To be running breathlessly, but not yet arrived, is itself delightful, a suspended moment of living hope. -Anne Carson
The longer the semester goes on, the stranger things begin to seem. It’s almost like I’m trapped in a California version of Groundhog Day–I meet the same people everyday in the some place. While things are always eerily similar, our daily encounters change ever so slightly. So slightly, in fact, that you begin to wonder if that happened yesterday or today, maybe even two days ago…Time is, of course, moving forward; really, I should say hurtling forward because the strangest thing of all is that one day I look at the calendar and it’s March 2 and, then, the next time I really register the date, it’s suddenly March 16. It makes me wonder where in the world I’ve been, if I’m experiencing life or if I, because of the routine/rut/schedule I’ve fallen into, am instead sleepwalking through my days (a good friend of mine wrote about this recently and her words clearly hit a nerve)? To put it mildly, it’s all a bit disconcerting. 

 Another part of me tells me that I just have to try harder, that this is “real life” and that I simply have to carve out moments each and every day that will stick with me. I’ve found that the things that do make an impression on me are those that are wholly outside of my routine: it’s the random article I stumble upon, a picture on Instagram that breaks through the monotony, a blog post that leads to an unplanned trip to the grocery store for amaranth, a decadent Sicilian meal (including lobster!) on a Thursday night, hanging out with neighbors and letting Elektra play with their puppy, cocktails with friends on a sunny Friday afternoon. Perhaps it’s the rarity of all of these things that makes them special, but, nevertheless, I’d like to see more of them.

Here are some others, which hopefully will also inspire you:

The first picture on this post is of a Norwegian cardamom tart I baked recently from an old issue of Bon Appetit. While it won’t be making its way to the blog, I still have to say that it was one of the most fragrant tarts I’ve ever eaten. I think a little dark chocolate, although not at all a traditional touch, would be a welcome addition.

For years, I’ve dreamed of a continuation to the wonderful and long off-the-air tv series, Veronica Mars. Thanks to Kickstarter, my dream (and that of other Marshmallows) is coming true.

Although I have no time to think about “What’s next?” just yet, it was interesting to read about the random ways in which people opt to make career changes. It really drives home the fact that it really is all about being in the right place at the right time.

I’ve been going a little crazy for kumquats recently, packing them in a baggie with almonds for a tart afternoon snack or, thanks to a tip from a friend, finely slicing them–skin and all–and tossing them into a salad. For some reason, I decided to search for kumquats on Google and this old article by Amanda Hesser, which is really a tribute to kumquats, popped up.

I think the Greek and I are going to Berlin this summer! I’ve been dying to go for a while now and, after finally filing (whenever this will be; things are looking a little grim) the dissertation, certain dreams simply need to become a reality. And, thanks to this article, I’m really looking forward to breakfast in Berlin.

But before I can go to Mr. Minsch and stuff myself to my heart’s content, I’ve got a lot more essay writing to do. This thoughtful article pretty much sums up the emotional experience of the writer and the ways in which he/she can be riddled with doubt.

Last but not least, I just want to say that while I’ve had less time that I would like to devote to the blog in “this season of my discontented” dissertation sprint, thanks to a few efforts today and last weekend, I’m now sitting on 3 posts: more breakfast, an easy weeknight dinner that is a staple around here and bread. Yes, I’m finally returning to the bread-baking frenzy of the fall. In fact, as you can see in the picture below, I’ve been working on a starter, but it’s been a little touch and go….I’m not sure I’ve mastered the art of the starter yet, but I hope to report on this soon–and with a favorable outcome!

12 thoughts on “Trying to Stay Awake

  1. Ditto on the links – thanks. A couple were just what I needed to read today. Contemplating my “what next” quite a bit right now.

    Can't tell you how many times I've found myself in the “trying to stay awake” phase whether in college, grad school, new motherhood, slave to grading papers…always something.

  2. Starter! Exciting! Also, I just love posts like this one. I think a lot of times we feel like we're just ambling along, not really living, but when we sit down to put together our thoughts and experiences from the last week or so, we find so much richness and so much life! Also: Berlin!!! Hurray!

  3. I love this post. For one, it starts and ends with absolutely delicious looking doughs that promise to become baked scrumptiousness. Plus, I can definitely relate to the Groundhog Day feeling lately, and I love kumquats, and I'm grateful for all you've given us to look forward to. Travel, new blog posts, and filing the diss — there is much excitement on the horizon: a refreshing reminder to all!

  4. You're welcome! I look forward to telling you all about my trip to Berlin. Somehow, for me at least, Berlin has come to represent the end of the dissertation. It will be a good time indeed!

  5. Lisa, I feel that you are a kindred spirit–college, grad school, grading papers and now the big “what next.” I hope that this last thing gives you as much excitement as it does me (that is, when I'm not feeling the trepidation about the great unknown!). Good luck!

  6. About Berlin, yes, hurray! I'm working on a Berlin-inspired recipe right now–will hopefully be up in the next few weeks. 🙂

    Also, thank you; I did feel a lot better about my week once I had written this post. Somehow, even my virtual life and discoveries can make for exciting times. It's a nice escape in a lot of ways!

  7. Hi Kaieza, thanks for both your comment and for stopping by! It's always nice to know that there are readers who take something from these posts!

  8. Thank you, Moriah; you know, until you mentioned it, I didn't realize the symmetry of this post–that it featured two doughs in various stages of readiness.

    I can imagine, given that you're also a cog in the wheel of academia, that you definitely can relate to the Groundhog Day feeling…As they say, the more things change…

    And yes, there is plenty of excitement on the horizon! May it arrive sooner rather than later! 🙂

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