Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shopping --- Etsy edition

I went shopping today. But the shopping was boring. For some reason, I was in the mood for even more shopping when I got home, and ran out of online places to look, so I'm browsing etsy right now. I never do that for some reason.

I noticed that my years of working on my squeamishness about standing out, shoe-wise, have finally paid off. In the store I kept picking up plain black "basic" shoes that are wardrobe staples and thinking "bleah! I will not go back to plain and boring shoes!" Now going for weird patterns and colors in shoes means that it is harder to coordinate with bags and stuff, and that I need more shoes to match outfit colors (oh darn!), and I have to work on my willingness to mix odd patterns or colors between the outfit and the shoes, but I think all of that is worth it. I get tons more shoe complements these days, and hardly ever get actual complements on my safe, boring, simple clothing.

I noticed that other people at my work (my old work) often dress in such a boring way that it is a snoozefest: dull blue jeans with a t-shirt that is almost the same color, for example. And I also notice that you usually see people from about 10-15 feet away and get a whole sense of the outfit, but I almost never look/think along those lines when getting dressed. All of this is a lengthy way of saying that I might be ready to experiment with --- gasp! --- patterns and ruffles and embellishments on my clothing once again.

Seriously, I have a uniform of a bright-colored t-shirt and jeans. At least now I have funky shoes to wear with the boring-ness. I feel I should work on this. However, it's tough ---- I have various body-shape hangups (don't we all) and patterns often mess up my height or emphasize places I am a little chubby. I have a huge thing about putting words or patterns or, god forbid, ruffles across my chest, for example. Don't want people staring there any more than they do already! And all-over patterns often make my little potbelly into a full-on pregnancy look. (Yes, I have been getting the "when are you due" question since I was a teenager --- I am a reverse-hourglass figure, if you can visualize that. Very annoying.)

Anywhoo, I love fashion and have quite the eye for it. I just like looking at interesting and experimental stuff way more than wearing it. Besides, I have no money. (or job.) But I just bought a couple (gasp!) simple patterned things on etsy, and now I am going to post here some of the stuff I love but won't buy. At least not at the moment. (If you're interested in sponsoring a cog's fashion experiments, I can get you an address to ship to, heh.) :D Or, you can buy the stuff for yourself and I will feel like I have helped support a designer I admire.

All of the stuff at cotylee's shop is gorgeous, and has really interesting construction, while still looking like something I could actually wear. Remind me to check back at this place frequently.

Zoe Chen has simple and cute graphic skirts and dresses. I like this one and the umbrella one best, but I'm not so much a dress person --- especially when I don't have to go in to work right now.

Michelle Rose
has lots of lovely floral pattern skirts, some of which I may actually end up getting. But I love love this stretchy mod knit dress. However, stretchy horizontal zig zags will never work on me, so I will just love it from afar.

I also like this dress by blackrabbitNYC, but, again, could I do a big horizontal block waistband?
Here's another one that I love the cut on and love to look at. Not actually interested in a coat when it's 90 out today, but still.

I actually ordered a couple things! Ok, they were t-shirts. But they have a pattern on them! (and 20 bucks is better on my budget than 75 or 100). There was a cool custom made drapey shirt that I love, but can't find anymore. And it was around 75, so I can't afford it. But it was way more interesting and cool than your standard t-shirt.

Which ones do you like? Any favorite sellers you want to point me to? Other comments, or suggestions of someplace else to shop?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Nothing Much Here

Hello. I am really really tired for some reason. Maybe I need to take a nap? I've kinda gotten out of the habit though.

Packing Update: I have gotten through most of the file cabinet (I don't want to pack up the last bit, which is the bills/utilities paperwork, until closer to moving time, whenever that is) and packed a box of CDs. I was complaining to my niece about there not being any more cd-buyback places around here any more, and she told me to keep them in case. She has a point: if my computer were to die completely, I'd lose all the stuff entered into my itunes. Ok, fine then. So I packed them up.

I have also consolidated some piles, and today I kept finding PMLAs in various places and skimming them and tossing them. (by which I mean, recycling them. I am a good little environmentalist.) I have many more journals where those came from, however.

I'm losing steam, though. Unless it's just that I'm tired and need a nap. I've done a lot with the stuff that is out, but havent' tackled closets or drawers yet. But doing that will pull clutter out of where it is hidden and leave it in big piles (or boxes) where it is visible. So perhaps I shall wait to do more packing. Or I will assemble my wardrobe box and pack up my coats and heavy things. Hmm. I am undecided. And slothful. And waiting. Kinda feel like I can't do much anyway.

Ok I can't think of anything to actually write, so I'm going to take the nap now. Did I have a bad couple nights' sleep? Usually I remember that, and this time I don't. But my brain is mush. Not that I need to use my brain at the moment, but still. A nap it is, then.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


WTF? I am so confused. Nearly had a heart attack when the phone rang and I saw it was a non-local area code and answered it to accept a phone interview instead of a job offer (so, ok, not "three" yet unless I make it past that level to an actual campus visit, but whatever).

"Why yes, thank you, that would be lovely. That time would work, thank you very much." Where the hell is this place? Luckily my momma drilled me well in manners, because I didn't remember applying there.

No wonder. I look it up and find the ad that Slowpoke McGee College posted months and months ago and am even more confused: why did I apply to this, apart from being on a roll one day? And why on earth would they want to interview me? My PhD is not even the correct discipline listed! Hmm.

So I am not particularly hopeful about anything coming of this, but I guess I will get more interview practice. Because I need more interview practice? Sigh. I feel like I died and went to hell and am being punished for all eternity by doing endless job applications and interviews! I thought pushing the rock up a hill was bad. This is more like carrying a weight across a tightrope suspended over a pit of fire ---- which way is up? How will I make it across? How much longer must I be out here? Can I get a solid footing anywhere? Should I move or wait?


I've been reading The Poisonwood Bible; maybe I will pack some more before going back to reading. Or, prepare for a phone interview? Gah! Just give me a job already, somebody, so I can move on to the fun parts of moving and planning and having a life!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I packed my books today.

Except for a little stack of "to read" by my bedside. And the random books under the cookbooks in the kitchen. And the few shelved in the bedroom. And the journal issues shelved behind the CDs. And that whole shelf or two on the other bookcase----- aigghhh!

Ok, fine. I packed one bookcase worth of books today? I packed most of my books today? Dammit, don't make me start counting percentages! I thought I had made a lot of progress.

Tomorrow will be dedicated to cleaning that enormous pile of dishes and all the crap in the kitchen, and then cooking humongous piles of food. Then, the following day I can go back to packing. No rush, no news and no need to be packing yet. But I am easing my way along and will be nice and ready should I, say, need to move off somewhere at a moment's notice.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Guess I'm not going to have to worry about choosing between multiple offers. I don't know how I feel about that. I'm going to continue packing and cleaning out things here since I recently decided on a back-up plan which was moving to Parental Basement. I think I may feel something different if I get another rejection and have to seriously contemplate it, though.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Everything is worse with cramps.


I can't concentrate on keeping my mind off things!


Thursday, May 20, 2010


  • Today is another day.

  • Sigh.

  • To clarify some comments from the other day's post, it's not that there is nothing to do around here, but that I have no money to do it.

  • And I think what I want is a *project,* something interesting and engrossing to throw myself into. Research is not really relevant at the moment, I guess, and I don't know what or where I will be teaching so that kind of prep is silly. I'm too "up" and crazy to concentrate on reading, though I am trying to lose myself in a novel these days. It's not really working.

  • I did go out for lunch with cool people! Hello, cool people! *waves* It was tasty! There were crowds! And architecture! It was nice. Unfortunately since most of the other people I know are employed or are still students, they don't seem interested in making entire days pass in a flash.

  • So I will need to find more people/projects/free or cheap things to do.

  • I totally didn't sleep well last night, which I don't know if that was because I've been taking anti-allergy meds at night the other nights, or it was too hot, or I was making Packing Plans too late at night and that just got me wired. Whatever is the case, I have a big headache and am very tired. I hope that will just translate into me sleeping like a rock tonight.

  • What I have done as part of the Packing Project (admittedly far before it is relevant or necessary) is to obsess about Moving The Cats. How does one transport cats on a very long trip? Like, a week of driving or full day of flying? I had thought flying would be good, taking the cats on as carryons instead of risking them in the cargo hold, which sounds dangerous and uncomfortable to them, but then I was reading all these web sites about "how to move with pets" and some people pointed out you have to carry the cat through the metal detector with you, outside of the carrier. Hmm, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. I can see myself chasing terrified cats through a crowded air terminal. Not good! (though an amusing mental image.) But then driving long distance with them also sounds horrible, and involves the fear of cats getting out and freaking me out while driving, or have them bolt on me at a rest stop and I never see them again.

  • As you can see, preemptive worrying is kinda my thing. My main hobby, if you will. So do not be alarmed ---- it's like how world-class chess players mentally think through every permutation of moves for hours before lifting a piece. Or how atheletes get themselves "in the zone" through visualizations. Except, much, much more silly.

  • Or, maybe I like it because it is a form of logic puzzle, like that riddle about crossing a river with a fox and a chicken and a sack of grain:

And look, someone has included the riddle in a computer game! It would be much more challenging if you used one person, an auto, and two carsick, fiercely clawed cats. I'm thinking that either way I'm going to have to call in some major family favors for this. (I don't want to do a long drive by myself, and I would need one person per cat-carry-on, and I'd still, I guess, have my car even if I did fly the cats and me Elsewhere. Hmm. --- A puzzle! fun!)

That's all I have for now. I might go shopping later except I'm afraid that I'd go nuts and buy everything for a new place I haven't seen in a location with a job I haven't been offered yet. Damn lack of willpower. Maybe I'll just go get ice cream.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Now What?

I am sitting around waiting. I have quite a while before they even finish interviewing people. What should I be doing right now? I can't figure out what I should be doing right now.

I have no job offers at the moment, so looking at Craigslist and local tourism websites could end up twisting the knife, later. Likewise the potential uselessness of planning syllabi and book orders before hatching the chickens, or whatever the phrase is.

And I may not get any offers, so should I plan my contingency plan now? I just don't know.

Maybe I could start packing? Hmm. I don't know what I should be doing.

I do know that if I get rejected for one or both of these jobs, I'll probably bring on all of my health problems/stress attacks again. Sigh. I don't know that there is any way to prepare for that, though.

I'd rent some mindless movies to eat up time but I don't seem to be focusing on anything very well right now.

Gah. Blearhg. Meh.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thr--- aw, dammit!

I was sure I was going to turn that one into a third campus visit.

Now back to waiting!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My life as a blog

I am amusing myself reading my own archives over here. I feel so floaty and pointless --- did I feel like this last year, I wonder? Did I really sit around and do nothing for weeks on end? I know that the year before that I was chugging away at the dissertation and planning to file despite the beating I took at the job market.

So I have my "planner" to figure out what I did and my blog to figure out how I felt. Now, I make to-do lists. But to keep me honest, I use a planner --- not for planning but to note what I did that day. If I keep up with it, this works really well. I know when I did two hours of writing and I know when I spent an entire evening on the internet. And I put in all the things I've read and my various social engagements so that when I glance back through I can see what I accomplished and that I am not a total anti-social weirdo who fails at human interaction. I also make little notes about me, sometimes, like when I didn't work because I didn't sleep well or had cramps or whatnot.

It's not a diary but more of a work-tracker, so I don't explain much. Days I am sad or upset are usually blank or marked, at most, with a little :( It's surprising how some months that were tremendously productive for me will have a solid week of work hours and then maybe note a party, and then a big blank day with nothing but a :( I don't usually remember what prompted it --- you'd think surely that I would be happy and good-feeling about having worked so much. Maybe I got a lot of rejection emails that day or something.

That's why you'd think collating the planner record with the blog record would be informative. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The whole first three months of my 2009 planner are blank --- very unusual at this late stage in my recording habit. (I still regularly discover it's Friday and that I didn't put any notes in there and then do a sketchy halfassed job, entering in the teaching or whatnot that I am sure I was around for, but not leave it blank for weeks on end).

Looking at the blog I can see quite a lot of writing in all sorts of voices until here and here, and then after that I seem to have amused myself with the Magical Month of Academic Publishing Challenge. That may have cheered me up because I was keeping track of my time quite well last summer, and I was reading a lot too. I should make a post, or at least a list, of all the books I read last year. It would be pretty long. (I was going to say, "impressive," but actually I think that's pushing it.)

This spring I was much more consistent on the planner tracker, and I seem to have replaced novels with bad mindless movies. But a lot of those days include a :( or even a "sad. cried and cried." Was this spring more or less depressing for me than last spring? Does :( get weighed more or less than not being even able to open the planner? I can't tell.

The blog posts don't really clarify, either. If I'm complaining, I'm probably in a fairly good mood. When I'm really really upset, I clam up. Then I might post a little light something so that there's not complete silence on the blog for weeks. Then, sometimes I can cheer myself up with my own blog posts, particularly if they are so over-the-top whiny that they are ridiculous and thus make me laugh. So they are never a good indication of my mood.

Collating these documents, I'm struck by how much stuff I don't post to the blog, particularly if it might identify me, something that's gotten way worse as more people I know are on facebook and I try to not post the same type of info to both locations in a single day. Taking events at random from this and last spring, I haven't posted anything about knee surgery, coming in second in a search at a major university, being evacuated from my apartment because of a fire, having to go in to the ER and subsequently be treated for panic attacks, being a finalist for a prestigious postdoc, or having another debilitating bout of labyrinthitis. Wow, the last couple years have really kinda sucked for me, health-wise, haven't they?

I just realized I don't know where I'm going with this post.

Maybe I've come abruptly back around to the question of the future of this blog and what I want it to do. I did a lot of wrestling with the idea of stopping it or yanking it from the internet altogether this spring --- I keep expecting to see months and months of no posts from that time; evidently I posted even more than usual about off-topic random things while I was churning through that quandary.

I debated dropping my pseudonym, moving to a new blog, moving this blog somewhere else I could password-protect things, and wiping any trace of the whole thing from the internet. (I should note that these options were connected with incredibly violent and angry mood swings in all directions.) All of those things are still on the table, I guess, because I might get a job offer and what will I do with something crazy like a blog if I were a new faculty member? And if I move and pick up some regular nonacademic job somewhere, what will any of this matter?

I dunno.

I should note that halfway through the writing of this post and after perusing my own posts and notebooks for several hours (narcissism how I love thee), my family called, and in the course of chatting with my dad I surprised him and myself with my statement that I was ready to move back home into the basement if this job thing doesn't work out.

I don't know where that acceptance came from, either. I guess I have been angsting about it and ranting about it for so long as part of wrapping my head around it, and I just abruptly realized it was time? Or maybe I am just positive that I will get a job offer out of this. Or perhaps I am tired of sitting around here avoiding applying to jobs and I want to do that in a new and different location. Maybe I have become more cynical, not less, and have decided that plenty of unambitious stoner thirtysomethings mooch off their parents in their basements and I should jump on the bandwagon while the jumping's good.

No clue.

Even when I was most angry at the world, going "I'll show 'em!" I didn't actually delete my blog because I thought it had useful advice for future grad students. And I'm damn funny. On this rereading I believe more in the latter than the former. But whatever happens, don't expect a play-by-play, and don't expect the updates to be either timely or emotionally accurate.

After all, I'm nothing more than a fictional character.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I am tired of waiting

I can only do interview prep in small spurts without freaking out. That's ok, because I have weeeeks and months and years before this thing comes up. And then I will have to wait even more, unless I bomb the interview so badly I know it's all over right then and there. But obviously I don't hope for that.

I skipped my workout today. Haven't been sleeping too well and I didn't want to bother getting up this morning.

My neighbors have cats. They are huge and orange and quite cute. I should snap a picture of them for you. Sometimes when I walk past the window one will run up and *plomp* leap onto the back of the sofa that is up against that wall. Then he pokes his face through the bottom of the horizontal blinds to get full information about What Is Happening Out There, which I know cats have to be on top of at all times. Then I will hear a rumbling and a *PLOMP* and the hugest orange stripey cat you have ever seen will have himself onto the sofa back, making the entire apartment shake gently. Then they will both stare at me intently.

Today they are playing with a jingle ball in the bathtub next door. I can hear it. (Our bathrooms must back up against each other.) I left the door open after showering and my cats are fascinated by all these strange noises that sound like pouncing and jingling and yet they can't see anything. Ghost cats! I like watching their fascination. If there was any way to have cat play dates, I'd be all for it. Except that bringing new cats into a cat's home territory often provokes litterbox problems, so I'm not really for it at all.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday I spent time on the beach of joblessness instead

It was ok. I'm not actually as close as you might think so it always feels like a full-day ordeal. And I get tired of the beach after an hour or two, especially if I go alone and don't have any beach-related stuff like sandcastle building equipment or even a decent chair (tossed the old one when it broke), but then I feel like I should spend a whole day as it's such an effort to get there.

But I bought a hat! Although now I am thinking I should have held out for the one at the travel store that said it was treated to level 50 sun protection. What if I get even more severe hair cancer than I would have, because I am relying on the false promises of sun protection from a regular old hat? It's sorta tightly woven straw, but not lined with fabric like the SPF hat was. Mmm. Too late now!

In other news, I finally tracked down Sleepy Woman. That did not do me much good. Turns out there was only one more slot left for an interview so I took it. But she was not able to tell me what it would involve or if there was a teaching demonstration or what. In fact, I had to talk over her when she was trying to hang up to get in my question about whether it was a phone interview or an in person one. And as of now she still has not sent me the itinerary or map or search committee names or "scenarios" or anything. Hmph. I will give her until the end of tomorrow. At this rate the committee has probably already seen everyone else and made their choices and submitted her the paperwork and she just hasn't found it on her desk yet. I do not have high hopes for this one. And in a related question: is it standard for community colleges to have nonlocal candidates pay for their own travel costs?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Still crawling through the desert of joblessness

Sigh. This week is exactly like last week: nothing to report, but nothing completely over with either. Argh. I'm still playing phone tag with someone in the HR of a CC that, I think, wants to interview me. But Sleepy Woman, from the lack of energy and interest in the messages she leaves on my phone (or her own voicemail message, for that matter), doesn't sound like that is a very likely or exciting possibility.

A while back I had decided that I need to just give it up and move back into my parents' house, but then little things keep popping on the horizon that look like possibilities, and I think, hey, I might be able to get this one and why bother dealing with moving if I'm going to be moving somewhere permanent soon anyway? Then that oasis turns out to be a mirage, and I keep crawling along.

What's worse, I keep seeing interesting postdoc-type things and other job possibilities appear on the chronicle and whatnot. And one of my friends keeps sending me everything she can find for me to apply to. I could extend this waiting and wishing stage and my underemployment straight on through to next fall's job search. Siiiiiiiiigh. I don't want to do that, but I feel like I should be applying to stuff, you know, trying harder, actually doing something to solve my life, instead of just sitting around waiting for the latest search committee to reject me.

Thing is, it's very hard to apply to nonacademic jobs while I still have academic ones on the string. I've basically given up and can't bring myself to apply to The Gap or whatever else local is hiring when I have this feeling of "any moment now my time will come" on these jobs that are juuuust out of reach there, full of cool shade and shining water. I think I need to move away and force myself to completely give up on academic employment before I can make myself really go for the nonacademic search in a serious way. Which then leads back to the thinking above. Why can't search committees just hand you the job at the end of the interview and say, here, have a beer! You're hired!

And I certainly haven't been doing anything to make my candidacy more attractive, like writing anything or even reading anything. Not even fun stuff like going for walks or to the beach. Basically, waiting around and sitting around feeling depressed are full-time enterprises that do not leave room for actual activities, not even for applying to more jobs. It sucks. Basically I have totally failed on my new year's resolutions, cause I haven't even been cooking, what with all my health things still going on unresolved, and haven't been pushing myself to go outside or socialize with people or anything else I dedicated myself to doing. Even the poor cats are feeling neglected ---- not for food or petting, but I haven't brought out the cat toys and really exercised them for months. Poor kitties.

Bleah. This may stay like this until the end of the month. I keep trying to start some project or read something or watch something or just break the lassitude, but it falls by the wayside after a couple of days. I'm just keepin' on keepin' on. Thing is. that's both really boring and not doing anything for my sense of having a life.