't had fun with D&D since 2e and when we play we mostly go back to 2e because it was the only way D&D made sense, before TSR sold out to Wizards of the Coast, who turned D&D into a commercial nightmare. I mean, between 1974 and 1997 TSR put out 3 editions of D&D--Original, 1e, & 2e. Since Wizards of the Coast bought the brand, they've put out four editions between 2000 and 2012. It's ludicrous, but maybe they wouldn't care so much about their bottom line that they continually cheat players out of hard earned money for yet another new D&D rules set that's going to suck if MMOs hadn't stolen their fan-base.

Not that it's MMOs fault, per se. People will take the path of least resistance whenever possible and in this case that path is pre-packaged adventure, no thinking required. No books, no paper, no dice, just $15 per month and the sparkly MMO can be yours. Ugh. So I keep telling Matt that pen & paper RPGs are going away, that finding books will become harder and harder, or more expensive, and though he doesn't like to agree, he has no other choice when he looks at it realistically. Soon, table-top will be a relic of gaming past and people who play it will be a novelty, something whimsical and on the fringe. It's the reason AEG stopped making books for 7th Sea, because a game like 7th Sea requires a basic understanding of history and the ability to think. People just don't want that.

Okay, so now I'm starting to realize why I never talk about gaming, because I can go on and on about how it's falling into ruin. It makes me sad. And, other than me, who really wants to hear about that? So now it's time for me to go because it's midnight and I still want to look at the book I got for Wolsung (a new table-top RPG I want to start playing). Good night.

Matt on Sweet Tea. . .

I was just waking up when Matt was coming to bed this morning. He works nights, which can be lonely for me, but which I can thankfully mitigate by sleeping a lot of those hours away. But, I miss him, so rather than hopping out of bed when he lays down, I lay with him for a while. He's  usually really sleepy, though, and he tends to say some pretty funny things. This morning it was something along the lines of:
"I hate the South, everyone's got a damn 'recipe' for sweet tea!" he said. "Why would anyone need a recipe for sweet tea? Is it tea? Is it sweetened? If so then I don't want it. And they're always like 'oh, you have to try my recipe for sweet tea, even if you don't like it, you'll like mine!' Ugh!" he went on, "No. I won't."

It was hilarious and it was completely my fault because I brought it up when I told him that I shared with my mom how he has a tantrum when he accidentally gets sweet tea in restaurants. I told him he clearly didn't get enough attention as a child if he thinks he needs to act out over something small like that. Thankfully, he's simmered down on the theatrical tantrums a bit. But by way of explanation he said:
"You'd be pretty pissed if you got your diet coke, put your lips around the straw, had expectations about the bubbly liquid only to suck tomato juice into your mouth. It's disgusting!"

God, I love him all the time, but there are moments when I love him more. This morning was definitely one of those moments. Now, every time I see him with tea I'm going to laugh. It's these little moments that make married life is awesome. My life is so much better with him in it.

On Suffering in Silence. . .

I saw something on Pinterest this week that really pissed me off. It was a pin that said, "Never speak ill of your husband." While I get that, and if you google it you'll find a ton of pages that back that sentiment up, saying that badmouthing your husband will slowly kill your marriage, the sentiment still upsets me. Maybe I'd be less annoyed if it said "Never speak ill of your spouse," and I wouldn't be here talking about it right now, but most of them don't. Most of them are warnings to women to keep their mouths shut and suffer in silence. Better not to upset your marriage by speaking poorly of the almighty man, after all.

What makes it worse is that a lot of people are trying to support this logic with biblical sentiment that suggests that women should serve their husbands. When people use the bible, or religion, to foster social inequity, for me, it goes against the basic nature and purpose of religion. And most of the people doing it are women, which makes it about a thousand times worse. But I digress, because this isn't a discussion about the potential hypocrisies of organized religion--stow that discussion for another day. This is about the social inequity that manages to still permeate society through tiny little nooks and crannies like the Pinterest boards of women who are either to ignorant to understand their sentiments are harmful, or too "traditional" to care. It's infuriating.

And why shouldn't this sentiment be equally shared? Why should it be okay for men to say whatever they want when women are told to stay quiet, even to their closest friends and family? It's that sentiment--from the world, rather than from anyone in my life at the time--that kept me in a bad relationship with my ex until there was almost nothing left of me inside my own head. It's making people believe all was peaches and cream on the outside, when on the inside we fought and lived in an abusive relationship, where he told me that I wasn't smart enough, wasn't good enough, wasn't pretty enough for him, where he made me feel like I was small and insignificant and lucky that he was willing to be with me, despite my stupidity and ugliness. Maybe if, when I was 19 years old, I could have turned to someone and said, "he's hurting me," but that wasn't the way things were, that still isn't the way things are.

Thankfully, it's over, but the sentiment that kept me trapped is still alive and well. It's even alive and well in my own marriage, in the marriages of my friends, in the southern mentality that isn't at all southern--I was living in California when I felt too powerless to do anything about my first marriage.  Matt is a very private person, he doesn't like me to talk about the downs in our marriage, but it's fine to talk about the ups. His rationale is that if people know about your problems, there are people who would exploit those chinks in the chain to break the marriage apart. I get his rationale, but the idea that women should just keep their mouths shut about their issues is abhorrent. Yet, it's ingrained and until people refuse the inequity built into the system that says women have to shut-up and take it, while men are free to do as they like, it's going to stay ingrained. Even when those perpetuating it have the best intentions at heart--like Matt does.

You'll notice that I don't entirely agree with him and that, from time to time, I talk about our issues because I'm in this marriage too and I have strike a balance between his will and mine. He and I struggle with it, but at least I'm not willing to just take it lying down. No one should take it lying down. Because, honestly, it was keeping all of our problems inside, rather than looking for someone to help me, that destroyed my first marriage. It was exactly the opposite of what everyone says will destroy you that destroyed Mike and me--though we were toxic for a long time. And although it has been a really good thing, I find it ironic. If you're looking to ruin your marriage, by all means, suffer in silence. But, excuse me while I don't buy into the whole keep your mouth shut and take it business. I'd rather not screw up the really good marriage I have now with antiquated ideas about propriety and suffering in silence. And really, neither should anyone else.

Spring Break

Well, I certainly have my drama queen moments, don't I? Reading over my last post reassured me that I do. I made an A on my research paper (a 95 to be exact), which has made me feel a little bit less emotional about failing my accounting exam. I only say a little bit less emotional because a 95 is a little bit disappointing. I have an MA in English and I can't do better than a 95 on a research paper. . . really? My only consolation there is that I wrote the paper in one evening and was under the understanding that I could have made a C on that paper and still made an A in the class. Of course, if I'd made a C on the paper I might have lost it. Seriously. There's just no right answer here, it seems like nothing makes me happy these days.

Thank god it's spring break. Although, I have 45 papers to grade this week, so maybe not. I actually mind grading less than I did when I was working as a graduate assistant, but it's still not m favorite activity. If I could just bring myself to get started, maybe I could get it done. That seems to be the hang up right there. Spending spring break grading papers isn't my idea of a good time. And really, I only need to grade one class's papers this week, I can do the other class next week, when school's back in because I don't have to return them until March 26th. So maybe that's where the balance is. Just get one class done and be happy with that small bit of progress.

It doesn't help that Matt took a vacation day this week so that he could have an extra day off during spring break. Since it was his short week anyway, he only has to work one day, Wednesday. He'll be off Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday through Sunday. That's a lot of days off and he's going to want to spend them gaming. He's managed to talk me into playing a new RPG, Anima, and though I can't seem to find my way toward being as enthused about it as he is, I'm having an okay time. I also found another RPG, called Wolsung, which is a "steam pulp fantasy" RPG that I'd like to give a try but with gaming, with Matt, since he's the GM, we get into the systems he wants to play. He's pretty ambivalent about the systems I'm into, which is a fairly recent thing, but it's annoying nonetheless. It use to be that I was the one picking the systems. When we got together he only really played D&D 2e and Shadowrun, with a tiny bit of Cyberpunk tossed into the mix. Then I started being interested in other systems, so we played them. These days, though it's all him. So my chances of getting my grading done his week go down because Matt will be home all week.

It's nice to have time off, anyway. I don't have any work due for the classes I'm taking during spring break, so here's not much to do other than relax, clean my house--big, big task there, I hate to clean so I ignore it until it becomes a pretty big issue--game, and grade about 25 papers. That's not a bad week, all in all. I shouldn't be so whiny, I know, I just can't seem to help it these days. Which is fucking stupid, particularly since my life has been pretty good of late. I have a job I'm actually enjoying this time around (most days, anyway), I have a good husband and a good marriage, I've even had time to read a book for leisure this last week. Things are awesome, 2013 has been awesome, so what the hell is my problem? I wish I knew.

So now I'm going to go try to work on getting my house clean and watch some Supernatural, I'm almost done with season 5. Love that show so freaking much--Jensen Ackles is completely swoon-worthy! Try to have a good day with what's left of my weekend, and my time alone, before Matt's off all week. Laters, baby.

Wherein I'm Especially Emo. . .

I am so tired. I'm not complaining, it's just a fact. I'm exhausted. I had an emotionally exhausting. . . weekend, really. I was going to say "day," but that doesn't quite cut it. I was so glad when Friday was here, but, thanks to an especially horrible weekend, at this point I'm just trying to look forward to the next deadline and take it one day at a time. Wednesday, at noon, when my research paper is due, is the next big thing up. After that I think I'll have room to breathe. It'll almost be spring break, though I get to spend much of my spring break grading papers, so that should be fun. No rest for the wicked, I suppose.

And I'm feeling incredibly low the last day or two, but rather than not being able to see the cause, I see it clearly for once. I took my first test in accounting on Saturday and I bombed it--I made a 63. I totally and completely bombed it and as a result my grade in that class is a 78.4. I'm making a C+, in a grad class, which is a failing grade. Matt and Melanie both passed it, but I didn't, and honestly I feel so, remarkably stupid at this point. How could I be making a C in a grad class? I'm completely at a loss, I'm terrible at accounting, and if I don't pass the class I've pretty much decided that I won't go forward with the program. I'm not taking this class again. Ever. If I don't pass, I'm done. Matt and Melanie can go on, I'm sure they'll do great. It's almost funny, you know, considering this was my idea to enroll in this program in the first place. God, I can be so stupid sometimes. Really, the highlight of my whole Saturday was the four and a half margarita's I drank at Chili's (they were small).

Then, I spent Sunday feeling like emotional crap, but I helped Matt study for his accounting test all day long. The whole day devoted to just that, and to replying to my student's who emailed me their paper topic, and by the time evening came I was brain fried. Seriously. My head was mush, which is when my sinuses started to close and I stopped being able to breathe. Matt had to take me to Wal-Mart for a bunch of meds and tissue so I could breathe again and I still went to bed stuffed up and feeling both miserable and sorry for myself. Particularly since Matt thought I was being mean to him, because I was running out of patience and I snapped at him, and he yelled "f*ck you!" at me--in his defense, I was being a bit mean. I was so shocked that I literally said nothing and we didn't talk the rest of the night, so on top of everything else, I fell asleep feeling really emotionally raw. It was not a good day. A wasted day, really, that ended really poorly.

Today, I woke up feeling stuffed up and emotional, but I still managed to get my organizational behavior homework done. At least I'm making an A in both my management and organizational behavior classes, that sort of makes me feel better, but if I fail accounting it won't mean a thing. Maybe I should have gone to library science school after all? If nothing else, no one to compete with there. Anyway, I also managed to get my student's mid-term grades into the system and answer some more student topic emails, so that was all good. Then we went out to lunch and got into a conversation about college standards and ended up getting into a bit of a disagreement, wherein I ended up sharing some things that're on my mind, like the fact that I don't feel like he takes my issues--particularly my agoraphobia--very seriously.

The main problem there is that I can't really go out and do things alone. I just end up having anxiety attacks and, often, going home. Even when I'm able to go in somewhere alone, it takes me a while to work up the courage--you should see me trying to go to the nail salon, I sit in the car for like 20 minutes talking myself into going in. I've never lost that battle yet. So lately I've been feeling like I can't get anyone to go do the things I want to do. Matt's always too tired and everyone else is too busy with their stuff, which I totally get. But if I could go to the movie or go bowling alone, I would. I would go alone and it wouldn't matter that everyone else is too freaking busy. But, I can't. So I'm dependent, which sucks for the aforementioned reasons.

So now it's 8:00 p.m. and I have a research paper due on Wednesday at noon, and I've not even started it yet. It's only supposed to be 8-10 pages long and it's over a topic that our professor laid out pretty clearly and thoroughly, so I'm not that worried, except that I have to work tomorrow, which means I really need to at least start it today. But, I'm running out of steam really fast. So here I am, procrastinating and bitching about my horrible weekend, rather than writing my paper. I'm sure once I get started it won't take me long, but it's the getting started that seems to be the main issue. So, maybe I'll go do that right now, or maybe I'll just watch TV, veg, and completely disregard how I'll feel tomorrow if I don't get this thing started tonight. Sounds like tomorrow's not going to be any better than today has been, which has been only marginally better than the weekend was. Ugh, I think I need another margarita.

Long Week. . .

Thank goodness that Friday is finally here! It's been a long week, I've not been sleeping terribly well, and I'm looking forward to having a weekend off. Of course, I don't actually have a weekend off, I have to write an 8-10 page research paper for management, take an accounting test, read a section (with 8-10 chapters) in the Ropes to Skip, Ropes to Know book and write a chapters/concepts review. Still, it's nice to be embarking on a weekend when Matt's got three days off.  I generally really like his long weekends off--he has every other weekend off--while I tend to be fairly lonely on his long work weekends. That's the way it goes, I suppose.

This week was actually a little bit stressful because I had my semester observation and evaluation. My supervisor came to one of my classes and then I had an evaluation with her in the afternoon. I got really good feedback and some suggestions from her as to class/group exercises. All in all, it was fine, but I stress and worry and get nervous about these things, get all worked up, and then when it's over I usually get a killer headache from the let-down from all that anxiety. Healthy? No, I know it isn't, but it's not something I can control either, so I've just stopped trying. For the most part, I've given into the anxiety, it's stronger than I am most of the time. ~.^

Then, today I went and ran some errands--read: I got my nails done, picked up a new pair of shoes and a pair of earrings at Cato, and then went to Wal-Mart for nail polish and shampoo. Ooh, and I had a bite to eat while I was out. Not a bad way to spend a few hours, except for one little thing. While I was at the nail salon, getting my nails done, a woman came in with an 18 month old. This kid was adorable! He was also naughty!! He was running all over the place, messing with his mom while she was getting a manicure, messing with the foot spas, bugging people, throwing fits, and the girl's sister wouldn't watch him so he kept running around terrorizing everyone. My tolerance for little kids is pretty short. I like them okay, I understand they're a part of society, but I want them to behave. So, if this woman had someone to watch her kid, why did she take his naughty little ass to the nail salon where other women are just trying to relax? I mean, seriously, leave the kid home!

Okay, enough of that. If I ranted about every bratty little kid I saw out in public, this whole blog would be nothing but brat chat. Bleh! No thanks. Still, it was annoying. I was glad when my nails were done so I could go do something else and get away from the naughty kid and his "oh isn't he cute with his naughty behavior" mommy. Okay, really, enough of that. Now, I'm going to go wake up Matt because we're supposed to go out to dinner with Melanie and Joey in a few hours and the bum is still snoozing! ^.^