Monday, August 11, 2008

being belle

1. I have insomnia again. I haven't had this in a year or so--usually it's a sign of stress, general malaise, and more stress. Gah. Suffice it to say, I'm suffering from headaches during the day and so I'm usually up for most of the night and asleep for most of the morning, with another hour or so in the late afternoon where I pass out on my couch with a book over my head or the sleeve of a sweater shading my eyes, too slammered to rise up and turn off the light. Yes, I exercise, and no, I don't drink coffee. I don't even eat that much sugar.

2. I'm totally panicked about school starting again in two weeks and being so behind in research for the dissertation and other independent articles that will never see the light of publication unless there is a miracle. Did I mention I just got another load of RA work to finish before school? And then there's the volunteering, which I am committed to sticking with, and the interview for 826 is next Monday. Augh!

3. I'm really enjoying Leona Lewis, who sounds like Mariah but more upbeat and less sex-kittenish, as well as Colbie Caillat, who is the female Jack Johnson. Dudes, I'm stressed out, it's been the worst summer ever, and I deserve to listen to happy, purely pleasurable pop. Plenty of room yet for Belle and Sebastian and Of Montreal.

4. I am generally described as "very friendly." That, I realized in a conversation with Bad Girl, depends on context. When I have no chance of interacting with the person again, I am very friendly. Hence, why I find myself in delightful conversations with cabbies and random strangers in whatever cities I'm traveling in. But I hate becoming "a regular," because it actually creeps me out for baristas or shop owners to become palsy with me, such that I may feel an obligation to keep patronizing a store, nail salon, or coffee place. I also don't like strangers knowing my business or asking me about my personal life. I will tip you well if you let me read my book in peace.

This is another reason why I am surprisingly unfriendly in my building. I smile and nod and say hello, but I do not inquire about how people are or offer them cookies. I already know that I am "That Girl," what with the baking aromas emanating every week and the R&B leaking through the door frame and out the windows into the parking lot. So, I don't want people to know about me, so they can assign my lameness to a face and name. I must give female grad students a bad name. They must already assume that I'm 400 lbs and an American Idol wannabe, and since the music is often heard at 2 pm, clearly lazy and unemployed in addition to a plebeian.

Not that I really care what people think, which, I think, is why I so enjoy the anonymity of not really knowing my neighbors and local shop owners. Having fewer front stages to micromanage is bliss that I don't get at school. Putnam is somewhat wrong: bowling alone can be fun. It's relaxing to do things by yourself. This, I think, is why I enjoy taking the same 2 mile walk to the same bookstore every Tuesday and Friday, talking to no one, and buying a paper or sale book. And the same reason why I do the 3-4 mile run up the mostly deserted, low foot traffic street to the park, despite the danger of nearly dying when Broadway hits the freeway.

5. Despite being panicky about school, behinded-ness and everything, I have decided that if I can't be productively insomniac, because I am blah I will be kind to myself and upgrade my Netflix from my ridiculous and stupid one-at-a-time plan to three-at-a-time. Up next: Mad Men. Then I will see about Veronica Mars.