Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow day chaser

Here's a chaser for that last post if you were already having a bad day. : (  A room full of my favorite things.

John Boehner, "Rape-rape", and what we can do about it

*Trigger warning*

Top-priority in this country, in John Boehner's POV, is changing the definition of rape.  Not for the better, mind you, but to make sure that less women are covered for government-funded abortions that result from sexual assault.  You probably read about "rape-rape" during the latest surge of the Polanski debate, but now our politicians are seriously differentiating a violent assault from date rape, statutory and coercion.   The way it's been, only rape and incest are covered by the government for abortion funding. So to further whittle that down, the Repubs want to define what "kind" of rape they're willing to include in this exemption.  Drugged? No. Unconscious and woke up with someone inside you that you did not consent to?  Young teen molested by your stepdad? No. No.

Rape is rape. There is not "rape-ier" rape. There is no tiered system.  There is abuse and hopefully there is help, but many people in government want to take away the second option.

Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown has started another twitter campaign, and if you smirk at that kind of idea, that's fine, but it works to get the word out (@JohnBoehner, #DearJohn).  Write to your representatives about this, tweet about it, write about it, and don't let it go down silently.  It isn't hard-- fill out a form, tell them what you think about what's happening.  A redefinition of rape is terrible in terms of abortion coverage, but it may have far-reaching legal implications that will obviously not help survivors and victims.

Think about how fucking awful any sexual assault is, then think about being told you weren't raped enough to get government assistance. And you can't afford an abortion on your own.  Or raise a child. This makes me so ashamed of our country right now.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Awesome? Shame? Texas?

I'm sure everybody has seen this by now, the United States of Shame:

I was pretty happy with "Worst Credit Score", as Arkansas is usually the butt of any joke including goats, Billy Bob Thornton or cousin-marrying.  Most Arkansans fall back on Mississippi to make fun of, but unfortunately that's where I was born.  You learn to be tough at the bottom of the barrel.  Ohio is looking even better for us now, since they are worst at "nerds".  How is that bad?  I think it bodes well with J getting a job there.  And Colorado can't be too bad since I don't do cocaine. I have beat the system!

(Also: Delaware is "worst at" abortion? That is a discussion all in itself.)

And the rejoinder, The United States of Awesome:

In J's words, "BROMINE PRODUCTION?"  I agree-- we do lots of stuff ok: state parks, classy parking meters, Cavender's spice, jelly pie(?), first female US Senator, gays and bigots living in peace together, outhouse races, The Gossip, Maya Angelou and the freaking Clintons.

Beth Ditto and Secretary Hillary Frigging Rodham Awesome Clinton
Bromine, since as an Arkansan resident for 17 years I still had to look it up, is a halogen element used in pesticides, flame retardants and Mountain Dew.  Its latin root bromos means "the stench of he-goats".  Awesome.

What does this have to do with Texas, capital of wind power and low high school graduation rates?  This is the next place J is looking at for a postdoc.  I think I said, "TEXAS? TEXAS?" in an excited/anxious high-pitched voice a few times before he calmly answered yes.  Seriously, I have never heard Texas come out of his mouth.  So, it's now France and Texas, though I still think we shouldn't lose hope in Ohio or Colorado until there's an actual rejection letter. 

 I'm realizing just how little I know about what's going on in my spouse's head, how many places we might go that I can't even imagine.  Makes my little searches for library jobs seem futile. Texas. Texas. Seriously, Texas. I know I'm from Arkansas, but Texas seems so weird.   And even stranger, I find I am drawn to this idea.  Things to think about.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

J. finds an outlet!

Cardamom-apple pancakes with rosewater syrup
Last month, J. and our good neighbor Tuna (also a grad student) decided to have food and movie nights with friends, where they competed with their culinary skills on a specific theme or food.   They want to do a blog, too, where they post pictures of the food and review the movies.  Last week (the second event) was a bread contest, and we watched The Holy Mountain (1973).  The bread (a simple whole wheat boule from J. and a rococo pesto loaf from Tuna) was absolutely delicious.  And the movie didn't make anyone run screaming from the room.  Though it's really just a snacks sort of event, everyone who has come has brought a dish, so it turns into a stone soup/Jesus and the loaves kind of thing.  So nice!

Pesto bread in foreground, J's boule to the left, gulab at the top, and a green bean dish by a Turkish friend that tastes very much like you'd get it in the South!

Other than futzing with his bike, this is J's only organized activity.  And as much as I complain about having to forcibly eject him from the house to go work sometimes, he really needs something that has nothing to do with work.  Both he and Tuna are haggard grad students, so they have that bond as well as friendship.  Though they call it a competition, there's nothing like that going on.  No stress, no winners, no rules.  Just food and good times.

Gulab jamun- fried dough in syrup, from India
I made a batch of galub jamun from a packet, and made the syrup myself.  The dough was not the tastiest part about the dish, but I think the syrup turned out well.  So well, we used the leftovers the next day to pour on our pancakes (highly recommended recipe).

On a whim Monday, I checked the academic and public libraries for the towns J's applied in, and actually found some openings.  They weren't ideal, but I am confident that I can eventually turn a part time job into full-time once I prove myself. Economy be damned!*  To show I was being super positive (I'm still making up for my attitude from the past) I sent J an email with the links.  His response was that he wasn't feeling very positive about his current applications because no one was responding to his last email.  It's the beginning of the semester, so I think it's just people being busy.  I hated to hear him sounding sad, and I really didn't mean to exacerbate that with my email.  He's one of the most responsible, level-headed people I know, so sometimes it's hard to remember that he's feeling uncertain and scared, too.

*Please don't ruin my delusions.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Spotlight on Awesome: First Stitch on Etsy

I've written about how easy it is to avoid making friends when you know you're going to move, but jumping back in has so many more rewards than downsides.  The women I've met in the past six months have been integral to staying sane, and I like to think I've helped them, also.  Maybe it's because we're older, but there is such a show of emotion and affection between us, it is almost my reaction to be cynical and not take it as sincere.  I have friends that want hugs and say "I love you!"?  I realized how jaded I must be if I questioned the sincerity of truly sweet communication.  Hugs all around!

One lady, specifically, who has helped me in my crazy life, is my friend Anca.  She's got a Masters in Fiber Arts, so you know I am taking advantage of her skills as much as I can.  She encourages me to make things, teaches me how to do them better, and is helping me add to my insane list of future projects.  Yesterday we took a trip to Joann Fabric and had to keep pulling each other back from the brink of Craft Addiction.  "Sculpey is 50% off! Let's get 10 of 'em!" "But we don't need it?" "But it's half off!*!!!"  We did end up using the Sculpey, and I wish I had a picture of the little mushrooms she made. Adorable!

I do have pictures from her new Etsy site, First Stitch.

The felt balls are wonderful as decorative pieces, but I use mine as a fashionable pin-cushion as shown above.  She also makes small clutch purses:

I have the honor of seeing some of these first products come out at our weekly Craft Nights (makin' therapy).  But Etsy is hard until you can get some traffic there.  I had an account for a little while (and actually sold a few little things) but it requires dedication to marketing yourself and getting some exposure.  Even though no one else seemed to be selling custom state bird egg bracelets, no one knew I made them so I didn't sell any.  I did not succeed, but I can't stand for these cute, well-made things not getting at least some pageviews.

*Sculpey and Premo are 50% until Sunday, I think. Get it done.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Link Love: The Smart Expat

I was quoted on The Smart Expat today, in a post questioning the need for a name.  I still consider myself new to this game, so the idea of having a place to talk about my feelings and belonging to a group is still tender in my heart:
For those of us who are new to a the idea that our spouse or partner’s career is going to lead us to new places and to circumstances which involve putting our own careers, dreams and ambitions on hold, giving those common circumstances a name gives us the opportunity to know that the emotions we’re experiencing are commonly experienced by people who make the life changes we have made.  It lets us know that in circumstances where much of what we find comfortable, supportive and familiar is no longer available, we are not alone.
"Because we ARE special!", The Smart Expat 

When a problem has no name, it's hard for people to find each other and get help about it.  And this problem is not new.  
Geez, name yourself already. Are you really going to agree to "Moon Child"?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Six Months of the Traveling Spouse

I started this blog six months ago. Seventy-eight posts later, I think I've come a long way emotionally, in that I don't feel totally alone, or that I'm making up problems for myself.  I've learned that the problems (that do exist) were not necessarily going to be solved by a change in circumstances, but a change in attitude.  We are going to move.  I am going to have to quit my job and pack up my house and go somewhere where I will have no social ties other than my husband.  Wallowing in self pity and loneliness will only make things worse, so I will need to buck up and make a plan, and stick to it.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that there are aspects of this that will be utterly fun.  And that just because I am somewhere because of my husband, that's just the beginning.  That's how I arrived, physically. I will find ways to slowly erase that and stand on my own.

But! in the depressing kind of news you probably read this blog for, I found an article on relocation's effects on people by gender, and guess what! Ladies have it worse.  I know I am a social person, and find people/things to do to fill any voids in my life.  I call it resourceful.  This just means I have to start from scratch, and knowing this ahead of time will hopefully make the transition less painful.  I consider this blog practice in rallying my defenses and finding allies.  So far it is working really well.  I've tried to write other blogs, but they usually peter out from lack of topics.  This is the first site I've had that has a running theme, and even though I haven't "traveled" yet, there is always something to mull over.  It's really exciting to see that people read it, and it only takes one comment to plaster a smile on my face.  As a friend said recently, "Just wait until you actually MOVE". Yeah, readers, watch out.

Until I move, it's all pictures of giant, stuffed artichokes. My craft projects
 bring the pageviews to the yard, uh-huh.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


While I was working, I was struck by the feeling that I was definitely having a good day. I should probably stop thinking about it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Walk, Bike, Ride

Renee at Womanist Musings posted a video of Judith Butler and Sunaura Taylor taking a walk and talking about what that means when a person isn't literally "walking", and about disability and social acceptance.  This is not a subject I know very much about, but I do think about mobility often as I am walking around my neighborhood and to work.  We live near enough our workplaces to walk or ride a bike, and are lucky to have a nearby bus stop when it is not comfortable to do either.  There is an old apartment complex a few blocks away that houses mostly older people and many war veterans.  I see them in motorized wheelchairs, oftentimes riding in the road because the sidewalks are not even or there are no curb cuts.  The first time I saw it happen, I was annoyed, but now I think about how scary it must be to ride in the road (just as some cyclists are scared) but have no other option, because the sidewalks are only usable to those who can step up and down, and over obstructions.

I feel very lucky that we have so many options of getting around. In the morning I just have to pick what kind of shoes to wear that day, and that is how I decide how to get around.  When we move, I know the chances are pretty small that we'll have such a good location.  I just hope we don't have to buy a second car.  That makes me frown just typing it.

This is a reminder to think about what sidewalks are for and that many differently-abled people need to be able to use them.  I need to remember this when I pull my car into my tiny, steep driveway, so the end isn't sticking in the sidewalk. If you have a sidewalk around your house/apartment, get some hedge trimmers and make sure there isn't any vegetation that would block the way, or cause someone to step into the road.  I know as a pedestrian, it bugs the shit out of me.  If people leave their garbage cans turned over in the way, move them.  If they keep doing that, move them LOUDLY.  Yeah, I'm the person that's doing that.

Here is a  "passive aggressive note" about blocking walkways (I think it's wonderful) that the car owner didn't really understand.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow day state of mind

No, we don't really get "real" snow in Arkansas, but when it's in the forecast we all do happy snow dances and hope our childlike glee doesn't provoke an ice storm. Because we get ice. Plenty of it.

From the ice storm last year.  
J. and I spent last evening with friends for the first-ever "food feud" between him and our neighbor.  They're thinking about starting a blog about food and movies, which I think is an good distraction for two grad students. It had started dusting outside,but by the time we'd eaten all the competitive snacks and watched the movie, the weather was looking like we'd get to sleep in.  Everyone was excited, except for our Wisconsinite friend.  She was not impressed.

So, I was pretty sad I didn't receive an automated call this morning, informing me to stay in bed and think about a hot breakfast.  Instead I got up, put on two pairs of socks and shuffled the dog around the backyard.  It was actually a nice walk to work, and it seems that my boss was not, in fact, snowed in to her home.  Just a regular old workday.

J. says he's going to contact the Ohio person today.  I've been doing my research (which is not very scientific) and she seems to have a very cohesive group of people, doing lots of different things. They even have pictures of the group doing things together. In their spare time. Having  fun.  Naturally, I want J. to get to work with nice people who enjoy what they're doing.  But I don't need to get my hopes up.  My mom suggested I send off to their Chamber of Commerce for a relocation packet in the mail.  Mail. Oh, mom.

Since he wasn't sending an application to a job posting, but expressing interest in working as part of the team, we may hear something sooner than we think.  If there wasn't a chance of working there, I'm sure she'd have just sent a reply that they didn't have funding or something.  Yes, I'm getting too excited.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

People! In my blog!

Oh goodness.  Hello everybody! I am sitting in a coffee shop silently bonding with J. as he does work (not distracting him of course) and when I checked my page views (ok, yes, I do that too frequently) I saw 98 people had come today.  Total flabbergastment ensued.  It seems a bigwig has linked to me on her/his twitter account, who blogs on the same blog as Comrade Physioprof (Drug Monkey on Science Blogs), who I remember is a huge commenter on feminist blogs from when I first started reading them.  I feel touched by greatness. What a Saturday morning!  If anyone is here who is married to an academic, welcome welcome welcome and I hope my ramblings set you at ease.  If you are an academic, please don't be offended by my whining.  I have learned so much since I started this blog.  If you are here because you love feminism, crafts, or the Alien franchise, I hope to not disappoint.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The internet was listening to my thoughts....

And it appears that Noomi Rapace, who played Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (they made an American version?) is on the shortlist for A PREQUEL TO ALIEN OMFFFGGGGGGGGGG  DJAOADJFA;DJFAIEJ;AEJAIJA ;JE; AJ IJ;FIE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I never know when something awesome is happening until it's just there, which is nice for immediate gratification.  I was trying to see if my blog would ever show up on a google search, trying Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jane Eyre, AND Ellen Ripley (the answer is no) and I found this post.  I am so happy right now.  If I was to get a bad decision tattoo of a face on my back, I would get Ellen Ripley.

I read books!

I've gone to the gym three times this week, and since I overdid it on squats (trying to impress a new friend, silly I know) so I think I'll take today off.  I was having a really hard time at the beginning of the week letting the sads get to me, but I've kept myself too busy since then to get down.  It also helps when I am reading a book-- make that TWO books that have me taking longer 15-minute breaks than I should: Jane Eyre and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

I started reading Jane Eyre when I was 15 or 16, but got distracted by other things.  Then in my senior year of college, I was in a Women in Modernism class (woefully unprepared) where we read Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea.  Not only was I completely adrift in modernist and feminist theory, it was a novel from the perspective of Rochester's first wife in Jane Eyre.  Since I had never read the first book, I was not exactly sure how to grasp the second. So, I am reading that first classic and going back and reading Wide Sargasso Sea.  I'm surprised how much I like it, but if you'd ever seen me watching a Jane Austen film adaptation, you can imagine I'm slack jawed with anticipation or talking out loud to the characters.  I started reading it again with the awareness of how mental illness and race is treated in it, and I feel bad about how much I am enjoying it (not the racism or ablism).  From a feminist perspective, Jane is in turn very independent and knows who she is, but her attachment to Rochester is kind of gross if you step back and look at it.  But, as patronizing as he speaks to her, when he called her his "little mustard seed", it makes my heart wiggle.  Humans are strange things.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a really great movie, and is an even better book.  I am so happy it's a trilogy.  I will admit I was a snob at first, avoiding it because it sounded like a trendy Young Adult novel about one more mysterious beautiful lady who is magic, ignoring her as a person and casting her as a mystery*.  Not so!  Lisbeth Salander, the books' female protagonist, is neck and neck with Ellen Ripley right now.  I am glad she exists.  She is smart, independent, and flawed. Bad shit has happened to her.  She's reacted in ways that I do not agree with but understand.  The books are about murder, dysfunctional families, ethics, journalism, mysteries, technology and a little romance.  I cannot recommend them enough.  I'm excited about a weekend with no plans and this and Jane Eyre in my hands.

Once I get up the front steps of my house (with my legs killing me from those damned squats) I will post myself on the couch and not get up until Monday morning.

*The original title in Swedish is Män som hatar kvinnor, which translates to "Men who hate women".  It's interesting to see how things get changed for an American audience. I think that would have perked my ears.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rec letter sent!

J. hid in our room after work yesterday while I had some friends over for craft night.  It's something I used to do years ago, and I've restarted it.  Weekly on Wednesdays, people come over with whatever they're working on and sit around and talk.  I've met some new friends this way, and it gives me an excuse to sit down and wheedle on something (because it's written down! That makes it more important).  There was one odd bird who came with one of my friends, who was very smart and funny, but kept making negative blanket statements about Southerners and the South in general.  Yeah, we've got some fucked-up stuff going on down here, but we're not all shitty politicians.  She also made mean-spirited comments about Southerner's pride in their hospitality*, and that people are just as hospitable in the North (she's from a New England state).  I don't think I've ever heard anyone say Northerner's aren't hospitable, we just put a focus on hospitality (I do) and that helps us keep our mind on it.  I mean, I had just told her I'm from a very southern state, and she says, "I just hate the South".  Well, um, ok.  Do you want another drink?

It was so blatant that I didn't get mad about it, just really confused at why someone I didn't know would come into my home and say mean things about our colleges and entire citizenry.  Maybe I was rubbed the wrong way when she dissed a college I would have gone to had I been able to afford it (arguably the best liberal arts school in this part of the country).  I caught myself thinking, "So, this is the exact person people are referring to when they say Northerners are rude!  Maybe they meant, 'There's one particular Northerner that's gonna rub you the wrong way, watch out!'"  Yeah, just that one person. Other than her inexplicable outbursts about how awful we all were for living in this part of the country, she was a fun person.  And yet, I'm not looking forward to being insulted again while serving wine and opening my home to someone. The Southern Hospitality stops right there, darlin'.

Really, a pride in hospitality is about the only thing that ties me to my Southern heritage.  I don't go for "southern pride" or whatever, or feel an urge to go back to where I came from, but I guess it's like when someone says something bad about your sister, and maybe it's true, but only you get to diss your sister. She's yours!  Yeah, there are lots of bigots in the South, and they're less shy about being loud about it.  But when you're sitting in a room with a bunch of nice people in Arkansas, don't say everyone from Arkansas is bad.  Really, manners, people.

Anyway, REC LETTERS!!  Once I got everyone out of the house, J. crept out from his hidey-hole and said his advisor sent him and email, and the letters were sent.  The explanation for the "emergencies" that may have messed up my husband's job prospects did not seem to equal a month of flakiness.  Hopefully he's back in the running for a few things and this doesn't count against him.  That was a good end to the day.

I've been sleeping very badly for the past four days.  It's probably the crazy sleeping schedule I've had during the winter holiday, but that still doesn't make sense. When I get into bed and decide to sleep, I always go to sleep-- so that's not the problem.  I've just been waking up in the middle of the night for no good reason, then not fully sleeping til I have to wake up.  J. even went to sleep the same time as me (it's been hard for him lately to turn his mind off for a decent bedtime).  However, when I did my middle-of-the-night sudden wake-up, he wasn't in bed and I found him fallen asleep in front of his computer on the couch.  The look on his face when I found him was so sad-- he just couldn't sleep at normal times anymore.

I'm going to try taking melatonin for a few days until I start sleeping normally** and suggest he try it too.  He's resistant, and that's fine, but the stress of writing and jobs and flaky advisors is having a bad effect on his body.  I only wish taking a hippie sleeping pill for a few days would actually fix the problem.

Speaking of my body being crazy, I finally figured out why I got so sick after New Year's: alcohol isn't a raw food, thus it doesn't react well with raw foods. In other words, there was nothing to soak up the little alcohol I had to drink.  Healthy + Unhealthy did not cancel each other out.  Beware!

*Just because we're proud of our hospitality doesn't mean we've got a monopoly on it. Geez, people.
**I've been eating well, exercising, not eating chocolate after dinner.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Channeling of Anger works!

Despite the exclamation point's assumed cheeriness, this wasn't so great.  When I said yesterday that it was less harmful to channel anger into sadness, that was ridiculous.  I spent my first day back at work in total doldrums, trying to maybe find a silver lining to working in a basement with one other person (who acts like she hates you). I tried not to get down about J's current job progress, but those two things combined into me somehow working myself into a lather from the time it took to lock my bike in the basement and come through the front door to him sitting on the couch.  I got mad, said some mean things, and then started crying.  J. was patient and I got it all out (I could tell, even in my bad place, that things weren't as bad as they were seeming at that exact second) in time to head over to the gym.  That made me feel a lot better, and when I came home I was in a better mood.

Other things contributing to my strange-feeling first day back were being ignored/rebuffed by two people I said hello to.  One was a faculty member I interact with at my job, and another was a woman I'd had several classes with and similar social circles.  The former gave me a weak and noncommittal little wave (I figured he had the sun in his eyes) and the latter just gave me a look like, "Who the hell are you?"  What's worse than someone who  knows you not recognizing you is thinking that you have done something so horrible that they're pretending they don't know you, and you must be even more horrible for not knowing what that misdeed was.

I ate my lunch (at the same place as my new enemy(?)) and felt a little off.  What's up with this day? When I got to the gym and was stretching for a run, I saw a guy from my cycling team, who I hadn't seen much of since I hurt my knee and it got cold.  He was with his new girlfriend, who I had not met yet.  I gave one of my goofy excited waves (he is a person I can be safely goofy around) and he gave a small, non-committal wave as if he wasn't sure I was waving at him specifically.  At this point, I realized that it was totally self-centered to think that there was a conspiracy against waving at me, perpetrated by the entirety of campus.

When you're walking on a track, but the person you're coming up on is walking
slower,  it feels boastful to pass them, as if to say, "I know we're just walking here,
but I'm walking faster."
Photo from flickr user dbtaylor1959
Still, made me uneasy.  I thought, "Does he have such a jealous girlfriend, maybe, that he didn't want to wave at another lady?" but that is the stuff of bad movies.  I started my run/walk, and at one point was walking behind them, at a slightly fast pace, and there was no way to pass them in a non-awkward way.  As I passed him on his left, I gave a little wave and said hi.  My friend looked completely surprised to see me suddenly walking beside him and said, "A! I wasn't sure who that was waving at me, and thought maybe they were waving at someone behind me!" I laughed and told him it'd happened twice already that day.

"Well, it's probably because of your hair".

My hair? Oooooooooh.  I have very short hair, for about 12 years (or longer than anyone here has ever known me, with one exception) but have been growing it out for fun and because I'm too lazy to cut it.  I've been pulling it back in teeny-tiny pigtails for the last few days, and that was probably what threw people off.  It was pretty funny to me, and just that little bit of laughter put me in a better mood. J. was certainly thankful for that when I got back home.

[UPDATE: Dig my new background! I took macro shots of some of my costume jewelry. Spangles!]

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sad day

I tried to get a good head start back to work. We made a soup from our new raw cookbook, but it made my stomach feel bad, and I got to bed late and couldn't sleep well (J. came to bed at god knows what time, and woke me up as usual).  Still, I got up, ate breakfast and got to work my usual 10 minutes early.  It only took about 30 minutes for my boss to be genuinely mean to me.  I guess since I'm writing a blog post you can tell that kind of behavior doesn't inspire me to be my most productive.

This semester's goals are to make a handbook for my job, so the next person doesn't have to waste time muddling through the little dumb details that slowed me down.  My boss knows I'm making a handbook, and of course didn't tell me she thought it was a good job.  I have a very spare handbook that I started with, that she recently told me wasn't even updated before I started all these years ago.  Awesome!  Other goals are to further clean up old files and take a good look at our training materials.  Things get outdated so fast.

My boss starting the year with anger and impatience reminded me that my imminent escape is really tenuous right now.  We still don't know if J's advisor has written any letters, or why exactly he's been held up.  I'm trying to push my anger into sadness, because I'm gonna have a pity party anyway and my sad is more responsible than my angry.  I haven't really gotten down about J's rejections, but if he doesn't get a job because of things he couldn't help that weren't his fault, I'll have trouble redirecting my anger.  I know that my anger can't do anything but makes things worse, so this is hard.  I can't imagine what it's like for him, since he is so much more emotionally reserved than me.   I wonder if he needs a hobby that has nothing to do with his work to give him some added joy/success right now.  I think Osmos is the only thing he'll geek out on right now:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's like a Phoenix

I'd like to think I came through the threshold of 2011 like a phoenix, on fire and ready to be reborn, but really I just had the worst hangover of my life (4 drinks! I am serious!) and didn't manage to form complete sentences until 6pm the next day.  On the 31st, I decided that I'd eat more raw food and end the year with a completely raw meal (spring rolls and sun dried tomato brazil nut "cheese") but on the 1st I had a fried cheese melt from Denny's dipped in ranch.  Nothing on earth was going to get me to eat cheese with a Z.  I needed fried.

Other than the horrendous pain and lost time, New Year's was super fun.  I got to wear a cool outfit, go to several parties and hang out with lots of friends.  J. got a little grouchy (he's not as much about parties) but by the end of the night everyone went to bed happy. (How they woke up is another story).

We did end the year with some bad news on the job-search front.  J. sent in an application to Colorado over a month ago, and also got work back from a possible job in Ohio around the same time.  Has his advisor written/sent his rec letters yet? No.  J. tried emailing him several times, stuck around his office trying to catch him, but to no result.  J. was pretty disconsolate a few days ago and thought that this apparent disregard for him getting a job was going to cost him the Colorado one.  It's not his fault, but it makes him look bad.  The deadline for the Colorado application has already passed, so it's not a point in his favor if his is incomplete.

He had to send an email to the Ohio job to see if they had all his letters (since his advisor wouldn't even answer an email about whether he had sent it).  The answer was no, and J. tried to be as diplomatic as he could without saying outright his advisor was practically M.I.A.  He tried to get in touch some more, tried to convince himself that it was just the end of the semester/holiday time and things were going slow, but eventually we tried to convince each other that something horrible had happened and that's why there was no letter.  J. got an email a few days ago from the Ohio researcher asking about the letter, and he forwarded that to his advisor.  Guess who finally replied!  Seems there was some vague emergency, and he is now "working on it".

It's making me very nervous, and I can't imagine what's happening in J's head right now.  He's working as hard as he can, and is asking for the bare minimum.  There's nothing I can do really, and that's frustrating.

Also annoying: people asking me where I want to go.  It's a nicety, I know, but do they not understand the concept that I am not the engineer of this move? I don't want to get back into the negative rut of saying, "It doesn't matter where I want to go," but that's the truth, isn't it? Stop asking me!!