Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And furthermore

It’s funny, so many years after I had started the blog (and named it, at the time mainly just because it sounded cool, even though the psalm in my title bar lends it some credence), I’ve turned out to actually have a little “midnight radio” all of my own.  Because of the time difference, if I stay up reeeeeeeeeeeeeally late, some nights I get to gchat (or skype chat) with Joseph for a little while before he begins his day.  This is such a blessing.  There’s a long list of people, too, who would probably come and eat my bones for snacks if they found out how lucky I am—most people are feeling good if they get a one line email every two weeks.  Most people’s husbands are living in 2-man tents and the nearest internet is 45 miles away.

So yes.  If I stay up good and late, I might get to “talk” with my best friend.  :)  Totally worth it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Bit Dull

Yes, the blog is sleeping. But you see, I'm actually getting my READING for CLASS done here. Along with many family-and-friend related things. So, every time you come and see that no blog things have happened, you may think, "Oh, that's so wonderful for Jen. She's getting her school and family things done. She's feeling accomplished. I'm so happy for her."

So, be happy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Not nice

Not a great start to this Fourth Week of Advent (aka “last week before the good stuff”).  The Senate went the next step toward a DADT repeal, which isn’t particularly nice of them.  Bunch of spineless…bad words.  Anyway, I’m just completely depressed and put off by that.  Not sure what it bodes for our life, future, livelihood, etc.  The whole thing is so dishonest from start to finish, the rhetoric is malicious and skewed, etc etc etc.  I could write for a long time about, and not make a heck of a lot of sense, but I won’t.  Too t’d off to do so, anyway.

Also, patrol cycle starts/started today.  So that’ll ruin my next ten days or so.  Nothing like waking up every morning wondering whether you’re still married to anybody.

Also having irritating misgivings about all manner of life decisions, including but not limited to the way I raise my kid, make my food, spend my money, etc.

Oh, and they are trying to repeal DADT.  My buddy Danny (good ol, Danny) says not to worry, they’ll reinstate it on January 21st.  It’ll be fine.  Just don’t worry.  But I have a hard time feeling it will be that easy.  Can you imagine the backlash from the left?  It’s awfully freaking hard to roll back something that the entire world is gushing about being a “great civil rights victory.”

Finally, all this has totally sapped my interest in and motivation to work on my school stuff.  And I have a big discussion board due tonight.  On World War II.  And I haven’t done the reading.  And right now I’m supposed to be motivated to be reading all like 115 pages of the relevant chapters.

Yeah.  Not happening.  Stupid Senate.  Merry Christmas to you, too.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Small Successes -- Winning the Germ War


(This came from something Tea & Co. do every week. I decided to steal.)

It's important for moms to realize that all those small successes add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that! My skirmishes for the week:

1. Christmas cards are all addressed and the Christmas letter is written. Must now inscribe and stuff them...

2. Kept V from the worst of the cold, I think, by stuffing him full of oatmeal and vitamins. Don't tell the pediatrician.

3. Did all but the last 2 items on my 76-item "To Do" list from the fridge. Now I get to make a new list! :D

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

BBC’s 100 Books

I got this list from Facebook, then via Matt’s blog.  I totally agree with his assessment that some “books” are on here twice, once as part of a collection and once on their own, and this is annoying.  He’s so right.  But anyway.  Below are “the rules” (you don’t have to play), plus I liked Matt’s addition, so I’m also underlining a book that I read specifically for school, and not because I’m a nutball.

The Rules

  • Copy this into your NOTES.
  • Bold those books you've read in their entirety.
  • Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read only an excerpt.
  • Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!
  • The BBC says that most people average about 6 of the following, -- Let's see how well I do!

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling [read a little of the first one and HATED it]

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6. The Bible [Yes.  I did.  One Lent.]

7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell [One day. . . ]

9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller [Yuck.]

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare [One day, when I have money and time]

15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger [And never will.  Too sad!  But I know the story, and not from watching the movie.]

20. Middlemarch - George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh [Top 3 favorite books]

27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll [Again, yuck.]

30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis

34. Emma -Jane Austen

35. Persuasion - Jane Austen

36. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini [But it is upstairs on the shelf…]

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres [GREAT movie!]

39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden [Met the author once…]

40. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41. Animal Farm - George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown [Nevah!  Fr. Jose says I should, though, so I can discount it to my students.]

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52. Dune - Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley [fun times]

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville [I swear I’ve read the first page like 100 times, but I just can’t get past it.]

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72. Dracula - Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett [Booooooriiiiiiiing.]

74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses - James Joyce

76. The Inferno - Dante

77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal - Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom [My family made me read it so I could explain to my Grandmother what all was wrong with it.]

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery [First “long” book I ever read.]

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94. Watership Down - Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet - Shakespeare

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Other Things

Also trying to get rid of: fantastically large number of matches, over a dozen candles, hair products of various descriptions, accumulated Christmas cards from sales of Christmas Past (making real progress on that one), and the many many many legal and letter-sized pads that we collected during the cleaning out of the professors’ building that one summer that I worked at the college…

I’m getting there.

It has been an interesting week, though.  Fo sho.  Like, I had never expected that the smell of a newly-opened bag of Tostitos would remind my of my husband.  Who knew?  Wow, though, man, I opened up that bag and all my reflexes went, “WHAT?  You went to the store and bought CHIPS AGAIN?  I COOKED food for you!  REAL food!”  And then I ate an entire batch of guacamole by myself.

Which reminds me of another reminder.  Who knew that I would actually want to go out for a run, just because it reminded me of Joe?  That’s power, right there.  Something that makes me want to go out and be miserable.  Not that its an option, anyway, because it has gotten so BLEEPING COLD around here all of a sudden.  (Whence cometh this new typing in all caps habit?  I think reading others’ blogs is rubbing off on me.  And I used to be so good with italics, too.  Sad.)  I mean, seriously, like in the 30s all day.  So cold that the ice I dumped out of the recycle bin did not thaw after a full day of sitting in the grass, half of which was sitting in the grass in the sunshine time.  That’s too darn cold for this clime.  One of the selling points, in my head, was that we wouldn’t have to endure another Virginia winter.

So much for selling points.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Holly Jolly Rodent

Yes, I know that he is not a rodent. He is a feline. But I don't care. He's a PEST. (This photo was taken at eye level, btw.)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Unaccustomed Presence of Routine

Sooooooo some of my goals during the deployment are, shall we say, less lofty than others. Pray for Joseph, lose some weight, get V sleeping in his own bed. Those are the lofty goals. So far, V sleeps in his bed the whole night exept for the part he sleeps in the floor with me. I'm unsure at what point the transfer takes place. Lose weight...bah humbug. And praying for Joseph is (a) ongoing and (b) a total sucess. So I'm doing well there.

The less lofty goals are odd. One of them was to "use up some of the lotion and other hygiene-related products that I've got laying around." I'm a scented-thing fiend, so these articles pile up, you know? So I'm going through and trying to use up things, mostly by remembering as part of my daily regimen to put moisturizing product on my peeling, itchy, poor, sad skin. This is something I've always needed to do, but never remembered before. I never had time to remember it. I never had time to wait patiently in my robe for the lotion to become unsticky so I could get dressed. Now I have time, or at least I'm making time. I feel a little triumph every time I toss an empty container out. (Yay! More space to put new lotion! Except that part of the deal was a vow not to buy more of the stuff until more than half of the existing inhabitants had bought the farm.)

Another goal was "clear out the pantry." Somehow this also translated into "clear out the vitamin shelf." Every M.D. that I saw during my entire pregnancy was convinced they had to prescribe prenatal vitamins to me--and I never realized the vitamins were in amongst the other medications until I got home and opened my pharmacy sack. Sooooooo there's ye piles of prenatals (and iron, which I'm terrified V is going to get into even though they're in a child-proof container at the back on the top shelf of an above-the-counter cupboard over the dishwasher and there are no climbable furniture pieces within six feet) in my cabinet which I wanted out. And rather than toss all but one (wasteful) I decided to just take the things, one per day. Which I never did before or during natalness, so what the heck. I'll do it now. Nothing like planning ahead. And I'm taking Vitamin C. And I feel soooooooooo proud. Again, a little triumph every time an empty container leaves my shelves that much less full.

As far as the real pantry goes, that's another story. I could easily not shop for groceries until February and not go hungry (and I wouldn't get scurvy, because I'm taking Vitamin C!!), but there would be a total lack of meat, dairy or vegetable products (except for frozen veggies). So I still go grocery shopping, some, but basically I only buy things from the three categories listed above. I cook LOTS more when Joseph is gone anyway, so the food that is sitting on the shelves for months and months always leaves faster when he is away, but lately I've been trying to be good about cooking veggies for V (because Macaroni is not really a food group) so there's just more cooking all around.

Granted, I'm sitting here in my jammies after a day of teaching with two bottles of water and a ham sandwich and some mini snickers. But who says you have to be perfect?