Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Velvet Underground

Okay. There is a totally weird morning sub-culture that hangs out at Panera's. Who knew? I am such a recluse that I am not accustomed to sitting somewhere for a long period (is an hour a long period?) of time by myself, nursing an iced coffee and doing schoolwork in public. I keep waiting for someone to ask me to leave or keep eating. There should be rules posted somewhere. Or I shouldn't leave the house. Or be equipped with a sign saying "BEWARE-SOCIALLY AWKWARD" on my chest.

Labels: ,

Wordless Wednesday 8 29 07

Happy birthday to my older brother, who turned 41 this week. This picture sums up our childhood relationship. I worshipped him. He couldn't stand me. In the midst of it all, our mother dressed us like Bicentennial Day float characters. In her defense, it was 1976 or 77.


Spanish Sunrise

First day of school for me yesterday. It was fraught with the usual UConn ridiculousness. Keys that weren't available, technology that didn't work, students that needed to overenroll and me too nice to tell them to bugger off. I am saddled with the two most annoying classrooms on campus. One is about 70 feet long and 20 feet wide at the most. For only 45 students. It's like I'm trying to project to the back row in church. Because that's where everyone sits, of course. I'm used to either a huge lecture hall or a smaller, more intimate group. The other classroom is shaped like an L and I'm at the top of the long rung of the L. There are 6 totally obstructed view seats. I think they should get a discount on their tuition. Like at a concert. It's hard to tell what the students will be like. They are generally pretty quiet the first day. I saw some smiles and head nods as I was talking, so that's comforting. I had one sleeper ALREADY, but in his defense it was about 400 degrees in both my classrooms. I myself just wanted to curl up on the desk in a pool of my own sweat and nod off. I think it'll be fine. I get the sense that there are a few students that will be enthusiastic talkers, and that will help. One of my sections includes the honors students (WHY they gave the honors cultural anthro students to an archaeologist, I'll never know), so they are usually pretty conscientious. Hopefully. My husband and one of my good friends who is visiting from Spain are guest lecturing on Thursday on fieldwork.

So, our friend is staying with us. I didn't realize the magnitude of how much I missed her until she showed up on our doorstep last night. She was the one friend I made at school that I could be totally myself with, call just to say hey, and sit with a cup of coffee with and talk about complete nonsense for hours on end. She is the reason my husband and I got together. We all met in grad school and my initial reaction to him was "What a gigantic jackass." He was one of two men in our department, one of which I erroneously thought was gay and the other was my husband-straight out of the military, very good-looking and a giant flirt. Traci got to know him before I did and convinced me he was a good guy. So, I gave him a chance. And here we are.

She's not a big kid fan, but was anxious to meet Animal, who was completely silly with her all morning. She brought her the coolest piggy bank from Seville, the kind that is ceramic with no bottom opening. Once it's full, you have to break it to get the money out. It was on the table this morning and Animal couldn't stop pointing and talking at it. She called it a dog. Close, I guess. I'm looking forward to the rest of our visit with her. Did I mention I missed her? She's a close second to my RI friends, who I miss on an hourly basis.

So, now I'm sitting in Panera's using WiFi, feeling like a big spacone, trying to give her some space to get going after a long trip last night. She just called and she's on her way out the door to run some errands. She couldn't lock the top lock on our inside door so she locked the bottom, which I don't have a key to. Hopefully I can break into the front door. Ha.

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sad, Sad Situation

I got the email I was dreading. The position went to someone else. Nice news the day before I have to start teaching. My eyes should look like someone double punched me by tomorrow morning. I have to focus on the good points. It would have been a job full of abuse, all of which I could have handled. We would have had to move and put Millie in a new daycare. I get to be at home with her four days a week rather than two. I can hopefully concentrate on finishing my degree so my name tag at McDonald's will feature the letters "PhD". You know you'll be getting quality service, then. No average fries for you. There's a plan. God's got a plan. I just wish I knew what it was.

Poor Animal gets all squirrely when I cry. She actually tries to make me smile-she'll put her hand on my face and grin and touch my tears. Have I mentioned she's brilliant AND intuitive? Ha.

So, in the new vein of concentrating on the positive, we had a great day on Saturday. She started off by feeding herself yogurt with the spoon mostly by herself, with at least some success.

My aunt, who doubles as one of my best friends, came down. She's one of the only (okay, the ONLY) people Animal is not freaky with. My aunt has made an effort to visit very often and get to know her, THUS, Millie actually knows her. Unlike everyone else. The local children's museum was having a fundraiser that involved a local farm being open to the public. Millie was absolutely enthralled by the cows-
So enthralled, in fact, that she managed to keep her hat on. The general rule of thumb is I put it on her, she rips it off and attempts to throw it out the window/off the bridge/into a pile of manure/mud/garbage. We also took a rockin' hayride pulled by a 1949 tractor. She went nuts. It was all about pointing and "oooooooo"ing and jumping up and down.

Why does my husband looked pissed? I have no idea. Maybe because that was the 8,943rd picture I had taken that day. I have an addiction. So sue me.

After the free (Oh yes, I DID say free) ice cream and a feeble attempt not to ridicule the absurd and talentless, but I'm sure well-meaning old white man attempting to rap in an effort to entertain the crowd, we headed out. Animal fell asleep on the way home so we drove up to a duck pond in the next town, where she woke up and again, had more fun that one 11-month old should. A very nice woman offered us a piece of bread since we didn't have any with us. Millie didn't quite grasp that it wasn't for her to eat and got P-I-S-S-E-D when Iain took it away from her. My little one doesn't like it when she's told she can't put something in her mouth, especially a carbohydrate. She loved the ducks, nonetheless.

All in all, a very good day.

That's my aunt and I with Animal. Note the gigantic Scooby Doo head in the background. Those are the things my nightmares are made out of. Although, the clown face ones are worse. Straight out of It.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, August 24, 2007

Waiting on the World

Still no word on the job. That's not a good sign. I'm so stressed that nerves in my face are jumping. Help.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Old School

Still waiting to hear on the job. "They" had to post it internally for two weeks. The end of that two weeks is Friday. "They" are supposed to be announcing their decision then. I have resigned myself to the high probability that it won't be me. There are reasons why that's okay and I have to focus on them.

School starts on Monday. I have two sections of Social Anthropology to teach, one of them an honors section. Too bad I'm not a social anthropologist, eh? Jeez. I have taught it before and have been blessed with fantastic, enthusiastic students. I hope I'm lucky again. We'll see. I teach it from an anthropology of yourselves point of view since most of them aren't anthropology majors and couldn't give a rat's arse about it. I force, er, teach them to think about how anthropology is relevant to their own lives. We're using blogs and podcasts for some of their assignments, so hopefully they won't find it to be a total snoozefest. I make, I mean, encourage them to talk about gender identity, "race" and ethnicity, social stratification, religion, all things that they should have an opinion on. Let's hope they are talkative.

My pumpkin is asleep for the moment. She was benched at school for diarrhea yesterday, which she has had since Sunday. It took until yesterday to have three strikes at school, thus the parent call to come pick our poop-filled child up. Her diaper region is the color of fresh strawberries, the poor thing. I wish I knew what was up. My husband picked her up from school yesterday, so today was my turn to stay home with her. Minus $100 from my meager paycheck, thank you very much. Oh well. All part of parenting. The plus is we get to goof off all day, all in the name of recuperation. Nice.

Labels: , ,

Wordless Wednesday 8 22 07

I know I'll be flogged by all those summer-lovers out there, but fall is coming. I can't wait. Foliage. Cool, crisp mornings. Pumpkins and gourds and squash, oh my. Sweaters. That smell of leaves falling. Apples that snap when you bite into them. Hot apple cider. Holy crap, I can't wait.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Walk On By

She was on a mission.
A mission to walk. She took a few steps.
Stopped to vogue for her grandfather's camera.
Took a few more steps. Paused again for effect.
Took a few last steps and ended up in mama's arms.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Love of the Common People

The title has nothing really to do with the post. I have the Springsteen cover of this Paul Young song going through my head. I thought perhaps if I typed it, it would GET. OUT. OF. MY. HEAD.

Nope. Still there.

Okay, so I uttered the words that would totally horrify my father this morning. My Animal was in bed with me this morning after my husband got up to take a shower. I had on a nightshirt that was loose and has tank top-like non-sleeves. I was lying on my stomach, hoping my nursing boobs wouldn't explode, and Animal pulled my shirt away from my back and pointed, exclaiming her pattened "oooooo". And then, I said it: "What's that, baby? Is that mama's tattoo?" Yep. Dad is so proud.

The interview went well. I think that if I am wrong and they don't have someone in mind for it, I am in the running. It's MUCH higher level than I thought and very high stress/high responsibility. It involves the public yelling at you a lot. I'm somewhat used to that and am fairly good at diffusing angry people. We'll see. However it turns out, it's good to know I can still talk preservation without sounding like a tool, and it was great to see everyone at the office.

I am such a L-O-S-E-R and in need of other's love and approval. I noticed I lost a subscriber in Bloglines. I hope I'm not too offensive/boring/lazy of a blogger. I know I have been slacking on posting lately. Thanks to the four of you who have stuck it out.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Working for a Living

Tomorrow is my interview. I am pretty confident they have already unofficially filled the position, but am holding onto a slight sliver of hope that they haven't and I have somewhat of a chance. Worst case scenario, I get to make a social visit to an office full of rockin' cool people in a state I adore. Best case scenario, I get an offer.

You KNOW I will get an offer now that Millie has adjusted to daycare and we'd have to move. She has been like a different kid there. Smiling. Playing. Eating. TAKING A BOTTLE. NOT screaming hysterically for 7 hours a day. Thank GOD. Of course, it may have something to do with the fact that she is finally feeling better. Whatever it is, I am eternally grateful.

Man, I feel like shite. That's the way I like to go into an interview. Screaming headache, that swimming feeling in my head, a sore throat that feels like I have inadvertently swallowed my razor, an ache in my back and neck. The parking is completely hellish in that area in the city. I am quite confident I will have to park down on South Main Street and haul my fat arse up the gi-normous hill in the 95 plus, humid weather. There's nothing like a sweaty handshake to make a fantasmic first impression on an interview. What to wear??? I have a suit jacket, but I fear: a) it will be wayyy to hot to wear it and not drown in my own sweaty filth; and b) it will create that look I detest: fat girl who is trying to look professional but hasn't made it out of 1987. I'll have to do a test run tonight. Too bad we don't own a full-length mirror. Or maybe it's just as well.

Well, I should jet. The 'rents should be landing at any moment. They kindly offered to come up in case Millie was sick for tomorrow. Husband doesn't have any more sick time left and I can't very well haul Animal along to my interview. I am so blessed to have them as parents. I could only hope to be half the mom my mom is.