The Month of Articles

Friday, June 7, 2013

How is it June already?! And better yet, how is it June 7th already? We're a week into June, and I still feel like it's early-mid May. In a little more than two weeks, T.J. and I will leave for our summer vacation, and when we return it will be July, so June already feels like it's slipping away all too rapidly. I've declared June the "Month of Articles" because I have three article projects that must be completed before month's end, which really means I have two weeks to finish three articles. Yikes.

Part of the reason for my absence on the blog as of late is due to said articles. I'm working on them full-time like it's my job, which it sort of is, only one where you don't get paid and and have little hope that all your hard work will amount to anything of substance, like a full-time teaching gig. Bummer. I'm enjoying the work I'm doing to a degree, but it also means the dissertation has been on the back-burner for quite a while, and I haven't worked on my fiction in so long I would cry if I allowed myself to think about it for more than a few seconds at a time. Some days (like today) I'm so itchy to get back to the novel that I find myself daydreaming scenes from it while I'm reading obscure eighteenth-century travel narratives. (The one I'm reading today, The History of Autonous, takes place on an island, so it isn't much of a stretch.) I guess that it's good that even my scholarly research feeds my creative work, even though it does make it a bit more frustrating that I can't allow myself to work on it right now.

In our "free" time, T.J. and I have been working on the house and taking advantage of the fact we now live in a place where there are things to do. Working hard and playing hard, in other words. As of this weekend, we will have been in the house for three months, and its been an endless parade of repairs, purchases, and upgrades since we moved in. We spent two full weekends in May painting the second guest bedroom, dining room, and half bath, and there is still so much painting to do. Up next will be the foyer and my study, but eventually we plan to repaint the whole house (which is a dull, flat tan), so I'm sure there will be many more weekends spent painting over the next few months.

A lot of our walls look like they were attacked by paintbrush-wielding two-year-olds, as we try to settle on a final color scheme for the house. These are the walls in my study and the foyer, respectively. Needless to say, we aren't having company over anytime soon.
When we're not painting, trimming hedges (so. many. hedges.), mowing the lawn, installing a new water softener, picking out a new dishwasher, hanging pictures, organizing the garage, cleaning, and the hundred other things home ownership apparently requires, we've been going to festivals and farmer's markets, hiking in preparation for our trip out West, trying new restaurants, and seeing movies. When we first started looking at places to move after Pennsylvania, my only real condition was that we be within an easy drive of nice stadium-seating movie theaters. No joke, all of the movie theaters near us in PA (and they were still half an hour away) were those crappy old one-level theaters, with sticky floors, way too little elbow room, and usually an aisle right down the middle of the theater. We rarely went to the movies because it just wasn't worth the annoyances, and when we did go we usually drove all the way to Pittsburgh (two hours) to see them in a "real" theater. So we are pretty happy now that we have the Monaco and not only have stadium seating and spacious aisles but can also reserve our seats online ahead of time, so we never have to worry about getting there early on opening weekends.

We've also been enjoying all the festivals nearby, such as Alabama Jubilee, the hot air balloon festival in Decatur:

For the next couple of weeks, though, until we leave for Montana, it will be less festival-ing and more hiking. This weekend, weather permitting, we'll be headed up to Monte Sano to do several miles. And with any luck, there will be time for article writing (lots and lots of article writing) as well.


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