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.

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...


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
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

brown rice
slow cooking oats

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?"