who the heck knows anything, anyway

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Killian-less in Seattle, day 14"

(guest post by Daniel)

"Yes, Ms. Fitzgerald*, I quite agree, it is a lovely day for a tea party."

"You look positively famished. Another scone?"

"Beg pardon? My mental state? Don't be silly, I'm fine. Now where did Wilson get to..."

*Flannery, AKA F. Cat Fitzgerald, AKA The Dowager Countess Snugglepaws

how am I awake right now?

Alright. It's done. I'm home*, I'm doing laundry, I ate a hearty breakfast. The only thing non-pajama-wearing on today's agenda: Powell's. I will leave there many dollars poorer and one well-stocked reading list richer. Then, I'll return to the Casa de Czuba and work. I will work on my job, I will work on my homework, and I will work on packing (my life is one suitcase after another).

The last ten days were so absolutely, incredibly odd. For every evening spent socializing and stepping out of my comfort zone, there was an hour of sleep and relaxation lost;  for every motivating craft talk and amazing reading, there was a quiet, growing panic working its way into the back of my mind; for every minute of blissful removal from real life, there was (rather, is) the consequence of returning to real life after totally ignoring it for ten long days. Basically, for every positive, there was a negative.** But I learned much, I ate relatively well, and I slept little. (Somehow, that seems like an apt prediction of what the next two years of my life will look like.)

Today will be a good day, I think. Maybe? I've got a killer hangover*** and no idea where/how to get started on all the things I have to do, but that's hardly going to stop me. You know, as long as I can get my crap together and stop with my forgetful abandoning of tasks (witness: the half-emptied dishwasher, still open, sad and alone, which I forgot I was working on until this minute).

Also, I'm pretty sure that if I let myself stop for a minute, I will pass out for at least18 hours. And--let's be real--I don't have time for sleep.

*sort of. I mean, I'm back at my parents' house. I don't get to go HOME home until tomorrow night.
**just like a good scene. haha
***let me tell you: the residency will give you a hangover regardless of alcohol intake. I haven't had alcohol for days, yet I feel like I've just come off of the all-night bender of a lifetime.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Residency: 1/3rd Complete

This residency thing is insane. I'm still trying to decipher exactly how I feel about it, but I think a good estimate is that it is proving equal parts useful, interesting, exhausting, and trying.

This is exactly what I've needed in the following ways:
1. I'm getting my butt kicked by genius faculty. I can't believe I can only pick four of them to work with directly over the next two years. Then again, I get four of them. (this place, man. everything's a dichotomy)
2. I've met a ton of people, and a few of us became instant bros. I've also reconnected with a few old bros.
3. It's got me stoked to get to work. Stoooooooked.

This is less than ideal for me in the following ways:
1. I never seem to get enough sleep, so I just somnambulate around, making small talk that may or may not make sense.
2. I'm homesick. I miss my cat, my room, my beau. I miss my shower, my desk, my closet. I am tired of looking like a bum who wears the same clothes every day and never learned about combs. On top of it all, I can't work very well here. Some places have good chi, and others don't. A futuristic dorm room with a prison bed and fluorescent lamp does not have good chi. (but, like I mentioned, dichotomy alert: it's beautiful outside, and I've felt wonderful when I've had daylight breaks to lounge on the lawn and read Zadie Smith. I don't think I've gotten this much vitamin D in years)
3. We still have four days of workshopping--three until my own piece is done--and this is my least favorite aspect of the residency. It's nerve-wracking. I know next semester will be better because I know what to expect, but it's painful to learn so much in so little time, and to not be able to fix those problems in the work you submitted a month ago. Instead, everyone can use these new tools of enhanced observation (which, reminder, I now possess, as well) to tell me how much something is blah blah blah buzzwords when I, too, can see these problems myself from a mile away. It just makes me feel like an idiot, and I'm not a fan. I decided (in no small part because I hand wrote all of my workshop notes to my peers) not to revise my feedback, to get it to them from the newbie perspective I came with. If Killian-sans-all-this-knowledge encountered certain hurtles or excitements in reading the piece, then chances are that other, less info-saturated folks might have similar comments. Since most people don't want to be elitists, hopefully they'll appreciate my proletarian advice.

All in all, it's a good thing. I'm learning more than I thought I could, and meeting more than I thought I would, and sleeping less than I probably should. It's a perfect recipe for inspiration and a side of mental breakdown, but I hear that's the standard fare at this sort of event.

Please forgive misspellings, etc. According to my trusty SleepBot, I have an 11hr 38min sleep debt, and it's only gonna get worse. Three days down, six days to go, and it feels like I've been at this grown-up summer camp for months. (Okay, slight exaggeration, but each day feels like many. Events from yesterday? I would swear they happened two days ago, at least). That's the other thing that happens here: there's a crazy time vortex that sucks you up into a realm where dates are totally meaningless and then spits you out ten days later. The shock of returning back to everyday life is, I hear, practically medical in definition.

Ok. Sleeping now. If I hurry, I can get seven whole magical hours in tonight. PEACE OUT.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

grumpypants mcgee

Guys. I'm totally losing it. This living-in-limbo thing is so distracting that I can't focus on any task (except, you know, stupid things like dishes) for more than one minute. Facebook is boring and no one ever updates, AND YET: I have checked it--and Twitter--like 10,000,000,000,000 times today. I opened about 7 tabs of letting agencies/craigslist equivalents and then looked at flats for about three hours. I have already looked at all of these flats. I have looked at some of them about 5 days in a row. I can't stop. My mouse moves of its own will!--just clickin' on stuff, showin' me homes we can't have. It's insane behavior, much like when we decided it was time to get a cat and I spent 3 solid weeks scouring Petfinder.

Obviously, it's going to work out. We'll find a place. It'll be nice--or, at the very least,  inhabitable. It'll have things like "windows" and a "bathroom". It'll likely be near the City Centre* and Daniel's work, in close proximity to Pieminister (aka my real new home), and within walking distance to absolutely everything. We'll have our cat, we'll have our favourite** mugs, and we'll have the thrill of getting to know a new city. However, much in the way I could not pry my eyes from Petfinder this past January, I will similarly remain plagued by anxiety and doubt until the day we have a place on lock-down. I've been trying to get excited about the move, but I can't. I'm not upset about it, either; I just know that I need to start mentally moving before we physically move, and I can't mentally move if I don't have the promise of a place to live. I need a floorplan, or a few pictures, or even a weak description and a little pinpoint on a map--anything--a little piece of something that can become a focal point. From there, I can start dealing with the issues I have heretofore acknowledged that I will feel but have not yet actually processed: like leaving my family, riding in lots of airplanes, and you know what this list is really long so let's not get into it.

Also, I think my Nexus 1 is dying, and that is terrible. I don't want to get a new phone. That's way too much change for me, man. WAY TOO MUCH.

Oh, yeah, Residency is next week. NO BIG DEAL.

It's cool, though. I'm gonna go nurse a mug of sleepytime tea, read more White Teeth, and ignore my feelings some more. Denial is not just a river in Egypt, guys. It's super effective!****

*that's how it's spelled, because we're moving to Classyville**
**although this same country, which possesses such lovely words as "colour" and "favourite", also has towns named things like Crumps Butts and Crotch Crescent. SO CLASSY.
***it does help loads that we've been there before. 
****until it isn't anymore and you word-vomit all over your blog with long-suppressed feelings