Friday, April 30, 2010

Update to the stuff-I-want list:

-EnV 3 Verizon phone
-Plywood scraps (to paint on)
-Acrylic paints in tubes or bottles--not pots.
-Thickish* wire, copper or silver. I know nothing about wire, really, or wire widths. I just want to try hammering it and making easy/interesting jewelry or, um, something.

In other news, I took a nap today and it didn't even make me any less tired at all. Wtf.

And a quote, provided by Angela, from a student:
Student: "I been got mine's."
Angela: "You have gotten yours?"
Student: "That don't sound right. Miss P, you be talkin ghetto!"

I can't really decide whether to laugh or cry...

*Evidently, "thickish" is an actual word. No spell check notification!
It would be super great if I could think of stuff I wanted to do that wouldn't wear me out even further. I am trying to stay home and chill out, rest and recover, but all I want to do is go out and stay up late because I'm bored. EF.

David, my chill-friend, where are you?

Yes, I know the answer to that question. Maybe someday we can watch basketball together again, and sitting several feet (instead of zero inches) away from you won't cut me to smithereens. Miracles happen, right?
I don't have much thought behind this--was just looking around Google, thinking of poems possibly to replace the DMB lyric in the box beneath my facebook profile picture, and thought to look up a poem about beauty. As though searching "beauty" would turn up anything worthwhile on an internet dominated by pornographers and amateur poets like myself. So I started writing with very little thought and no aim, and then did more immediate editing than I might've liked, and somewhat changed the structure I had started with, and and and whatever. Here.

Beauty stretches,
beauty sighs,
beauty turns and skin
in dappled moonlight, and
into a cloud pillow.
Sweet air breathes
through the window curtains,
sweeps through the
still room, and wraps the sleeping
in deep
night darkness,
safe and
soft and

The biggest problem, of course, with immediate editing, more precisely with immediate editing online or on a computer, is that the original draft is immediately and irretrievably lost. I never remember this until after it has happened again.

And I know that every poetry teacher I have ever had, if they had graves, would be rolling over in them at my inexplicable love of ending lines with prepositions and conjunctions and adjectives. I don't know why, okay? I just like to do it. It just feels better. Poetry is, tonight I say, about doing what I want with the words I want. So there.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Because a couple of people asked and I didn't have an answer, and in case anyone else was wondering, and also in case I forget like I usually do,

What I want/need for my birthday:

a jump drive, preferably a big (storage-space-wise) one.
Glee soundtrack(s)
Rainbows (the flip flops. Leather, I think. Or hemp? I don't know. I've never owned any. I wear size 9 or so.)
castor oil
sunflower seed oil (same link)
a "tree kit" for hanging a camping hammock

That's all I can think of at the moment.

In other news, this is probably not stuff any of you guys particularly want to read about, but whatever. Don't if you don't want to. I am just so glad I found this website before (probably someday) having kids, because I have always been the "omg that will hurt do anything to kill the pain please" type person w/regards to having a kid.

To understand why there is now an epidemic of epidural block for normal labour pain, it is necessary to understand what happens to the woman before she is offered the epidural. The care she receives when she comes to the hospital to give birth markedly increases the pain she will have. Scientific evidence shows labour pain is significantly increased: by laboring in an unfamiliar place; by being surrounded with unfamiliar people; by having unfamiliar procedures done; by being left unattended during labour; by being put in a horizontal position and not allowed to freely walk about; by having the membranes artificially ruptured; by having induction or augmentation with drugs. So the woman comes into the hospital in labour, has a number of things done which all increase her pain, is then offered an epidural and is so grateful to the staff for the relief of the pain, much of which the staff created.


Why does epidural block lead to operative birth? Two reasons. First, with the woman already having lost all feeling from the waist down because of the epidural, the temptation is great for the doctor to go right ahead and carry out surgical procedures. The second reason is fundamental to the basic understanding of the birth process. The pain of labour is an essential component of normal labour as it stimulates the brain to release hormones which, in turn, stimulate the uterus to contract at normal levels of intensity and at normal intervals so that placental blood flow will be maintained and there will be no fetal hypoxia. This is a delicate feedback process. With an epidural block there is an interruption of this process leading to a slowing or cessation of normal labour. Attempts can be made to overcome this with more and more stimulation of the uterus with more and more doses of drugs such as oxytocin---a rather typical scenario found in high tech birth where one intervention requires another intervention to try to overcome the complications of the first intervention. Nevertheless the scientific evidence is clear---- even with such efforts to overcome the slowing of labour caused by epidural block, there is still a four times greater chance forceps or vacuum extraction will be necessary after epidural block and at least a two times greater chance caesarian section will be required. This is no surprise---this is the inevitable result of using an intervention, epidural, which essentially stops the birth process in its tracks. The only way an epidemic of epidural block for normal birth has been able to happen is because the procedure has been given a very 'hard sell' to women by doctors. The only way that so many women agree to an epidural for normal labour is if they are told it is 'safe'.


First, a procedure can hardly be called 'safe' when close to a quarter (23%) of women receiving epidural block have complications. The risks to the woman are many and serious, starting with the possibility the woman will die because of the epidural. The maternal death rate for women having epidural block for normal labour pain is three times higher than for women with normal labour not having the block. For every 500 epidurals performed there will be one case of temporary paralysis of the woman and the paralysis will be permanent in one of every half million epidurals. The woman has a fifteen to twenty percent chance of fever after receiving an epidural, necessitating a diagnostic evaluation for possible infection in the woman and baby which can sometimes be invasive such as requiring a spinal tap of the baby. Between fifteen and thirty five percent of women given an epidural will suffer from urinary retention after the birth.

How effective is epidural block in relieving pain? In around 10% of epidural blocks it doesn't work and there is no pain relief. Even when it works, around a third of women given an epidural will trade a few hours of pain-free labour for days or weeks of pain after the birth. Thirty to forty percent of women receiving an epidural during labour will have severe backs pain after the birth and 20% will still have back pain a year later.

A great deal of scientific research has shown that women receiving epidural block for normal labour pain will have a significantly longer second stage of labour. This, in turn, results in a four times greater risk of using forceps or vacuum extraction and at least a two times greater risk of caesarian section and these operative interventions during birth carry their own serious risks as well. While many women might be willing to take risks with their own bodies to gain pain relief, it is highly unlikely they are willing to put their babies at risk. One common complication in the woman after an epidural is started is sudden loss of blood pressure leading to a sharp drop in blood flow through the placenta to the fetus, resulting in mild to severe lack of oxygen to the fetus as shown on a fetal heart rate monitor. In another typical high-tech strategy of using a second intervention to try to stop the bad effects of the first intervention, doctors give the woman a great big dose of fluid through an IV to try to prevent the drop in blood pressure from the epidural but this does not always work. So lack of oxygen to the baby during the epidural remains a possibility and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that the electronic fetal heart monitor shows severe fetal hypoxia in eight to twelve percent of infants whose mother's are given an epidural block for normal labour pain.

There are other risks to the infant including some data suggesting poor neurological function at one month of age in some babies whose mothers had epidural block. More recent innovations in epidural block, such as changing the type of drugs used or the drug doses used or the 'walking epidural', do not eliminate these risks to the woman and her baby.

One reason for the epidemic of epidural in many countries is that women are not told the scientific facts about all of the risks to them and their babies when epidural block is used for normal labour pain. Indeed, at one meeting of obstetric anesthesiologists in the US, discussions were held on how to prevent any information on risks of epidural from reaching the public. The excuse used was the typical patronizing approach of some doctors: "We don't want to scare the ladies." It is absolutely essential that any women offered epidural must be told all the scientific facts about the risks before she gives informed consent to the procedure.

With all these risks of epidural block to woman and baby, why are doctors urging women to use it? Research shows that doctors prefer the woman to have an epidural because then she is quiet and compliant. Furthermore, it is the frequent use of epidural for normal labour which has created a new specialty, obstetric anesthesiology, which is highly lucrative and flourishing---witness that obstetric anesthesiology journals contain advertisements urging doctors to purchase private jet airplanes.

(More of the article and more articles related to parenting at
Here, let me remember some of these things that I keep thinking about writing and then forgetting to write lately.

1: My contacts weren't ruined after all! Only unusable for two days. Did I mention how glad I was to have brought my glasses to Lafayette?

2. I had been pushing from my mind for days the fact that "Big Bill," my godmother's husband, dropped dead on Saturday morning, but that was less possible once the visitation and funeral rolled around. I still can't believe he's gone--as in, I kept looking around for him at his own visitation, funeral, and funeral reception. I can't even imagine how my godmother, who had been with him since she was fifteen and he seventeen, must be feeling. He was 71. She must feel like her world is coming down.
Evidently he had had this heart condition for years, and almost everyone except myself knew that one of these days his heart would stop.
      I am really tired of, after people die, wishing that I had known them better. Will I ever learn?

3.Went to dinner with a friend from college yesterday, and might hang out again today. Should be fun, if we can meet up again. And I've never been to a museum opening..

4. Angela called yesterday and invited me and Jr to dinner tonight! I need to ask Kelly, as A.doesn't have her number. Keep forgetting.

5. Did I mention how I had totally worn myself out over the past weekend/April, thus causing a temporary depression? Perhaps not. I did. I'm really just glad I recognized the reason behind it. Anyway, I should probably slow down. Good thing I'm going to multiple dinners and a funeral this week, and then possibly FroRo this weekend, and then my birthday on Sunday (really should make plans for that..), and then Chris is visiting the week after next, and then Sara is coming home, and then Larry and Ryan are coming to visit, and then there is Susannah's wedding, and then Camp and then the beach and then more Camp. GREAT. You know? Nothing I want to miss at all, but certainly not a schedule that encourages much relaxation. Oh, also Kelly wants us to go tan at Vabeach before the wedding, and that sounds good if we can find the time. Oh yeah and I'll be doing TESL class make-ups for 9 hours a day Saturday and Sunday during the third and fourth weekends in May. Pretty awesome, right? I thought so too. God help me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Back to real life, and a post from Friday

I miss David. Again. (Still?)

I have done a fair job of distracting myself recently, mostly, but it all settles back onto my shoulders once I'm home and sitting still. There are no more distant cousins to visit, no more Japanese plums to eat, no more bands to see, planes to board, or calls to make for the moment. No more money to spend. I flirted with Paul (who came to sit and speak with me but politely ignored any further advances), which helped for about a day, then I slid again. I stared starry-eyed around Lafayette and the surrounding towns, and that helped some. I spoke to Larry, and he usually makes me laugh, and that helped too. But now I'm home, and there are dishes and clothes to wash, and I have work tomorrow, and I miss snuggling into David's warm arms and feeling him breathe against me.

Written Friday, at Martin's house:

Well I'm standing on a corner in Lafayette, state of Louisiana,
wondering what a city girl can do
to get a little conversation,
maybe drink a little red wine,
catch a little bit of those cajun boys dancing to zydeco.

I've been marinating in the deep Southern air of Lafayette, and watching cajun boys dance to zydeco, and wishing I knew how. I've been imagining myself living here (Martin has vague plans to jack up his house and build a liquor store beneath it, which I have volunteered to run), and wondering whether I would love it. I wish I had more time here, time to wander and swim and see the countryside instead of just the inner city. Martin's house, I hear, used to be big before the city decided to build a parking lot over it. Now it's three rooms and a small garden of old country air hidden away by a faded blue fence from the bass-blasting cars, busy streets, and smashed beer cans and cigarette butts of downtown Lafayette. The liquor store idea has arisen because some developers are trying to buy Martin's property and a few other properties nearby so they can build what will essentially amount to a slum. They're offering a pittance, and Martin doesn't plan to sell. He's talked like he might be willing to buy another property in the area instead, but everyone is asking, in his opinion, too much money. (I know nothing about property value in this town or any other.) Anyway, I'm not sure whether the liquor store thing is an idea he's been kicking around or whether it really somehow arose from this developer issue, but that's the context in which it came up. And I haven't ever exactly dreamed of selling liquor (or anything else) from behind bulletproof glass, but it might not be such a bad gig, at least for a while, someday. And I'd have this nice little apartment probably rent free, and a little garden, right here walking distance from all these restaurants and clubs and museums and parks in the city where my ancestors lived and loved and worked. My family helped build this town, you know? I have roots here. There's a statue of one of my forebears in front of the old courthouse. And there are huge beautiful old trees all over, dripping with spanish moss, and there are street signs and names in French, and the storm drains have signs on them that say "no dumping. drains to bayou." I know that these things are exciting to the romantic side of me, and that none of them would be exciting anymore if I lived here for real, but that's ok. Did I mention that Martin's actual house, the one where he really lives these days, is on the water? It's about 40 minutes away I think. I could canoe forever.
Days spent in Lafayette: 3.5

Nights spent in Louisiana*: 4

Items bought:
rings (3)
necklace (1)
hammock (1)
Festival t-shirt (1)
Festival water bottle (1)
Festival pins (2)
Festival flip-flops (1 pair)
bracelet (1)
strawberry daiquiri (1)
(Total: $136.50. Ouch. But then, I had been saving up and planning to actually buy things at this festival, because usually I go to fairs and festivals and buy nothing at all.)

Items narrowly escaped:
belly dancing skirt ($16), brightly colored hanging cotton lampshade ($25), fleur-des-lis necklaces ($25 or $32), Mucca Pazza cd, La Excelencia cd, Lunasa cd.

Tan lines acquired: flip-flop**, tank top, off-the-shoulder t-shirt, possibly skirt. (Total, 3 or 4, counting flip-flop tan lines as one.)

Festival International plastic cups collected: 25***

Crawfish boils attended****: 1
Crawfish etoufees eaten: 1
Crawfish eaten: a lot

Internet connnections available at Martin's house: 0

A realization: Richmond, Va radio < Lafayette, La radio

Sunburned body parts: ~6

Bayous explored: 0

Fleur-des-lis acquired: 0

Bands listened to for the first time: 18

Cajun foods eaten: 4
     Crawfish etoufee
     Black eyed peas and rice
     Fried catfish
     Crawfish boil

Afternoons/evenings spent hanging out with cousin Martin: 4 (Thumbs-up)

Festival International water bottles left on the plane from Baton Rouge: 1

Cds broken upon removal from the case: 1 (De Temps Antan, fml)

Pictures to follow.

*Places slept in: 4
**Time spent wearing flip-flops at Festival: 1.5 days
***People were just dropping them on the ground or throwing them away!
****Pairs of contacts ruined by removing contacts without washing hands thoroughly enough after attending a crawfish boil: 1. (Hot sauce and contacts are, evidently, long-lost bff's. Hot sauce and eyes, on the other hand, do not get along well.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A quote I ran across in my reading today, from Best American Essays 2006. C.S. Lewis wrote of his late wife in "A Grief Observed" that "her absence is like the sky, spread over everything." Today, that's a feeling I can understand.

It isn't that my day was completely terrible, or yesterday either. But there have been some hard things.

For instance,
Kelly's cat, Morris, was diagnosed yesterday with feline leukemia. I visited them tonight. It was good to spend time with Kelly and Maggie, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching "Glee" with them, but seeing Morris, probably for the last time, was terribly sad. He is almost completely blind (this has come on pretty suddenly), and as a result of this he is now nervous and afraid all the time. He is often very affectionate, and follows people around the house by sound. He runs into things and trips over things. If he were my cat I think I would want to give him some time, to see if he could adjust to this new blindness. But they will probably put him down on Saturday, and I can understand that. I'm just so sad. Kelly has decided to stay home, instead of coming to Lafayette as she had planned, in order to spend as much time with him as she can before he goes.

It is becoming more and more apparent to me that our older dog, now about 15 years old, will probably not last much longer. He is so sweet, but his sight isn't what it once was, nor is his hearing. He's a little senile. He is pretty weak and arthritic. His teeth aren't good. He's lived a pretty good life, but this is a very sad thing for me to contemplate.

David. This isn't new, but it doesn't hurt much less than it did. I can spend more time not thinking about it, and I can switch channels away from it more quickly, but that's all. He doesn't want to be in a relationship right now, for reasons that, I think, have very little to do with me. I respect and sometimes understand that. However, during the (prevalent) moments when I am unable or unwilling to convince myself that we are bad for each other, I do want to be in a relationship. With him. Oh, I do. I do, I do, I do want to. I grieve for the future I so often thought we would have together. But still I can't (or am unwilling to) let go of the idea that we aren't good for each other. So I find myself, despite the fact that my feelings are currently irrelevant to the state of our relationship, balancing barefoot on a knife edge. Again. Still.

But I said that my day wasn't completely terrible, and I feel like I should honor that statement. Because it wasn't.

Work was fine, even sometimes enjoyable. I had "All Shook Up" stuck fast in my head for no evident reason, and I spent much of the day dancing to it when no one was looking. Not just belly dancing today--I am growing weary of dancing in only one style. Today I also twisted and moved my feet more and included my arms and so on. I know everyone was wondering. I also took some time to stretch a little, because I never do and my hamstrings are, therefore, about as long as shoelaces. And I read Best American Essays 2006, as I said before. The essays I read today were all good, which was a nice change of pace. The reason I put the book down several weeks (months?) ago was that I hadn't been enjoying much of what I was reading there. Today though, as I am currently tired of fantasy, memoir, food, and science writing, essays were just what I needed.

After work I went to hang out at school until Chloe was ready to be picked up, and I spent my time very pleasantly in Ms Herod's office. She is, hands down, one of the coolest faculty members ever. She is a very intelligent, funny, and kind person. I was glad to be able to spend an hour or so with her this afternoon. When Chloe showed up I took her home, and sat with her for a few minutes checking email and such, walked the dogs, and went to Kelly's. We had steak (only) for dinner, seasoned with the seemingly ubiquitous Texjoy. It was delicious. We spent some time being sad about Morris. We watched American Idol and Glee*, we spent some more time being sad about Morris, I drove home. I called David on the way, as we'd had a nice conversation as I drove to Kelly's earlier, and had had to cut it short. Unfortunately this one was more on a downbeat, and then I had to go and bring up us. Why did I do that? Sometimes I feel like I'm just tearing myself open over and over again. And for what?

None of those "love is a golden cord" poems or quotes never used to make sense. Why does breaking up always make these things make sense? And why does breaking up make love that before seemed so evasive, so elusive, now seem like steel cables?

I sat in the car for a few minutes after I pulled into the driveway and hung up, wondering aloud why I always end up crying in the Volvo.  Then I remembered that I had promised to help Chloe with her Chick Lit research paper, and I dried my face, and I went inside, and I started reading and listening and talking about Jane Eyre and Bridget Jones.  So now my eyes are dry, and I am going to go take a shower, and sleep.

*Glee is utterly wonderful. I have only seen two episodes, but I want to own every season and every soundtrack. What could be better than a musical sitcom? What could be better than well-produced, well-performed, vocals-focused covers of fantastic pop and rock songs? I mean, really. If anyone was wondering what to get me for a birthday or Christmas or Tuesday present, this is it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chloe quote of today:
"It will be a great learning experience, and a humbling experience, when I realize that I'm not the center of the universe."

I am extremely interested lately in humanity--in the way we work, in who and what we are as individuals, as a species, as a community, in the way we are designed to feel and think and interact, the way our minds perceive, the way our bodies operate, the way our bodies and minds affect one another. At the moment and for the past several weeks this interest has manifested itself in a desire to know everything about mothers and babies and families, particularly living in natural patterns--that is, trying to mother in ways that resemble the ways our distant ancestors would have, in the ways that our bodies and minds have evolved to mother and be mothered. I don't particularly want one (a family, a baby) of my own right now, but I am fascinated by the whole thing--the loving, expanding, growing, learning, togetherness. I'm not sure exactly what attracts me, or what I'm seeing there that I didn't before. I just know that I'm voraciously interested.

Anyway, Chloe says it freaks her out.
Leaving those beautiful babies is really hard.

To elaborate, obviously they're lovely, but mainly I keep thinking of how they'll be so much bigger next time I see them, and how they'll have learned so many things. They'll be walking, for one. They'll probably be talking. Will they recognize me? Will I see in them the babies that I grew to love over the past few days? How will their personalities have changed, and how will they have remained the same? How am I going to find a way to be a real presence in their lives? In Ian's life? What if he stops liking me? How does one be a godparent? What and how should I try to teach him? Reach him? What if Lindsey and I have different ideas of what he needs to know? How will I fit into her family and group of friends? After Sunday, a part of who I am has changed, irrevocably, forever. I guess it seems like I'm making a much bigger deal of this whole thing than I need to, but then, that's part of what I'm wondering. How big a deal is it? I suppose I'm using both Lorraine (Chloe's godmother) and my own godmother Susan as examples, and those are some big shoes to fill.
Also, I am a complete stalker. I'm not sure whether I'm ashamed or anything, just saying. Me. Stalker. Yes. God bless facebook.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Relatedly, I was asked the question today, "what do you do for kicks down in Richmond?"

Not that I've never talked or thought about this before, but as an exercise, I feel like talking/writing about it again. Awewesomee. (Pronounced "ah-weh-weh-so-meh.")

For kicks? Well I'm still trying to climb out of the "come home from work and hide in my bed" post-breakup phase. It's good times. Basically I just try to stay out of my room until it's bedtime, whether that means hanging out with Kelly 24/7, volunteering an afternoon at the RBA, or spending way too much time on my computer--as my mom never fails to point out. In Richmond for kicks I hang out at Kelly's house, go to the movies, read, waste time online, and as I said the other day, belly dance at work when no one is looking.

For kicks in general I often try to get out of Richmond. Not that I don't love my hometown, but most of the people I love, and people are what I love, live in other places. I used to visit David, and may do so again. I am visiting Lindsey. I met up with Chris and Fran and Matt and Beth and Christian in DC. I went to the Camp staff retreat. I'm going to the Festival International. In short, for kicks, I travel as much as I can. This is part of the reason I tend to be so terrified of settling down, esp. having babies, incl. getting married, having pets.

Also for kicks in general I take pictures, and I think about interesting/awesome things, such as dinosaurs, water, trees, linguistics, psychology, and etymology. Stuff like "what would happen if velociraptors attacked?" (Actually though I think about dinosaurs pretty rarely. I mostly just comment on their awesomeness when I see them around.) More often, where did that word come from? How would that have evolved through changes in language use? Why do we say things that, objectively speaking, make no (or little) sense--such as "I've gotta go," or "I have got to go." I possess obtained to go? Interesting...

For kicks in the summer, or when I can get to Camp, omg, I go caving. I go caving and I swim I swim I swim in 100% not-chlorinated water, and I climb mountains, and I steer canoes downstream, and I look at stars, and I build campfires and I paint rocks and I wash dishes and I try to teach kids, and sometimes other counselors too, that they matter, and that people love them, and that God loves them. And that they matter. And that things can be hard, but life can still be good. And I try to remember those things myself.
I am officially a godmother! I have a super fantastic godson (and a super fantastic goddaughter, if you count the one I have secretly adopted). I have a pretty great co-godparent, from what I can tell. Imean, as far as a person could tell from two meetings and one conversation, anyway.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I love Lindsey's babies so much that I am having a hard time accepting that, technically, I will only have Ian as a godchild. Adrienne is pretty freaking awesome too. I think I'm going to adopt her, as well. No one has to know, right?

I bought them a two-pack of Veggie Tales dvds, and Adrienne started smiling and geeking out as soon as she saw the pictures on the cover, despite the fact that neither of them has ever seen VT. I take that as a good sign. She spent the next hour chewing on the dvd case.

I think my favorite thing about these babies, other than the fact that they're usually happy and good natured and lovey adorable awesome, is that when they get tired they both put their fingers in their mouths and grab their ears. Ian sucks on the first two fingers of his right hand, and then grabs his ear with his left. Adrienne sucks on her left thumb, and grabs her ear with her right hand. Sitting in their car seats they're almost like mirror images of each other. Iloveit.

In other news, last night after the twins were in bed Lindsey and I went out, as I had decided that I owed her a pedicure. (I took her to get one before the babies were born, and she went and payed for hers before I was finished with mine. Wtf.) So I bought us each a spa pedicure and she bought us each a French manicure, and it is awesome. I have decided that I love French manicures. My stubby little fingernails have never looked prettier. Pretty nails, ftw. ^_^

ALSO I'm staying at Pete's (Lindsey's manfriend's) apartment as there is no room at Lindsey's house, and he has an army cot which I am getting to sleep on, and it is great. I love army cots. I also love Pete's cat, Juliet. She thinks she's a dog.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'd like to point out that the tags for the last post make me sound like a passive-aggressive stripper.

I started this poem March 7 when there actually was an ambulance outside in the rain--wrote a first draft, abandoned it, looked back at it later, disliked it, abandoned it again--and then today I thought of it again, and decided to try a different, hopefully somewhat less emo (but who am I kidding? Emo is emo), approach. Here's the first rewrite.

Outside, an ambulance wails in the street,
its dizzying lights flashing bloodred
and bruise-blue. The visceral colors seep
through my gauze curtains
and glistening windowpanes,
throwing rainshadows against my
skin, splotched and sallow.
Inside my darkened room,
I am sitting quietly and looking out
the window like a mirror.

An E. E. Cummings/William Carlos Williams-esque line break experiment, with a couple of slightly different words:

an ambulance 
wails in the street,
dizzying lights flashing 
and bruise-blue. 
These visceral colors 
seep through my gauze 
and glistening windowpanes,
throwing rainshadows 
onto my skin, 
splotched and sallow.
Inside my darkened room,
I am sitting still and 
quietly looking 
out the window 
like a mirror.
David sent me some letters, and they arrived today. I nearly had some sort of hysterical fit as I realized what they were and tried to get the envelope open. They go back  to early February, and extend up through two days or so ago. I was very glad to get them, but at the same time, I think my stress level has risen considerably. He said good things. He made good points. There are good reasons for us to be broken up right now. But their being good doesn't make me like them, and it doesn't make me want to be with him any less. I hate that tight feeling I get in my chest, from the skin over my sternum straight through my ribcage and my heart to the skin behind my spine.

In other news, Turbo Tax "does not recognize" my username. You know, the one that's the same as my email address, the one I used to log in two days ago, and the one Turbo Tax just emailed me five minutes ago. So that means I can't finish my taxes, and I can't file an extension either, unless I go through another website and, you know, PAY AGAIN. I hate everything.

Here is what I planned to write about today, before I got home and read a bunch of letters and discovered that Turbo Tax sucks more than expected.

Here's what I do at work:
set up cases
tray fish
wash dishes
cut fish
operate cash register
make prepared items
>cole slaw
>crab cakes
>shrimp cakes
>seafood gumbo
>lobster bisque
>she-crab soup
>cocktail sauce
>tilapia provencal
>cocktail shrimp
>and so on
stand behind the counter and stare into space
sit on the floor and stare into space
cupid shuffle, practice belly dancing when no one is looking. It's like a variation on stealth disco.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fifty or so links, and approximately one zillion pictures.

For Mother's Day, my mom said she wants the three of us--me, herself, and Chloe--to record three songs together at my cousin's house in the basement recording studio. She wants the first song to be "Come Thou, Long Expected Jesus" and the second to be "Hard Times," by East Mountain South. I want the third to be "One Voice," by The Wailin Jennys.

Speaking of music, I have fallen in love with WMRN, or WNRN, or whatever is 103.1 in Richmond. They play good music. Almost all the time. Plus, they avoid commercials. At the beginning/end of each hour they say "this hour was supported by" or "this hour will be made possible by" and then mention a few companies, and then go back to playing fantastic music that doesn't get played on any other stations. Today I heard music that as far as I know has never seen airtime on any pop stations from She & Him, Macy Gray, Paolo Nutini, and John Mayer. Yeah, Macy and John have definitely gotten on pop stations, but I hadn't ever heard or heard of the songs of theirs that I heard today. I love, I love, I love this station. Ok, I looked them up. God bless you, WNRN.

Sara sent me a care package today! Or rather, I guess she sent it several days ago. But to me was delivered a care package today via USPS (? I am making that up instead of checking) from Sara. It had a cd in it. Good times. I love cds. I am raking them in this week! Two of Mr Robert Marley from Artimus, and one of aural awesomeness from Sara. Yay. Also included in said care package were two pictures by local (at the time of purchase) Vancouver artists, one "Truffle Pig" candy bar, and maybe some other stuff that I forgot right now. It's in my room. If I get up Chloe will steal my computer. Deal.

And now, fotografias.

That time I took Marina to the park:

On how I think pollen is pretty:

Pictures from Camp, including those I took in order to tell the time whilst caving*:

"Does this thing have a time stamp?"

"What time is it? Hey, look at this flowstone!"

"Ok what time is it now? By the way there are a bunch of bats over here. Keep your head low."

"What about now? Take the picture of Kate--her first trip into Crossroads!"
(There were a few more pictures taken in the cave, but they sucked even worse.)

In which Chloe and I set up her Advanced Art installation, much of which included determining the placement of that one mirror we didn't end up using anyway. Also, in which we go check out other peoples' installations:

When I made hummus and some other stuff and mom made most very delicious strawberry shortcake for dessert:

After the movie, when Kelly gave up shopping before dinner to help me leave Chloe a car, because she is Just That Nice and so accompanied me to Chloe's art opening-type thing:

And then when Kelly and I went shopping the next day instead, and got those fantastic $4 rain coats from Old Navy, and actually I bought a green one, and then we took some pictures at my house:

(Don't tell her I posted that one.)

Oh hey, and here is Chloe as Touchstone in Collegiate's rendition of Shakespeare's "As You Like It." Sorry my camera's video and audio are so bad here:

*As we were about to enter the cave, I realized that I had left my phone in the equipment room when I changed into caving (aka baseball) pants. Soon thereafter followed the realization that Kelly didn't have her phone either, and neither did JP. Kate, being seven years of age, does not possess a phone. Obviously none of us wear watches, because we can just check our phones to see the time. Luckily I had my camera in the car, which I thought might have a time stamp. Indeed, my camera has a time stamp--one which is even close to the correct time! So we took pictures throughout our caving venture in order to ascertain the increasing seriousness of our current lateness for lunch. (Cavers are always late for lunch. It's a rule.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My brain doesn't feel organized enough right now to write anything, but I've been wanting to or feeling like I should, so hereIgo.

It's funny how songs that have always seemed pretty meaningless can turn true sometimes. This past weekend it was that BSB song (and in case anyone besides Sara was wondering and didn't want to listen, there are lyrics available online. I didn't listen to it either), and this morning it was "Goodbye To You" by Michelle Branch. Not that I'm anywhere near so ready to say goodbye to anything as she seems to be, but I think I could say that most of the rest of it lines up pretty well with, uh, me. Tonight I saw "Glee" for the first time, and it was interesting how relevant "Hello Goodbye" seemed. I don't really know where I was going with that. I'm just interested in the way different things stand out to us when we're at different points in our lives. Different things seem meaningful or important depending on what we have experienced or are experiencing.

In other news, Kelly and I went shopping today (as she was so nice as to give up her shopping trip yesterday to help me leave Chloe a car), and I finally got Ian a Bible. Unfortunately it seems to cost $10 less on the website than it did in the store. Somebody remind me not to shop at the Christian bookstore in the mall. Good thing I have a member card now. I tried on a sweet dress at Charlotte Russe (I had never been into the store and was curious) and then didn't buy it, and now am having second thoughts. But on the plus side, Kelly and I each got jackets in packets from Old Navy on sale! For $4! Hers is gray and mine is superawesomegreen.

By the way, Glee is awesome.
"What do you guys say when you answer the phone?"
"Who dis is?"
"No, she's dead. This is her son."
Enough said.

Daniel, if you are reading, I hope Korea is awesome. I am waiting for blog or buzz posts about being in Korea. Everyone, Daniel is in Korea! It's like I have a spy over there to see what it would be like to go. Or at least it would be, if he'd hurry up and post more stuff. So far I know that if you fly over there, the admins of your school or whatever will book you in a sex motel (featuring erotic murals) the night before you move into your apartment. Awesome.

And Chris, I'm sorry I couldn't pick up the phone! I was buying my future godson a Bible. Talk tomorrow? Evidently tonight I am too tired/lazy to send actual emails to people.

Love to all. Goodnight.
How about some notes? Anyone? It's lonely..

Okay, well today. Today started out pretty bad (plus last night I dreamed about excessive vomiting/intestinal vacation, and then the house I was vomiting in was on fire. On the plus side, two guys dragged me out so I didn't burn to death), but it picked up considerably. Kelly and I want to see "How To Train Your Dragon (in 3D!) after I got off work, and it was still awesome. After that she came with me to bring dinner to Chloe and my dad at school and see Chloe's art show, which looked great. I don't feel like posting pictures at the moment, though I took a few. Maybe later.

Faith is sitting on my lap/hands as I type, and is totally about to bite me.

After that we went to Art and Beth's apartment for dinner, which was really nice, and really fun. I hadn't really hung out with just them before, even though they've been married for years now. I guess interesting is the word I'm looking for. Dinner was good, though one of my first bites was so hot that I blistered the roof of my mouth. How old am I again? I mentioned the recent frozen yogurt escapades, and then Art excitedly made some frozen yogurt. He's an enthusiastic guy. It's great. After dinner we put the address labels on all of then envelopes that we stuffed on Saturday so they can finally go out to everyone who's on the mailing list to get information about the Alumni Retreat this summer.

Speaking of which, I almost forgot--Brian said I can take the summer off! Turns out that he didn't realize that that was what I wanted, somehow--he thought I was talking about taking a second job. When I explained again he said, "Oh, yeah! That would be great!" So that's a huge weight off my chest, and also means I can go to the beach with Sara! (Though Sara, I might have to come a couple of days late--would that be acceptable? I def. don't want to miss the 4th, but it might be kind of sucky for me to leave early when obviously I'm not the only one who wants to do stuff that day.)

Not sure what else I wanted to say. I'm still sad about David and me and still confused, and actually last night I (with annoyance) felt as though I was living a Backstreet Boys song*. But the distractions of life here make it easier to feel okay.

Also: Ian's baptism is this weekend! Lafayette is next weekend! How in the world is that possible?

*Having looked up the lyrics, I can tell you that it's called "Back To Your Heart."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The weekend was not always easy, but it was good. I got to spend some time with Sean and geek out about Wheel of Time. I got to be there for Rhonda (mother of Chris), for a little while. I gave her massages Friday and Saturday night, and talked to her a little. She had so much pent-up tension and energy in her shoulders that I could feel my hands buzzing when I put them near. She hasn't been able to grieve for Chris yet because she's still trying to deal with the trauma of having found him hanging in the family garage. I can't even imagine the horror of it. It must be like an unending nightmare. I love her and her family so much. I wish there were something more that I could do than rub her back and hands and feet. She's lost so much weight.

I also talked to David while I was there. Friday night it was okay--a little hard, but manageable I guess. We didn't get to spend much time together. I mean, I suppose we could have, but either I could follow him around like a lovesick little girl, like a puppy, or we could not spend much time together. I wouldn't let myself, so we didn't. Saturday Kelly and I took JP and Kate caving before lunch, which was nice. Sweet, in a more traditional (aka not "sweet" as in "awesome") sense. Kate is seven, and cried last time I took her caving. I asked whether she'd be alright this time, and she said that yes, she would be fine--she was in kindergarten last time. After lunch almost everyone went canoeing, but Kelly and I (and a couple of other people) stayed behind. We put some books away and did a puzzle. I love canoeing, but I didn't want to go. I suppose I didn't want to be looking at or looking around for David the whole time. At dinner he said he'd be leaving after he and some of the other guys finished their work refitting the rappel tower. I was upset. I had known he would be leaving Saturday, but I had forgotten. I asked whether we could hang out a little while before he left, and he said I could come help with the tower, which wasn't at all what I had meant. I said okay, but couldn't go. I felt too much like a puppy. I waited for them to finish. I hated that I was waiting, but every time I tried to go do something else, I couldn't because I was afraid he would leave without saying anything to me, and I couldn't stand it. So I waited, tried to leave, waited, tried to leave, cried, paced, waited. It was pretty terrible. I ended up sitting in the kitchen, afraid he'd leave but refusing to move, until he came in. We talked a while about how we felt, about life and family and us and depression and work. It was still sort of okay, though harder than before. Then he got up to leave and stood there talking to me, and I looked up at him from the bench and was suddenly overwhelmed by the fact that David, my David, was standing there and looking at me and was not mine. I can't explain what it was like. I couldn't breathe.

I begged. Or at least I came as close to begging as a person can without saying the words "I will do anything if you will be with me."

Last night I dreamed that my house was repossessed while I was away. When it was time to go home I asked my mom where we would go, but she didn't know.
We packed our things and went back to the house, but it was shut up, and the power was off. We were trying to find a way to turn the power back on, but the house was slated to be burned down.

Sometimes "we don't understand each other very well" seems like a pretty weak reason for us not to be together. I mean, I think I want to be together, or at least, this weekend I feel like I can't go through with this "not being together" thing, this trial apart-ness or whatever it is. I don't know though whether that means that it's a bad idea. I don't know if I'm even making sense.

Today is Sunday of course, so we did a "Quaker worship" type thing, as we often do at retreats. Sharing as led by the Spirit sort of thing. Several of us talked, and I learned a few things, but I learned as much from who didn't talk as from the people who did.
There's a girl who is a counselor now and was a camper for a long time. She's always been very quiet and when she did talk, she tended to talk one or two things to death. Today though, this morning, I suddenly realized that she has been doing exactly, exactly the thing that I do: she has been telling me difficult things about her life in a very nonchalant, matter-of-fact way. It's amazing what you can fail to hear when things are delivered in that tone. It's the kind of tone a person might use if they have things they need to say but can't stand to feel or really talk about. I'd been listening and not hearing for a while. For I don't know how long. Today I gave her a hug and she held on to me for five or maybe even closer to ten minutes, and still, I was the one that let go in the end. I am so glad that we asked her to come back as a CiT and as a counselor. I really am.

It's like a big secret we all carry around, that we all have some deep pain buried within us. I've lost the words I felt earlier, when I realized the absurdity of it. I have hurts. She has hurts. You have hurts. What can we do? I guess it's just life. I want to learn to live in joy anyway.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I feel just awful. Because there's this whole Camp thing, and I'm giving Sean a ride tomorrow and I want to see him and he wants to see me (and other people) because he's about to leave to join the military.
Then there's this family thing, being that Gran Fan died and I am so sad about it and I'm sure everyone who actually knew her well is far, far more sad about it, and everyone except me will be together at the funeral on Saturday, and I so want to be there and be with them and be there for them.

Because driving Sean was a prior commitment and important and because I originally thought the funeral would be next weekend when I'll be at Ian's baptism, and definitely couldn't go, I had until tonight pretty successfully driven the whole thing from my mind. I would be driving Sean and going to Camp, and that would be that. Then tonight my dad realized that New York is next weekend, and not this one, and immediately jumped on my case about how I was skipping the funeral to drive somebody I hardly ever see, and I just flipped out. I yelled at him in the car, and I went into the basement and sobbed for about twenty minutes. The thing with the movie today, and then this on top of it--the two together were just more than I can take. So I sent an "I feel completely horrible and don't know what to do" text message to my cousin Lewis, and now I have pretty much gone back to not dealing with it for the moment.

These last couple of entries make me sound like a constant ball of misery probably, and that isn't really true. I'm only a ball of misery sometimes. Other times I've actually been enjoying things a fair amount. Warm weather does that, and also I had six or seven hours of good sleep the other night, and it was one hundred percent magical. Now if I could only learn to do that on command, I would be in business.

I love the warm days. I love the look of the bright pollen. I love the rain outside. I don't love being heartbroken, and I don't love being torn in two.
Well, I just got conned into seeing The Last Song with Kelly and Taylor and Christina, and I am wrecked. It was good. I mean, it was a Nicholas Sparks movie, and as such it was what one would expect. The whole "important character dying" thing didn't throw me as much. I mean I expected it, but I've had years to build defensive walls about sad dad-dying things and it's hard for such a formulaic movie to bypass those. I also should have expected (and did expect) the perfect-boyfriend, true summer love stuff, but I didn't expect to be hit so hard by it. It was okay for a while, but then toward the end I suddenly felt like I was blindsided by a semi. As soon as the movie ended I went and cried in the back stall of the bathroom. Then I drove home wanting to smash and throw and kick things and tear things apart and scream. When I grow up I am going to need a soundproofed "smashing shit" room just for me.

Today at work I sat and watched clouds of pollen blow by as the wind gusted past the front windows. We're getting a cold front in tonight, and thunderstorms are on the way. Wish I could sleep in tomorrow so I could stay up tonight and not feel dumb about it. Otherwise though the day was so boring that I spent my time singing to myself and dancing around whenever no one was looking. I have been, as I said, very excited about Camp. I'm still excited, but I'm a little worried about being so close to David. I don't know how to make or let it be okay.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Filing taxes sucks. It's not even the paying that I dislike so much, though I definitely can't say I'm a fan of that, ESPECIALLY this year, because here's the deal. I was on my own, taking care of myself, for a year. The problem is that that year was halfway in 2008 and halfway in 2009, and for the other halves of those years I was a dependent, and so my parents want to claim me as a dependent. Know what that means? That means I get taxed to hell and back for everything I made, because apparently I wasn't spending a dime of it. The $600+ I spent on interest alone toward my college loans? Doesn't count, because I'm a dependent. That $250 check everyone else is getting in the mail from Obama? I don't get that, because I'm a dependent. Let me tell you, it's really good times.

My point originally though was that I can never seem to get this stuff right. It doesn't seem to be that complicated! Enter the information, click done, hit send, voila. But something (um, mainly that half-year dependent status shit) always messes me up. Or questions like "how much was your refund last year?" Hell if I know! Dammit! I've been trying to get this stuff done for hours and I can't even file yet because I'm still waiting on a copy of the return I incorrectly filed last year and still need to amend because I tried to file as independent, because I was, and then my mom claimed me as a dependent, because I had been. So awesome.
My car looks like I've been muddogging, except that it's covered in pollen instead of dirt. I love yellow.

Also, the road that leads to my street is dripping with forsythia, and I frigging love it.

That's all for now.

Written in my notebook today:

Turns out that a mouthful of celery leaves will temporarily numb your tongue.

Last night we had a rip-roaring thunderstorm, or so I hear from my mom. I went to bed wishing it would rain, fell asleep, and missed the whole thing. I think some part of my mind could hear it though, because I seem to have slept better last night than any other night for weeks. Despite not getting to sleep until 1 or so and then waking at 7:45 (missed my alarm twice, apparently), I felt more energized this morning than I've felt in ages.

Yesterday I saw a frog jump into a ditch puddle while I was walking Miley. Magical!

Once again I feel like I've forgotten half of what I wanted to say. Suddenly this morning I am SUPER EXCITED to be going to Camp on Friday. Even without Victoria, Ellen, Dan or Jr, I hope it's fabulous. I hope it's warm enough for canoeing and maybe swimming. I need to find my water shoes, towel, flashlight, knee pads, caving pants, and so on. Sean's riding up with me so that might be nice. Should be, yes.

If I ever get my taxes done Kelly and I may go to Belle Isle Wednesday, which would be cool. Today I'm taking Marina to Maymont and maybe going to Chloe's "As You Like It" dress rehearsal. Definitely a recipe for taxes getting done, I know. And Thursday Kelly and Maggie want to go to a movie. Sigh. And then Friday is Camp! And the next weekend is Ian's (and Adrienne's) baptism, omg. How did April get here so fast? I feel like two seconds from now I'll be in Lafayette, and then I'll be 24. And David will still be gone. Will that ever stop rising from the depths of my heart like bile in my throat? I feel like I have chronic heartburn. The water is clear as far down as can be seen, and sparkling in the sun and then Leviathan stirs on the bottom, and sends clouds of dust and a smell of pain welling up to the surface. My arms are still empty, my lips still unkissed.

[end notebook entry]

In case anyone was feeling particularly driven to inform me once again, I would like to make it known that I am in fact aware of the fact that the answer to the question of "will that ever stop rising" is "yes." However, I retain my right to be frustrated at the unexpected intrusion of my heartbreak into a previously happy mental state.

In other news, I did take Marina to Maymont and it was actually pretty great. She really loved the park, especially the waterfall, and seemed to really appreciate being willingly taken out to do something fun on a nice day by an adult. I thought that might be the case, which was of course the whole point. I ended up talking about literature and the dangers of thoughtlessness in society with her mom at the end of the day, and we're all hoping to get together again sometime in the next few months for an educational type outing, possibly to the Poe museum. Not that any of us seem to be huge fans of Poe (I mean, I'll concede that he was talented, but his talent doesn't make me enjoy reading about insanity and death), but it seems like it might be interesting. I haven't been since grade school, and even then I think I was only in the garden, helping my aunt set up for a party.

I still haven't done my taxes. Ugh.

After I wrote in the notebook I read over what I had written before, and here's what I wrote February 27, at 1 am.

About the "so many different kinds of love" poem*--I guess it's about change, too. Each act of love changes both the lover and the loved. It's the way of the universe--change. Everything changes everything, irrevocably, every moment.

And here is the best thing that has happened all day. Chloe quotes are pretty high up on my list of awesomest most favoritest things.

(ok actually here's one from yesterday first)

me: Yeah I'm not a mango lover.
Chloe: Yeah you think they taste like Christmas trees. And they do.
m: Oh yeah, I had forgotten about that. But they do.

(sometimes we say "yeah" a lot.)

C: Hey Marie, what's your present tolerance for grossness?
M: What kind?
C: Um, snot.
M: Oh. High.
C: Okay, well the other day...[tells story about snot being accidentally reconstituted in the washing machine. Then,] if snot is ever dried in your nose, and you want to, you know, make it usable again, you can just wash it, or like, infuse it with water...
M: [typing] ...wash it in the sink...
C: [annoyed] I did not say 'wash it in the sink.' Why would you wash it in the sink? It's in your nose. That's stupid. You make me sound stupid.

At this point I started to giggle, and then we both cracked up for several minutes. She said the worst part was that she had been serious. Clearly that was actually the best, and not the worst part.

*which can be read here, if anyone is interested.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Really, nothing has changed in my mind's image of me and David except for the colors and the focus. I am the same person and he is the same person, and I still love him, but what I see changes all the time. Largely it changes in the same ways it did while we were together, though I now have a slightly different perspective. Different parts of the picture come into focus or fade out at different times; different colors are highlighted or dulled. Sometimes I can easily see that we aren't very similar, aren't particularly compatible, don't want the same things. Sometimes I see these things and accept that they mean that we probably aren't the best matches for each other. Sometimes I see them and I feel like they don't matter--like I love him enough to work with and around and through our differences. Sometimes I can hardly see our differences at all. Sometimes I don't see anything, and when I think that we might never be together again, I can hardly stand it. Last night I could hardly breathe until I let that door close again.

Remembering the way his cheek felt against mine as I hugged him and he hugged me, or the angle and warmth of his back and shoulders when he napped on his side, and their height as I reached over them, and the way he once held my hand beneath his chest as he drifted off is like a knife sometimes. The hair and skin over the hardness of his shins. His tree climbing, his dirty feet, his water in juice bottles. All those philosophy books and Monk seasons, and his banjo playing, his laughter, his love for animals and for me. His love for his family. His knowledge about so many things. The way he drives his car, with forgiveness and determination and acceptance and affection.  How can I leave those things?

I had hoped that breaking up or taking a break would bring clarity, or at least peace. I guess, in terms of clarity, that the dust in the water has settled a little, but I wouldn't call things "clear." And I only have peace when I'm thinking of other things.

The air of the spring is intoxicating.There is a smell of warm air and another of warm dirt, of hot dirt, of wet dirt. There's a smell of streams and a smell of trees and a smell inside a house with open windows, and in the spring they all swim through everything. Yesterday as I drove to church a part of the road was covered in a swirling carpet of white petals that had fallen from the blossoming trees along the road. I suspect that something similar was the inspiration behind the "dryads" of the new Narnia movies, though I must say that the real thing is far superior.

I have had so much to say, but I keep forgetting so many things before I can write them down.

I left this unfinished and un-posted for several hours, and there was a spring rain--the kind where the air turns translucent pink-orange and the drops fall lightly and widely spaced onto the new leaves and buds and petals, onto the blanket of treelove pollen, into the windows we left open in the beautifully hot air. And I tell you again, there is no smell better than damp spring dirt smell. If you don't agree, you have to at least admit that it is solidly in the top ten smells ever created. I took pictures.

This is from this afternoon, before the rain:

And this is the spring rain sky.

Showered flowers (which are prettier in larger sizes):

And sweet Faith, who doesn't love the rain as much as I do.

(I promise I didn't wear those shoes all day yesterday or all day today. I just slipped them on to close the car windows and take pictures. Honest.)
I'm reading an article on homeschooling by a dad who is homeschooling his five-year-old twins. And being what seems like a homeschooler who is actually concerned that his children learn things and get out some, he is understandably a little offended at questions like "do you have a curriculum" and "what about socialization." It's true that the school system and the philosophy behind your basic school system in America today aren't exactly the greatest things since sliced bread, and I could understand why that might make some people who have the time and the means and the impetus want to teach their children at home, at their own pace, and so on. But look, here's the thing. Though you and your wife may be, at least for now, completely competent homeschoolers, not all homeschooling parents are. Not all homeschooling systems are good. Many adolescents that grow up in the homeschooling "system" emerge with quite poor social skills, so "what about socialization" isn't a completely unjustified question. Many homeschooled children are overseen by people who don't think that mathematics beyond addition or subtraction have any importance, or by people who don't know how to be in charge. When a student has complete control over his own education, sometimes he finishes high school at fourteen and moves on to college courses the next year. Other times he ditches algebra and earthscience, and decides that he's rather learn about Quenya or Grand Theft Auto. I am not making these things up. These are things I have seen. So no, I am not against homeschooling on principle. I am only against the kind of homeschooling where kids don't actually learn.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I forgot to mention: I saw a snake yesterday while I was sweeping the leaves from the back walk! It was just a little guy (or girl), brown and squiggly. I have a feeling that very young snakes don't have all their clear markings yet, in which case it could have been a copperhead. It's entirely possible though that I'm making up the markings thing, in which case it was almost certainly some sort of garden snake. I'm really only thinking copperhead because of the three varieties of snake I've seen in this neighborhood--garter, black, copperhead--the latter is the only one that would ever be brown. Anyway. He wriggled out of sight when I disturbed his dead-leaf hiding place. 

Today after church we had a brunch of tenderloin steaks, salad, egg and mushroom casserole (all compliments of mom), and butterflied jumbo shrimp (still compliments of mom, but cooked by me). All were delicious. Chloe came down sick yesterday, and after brunch mom took her to the doctor, so I cleaned up the food and dishes. Just after I started the dishwasher, my uncle showed up for brunch. We had invited him but hadn't been sure whether he was coming, and then he was held up by an accident on his way over. So I made him a plate and we talked, and mom and Chloe joined in when they came home. Turns out that Chloe has strep. It's a very good thing that she was diagnosed when she was, because she'll barely have had her antibiotics in her system for 24 hours tomorrow night, when she's supposed to be in the dress rehearsal of her senior spring play. She's playing Touchstone in "As You Like It."

And here is my big news of the day: I cleaned my room. I was on the phone with Chris the whole time actually, mainly giving a running account of how the room-cleaning process was going, and it took me about two and a half hours. I found things that I had honestly thought lost forever: most notably, my notebook from last year. I was pretty ecstatic. Also random articles of clothing, shoes, books, book darts, letters, and so on. Though it sounds obvious that such would happen, it was actually a surprise. Usually my room doesn't get so bad that I lose things for months at a time, so usually when I finally get around to cleaning it I don't find anything of interest. So anyway, it was good.

I've been sitting here having my "dinner" of leftover shrimp and thinking about how bad it is of me to be wiping  my hands on my pants, as though I don't wipe shrimp juice on my pants/apron/napkin constantly at work. Ridiculous. Nevertheless, I need to do some laundry.

And now, pictures!

Of myself and Kelly, messing around, going to the park, attempting to make banana "ice cream," not necessarily in that order:

+ cocoa

Not exactly ice cream. More like banana flavored marshmallow cream. Oh well.

Kelly Is An Adult in the spray of the waterfall.

This poor mother goose was panting in the heat, and (I assume) unable to leave her eggs.

Maymont waterfall: at the source!

Kelly smells the flowers. (Okay I know I said "me and Kelly" but the fact is that Kelly takes pride in taking truly horrendous pictures of me, and those are not going on the internet if I have anything to do with it.)

New dishwasher: installed!
New dishwasher: loaded!

Easter daffodils and an egg I dyed yesterday: how exciting!

30 minutes into the cleaning of the room, and, sadly, after some significant improvement (this is post removal-of-massive-dirty-laundry-pile):

After the cleaning of the room:

Okay, I know that by normal standards, my room is still not particularly "clean." But you have to admit that there is a significant difference. Now all I have to do is throw away two boxes of trash and wash two overflowing baskets of laundry! That, and find homes for all the stuff in/on the blue Laundry Basket Of Stuff.

And last, but not least, thrift store purchases.

shoes ($3!):

skirt and shoes:

I had a difficult time finding a way to take an even remotely satisfactory picture of skirt-being-worn, so I apologize for the odd angle. I also apologize for the graininess of 90% of my pictures. My flash setting devours my already short-lived battery.
The windbreaker and the athletic shorts are fairly nondescript, but are both blue, in case you were wondering.

The end.