Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Whole New Level of Absurdity

So now Maude has gone and done it! She's rated me E! Really, lately I'm more like AWOL. This must be Maude's sneaky way to get me to blog! Am I supposed to pass it on? First I have to figure out who has not been E'd.

So lately I've thought about blogging about how not teaching -- and not having a job generally -- is really demoralizing. After all that work on that frigging PhD! I had a dream a while back that I was teaching the next day and that somehow I was a newbie teacher again with people giving me inane advice -- that I was taking! Oy! Last night, I dreamt that I was talking with a brand new cohort about doctoral work while I was graduating in August and getting weepy. I guess I miss the academy.

So since I basically didn't get on the stick about spring adjunct work, I've now just sent off an application for the only place even remotely nearby (in a very broad and ridiculous sense) that is on the quarter system. Cross your fingers that I get a couple classes! Even driving all that way (at least an hour and probably more in Urban City traffic) would be good. I also got a job teaching SAT prep. The training starts in a week and goes on every weekend for about 50 hours, during which I'll be paid minimum wage. Sigh. But then my PhD and teaching experience should get me a good hourly rate teaching the SAT. Assuming I can manage it. Absurdist Lover and I are really trying to get jobs and get out of the camper and into an apartment because. . .

In the tradition of total absurdity, understanding that I have no job, no insurance, none of my stuff, only a couple friends (though most of my family), and no apartment in Urban City and the fact that many people would warn us not to say anything for a while,* I'm telling y'all that I'm pregnant! In spite of all the obvious reasons of concern, we're happy anyway. Not least of which is because I had totally convinced myself (with the help of some doctors bandying around the term Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) that my hormones were screwed and that fertility was going to be a problem. Rather I can tell you that my hormones are now in fact totally looped. I'm exhausted all the time and want to do nothing but lie around. I don't have morning sickness (thank goodness and knock on wood), but my digestion is all screwed up. I now understand why it's sometimes seemed to me that pregnant women can't talk about anything but their pregnancy: your body basically feels like it's been taken over by an alien. It's pretty hard to forget about with the cramps, aches, headaches, backaches, digestion nightmare, and exhaustion. And that's just the glory of the first trimester. And then there are the emotional swings. Before I took my at-home pregnancy test, I was pretty convinced I was losing it because I would cry hysterically at basically nothing. The pregnancy test confirmed that I was not crazy, just being buffeted around by hormones. Oh joy. I will say that Absurdist Lover is totally sweet, cleaning things up and taking care of the cat (oh yeah right -- after a lifetime with cats, I'd get toxoplasmosis now -- gimme a break) and letting me be a big lumpy demanding whiney lazyhead. It's enough to make you fall in love all over again.

So according to my most scientific calculations (the exact same method that doctors use of calculating from the first day of your last period, meaning that conception doesn't even start until two weeks in -- a very strange system, if you ask me), I'm seven weeks pregnant. I have not yet gone to a doctor, because, get this people, I have to do the whole thing on sliding scale and low-income options. I'll be the most educated person in the Medicaid line (though I think on paper I make too much money for Medicaid -- I'll keep you posted). Now, is that the most absurd thing you've ever heard? I couldn't have gotten pregnant after I lined up a job or anything. That would be too easy. And I'm applying for these local community colleges that are hiring in my field for the fall -- but of course October is when I will give birth. OY!

So now I will blog for you the complete absurdity of being an over-educated, low-income, camper-living pregnant woman. There's got to be a book in this, right? I haven't even caught up on all the other things I'm supposed to write about! (My sister said I should keep a journal, but really all I want to do is cross-stitch and sleep. And eat when I suddenly have to eat or my blood sugar drops to nothing.) I promise to occasionally write about academic and educational matters, but let's face it -- part of this blog is going to become about this half-centimeter in my belly who has already made my belly pooch! For those of you who are going to be turned off by this, I apologize. But I'm sure that even though I have some amount of fuzzy happy hormone brain, there should still be a giant load of the kind of snark for which Maude so sweetly rated this blog E.

P.S. My grandmother is having her lumpectomy next week and my mother is coming down to help her. The gang will all be here. Bedlam. Can I just stay in bed?

*Some people say that you should not tell people until week 12, because one out of ten women have a miscarriage in the first 12 weeks. This is a good theory. But if I don't out this on my blog I will surely never blog! And I had to tell my friends because otherwise I feel like I'm being dishonest -- and probably have nothing to say anyway. I'm very bad at keeping my own secrets. Hopefully, the sesame seed bean is totally healthy and everything and there will be no more complications beyond how on earth I'm going to get some exercise when I feel totally like crap and live in a teensy camper. But if something bad happens, well, you'll probably hear about that too.


Sisyphus said...

Hurray! How crazy! How absurd! How wonderful!

Totally random side comment: have you sent out some letters trying to pick up summer work? Cause there will be a whole wave of that even before the fall hits. It may be that all the reg. teachers want the extra money and there's no slots (that's how it is at my campus) but it can't hurt to send a letter and a follow-up call.

And my friend picked up some courses for the county --- I don't remember if it was Glendale or Ventura --- when she moved to be with her boyfriend. She taught technical writing to city employees who needed something or other to be eligible to move up the ranks. _Such_ a good job. All working adults but none of the chip on the shoulder or really crappy cluelessness returning adult students sometimes have in froshcomp.

Anyway, on the gift registry stuff ---- I went to my friend's baby shower (no registry) and bought a huge pack of those cloth diapers, because my brother's wife and my sis always used them for everything, particularly burp cloths, and I wanted to be useful. Well, she opened all the gifts in front of everybody, and everyone had gotten something tinier and cuter than the last, and everyone kept going "awwww! I wish I was pregnant!" after every little sock or hat that was revealed, and then they got to my present, which was ugly and plain white and looked like I'd spent 5 bucks on it, and everyone was just silent. "Anyway," said my friend, and moved on to the next present.

So I hate baby showers. However, she ran into me about a year later and gushed about how much she loved those burp cloths cause she used them for cleaning up everything and they were still helpful now even though he was spilling solid food rather than puking things up. So I feel vindicated.

Anyway, that's a crazy long comment.

Good luck and keep us posted on everything!

What Now? said...

Wow, big news indeed! Congratulations, and the best wishes to you and Absurdist Lover in working through the complications of absurdity.

k8 said...

Congrats! Very exciting!!!

On the job part of it all - do you think there will be any opportunities for teaching online? It might not be ideal, but it might be easier as an option for this fall.

dr four eyes said...

Wow! Congratulations!!!

Hilaire said...

Hey, you, congratulations! You sound like you're doing fabulously, you know!

Maude said...

i feel late to the game, but since i already congratulated you, i'll do it again anyway!

CONGRATULATIONS!! i can't wait to read more about this!!


khora said...

There must be something in the blogwater! So many blogger babies on the way!

Congratulations, dear!

Yellehs said...

Congratulations! Wow -- that is completely absurd, but definitely excellent blog fodder. I have no advice whatsoever, but I do truly hope that your pregnancy advances with you and the sesame seed in good health, and Absurdist Lover continuing to be as sweet and supportive as possible. I look forward to following along with these new adventures!

AJ said...

Once again, congrats! While we're waiting for the book, the blog is going to be quite exciting.

T.E. said...

So exciting! Congratulations!

gwoertendyke said...

wow, how fun and wonderful and of course absurd. it always is, no matter when it happens--enjoy! and blog about it so we can vicariously experience the fun.

kermitthefrog said...

Congratulations! This is an exciting time to be finding your blog... (through Maude).

Unknown said...

I lost my baby at 8 weeks.

But I am very happy for you and I hope everything works out. I look forward to reading about your absurdist pregnancy. ;)

Earnest English said...

Please forgive me for not responding until now. I have crap internet that will probably screw up before I can even get this comment sent. Thanks everyone for the good wishes. I'm beginning to understand that everyone around the pregnant woman should be happy, because a woman in her first trimester is so profoundly not happy. So I really appreciate it. Also thanks for the good ideas about jobs. Mostly I do think of summer teaching as hard to get, but I should try, which, let's face it, is more than I really did for the spring. Is there another way of getting online teaching besides going through particular universities? Apparently I'm dumb about this.

Also, cool ideas about other possibilities.

Sis, everyone knows that all babies do for the first year is burble, spit up, and crap over everything. Which is why those cute clothes are totally pointless except for holidays and other photo opps. (I looked at a book the other day that said to buy two cute outfits and then a hundred onesies. This is a book I can get behind.) Your friend obviously didn't know anything at the shower, but boy did she ever learn. "Anyway" is not the right response to the best present you'll ever get. Hmmph.

Aisha, that's terrible. I'm so sorry. I know I'd be heartbroken. I'm hoping everything will be okay. You see? I can't even say/write it.