Tuesday, March 25, 2008

And Now for Something Somewhat Different. . .

It's not that I have anything brilliant to say right now, but I have to push that totally depressed and depressing post down the line. It's just too much. And it feels a bit too "look at me! look at me! my life sucks, and I'm not saying why. feel sorry for me" for my taste.

So what's going on? There's a bit of trouble in Camper-land, and I'm staying at my folks for a few days. I've been trying to sort things out, alternating with wanting to hide under the covers. There's just a lot going on. I'm underemployed (I'm certified to teach the SAT but I haven't yet been scheduled for a class -- it's a slow part of the year, but will pick up during the summer) which means that I need to get another job, pregnant and in need of pre-natal care (12 weeks on Friday -- this is nuts), and homeless. Now, the homeless thing needs a bit of explaining. I have family and friends in Urban Home City, none of whom would ever knowingly let me take to the streets. I am not without a place to stay. There are couches and extra rooms aplenty -- and I could probably do a rotation of several days here and there for a long while. That's not what I mean by homeless. I have resources. What I mean is I don't have a home, a space that is mine and has my stuff in it. The camper is the closest thing to having my own space to be comfortable in and have some privacy, but it's not mine, I don't have my stuff, and it's prone to trouble. When I left Grad City, I put most of my stuff in storage to take off to Adventure U. When I left Adventure U, I took about half of what I had to Camper-land. So I've been living with a tiny fraction of my voluminous and much-loved stuff. (As in, I now have only two shirts that fit.) Both Adventure U and Camper-land represented these big adventures. Well, I'm adventured out. I need to nest. I don't have my stuff in which to nest nor an apartment (it's also getting super-hot in Camper-land) in which to put my stuff. What about getting my stuff? It all comes back to the same thing: money. And since I need an apartment and pre-natal care, getting my stuff from 2,000 miles away -- well, that's not a huge priority. So I'm not sure I'm going to have my stuff by the time this baby is born in October. I realize this is more emotional than practical, but hormonally and situationally, I think I'm prone to more whining than usual.

I've been thinking a lot about the future. Since this kid is going to want to pop out at some point October-ish, I feel pretty stupid trying to get adjunct teaching for the fall. Who wants someone to start the semester and then be out? If anyone has any advice about pregnancy and adjuncting, please please please let me know. I'll probably try for it anyway on the off-chance that maybe I can get a sub for two weeks and then be back. Would you believe that my undergraduate Alma Mater is accepting applications only now (for about a month) for the adjunct pool for next year? Nightmare.

I also think that I really must prepare myself for going on the market in the fall. I mean, it's fine to be underemployed and artsy and everything for a while, but I'm going to have a baby. I need a serious, somewhat dependable, somewhat well-paying job with insurance and benefits. Which means I need to get myself to work on publishable articles. I probably won't get any teaching between now and then, but I've taught at least a 2/2 for 5-1/2 years, so that should be enough, no? I'll have to work on my materials as well. At least I have them. If there's anything else I should do to prepare myself for the market, well, I can't think of it.

Finding a job and working on my conference paper and getting some stuff into publishable shape is all on hold at the moment. Why? My laptop won't boot. I've been having problems with it for the last two months. At first we just thought it needed a new battery. That helped, but didn't fix it. Now we're getting a new adapter. If that's not it, then there's something wrong with the intake board or something. My dad ordered the adapter, and it's due here in a couple days. The early draft of my conference paper -- that is, the relevant crap from my diss that I put in a new file to be worked on -- is on my laptop. I even left my flash drive in Camper-land. Not good. It's just so stupid.

So between the emotional stuff and the overwhelming amount of practical stuff necessary for me to get a life and provide one for this new life who has taken up residence in my body, I'm exhausted and overwhelmed and want to hide under the covers. I don't feel strong at all -- strangely, both Absurdist Lover and I look at when I was in Grad City dissertating as a time when I felt stronger (is that screwed up, or what?) and handled things better. And, of course, I need to feel strong to deal with all this crap. Vicious cycle. Plus, I want to have some fun. Enough of all this crap! I want to have some fun! Both the pursuit of fun and escapism and throwing off all the crap enough to get small pieces done and make things better would be much easier with more caffeine than I should consume, more alcohol that I should consume, or anti-depressants. I guess I'm growing. Growing more likely to hide under the covers and whine. (Oh, wine and the inevitable hangover where one's focus dwindles to two things: the pain and feeling stupid. Oh, the promises never to do it again. Sigh. Pregnancy is for the birds. Even the birds are smart enough to just sit on the egg and not try to grow the damn thing inside them. It does somewhat cramp one's style.*)

Anyhoo, that's what's going on with me. So hurry up and blog folks, 'cause I can't drink or go out and raise hell.

*Oh, I know that 40 weeks isn't that long in the scheme of things and giving up really drinking and the caffeine IV and (whimper, whimper) sushi isn't so bad in light of the miracle of a new life growing in my body and coming into the world. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. And I give up the stuff because I want my baby to have the best chance to develop. Yadda yadda yadda. I know I'm supposed to be all glowy and transcendent about this magical process. Yeah whatever. My mother drank coffee and alcohol, ate crap, smoked, and did drugs when I was in utero. (Of course, she was much younger, and the environment wasn't as polluted. Have you heard about the pharmaceuticals found in the water all over the country? I saw it on Democracy Now. It's pretty terrifying. Estron, a HRT found in the area of the country where breast cancer is at its most prevalent? Duh. I guess it's not just PG&E causing trouble for the S.F. Bay Area anymore. This is really not deserving of a parenthesis in an endnote.) Yes, I want to be a better mother. But I also want to complain. And if I suddenly got all saintly about what I'm giving up to give my baby a better start -- well, y'all'd know I was full of shit.


Maude said...


Hilaire said...

Oh, honey. Hugs to you. The size of those ones Maude put up there.

Sisyphus said...

Keep your chin up! Keep on pluggin away!

Hmm, could you ... don't shoot me for suggesting this ... could you get a crappy secretarial job? Answer phones, do data entry, something soul-sucking like that? The pay would be ok and the hours not too onerous, and if you get a phone/receptionist thing you could try writing or reading on the down time (I know I did that one summer working for my brother's big company as their front desk person --- I read like two-thirds of the Norton anthology out of sheer boredom.) It also might help with the feeling at loose ends and having enough time to worry about everything. I mean, it would suck, but you could say, this month is going to be a month of pure suckiness but at least it will go by quickly. Eh?

And remember that you used to say that 30 minutes of workout time was equal to some sort of milligrams of antidepressants. I totally don't believe it (says the Queen of Sloth), but if it worked for you once... and you can do some things exercise-y for free.

What Now? said...

Oh, EE, you're having a rough spring! I'm sorry to hear about the troubles in Camper Land and the financial difficulties and all the rest of it.

Thinking along the same lines as Sisyphus, my (risk-averse) inclination would be to get a job, any job (along receptionist lines) that will give you some $$ and health insurance and that you won't even have to put on your CV when you apply for jobs in the fall. I think that discernment is difficult when it feels like everything is falling apart, so maybe taking care of the immediate practical needs would give you enough sense of stability that next steps would be clearer. But then again, I tend to gravitate toward security, which certainly colors my advice.

Hang in there!

k8 said...

I'm sorry to hear about all of the chaos in your life.

Take care!!!!!!!

kermitthefrog said...

I'm sorry! I, too, would gravitate towards the dumb-job w/insurance option, if you can swing it, but that's obviously based on your own assessment of what you need.


gwoertendyke said...

it seems totally reasonable to be overwhelmed given your circumstances. and being pregnant is like being invaded, having a parasite, and that early phase in particular makes you feel crazy. that part, at least, will pass. the rest i can only say that somehow it will--and does--work out. you seem strong to me, even if you don't feel it.

wishing you well ee--

Earnest English said...

Y'all are wonderful. I really appreciate your support and caring.

I am in the process of trying to get an insurance-providing not-so-crappy office job. Cross your fingers it will work out.

Jane D said...

Send me the key, and I'll gladly go out to that storage unit, sift through some boxes for you (I helped you pack them, so I could probably help find things in them again), pull out some things to send to you! These things need not even be "essentials." They can be for purely emotional or sentimental value. Just say the word, sister.