home-ish

I will miss my porch when I move. I miss sitting on the glider on the weekends with Shawn, drinking coffee and reading. I miss lying on the steps in the middle of the hot autumn nights talking to Paul. I will miss just being there, watching life go by. I will miss walking around the corner of the house and seeing my things – my candelabra mounted on the wall, my wind chime, my pirate comic on the door – and knowing I’m home. I was worried when I moved here – especially after the break up – that this would never feel like my home, that it would always be his. There are still traces of him here – I lie in bed and watch the mobile and remember him fixing it for me when I thought it was ruined – I try to rearrange the furniture and remember stacking all his books on the floor the night we built the Babbitt’s bookcases – and so many more intimate things I don’t want to remember but sometimes flash in my head like a movie I can’t stop – but this is my home. Everything about it feels like mine, and while I’ve been so unhappy (for a variety of reasons) and cramped, I will miss it. But that’s a long ways off.

I’ve started to really like the idea of having a dog. I think it’s the weather that does it – the weather and my parents’ insanely ridiculous puppy. On a side note, she apparently is doing well in obedience school, though the blind and deaf dog did better at the “come” command today.

My small brother turned nine today. Nine. I can’t believe it. We had a conversation on the phone this afternoon. It’s so strange.

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mental health days

From today’s Graduate College email circular:

A new study by graduate researchers and staff at UC-Berkeley suggests that depression and other forms of mental distress are a serious problem for students in graduate school and professional programs (i.e. medical, law, and business schools). The Berkeley study, which included over 3100 graduate and professional students at UC Berkeley, is the first of its kind at the university. The survey results are discussed in a report released by the Berkeley Mental Health Task Force, a graduate student group advancing mental health as a campus priority.
Nearly half of all survey respondents (45%) reported an emotional or stress-related problem that significantly impacted their academic performance or well-being. 67% reported that they have felt hopeless at times, 95% have felt overwhelmed, and 54% have felt so depressed that it was difficult to function.
10% reported that they had seriously considered suicide, and ~1 in 200 respondents reported that they had attempted suicide at least once in the last 12 months…(study link here)

Kinda makes you wonder why we do it, doesn’t it? I finished my paper this morning at 3:30, slept til 7, then was back on campus at 8:15 to make my revisions, then went home and slept. This afternoon has been random – lunch with everyone’s favorite revolutionaries, playing with the mp3 stream in the office, getting more pictures taken by the terrorist-o-matic, looking at more pictures of hedgehogs. I so need the weekend.

Things I Did This Weekend:

  • had a small breakdown and cried on Shawn’s virtual shoulder
  • worked my first kitchen shift, during which I cut my head on something. I thought it was just a bump until just now, 36 hours later, when I felt a cut on my scalp while pushing my hair out of my face.
  • introduced two friends to Jeff Buckley – how is it possible that there are intelligent people who love music that DON’T know about Buckley? I suppose I was one of them once, but that was five years ago.
  • went out with the girls – dinner at Farrens, coffee (and stuff) at Kopi, drinks at the Blind Pig and Esquire. I wish more could’ve made it, but it was fun just the four of us.
  • got suckered into a last call round at the Brass Rail with a few choice MFAs. I was impressed by Rob’s quest to hit on anything with breasts, and by Jason, who mentioned in passing things we’d talked about at the first Septober 41st party more than two years ago.
  • while driving Dave home from work today, managed to get into a fender-bender in the rain – the damage to the other car was minimal (scrapes to the bumper), and all involved are fine. Yes, my car’s fine too – or as fine as it was before.
  • watched some tv and a movie, yet still managed to finish all my work for Tuesday. Yay, me.
  • played with my blog a bit. I’m still not sure about the end result, but I needed a change.

    Happy Anti-Valentine’s Day, friends.

  • naming

    it is 2:30 and i’m not tired at all. two twelve hour days in a row – some school, some goofing off, some work. time split between two offices, two jobs in one building. new friends. old friends. new things.

    tonight i watched the tech room so dan could pick up dinner for us. we ate thai and watched the state of the union on my laptop. i can’t tell you why that was a perfect moment, but it was – two liberal GAs in a liberal office in a liberal program sitting in this little room nominally working, but mainly discussing politics and eating with chopsticks while dan’s awesome dog wandered around.

    dan asked me if my name is officially “e” because he never sees it written as elizabeth or Elizabeth or E – tonight i was eTech. i don’t know how to shape my thoughts on self-naming, so i’ll try my best here. for ages i was liz, then elizabeth, then e. always e. now i am no longer liz, save to a few who call me that despite my best efforts. to one i was always elizabeth. to many i am only e. what do these names say about me? how do they shape my self-perception?

    i’ve been listening to a lot of music lately – new music, old music, new-to-me music. tonight after dan left i put on my big leep headphones and just got lost. my mixtrade disc is finished and, while not as stunning as i’d hoped, is pretty damned good. over the weekend gavin sent me gary numan’s absolution. right now i am sitting in my chair in my dark apartment with my earbuds in and my eyes closed, just letting the music sink in.