Snow Woes

My brain is a little numb.  I’ve been working very hard for a very long time, and there really isn’t a break in sight.  Well… there kinda is, but not one that I’m getting any close to (in a matter of a month I can take a pseudo-break but I can’t call it a “real” break since the semester will have just started and, thusly, I’ll be teaching at that point).  For now, I’m buried in books and, no matter how much reading I do, the book fort never seems to get any smaller (probably due to the fact that I keep piling library books on top of it even as I read them out from the bottom of the stacks).

To make matters worse, over the weekend we got our first major snowstorm here in the

From last year and with an APPROPRIATE amount of snow. Harumph.

Northeast.  This at least gave me the ability to successfully test my hypothesis that I would rather do any other task in my household than shovel.  As I suited up to deal with the icy toboggan-trail that had become my driveway, I couldn’t help but wryly remark to myself that snow days really ain’t what they used to be.

The funny thing about snow in Boston is you’d think that, since it’s a city inhabited by New Englanders, nobody would have a problem with it.  They’d go about their business without much to-do and continue on their merry ways amidst the downfall.  But no.   Somehow, inevitably, the first snow of the year transforms the city into a conglomerate of royal jerks who have all miraculously forgotten how to drive.  Additionally, even though the roads are still slippy/slidey, Bostonians think that snow on the sidewalk makes it acceptable to walk in the road rather than tromp on their nice, safe, designated walkway.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many pedestrians I almost ran down on my way home from rehearsal last night.

As an added bonus, since my driveway is uphill both ways and the nice fluffy pillows of wonder that fell from the sky this weekend froze over with about an inch of caked-on skating-rink quality ice, my back seems to have called up its union and gone on strike in protest of hard manual labor.

And we’re expecting more snow tomorrow.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my cave.  Grumbling.


At the moment, my life is pretty much the picture of what I would generally describe as being “my ideal life”.

I’m involved in two productions: Twelfth Night (my group’s pilot experiment in communal theatre) is in rehearsal and I’m getting to do some awesome, wacky, fun things with some really neat, smart, talented individuals while simultaneously dreaming about a bright future on the Boston theatre scene; and Measure for Measure (my debut as a dramaturge which, for those who are keeping track, I’ve been working on actively since last June) is in its last week of rehearsal before it opens next Thursday.  I’m TAing one class

Rehearsal the other day; we have a show! From a script that I made! From Shakespeare!

Rehearsal the other day; we have a show! From a script that I made! From Shakespeare!

(Modern and Postmodern theatre) with a professor from whom I’m endlessly learning things and with whom it’s a pleasure to work.  I’m in a class that’s got me constantly thinking, constantly on my toes, and constantly studying for comps.  I’m keeping up on my awesome side-projects (Offensive Shadows has just started recording our episodes on Love’s Labour’s Lost which is a joy to discuss as it’s one of my favorite plays).  I’m living, eating, breathing, bleeding, and sweating theatre.

I guess call me a classic case of “grass is always greener” syndrome, but I’m so tired right now that I’m having trouble enjoying any of it.  I haven’t had a decent break in who knows how long and every time I do manage to eke out a few hours away from my desk that time seems to fill with unexpected trips to the theatre (which, don’t get me wrong, I love but aren’t much of a break for me).  What’s really got me shaken is the fact that’s is very early in the semester to be feeling this way; all of my big projects are on the distant horizon (with the exception of one lecture that I’m working on prepping; the first of two for my TAship this semester).  If I’m working like this before my projects hit the hot zone, where am I going to find time for my projects when I actually need to work on them?

I’m not the only one feeling like this either.  From speaking with some of my cohort, it seems that a general malaise has overcome Dance and Drama at Tufts.  I guess I could blame it on February; the long (but surprisingly so-far easy) Boston winter; or maybe the Genocide course that most of my colleagues are taking (nothing will make you feel awful about life quite like being bombarded with consistent reading about genocide).

out my window.  Nemo does not look awful.  Yet.

out my window. Nemo does not look awful. Yet.

To hammer home the point that all I do is work and there is life outside my apartment, I am currently hunkered down in my office while outside begins the great blizzard Nemo which some stations are predicting will be one of the worst in Boston’s history.  Most normal people I know have been given today off or have a half-day and this extends into tomorrow thus effectively creating a three-day-weekend for the gainfully employed.  I, however, took this opportunity to stock up on library books and non-technology research (in case we lose power) and plan to spend the next few days holed up on my sofa working.  With any luck, I may be able to plow through a bunch of my to-dos while the rest of the Northeast goes sledding.

…The one concession I will make to snow is the potential creation of a snow-tomaton in my near future.  Because making a snowman out of the accumulation from my driveway is way easier and more enjoyable than shoveling it out.

Here’s hoping accomplishment can bust through my malaise.  If not, I at least hope you have a good weekend.  Stay warm and dry!

A Sudden Kink in the Plan

I will be the first to admit that this past semester has been rough.  PhD work is hard, and it’s not an easy (albeit pajama-clad) lifestyle that I have chosen.  I’ve done a lot of struggling since September, but I’ve never, for a single moment, looked back.  All of this has been with the certainty that I’m doing the right thing, I’m exactly where I need to be, and if my confidence wavered at times (and you, loyal readers, can attest that it has) it was never with a deeply imbued sense of wrongness, simply a general feeling of inadequacy.

But this weekend, something occurred which made me cross that line.  Something occurred that forced me to reevaluate my life choices.  Something occurred which made me believe that perhaps I had not made the correct decision.  Perhaps I should never have moved to Massachusetts.  Perhaps this wasn’t what I needed to be doing with my life.

much like this guy, I am the most melancholy snowman.

On Saturday, for the first time ever, I had to shovel out my own driveway.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, you may gasp in awe that my twenty-five year-old self has never had to accomplish something so mundane, but recall that for the first twenty-odd years of my life, I was a New Yorker.  You don’t have cars in Manhattan (unless you’re crazy).  I did do a brief stint in Massachusetts between grad school and my undergrad, but both occasions situated me somewhere comfortably where the driveway was someone else’s responsibility.

Not anymore.

My driveway is fairly heavily sloped as I do park in a garage beneath my house; so not only was I shoveling, but I was shoveling uphill.  Both ways.  In the snow.

And as I stood shivering, knee-deep in drifts, that was when I first began to question the choices that had led me to this place.  I could have chosen many other places in the country to make my academic home.  I could have gone to California.  Or Florida.  Or somewhere where there is no snow.  Or somewhere where the driveway, once more, wasn’t my responsibility.

Of course, then I wouldn’t be living in a gorgeous apartment with wonderful friends, a fireplace, and Jerry, but somehow in that moment these things seemed small to me.  Small prices to pay for not having to freeze my fingers off before I could go anywhere.  Small concessions to make for the ability to not have to worry about potential multiple shovelings given heavy snowfall.  Oh so small.

I have already, of late, succumbed to the pangs of homesickness.  As I have said time and again, Boston’s great but it ain’t New York.  This little incident simply drove home the fact that Dorothy has left her driveway-free Kansas.  And, as much as I love my car, I absolutely hate being cold.

…I knew the honeymoon had to end eventually.