Phase I: In which Nora is high on sparkling intellectual energy--her brain a well-oiled machine--and thinks it would be charming to make every random thing sound like a dissertation chapter:
Post idea: The role of narrator in I Love Trucks compared to Policeman Small: Our changing understanding of male toddler obsession with large machines
Post idea: Stall choice of women in public restrooms when someone is or is not in one of the stalls already: analysis of three-, four-, and five- stall ladies' rooms
Phase II: In which Nora's stress level climbs and every random thing becomes a metaphor for her failure as a human being:
Post idea: The emotionally unavailable barista sees Nora's ID badge and asks her the meaning of her name. She is flustered at this sudden attention so answers too loudly and confusingly ("I don't know, oh wait! It's like the same root as Eleanor! Like honor, get it? Ho-NOR? NOR-a? I think. There may be other meanings though."). Nora feels terribly guilty for questioning the barista's emotional availability--see, she is a terrible person--despite the barista's eye roll at her bizarre answer she thinks the relationship has taken a new turn and now every morning at the espresso bar will begin with a bright "Hi, Nora!" She is wrong. She is a real regular now, thanks to all those long hours, and the barista doesn't question her drink anymore. But she has also been reminded that her own dissertation crapola is not nearly as bad as what the barista's brother went through. So she has kept things in perspective. Thank heavens for that--I mean, she could be doing, like, a HARD dissertation or something.
Post idea: Then Nora makes a shoo fly pie to take to a party. It is terrible, burnt on the outside and raw in the center. She must throw the whole thing in the trash, and is devastated. A failure as a baker and as a poser Pennsylvania Dutchess. She can't even bring herself to photograph the thing for her blog. Again, proof of her real worth. Swears never to cook again. Pities her husband and child who must endure a lifetime of bad baking. "The pie will jiggle a little when you take it out of the oven. This is normal, and the pie will set as it cools." Whatever.
Phase III: In which Nora gets gray hair, even paler skin (she prefers "alabaster"), worse vision, something suspiciously like carpal tunnel in her hands, relies too heavily on the grilled cheese genre for feeding her male toddler and generally isn't too fun to be around. Because anyone who gets too close must deal with sudden outbursts of what if her professors HATE her draft? What if they FAIL her? What then???? WHAT THEN??
Post idea: [blinks slowly]
Post idea: Hey, guess what? I met Bossy last night as she swept through on her Excellent Road Trip. I was a latecomer to joining in her adventure, but she didn't make me sit at the end of the table or anything. So cool. So human. And because it's all about me, I am in the photo of the evening on her blog! Awesome fun was had by all, some seriously cool women with blogs around town. A treat.