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!

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