katallison: (Default)
Someday, I swear to god, I need to get back into a line of work where June means "early summer, things slow down, mellowness, smell the flowers, life is good la la la" and NOT "Oh sweet frelling Jesus, new student orientation is coming down on us like the fucking avalanche down the mountain, workworkwork stress-o-rama aiiieeeeee."

You know that the universe is in sad mismanaged shape when I (whose failings are procrastination and disorganization, and whose strengths are glibness and the ability to pull stuff out of my ass at the last second) am put in charge of logisitics for a large-scale, complex, tightly-organized multi-week event. Actually, honestly, it wouldn't be so bad if I were the only person involved in all of this, because I have great faith in my ability to tap-dance; but there are numerous other staff participating, most of whom need at least some modicum of structure, and it would be unkind (not to mention, uh, unprofessional) to say to them, "Well, hey! Just, y'know, improvise! Have fun with it!" So -- I have spent the entire day at the office, and have now produced enough schedules, agendas, handouts, brochures, planning sheets, etc., to gag a maggot.

Because I have not enough brain left to actually write or do anything else constructive, I'll post six songs I've been listening to a lot just lately:

1. Finisterre, Oysterband (with June Tabor on vocals): This has been #1 on my earworm hit parade lately; it's lovely, melancholic, nostalgic.
...last night I turned the glasses over
and I drank the bottle dry.
The moon stared out to sea all night and so did I ...

2. Transatlanticism, Death Cab for Cutie: Also with the lovely and melancholic, and slightly surrealistic.

3. It's the End of the World As We Know It, the Great Big Sea version, which I like for its rough-edged brio: This is currently my theme song for coping with impending Bad Terminal Craziness at the workplace.

4. Sweet Fire of Love, Robbie Robertson: Yowza. I'm actually not all that crazy about Robertson's vocals here, but I love this song.

5. All That Way for This, Oysterband: Which is a nice energizing political song, but I'm mostly listening to it lately because I have great fun trying to put together in my head the very cool meta Outcry-of-the-Betrayed-X-Files-Fan vid one could make to it. ("All we wanted was something worth it, worth the labor, worth the wait . . . . Look around, you must be joking; all that way, all that way for this")

6. Cheating here -- not a song, but an album, Brian Eno's Music for Airports (a.k.a. Ambient #1). Gentle, trancey, hypnotic, this is now my favorite music for accompanying any slow meditative tasks requiring focus (like weightlifting, or thinking through database queries). I can even write with this going in the background, which is a first for me.
katallison: (Default)
Lovely lovely evening, soft and fragrant. It's overcast--not the heavy overcast of impending rain, but a sort of high vaguely muted dappled-grey sky. The air is very still and mild, not warm, not chilly, and many birds are singing, and the trees are suffused with the tender fresh green of new leaves just unfurling. I adore grey days like this, vastly preferring them to brilliant sunshine/blue skies, and I reflect once again that I really should be living in the Pacific NW, and that my own personal hell would be, let's say, late afternoon in LA on a hot summer day, with the scorching blinding sun, and the stench of dust and traffic fumes, and being covered all over with sticky filthy sweat.

This week has been one of the worst of my recent memory, for job-related reasons that don't need explication at this juncture, and around midday on Thursday I lost my shit completely while talking with my best-buddy-at-work P., and had a minor meltdown in her office about all the stuff I haven't been dealing with adequately the past few weeks, and how behind I am on everything, and how asphyxiated with guilt I feel about about all of it. She heard me out, and then peaceably said something along the lines of "You know, you've really had a bad half-year, what with your boyfriend having the cancer surgery, and your father and stepmother dying, and now all this stuff at work." And somehow, hearing her say this -- I still feel bad about having gotten so behind on everything, and I still hate being That Person who Can't Cope And Has the Meltdown when life gets snarly, but I was able to take a step back and realize that actually there's a reason why my functioning has been a bit subpar lately, and after breathing deeply for a while I managed to regain some sort of equilibrium and focus. I'm still behind on everything and stressed, but am at least no longer in the asphyxiated with guilt space.

And eeeee! [livejournal.com profile] heres_luck tagged me with the music meme, and I shall attempt to comply (at some point, probably tomorrow), though great is my inadequacy and unworthiness. I should do it now, but I am going to watch Ed Wood and munch on pretzels and drink cheap champagne. Friday!!
katallison: (Default)
Having spent all day (and evening) yesterday frantically shovelling off my desk, I am about to head to the airport and catch a southbound jet. Will be in Florida until late Tuesday, spending most of my time (alas) in worky-type working groups working on work-related stuff. But I shall sneak away from time to time, and there shall be walking on the white-sand beach, and sipping of gin and tonics, and watching the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico. And no family/telephone/students/memos/funerals/coworkers. ::happysigh::
katallison: (Default)
E-mail sent out on the college-wide listserv, 3:40 this afternoon:

"Due to the snow, I have decided it is best to close the college early today. Go home! Drive carefully!

[signed, Bossman]"

Whatta sweetie. The snow is not actually all that horrific; 3-4 inches on the ground maybe, but falling thick and fast. We should have perhaps a half-foot by morning.

However, this is the first actual snow we've had all winter--it's been the least snowy winter of the past *century* in these parts. We had that weird splurt of freezing slushy rain around New Year's, which instantly laminated itself to the ground in a half-inch-thick sheet of white slippery linoleum, and then a few wan ineffectual thin flurries on top of that. But this is the first by-god snow of the season, and so of course everyone is freaking out, and driving like idiots.

And for all my cursing of it, I am once again helplessly reminded that the snow is the great compensation for living in this climate, because it is so exquisitely and utterly beautiful. It's very mild out, muffled, dimly luminous, and everything is white and grey and softly swirling.

I am home, eating a big bowl of whole-wheat pasta with pesto and sipping red wine. Work was absolutely crazed today, with project after crisis after dilemma piling up on my desk and in my voicemail, and I've brought home a stack of papers to work on this weekend, in between bouts of dealing with family crises. But the snow makes everything calmer (at least once one is off the roads), and the wine makes everything mellower, and assuming nothing immediate happens tonight with the family crises, I think I shall burrow in under a blanket and watch Millennium episodes. (My season 2 disks came last week! Yay!!)
katallison: (Default)
Oh my god, it's warm out today, warm and mild and drizzly! Well, that is to say, it's 33 F, which I realize may not seem "warm" exactly to some readers in the banana belt, but to put it another way, it's 40 degrees warmer than it was a week ago at this time. Or to put it yet another way, the temperature difference between a week ago and now is the same as the difference between now and 73 degrees. Which is the sort of insane weather minutae I clutter my head up with, but suffice it to say that given it's almost January I am well pleased. It's supposed to get up to 43 today, and if it does I may just rip off my clothes and go gambolling about.

It's a peaceful day at work; almost nobody is around, I'm listening to Nick Drake and Josquin Desprez and the drizzling rain, nibbling leftover Christmas cookies, and slowly and methodically working my way through academic review, checking probation students to see who's still on probation, who's gotten back in good standing, and who needs to be suspended. On the one hand, this is a little depressing ("Oh, crap! Ryan, what happened, dude??"), but on the other hand gives me an oddly and weightily peaceful sense of acting as the Hand of the GPA Gods. And it's nice to have sole control of this process, for the first time (in my new job role); previously this was scattered amongst all the advisors and things invariably got screwed up in bizarre ways.

Tomorrow, I think, I'm gathering with my sisters-in-law to watch LotR DVDs on my brother-and-SiL#1's new 60" HDTV (their Christmas present to themselves). Tomorrow night, the usual champagne with Mr. P. as we strive to stay awake until midnight. And then, a nice open weekend for writing and the contemplation of Major Bad-Habit-Amending Life Changes To Be Initiated.
katallison: (Default)
Current conditions: -9 F, -27 F windchill. It's supposed to get up into the 30s next week, though, so no biggie.

The bus ride into work was nice this morning, with much easygoing camaradarie amongst the passengers, partly due to the weather ("Hey! Pretty cold, sure, but nothin' we can't handle!") and partly due to the "Hey! We're here, we're on the job, even though all those other wussies are takin' the day off!" factor. There was one particularly jolly guy in the front who looked like the love-child of Ernest Borgnine and Billy Bob Thornton, except he was missing most of his front teeth, and it was pleasant to sit and listen to the banter going back and forth, while watching the sun rise, all luridly pink-orange, over the frozen Mississippi.

And this is actually quite a pleasant day to be at work; almost nobody else is here, so I can get stuff done (and I have a lot of stuff to get done) in a low-key non-pressured way. Plus, I get all kinds of brownie points for actually *being* here, when everyone else is taking the day off. I've got some Dowland lute music playing on my computer, and chocolate to nibble, and very sweet cards from my co-workers on my bulletin board, and a space heater running to counteract the *freezing drafts* billowing in from the incredibly leaky windows. And I have a four-day weekend in prospect, when I can loll around reading all the new stories that will come on-line, and maybe get some writing going.

All of you who will be out and travelling in the snowier parts of the country, be careful! (Especially because our cold air seems to be headed your way. Sorry about that!)


katallison: (Default)

November 2009



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