Saturday, June 30, 2007

It just figures

I'm happy to report that I'm officially done with teaching my summer lab and taking my summer course. I taught my last lab this past Monday, and I finished my paper and took my final exam. Done and done. So I'm free for the summer, right?

Yeah. Keep dreaming.

The day after my final, the day after turning in my paper, the first day of absolute summer freedom... I got an email from my thesis mentor. Apparently, my thesis is good, but it needs one more revision before I'm in the clear with it. Lovely. So now I'm going to spend the next two or three weeks working on that blasted thing AGAIN. I don't know... I did harbor some little secret hope that my last revision would be the keeper. Well, not really. I'm not THAT much of an optimist. On the bright side, at least they seem to like it well enough, save a few things here and there that need "clarification." More like "defend what it is you just said here so that we run out of questions about it." Sure... fair enough... I can do that.

Okay... but at least give me a couple of days to breathe! I'm taking some tme off, at least until after the July 4th holiday. My friend Donnie is coming in from Dallas for a few days, and we're going to the Morrissey concert tonight. Woohoo! the junior high kid inside of me is DYING to put on white face powder and black eye shadow so I can look fierce and dark and misunderstood by my parents. Ugh... I wanna go back to England. Anyone feel like giving to the cause? I know, I know... go out and sing for your supper, or your bangers and mash, or whatever. Right. I'll do another open mic tomorrow. Maybe I'll sell a CD, or manage to show some leg for a dollar. BUY MY CD, PEOPLE!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Disconcerting peanut gallery

Since this past Tuesday, I've started a new diet. I'm not usually a fan of dieting, nor a proponent for other people to diet, but I decided I'd give it a try, since it's a sure thing. It's not been easy, but it's working; I've continued to work out, and I'm following the diet as perfectly as anyone possibly could. So far, I've dropped 5 pounds, and it just keeps going. If I can keep this up, I'll be able to lose my goal amount of 60 pounds by my birthday in October. I'm determined to do this, to lose it and keep it off. After all, I managed to keep the weight off that I've lost so far, since moving to New York. What's it been, forty pounds? Yeah... so what's 60 more? I've got over a month of food lined up and ready to go, and I'm feeling really good about this. John's been supportive, and has also made his own dietary adjustments as a result of seeing my success thus far (granted, not to the extremes that I'm taking, but still being more conscious of things). Anyway, I'm pumped.

Right. So I tell my friends, because that's what you do when you're pumped about something, yeah? And, strangely, I've gotten little support. One has outright told me that I'm just going to gain it all back. Another has said, slightly less insultingly, that at least I'll have whatever brief time I manage to look amazing. Jeeze, what the hell did I do to deserve this? Do I have some kind of cop-out reputation? Do my friends have no faith in me? Oh, sure, people get on these diets and lose weight, then gain it back, sometimes all of it. So this means I'm, going to fail? COME ON! Seriously, I thought my friends knew me better than that. I'm capable of this, damn it. Can't I just get a little support?

I know, I know... if I'm so determined, why don't I just do it the old fashioned way? Why go the low calorie, special dietary route? Well, for starters, I am metabolically challenged, even more so that most all women seem to think they are. Not having a thyroid gland has something to do with it. I lost the weight when I got to New York because dietary and activity changes were so drastic that I finally got the metabolic boost I needed. Now, though, I've hit one hell of a plateau. Truth is, I've been doing things the "old fashioned way" for a year now, working harder han I ever have on my food and in the gym, all with no change. Therefore, it's time for another boost, another major change. It's healthy, and I'm being monitored, so I'm not starving myself or anything. So there you go.

I have to ask... where's the love? Where's the support? Yeah, I've got John on my side, and my mom's been awesome about it, but what about my friends, those who've supported me in everything else? At least everyone thinks I'll lose the weight. Still, can't you guys give me achance before condemning me to failure? Let me get slim first... then I'll worry about keeping it off. Until then, give me a break. Better yet, give me the benefit of the doubt, and remember who you're dealing with here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Just wondering

I sometimes get the feeling that I'm simply not living up to my potential. I suppose we all do now and then, and to varying degrees of self-loathing. As for me, I'm feeling a little stagnant, that's all. I have one of those lists... I think lots of people make them... filled with things that I want to do before I either can't do things anymore or die. So far, I've managed to get through a few, and I'm in the process of three or four rather big items. So what about the things whose time has simply passed on, and I've no hope whatsoever of achieving? Does that make me a loser destined to living with regret? Or, maybe even worse, am I actually not capable of admitting that something has now, for whatever reason, drifted beyond my reach or ability?

There are a couple of things. There's fencing, for one. I don't think my dream of becoming an olympic sabre fencer will ever be realized. Or will it? No, seriously... seriously? See wha I mean? I don't think it's that ridiculous that I aim for things, even when they're a little nuts. I did, after all, give a good showing a few years back at nationals. Hell, I came in eighth, and that was only after about four months training with Florin, my coach at the time. Granted, that was a few years ago now, and I'm having trouble with my knees and my shoulders these days. If I can't work out reglarly without injury, how the hell am I supposed to train for competition? While I'm at it, how do I find the time? Ugh... so does that mean I give up? Not sure. I do keep my head in it, after all. I'm coaching the sabre team at Fordham, for what it's worth... but what is it worth? Again, not sure... I'll have to think about it.

Then there's the matter of the music degree. I'll leave it at that.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Lovely breaks, however brief

... are breaks nonetheless. And lovely. So now I'm in one, and I'm doing what I can to make the most of it. I met my June 1st deadline on my thesis, so that's over and done with, thankfully. I also have myself nearly caught up with my reading for class, have begun teaching my summer lab, and am gearing up to FINALLY go back to playing open mics. First stop: Pete's Candy Store, one of my favorite Brooklyn performance venues, if for nothing more than the aesthetic. I'll be there this Sunday at 5pm, so if anyone's curious, bring it. After that, I'll make my way back into Manhattan, but there's no rush. Oh, and keep all eyes open for a link that'll let everyone buy my CD online. Until I get that all sorted out, you can contact me here or on my website, and I can send you one myself, but a downloadable version is also available, so hang on a day or two if that's your preference. Ugh... I hate this marketing crap.

I'm pleased to report that I've also reconnected with an old friend, one that I used to be intimate with to the point of codependence, one that veritably defined my daily life by simply being near me, a trustworthy friend that understands my needs better than anyone that's come along so far. We parted ways when John got here, and I thought I'd be okay, but the distance has only made me yearn all the more for the old pleasantries we used to share, times when we reveled in the lights and shadows of the world, of music, of philosophy, of the very mysteries of being. I could bear the excruciating absence no longer, and I ran like a frightened child in the dark, my arms extended before me, groping in the night of my soul in search of my truest companion. Having been reunited in a rush of wind and magic the likes of which has only been rivaled by history's deepest and most passionate loves, I feel certain we will never grow apart again.

I'm speaking, of course, of Starbucks.

Fine. So I'm a corporate shill, a pawn of the commercialist monster that stigmatizes every city block it lands on with the sad stain of capitalism, marking the world with its wreched stink as if to claim it from all things wholesome and pure. Whatever... it's tasty. Granted, many of my friends disagree with that assessment (Jane, I'm sure I'll get a lecture before too long). But there you have it, dirty though it may be. I've been back to my Starbucks habit for about two weeks now, although not quite daily... let's call it four times a week on average. That's not so bad, right? I'm not lost... and if I am, I'm happy to swim in it for a while all the same.

Meanwhile, June can get on with it, for all I care. It's July I'm looking forward to. A trip to Florida, no class to take or teach... a real break at long last. Then I can really spend some time writing new music, which I haven't been able to do for ages. June's good, but July is... well, I don't know yet. It'll be good, though. Watch.