So maybe you’ve noticed that I have not been around much lately. I’ve realized that, without planning it this way, I tend to burrow away, hiding from my computer on my study days. I have an almost physical aversion to it. I don’t even want it in the same room as me. It is too distracting, too demanding. I have too much reading to do. And lately, the reading has been consuming me. The exams are a few months away, and I have not been nearly as productive as I need to be – and it haunts me some. And then I spend so much time and focus on reading and researching that when I do have a chance to blog, I don’t have the energy. It’s all I can do to do anything, let alone come up with something interesting, insightful, or even intelligible to say.
But don’t think I don’t miss you all, or that I don’t miss writing. I miss Flashback Fridays especially – in fact, for weeks now I’ve had the raw materials all cued up for a post that I never have the energy to assemble. But I decided that today I would rather catch up with you all than post a story from long ago, since that’s pretty much all I’ve been posting. Besides, it’s been so long since my last post that my little recap may actually qualify as a flashback in and of itself. See? Everyone wins!
So what have I been doing with myself? Well, as I may have mentioned once or twice, I’ve been reading. Just to give you an idea of what I’m dealing with, this week I’ve finished five books and am more than half done with two others. And I hope to finish at least a couple more before the week is out. What? There’s still time. (Although even if I finish ten books this week, I’ll still be under the weekly quota necessary to finish in time. Yes, really.)
But it hasn’t been all reading. Mostly, but not all. Here are some of the various activities, accomplishments, and et ceteras of the last few weeks:
- I went running for the first time in, um, mumbletypeg. Only three miles, and I still couldn’t move for two days. I’ve been running a few times since then, and have been trying to get in some kind of exercise regularly. I need exercise to stay sane, and also so I don’t get permanently stuck in a reading position at my desk.
- I finished the film reading I assigned to myself for Weeks 1, 2, and 3!! Which were supposed to be finished in January. Oh well, checking something off a list still feels great.
- I’ve finished almost 50 books so far! Out of…oh nevermind, I told myself I wasn’t going to cry today.
- I ate a Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar while waiting in the drive-through at McDonalds. True story. (To be fair to myself, the McDonalds food was not for me. But still, I got a crazy look from the drive-through lady.)
- I brought home roughly two dozen more books from the library, to the despair of my bookshelves.
- I walked into my car, twice. It was parked. I am bruised.
- I may or may not have eaten my weight in miniature orange-cranberry scones, jelly beans, and cheese. (See: the need for the first item, above.) What is this stress eating thing you speak of?
- I played the Easter bunny for our church’s annual Easter party. We worked with the mobile home park across the street from the church, and there were zillions of kids and it was tons of fun. I’ve done the Easter bunny thing for quite a few years now, and every year I forget how much I love it. Highlights from this year include the toddler who kept wanting to fist-bump me and the little girl who shyly compared the size of my giant bunny feet to her own teeny patent leather mary janes. Also, can I just tell you how great it is to be a giant animal for a day? I mean, it stinks, and so do you after not very long. There is just no way to stay cool when you’re wearing the equivalent of a stuffed animal. But all sorts of things that adults are way too cool to do are perfectly acceptable in a bunny outfit. You can dance wildly, hop around, blow kisses, hide candy in silly places, like on top of children’s heads, and basically act like an overgrown child. Plus, most of the kids dote on you, and what could be more fun than that?
- I went to San Antonio and had the pleasure of sitting on a panel in which I presented a paper on Bridget Jones’s Diary, the A&E Pride and Prejudice, and Umberto Eco. I’m pretty sure half the audience showed up just to get googly-eyed over pictures of Colin Firth, but I don’t care. I can’t believe I get to do things like this for my job. How can it be legal to have so much fun? It was a wonderful trip with dear friends, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. But by the time I get around to telling those stories, they’ll probably classify as a flashback too. For those of you who remember last year’s Pittsburgh trip, there were no airport brawls with brawny TSA employees this year, to everyone’s great relief (and probably a smidge of disappointment, since that night has provided endless joke fodder in the intervening year. Don’t get me wrong, we were all glad not to face the kind of flattening that lady looked ready to inflict upon me. She was about a quarter-inch from turning me into a post-anvil Wile E. Coyote. No flattening, no Sharone-accordions, no jail=successful traveling.)
I’m sure I’ve done more, thought more, eaten more, but I can’t remember anything else right now. Did I mention my brain is tired? Anyway, all of the above to say, I want to be around more often than I have been over the last few weeks, and I’ll try my very best. The next few months might be a little sparse, but please hang in here with me!
Don’t forget about me, promise?
Come on. Do it for me.