Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Devil Is A Friend of Mine

For some reason, H decided to play some Garcia for the kids. They love it. To say I'm not a fan of Garcia or the Grateful Dead is a minor understatement. But when Camille was a baby the only two songs she would go to sleep to were this one and Casey Jones. And I had to sing them along with the cd.

Today while they listend, Camille climbed into my lap like a baby. Then she asked H: "What happens when the Devil comes in the house?"

So dear readers, what happens when the devil comes into the house?

Fun With Camera

This place is becoming our Saturday night haunt. They've started to tell us upon leaving: "See you next time."

Umberto is all about the food...the kid loves tacos and horchata.

What can one say about this picture?

Camille's burrito. She dug out the hamburger...and then ate all my rice:(

Yum...best faijats in town!

When fantasy and reality collide...

Herbie's very pink sister joins us for dinner...
H...Mexican bad ass


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ginger...Knits!

I need another time consuming hobby like a hole in the head. You know I'm crunched for time: thesis, homeschooling, finishing up course work, TAing thus it was apparent that I needed yet another thing to occupy my mind, and my hands. Oh yeah and let's make that a hobby that has the potential to become very very expensive.

I've been wanting to knit for awhile. My mom started to teach me when Umberto was a baby, and I seemed to catch on fairly quick. I found a book called Anticraft (and there's a blog). There were many things that I just had to be able to make. So I picked up Stitch and Bitch at the library, and preceded to teach myself to knit.

Now I'm not really great at it. I've had to redo about a hundred stitches. And then what I've finished ends up looking awful. There's a lot of holes not because of dropped stitches but I think because the stitches were too loose. But I managed to finish these two pieces:




Camille thought they made great My Little Pony blankets, and kept swiping them from the desk.






But I turned them into this:

It's kind of ugly, and you can see my mistakes...like way loose stitches. And my sewing is horrid.
But...Piper loves it. And really that's what it's all about right? And as an added bonus it is my very first knitting project and someone loves it.

And another bonus is that Umberto wants to learn to knit.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Searching

Another post for E. and John B-R.

While Grace was busy with middle daughter, Gravity found herself in youngest daughter's braid.



Earlier we thought we saw her in a tree...

Yesterday, we grew sick of gray, cold, chill. Taking matters into our own hands, we went looking for Spring.
I found her, dressed, outrageously, in purple.

Playing Tag

My dear friend Fat Lady tagged me. Basically you have to list five things that people don't know about you. I've done this before...and even then I don't think it was too revealing:) But hey I figure someone out there doesn't know much about me, and didn't bother going through the archives.

1. I consistently myself as fat and ugly no matter how much evidence I have to the contrary. I used to think the ugly was connected to the fat but then I lost the fat, like really lost it, and still felt ugly. Now I'm fat again cause I figured why not eat if I was going to feel the same way?

2. I am a wimp. People don't believe this but I have a real hard time speaking up for myself. Thus I tend to get bullied by people like my professors.

3. All my early crushes were on characters in book. There was one exception: Harrison Ford. Man I LOVED him when I was like 10. I wrote a letter to his fan club, and got an autographed picture of him in his Indiana Jones outfit. I was THRILLED! But everyone else were book characters. I developed an intense fantasy world that revolved around people who lived in books.

4. There is a part of me that wishes I could be a real Stay At Home mom.

5. I am totally terrified of my sexuality.

I have to tag five others: Lolabola, Ernesto, Jessica, Matt, and of course the love of my life, Horacio.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eating Out

Our favorite Mexican resturant on a Friday evening...

watched over by the Lady herself...

Feed me, please.


Just woke up to eat...


You want what?


Peek a' boo Starbucks.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Everywhere you look

Spring is taking over, possessing us....




Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Incarnated

I love that the rabbit represents Spring. But there are others who don't see the love.

Note the flying bunny on the heels of Spring.

Meanwhile:

While middle daughter channels Grace, younger daughter impersonates Spring.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Grace Came to Visit

Borrowing a line from E...I think that sometimes Grace possesses the middle daughter.


Return

"Why are the blinds different colors?"

The question that began my morning, spoken by a sleep tousled boy, brown and warm. I rolled over to see the sun fighting its way through the bedroom blinds.

She's back. I thought pleased. And already a stupid smile takes over.

After two days of rain and cold chill, the sun returns. It's never too cloudy here. Normally I hate this lack of gray but Spring this year...I'm smitten. I don't know why but I feel...alive and joyous. I feel that tight aching feeling inside like something is trying to burst forth from me. There's a scene in the movie "The Fountain" when the main character drinks this sap from the tree of life. It's supposed to give you immortality, and he's killed disturbing number of Mayans to get to this tree. He drinks, falls to the ground, and plants, flowers, grass start to sprout from his eyes, his mouth, his body. I feel like I'm giving birth to such a phenomena. Oh Spring...

Nothing, not a damn thing done on the thesis this week. Meet with the adviser on Monday, who suggested I might not really know my point yet (she's half right...I do know but I can't explain it yet), and described my writing as terse. I'm not sure if I should be insulted. I suspect she's right but for some reason it bothers me. I hope to finish the introduction revision by Monday, and then work on Chapter 1 for the next week.

I'm in love this week...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fickle

Spring is a fickle woman.
Today she sulked.
Gray skies with a biting wet chill.

H is away seeing A Place to Bury Strangers. I'd be more jealous but I bought my own ticket for April 13. They decided to pay another visit to NC. I am...overjoyed. Now if Yeasayer would swing back through. I shouldn't complain though. In the span of two weeks, I will see A Place To Bury Strangers, Ministry, and Destroyer. Two weeks after that we'll see Radiohead.

I had to look at pictures to remind that Spring really did breeze through...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Joy


Joy

Spring is here. Granted we have some cold nights and mornings but temperatures for the most part hover in the 60s. Everything is budding. The trees not covered in flowers are covered in green buds. We've even had a few violent storms I've come to associate with summer.

This is killing any motivation to work on the thesis. Mostly I want to go outside.Yesterday I sat around at a birthday party, outside with parent friends, drinking cold beer, watching our assorted children bounce around in a bouncy house. Much more fun then working on a thesis which I did for a couple hours this morning. I've realized that I need to work early because if I don't spring will lure me outside.

Spring is a demanding mistress. I rank her with Fall. But only Fall in Maine. Fall in Maine is glorious. And Spring in Maine...while not glorious it is certainly welcomed. But Spring takes so long in Maine. And it is muddy. For a long time. By the time Spring is really upon you, it's summer.

Spring in the South? Glorious. It comes suddenly. One day you're sneezing, red-eyed itchy, sinus exploding. Spring. And you look out, and the trees have gone mad. They are adorned in white flowers that look like flames. Flowers are everywhere--formal, uptight, needy tulips along with wild violets and scraggly dandelions. The unflowering trees bare tiny buds waiting to unfurl into green leaves. There is so much green after the ugly brown of winter.

Maybe this is the key. Winter in Maine is beautiful. It is an ice beauty--cold, hard, and unapprocalbe. She will rebuff you. Maine winter invites you to admire but not touch. You're not going to make love to this lady. Here winter is just ugly. In Maine, a glorious white shroud covers the dead. Here the corpse is laid out in its rotten decomposition.

When Spring comes here, you witness her raising the dead. In Maine, this resurrection is like a strip tease. The snow slowly uncovers the growing, one small item of clothing at a time. In the South, Spring jumps on you with complete abandon. She jumps so hard you can breath! Suddenly you're enwrapped in floral scents, warm sun, and the lithe body of youngness. Everywhere you turn Spring thrust s out her beauty--full fledged lust. You can't resist her, and you find yourself bursting out the door like a fool with your arms open and a stupid grin on your face.

And the joy you hear in my words? You can thank Horacio for that...well Horacio through Yeasayer. This band fills me with joy...the joy that you're not going to live forever so you better fucking live now. Combined with Spring...and I'm out that door...

Monday, March 10, 2008

How To Survive Your Thesis

Take an occasional weekend off...well at least part of the weekend. Friday I did nothing. We went to this odd little mall in South Carolina called Plaza Fiesta Carolinas. It's a mall designed to look like a "Latino" plaza. It's weird but cool at the same time. The store fronts are made into what looks like stone buildings, and there are fountains with blue tile. They string lights across the "avenues" which bear the names of different Latin American countries. The kids like it because it has a huge candy store (with Mexican candy) and a giant playground (seriously giant). I wanted to take pictures, brought the camera, and discovered that H had removed the batteries!?

Well I started this post last week! Which shows I'm surviving my thesis...not writing on my blog. But it's done. Okay I have to do the conclusion but first draft is pretty much over. And tomorrow I'll be hammering out the second draft of my introduction. And then next week will be spent writing conclusion and rewriting Chapter 1.

But really...take time off! I'm realizing the value of just giving myself a day or two off. This week, I spent the whole afternoon at my friend's M's house. It was so wonderful. I got to hang out with the moms that I like the best. We talked about schooling, ate potato chips, and finger knitted. In a lot of ways the mommies keep me sane. I wish I could take them with me when (if) I start my Ph.D. I needed the time away from the thesis to just be human.
Me working on my thesis...note the look of dedication.

And I got my official rejection letter from UNC. I almost cried! I mean, I knew it was coming but it was rough to see it in writing. It made me feel discouraged about the thesis being any good, and about applying next year. Sigh.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Love is a Dog From Hell


Dedicated to Charles Bukowski, and to H who introduced me to his poetry.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

VulnerablePortraits


School?

We haven't done "school" in months. Occasionally I attempt a pathetic little lesson but mostly the kids have been wild heathen children while mama dutifully churns out her thesis. Normally, I'm more organized then this...and it's not like I'm always working. Mostly, it's that doing school with the kids involve a kind of energy that I just don't have while working on the thesis. This concerns me when I think about working on my Ph.D but then I also think that it's possible to be more organized about the whole thesis thing...and maybe, just maybe my kids will be reading independently? I'm become invested in figuring out how to make homeschooling work.

Why? I'm not sure. When H and I realized that we were not going to Ph.D programs in the fall, we wavered between both of us working and me staying home. I didn't want to go back to teaching public school. I did it for three years, and knew it would not be a good year for me. I also felt sick at putting the kids in school, especially Umberto. But we would be making fairly decent money for the first time in our lives if we both worked. H has been wonderful understanding and kept assuring me it would be alright I stayed home. I decided to take a very part time job teaching a class at UNCC, but really just dedicating myself to homeschooling for a year. I think that if I can a system going next year that we might be able to pull this off.

And it has become important. I like homeschooling, and while I'm not judgemental about anyone who does choice the school route, I really am antischool. I don't get the system or how it works. I hate how learning becomes soiled in such a system. I am not naive enough to think that learning is always joyful. It's not. I am not finding my thesis work to be joyful. But I do love what I do, and even with all the drudgery there are those moments of clarity that make the drudgery worth it. And I am trying to install that idea in my children. Yeah work sucks, and sometimes it's not fun but there are times when the end is this beautiful creation that almost makes it worth it. And I see that happening with them. I don't want to lose that to the system.

Of course there is also the time issue as I call it. H and I are so not schedule orientated. How we make it to anything on time is beyond me (we usually don't' to be honest). But that's us, and homeschooling gives us a bit more flexibility in that area. I love being able to sleep in with my babies, and to stay up late. I enjoy starting school at 11 instead of having to drag them to school at 8. I like being able to switch our plans to the park when we have an unexpected beautiful day. We can leave for Mexico as soon as H and I are done instead of having to wait for Umberto to get done with school. We can take school to Mexico.

I'm hoping that next year I can keep up with this blog a bit more as we hammer out these details.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Spring has Sprung

Dare I hope that spring is here? We have had a succession of beautiful, sunny days bursting with buds and new life. Perhaps it this outpouring of life but I have spent the hours, when I am not exploring parks, frantically writing, being inspired. This morning, I sit here with my first chapter completed (there is only two chapters) and the possibility of the end real and present before me. Last night, while listening to Ceremony and Morrissey, a flash of clarity came, and suddenly the whole project came together as a coherent whole. What had seemed like a series of small papers was now a thesis. Ahhh..spring, time of reproduction and life.