Monday, November 23, 2009


We're heading to visit Helen's parents for Thanksgiving. Should be fun... I'm taking Clean (and vegan) peanut butter truffles.

Also, it's grey out and misery has settled into this invalids poor bones. Yes, I'm being over dramatic. Whatever! I'm so over this.

Friday, November 20, 2009

the achy breaky feeling

Oh my gosh, I'm serious, I just want to stick my fingers into my thoracic cavity and put my cartilage and/or rib back where it needs to be!

I went ice skating late last Saturday night with Brennan (to break up the monotony of paper-writing all day and night) and the Zamboni wasn't run at all for some reason. We agree that the ice was choppier than it should have been and I'm not just a total klutz. Seriously, I'm not actually bad on skates.

Anyways. I played it cool, toughed it out. It hurt a lot but we skated for another hour before I had to call it a night.

Sunday morning I woke up to the sound of myself screaming (yes, they were obscenities, I am ashamed) and then dosed myself with ibuprofen and got ready for church/garden club fundraising.

The fundraiser went well! Very exciting, can't wait to break ground and get dirty.

And Helen and I are going to Tally for the holiday to see Poppa and Lolita, yay.

Also, Conner was just in a Thanksgiving show and he was basically the STAR of the show. Well, he had one line to memorize- They met the natives, and shook their hands!- but only 4 kids in the whole PreK were asked to memorize a line. I am so proud.

And Coral is just blossoming. Ever-lovely and precious and working really hard on bringing up her reading/writing grades.

AND I lived through the hardest week of school ever :) and I have all A's.

And now I'm dating the cutest boy ever. Go me!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

um.. my research

I'm about to give a presentation on my research.

Feeling like there just wasn't enough time to get as deep as I would have liked, but today's the day so here I go!

My powerpoint is bright and informative. Not just slide after slide of the same stuff I've already said, and I definitely KNOW the topic inside and out.

I have been studying human birth for several years now, and consider myself a bit of an amateur-expert on the subject :D so my Q & A session after the presentation should be no problem, I'm just concerned about MY RESEARCH. I'm not sure I know the in's and out's of my interviews well enough to present it cohesively.

OK!! Have to DO THIS.

Friday, November 6, 2009

This town is full of ghosts

For Halloween, Helen and I wanted to squeeze every last creepy drop of juice out of our weekend.

We planned on going to an Edgar Allen Poe themed night of theater at Ruth Eckard Hall but there were complications and we couldn't get tickets at the last minute. To stave off holiday blues after our plans went awry, we decided to head out to see some local haunted houses.

Next year, we will definitely be doing that again! I love creating holiday traditions with my fabulous hetero-lifemate. Anyway, we did the haunted house thing and then went and hung out in a graveyard.

In the same place, the rose garden at a certain cemetery, where I used to go with my beloved once upon a stormy night. And I had no idea his spirit still roams that place.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I could tell you a LOT about teeth right now, if you wanted me too

We just finished up a fun section in Bio Anthropology- living humans, living primates, and the first 50 my of primate evolution. This included some of my favorite topics! Woohoo. Birth processes in primates, diet/nutrition, and phylogenies. I thought anatomical science was a weakness of mine, but I flew through those portions of lab.

The semester's going pretty good. I am at a point now where the pace is alternating between too much and easy. Now it's paper writing time, SERIOUSLY. I am falling WAAAAY behind on my papers.

Oh, but what was I saying? Oh yeah, eating/breathing/sleeping ANT. Things got sort of strange when I was wandering around holding my notebooks and murmuring things like "Is it Y-5 or Plus-5?" and living on loads of coffee, (mostly) unprocessed food, and promises to pay the piper.

When things get crazy I remind myself that it's all for a purpose.

But I don't want to get lost in the shuffle of bilophodont molars and plesiadapids and all the other great stuff. I'm still here. I am in here. (sorry, a Hal Incandenza moment, COULD NOT help myself)

One of my best friends, Michelle, had a baby girl last week- Lorelei Maestas.
I can't wait to see her- need to search airfare asap.

My friend Teresa is moving to CA. I'm missing her already, and jealous, and wistful, and optimistic.

Cora lost her first upper incisor. My baby is honestly growing up.

Amy and I are still talking gardens, and honestly, she's doing a lot more gardening than I. I miss it, but those freakin squirrels cut me to the quick with my watermelons and now I'm afraid to commit! I started easing back in by resuming my compost habits last week, but I really have a gripe about leaves in there. This might be the downside to low tech composting. Are the decomposing oak leaves bad? neutral? ok? HELP!!!

But regardless of my compost woes, I'm excited about the community organic garden, and our first event. More on that later ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

study groups can be really inefficient sometimes

Man. I just got home and I still have tons to do to get ready for the second round of examinations because my study group turned into a study/talk/snack session. Fun, but kind of a waste of time.

This is more for my sake (organization), than yours...

Order of Operations:

Prep for Archaeology exam (which is on Monday morning)

Finish lab HW (halfway done but two weeks worth to turn in, also due on Monday)

Transcribe interview, pull out thematic content

Prep for Ant Linguistics exam (on Tuesday)

Prep for Bio Ant exam (on Thursday)

And FYI "prep" means fix my notes w/ the online power points (all month my notes have been a wreck, spotty and insubstantial), finish the readings, and draw a bunch of phylogenies (Bio Ant).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ruler breaker/heart shaker

What fun is living if you can't make rules and then ditch them, right?

Sigh. Actually, I didn't intend to come on here to write. I came to read. I wanted to know HOW was it that I felt 6 months ago when Billy and I broke up. Just HOW BAD was it? It was a really bad break up, wasn't it???

Because we're talking again for some reason, and he wants to hangout, and I'm sorta almost game. Partially out of curiosity (is he still the same person he was back then? does he still drive that jeep? am I going to fly into a rage and break his glasses and punch his lights out? do we still have good chemistry together?) and partially because I'm just not as resolute as I should/could be. And because I love being invited to a costume party. (and because I NEVER GET TO HAVE SEX ANYMORE<<<< ARGH)

I know. It's a bad idea. I know.

But I'm also really tired of talking to guys who don't understand standard English but brag about their intelligence/vocabularies.

I miss someone knowing me and caring and wanting. And I guess I miss being walked on a little bit, too. If I hadn't just had my fill of therapy talk from a psychology student I know, I'd say that I need some.

Monday, October 19, 2009

just found the charger to my i pod :)

And there was much rejoicing!

Ok, speaking of Monty Python... there's this guy I know who is all into TV/movies and has never seen any Monty Python stuff! WTH. Really??? How is that even possible? I can understand not knowing the obscure stuff... but wow.

OK, I have to get crackin on my linguistics assignment. I put it off all day today.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Geez! You know I love you. (just not as much as I love anthropology)

So, I guess I left you hanging. For all you know, I was eaten by bears or decided to stay in NC or whatever.

Well, I'm back, I've just been busy. I DO have all As though (in the 2nd best Anthro Dept in the nation) and 2 of them are OVER A HUNDRED PERCENT. Yeah! That's what I mean when I say I'm going to school to kick ass.

SO I guess I need to post more about the trip (which was freaking amazing!!!). Right now I have to go catch up on reading for archaeology (tomorrow's morning class) and hopefully get my lab homework done. I'm analyzing the fossils of euprimates (fun!)... I would have had it done last night but H wanted to watch Kill Bill in the dark and I let homework go by the wayside for a few hours. I'm pretty easily convinced to take a break.

But I know that for any measure of fun and relaxation I take, I have to pay the piper :-\ and I'm off to do just that.

I will add though that this weekend I was productive in prepping clean foods for the week to keep me on track (nutritionally and financially). I made spaghetti squash spaghetti w/ a completely from scratch red sauce, a pot of chickpeas with garlic, onions, and peppers, a veggie chili with kidney beans, sauteed and diced 2 chicken breasts, steamed Asian veggies and sauteed some garlic-ginger tofu, and started a big container of ceviche.

I am so tired of my kitchen right now :p

Saturday, September 12, 2009

getting closer to Pisgah

We are less than 3 weeks away!

I'm half frightened and half ecstatic.

Bought a new sleeping bag this weekend (fairly lightweight) and feeling like time is going quickly now.

My goals for the next couple of weeks are to mainly make sure I stay committed to training my body and to make sure I stay on top of school stuff. Currently, I have As in anything we've had graded work in... but so much will be known after the first round of exams... a couple of weeks yet.

In all, it was a pretty productive weekend. I got a lot of studying done and got some short but serious lifting in on Friday (only spent 25 minutes at the gym, I like to get in and out of there).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Up to my ears

At least it's anthropology and not recycling that's piled up around here!! (took the recycling to the drop off center yesterday)

Here's the update:

Archaeology- not too challenging so far. Easy in fact. I know a lot of this stuff already. I've been asking pertinent questions about the lecture material in class and Dr. Roos appears to know me and says hi when we see each other in the halls.

Bio Ant- well... I have a 100% so far on quizzes and 2 extra credit points added to the final total. Whew. John Trainor's personal research is of particular interest to me, especially now that I am eating (somewhat) differently; human diet and evolution.

Bio Ant Lab- My prof for this is such a sweetie, but she's a VERY ditzy one. The manual we're using isn't that great, but it's interesting. I just wish I had more of a bio background.

Methods- Prof is rather vauge and undetermined to influence our decisions, seems to be wanting to be accepting of whatever choices we make and uninvolved at the same time. The general consensus among the students is one of fear and insecurity re: lack of parameters for the big ethnographic projects we'll be pumping out. I met with him today and he was rather helpful (considering his in-class attitude), so I feel somewhat better about mine...

Linguistics- Dr. Smid thrilled me today when she tied primatology into the lesson. Love that a) it all comes full-circle in Anthro and, b) Everyone I'm surrounded by ALL WEEK LONG is passionate about the stuff that I'm passionate about.

So on a very different note- still prepping for the trip to NC. B brought over the pack I'll be using so I can start planning and weighing my gear.

I've been working out as usual, but started amping things up about a month ago, even before I decided to hike the Art Loeb Trail. I'm still doing a full body weights routine rather than splitting up the lower/upper stuff like some (most??) people do. I've gone up about 15% all around in how much I'm lifting, too. Still Eating Clean too, minus a single beer yesterday at a Labor Day BBQ and minus a Subway sandwich- chicken and veggies on wheat bread, no mayo, today (forgot my food at home, doh!). The bread or chicken is giving me a bit of a stomach ache though. I haven't had bread in... oh I don't know, 2 months?? Ugh. No more.

Anyways, I do expect to find that my bf % has dropped when Megan evaluates me this week... I'm pretty excited to see where I'm at, but also pretty nervous.

I'm naturally concerned about food during the trip. I know how much protein I need for my active life (between 10 and 20 grams per meal, 5-6 meals a day) and I know I need lots of good carbs. But they HAVE to be lightweight and shelf stable too. Hmmm...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

mystery of mysterys... seriously

Last week, right before school started and my nerves were fraught and frayed, and on a night when my kids had woken me up a bit (not used to that anymore), and so on, I had a weird middle of the night phone call. I think it came at 4 am. Then an odd text from the same number "Sorry, my sister f---ed up".

Ok, so whoever called me accidentally

1) has my phone number saved


2) has a friend with a number very similar to mine and mis-dialed


has a sister.

Sorry to have put you through my initial deductive work unnecessarily but I looked at the number and wanted to smack myself. You know, you can delete a number but that doesn't mean that person will delete yours! I guess it seems like when stuff ends badly that's a given, but apparently it's not.

So, yeah. Got another mystery call last night/this morning. It's 3 am and I am in a happy place, right? And I get a call I ignore. They leave a voicemail I am unaware of until 7 am. They call back 5 min after the first call and I pick up on autopilot (BTW me on sleepy autopilot is about as funny and stupid as it gets) and he proceeds to identify himself as the friend of the owner of the recognizable phone number. A friend I was acquainted with 10 years ago.


"Uh, I have class in Tampa, IN THE MORNING. I think maybe you have the wrong number?"

Ok, the next person who wants to call me and disturb my R.E.M. OH BOY I am going to have words with you.

And I thought B had been kinda pushing it when he called at 11 last night...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Mission: Break All Comfortable Boundaries

In a month, I'll be heading out to Pisgah National Forest for a hiking trip that promises to obliterate all of my senses in a barrage of arboreal splendor. And don't forget knocking me out of my comfort zone!

The hike is 31 miles, mostly very steep, primitive, and I'll be packing everything in and out. To complete the hike, I have to make 10 miles per day, which would be no great concern if it wasn't for the altitude and terrain.

Thankfully, I've been getting in a lot of strength training so I feel better than I have all year.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hellooo there. Remember me?

This past week was really great and challenging...

- At the last minute before school started back up, I rearranged my bedroom, hung a white paper globe lantern, put together a bookshelf from Ikea (Yep, Justin, I ended up getting something particle board after all. Sheesh). Carried a sofa downstairs BY MYSELF and got everything 100% nice and tidy up there. If you know me, you know what a feat of heroic proportions this must have been.

- I prepared lots of Clean food, packed them in little containers (some frozen, some just refrigerated) before the week started so I could go back to school with a fully automated morning routine. Grab and go. Delicious.

- Monday morning Archaeology class was cool, and my prof looks JUST LIKE JOHNNY DEPP. It's a full class (50 students?), and lots of anthro majors in there. Many of them seem to be getting into archaeology too. Awesome to have the chance to spend time with people who share my passions.

- Parking at USF is an all out nightmare, even though I paid nearly $200 for the privilege.

- The drive there from here seems to take about an hour or so in the mornings. Parking there takes about 40 minutes. Coming home takes 40-45 minutes.

- Tuesday I had tea with B.W. in Tampa. We're going to meet up for Scrabble sometime in the next couple of weeks. He's studying for the GRE and promised to give me a run for my money.

- After that, was Methods in Cultural Research, BioAnt, and Anthro Linguistics (all Tues/Thurs classes). All of them completely magical in their own ways. Going to be a lot of reading though, upwards of 12 hours per week outside of class.

- Wednesday: Archaeology, then BioAnt Lab

- I hit up the yoga class on campus after Linguistics yesterday (Thurs) and it was awesome. Very challenging and just what I needed after being cooped up in the driver's seat all week. Then Charles, Amy, and Aves came over to my house and we drank wine, celebrated Charles' new United Nations job, and just enjoyed being together!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

that sheepish feeling

Whatever I denote as a problem always has a way of seeming really minor and unimportant after a few days.

I do feel lucky that I have the wellbeing to cook and clean. I am thankful for the chores.

See my muscles popping as I'm turning over this leaf? Gratitude, folks.

Friday, August 21, 2009

a few days away from all out insanity? nahhhh

"Everything will be ok, everything will be fine..." I chanted to myself as I lay huddled on the floor between the kitchen and living room.

My kids were playing upstairs, I could hear them, so I let myself just wallow for a bit, not wanting them to see me upset and knowing they would make plenty of noise coming down the stairs. At least the "everything will be ok" motivational speech was an improvement. Minutes before I was crying out that I just couldn't take it anymore.

"It" being the constant cooking and cleaning (and scrubbing, on hands and knees), over and over, with no appreciation.

First, I was making lunch. Fresh fish. My mom's recipe for red snapper; a tomato, onion, and garlic sauce. The kids had just informed me that they weren't going to eat fish (even though at the grocery store, 24 hours earlier, I asked them if they wanted some fish this week and they said YES) and then they ran upstairs to play, when I splattered red sauce all over my brand new white wrap style blouse. And then, I took to the floor, fetal-style.

Once I got up there was a blur of activity. Helen and I nearly ripped the shirt off of me as I poured ginger ale on it, and then I got out some of the spray-on stuff she has around that is miraculously formulated.

White blouse was saved.

But what about my mental health? Seriously. I'm in a bind here.

This is the situation- I have been eating mostly clean un-processed foods with the exception of some beer and a tortilla at Brian's house a few weeks ago, and a little Greek dressing on a salad I had at Ikea yesterday (origin of the dressing unknown). And this kind of eating takes more work than eating just whatever. And I honestly need to eat every 3 hours.

Planning, shopping, washing prep stuff, etc. Now, with school starting again, I have to really be on the ball, but time will be a big factor.

Now, I love my roommate, you know that. She is as important to me as my own family. And I want what's best for her, and I'd love it if she cut out fast and highly processed foods... but she's not capable of doing it for herself and I just can't do it all! I can't do all the shopping and cooking and cleaning for both of us to eat clean, and I feel terribly guilty to do it just for myself... that seems so selfish.

So I don't know what to do. Can I just lay on the floor and moan a bit more? Can I have a snack? I'm starving already.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Layin' Low

I've been getting things in order here, waiting for the (inevitable?) maelstrom that comes with a full time and then some course load.

Did I tell you that GPAs start anew when you transfer in to USF? I know!!!

I can have a 4.0 :D

I applied for a pretty decent sounding job today, but if I get it, I'll have to drop down to full time status, instead of full time plus. Which is fine. Whatever. If I get it, cool. If not, hopefully the person who does needs it more than I do.

But I'm just at home alone today, listening to music, cleaning, menu planning (healthy eating doesn't just HAPPEN. you have to make it work), and still more cleaning. No gym today. Bike ride, instead...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

making it work :)

So, my school schedule has morphed! Remember how I said I had a decent enough thing worked out, but that I had barely any of the courses I actually need?

I've been patrolling the OASIS site for registration non stop, and I mean constantly. All hours of the day and it's paid off.

New Class Schedule!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Did I mention that I'm teaching a historical fiber arts course? to kids?

I'm going to have to make a dozen lap looms, drag my my spinning wheel out of Harry's attic, and give it a tune up. Also need to purchase some rovings, some yarn, tapestry needles, and needle threaders. If I'm really adventurous I'll make an extra drop spindle or buy some. Oh, and I need to put together an expense list for my employer.

Then I have to make my power point presentations (one on the history of fiber usage, one that is a pictorial dictionary of technical terms, and one on modern fiber arts), quizzes, and take home handouts.

I keep wanting to get in the zone for this work, but when I start to get going it's unfailingly when I'm obligated/expected to be doing something else. And when I have plenty of unstructured time, there's not too much drive on my part to work on THIS.

OK, later, tonight. It's going to happen. Unless I get side tracked or sleepy or something.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

38 minutes

Not too bad of an evening drive, from north Tampa to my neighborhood.

Anyways, I got there bright and early (8 am). The campus is huge (I'm used to little SPC campuses), and signs for the orientation were, at best, sporadically existent.

The tone for the day was set by sorority hopefuls armed with high end accessories. I had a tall black coffee with me. We walked and walked (a mile??) to the Marshall Student Center where in a packed theater, seating several hundred, awkward presenters told us about this great new "transition" we were about to experience.

At this point, I still thought this was all kind of lame and unnecessary. Some people had brought their moms with them.

The presenters had us all stand and they sang the alma mater, which honestly gave me goosebumps. Maybe that's because the speaker told us he didn't want the first time we heard it to be at our commencement ceremony, and that just got me. I started to feel really excited.

Anyways, there were several mandatory seminars, several optional a-la-carte type presentations (I heard one all about parking info, one about the business end of school, and one about study abroad programs), then back to the big theater.

Eventually we were sorted, little by little, by college and major so that advisors could speak to us.

I was sent to see Dr. Edgar Amador, my advisor, in the anthro dept (funny how anthro depts SMELL the same all over the place), and hello! He is about 30, with wavy dark hair and eyes, and a pleasant smile. There's a road bike propped behind his desk, too.

Anyways, I was then sent across campus to the library to use a computer and pick classes. Ran into Matt Vassallo on the way, haha. Had a pain in the ass of a time picking classes because EVERYTHING IS ALREADY TAKEN. Argh! So I now have a weird patchy schedule. It's pretty much equivalent to a psoriatic dog, which is a slap in the face as far as schedules go, since I'm practically a senior.

After the first day of classes, if some kids drop, I can try to squeeze into the classes I originally wanted. "Want" is sort of the wrong word though. I only need certain classes to graduate (essentially just the upper level ANT classes), and I can't just waste time left and right with nonsense classes.

So, until further notice, I've got:

-Biological Anthropology

-Bio ANT Lab

-Spanish IV

-Geology- "From the Big Bang to the Ice Age"

-Ancient History I

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

what does one read after Infinite Jest???

Anne of the Island, of course. It's like comfort food for when life and literature has given you the howling fantods.

That's what I took with me to Pensacola and I was happy that I did.

I also started reading a Chris Moore novel, Fluke and it's really funny.

Anyways, things are chill here. I'm still eating super healthy (if you don't count the half dozen peach margaritas w/ whipped cream and maraschino cherry toppings I had in P'cola) and feeling really really good about everything; school, family stuff, and my personal life.

Monday, August 3, 2009

getting ready for 'back to school's

The kids got some shots today, in preparation for the coming school year, and I got my paperwork saying I have, indeed, once-upon-a-time been immunized too.

I've got an full day at USF planned for Thursday- mandatory orientation, advising, etc, but I already figured out my schedule myself.

And now, I'm sitting here listening to a painful reading about frogs and tadpoles. EXCRUCIATING. I should probably go and deal with this.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

every summer for the rest of my life?

I am happy to say that I picked the right major. This was sort of the test, you know?

If you can hack it in the sun and rain, with dirt in your ears, ants in your lunch, and bug spray in your bra... If you can deal with the metric system, with nit picky paperwork about the "official" color of soil at certain levels, with bosses who Humph! and Argh! at your team, and with co-workers who never stop wishing aloud they were somewhere (anywhere!!) else...

...then maybe this has a chance of working out.

Because not only can I hack it, I can do it without fail. I can do it without complaint, with my mind keenly tuned to what is being asked of me, while creatively helping to solve problems left and right.

Yesterday's work involved some graphing and I am proud of myself for not losing it with this one girl who is a non stop complainer. She was lackadaisically chopping at the wall of the unit with her trowel and her work looked terrible. (That's when I got to get in there and clean up her section, woohoo!) We were getting ready for photo clean, which is when it's cleared out, sprayed with water, and labelled for photos. Then everyone get's back to the less pretty excavation. But she was just being a PITA and I could not believe she is seriously hoping to pursue a career in this and complaining all the way. WHY do it if you don't love it?? There are a thousand other careers that are more lucrative fo' sho'. BAs in archaeology make $12/hour, MAs make about 35K per year. We are not here for the money, people.

That chick also said she doesn't "do the metric system" and when we were graphing elevations I (the newbie) had to explain in VERY basic terms that the height of the total machine must be subtracted from the reading and that it's based on the NAVD (North American Vertical Datum, 1988), and then the number John's shouting out to us from across the woods matches with the coordinate points I'm reading to her from the unit... And she's been out here every day for weeks and weeks. I JUST GOT HERE. I mean, really.

Oh but I am LOVING every minute. The heat is nothing to me, I just feel so lucky to be here. Imagining how filthy we'd be at the Yukon field school (living in tents for 8 weeks). At least here I can come back to the apartment equipped with wifi, house cats, and hot running water...

As far as my home-situation, and the loneliness:-\ I guess maybe it's getting better?

John was really pleasant and happy to see me on Sunday night. Monday at work we were fine, then he got drunk Mon night and was just mean. Tuesday my feelings were still smarting, so I was distant w/ him while working side by side, and Tuesday night he had to go to work (Starbucks, I don't blame him for feeling crabby) and didn't say more than 3 words to me between then and Wed morning. But the weird thing is that in the field he's cracking jokes NON stop and making voices all day long. And then at home, sullen.

Anyways, Wednesday night we actually hung out and watched a Scottish sitcom for a few hours and played Scrabble and laughed and argued.

Funny, though, his perpetual gloom cloud really puts other people in perspective. Everybody seems cheery by comparison!

Still missing my kiddos and my friends and my house with my bed and my pillows and the plumerias and the crazy squirrels outside and the familiarity. I def know which way my compass' arrow points for home, and I relish longing for home again and again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

running away from home will do a lot for you

Home is always more appealing when you've been away.

Do you remember when I had a very difficult spring and on a whim I bought airplane tickets to South America. I had no idea what I was getting into, I just needed to get away. And once there, I realized that it was not going to be easy and that I love the US of A and that I really just need to belong.

Anyways, I guess things are ok here in P'cola. Except I'm lonely. And all the Irish music and beer in the world doesn't help much. I still want to belong.

But here's a rundown of what we've been up to:

Day 1

GIS work with the Total Machine. It's a piece of computerized surveying equipment, and using it involves lot's of walking in the sun, lot's of recalibrating, and lot's of holding tree branches out of the way waiting for someone to yell across to you...

... ...

"GOT IT!!"

Then my team got to work on our unit (aka tidy rectangular hole in the ground). This is trowel and shovel work. There was a lot of measurement going on, photo clearing (getting the unit ready for the pics that happen at each level of excavation), and so on.

Day 2

A lot like that but with a very heavy rain which sent us home. I found some stuff, too, in the screening/clearing process. :D

Saturday, July 25, 2009

um, wow, so I really neglected you guys

Here's what's new:

I'm eating only really healthy unprocessed foods all of the time now, and by all the time I mean every 3 hours.

I'm leaving for Pensacola in the morning, looong drive.

I finished IJ last week.

And I'm in love with RJD2 right now, look him up on Pandora if you've got a minute to spare.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

if everything goes according to plans...

I'll be in Pensacola all of next week screening for artifacts and working in the archaeo lab.

Tremendously excited, but I feel like there are a million factors in play and afraid to let myself be sure it will work.

Between then and now, I'll just keep on staying busy... going to the free kiddo movies at Largo 8 tomorrow, still working out like crazy, finishing Infinite Jest (I'm in the last 50 pages or so now), going to see Otello (opera film) on Wednesday night in Tampa, and there are a few other things this week but I can't really focus right now.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I can write a helluva self promoting email

Just applied (by email) for an administrative assistant type job which I actually think I would find enjoyable and fulfilling. And it's in Clearwater, too.

And I'm qualified and "come highly recommended!" Oh crap. I hope I spelled "recommended" correctly in the email...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

a personal victory, ordinary run of the mill moments of clarity, & a startling IJ revelatory moment

This morning, I jumped out of bed (ok, what really happened was that I cheerily responded "Hello!" to a text that woke me up instead of the more typical "argh. do I know you?" See why for me that constitutes jumping out of bed?)ready to face my day and head to the beach.

I put on my bathing suit and checked my midrange sideways view in the small mirror of my jewelery box... and... kinda flattish tummy area. I mean, not flat flat. Not like before kids. Not like Matt V's prescribed "rock star lean abs" but people- in the past few weeks alone I have enjoyed cake and milk, several pints of beer and a hot dog, a sushi feast, more beer, ice cream with Reese's peanut butter cups smashed in for good measure, and arepas with cheese. [I also have had countless meals made solely of vegetable matter and have stopped using cream/sugar. I've worked pretty hard, in spite of the stuff I listed above (hitting the gym, riding my bike, and so on), so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised, it was just a startling moment.]

In that tiny little mirror, for about an hour, I just didn't look completely pregnant. And then I had an apple for breakfast.

Also- moment of clarity for me: I don't know how to flirt anymore. Uhhh. Ok, now what? Dang.

Thirdly, for the IJ readers out there: I read a DFW quote yesterday re: the use of endnotes vs footnotes. He and his editor needed a way to shorten the original draft of the book so they hit upon the idea of weeding out some information into notes. The editor thought it would be more reader-friendly to use footnotes instead of endnotes but DFW said that the use of endnotes "cutely mimics some of the story’s thematic concerns"...

In case you don't follow, what happens when you flip to the back and then back to your page and then back to the back and then back to your page? What are you reminded of? (Answer is a good tennis rally)

Then I was ruminating on how the whole narrative seems to be a tennis rally of sorts, bouncing balls off of different topics and they keep on coming with a sick speed. And then, like that, I knew what those orbs are in the book, marking various sections... And it was so obvious (not the moon or the sun or simply just a pretty, lightly shaded circle). They are tennis balls, flying through the book. Fwap. fwap. fwap. fwap.

Friday, July 10, 2009


So, 419 pages in and I'm suddenly afraid Wallace won't "deliver the goods". I mean, sure, reading for its own sake should be (and is) enjoyable, but I want to know that if I'm patient, I will be rewarded. I want there to be an ending.

If 'The Entertainment' ends up being like the gleaming contents of a certain cinematic briefcase... if the climax, gasping for breath, grasping a hold of everything it can in the moments before the (o ho!) parting of clouds... if satisfaction never comes...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ANOTHER reason to trust your instincts

Oh, I am half yearning for the gumption to say what I want to right now, and half happy enough that I have the restraint to hold my tongue. I don't want to burn bridges, ya know. I'll tell this story as a parable, make of it what you will.

I went to the Rays game with my friend (woo! 10-9, Toronto can just GO HOME!). Let's call him Matt. And he was, like, reaaally inebriated.

In the past few months he'd been trying to get me to hang out and I kept putting it off or whatever because I had this sinking feeling that he only wants one thing, even though his whole song and dance is all "Oh my gosh, we have an amazing deep connection, let's get crazy and find the Tao, etc".

And let me just say that I wasn't at all wrong to be suspicious. Sigh. And then I made a comparison between myself and a Tibetan monk, in order to illustrate my level of availability for anything beyond the platonic.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

wrestling with myself (just skip this post, it's lame)

-Working on my class plans and also avoiding finishing them. I'm terrified of rejection because the job isn't officially mine yet (nothing's official till there's a check in hand), but the orientation gave me a really good sense that it IS mine. Tricky rock/hard place kind of paradox here. Feel like I HAVE the job, so I'm less motivated to win it. Fear that I haven't got a chance, so I'm afraid to hear the final verdict.

-Had coffee and a free Rays donut for "breakfast" today because I've been eating so healthily otherwise (minus some carrot cake the other night, but I seriously couldn't say no to that). And the donut produced a nearly instant stomachache! Turns out you can't go healthy and then have a donut in the morning. Cake at night is fine, apparently, but the morning is not?

At least my kids are happy. They're sewing at the kitchen table and got to go to the movie theater for free today (wherein they ate the free donuts mentioned above).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

summer essentials for those without televisions

My bike is looking particularly smug today, with new fenders, grip tape, tubes, and tune up. And a couple of smart looking pannier bags. Helen and I reflected last night on how strange it was that I went from riding 50 miles/week to Not At All. I can only blame my own laziness to have the tune up/repairs made.

Speaking of cycling, Le Tour has started. Did you happen to catch any of the time trials on Saturday? I was at my friend's house so I got to actually see as Cancellara took the yellow jersey for the first stage, and Lance Armstrong's time was pushed back to tenth or so.

I'm t.v.-less here at home but there for updates. It's just really a lot more interesting watching live video than reading the live updates.

And did I mention here how I've been meeting my mom for tennis lately? (she's REALLY good by the way, and considering how she's more than twice my age... yeh) And my tennis gear fits in my pannier bags, lol. Who's enjoying all of this Free Unstructured Time?

Friday, July 3, 2009

I don't know if you read those links

The one's I have posted to the right? Well, one of my friends wrote a post late last night that helped me somewhat today. OK granted I am terribly low today, but it helped by bringing me back from extreme otherworldly dark lowness to a more corporeal ordinary broken-life low which seems like an improvement, except this for some reason hurts more.

For the record, nothing awful is going on in my life, besides being so low- in fact I had a killer day yesterday all around; I had a nice breakfast, played tennis with my mom, went out for tea with her, hung out w/ John in the afternoon, watched a funny movie/drank wine with Helen, and enjoyed a really good homemade soup. I even have a an exciting job prospect on the horizon.

Anyways, B's post about camping/trail riding says that sure there are unexpected miserable parts (forgotten gear, inclement weather, mosquitoes), but they help to create the stories you'll tell your friends later, when you come back. And he says life is like that.

So here's to the uncomfortable, unplanned, undesirable, mosquito bite ridden, miserably low days.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I had a cool idea for a short story

Two, actually.

And both are a little more.. sci-fi (??) than I ever write. Neh, not sci-fi, I don't know... I mean, just something else?

I enjoy the time-space-perceptionary stuff as much as anyone, but I never in a million years expected that kind of daydream brewing long enough in my head for me to want to actually sit down and make a note about it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I know I just posted my thoughts on Infinite Jest,,,

I couldn't decide if that should be followed by "but" or "so".

I know I just posted my thoughts on Infinite Jest, BUT I did a lot more reading and I have some thoughts and questions.

1) I felt funny about the chronology; years are labelled in a strange way (for example, The Year of the Trial Sized Dove Bar) and I wasn't sure WHEN things were happening. It was getting disorienting. I decided to trust Wallace as I had been instructed to, and when I got to endnote #24 it had worked itself out. Because Endnote #24 sort of lays out the (INSANELY LONG) chronology of James Incandenza's film-making history and uses the weird year labels.

2) Endnote #39, part a is freaking hilarious. Ha! "Les Assassins des Fauteuils Rollents, a.k.a. Wheelchair Assassins, pretty much Quebec's most dreaded [...] terrorist cell".

3) The similarities between IJ and The Royal Tenenbaums seems to be coincidental.

I will tell you about other things, too.

1) I'm still mostly eating crazy-healthy. I have re-introduced more variety, but still being pretty restrictive for the sake of getting fit and I think (fingers crossed) I'm making some progress. For fuck's sake, I hope I'm making progress.

2) One of the two hens got out when Conner was putting fresh water inside the coop the other day (or so I hear) and Sugar chased the poor thing for hours. It hid under Harry's house for the night and hasn't laid an egg since the ordeal.

3) Sewing a LOT. A lot of diaper covers. Hey- need any diaper covers??

Sunday, June 28, 2009

essentially on track with infsum

My favorite bits between the first and sixty first pages?

The opinions speech in the college admission interview, the quintessential stoner's shopping list, "happification" - what a RAD word (p 42), howling fantods, maternal and otherwise, the phrase "neuralgic with A.M. dread" which I personally know something of, and the reference to where 90% of people store their kitchen linens.

And that whole bit with the mold is just nuts, heart-wrenchingly nuts.

Here's what I'm wondering, though: does ETA (for Enfield Tennis Academy) read to you as Estimated Time of Arrival in your head when you see the letters ETA??

And do you think David Foster Wallace can be credited with promulgating the endearment 'Moms' as opposed to the conventional 'Mom'??? I do. I have no knowledge of anyone referring to their mother as 'Moms' until fairly recently (its definitely not unusual nowadays), which gives the trend sufficient time to have circulated beyond readers of IJ.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Henny Penny, and her compadre

Two important things you needed to see:


& How we do bathtubs in Colorado

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So...who else is doing the Infinite Summer? you there, in the back?

I want so much to discuss the first couple of parts of Infinite Jest w/ someone! Instead, I'll have to satisfy myself with telling you my own personal news:

So, I have a date on Sunday with this guy who's smart, funny, etc and it turns out he also Colombian. Wow, cool, I thought.

Turns out he was in my middle school gifted class w/ Mrs. Silos. Ha! Last night we reminisced: Remember when we had to memorized that poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley?? Remember when we mummified that chicken??? Haha!

Ans speaking of chickens... I secured 2 free range laying hens and a chicken coop for my kids today. For free. Just like that! Someone needed to get rid of them by Thursday.

Sweeeet. I love free stuff, even better when it's delicious free stuff.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Clearwater Beach Challenge

Jared, Dan, and I went bar-hopping on the beach a bit last night. Woot! two thumbs up for living in a (humid! hot! summer!) paradise.

So, here's the lowdown: I got to check out some of the beach bars I'd never been to before, didn't break any pint glasses, and didn't come down with those damn embarrassing hiccups, but I still fear I am maybe awkward company.

Anyways, it was fun! When it was my turn to buy a round, they gave the pitcher to me for half price and then the keg ran out so they threw in a free pint of a different beer (the bartender has offered to just top off the pitcher with a different... but eww, no). Then a minute later, Jared found eleven bucks on the strip and then Dan wanted a Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwich, so we got a bag full of free Rays donuts to end the night.

Friday, June 19, 2009

summer reading list

I've stumbled upon a magical formula for ensuring that we get out of the house early on Tuesday mornings this summer!

If you know me, this is no small feat (I tend to run late and I don't normally enjoy rushing my kids through breakfast and out the door)... We want to be at the free kids movie early enough to ensure a seat, therefore the kids cooperate. And then after the movie, we stop at the used bookstore which is conveniently situated nearly next door to the theater.

It's foolproof and failproof.

The first week I got Artemisia which is a Mannerist art history legal mystery/novel/biography about a female artist. Densely rich, and perfect for wasting long stretches of time while educating yourself.

The 2nd week, I got Julie & Julia, which I later discovered is being made into a movie. I can definitely see why. Funny and fast read.

Now, I don't know what I'll take home on Tuesday, but I'm shooting for a copy of Hamlet. Of course, I've read it before, but it's been a while and I'm on board for the Infinite Summer challenge (thanks, Colin!!) and I ordered my copy of the reputedly Joyce-ian Infinite Jest today on Amazon. The title is a reference to Hamlet and I hear that it's best to have it fresh on the brain when going in to IJ. Which puts me behind schedule because I read the few pages I could today on Amazon, but in order to read all of it (1000+ pages) by summer's end, I've got to average 75 pages per week.

Oh, but the first handful of pages? Charming! Funny! And, considering the opening scene is a college admissions interview, close to home.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

stark raving mad, and still writing complete BS but nobody's reading anyways so who g.a.f.??

So I ate like a loon for 4 days (heh, pun, like it??), subsisting on lemon juice and vegetable broth and stuff like that, and then I had a couple of days where I eased back in grains (whole oats, mmmmmm) and corn.

I had some eggs last night, with spinach and cheese. That concluded the easing back in to normal phase, I think.

Had a *bite* of the kids' whole wheat bagel w/ cream cheese today, too. And some of the homemade blueberry pie I waxed poetically about the other day.

That concludes that shitty part of this blog post. Really.

Now on to the totally inane: I think I am going to flake out on quitting men like I flaked out on fasting and "finding myself". I don't know, it sounds like a good idea, but really... I don't know. This is tougher than I wagered it would be. It's not just quitting men in actuality, to COUNT they have to be completely out of my thoughts as well.

Monday, June 15, 2009


To clarify what I said at the end of my last post: I haven't been seeing anyone. It just seems like it always takes a lot of energy and then when it blows up in my face nothing is as orderly in my life as it should be.

And haven't I dated a string of losers? I mean, I've definitely gone on dates with smart nice guys who actually LIVE LIFE (don't underestimate that qualifying factor), but I end up in relationships with the wrong guys. I've wondered why I seem to seek out trouble? Or why does it seek me out? Either way, it seems like a pattern that needs breaking.

And I have a lot of stuff to take care of anyway. And I have many friends who are contentedly living life single and alone (but not really alone when you have friends!), which to me, since having been married so young has always seemed like a bleak sentence. But I want to be that way now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

the kind of blog post I said I'd never write

So, I've been absent from my blog. Part of it, I guess is that I've been using twitter, which makes me feel lazzzzy for large-scale blogging.

And I'm in a bit of a funk. This is the very tail end of day 4 (really?) of an all produce diet I'm trying. It's possibly the ease-in-phase for a fast (a la cousin Alicia), but it's possible that I'll just go back to my normal healthy-ish ways and give up the extremity soon.

It's hard to say. I'm having a hard time remembering WHY I started down this path some of the time, and other moments it's fine. No extreme hunger yet. Just some moping over the unnecessarily odoriferous homemade blueberry pie in my fridge that I can't even sniff at lest I devour it, and the containers of fresh baked brownie that are stored behind cabinet doors now, because they mocked me all fucking afternoon. Thanks for bringing those brownies by, Sam.

So instead of my normal fare (lots of protein, whole grains, veggies, supplemented by plenty of junk like bagels, brownies, and chicken wings), I am eating produce. Only produce.

I started off doing just raw stuff but a certain craving hit and I needed hot veggies, so I went ahead and changed the parameters for myself.

And, so far so good. I guess. I mean, I guess the GOAL is to deconstruct reality and rebuild it. I have to unravel in order to reravel, etc etc so I guess going nuts is the desired effect?? I want to "clear my mind" and spend this time NOT eating "figuring myself out". Oh yeah, and resetting my palate.

And I'm not just off meat/diary (and in the next couple of days, all food in general)... I'm off men for a good while too. I think I need to figure a lot of things out.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I told you a little tiny bit about Atlanta (just the first day) and virtually nothing about the Decemberists show. Colorado, my cousin's wedding, and my birthday were completely unmentioned here.

I am just such an in the moment blogger that I'd rather tell you about how I've been awake since 7 am (unheard of for me) and BUSY. I'm listening to Blossom Dearie and Billie Holiday right now, and on a mission to clean house.

Also, we have WHO KNOWS how many watermelon babies on the way. A couple of days ago, there were four. Now it's upwards of 8!

Wednesday & Thursday- Atlanta

My cousin, Alicia, has known me since I was born, but since we're about 7 years apart, she and I didn't spend much time together. Besides, our HUGE family is just like that. There are so many of us and so spread out geographically (some of the time), and so much drama in our parent's generation that a lot of us cousins feel like we are breaking new ground.

Happy I was to learn that Alicia is a bit more high strung than I am (read: gorgeously kept condo, age appropriately trendy wardrobe, perfect figure) but really cool. We chatted music, anthropology, eating clean, and life's curve balls.

On Thursday, I did a whole lot of nothing in the early part of the day, and then in the evening, we went to the High Museum in downtown Atlanta for some local music (Hope for Agoldensummer) and a cappuccino.

Wednesday Night- The Decemberists

Alicia dropped me off in front of The Tabernacle an hour and a half early. I was going to walk around downtown a bit first and head over there when I thought the doors would be opening, but how lucky I headed in! The place was buzzing already.

I grabbed 2 pints and headed for the floor. In no time, I had scooted to the front row, just left of center. I made the acquaintance of a couple of young music ed students from Alabama and a couple of Georgia high school teachers. After a lot of standing in cramped quarters, Blind Pilot started things up. Their front-man is adorable. Consider me smitten. Oh! and he's a Gemini, like me. I'm on a Gemini kick, I think.

After Blind Pilot, I noticed Tabernacle staff bringing big stacks of fluffy clean towels out, in anticipation. It seemed like a good omen.

The whole gang of them looked absolutely grand. Jenny Conley came out first and started into the first track of Hazards of Love, while the rest of them came out. And they played the whole thing (it's a concept album with a plot), in order. Colin impressed me with his lack of attention hogging. So many other lead singers seem to want to dominate front and center, but he only did during his vocal parts, giving way to Shara Worden and Becky Stark during their parts.

And the girls were amazing. Extreme. The whole band brought so much energy to the show. And the crowd was great too.

Following Hazards, they took a break and then came out for a second set... which included a bunch of songs (Shiny, July, July, The Bachelor and the Bride, Engine Driver, Shankill Butchers, 16 Military Wives, Dracula's Daughter, O'Valencia, an insane cover of Crazy On You by Heart, Raincoat, and A Cautionary Song with some crowd-interactive improvisational theater. I mean, they got down on the floor with us and were goofing off. Crowd surfing a bit.

After the show, I waited by the buses for a bit with a small crowd to meet the band. :) Colin is as nice as you'd think. Nicer, maybe? He seemed genuinely surprised when I told him this was the best concert I had ever been to. "Really?" he asked with a smile, "That's great!" :)

Colorado, My Heart

Early on Friday, 4 am to be exact, Alicia and I headed off for the airport. Some cute guy (and about my age) with dark curly hair offered to help me hoist my duffel bag into the overhead compartment and Alicia intercepted, saying "No thanks!! She's got it." And I was going to just be all "Oh, thank you kind sir." I found out later, when we chatted a bit, that he's a CO native.

Denver is actually pretty full of attractive people. We helped my cousin get ready for his wedding (some of my cousins later did some whining about this but what ever!) and got to meet the family of his bride. And, not to mention, we got to socialize with each other. It had been at least a year since I saw some of these relatives, 3 years for the others. Uncle Marty, Danny and Cindy's dad, I hadn't seen since I was 6 or 7 years old.

The mountains and cliffs were unbelievable. The air so light and crisp you actually wanted to run around until you felt lightheaded. It was wintery and just absolutely perfect.

The wedding, utterly romantic. Their chupah was adorable and I hope their home life together is as sweet as this was for years to come. We did plenty of talking, dancing, and drinking (who could forget the antique clawfoot tub in the outdoor reception area filled with ice and bottles of wine??). I stayed up till 5 am with Rick King, Alicia, Dan, and Ave.

Sunday- On My 26th Birthday
I woke up (just a couple of hours later, at 7:30)and realized I had a potential disaster on my hands. My cousin, Irene, had left for the airport in Denver w/o me! There were about 60 people staying up there in the mountains, friends and family, but we all had different departing schedules, so we had tried to organize ourselves accordingly... but there must have been a miscommunication. I'll go ahead and assume the error was mine. Anyways, I was "2 hours" away from the airport according to those who were non-locals. It ended up being a hour and 20 minutes with one of my cousin's friends. He was headed back home to Denver and the timing was just right! Whew.

Back home, I got to hang with my kids and give Cora some birthday presents. I took the kids, my mom, and Helen out for ice cream and just marveled continuously at how much oxygen we have in our lowland air.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Colin and I :D

So, Atlanta is always this healthy??

Last night was the Decemberists show at the tabernacle, and I will write a whole post for that when I get a chance, but I just wanted to say that I am kind of reeling.

I tend to consider myself a pretty healthy person (except when I get in a writer's funk and start binging on alcohol, coffee, and barracuda) but seriously:

Breakfast today was an apple.

For lunch, I sauteed 2 eggs w/ bok choy, a small handful of mushrooms, and red pepper flakes. Served with whole wheat flatbread.

Snack- some raw oats.

I love whole food, why don't I grocery shop like this for my house? The night before I left for Atlanta I had 2 burritos, some donuts, and a few glasses of wine for "dinner".

Monday, June 1, 2009

trying to head this off at the pass

I really want to be more zen, and instead I am stressing and lame.

Maybe it's post-wedding blues? Maybe it's from drinking a lot?

I cried at the ceremony when (the insanely gorgeous) Simon Tetelbaum started things off with the kindest words ever spoken. I cried when Mr. Gus spoke up and said that he and and his wife "give this woman away".

I shed a tear when John and Laurie danced their first dance, and then later on, I cried when I accidentally texted Tom my ex, when I had intended to text Helen. That was actually really really not good. I was fairly drunk by then, being who knows how many glasses in to John's rad punch and a few glasses of champagne and white wine as well. But it was mostly happy crying.

This is the level of merriment we are talking about: There was blood on the dancefloor at one point (before anyone had dropped a champagne glass), and we were just like "everyone ok?? alright, party on!".

By 3 am there were tuxedo shirts and dresses strewn here and there all over the deck. Folks hit the hot tub, pool, and The Gulf of Mexico armed with nothing but full bottles and gallon size zip-lock baggies of leftover gourmet hors d'oeuvres.

Laurie (bride), James Wight (friend from the groom's side), and I closed the party out around 5 am on Sunday morning. We were talking art and philosophy until we finally fell asleep in the living room (minus Laurie, lol) of this incredible beach house... however I was awoken twice between then and 8 am.

The second time it actually involved me. I just had to go move my car a few feet so someone could get out. That should be really simple (right??), and grabbed my keys, and dashed out barefooted, and still in my sexy floor length black dress.
NOTE: I left the gate of the beach house ajar so that I could get back in and go back to sleep as soon as I was done. Sleep deprived, yes. Stupid, no.

And then, while I was in my car, someone else came out and slammed the gate shut. Seriously. I thought about climbing over the (sharp metal) gate, except I was in the gown and had no underwear on (long story,but not what you think). So I had to go on a long walk to find a condo building that had a beach access gate unlocked. At 8 am. In a black floorlength gown.

Back to the couch. I wanted to sleep but then it was just a lost cause.

We found one person in a house of 20 occupants who had 4 Advil (worth their weight in GOLD) and went out for a stylish post wedding breakfast. All the while, I had on my bravest face, but inside I was slowly melting down.

Now, a whole day out (is that all?? geez) and I am marginally better.

I have to go pack, though. I'm leaving, on a jet plane, for another damn wedding.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Invincibility of You

The entire lineup of stories on this week (all previously aired) seemed to be hitting on a common theme: the juxtaposition of the weaknesses and flexible strengths of humanity.

Studio 360's interview with Thao Nguyen takes the traditional indie-artist interview to a different place. Instead of the cheaply predictable discussion of favorite records and touring mishaps with a nice smattering of catchy clips from her newest album, Jesse Dukes gets serious with Thao at an Arlington, VA, laundromat, of all places, and interviews her mom, Nan, too. They talk about how Thao's dad walked out on his family, about how Thao sees similar non-committal tendencies in herself, and about the hard times that followed the divorce as Nan spent all of her savings on a laundromat which she still successfully operates today. The story seems to not be so much about a new album at all at a certain point, but about fragility and resilience, and I can't help but see every person I know in it.

The piece on modern photography, specifically On The Beach, by Robert Misrach, creates the same effect as the interview with Thao. People going to the beach is such an ordinary thing, especially here in FL. During the months after 9-11 Misrach was going through a period of profound artistic depression and had subsequently gone to Hawaii where he was re-inspired. Peering from his hotel window, he unexpectedly saw something precious, vulnerable, and frightened in the everyday beach goers during this period of time and he got right to work, documenting it.

Scenes that would have before seemed ordinary had a darker quality, for example a couple embracing out in the water appeared to be clinging to each other for dear life. People splayed this way and that on beach towels appear to me like lifeless bodies obscenely tossed across the landscape. The gigantic semi-aerial photographs are the vacation souvenirs of our collective American anxiety in the early 2000's.

How funny that this makes me think hopeful thoughts for us as a whole; that there is someone out there able to make money on human vincibility means our economy can't be THAT broken afterall. Maybe we are in pain, but we'll live to see another day yet.

Scripps National Spelling Bee

We're still watching it, in bits and pieces. There are all these interruptions like having to sleep and eat, geez. ;)

Anyways, I'm eagerly anticipating being able to watch the last couple of hours of the Bee, however I don't know when that will be. I'm going to go pick up Conn in Pinellas Park now, then zip back over here to get ready for a BBQ at the Bohler household.

Tonight, we're celebrating the eve of the ever-elegant-Laurie's wedding. Then back home with my kids to put them to bed. Tomorrow, I'm babysitting Avery and taking my kids to a little birthday party and then back home to get ready for the beach wedding.

My dress is an absolute masterpiece while still being casual enough to get more use out of it... but I still need to do my nails and so on. I'd like to squeeze in more time at the gym, too, but there are only so many hours in the day! :(

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

groan. I hate being mean.

It's after ten pm and my freakin kids are still upstairs talking to each other and giggling. There was a lot of discussion about who got which pillow, too. I had to get all cranky and say enough is enough. But they are still talking.

And in the morning I have to force them up and pry their little asses out of bed.
I am so tired of this. GOOD F---ING NIGHT ALREADY.

[Addendum, I also hate when people can't handle homonyms. Seriously, and it's more annoying when it comes from prospective employers and people who have been to college. Which, if I am correct, is where they teach you things. If I have to read "I hope to here from you soon" or "Their is an opening now!" again, I'm going to lose my cool, and WE DON'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN]

je pense, tu penses, il, pense...

One of the best reasons to have a roommate is having someone to practice foreign languages with. Helen, thankfully has studied as many of years of French as I have, and has the same sort of interest that I do in recapturing and retaining it.

We've been busy bees here, playing with Rosetta Stone (thanks a million, Lloyd!), watching French movies, reading en francais, listening to tapes, etc.

Here's what I think works, and what doesn't.

5+ years of study YES, WORKS but if 6 or 7 years go by without practice, you lose a lot.

Rosetta Stone Program Yes, helpful. IF you already have the background, I think this is a fun way to refresh your vocabulary. Without the background, good luck. Conjugations are barely covered, if at all!

French In Action video series YES run to the nearest library. Radically good for verbs, adjectives, and nouns.

This week we also watched Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, two classics.

The book I've been reading is a collection of short stories by various classic French writers, and it's sort of hit or miss. While I liked L'Etranger well enough 9 years ago, now Camus leaves me wanting... something. His plots are not just sparse but invisible. I just finished L'Hote (The Guest), and while I get it, I just don't get it.

Still working on The Atheist's Mass by Balzac. Slow going, that Balzac.

Anyways, it's almost my birthday month. Why did that seem funner before I typed it?

Monday, May 25, 2009

my pigeon, my little lamb

Cora, with her painting that was chosen for an art show, May 2009.

Conner turns four, May 2009.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

fun-> laughter-> slight embarrassment?

-anthro lectures on youtube

-pitchers of Sierra Nevada in Dunedin

-sitting outside en plein air because it actually STOPPED RAINING for a sec

-wii sports! I'm not so good, but I play to win.

-a terribly embarrassing case of hiccups

-going home so late it's early

Friday, May 22, 2009

so went out with that anthro-guy the other night...

Maybe I was too generous when I described him as "wonderful" and "considerate"... I was poignantly reminded why, years ago, I had nicknamed him " _____ the Asshole".

I picked him up at his parents' house in the burg and we proceeded towards the tavern.

Literal "banter" from the first five minutes of the date...

me: so... you know how to drive manual transmission?

him: of course I do. I have a cock (gestures); I can do anything.

And, later on.

him: awww.... should we get you a map so you can find first?? [first gear]

him [during our vicious scrabble match at the bar]: you are making this game completely worthless!

me: you are SO much less annoying with your clothes off!

He started to open up and not be such a jerk when we were approaching his parents' house again. We were actually talking and sitting in the car and then I said maybe we should drive around the block, since we were getting along for a bit.

We went to Crescent Lake for a little while, and then I took him back home, before I'd feel compelled to strangle him again. He kissed me good bye and told me to not 'be such a stranger', and said that I'm still welcome to stay with him this summer, when I'm in Pensacola.

Ha, right.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

the one where I discuss (complain about?) dating and sex and objectification and everything personal

Woohoo! It seems that I'm wholly OUT of break up/rebound territory. Not bothered much by the ole BC any more these days. Except yesterday, when I drove past a black Jeep Cherokee and I think the driver and I made eye contact. And the driver had a square shaped head, nice lips, and black nerdy glasses. I almost threw up, but thank goodness I had to shift into 3rd and didn't have time to get all dramatic.

Helen and I recently noticed that single-ness becomes me. I am happy and healthy. I seem to think that I like relationships better, but when I'm actually WITH someone, I turn into a wreck; self denial, weeping when I fear it's OVER, manic happy episodes when things are good. With someone, I tend to drink too much, miss too much work, and ignore my other friends. It's awful, really.

But dating is a miserable pain in the ass. Let me tell you. I've not really jumped back into that pool yet, just texting with a few people, wetting my feet, so to speak. And you know, I wouldn't even bother, except that I really do want to believe in the whole "falling in love" thing. And if you want a dating relationship to go well, I've learned you must take it a little slower than you'd like and postpone sex until you've defined the relationship. Both of those things are NOT things I'd prefer to do (I'm terribly impulsive), that's just what I've discovered through all my, uh, research.

And I declared late last Dec, after B and I broke it off for good, that I was done done DONE with casual sex (because of the health risk, not because of the psychological implications). And then I was in a monogamous relationship again (which made me miserable) for a while, and now single and wishing I'd not said I was done with casual sex, because if I'm also not getting into a relationship, that's pretty much the same thing as saying I'm done with sex altogether. See? This is a moebius strip conundrum all the way! Argh.

Now, I want to add that my anthropologist friend (who I "have some history with") is in town, petitioning for a bit of my time, and casual is the agenda. It's not very well hidden. Actually, it's completely blatant. There never was much pretense with him. And the kinds of things he says in text are so crazy and outrageous, part of me wants to slap him. But he can back it up, let me tell you. And my brain likes the banter, anyways.

But wait, didn't I say I was DONE with all of that?

So my questions are:

are men who pursue women for sex instead of relationships OBJECTIFYING them?

is objectification actually wrong if it's consensual?

is it any more forgivable if the man is wonderful, brilliant, and considerate?

is it any better considering that I've always happily enough walked away from the affairs in the past?

what if it turns out I can't fall in love without it being a disaster, anyways?

If I can't have what you have... a hand to hold, a compadre, a partner in crime, a yang to my yin... can't I at least have the hot (knocking over lamps and chairs and tall piles of books) sex?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I fixed the crazy guy link

...crazy guy on a bike

Eat My Shorts was a summer camp show, right?

Picking out summer camps for the kids is not as easy as it seems- there are so many to choose from!

Cora's school is a location for SPC's 'College for Kids' camp. Core knows one of the offerings is Math Camp and she told me last night she DEF doesn't want to do that one, because she likes "science... you know, learning about things that happened a long time ago, and how people lived in the old days?" LOL. History then. (Apples don't fall far from the tree do they?)

Conner's school (which I LOVE, even though it's a church school) has a summer camp too, but it's pretty costly and not very long hours (I think pick up is at noon, and I need to get a job). The benefit is that I know the quality of the care there. He's mostly into making paper airplanes these days, and comes home with about half a dozen each and every day.

The rec center, however, is even closer to our house than their schools are, and it might be cheaper too. Conner isn't in Kinder yet, so he can't go to 'College for Kids' but he might be able to go to the rec center camp.

I'd like them to go to the same place, if possible...

Monday, May 18, 2009

I stand in awe of this man (and his project)

At SPC, I had a really really great boss.

(So great, I'd rather answer a phone by chirping "Mr. Hemme's office, how can I help you?" than any other way.)

And not only did he manage the (surprisingly tumultuous) Math and Science Departments with calm fairness and a steady hand, he carried a dream inside of him like a tiny lit coal.

Ok, maybe that seems like too much fluff, but we are talking about a middle aged man with a wife, house, career, bills, cars, a son in college, "responsibilities", and all the other trappings of life in the USA. And he IS LIVING HIS DREAM: TO RIDE HIS BICYCLE ACROSS THE NATION. Yes, instead of watching cable.

And I hear so many people muse about what they would do if only...

Friday, May 15, 2009

I think I have my faculties back (& FYI neurotoxins suck and I am officially too old for this kind of thing)

It's been a week since the neurotoxins entered my body and I'm getting back to normality. The paralysis in my right hand is a lot better, so that I can do everything (well, nearly everything) that I'm accustomed to.

During the first few days I experienced imbalance while walking, temperature regulation issues, weakness, and dehydration, but mental fogginess was the most annoying symptom of the ciguatera. I had this vague sense of deep loss and it was really depressing (depression, another supposed symptom). Having discussions with my friends, typing/using the internet, dressing myself, cooking/housework, and just any kind of making sense at all were all REALLY difficult for a few days. But we've all pitched in concerted efforts to make sure I will regain whatever part of my brain was destroyed.

Since the poisoning, I've taught myself to drive my new manual transmission car, have been going to the beach, reading a lot, exercising, and playing scrabble almost daily. If this is rehabilitation, I think I like it.

But this whole thing is sort of ironic and sad. I, of all people, champion the deliciousness of all the little creatures of the sea. I am a huge sushi fan (yes, the raw kind). Eel, squid, octopus, mussels, and conch all sound like dinner to me, every day of the week. And now I am supposed to abstain from seafood (as well as caffeine, nuts, and alcohol) for a few months, to ensure that I don't have a resurgence of cigua-terror.

But you know what I think? A life without seafood (or coffee, nuts, and liquor) is a life hardly worth living.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mester Morel shan't have gone to hell

Oh no... hell might be too tidy an end.

Instead, he should have paid for his (fictional) transgressions by first being fed aquatic neurotoxins that would leave him retching and grasping for sanity, and then he should have to lay down in the FUMC's wasp-y morning car circle for luxury car after luxury car to use as a speed bump.

Ok, maybe that's too violent. Well then, the lovely wives who wear diamonds in the morning, blonde and beautiful, tan and incredibly fit, could look down in disdain and he would be in HELL.

ANYWAYS, can you tell I'm reading Sons and Lovers (D.H. Lawrence)??? This book has been in my collection for so long, it has both my name and James' name in the front cover. And if you have to ask who James is and why his name is in the front cover of my book, well, then you haven't known me more than a decade.

I sometimes wonder if I did the wrong thing by breaking up with him. I think he would have been true to me, I think he would have stood by me when I wasn't blonde enough, or Protestant enough, and so on, but I would have been relegated to raising my children out of the back of our green and white VW bus.

Wow, I feel so old and frumpy and PLAIN all of a sudden.

Do I need to put on my diamond earrings and go to the gym or something?

Monday, May 11, 2009

ok, I owe you a few details

So, Death Cab was great, and the Hard Rock is like the State Theater vectorized to twice the size. Sound was good, the light show was beautiful, etc.

The opening act, Matt Costa was great, too.

I got right up front. Which is good because with only my cell phone camera, the pics would have been a total disaster from any farther away. I was all smiles, relieved to not run into the most recent ex, thrilled with their set list, although it included the overly-obvious encore piece, I Will Follow You Into The Dark (which I love, but I don't want to know it's coming, I want to be surprised...), and although there wasn't much comedic banter between the band and the audience.

Hopefully the Decemberists show will be more banterful.

now I've got 5 speeds of fun to play with

whenever I feel well enough...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I was poisoned by a barracuda

I'll tell you about it later. Totally 120% exhausted from the ordeal and my stupid right hand is numb numb numb.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

the official colors of victory: range road perrywinkle and herculean green

Last night was pretty monumental. I had my trig exam, and I knew I'd gotten an A on it. I did my biology final. I passed my (completely lame) Computer Competency test.

After the exam, I trembled and spoke quickly, caffeinated out of my mind. Helen picked me up and we went to band practice, where I had a little bit of a freak out in my head. I couldn't help but feel the swell and break of the waves.

Adrenaline coursed through me, as I thought about all of those nights that were spent pouring over my books. The cramps I've gotten in my hands and neck, from note-taking or working on papers. I have cried under pressure, begged for drugs to help me get through it, and shook with relief each time a semester ended.

And last night, the sky and the leaves against it seemed to be as jubilant as I.

Maybe this is a miracle... even all the rough patches, the dropped courses, and the occasional bad grades... I am not only graduating, but WITH HONORS. The shock is still with me.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

ways the SAT has changed in the past 7-8 years

- There is now an essay portion, graded by humans, that kicks the whole morning off.

- They actually ask a lot less demographic-type questions in the packet you fill out at the beginning of the test, as well.

- The math sections do seem a little harder, but thankfully my skills are better than they were In The Year 2000.

- The reading portions, easier in general, and easier for me, too.

"It's like, what is this? The Love Connection at 5:30 with Travis Short?"

Many funny things were said during study time today. That one (above) has got to take the cake, and I wish it'd been me that came up with that quip.

See, there are these two people in the front row, directly in front of me and to the left a bit, that have this nutty chemistry. They're always, like, poking each other with pencils and someone today said he's picked her up before to crack her back (???) and they just have this... vibe. It's hilarious, really, except they are both seeing other people, somewhat lackadaisically. I pretty much put money down that they get it together at the midnight hour, and go out after our final Tuesday night. Unlike Madonna in that movie where she's on a deserted island with her one true love?

I don't know, I've never seen that movie. I'm just talking.

I did, however, watch I'll Never Be Your Woman and Knocked Up over the past few days (due to cutie Paul Rudd being in them both).

Thursday, April 30, 2009

no, THIS feels like falling

I am barely verbally coherent. Bare with me. Bear with me.

Around 3 o clock, an allergic reaction of some sort popped up while I was at work. I ran upstairs and rummaged through a medicine cabinet for a bit, popped a couple of Benadryls and went back to sorting papers.

Then in Trig class tonight, Mr Short;s voice got really loud and the room wavered ever so slightly. My stomach roiled. My blood pumped furiously (couldn't everyone hear it??).

I had a few panic attacks (not out o the ordinary, but unexpected since I do feel really at home in there) while he was discussing our tests from Tuesday night. I did get #32 wrong (didn't carry a negative sign while multiplying something) but he curved us 3 points so I still got a 100% on the test... and a couple of p attacks. Go figure.

Anyways, sick to my stomach and wondering when this crazy feeling will stop. I want some hot food but can't be trusted to cook right now. I clearly need pizza.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

and it felt like falling

I walk into Trig and am greeted by HotTrigGuy standing and throwing his hands up in the air and saying "SuperStar's here!" and since I'm sometimes bad with compliments (esp when I want to neatly fade into the background) and brush it off with a "Ah, whatever.." and a smile.

I get settled in and help the student next to me who speaks predominantly Spanish, and then I try to study, but my cheeks are still hot from the loud compliment.

Travis puts the exams at the front of the room and a line of students form there, each turning in homework and picking up a test, like lambs to slaughter.

The time passes as I fidget, I scribble, I erase, feverishly working. HotTrigGuy waits for me after class so we can compare notes on the test, as we've become accustomed to doing. I say aloud that it was the hardest test yet, but that I think I did well.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

weighing the literal costs

So, I've got a couple of flowcharts made so far, and potential budgets for every outcome.

The situation is as such:

-Waiting, agonizingly, to find out about the internship. If I get it, clearly I'm taking it. It pays and will help me to afford WHATEVER I end up doing over the fall (in Pensacola or Tampa).

-Due dates for fieldschool applications are around the same time; May 1st for the Yukon and May 4th for Tanana Basin, Alaska. Yukon cost is $1,470 and Tanana Basin is about $960, unless I've done the math incorrectly. But I MUCH prefer the Yukon dig; it incorporates many cultural ant. projects, while Tanana is more strictly Archaeologically oriented, and we will be working side by side with local tribal groups, and even attending a potlatch to honor the recently deceased son of the one of the leaders.

Because field school costs money, instead of paying me for my time, it leaves me less able to afford a potential move. My coffers will be nearly emptied. And since I'll be away I won't be working here, but I'll still have to pay my rent, unless I "move out" of my apartment and figure something out when I get home. Then I'll just have to rent a storage facility.

Moving to Pensacola to go to school in the fall IS within my budget right now, if I don't spend a ton of money over the summer, but there will be court costs to consider, because Harry's not willing to even negotiate with a mediator.

Once I've figured out what IS and ISN'T even plausible, I can make a pot of tea and sit down to meditate on my options. I'm considering calling in a professional, as well, for some advice.

Monday, April 27, 2009

fortune cookies

Hullo, just sitting here at work but I wanted to share this with you. I just got the most appropos fortune in my cookie:

"It's not the plan that is important, it's the planning"

That's EXACTLY right on for today. My fb status is all "serious choices, blah blah" today, too.

Oh, and the other side of my fortune told me how to say 'watermelon' in chinese and I WAS LITERALLY EATING WATERMELON right then. I wish I was eating chinese food, but hey. Poor planning, I guess?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

the feminists lied to me

There's been a recent surge of affirmative action in family courts leading to fathers being given custody and support more frequently, but at the same time, traditional values are still holding sway (at least here, in this culture) which relegate mothers to packing lunches, folding underwear, and other intellectually stimulating endeavors instead of furthering their own careers.

I am feeling really irate because the last 4 years of my life were spent doing both- toiling over my books and exams and enriching my children's lives while living on a meager income. All the while, trying to get good enough grades. I've made it to the end of the road.

I'm graduating. And there is no celebration, only deep blackness.

To be hire-able in my field, I'll need my MA. I don't intend to work in FL, so getting my MA here in field ANT makes about as much sense as trying to get a job with Bear Stearns. As a concession to my family's needs, I'm pursuing finishing my BA here in FL, but apparently that's not enough.

I have to choose between doing this AT ALL or NOT AT ALL. And I'm not very happy about that. Harry's calling all the shots right now, and I think he kind of loves that all my work has been for naught.

Should I even bother, or should I just give in to what he wants?
Should I just pack up and leave?
Should I just get a job in a restaurant and have nothing for the rest of my life?

I'd have my kids, sort of. I mean, isn't that how our culture defines a woman, as a mother?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I could win THAT challenge

Is there or is there not some kind of chickpea eating contest out there? I really think I'd have a shot. Oh, not quantity, sorry; I mean constancy. I could probably eat them everyday for, I don't know, 2 months? forever?

Anyways, that has nothing to do with this but I am watching a movie that Drew left with me a year and a half ago. Remember that guy, Drew, that I dated? He was the friend of one of Cassie's friends. He said, "Oh, watch this (The 40 Year Old Virgin), it's really funny!" and I couldn't bear to, for all this time.

But it took watching 'I Love You, Man' (with Jason Segal and Paul Rudd) last night to make me google Paul Rudd (because he looks JUST LIKE my future colleague, Krebs) to see what else he'd been in. And apparently he's in this movie that's been sitting on my bookshelf for almost 2 years.

And that has very little to do with this, except it's hilarious, too.

Friday, April 24, 2009

experimental cookie update

Little pats of butter, and Conner peeking over the edge of the table...

Food processor, which just blended chickpeas and a few tablespoons of cream.

Oatmeal cookies!

So, Harry arrived just as these were coming out of the oven. He likes healthy food, and even bakes birthday cakes for the kids with low amounts of sugar. We figured he was a good candidate to taste test these.

We asked him to identify the "secret ingredient" and he identified the oatmeal and bananas right away, guessed coconut next!

Thanks for the tip, Amy!!

the great cookie experiment

I am about to make cookies, and my non-recipe is non-traditional. Wish us luck.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

an email from Dr. Worth

So, the field school in Pensacola is not going to work out for me this year. It's been a bit of a blow to me, and a reminder that when you have a timetable, you damn well better stick to it! [in the fall, I knew I could graduate and go on to university to get to work on my upper level anthro courses if I got an A or a B in my math class, but instead I didn't do well enough in Dr. Geiger's trig class and had to stay at SPC for the spring, to finish up. Therefore, I didn't get my upper level pre-req's done before the summer semester.]

Field school there was my plan B anyhow, but I liked having a solid plan B. Plan A is really more of a pipe dream. When I first brought it up, I asked my friend, John Krebs III, if he believed in praying. And then a moment later, if he would say a prayer for me. His answer was yes, but that he advocates expecting the worst, so you can be pleasantly surprised when you are wrong, but I'm having a hard time with that.

But, I've applied to UWF and they genuinely sound like they want me, but it's not official yet. I applied to FSU, too, but I'm cranky with them for a few reasons, and might not really consider going there if accepted, even though 3 weeks ago, I really did want to.

Instead, I've been house hunting in P'cola, via craigslist. And I can really see in my mind's eye my things packed up and in the back of a small U haul truck. I can see my new home (away from home??), my residence for this new phase of life that is unfurling like young leaves. I see a brick house with a bay window and a backyard. I think I'll buy a used piano, since we've grown used to having one around. How apt, to be finding a way for new beginnings when springtime is hitting us full force here.

I won't be settling in until right before the fall semester starts, though. And it will be a bittersweet move, since the kids will stay here for the first semester I'm away. But I shouldn't get ahead of myself; I still have the uncertainties of summer to deal with.

Monday, April 20, 2009

and because comfort reading tends to be done with a snack in tow...

I'm also re-committing myself to getting back to the gym and in better shape.

Not that I've gained a ton of weight or anything, maybe just a few pounds in the past month or so, but I feel like improving my cardiovascular health has been on the back burner. And I don't see the same muscular definition that i saw a few months ago. I guess this means no more afternoon chocolate bars? No more late night snacks when I'm already full? No more carb laden breakfasts?

comfort reading??

What do you do when things in your life are shaky or times loom with uncertainty?

I get back to reading. When life is beribboned and gay, it's easy to let the books sit silently, but certain situations (ie; breakups) call for comfort reading.

Starting in the middle of last week, I picked up The Long Winter, a Little House book that I'd first read when I was still in elementary school. I read it in 24 hours. Then, a day or so later, I moved on to Little Town on the Prairie, the next book in the series.

You guessed it, since then, I have read from there through the next two books (the last two in the series) as well.

I've been reading These Happy Golden Years to Cora, strangely enough she wanted to read that one next, skipping Plum Creek and everything that happens before the spring after the long winter... Oh well, I've just been explaining as we go what the heck everyone's talking about. Like when she asked me "Mom, Mary's BLIND??" and "She went to college??".

Ok, so for the sake of not talking to myself- what is your comfort read of choice?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

the berry-eaters

Dover, FL, was a success today. Mission accomplished. I'm tired, dirty, and daydreaming of how in touch with my humanity I would feel living on a farm!

In case you've never been "you-pick" berry picking, the story is that organic farmers hire field hands when their season starts. Those choice berries go to markets all over the place and then they open for "you-pick" when the general public can come in and get berries dirt cheap.

It's not easy work, since it's so hot and sunny and many of the remaining berries are small, buggy, dry, or still under ripe. But amid all of the duds are more good ones! Anthropologically, this is fascinating to me. The kids and I wandered the field and let ourselves be drawn to the right spots. My method is to let my vision blur a little as I walk and when RED and SHINY catches my eye, I drift over and focus a bit.

The sun heats the berries, which burst sweetly between your teeth. Gnats and small black ants are our cousins in the field, searching from row to row. The biggest ones seem to hide in the center of the plant, but the most flavorful ones are the ones that extend from the plant and are roasting in the afternoon light.

The berries continue to ripen throughout the season, so if I was to go next weekend, there'd be a whole new set of berries to pick. But, as it is, I have my work cut out for me... it's time to make my ruby-red preserves.