Friday, March 03, 2006

Projection, hmmm... so what's really eating me?

I'm pissed. Yeah! I brought #1 to his gymnastics class, on campus... then dropped off the wife at work (we were running late). Then returned to campus, to find a parking spot. Last week, I got a $40 ticket on the van, since the permit they give parents of gymnastics students is only good for 20 minutes at a time. I paid it last week, it was really my fault (despite the fact that another parent had assured me that she'd been using hers for two years and never got a ticket). Okay, so I shouldn't trust other people, and I ought to just play by the rules. So I paid it. (Found out today she got a ticket last week also).

So, today, I walked straight from the parking spot to the pay machine and bought a permit for the whole day ($8), because the au pair was to come at 10:00 (which she did) to pick up the boys and swap vehicles, so I could park all day, then pick up the wife, and come home for dinner. So... what do I find, on the van, when we go out to swap vehicles? A ticket! 40 bucks again. No, I shouldn't have to pay it. See... there's a permit for that spot (you don't actually display them here, you just pay, and the computer is supposed to be updated). But apparently this meter jerk didn't look at his/her computer, just wrote a ticket, because that 20 minute permit is permanently displayed on my window. Aaaarrrrgh!

But, you know what? It's annoying, yeah. And I have to wait until tomorrow, when the webpay site is updated, so I can dispute it online, and I can't imagine that they won't okay the dispute, since I'll have the permit number with times and everything (including the spot number, which you have to input when you pay). But, it really hit a nerve with me. I don't know why. I realize when I fly off the handle like this, the blood pressure rises, and I get infuriated, there's usually something else eating me, that has nothing to do with the instigating event.

My knee hurts. It's lack of exercise I guess (mixed with overuse). I go from doing nothing, to riding my bike for an hour trip. So, it's been bothering me off and on for a couple months. I always sit cross-legged, so I guess that exacerbates it.

And, I've had the flu. But... I got this aticle done and out. (I guess the waiting in silence bugs me a bit, though rationally I realize I only submitted on Sunday, and it might be a few weeks before they get back to me.) And, the job search anxiety is starting to creep in a bit again.

This is my first day back on campus. I realize that there's really not much more for me here than there is at home, or the public library, or the toilet for that matter. I can read anywhere. Just need a pencil or a highlighter, or a pen and my notebook (if it's a library book).

I'm doing okay, really. I was saying to the au pair last night -- while trying to decide if I would finally go back to campus to work, leaving her and the boys in peace at home -- that I didn't really know what to do these days. Wise beyond her years (she's 19), she said, what do you mean? Work on that [longitudinal study] stuff. That's work! Gotta smile at that. Yeah. That's work. And that's on my list.

First, is more reading on this book for the review. Though, I think I should not plan to do that at the exclusion of everything else, as I have the past couple days. I don't work well that way, when I'm focusing on just one thing (unless, like with the dissertation during those final two weeks, the end goal is concretely clear). I think I'll mix and match, reading the book, reading some articles, bloggging, distracting.

I've got things to do, I know that. The hard part is consistently finding the motivation. At least, if I have a stack of papers to grade, I know there is something obvious (that I may be avoiding) that I can get back to. But, I'm awash in a sea of no deadlines. I can tell you, those of you lamenting too much work to do, too many papers to grade, too long departmental meetings, too boisterous search committee rancor, the grass over here ain't too green either!

In many ways, I've got it made. I am mostly free of financial worries (other than this stupid house that won't sell!). My wife is busy at work and well-paid; we've been good with our finances over the past several years (even the better part of a year that I was writing the disseration, and we were coasting off savings). It's not from inheritance I can assure you. Not that we're rich, by any stretch, but we're comfortable, living within our means.

But... I want to be a professor. I want to have that title, that recognition. I want to stand in front of a class again, and set those minds ablaze. I want to give conference talks, and invited lectures, and radio interviews. I'm anxious about it. No calls. Tick... tick... tick...

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