Day: June 26, 2018

An Incomplete List of Recent Grumpiness Triggers

  1. I have to write an evaluation letter for someone’s promotion. The person’s record is incomplete and also just not that great. This makes me very grumpy, because I don’t want to write a bad letter, yet it’s not at all easy to write a good one in this case.
  2. The student on the project I received funds for last year really wants to move to a project I received funds for this year. So I have a year of money spent with very little to show for it. That, too, makes me grumpy. I will have to bring in a postdoc.
  3. I have to submit an annual project report on the project where we have little to show for. (See 2).
  4. So far two new grants in, and maybe a third this year. It will be a good time to go on sabbatical in academic 2019-20. I have been doing and redoing calculations for covering self and students and postdocs and travel and summers and also 35% of academic-year salary that I won’t get during the sabbatical year and also external funds to possibly travel to the UK for a few months in Spring 2020.
  5. I spend far too much time on literary Twitter. Far too much. Even after reducing it significantly, it’s still too much.
  6. I feel I should be a good literary citizen, so I committed to reviewing several short-story collections, and now it just adds to my stress. How stupid am I? Very stupid.
  7. In related news, I read far too much short fiction. Seriously. Short fiction is like a double espresso shot to a novel’s or novella’s 20 oz (Stabucks’ venti) filter coffee. Too much short fiction per day (and yes, I read several stories every day, and that’s not even counting the days when I read microficton for my editorial gig) makes me jittery. I literally go to a novel for a gentler, longer-term fix that I can metabolize before my mind blows up.
  8. I think I need to buy a heavy bag. Or a rowing machine. Or both.
  9. There is a book chapter, a review paper, a complete paper remaining after a student left, and a paper that I have to write from scratch but all the data is here, all of which should be done by the end of the summer. And I am bored out of my wits with all of them. I honestly don’t want to work on any of them.
  10. Science, where is the science in all this? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
  11. There are no fewer than four short fiction pieces and two nonfiction pieces that I want to write and would write if only the rest of the world would go away for maybe two weeks and I could somehow purge my mind of all the things I need to do ASAP (see 1 and 3). I think this would be one of the so-called writers’ retreats. I could probably afford one, but they sound so…never mind. I’m never gonna do one.
  12. I have always been introverted, in that I need time to myself and being alone makes me happy. But with my family as large as it is, and it being summer, it’s extremely hard to have any alone time at home. At work, there’s noise all fuckin’ summer in the classroom right next to me even though I’ve asked several times that they please not put the noisy summer-program people there as plenty of similar classrooms are empty all summer long. Anyone else having dreams of being on a deserted island for just a little bit with no one wanting story comments/paper drafts/juice and chips/cooked meals? No? Just me?
  13. Writing all this down makes it sound nutty. And mostly self-inflicted.
  14. Which reminds me of  “Brain on Fire,” a new Netflix movie I just saw, even though the movie isn’t about overwork or stress. It’s not a great movie, but it’s based on a compelling true story and is done decently enough.