Tag Archives: self-congratulatory twaddle


Yes, I am shallow. It is absolutely making my day that Cayenne is 4 weeks old and I am wearing pre-pregnancy (which means pre-IVF) jeans.



Thank you, eighteenyears, for nominating me for this award! It really brightened my day.

Eighteenyears’s Blog (and her comments) are always written with such good humor, even when she’s in the middle of some really serious shit. She keeps on keepin’ on, and while it may sound like I’ve suddenly entered the lyrics of something from the 1970s I am totally serious.

Here’s the cut-n-paste part, with commentary because that’s how I roll:

Here’s the five-step process to follow after being given this award:

  • Share who gave it to you with a link back to their blog.  This I can do.
  • Write down seven random facts about yourself. My entire blog can be classified as “random facts about myself.”
  • Give this award to fifteen other bloggers.  Artistic license here. I pared down my reading list to people I really felt a connection with, and the smaller number of people I will nominate is a reflection of that.
  • Let them know they’ve won.  Can do!
  • Pop the award on your blog. Did I just do that, or am I missing something?

Random fact number one: I hate milk. Like, really hate it. I can’t stand to smell it, I can’t kiss my husband after he has had some, and it was one of the happiest days of my life as a kid when my mom finally gave up and stopped making me choke it down.

Random fact number two: I have never used a lawnmower. When I was a kid my parents thought I was too spacey to cut the grass without injuring myself, and from moving out of my parents’ house until 6 months ago I only lived in apartments. Now we rent a house and my husband cuts the grass. Maybe I should learn.

Random fact number three: I love me some Joss Whedon, and I get a weird joy out of spotting actors from old Joss Whedon shows in other things. I mean, Pete Campbell is Connor! Come on! And I swear I saw Maggie Walsh in an episode of Law and Order: SVU. And (Mad Men again), Danny is Jonathan! I could go on. Heaven help me, I could go on.

Random fact number four: I am apparently hugely forgettable. People usually have to be introduced to me three or more times. In college someone broke up with me because, and I quote, “You really don’t have anything interesting to say.” I have been described as “boring,” “lackluster,” and “like a ghost.” These things used to really bother me, but now they don’t so much and it actually makes me a little nervous to be paid attention to unless I’m performing. Yeah, socially awkward would have been a simpler way to explain that.

Random fact number five: I once sang “The House of the Rising Sun” at the top of my lungs at the request of a Bangkok taxi driver (his exact words were, “House of the Rising Sun. You sing.”), who accompanied me by humming the instrumental part and (terrifyingly) playing air guitar.

Random fact number six: I have very serious anxiety about dentists. I have even stopped reading blogs after the bloggers described dental procedures in detail. (Sorry!) Some of the anxiety is based on very, very bad past experiences (which I won’t share) and some of it is good ol’ irrational fear.

Random fact number seven: I just signed up to take an online class on writing a mystery novel. I think it will be fun.

My nominations:

  • Augusta, who is Waiting. And Waiting. And at this point has the patience of a saint.
  • Bunny, who generally doesn’t go in for blog awards but I am nominating her anyway because she is awesome.
  • Egghunt, who is juggling so much right now. I hope she’s doing OK.
  • Jackie, who just got some very, very good news.
  • Misfit, who is Almost There.
  • Port of Indecision, whose alien has landed.
  • Roccie, whose generous soul is looking for a way to give back.
  • S, who has her hands full with two lovely babies.
  • (There are others, but they’ve already got this award!)

movin’ on up

So, my husband has a Real Job now.  The kind of job you hope you get after grad school.  Because it happened so fast (an emergency vacancy after a tenured faculty member quit in what can only be described as a huff), the university had no time to do a proper search, so this is a temporary appointment for now and he will have to go through the whole search process this year.  That means there’s quite a lot of uncertainty about what will happen for next year — but since my husband is currently revamping the curriculum in his area to help this school meet the standards of the national accrediting body, we’re hoping that that will help him get the inside track for the permanent position.

I’m unemployed.  I haven’t been unemployed since I was fifteen.  So far I am LOVING IT.  For the first time in our marriage, I don’t have to panic about making the rent.  I am planning to start recruiting some private students, and I am looking into getting on the sub lists for the nearest orchestras, but if it takes me a while to build up a studio we STILL won’t have to move in with my mother.  Any money I earn can be … wait for it … saved.*

I’m not trying to be a jerk here and I understand that lots of people are doing much, much worse over the last few years due to the economy — but honestly, the economic downturn did absolutely nothing to us because we didn’t have any assets to begin with.  I was lucky enough not to lose my job, and we muddled through.  But now, for the first time we have reached a place of (temporary) security, and I just can’t believe my luck.  We are still years and years away from things like buying a house, but I can see IVF or adoption as realistic possibilities within the next 2 years.**

I am grateful.  Now that I am here and the moving expenses are finished, I’m going to start working on a budget that includes giving back.  My husband has already started by contributing to the symphony and the local chamber music series, and I’m thinking I can increase my Amnesty International contribution as well.  This brings up all sorts of thorny ethical issues — as in, how much do we keep in our savings?  How much do we give, and to what causes?  What exactly is our responsibility to society, and what constitutes selfishness?

But those are questions for another time.  For now I am just grateful.

*Yes, kids, apparently some families earn more money in a month than they spend on basic expenses.  This surplus can be “saved” in a “bank account.”  More research is needed.

**Can you adopt if you don’t own a home?  This is a serious question — everything I’ve read so far suggests that we would never pass a home study due to our lack of assets.

unexpected good news (no, not bfp)

Holy shit, ladies.  Ho-ly shit.

Remember that job I applied for?  Well, I didn’t get it.  But about three weeks ago I got an email from someone at that university, inviting me to apply for a second position they had opened.

Of course I scrambled to get my materials together and got the application sent out before I left for Thailand.  I got back last week … and found I’d missed a call from them requesting more materials (several email interview questions which I never received).  I called and emailed, begged and pleaded in the best, most professional way I knew how, and got them to re-send the questions and extend the deadline for me.  I stayed up most of the night completing them and submitted under the wire.

Today I got a call:  they want me to come out and interview.

Next week.

Did I mention, holy shit?

This job would be an AMAZING opportunity.  It’s literally twice as much money as I currently make (albeit in a place with a higher cost of living), it’s work I’m good at with a mission I believe in, and it’s in a state that mandates insurance coverage for IVF.

Holy shit.


My interview is next Wednesday, and I’ve already gone shopping for a long-sleeved blouse I can wear to cover up my tattoo.  Now I need some advice:  how do I handle missing work for this?  Do I say I have an emergency and will need 2 days off next week, or do I just wait till the day of the interview and call in sick from Maryland?  What is least likely to bite me in the ass if I don’t get the job?

Also, interview advice please!  Anything and everything you have to share, I want to know it.  This is an administrative job at a university; email me if you want more specifics, as I don’t want this to be Googlable.

Holy shit.

one year?

Hey, I just noticed.  I’ve been here a year.  Go figure.

My first post.

(It shows up second as you scroll through the archives because I hadn’t figured out how to set my time zone yet; the post that shows up first was actually written third.)

6 minutes of music

This is part of a performance I did this past weekend.  It’s a piece for live performer and electronics.  It was a lot of fun and I thought I would share it.  Enjoy!

***EDIT:  The music starts about a minute into the video.***

i’ve been tagged

By Jackie! And Leslie!

That’s 14 questions to answer.  Here are Jackie’s questions:

1. What would your college major be if you could go back to school and choose one (make one up if you want) without having to worry about finding a job in the field?

Yeah, I already did that.  I have 3 degrees in music, of all things.  But if I had it to do over again I still don’t think I would pick business or engineering or biochemistry.  I would love to go to culinary school, and as for more “academic” fields I would love to get a degree in comparative literature, or possibly religion.

2. What was the most embarrassing trend you followed during your high school days.

I really embraced the whole grunge thing and spent 1992-1997 (high school and most of college) in ripped jeans, Chuck Taylors, and ratty flannel shirts.  I wasn’t really embarrassed by it, though…

3. Describe the house where you grew up. Would you live there again if it came up for sale?

I grew up in a 2-bedroom bungalow in an inner-ring suburb of Cleveland, Ohio (it felt more “urban” than “suburban”).  I would move back to Cleveland in a heartbeat, and yes, I would definitely live in that house.  It was not big but it was comfortable and cozy, and we knew all the neighbors.  Later on we moved to an outer suburb; the house was bigger and the schools were better, but there wasn’t the same community feeling.  It was kind of cookie-cutter and I would not choose to live in a place like that.

4. Are you a city person, a country person, a suburb person, or a small town person? Which one describes you the least?

This is a hard question!  I can see myself living in any of those settings.  Currently I’m a city person and it’s working out OK, but I live in an old urban neighborhood with lots of tree cover and old houses; I don’t think I could handle the whole downtown loft, concrete jungle thing.  I think the one that describes me least is “country person.”  I like to be out in nature, but I’ve never really lived out in the country and it would be kind of new to me.

5. What concert would you love to see? What’s the best one you’ve ever seen?

I would love to see U2.  The best concert I’ve ever seen?  That’s really hard….I heard the Berlin Philharmonic play Beethoven 4, and it was transcendent.  I was also absolutely blown away by Meredith Monk, and eighth blackbird, of course.

6. You’re going on a 1-week vacation, but you can’t take anyone with you. Where do you go, and what do you do there? Or do you give up the trip?

Only 1 week?  🙂  I think I would go to Key West.  I’ve never been there and I’ve heard it’s beautiful.  I would relax on the beach, sail, and listen to music.  If I had more time I would go to New Zealand.  I spent just about a week there a few years ago and I did NOT want to leave.  I would like to see more of the country (we stayed around Auckland when I was there) but with the long flight from here, a week doesn’t seem like enough time.

7. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?

Yes.  Her name was Sally.

8. What is your favorite slurpee flavor? If you have never had one, what’s your favorite candy bar?

I don’t think I’ve ever had a Slurpee!  My favorite candy bar is dark chocolate with almonds.

Here are Leslie’s questions:

1) What’s the best dish you can cook?

That depends on my mood.  In general I do well with soups, stews, and curries–things that have to be eaten with a spoon.  The hands-down favorite among my family is my vegetarian chili, but I have a soft spot for Southeast Asian food and am always trying to learn more techniques.

2) Have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper? What for?

Yes, my performances have been reviewed in newspapers in various places.

3) What’s the worst and/or most memorable job you’ve ever had?
It’s hard for me to name anything besides my current job as the worst, even though when I look at it objectively it’s not that bad.  I am really really working on this–on understanding that my boss doesn’t have to like me for me to be competent, and that she is not going to fire me just because she doesn’t like me. But it’s hard for me, and I am still carrying a lot of anxiety and dread with me every day.  I am doing my best….(getting anxious now just thinking about it).
4) When you were a teenager, at what age did you envision yourself getting married? How old were you in reality when you got married?
I honestly didn’t think about it.  I had other things all mapped out:  college, then a master’s degree, then an orchestra job, but I didn’t really think about getting married.  I was 23 when I got married.
5) What’s your most hated household chore? What’s your favorite?
Most hated:  cleaning the bathroom.  Favorite:  I’m going to assume that cooking doesn’t count.  I like organizing things.  I am terrible at STAYING organized, but I like to sort and put away and make things nice all in one fell swoop.
6) What’s your earliest memory?
My mother claims I couldn’t possibly remember this, but I swear I do.  I was sitting at our kitchen table in my mother’s lap and we were singing “Happy Birthday” to my father.  I remember my mother saying to me, “Daddy’s 25!”  It is a little implausible, since I was only a year and a half old on my father’s 25th birthday, but it sure feels like a memory.
I tag….EVERYONE!  Seriously, if you haven’t already been tagged for this one, consider yourself tagged.   Since I was asked a set of 6 and a set of 8 questions, I’m going to split the difference and ask 7.
1.  Are you good at sports?
2.  Are you allergic to anything?
3.  What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
4.  Do you consider yourself liberal, conservative, or something else?
5.  Do you dream in color?
6.  Would you rather have dessert, or seconds of the main course?
7.  How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?