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…

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…


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.

Saturday Night Special

My friend Jeff’s birthday is on Tuesday so last night I offered to buy him a birthday beer somewhere. Against my better judgment, I allowed him to talk me into going to Greensboro’s giant queer dance club. It’s a big warehouse of a place and I hadn’t been there in probably twenty years. Not surprisingly, it’s pretty close to being my personal version of hell.

When we got there, I was surprised to see that even though it used to open right onto the street, it had now sprouted a huge parking lot in front. They’d also added a big front porch with rocking chairs and it felt a little like a Cracker Barrel…clientele and all. The whole industrial area had been transformed into something surprisingly suburban-looking.

Inside, it was as annoying as ever, and it wasn’t very long till I was ready to escape. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find Jeff anywhere. After spending more time that I wanted looking for him, I decided to just leave.

For the life of me I can’t remember how I ended up on Patterson Street near the Coliseum. About halfway between Holden and High Point Roads, I saw what I thought was Jeff’s car, which surprised me because Jeff doesn’t drive. I was curious and decided to try to see what was going on.

As I closed in on the car, I noticed another car next to it and the two of them seemed to be driving kind of erratically and aggressively. All of a sudden, shots were fired out of the car that I thought belonged to Jeff. The other car returned fire.

I noticed a police officer had someone stopped on the other side of the street. I wondered why he didn’t go chasing after the two cars that were shooting at each other but he never did.

I backed off, hoping to avoid the fireworks. The two cars sped on toward the Coliseum and I figured I was safe at that point. And then one of them made a sudden U-turn and I realized I was just about to be in the line of fire.

Then I woke up.

Nine years ago this week…

…I announced officially that San Francisco was over for me. It came as no surprise to anyone who had been paying attention. I’d made it abundantly clear for several years that I had come to despise the place where I’d once planned to live the rest of my life.

Most of what I wrote at the time still holds true. I don’t regret having lived there and I don’t for a second regret getting the hell out when the time came. I came to know a lot of what now defines me while living there; I was very much shaped by that environment. But nine years after leaving (and three years after my last visit), I still don’t really care if I ever set foot inside the city limits again.

As predicted, it’s LA and other non-San Francisco parts of California that I really miss now, as well as “the lack of overt religion and the cool, foggy weather.” I have, as I’ve mentioned on a few occasions, realized that what I believed was a distaste for urban life was actually just a distaste for San Francisco’s version thereof

It’s interesting that many of my friends there have also left the city. It’s even more interesting that two who remained (my ex and my ex-roomie) were originally among the most vocal members of my circle in their distaste for the place. They’ve both managed to make lives there and good for them. I couldn’t do it.

Life hasn’t been all peaches and cream for me back east, but I stand by my decision.