Winter Break: Day One, on which I discover I am unused to “rest” Monday, Dec 24 2007 

After my last final was finished yesterday, and after I took back the last batch of books back to the library (if anyone would now like to read up on French sociolinguistics, now’s your chance – all the books have been returned), I headed home.  Then I took a nap, ate some dinner and watched a little TV.

Today was…different.  I have not had so much free time since I got back from France.  Actually, I have not had so much free time since before I left for France.  And to tell you the truth, I don’t know what to do with myself.  Oh, I slept in, made some pies, and started to read a novel (merely for my own enjoyment – imagine that!).  But what do I do?  After months of running hither and yon, making lists and grids, feeling guilty if I spent a half an hour daydreaming, I feel at loose ends.  Sure, I have grad school applications to get together, but now that I have no other demands on my time, it will be (almost) a cake walk.

I also don’t know what I will do without the social stimulus of work and school.  Oh, I have some small social plans, but every day of the week, I had somewhere to be and people to see.  Now I’m just pestering the cat.

I pray that GSS will have another paper finished, ready for me to proofread (and not just because that would give me an opportunity to see him, though I won’t lie – that would be good), so I will have something to do.  I have a couple of articles to read, again for no other purpose than personal improvement.  I’ll have to dig out the handful of books I bought while in France that I never got around to reading.  Plus, I did have the idea of organizing my crap and packing some of it (I have plenty of books that I know I’m not going to look at before the end of spring semester) – all the better to ease my transition from here to wherever the fates will have me go.  And I did have the idea of seeing how much Spanish I could learn over break (hey, its a romance language, just different morphemes to memorize).  So I do have plans, which is for the best, as I have lost the ability to “chill out.”

I say that now, of course; I suspect I could be slug-like, given half a chance.

Karma Chameleon Friday, Dec 21 2007 

I have been annoyed for the past few days.  Actually, if you want to get technical, I’ve been annoyed for the past few decades, but that’s neither here nor there.  After 15 weeks of stellar health, I get felled by a cold at the start of finals week.  Actually, as I worked through my Phonology final, I felt my head fill up with goo – almost as if it were an outtake from some sci-fi movie.  Tuesday was practically shot to hell, as I felt so damn miserable, I couldn’t even nap.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to be anywhere Tuesday, though I have a big project due on Friday (which, thankfully, is almost done).  Lappy Jr. is still acting up, so I’ve been hitting one of the computer labs on campus.  However, they charge a damn near usurious 7 cents a page to print, and that’s just for black and white.  I needed to print a couple of sheets in color, and due to Lappy Jr’s shortcomings, I could not do it at home.  So I decided to go into work and make use of the free use of the printer.  And yes, I was hoping to see GSS, much to my ever-loving chagrin.  Although I was also hoping to see The Young Man as well, also to my ever-loving chagrin.  I’ve just gotta make life more complicated, no?

My slightly venal motives unearthed, it is now time for the weirdness.  I get there, and see The Young Man (who, true to form, looked cuter than a red wagon), but no GSS.  Another coworker was there; lately, I’ve been picking up weird vibes.  I no longer trust any vibes I may pick up, as I was convinced (CONVINCED, I TELL YOU) that GSS and I had “vibes,” which, looking back on everything that has transpired this semester, clearly was my mistake.  So, I thought it was my imagination.  But now I don’t know, as the coworker has asked for my contact info and talked about “getting together for coffee.”  If I may get all off-color on you all, “What the fuck?”  Meanwhile, The Young Man didn’t even flirt with me, and didn’t respond to my last Facebook flirtation.  So now I wonder if I imagined that, too.  I mean, what do I have?  Some pretty flimsy evidence, I can tell you that.  I thought I saw him gesture to me in reference to prettiness/smartness.  I thought he always seemed happy to see me.  I thought the whole Facebook thing was a kind of overture.  But I mean, really.  The Young Man is a good deal younger than I am.  And he’s awfully good-looking.  I bet there’s probably dozens of younger (most definitely) and cuter (most likely) women practically hurling themselves at him.  I had better evidence with GSS.  To recap:  I thought he made an effort to talk to me.  I thought those conversations were meaningful/memorable.  I thought he was flirting with me.  And then I gave him my phone number, and that, as we all remember, did not go the way I had anticipated.  But neither did it go altogether badly, either.  If he had been “not interested,” he could have kept me at a distance.  Every time I thought he was avoiding me, I gave him his space.  But then he would come back to me, intiating long conversations, etc.  And then I’d e-mail him, and he’d respond, lickedy-split.  Until he wouldn’t, leaving me wondering, if I may be so repetitive, “What the fuck?”

I can’t take this.  The men of my workplace are giving me 8 kinds of fits.  I may have liked it better when I was deep in my own misery (still wallowing in self-pity after my break-up with the Ex), back in those halcyon days when I hadn’t a notion other than loneliness and despair.  Good times, those.  Or rather, I understood them.

Once upon a time, probably back when I was the Junior Junior.  I used to complain that I was invisible to men.  I longed for the day when men would pay attention to me.  And here that day is, ironically enough, and I want to be invisible again.  I like things I understand.  I understand syntax.  I may even understand phonology.  I understand French.  I do not understand any of what has been going on at work, other than the whole working part.

But what, pray tell, will I have to fill my time over break?

Dear Santa Sunday, Dec 16 2007 

As you well know, being able to perceive goodness and/or badness (states of wakefulness, etc.), I have been a (mostly) good Senior Senior this year.  Oh sure, there have been lapses in judgement, but by and large, I am deserving of better than a lump of coal.  That said, there are a few items that would be most appreciated this holiday season.

My List

  • Acceptance to all the grad schools of my choice (I have done my part, what with the grades and the test scores and whatnot, but if you could whisper nice things in the ears of grad committee members, that would be super)
  • A new laptop that will see me through grad school (as Lappy Jr. still battles with Chronic Mouse Disorder)
  • A 4.0 (again, I’m doing my part – I could just use a little wheel grease)
  • GSS (I realize that I should be giving up on that, but he was just so damned hot Thursday.  Plus, have I mentioned that I’ve been a “good girl?”  And how long I have been a “good girl?”  I would like to be a “bad girl” from time to time, if that’s at all possible)
  • I know that my friends and co-conspirators have also been (mostly) good, so if you could see your way to being extra nice to them – I know that Bad Influence is in desperate need of a car, and KSP would like a new sofa (and maybe some chairs).  Puppy Mama hasn’t mentioned what she would like, but I’m sure its reasonable.

Thanks,

The Senior Senior

Found a Nickel Saturday, Dec 15 2007 

Today was a day of much stress.  It was the deadline for The Ivy League School, and I was scrambling to make sure all my “t”s were crossed and my “i”s (though not too many “i”s, you want to limit those in your personal statement) were dotted.  I had many stupid technical difficulties, and it felt like the Fates were against me.  But I did get the application off, and the transcripts and test scores are winging their way to Philly.  I also feel like I might puke.  I’ve spent a goodly sum of money doing this, and no guarantee.  They have between a 6 and 10 % acceptance rate, so I’m not just whistling Dixie.  In fact, I wonder if I haven’t thought too highly of myself.  Sure, you’ve got to play big to win big, but maybe I’m not the intellectual high roller I fancy myself to be.

With that crisis of confidence in play, I have to say that I’m pretty amazed that even though I haven’t been totally following The Grid to the letter (or rather, minute), I have still been keeping up.  Sure, I had to bag work for two days to finish one paper and the last page of the other may be in French-like jibberish, but they are done.  I even have a grip on the Phonology assignment, though the true test is will I be able to do it all in the format.  I’d say “yikes,” but the fact that it is to be written in English will be a real time saver.

And that is what I’ve had on my mind today.  This morning, I got up and was running late.  I didn’t eat any breakfast; even worse, I had no coffee.  I get to work 15 minutes late, only to realize that I wasn’t actually on the schedule.  However, someone had called in sick, so I made a few pennies.  Plus, when I was vacuuming one of the rooms, I found a nickel.  That’s better than being poked in the eye with a stick.  As I was getting ready to leave, I asked one of the full-timers if there might be any leftovers in the kitchen.  Sure enough, I managed to snag some free donuts.  A nickel and two free donuts – already my day was looking up.  I was telling this to some girls in class, and one of them agreed that a nickel was indeed lucky.  Her roommate found a nickel, and later that day they found the perfect apartment.  Hey, that’s enough evidence for me.

Alas, the power of a found nickel has it’s limitations.  I needed some of today’s nickel luck to work retroactively on last night.  After one of our best 2 hour conversations yet, GSS and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye (which was disappointing).  He looked extra fetching yesterday, with a new haircut (I have no idea why, but a fresh haircut on a man does something to me) and a nice shirt that brought out the color of his eyes.  We were conversationally cracking.  Of course, there always seems to be a snag.  He ended talking to someone else for a half an hour (sure, I’m greedy) and then I didn’t get a chance to see him before I left (I also half-wonder if that was planned, as he disappeared about a half an hour before I left and I’m naturally paranoid).  I left him a brief note, and later I sent him an e-mail (in my defense, the e-mail was hilarious).  To which he did not respond.  Not that I have Attention Deficit Disorder or anything, but The Young Man also looked terrific yesterday.  I may have inadvertently stared at him during my downtime.  Alas, he was also busy; for most of the time, I must admit that I was too busy having a great conversation with GSS.  Still, as always, it didn’t seem to amount to anything.  This is what I don’t get; clearly, we get along.  We have this great rapport, but there never seems to be any traction.  Just when I think I’ve got a bead on what’s going on, he does something mystifying (to me, anyway).  Then I start to feel like Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight.  Am I imagining things?  Am I reading too much into everything?  I don’t know.  And I feel like I’ve tipped my hand with the whole “number” thing.  And what was up with that?  I don’t have any answers, which I hate.

Ah well, tomorrow should be an exciting day of toilet scrubbing, laundry and Phonology.

Improvisation = Life = Mess Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

After the realization that I would not be able to turn in my grad school application for my second choice school, I scrambled to find a new “second choice” school where I might apply.  After some consideration, I resurrected Ivy League School from my list – I had always liked the idea, but I was “afeared” that my GRE math score would not withstand the scrutiny.  After looking over the department website, I have decided that while I would have preferred a higher math score, that alone wouldn’t keep me out.  So I scrambled to get all my academic shit together for this.  I was talking to one of my “recommenders” and he talked up the program.  He told me that he thought it would be a good match for me.  From his lips to their ears (which is what I suppose the recommendation is supposed to do).

As you can imagine, this has caused me to rethink what criteria I will use to make my decision, which might be different tomorrow than it was last month, and Lord only knows what that might be two or three months from now.  I had rather thought I had made a firm decision; now I need to take in some more information.  I also have developed a new plan B, which might trump some grad school options.  I don’t know.  But I’ve learned that I’m good with change, so that is the one thing that keeps me sane.  I may not know where I’ll be six months from now, or what exactly I think I’ll be doing; whatever it is, I’ll make the transition well.  That’s some comfort.

I was bitching to KSP that I am, in a sense, stuck.  As I have ‘fessed to earlier, I have started reflirting with GSS.  I have no goal in mind, mostly because I think that ship has probably sailed.  And even if it hadn’t, it would only be a short-term thing (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  As I wrote yesterday (yesterday?), I e-mailed GSS.  I have e-mailed him from time to time, but he hasn’t responded like he used to.  I chalked that up to him being “not interested” and unwilling to encourage me, though he had on one occasion, told me that he received my e-mail and thanked me for it.  Which I took to be more of his maddening ambiguity/ambivalence.  So, I put the kibosh on the e-mailing.  But with us both being in absentia, I thought I’d touch base.  I didn’t expect any response, so when I did get one, I was a lot more jazzed (the word I used when discussing this with KSP) than I thought it would be.  I shot off a reply, again not expecting one, but did receive it.  Again, jazzedness was had by me.  And this is what I was bitching about to KSP:  I realize that nothing is really going to happen, I realize that I am a woman in transition – yet I have formed this “attachment” to him, and despite my best efforts to seek greener pastures, I’m stuck with the crush.  This is inconvenient to me.  Apparently, life is all about the mess.  I’m no drama queen, but I guess I just have to embrace the fact that I choose messiness.

I hear some people have tidy and organized lives.  I’ve never met any of those people.

In desperate need of motivation Monday, Dec 10 2007 

I can’t help but think about Chicken Little these days.  I’ve spent the bulk of the semester, working like a dog; now that it comes down to it, I’m finding it harder and harder to motivate myself.  Right now, I should still be writing my stream-of-consciousness analysis of Eluard and Ponge; all the better to tighten this bad boy up into 10 pages of insightful, grammatically and syntactically coherent French.  But I’m tired, and I’d rather check my e-mail to see if GSS has sent me another e-mail. (He was out last week; I was out for most of last week, due to paper slacking – forcing me to bag work for 2 days so I could have 8 to 10 pages of insightful, grammatically and syntactically coherent French by the end of last Thursday.  Having had more than a week with no GSS-related flirting, I sent a little e-mail, and he replied.  Then I replied to his reply.) 

Thinking in French can be hard (maybe not for the French, but for me), and I find it harder to do so at home, where I have all sorts of distractions.  So tomorrow, after class, I’m holing up in the most uninspiring corner of the library and flogging this damn paper until I get at least 5 grade-ready pages.  Preferably more.  Which will be followed up on Tuesday with more corner-lurking, more flogging, and 5 more grade-ready pages.  After that, almost everything else is in English, so I’m hoping for an easier time of it.

I dream of the last day of my semester, finishing my last final, then heading off to some bar and toasting the completion of another semester with a drink.  Which will be followed by watching, waiting and checking my student page obsessively to find out my grades.  I’m so damn predictable.

But first, some literary analysis needs to be finished.  So I guess I’ll go.  Let’s hope I don’t spend too much time mulling on work crushes, application deadlines and the familial gantlet that is Christmas.

Depending on the kindness of strangers? Sunday, Dec 9 2007 

I have been buried under an avalanche of work (from which I am still tunnelling my way to freedom); as such a deadline is approaching, and it seems unlikely I’ll make it.

It is for my second-choice grad school.

It is not entirely my fault.  Two of my recommendations have not come in, leaving me…two recommendations short.  Even if I get them by Monday, the deadline is Tuesday – though everything is electronic these days, the whole “next business day” rule will keep me from meeting the deadline.  I’m more disappointed than I thought I would be, and I have decided to pull another school off my former list (it was high on my list, but I worried my GRE math score might keep me out of the running for a fellowship).  That deadline is at the end of the week, which only buys me a few more days.

These people writing me recommendation letters are doing me a favor, and with all the end-of-semester assignment I’ve been working on, my focus was pulled from sending “reminder” e-mails.  I probably should have been more proactive, but I felt my priority needed to be the task at hand (completing my semester requirements first).

Bleah.  It leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.  Imagine how bad I’ll feel if I start getting rejection letters.  Double bleh.