thoughts that express absolutely no unifying theme
I've noticed today how easily seduced I am by product packaging. When I came home from the grocery store, I saw how much pleasure I derived from looking at all the nice, new stuff in my fridge. It's much more attractive than, say, the marinara-stained tupperware containers that I sometimes use. There are no half-opened packages, no half-eaten produce. Everything in its natural completeness. I like how all my new boxes of tea and instant oatmeal and so on stack neatly together in my cupboard, flaps firmly sealed instead of coming loose and hanging open. And have you ever seen those milk bottles (I know they're in Minnesota, I don't know if they're elsewhere) that are covered entirely with a blue or pink label and have a nifty looking screw cap on top? Land-o-Lakes, I think. Looks different than your average milk jug, and I always bought it because I thought it would look so fantastically spiffy in my fridge. Sad.
I need a hobby. Just at the point in my life when I'm not going to be able to have one. But the problem is that all these people suggest that survival in grad school requires at least some token maintenance of a "side interest." (There's some Simpsons episode where Marge says something like: "I'm developing an outside interest. I heard they work well for other people") Anyways, I try to think of the "side interest" that I'm going to maintain and I'm not sure what it is. I don't really have one. Academics seem really into outdoor sports. Few are the researchers who don't have pictures of themselves whitewater rafting or flyfishing or cycling in the mountains. I understand the motivation--when you spend all day inside, engaging in sedentary activites, there's probably an impulse to do exactly the opposite, once you get the chance. So, I don't know, what am I going to do? I thought, maybe for the time being, I'm going to make something up, so that I can at least tell people what I do "for fun" (ha ha ha ha ha) I thought I could tell them that I hike through exotic deserts, and then I could just take a digital picture of myself in hiking boots and use adobe photoshop to paste my image onto backdrops of the Sahara.
I just bought a Paul Simon solo album. Which I always hesitated to do; it seemed kinda heretical given that I think he never should have ditched Art on the side of the road. Do you know the song "Slip Sliding Away?" There's a verse I really like:
I know a woman
Became a wife
These are the very words that she uses to describe her life:
She said a good day ain't got no rain
She said a bad day's when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been...
Or as would say good buddy TS Eliot: Footfalls echo in the memory/down the path which we did not take/towards the door that we never opened/into the rose garden...
The next few weeks are important here in grad-school land and the way I play my cards during this time could have a strong impact on how my first year or two will play out--what I end up doing, how much I end up liking it, and so on. I don't want to be lying in bed and thinking of things that might have been. Wish me luck--and knock me on the head if I'm not blogging for a while, it's probably an indicator that I'm far too absorbed in something that's not worth it.