June. Soon.

I’m not sure exactly what to do with myself starting in June.

For context, it’s been a a really hectic year. I hoped to take it a little easy once the tenure stuff was done, but I ended up doing an extra consulting gig and taking on an entire semester-long class I hadn’t planned to teach. In the midst of all that, my mom fell and broke her neck (which was not quite as serious as it sounds) and had to move to a new facility for the second time in a year. I’m also chairing a  search committee, I have a grant application in play, and I’ve published three articles this year. And then there’s that whole “selling my house, dealing with the $22,000 oil tank, and moving” thing.

But somehow, all the major stuff seems to be ending pretty much simultaneously over the next few weeks. I’m not quite sure how to react.

Vacation will be a good start. I haven’t decided on the ultimate destination. I thought about going back to Pittsburgh because I enjoyed being there so much last weekend for my conference presentation. I’ve also considered Toronto and/or Montréal, because I probably won’t be headed that way this fall like I usually do. I may go somewhere I’ve never been. Or I may just sit on my ass watching “Cagney and Lacey” reruns and Criterion films on Hulu.

But it should be lovely…

Social mediation

It was a very productive weekend. I got a lot done around the house, took care of a lot of nagging paperwork related to my mom, took bundles and bundled to Goodwill, and still managed to have dinner with a friend on Saturday and to make a quite lovely pot of soup today.

I’ve given Facebook the heave-ho except for the work-related posts that are sort of part of my job. I’m sure this did not cause the flurry of activity this weekend, but it was certainly a contributing factor. I’ve been eliminating a lot of time-sucks lately, starting with the cable TV about six months ago. More recently, I have pruned my social media feeds to largely eliminate posts from people whose only contributions are memes and links to clickbait “news” sites. It helped a lot, but I’ve still been finding the signal-to-noise ration a little bit low. And I’m really growing weary of reading other people’s arguments.

As it happens, Twitter makes it a lot easier to control what you see. I use Twitter mainly the same way I used to use RSS feeds (I actually still subscribe to a few) and that’s to keep me up to date on news and interests. I follow a couple of news-related feeds and many urban- and history-based ones. And I follow friends too, but I find I’m spare most of the arguments and flame wars (or that I at least have to seek them out more actively rather than constantly being spoon-fed comments and likes). The environment is a lot nicer.

It’s exhausting being in a constant state of outrage, which seems to be the goal of much social media today. Mind you, I’m already plenty outraged about plenty of things, but I really no longer see the benefit of walking around looking at my phone every five minutes and seeing just how much more clinched my teeth can get.

Maybe it will get better after the election. Or maybe I’ll no longer care by then…

It’s time for…

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Just as I decided I was really tired of being perpetually outraged, and that I could not bear any more social media time, any further discussion of Cruz/Trump/HB2, nor the grading of any additional badly written assignments, I discovered tonight that Animaniacs is now on Netflix. Suddenly, life is worth living again.

Don’t look for me on Facebook. No, I’ll be spending my time with the Warner brothers…and the Warner sister Dot. I will be much happier and will sleep much better. And there will be no idiotic comments to read.