the moon

Wisps of fog spread beneath the slivered moon and the light tower winked and blinked as it swept its circles. He welcomed the sight, a sign of familiarity, of routine, in a dark morning that had been anything but. Nothing had gone according to plan since he’d woken, hours before the sun was even considering making an entrance. That daily occasion was still far off. The winks, the blinks, the fog, the moon all seemed to laugh at his futile attempts to find balance. He’d laugh too, if he had a voice.

He could still remember the taste of words but could not remember the sound of his own voice. It was one more odd thing about him in a list that grew daily. He had kept a list, pen on paper, for a bit but when he realized he was going to need more paper to keep it going he had abandoned the endeavor and had begun to accept the truth. He no longer minded being weird, eccentric, outside the norm. It was routine he still craved. And it was routine that was failing him. He’d blame the slivered moon but that wouldn’t solve anything, and it really wasn’t the moon’s fault.

In all likelihood, the disturbances in his morning were his own fault. All the odd things that happened around him usually could be tracked back to being a result of his quirks. He couldn’t easily see the direct connection that morning but that didn’t mean it wasn’t there. One time he traced a day gone wrong back to a toenail he had failed to pick off the ground and place in the trash where it belonged. That one bit of carelessness had caused a whole day to go sideways. Afterwards he had researched having his nails permanently removed, to avoid such a disaster in the future, but the procedure was prohibitively expensive and no reputable doctors would perform it anyway.

The fog thinned further and the tower faded in the distance behind him, leaving only the moon to shine down on his progress. He liked the moon. Always had. It represented something magical, even if that sorcery was based in science. Its influence on the world was something he appreciated, longed for at times. He didn’t want the attention it received but he wouldn’t mind its importance. His jealousy of the moon was another of his oddities he had made peace with.

The dark sky cracked in a thousand tendrils of light reaching away from the east and he smiled for the first time all morning. Finally the sun was rising and perhaps that could turn his day around.

We Don’t Need No Thought Control

Today we are discussing some of the problems with higher education over at Stories That Must Not Die. Pop on over and add your thoughts and experiences to the discussion.

Stories that Must Not Die

Please welcome Bumblepuppies to discuss higher education, graduate school and a form of cultist sequestration I had no idea existed.

I’ve come here to tell some stories. I usually write humor but today I intend to go serious with topics that sometimes end up as a punchline for me these days. You should not expect extreme emotion from me, but rather a disturbing calm. I have been away from the situation for a while now, long enough for other life events to move into the foreground. It is for this reason that I don’t usually talk about this anymore, though it is something people need to know before allowing friends and relatives to pursue a Ph.D.

If you humor me on the small stuff early on, you’ll find that the issues grow as you keep reading.

And so…

I remember that my academic department had an email listserv for all…

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the son of an engineer

That sort of says it all, right?

I’d love to say that I was the type of person who never planned out anything and was always content to just go with the flow, let spontaneity rule the day, make and change plans on a whim.  And, while I am very good at going with the flow, I’m Gumby, I can bend without breaking whenever needed, I’m not comfortable unless there is a plan in place.

It can all get scrapped, switched up, recreated, and set to the side, but I’m not comfortable unless I go into something with an action plan, a road map, a set of guidelines.  From travel to my day to day routines, I want/need to start each day knowing (or at least thinking I know) what I’m going to be doing that day, when, and where.

Except, when it comes to writing.  I hardly ever make an outline ahead of time for any of my writing projects, I just sit down and see where the words take me.  Using this post as an example, I had no idea I was going to use writing as a caveat to my “need for a plan” mentality until I had come up with the Gumby comparison.

Yes, I’m silly like that.

What about you?

my couch is a wonderously evil thing

All this week I’ve had the best of intentions: go to work, come home and do my normal chores around the house, and then sit down and work on editing my NaNaWriMo project. That hasn’t happened.

I’ve done the “go to work” part. That hasn’t been a problem. Wake up, eat, get in the car, drive for an hour, do that work stuff. Done.

Chores? Yeah, did all those too: errands on the way home, cleaned the house, did all the dishes, took care of my kitties, etc… I’m good at those chores things. I get them done.

But then I need to make myself some dinner, and I invariably wind up on the couch to take a little rest while I eat. And that is the plan, to just take a 30 minute break, eat some food, laugh at some silly people on the televsion and then get cracking.

Do I do that? No. Not so much. Not at all.

I get sucked in. 30 minutes of The Big Bang Theory turns into an hour of the show, and that’s followed by How I Met Your Mother, and then I will want more and I can just change the channel and find more of those shows. I’ll look over at the time at some point and will be shocked by how much time has passed. I could still shut it off and spend at least a few minutes, go through at least one chapter, before my wife calls on her own long trek home from work but I’ve lost all motivation and don’t have the energy to force myself to do it anyway.

The couch is just too comfortable, wonderously so actually.

And pure evil.