- My divorce was finally finalized
- We moved into our house
- I got a "real" job, meaning I basically kept the same job but now with more money and benefits. (Who says hanging on for 4 years without any promise of advancement isn't a real career strategy?)
- Met my freelance translation earnings goals for the year, which was about double what I earned last year.
- Joined a Knitter's group and now have much more inspiration to feed my knitting obession!
- Stayed a fairly acceptable weight despite quitting WW. I could only go so long calculating the damn Points Value of everything.
- We went on a real family vacation in the summer and it was a blast.
- I went on a "girls only" overnight with my girl. Should definitely repeat that in 2008.
- Ate good sushi in Boston with my sis. Is this the end of my cityphobia?
- Traded in my old car for one that seems nearly new and also has 4 wheel drive.
- Had a lot of fun at work.
- Hiked another 4,000 footer.
- Had my therapist set me loose after determining that I'm really not struggling with too much any more. I agreed, but it was like taking off the training wheels.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
- I don't care that you were a debutant
- Take a shower
- Get a haircut. You are starting to look like Krusty the Clown.
- Stop whining and study more if you want a better grade
- Stop poking holes in your face
- That new hair color really doesn't suit you
- You think you are way more sophisticated than you actually are
- Your boyfriend is a dork
- Stop looking for loopholes
- Enough with the nose rings already
- You're probably cooler than you think you are
- You're a nice kid, but you have no clue
- I know you mean well, but you annoy the hell out of me
- Yes, you are smart. That doesn't entitle you to act like an asshole
- I don't care if you're pissed off. Your grade is what you earned
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Number one was 偽 (nise/gi) which means fake or deceptive. This came from a string of scandals about fake news reporting, fake brand name goods, fake expiration dates on food and such. The second choice was 食 (shoku) meaning food. This is connected to the first choice, since food sold as one thing often contained something else all together (ground pork sold as beef by Meat Hope) and well established food manufacturers being exposed for using expired ingredients in their products. The third choice was 嘘 (uso) means lies. Politicians lied. Businesses lied. Nothing new, of course. They've all been doing that for years.
I wonder if anyone is going to take the words of Kiyomizu's chief priest to heart and use the disgraces of this year as an opportunity to turn things around in the coming year. It would be wonderful if they did, but I won't be holding my breath.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Speaking of which, I'm all chubbed out again. And I really don't care that much. It could be my age, the wintry weather or something, but for right now it seems ok to not obsess over every morsel of food that goes down my throat. Life has not and will not be compromised because I am 5 or 6 pounds over the number I think should be my absolute top weight. Nothing terrible has befallen me. I'm still getting exercise and trying to drink enough water and be generally healthy. My boyfriend has not fled in terror and run off with a skinny chick. My daughter still talks (and talks and talks) to me. My students all still like me and show up to class and work and listen. My dog still adores me and follows me around the house like a ... puppy dog. There has been no major inconvenience resulting from this. What a notion!
I like food, dammit. I like to make it. I like to eat it. I like to think about it, read about it, and talk about it. I like to look at pretty pictures of it. So yeah, me and food and the scale are coming to some kind of understanding where I'm going to stop admonishing myself every time I step on the scale, but I'll act like a reasonable and healthy adult and eat well and enjoy it.
And another thing. A conversation I had this evening with my boyfriend turned another light on over my head. I'm Jewish. I can opt out of all the Christmas hype on the grounds of that, even if I'm not the most Jewish-y Jew you'll ever find. I am not obligated to jump whole hog into being Perfect Miss Christmas. I mean really, why the hell does my family give Christmas presents to each other when we're all Jewish? That's just silly. The season has its lovely moments and no, I won't be offended if anyone wishes me a Merry Christmas. But it's really okay if I decide I don't want to play along in full force.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
The temple we went to is a reform temple. I grew up going to a conservative temple, so it was pretty deifferent from what I remember. The weirdest thing to me was that apparently it was ok not to wear a yarmulke in the sanctuary. I mean, wtf? I wore one anyway. I couldn't not wear one after the way I was indoctrinated as a child.
Anyway, the service was nice. There were about 15 members of the congregation in attendance, mostly older folks. People were friendly and welcoming and made a point to come over and say hello and introduce themselves. The rabbi plays a 12-string guitar and a lot of the prayers were set to music in more modern arrangements. Later on in the ceremony when they got to the Aleinu, the Mourners' Kaddish and the Kiddush I found I remembered the words and the melodies and could still sing them. After the service everyone went and had some nice refreshments and stayed to chat.
I liked being there. I enjoyed the service and the sense of community. I am honestly not sure how I feel about the idea of God. I tend to think that what people call God really refers to our higher nature rather than the existence of some external entity that controls the show. But aside from the God part (if I can say that) I liked a lot of what I read and heard in the service-- the emphasis on doing good and helping others and peace for all nations, on prayer for those for are suffering and remembering those who have passed on. I also liked that my girl could at least get a glimpse for herself about what it's all about. I've heard her refer to herself as Jewish more than once and although she has a handle on some of the cultural aspects of it, I always felt bad that she had never experienced anything about the religion. I don't expect she'll attend Hebrew school or anything, but she at least has had a taste and something to go on if she decides to pursue it more at some other time. I might go back again. I'm not so sure what it means to go if I'm not so into the God part of things, but I am interested in getting involved in some of the volunteer work they do and I'd at least like to be familiar with the community.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Not sure what the point was actually. Several days were bare minimum perfunctory posts. I suppose it takes a modicum of discipline to blog on a daily basis, but bare minimum discipline isn't really something I have trouble with.
I've spent a fair chunk of the early evening watching the local tv station's coverage of a hostage taking situation at a Hilary Clinton campaign office in a neighboring town. That was kind of exciting, even if it does seem to turn out to be more about a troubled man on a bender making some bad decisions rather than anything to do with Hillary herself. She just got on tv and made sure to turn it into a political soundbite opportunity for herself. Par for the course and I expected that from her.
The most interesting event of the day has yet to happen. Since my girl is with me for a couple of weeks while her dad is away, we are taking the opportunity to go check out a Friday night shabbat service at the local temple. I haven't been to temple in years. My girl has never been. Neither has my boyfriend, who was raised Catholic. I think the girl should be able to have the chance to experience what it's about at least once. And I'm a little nervous but also looking forward to seeing what it's like.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The rest of it? I don't know. I spent a lot of time trying really hard and still felt like most of what I did wasn't right or good enough. That's not Japan's fault. There were other ways to approach it. I just wasn't able to do it that way.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I find it crazy that a court could find JT LeRoy guilty of fraud for writing under a pseudonym, but no criminal legal action can be taken against this psycho-mother who apparently got her kicks by tormenting a child while hiding behind a facade on MySpace. I hope the girl's parents sue the shit out of that stupid woman in civil court.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
I won't go out and socialize with students who are still taking my classes, but once they're of legal age and no longer my students I think it's okay. I really do enjoy my students and I get to know the ones who take classes with me for two or three years pretty well. I realize they're going to move on with their lives and go out into the world, but I love it when they keep in touch and let me know how things are going. It's great when they send emails or keep in touch on Facebook, but it's even better to go hang out and have a few beers together.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The food came out from the kitchen via the pantry. Turkey and stuffing. Broccoli "souffle" that was really more of a broccoli and cheese casserole but no less the object of my ardent affection for the gap between the fancy name and the plebeian ingredients. Mashed potatoes. Salad. Cranberry sauce. No yams or sweet potatoes or God forbid, anything with mini-marshmallows. That room, with its chandelier, fireplace, hardwood floor covered by an oriental rug, some sort of pastoral mural wall paper on the long wall. It could never allow mini-marshmallows.
The straight backed chairs demanded good posture and of course we had to dress properly for the occasion. The conversation was warm. Lots of grownup talk, of course. I liked to listen even though I don't think I understood. My grandfather always tough in his convictions; a counterpoint to my grandmother who was soft and gentle and wore her long gray hair wrapped into a bun on the back of her head.
After the pies and the grownups' coffee we'd adjourn to the living room, a room used only on special occasions. Otherwise it was a place to pass through on the way to the den, where the TV and stereo resided in a long, narrow room full of wood-louvered windows and two huge hanging ferns. A few more logs tossed onto the fire and we were full, warm and sleepy. One year I fell asleep on the gold velvet sofa. The mark of my napping drool remained long after the nap was done. I turned over the cushion and hoped no one would notice.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving, no matter where you are and how you spend it!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
So, obviously this means adjunct faculty are to blame for dropping graduation rates, right? This kind of logic reminds me of the reasoning in the classic article, The Dangers of Bread.
I tried taking the dog out for his usual evening walk, in the pitch darkness of 5 pm. He wasn't willing to go along with the program. I think I liked being out there more than he did. Eventually I had enough of his lollygagging and questioning looks and turned around to head home.
I'm officially on Thanksgiving vacation. I'm partially happy and partially not, because I'm fighting the urge to drown myself in either carbs, chocolate alcohol, or a combination of all three. I'm trying to make that just a one-day event on The Day itself and not an excuse for a week (or even half week) of debauchery.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Well, it's not that I don't have a life. I just have a rather predictable, settled life. That's not really so bad considering I am a 42 year old with a child, a committed relationship, a steady job and a couple of pets. I'm a homebody, damnit! There are worse ways to go through life. I went out one night last week. To the local Meet Up for knitters. And it was fun. I enjoy hanging out with other women who are obsessed with yarn.
The other highlight of the week (or of the past few days, which is all I seem to recall in any detail. Anything further back then that is pretty much a blur) was that I baked my first-ever cheesecake. It was a trial run of a new recipe I'm planning to make for Thanksgiving. After extensive quality testing I have declared that it has passed the test and is now approved for Thanksgiving worthiness. This year my brother-in-law is in charge of the meal and I'm handling the deserts. I'm really looking forward to it. My bro-in-law is an excellent cook and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. After that I can start worrying full-time about what to buy people for Christmas presents.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
During my daily check of Japan Probe I clicked on a Latest Japan News Headline link and ended up on this post by Ampontan. I think I've run across the author on a translator's mailing list or two and my recall is that he's generally a pretty smart cookie, so I was kind of disappointed to see him appearing to flog the old "American women are jealous that I chose a Japanese one" stereotype. I honestly haven't heard that line in years and even still, most American women change their point of view once they hear that Japanese women control the family finances. (Money is power, after all.)
I really didn't understand his cringing response to the feedback an American family got when they announced to friends that they were moving temporarily to Japan to advance the wife's career opportunities. I believe that most Japanese couldn't even imagine moving abroad for the wife's career advancement.
In the end, I just don't get the need for so much justification of what is ultimately a very personal decision. If you are happy with your partner, no matter what nationality, personality, occupation, station or gender, then good for you. You don't need to sell the rationale your choice for anyone else's approval.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Some people may think I never lived up to my potential since I graduated from a "fancy" high school and didn't go to an Ivy League college, nor did I chose to follow a lucrative career path. Of the many lessons I learned at that school, go out and make a lot of money really was never one of them. The importance of learning foreign languages and cultures was emphasized; as was the notion of teaching as a career option. I learned that it was okay to have a passion for learning and to love being in school. I think I took what I needed from the four years I spent there and along the way learned that having my own opinions and standing behind them ultimately is more valuable than following, or even leading, the herd.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
I found this while surfing the NaBloPoMo randomizer.
I think it means no one understands what I'm talking about but they nod in agreement because they think it' supposed to be making sense.
We can discuss my mistrust of and poor attitude towards Academia and Academics (the people) some other time, ok?
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Municipal elections were held here yesterday. The big issue was an amendment to adopt a a tax cap that would limit increases in spending based on the Consumer Price Index and the value of the previous year's new construction and demolition permits. While everyone agrees the city needs to get its spending under control, opponents pointed out that the tax cap could foreseeably lead to cuts in school budgets, road maintenance, street lights and other things most people consider necessities. I thought about it and decided I was voting against the tax cap and then made my choices for mayor and city councilors based on where they stood on the tax cap issue. I'm afraid the cap might end up resulting in more new construction permits being issued in order to raise revenue to the result that the town will become over-developed and less attractive as a place to live.
Apparently other people in town don't see it that way because the tax cap amendment was passed and the current mayor was re-elected to office even though he chose not to take a position on the issue and his most serious challenger was clearly supportive of the cap. It seems like most wards voted for Councilors who supported the tax cap, so maybe people just like Myers as a mayor and his declining to take a stand on the tax cap issue was neutral enough to please everyone. I understand that people don't want to see any more increases in their property taxes, but I hope the school system doesn't suffer because of it.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
And lest you think Hello Kitty is just a cute plastic children's toy, maybe you ought to know that her shallow, expressionless demeanor is deeper than that, she is, in fact, a "cute-therapist for the emotionally exhausted masses" of Japan.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Once in a while I decide to change things up and do my grocery shopping at Shaws rather than Hannaford, my usual haunt. In general I think Hannaford has better produce and I'm used to it, so I can get in and out of there with relatively more efficiency than Shaws. But today I decided on a change of pace and went to Shaws. And was reminded of what is probably the real reason why I usually chose not to shop there-- their shopping carts give me really strong static shocks. Audible snapping electrical-sounding shocks. Even when I hold on to the plastic handle cover, the shocks sneak up underneath my fingers and get me there.
Snap! Ow! Snap! Ow! roll roll roll Snap! Oww!
That's no way to shop.
So yeah, the all registers open from 4pm-7pm thing is really good, but unless it's a quick enough trip that I can carry my purchases in one of those hand baskets, I'm not shopping at Shaws anymore.
* I realize the post has nothing to do with the title. I just thought I'd announce that I am also not pleased that it is DARK out at 5pm now. And it'll only worse until the holiday season is done with.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Oh God. I'm becoming one of those people...
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Our fall is the antithesis of the cherry blossoms. No delicate pale to cherry pink blossoms flutter away to reveal the season of lush new green and warm breezes. We flash out in a riot of vibrancy before the dearth of color lets ours really show through.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
To what extent does growing up with privilege negate a person's accomplishments? Or is that just another way I find to tear myself down?
Monday, October 15, 2007
I can tell you are all just quivering with excitement.
I should probably make that side badge clickable and all, but I have fallen way behind in my web skillz and don't care enough at the moment. Ah, apathy...
Monday, October 01, 2007
The hole in my dog's head is healing, but it's still pretty deep and generally gross as a concept.
Last weekend he showed up with a big bump behind his eye. Over the weekend it got smaller then bigger and squishier. I called the vet on Monday and got an appointment for Wednesday afternoon. On Tuesday the dog decided the rub his squishy head bump around on the carpet and popped it. It leaked and then stopped. On Wednesday morning the bump was gone and there was an icky messy hole instead.
At the vet's the doctor clipped his fur out of the way and cleaned things up. The hole was about the size of a dime and looked pretty deep. I got medicine to put on the wound twice a day. Five days later, this is what the hole looks like. It's definitely gotten smaller and less icky, but it's still a pretty big hole.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
I'm not sure what conclusions I draw for myself from this. I'm tempted to say I should try harder to not be bothered by the dusty surfaces and the cat and dog hair on the carpet.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Back in the day (late 80s and early 90s) I used to hear my guy buddies telling all kinds of tales of girl hunting in Japan that involved minimum to no effort on their part. (And most of these were guys I knew from before Japan and they were by no means "players" before hitting the Land of Wa.) I wonder what the deal is. Has the gaijin aura lost its shimmer or has moving to Japan just become such a mundane choice of post-collegiate experience that when separated from their helicopter parents these guys need to hire someone to teach them how to get laid?
According to this, these guys must be much, much lamer than the generation that might be their older uncles or even their grandfathers!
Info on The Osaka Crew taken from a post on the once-promising-lately-not-so-much Stippy.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
When I was a kid, no matter how much I ate I never felt over-full. This appalled and worried my parents, especially my mother. Somehow over time I developed the ability to actually feel full and even uncomfortable as a result of overeating. I don't always pay attention to that, but most of the time I try to pay attention to the hara hachi-bu ("eat until you are 80% full) feeling that's common sense in Japan.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Tonight we watched episode 7 (thank you On Demand) and I noticed that the "new girl" Peggy seems to have doubled or tripled her bust size over previous episodes. What's that about?
They are so careful about all the details on that show, so it's got to be somehow deliberate. It just struck me as so strange. Maybe she is just getting used to being a working girl in the city and bought a new 1960s style Wonderbra or something.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I used to wonder how old people recognized friends they hadn't seen in decades. Who could tell with all those wrinkles and stuff? Now I get it! I mean, she looked the same to me as she did back then.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Not only am I going to miss walking out of the house without a thought of a sweater or jacket, I will have to snuffle my way through hay fever season before we get to the soup and cozy sweater weather. The sneezing and blocked sinuses have already commenced. Joy.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
I was wrong.
My mother in law called last week, and along with discussing the business part of things, we also did a lot of catching up. She told me she still considers me her daughter (she grew up the youngest of five or six girls and then went on to have two sons herself) and invited me to stay at the house when I visit Japan next summer. It made me very happy to talk with her and to hear that she is well and doesn't have any hard feelings.
She called again this morning to let me know she received the documents I sent and to thank me. We chatted some more. She told me again that despite the divorce, she still thinks of me as her daughter and once again said to come stay with them next summer. At the end of this call I had my wits about me enough to ask her to give my regards to her husband.
My ex-father in law and I have had some rough moments. I've spent a fair amount of time being pissed off at him for blaming me for his dissatisfactions with his son. I kind of figured we were definitely on the outs now, no matter what my mother in law said because I know she's the kind of person who will do as she wishes even if it rubs him the wrong way.
Well, after I said "please send my regards" she put him on the phone. He sounded healthy and cheerful and , dare I say it, happy to be speaking with me! He also told me I was their daughter and to stay healthy and come stay with them next year.
This whole development really blows my mind. In a good way.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
We've all heard that the real estate boom is over and that the repercussions are being felt throughout the economy. Bad news for a lot of folks, but not necessarily for me.
I've recently been offered (and accepted) a freelance paralegal-type assignment working on foreclosure related documents. The work itself is not so tough. At least it's all in English. The pay rate is decent and it seems the work is being offered on an as-much-as-I-want-when-I-want-it basis for now. It also counts as actual legal-related work experience, which could distinguish me from the crowd on my translation resume or when I talk to potential translation clients looking for a legal translator.
I earn more per hour translating, but I also have to use my brain a lot more. If I did either job on a full-time basis I suppose I'd have to decide which I prefer: more pay and harder work, or easier work and less money. Good thing I get bored so easily and am apparently incapable of doing any single job on a full time basis.
When I was at the law office getting the low down on the assignment one of the legal secretaries asked if freelance legal work is what I did full time. I was somewhat appalled as I heard myself explain that actually I teach and translate and am picking up this legal stuff as another side gig. Does the word "enough" not exist in my world view of employment? But when you freelance you are subject to the phenomenon that when it rains, it pours; and when it doesn't rain, you're stuck bone dry. Might as well make the most of the opportunities and make hay while the work pours and later on, when it dries up, kick back in the sunshine. Or something like that.
Many freelancers extol the benefits of multiple work sources and how it's really more secure than relying on just one employer. Looks like I'm taking that concept and expanding it to cover multiple fields. If the teaching somehow doesn't work out, I have the translating to fall back on. If the translating ended up driving me nuts (which it could), I could work as a freelance paralegal. This should probably make me feel secure in my ability to earn a living. Instead I think it just makes me sound scattered and twitchy. Which is dumb because it's not impossible that I could be good (or at least competent) at all of them.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
That's a hell of a long time.
And sometimes it seems like it all happened in another lifetime. I don't think I'm that same person anymore. The one who chose to behave badly in reaction to a bad relationship rather than be courageous enough to leave it. I don't regret the choices I made because I had to make them based on where I was at the time (and the way the laws work there). But now it doesn't seem possible that I would ever convince myself it was worth staying so unhappy for so long.
Sometimes I'd like to go back and smack that old me upside the head for hiding my head in the sand. Except that playing woulda-coulda-shoulda is such a waste of time.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
We took the Boulder Loop trail, which starts on the left side of the parking lot, for the ascent. It lived up to its name and was full of rocks and boulders. There were some pretty steep sections in the boulder field, but the last 0.4 mile to the summit was an easy stroll across rocky ledges surrounded by tons of low blueberry bushes. I like it when the last spurt to the summit is a stroll rather than a heart-bursting ordeal. The views from the summit were superb and we spent about half an hour eating gorp and jerky and taking in the scenery.
I thought about taking the Brook Trail on the way down, but the Main Trail has such great views of Lake Winnipesaukee that I figured we might as well enjoy them a little longer. The Main Trail is steep at the top but the latter part is pretty easy. I managed to get to about a half mile from the end of the trail before my knee started twinging, so I didn't even bother with my knee brace.
It was a great warm-up hike to break in the the Girl's new boots. Next week we're heading up to Holderness to do the Mt. Morgan/Mt. Percival loop.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Oh, let's be pretentious and stupid! Obviously this guy hasn't taken check of the Japanese sushi restaurant industry in the last 20 years because in this article he is completely ignoring the proliferation of cheap kaiten sushi restaurants (the conveyor belt places) that have brought sushi to the level of the masses in Japan. I suppose while we're discussing enforcing cultural correctness overseas, the Japanese really ought to do something about their interpretation of ice cream and pizza. ("Ideal taste of sea goodness and mayonnaise" anyone?)
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
That is why it can take me twenty minutes to get through one sentence sometimes. It's also why I usually just ignore the larger set of parentheses, when it's feasible.
Monday, July 02, 2007
I may later edit this further so it's short enough to post on YouTube, but for now I like this version and I just wanted to put it up here so people can see it.
I did cut about a minute out of the embedded version and added music to the ending credits. If anyone's interested, check it out here.
There's something kind of crazy in the works now. Watch this space, ice cream lovers...
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Its growing on me:
Is that beef real beef or is it pork
Is that tofu real tofu or is it yogurt?
Is that salmon real salmon or is it tuna?
Is that Kleenex real Kleenex or is it a paper towel?
Is that muffin a real muffin or is it a cupcake?
Thursday, June 21, 2007
What is this really about? Is the message that they aren't pretty enough the way they are without all the primping and spending? Or they are princess divas who deserve to be pampered? Is our culture so lacking in ritual that the salon and the spa now stand as rights of passage for girls on the verge of becoming young women? It's like they are being told it is not enough that they are dedicated students, athletes and friends. They should be all that and also be (or try to be) exceptionally "pretty" as well. How many steps will it be from Mom calling for beauty professional intervention at age 12 to eating disorders and other bad reactions to the nearly inevitable realization reached by every teenage girl-- OMG! I've got Mom's (insert unfortunate feature of choice) and Dad's weird (insert another unfortunate feature of choice) and I'm probably not ever going to look like the Hollister models no matter how many $50 sweatshirts I buy there.
What's the big rush to get past the natural beauty of childhood anyway? Who do they need to be so prettified for? Are we trying to sell them off into a good marriage match or something?
And you might be wondering, what about me? What kind of mother am I on that spectrum? My girl gets haircuts every 2 or 3 months. Sometimes she paints her own nails. She has an extensive collection of lip gloss. She owns but rarely wears clear mascara (heh. clear mascara.) and says she's thinking about asking me if it would be ok if she got some real mascara. I told her I'd think about it.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
In downtown Portsmouth today I spied something similar but oh so much better and ever so appropriate for my boyfriend, who was suffering a rather crappy day that started with his car not doing the same. I strode right on into the store and laid down some cash to get him this shirt. When I picked him up from work, I handed him the bag and said I found something to suit his day. The grin that spread across his face when he looked at it was the best thing I saw all day.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Indemnification. Termination. Consideration. Jurisdiction.
In the event of violation...
entered into and by
IN WITNESS WHEREOF
In good faith
Creating two (2) copies and each party retaining one (1) copy of said Agreement
ACCEPTED AND AGREED
It's kind of got it's own swing to it, once you get going. (And once you stop procrastinating about getting the actual work done by scatting in legalese on your blog...)
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Anyway, I'm having some issues with M&Ms these days. As in, I can't leave the damn things alone. The obvious answer is to not keep them in the house, but since they are already in the house I have to get rid of them by eating them. I've spent the last six month hovering 3-6 pounds above the "goal weight" I set at Weight Watchers. It's better to be about 5 pounds over my goal than 25, which is where I could easily be without the Weight Watchers routine, but I just can't get motivated to buckle down and do it. I've been working out at the gym 3-4 times a week since January. I take a 90 minute belly dance class once a week. I walk the dog once or twice a day on the 3 or 4 days he spends here, so I'm definitely getting more exercise than I did a year ago. I'm fit. I'm healthy. I'm medium sized. So why can't I just say Screw It and accept the five pounds? Good question. I'll have to think about what the answer is.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
I've noticed I get quiet here when gentle routine has taken over my days. Is it that I'm afraid writing about it will jinx it and make something big happen to change it? Am I afraid that if I inspect it in too much detail I will find fault and then start to tug on a stray loose thread that will unravel everything? If I stay perfectly still, nothing will ever change. That's what I try to fool myself into believing. Then people keep on going and making major changes all around me and those changes intrude on my bubble. Thankfully, they remind me nothing ever stays the same. And I don't want to stay the same. Living means growing and growing means changing.
I've been thinking about travel lately. Used to be I set out for all kinds of far flung parts all by myself, with no real plan. Now I won't even drive down to Boston for a day. How is that not-driving-to-Boston person even me? Can the wanderlust really be lost or is it just hibernating and waiting for its chance to come out again when the daily obligations eventually lift?
Friday, May 25, 2007
Well, today has been my lucky day. Or my pay off day. I was offered a lectureship position by my boss that will slightly increase my course load and more than double my salary, plus I will receive full benefits such as health insurance and the ability to open a retirement savings account. So, am I kicking back on the deck with a pina colada and some light summer reading to celebrate? Not exactly. I'm looking around trying to figure out how I want to structure the Japanese Culture course I'll be teaching next spring! But I also stopped by the public library and checked out a novel by David Liss and now I think I and a glass of cold jasmine tea will head out to the deck for some reading, at least until the current load of laundry is done...
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The deal is that I teach during the academic school year and also translate on a freelance basis. Freelance basis means sometimes I have too much work coming in and I have to turn down offers and sometimes nothing's coming in and I could, theoretically, just kick back and relax and enjoy my free time.
Except I don't just kick back and enjoy the down time. I spend the down time wondering if I should go back to school for yet another degree in order to "change careers" or whether I really should, as my father urges every time he sees me, figure out how to contact Theo Epstein and try to get a gig an an interpreter for the Red Sox even though I couldn't give a shit about baseball and abhor the thought of commuting to Boston, never mind traveling for a job. And then there's my sister, who is now gainfully employed by dad after years of slackerdom, and her not-so-subtle contemptuous tone of "oh, that must be nice" when I tell her I'm currently not working on any translation at the moment and am done with school for the year. Well, excuse me for having skills that let me work freelance and also for having received my settlement check from the divorce, which along with the payment checks now coming in for the work I kicked ass on last month and the understanding and generosity of my wonderful boyfriend who values my contributions to our home and family even if they aren't all measured in dollars, lessens the immediate need to pull in a paycheck at the moment.
But, really, I know I should just say screw them and enjoy this opportunity to slow down and enjoy life. I figured out a long time ago that "high-powered" is not what I want to be. I love to teach. Time flies when I'm in the classroom and it doesn't feel so much like work. Translation isn't quite as much fun as teaching, but I like the freedom of working freelance. So what's the problem? I don't make a ton of money so that means I'm "wasting my potential"? What if my potential to be happy with the way my life is now means more to me than my potential to bust my ass to impress my family?
Friday, May 18, 2007
My practice now is a do-it-myself at home affair. Sometimes I use DVDs or, more often , one of the Yogamazing podcasts. (I think I consider Chaz my yoga teacher at this point.) Unfortunately, it's been several months since I practiced with any regularity, probably since before we moved into the house. When I was still living in the apartment I would lay out my blue yoga mat and inevitably the dog would come over and lay down on it. I would shoo him away and start my practice. At various points, mostly when doing postures that involve lying on my back, the dog would amble over and stick his nose in my face, then try to lie down on the mat again when I got up to do standing postures. Eventually, he'd move off the mat but stay in the room to watch.
This morning I decided that I need to get back into a regular yoga practice. I've been sick this week and I can feel my body is kind of a mess and it needs some gentle straightening out. The dog is at the Girl's father's house at present, but this was the cat's first exposure to me doing yoga. For most of the morning the cat has been content to hang out and keep her distance from me for as I did some chores, read and what not. But once the yoga mat went down, I suddenly became quite irresistible. She was crawling over me, rubbing around me, purring at me, smooshing her face in my face and trying to find a good spot to settle down and sleep on me, which was impossible since I was not in any one position for any length of time that would accommodate one of her naps. She was finally able to happily curl up in my lap for a few minutes at the very end, as I was sitting cross-legged and taking a few final deep breaths. Now she's back at the other end of the couch, napping after such a big workout, I guess.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Dear Ms Pamming About,I was a little perplexed when I received this message this morning because I couldn't recall having requested copies of those books and had half forgotten about the request I sent through the website a week and a half ago. So, I sent back this email--
Thank you for your e-mail.
We would like to tell you that we ask our agent,
XYZ bookstore in San Francisco to send
you Elementary 1 textbook and workbook.
To go ahead, we would appreciated it if you could
let us know your address.
Once again, we thank you for your interest in
Because, I really did think perhaps she had misunderstood my original request since all the textbooks have almost exactly the same name. Then, I received this reply--
Dear Ms. Publisher Rep,
Thank you very much for your email. We already use the level I and II textbooks and workbooks in our first and second year classes. My inquiry was about the
Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese by A. Sushi and N. Sashimi for adoption by our third-year Japanese class. If you could send a desk copy of that, I would appreciate it.
My mailing address is:
Dept. of Languages, Literatures and Stuff
Random State Univ.
Dear Ms Pamming About,Don't you just love it? The rep regretfully informs me she can supply me with the books I don't really need, but never actually says she can't/won't send the one I am interested in and then asks me to understand the company's policy, which has really only been alluded to and not ever explicitly stated. I know it's just an extremely Japanese style of communication, but wtf? Is she afraid my feelings will be hurt if she just straight out told me they don't supply desk copies of that title? Every time I run into stuff like this I'm glad all over again that I left Japan and came home.
Thank you for your e-mail.
We regret to inform you that we are able to offer Elementary 1
textbook and workbook for free. We would appreciated
it if you could understand our company's policy.
Once again,we thank you for your interest in our publications.
Friday, April 27, 2007
The things I learn from the dog are simple, kind of obvious and mostly "other-centered". The dog teaches me about enthusiasm, loyalty, persistence, forgiveness and devotion. The cat is ... different.
The cat is all about the cat. She is a contrarian and will never do what you want or ask her to do if you approach is straighforwardly. Reverse psychology seems to work pretty well, though. She runs away and hides when she doesn't like what's going on. She spends a lot of time curled up sleeping on the cushiest surfaces she can find and seems always ready to join in on a nap. She growls at the dog and looks upon us all with utter disdain when required to be in his presence. She never looks hang-dog when she knocks something over. She just flees the scene or ignores it. She has no compunction about walking all over me in the middle of the night. There's almost something regal in her absence of eagerness to please.
Wonderful boyfriend says there is plenty to be learned from watching a cat. I suppose that's true, but I also think the the cat attitude is a lot more charming on a cat than on a person.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I think I'll do the following book meme for a change of pace. I got it from Kinuk.
bold - I’ve read it
italicise - I want to read it
normal font - I am not really interested in reading it
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Steven King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)
Hmm, interesting mix of choices on the list. Wonder why there's no Vonnegut listed?
Monday, April 16, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
This is my first experience working in the office of our new house. The office is nice. I have an eye level view of the street and the light hits the room nicely in the late afternoon and early evening, which encourages me to keep on working until night falls.
The sheer volume of the work I was foolish enough to accept (and let's just not mention the entire day I wasted yesterday working 10 hours on a part of the document I didn't need to translate. *sob*) has motivated me to try out a few new tools. Specifically, I got some OCR (optical character reader) software and some translation memory software (Wordfast), and while I don't really know how to use either one skillfully, I am already seeing a bit boost in efficiency. I imagine it will be even better once I actually learn the right way to use the tools.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
We had our sandwiches and shared a bag of salt and vinegar chips. Then we settled into the couch (loveseat, really) to watch American Idol and did our best to finish up all the ice cream in the freezer so I don't have to move it or throw it out. She was so aware that everything she did, she was doing it for the last time here. She even made a point to pause and ask for a "last hug" in the apartment before I took her to school this morning. I keep reassuring her that we'll still be together, but I also understand how she feels.
We're both excited about the move, but I think it's natural to feel some uncertainty. We've been settled into our routines for a few years now and they are comfortable and comforting to us. But change is a constant in life and we can create new routines and new comforts and adapt the ones we have to new situations. Letting go of the familiar is always difficult, but it's the only way to keep moving forward.
Monday, March 12, 2007
I've read that many people feel a resurgence of sadness when a divorce is finalized. Some people throw big parties for themselves to celebrate, but I think that is lacking in decorum and it's just not my style. I drove home with the packet sitting in the passenger's seat; its shiny gold superior court official sticker winking at me. I felt something like a thrill in my chest, because this divorce saga really is over and everyone is still alive and in relatively good shape.
Friday, March 09, 2007
It disturb me that this woman drives a large pickup truck through this neighborhood, where my child and my neighbors' children play.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Moving day is in less than two weeks. And not a moment too soon.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Sunday, March 04, 2007
I have to say that so far my 40s are pretty awesome. Most of my 20s were spent searching for some elusive prize I never found. My 30s were spent mostly confused, wondering how the hell I had ended up that way and feeling resigned to having to spend the rest of my life avoiding or enduring the consequences of the choices I had made. Now I finally feel like I'm where I belong and together with the one I belong with.
Youth gets all the hype in this culture, but I'm finding that this "mid-life" phase is way better than I ever expected.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
they were used to mask the deeper
wasn't what killed her either
her life is what ended her life
all the decisions upon decisions
to take whatever would make her lose control
until she was all out
all she has missed being gone
all who have missed her
even the ones who never met her
who were not here when she was
decisions upon decisions
leave echos and hidden scars
Friday, February 23, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I hate it when the girl is sick. I hate that I had to actually spend several hours wondering how to take my sick girl out in the middle of a raging snow storm so she could go to her dad's house due to the stupid custody schedule. (He only lives 5 minutes away and for various reasons, including both the weather and her throwing up several times during the day, we didn't actually head out until the end of the afternoon, but still, why should either of us have to worry about that and why does it all have to be communicated through email and not the phone?) Not enough sleep. No nap today. I felt bad eating when I knew my girl was too sick to consider it. Ass glued to the chair while my eyes bugged out over pages of code. Shoveling was actually a welcome break. At least I got some fresh air and exercise. It'll all get better. I just need a nap, I think.
She came and got me up sometime during the night (2-ish? 3-ish?) and told me she wasn't feeling very good. She climbed into my bed and we both slept fitfully for a while, but then I got up to see about school cancellations and she got up and got sick in the bathroom. I tried to sleep after that but wasn't able. She's napping in her room now. I'm (procrastinating on)working on a translation job in my bathrobe at the kitchen table.
I hate when she gets sick on the days she changes houses. I always want to make excuses to keep her with me. From everything I've read, I know that it's very important for a child to spend a lot of time with both her parents even after they have split up. But on days like this I kind of wish I had been more of a bitch at the start and fought to have her be mostly with me.
Today's mantra-- Taking the high road pays off in the end. Take the high road.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
It's been nearly three years since I left him and many more than that since I realized I needed to leave. The trial was eight months ago. The preliminary hearing was about a year before that. It has been so long and dragged out that I'm not sure if this piece of paper is going to make me feel any different. But maybe I'll feel a slightly richer taste of freedom. I moved on so long ago in my heart and mind, now I guess the rest of me is free to follow.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The Girl: Is this the three old Jewish guys?
The Girl: I can't remember who does this song.
Me: The Beastie Boys.
The Girl: Yeah, I couldn't remember the name.
Me: Well, they're like my age so they're not that old...
The Girl: ......
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
(ps: don't tell anyone, but I didn't even block the scarf after I finished it. It's made with a machine washable wool blend and I think it looked ok even without blocking. sshhhhhhh.)