Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I feel sicky, oh so sicky...

...I feel sicky, and icky and blah, and I envy anyone who isn't sick today (la la la la la, la la, la la la).

In the grand tradition of throwing bad after good, I'm feeling like hell after finally making some progress towards my grad school applications. I get these really bad stomach pains that are intermittent and, at times, truly unbearable. It is the one thing that I can't handle; given the choice for a migraine-level headache (as I don't have migraines because I only exhibit some of the symptoms) and the stomach pains, I'd rather have the headache. Even the risk of vomiting [which is something that terrifies me to no end...choking on it a long time ago exacerbated the problem] is something that I'd prefer over these damn pains. I've been to doctors for this a number of times and nobody can figure out what is wrong with me. It's not ulcers, it's not gall stones and, after my last trip to the emergency room, it's not a "female problem" (even though, honestly, I have no idea why they thought it was), but it is usually attributed to a build up of gas that doesn't exit out of the two "normal" exit points, but rather tries to find its way out through a 'pocket' right above my stomach as if to breech the skin. It's unpleasant, misery-inducing, and is going to make this weekend completely and utterly terrible.

I'm going to the 2007 Festival of Cartoon Art this weekend, which looks to be a lot of fun (as well as educational, and building brownie points towards getting into grad school) but it requires that I miss a day of work (bummer) and that I be somewhere at 8am on Friday and Saturday (which actually sucks). I'm going to be doing this and going to a Halloween party on Friday, I still need to study for the GRE, and I need make more progress towards completing my grad school proposal write-ups. All this, and only one day off before I have my reading group on Monday. My house is a perennial mess, my husband has been minimally helpful (which is a step up from his usual, I-work-therefore-I-do-nothing-at-home position), and my clinical depression isn't getting better. Being sick just makes it so that eating is an adventure in culinary avoidance, and the distension that this causes makes it look like I've gained a considerable amount of weight.

In short, life sucks.

And, to top it all off, I feel incredibly guilty for complaining because there are so many people who have it worse that I can possibly imagine.

I don't know what my point was. I guess it was to let off some steam. I just hope I'm well enough to eat a little bit more than miso by Friday, or alcohol will be completely out of the question. Later.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I'm Much More Stressed Out Than I Thought

The following is a "note" from my Facebook page that I wrote yesterday about feeling stressed out. After re-reading this, I realized that I was much more upset than I thought.

I'm using this opportunity to vent a little, because I'm trying to do so much in preparation of applying to grad school...and things are feeling more out of control than they really are these days.

I spent this summer talking to professors at OSU about doing a PhD studying strong women in comics (primarily Wonder Woman, Sailor Moon, and how they either reflect or influence their respective societies) and I've discovered that there are other people as crazy as I am who think that this is a good idea [imagine that]. I've been trying to get myself to write the follow-up e-mails to everyone I spoke with as well as the two professors I still need to contact, but I keep freaking out about it and other things in life get in the way.

I've also signed up for a reading group where we're studying Jewish Graphic Novels in the hopes that I will be able to come up with better ideas for my own topic of choice (and get free copies of books like "Maus" in the process). I'm also hoping to sign up for a comic book conference that is meeting at the end of the month, where I can see Alison Bechdel [Dykes to Watch Out For and "Fun Home"] and other artists and get exposed to so many other works that exist in the genre. [Don't ask me why I read a lesbian comic: I read four of them and one that is of gay men, which may be my latent bisexuality coming out or that they are just very compelling stories.]

Add to this that I have been studying to take the GRE [You know; that test I didn't have to take for my MLIS degree] and I'm facing the dilemma that I can no longer do math [Which just sucks!] and that my vocabulary is too limited to do well on most of the verbal portion of the exam. I've also been trying to teach myself how to read Japanese and I've learned 36 hiragana and katakana characters...but I may have to stop until after the applications for grad school are turned in so that I can spend more of my time on what I need to get into school.

I'm still trying to hold down my current job, my husband has been sick for more than a week (which has resulted in me sleeping on the couch for the past six days), and my choir rehearsal schedule got shifted to Wednesdays (which isn't too much of an inconvenience because I usually call home [Cleveland] on those evenings, but it just added to the stress ball that has formed in my back). And to top it all off, my heart hasn't been happy with me and beats hard for no reason at random [I'm going to tell a doctor about that today] and I still have to deal with grief from my grandmother about not giving her great-grandchildren [as if I'm doing this on purpose].

So, in short, I'm really effin' stressed out right now (and, honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way).

So how are you all doing?

Later (because I feel a little better now).

Update: I forgot to mention that I have to earn a second Masters degree before I can even begin to work on my PhD...because the library masters is considered a "professional" degree and not an "academic" one. Fun, huh?

I wasn't feeling too sociable yesterday and really didn't want to go to choir rehearsal because my crappy moods are like the Lasso of Truth times ten: I have a difficult time holding my tongue on everything. If truth serum was this effective, more people would be in trouble.

To not go into it too much, I was majorly pissed that I had to purchase block cheese for the chili dinner the choir had just to find out that someone else bought bagged cheese [Which was something that I was told was "unhealthy" because of the extra additives put in the cheese to keep it from sticking.] and just said some things that showed how much I dislike most things that people like.

And, apparently, I looked very exhausted from the moment I got home from work until I went to sleep on the couch (again).

My husband wouldn't go to the doctor because he was feeling better before I went to rehearsal, but funny enough he was sick again by the time I got home.

I think I've been sleeping on the couch for over a week now, and it stinks!

It is Banned Books Week, so get out there and read something! Also, happy belated Music Lovers Day (it was yesterday).

I wish a person could call in "bitch" the way you call in sick for work.
"I'm sorry, I won't be in today. I came down with a case of total bitch, and I don't want to infect anyone else with my shitty attitude."

And if I actually got sick time, that'd be a very viable (and truthful) situation.

I'm tired, crabby, and prone to bouts of crying or fits of rage, and I'm nowhere near PMS, so I'm logging off.

Enjoy the day & get your hands on a good banned book! ;-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Goodbye, Miss Moneypenney

I found out yesterday that the actress who played Miss Moneypenney in 14 James Bond films passed away this weekend. Lois Maxwell was 80.

I always loved her character. Playing a woman who longed to be with a playboy endeared her to me, and I always looked forward to her appearances in the films.

She will be missed.

The song Goldfinger came on my mp3 player, and it made me think of Miss Moneypenny because, well, it's Bond!

I'm sorry to see her go, but her films still remain.

First Day of Book Discussion Group

I attended my first session of a discussion group on Jewish Graphic Novels, and I have to say that I'm glad that I found out about this because it was very interesting...and I'm getting free books in the process!

The first book (of five) that we read and discussed was Will Eisner's A Contract with God. It's a collection of four short stories that are about people living in a Jewish tenement house in 1930s New York. This book is the first in a trilogy of works that I'm going to have to hunt down because the stories were all fascinating. One in particular, "The Super", struck me as so sad that I felt very bothered by the ending [I won't reveal it, so you'll have to go and get it from your local library and read it yourself!] and was glad that I got to discuss it in the group.

The group is made up of approximately 25 people from all walks of life. Some are Jewish, some like reading graphic novels, and some didn't quite read the flyer closely enough but came anyway. We talked about some of the Hebrew symbols that you can see in the title story, and how the oppressor/oppressed relationship in The Super gets flipped before the end, and about cookaliens and how they really were like what we read in the fourth story. There was a man who went to cookaliens as a child in New York [And I understand them to be places out in the country where the wife would take her children while her husband stayed in the city to work weekdays and visit on the weekends. The wife would [typically] do the cooking for her family while there, which garnered some comments on how this wasn't so much a vacation for the wife, except that it was a vacation from the husband!] and there was someone who used to work at the resorts in the area in the summer a la Dirty Dancing, which I thought was really cool to learn about in the group.

We got our next reading assignment, Maus, and I'm looking forward to reading both volumes again. While I may not have articulated everything I heard in the group, I did get a great deal out of it. It's being led by an English Professor, and I feel as if I am going to have a better idea of how to formulate ideas for the Masters/PhD program I would like to embark upon. I just need to make sure I get into contact with every professor I spoke with this summer (as well as the two I need to still talk to) by the end of this week so that I can get into the meat of my application process. That, and I need to get more focused on my GRE preparations.

I'll have to let you know about the interview I did for The New Standard, if I haven't mentioned it already...because I can't remember what I've said recently and where.

That Brain Age 2 training has been helping, but I don't think my brain's gotten much better after a week of it.

Here's hoping that I'm going to be able to get "back on the wagon" of blogging more regularly. Later ;-)

Update: I forgot to mention that I need to send a thank you card to the man who paid for all of the books for this group. He's a member of the OSU Friends of the Libraries group and, upon hearing about the group, offered to buy the materials for the entire class!