- Last night I dreamed of ModPodge. And of songs about ModPodge. #THATCamp #craftcabinFTW #
- MT @PennamitePLR: @janaremy you mean the Analog Remix Lab & Game Theory Practicum? #dontmakeitsoundsofunitsunfundable #THATCamp //indeed! #
- Next #THATCampSoCal we want a Gaming Arcade next to the Craft Cabin! #beinganacademicissosofun #THATCamp #
- Whew…#THATCampSoCal is officially over now. What an awesome event. As always, amazed by the vigor & brilliance of DH'ers. #
- Just caught myself trying to set my iPhone alarm clock with a mapping app. It's official: #THATCamp wore me out today! #andstillmoretocome #
- RT @PhDeviate: Before heading to Haven pub, @janaremy and I will be taking #THATCamp catering leftovers to OC Rescue Mission. #THATGiving #
- Still a few timeslots left on tomorrow's #THATCamp schedule if you want to add a session: http://bit.ly/g1VV77 #
- Chicken & waffles at #THATCamp #whoknew? #
- RT @PhDeviate: #Freebase session is over, on now to the ACRONYMAPALOOZA that is (X)HTMLCSSXMLTEI! #THATCamp // ha!! :) #
- RT @hmprescott: Knitting Clio Daily is out! http://bit.ly/gYH4cm ▸ Top stories by @feminists @janaremy @dancohen @bikeshopgirlcom @dave_eby #
- Follow the #THATCamp hashtag today to see the tweets from the unconference that I'm chairing today! #
- RT @THATCampSoCal: The schedule for #THATCampLA http://bit.ly/g1VV77 // see you there! :) #
- Hosting @Phdeviate for #THATCampSoCal & looking forward for some Puerto Rican treats later tonite :) #
- the blossoms on my lime tree are so distractingly fragrant right now… http://brizzly.com/pic/43AJ #
- Now at #mla11 with two of the most brilliant emergent scholars in the house http://brizzly.com/pic/4381 #
- Don't forget: #THATCamp #mla11 meetup tonite,JWMarriott, Olympic 1, 8-10pm. All invited–even those w/o an MLA badge. Pls RT #
- RT @jbj:"Never doubt that a series of 140 character messages can change higher education. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has" #mla11 #
- I like my lattes with extra foam http://brizzly.com/pic/434Y #yumyumyum #
- It's really frustrating to cook in a kitchen w/half the stuff missing. Argh. At least he left the garlic, if not the olive oil #remydivorce #
- Can you folks in #309 #mla11 snap a few pictures with your phones? #Iwannaseeitformyself #
- RT @mlaconvention: Clarification: Because MLA MEMBERS do DH work and plan sessions for #mla11 All member driven. @janaremy #
- RT @FrostDavis: Online game, using @zotero, teaches citation skills: http://tinyurl.com/23srt8u // so cool!! #
- RT @jaheppler: "the PhD student is someone who forgoes current income in order to forgo future income" http://econ.st/icE1O4 //Indeed! #
- MT @cmleitch: People leaving previous session are talking about this newfangled "digital humanities" #mla11 //maybe at #aha2011 too? #
- Video: The oceans are werewolves. http://bit.ly/eMo47A (via @taojunky) #
This little poem excerpt from Eugene Fields is a favorite–one that I learned from a biography of Minerva Teichert (a painter who knew how to user her red!):
Any color, so long as it’s red,
Is the color that suits me best,
Though I will allow there is much to be said
For yellow and green and the rest;
But the feeble tints which some affect
In the things they make or buy
Have never–I say it with all respect–
Appealed to my critical eye…
A lot of questions are bubbling up about the future. About what I want for my life and where I see myself headed. On so many fronts, I simply have no idea. Sure, I’ll keep working at my job and on my dissertation. I’ll continue caring for my children. For the time being I’ll stay in my current home. But my days are filled with moments where I realize, I just don’t know what lies ahead. And I’m not sure I even care to think too deeply about it either. Yes, I worry occasionally (which usually prompts me to go check my bank account balances and take a few deep breaths).
The past few days I’ve been in a whirlwind of busy-ness because of the THATCamp conference I hosted at Chapman. Organizing such an event is an absolute delight–especially sitting at the feet of scholars whose work outshines mine in so many ways. But now I have a ‘to-do’ list that is quite long. I put off many personal tasks until this event was over, knowing that I could only handle ‘so much’ this past week given all that’s been happening in my life.
However, instead of thinking about the future and my lists and my uber-weird life, I am sitting here looking out the window at this fresh new day and am just being. A friend brought me a tree-ripened orange yesterday and I’m slowly slicing it and savoring each bite. And remembering my favorite poem of orange– the first French poem that I ever attempted to translate–and focusing on the “sweet present of the present” and realizing that sometimes that is simply enough.
Une orange sur la table
Ta robe sur le tapis
Et toi dans mon lit
Doux présent du présent
Fraîcheur de la nuit
Chaleur de ma vie
The orange in the picture above was one that I picked from the satsuma tree in my garden. A tree that was a birthday gift from my mother a few years ago & now sits in a pot on my porch.
Lately I’ve been meeting a lot of people “in real life” that I’ve only known online previously. Many have remarked that I look quite different than my photos portray me (most say I look younger than my photos, which is certainly flattering). So….I’m curious…for those of you who know me in meatspace, would you be willing to take a look at the flickr photoset of my pictures and tell me which one(s) look the most like me? I’m looking to update my various online avatars and want to do so with pictures that are both flattering and more accurate as to my real ‘look.’
Also, if you’re a photographer, you’re more than welcome to have a go at helping me take some better pictures–but I should reveal upfront that I’m not always the most agreeable subject (as in the photo above where I got quite tired of posing for a friend who was trying to take a serious picture of me…)
Picture above taken by Jessawhy.
I moved back to my home last Saturday. Which is now more my home than it ever has been–the majority of John’s stuff being gone, as well as the half of our property that he took along with him to his new life. As far as these things go, I’d say that the transition has been a fairly smooth one. But it is also strange how this all plays out on a day-to-day basis…so I thought I’d list a few of my experiences this week to illustrate how things are going this far…
- Bought new bedlinens. I kept our bed (which I love), but it seemed a necessary thing to make a substantive change to make it ‘mine’ rather than ‘ours.’
- Speaking of ‘ours’…a friend noticed that I still use this word when discussing my home. It’s a hard habit to break.
- At the local rock climbing gym, several people hailing me as “John’s wife.” Explaining to them that I am no longer John’s wife, and trying to ignore the uncomfortable pause at the end of that interaction. But supposing that they’ll remember to call me Jana the next time we meet.
- The challenge of my attempts to cook in the kitchen. I open cupboards to retrieve familiar implements and ingredients, only to find them gone. Or perhaps moved to a place where I haven’t found them yet. It will take some time before I know my way around that once-familiar space again.
- Filling out permission slips for a field trip for the kids. Realizing that the familiar blanks of those forms are now filled out differently with two parents in two different homes. Just one more thing to get used to.
- A note from an LDS friend, inviting me back to Mormon church. (Sigh). For the record: I have no desire to be LDS now that we’re divorcing. If anything, just the opposite.
- Having primary custody of the children. Loving that they are nearly always home when I am and enjoying how good it feels to hug them when I walk in the door after work and before we all go to bed at night.
- Going clothes shopping with a friend who encouraged me to move outside my familiar and somewhat conservative ‘Mom’ style. Shopping at stores that I haven’t been in since I was a teenager, and letting go of the feeling that I need to ‘dress my age.’
- Coming across a folder of cards from John, including the one he wrote me on the two-month anniversary of our marriage that says “it’s like living in a dream to be eternally married to you….”. Remembering just how young and naive we were then and wondering…wondering…but also knowing that the what-ifs simply don’t matter now.
- Tobykitty’s health stabilizing one more time. Appreciating that the loss of her is not combined with all of the other losses in our family right now. Pondering just how many more lives she has to left to spare (fingers crossed).
- Two different friends noticing that I am constantly apologizing (for the strangest things, like tonite when I apologized for my dinner smelling so good). A habit I’ve slipped into over the past few years that will take some time undo…
- Taking down the photos of us still hanging on my walls. Seeing the tender notes from John written on the backs of frames. Wondering what the hell I am supposed to do with this memorabilia now. Toss? Keep? Burn?
- Having an in-person conversation with John about one of our children (our first live interaction in quite awhile). Our shared concern filling the space between us. Considering how our love for our kids continues to bind us to each other.
- This big empty living room where I am now typing. I have the intention to go and buy a couch and some art for the empty walls, but I’d rather just be ‘home’ right now. Retail therapy leaves me feeling so empty afterward.
- The indentation of my wedding ring that still lingers on the 4th finger of my left hand.
- Cleaning out my closet, finding old pics. This one at a prom on my 16th bday: http://brizzly.com/pic/42YD #wasieverreallythatyoung #
- RT @edteck: New post: Humanities Conference Smackdown! AHA vs MLA Twitter Visualizers – http://bit.ly/erOxMa #aha2011 #mla11 #
- Last night I dreamed vividly of snow skiing. Perhaps it’s time for me to go again? #itsbeenmorethan20years #
- I have such thoughtful Pasadena friends who send me bookish care packages. :) #
- So excited! My sport leg is repaired so I can get back to paddling & rock climbing again! Woot! #shesclimbingthosewallsagain #
- We’ll be making stenciled schwag from flickr commons images at the #thatcampla craft cabin! http://brizzly.com/pic/42RE #
- RT @THATCampSoCal: THATCampLA meetup at #mla11 Jan 8, 8-10pm, Olympic 1, JWMarriott. We’ll do DorkShorts & breakout session, all invited. #
- RT @sramsay: Last semester, I added QR codes to my syllabi. This semester, I’m thinking about providing origami instructions. // Heh! #
- A #bringit2011 shout-out to all those single Moms w/a typewriter & a brilliant idea #thepoweroffailure #thisismenowtoo http://bit.ly/ez2BZx #
- A #bringit2011 shout-out to all those single Moms with a typewriter and a brilliant idea :) #thepoweroffailure #thisismenowtoo #
- RT @candace_nast: RT @NewFacMajority: Less than pumped by #AHA2011 #MLA11 & other hiring prospects? Check out: http://bit.ly/g6iBDm #
- RT @AHAhistorians: Annual Meeting tweets w/the #AHA2011 hashtag now appear in a Twitter widget on the AHA blog. http://bit.ly/dLTzKQ #
- So excited to be counting down the hours until #THATCampSoCal :) http://bit.ly/axYCyh #
- The #THATCampSoCal party favors just arrived! http://brizzly.com/pic/42J0 #
- RT @THATCampSoCal: THATCampLA meetup at #mla11 Jan 8, 8-10pm, Olympic 1, JWMarriott. We’ll do DorkShorts & breakout session, all invited. #
- RT @triproftri: A New Year’s wish for all of you (by Neil Gaiman) http://youtu.be/2d0QIt1EOGo // #bringit2011 #
- Moved home (#theresnoplacelikehome) today. Also, bought new bed linens, a pendant lamp, and purple socks. #bringit2011 #
- Woohoo! #bringit2011 #
- My mask for tonite’s Masquerade NYE party: http://brizzly.com/pic/426Z :) #
- RT @patrickgmj: I, for one, welcome my new 2011 overlords. // indeed! #bringit #
- Rather than #worksprint thru my afternoon, I’m going to hit my stride with a 5K from now til closing time. See you on the other side! #
- Realizing how satisfying (& appropriate) it feels to be exhausted by this past month’s work. Looking forward to even more hard wk in 2011 :) #
- I’m still plowing through, working with a new primary source (no stopping now, I’m on a roll!). How did you #worksprint go? #
- I’m getting a rolling start with my #worksprint Ready….set….Go! (check in at half past the hour & let us know what you accomplished!) #
- Gonna send this year out with a bang–who’s ready for some super-productive #worksprints Next one starting at 45 after the hour? #
Among the many things unearthed from John moving out of my home were some old photos. It’s been fun to look through these and remember what life was like for us when we were first experimenting with digital photography.
As an example, here’s a shot of me giving my first talk at a UCI conference in 2004. For an even more amusing view, you can see my ankle-length skirt (which, back then, was one of my favorites to wear while teaching seminary classes to Mormon teenagers):
Looking at that picture, I can remember how truly happy I was to be on the brink of beginning graduate school (I’d just barely accepted UCI’s offer for their PhD program). I’d already done several years of coursework at junior college and then took classes as a non-matriculated student for a year to prepare myself for re-entry into full-time academia. It was such a thrill to see that investment coming to fruition. I can still hardly believe how fortunate I am to have found a career path that brings me so much joy.
I’ve listened to the video below over and over again. Gaiman’s voice is simply gorgeous and his words ring with so much possibility…
This year I intend to be wise and kind. I intend to create art and write important words. I intend to love and to like the people that I am with. I intend to dream outrageously and dangerously (and perhaps more importantly, I intend to take the steps necessary to fulfill those dreams).
This year ahead has a fairly well-defined script: file my dissertation, get divorced, turn 40. But I also suspect that it holds some miraculous surprises. So that next year when I write my wrap-up, it will be more than I ever imagined. (For a walk down memory lane, here’s my 2009 end-of-the-year blog entry.)
What about you, what do you imagine this next year holds?