Monday, October 31, 2005

Snow for Halloween?

It snowed 2 inches on Saturday and today it's 67 degrees and sunny. Go figure. I was sad for a millisecond Saturday night when the snow started to melt. I say a "millisecond" because I remembered right away the calander still read October. I mentioned this to our neighbor, a Boston native, and he looked at me with a mix of disgust and bewilderment.

"ya haven't seen much snow in yor time, have ya?"

School is at that point in the semester where I'm not quite sure how everything's going to get done. I went through this in grad school at Western. I'd reach a point where I'd think, "damn, I got a lot of crap to get's it going to happen?" Of course, December (or June, if it was Spring) would come and everything would be done and I could finally exhale. It's just that right now December seems really far away.

Not that I'm complaining about school. Or "exhaling", as Laura might tell you, it's not like I DON'T find the time for a game on the PS 2 or some quality time with my helmets.

So school is busy: papers, projects, presentations, the usual. My internship with the soccer team is winding down as the season comes to a close. Winds down for now, because college sports are year-round basically, and my sport psych work really picks up during the off-season. The coaches have liked my stuff so far, and in sport psychology consulting, that's half the battle. The Very-Cool part of it is I really enjoy the work I do with the team.

My fellowship is going well too. It's for a Intro to Teaching class for underclassmen. On Mondays I lead a discussion section and on Wednesdays I supervise some of them at an elementary school in town. "University Supervisor" sounds official, but really I sit in the teachers lounge and finish my homework for the week.

I'm still riding my bike to school at the start of every week. It's gotten easier and the traffic doesn't scare me as much. The weather is still pretty good, so I'll probably keep riding until it gets really cold and snowy.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

When will I ever use Algebra when I grow up?

There are plenty of questions from experience we spend our whole lives trying to answer:

Why am I here?
What's the meaning of life?
Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Why do we do our math homework in junior high?

Tonight the answer to that last question came to me: It's because one day your wife will come home from work and ask if you want to make a couple thousand dollars by checking the answers in a junior high school student math book she's helping to edit.

Scratch that question off my list.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oh, so Giddy

Okay, in two days we are getting digital cable. THANK GOD. I have realized these last few months that not having cable DOESN'T necessarily mean that I watch television any less (the "less" part came with juggling work and Jack) - what it means it that I watch more BAD television. Case in point: I was actually interested in the preview for this week's Martha Stewart's Apprentice. Yes, the show I watched last Wednesday night instead of grading SAT's online. Not that I wish I would have worked that night- I just I would have had a better television excuse to crash and avoid work.

I'm so genuinely giddy about guilty pleasure television (like Gilmore Girls and all those evening syndicate shows like Sex and the City). I am excited about getting HBO "free" for a month so that I can watch all the hit shows that everyone talks about - the ones that I never watch. Like, Sex and the City- in the last year I spent oodles of $5.00 bills renting all the episodes, hating that I missed them when everyone saw them the first time. I am also pleased as punch to return to food tv (Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay) - as is Ed (who is still on his quest for that holy bbq experience) No doubt Jack will squeal with delight now that we can watch a FULL episode of Blue's Clues (not that he will) as opposed to the jerky snipits online - which, by the way will also change now that we are taking down DSL and its poor performance and replacing it with the magic cable line as well.

Friends are coming over Saturday to watch Notre Dame- Ed is THRILLED. He told me the other night that he hasn't been this excited to watch the Irish play since before we were together (that's over a decade, folks). He would have missed this game since it is not on one of our four current (bad mainstream) channels.

Cheers to the opiate of the masses.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Not Such a Big Deal

I'm no longer upset about missing the DM concert. I think I was just tired and craving my alter-ego's life - the one where me and Ed travel to big cities and tour the east coast with all the money we've saved by not going to school all the time.

What sealed the deal (my "no big deal" about not going to the concert) was that we heard the new album last night. Ed played bits of the songs. Only one good one. Seriously. The other stuff is quite dark and somewhat robotic (the music).

So, for all you folks who were feeling bad about my missing the experience of a lifetime, I think moving to Boston will fill that void for now. For those of you who might be/are attending Depeche Mode's concert in the coming months, don't tell me about it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Faithful yet Grouchy

So, I'm trying to balance the freelance editing gig with the online SAT essay grading job. I had planned on having Jack in day care from 9-4 this week to give me a lot of "day" space to do both jobs. But, the kid's had this crazy fever so, Ed & I have been doing the "Jack shuffle" - I coordinate the editing office visits with Ed's classes so one of us his home with Jack since he can't go to daycare with a fever. My first thought when Jack has a fever is - "oh, my God, he's got Triple E (that mosquito-carried disease affecting a handful of people in the Northeast). My second, more rational (and self-centered) thought is, "crap- how am I supposed to get all my work done? I took the "day" off from SAT grading yesterday because I was tired from worrying and caring for Jack and juggling two luxurious jobs. As I sat on the couch watching Martha's Apprentice, I thought the better person would suck it up, and get to work. Honestly, I was exhausted. And, even though not grading for those four hours could potentially keep me from future scoring jobs (they are only picking the top 1200 scorers to continue grading. top 1200 out of how many? don't know - I tried to find out, but no one who helps us scorers seems to know), I'm not going to worry. Driving home today from the South End (publisher location), I had a strange thought/emotion: things will work out. Granted, that's easier to think when things indeed ARE working out, but my this freelance job is nearly over and I don't have a lead on anything else. And while I should be worrying about securing a online grading job every other month, I can't force myself to competently read a hundred essays at the end of a long day working and mothering (not that mothering isn't working).

This blog wasn't intended to justify a lazy evening (or, maybe it was). I originally started writing to say that I'm actually learning to let things be and happen - balancing listening to instinct and working for what is needed and what I want to happen.

I was feeling all of this gushy, cosmic warmth about the paradox of fate and free will when I decided to check out ticketmaster for upcoming Depeche Mode concerts. Ed & I are silently ecstatic to purchase DM's new single and album (out this week and next)- the single is AWESOME. It harkens back to "Enjoy the Silence" era, promising the stripped back authentic kind of DM music that creating these fans in the first place. Well, guess what? Tickets are, for the most part, sold out at any of the venues worth traveling to (they aren't coming to Boston so I checked out Atlantic City, Montreal, and Las Vegas- I mean, what the hell). I checked out Ebay and we could purchase tickets anywhere from $299 (for crap seats) to $1100 - with at least 12 hours left to bid. Just when I was feeling good about our place in the universe, I find out that I want to go to a concert that I KNOW will be AMAZING- something that is bigger than our little lives - a moment that I AM SURE that if I was apart of would be one of those fleeting memories that flash in front of you before death. Yeah, Jack and Ed, my childhood and college might make it in there - maybe even some grandkids, but this DM concert is bound to be in the top 5. Is that sad? Whatever it is, I'm pissed that there's something out there that can make $1100+ bucks - it just confirms the fact that everyone knows how incredible the experience will be and that I won't be apart of it. I'll be home scoring student essays that use the word "your" for "you're."

By the way, Jack's fever is down. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be romanticing about the parallel life where Ed & I are in Boston sans child, willing to drop a few C notes to fly to New York for what I've made out to be the experience of a lifetime.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

One Good Thing about Harwood Floors

When one of the cats throw up (and one of them does at least twice a week), I don't have to worry about a carpet stain.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Worst Thing about Muggy Weather is how DIRTY everything feels

And not in the good way. By noon, it feels like all the dirt clinging to the surface of the concrete sidewalks is also desperately clinging to me. I dread walking into the house where our hardwood floors and immense (to us, anyway) cream tiled kitchen floor are a week away removed from a good cleaning - and who knows when they'll get another scrub since I've been putting off buying more swiffer wet things because they don't work that well and I don't like to spend the money on things that don't work very well- and yet I won't buy a mop because it costs more than the nearly useless wet mop wipes. So, I grabbed a cold shower before dinner - hoping to cool off enough to appreciate the muggy warmth (nope) -- and then after dinner (thanks, Ed, for cooking at the hot stove), was wiping up the dirt spots with a washcloth. My hair is still wet, so that helps.

This isn't complaining by any means. I'm just trying to accurately relay the weather here. Things are going well. The reason for my unwanted heat communion with the city sidewalk is because I'm traveling to the South End every morning for my freelancing editing gig. It's going well, but I have a feeling that there are NO MOMS (or DADS) in the office. By 11:00, when I'm scrambling to get through the production edits of some lesson-- in order to get take the bus, T, bus to pick up Jack from day care in time for him to take a nap before his "sleep window" closes and before the incessant hammering and sawing form our landlords' endless home improvement projects ensue after a lunch break-- I can hear the laxidasical (my god, is that how that word is spelled- call me editor queen) conversation in the adjacent cubicle about where's the best place to go for lunch. Lunch? Here's my Odwalla bar crumbs.

I'm starting to think that a relatively hectic life means a successful one. Without trying to beat the clock, I don't appreciate the time we do get- like tonight. Ed's got a shit-load of homework looming over him, but because he has Monday off (Columbus Day - apparently a much more appreciated holiday in Boston than Seattle), or because it's the end of his long-ass week, we're popping in a DVD: "Good-bye Lenin." As long as it is somewhat interesting, we'll be happy. Just lull us into a a mental place where we aren't thinking about next week's work load so we can sleep soundly tonight.

By the way, the weather is going to be cold and rainy this weekend. Thank goodness. It might even feel like the Northwest at times: 57 degrees and wet. Now, that's more like it.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Soup, Swimming, and Chocolate

Before we moved, we talked about making more soups. We thought- hey, a whole food genre yet untapped - and one that will most likely taste particularly good when the cold hits (and I KEEP hearing about how it will it and hit hard - hard enough that I've been advised to buy SNOW BOOTS- no, the regular stylish leather boots won't do). But, about the soup (because soup really is more interesting than snow footwear). Tonight, we made a broccoli sausage bean soup. Ed copied the recipe from Rachel Ray's "30 minute meals." He said it looked "SO GOOD." Well, it's on the stove right now, heating up - and I gotta tell you, I JUST HAD TO make some brownies to inspire me to eat the stuff. It looks ghoulish - all green and smelly. I'm sure it's good for me (otherwise, what's the point). I feel like a second grader, needing an after dinner snack to inhale quickly (so as not to taste) dinner.

As this is my main complaint, you may guess that things indeed are working out. Nothing is secure (OF COURSE- I'm beginning to think nothing is EVER secure - despite all of our efforts to create such an allusion), BUT- I did pick up some freelance editing work and connected with a reputable (and, dare I say, pretty cool) temp agency whose clients include publishing companies. So, with the editing gig (two weeks and about the same amount of pay I'd make teaching one class for four months- ??X@#@@!!), the online SATs coming up next week and the temp work, we at least have legitimate income coming in for the next few weeks - which was more than I could say last week. After that, who knows, but it can't be any worse than the last few weeks.

Maybe it's because of all the hammering, sawing, drilling, and pounding that I've jumped at the chance to get out of the house. The other day, I practically slobbered all over the mom from upstairs when she asked if Jack and I wanted to go with her and her three girls (4 years, 18 months, 2 months) to Sears and iparty for baby clothes and halloween costumes. I was so ready to leave the house that I forgot that the woman who hired me for the editing job was going to call with details about the job (yeah, I missed the call, but it's okay thanks to email). Today, we drove out to a small "farm" with ducks, turkeys, a fox, otters, and turtles. The kids loved it. Just as we turned onto the street home, upstairs mom said her motto comes from Dori (?) on the kid movie, "Finding Nemo." At some point, Dori chants, "just keep swimming, keep swimming." I feel like Ed & I have been doing the butterfly stroke (or the hardest stroke there is) the last six weeks- but we get moving, not looking back - just plugging away at life and adjusting to change. This last week it began to feel more like the line from Jodie Foster's directorial stint, "Home for the Holidays" when Holly Hunters' character is sitting on the toilet, emotionally spent from Thanksgiving Dinner with the family. She's talking to her daughter (gal from "My So Called Life") who is telling her to remember the fish (from a vacation) and to "just float." We're beginning to float along instead of swimming upstream. A lot sooner than I thought, I tell you. Of course (to absolutlely drown in the metaphor), we'll hit some heavy currents and sharks, but for now, I'll lay back and float.

Oh, and eat soup. The brownies only have a few minutes left to cook, so I'd better get some hot nutrition before I eat the chocolate for dinner.