I have just now decided that one of my New Year's resolutions is to write on my blog more often. I'm not sure that it will take, but I'll give it a shot. (I wonder how many people are making this same resolution right now, with the same wariness regarding its realization).
I am finally settling into having some time to be myself again. It occurred to me recently that the subversion of every aspect of the personality (except, of course, for coping behavior and survival skills) is one of the most traumatic elements of graduate school. I'm not knocking it - I knew what I was in for - but it's definitely a visible side effect.
Hence, it takes a little while to work back into the personality one uses during periods of relaxation. You know, the personality that listens to music, does things for fun, socializes, reads books without making notations. For instance: I am reading Günter Grass's Cat and Mouse right now (tr. Ralph Manheim), for absolutely no reason except that I feel like it. It was difficult at first, though. I took a lot of naps, watched an awful lot of movies, and walked face-first through a mini-blizzard over the last few weeks just to shake my brain out of its steady and high-pitched frequency.
(The movies I watched: Together by Lukas Moodysson, a beautiful and surprising film whether it's the first viewing or the fifth; Dolores Claiborne, a dark and lovely old nightmare in which Kathy Bates is seriously captivating; Dead Snow, a Norwegian slasher flick about Nazi zombies which was satisfactorily bloody but fairly flat; Rudo y Cursi, better the second time around; The Baader Meinhof Complex , which is about the Red Army Faction in West Germany in the 1970's and amazingly doesn't draw any heroes where there really weren't any; and some comfort-movies that only come out around the holidays, like Big and Moonstruck. Only joking! I'll watch Moonstruck anywhere, anytime).
Looking back, I see that I sort of abandoned my narrative of Petersburg in a cloud of discombobulation. I am soon going to pick it up, though it's long overdue, and I'll even wind my way up to the present. For now, though, Happy New Year to all y'all. Here's to a productive 2011.