what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout
This really was a horrible week, full of anxiety and I'm so glad it's over. Next week, even though it's the first week of school and one of the busiest at work, has to be better. It has to be. Blessedly, my mind has hidden a lot of the details of this week already but it was a dark and stormy time, a slough of despond, a grey night of the soul. I felt like I couldn't write my name in the sand with a sharp stick (one of Richard Hugo's favourite sayings). I'm still in recovery mode, trying to be gentle with myself. I can't quite shake that feeling of impending doom.
Monday: a meeting, a student orientation, then I discovered there had been an earthquake in Taiwan, close to where my friend Christina and her husband Matt are (they're the people we travelled to Turkey with). Gradually I got more and more worried as it became clear that the city they live in (Taichung) was one of the hardest hit. Worry worry worry. Got in stupid disagreements on Usenet and didn't argue my case well. Inarticulate, while I thought I was being careful. This is stupid. So of course I couldn't sleep, between worrying about Christina and Matt, and worrying about people misreading what I've said.
The last time I remember looking at the clock was 3:00 am; Matt phoned at 5:00 to let us know that they were fine. Bless him.
Tuesday: spent hours with difficult students, or rather students that simply required a lot of me. I was getting farther and farther behind with all the paperwork and organization, and in deeper and deeper into misunderstandings and my anxiety level was reaching critical, probably due to lack of sleep. I was reading a book that fed into my anxiety level (Richard Bowes, Minions of the Moon) so I finished it quickly and took up a comfort book (Sherwood Smith's Wren to the Rescue). Got to bed early, but I was still too wired, tired, and upset to sleep.
Wednesday: Another student orientation. I was tired and inarticulate, and didn't do a good job of explaining the program. I worried I'd put off students who might otherwise be interested in the program. (From the mailing list sign up afterwards I discovered this was unlikely, but I still worried about it--at that point I worried about everything). Emotionally, I felt like I was bottoming out. Numb and tired.
Thursday: battered and bruised.
And now a weekend to try to recover and tidy myself up. I sent email to the people I had argued with that I was so worried about. Caught up on some paperwork. Got a little more organized at home to subdue the panicky feeling there. Didn't even try to work on the novel.
I am feeling better, but still shaky and uncertain, and very tired.
Also got a several new discs: Tori Amos' new one, to venus and back which I like better than I thought I would (I had bought the two singles released before the album and wasn't as drawn to them as I have been with her previous work); Rebecca Timmons' new disc The Turing Event, which is at least as good as her wonderful debut album; Kaitlyn ni Donovan's first full-length release, songs for 'three days'--I've had a tape ep of hers for years that I adore, and the full-length album I think will be just as wonderful when I've had time to listen to it properly; and Diane Izzo's debut, One, which is a sort of strange amalgam of PJ Harvey, Chan Marshall of Cat Power, Liz Phair, and probably many others.
This has been an amazing month for new releases.
Jonathan Carroll's The Marriage of Sticks is another book that I loved that I also should read again some time when I can give it my full attention. This reminded me a lot of my favourite novel of his, Bones of the Moon, I'm not sure why, except the main character felt a lot like the main character of that novel, and probably simply because I liked it as much, I think. Carroll is allowing himself to have stronger elements of the fantastic in his novels, and I think it's where he really shines. This is an intriguing novel about a woman and the way she lives her life.
Sherwood Smith's Wren to the Rescue and Wren's Quest were the books I read to try to calm myself down. I read Wren to the Rescue first several years ago when I first bought it, and enjoyed it. It's lighter-feeling than most of my favourite young adult novels--perhaps it's for a slightly younger audience, it's hard to tell. While I like Smith's Court Duel and Crown Duel better--I think they stand with the best in the genre--I still really enjoyed reading these. They're entertaining books about a girl in an orphanage who discovers that her best friend isn't really another orphan but is a princess, and that she can go back home with her--but then the princess is kidnapped. The relationships are real, the characters are clear, the plots interesting. Just the thing for a bad week.
The passing tides they wander
From unknown swirls way out at sea.
Tides was the roughest shores
I think and know it happened to me.
The bad part of the daze are gone
and are washed out to sea.
2. I suspect here that I am referring to my relationship with Everett, which began even though I still had a huge crush on Paul. It wasn't that I didn't love Everett, but I wasn't used to being the loved rather than the lover, and I had trouble with that.
3. Wow--how things don't change.
4. Hmm--that hasn't changed either.
5. By Janine.
6. If I remember correctly, Fred was a sock with floppy brown corduroy dog ears sewn on, and button eyes and nose.
7. The teacher. He may not have been a good reader, but he did a throw-you-to-the-back-of-your-chair imitation of Hitler's speeches in History the previous semester.
8. The movie.
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