Sunday, June 28, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
- finished data collection (yay! - just 2 short of my original goal but passed the minimum required)
- completed Annual Review Meeting
- passed student at proposal defense (she did an amazing job - another yay!)
- conference called w/ A-girl and Sparkle
- shopped and cooked so Angel has food to eat while I'm away
- filled prescription for migraine medicine--just in case
- took Pupzilla and TOC to the vet (TOC has fungal infection and will need 40 days of meds; Pupzilla needed a "pre-geriatric screening")
- wrote Angel a to do list on kitchen blackboard so life continues while I'm away
- packed for 10 days of beach camping and city life
- weighed bag to make sure it isn't over 50 lbs (2 bags under 50 lbs is cheaper than 1 bag over - don't you love flying these days?)
- provided feedback to student's dissertation grant application
- organized lit review articles for manuscript--so I can hopefully pick it back up when vacation is over
- returned all emails
- made yummy snack for 6 hour flight that will charge me for inedible food
Monday, June 22, 2009
You and I
do not make
for great love
there is no pining;
no heartfelt stares;
no deep sighs;
no dreams left
Life without you
still has air;
it has birds
I just don’t
there are no
just sweet air
and the rhythm
of you and me--
as it should
Happy Birthday b...I'll see you in Seattle.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
- I dropped b off at the airport yesterday. He's in Seattle for business purposes.
- I dropped Angel off at the airport this morning. He's going to see his dad for Father's Day.
- I am officially alone for a few days.
- Angel comes back Tuesday night and Wed afternoon I leave to meet b in Seattle, to begin our Great Pacific Northwest Vacation [GPNV].
- Last night, while Angel was working, I watched Little Miss Sunshine. I like to rent movies and TV shows when b is gone. For some reason he had no interest in ever seeing the movie but I rather enjoyed it. Angel came home early and watched the last 15 minutes with me.
- After the movie, Angel and I had a 'sharing' about his relationship with his father. He has been conflicted about that relationship since he was about 13 and we have had these talks every time he gets ready for a visit. I feel bad that he has such difficultly reconciling his feelings and I'm not sure the talks help all that much (considering they've been going on for over 6 years) but they seem necessary for him.
- I'm thinking of renting Crumb tonight. It looks delightfully icky. Or perhaps the original Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. I haven't seen the new one yet and haven't seen the old one since I was a kid living UpNorth. I find I really enjoy watching tv shows and movies that depict the city the way I remember it and not the way it is now.
- Of course I'm currently behind on The Unusuals and I'm slowly working my way through the first season of Brothers and Sisters, so I have plenty of options.
- Yesterday I went back to the used bookstore to use up some of my credit. I found Tepper's The Gate to Women's Country (on my summer list) but also picked up LeGuin's Orsinian Tales, Yolen's Dragon's Blood, and L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.
- I don't have a lot of memories from my childhood (repression - it's a good thing) but can recreate most of it when perusing children's literature. I really wanted to find Nesbitt's Five Children and It but no such luck.
- I also spent a great deal of yesterday researching alternate itineraries for our GPNV. We'll be doing a road trip down the coast with lots of camping and then some city/hotel life on the way back.
- I enjoy the planning but don't like being trapped in a plan--thus the numerous alternative itineraries.
- We may not use any of them.
- Its warm here in SouthLite but without the menfolk I can turn the AC off and enjoy open windows.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
- Ran errands--with Pumpkin--for most of Friday. One of those errands was taking TOC to the vet. She had scratched up her face and neck horribly--from fleas we think--and they needed to put her under just to examine her. As she was coming out of anesthesia her heart stopped and they had to do kitty CPR. Luckily they got her back. Now the doctor has sent out blood work thinking something might be seriously wrong with her. b and I both believe they gave her too big of a dose (TOC is a very little cat). Since she's been home she's been living in Pupzilla's old crate in her own room. She is now very happy, comfortable and spry. However she refuses to leave the crate. In many ways she is a brand-new cat. We barely recognize her. b thinks she had a out-of-body experience.
- I also brought a box full of books to our local used bookstore. It is hard for me to believe I've lived in SouthLite and have never visited this bookstore before. I also didn't realize they give store credit for old books. I got $26 worth of credit.
- I used $6 for this book that was on my summer reading list. I've already finished it. It was just ok. I think I truly enjoyed one book by Hegi and have read most of her others hoping to like them as much. b claims I just like reading books by women named Ursula.
- Friday nite was date nite. b and I tried out a new bar (we're always searching for bars that have Guinness on tap) and then had Mexican food.
- Saturday I shopped for food, blogged, cooked and did a small workout.
- Saturday nite b and I rented a really really bad movie. Wish we had read the review first.
- Today I baked a cherry pie. It was my second pie attempt and turned out quite tasty but it won't be winning any beauty awards.
- After all that baking I did a longer workout.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Lesbian Dad who writes beautiful posts to go with her beautiful photos of her children, wrote one the other day about her love for her son. Take a moment to read it and then come back for the rest of this post. It will make more sense that way.
I didn't raise a girl child along with my boy child so I have no frame of reference for the difference but Angel definitely hit me like a freight train carrying lions. It was painful. It still is.
The other post you'll need to read for a hope that any of this will make sense is this one by Annie King. Go on over and read the whole thing but don't get so confused by the similar wallpaper that you forget to come back.
As I mentioned to Annie in the comments--I miss that. Angel was never a whiz at math nor has he ever dreamed of building armor in leather and steel or of getting a doctorate in history, but I know that...or at least I knew that. I remember that time well and it really wasn't that long ago--yet its a lifetime.
Angel asked me the other day if I liked having him home for the summer. I answered as best and as honestly as I could but it was a half answer because I don't really know the answer. I said yes and no. I miss him when he's gone and I enjoy him when he's here. But, I told him, life is less complicated when he's at school. This part is very true but my explanation of the complication was only a partial answer. It is hard to say exactly what the complication is other than when he's at school I don't have a daily reminder of the Angels that are no longer here. When he's away I can just miss him. When he's here I miss all the hims. I miss chubby baby Angel. I miss toddler Angel. I miss 8 year old Angel who wore glasses for just that one year. I miss skinny 14 year old Angel who played on the football team in HS but never made it off the bench. I'd go on but I think you're getting my drift.
This Angel is an amazing young man. I am still pinned by the freight train but its DIFFERENT and I can't quite explain how. We have a great relationship and I know we always will but he is now an adult child and not a child child.
Over the years I've heard many mothers mourn the ending of each stage as their child grew to the next one. They missed their baby while loving their toddler; they missed their toddler while loving their kindergartner. I never looked back. At each new stage I found him so amazing that the freight train would hit again and I'd forget there ever was a different Angel. And its not that I don't find this stage amazing but somehow I'm mourning all the other stages at once.
I wrote previously about how difficult it was having Angel come home during the school year. He was distant in a way he's never been. He was itchy and made it clear he didn't feel this was his home anymore. I was nervous that the entire summer would be like that but its not. He's relaxed in a way he hasn't been all year. The year at school was a good one for him in many ways but he seems to need to be home and is getting some perspective on school and his friends that I think is very positive. He is more of his old self and not as distant. He is bored but not itchy. He's companionable and easy-going and we talk about poetry and politics. But there is a huge difference between a boy and his mother and a man and his mother.
I love the man but I miss the boy.
Friday, June 5, 2009
My friend, A-Girl, and I often commiserate on the "work-before-the-work," which is what we call all of the bureaucratic form-filling, back-scratching, somersault-turning shenanigans one has to go through within an institution before you can even start your research. I now see that academia has this on two fronts--the "work-before-the-work" and then the "work-on-the-work."
When do I just get to work?
All whining aside, my other revelation is that the academic year is very similar to the first year of mothering: you feel busy all the time, torn in multiple directions, don't get enough sleep, don't take very good care of yourself, feel like you are accomplishing a great feat if you manage to shower on a daily basis and at the end of the day there are very few tangible products--yet you can't imagine doing anything else.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
After graduating I slowly started learning how to write on a daily basis and to start tasks way before they were due. However I still needed long blocks of time and I often had them. Here at SouthLite there is no such luxury (except in the summertime) so I've had to learn to write throughout the day and whenever I have a few moments. I found it wasn't simply a matter of scheduling but also of rethinking how I approach writing. I think the two most successful tactics I use are to (a) write myself notes and memos throughout the day so that I don't lose the ideas that arise while reading or thinking about a project; and (b) to think about projects in smaller units so that when I have 15 minutes I can use it to revise a paragraph that I know needs attention or to write out one point I know I want to make in the discussion section of a paper. Of course I still need longer periods of time to write but I find when I can arrange the time I am much more productive. For example I spent most of Sunday writing Grant #2. By the end of the day I had 3-4 missing chunks. Monday was filled with meetings and people dropping by my office. In between the meetings and conversations I searched for and read articles that I needed to fill the gaps. I wrote myself notes from the articles and from random thoughts that would pop into my head as the day progressed. Today when I sat down to finish off the draft, it came smoothly and I was done in 2 hours.
When I was young I worked out every day for several hours a day. As my life and career progressed this was no longer a viable option and I was very good at setting aside chunks of time to exercise. Now I'm finding that approach isn't working for me as well as it once did. Large chunks of time devoted to anything don't really work well in my new life--at least not on a consistent basis and, like writing, I want physical activity to be a constant in my life. So I'm wondering if I can incorporate activity into small chunks of my day and rethink how I approach being active as I have done with writing. There is some data to support short bursts of activity being more effective for increasing metabolism than longer bouts of exercise. Of course this is not the way to tone up or slim down but quite frankly that doesn't seem as important to me anymore. I want my body to work well and work for me. My days of being a competitive athlete are way behind me. I've begun to think long-term--what will make my body feel best now and in the years to come?
I already walk to work most days and home from work every other day. I also try to take walks across campus in the middle of the day. I'd like to incorporate brief workouts at home in the mornings and evenings. I like the idea of getting out of my chair periodically and doing 10-15 minutes of gentle exercises throughout the day. I realize it is not just a matter of scheduling but of rethinking how I live my life.