Ah, the lax blogger. I made two resolutions to myself this semester (I make semester resolutions, rather than New Year's Resolutions. Semesters are a much more manageable chunk of time, so the sense of guilt and self-loathing can be limited to four months, at the end of which time you can start again. It makes no sense, but it works for me.) These two resolutions were to blog at least three times a week and to workout at least three times a week.
The workout resolution has been going well. I've only slacked down to two times a week twice. I like to think this is why I am still healthy and not in the predicament of some vague, mononucleosis related illness as I was last year at this time. The blogging resolution, not so much. As with most other things in my circadian, seasonal rhythm -- even my whole life -- I started off strong, but wore out early.
I have no "overworked, stressed out" excuse, just the February Funk that melts into the March Malaise. This has been a pattern for my entire life, or at least as far back as high school. January begins with great energy and possibility. February and March become the closest thing to human hibernation as possible. At least this year lacked any attendant depression or feeling that my life had somehow gone terribly wrong personally or professionally. There was no frightening isolation of the Middle of Nowhere, nor deep dark winter of That Place. No discontent, just the constant desire for a nap.
Indeed, should I ever run for president, my single issue shall be a Constitutional amendment requiring nap time. I believe I could win on that alone. The only opponents might be five year olds, and they don't vote.
This year, I was wise. I anticipated the Funk and Malaise and did not over commit myself to anything. Even my plans for the Douglass book have no deadline. I can just do my job. It's about all I can manage at the moment and keep from feeling unduly taxed. This feels good.
I also decided to get out of the apartment from time to time. A few weeks ago, I went to a ballet -- at least I think it was a ballet. One of the faculty members has a daughter who dances in the company of a fairly well-known choreographer in New York. They came down to perform at one of the millions of big universities in the area, and the Faculty Mother invited us all to dinner and a performance. I went, and discovered that I'm too much the critic to be sociable very quickly. You don't critique the concept of the ballet when the hostesses daughter is in the show. I bit my tongue because, technically and intellectually, the ballet was interesting and wonderful. Emotionally? Well, let's just say that if I am supposed to buy the story that the Queen of Carthage will kill herself over a romance, I want some indication in the choreography and music that this was a soul-aching love, or at least some seriously hot sex. As it was, I admired the skill of the dancers, the interesting casting choice of placing a man in the role of the Queen and an androgynous corp of dancers, and the use of sign language in the choreography.
This week, I attended a lecture given at the Folger Shakespeare Library on their upcoming production of the Scottish play. Incidentally, I don't use the name of the play with Weird Sisters, and Banquo ghosts, and damn spots because saying the name is supposed to be bad luck. Maybe that superstition only covers the actual theater, but I had to go through a whole "exorcism" once because one actress was trying to piss off a director, so she kept saying the title and wouldn't do the little anti-curse dance that the director insisted upon. Then the director began reporting unexplained phenomena in the theater space. She blamed the actress for saying the play's title out loud and bringing "bad spirits" into the room. To rid the theater of these spirits, she made everyone in the cast do a "cleansing spell" during a full moon. I felt ridiculous, so I just play by the local rules and don't court those sorts of shenanigans. Plus, I can pretentiously imply that I was in a real production rather than an amateur, college drama club show wherein both the actress and the director were both twenty-year olds. The director, by the way, insisted that was an atheist. If so, then she was the most superstitious atheist that I ever met.
Anyway, this week I went downtown and saw this lecture by the two directors, one of which is better know as the silent half of Penn & Teller. They have conceived of the play as a horror show in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock, and I am now very excited to go see it later in April. Unfortunately, I didn't get to go into the Folger, since they had moved the venue across the street to a church. Lighting did not strike when I entered, even when I laughed at the Lenten decorations that included a cloth on the pulpit depicting a halo and three nails. Yes. Three nails. Maybe it was part of a promotional package for Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," along with nail pendants?
I took pictures of this adventure. Of the Metro. Of the library. Of the Supreme Court building where I tried to catch a glimpse of Scalia sharpening his pitchfork. Of me in front of the Folger. Of the Hamlet frieze on the outside of the Folger. Of the church. Of the three nails. Now I have to figure out how to get them off of my new cell phone. I didn't take any of Teller because I thought that might be verboten. I also missed a chance to get his autograph because I felt too self-conscious of looking like a starfucker.
I just wanted to write "starfucker" because it is a funny word.
Then, tonight, I went to see a local (as in, on campus) production of Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love." What a difficult play. The actors did their damnedest; but I got the feeling that the two leads had never been in a seriously fucked up relationship wherein you feel this irrational and consuming love for the other person but you aren't even sure that you can call the emotion "love" because you also want to rip them to tiny, bloody shreds with your bare hands, and both passions keep you coming back for more, and "more" just gets worse and worse each time because you go back for either love or revenge, but the two are so enmeshed that you can't separate them. The possibility that neither of these actors had been through that speaks volumes for their sanity if not for their performances. Still, they tried, and hit the right notes on more than one occasion. Overall, a nice diversion for an evening; although it made me desperately want to take an acting class.
That's how I've been amusing myself through the February Funk and into this March Malaise. They should both wear off about Easter, at which point I will have to find other excuses.