Monday, January 03, 2011

I swear I didn't wear that carhart hat to make me look more authentically working class. It's just a really warm hat.

I love to protest things. I don't know how much good it does, but for today, it felt really good to go outside and yell. Today was my first day back to reality after sleeping 14-18 hours per day, watching lots of tv, and eating only cereal for a week. Isaac went back to school and I tried to go back to work.

In addition to attending the protest, I tackled some of the most important things on my to-do list, but I still have a scary pile to go through and some big projects to finish in the next two weeks. I wish I could find a happy medium between the hyper relaxation (best oxymoron ever?) of last week and the anxiety of today. Why is it so difficult for me to do things in moderation?

My gut hurts all the time, and I don't think the acid blockers are working. I am going vegan for a month to see what happens. It hurts that bad. I should also stop smoking and drinking diet coke, but that is really a lot of hard changes. I am close. Last time I quit both of those things, it really didn't help. Honest. But I'm almost ready to try again. Maybe.

Isaac got his spacers put in for his first orthodontic device today. Spacers hurt worse than the actual braces. Poor guy. He needed a nurturing mom, but I was exhausted all day and didn't do much for him beyond giving him painkillers. And now I feel guilty. Apparently he told Masud that I sleep all the time. I don't think that's quite fair but I do sleep a lot during the afternoon. Just naps though. I'm tired, I can't help it.

And now it's 11:44 pm and I'm blogging. Guilt, self-loathing, procrastination. It's what I do best.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

I cannot hang.

I went to a NYE concert with my younger sister and her young friends. I have to admit, I was not able to keep up. I had to stay in at 2 am when they wanted to go out again. They came back at 7, i'm so grateful for those few extra hours of sleep.

Alcohol, stupid alcohol. So socially acceptable yet so rough on my organic tissues. I must figure out a way to party with people who drink and not end up the stick-in-the-mud mother figure, safely herding them home. It's actually quite a problem, especially in this college town.

I am not going to make a New Year Resolution because I know I won't keep it, but I'm making a pledge to drastically reduce my dairy intake for the month. I cannot handle this stomach rot anymore and the drugs are not working, and I don't want to have a camera shoved down or up any orafi.

Countdown to my student loan check....hopefully I will have it in the next 10 days. I think about it every hour or so. Tomorrow I'm going to sell my plasma. Worth it? We'll see.

I can't stop watching Kanye West's "Runaway" movie. Good shit.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Things I want to blog about:

Why is it that academics become so focused on their work that they (we, I) can't see the direct implications for research in everyday life? (ex. - the debate about moving to a full funding model in my department.)

The connection between people's political ideology and their different levels of selfishness as individuals fascinates me. Republicans seem very macro-selfish, but the ones I know individually are really not that way at all. Cognitive dissonance?

What do people mean when they tell me to "work smarter"? And why does it make me so fucking angry?! I think it has something to do with the fact that the people who are telling me to do this have no idea what my life is actually like, and maybe that this is the smartest I can be, and if that ain't good enough, shove it.

I'm not really sure that I like teaching, but that may be because I really don't like being a TA, not because of the whole teaching thing. I need to think about this more.

I've had an exercise breakthrough. I still vehemently hate exercise and am not convinced that it's the awesome thing that people make it out to be (much like Apple products), but I actually experienced some positive benefits this semester from regular exercise. Too bad I don't have time to keep doing it.

Xmas in January

I love winter. I love giving presents to my loved ones, things I've thought about carefully and purchased or made for specific people. I love getting presents, too.

But I hate the financial pressure of Xmas in the US. There are so many sales, deals, free shipping coupons and incentives to buy at this time of year. Gift suggestions clutter my inbox - websites remembered what I did last year and conveniently suggest ideas that often are eerily appropriate. It simultaneously freaks me out and makes me love the possibilities of the internet.

As my immediate family grows (more on my long lost brother to come), it becomes difficult to afford xmas. At what point do I have to draw the line and stop doing this? Or should I instead focus on birthdays? There is a conflict in my soul between the fulfillment of tradition at xmas and my disgust at the marketization of tradition.

It's such a trap.

But this year, we decided months in advance that we would all prefer to put our family celebration off for a year. It has given me permission to immediately archive any promotional emails that come in my inbox. I am not surfing websites looking for gifts and getting sidetracked into buying stuff I don't need. I am disengaged from the xmas franchise. And I love it. I'm still looking forward to our family gathering in January, and maybe there will be presents, but it will be removed from the hot mess of xmas in america.

It gives me hope that we can actively reinvent our traditions, retaining the heart of our gathering and removing the destructive effects of capitalism. Ok, maybe not completely, but at least the craziness of the holiday season will be over. In fact, aren't there big sales in January too?

How I have already mentally spent my financial aid check that I expect to receive in January.

(in no particular order, just as I think of them)
1. Xmas presents (we are all broke and doing xmas in January this year.) $200
2. Isaac's first orthodontic device. Holy expensive. $400 after insurance
3. My 6th crown, costs almost half my monthly salary even with supplemental dental. $650 after insurance
4. A new splint to wear at night so I stop breaking my teeth. $200 after insurance
5. Membership to the Y so Isaac and I can go swimming. $noIdea
6. Isaac's swimming lessons. $20 each
7. Private piano and cello lessons for Isaac $no idea
8. Cello for Isaac (this is part of #1) $200
9. New winter boots $50
10. New clothes (oh my goddess I need them so badly) $200
10a. New clothes for Isaac (needs some new underwear stat.) $200
11. Get piano tuned $100
12. 100,000 mile maintenance on my Honda $300
13. New glasses with my new prescription $50 (this will get 3-4 pairs on
14. Pay off old bills from non-aggressive creditors. $250
15. Red low-lights $40
16. Membership to Villaris $60/mo
17. save some in case I don't get a job this summer and have to live on the street $5000
18. Snowshoes $>$100 for both Isaac and me
19. TATTOO on my right calf of a peacock or some flowers. $250

I know I'll think of more.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I know you googled me!

Ha! Caught you!

This blog is silly, but there are some juicy bits near the middle. Someday my life will become interesting again and I'll be back.

Until then...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Grad school = mediocre grades

Yesterday I was trying to explain to Isaac why I had to get my reading done (instead of playing Bionicles with him). I told him that I already got two eights out of ten on the weekly exam for my theory class, and I missed one completely when grandpa died, and I got a nine last week, so I'm officially in the A/B range for this class. I then had to explain that an A/B is not good enough to be an A and not bad enough to be a B.

Then I did something that was probably not my smartest parenting move: I asked him what grade I get as a mom.

He hesitated. For a long time.

A/B. He gave me an A/B. I totally deserve an A/B, but not because of lack of trying - it's just that I don't have enough time. Same problem with my theory class.

But then he said, "I'd rather have you than an A mom, though."

I guess I can handle my mediocrity as long as he still picks me over the A moms. And who knows, maybe next semester will be easier?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Love you grandpa.

Harold E. Metcalf

Harold E. Metcalf, age 88 of Montello passed away Thursday February 5, 2009 at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King, WI. Born on October 29, 1920 to Robert and Lillian (Roidt) Metcalf in Montello; he attended Montello High School and continued his education with various agricultural classes. Harold served his country in the U.S. Army from September 8th 1942 to September 28th 1945, the majority of his service was spent in the European theatre, even receiving an award from the government of France for fighting on the shores of Normandy. Upon his return he married Lila Salzwedel on August 23, 1947 in Montello and together they had one child.

Harold and Lila farmed in the town of Montello for 30 years. He also worked for the ASCS farm program for many years, as well as a rural mail carrier from 1960 through 1986. He was also active in the Legion Post 351 of Montello and the Princeton VFW.

Harold is survived his wife and one son: Paul (Julie) Metcalf of Montello, 3 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is further survived by one brother Daniel Metcalf of La Crosse, WI, one sister Alice Quillen of Rockford, IL and many other relatives and friends.

Harold is preceded in death by his parents, three brothers: Francis, Maurice and Charles Metcalf and four sisters: Lucille Greene, Norma Eastman, Helen Lashock, and Margaret Hickey.

A memorial service was held at 1:00 pm on Sunday February 8, 2009 at the Wisconsin Veterans Home (N2665 County Road QQ, King, WI 54946) in the Answorth Chapel with no visitation. Crawford Funeral Home (formerly Steinhaus-Wachholz) of Montello is serving the family.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Things I remember about Grandpa M.

Lila and Harold "Bill" Metcalf, circa 2006

My grandpa died last week. He was a WWII veteran, he fought on the beaches of Normandy and got a certificate from the French Government thanking him for his service. He also had to go to Germany and clean out concentration camps after the war. He never talked about it.

He was a farmer and later on he was a mailman. He loved white bread and butter. He put salt on his watermelon. He used to say, "What the..." and never finish the sentence. He would yawn really loud about 5:30 and head to bed at 6:00, and then get up at 4:00 a.m. and put the TV on really loud.

One day, my grandpa was on one of his two daily walks (he had heart disease and it was doctor's orders) when he saw a little bird on the sidewalk. It was a cockatiel. He bent down and put his hand by the bird, and the bird crawled up his arm and onto his shoulder. He rode grandpa's shoulder all the way home, and ended up staying there. My grandma put up signs and called the police in case anyone had called looking for a lost bird, but nobody claimed him. They named him Fido.

Grandpa really liked animals, especially the many dogs in his life. He named them all Chips.

My grandma only let grandpa have one place for his stuff - on a table in the garage. It was a huge mess, and had all sorts of weirdo things. Tools, twine, broken stuff that he might have been planning to fix.

One time I asked grandpa for a quarter to get some gum from the corner store, and he said he'd only give me a nickel, because that's how much he used to get when he was a kid. He was a thrifty guy, for sure. He always carried around one of those oval coin things that you squeeze to open, and it was usually bursting with pennies.

When we'd go to visit, we'd ring the doorbell and if he answered, he'd say "We don't want any!" in a crabby voice. It was his favorite joke.

Whenever grandma would nag him too much, he'd make a face behind her back and stick his tongue out.

When my mom and dad went to the hospital when Page was born, my grandpa came to stay with us. My brother and I were scared and we made him sleep between us in mom and dad's bed. I can't remember where grandma was. I do remember that Rob and I were WILD, we were excited, and we were also being loud for the last time because we'd have to be quiet for the new baby. I vaguely remembering grandpa getting pissed and making us go to bed early.

He didn't talk much, but when he did, it was usually hilarious.

I love you, grandpa.