Saturday, March 31, 2007

an update, of sorts

On the job front, I think I mentioned that my advisor would play teaching reference for me. Well, I had thought that the senior vp would speak with my advisor on Monday, but it didn't happen. The advisor wasn't returning the svp's phone call. So I told the svp (when she called me Tuesday) that I would send the advisor an email that night and see if that helped.

Well, it helped in that the advisor replied to my email. Seems she wanted to speak with me before speaking with the svp. Now that scared me, because I immediately thought it must mean there was a problem with the student evaluations of my teaching. But no, seems she just didn't feel she knew me well enough, and she wanted to speak with me about who I am personally -- sort of a mini-interview -- and I sent her my CV as well. We spoke on Wednesday, and she said she would call back the svp after that.

The svp, when I spoke with her Tuesday, said that pending her discussion with the advisor, they were prepared to make me an offer. So that means that as long as there's nothing derogatory in the student evals of my teaching, and assuming the advisor actually speaks with the svp, I have a job. But I'm not counting my chickens till they're hatched.

Anyway, I didn't hear from anyone for the rest of the week, so I am in a holding pattern till further notice.

~~~~~~~~

On the rugrat front, this past week, her teacher started paying a bit more attention to her and providing a little bit of help when asked. Not as much as she does for the other students, but at least there was a noticeable improvement. I think the counselors must have spoken with her. At any rate, even that little bit of help from the teacher meant that rugrat turned her project (the skirt) in on time. Funny how that happens when the teacher actually helps the student, isn't it?!

~~~~~~~

On the MFD front, no progress. I don't know quite why I've been so resistant this weekend, but I'm hoping I can get a few hours in tomorrow. On the positive side, I have five days off for easter break (hey, it's a catholic college, and I'll take days off whereever I can get them), so I'm hoping I can get the proposal complete by the end of the break.

~~~~~

The first day of easter break is devoted to painting the living room. It's the only room in the house that hasn't been 'done' yet, and I've been waiting for this time off to deal with it. Turns out it will be a day that rugrat, her boyfriend, and a girlfriend will all be there, so I should have some help. Well, at least from her bf -- he's very nice, and very helpful.

~~~~~

And last but not least, aren't these shoes incredible?!



And they're mine, all mine! Yep, for a mere $17.99 plus tax, I walked away from Payless with these this afternoon.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

this is one of those 'worst mom in the world' moments

I think I mentioned that rugrat had been complaining about tooth pain; it started right after the holidays. And after reading this, I decided to get her there as quickly as I could.

We haven't been to the dentist in over four years, despite having insurance. Lots of excuses, of course: cost of copays (I spent $100 on these fillings), I'd have to take time off work, having to change dentists 'cause of insurace requirements. But none of them very good reasons. Especially when you consider that I had insurance, and the mom in that story didn't.

A week or two ago, I took her in and she had two not-too-bad cavities filled. Yesterday, I took her in to get a bigger cavity filled. Turns out it was a bad one, deep. Close to the nerve. He said the nerve would be protesting the work done for a week or two, but if the pain keeps up after that, she may need a root canal.

All because I didn't take her to the dentist when I should have.

Yup, I'm feeling all kinds of guilty mom syndrome right about now.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

this time

She stood in front of the woman
Trembling nearly imperceptibly
Feeling the menace
Emanating from the woman
And knowing
That something was coming

She cowered before the woman
Afraid
Humiliated by her fear
Eyes on the ground

Look at me
Said the woman
I don’t want to look
I don’t want to look
I don’t want to look

Thought the girl

If she looked in the woman’s eyes
She would see it
The frustration
The anger
The malice
The cruelty
The disdain
And something that looked like hatred
She didn’t know what those meant
But she knew how it made her feel
And she didn’t want to see it
In the eyes of the woman she called mommy

She looked up at the woman
Who fixed her stare on the girl
And tortured
And manipulated
The girl
With her words
Until the girl would have admitted to anything
Or would have implicated a sibling
To avoid what was coming
The girl would feel something horrible inside
If she placed the blame on a brother
But she knew if a brother were standing where she was
She would be fair game to them as well

The woman would toy with the girl for a few moments
Like a predator toys with its prey
Letting it believe it might get away alive
And sometimes the girl did get away
Without pain
Because the woman knew
It would keep the hope of escape
Alive in the girl

But not this time
The question this time
And most times
Was if it would be over quickly
Or if it would be bad
When she was younger
It was hard to know
But after age seven or eight
When she had her glasses
She always knew
If the woman reached out
And removed her glasses
It was going to be bad
Really bad

As the woman reached down
And her hand came close
The girl flinched
But the woman didn’t strike her
Yet
She reached to the side of her face
Took the ear of the glasses
Pulled them off
And set them on the table

Now the girl couldn’t see clearly
And she knew
She knew
She felt that all too familiar
Panic
The blood rushing out of her head
Her stomach dropping to her knees
The fear that she just might
Pee her pants in utter terror
All converged together
She felt lightheaded
And wished she could just faint
And be done with it

Because now she knew
She would not get away
She could not give up a sibling
And it would be very bad
This time

Saturday, March 24, 2007

untitled

I want to rage
I want to scream
Until my throat is raw
And bleeding
Until I can speak
No longer
And simply stare
In empty silence

I want to laugh
Chortle, guffaw
Roll on the floor with laughter
Until my ribs ache
And my nose runs
And I cannot breathe

I want to cry
Tears streaming
Down my face
Into my mouth
Dropping to the floor
And flooding the earth
With their salty wetness

I want to bury myself
Inside someone
Or them inside of me
Until it is impossible to tell
Where one ends
And the other begins

I want to hear the waves
Gently pounding
In the distance
The smell of salt
And fish
Carried in on the breeze
The soft sand
Falling away
Underneath my feet

I want to hit someone
Strike them
Hurt them
Until they cry out
Battered, broken and bleeding
And beg me to stop
And I consider
And perhaps I do
Stop
And perhaps I don’t

I want to feel the sun
Warm my skin
The breeze ruffle my skirt
And caress my legs underneath
The grass tickle between my toes
The perfume of wildflowers
Tease my nose

I want to touch your skin
Run my finger down your body
Just my finger
Gently
From the tip of your toes
Up and up and up
To your lips
And then perhaps follow the same path
With my tongue

I want to sit before the fire
Bundled warmly
Against the cold
The aroma of cocoa
And raspberry
And whipped cream
Rising to greet me
In the steam
From the heavy mug
Cupped in my hands

I want to close my eyes
Stretch my arms open wide
Twirl round and round
Until I am dizzy
And fall gently
And gracefully
To the ground
And sigh contentedly

It's not the tragedies that kill us, it's the messes

Perhaps I wasn’t ambivalent at all, as I had posted on my bdsm blog. It seems I am just...tired. Exhausted may be a better word.

There is so much on my plate right now, and it doesn’t help when I let some of the more negative aspects of that other blogging place get to me. No no no no no fucking no!!!! It doesn’t fucking matter! It means nothing in the grander scheme of things. Why the fuck let the negative be any part of my life? It doesn’t fucking matter! *repeat as needed*

I mean, it isn’t like I don’t have more than enough going on right now. It’s the worst time of the year at work; I’m on the rollercoaster of not knowing if I have that teaching position, and waiting on pins and needles, if I can mix my metaphors; rugrat’s having problems with a teacher at school and it's come to the point of meetings with counselors; my menopausal hormones are taking me up and down and up and down, to the lowest lows I’ve ever known and didn't believe possible; and there's the ever present sleep apnea mucking things up royally.

What did I miss? Oh, yeah. The diss. The diss that no one will leave me alone about. Everyone I meet, it’s ‘how’s the diss going?’ My boss: how’s the diss going? My co-workers. The potential job senior vp. My diss committee. Even rugrat got into it with me the other day. She wanted to do something on a day I was studying. ‘It’s not like you’re working on it every single minute mom, you take lots of breaks.’ No shit, rugrat – you try working on a diss for 12 hours straight without regular breaks, and see if you’re still sane.

How is the diss coming along?

How the bloody hell is the motherfucking diss coming along?

Quite well, and thanks so much for asking – not!

And by the way, it shall henceforth be referred to as the

M F D

My exhaustion is compounded by a lack of vacation. Vacation...you know what that is, right? The time we have to relax, unwind, be selfish, do things for ourself. For the last three years, the term ‘vacation day’ has been synonymous with ‘study for comprehensive exams day’ and ‘MFD writing day.’

And yesterday was to be another ‘vacation day,’ aka ‘MFD writing day.’ And I was exhausted, hormonally depleted, overwhelmed, and letting the petty shit in here get to me. And I took a real vacation day. All for me, just for me, all by myself.

Haircut at Supercuts, 14$. Lost a couple of inches. Of hair, before anyone gets funny. Word of caution: don’t look in the mirrors at a beauty salon. You will see all the things you try so hard not to see in your mirror at home. The huge, deep purple circles under your eyes that makeup won’t cover, and that you think may never go away again. The skin sagging under your chin that could only be tightened by a procedure you could never afford.

Payless. Two pairs of shoes. A nice pair of open-toed heels for spring, and the cutest pair of flats I’ve seen. Purple. Like candy. Yes, they look like purple candy. Like sweet tarts. Or jelly bellies. I can only pull them off if everything else I wear is subdued and monochromatic, but it’ll be fun to try. Purple candy shoes, yummm.






Burlington Coat Factory. One handbag, in black. ‘Cause that’s all that will go with a pair of purple candy shoes.

Barnes and Noble. One SAT study guide for rugrat. Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me. Not the movie (I already have it) – the book, by Truman Capote. I’ve always wanted to read the book that one of my fav movies came from. Not that I’ll be able to read it anytime soon, but hey – at least I can say I have it, should I ever get the time to read again.



Best Buy. Where I found compilation CDs for about 6 bucks. Louis Armstrong, James Brown, Al Green, Boz Scaggs, Jefferson Starship. And I’ll go out on a limb and admit to Cheap Trick, the Monkees, and Bread. Monkees from my childhood, the other two from my late teens. I'm finding that the older I get, the more I retreat musically to things from my teens, and before my time. Tried to get the Pursuit of Happyness dvd, but it’s not out till the 27th.



So basically, I messed around all day. And I thought it would help relax me. And it did, in the midst of the fun. But now I am feeling all sorts of guilty about the MFD.

*sighs*

Y'all may not hear from me for a couple of days.

(title is a quote from Dorothy Parker)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

read the fucking comment, for fuck's sake!

Don't you just hate it when you leave a comment on a blog that is well-read, and some bytch who can't be bothered to read the whole comment comes in and blasts you for something you didn't even say? So it makes it sound like you meant something you didn't mean at all, and subsequent readers are taken in by the snide-assed comment from a more pop-u-lar blogger and miss your original intent completely?

Yeah.

I fucking hate that, too.

when the hell did my freckles become age spots, anyway?

I was a freckle-faced, green-eyed, strawberry blonde when I was a toddler. As I grew, my hair darkened to a cross between brunette and auburn.

But I kept the freckles and green eyes (or turquoise eyes, as DominaDelight would say).

And the freckles were almost everywhere. If the sun kissed my skin, the result was a freckle (when it wasn't a burn).

I have freckles in much fewer places these days, as I'm not running around in swimsuits, shorts, and short tops.

But still, my face, neck, and arms are full of them.

I use moisturizers with sunscreen, and that prevents a burn, but it doesn't stop the freckles.

I've pretty much grown accustomed to them, and I rather like them now (I hated them as a teen). Although since I'm not fully exposed to the sun any longer, it looks funny to see them some places, but not others.

The problem is, some of those cute little freckles are starting to expand. To become slightly larger. To look more like unsightly age spots.

A couple on my cheeks around my eyes.

And the back of my left hand.

Not huge, not at all. Probably not even noticeable by people who don't see me up close regularly.

But I see it. I know. And it bothers me as much as the grey roots that I cover every month.

I bought some fade cream at the store last night. I thought I'd dab it on the larger spots with cotton swab, and see if that faded them out.

The freckles I love.

The age spots have got to go.

(I think you can see the freckles in this photo, taken about a year and a half ago. It won't stay up for long.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

OHMIGAWD OHMIGAWD OHMIGAWD

I just this minute received a call from the senior vice president of the urban junior college. She called to tell me that they are interested in pursuing me to the next round. She asked if I had submitted my references, how my dissertation was coming along, and if my current job would be prepared for me to leave in the fall if it came to that.

Then she said they would contact me after calling my references.

I'm trying to stay calm and not get my hopes up.

But OHMIGAWD!

I may be a professor come September!

(I am SO glad now that I followed through with that thank you letter!)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

there are worse things I could do

A friend treated me to a dinner theatre tonight. Her boyfriend is in the orchestra, and she sometimes gets complimentary passes -- and I'm always grateful as hell when she invites me to share the experience. The current show is Grease. Seeing the stage version made it clear just how much the movie version catered to Olivia Newton-John as the star.

But, my favorite Grease character is Rizzo (Stockard Channing does Rizzo best, in my humble opinion). I love her tough but vulnerable character. I think what draws me to her is that all the people around her fail to see past her exterior to the depths that lie beneath.

Rizzo's solo is also my favorite song from the movie/stage production. The words really speak to me.





The Worst Thing I Could Do

There are worse things I could do,
Than go with a boy or two.
Even though the neighborhood thinks
I'm trashy,
And no good,
I suppose it could be true,
But there are worse things I could do.

I could flirt with all the guys,
Smile at them and bat my eyes.
Press against them when we dance,
Make them think they stand a chance,
Then refuse to see it through.
That's a thing I'd never do.

I could stay home every night,
Wait around for Mr. Right.
Take cold showers every day,
And throw my life away,
On a dream that won't come true.

I could hurt someone like me,
Out of spite or jealousy.
I dont steal and I dont lie,
But I can feel and I can cry.
A fact I'll bet you never knew.
But to cry in front of you,
That's the worse thing I could do.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

is it time to face the facts?

I got the 'thanks but no thanks' letter today from the 4 year college I interviewed with on valentine's day.

And the senior vp of the junior college that I interviewed with yesterday didn't seem particularly positive. First, although the department chair had led me to believe that it wouldn't be a problem coming on as an assistant prof in september as long as I had defended the diss in august, the svp had a differing viewpoint. Seems they've given that option to a few faculty who then haven't followed through with the degree, so they are reticent to try again. They prefer that the degree be conferred prior to them making an offer, not prior to me beginning work.

But she also pointed out something else that was lacking in my cv. I know I'm short on publications, because hell, I can't do everything all at once -- work, teaching, and the diss have been overwhelming. But she also noted that despite my wonderful record of professional development, there's been nothing since starting my current position. Prof dev would be the conferences, paper presentations, committees, things like that.

There are two problems with that: one, my job requires that I be on site to respond to data requests, and two, the social work field is outside of the institutional research field, so I'd have to plan and pay for things myself, and do it on my vacation time. That just hasn't been a financial possibility in my current position.

So, I'll know this week if the junior college position is mine, but I'm definitely not holding my breath. I am going to be in this job for another year. I'm finding it more disappointing than I'd expected. I know I have no right to be disappointed, as I have a perfectly good job, but it isn't what I want to do forever. And now I would have to wait another year for a potential teaching position, and that's assuming there will be some openings locally.

And I tried to get a course assigned as an adjunct for next fall, but they were already set, so I won't be teaching again anytime soon.

Do you suppose that this is karma's, or fate's way of telling me that teaching wasn't where I was supposed to go with this? If it is, then maybe fate should fill me in on just what the fuck I should be doing...and don't fucking say that it's exactly what I'm doing now, or I might just...

Well, if I don't get the junior college position, I suppose that means the pressure to have the diss done in August can ease up just a little bit. I need to go through the motions, though, and write the thank you letter for the svp. I'll do my best to sell myself through that, and I'll fax it Tuesday morning, 'cause it won't get there in time for their decision if I mail it.

I'm really in a bit of a low place emotionally right now. It's interfering with my diss work tonight, and blowing any semblance of good eating...I just finished an entire fucking pizza. Now my stomach hurts, and I feel like crying. I think I'll go have one of the coronas still sitting in my fridge from new year's -- if my stomach has any more room in it -- and watch breakfast at tiffanys.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

still going strong

I managed to find 6 good articles yesterday from my search, and I sat up and read three of them last night. Basically, I went home, had dinner, then took a nap. Otherwise, I knew I'd fall asleep reading.

The good news in terms of the diss is that I found a great article in a solid econ journal that points out the major flaws in one welfare study that is used as the standard for all welfare to work programs. It'll be awesome to have that to follow the other review -- a good balanced view.

I actually found myself last night getting a bit excited about this diss, which is new for me. In the past, all it's been is something I have to do to finish the Ph.D. Perhaps the new feelings are because I now have a sense of direction with this thing, which I didn't really have before. Now, it all seems to be coming together, and I'm more positive, I think it's doable, and I think I'll have the proposal done on time.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

another dissertation update

Last week:

This week:

--I completed the section on the Social Security Act, including changes to policy in 1961 and 1967, using the framework previously established
--I also have briefly summarized about a third of the book that is the backdrop for the Family Support Act and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act.

I think, if I can do a bit of library research online tomorrow over lunch and download a couple of economic journal articles, then I can read for a couple of nights and knock out the section on human capital development and labor force attachment. Then I can pull in the backdrop book to narrow those concepts down as pertains to welfare policy.

Then next weekend, I can complete the history and description of policy pieces for the FSA and PRWORA sections based on the backdrop book, and the rest of the edits from the second committee member.

Then the following weekend, I can summarize the outcomes studies for those two sections.

Then the week after, I can work on the few changes I need to make to the methodology based on feedback from my chair.

This thing is really starting to flow nicely.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

yay!

So, the position at the urban community college...the one I interviewed for last Saturday? They called today to tell me I was one of the three who made it to the next round. Next Friday, I interview with the President and Senior Vice President.