This is not introspection. This is me announcing that I’ve finally taken the time to root out and correct the PHP memory errors I’ve been getting on this site and on Groceteria ever since a server reconfiguration that happened several months ago. It means I’ve been able to do some format tweaking here. More importantly, it means my address spreadsheets on Groceteria (even the big ones) are working again.

I’ve been playing with HTML more than usual at work lately and it’s made me realize I kind of miss that whole web content thing. I’ve been sort of lazy about it lately. Maybe I’ve found new inspiration. Heck, maybe I’ll even start doing things on my professional site again. Or maybe I’ve just fixed a problem and will let it go at that. Only time will tell.

60% off

According to the screening I went through at the doctor’s yesterday, I’m precisely 60% less depressed than I was six months ago.

Despite the fact that the test struck me as about as valid as one published in Family Circle about 1985, I will say for the record that I am indeed in a lot better shape than I was last fall. I no longer burst into tears at oddly inappropriate moments, I spend a lot less time just staring at the TV looking for motivation to do something, and I seldom feel the urge to break things unless I’m driving behind some dumb ass on I-40. I think I’ve generally become a much more tolerable person all the way around–more positive and less caustic (unless..ahem…it’s really justified)–and am probably much more pleasant to be around.

I’ve done a good job of starting to concentrate on my future rather than my past, which has always been a problem for me, and I’m much more adventurous and experimental than I’ve been in a long time…food and music being good examples.

I still can hold a good grudge (hell, the Coors boycott probably ended fifteen or twenty years ago and I still won’t touch the stuff) but at least I develop them less frequently now. And at least I usually recognize which ones are silly and irrational now, even if I won’t always let them go.

My therapist/counsellor/whatever seems happy with my progress. Her only sticking point is that she really wants me to move toward romantic involvement again. And I just don’t want to. Hear me out; I have rational reasons.

I spent more than half my adult life as a solo act and I ultimately grew quite happy with that state of affairs. No one was more surprised than I was when I suddenly and seriously coupled thirteen years ago. It was uncharted territory for me; I was actually a rather independent sort and was quite proud of that fact. And all that changed really fast. In retrospect, I’m shocked at how much it changed and how quickly I was willing to give up a lot of that independence and how much of my individuality flew out the window in the process. When I look back now, it seems to me that I just got really lazy. being independent and making decisions on your own takes work and on some level I used my relationship as an excuse to take a long vacation from that work. I spent a lot of time really resenting the fact that just as I had to start taking responsibility for my own life again, I also had to assume responsibility for my parents’ lives. And it’s taken some time to get back into the swing if it.

Ultimately, I think I like myself better as a single person. I suspect most of my friends do too. This is not a reflection on anyone else but just a recognition of my own weaknesses. Or strengths. Or both. Coupling involves–by definition–losing some of one’s individuality. There’s no way to avoid it; some decisions have to be made based on the needs of unit rather than of either individual. When one or more partners are no longer willing to do that, the relationship ends. Since I’m just rediscovering who I am, I’m not really ready to give up any of that control right now. Having someone to curl up with every night is not worth giving up things I really love like traveling alone and never fucking having to celebrate Christmas again. The positives do not currently outweigh the negatives for me.

That may change. Or it may not. Frankly, there’s not a huge contingent of people around these parts who fetishize chubby middle-aged librarians so there’s no major pressure to commit right now anyway.

I’ve been depressed for years; all the shit over the past few years in my life did not “cause” it. My mom was profoundly depressed for most of her life so I was pretty much at risk right from the womb. Stupid heredity. Yes, having my whole world implode on me in a matter of months did bring a lot of it to the forefront, but that eventually made me do something about it too. Like many other things in my life that have sucked, this was just one more part of the equation that adds up to me. And I still kind of like myself.

Now, back to planning my big birthday trip for August and my two upcoming long weekend. If you’re nice, I’ll let you come along–but only virtually.

And no more navel-gazing for a while, I promise…

That time of year…

April is crazy time for me the past few years. This year’s tally:

  1. The public launch for my big grant project is Tuesday night. it’s become quite the affair with many state-level library dignitaries attending. Thus I really should finish up the web interface and decide what the hell I’m going to say at the program.
  2. The morning of said program, I also have to do a conference presentation 90 miles away. Haven’t really started putting that together yet. Probably should.
  3. I have another conference presentation in May. haven’t even contemplated that, nor the book chapter proposal I’m supposed to submit by the end of this month.
  4. I’ve taught two classes in the past two weeks. I have to teach one more in two more weeks.
  5. I believe there’s a house I need to go ahead and get back on the market.

I think R&R is out of the question this weekend. But just to make it more fun (relax? me?), I also did my annual posting of draft entries I never actually took live last year. In most cases, I have no idea why I never took them live. Maybe I just though they weren’t “done enough”. Anyhow, check out 2013 if you care. I also popped up a couple of remaining stragglers from 2011 and 2012 in case you care.

A least there’s no ice outside…

God may hate but I just don’t care

Fred Phelps was an evil man…and a sick one. Talking about dancing on his grave and celebrating at his funeral, though, puts people at pretty much the same level as Fred and his followers. That’s not of the higher levels.

I would be lying if I said I mourned his passing; I’m pretty certain the world actually IS a better place without Fred Phelps. The only charitable thing I can say about the man is that he did a lot of important (if unintentional) work toward equality for the people he hated most. Mainly, though, he was just a bitter, miserable old man who made it his business to spread around his misery as effectively as possible.

I do, however, like to think that I can conduct myself with more dignity and respect for humanity than Phelps or his family ever have. They probably don’t deserve that much consideration, but behaving better than the Phelps clan would in a similar situation requires almost no effort at all.

Which is precisely the amount I’m willing to put into it…

A little storm


I went to bed Thursday night expecting (as did pretty much everyone in the area) a minor winter event with a small amount of ice, one that might delay the opening of the university for an hour or so but would otherwise have a minimal impact. Twenty-four hours later, trees and power lines were down everywhere, hundreds of thousands of people were without power, and the Triad area was pretty much completely disabled. Needless to say, we were taken a little by surprise.


I was lucky. Unlike somewhere between seventy and ninety percent of the population of Guilford County, I never lost power for more than a split second. I did lose cable and internet connectivity (I still don’t have that back) and branches did come down in my yard. But there was no damage to my parents’ old house in Greensboro, where I’m currently living. I was terrified about my house in Winston-Salem, though, with all the tall trees that surround it on every side.

By late Friday afternoon, a good bit of the snow and ice had melted. The weather-related part of the event was over quickly; in fact, I went out for a drive on Friday evening and got dinner at my favorite shawarma joint. The outages were widespread but very sporadic. Three sides of an intersection might be dark while the convenience store on the fourth might have power…and a massive traffic jam in its parking lot. Traffic lights were out everywhere and the streets looked really eerie at twilight. As it got darker, I nearly ran into a downed tree on an off-ramp near my house. That was when I decided not to go out anymore on Friday night.



On Saturday morning, I received email from my neighbors in Winston-Salem letting me know that the power had been out on Friday but had been restored. They also mentioned that a pine in my backyard (one which was already quite dead) had come down and blocked the street. The city had apparently cut it up and placed the pieces on the edge of my yard. Other than that, though, there seemed to be no damage. I drove over to check it out later that morning and noticed that the magnolia Mark had planted seven years ago had lost about four years growth off the top. But everything else looked pretty good. I was very relieved.


Now it’s Sunday. I’ve come in to work to catch up on a few things since I can’t do this at home without internet access. It’s nice seeing things bigger than they look on my phone.

Like I said, the weather aspect of this event came and went pretty quickly. But I have to say it was most of the most damaging storms I’ve ever seen around here. And I feel like I dodged a bullet. Tens of thousands of people still don’t have power and their lives are pretty much sucking at this point. So I’ve decided not to whine about the cable and the internet for at least another day. Funny thing: I’ve read two entire books over the past two days. Imagine…