Two days ago I got word via the Internet that the ladies in my class at OCS won’t have their hair involuntarily cut.  Huzzah!  Honestly, I couldn’t wait to see a stylist.  That night, in fact, I stopped in Hair Cuttery and was shorn of all my gross split ends.  Seriously, she had to take an inch and a half off.  Anyway the haircut propelled me into last minute grooming mode, for me and the dogs.  We have been Dremelling dog nails and getting doggie baths around here (and no, my dogs do not think nail Dremelling is some sort of puppy spa–they freaking hate it.  But they hate nail clippers even more.  Ipso facto we Dremel).  And for me, I need to give my own nails a final cut and file.  I have eyebrows to groom…last minute shaving…and I will probably look wistfully at my unpolished toes at least a couple more times.

But this is not the unfinished business of which the title of this post speaks.  No, the real unfinished business is of a much thornier matter.  There are actually two things that leave me a bit stumped right now.  The first is that last week, a seriously long manuscript I had submitted to the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory was turned down.  Two reviewers liked it, the third hated it, and the journal decided against it.  I re-worked things last week and submitted it to the Cambridge Archaeological Journal, but now they too (sigh) have declined it, since it is too long.  And I’m at a bit of a loss about what to do about this.  It is going to be hard to find a journal that will accept a seriously long submission–which means I’m kicking myself that JAMT turned it down, since they were willing to accept something so long–but tearing it up into shorter submissions is going to be difficult.  In the meantime, the email rejection is sitting in my inbox, and I don’t know what to do about it.  And I think it might just sit there for the next 3 months, just waiting, and by the time I go through the 1057 emails that will accumulate while I’m away, it will be at the bottom just waiting to bring suck-iness to my day all over again.

The second item of unfinished business concerns something more conflicting than the personal rejection of me as a researcher (which is what the journal smackdown feels like).  I preface this story by pointing readers towards the direction of my profile pic, wherein I am three years old and holding a nutcracker.  I haven’t laid eyes on that nutcracker for over 15 years.  And this week, it arrived unannounced on my doorstep.

The nutcrackers were gifts that my dad–my biological dad–gave me (under the guise of Santa) every year.  When I was in high school, the biological parentals had a custody battle and my brother and me went back to my mom, which is what we wanted.  My dad has not spoken to us since.  (For reference, normally when I refer to the parentals, it’s to the mothership and my stepdad.)  Yeah, it’s weird, and it was definitely hard to make sense of when I was younger, but luckily my stepdad is the best–he is my real dad in all the meaningful ways.  Anyway, my biological dad remarried and had two children, my half brother and half sister.  And a number of years ago, my half brother found me on Faceblech (back when I had an account).  And pretty much since then, we text and send pics and stuff.  He’s much younger than me.  The last time I actually saw him in person he was two and a half and I was 16.  In 2014 he graduated high school and starts college in the fall (go Sooners!).  I’m going to call him Peter Pan here, not because he doesn’t want to grow up–I think he does, he has been pumped about going to college for the last 2 years–but because I can’t believe he’s growing up.  That he’s grown up.  To me, he’s still that little cheerful chubby toddler soul.

So anyway, apparently biological dad decided to clean out the basement and asked Peter Pan to ship these old mementos down to me.  Imagine my shock when the letter carrier stopped by the house with 2 huge boxes, and me, not having any clue what they were, opened them and saw things I haven’t seen, or even really thought about, in half a lifetime.  And four days later, 4 more boxes arrived.

I’m not sure where to place these objects either physically in space or in my mind.  I live in a small condo; 6 boxes take up a lot of extra space, especially for tchotchke stuff.  My next door neighbor is a hoarder of pointless crap like fairy statues and old flower pots and little signs that say “friends welcome here”, to the point where her stuff heavily overruns the shared sidewalk to our front doors.  A wicker Christmas reindeer sat outside for years.  Her decorating style always gets commented on by people coming over to mine for a visit, and it’s not a look I want to emulate.  More significantly, I really can’t make sense of my renewed ownership of these objects in any way that puts my mind at ease.  Like an idiot, I carried all the boxes in the house and just left them in between the dining area and the living room, the most heavily walked area of the house, for 3 days.  Which meant I tripped over them fifty times a day.  I finally moved them over to a wall today.

Like the rejection email, these boxes are going to sit in my house patiently and wait until I come home in 3 months.

Further research:  What am I going to do with this?