Archive for June, 2014

Not sure what I want to write about, I just need to write

June 24, 2014

I’m feeling a little emotionally beat up, nothing big, just an admin team meeting followed up by a side meeting about a recurring staff issue that’s my responsibility but I wish it wasn’t. I guess I just feel like the past 2 hours were spent dwelling on a lot of negative things. 

I got an ominous e-mail from the graduate school this morning, approving my leave of absence for this coming academic year (with stern warnings about keeping my status up to date and finishing soon), and then another e-mail asking for a petition to extend time to degree, which I had already submitted last week. So I re-sent it. I’ve been working harder than ever on the dissertation, and there is still so very, very far to go. But I should be able to send something to my full committee by the end of this week.

Gimli is going on another trip this coming week, but that’s ok. I still feel like I “owe” him for all the time I was working overtime or traveling in May. 

My kids are on their 2-week midyear break, and Illyria is acting up a lot – I think she’s feeling the lack of routine and stimulation from school. I printed out about 40 kindergarden worksheets for her in English and Spanish and she did half of them in one sitting. She was sick this weekend, too – throwing up and sleeping a lot. Last night – or early this morning, actually, I guess – Oz had a nosebleed in bed, getting blood all over his face, shirt, sheets, pillow, and hair. Poor kid. His birthday is in 2 weeks and I haven’t planned anything… I think we’ll probably just have a family party.

Right now Colombia is playing Japan in their third World Cup game, I think they’re already in for the second round, unless they get trounced in this game. I’m not watching because I need the writing time. 

So I have about 2 hours left this afternoon, in which to make progress. Here I go.

peace pearls for a thursday morning

June 19, 2014

Continuing this month’s practice of let’s-throw-random-shit-up-on-the-screen-and-call-it-a-post, here are the contents of my brain this morning.

  • an irritating former volunteer is back for a visit and the very sound of her voice grates on my nerves.
  • Colombia plays somebody in the World Cup today and the whole city is vibrating with excitement and nervous energy
  • Since the organization I work for has a firm stance for non-violence, people from HQ actually and with completely straight faces refer to bullet points as “pearls” (short for “peace pearls”).
  • This morning I woke up feeling rested for the first time in ages – Oz was not feeling well and fell asleep at 5 p.m.; I went to bed around 8 but he woke up hungry at 10:30. So I was up with him til a little past midnight, and then we both slept hard until 7! 
  • I had the fun experience this week of seeing a number of photos of myself from the back (posted on Facebook, of course) – one set in a bathing suit… man oh man, I’m suddenly filled with incentive to start exercising again and trying to eat better – specifically cutting back on caffeine, sugar, and bread. I think that doing those things will also help me sleep better at night.
  • I’ve been having some academic anxiety dreams – and realized that if the theme is academics, these dreams always, always take place at my undergraduate institution, and involve the philosophy classes I took with the object of my obsession (occasionally a math class with sneak in, regardless of the fact that I never took a math class in college – and even so he is always in the dream). 
  • Illyria’s vacation starts today; Oz next week. We might take a weekend trip to the country since there are also two holiday Mondays coming up soon. 
  • On a whim, I started telling the kids the story of the Hobbit at bedtime. They begged and begged for more so last night Gimli actually started reading the book to them (in installments). It’s really fun introducing them to this world that has been such a big part of our lives since we were kids! (We also realized we’d mis-remembered the order of events in the book, although Gimli remembered better than I did… but I still tell it better because I do all the voices and stuff. I may suck at many aspects of parenting, but we definitely do breakfasts and story time well, so at least the days are bookended with goodness. And hopefully that counts for something?)


June 18, 2014

So Oz had a slight fever last night and only wanted to sleep cradled in my arms. I am so tired I almost can’t think. It might be a good day for coding interviews and field notes – the drudge part of the work. 

Who needs sleep? You’re never going to get it…

June 17, 2014

I think I might have to let go of my Kindle. It’s cutting into my sleep. I have a hard time falling asleep anyway (even as a kid, I remember lying awake in bed at night it seemed like forever, inventing fantastical adventures or singing hymns to myself or just tossing and turning) so the backlit source of Candy Crush, net surfing, and a growing collection of fun books really doesn’t help.

This is going to be hard. 

I think I might have to ask Gimli to hide it from me.

Anyway, the most recent acquisition which I finished reading at some ungodly hour was Mel’s book, Apart at the Seams. I completely enjoyed it, the concept and the execution. Glad I got to it before this self-prescribed Kindle fast begins.


Dusting off my writing desk

June 13, 2014

I’m back at my writing desk for the first time in about 6 weeks… with a commitment from Gimli to take on a larger part of our shared responsibilities so that I might have a hope of finishing my dissertation this year. 

Literally dusting off my desk. 

I’ve been a crap commenter lately, honestly blogging was one of the first things to fall off the map for me when things got busy – but it’s been part of my writing process for the past few years, so I think I’ll pick up a bit here in the next few months.

I want to set some goals: 

  • 20 hours of work put in by the end of this month
  • Something good sent off to my committee by the end of this month
  • By the end of July, another section ready for committee review
  • Full draft ready for review by early October

That’s kind of a general sketch… I’ll be setting daily goals too. I HAVE to get this thing done this year. I truly feel that it’s now or never. There will be a cost, and I’ll just have to take it.

Sophomore slump?

June 11, 2014

Ok, so I have no idea what happened with that last post… I had written something about the juxtaposition of all my angst about school for Illyria with a visit to a preschool project my organization funds in a slum outside the city. Perspective. 

It’s been a really tough month and a half; a bright spot in the midst of it has been Illyria’s joy at her new school. She LOVES it, races to get dressed every morning, carries her little backpack with pride. 

Run-off elections for president are happening on Sunday, and I keep hearing ominous pronouncements from Colombian friends here… things like “if the incumbent wins, we’ll have a country full of holes [from industrial mining and FTAs], but if the challenger wins we’ll have a country full of holes full of cadavers.” Or, another said, “if the challenger wins, we’ll be gaining a lot of new martyrs.” The challenger has been filmed mocking the peace talks that the current government initiated with the 50-year-old leftist guerrilla group in the country; a move that appears to have brought the country substantially closer to ending the political violence that has generated the displacement of close to 5 million people and I don’t know how many deaths. Frying pan or fire? The choice will be made Sunday.

I am so behind on so many things. Illyria and Oz continue to be such bright spots – when he laughs, it’s the best thing in the world.