Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's Been a Long, Long Time

     Let's just say I've been VERY busy since my last post back in JANUARY (wow, really?). While some things have stayed the same (e.g. unresolved issues back home still ill left unresolved, with relatives I am still refusing to speak to), some things have changed...and some of it is actually good. I finished my second master's degree in June and I am now officially a PhD student (yay!). My thesis had some issues (like a last-minute cancellation of my defense in February which I have likened to the scene in Goodfellas where Joe Pesci's character is walking into the house to become a made man with the triumphant music playing only to be shot in the back of the head), but I looked at the josei manga Cappuccino as a cite for feminist critique and cyberculture study. The feminist angle was inspired by my committee chair (who has now left to go to another university, which has left me feeling a bit untethered), but it had to be modified to reflect Japanese feminism (which makes sense), and the cyberculture angle comes from the fact that the translation I read was done illegally online. It's really cool that it is available online (I'm not sure if it will ever be printed), but I'm not linking to it because of some possible copyright issues with the images I used. I believe I am protected under Fair Use, but why risk it.

     Anyway, I'm posting because I'm a bit frustrated with the way my world seems to work for me. Hubby lost his job in August (which sounds like a broken record because the same thing happened at the same time last year) and because my university doesn't deign to pay graduate students during the summer, we are broke. However, the biggest thing bothering me is that my daughter's 3rd birthday is coming up on Sunday, but we are having trouble getting anyone in her age range to the party. It's not her fault that her birthday falls on a holiday weekend this year, or that despite telling two of the parents ahead of time about this they still had other plans which were taking them out of town; it's just upsetting to me because my family has had a long history of not being able to have successfully well-attended parties. It wasn't until I was an adult (with friends I've known for more than half my life) that I have been able to have enough people show up for a party to consider it well-attended. Honestly, having a 25% attendance rate for my sweet 16th (1 of 4) was a success to me because someone for me showed up.

My standards are quite a bit low.

     Anyway, I'm upset for her because none of her friends will be there. Fortunately, she's young enough that it won't be a problem, but I'm not too keen on doing any more of these things. It's hard to have a party for a child when it's on a holiday when people want to spend time with their families (not for me, but that's because there are very few family members I still want to speak to who aren't living in my house), and if I had known that people were not going to show up, I would have given her a party on another weekend. We're competing with a holiday and the opening weekend of the Ohio Renaissance Festival (and we do attend this, but we go towards the end of the season so I can buy stuff on discount; that has more value to me than the 50% off entrance fee for the opening weekend, but I understand why people are going when they're going). It also helps that we do a little something for her at church, so she is going to be on cake overload for her birthday.

     Maybe I'd be a little less upset if this week hadn't been so stressful, but as I seem to only function if I have at least a minimum level of chaos, stress, and instability in my life, I'm somewhat used to this. I hope my baby girl has a happy birthday anyway.

     Well, it's late and despite wanting to end on a happier note, I need to be bright eyed for photos tomorrow. I'll try to make sure that I post pictures and/or video soon because my girl is TALL! She's not yet three, but she's 40 inches tall. No, that's not a typo. And she's thin, too. And she looks just like my mom. And whether you see that as a positive thing or not to end on, for me it's a good thing. Goodnight everyone. When I do get online, it's more likely my Twitter page so holler at your girl! :-)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Got to Keep It Brief

I've been very busy trying to finish my Master's thesis, so my posts have all but dried up. I'm teaching a class which is going okay (last quarter was better, but these aren't bad students), but I have to balance that with taking two classes that require 25 page papers at the end of the quarter as well as defending my thesis on February 25. I'm a bit stressed out, so keep me in your thoughts as I try to get through all of this in one piece.

On the home front, hubby lost his job in August, futzed around until he up and found a new job in November that required he work full time for six weeks until his training was over, and now he is working part time (mostly on the days I would normally study all day). Devi has really grown and changed over the last few months. She's already 3 feet tall (at two years old!) and she's an amazing little girl. I just wish she had more opportunities to play with other children, so I'll have to work that out.

I've not been the most fun person to be around of late, so this is an apology for everyone that has to put up with me. I hope to have my Master's done so that I can FINALLY be a PhD student. It's bad enough that I was accepted into the program last year, but that I haven't been able to graduate due to the thesis and the foreign language exam really isn't cool. That, and it is screwing me up with the Feds over my student loans, but more on that later (maybe).

To make amends, I have pictures we took from Devi's second birthday session. If I have some spare time, I'd like to put up her birthday party pictures, but that will have to wait. Good night and I will see you when I see you.

P.S. Before I forget, I will be doing a conference in San Antonio, TX in April, so I have to finish all of this stuff to qualify for funding for my trip. Yay.