November 2007


You know how I bitch all the freaking time about how we don’t have any friends here? And how I’m all lonely ‘n shit?

Well, there’s this person we know from the East Coast. We weren’t really good friends with her there; her then-boyfriend was part of the-boys-who-go-way-back-together (which also included Jason, Bad Idea, and the Squirrel). We saw them a lot at parties, invited them to parties, drank at their house, things like that. But I wouldn’t have said we were exactly “friends.” Anyway. She lives very near here, in Big-City-Over-There. We’d been planning on getting together for months, but never really motivated to do it.

So last night we made plans to get together in the evening. We ordered dinner in, and she and GB had a glass of wine. And then more wine. And then some beer. And then a lot more beer. And it was fun, hanging out with her–more fun than I thought it would be, honestly. It was just nice to hang out with a friend, really. And I was happy about it, after all my bitching, even though I had to drag my sleepy pregnant ass off to bed by midnight, leaving them drinking and listening to music and having fun. Still, it was nice to fall asleep to that.

Except that she and GB got really really drunk, and she decided to sleep on the couch–also totally cool with me. But then this morning? GB dragged his hungover ass to work, and she kept sleeping. And then she’d wake up, and ask me what time it was, and go back to sleep. On the couch. A couple feet from my desk, where I was theoretically supposed to be writing (although I was just fucking around with the baby registry, but whatever–I was *supposed* to be working).

And dudes. She did not leave my house until almost 11:30. And I was like, oh my god, is she EVER going to leave?

So yeah. I whine about having no friends, and then we have one friend over, and then I get all crazy because she won’t leave.

I am clearly an ingrate.  It’s probably for the best that all my friends are long-distance and virtual.

Factors that should be motivating me to finish the goddamn dissertation, already:

  • A January 1st deadline (2 chapter drafts to The Advisor) in order to get the much-needed, absolutely-last-chance completion fellowship for next year
  • Being 4+ months behind by The Advisor’s deadlines (and farther behind, even, by my self-imposed deadlines)
  • The chapter I’m currently working on should be writing itself. It’s just an expansion of the conference paper, for fuck’s sake. I have all the data. I know what it’s about. It’s outlined thoroughly. It’s ready to go.
  • I really, really want to be done with this. I want to be Dr. Luckybuzz. I’ve been in school for 27 years now, and I’m ready to stop being a student.
  • I confidently promised The Advisor that I would have a complete draft (all chapters) done by the time the baby’s born (in June). There’s no reason that shouldn’t happen.
  • I’m here by myself (with just the cats) for over 13 hours a day. I have no other responsibilities (besides incubating the li’l parasite). I have very few distractions. I have the Dream Dissertating Environment.

Factors that are thwarting my progress:

  • I am, apparently, afraid of my dissertation. That’s about the only reason I can come up with for my level of avoidance. I seem to be able to work in about 10 minute increments before my mind wanders and I get all freaked out and I do something else.
  • That “something else” is almost never anything dissertation-productive.
  • Sleeping 14+ hours a day isn’t helping, either. People keep saying, “You’re in the second trimester now! Aren’t you feeling better?” Well, actually, no. I feel exactly the same–fine, but exhausted. I’m fairly sure there’s not a secret second-trimester switch that goes off at 13 weeks (or 13 weeks and 3 days, or whatever the hell it is). Or if there is, mine hasn’t flipped yet.  Because I’m still tired.
  • Even when I’m not tired, I’m all lethargic and bleary. Like, I’ve been trying to get up when GB leaves the house, at 6:30am. I’ve been doing pretty good with that, most days. Today, I slept in until like 8:30, so I’ve only been awake for an hour now. So why am I still having trouble concentrating and feeling like I could lie back down?
  • See, these are all excuses. Yes, I’m tired, and yes, I’m pregnant, but dudes, seriously, that’s not the real problem. I know that. The real problem is that I can’t seem to work on the diss for more than a few minutes at a time. I’ve tried setting timers, I’ve tried doing work/break scheduling (40/20? 30/10? 10/2? None of them work). I just keep stopping. Partly, I think, it’s the classic reasons: I think the diss is no good, I think what I’m writing is crap, and once it’s written–even if it’s a draft–there’s that sort of finality: like, that’s the best I can do. And I don’t like that feeling. The feeling of the *possibility* of the dissertation’s brilliance? Much nicer.
  • And yes, I see this post for what it is: more procrastination. Okay. I’ll try to get something done. But why is it So.  Fucking. Hard?

I have made some progress today…check out the word meter over there! Unfortunately,  a lot of that was rearranging, editing, and adding to the conference paper to make it work in the chapter. Still–as far as I’m concerned, nearly 50% of the chapter is done enough to send to The Advisor as a draft. I would love to finish the whole damn thing. I really would. But it’s not going to happen today.

I am So. Freaking. Tired.

Yesterday at the doctor’s office I got their very last dose of Thimerosal-free flu vaccine. I’m happy about this. I am ardently pro-vaccination, for adults and children.* I used to get the flu and bronchitis every single winter, before I discovered the wonder that is the flu shot–and I haven’t had the flu since (*knocking fervently on wood*). So. Flu shot = good thing, in my book, despite that my arm is all owie.

But damn, am I exhausted today. I’m actually typing this with my head resting on the back of my chair. I think that nap #2 might actually be in order. I feel tired and generally crappy and I kind of just want to get in bed, pull up the covers, and snuggle with the cats.

I ask you: is that so wrong?

Well, no, except that I really do have deadlines. If I want to get this completion fellowship for next year—and trust me, I really, really do–I have to have two chapter drafts to The Advisor before January 1st.

That’s an achievable goal, isn’t it? I mean, if I can stay awake?

I might have to close my eyes and contemplate this.**

*For the record, I am also ardently pro-copious-amounts-of-drugs-in-labor. If I could have the epidural *before* labor actually starts, I’d be thrilled. Someone recently asked me, “Have you thought about what kind of birth you want?” I answered, “I plan to be medicated early and often,” and from the look on her face, you’d have thought I said I planned to eat my baby. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: I. Love. Modern. Medicine.  99% decline in maternal mortality during the 20th century? I like the sound of that. Bring on the medical interventions!

**Remember when this blog was all, “OMG we totally made out!” and “Ooohhh, crap, 15 shots of tequila was a bad idea”? I know. Now it’s all, “I’m sleeeeepy!” and “I’m lonely!” and “Look at the inside of my uterus!” Sigh. I can’t promise any improvement anytime soon, but I am very grateful y’all keep dropping by anyway.

It would take 13 shots of Tequila to kill me

That actually doesn’t seem like very much to me…Although I guess they’re talking about a “three hour drinking period.” And we did mostly do half-shots, back in the Bumper Pool Basement. So okay, maybe.

It would take 10 Dirty Martinis to kill me

But only five to make me wish I was dead.

(Bad Idea always used to quote his father: “Martinis are like women’s breasts. One’s not enough, three is too many, two is just right.” Not that Bad Idea–or I–ever stuck with two martinis, though….We may both be slightly more hedonistic than Bad Idea’s dad. I always used to quote back Dorothy Parker’s ode to martinis:

“I like to have a Martini,
two at the very most.
Three and I’m under the table,
four and I’m under my host.”

Yes, Bad Idea and I drinking together was, to the casual observer, a very repetitive, boring event. I do miss it.)

And, OMG, look what I just found! They have that on martini glasses! Oh, yeah, that is SO my post-baby present to myself…)

Yeah, so, this was going to be a whiny post about how, dammit, I am OVER this whole no-local-friends thing, and I miss my friends, dammit, and I’m not sure how I can be lonely and solitary all day and STILL not be getting this goddamn chapter done. But whatever. Y’all know all that. Instead, I’ll leave you with this little badge of honor:

97%ALCOHOLIC

ETA: (Hmmm…I wonder why the graphic for that didn’t show up? It looked better with the graphic. Without, it just looks like a cry for help.)

You know, at some point I hope I relax just a little bit about this whole baby thing, because I am so over this pre-doctor insomnia thing. I woke up at 4am and laid in bed for an hour, thinking, no fucking way am I getting up this early just because I’m awake. By 5am I had to admit that I was, in fact, not just wide awake but starving. So my day started way too early, which meant I had to take a nap when I got home from the doctor, which means that now I’m all groggy and feeling like I could easily sleep for the rest of the day.

So not so much work is getting done today, it seems. Does reading more dissertation-related books still count as work at this point? I’m hoping it does.

Anyway, though, the Buzzlet: the Buzzlet looks good! Apparently our li’l parasite is “unbelievably cooperative” and “so laid back!,” according to the ultrasound tech. I did get to see it move around a little, though, which was nice. The NT scan measurement was within the normal range–also good. As always, I’m impatiently awaiting bloodwork results…but overall, I think everything pretty much looked like it’s supposed to. And we’re a tiny bit farther along than we thought–well, we’re where I thought, farther along than the doctor thought–so we’ll be 13 weeks tomorrow. I’m doing a Happy Second Trimester dance right now.

Here’s the little Buzz-Bob waving:

 

Nice. The kid’s got style already.

Here’s a profile shot:

I’m actually not sure what’s going on there–I think it might be singing.

And here’s the whole big baby:

 

Dudes. Do you see that? That’s my baby’s *brain*. How freaking cool is modern medicine?

So–thanks to everyone who has been offering email support and Facebook hugs (and pelting me with mashed potatoes) while I’ve been all pre-doctor-anxious. Having All-Long-Distance friends is a lot easier when you guys talk to me everyday.

  • The Christmas tree is making me very happy.
  • The cats puking up fake Christmas tree needles are making me less happy.
  • The weather is just wrong. I know–that’s why people move here. I’m actually surprised by how grumpy I am about the warm weather.
  • Fortunately (?), pregnancy has given me freezing feet all the time, so at least I can wear slippers all day. Even if the weather is in the 70s and relentlessly sunny.
  • We’re 12 weeks pregnant today! I’m psyched to finally be closing in on the second trimester, when apparently it’s okay to tell people we’re pregnant. This is good, because I’m pretty sure that everyone we know already knows.
  • I seem to have more belly today. I’m fairly sure it’s lemon-muffin-belly and not baby-belly. I’m looking forward to being able to blame the baby for the belly. I’m thinking that should happen soon.
  • Clearly, you can see why my top priority today has been adding things to our online registries (rather than doing any actual work). I haven’t told any family members about the registry yet (since, right, we’re only at 12 weeks, and no one has asked), but I am secretly (?) enjoying them.
  • In between putting the bead garland on the tree (ooh! shiny!), updating the registry, and eating eating eating, I have managed to do a smidgen of work. I’d say I’ve written about a page. I’d hoped to do more today, and I still have hope to get more done….
  • There seems to be a glaring hole in my research. Or, rather, there seems to be a glaring hole in THE research about a topic that is central to my dissertation. Which, in a way, is good: new ground,  and all that. But also, not so good: I really should be able to cite *someone* talking generally about this topic, and I cannot figure out who or what that would be. I’m fairly certain there is no generic research on the topic, and I’m finding that annoying. And also, I’m not feeling so much like I want to hunt the (potentially nonexistent) research down.
  • How was that for a cryptic bullet?
  • I think I have to go buy stuff to make green bean casserole, since it’s the one thing I needed to eat for Thanksgiving and didn’t get.
  • GB is probably taking tomorrow off from work. Yippee! I think there’s a Target ornament-buying run in our Sunday plans.
  • I’m psyched that he’ll be home tomorrow (hopefully, unless he gets all motivated to work)–he’s planning on working the next ~3 weeks straight. That would be 11 hours a day, every day (well, 7 hours on Sundays), for 19 days. I think he’s insane and will need a day off in there somewhere. At the same time, the idea of being able to pay rent (months of rent!) is very, very exciting.
  • That’s probably enough randomness for now. More randomness coming at ya later.

Well, InaDWriMo might be kind of a bust (though I will have this chapter done by the end of November…maybe not both chapters, but this one, at least), but I’m getting some things done. I bought a (fake) tree, and it’s up! I put the lights on, but I’m waiting for GB to get home tonight to put on the ornaments. We actually got rid of pretty much all of our old Christmas stuff in the move, so we’re starting fresh this year.

I think it looks pretty good, even ornament-less:

(When I was a kid–and had the same crappy eyesight I have now–I used to love to take my glasses off and look at the Christmas tree. In honor of my geeky seven-year-old-glasses-wearing self, this is what our tree looks like with my glasses off:)

Look! We already have a present! (Taken minutes before Walt became the first cat of the season to puke up fake tree needles.)*

In other news, I talked to Bad Idea on the phone today for the first time in four months, and I told him about the li’l Buzz-Bob. And confessed my deep, persistent thirst for martinis. I’m surprised by how much I actually miss Bad Idea–well, all of my East Coasters, really. It’s not that I’m not looking forward to the newest chapter of my life…but damn, I do miss the old ones.

Anyway. If you’ll excuse me, I think I need a nap. I walked all the way back from Evil Superstore carrying a goddamn 6′ tree in a box. This city sucks for public transportation, by the way. And no, I did not actually kill any of the FOUR (4) people on my walk home who felt compelled to utter the blindingly insightful observation, “Got a tree, huh?” Yeah. I got a tree.

*Aside to RL friends who know Walt: doesn’t he look huge (for him)? My sister the vet rocks.

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