Friday, December 08, 2017

Procrasti-grading thoughts

* I have grading to do (yet again) but don't want to do it right now. (I am done until 2:30 pm, which is our Title VII thing). I do have to wait for my research student to unlock the area with the hose (if it didn't freeze up overnight) at 11, then I can go home and eat lunch and relax a bit before I have to come back.

* I will say the "Polaris" bear I bought - I talked about her some weeks back - was a good purchase. She is very squishy and nice to hold, and good to hug to your chest when you're sad or having a hard time sleeping. I don't know if it's special stuffing in her or the combination of a very soft and pliable fleece type fabric for her body and the stuffing. It feels like polyfill, but nicer and finer polyfill than what I can generally buy.

I find this year I have relied on hugging stuffed animals as a self-soothing strategy more than in recent years. Me finally breaking down? The horror that is 2017? I don't know. (Or maybe it's just me letting go of the 'this means I'm a fake grown-up' thing and realizing if it brings me comfort, it's a good thing)

* Am ALMOST done with the sleepy Scootaloo. The front legs are on; am planning on attaching the other bits and maybe the hair during my pre-Title VII -presentation break. And plan to do the face tonight. She will not have a cutie mark: she's a little small, and also, the CMC cutie marks would be really hard to render - complex, and lots of colors. And anyway, so much of the Pony History had them as "blank flanks" that I prefer to imagine her being in that part of the timeline.

Yes, I overthink these things.

* I do have to remember to get to the bank. I depleted the cash reserve in my wallet because it was time to chip in for the annual gifts to the departmental support people. I do this because they're good people (our custodian, in particular, goes above and beyond) but also because they're not paid all that well and it seems like a nice thing to do.

* Tomorrow is antiquing day. I'm already mentally planning my route - I should check online when the places I want to go to open. (Or maybe I do the Target stuff first, on the grounds that Target is more likely to be overcrowded than an antique shop. My tentative plan is to do the "non perishable" shopping, go get a good barbecue lunch, and then run to the Green Market and the Kroger's, and then go home.

(The Sherman one opens at 9; most of the Denison ones, at 10. Okay. So maybe I run to the Target first, then the antique mall in Sherman THEN backtrack for the other places, then decide if I want to go to the one in Denison....I don't know. Or maybe I just leave home a little later, avoid backtracking, and just deal with the crowds I imagine will be at the Target....)

* And yeah, like magic, my stomach got better yesterday afternoon. Am beginning to wonder if maybe it's pineapple I'm sensitive to, because it does seem to correlate with the slight gastritis I've got lately. I may have to do a challenge test over break. (Or it could be stress. Or weird hormones. Or any number of things, I don't know). At least I didn't have to worry over the slightly weird food (spinach dip, mini quiches) at the party last night. And so far nothing set me off, so.

Alternative possibility: I ate a couple "hipster marshmallows" (Smashmallow, an all-natural-ingredients brand: it has gelatin in it and tapioca starch but no sorbitol. And I wonder if maybe tapioca tends to settle slightly upset stomachs? I don't know.). Anyway, I want to get more (the strawberry is my favorite flavor with root beer float a close second) if the natural-foods store has them when I go.

* And yeah. I like those mini quiches and am thinking for the Family Christmas at church I do just a normal sized batch of the meatballs (so less chance of having to take leftovers home and maybe freeze them - I leave on Monday after the party) and also buy a box of mini quiches and heat them up. They will probably get eaten.

I like full sized quiche, too. I make it once in a while - usually in crustless form because it's easier and anyway, I don't need the extra fat and carbohydrates in the crust.

* A feature on Ravelry on "how to get hearts" (that is: how to get stuff you've made favorited) and I admit, it makes me slightly sad: we shouldn't be striving for that, should we? We should be sharing stuff for the sake of sharing it, and maybe if someone favorites it it's because they like it or it's something they want to make, and not because we keep shoving it in their face.

(I am hearing Jon Lovitz as The Critic in my head now: "Buy my book! Buy my book!")

I dunno. I get favorites on some of my projects but they are mostly from people who are friends of mine online. I get that my projects will never be as beautifully photographed as those of someone who has the proper set-up, a really good camera, and lots of time for "styling," when my photos are usually quick late-evening shots of something moments after I finished it, because I'm just so glad to have blogfodder that's not just me rambling about what's going on in my life.

I don't know. One of the things that slightly disgusts me about social media and what it's done to us is the need for "likes" or "hearts" or whatever. And I see it in  myself, and get mad at myself for doing it: I log on to Twitter and none of the people that I mutually follow are on, so I feel lonely. Or I post what I am SURE is a "bon mot" and no one favorites it. And dangit, that's not why we do it. But it's what social media makes us in to.

And so I waffle. Part of me goes, "You should just delete your Twitter account; you will get all that time back to knit and you won't feel so dependent on the little jolts of approval you imagine others are giving you when they like something you say or reply to you." But part of me knows I'd be awfully lonely, especially those long empty office hours when all my grading's done. And also, there are a few people I keep track of on Twitter - if I don't see them for a few days, I worry slightly, and am relieved when they come back. I tend to be a little hands-off about contacting people, but I do worry when someone seems absent from their usual online hangouts. (It is possible, sadly, for people you know from online to pass away, and you only find out when some third party who is closer to them confirms it).

(And yeah, that may also be part of my persistence of being on: feeling like, if people think I "should" be around (not like when I'm on break) and I'm not, maybe they will worry a little about me? Because sometimes it does feel like my connection to this world is a little tenuous - my parents call me regularly and of course I have work and church, but during some of the long summer weeks, if something happened to me, no one might know for a little while.....and you know, I would want someone to worry and maybe try to check up on me....)

But yeah. Maybe in 15 years things will settle down and we'll get used to social media like we got used to (wired) telephones and radio and television, but right now it does seem like we're trying to figure out not just the etiquette of the thing, but how it's altering our brain-wiring (which I'm sure it is, and that thought is a little scary).

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