Just me.  Completely raw. 
I love this poem and posted a portion of it on my Facebook:
Cello, by tenthousandcicadias
"She leaned, forlorn against a weathered wall,
no hall to fill with song.

Slender neck, adorned in scrolls of curl,
poised itself in wait of charm extended--
for strings had not yet dimpled at fingers deft,
nor had she known the spring of ample stroking.

He came to her, with understanding hand
and eyes that fell at frame of curving grace
and dared to stretch his touch to sleekest sides
--her perfectly contoured hourglass,
swollen, for want of play--
and at his lasting trace
her tips edged shyly upward, to be encompassed whole.

When she warmed
and whispered awakened, soft vibrations
he brought his bow, aloft, to supple strings
to slide in flowing motion
above the bending bridge.
With movement skilled he met her lack
caressing back and forth
in gentle adagio that eased woes
and oozed pianissimo through swirled openings
dusting her with richest resin
until she swooned in soothing phrase,
surrendering to his gift.

Mellowed vibrato swelled
and vigor grew
as he persisted
in passion’s modulation
with sweet allegro strokes
and deeper still
'till every space
of hollowed belly resounded
with rigorous crescendo,
filling, telling love’s concerto.

She rested in exquisite song
of satisfied fermata
and he knew,
through satiated quiet,
she was hand crafted
to sound his music."
Just breathe...
Just breathe...

Things are looking up, but I'm still holding my breath over a couple of things.  I'm so nervous.  Hopefully I'll be able to share the news soon, and it will be news I want to share.  I don't know why I'm so nervous.  My stomach is in knots, even though what I'm planning is going to be a good thing.  There's just a lot of angles involved.

Meanwhile, I'll keep snuggling the dogs.  They're good companions.  =)
i like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. this is the night, what it does to you. i had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” – jack kerouac

I saw this quote on another person's blog entry, and it very much spoke to me right now.

I'm not sure why, but I feel like my life is just completely out of control right now.  Nothing is wrong per se, but it feels wrong.  And it's unlike the feeling of good stress - that feeling where you are justatinybitaboveyourthreshold for work, but not overly so.  I enjoy that feeling.  I like having just a little, teensy, itty bitty too much work to do.  The kind that will keep you up just an extra 10 minutes, just 10 more minutes until you are done.  That kind.

This kind, though, feels overwhelming and completely dissatisfying.  I love all the pieces of what I'm doing, but each piece right now does not feel okay together.  I'm no longer living in the present moment, and it makes me sad.  While I'm waiting on a winery customer, my thoughts dash to the night's motorcycle course that I can't be late for.  When I'm on the motorcycle waiting my turn for an exercise, my thoughts are on the class I'm teaching for the next day.  While I'm in class and trying to gather my thoughts on a particular topic, I'm not thinking about anything else except the class, but I'm distracted if that makes sense.  My mind is not necessarily on anything else, but I'm not 100% focused. 

I'm not sure if it is the level of committment required of each piece, or the time, or the responsibility of each piece, but I'm starting to feel very overwhelmed and strung-out. 

Poor Joel and LG, too.  Little Guy has felt the snap of my voice, the strain in my face.  Joel is a saint and delivers nothing but patience and understanding.  But they, too, are pieces of my life and they aren't going very well with the rest of the pieces (hello, work/family balance). 

I cried as I was driving from one location to the other yesterday, in my rush to switch which piece I was paying attention to.  I'm not talking soft sniffles, I'm talking loud, racking sobs.  I wasn't really upset at anything - although I gave myself reason to be upset at certain things - almost as if I'm giving myself an excuse of what to get mad at, just so I can get mad.

It doesn't make sense to me, either.

But, the motorcycle course only lasts until Friday evening.  I will have time this weekend to work on prepping my class for the next few weeks.  My class, too, is only four weeks long.  My poor, neglected dissertation is almost ready to be pulled across the finish line.  And there's some decisions, too, that I'm desperately trying to sort out in my head.  And I know that it doesn't sound like a lot - and maybe that's the thing - there's not a LOT that I'm doing, but each piece requires a LOT of time from me.  And I think the absence of free time (just 30 minutes!  just 30 minutes!  somewhere!  where is it?) is making me high-strung and horrible to be around.  I so desperately need, crave, desire, HAVETOHAVE my downtime.  I'm a high-performance individual, but I have to have time to myself every day.  I don't think I really realized it before.  It's always been there, and I've always done it, but now that I'm craving it, I'm thinking it may be exactly what's bothering me.

I'm looking forward to just being able to breathe calmly and start being more collected.  I can really feel my stress taking a toll on my body, and that's completely unhealthy and unaccepatble.  Where is this calm, yogafied person I once was?  Where has she gone?

Hopefully I'll be back with a better blog entry next week.  This weekend I'm aiming with some quality time with the dogs.  And Joel and LG.  They deserve it from me.
angry at herself
hurt.  on the inside.
so desperately wanting to please
with no idea how to do it.
good moods, happy, dashed in a second
with a girl that's quick to anger
she's lost her yoga self.
no longer flexible in body or mind,
but mostly mind.
so quick to overheat, so quick to misunderstand.
this girl has lost her mind's flexibility. and it hurts.  it hurts.
this isn't who I am,
she says,
but the crowd turns their back to watch
the next incoming act
the act that's so much flashier and prettier, and calm and elemental.
they turn their back on the girl that is sitting
in the mud
trying to figure out
how it all went wrong.

the tears flow down, but they just step over her
careful to avoid her
not wanting to ask what's wrong
to find out that it's not the situation.
it's not what made her angry.
she's lost her oars to her
coconut canoe
the canoe that is supposed to guide her
show her, carry her, work with her.
her oars are lost and she is directionless.
come over to the shore, they say.  
she tries to paddle with her hands but she doesn't get very far
and the sun feels so hot on her face.
on her very hot face.
she weeps in the middle of the coconut canoe,
and when she sits back up,
she discovers she's no longer there
she's sitting in the mud
while everyone else
to the jobs they are supposed to be doing
but her legs are covered in mud
and she can't find
her coconut canoe.
Why are all my favorite merchandise websites offering incredible deals today when I have no money to shop with?!  Why?  This mental torture is inhumane.
You know, it's funny.  Just as sometimes my ovaries mysteriously and with no apparent warning sing out, "MUST HAVE KIDS.  SOON!" I experience the same thing with my brain when I see puppies, especially Lab puppies.  I don't think you can get any cuter than Lab puppies.  I know I'm so very biased, and I fully admit it.  There's a big temptation in me to want just.one.more, perhaps a yellow, to round out the furkids.  But!  And this is a big but!, not unlike my own, we don't know what the living situation will be in the next year.  Have no clue.  Both Joel and I are coming on to the job market, and we are looking internationally as well.  Some international appointments have restrictions on how many dogs you can have, so that is a current deterrent. 
Alas, I will have to deal with the mental anguish of not having another for a while, and love what I have.  And boy, do I love them.  =)
Oh my gosh, where did I go?  What happened?  What's my name?

Florida was a blast, lots of great food and I had the opportunity to roller coaster my brains out.  Quality hot tub time, too, at a near-empty resort.  Fantastic!

We arrived back Saturday night without much fanfare, and fell right back into our respective routines.

This week, I've added the final fifth member to my dissertation committee.  I'm also very busy writing up a grant proposal for my dissertation funding.  In fact, I'd say I'm writing at a break-neck pace, which means that every time I look at this blog address, I get little shivers because I know I'm sooooo neglecting this space!  I will try and provide lots of updates during the next week about all the stories I can share with you!
I attended a mandatory meeting this morning on campus, and then came home to rest some more.  I don't feel awful, but I certainly don't feel productive or awesome.  I was feeling better this morning but right now I think a nap sounds pretty good. 

Yesterday the dogs were SO SORE from doggy daycare.  I think they ran them hard out there, playing fetch with different toys for hours on end.  I'm glad they had a chance to really stretch their legs.  My schedule right now is not permitting a lot of one-on-one quality attention.  It was funny to watch them around the house yesterday; they took everything very slowly and played gently with each other.  It was like I had two different dogs in the house.  Today they are back to normal.  I am planning on taking them out there at least once a week (much more than that is too expensive - for a full day for both it is $28) just so they can get lots and lots of exercise.

Back to the regularly scheduled...nap.
Staying home today was a great decision.  I woke up with a massive headcold this morning.  I canceled my class this morning (11 a.m.) and am now at home, incubating in my own mental stuffiness and sinus drama.  I mainly did not want to infect anyone else.

Today I will work on a manuscript, finish grading a homework assignment, clean the house, walk the dogs, and rest rest rest in between all of those.  Here's to being healthy and well -- may all of you be in good health today; and if not, I wish you well. 
Liking very much:
warm flannel sheets from the dryer
trench coat silhouette
fall horror movie season
GPS navigator
zipping childrens' jackets
new athletic socks
brazil nut smell of the dogs
crisp evening air
pony rides
pumpkins and apple cider
caramel apples
fall sunsets