Archive for the ‘writing glee’ 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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I’ve placed our meat/cheese/bread order for next week, set up the spreadsheet for food tracking (including eat out/take out) and the dry-erase board holds a guide to the treasures contained in our fridge.  I made up baby beets, peaches and carrots on Tuesday with apricots and more peaches to follow this afternoon (we’ll be using up store-bought baby jars at the MIL’s this weekend but otherwise it’s been two days of naught but homemade.)  Whatever we don’t finish from the refrigerator over the course of the day will be taken with us (I’m looking at you, zucchini.)  I can say conclusively that I am ready for the new month!

And my head is in the right place, too.  I woke up feeling…better.  Sort of calm.  It’s nice, especially since the temptation is great to pop on the a/c today.  It’s amazing how much easier it is mentally to make changes in your life when you have someone to support you.  I hadn’t realized how much I was associating Rioting with some sort of notion that my priorities were out of whack and that my family (or my health) was suffering because of it.  The thing is, I think I had started to believe that I wasn’t capable of participating without somehow not being a good enough wife/mother/woman/whatever.  Fuck that noise.  It really isn’t for anyone else to say whether I am doing a good enough job anyway so I don’t know why I take so to heart off the cuff remarks that aren’t even based in reality.

I’m starting to think that one of the most important actions one takes when undertaking a large-scale lifestyle change is to make sure you’re being true to yourself.  Even when people act like you’re a nut, even when you’re the only one in your household acting, even when things go pear-shaped and you feel like giving up.   I think most people want to view change as a linear process even though we all know intellectually that it is anything but.   In the long run, though, this can lead to so much disappointment, both in the process of change and in ourselves.  But when you can say honestly that you are listening to your true self when you act, it is so much easier to get things done, even when it feels like you’re one person against the world.

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I am totally grossed out by worms.  I mean, I’m glad I have them (over there, in the dining room, where we eat) but I’ll tell ya, I’ve been ‘harvesting’ compost from the first bin and it feels like everything is crawling.  They’re remarkable little critters, but they shore are wriggly.

Oh, and I got my first proofreading acknowledgment!   I am really, really happy.

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I’d do the same for you!  Plus I’m always looking for some new reads (to never comment on.)


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So it appears that Chico may be having some gassy issues when I consume dairy products.  It may be coincidence, but after last night, I’m taking a break from the milk and cheese.  That’s right, the bulk of my diet.

What do people eat instead of cheese?

I kid.  Sort of.

C turned off the heaters in the living room/dining room (main area) last night.  I didn’t even realize until I was told.  I really wish we had some way of seeing how much oil/less oil we’re using.  It’s so frustrating to have no idea.  The other upside, though, is that it seems as though the building has been keeping it a bit cooler than in past years.  I’m hoping it holds for the rest of the winter.  I have some weatherstripping to do today, and our insulating curtains came, so maybe we can see if it’s tolerable to have the bedroom heater off as well.  That would leave only Lucy’s on, which I would estimate as at least a 50% reduction from American average (under the theory that we’d have turned off 75% of our heaters but have no idea how much oil it takes to heat this space up.)  I’m back to excited!

We brought in reinforcements on the Lucy situation (called Grandma) and managed to get her calmed down enough to go to the 2nd Thanksgiving.  She ran around with her cousin and huge red circles around her bloodshot eyes, finally passing out in the car 20 minutes from home and having to be carried into bed, where she slept until morning.  Last night, no fights.  She was asleep by a little after 7 and didn’t wake up until 7:15 this morning.  Thank insert deity here.  Sometimes kids are absolutely miserable little creatures.  Still, I’m glad to have *my* Lucy back.

Speaking of sleep, Chico slept from 11 to 3:35 last night, which means I did as well!  It was truly glorious, except for the ensuing ache from going so long without nursing.  There’s always a trade-off with kids, isn’t there?  He’s absolutely adorable, though, and really working on holding his head up.  I mean, really working it.  He barely lays his head down unless it’s in between lifts or he’s trying to nurse on my collarbone.  At one month old, his favorite things to look at are his sister and lights, the fancier the better.  Favorites are the bedside lamp with the red shade and the hall light at my MIL’s with the etching.  His little mouth opens in awe, and his eyes get wide, until he can’t take the stimulation anymore and he collapses in wails.  I spent so much time watching Lucy for signs of heart failure at this age that I think I really missed out on appreciating a lot of the normal development.  It’s so nice to get to focus on that this time.

At some point I’ll have to look at how tough it is to compare the early weeks of the two because every once in a while I feel really guilty about things I do with Chico that I didn’t with Lucy, like when she asked me if his diapers were hers when she was a baby and I had to tell her we used disposables.  That, coupled with having him in (what I’m sure she remembers as her place) our bed and her in her own bed…it’s tough, and I know she has to grow up at some point, but I feel bad for her sometimes.  It’s tough being the oldest, no matter how much you love the little one, and it sucks having to share the attention.  Hell, I’m 34 and I still hate sharing attention.  She’s doing so well, though, freak out aside, and just this morning came into bed to hold her brother’s hand and talk to him while I went to the bathroom.  When I came back in, she looked at me and said, ‘He’s exactly how I wanted him to be, he looks just how I wanted him to and he feels just how I thought he would.  I love him.’

And now I have to wait for my work to arrive today.  Turns out it isn’t so much editing as it is writing, and so I will likely be pretty scarce ’round these parts until it’s done.  In January.  I’m also working on C”s uncle’s book.  Which is probably why I have blog-diarrhea this morning–gotta make room for the next batch of craziness.

And all this without dairy.  Say it ain’t so!

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She is writing her first book.  It is called…

wait for it…

10 Trd Turkeys.  Trd is pronounced ‘turd.’  She says it means ‘silly.’

You can’t make this shit up.

Happy Thanksgiving!  May your turkeys be free of turds.

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Another report to edit? Sign me up! Especially if you happen to be someone I admire greatly and would like to ask after my new son and compliment my mad word skillz. Because I’m a sucker. And i can’t watch any more tv without feeling guilty/losing iq points. I actually watched America’s Most Smartest Model yesterday and I swear I got dumber by the end.

Yeah, got lost there for a minute. I’m back now. Sometimes I totally forget what I’m doing and run off chasing shiny things. Or nursing.

Anyway, C and I were watching the noooz yesterday and were both taken aback by a segment on heating oil prices and how much folks should expect to pay over the winter. It did not, however, mention anything about lowering usage as a means to not end up in the poorhouse because of heating oil prices. I suppose there are just too many people who will pay ridiculous prices and bitch about it rather than turn down the thermostat and bundle up. Serious pet peeve of mine…

But anyway, this led to a discussion about what we were going to do to conserve heating oil. As you may know, our heating (and cooking gas and water) is included in the monthly maintenance we pay. We will likely have to pay extra for heating oil, however, since costs have risen so significantly. This chaps my ass, to be honest. See, the building is hot. Like, I’m sitting in the living room in a t-shirt and cropped sweats and am wholly comfortable. And the heat has only been on since 6am. SO, this winter we are going to do a few things. In fact, we are thinking about doing a big thing: turning the heaters off.

T his may sound crazy, but remember that since we are in an apartment building, we have a great deal of passive heat from the apartments around us. The fact that it’s a brick building helps as well, not to mention the direct sunlight we get for much of the day. If we decide to do this, we’ll adopt the blinds open in the daytime, closed at night policy. We’ll also need to do a little weatherstripping since we have some space around the balcony door and a/c. We’ll likely have to break down and get window coverings for the kids’ room, and may need heavier drapes for our bedroom window, although it gets pretty toasty with 3 of us in the bed. All in all I’m excited, though. Even if we just go part of the winter with no or minimal heat, this will make a huge difference. I also plan on bringing it up at the next meeting to see if everyone is having to open windows to deal with the heat, esp. if we end up getting charged for usage. We have one of the larger units and so get charged more, which I am loath to pay when we want the temp dropped by at least 15 degrees, if not 20.

Even if we don’t get all of them off, we know already that the dining room heater goes, and likely the living room one as well. I wish it was an area that we could actually track so I could see if we were making a real reduction, but I guess I’ll have to take what I can get.

Lord a’mighty, I’ve been trying to write this damn post for like 6 hours now. I’m so easily distracted these days.

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