Monthly Archives: April 2008

what i do when i can’t sleep

in grad school, i used to bake. i baked banana bread, muffins, chocolate cake – anything that would involve stirring helped calm me down. it was a very efficient way to finally fall asleep, although more than one banana bread got baked into a brick bc of said efficacy.

when i am teaching and can’t sleep, i read chic lit mysteries. they really work – tunes out the cogent part of the brain, it entertains, and soon enough, i am asleep and dreaming of solving murders with a martini in one hand.

and now, when i can’t sleep, i watch TV on my laptop. streaming video is the BEST thing ever. who knew i’d enjoy this so much. actually, it’s not such a big surprise. anyway, 2 weeks ago, when PB was away for weeks on end, i watched the entire 5th season of nip/tuck. that is one effed-up series. could not stop watching it – BRILLIANT! this week i discovered ‘kitchen confidential’. anthony bourdain’s book and bravado are quite palatable in a 20 minutes sitcom. it is often funny, well written and acted – surprisingly it was pulled off the air after 4 episodes in the US but is doing well in the UK and Australia. mmmmh. if anyone remembers ‘Chef!’ with lenny henry, KC will seem comfortably familiar. and it is all on hulu.com so i get to watch as much of it as i want, when i want, which is about 3 episodes a night until i doze off. mission accomplished!

ps: update: after finishing the entire season of kitchen confidential, i finally figured out that its main character is played by an actor who also plays a recurring character in nip/tuck’s 5th season. whoa.

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results

the breast cancer fundraiser worked! we raised more money that we spent organizing the event, which apparently qualifies as a success when you are a new cause, new event, new effort to get people to part with their money. considering the planners were one university instructor and one winemaker, neither one of which had any experience in event planning, i am calling this one a SUCCESS. phase 2 will start imminently, so those of you around portland, look for special breast cancer flights and glasses of wine – 100% of the what you pay for the pour is going to breast cancer research.

highlight of w-e: the fund-raiser of course. but that is followed closely by BILL CLINTON. yes indeed. the 42nd president of the united states, saxophonist of snl note , and the man who put cigars in an altogether new category of sex toys, spoke at the local highschool on usnday. we stood in line with the kidlets, and sat in the bleachers of the auditorium for hours in sweltering heat, and it was all worth it. an important civic lesson in participatory politics for the kids, and a great experience for us. i remember believing bill was the most novel and freshest of responses to the post reagan era, and i still believe, all mistakes and abuses aside, that we (and by that i mean all of us, citizens of the world) were better off when he was in office. L’s patience was sorely tested during the hour-long speech, but J got something out of it bc the pin he chose outside of the highschool is the one that says “friends don’t let friends vote republican”. another mission accomplished.

this town is so small that we even saw bill drive by in his suburban – we were so close i could almost make out the brand of the (cuban?) cigar he was holding in his waving hand…

onto the sad news: the kidlets left. their spring break is over and they’ve gone home, and the house is eerily quiet. i could use the time and space provided by their departure to clean up, but i won’t. i may change take the sheets off their beds, but that’s as much as i’ll muster.

the recovery plan: “baby mama” at the cinema tonite. a bag of popcorn, a big pink lemonade, some junior mints – all that and a comedy that hopefully makes a smart and insightful yet sympathetic critique of our generation’s obsession with birth, babies and parenthood. i’m all for it, but i react very badly to the “you-are-not-a-whole/real-woman-till-you’ve-experienced-motherhood” bullshit.

movie review to follow shortly.

update on J’s festering wound (see morning calm, below) – it is festering no more. a bit of air and a lot of antibiotic ointment prevented amputation of limb.

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morning calm

J: playing DS, one sock on, one sock off (to better let the festering wound on his ankle heal, so gross)

L: imagining a world of her very own in the wooden barn she got for her birthday last summer. cows, goats, even a cat have been joined by plastic puppets from burgerville kids menus as well as her favorite companion, the stuffed dog M.

her highness: splayed on the floor in between the two, breathing deeply and snoring, occasionally groaning the happy groan as se rearranges her vast self in a different position, the better to observe J&L. i suspect she is thoroughly enjoying the company, and the amazing calm.

the lovely PB, their father, is at the office for an hour or two, and all is calm here. have they had breakfast yet? no. does it matter? apparently not. but i suspect all hell might break loose when the object of their devoted and starved attention walks over the threshold…

update: the lovely PB came back, and hell did not break loose.  must be something in the oregon water, it just makes everyone happy(ier).

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d-day minus 1

banners: done

cards with info on sponsors and fund-raiser: done (and sponsored 100%)

applications for pouring: completed, sent and hopefully approved

inserts for restaurant wine list: done (and quite tastefully, thank you)

contact with local cancer support center and cancer research center: done

glasses for event : ordered and awaiting pick-up mañana

kind volunteers from local high-school: lined up and ready

effing cheese platters for tastings: never doing that again. bc the cheese needs to be of a specific kind (hard – not soft), it needs to be on a platter (done), and it needs to rest on doilies (shit – must go to supermarket and get those), they need toothpicks or knives to be cut and transported to mouth, they usually require napkins (double shit, must get those too).

so far, lots of lessons learned, but all of them good, and all of them pointing in a completely different career than the one i am currently employed in and for which i am currently toiling over the-book-that-started -this-whole-blog-thing-in-the-first-place. maybe that’s what my blog is doing – it’s not only the support for the book-writing i thought it would be, but it’s the public and recorded stream of consciousness that leads me out of academic book-writing into something altogether different.

maybe i should rename this blog Gala in Transition.

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hours of fun

i am in the business of educating attempting to educate young adult minds. it is often a futile exercise, but i have, on occasion, felt rewarded by my attempts. this week we are hosting 2 kids between 6 and 10 years of age – this is an age group that is well beyond my professional training, and one i feared i might not be rewarded by. our life and house are now entirely dedicated to the care and entertainment of 2 kidlets. the dining room table is a project table, my history books are being used for a school project, and i have eaten so much candy i fear i’ll have my first sugar rush in years,

honestly though, it is not too difficult to go back to the days when playing ALL DAY LONG was a perfectly good way to spend your waking hours. we went to THE BEST toy store yesterday. AWWWSUMM store to quote one of the two. we bought a basic set of QUADRILLA blocks and tracks ( you can tell the age group i am hanging out with by my extensive and TOTALLY NECESSARY use of caps). when i was their age, lego ruled my time, and then barbies became my second life, and puzzles were ok on a rainy day, but quadrilla ROCKS. talk about teaching kids collaboration, problem solving, planning, and civil engineering all at the same time. and it’s does not suck at teaching adults the same skills either.

total hours worked on book since arrival of kids = 0

skills learnt since arrival of kids and quadrilla set = many, and very useful ones.

fun had with kids and set = way more than with book, ever.

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it’s snowing

again.

signed: cold, pale and desperate, on april 19th.

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twitter envy

if i had twitter this is what i’d write now:

“bloody hell, it’s hailing. again. signed: cold and pale on april 18th.”

must find out how to add this twitter thing to my life.

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