Wednesday, December 31, 2008

everyone's on board for 'clean living' right now


It's the last minute rush to make a move on '09, so January 1st is less traumatic, sans the alcohol/smoking/coffee/etc.

So, what do you think? Time for my annual speech about how resolving to fix yourself in time for the ficticious clean slate is antithetical, blah blah blah?

Sorry, I'm skipping that speech this year. Besides, I myself seem to be joining the ranks, albeit for a different reason. It's not calendrical for me; I've had a health scare and I want to turn things around, and make my health a priority. This is something I am going to do, day in and day out, and I started this past week, along with millions of others, turning over a greener leaf.

ANYWAYS.
Shannon asked her readers, "what do you predict?" (for 2009) and I like that twist.


As far as my future, I will be a full time student through the spring, living healthy, applying to internships, spending time with friends and family, and traveling.

I'm wishing we could get back to homeschooling, but it's not going to work out while I'm a single mom, so for the time being, it's "on hold".


Continuing our composting/garden project IS, however, on the agenda. For living in an apartment/townhouse, I'd say we are doing pretty well with the gardens. The front yard has some edibles, and the back is our plumeria tree garden and the staging area for seedlings. It's also where we compost (around the base of our oak tree), and boy is our pile healthy. The turn-around rate is averaging 1-2 weeks, and the soil coming out of there is rich, compared to the crappy sand that was all we had before.

The coolest thing is finding seedlings IN the compost pile. This week, I've pulled 4 strong little pumpkin plants out, and potted them, until they are ready to go in the ground. Check it out.






Oh, I'm also currently writing a song on the piano (even though I'm not much of a musician) and maybe it will be finished at some point in time.

I also hope to tie up some loose legal ends I've got flapping in the breeze, find Kerry and Cody's dvd on fascism, and study up on Sioux and Omaha nations circa 1881 and 1882, for some work I might be doing over the summer at the Smithsonian. The position sounds perfect for me; research assistant/detective, studying old photographs and putting them into historical context.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the realists

Sometimes all the little tragedies we face build, until the tension is so great, that our whole understanding of life comes tumbling down.

Sometimes the negative things we go through makes us wiser, better, closer; sometimes even being blessings in disguise.

And sometimes, there is just nothing to analyze at all... it's just how it is.



I like the 'glass of water' approach; is it half full or half empty? You know how the optimists and pessimists answer this one.

How about the realist?

She would say that the glass is simply twice as big as it needs to be.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

in case you wanted a follow up on that thing (that I was embarrassed about)

So, a few days ago I went out with one of the people I had been chatting with from the (ugh) online dating site.

If you remember, I was originally a little freaked out by the stigma (despite the convenience of browsing), but that was quickly replaced with a sense of calm content demise.

Not in the worst possible sense, rather in the best way possible. Like, perhaps I am DESTINED to carry on for the next 80 years with no notable male companionship (assuming destiny of some sort exists)?

Or maybe I'm not completely uninteresting/unappealing and maybe there is someone out there who could appreciate me, etc (and now I'm assuming alot, perhaps)?

Doing the online dating thing seemed like a good way to attempt to prove either of those possibilities right/wrong. And, don't get me wrong, I have a kick ass plan for being unattached for the next 80 years if need be (including many adventures, and when I can no longer climb mountains and pitch tents, I could be living in a chic apartment in Paris with my old-maid-side-kick, Helen), so that's definately not some sort of tragedy.

OK, maybe none of this makes sense. Back to the story?


So, after half a semester of chatting with SmartGuy, we figured we should meet up before school picks up again, as he has the wicked habit of taking 18+ credit hours per semester (!!).

Dude, this guy talked anthropological CIRCLES around me. And he knows more about modern art, Nobel prize winners, current events, cooking, and scientific discoveries of the 16th century than he does about anthropology. A few years ago, he spent his time studying opera, then he got bored of that and got his CNA... he hopes to someday join Doctors Without Borders.

Oh, and for fun he does "guy stuff" like ride bikes and work on interesting projects around the house.

So, after tea, we went out for sushi (at Kiku, yep my favorite sushi spot), which is always fun. And, Nick Bollea (Hulk Hogan's son) sat next to me, oddly enough.


Here's the potentially most surreal part of the whole thing: this guy (30 yo) has never drank alcohol in his life. "Clean living..." is his motto.


Here's the caveat- I doubt he could really say much about me after that date... Well, maybe. I don't know. Maybe that's because there's not much to say?

He had manners, but I only really feel comfortable revealing personal information when an actual opportunity arises (like if someone asks me a question about myself), and eh, I don't know, I don't interrupt to brag about myself, I interrupt to add something to the discussion, or to disagree.

To say ANYTHING about myself, I have to feel like the other person is REALLY listening. I hate to have to repeat any of it down the road; I find talking about myself wholly unsavory and embarrassing. Except on my blog, where I do it to no (apparent) end.


SmartGuy: 4 out of 5 stars, we could definately be friends

me: feel like a dolt, hopefully this passes

Friday, December 26, 2008

just a little copy/paste

I mentioned to some friends that my household is even observing (our version of) Kwanzaa this year. I had some curiousity earlier this season and was really impressed by the principles of this holiday (which I have pasted for you here).

Basically, there are 7 days of observance during which friends and family can exchange small gifts that are meant to uplift, inspire, and nurture who we are as creative, proactive, free-thinking individuals and to unite us as a community.



Unity- To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.


Self-Determination- To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Collective Work and Responsibility- To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.

Cooperative Economics- To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Purpose- To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Creativity- To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Faith- To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

coming clean: my double life

Being a mom is the greatest thing I never expected to be doing with my life. This holiday season, in particular, has been rife with festivities celebrating the children in this household. Maybe for the first time, this year, I really got it. Taking a multi-cultural approach makes perfect sense for us, since we don't particularly subscribe to any one set of beliefs. And it all really makes sense when you step back a little, and get a wider view.

For example, did you know that Buddhists set up alters in their homes at this time of year to celebrate their decendents, complete with sweets, miniature figurines, small gifts, and candles.

It's all been a reminder to me to be more gentle with my kids (I tend to be a little harsh sometimes), to focus on them more, and to involve them in everything that "has to be done", from taking the jar of kitchen scraps out to the compost pile, to making gifts.



Ah, but heres the double life bit- my Christmas involving the kids is over. It's 11:45 pm on Christmas Eve, and I am off the proverbial hook.

After dinner at my mom's house, their dad came to pick them up to take them to Inverness for a perfectly country Christmas, and now all that's left to do on Christmas is to go to the beach, drink pink sparkly wine, watch movies, and sleep all day tommorrow (if I choose to).

In actuality, there will be some of that, but also some knitting, some music, and some reading; I was given a great book this year, by my roommate who knows me so perfectly.

I can't sleep

I think I've got a little bit of a fever.

But that's not very interesting...


Guess what? I get to keep my job in the new year; it's official. Woohoo, for not being unemployed!


My new office is pretty great, but the coolest thing about the new building is that it HAS SHOWERS in the downstairs bathrooms.

No joke. Bill Hemme, my boss, an avid commuter-cyclist pointed this feature out to me, but I had noticed it before anyone had a chance to say anything, thinking that it will indeed be possible to ride to work as the weather heats back up in the spring.

If only I could find one of these, then I could take the kids to school (one at a time, but it would work, Cora gets dropped off at 8:30, Conn at 9:00, and my house is in between their schools), and then head out myself for school/work.

Santa, I've been an awfully good girl...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

an exercise in cultural, er, studies

I learned something cool, so it must be shared:

The appropriate Roman holiday greeting is "Io, Saturnalia!" (pronounced Yo!).



Yesterday was pretty grand; I slept in till after noon, I went for a solitary bike ride shopping expedition to the used book store, and then went back home to clean a bit for the RAD festive gathering we are having tonight.

After the cleaning and errand running, I went visiting in Largo (hi Kimmi!!), and then got back home just in time to enjoy Helen practicing piano and to open the door for my friend, future colleague, and fellow anthropology enthusiast.

Here's to dranking, discussing (arguing?) toasting each other's good health, and ringing in the season in the appropriate manner, io.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

and she was going to be an anthropologist, tsk, tsk...


So, going to ANT field school in the Yukon is going to be postponed a WHOLE DAMN YEAR.

I didn't get the overall B needed in Trig to propell me into the big pond, so I get to keep circulating with the little fish for another semester.

So, instead of that PERFECT field school (I'm serious, it's like it was tailor-made for my fieldwork intrests), I'm going to try and secure an (equally sweet?) ANT internship.


And, for the spring, I'm taking it easy with:

Trig (second try, getting an A this time) with Travis Short, one of my favorite teachers in the dept.

World Religions

State & Local Government

Intro Biology


Oh, by the way, I ended up with a B in Gen Chem, believe it or not. And an A in the lab portion. The A for American History was not too much of a surprise; I love those old annecdotes and battles and whatnot. I can even use a spinning wheel.

So... did I get an A or B in Art history? will update later..

Monday, December 15, 2008

and I'll be human again, in 5, 4, 3...

Homestretch.

Desperation math.

Office hours.

Extra credit.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

it upsets me, so smooth it over with homemade cheer.

I am actually going to pick up the knitting needles again.

Think I can get something done in time for seasonal gift-giving? Who knows.


---Also--- Michelle, I am intending to mail a parcel to YOU "any day now". Which means after finals.

I've been meaning to send it to you since the last week of August.


Homemade things are the order of the week; Cora and I are giving her teacher homemade dog biscuits and a letter Z ornament, Conner's teachers will get plates of cookies, my mom is getting... uh, something. Bender reads this blog every-so-often, so I won't say exactly what she's getting, but it's handcrafted by me and since we live together, I'll get to see it frequently.

On the winter solstice, we'll be here with Yuletide cheer, lighting candles, singing songs, opening gifts, and decorating our very own piece of the forest with glittery paper-chains that the kids are putting together.

Down with exclusively store-bought holidays!

Down with Kay's and Lexus and JC Penny's!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

in times like these (part 2)

I often tell myself that when I finally write the yarn that has knitted everything together (the past 10 years, and the ten still ahead of us), I will not have these awful panics.


When everything surmounts and my field of vision becomes a colorful, frightening palette, and when my passion gets the better of me, I often tell myself that if I would only sit and cut birds and ladies out of magazine paper, turn them around, and affix them to threads, and grids, and picket fences...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

woke up feeling practical, for my lab-practical..

..and it ended up being a non-practical exam anyways! LOL.

I should have known, seeing as I work in the dept and I know the labs/equipment are all packed up for the move (12 days to go).

So, the first of my 5 finals is done. Completed. Etc.

80% of it was really easy, so I'll guess and say I got a B? I had a 98% in lab, so... looks like an A for the semester.


Dr. Herod gave us our last test in Chem lecture last night, so next Monday we have the final. That means that tommorrow is the only day I have left to try and turn in HW. Think he's going to laugh at me? I haven't turned in a single HW all semester, and I'm going to try and give it all to him tommorrow... Then, on Monday, we do our final and that's it.

I missed my Trig class this morning, which BAD because I had a last test to do, but I think I can take it later today, if I beg, er, ask Dr. Geiger. The final will be next Tuesday morning. I am struggling to pull a C in this class, but it's not over yet.

I have a test in American History to make up still (def must be done before class tonight!), and a little paper on the Battle of Gettysburg due tonight also. The final for that class won't be until next Tuesday. I'm guessing I currently fall between an A and a B.

My Art History paper was finished last week, and I have an online final for that class that I can do on Thursday, at my leisure. Kinda nice. Plus I can still retake a few quizes, if I want to more firmly cement myself with an A.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

house-hunting, a brief tutorial




First, gather equal parts: great weather, 2 bikes, a cell phone, and your roommate.


Secondly, ride through your (chosen) neighborhood. This is easiest when you already live in the neighborhood you want to house-hunt in.


Thirdly, keep an eye out for the features that appeal to you, and call the phone numbers posted on the dozens of "for rent" signs you pass that seem worthwhile. I happen to already have a favorite "fun route" through my neighborhood, which takes me past the houses with the prettiest gardens, coolest architectural designs, and most charming front doors, so I just follow that route.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I <3 this thing

It was brought to my attention that I hadn't yet posted pics of the new bike...







NOT my hand in the picture; I snagged these from my friend. I realize my laziness comes across very well in moments like these.




Monday, December 1, 2008

the nutrient dense shopping trip (and other things that keep us going)

1 onion
2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
some tomatoes, still on the vine
8 oz mushrooms
1 lb of broccoli
1 avocado
1 apple
2 lbs of bananas
cranberries
orange juice


garbanzo beans
black beans
a dozen free range (ethical!) eggs
2 lbs of beef for soup


plain yogurt
fruit flavored yogurt for the kids


cornmeal
brown rice
slow cooking oats
barley


1 bottle of white wine




Although I often forget them, I have discovered some other things, besides eating well, that I know are essential to my well being.

First and foremost are those (obvious) basics I've mentioned before; plenty of sunlight, fresh air, exercise, personal space, and PLENTY of time to relax. To those who would suggest that working a 40-hour-work-week, day in and day out, is even remotely sane I say "Mon Dieu! What do you think life is all about, anyways?"

Saturday, November 29, 2008

something you might not know about me

I am an extraordinary matchmaker.


Some of the people I've introduced are still together, nearly a decade later.


Anyways, I'm going to sacrifice my own interests here, and match (the adorable) Brandon Ballengee with (the eclecticly-lovely) Vaughn Bell.



Anyways, writing my big paper for art history this weekend. My chosen topic: ecology-art.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'd sorta just like a completely blank canvas

I mean, if we are all going to say what we want for Christmas, and all.


I'd like to have not broken the glass bowl (full of my homemade, organic, cranberry sauce) at Friendsgiving.

I'd like to have not said a stupid thing to someone yesterday night.

And just now, for that matter.

I'd like to be forgiven for what I've done to you, if we know each other well enough for trespasses. A few in particular come to mind.

I'd like to have never been in love with T, who made me a worse person, and worse for wear, too. Maybe that's true of all love; it's quite possibly never a "good idea"...

I'd like to meet you for the first time all over again, unless our first meeting was decently memorable.

I'd especially like the chance to do some things over again, to mother my children better than I have till this point in time (but not just today, in general, I usually strive to do better in this dept).

Monday, November 24, 2008

ding ding!

Oh, yeah, just wanted toss some onomatopoeia your way, as I hang out in my office.

Both Gloria and Linda have left for the holidays and I am veritably drunk on power. I turned the radio to WMNF, ate some pumpkin pie with my lunch (free campus food day), I have the keys to the building dangling daintily from my wrist, and I can't leave my post, except to save the day (which I have technically already done twice today). Now if I could just conjure up a cup of coffee.


Oh, and as far as the "ding ding"... I'm also pretty excited about suddenly having a bell on my bike. Thanks for the present, B!

I went all the way to Orlando, and all I got was this...


(actually very nice) tee shirt! It says "Keep It Wheel", hee hee.

No, seriously, it was a complete surprise to me.

Tee shirts were handed out for first, second, and third place, as well as "dead last" and "fell flat on his face". I got the prize for donating extra food. Woo! Not dead last, and I didn't fall on my face!! :D

And actually, that's not all I got. I got to spend time doing something for a good cause, socializing with people I'm newly acquainted with, meeting some new people, having a great time riding (the weather was amazing, the food at Etho's was really good, and we all drank beer and hung out for a while after the race).

Oh, but folks, thats not the end of the story.

There's a MORAL to this tale.

A girl I know offered to drive, and I took her up on her offer. NOTE: I would have been fine driving myself. I have a bike rack on my car for this very purpose.

We agreed that we'd be coming home that same day. NOTE: I had agreed to go to those parties because I was going to be coming home Saturday evening.

After several additional factors came into play, she made a split-second-cross-4-lanes-of-interstate-traffic to drive to SOME GUY'S house in Orlando, some guy she doesn't even really know that well, and who was a complete stranger to me, announcing that she was not, in fact, driving me back to Pinellas Co. as planned.

I was actually almost relieved she wasn't driving, because her road rage had came out of hiding to the point where she was being extremely agressive, not to mention rude, to other cars, and even pedestrians (all with the bikes on the back of her SUV)!

She had decided we could "crash there" because she was too exhausted and hungry to go home.

However, I had no intention of staying there. I offered to drive (she said no), I suggested we stop for food and coffee (she was not interested), until I finally started calling madly for train/bus info, but by this time, all the ticket offices were closed.

NOTE: I could have gotten a ride with any number of people from Etho's, if I had known she'd flip out... Many of them live over this way, and were driving back, too.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: I could have purchased a Greyhound bus or train ticket right there in downtown Orlando if I had known!

I was livid, to say the least.


Anyways, my bike and I did make it back home last night, thanks to the timeless strength of the bonds of friendship. My roommate called a friend in Orlando who came and rescued me and brought me back here, in exchange for our couch to sleep on, and my promise to make breakfast.


Moral of the story: don't go to Orlando with someone you don't implicitly trust.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm just really confused, and maybe a little scared

So, on Thursday, in Trig, I didn't ask out the Hot Guy That Sits Next To Me.

(...because I wasn't there for the end of the class period, since I had to get out of there early for Conn's show. And it seemed wierd I guess, to seem like I had premeditated the asking. And, because I must be in high school, and I don't want him to know I like him, I just want to ask him all "spur of the moment" like. )

I roll my eyes at MYSELF, too.


But not for what you'd think sometimes. Sigh.


Ok, different topic (sorta):

So, of course, Brian was the first person I called about that bike crash I had last week. And he talked me down from the panic. His advice was to not let it ruin things for me, but to instead use this event as fuel for creating a better world. Not his exact words, but you know what I mean.

So, I wrote a letter and emailed it and I sent it to him, just to say "look, dude , took your advice. I'm starting something :)" and then he called me and said "Hi, I'm in Clearwater, and I want to merge projects and DO something" and I was going to Conn's show. And then he was in thh right place at the right time and got a bunch of things sorted out, that simple.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

wait- Heather B. Armstrong is pregnant?

It's true, but really that's all I have to say about that. I mean, it's silly to blog about a famous blogger. That's like if I was to tell you that Bike Snob said thefunniestthingever about something yesterday.

Actually, a post where I recap bloggy things for you mightn't be ALL bad?


Um... yeah. Or you could just look at the links I posted. Pretty much all of the blogs I read are there, except for Bike Snob and Dooce. I figured they don't need my meager traffic.


I'll update you on things here.

1) My teeth- still in my mouth.

2) Conn will be in his first Thanksgiving show tommorrow morning at his school. Can you believe it?? He's wearing a white dress shirt and tie and everything.

3) Cora is insanely jealous of this, depsite the fact that I'm coming to HER school on Friday for "Home Made Turkey Soup Day", or "The First Graders Present: Thanksgiving!"

4) Conn CAN READ. He can read, I tell you. I swear, that boy is the most precocious 3 year old ever.

5) Cora is really quite upset that he can read. That was HER trick. She told me tonight that it's not OK, and that "the whole world CAN'T learn how to read". She forbids it, because it steals some of her glory.

6) This weekend, I'm going to Orlando for a bike race (for charity). It's like a scavenger hunt that takes us through downtown Orlando grocery stores to purchanse specified things. All food gathered on this ride will be donated to the hungry!

7) I also got invited to tag along on what I believe is someone else's date. Well, I'm being told that it isn't [but it's a party at an art gallery and a girl invited the person who invited me], because she's "working the door". I wish I could say this is the first time, but I think I recall this same friend having invited me out as a third wheel once before. Saddest thing? I kinda want to go, even though it seems like a really awful thing to do to myself, or to another girl. Well, truth be told, I have some ulterior motives:

a) not staying home drinking alone on a Saturday night
b) possibly running into someone that I half expect will be there
c) not being there alone when I run into this person
d) suspect I was invited in order to make my friend look less available
e) which means I may be shown off a bit ;-)
f) have the absolute hottest thing to wear



What do you think... go to the party? or run like hell from any situation even remotely like that one?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

quick- post something that doesn't suck!

Hee.

Guess what? Uther Pendragon (a la Marion Zimmer Bradley's T.M.O.A.) sat next to me in Trig today. An entirely rude and aggravating, bearded, blond, saxon-looking sort.

The cute boy (with the tattoo of one of his paintings) that normally sits next to me wasn't there.


I keep intending to ask him out. Thursday, for reals.

posting this for you...cause you're my *very* favorite bro'

Now, I generally my roll eyes at this sort of mushiness, but I think I am in love- completely-totally-head-over-heels smitten (by The Finches). So much so, that I am adding the veritable kiss of death to my (already pneumococcal) blog. Lryics. I know, it'd be a modicum less shitty if I had actually had the gumption to WRITE a song and posted those lyrics, but they did such a nice job that I don't have to.

NOTE:::::: If this song doesn't at the very least whelm you, call me and I'll find some way to refund your wasted time. Promise.

ps, the title of it is Daniel's Song, but since I know someone by that name, and I didn't want to be, well, creepy, I dashed it out. Now you can substitute your 6 letter name for his, and I'll suddenly be singing it to you (in your dreams, of course).





------, you can take the bus

but if you're not feeling right,

I can pick you up 'cus I kinda like to drive.

From my window I see signs, they stand stapled to the road.

I'll smile at you, because we've tried and left our heavy load.



Back at home with Mom and Dad

can be an awful time, so I

promise to do what I can to try and make it nice.

From my window I see stars, they swing low against the road.

I'll smile at you, because we've tried and finally left our home.



Oh, the going, it was much too slow.

And we thought we never would arrive.

Oh, but somehow life picked up the pace,

went faster than the time,

and we somehow survived.


Waiting for the bus to come,

never seemed to last quite so long.

Leaning on the rain to fall,

------, you can give me a call;

I'll give you a ride.



Oh, the going, it was much too slow.

And we thought we never would arrive.

Oh, but somehow life picked up the pace,

went faster than the time,

and we somehow survived.


------, you can take the bus

but if you're not feeling right,

I can pick you up 'cus I used to like to drive.

Back at home with Mom and Dad

can be an awful time, so I

promise to do what I can to try and make it nice.



From my window I see signs,

they lean longing for the road.

I'll smile at you

because you're my

very favorite bro...



..oh! The going, it was much too slow.

And we thought we never would arrive.

Oh, but somehow life picked up the pace,

went faster than the time,

and we somehow survived.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

flying

No, first off, I'm not running off to Korea, not just yet. But just the same, I am flying, in a way. Maybe that's the drugs talking. See what happens when you put a painkiller in me? It kills the pain, makes it ALL go AWAY.

Suddenly, I have a strange and frightening deep empathy for He Who Shall Not Be Named (and you know I don't read Harry Potter, so it's not that bad guy, I mean that other bad guy). It's just true that waking up having no recollection of the previous evening is only disturbing if you dwell on it; if, instead, you are dwelling on the spine-tinglingly beautiful and the aesthetically... um, what was I saying? Argh, my attention span!

Assuming we are similarly afflicted, go do s o m e t h i n g while you listen to this heart-breakingly beautiful song... The "big city, little town" hook is how I feel about here, my self professed home base. Oh, and I'm fairly certain a well-meaning fan made this video, and I thought for a moment that it'd also be heart-breakingly beautiful, until it dawned on me that the opening IS the whole video. What a shame.



-- Wait -- Are you thinking "what painkillers?" and "what's going on?"...

I forgot to fill you in on some details.


I was going to write a whole blog about how lucky I feel and how life is precious and fragile and about awareness and fear and preseverance. And then my painkillers kicked in and I could smile.

My face is NOT broken. I intend to keep on riding. The RUDE_ASS driver of the white pick up truck did not kill me. My new bike is ok. I flipped over my handlebars for the first time ever, and I hit the pavement teeth first. I took to it like a duck to water.

That was Thursday night. I had the right of way, I was riding conscientiously, I had TWO lights on my bike and a (practically neon) green hoodie sweatshirt on. A truck wanted to turn, so it invoked the "bigger, stronger" clause and did so, after making eye contact with me. Unfortunately, I had some speed and had the right of way, so stopping was a bit of a surprise, as was tasting the road. My bike hit me on the back of the head, my quart of yogurt exploded in my messenger bag, the truck sped off into the distance.

Did you know that this past Wednesday night, in St. Pete, a 20 year old, who had gone to Clearwater High with some of my friends, died? He was riding his bike (with two lights on it) and was struck by a Jeep. The St. Pete Times gave it all of 50 words and mostly just pointed out that he had not been wearing a helmet and that the driver just was not aware of his presence on the road. Oh, and that no charges had been filed.

This is not just upsetting to me, this is UPSETTING. After my 'incident' I was shaken up and worried about what I'd look like with no front teeth. And then I thought about what I could have done differently. And about how to prevent this sort of thing. And about how if I had been going a little bit faster, I'd be dead.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

my first Skirts ride

This week I had a night off from my Tuesday class, so I headed downtown and met up with some girls about my age who like bikes. That's not all they like; there's other stuff too; art/writing/reading, tattoos, philanthropy, fun, drinking, baking, oh yeah, and bikes.


We rode a northernly route around St. Pete. At around mile 5 I felt weak and like it was all a bad idea. By mile 7 I had my shit together and was loving life.

My new friend, Indi, and I chatted non-stop as we pumped out hearts out, certainly not leading the pack, but arriving at the ending point around the same time as the others, ready to sit down for some brainstorming re: upcoming events.

In all, about 15 miles.

:) life is BEYOND comprehension sometimes :)

So, my day started a little stressed; I had to get ready for a chemistry exam AND go to my brain-less dead-end job, where I would be unable to study for that exam. PLus, I've discovered that from 9:30 am till about 1 pm, I am a HW machine. I mean, I can take notes at a good pace, I solve the most complicated problems during those hours, I think clearly, and I actually don't lack motivation.

And, my kids are in school during those hours, so it's a good time to hunker down with coffee and my work, right?

So, imagine how aggravating it must be to have to peel myself away from the perfect homework environs to go do NOTHING MUCH. At least, nothing important (and for almost no money!).

Besides- ASK ME, just ask me, what is the most important thing to me? My children, of course.

And what have I been forced to put ahead of my time with them (not above their wellbeing, they're just getting lots of time with their dad and with my mom)? School, namely Chemistry lecture. It cuts into my time with them, and still I struggle. So, for me, to pass this class is insanely important. I've invested so much time...

So, to put work ahead of passing Chemistry was to add insult to injury!!! To, essentially put SHREDDING PAPER ahead of time that could have been spent with my kids?? NO, sir, I will NOT.

But do you know what had me the most stressed of all? I felt guilty to want to put my own needs first. How sad. Sometimes, it is very easy to get swept into a current of GO GO GO, when what I need is a sit down breakfast and quality time ;-)


Therefore, mine was a most sympathetic ear as a good friend poured out some of his Monty-Python-esque angst (think: Dennis, the socialist peasant from The Holy Grail), regarding the culture we find ourselves in.


One thing led to another, and before I knew it... I was being invited to join in the (family friendly) adventure of a lifetime, half a world away.

This is why you should always keep passports at the ready. You might not end up using them, but it's certainly nice to know that you could if you wanted to. If you're at all like me, your sanity depends upon it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

argh... it was either blog, or make pancakes!

And I happen to have restocked our flaxseed and sunflower seed stores this weekend, so you never know: I may live on the freakin wildside and make the pancakes, yet!


Ok, so how was my weekend? How was my precious Saturday-Sunday combination??

Well, first of all, it's over. I'll be at work in the morning. Ugh. I HATE working in the mornings.

Secondly, the overall theme seems to have been "I did my best" (and that has to be good enough).
-Online trig assignment: not entirely completed, but I spent about 14 hours on it.
-I completed my last quiz for Art Hist, now all that's left is a bunch of written work...
-Critical mass ride today: I invited dozens and dozens of strangers, plus everyone I know who I thought might be interested, and some people who fall into the grey area in between. Shit, I even invited Hulk Hogan and Brooke (Hogan, duh). But still, not a big turnout. At least I had fun.
-It was my "kid-free weekend". How'd the dating go? It didn't.


And now I'm all self-conscious and obsessed with the negativity (MAKE IT STOP!! Please Help!!!). I feel like I'll even have to call in fat to work tommorrow. Damn it.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

interdepartmental canoodling, and other juicy stories from the girl who shreds paper

Remember how I said I wouldn't be working on Fridays and that was one of the perks of this job? Yeah, well I have only had one Friday off so far, and one that I just skipped (whoops). It's because that's been the only way I can feasibly get all 15 of my (measly) hours in, since I can't work at all on Tuesdays and I can't work until after 11 am on Thursdays and then have to leave by 1:45 if I'm going to be on time to pick up Conner. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I've taken to just staying on campus between work and Chem lecture, which keeps me from driving unneccessarily and saves money and stress, but cuts into my time with my kids by 2 hours a week.

Funny how in the SAHM days I would have laughed over missing them for an extra hour or two. I would have been running to the car.

OK, I'll get to the workplace makeout session. That's why you are reading this today, anyways, I'll gamble.

So, I work in a college office and across the hall from me is a nice girl with glasses and REAAAALLY incredibly long hair. She has goldfish in her office, which is also cluttered with beanie babies and cute things. And, yesterday, I went in there to ask her something and saw that she had company (someone who also works at the college), and that they may have been holding hands, but seeing as that it's been an emotional week, I figured hand holding was not that uncommon.

Oh, I am not kidding but today, they were in there for a long time and I definately saw them making out every time I walked past for about an hour and a half. The door was wide open; I am not a pervert, ok??

This all got me thinking, and makes me sort of sad, too.

1) I am a really awesome person, I am good in a couple, and I want someone to make out with on Fridays.

2) I might not ever get to share the rest of my life with someone. This is actually a possibility, and I don't know how to handle it.


I'm now going to reference one of my favorite real-life- romance stories: Once upon a time, before Trent fell deeply in love with Carrie, he listed in his blog exactly what he was looking for in a girl. He actually had first laid it all out on paper, just for his own benefit, but then decided it was entertaining enough for the rest of us, too.

I have done that before, but maybe it's time again.

-smart, but not so brilliant I seem excessively dull
-hot, but not too conceited
-nerdy, in a hot way
-well read
-not a strict rule follower, or at least doesn't care that I am not
-compassionate, ethical, involved,
-likes children, plants, and animals :)
-likes Anthropology, science, riding bikes, reading books, drinking beer, music
-wants to teach me things, somewhat talkative but ok with silences

Oh, and did I mention I've started an experiment in... online dating. I know. Sigh.

Does this mean I am totally not a happening chick or am I just open-minded? I don't know, I'm tired of the bar scene and like the ability to filter through the people that just won't do. I wasn't originally going to do it, but thought... why not?

Because I hate dissapointment, THAT'S WHY.

There are some guys I am chatting with and all is/was well, except one of them freaked me out a little with some things that were excessive. Let me just say you do not ask a girl you are ONLY just recently chatting with if she is on The Pill!!!! For real. DON'T DO IT> And before that he was funny, smart, liberal, and really seemed cool.

The next guy is hotter than the first, and seems like more fun. He was enthusiastic to chat w me, and then all of a sudden... crickets chirping. But he really has all of those qualities I listed, plus he loves Star Wars and hates circuses like me. And I am really awesome (tell me: what's not to love about me?). Should I IM him back and say "Hey, was it something I said?" ?

I am really ready to have someone in my corner, to be in someone's corner. I'm completely jealous of all of you people with mates!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let it be known- it was Pinellas Co!!!

OBAMA!! WOOT!!


Pinellas, you came through for FL.


Florida, your votes made the difference!

THIS IS IT- the culmination of the past 8 years

The sky is grey in a smooth way today, and it feels patriotic, to me.

Each time I've been in D.C. it was like this outside, and personally, I think it suits the day.

Cora and I got up early and celebrated Election Day by making pancakes and watching videos online about what kids across the country think of the whole process and the candidates. Cute!

As you know, Tuesday's are my busy day, but I am very excited to be hitting the polls in a bit, and will be anxiously/optimistically staying tuned to the outcome.

I do have a night class, but I'll try and convince the professor that access to the electoral updates is unequivocally pertinant to our well-being. It's an American History class, for crying out loud.



hastily and with love(!),
yours,

Gladis

PS. Core urges you to vote for Obama. her reasoning: "John McCain wants to make more war, and we don't need more war".

Sunday, November 2, 2008

ouch, in so many ways







Forgive the wierd angles. Us single girls gotta take these pictures over our shoulders and all. I'll invest in a mirror when I recoil from the ungodly expense of this session. No, I cannot afford to live like this. I do it because I hate all traces of sanity.



ok, recruited Bender to take that one...

Friday, October 31, 2008

let's clear this up,once and for all

Sure, I sometimes come across as a freaky semi-socialist, but I promise you:

I'm bipartisan.


I'll hug your elephant, if you kiss my ass.




Naw, seriously, I'm nonpartisan. But despite my utter disdain for the party system, there is something to be said for men who work themselves ragged on political campaigns. It's sexy. (Like Lewis and Clark exploring the American West, but hopefully with less mental illness.)

Just like being a philanthropic genius Jew. Alright, can you tell somebody's got a crush? lol.

Ok, next topic!

No one could ever say Brian is a bad friend (even if he did make me cry yesterday!). We went to our appointment at Mean Machine and because of MY gaff (and Harry's issue with picking up the kids at the appointed hour), Brian couldn't get tattooed, although Tom Kiernan was adament to still do mine. I felt so guilty and awful. Just AWFUL. The kicker is that in addition to coming out to Oldsmar (might as well be Egypt) and watching, Brian brought me a new BIKE :) New to me, anyways. And he brought tools and his work-stand.

I'm a happy girl, today, but I feel I don't deserve it.

Pictures to come, I promise.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I beat the witches (I think)

Well, I just took the Chemistry test (Gas laws/Thermochemisty reactions) that I thought would be really really awful, only to find out that it wasn't all that bad... but that's after a veritable marathon of study time. True, I may have only scored a B, but at this point, that would satisfy me.


Side note, the Ex is giving me trouble again. It's always cyclical with him. We both agree that if childsupport was enforced and just taken out of his check it would be a lot less painful for us both (I hate ASKING for it each week, and he HATES giving it to me). And currently, he's running a few weeks behind yet again and feeling cranky because he's not dating anyone (I'm guessing that's why he's cranky. who really knows!). So, when I asked this week if I can expect him to catch up with me on his next payday, he gave me The Rudeness and basically said I can just hold my breath waiting for the money.

Ah. Harry does The Rudeness so well, too. And it turned into the same freaking fight we always seem to have now.

Why is it that we never really fought while we were together, but now we can't agree on Fact Of My Life No. 1?

Fact No. 1) I work REALLY hard, day in and day out.
My children depend on me for all the little things that add up to one hell of a job; getting them dressed/fed for school, Halloween costumes, sending in classroom snacks, retrieving forgotten items from the classroom, cleaning up their messes, signing up to volunteer for field trips, afterschool fun, doctors appt's, and taking sick days off work to take care of them when they are sick are all my department.

I also go to school about 20 hours a week and work in the office 15 hours a week, then go home to a ton of homework and housework.


I realize I'm not the only person out there to be juggling a lot of stuff, so I'm writing this more for my benefit than for yours. I tend to be thoughtful about the imput others give me regarding myself and my faults... and he's literally telling me that I DO NOTHING. That I'm just lazy and go to school because I want to when I could be earning enough to raise the kids on without his help.

So, when I write it all out, it seems like maybe I'm not THAT awful of a person.

And, don't you just love it when I get all complainy?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

graduation checklist

GPA: check
quantity of credits: check
everything under the sun: CHECK!

but just found out... I NEED TO SCORE AN A OR B IN MY TRIG CLASS THIS SEMESTER.

Re: this semester, I have been thinking that Chem is the priority... and was kind of just planning on the whole "a C is good enough for me" thing for Trig (which is what I have been averaging). It's true, my dislike imperfection sometimes borders on neuroses, but then sometimes I just don't give (enough of) a damn. Damnit. Now I have to put in my batteries.

Ok, I guess that expression only makes sense in Spanish.

Monday, October 27, 2008

not feeling very proud

My attentions have been SO scattered lately. Later this afternoon I have another exam in Chemisty lecture and I am not ready, yet again.

All I can think of is ways to distract myself from what I need to do for that class, because it's so freakin tedious to copy notes from his powerpoints posted online. This week, I've been browsing for a new bike, I made the kids' Halloween costumes, cleaned my kitchen a little, and spent lots of time having fun with the kids...

So, my HW remains undone. My test is Witch Mountain, & I have to go there... ugh.

Maybe I need to re-assess WHY I am putting myself through this. I need to get into USF for the spring. I need to, so that I can get into their summer learning abroad program, or into the field school I chose.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

it's official



With the coming time change and my hectic school schedule, I just could not do a week-night. 2nd Sunday of the month it is! I'm thinking 4-6pm.

We will be leaving from St Petersburg College (Drew St & Old Coachman Rd), and riding, west, through Clearwater. Expect to cover about 8-10 miles roundtrip, our pace depends on the turnout. By that, I mean that if people show up who wanna ride more leisurely, they are welcome to join us. If it's all speed-demons, I'm personally down for that, too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

something I found out about while delivering exams for some profs

CLEP tests! There are College Board tests that if you score high enough, you can just instantly have those credits. There's several that I could do, even at this late stage. I found out the other day that when I transfer to USF I'll be coming in about halfway done with my junior year. I'm looking at mostly Anthropology and Science courses over there for the next couple of years :-)

Ha! But if I test out of a few more things right before I transfer, it might go even faster. (can you tell I'm tired from so many classes, lol)

Oh, and I actually already knew about CLEP tests, but had forgotten... Duh; I took AP American history in high school. And I did score high enough on the test, but decided to not take the American History credit because I actually wanted to be in this course again. So far, so good. LOTS of writing this week, in fact this might be the last blog post for a week or so, as I do the things I have to get done.

Besides school stuff, I'm taking C & C to Heritage Village again and to the First United Methodist Fall Festival this coming Saturday, hosting a kids Halloween party on Sunday complete with gross stuff and a potluck. We've been doing Halloween parties in my playgroup since the very begining, so I'm pretty proud to be hosting it. I just also need to makes my kids costumes, and do this all really cheaply... hmmm...

Monday, October 20, 2008

reality that you can feel... in your quadriceps


So, a couple of weeks ago, Brian suggested that I ride with him and the rest of the Bicycle Outfitters crew, from the shop to the Bike Bash event at Vinoy Park, in downtown St. Pete. I was sorta on the fence about riding there; not because I didn't want to try a longer ride than I'm used to (in fact, that's exactly what I was ready for), but because I was worried about being the slowest/least skilled person going.

Not to mention it would require getting up at 5 am on a Sunday.

But don't worry- I decided to go anyways, and I am SO glad that I did. Getting up while it was still dark was actually fun, it made the day feel more exciting than a normal day (or was that my nervousness, maybe?). The stars and the moon were just gorgeous Sunday morning, and the weather was brisk enough that I got to don a cozy hooded sweater as we headed out for a quick cup of coffee and over to the bike shop.

Some parts of the ride were really intense for me. There are several overpasses with pretty steep climbs which required some concentration on my part. I love pushing myself past my boundaries, though. It's exhilarating, and the adrenaline-high is impeccable once your end point is visible.

Seriously, there was a moment on the way there (somewhere in the municipality of Gulfport) that I started to doubt my ability to make it all the way there. And then, like magic, a few minutes later the pain went away, and a few minutes after that, we could suddenly see the Trop' and, to me, that means downtown. Riding past it, and down towards the water, my utter joy and satisfaction probably made me look like a fool, but I didn't care.

The bay, so blue and choppy. The wind, so crisp. Palm trees. Puppies. Perfection.

Then, to my surprise, Brian whipped up a hot and nutritious campstove breakfast, to top off the killer moment.

And, can you believe this: Not only were we the first to arrive, Bicycle Outfitters was the only bike shop that set up for this event without the aid of motorized vehicles- total bike power. The caravan of riders not only got there, but got there with bike trailers and panniers loaded with tents, merchandise, tools, and gear!



Here's the Bicycle Outfitters set up, early in the day



A mellow cyclist enjoying the weather, complete with a beer and flip flops, though they didn't make it into the picture


The Skirts, a cool bicycling group for girls!


A little boy on his dad's Xtracycle... I'm so ready to ditch the car circle for good. All I need is an Xtracycle!


Brian, showing off his Surly Longhaul Trucker, while someone from the co op explains bike touring



And here's a video of the event, courtesy of Jack, from bikecommuters.com

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It CLEARLY was an emergency

Have I ever told you my unofficial policy on voicemails? It's not very nice of me (gee, what is it with me posting things all catty and boastful-ish lately?) but I have good reasons.

No 1. Is it an emergency? Let me help you determine if it is an emergency... Blood? Car accident? ANYTHING involving my kids? I'll be generous and include running out of gas and needing help with pretty much anything I know how to do as "an emergency", but you need to say so in your voicemail.

No 2. Maybe not an emergency, but do you need to leave me fairly pertinant information; a phone number, meeting time, etc? This is obvious.

No 3. This is the one that gets me in trouble- are you the person I'm sleeping with? If so, you should know that your "Hey... call me back"s are nice, and sometimes your blips of rediculousness on my voicemail makes me laugh until I worry about peeing my pants. And it's always good to laugh.


So, to recap- Are you calling about an emergency/issue regarding my kids? Need to leave me a 10 sec bit of info? Keep a tootbrush at my house?

Ok, then. If we're not dealing with any of those situation, hang up the phone when you get my voicemail. I WILL call you back, I promise. ;-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

the sound of me blowing my proverbial horn

Does this reflect more on my all encompassing laziness or my womanly ingenuity?


I migrated from watching the presidential debate/instant-messaging to the kitchen, to make the kids lunches for school tommorrow.

[You know that I consider the 'Lunchable' the bane of humanity, and Easy Mac is pretty much holding second place (sorry Helen!!! You know I love you, though, even if you do like Easy Mac). So my kids get other things.

Fish. Lentils and rice. Wheat bread with home-made hummus (it seriously takes just a few minutes). Pasta with chicken and broccoli. Fruit. Cheese ommelettes. Old fashioned popcorn.

I have even sent slices of french toast before.]


So, anyways, I wander into the kitchen and discover... my pickin's have grown slim. I have all the ingredients I need for several decent dinners, and some other little odds and ends (ie: 2 eggs, sunflower seeds, a jar of pickled peppers, and unsweetened chocolate). Ah, THAT's RIGHT! I had intended to make PB and Jam's for their lunches, I remembered.

Out of jam.

Faced with the awful possibility of getting out of pj's at 11 pm and heading to the grocery store, I decided to just MAKE some JAM from the strawberries I had in the freezer. I feel like a super-mum right now.

Ooh, and, yesterday, the kids and I actually had a civilized breakfast; pear and custard tart (plus coffee for me). A tart? Yes, a tart. A la the 14th century, or something. Thanks, Marie, for reminding me to PUT DOWN THE BREAKFAST CEREAL, at least this once.




So, since you're dying to know, here you go:

My invented custard recipe is VERY simple. 3 egg yolks, some whole milk, vanilla & sugar to taste poured in a pie crust and topped with thinly sliced fruit, bake at 350* for 30-35 min, serve to happy children, or spouse, if you are lucky enough or so inclined.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

you can tell me I'm annoying, but I still want you to hold me

Lately, I've been feeling angsty.

Not enough time with my kids, always running from one obligation to the next, feeling like the semester is sucking the life-blood out of me... And here's the kicker; no partner to turn to when the going gets tough.


But there's a little more to it; I want to discuss friends/friendships.

All of us admittedly busy souls accept that finding time to spend with some friends sometimes involves backbends in scheduling. We make compromises, we take turns driving out of our way, so that no one person is stuck with the burden.

Compromise is something I am actually quite skilled at. Even though I always WANT my way, I have that crucial marriage experience behind me that teaches you how to really get along with someone day in and day out, and the answer is compromise. [I'm telling you, I have no idea why "previous marriage experience" isn't the biggest asset single-people tout having!]


Anyways, this past week I ended up feeling really grouchy that in the midst of the hardest week I've had in a long time not only did I not have someone meeting me halfway, I had to go out of my way to SPEND A LOT OF MONEY to see my girl friends from the old stay-at-home mom days. I did not even have enough money to eat, but they wanted to go to a fancy restaurant at the far-ish end of town from me. God forbid we cook at someone's house and eat/drink wine there.

Sorry, for the sarcasm, but I actually LOVE cooking and eating at home, now. Especially since most nights I'm running around so crazy that the kids and I end up eating a homecooked meal at my mom's house in transit between school and bed, or something fast (and healthy- don't worry!) here. I'd like nothing better than to have my friends over here for dinner. Well, ok, going to someone else's house is equally nice. Remember, I'm all about taking turns.

But my townhouse apartment is not fancy. Ah, what a shame that my values/politics/sentiments don't account for expensive things and an expensive image. I'm more concerned with experiences, personally.


So anyways, long story short- I went to The Nice Restaurant. It made me feel like an imposter. I listened to discussion about various different brands of jewelry that I have no intention of ever spending money on. I had some wine. It cost me as much as TWO BOTTLES would have for my house. And I left there feeling really out of sync with these ladies I've known for a long time.

It's true there are a lot of things in my personal life that no one else understands, and I accept that (sigh), but when it comes down to it, I think I know what I am missing.

And if I don't know what I am missing, I certainly have an inkling of what IT IS. It is nearly palpable. Makes me catch my breath. Moves me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

een brede wereld

The most colorful language I like to try to read is Dutch. I say try to because I am not fluent enough to not have to look up the things I don't know, but I truly love the whimsical spellings. So many double ee's and oo's. It's adorable. And so many z's and v's. :-) The fun thing is that so many little bits of English come from these Saxon roots that you can sorta understand a little, even if you aren't linguistically oriented.


The idea of living in the Netherlands or in Denmark is very appealing. Canals, seasonal changes, bicyles everywhere, tulips, hormone free meat/dairy, ah. Oh, and Belgian beer!! Just a stone's throw away!

And I like the very aesthetic of tall, narrow buildings dating back to before the Reformation. I like it very much.


It would be so different from living in Busan, South Korea, which is my 'realistic ex-pat plan'. I say realistic because I expect to get work teaching there. Korean is so different from English, and there is such a huge demand for teachers, that the pay is actually quite good! It's def more money than I would spend in a couple of years.

In contrast, the best bet I can even fathom in Holland would be student employment as a bike courrier or working at the university; awesome, but not quite the same in terms of coming back to the US with much of anything in my pocket. I doubt that any Dutch children need English tutors, what with the languages being so similar and all.

I like to think that my children need this in the same way I do; that it will nourish their senses, mold their inner-selves, that they unconsciously yearn for new latitudes and longitudes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

organizing

Let me tell you, a Friday that is "work optional" is a very nice thing.

I really needed a day to sit around budget my month, rest, and work on my flyer for the Clearwater critical mass ride I'm initiating, (if I could just pick a freakin day and time!) that's the only thing holding me up right now.

I need a day/time that is functional for not ONLY me, but that I can also commit to. I had decided on first Mondays because a couple of others that are interested can do that day, but as you know, I have Chem lecture on Mondays... I'd have to skip it. If I was scoring straight A's, I'd skip no problem, but right now, I feel like I am clinging on in that class like a bug to a wet branch.

Back to the list: I had a great need for doing laundry today, too (It's started already. I'm about to head up to the laundry mat and flip it over), dishes, and homework too.

Plus, I need to clean out my under-the-stairs-closet and hopefully FIND THE BOX OF CONTACTS FOR MY LEFT EYE. [Seriously kicking myself for misplacing those. I have 2 boxes for the right eye, too. Sheesh.]

Then, off to pick up the kids and get some quality time in with them. Maybe we will go hangout by the water near Conner's churchy school and get some fresh air?

Monday, October 6, 2008

I think I survived. I'll tell you when the dust settles.

"Oh, taking 5 classes is SUCH a good idea!" hahahahahha.

"Working in the math/science office will basically be getting paid to do my HW."

No, not really. I packed boxes for the move to the new building and shredded paper and ran errands for the dept. No, there is no time for studying.



This is me, blogging maniacally. Trying to. I don't even know, but I had to stop in and make a note so that I can look back on this in the future.


BTW I WAS AT THE COLLEGE FOR 11.5 HOURS TODAY. Work + studying @ library (because if I drove home I would have been here for 1 hour)+ Chem Lecture + Chem lab.


I had to print out my lab worksheets at the last minute, too. I had just finished the hard exam, was already running late for the lab portion of my night, and was 1 minute away from drinking the formaldehyde across the hall when the printer in my office was spitting out reams of f'ed up paper at me.























Woohoo... titration. Can somebody remember my birthday this coming year and give me a set of burets so I can STAB myself with them??
[PLEASE NOTE: the boy in this photo may very well be a Canadian "Chemistry & Physics International Olympiad" as he claims to be, BUT HE IS USING IMPROPER FORM> it's a big no-no to fill burets above eye level. Kids- don't do this at home!]


So, this is going to all be worth it someday, right? Maybe this is "character building" or something...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

the one about the thing I have to get done

I may have underestimated my ability to bite off more than I can chew.

I am a little swamped right now, just with all the basic, fundemental requirements of life; I just took the recycling to my car, and it is mountainous. Now, tommorrow morning I have to remember to give myself enough time drop it off. How likely do you think that is? And later, I'm going to babysit the babies who live next door for a couple of hours, in 'sacred reciprocity' with my neighbor, who will be watching the kids on Monday evenings when I go to SPC for a couple of hours.

Laundry and grocery shopping(by bike) is a good idea for the weekend, too, since now I live life working and going to school, diurnally, Monday through Friday. It's incredibly regular, but at the same time, for me- unusual. I'd gotten used to going to school a couple of nights a week (still do tht, actually), and working the other nights of the week.

It's not all work and no play; we also have plans to go to a birthday party and out to breakfast with my mom. I need to make and print out my flyer for the Critical Mass
ride.

Also, this coming week is going to be really interesting at school. I have an exam in Trig of graphing of trigonometric things. Some of it is easy to me, but some of it I haven't the slightest clue about. To be specific, it's the tan and cot waves...

And I have an exam in Chem which covers vast quanities of information to be memorized. I'm not exaggerating much; VAST QUANTITIES.
In addition of requiring the flexibility of an acrobat with dimensional analyses, the exam is going to also call upon our nomenclature skills. And I have no nomenclature skills!

Wish me luck. I really really want all A's. I haven't felt like that in a long time, it's sort of amazing. Today, I discovered that I have 71 credits. Sort of unbelievable, right?

Thankfully, both kids are enjoying school and that helps give me the time to work and go to class during the day. I do wish I didn't have Chem M/W evenings, because I already have Am. History on Tuesday nights, but the Chem lecture is short, which is cool, and Dr. Herod is hot in a NOT nerdy way, for whatever THAT's worth. Seriously, he's hot. Probably late 30's. [I'm sick, I know.]

Oh, yeah, and I decided it's also about time to write a few letters to representatives, about the stuff that's going on. It's only right. Like the recycling (up to my eyeballs).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

so much good news, it's like the gospel 'round here

- I did not get fired... YAY!!! Lin was wondering if I could cover some of her hours when she goes out of town in Nov. LOL!! Yes, I realize I am extremely insecure; one serious voicemail away from having a breakdown. Because I think of voicemails as a serious thing- sort of a last resort when you have something very important to say.


- Tonight, Barb's coming over for sushi and beer. Well, I'll be drinking, I don't know if she will be, haha. And we are going to watch the debate, online, since there's no television in my living room. But it will be fun either way.


- I'm starting a Critical Mass group for Clearwater. Can you believe there is none here? There's Tampa and St. Pete, sure, but I wanna ride here ;-)

So- If you are interested in joining us, post a comment or send an email. I'll definately have all the specifics in the next week or two... I do know I intend for it to start at SPC Clearwater and head downtown (4.5 miles), and then around... somewhere.

I intend to hand out a flyer to the cyclists I see at school, and to friends. Maybe make a myspace page for it, too.

I'm freaked out :-(

L, one of my bosses, from work called my cell this evening and left me a message, with her cell number. She said she had something to say but did not really want to say it in front of everyone... I called her back, but I got voicemail.

Uhhh.

Am I being fired?


I swear, just the other day she was telling me what a god-send I am in the office.

We're moving into a new building before the spring semester, and I've been getting the ball rolling towards packing.

The worst thing I've done was text a teeny bit when nothing else important was going on. Everyone else in my office is mellow, looking at catalogs, eating at their desks, etc.

I was eating crackers at my desk a little last week.

I got there 5 min late last Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In times like these, I wish my dad was around

He was not only a lawyer/genius/artist/philanthropist... he was an economist, too.

I would really like some answers re: economic theory, and cause & effect.

In lieu of his corporeal presence, I will be popping in on Rick Penberthy, an old favorite teacher, that I'm sure I've blogged about before. He taught my high school psychology classes, economics, and also was our Academic Team coach/faculty sponser. He was the only person (besides the other members of the team) that made me feel like knowing the difference between Albert Durer and Alberti tiles was worthwhile.

I hear they don't ask about them much on that FCAT... but that's neither here nor there.

Anyways, I'm going to pay Mr. Penberthy a visit this week, when I get a chance.


Do you know what was being touted as newsworthy on Yahoo today? I know, because it's my homepage, so I can see my emails and stay abreast of these important stories (rolling eyes). There were 4 that got top billing:

1) "Latest Dancing Celeb Got The Boot"

2) Jennifer Hudson's engagement ring

3) Best times of year to purchase cars

4) What DOES $700 BILLION dollars compare to


Am I the only one feeling nauseated?

Why don't we, a generation of Americans who have more access to networking and information than ever before, feel more compelled to give a shit?

I will agree that this election (the past few, actually) have been bringing people out of the woodwork, but I suspect that's partly because it's so dramatic and heavily advertised on the shiny TV. What about the other issues we don't get in an uproar about? I'm not saying WHO we have for president isn't important, but that if the people sit back to WATCH the president, no matter who it is, we have surrendered. Even if Obama wins, I hope the Democrats stay on top of him, bust his chops a little. And not with the drama, please. Just keep him working.


Last night, in my American History class we covered the demise of the Articles of Confederation and the writing of the Constitution. This stuff always gets me all worked up (can't you just see me crying on the 4th of July? LOL you think I'm joking).

Outside on break, I was chatting up one of the hot guys in my class.

me: So, how d'you like this class so far?

him: Oh, it's alright. He's funny sometimes. [the professor IS funny sometimes] How about you?

me: It's social sciences, pertains to my major, so I enjoy it, you know? It's interesting to me.

him: Oh, it doesn't have any practical application for me, I just needed the credit. [in his defense, hottie is an engineering major]

me: Well! It's still applicable; you are American!

--we both laugh, and then I wonder if he probably thinks I'm psychotic now or something--


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I rode 9 miles yesterday, and I broke my personal record (!!!) for how quickly I got TO school (it's uphill).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I may not know much...

... but I still feel compelled to write a how-to.

Some of my favorite bloggers do these how-to's regularly, and I've always found it to be interesting reading.


Two or three topics come to mind today, all springing from the past 24 hours or so.

In chronological order, because there is otherwise no connective thread what-so-ever, except maybe you could say the theme centers around "breaking all the rules".

How To Ride A Bike Wearing A Skirt Or A Dress

This morning, my mom really wanted to know how this is possible. Really, shorter is better, until a certain point, I'm sure. I guess I mean: avoid long or voluminous. I ride in dresses frequently, because I like to wear dresses and skirts. Jeans are difficult when it's hot out and I like jeans that are on the tighter side, anyways, so they just aren't that great when I'm riding. When you are cycling, I doubt if anyone really sees anything, but be prepared for hoots and whistles (best to just smile and ignore; you don't want to let it distract you, lest you lose your balance).

If you are going to wear a skirt with a little more volume, like I did to my archaeology meeting yesterday, what you do is straddle the bike before you sit down. Then pull the skirt to one side and use the opposite side's hand to hold it down to the back of your thigh where it comes close to your body, while the other hand holds the rest of it up and to the side. Then, while your hand is on your leg, fold the skirt that is up and to the side behind you, under your ass, and sit down on it. Now you have a shorter, tighter skirt which is perfecto. Not going to get caught in your non-danish bicycle.


How To Not Be A Bitch To The Guys That You Like

You might get a lot of feedback from the girls you know who say that the only man worth dating is one who is going to rearrange his entire life to shower YOU with attention (I seriously have had girlfriends tell me to ditch someone I was seeing because he had his own life in addition to the time we spent together), but I hope you put that idea aside for a moment and listen to what I have to say.

That is asking for too much. My goodness! Would you want someone to ask that of you?? Really? And it's the kind of thing that can be addictive, but it's definately not healthy. The giver gets worn out and the recipient grows numb.

To not be a bitch, all you have to do is treat others with the kind of respect you expect to be treated with yourself, and to not ask of someone more than you know you can give, without giving too much. That means that personal boundaries are PERSONAL. I'm not saying that you won't naturally develop closeness with someone you spend time with, but I'm saying that you don't have to try to infiltrate like you've been hired by the Dept of Homeland Security.

Also:how can someone be interesting to you if all they like is you? And, how can you expect that a normal human being won't be interested in dating other awesome people too? Aren't you dating other people too? Exactly.


How To Discuss Religion With An Evangelical Christian (Without Arguing)
Translate what you have to, in your mind, so that their points make sense to you on your own level.

Mention that you don't want to "put God in a box". They will understand this terminology.

Nod, when you somewhat comprehend. Sip your coffee and neutrally state that you don't understand when something is beyond your sphere of understanding or intrest.

If you have NO acceptance for ANY version of God/Infinite Wisdom/Universe, then you might want to not attempt this one at all! :-P

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'm home from my archaeology meeting

... and feeling pretty excited. I've only ever worked on paleontology digs, but pretty soon I will be getting some practical experience!


My boss, Bill Hemme, and the director of social sciences at SPC are both in my corner about getting this work classified as "co-op work experience", too, so I'll be earning credits at the same time.


Oh, yeah, and I did about 15 miles today. woo.

a work in progress

Look at my new back-rack! I have not only mobility, but carrying-power!!!





Brian was so very sweet to not only deliver the part, but to install it, too. And, the install ended up requiring modifications (bending/drilling various spots) since my bike is such an old cheapie. After we got drunkish, and before he got really serious at making it work, he suggested something about maybe not needing to modify, but just getting a new bike for the new rack! Haha, very funny (rolling eyes).

In it's defense, the bike is functional, and was practically free.

One last thing: would it be wrong to mention that hot guys are hotter than normal when they are fixing something for you?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

nerd alert

I got 102% on my history exam from last week, woohoo! And I, the most perpetually late person ever, turned in my colonial paper for that class a week early.

Actually, I am not behind in any of my classes, and my grades are pretty good, so far.

But, combined with work and the kids school stuff... it has been a grueling week. On Monday night, in Chem lecture the man next to me fell into a dead sleep, and there is nothing that could make someone want to sleep more than Dr. Herod's powerpoint lecture and a sleeper to the left of you. I caught myself nodding a little, and had to exercise extreme self control.

I REAAAALLy wanted to skip on Tuesday and go back to bed, or at least skip Trig, my 9:30 am class, because I was running on a total of 9 hours sleep over three days. But I dragged myself there. And it was rough. But it's a good thing I was there, because we discussed graphing tangent and cotangent waves, and LET ME TELL YOU, that is not as easy as sine and cosine waves!



What made me go was that:

1) In the spring I was so lazy and wasn't able to complete Statistics, which I am still embarrassed about.

2) I really want to go to field school in [insert most awesome wilderness here, because I don't want to announce more it until it's set in stone], and if I fail now, I'll mess that all up.

3) Working in the Math/Sci dept makes me interact with my prof's more (3 of my 5 prof's are in Math/Sci), so skipping to sleep seemed like more of a bad idea than it normally would.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Abba Oil and the Angle of Death

My mom ran out of anointing oil from the Holy Land. Not 'The Holy Land' in Orlando, where you can walk through Bible stories and buy caps and tees emblazoned with Judeo-Christian slogans. I mean the Holy Land everyone fights about.

Anyways, that neither here nor there.

So, she ran out (PROBABLY BECAUSE SHE'S CONSTANTLY ANOINTING MY CHILDREN) and I did a "nice thing" and ordered her another little bottle.

We'll call it My Good Deed of the week.

After that, sadly, she and I had an argument that had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with me being capable to manage simple things in my life, and for my kids. I believe the real root of the fight was that I need exercise in order to feel like a real live human being, without it I feel awful, like I just want to lay around and feel sicker and deader.

So, tonight, I a long ride (9 miles), ad it gt me in the mood to apologize to her. But not before I had to leap into bushes from the bike. Yes, I leapt. Into bushes. Instead of dying (or probably just skinning my knees).

See, I picked up a lot of speed coming down Gulf to Bay from Hillcrest (which is at the top of a hill, of course). The sidewalk is great on that stretch of my route, until the Angle; 90 degrees and narrow AND bordered by a high curb. And at the bottom of a hill.

And do you know Ms. Mitchell, my chem lab prof WARNED me today that something bad might happen, after Greg and I were giggling, devilishly, about a psychological trial involving titration with burets holding ONLY WATER, Mwah HAHAHAAHAHA.

Can you tell I love titrating? And Greg, my upgrade-lab-partner, is color blind!

Well, the Angle of Death is what happened to me. Photo to come, if I can manage it tommorrow.

Monday, September 22, 2008

...ever the student

I finally met Bonnie tonight, and I believe she accepted me as an acolyte/apprentice. She gently reminded me that we place our shells facing upwards, open, on the Mesa, but otherwise said mine is lovely (it really is) and that I am doing everything I need to.

In a couple of weeks I think we're going to have more time to sit down at my Mesa and do some actual work, since tonight was busy. Lot's of people there, at Sacred Lands, for the get-together, but only 5 mesa-carriers, including myself.

Oh, and Cora was SO mad at me afterwards when I mentioned to her that the guest musician was singing cool traditional Sioux songs... She loves this sort of thing!

Oh, yeah... they are having an archaeology event next Saturday evening, too, if you are interested. That will not be a night of meditation, as far as I know (in case that kind of thing scares you off). It's going to be pretty educational... oh, yeah, forgot to mention: I was invited to come work with this team, the Central Gulf Coast Arch. Society. It was even suggested that I try to get school credit for the internship!

Anyways, far as my Mesa practice; well, it's quite likely that you now think I'm totally nuts, but I guess that's how it is sometimes. ;-)


In other news, this week is going to be fun and different and everything like that.

Con is (most likely) starting preschool tommorrow, which is good, since I work and go to school 5 days/week. We ended up picking a very Christian preschool, of all things.

I am really happy with the choice, though. It's true that Harry is an athiest and I am "other", but this school is so great. A perfect fit for us, even though he will be going to chapel and whatnot.

Friday, September 19, 2008

in the deepest southern climes

It felt sort of UNDENIABLY delicious this morning. We had a breeze stirring and the sunlight was golden- without being too hot.

My numerous trips to and from the word processing office in the SS building had me in sort of a giddy mood.

Siting at my desk, filing old exams and scantrons drove me insane.

Also, a box of something marked "ALIVE" arrived on my desk by FedEx this afternoon. That's kind of cool, huh?

And The-Longwinded-Professor brought in a book to loan me... It's an ethnographic account of the indigenous peoples of Alaska. Wooo whee!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

...licentious means dirty

HTH ;-)


Haha, and on that note, off to the shower. Just got home from doing about 9 miles... I say "about" because I am really not sure.

I rode in one direction alone and I know I rode 2 miles and then my roommate called me and proposed family ride night. So I told her to head north and meet me. I know I rode 2 miles back the other way and then she and I rode for about 45 minutes through the neighborhoods, and our closest park. At the pace we were doing, I usually can go about 4 miles in a half hour, so in 45 minutes, guessing we did 5 miles is sort of a low guess, but since I have no clue... it's good enough.

I saw some really gorgeous clouds tonight and I feel victorious because my school refund arrived this evening and that means I can finally budget out the next few months of [meager as usual :-) ] living. Kinda.

Just wait and see what I post next week... I am rediculously excited, but still unsure if I can justify spending some money.

Nostalgia bit me on the behind, over at Memarie Lane

My friend, Memarie, did some digging in a box of high school memorabilia and her findings made me think about those days of yore.

It really wasn't all that long ago that I was a teenager; we had internet access in some of our savvier teachers' classrooms, low rise jeans, cell phones, spinal meningitis scares, and Columbine. Can you spot me in this sea of faces?

But it was long enough ago to feel like I could forget it all, if I'm not careful. Sort of like the answers to questions about how old your child was when they did x, y, or z. I really don't remember how old Conner was the first time he held a toy or slept through the night. Too much else has been jumbled into the too small mental storage space I have to work with. Insignificant facts from high school seem to have been lost in the fog, as well.

Why do some things stand out in my mind, like it was yesterday? Is it the emotional quotient?

Anyways, I feel inspired to regale you with a tale of mortification!

I was 17. This was a time of complete wierdness for me; I wore "wierd" cropped pants (capri pants enter as a fad, just a year later) and wrote some decent poetry with metaphors that I actually appreciated more when I re-read my work a few years later. I was very "esoteric" and reading way too much. Besides, my choice of literature was, er, different.

Ginsburg, Carlos Castaneda, Timothy Leary, Albert Camus, Kafka, Jim Morrison, James Joyce, Leo Tolstoy, and Anais Nin topped my library bill.

Did I mention I was also having problems with basic repsonsibility and remembering things from day to day? At 17, I was lucky if I remembered to GO to school, much less to return library books!

Right around the end of my senior year was when I "became a woman", so to speak and the experience had a huge impact on me. I was so happy that I had waited until then, feeling very in touch with my burgeoning adulthood.

Thankfully, memories from that specific time in my life don't evade me too much. But maybe it helps with the remembering that I ended up living in that same house, with the same man, smelling the same roses every day as I came and went. I recently unearthed a photo of my son, as an infant, wrapped in the same quilt that had been on the bed THAT day, years before, when I was almost 18, done being a child (and almost done with high school & with being so wierd and esoteric).

Well, enough setting the scene, and onto the embarrassing part:

I had a teacher, the grey and wizened Dr. E, whom I found really inspiring. He was controversial and wierd and well-read. He'd let us sit in the hall outside his class with thick volumes if we felt like reading instead of going to some nonsense-class.

One day I had (no doubt, distractedly) been journaling/poetry-writing on the back of a research paper outline I had to turn in to Dr. E. And what I had written was pretty licentious, albeit creative. Interestingly, his note on my paper advised me to continue to write- on my own time!



Ok, now the story is preserved for posterity. My work here is done.