Wednesday, September 01, 2010

My Dad's printer was irredeemably screwed up, but Katie and I are both home from our Maine vacation now and I sent her my work in progress. It feels so good, I wish I had done it BEFORE I left.

The trip was great. It's always great up there. Now back to reality...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I only got to 16,000 words yesterday, but still, I'm happy. I seem to have slightly north of 1,000 words in me on any given day before I start to frazzle out. I'd like to increase that, but even 1,000 words a day at a steady clip generates a lot of copy in the course of a lifetime, eh?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yummy fritatta last night - locally produced eggs, onions and potatoes, with zucchini and tomatoes right out of the backyard!

The night before we went to Chili's, which was a big hit with the whole family but DANG, when you get used to eating a human-sized portion and then you eat a Chili's bacon burger, you can barely get up afterwards to walk to the car. Scott was more virtuous and stuck to the diet-friendly menu. He's lost 8 pounds, I'm very proud!

Things are moving along again with the story; I'm not calling it quits today until I hit 20,000 words.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Scott threw himself into tomato sauce yesterday - not quite literally, but he was pretty well bedaubed by the time he pronounced it done. We have five more meal-sized jars of the good stuff in the freezer. I bought Romas from the farmer's market for this batch, and that's looking like a better method than growing them myself. Those ladies know how to grow tomatoes! I think I'll buy another box next week.

I stuffed a huge zucchini with heritage free-range ground turkey from the awesome folks at Brick House Farms. I baked it. We ate it. Take that, zucchini!

What else did we eat recently? Steak, also from Brick House Farms. Pasta. A lot of the soup (zucchini and minestrone) that I made up and froze for later convenience meals. A lot of eggs. We also went out, for the first time since I got home, to both Chile's and Chipotle. They have offerings that work with Scott's 1500-calories-per-day crazy-ass diet.

I've finally got some movement on the story - but I need to generate 2600 words per day over the next 15 days if I'm to bring a 50,000-word manuscript to Maine. I think that's probably an ideal length, since I, like Steven King, tend to add to the word count upon revisiting a draft. As far as I know, that and Maine are all we have in common ;-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm such a procrastinator.

We've has some lovely chili made with fresh veggies, baked chicken with eggplant-and-pepper marinade, and other stuff made with ingredients pulled right from the backyard.
I've weeded. I've walked (five miles in one day, in a circle around the goddamn subdivision). I've lost three pounds, actually, and that's always nice.

I've also drilled James on his math facts, posted on message boards, read The Abolition of Man and a couple of other, lesser, books, watched TV on Hulu and been to six (!!!) meetings, one worship service and a pool playdate since I got home.

But I sure am not writing as quickly or consistently as I'd like to be. I'm not giving up (I'll NEVER give up on this one, I have to know how it ends!), but I am a frustrated and self-disgusted person right about now.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

More tomatoes and zucchinis. Good haul of fruit at the farmer's market, including an SC-grown watermelon. I may get 50 lbs. of tomatos next week and do another batch of sauce. We really go through the marinara in this house.

The pressing story-related question of the day is: what exactly did Daryll the drug dealer see the day that the office was broken into?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Zucchini insanity! Eight bags frozen shredded and a whole lot of soup, which seems to be both low-cal and filling.

Also, outdoor kid-friendly Shabbat services tonight, so really, a pretty great day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Our first attempt at tomato sauce from scratch! It's a litle acidic, and I think I'm going to have to plant a whole second crop of tomatoes to make as much sauce as I need, but still, any sauce is better than no sauce!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, lunch at Camp Gan Israel, beef stew and rice for dinner, and the FBI has just refused to get involved in the hunt for my eccentric domestic terrorist.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nine bags of sliced carrots, maybe eight big bags of chopped onion? Anyhow, a lot.

I still haven't nailed down the identity of my villian, but I found a guy who's going to figure out that he does business with him, and a couple of teenagers are about to run across an eyewitness to the crime.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

First day home, and damn but the garden is a mess. I pulled the carrots and onions (don't know what happened there, but they were pushing themselves out of the soil). The kids watched me put the dreaded zuchinni into the batter, but they ate the finished product anyway. Leek soup and regular bread in the new machine turned out well, too.

I'm having a little trouble with my villian. I'm not sure who he is.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

There are a couple of things that are really frustrating me in my life right now. One, I haven't finished a book yet, and two, we're not eating right.

Before I took an impromptu road trip to visit the folks up North, I was going along at a pretty good clip of 1,000 words/day on the current project. I don't think I'll have much trouble getting back into that groove when we get back home this weekend. The food bit is harder. I don't much like cooking. I'm not much good at cooking. The garden is doing well and I've got over two hundred dollars worth of local meat in my freezer, but the onslaught of covenience food is relentless.

I'd like to do something about these two major areas of unrealized creative and domestic potential, so from July 10 - August 10 (the day we leave for our next vacation, the officially planned plane-taking one), I'm going to spend two hours every day on the story and two hours on growing, cooking, processing and preserving real food.

My writing goal is to give cousin Katie the finished draft to read when she arrives for her own Maine vacation in mid-August. My culinary goal is to put up enough tomato sauce and diced tomatoes to last until next summer, dry and store a good supply of all the herbs we planted, and serve three meals every day that my great-grandmother would have recognized as food (though with all due respect to Michael Pollan, I was lucky enough to know my great-grandmother, and the woman adored salt pork, margarine and these unspeakable pressed-meat chicken slices that I can't even describe).

I'll post my results daily. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 02, 2009

It's November again!

NaNoWriMo doesn't seem likely for me this year, what with the 6-month-old baby and the homeschooling and all, but we're doing NaBloPoMo over at Avast!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I didn't write a novel in November, but Sarahlynn did! Congratulations!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Anybody else giving NaNoWriMo a try this year?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

At long last, pictures from the trip:

Sunday, June 08, 2008

June 4th – the wedding

God, it was perfect.

For the past few months (and $3000) I’ve been wondering why Rachel and Hendre picked Sifnos. They are value-conscious and family-loving people, and knew very well that the exotic venue meant a smaller attendance and a large expense.

But it also meant heart-stopping beauty and a wedding banquet that money literally could not buy in America caterers, served by a restaurant they booked three days before (when the first caterers backed out due to an important festival they had just remembered).

Wiz had an adaptor that fit the video camera, so I had plenty of juice to film the service and the speeches. Aunt Kathy officiated (another last-minute choice, when it turned out that the local priests would have nothing to do with the marriage of a heathen Episcopalian and whatever Hendre is – the First Church of Braai, perhaps?), and she did and excellent job. Katie clearly had a hand in composing the service. We all cried. I damn near fell off the cliff trying to get the best angle for the video. There were some cicadas buzzing in a nearby tree, but Jerry discreetly whacked it right before the ceremony and that quieted them down a good bit.

The reception setup was pretty typical – head table, assigned guest seating, dance floor – but with a gorgeous ocean backdrop. Afrikaaners give more (and drunker) speeches than Americans, and they were a hoot. Rachel was repeatedly, dramatically pitied for getting herself leg-shackled to a useless, feckless, fractured, lustful sot. Apparently insulting the hell out of the groom is another one of those Afrikaaner traditions.

Along with the acres of food came oceans of booze – strong fruity cocktails with the hors d’oeuvres, half a bottle of wine apiece with the first five (not kidding) courses of lamb, salads, bread, cheese, etc. etc. etc., then an open bar with dessert where the standard serving was (not kidding) 3 oz. of liquor and a tiny amount of mixer, and then we danced and yakked. Oh, how we danced and yakked. My handsome Wicker cousins, who normally are very reserved, were downright jolly. They both have Master’s degrees and Eastern European spouses now.

One of the Hendre’s friends insisted with great force that I should move out of South Carolina so my kids don’t grow up warped, which I thought was a bit rich coming from a South African, but then again he was pretty drunk. All of the South Africans, even when sober, were astonished to meet Americans with passports who had visited other countries and had some vague idea that Shrub is the leader of just OUR country, not the entire world. Every single American at that wedding was made aware that we had exceeded expectations simply by being able to find the international terminal at the airport. I think that the media we export is not showing us in the best possible light.

Around 1 a.m., the bride started calling for shots. After the round of vodka and the round of tequila, we went home and went to bed. I learned that later that one of the female Afrikaaners was dropped off at her pension to sleep it off, but the rest of them went out to a club, took it over, and keep drinking and dancing until 5:30 a.m. These people are incredible. They must be about my age (Hendre is), but their livers are eternally 18.

Anyhow, I think Rachel got just what she wanted – gorgeous, moving ceremony and riotous reception. The aunties (Callie, Wiz and Marcia have adopted the term as a nod to the beloved aunties of yore, since that’s how Debbie addressed their gift bag) are very glad they made the trip. So are we.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

June 3, Athens and the ferry to Sifnos

Having not slept at all, I hit the pavement at 5:30 a.m. and climbed the hill behind the Plaka, trying to get a look at the Acropolis as the sunlight first hit the Parthenon. I managed to find the entrance but there wasn’t much of a view from there. All of the small residential buildings just before the fence that marks the Acropolis boundary are pretty freaking ancient – renovations are probably strictly controlled. Given the value of the real estate, a disproportionate number seemed to be used as storage sheds. Likely it’s prohibitively expensive to fit them out with plumbing.

I got lost on my way back to the hotel, and had to take a taxi. All the dogs of Athens (large mongrelly houndlike creatures) run free in the streets, and are very gentle. I saw a cat fight and almost filmed it, but decided that was too touristy even for me. Little old ladies mop the stone streets of the Plaka district every morning, which explains why they are so luminously clean.

Breakfast at the Attalos is mediocre – good enough to get us started, but there’s no way we’ll be able to exist on two meals a day if this breakfast is one of them. Mom and Dad both got a decent amount of sleep, and after breakfast we showered and check out, leaving our luggage in their (dodgy) basement until our transfer to the port at 2:30.

We toured the ancient Agora, minus the Acropolis which we’ll ascend with a tour group later this week. Some very lovely views of the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalos. Even the large piles of rock were interesting, although I wish they’d do some more rebuilding as the Rockefellers did with the Stoa. It’s impossible to keep track of who sacked which building when – Dad said there should be a Greek trivia show called “Which Conqueror?” At any rate, human beings have inhabited the area of the Agora since Neolithic times – 3500 BCE. It is by far the most ancient place I have ever visited. Cities that paid tribute to ancient Athens built lots of the temples and shrines that have stood there over the years, the Romans knocked some stuff down and put up other stuff, the Herulians and the Turks committed flagrant destruction at various points, and the Athenians constructed houses, municipal buildings and various other things (an olive oil factory, family graveyards) right along throughout.

After the Agora, we strolled the beautiful pedestrian path around the mountain (built for the Olympics, I think) and had lunch on the far side right before the huge Temple of Olympian Zeus. Pedestrian apparently means “fewer motorbikes than a regular street, but you’s still do well to watch out.” We skirted the temple and the adjoining National Gardens, took a left in front of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, made a brief pit stop to send emails, and were standing outside our hotel with all our baggage at 2:30 p.m. Since our transfer was apparently rescheduled for 3:30, we had to wait a bit, but George showed up around 3:10 once the front desk guy clued him in that we were waiting.

The port area, Piraeus, is kind of seedy and run-down. There was a billboard advertising a sex club called Alcatraz, which George says is not a Greek word but is meant to refer to our famous island prison. The ferry was enormous, able to fit a couple of dozen semi trucks in its hold. We met up with our cousins Callie, Wiz and Marcia, who have been contending with agitated Greeks at every step due to being three people instead of four. Even though grandmother paid for all the accommodations that she can’t now use, taxi drivers and hotel clerks are distressed by her absence. The ferry crew flatly refused to give Marcia the key to her stateroom, in case another passenger came along wanting to pay for the empty berth.

The voyage was long but pretty. We stopped at Kythos and Serifos, arriving at Sifnos around 11:30 p.m. Some rowdy New Zealanders bet each other 10 euros that Dad was/was not a member of the PGA tour who they had seen on TV. The loser of the bet then knocked back a few and stripped down to his boxers as part of an ill-advised attempt to charm an older German lady into bed (Marcia’s spare stateroom bed, no doubt). He eventually redressed after a few hours in the break Aegean wind. Another one of that crowd, with long blond dreadlocks, cast a hopeful glance in my direction, but I was too well chaperoned to approach.

An agent was waiting at the dock to take us to our taxis, and the manager of the Hotel Petali, who was drinking on his veranda with a group of his employees, gave Dad a glass of his own private Scotch and dispatched Andreas to the kitchen to make me “toast” – a ham and cheese panini. I wish all toast everywhere was served in panini format. It was past midnight, a bit too late to descend the hill into Appolonia and find a taverna, but between Andreas’ panini, the owner’s Scotch and a gift basket from the Wickers in our room, we made out all right for dinner. (Dad had eaten the mediocre boat food, but Mom and I were asleep when they served dinner).

Our rooms are clean, white and perfectly quiet – it was like being home in Maine, if our part of Maine had gorgeous ocean vistas. I slept from about 2 a.m. until the church bells started at 7. I have a little sunburn on my shoulders, nothing much, but I’ll need to wear sunblock today. We have to be at Rachel’s wedding at 4:30 p.m., and horror of horrors, my A/C charger for the video camera does not fit into the European plug adapter! I will have to have Debbie try hers and everybody else’s until we find one that works.

The sun has risen and the roosters are crowing, so it’s time for a shower and a (likely excellent) hotel breakfast. There’s no WiFi here, but perhaps there will be an Internet café down in Appolonia where I can post this.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Smith Family Robinson in Greece

June 1-2, in transit

The first thing I did, of course, was to piss off a flight attendant.

Well, the very first thing was to piss off Scott, who was not charmed by my 7:00 a.m. departure that had us leaving for the airport at six. (United cancelled its 9:30 flight to Detroit, so I had to leave earlier and connect through Chicago). Anyhow, the flight attendant wanted to people to move from the front of the plane to the back, and I, with less than an hour to make my connection at God-knows-which terminal, declined to be one of the victims. Turns out that Chicago is an hour behind Greenville, so I had plenty of time and so did my fellow nonvictim in the next row up, and attendant gave us a passive-aggressive spiel about all the people in back of us who had less time to get to their next gate. Since the whole point of the exercise was to get people out of the front seats so as to balance the “aircraft,” I’m not sure how our refusal to move deprived those behind us of their rights. In any case, I had nothing in the overhead bin and sprinted out the door as soon as it opened.

The flight crew to Boston was surly, rude and at least 33.333% racist (yes, they were Boston-based). After the exit row presentation, one of them got right up in the faces of the nonwhite family sitting in said row and made them each give a loud, clearly enunciated assent to the outlined procedures (“you keep saying yeah. I need to hear YES. You don’t understand me, do you?!?” “YES, YES,” bellowed the poor embarrassed family.)

The Iberia ticket agents and flight crews were a distinct improvement. I met my folks inside the E terminal at Logan, and got some great footage of Dad being patted down by security. Gotta love that titanium hip. We flew to Madrid and then on to Athens. That’s all a bit of a blur to me because it took place during what I’ve been programmed to regard as the middle of the night. I do recall intense sinus pain that resolved itself with a nasty sucking sound as things got rearranged inside my skull. Mom says I folded myself over my legs and fell asleep, and that the entire row was impressed with my flexibility. I also finished The Beekeeper’s Apprentice – great recommendation, Jaime!

In Athens, we were spared the ordeal of Customs and George The Famous Taxi Driver had sent an associate to fetch us in a nice clean Mercedes taxi. We drove past a freshly graffitied ancient building (a school, I think) that said something like “you will never privatize our educational system.” Apparently, a huge protest happened a couple of days ago over the current administration’s plan to have some Greek schools charge tuition. Our taxi driver sympathized with the motives of the students and teachers who had protested, but wished they had chosen a less ancient building to deface.

We checked in to the Hotel Attalos, showered, and walked down to the Plaka. Mom and I were all for ascending the Acropolis right there and then, but Dad was on his last legs and demanded food and a good night’s sleep. We ate at a tourist trap – 40 euros total including tip! We’ll have to cultivate a nice little dive of a taverna once we get back from Sifnos. The Attalos includes breakfast, so we should be able to stuff ourselves well every morning. I hope they offer a bit more variety than that B&B Mom and I stayed at in Kensington – a baked tomato should not be the only fruit/veggie a person consumes before noon. Bleagh.

The souvenir shops right on Tourist Row have very cool statue reproductions and chess sets at decent prices – 8 euros for Venus ascending! Once we come back from Sifnos, we’ll suss out cheaper shops off the beaten path. I think I’m going to need another bag to carry home my loot. (As it was, I had to beg the Borders staff at Logan for a plastic bag to hold my armful of books. Going back, I’ll have fewer books to carry on, but more statues.)

It’s 4:00 a.m. local time, and Mom has finally conquered her insomnia, but I am SOL on that front. Hopefully I’ll be able to rack out on the slow boat to Sifnos. I reviewed all the Greek letters and hopefully I’ll be able to sound out signs. I also learned five more Hebrew letters on the plane, which hopefully won’t be driven out of my brain by sheer exhaustion.

I’d like to hike up to the Acropolis at dawn, but I can’t find out when dawn is unless I get myself closer to the WiFi hotspot. Maybe I’ll do it the old-fashioned way and look out the window.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Expectant Again

Not only have I not posted to this blog to tell you all about my daughter who is due at the end of May, I haven't even taken any pictures of my belly yet. Classic second child sydrome. Hope she doesn't need too much therapy.

The firstborn is doing wonderfully, and I've just started participating in a group blog with some of my very favorite online feminist friends. Check us out!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Which Western Feminist Icon Are You?

Catharine MacKinnon
You are Catharine MacKinnon! You are one amazing
smarty-pants! You're hell on wheels and you
know it, but you also know that because you're
the "pretty" radical feminist, you
get off easier in public. You combine law,
philsophy, and feminist theory. You truly are a
triple threat!

Which Western feminist icon are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm sure that those of you who know me will find this pretty freaking ironic.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Einstein's Wife

As I predicted, the rejections have started rolling in. (Just the email ones, obviously, it will take months to be properly and thoroughly rejected by the agencies who prefer snailmail submissions). I've got two so far, and one of them - oh joy! - was a letter with enough detail to indicate that somebody, somewhere has actually skimmed the proposal before refusing it.

In the world of publishing, that's considered good news. The world of publishing is one sick bitch.

And has anybody else been fuming about this fetid pile of well-covered dogshit?

In 1896 Mileva Maric, a courageous young woman of exceptional intellect, boldly entered the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and enrolled in theoretical physics. Only one other person did the same, a young Albert Einstein... Einstein's Wife is a story of love, marriage, science and sexual discrimination and restores the memory of a remarkable woman of the 20th century, driven by passion, but drowned by history.

Maybe my anonymous poster will do another drive-by to tell me I'm projecting, but honest to Christ. This woman was (at the very least) Einstein's facilitator, peer-reviewer and sounding-board for the research that led up to E=mc^2. She failed her Ph.D. exams while suffering from hyperemises, and when she retook them after her marriage, having spent a damn year hiding in the boondocks lest her beloved suffer the social consequences of impregnating his shiksa girlfriend and refusing to marry her in a timely fashion, she scored on the low side and the committee decided not to pass her, figuring that one Ph.D. was enough for the Einstein family.

Einstein separated her from daughter, who either died of scarlet fever or was given to another family to raise. They had two sons in wedlock, and after she was completely commited to her domestic responsibilities and had lost all chance of an academic career, he bailed. Kicked her out. Demanded a divorce (in fact, paid her off with his Nobel Prize money) and married his first cousin a month after the papers were signed.

Oh, and then he fled to America, leaving her to face the Nazis with his two half-Jewish children.

Nice, huh?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Suburban Bliss

My playgroup is thinking of defecting from the MOMS Club . Our "Calendar Coordinator" has informed us that a previously-unknown "rule" stating that all playgroups must organize one monthly activity for the group at large will now be "enforced." A quorum of us were present at Gymboree this morning, and we decided that this sucks and we aren't going to do it. We have little kids. Organizing large-scale social events where all the bigger kids can whack them and take their toys is just not what we signed on for.

To tell you the truth, I love MOMS club about 90% of the time. Their Book Club kicks ass. Their Mom's Night Out parties are a hoot. To be sure, there was that one brunch where the hostess proclaimed that shorts could not be worn by women over 30 (guess who was the only one in shorts?), but now I know to avoid events at her house. I even signed up for a board position this year, organizing kidfree parties along with two of the other wine-guzzling book fiends.

So now the question - will we all be excommunicated from MOMS Club for defying our Coordinator? Stay tuned...

Monday, June 13, 2005

Homeless Poet, Broke No Food

So I was on my way home from Belltown after a meeting with Sue. She's going to mail out our book proposal to a bunch of agencies this week, and then we can spend the rest of the summer waiting to get rejected.

Anyhow. As I approached the onramp to I-5 I saw the ubiquitous pile of backpack-and-secondary-sign that indicates the presence of a Freeway Stoplight Panhandler. In my prebaby days, I used to open my window and give these guys my change. Now I have too much to lose if I should happen to encounter the one psycho killer in the sea of harmless eccentrics, so I usually just stare straight ahead and feel guilty.

But for ignoring this guy, I felt no guilt. Let me tell you why.

The first sign I saw, the secondary one propped up on the backpack, was a poem. It began with something like He marvels at the irony of life... I'll never know whether or not the rest of the poem actually dealt with an ironic situation, because traffic statred to move along.

The man who marveled at life's irony was standing at the next light, about 50 feet away from his backpack. He was twentysomething, multiracial, no visible physical handicap. Didn't look crazy either. The sign he had chosen to hold said

Homeless Poet
Broke No Food
Anything Would Help

Now, I don't know this man's life history. It's entirely possible that he has some grave problem that precludes him from flipping burgers or scrubbing toilets or otherwise earning his daily bread. But what he chose to tell me about himself was that he was a poet, and that he was broke and homeless because being a poet was not bringing in any income.

NO FREAKING KIDDING, NUMBSKULL. I am fortunate enough to be acquainted with several fine poets, recognized talents who have every hope that their work may be anthologized a hundred years hence. They toil diligently at their craft. They are published by famous magazines and venerable presses. They tour. They lecture. They inspire future generations of poets.

And they also have jobs, by which they earn the money that pays their rent and buys their food and keeps the DSL turned on. Because you cannot make a living on poetry in this day and age, even if you are a genius. Being a poet in the 21st century isn't a career - it's a vocation. So if you don't want to wind up begging on the street, it might be wise to train yourself for something that will pay a living wage.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Milk of Human Weirdness

Our local ABC news affiliate aired this steaming pile of crap yesterday:

Ken Schram Commentary: I'm All For This 'Cover Up'

The entire piece is a real gem, but this particularly caught my eye:

"...for guys, it is nigh on impossible to switch from breasts as something sexual to breasts as take-out-food."

So I emailed him:

Well, I'm not sure that your Freudian fixation is my problem, Ken. Believe it or not, it is YOUR responsibility not to leer at, harass, intimidate or shame somebody who is breast-feeding, regardless of your personal issues. Human beings pee in the bathroom and eat anywhere that food is permitted (restaurants, airplanes, park benches etc.) I'm not inclined to plan my entire day around your neuroses.

By the way, my experience nursing my son in public here in the Seattle area was overwhelmingly positive. If you yearn for a society with draconian nudity taboos, I'd suggest Alabama.


Maybe it's because I'm a woman, but I can't even wrap my mind around the idea of being so entitled, so indulged, so fucking cosseted for my entire privileged life that I sincerely believed my discomfort outweighed a hungry infant's discomfort, or the discomfort of a nursing woman with full breasts. I'm beyond angry. I'm dumbfounded.

Parental Rights

"Kids can't get their ears pierced without permission, but they can get abortions."

"Kids can't use tanning booths without permission, but they can get abortions."

These are two of the classic scenarios that get trotted out when parental consent/notification laws are on the table. It's ridiculous, say many completely reasonable, non-abusive, loving parents, that my child can consent to an operation without first obtaining my consent.

It's ridiculous, all right. It's ridiculous that your daughter conceived against her will in this age of a hundred contraceptive options. Where was your concern for her reproductive health then? It's ridiculous that although her status as a pregnant woman automatically emancipates her, and that she will be free to leave your home, cut off all contact with you, and start her own life with financial assistance from the government if she chooses to keep her baby, her choice to postpone parenthood, finish high school, and continue to be subject to your parental authority is one that you think you can make for her.

Seriously, what's the end game here? If you are a resident of one of the 33 states where your teenager must obtain your consent to have an abortion, what exactly are you going to do with that power? Will you refuse to give consent, thus ensuring that your daughter is instantly a legal adult? Will you attempt to imprison her during her pregnancy (and make no mistake, holding another adult against their will is a crime, albeit one that you're unlikely to be charged with if your victim is your pregnant teenager)? What about when the baby comes? Will you make her choices for her then? Will you coerce her into an adoption agreement? Will you raise the baby yourself? Or will you just rely on maternal instinct to do its job and make your daughter into the responsible parent that she felt herself unready to be?

Maybe those are extreme examples. Maybe you have every intention of allowing that abortion - after all, she's far too young to be a mother! and pregnancy is more dangerous than abortion! - and all you want is a chance to express your feelings of disappointment, anger and guilt. You want her to know how badly she's fucked up. You want to limit her freedoms in the future as a punishment for becoming pregnant. You want to destroy her relationship with the boy who got her in trouble. And mostly, you want to KNOW, forever, that this terrible thing happened. You want to look into the eyes of your grandchildren and mourn the one who never born. You want to own a piece of the worst thing that ever happened to your daughter.

I think a pregnant teenager has quite enough to deal with in the disappointment, anger, guilt and painful memories arena without having her lifelong relationship with her parents tossed into the mix. If sharing her ordeal with you will help her to cope, then share she will. But I invite you to think about the worst transgressions of your own young lives, and consider how humiliated you might have been to have them laid before your own parents. TO THIS DAY, there are probably things your folks don't know about because you fear that the knowledge would diminish you in their eyes.

In a perfect world, unplanned pregnancies wouldn't exist and girls would never be thrust into the role of women overnight. But since they bear that responsibility, they deserve the rights that come along with it. Unless you or your partner are the one who is pregnant, there is no pregnancy on earth where your where your opinion has any relevence. You aren't the one it's happening to, and you aren't the one who has to live with the consequences. So please, in the interest of your daughter's mental health and the health of your future relationship with her, back the fuck off.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Unbelievers

I've been editing and adding to and generally kicking around my Masters' essay to present at the 15th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf this weekend. Here's the three-sentence gist: 1) Woolf's mama ignored her, and then died. 2) Woolf's older half-brother molested her and her sister, for SEVEN YEARS, and nobody did a damned thing to stop him. 3) Woolf eventually figured out that her mama's vision of family life, where sisters nurture brothers and mama nurtures papa and all this nurturing means never losing control or starting a fight or saying "no," is a fucking blueprint for exploitation, which has its ultimate expression in incest and a slew of lesser expressions in bullying, controlling and manipulating women and girls.

Maybe my youth and cynicism is showing here, but I don't see why all of Woolf's biographers (DeSalvo being a notable exception) feel the need to tap-dance around the whole incest issue. Of COURSE it happened. Woolf and her sister spent their entire adult lives maintaining that it happened. Vanessa even told Virginia's doctor that it was happening, WHILE it was happening, in an attempt to explain why her little sister was having a complete nervous breakdown. They told their husbands. They told their friends. They told the people who had known them as young girls and suspected that there was something weird going on in the household. They wrote about it in letters. Virginia wote three memoirs that mention it. Vanessa had three children and told them each about it. They all but screamed it in the streets. But nonetheless, as soon as they left this earth, the whole horrific mess started to be glossed over.

It would be really nice if someday our society comes to grips with the prevalence of incest. We might start by simply believing, without qualification or equivocation, those survivor narratives in which all the parties involved are safely dead.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Oprah Does Faulkner

I have an online home, a private EZ Board comprised mostly of people I've known for years. So, if my attempts to make my blog less of a diary and more of a world-changing skyrocket-me-to-fame leftist hotspot result in issues from that space being rehashed here, I am confident that I will be forgiven.

So. Oprah and Faulkner. This summer's Book Club Picks are As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, and Light in August. It's a summer of Faulkner. Faulkner by the pool. BBQs, fireworks and Faulkner.

A friend of mine, a Faulkner scholar, is distraught about this. I have to admit that I'm thrilled. I think that the average American woman is sophisticated enough to enjoy Faulkner if only she will turn off the TV and give it a shot. Will she come away from the experience having tracked down every allusion and literary device and ready to write a 30-page critical essay? Probably not. But it really sucks that that has become the standard for appreciating great books.

With rare exceptions, I don't think that the members of the English literary canon set pen to paper in hopes of becoming a rarefied intellectual experience. If they didn't think that what they had to say might be interesting to someone other than a grad student, then they wouldn't have poured so much of themselves into writing books. And really, if what they had to say is only interesting to grad students, then I would seriously question their greatness.

Monday, May 30, 2005


How, you ask, did he celebrate? He swallowed my heart-shaped mother-and-child pendant. We're going into the doctor's office at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow for a stomach x-ray. Welcome to toddlerhood, sweetheart!

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Bragging again...

I edited this

Brag, brag, brag...

I wrote this

Friday, March 25, 2005

They like me, they really like me!

Dear Prospective Participant:

On behalf of the program committee for the 15th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf: The Art of Exploration, I am delighted to notify you that your proposal has been accepted. We received many superb proposals, and look forward to a stimulating and productive conference.

Monday, March 21, 2005

All This Fuss Over Cottage Cheese?

This past Friday, I had an excision biopsy of a mass in my right breast.

Was it a malignant tumor? No.

Was it a benign tumor? No.

A cyst? A fibroid? A calcification?


It was a big nasty lump of dried milk, created when an overzealous radiologist did a punch biopsy on my poor lactating breast six months ago. She thought I had cancer. I had mastitis.

Am I dying? No.

Have I just taken it up the butt from the medical establishment? Yes.

Next time I feel a lump in my breast, Scott is going to have to knock me over the head and carry my unconscious body in to the doctor's office, because I don't see how any rational person could voluntarily put themselves through such a clusterfuck again. I am going to be disfigured for life. Just call me Frankentit.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Our Lady of Perpetual Ibuprofen

I knew this teething thing would have its lowlights. But seeing a ring of blood around the emerging front tooth is really just too grisly for words. The poor kid is frantic, and if I were a better mother I would probably have deviated from the every 4-6 hours dosing schedule advised by the nice folks who make Motrin and given him a dose before bed. I'm afraid to go down that road, though. I don't want him to be a junkie when he grows up.

I've been doing a little writing - a new author profile for Uncapped. One of the Seattle Writergrrls got a deal with Random House for a book based on her blog. Pretty impressive...

I also met with a therapist who wants to write a book based on her experiences over the past couple of decades. As far as I can tell, she's thinking about a slightly fictionalized narrative that focuses on women figuring out what they want and how to get it. My writerly instinct tells me that the success of this project depends upon how willing said therapist will be to see herself as the protagonist and give her writer the depth of access to her own life that she'll presumably be dishing out in case studies of her clients. At any rate, I think the project has potential.

I was also offered a gig translating "reviews" of Korean porn flicks. It was reeeeaaalllly hard to turn it down, but somehow I managed.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Thanks to limpet for the link. I believe that the quiz captured me far more accurately than it did her.

(Yes, the participle is dangling. Live with it.)

You Are 60% Femme and 40% Butch!

80 - 100% Femme - You're the girly girl of the century. Or Clay Aiken.

60 - 79% Femme - Girl? Almost certainly. If not, you've got some major man boobs going on.

40 - 59% Femme - Girl or guy? Even your best friends can't figure this one out.

20 - 39% Femme - You are likely male, or the toughest, scariest lesbian around.

0 - 19% Femme - You are 100% male. You make cowboys look like pussies.

How Butch or Femme Are You?

More Great Quizzes from Quiz Diva

An Open Letter to My Son

Suburbia, WA
7 February 2005
2:20 a.m.

Dear James,

Eating in the middle of the night is vastly overrated.

I was very proud of your relatively charismatic behavior at the Tomko's baby shower yesterday. Your father and I realize that you are teething, and that it is normal for you to want to stick close to your mama as you come to term with this uncomfortable new sensation. We particularly appreciated your willingess to chew on a hunk of bread instead of nursing all afternoon in front of a packed house of single, childless engineers. Soon, there will be another baby and another set of boobs on permanent display and everybody will become desensitized to the sight of nipple. Anyhow, good show.

I wish that I could be similarly sanguine about your need to nurse at 2 a.m. You used to wake up for a 2 a.m. feeding every night; it was simply part of my reality. But for the past month or so, you have increasingly tended to skip this feeding in favor of a 6 a.m. snack followed by a couple more hours of sleep. When you wake up at 2 a.m. now, it is like God has stolen away a beautiful dream that finally came true (and in fact, getting yanked out of REM sleep has precisely that effect).

As long as I was up, I got myself a bottle of water and switched your diapers over to the dryer. I'm going back to bed now, and I hope that we will meet again sometime around 8.

All my love,


Friday, January 28, 2005

Welcome, Lily Snow!

Nothing much going on at Chez Smithie these days. James got his head shot taken for the modeling agency; we're meting with the agent next week to pick a pose and (I kid you not) put together his resume. Special Skills: Sits unassisted. Good with animals. Willing to eat own poo.

I have two friends named Sara(h) who were expecting babies, and one of them, Sarah-with-an-h, delivered her little girl this past Wednesday. I am going over tonight to bring dinner and meet Lily. Hopefully my neighbor will watch shorty, as his grabby hands, loud voice and perpetually snotty nose would not be considered charming by the new parents.

Heh. With a name like Lily Snow, the kid had better not be sallow.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Death of Maud

I met Maud a couple years back when I went to Petco for dog food, right after we had moved out to the Left Coast. She was in a cage marked "young male rats," and she was getting vigorously gangbanged. I brought her home, took a little grief for acquiring another dependent without consulting Daddy, and that was that.

Note: this is why I love my husband. One minute he's bitching about how he doesn't like rodents, and the next thing I know he's buying the plushest cage he can find and scouting out rat breeders so his new baby will have a friend.

The "rat breeder" knew a sucker when she saw one, so we wound up with four rats sharing the palatial cage - Maud, Mabel, Mildred and Molly. Mabel and Molly died last year of some sort of cancerous respiratory nastiness, and we thought we'd lose them all, but the remaining two pulled through and have been living out their little ratty lives in the room off the kitchen.

Mildred seems to have mites or lice or something itchy, so I'm going to get her some medicine tomorrow and see if that does the trick. But she is nearing the end of her lifespan and she will probably just be lonely from now on. We do not plan to have any more caged pets.

Oh, and the old lady next door saw us digging a hole in the yard at 1 a.m. and came charging out with a flashlight. She was probably very relieved that it was not James we were putting in the ground.

Rest in peace, Maud. I am glad that I noticed you in the cage at Petco that day. You were a good rat.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I could be the next JonBenet! Posted by Hello

Million Dollar Baby

You know how people will go up to a woman in the grocery store or wherever and pat her rugrat on the head and say "oooooooh, he's so adorable, he should be a model" or some shit like that?

Well, most people just smile and say thank you. But my husband actually took the Kindly Grandmas of the world seriously, and he nagged me and nagged me until I made an appointment to meet with a talent agent.

They called back. James has "a great look" and he's "a great size" and his "eyes are really unusual," and they want to represent him.

I'm not sure what to do about this. Scott checked into the agency and they seem to be union-affiliated and not crooks. Their head shot policies are industry standard, and there's no denying that I've seen the little cuties on their website gracing the pages of the Bon-Macy's catalogue. So if we sign with them, they will probably put shorty on the cover of the Rolling stone, or at least the fifth page of the Bon Baby Days circular.

Can I do this? Can I pimp out my baby's rosy cheeks and oh-so-unusual brown eyes? Obviously, the money would go straight into his college fund. But my mother says that no child wants to work. Would he even recognize it as work? He loves chaos and other children, does that mean he would love a photo shoot?

Please post a comment of you have any advice and/or any experience with this.

Friday, January 14, 2005

He can stand by himself! Posted by Hello

Playing Halo 2 with dad... Posted by Hello

First time in the pool - nice biceps, Ma! Posted by Hello

James watches TV, Mac watches James Posted by Hello

Mmm, Cheerios! Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello Testing Hello software - Scott is not too thrilled that I am posting this...

The Stupidest Arguments in the World...

are about things that you can't change - such as an annual gym membership that YOU ARE STUCK WITH because OPEN ENROLLMENT IS OVER UNTIL NEXT YEAR, so why don't you just be happy that THEY OFFER ACCREDITED DAYCARE?

But no, it is not necessary for me to get my car detailed there as well. I will stop doing that.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

$40/HR Part-Time Housecleaning

Local, woman-owned exotic cleaning service looking for outgoing, beautiful girls to clean our clients’ homes – Nothing more! No sex. No touching.

We really clean! and we look sexy doing it!

Set your own hours. Work part-time and make a full-time income! The utmost discretion is adhered to and required.

You must have:
Photo ID proving you are 18 or older
Reliable transportation
A cellphone
A friendly, outgoing attitude
A healthy, fit, sexy appearance(all "types" encouraged to apply)

Ideal candidates will have:
Prior cleaning experience(we will train you if you don't)
Sexy attire and lingerie

Gee, if they'll let me bring James along, all my problems are solved!

Not the Mama! (whack, whack)

Maybe it's the fact that I'm in ubercrunchy Seattle, but despite a combined attack of laziness and feminist scruples that left my legs unshaved and my hair un-blow-dryed, I fit right in with the Princeton Review audition crowd. My prepared lesson, How Recorders Work (And Why They Suck) was warmly received, and I think they'll probably call me for an interview.

But. While I was out prostrating myself before the test prep gods, James was dong his own performance for Scott - a scene taken straight from The Exorcist. He wouldn't be held, wouldn't be rocked, wouldn't be played with, wouldn't even make eye contact. All he did, for three mortal hours, was scream at the top of his lungs and writhe in fury. OK, he also ate a jar of food, but he screamed between bites. He eventually collapsed mid-scream on the livingroom carpet, with Scott laid out beside him like a man on the rack, and that's how I found them when I walked in.

I'm not sure what to do about this. I don't think Scott's exaggerating the horror of baby-sans-mommy; he would love it if I could earn some $$. Maybe James is just too young to leave. Or maybe (treacherous thought) there's a reason that he tolerates the gym daycare but goes apeshit when I leave him home with Daddy. Maybe there just has to be a boob in the room at all times.

So anyway, I don't know what I'm going to say if they offer me an interview. If I decide to refuse it, I'm definitely going to put a flea in their ear about the FORTY FUCKING HOURS OF TRAINING that is compensated at a rate of SEVEN FUCKING TWENTY-FIVE AN HOUR. After that, the wages are good, but the whole idea of them getting to do this incredibly extended interview (because there's no guarantee of hire), with zero scheduling flexibility, at peon wages, is just nauseating to me.

So it's back to craigslist I go, hoping for a SAH gig.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Oh, and I sent in my abstract for that Woolf Conference

So if anybody was planning to email me gentle reminders as the deadline approached, no need :-)

The Devil's Own Test Prep

So with my career as a poetess-for-hire crapped out before liftoff, it's time to fall back one of my other useless skills - test taking. I have pretty good SAT and GRE scores, and the Princeton Review has invited me to audition for them tonight. I have to present a three-minute lesson on any topic and demonstrate a compelling classroom presence.

I was wondering if I should bring my CV, but then I came across this blog. Apparently, my teaching credentials are not at issue here, merely my ability to sound British and refrain from teaching anywhere else while I'm working for them.

I'm not sure I'll be willing to associate myself with these clods even if they should want to hire me, but the "audition" is bound to be good blog fodder if nothing else and Scott is game to babysit, so I'm still gonna go.

Better come up with a three-minue presentation before shorty wakes up. And I guess I need to do my hair...

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Rejected by Jeltz

Dear Smithie,

Thank you so much for auditioning for Poems to Go! I enjoyed reading your poem.
The competition has been rough and I’m sorry to say that you did not make the cut.
However, I wish you the best of luck with your poetry endeavors.
Thank you for trying out.

Very truly yours,

Amy Gumley


If I had any "poetry endeavors," I might well be crushed by this. As it is, I'm really looking forward to tracking down the woman who comissioned my "test "poem - or test "poem" - and finding out if Amy is running a scam.

What's that you say? You'd like to read the 15-stanza poem incorporating many personal details that I wrote in an hour this morning? Well, there are no last names in it, so why not?

We’ve gathered here to celebrate
A shared life of adventure
That started fifty years ago
With a gentlemanly gesture

A lady with a fear of steps
Climbed higher than we now can
She sought the face of Liberty
And found a dashing Grecian

He took her heels and took her hand
And led her down to safety
Where then they parted; who would think
A further meeting might be?

But Fate entwines in many ways
The people She’s intended
Ilene did not know who John was,
But fortunately, her friend did.

Their second meeting made it clear
That love was in the making
And two bright dreams of life became
A mutual undertaking.

In 1957 first
They had a civil wedding.
A rabbi blessed their union next-
So whom were they forgetting?

My mother joined my father’s church
When seven years had passed.
Their marriage three times now performed
They sought another task…

Some children seem to come too soon
And some are unexpected;
But Fate once more reached out her hand
And three lives were connected.

How I blessed I was to need a home
When their time came to give one,
Some children treasure dreams of love
My privilege was to live one.

Our happy home in Wayland
Will be always in my heart
My sweet Mavrocki on the steps
At every weekend’s start

My mother’s lovely garden beds
Where her wedding ring went missing.
She found it after many years-
But dad had lost his fishing!

We traveled as a family
To stay close to our relations.
Another gift they gave to me
Was love from two great nations.

My father’s hair has just turned gray
And mom may read with glasses,
They’re ready to be grandparents –
So guess what MY new task is!

Two chance meetings, three marriages
And one dear daughter later
Ilene and John in their new home
Could know no triumph greater

Than all the dreams they still pursue,
Fond memories to look back on,
Health, Family and Happiness -
“Pan Meteron Ariston.”

I know, I know. I should be shot. Tee-hee!

Postmodern Bard

So I've been combing through craigslist looking for contract writing or tutoring gigs that I have a chance of finishing during naptimes, Baby Einstein videos etc. (Want to hire me?, and I came across a listing for a web-based business that offered poetry for hire.

I think my security-through-obscurity is still pretty darn good, so here's the link.

Oh my GOD. Is that the worst tripe you've ever imagined, or what? But it meets my sole job criteria - I can do it in an hour or less. I sent a query email:

Dear Amy, I was thrilled to find
A piecework poem gig done online
I really hope the workload's steep
'Cause I could do this in my sleep

Allow me one day to reflect
On any subject you select
And I'll produce a fetching rhyme
Both now and every other time!

Amy wrote back immediately. She is swamped with customers and wants to hire somebody ASAP. She gave me a sample scenario and asked for fifteen stanzas. I dashed it off this morning.

Now here's the thing: it's very obvious that the scenario she sent at one point came from a client. I've seen Amy's writing, she couldn't make up a bed, let alone the saga of a 50-year marriage. So what's stopping her from taking my poem, selling it to her client for $60, and then telling me I can't have the job? Have I been suckered by Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz?

Friday, January 07, 2005

New Year's Resolution, a few days late - or Once More Unto the Suckage of my Blogging

And here you thought I'd make it a full twelve months before I dusted this thing off again :-)

So I had this baby, a boy just as was indicated, and named him after his grandpa as planned. He's pretty terrific. Typical sweet non-colicky sound-sleeping moderately-pooping baby. I've been told that this feature set actually makes him a very atypical baby, but I'm not complaining.

Scott transferred between groups at MSFT and is now working a lot more with people than with incomprehensibly difficult compiler design problems. It's been a good change. He started reading fiction again, which leads me to believe he's either cleared out some space in his brain or opened up a new section of it. He's a good dad, too.

I've made a few desultory efforts to get freelance work and have recently ramped that up. I made some pretty decent money working from home before James was born, and now that I'm actually getting enough sleep at night, I'd like to be able to do that again. Babies are an endless money pit, and I'm getting a little tired of the inevitable snide comments about being an economic dependent. I wonder which wave of feminism will devote itself to eradicating the myth that working outside the home has some intrinsic moral value aside from putting food in the kids' proverbial mouths? The Sixth? The Seventh? At any rate, not in my lifetime.

I've had the chance to meet some other new moms IRL - I can't tell you where, or I might get a creepy, officious letter like Melissa did. And unlike Flea, I'm enjoying my first playgroup, which is good because I'm set to host the damned thing this week.

My only bit of professional news is that Lewis & Clark is hosting a Woolf conference this spring, and I am going to send in a paper proposal. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Again, I must remind you that I suck at blogging, at least with regard to consistency.

I met Smith's 10th President, Carol Christ, at a reception tonight. She's closing a bunch of the smaller dining rooms but promised not to hire part-timers to replace real profs, so I think I'll just be happy that she's got her head on straight when it comes to academics. She came to Noho from Berkeley, so there's no chance she'll ever understand why New Englanders feel so strongly about not eating in front of strangers.

I'm planning to submit a story to a local women's zine, and it's freaking me right out. I was rejected from the University of Washington's Ph.D. program, again, so I am going to have to table my plans of being a "real" academic until we move. On the upside, my current institution has finally figured out that offering school-sponsored tutoring in random unsupervised locations around campus is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and they're planning to open a Writing Center in the fall. Since I'm the one drafting the proposal for how the Center should operate and how it should be staffed, I feel as though I have a bit of an edge in the competition for the Coordinator position. A secure, salaried half-time position with onsite daycare - all washed up Lit students should be so lucky.

Scott is going on two separate weeklong business trips this month, leaving me alone with James and the dogs. James is getting big enough to displace all my internal organs, which are now demanding space in my ribcage. It's uncomfortable as hell, but I'm hoping that I'll acclimate in a week or two as I did with his last growth spurt. I am also sporting jowls. They're small, but they're defintely there. I have always been prone to jowliness, so I was expecting this, but it pains me nonetheless. I am looking forward to a little well-directed liposuction someday, so that I may live the rest of my life unhampered by the fear of jowls.

In much more important and somber news, I've received word of no less than four deaths in the past week. One was a Ms. poster who commited suicide after years of depression, and three were Smithies my age. Two car accidents and one serious health problem. The latter woman was my housemate - she is briefly eulogized by my sophomore year roommate here.

So, maybe I'd better get off my ass and do something with my life, because apparently it can end at any time.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Well hell, it's a boy.

Our 20-week ultrasound was yesterday, and the baby is revoltingly healthy, big for his age, and perfectly formed in the brain-and-spine areas. So that's all good news. We are going to name him James Kenneth after Scott's dad. I had been mentally preparing for a boy since the tentative 12-week ultrasound prediction (even bought a blue coming-home outfit featuring a daddy rhino and his baby, Scott will either mock it or burst into tears when he sees it). So I'm sure I can deal. Next time though, we're doing that centrifuge procedure that gives you an 80% chance of getting the sex that you want.

My mom is planning a three-week visit if she can square it with her supervisor. MIL will come for a month directly after.


Saturday, January 10, 2004

Warned you that I suck at this...

I spent 10 days with my family in Maine over Christmas break, and while I was there the babe started moving (or rather, I started feeling it move). My mom was some pleased. She tried to hear the heartbeat with her stethescope, but no luck.

I'm teaching two classes again this quarter - English 100 and English 101. Due to snow days, I've only met with the 101 group thus far. They are pretty darn charming, all "kids" except for 2 or 3 adults who are going back to school. That's a big change from my usual demographic, as is the dearth of non-native speakers. I'm trying to reverse engineer my assignments to match their high level of proficiency, which is a fun kind of alteration to be making - like taking a dress in, which is not something I will do again ever, probably. Certainly not in the next six months :-)

Scott is being sent to San Jose and Barcelona for conferences and will be on the road during most of March. But then he will not be expected to participate in the summer conference season. We were supposed to go to TechEd Europe in Amsterdam, but it starts on my due date so forget that. I was really looking forward to Amsterdam, but I'm looking forward to the baby, too.

I sent in my application to the UW for the Ph.D. program in English. Now I have to wait months to hear from them. I hate this part. If they reject me, I'm going to table the whole project and find something else to do with my life. Maybe I'll homeschool, especially if our elementary schools get redistricted away from the MSFT tax base and into the inferior neighboring district. Stupid us, living in a border town. There's a meeting scheduled for us to go yell at the school board, but I imagine they'll just ignore us. They're also going to start fluroidating our water supply, having ignored all the yelling that people did about THAT.

Although this post has devolved into a bitch session, I'm actually very happy right now. We just joined a gym that has water aerobics and bring-your-baby classes and a state-licensed childcare facility. And fluffy towels :-) We rescheduled our guitar lessons so we are taking them during adjacent time slots, which means I won't have to quit or find childcare to keep up with that. And after 6 consecutive quarters of teaching a really challenging student body for really shitty pay, I'm looking forward to having a quarter off and then teaching online during summer quarter.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

God, I suck at this. I can't even keep up with filling in the blanks in the pregnancy journal.

Scott has been working 9-8 on a special project all week. Being more of a noon-9 person, he is just wrecked. But he still put up the fake Christmas tree I bought last night at Fred Meyer, after the one I ordered off Ebay showed up broken. I just got off the phone with a nice lady from the credit card company who was only too willing to help me stick it to these tree-manufacturing bastards. They want to charge me shipping and a restocking fee for their brokem tree, or else have me wait until they replace the broken part thereof. Fuck that, I say, I'm not waiting to decorate because some underpaid tree-assembler took our her frustration on your shitty product.

And I have a three-day headache I can't shake. I'm been trying homepathics which help a bit, but what I really need is three Aleve. Bleagh.

Pictures of my newly tumescent tummy may be viewed here:

Saturday, December 06, 2003

I took my 6 y.o. cousin to see the Nutcracker today.

I had forgotten what a horrifying acid trip that ballet really is. Furthermore, we were both wearing red velvet and black shoes with straps, so we looked like one of those April Cornell daughter-mom-matching-dress-guess-whose-daddy-has-a-complex pairings. But she had a great time, and now all three kidlets are being angelic as I babysit them while their parents attend a progressive dinner. Hey, at least it's not a scrapbooking party.

My preggo jeans are going to require a belt for the next couple of weeks unless I want to do an extended plumber impersonation. Now I know why pregnant ladies wear those tentlike shirts - to keep their asses from hanging out for all the world to see.

Scott has a wretched cold but just showed up to see the kids anyway. So I should pay attention to him, or something.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Hi, my name is Smithie and I am an internet addict.


All my college friends are using LJ to do their blogging, but just can't get into it for some reason. My friend and parenting role model Flea uses Blogger so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I live outside of Seattle. I'm an English teacher who'd rather be a grad student. I'm going to be a mom pretty alarmingly soon (June 1st or therabouts).