Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Frequency of posts

Why does Makita not post as often as she used to? It only occurred to me recently. Well, I know I haven't been posting very often, but I didn't realize why until recently. I still enjoy reading blogs, and I like writing blog posts. I love getting comments, however small. So what's up?

When I started this blog as a graduate student, things were a little.... shall we say hectic? Crazy? Over the top? Take your pick. It wasn't easy. Being a full-time graduate student with 1, 2, 3 kids. Some argue I have 4. Horrible health insurance, questionable stability in immigration status. Blogging was a great outlet for me. I could rant and rave in (relative) anonymity, and bitch and whine, and complain. If my readers didn't like it that was fine, there were plenty happy, easy-going bloggers out there to entertain them.

But 2009 has been very good to us. After graduating in late 2008, I found a job quickly. It has turned out to be a wonderful job. We won a major court case in the Summer, we traded in our car in the cash-for-clunkers program, cutting our fuel bills in half, P1 started the application process for tenure. I almost feel bad. So many people have been hit so hard in the recession. A number of my friends have had a hard time in their pursuit of degrees, losing loved ones either by breaking up or death. Many of my friends have dealt with financial hardship. But 2009 was good for us.

We're not by any stretch of the imagination rich, especially not since we're still paying off our attorney for several more months. But we have a roof over our head, wheels to drive our kids and ourselves around, and we eat well.

So that's the reason I haven't posted much. I don't have much to complain about. I had to think whether that would mean the end of my blog. Should I stop blogging, because the initial drive is gone? Or should I re-program myself to blog even if things are going relatively well? I love writing, I guess I choose for option 2. I'm sticking around for a while longer. For as long as it's fun. And if things go wrong, I'll have a ready-made outlet to complain.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I have 4 kids

I thought I had 3, F1-1, F1-2, and F1-3. But I stand corrected. This morning I was reading "Two Peas in a Pod" by Annegert Fuchshuber with F1-3. It's a cute book about animals that have 2, 3, or more babies. The beetle even had 51, and didn't even think it was too much. I then asked F1-3 how many children I had. She answered right away: "4."

Huh? Me: "How did you get 4, I thought I had 3 kids?"
F1-3: "No, you have me, F1-2, F1-1, and daddy."
Me: "But daddy is not my child, he's a grown-up."
F1-3: "But you call him 'baby'."
Me: "Oh, ok."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Credit card commercial?*

We recently got a brand-spanking new high-def cable box (the lead-up to that is another post entirely, in the works). As I was setting it up I explained to hubby that the way I was setting it up would allow us to tape our favorite shows, but we would not be able to watch another cable channel at the same time. "That's no big deal. Shouldn't be a problem" he said.

So how come, that on the very first occasion it could be a problem, it turned out to be a problem? On Friday nights I like to tape Numb3rs. I like Numb3rs, and I've taped it every Friday it's on since.... well I don't remember for how long. A long time. Years. About 5 minutes before the VCR is set to start taping, my beloved husband sits down with the remote and starts flipping channels. "Baby, the VCR is about to start taping Numb3rs" I gently remind him.

He looks at me with shock in his eyes. "So?" Me: "Well, remember how I explained we wouldn't be able to watch another channel at the same time? You can watch a DVD if you want, but no cable right now." Indignant hubby: "But I want to watch the NBA game!" There is no use. I don't really care that much about tv, while he does. But you know, there are a few things I *do* like, and Numb3rs is one of them, and it ought not to come as a shock that I would like to continue taping it as I have for the past few years. I told him I could watch it online in a week or so anyway (that would be a little more involved for his NBA game). I walked off, went to bed, and read a book instead. But I was pissed.

I had a hard time concentrating on my book. This was going to be a problem. On Mondays I want to tape House, on Fridays I tape Numb3rs. This was going to happen again, and again. And every time I had to postpone watching the few things I like, there would likely be a problem.

This morning, I disconnected the cable box and changed it for one that records, a DVR. DVR: $9.99 per month. Saving a marriage.... pricelesss.

*For those who don't understand the title of this post, a credit card company uses statements like: "Cool item that you can pay for with our credit card: $XX, cool side-effect of doing so.... priceless.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


First of all.... Happy New Year!! I know, the year is two weeks old already, but I figured I had to say it.

I've had this coffee mug for almost 9 years. It's been with me through my MS, my job in between, my entire PhD program, and a year of post-doc. I like it. I've used it every day I've been in this building since I got it through some kind of graduate student event I helped organize back in '01. So when I dropped it on the floor this morning, and it shattered into a thousand pieces, I was a little sad. It's just some ceramic, but it's been with me for a long time. You know, emotional ties and all that.

To top it off, it shattered so thoroughly that it required me to sweep out the entire storage room. Shards were everywhere on the floor. It took me about 10 minutes to clean up the floor. And while I'm crouched on the floor, sweeping with the hand broom to get every last shard, I just barely notice this little tube underneath the -80 degree freezer. I pull it out to throw it away, but then I look at the label.

It's a tube I had taken out of the freezer this morning and needed desperately. I would never have found it if it wasn't for the fact I had dropped that mug. That tube was important. I figure, that's worth my 9-year old mug. Thank you mug. For many happy years of warm coffee, and your sacrifice for my tube of DNA.