Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the Pill

I will tell you something that really shouldn't be controversial, but is: I'm on the Pill.  I have been on the Pill continuously for over nine years, and I intend to remain on it for the foreseeable future.

If you are a sensible person, your response to this is, "okay... so?"  Because this would be like me telling you that I take allergy medicine or fish oil supplements or dye my hair every six weeks: I choose to do it for reasons somewhere between purely medical and purely personal, at the expense of my insurance when I have good insurance and at my own expense when I don't, and the side effects and risks it entails are ones that a reasonable adult might accept.  

However, many people I know seem to have totally different responses.  The Pill, they say, is unnatural (often they say this while drinking apple martinis that contain absolutely no apple).  Also, it will mess up my body and my "rhythms" and make it harder for me to have children and possibly lead to birth defects in said children if I do have them, and doesn't it make me feel weird to be controlled by medicine?  Now, of course, most of these objections have been scientifically demonstrated to be bullshit and/or are completely irrelevant; moreover, almost all of them could be made for many other things. If a person who eats only organic food and uses only organic skin products and refuses to take any kind of medicine and so forth wants to lecture me about this, well, I don't know that I'll listen, but I'll at least respect where she's coming from.  But it's a pretty weak argument when it comes out of the mouth of someone who's happy to engage in every subjugation of her "natural rhythms" that modern technology can offer, except one that relates to her reproductive organs.

I'm writing about this now because of this article (and response).  The author here also manages to include a sort of "if you go on the Pill you'll forget to have children" argument - forget?  really?  what, is society going to stop reminding me for longer than eight seconds?  please? - that is actually more ludicrous (in my opinion) than anything I've mentioned previously.  Most people on the Pill still get a period every month, or every three months, so it's not like - to the extent that blood in your nether regions is womanly or motherly - we're missing out on this reminder.  We just don't want to be pregnant in our twenties in such large numbers, and the Pill - now only one of the reliable methods at our disposal, and not the best for anyone who wants to be truly carefree - helps us to fulfill this desire.  Women who wait too long to procreate may regret it (although the ones whose stories I read seem to mostly feel that waiting was their best option).  But so may people who don't take advantage of their youth in other ways - and I don't see this author telling women to stop suppressing their "natural" urge to each chocolate while their metabolisms can still handle it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

in which I attempt to watch a Woody Allen movie, so as to educate myself

6:29.  I really wish I could like, or at least understand, Woody Allen.  I've been able to tolerate some of his more recent movies, i.e. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (which might have been good, even, if not for the vaguely vapid presence of Scarlett Johanssen in place of an actual actress) and Melinda and Melinda (which I actually almost liked).  You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger was, well, no more stupid and misogynistic than most of what comes out of Hollywood, so I suppose that's an improvement.

It's really vintage Woody Allen - the stuff that's supposedly so great - that I can't stand.  I am watching Manhattan right now, or trying to, but the problem is that by six and a half minutes into the movie I'm already bored (from the actionless overture at the very start of the movie) and pissed off (from, well, Woody Allen).  What would happen, so you suppose, if a woman with a massive ego and an unpleasant face made a series of movies about her sexual conquests?  Also, I realize this movie was made in the 70's but I'm pretty sure statutory rape was at least frowned upon back then.

8:11  Seriously??  I don't know which of the two male characters I hate more, the one who is sarcastic about his friend's affair despite his own many affairs, or the one who has the "great marriage" because he's only had one or two affairs.  Please tell me this is not how normal, non-movie men sound when there are no women around.

9:54.  Young Meryl Streep.  movie just got a lot better.  Wait... how could she have been married to this turd?

14:59.  Almost didn't recognize Diane Keaton / dark, curly hair. 

Suddenly feel like less of a grave-robber next to Woody.

16:40:  Realize where I got my rampant-feminist-trying-to-scare-off-men act:  Diane Keaton.  Love her.

18:42.  Woody Allen was alive during WWII???

21:22.  W says his first intelligent thing of the whole movie, that it is ridiculous for him to be sleeping with a child and he should stop.

25:51.  W just told Diane Keaton she probably doesn't get many dates b/c she has opinions.  Nice.  Good to know nothing has changed in the last 40 years.

32:22.  Of course, the female characters are not much better than the men.  So naive.  Women in New York aren't that nave these days, even on TV.

37:48.  There is an hour of this still to go.   HOW?

38:49.  Life is too short.  I give up.  Still hate Woody Allen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I spent Thanksgiving in New York this year, because I have to work tomorrow so there isn't time to go to DC.  I also spent it entirely by myself, which was mostly by my own design, or rather my intentional failure to design any sort of companionship.  I could have gone to my cousin's house near Philly, but I wasn't invited until the last minute, and I didn't particularly feel like inviting myself even though my cousin is pretty relaxed and wouldn't have minded, and by the time she invited me I'd bought my Harry Potter ticket, which was a good enough reason not to trudge down there.  I also could have tried to do something with friends; many of mine stayed in the city and either would have included me in their festivities or would have liked to have a festivity.  But I needed a day off from people (I need a lot of days off from people) and especially from running around.  

It was a good day.  I slept in a bit, loafed around, did most of the catch-up tasks that usually occupy a full day on the weekend (which means I'll have a wonderfully free weekend).  I ate rather more than is good for me, although not of turkey, and I did not go to the gym (tomorrow...).  Both of my gentleman callers sent happy-thanksgiving tests, as is proper.  My parents did not call, even though they said they would.  Just now I came back from Harry Potter, which was not awesome but was worth seeing, and was pretty enough to be worth seeing in IMAX, and was only slightly insane.

I am particularly pleased because I feel like I've gotten a handle on the holiday shopping.  I have purchased and sent presents to my grandmother, uncle, and father, plus cards to them and an aunt, and my mother's present is packed up to go to the post office tomorrow.  Those are all the ones that must arrive at some time that resembles Hanukkah.  There is also my brother, who is not really a gift person, and his girlfriend... maybe I will get them some kind of householdy thing since I didn't get them a housewarming present, although I have no idea what since (a) my brother is way more domestic than I am, and (b) they are Brooklyn-y and probably don't approve of consumption.  Maybe mittens and coffee beans?  Also there are a few friends I will buy gifts for, but this doesn't feel like an emergency quite yet.  Finally, there are my two gentleman callers.  I am hoping for gifts from them both, ((1) I informed the IB that he should do so, which I think is entirely fair since he showed up and announced that he wanted to have relationship in the month of November, and when he whined that he didn't know what to buy, I told him to get something on his upcoming trip to Hawaii.  So the bar is fairly high for him and I do not feel bad about this at all.  (2) I did not inform guitar-boy that I would like a present, and I think he is likely not to give me one, but if he shows up sometime in the next thirty days with a used book and a candy cane I'll be thrilled.) which means I must give them both gifts.  Neither of them is particularly hard to buy for, but of course I want to find something that is just right.  So I have a nice amount of shopping left - not a terrifying amount, but enough to keep me busy and happy for the next few weeks.  Yay!


  • The obvious - my health and the health of my family and friends; the fact that I live in a place and time where heat and hot water can be taken for granted, the problem with food is that there is too much of it, and I am not anybody's property.
  • The internet.
  • The fact that Black Friday occurs on the internet.  LOFT is 40% off!
  • I am in the middle of a dental procedure requiring four or more visits, all of which have to be done on Saturdays because I can't take off work right now.  This is of course unfun, but it reminds me how lucky I am that my big health problem is (1) occurring in my teeth (as opposed to somewhere scary or gross or surgery-requiring) and (2) is fairly minor and entirely fixable.  I have lots of little things wrong with me (tooth decay, bad vision, etc.) but nothing scary or big.
  • I have a job.  I'm not done with training yet (almost!) so it's impossible to draw definitive conclusions, but so far it seems like a reasonably good job.  At worse, it is a job that pays the bills (and provides me with coffee and cereal to fuel all-night programming binges), and I am unlikely to get laid off in the immediate future.  A lot of people don't have that.
  • Friends - I have some, and they are awesome. 
  • Also awesome - my apartment, and my coffee maker, and my bookshelves.
(just saw the end of the TG parade... I've only seen little snatches in person and they are less good than watching it on TV, but some year I want to get up at 4 a.m. and see it properly)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It has been a good weekend so far.  Last night I went out with a gentleman caller (the young one) to Otto's, which is where you go in New York to pretend you are on a tropical island instead of a temperate one.  Today after my almost-becoming-routine Saturday trip to the dentist (I am having what is apparently massive many-appointments-requiring work done to a single tooth.  this tooth never made me particularly happy or unhappy before, but suddenly three professionals at  time are entranced by it.) I met up with some girls from my meetup group to see an exhibit of costume jewelry and have a coffee.  I knew (and liked) some of the people there and enjoyed meeting some of the others; the challenge, should I choose to accept it, is to transition some of these people from meetup-buddies to friends.  This broke up around one, and I spent some time in the Union Square Christmas Market and surrounding shops, where I did a lot of semi-productive looking and purchased a Hanukkah present for my mother... so that's one down and about ten zillion (actually, about ten, plus cards) to go.  Then I met up with a former gentleman caller for a very late brunch (perhaps more appropriately termed an early dinner).  He brought his girlfriend, whom I did not know existed, and I'm glad he did - I like her quite a lot and she seemed to take to me, so possibly I will see more of them.  It is always a shame, I think, when people who might otherwise want to be friends are unable to because they once dated; it's understandable when something really unforgivable happened during the relationship or the parties disagreed dramatically about its endpoint, but sometimes the problem is just awkwardness and confusion over the tenor and expectations of the friendship going forward.  A third party can resolve this issue nicely.

I'm not sure what exactly I've been doing this evening - mostly a lot of catching up on mail and email and a bit of catching up on television.  I'll go to bed soon, and tomorrow I will do some yet-to-be-determined combination of errands, holiday shopping, friend-seeing, and lying semi-comatose on my couch.  Then it will be the start of what is reputed to be the hardest, most sleep-bereft three days of my training program (a stiff competition), so I should sleep in tomorrow if I can.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

on writing, and hair

  • I have totally not been keeping up with my nanowrimo benchmarks.  I was at first, but got behind in the first week and then somehow didn't catch up over the weekend (okay, I know how - by not writing) and then just became less and less conscientious.  At this point I've given up entirely - on the nanowrimoing, but not on the novel.  There's no real reason I need to write 50,000 words in a month, since whatever I write is just for my own creative fulfillment, and clearly at this time I'm not in a position to be fulfilled by that much writing.  But I'd hardly written anything since coming back from France, so it was a good way to get myself into it again.  I'm trying to keep the same nanowrimo attitude of not worrying about whether what I write is good, which has served me well in the past, and write just a little bit - 300 words or so - every day I can.  This is little enough that it can be done in ten or twenty minutes before bed, but substantial enough that I can keep up with the thread of my story... for the last few days, anyway, it's been working, and between that and not having a sink full of clean dishes and going to the gym more or less every other day (the question of "more" vs. "less" depends on whether yoga counts), I almost feel like a functional adult.
  • My hair.  Sigh.  It is in that stage, where it is too long to be short and cute, and too short to be long, and which seems to last years.  I have not had a coherent work-hair policy so far; when I first started the job, I wore it down, but it was shorter, just above my shoulders, and if I applied a ton of styling product it was actually manageable.  Now it is past my shoulders and the best I can hope for is "wild, untamed, and possibly carnivorous" (as opposed to "actively striving to take over the universe"), so I adjust my style based on its behvior.  I have two basic options, I think: (1) continue to let it grow, wear it in  bun or otherwise up at work, wear it down on weekends when it is behaving, or (2) get it cut short again and resign myself to maintaining a regular haircut schedule.  I feel like I should decide and act on this by the time I leave training in 2.5 weeks... my hair looks better short than either long-and-a-mess or long-and-up, but it looks best long-and-not-a-mess (a look that requires inhuman amounts of styling product, plus not blowdrying, which means going to the gym at night, and also a lot of luck) and long is certainly the style in New York.  Men like long hair, although they also like straight hair, spherical breasts, and vapidity, so I'm not exactly going for the win there.  My mother prefers my hair short, as do most of my friends.  The chief obstacle to short hair is that my work schedule is such that I can't reliably do anything at a particular time on a weekday, so I'd have to get it cut on a weekend, and from what I've heard this (a) is quite expensive, and (b) requires making an appointment far in advance.  Also, short hair is more work, and I am lazy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

a very materialistic post

1) My mother asked me, as she customarily does around this time of year, what I wanted for Hanukkah.  For the first time in ages, I could actually think of things that didn't seem crazy to ask for.

2) Mad shopping karma this weekend!  Stopped at Macy's Saturday evening to make a periodic check of the shoe department for the two pairs I've been trying to buy for ages - knee-high boots that fit my ginormous calves and navy pumps to wear with my navy suit.  Found both, for $63 each.  Today, stopped in Gap on a whim, thinking it would be good to have skinny jeans to wear with my new boots (this counts as necessary shopping because I have lost a little weight and now have only two pairs of casual pants that fit, and one is track pants) and walked out twenty minutes later with skinny navy cords for $43

3) on a non-materialistic note... oh, I don't know.  it has been a strange weekend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Item: Today I received an email from my thesis advisor, asking how my career transition is going.  He thought of me, he says, because the group went out for lunch to celebrate the graduation of the last person I knew.   We only overlapped by a year and we've long since fallen out of touch (although I may send her a congratulatory email) but it was odd to hear.  Usually people say that can't believe something has happened already; in New York it's particularly popular to claim shock at one's own advanced age.  But I feel the opposite.  I've lived in two cities and had three jobs, written a couple of bad, unpublished novels, run a marathon and two halfs, seen most of the major tourist attractions of New York, made and lost friends, been to five foreign countries, braved a career change and had dozens of major fights with my mother and been dumped by any number of men, and all that time she was in grad school?  Really?  It's not that she spent a unusual number of years in grad school - she didn't - or that I think her life is any less eventful than mine.  I just don't know her events, and when I look back up my own life it seems like it has been, for the most part, much more eventful in the years since my PhD than in the years I was earning it.

Other Item:  Currently visiting New York is the man formerly known as the IB.  He is here with a friend of his, to see a show.  I saw him yesterday and enjoyed his company, and I am going to see him again on Saturday.  He is doing well: he has lost weight and grown a goatee, which looks unexpectedly good on him, and he is succeeding professionally.  But he is sad, because he is alone, and he doesn't want to be, and the town he has to live in to do his work is making it hard for him to meet a woman he wants to be with.  I feel bad for him, in a kind of abstract way.  But, also - for a long time I wanted to be with him, to varying degrees, and it never worked out, and a significant part of the reason for it was his inability or unwillingness to be serious enough about anything for it to gel.  It was never that he didn't like me or didn't find the idea of being with me appealing, but there was always something that appealed to him more than returning my calls or getting on an airplane or doing whatever it was going to take.  It's true that usually this thing that appealed more was his job, or simply laziness, and also that I was not ever so terribly organized about the whole thing, but I felt disappointed by him a number of times.  And eventually - not because of him so much as because of growing up - I learned how to be happy alone, at least to a much greater extent than he has, and I stopped taking seriously his periodic declarations of intent.  Which I think he realized at some point and more or less stopped making.  And, well, it is just sad, because the person he is now and the person I was a few years ago might have really made a go of it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the first of presumably many holiday-season posts

It has come to my attention that it is getting to be the holiday season.  This comes as a bit of a surprise; this entire autumn has sort of gotten away from me due to so much going on at work, which is a shame because it is my favorite season and it is not going to come around again for a whole other round of seasons.  For example, I celebrated my birthday by getting yelled at (along with the rest of my training class) for various trivial infractions at work and then crying in the ladies' (alone).  I celebrated Halloween not at all, unless you count going to the parade (which I guess is half-credit).  I will not be celebrating Thanksgiving, really, since I don't get the day after off and my family doesn't live a reasonable daytrip away (especially during the holiday traffic).  Maybe I will stop by the parade, which goes near my house, and it is possible I will feel moved to purchase some sort of pie.  (Not turkey.  I don't cook, I'm never home and awake long enough to roast an entire animal, and I'm fairly certain my oven is more like chicken-sized, or possibly cornish-hen-sized.)

However, I will not be missing Christmas.  This is partly because Christmas is not the sort of thing a sentient person can miss.  And partly because I am extending the term to include the obligation to bestow Hanukkah presents on my parents, which they recently informed me will not be waived or postponed for any reason, including work obligations.  So at some point between now and whenever Hanukkah starts (early December?) I must find acceptable gifts for the two of them, by which I mean appropriately priced gifts that they will like (or, better yet, approve of) and that can be transported through the mail without loss of integrity.  This is frustrating as I have pretty much exhausted the things I can think of to give them, and they don't really seem to be developing new areas of interest.  But I also know there are certain things I can resort to that they won't love but that will be acceptable, i.e. smelly bath products for my mother, nonfiction books for my father.  These are the analog of the Macy's gift card they gave me for my birthday that I haven't used yet... it is not a bad gift, and at some point I will get something I would have gotten anyway but it won't cost me anything, so I am pleased to have it, but it is not the kind of thing that makes one light up with joy.  Which in some ways is sadder than no gift at all, because gifts should make one light up with joy.

(huh... just titled this post, and it sort of hit home that... it's the holiday season??!!)

The question I am more concerned with is my brother's girlfriend.  My mother is giving her a Hanukkah present (despite the fact she is not Jewish) and also a birthday present.  I don't feel that I need to give her a birthday present, as I have not officially been informed of her having a birthday.  But I should give her a Hanukkah present, right?  If my mother is going to?  But then, what?  I like her, but I don't know her all that well.  She's very sweet, but fairly ungirly; I don't think she would care much for scented bath products.  I could give her a book, maybe, about... um.  Anything to do with art is out of the question because she's more or less a professional photographer and I'm sure I have no taste.  Hopefully my brother will have a Hanukkah gathering (it's pretty sad; my mother has basically put him in charge of making sure I have some sort of religious / familiar existence and/or eat a home-cooked food every couple months) and then I will just bring the two of them a really nice host gift; my brother isn't big on presents anyway.  Or maybe *I* will have the gathering.

YES!!!  I will have a Hanukkah party!  My apartment is teensy, but it is laid out well (by which I mean there is a loft to hide things in, and the rest is a featureless rectangle); I can get 12-16 people in here if some are standing or sitting on the floor.  I will invite my brother and his girlfriend, and a couple friends from my old job, and a couple friends from my new job, and my book club, and a few other people I know in the city.  I will get my mother's sugar cookie recipe, and I will make Megan's macaroni and cheese (with my apple-walnut variation).  It will not be a dinner party, per se, b/c there is no dining room table, but there will be dinner, b/c I haven't made the macaroni and cheese in ages (I can't readily make it just for myself, as I can't freeze leftovers).  I will light the menorah!  We will play dreidel!  It will be excellent!  I must go and plan it right now!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I have been an unfaithful blogger so far, but it isn't entirely my fault - I've just come off a three-day project that completely wiped me out - after sleeping three hours wednesday night and not at all thursday - there's a two-hour period in the middle of the night I have no memory of, during which I apparently fixed a number of semi-major issues, so unless I've learned to code in my sleep, I was awake, although I am told I was extremely crabby, to the point of scary - and I went to sleep immediately upon getting home from work.  On waking up at midnight (this was a bit sad, as I hadn't intended to miss the whole evening - I don't usually sleep five hours at a stretch even when I'm not exhausted, especially when people are texting me) I ate a giant meal (I also have no memory of eating in the past three days, except for Thursday night, although I assume there were other foods I just don't recall) and now I am feeling a little bit like a person again.  After I finish this entry, I will take a nice hot bath and then head back to sleep, hopefully until just before I head to the dentist to have all my remaining tooth matter removed.

One of the many things I've been wanting to post about lately is gentleman callers, an endlessly fascinating topic about which I am always learning new and very basic thing.  I had a gentleman caller for a couple months right when I came back from Paris who was, before he stopped calling, everything you could imagine wanting in such a person.  He was intelligent, well-educated, and well-employed; thoughtful and considerate; pleasant to be around.  He was a good listener and a good talker, he knew how to use tools and didn't mind moving furniture for other people, and he had an amazing apartment the perfect distance away from mine.  Plus he was totally appropriate for me in every way.  I was quite disappointed when he stopped calling - but about a third of the disappointment was confusion and hurt pride, since I had considered things to have progressed past the point when it was reasonable to simply disappear, and another third was sadness over losing the idea of such a gentleman caller, leaving only about a third of the disappointment as missing the actual caller himself.

It was not that there was anything wrong with him.  It was not even that there wasn't anything right with him.  There were a lot of things right with him, and - more pertinently, which perhaps was a big part of the problem - a lot of things right with the sort of relationship he was clearly looking for.  But much as it would be pleasant to be the sort of person who is destined to meet a nice Jewish lawyer and get married and move to Connecticut and have 2.5 nice Jewish children, I don't think I find such a transformation entirely plausible.  Maybe it's just something I would need to get used to - it took me half a decade to convince myself I was really capable of leaving academia, after all - but people around me have been getting married and having children for even longer than that, and I have mostly been skeptical that such an arrangement will every apply to me, at least in any recognizable form.  (Interestingly, when I say such a thing to people I know in real life, at least female people, they immediately object in exactly the same comforting, condescending tone girls use to tell each other they are not fat.  Is skepticism about one's desire or ability to form a permanent attachment to a human being - something which is clearly warranted independent of one's personality and history, given the divorce rate - the same thing as poor body image?)

I have a new gentleman caller now.  He is very, very different from his predecessor, and totally inappropriate.  He's - it's such a stereotype to be enthusing about this sort of thing, and I hope you'll appreciate the spirit in which I do so - a musician.  A jazz guitarist.  He also works various odd jobs to make ends meet, not spoiled-starving-artist things like barrista-ing but actual-labor things like carpentry.  He smokes pot and says words like "awesome", and he is roughly twelve million years younger than me.  It is, obviously, a very different sort of arrangement than with his predecessor, and one not destined for a long duration, but then, neither was that one, as it turned out.  I just got to the point where I figured, why bother with all the boring bogginess of dating-as-extended-job-interview, which gets in the way of actually enjoying being around the other person?  When I was much younger I would have wanted to date guys like this one, but I was always too serious about and intimidated by them, even on the rare occasions when they were interested in me, and later on I was mostly interested in guys with whom I had more in common.  Now I feel like I can appreciate Guitar Boy without being overly invested, plus the whole arrangement has (from my point of view, at least) a kind of Samantha-and-Jared-in-Sex-and-the-City frisson of inverted gender dynamics and female empowerment.  I knew I wasn't really excited about meeting ten zillion more bankers and lawyers, who in New York all seem to suffer from the same minor aversion to women and major need to appear cool in front of other men, but I hadn't realized quite how  boring and pressurized proper dating had become until now.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

i am trying to get in the habit of blogging daily

...but as you can see it is very late.  not even today anymore.  so this will be equal parts brief and pointless.

1) election.  feh.  giant map of redness.  i am not what anyone would call a rampant liberal, but it still terrifies me.  too much fervor in any direction is not a good thing.

2) i need to decide very soon if i wish to train for and run a 15k (9 mile) race on december 19.  the last few weeks have been bad with work, but before that i was running 3-4 miles, 3-4 times a week.  i'm back to running again this week and i've definitely lost the (relative) ease that comes with doing it regularly, but it's not like i've turned into a giant tub of inertia.  the question is less whether i can train to that point than whether i want to.  i find my response is lukewarm, although this is substantially influenced by the fact that all of a sudden it is winter, and i am a big wimp.  this is an annoying feature of all races - most of them are during some month that is not pleasant (that is, all the months except for september and may) and at some implausible time of the morning.  i did a lot of races last spring, though, and it didn't kill me, and i am going to have to get over my laziness pretty soon to start training for the 2011 nyc marathon. 

3) while i have been writing this, the republicans have won something like 15 house seats.  

Monday, November 1, 2010

maybe, i'm back!

There is no way I can catch up with everything I haven't been blogging the last several months, so for the time being I won't even try.  At this point, I'm not sure I can even keep up.  For one thing, at this exact moment I am supposed to be cleaning my horribly disgusting floor and then going to bed, and you can see I'm not doing that.

One thing I am doing, in theory, is writing a novel.  I decided to try nanowrimo again this year, because I just don't have enough going on.  If you aren't familiar with nanowrimo, it entails writing a 50,000 word novel(la) during the month of November, which boils down to 1667 words a day, which is not a lot of words to write in a day, but is a lot of words to write in the free time a normal person has on a typical day.  I cheated by starting over the weekend, but I think this is reasonable since a 2000-word head start will hopefully keep me from getting discouraged the first time I have to stay at work past midnight (projected occurance: Wednesday) and therefore write zero words.  As of now I've written 3,573 words, which means I'm just over 7% done.  (Note there is no rule against the novel being really bad.)

Actually, I'm feeling pretty spiffy right now, because I have done most of the things I intended to do today, including going to the gym, writing my grandmother, and playing the piano.  I've even had a nap! (much needed after attending, and getting semi-stuck in the subway on returning from, the Village Halloween parade)  All of this is because I am no longer commuting to Princeton every day, which means I have an additional three hours daily to work, sleep, exercise, socialize, and keep the entropy-gremlins from taking over my apartment and/or life.

Now, I will close my computer - I've noticed it is a horrible time-suck at the end of the evening, when desultory perusal of facebook and various inexhaustible feeds seem much easier than going to bed - and battle the dust-bunnies, and then I will possibly get six full hours of sleep.