Archive for the facebook is the new crack Category

unfriend.

Posted in etcetera, facebook is the new crack, faith is action, huh?, Life, me, the internets on June 10, 2009 by drbolte

tired of the masses of people that i haven’t met/talked to/seen/heard from/corresponded with in ages and ages, and for whom i feel no real affection if i am to be truly honest, that populated my facebook friends list, i went on an unfriending spree last night.

but it really started with my  desire to unfriend, once and for all, my ex.

there’s no drama as there was the last time i unfriended him. i have just felt uncomfortable with the idea that, whenever he wants to, he can just pop back into my life via facebook. when that happens, it catches me off-guard and i feel glimmers of the girl i was circa fall 2007.

in case you’re not keeping track at home, i am REALLY not that girl anymore.

i didn’t like it and here’s the straight up truth: we weren’t going to be friends.

since the bff and i started dating, i had pretty much cut off all contact with the ex.  we had been, prior to the bff coming home, exchanging messages weekly. the ex is on a mission too, far far away in the far far east, and i was trying to be supportive and friend-like.  for a while, it was fine. we were friends, i suppose, in the way that we ever really were friends which by comparison with my other friendships remained strikingly shallow.  in parable metaphor, our friendship consisted of seeds sown in the heat of the day.  it worked, but only briefly.

once the bff came back and things started happening as they were meant to happen, thoughts of the ex quickly left my mind–friendship or whatever it was–and he became, as he was meant to be, a distant memory. except when he would pop back in and i would be jarred backward.  it felt wrong.  the bff doesn’t like him, doesn’t trust him, because of how things went down.  i think i probably understand better why things happened the way they happened, but i realized last night, as i considered whether or not to unfriend him, that we were really never going to be friends again–or perhaps it’s better to say that i didn’t ever want to be friends again.

for a while i thought that that was a character flaw of mine–to not be able to redefine the relationship once it changed. last night, i began to think that perhaps it is a strength to be able to see when something is done and to let go of it with grace.  i have always hated the part of me that held on too tight when something had clearly run its course. perhaps that part of me, like so many others of late, has changed.

i sent the ex a message, lest he think i was bitter, to explain my reason for unfriending him, to thank him for the blessing of his friendship so many moons ago, and to wish him all good things. i have been on the receiving end of unfriending of late and, if it is done without any real warning, it can be interpreted lots of ways. i really didn’t want that to happen.

i did know, though, that by doing so i was opening the door a crack. i erred on the side of kindness.

he replied tonight by sort of questioning my reasoning for unfriending him, seemingly halfheartedly wishing me good luck, and then telling me that he still wears the ring that i gave him (it was mine, it was a guy’s ring anyways, it was too big, he liked it, i told him he could have it, blah blah blah).

what do you do with that?

i’ll tell you what i did.

i deleted the message.

i recognized the guilt trip implicit in it (something i perhaps should have been expecting).

i let it get to me for a few minutes and then  i gave the bff the readers digest version of the whole thing and realized that this is exactly why i made the right decision.

i shrugged and moved on.

i feel inclined, right now, to move on from lots of things.  this one? i think this one was important.  far more than being about an ex, i think this one was about me recognizing that the choices i make for myself, as long as they are not intentionally harming others, are valid. i think this one was about stepping up and unapologetically claiming what i want.

this one was good.

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barcodes and wireless: tales from the library.

Posted in etcetera, facebook is the new crack, forward my mail, i promise you that you won't care, the joys of living in Florida on September 29, 2008 by drbolte

i’ve been in the library for about two and a half, three hours. i’ve been on the internets for way too much of that, but i also wrote 500 of the 1000 words that have been plaguing me. i’m about to write the remaining 250, and then i will move on with my life and i’m glad about that.

i don’t usually come to the library. mainly because i hate it. this new, wickedly expensive, and incredibly ill-designed library does have lots of places to study, but they’re all in these wide open spaces of designated study areas.  i prefer years past, when i would take the elevator to the eighth floor of the nc state stacks and lose myself in a carrel. there were people around, but there were also books. everywhere.  so you felt like you were hidden in a little hole that kept you safely far from annoying people.  and noise.

alas, that is not the case here.

i’m on the 4th floor, which is supposed to be the quiet floor.  the people who are sitting around me haven’t said a word.  they’re good. but these quiet floor study areas are conveniently located next to the loud, raucuous group study rooms (see ill-designed nightmare).  oh well.

taking a page from copper boom, because i want to, here are some of the things that i have thought since i’ve been here:

  • are those girls, sitting across from each other at that table with their headphones on and laptops in front of them, actually IMing EACH OTHER?
  • these chairs are ugly. who put these colors together?
  • why is it necessary for that girl to continue to hold her guy’s hand ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE AISLE?  we get it. he’s yours. you are in love.  move on already.
  • these little slidey elliptical tables on the side of the chairs are cool.  and golf guy just moved one from another chair.  who knew?
  • i’m pretty sure backwards baseball cap guy (not as cute as luke, unfortunately) sat at that table just so that he could try to hit on IMing girl.  she is not having it.  she is in the highlighting zone.
  • i have the worst view ever.  roof tiles.  but they’re kind of pretty.  is there a pattern….?
  • why are these chairs SO UGLY? who would put orange and blue together….oh.  sigh.
  • wireless is the reason that i get nothing done.
  • haha.  no chairs.  sucker.
  • starbucks must make a frickin’ fortune off of these people.  why exactly can’t they funnel some money into the english department?  or at least buy some nice big ottomans?  this chair is not the most comfortable thing ever.  next time, i bring a pillow.

back to work, y’all.

because apparently i’m bipolar.

Posted in dissertation, facebook is the new crack on September 23, 2008 by drbolte

someone on my facebook* wall today, responding, i guess, to my status which said that i was “somewhere doing something that took effort, and wished to be somewhere else doing something that didn’t”:

“you’re an interesting person. one day, you’re all excited about homework and dissertation and then the next day it’s the most vile and evil thing in the world. i find it kind of amusing.”

glad i can be of service.

*also, if we’re not facebook friends, that’s lame.  email me.

eleven minutes to save the world.

Posted in blogging, books are bliss, dissertation, drama drama drama, facebook is the new crack, going quietly mad, i am not a gym rat, Life, me, School, the joys of living in Florida, Uncategorized on July 23, 2008 by drbolte

it is 11:11 p.m. on wednesday night.  i am giving myself eleven minutes to blog until i go to bed. project runway is rerunning on bravo right now, and i’m ticked that i’m not currently watching the taped episode of so you think you can dance that i was supposed to have gotten ready but forgot.

sigh.

i really have not much to say of substance. nothing much has changed since monday. i still am ruled by the bright blue planner.  i have stories of my class that you will have to wait for two weeks for so that i cannot be accused of being unprofessional.  by then i may reconsider the appropriateness of posting them.  let’s just say that, sometimes, being a grad student and having your students know that you are a grad student means that you get just a TRIFLE more attitude than i imagine, say, any tenured professor would get.

but i actually wonder if that’s true, since i am guessing that some people just give attitude to whomever they wish.

(and yes, i did just use the word whom. and i used it correctly.  worship me.)

so…not much has changed.  organic guacamole still gets me through my days, pathetic as that may seem, and i have decided that as much as i love the elliptical, i really, really hate sharing the apartment gym with anyone.  yesterday i had grand ambitions to be on there for 90 minutes.  i might have been dead had i succeeded, but that’s all a moot point because…someone came in.  and i assumed they wanted to get on the elliptical.  and i was already a hot mess and not sure that i could make 90 minutes either, and the pressure of having someone else there on the bike next to me, imagining them staring at me and willing me to finish already, made me cave at 47 minutes.  

today’s ambition was to get through this day without falling over because, after me and my roommates had an impromptu congregation in my room last night until 12:30 and i couldn’t really fall asleep until 1 or 1:30–insomnia cause number 47: stupid cardio songs stuck in my head every night.  the other night it was umbrella, last night it was forever.  oy.–i hauled my carcass out of bed at 6:50 to swim and do water jogging (which sounds like something for blue-haired old ladies, but it actually fun and definitely gets your legs a-burning).  so i decided that if i made it through today, being productive and conscious, it would be a miracle.

i’m alive.

i did some stuff. 

but i didn’t do everything that i wanted.  

my facebook status is right now ‘FAIL’ because that’s how i feel when i don’t get to cross everything off my list.  and i have somehow degenerated into writer’s freakout block, which means that even when i do have time to work on my dissertation because i got up at 6:50 and actually had whole chunks of time not carved out for getting my heartbeat down or staving off imminent dehydration or preparing for this class that takes up SO MUCH TIME (whose idea was six quizzes and six journal entries in six weeks? nonsense), i instead went on facebook and basically begged people to pay attention to me.

(cute boys from arizona did. yay me!)

these are not new tactics.  they’re actually as old as i am–and at moments like this, that feels pretty old–but they are interesting to observe in the strangely schizophrenic distance i’m able to achieve as i’m actually acting out all of this dissertation nonsense.

nonsense it all is, as i’m keenly aware.  so tomorrow’s moment-by-moment schedule includes little notes to myself that include “STOP AVOIDING THIS.”  as if it will happen.  

and if it does, it will be a miracle.  

but miracles are all around me, so i don’t doubt that i will be able to do it.  

i just genuinely don’t know how to accomplish everything that needs to be accomplished. 

but i’m pretty sure that it involves me getting up at 6:45 a.m. again.  

sigh.

memo to facebook friends.

Posted in facebook is the new crack, grrrrr., i'm so much cooler online, the internets on June 24, 2008 by drbolte

to the various parties to whom this is directed:

issue one: i don’t understand why you won’t just put up a picture of yourself. i mean, i do…but really? there’s not one picture of you that you just love enough to own?  come on.  we all do those photo shoots of ourselves.  sometimes they’re total disasters. sometimes, unexpectedly, one turns out to capture us just right. it’s better, really, if you put up a picture of yourself. own who you are.  sometimes it’s hard. believe me, you know i know this is true. but it’s better. don’t wait until you have the perfect hair or the perfect posture. or do.  but if you don’t love you now…i worry.

issue two: the dramatic status updates? nobody wants to see them.  it’s fun when you’re excited or happy to share in a status update. if something crazy happens to you, that’s cool. inside joke? good times.  but the dramatic, angsty declaration? that you’re done…finally…with your significant other (especially when that happens ALL of the time)? that you are desperate to find love? that you don’t understand why life is so hard?

you’re allowed…like…one of those per three month period. if every single status update is angsty, i pretty much just want you to stop talking.  it’s not that i’m not sympathetic–believe me, i am–but it’s the equivalent of whining in a giant room full of people at the top of your lungs. it seems like a huge cry for attention more than anything else, even if you don’t mean it to be.  so please stop it.  my hip is strained and hurts like a big dog.  i’m cheesed off that i couldn’t walk the five miles i wanted to today. i had to restrain myself from whining about it in my status update.  i did it.  so can you.

also…stop cussing. it’s just tacky.

issue three: if you change your profile picture/relationship status EVERY SINGLE DAY, nobody believes you and everybody wants to smack you a little bit.  choose a picture.  you can change it.  that’s okay.  i change mine periodically, especially if there’s a new picture that i like better or the hair color changes (because everybody knows that you have to have a picture that actually matches how you look now…for better or worse or whatever).  but really? when you just can’t make up your dang mind, it makes me question your ability to commit to anyone or how well your ADD medication is working or whether or not you do in fact know that there are other things to do on the internets besides change your facebook profile picture.  try pogo games.  i suggest bingo luau. you’ll feel 80 but you’ll find yourself oddly compelled in short order.

or read cnn. something. anything.  just stop it.

issue four: i don’t want to buy you as a pet, throw a snowball at you, make you a knight in my makebelieve facebook application kingdom, or predict when i’ll get married (not soon enough)/die/become a disney princess/cure cancer/whateverstupidcrapapplicationthingyou’vesentme.  please stop.  you know, when they say that you HAVE to send those invitations, you actually don’t HAVE to send them. or you don’t HAVE to send them to everyone.  or you don’t HAVE to send them to the SAME FIVE PEOPLE WHO HAPPEN TO BE AT THE TOP OF YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS LIST.

issue five: you don’t have to upload ALL of the pictures you take on a random adventure.  adventure pictures are good. adventure pictures that don’t make any sense to anyone but the people who accompanied you on the adventure are also good.  but editing is key to life.  you edit what you say. you edit what you wear.  you edit what you turn into a professor. please edit the pictures you put up.

and please caption them. context is key.  especially when the pictures are…less than flattering.

many thanks.  that is all.

what a girl wants.

Posted in blogging, books are bliss, disney princesses got nothin' on me, dissertation, domestic goddess, drama drama drama, facebook is the new crack, i hate vegetables, i love my life, i promise you that you won't care, i'm so much cooler online, me, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, teaching, the internets, the joys of living in Florida, wish i may wish i might on May 19, 2008 by drbolte

i want to fill up my gas tank without thinking about how it’s as much as i spent for electricity…for the entire month of april.

i want a body that lets me eat a pop tart without regard to its caloric content.

i want a world where women are paid the same as men for the same job.

i want to go on facebook and not see naked people. seriously.

i want people to be naturally kind.

i want to barbecue hot dogs.  i love them all burned and crinkly.

i want dissertation committees to pay by the word. or at least not make me read boring crap.

i want to be able to be good at everything that i try. everything. even sport.

i want a puppy.

i want it to rain for two straight days, a steady rain that will make the green go back to lush and will, as a bonus, wash my car. for free. and get all the lovebug remnants off of the grill.

i want to get up from this chair and make something yummy for dinner. i want that yummy to be sublimely yummy.

i want plane tickets to be cheap and the travel experience to be one that resembles a spa weekend rather than herding and penning cattle.

i want my rug to stop buckling, bending, shifting, and in general moving around from the wonderful place that i put it. it’s really starting to annoy me.

i want postage to stop going up. i hate having to supplement my stamp.

i want to not burn in the sun, or at least to finally figure out that magical time when the sunscreen stops being effective.

i want to find something amazing to do this weekend.  beach? pool? river floating? sprinklers? water balloons? obviously something related to water.

i want an unlimited supply of strawberries. it’s the food that screams summer to me.

i want to understand everything right now.  but at this moment, i could take understanding one thing.  what that one thing is varies from moment to moment.

i want my hair to be amazing, thick, luscious, and wonderful instead of fine and needing a cut and not as thick as it used to be (and how do i make it thicker? i need more hair.).

i want to have a dance party in my living room.  life needs more dancing.

what do you want?

notes from the front of the class.

Posted in blogging, books are bliss, dissertation, etcetera, facebook is the new crack, faith is action, gators, i love my life, me, teaching on April 29, 2008 by drbolte

i don’t really think there’s a weirder feeling on earth than sitting in a final exam knowing you’re the one in charge.  takes me forward in time and not backward, and i keep trying to forget that i’m an adult.  on days like these, it’s difficult to do.

(and as i write this, i am sitting in a classroom that doesn’t get internet—curses you wireless!—and watching my students take the final i wrote this morning.  i am, however, trying to abandon adulthood by wearing seashells on my flipflops and on my wrist as a bracelet.  it’s helping, it really is.)

today i’d like to talk about closing doors and opening windows.

yesterday was one of the most fantastic days i can remember in a long time.

good stuff happened, but it wasn’t so great that it warranted the extraordinary reaction that i had to it.  it just felt like a day full of promise.  the day after you close some doors and stop looking at them, bemoaning the fact that they are closed, and instead turn around and realize that there’s a whole lot of bright and beautiful light awaiting you from that other series of open doors/windows/skylights, just begging you to notice it.

i think we talk a lot about chapters ending and doors closing—i really do realize that it’s a bit of an overwrought metaphor.  if it’s bothering you, choose another. i just don’t know how else to describe it.

it’s the end of the semester.  i’m both alternately thrilled and saddened by that.  you see, the best teaching experience of my career thus far happened this semester.  i am genuinely saddened to see it end.

(when i told them today that it had been an honor, i really meant it.  or did i say that?  i don’t even remember what i said.  i had just stapled my finger and i didn’t want to get all schmaltzy because hello LAME.

so maybe i’ll do it here, and let’s just pretend i get a do-over.

“it’s been an honor and a privilege. thanks for reminding me why i love teaching and how much literature rocks.”

thanks.)

moving on.

thinking on that yesterday, as i pressed to finish grading their papers and realized how much i really liked this class just by the degree to which i agonized over their final paper grades, i got a call.

from the graduate coordinator. who asked me if, instead of teaching the freshman writing class i’d been assigned this summer, i’d like to teach another upper division course.

on british romanticism.

(that’s my specialization.  this semester i taught Victorian lit, which is the time period just outside of it.  it was fine.  i’m qualified…but it was still outside my area.)

uhm…YES!?!  PLEASE?!?

i literally jumped up and down.  and then paced…for like twenty minutes.  just because i was so excited.

door closing, yes.  but looky there. hello, other ridiculously unexpected open door that’s amazing and awesome and will look so spectacularly good on my cv.

i was also thinking yesterday, and adding said thought to my control freak to-do list, that i needed to finish my fellowship letter and turn it in. the deadline is Thursday, and the last dang thing i need after jumping through many a hoop to try to get this deal coordinated is to somehow miss the deadline.

(tracking down professors when they are off doing other things and asking them to write you letters, regardless of how much they really do like and respect you, is like herding cats.  start early is my advice to you who bow at my feet for such pearls of wisdom.)

not long after, when i was making plans in my head about when that little item was going to get accomplished, i got a facebook message from a girl in my program who was responding to my status update about the class i got.

(my life is chronicled here and on facebook.  who needs privacy?)

she said, basically, that she was confused about me teaching because she had it on good authority that i had the fellowship “in the bag” and so she wasn’t even going to apply.

(her dissertation director? the head of the department.  possible source of said authority? who knows? she wouldn’t tell.)

goodbye four years of guaranteed funding.  why, hello open window beaming in rays of light and hope that maybe, just maybe, i’m not dreaming this peaceful feeling i have about the whole fellowship thing and that i’m not deluding myself into thinking that i have SUCH a good shot.

the whole day felt like that.  it felt like this academic year was ending—which has been full of amazing experiences that i wouldn’t trade for anything but that have become growth experiences (read: some heartbreak and angst and too much self-doubt) as well—with a big fat slamming door.

and instead of being scared about it, or worried, i have for the past few days been just looking forward.  putting one foot out there in front of the other and leaving a lot of stuff behind.  i have not been asking for a whole lot of light to direct me—i don’t have to see the whole path, just part of it—and i have been confident that if i was trying to do what’s right, i would be blessed and directed and led.

and here i am.

upper division course.  check.
fellowship applied for.  check.
tangible goals made for mighty progress on dissertation.  check.
flirty, sassy attitude onboard.  check.
perspective about other stuff that i have no control over achieved.  check.
letting the rest go.  check.

it’s the beginning of the best summer of my life.  i can feel it.

i am SO excited.