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Cold is a relative term


I have been so stressed that I could weep.

I have been researching a term paper on Jane Austen for the last three months and over the weekend, I banged it out — over 10,000 words because apparently I don’t know how to rein it in at all. The worst part is that I don’t feel super good about it — the transitions are terrible and I probably would reorganize it if I had to do it all over again. I also really probably shouldn’t have included this tremendous sidebar on whether Charlotte Lucas was or was not a feminist, which I used in support of my argument about whether or not Jane Austen predated the concept of the cinematic gaze by 200 years. And what, you may ask, does Charlotte Lucas’s conformity to the patriarchy have to do with cinematic gaze? It made sense at the time, but also, I was on a lot of Dayquil and may or may not have written that part during hour 10 of the marathon writing session.

Now my Jane Austen final is over, my term paper handed in, the final for the class I’m teaching has been administered (Oh my god, you guys, my kids — they are so amazing. I can’t even believe some of the things they created. They were just incredible. I am so gobstopped by their creativity and amazingness) and I have just one more final class tomorrow and then I will have completed my first semester of PhD World and oh my god, I’m half exhilarated that it was so fun and also I can easily see that it will get harder as I get promoted next year to fiction editor and have to do all the reading ever and also start studying for my translation test and my prelims.

My car, as I mentioned, is dead. I can’t afford the car I want. The cars I can afford just seem like terrible investments, either high miles or really old — or let’s face it, some of them are just ugly. This very fact has frozen me to be unable to move onward. What’s more, despite the fact that Las Vegas is a fairly large metropolis, there are certain “large metropolis” things that it doesn’t have, like a ton of car dealerships. Thus, most of the potential cars I’m finding via the internet are in LA or San Diego, and I don’t have time to go there because finals week. Because I am sick. Because I have no time. Because everything.

We also test drove a bunch of used cars over the weekend. I’ve narrowed down the selection to a Kia Soul, a Toyota Camry, an older Nissan Murano or weirdly a Jeep Renegade. I’m kind of surprised about the Jeep Renegade, honestly. When we moved here, we noticed the huge saturation of Jeeps here. We joked that we knew that we would have been true Nevadans if we suddenly felt the urge to buy a Jeep. Except now I test drove one and huh, turns out I like Jeeps.

Basically the current pro/con list is centered around whether I want the height/size of a crossover or the cheapness of a sedan.

But right now, Esteban and I are both sick, so we’ve taken a break from test driving so that I can focus my energy on finals week. I did get a flu shot two months ago, but honestly, being in close quarters with so many people, all of the germs on everything, touching the same faucets and doorknobs and papers and everything, I pretty much knew I’d get sick and give it to Esteban.

It seems unfair to have a cold when it’s so warm outside, even though it’s December. Right now, I’m reading on Facebook about my friends back home in Coldington, where they got seven or more inches of snow. It was 70 degrees today when I went to school to administer my final exam to my class — I had a sweater on but realized I was probably stupid for wearing it. That said, it gets “really cold” here after the sun goes down. Mid-50’s. I know. I disgust myself too. Maybe my body just knows it’s getting dark early and decides that we must be cold now. Stupid situational awareness body.

We also went to the DMV to get our Nevada driver’s licenses last weekend. On a Saturday. Okay, even though Las Vegas doesn’t have a very good selection of used cars in its proximity, big props for DMVs that are open on Saturdays. Even bigger props that I made an appointment and we basically spent less than five minutes waiting. However, once we were at our person, we then stayed there for like two hours (I am not joking). We had brought all of the paperwork that ever was and it turned out we STILL didn’t have enough paperwork. You see, in Wisconsin, you’re not required to have your car registration. Your registration is your license plate update — the little sticker that goes on the physical license plate. We might have been given a receipt for that sticker but you don’t have to keep it so of course we don’t have it, also because WE MOVED ACROSS THE COUNTRY and who the hell knows where that went because it wasn’t important in Wisconsin. Well, in Nevada, it’s important. Also, weirdly, W2 forms are valid forms to prove your SSN even though you yourself could write anything at all into your W2 form. Luckily, we had smartphones and could forward old paperwork to our very nice DMV person, but still, we were there for two hours. And then they’ll send us our cards in the mail because reasons.

This is who I am turning into — a card-carrying Nevadan who drives a Jeep and puts on a sweater the moment the mercury drops below 70 degrees.

So tell me, blogerati — what are you doing to de-stress this holiday season?


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  1. Marn o'Diaryland wrote:

    Making Christmas cookies is my favourite way to unwrap the seasonal stress. All the recipes come from friends and family, so they’re all linked to people I love.

    And now for something completely different. Did you know that that trendy queen Jane Austen is the earliest written citation for “throwing shade”. Oh yes.

    Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink
  2. Almondpanda wrote:

    Get the Camry.

    Friday, December 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink
  3. Almondpanda wrote:

    Get the Camry. Your wallet/gas payment will thank you for not getting the Jeep.

    Friday, December 15, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

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