Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Pirate and a Bumblebee Walk Into...

the living room!

That's right...It's the Great Pumpking Charlie Brown! Halloween is near! And Nana has just purchased Halloween costumes for both girls :)

H will be a pirate, this one to be specific, though she will be wearing a tank or tee underneath (I've just noticed the little belly exposure). And there will be no least not the ones in that picture.

E, who will have just turned 1 by the time H-Day rolls around, will be the cutest damn BumbleBee you ever saw! She just learned how to make the "buzz" sound, so I thought this would be a perfect costume for her!

I'm so excited for Halloween this year...But with two girls to take around our safe, quiet little neighborhood, nobody will be home to hand out candy :( Which means I won't have any reason to buy Halloween candy - double boo! I'll figure out a reason by then, I'm sure :)

Gee, it Took Long Enough

Now that the much-delayed national attention is on Jena, LA (it took long enough!), please know that you can sign the online petition to release the Jena Six by going here .

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One Project Down...How Many More to Go?

Done Today - finished draft of the proposal for team-taught course with my advisor! Got the cover memo done, the syllabus, and the reading selections for primary material! Not bad for less than 1 working day, if I do say so myself :)

Now, how many more things do I have to do?? The Ever-Growing Pile of Homework to Be Graded is threatening to come off my desk and attack me. And then there's that little diss chapter...And I can't forget about the conference paper. Hmmmmm, which to start with tomorrow??

Bad Day Gone far...

What started out as a bad day is starting to look up. This morning, it took me 15 minutes just to get out of my little subdivision to the Main Rd. I usually take to campus. Mind you, the total distance is probably only half a mile! Considering the back-up, I decided to take an alternative route. Of course, when I pulled up to the second main intersection, I was greeted by stoplights that had gone haywire and police directing very slow 8:00 a.m. traffic. I thought to myself: "Maybe the stars just aren't lining up for you today." Nevertheless, I trooped on.

Then, as I'm walking E into her montessori, I realize I've just locked my ONLY set of keys in my vehicle! Unlike any other normal vehicle in the universe, this vehicle has no lock key. Rather, it has only a keyless entry opener, and we only have one. Frustrated by the fact that I'll now have to call the Pop-a-Lock people - and thoroughly convinced that the stars are lined against me - I walk into the baby room only to find that a "sub" is filling in for the main caregiver. Arrghhh! Granted, this is the first time a new face has ever appeared, and it only appeared this time b/c they needed someone to be there at 7:30 a.m. But, E wasn't too keen on the idea of being held by New Person, and New Person seemed a bit flaky. She's had experience as a sub at the montessori, but she usually fills in for assistants (not lead teachers), and she usually does so in the toddler rooms (not the baby room). So, there I was, waiting for the $30 Pop-a-Lock man to show up and waiting for the other Regular Caregiver that works in the baby room to get there. So much for being early today.

But, the day got better when I walked into my usual Starbucks. Before I even got to the register, my favorite barista had already made my "regular" drink, and he was handing it to me as I paid! How great is that?!

Then, my students brightened my day with their shy blushes, giggles, and quite accurate explications of one of the day's assigned poems: e e cummings's "she being Brand." It's always fun to teach this poem! It's fun for the students who "get" the implied metaphor, and it's fun to watch those who are "getting it" precisely as it is read aloud in class....They just can't believe they missed it! They also read Swift's "The Lady's Dressing Room" and Montagu's "A Gentleman's Study," both of which a) totally grossed the out, and b) gave them some idea of just how dirty and crude grooming habits in the 17th & 18th centuries were.

In short, they made my job quite easy today and gave me some laughs too boot! Maybe the day will continue getting better :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Progress = Reward...I hope

Yay!!...I met my "quota" of pages (plus an extra one), so I get my "reward" of a blog post before I rush off to pick up E from the montessori. Indeed, part of my recent blog absence is due to other potential "rewards" for which I'm applying. Though I'm confident I'm forgetting something, here's an idea of what's on my plate:

Tonight: run to the store on the way home for much needed household goods; make dinner; take H to hip-hop class; grade tests to hand back tomorrow; balance checkbook and pray for money to mysteriously appear in the register; read/prep for tomorrow's class

Tomorrow: Revise proposal (see below)

Saturday: the deadline to submit my proposal to a panel at the National Conference of the main group for my area of study

Monday: I'll get my students' first essays to grade (yippee )

By October 2nd: finish Team Teaching proposal (which would give me the chance to teach a 300 or 400-level course with my advisor); finish application materials for 2 internal dissertation fellowships

By October 12th: write the conference paper I'm presenting on October 13th

**the travel required for the conference is me driving 6 hours to get H back to Home State for visitation with her natural father, then flying out of Home State capitol to conference location on a Friday, flying back to Home State capitol on Sunday in time to pick up H and drive back to College Town before E goes to bed that night...Oh yeah, my mom has just added to this the Great Idea that I should bring E with me and let her stay with my mom while I'm at the conference!***

By October 15th: finish application materials for external, national dissertation fellowship

By October 31st: submit full draft of diss chapter to advisor

Yes, I can tell there are many things I've forgotten... like meetings with students, getting the braces tightened, planning a lecture by an outside visitor for February, finding Halloween costumes for both girls .... but it would hurt my head to try to remember them all right now.

Cool Thing? H tried out for the choir at her school and made it!! Yep, she had actual competition. It's only open to 3rd and 4th graders, but that still means over 200 kids were eligible, and only 60 made it! And, according to H, "tons of kids tried out." So, kudos to H on her first musical success!

Also cool? E's new tooth has *finally* broken through, so maybe now she'll stop trying to use other babies as human teething toys at montessori (Sorry M!).

Still Here...Barely

I'm sure there's light at the end of this tunnel, I just can't see it yet... ugh. "What tunnel?" you might ask. The Tunnel of Deadline Hell, which has me losing sleep, losing weight, and losing some much-needed quality time with my husband. Where to start...

Last week, I got The Braces. And I didn't just get the one set of braces. No...I was the lucky winner of some Grand Cosmic Lottery, so I got the prize of getting 2 different sets of braces put on twice in less than 24 hours!! The short version is that when they put the first set on last Thursday, they used a tube of sealant that was expired. Yes. Bad glue = brackets popping off = keeping them on by smearing wax all over them = me looking like/feeling like an even bigger dork with a mouth full of metal.

So, back to the orthodontist on Friday, at which point the full pain of the braces - which, by the way, they'd put on with a wire that was too heavy - had set in. In fact, my teeth hurt so bad I couldn't bite down on anything, and even the mashed potatoes were a chore to smush around in my mouth. Between 11:00 a.m. on Thursday and 5:00 p.m. on Friday, I'd eaten nothing but a few bites of mashed potatoes and some yogurt. Teeth in agony, I sat there Friday while they replaced all the brackets with new sealant and put new, lighter wires on the top and bottom. You know what the worst part is??? They don't give you any fucking drugs!! Are you kidding me? I don't have a "low" threshold for pain.... I have NO threshold for pain!! I need something better than Advil and Tylenol when it feels like someone is ripping all my teeth out with a pair of pliers for three days straight!

Yesterday was the first day that my teeth didn't hurt, so I finally got to eat something - other than soup - without pain. I still have major ick-reaction to eating though, because of all the crap that gets in the braces. Seriously, I could save all the leftovers in there for a second meal. It's disgusting! That alone is going to make The Braces the most effective weight loss strategy in the world. And, I swear, if you add up all the time I spend brushing my teeth now, it's gotta be at least an hour! Don't even get me started on the special "equipment" I have to use if I want to floss...I'm still not sure if it's worth it.

So, yes, I've been recovering from The Braces from Hell since last Thursday and happily watching my Home State college football team kick serious ass on the field. All the other things I'm doing, well....I'll just have to write another post. That will be my reward if I make adequate progress on the diss this morning. (That's really sad, I know, rewarding myself with time to blog, but such is my life right now).