Monday, April 14, 2014

It's been a while!

Remember that time I started a blog? Of course you do, you're looking at it and can clearly scroll back to post #1 and look at the date. Fine, I'll do it for you. It was June 4, 2011. And my most recent post? November 8, 2011. 2011! Can you believe it? I started a blog, posted 14 times, and then totally crapped out. Well, here I am again. No promises it won't be another 3 years before the next post.

Well, the least I can do is document an update.

For some reason I'm under the illusion that someday someone will want to read this. Like it will be some sort of offshoot on my branch of the family tree via Do they give blog links? I'd love to read my great-grandmother's blog. Do you think she blogged? Probably. We're a loquacious people.

So I originally started this to document my cooking / baking / dating / travel adventures. Some of those things are still happening! For instance, tonight I made a delicious batch of redeeming green soupwholesome cornbread, and some tilapia cooked with bacon and onions. If I weren't on my second glass of wine, comfortably 3/4 of the way through an episode of The Good Wife, and fully intent upon editing at least two more pages of chapter two of my dissertation tonight, then I would probably be baking these peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies right now. But alas, I plan to work. Also I may have already had ice cream and chocolate so... more dessert is probably not a good idea. I've also had two glasses of wine- just the right amount to get those creative juices flowing! This is exactly the sweet spot where my language gets just a touch too flowery for academia.

To be clear, by "flowery" I mean dramatic.

To be clear again, I will make those cookies tomorrow. Delightful. And no flour or butter! They're basically a health food.

So what's been going on in the last 3 years? Well, lots of things, duh. That's how life works.

Let's see.

I won't be posting anymore dating adventures, that's for sure. I think my boyfriend would be very upset with me if I were to start going on blind dates again just to have fodder for my blog. He's my personal Clark Kent- tall, dark and handsome, with a set of shoulders that could easily save the world. We will be together two years in June and we are in love. We are also moving in together in June. That will be an adventure for both of us! Luckily if we get too sick of one another he can just take off his glasses, rip open his shirt and go for a quick fly around the globe to decompress. Hey, a little bit of exercise is good for everyone.

Also, I'm no longer walking everyone else's dogs. I have my own! Her name is Millie and she's beautiful and wonderful and I love her every second even when she's chewing/biting/pooping. I love her silly face and her squishy snuggles and her morning yawn/bark sounds of love. I love that she is almost as happy to see me every day as I am to see her. We try to out love one another and so far no one is winning because just keeps getting better. Getting better all the time. It helps that's she's almost a year old now, so she isn't trying to eat the house or my face every second. Right now she's taking an excellent nap. It's serious business. I got her in July when she was 8 weeks old. I watched her grow, cuddled her when she was scared, and taught her some sweet tricks. She taught me to exercise sometimes, lighten up all the time, and that when you're feeling sad or frustrated it's really nothing a cuddle or good play session can't fix. She's the ultimate Dissertation Dog.

My last post was about some of my favorite gramisms. When I wrote that we only had another year or so left with my gram before her body finally gave out. She passed away on February 5th, 2013, at 95 years of age. I think about her all the time and I miss her every day. Sometimes when I am really missing her, I sit down with a glass of wine and the stuffed animal I gave her and I read through our letters to each other, thinking about how her voice sounded when she spoke and how she would laugh. I would think about how she smelled, and how when she was alive I didn't care for lavender but now that she's gone I can't get enough of it. Lavender lotion, body wash, body spray--heck, even lavender tea--all of it makes me feel closer to her. She loved it and I loved her. She loved me every day, I never doubted that. I feel her near me sometimes, especially when I am struggling. I wonder what she'd say, what she'd think of where I am now and what I'm doing. I want to know what she'd think of CK and if she'd love him as much as I do. I know she'd love Millie and Millie would love her. It's funny, if she hadn't left me an inheritance I would have had to wait to get a puppy, but once I had the money I knew she would love if I spent it on caring for a dog. And now when Millie looks at me just right when I am upset, it's like her sweet face is passing on a message from gram, telling me everything will be okay, I will be okay, and I am loved. I miss gram's letters, which stopped a few months before she passed away. I miss her voice and her hugs. I miss her no-bullshit attitude, her jokes, and her general feelings toward ginger snaps. She's always with me and of course it gets easier, but losing her has by far been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. It still hurts me to think about.

Enough of that! On to some happy stuff: my sister Erin got married in September of 2012, and then she went and made me Aunt Ally in November of 2013. Aunt Ally! His name is Ethan and he's the cutest. He makes lots of noises, giggles, and poops. I can't wait until he starts talking, as I am convinced he is a genius and will immediately start spouting universal truths.

My Ph.D. is going well, though motivation and self discipline are hard things. I have one chapter done, and research for that chapter was recently accepted for presentation at the national conference of the Society for Music Theory this coming November. Terrifying. But this is a huge deal! Of all the conferences, this is the big one. I am thrilled to be accepted- thrilled! It's good news for my C.V., and also for my general attitude. I had been feeling pretty down after something like four rejections from other (smaller) conferences, so it feels really good to finally learn that people outside of UT think what I am doing is worthwhile. Milwaukee, here I come!

Well, those are the big things with me. Maybe I'll be better about updating sometimes. Maybe. I could write things about the 5k I finally got around to completing last spring (the color run!), or my current workouts with Barre3. Maybe. Or those chocolate avocado cookies I made! Delightful.

I'll come back, sometime.