Wednesday, December 22, 2010

As if the previous post wasn't enough...

...my book manuscript is now under contract!!!!

JOY!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Major Milestone

Last night - at 3 months and 10 days old - the twain slept through the night!!!

They went down at 9:30 after their mega-feeding and then Sir Miles woke up at 4, but was mollified in 3 minutes when TD gave him a binky and then they slept until 6am! After another mega-feeding, they slept until 8:45!

It's a Christmas miracle.

Let's see if it happens again...

Friday, December 10, 2010

How I get work done in the mornings...

Get up when the Sirs do (today at 7:30!) - feed and change them. Put them back down in cribs - then move Sir Guy into our bed b/c he likes to sleep there in the morning. I put his little head on the pillow, put a couple of pillows on either side so he can't roll, pull the covers up halfway and he looks just like a little adult!* Then I sneak upstairs with a Coke Zero and a box of Nilla wafers and work on my book revisions. I'm hoping they'll sleep until about 10:30-11:00. Our motto around here is "let sleeping babies lie" - and I tell TD when he comes home from work and wants to pick up one of the cute, slumbering little butterballs: "You wake; you buy."

In other news - we bought a house! We were going to buy a Christmas tree last weekend but instead we bought a house. It's not the one that needs renovation - it's actually another one that's already totally renovated - a 1922 4-bed bungalow with a sunroom and adorable yard. And a big front porch with a swing! The house is exactly the color of wasabi...

Back to work!

*I know I won't be able to do this when he's older b/c he could get tangled up - but for now he doesn't move much.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Random Bits of HELLS YEAH!!


Sorry for not posting for so long - Medieval Mom was here for an extended stay and it was a little crazy-making.

Here's the skinny:

1) Heard this morning from the publisher with the reader's report on my R&R for the book manuscript - it's extremely positive and recommends publication, so the chief editor is going to take a formal proposal to the editorial board!! JOY!!! I know it's not a done deal yet, but it feels really good to be so close!

2) TD and I have minor colds. I'm sure Guy and Miles will get them too. Why is this okay? See fluff-point #1 above.

3) Guy and Miles have been sleeping for 4-5 hours straight - a lovely thing! In 4 weeks, rice cereal will be administered and then bliss will ensue.

4) TD and I are looking for a house to buy - we have an appointment with a contractor on the awesome house we tried to rent last year. It's still on the market and I'm still in love with it. It needs work, but if we could get a ballpark estimate from this guy, it would help us determine whether we can afford it or not. I hope the house isn't falling apart...

5) I have the hiccups.

6) Still...

7) *hic*

Monday, November 22, 2010

This may be a bit inappropriate, but...

...I want to ask my therapist out on a play date.

Okay. She's about my age, she has a little boy only six weeks older than Sirs Guy and Miles and she's SO cool! I think I like her like her...

Actually, I really like her as a therapist, too. She's smart, Ph.D. in Psychology, she challenges me, she's funny. My last appointment when I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything, I thought I would go in there and cry, but we ended up laughing our asses off the whole time about kids, life as a new parent, etc. It was exactly what I needed and she said it didn't even feel like therapy...

Do you think she feels the same way about me? I mean, do you think she might want to have our kids meet at some point? I find myself looking at the picture of her little boy on her desk and thinking about how nice it would be for the three boys to play together and Dr. M and I can slug back a pitcher of margaritas.

The kids are still too young to really play together, so I figure I have time before I actually have to pop the question. But I just know that at some point I'm going to have to ask her if she wants things to go further. Will I need to get another therapist? Would it be inappropriate to see each other socially? I keep thinking about whether her husband and TD would get along...

Sigh.

I have such a crush...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A quick article bleg

Thanks for the encouragement, guys! I'm feeling tons better now that I've recovered a bit!

Quick question - can anyone tell me the title/author of that article about mothers using medieval romances to teach their daughters? I know there is one (it seems like it was in an essay collection) and I can't remember or find it for the life of me!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Feeling so overwhelmed

Yep. That's me.

It's taken me a while to admit that, but it's true. Having twins is hard. They both start crying at the same time. Each feeding takes 45 minutes if you're doing it yourself. I don't know what they want from me. I can't pick them up at the same time b/c I'm not strong enough and they're gaining tons of weight. When I do try to pick one up to calm him down I usually get kicked in my gut somewhere around my incision and it hurts like hell.

I've had 3 surgeries in two months all of which required varying kinds of anesthetic, from general to local to in-between. My post-partum anxiety and anemia threw me for such a loop and just as that was subsiding, the gall bladder thing happened. I haven't felt healthy in so long.

The boys - Sir Guy in particular - have been so fussy lately - they're awake much more now during the day and they. just. cry. Sometimes no amount of holding, changing location, distraction will make them stop. They're still too young to really play and be entertained and it's just so hard with two of them. They sleep really well at night (with intermittent feedings), but the days and especailly evenings are a chore.

No one needs to worry about me - I have all the support we can afford and rely on from friends and I'm seeing all the proper peeps. But even with all that, I still feel overwhelmed. I just want to stop being sore and exhausted all the time.

I know lots of you don't have kids - I just wanted to vent a little. Thanks.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How galling...still here...

Sorry I've been so out of bloggy touch - the boys have been growing well (in fact, 2 months old today) and I've been doing great - helping Medieval Mom try to find a house, etc.

And then...

WHAM!!

Last Sunday afternoon, bad pain in upper right quadrant of belly. Trip to doc's office on Monday yielded a CAT-scan and a potential enlarged gall bladder. Trip to general surgeon's office on Tuesday confirmed suspicion. The fact that I was still in continuous pain and taking the percocets that I had (thankfully) never taken after my c-section meant that I needed to have the thing out soon for fear of infection. Thursday morning, have a "lap-chole" (where they go into your belly-button and take something out) to remove offending gall bladder (which apparently has a jawbreaker-sized gallstone in it). It was pretty bad and it's a good thing it came out. Doc decides to keep me overnight so he can give me IV antibiotics and so that a gastroenterologist can take a look at an x-ray of my bile duct that might have a stone in it. GI-doc decides the next morning that my liver enzymes are a little elevated, which warrants doing an endoscopy to check for another stone creeping around in there. Low and behold, they find one, take it out with their endoscopy tool and then tell me I'm "too perky" to stay in the hospital another night, so they send me home yesterday afternoon.

So, now, I'm without any kind of gall issues remaining (I hope) and I'm just healing from what was ultimately a routine couple of procedures - it's just that they SNUCK THE HELL UP ON ME!!!!!! I'm telling myself that I don't need to begin weaning myself off of the Vicodin completely just yet - that I'm not a wimp if I still take it! Or if I still have pain...

Speaking of which, I'm going to go have a vicodin now...

Friday, October 15, 2010

A question about bloglines

Okay, so what are people doing about the demise of bloglines? It's closing on Nov. 1? How do I move all my blogs over to another reader?

Help.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who am I?

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to how I feel about being a mother - I've started seeing a new therapist (I'm nothing if not proactive about stressful periods in my life) and it's been good to talk about it a bit with her. It still hasn't hit me quite yet that I am a mother - I mean, it's hit me in one sense, an immediate sense. There are 2 little babies who rely on me (and my support team) for their basic needs. But I still don't always connect them with the fact that they were inside me. I know I love them (in the sense that I would throw myself in front of a bus for them), but it's not always a conscious feeling.

I think I'm staring right into the face of the myth of all-encompassing, positive motherhood. Just like those Rockwellian Christmas myths, I thought that I would feel more connected to them than I often do. That I would feel the urge to weep with joy and unending love every time I look at them. That it would be one big skin-to-skin love-fest bonding ceremony. But I often see them as just needing from me. Now, granted, I'm feeling better after the anemia and hormonally-induced craziness has begun to calm down and I have more to offer them. But my feelings about them are still very complicated and evolving. Sometimes I have to remind myself that my life has changed so dramatically - they will be with me for so long. How do I feel about this? What does this mean to me?

People say that your life will never be the same - but what will it be? These are the big questions. Different? Yes. Good? Yes. Better than it would have been without them? I think so - in the final tally, I know I'll never truly regret having children (however much I might regret it in certain moments). But I expected to feel more...stable about them than I do. I think I might be falling in love with them. Like I did with TD. The first time I met TD, the next day I remember saying to a friend of mine, "I just really like that guy." And it grew from there to the point to where I love him with all my heart.

Could it be the same with children? Could it be that I love them in one basic, primal way, but I'm also in the process of falling in love with them in another, subtler, more cerebral/emotional way?

I've been thinking this is the case. And I've been thinking that that's okay.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Where is Medieval Woman??



Still here! Anxiety is all but gone (thanks to meds and time) - Guy and Miles are one month old today - they are getting fussier, but I've heard this peaks around 4-6 weeks and then dissipates at 8-10 weeks once their circadian rhythms get more set. Otherwise, they're gaining weight like champs and being cute little grubs.

I am feeling tons better with the anemia - the numbers are on the rise and in a couple of weeks I'll have another hemoglobin check. Medieval Mom is here until Saturday, so that's been a big help (she takes the 3am feeding! What have I done to deserve such grace?)

I've started to think about work in the middle of the midnight feeding, when all is quiet on the western front. How will I approach this new article project? What do I need to begin researching first? These are just little synapses firing late at night, but hopefully in a week or so I'll be able to handle some sustained attention to the issue.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More from the incubator...

We're getting this! We can do this. Things are getting better and my anxiety was slightly less today than it was yesterday. Does this mean that hormones are working their way through my system? Surely it does.

We took some fun pics today:

May I present Sir Guy -


And Sir Miles -


How jaunty are they? Do they pricketh throughout the countryside looking for damsels to rescue??

Other tidbits:

1) My mother leaves tomorrow and je suis desolee! This hasn't happened before. She comes back in a week and a half for 11 days - JOY! Who am I?? And she's moving here in a few months. Thank God!! Who knew?

2) Went to the Dr. Canadienne today to discuss meds and it was a good conversation - even better? They did a weight check - I HAVE LOST 40 POUNDS SINCE 2 DAYS BEFORE I DELIVERED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3) I am now taking a natural organic iron supplement to help my anemia rather than the caustic guerilla pills they prescribed for me (Dr. C said I could) - those killed my gut and these are easy on it. I am now out of the range where they suggest transfusion!! (I'm an 8 - normal is 12-16) I'm inhaling spinach, watermelon, and red meat.

4) Periodically, one of the boys will let loose a single, blood-curdling, ear-piercing scream. We call it their primal scream therapy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rawr! and the First Night...



Yes, my friends - that is Guy! Miles was born exactly one minute later...our little ones arrived on Monday (Labor Day??) at 35 and 1/2 weeks. They didn't have to spend even a minute in the NICU, which was amazing and they came home with us yesterday. They are small, but beautiful; immature in some ways and mature in others. The Furballs are terrified but curious - what could these gabbling things be??

What follows are some of my observations and feelings - they're all jumbled up, but here they are!

1) This sounds cliche, but I am totally in love...pure, unadulterated love.

2) I am also stressed out beyond my wildest ken - how can these two emotions co-exist so much? Last night - our first night at home - was so insane. And they weren't even fussy per se! It was just being home, needing to get up every 3 hours at least, to feed them, not really sleeping more than 3-4 hours. I know - I need to get used to this. TD and I are reeling.

3) Medieval Mom is also here until Thursday, so I can't imagine how it would be were she not in residence.

4) The birth was steeped in stress, particularly the days following it, which is why I'm dealing with such anxiety at the moment, I think. The c-section proper was uneventful, even textbook. But we had to do it far earlier than planned because my BP was just consistently way too high. After that, I had a series of events including crashing a bit because of a wonky reaction to something, perhaps nausea, I'm not sure, it's all a blur, but it was very scary for TD. Then we thought all was well but those damned BPs kept creeping up again and they wanted to keep me longer. This was the source of much stress, but finally they just kept me an extra day and sent us home.

5) The babies smell good.

6) Will my hormones eventually regulate themselves? Will I ever feel normal again? Will my body recover from the c-section? When? Will every day get better?

7) Miles is already stepping forward as the "freaky" child - he has so many little quirks and he's not even 6 days old. Guy is all about "slow and steady wins the race"...

8) Tomorrow (yes, Sunday) is our first outing to the pediatrician - what will we wear?

9) Will I ever sleep again?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Le Sigh

Medieval Woman HQ has now become Bedrest HQ.

Last week we were all in a kerfuffle - on Wednesday, exactly 15 minutes after TD left for the airport to go back to the Motherland to get his work visa (he is SO legal now, btw!), I was told I had to check into the hospital for 24 hours for observation and testing for pre-eclampsia. I tried to tell the doctor (a different one from our own Dr. Canadienne) that I have a history of hypertension, but she didn't believe me. I tried to tell her that I was worried about Guy and Miles and that was obviously making my BP spike and she didn't believe me again.

So, there I was in the hospital alone, crying on the phone to TD who was about to board his transatlantic flight. Fortunately, Medieval Mom was coming into town later that evening for a visit and our awesome friends J and A picked her up and brought her to hang out with me "in stir". After over 24 hours of being stuck in a little room, the results were...

I don't have pre-eclampsia. I just have high blood pressure. So, though I'm still on bedrest (but not the Gestapo kind), it's not as bad as we feared.

But here's what sparked all the stress:

At our last ultrasound, Guy had turned into the Incredible Hulk baby, and - no doubt fortified by gamma radiation - seemed to have gained* almost a pound and a half in two weeks. Miles, however, didn't seem to have gained much at all - only a couple of ounces.

This discrepancy is, of course, very distressing and I was worried to death about my little Miles (hence the BP spike, Dr. Conservative!). So, we went to the special hospital ultrasound people and they did more measurements and concluded that they were only 1 pound rather than 1 1/2 pounds apart. It's still a big and sudden margin, though, and they blamed it on the fact that I no doubt have horrible pre-eclampsia and Dr. Conservative started saying I'd be "lucky" to make it to 36 weeks and talking about long term hospitalization until that time.

Now, I'm all for better safe than sorry, but this was ridiculous! And so my treacherous BP creeped higher the more they took it, supposedly confirming their dire diagnosis. Bastards.

But, after all the hub-bub, it all seemed blown out of proportion (for once, not by me) and so I'm ensconced on the couch and bed for the duration - but it's better than the hospital! We have another measuring ultrasound next Thursday and we'll see if Miles has caught up a bit. If not, then we'll have an early c-section to get him on the outside to chub up. I'm not unenthusiastic about this possibility - I'd be happy to get off the couch.

The funny thing about this whole scenario? The boys are completely fine - they move constantly, they practice their breathing, their heartbeats are great, they're totally strong awesome little dudes. They sit in the eye of the hurricane of panic and ultrasounds and tests in which I become embroiled with their little fingers making the "whatever" sign...

Excuse me, I must now pay-per-view "Hot Tub Time Machine"...

* I say "seem to have gained" b/c ultimately we don't know for sure - the margin of error for late term ultrasounds is actually 1.5 pounds! They could weigh exactly the same (although you can see that Guy is chunkier than Miles).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Random Fluffage

Dang! It's been a long time since I posted!! I am gleeful that classes start in a little over a week, but I won't be teaching. We live life tapas-style lately: little meals, little naps, little steps, little clothes to wash and put away, little, little, little....

So, here are some of the tidbits (in no particular order):

1) We have scheduled a c-section for our 38th week (Sept. 28th, to be exact) - this is the terminus ad quem for Guy and Miles to emerge. My blood pressure is sneaking up ever so slightly (not due to pre-eclampsia but b/c of a family tendency toward borderline hypertension). So, Dr. Canadienne feels that 38 weeks is plenty of time for them to chub up even more and then high-tail it out of there. This isn't to say that I can't decide to try natural childbirth if I want to or if we go into labor early, but it's nice to know that there's a happy planned option that will not involve my BP spiking dangerously during a potentially long labor.

2) TD is soon buying this for himself.

3) Den of Guy and Miles is complete and I'll post pictures of it soon. I've evicted TD from our bed for the remainder b/c I need every inch of the bed for me and my 27 pillows - TD sleeps on our guest mattress at the foot of the bed. I only feel slightly guilty about this.

4) I went to a breastfeeding class recently where the woman had many plush boobs to illustrate various nipple issues (erect, inverted, etc.). Seriously - they were like little disembodied stuffed boob dolls. Interesting....TD expressed thanks that he hadn't attended this particular class. But then he insisted on reading all of the notes I'd taken so he would know what a "good latch" was...

5) I still haven't heard anything on the revised MS I sent out in the second week of June. That's okay, right? Doesn't bode ill, does it?

I'm going to Chili's...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Trapped

NB: The musings of this post in no way contradict the musings of the last (and thank you all for the lovely comments and encouragement!!)

But, reading around on the medieval blogosphere about NCS reminiscences has made me a little sad that I missed it (to say nothing of the fact that TD and I had a bodacious trip to Tuscany and Rome planned around the conference). I had been accepted to a great panel that was right up my work alley - and I would have loved to present and hear the other papers, see friends, just be part of an intellectual enterprise again. Of course, the panel organizer and the hotel peeps were wonderful about my pulling out (I pulled out months ago, so it wasn't a last minute burden), but I didn't realize how reading about other people's conference experiences would make me feel a little isolated.

Now, I know there will be many more NCSs and K'zoos to attend, so it's not like I missed Woodstock or anything, but it's made me reflect on the general feeling of being trapped and how tantalizingly anesthetizing that actually is. My day is filled basically with sleeping and eating - and I'm doing exactly what I should be. It's now also governed with periodic blood glucose levels and trips to the doctor. All is well and I've performed my gestation duties very well so far.

But reading NCS posts has made me wake up from my pregnancy haze a take a look around me for the first time in weeks:

- wait, wasn't I going to do research this summer? Wasn't I going to get a head start on the new project after I re-submitted my book manuscript (deargodpleaseletmegetacontract)?

- hold on, don't I have friends skulking around this town someplace? I haven't seen them in a long time...

- don't I have an office with a nice view? Aren't there books waiting for me at the ILL desk in the library?

Whoa - I'd forgotten about all that! So, I've decided to take some metaphorical baby steps before I get bogged down in actual baby steps and reconnect with myself as scholar and social being. These guys will soon enough take over my life once they're on the outside and I'm taking advantage of their amniotic incarceration for a little longer.

We'll see how this goes, but I'm sick of trapping myself in the house because of exhaustion, lack of motivation, etc. It's amazing how the days can slink by.

So, on tap for the coming days:

1) taco night with friends tonight.
2) go up to office tomorrow for 2 hours and read articles (*gasp!*)
3) read and comment on my friend M's article for submission to PMLA.
4) look at 2011 K'zoo CFP and see what's what because I'M GOING NEXT YEAR (and Rebel Lettriste, our sets of twain can play together)!

Friday, July 23, 2010

On the bod

Okay, since the dismal defeat of our orange men 2 weeks ago, I haven't blogged (although I've been reading yours!) - it was a poorly played game; TD's disappointment was bitter.

But, we rally! And I've had so many naps since then that it seems like a lifetime ago!

(*interrupted to report that Furball #2 is sleeping underneath my desk and is having some kind of dream - her little paws and nose are twitching a mile a minute...very cute*)



Given the condition my condition is currently in (and the fact that it is indeed a growing condition), I've been thinking a lot about my body lately. I've been diagnosed with borderline gestational diabetes and it was explained to me that this is because I'm carrying twins. Indeed, I haven't changed my diet a bit and I've been taking my glucose readings 4 times daily for several days and my readings have never been above 110 (they should remain below 120 2 hours after each meal). This all lends a bit of skepticism to the diagnosis, but I'll play ball.

So, I dutifully went to my diabetes education class with other ladies in "the family way" (as the leader called us) and I listened to a woman rattle on for 2 hours about how if we didn't get our diabetes in check we were going to give birth to "little sumo wrestlers" (said in an overly cutesy, saccharin voice - my blood sugar just spiked). I wanted to jump across the table and strangle this horrid woman within the first 5 minutes. Seriously, I wished her very ill and it didn't get any better the longer I was there. And these women in the class did nothing but moan about how they could no longer eat their Hostess Fruit Pies and drink full on leaded Coke the rest of their pregnancies. Now, I'm in no way poo-pooing these items - if I didn't get heartburn just looking at a Ding-Dong at the moment, I'd be inhaling them right and left. But, I just wanted to get the info and get out. I have absolutely no intention of counting my carbs and sugars and doing exchanges, etc. for the next 9 weeks. Especially because after eating tater tots and hot dogs, burgers and fries, my blood sugar still isn't above 108. Ha. Vindication.

But it was at the moment that the woman told us that we need to get our "lovely svelte figures" back as soon as possible after delivery that I took notice (and vowed to kill her as soon as no one was looking). She pointed to all of our globular physiques and motioned to the belly area and said, "this is ALL TYPE TWOOOOOOOOOO!"* But her certainty that we were all in the crosshairs of this disease because we were a) pregnant and b) therefore, fat, made me fume. Now, I'm all for staying on top of things and being as healthy as you can and being aware if you're at a higher risk for something. I also live in the South and this woman suggested that all of us ladies hie ourselves to our churches and Wal-Marts and get the pounds off asap by walking around in an air-conditioned space (it has actually been prohibitively hot here). But this just made me want to declare myself a big lesbian Satanist communist and reach for a Twinkie.

I hate that shit. Especially when the purveyor of that shit is asking me to poke my finger with a sharp object 4 times a day.

But all of this got me thinking later about how I've been feeling about my growing spherical shape during this whole odyssey. Horrid evil woman seemed to be suggesting that we were fat (or had started out fat) and would continue to be fat unless we were scared skinny by the likes of her.

Now, I have always struggled with my weight and I haven't been really comfy with my body for the past 10 years (and at certain times before that - but does anyone think they look awesome in highschool? Anyone real, I mean...). I've made peace with the fact that I'm basically shaped like a hobbit and who doesn't love cute hobbits (besides Saaaaaauuuuuuraaaaannnnnn)? But in recent years, I've become a more rotund hobbit than I was before.

However, since getting sprogged up, I have to say I've taken on a totally different outlook on my body. I actually think I look fantastic and I wear tight shirts that show off my bod in a way I've never done before (I was always kind of a "buy two sizes up and nothing will cling" kind of lady). At first I thought that I was getting more comfortable with my body because I now felt like I had a reason or an excuse to be overweight or the shape I am. But that's not it. I actually look at myself in the mirror and I don't think I'm fat anymore. It's not like the kids have magically eaten my butt into a size 4 or anything (although I was sort of hoping that would happen). And my arms certainly aren't any more toned than they ever were. But I just think I look kind of frickin' great all the time and it's really cool. It helps that TD is magically drawn to my tummy in a cool, awe-filled, unskeevy way and he's always telling me I look great. Could this be hormones? Possibly. Could this new body self-image go away after delivery? Possibly. But I really hope it sticks around...

*she was referring to the statistic that between 50% and 80% of women who have significant gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Basically, you have to keep an eye on it and get tested every year. Makes sense.

P.S. TD surprised me last night with a gift certificate of 5 hour-long pre-natal massages. And then I woke him up at 2:30 with what I thought were signs of pre-term labor (way too early at 29 weeks). So, we spent 4 hours in the women's hospital and found that it was only a false alarm and everything is great. They were lovely and told us to come back even if we suspected something hinky. But it was no fun. At least we got to see the sun rise as we left the hospital!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Netherlands FIFA 2010 Champs??!!



Dear Bloggy Friends,

Please, please, please pray, chant, sing, dance, whatever you can do to support our boys in orange in tomorrow's FIFA World Cup final. They've never won the FIFA (I know, I know, neither has Spain) and TD would break down into tears of joy if their dream could come true. We've put up the Dutch flag outside and we're draped in every orange thing we own. The tenure gnomes are attempting to prepare some kind of animal sacrifice of the squirrels who keep eating our birdseed. The band of ninja warriors are on their way to South Africa to engage in a little untraceable espionage against our Spanish competition (I have plausible deniability).

Thank You,

Midweevil Oman HQ

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Is it okay to do a fluff post again??

My life seems to be made up of bullet points and napping, so this is all I'm capable of at the moment.

So, here's goes:

1) TD is quitting smoking and it's REALLY HARD. On both of us. We're still trying to unpack and organize in a place we're realizing is a bit too small for our combined stuff plus sprog-stuff. He's having to take on a lot more of the shit I used to be able to help out with and it's wearing a bit on him - sometimes I just want to tell him to have a smoke, but then he'd have to start all over again. He doesn't resent me b/c he is having to do extra shit (like clean the catbox, move boxes around, etc.), but he gets easily annoyed at the situation.

2) I started reading a twins book yesterday that had me panicking about pre-term labor - it wasn't that "What to Expect" garbage, either. I hate those f*cking books because I start getting phantom twinges that I read too much into. I must say unabashedly that I'm no longer enjoying being pregnant. It's getting ponderous and I'm constantly sore. I would prefer to go into cryo-stasis until October and I have the gnomes working on that.

3) Speaking of which, I need to re-task the job market gnomes into tenure gnomes. Now that TD is here and I've been all bulbously lazy, the gnomes have become quite slovenly. They're getting fat, hanging with the wrong crowd, refusing to weed the back bed. Little fuckers...

4) Still have heard nothing from the publisher, but its very early and they're far away in England, so things take time. Trying not to think about it.

5) We're going to the beach tomorrow through Wednesday. I'm very happy about this - I can *just* still fit into my bathing suit (thank god lycra is streeeeeeeeetchy), so I'll still wear it and not buy a knocked up one. I look forward to the feeling of buoyancy greatly. I might just spend the whole time bobbing up and down in the surf. TD can tether me to the shore so I don't float out to sea. We will play cards and watch the Dutch soccer team in the FIFA semifinals.

6) Next week we also go to IKEA to get the aliens' furniture! I'm insanely excited to get that shit set up. It will start to feel real and it'll be a bit like the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll post pics when it's done if you like.

Okay, time for my nap...thanks for hanging in there with me!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tufts O' Fluff

We live in one household now.

We almost didn't make it over the border because the horrid customs woman grew suspicious of TD's marginal status (even though I was importing the goods).

We did make it, and now we're home.

Guy and Miles are playing "internal soccer" in honor of Holland's first FIFA win.

I got a brand new LG Droid today. It rocks and I feel all modern.

My feet are the size of cantaloupes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Huevos Away Again!


Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I will jettison my Egg escape pod and send the book manuscript back to the publisher. I still have to send the editor a revised book proposal (a.k.a. "Banns of Egg"), but I can't wait to send the entire MS back any longer. The most important thing is to obtain another reader's report (hopefully a positive one!) and then the editor will take the proposal to the editorial board. So, I've reached the point where exhaustion outweighs trepidation and it's going out for better or worse.

I've decided to be a little easy on myself about the 6 extra weeks it took me to complete these book revisions (beyond the 3-month personal deadline I'd inititally set for myself). Since receiving the reader's report, I've halfway cooked two children (indeed, I'd already begun when I got the report, but I didn't know it), revised and seen the final proofs of two articles, taught 3 classes, and packed and moved one and a half households (I'm in the midst of the second one now - this last one over an international border). Not too shabby for a semester...

Anyway, I'm actually keen to get back home, where we will finally be a one-household family once again, and get started on researching a new article which will be a part of Egg II. I'd love to see how far I can get on this before the aliens land!! The thought of doing a little leisurely research is extremely appealing summer work...finish the research I'd begun a while back, begin outlining an article version, maybe draft a bit of the article...cool...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Whence the procrastination?


I'm having a tough time jettisoning the Egg and it's reached a level of procrastination I'm not completely familiar with. I'm a procrastinator from way back, but I have really overcome it since childhood - once in a while the tendency rears its ugly head, but I'm able to quash it like an untoward subpoena. And I've always been able and willing to get my work done in a timely fashion (usually I stall on dishes).

But, I can't seem to get my mind around finishing the last few things I need to do before sending this MS back to the press.

Here's all that remains to do:
1) Revise the first few paragraphs of the Introduction to begin a bit stronger.
2) Revise the Table of Contents to reflect changes in page numbers, chapter titles, etc.
3) Revise the general book prospectus to agree with my revisions.

Nope. Nuthin' else. WTF? This might take a day or two max!

So, at 4 in the morning I was thinking about my resistance to getting these last few things done. I can't and won't let Guy and Miles take the lion's share of the blame on this (although I am sleeping insane amounts). And even having TD's brother in town last week doesn't explain it all - I could have and did easily send them off to do their own thing while I "worked" (read: futzed around on the web). No, it's something else.

When I was originally preparing this manuscript to be sent to the press last summer and early fall, I was a powerhouse of efficiency. I cranked that puppy out. I was nervous about sending it, of course, but I was eager to get it to them. They could have said no right away, but there was a better chance of a revise and resubmit because they had solicited the manuscript. But this time, I realized in the wee hours of the morning, the answer will either be yes or no - not the cushier, fluffier R&R. It's now or never for them. If they don't like what I've done, they'll just pass on it. eek.

The revisions the reader wanted were not major, but I'm still worried I haven't done enough. Before, I felt like I could hit the ball into their court because they'd likely hit it back to me. Now, I'm stymied at the serve line (please pardon the horribly stale analogy).

So, peeps who have written books and/or articles: do you guys find yourselves having more trouble sending back an R&R than sending a first submission?

I'll end this post now because it's become part of my procrastination agenda...

On a separate note, I've been diagnosed with conditional pregnancy carpal tunnel syndrome in both my wrists. So, I wear little splints at night and sometimes during the day.

I feel like I gimp-blimp.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Having moved on up...

Last weekend we moved into our new place - it's not the awesome 5 bedroom house we'd hoped to get (the insane man wanted $1850 a month for it!) - this is a $1000/month 3 bedroom place with a lovely front porch and back patio perfect for grilling. The house is great overall, but it's been a bit...roughly used. The landlord (because he's not charging a lot of money for the place) is reluctant to make any upgrades - he keeps chiming in with the phrase "rented as is." We've had to explain to him that "as is" does not mean that the light fixture and doorknob in the second bedroom are not supposed to work. Or that the locks don't need to be fixed (we didn't have keys the first 4 days we lived here). So, after he kept saying that he was "trying diligently" to get a locksmith to come out (which meant he wasn't doing a f*cking thing) - we called someone yesterday and got him out that afternoon to change out all the locks and enable us to secure ourselves and our belongings. We informed the landlord that we'd be deducting that price from the rent and he seemed very chipper.

So, this is the species of landlord we have here. I'm familiar with this species (the "you just arrange and pay for it up front and take it off next month's rent" type of guy), but this particular guy was masquerading as the "conscientious take care of everything" type of landlord, so we were fooled for a while. We've decided to paint a couple of the rooms ourselves (and the color we want) because he didn't repaint (and probably hasn't for years) because he rented the place "as is". We're not informing him and I doubt seriously that he'll care.

The thing is that the guys who lived here before were PIGS. I mean, dear god. The filth was insane. So, I've been a crazed lunatic with the contact paper and feel like I need to periodically dip things in Clorox. But, it's only for a year and the upsides of the house (much more room; price; lovely floors; dishwasher) more than make up for the small inconveniences (many of the windows are very bad; paint peeling off the exterior of the house; etc.). We'll definitely be able to save up for a hefty down payment by next year and can get our very own place...

So, that's about it - I need to finish the Egg and jettison it back to the press by the end of next week. TD's brother comes to visit (and help paint) on Monday and then in early June we go back to the previous Dutchmanlandia to pack up the rest of TD's things and move him completely down here. True co-habitation will ensue...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What's in a name?

S'okay - after going over all the fabulous names you guys suggested (Winner and Waster! Rosencrantz and Guildenstern!), I've narrowed it down to the two sets of actual twins: Guy and Miles (from Bevis of Hampton), the original Castor and Pollux, and also something that I came up with in my eternal quest to resolve the great enmity 'twixed the Houses: York and Lancaster. But, I put it to TD and asked him to decide. He thought that York and Lancaster sounded like they'd be fighting all the time; ultimately, he likes Guy and Miles because he thinks the names are funny and they're also easier to type (as opposed to, say, Romulus and Remus).

Although you can't expect me to be delivering these guys on my own in the wilderness like Josian did, I like the fact that these twins get along, don't kill one another in a dispute, and have the same father. You can't say that about all medieval/classical twinage.

When they come out, they might be given different handles, but this will do for the next few months!

Thanks guys and have fun at K'zoo!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thing One and Thing Two Revealed!


Well, it seems we're following Rebel Lettriste even further into the rabbit hole because we're having two little boys!! It's very official and there can be no doubts - the proof is in the pudding, sonogram, whatever.

I'm SO overjoyed - they're 7 and 6 ounces respectively and are very active in there (top guy was lurking behind my belly button and dodging the camera...and then decided to sit on his brother's head) - I still haven't felt them that I know of, but they're certainly doing their thing. I've lost another half a pound, so I must keep eating more. But they're doing well and their hearts and heads look great.

So, I must now solicit bloggy pseudonyms for the two lads - of course, Castor and Pollux would be appropos - are there any other suggestions?

Keep thinking while I go drink some more milk and protein powder!

Grading Exams

Don't you love the part in Paradise Lost where "Satin" says it's better to reign in Hell than serve in Heav'n?

Considering that satin is indeed one of the 3 greatest sartorial scourges of all time, this makes sense to me.

I'm glad that at least 12 of my students agree with me on this.

Monday, April 26, 2010

You said what??.....

I went to go see Dr. Canadienne on Friday - got to hear both heartbeats (which was cool - are they both still in there and doing okay?) - and then she told me something that knocked me flat - and, no, I'm not having triplets!

I've lost 8 pounds in the last couple of months. I'm still getting steadily more spherical (in fact, I'm as big as an 18 week pregnant woman as opposed to the 16 weeks that I really am - in 2 weeks, I'll be the size of someone 24 weeks along...blech). But she noted that (sweet, dulcet music to my ears):
"You really need to gain weight."
No one's ever said that to me before. It sounded as good as I always dreamed it would. In fact, she said that I need to concentrate on gaining weight. Try to consume as many calories as I could. And obviously I need to eat the right things, blah, blah. But still, I asked if she would say that again, speaking clearly into the mike, so I could record it and play it back periodically throughout the rest of my life.

So, I have been to the store with J, my friend who knows all about protein and gaining/losing weight 'cause she's a boxer. I came away with tofu cubes for pad thai, carrots and sour cream dip, Hot Pockets, bananas, cheese and crackers, almonds, and full fat, cream-on-the-top yogurt (which I inhale at this moment). She's teaching me the art of grazing throughout the day. When TD gets here on Friday, we're going to get a blender and make fruit smoothies with whey powder in them - 30 grams of protein!

In other news, TD made it home a couple of days earlier than he planned b/c the airline came through and rebooked him. Because he's a smart guy, he apparently had purchased cancellation insurance for the $3000 plane ticket, so he got it refunded! That money's already spent, of course, so it's nice to have it back.

This is the last week of school and should be a chill week.

Finally, I leave you with the funniest student comment I got on last semester's evals (which were very, very nice overall):
"Professor, this is a literature course, not a history course. There's no need to teach everything chronologically."
The only thing I taught chronologically for that course was doing the ANGLO-SAXON material before the MIDDLE ENGLISH material!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Would that this week were over

Tomorrow is hump day - and not in a fun way. I teach two classes and have to give a short faculty brown bag presentation of my work (which is stymied at the moment). It's no biggie, but I'll be glad when it's off my plate. Thursday and Friday are no less busy. But this weekend promises to contain NOTHING but a lovely minor league ball game outing on Sunday.

Here's the rest in bullet form:

- I've reconciled myself to the fact that the Egg will not launch until the end of next month rather than at the end of this month. I can't turn my addled brain to it until classes are over.

- This weekend I had to look at proofs/provide corrections for two separate articles that are due back to the journals tomorrow - when it rains it pours.

- TD is still stuck in Dutchmanlandia and finally today bought a THREE THOUSAND DOLLAR one-way ticket from there to close to where he lives now. He'll still have to take a 3 1/2 shuttle from the airport where he lands back to the city in which he lives (not for much longer). And his car is still parked in an entirely different city's airport (from where he originally took off) another two hours beyond the city where he lives (not for much longer). Does that make sense? But if he waited for the airline to rebook him on another flight, he'd probably be there another 3 weeks. So, he had to cough up the dough and buy a separate ticket on another airline. And he still won't be back until this Saturday b/c all the earlier flights are full. F*CK THAT VOLCANO!!!

- I am growing more and more like a sea lion every day:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stranded

So, TD is stranded in the Real Dutchmanlandia until further notice - he was supposed to fly back today, but that ain't happenin'.

He's actually incredibly lucky not to be one of those poor people stuck in transit in some airport - at least he has free room and board and can just relax at home. I've told him to go drinking with his friends...

(and I know at least one of you reads this blog, so W and F - take him out!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Recalcitrant Student Tailz

I realized that I haven't blogged much about my students this semester - for the most part, they're awesome and totally funny and I dig them. There hasn't been any major ridiculousness lately (although I'm always on the look-out).

But as the semester winds down, I'm getting more and more annoyed at their laziness - it seems more pronounced this year. I don't think any of them want school to be over more than I do - I'd really just like to sleep all day and gestate Thing One and Thing Two in peace, thank you - without the hassle of having to, you know, shower, change out of my holey pjs, leave the couch...

But they're so dropping the ball that I had to shriek at them yesterday - how can they not eat Milton up??? Why were they looking at me like tranquilized wildebeests? Oh, they haven't read it. Even after I gave them a full sheet of specific passages and points we'd be discussing. People, you might be able to read a Donne poem on the fly in class and have something intelligent to say, but you can't do that with Satan's speech to Beelzebub in Book I!!!

But that's not the thing I've been thinking about most lately - I've been talking to a few friends/colleagues of mine who also teach early Brit Lit and we've been returning more often to the increased reticence of students to take and enjoy early Brit Lit courses (medieval and early modern for the most part). One of my friends got an eval last semester that just dripped with anger at having to take the early survey course - they wrote: "I didn't become an English major to read medieval literature."

??!!

I don't know what these kids think comprises an English major, but it sure as shit starts with medieval literature! They think Keats, Shelley, Eliot, etc. are literature. And sadly, some colleagues perpetuate this stereotype - i.e., that early Brit Lit is something to just suffer through as quickly as possible and then get on to the real stuff.

Another trend I've noticed more and more in my evaluations and those of friends and colleagues in similar fields is this comment: "I totally didn't expect to like early British Lit. at all - I've never liked it. But this professor made it interesting and fun."

Now, I'm extremely happy that I helped change their minds about the literature I teach - I don't expect them to change their concentrations, but I do consider that to be a small victory - I would have loved it if I had a teacher who'd made Algebra interesting and fun. But I didn't.

But what strikes me most is the fact that students feel like it's okay and necessary to use their prejudices and dislikes of medieval/early modern literature as a starting point. I'm willing to bet that no one writes, "I never expected to like modern British poetry..." - maybe they do - I never teach those classes, so I don't know. But more and more I get the sense that students think that 19c and on is the "real" literature and everything that came before is just tedious religiosity, brutish warfare, and the Oppression of Women (I exempt Shakespeare from this b/c many of them feel like they have to like Shakespeare - I like Shakespeare, too). I personally wasn't hugely interested in modern literature when I was in school - I found Faulkner et al. terribly boring. But I would never have begun my comments on an evaluation with a phrase like, "I've always hated this literature, but now I find it okay."

So, in the end, it seems more and more like I and my colleagues (and I only say this for the places I've taught - not in general) start consistently in the red and must dig ourselves out of the basement. I mean, I guess I'll take an evaluation that reads, "I didn't feel like poking my eye out with a fork when we read Margery Kempe, so she's a good professor" - but why can't we begin on the first floor an go from there? Does it mean that I'm a better teacher than others because they don't want to throw themselves in front of a bus? I don't compare myself with my 19c or modernist colleagues based on evaluations (because I honestly don't know what their evals are like) - but departments certainly use them as way to assess performance in relation to others coming up for tenure.

Does an "excellent" rating of a medieval professor count for more, less, or the same as one for a modernist? Are they assessing me and my specific way of teaching the literature I love and study or are they just saying, "She adds an extra spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down"?

What experiences with this situation have you all had??

Monday, April 5, 2010

F*ck Yeah, Baby!!!


TD got the job at Think Tank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3 years of commuting ends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so happy I could bust - he's having to take a bit of a pay cut, but it'll not really be a cut when you factor in the thousands of dollars we'll save not buying plane tickets and having two households. Plus, there's the unquantifiable mental and emotional toll of commuting that will now be alleviated.

It's going to be so weird living together again. Who is this stranger who's here all the time? Wait, and what are these other two strange things????

Awesome.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Random Bits of Cottontail Fluff

It is going to be 79 glorious degrees today - spring has sprung! Dogwoods blooming, daffodils emerged, azaleas starting to bust out, Bradford pears in full show...

And I will be in my office today working on Egg - at least my office has a big window to look out and see the various species in nature...I just wish I could open it.

So, here's what's what:

1) Uno and Dos are well - I'm into the second trimester now and seem to have a touch more energy.

2) Egg chapter revising continues to swim along - in re-reading this, I'm thinking it might actually not suck.

3) Yesterday I went and looked at a FIVE BEDROOM house that I believe we are going to rent for next year. It's for sale, but the market is slow and the seller is willing to take it off the market and rent it to us for a year. If we like it over the course of the year, we might be able to buy it (it's actually very reasonably priced). It's an awesome house, built in 1925 with tons of potential. The kitchen needs a bit of a re-do, but it's fine for a year. We will have our bedroom, manatee room, TWO offices, and a guest room! Some of the rooms are small (one of the offices especially), but really - how much room do you need for an office and guests? Anyway, tons of windows, great big living and dining room. I want this house.

4) There might be some good news with TD and Think Tank. I do not say it's definite or even likely, but it might potentially maybe bode well.

Give me your thoughts on this: Think Tank group leader sent an email on Thursday with a new subject line of "Think Tank Job Opportunity" and wanted to set up a time to chat on the phone with TD either the end of last week or early next week. She asked TD to send her a bunch of times and they'd coordinate. So, he did and they're going to talk Monday morning.

Now, doesn't this sound positive? If they were going to tell him that he didn't get the job, would they perversely set up a time to tell him? Would they use that subject line in the email? Or would it just be something like "Update"? Keep in mind that TD has gone entirely through the interview process, so they are no longer doing final interviews or anything. This is decision time, folks!

So, whaddya think?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Twinage

Okay, so TD and I have processed this a bit more and I can honestly say I'm abso-frickin'-lutely overjoyed. Insta-family. One epidural, one delivery, straight to menopause as far as I'm concerned. I'd never conceived of myself having more than two kiddos at all, so this is GREAT! TD has been tearing up for the past 24 hours and is so happy.

So, here's a bit more about the situation (in case you're interested) - the twinlings seem to be fraternal (thank you Uncle Clomid - although there's a chance they could be early split identicals) - they have separate everything (placentas, etc.), so that reduces the risk significantly. ALTHOUGH, upon talking to my mother-in-law yesterday, she informed us that TD has two cousins (brothers) who both have sets of twins. Ahem. Never knew that little tidbit.

The big thing now is that they need to cook thoroughly, so I might be on bedrest at the end of the summer (as though I wouldn't be laying around listless already). Rebel Lettriste just had 38 1/2 week full term twins (you're my new hero, lady!), so I have a goal! Dr. Canadienne (new name for our baby doc who is from Quebec originally) said that all looks fantastic and that if I can hold out past 35 weeks, she'd be very pleased. I'm at 12 right now.

Here's how it went and how we're apparently the furthest along parents to find out they're having twins in the history of the very large, modern OB-GYN practice we go to:

(*Darkened room, MW lays prone on the table, TD hovers nearby, we squint at the screen*)

Ultrasound tech: (*making conversation as she boots the computer thingy up*) So, how far along are you?

MW: 12 weeks today!

UT: Cool! Almost through the first trimester - quite an accomplishment.

MW: Yep - whoa! Is that blob the baby??

UT: Uh-huh - two strong heartbeats...lemme see if I can get a better picture...

MW: Exsqueeze me? Two?

UT: Yep. One. Two.

MW & TD: (*in unison*) WHAT??!!

UT: You do know there's two in there, right?

MW: No, there's not. Look again.

UT: No need, see for yourself...Baby A and Baby B.

(*MW & TD squint harder and see one manatee twitch and then a second manatee twitch!!*)

MW: Holy shit. Babe, how are you??

TD: (*mouth open*) F*ck.

UT: (*shaking with silent mirth*) I've never had anyone going into their 2nd trimester not knowing there were two - didn't you have really bad morning sickness?

MW: I never had morning sickness. What the hell - shouldn't someone have caught this? Babe, are you okay?

TD: (*voice muffled from putting his head between his knees*) We have to think of more names...

MW: I have to finish my book, like NOW.

So, that was it - we have pics of Uno and Dos (handily labeled b/c I can't tell which end is up) and news spread like wildfire throughout the practice. Apparently, no one ever did a check on the quantity of the hormone in my blood, they just confirmed what the 75 home preg tests we'd done indicated: we were pregnant. We only heard one heartbeat on the doppler and didn't think to look for a second one!

These are the good things about having twins:

1) The diaper period will be over for both our kids at the same time. Sweet.
2) All of my twin friends say the bond between twin siblings is amazing and fun - no toddler getting jealous about the new baby, etc.
3) We have nothing to compare it to, so it won't be twice the work. It'll just be the work.
4) I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of it. It's 8:30AM and I'm already wanting mac and cheese...

My most immediate concern is getting this book manuscript revised and OUT - the Egg will shove off again next month!!! I have the fall semester as maternity leave and then the fall of my 5th year as research leave - I'll teach 2 classes in the spring semester on autopilot. I believe I will get no research done in AY 2010-2011. Maybe I'm wrong, but if my book is under contract before the aliens emerge, then I'll feel damn secure.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Didn't see that coming

We went for our ultrascreen today to check for chromosomal abnormalities in the manatee.

All is well!

Oh, and we found out we're having twins.

Medieval Manatees.

Still processing. More later.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quick Bleg - Ovid

What is the standard scholarly edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pride goeth before the stomach flu

So, after bragging about my hobbity eating schedule, I was waylaid by a horrible stomach flu on Saturday night.

Oh. My. God.

I have never been that sick. I was so weak on Sunday that TD literally had to help me walk from the bedroom into the living room and back. Not a pretty sight. Even yesterday, when he went back to Dutchmanlandia, I couldn't do much other than sit on the couch all day.

Finally today is better - no queasiness or other untoward physical symptoms; I slept well last night and I can actually get some work done. This is my spring break and I'm foregoing a trip to see TD so that I can WORK ON MY BOOK MANUSCRIPT AND GET THOSE REVISIONS DONE!!!!

In the midst of all this I worried about how this bug might effect the nascent manatee, but TD looked it up and apparently it doesn't hurt a baby b/c it's confined only to my digestive tract. Lovely.

Oh, but in cool news, we heard the heartbeat on Friday! It was very strong (she said) and it was a good sign to hear it so strong so early in the pregnancy! It sounded like a little propeller.

So, now it's a manatee in a "chopper."

Friday, March 5, 2010

I am become a hobbit

More than usual.

I now eat first breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, second lunch, and a later snack.

One of my grad students commented the other day: "Every time I see you, you're eating. It's just like Brad Pitt in Ocean's Eleven."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

O Dutchmanlandia!

Well, it's not looking like TD got the job at Think Tank. Of course, we don't know for sure because we can't get the leader of this research group to communicate with us! It's been almost 3 full months since his visit. He emailed this woman in mid-January just to ask if she had any information she could share about how the job search was progressing, he was still interested in the position, etc. Three days later she finally emailed and said that they were still interviewing and deliberating, but that she hoped to have some info for him by the end of January.

Fine.

So, last Friday, with nary a word or any communication from these people, TD emails again and asks if his application is still being considered for the position - he certainly hopes it is, because he continues to be interested in the organization, etc.

It's Thursday and he still hasn't heard anything from this woman - I doubt he will.

I'm thinking that they've already hired someone (or have made offers and are in negotiations) and that this person is either too lazy or too chicken shit to let TD know (or both). To say nothing of the gross unprofessionalism of not responding to emails for days at a time (if ever!), this delay is effecting what we need to do in order to make visa arrangements for him next year.

So, um, he can come see his baby being born and all!

Fortunately, TD will get a hefty parental leave next year that will allow him to come and be here for the entire academic year with summers at either end. And his tenure clock will stop. Hence the title of this post.

But, his coming here without a job (which looks pretty certain) means that we need to get him a spousal visa so he can spend extended time here (they're good for 2 years). The longer we delay, the more that the processing period for the visa application will cut into time that he'd like to be here with me.

It's a very good thing I got pregnant (for many reasons) but it means that at least for a year, our commute is postponed. I don't relish the thought that he'd have to go back the next year if he can't get a job here during his parental leave, but I'm trying desperately not to think of that.

So, a pox on Think Tank!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

As heard in the Target yesterday...

Thank you all for your lovely well wishes on my last post! Medieval Manatee continues to grow and stretch its surroundings (sometimes with painful twinges) - still no morning sickness - we will go in to hear the heartbeat on March 5. Manatee emerges in early October. Craziness will ensue.

TD and I were in Target yesterday (seeking a new bathmat) and we walked by the toy aisles. We decided to walk through (after all, we need to get up to date on this crap, eh?). I was horrified by the gender coding and all the creepy dolls that exhort the little girl to "be like mommy" and grocery shop, cook, vacuum, oh, and have babies! As soon as they have a "be like mommy" neurosurgeon set I'll buy it.

So, we wander into the Star Wars figures and I start to breathe a little easier - I was raised on Star Wars figures and I had a shitload of them (which my mom GOT RID OF!!! THE HORROR!!! THE BETRAYAL!!!!). We were talking about what the cool ones were, how they looked more cartoony than they used to, whether they were making AT-AT Walkers anymore, etc. You know, the usual stuff.

I lose interest and wander off to the games (Clue! Stratego!), but apparently there was a 40-year-old man who had also been looking at Star Wars figures. After seeing that I'd walked away, he leans conspiratorially toward TD and asks, "heh, heh, which one are you looking for?" TD explains that we were just getting the lay of the land for an impending manatee arrival. The dude continues, "well, I'm looking for the Princess Leia slave figure. I've got all of the Princess Leias but that one. That's the coooooooolest one..." TD wishes him luck and goes to find me.

After he tells me this story, I realize that he'd just had an encounter with one of those skeevy, acne-ridden, geek boys of my childhood (and I don't malign all of them - some of them were my friends for better or worse) - you know, the ones who positively fetishized that image of Princess Leia in a gold band-aid and a cocktail napkin chained to the giant grub Jabba the Hutt:


Out of all the costumes she has in these movies (anyone remember the two giant danish strapped to her head?), that's the costume these guys always remember. I won't dissect the gender politics of this - I don't need to. But I realized that some of those guys never changed when they grew up - at age 40, they're still trying to get their hands on the Princess Leia slave figure!!! Gag me with a smurf.

That's why this one was always my favorite:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy (early) Valentine's Day!

We're gonna have a baby.

(*gasp!*)

We just found out yesterday and I've been thinking: should I blog it? Should I wait? Then I thought: what the hell? If (god forbid) something does happen b/c it's still early, would I regret telling you guys? Nope - not at all.

TD is through the roof with joy (and researching how much calcium I need a day, etc.) - and I'm just trying to keep my eyes open all day long! I've decided (after looking at artists' renderings of a 6-week old embryo online) that I must be giving birth to a manatee b/c that's what it looks like.

Medieval Manatee...

I stayed up for the men's short track final, but it's now way past my bedtime...

P.S. I hereby retract this whiny post - apparently I was actually pregnant when I wrote it. Yeesh! How embarrassing...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snore...

Life is such a bore right now I almost put myself to sleep thinking about it. *yawn!*

Basically, it's been snowing here (as almost everywhere), but I live in a place where they just can't handle that, so classes were canceled Monday and yesterday. So I stayed home. And watched TV and read Chaucer. Did I work on my book ms? My Intro? Nope.

Other than that, it's been a couple of weeks of endless meetings, job talks from job candidates, more meetings, dinners with candidates (free meal, though!), and missing TD terribly.

So, basically I'm blogging to say that I'm still here, not in a snow drift.

Back to bed...

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Conversation with my Bank's Fraud Department

MW: (*peeved that she's missing Star Trek: First Contact on Syfy*): "Okay, so what's this alert thingy about?"

Fraud Guy: "Yes, ma'am. There have been some irregular charges on your credit card. We need to verify them."

MW: "Whaaaaaat?!?!?!"

Fraud Guy: "Have you just charged $170 to the Family Dollar Store in Brooklyn?"

MW: "No. That's not me. THAT'S NOT ME!!!! I'm in (*redacted*)...far away from there!"

Fraud Guy: "Mmmmhmmm. Thought so. Ma'am, it appears that someone has your card."

MW: "But I have my card. I'm looking at it. Wait, are they there right now using it??"

Fraud Guy: "Yes. The last charge was approximately 5 minutes ago. We're holding the charge back to verify."

MW: "Well, if they're there, then ARREST THEM!! SEND SOMEONE TO ARREST THEM! Why aren't you ARRESTING them??!!"

Fraud Guy: "Ma'am, it's Brooklyn. We can't really do that."

MW: "Why not? People get arrested in Brooklyn all the damn time! They're THIEVES!!! FILTHY THIEVES!!! (*MW begins to realize she's sounding like Gollum...*)

Fraud Guy: "Yes, ma'am, they are. Why don't you wait just a sec while I close out your account. You won't be charged for their purchases."

MW: "Those BASTARDS!! Why don't they get a JOB and stop stealing other people's things??? godDAMMIT!"

Fraud Guy: "Ma'am, calm down."

MW: "How do they even have a card to swipe?? I HAVE MY CARD!"

Fraud Guy: "Well, they've probably either made or purchased a forged card with your number. I don't really know how they got the number. This happens all the time. We'll send you a new card."

MW: "What? They can DO that? They can just MAKE a card?"

Fraud Guy: (*begins talking slowly. Obviously I've been raised in a convent and I still believe in unicorns, the tooth fairy, the inherent goodness of mankind, etc.*): "Ma'am. I understand you're upset, but it's really going to be okay. I'm taking care of it. You can trust me."

MW: (*still ranting*) "...and what kind of LOSERS steal a credit card number and go to the Family Dollar? What kind of RINKY DINK operation is this? Wouldn't you go to get a TV or something? Don't you think that's STUPID???!!!"

Fraud Guy: "Yes, ma'am. They are stupid thieves. Your new credit card will arrive in 5-7 days."

MW:(in a voice laden with shrill self-righteousness*) "Well, THEY'RE GOING TO GET WHAT'S COMING TO THEM!!! THAT'S KARMA!!! THEY'LL GET THEIR COMEUPPANCE! WHAT KIND OF JAIL TIME DOES FRAUD CARRY??"

Fraud Guy: "Dunno. Have I satisfied all of your banking needs this evening ma'am?"

MW: "Yes. Thank you for informing me."

Fraud Guy: "Have a pleasant evening."

And, to the people who stole my credit card number and purchased what can only be described as A WHOLE LOTTA CRAPOLA from the Family Dollar:
You may suck it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why January is sucking less...

Because I heard from the press that has my book manuscript!

It was a very strong invitation to revise and resubmit - the editor specifically said that both she and the reader believe the book is well written and very exciting and said that she "strongly encourages" me to continue with the press by making revisions (i.e., rather than shopping the manuscript elsewhere in the hopes of an immediate acceptance). In fact, she apologized for not being able to give me a contract right away (of course, I never possibly expected that I would get a contract without any revisions!) and was generally lovely. The reader's report was thorough and kind - not a bit of snark - and was also praiseworthy as well as constructively critical.

The revisions suggested will likely only take a couple of months during this semester (quicker if this was summer) and they won't be arduous. What's interesting is that they want me to recast my thesis - at first I bridled at this b/c it seemed like I was being asked to jettison the governing concept of the entire book - "Nay!", I said. But, after reading the report several times and considering every single word (with a couple of colleagues), I realized that they want me to broaden my current umbrella term/concept (i.e., "tulips") and replace it with "flowers," which is simultaneously more easily applicable to the entire project and probably more accurate. The reader was kind of like: "All tulips are flowers, but not all flowers are tulips; you're talking about flowers, and you're doing it in a really cool new way, and you can still talk about tulips as a special kind of flower in the last half of the book, but chapter one is really about daisies." Does that hokey analogy make enough sense in an obscure, bloggy way?

What's great is that the reader and editor loved all my specific readings and the chapters - basically, what's needed is a recasting of the introduction, and then some minor revisions throughout the manuscript to ensure that I'm referencing things consistently (i.e., flowers, not all tulips).

So, joy!!! I'm so happy - I've thought about what they're suggesting and, while I at first shouted "Hell, no - tulips won't go!!!", I'm now thinking - "actually, this will make the book better, more precise, and more broadly appealing. Daisies are cool, too."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Possum Extraction

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last, highly self-indulgent post. And I would love to take Flave's advice and send bits of the possum - voo-doo-like - to all those who've wronged us - but would one possum do? Or would you need legion amounts of possum? Hmmmm....

The following is a transcription of my conversation with the critter removal folks (two, count them!, two! trucks came to my house to dispose of a possum approximately the size of a loaf of bread):

Removal Dude #1: "Yyyyuuuupp...you got a dead possum here'bouts?" (not kidding - it's a direct transcription).

MW: "Indeed! It's waiting for you in the middle of the driveway!"

Removal Dude #1: "You mean it ain't in a wall or sumthin'?"

MW: "No - the driveway. Perhaps there's another in the wall, but it hasn't died yet..."

Removal Guy #1: "Oh yeah - you pro'bly got lots uh nasty stuff in them walls..." (grins; not many teeth in evidence).

MW: (with a weak laugh) "Oh, you're one of those funny exterminators...anyway, just cart it off at will."

Removal Guy #2: (inspects deceased possum) "It ain't been dead long - it ain't bloated or nuthin' - the fur hadn't started to fall off and there ain't no maggots."

Removal Guy #1: "Yyyyyyuuuup - been dead no more'n a day."

MW: Wow - "This is really like CSI stuff, huh?"

Removal Guys: (*blank looks*)

MW: "Okay - I'll just stand to the side and upwind while you guys take care of this thing."

Removal Guys then take a shovel and a bag and put the carcass in the bag; they close the bag and put it in a plastic bin in the back of their truck. They hold their hand out for the check for $89.

MW: "Did you remove all traces of viscera?" (Because I'm nothing if not professional - and I know my CSI/Law and Order-speak thank you very much).

Removal Guys: (*blank looks*) "What?"

MW: "Well, can you clean up all traces of it? The squishy bits?"

Removal Guy #1 (the comedian) takes out a can of what looks like Lysol and sprays it on the driveway. "There. That about does it."

MW (feeling slightly taken advantage of): "Hmmm...well, okay. Thanks for coming by quickly."

Removal Guy #1: "You prob'ly got bats in that attic. You want us to look?"

MW kindly declines their offer and sends them on their way.

In response to Squadrato's excellent previous comment - you'd think that basic animal control would take care of this, huh? Unfortunately, it's not clear that they will - and of course they're closed for MLK day and I couldn't get the car down the driveway until the thing was gone. It's also illegal to dispose of carcasses in regular waste bins and I wasn't too keen on that thing sitting in my trash can for another week! So, with tied hands, I called the hillbillys and they came and took it away.

Dammit (PSA: whining to follow)

Ugh - bad few days.

I've been avoiding posting for the past 19 days because I was hoping to have something - anything - joyous to post. Ya know - sparkly news about all the great things we've been waiting for to come true.

Anyway, TD still hasn't heard anything solid from Think Tank, but in response to a query he sent last week, he got a nice email from the leader of the group saying that they were still in the process of "deliberations/interviews" and she'll hope to have more information by the end of January. This was a smallish blow - we honestly thought they'd just be offering him the job. Now, they did say that they had enough work there to hire two people and be totally fine - and TD did have a really good visit there. It's just that it was on Dec. 4. A long time ago.

I'm starting to feel the cold grip of fear I have for the past 3 years - the fear that seems to suggest that we'll have to continue commuting. But we can't continue commuting and still stay us. It's really taking a toll on us and the way we are.

And I'm still not pregnant - Why goddammit why!?!?! And if one more person tells me just to calm down and it'll happen, I will send them a bomb wrapped in a Valentine's box of Frango mints.

So, I just got back from 5 days in Dutchmanlandia - I haven't seen the sun (literally!) in 5 days. It was like being on the frickin' Ice Planet of Hoth - but with no cool AT-AT Walkers or creepy snow beasts or tauntaun riding!

1) TD and I had a big big fight.
2) I just got home to find a dead 'possum in the middle of my driveway. I have to pay someone $90 to come and get it.