Several conditions conspire to keep me in the house a lot more than I am normally in the house these days. First, as you know by now, I'm pregnant. And at this point, I qualify as really pregnant. (As in, less-than-a week-from-my-due-date pregnant; so pregnant that women at yoga look at me like I'm cuckoo-crazy when I announce cheerfully that I might see them all next week, on my due date.)
Also, it's cold outside. Really cold. But most of you know that; this winter has been very effing cold. Cold to the point where we have had the opportunity to get to know each of our radiators personally, such that I am going to give them 7-dwarf style names "leaky," "whiny," "steamy," "needs-a-bookjob." But believe me, we do like having the boiler as a go-to when it gets too cold for our electric heat pump.
The third condition is half-related to the first: I'm on leave from teaching. I say half, because technically half of my leave is research leave (JM and I split the parental leave). So that means I've been taking this opportunity to do lots of reading for my next book before the big arrival. And oh man, I'm loving that. Did you know that people living in Medieval England took Aristotle's word for it that weasels reproduce via their mouth and give birth through their ear? Me neither.
Being in the house so much has reminded me of certain qualities and tendencies of mine, not all of which are that great. For starters, I like public radio. Such a cliche, I know, but that iphone app that lets me listen to morning edition in San Francisco while I'm eating lunch? Genius. Here are some more things I have noticed.
- I have too much faith that emails will hold onto formatting that you give them. The result is a visually mangled description of my graduate course sent to the rhetoric listserv.
- If left to my own devices without a plan for the day, especially on a weekend day (I am in the habit of not doing too much academic work on weekends), I will spend WAY too much time checking in with facebook, which leaves me despondent about how BORING the internets can be and also makes my sludgy-jointed wrists hurt. (No offense to my fb friends. It's a platform with, you know, limitations. Though I did enjoy hunting down celebrity doppelgangers for a select few of you.)
- I must get out of the house at least once a day. JM has noticed the importance of this and has instituted a rule that I do that even after the baby comes. Does this include passing out in our back yard, I wonder?
- It turns out that while reading the Sunday Times I can read an entire book review without noticing who the author of the review is. This isn't a huge deal of course, except when the review is of a book about the decline of the liberal arts, and the review happens to be written by one of our colleagues. JM had to tell me later who wrote it. Jeez. Good news, I guess is that I had an unbiased opinion about said review, as reflected in the fact that I read it with great interest from start to finish.
- Seinfeld reruns simply don't get old. That Larry David? Genius.
- I have a bad tendency to enter into pointless arguments in which a) I have no stake, and worse b) I have no evidence to offer. Like today when JM asked why on earth "Friends" ever became popular, I thought I had answers, but they all returned to the theme song: "Because people like to know that people will be there for you when the rain starts to fall!" "Because the actors are all superstars!" And so on. JM just smiled, another victory notched.
- I like Vampire Weekend's new release. There, I said it. All you haters can now sit back in smug judgment of me. I'm with Pitchfork on this one.