Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blue Jean Bandito

Last week was rough. I think that 9/11 post was more of me processing "what am I doing with my life" than anything else. That was me in work-a-holic mode -- and I need to get away from that if I can.

I was doing better previously- doing 30 min of cardio every other day - seeing my husband more days than not...

And I need to get back there.

Saturday (Yesterday) I slept until 5 pm.
And today I am going to work.

Yesterday I had to go up to the lab to start an overnight culture for me to work with today...
It was 830 pm- I didn't think any of the girls I work with would be there- so I just wore the clothes I had on-

There was a girl there.

And she said to me: "Fermi, I don't think I've ever seen you wear blue jeans before."

The truth is - it has been 9 or 9.5 years since I've worn denim.

I got 2 pairs of jeans about 2 weeks ago- and I like them.
But since I haven't owned or wore any for so long - I just know there will be comments.
And avoiding comments has been one of my previous goals.

But I am thinking of wearing them on Tuesday.
Because I like them.
And I have to wear pants on Tuesday because I teach.
So I might say fuck it to the comments- and just break them in.

Friday, September 11, 2009

If my health was my first priority

How would I be living differently if my Health was my first priority?

This is a question posed at The Happiness Project Blog. It is supposed to help people make changes in their lives I think.

My answer to the question is easy:
I would exercise 2 hours a day and 3 hours a day on alternating days.
1 hour walking
1 hour weights
1 hour yoga

1 hour walking
1 hour yoga

I would sleep 10 hours every night.

I would drink 2 Liters of Water a day.

I would get 50% of my daily caloric intake from fresh and frozen fruits and veggies.

I would eat fish - cooked at home - 3 times a week.

My life is nothing like this. It won't change twards this anytime soon, because my health is not my first priority. Sure- I wash my hands often- I don't party all night- I don't want to get the flu - and I try to find some meat/protein and some plant product to eat on a daily basis. (I have a normal BMI and am probably healthier than 50% of Americans my age.) That is about all my health gets right now.

My true priority is getting out of graduate school with a PhD. Sooner rather than later. Sooner might be 6 full years total. That would be almost 3 full years from now. And I am working as hard as I can.

Here is a list of my priorities:
1) get out of grad school with PhD
2) Keep my 2 pet dogs alive and somewhat healthy
3 and 4) me and husband time for us together or time for him or time for me. This alternates depending on the week.
5) sleep
6) find food to eat

This list was easy to make because I just look at how I spend my time:

11 to 13 hours a day working at work.- I don't read blogs or chat or call or text or anything.
I just work. I don't take lunch breaks etc- I just work until I cant stand it because I am so hungry and then i find some bread and milk at my desk. I eat for 5 minutes and continue working.

1 hour commuting. 30 min door to door each way.

1 hour dogs. Feed AM and PM walk a short walk PM.

2 hours - eating at home, 1st breakfast, last dinner, showering, getting dressed, playing on internet, reading blogs, reading cook books

7 hours sleeping

Sometimes I sleep for 6 hours and food shop for one hour.
Sometimes I sleep 8 hours and see my husband for one hour.
Sometimes I see my husband for 15 minutes.
Sometimes I spend more time at home answering emails to my students about their lab reports.
Sometimes if I don't get home too late I will try to cook some chicken in the oven because on the one day I made it to the food store they did not have a rotissery chicken I could buy and I can't find any meat.
Sometimes I will talk to my mom on the phone for 15 minutes. I try to talk to her once a week.

I don't think the "health as your first priority" question really applies to anyone who actually WORKS hard for more than 11 hours a day - and wants to bathe and sleep some and find some food to eat.

I guess during my 2 hours a day where I eat and groom and play on the internet I read self-improvement blogs and find out how I can't use their tips in my life if I am still going to work hard at graduate school.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Years Resolutions Fall 09

This Week, school started on my campus. The beginning of the fall semester resonates even more with me as a fresh start than January 1st.

Here are some resolutions:
1) Walk 30 min every day for 21 days
21 days because that is how long it takes to form a habit. And I need to get back into the habit of cardiovascular workouts. 21 days in a row was the ideal, although today is Day 6 and I have walked 5 days (including today). I didn't walk yesterday because my experiments lasted too long and I was sleepy in the morning from having watched CHOPPED- this awesome Food Network at Night reality TV show. It is a cooking competition where you get some odd ingredients in your basket - (Celery for dessert) and the chefs are timed with how they make their meals.
4 contestants start.
20 min and for an appetizer.
one contestant gets eliminated.
3 contestants and 30 min for an entree.
2 contestants and 30 min for a dessert.
and one winner.

This is BRILLIANT because the best part of all reality shows is the elimination, and in ONE show you get THREE Eliminations! And you get to see some creative cooking puzzles.

Back to the resolutions:
Walking 30 min because I am so out of shape that this is a good workout for me. I do go at a 7.5 to 8.0 level incline on the treadmill and as fast as I can 3.4 to 3.9 speed so I get a good workout for my current fitness level.

I think I will get myself a *prize* after 21 days of walking even if I can't get them all in a row.

2) Work Less
If all of our readers haven't already left for good- you may have noticed that I haven't been doing much of the blogging lately.
I haven't been doing much of anything other than working.
At my peak it was 70-73 hours a week AT WORK. That counts walking into my desk/bench and out- no commute, no working from home included.

Right- that is a bit much if you want to nourish ANYTHING else in your life and get sleep.
Sleep is a must for me as my brain goes to mush without it- and as it turns out- nourishing your body, and your relationship with your spouse and dogs help you to enjoy life more.
Imagine that.
So now my limit is 60 hours a week.
The only drawback to this is that I fear the amount of time I will be in graduate school. Sure it won't be forever- but it seems like it has been already.

3) Have a nice house
By house I mean apartment, and by nice I mean somewhat clean and not full of crap that I don't need.
I have started this by trying to clean up some - and by taking 2 Camry Trunk-fulls to the goodwill drop off. I need to take some more. I got rid of lots of crap that we had inherited from our families and friends. (13 piece nativity set, anyone?)
Also I got rid of any clothes that I cant imagine fitting into again (From 8th grade before puberty widened my hip bones.) And clothes that are worn out and don't look nice, or clothes that do look nice but I cannot imagine myself ever wearing.

Worn out clothes = LOTS of Natalie Dee T- shirts. I might do a post about this later on.
I had been keeping the shirts for sentimental value, and because I love the artwork- although I rode public transit and sweated alot in the shirts so there are nasty arm pit marks on them. Yes- I should not wear these.

Do goodwill people care about arm pit marks on t shirts?

So I took some digital photos of shirts that were painful for me to get rid of, and the Husband was looking through them and was very alarmed and distraught about the fact that I had taken these shirts to goodwill.

Still I think this will help my apartment be more livable and be filled with less crap.

Have you noticed that Natalie Dee has been not putting out new shirts since her baby has been born? Sure- they are probably hella busy but she used to have new shirts all the time. and now I KNOW they reprinted anxiety girl and the will knit for tattoos because I am a long term ND fan who is a ND shirt fan no longer.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

on losing a pet

It's been over a month since I've seen Occie, my beloved kitty. I was house-sitting out in the Styx and decided to bring him with me, since I'd be stationed there for two weeks and I'd been away the entire week before. Amidst the confusion of so many cats and under the shade of night, he slipped out the back door and out of my life altogether. -- Dammit, I'm already tearing up. This is why I haven't wanted to write about him. -- It was not until morning that I realized he was not inside with me. I walked outside in the most blazing of Junes that my stores of memory can conjure, bag of cat food in hand, calling his name to no avail. Sinking, sinking, sinking was the over-riding feeling in the deepest part of me. How could he be gone? How.
Every day thereafter, all I could think about was finding Occie. I walked the streets of the neighborhood, eyes peeled and calling his name in despair. I consulted a pet finder. I bought raccoon traps and set them. For days, I checked them every five to six hours only to catch a variety of ants. I concocted the unholiest of unholy fish solutions and created trails all over the neighborhood leading back to the house.
I hung up fliers and encountered a couple who asked me what I was looking for. My cat, I reported heavy-heartedly. We've had a cat that's been at our house for the past two nights, crying loudly. Does he have a collar with a heart on it? I said yes, knowing that they'd mistaken his rabies tag for a heart. I knew from their description that it was Occie. But he was no longer there. I almost wish I'd never run into this couple. Because then I wouldn't think: WHAT IF?! What if I'd made the fliers ONE DAY earlier? What if they would have put food out for him? What if I would have been out in the middle of night when they saw him crossing yards, hopelessly lost and trying to find his way? But I suppose it isn't fair to blame them for my asking "what if"? I know good and well that my mind would be gnawing on "what if"s regardless.
I checked the animal shelters. I put ads in the paper. On craigslist. In the quickquarter.
None of my efforts have produced Occie.
What remains in his absence is a gaping, aching hole. I have not been able to bring myself to get rid of any of his things. I still have his litter box, bed, purr pad and various catnip-laced trifles. His hair still clings to some of my things, which I mostly seek to ignore despite the fact that I'm terrified of the approaching time when no more remain. I feel like I can hear him wailing for me on errant breezes. Sometimes in a flash out of my periphery, I see him in repose, sprawled out on the floor, contentedly purring. When I'm in the restroom, I expect him to come butting in, big ole noggin first, looking for some attention. Whenever I get a day off, and I take my time getting out of bed to start the day, I can't help but think he's not there to share it with me. He's not there to lay across anything I attempt to read or write, and I miss that adorable annoyance. I miss coming home from a long day to his unconditional love and unique personality.
He was such a singular, peerless presence in my life. I cannot imagine that a day will ever come that I will forget him, much less not be haunted in some way by his disappearance.
"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation," said Kahlil Gibran in his profoundly moving and timeless work, The Prophet. I always recognized the beauty of truth in this quote, but I'm not sure that I've ever experienced it with such intensity as I have these past couple Occie-less weeks.
There. I did it. I have survived losing him and it looks as though I've survived writing about him too. But now that I've made the patrons of River Ranch CC's sufficiently uncomfortable, I think I should either wrap it up or choose something else to write about. After embarrassing myself enough for one day, though, I think I'll just wrap it up.
I'd love to be able to say that I feel better . . .

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ola chee-kahs!

Greetings, greetings and once again greetings!
It's been too long since I last checked in with all my group bloggy friends, I know. But I suppose that things have been a smidge hectic in ole Skuh's world.
For starters, I've officially moved out of the parentals' house and am currently living in a log cabin, which I normally refer to as the loggin. And in terms of my interpersonal life, I feel that I could not have made a better decision. I am already feeling better . . . like I can breathe again, and like I'm turning back into the person I love and respect. You might say, also, that I'm detoxing and looking forward to recovery.
Work has also been pretty demanding . . . been putting in ten hour days, which have taken their toll on my ability to wake up in the mernting. Good thing I'm on vacation.
Which brings me to another new tidbit. So, do you remember how I'd told of my joining online dating sites? And how they presented romantic scenarios that were, more or less, just as confusing and disappointing as the ones I've encountered in real life? Well, it does appear that the tides are turning. One of the major reasons I've taken the time to vacay in TN, is to visit the match, with whom I've been communicating -- first strictly via e-mail and lately mostly per phone -- since the end of March. I'm all nervous and giddy, much like the proverbial school girl; although, a part of me is calm and confident that our first tete-a-tete will be fluttery, but seamless. He's a thoughtful one. I'll be sure to divulge (some) details . . .
How are all the rest of my penguins?? I've been missin y'all!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where my girls at?

Okay, who added those origami penguins? They are hilarious.

I'm currently on my Spring Break, which I've been looking so forward to for SO many weeks, but today I've hit a slump.

I think I was looking forward to the imagery of Spring Break--the idea of chillin' at a pool with a pina colada--when really my break is all about resting the pulled muscle in my back between stressful (last minute) dance rehearsals, making sure I grade five research papers per day, and running all these errands I've been wanting to run, like getting my new pants hemmed and going to Target to buy bras and stockings and getting a haircut.

These are all things that were sounding wonderful last week because there would be no teaching in between them all! But today I'm feeling a little sad.

I thought, today, about how I don't really have close girlfriends in town anymore. About how I hang out with Leif all the time and how I enjoy that, but shouldn't I have a group of girls to run around with? Wouldn't that be healthy? I was thinking about how if Skuh and Peacebone still lived around here, I'd call them up to go do something dumb like drive out to Target or Counter Culture. I also miss one of my old friends who lives in town, but we haven't hung out one on one for years.

I guess I'm not very good at making new friends. Either that, or good friends just don't pop up that often in life. I think part of it is a function of my job--school, dance, home, school, dance, home. And dance feels like another job sometimes--we're all so tired, and the other girls know each other pretty well already, so I don't feel like I'm making new friends with them too much just yet, but I really like them all. I feel like the eager new girl. I'm doing that thing where in my head, I'm imagining that I'm the one they don't want to sit by, or I'm the one that's awkward to talk to. That was pretty much my running inner dialogue in middle and high school.

I had a really good time Friday night getting together with old friends in New Orleans. I miss all of them, even though some of them live in town, and I'd like to do that kind of thing more often.

I think I am a person who needs more social activity in my life than I sign up for. And I'm not talking about a blowout or anything--just wine and food, or a couple of coffee dates with a lady or two.

If all you penguins lived around here, I'd take you out for drinks!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pagan Plans

I feel the same way about Easter.

My mom called me this Friday- 6pm my time- I'm still at work. She asked if I got off of work on Good Friday- and if she should come visit me for Easter.

My response was: When's Easter?

My plans: work. Maybe clean my house a bit.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

flux capaciter

How in Christ's risen name is it already EASTER??
I think I'll dye some eggies. Does anyone else have pagan plans for the holiday?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

all the Mamas, who profit dollas

Just wanted to give a shout out to all my bitches in bloggy land!
How y'all derin?! Y'all holdin it down, or what? I know I am.
I'm working on the following:
1) not being such a harpy to myself all the time; 2) moving out of my parents' house (can I get a woot, woot?); 3) doing all my homework for my Alt Cert class; 4) keeping my ears open about possible job opportunities, while ever keeping an eye to the future (can we say Fulbright?); 5) anxiously awaiting the day that I no longer have to spend time with TeacherLady from the yoga course (*ahem* speaking of harpies).
Your turn.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nice to have a friend like you

So, my parents friends just celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary. Mr. John, who is not quite right in the head, provided this lovely card for his wife:
The front features 2 women in bikini's standing very close to each other.
The inside of the card reads: "It's so great to have a friend like you-- with similar interests".
Below the card he writes "Happy 22nd Anniversary"
... and tapes a 22caliber bullet to the card.
Lucky for him, he also gave her diamond earrings or she may have used the bullet that he provided.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Self Portrait with Corn

I used to have a drawing blog which I have since deserted. One of my husband's friends commented that he checks my old drawing blog every day in hopes of me making a new drawing. That is a bit sad- but it explains where all of my traffic comes from...

Anyway- that comment inspired me to draw tonight. And here it is: Self Portrait with Corn. Obviously I am the orange lady. Do you like that groovy hair flip I have going on? This weekend I saw a black woman with short hair flip it up to one side. A-symmetrical they call it. No, in real life my hair doesn't actually look like that.

And then you see my students-represented by the blue piranhas sucking the life-blood out of me and carelessly spilling it on my clothes-and face-and hair. Damn students! Stop sending me a million emails and complaining about 2 point deductions! I have research to do! (And lives to save.)

To my right you see The Corn, and between us: wedding bells. This is supposed to be representative of the fact that my new boss "Alice" just got engaged. Well- he asked her- I bet on valentines day- and they got the ring later. A beautiful diamond ring. And since he asked her on VDay- he is depicted as corn. And since diamonds are impossible to do justice to in the 2D form in which my art lives-- we have the bells.

What these two things really represent I think is the fact that I am looking forward to having lunch with my new boss "Alice" tomorrow at the semesterly "Take-A-Prof to Lunch" event that my university holds. I have asked around-but little is known about Alice- or her Fiance. They both have tattoos. It is interesting to me that such a superficial observation is all that my lab mates have gleaned about them. But this will all change tomorrow at lunch when I discover the life of my new boss, my favorite professor.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Slow Children at Play

Here's another Sylvan anecdote for those who enjoy them:
I arrived at work the other day to find the two owners (a married couple) in a big and raucous hoopla, over what, I was not sure. The wifey was squawking and flitting about worrying that her toddler of a husband had planted the lizard she found crawling on her purse strap in the actual purse. The husband was getting her all worked up by throwing pieces of balled up, lime-green post-it notes at her.
"What's going on?" I demanded. Note, there is NEVER this much excitement percolating when I come into work.
The wifey gave me the run down on the invading lizard who had set up camp in her office.
Feeling bold, I marched into her office to find the little guy (note, I really like lizards!). He was in between the wall and the side of her desk, with his eyes squinted. It was almost as if he hoped that if everyone else was coming in fuzzy for him, that we would have the courtesy to pass him over in the landscape as well.
Now, lizards are fast. And I don't like grabbing their bellies, cause they're soft and I don't want to squish anything important, as it would defeat the purpose of the rescue mission. So I made a rookie mistake and went for the tail, figuring that he'd be easier to catch and I wouldn't harm him in the process. I hoisted him in the air and he started thrashing every which way for about three seconds before he detached from his tail. The tail segment fell to the ground and continued its wiggle, and the lizard bolted to hide under some buttons and fliers underneath the wifey's desk.
I moved the propaganda out of the way and unearthed the now scared-shitless lizard. I knew I had no choice but to go for the abdomen. With my ninja-like reflexes, I caught him before he could dart off again, though I was careful to not squeeze him too hard.
He held his mouth open as wide as it would go and began turning all assortments of colors. I tried rubbing his head to calm him in his duress, but figured that was ridiculous so I just brought him to the door as quickly as possible.
I carefully and strategically dropped him in the "garden" onto some ground-cover, but he got confused and turned around since he couldn't stick the dismount on an even, flat surface. He headed straight back inside and the wifey started clapping and yelling, "Oh, no! Don't come back THIS way! Oh, he's a slow learner!"
And before I could stop my mouth, these words fell out, "Well, no wonder he's at Sylvan."
Immediately afterwards, I placed my hands over my mouth to prevent anything else just as horrible from spilling forth.
Needless to say no one, save my terrible, awful self, thought it was funny.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

we'll stay alive no matter what occurs!

I'm not sure why I've chosen this movie quote as the title of my post . . . other than it popped into my head, and that seems to be how I label most blog posts: the first thing to pop into my head wins!
Nice feedback on the bummer of a coffee meeting! What TR commented was of particular interest to me, and something that I will keep in mind as I take my first flying leap into the world of dating. Don't get me wrong, I've dated here and there, but never with rapid-fire succession, i.e. I've never dated a high volume of guys. I'm normally way too shy when it comes to interacting with males in whom I have romantic interests. The reason for that is VERY old, and boils down to this: when I was little I didn't think I was of value or worthy of love because I was fat. There. I said it.
But now that I've set foot on these online dating grounds, I've been thrust into a world that is somewhat alien to me.
I met up with someone last night, let's call him Col. Mustard, whom I'm connected to through one of the afore-mentioned sites and I dare say that this meeting went SO much better than the last. There were things I liked and things I didn't like as much about the guy; however, I'm coming to realize that I've been far too critical of the opposite sex. As long as the good outweighs the bad, which in his case it does, then I feel like I should learn to accept that people are people and not a damn one of them is perfect. Yours truly included.
A good sign about meeting Col. Mustard: I was nervous before we actually met. You might be thinking, "Huh. Nervous? What's good about that, Skuh?" I'm pleased you asked. What's good about it, is that I was excited to meet him. When I was meeting Crema Face, I could have cared less. Of course, the nervousness may have been due to the anticipation leading up to our meeting in person, but I'm confident that part of that anxiety was, "Oh, man. I'm glad I finally get to meet Col. Mustard."
Yet another precursor to my tension was due to worrying that he'd find me too rotund for his taste, and that it would be obvious. But that's neither here nor there.
We're probably going to hang out again.
So, I guess you could say last night was very heartening.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

told you once, told you twice. next time I won't be so nice.

Not sure if I've reported to you all that I joined online dating services on a whim, but I think that I have, so here's an update. I met in person, for the first time ever, someone whom I know solely from the Interwebs.
I was studying at CC's when he met up with me for coffee. I left all of my books out, which was many, and we talked for a little over an hour. He's from the north, and at the risk of sounding too southern, he was so obviously a yankee. Well . . . maybe it wasn't the obvious yankee in him that turned me off, rather the shameless snob. He claimed that no one knew how to make coffee in the south and admitted that CC's is "the lowest he'll go." Digging his grave deeper, he admitted that if he sees one of his students working, he'll direct them as per how his crema on his espresso should turn out. I thought this was the end, but alas, he admitted further that, he once BROUGHT HIS OWN COFFEE to a C-O-F-F-E-E H-O-U-S-E and asked them to brew it for him. I probably had a look of pity on my face after this admission, because he then fessed up that he, "has something of a coffee problem." He mentioned that in one of his e-mails.
At the time, I didn't know how serious he was.
He also said that we don't have real bagels here, but after some of the bagels I had in New York, I can kind of see where he's coming from.
He seemed SO much older than I am and he's supposedly only 31. Don't know if I believe that.
When he got up to leave -- which was abrupter than abrupt -- he said hurriedly, "It was lovely meeting you . . . See you around." And walked off without so much as a notion of the hand shake he introduced himself with.
That was a little disheartening.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I went on a professional development trip in a van with our two librarians, both about 59 years old (who think they are my two black mamas) and three other English teachers: teacher A we'll call "Pixie" because she is a thin as a rail white girl with hair down to her butt and very eccentric, and also very smart and nice. Teacher B we'll call "Bridge"--she's an African American girl from New Orleans who is very private--her mom died recently--but who has been like my big sister at school as far as helping me with teaching, so we're close-ish even though we don't really know each other. And teacher C we'll call "Blondie."

So we arrive Thursday evening and sign in and get all of our complimentary crap, which isn't crap at all, that includes a free drink in the lobby. Bridge and the librarians don't drink, so they give Pixie, Blondie, and me their cards and we all have two drinks. I had a gin and tonic followed by a red wine, which was a weird combo. (I've discoved on this trip that I don't like most hard-alcohol and that a thick, smooth red wine is my favorie drink.) Anyway, the other three decided to go to Outback steakhouse, and Pixie and I decided we were going to walk to meet them after we finished our drinks. Blondie decided she was going to split from the group and meet up with her friend who lives in town for drinks. So Pixie and I walk to Outback, pass it up, ask a guy at Macaroni Grill where it's located, find a sushi place on the way, and eat there instead. It was very enjoyable and it was the first time we hung out together. We like the same things, and that was comforting. We went back to the hotel, I sat with her on a couch in the lobby lounge where she had a glass of white wine, and we went back up to our rooms. I was rooming with Bridge. We talked and then fell asleep around 10 or 10:30.

The phone rang in the middle of the night. Bridge picked it up. I hear, "What?...Oh Lord...the hospital?...What happened?...Oh, that doesn't sound right..." She hangs up. The front desk had called Pixie and told her that her roomate was found passed out outside the hotel and had hit her head, and was being whisked away to the hospital in an ambulance. Bridge said she was worried because this could mean that some guy took advantage of her and hurt her--or that it could mean anything. Bridge called the librarians. We were all awake for about two hours. Bridge and the librarians got dressed, called a cab, went to get her. With nothing else to do, I hoped she was okay, and I fell back into sleep.

Bridge got back and said everything was fine and that Blondie's back in her room.
"What was the matter?" I said.
"She was drunk," she said. And we both went back to sleep and woke up very early for our conference the next day.

I got more of the story in the morning, but it still doesn't make sense. Reportedly, Blondie was in the ER hooked up to an IV and the nurses were pissed off because she was fighting them and trying to rip out the IV and leave. Bridge was freaked out to be there in the first place because of all the time she spent there when her mom was dying, but she managed to talk to her and get her to calm down enough to leave the IV in. They had done a cat scan and bloodwork. "She's very intoxicated," said the nurse to the librarians. She also didn't know how she got to the hospital--she had completely blacked out, but she wasn't admitting it, or didn't know it. (We still don't know how she ended up outside the hotel, passed out on the ground.) She wasn't speaking in sentences or making sense. She wouldn't answer any questions. She asked them why they were there and said that they shouldn't have come there and they should have left her there. The hospital staff said they were only going to release her because the librarians had come--otherwise, they'd keep her overnight in the state she was in, and if she would try to leave, they'd have had to put her in jail.

On the way home in the cab, she chatted hazily with the cabbie and leaned over and turned on the radio. When she got back in the room, Pixie said she wouldn't tell her what happened--she just shook her head over and over and said "I'm going to be on the librarians' shit list now, I know it."

We went to the conference without her. In the late afternoon, the librarians, Bridge, and Pixie went to have a talk with her in her room about the fact that she needs help. She's still in deep denial and said that she didn't want them to think badly of her and didn't want them to think she was an alcoholic. She told Pixie she was worried about what I thought of her. I didn't see her once or call her once the whole day--mostly because I have nothing to say, but also because I want to keep going in my own life without that mess. I had papers to grade, classes to go to, and I didn't want her to ruin my little vacation. I also didn't want to end up saying "Oh, it's okay" just because it'd be uncomfortable to talk to her--I didn't, and still don't, want to give her a "pass" on the responsibility of this. I am still surprised about how inconsiderate her behavior was. If I end up saying something to her, if she asks, it will be this:

"Blondie, I don't think you realize this, but you pretty much ruined our weekend. You hugely inconvenienced us by waking us up in the middle of the night, making us worry, making some of us go to get you at the hospital, making us upset and uncomfortable, and offending us with your immature and inconsiderate behavior. I will not say "it's ok"--you have a problem with alcohol and you are in denial about it, and you need to start taking care of yourself, not only because you deserve that for yourself, but because you can be a burden on other people, and that's just not fair to them."

But we ended up having a fun night with an all expenses paid dinner and a live band at a restaurant, and we all danced--well, except Blondie didn't come with us. But we had a great time, went home, woke up in the morning and had Breakfast in the hotel restaurant--Blondie was there, and all I said to her was "You feeling okay?" and left it at that--and then we all drove home. In my interactions with her, I didn't act like anything had happened, but I also didn't really talk to her directly because I didn't have anything to say to her and I didn't want to talk about what happened. I guess I just feel like we're not really close enough for me to be worried about her or try to help her as if it's my responsibility (because I am prone to doing that and acting like the mama, and I don't want to do that this time). I'm trying to be a guy about this--a guy would not try to be friends with someone who was a burden. They'd keep it light.

The only shitty thing is that we kind of have the same group of friends at school. She's going to tell them her version of it and probably make it sound like she was just having a good time and everyone else made a big deal about it because we are all goodies or something, because she was too out of it to know what really happened and she's in denial anyway. I am naturally going to want to tell everyone what REALLY happened, but I don't want to be that guy! I want to stay out of it truly and completely, or else it'll be like asking our friends to take sides on the issue. It's going to be all around school in one second anyway, and it'll probably be some skewed version--ulgh, I don't want to even think about it. I hate the drama of it and people are going to feed on it like fish. People are going to ask me directly what happened. I guess maybe it wouldn't hurt to tell it straight, but I'll have to be really careful not to try to be "right" about the situation or judgy or dramatic, and I know that Blondie doesn't want me going around and telling everyone about this humiliating story about her. The principal knows about it already, because it had to be reported since it happened on school time and school money, so I don't know what's going to happen with that.

I don't know guys...what is the appropriate thing for me to do on Monday when people ask me about it?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

stealin' hearts

Hey ladies! Happy Valentine's Day!

Usually, I'm not too big on this holiday, but for the first time ever, I actually have a boyfriend. The fact that he's a few thousand miles away is unimportant. I still plan to enjoy a singles awareness party with some hens and one wayward rooster.

So, I'm going to engage in some thievery right now. Facebook thievery. I saw some posts by a girl that Tino is a good friend of, she and some girls that blog together (sound familiar?) are putting up their 5 favorite love songs each to make a V-day mixtape. I thought we might do the same. List 5 songs, not necessarily happy, "I love you so much you can fart in my face" types of songs, but anything that you feel is a good message of love. Whether it's friendship, romantic, love gone wrong, unrequited, etc. I'm proposing we continue to do it until everyone who still actually contributes puts a list up, aka, we'll not just limit it to today. Besides, most of my love will be felt when I go buy candy for 50% off tomorrow at Kroger.

I'll start!

1. Feist "Inside and Out"
It may be hard to get over the 70s/Bee Gees sound of this song. Ironically, I wrote that before I looked it up and realized it actually is a cover of a Bee Gees song. I actually didn't pay much attention to it until I heard this remix. (sorry that's such a small clip, if you want the longer version, I could manage an email)

choice lyrics:
"You figure it's the love that keeps you warm
Let this moment be forever
We won't ever feel the storm
I ain't no vision, I'm the girl
Who loves you inside and out
Backwards and forwards with my heart hanging out
I love no other way
What are we gonna do if we lose that fire?"

I figure natural imagery is always a good thing.

2. The Magnetic Fields "Love is Like a Bottle of Gin"
Can I first just say how much I LOVE the video of that on youtube? Also, I will remark on how it is fairly difficult to pick a favorite love song by the MFs since they have a 3 disc album called 69 Love Songs. But that one has kinda always been my personal favorite . . . especially in the olden days when gin was my favorite drink.

You can find it on the Bowery
or you can find it at Elaine's
It makes your words more flowery
It makes the sun shine, makes it rain

3. The Beatles "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
I know some people would have probably gone with that nauseating song "Love is all you need" or some crap like that, but this is a better song. period. It's brief and also kind of sadly true. But still somehow hopeful. To me anyway. It's been hard to break myself out of this mindset.

How could she say to me
Love will find a way
Gather round all you clowns
Let me hear you say
Hey you've got to hide your love away

4. Edith Piaf "Tu es partout"
Once again, it's hard to pick a particular song from EP, all of her love songs are so good and so heartbreaking. This one is especially so for me. It's the song from Saving Private Ryan, incidentally. The youtube of this has all of the French lyrics so if you speak a little bit, you can interpret it pretty well. It basically tells the story of a woman who's lover left her and she still imagines that she sees him all the time and still wants a future together.

some lyrics in English:
"Maybe one day you will return
I know that my heart waits for you
You can not forget
The past days we spent together
My eyes never stop searching for you
Listen well, my heart calls you
We can love each other again
And you'll see life would be beautiful"

Le Sigh

5. Jose Gonzalez "Heartbeats"
This song is so achingly beautiful. I love that video too. I know people might disagree with me, but I love that version SO MUCH MORE than the original by the Knife. I realized that a lot of my songs were sad, and even though this one is sad in its own way, it's also so gorgeous.

And you, you knew the hand of the devil
And you, kept us awake with wolves teeth
Sharing different heartbeats
In one night

Alrighty kids, your turn!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

a series of _______ events

Just as I thought I had it figured out, an opportunity was presented to me that has introduced an all-together new angle to my life, also known as Decision-Making '09. A dear friend of mine, who cared for me and made sure I was still sane whilst in Germany, recently started talking me up to the University staff at FASK (where I studied for 2 semesters) and there's a good chance I could get a position at said Institution. After doing a little investigating, I've discovered that the position is really nothing spectacular, but rather would serve as a stepping stone to other, greater things. It's a foot-in-the door position, if you will.
Emotionally, I am ready to go back to Germany. Which is to say, I am unsure if I am all-the-way ready to go back.
I cannot imagine walking away from the Alt Cert program with nothing to show for it. Well, not nothing, but no teacher certification. This prospect is a hard proverbial pill to swallow, as I reflect on how much I've toiled and suffered over the past 8 months to get that damned piece of paper. But then again, if I stick with it and finish the program, I will have tripled my student loan debt. How could I move overseas after having amassed debt of that magnitude? That is also quite the daunting pill to swallow.
My brother, who is far more grounded and reasonable than I will ever be said to me, "You just need to figure out what you want to do."
That's so much easier said than done.
My brother is the kind of person who has been saying since childhood that he wants to be a Doctor. And as we speak, he is two years into his surgery residency at Earlanger in Chattanooga, TN. He's not even practicing yet and is already about as professionally accomplished as I hope to be in the span of my entire life.
Honestly, my ultimate goal is greatness. Beyond that, I cannot tell you exactly what I want to do. I wish like the dickens that that one thing would alight and illuminate a clearly defined path ahead that will lead me to where I'm supposed to be. But the truth is, I haven't the foggiest clue as to what I want to do. I have so may interests and passions and they all nudge and tug at me in some way. Were there an obvious way to marry them all, I probably would have caught wind of that union by now.
Teaching is something that I thought I might enjoy and excel at for a time, while also providing me with decent pay, as well as personal challenges and growth. My goal in getting certified to teach is to have a salary and job security. Not because I want to teach high school for the rest of my life. Mostly, I'm just really tired of being broke and having nothing.

So I'm kind of torn between learning how to be a responsible adult for once -- staying here to finish what I've started -- and pursuing my dreams and what I think will make me happy -- going back to Germany to study foreign languages.
This is not going to be an easy decision to make. But whatevs. I'll arrive at SOME kind of a decision and regardless of what I decide, the world won't stop spinning on its axis.

There's just a week and a half (of the first half) of the Yoga teacher training course remaining. I'm glad that I stuck with it, because I have learned a lot. I truly do feel more joy on a day-to-day basis. I'm no closer to doing a headstand than I was five weeks ago, but my practice is better and deeper. And that's nice.

Unrelated news: I signed up for eHarmony. I don't know why. It was a total whim. As soon as I did it, I was kinda like . . . oh, man. I don't want to bother. So I won't. If I happen to meet someone interesting, great: it wasn't a total waste of time and money. If I don't, who cares? I'll be no better or worse off than I am right now.
I'd be lying were I to deny the very human, primal part of me who still yearns to meet someone special. However, there is the larger part of me who has tasted a Russell-Stover-sampler sized collection of what's out there and wants to pass altogether, for fear of heartburn.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Dell Mini 9 brings the boys to the yard

Check out my laptop.

I meant to post about my new Dell Mini 9 when I got it--- but shortly after I got it- I switched research groups. Finally I am posting photos for your viewing pleasure.

The first photo is of the laptop next to a normal sized CD case and an ink pen.
The second photo shows my mini next to my big computer and my wacom tablet.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

WTF revisited

While I wait for my plates to dry, an update.

Remember WTF Katu WTF ? Right. Thank you for your comments. It turns out that she probably is competitive and definitely insecure. Take this example:

(Paragraph 3)
On Friday I had a lunch with a faculty member who is on both of our committees. This faculty member is female, thin, blond, stylish, smart, and put together -- and not afraid to let you know it. She has high standards for herself and for students in general. She is easily disappointed by students' lack of knowledge or hard work.

Now, I adore this faculty member; she is someone I would like to become one day (maybe.) Every time we meet, I leave energized and certain that I will become a great scientist. On top of that-- she likes me-- I know this to the 99% confidence level. After my oral exam I suggested to her that I relearn all of my sophomore organic chemistry and have an additional oral exam with her on the organic just for self respect because I was shaky on my organic in my oral exam. What a nerd I am, right? Actually the problem was that I suggested this when I was high on learning-- not in my right mind. But I ended up following through and she was impressed-- but more important than impressing her - this act- unknown to me at the time- allowed me to transition into my current group easily where previous to my relearning of organic - I would not have considered it.

So I send the email to my committee about my group change and she asks me to have lunch. I look forward to this- and talking to PizzaPan in the lab- I mention it because normally on Friday I have lunch with Jips (husband) but this Friday I wasn't.

Katu gets word from PizzaPan that I am having lunch with the committee member - and she asks about it and mentions that she would be scared or nervous because the faculty member is intimidating for all of the reasons in Paragraph 3 (see above.) But I tell Katu- but you are smart and beautiful and put together, too, so its okay. But Katu doesn't feel that way- and is concerned that prof doesn't either. -- And so we have Katu's insecurity rise to the surface.

And for this I feel bad. Katu's mother pretty much deserted her family when she was young- and that may have an affect on her- but she had a great father and everyone has problems... And her problems don't excuse her rudeness or passive dismissal of our friendship. Still her insecurity makes her human and I cannot be upset with someone I have compassion for.

So I felt bad about bashing her in my blog- I'm sorry Katu. That was Friday. But today- I don't feel bad about it.

The think about Katu and the 4th grader in the post below (by Skuh) is that they care about what is cool... And to that I say BAH. Being kind to other people is more important that being cool yourself.

The End.

Friday, January 30, 2009

spiders are filling out tax returns

I guess I do have something of an announcement to make, Tino.
So, you all know that I'm into this teacher training shenanigans -- and that it has done it's fair share of wearing on my mind, body and spirit. Inspired by the latter, I have been looking into: a) getting a job in Chattanooga, TN to live with my brother and his doggy or b) getting a job in a school in Louisiana as opposed to doing student teaching.
The reason I shied away from the idea of student teaching is that you don't get paid and have little time to work another job, so I envision it as something of an impossibility in terms of, you know, living. However, I have recently changed my mind since I feel the most important thing for me to do right now is to finish what I started, get fully certified and THEN worry myself about finding a job and moving the hell out of Lafayette.
I'm maybe not overjoyed about the decision, but I do think it wise, as well as something that will shoo some of the monkeys off my back come August.
This program will end up having taken more than twice as long as I originally anticipated, and will invariably end up costing more than twice as much as I'd hoped.
Even though I loved what I majored in for undergrad and am averse to the concept of studying things in college with the sole intention of getting a job upon graduation, I do wish that someone would have issued a caveat my way, urging me to consider how I might market myself with the sole label of "German major." Although I have learned a lot post-graduation years, I do wish that things could have been a little easier for me. I look at my friends who already have salaries and wonder, why isn't that me? Where did I go wrong? And why is it taking me so fucking long to get there?
At any rate, Tino assures that student teaching is great experience and preparation for actually having a classroom of my own, and I trust that she knows of which she speaks. She is the sturdiest of sounding boards for me, personally, and I am grateful that I don't have to go without support of that caliber.

The first whirlwind "module" of the yoga course is nearing completion and I can say that even though I have been far from the model pupil, I've learned a lot and managed to inject more joy into my life. I feel like I can breathe again, I'm kinder to myself, and I care more about feeling like I look nice and put-together.
Believe it or not, I look forward to practicing at 6:15 in the morning . . . well, I don't look forward to getting up so early and I don't always look forward to actually practicing yoga for an hour and a half in a hot-ass room, but I ALWAYS look forward to how I feel at the end of class. ALWAYS. So, I'm deciding to continue on to the second module.

Another decision I'm chewing on is whether or not I should be a professional single white female. Not the Jennifer-Jason-Lee-stalker-type single white female, but more the kind who lives a fancy-free and unattached life perpetually. The story of the intentional lone wolf is not usually told and if/when it is, it's painted in hues of depressing and crushingly lonely. But when you think about it, is it really all that unappealing? (I swear I'm not trying to sound like Carrie Bradshaw.) Honestly, though. What could be so bad about a lifetime of endless options, one of which being to tap out of the match altogether? When you're in a sleeper hold, it seems like a good option: like a release, if you will.

And, in closing, I do believe I'll share an anecdote that has nothing to do with decisions and everything to do with me loving my job at Sylvan:
There's a study skills student, whom I work with on a daily basis, as I have for the past few months.
He's in fourth grade and has only just recently come out of his shell. I think he resented having to come to Sylvan and who could blame the lad?
He reported the other day, with astonishing authority, that no one, "says dude any more." Gobsmacked, I pressed the issue and he refused to back down, insisting that saying, "dude," is hopelessly passe.
Totally flabbergasted and refusing to let it go, I related the anecdote to some older students later that day, when I should have been encouraging them to stay on task. (I just couldn't imagine that people don't say dude any more. Cause DUDE. It's dude. It's not like it's even a saying.) They quieted my doubts and recanted, of COURSE people still say "dude." They asked me, incidentally, how old was this kid anyway.
. . .
"He was a fourth grader," I admitted sheepishly. And before they got back to work, we all shared a healthy, stress-relieving type laugh at my expense, because what kind of 26-year-old teacher listens to a fourth grader about anything?
The next time the fourth grader and I found ourselves tete-a-tete -- and this is just one of the many reasons why I'm terrible -- I said, "You know . . . I asked some of my other students the other day about "dude." And they said that it is acceptable to say that word and that people totally do. All the time. So, you know, I just wanted to give you a heads up."
He smiled so much as to say, I thought teachers were supposed to be grown ups.
Later on in the lesson he told me he'd gotten a 43/44 on a vocab test I'd helped him study for a few days prior.
"Way to go!" I responded and held my hand up for a high five. He lowered his head in embarrassment and returned the gesture in spite of himself.
"People don't give high fives any more either, do they?"
With a forgiving look that excused my ignorance being that I AM ancient, he shook his head, "No."
"But you threw me a bone, anyway. I appreciate that."
I may be rotten, but at least I like my job.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the mercy seat

So a few of you probably know this already. I know Fermi does. I can't remember if I've told Tino or Skuh yet. I am backing out of doing the peace corps.

The decision came to a head as soon as I got back to school. It's kind of appropriate, new beginnings, big changes, huge decisions about my future. It's a muti-faceted decision. The main reasons are
  • the idea of taking another 2 year break from school then going back to this (outrageous) level is too daunting to consider. I'm finally starting to feel like I'm getting used to this level of work and I would rather just run through the end point.
  • I originally thought my pc service would cut down on the number of semesters I would need to be in school. I was wrong, I would have to come back and do exactly the same amount of school as I would if I had never gone. (this program counts peace corps service as credits).
  • I have a good group of friends around these parts already, doing the whole, "hi, my name is peacebone, what are you studying" thing again is not going to fly, buster.
  • I have the opportunity to apply for a job that would provide full funding and a salary (and possibly housing) next year. This is in contrast to accruing interest on established student loans and coming back in 2 years to get more loan debt.
  • I am totally in love with my boyfriend and I already have to live on a different continent until I graduate. Neither of us wants to postpone living together any longer than we have to.
So that last reason is certainly not the lowest in importance. It's probably tied with the first reason with the rest as additional.

But I do think I am making the right decision. It's a huge decision, but it's also not a complete fork in the road. If this doesn't work out, there's a very good chance that I could apply for the peace corps later and be accepted again. That being said, I don't think that will happen. Herr Boyfriend and I are very devoted to one another.

News in that front: I know I said I was going to spend my spring break there in my last post, well now those plans have changed. I'm now going to go spend about 2 months with him this summer. I'm going to take german and cook and make out in beer gardens and do all the wonderful things you can do in Europe in the summer. Also, this way I'll be able to go to Paris for at least 1 weekend. I pretty much could not be more excited about this trip. yip yip!

so, back to reading and writing and stressing. see y'all later. oh, and does anyone know when that groundhog comes out and looks for his shadow? I want it to be whichever one means winter will end sooner rather than later.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What I meant to say yesterday. or WTF Katu WTF

Right. Working a ton. Not keeping up with people. That is what I intended to write about...

Do you remember Tino was working on a short story? Well I asked for it to read/edit/give comments and she sent it to me... I even started reading it, and editing some parts - making comments, etc. Perhaps all of you should know I just went through a phase of reading books about writing fiction. My favorite of the bunch is by Sol Stein: On Writing.

Anyway, so I am reading along--- 10 pages or so in- editing like crazy- and this was 3 weeks ago or so. Then life interrupts and I put it down.

never to return.

-Right Tino-- so I still have your one-third-read/one-third-edited short story... Do you want the first third? or should I wait to finish it? I was thinking wait to finish...

What else? Skuh sent me this LOVELY personal email... and I put a ninja star on it (as my gmail is ninja themed) and never replied.

Then one of my favorite academics who is just now starting her tenure track job far away tagged me on facebook in a note: 25 random things about me. I am supposed to write a list of random things. First of all, I hate the word random. It is overused by people who don't want to think of the appropriate descriptive word. After that we have a list of 25 things that people on facebook don't already know about me. I have no intention of making that list. You see, I have a bit of a popularity complex. I friend everyone just to get my friend number higher. That means I have tons of "friends." The way I see it-- if they don't know those 25 things about me already-- then I don't want them to find out with a chain-letter list. Now, Mrs. Favorite-Academic, sure I like her TONS, and I think I will send her the link to this secret blog of mine so that she can learn those 25 things in blog form. But have I told her this? Have I sent Favorite-Academic the link? Not yet. I am just that awesome at keeping in touch.

And finally this blog- I haven't posted. This could be a good thing because it means I am using all of my time to work and sleep and walk the dogs and kiss the husband. It could be a good thing because life is peachy.

Until now.

I changed groups... And the group I joined happened to be Katu's group. Which is good because the Prof I work for is smart and she has money for lab supplies and plenty of work for us to do. But I was friends with Katu before and I wondered if it would affect our friendship. Guess what? It did.

Right so before I joined there was Katu and Pizza-Pan, the graduate students, a post doc and the Professor. Now there is Katu, Pizza-Pan, Nice-Girl, and me (the grad students), the same post doc and the Professor. Nice-Girl and I sit by each other and I (obviously by her name) am quite fond of her.

Now, Katu and I used to be lunch-on-the-weekend-friends. And lately Katu and Pizza-Pan go out to lunch together all of the time. But they don't invite me or Nice-Girl.

This is not a big deal itself. So this Friday I say to Katu: We never hang out anymore- let's have lunch this weekend. And she says: I don't know... my finances are kinda tight. I say we could bring lunches- but we change the topic...

Flash forward to this Sunday. Katu, Pizza-Pan, and I are working in the lab. Nice-Girl isn't around and neither is Postdoc. Then suddenly at lunch time- Katu and Pizza-Pan leave to have lunch together and even mention it to me when they get back.

WTF Katu. WTF!

So obviously, we aren't "friends" anymore in my book. Certainly not lunch-on-the-weekend-friends like we used to be.

So what could have happened?

(a) Katu's environment could have changed:
I think Katu feels like an older sibling when the mom just had a new baby. Katu used to be the smart and industrious one. And now, she is not the only one who is smart and industrious.

(b) Katu's vision of me could have changed:
She could be pissy because I openly LOVE working for our boss. I LOVE being at work and being in a lab that has money to be used for lab supplies. And she doesn't like research- she openly tells me- and I LOVE research. Before when we were friends- I was less happy: I was working for Catfish -without money for research supplies- with a broken instrument.

(c) It could be a combination of both. It could be that Katu isn't conscious of the fact that she has stopped opting into our friendship.

So right. It pissed me off. But writing about it has helped. And what else? It is okay. I have more friends than I need or can even keep up with. Katu was not the only friend. I can invest my time in other friends.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Keeping in Touch (or the lack of it)

Twenty five days in and I make my first post of the year. I've been doing really well at working lately: working and sleeping... and not much else beyond that. I'm not under pressure from any external forces- I just really like my job to the point of obsession- I can't get enough!

And suddenly I find all of the balance I had in my life is gone. I work and sleep-- and walk the dogs on occasion. I haven't even been doing cardio or weights or yoga- nothing physical. I haven't been writing or reading. I haven't been making lunches... I just stock the work freezer with lean cuisines and pull one down whenever I get hungry.

I'm sleepy. More later.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Argentine penguins

Hi boys! I put up a new header for this bloggy-poo. It's a penguin in Argentina. If that was a recording, it would be me saying "Argentina" in a fake Spanish accent. You're missing out.

It has been forever and a day since I have even looked at blogs. As I was running this morning (in an attempt to shed some of the TEN POUNDS I've gained since leaving for school in August), I was thinking that I've met my match in grad school. Or maybe it's grad school + having a serious boyfriend, both for the first time at the same time. I guess time will tell. Time being next semester since it's my second semester, I know which professors not to take if I want a social life . . . or any life. Also, Herr Boyfriend is back in Germany.

Here is a picture of the larger town outside of the small town he's originally from:
Is that not RIDICULOUSLY beautiful? I mean, I'm sure it doesn't look like that all the time, but really, is that even necessary?

So, Herr Boyfriend is still that, my boyfriend. We're doing long distance with the help of webcams via skype, international (read: expensive) text messages, emails, real-live love letters, interactive internet games (I kick ass at Chinese Checkers, but lose miserably at bowling), and trans-Atlantic visits every few months. I'm just waiting on his boss's ok for buying a plane ticket to spend my spring break in Germany. He's going to come in July.

The eventual idea is that after we both finish school, me about 2 months after him, I will move over the big blue ocean and live with him. It's a big decision and there are a TON of "ifs" along with way. But we're both very much devoted to one another and want this to last.

The funny part comes in with my mother. In order to prepare her for this potential cohabitation or, as she would say, living in sin, I mentioned that I would go live with Herr Boyfriend unmarried to being with. She seemed ok with this at first but a few days later, she brings it up in convo again and says that she thinks we should lay out a specific time period for me living with him (unmarried) over there. And then she mentions that stupid, oft-repeated "statistic" of more cohabiting couples getting divorced than those who never lived together.

This notion has always seemed a bit hokey to me. But now that I actually think about it, it just seems like an awfully misinformed statistic put forth by the people who make money off of marriages, church people.

First of all, all people are not equal in terms of social standing and background. The people who are more likely to only live together after marriage also probably hold more traditional values than cohabitants. If they are more traditional-minded, wouldn't they start off being less likely to divorce?

Secondly, getting married is F-ing expensive if you don't just go to the court house. And we should all thank society for informing us that just going to the courthouse is insufficient. I would think that some people live together because they just don't have enough money to get married.

I don't know, maybe I'm all wrong and getting married is the bee's knees while living together is the bee's elbows. Luckily, there are both people who live with a significant other and people who are married who contribute to this bloggy, so I would love to hear from you guys.

In my situation, I'm almost certain that I wouldn't be able to afford my own housing in Germany, nor would I be able to navigate all the bureaucratic BS (I could barely do it in France, and I speak their language more or less). And if I opt to stay in the US and find a job here, it just makes it that much more difficult to uproot later down the road if/when we do get married.

So yeah, that's that. School starts in another 2 weeks or so. I'm not looking forward to going back to a real winter, but not living with my parents will be nice. Even if the alternative is a dorm.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

lavender-scented womb

The Yoga teacher certification program is finally underway.
It is quite the time-consuming endeavor, not to mention physically ambitious. We have class two days a week (Wed and Sun) for three hours each time.
We are charged with:
1) writing a gratitude journal entry every day; we are encouraged to focus on the things for which we are grateful, but are free to write on anything we desire
2) meditating twice daily and keeping a record of our sessions; it is recommended to meditate twenty minutes per session, although we are required to sit in meditation for as long and as often as we are able
3) taking at least one yogic meal per day, as well as keeping a record of this meal; the guidelines for having a yogic meal are as follows: remain seated; no conversation while chewing; while eating, reduce any external distractions -- no reading, watching TV, listening to music, etc.; wait until food is completely chewed and swallowed before picking up your next bite; refrain from putting more than two handfuls of food on your plate at any one time, finish eating your portions and wait 3-5 minutes before taking more food on your plate; and finally, wait until food is completed digested (2-6 hours) before taking you next meal
4) meeting with our teacher-training partner/group once per week for 2-3 to practice performing and leading asanas
5) observing one yoga class per week
6) practicing the 5 Wonderful Precepts: 1) non-violence (vegetarianism), 2) non-stealing and non-oppression (volunteerism), 3) sexual integrity (don't be a hoe), 4) loving speech and deep listening (no gossip, don't be a Debbie Downer), & 5) mindful consumption (no caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes or drugs)
7) practicing daily
We also have quite a bit of homework.

The daily practices are intense. They begin at 6:15 in the morning, when the sun has yet to rise and many are still asleep and waiting for the day to begin. They are held, currently, in the Acadiana Center for the Arts on the corner of Jefferson and Vermillion, which is an incredible building. The studio is a small room off to the left. It is long and narrow, completely dark with the exception of candles interspersed along the walls and it is warm, cozy and smells of lavender. Tuesday morning when I walked in for my first practice, my immediate and visceral reaction was, "This place is like a lavender-scented womb," immediately followed by, "Oh God, I don't know if I can do this." We practice Ashtanga Yoga for an hour and twenty-five minutes and it's humbling/discouraging cause there are things that I cannot do, that the other 56 year-old teacher-in-training can. But then again, she has been practicing a lot longer than I have . . . but still. She's thirty years my senior and in much better shape. That's depressing.
At any rate, I've only practiced in the studio twice and each time, about twenty minutes into the session, I'm sweating bullets. I can do most of the poses, with the exception of a standing/balance pose, and all balance poses that require serious upper body strength like a hand- or headstand. After just two classes, though, I've never wanted to conquer a headstand so badly in my life. And before this training is said and done, I vow to do a headstand, dammit, even if it kills me. Anyway, we reach the end of the practice and I'm sweaty and rumpled but energized and somehow new and we sink into Shivasana, or "relaxation pose." And both yesterday and today, for some unknown reason, I wept a little. I suppose I'm healing.
After we "wake up" from relaxation pose, we meditate together for twenty minutes. I've learned in a short period of time that I have quite the restless, self-nullifying mind. However, this foray into the practice of meditation has been less frustrating than in the past. Now whenever my mind wanders or gets distracted, I just go back to my breath. I have to do it A LOT but it truly is that simple.
I'm sure with enough practice, I'll get better at both Yoga and meditation. But it sure is going to be a challenging, up-road battle to get there.
But hey, I love a challenge! Also, what in this world is worth doing if it's easy or if it doesn't teach you something about yourself and life?

In general, I'd say I'm feeling pretty good about 2009. How does everyone else feel about the New Year?