Arthur’s…

Arthur's birthday

Happy birthday, Arthur!

I'm running a little ragged today, munchkins. I started writing a new story last night, which is good, especially since I have one due on Monday, but it cut into my sleep time; I haven't had a full night of sleep in several days. Tonight, I think. I'm behind on my erotica class comments. :-( I'm behind on my post-co reading. :-( I'm behind on grading for my 2010 students, though that will probably be caught up by lunchtime, because I'm giving them a quiz and can probably finish up during that time. I did manage to finish a new article for Strange Horizons on time -- go check out the interview with Cecilia Tan! Crossover stuff. :-) I think the fiction piece is really interesting too, Jo Walton's "Relentlessly Mundane" -- it's the most fantasy-oriented of the fiction we've carried, and a complex story. I'd be curious whether you think the ending is happy or not. Jed and I disagreed, though if I think about it too hard I suspect I'll find myself agreeing with him.

I was a little surprised by some of the responses re: my moping the other day. People were very supportive of the fact that I hadn't given up my career to follow Kevin -- which seemed odd to me. I can't imagine doing something like that; the choice was between choosing to do academic work which is going to contribute to us being apart or trying to write full time which would let me live wherever I like. I realize that a lot of women do tend to sacrifice career for their sweetie, and I'd guess that's where those responses are coming from, but the fact is that I could have an exceedingly flexible career if I wanted it -- by choosing academia I've chosen something much less flexible, at least for now, and that's the tradeoff that I'm not sure is worthwhile. It's not just being apart from Kevin, after all; it's my whole support system. The people here are nice, but I still don't know any of them all that well.

Anyway. I'm not sure that made sense; I'm still feeling a little groggy. I suppose I was a little irritated by some of the mail that sounded like I was being praised for not being the good little woman and following Kevin around; the fact is that his job gives him exceedingly few choices about where he'll be -- Utah certainly wasn't his ideal location, and my job used to give me a lot of choices. If there had been a program like this in Chicago, or even one not quite as good, I'd have gone there in a heartbeat, and he'd do the same if the choices were reversed. Now that we're both in academia, our choices are both rather limited. That's the tradeoff that I'm not sure is worthwhile. This Ph.D. is giving me more options in some ways, fewer in others. That's one of the main criteria I use to make decisions about my career -- is this possibility going to give me more options in the long run? The decision to do this degree was definitely mixed in that regard.

9:00 p.m. Still groggy -- more so after teaching and taking class, coming home and falling asleep by 4. Alex just called and woke me. I thought I'd best get up and check e-mail and maybe have some water or something before going back to bed. Hate being sick.

I'm sorry if I was cranky above; illness shortens my patience. I know I'm a little hyper-sensitive to suggestions that I follow Kev around; a lot of people (including my mother, and kudos to Karen for surviving her mother's visit with her maturity intact) seem to think that this is a problem. Kev and I both think it's a little unfortunate that the jobs turned out the way they did -- if I were the mathematician and he were the writer, then he could follow me around and we'd be happily busting up gender stereotypes rather than subtly reinforcing them. It doesn't help that I'm emotional and he's pretty rational, or I like dressing up and flowers and he likes not worrying about that sort of thing -- we are the way we are, but it's irritating when those ways happen to support that kind of gender stereotype.

Luckily I'm better at putting together furniture than he is (though I'm not sure he knows that) (okay, I'm better at figuring out how to put it together; he still doesn't get tired as fast as I do of tightening screws and stuff), and he may well be a better cook than I am (though he doesn't do it as often). Hmmm....that's not a lot to put against all the gender stuff we do fall into. Well, I can be rational on occasion -- more so than a lot of people I know, male and female. And he likes flowers, even if he has to be reminded that people like getting them. :-)

Sorry, rambling. It's the cold. The point is that I get twitchy when people start talking about us in 'Men are From Mars'-type ways, because while there are surface aspects to our relationship that would lead people (including good friends who should know better, and did I mention my mother) to that sort of conclusion, that kind of analysis is really far over-simplified, misleading, and wholly inadequate to the very complex and surprisingly equal relationship we do have. But I'm sorry I got twitchy at any of you, because honestly, given how oblique I tend to be about him and me in here, you don't have nearly enough info to know that. It's understandable that you might be misled.

I'm not really regretting choosing grad school, btw. I was mostly just being pathetic because it's (as anticipated) rather hard being separated. I'm enjoying grad school exceedingly, and I do think that in the long run it's the best thing for my career, and even that we can probably get jobs near each other. But I might well get a Ph.D. and then not teach full-time as a full professor if that sort of teaching means being halfway across the country from him -- and that's okay. I'll be writing brilliant novels if I do that. I'm not one to make grand sacrifices if they aren't truly justified/necessary. Honestly, I'm not positive that I'm other-centered enough to make grand sacrifices at all. I've never really been confronted with that choice.

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