Category Archives: grouchy


So I continue to contemplate moving over to blogger. And I’m contemplating having a blog that is not for academics although this blog hardly addresses issues of an academic nature. And maybe that’s the problem? I think too that I’ve been missing Maude a lot lately as well, that “Nola” seems like something that I’ve “accomplished,” since my goal was always to return home. I’m not exactly “home,” but I’m close enough. Maybe what I need is a blog that is personal, where I discuss the crap in my life and one where I work through the academic stuff. I have academic things planned. I have research goals. Maybe I just feel centered on that right now, like since I’m still in the early stages I don’t have much strife with these projects so I don’t have much to write about? Maybe I’m just not that into all the ins and outs of academia in the larger picture beyond what concerns me in my little corner and that I wish I were.

Maybe it’s just that time of the month. I usually feel like I’m having some kind of identity crisis about once a month I feel like.

Maybe it’s just still trying to feel like I’m back on track after spring break.

Actually, maybe I *am* having a crisis about my research. The ideas are there. I just don’t know where to start. How I’m going to reign this all in. And I need to get back to the theoretical part of it. And I need to really focus my MWF mornings on research. This means that I’ve got to do what I did in the beginning of February–when I want chocolate, I bake apples. I know sugar is sugar, but apples don’t keep me up at night.

I’m going to toodle around on blogger for a while. If I move or add anything, I’ll let you know.

HOpe you all are well!



I know the light is at the end of the tunnel; I just can’t see it.


On Monday I felt like the week was impossibly long.

On Tuesday I thought, “woo hoo! It’s Thursday, thank god!” Oops.

Today I woke up feeling like it was Friday and smiled briefly until I realized that it was still only Wednesday which means that I have to teach students stuff today and tomorrow and I have a whole large stack of research essays (some of which were just started on yesterday! the horror awaits!) to come in tomorrow and another stack of essays on Friday. Now I want to just cry.

I should be doing everything but blogging right now, but my brain is not functioning yet. Last week was a great and productive week! This week, sigh, not so much. I’m utterly exhausted. I would say it’s from the miles I’ve been logging for my runs, but it’s not a physical exhaustion that I feel.That I can deal with. I could take a nap, go to bed early, wrap up in my snuggie on the couch and read until I pass out fall asleep. No. This is full on mental exhaustion. Naps don’t help. I have gotten two nights this week of solid 8 hour uninterrupted sleep, good restorative sleep, but I wake up feeling beat down and exhausted. Yesterday I was barely functioning. I haven’t read anything for this article due in two weeks since Monday, and that is really really slow going. I really don’t know why I thought I could do this in six weeks. I’ll be happy that I did when I finish it, but damn, no, right now I am not happy in the least that I agreed to such a short deadline, but want to redeem myself for missing the last one. (same journal, and as a result, there were no feature articles so because of myself and another person, there were no features and the journal was delayed–it’s a small small venue, but an important one). So yeah.

My brain feels like oatmeal. I think if I didn’t have this deadline looming, I’d feel better. I could function enough to give the quarter a strong finish, but it’s not happening. And the next couple of weeks will be one long family visit. Although it’s nice to have people coming to see me rather than the other way around. I’ll say that much.

I will say this though about this place–even though I’m exhausted and my brain feels like mush and I don’t really want to have to interact with anybody anymore and I just want to stay in my house alone for a week uninterrupted and read and run–while I feel this way, the one thing I don’t feel is demoralized and beat down. I just feel tired. WHile I could totally use a five week Christmas break and will miss that about my old job, I don’t feel like I *need* it just to keep from killing myself after the semester ends. I don’t think 13 days is really going to be enough time for me to get everything done that I need to before the start of the winter quarter; however I do think it will be adequate time to recharge my batteries so to speak. And I don’t feel like I need five weeks to hide and get the fuck out of dodge. So that’s something, right?

So, on that note, I’m going to give today’s reading a quick skim just in case they want to discuss it (it’s short–like 4 pages, if that long), because I’m going to give them the option of working on their essays due Friday or discussing the text that way I can answer questions about the papers and won’t have to meet with them outside of my office hours. And it will give me a bit more time to grade and not teach.I am lazy and tired.

Also, the J has been out of town for a week. It is actually a significant help to have him around to deal with the dogs in the morning. I mean, it really does give me like an extra 30 minutes. I’m able to eat breakfast when he’s around to help. This last week during the week? Not so much. That’s probably part of the problem. But he’s supposed to be home tomorrow night, for good for real this time. And seriously, that day can’t come soon enough.

Still here, and doing fine, believe it or not. :)


Oh my poor little bloggy blog. I have missed you. Though I wonder if the time may be approaching when we part, even maybe temporarily. But we’ll table that for a later date.

So things have been going mostly swimmingly here in Polyanna-ville. Right now my biggest problem is dealing with the J being gone–believe it it or not folks, in many ways, his being only two states away feels harder to me than when he was in Afghanistan. I think it is perhaps because he *could* be here–financially and rationally I know it’s better for him to be in Home City, but I’m really struggling a lot right now with feelings of neglect among other things  and it keeps me from thinking clearly because I am filled with anxiety about it. They are different feelings of anxiety than when he was in  Afghanistan, but they are just as strong.

Actually, I think the biggest problem is that I am having trouble sleeping right now. I’m only getting four hours of straight sleep. I still might get 7 or 8 in a night, but it’s not continuous, and that really really affects my mood. Profoundly. And very negatively, and I do stupid self-sabotaging stuff when I don’t get enough sleep, so this is starting to worry me. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since Thursday, and I’m getting the cranks.

This also means that I am fighting tooth and nail to get my shit done. One would assume the exhaustion from this would make me tired, but no, it’s really not actually. And see, I am not even sure this blog post is coherent. And I’ve been working out, too, but since I haven’t been getting good sleep, the weight’s not dropping like it should. So for the past week, I’ve just been really cranky and frustrated although things are going well and I’m doing a bunch of positive stuff, the lack of consistent, deep sleep is making me cranky.

I’ll try and give you some positives that just don’t happen to Nola–I picked up essays on Friday morning. By Sunday afternoon, they were all graded. WTF is that about? I think it’s because I had then turn them in on-line and I did all the grading on-line and they were just rough drafts, and since it was done on-line, I couldn’t write stuff on every line, so this really helped me not over comment and get them done sooner. Plus, I like not having a pile of papers following me around. I’ve never done the on-line commenting before, and I’m totally hooked now. I hope this works pedagogically for me. Now, this weekend, I’m taking up short lit analyses in two of the classes and then final drafts in the other class, so we’ll see how productive I really am this weekend with like 90 essays instead of 26. But I don’t want to think about that.

I have been working really really hard (although it was much harder last week) to get as much prep as possible done during my office hours. I was even able to have time to get some of my own reading done last week, too. I actually have an idea for an article, so I guess I’m actually working on something. Still no word about revisions or whatever on the one I crappily wrote last month, so that’s hanging out in the back of my head there, too. One of my new colleagues and I had talked about doing a writing group, or rather, we’d meet and swap work and discuss our stuff, and I think it’s a good match because he’s strong theoretically and we both work with similar theorists, so I think it would be helpful for me to have someone who knows the theory to help keep me from sounding stupid, if that makes sense. But we’ll see. So that might be good if we actually do it. And my students still seem really great. The freshman are alert and smart and trying and not giving me grief about every single thing (actually, none, knock wood, have given me grief yet), and the survey class seems to be going well, too. We’ll see how well after these lit analyses come in, but aside from my sleep issues and feelings of neglect, I guess things are still going really well.

Reality of the New Job Starts to Set in and Things I’ve Not Done All Week


All right, so this morning is one of those “pep talk” mornings. I’m grouchy with myself. Shall I list the ways? If you don’t want to read some gratuitous whining and pitiful self anger, I won’t hold it against you if you just stop reading now.

So the process of New U is a bit weird. I hope my future chair doesn’t think me a moron now and isn’t questioning his decision to hire me. The contract that I got was a draft. I knew this. I knew I was getting a draft. I thought that was kind of like a retainer, a letter of intent if you will. So I thought draft and background check form get sent back first to get to the “official” contact, so I didn’t get the background form. And the chair was like, “oh, you do realize that was a draft right? The background form comes with the real contract.” Yes, I thought draft was part 1 and that background check form was part 1. Sorry for bothering you on vacation because I have trouble following directions or understanding simple things. (Ok, I didn’t say exactly that). It’s a minor thing that I’m sure is fine and not a big deal that I clearly don’t understand drafting processes (I’ve never seen that before), and I’d rather look like a moron and send back a signed draft as a misunderstanding than to fuck up and not send back a signed draft. Of course, you know I want everything to go perfectly all the time and whenever there’s a hitch, you know I’m not inclined at all to either overreact or think that everyone now thinks the worst of me, so I’m sure that in reality, my future boss is not thinking to himself, “shit, we should have hired the other person.”

My plan, my schedule for the week has not gone as planned. We went to Grad City on Monday to see some people. That was an ordeal because of the flooding and the weather. We spent more time driving to and from Grad City on Monday than we actually spent in Grad City. I spent more time focusing on the horizon than the road looking for funnel clouds and tornadoes. Scary stuff.

I did some reading Tuesday. Wednesday, I didn’t feel well. I tried to workout. I took a super long nap instead. I did little reading. I did make a nice dinner though. Yesterday, I felt even worse. Sinus problems. Minor summer cold. General aches, cramps. Apparently, PMS reared it’s ugly head this week, and I was too dumb to figure this out until yesterday. But seriously, Wednesday and yesterday, I felt like I had mono. I tried to make myself useful though and ran some errands that needed to be run if I wasn’t going to read anyway. We spent yesterday eating junk food and watching volume 1, season 1 of Hunter. That’s right. Hunter. I love that show.

Fortunately, after yesterday’s pity and PMS fest, I’m in that annoyed space where I’m ready to get shit done again. Although we’re back at square one. After a week of Operation Extreme Summer Fitness, I had managed to lose 4 pounds. Yay me. Yeah, but then the interview, traveling, PMS, a week of not working out (okay, now we’re hitting two weeks), plus PMS weight, I have gained 7!! pounds these past two weeks! WTF?? So now I’m frustrated and pissed again, and trying to get off the train to Loserville before it actually gets there. (Ok, not that weight gain makes a person a loser. I’m just feeling loser-like for being stupid and for not making progress on the book chapter). Yes, I know some of the bloat will go away in a couple of days, but ARGH! and GRRRRR! All right, well, here’s the silver lining. It seems like whenever I try to do something good for myself, I usually end up starting it right before I start my period. (Sorry Super Fabulous Awesome Colleague–probably TMI for you). Then a week later, it’s all fucked up because I’m PMSing. So at least now, I’ll restart, and then by the time the next cycle comes around, I’ll have gotten four good weeks of a habit started.

Of course this is contingent on my being able to not be a slacker with the workouts while traveling. That’s the other thing. We decided that we had to go back to Fancy Town this weekend so that I could start getting everything taken care of so we could be out of there by the end of July. So I think I’m having some stress and anxiety about telling my boss and the rest of my friends. While I’m looking forward to moving back home, I’m not exactly looking forward to the process of moving. But, I’ve got the cable set up to be canceled on Thursday. I meet with my boss and several friends on Monday. I’ll take care of the apartment stuff on Monday as well. And start packing up my office on Monday. And when we bring my packed office to storage, we’ll give our notice to them, too. And cancel the gym membership. At least, even though I’m dreading the drive back (I always dread the drive back because it’s longer on the way back than coming down to Home City), packing for tomorrow’s trip will be minimal. And I think the only thing we’ll be taking with us from the apartment is the PS3, rock band, and some books. Everything else will be boxed up and will be staying until the end of July. And then I’m hoping I can bribe my friends with pizza and beer to help us move. A moving/going away party.

And maybe I’m a little sad, too, that even though I don’t like the drive back to Fancy Town, this is the second to last time I’ll ever make that drive. So perhaps part of my anxiety, anger, and stress this week has been over this–it’s starting to seem real now. I think putting it up here on the blog made it seem more real. Making an appointment to talk with my boss makes it real. Making dinner plans with the intention of dropping this bombshell makes it real. I’m afraid my friends will think that we’re leaving because we’re unhappy and unhappy with them. While it’s true that I’m not that happy where I am, I don’t think it’d be fair to say that I’m unhappy either. I’m not sad about leaving my job. I am really sad about leaving my friends.

On an unrelated note, I think when I get to New U, instead of getting a trainer–I don’t need one anymore at this point. I know what I’m doing. I know what to do and how to do it–I’m going to meet with a dietician/nutritionist. I have the basics I think, but that’s the area that needs work right now.

Blogging will be light for the next week or so. We’ve got some traveling and packing to do. Talk to you soon!

Less bitter and mean, for the moment


I think EE may be on to something in the comment on the previous post. Have I ignored the obvious? Is my vile attitude a super intense bout of PMS? I am embarrassed for my manic mood swings lately. And perhaps it’s also sleep related, still? I took a nap and felt better afterward.

But that doesn’t change the lack of progress regarding my research. Nor does it change my desire for the semester to be over.

And I find myself looking at and fantasizing about homes 1000 miles away which is pointless and unproductive and total escapism involving my winning a huge lottery of some kind. And I think it’s total escapism, too, my obsession of late in trying to figure out what novels I want to teach next spring. Sure, it’s good to be forward looking, but I recognize that it comes from a complete and utter lack of desire to face what’s in front of me at this moment.

I hate to say it again that I wish the semester were already over. I’m tired. I know everyone else is , too, so I apologize for making it worse for all of us by complaining and being so whiny. And by semester being over, I mean to include the faculty retreat and graduation. I’m ready to get home to my house for the summer where it will be unbearably hot and miserable, and I look forward to every sweltering minute of it, especially now that we have a new AC at the house.

Perhaps what is indeed so exhausting is knowing that my weekends must be chock full of work from now until the end of May as well. I’m sure I will have to put in some time during the weekends over the summer in order to stay on schedule, but it won’t be the same–not nearly as much. Plus, in theory, I should be able to accomplish more during the week while the husband is at work (please let him be employed over the summer), so I can relax on the weekend? Maybe. Of course nothing ever works out like it should.

Perhaps that’s the problem–once again the semester did not work out the way it should No goals were met either personally or professionally and now that the end of the semester is near I’m confronted with that cold, painful fact and must once again expend energy regrouping (rather than continuing working), come up with yet another plan, and try yet again. What is wrong with me that I can’t just do the things that I need to do? I mean, if I keep this up, I’m going to be 65 saying the same damn thing, and what a horribly depressing way to spend the next 30 years.

Beware: I have a piss poor attitude today (again)


I am in a fowl mood lately. Just absolutely horrendously grumpy. I thought I had overcome it on Monday figuring out why I was tired and grumpy, but that was Monday and this is Wednesday. I’m not really feeling well, so that I think that has a lot to do with it. I think I’ve had a stress induced low grade migraine this whole week. And I know I must be super stressed because dairy is killing me right now. It’s an immediate head and stomach ache the moment dairy makes it past my lips, so that’s super frustrating. But I’m just so done with the semester. I’m so apathetic right now. I really need to snap out of it if I plan to get anything done in the next two weeks. And I should have just said I’d go to the faculty retreat, not fucking present at it. I’m nowhere near to being half prepared either, and I have to go out of town the weekend before.

I am filled with piss and vinegar right now. And I’m at that stage of pissiness where I am regretting nearly every decision I’ve made in my entire life (anyone else do that when you’re stressed or cranky?), like even back to decisions I remember making in the 3rd grade. I am finding just about everything intolerable right now. I think I need this fucking 40 degree rainy weather to go away. It’s like a goddamn lingering fucking winter that won’t fucking end. I am really just done with wearing long sleeves, vests, and scarves. And this is a bad attitude to have because the papers all come in next week, but I’m pissy and angry at having to have been on campus every day last week, every day this week, and every fucking day next week. I spend more time on the commute to the meeting than I actually do at the meeting, which is super annoying.

In an attempt to combat my pissy attitude about having to be here so much at precisely the time of the semester when I have the most work to do, I have changed my office hours for the last two weeks of school that allows me a) time to grade and b) and most importantly, time to work out next M & W because I’m not coming in for the early office hours. None of the students stop in for them anyway either, so whatever. The J and I just have to take separate cars and spend too much $ on gas and tolls and such that’s absolutely ridiculous, but whatever. The only thing that might prevent my attitude from getting any worse is pounding out some miles on the treadmill and lifting weights. Right now seems like a good time to take up daily boxing and power lifting. I have no idea why I’m so freaking aggressive.

At least I had enough presence of mind when I made the schedule that I knew I’d probably have this sort of attitude right at this moment so in the lower division and freshman classes, which are writing classes, they’re writing, all class period, on their own. That’s it and that’s all. I’m just here to answer questions about their essays as they are finishing them up. And if they want to squander the time I’ve given them in class to work on their essays by watching youtube or FBing, I don’t care. They’re all quiet right now and not disruptive, so if they think a better use of their time is not to work on their essays when given the opportunity, then whatever. As long as they’re quiet and doing things that keep them that way. I don’t care.

A terrible attitude, yes, I admit that, but I’m tired, I have headaches now and heartburn (Christmas was the first time ever that I had ever had heartburn, and now this week and last week I’ve been plagued by it) and stomach aches and blah, blah, blah.

The thing is, I don’t think I’m going to feel better until I get to work on the stupid presentation for the faculty retreat because that’s the largest source of stress. I have *nothing* for it yet. And I’ve got to talk about my topic for 40 minutes. Fuck, what the hell was I thinking?? Next year I’m simply just going to go and not participate. Christ.

Well, I feel only sort of better for this rant. Now I have to figure out the most productive way to spend my time and maximize getting shit done today because my afternoon is shot again tomorrow. I hate the end of the semester. Loathe. Despise it. I know, only two weeks left, and I’ll probably bitch about it every single step of the way, so I’ll apologize in advance for it, so maybe I’ll just read right now. There’s not much more I can do while their working.


Standard! I’m so freaking grouchy this morning. It’s unbelievable. I’m so grumpy that I cannot concentrate on a damn thing at.all. It fucking sucks. I slept well, so I don’t know if I didn’t get enough sleep, if I’m tired of the semester and I just want it to be over and have the hot weather here, if I’m just frustrated in general, if it’s my allergies (my eyes this morning–looked like I got punched they were that swollen), or if it’s d) all of the above. I’m going to go with all of the above, a general malaise and pissiness. Well, while I do still like the idea of the two day schedule, I’m NEVER doing it this early again. I *need* to be able to workout on Monday mornings when I feel like this, and the schedule makes it impossible. It sucks. Yes, there are only three weeks left so I need to let it go, but shit, that’s a long three weeks. I think what’s going to have to happen for finals week is that the J and I take separate cars. I’m going to need to be able to get to the gym that last week. I usually change my office hours for finals week anyway, so that may be the only thing that saves my sanity that last week.

At least I will say that I got some emails taken care of–a couple of piddly admin type things, but damn yo, I’m seriously like one bad day away from starting to put brandy in my coffee in the mornings. The sad thing is it’s not like anything is terrible. Just mounds of frustration and anxiety, and end of semester stress. Fortunately my writing classes are writing in class for the next week and turning stuff in the following week, so I have no prep for two classes for the rest of the semester. When the papers start coming in, that’s another can of stress worms, but they’re at least final drafts, I’ll use a rubric, it’ll go faster than rough drafts. I’m suspicious of two students who may plagiarize given past behaviors thus far this semester, so I’ll save their essays until last so it doesn’t slow me down.

Well, I feel better for getting that off my chest. Now I’ll go do a couple more piddly admin stuff things to do and then try to get ahead in the one class I have to prep for the next two weeks. Sigh. I wish I could go home, bury my head under the pillow, and hide and sleep all day. And it’s a shame because it’s a beautiful day today, too. Grrrrrr.

ETA: I think I must have known this was floating around because I’m super behind in my blog reading, but before I even clicked on my reader, I was thinking that what I must be feeling is “burn out.” And lo and behold, everyone else is talking about it, too.