Monday, October 27, 2008

Unexpected reaction

I was watching the 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All Time that I had recorded while waiting for my daughter to fall asleep (yay, growth spurts) when the song Tennessee by Arrested Development came on. I had no idea that the song was a prayer written by the lead singer after his grandmother and brother passed in the same week. The chorus is something that I never put much stock into, until now:

Take me to another place
Take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me
Let me understand your plan

Hearing that song made me think about my grandmother, and how her death has resulted in so many things going wrong for my family. It's what happens when a linchpin is pulled out of a system: the system fails.

That, and reading Beth's blog about her mother's death made me think. I am glad that she got to be there for her mother's end; my grandmother went so quickly that there wasn't time for anyone to be with her in her last moments. I have been thinking about her more and more over the past month, and it's almost like I'm being haunted by memories. I can remember her laugh, and her favorite purfume (Liz Claiborne), and the two gold rings she used to wear that had to be put on her pinky finger because she was too swollen from the medicine that they gave her in the hospital.

I think about her and I get angry. My mom and uncle have been without electricity and a telephone since August and it's getting cold. My uncle had an infection in his right hand that kept him in the hospital from Monday through to Thursday and I was worried that he wouldn't be able to afford his prescription medicine. The will has some vague wording that could allow Aunt Krayzee to force a sale of the house from right under them leaving them in the street and while my father-in-law wants to help them with the utilities, my uncle's pride is getting in the way and he won't talk to him. I dread getting phone calls from home because it's never good news. My uncle is feeling demoralized because he can't find a job and he still goes out walking everywhere in the hopes of getting something. My mom has unrealistic expectations of how much help we can give her [When she told me that it was going to cost ~$600 to turn everything back on, I mentioned that I sent a check and she asked me if it would be enough to cover the cost of turning their stuff back on, but I don't have $600 to give away.] I never realized that the excess stress was making me sick, but there's not much I can do about it.

I try not to think about my grandmother, but since my uncle's birthday is tomorrow, of course she's going to come to mind.

I think about her and I get very sad.

And to think, today started off so well. I even got a positive response from my professor today because I said something that showed that I'm finally getting this graduate-level stuff. She said "excellent point". It was like winning a prize. I've got to get back to my homework. She's finally asleep, so I'd better take advantage of the down time.

Life's not fair and the world's not fair. I understand that, but it doesn't make the pain less real.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What I've Learned This Week

Since I have an ass-ton of work to do, I'll try to keep this brief. What have I learned this week?

- Do not mention Journalism to Anthropology grad students. For some reason, it really pisses them off, even if you are not saying that they do the same type of work.
- That I can take 5 credit hours of "independent study" if I feel too overwhelmed.
- That there is an e-mail group on campus for students and faculty into comics, which may be helpful towards my degree.
- Someone finally understands me when it comes to the odd way I learn things [I tend to focus on details that are not important to anyone else, but because I do that, people assume I don't understand the big picture (but I do) and treat me as if I'm stupid as a result.]
- I'm a sucker for cute guys who sell magazines.
- Apparently, I am so stressed out about everything that I've developed vertigo and have had an upset stomach for about two weeks (I just didn't put two-and-two together).

Unfortunately, I don't have time to go into the details right now, but I'm hoping to get some work in on my projects as well as finish all of my reading for two of my classes today. Lofty ambitions, yes, but it has to get done today since my mom has a tendency to call on Mondays before class, which throws off my ability to get my studying done.

On the plus side, I got to buy some new jeans in a smaller size today. I'm pretty sure my husband got more out of my fashion show than I did (he always does). Peace, I'm out!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm Not Alone

I spent some time on campus today meeting with people in my department to get a morale boost (and a gift of a crocheted hat for Devi from another student), and I actually walked away from the experience feeling a lot better about what I'm doing. I don't really understand the theories that we're supposed to learn, but at least now I'm comfortable with knowing that I'm not going to get it right away. Now if I could just get a handle on the homework/readings/writings/projects I'm supposed to accomplish, we'll be in business.

One thing I've not had a chance to mention (I don't think) is that I've actually lost weight and have been losing since the birth. This doesn't sound that extraordinary except that I weigh 18 pounds less than I did before I got pregnant, so I'm really happy about it. What I need to do now is incorporate more exercise than just my treks across campus, because I'd like to lose even more weight. I just have to remember to buy a belt so that I can keep wearing my pants until I can afford to buy new clothes.

Just think - I'll be able and motivated to use my new Mommy and Baby pilates DVD soon, so I'll get to exercise and bond with Devi. Neat!

But first, homework!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pictures, at last!

This is the moment you've all been waiting for. I finally have pictures from Devi's first five weeks for your viewing pleasure. The other people in the pictures are as follows: Matt, his father, my mother, his mother, and his brother. I don't think anyone else appears in the pictures, but if they do, I'll amend this entry.

So to Uncle David and the rest of my readers, I hope you enjoy the slideshow!

EDIT: In case anyone is worried, the plastic bag in the background was nowhere near her and is no longer on the floor.

Apparently, Crazy is How Things Are Supposed to Be

I didn't expect to go this long without posting, but in trying to keep up with everything, some things just didn't get done.

Matt got better at being supportive. He's still struggles with the little things from time to time, but he's really stepped up and takes Devi out of the house every once in a while to give me time to study. He did apologize for the whole beerfest thing, so I didn't have to whip him. Yet.

Grad school is kicking my ass. I don't feel like I'm falling behind; I just feel outclassed since so many people in my classes know a lot more theory behind Comparative Studies than I can ever hope to know. What unfortunately happens is that I fall apart every time I'm left alone to take care of her at night, because all studying ceases because she wants all my attention...and that wouldn't be so bad if I could just get things done ahead of time, but today was one of those days where things just didn't get going like they needed. At least I have time before class tomorrow to finish up what I didn't get done today.

I have to get a ton of reading done each week and each class has a major project that I have to accomplish at the same time. My confidence was just not there for the first couple of weeks, but after deciding to change my attitude and not accept defeat before I even began, I've gotten a little better at being a student. I had to cart my child to campus last week because I had to meet with a professor before our doctor's appointment, and that went better than expected.

Since I have a crying child to tend to, I'm going to have to wrap this up. My feeding issues got a little better (we only have to supplement half of her feedings with formula), and I had to experience the joys of manual pumping in the bathrooms on campus (I now have a travel machine pump that I am going to have to experiment with on campus, but if it means I can feed her with my own supply, I am willing to put up with it).

I am hoping to get up to writing once a week, so we'll see how it goes.

On the plus side, I finally uploaded my pictures, so the next post will be a slideshow. Goodnight, everyone.