Thursday, November 22, 2007

Random bullets of turkey and boredom

  • I am in the land of Ultimate Suburbia, or whatever I last named the place of the parents, and I am thinking about renaming it Mount Boredom.
  • It is turkey day and I have not yet had turkey. Or pie. Mmm, pie. That is because it is early. Sigh. Why is everything about waiting these days? On the other hand, it smells like spices here. Mmm.
  • I wrote for a bit this morning, but I forgot to bring my laptop plug with me, making my laptop as useful as a very expensive brick. I printed out my piles o' stuff I have so far, and then pondered it deeply from inside the Starbucks across the street. It was loud and obnoxious there --- one of the baristas had a voice that could cut through glass. I wrote with my IPod on full blast (skipping the speech-heavy tracks) but could still hear her screeching out "venti half calf no foam extra caramel!" It did not help with producing a Mood of Productivity. I tried writing outside (brr!) but could still hear her outside the cafe. Hmph.
  • I can't tell whether I am on the brink of actually figuring out what this chapter will do "to intervene in my field" or if I am avoiding the slog of splicing argument-sections together by noodling around on an abstract level. Either way, it was all in longhand and so I don't have a word count. But words were written, never fear.
  • Though I have yet to OD on turkey and trimmings, I have already hit my limit. Of TV and TV ads, that is. I think I've gotten so used to being in a protected bubble of non-tv-ness that I can't handle the sudden explosion into cable at my parents' house. It's just too much commercialism at one sitting for me, and was making me depressed after even a short time. For example: the number of different ads announcing "door buster" sales starting, if not at 6, then at 4 in the morning? Madness! I used to like shopping on the day after t-giving, since it was a free day with not much else to do, but the crowds, the starting at 4 am, the thrashed and crazed look of the places when you get in there at 9 or 10 in the morning, the way the crowds of shoppers seem to take pride in being rude and nasty to the retail salespeople and behave in a near-riot --- ugh. Most obnoxious, to me, is the way that these ads, and some of my family and friends of family, behave as if there is no alternative to shopping and crass consumerism on the day after t-giving (or perhaps at all?) --- a weird holiday which is all about gorging yourself anyway. And my niece worked at Mervyn's for the last couple years as an after-school/holiday job, so I've become increasingly burnt out on the way shoppers treat the workers, especially on high holidays. Is there some sort of assumption that after slaving away serving the family on turkey day you get to go out and be served by someone else the day after, and treat them like shit? I don't understand.
  • In other news, there is no movement on the wiki or my email. Unsurprisingly --- if search committees were stupid enough to do work on their holiday weekend, I assume it would be to buckle down under a pile of late grading. But, the waiting still sucks.
  • If I can get them onto my mom's computer, I'll post some pics. Mayhap it's time to call up my siblings and start pestering them.
  • Oh yeah, and I only got here last night but have had 1) the fight about my birthday list (which will soon become the "what do you mean you have no money" fight) 2) the so- why- don't-you-have-a-job-already/aren't-you-done-with-that-damn-thesis- or- whatever-it-is-yet? fight and surprisingly, it looks like we may actually inaugurate a new topic of nagging, the 3) when-will-you-settle-down-get-married-and-have-grandkids argument. I've been spared this one for a long time, being the youngest and having had the advantage of siblings who reproduced and thus spared me the indignity. I just don't really need people ragging on me on three different fronts of my life right now, especially considering I feel so overwhelmed and wait-y (is there a better word?) on the job stuff that I have just shelved the other parts of my life and am not dealing with them at all right now.
  • Finally my dad does not look at all well --- at 78, he's slid from crotchety-old to troubles-with-mobility-and-comprehension old in a way that I really don't like and can't even write about. I'm trying to just not think about it.
  • And the best way to avoid that, I think, is to break out the board games and start annoying my nieces and nephews.

Happy Thanksgiving day all!


Belle said...

Not the way the holiday is supposed to be, so here're head pats and a couple of hugs ^^( ) ( ). Take a long walk - alone - and give yourself a break.

I've lived alone a long time, and believe me - just being around lots of people when you're used to having quiet is hard and grating.

And boy do I share the parent-denial thing. I'm doing it myself with a mom who's in her late 80s and suffering. Ick.

Shimmy said...

My best wishes to you. This posting gave me lots of flashbacks. When I was finishing the dissertation, I'd fantasize at the holiday dinner table that someone would put down a fork and say, "Now tell me about that problem you're having with Chapter 3. What's got you so stuck?" Instead, y'know, it was just, "How come your cousin the kindergarten teacher makes more money than you do?"

And there's nothing easy about your parents' aging. My father is 86 now and often forgets what he's saying in mid-sentence. I treasure the phone calls or visits when he's crystal-clear lucid, but it happens less often now -- and the holidays make this so much more emotional.

Hope your holiday got better once those board games started!

Earnest English said...

Oh Sisyphus, what Belle said. For years, going to see and stay with my folks has made me crazy -- and part of it is just that I live this quiet life with a cat while they have this rambunctious bumptious life with people bounding up and down the stairs and walking into rooms already talking and people shouting over each other. And the TV is always always on. I too live in a TV-less world -- and can't believe the piles of commercials. And people sit through them! What is happening?!

I also don't have one of those academic families where suddenly my father is going to put down his fork and start asking me if I've considered Foucault thoroughly enough. (That is, perhaps, a good thing.) Though my family really has no way of understanding what it is that I do, this did not stop them from being very proud when I got done talking about their daughter, the doctah. So never fear. (Though if I hear one more thing about not being a real doctah, I'll have to crack my head open on a quartz boulder and let the mad flapping vultures out.)

Eat, drink, and be merry, for next month you will be in Chicago. (This is a bad version of a very bad shirt that was popular when I was a kid: Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may be in Utah.)

gwoertendyke said...

i am sorry to hear briefly about your dad....i have no words other than thinking of you.

and i'm so with you on the waiting: it is turning me into a crotchety old thing. why oh why, i keep thinking, aren't they coming to my door going yes, it's you, it's always been you!!!

Maude said...

i would like to "ditto" the above four comments, and offer you love, hugs, and warm thoughts for the fam--especially your dad.

happy (day after, now) thanksgiving.

i'll be one of those retail "slaves" being pummeled by wacko customers later today.


medieval woman said...

I'm sorry to hear about Poppa Cog - and about the fighting, etc.

Hang in there - you'll start hearing more right after T-giving...until then, drink wine.


Dr. Curmudgeon said...

I hated that nagging part of the holidays for ages. I've resorted to shock therapy with the family over it - I once claimed to be having a child at the beginning of a conversation only to withdraw it at the end - just so I could suggest exactly how irritated and cranky the constant nagging was getting.

It's probably gotten me a few rows closer to the fire when I wind up in Hell, but the general end to the nagging seems a worthy trade off.

In any case, Happy Thanksgiving to you.

kermitthefrog said...

I'm sorry to hear about your dad, and about the waiting game.
I highly prefer spending holidays with the nieces and nephews (and the one much younger cousin, who is only now -- at 15 -- beginning to talk socially to family members other than his parents) than with the older generations. And shamefully, I kept looking at my grandma and thinking of Abe Simpson. In all seriousness, that was disturbing, given that she's generally well on top of things.

Anonymous said...

so sorry to hear about your dad. i am going through the same thing with mine right now...

and the commercials, i hoped at least they would be over today. when i turned on the tv for news, and *still* saw commercials for stores which had already opened at 4 am, announcing they would open at 4 am, i wanted to scream.

Sisyphus said...

Thanks everybody! I had pie for breakfast this morning, and that is always a good thing.

Some of you seem to be sympathizing over the family-fight thing ... does that mean there's another way? This has always been pretty much the only way I interact with my parents, through arguing. Or nagging circles.

And dad isn't mentally *gone* so much as his circle of interests has shrunk to whether he is cold, or can't get out of the chair, or the tv/conversation/sound of dinner cooking isn't loud enough. That and, since he has nothing else to do, he will throw away, clean or recycle whatever you may be drinking or using or currently looking at unless your hand is actually on said object. Heh. Sigh. Heh.