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10:18 a.m. - January 17, 2005
On my day off, I embark on a new engagement
Arrived home last night and discovered voicemails from Maya and Ryan, their voices so cheery and welcome, their messages so down-to-earth, that I smiled like a flatulent baby and went to bed warm. Maya has the sweetest voice and accent - does she realize her English is now tinged with a German accent? - and says just the right things in a voicemail. When I think of Maya I debate whether pulling away to give her space after she married was the wrong thing to do, and perhaps I've learned from her that I shouldn't pull away from Bathsheba now. A gut-wrenching trade-off is my chargin at missing her call and the opportunity to chat, counter-balanced by the thrill of having her voicemails I can save and listen to when I want to smile. Must write her a letter!

Saturday before-noon I realized, standing in front of 38 foreign language teachers who represent a variety of LCTL including Swedish, while amid full-launch of my confidence-o-meter and in full possession of what I do best, lecturing and teaching and striving to ensure a minimum level of interest to avoid an attendee's muttering afterwards what a waste of time, that I am no longer enthused by what I do. I still have yet to remove the words Ph.D. Candidate from the credentials, which reveals my own self-loathing and insecurity that I am a half-intellectual-of-sorts, a non-entity entity like Dr. Frankenstein's monster, neither human nor not, but in this case I'm qualified but not and they don't know the difference.

I am home for a week and a half before jetting off again, a period of time during which I'll borrow the dog for a walk every night and will practice making my inaugural - sorry, just back from DC and its inauguration-on-the-mind - batch of raspberry scones. I've been looking for something different to do, a learning venture, something that can absorb my thoughts, something positive I can focus on for a period of time. Settled on baking because it is thoroughly foreign to me aside from the Secret Ingredient cookies I make for the guys who ask, a task that is more about the process than the results. The complexity of scone-making to my novice eyes appeals, but most importantly I've convinced myself perfection is unlikely and undesirable and this process is about fun and doing something different. Eventually, I argue, I'll return to doing different things outside my house once again and light will fill my head and clean out the dank garbage that's settled in for too long now.

Errands this morning: Grocery store (apples, carrots, bread, salad stuff), Bed, Bath & Beyond (a new pillow), The UPS Store (gather mail), bank (deposit checks that should be in the mailbox), in reverse order.


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