Generic “I haven’t done this in a while” entry

 

Of course, I set out the purpose to the old space, and then I completely abandon it. This is a decades-long pattern, and I recognize it even today.

So: from the ell-jay, on May 25, 2002. Lyrics links from The Juliana Theory’s redesigned and all-but-defunct website replaced mostly with genius.com, because it’s nice to have a accessible-to-all solution. Of course, if you want the music, there’s always iTunes – or Apple Music, or whatever.

Nancy told me a while back I ought to just get on this thing more often and bang out whatever I’m feeling at the moment, and that I ought to stop planning long, drawn-out entries about whatever. I hate doing that. Part of the way that I write is that I have to have a reason for writing, and a thing that I want to communicate.

But right now, my reason for writing is that my head is about to explode with all the various stuff that I don’t feel like I can write about in a public forum. So I’ve got to rant about something or other. And so all kinds of random stuff is going to come out. So, for once, Nancy, this is for you. Appreciate, dang it. :)

My music-of-choice lately is The Juliana Theory. My beloved wife hates ’em – she finds them annoying as all get-out, and they give her a headache. (I think I have to have at least one band-of-the-moment that does that to her.) Every song from Emotion is Dead is simply awesome, both musically and lyrically – hit their lyrics page and just click on random lyrics. On second thought, go to one lyric first – “Don’t Push Love Away.” “Here’s a thought if you’re willing to listen. I only tell the truth of the feelings I’m given. Can you hear me now? Listen. Whispers in the rain? Listen. Don’t push love away; you know you do. It’s all we have…” Grab ye some mp3‘s while you’re there, too.

“It’s a chore, holding on to a vision…” I’m banging this out on campus. I came here because I’ve been utterly preoccupied with any number of things that directly or indirectly have to do with work. (Those who’ve talked to me over the past couple of weeks know some of those things, for better or for worse; if you’re curious, e-mail.) Unfortunately, there’s a limit to what I can talk about up here because one doesn’t want to betray confidences and topics of private conversations, particularly when those conversations are with people who I work for and stuff. Suffice it to say that I’ve laid quite low on this campus for the past couple of years, and I fear I’m not going to get that privilege anymore, one way or another.

And what worries me about that is my tendency to wear my heart firmly on my sleeve, and not to hold anything back in terms of my emotions. I fear that the end of me laying low is going to be the end of getting along well with everybody, because taking a stand on thing one or thing two usually ends up pissing people off. I want to be principled and want to be clear about what I’m for and against, but I want everybody to like me too – and if not like me, at least understand and respect me.

And people in hell want ice water, too. “We knew you’d hate this before we wrote it; so listen up, we’re telling you before you tell us. We’re not misinformed or misdirected…”

The thing that bothers me the most is that being so passionate and preoccupied about one thing or another is that it’s not the best way to be a good husband or father. It has to drive Kristin nuts to see my eyes in this faraway place when I’ve got some process working in the background and it’s taking up more and more of the system’s resources. (Okay, that was an utterly horrific geek metaphor. I apologize profusely.) In part, I moved away from my postdoc because I was afraid that, to be a good research scientist, I was going to wind up working 80-100 hour weeks. Only I come here to be a professor (and not a research professor chasing after hundreds of thousands of dollars of grant money, but a teaching professor – something, as I said before, I think I’m already pretty decent at) and I wind up throwing myself into about that many hours, if not actually on campus, in my preoccupations. I never thought of myself as a workaholic, and I really don’t feel like a workaholic, honestly; but I have to fight myself to remind myself that I do have a wife and children, and that they are really dang awesome and I do enjoy spending time with them. And I do; but it’s not natural. Coming in to my campus office and thinking through a chemistry homework set or through some grand five-year plan for my career (or any other number of things) is very natural.

I have no answer here, just the rant.

One other tidbit, for those who haven’t heard otherwise: I cut my hair. I mean, all of my hair. I mean, the shaggy bearded guy in the infamous mouse-pic is no more; in his place is a clean-shaven guy with an almost military-looking flattop. There’s no real reason for the haircut except that I got utterly tired of dealing with hair everywhere, and if I’m going to do something, I don’t do it by halves. The universe is screaming “GIF! GIF!”, and I’ll probably have to appease at some point; but until then, let your imagination run wild. :D

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