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.