Thank y'all so much for all the birthday wishes--I'm behind on my thank-you comments for both my birthday and the fundraising, but know that I read every comment that gets sent to my email, so I read every single comment on yesterday's entry and I appreciate them all so much. And the e-cards. And the birthday greeting "from" Jack and Charlie. And the Marilyn Monroe-style serenades. Hee.
Are you really this disorganized? Or are you just overscheduled?
About three o'clock, however, I got some really bad news. Academic news--nothing about my health problems. Basically, I'm either getting a D or an incomplete for the semester because I'm an absent-minded idiot. Being sick and having to take off to have all those tests run knocked my grade down a little right there. Then there was a bibliography I just didn't turn in--it was due that week I had the Death Flu, as you will recall, and I just sort of shrugged my shoulders and decided to take the hit. I didn't realize it was going to be worth all that much, I'd gotten away with not doing it for another class before--bottom line, I made a bad call on that one. But then there's also the part where I thought we had to write a mini paper and present it--not write a mini paper AND a conference paper and present the latter. So that mistake compounded a bad call I'd already made, and... yeah. It's all my fault, and I think that's what upset me the most about it. It's not like the school called and said, "We are so sorry, but everyone's term papers died in a fiery cataclysm, so you're going to have to rewrite them... for some reason. Shut up, this is a theoretical scenario." I don't know if a D is a passing grade or not here, but I'm going to see if I can't at least raise it to a C, because I just don't want that on my transcript. The professor was kind enough to email me and say, basically, that I had until this Thursday to arrange something with her, and she knows about my health problems, so I think she'll let me take an incomplete. Normally I would just scramble and try to have all the missing/redone work to her by Thursday, but I just... can't. I just don't have the fortitude at this point to pull that out. I'm having a hard enough time getting psyched out by my own expectations for the book; I can't deal with this right now. Partly because I'm so embarrassed about it, I think. And I can't tell my parents about it--I've got to fix this on my own, which I can, because there is nothing my mother can do or say to make it better, and in fact there is nothing she can do or say that wouldn't make it worse. I don't need her horrified concern and/or disapproval on my back as well. Maybe someday I'll tell her how I pulled out the landing gear at the last moment and saved the plane from crashing, but before I've done it? Hell no.
(And it makes me mad at myself, because she said my first exam was "an impeccable discussion" and my final exam was "wonderful." I shouldn't be making a D, but if I am, it's my own damn fault.)
Expect some great news today via phone, email, fax, or the Internet. This could involve a lucky break of some kind, auguring beneficial changes in both profession and lifestyle. A number of short journeys in your near neighborhood may be necessary, and you could stop by the homes of friends or neighbors to tell them all about what's been happening with you. Enjoy your day, Cleolinda. You won't have too many quite like this one!
So... my birthday was not a lot of fun. Mostly because I felt so guilty and anxious and embarrassed about it, but couldn't tell anyone. Whenever I get bad news, I generally react with a calm but stunned daze. This means that if emergency measures need to be taken, I'm your man, because I won't fall apart freaking out on you. The bad news, particularly if there's nothing I can really do about it at the moment, is that I have a hard time hiding this daze. And believe me, when we all went out to dinner last night, I tried. My grandmother and my cousin M (to keep Sister Girl company) were there, and it was just a bad, bad time to go into catatonic dismay, let me tell you. I finally realized that I'd been home by myself all day--no one knew that I'd been happy and chipper all day until this sudden blow, so at least I didn't have to hide a total mood change from them. Everyone was willing to chalk it up to my being "tired" from working on the book, so there was that.
(Ironically, Sister Girl behaved herself perfectly.)
Relationship elevator going up. Today you'll want to spend more time with someone you find special. That's because today the stage is set for your relationships to improve and mature. If possible, try planning something unique with that someone special. And don't let outside influences interrupt your time together.
The only person I could talk to about it was Vladimir, bless his heart, who stayed up way past his bedtime to hold my hand, figuratively speaking, while I berated and flagellated myself. I knew I would feel a little less stupid and helpless after a good night's sleep, and I do, but at the time it just felt like the end of the world for some reason. Bless him.
Total escape from unpleasantness may not be possible, but do whatever you can. Don't burn your bridges against imaginary pursuers. The situation is so complex and slow-moving that there's no way to tell whether or not things need fixing at this point in time. There's no time like the present to start building your future. Money is a big concern in the current scenario. Set a realistic budget, and stick to it religiously. Consider a few cautious investments as well.
So: presents. I did get the ROTK EE with the Minas Tirith sculpture. I'd rather it have been a lighter grey--you know, closer to white, and all that; it's pretty dark as it is--but it's nice, and very minutely detailed. I did go ahead and order the Minas Morgul companion piece, although I'm not sure I can really spare the money. But I figure, if I don't absolutely fall in love with it, I can sell it on eBay, since it's a DVD buyer-only exclusive, etc. Besides, I get a free little Aragorn crown. Awesome.
A few things that might interest y'all: I got the annotated Phantom of the Opera that I wanted, and House of Leaves, and The Dress Lodger. Also a couple of DVDs and a pretty 1928 bracelet. Oh, and Galadriel Barbie. She seems to have recovered from having her box violated (dirty!). Galadriel Doll looked her rival up and down. "Take off her dress," said Galadriel Doll. "I want her dress." "But Galadriel Doll," I said, "it won't fit you. I mean, I know you're shorter, but your shoulders are wider, and..." "Whatever," said Galadriel Doll, waving me away. "Put her over on the other shelf with Sleeping Beauty" (in the background, you can hear Purple Arwen muttering "THAT WHORE") "or something." Really, the Galadriel Barbie dress and hair are awesome, but the face is just wrong. And not even because it isn't even attempting to be a likeness--it's bad because the Barbie people have decided to change the face mold in recent years, and the face is just too flat. Seriously, it looks smushed in. The profile is terrible. So Toybiz Galadriel Doll, with the awesome likeness but the meh crown and dress, still wins.
(I think White Arwen may be a little... touched in the head. Or something. She just sits on the corner of my stereo with her hands in her lap, swinging her feet. She never says anything, except once in a while you hear a tiny little "la da da..." drifting over your head.)
If you have a talent for words, either written or spoken, you will get a chance to do something with it this year. You are as gifted as the next person, and more so than most [oh, horoscope: you suck-up], so write that book or compose that song or do something that allows you to express your ideas. Here's the clincher: It may even make you some extra money.
So. The HRC book-banning meeting tonight. I've gotten a couple of emails from ALA folks that I'm going to print out and take with me. I have no idea how large the meeting is going to be, how many people will be there, so that'll be interesting. Once I find out from my professor if I can fix up everything in January, I'm going to do my best to put it out of my mind and work on the book.
P.S. Klaus has glasses!
Preemptive ETA: It looks like I can take an incomplete and finish/redo some of the work over the course of the spring semester--not that I want to take that long, Jesus. Of course, if I don't follow through, I get a zero instead of a D. Whee.