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!


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

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


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

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.


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--

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