Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Peek Back Through the Salt Water

I just got home from a session in a sensory deprivation tank. For those of you who've never seen that one episode of The Simpsons, it's a tank filled with salt water in which you lie there and float in total darkness and silence until someone comes and gets you out.

I got home and I immediately wanted to come here and write a post. And it's not just because I seem to have taken August off from this blog, totally without intending to, and I miss writing here. It's also because, although this sensory deprivation session did not do the things I expected it to (give me cool hallucinations, allow me to drift into a semiconscious state, open up my chakras, make my brain shut up for 60 short minutes), something it did do was help me to look back. I've spent most of this summer looking forward, particularly as it's been closing up in spectacular fashion, like a fireworks show after a mediocre baseball game. I've needed to focus energy on planning and looking forward and have not spent a lot of time examining what's passed through my mind and body of late.

As soon as I started looking back, I felt the need to record the ride I've been on in the last three months. So here we go.


--The Little Mermaid live at the Hollywood Bowl. Jodi Benson singing "A Part of Your World". Rebel Wilson being amazing. Susan Egan live. Etc.

--Friend home from a year of graduate school in England.

--First session for Tom Servo tattoo. Three hours.

--The Amazing Kathleen in town and on my couch. Meals at Ink and Yamashiro and In-n-Out. Visits to LACMA and the Museum of Jurassic Technology. It was so fucking hot that weekend that we couldn't hike or go to the Huntington, but I made her promise to come back so we could do outside things.

--Aimee Bender and Brian Evenson reading at Book Soup in downtown.

--Dental appointments: 2


--First writing workshop led by me.

--Lidia Yuknavitch and Cynthia Bond reading at Chevalier's in Hollywood.

--Co-worker's sort-of baby shower, which I sort-of helped plan.

--The Killing Joke in the theater.

--Second Tom Servo session. I think another 2.5 hours.

--Weird Al live at the Hollywood Bowl. Matt's birthday.

--Dental appointments: 4


--Sufjan Stevens live at the Hollywood Bowl.

--Star Wars Marathon at the Ace Hotel.

--Laid-back live music party in Santa Clarita.

--Sign lease for new apartment.

--Buy new car.

--Try sensory deprivation tank.

--Start second year of graduate school.

--Dental appointments: 4

Also this summer:

--Got multiple responses on the secret project, leading to all the feels

--Got news about a writing fellowship I didn't get, but I did get put on the alternate list for, which I choose to see as good news (more on this in another post, possibly)

--Got a book review published, first time ever

--Got an acceptance for a fall issue of a litmag, more news on that soon, I hope

--Got two? three? rejections, still patiently waiting for responses on a few others that matter a lot to me and the wait's driving me crazy on the days I allow myself to remember it

--Got raise, plethora of new responsibilities at work

--Hired three new people at work (one of them not my responsibility at all, the other two hired personally)

--Coped with Matt working 80+ hours/week for most of the summer; have not yet been buried alive under books and undone dishes

--Read 23 books, give or take a few

--Two doctor's appointments

--And a partridge in a pear tree


None of this is intended to show off, because Lord knows I don't understand how I went to the Hollywood Bowl three times this summer if I did not somehow trade lives with someone richer. Some of the perks (car, deposit for bigger apartment, new teeth) derive from Matt's insane work schedule, and what we materially gain from it, but honestly I'd rather have my husband around than have him make more money.

Also, I know people who would look at this list and go yaaaaawn, because they are busy like this all the time, seeing concerts and traveling and Doing Things on the regular. That is not me. The list above represents 200% more concerts than I generally go to in a season, and a great deal more time in the dentist's chair than I like to spend in a given decade.

In looking back, I see a worthwhile, busy, challenging, fascinating, transitional summer. And I see I ought to be proud that my health has not declined while doing so much. Other things have slid (mostly housekeeping), but I am still getting almost enough sleep and I haven't been sick, mentally or physically.

I have a post on brew, but not on tap yet, and I hope I get to it before the end of next week. I'm going off-grid for Labor Day, on the same writing/yoga retreat I did last year. It's going to be pretty splendid if my teeth don't get messed up again. I just hope nothing else happens between now and then. Enough has happened to me recently, I think. Enough.