Saturday, May 31, 2008

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

My BFF (, who also set me up with this blog, bestowed this very thoughtful award on me on her own blog, after one of our mutually favorite bloggers of all time ( passed it along to her. And, no, I still don't know how to post the link as anything by the URL.
Jessica is one of the wittiest women I know, who possesses a unique combination of liberal feminist, intellectual giantry, and raunchy girl-down-the-block that all the boys want to get with and all the girls want to hang with. Check her out if for nothing else than the unbelievable photos she posts as the banner on the top of her blog.
Although I have never met SUEB0B, her blog puts forth someone who is smart, hysterical, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and determined to make the world around her a better place not simply be being in it, but by being an active participant. We need more women like these two, folks. Not women who spend their days in full-cat mode, living to cut one another down, hoping their hair looks better than the woman in the next cubicle over, spreading viscous rumors in hopes of destroying someone else's good fortune or hard work. Check them both out. Their blogs make my day a little better each time I tune in.

Monday, May 26, 2008

This Bed's Too Big Without You

It's 5:30 a.m. on Memorial Day. Animal is actually sleeping and now I can't. My husband has the shitrific night shift, so he was gone all night. I miss him. I feel so guilty. He took another substandard job to accomodate MY life and career change, and now he's stuck doing shift work. In the city. That's what I want for him-driving into downtown Philly at midnight to start work. Work that involves cleaning grown men's shitty diapers. He's applying for grad school for the fall semester. Please say a prayer to whatever God/dieties you chat with that he gets in.

The apartment we put a deposit down on was given to a couple that looked at it the night before. However, landlady said she had another one they were working on with an extra bedroom and a larger yard that we could have for the same price. We said sold! and she said it'd be available by the end of May and she said she'd call us Mother's Day weekend. And then didn't. We chased her for three days before she called us back, at which point she said, oh, it's taking longer and more money than anticipated and won't be done until the end of June and by the way we have to charge $100 more than I told you because of all the extra costs. There is NO housing available for our price range with more than 1 bedroom except in the middle of the gun-ridden city I work in. But, if we wait that long, it means I bring our new baby home to my parents' house. Which I wasn't/am not thrilled with. We are still looking for another apartment, but with no luck so far. I need to get over it. We are saving money, it'll be easier for my folks to help out with us here rather than 25 minutes away, we are being freaking pampered to the hilt. There are people who bring their newborns "home" to shelters and cars and under bridges. There are people who bring their newborns home to a ghetto apartment they share with 15 other family members. This is a comfortable, big house with a yard my daughter is obsessed with. I should shut my pie hole and thank God. I also don't want to be any more of a financial/time burden on my already generous parents. They swear they don't mind, but it has to be getting old by now. My husband is psyched that we'll actually be living somewhere with windows that function and that has more than 1 three-pronged outlet and that there isn't a toilet leaking on our heads from the apartment above us, all scenrios we have had in our last two places. He's willing to wait for a place with "new" amenities, then so I am I.

The baby is due in three weeks. Now, bear in mind that all of our belongings are jammed into my parents' garage. And I packed only the stuff I thought we'd need through the end of April. No warm weather clothes, no larger clothes for the ever-growing Animal, no newborn stuff. My husband's been on me to pack my hospital bag, but I had NOTHING kept out with which to do that. My poor dad and I pulled out as much stuff as we could from the garage last weekend, but didn't find what I needed. So, on his one day off, my husband took EVERYTHING out of the garage. Everything. And managed to find everything I needed. AND fit it all back in with room to spare. All without a complaint or one iota of attitude. I must have done something right in a former life. He's so good to me. Scratch "good". Fantastic. I spent yesterday sorting out and washing newborn stuff. My GOD it's small. It's only been less than two years since Animal was born, but I forget how freaking tiny newborns actually are. The socks, my LORD! Tiny. The baby seems to be doing well. I ended up in the hospital with my asthma, which hasn't bothered me since the last spring I spent in the Lehigh Valley.

Animal is up. Have a good Memorial Day. Think of those gone and those that will lose their lives in this senseless war over the next year.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Good Day, Sunshine

Has it really been two months since I have written? Dooce has 200 entries cued in my bloglines, so, yeah, that's about right. How the hell are you all? A few developments since my last entry...

Animal is a kid. That's right. No baby left. She's in a big girl bed, sleeping through the night for the most part. I get to actually sleep next to my husband, and not have the funnity of grasping onto the very edge of the bed while my protruding stomach hangs off and using one hand to fight off a baby that still gets comfort from groping her mother's breasts all night long. Most importantly, it's good for HER. She naps better, wakes up in a good frame of mind (for the most part) and loves her little bed. She's talking in full sentences, complete with articles and correct pronouns, counting to 10 on her own, singing the alphabet up to G correctly and then here and there for the rest of the song (V is her favorite, thank you Elmo.). She's sassy as ever, but so much fun that sometimes I think it might make my husband's head explode. He loves her like no other. So do I.

Baby Two is doing well, I think. He/she's being a trooper, putting up with all of mama's crap. She's squirming around as we speak. I'm enormous and still have almost 6 weeks to go. No, REALLY enormous. I found an OB practice I really like. We did a refresher childbirth class and hospital tour the other night with a few other couples, one of whom included Charlie Sheen's harder-looking twin. He and his wife were a riot. The other couples apparently had large sticks up their arses. NO sense of humor. They were all like "oh, we have a doula" and did NOT find the shrine in the nurse's station to George Clooney amusing at all, whereas I just about wet my pants laughing. Not that wetting my pants is an anomaly these days, but I'm sure that's too much information. Sorry. Anyway, the baby is doing well. I showed Animal some photos of babies in utero at 8 months and told her that was what was in mommy's belly. She stroked the pictures and gave me a kiss and a big hug. She's so stinking sweet. We'll see her ACTUAL reaction when the baby is competing for my attention.

We think we found an apartment we can sort of afford in a nice community. The commute is going to continue to suck for my husband, but he's willing to take one for the team so I can be closer to work, we can find daycare somewhere easy for me and my parents (our only back up) to get to in an emergency, and is in a decent neighborhood for what we can afford. My paycheck is even more minuscule than I had originally anticipated, so the quality of our housing had to be severely downgraded. What's new.

Work is going okay. It's a little like selling your soul to the preservation devil at some points of the day, but in the end I know it's important to have someone there to balance saving cultural resources with practical issues. I spent the last 4 days on field visits in a big, bumpity van with 10 sweaty guys driving to places I never thought I'd see in rural Pennsylvania, holding my bladder and trying not to get carsick. Apparently some poor bastard threw up last week in the van and that's been the talk of the department. I would like to think I'd garner a bit more sympathy as an 8-month old pregnant woman, but somehow I doubt it. They have been stellar about giving up their seats near the front and, with the exception of one particularly nasty project manager who apparently gets off on making people as miserable as he is, about making sure I'm not doing the peepee dance for too long if avoidable. The field visits are interesting. I work for a particularly hated, visible governmental agency, one of which is hated mostly for things I have absolutely no control over. Nonetheless, I am amazed at how many people, particularly in one district, will speed up and aim when faced with a group of workers squashing themselves against a guard rail on a bridge rather than slow down and move over. Nicely done, vehicular drivers of Pennsylvania. You know you are in rural areas when you get out of the van and are greeted by a guard duck. I shit you not. I think it was a goose, but my co-workers disagreed. Later in the day, after we parked in the driveway of a very cute but sadly maintained bungalow owned by, apparently, Ted Kosinski, covered in No Trespassing signs to check out a project, we had a dog turned loose on us. That was fun. WHY we chose that driveway to pull into, I am not quite sure. Not the smartest move we made all day, but we survived. So, I'm settling in. After 6 weeks of commuting a minimum of 4.5 hours a day for training, I am moving into my district office. I still have to go back to Harrisburg for training over the next few weeks, but more of my time will be at the district office between now and my due date, so that should lighten my load a bit.

Well, it's time for me to hit the shower and get to work. My poor mother is up and ready to take Animal when she awakens. At least it's a reasonable hour this morning. Have a good one, people. I miss you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back in Black

My God, it's been too long. I hope you all (okay, all three of you) have been doing well.

I'm a day late and a dollar short on this, but it's been stuck in my craw, so I must vent. Who the hell does Hilary Clinton think she is? She wants Obama as HER running mate on HER ticket as HER vice president? I don't know nothing about this new hard math and all these complicated delegates and all, but last count, Obama was ahead. I find it arrogant and misguided and delusional and smarmy. I find her arrogant and misguided and delusional and smarmy, too, so I guess that fits.


I got through my PhD comps, finally. They were great questions and I feel like I am about 134% more prepared to write my dissertation now, and that's the point. On the other hand, I hope to God I passed because I never want to have to do it again. Never. Ever. There's nothing like trying to finish writing a 25 page paper in 24 hours when your husband is sitting next to you narrating the magic special on television. Neither of us are magic fans. Why choose that moment to start to care? Oh-that's right. I didn't. Otherwise, he was awesome, as usual. But, lemme tell you how nice it was to spend the WHOLE day with him and Animal on Sunday rather than running off to hide in my stinky, sauna-like office at school to shove my face in pages and pages of articles I should have read a month ago.

I survived the conference. Not my most stellar performance, but it's done. And my advisor is still talking to me. It's all good.

I start work in less than two weeks. Oh man. I'm excited about starting, I think. I'm miserable leaving New England. However, there are a few things I won't miss about here. The windows that don't open, don't stay open, or have glass panes ready to fall out of the sash if you walk by too hard. The exterior doors with the handles that don't work. The dry heat that runs at either zero or 130 degrees. The garbage that blows into our backyard from the white trash neighbors' apartment complex. The suicide turn you have to make into our odd one-way street. The shower that lets 80% of the water go through the bottom tub faucet, all of which is the hot water. The hot water heater that subjects the first shower of the morning (mine) to about 30 seconds of warm water and then trickles off into cold. Why bother shaving my legs at all? Neighbors that won't talk to us, likely because we live in the apartment house that separates the single-family owner-occupied homes from the low-income rental properties with driveways filled with gas-leaking cars and buildings covered in asbestos siding. The lead paint filled pantry and porch. The undergrad that argued he should be formally excused from a quiz Friday because he wanted to leave for spring break early. He told us ahead of time, so that counts as excused, right?

There about 100 things I will miss about being here and our lives here. But, I have cried enough in the last five weeks. I don't need to start again.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


My PhD exams are OV-ER. O.V.E.R. over. O!V!E!R! Ding dong the witch is dead - o.v.e.r

I got the J.O.B. I start in less than three weeks. Y.I.K.E.S.

I have to present at a conference on Saturday in front of my major advisor, most of my academic peers and God himself. And I haven't finished writing the paper yet. C.R.A.P.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Butter Me Up

So, I'm multi-tasking, talking on the phone to my BFF, letting Animal have some yogurt as her snack before bed, trying to clean up the table from dinner. I have to use the bathroom, as the baby has decided to plant himself directly on my bladder 24/7 now, so I run to use it while talking on the phone. Classy, I know. But it's Jessica. She doesn't care. (Do you?) I left Animal with my husband's back to her. I made blueberry pancakes for dinner-what better on a cold snowy night than a breakfast dinner, right? Well, I hadn't cleaned Animal's tray from dinner, so I pulled her up to the table for her snack. Risky on its own because she likes to push off with her feet and try to tip herself backwards. My kid, alright. But this was a whole other risk she took that I found upon returning to the dining room. She had pulled the butter dish up to her place at the table, with the now-soft butter stick in it, stuck both hands in it and now grinned at me looking all sorts of guilty with eight of her ten fingers in her mouth. The butter is now sculpted with deep finger holes in it and she proceeds to wipe the butter she hasn't consumed all over her face. Smiling. My kid, alright. Sorry, Jessica, for having to go so quickly. I feared the hair-smearing was next.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Come Downstairs and Say Hello

That last post about Millie sleeping. Complete anomoly. She's been back to her old ways. Someday I will be strong enough to break her. Not tonight, I can tell you that.

Exam #3 down. The question was fantastic and thought-provoking, but couldn't be answered by the readings I chose. I had to dig through my dusty brain and revive stuff I haven't thought about in 15 years. Not a bad thing, but not the point. It was nonetheless a great exercise.

I heard about the job. Can't give details at the moment, but with all the rigamarole I am going through, you'd think I was being considered for National Security Advisor. And, trust me, I'm not. Especially not for the horrifying, insulting salary they are considering offering me. The stress of it all is killing me.

The spell check is not working on my blogger tool box. I apologize for the many mistakes that are inevitable in my posts. For someone who was reading at age 3, I mystify my mother with my complete lack of spelling ability. Between my woefully pathetic inadequacy and my painful shyness, I'd throw my first word during school spelling bees just so I could sit down and my stomach could stop hurting from the stress of it all. Sad.

Must go cram for my next exam. I had about 5 things I wanted to blog about and they are all gone from my head.