Holy hell, where is this year going?

Sooooo I haven’t updated since January.  And I don’t know how that happened.  But you can have bullets!

I am mired in thesis hell.

Yes.  This is pretty much summing up my life lately.  I’ve done three drafts of my introduction/literature review.  I’m hoping this was my last draft.  I cut it from the original 35 pages, to 23, to 17.  My adviser, Dr. LW, is on her way to Ireland at the end of this week (the lucky duck) and we won’t meet again until the end of the month.  Which is when the edits to the body of my thesis are due.  My actual thesis is due to Dr. LW on April 10th, then any corrections and the COMPLETED thesis are due to my editor, Dr. W, on April 14th.  The anniversary of the day Lincoln was shot.  Let’s all pray that’s not an omen.

– I am sick.

I talked briefly before about having chest pains and shortness of breath.  I thought it was pneumonia or bronchitis, one doctor even thought it was asthma.  Imagine my shock, kiddies, when I went to the hospital on February 25th and discovered that it wasn’t bronchitis, pneumonia, or asthma, but a pulmonary embolism!  Yee haw!

So I’m on Warfarin (Coumadin) and Arixtra (shots in my stomach, what joy is mine) until further notice.  I get blood tests every three days (joy!  Rapture!) and I’m seeing a hematologist next Friday.  I have difficulty sleeping at night, the gym is out of the question, and my lungs hurt.  But the good news is, I’m not dead!   Hopefully we’ll find out the cause of the embolism next week, or shortly thereafter.  Fingers crossed.

I finished Book 1.  No, seriously this time.

As in, I printed out the complete manuscript yesterday, complete with the cover art and illustrations that Jess drew, and bound it.  I sent it to beta readers last night.  Guys, this is terrifying, and amazing, and exhilarating.  My baby — OUR baby — has finally seen readers, has seen the light of day.  And I am so, so proud of it.  And scared.  Holy crap, this is our baby and now I wait and see what other people think.  I mean, I love it.  And I know not everyone is going to.  But…I want them to!

I am not going to June Wildfire.

Due to the aforementioned blood problems, I’m paying $40 a week for the great honor of putting those shots in my stomach.  And with ticket sale date for June Wildfire in a little more than two weeks, there is no way I can scrape together the $120 for a ticket right now.  I’ll be going to the one in August, if I have to take money out of my tax refund to buy the ticket.  As one of my friends said, Wildfire is my thing.  And I want to do my thing.  But it’s not practical or affordable right now.  So I will do the adult thing and suck it up.

 

All right, that’s enough for today.  Going to try and write more than once a month!

I need to update this thing more…

Sorry, guys.  I’m doing an absolute shit job of keeping this thing updated now that the divorce is over.  Even though I said I would be transitioning this blog into something other than a ‘divorce blog’, I haven’t been doing a great job of that.  I may have made my life something more interesting than just centering on the end of my marriage, but I certainly have done a shit job of documenting it.  The last time I updated was July 23rd, over two weeks ago.  So let’s see where we are now.

Wildfire is in a week and a half.  As in, a week from Thursday.  Holy cats.  Right now, the state of my car and packing is, shall we say, utter garbage.  My car is still full to the gills with stuff that I took from David’s apartment and haven’t found space for in my own apartment (I really need to take a Saturday to just unpack shit and move things around), and I still need a sleeping bag and ear plugs.  Oh, and a can of fuel.  Fortunately, I have everything else I’m going to need.

My thesis is…stalled.  Even though the Graduate Studies Office approved the prospectus (did I mention this?  Oh well, if I didn’t — the GSO approved my prospectus), I’m realizing that I am terrified of actually starting the stupid thing.  I don’t know why it’s so daunting.  It just is.  Stupid, I know.  (In hindsight, I realize that I did write about that.  See?  I need to post more often)

I learned how to sew this past weekend.  Or, more accurately, I learned how to use my sewing machine.  The sewing machine I got for my birthday in September of 2012 (I have been busy.  Sue me).  My first project is a cotton peasant skirt for Wildfire next weekend.  I’m making it in green and white, and if I have time I’m planning on putting a Tudor rose on it.

Speaking of Tudor roses, I designed what I hope to have tattooed on my body one of these days:

It’s a Tudor rose, the white inside the red, symbolic of my obsession with history.  I’ve been trying to figure out what would best illustrate my love of history, since I’ve wanted a history tattoo for a while, and the other day thought, why not a Tudor rose?  They’re beautiful, I’m obsessed with Tudor history (not just Henry VIII — the Wars of the Roses all the way to Elizabeth I and beyond fascinates me)…it’s perfect.  Around the circle, in Gaelic (little nod to my Irish heritage) are the words of my favorite saying: “When there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.”  Because I like to plan, I’m going to sit on the design for a while before committing to having it inked on me.  I don’t know how long.  I also don’t know where I want it — I’m thinking back, but I don’t know if I am brave enough to have it out in plain view between my shoulder blades (which is my ideal location, really), or lower back.  But I love it.

And for your edification (ha) here is a picture of my in-progress green and white peasant skirt:

2013-08-04 18.18.48

Front and back.  I’m pleased with it so far.

I wish I had more exciting things to write, but nothing really is going on.

More (and more progress pics, most likely) when I have time again.

Stressed?! Who is stressed?!

One class left.  One week left until my last papers for said class need to be handed in.  Two weeks until my thesis prospectus is due into the Graduate Studies office.

Five days until I move out of my parents’ in-law apartment and into my brand-new life.

My caffeine addiction has reached new heights.  My bank account has reached new lows (not really, I have money in savings that I’m attempting to NOT tap into, but considering how fucking EXPENSIVE moving is, that’s starting to look less and less like a possibility right now).

I shouldn’t complain too much.  Because I have amazing friends who are willing to help me move, I don’t need a moving truck, so that negates a big bill right there.  And I don’t begrudge them the takeout and beer that I will be paying for on Saturday night.  Much of this week is going to consist of taking drives over to the apartment and bringing my things over little by little.  Friday night, D and I are bringing over the furniture that’s been in his apartment ever since I moved out in November.  And Saturday is the big move itself.  Sunday Samantha moves in, but at that point (hopefully) all of my things, my cats, and I will be settled in, and the internet will be set up (I know, right, priorities!).

I’m meeting with my thesis adviser this afternoon to discuss my prospectus.  Which, of course, being me, I have already envisioned as a negative, with her telling me that my prospectus is garbage and I should just quit the program now.  My mind is such a wonderful place to live at times.

Went to IKEA on Sunday with Samantha, and got some stuff for the apartment.  I needed a new bedding set (well, I guess that’s more ‘want’ than ‘need’, but whatever), and this is the one I got for $30:

And I got these (not from IKEA) for my bedroom:

Love.  I want the apartment to be filled with candles.  I think it will be.  I have enough Partylite stuff to last a year, haha.

There are still a few things I need to get for the new place — a set of sheets, a shower curtain rod (the former tenants took the last one — I KNOW) — but we’re almost there.  By this time next week, I’ll be in the new place, the papers will hopefully be done (they’re due Tuesday, May 7th) and I’ll be on my way to going full-tilt into summer.

I can’t wait.

A quick succession of busy nothings

I fully expected to feel run-down, exhausted, unhappy today, and in reality, I feel better than I have all week.  I don’t much want to talk about the filing process, but I’m very, very glad that I did it and that I can stop dreading it now.  Everything’s started, there’s no going back.  Well, there could be, considering that Connecticut has a mandatory 90-day waiting period for divorces, but I don’t foresee it happening at all.  And it’s funny, how many people said “I’m proud of you” once I had done it.  It’s a sad situation, it’s not a happy thing, but when so many people seem to be behind you when you do something like that, it makes you feel that much more confident that you made the right choice.

Other things are going on, which are much happier.

Samantha and I are continuing our quest to find the perfect “post-break apartment”.  Since she just broke up with her boyfriend of three years, and I just broke things off with my husband of two years, we’re in the market for the perfect two-bedroom apartment that is somewhere between work and school, isn’t in an unsafe neighborhood, and lets you have cats (Tempest and Tabitha are part of me, they go where I go).  So far, we have a couple of leads, but nothing certain.  I keep my eyes peeled every day on Craigslist.

My friend Drea became a Partylite consultant this past month and had her first party last night, hosted by my little sister.  It was a lot of fun.  In the end, Christina earned $150 worth of free merchandise (and got a lot of really nice things), Drea got some good experience and managed to push through her nerves (and did SO WELL), and I spent my first night, post-divorce filing, not questioning my decisions or feeling bad or crying.  I didn’t cry at all last night.  I drank Barefoot moscato and laughed with my friends and spent a little too much money, but I have more than enough in the bank account right now, a splurge was fun, and Christina promised to return the favor when I have my party in April.

What did I get?  More bird things.  Are you sensing a theme yet?

Bird candle holder.  This is much bigger than it looks — it actually holds a round jar candle, which is why I got it (not really big into the melts).  You can’t see it too well on the white background, but there’s a tiny little bird on the branch!

Another GloLite pillar in Apple Blossom.  I love the way the clusters of different sized pillars look, and I got a free tray from Michaels (with a GC from Christmas, since the ones from Partylite were like $20 and I got that one for $4).

Package of Universal Tealights in Calm Waters.

Natural Rituals Aromatherapy Soy Candle in “Calm” (same fragrance I bought last time — the lavender/rosemary).

You may ask “Why the hell do you need so many candles?”  Well, TBH, my apartment is tiny, not ventilated well, and musty as hell.  Plus, I’d really like to see my friend Drea make a success of her business.  She’s doing something for herself, and that makes me happy.

This Sunday is my sister’s annual Oscar shindig, which I am also looking forward to…tons of food, the Oscars, red carpet-snarkiness…what’s there not to look forward to?

Tonight is my last night of school for the week.  I have a ton of research to do this weekend, as well as cleaning out my old car…oh, did I mention?  I got a new (to me) car this week!  It’s a 2005 Honda Accord with about 100,000 miles on it, dark forest green, leather seats, seatwarmers…love!  I’ll post a picture tomorrow.

And tomorrow is Friday.  The return of Little Victories”, and a little more sanity to my life.

Little Victories, Week Six

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week, for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

– After wrestling with COMCAST all day last Saturday, I finally managed to get my (UNLIMITED) internet up and running!  It’s fantastic.  It had been a very, very long time (almost three months) since I had experienced the absolute joy of not having to worry about every single page click.  Having this again is like heaven.

– Had a great second meeting with my thesis adviser.  Who is really pleased by my progress, even though I still haven’t finished The Behemoth.  I am on page 508 (I thought I was further, I am not) of 817.

– I got some really good feedback from both Dr. W (Civil War historian at my school) and Dr. LW (thesis adviser) about sources/research for my paper.

– Finalized plans to meet with some internet friends I met on a message board before I got married, for a weekend in March!  I’m super-excited for this; it’ll be my first time meeting most of them.

– Good meeting with Crazy Bruce on Wednesday.

– Started a new cowl today with some Noro yarn I got for my birthday.

Items added to my jar: none this week.  That’s okay, I have a lot going on next week!

Happy Friday everyone!  If you’re in New England and Canada, stay safe!

This. Is. AWESOME!!!!

I would be a sad, sad history major indeed if I didn’t comment on THE biggest news of the day (sorry, Ravens fans) for we Anglophiles and lovers of all things history-related.

A skeleton found in a car park in Leicester was confirmed to be the remains of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England.

From bbc.uk

Richard III (1452-1485) was the youngest brother of King Edward IV, and Duke of Gloucester until his brother’s death in 1483.  Edward IV’s heir, his son, Edward V, was 13 years old, the product of his illicit marriage to a commoner, Elizabeth Woodville.  Richard, acting quickly, took up the position of Lord Protector during the minority of his young nephew, and had both the young King Edward V and his little brother, Richard Duke of York, sequestered in the Tower of London, ostensibly for their safety.  Shortly after, he declared that his brother Edward IV’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was bigamy (as Edward had been betrothed to another woman when he married without Parliaments’ assent), which rendered her son illegitimate and unfit to rule.  Richard III was formally crowned on July 6, 1483.  Edward V and Richard Duke of York were never seen again.

Richard’s reign was plagued with tragedy — the death of his son and heir, the death of his wife, and the constant taint of scandal that followed him, not only concerning the Princes in the Tower, but of the execution of his former friend and ally, the Duke of Buckingham, without trial, and of his misconduct with the Princes’ sister, Elizabeth of York, whom Richard was accused of attempting to seduce and marry in order to cement his claim to the throne.

Richard’s infamous reign came to an end at the Battle of Bosworth Field, when he met rival claimant to the throne Henry Tudor.  Though Richard fought bravely, and according to reports, nearly tangled with Henry Tudor himself, he was killed reportedly by a blow to the head.  Henry Tudor was crowned King Henry VII, married Princess Elizabeth of York, and brought an end to the infamous Wars of the Roses between the rival houses of Lancaster and York.  Henry VII and Elizabeth of York had four living children, one of whom would grow up to be Henry VIII, England’s most famous male monarch.

Richard III is the last English king to die on the field of battle, and the conclusive identification of his remains does much more than just provide England the opportunity to bury their fallen king in a more fitting and dignified grave than a pit under a car park.  It also lays to rest some of the more disturbing legends about Richard’s physical appearance, made notorious by such writers as William Shakespeare.

The skeleton (seen above) shows clear signs of serious scoliosis or curvature of the spine.  But the bones of both of Richard’s forearms seem intact and healthy, as do his shoulders…putting to bed the rumors that Richard was a deformed hunchback with a withered arm.

This BLOWS MY MIND.  I am so excited by this find, something I never expected to happen and barely hoped for when the announcement that excavators may have discovered a skeleton that belonged to Richard III.  It’s an incredible find, and I look forward to hearing about any other forensic discoveries that may be found, and seeing what happens to the royal remains concerning where and how they are laid to rest.

The Crash

Some days, you crash.  More specifically, some days, I crash.

Why?  I don’t know why.  Could be a really overly emotional counseling session with DS this morning.

Could be a weekend of too much alcohol and probably some funky mixing with my anti-anxiety meds.

Could be staying up way too late on Saturday for a party and on Sunday to watch the game (RIP 2013 Patriots 😦 Such a disappointing loss).

Could be that feeling of failure, of feeling like, no matter what I do, how many A’s, how many advanced degrees I get, I am a failure because my marriage is over and I don’t have children.

 

Goals tonight: survive the evening.  Crazy Bruce says somedays that’s the best thing to do.  I don’t say that to mean I’m suicidal or anything.  I just refuse to make effort or expectations higher than I can meet without exertion.

A hot bath, reading a good fluff book, and early to bed are all in the cards for me tonight.

Tomorrow is a new day, and I’ll face it when it comes.

Let’s Go, New England!

I watched the Broncos fall to the Ravens last night.  Woke up at 1 AM to find that Green Bay fell to the Forty-Niners.

One team left, and it’s my favorite.  It’s my team.

Got my Pats shirt on:

 

 

My toenails are painted (OPI Russian Navy, Sally Hansen Wine Not?, and Essie Beyond Cozy):

 

toenails

 

All of the other teams that I would have cheered for are gone.  Broncos and Green Bay were my “backup” teams.  Now they’re gone.  It’s all or nothing.

So I’m off to watch the playoffs.

GO NEW ENGLAND!

Why I wear purple

When I already got to work yesterday (too late to make a fashion choice), I saw online that a lot of people were talking about wearing blue or red in solidarity with their political party of choice.  (For those of you who don’t live in the United States, blue is the Democratic or Liberal color, and red is the shade representative of the Republican, or Conservative, party.

The election went relatively in the way I had hoped.  Although I am, now and forever, a moderate, I did vote for Obama (after considering, briefly, voting for Johnson), and though I don’t agree with all of his policies, I am happy that he won the re-election.  I do proceed with a lot more caution this time.  This country can’t succeed if we are divided, if one party continuously stonewalls another.

And that is why I chose to wear purple today.

Purple shirt, purple scarf (with some blue and pink in it).  I chose to wear OPI’s Russian Navy shade on my fingers — which appears blue, until you take a closer look and see that there are sparkly flecks of red in there as well.

That’s my solidarity.  Moderation in everything.  Independent forever.

If I’m so harmless, why are you so threatened?

I’m going to talk about something I never bring up.

Politics.

I know, right?

 

I am registered Independent.  When it comes to social issues, I am 100% liberal.  When it comes to economic issues, I am about 50-50.  War, gun control?  Liberal.  Education?  Conservative.  It’s tough.  If anything, I am a moderate.  I have always believed that this country (the U.S.) works best when neither of the two major parties has complete control (and I was just a kid during the Clinton administration, but I thought we were doing pretty well back then).

It’s even more tough coming from a religious family that identifies as liberal, and working for a religious organization that identifies itself as conservative.  I’ve worked here for five years.  I have never betrayed a hint of my religious leanings, even in the face of people ridiculing what I believe in.  Because contrary to popular belief, I am not insane, nor do I wish to bring arguments and black stares upon my head.  It makes me angry that I feel I cannot be open about my political ideas here without bringing negativity upon my head.  The few times that people have lambasted my father for his open political leanings in front of me, it has infuriated me.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen a lot of people bitching about third party voting.  Conservatives claim that “A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Obama” and that voting Libertarian, Green Party, or anything other than Democratic or Republican is nothing more than “throwing your vote away.”  Fox News (God I hate Fox News) had an article recently: Why Gary Johnson Could Cost Obama or Romney a Win in 2012.  Johnson himself is going before the public asking you to “waste your vote” on him.  If the public is correct (and hell, sometimes it is), we may have a game-changing race on our hands, like Perot in 1996 or Nader in 2000.

I find myself, at 29, agreeing more and more with the Libertarian party and policies.  Fiscal conservativism, social liberalism.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a moderate (still a liberal-leaning moderate), but I find myself listening to Johnson’s speech during the third-party debate and nodding my head in places.  I am someone who has disavowed the two-party system.  Neither party is working 100% for the people, and I’m starting to wonder, independently, how I feel about that.

I have no hopes or aspirations that Johnson will will; to be honest, I am not even sure that I will vote for him.  I have never voted third-party in an election in the 11 years since I was eligible to vote.  And even if I did, it doesn’t much make a difference: Connecticut has been a blue state in every presidential election since 1988 (although ironically enough, before that, we were a red state all the way back to the 1968 election).  We will be a blue state again.  My little vote hardly matters.

As the public keeps saying “it’s just throwing away your vote” to vote third party.

My question is…if it’s “throwing away” a vote, and hardly matters…why are you big politicians…on both sides…so threatened?