...militant man-hating lesbian who hates kids? How should I label myself today?
I wish this were longer and presented more people on the street.
[Feminism Survey: Men on the Street]
Thursday, April 30, 2009
...militant man-hating lesbian who hates kids? How should I label myself today?
I attended a group exit interview meeting/luncheon for student loan borrowers today.
First of all, I was expecting boxes-upon-boxes of greasy take-out pizza. I was pleasantly surprised to find spinach salad, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, rolls and grilled chicken topped with tomatoes. Someone at my table quipped, 'This is where all of our tuition money has been going.'
Second of all, I try not to think too much about my student loans. I'd already decided that I'd try to like to make it through my PhD program without having to take any out (who knows if that will happen). However, at this point, I've been in school and borrowing money for a long time. I'd just like to say, 'Holy should-have-been-an-underwear-model-to-pay-my-way-through-college, Batman!'
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Because I'm pretending to be confident but not really doing it all that well...
Is it possible to have stage-fright when I'm not (really) going onstage? I think so. So, I'm just going to bundle up all of my nerves and send them out into the ether, where they will disperse. That's the way it works, right? I thought so.
Okay, thank you ether for absorbing my jangly nerves. I'll be back at two to pick them up, if needed.
Monday, April 27, 2009
My older sister has a rule (okay, a few, I'm sure, but I'm only focusing on one): no phone calls between 9p and 9a. At some point in my life, I have internalized this rule. Whenever I call someone within those hours, anxiety boils up in me. Whenever someone else calls me during these hours, my first reaction is always, with varying degrees of panic, 'Oh god, what's wrong?'*
Anyhow, there've been plenty of nights when I feel like I just want to call someone. To call and say something so pointless as, 'I'm meeting with Dr Chair today and I'm afraid that all intelligent thought will seep from my head into the the nether-regions of the universe not to be retrieved EVER.' Or, to call and say nothing at all, but just to connect with someone, like some non-physical handholding. Or, to call and say, 'I quit. The end.'
And, although I've been assured by many (and I'll probably be reassured here soon) that you are out there for me when I'm ready to call on you, I can still never quite make that phone call. Every freaking time, I hesitate and think, 'I'll just be wasting her time. He has his own stuff to deal with and doesn't need my whining. And, that's what it is anyway: whining.' This doesn't even begin to get at the mental screwiness whilring through my head, but you're getting an idea here.
So, tonight, it's the Dr Chair variety of anxiety (actually, it's the exact anxiety typed out above). I'll just send this off into the ether and hope that calms me. And, I'll remind myself that in twenty-one days, this semester will officially be over, but that really, I hope to have it wrapped up in fourteen.
I can do this.
Carole King and James Taylor "You've Got a Friend" [I've been somewhat in love with Carole King for most of my life now. Just thought I'd share.]
* Let's set aside my own neuroses. Please, if you need, feel free to call me whenever. We all know that my sleep pattern is so non-patterny that I'm more likely to be asleep at two o'clock in the afternoon than two o'clock in the morning anyway.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
It's obvious I'm needing a break when last night, I made and ate dinner at, well, one-thirty this morning and tonight I made and ate dinner at four in the afternoon.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
"The Truth About Perez Hilton & Miss California"
Friday, April 24, 2009
Someone close(ish) to our family recently lost his father. Yes, I despise death euphemisms, but that's the only way I could figure to word that sentence right now.
Anyhow, my screwy grammar isn't the point. The point is that I've talked to Pic about death before and we've been discussing it more lately due to the above and other events and instances. The other day, she said something about my mom's dad. I told Pic that my mom's dad isn't alive anymore. Then, she asked me why.
A few days ago, a group of us were signing a sympathy card for the above sort-of-mentioned person whose father just died. When Pic asked why we were signing a card, I told her it was because his dad died. Again, she asked why.
Explaining death to my four-year-old has proven somewhat difficult. I've attempted (and here documented) it before. I wasn't all that successful. How am I to be successful when I have zero idea what death is all about? I wanted to tell her that these people were older (or, well, old), but then what happens when I say that someone else we know is 'old'? Will she automatically think that other person is on the verge of death? I want to tell her that perhaps they were sick, but again, what happens next time I tell her I'm sick, or, even more disconcerting, when I tell her that I think she's getting sick?
I oh-so-lamely told her something about death being a part of life (hello oxymoronic something-or-other). 'We're born, we live and then we die. It's just what happens.' Yes, that clears it all up. I have clearly given my child all of the answers she needs. Mamma of the year, right here, folks.
I then went on to tell her what I think happens after we die, but I doubt that was very helpful to her either. And, as with most arguments I try to make, I qualified the statement in the exact manner I just mentioned: what I think happens. Why can't I just tell her, 'What happens is...'? Would that even help? I really think not, because what does she do when she encounters probably most of the people she will encounter who will tell her that I'm wrong? At the same time that I want to give her definite answers to sooth the gnawing uncertainty, I want her to remain openminded.
So, gah and ugh, this has been not fun. Not to mention (wait, I'm about to mention it), my own deep anxiety about death. It doesn't matter what I believe happens after I die, I still can't convince myself that I can just let go and die. I take this as a good sign right now that I'm not finished living, that I have the resolve to go on, but this is mainly optimistic thinking. I can only hope that when it's my time to move on (or whatever), I'll have accepted the fact that I too must die.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
So, big shock here, I'm up. I was trying to ignore the hunger-twinges, but they would not be neglected. It's Trader Joe's to the rescue, again, with Organic Split Pea Soup. Mmm.
I know that Peecho would be asking me right now, 'Why are you eating something that looks like green puke?'
Oh, and in case you need pictoral evidence of other food I've recently consumed:
The other night, I was going to make myself a tomato-spinach-cheese sandwich, but I figured it wasn't worth the risk of eating incredibly mushy and somewhat moldy tomatoes so I ended up with only spinach and cheese. It was good, nonetheless.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Dearest Darling Sleep,
Oh, how I miss you. Oh, how you taunt me with your soft-spoken promises of calm and sanity. However, I cannot give in, no matter how alluring you definitely are.
I'll embrace you once again in about twenty-six days. In the meantime, don't forget or give up on me...I shall return.
With fond memories,
Sunday, April 19, 2009
...or, things that make you go, 'Oh, my god, Becky, look at her butt...no, really, look at her butt.'
In case you're interested in purchasing a pair, you can go here. This is where I found these.
In case you don't know me and don't already know how I'd react to these...I loathe them. Just thought I'd make a judgment call there. What do you all think?
Friday, April 17, 2009
I'm looking for new sandals. I kind of want Keens, but, hello, I can't just yet bring myself to spend that much money on a pair of sandals. Cardo made an off-hand remark today about me not wanting to spend $40 on a pair of shoes and he's kind of right. I don't really want to spend that much on a pair of shoes. However, this doesn't mean that I won't. I just have a long history of buying Payless shoes. Unlike the rest of me, my feet went through ridiculous growth spurts (my feet are gigantic in proportion to my height) and my mom would only let me get shoes at Payless. I'm totally going with this philosophy. As long as we have to buy news shoes for Pic twice a year, we're not spending a ton on them (I'm still concerned about practicality and making sure the soles aren't paper thin and all, of course). But I have to constantly remind myself that my own feet haven't grown since...high school, I guess? I could buy a good quality pair of shoes and keep it for years, so it's not as bad if I spend more money on my shoes, right? Right?
Back to Cardo's comment. I have bought much more expensive shoes. In fact, I own two pairs of Keens right now. One sneakers pair (that really look like a 16-year-old's shoes, but they were on sale) and a pair that have more of a Mary Jane's look (also on sale). So, yes, most of my shoes are still inexpensive ones, but I'm working on it, or something.
Also, back to his comment. We went to REI earlier tonight to look at Keens sandals. Um, $40? Right? Let's try $85-95. Not happening. So, we're planning a trip elsewhere to see about sales. Otherwise, I'll get something else. It's just hard for me to justify spending that much at once (although I have helped to support the school Starbucks for the last two semesters $3-5 at a time). Ah, well.
Okay, so I can't not include a picture. I'm scrolling through Zappos and really wondering about some of the finds. Here're two:
I just think this first pair is, um...interesting. Uh, yeah. And, not for my feet.
This second pair? I can spend $325 to look even more like a kid than I already do. And I feel badly about spending not even a third as much on an extremely practical pair of shoes? What's wrong with this picture?
Anyhow, enough of the shoes. Now for the tune. This is what I'm listening to right now (which probably is important to no one, but I just thought I'd share):
Mumford and Sons [technically only Marcus Mumford here] 'Roll Away Your Stone'
Thursday, April 16, 2009
It's time to buy new sunscreen again. I recently went to a nearby drugstore and earned a somewhat strange look from the clerk because, after she informed me they no longer carried the sunscreen I used last year (Kiss My Face...and it smelled so good), I told her I was looking for a physical blocker -- zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. She looked at me like I was stepping out of a different era and told me, 'Well, they're not really making those anymore.' I left without buying any new sunscreen (we're using up some Waterbabies we have here at home) and without asking, 'Who exactly is 'they'?'
As far as I can tell (I've done very little reading on this since that day about a month ago), there are still companies making sunscreen with physical blockers. Am I living in my very own little out-of-touch world?
Anyhow, I've decided to order some of this online. It's TruKids Sunny Days SPF 30 sunscreen. I always use Pic's sunscreen anyway, so we'll share. This contains titanium dioxide. The reviews I've read are very positive. I might go check out Whole Foods, though, to see if they carry the Kiss My Face line and if I still want to go that route.
I know that I seem to obsess about weird things, but I'm a lifetime sunscreen junkie. When your skin is as pale and burn-inviting as mine is, you just have to be (or, stay inside during all daylight hours but I'm incapable of that). I'm hoping to get Pic hooked on sunscreen also. We're both still working on Cardo. I think I've finally convinced him that it doesn't matter how dark his skin is, he still needs to wear sunscreen. However, I haven't yet actually convinced him to actually slather the stuff on. I do worry about the random ingredients in sunscreen and how the lotion itself could be potentially harmful, but I consider it a necessary product.
As I know I've mentioned here before, I have a perhaps exaggerated fear of one day being diagnosed with cancer. I try to take care against this happening, but I'm frustrated (and frightened) to know that at some point, it doesn't matter what I do because cancer is something we face and develop and die from. I'll not dwell on this thought here, though.
So, what about you guys -- what sunscreens are you using? Does anyone obsess about this as much as I do? (Probably not, I know.)
Oh, one more note: Earth Day Festival this Sunday at Idlewild park. Earth Day is one of the few days I celebrate, so we plan on being there. I don't think we'll be there long enough for the worm-bucket composting presentation, though, which makes me a little blue.
[Violent Femmes and John Cusack...ah.]
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Yesterday, I slipped into a nice, fitted dress, some stockings and a pair of pumps. I applied a quick swipe of lip gloss and a dusting of blush* after I primped my hair. I tied an apron around my waist, snapped on some rubber gloves, hauled out the industrial strength chemicals and sang a happy tune as I cleaned the bathrooms.
Or, back on Earth...
I took a shower and donned a t-shirt and woefully holey pair of pants. I wrapped my hair up in a towel so I could apply a face mask without getting too much in my hair. Because I had the face mask on (shouldn't I not have acne anymore? didn't I pay my dues in junior high and high school? no?), I didn't put my glasses on. This means I can't see anything clearly if it's more than about four inches from my face. Pic was watching The Little Mermaid in the living room (we have about three or four different packagings of that movie, because, you know, why not?), so I figured I'd finally (partially) clean the bathrooms while she was distracted.
Anyhow, I was blindly making my way around my apartment, my face slightly burning under the clay and other crap in the face mask (I was concerned, but not enough to wash it off), and I decided this was the opportune time to make toilet cleaner. I figured, 'Hey, I have to clean both toilets, I'll just make a double batch of cleaner.' Um, yeah. When I added the vinegar to the baking soda, the whole thing bubbled over all over the counter and onto the floor. Well, not the whole thing. I stirred up what remained, fumbled my way to both bathrooms and poured the cleaner in the toilets. I finally wiped away the face mask, put on my glasses and the scrubbed and flushed the toilets. Although the making of the toilet cleaner was somewhat messy and not unlike a second-grade volcano science project, the result was successful. I swept the kitchen and bathrooms and then mixed up some floor cleaner (I say this as if I have a lab and a complicated process, but really, vinegar + water = cheap and easy floor cleaner), and mopped for the first time in my recent memory. (We're immune to our very own grossness, but you might not want to come over without building up your immune system first.)
So, now, there are clean bits in my apartment. For now.
More fun with cleaning.
* You know this can't be a true story when it took me an embarrassingly long time to remember the term for that colorful stuff some apply to their cheeks.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
[By the way, I love the audience members here.]
I know that I've really been pretty quiet here lately. It probably hasn't actually been that long, but it feels like it. I've been avoiding just about every subject. It seems that these days, all of my interesting stories belong to someone else. So, I'll share one of those.
A place I formerly called home (because it's where I lived, not because my heart belonged there) is currently working on this massive, weird, surreal project: CityCenter. The idea makes me uncomfortable. It makes me think of a domed city, a lone bastion after the nuclear fallout, or something. (When we drive into Vegas at night, we can always see the orangey-pink glow and I always think of it as some kind of radioactive glow. I suppose Vegas is what I think of when I think of the end of the world. Ah, Vegas, how I don't miss you. I apologize to those who live there...unless you enjoy it and then I just don't understand...and the feeling's probably mutual.)
Don't get me wrong (she sang), it isn't a domed city. It is a city within a city. It is a play to 'live, work, and play.' The website goes on to praise:
Across the country and throughout the world, people are rediscovering the excitement of the city. The city is where the people are, where the action is, and where all that’s thrilling and new comes together—whoever you are. Las Vegas will soon have its own urban core— a 76-acre city-within-a-city that’s destined to redefine the skyline. It will be an urban setting unlike any other in the United States. Or, really, anywhere. CityCenter.
Then, there're a couple of paragraphs singing the praises of MGM MIRAGE, the developer.
Some of the plans actually sound interesting -- at least according to the incredibly limited reading I've done on CC (how long until the name is something scary like AcmeWorld?) at the site above. They are striving for sustainability with lower water usage (Ha! says everyone sharing the Colorado) and somehow employing/housing 'Minority, Woman-owned and Disadvantaged Businesses (MWDBEs).' The website states a desire for diversity, but this is the only instance I see cited (at this time, perhaps there'll be more later) and I imagine that while the laborers within this Center might represent diverse parts of the world, I'm not so sure about the residents.
I'm waffling here, I know. I'm not sure exactly what to think of this, but I want to be skeptical. However, this project is providing jobs, for now. If it's finished, it'll provide more in the future. I've heard some enthusiasm about this project. I'd just like to reserve making a judgment call, perhaps for all time. I just can't help but wonder if that money could have been used elsewhere in Vegas, that already has urban areas that, last time I saw downtown and other non suburby-places, could use some help. And, yes, I know, I'm one to talk. I could be spending my very own money better, using it to help others more. So, I should probably stop here before some power-that-is kicks me for being so unjustly judgy.
Yes, again. I got this here.
Seriously?! Who makes these commercials?
I think we should name these characters. I'm thinking Jocasta for the mom and Laius for the dad. I'll let you fill in the rest.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I totally can't get behind this concept. Taxidermy creeps me out. I don't know exactly what else I'd have done with the animals' bodies, but stuffing them and hanging them as lighting for my home is not even making the list.
[I got the image from the article linked above.]
This does, though, make me want to reread Flight Maps. Perhaps this summer.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Dora's growing up. What do you guys think:
I got these here.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Okay, so I'm not talking about milk (although I did drink a London Fog tea latte today and it was good and if I could just smell like those, I would be happy).
I've been great at regularly exercising this year (yes, overall, this is pathetic, but the year's been good) but I have a very limited library of exercise videos to choose from. (I prefer to exercise at home, in the living room, for the most part, so I depend on videos). I mainly stick with my Winsor pilates tapes and dvds. I bought these after Poke told me about them about five years ago (holy crap on a stick, I can't believe it's been so long). I started the mat routines just before I got pregnant and then gave it up for different exercises throughout my pregnancy. About six weeks after Pic was born, I picked up again with the pilates. I've been doing them on and off ever since. I'm working hard to try to make this habit, to tell myself that, duh, exercise is a normal part of the day, just like brushing my teeth and not sleeping. I hate that I have to consciously make it a part of my day, but that's where I am.
Anyhow, I've been trolling through Goodwill and Savers for exercise videos to break up the monotony. Today, I dragged Cardo with me. I just wanted some cardio to go with the Winsor cardio videos I have. I love looking at the thrift stores because they have all of these wonderful videos like one I saw today: Breathercise. Oh, okay, that's what I've been doing wrong all this time, not breathing. Wait....
Anyhow (again), I got a couple of new videos that will probably be completely embarrassing to do, but oh well. I did see this exact Sweatin' to the Oldies, but Cardo absolutely vetoed that purchase. Just seeing it though, brought two things to mind: seventh grade PE when we actually used Richard Simmons's videos and the thought, 'Do Richard Simmons's workouts actually work?' I'm sure he gets a lot of flack just for being who he is*, but are his programs effective? I guess, as long as Cardo's around, I'll never know for myself.
Finally, that leads me to one more pointless story (I'm full of them, folks). Last semester, one of my students did a paper on Kimora Lee Simmons. I had no idea who she was, but apparently she's a model and a top executive for Phat Fashions. She was married to Russell Simmons. Throughout the paper, I kept replacing 'Russell' with 'Richard' and I kept thinking, 'Huh? Really? This seems like a strange match, Kimora and Richard, but okay.' Fortunately, I figured it out before I asked my student about it.
[I was trying to find something with better picture quality, but...ah, well.]
* Sometimes, people are just mean. I figure, he's enthusiastic and he seems to care about people. If you don't have anything nice to say, perhaps think about taking Thumper's mom's advice.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Pic on the phone to Papi tonight:
"...and then we went to the park in the wagon! I hope we can get a wagon! With two seats! One for Baby K and one for me!"
It doesn't take much to make my child happy. Thanks Coach J!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I thought I'd begin the readings for two weeks from now instead of the readings for next week. Because I have time for this. So, I take back my 'yea for Foucault' statement and I'd like to replace it with a primal scream. Or, at least at big fat UGH!
I figure that if I don't sleep tonight and I don't sleep tomorrow night I might be able to make it. Oh, then I can't sleep Monday night because I've got to get through the reading for Tuesday (usually Wednesday, but this coming week, class has been rescheduled). Then, Wednesday? I say I go teach and then come home and sleep all the live-long day.
I think this is an example of regression, not growth. Suddenly, I'm a newbie at this stuff and I can't properly read a reading list (ha!).
Friday, April 3, 2009
Okay, just a little bit of a list for now:
* I just walked outside because I'm losing my mind...and my books. I had to fetch a book from my car and when I opened my front door? Crap, snow. (No, not any actual crap, that's just a toned-down version of the thought that went through my head on seeing the snow.)
* I'm planning on being very open to hanging out il quest'estate (this summer). Anyone up for keeping me entertained? It's not difficult. Mainly, I like to walk places, take Pic to the park, that kind of thing. (And, hey, you might be able to sign up now for a lifetime membership as I have no plans for my life after the morning of May 18th when grades are due.)
* There are only about eighty-three more hours until my head implodes. (I'll try for imploding and not exploding...less mess for others later.) Then, it'll have to reinflate (it'll be something like Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) because about a month later, I'll have to go through the process all over again (times three). Yippi-chi.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
[again, typed elsewhere, transported here]
is it horrible of me that i cannot wait until pic is in school full-time? is it so awfully bad that i am so selfish that i am craving this time because then i will be able to focus so much more on my own work? on my own studies? on my own self?
yes? i decided to have a kid when i did and now i need to deal with (suffer?) the consequences?
you’re entirely right (she said to the voice in her head). however, i just don’t care. if i had all this to do over again, i’d cry and cry. i’m not a person who wishes she had things to do over again, and this doesn’t mean that i think that every little bit of my life is generically perfect, but i’m where i want to be. when i finished crying, i’d do this all the same again. (so, powers that be, if you’re thinking to give someone another chance at things and you’re thinking to get into the tricky, tricky business of time travel, give that chance to someone else, please.)
the decision to have a kid when we did was largely mine. okay, so i would have liked to possibly have waited until i had actually graduated with my ba, but, hey, we didn’t and it worked out. i love being young enough to not be as worn out as i imagine i will be fifteen years from now (geez, if i’m tired now, i can’t even imagine my level of exhaustion fifteen years from now). cardo is somewhat older than me (more than a year, less than a decade) and this is something that i constantly take into account. i wanted him to also be able to be a young parent and he seemed to want this too. (i have no idea if this is in any way better than being an older parent. i can imagine the benefits of both, but i, obviously can’t argue for both having only experienced the one.) also, i’m still (and forever) a grad student. this has been both freaking fantastic and freaking sucktastic. i have so much more time to be with pic than i would have if i had a forty-plus-hour-a-week job to go to (as cardo does). at the same time, i have so much more time with pic than i would have if i had a forty-plus-hour-a-week job to go to.
i have seen so much of her growth in the last four years and that has been great. i’ve been able to take her to the library almost every week, at least once a week, for the past several years. when the weather’s nice enough, i’m able to take her to the park almost every day. i have the time to read her multiple books a day (on top of doing all of my own reading, much of it aloud…this child has been exposed to literacy in a major way). i can lay down on the floor and play ‘ladies’ with pic. i have spent more time with pic than anyone else has.
i have spent more time with pic than anyone else has. yes, i understand that i have this repetition thing going on here. that’s intentional. stick with me. when i have twenty-some or forty-some student papers to respond to, 200 pages of a book to read, four scholarly articles to read, a course to design, laundry to get done, dishes to wash (and on and on, for all time), i have a four-year-old who wants me to read several books to her, who wants me to take her to the library/park/thrift store, who wants me to stop and play ‘ladies’ with her. this child has learned to spend a lot of time playing alone. she’s awesome at entertaining herself. she reads, draws, plays with magnets, completely unpacks her toy bins, tries on several different outfits, ecc. when i’m trying to work at home, though, are the times when i most feel that i’m sucking at everything. the apartment is never quite clean. my mind is never quite wholly focused on either pic or my work. my ‘work’ even consists both of being a teacher and being a student. i’m not able to compartmentalize my identities, bringing one out to be in control when i need her. should i even be concerned about that? i think so. i’m not all ‘yea for multitasking!’ although i’ve been doing it for most of my life. i'd love to me more in-the-moment. bring on the zen.
cardo doesn’t quite understand how this is tearing me apart and that is partly my very own fault. i don’t ask him (or anyone) for help often enough. i have occasionally tried to explain just how different our situations are. he gets to go to work fifty-some hours a week (isn’t he the lucky-duck) and get his work done there without someone constantly demanding that he turn his focus away from work. he goes to work and doesn’t have to worry that the apartment must still be cleaned, ecc. this does not mean that he doesn’t bring his work home but it is a very different thing to go to work, to leave the home and get oh-so-much of your work done elsewhere than to have to juggle work at home and a home and a preschooler.
so, because i’m needing to read many articles on/by foucault and i’m needing to revise several of my own papers and i’m needing to create discussion notes for a variety of texts and i’m needing to implode, i’ll wrap up rather quickly here: i cannot wait until pic is in school full-time so that i can go somewhere that isn’t home for several hours five days a week, many weeks of the year and get my own work done.
* the title is from class discussion and, no, i don't remember how exactly it came up. it just seemed funny to me.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
How 'this is not my life...or is it?' is the fact that I just silently praised the powers that be that I am studying Michel Foucault for next week? Seriously? Had you told me a decade ago that I would feel a wave of relief wash through my body on seeing Foucault's name on the reading list...well, I would have said 'Fucalt [because I would have no idea how to pronounce it]? Who's that?' This does not mean that I'm an expert on good old Michel, but it does mean that I have studied him before which is more than I can say for most of the reading I've done for this particular class.
So, yea Foucault!
Does this count as some kind of growth on my part? (The theme for April's NaBloPoMo is Growing (Up).) Probably not, right? It probably just shows my exhaustion, my brain overload. Ah, well...