Friday, April 27, 2007

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

I'm such a loser. I have to post something just so that horrible picture where my head looks like it's way bigger than it should be with a brain my size isn't the first thing to pop up on the page. So, here is a random picture of my daughter for your viewing pleasure.
Thank you to all who took the time to comment on the make-up free picture, though.

Monster Mash

Steph over at Adventures in Babywearing challenged people to post pictures of themselves without makeup. This from a woman who looks gorgeous without any make up at all. So, here it goes. I apologize if any of you have just eaten.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

I have to leave this face at daycare? With strangers? No way.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Shelter from the Storm

I spent the last three days trying to understand what happened at Virginia Tech. I did what I did after September 11th. I obsessively watched the news. I read stories online. Checked out blogs. Thought about it from an anthropological perspective. All in a feeble attempt to understand it. To find someone capable of telling me WHY such a thing would happen.

I got to my college campus yesterday. It was a semi-typical April day - overcast, showers, raw. As I walked to class, instead of trudging through with my head down in thought as I usually do, I looked at the faces of the babies around me as I passed them by. Eighteen. Nineteen. Twenty years old. So full of potential. Not innocent, certainly, in the strictest definition of the word, but innocent nonetheless. My iPod brought up my favorite Bob Dylan song, one of my favorite songs ever sung, Shelter from the Storm. How ironic. The song usually gives me a strange combination of sadness and comfort. Yesterday it did that very thing, but it was oddly different. There were kids walking in groups, couples holding hands, drinking coffee, talking on their cell phones. Doing what college kids do. And should be doing. Not looking over their shoulders. Not walking through metal detectors to get to class. They are here and bursting with thoughts and ideas and potential.

My professor I teach for ended the class with an announcement that her TAs would be giving their students the opportunity to talk in discussion sections about what happened. She explained what happens in some chiefdom societies when someone commits a heinous act. The family sends the perpetrator away to live with other kin and then take the brunt of the disgrace and are left to pay restitution to the rest of the villagers. She asked if the students thought that a "loner" personality was possible in smaller scale societies. It got me to thinking about the role we play, or should play, as human beings in reaching out to loners our society creates. I met with the first of my discussion sections. Their normally sassy dispositions were muted when I asked what was on their minds. "Fucked up." That summed it up. I tried to ask questions to make them think. I ended up asking questions that made me think. Do you feel safe? What is the line between freedom and security? What is our responsibility to reach out to others in need? I heard rants about the Keystone Kop-reputation the campus police have, but I also heard that the students themselves needed to take part in their own security and not totally rely on others to make them safe. I heard concerns about stereotypes of ethnicities and people with emotional problems. I heard flippant comments masking fear. I heard apathy masking frustration. I heard sadness and wistfulness and hope all at one time.

Four hours of discussion sections later, I drove home in the dark wondering who would give me an answer. How could this have happened? How could that poor, disturbed kid have slipped through the system that time and time again tried to address his issues but ultimately threw him back into the world? How could 33 people, bursting with potential, be wiped off the planet in one grim morning? What can we do to stop this from ever happening again? I wish I had the answer.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Crazy Train

Crazy train, indeed. Her expression says it all. Three weeks of school left in the semester and I haven't done an eighth of what I need to do to be done. Papers to be written. Collections to be inventoried. Exams to be written. Grades to be calculated.
I interviewed for a dream job and am waiting to hear. In the meantime, I was offered a part time job that I could do with my eyes closed and one I would enjoy. It, of course, does not have diddly squat to do with my career and doesn't pay enough/provide enough hours to even pay for day care, let alone pay my bills. Do I accept it and then recant if, by some act of God, I get offered the dream job? Do I say "no thank you" and pray for a miracle? I looked at applications for shit jobs online. Not that I'm above a shit job, mind you, but one of the chain grocery stores' applications includes questions like "How many times in the last three months have you taken money from your employer that you did not earn?" and "How many times in the last three months have you engaged in a loud argument with a boss, co-worker, or customer?" WHAT? Okay, first of all, do I want to work in a position that they would hire those who chose choice anything but choice A (zero)? Even if you were lying, who in their right mind would admit to it??? I really don't want to be a night produce clerk. I'd like to spend my hours of the wee morning fending off my daughter punching me in the eye as she sprawls out between me and my husband, or nod off nursing her in the rocker, hoping I don't let her roll off my lap. Not making small talk with Bubba about where she got her smashing tear drop tattoo. Call me a snob. I won't argue with you.
I'm frantically searching for day care somewhere that hasn't hired Nurse Ratchet. The thought of putting her in day care makes me want to sob out loud and chain myself to the couch with her in my lap. I also didn't realize that "part time" is three full days, not five half days or any combination of "sometimes." I have to pay for "full time" even though as it stands, I'd only be working "part time." That was dumb on my part. But now I don't know what to do. Can't pay my bills without working. Can't pay for daycare on a part time (or two part time) salaries and have any left over for my bills. I know I am not alone in this dilemma. God bless Canada. One full year of paid maternity leave, from what I understand. One more reason to be Canadian.
ANYWHO, yet again I find myself blogging when I should be working or sleeping. I don't have any other way to vent at the moment on any sort of regular basis. So, even if no one is reading it, I feel better. Cheaper than therapy, this blogging is. Thank you.

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Eat the Rich

Ah, self-feeding.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Mean Girls

My husband has saved our baby from my evil plan of her sleeping in her own crib for once. She woke up a countless number of times since I put her down at 7:30. I attempted to be strong and stand next to her crib and pat her rather than pick her up, rock her, and eventually cave and take her to bed so she can sleep like the queen she is. My mother-in-law is right. This last round of crazy ended in him coming in and bringing her into our bed. Here I sit, avoiding finishing some schoolwork that I need done for tomorrow. I'll get back to it momentarily. Really.

I sucked it up and went to a playgroup at our local library today. AND survived to tell the tale. It initially was like my high school cafeteria experience. A bunch of women cliqued together by socio-economic status. All looking at me like they just peeled me off the bottom of their Dolce and Gabanas. I sat on the floor with Millie and watched the kids play. She was fascinated, thankfully. I say thankfully because she is a total skittish chicklet when it comes to noise, people and strange things. Also because she nixed her morning nap. Of course. A very cool looking woman came in with her child and sat across the room from me. Very crunchy and arty looking. WAYYYYY cooler than me. But she came over and talked to me anyway. And that makes her the best kind of cool. She looked arty because she IS an artist. That'll do it, eh? Nice, nice, nice woman. Cute, cute, cute son. We chatted for a while before Millie let me know it was getting to be a bit much for her. As I was leaving, one of this woman's friends came up and was introduced to me and-GET THIS-she's an anthropologist!!!! What are the freaking chances of that??? She knows my boss and a bunch of sites I'm familiar with. So, perhaps I'll go back next Friday. Perhaps I'll write about it a bit more eloquently. When I'm not exhausted. When that'll be, I don't know.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Time is on My Side

I don't know where the last week went. I planned on blogging last week-a full week ago. And, nada. Last Thursday was representative of the week.

4:00 a.m.: Millie is awake. Poking her fingers in my eyes, up my nose, in my ears. Pulling my husband's armpit hair. Screaming to hear her own voice. In our bed, because I was too lazy to sit up and nurse her at midnight when she woke up. My fault.

5:30 a.m.: Millie is still awake and now she's pissed because she's been awake and in bed without entertainment (besides the entrances to my body cavities) for an hour and a half. I get up and shower.

6:30 a.m.: My husband leaves me with the jumping baby.

7:30 a.m.: The crazy sets in.

8:30 a.m.: She's tired, tired, tired and refuses to go down.

9:30 a.m.: I decide to run some errands in the hopes she'll fall asleep in the car for a few minutes. We go to Staples and she's moderately well behaved.

9:50 a.m.: She's asleep, mercifully, in the car. Figuring she'll only sleep for 20 minutes or so, I opt to drive around and be disgusted with the development in the area of snooty shops pandering to people with money and absolutely no originality. Tear down a tobacco barn and build a Pottery Barn. That's fantastic.

11:00 a.m.: She's still asleep and I am still driving.

11:30 a.m.: I am lost in Ellington somewhere. She's waking up and now she's hungry and pissed.

12:00 p.m.: I find my way home, walk through the downstairs apartment door and think, "My Lord, what is that stench?" The stench is a giant BJ's size bottle of Lysol cleaner has taken a suicide leap off the shelf and split open all over the kitchen floor. On the plus side, I have a really, really clean spot on my not-so-clean kitchen floor. On the downside, it has eaten away the glue under the tiles and now they are peeling and curling up.

12:05 p.m.: I attempt to clean some of it up without asphyxiating the two of us. She's still hungry.

12:10 p.m.: I opt to open all the windows and doors and feed her. She then watches me clean it up while throwing random Tupperware containers at me from her booster seat that is perched in the corner of the kitchen.

1:00 p.m.: The panic starts to set in that I have an interview for the job I really really really need the next day and I am not prepared. I try on my outfit while my daughter looks at me judgmentally, noting that it isn't dressy enough for an interview. Okay, that was me projecting, but she would have been right. I scoff at the fact that my shoes don't match.

2:00 p.m.: I decide that at least my shoes can be polished, so I pack her into the car and go to the shoe store for some polish. I make the rookie decision to look at shoes that I can't afford rather than going straight for the polish. I linger too long, being the shoe whore that I am, drooling over fun shoes I'd buy if I wasn't poor. She starts to fuss. Loudly. Thankfully, the music is so loud that her screeching hopefully isn't registering with anyone but me. I grab what I thought was shoe polish and head out. Of course, it isn't shoe polish.

2:30 p.m.: I wrestle with Millie to get her into the carseat. Her new trick is thrusting herself down to the bottom of the carseat and going stiff as a board while I'm trying to strap her in. Usually while screaming. Her screaming, not me (not usually). I look up to find one of my school acquaintances in the next car over, looking at me like I've lost my mind. She'd be right.

3:00 p.m.: I attempt to entice Millie into playing with her stuff on her bedroom floor while I go through my answers to the hokey possible interview questions. She finds it much more amusing to climb on my lap and rip my papers in half.

4:00 p.m.: After abandoning my hope of preparing, I make dinner with her in the exersaucer and not happy about it at all. So, I amuse her by practicing my interview answers on her. Which turns out to not be so amusing to a 6 month old at all.

And the day continued from there. I finally had some prep time thanks to my husband. I went to the interview and it went moderately okay. I don't think I got it, but time will tell. At least my shoes were shiny. That's one of the pluses to being married to a veteran. He shines a mean shoe.

So, that typifies my days over the last week. Sorry I have been such a stranger. Happy Easter, Passover, or Thursday. Whichever you celebrate.

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