Sunday, April 13, 2008

Aborted Post with Amendations

Post from Sunday included here by the sheer luck of the blogger save feature:

Get this. I know that Sunday is my only day to get the copious SAT homework done -- I might have to do any one of over fifty, maybe even a hundred, dreadful math problems on the board at the drop of a hat. After all, the students will only choose the ones that are hard or complicated or tricky to review on the board. I know as days pass that Sunday is the fateful day. It is 8:38pm. Have I done the homework? No. Have I even cracked the book? No. The book is in the car. I have not retrieved it. This is bad. This is very bad. This is exactly the same as me having a stack of papers. Luckily, I don't actually teach tomorrow, so I have a little bit more time, but really I should've done it today because I won't have that much time tomorrow, even with staying at my folks' place so I don't have to spend the evening driving back home.

Why didn't I do my homework? Partly because I am a procrastinating fool. Partly because I am catastrophically depressed. I don't know what to tell you, how much to say, especially if AL reads my blog (which I doubt), but basically he and I are not together. Things are bad. Very bad. I'm crying all the time, which is basically what I was doing when I was too busy to be doing my homework. (This has been the first free day since the shit hit the fan when he returned from seeing his kids -- yesterday I had to go to both a bar mitzvah and a play, so I couldn't just mope and cry hysterically as the main event of the day -- though I cried in the shower, which is a very good and inevitable place to cry, by the way.)

I am now staring down being a single mom. Of course, there is nothing wrong with single momhood -- in fact there is a good organization called Single Mothers by Choice that I once looked into -- but the point is that this is not by choice. Had I planned to get pregnant on my own, I would've chosen a time when I was more settled, when I lived in an apartment or, heaven help us, a house, rather than a camper and had a good full-time job, rather than two part-time ones that in blasted Urban Home City are STILL not enough for me to get an apartment closer in (I can almost afford an apartment near here, but the commute would still be the same, if not longer). Have I mentioned that I'm pregnant and bloody tired? The financial aspect of not being able to get out of the camper is driving me nuts ("look, here's all of our stuff, our bed, our outside chairs -- all the stuff that reminds me of ours, ours, ours") and the emotional part -- well, I'm not well. Who's going to rub my back when it hurts? Who am I going to show my growing belly to? Who is going to comfort me and tell me that everything will be all right when I'm scared? No one. Maybe I'm wallowing in self-pity here, but. . .my life has turned into a bloody talk show, and though I feel like I should have some spine, I'm really no longer sure why.

So the SAT class is not going well. I'm considering explaining to the office that the first week of the SAT class happened to coincide with the complete shattering of my present and future life (poor Absurdist Fetus) -- and that's why things are not going so well in class. Like I told the students that the answers to the homework were in the back of the book. They weren't. The students couldn't check their own homework. Of course, there was no outcry or anything, which led me to the inevitable conclusion that few students actually did their homework. We're also totally behind the syllabus. And I suck at teaching the math because I don't know the problems very well. (I'm pretty well prepped on the book I was trained on, but this is a different book. I was supposed to prep the book out before the class started, but there was too much going on and I felt like shit so I didn't, figuring that I'd be able to prep it before each class. Well, my life ended on Monday night, which happened to coincide with the night before the SAT class started. So, I've been a wee bit distracted. I also started the accounting job last Monday. Basically last week was nothing like the week before it -- and I was totally ill prepared for any of its revelations.)

The accounting job is fine. Everything was in a serious mess, but I've got most of the accounts payable under control.

It was at that point that my laptop decided to go black. I burst into tears. Everything's broken, I cried. The laptop hasn't turned on since. (Absurdist Lover -- or perhaps I should call him Absurdist Ex -- agreed to look at it. We're sharing the camper -- he stays there when I'm at my folks' place.) Tonight I did my taxes. Of course, I owe $1,000. Inevitable. Last night I couldn't get the folks' TV to work. It's just been one thing after another. I wonder if I should change my blog name, because the absurdity is getting too high for me to keep a sense of humor about it. (Could the blog title be a lightning rod for all absurdity -- from long lost lovers to electrical shorts? You can tell I'm in trouble when I get this superstitious.)

In more recent news, I found out today that some SAT students had done some of their homework; none had done all of it. If their scores fail to rise, it will not be my fault. I indicated to the SAT office people that I was having a really hard time, that last week didn't go well.

I got back the comments from the chapter I completed in January. They didn't say anything too awful, but I don't think I should think too much about their constructive criticism right now. I just can't take it. Dear readers, if I wrote overly harsh comments on your blog in the last ten days, please know that I've been very depressed -- like I'd-like-Zoloft-but-I'm-pregnant-and-don't-trust-it-despite-FDA-approvals depressed. Like I'd-like-to-curl-up-into-a-ball-and-not-come-out-until-it's-time-for-my-cremation depressed. But I'm okayish now, trying to get through, keep calm, and cultivate useful delusions of competence and love. I'll keep you posted, if I can.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sleepy Sunday

So I didn't make a total ass of myself administering the exam -- only about half an ass, which isn't bad. I did hold them for fifteen extra minutes, which I felt bad about on a Saturday. But beyond that, there weren't many hiccups. I then went over to the Fam's and hung out until way later than I expected to. The drama with brother in his twenties is continuing, and we decided that we're all ADHD.

On Monday, I start the accounting job. On Tuesday, I start the SAT class. At the test yesterday, the students seemed interested in what we were going to learn and do. I have a whole bunch of prep to do before Tuesday, but I'm so so tired. My sister and I have plans to do something this afternoon, which I know I should cancel, but I'm hoping that if I go, then maybe I'll have that tense, focused energy that helps me do things quickly by the time I come back. Also, I do have some time tomorrow, but. . .. I never see my sister -- she has two adorable children, goes to work and school, and lives a very full life back in the same little 'burb where she and I grew up. (Okay, I grew up there. She went to elementary school there. We have a huge age difference and when my parents got divorced, she was still a kid, while I was already in college. Now, the age difference doesn't seem so large.) Strangely, she likes it there for all the right reasons -- the relative safety, the good schools for her children. Of course, I think of it as ticky-tacky houses, probably the very model of Weeds's Agrestic. My stepmother told me that motherhood would change all of my ideas about suburbs, Wal-Mart, getting a pedicure at the mall with all the other moms, pre-packaged experience a la Chuck E Cheese. We shall see.

I'm tired and procrastinating again. But I'm so glad to be teaching. Even though I was so tired it's insane, I didn't get tired at all in the classroom because there were all these not-so-fresh (at too early in the morning on a Saturday) faces who I was going to get to know. And help, hopefully. If they don't figure out that they know more about math than I do. Grrrr. Well, I know more about the SAT than they do. Maybe they can teach me some calculus. Like what it's for. (I watched one of those great science shows like Connections that I think said something about calculus having been developed to make cannonball firing more accurate. My quick look at Wikipedia doesn't seem to bear this out, sadly.)

Mr. Tabby is stretched out, sleeping next to me. Sleeping more sounds like such a good idea. (I can hear the bikers -- must be hogs -- on the main road. Sunday is biker day in the mountains, no doubt about it.) Obviously, I'm procrastinating getting up and getting myself together. It just feels so good to be a blob for a while. I'm not going to get to blob out much during the week from now on, since I have two jobs. Two! How am I going to balance two jobs with being tired and pregnant? (People keep telling me to hold on for another couple weeks, that I will get this Second Trimester Super-Energy soon. I can't wait. Can I sleep until it arrives?) I'll just keep whispering one word to myself: apartment, apartment, apartment.

But lookie! I have already been productive. I have finally migrated from winter to spring! I have a pseudo-plan! And if I've written it on my blog, well, surely it will happen, right?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Morning Is for the Birds

Especially early morning. I can hear the damn birds tweet-tweeting outside the camper. They sound very happy, no doubt because they did not wake up at 4:30 having to pee then finding themselves unable to go back to sleep for one last hour of rest before having to get up and somehow turn into a human so they could proctor an exam for a zillion hours today. (Birds are too smart to turn into humans or agree to administer exams at high schools 45 miles away from home by 9am.)

What's more, I'm alone in this exhausting endeavor. Absurdist Lover went to visit his kids for the weekend. While I have been totally for his going up north to see them, dealing with all this without being able to go and get rip-roaring drunk this weekend is very trying. Oy.

Cross your fingers that I find the room (no map online!) I'm supposed to get to without any trouble. In fact, cross your fingers I don't make an ass out of myself before 1:30. After 1:30, I can be my usual bumbling self again.

Sadly, I now have to shiver myself to the shower.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pensive Thursday Update

So I found out from my father last night that though it was the business partner's idea to bring me on, now he's very ambivalent. But their accounting is in a mess, so they need me to come and fix it so they can see how much money they are making. So they are bringing me on as an independent contractor until they get a sense of how much money there is. Dad thinks there is still a good shot of my getting hired and therefore getting insurance, but my optimism is receding fast. I start on Monday. My SAT course starts officially on Tuesday, though I'm proctoring an exam on Saturday morning, unfortunately not very near here on some high school campus I've never visited, but need to tomorrow so I don't freak out on Saturday. In both cases I need the money and can't afford to say no. But with our financial position in flux, I still have not been able to see a doctor. The two social services options include having to go and prove how much money I have way before I can see a doctor/midwife -- and I confess I was hoping to avoid the whole problem of having to have this baby without any options. But I'm almost thirteen weeks. It's making me nervous. And I'm trying not to be negative, because it really bothers Absurdist Lover (not to mention me), but I'm starting to feel desperate again. So I think I'm going to out and out ask my folks for the money to go see a midwife associated with a birthing center. What's not clear to me is whether a nurse-midwife can do all the tests that I'm going to need. Do I need a doctor and a nurse-midwife? I just don't know. I suppose I need to call a birthing center and find out how all this works.

What else? I borrowed money from my family before I came back here last Friday, but now I'm not sure how we're going to pay the rent. Absurdist Lover is talking to someone about selling one of his treasures, but now the guy is playing hard to get and AL's growing more desperate daily. He needs to go up and see his kids. I need him to go up and see his kids. It's actually a big piece of our game plan, so that he can see if and how he can make all this okay with himself.

My teenage brother's girlfriend came back from her spring break trip and broke up with my brother. He's crushed. He's really super-smart and verbal and quirky and is only interested in girls who are not spending all their time playing with clothes and going to the mall. My stepmom is already trying to tell him that he won't feel terrible forever, but it's too soon. So I guess things could be much much worse. There's other family drama, like my other brother, who I am too pissed at to even deal with. He's in his twenties and living at home, but refusing to deal with the problems he's created, not even coming out of his room and talking to the family. Oy. I can't even deal with any of that. When I think of him and his depression and narcissism and sense of entitlement, I think my problems aren't so bad.

I bought Hallowell and Ratey's Delivered from Distraction after reading most of their first book, Driven to Distraction, at Borders yesterday. It felt so good to sit in Borders and read! I know that lots of people with ADD have problems with reading, so maybe I don't have it -- but I'm a terrible inveterate procrastinator and the most ridiculously disorganized person in the world. When they start talking about how ADD people just stick their worlds in piles, I felt known. In fact, a lot of me started to make sense to me. Maybe the volatile mood that people have seen in me (and that moodiness I've certainly experienced in myself) has something to do with boredom and attention-wandering and serious frustration. On the other hand, maybe I'm seriously demented too. Without money or insurance, I could be very well barking up the wrong tree, but I figure if some of the structure and lifestyle changes can help those with ADD, well, then maybe they can help me too. I feel like I've got to do something to help me deal -- I'm having a baby and while there may be little I can do about s/he being born into poverty (though if the job and insurance doesn't work out, I'm going to have to try to get another one), I can at least not be a total space cadet who feels like I've wasted my life, never living up to my potential. A PhD and "not living up to one's potential." Oy. I know this imposter syndrome is endemic to the academy, but why is that super-cool research project gathering dust in the corner when I could be transcribing interviews and analyzing data? In fact, why am I not prepping on the SAT course that's starting next week? Oy! Procrastination. I swear I think I get bored of doing things at regular intervals, doing a little each day though I know that is the most productive way to get things done. I think I love the thrill of the panic and rushing to the deadline. Why else do I do it that way all the time? I hate to do things when I am "not in the mood." It's just slogging. If I'm in the mood, it's one big whoosh and whirl. It's fun. I like fun. Aren't I too old to be this. . .immature? My poor child doesn't have a chance.

But one thing that I know is true is that I need to steer clear of isolating myself, which will only lead to depression and negativity. I feel so much that I'm in a stupid, mostly-avoidable situation, both with Absurdist Lover and with being pregnant right now that I haven't been bursting with the news except to my most understanding and nonjudgmental friends, which includes the blogosphere, which is strange when you consider that I can't control how people react to my ridiculous life. But there it is. Lest y'all think I'm totally paranoid (I am, of course, but not totally), I have experienced people being totally judgmental and shitty to me, about me, and about my decisions. So with that kind of crap out there, it's not surprising that I would want to protect myself in a cocoon. But it's not healthy. It's not. This is a good time, I guess, to see who my friends are and stop spending energy thinking about people who are not friends. Not that a good friend doesn't occasionally tell you a hard truth about yourself, but I don't think a friend does it in a mean and judgmental way. (Remember that there was an unbloggable situation that had me thinking about what being a friend is? Well, I'm still obsessed with that question because I haven't dealt with the situation that started it! We can call it procrastination, or we can call it pregnant tired brain not wanting to deal with any crap that's not absolutely necessary. But I need to deal with it soon. This person and I don't really talk on the phone anymore -- and I frankly don't want to waste my phone minutes on this. An email is okay in addressing big gnarley issues, no? What say you?)

Hey! When is this blog going to go back to being funny, dammit! All this heavy shit all the time! Let's do something fun! Like start working on a campaign to get Sisyphus considered for UC President!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Daybreak Post

So here I am, uncharacteristically awake and up by 6:43 am. But what makes this totally unsurprising is that I'm up now because of my ridiculous procrastinatory approach to writing a conference paper. Last night I put together my ten pages for Upcoming Conference that I Can't Afford to Attend, but then I really wanted to watch Batman Begins with Absurdist Lover who hadn't yet seen it. So I figured I would let it set overnight, and I'd revise and polish it this morning in time to send it to the panel chair who is going to read it for me. The fact that I woke up without any prompting shows that at the very least I internalize these deadlines. But this is exactly like finishing my research paper a few hours before class. Apparently, having been in school for the greater part of my adulthood, earning a PhD, and learning through the writing of a dissertation that the best work is not written at the last minute have not at all changed my ways. It's time like this I wonder if I'm cut out for the academy. Surely I should've figured out a more adult and organized approach to doing work, no? The best spin on this is that I'm ADD and just can't be organized. (I better go and have that tested at some point if I'm going to use it as the best excuse ever.) The fact that I've managed this far like this explains why I have never really learned any other way. Procrastinating until the last minute works! But it does mean that my conference papers are never really that great. I wish this conference paper weren't going to be sucky, since someone else is going to be reading it aloud, someone I care about and respect. But now I've cornered myself into only being able to think about getting it done in time to send it before Panel Chair gets on a plane. Surely creating a situation where I don't have to fret about the quality being good is exactly why I procrastinate, no? In any case, I can hear the ducks quacking and birds chirping. Happy morning everyone. I've got a conference paper to revise!

***Update 9:00am***

I'm done with the conference paper. I hope it doesn't totally suck. Maybe if it does, I can tell Panel Chair April Fools! Uh, no. Anyhoo, it's freezing cold in Camperland. Believe it or not, the weather bureau says it's going to snow above 6,000 feet. That's not us, but we may get some rain. I feel so free without this conference paper hanging over my head. No doubt I should get some articles in the works. No doubt I will lollygag instead.