Tuesday, November 09, 2010

These Days

Before I begin this evening's blog post, here is a quick announcement:

I am selling some things on Craigslist. Yes, I used eBay like everyone else, but lately selling there has been a no-go, and it costs me a lot of money. These items are cheap enough to not be worth putting on eBay, so I have them listed here, if any of them strike your fancy.
Also--you can respond to that post if you're an Edward Gorey collector--I can contact you about some Edward Gorey first editions I'm looking to sell.

Normally, I would not do such shameless hawking on my blog. But I am beyond broke at the moment, so I'm taking any outlet available to me. Forgive me.

OK, now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Mornings are a conflicted time. I wake up at 3:00 in the morning. My body's cortisol levels are not playing a cruel prank on me; I really have to get up at 3:00 in the morning, or 3:30 at the latest. I must leave by 5:00 to get to work, so I can record my Winter session lectures before my day starts. Recording later in the day won't work; I have too many interruptions, too many people are around.

Staggering and exhausted, my brain tries to compensate by chattering away at approximately 100 miles per hour about everything and nothing. This is not good, because I like to meditate first thing in the morning, and the worst thing for meditation is a chatty mind. Still, I slog through my morning routine of showering, getting dressed, meditating, feeding the cats, getting together the things I will need for work, and having breakfast. I need to make an effort to remember what day it is, so that I put out garbage or recycling on the appropriate day. After putting some tea in a travel mug and heading out to my car, I start the long trek to work. It's no wonder I'm dazed by the time I get there. I feel like I've done a day's worth of work already.

Each day is a new battle. My job isn't stressful, but I can be presented with unexpected projects or problems. If I had a different agenda in mind for the day, it usually ends up being shot. But that's a metaphor for life, isn't it? Some days I enjoy socializing with my co-workers, on others I just want to lock the office doors and focus on my work. This is not a reflection on my co-workers; on the whole, I work in a reasonably sane office, spiced up with some quirkiness here and there. And it isn't fatal.

One of my colleagues had a birthday today, so we all went to the student cafeteria for lunch. It's a flat $7.25 to get in (birthday people excepted--they eat for free), and I'm not sure the price is worth it. Still, we don't go to lunch together that often, and after some initial logistical confusion, it ended up being a nice group conversation. And I had afternoon coffee to boot. Just what I needed for a brain already in overdrive.

I received an e-mail from the University of Reading (UK) asking me to join their online alumni community. The registration page gave me a start. Under the drop-down menu for "Title", you expect to see 4 things--Mr., Miss, Ms., and Mrs. On this list, there were about 50 appellations. I am not exaggerating. I debated choosing "Air Commander" or "Squadron Leader", or perhaps sticking an "HRH" before my name just for fun. I have never seen such a list in my life. I was tempted to write and tell them that they forgot "Smt." (Srimata, the Hindu term for "Mrs."). Unless that's what "Smr" meant. If it means anything else, I couldn't tell you. One of the choices was "The". Just "The". "The Brigid Burke". As opposed to The Imposter Pretending To Be Brigid Burke, I guess...

I drove home in a zombified state this afternoon, probably from too much caffeine. This is good, because I'm less aware of irritating drivers around me, and I care less when someone tailgates me or cuts me off in traffic. Arriving at home, I note the 10,000,000 leaves in the yard that will require another 3 to 4 hours of labor to pick up. Mind you, I've picked up leaves almost every weekend since the beginning of September. It's a losing battle, like every other practical task in my life. I feel like Sisyphus. I open the mailbox, and find an advertisement for the Wall Street Journal. Just what I need--more Rupert Murdoch-influenced media. I toss the ad straight into the recycling bin, with the rest of the mail.

Evening arrives quickly now, and I am teetering on the edge of energetic productivity and the desire to sink into the futon with a glass of wine, watching re-runs of Ghost Hunters, or an old movie. Or reading my book. I am reading "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery, which was deserving of its place on the New York Times bestseller list. It is such a good book that it commands full attention and awareness, so it might not be a good idea to pick it up after work, when I am on a downward awareness spiral, heading towards sleepy-land. I hear a mooing sound in the living room; the cat, sitting inside his hooded, wool-lined bed, has reached out a lazy paw for a nearby cow-shaped cat toy that makes mooing sounds. He is ridiculously cute as he curls up to sleep in his bed with the toy between his paws.

Soon I will curl up in my own bed. I do have to get up at 3:00 in the morning, after all...

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