Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why dinner was late

Dinner was delayed tonight because my cooking preparations were interrupted by a call to Poison Control. Cooper wrote all over the ottoman in the living room and while I was cleaning off the ink he grabbed the bottle of oxyclean and gave himself a mouthful before I realized what he was doing.

And then I had to mop the kitchen floor because the first sippy cup I saw had juice in it and that ended up on the floor as I was trying to empty that to give him water and call his doctor at the same time.

At least I make roast chicken for dinner so it was a good end to a crappy afternoon. And now, chocolate and bubble bath.


I am applying for a job. A teaching job. At a university near here. It's a one year appointment, but would be the perfect transition that I need and give me a deadline for having my dissertation done (I have come to the unmistakable conclusion that I need externally imposed deadlines), and then give me another university to teach at for a year while I go on the market nationally.

And I'm totally freaking out about it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Musings

In no particular order:
  • I know I am not supposed to like Coldplay, but I do. I am supposed to like Ani Difranco, but I don't.
  • Last Wednesday I started craving swedish meatballs. I don't know why. I can't remember ever having eaten them in my life. But my Everyday Food magazine showed up last Thursday with a recipe for them, so I made them last night and they were everything I wanted them to be. I am having the leftovers for lunch today.
  • Cooper walked all the way across the living room yesterday. He's been doing about four or five steps and then he'll stop and drop to his knees, and he just walked all the way yesterday. It was 18 steps. Not that I counted or anything.
  • It is a sad year to be a Denver Broncos fan.
  • Grocery shopping for Thanksgiving should be an olympic sport.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where do they learn these things? Part Two

We have a climber.

Congressional Testimony

I was watching Fed Chair Ben Bernanke testify to Congress this morning, and I have to say, looking at the faces of our representatives, that it seemed like they were thinking, "You know, I've heard all these words separately before, and I know what they all mean, but when he puts them in that particular order, I have no idea what he's talking about."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where do they learn these things?

Cooper has a jack-in-the-box. It's one of his favorite toys. He loves to turn the handle and make the gnome pop up, though quite frequently he flips the little level to allow the gnome to appear and then cranks the handle later to play the music. Patience apparently is not his strong suit.

Today, however, he was enjoying a little snack of grapes and cheese at his play table. He looked at his jack-in-the-box, put several grapes and cheese cubes on top and then cranked the handle as fast as he could. When he got to the pop part, food went flying. I know I shouldn't have laughed, but I laughed so hard I had tears running down my cheeks.

These are the moments that make it all worth it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My day at church

Cooper's quickly adjusting to nursery at church. He didn't cry today when I dropped him off, and talking to the nursery leaders afterward, he played happily the whole time he was there. He has started learning the songs they sing in their music time and happily sings along. It's fun because he has started singing them at home, and I'll hear him just start singing songs I remember when he's playing.

Geekboy broke Jesus. Or at least, the glass over a picture of Jesus in the Primary room. Sharing time got a little crazy today, and the picture got knocked off of its easel. GeekBoy told the Primary President he felt bad for breaking Jesus, and she said, "You didn't break Jesus, just his protective covering." Ha!

And I know what to do when one of my students starts spouting off with wrong information in class at school. But when they do it at church, prefaced with, "My mom told me..." how do you politely deal with that?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Proof of a tribal memory

Cooper got into a box of cookies today, took a bite out of each one, and then sat on them. This is behavior eerily similar to behavior demonstrated by his uncles when I was growing up. I remember slices of pizza being licked on more than one occasion, though if Mom was around, you just licked your finger and then stuck your finger on the pizza. Oddly enough, it never worked when I did it.

It was mostly funny. It would have been all funny if it hadn't been the box of Girl Scout cookies I had been saving since March.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I was grading papers and had to go to the bathroom. When I got back, I discovered, to my horror, that Cooper had decided to help me with my grading. He had completely scribbled all over two of the papers. When I handed back the paper to one of the students in class today I apologized profusely and explained what had happened. He laughed so hard and said he was going to frame it. I told him I had considered retyping the paper so I wouldn't have to hand that back to him, but he's just going to show it to people and tell them what a hard grader I am. "Look what she did to my paper!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I surprised myself with how much I care

I watched video of Barack Obama voting this morning. And I teared up.

I started to cry because I realized how much I wanted this man to be president. I don't think I could deal with four more years of hate and divisiveness and meanness and stupidity. I'm not naive enough to think that Obama is the second coming of Christ. Or even Superman. But I believe he is going to be so much better for this country than McCain and Palin will be.

So this evening, I took Cooper with me into the voting booth, and I held his hand and we voted for Obama together. I wanted him to get to vote for a better future too.

And then, 41 minutes ago when they declared Obama president-elect, I started to cry.

The last eight years are almost over. I can hardly wait.

It's election day

Go vote.


Seriously, go do it.

Also, did you watch Saturday Night Live's Presidential Bash last night? Sarah Palin's appearance was scary. I think she was trying to be funny, but it wasn't. Barbie went away and we got the Barracuda.

And, I just finished making the election night bingo cards for our results watching party tonight. Yes, I'm that kind of a geek.

Monday, November 3, 2008

In defense of undecided voters

October 30, 2008, at 11:23 pm, I decided who I was voting for.

That's right. Less than a week before the election and I finally decided who I was going to vote for. This is not new for me. In 2004 I didn't decide until I was actually in the voting booth.

I get really tired hearing pundits mock undecided voters.
"Who are these people?"
"Have they been living under a rock?"
"What could they be possibly be expecting to hear?"

Undecided voters aren't stupid, or uninformed; at least not the ones I talk to. We're frustrated.

We're frustrated with a political system that things that the two party system represents all the political ideologies in this country. Ideology has two component. It about what you think the government should do about moral issues, and what you think the government should do about economic issues. But those two components can combine to create four distinct ideological agendas. That means a lot of people in this country don't fall nicely into the political space mapped out by the two dominant parties.

And so, they listen, trying to decide if economic issues are going to be more important or moral issues are going to win this election. Does abortion or guns or their job at the local factory or health care or any of a number of issues have to be the issue they vote on because they can't vote on the issues, because to vote on the issues, there would have to be different, or more, or other candidates than are out there right now.

There are third party candidates.

I've voted for third party candidates.

I voted for Nader in 1996. And 2000.

I did not cost the election for Al Gore. First, because I lived in Idaho when I voted in 2000, but more importantly, because my vote did not belong to him in the first place. The two major parties try to convince people that a vote for a third party candidate is a wasted vote, but as long as people are not voting for anyone else, there is no impetus for change. Al Gore should have won in 2000. He ran a terrible campaign. He lost that election on his own merits, and can't blame anyone for it. Well, maybe the Supreme Court. But he can't blame Nader. And he can't blame the people who voted for him either.

Voting is a precious liberty. I'm so impressed with the stories of people spending 4, 6, 12 hours in line to vote. It's horrific that they have to stand in line that long, but I am awed that they do. My vote does not belong to the Democratic Party. It does not belong to the Republican Party. I do not completely agree with either candidate. I have taken my time deciding for whom I will vote. My indecision is a sign of my commitment to the process, not my ignorance or flightiness.

So here's to you, undecided voters. I hope you can find what you are looking for in the next few hours. Or, if you can't, that you can at least find peace with your choice. Even if you don't make it until you're standing in a polling booth, looking at the ballot, and following your heart.
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