Top Five of 2014

As per tradition, my friends Dan and Walter and I do a top five moments of the year. It’s a way of looking back in order to look forward. Here are my top five, in reverse order:

5. I got promoted, which was really amazing and involved so much writing that I essentially wrote a book chapter of self reflection. The fact that I didn’t throw sharp objects at my provost for endorsing a process clearly written by people who had long term grudge matches with other departments (and that the current UPC, god love them, still has to navigate) is amazing. I’m still more than a little bitter. Still more amazing: I published two short articles and one article in an edited collection, finished another article for an edited collection, revised an article, wrote two conference papers, and finally finished the article on Blackwood’s and women poets that I’ve been working on for forever, which my dissertation director is now reading before I send it off to a journal. Oh, and I’ve got that one malingering book review due next week. And I’m still excited about my next project on Lippincott’s, which I’ve just started and I’m quite digging. Also yay for not burning out entirely after this past semester of four preps, back to back after the ardors of getting promoted. I can only credit running and Jason for this last fact. My department chair owes me a drink–I ended up with four preps because she was on sabbatical.
4. Happy weddings of friends and family. Even more happy babies: Matthew and Rainey, especially.
3. I ran a half marathon. I took up running partly just to prove to myself I could–it was my 36th birthday thing–and mostly to help with the stress of putting together that miserable promotions portfolio–see number 5. The race running was a more let’s see if we can do it, fun friend thing than a challenge to myself, which is probably why I did it. I learned that I can run when it’s cold outside and that an impending ice storm is no reason not to run a race. I had a great time training with my lunch bunch girls, and it’s made me a happier, more centered person.
2. New York trip with Jill, Cassie, Matt, and Lily. The best travel companions for seeing a city that I actually had never been too. We ate too much, walked 6 to 7 miles a day, looked at everything we could, had a mini TCU reunion, and I loved every moment.
1. I started a relationship with one of my best friends, and it’s been illuminating. Jason is so incredibly supportive and loving. I didn’t know that that kind of support existed in a relationship. It’s been sexy, joyful, and opened me up to so many things. It’s been interesting experiencing the differences between friendship and relationship. We’re both quieter and more at peace with each other than we were as friends, or at least that’s my feeling of things. We laugh a lot. We always do laundry together, and we work well as a team. To say that he makes me happy would be a gross understatement.

Song of the Day: Lapsley, “Station”

Lapsley, an 18 year old, with a fuller range than her age suggests, is on the BBC Sound of 2015 long list. I’ll be posting long listers I like over the course of the next few weeks as I gear up for the new semester. Can I have another week before classes start? Anyone else feeling me on that? We can always go back after MLK day like everyone else, right?

Song of the Day: Matt Pond, PA, “Snow Day”

Totally, breaking my live action video guideline (it’s less a rule), but this is one of my favorite winter themed songs and today feels like winter. The temperatures dropped from a balmy 75 yesterday (in FSM and Dallas) to the upper 30s, and it’s now a damp, gray, cold Monday. Fortunately a snazzy hat, hot coffee, and the last day of classes (for me) is making the day a little less gloomy, especially since that brings me one day closer to the BF, the fam, friends, and Dallas for a month.