Today --in fifty minutes, to be exact-- my fantasy life stops and real life begins again. At that time I'll be in my car, laptop bag packed, on my way to a meeting that will launch the new semester.
Which is why right now, I'm speeding through the last two episodes of Veronica Mars.
Here's the thing: I missed VM the first time around. This was 2005 or so, and I would have been teaching high school by day and grading English papers by night, and I'd pretty much reached my saturation point with teenagers in real life.
But I've had a blissful month off from teaching, and somehow I managed to fill that time quite handily with binge-watching sessions of the world's feistiest teenage detective, interspersed with the housekeeping chores I'd ignored for the last six months. I watched Veronica and Duncan while I sorted through my closet (he was kind of a bore, frankly). I watched Veronica and Logan while I emptied out the boxes and papers and assorted other junk that had gathered in the spare bedroom. And I watched Veronica and Piz while sorting through a basket of toiletries (why, oh why, would anyone ever bring home tiny bottles of shampoo and lotion at the end of a vacation?).
It didn't stop there. Last year I was too busy to take on Serial, the This American Life podcast, and so I binge-listened to the story of Adnan Syed while I took down every book from our bookshelves, dusted and re-alphabetized. Have I mentioned that we own four thousand books, give or take?
Around New Year's, W. and I started Making a Murderer, and we were instantly hooked. I have two connections that made me even more interested in the Stephen Avery case-- my dad's family is from Manitowoc, and every bit of scenery felt familiar to me. Also, a friend at Netflix helped bring it to life. Basically, there was zero chance I wasn't going to watch this.
In other words, for the past four-ish weeks, I've been doing nothing but solving crimes -- call me the armchair investigator, if you will. I've gone to sleep with visions of crime scenes dancing in my head. I've theorized and discussed in an endless loop -- what if, and why didn't they present this evidence, and is it possible that. I haven't solved anything, mind you, but I've given my brain a nice little workout.
But now it's time to hang up my crime-fighting hat (is there a crime-fighting hat?) and get back to real life. There are lectures to be planned and students to advise and yes, soon enough, papers to grade.
Just don't get too comfortable, criminals.
I'll be back.
I'm back. Where have I been, you ask?
It's a fair question. I used to blog every week. Monday mornings, like clockwork, I posted my random thoughts, which were usually based on things I'd observed or things my husband or pets had done, and it was all good.
And then, and then. Life became complicated. I mean this in a good way.
Writing used to be something that was purely a creative outlet for me, a way to burn off steam, a place to create and move on. And then a crazy thing happened. I became a professional writer, which means that I have a publishing contract and deadline, and I started taking my little creative hobby a lot more seriously. Which meant, I figured--there's no time for a blog. I've got to get my act together! And so, the blog languished, and other parts of my writing life thrived.
But now, before the dust settles on this new year, I'm going to try to do both.
So watch out, because more random thoughts are coming your way.
Paula Treick DeBoard