Blog abandonment

Oh, my poor, neglected blog. Like every paper journal, slam book, Open Diary, and Livejournal of mine to come before you, I am terrible at maintaining you. Now, I’ll promise to be more attentive and probably fail. I swear my relationships with actual humans are far more stable than with my blog.

A solid chunk of things have happened since my last post. I am one of those perpetually overscheduled people who optimistically talks about some amorphous future time when I won’t be so busy (summer/Christmas break/after this work event I’m planning/when that midterm paper is finished, etc.) so my excuse of “the last few months have been CRAZY” might ring hollow, but I’ll try to fill in the gaps nevertheless. Mostly for my own future edification because I’m pretty sure my handful of readers all know exactly what I’ve been up to.

I finished my first year of grad school. I love what I’m studying. I love my teachers. I don’t love the schedule. I am dreadful at balancing work and school. The coming Fall semester is starting to loom at me and I’m wishing the summer would slow down a little. This will be an interesting test of my maturity level because, unlike high school and college, I don’t have anyone telling me I’m obligated to go back, and unlike my first year, walking in sort of blind and naive and then just riding the momentum of delirium and scholastic nerdery through to the end, now I’m walking into the next semester knowing what’s waiting and having crawled out of the academic swimming pool (which I like but is HARD).  I’m going to do it. Yes I am. Deep breaths. I will just require some pats on the back for overcoming my intense inclination towards laziness.

Some of my dear friends opened a theater this winter. Arcade Comedy Theater has comedy of every kind (improv, stand up, variety, magic, music, etc.) and I’m on the main house improv team. Frankly Scarlett also performs there and I’ve organized a couple of side projects. What I’m saying is, I’m there a lot. It’s become a huge part of my life, artistically and socially. Arcade has sort of become our default clubhouse. If you’re reading this and I haven’t dragooned you into checking it out, yet, please do.

I celebrated my 30th birthday at Arcade with a full house.

I celebrated my 30th birthday at Arcade with a full house.

I went to Africa! Over Spring Break, Abby, Kaitlin, and I flew to South Africa to visit Robin and Collin in Cape Town, where Collin is doing his post-doc. Travelling the world is one of those things that reminds me how unbelievably privileged I am. I can’t overstate how great a time I had. I really should document the trip in its own post, but who has time for all that gushing?SA1

We swam with penguins, and pet an elephant, and stood in the jail that housed Nelson Mandela and did improv on a new continent. The landscape is screensaver-breathtaking but the poverty is shocking. A different kind of breathtaking.
And now for the mushy, schmoopy part, which is that, a world away, seeing sights I’ve never seen, the best part is always being with the people I adore.


 At work I got a quasi-promotion and tacked on a few events to plan, some of which were easy and some of which went sort of bonkers on me (like when the plaque didn’t get delivered for the plaque unveiling ceremony). All told, though, my worst days here are still better and less stressful than some former positions. Though I do miss the people. Ok, I’m wrapping this up. Perhaps I’ll get my shit together and blog more. I, uh, tweet a lot. That’s micro-blogging, right?


How To Be Terrible At School: A Primer

Step 1. Open reading assignment

Step 2. Read 2 paragraphs

Step 3. Pace around house giving lecture to imaginary people on why opening paragraphs were wrong.

Step 4. Realize you misspoke in lecture. Revise.

Step 5. Sit back down to continue reading.

Step 6. Realize you haven’t purchased one of the books you need for this week’s readings.

Step 7. Go to Amazon. Hope the book is available on Kindle. It isn’t. Notice that Amazon is recommending you buy the second book in that YA series you started over Christmas, which IS available on kindle. Google to make sure you’re purchasing the second one and not the third one, because WHY DON’T PUBLISHERS NUMBER THESE THINGS?! Purchase that book.

Step 8. Remember why you went to Amazon in the first place. Return to homepage.

Step 9. Oooo, swimsuits!

Step 10. Search for the book you need again. Purchase a paperback version, which will not arrive in time to read for your class tomorrow, but at least you won’t have to do this again next week (yes you will, you still need to buy the course packet, only available at Pitt’s bookstore.)

Step 11. Maybe you should walk to Pitt’s bookstore and buy the course packet. Exercise and homework in one activity! Responsibility! (Pitt’s bookstore is closed for the same reason you have the day off.)

Step. 12 Write a blog post

Step 13. TBD

A better benefits package

Two months ago, I started a new job with [name redacted] Medical Center.

I knew I liked it. I knew I was happier. But it has taken this long to really sink in how much happier.

Don’t get me wrong, I still miss the opera in many ways. I can’t overstate how much I miss the people. I miss the neighborhood. I miss being around art. I miss the commute and the dress code. I miss how weird and fun it could be. I don’t really foresee myself guffawing at my new job and I am absolutely sure I will have fewer stories to tell. I do love a good story.

But my new job is more interesting and so, so much less time working evenings and weekends. I’m writing more, for a boss who seems to really appreciate that particular skill in a position where it matters. Sometimes, I get to go to the medical library and research unusual illnesses or cutting edge treatments.

It really hit me, though, just how much better my life is now, when I realized how I’ve been using my leisure time. I don’t think I noticed how little I’d been reading until I started reading at my old (younger?) pace again. Books have been one of the great loves of my life and we grew apart during my time at the opera. I’m writing more (she said, stating the obvious, on her new blog). There is more improv and sketch in my life.  I’m even drawing again, which is a hobby I haven’t indulged in since high school or so. With the encouragement of my boss, I’m applying for an accelerated grad program. 3 months ago, the idea of trying to go to school and work at the same time was completely out of the question, due to the ludicrous time constraints of my job. Now my boss is happily agreeing to write recommendations and make introductions. And my job will pay for it.

I started guarding my free time so jealously when I worked at the opera. I saw fewer plays because I didn’t want to spend my precious free time in the cultural district. I was less compromising on making plans, because if I wasn’t absolutely wild about an activity, it seemed like a waste of time. But god, spending time with my friends is never a waste. We have fun doing anything. Even my awesome #summerofyes had the slightest pall on it, my anxiety ratcheting up as the new season approached.

The last time I wrote about my job, it was in my old Livejournal (#quaint) and I wrote that I was “fraying at the edges” among other emo sentiments. That was less than a year ago. Whatever rut you’re in? It’s temporary.