I have been working like a skunk; it is a beautiful feeling. I can’t say enough good things about it. I have been wondering why I find my work so unbelievably satisfying–it’s unlike any job I have ever had in my life, in that sense, even teaching, which I love. I wake up every morning excited to get into writing and I go to bed every night excited for it to be morning again so I can get back into it. I am taking today off because the bug man is coming to cleanse our home of this actually terrifying scourge of carpenter ants we think was stirred up when the tree fell on our fence, and I am also getting the first massage I have had in two years!!!!!!!!! But I’m excited to get back in tomorrow. I don’t want to jinx my pleasure by talking about but I also want to get it down so I can remember it during trying times.
Working with a book coach I think helps a lot. One thing I find very difficult is writing into a void; writing something hoping someday somebody will read it. Now I have deadlines and an actual human who will read it quickly and be like “this is garbage, you fool.” It’s awesome
It’s funny that my career actually does consist of three equal parts, just like everyone always says, and just like it says in my contract. I never realized how separate the three parts would actually feel. Teaching, research, service. And summer is amazing not because it’s a vacation, exactly, but because it’s the only time during the year when you get to just do ONE of the parts, EXCLUSIVELY and for an EXTENDED PERIOD. It is fucking heavenly; I feel like I am a King.
Remember this, myself, no matter what else happens, regardless of tenure decisions, just remember that it is fun to work like this.
Somebody asked me the other day if I’d want to chair the department one day if we switched to that model (purely a hypothetical question, nobody wants me to chair this department–can you imagine?? Within one week it would be a smoking crater in the earth) and I said I would rather gnaw off my own arm. They looked surprised and then they were like…..yeah, me too.
Yesterday I literally spent about 20 minutes staring out the window and thinking, HARD, about how to end capitalism, so I could write about it in my book. News flash: I didn’t come up with anything
We went go-karting with our young, energetic, springy friends and my husband t-boned me and it was legitimately scary and I almost cried and our young friends felt so bad and worried about me and I was very embarrassed, and the next day I was genuinely in kind of a lot of pain but pretended it was funny. I would go go-karting again
Something amazing happened. I have told this story to so many people and everyone finds it boring: when we moved into this house there was a huge 10×3 strawberry patch in the yard and I freaked out. But then our neighbor, who is a fancy gardener, told me they were ornamental and weren’t fruit-bearing. So I dug a bunch of them up, and planted actual strawberries there. Then a few weeks ago, my friend Sarah was over, and she was like “oh cool, strawberries!” but she was standing way far away from where I’d planted them, so I was like, huh? Then saw where she was pointing….to a patch of the “ornamentals,” where, indeed, like twenty green strawberries were hiding under the leaves! I SCREAMED. So now it turns out I DO have a huge strawberry patch. Some of them have come in already and they are delicious.
Is that a boring story?? Why does everyone think it’s so boring?? I think about it CONSTANTLY and joy-based adrenaline surges through me.
I’m worried our apple tree isn’t going to bloom. I feel it should be blooming by now. We don’t know what species it is so I can’t google what is normal but I’m pretty sure it missed its chance to flower last month when it got hot and then freezing again.
My sunflowers grow like three inches a day.
Yesterday we drove to Providence to see our friend’s MFA thesis show and it was very fun and we ate vegan chinese food reminiscent of 90s Portland and I loved it. The waitress was so stressfully attentive that we just finally stopped talking and just ate. She was almost taking the fork out of your hand while you were using it. I left her a huge tip; this is a hard world.