bio: April 2006 Archives

Lunchtime wisdom

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Over lunch today, Derek and I developed a new mantra. I have many of them, accumulated over the years, and each new one is like the click that I feel when I finish a crossword puzzle. It makes everything fit together just a little bit more. This may be an obvious one, but hey, we were pleased with it:

The opposite of good writing isn't bad writing; it's not writing.

That's all.

I'll forgo any discussion of how wacked out my sleep schedule is--suffice it to say that I'm waking up for the day right now. Yesterday was a long day, a combination of my wonky schedule with some department obligations.

So I slept a little more than normal, and as often happens when I do, I did a little vivid dreaming. Not that this is strictly relevant, but for as long as I can recall, I've dreamt in color, and while I go through phases, I usually can remember dreams pretty well. My dreams also tend to be heavily synthetic, bringing together people, places, and issues from my whole life in odd ways. It's not all that unusual, for example, to find a colleague suddenly married to the junior high school bully, or whatever.

So last night, there were 2 main people besides me in my dream, one whose house I was visiting, and another who I was supposed to meet there and do something with. These two people, in addition to not reading my blog, to my knowledge have never met nor ever lived in the same city, but there you go. Anyhow, Friend 1 lived in a house-ish place, in the middle of a big city (might have been NY) that was the size of a city block, and had an interior park, which is where most of the dream took place. My visit coincided with some sort of office party that my friend was hosting, and so I spent the majority of the time having really awkward conversations with (mostly) people I didn't know (there were a couple of random people from other times in my life who miraculously worked at Friend 1's office, of course). As this was going on, apparently Friend 1 decided to ditch on the party, as I surface from one awkward conversation to find a bunch of the people, including Friend 1, gone.

And in the dream, this isn't a big deal, because Friend 2 is coming in a few minutes, and we're supposed to go out and do stuff. So there's some weird stuff that goes on with multiple showers, rooms within rooms, Escher kind of stuff, but everything goes fine. Then Friend 2 arrives, with 3 other unknown people in tow, and I'm invited to join them as 5th wheel on their double date. I go ballistic, and get into a really nasty shoutdown with Friend 2, and end up basically leaving. I'm not big on the walkout, but I have been known to employ it, and apparently here, I do.

I woke up not long after that, so at least I got some closure, I suppose. But the thing is that I woke up kind of angry at both Friend 1 and 2, and that's what makes me feel a little uneasy. I'm mad at them for stuff that I dreamed. And rationally, I know that there's no justification for how I feel, and it'll fade in a couple of days, easy, but still. I know pretty much what the dream is about, and I have a solid sense of what all is contributing to this kind of dream--I could even work up an educated guess about why Friends 1 & 2 were the ones my unconscious chose to express this stuff.

None of it quite dissolves the unhappiness I feel at 2 of my friends right now, right or wrong.

That is all.

Slow to reply? That's why.

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I'm making what I consider to be excellent progress on one front this month, and that's the revisions to my manuscript. I'm still planning on having the whole thing new and improved by the end of the month, and with each passing day, that goal seems more and more realistic. I can't tell you how delightful it is to have a writing goal not only seem realistic but to be such. It ends up carrying its own momentum from day to day, and that's the way writing works best for me now.

The downside of this newfound productivity is that I'm being particularly mercenary about the rest of my life, only surfacing occasionally, and really, being pretty unapologetic for this. I trust that those of you reading this, and expecting something from me, will understand. After months of trying to squeeze my writing into a full-to-bursting schedule, and slowly feeling the clouds of an imminent tenure case approaching, I've simply reprioritized for a spell.

The blog, it understands, if begrudgingly.

More to today's point, I resurfaced briefly to attend the awards ceremony for the Graduate Education Award I received. I'll point to the picture when it's up, but I did want to mention that maybe the single most important thing about these kinds of award ceremonies to me is the fruit spread. Not that I can't go out and buy a bunch of fruit, but I tend to buy it one at a time, given that I live by myself. So canteloupe one week, grapes another, etc. Today, I got to load up my plate with a variety.

There's something vaguely unsettling to me about launching into an encomium on the fruit plate, but I'll leave it there. Let it stand as a reminder to anyone whosoever might think about inviting me to give a talk on their campus. A variety of fresh fruit could very well cover for a multitude of sins.

Just don't invite me to do anything this month. That is all.

If you haven't already, get yourself over to EWM, and wish Derek all the best for his partner's pregnancy, and his progeny's impending birth.

Me? I'm entertaining myself coming up with the most outlandish names I can think of. Not only would Digby Ignatius Mueller have the advantage of acronyming out to DIM, but nickname-wise, I'd have the rare pleasure of calling him Diggy Iggy. That's the best I've got so far.

You got better? Do share...



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This page is a archive of entries in the bio category from April 2006.

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