Other Changes

There have been a variety of changes in my life over the past few months, and I haven’t been reporting much of my personal life here. While I don’t expect to turn this blog into a confessional, I figure one of the reasons I read my friend’s blogs is to keep up on their lives, so I should fill you in on some of the new stuff goin’ on in this liminal life:

Flatmate(s)

I’ve adopted the British term of flatmate because it makes more sense than roommate since I’m not sharing a room. I am, however, sharing my apartment with one human, one beagle, and one cat. Erin, Cassie, and Piper moved in at the beginning of December. I must admit a bit of trepidation going from having my own place to my very own to sharing with a person and pets, but the transition was actually far easier than I expected. The decision to have a flatmate was significantly influenced by my financial situation which has been fairly dire the past few months and I’d been kicking around the thought for a while. However, I really couldn’t consider inviting a stranger to move into my space. Erin is Joya’s younger sister, we’ve gotten along well since we’ve known each other, and it just seemed to make sense for the both of us. Having lived with (and loved dearly) a cat before, I wasn’t really worried about Piper, but I haven’t lived with a dog since I was a child and certainly never in an apartment. Cassie has been a doll though, quiet and low key for the most part. She doesn’t bark or even whine when she’s begging for food.

I’ve actually been surprised at just how much I’ve enjoyed having the company. The situation may change in August depending on what happens with my grad school applications, but in the meantime, I’m glad to have some new flatmates.

Podcasting

I am the new producer of PodCastle, a fantasy audio magazine that features a wide range of fantasy styles and has some very talented writers, readers, and editors involved. Basically, I listen to the narrations for any problems or mistakes, clean up the audio when necessary, and put together all the bits and pieces of the podcast including intro music, intros, narration, feedback, etc. into a finished version for the listeners at home. It does take a bit of time as we are releasing stories on a weekly basis, and I’ve been staying only a week or so ahead since I’ve started. Hopefully, I’m going to get through all of January and part of February over the coming week.

PodCastle is part of Escape Artists, Inc., which also runs EscapePod and PseudoPod. All three are excellent podcasts and I’m really quite proud of being involved with this organization.

Graduate School

Yes, I’m applying to Graduate School once again. Yes, I know I don’t have a great track record with staying in programs. What I have come to realize over the past several years is that I am most myself in an academic setting, and that despite all my struggles with how institutional power may be used and mis-used in universities, I am most at home in such environments. If I were presented with a choice between spending an evening with scholars I didn’t know or artists that I didn’t know . . . well, I’d choose the former. Which says a lot about me and about what my values are. Luckily, nobody I know, and certainly nobody in theatre and performance, will force me to make an absolute decision to give up my work as an artist and so I can maintain both scholarship and creative works in my life. I have, however, realized that I want to privilege intellectual and scholarly pursuits and am ready to dedicate myself to this path.

Will it be difficult? Hells yeah. Will I sometimes wonder why I have chosen to do this? Of course. But I know that this is what I want for myself. So I’m applying to Brown (again), Cornell, UC Davis, University of Pittsburgh, Hawaii, Colorado and Bowling Green State University. Three of the applications are completely done, and I expect to have another two submitted and sent off by Monday. Which, you may ask, would be my top picks? It really depends on what variables I’m considering at the moment. Brown would most likely be the best for my career and Hawaii the best for my life, but all of them have particular and unique strengths that would allow me to do some good work and learn how to be the scholar and teacher I hope to become. Check back in the spring for an update.

Work

This year has been very bad for me financially and in terms of work and I have spent more time out of work than ever before, despite being signed up with multiple temp agencies and getting the approbations of every office I’ve worked in. I’ve fallen behind on my bills and have had to reach out to family and a few friends for support here and there and, to be frank, it’s fucking sucked.

Yet . . .

I do have family and friends capable of lending a hand. I am not homeless. I don’t have a family that I’m trying to support while being jobless. I have technological tools that I make my life one of relative wealth: a 2.5 year old Macbook Pro, an iPhone, an Airport Extreme and an Express, a decent printer, headphones for podcast producing, top quality earphones for my iPhone, good monitor speakers, etc. Now, I probably couldn’t afford to replace many if any of these items, but I do have them and am not in a position where I need to sell them for food. So, although it’s been rough, I have it a damn sight better than a lot of people in America and throughout the world.

So, I try to not let my money and work situation get me down (though sometimes it does) and recognize that I’m still pretty damn lucky. Next week I’m going to see if the Brown University Bookstore is hiring for the semester rush, and will make an appointment to sign up with another temp agency and post another ad for Public Speaking coaching as well as writing and editing services. I’ll try to pay off a bill or two with some of the money I got over the holiday and I’ll look out my window at the view of Providence and try to stay upbeat and thankful.

~~~

As I write these words, snow is falling, I’m drinking good coffee that I ground and french pressed myself, RadioParadise is playing and while I don’t really have plans for new year’s eve, I will be getting at least one more grad school application ready to go out today and there’s a new Doctor Who tomorrow.

All is good. Nothing is perfect. Which is exactly how it should be.