Archive for the ‘18 things at once’ Category

Wow, hey, it’s been over a month since I last poured out my soul and neuroses here, eh?  I’d love to say that it’s because I’ve been sailing smoothly through life but alas, it’s mostly that I’ve grown weary of always having shit to bitch about and/or analyze.  Well, that and my brain and expository writing have not so much been friends recently.

So, Jen, what’s been going on?

I am 8 days from the end of the semester.  I have drafted 4 of my5 papers (thus far 29 pages of writing with another 7 to go…), shuddered at the sight of one of my two exams, and started reviewing for the second.  I have one paper due Sunday, one Monday, an exam Monday, an exam due Wednesday, two papers due next Friday and one due next Saturday.  I have completed my board postings and readings, and have had anxiety attacks from noon to 3 pm every day for close to a month.  I no longer get any sense of accomplishment at finishing tasks because there is always.something.else.  It’s sort of sucky.

In addition to the massive school thread, I decided back in October to do some editing of old poems.  So I messed around, rewrote, condensed, and then this past week I sent some out to various poetry contests on the theory that they aren’t doing me any good sitting on my hard drive and if nothing else, I really like having people read my writing, even if I have to pay them to do it.  I’m not all ‘I’m gonna WIN!’ or anything but I have at least gotten back to the point where I feel like I can write poetry that doesn’t suck.  That feels nice, honestly–it’s been a long time since I’ve tried to write creatively and I was starting to feel like maybe I’d been kidding myself that I could do it.

I have also been doing the visual arts thing from time to time, or at least playing around with it.  It turns out that, like my poetry, I like the pictures I draw.  Who knew?  And I like to paint, and I like to have ideas, and it’s pretty cool.

I have not played my dholak at all though.  I will.  Just not yet.

Otherwise, I am trying to keep my head from flying off of my body, trying to deal with the daily anxiety, trying to remember that I am really going to finish all of my work for the semester and am going to do it well, and trying to remember that my head *cannot actually* go flying off of my body even if it *feels like* I can’t keep it on.

And I’m excited about the holidays even though we don’t have a tree yet and the Halloween decorations are still up and I haven’t a clue when, how, or what I’m going to do about gifting this year.  I still can’t believe it’s December already.  I do think that we’re doing a Solstice something this year, Lucy and I.  I’ll come up with something.

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Rabbit holes

As in, I sure fell down one for the past week or so.  In a good way for a change, though.  A productive way.  A change out of sweat pants way.  An I haven’t cried since the 13th way (which, let me tell you, is some sort of record lately.)  And so here is an attempt at a proper update…

First, in the ‘garden’…we have our first marigold bloom!  The geranium is budding and should be gorgeous by next weekend.  The cucumber is full and lovely, the nasturtium as well.  Our black dragon coleus is getting tall and I think may be ready for transplant.  Alas, the moonflower doesn’t seem to be doing as well–we had a bloom last week but it faded really quickly and now the plant is looking really sad 😦

From Lucy’s gardening program we have acquired several new plants–a teeny basil and a terrarium with two plants I haven’t tried to identify and another coleus.  I am sad that we are down to her last week, although I plan to do some hauling around to museums in our month off.

Second, the brain.  I am coming up on 2 weeks on meds.  So far so good–I had really low-grade headaches on a couple of days and sometimes I get a little dizzy (like standing up too quickly) but otherwise I have been free of side effects.  I am making sure to drink water to avoid dry mouth too.  I feel…normal.  I have emotions but they aren’t overwhelming.  I get nervous, angry, sad, excited but not to the same super-edge level I tend toward.  It’s been nice.  I’m getting more done with less angst and am not as unwound when I don’t get things done.

Best of all, I feel like I can concentrate on school stuff, which was getting to be a huge problem.  I read two entire books in the past two weeks and I can tell you what I read.  This is especially fortuitous as I have registered for classes for next semester and am attempting 5 classes in order to start 2010 as  a junior.

To make a long story short,  after my head cleared from the breakdown fog I came to the conclusion that I accomplish more when I am busy.  Couple this with the fact that I would end the year 2 credits shy of my junior year if I only take 4 classes and a decision was born.  It’s going to be tough but I think I’ll be happy having done it.  And if it isn’t impossible, I’ll be able to finish school that much sooner.  All in all, a good decision I think.  And if not, it’s only for 3 months.

Third, I finally bit the bullet and got the hair cut.  I have about a foot of braid to send to Locks of Love, which makes me feel almost as good as not waking up with my hair in square knots.

And that is just about that.  I am what would have been giddy before meds, which is I guess what happy feels like without the fear of it turning into anxiousness.

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The baby has discovered force.  Force of his throwing arm, force of his little half-fist, force of his voice.

It is not my favorite stage, I have to admit.  It’s not the worst, but the noise.is.driving.me.crazy.

The throwing isn’t fun either.  Makes the decision to go with wooden toys come right back to bite me in my hippy ass. Although I must admit plastic toys aren’t much softer.

I’m trying, though–trying not to lose my temper too many times, not to let that feeling of frustration creep up my spine until it comes shooting out of my mouth.  I’m trying to remember to relax my shoulders and shake the tension out of my hands.  I’m trying but some days are not so good.  It’s the age, not knowing what to do with myself without classes, the allergies–a whole garden of factors.  But hell, today seems to be ok so I’m going to slide off of this track and back to my good morning.


The little voice in my head has been shouting as well.  Most recently, the shouting is about getting rid of…this crap I’m carrying around.

After firing the therapist, day-tripping to Jersey, a stop by the pediatrician and an evening with Krishna Das, I spent much of yesterday wound into a tight little wad of tense.  I snapped at the kids, I snapped at the cats, I snapped at myself–all until I passed out with the baby on the couch while Lucy played on the computer.  I have been feeling very tired lately.  Sleeping, thinking about sleeping, dreaming about…well, you get the idea.

When I woke up, I looked down at my pants and realized that I hate them.  I have three pairs of the same ones, and I cannot stand the way the look on me.  I looked at the toys hanging out of the basket and realized they could all be put elsewhere.  I bagged up a bunch of baby toys to donate.  I got rid of a bunch of recyclables I’ve been saving for craft projects for the last year.

I’m starting to wonder if I’m so tired because I carry these things with me all the time–all of these “maybe I’ll use them someday” things and “it would be such a waste” things.  I wonder how much I let myself off the hook for bringing new things into my life because I don’t “waste”.

This time when I’m getting rid of things, I need to seriously think about this because it just doesn’t feel like I get any relief from getting rid of, and there must be a reason for this.


The voice in my head also likes to shout at me for not using the things I’ve gotten.  This week’s big project is going to be using all of the planters I had to have last year (and the year before.)  I have enough seeds to make a go of it, and the ones I don’t think I’m going to use…I don’t know.  But this is yet another thing weighing me down.  I think maybe it isn’t the stuff that is such a problem.  It’s knowing that it all represents something I didn’t follow through on.

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Yeah, the catharsis of telling my business on the internet has been surpassed by the catharsis of a good sleep.  I can’t lie.

The past few weeks have been a journey of getting to know myself, trying to look honestly at my strengths and weaknesses, and all sorts of other psychobabble-esque crap.  Also, I’ve discovered that sometimes talking to myself in my head is more helpful than talking to myself here.  Just sayin’.  It was interesting to realize that I do so much writing for my classes that I don’t so much need the blawg to get stuff out of my head.

So yes, the past few weeks…trying to get outside, walking with the baby, breathing in what passes for fresh air in the flight path of La Guardia.  Spent an excellent day with mizz Luce at the botanical garden learning an eentsy bit of foraging, how to make seed bombs and compost cookies and cleaning up at the flea market.  I discovered I not only love Jerusalem artichokes but they grow in containers so there’s that for an upcoming project.  Once I finish finals and fun-reading, that is.

The boy is tearing up the vocabulary these days, keeping us on our toes trying to figure out if he is saying ‘no’ (nose), ‘no’ (nurse) or ‘no’ (stop it).  He rolls his r’s when he says ‘draw’, says ‘coo’ instead of school, andwhen he gets into batting stance, he says ‘guy’ (looks like he’s a lefty).  If you’re watching tv, he asks to put on baseball (tee?  bayball?’) and not only does he have a batting stance complete with follow-through, he has a leg kick he uses when he (‘whoa’ a la Joey Lawrence) throws the ball.

The girl has taken to writing books and is better than her mom at use of adjectives.  She has created a Crusader’s Club (for the Earth) and a spy club.  The latter is a bit of a disappointment for her as I put the ixnay on hosting her entire class for a spy club meeting.  I think mostly she likes the idea of wearing a disguise.

For the end of the semester, I have 3 papers, 2 finals and 15 questions of varying complexity to answer in three different classes.  Oh, and 100 pages of a book to read before I can answer 6 of the questions and do one of the papers.  I am not a happy bee right about now but it will feel damn good when I am finished next week.  Wish me luck.  Or sanity.  Or both.

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This  morning my son woke himself up by clapping in his sleep.  Loudly.  He then sat straight up in bed and asked for the phone.  “Call? Call?”  As we began to get up, he leaned over to the nightstand and proclaimed, “Ball!”

This is how our days are going lately.  He has other words (in a grand nod to his Irish roots he calls all food “potay-toe”) but for the most part, he wants to talk on the phone or play ball.  All.the.time.    It’s cute, though.  For the first 7 hours at least.  Right now?  He’s dribbling a soccer ball around in the living room.  He’ll do this for hours, and honestly?  I expect his obsession with soccer to pay for C and I in our infirmity.  Either that or he will use his grand meowing skills to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a cat.  You never know.

We lived through St. Pat’s and are down to a reasonable number of shamrock plants (15.)  I replaced 14 out of the 20 bought from those bastards but I think most of them were going to make it.  Thank goodness that the one I took in which was not-so-great looking had new buds and thank goodness the little girl who got that one was thrilled when I showed them to her because I felt really bad taking in a straggly plant.  Aside from that, it’s sprout city in here.  We’re planting some wheatgrass this weekend I think and then keeping the rest of the seeds until Lucy’s spring break.

What else?  Hmmmmm.  I’m using my time this Spring Break (still haven’t flashed the worms) to put away all of the crap that has collected in various ‘where the eff does this go’ bins.  I cleaned off my dresser and C’s dresser, have almost-completely-clean bookcases in the foyer and even cleaned out all of our old condiments from the fridge (you can’t imagine how many satay sauces and marinades we had crammed in there.  Seriously.)

And this brings us to right now, which involves much less cleaning out and much more writing.  Hey, any excuse to get out into the Real World–there’s a burger and cup of coffee with my name on it at the pub.

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I was going to work up a good lather about the appointment of Kristen Gillibrand to fill Clinton’s Senate seat but I’m just not feeling it today.  I’m sort of in a good mood, actually.  And feeling kind of, well, positive about life in general and the outside world even.  Curse you, Obama 😛

Tomorrow is the ‘playdate with cake’ for Lucy’s birthday.  We’ll be having fruit, veggies with homemade hummus and store-bought craptastic cupcakes.  I thought about baking for a nanosecond and then came to my senses.  We’re still short favors for the two littler girls but I am hoping against hope the box gets here today instead of Monday when it is scheduled.  Curse you, FedEx!

The school birthday is arranged as well.  We have swank Preserve plates, a veritable arsenal of plastic cutlery from various take-outs that I can finally justify having kept for so many years, and we went with cloth goody bags which I probably should have made my damn self but, then again, probably wouldn’t have gotten made in time.  The theme is ‘animals’ so Lucy made the drawings to go on the cupcakes–anaconda, panda, shark, eagle.  I’ll scan in her drawings when we get them back because hell, they’re better than I could do.  Each kid is also getting an endangered animal puzzle to complete the theme.  I’m trying to figure out if Lucy’s teacher will kill me if I plan to collect all of the plates and cutlery to wash and reuse.  Or if I take a cloth napkin for each kid.  It couldn’t be that hard, could it?


We’re getting back in the worm business ’round here.  Lucy is getting some gardening paraphrenalia for the ole birthday and I’ve been getting seed catalogs so I’m going to ignore my no seed-starting edict from last year and start thinking about growing stuff.  I still have seeds from last year in the freezer so it’s really just a do-over.  At the very least we should get some herbs out of the deal.  I just have to keep ’em alive this time.  You can tell I’m choking on optimism by this decision-reversal.


I can’t even believe my classes start on Monday.  I am so beyond ready it isn’t even funny.  I’m going to be logging in at like 5am just to see what I’m going to be doing for the semester.  C’mon Monday!  This is literally the only thing that could overshadow Lucy’s birthday.

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I have yet again lost several days due to my inability to focus on one task at a time.  I will be sitting down today to work out a schedule because clearly I need more structure in my life.  It was a fun weekend, though, complete with a playdate, an afternoon spent playing board games (we never finished, thank you Bubby, although I was $18 million in debt and well on my way to losing, it was great fun.)  Lucy’s birthday celebration is set, favors ordered, menu planned.  I’ve been reading extensively about ayurveda in my down time and am thoroughly fascinated by it.  Good times.

It is finally not frigid and I am happy to not be sitting here in layers down to my socks.  We made it without turning the heat back on (remember, we get tons of passive heat from two sides so it never gets dangerously cold in here) and even had the playdate without heaters.  I am probably more pleased about this than I should be 🙂

I still have not implemented the menu plan (see paragraph one about routine) but here is the butternut squash with curried millet recipe for Jennifer.  I’d swear that I’d do it this week but I don’t feel like lying to you this early in the year.


I have been spending a lot of time since my last entry thinking about growing up.  I don’t know if it’s my personality that makes me so eager to gain approval or if it’s because I was raised to believe that approval is the highest form of praise, but I have come to realize that I need very badly to deal with the fact that I just can’t please everybody, and it’s not a personal failing that I can’t.  It’s a sad denouement, set into motion long ago and winding down almost pitifully for the amount of pain it has caused me over the years.  It’s a curse, I think, when you lose someone close to you because you’re always left with the what-ifs or should-have-saids.  I can’t live like that anymore, worrying about displeasing people, worrying about offending them by saying the wrong thing, always feeling as though the ultimate consequence of disagreeing could be the inevitable regret of time lost.  Is this suitably cryptic?  What it really means is that I have to grow up now, stop being the little girl afraid of doing and saying the wrong thing.

I could stop being overly dramatic as well but what fun would that be?

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