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dinner

Friday I went to drinks with colleagues and a woman showed up who i saw in that “new light.” She mentioned she was going to the poetry slam later and so I toodled along. I should have just said hey and left it at that, but I sat next to her in these tiny little old theater seats (and we’re both on the hefty side, so we were running into each other). I say I should have, because then Saturday I wrote her a note about whether she’d like to get dinner sometime and she hasn’t written me back. I’m guessing she’s either not gay or surprised by my interest b/c there is a big age gap, or not interested herself. Or just never checks her email! hahahaha. Oh well, it provided some moments of butterflies over the past few days whenever I got a new email.

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Suddenly sad

I’ve been really pretty happy–or at least mentally stable–the last two years. Maybe that’s why I haven’t posted as much. I feel driven to write when I’m feeling more depressed.
Right now I’m feeling situationally depressed. I have a butt-load of grading to do. It is all rewrites, which I can’t figure out how to grade because they aren’t true rewrites. There’s no real revision, just a few added sentences here and there. Is that because of the nature of my feedback or because the students don’t know what a rewrite is or because they are lazy? Other professors are having the same problem, so I don’t think it’s just my feedback. And then my Af Am history class is turning in papers tomorrow. And P is turning in more papers next Monday. So Thanksgiving will be all grading all the time.
I have a new direction for my research and I’m really excited about it, so I want to do that all the time instead of grading. Which is why it’s been a week and a half and I have put a number on only one paper (and read another handful).

I had a party for my birthday Friday night. I’m trying to decide how it went. I think it was fun for the people who came, which as a consummate hostess is important for me. But I was really quiet. It was funny–the couple of times I spoke the whole house got quiet to listen, as if they knew it was my party and I might say something important.

I miss my gay friends from my last state. I have no gay friends here, partly because it is a small town and partly because I haven’t found the gay community yet. There were a couple of gay guys I really liked in the beginning, but they never came to any of my invitations, so I stopped inviting them. Yet, when I was with my gay friends in that other state, I felt awkward too. Maybe I’m just awkward. But being gay doesn’t mean you have other things in common. So with gay folks, you end up talking relationships most of the time, and I have a hard time discussing on-going relationships (though less so with past relationships). And with academics, you discuss the nature of world events or gripe about teaching. I wish there was some way to meld the two. To have more things in common with gay folks or find gay academics. I’m thinking about going to the Berkshire Conference, which I’ve heard has a lot of gay girl hooking up in addition to the conferences. I wish I was more compelling looking so that I could actually participate in a hook-up culture. Anywho. Guess I should go back to grading.

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Hey AJers!

I posted this site on the closed fb group for AJers (they’ll know what that means). So I’m getting more site views than normal (normal being 1 or 2 a day, today = 40), which is encouraging me to post more than normal.
I haven’t written about my love life here, practically ever. My coming-out-crush was a reader of the blog way-back-when, so I certainly couldn’t confess to those feelings. And every so often my H and my Mom read the blog, so that constrained some of the things I could say…….But it’s been two years since I updated, so I think I’ve lost all those original readers and now I can post whatever I want, without fear of consequences. Hah! As if I’d ever not fear consequences………Well, I’ll have to figure out how open I feel like I can be here.

I’ve had several brief relationships since I left my H (though mostly not until after I divorced). None really clicked. Right now, I’ve transitioned my longest relationship yet (April to August) into just a friendship. She drove 12 hours out here to see me and I realized I just wasn’t feeling it as strongly as I needed to be in order to maintain a long distance relationship. I had a terrible time owning up to my feelings, because I was afraid of hurting her (and I have a hard time with honesty in difficult situations, as mentioned here).
So that’s it in a nutshell, but without really explaining anything interesting. I’ll have to work on that.

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Long time no write, eh?

Hey all,

Just a quick update. I’m currently sitting on my red corner from a sectional with my feet on my improvised ottoman (a basket with my magazines in it with a brown floor pillow on top). Darcy’s new favorite spot is on the ottoman. I’m trying to finish Mandela’s autobiography, which I’ve been reading for what seems like forever now. It’s very interesting, but I still get distracted.

My foot is bandaged because I drove a knife into the bottom of my foot last Tuesday evening. It’s terribly ironic, because I was in a very good frame of mind, quite happily working on an art project. I was determined to work on it, even without a workshop. I was worried about the wood floors and also about using the knife carefully. The first set of cuts I made, I did very carefully, but then I tried to mount it to the wall and it was proving more difficult than I could handle. It’s a six-seven foot tree branch I want to use as the basis for an improvised headboard. The brackets I got were not long enough and I couldn’t balance the weight of the branch while trying to attach the brackets to the wall and/or the wood (I tried premounting the brackets to the branch and also starting with one on the wall). I sheared off three screws–one with the new drill I got and two with just my arm power and the screw-driver.

So I suppose I was frustrated. I decided to take off this big knot at the back of the branch (based on how I decided I wanted to mount it–I made the decision visually instead of seeking out the side that would lay flattest against the wall, unfortunately). I sat down cross-legged and started to chip away at the knot. Instead of the tiny careful cuts I made just a few minutes before, I was doing an unsafe hackjob. And the knife slipped and embedded itself in the bottom of my foot. It looks a bit like the following picture, though I bought it for only a couple of bucks at the hardware store.

I sat on the floor and sobbed because it was such a stupid thing to do. It didn’t actually hurt yet. I was just so mad at myself and at the evening I was about to have and the week that I had ruined. I could have called 911, but I decided to try one of my new friends first. I sat with my thumb pressed against the cut and called the first person. The conversation went a bit like this:

Roses (catching breath so it doesn’t sound like she’s crying): Hey there, what’s up?

B: not much, how are you?

R: Oh, pretty good. What are you up and B2 up to tonight?

B: Well, B2 is out right now and going to have dinner later at an old friend’s house and I’m going to go do my radio show and then I have band practice.

R: Oh, ok. I’ll try somebody else.

B: Yep, sorry. Bye.

He told me later I’m supposed to lead with the whole “I’ve got a massive gaping wound” bit. I know, I know. But I really knew this was going to ruin the evening of the lucky person who answered the phone. Cause these are good folks and would try to help me. Second person didn’t pick up and I didn’t leave a message.

Third person was just leaving work and dropped everything and rushed to pick me up. She was completely awesome and wonderful and stayed with me for the whole ordeal. I wrapped my foot in a clean pair of undies, put a hair tie around it to stay put and shoved it into an old gym shoe (came home later to smooshes of blood where I hobbled through the house. Thank goodness for hardwood floors. All the dried blood came up when I had the energy to clean a couple days later). By the time we got to the ER, blood was leaking out of the gym shoe, but it did at least cause the bleeding to stop for a bit.

I was at the ER for about 4 hours. After they removed my MacGyver bandage and scolded me about how dirty gym shoes are, I bled continuously for the first 2 or more hours. It was dripping down onto the floor and finally a nurse came over and wrapped two compress bandages on me and put a big towel thing under me. When I soaked through both bandages and again started dripping on the floor (despite moving my foot around on the towel), nurses would come and stare and move on. Finally the jokey nurse returned and sat a big huge gauze pad next to me that he said was for major trauma patients and could hold gallons of blood. But it just sat there for awhile till he decided to put it on me, too. It didn’t stick like the compress bandages and I soaked through that one fairly quickly too.

They finally stuck me with some morphine, waited for that to set in, then stuck my foot with numbing agent. The prick hurt and then my whole body fluttered. I got really dizzy and an icy cold breeze blew over my body. I guess I have a reaction to that numbing stuff–not an allergy, just the way that some people react to it. After that reaction settled down (my pulse had dropped way down), the nurse practitioner started to sew. A couple of the stitches, I couldn’t feel a thing, but then she got to a place that wasn’t numb. Ahhhh! It’s not numb. She asks me if it hurts. Well, duh, that would be the closing eyes, stiff body thing I’m doing. But I’m such a proud dumbass, I can’t say “it hurts.” Did I mention I’ve been laughing and joking and asking questions of my friend (got part of her life history that night) the whole time up to this point? So I figured the change in demeanor would be enough to communicate my discomfort. But the nurse kept saying, “I don’t know if it hurts, you have to tell me!” So she gave me more of the numbing agent and the reaction wasn’t as bad this time. She got another couple of stitches in, before she got to the callous on the bottom of my foot. I’ve had serious ugly callouses on that foot since my ankle surgery. It broke two or three needles. And the numbing was wearing off again by the time she got the final stitch in there.

I thought for sure I was going to feel horrible the next few days, but I really didn’t. I didn’t have to fill the serious pain medication prescription she wrote me. Advil was enough. I slept the whole day Wednesday. Spent part of Thursday at a work retreat. Spent Friday trying to work from home and also waiting for the internet guy to show up.

Part of the reason I haven’t written as much is that I haven’t had the internet at home. Hopefully some of my good habits will translate over now that I have a source of easy entertainment again. We’ll see. I’ve been watching a lot of tv since I got the internet, but that is in part b/c I was trying to be “good” and lay around and rest my foot. Except that ‘good” to me says active. At least I got the place somewhat cleaned up. I still have a bucket of nasty sink water. My sink and my neighbor’s sink was stopped up for about 5 days till they came and fixed it. And evidently decided to leave a bucket of nasty sink water–the same day I hurt my foot. Haven’t wanted to try to move it to the bathroom to empty it into the toilet till I’m steadier on my feet.

Anyway, was gonna tell you about the new job too, but I suppose that that is a long enough post for today. 🙂

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Tattoos have become the ubiquitous cliché of subversive cool. Like kooky eyeglasses and statement haircuts, they are props for people who would like to announce to the world that they are interesting. But in the vocabulary of personal style, there is something jarringly inarticulate about a tattoo.

I feel all of a jangle these days trying to craft my new self while emerging out of 29-almost-30 years of experience of being half me and half someone else masquerading as all the stuff I thought I should be.

I want to be outre and cool and a hipster and have kooky eyeglasses and a statement haircut and a tattoo. I’ve tried to get the statement haircut twice now and failed–once because the Mandarin speaking hairdresser did not believe me, despite the fact that I brought in pictures. The second time I didn’t bring in pictures, relying upon going to an English speaking hairstylist. I told her I wanted an asymetrical cut, but instead she just straightened out the bob the previous guy had given me.

I want cool clothes, but nothing feels cool on this chunky, muscular body of mine. I got all these shirts with wild patterns and interesting cuts, so why do I still feel so dowdy?

I wouldn’t mind being a hipster, but I’ve never seen a large hipster. It seems they all are straight up and down, like modern day flappers.

I want to look gay and I’m terrified to look gay. I don’t know what fits me better–skirts and heels or more masculine clothes. Part of me would also love to be a crunchy granola type (I am, after all, relying entirely on bike, foot, and bus transportation!). But again, there are few XLs in that style and even fewer that look decent. Unfortunately, XL just needs a lot more structure to the top than organic cotton usually comes in.

And then I want to do and do and do, but I’m also pretty darn exhausted these days. From not eating well enough? From biking everywhere? From working longer hours and at a faster pace than usual? Is my body slowly beginning to release tensions that I have carried around for years?

And I’ve only been here a couple of weeks–why does it bother me that I haven’t plunked on down in a community yet? I mean, last weekend I went to three things (a gallery opening/cocktail hour, an outdoor play, and a minor league baseball game). Yesterday I went to a dance club (which was a big downer–probably at least part of the reason for my mood. The same group of gals I met online is going to a movie tonight and I just don’t think I have the energy to bike downtown again. I just got home from some afternoon errands/ finding a better web connection to watch my first hour of tv in almost 3 weeks).

And what do I want? Do I want to spend my off hours reading harmless lesbian fiction that makes me feel more connected to the lesbian identity that sometimes feels rock solid and sometimes feels very shaky? Is fluff harmless? Or reading something more in-depth, like the history books I don’t have time for in my job right now? Do I want to spend the off hours working on polishing chunks of the dissertation into publishable articles? Do I have any brain left after working all day? Or do I want to do art? All of these things are lonely activities. What about finding a tennis club, or a dance club, or something else to do with folks? Or go to movies by myself? Or get my library card and new license and sign up for the gym and find the rest of the furniture I “need” and all that house-setting up I need to do? What about spending time with my cat, who is lonely without someone home with him all day (either me, or E, or Grandma, as has been the case for the past 2 years) and who doesn’t yet have a good scratching post because I can’t find one. I went in search of a petstore supposedly downtown, but couldn’t find it. Should have called first before riding my bike all the way over there!

Why do I feel like I have to do all these things at once? Oh, and I also want to write–write for this blog, and for my professional blog, and in my journal, and maybe on the couple of pieces of non-history fiction and non-fiction in my brain, as well as polishing diss stuff. And I’d love to work on some kind of a comedy show or something to get me back on stage. The only thing I’ve watched this summer is Last Comic Standing and I’m starting to think a minor career as a comedian wouldn’t be so bad. Actually it’d be very fun. I love to make folks laugh and sometimes i can be the life of the party. But I need to start writing down my observations in a humorous way.

And then there’s stuff like just figuring out where to put all the clothes currently in some state of dissaray between my closet and the floor and my suitcases. For awhile I ran out of hangers and I don’t have a dresser, so suitcases it is.

All this anxiety about who I am is driving me back to images of self-harm. I thought I was done with those. I’ve also been feeling my heart in my throat–because I’m back on caffeine or am I having panic attacks? They don’t normally happen when I am any more or less anxious, but then I am riding on anxiety these days. I saw a psychiatrist here (took 9 miles of riding–which doesn’t seem a lot compared to the 42 miles in 2 hours my friend rode the other day, but I do have a comfort bike and she has a road bike!) But therapy doesn’t really start helping until you’ve established a relationship with someone–and the psychiatrist wants to know all about me, but he only prescribes medicine. I have to wait almost a month to see my new therapist (would have been even longer–almost 2 months, but I requested someone comfortable with LGBT folk and that person had an earlier opening). I was great, I thought, when I left CA. Why am I falling to bits now?

And who the fuck am I? And why can’t I meditate? Is it because I feel like I “should?”

And again I forgot to go to the store (stopped at the farm stand for fresh peaches and blueberries and ivy for my porch), so i can’t make more coffee b/c I have no filters. Tomorrow it is a must, because I’m out of two meds and will need to get refills. I hope the Kroger down the street has $4 generics! Maybe I should call ahead of time? Yathink?

I’m sorry I only seem to write here when I’m anxious or frustrated or angry.

By the way, I started this article off with the tattoo reference because it is another place where I feel jangly. I want a tatto0, but I’m too nervous to even go into a tattoo parlor. All these different places I think I’ll be laughed out of–bike stores for being too chubby, hiking stores for being too urban and chubby, boutique clothing stores for being too chubby, gay places for only having just come out and being too chubby and also kinda boring.

But I’m not boring! And I’m cute in my own way! But it is a sign of a depressive funk for me to have lost all my self-esteem. Gone. Out the window.

Which brings up another pet peeve and then I’m done. Folks my age and older complain about this generation of undergrads for having too strong a self esteem. Ummm, isn’t that we wanted out of the 80s? Isn’t it better to have self-esteem than this tearing apart of myself, ice-pick and butcher knife at the ready, that seems to happen to me? Is it because academics are usually on that precipice of insecurity/arrogance so they dislike someone who is just stably self-assured? let’s try to figure out a way to work with these kids as they are instead of change them into insecure manic producers like ourselves? ‘K?

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In the mid-South

You guys must think I’ve fallen off the end of the universe. Not quite. Just getting used to a new place, new folks, new apartment, new, new, new.

I’m suddenly very tired right now and I don’t know why. Haven’t been sure exactly what to eat what with trying to reestablish my pantry and not having a ton of utensils, but also not wanting to eat out all the time. So maybe the low ebb is an indication of not eating enough. Also sleeping on a cot and that may also not be giving me perfect rest.

Also interacting with folks all day instead of just sitting in a room writing or else puttering around with Grandma. Guess I gotta give myself some slack for being a bit tired while I adjust to everything.

The town is very beautiful and the heat/humidity index is definitely something I can manage. Not at all overwhelming, though there was a fierce thunderstorm this morning I didn’t feel like riding through. So I worked from home for a bit and will work a bit late tonight to compensate. But I think right now I really need to find dinner cause my energy is really flagging.

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I talk too fast

Going from AZ to MI there was no accent change (for me–I noticed an accent from some of the more rural parts of MI or the UP) but going to the middle South….well, I think I talk too fast. And I have an accent. Not so much with the university folk, but definitely with my landlord and some others.

Will be very interesting!

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