Sunday, December 16, 2012

Surviving the Present

I can't really describe, in a single Tweet-sized statement, how much I can't handle anything that is going on in our nation right now, so like any questionably-sane member of my generation, I'll obviously blog about it.

On the personal level, I can't handle much more than structured academia right now, as much as I hate structured academia, and barely even that. The semester is over, and I am spent, and consequently broke...well. Tis the season. My thesis, graduate school, and sleep are on my agenda. And the occasional anxiety attack, which hopefully I can keep at bay, but recent events are causing me to naysay my own bay-keeping, anyway. Christmas is the worst because I can never afford it. And I am all about Christmas and all of it's Christmasy slogans, like some idealistic garbage about Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men for bleeding hearts like mine, I mean, the one that I keep in it's totally vogue custom-made steel casing. But I want these ridiculous phrases to ring with truth, all the time. Ok, so I want Real Community for always, and Yep We're Still Your Genuine Community for Christmas time. Is that too much to ask? Several ABC Family Christmas specials have convinced me that no, it is not too much to ask. Moving on, then.

On the national level, I can't even begin to be able to handle anything that has happened in the past six months at all, ever, ever, ever, never. What happened to our ability as Americans to have intelligent conversations, especially with those who may slightly or overtly disagree with us? Excuse my addiction to education and my efforts to perpetuate equal access to education across the globe, but what is learned from either conversations with people with whom you completely agree or from fighting words with those with whom you definitely do not agree? When did we start assuming that everybody is on one bandwagon or the other? And if you're not on my bandwagon, then you must be on the opposing bandwagon, complete with the same insane flag-wavers and nonsense-screamers that exist on my bandwagon, except you believe in a cause that is completely opposite to mine, therefore I must scream louder, and then you scream louder, and we forget any common threads between us, and we form enemies within our own nation, but nobody hears us because we've drowned each other out. And nothing, and I mean nothing, gets fixed. Like everything else in my life, it's just physics. Destructive interference. Look it up.

All of this buffoonery has almost silenced me, how dare you, from fear of using my extensively educated voice to perpetuate some truth that, I guess, isn't popular anymore. At this point, I think I'm just more inclined to move to Hippietown USA and start salsa garden as well as a ragtag gang of free-thinkers and, more importantly, free-huggers. You know, the kind of people that share, and love, and think critically, and discuss intelligently, and make music, and feed each other, and take care of each other, and keep each other safe, and keep each other healthy, and keep each other in check, and promote education, and promote community. The kind of people that have the gumption to really start to make a positive difference in our downward-spiraling global existence. These are the kinds of people with whom I surround myself. This is the environment in which I can grow.

So quit stifling me. Stop projecting agendas onto me. Stop having an agenda if your agenda isn't working for the betterment of society, and rather start doing something instead of simply shouting about it. Cultural paradigm shifts need support from the top down, but they begin from the bottom up. And we're a generation overdue for one.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"You're not small. You're beautiful."

Yesterday, I spent some time with Melissa in Newport and while we were there, we went to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower

No words. Almost.

I loved it. It was poignant but elegant, honest but gentle, difficult but careful. It describes the lives of a group of misfit high school students who really aren't misfits but who are caught up in difficult situations that are even more difficult to talk about. And I recognized it so well.

I recognized things in the main character that reflect myself at his age, directly. I hadn't realized until then how much of myself and my experiences I have blocked out of my psyche, because they are so difficult and sometimes they are awful and scary, but also because they don't reflect me anymore. My heart was his heart. My spinning mind was his spinning mind. His expression didn't match my expression exactly, but still...we express similar things in staggeringly different ways. It's survival.

After watching, all I wanted to do was stare at Cincinnati across the river. And touch everything carefully, because everything is fragile and breakable. And look for Jupiter, and the rest of the universe. And sip on a brilliantly crafted Kentucky Manhattan. And hold the hand of the frightened girl I used to be. And be held. And be honest. And grow.

So things are about to change, again. There will always be growing pains, because I will always be growing. I am thankful for grace, wherever I don't deserve it. I am thankful for community, wherever I can find it. I am ever-changing, ever-moving, ever-learning. And I won't stop.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Neither and Nor

Romans 8:38 NBV (New Becca Version)

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor present, nor future, nor Angels, nor Demons, nor depth, nor height, nor situation, nor trial, nor tribulation, nor election, nor candidate, nor partisan, nor bigot, nor judgment, nor feminist, nor activist, nor alarmist, nor racist, nor sexist, nor Socialist, nor Communist, nor Capitalist, nor Democrat, nor Republican, nor Libertarian, nor popular vote, nor electoral vote, nor speculation, nor Prosecuting Attorney, nor President, nor proposal, nor talent, nor blindness, nor heartbreak, nor secession, nor division, nor deadline, nor ailment, nor addiction, nor tears, nor laughter, nor conversation, nor conversion, nor accusation, nor voice, nor frustration, nor separation, nor anything even slightly resembling the events recently surrounding and penetrating my life and the lives of those around me-- could possibly keep us from the matchless love of Christ.

Moving on, then.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Let Her Speak

Sweet Jesus Christ, either genuinely or in vain, my sanity.

My expression of thought has grown hopelessly lackluster. Vocally, I mean. It is a blessing and a curse that I can sit in front of this keyboard and type, with substantial eloquence, the things about which I am passionate, or the things for which I feel, or live, or would die. There is often structure, there is often depth, there is often a voice.

But it's not my voice. Well, it is...but it has no volume. Not in any real sense, anyway.

That is what frustrates me.

Because here I sit, fingertips to keys, several semesters of classes taught, numerous research talks given, countless songs sung to several thousands of people...and I still need practice.

I realized this yesterday, sitting in class with so much to say but so much of the substance leaking out of my pores before escaping from my lips. (See that sentence? This is exactly my point. It is so much more difficult for me to verbalize something like that.)

And then I realized something else. Ever since the nightmare that still haunts me eight years later, the one where I lost my voice and couldn't find it, the one that explained so much of my own subconscious existence; I've been woefully aware of my damaged vocal spirit. 

It's not that I cannot talk in front of people. Anyone who knows me, even for a second, can deduce that much. It's the much deeper ax wound; the one that comes from my difficulty being fearlessly forward, insightful up to my capabilities, or even truthful at all.

At the risk of discouraging the reader, fear not. I am getting so much better. Improvement starts with awareness, does it not, and accelerates with practice. I fully understand that I have a brilliant voice, and I am learning to use it in its most fine form. Life is much, much too brief to be afraid of using a voice that I have been so blessed with. It comes down to confidence, of which I have no shortage, and the challenge of understanding of good stewardship.

Challenge accepted.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Breaking Hiatus

I really need to stop forgetting to write here. Soon enough, when I'm writing my autobiography, how the hell am I going to remember what was running through my catastrophic brain if I keep forgetting to write in here?

It is safe to assume that everything has changed. Probably for the better, but possibly not obviously so. I am too tired to re-hash everything that has happened since I last wrote, because everything under the sun has happened; i.e. an almost bear attack, one very large and very smashed armadillo, probably going native, sheer unpredictability, getting my ass kicked and my mind blown by nature and God's grace and beautiful people and...all of that jazz and then some.

But I'm in the beginning of my last year of undergrad and I could only preoccupy myself with home decorating so long before I realized that I am absolutely exhausted, unmistakably behind, repulsively entitled, and even a little apathetic. What the actual hell? This is not me. This is not the driven Becca Robinson that made such a smashing entrance into this university five years ago. Ah, that's the problem. It was five years ago, and I am a mover and a shaker, and I can't believe that I've stuck myself here for five years. I'm at the point in my career when I teach more than I attend class at the university. I no longer get butterflies when it is mentioned, off-handedly, that my thesis might result in a publication. I honestly have given up on being timely, being studious, and being a hermit crab. Sorry, professors, I didn't finish my reading because I keep falling asleep and I'm not going to kill myself over it. 

It is not the time for burning out. It is time to get excited. My whole future is right around the corner, but the things just in front of that corner are getting to me. Perhaps I'm a little frightened, or, perhaps I've reached some sort of limit where the only thing saving me is the remote possibility that I might move to a National Park for a couple of months and just give star talks to little families on big road trips. That's what I really want. No, what I really want is my PhD, and funding for all of the ridiculous driving I do. So there are steps to be taken and things to be changed. Nothing that I can't handle. Not at all.

I'm probably going to keep my laptop on Colorado time. It makes me think that it isn't quite as late as it is. Strategies. Survival. All that rot.

Until next time, then.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Exactly Where

There are a lot of things in the universe.

I am a fighter that doesn't like to fight. I am a lover that cannot fully love. What is this incompleteness that I feel within my peaceful, complete self? 

Let's have a conversation that doesn't involve that feeling of eggshells cracking in my chest. I love, regardless.  I will accept anything, with a smile and a nod, regardless of my feelings because it hasn't anything to do with me.

But still...we want to know what the truth is. And how it can be found. And how to tell the truth without acting as if we've invented the truth; indeed an invented truth is no truth at all but rather a falsehood. "Truth is what exists. Falsehood has to be invented."

My heart and my soul have been telling me where, exactly where I stand. Now I need to have my head in check as well. Here's the problem though: I don't love with my head.  I can find passion through thinking, but my love is as deep and as wide as the sea and as vast as the mountains and I cannot fit all of that into my logical, scientific mind. 

My soul is what exists. Logic will follow. I don't want ignorance, I don't want argument, I don't want misinterpretations, I don't want falling-out, I don't want things breaking. I crave honesty, conversation, reality, genuine thinking, and above all, love. Pure, unapologetic, spiritually-entangled, soul-entwined love. A three-stranded knot around our hearts. Unafraid to look into the eyes of our past selves. Confident in confidence. Together regardless. Love like that.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


When you have been running in circles with your computer code for several weeks and your lab has been taken over by pizza and the soccer cup, there is only one thing to do. Well, two things: eat free pizza (praise God), and think.

Here are some things about me. I've changed so drastically over the past year, several variables taken into account, and I am so indescribably ecstatic over the ways in which God has met me, loved me, molded me, and allowed me to see past my frightfully blinding and unintentional selfishness. I shake life off of my shoulders just a little bit easier now. I love so very deeply. I live loudly.

I am a bit more honest, now. I am addicted to community. I am addicted to lots of things, actually. I have found myself in the middle of my genome. I have discovered identity. I am neither the black sheep nor the lost sheep of my family; I am the wild sheep that longs for authenticity and adventure. I floated into your existence as a result of chemical imbalances and paperwork, and one very important decision not to kill me. On a related note, I am pro-choice, not anti-life. I love wine. I love whiskey. I am horrible at making snap-decisions. I do not like to reject people. I have incredibly high standards for myself, but I am very accepting of others. I cannot handle ignorance or non-tolerance. I am always passionately talking about preventing and healing from sexual violence. I am afraid of being in an all-white room. I am a miserable guitar player, but I get by. My deepest love is reserved for those with which I sing. I am flawed. I am beautiful. I have anxiety. I've had depression, and I have no plans to return to that place. I found comfort in the Ohio Theatre. I am a road-trip junkie. I received my very first speeding ticket this month. I am hyper-addictive. I love imperfection. I cannot stay in one place for too long. I am an impulsive traveller, explorer, and mistake-maker. I do not have ten dollars to my name. I am surrounded by incredible people. I am miserable at computer programming, but I am learning. I fell in love with astrophysics at the age of eleven. My default is love, and I have a very short list of foes. I know how to forgive, but sometimes I wait a little while. I am incredibly spiritual. God's grace is where I am currently dwelling. I have been described as "the baddest bitch" and I secretly loved it. I curse like a sailor. I am disappointed in modern Western Christianity. I have no cookie-cutter faith. I am surviving off of the mercy of others, and I genuinely and joyfully give back whenever I can. When I am nervous, I say things that I do not mean. I live to radically change lives. I am only a sports fanatic on game-day. I am a barefoot child. I adore water. I cannot touch my toes. I have stopped following rules. I am a very good judge of character. Stress is always present in my life, and always seems astronomical. Despite my anxiety, I want to live fearlessly. My heart is in Ireland, and probably always will be. Slushies are simultaneously my drugs and anti-drugs. The Vagina Monologues saved my life. God has met me in the most ridiculous places and spaces. He has always been faithful to me. I am developing my chest voice so that I can sing without any abandon. I will try almost anything. I have remarkable trust issues. It is getting easier to say goodbye. I have no problem being a scientist and a woman of faith; the ease comes with education and open-mindedness. I have a personal hair-stylist and a personal bar-tender, and I love them both dearly regardless of the perks. Food and music are my love-languages. I have an eternal love of pianos. If I have access to a trampoline, I'll be alright. I am extremely intense and often competitive, but I will always extend a helping hand when I can. My weight fluctuates like absolute crazy. I have an irrational fear of starving to death. I am stubborn, and tirelessly attempt to fix things myself before asking for help. I am a beautiful mess, and the best part is...

...God isn't finished with me yet.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Day We Cried Vagina

Let me breathe for a second.

It's been a little crazy. I've been all over, five-thousand miles all over, for the past few weeks and many, many times again I've been reminded that I could never predict my life if my life depended on it (and to a degree, it does.)

But quick update: I've been living in Boulder, CO for a couple of weeks and it's incredible. I completely dig having mountains in what is essentially my back-yard, and obviously I'm a wild-child for plasma physics and magnetohydrodynamics so, it's a pretty sweet deal.

I've been distracted, though, over the past week for a number of reasons; the most prevalent being what's been going on in the Michigan State House of Representatives. Between passing a remarkably reductive and restrictive regulatory bill regarding women's health and actually silencing female representatives on the House floor with no real explanation for the ban (although it probably had to do with the use of the word 'vagina'), I've been righteously angry. 

So have thousands of people in Michigan and much, much more nationwide, as it turns out. Eve Ensler, writer of The Vagina Monologues (one of my favorite things) heard the outcry and actually traveled to Lansing today in order to facilitate a staged-reading of V-Mons on the capitol steps.

Here's the problem: I was still in Boulder. So, I wrote on the event page on Facebook, told everyone I'd be there in spirit. After about three seconds though, obviously, and in the interest of living life to the extreme maximum, I wasn't satisfied with being there in spirit. I knew that I'd just hate myself if I didn't at least try to make it there, mind you, on a $10 budget. 

The miraculous thing about my life is this: it worked. With a Facebook message and several hours of staying up late, my awesome friend Nic loaned me some cash to fly out, my former V-Mons director Amanda grabbed me from the airport in Detroit, her boyfriend Peter's family fed me, and they brought me to Elizabeth's house where I crashed. Through my incredible network, I realized a couple of really amazing things. I realized that, self-directed blame disregarded, I am existing purely in God's grace in utter, shameless, penniless dependence. What a terrible word, dependence. But, it's desperation and it's honesty and it's beautiful and I'd never appreciate the people that I have if I weren't so absolutely, completely spent.

So I'm here, and I'm leaving again in a couple of hours. But between those two events, I witnessed 3000 voices at the Michigan State Capitol Building (complete with a mini V-sis reunion) screaming our favorite v-words: voice, vote, and of course, vagina. 

The monologues were read by several of the house dems as well as several professional actresses, and it was pretty phenomenal, but nothing beats the feeling of standing face-to-face, hand-in-hand, and arm-in-arm with Eve Ensler. Thanking her for saving my life and bear-hugging the shit out of this woman never made it to my bucket list because I never thought it would actually happen, but it did, so consider it checked off. She's an incredible person. I'd consider getting to know her.

So now, I'm sitting in Elizabeth's living room with a glass of wine, watching Lisa Brown use her favorite v-word on the Daily Show, and counting down the minutes before I head back to Detroit to fly away to Boulder. Everything is worth this. History in the making, woven between our passions, spoken by our voices.

These are exciting times.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Loose Ends

Pay no attention to this post.

My mind is cloudy and idle, my fingers will barely move, and I'm intoxicated with quite the assortment of invisible poisons.

It's almost not April anymore, and I just had to get an April in here.

So here it is. April brought many, many things to me. Lots of April showers.

Mostly, though, I think that April just burned me out. Rather, I burned myself out. I burned myself out in the midst of being genuinely okay for the first time in a while, and caught in several verbal snares, trying to tell the truth, trying to embrace my bastard self, trying to rise above every inconceivable failure of the day, I made the attempt to convince people that I am genuinely okay. 

And it was odd. And at times, redundant. And at times, rejected.

I was, until today, shockingly unstressed. Surprisingly well. Willfully radiant. Inventive, investigative, invigorated. I'm just saying words, at this point, but I am very mentally well and it did knock me sideways with shock.


(because there is always a big BUT in my life)

I feel like an unforgivable failure. Like I've somehow been just wildly irresponsible. Like my feelings or my convictions have in some way become negated or ridiculous or just things to initiate an eye-roll. I can't take myself seriously, and I can't imagine that anybody else can. And...I'm not particularly sure how to fix it, because I've placed myself on a wild roller coaster that I have no intention of dismounting. 

So I'll do that thing that I always do.

I'll run away.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

400 and 7 and 3.14159

Important facts: it is Pi Day, as well as my 400th post, as well as somewhere near my seventh blogiversary. So, yeah. Numbers.

It should be noted that, as of earlier this week, Michigan has decided that it's basically summertime already. Whenever this happens, I mostly find myself extra jubilant which always surprises me but it always happens. So, thanks God, and hydrogen fusion, and axial tilt.

It should also be noted that the theme of my life lately is love. (Erm, what?!) Yep. L-word. L-word and flipping everything upside down and dissecting things to figure out what they really are. But mostly love. And by love, I mean having the opportunity to invest in the lives around me. Lives that I've come to cherish, a lot.

Here is what I think love should look like:
-Alexi Murdoch for everyone with anxiety disorders
-A full tank of gas for those who need to travel
-More time for anyone studying for an E&M exam
-Clarity for anyone feeling overwhelmed
-Sunshine for people in Michigan
-Herbal tea for those with congestion
-Simple truth for everyone blinded by complex logic
-Me for you

That's it. Me for you. Whatever I can do for you, because that's the theme, and that's what I want.

Alright. Back to E&M...

Friday, February 24, 2012


Here's a little bit of truth.

Just a little, because sometimes, from some angles, truth is new for me. I decided that if I am to be hated, I am to be hated for having a loud voice. A loud voice that speaks the truth. Truth that isn't always politically-correct or pretty to hear. Just plain, naked, sunburned truth.

The thing about words is this: they're sticky. They attach themselves to tongues, then faces, then ears, then minds, then souls. They attach with daring cohesion. Good words, and bad. Quiet words, and arousing. It's all about the fact that I may or may not be able to be soothed with five simple words: "Keep Calm and Carry On", and that's almost it.

And then there are thoughts. Thoughts are flighty, like, how have the children grown up so quickly? How have they managed to walk streets with confidence, give unapologetic hugs, share a goofy, crooked grin full of straight-ish, adult teeth? Where have they gone, and where are they going?

Maybe it's the same place that I'm going. Maybe I'm not supposed to find out. Maybe it's the generation gap keeping me from them. Maybe it's me, just running away as per usual. Running far, far, farther still. Always wanting, always traveling, always searching, always reaching. Never being specific. Never being picky. Never being frightened. Finding my own way, wild, wild.

Wild is the place that I have found. Wild is the place to which I will go. Wild is me, until further notice.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day in Status

Nobody has a case of the Mondays here. This day is so full of dimension. It's like...the multiverse all squeezed into one not even 24-hour period. Holy. Cow.

So, I've decided to write about this day as I could have on Facebook, via status. Several statuses to surround the two that actually came out of it. Ahem.


Headed to Natalie's bright and early to see Ruth before she heads back to Ireland!

Ruth Burke is probably one of the coolest ladies I've ever met. One more adoration-based non-serious girl-crush to add to the list.

Didn't lose my students' homework this time. Progress.

V-Day DOES exist in Ireland! Tralee and Dublin are both winners.

Note to self: learn solo in Turn the Beat Around. Look less non-Hispanic during choir rehearsal.


Weekend with Travis and Stephanie a.k.a coolest couple ever? Yes, please.

I'm over it too.

6-month-old frozen soup? Microwave? Dinner.

We have more olives in this house than does the nation of Greece.

When in doubt, make a 'soup' out of peanut butter and chocolate syrup. Add marshmallows.

I should probably stop blogging and start studying Gravitational Astrophysics.


...and then I realized that none of this actually scratches the surface of what really went on today, because these things aren't things that I could exploit on Facebook in a status.

So here's what happened. I got a chance to chat with, basically, the Irish version of me-ish. And give and receive encouragement and blessings. And literally see tears of gratitude fall, because what we're doing is actually meaningful.

There was a miscarriage today.

There was a cardigan that I probably want to burn.

There were at least three cupcakes.

There was fake crying, real crying, singing, laughing, snapping, and lots of vaginae.

It's a blessing in disguise that I can't see what's going on in the air. I can't see forces colliding and words, thoughts, being personified. I can't see souls for what they really are, and I can't see the invisible things that we can only train ourselves to feel. But, for once, I would perhaps wish for a snapshot. There were battles today. There must have been. This amount of revolutionary talk lends itself to the perfect environment for oppression.

Since I can't see it, I just feel it. And I understand that your prayers are so, so powerful and so are mine. Let's protect each other. Let's hold each other close. Let's make sure that no personal need goes unnoticed. Let's love. Love just in time for V-Day.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

You're So Disastrous.

I'm at work, and in light of studying for my Electromagnetism exam, I've decided that resistance is futile. I've failed hard after studying hard, so I'm feeling hard-pressed to really care about this one.

And...I have nothing to write about, probably. It's been one thing after another, but I'm still breathing. (Is that frosting between my keyboard keys? Yeah, it is.)

Here's a list. A list of failures and outcomes. Or something. (God, I'm terribly inarticulate when I'm feeling apathetic.)

Grandma Dies --> Spend time with cousins from out of town
Lose house for next year --> Find someplace else to live with two good friends
Become horribly broke --> Sell books
Become horribly broke --> Mooch food and rent money off of your roommates
Become horribly broke --> Sell plasma, nearly faint
Become horribly broke --> Find out that people really want to buy food for you when you're broke
Become horribly stressed --> Find out that people really want to buy food for you when you're stressed
Become horribly stressed --> Make an asshat out of yourself every second
Become horribly stressed --> Project onto other people. Lose yourself.

But, I'm supposed to be finding myself, right? My stress comes in waves, like so many wonderful and horrible things, and it's unpredictable, like so many wonderful and horrible things. Right now? I'm well. Five hours ago? I wanted to punch everybody in the face, which is probably why everybody around me is disappearing.

I understand that it's just me. I like to think that it will pass, and that God is showing me his intimacy while I don't want intimacy with other people. There is a lot of growth going on, but a person looking from the outside wouldn't see it at all. To the world, I probably look just exactly like the devil mask that I must be wearing, but fear not. I'm growing. It's personal. It's not the business of anybody else, and it's not meant for analyzing. God is letting me feel shameless, for a second, in the middle of the stress and worthlessness and what-have-you. And I like it.

That's all. I can't put words together. Not like this. Talk soon.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lidocaine Brain

I'm home. The migratory bird has flown, several times actually, and returned.

I'm sitting on my favorite mattress, still sunken beneath my broken bed frame. Lights dim, heat semi-running. Messy, cluttered, buttons and pencil lead, papers from last semester, unpacked bags, stuffed suitcases, receipts, packaging peanuts, no motivation, eating jelly beans instead of drinking wine.

My high school chemistry teacher was right. I am a classy lady.

Anyway, I've just returned from three weeks of mayhem. Between standing in the endzone at the Outback Bowl and watching my team defeat the Dawgs (or 'Dwags', as one fan actually wrote on a banner), participating in entirely too much tomfoolery, having the unrivaled privilege of spending time with my family, chasing an armadillo while riding a four-wheeler, shooting my future pistol, presenting my brilliant research, and dragging an overstuffed duffel bag through way too many airport terminals, I'm exhausted. Exhausted, and ill-prepared for the semester which, turns out, started last Monday.

That really isn't an issue. I can take care of that, at least. I can plan ahead, and I have.

The real issue is that I can't fix my life from a distance, as I was hoping that I could. The fact of the matter is simple: this is a bad time. This is a bad time to travel. It's winter. I'm always broke in the winter, yet somehow I thought I'd be exempt this time by working three jobs. Unfortunately, I'm not. This is a bad time to try and relax. This is a bad time to de-stress. This is a bad time to get reimbursed. This is a bad time to find a new roommate. This is a bad time to realize that there is not a conceivable way that I can pay this month's rent on time. This is a bad time to stress-eat. This is a bad time to feel nothing. This is a bad time to have a monologue memorized. This is a bad time to call me. This is a bad time to drop off my dry cleaning. This is a bad time for grandma to die. This is a bad time to come home. It's a bad time. It's a bad time. It's a bad time...but it's a wonderful life.

I found so many things on this trip, but my brain can't process them all. Since I've been in a haze and my mind has been everywhere at once as per usual, I just wanted to touch on a couple of things in this reflection.

I ended up at the Women in Physics conference at Case Western over the weekend with some friends and colleagues. It was like...swimming in a sea of luminous jellyfish. Everyone was so bright. I have never been in the presence of such brilliant minds and never have I heard such fascinating scientific talks. These individuals are fabulous. So fabulous, that it got me thinking: I idolize my professors so much, but they haven't explained things to me nearly as well as Dr. Gates had in a 40-odd slide presentation. How do these people learn to communicate so well, and why haven't I seen much of this before? I always felt that it was my fault if I didn't take enough initiative to learn well, but I came away from this weekend understanding much more about gravitational lensing because of Dr. Gates and I had presented an entire project on that subject last semester! I don't want to assign her brilliance to gender alone; however, the crowd-savvy in the room surprised me.

These are role models. This is future me, ish, minus the being me, of course. I'm excited. A lot of the other ladies found the conference to be a great pep-talk for the upcoming/already-begun semester. I agree. But for tonight, I watch 30 Rock and rest. Tomorrow is for cleaning, preparing, repairing, and camaraderie. Tomorrow.