I think this photoblogging could be a very good thing. Not only is it fun to share the pictures, but it's also motivation to put up entries even if I haven't got much to say.
And I really haven't got much to say, today. Work has been crazy-making lately; yesterday, I was at work from 9:45am to 9:15pm, and continued working on the El trip home and on the computer at home until past midnight. It hasn't been quite that bad everyday, but I certainly haven't been home before 8 all week, and the days have been busy and stressful. I end up collapsing at night with a fried brain... much like right now, in fact, which is why I find it so difficult to be eloquent or even coherent, really. Maybe later this weekend, once my brain gets a chance to relax and de-stress a bit (although I need to put in a bunch of time for work on Sunday). So you can just kick back and enjoy the picture from Hawai'i for now...
As you can see, I've decided to try to find a way to share some of the 966 digital pictures I've taken since I got my camera last June. This is from the set I took last weekend at the Chocolate Fest at the Garfield Park Conservatory; along with nibbling on free samples of chocolate, I snapped about 30 pictures of the plants and flowers, so there'll be more of these to come. (And take a look over to your right... you can click on any of the small pictures, and it'll take you to a page with a description. I recommend my two adorable little cousins at the bottom.)
So in other news, life has been going fairly well. Work has been challenging, stressful, and frustrating, but hell, it's just work. And very good things have been happening in the grand scheme of the project I'm working on, even though my particular workload has not been enjoyable.
And as far as people... I suppose there's nothing to write home about, but the general trend is good. Two weekends ago, I went to the Peace Project brunch discussion. There were only four of us there, but I actually liked that, because it was a lot more cozy and we were able to carry on a single conversation instead of splitting into two or three, the way it happens when there's a dozen people. It was a good discussion, and a fun, friendly experience. Then last weekend, I went to the co-op's Valentine's Day party. It was better than most parties I've been to, which is to say that it wasn't lousy and there were relatively few moments of awkwardness. There were at least 5 or 6 people I could stand around talking to without feeling like I was forcing my company on them. Almost all of the people I'm casually friendly with in Evanston were there, and I was able to chat a bit with all of them. It still isn't the kind of thing I'd choose as a fun way to spend an evening, but it was a pretty painless way to socialize. And it's definitely necessary to keep doing it; the utterly shocked and puzzled look on Sharlyn's face when she saw me there ("Britt? You never go to parties!") is evidence enough of that.
And then on Friday night, we had a SEJ evening. I met up with Kyle, Pat, Sharlyn, and Rebecca at a kick-off event for the new Chicago Labor Trail map/guide to Chicago's labor history. It was interesting, and I discovered that Erik, the grad student who taught my history seminar last year, was one of the people working on the project. We talked afterwards, and that was really nice-- I like him a lot, so it was good to talk to him again, plus he seemed happy to see me and made me feel good about my job. Anyway, from there, we went to see "The Take" at the Music Box Theatre, which I highly recommend to all. I walked out of the theater with such a sense of hope and optimism and possibility. It was beautiful. Then we ended up across the street, drinking coffee and talking about all sorts of things. Again, just... nice.
Yeah. I don't know. It's definitely a stretch to say that my life is great or wonderful in any sort of way. But, stress or no stress, right now I feel like things are pretty good. (Ask me again tomorrow, though...)
Finally, your resolution updates (not because I think you care, but because if I don't keep reminding myself, they'll fade into obscurity):
2. Finally made some initial inquiries.
3. Kicking this one's ass-- just took out 4 more books today, which makes about 15 so far this year.
4. Not yet. Although there's a poem floating around in my head.
5. Sort of.
6. Same as before.
7. Last week, I brought lunch from home 4 of 5 days!
8. In the last week I've made eggplant parmesan and slow-cooker black bean chili, as well as making my own french fries.
9. See above. I'm getting there.
Testing... from the trip
Alex and I took to northern Wisconsin in December.
And here I am again. Like always, a ridiculously long time since I last wrote, with a half-dozen conceived but unwritten blog posts in my head that have faded out of possibility again. To name just one, I wanted to write about going to dinner with more than a dozen Peace Project kids and sitting around the Co-op apartment afterwards for hours talking about their Peace Studies seminar... but that was weeks ago, and the time for that has passed, I suppose. The themes will resurface though, sooner or later, I'm sure-- about Peace Project and its past and present and future, about terrific people and not-quite-enough efforts to reach out and connect with them, about activism, about stimulating discussion, about socializing... they're always in my life somewhere.
I have so many tentative connections with people, these days, and I don't seem to be moving forward at all, but mostly barely treading water to keep in place. I keep telling myself I need to try harder to make these things work, but yet every day I put it off until tomorrow. It's hard. I get home, and I'm tired, and it's good to be around Alex, and I go through my little internet routines that fill up hours if I let them, and then suddenly, oops, it's bedtime. Weekends ought to be easier, and I come home on Friday thinking I'm going to IM or e-mail someone and talk about getting together, but Friday night becomes Saturday becomes Sunday and then suddenly I'm looking back at a weekend of missed opportunities and kicking myself. What I need is for people to actively reach out to me and draw me out of my shell, and I'd respond-- but in the reality I'm living in, that's just not going to happen. So I guess I've got to just keep on plugging along, and going to meetings and dinner discussions that may not be very relationship-building but at least are social, and hope that things work out okay in the long run.
I thought I'd be writing more tonight, but it's 1 already and I've got to be at work early tomorrow morning for what's going to be another hectic and stressful week, so I should probably just wait for another time. But before I go, the one-month(ish) update on my New Year's resolutions:
#6: not really-- partially because Alex has been watching a lot of basketball. But I don't usually pay attention to that, so maybe it counts.
#7: doing better, but still room for improvement
#9: nope; see above