Thursday, April 28, 2011

La souris enragée

Dressed in light colors. Found my spirits lifting midmorning. I felt like skipping, maybe going for a long walk. Shortly thereafter I see that my period has started. Hormones, you are our not so acknowledged tyrants.

We're in a new motion, winding up some of our patterns and looking for the next ones. Nod finishes his semester mid May and then he will have a short summer program in June and July. The class hours are longer for the summer session though he will have Fridays off. This will make his current schedule of afternoon bus driving not possible. He had an interview with the employer he ranks at the top of his 'firms I want to work with' list. They have positions in this town which would mean no commute and be a great good thing. It went well and the interviewer indicated that Nod might be able to start working for them on his summer Fridays. Which would be ducky for all. And the bus company still loves him and will consider June and July a leave of absence so that job will available in the future as a fallback. Whew. I think that boy's almost got his shit wired together.

My job still exists. We are getting to know the IT management folks in our weekly meetings. Today a few of us indulged in some petty mocking of IT hair and shoe stylings. It was an unconstructive outburst and yet did relieve some frustration. So far the dearth of leadership continues. 'We'll build the plan forward together' says our higher up. And yet they hold the budget and the authority so why don't they acknowledge that power imbalance? It's a bit like cats playing with a mouse but so much more boring.

A co worker found some morels in local woods last week. I can identify them but I don't know what they taste like. I'd like to go foraging, maybe Nod will be up for a ramble. We could use some more rain for mushrooms I'm sure.

Finished Crooked Letter Crooked Letter. The scenes set back in Larry's childhood made me cringe a bit. That was one grim dad. But I loved the setting and the local boy made good angle. Sigh. I'm sorry I'm done. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Poncho finished. Started a hat. Realized last night that I hadn't measured the gauge and they used giant yarn in the pattern. The result is that my hat is just right for a mini head but far too small for any of our large human heads. I guess I'll finish it and it'll be for the stuffed animals/dolls. Oy. No doubt it was a good learning experience.

Kate Atkinson's Case Histories was wanted by another library patron so I let her go. I will try it again later. The tactile details were amazing. And I liked the characters, even the depressed passive-aggressive mother. I got only as far as the first case history.

I have gotten Crooked Letter Crooked Letter under way and am enjoying it. The protagonist's girlfriend is described as having a mouth "always in a little pucker, off to the side, always working, like she had an invisible milk shake." I still love southern dialect.

Finally had a meeting with the new overlords. They claim to be finding their way too, that there is no big behind-the-scenes plan. No job eliminations are planned. The words were reassuring and I hope the follow up smaller group meetings go well. I was mollified when the director's PowerPoint presentation was prefaced with an apology. And only had 4 slides. She kept the business jargon to a minimum too.

Laugh of the week: I got my expanded job description and raise approved. Now get ready: my increase will be $0.35 per hour.
I'm trying not to do any celebratory shopping. No word on the other position I applied for. I know searches are usually very slow on this campus so am not concerned. Not sure I want to cleave unto the writing program. Mulling.

Both girls got up early this morning. Lexi came to snuggle with me in my bed. I kept trying to shoo her away since I feared her power to cuddle me back asleep. That would lead to waking up forty minutes later when everything would be fraught. Katy bounced into her clothes and went downstairs to practice music. We had talked about practice first thing in the morning so it wouldn't be forgotten. Her "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" on the piano is much improved. Her violin playing is still pretty rocky. Screechy mostly with a few sweet notes in there. Music teacher Janice says that her playing is getting better so I guess I will have to have faith. Katy's arms have gotten longer in almost a year and I'm told that it's time to trade up a size in violins too. I need to talk with Lexi again about whether she wants to do some violining before we banish the little one. Lexi has three loose teeth after waiting and waiting for just one. And last night I saw a new tooth coming in behind the lower baby teeth. So she'll be sharky for a while.

We went out for a family dinner last night. It was a treat. We got Rudy's pizza. It's not my favorite pizza but it tasted really good last night.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No Shortage

Short on sleep yesterday. I chose to stay up late baking zucchini muffins for Lexi's birthday class treat and then messing around. Punished for this when I was woken in the night by Katy. She had nonspecific stomach pains. I guess I'd pick those over stomach pains that are the harbinger of stomach flu. We were up for a while in the 3:45 range until she could go back to sleep. I was grumpy and forgetful in the morning but it was a lovely day and I came around to cheerful again. Lexi's teacher said that the kids were fairly horrified by the idea of zucchini muffins but that they were eaten up mostly. It was all my 7 y.o.'s idea, she loves that recipe.

The poncho is almost done. I scored a basketful of yarn from a garage sale, we came late and they were in get-rid-of-it mode -- gave it to me for nuthin. My colors aren't as cool as the pattern photo but it's still cute. I found a reference to a pointy hat pattern from Kids Crochet on Ravelry. I got the book from the library and it's fun and substantial. I decided not to start a hat until the poncho is entirely done because that way lies madness or at least four half-completed projects. Pulling loops is very satisfying right now. The small and controllable creative act is a relief.

We're having highs in the 70s finally. It's a beautiful spring this week. Then we're forecast to have highs in the 50s for a couple of days just to keep us on our toes.

I missed book group on Sunday when I was busy feeling sorry for myself. Not sorry about it though because Oryx and Crake was a big ball of no fun. I skimmed the rest on Monday so I could see how the pandemic occurred and what happened at the end. M. Atwood, your writing is not for me. I'm still sawing away at Sovereign Ladies; I've gotten to Victoria's later years and then it's the current queen. (Victoria was a greedy thing.) I love the copious poitrine on the cover. I wonder what painting that snip is from. The next book group book is Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Franklin which is described as literary mystery. I'm looking forward to it. I'm also going to start reading Case Histories by Atkinson which I've heard good things about. Although the word "gruesome" has also featured and I'm prepared to fling it from me. After all, there is no shortage of books.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fool Me

Two writers who both have meaty content but an airy style. They both engage with their reader with an emotional swirl. Here is Jennifer Michael Hecht who is a poet and teacher and writes about poetry, nature, and reasons not to kill oneself. She had two friends who suicided and she wrote a beautiful call to anyone else considering it to cut it out.  She has reasons! She imagines humanity as a big group of friends in a way that isn't silly. I like her blogging so much I might even try reading her books.

And here's Catherine Newman who is the Buddhist hippie mommy blogger who writes for a Disney family magazine. I don't know how that combo works. Oh wait, just caught up on blog posts and what do you know, she's off that mag. At any rate I wish her only good things and wish her endless readers and lots of good gigs on the way. I think I have to make her Smoky Saucy Chickpeas with Spinach now.


Last week my coworkers and I got an email from our director that this group will become part of the larger campus IT dept in two weeks. She (the director) will be given a trainer position while she looks for a job at a different univ. We have yet to hear from IT to know what the plan is if any. There was much consternation. On Thursday evening I watched my kids be absolutely amped up about April Fool's day. They were planning many pranks and my first reaction was to grumble but I took the resolve to be pleasant about it. I decided I could grit my teeth and be nice. Then I drank a small glass of wine. Later when I found that Katy had dyed the upstairs toilet water a brilliant green I started laughing. And continued for several minutes. Their delight in being tricky was as vivid as the emerald water. It occurred to me (ridiculously) that we were lucky we didn't have an outhouse for them to push over. Which made me laugh harder. It was an excellent stress outlet. And the next day it turned out that I *loved* their pranks. The big one was that the driver's side of my car was full of stuffed animals when I went out in the morning. I flung them into the passenger's side and enjoyed driving around with them all day. Lexi made up her own prank. She posted a sign in our front window "Pies $1.00". And then a teeny sign on our doorbell "April Fool's!" Because you see we did not have any pies for sale at all. Ingenuity and delight.

I have applied for another on campus admin support position. It feels good to take some positive action rather than wait to see what IT has for me in their wisdom. Hopefully there will be other positions I can fling my resume at. Guess it was a good thing that I had to update that thing. Despite my moaning at the time.