Friday, December 15, 2006

I am so busy I could... ooh, look, shiny things!

My brain is about to explode.

At one point this afternoon, after I had lost my train of thought for the fourth time in ten minutes and again forgotten the correct answer to the question I was grading, I put down my red pen, closed my eyes, rubbed my temples, took two deep breaths and said, "Dammit. What the hell is wrong with me?"

The woman sitting across the desk from me didn't even look up from her own pile of exams as she replied, "Maybe it's because you've been grading out your ass for the last two weeks."

Indeed. She has a point. Actually, it's been three weeks. Before that, several days of frantic work on a joint project, and in early/mid-November, a conference. It seems so long ago, and yet when I look across the living room in the corner, I see that I never unpacked or put away the books that I took with me on the trip. I just stacked my dirty laundry on top of them. Not, perhaps, the best of signs. Notice the pile on the left side of this photo. Yep, evidence, even. Ford, of course, is wondering why on Earth I am typing and taking pictures when there is food distribution to attend to:

But anyhow, as of 7pm this evening, the grading is all done. All the projects, all the final exams. Emails are sent to the appropriate people and I am slowly beginning to remember how to spell my name again. Next hurdle? Finish the layout on the never-ending Festschrift, make final revisions to an article to be submitted to a journal late next week, and begin working on my dissertation plan, of which 10 solid pages must land in the hands of my committee on January 8, since we're meeting on January 10.

Wait a minute. Read that last sentence again. It implies that I have both a dissertation topic and a committee. Who knew? More on that saga another day, perhaps.

Last Friday was a Christmas party. This past Wednesday was the Mississauga Pops Christmas concert, followed by party. This coming Sunday is the annual quintet gig, a Christmas Sing-A-Long at The Ben Wicks pub. Invitations have been sent, music has been purchased and practised. And they have Guinness on tap. I think this will be the first Ben Wicks gig in 5 years where I haven't had a huge deadline for something the following day. Do you think it's possible I might enjoy myself more than usual? I will make an attempt at pictures, perhaps.

Next week, two SCA Christmas thingies, informal, but I need to deal with garb issues. I believe that will be my weekend project, if I can coerce someone into helping me tomorrow. Tonight, though, there are some drop spindles and wool with my name on them.

Finally, shiny things. This morning, after I parked in front of the library, I ran into a friend. As we stood there chatting, I noticed a shiny thing on the sidewalk. I am easily distracted at the best of times, but in my current state, it's nearly impossible for me to focus on a single topic for more than a minute. I also have a habit of picking up small change that I find on the ground (thanks for that, Mom). So in mid-conversation, I bent over to investigate. It was a glass bead. And another. And oooh, look, another! Soon - what conversation? -I was fully engaged in the scavenger hunt. I enlisted my friend and we picked up as many as we could find from the sidewalk and the nearby pavement. I guess someone's bracelet or necklace broke. I even went out later in the day and did another pass, finding more. For my troubles, I was rewarded with this delightful collection:

Not a clue what I'll do with them, but hey, shiny!