Daylogs are often used to express angst. I would like to do so now, only I'm exhausted and really should have been asleep hours ago. The rage has prevented it until now, but I'm beginning to feel sleep edging up.

Why so angry? I have been in New Hampshire covering the primary since Saturday morning. I have been putting in 14 hour days or longer with very little sleep, very little food and even less appreciation for all of the extra stuff I'm packing in for the professors who have led this trip.

We were charged with the task of coming up with a documentary topic centered on young voters in two days, then fully developing and filming it while here starting Saturday and ending tomorrow night with the primary results. On top of this we have to produce articles for the departmental online news blog (which no one reads or knows about on campus) and some are doing interviews about the class with real news organizations or are producing sound bites for WAMU, the DC NPR station linked to the school.

It's a lot of work. It really is. It's also highly worth the little sleep and the little food, and maybe even the lack of appreciation. What it isn't worth is all of these things in one day topped off with a professor abandoning six girls at an event when she was supposed to take them back to the hotel/news room. It isn't worth being told, after an hour of frantically trying to get into contact with her without success, that she's at the hotel and isn't coming to get us because her online newspaper is more important than we are. It isn't worth being told we have to hike down a highway in the night, in the cold, to the airport so that we can then hail a taxi to come get us because she can't drive the 9 mintues it would take to get from the hotel to the location to get us.

And it certainly isn't worth returning, after piling 6 girls into one car and taking the slowest taxi ride ever, and finding out there were four people at the hotel who have vans they could have come and picked us up in.

So yeah. I had an outburst. A loud one that everyone is no doubt going to talk about for the next few days. And I don't really care.

Today, it's a year since my mom killed herself. My little sister called last night, and I feared for a long weepy conversation, for having to jolly her along to another day of living. She was ok though, and offered some wisdom. Today marks the end of a year of anniversaries, the end of a year of "The First __________ Without Mother". From today forward, we're moving in to fresh territory. We've survived. We've learned and accepted, wished Mother well on her new journey, and hoped for better days. She's left a hole in my heart, and so many things unsaid and misunderstood, but deep down I know if she's anywhere, she's seeing clearly now, and knows how much she is loved.
Happy New Year, Mommy.

Secret and Forbidden

There is no privacy in the cube farm. Late this afternoon one of the secretaries brought a salesman back to talk to me about one of our copier machines. I was occupied with a tedious task yet bestowed with this honor because I've succeeded in getting the copier running after a Deep Space Nine paper jam or retrieving the burnt scrap of paper in an inaccessible recess. My cube neighbor Stu was listening to the salesman who I'll call Randy because that's his name, Randy. He had his back to Stu as he gave his sales pitch.

Stu was like a sprinter at the starting line waiting for the gun to go off. Stu has fifty stories that analogously relate to when he worked at The Mining Company. Stu is not his real name. I derived it from STFU.

If he got the chance he would launch into a five minute dissertation on the copiers they used at the mining company and who repaired them and when they malfunctioned and the common cause of the breakdown and the brand they used when he started there and what they switched to next. The salesman would stand there dumbfounded wondering what the fuck just happened. God give me a gamma ray burst now. Who the hell is this guy and when is he going to shut up.

But today the Chatty Cathy was left at the starting line as I politely kept the encounter with Randy short and sweet. I hope he didn't mind. He may never know what I saved him from with a subtle cold shoulder and polite distance. And I could finish my game of Tetris before I packed up to go home.

On the outside, last year seemed like a pretty good year for me. I went to the Clarion West writer's workshop, met some awesome, exciting writers, got praised by Samuel R. Delany and Patrick Nielsen Hayden (even though I was excoriated by Nancy Kress and bored Larissa Lai to tears), and had an amazing six weeks in lovely Seattle. At work, I got two promotions in the space of a month, and now supervise a staff of fourteen who fear and respect me. I've been in a stable and loving and mostly happy relationship for seven years. My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, but was in remission within five months.

But as much as I have many things to be grateful for, the last month or two has been pretty miserable. I've been pulling seventy-plus hour workweeks. My internal critic that was developed at Clarion West just won't shut up, and as a result writing has become molasses slow. No more four hour short stories. No more off-the-cuff humorous essays. My grandmother's alzheimer's disease is getting steadily worse. I had bronchitis for three weeks, and didn't get it treated until I nearly couldn't breathe because I was so busy.

I'm hanging on as well as I'm able to. I'm keeping optimistic, and I'm mindful of all the breaks I've gotten. But I'm just so tired.

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