January 1st, the deadline for my book revisions, has come and—as of thirty-one minutes ago—passed. The revisions are not finished.
Earlier this week, I had determined that I would send in everything at midnight, whether or not I was actually done. This seemed fine and dandy until late this evening, when I realized that I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it. The manuscript isn’t… you know… done.
In my next life, I intend to be a ne’er-do-well with absolutely no inclination toward perfectionism. I’m thinking I could be a chinchilla, maybe, something small and furry and useless. If it is imperative that I come back as a human again, then I’d like to be a bland suburban housewife, with no identity, no politics, no education, no worries.
If any bland suburban housewives are reading this, you are surely insulted, for which I deeply apologize. Return with all due haste to watching the Lifetime channel, and you’ll forget this ever happened.
So the revised plan is to finish the manuscript this weekend. Now back in November I explained that my plan was to finish over Thanksgiving, and back in December I promised that I would finish over Christmas, and earlier this week I swore I would finish on New Year’s Day. It does not take a bland suburban housewife to detect a trend here. But this time I really think it might happen.
Regardless, I have decided that we shall never again speak of the book, because I am very, very tired of it. In fact, I think it would be best if we pretend that it never happened. I shall pull an Orwell and strike all mention of it from the record.
Of course, just because I have (probably) nearly finished the m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ pt, I am not off the hook. I could be working on an article that was due last month (couldn’t write it then, obviously, because of the m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ pt), or I could be working on the one that was due this month. Or I could be working on the chapter that was due sometime this past fall.
Or I could be plugging away at the m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ pt, but that’s silly, seeing as it does not exist. Not that it has ever existed.
I think it best to avoid those activities at the moment, as my brain has fried. My present mental capacity could be used as one of those cautionary tales about the dangers of drugs, except that I haven’t used any drugs, but now that I’m thinking of it? Let’s add a drug addiction to the reincarnation fantasy. I shall be a bland suburban housewife, but I shall be a stoned bland suburban housewife, by God.
Also, I’ve been feeling guilty about not blogging. And since the laundromat isn’t open at one in the morning, God knows why not, and since my mental capacity is too weak to perceive the benefits of a good night’s sleep, here I am.
Perceptive readers and/or stalkers will recall that my New Year’s post has traditionally involved a detailed review of the books I’ve read in the past year, if “twice now” counts as traditional. Fear not; it’s coming, if I ever get my m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ pt that does not exist finished—though this year’s list will be shorter than last, as my free time this past year rather inexplicably vanished. I can’t for the life of me imagine where it all went.
I can, however, give you a Year in Review type list that will tide you over till I publish my list of books read. I recognize that you are simply salivating with desire for the exhaustively detailed discussion of the titles, but you will have to be patient.
Now then! Presenting…
The Really Lousy Things that Happened in 2008, a Year of Really Lousy Things
(It’s a bit recursive for a title, but it does make the point, you gotta admit)
1. My gynecologist turned out to be a creepy yucky dirty old man.
1.a. The state medical board didn’t give a shit.
2. I lost my iPod. This is an improvement over the lost things of 2007 (my wallet and my cell phone) in that my identity can’t be stolen, but I’m not exactly happy about it.
3. I broke my treasured travel mug. It had a pretty pattern, and it never leaked, and it held twenty ounces. This last bit is important, as—according to the best of my searching abilities—it was the only twenty-ounce ceramic mug in existence.
4. I got my heart broken by a guy who seemed pretty much ideal, at least until the bit where he dumped me.
4.a. He didn’t just dump me. He disinvited me to his home in Vancouver, AFTER—after, mind you, after—I purchased, at his urging, a $642 plane ticket to visit.
4.b. I can’t get my money back.
5. In related news, I slipped into a nasty depression.
5.a. I turned into a sullen, crabby, grouchy person. More so than normal, I mean.
5.b. I stopped interacting with other people except when absolutely necessary. More so than normal, I mean.
5.c. I stopped going to yoga
6. My life, my free will, and my sanity was devoured by the m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ pt.
6.a. Thanksgiving and Christmas were spent working.
6.b. Evenings and weekends? Same deal.
6.c. Not to mention 50-odd hours of vacation time.
7. Between the m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ pt and the Canadian prick, I have not had a vacation in… uhm… let’s see here, I think it was August of 2005 the last time I had a vacation. Yup.
8. Hairdresser Jeff raised the price of a haircut
9. Between new tires, rent, groceries, useless $642 plane tickets, insurance, gas, a $102 webcam (I want my money back for that, too), haircuts, and income lost to time spent writing the m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ pt, I spent the year being broke, though I guess it’s in kind of poor taste to say so, considering that I’m employed when lots of other people aren’t.
Hey, on the bright side, even if I do get laid off, I can’t lose my house because—see if you follow me here—I don’t own a house. I cannot be late or foreclosed on my mortgage payments because I do not have them.
On that comparatively cheerful note, I shall end my list. And I suppose I shall head to bed soon, but not without issuing a stern warning first.
Some of you good-natured folks might want to say something like “Well, things can only get better!” Don’t do it, for the love of everything holy, don’t even think about saying it. That is exactly the sort of thing that tempts the gods. I’d rather not be the star of a Greek tragedy if it can possibly be avoided. (My being American rather than Greek reassures me not at all.) If you feel you must comment, please say something like “I hate to say it, Jessica, but things are probably going to get a lot worse.”
Likewise, please don’t say anything like “Oh good, the m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ pt is almost finished!”
Also verboten, now and in the future:
“Now that it’s all done, aren’t you pleased with it?”
“I know it was a lot of work, but now you’re published!”
“Christ, Jessica, that was dumb. You threw away two years of your life for what, a reference book? An annotated freaking bibliography? Pathetic.”
“If you absolutely insist on sacrificing yourself for two years, join the Peace Corps or something, why doncha?”
“What m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ pt? There is no m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ pt. Oh, and while I’m thinking of it—I hate to say it, but things are probably going to get a lot worse.”