Today was a very post-modern day: disjointed, difficult, but then surprisingly enlightening at the end.
It all started last night, when I lied down with Luke and he fell asleep and then Maddie asked if she could sleep with me too and I said, “of course,” and then decided that we could both watch Glee on my computer in bed.
–>digression: Isn’t Glee the best show on Tv right now? If you’re not watching, you must. It is soooooo good. And this week’s episode was exceptional.
After Glee ended, I turned off the computer and the lights, and listened as Maddie and Luke both breathed in and out peacefully. But I was not peaceful. Nor tired. So I fired up my computer and logged onto Netflix and watched Julie and Julia.
–>digression: Julie and Julia is a really good movie. I’m amazed at how well Meryl Streep transformed into Julia Childs. I also love how deep of a character Nora Ephron made Julie. Really, I was impressed. And hungry.
And I actually watched the entire movie.
–>digression: I never finish a movie if I start it after 9p.m. I always fall asleep, and usually before the first hour. Sad, I know.
Soon, it was midnight, and I was staring at my computer screen. I finally decided that I should read. Usually reading doesn’t put me to sleep, but I’m in the middle of a particularly difficult book and after about 10 pages, I’m usually feeling sleepy.
–>digression: I’m being really stubborn about this book, Cloud Atlas. Because it’s a contemporary postmodern novel and because it was a finalist for the Booker prize…
–> digression to digression: I think the Man Booker Prize is the best literary prize.
….and because I’ve been hearing about this book for a while. But it’s an exhausting read. Every chapter drops you in a new time period, and once, as a reader, you are adjusted and finally feel connected to a character, the chapter ends, and sometimes mid-sentence. You enter a new chapter in a new time period. Truly, it is incredibly tedious. And even my super hip, PhD in postmodernism-friend said she only read half before she put it down. Which made me want to then finish it more.
–> digression to digression: all because my MA feels insignificant to her PhD. So sad. Must speak to therapist about this.
The book worked, and by probably around 1 a.m., I was asleep.
But when I woke up at 6:45, I was not feeling too hot. For one, I was exhausted. For two, I actually felt sick: sore throat, congestion, achy bones, head ache.
–>digression: My kids have been sick, and I haven’t. I think their illness has finally caught up to me.
I laid in bed for at least 30 minutes before finally getting up.
–>digression: thinking quite deeply about the fact that Christina Aguilera had died. Which made me sad even though I’m not a fan. I thought of her kid and her family. When I grabbed my phone to read more about the public’s reaction to her death, I realized she HAD NOT DIED. I must have dreamed the entire thing. Weird.
Since I lied around for so long, by the time I got up, I had to rush around getting the kids ready for school, making lunches, and getting myself ready as well. By the time everyone was dropped off and I was driving onto campus, I felt like the day should have been over already. I grabbed a cup of coffee and went to teach my first class.
Which didn’t go well at all. I realized about half-way through my class that perhaps I should have just stayed home.
–>digression: I often digress when I speak and when I’m teaching. I usually find my way back to my original spot. Not today. Today, I had to actually ask my class, “How did I get here?” And so here I was, talking about cheerleader lesbians on Glee when I realize I’d gone horribly off track. So I ask the class how I started and they answered with, “Barack Obama.” Really? WTF??? How did I go from Obama to cheerleading lesbians???
By the time I finished my first class, I decided to cancel my afternoon classes at the community college. I just wasn’t feeling good at all. I hate canceling class, but as I slugged back to my office, weakly dragging my feet uphill, I just gave in. I decided to stay at the university and get some grading done so the day wouldn’t be a total wash.
So grade I did. For a few hours. Until I finally had to stop.
–>digression: because I started to feel like this:
–>digression of a digression: and don’t you think this video is quite postmodern as well? A recording of a live performance for us to watch on youtube? Ya…think about it. Hard to wrap your mind around the layers.
Finally to top off my less than stellar morning, I ran into the super smart, super cool Speech Coms professor who has the office across the hall from me. And I’d been meaning to talk to him about joining me and a few colleagues who are applying for a grant to look at how rhetoric is being taught across a few core classes, specifically English, Philosophy, and Speech Communications.
–>digression: and this is really, really cool. And something I’m super excited about. We just need about 3-4 more people willing to work with us, and preferably not from the same department. Oh, and we need to actually get the grant. No biggie.
But I could not–for the life of me–articulate what we actually wanted to do. I felt like a 5th grader trying to explain quantum physics. Nothing made sense. But then, fortunately, my super hip, PhD in postmodernism-friend who is also on board to work on this grant…
–>digression: if we get it.
…came around the corner. And so to save face, I introduced my hip friends to each other and listend as they discussed everything with clarity and in perfect academia-speak.
–>digression: and so I felt even more stupid. sigh. It’s true. Don’t try to cheer me up. But in my defense, try keeping up with perfect academia-speak. It’s a language in itself. That I don’t know. Sigh.
But then my day started to change for the better.
First, my mom and dad picked Luke up early from preschool and I came home 2.5 hours earlier than normal, so we got to spend some extra quality time together.
Then, my mom and dad surprised me with bringing their bed down to me. Their bed is 3 years old. Mine is almost 15. I was extremely excited.
–>digression: no more falling into the middle of the bed and practically sleeping on top of Luke because my bed concaves in the center. I can’t wait to sleep on this bed tonight.
Then I finally got up the courage to email a friend and colleague about not being able to meet tomorrow for some committee work I had agreed to do.
–>digression: this killed me as I almost never flake on work commitments and because I was genuinely interested in what we were going to be doing.
But my babysitter canceled a few days ago, and while I was positive I could find someone else, Maddie reminded me she had a half day…
–>digression: which I had totally forgotten about. Shit.
…and she has to be at soccer practice at 4:00 and then picked up at 5:15 and then Luke has to be taken to his dad’s at 5:30…
–>did I mention that the meeting started around 2ish and ended around 5ish…I think. Did I also mention that I teach from 9-12?
…and so everything about my Friday was feeling complicated. Mix in the fact that I was not feeling good, and I was feeling terribly overwhelmed.
So I sucked up all my courage and emailed my friend and she emailed me back quickly and said not to worry about it.
–>digression: thank you sweet baby Jesus. And you too, Sally.
With my Friday looking totally manageable, I felt a million times better.
Better enough that I made one of my favorite meals for dinner: White wine Coq au Vin.
—>digression: Julie and Julia obviously inspired me.
–>digression to digression: This was not Julia Child’s recipe. In fact, go here for the easiest, best, most awesome coq au vin ever.
This is a dinner that even my kids really like. Seriously, it’s so damn good.
So at the end of my day, I realize that my day was both good and bad. I didn’t feel healthy for almost the entire day, but I feel healthy in spirit for canceling my class and spending some extra time with my kids. And getting some extra grading done to boot as well.
Basically, this is my postmodern life. I don’t fit most conventions: I’m a single mom, with two kids from two different fathers and I’m not a loser (at least I don’t think I’m one). I like to stay busy but I long for days and nights of doing nothing but lounging around the house with my kids.
I’d like to think I’m redefining cultural truths. Perhaps that’s a little far-reaching.
Let me rephrase: I’d like to think I’m redefining my own personal truths.
And I guess the only way to do that is to be thankful for the mess of one day, the ups and downs, the coffee for breakfast and lunch but the nice chicken stew for dinner.
Unbalanced, I know. But definitely real.
And after a good night’s sleep in my awesome new bed, I’ll start this process all over again.