you’re only a day away

December 17, 2012

i’ve always been on the fragile side when it comes to mental stability,
and grad school has only heighten my general state of anxiety.
it’s to be expected, of course. it’s not meant to be easy.
but it does take its toll now and then:
teeth grinding
odd weight fluctuations
and the occasional inability to sleep.

take last night for instance;
i haven’t been to bed.
or more accurately,
i haven’t been to sleep.
frankly, when you look at your phone and see 5:45 am,
you might as well head just shower and head into starbucks.

that’s right.
i’ve started my day
without finishing the last.
my goal is to wrap up all my work today,
so that i don’t have to do any work tomorrow.

why is tomorrow so important?

why, it’s my birthday, of course.

the big 2-8.
my midlate twenties.
where has the time gone?
what have i accomplished?

no no, i shan’t go down that road again
yes yes, i’m a bit weird about birthdays.
but it’s one of those idiosyncrasies that makes you love me, right?
so i’ll just distract myself from the inevitable,
by imaging all those things in the world i want.

gifts for steven 2012

day 8
those who know me well know i so desire to own a fur. any fur really. maybe not a full length mink, mind you, but an ostentatious collar on an overcoat at the very least. recently, i saw cirilia got this amazing fur collar on her last trip to iceland.
furphoto stolen without any permission whatsoever from cirilia’s blog.

it’s apparently made from wolf. the sight of it arose in me such an envy as i have not felt in years. i must own a somewhat larger equivalent.
i must.

day 9
on a more practical note, i’m preparing my comps proposal. the comps is an exam one takes and must pass in order to be allowed to pursue one’s dissertation. it requires reading roughly 150 books and then being tested on them. you are given 5 questions. you must answer 3. your answers can range anywhere from 60 to 120 pages. and you only have a weekend to write them. this is then followed by an oral defense at which your committee becomes a verbal firing squad and you must defend your work and demonstrate you’re actually a badass at all of this academic nonsense.

but the first step is forming the list and getting the books. this will be an expensive endeavor. luckily, a) there’s the library for books i’ll need to read but won’t need to own and b) my uncle just sent me an amazon gift card. it was rather a generous amount for a nephew as old as i. i’ve spent half of it on next semester’s books, all french literature concerned with explicit representations of sex. so. exciting. still, some of it will be left over to help build my personal library.

day 10
i don’t know about you, but i grew up in a house where the thermostat was set at whatever the hell we felt like. as a kid, if i wanted to sit around on the couch in my tight-whities in the dead of winter, i just turned that dial and on the heater went. similarly, we keep it as glacial as possible in the summer, just warm enough so that my mother’s bird doesn’t die. now that i must pay my own bills, i’ve become like my miserly grandparents. they lived through the war and the depression. baths at grandma’s house were in an inch of lukewarm water and the thermostat sat at roughly 63°F. i keep mine at an inhuman 60°. and yet still, my bill is creeping up. and it’s not even cold here yet! i suspect mo turns it up when i’m out. when someone asks me what i want for my birthday, why isn’t it appropriate to say, “can you pay my gas bill?”

day 11
david of southern cross fibre has recently woven this amazing fucking twill that will apparently become dishtowels for some clearly underserving person. it’s clear to me that i must own them. i simply need to go to australia and steal it. that’s where you come in. you’re in charge of my ticket, ok? and you have to make it snappy because it’s already my birthday over there. australia’s in the future. go ahead. i’ll need an aisle seat though. don’t even bother if you can’t get an aisle seat. (do you have to pick locks upside down down under?)

day 12
i’m also going to need a flight to l.a. izznit said she’d bring me a doughnut if ever i’m in l.a. i really want a doughnut so obviously, i need to fly there.
after australia of course.
i’ll settle for business class.

day 13
do you think i can pull this off? there’s only one way to know.

day 14
i recently found out i won’t actually be getting a christmas break this year. i’m on this pretty important committee and i have a huge pile of documents to get through by the second week of next semester. as the lone grad student on the committee, my voice is barely heard. i need to make sure i’m extra prepared if i’m to have any say or sway. so obviously i need a spectrum bundle from purl soho because i’m obviously going to learn how to make a log cabin quilt over break.

day 15
i’m going to need clive owen. just because.
clive-owen-pictures-1-0309-lgseriously. get on that.

day 16
how much does a rolex cost, exactly?

day 17
every pair of jeans i own eventually gets a hole in the exact same place in my crotch area, just right of center. the other day i went to macy’s to get a new pair. they had a wicked double sale and i got them for only $11! i was trying on the smaller size, determining whether or not they were too snug because i’m a fatty or because of the enormous anti-theft device in the waist band, when i noticed something in the mirror. i took a step closer and a wave of terror and nausea came over me. i almost fainted. there, in the unforgiving light of a shitty ass macy’s changing room one of my worst fears was confirmed: my hair is starting to thin. now, normally, this isn’t a problem. i keep my hair buzzed almost to my scalp anyway. it’s been like that for a couple of years now which is likely why i never noticed. but i’ve let things slide recently and the hair grew out a little. and that fucking light illuminated some fucking scalp. i considered suicide in that moment, but the only weapon to hand was a single, sad little pin in the changing room and i couldn’t figure out how to best use it. so for day 17, i’ll be needing either some rogaine or a membership at the hair club for men.

while any and all presents (including that porche i once had within my grasp yet somehow slipped through my fingers) would be amazing, for my actual birthday, i desire (and expect to get) very little. i plan on stuffing myself with thai food, getting completely lit, and going to bed early. no cake. no singing. no party. no bar. just food i didn’t pay for, intoxicants, and my tacky-as-fuck childhood bed. but maybe you could leave a comment. that’d be a pretty awesome birthday gift.

26 Responses to “you’re only a day away”

  1. cauchy09 Says:

    once again, your post is an engaging and hilarious romp. thanks, friend, for a glimmer of glee in a gray day. i hope you have the happiest of birthdays! and don’t sweat the comps. well, yes, sweat them because that’s how one gets through them. but just know that you’ll kick ass like a champ!

    best wishes! xoxo

  2. Ytknits Says:

    Wishing you 24 stress-free hours for your birthday. I always look forward to reading your blog.

  3. Anita Says:

    Happy Birthday!!! This post was great, I wish I could send you everything you [asked] suggested for your b-day. Have a great day!

  4. Iris Says:

    Happy Birthday!

  5. Brandon Says:

    Happy Birthday! Sounds like 28 is going to be a big year for you. Enjoy!

  6. Lindsey Says:

    The Australia ticket came sooo close, but all the aisle seats were taken. I wish I’d known sooner!

    Have a great birthday.

    As your hair thins, you get to make your birthday last longer and longer until it is birthday week, then birthday year. My niece once told me I was young and three quarters. Now I have medicare, so does that make me young and six quarters?
    I say you are still solidly in the young catagory.

  7. Soxy Says:

    I got my husband a new tooth and he got our pellet stove repaired. Boring!!!!

  8. Barbara S. Says:

    Happy Birthday! You’ll do fine at the comps. Hope you get some of these gifts…not sure about Clive…doesn’t he like girls? 😉

  9. Yarnyoldkim Says:

    Clive Owen is mine bitch! Happy birthday a day early. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for fur for you (no I will not harvest roadkill) and I have a knock off skull scarf that I’d be happy to mail to you ifn you want. It’s white with black skulls tho.

  10. lollyknits Says:

    Happy early birthday! I hope it fulfills and exceeds expectations 🙂

    Also, as a (broke) fellow fur lover, you can get VERY reasonably priced fur collars on etsy. One of my old coats got a beautiful silver mink collar this year for ~$20. just sayin..

  11. Bonnie Says:

    Happy birthday, Stephen! I hope you get everything you want and your Thai food is delicious.

  12. Rose Says:

    Happy birthday!

  13. Lauren Says:

    You gave ME the gift of laughter. Out loud even. Have a Happy One.

  14. Linda Cannon Says:

    Happy Birthday darling boy!!! Have a great one. XOXOXOX

  15. Frankie Says:

    Happy Birthday! I hope it’s a wonderful day for you full of only the very best!

  16. Lizz Says:

    Happy Birthday!!!
    (We solved our heating-a-drafty-old-house problem with two electric radiators from Wal Mart. I think they cost about $30-60 a piece, depending on how fancy you want to get, and yes it did raise the electric bill a little bit, but we also keep the house heat set at 55 and we don’t freeze or go bankrupt on the gas bill. They’re pretty handy. I recommend one.)

  17. Astrid Says:

    Happy, happy birthday tomorrow, Steven! I will hoist a martini with extra olives in your general direction. That skull scarf? You could totally rock it.



  18. Kris Says:

    Happy Birthday Stephen, you are a young 28, I’ll be thinking of you while plow through the snow . Make time for yourself and do some crafting, you’ll feel better.Good Luck quilting !!

  19. sarahvv Says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope it is really, really, really excellent 🙂

    (Also my jeans always wear out in the same exact crotch spot every time. Sigh.)

    (Also, comps are the fucking WORST. Anytime, and I mean anytime, you need to vent about how much they suck to a sympathetic ear, well, you have my email. You will get through them and then you never have to do them ever again! And that’s the best thing I can say about them. Hugs.)

  20. Rita Says:

    Bonne anniversaire, mon ami.

  21. Happy b-day bitch! You make me laugh out loud. And that’s my birthday wish for you – that someone/something makes you laugh a great big belly laugh.

  22. Anonymous, too Says:

    So many things to comment on! Let’s start with Happy B-day!! May there be many, many more. Now, get some sleep.

    As for the gift ideas: Day 8 — get creative and obtain your own furs. A BB gun might do well with the local squirrels.

    Day 10: If you’re setting the thermostat at 60, then Mo is certainly turning it right back up. You’re lucky he remembers to reset it before you get home. Day 11: When you get there, tell David I’d like mine in dark red and cream. Day 13: Yes, you can pull it off. Feel free to pull it off that ersatz J. Lo. Day 16: A Rolex can cost as much as a Porsche — especially if encrusted with diamonds or loaded with special features courtesy of Q Branch.

    Day 17: I fully understand your pain and shock. However, Rogaine is not successful for many men, and you’d have to use it for life. The Hair Club often results in things that look like William Shatner’s toupees. Instead, I embrace my thinning hair — even wearing it in a ponytail, down to about the bottom of the shoulder blades, DESPITE the bald spot. I figure I might as well have fun with it while I’ve got it. I can always shave my head when I’m 90 or so.

  23. Kristen Says:

    Really on the fur? Ugh. Check out the photos of the wolves suffering in the leg-hold traps in Minnesota, the snow all bloody around them as they wait hours or days to die. Go faux.

    And my jeans always wear on the inner thighs from chub rub.

  24. misa Says:

    I need some Clive Owen too and Day 17, clearly you need more ball room.

  25. Sheila Says:

    Steven, do you know where you can get fur and get it cheap and vintage? Goodwill or any other charity thrift store. You can’t believe the prices because no one wants them and if you wait for a sale day ( yes, Goodwill does have sale days, at least, in Cincinnati they do) they are even cheaper. Try too.

  26. Lou Says:

    Just catching up on things, and reading this now. Better late than never.

    You can’t have Clive Owen. He’s mine. Or would be if I were younger, slimmer, & lived in England.

    Happy belated B’day. And a very happy, healthy New Year.

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