Wednesday, November 26, 2008

There Are Advantages To Being An Adult, and Wisdom is One of Them

Regret is the other. HAHAHAHA! This is not a lament. I want to talk to those of you that are in high school right now. If you are older than that, disregard. You already know what I'm about to say.

My daughter is seven years old with her whole life ahead of her (a condition we all enjoy, actually). It is easy to look at someone so young and see possibilities that somehow didn't show themselves or that we missed when we were young. My wisdom, in advice form, is this:

Go to college when you are young. It doesn't matter that you don't know what you want to study, that you don't have the money, or other excuses. The truth is, college will never be cheaper than it is right now. Scholarships, grants and loans are available. If you want to go to college, don't let anything stand in your way. GO NOW. If you think it's hard now, wait until you are older, with kids, a job, a spouse, a house, pets, what else? Life is full of responsibilities, but make it a bit easier on yourself and don't put off college for tomorrow when you can go today. You won't regret it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thirty Five

It's not official until 11:06 am, but, I'm thirty five.


My daughter is walking around in a tank top, long john pants, and ski boots. We may presume she is excited to go skiing. The fashionista wanted pancakes for breakfast, no! Scones! But that will have to wait until tomorrow. It's my birthday and I'll not cook if I want to.

My husband is taking me out for coffee this morning, after the ski bunny is off to school. I wonder if I should wear the big tiara or the small?*

That's all that's happened so far.

*I don't own a tiara, but I'm beginning to wonder why not.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Birthday Eve

Ce soir, j'ai trente-quatre ans. Mon anniversaire c'est 14 novembre.

This is what I did today:

1. Language lessons with OC. It's school before she goes to school. I am a waaaay fun mom.

2. Laundry. Hmm, you would think I would have a more glamourous day planned. Wait! It gets better.

3. Three mile run. Makes me sweaty and smelly, also muscle-y and hungry.

4. Ate breakfast: bagel with butter and honey, lotsa coffee.

5. Studied French.

6. Picked up OC from school.

7. Cooked vegetable rice dish with Swiss chard which turned rice purple. And, it was good.

8. French class.

9. Picked up OC's skis from GI Joe's. Girl is going to have a good season with her own used boots and skis. Mama will have to look away as she flies past trees which look to me as deathtraps, but to her are merely scenery on her way smoking her parents down the hill.

10. Home, to clean up after dinner. (???)

11. Salute to French wine with bottle of red. Excuse me, I mean, rouge.

Bon nuit!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Atomic Cocktail

Autumn is a welcome season when you've got a bee in your bonnet to roast something. I like to bake chicken or roast some beef and vegetables, but who wants to do that in the hot summer?

An added benefit is extra heat in the kitchen. "No, honey, I didn't turn on the heat. It's from the housewife's dream: the oven!"

Pardon me, I've just watched "Atomic Cafe" and I have 1950's-itis. It's a documentary made from film reels of the era put out from different sources. There are government information films, army training films, news reports, interviews....all kinds of things. The decade was that of the American dream, freedom and independence, but it was clouded by the real threat of nuclear attack during the Cold War. No wonder one man advises the public to stock their fallout shelters with tranquilizers! Non-narcotic, if you please, and about 100 for a family of four oughtta do.

Speaking of which, my history paper's due date was pushed back one week. Let's all put on our pearls and have a martini to celebrate, shall we?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Expensive Book Club

Woe to my savings account: I think I could go to college forever!

I have always loved school. I was the pig-tailed girl who skipped to class, followed the rules for the classroom (except for that bullshit, no-talking one) and got started on homework as soon as I got home in the afternoon. I liked most subjects, except for diagramming sentences, which completely sucked the fun out of the English language.

The ten-year hiatus from college was, in hindsight, regrettable. The costs have only increased and I am not getting any younger. It is hard to find the time to get all of my studying done, with a house, two geriatric cats, a daughter, and a husband.

I heard a wise man say once that if a certain something wonderful had happened any earlier in his life, he knew he wouldn't have been ready for it. That "wise man" was my uncle, and the "certain something wonderful" was meeting his biological brothers for the first time after 50 years of not knowing his brothers existed. He told me that if it had happened any earlier in his life, he would likely have refused the offer to meet them. As it happened, he enjoyed a happy reunion with them and a particularly close relationship with my dad for two years before my dad died.

A little perspective is in order when we go around regretting things we did or did not do. I love the movie "Chasing Amy" because it is a reminder that choices we made in the past do not define us today, but they can stand for where we were at the time. Looking back serves as proof for how far we've progressed. We can leave them in the past and go on to be who we are supposed to be.

I am in college now, and that is what is important. I had a wonderful career as a graphic designer which is not necessarily over. I will go on to be a teacher one day, and I will have the chance to bring all of my experiences and skills together at what I trust to be the exact right time. In the meantime, I get to do something I love to do: read books and discuss them with interesting people. It's a hell of an expensive book club, but I am having a great time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Voulez-vous biore quelque chose?*

My French teacher begins class by asking, What is the date today? (Quel est la date aujourd'huit?) And, What is the day? (Quel est le jour?) I honestly don't know the date most of the time. Day, yes (I am not a pothead), but date as in, number, not necessarily.

I mark time by what is due in each class. Next Monday, for instance, I have a paper due in history class, then I get to go take an economics test. Tomorrow is a day off for Veteran's Day, which is how I know it will be November 11th. Which must mean that today is November 10th. I planned ahead and picked up some non-fiction dvds at the library for OC. Yes, I plan to plunk my kid in front of the tv for a good part of the morning so I can write in uninterrupted silence. So sue me, you litigious recalcitrant! Besides, the non-fiction aspect of the shows will be a learning experience. Neener, neener.

I mentioned that I've been driving more slowly in an effort to conserve gas. I might add that I stay in the right lane. This morning, I was in the right lane and flying down the road a steady, cruise-controlled speed of 59 mph when a car behind me flashed their lights as if to request to pass. I could have understood this and responded if I was in the left lane, but I was on a four-lane highway, squarely in the right, slower-vehicles-only lane.

(pause for emphasis)

There was a truck matching my speed in the left lane, and that truck clearly should have passed post haste. Inappropriate Lightflasher guy should have been doing so to the truck! I avoided road rage because I am all about level-headedness, but I did not adjust my speed. Eventually the truck passed and Inappropriate Lightflasher passed on the left.

When we arrived in Bend, Inappropriate Lightflasher turned into the SHOPPING MALL. I may not know the specific date each and every day, but I do know that Christmas is a good six weeks away. I could not understand the shopping emergency that necessitated such an insistent need to pass, and believe me, I can understand the concept of a shopping emergency with the best of them. I think I AM the best of them when it comes to a therapeutic retail experience. Just, could you get off my back about it? I was SO NOT IN YOUR WAY.

* Oui. Un verre du vin, s'il vous plait.

Friday, November 07, 2008

I Like School

It's an interesting time to be in a macroeconomics class. Even on a Friday afternoon, I want to go even when it's the only class and therefore the only reason I need to drive all the way to Bend (all 15 miles....whew!).

Everyday we listen to a lecture which follows the book, but inevitably the current economic situation comes up. I like having a professor to interpret certain news reports, government policy, because of the way he puts it into historical perspective. Sort of makes up for having to learn some pretty dry, technical material. I don't want to go into more detail here, because I fear stirring up some heartfelt controversy, or devolving into politics - blech - but I did want to mention it. There, I said it. I like economics! Not the current times, but in general.

Tonight is movie night. On deck is "Ice Princess" for OC, and "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" and "Russian Dolls" for moi. The last title is a foreign film, a follow up to the very good "L'auberge Espagnol" (The Spanish Apartment).

There's something about being in college as an adult. You are supposed to be more responsible, to know how to study, to get better grades. I definitely feel this pressure and most of it comes from myself, to myself. School takes up a large amount of time, and I really look forward to downtime now. I am failing at coming up with a neat ending to this a good weekend.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


It has snowed. I left history class yesterday and walked out into it.

School is keeping me very busy. I love it, but there is so much to do. The last paper I wrote took forever because I fiddled with the format for so long before finally settling and getting it done.

The weather has me way into creation mode. It's cold, must...make...hats!