Sunday, December 21, 2008

Break!

Blog Note: I will cease posting on my "teacher blog" and just consolidate all postings to this site. I have decided that it is impossible to compartmentalize my life, so I should just mush it all into one home of expression. You can still read archives here.

I am officially on break. Friday my colleagues and I waited around all day for students to make up finals, but few came. It was odd to be trapped in the classroom without students, but I used my time to revisit some classroom expectations and to organize the piles of papers that had accumulated on my least used desk (for some reason I have three).

The English Department has a long tradition of triple-blind grading for finals. All students submit an in-class essay based on similar prompts. Each set of finals is graded by two teachers (neither of which is the teacher of that particular set of students) and then a third teacher compares the scores and submits them to the "real" teacher. This means that each teacher can have up to 300 essays to score. This can be a bit daunting.

Also, I had the added concern of wondering if my colleagues were judging me based on my students' performances. I know we aren't supposed to "evaluate" each other, but I also know how teachers love to gossip.

Well I made it through my grading, and my students did well. I don't think I have much to worry about, but I am concerned that the process is still somewhat unfair. Please give me your input.

I hope that I can get some personal reading done during this two week break, but I will definitely pre-read Farewell to Manzanar because I am teaching it when we return. I am going to try to focus on tolerance literature this semester, but I am required to include some Ceasar and some King Arthur. (Damn that proscriptive curriculum!)

On Motherhood: One Year Done

One year ago, I was bursting with baby. Judy joined our lives and changed me forever. I am so happy.


Yesterday we celebrated her first birthday and it was amazing.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Because my husband hadn't seen it ever...

and because I believe that you would like to see it for the first time all over again.

The one...the only...William Shatner!



I think it's gonna be a long, long time.

Indeed!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Because I copy great bloggers.

1. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names): Lee Dean
2. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother’s dad, father’s dad): Lee Gary
3. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 2 letters of your last name, first 4 letters of your first name): BaMich
4. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal): Purple Giraffe
5. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you live): Patrice Farmington
6. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite alcoholic drink, optionally add “THE” to the beginning): The Green White Russian
7. FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name): Mier
8. GANGSTA NAME: (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie): Butter Pecan Sandie
9. ROCK STAR NAME: (current pet’s name, current street name): Marci 30th
10. PORN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on): Oscar Troy King


Hat Tip to Phydeaux

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sarah Haskins=My Secret Internet Bestie



I have to agree with Ms. Haskins on this shit. Cars are being marketed in the most obnoxious way to women. How about the whole Routan ad campaign? Women only want cars to hold their many babies. I know it is supposed to be cheeky, but each commercial shows a pregnant woman and her husband. One child does not necessitate a fucking SUV. You can cart one kid around in a tiny car, or, heaven forbid, on a bike or foot (depending on your town's layout.)

Maybe women want to buy cars to get them from place to place. Maybe we want something that is fuel efficent, safe, roomy, and dependable.

Or maybe we want a substitute for sex in the form of four wheels and a V6.

Monday, November 17, 2008

FYI

English muffins can also double as inserts in sneakers. Thanks Baby Judy for that very important information.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

National Novel Writing Month


So, I'm giving this a shot. I'm hoping to get at least 25000 words. A hug to those who can guess what my story is starting out to be about. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yippeeeee!

Congratulations to the new President-elect Obama!

I am so pleased, and I can't wait to hear all of the ditto-heads lose their shit.

Also, I feel that it has been far too long since I heard about Paris Hilton. I need my crappy media back. (sarcasm)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sarah Haskins is my favorite ever.

I first started seeing Sarah Haskins clips on Feministing. I am now posting it here to share with my family and friends. Enjoy, and check out her other Target Women segments.




I really love her Target: Women--Birth Control and Target: Women--Yogurt

Costumes and Sillyness

Judith celebrated her first Halloween yesterday. We dressed her up as a ladybug, and Jason and I dressed up too. We carved a pumpkin and went to a party. She had a blast and seemed to really like the costumes. Here are some pics from the night.







Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pre-emptive strike

I voted early today! I was in line behind a lesbian couple gleeful about the historic nature of the election and in front of an older hetero couple that happily spouted talking points from Rush. I was with my cousin, and we were stoked because this is her first election ever. She had never voted before. We took my daughter, and she slept through the whole thing.

I am so pleased to report that the lines weren't too long. People were polite and helpful, and everyone seemed excited to be voting.

One week to go!

Punkin Patch

This Sunday we went to make some memories. We drove to a farm north of town and visited Sutherland Farms. Many of my friends from high school were there with their kids. We rode a hayride, picked pumpkins, ate miniature churros, pet donkeys and goats, and generally had a Mayberry time.

A picture says a thousand words, so enjoy.





Saturday, October 25, 2008

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

I was googling a long-lost friend, and I came across a website that I think I want to hate.


Chickipedia.

I am a bit confused. I can't tell if it is a site for actresses, wankers, or producers of horrible movies and televison pilots. It is a "wiki" page for hot chicks. The pages appear to be "promotional" pages for these women, but something feels odd about this page. Take a look and give me your opinion. I can't come up with a coherent critique about it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What is wrong with this image?

I was hunting for a ladybug costume for my daughter on Amazon.com. I have had no luck in town, as the only costumes for babies seem to be lambs and monkeys or ladybug sacks. A sack just will not do, as my daughter likes to move around, so I have to find just the right one.

Let me tell you, this is not a costume that I ever want to buy for my daughter.



Preteen Sexy Ladybug Costume. Preteen!!! Preteen equals ages 10-12. Do we really want to give them costumes that emphasize the fact that they can only be valued for their bodies? I thought that starting at 15 was early enough to start dehumanizing women, but obviously there is a valuable and exploitable market that needs to be sexualized.

I am also disgusted that there are tons of people that will feel that they can "blame" preteens for being "too sexy" and deserving any abuse from men.

As a mother, I fear for the day that my daughter asks for a sexy preteen anything. Hopefully I am instiling the feminist values in her that will make her feel as if she is more than an object of desire for others to ogle and use at their will. Hopefully she will feel like she can be a child while she is still a child.

But I may be wrong. From what I hear, it's all the feminists who are over-sexualizing our daughters anyway.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Reunited and it feels so good...



This weekend I loaded up the baby and drove 5 hours northeast to Walsenburg, Colorado. "What's in Walsenburg?" you may be asking. Well there's a Subway, a Methodist Church, a Best Western, a park, a police department, train tracks, and a truck-stop. "Which of those compelled you to drive 5 hours alone with a 9-month-old baby?" might be your quiery.

None of them, although I visited all of them. I drove to Walsenburg for a family reunion. I have an interesting family (don't we all?), and some of the members are getting a bit long in the tooth, so we decided we should reunite while the reuniting is still good. My greatgrandfather Pat married Kate. Pat had a brother named Doug who married Kate's sister Ethel.

That's right, I've got double-cousins.

This reunion was very interesting. I learned about a great-aunt that even my father had never heard of. She worked in an orphanage and she contracted Hepatitis C and died. I learned about more cousins with the same names as uncles. Sadly, I have not halted the habit my family has of repeating names. Looks as if future generations will continue to be confused by Judys and Pats and Jasons.

I learned that my daughter is now a clingy baby. She doesn't want to be away from me, which is at times flattering and frustrating. I learned that I better figure out a way to deal with the stress of traveling with a child.

It was refreshing to visit with people that I only see every couple of years. I met the wives of two of my cousins. I met another cousin's son. I got to visit with my cousin who was active in the National Guard until Saturday evening. He is now inactive, and we don't have to worry about him returning to Iraq. Phew.

I saw pictures of my family living in the Great Depression. My family survived, and I am proud of them for coming through what must have been a terrifying time.

I am very grateful for my family. I am grateful for the legacy of health they have left me. I am grateful that the living members have been honest about depression through the tree, so that I am vigiliant about watching out for warning signs of depression. I am grateful for the unconditional love that I felt from family members that I knew, and those I had just met.

Walsenburg, Colorado. Who knew a five hour drive would reveal my optomistic side?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Check out

my other blog. It's about teaching.

Why is it...

...that every time that I go to McDonald's for a milkshake, their damn milkshake machine is broken? I love a vanilla milkshake now and then, but it seems that the universe doesn't want me to have one. I love to get a milkshake, drink it, and moan about the sugary tummy ache I get from drinking too fast.

Milkshakes were my total favorite when I was pregnant, and when I drink one now, I am reminded of that time. But McDonald's wishes to deprive me of this joy, by not fixing their machines when I'm having a craving.

Guess I better find a new milk shake vendor.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Come on get down with the sickness

A few days ago, my hubby and I came down with something disgusting. Rumblies in the tumblies and excretions from all ends. Fevers and chills were cycling, and so we couldn't get the house at a comfortable temperature. Add to this an energetic child and two demanding jobs, and we were the living dead for two days.

I hate getting sick, but this was bad because my daughter was being so sweet and loving, and neither my husband nor myself could appreciate it. Luckily my cousin came over and took care of the baby while the two of us warded off death.

There was never an explanation to our illness. I maintain that it was food poisoning, but many people swear it was the "stomach flu" (which doesn't exist according to WebMd).

PS-Sorry this post is awful. I'm a bit out of practice. Hopefully my writing will improve.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Locked Out

So in this new house, we have a garage door opener. The garage is our primary point of exit and entrance, so we usually just lock the exterior doors and then enter and exit through the garage. Yesterday I ran some errands and called my husband to ask if he wanted lunch. He passed on lunch, so Judith and I just went home.

I opened the garage and walked to the interior door. It was locked. I walked around to the front door, and tried my key in the lock. No luck. I walked to the windows, and found that I couldn't remove screens without damage, or that one open window was just large enough for me to get stuck in (ala Winnie the Pooh in the Honey tree). So I called my husband and told him he was getting lunch, because I needed keys.

I drove out to his warehouse, shared some fries and took his keys from him. I drove back home and stuck his key in the lock.

No dice.

So Judith and I went swimming at my uncle's house. Lemons and lemonade you know. Jason figured out how to get into the house. Now we just need to figure out this damn key situation.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Miley Cyrus

I am so glad that my daughter is an infant and not a tween. I am exhausted with her presence in every medium, and I don't have to submit to my child's pleas to watch Hannah Montana. I can't wait for her to go away, but I know that another star like her will just reappear.

Monday, July 21, 2008

At the Lake

My dad took us to Navajo Lake yesterday. It was wonderful. The sun was out, the water was smooth and clear. The wind was low. I loved every minute of it. We brought my daughter, and she took the the lake like a fish to water. She didn't fuss when put into the constricting life jacket, and she enjoyed the roar of the outboard motor and the splash of the water.

I spent much of my childhood at the lake, and it is good to see that my daughter will also build many memories there. I want her life to be filled with water skis, aloe, crawdads, and sand castles. I also want her to be comfortable in her skin at the lake, and that requires something of me.

For all of the positivity associated with the lake, there is the fact that many of the activities require the wearing of a swimming suit. As a kid this was no big deal. But I did hear my mom and aunts often complain about how fat they looked (uh, not at all by the way). Then, as I got older, my hips grew, and I got stretch marks. They were no big deal, until someone asked me what "happened" to my legs, as if I had been abused. It was then that I realized that I didn't look like I "should" in a swimming suit.

Following this I spent much of my adolescence nervous about my body (and in the words of Joy Nash, "I should have been wearing pink hot pants!"). Which brings me to this trip. I had fun, and I tried to water ski, after a two year hiatus. I didn't succeed (I kept drowning myself), and I began blaming my fat. I didn't blame my stupid mouth for staying open in the face of streaming water, nor did I blame my arms for being not strong enough to hold on. I blamed my fat, and I felt nervous about hanging out with my family. Then I reminded myself that I was at the lake to have fun with my daughter.

I decided to have fun, and to love my body.

Monday, July 14, 2008

On Motherhood: Childcare

Here's one for the "that's why men work and women stay at home" crowd.

My school district offers daycare for its employees. This sounds fantastic, and I was really excited about it, so I called. Turns out that what they really provide is pre-school, as they only enroll children ages 2-5. One would think that an employer based in education would know the freaking difference.

So I'm an employee, and I have a child, so I need a place for her to be while I work, but that is only allowed if she is 2 or older. My district is implying that all employees should stay home until their children are 2. And I happen to work in a field that has traditionally been held by women.

The message that I am getting from my employer is this: "You are not supposed to be working. Stay home for another year."

That is not a message they should send. There are other professions that offer child care for infants. These professions also pay more. Yet schools are losing teachers left and right.

I WANT TO TEACH. I WANT TO DO THIS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. I know I am not alone, but districts are making other careers look more appealing because of the way they treat their teachers. This is part of the crisis in education.

Now I am calling every day care in the phone book, and it seems that they are either on a waiting list (many several months long) or they only take ages 3 and up. Grrr.

Note: Any of those "types" that I mentioned at the beginning of the post that feel the need to force their beliefs on me will be deleted. My blog, my rules.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Movies

I just signed up for Netflix. My queue includes...

Quinceanera
G.I. Jesus
Hotel Rwanda
The Business of Being Born
Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?
and
Rescue Dawn.

I will review as I receive. Does anyone have experience with Netflix? Is it good? I'll add my two cents soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oh Shit!

New house, new problems. The home that my husband and I moved into is a bit older, but by no means ancient. My husband has been here for about 3 weeks, and my daughter and I have been here about 5 days.

Today while I was showering, I noticed that the water wasn't draining very well. I shrugged it off, and finished up. Then I got out of the shower and I heard the toilet gurgling. Not good. I lifted the lid and noticed that the bowl was empty. Suspicious, but not nearly as alarming a toilet incident as I have experienced (if I get three requests for the story, I'll tell it).

At this point my daughter was fussing, so I moved on and tended to her. I went into the laundry area to get a diaper, and I noticed the floor was wet. Gross on bare feet. I called my husband and he said he'd look at it when he got home.

Then I decided to wash the clothes that were now soaked on the laundry room floor.

Mistake.

About 15 minutes later I heard more gurgling, and I saw soap in the toilet bowl. I opened the shower door and saw something horrifying.

Poo, in chunks, was spread about the surface on which I stand when I attempt to get clean. Ugh!

So I turned off the washer (I should have known better, but I'm gonna go ahead and blame jet lag), and called my husband. He said a plumber was in order.

So I called a plumber and they promptly came to snake the drains. It was gross, but they said it would only be 183 dollars. That is fair for running a cable through a tube of poop. Then they had to remove the toilet, because every other avenue was not solving the problem. Turns out that is 159 dollars extra.

Oh Shit!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Moving: Part II: Decisions

The move has been odd. My family and I are currently in our new home, and I am trying to get all of the boxes unpacked and things set up in the house. It is weird to take something out of a box and decide "That goes there, forever." Now I know that I could move the pasta to a new cabinet if I decide that I don't like the location, but it feels very permanent out of a box and into a new home.

I have never really moved before. I lived with my parents, then I left for college and lived with my uncle. All I had to move then was a carload of clothes and some knick-knacks. Then my husband and I moved into an apartment, and I just shifted things over a few blocks. When we bought a house, we bought the furniture we needed, and so it didn't really feel like moving, since we didn't have a place and affection for the items before.

This move has been strange. We have had to decide the layout of the baby's room, the positioning of the office, which bathroom gets the most towels; all of these decisions present a dilemma for me. I don't know how to make small decisions. I had someone to do that for me for my whole life, up to about one week ago.

My sister helped me decide how to do laundry, how to organize my wardrobe, what to make for dinner, and how to pack.

Now that I have moved, I do not have my sister's constant advice. I call her, sure, and she gives me a piece of her mind. But her physical presence is what motivated me. Now I am wandering around trying to picture her wagging her finger at me. I miss her greatly.

I am also feeling a bit juvenile. I moved closer to my father and step-mother, and all of the old feelings about being a step-child are rising to the surface. It took one visit from them to send me back to the days of being 13 and striving to be noticed by my father. Many of my decisions about how to set up my house also seem to find their way back to "What will Dad think of this?" That is not how I want to spend the next decade of my life.

I have to decide to be happy for me. I have to focus on my (and my family's) needs and decide how to live my life. I still love advice, but I need to let go of the fear of judgment.

So I begin by saying, Amanda, I will put the Elvis picture wherever I want to.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fluff

I haven't written in a while, mostly due to the move and the wonderful trip to Alaska, and I don't even know what to write about now. I just have the itch to blog, and so I think I will do some fluff.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kayaking While Fat

I am spending 2 weeks in Alaska with my mother. This is the first time that I have traveled since 2000, simply because I was always too broke or too busy to travel. My mother is footing the bill (mostly so she can see her grand-daughter), and her husband has scheduled some interesting trips.

The third day of our trip was Kayaking. My sister, my brother-in-law, and I all took a charter trip up to the Columbia Glacier and kayaked around the iceburgs and hiked up to the glacier. It was wonderful.

As a 250 pound woman who is barely active, I thought this might be a good opportunity to rate the fat-friendliness of kayaking.

Benefits:

1. Indescribable beauty. The water, the iceburgs, the wildlife, the trees, the waterfalls, the glacier, and more were all so incredible to look at that I would gladly endure any physical hardships to see them again.

2. Core muscle workout! The motion required for paddling the kayak is very core-intensive, and a good core also keeps you from tipping into the freezing water.

3. Cardiovascular workout. Sometimes we had to paddle really fast to keep up, and hiking was good for the blood circulation (especially after sitting down for so long in the kayak) and hiking also got my lungs working.

4. Brain exercise. I paired up with my brother-in-law, and we had a hard time figuring out how to turn appropriately. In our defense, we had the longest boat, but we kept paddling left when we needed to go right, until we finally realized the reversals. Thinking on our toes kept us from getting "bored."

Fat Friendliness:

I would rate the activity as a 3 on the fat friendliness scale, but the guide was very fat friendly (and friendly in general).

Kayaking requires a lot of equipment; the boots, the rain pants, the life vests, the splash skirts, and of course the kayaks are all designed for people that are much smaller than I. My ample behind barely fit in the kayak, and I had to try several sets of gear on before I found something that fit.

Once in the boat, weight was not an issue. But, the gear isn't accomodating, a fatty can't get into the boat. Had I been much larger, I would have had to stay ashore.

Fitness Level Required:

This requires a moderate to high level of fitness. We rowed approximately 8 miles total, and there were several short but vigorous hikes. We also had to carry the kayaks to and from the water and they were very heavy.

Considerations

1. Price=$$$ The trip cost over $200 dollars per person, but that was after we arrived in Alaska and travelled from Anchorage to Valdez.

2. Gear; we had to buy some gear in advance, and if you are more the short and round type, you would have to find all of your own gear.

4. Danger; there is a possibility of capsizing in frigid glacier water. This worried me, but I was assured it was unlikely. The water we kayaked on was smooth and calm. There is also a possibility of an iceburg falling on you, but you have to be an idiot to stand under a melting iceburg.

5. No return; once you are off of the charter boat, you are stuck on the kayak tour until the charter ends (unless you are having an emergency). If you get bored, tired, or sore, that's too bad. You still have to go the 8 miles. Also, you may have to pee at glacier, which I hear from my sister is quite cold.

6. Seperation from partner; the reason that my brother-in-law and I shared a boat was because the guide recommended that partners don't row with each other. She called the kayaks "divorce boats." Sure enough, a couple that shared a boat were yelling at each other about how to turn and how fast to go. If you go with a partner, be willing to make a new friend.

7. Cold and wet; you are sitting in a boat below water level, and you are also de-kayaking at shore while still in the water. Add to that some splashy rowing techniques, and you are bound to get a bit wet. Since it is Alaska, and you are at a glacier, you will get cold.

8. Sack lunch; you pack in what you are going to eat, and it has to be easy to eat quickly, high in protein, and it has to stand up well to sitting in a plastic bag in a boat for several hours. Get ready for a soggy sandwich. Also, the charter boats all believe that banannas are bad luck, so don't bring any bananas.

9. Day after soreness; I woke up the next day feeling fine, but my brother-in-law and my sister were very sore. I worked as hard as them, but I might have a higher tolerance for pain.

Overall Experience:

Even though my list of considerations seems long, I really enjoyed this experience. I am going to look into kayaking opportunities in my area (mostly rivers and lakes, but still fun). I recommend that if you are interested you call ahead and discuss size limitations. I did not do this, but the team was very accomodating and given advance notice they might be able to come up with equipment that suits your needs.

I would love to do this every year when I visit my mommy, and maybe I can even convince her to come along.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Time and Travel

So I made it to Saturday (and beyond) and things are well. My daughter traveled beautifully, and everyone should be so lucky to travel with such a cute, well behaved baby. She didn't even fuss on take-offs or landings.

We almost didn't make it, though. My family and I arrived to the airport almost 2 hours early to procure seats next to each other. After checking in and going through security, we decided to eat. After we ate, we fed my baby, and then we had to go change the baby's diaper. Somehow, 2 hours had passed, and there was a call for an "immediate departure" from ABQ to SLC. My brother-in-law sprinted to the gate while my sister and I tried to run with a baby, carry-on luggage, a baby backpack, two travel pillows and a diaper bag. If that wasn't comical enough, my brother-in-law was at the gate, jumping up and down and waving his arms, as I was running with the carry-on. The carry-on started bouncing up and down and would not stabilize and roll on its wheels. I started shouting, "It won't roll! I can't get it to roll!" but my sister just kept running. We finally got to the gate and were the last to board the plane.

The other passengers were highly displeased, and some rolled their eyes at the sight of my daughter. Joke's on them, though, because we were happy and quiet.

We arrived in Salt Lake City just in time to change a diaper and catch the plane to Alaska. Again we were seated together, and that was a blessing. 5 hours flying with a wiggly baby is much easier when split between 3 people.

As we flew, the light increased, even though we were flying on the red-eye. The baby slept, and so did her uncle. My sister and I stayed awake and mocked the in flight movie--which we didn't watch--Fools Gold. It looked ridiculous.

We landed in Anchorage, it was very light outside and it was about 11:30. Needless to say, my internal clock is a bit off.

Coming soon to this site, pictures. For now check out my sister's site for some pics.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stressssss

Until a few days ago I had a rash on my eyelids. My freaking eyelids, folks. They were red and flaky and itchy and dry. It was gross. This rash was brought on by stress. I was finishing up grades for seniors, I had just accepted the task of grading papers for a class that never got a teacher (way to go school-I-used-to-work-for), we decided to move, I was applying for jobs, and I am flying to Alaska to visit my mom for two weeks.

I had a bit on my plate. This all piled up inside of me and exited through my eyelids. A week ago my eyelids began to heal. Then a few days later my former employers called me, and sure as shit, my eyelids started to itch while I was on the phone! Then my new employer(?) called me, and my eyelids cleared up completely.

Whew.

Now, it's t-minus two days until we move/I leave for Alaska, and I'm not quite packed yet (but much closer thanks to my sister and her husband!)so I can't sleep. I feel like I need to be doing stuff, but I am paralyzed. (Also, I'm scared to be alone, even though I am a grown woman.) Frustration central!

As soon as I get to Saturday, I will be okay, but I have to make it two more days. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Drive-Thru

Yesterday, hubby and I were on the way home from a doctor's appointment. We decided to drop of his scrips at Walgreen's via drive-thru. This has always been a pleasant and speedy experience for me.

There are two lanes for the pharmacy, and they are for dropping off or picking up scrips only. There was a car in the right lane and a car pulling away in the left lane. I pulled into the left lane for faster service. What usually happens when you pull into the right lane is you either call for the pharmacist or you send your information through the bank-chute-vacuum thingy. When you pull in the left lane, you are closest to the pharmacist and therefore they just open a drawer and you give your scrips that way.

Hubby and I pulled up and looked into the glass. There were two people there, a woman and a slightly nervous looking man. Turns out the young man was in training, evidenced by his hesitation and the woman's constant assistance. No problem, I thought, and I asked to fill one prescription and wanted to know if our insurance covered the other one. While the trainee was collecting our information and looking it up in the computer, the buzzer from the other lane buzzed.

Apparently the people in the right lane did not know the procedure, and as a result, they had not yet been helped. After the trainer answered the buzz, the woman driving the other car shouted...

"I have to tell you something. We were here FIRST!"

At that point the trainee told us our insurance would cover the prescriptions, and those would be ready in about an hour. We drove away.

I don't know why, but I found the other lady's response odd. Maybe it was her tone, which is hard to convey here. It was a tone of both entitlement and constant denial. It reminded me of a 6th grader. Maybe it was the way that the passengers in that car were throwing dirty looks at my car, even though we did not know that we were "cutting."

This situation was strange, but I know that it is not the first or last time that a trainee slowed things down. And I also know that it is ok, because we all need time to learn how to do our jobs. So I raise my glass to the trainee, for enduring what I am sure was a litany of complaints that day. You will soon be so fast that you will forget the grumpy lady in the white car.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Old Music

Tonight we were listening to the Flobots while we tinkered around the house. The horns in "Handlebars" reminded me of Cake. I jumped on iTunes to look for new Cake music.

Right on the first page was an announcement that iTunes is now carrying Radiohead albums. As a recent convert to the Radiohead fanbase, I began browsing the catalogue. There is a Best Of album for 20 bucks, but I'm not sure that I want to spend that on a download right now. (For those of you who know Radiohead, give me your opinion on this matter.)

After my detour into Radiohead country, I went back to my original search, and I found a new album by Cake. It was only 8 bucks, so I bought it without even sampling any of the songs. I love Cake (music and dessert). We played the new album through, and the old album (Fashion Nugget) came on. I was going to change it to something else, but I found that Fashion Nugget is as great now as it was when I first bought it in high school.

I am moving now, and as a result I will soon be going through everything, including my music library. I am looking forward to finding more "gems" from my past.

(Cross-posted on my MySpace page)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fruit

Yesterday I went to the produce store. I walked, so I arrived close to the close of the store. I hurried around, trying to make healthy, frugal selections. I had a basket full of fruit and vegetables. Normally this amount of produce runs me about 25 bucks. I forgot that gas prices have skewed food prices, and my total was $35. Normally, I would just put the money on my debit card and not worry about it. But for some reason, I decided to only bring cash, and I only had $30.

This vexed the cashier (this man always seems vexed though), as he thought he was going to have to re-ring every item (minus a few) for a total of $30. He called over the manager, a man who has seen me come to that store for 7 years, and asked for help. The manager just waved it off, and said it was no big deal.

He gave me $5 worth of fruit and vegetables. That is a lot, especially to many people with food insecurity. As a pay it back, I am taking $5 to the produce stand, and I am also going to pay it forward by donating to a pantry this week.

Humanity and kindness, yay!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I get "letters."

Okay, I really get forwards. Here's a gem...

Can this be so???
I STRONGLY URGE each one of you to repost this as many times as you can!
Each opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media outlet...do it!
A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they imagine that America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves.

Pause a moment, reflect back. These events are actual events from history. They really happened!!!

Do you remember?

1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by Muslim
male ext remist between the ages of 17 and 40.
2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.
3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.
4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.
5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.
6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille L auro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.
7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

8. In 1988 , Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.
9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.
10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Muslim male
extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.
11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles
to take down the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed
into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the
passengers. Thousands of people were killed by Muslim male extremists
between the of 17 and 40.
12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.
13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by-- you
guessed it-- Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

No, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people...

Absolutely No Profiling!

They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winner and former GovernorJoe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone lest they be guilty of profiling.

According to The Book of Revelations:

The Anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal....the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, he will destroy everything.

And Now:

For the award winning Act of Stuidity Of all times the People of America want to elect, to the most Powerfulposition on the face of the Planet --The Presidency of the United states of America
A Muslim

Male

Extremist

Between

the ages

of 17 and 40.

Have the American People completely lost their Minds, or just their Power of Reason??? I'm sorry but I refuse to take a chance on the 'unknown' candidate Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other stupid attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel ashamed of themselves -- if they have any such sense.

As the writer of the award winning story 'Forrest Gump' so aptly put it,

'Stupid Is As Stupid Does.'
(Spelling and grammar is as received, formatting changed to save space on my blog.)

As Teh Portly Dyke would say, "Hey, dude, your privilege is showing."

So after I read this piece of trash, I moved my cursor over the "Delete" button. I generally don't look at forwards, but I checked this one for some reason. I decided to move my cursor to "Reply All." This list was about 24 people long. Hopefully one person reads what I responded.

Senator Obama is not a Muslim. He is a Christian, as evidenced by the recent "scandal" concerning Rev. Jermiah Wright.

And don't forget the other terrorists this nation has seen--Ted Kaczynski , Timothy McViegh, Terry Nichols, Eric Robert Rudolph. These were all white males between the ages of 17 and 60.

"Name Changed" :)


I didn't feel the need to point out that these men called themselves Christians. That is neither here nor there. My point is that terrorism can come from any idiot, and it is shameless to try to (inaccurately) depict Sen. Obama as a terrorist.

This act may be small, but I think that spreading a little knowledge around might help. Or maybe I'll just piss off conservatives who happened upon my email address through my loose acquaintance with them. Who knows?

Update: I get replies...
At least those white males were not in a position to raise your taxes, sign environmental and gun legislation, appoint Supreme Court Justices, or other court appointees. THANKS!


Nevermind that the first email didn't mention any of that business. Why do I bother? This is the dangerous, thoughtless rhetoric that destroys nations.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Moving...Part I

Who knows how long this series will be, but we are moving.

My husband has been offered a new job in my hometown, and so we are going. I applied for a job at the local high school, and I was originally not offered (I only have 2 years experience, the other applicants had at least 10), but I received a call today with an offer for a recently vacated position. Things are looking up.

As for leaving this house, we are having some issues. My husband and I are new to the living minimally idea, and as such we have been slowly letting go of material possessions. However, it takes a grand event in our lives (birth of a child, moving) for us to truly purge. We have been giving things away, selling things, and tossing things, all to minimize the effort in moving. Just the other day, my husband took a load to the dump that embarrassed both of us. We couldn't believe that after the give-aways and the sales, we still had that much shit to throw away. Most of it was "yard debris" but it was still appalling.

We are taking this opportunity to turn over a new leaf. We will no longer allow our possessions to posses us. As a family, we are committed to using less.

Let's see what the move brings.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Volver...

Some of you may have noticed my conspicious absence from the blogosphere. I have been drowning in life, and I have had no time to post any blogs, and little time to respond to any posts on my favorite sites. I am now getting a bit more free time, so hopefully you will see some more blogging from me. For now, here's a clip of one of the pieces of life that has been keeping me busy.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

This will definitely solve the problem.

This is a story that has been unfolding here in New Mexico for a couple of weeks, and it has been pissing me off the whole time.

Clifford Gutierrez had sexually "groped" several women, young girls and at least one young boy. In a bizarre plea deal, jail time was deferred so that the offender could move away and register as a sex offender.

Hmmm....so the only reason that this criminal assaulted these victims was because they lived in the same town. Yeah, and this criminal is not going to ever "grope" anyone ever again, because he was compelled to by those specific victims in his hometown.

Sounds a bit like blaming the victim to me.

And what's more, the judge doesn't seem to take the safety of the residents of Bernalillo or Sandoval counties into consideration. He is just dumping this problem out of his jurisdiction.

Thanks.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Moving On

My family will soon be leaving the "sprawling metropolis" in the center of The Land of Enchantment.

I am very nervous. We are moving back to (or near) my hometown. This is a move that I have talked about ever since graduating from college, but now that it is real, it seems like a brand new idea. Now I am confronted with grown up dilemmas. How do we sell our house in a sinking market? How do we buy a house out of town? What if we have to rent? What will we do with the dogs? Where will I find reliable childcare? What if the zombies come?

As usual, when I am confronted with stressful situations, I spin out of control. I am trying to finish out the school year with my students, but I am distracted by another life change (last year it was pregnancy). I have learned how to focus a bit more, though, so I think everything will be fine.

I will continue to update about the move. I'm sure with the bossy help from my sister, everything will go smoothly. ;) (love ya Amanda)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Elvis Lives!

At least that is what my daughter thinks. We have a very tacky, very cheap velvet Elvis painting in our house. My daughter has always been drawn to this image. Lately, when she is unhappy and she sees this picture, she cheers up instantly. Neither my husband nor I are necessarily fans of Elvis (the picture found us by accident and we kept it as a joke), so this


is the only exposure Judith has had to the King.

Until yesterday, that is. My sister and I decided to YouTube a couple of Elvis clips, and it was amazing. Judith smiled, squealed, and began "dancing" around. It was so adorable. As a result, I have decided that Elvis will be added to our music library.

In honor of my daughter, here is a bit of Elvis for your enjoyment.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

On Motherhood: Part III: Returning to Work

Part I, Part II

On Monday, March 31st I will return to work. For those of you that don't know, I am a high school teacher. I have been on leave since December 19th. This will be quite a shock to my system for several reasons.

First and foremost, I have grown accustomed to spending my entire day with my daughter. She is fun, cute, and happy. I have no need to "escape" her as she doesn't scream or cry very often, and she is pretty self-contained for a three-month old. I love to watch her interact with her environment. She learns something with each touch.

Secondly, I believe that my teaching muscle has atrophied. It is as if I am returning from summer break, but my students have (hopefully) been learning in my absence. I am also not sure what I am walking into regarding the work of the substitute. What if she has decided that she doesn't need to grade anything from the beginning of the quarter? Ugh.

I had tossed around the idea of staying home permanently, but I don't think I could do it. My husband makes enough money for us to live frugally (which I would like to do anyway), and I don't need many of our luxuries. But I feel that if I stayed home I would be wasting my education, and I would also be cheating my community by depriving them of a good teacher. (No, I'm not cocky, but I know my skillz!)

I wish I lived in a world where I didn't have to make this decision, but for now, it is either stay home and feel less than complete, or go to work and feel guilty.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ads on the Moon?

I was flipping through the channels the other day and I stopped on a Rolling Rock commercial. It appears that Rolling Rock is going to try to beam an advertisement for beer on our Moon. According to their ad-site Moonvertising.com, they are going to do this on Friday, March 21. I (lightly) searched the internet to verify the sincerity of this commercial, but I hardly even found a blog commenting on it, let alone a sponsored statement.

I can't even begin to tell you how sad it makes me to think that we are finally here. Beaming ads on the moon seems like it belongs in a dystopian apocalyptic movie. Who gets paid for the ad space? If I were to offer up my forehead to a startup dot com, I would be paid for that space. If Pepsi wants to be featured in the next Top Chef, they have to pay. Who is selling the moon?

I do not want to think of what might follow if this RR ad actually happens. Every night there is a full moon, there will be thousands of corporations beaming light into the sky, trying to force their way onto the surface. And, assuming that there is life on other planets, what happens if these signals are misinterpreted? Mars Attacks? Not to mention the fact that the beams used must take up an extraordinary amount of energy that might be better used elsewhere.

Friday night, if you skies are clear, take a look up to the heavens. We might just see the end of natural nature together.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I hate Heelys!

I know that I am not the only one that feels this way. I hate Heelys with the fire of a thousand suns. For those of you lucky enough to have avoided an encounter with the Devil's playthings, Heelys are "shoes" for children that have a wheel in the heel that can be clicked out for a skating-like sensation.

How do I hate Heelys, let me count the ways.

*Heely wearers are always children, and these children are (almost)always wheeling about a public place with no supervision.

*When Heely wearers are "supervised," the parents are blissfully ignorant to the fact that their child is putting themselves and others in harms way.

*Heely wearers often wheel directly into people and don't so much as acknowledge the collision.

*Heely wearers have to run to get speed enough to wheel effectively. This running is not done outside, but often in a store with hard floors (Costco, Target, the freaking Post Office, etc.).

*Parents of Heely wearers look like the type of people that would hold a city council meeting about "those damn teenagers skateboarding at the park at night," yet they see no problem letting their child wheel about willy-nilly.

*Heely wearers have to walk differently because of the wheel in the heel, and therefore are likely doing damage to their feet and spines.

Please, don't buy Heelys. Don't buy them for your children, or for your nieces and nephews. Don't even buy them for sworn enemies. Let this "trend" die a quick and silent death.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

On Motherhood: Part II: Labor

Part I

I had not considered what labor would actually be like. My husband and I had signed up for birthing classes, but they kept getting canceled. I just read books and kept telling myself that women had been giving birth since the dawn of time. I didn't give it much more thought than that. I planned on a natural childbirth, and I knew that pain would occur, but I wasn't afraid.

At 2:30 on December 19th, I awoke to go to the bathroom. I was very pregnant, so I use the term "woke" loosely, as I had perfected the art of getting out of bed, walking to the bathroom, urinating, wiping, and climbing into bed without ever opening my eyes. On this dark morning, however, when I bent to get back in bed I felt a little trickle of moisture. I thought it might be a "driblet" so I just went back to sleep.

At 4:15 I had to pee again. Giant babies tend to put pressure on the bladder, so I was accustomed to "waking" more than once in the night. This time when I woke, I noticed that my thighs were damp. But, since the heater was on, and I had about 10 pounds of blanket on the bed, in addition to my "raging pregnancy hormones," I assumed that the moisture on my thighs was merely sweat. Then I got up to go to the toilet, and the moisture moved, proving it was much more than dewy sweat. Then I felt pressure in my stomach, a little less than the pressure for a poo. I still wasn't convinced that I was in labor. I went to the bathroom and quickly crawled back into bed.

But I was unable to go back to sleep. I had to argue with myself. If my water had broke, I would have felt a rush, or at least been alerted to it. If I were having contractions, surely I would be hunched in screaming pain. I decided to just lay in bed until it was time to get ready for work. I refused to wake my husband; I knew no matter what, we had a long day ahead, and at least one of us should get some rest.

So there I was, arguing with my body until 6:00. That's an argument that few win, by the way. At 6:00 I allowed myself to get out of bed and shower. Surely in the shower I would know if I were in labor. Surely the "water" has some sort of coloring or odor that will scream to mothers "YOU ARE IN LABOR! PREPARE FOR LIFE CHANGES!" Washed, dried, still unsure, but again moist on the legs. This calls for expert advice, although there is still no need to wake the husband.

Thankfully, my mother decided to come down from Alaska to witness her daughter's graduation (good job sis) and the birth of her grandchild. I went timidly into my guest room and gently shook my mother. "Mom, I think I'm in labor."

This was the first time that I stopped arguing with my body since 2:00. I let it win. Little did I know that this was not even the beginning of the "conversation" my body was about to have with me.

I finally decided to wake up my husband. "Babe," I gently rocked him, "I don't want to freak you out, but I think I'm in labor. I need you to call in to work today."

"What?! Ok, let's go!"

"No, it's not time to go to the hospital yet. After you get ready why don't we drive out to my school and pick up my final exams. Maybe I can grade some before we go to the hospital." (Ha ha, silly me!)

So I called the midwife, and they recommended that I get to the hospital around 10:00, so long as I wasn't running a fever or feeling much pain. We decided to take it slow and drive to the next town to retrieve said final exams. While we drove I started to get excited, but not nervous. I was ready, I knew no fear. Slowly, amniotic fluid was draining out of me, but since there was no "pop, gush!" for this event, I felt very much at ease. We got to school just before classes started and I tried to load up my papers. As I did this, my students began to file in for the day. "Don't talk to me, I'm in labor. See you all next semester." They were respectful of this terse wish. I didn't know it at the time, but this was the first sign that I wasn't entirely un-nervous about this whole labor thing.

We drove back home and grabbed the luggage and installed the carseat. We called the family members that wanted to travel from out of town. We figured by the time they got through with their four hour drives, they would get to see the baby. We ate some breakfast, we straightened up the nursery, we grabbed the camera. Then we drove to the hospital.

By this point, my contractions were feeling about the same as period cramps. I used to have pretty uncomfortable periods (before birth control) so I was not in excruciating pain. I was totally over the whole wet-pants thing, so when we got to the hospital and they asked me to put on a gown, I was ready to do so. Except the gowns weren't just the stick-your-arms-through-the-sleeves-and-tie-at-the-but kind. There were snaps. The snaps were near the neck, but not for the neck. They obviously didn't snap down the back either. I enlisted the assistance of my husband. He, too, was flummoxed. We held it up in awe, as I stood there naked and dripping, wondering how two educated people could not figure out how to put on a simple hospital gown.

"Oh, the snaps are for the arms." I am still not sure why.

Gown problem solved, I lie back to listen for heartbeats and feel contractions. The midwife came in and gave me a once-over. Yup, healthy and ready for childbirth, but blood pressure is high. (God forbid a person's blood pressure rise when they are in a potentially stressful situation, it must be because of teh fat. /snark) So they wheeled me past the waiting area--hello Mommy, Sister, Brother-in-law, strangers, why yes those are my unshaven legs, thank you for asking--and into the labor and delivery wing.

The delivery room was wonderful. Fully private, with a shower, television, and two chairs that folded out for guests. We got comfortable and started timing the contractions. They didn't get much more painful nor did they get any closer together. My midwife suggested induction, but I wanted to wait. She said we would have to induce at 4:00 pm, since it would be well over 12 hours since my water broke. I agreed.

To speed up my labor, my husband and I decided to walk the delivery floor. We were doing our first lap when I heard a woman give out an animalistic moan/cry. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned to my husband. "What's wrong?"

Tears welled up in my eyes. "I don't think I've thought this through." I began to weep.

"Well, babe, we're doing it now." And we kept walking.

Family arrived, some impatient, but most were just excited. This is the first grandchild, and therefore very exciting. My dad arrived without his wife. I was relieved (and I felt a bit guilty about that relief). I invited my father, my mother, and my sister to be assistants in the birth of my daughter. Along with my husband, it was my truly immediate family, and I was glad that they all accepted.

4:00 came. Time to induce. I wanted a natural childbirth so that I could avoid needles. I'm not scared of the prick, but I am terrified of my veins being touched, let alone being opened. Well, to induce they have to give an IV and whatnot, so vein violation, here we come. I got my first IV that day, and it took three people to get it in. Then my contractions didn't progress. Oops, the IV isn't in correctly. Lets put it in on the other side, but in the hand this time. Gah, it gives me goosebumps just to think about it.

Now with a fully operational IV pumping pitosin into my body, I finally got a real contraction. It was more than uncomfortable. So, this is what everyone has been bitching about, I thought to myself. But I didn't want any further medical involvement, so drugs were not an option. I dilated away to nine, and then I got bossy.

"I have to push!"

"You should wait for one more centimeter," my midwife suggested.

"Ughhhh!" I did not heed her suggestion.

So I pushed. And I pushed. And I switched positions and pushed some more. My family held and encouraged me and I pushed. Lather, rinse, repeat for five hours.

Then my midwife noticed that I was fed up. It might have had something to do with my plea that she "just get the fucking salad tongs already." They did an ultrasound. Turns out that my baby was face-up. This makes labor more difficult. That information might have been helpful five hours earlier. So they consulted.

We decided that a C-section would be best, as no one really uses salad tongs anymore. At this point I had been in labor for about 22 hours. I was ready for some medical intervention. They gave me a drug to slow my contractions and told me not to push. Yeah, right. So I waited, but my contractions didn't really slow down.

The surgeon arrived. He was pleasant and had a great little sidekick in the form of the anesthesiologist. They joked with me and hauled me into the operating room. Then they injected my spine with glorious liquid that stopped my contractions (at least stopped me from feeling them) and made my feet cold. Soon they were tying up a sheet and bringing my husband in in scrubs.

"I'm sure you hear this a lot, but I love you all." They chuckled.

The surgery was fast, and soon I saw my daughter getting fussed over by nurses. Then they brought her to me and placed her on my chest. It was wonderful. Her head was smushed up a bit, but her eyes were wide open, and she had one eyebrow cocked as if to say, "Is this it?"

Already a smart ass.:)

So my husband took her to the nursery, and we soon got the last bit of rest for the foreseeable future.

Friday, February 22, 2008

On Sleepless Nights

Many of you may assume that this post will be about the association of sleepless nights with a new baby. Well, your assumptions are wrong. My beautiful daughter is endlessly kind, and has been sleeping through the night since her third week on earth. I count myself very lucky.

No, I can't sleep because of my own stupid mind. I am also going to blame movies, but it's mostly my mind. Let me take you to the beginning.

I was born the same year that MTV began. I grew up watching inappropriate content, but it never bothered me. When I was about 5-years old, however, I saw a mini-film, created by a Mr. Michael Jackson, "Thriller." This was an incredible work of art that stands the test of time to this day. However, in the eyes of a 5-year old, it was the most horrifying 15 minutes of celluloid ever produced. I watched this video from start to finish with my Uncle Jimmy (quite possibly now my favorite uncle), who remembers this scenario to this day.

I was not scared of the werewolf scene in the beginning, and I was only marginally disturbed by the dancing zombies. When those zombies chased the young woman into an abandoned house, I was worried (but I figured they would just encourage her to dance). When the zombies began breaking through the walls, I was scared, but I continued to watch. I felt immense relief when Michael Jackson returned to his human form, and it was clear that it was all just a dream on the part of the scared woman.

And then Michael Jackson turned around, and his eyes were yellow. He was clearly inhuman. It was not a nightmare, it was not her imagination. She was in true danger, and she had talked herself out of being scared. I ran out of the room screaming, and I could not sleep for two nights. Needless to say, Uncle Jimmy didn't babysit me much after that.

So began my irrational fear of zombies.

After that event, I avoided scary movies at all costs. I did my best to not even watch previews for scary movies, so as to avoid countless nights filled with either nightmares or sleeplessness.

Until my 20s. Then I began to trust myself as a rational grown-up. I began to believe that the fact that I knew that the existence of zombies was unlikely would win over any silly images on screen. I was wrong.

I have watched movies like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, and I Am Legend. I know that in some cases, the "zombies" are really just "infected," but the result is about the same. These movies did not send me running from the room, as "Thriller" did. I watched them to the end, often commenting on how impossible the situations really were.

Yet, somehow these movies have affected me. I lie awake thinking things like, "There is no escape from this room if the zombies come," or, "What if I wake up to a zombie eating my baby?" And the worst, "What if my baby becomes a zombie?" In the light of day, these are ridiculous ideas to have, but at night I can't stop my brain. I think about all of the ways to fight off a zombie, but the most terrifying of all thoughts enters my mind.

It isn't the one zombie that you have to be scared of. They come in droves, and they are your neighbors. They don't stop coming.

And then I am in full-fledged panic mode, considering waking my husband. Instead I wake my dogs and make them come sleep in my room. Somehow, this keeps the zombies "at bay."

I used to get this way before tests in college, only zombies were replaced with burglars (really, I'm not kidding). It seems to be a manifestation of stress, but I am not feeling particularly stressed. This is just odd.

At any rate, the reason I am writing this is to hopefully rid my brain of these irrational thoughts. Hopefully now that it is out of my mind, it will stay out of my mind. Otherwise, I might lose it for lack of sleep.

I just hope I am not like the woman in "Thriller." I hope that there truly is nothing to fear.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On Motherhood: Part I: Pregnancy

As most of you know I am new to the motherhood. It has been, and will continue to be, an incredibly humbling experience. I am continually amazed at what has been given to me, and I want to chronicle that amazement. I will start at the beginning, and continue as long as I feel like it.

I found out that I was pregnant on April 22nd, 2007. This was a rough week, as I was attending the funeral of my best friend's child. The whole week I was waiting for my period, and it never came. The previous month I had a week between new birth control prescriptions, and that is when I conceived. The day of the funeral, I was so glad that I did not know "for sure" that I was pregnant, because I imagined how tough that would be to get through. The next day I took a pregnancy test, and it showed a positive result almost immediately.

This was odd for me. As I was preparing to take that test, I held my breath, not knowing what I wanted the result to be. I was just ending my first year of teaching, and my husband and I were just ending our "reckless party phase." I worried that if the test was positive, I would be irritated and displeased. I called my husband into the bedroom to wait with me, but I didn't know how to say, "You need to wait with me while the pregnancy test I just took registers." Instead I just confused him by asking him to sit in the room with me. He walked into the bathroom and saw the white stick with the two windows. "Is that a pregnancy test?" he asked.

"Yes."

"What does it say?"

"It's positive." This is where I surprised myself. My eyes welled up with tears of joy and anticipation. My husband laughed and kissed me. Then I punched him in the belly. (There is another story behind that, if you need to know ask and I'll respond.)

So began our journey into pregnancy. It was a bizarre one. It began with extreme fatigue, followed by...well by nothing. I never got morning sickness, never felt moody (or no more moody than I already was). Up until the first kick, pregnancy was much like the rest of my life. I didn't even get the "omg look at my boobs" moment, because I have always been blessed/cursed with large breasts.

Then the kicks started. It was bizarre. I felt the alien inside of me. I kept having strange fantasies that involved bursting rib cages and fear filled onlookers. It took a long time for my husband to feel any kicks, and so I felt very isolated in this experience. No one told me about how your body is no longer for you. Each movement is for someone else. I had to eat when I didn't feel like it, and I had to eat foods that I didn't particularly like. No one told me about the strange side-effects of pregnancy. Did you know that increased sinus problems come with pregnancy? Yup, and you can't take any medication for it, because of the baby. I also got my first ever (and I include infancy with this) ear infection. It was awful. And the heartburn. I had always heard about third-trimester heartburn from the pressure of the giant fetus. But it seemed that I had heartburn from the moment that that stick said positive. It was incessant. My body was no longer in my control.

A very positive side-effect of pregnancy for me was the need to get organized. I had heard of nesting, the desire for a clean home for baby, but I never experienced that. I have never been much of a cleaner, so my sister decided to "nest" for me, thank goodness. I felt the need to become super-teacher and filing queen at home. It was stressful for many people. I had thousands of lessons ready in advance. I wrote 12 weeks of lessons for my substitute. I organized books at home. I just didn't feel the need to dust or vacuum.

I worked through my entire pregnancy. Many of my students have children, and they were telling me to take off, but I couldn't. To me, leaving before labor meant that I was a step closer to being a mother. I wasn't quite ready for that. I mean, a real person who needs me to love them, unconditionally? That is too much. I just needed to get through the semester, then I could think of motherhood.

My daughter was very accommodating about that. She waited until the day after I administered my last final before she broke my water. Then things got sticky.

Coming Soon: Part II: Labor

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blaming the Victim...

(or, What if we treated victims of other crimes like we treat rape victims?)

There was another shooting at a college. The details aren't important because this happens all the time and people should just get used to it already. It's obvious that random shootings are a natural response from young white men, so we should be complacent to this already.

Several people were shot, but they should know better. What are they doing, sitting in a classroom, not wearing Kevlar, unarmed? Don't they know that college campuses are hunting grounds for some? Those students should know better, and it is up to them to protect their selves from such violent acts.


If this sounds calloused to you, it should. I do not believe that shootings, or violence of any type, should be taken lightly. I am merely trying to make a point that we treat rape victims with this much disdain, insensitivity, and absurdity every day.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Help (again)

I am having computer problems. As I am an idiot, I am asking for assistance. I cannot access the internet through Firefox or Internet Explorer. I have gone through all of the tips available in the troubleshooting menu, so now I call on my throngs of readers for assistance.

I thank you in advance for your help.

Update: I think I fixed it!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

I caucused today. I woke up this morning consumed with anticipation. I have always loved voting. My parents took me with them when they voted, and today I got to carry on that tradition with my daughter. She won't remember it, but she went to vote with her mother for the first time, she was involved in a historical moment.

We had the opportunity to choose between Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton. I will be so pleased with either as the Democratic nominee. I look forward to a general election with either of these two. Both want to truly change the country for the better, both want to open doors for the disenfranchised in this country, both want to restore the reputation of the United States. I can't wait to see how either of these candidates take on the idocracy that will be promoted by either McCain or Romney (sorry Huckabee, I don't think it will happen).

We are on the edge of greatness, and I am glad that my daughter and I were a part of it.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Conversation with Dad

So my father called the other night. I was expecting the usual, "How's the baby?" and "You should call your step-mother." We did talk about the baby for a while, but suddenly my dad brought up politics. This was odd, as my father has been almost gleefully ignorant of politics since Perot ran for President. He is mildly conservative, but uninformed enough that most conversations ended up with me shouting, "It is your duty as a citizen to be informed and to make an educated decision! Pay attention for Pete's sake!" This conversation was very different.

Dad: "So what do you think of Hillary Clinton?"
Me: "Well, she isn't my first choice, but I am definitely in favor of many of her ideas. If she's the nominee, I won't be disappointed."
Dad: "I agree. Do you think that Clinton and Obama will run together? That would be pretty amazing, and I would vote for them. I'm not always a Republican."
Me: "Really? I think it would be a great ticket, but it's not likely."
Dad: "I can't see myself voting for any of the Republican candidates. They are all so....I don't know, not good, you know."
Me: "Well, I think if we can't get a Democrat into the presidency after the catastrofuck we have had for the last 7 years, then we are doomed."
Dad: "Yeah. We let some tree-huggers come in to discuss emissions at the plant, and I am glad that we did. We were one of the cleanest plants around, and now the numbers are phenomenal. We put in a (some technical word for a cleaning system for the power plant) and it was well worth the money. I am proud, I just wish they would stop picking on us."
Me: "That's great Dad."
Dad: "I've gotta go. Kiss the baby, and call your step-mother."

I was shocked. And I am proud that my dad has decided to pay attention again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The importance of choice

Yesterday was Blogging for Choice day, but as I can't get my crap together, I am a day late.

There are many reasons to vote pro-choice. The health, sanity, and equality of women in inextricably wrapped up in their reproductive functions. Women are still seen as vessels for the human race, and they are considered solely responsible for their children and their actions well past childhood. Women are still denied work, health coverage, equal pay, and respect as a result of the possibility that they may bear children.

Carrying a pregnancy to term is difficult. Labor is difficult. Raising a child is difficult. That doesn't mean that some people can do these things. There are millions of women that can and do every day. There are also millions of women that have difficulty with these tasks. Physical or mental illness, poverty, abusive relationships, and career plans can all cause a woman to choose not to have a child.

But some people also just do not want to be parents. There is no other reason. And guess what? There shouldn't have to be any other reason. Plenty of men who didn't want to be fathers just walked away. Women are not allowed this option. Until recently (historically), women were not allowed any option. 35 years ago women were given an option. Contrary to the cries of opponents, the human race has continued. Children are still being born.

Pro-Choice works for everyone. See, I am pro-choice, yet I have a child. I've never had an abortion. No one came to my door to tell me to abort, even though the law allows me to have one. As an advocate of pro-choice, I have never told anyone to have an abortion. I celebrate the decisions that women make regarding their own reproductive health and future. Anti-choice advocates never think about if "anti-choice" were turned in the other direction. What if the government forced all undesirables to abort their pregnancies? To me, that is as disturbing as forcing people who don't want children to have them.

Yesterday I found out that my state still has a law on the books that makes abortion illegal. The passing of Roe v. Wade has made that law null, but if Roe is ever overturned, the women in my state will not have safe, legal abortions available to them. This will force women to seek out dangerous means of terminating an unwanted pregnancy. This will surely kill or maim women. I am now going to do what I can to see that my state repeals this law, so that women are not forced to put their lives at risk.

One thing about voting pro-choice, it can help decrease the number of abortions. Pro-choice laws and candidates are also more likely to include birth control options. If the number of unwanted pregnancies are decreased, the number of abortions decreases.

Vote pro-choice, and then decide for yourself if you ever need to.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Help Me!!!

I have been home with my baby for a while now. I am finally in a routine that is pretty predictable, and I am even able to multitask (to a degree).

Unfortunately I am a bad television junkie. I know that I should just turn it off, but I need something else to distract me. Lately I have been watching crappy shows like Maury (it's on for two back-to-back hours) and Dr. Phil. I need a list of recommended readings.

Here are some hints to help you recommend a book for me.

I love Joyce Carol Oates.
Classics are not off limits, in fact I welcome them.
I'm not big on "self-help" or "inspirational" texts.
I would prefer not to read a book that has been made into a TV movie.
Non-fiction is great, so long as it doesn't have too much jargon.

Please, all suggestions will be considered, and I wouldn't be against a "book club" type of discussion (plus it would keep my reading on track).

Thanks for your help!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Routine

My daughter is now two-weeks old, and I feel like we have a bit of a routine going. I finally have a moment to blog. This has been the most interesting two weeks of my life. I am so pleased to have a healthy and happy baby, and I am so terrified about how to deal with a new life that depends on me.

I have been blessed to have a husband that is involved, and he was able to take off work for 2 weeks to help me adjust, but mostly he has been bonding, and now he doesn't want to go back to work. I wish he could stay home too.

Now I am faced with a billion questions. Which vaccines are necessary? How much should I feed her? Is she getting enough sleep? Should I throw the television out the window? The overarching question is will I be a good enough parent for her?

I like to think that the simple act of asking these questions puts me on the road to being a good parent, but I want to be sure. I will take advice from anyone who is truly trying to help (i.e. not assholes like Jasper).

About Me

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Farmington, NM, United States
Old enough to know better, young enough to change.