Tuesday, August 29, 2006

what the heck is wrong with me?

So, the past couple of days have been weird. I feel fine, both physically and mentally, but I'm all kinds of lethargic and sleepy. I've spent the majority of the last three days in my apartment, in my pajamas, and in bed. In fact, I have not left my apartment once today, even to go check my mail. The weird thing is that I haven't necessarily been unproductive: I went through and answered all of the IDEC department emails that had backed up over the past month (as IDEC department assistant, this is one of my jobs), I've spent a few hours working on survey data entry, and I did some necessary busy work like printing and filling out forms for health insurance, student employment, etc. And of course I went to class last night, which was fairly interesting (there are only six people in the class, and the work is going to consist entirely of reading and discussing journal articles, as well as writing a research paper, so I'm pretty much guaranteed an A).

But despite these small bursts of productivity and attentiveness to basic responsibilities, I've been sleeping a good 9 or 10 hours a night, and then taking a 1 to 2 hour nap in the afternoon. And when I am awake, I'm generally primarily in a horizontal position; it just so happens that most of the work I have to do at the moment only requires me to sit up enough to look up things on the internet and type. I suppose it's possible that after India, Bakersfield, Portland, and the flurry of IKEA-and-moving stuff activity that I experienced right after returning to SF has just sort of caught up with me, and I'm just tired. But I'm also a touch worried that it's a side effect from the anti-depressants I'm taking. I've been taking them since before India, but in retrospect I was tired all the time in India; I just chalked it up to the heat and the stress of third world life.

But the good thing is that the tiredness doesn't seem to be debilitating; I think if I needed to be awake, active, and alert for a whole day, I could be. And I'm also pretty much completely off caffeine these days, so a latte would probably do wonders for me.

I'm also secretly paranoid that I have mono, because S has it, but since I have no other mono symptoms, and since S and I have decidedly NOT been making out at any time during this lifetime, that's probably unlikely (I could have gotten it from him if we'd shared a glass or something, but this is one of those times that I appreciate what an insane germaphobe S is: he'd no sooner share a glass with me than he would make out with me).

I've a bunch of errands to run tomorrow, and they're generally of the fun sort, so I'm hoping that will lure me into the upright position for the majority of the day. In the meantime, at least I get a modicum of exercise going up and down the ladder to my bed (thanks mostly to my pea-sized bladder).

And let's get something straight, for those of you with full-time jobs and demanding schedules: I'm not really complaining about this state of affairs, I just find it curious. I know how lucky I am to be a student and have an easy and flexible job. And if it brings you comfort, just think of how long I will have to work in order to pay of the debt I'm racking up as I lie in bed right now.

Monday, August 28, 2006

happy birthday to me

Yes, that's right, it's the most important and exciting day of the year, my birthday. And though I am, in the common parlance, "turning 28", Dr. Nathan, PhD, correctly and astutely observed (in the comments section of yesterday's post) that I am actually beginning my 29th year of life, having finished my 28th (it's the same reason that the 1900s were the "20th century"). Of course, this observation, correct and insightful though it may be, just makes me feel older. Thanks a lot, Dr. Smartypants. =)

Actually, I'm not really stressed out about getting older. My 20s have been a long, difficult learning process (I'm not complaining; they've also been fabulous and fortunate), and you couldn't pay me to go back to being the 22-year-old moron that I was 6 years ago (no offense, E and H--I was much dumber than you guys when I was 22, trust me).

Speaking of E and H, they are currently my personal heroes, because not only did they take me out for a yummy thai dinner, they efficiently and correctly assembled my new Ikea full-sized loft bed while I watched, drank a glass of wine, and played a game of Scrabble on my computer. I even took some pictures of the construction process (view them carefully: the testosterone may literally fly off of the screen at you).

Doing something manly (and really loud, if I recall correctly) with a hammer.

If you look carefully, you can see my reflection in the mirror as I lounge in my papazan chair with my computer in my lap, idly snapping pictures of my almost-completed bed while E and H toiled away just out of camera range.

The bed came in three boxes and about 2 tons of plastic wrap. I almost got one bag of plastic stuck in the garbage chute.

So, the bed is fully assembled, and I slept in it last night without mishap. I will post some more pictures of the completed bed and the birds-eye view of my apartment that I now enjoy from it (as soon as I make the bed and tidy up the apartment a little). I discovered that the power and DSL cords of my laptop will reach up to the bed, so I can continue to check my email every thirty seconds and fall asleep to episodes of Law & Order that I've downloaded from iTunes. It is sort of interesting to have to climb a ladder to get to my bed, however; it makes things like having a glass of water in bed slightly more complicated.

Oh, and just for the record, I believe I have the mental and physical accuity to have put the bed together myself (although an extra pair of hands would have been almost certainly a necessity), but I just wasn't in the mood for this particular challenge, so I let E and H lend me their mental and physical strength as a birthday gift. I certainly don't mean to perpetuate the girls-can't-build-stuff stereotype. That is, after all, my hammer and my screwdriver they are using.

I have class in 5 hours, and prior to that I'm supposed to be going through our data to find out which borrowers we're missing information for (and now that I've finally watched all two months of Colbert Report clips online, I can finally move on to real work). So it's back to the grind for this birthday girl.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

the blog returns

Hi kids. I'm back from my post-India hiatus, and if anyone is still reading, I'm going to keep blabbing.

It's a lovely Sunday afternoon in San Francisco, and after a lot of unpacking and reorganizing on Thursday, I've essentially spent the last two days hanging out in my apartment catching up on the Colbert Report online (two months' worth of clips is a lot to watch, you know). I did get out of the house yesterday to enjoy the nice weather, walk to the grocery store, and then walk to my dear friend S's apartment. He has mono, so he's very tired and a bit depressed, and I hadn't seen him since I'd gotten back to the city, so it was really nice to spend some time with him and hopefully cheer him up slightly.

I've also been out on a couple of dates since I've gotten back (with guys that I was corresponding with over the last two weeks or so), and the results have been mixed. After our second date last night, I've decided that J and I are just wrong for each other, which is too bad because he is a very nice guy. There's a bit more promise with D, and in theory our second date is tonight, so we'll see how that goes. He and I have an excellent rapport, but he's a little bit crazy (then again, so am I; maybe that's why our rapport is so good) and he's a bit older than I am, so who knows. I suppose at the moment it's just fun to go out on dates.

Tomorrow is both my birthday and my first day of class. I've decided to make tomorrow a working day (in the morning I'll work on survey data-related stuff that needs to be done, and in the evening I'll go to class), so I'm sort of celebrating my birthday today, mostly by making E and H come over and help me put my new Ikea bed frame together, and by goofing off and maybe doing a bit of shopping. Though I'm very excited about turning 28 (8 is, after all, my lucky number), I'm not really so much into making any kind of a deal about my birthday this year. I'm just happy to be settled back into the city, starting school again, going on a few dates, and figuring what sort of cool things I can do with the rest of my life. All that seems like celebration enough. Oh, and maybe I'll have a bottle of wine. =)

Stay tuned, because I promise to become a regular updater again. I don't promise that my life will still be interesting to read about (if it ever was) but I'll do my best.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

America, when will you be angelic?/When will you take off your clothes?

I've no idea why I thought it appropriate or necessary to quote Allen Ginsberg, especially to quote a poem that is unflattering toward America. Because dude, I am lovin' on the good ol' US of A right now. It's so clean, so quiet, so shiny, so soft, so cool, so calm, so full of cheerios and Dr. Pepper and fancy lettuces with balsamic vinagrette.

I've always liked those two lines from "America", and I could never put my finger on what it was about them, but having spent the last two months in India, however else I would describe it and however much I would deride some things about it, "naked" and "angelic" seem like utterly apt descriptions, both for what India is like in some meta-sense and how India is different than America, beyond the obvious rich/poor thing. I don't think America will ever be angelic or take off it's clothes, and I think that's okay with me. This is my home, my decadent, effortless home, and I will always love it and want to return to it. But leaving is so good; the alternating waves of idealistic love and self-righteous scorn I've felt for India have been so good.

I've been up since 5 a.m. I'm jet-lagged and nutty. I promise no more pretentious, self-important posts that quote poetry, at least not for a while.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

leaving on a jet plane

Don't know when (or if) I'll be back again. But I hope I will be. We leave for the airport in about 30 minutes, and I am feeling a bit sad. And yet, at the same time, thrilled out of my mind to come back to the states. I'm been fantasizing about Dr. Pepper for weeks.

The last few days have been mostly relaxing and good, the bags are packed, and I feel a reasonably good sense of closure. I have lots more pictures to post, stories to tell, and observations to make about this whole experience, and that will happen once I get back to Bakersfield and hug my ma and play with my dog and sleep for a while.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Our research is done. Yay! There are so many problems with it that I can't even think about it, but that doesn't matter, because we learned a lot, and it is done. (I feel like quoting Josh from the West Wing now: "...and while I'm not one to be selfish about credit, I think it's important to know that it is DONE and I DID it!"...oh, and M and E too.)

I took a nap this evening, which is a bad habit I've gotten into, because I wake up groggy and with a headache. I also threw up again today. But I feel okay. I suspect I just have some little bit of bacterial third-world badness floating around in my intestines, and I probably should have taken some cipro long ago to clear it up, but it's not bothering me much, and I've lost at least 15 pounds or so (woo hoo!), and I'm not in danger of wasting away, so I figure I'll just wait it out another week and get better when I get back to the states. It's funny, because I think I'm back down around my post-marathon weight, but I feel (and most likely am) really out of shape. I sweat a lot, which gives the deceptive illusion of exercise, but most days I do much less walking here than I would in SF, and of course I haven't gone running or anything like that. I'm actually looking forward to getting some exercise when I get home.

Anyway, I've got to run, but tomorrow we go to Mamalapuram for a final hurrah, and I will certainly post at more length there.

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