Wednesday, December 14, 2005

... and that's when things got fuzzy

Ah, the third all-nighter. Glad that's over. I mean, I'm doing okay, so no worries... rested plenty beforehand, still able to function just fine, finished the paper and got it sent in. Then I looked up, and the day was gone. I don't remember that part.

Things are just zipping by lately. I'm not so much an aimless procrastinator as I am a glutton for high pressure. Well, I've got the pressure up to a nice, steady bubble, which is just where I like it. Three papers are done and out of the way now. From here, I can just begin to see little hints of an end in sight. My qualitative presentation is on Monday; the paper that goes along with that presentation is due that Thursday, by which point I'll already be back in Texas for the break, so that'll be an email in the works for a day or two. I have to get a few papers graded and my grades for the lab turned in by tomorrow, which I'm not worrying about. Before I do that, I have a methods final tomorrow morning, which I guess I should be worried about, but I'm not. Okay... so I have a final, assignments to grade, a presentation, and a big paper. No problem.

Not that I'm not worried. I mean, there's more to life than school, no matter what they tell you. Tomorrow will have to involve a room cleaning, maybe some laundry... Friday is allegedly the day I receive my loan reimbursement from school, which means a good bit of running around like an idiot. And all of it comes down to Saturday... I go to Brooklyn in the morning for my last recording session with Craig before I leave for the long break, then I run back home in the early evening to get things ready for Jane's birthday party at our place. Jeese... if I could've scheduled the session for another day, I would've happily done it. Still, it couldn't be helped, so it looks like I'll be in Brooklyn on Saturday morning for a few hours. Then again, there might be a transit strike going on by then, so I may not have a trip to anyplace that morning. Or I may be walking. A lot.

EIther way, Saturday will be busy, so I'm sort of bracing myself for the weekend. Go figure... and people say the weekends are for resting. Amateurs. Then, on Sunday, I have to prepare for my presentation and work on my paper, squeezing in a performance at Pete's Candy Store on Sunday evening (in Brooklyn... again, assuming there's transportation). Then, we're finally at Monday, when I'll have my presentation, a little choir caroling performance, and a quick stop at my apartment to pick up my luggage before heading off to the airport. Yeah. Guess I ought to pack at some point.

So then there was today. I finished my paper this afternoon, then looked up to find the sun was completely gone. At that point, I was so disoriented, I couldn't have told you what day it was. To be honest, I don't know that I can tell you now, either. Doesn't matter. I know I have a final tomorrow... today is over, and I used it well, so I can't complain. Bring it on, and let the days keep ticking past me. Yesterday was my seven year wedding anniversary, and I might not have noticed if I wasn't so in love. Let the days keep ticking past me, please. Huh... sounds like a song. Nah... I'm not that cheesy.

I posted two new songs on my website, but it still feels like I've gotten nothing done, so I keep having to record, keep having to write, and keep feeling very, very hungry to do it all the time. Thing is, time flies when you're writing and recording. And hey... if I can keep looking up and not noticing the day passing for the next few of them, all the better. It's time for a rest, though, time to press pause on my New York life for a couple of weeks, to remind myself what it's like to hold someone. Go for a few weeks without so much as a hug and see what happens. Nothing, really. And that's just it. So I write songs, and I do my best not to notice that the days are passing a little too slowly. I played a gig at CBGB last night, and I almost wasn't paying attention while I was up there. I'm doing things I could only dream of just a few months ago, and I'm grateful, but I think I could use a breather from being alone all the time. Looks like I miss my boy, the pups, the kyadden, the motorcycle, some good friends I left behind... I don't often miss them to the point of pangs, but it happens, just once in a while. Otherwise, I'm good. It's just the whole silly wedding anniversary thing that tends to bring it out of me.

Funny little social convention, marriage. Gotta love the strangeness of a world that otherwise strives for logic, then comes up with something like marriage. As for me, I look at marriage like a Mister Potato Head... sure you know how it's supposed to look, but what's the fun in that? Besides, it's still a Mister Potato Head, no matter where you put the parts. So you mix it up a little, move off to wherever and do the things you've always dreamed, and somehow stay perfectly happy and united and in love... except for the occassional days, like wedding anniversaries, where it sort of sneaks up to you and kicks you in the mouth with a big, spikey, steel-toe boot. Yeah, well, I'll be holding him on Monday, and it's gonna feel really, really good. Just a hunch.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The end-of-semester marathon continues

It's been good, on the whole. Getting things accomplished at a pretty good click... papers, recordings... okay, just papers and recordings. Oh, and open mics. And more papers, and presentations. The usual thing, I guess, when you think about it. Still, it's not bad for not trying very hard.

That's the truth, though. I don't feel as though I'm having to try very hard, and I like it. I mean, I work plenty. But do I work hard? Not so much, no. Just dilligently, I guess, which isn't too bad, particularly for me. Typically, I work hard and fast, and then that's it. Things get done, if jut a little bit haphazardously, and then I sort of collapse into a puddle of goo for a few days afterwards. Lately, though, I've apparently changed my usual tactics. I still pull all-nighters, sure, but now I plan them well in advance. I'll say, "I'm pulling an all-nighter in a week," and then I'll prepare for the event... sleeping extra on days leading up to it, setting things up so the night's work goes smoothly, that sort of thing. As for the all-nighters needing to happen at all, I enjoy them. No idea why, but I really do preffer to work that way. Speaking of which, I'm about to embark on another one tonight... been planning it for days now.

I've also had the pleasure of my first snow here in New York. It wasn't much of a snow, by most reports, but it's more snow than this Texan has ever seen, so it was exciting enough for me. We had a choir concert, and snow fell that day, as well as a little the next day and the day after that. I'd say it came to about five to six inches in all, which, for me, was a fair amount. Apparently, I haven't even seen the half of it. Fine... bring it on. I love it so far... how bad could it be? Yeah, yeah... I'm asking for it, sure. Still, I could care less. I'm finding I love snow.

At any rate... I did an open mic tonight, my second appearance at Mickey's Blue Room. And, holy crap, people recognized me. Like, in a good way. Weird. I went out there with Dave Zoler, guitarist extraordinaire (as featured in previous blog entries); Jane met us there, and Eleanore, another philosophy kid, met up with us later. While we had a few beers and waited around for the open mic to start, it dawned on me that I had a few promotional stickers with me, tucked into my gig bag. I've always noticed artists' stickers everywhere when I go to these events, so I wanted to join their ranks for once. Jane took one from me and stuck it on a lightpost outside, among a few other stickers and posters... I thought it was a great place for it. In following with her example, I stuck one on a napkin holder at the bar... it had to wrap around a bit, but I think it looked okay. Actually, it was a little strange, seeing my name on a sticker like that. It was strange in a really good way, though... who'd have thought it? I now have publicity stickers in random places in New York City. Frankly, I'm fine with that. Oh, and if it's hard to read in the pictures, it says "-Emily McSpadden- ... listen to the dirty parts." Underneath that, in the lower left corner, it says visibly enough. Anyway, I'm going to stick them just about everywhere, whenever the mood strikes me. As for the open mic, Dave did a great job, despite his own feelings about it. Seriously... he was really excellent, and I have the distinct feeling that this won't be his last open mic. Ah, if I could only play as well. Maybe I will someday, when I'm a grown-up. For now, I'll just work on it. I did my set right after his, and it went pretty well. I also did my best to network and get contact info traded with a couple of other performers, two girls who are particularly good. Well, one more than the other, but they each have their strengths. I also bought a CD from one of them, to sort of get an idea or two for my own CD when it's ready to come out (still aiming for February at this point... I still think it's a feasible time to shoot for). Good night, good open mic, good beer... no complaints from me.

Now, I'm home. The phone is nearby, the TV is droaning away in the background, my cup of tea is within reach, my feet are propped up, and my computer is on my lap. Let the second all-nighter begin.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Okay. Enough, already, Fordham.

You knew what you were getting when you took me. I never made a mystery of it. Hell, you seemed to think it was pretty cool, this little theoretically intergrative multiple-methods thing that I had planned. Then again, maybe you thought I was just kidding or something. Whatever. It's getting old now. Enough with thinking it's funny to say on a regular basis that qualitative methods will never be worth anything in the United States, that it's no good for applied developmental science, that it's not good for anything but a cute way to get ideas for real studies. Empirical ones. Well, sorry, ladies. I'm not backing down. In fact, I'm pretty hot and bothered at this point... this is war.

Today was the ignorant straw that broke the camel. In class, the words came spewing out from another professor, amidst smiles and laughter. "Well, that sort of continental psychology...the stuff that Emily's done... that'll never make it here in the U. S. We're true, hard line, dust bowl empiricists here."

That's it... keep poking the savage. I know where you keep the knives.

Oh, yeah. I'm definitely putting together this qualitative conference next year. They'll have to tie me down to stop me. If I wasn't determined before, I'm damn well ravenous for it now. Fine... I'll bide my time, do my little monkey dance, pick up the change they throw. Then, I'm taking all that change and buying a shiny new qualitative conference. And I will hug it and pet it and love it and call it George. Or Heidegger. No, okay, maybe I'll stick with George.

One huge, imposing paper has been turned in, as of today. Three wait in the wings. The next one is due on Monday, and she's getting cranky because I don't take her anywhere anymore. Come Monday, I'm kicking her to the curb. Besides, there's another one standing right behind her, due Wednesday... she says she can't remember the last time I told her she was pretty, and I never help around the house. Yeah. She's gonna get slapped come Wednesday. As for the third one, she pretty much keeps to herself... sitting in the corner, rocking in place, drooling a little bit, and stroking her shoulder while looking at the ceiling and singing, "i'm not leaving i'm not leaving i'm not leaving i'm not leaving... i'll never te-ell... i'm not leaving i'm not leaving i'm not leaving..." Wow... I really need to lay off on the coffee and the all-nighters.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Crunch time ensues

Three more weeks before the end of the semester. Jeese, that was fast. I mean, really. I just got here! Actually, what am I saying? Today's December 2nd... wow... it's two weeks, then. Fine by me. That just means I have to get a great deal of work done in a pretty cramped amount of time. I've seen the inside of my office quite a bit more these days than any other time this semester, and I'm nowhere near done. I have four major papers due in the next ten days, and a final in two weeks. No problem. I just won't see very much daylight for a little while. No matter... I have my cozy fourth floor office on campus, I have all of my projects currently churning along, I have hot tea and coffee at my disposal while I'm there, my trusty iPod Nano remains plugged into my head, and I have various friends calling me in shifts to provide me with moral support. I'll make it... just send me encouraging thoughts for the next several days, whoever and wherever you are, because I definitely need it.

I have a choir concert tomorrow, preceded by a morning dress rehearsal. That means there won't be much chance to work on anything tomorrow, which is okay. There's another concert on Sunday afternoon, and that's also fine. I'll just wedge in some work here and there... of course, I have to try to do an open mic here at some point. maybe not this weekend, but soon, at least. Besides, I have another recording session this coming Tuesday, and there's no way I'm changing that, so I'm just going to have to bend the work around that. Monday's a class day, so I'll just stick around on campus after class to work a little, then go to choir and fencing practice before heading home. Wednesday is a great work day, since I only have one thing, colloquium, that I'm committed to... basically, I can spend that whole day in the office without flinching. On Thursday, my first paper is due. It's about fifteen pages worth of writing... nothing I can't tackle. After all, I survived the great masters thesis of 2005, didn't I?

Granted, some things have fallen to the wayside. My laundry is sitting in a bag, ready for the laundomat. Thing is, I'm not willing to put myself through that kind of hell. I mean, it causes me physical pain, for God's sake! Okay, maybe if I had, like, four friends to help me haul the damn thing up the stairs, I wouldn't mind it so much. Yeah, right. If I had four friends, I find it hard to believe they'd be stupid enough to pitch in with that kind of hellish undertaking. So there it sits, my giant bag filled with 35 or so pounds of my dirty laundry. Let it sit there, for all I care. I can't deal with it right now. Laundry be damned, I have papers to write. So what if I write them in funny-looking, non-matching clothes? I'm thinking of the greater good, people... my papers getting completed will kep me far more sane than doing my laundry will, which will in turn keep me from flipping out under ridiculous amounts of stress and attacking people on the street at random. Trust me... I'm thinking of everyone's well-being here.