Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another day in the neighborhood

So, life in my neighborhood has always consisted of generally long periods of low level neighborly irritation punctuated by the absurd – such as naked neighbor (a story for another day, if you don’t already know).

Winter passed relatively quietly, it usually does with everyone locked in to hide from the cold, but alas, the warmer weather has begun to return and the proverbial shit has seriously hit the fan. The last two weeks have been eventful to say the least.

It began with the apartment building across the street catching on fire. It was only minor, but the street was blocked all night. A few days later I was sitting outside correcting quizzes, trying to enjoy the sunshine. A big silver Armada and a black Impala rolled to a stop in front of the house and about six really big guys piled out. This was the first cause for alarm – no one in my neighborhood has cars like that. They proceed to bang on the all the doors of the house that we share our driveway with. Just then the back apartment opens, my neighbor deciding at the moment to take out the cat litter, only to suddenly find himself in handcuffs. What?!? Now I am lurking behind my shed trying to figure out what the hell is going on. I hear them yelling at him for being an unregistered sex offender! Great…. It even made the papers, along with a lovely expose on the (rather alarming) statistics for unregistered offenders in the state of CT.

As if that wasn’t enough, exactly one week later, most of the neighborhood is sound asleep. Well we were all woken up by a loud “pop, pop” and shouting. Yeah that would be gunfire. Fun. Cops were wandering around for a while looking for anyone who might have gotten perforated. Saturday morning was when Dan discovered the shell casings on our front walk a mere 20 feet from the house. That did little to make me feel better. The police officer actually had the audacity to say that moving wasn’t going to solve the problem, that you couldn’t escape it anymore. Hmmm, I don’t seem to recall ANYONE ever firing a gun from my front walk when I lived in Pomfret, Mystic or Hampton… at least the hicks in Hampton had good aim, and they were usually shooting at cans in the back yard – not at each other. Quite the induction to spring, here’s to getting it out of the system and welcoming a quite summer. Please?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Anti-Blogger

Well, despite actually getting several of my friends hooked on blogging, I seem to have dropped off the radar. I guess it is time that I addressed the silence. The thing is that I enjoy blogging, quite a bit actually, except that when I started this I vowed not to use it as a forum to gripe – no one wants to read that.

So the long and the short of it is this… It has been a hard year. I am definitely working harder now then when I was finishing my dissertation, and let me tell you it is far less rewarding. I am still waiting, as patiently as possible, to find out if I will have a job come next fall. I am generally a very patient person, sometimes I can be downright dogged, but everyone has their limits. The reality is that I just do not deal well psychologically with uncertainty. If I knew that I would be guaranteed a faculty position in one more year, I might be able to hold out. The thought of going through another school year like this one only to fail in the job search again is almost more than I can handle. Consequently, I’ve begun to ponder some serious life changes.

I find it frightening to consider leaving the field of archaeology after coming this far, but one thing not one can ever take away is the achievements I earned this far. I hate failing. When I was a kid, I wasn’t overly athletic. I hated being that kid who was not picked for the team; I hated not being able to do something and being afraid to try for fear of failing. I hated living in my own little shell. I can point to one moment in my life and say that is where I woke up and found my self-confidence. I stopped caring about being liked or disliked and I stopped being afraid of trying. Instead I developed the “You think I can’t do it, just watch me” attitude. I stopped being the timid little girl and took life by the horns. I might not have been the best as sports, but I definitely developed an aggressive, competitive streak. Much later in life, doing fieldwork in Kenya presented me with so many more challenges and fears to conquer, and I did. I think this is why I feel so miserable when thinking about accepting a career change. I feel like I am giving up – and that is something I haven’t done since I stepped out of the halls of Pomfret Community School for the last time in 1988.

Just in case you worry that “You think I can’t do it, just watch me” attitude might be disappearing – I’ve turned it something else – running. Yes, me. Running (I did a mile and a half yesterday). For those of you who know me that is pretty self-evident.