1) You find that you are suddenly obsessed with checking email and social media and phone messages to see if by chance there is something meant for you or, well, anybody there. Stalkerdom, thy name is Halffullnester..

2) Everything said kid writes, types, says, thinks, eats, experiences or feels is now infinitely interesting, and you could discuss it with him/her for days, pelting her/him with questions until s/he secretly wants to escape your unbearably intense and really quite creepy scrutiny.

3) You make sure you’re available or reachable at all hours of the day and night, just in case there is an attempted contact. This makes going to the bathroom unusually challenging and risky.

4) When you examine your behavior, you realize that you are really quite pathetic …. and yet you can’t stop.

I knew that today as part of W’s freshman orientation  the school would be taking the new students and dropping them off in the city in groups of 5 (2 US and 3 international students)  to get them to work as a team to find their way back to campus. They were supposed to take a little time and have some fun downtown rather than racing right back. I was not at all worried and had no doubt that W’s group would make it back to campus whole and healthy. I wanted to hear all about it. I have been checking obsessively for updates for 12 hours now, to no avail.

I really need to get a life of my own.

Today I did three things in that regard: I caught up on my class prep work and most of my work correspondence and I sat down to play the piano.  The latter item is something I very rarely do anymore but it is what got me through puberty. Well, the piano and good friends and – things that shall not be named here. Or anywhere.

The piano has been in need of tuning for years now and it has gotten so bad that when I play something that sounds horrible I now have to check to see whether I actually did hit a wrong note or whether it’s just the tuning. Something to add to my house ‘fix’ list. Hooray.

If I get tired of hearing the discordant notes my hands make on the piano, I can go into my room and get the tenor saxophone that my lovely sister gave me.  She bought it for me years ago at an estate sale or yard sale because she knew I had a hankering to be Clarence Clemons (RIP, Big Man).  I had it cleaned and repadded (I think that’s what they called it), got a new mouthpiece and reeds, bought myself a couple of ‘teach yourself to play’ books and a music stand, and set out to become Clarence.  I would have made it, too, if it hadn’t been for that pesky neighbor walking by one evening when I had my windows open while practicing. And his pesky brat of a kid who screamed, after a particularly powerful and sustained note from me and my tenor sax, “Daddy, what IS it?!”

Ahh, good memories. Again I say I need to get a life.

Tomorrow I shall work on my research project and stock the halffullnester kitchen. Wonder what one puts in one’s halffullnester kitchen?

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