Saturday, April 29, 2006

Answer* Prayers (but not the answer I wanted)

It turns out that I can set the passenger side mirror from the driver's seat. Another triumph--however hollow--for widows everywhere.

Now if I could only remember how to set the pre-set stations on the radio...and find some magic setting that would allow me to fill this unbelievable loneliness...

*[sic]. Edited to add: Evidently one's mastery of verb tenses is particularly vulnerable to the 3:30 a.m. posting fatigue...I preserve the error in honor of my imperfections and insomnia.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

File under: Unanticipated Indignities and Irritations of Widowhood

After the folks at quickie-lube mess up the settings on your electrically controlled side mirrors, there's no one to sit in the passenger seat while you shout, "Over to the left, up a little! Up, Up, Up--Too far! Back in. Oh, wait, I was leaning. Down and to the left. Not that left!"

Don't tell me that I shouldn't have electrically controlled side mirrors; the car was a gift.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The end is nigh

Student conversation overheard on my way across campus this morning:

"I don't know about you, but I won't even get up in the morning until I've had my first beer."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Too much is not enough

I've been composing blog entries in my head, but haven't had the energy to actually write them. Thank God for ABDMom for providing me with something I can post:


Accent: Don't have one. I'm from the west coast, and none of us think we have one.

Booze: Maker's Mark Manhattan.

Chore I Hate: Cleaning out the catbox. Duh!

Dog or Cat: Cats. But I've started the ball rolling on getting a dog.

Essential Electronics: My computer and my husband's laptop. My ipod, which makes me feel so much younger and cooler than I am. The DVD/VCR for when I am being bad bad Mama.

Favorite Cologne: L'Occitane's Green Tea

Gold or Silver: Platinum!

Hometown: (does this mean where I was born, or where I grew up? Both are college towns; one flat and deadly dull, one hilly and perhaps too exciting...)

Insomnia: Is this a joke question? I spend more time awake than asleep between 11-6 a.m.

Job Title: Dr. Mama. Assistant Professor. Frickin'-finally PhD.

Kids: One. She's perfect.

Living arrangements: Me, my perfect daughter, and too many ungrateful and ill-tempered cats. And a whole house full of memories. And a bunny rescued from alongside a busy road.

Most admirable traits: Sheer endurance. Once, long ago, a sense of humor.

Number of sexual partners: Not telling. Sorry, y'all. Okay, only one for the last 10 years.

Overnight hospital stays: None for myself. More than I can count with my husband.

Phobias: Do I have any? I was once irrationally afraid of getting HIV from a tattoo needle.

Quote: "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing to excess"--Oscar Wilde; "If you can't say something nice, then come sit over here by me" (variously attributed).

Religion: Quaker.

Siblings: One. But she's awesome, so I don't need any others.

Time I wake up: 3 a.m., 5 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 7:15 a.m...

Unusual talent or skill: I can touch the tip of my nose with the tip of my tongue.

Vegetable I love: Brussels sprouts. No, really. Sauteed with butter--lots, and lots of butter.

Worst habit: Where to start? Compulsive tidyness. Fingernail biting. Cussing. Expecting the sky to fall in (oh, wait, I was right about that one).

X-rays: Right wrist. teeth.

Yummy foods I make: Pesto lasagna. Black bean chili.

Zodiac sign: Scorpio. I'm too tired to be mysterious, sexy, and scorp-ish these days. I'd like to request a zodiac sign that doesn't evoke raised eyebrows and ribald laughs.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Is this what they mean by "ether"?

Things I really, really, really need to be able to tell my husband about:

1. The brewing battle between two all-dwarf Kiss tribute bands.

2. Yesterday's "Bizarro" strip (sorry--impossible to link. It's the one with the cemetery for men only, featuring "famous last words" of home repair attempts)

3. The current New Yorker cartoon of the wife waking her husband up because she just remembered what he did to piss her off.

4. The witty, delightful Karen Armstrong on NPR this morning. At one point she mentioned a creation myth involving splitting a female sea creature in half to create heaven and earth, "just like she was a giant shellfish." My husband, while agnostic/atheistic, shared my fascination with the idea and practice of "faith," and was a huge fan of her historicist approach to the world's religions.

Baby, can you hear me?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Hardest Part

I'm frequently--okay, almost invariably--awake between 3:30 and 5:00 a.m. It's the time when I catch up on my reading, send myself emailed lists of "to do's," worry about where to send my daughter to kindergarten, obsess over the next pre-emptive strike, and weep for all the unadopted pets and children in the world.

From 5-6 a.m., when I wake up for good, I tend to have dreams that feel like real life, the kind of dreams that hang over into the day.

This morning, I dreamed that I was talking to my husband. It was just an ordinary conversation: what to have for dinner, which area of the yard needed desperate attention, what I wanted to read next. He was thin and fairly weak, as in the last six months of his life, but he was there.

And as always, I woke up, and his absence was another awful surprise.

When I got to campus this morning, a beloved friend (readers of Bitch PhD will know her as the fabulous Madame X) had sent me an email. It's been five months, today. Not long at all, and yet a lifetime ago.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Lost Cause

Since I can't seem to find the energy or enthusiasm to blog anymore, thanks toSnickollet for providing me with a meme so that I can preserve the illusion that I'm still a blogger. I suspect some of these are gonna hurt, and lordy am I dull as dishwater:

20 years ago I . . .
1. had a 4.0 GPA
2. was waiting tables
3. thought that I would never get married

10 years ago I . . .
1. met my husband when he answered a "roommate needed" ad
2. left my home state for the one I am still in
3. started my doctoral program

5 years ago I . . .
1. started teaching at the school where I now have a tenure-line job
2. was eagerly anticipating the birth of the world's most fabulous niece (born in June of that year)
3. went on leave from my graduate school program

3 years ago I . . .
1. got married. Okay, it was three and 1/2 years, but close enough
2. sometimes didn't feel like I deserved to be as happy as I was (ditto, Snick, ditto)
3. mailed our adoption paperwork to China

1 year ago I . . .
1. bought a house
2. had not finished my disseration
3. still thought that my husband would miraculously beat his disease, or at least live for three more years

So far this year I . . .
1. lost my husband
2. earned my PhD
3. forgot what happiness really feels like

Yesterday I . . .
1. stood for a long moment in my backyard, smelling the gentle sweetness of the blossoms on a gnarled old tree
2. cleaned out the rabbit's cage
3. missed my husband

Today I . . .
1. have an observer visiting my class
2. will finish and mail the book review I've been dawdling over
3. miss my husband

Tomorrow I will . . .
1. miss my husband
2. pick up my vacuum cleaner from its tune-up
3. get my daughter her first-ever hair cut

In the next year I will . . .
1. miss my husband
2. continue to love my daughter insanely and to be surprised by her daily
3. get a dog