Saturday, September 23, 2006

I’ve been quite slack about posting lately, mostly because I’m not really sure what to say. I’ve just been busy with school, work and the radio station. It’s all interesting to me, but not the kind of interesting that makes me feel compelled to write about it.
The satisfactions are small, but not to be discounted – encountering a new idea in an article, finding a perfect quotation to support a theory, moments of competence at work. I’m still working out how best to balance work, school and loafing.
Fortunately, I have no social life to worry about, at least not here in Madison. It’s funny....I do vaguely recall having had social skills at some point in my life, and still have the old friends to prove it, but I seem to have checked them at the Wisconsin border. Some of it’s just being busy, and consequently lazy about socializing. Even when I have the chance to go out with people, I usually would rather just go home, be by myself and rest. And then, I wonder why I haven’t made any close friends here...
There is definitely something about Madison though...I’ve been here nearly two years now, but have fewer friends than I did after a month in Manila (where I was equally busy), or really pretty much anywhere else I’ve ever spent more than a week. I suppose it’s because I didn’t come to Madison because of any interest in the people here.
In any case, my (non-superficial) contacts with other humans have been boiled down to communication with people who I already have close enough relationships with to communicate with long distance or travel hours to visit, and who tolerate me no matter how strange, intense, spastic or withdrawn I become. So, I’m afraid, I’ll only get worse until I finish school, and, with luck, go somewhere very, very far from here.
In the meantime, look for me at the library. But don’t expect to find me, especially now that I’m working there and have keys to even more isolated and far away rooms than ever.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Summer is over. It will almost certainly get warm again, but the back of summer has been broken. Two days in a row now I've found myself regretting not putting on gloves before leaving the house.
It's odd to have moved so quickly from the stifling stickiness of the tropics into flannel sheet and hot drinks season. ... I was going to say at least the rain is the same, before realizing how patently false that is. This cold, endless drizzle is absolutely unlike the temperamental bursts of monsoon fury.
In many ways, it's wonderful to be back here, to a place where drinking out of the tap doesn't feel like Russian roulette, where I can walk down the street without feeling like a space alien or worrying about falling in open sewers or having my heart broken (or, for that matter, my pockets picked) by street-children. At the same time, especially in the Midwestern blandness of Madison, I find myself missing the energy, the almost indescribable chaos of Manila.
Being home though -- there's no bitter in that sweet. Not "home" in the sense of back in Madison, but home in the sense of not being a guest in somebody's house. Indulging in the innocent pleasures of putting things where they belong and wearing clothes out of a closet instead of a suitcase, and the slightly guilty pleasures of staying in bed reading until noon and making a mess if I damn well please. I'm settling back into my old routines, and trying to develop some new ones as well. My schedule is almost entirely self-directed this semester. I have only two classes that actually meet, and the rest in all independent work. I've actually been at bit bogged down the past week, the inevitable consequence of changing my thesis topic in the middle of the summer. I'm scrambling to get back to where I was at the beginning of the summer. On which note, I should probably actually be working