Saturday, January 31, 2009

In Grading Jail

Have only graded two essays out of twenty-eight. Sigh. Am totally panicked about campus visit. Wish the two other places I'm up for would contact me already.

Uh oh, baby awake. Gotta go. =(

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oh Wisdom of teh Internets, Don't Fail Me Now

So maybe an hour after I posted that last post on Monday, Absurdist Lover got laid off. Needless to say, this has caused my head to go a-swirl with money problems. I'm going to have to go ask my father if I can borrow money since I don't get paid from the Community College until the 10th -- my father, the same one who said I needed to find someone else to ask. Not good. I'm hoping that because it's a short-term loan, he won't balk. Ugh.

AL's dad has work for him, so he got up early and left the baby and me to sleeping in on this nice gray Saturday. (For a while, it's been obnoxiously hot and sunny, which I find depressing in January, but the last few days it's been raining, so that's better. I don't know why so much sun in the winter makes me depressed -- I think it's that sunny days are these extroverted go-out-and-meet-the-world days that make me want to stay in -- not having the nice gray rainy inward days really knocks me out of whack -- but of course that's this town all over -- a total imbalance of extroversion and do-do-do and by the way, can you get me an agent?) I need to grade. Thursday, I graded seven essays. Then yesterday, I graded three and was totally pooped. (I had spent many hours at the office, so it was hard to do both in one day.) So I have eighteen left -- I should get at least nine done today. I should also get ready for Monday. But instead of grading, I'm possessed with the fact that. . .

I have a campus interview in less than two weeks. I'm thrilled that I have a campus interview, even though it's at a place that seems less than ideal. I'm also waiting for two other schools to get back to me -- one had said they would be getting back to us by now (I realize trolling their website is not going to give me insight into what is going on with them, but when has that ever stopped me -- it's the exact kind of job I want, which means they will never call me), the other still has some time. I should also be sending out apps for the couple of second-season jobs that are out there, but it's hard to screw up the oomph for that. I have to put together a talk, but what I feel more prepared for is a good whine about how much I need a job. Whatever I say, the subliminal message will be: Please, please, please. Hire me! I'll work like a dog. I promise. I'm a go-to kind of person, I swear. I'm a workhorse. Hire me, hire me! I realize this kind of desperation is not the best with which to walk into an interview situation -- a search committee can probably smell fear -- but it's all I've got! This is my first campus interview (Adventure U's process was a bit different) so I'm thinking about all sorts of stupid things like if someone is picking me up at the airport, does that mean I shouldn't wear jeans on the plane? Should I be marginally professional at all times? Ugh. What do you think? What advice can you give me about campus visits?

Monday, January 19, 2009

You Know How People Say that Having Children Focuses You? Today, It's a Lie.

I'm having one of those days where I can't seem to get myself to do anything. Not that kind where I don't want to get out of bed -- I got up, fed the cats, medicated Mr. Tabby, fed the baby, changed the baby, took pictures of the baby propping himself up with his arms while on his belly, fed myself, etc. No, I'm not depressed. It's a nice gray day when it's nice to have the blinds open -- and I just want to enjoy the quiet. Just want to enjoy the baby and my own thoughts. I think I only have these days when I have tons to do and don't do any of it. When I have little that is pressing, I think I get bored. I don't know -- it hasn't happened in a while.

I should be grading student papers. I'm teaching this wild five-week intersession class. They turned these in the last time we met, then my groaner-loaner gave it up, so I had to cancel last week's last meeting day. Today we have off. There's no logical reason for students not to get their papers back tomorrow. But they won't. The question is really whether they will get them this week. At this point, I don't think so.

In addition to my procrastinating habits so bad as to be criminal, it's also just that this weekend was so awful. Absurdist Lover's back went out -- this time on the side. His job doesn't offer insurance, and we can barely afford to make rent -- so getting him some solo insurance isn't possible right now. He didn't work Friday. By Saturday he was in agony. It then moved down to his leg. Last night, his leg went numb, which, while scary, was a relief because the pain medication we had wasn't working. My internet research suggests that his sciatic nerve is pinched -- but what's doing the pinching? We don't know. He was in so much pain it was scary. I was waiting for the moment when I would have to take him to the emergency room. In addition to feeling helpless and trying to help him do a couple things, I had full-time care of the baby -- and we had to get food and stuff. We got my car back on Friday -- and now I'm getting much better at going to the store with the baby. I'd like to say I was loving and helpful the whole weekend, but I wasn't. I had a cold with a headache. And I was worrying about when these papers were going to get graded, since I was getting no relief from baby care. AL went to work this morning, his leg still numbish, so now it's quiet around here -- and even during the times, like now, when I could be grading, I'm not.

I also made the mistake of answering my phone. A medical bill has gone to collection. I got paid on Friday, but it's all gone already -- to food. I can't even pay my sister back the $60 I borrowed a few weeks ago and had for a while, but now it seems to have gone poof! The collection agent was prepared to work with me and reduce the amount, but I had to tell him that I had $25 until I get paid next (and really that has to go entirely to rent, so I actually have to make what I have last three weeks, which is impossible, and I don't know what we're going to do). So I have the whole money thing swirling in my head. I looked up WIC, and I think our little household makes too much money to qualify, which seems impossible because we don't have anything. One good answer to all this would be for me to apply for more jobs. That would even make sense. But though I know I must get a tenure-track job, any tenure-track job, I'm conflicted about it because then I'll be away from Absurdist Baby so much. I mean, I know I have to do it. But it's hard to feel gung ho about applying for second-season jobs. Especially as I've also been wiki-watching and biting my nails hoping for campus interviews.

Sigh. One interview that I thought I did well on has gone on a hiring freeze. Though I'm not sure that they would've called me anyway. So I'm crossing my fingers about two others but really should be applying applying applying to the handful of new jobs. Heck, I should be grading the essays for the job I have now. And what about the bills I should be entering for the law office? This is not good. I'm hoping writing this blogpost will help me get this flakey mindmeandering out of my system. Scarily, I think I'd prefer to do the office stuff over the grading right now. It's already 2pm, and I have gotten nothing done! Where's the panic? What is wrong with me? I just feel so overworked already! Absurdist Baby is wonderful, and I love him dearly, but taking care of him is work! I feel like I should get to enjoy some quiet. And I should get to putter and think about the holiday today and the inauguration tomorrow and the historical importance of all that. I also want to think about the whole immunization thing, since I took AB to the pediatrician on Friday and signed the immunization form instead of had him shot up with six different things(!), but now I feel like a bad parent -- and stupid too. I don't fear autism or anything -- I fear all the long-term effects that we don't really know about. But all this just worries me. I just want to enjoy some worry-free living for a few blessed minutes. After all, if AL were in trouble, he'd call. I hope he is okay. He endures a lot and then to have the searing pain that he's in. . .it's just too much. The poor man is going to explode.

Cross your fingers that I stop puttering the apartment and teh internets and get to work and feel productive and stop daydreaming and worrying about things I can't do anything about right now.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Absurdity

Your Word is "Peace"

You see life as precious, and you wish everyone was safe, happy, and taken care of.

Social justice, human rights, and peace for all nations are all important to you.

While you can't stop war, you try to be as calm and compassionate as possible in your everyday life.

You promote harmony and cooperation. You're always willing to meet someone a little more than halfway.

Okay, this is kind of interesting, because while social justice projects are incredibly important to me, I am not a calm and compassionate person, though I promote those qualities in all sorts of ways. But I'm naturally impatient and snarky. Oh dear. No wonder I'm so confused.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Back to Blogging: Update on 2009

So I've had enough of this sparse blogging. Of course, it's because I have so much to do already that blogging has just sort of dropped off, but I'm going to try to blog and write more often, mostly because my mental health seems to demand it! I'm just grumpy when I don't write. (Ask poor Absurdist Lover!)

So what's going on? Well, too much, as usual. I've started an intersession pre-transfer writing course for Community College. It's five weeks and a whopping three hours a day three days a week. I come out of there exhausted. I find myself muttering about how much I hate it, when I think I'm just tired. But truly it's not my favorite work: at Grad City U freshman comp classes weren't very structured -- the Aim and Scopes were so broad that we could really do what we wanted -- and though of course the class was a service course, the program did not just view it as an academic discourse class. At Community College, it's all about academic discourse -- and not really a very nuanced and intellectual version of it -- but really a very structure- and mode-based (compare/contrast essay; cause/effect essay) version of college writing. As in the thesis statement must be the last sentence in the introductory paragraph kind of college writing. At Grad City U, students were encouraged to find their own purposes and genres for writing, so we weren't working that same structure to death. I totally understand the reasons for hammering this structure at students who are considered developmental or basic writers. But that doesn't mean it's my favorite teaching either.

So that's the beginning of my week. I take Absurdist Baby over to my folks' house where their babysitter takes care of him. She totally over-dresses AB in this theory that if they are warm, babies will sleep more. She put socks over his sleeper feet! I think I should explain that I do not live in any of the parts of the country that are currently blanketed with snow. In fact, people come to Obnoxious Urban City because of its temperate (boring) weather. Its lack of weather, I say. Shouldn't babies be encouraged to be awake and learning? AB spends a certain part of his day now eating his hands and batting at his toys. I realize that he's an added burden to Babysitter's day at this point, but when I come home, Absurdist Lover (who picks AB up after his workday, because he gets off before I do) usually has AB down to his onesie, worried that he's totally overheated. I don't know what to do. On the one hand, my dad is helping pay Babysitter's extra fee for taking care of AB and I know she comes highly recommended by them and I'm very grateful to have someone so trustworthy taking care of him; on the other hand, she's overdressing my baby! I tried to mention it, but I got the feeling that either she thinks I don't know what I'm talking about or that she's going to do what she wants no matter what because she's basically doing me a favor. My stepmother (SM) also seems to think that Babysitter knows everything (SM said of course Babysitter knew how to hook up the carseat, then Babysitter asked AL how to do it when he came to pick up the baby), so there's no help there.

SM is basically one of those people who thinks she knows everything. She interrupts and steals every conversation. I find talking with her exhausting because I have to fight to say anything. She means well and is typically very generous to me -- I'm not her daughter, and she has no duty to me. Her latest idiocy is now the running joke in the Absurdist Home: at Christmas, she told my half-sister, her daughter, that AB couldn't hold up his head or grab things. She said this based on his age, not observation. Of course, he could do both. When half-sister was helping take care of AB, she noticed that he could and said, "Our Mom [she can't seem to make the leap to understanding that her mom is not my mom] said AB couldn't do that." It was a beautiful moment. (Then she told Dad how advanced AB was.) So any time I'm annoyed with them (which is often), we say: "of course, AB can't hold his head up yet." I know. I'm a terrible person. They've been very generous to us. I don't care. SM's know-it-all attitude drives me crazy.

In other news, I'm wiki-watching. Two of my interviews have already gone on in the process without me. Of course that doesn't mean that they might not call me later, but there it is. So I expect to hear/not hear about the others for the rest of this month. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get up the energy to apply for more jobs and work on job talk stuff so that if I do get the call, I'm not going quite as crazy as I could be. There is also this proposal due next week. Mr. Tabby is sick with a lump on his chin. It takes me at least three pumpings to get out what AB drinks in an afternoon. I've got a dilapidated loaner car right now while my transmission-dead and death-trap car is being turned into a safer car. Dad is willing to pay for the car because I said I'd give it to my half-brother (who'll be seventeen then) instead of taking it with me when I move for a job. (As with so much with my family, I'm grateful and hurt: it's not worth fixing the car because his daughter and grandson need to be able to get around, but because his teenage son will inherit the car. On the other hand, he'll get the car totally overhauled. It seems impossible to say to my father that the reason why the three older kids feel that there is favoritism toward the other two much younger half-siblings is because: there is! No kid needs their own flat-screen TV, TiVo, DVD player, and computer in their room.)

So there's a lot going on, and it's tempting for me to just end up listing it all and ending up bug-eyed and overwhelmed. AL is working full-time now, I've still got the two jobs, and things are beginning to look up for us money-wise. We are very hopeful that 2009 will end with us in a new-to-us, much- smaller town. And after the sleep-deprivation and wildness of the last few months, I feel like I'm just waking up out of that huge fog. I plan to blog more, even if it's just to do lists (which have started to rule my life because I now forget things).

And now AB is up. Gotta go!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I Can't Help Myself

But it's been ages since I've posted pics of Absurdist Baby.

Good dreams at two months.

10 weeks

Up close and adorable at 10 weeks

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Belated Blogoversary

I began this blog two years ago December 15, writing about the job market. My first posts chronicled the countdown to my MLA interviews. Here I am, two years-ish later, on the market again. But that's where the similarities end. My life is very different, the city I live in is very different, what I'm looking for in a job is different. But it wouldn't have been the same two years without the conversations and support of the blogoverse. Thank you all.