Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Still Suck at Titles

This whole PhD thing really is like bobbing around in the ocean. Everything comes in waves: the work, the emotions...I guess that's life in general, really, but it feels much more exaggerated here.
I just had a period of a couple of weeks where I was going, "What the heck am I doing here?" It wasn't an existential crisis or anything serious, because even in the midst of it I recognized that it was a temporary state and that things would seem better shortly. It was just a combination of several things at once. Three weeks of really intense work, getting back a draft with less than stellar commentary, trying to figure out what courses to take next semester, which led to a host of other issues: What if I end up choosing classes that won't actually help me at all? What if I can't handle next semester's course load, assuming I can actually figure out what I'm taking? When in my life will I ever have time to work up some conference papers/prep for comps/study for my language exam? How am I going to afford to live through my next year of course work? It's going to be YEARS before I have this flippin' degree, and I might not get a job out of this whole process anyway because probably everyone has much more creative research and it's probably totally hurting my networking prospects that I like to hold my cards close to my chest. Hey, I remember a time when I wanted the degree for the sake of having it and didn't care so much about the job market. Ha, who WAS that person?!...

The funny thing was, even as I was stressing about these things, I was aware that most of my worry was based on tiny things that I was blowing out of proportion, so I had to reign myself back in. There's no way I'll ever be able to get through this process if I look at the big picture. The only way to do it is one tiny piece at a time, and I'd been doing good at the one-step-at-a-time thing for a couple of months, I just had to get my brain back to that point. I guess it's good that I have the ability to distance myself from, uh, myself, because it helps to put things in perspective.
So I was already in the process of getting onto a more positive wave, due to a combination of the much-needed Thanksgiving break and just general positive self-talk, when I got my midterm back today. Remember the midterm, the one that was killing me back at the beginning of the month? Well, I ROCKED that thing. 97. I got a 97! Me! From a professor that is notoriously difficult. I can't believe it, I really can't.
So today, I feel on top of things. I feel like I'm actually good at what I do. And if this feeling only lasts until tomorrow morning, so be it. I'll take what I can get.

And hey, isn't it fun that there's only about a month until Christmas? I finished decorating my apartment the other day, and it looks cute. I put lights on my balcony and windows, although I wasn't thinking about the fact that blue is opposite orange on the color wheel, so the orange streetlight right outside my window drowns out some of the effect of the blue lights I chose for my bedroom window. But I also have white lights and multi-colored lights on the balcony and other window, which show up very nicely, and the blue lights look nice from inside the bedroom and since I mostly enjoy my own light display from inside anyway, that's all that matters. My mom sent me an advent calendar, and the advent calendars for the dog and cat should arrive soon (yes, yes, I'm freakin' ridiculous and I have the most spoiled pets on the planet but I have a lot of nurturing maternal energy, I guess, and it has to go somewhere so yeah, until I have children, and probably even after I do, I will be one of those Crazy Animal Ladies who buys advent calendars just so her pets can have a treat every morning. Actually, I'm looking forward to seeing how many days it takes the houndy hound to associate opening the advent calendars with getting a treat. Since he started barking at the UPS truck every time we saw it around the neighborhood after only the second time the UPS guy gave him a treat, and since it only took him one trip through the drive thru bank to realize that he gets treats there, too, I'm thinking it won't take him long)
I just watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas on TV. I love all the Christmas specials. I usually miss them, but this year I've been doing pretty good, having caught both the Charlie Brown Christmas Special and the Grinch. The other two I always like to watch are Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph. The funny thing is, I remember looking forward to the Christmas specials as a kid, but I was also annually traumatized by 75% of them. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knew me as a child, since I was frightened to some extent by about 75% of my entire life. [Seriously, I started making a list once of things that scared me or made me nervous when I was a child, and I'd only gotten through about 1/10th of it before my mom said, "I'm glad I didn't actually know you were so scared of all of these things when you were little because I would have had to put you into therapy"] I eventually outgrew most of my childhood fears and now it's just funny to think about the things that scared me. Someday I'll post a list here and you can laugh at it with me. In the meantime, here are the things that scared me about the annual Christmas specials:

Frosty the Snowman: This one didn't really scare me so much as it just made me terribly sad because I couldn't stand the part where Frosty got stuck in the greenhouse and melted. It never mattered that the whole point of the song is that Frosty has to melt and will be back to do his magic again next year, I couldn't handle the melting. I went through a phase of a few years where I actually refused to watch this one because it just made me too sad.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Grinch really is pretty freaky, right? What really scared me more than the drawing of the Grinch was the song, though. I found deep voices scary in general (I had several tapes with certain songs I wouldn't listen to because I deemed the voice too deep), and the combination of low, deep voice and slinking Grinch was too much. And since the song and the slinking is about half of the special, it was sort of a problem.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: That old miner guy weirded me out. The Island of Misfit Toys made me want to cry. And the Abominable Snowman scared the heck out of me. This is the only Christmas special fear that my parents really remember me having, probably because for a few years I would leave the room in a panic when the Abominable came on. Now that I'm an adult, my sentiments have swayed the exact opposite direction, and I find the Abominable Snowman cute and lovable. I even have a hot chocolate tin that "Santa" brought me last Christmas that has the Abominable Snowman on it, and even when it's not Christmas time it sits on my microwave to make me smile.
Charlie Brown: This was my favorite. No real problems with this one. When everyone rejected the Christmas tree it made me a little sad, but not melting-Frosty sad.

The question is, WHY did I look forward to these shows coming on every year? I have no idea. But I did. Maybe it's because even though the majority of each one scared me or made me sad, I'd focus on the two to three minutes of the special that I actually liked. Which is a good trait, I guess. And a trait I really did need to cultivate as a young child since, like I said, until I was about 9, 75% of my life experiences scared me.

It's amazing I grew up to be as well-adjusted as I did. Haha. And that I look back on my childhood as an extraordinarily happy one regardless of all the irrational fears.

I leave you with ten things I thought of just now as I was writing this that scared me at least somewhat as a child:
1) the hobos that I imagined sat around a campfire in my closet after I'd turned off my bedroom light for the night [hobos, with red kerchiefs tied on sticks; it was 1988but apparently my imagination didn't know that]
2) my second grade teacher
3) owls
4) the voice of the weather machine on a tape I had that taught kids about weather
5) Alice in Wonderland
6) the power converter thingy around the corner from the house I lived in when I was little [I don't know how to describe a mini power plant]
7) the masks that my grandma collected and had hanging on the wall at her vacation house
8) acid rain
9) several of the illustrations in my illustrated book of children's poetry
10)the cafeteria worker that called me mija

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Thanksgiving break is always such a tease. You get a handful of days to think about how nice it is not to have to do schoolwork, only to get completely inundated with it for three weeks afterwards. Oh well.

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was nice. I opted not to go all the way home to be with my parents and siblings, mostly just because it requires an entire day of plane travel and I just didn't think it was really worth it to spend two full days traveling for only three days at home. So I drove to New Jersey instead and hung out with my aunt, uncle, and two cousins there, and I had a good time. My aunt cooked the whole traditional Thanksgiving spread, and even though she claimed many times that she's not confident in the kitchen, everything came out really good. And because my aunt, uncle and I took my dog and their dog for a SIX MILE walk through town and along the river trail while the turkey was cooking, I felt completely okay with stuffing myself. It was a beautiful day for a walk, too. It was so warm that I saw a couple of guys jogging on the trail with no shirts on. I don't actually think it was warm enough to be running around shirtless, but it was definitely pleasant. The crazy thing is that it was warm enough in New Jersey to be out walking without a jacket, but when I called talked to my family back home they said it was snowing this weekend. That's a little backwards. It's freezing again up here today, though so I guess things are back to normal.
I spent the rest of the weekend just hanging out. I watched a bunch of movies. We went to see Bee Movie on Thanksgiving night, and despite being the most over-advertised movie ever, I actually thought it was really funny and cute. It had initially been on my "skip" list, mostly just out of protest because I feel like it's the only movie I've been hearing about for months, but I'm glad my aunt wanted to see it because I ended up really enjoying it. Go watch it if you need a laugh, it delivers much more than I thought it would and I'd definitely see it again (although perhaps I should warn you that I went into it with very low expectations, so maybe that means I now like it a lot more than I would have otherwise). My cousins are on a V for Vendetta kick and have it DVRed right now, so between my wandering into the living room to find the two of them watching it both together and individually at various points throughout the weekend, I managed to finally watch the whole movie (although not in the proper order, so I can't tell you how I really feel about it). Late on Thanksgiving night my uncle and the boys and I also watched Mean Girls, which still surprises me with how entertaining it is every time I watch it. My younger cousin made me watch Lord of War on Friday afternoon, although I was reading some school stuff at the time and he kept flipping back and forth between the movie and various football games, so I can't tell you much about that one, either, except that my 14 year-old cousin recommends it. Oh, and we also watched Ocean's Thirteen last night. It was very similar to the first one, which I liked. Besides all the movie-watching, I walked my dog all over the place and he had a blast snuffling through leave piles and running circles around my aunt and uncle's dog, who is ten years older than him (although my poor guy now has the dog version of blisters, which makes me feel bad for him), we went to a hibachi restaurant, and my aunt and I went to several of the shops in their little town this morning and I did some Christmas shopping. All in all, it was a relaxing weekend.

I'm really glad I got to get away. I needed to do that. The second I walked back into my apartment today I felt my body tensing up with that so-much-to-do feeling. That's the only bad thing about the fact that I do so much of my work at home on my couch: it makes it hard to truly relax at home on my couch. I wish I lived somewhere that would let me have room for a separate office and living space. It's probably not entirely healthy to have the two overlap as much as they do here in my little apartment. But since there's nothing I can do about that, it was good to get away for the weekend and really relax. I didn't even check e-mail. It was nice.

Speaking of my apartment, though, I put up most of my decorations this afternoon. Tomorrow I'm going to put up my Christmas lights outside on the balcony and in my bedroom window, which I think will really make it feel cheerful. I also heard a rumor that they're selling advent calendars for dogs at Target (you open the little door each day and get a biscuit for your dog!) so I'm going to check that out. My hound dog would love that. And maybe I'll find a few more Christmas decorations, because I'm sure you have to draw the line at Christmas decor somewhere, but I'm far, far from the line at this point.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

G to the etto

I like to joke about living in the ghetto, but I can joke about it because it IS a joke.
While I was worried about being able to afford to live in University Land (and while I'm still vaguely worried about how I'm going to be able to afford to live here come July, which is approximately when I'll run out of all of my bartending/waitressing savings and be forced to live off of my pathetic stipend and loans or something)I am currently able to afford a nice place. It's a lakefront property so I have a nice place to walk the dog. The area I live in is relatively affluent, so the nearby shopping centers are kept up well and there are plenty of dining options within walking distance. It's quiet. Now that I have gotten used to it, the traffic isn't actually too bad, most of the time. Basically, even though I live on the edge of a major urban area, my town is comfortably suburban and although I actually think I would enjoy living in the city proper, I like where I am right now. Even though the crime rate in my county is high in comparison to most of the rest of the country, I have always felt very safe at my apartment complex.
Yesterday morning at about 5:15, however, my sense of safety was disturbed. I awoke to a noise so startlingly loud that my first instinct was to literally jump out of bed before I was fully awake. My second instinct was to say to myself, "What are you doing?!" and then jump back into bed and hide under my covers (when I'm half-asleep, I somehow always think that's going to protect me). Then I woke up enough to start logically trying to figure out what was going on. The sound was basically an extremely loud engine, so loud that my windows were rattling. Honestly, my first thought was that a plane was going down right outside my apartment. Looking out the window didn't automatically change my mind, either, because all I could see were some weird lights in the still pitch-black sky. Eventually I put my glasses on and figured out what was actually going on:
Four helicopters were hovering in the sky above my apartment complex. Four! Which explains the horribly loud sound, and the fact that it didn't initially sound like helicopters at all. Not only were they hovering very low, but one of them was shining the world's brightest searchlight down onto the parking lot outside, where a police car was also slowly cruising the parking lot and shining a giant flashlight of its own behind cars and into bushes. And let me tell you, there's nothing like a white light from the sky beaming its way directly into your apartment at 5:15 in the morning. At least it was cold enough for me to be wearing pajamas. The helicopter eventually stopped shining its light into my apartment, but for the next half hour I couldn't sleep because I could still hear all the helicopters hovering around outside. The police cruiser came by a couple more times, too.
I never did figure out who they were looking for. I heard on the news yesterday evening that the leader of a ring of car thieves had been arrested and then escaped from my town's hospital this morning, but the newscast implied that the escape happened during the daytime. Plus I don't know that a car thief would warrant an all points bulletin and four police choppers, but what do I know? What WOULD warrant four police choppers?
Anyway, I found the whole thing a bit unsettling. I think I saw a police helicopter doing a search in my hometown years ago, but never directly over my house in such an intense way. In retrospect it's not a big deal, but yesterday in the dark it was scary.
I realize that there are some communities where searches like this happen all the time, though. For me, it became just an interesting story to tell my friends when I got to the office. But for many people around the world, waking up to unexpected blaring noises and intrusive shining lights is a daily way of life. I'm so lucky and so grateful that it's not mine.

To change the subject completely, I am pleased to announce that I am no longer drowning in work. True, I am paddling frantically in the deep end, but at least I am keeping my head above water, and that is a major improvement over the past two weeks. Of course, a greater improvement still would be to get to wade in the shallow end for a change. Or float leisurely on a raft. Or, to continue this stupid metaphor to its logical conclusion, to get out of the freakin' pool and flop down on a lounge chair with a pina colada. Oh well. Winter break is only a little over a month away. I think I can survive until then.

Oh, I'm taking an unexpected day trip to New York on Sunday! My aunt called me yesterday. Her company is sponsoring some sort of social event where they all go to a Broadway show together, but they ended up with several extra tickets. Because my aunt is awesome, she thought to call me to see if I wanted to use one of the tickets. So because I have this deluded idea that I can actually get all of my work for Monday done between now and Saturday, I happily accepted the ticket and will now be taking the train to New York on Sunday morning to see a matinee performance of Young Frankenstein!!! Which I am extremely excited about! And it's one of only eight shows that isn't on strike, which is really lucky! And then I'll go to dinner with everyone and catch a late train home.
It seems a little silly to go to New York for just the day, especially since I'll come home for just two days before loading my pets into the car and driving back to New Jersey for Thanksgiving. Still, the ability to do day trips to the city was one of my deciding factors in moving here in the first place, so I might as well actually take advantage of the opportunity.
Rae's brother and his wife and their baby are in City B visiting Rae and her husband this weekend as well, so I agreed to go out to dinner with them in Little Italy on Saturday night. Which should be fun, too. Although between the whirlwind New York trip, going out on Saturday night, and going to another event I have to attend tomorrow for research purposes (which I can't really tell you about without giving away what I study), I'm going to have to scramble in my free time to get my work done before Monday.
Thank goodness next week is nothing BUT Monday. Hooray for Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Something I Never Thought I Would Do as a PhD Student:

Take a tango lesson. Yes! Tonight in class we discussed this book this book. It's a really interesting book, actually, and not at all academic or jargon-y so it was a very easy, quick read. It's even a flip book! There's a little picture on the bottom right corner of every page, so when you flip through the book you can see tango steps in action. Which, needless to say, was pretty distracting as I was reading, because approximately every ten pages or so I would decide to look at the flip pictures again. I couldn't resist.
Anyway, it was a book I was looking forward to discussing in the first place, but then class ended up being extra awesome because my professor for that course happens to be a competitive ballroom dancer, so she invited another ballroom dancer to visit class today. The two of them coupled to demonstrate some steps, and then he actually instructed all of us in some of the basic Argentine tango steps for the last half hour of class. It really was a useful way to gain a better understanding of the book, and I had so much fun with it. I am absolutely terrible at any sort of partner dancing, though, because I have a really hard time following instead of leading (yes, I realize that with all of my controlling tendencies, this probably should not come as a surprise). Tango was especially hard for me, because the entire point of the tango is that the male is supposed to be in complete control. The whole time I was like, "Damn it, I'm trying to lead again, aren't I?!" But it was fun. Especially because we also had wine to go along with the dancing. Every week should be like this! [P.S.-The instructor had us switch partners every few minutes, but coincidentally, guess who my first dance partner was tonight? Yup, the guy who I dreamt about last week. When I realized that we were going to end up as partners, I couldn't help thinking, "You have to be kidding me! This is getting really ridiculous!" First I have a really inappropriate sex dream about him, and then we end up having to do this sexual, dominant/submissive dance together?! What are the odds?]
I realized tonight that I really miss dance classes. I grew up going to dance classes two or three times a week (and pretty much daily in high school), but the last time I took a formal dance class was my first semester of college. I'd love to get back to going to some sort of class regularly. I just think dance class is so much fun, and a challenging but also sort of effortless way to stay in good shape. And after tonight, I'm thinking that some sort of ballroom dancing class would actually be really fun, and I don't think you need a partner to do it, I think people go solo. The problem is that I have no idea where I would go up here, and I always find it kind of hard to find a class that is geared towards adults and actually teaches adults (as opposed to the 15-18 year olds that seemed to frequent all the "adult" dance classes I've seen in suburbia). Plus I'm sure it would be really expensive. Still, something ignited in me tonight and I felt a feeling I haven't had in ages and thought, "Wow, I really miss this." Maybe someday, that mythical "someday" where I actually have free time and money, I'll be able to get back into it again.

Anyway, I'm feeling quite content right now. Happy with the dancing...feeling a tiny little buzz from the wine in class compounded by the fact that Rae came down for a couple of hours tonight and took me out for a belated birthday dinner and margaritas at a (fake) Mexican food near my apartment...excited that I can actually sleep for a full 8 hours tonight instead of having to wake up early or stay up late to scramble to finish some project...and the weather guy on NPR even mentioned that there is a chance of snow flurries tomorrow evening! I'm pretty sure it won't actually happen. Still, it's blowing my mind that it's the second week of November and there is already a chance of snow.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Weird Little Things

Wow, I didn't realize how long it had been since I last updated. Sorry about that! It's just that I was completely drowning in work last week. Seriously, I was. My midterm just about killed me, although I'm proud to say that I finished it exactly half an hour before it was due on Monday. True, I had to wake up at 3 AM on Monday morning to pull it off (after not going to sleep until 12:00) and then hole myself up in the library for a couple of hours in the afternoon because I still find it impossible to get any serious work done in my office, but it was due at 4:00 and I e-mailed it at 3:30. Go me! I'm not saying it's brilliant. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's crap. But on the bright side, it can only get better because I don't think I'll be nearly as busy when I have to do this again for the final next month.

I did have a birthday in the middle of all the madness. Thanks to everyone that sent cards and messages and called, by the way. It made my day! So now I'm an age that rounds to 30 rather than 20, which kind of freaks me out if I think about it too much, so basically I just celebrated without bothering to really consider the implications. I had a great time in New York over the weekend hanging out with Kiki and celebrating. It was totally worth staying up working almost all night on Sunday in exchange for getting to spend Friday and Saturday nights in the city. We did a lot of fun things in a couple of days: hit a few different low-key bars, had dessert at Serendipity, ate at a fun barbecue restaurant, shopped (we went to Steve and Barry's and I bought a bunch of stuff from Sarah Jessica Parker's new Bitten line), went to see this guy Kiki knows from dance class in the revival of Terence McNally's "The Ritz" on Broadway. And then afterwards we went to the stage door to say hi and the security guys let us just go backstage and down to the dressing room to wait for him, which was pretty cool (although he had actually already left for the night; he must have changed in record time, which I guess is easy to do when your costume consists of nothing but a towel draped on a HOT body). I was joking about how going backstage at Broadway theaters is becoming so passe now because I get to do it every time I go to New York. Haha. Anyway, all told it was a really fun weekend, and I had a great time hanging out with Kiki. I already can't wait to go back again.
On my actual birthday I wasn't going to do anything special, but then Stacy decided she wanted to celebrate finishing our midterm so we went down to City A and went to my new favorite place there (the place with the awesome pineapple vodka infusion) and had a few drinks, which was a lot of fun. Or rather, I had a few drinks and Stacy had a single drink and got drunk, because she is the biggest lightweight in the WORLD. [She fairly recently broke away from an extremely conservative lifestyle; not too long ago she was teaching at a school where she had to sign a pledge saying she would not drink. Or dance. Isn't that insanely draconian?] Sometimes I wish I could get drunk off of a single drink, if only to save some money. Not that I actually drink very much these days, I've actually had more to drink during the past week than I had had in the past month, and even then it wasn't a notable amount.

On another note, here are a few weird/humorous little stories, completely unrelated to anything, that would have worked better as individual entries when they actually happened except that I was so freakin' busy before that I'm just going to have to post them all together now:

1) One day last week I came home and as I pulled into my parking lot there was this old man standing by the dumpster frantically waving his arms to get my attention. So I rolled down the car window and asked what was up, and he goes, "Are you in the military?" Incidentally, it's possible to make many assumptions when looking at me, but I don't think "military" would ever logically be one of them. Ever. Mostly because I'm really scrawny. Anyway, I don't know what being in the military had to do with anything, because when I said no, he said, "Well, maybe you can help me anyway. My wife threw my plant away, can you help me get it out of the dumpster?" My inner monologue was, "Uh, that's pretty freakin' weird" but out of my mouth came, "Sure, of course I can help!" You have to understand that I am a complete and total sucker when it comes to senior citizens and their weird fixations. I recognized this guy as my neighbor, so it's not like he's a total stranger, and he just looked so sincerely concerned for his plant. Desperate, almost. Plus I thought that helping would involve like, fishing it out with a fishing pole or something like that. But oh no. No. Once I actually discussed the plan with him, I realized he wanted me to climb INTO the dumpster. He had a pretty ingenious plan, actually. He had a regular ice chest and then one of those styrofoam ones you get at the grocery store, and his plan was for me to use the regular ice chest to get enough leverage to climb into the dumpster and then I could get the plant and hand it to him. Then he would hand me the disposable ice chest and I could use it as a stool to climb back out of the dumpster, and it could just stay in the dumpster and get thrown away.
So did I climb into the dumpster to retrieve a plant for my crazy old neighbor? A plant that was absolutely nothing special, the sort of plant you can buy for three bucks? A plant that his poor wife has probably been trying to sneak into the dumpster for weeks, because you know how men are about getting attached to dumb things?
Um, yes. Yes I did. Because I had already said I would, and his whole face just lit up when I said I would help him. I just couldn't take it back. Besides, the dumpster had been emptied early that morning so the plant was the only thing in it. And I had time to take a shower immediately afterwards, which I did. And I just felt so sad for him! Plus climbing into a dumpster for a total stranger has to earn me major karma points, right? That's what I'm hoping, anyway.

2. This might be too much information, but please tell me that this happens to you sometimes so that I'll know I'm not crazy: do you ever have a really intense sex dream about someone that you're not interested in in real life at all whatsoever? I have sex dreams once in a while (yay, too much information!) I mean, not like weekly or anything. Not even montly. But every now and then I'll have one. Usually they're vague enough that I can't really tell who I'm with. Very occasionally I'll have one about an ex. But three times now I've dreamt vividly about people that I wasn't interested in at all. Once it was actually a sort of creepy dream about a guy I knew in college (who was actually a nice guy and dating a friend of mine at the time), once I dreamt about a guy that worked for me when I was an MA managing a bunch of undergrads (a day later he changed clothes in front of me in the office, which was kind of weird...I can make people take their clothes off with my mind!). This time, the dream was about one of my office mates! And when I say this dream was intense, I mean it was really, really intense, in a good way. While I was still half asleep I was lying there thinking, "Wow, that was pretty amazing for a dream. I wonder if I could do that in real life? Hmmm...that was good. That was...AUGH?! Why the hell was I dreaming THAT about HIM?!" Because I swear that there is no interest there during waking hours. Physically I suppose he's my type, now that I think about it, but I just never think about him like that at all. Plus in actuality, we would be awkward beyond belief, and not just because he has a girlfriend. At any rate, I had the dream on Thursday night and was glad that I didn't have to see him immediately that morning because you know how even though logically you know it was a dream, emotionally you sometimes still feel mad or upset or, uh, horny anyway? Yeah. By the time I went into the office on Monday morning, I had laughed about it with Kiki and gotten it out of my system and was over it. Or rather, I would have been if the first words out of his mouth as I walked in that morning weren't, "Are you dateable?" In my mind I was like, "What the-?! No way. He cannot possibly know about the dream!" Turns out he just happened to be reading an internet pop-up ad as I walked in. It was nothing. But it's a good thing I was hanging up my coat and not looking at him at the moment, because I'm pretty sure I was blushing. AWKWARD.
Then last night I had a dream that I gave birth to a baby girl. I dream that I'm pregnant and in labor a lot (I think I've mentioned this before). It's probably my most frequently recurring dream. I have no idea what it means, but it obviously ties closely to some emotion from my real life because sometimes I'll dream it again and again for weeks and then not have the dream for months and then it will start up again. I don't think I've ever actually gotten to the point of having the baby in the dream before, though, so that made last night's dream different. Interestingly, though, my labor dreams are normally extremely vivid, even actually painful. This one, though, wasn't all that vivid. I just woke up knowing that it is what I'd been dreaming about and that the baby had actually been born and had been a girl, although I remember very few details from the dream. What does it mean?! Why are dreams so damn weird?

3. Speaking of weird, remember Cake Guy, the guy I briefly dabbled with dating this summer before we both got too busy to actually see each other again, even though the first date was actually pretty good? Well, this afternoon for no reason at all whatsoever, he suddenly popped into my head. I was walking up the stairs to go to class and suddenly I was like, "I wonder how Cake Guy is doing?" And then I tried to remember why I only went out with him that one time. Thinking back, I can't really think of a good reason why we didn't go out again, other than that I was sort of busy and he was extremely busy and I was a little freaked out that he seemed to like me more than I liked him at the moment. So I was having those little thoughts that you have when it has been several months since you dated anyone and you're starting to run through all the people you rejected, wondering if maybe some of them weren't actually that bad and you just overreacted or didn't give them enough of a chance. (You do that, too, right?) And then I went to class, and that should have been that, but I'll be damned if he didn't text message me on my drive home! Freeaaaky. He texted me once shortly after I moved here to say that the bar wasn't as good when I wasn't bartending, but that's literally the only contact we've had since the end of July. So for him to text me completely out of the blue on the exact same day he popped into my head is pretty bizarre. We texted for a while tonight. There's a chance that if a couple of things happen with his job he'll end up in New York for Thanksgiving, and he mentioned wanting to hang out if he comes up here, and wanting to see me when I'm home at Christmas. I don't know what I'll end up doing about that. Mostly, I can't remember a single thing that I didn't like about him, other than the fact that he liked me too much. Which doesn't seem like a very good reason for blowing him off. So maybe I'll actually have a second date six months after the first one. We'll see.