I’ve often found myself saying (to myself and others) that you should never make decisions when you are feeling terrible, but instead when you are feeling your best. Because in the end, every job, every relationship, and every life is going to have its low points, where you can’t imagine doing this forever or even imagine being happy doing it at all.

This is not to say that decisions shouldn’t ever  be made in low points; sometimes you need to hit rock-bottom to reevaluate your life. But in certain cases, like with your career, I try not to rule out a path just because it seems difficult or at times undesirable.

For example, since I just finished my Master’s thesis, I sometimes cannot imagine taking a project like this on again, to continue in school anymore. I look at all the research and feedback and time spent, and it exhausts me. But no matter how annoying and just plain frustrating the work can seem, it never outshines the exhilaration I feel upon completing a paper.

And I wonder, will I find that exhilaration in the business world? Is it confined to school? Perhaps this is the world’s way of telling me that this is what I’m supposed to do.

So I ask, should I make life-changes based on how amazing it feels to succeed in school? Should I commit more of life to this pursuit? Or should I go out into another career, and see if I can find the same kind of satisfaction? Will I let my desire for financial gain and a real “career” lead me away from academia? Or can I be in both worlds?

I can’t say yet. All I know is that I don’t want to let my worn-out sick-of-school feeling I have now dictate what the rest of my life will be like.

I’ll play it by ear.

And it’s an optimistic tune.

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Prepare for some schadenfreude.

Do you often feel that life’s annoyances come at you like holidays, grouped together in an intensive manner to cause the greatest distress?

If you don’t, maybe I need to come live with you.

So let me paint you a picture:

My cat has fleas.

She lives indoors.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

Sigh.

As I proceeded to purchase $52 of flea spray and shampoo, it occurred to me that if raising children is anything like raising cats, I may not be cut out for it.

And as I vacuumed every surface in the house, using attachments to get in every corner, I gathered the rugs and pillows to take to the washing machine.

And as I put a load of rugs into said machine, it died.

Unexpectedly.

Mysteriously.

Tragically.

Apparently even though you can wash small rugs in a machine for 3 years, it can suddenly decide it likes you no longer, and will quit like a stripper dancing for a guy who forgot his wallet.

And to add insult to injury, I don’t even own the machine, so now Grandma calls out a repairman. I ask my dad if I should pay for the $150-ish repair and he replies that it’s ok, she thinks I’m broke anyway.

Well that’s nice.

So now I have a pile of wet rugs, about 5 loads of unwashed laundry that will very likely have to be taken to the Laundromat, and a slightly bruised ego.

And tonight I get to – wait for it – give the cat a bath.

Did I also mention my thesis revisions are due in three days?

Admit it: so you wish you were me right now.

awww

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Randomly political, seriously long quote from Say Anything. Yea, that pretty much sums it up.

New blog-look, what do we think?

It’s not a new year yet, but I feel the need for a change. And since I can’t bring myself to change my actual life, changing something is a small consolation.

The truth is, I’m unsure of what to do with my life. Or rather, there are several possibilities of what that might be, but they remain only possibilities. About 3 years ago right before choosing a grad school I found myself in a period of uncertainty, and I’m going to just say it: it leaves much to be desired. Literally.

I know it’s completely clique in this day and age to ask for something as simple and leading as a sign, but…. sometimes it’s all I can think of.

 

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

  Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;

Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,

  Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:

Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave 

  Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;

    Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,

Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;

    She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss

 

It reminds me of this Keats poem; is it better to remain in a frozen state, stuck right before the moment of fulfillment, when everything is possible, nothing denied? I wonder.

[Start playing your hee-haw music]

Turkeys live on my street. And around my street. And on the next street over – and let me tell you,  the dang things have not figured out that if a car is approaching, they should run off the street, not into it. I digress.

[Cue end of hee-haw, begin playing theme from unsolved mysteries]

But there is a mysterious aura surrounding these turkeys.

Why, you ask?

Every year around the summer they appear, and get larger/fatter accordingly. And then, around the end of every November, they disappear. Surreptitiously.

There are several possibilities here:

1. (Being the most biological reason) They migrate. Because it’s cold. And they only have feathers, unlike their neighbors the woolly sheep. (Do turkey’s even migrate? They’re not very aerodynamic.)

And you thought going home for Thanksgiving was hard...

2. They disappear into the bushes for all of winter. Again, it’s cold. (But the chickens seem to handle it ok…)

3. They hide from me. Seeing how many times I’ve very nearly hit them with my car, I don’t blame them.

Really, dude?

4. [The final and most morbid of all the possibilities] We eat them. Thanksgiving + chubby “free range” turkeys has very few outcomes, most of which don’t really end well for said turkeys. But would you want to eat turkeys that ran around all day? Would they be gamy? And I’ve seen some turkeys that are huge; these, not so much.And I like the idea that they aren’t all, you know, stuffed.

It’s a mystery.

Suggestions?

In other news,  instead of making a complete Thanksgiving dinner a la last year, I will this year be making: pies. Gluten and dairy-free pie recipes to be posted soon, featuring pumpkin pie and healthy(er) pecan pie! (I’m also thinking of making mini mandarin orange curd tarts. We’ll see.)

Some interesting quotes from Facebook/Twitter today:

“We live in hard times, NOT END TIMES.” ~ Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

“If you care about things like health care reform, well-funded schools, gay rights, smart financial regulation, actually getting things done in Washington, renewable energy, and/or reforming immigration laws then support the party that’s most likely to move forward on those issues. Please go out and vote for members of the Democratic Party tomorrow because they need your support now. “

“I’m so disappointed in you Hulu for running ad campaigns, and I can’t believe that her people let Meg Whitman utter the words “And I’ll treat you like a grown up, California”. Really like? Grown up? Try treating me AS an ADULT you wench.”

“algore $70 million in dirty energy ads: http://bit.ly/9vLLKH

That’s right people: it’s almost election time! (Side note: I cannot wait for all those eternally obnoxious ads to get off the TV, though the one with Meg Whitman as Pinocchio did make me chuckle.) And you now have 2 days to read up on the measures.

Please, don’t vote blindly! Vote thoughtfully, get some non-partisan information on the issues. And please don’t buy into the hype – that’s all it is. I shudder to think that people could be persuaded into changing their vote from all those slanderous ads; they’re full of glittering generalities, buzzwords, and nonsense. And this election season has been pretty rank, in terms of mudslinging.

It’s the career politicians vs. the CEOS: frankly, even though the former don’t always make the best choices, I would rather have someone in office who made it their life’s work to be there, rather than a wealthy former CEO who decided to make an appearance and use their own money to propel themselves forward.

Even if I wasn’t a Democrat, I don’t think I could ever trust anyone with that amount of money to understand and work for the issues that face me and my social class – the priories are just different, and that’s how it is. But that’s just me.

This election year I really hope that we Californians can look past the hot-button issues (abortion, religion, party alliance, etc) and look at the ones that are most pressing: our environment, energy, education, health care, the economy. Parties  try to win us by playing to our most basic belief systems, and they are hyper-conscious. If you are a Christian, don’t vote Republican just because of religion (news flash: most politicians are all Christians – there has never been a President who wasn’t a church-going man, regardless of party.) Don’t vote Democrat just because you drive a Prius. Stereotypes don’t help us.

But, if you have read up on the issues and seen the pros and cons of each measure and candidate, feel free to choose who makes sense to you – this is, after all, America, right?!

I remember the first election season after I turned 18 in October 2004. (And Bush won. Sigh.) I waited in line at UC Davis for about an hour, and when I finally got that ballot it was quite a moment. There was a sense, an inkling, that I could now really participate in the debate.

Maybe it’s not like that for everyone, but apathy doesn’t help anyone, except maybe for the people running against those you might have voted for.

I don’t know about you, but these little stickers give me a thrill. Get yours!

When pumpkins start appearing on porch steps….

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…it’s almost Halloween!

The lovely time when culture encourages us to over-consume sugary-sweets, carve the heck out of pumpkins, cover our houses in fake spider webs, and roam the streets dressed up like crazies. But it’s so much more than that…

tumblr_lal1e2O3Iv1qzahuvo1_500.png  Maybe it’s because my birthday is right before the 31st, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the day. I plan my costume all year – this week I even got an idea for next year’s costume while shopping for this year’s.

But really, Halloween is a celebration of the my favorite season, full of caramel apples and hot cider. It rings of old-America, with all our graveyards, Edgar Allen Poes, witch trials, haunted houses, Pagan rituals, and vaguely-Puritanical beliefs.

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And let’s not forget Harry Potter….

But you know what might be one of the best things about Halloween?

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It’s the last holiday before the “Holidays” begin. The last hurrah before the gift-buying, turkey-baking, tinsel-throwing madness. You don’t have to visit your long-lost relatives, or worry about what to get your annoying brother for Christmas, or shovel snow out of the driveway.

You may, however, dress up like a complete tramp by adding “sexy” to any normal costume (sexy Chewbacca, anyone?), mix candy corn with alcoholic beverages, wear some form of animal ears/antennae to work, or watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown for the 10th time.

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Revel in the season, folks, and soak up all the lovely Orange

(…before the explosion of Red and Green.)