This is the time of year when my desire to partake in the pleasures of the season crashes headlong into a workload that makes it difficult to relax, much less frolic. I should be staying up tonight to grade, since I struggle to get much done when I'm doing parental activities. But I'm just too tired -- mentally -- to manage. Hell, I can't even focus my thoughts long enough to decide on something to watch. For the fourth time this week, I find myself sitting in front of the television with a vague urge to consume something culturally meaningful. Yet the knowledge that whatever I pick may quickly prove tiresome, because I Iack the energy to invest in its reception, makes me feel paralyzed by doubt. I had all sorts of ideas for meaty entries to write here, too, without the will or the way to realize them. At least the lights are pretty, even if my back is turned to them.