Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Motherhood and Feminism (and why I won't watch Juno)

I will confess right away that I am only a fledgling feminist, no real hands on "militant" experience like Dawn, no women's studies classes or certificate like my colleagues from graduate school, a rejected "I am a feminist because" post in a "Carnival of Feminists" back in 2005 (I still like it, though), what else... My scholarship centers on women writers, but not on an obvious feminist framework (perhaps because I dislike theory so profoundly).

My friend Kateri's latest post, though, brought up an idea that I hadn't thought about before. I had only kind of suspected it subrepetitiously under some of the feminist works I'd read. But let me backtrack to give you the context of her diatribe.
~~ ~ ~ ~
Kateri is a birth-mother, an extremely articulate birth-mother (go read her archives if you want to be deeply moved) and I have learned so much from her experience (as well as from Dawn on the other side of the coin as an adoptive mother in an open adoption). A while back Kateri blogged about Juno (if you read her post, do read Cecily's also), and then last week she was interviewed in a Chicago Tribune article about Juno and birthmothers. The comments to this article were deeply troubling to her (I didn't read them because I didn't want to be angry), and then, the hate mail started pouring in... and it was in her post about the hate mail that Kate made a comment that got me thinking... (she wrote another shorter post to follow up).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Kateri first wrote that feminism has turned its back on birth-mothers, then, she, who has been thinking for a while now of writing a book about her experience, wondered if this book would matter to anyone outside of adoption (and Kate apologized for her "myspace syntax" here):
i'm not sure what i'm trying to say, exactly. there's this missing piece, this leap i haven't made. it has something to do with the question- "why does Juno find motherhood so unappealing?" why did i, at the time? why is that the obvious, foregone conclusion? what's wrong with motherhood? i know all the answers: school! freedom! your own life! blah blah blah.
. . .
there is this underlying belief that the best mother is one who martyrs herself and kills her own dreams.
. . .
the assum[p]tion of this belief as fact is what keeps us from looking at the state of motherhood in the culture.
(bolding mine)
And she ends by questioning why we cannot accept, celebrate even, motherhood in teenage girls.

My comment to her post was:
Hmmm, I think you're getting at the heart of the problem here: "the state of motherhood in the culture." Motherhood doesn't really matter much, does it? Do the feminists really talk about it? They don't! They talk about choice, but it's mostly regarding "choosing work," not having kids and caring for them -- that would be "the old way" or something... It's really sad that motherhood is seen as a stumbling block for everything in life. Is there ever a good time to be a mother? Never, I think!! It's tough on those who work, tough for those in graduate school like me... it's not that different from the situation of a teenager, it's just that women in other situations have accomplished a bit more. Even these older women have to give up on her dreams (e.g. getting a Ph.D.) to become moms... no matter the age, the financial situation, there are always "setbacks."

I say proudly to people that I'm taking 10 long years to get my Ph.D. because I gave birth to two sons in the meantime, but sometimes I wonder if taking this long to finish will not just have killed my chances in academia (there's a great book about this that's coming out soon, Mama, Ph.D.), but I digress... What can we do, though, if being a mother is just so unacceptable to so many "institutional settings" (like academia, corporate America, etc).

Then, in a short conversation with Dawn here about how Kateri should frame her book, Dawn wrote that "she should position the book as a feminist manifesto," but now I'm thinking that perhaps it's going to be a manifesto challenging the feminists for abandoning mothers.

DIGRESSION: I should be working on my dissertation and I was, but I came write this post because I found a quotation precisely about these issues and just had to come here write this post.

In an endnote of this book, the Brazilian scholar Renata Wasserman summarizes very neatly how the feminists have rejected motherhood.
Julia Kristeva explains that since " we live in a civilization where the consecrated . . . representation of femininity is absorbed by motherhood," and "this motherhood is the fantasy that is nurtured by the adult . . . of a lost territory" the representation of which is "an idealization of primary narcissism," feminism [at least French feminism, I guess] tends to "identify motherhood with that idealized misconception and, because it rejects the image and its misuse," it ends up rejecting motherhood altoghether ("Stabat Mater, " in The Kristeva Reader . . . 160-86, 161).
Sad, huh? Note: comment about French feminism above is mine.

My dear friends, feminists, scholars or not, out there, please tell me... what is your perspective on this issue? Has feminism summarily rejected motherhood? What are we to do, if, like Kateri argues, so many deep set beliefs "keep us from looking at the state of motherhood in the culture?" and not only that, but stigmatize young mothers to the point that they simply dismiss motherhood and suffer lifelong consequences...

Edited to add: I'll be back in the comment section this time because I'm hoping we can talk more about this (very loaded) subject.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Working with Words

When writing it, comes again the certainty, only apparently paradoxical, that what hinders [atrapalha] writing is having to use words. It is troublesome [incômodo]. If I could write by [por intermédio de] drawing on wood or caressing a boy's head or taking a walk in the the countryside, I would never have entered the way of the word. I would do what so many people who don't write do, and exactly with the same joy and the same torment of one who writes, and with the same profound, inconsolable disappointments: I wouldn't use words.
Clarice Lispector in Para não esquecer (3 ed.), 100. My translation.
(in English, translation of Giovanni Pontiero, in The Foreign Legion, 211)

This is just a sample, a small sample of writing (in a slightly awkward translation, but I prefer to translate it myself than to use the existing translation) by this amazing woman who is Clarice Lispector. And I have the privilege to be working with her, reading her words. Not only that, but writing about her.

I'd rather not have to use words at all, like she said. I love words, but writing is so hard for me, I just don't have a way with words at times. And academic writing is even harder. But I continue, hoping that this woman's words can be read by more people, wishing I could do something to make Brazilian literature better known. Someday I may. Meanwhile I'm throwing words out there, in the dark, hermetic void that is academic writing. A writing that is so useless in life's practical terms because it will only be read by other academics, many of whom already know all about what one's writing because we get so specialized that we only read stuff in our areas. I think that is very sad, and limiting, and... well... perhaps is the only way science and knowledge can "advance." Who am I to complain about it? What do I know?

And I just work. And thankfully I have the pleasure of "interacting" with Lispector in the process and being just dazzled by her words.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Live Blogging the Oscars

Well, I'm a little late, but better late than never. I like Jon Stewart so far.

Good timing, the only think I had to say about the glimpses of the red carpet that I caught, was that I loved Anne Hathaway's dress and she's talking right now.

I hope R@atatouille wins because it's the only one I've seen! 8:53

(i haven't yet cooked the baked version yet, BTW)

Only three? YEAH!!! I've seen an Oscar winning feature after all! 8:54

Make-up, who's that girl? Nice, La Vie en Rose. I have to get it so my parents can watch it too, they speak French (my dad couldn't see the rat movie b/c there were no other lggs or close caption). I love it when foreign people win Oscars :) Am I biased or what? And I hate it when they start playing the song so the person stops talking! 8:58

Oh, my parents are watching their very first Oscar with us right now. My mom was saying that she doesn't even know what the Oscar is and they're so impressed with the theater, they thing it's so big! I've been watching Oscar ceremonies for many years, close to twenty, right under their noses when I was still in high school and college, but they never paid much attention to what it was. Well, it's good that my mom watched R@tatouille three nights ago! 9:04

YAY! Vindauga's on board live blogging. 9:06

I'll confess, I only watch the Oscars for free previews of the films and good scenes with the actors since I know I'll never watch most of them...

And I had to laugh now because my mom was surprised to realize that the winners were surprised, that they didn't know they were going to win. We're explaining to her the "rules of the game".

Is Cate Blanchett pregnant? (yes? oh, she's probably gonna win, then)

Before I forget -- the Stewart jokes that I liked so far, the Barack Obama one, and... I'll get back to that. 9:13

I really enjoyed when Cuba Gooding Jr won years back. Oh boy, I have yet to watch Dream Girls!

Javier Bardem and Philip Seymour Hoffman? Hard to choose. The other guys are great too!
I guessed that one! Javier. 9:18 Yes, the worst haircut of history, I agree. Dad is enjoying the Spanish right there. Go Spain! (gotta go check on Kate, BTW) 9:20

"Writerless Oscar" salute to binoculars - YEAH, go scene from Top Secret!

I always love to see the song performance as well. This choir from Harlem is awesome! And this young girl, WOW!! 9:27

Owen Wilson often plays idiots, doesn't he? I always want to see short films, many of them are so awesome? How does one get to watch short-films? Are they available online? One more foreigner, another French. Neat! (my parents will enjoy that, at least they get to understand!)
The Bee, hey, did Seifeld host the Oscars, he did, right? My memory doesn't work anymore. 9:32

Yeah, and how does anyone get to see animated shorts? (yes, Lisa, really weird nose Owen Wilson had -- nose job? And I do make the list to see the films, they're all in my queue, but I don't have time!!! home renovations, dissertation... :( ) 9:35

Alan Arkin -- he played a key role in one of the best recent Brazilian films Four Days in September.
I'm for Cate Blanchett, hope she wins!! 9:36 These other women are great! And I always love when they nominate young girls. Tilda Swinton. Don't know her at all! What a strange outfit. 9:39 Hubby asked me to google her. And then I had to google again to look up "iclonocast/m" because I couldn't explain its meaning to my mom.

Does Jessica Alba presents the scientific and technical awards every year? 9:45
As a literary person, i'm always interested in adapted screenplays. My favorite films are often adapted from literary works. Joel & Ethan Coen, these guys are good. 9:49

Pregnant women and... "The baby goes to Angelina Jolie" -- good joke.
Oh, yeah, they have the pronunciation as a subtitle in R@tatouille, oh boy... Well, yeah, better than have everyone mispronouncing it, I guess ;-)
What's the difference between sound editing and sound mixing? Well, I kinda know, having already participated of a music recording with my choir in Brazil and been in an actual studio recording/ mixing studio with my music teacher, but still... Wow, Bourne Ultimatum twice. Action movies do need a lot of sound stuff... 10:07

Best actress - Cate, she's probably not going to get it again for the same role, or will she?
Marillon Cotillard, I hope she wins! 10:11
Oh, I didn't know the actress of Juno was running, I'm so out of it?
YAY!!!! Marillon!! 10:13
She looks wonderful too, beautiful, gorgeous dress! Lisa, I agree that it's VERY early for best actress. Maybe they want to keep the Oscars short today, the pace is really fast, isn't it? 10:15

A few years ago one of our own best, the Brazilian singer songwriter Caetano Veloso performed, singing the song for Frida.
What's up with that "broken" guitar? Beautiful song! 10:23

From the winners of the past 80 years, the films I've seen: Gone with the Wind 1939, Casablanca 41, West Side Story, Lawrence of Arabia, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, The Godfather, Godfather II, Rocky, Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, Amadeus, Out of Africa, Rain Man, Driving Miss Daisy, and ALL from then on oh, except for Unforgiven and the Departed. Not bad, I guess! I do make a point to watch the Oscar winners... 10:31

Wow, that guy is 98 years old, like my grandma. He speaks so clearly and has known so many people. he's "living history."
Yes, Jon Stewart is kind of disappointing. However, he's had very little time to talk since it's been much more fast paced than in previous years, isn't it? 10:40

Best foreign film is usually always bittersweet for me because Brazil never once won although we were nominated a few times in the past 15 years. 10:43 First for Austria? Good for them!!

Three songs from the same D!sney movie??? Isn't that unfair or were all the other films devoid of songs this year? (I guess last year had two or three Dreamgirl numbers too, right? Same thing for Chicago a few years earlier). 10:47

Nice entrance by John Travolta. Oops, that place makes everyone slip!
Oh, the broken guitar is part of the film, oh, stupid me.
I hope August Rush or Once wins -- YAY! Once!
Poor thing, she wanted to say Thank you so much and they cut the mike. I really really really want to see this film. It's done, it's at the top of my queue now!! 10:54

Wow, they let her come back? I've never seen that. My husband is saying that this happened because they're running ahead of time. What do you think? 10:57
(can one say "running ahead"?)
Yeah, in high school I would sometimes go to bed at 3 am in Brazil (2 hours ahead) because the Oscars would just drag on and on...

I always like to watch the "In memoriam" part, although it's sad too. 11:02
Not that many actors this year, though. Ingmar Bergman, I have to watch his films. oh yeah, Heath. 11:04 Bergman's Fanny & Alexander is third in my queue right now. Has been for a while. Yeah, Dario Marianelli, I thought it was going to be him.

If the Iraq segment was taped, those folks knew ahead of time about the winner...

Sicko, I really really loved it. They're not going to give it to him again, are they? 11:16
Yeah, of course not. But the winner also makes a strong political statement. 11:19

So, does everyone think that this week's Time magazine cover subject will win the best actor statue? If he doesn't it'll be an upset, won't it? 11:23
And will Diablo Cody win? I don't know if I want her to.
Harrison Ford is OLD! 11:23
I like R@t, of course! suspense! OH MAN she did! 11:25
didn't they say lead actor was coming now? More commercials? 11:26 commercials every three minutes?? it sucks!
And then commercials for almost 3 minutes. 1:29

Best actor. Helen Mirren Looks stunning! upset or Clooney? 11:31
Daniel Day Lewis already has one. Hmmm Johnny Depp -- I'm rooting for him! 11:32
Toni Colette has come a long way since that quirky Muriel's Wedding, hasn't she?
Viggo looks weird with a beard
DDL again??? 11:34 (I have yet to watch My Left Foot) Very eloquent, my husband said. Rebecca Miller, is that her name or the character's -- what an awful dress (in my humble opinion). Neat acceptance speech. 11:36
nearly over, huh?
I loved last year's Scorsese's win!
I'm clueless as to who should win director... Coen brothers?
I got it???? wow. 11:43
Denzel looks so different!
I'm curious about best film. HA. Coens again. Like the old times, double Oscar for director and film. OK. I'm done, good night! 11:46
I'm kidding, not going to bed yet. :)
Now I have to go google the Coen brothers. 11:47
Yeah, I didn't watch anything by them. What a shame. and I guess it's their first Oscar, right?
Wasn't this the earliest an Oscar ever ended?
Well, now for serious, good night and it was great to have live-blogged this in such great company, Lisa! 11:52

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Light At the End of the Tunnel?

Those of you who have been following closely my almost three year long "dissertation saga" will know what I mean by that title. When did I say I would finally begin to see the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel?"

Do I hear you saying: dissertation defense?

I can barely dare to utter these words lest I jinx myself. It seems too good to be true.
And in face of what's going on with one of my virtual friends, it's almost cruel.

I just sent the requisite emails to schedule it, though, to the dept. secretary and Graduate Program Director, after receiving the green light from my advisor by email minutes ago.

Yesterday while I was writing this post (and, BTW I forgot to mention that my BIL "K3" is getting his c!t!zenship) I received two emails from the fourth committee member who hadn't responded yet and I was thrilled, but decided to wait until I heard back from the advisor (to whom I sent an email right away) to post here.

So, unless something unexpected happens, on April 16, 2008 this journey will be almost over.

April 30, 2008 is the deadline to turn the finalized dissertation in (electronically) to the graduate school. Do you think I can do it?

And you're all invited to commencement on May 23, wanna come? (I know I should wait until after April 30 to invite you, but what the heck, I'm almost there!)

This feels so good!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Alea Jacta Est II - Two (OK, make that Three) Immigration Processes

Note: if you've been enjoying all the posts and photos about home renovation, check the previous post :).

So, K1 (my husband) just forwarded to me an email from the attorneys saying that our applications for r3sidency were mailed on 2/19 and received by them on 2/20. Now we cannot travel until we receive the @dvance p@role and our work permit cards. It should take two to three months. I want to go to Brazil in July for a conference and to see my brother, so it should all work out.

Intro to II.
Now, do you remember those 2006 and 2007 posts about "family internationalization"? If you don't, here's a recap: In 2006 my in-laws came to live (for a five year period) in the U.S. and my brother and his wife went to live in China for at least two years (my brother is a [Brazilian] forest engineer working for a Swedish paper company there, small world, huh?) (on a side note, my husband's uncle moved from the U.S. to South Africa then too). Last year "K3" (my husband's third brother) moved with his wife (who, BTW is pregnant with a boy who will be my in-law's fifth grandSON after having FOUR sons) to Turkey, also to teach for two years.

We just received an email from "K4" (the fourth and youngest brother, although he is the tallest ;) saying that the interview of their (his and his wife) immigration process to Quebec, Canada, has been scheduled for April 18. (Keiko, you'll have to help them out, right?)

"K2" (second brother) and his wife have already applied for r3sidency a month earlier than we did. So... now the race is on to who will receive their paperwork (and the coveted gr33n cards) first!!

So, it looks like by the end of this year, K's whole family will be expatriates like us. It will have taken 12.5 years since we, the first ones, came here, and 15 years since the landmark 1993 trip when my in-laws brought their four sons (and future daughter-in-law: me) to visit the U.S. and which started this whole familial immigration wave.

(OK, the real pioneer was K's uncle, now is in South Africa, who came here with his family to be a student back in 1993 and, before him, my paternal uncle who moved from France to the U.S. around 1980, and my dad's youngest sister who brought her whole family to Miami back in 1986 -- all of them are citizens by now).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Long Term Home Renovation To-Do List

This post is dedicated to my friend Tracy, and also to Jennie.
I've been contemplating the elaboration of this list since we moved into this 1965 house, but I was completely derailed by my husband loosing his job, etc. Today, however, motivated by this post written by Jennie and the fact that I've been posting countless pictures and blogging a bit about our most recent home renovation projects, I decided to go ahead and get this written. I has to be done soon, before a good portion of the list can be crossed out even before being posted! (I must say it is exciting to prepare a to-do list in which several items will be crossed out from the start, though!).
NOTE: Photos of the crossed out projects from last year forthcoming!! Post will be updated as projects are completed.

My "obsessive categorizer" side is already driving my "indecisive" side crazy with all these options for classifying the renovations: from simply "cosmetic" to structural; floor by floor; room by room; priority wise, cost, etc. I guess I'll take the floor (or level) approach, leaving the less important/ more complex projects last in each list.

First, a quick review:
1) The Ground Level comprises: the garage, family room, 4th bedroom (home office), front door to back door hallway in which the laundry is located, and a small full bathroom.
2) The Second Level: living-room, dining-room, and kitchen.
3) The Third Level: master bedroom with small full bathroom, two bedrooms, hall bathroom.
4) The Partial Basement: one large "finished" room, the unfinished furnace and oil tank room, and another room where there's a sump pump and the electricity "control panel."

Ground Level Projects:
Put vinyl floor in laundry area and paint wall(9/18/07)
Paint* 4th bedroom/home office(10/2/07)
- Paint home office closet
- Paint pink wall to the left of entrance hallway
- Remove wall paper from wall by living-room stairs
- Replace the "Technicolor Dreamcoat Carpet" by laminate or other flooring
- Deal with wood paneling in family room (paint? remove?)
- Do something to the ugly fireplace
- Get the remote controls to the garage door to work
- Fix cracked concrete floor in the garage
- Renovate small bathroom (floors, etc)
- Install exhaust fan to bathroom (through outside wall)

First Level Projects
- Remove ugly border from dining-room and paint
- Replace light fixture in dining-room
- ? Patch huge hole left from air conditioner removal (after stucco wall is replaced)
- Remove wall-paper from living-room back wall (after previous project)
Redo whole kitchen:
- Replace all cabinets
- Replace all appliances (except for white new fridge we bought for previous house. The stove is really bad right now, I can't wait to have another one)
- Put an island at the middle of the room
- Put new light fixtures
- Tile the floors
- ? Granite countertops?
- Install stove exhaust fan (through attic? how?)
- Transform corner into a closet with built-in-pantry (a pantry like that is my wildest dream!!)

Second Level Projects
Paint (dark pink) closet in boy's bedroom(9/21/07)
Paint (even darker pink) closet in master bedroom(9/25/07)
Remove hideous carpet from hall bathroom(10/14/07)
Replace rusted baseboard heat cover (required toilet removal)(10/18/07)
Cover old flooring with (cheap) vinyl tiles(10/17/07)
Paint boy's bedroom(1/24/08)
Remove old carpet in boy's bedroom(1/24/08)
Paint guest bedroom and closet(2/6/08)
Remove old carpet in guest bedroom(2/7/08)
Paint master bedroom (after removing ugly border)(2/27/08)
Remove old carpet in master bathroom(2/28/08)
- Install exhaust fans/vents in both upstairs bathrooms (through the attic)
Re-do tiny master bathroom:
- Put ceramic tiles in shower stall (or buy a new plastic one)
- Add swinging door to shower
- Ceramic tiles on floor
- Replace white tiles on wall
Re-do "long" hall bathroom:
- Replace the ugliest bathroom vanity in history
- Put attractive light fixtures
- (Only a dream) Replace tub with a whirlpool tub
- Add sliding doors to tub (?)
- Re-tile floors, walls and shower/tub

- Redo the whole thing, new flooring, walls, ceiling, etc.
- Install water softener
- Paint outside cement block walls with impermeable paint

Outdoor Projects- Replace, and level to correct angle the soil by the foundation of the house/ basement, so water doesn't seep into basement walls
- Redo buckling stucco wall on the right side of house (living/dining room wall) and all stucco around the house (close to 10K) -- will include demolition and probable replacement of plywood walls.
- Transform the back porch in a screened in porch
- Add two or three skylights to back porch (too dark)
- In two year's time -- replace roof.

I'm sure there's more to do, but that's what I remember now.

* Painting rooms in our book involves: painting the window, door frames, and baseboard (including heater) "pure white," painting the ceiling (white), painting the walls and the closet, and replacing all the black outlets and light switch with white, sleek ones.

Well Deserved Break/ Aliases for Committee Members

I'm taking a well-deserved break after two and a half days (and nights -- I went to bed at 2 a.m. last night) of feverish* work and I may even get to catch up at the other blog where I wrote this post explaining that I needed to work on the dissertation and wouldn't blog again until after chapter six of my dissertation was fully revised.

I'm thrilled to report that it's not only revised, but it has already been emailed to certain committee members and printed out and put in two other committee members' mailboxes several hours ago. Now I have two chapters (4 and 5) that need LOTS of work and then I have to revise chapters 1-3, work on the conclusion, and then... I'll be ready to defend!!!

The defense date has not yet been set "thanks" to ONE committee member that hasn't gotten back in touch with me. :-( Let's call this person Dr. Late. I was thinking of names for the other committee members, like Dr. Mentor to my former advisor, Dr. Published to current advisor, and Dr. Contrarian to the other member, the one who is tough but who loves my work, thankfully.

I know that I'm in a "high" moment right now and that plenty of "low" moments may follow as the feedback begins to come in, but I hope I can finish in spite of the fact it's likely to be a roller-coaster ride. (Perhaps my mantra should be: "I love roller-coasters, I love roller-coasters... ;-)

* Talking about feverish, my son spent the day with a fever yesterday and had to stay home from school. Thankfully he slept on the couch most of the afternoon and I only had to interrupt my work to feed him some pasta and give him apple cider to drink (he claimed that drinking it helped his headache get better). He's feeling much better today and even went to school, but as he and another boy were the only two kids who didn't go to the school's ski trip (I had forgotten all about it) he complained to the substitute teacher about a headache, she called me, and I went to pick him up around noon. He's just too smart this little guy.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

R@tatouille, Unbelievable Timing, or My Cat is Useless!

So last night we (K and I) finally watched R@tatouille (and let me say it before hand that I thought it was kind of funny that pieces about this film had to explain for readers/viewers about one of my favorite dishes ever since some might have no idea what the title meant) and...

... guess what?

This morning the boys and my husband spotted a tiny mouse in the family room. YIKES! I was still in bed trying to catch some more ZZZs but I had to get up (more like jumping out of bed) with I heard about the mouse. Both my parents (who happen to be here) can't stand mice and are actually "afraid" of them (there are several funny family stories about this, the most famous having to do with them getting on top of a table and, on another occasion, locking themselves up in the bathroom while the woman who lived with us out killed the mouse) so... I can't stand them either. They couldn't find the mouse and when they tried to get the cat to help, he didn't do much.

It was not until a few minutes ago that the mouse appeared again, this time behind the kitchen trash can and as I began to type this post, my husband and the boys (with my dad trying to overcome his aversion to help) corralled the tiny animal. We got the cat, who was sleeping behind the couch, to wake up and brought him to the kitchen, but he did nothing!! Oh well... I guess he's getting "old" (seven years next month). So... K finally smashed it with his foot and he was just here to show me the tiny animal wrapped in a paper napkin. UGH!! YUCK! And Linton and Kelvin thought he was cute. As much as I think that mice are vermin that need to be eliminated, I can't stand the thought of killing any animals. I do smash bugs and I kind of feel guilty afterwards. And what bothers me about this one tiny mouse is the thought that its family must be around somewhere and needs to be eliminated! Yikes!

Well, anyway... I had no idea how to label this post so I put it under "firsts" since it's the first mouse in this house (we had some at our first house in MA).

OK, in a slightly off note, I now have to buy the ingredients to prepare the baked r@tatouille dish featured in the film that must be just absolutely yummy!!

P.S. the link above is to a French young woman's blog, the actual recipe by Thom@s Keller that inspired the film's can be found in the NY Times.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wonderful Blogger Meet Up!

My apologies for not posting the promised recipe just yet. I cannot do it because I received an annotated chapter from my "co-advisor" and I'd feel really guilty if I wrote a time-consuming blog post (because of the photos) instead of working on my dissertation (although I have to confess that I just spent over 40 minutes reading blogs...). So, I had to settle for a shorter post instead.

Today I had the delightful opportunity to meet yet another blogger in person (I'm to tired right now to count how many I've met, it's probably close to ten) as well as her beautiful children. Thanks for coming over, Elrena! She even blogged about it already! It's always wonderful to meet another mother who understands exactly what I'm going through, particularly the struggle between the academic/intellectual life and how busy we are being mothers. I hope to have time to come back to this subject. Meanwhile, you can check what M, at Separation of Spheres has been writing about this.

More guests coming tomorrow (BIL and family). I don't know if I'll have time for blogging much, but I'll try. I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day... I didn't grow up in this country, so it's not a big deal for me, but I did bring a cake to my son's school and he enjoyed making some themed crafts and getting valentines and candy from his teacher.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bursting With Photos...

... Particularly house renovation photos.

I have posted lots of photos to my Project 365+1 blog today. A looong post about the guest bedroom renovation and some other random pictures, from newborn baby to passport picture, so check them out.

As for this blog, I'm going to post step-by-step "illustrated" recipes soon. Yummy sweet treats from Brazil that I'm preparing for tomorrow and this weekend. I also owe you photos of the renovation projects that we did last year and those will be forthcoming. That is... if I can find the time since I have to work on the dissertation and I will!! Gotta go do that right now (and check on the cakes that are baking :).

1 Down, 3 More To Go

Only one committee member replied to my email so far and she's OK with my plan.

And now I wait for the other ones...

Still no feedback from the professor to which I sent a chapter draft last Thursday night. I'm beginning to panic. I need proof-readers. What to do? I may have to resort to paying someone even though I don't have the money. If I could swap proof-reading/ editing with someone, it would be great, but is that even feasible?

~~ ~~ ~~
My parents arrived last night, on a delayed flight scheduled for 12:30 a.m., but which arrived over an hour later. We got home close to 3 am. and we're exhausted today. They're feeling very cold, poor things, I guess we'll need to crank up the heater a bit until they're acclimated.

Oh, and if you want to check out the guest room, look here!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Alea Jacta Est

(or alea iacta est -- we usually say jacta in Brazil)

I sent the email at 11:33 (and began this post a minute later).

And earlier today, around 5 p.m. K mailed the signed forms and copies of all the required documents to the lawyers to get the ball rolling on the residency ("grass colored" card) application.

I hope both things yield results soon. And, for the first time ever, perhaps, I'm not looking forward to checking my email now. I should actually be working on the chapter I need to get to the committee by next week.

I am getting the house ready for my parents' arrival tomorrow night, though.

The guest bedroom is nearly done, pictures are forthcoming. So, gotta go help my husband assemble the bed. I'll be back tomorrow, though, OK?

Thank you so much for your words of support -- those that already came and those that are yet to come. And any volunteers for proofreading/ editing will be most appreciated.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Letting Go

I'm just so paralyzed right now, so afraid of something that may not even happen that I cannot act.

I'm ready to burst into tears at any moment.

I really don't like this about me, this "suffering in anticipation" (sofrer por antecipação) that sometimes plagues my life.

The thing is simple, or so it seems. Very straightforward.

I have to write an email to my committee members proposing a set of options of dates for my defense to be scheduled.

I am terrified that some of them may not agree to this.

I have to present a timetable and this timetable gives me ONE MONTH to have a completed dissertation to hand in to them. IF they accept that I turn it in only FOUR WEEKS (and not the more usual SIX) before the defense date.

I know I'll depend on the willingness of my former and current advisors to revise my work in a timely manner and that is my biggest worry.

I trust that I can do the work, but knowing that I need to depend on other people is what stops me cold in my tracks.

How can I give the committee a timetable when I'm not confident the key people who need to help me will comply in time?

I know I just have let go of my fears, go ahead and do it. I've been postponing this since Thursday, 2/07 and everyday that goes by leaves me with less and less time to finish.

Please send your prayers and positive thoughts my way. I want to send this email NOW. I'll get back to you later about this.

Thanks for "listening."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Impasse - On Opening Up

I found a sentence of mine in a comment to a post by Dawn* that sums up perfectly why I'm so hesitant to write my "Issues" posts. While on the one hand I feel that it would be very therapeutic to address some of my fears, insecurities, and "dark sides," on the other hand
I’ve been putting off writing about my various issues because I’m really scared of opening them up like assorted Pandora boxes.
I'm afraid that, like a Pandora box, something bad will happen after I begin to go through my feelings and thoughts about certain issues... I'm just sensitive like that. I'm not really shy or very reserved, I'm just... afraid of being overexposed, of criticism, of (negative) feedback. I really want to do it, though. This is a tiny blog and you readers have always been so supportive. Getting my first troll (at the other blog) yesterday seemed to bring my insecurities to the surface and made me thinking of writing a post titled "Impasse." Then, finding the sentence above motivated me to come here and do it. I think I'll write those posts in spite of feeling hesitant. I have to remember that I blog for myself, primarily, and I've always been thinking about who I was/am and who I want to become. Self-reflection is just something I enjoy (and enjoy reading about, as many of you, such as AD and Dawn know!).

*Note to Dawn: one cannot get a permalink for an individual comment in your blog now, Dawn, like one can do in blogger, not that blogger is any good, mind you, I just thought I'd make that random remark since you're so interested in techie stuff ;).

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Very Random 50-Question Meme

Edited to change #23 and 24. I had forgotten to change Susan's responses! [No, I didn't find lice in my child's hair! :D]

I saw this a while back at Susan's and other bloggers and thought it would be fun to do. I feel a bit embarrassed doing this meme because I have a long backlog of memes I've been tagged with, but never responded. Maybe this one will get me started!

1. Spell my name as it sounds: in Brazil - Leeleean, here Lillian (?)

2. Am I a worrier? A little bit, used to be more.

3. What’s my favorite CD? I have too many favorites... It varies. Right now it's my husband's second cousin's Leo Gonçalves' latest CD.

4. Favorite colour(s)? For wearing: brown, light beige, navy blue, red, black, colorful pastels. Colors: pink, blue, aqua green -- all pastel.

5. Does my home have an attic? Yes, several, in fact. One in the garage, another above the living room floor and the one above the bedrooms (this third one cannot be used for storage)

6. Have I ever been to Canada? Yes, I was there in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2004.

7. Have I ever gone fishing? Nope, never.

8. Have I ever seen a celebrity? Hmmm, a few Brazilian celebrities, nobody here that you know of.

9. Have I ever been on a motorcycle? No way!

10. How much money do I have on me right now? On me nothing, in my wallet, $15.

11. How many cars have I owned? Four, and it's "we," I never had a car on my own.

12. How many jobs have I had? With "official" paychecks only two.

13. How tall am I? 5′4″ (I think) -- same as Susan.

14. Last person to call me: My husband.

15. Last thing I yelled out loud: Probably "Come here NOW!"

16. Last person I was in a car with: My sons.

17. Last time I ate at McDonald’s: HA! I never go there, but two weeks ago I had to take my son with his schoolmates and I had fries...

18. Last thing I bought: A $5 gallon of "OOPS" (rejected) paint at Home Depot -- which my husband is using to paint the guest bedroom right now.

19. Last person I saw: My youngest son.

20. Last time I cried: I got choked up while reading a blog post yesterday, but I cannot remember when I last cried.

21. Last time I laughed: Today with the boys.

22. What is the temperature outside? About 65.3F -- warm, huh?

23. What time of the day did I get married? At noon, it was scheduled for 11 am, but I was late, a little bit more than "fashionably late." :) (if I ever get to write the post about my wedding that I've been trying to for over a year, you'll know more about that).

24. What did I do two nights ago? Prepped guest bedroom for painting.

25. WHOSE [I had to correct that "Who's"!] birthday is coming up next? My oldest son, in March.

26. What time did I go to bed last night? Around 1:30 a.m. (very common for me)

27. What was the first thing I thought this morning? I need to email my advisor.

28. What are my plans for this weekend? Return Christmas presents. Get ready to go to NYC next week.

29. Lemonade or iced tea? Lemonade.

30. What do I dislike at this moment? Not having finished my dissertation yet and the fact I'm not working on it as I should.

31. What did I dream about last night? Cannot remember.

32. What’s the last TV show I watched? I guess it may not count as TV show, but it was Masterpiece Classic - Jane Austen's Mansfield Park.

33. What is my favorite piece of jewelry? Wedding ring (copied from Susan -- it's the only thing I wear).

34. Am I a dancer? No, but I wish I was.

35. Have I ever cut my own hair? No, but I cut my husband's and sometimes my sons'.

36. What is my favorite treat? I love treats... chocolate, jelly beans, reading peacefully while eating anything yummy...

37. How many piercings/tattoos do I have? None.

38. Where’s my favorite place to be? In front of the computer? Hmmm, that won't do. Anywhere with my family?

39. Is there someone I haven’t seen in a while and miss? My friends from Brazil.

40. Who was the last text I sent to? I don't ever text.

41. Do I care what strangers think about me? I think I do, but I know I shouldn't.

42. Last person I talked to on Instant Messenger: My mom, on Skype.

43. Last person to make me cry: I don’t remember.

44. Who can I tell anything to? My husband.

45. What am I doing tomorrow? Teaching a piano lesson, cleaning and organizing the house.

46. Do I have alcohol in my home? Nope.

47. Do I like ketchup? No!

48. Do I think I will be on a vacation this summer? Most probably.

49. What colour is my master bathroom? White

50. Do I wear a bikini at the beach? Yes, I do! I love bikinis and look awful in bathing suits b/c I'm flat chested.

51. Have I ever been to the Grand Canyon? Yes, I have. I loved it and want to go back!

52. What is my favorite fruit? Strawberries.

53. What did I really want to do today? Eat out.

54. Am I always cold? I'm prone to being cold, yes, but haven't been much lately.

55. Does it annoy me when someone says they’ll call or text, but don’t? No, not really, unless they say, “I’ll call you back in five minutes!” and then don’t [copied from Susan!! but really what I feel] . I don't do texting...

Well, you're welcome to do this if you feel like it, let me know if you do so (if you haven't already) I can check it out.

Room-A-Day Giveaway Sweepstakes

(I was supposed to have written this post on 1/26, so I'm 10 days late... The good news is, the contest will go on for ten more days and you can still participate. My apologies for the Mom Central Folks who sponsored the post.)

[Widget with dancing K-C products has been removed because the sound was a bit annoying and would start playing the moment you opened my blog. You can check it out here.]

So, all you have to do to win 25,000 from this company to renovate one room of your house is to click daily today and the next nine days on the button that appears at the widget here or going here. Easy, huh? I cannot participate because I'd rather "blog for books," but you can! The contest was announced in this program on Jan. 28 and will go on until Feb. 15. The final contestant winner will be announced on March 21 at the contest's website.

Good Luck!

Note: this post was sponsored by Mom Central Consulting and I will receive an Amazon gift certificate and some samples from the company sponsoring the contest.

Palimpsest of Paint Colors I (365+1 Blog Post)

I thought some of you might enjoy my latest post at the other blog. My introduction there:
One of the things that an older house (ours is 43 years old) has to offer -- apart from the potential existence of toxic/hazardous materials such as lead and asbestos -- is a glimpse into its past, the way it used to look like (a poorly kept "fixer-upper" like ours more so than others ;).

Ever since we started painting last September I've been having fun finding out the original colors of some of the rooms and since that's what I photographed tonight, I'll share some of those "color palimpsests" with you (this is the first in a series, I guess).
I'm thinking that maybe I'll complete the series over here in this blog :).

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Moving Along

Things are moving along here in several fronts (finally!).

My parents arrive from Brazil next week on Wednesday night, so, after painting the boys' bedroom, we are now painting the guest bedroom. After all these years (six) of coming to help us and staying from a couple of months to six months, my parents will now have a comfortable place to stay, with a closet all theirs, a dresser and a small bookcase, not to mention a decent bed (ours -- we'll be sleeping on mattresses on the floor until we can afford our new bed). I am also thrilled that we have three full bathrooms instead of one and a half. It's going to be so much better to have long term guests in this bigger house!

The painting job is going pretty quickly this time because I'm helping. We started today -- I painted the window and door frames, as well as the baseboard heater cover during the day and K already painted the first coat of the ceiling, so we'll probably finish tomorrow night. We may even do our bedroom before they get here, which would be awesome! I will share pictures, obviously!

The other "department" in which things are moving along, also finally, is in the dissertation front. I have been talking over email with my committee members and I'm sending a general email tonight trying to schedule the defense. Wish me luck.

And then the hard work will start -- finishing and revising all chapters for submission. It'll be intensive work because I need to have a completed dissertation within a month and a half, if not earlier! I hope things will be OK in the end and that I can pull it of in spite of all the difficulties that I have encountered with my committee. I know that compared to other people's, my problems are nothing, but they do affect me and my ability to continue working. I can't wait to have a date set. Like I've said here before, it'll be only then that I'll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Very Unhappy with V3rizon!!

Note to feed readers: I had to edit this post (although I probably should have just deleted it) because it's been coming up on various search engine results and random people are commenting on the blog. I didn't really mind until today's commenter was a bit too nasty, so there you go.

By the way (regarding this last commenter) . The problem really is NOT the cancellation of the account, is the fact that when they switched us to the new "data only" account, we were put on a one year plan, which we were NOT informed about. This is the biggest problem now -- they refunded the months we didn't use service, but want us to pay a cancellation fee because of the "one year contract" that I didn't even know existed!!! I guess other companies are beginning to do that (which has been standard in wireless phone service for a while) -- force you to be with them for a certain period.

In May or June last year, when we we switched to VOIP, we already knew we were going to be moving in September, so if I knew there was a one year plan, I would have just dumped V3rizon and gotten another internet provider. Oh well... too bad I couldn't remember all these details when I wrote this post and now as I result I'm getting nasty comments. Well, that and having used the company's name without the disguising typing.

Never again. I just wonder how long it is going to take for the change to take effect and this post not to come up in search engine results anymore... Sigh.

May 11, 2008.

~ ~ ~ ~
I am SO angry right now I shouldn't even be posting on the internet. It's just that I feel so small, to helpless, so utterly defrauded by these big corporations that run our lives nowadays that I have to vent a little bit, so bear with me. I promise to soon post again with more interesting subjects and in a better mood.

Can you believe that back in September 2007 before we moved I called our DSL provider, V3rizon, to cancel our services but we never did? We had already removed the call-in-only landline that we had (for 14 bucks a month, I may add -- a good thing to have if you use mainly your cell phone) earlier in June when we got our VOIP phone service, so I couldn't even access my account online anymore because V3rizon is weird that way (not that I had ever used their ridiculous email services or anything).

Anyway... we found out about the non-cancellation because we had automatic billing on our credit card and they kept billing us, but we didn't find out until early December when we promptly called them, very angry about this problem. The only thing they helped us with (I had my husband call because I was so MAD that I couldn't even talk to them on the phone) was removing automatic billing (and they did ask for our new address). Because we wanted to cancel the account but also receive a just REFUND for the months we had not even used it because we weren't at that house and address anymore They kept transferring K from person to person until he got disconnected without the problem being solved. This was a few days before all our holiday travel took place, so we didn't do anything else about it until we received a bill in the mail today.

I just CANNOT believe this. I mean... I'm certain that I called to cancel, and if I didn't by any chance on earth, the service wasn't USED, how in the world can I be billed?

In the past month I caught a snippet of a NPR (Talk of the Nation?) story about this woman who had to endure ENDLESS and almost unbearable psychological pain because of wrongful billing from her cell phone provider (if I'm not mistaken). I'll try to find it and link to it here (as well as listen to the whole thing). There was this one costumer service representative who "saved her life" being so courteous and helpful that she even cried over the phone with him several times.

Why oh why do we have to be screwed by big corporations like that? (and I don't even like to use the kind of vocabulary I'm using in this entry, but I don't know what other "polite" words to use to convey my anger). K is on the phone with them again, but I know it's going to take many hours to try and solve this and we may never see this money again -- as if we had tons of it to give away!! And we have another internet provider now (another big corporation unfortunately, why can't consumers have more choice of providers?) .

Any horror stories to share?
Bring them on because they're surely going to make me feel better right now!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Are They Gonna Loose It?

I cannot even watch... oh boy...

there were 50 seconds left when time out was called and I went to the kitchen, when I came back there were 51 secs left? What's that?

OH!! No WAY!!

I so wish I was watching Jane Austen instead...

(not that I'm watching the game. It's too nerve-racking for me)

OH, well, they did loose... and now I have to watch a crappy VHS tape... :(

(one last edit, 10:30 pm) -- And I missed 7 minutes of the Jane Austen biopic because I made a stupid mistake and put the VCR timer for only one hour instead of two! Thankfully I turned on the TV at 10:07 to see if it was still on and caught the last 20 minutes. I hope they have a rerun later tonight so I can tape it again and be able to watch the minutes I lost. I already enjoyed what I saw.

PSA: Jane Austen Review will be late today (Super Bowl)

Yeah, I know, I don't watch football, I know next to nothing about it. I dig soccer (the REAL football as the English, who created it and named it, can attest) and I understand the game really well since I was a kid (and girls do NOT commonly play soccer in Brazil like here, nor do women generally understand much about the game, but of course that's a stereotype which I was very glad to defy from an early age)...

... BUT, today I've been watching the Super Bowl since we're Patriots fans and I had to update my husband over the phone as he was driving from NY to here [he was stuck in the immigration line for two hours]. He just arrived home and Jane Austen Regrets is being taped in our old fashioned, but still working, VCR. I'll be back later, OK?

Edited to add: I probably won't watch the tape tonight... and (if you read the latest post you already know this) I made a mistake and missed seven minutes of the biopic and unfortunately, they're not rebroadcasting it (only on the digital and the Arts cable channels of WHYY which we obviously don't have)! Stupid Super Bowl! And now we may watch a DVD from Netflix so we can return it and get other DVDs.


I knew I'd feel embarrassed because of any "Issues" posts once I put them out there, so I just want to write another post quickly now so that one can go into the back burner soon. Don't worry, I'll embarrass myself very often here from now on since I do want to write about these quirky traits of mine and also about the "heavier" stuff like the problem I have to get things done -- from keeping the house in decent order to finishing a Ph.D. dissertation -- oh, yeah, that's coming, just you wait.

I do have to go clean the house now, though, and stop procrastinating because K is coming back from Brazil tonight and we have to do the final push of renovation before my parents arrive on the 12th. We have to do the guest room upstairs, and, if possible, begin our bedroom.

Well, good thing my post amused some people, though... And I agree, Carrie, it's not a serious problem at all, but it is quite bothersome. OK, gotta go.

P.S. and I know that for the really serious issues, the cheap therapy of blogging won't help and I should get the real thing, but... we'll see. Maybe I can finish this Ph.D. without spending money that I definitely don't have on a "shrink" (where does that expression come from? I'd never heard it until I saw the movie Before Sunrise and heard the French character mention her shrink and understood from the context what it was. I think it's really weird) even if it's a "dissertation-coach-kind-of-shrink."

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Indecision (or... should I title this "Indecisive"?)

I think I'm going to finish this post and send it "into the air" tonight. Yes, I will.

I say so because I'm writing while listening to music. I hardly ever do so, not only write to music, but listen to music. period. This is really really weird (and VERY SAD!) because, first, I own over 500 CDs (it's one of my obsessions, and I have yet to let go of the pleasure of having an album -- oh, I miss LPS -- in my hands, with the liner notes to read, etc... -- thank God for BMG its CD club, I pay very little for each CD I buy -- if you're curious, ask me about it and I'll elaborate in th e comments); second, one of the best things to "put me in the mood" for writing and writing is listening to music; and third, it's so much easier to accomplish everyday tasks around the house while listening to music!!! However, I generally don't like having earphones in my ears and... we have had the ipod for only half a year and I never know where it is (and don't really know how to work that thing -- we're not apple people YET, so I'm always a bit put off by tiny gadgets that you have to operate just moving a finger around). In the end, I like ambient music in the stereo better BUT... my sons have hijacked our living room stereo [topic for yet another post] and I haven't yet bought or gotten a most often requested gift -- a small, portable boombox that I can take with me around the house...

OK, this post is NOT about listening to music although I do need to write a post about that, and about a hundred thousand other things that I never get around to doing it.

There's this series of posts called "Issues" that I'm inaugurating right now and I guess it's a very fitting thing to write about this personality trait that does bring me lots of problems in so many levels.* It may sound silly, but it's not, I assure you -- I just have such a hard time deciding!!! And it may sound weird also, but it's the "useless little things" of life that I have to decide that are the peskiest ones. It's pathetic, I tell you. Take photos, for example. Whenever I decide to order photos I have a really hard time to choose which of the many poses of each photo to develop. It takes me a while sometimes to pick which photos to post here or to the other blog.

Shopping becomes a nightmare!!! Which shoe to buy? This? That? The other? It's much worse in Brazil (shoe wise) because there are just so many, a daunting number of pairs, to choose from. Sometimes I just don't buy anything. Good thing I don't have much money and have to stick to clearances which have very limited offers (if anything) in my size, so I don't really have to choose.

Making the big decisions in life is not hard for me at all, really... but the little things just make me waste so much precious time!! What to post about? Where to go first? The store? The library? What to wear today?

Packing for a trip? The worse thing ever because I have to decide!! Ahead of time!!! Which clothes to wear!! Not only for me, but for the boys too, and that's beyond overwhelming. Yeah, I think packing is the worse. Sometimes I overpack just because I cannot decide which clothes to take. At other times I just "decided" I wasn't going to take too many things and then almost didn't have clothes to wear :(

I cannot think of more examples right now, but indecision does make life a nightmare for me sometimes. I totally "inherited" it from my dad -- I'd always joke as a kid that I inherited both of my parent's defects, or "questionable qualities" ;), namely, indecision and disorganization/ messiness, and pack-rat tendencies from my dad and skinniness, nervousness, "electric"/ energetic attitude and demeanor, and bluntness, from my mom. (I always loved all their favorite foods too, potatoes from daddy, strawberries and cream from mom and dad-- I always felt very connected to my parents in all these ways).

My dad was so indecisive that my mom almost didn't get to marry him. Seriously. As we say in Brazil, the guy didn't know "whether to get married or buy a bicycle." In his case, he was almost 30 years old (that's how old he was when he got married and my mom 27 -- quite unusual back in 1968 in Brazil!) and he didn't know whether to marry my mom or to pursue the study of medicine. Well, good thing he went for theology instead,** they got married six months into his first semester, and I was accidentally born three years later (see here for the circumstances of my birth and, in fact, a summary of my life).

I don't know if I'll ever get better from my case of acute indecision, but at least I can say that I have blogged about it, what about that? (and if I remember any other horribly embarrassing and distracting examples of my "condition" I'll tell you about it, OK? And I'll name the posts, "Indecision, part II, III, etc." Yeah, it'll be fun - ha ha ha)...

Gotta go decide which photo to post in my 361+1 blog right now! ;)

P.S. See how music helped? I think I need more of it. Belated New Year's resolution: listen to more music.

* I have started several "Issues" posts and not been able to finish them, and I have a list of topics I want to write about and hopefully I'll get to them someday. Some are extremely hard to even think about, let alone write about. But I don't have money for therapy so I have to kind of do it here ;)

** Dad lived in the "frontier" of his time [remind me to write more about how my dad's family were some of the "pioneers" who in the 1940s helped settle the thick forests of the Southern Brazilian countryside] so he was only able to study from 1st-4th grade in the tiny town where they lived and then he didn't continue his schooling until he was 22 years old and went back to 5th grade (for adults, an accelerated elementary school). This was quite common in his generation because young man often stayed at home and helped parents either in agriculture or commerce and only left later. My mom even got to be his art teacher in 6th grade when she was already in college! (they didn't date until years later)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Old Ugly Carpet Post at 365+1 Blog

I just wanted to let you know that I just posted various photos of the ugly carpet all over our ground floor at the 365+1 Project blog. I wish I could write more today, but I'm cleaning the house and I've decided to sleep over at a friend's house in Philly tonight, so I'll be back tomorrow (unless the cleaning miraculously gets done early and I find sometime to blog before we head to the city).

(and you already know that, but yesterday I added more photos to that blog too)

Have a great weekend everyone! Oh, and my husband arrived safely in Brazil and is heading to my parents' home this evening. It's Carnaval weekend in Brazil (and elsewhere in the world where it's celebrated, like Venice and New Orleans), but I never participated of that, so it doesn't really matter to me, but if you enjoy it:

Feliz Carnaval, Felice Carnivale, Happy Mardi Gras !!

More on the Other Blog

I'd wanted to have posted more here, but uploading photos to blogger is extremely time consuming. I know I should probably reduce their resolution, but that's also time consuming and a pain to do, so... oh well.

Anyway, I just posted a bunch of pictures to the other blog...

Hopefully I can write some more tomorrow or on Saturday. I'm SOOO tired now, I have to go to bed. It's depressing to think that I have to be up at 7 something. I'm a night person. I love to sleep in every morning. ...