I was told by the academic dean at my school that even though classes are scheduled tomorrow (Friday), there are no classes. This sounds confusing on so many levels. I’m not sure if it’s a cultural thing, if things get lost in translation from what she means to say, or if my school is just plain nutty, but anyway, I’m taking this to mean that I won’t be penalized for not coming to class.
Man, I miss the days when I only ever attended classes on exam days, and easily earned As. Too bad that ish don’t fly over here.
The fact that I’m not going to class tomorrow means that my Christmas break has officially begun! Two whole weeks of not having to cram, or read in advance, or learn new mnemonic devices in order to memorize hundreds of spare and disjointed pieces of information. Bliss! But of course, in proper Rubio masochistic style, I’m inundating myself with a bevy of goals.
Witness, the to-do list:
1. Clean out and organize my closet. For the first time ever, I have a walk-in closet. It’s MINE. The fact that I share it with Riley and will soon be sharing it with Rob only speaks of my overwhelming generosity and kindness.
Okay, so maybe the master bedroom is only mine because I became a mom and it’s the only room big enough to accommodate Riley’s huge-ass crib, and I want to room with my baby because I have an intense and overwhelming need to be with him all the time. Whatever. The point is, the closet is officially mine – despite the wee, little fact that it’s chock full of my folks’ clothes.
I would’ve cleared it out a long time ago had it not been for the fact that I don’t have much in terms of clothing. (I chose to bring all of Riley’s things overseas, and that left me little else in terms of room for my own belongings.) This leads me to…
2. Shopping. Before I get to buy clothes that actually fit my post-baby body, I have to finish my Christmas shopping. That means buying one toy and one book for Riley, just so I have something to take pics of “him” unwrapping. To be clear, this isn’t so much a budget issue as it is a space issue. The kid’s only four month’s old, and he’s already got two swings, two bouncy chairs, a jumper, and several big and bulky toys that are supposed to grow with him and change from blocks and buttons to easels and tables. And of course there’s the aforementioned HUGE crib (I can fit in it, honestly), and his playpen and crawling space (complete with rug-burn free, colorful alphabet “soft tiles”). Yeah, this house? It’s really a big playhouse for Riley, and we’re all just living in it.
My brother bought himself a laptop with our cumulative funds, and I’m treating myself to a few dresses and maybe a pair of shoes. The kicker? These dresses look and feel like the ones at Forever 21 or Charlotte Rousse, and they’re… $2.50 apiece. Yeah. I said it. Sometimes the price will be hiked up to be $6, but all in all, not bad, huh?
I’m also buying: jewelry for some friends from school, something (I’m undecided) for my godson, an Elmo for my niece, and a bicycle for my cousin’s 5 kids to share. On the last item: I figure only one of them is old enough to fit it, and the rest of them will end up using it eventually. Next year I’ll get each of them a couple of cute outfits. Maybe one day I’ll be able to afford buying 50+ gifts for each of my first cousins’ kids, but until that day comes, the Elmo and the bicycle are for the kids of cousins who help us out and hang out with me and my brother the most.
3. Practice my billiards game. I haven’t used our pool table in maybe a month. It’s sitting outside, collecting dust, and even though it’s supposed to be my brother’s pool table, I’m the one feeling guilty about its lack of use. I want to return to NYC as some sort of billiards hustler, or at least have the skills to become one. My game as of now? Well, I’m not exactly Jeanette Lee.
4. Spend more time with my Grandma. So that I can soak up as much time with this wonderful and amazing woman as possible, and so that Riley can do the same.
5. Write. My goal is to write 10 pages of creative stuff every day. That means poems, short stories, work on another novel, etc. It’s been a while since I’ve let that part of my brain out to play, and I’m worried that it might have atrophied due to misuse.
Lucky for me, a few of my college buddies are now editors at up-and-coming indie mags, and have openings for writers. I must admit, it feels oddly comforting to be on tight deadlines again, but I attribute that to three facts: 1) these are amazing opportunities to have my work read by new audiences, 2) I’m working on subjects that I find absolutely interesting, and 3) I now have an excuse to
overwhelm with emails and texts communicate on the regular with people I adore.
Lastly: my completed novel, Beautiful Prison. It’s been 8 years since I wrote it, and I think I’m finally ready to edit, revise, and polish it into something I’m proud of. Now I just need someone to mail my manuscript from New York.
6. Join the rest of my tech savvy peers. Ya know what’s sad? There’s no cure for AIDS or cancer, kids are dying, wars are going on, and I don’t know anything about the internet or technology. I want to change all of that, and I’ll continue to do my best to positively affect the first three big ones, but the only one I really have any chance at succeeding at on my own is that last one. I’ve given time, money and effort to the important ones; I think I’ll get started on changing the not-so-important but highly embarrassing one.
7. Read. There are so many books, blogs, articles on my queue. I’m reading more than ever before, and now in three languages – Spanish, Tagalog and English. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I used to read in order to learn and therefore define myself via scholarly and fashionable terms of the zeitgeist, and I’m thinking that the more I wander down my rabbit hole, the more I happen to fit the “post-” profile. I mean, “post-feminist”, “post-racial”, “post-classist”; the more I read, the more I think, “Hm. Interesting and highly applicable to my life experiences. But do these studies/emotions/facts really apply to me and/or affect me now?” Now, when I read – whether it’s fiction or non-fiction – I feel of the world, but not defined by it. More on this in another post. (It’s 3 a.m. and I might be making up terms, losing my train of thought, and/or getting it all muddled as I translate my thoughts into words, but I hope you catch my meaning.)
8. Look for more writing gigs. I know, I know. I had you thinking with #5 that I had enough on my writing plate to cover the better part of my living years. That’s not quite true, and as much as I love those opportunities, none of them guarantee a steady pay check. So I’m seeking even more opportunities to write – this time, for cash. I get that these gigs will likely be of the not-so-interesting-to-me variety, but hey. That’ll only make me appreciate the other writing opportunities, right? Right.
9. Join the gym. Something happens when you have live-in help that cooks three amazing meals every day. Your waist inevitably expands. Now, I’ve stopped smoking, started walking more, and acclimated to the heat, so it’s not like I’m huge… Actually, now that I think about it, I’m smaller than I was pre-pregnancy, but that’s because I’ve lost my boobage.
Anyway, my point is, I’m more fit than I’ve been in a while, but my newly sleekened frame only emphasizes my pudgy tummy. Don’t get me wrong: I love the fact that Cecil cooks up a storm, and that my brother and I also cook for good measure, and that we purchase freshly baked donuts and fried peanuts and calamari and all other kinds of yumminess on a constant basis. But I’m thinking that I have to even all that gastric goodness by
becoming addicted going to the gym.
10. Work on school projects and studying. Because “vacation” is really code for “head start.”
Man, I need to get laid. *le sigh*
* I’d usually say “holiday break”, but I’m living in the Catholic part of this Catholic/Muslim country, and Christmas is the only religious holiday given credence here.