Archive for January, 2008

sporadic

Posted in blogging, etcetera, Life on January 27, 2008 by drbolte

I was sitting in church today, listening to an apostle of the Lord speak, and I was suddenly struck by something that he said.  “You don’t have time to read that which is trash.”

I was struck by that idea that there’s only so much time, and I wondered what I’m doing with it.

Yeah, I waste too much time. That’s a fact that I don’t deny. It’s always going to be something that I struggle with. There are whole days when I am completely productive.  But there are too many days when I feel frustrated by how many different directions in which I’ll be pulled.  I’m sure that you can all relate.

When I was sitting in church today, though, having that moment of realization that I really don’t have much time to accomplish the goals that I want to achieve in the next nine or ten months, I realized that blogging–as much as it is sometimes helpful to me–is as much a distraction as it is a help.

I could be doing much more with my tine than I am.

So, not that I expect that this will shatter anyone’s week (and that’s really not a “woe is me, no one really reads my blog” dig…I promise–just the truth as I see it), expect to see fewer posts here.

Sporadic will be the watchword.  I’ll come if and when I need to.

Who knows? I just feel like it’s right to focus on what I need to focus on…which isn’t making this blog awesome.

battle weary

Posted in drama drama drama, Life, wish i may wish i might on January 25, 2008 by drbolte

It’s 2:45 a.m.

For about the fourth night in a row, I am awake far later than I want to be only because I can’t. go. to. sleep.

It’s definitely not for lack of trying. Last night I was in bed, blissfully asleep, by 8:15. No, I’m not 7. Just so tired of this whole cycle that I thought that I would stop it. That plan was derailed by my waking up at 12:00 and not being able to get back to sleep for, oh, FOUR AND A HALF HOURS.

I figured tonight I wouldn’t be quite so ambitious. Maybe I would just, you know, go to bed at midnight. It would still give me 8 hours but wouldn’t run the risk of me being awake, cursing my fate, in the middle of the night.

So, here I am. I’m doing all of the things that I should be doing.

Fan is on. White noise and comfortable temperature achieved. No possible yappy neighbor dog barking noises to wake me up.

Sleep aid taken–my drug of choice is Advil PM since with this long bout of insomniac insanity has come a week-long wrestling with headaches that just don’t seem to go away. In theory, this should send me peacefully off to sleep.

Nope. All I’ve gotten is a brief doze during the end of a normally terribly soporific early 90s movie, which I promptly arose out of when turning off the TV, apparently.

I haven’t eaten any time in the last eight hours, so that ought not to be a problem.

So, rather than repeat last night’s frustration that reached the level of tears–and led to me calling in sick to my second job and cancelling office hours to try to get some sleep–I’m writing.

I’m at a loss.

I mean, I’ll have insomnia periodically. I think everybody does. But this? This is just getting ridiculous. It’s almost as if my body’s laughing at all of my attempts to even try to get it back on a normal schedule.

And, honestly, by normal? I would just like to be sleepy. You know…where your body is not exhausted but just, you know, sleepy at the end of the day. Where sleep doesn’t involve some sort of psychological experiment to see just how much frustration one can take before cracking. Where you wake up feeling rested rather than cheated.

I think I remember days when that happened. I’m not sure when it was, but I’m sure that it was lovely.

But nowadays, when I go to fall asleep, my mind turns on and starts cranking. Starts thinking about anything and everything that there could be to think about–the class that I’m teaching and what I need to do for that, my dissertation and whatever goal I hope to achieve the next day, chores I need to do, bills I have to pay, money I need to earn, my friends, the fact that I haven’t exercised at all this week and should have…basically a laundry list of shoulds and coulds and woulds that all get stymied by one thing.

I can’t go to sleep.

And when I do, lately, it’s not particularly restful. This morning, when I finally did go to sleep, I had a nightmare. A vivid one. Pure anxiety–about somebody that I love being mad at me, etc. etc.–manifested during a REM cycle.

Super. That’ll get you ready for the day, eh?

See my dilemma? Any suggestions? I mean, besides the “stay up until you’re just crazy tired and then go to sleep” or “take massive amounts of Simply Sleep,” which I sort of already know. Am I doing something wrong? I feel like I msut be.

Or maybe I’m just a lot more worried about stuff than I think I am, and it’s all coming out in my sleep. Or lack thereof.

Or maybe I’m still fighting off something and my body is just freaking out.

Who knows.

I’m just tired of it.

Ha. Get it?

Oy.

puppy love makes everything okay.

Posted in wordless wednesday on January 23, 2008 by drbolte
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gone too soon

Posted in celebrities, Life on January 22, 2008 by drbolte

I don’t care who you are or whether or not you were a fan (I’m not particularly one), whether or not you liked Brokeback Mountain or thought it was a bunch of hoopla for not much at all (never saw it, never will, so I didn’t really care), or if you are a Dawson’s Creek fan who thought he was perfect for our Jen (it was cute…and how cute is it that they named their daughter Matilda?), the news of the death of Heath Ledger has to be a shock.

He was nearly my age.

He was at the height of his career.

He had everything to live for, everything to look forward to.

And he’s gone.

It’s rather odd that it even affects me at all.

Maybe it’s the world of the cult of celebrity that we live in, with CNN providing more entertainment news about Britney and K-Fed’s custody battle than about anything related to African sectarian violence or the presidential race, but when I learned the news, I felt it in my gut. I think in this world of celebrity, we feel as though we own a piece of all of them somehow–that they are our stars, our actors, our musicians.

And when something tragic happens, we all want to know why because if we can make sense of that perhaps we can make sense of our world when it is utterly senseless.

We’ll learn more over the next weeks about what happens. I hope, in the deepest part of my heart, that the whole thing does not become a circus ala Anna Nicole.

Please, please, please…let that NOT happen.

From my small place in the world, as stupid as it may sound, I wish peace and comfort to those who loved him and those he loved.  Maybe we should all just hug the people we love a little bit more.  That also may sound stupid, but there you go.

setting my sights on the horizon

Posted in books are bliss, dissertation, ghetto life, i hate vegetables, me, the joys of living in Florida, TV and me are pals on January 20, 2008 by drbolte

The week begins tomorrow, and yet the weekend hasn’t ended yet.   It’s odd, but good.

I’m looking forward to this week.  Not because anything is particularly happening, but because it is beginning cold and that gives me hope and the opportunity to get a lot done. While I know that I say that a lot, I hope this time I mean it because I have things to do.

I spent hours that should have been spent reading Jane Eyre on Saturday reading Twilight instead. It really is a lovely book.  Now I have to get my hands on New Moon and Eclipse.  We’ll see if I can wait to get them from the library or if I will cave and spend money I ought to spend on food or, I don’t know, assorted other practical things on two hardback books that are completely impractical.  We’ll see.

This week, I have four goals:

1.  Catch up on my teaching stuff and be prepared so that when my director comes to observe me, I don’t look like an idiot. Since I’m teaching  Jane Eyre, I think this ought to be a fairly less complicated task to achieve than if I was teaching, say, the Pre-Raphaelites who really just make me groan and have a migraine.

2.  Stop eating crap and get back on the “eat right/exercise more” wagon.

3.  Write a draft of my Barbauld chapter.  That one’s kind of ambitious, but…I’ll put it out there.

4.  Do all of this with as little drama as possible.  Love people, try to think kindly of them, not get annoyed by really stupid stuff that doesn’t matter at all, and eliminate as much peripheral drama in my life as possible.   I’ve had way too much of that lately, and it really does distract.

Not that any of you really care, particularly, what my goals for this week are.  Sigh. Oh well.

But now, as much as my thermostat says that it’s 70 degrees in here, my fingers are cold and the season finale of The Amazing Race 12 is on.  Have a lovely Monday, all. I hope this week brings you much success and joy.

bring on the turtles

Posted in etcetera, Life, you have to be a chick to understand on January 18, 2008 by drbolte

I’m going to see 27 Dresses tonight with some amazing gals. I’m looking forward to it. In fact, I’ve been looking forward to it for WEEKS now, since they delayed the opening a week. Lame.

I might eat some Shanghai Wings as well. I’m definitely starving to death and after the day at work I’ve had–picture a chicken running around with its head cut off, and you’ll understand what my afternoon was like.

I probably won’t be productive at all in the meantime, except for playing a ridiculous game of tennis where I don’t so much actually play the game as get a serious cardio workout simply by running around the court like an idiot chasing after the ball.

I’m going to a baptism on Saturday, which will be amazing, and then I might pop my head in at a wedding reception. Although, if that’s happening, I need to go buy a gift first. So…maybe I won’t. I don’t know.

On Sunday, I’m watching Finding Nemo or something else awesome on our giant new TV.

I’m grounding myself this weekend (despite all of the details of my weekend I just delineated) to work hard on my dissertation chapter on Eighteen Hundred and Eleven. I’ve got about an eleven page hodge-podge to begin with, but there’s much left to do.

I’m looking forward to it.  Most of this will occur in my turtle pajamas.

Bliss, I tell you, bliss!

What are you doing this weekend? Or, if it’s Monday, how’d you spend your three days?

full circle

Posted in Life, me on January 16, 2008 by drbolte

once upon a time, the phone rang. i picked it up and started talking to someone unexpected.

the phone call lasted for more than five hours.

it led to more phone calls, which led to hanging out, which led to the sweet stolen moments of life that make up the best stories later on.

that one phone call led to me being happier than i’d been in a long time.  for as long as i could be…which wasn’t as long as i thought that it would be.

fast forward.

months and months later.

behind us, the two people on each end of that first phone call, are misunderstandings, my wounded pride and seriously bruised ego,  his lies of omission and immature choices, the important life lessons we both had to learn, his new relationship, the saving grace of one of the most important relationships of my life, a series of “no, we can’t be friends” conversations fading into “maybe?” tries with varying degrees of success, and a lot of proverbial water under a bridge i kept trying to burn.

tonight, my phone rang again. i picked it up and, unexpectedly, started talking again.

it was stilted. awkward at first. the last time we spoke we basically hung up on one another using various electronic devices. we approached it carefully, deliberately.  it felt a little like opening a dam.  for him, he must have feared a burst of anger.  for me, i feared something entirely different.

we joked around at first, falling into the easy kind of banter that one finds in a hallway full of people, the kind you engage in with the friends who are not really friends but acquaintances, whose presence you find agreeable but whom you would never call for help.  i work those hallways very well.  it felt familiar and easy and, best of all, safe.

safe was good. i was hoping for safe.

inevitably, though, we segued into trying to actually talk.  he called, he said, wanting to catch up. i figured it must have been for some specific purpose, since he asked permission to call kind of out of the blue.  he asked the questions one would ask someone they hadn’t seen in a few months, about school and the important people in my life.  he asked them genuinely, i know.  i answered them with the polite, concise answers we’ve all grown accustomed to giving, the one-word answers that seem to respond but really give no information at all.

that conversation didn’t last long.

he didn’t like it. he was frustrated, which i found surprising.  he told me that if i didn’t want to talk, he’d understand, but that he didn’t want it to be difficult.  i didn’t understand this.  not difficult?  he replied that there was an attitude that he didn’t like, a wall that he couldn’t get past to get to carrie.

he wanted to talk to the carrie he used to talk to, the “nice, caring, spiritual” carrie.  this is the girl he remembered, of course, from when things were good.  the one he would call every night, the one who didn’t mince words when he was being an idiot and buoyed him up when he was feeling unequal to any challenge. the one who listened as he told her the secrets of his life with a genuine understanding that sometimes life is just much harder and messier and more complicated than we think it will be.  the one who gave and gave and gave willingly and joyfully because of how much she thought she got in return.

i asked him if he wanted me to be completely straight with him.

he said, with a voice almost desperate in its pleading, “YES.”

and i, unexpectedly, began to talk again.

the details, i suppose, are not important. we talked, for the first time without hurt and anger or the distance of IM clouding tone and reaction.  we talked about that proverbial water.

i talked without fear, like the first time.

we talked for a while, like the first time.

but as the conversation ended and i hung up the phone, i realized that we really had nothing new to say to one another.

i realized that, once upon a time, a phone call opened up a door that needed opening.

and now, once upon a this time, a phone call closed the doors that needed closing.

when you realize that you have nothing left to give, nothing left to say, nothing left to do, and that you don’t regret any of it anymore?

that’s when you’re done.

door closed.  chapter finished.

once upon a time, i loved a boy.  once upon a time, he broke my heart.  once upon a time, i learned a lesson.

once upon a time, i said goodbye.

and i never knew what a joyful word that could be.

this? this is my over the moon face.

Posted in blogging, books are bliss, Church, ghetto life, me, sports, teaching, TV and me are pals, you have to be a chick to understand on January 14, 2008 by drbolte

If you don’t know where that quote comes from, let me introduce you to something that will change your life forever.

I’m indulging in a little bit of Monday hodge-podge, friends.  Follow along at your own risk.  You may find your logic strangely set aside for my whimsical (really hate that word, actually) ramblings, and then where will you be?

…Walking by the redneck frat–I’m sorry. I don’t know what their real name is. Alpha Gamma Rho? Who cares? Alpha Gamma HELLO is more like it–was oh so very delicious this afternoon.  Boys barbecuing outside in the sunshiny slightly nippy Florida winter air? Yummy.  Boys wearing John Deere hats and blue jeans and steel toed boots? Yummy. Boys who only drive excessively large trucks? Yummy.  The fact that I STILL have a thing for boys in trucks (since high school…for real), who often come with a whole set of obnoxious redneck attitudes that drive the feminist in me NUTS? Not so very appetizing.  Also, that I used yummy a lot? Oy.

…Hallelujah, it’s not 85 degrees outside. I woke up excessively early this morning just because I had to turn off my fan I was that cold, even under my comforter.  Sigh.  Love it!  Of course, that combined with the fact that I had to take Advil PM last night to even manage a REM cycle means I woke up infinitely later than I had anticipated.  It was lovely, though.

…My week is shaping up to be ridiculously busy.  I am looking forward to that, actually.  It’s odd.

…I watched 3 minutes of “Rock of Love 2” last night and immediately recognized Megan.  I couldn’t place her. I racked my brains. I tried to log on to Vh1.com.  All of this took place in about 45 seconds. And then I realized…she’s from Beauty and the Geek!  This realization brought me two different conclusions: 1) I watch far, far too much reality TV if when I recognize someone off of another show I think that I know them in real life and 2) people have no real ambition if what they want to do with their lives is jump from one crazy reality show to another.

And, btw, if Bret Michaels would clean up his act and go to church, I’d date him.  Haha.

…I can’t decide if getting my hands on Twilight, this vampire teen romance saga, is worth the purchase price or if I should just wait until I can get it from the library or borrow it from someone.  If I’ll read it multiple times, it’s probably worth it.   It seems like such a completely frivolous expense, though.

…I had a dream yesterday afternoon, during the requisite Sunday afternoon nap, that I couldn’t turn on the light to save my life.  I mean, not literally to save my life, but you get my drift.  I wonder what that means. I haven’t had a really solid symbolic dream in ages.  I love them, and it’s usually how I dream.  People are rarely the people that they should be. My best friend once was played by John Stamos.  That was funny, since they look nothing whatsoever alike and have an age difference of about 20+ years.  I used to have an online dream dictionary bookmarked, but I haven’t had need for it in a while.  Maybe I need to dust that puppy off.

…I should be working on my class preparation. I’m already behind.  Sigh.

…What’s interesting to do with chicken?  I have some boneless chicken breasts and the spark of a desire for something different. I’m thinking I might try fried rice and lemon chicken.  That might be fun, yes? Ah, who knows. I’ll probably just slap some barbeque sauce on it and call it a day.

…I’m in such college football withdrawal that I am now watching parts of NFL playoff games.  I watched the Patriots, just with the fervent hope that they would finally be defeated.  I watched the end of the Chargers-Colts game yesterday because 1) Philip Rivers is from NC State and played there while I was there and I think he’s a phenomenal QB and 2) anytime a team can take out the SuperBowl champion from the AFC championship game, I’m happy.  But, really? When did this sports thing happen? I never used to be like this…it’s odd. But I quite like it.  The man who gets me will be a lucky guy…unless of course he doesn’t like sports.  And that DOES seem to be the kind I attract…sigh. That one gets a double sigh.

Have a lovely Monday, everyone. Six more days until we have to face another one!

you know you’re not a teenager when…

Posted in books are bliss, celebrities, TV and me are pals on January 13, 2008 by drbolte

…you’re willing to continue watching One Tree Hill not because of Chad Michael Murray’s rugged good looks (sorry…I know he’s pretty, but I can’t get over the fact that he’s such a skeez in real life) but because of the little kid who plays his 4 year old nephew. When the kid steals the show, either the show is not so good or I am a little bit baby crazy.

I think it may be a combination, but that kid is ADORABLE. I want four or five just like him. Precocious. Articulate. Blonde and spiky haired. Perhaps a shade fictional.

And, please, powers that be, can I please have a life that includes someone saying to me “Milan. Tomorrow. Smile.”?

Why thank you.

In other news, I was in the paper today. (You have to scroll down–I’m on the 2008 schedule of events.)

And while I certainly looked, I wasn’t even really that excited.

I don’t get out of bed for less than a paragraph, apparently.

Heh.

choosing my own adventures

Posted in etcetera, Life, me on January 13, 2008 by drbolte

there’s this commercial playing on MTV right now–i saw it several times today as i was watching both the tail end of a “made” marathon and the beginning of the antm marathon–encouraging people to get tested for HIV.  it features a serious of brightly colored blocks with text on them–saying things like what you download, what you wear, what you eat, who you flirt with, who your friends are, etc.–all with the intent of communicating how much we have control over.

i am struck by this commercial every single time i see it.

it’s really true–even in the midst of so much that we have no control over, we have so much power in choice.  and, ironically, the greatest manifest power in those choices can often be during those times when we feel powerless. when we feel that, despite the fact that things seem to be tough, that we’re slogging through the perpetual mud, that we’re going up the proverbial hill, that life has handed us the clichéd lemons, we will choose to be of good cheer, to have a perfect brightness of hope, to find a glimmer of gladness in what seems to be at best mediocrity or at worst a great deal of despair.

in those moments, even if they are few and far between, we confront the magnitude of who we really are or, better yet, who we can be.  we decide to fight, to move forward.

we choose and rechoose and choose again the path we want to be on.

it’s an exhausting exercise, this life of perpetual choices.   it would be so much easier if i could just make these decisions once–write it down, in detail, what i want and who i want to be and what i want to do and how i want to do it–and then let it all come to pass.

wouldn’t that just be lovely?

not really, i suppose.  we’d never have the option of course correction, never be able to experience the incredible mercy and bliss of do-overs, really never be able to track how much we’ve changed.  we’d never be able to change, really.

and as much as i fight it and as much as i sometimes bemoan it, i love change. i love that i get to change. i love how much i have changed.  i love that i continue to change and i love that all i want to do is continue to change until i have become what it is that i want to be.

the little details of which will likely change as i get closer to it.