Not how I wanted to start off the year…

I’m manic today.

Two of my books are missing for my thesis.  Two.  I ordered them from Barnes and Noble a week and a half ago, and as of last night, I hadn’t seen them.  They were delivered by #$(#&$*(@&$ UPS to the BACK door of my apartment building, which is someone else’s private residence.  Usually, when this happens, they put the packages on the back steps leading up to my apartment.  Not so much this time.  I fucking hate UPS, I really do.  And they didn’t even really respond to my complaint, just said that I had to be a registered UPS user to file a complaint.  Fuck you very much.  I’m hoping that one of the boys who live downstairs is home this afternoon and that they have my package.  If they don’t, I’m well and truly screwed for my deadline for next week.

I have double- and triple-booked myself for this week, which is also bad.  I don’t want to spend every waking minute doing thesis but that might just be exactly what I end up doing.  I’m on my fourth cup of coffee today, that should carry me at least until 1 AM.  Lunch was nonexistent — the soup that I had in my car apparently froze and then thawed into sludge and was inedible.  So I’ve had toast and coffee all day, whee.

I have to spend tomorrow afternoon at Verizon (my phone contract with David is up as of today and I need to go on my own plan) and Wednesday afternoon at the DMV (have to register my car in my own name).  What joy is mine.  Yes, I would love to spend something like $1000 this week.  I don’t even HAVE that money in my account, I’m going to have to chip into savings, which really upsets me because I have more in savings than I’ve ever had and I HATE chipping into savings, but at the same time, I knew I would have to do that when I got the car signed over to me ANYWAY, so it’s not the end of the world.  Hoping that I can get a decent phone with my free upgrade through Verizon and that I don’t have to pay for anything really up front.

I do have SOME good news.  After a fruitless six weeks of trying to have my lung issues diagnosed, I finally went to Urgent Care in Newington and they took care of it.  All of my tests (EKG, chest x-ray) came back negative, and I apparently have the heart of an 18 year old (which is awesome), but my cough is horrible, really raspy and hacking, and I’m having trouble breathing.  So the doctor is treating me for pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma.  I’m on prednisone, a z-pack, and an inhaler.  And I’m happy to say that this battery of meds is working.  I made it through the night on Saturday without choking or gasping for air, and my lungs don’t feel quite so heavy.  So SOMETHING is working.  And that’s great.

I am nine days away from the deadline for my lit review and my perfectionism has resulted in procrastination which has resulted in panic attacks.  The three p’s of being a Virgo.  Amazing.

Work is insanity.  My boss’s email got hacked, and we’ve been inundated with phone calls all day about it.  One of my coworkers is even more manic than I am, and I just got sniped at by a woman who misunderstood me on the phone.

Is it Friday yet?

Nope Nope Nope

Well, that was a kick in the teeth.

My adviser was stunned, and pleased, when I dropped the final 62 pages on her desk yesterday. Work clocks in at 122 pages (two more than necessary, how about that?) and I was kind of…thrown? I mean…don’t give me an assignment that you don’t expect me to finish. I am a force to be reckoned with.

What stunned me, and upset me, was when she told me that, even though I am AHEAD of schedule, that wonderful six week Christmas break she promised? Not going to happen. Because in order to STAY on schedule, I need to have the 10-20 page literature review finished by January 15th.

Which is BEFORE Christmas break ends.

That six week Christmas break? Is going to be about one week.

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I’m all right. I’m disappointed, but really. In the great scheme of life, is this really that bad? No. I’m dog-tired and I’m frustrated as all hell, but…it is what it is.

I thought about starting today, but even looking up sources made me want to flip my desk, sooooo figured that was a bad idea. I’ll start on Saturday. The good news is, I already have part of it done because I needed to write a lit review for my prospectus, so that’s a good thing.

The OTHER good news: I no longer have to pay tuition. To stay as a continuing student, working on my thesis, I have to pay a $40 “matriculation fee” (translation: please give us more money and we’ll continue to provide you access to the computer lab and parking lots. Dickbags) per semester until I am done. Which will be one semester. It will be. I refuse to believe that I will be doing this a year from now.

Class of Spring ’14 or bust.

 

In happier news, once I got over my frustration and rage yesterday, I had a lovely evening Christmas shopping with Ryan and Jess.  We went to Blueback Square in West Hartford, ate at Cheesecake Factory (and yes, I have a whole lunch in the fridge at work because damn those portions are ridiculous), went shopping (I got two presents yesterday, one for Drea and one for Christina, and I am done shopping for both of them now), went to Meriden Square to get cheap wrapping paper, and then to Hubbard Park to look at the Christmas lights.  It was a fun evening, which was just what I needed after the disappointment yesterday.

Today: more Christmas shopping (I have switched from debit to credit card, not necessarily thrilled with that but running out of options) and tomorrow is just going to be a nice, easy wrapping and tea evening.  This weekend we’re supposed to get a blizzard, so I’m planning on bunking down wherever and getting some knitting done.  I have only one real Christmas knitting project left, so there’s that.

Sure, it’s not going to exactly be the relaxing Christmas break that I thought it would be, but…it’s STILL a Christmas break, and it’s not the worst thing that’s happened to me this year BY FAR.  So there’s really not much to complain about.

IT IS FINISHED (for now)

IT. IS. DONE.

120 pages in eight weeks. I never thought I’d see the end of it, but there it is. At approximately 8 PM last night, I typed the last words of Chapter IV of my thesis. It was done with a little less than 48 hours until deadline.

I am exhausted, but I am thrilled.

katy perry dancing

footloose

brad pitt

Let the six week celebration commence. I did it.

Happy (Little) Gratitudes

I feel compelled to write one of these.   It goes without saying that I’m grateful for family, friends, etc.  But these are just the little things that are making my heart happy, these last few days.

Google Docs.   How did I never know this gloriousness before?  Special thanks to my friend Lyndsey who introduced me to it.  I have all of the drafts of the Fallen Beyond Salvation series up there, along with the rough drafts of my thesis chapters and my Christmas shopping list.  Seriously, being able to a) access from any computer and b) not worry about my own computer crashing?  Gold.  Pure gold.

Homemade sugar scrub.  I did this last night and my skin feels bangin’.  Going to make sugar scrubs for friends this holiday season, I think.

Teavana’s White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos Tea.  YES.  You can pick up this liquid herbal joy here.  Jess and I bought a tin of it the other day, splitting the cost (at $40, it ain’t cheap), and that’s going to keep us from spending our money at Starbucks when we get together at her place, at least for a while.

Lancome Energie De Vie.  I got this as a 100 point sample from Sephora and I LOVE it.  It makes my skin feel incredibly soft and smells very familiar, I’m wondering if my grandmother used it when I was little, because its scent instantly transported me back to being a little girl spending the night at her house.  Of course, the full size retails for $55, so I won’t be getting THAT, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.  Much like the holiday season.

This week at work.  I have only a day and a half before I’m off for a wonderful four and a half day weekend.  I can’t wait.

Good friends.  ‘Nuff said.

Prednisone.  Lucky me has a lung infection…but at least I have steroids to clear it up.  And at least it’s not pneumonia.

90.5 completed pages of my thesis.  One chapter and 30 more pages to do between now and December 20th.  I CAN DO IT.  And then I get a month off.  Thank God.

Midsummer update

I haven’t really been writing lately, and I don’t have much of an excuse, except that I’m suffering from burnout in a major way.  Anxious people will know what I mean: you know that feeling after you’ve had a massive, massive panic attack, where you feel like you have absolutely zero strength left in your body, and you just want to sleep for, oh, a decade?  That is how I feel right now.  Seriously.  It’s like we got through the divorce, and then my body said “You know all that tension and nerve you’ve been carrying for the last 22 months?  Yeah, we give up now,” and just fell apart.  I haven’t done the horrible keening crying, or “fallen apart” per se, but I just emotionally have very little to give right now.  The things that used to not bother me, or at least, didn’t bother me so much?  Send me screeching into the night, lately.  I’m tense, I’m exhausted, I just have nothing left to give lately.

Which lead me to asking my boss for a vacation week.  I’ll be taking it from August 31st to September 9th.  And I could not be more excited.

I don’t really have any plans right now, because a) I’m broke and b) who would I even go with?  But it’s really exciting to know that I have that option, that I’m going to have a week to sleep in, relax, take some time for myself.  Maybe get a massage, maybe visit some friends out of state (if I want to), and then top it all off with my trip to New Hampshire that first full weekend in September.  Yes.  It is a little over a month away, so I have plenty of time to plan ahead.

 

In other news, Wildfire is THREE WEEKS FROM FRIDAY OMG.  I can’t believe it came this fast.  I still have to buy a sleeping bag and start going over stuff I need to pack.

I got an email from Dr. LW, and my master’s thesis prospectus was approved and signed off by the Graduate Studies’ Office ON THE FIRST TRY.  Wahooo!  The good news is: three rewrites and edits before submission apparently did the trick!  The bad news is: omg, it’s time to actually write this thing and I am scared to death, here, let me spend another six months on research because actually writing it is scary.

But people who don’t write their Master’s theses don’t get Master’s degrees, and therefore don’t go on to become Ph.D.’s.  Or something like that.

I joined a fantasy football league, too.  That’s a thing that happened.    My transition from “Ew, football sucks,” to casual Patriots fan, to rabid Patriots fan, to rabid football fan, is nearing completion.  Look at my life, look at my choices.  I regret nothing.

Things are going pretty damn well.  I’m content.  Not ecstatic, not euphoric, but content, and that’s a pretty good place to be at 29 years and 10 months 🙂

Little Victories, Week Twenty

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.

– Finished moving everything out of my apartment.

– Revised and handed in my thesis prospectus.  It got an A 🙂  I’m meeting with Dr. LW on Monday to discuss the revisions necessary for the Graduate Studies Office, and working on my thesis for the summer months.

– Pushed through and finally, on the third try, completed C25K Week 4, Day 1.  It was an uphill battle but I did it.

– Completed Week 4, Day 2 today and felt fantastic.

Plans for the rest of the weekend involve: um…knitting and watching Kitchen Nightmares.  I think this is the plan 🙂

Little Victories, Week Seventeen

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.

– Finished the rough draft of my Master’s thesis prospectus!  Twenty-two pages, and granted, it’s a rough draft, but it’s DONE.  And done earlier than my professor expected it to be.  Dr. LW was a little surprised, but seemed pleased, when I put it on her desk.  I should get the suggestions for revision sometime within the next few days.  Fingers crossed!

– Finished my term paper for Dr. S’s class.  Clocking in at a grand total of 28 pages (counting the title page and bibliography, so really only 26 pages of writing), it definitely was the major hump of the semester.  But it’s finished now, and there are only two papers (and the revisions for my prospectus) left!  So it looks like the semester is all downhill from here.  Let’s hope!

– Began Couch to 5K last week.
Friday, April 19 – Week 1, Day 1
Saturday, April 20 – Week 1, Day 2
Monday, April 22 – Week 1, Day 3
Wednesday, April 24 – Week 2, Day 1

And I feel really good about it!  I had to get some new sneakers because my old ones (purchased in 2009) were shot to hell.  I was going to just grab a cheap pair at Bob’s Stores, but when I went there, I wasn’t totally satisfied with the comfort of the less expensive shoes.  Then I slipped on a pair of the $49 Asics…and you know that moment that women claim to have when they buy their perfect wedding dress?  I had that moment with those shoes.  They were just right.  I didn’t mind paying the extra.  They were pretty much exactly what I was looking for.  I wore them all afternoon and evening last night, so hopefully when I hit the gym this afternoon for Week 2, Day 2, they’ll be somewhat broken in.  (I also bought a sports bra.  It was completely necessary.  My 38 DDD girls were not comfortable running in underwire)

– Had my last counseling session with D and DS.  I have to say it was bittersweet.  I will miss DS, but I don’t think I’ll miss the sessions, the rawness, the pain.  We are two months and two weeks away from our divorce date, and I think we’re good from here on out.

– Started getting my preliminary plans in place for the move, which will hopefully take place next weekend, May 4-5!  I can’t wait!

I’m finding it hard to believe that I’m one week away from moving, two weeks away from the end of the semester, and five weeks away from Wildfire!  I just…I can’t wrap my brain around it.  Seriously excited on a lot of fronts.  There are so many good things coming up right now, it’s difficult not to get caught up in the excitement.

Have a wonderful weekend!  My plans, you ask?  Gym this afternoon, then Knit Night at Drea’s.  Tomorrow…calling my grandparents in Florida, cleaning my apartment, tackling those two papers!  Sunday, Ikea with Samantha, and then up to Massachusetts for Tina’s Partylite/Cinco de Mayo party.  I can’t wait.  This weekend’s going to be a blast.

I said last night on Facebook, something that I haven’t felt was true up until now.

I’m nowhere near where I thought I wanted to be. But for the first time in a very, very long time, I feel like I’m on the right path to where I’m meant to go.

Need a second to breathe

I have been a horrific blogger these days — foregoing all of my regularly-scheduled updates.  I don’t have an excuse at all, except that it’s the end of the semester, I’m focusing on moving and finishing papers and all of those other things, plus I have the world’s busiest social schedule (I really need to start saying “no” to people — at least until mid-May).

So if those are considered “good” excuses, then I guess I do have them. I had a lovely — if busy — week last week.

Thursday I went to Northampton to WEBS with my good friends Tina, Drea, and Jess.  Most of us had gift certificates from Christmas for WEBS, and we were all eager to use them.  And we were all on strict budgets for one reason or another.  But I came off so well!  I scored three skeins of Madelintosh Light in “Cousteau”…for 38 cents (after gift cards, of course).  It would have cost me $60 without the cards and discount!

 

I want to start knitting with it yesterday, but I’m holding off because as I’ve said, I have a massive load of papers to do before the end of the semester.  So I’m saving it as my “end of the semester” treat, for when I’m done.  I’m going to knit another Citron shawl.  I made one last year out of some beautiful green yarn, but I gave it to my grandmother for Christmas and never took any pictures of the finished product.  This one, though…this one is going to be for me.  I can hardly wait.

After WEBS, we went to Roberto’s in Northampton for dinner.  Dinner was good, but dessert…dessert was something special.  We each had the creme brulee — I had vanilla, Drea had blueberry, and Jess and Tina each had butterscotch bourbon.  And although mine was heavenly, I realized after taking a bite of Tina’s that I had made the wrong choice.  Butterscotch bourbon creme brulee is pretty much to die for, just an FYI in case you are ever in a situation where it is offered.  You won’t regret it (but, like me, you may regret passing it up!)

Friday: After work, I hit the gym to begin (again) Couch 2 5 K.  I have a horrible time with self-motivation, and although I’ve started C25K twice before, I’ve always managed to crash and burn out within the first two weeks.  I’m determined that I won’t do that this time.  After the gym I went out with Samantha and we went apartment shopping.  She made out like a bandit — got her duvet, a blender, a whiteboard for the kitchen, and sheets.  I didn’t do as well.  But I did get a cute set of canisters for the kitchen — something I’ve wanted for awhile:

And a mail organizer for the two of us (I can’t find a picture online).  I’m going to check out Marshall’s again today, since I need bed linens myself.  I had picked out a really cute set from Target, but the quilt alone was going to be $70 — all of the pieces I wanted together were going to be something like $110, and that was just for the quilt and two shams!  Nope, back to the drawing board.

Saturday didn’t begin at all like I had planned.  Samantha and I had purchased a sofa from Craigslist, and the owner said she would hold it until Sunday morning (when Sam could go get it) if I came out on Saturday morning and paid for it.  So I left at around 10 AM (after sending a text to the owner notifying her, per her request).  When I got to the apartment, nobody answered.  I went around the block, got an iced coffee from Dunks, and went back.  Same results.  Sent an email, no reply.  I’m pretty angry about it, especially since I wasted about an hour and a half of my time and the gas and wear on my car to leave empty-handed.  But at least I went to the gym and worked out my frustration on C25K Day 2.  It went better than Day 1.

After that, I went home, showered, and then sat down to watch the Red Sox/Royals game.  During which, I banged out my master’s thesis prospectus.  Twenty-two pages in five and a half hours.  I don’t think I need to explain how exhausted/relieved I was when that little project was done (plus, the Sox won).  The paper having been disposed of, I made BLTs for my dad, Christina, and Jess (a bacon veggie burger for myself) and french fries, and then watched Django Unchained with Christina and Jess while trying to bang out my literature review for my other class.  I got the five-page outline finished, and got about three pages of 20 done before I just gave up around 10:30.  I was getting to that point where my writing isn’t making sense; when I get there, it’s best to just close the whole thing down and start fresh another day.

Sunday I woke up early, went to church, and then made pancakes for everyone.  Then I took the car trip up to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to see my friend Kim in Sweeney Todd.  Which was really great.  And she was really happy that I came.  I wish I could say that I got stuff done when I returned to CT, but I didn’t.  I didn’t get in until almost 7 PM and at that point I was so bushed that I just took a hot bath and made dinner and rested for the rest of the evening.  I passed out sometime between 10 and 11 PM and woke up with my alarm this morning.

 

Today…today I’m really excited because I have a brand spanking new computer at work.  I have counseling with D after work, and then the gym for Day 3 of C25K.  Then…I think it’s home to make dinner and finish that paper, or at least put a pretty big dent in it.

The trees are all in blossom and bud.  It’s finally spring 🙂

Just don’t give up; I’m working it out

(Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me?” really speaks to my life as a whole right now.)

When last we spoke, our anti-heroine (me) was inwardly agonizing about relationships and post-divorce relationships and being ready to tackle new things and whatnot.  This may have predicated a foray into angst, “forever alone” nonsense and abstract “will I never be truly happy until I’m with someone else again?” thinking.

I’m happy to tell you this is not the case, as our anti-heroine faced up to the full brunt of the tasks set before her for these upcoming months…and emotions ran the whole gamut from complete ecstasy to “oh shit.”

Good things first:

After months of research, Dr. LW (my thesis adviser) looked over my bulging folder of notes and gave me the green light to begin writing my thesis prospectus.  If you don’t know what that signifies…in order to begin writing a master’s thesis at my university, one needs to go before the Graduate Studies Department (or have one’s adviser go before the GSD) and present the thesis idea.  You can’t just haul off and say “This is what I want to spend a year of my life doing”; you need to have more of a plan.  Specifically, you need to write a prospectus, which is a statement of interest, a literature review, a statement about what contributions your work will bring to the field of study, what other historians have said, what gaps you intend in filling, and an annotated bibliography of all your sources (thus far) and how they will be useful.  If the GSD likes your prospectus, you get the green light to write the damn thing.  If they don’t…well, that’s another story, and hopefully one I don’t  need to think about right now.

Anyway.  This was my response to Dr. LW’s go-ahead:

I totally went and got an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  Because that is how I celebrate.

Then I went to class.  And I got the bad news.

I’ve known all this semester that I had a term paper for Dr. S due.  The syllabus said it was due next week, but since the class is half-undergrad, half-grad, and he hadn’t mentioned a damn thing about the paper, and he’d recently been in Asia and pushed back some of our deadlines, I naturally did the stupid thing and assumed that it was going to be pushed back as well.

Ha.
Aha.
Hahahahaha.
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

That’s the sort of amateur move that a freshman makes.  Maybe an undergraduate junior.  Not a last-year grad student.

Rookie mistake.

So the paper is due next Thursday.  As in April 18th.  As in eight days from now.

How long a paper?  Not that long.  Just 15-20 pages or so.

The above gif was pretty much exactly my reaction when I realized that my idiotic error was going to result in a metric buttload of stress for myself…but that it’s going to get done, it has to get done, so what’s the use of freaking out?

I already have a topic.  My father (the man who instilled a love of history in me so deep that it resulted in borderline obsession) gave me four books from his own personal library that will help in my research.  I used my bff Zotero last night to track down some articles and printed them this morning.  I have a couple of hours this afternoon to do some work before I have to go check out another apartment…

Oh yeah, the apartment search is in full swing.  My parents want their little cottage back (for my sister, who has epilepsy and is disabled), and my (future) roommate S and I have been actively searching for a place for about a week and a half now…

The point of this whole entry?  I’m completely swamped on all sides, so to be spending my time lamenting about a relationship that could have been but wasn’t?  Would pretty much guarantee that I’m certifiable.

Sign me up for the loony bin.

And just because I think my makeup looked pretty damn good today…I think I’ve come a long way since starting to learn how to apply eyeshadow back in September ’12.

2013-04-10 09.31.14

Little Victories, Week Eleven

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.

Another Friday come and gone (or going).  I have a ton of fun planned for this weekend, but first things first:

– Re-filed for divorce.  Yup.

– Pwned my adviser meeting on Tuesday, and was told full-steam ahead on the research!

– Got my first paper back for my other class and got a perfect score.

– Finished Volume One of “Down South” by Samuel Phillips Day, and I’m into Volume Two.  Still plugging away on the notes.

Yeah, that’s about it 🙂  Sort of a quiet week, which seems silly to say because I haven’t spent more than like 8 hours at home any day this week.

Tomorrow is my friend Tina’s St. Patrick’s Day blast, and then the following day, I have yet another party.  I’m psyched.  Don’t drink that much, but I’m still psyched.  It should be a lot of fun.

Have a great weekend!