Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Here's a meme that I got from Outside Voice that she got from Faemom. I still need to do the list about books I'm supposed to like that I don't. See Outside Voice's unloved books list here.
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes. Paternal and Maternal grandmothers.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Two weeks ago when my son got an award at school for his interest in science (He's five, and I was so proud).
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I used to think about it a lot in high school. After so many years of grading, I hardly care.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Pastrami. But it's bad for me, so I'll say turkey.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Two awesome kiddie-poos.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes, but I would probably get annoyed at myself for not being more reliable.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Not much.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS. Yep. Intact.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No thank you.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Now, hemp granola. As a kid, Apple Jacks!
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? If I have to.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically? Less so since having kids. But I did give birth without meds. Twice. So I can't be too much of a puss.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Homemade vanilla.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Smile. Apparent intelligence.
15. RED OR PINK? Red. But for what? Can't wear it much because of the damn rosacea.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? That would take another list.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Grandmommy (paternal grandmother I'm named after).
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? In comments? On blogs? Sure!
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Barefoot.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Tea and wheat toast.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Finding Nemo.
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? I'll have to study the box and get back to you (sorry for the Palinesque answer).
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? The kids in the morning when then wake up, especially after a good bath the night before.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? GoodEnoughCousin!
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? She seems great!
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Olympics.
27. HAIR COLOR? I think it's finally turned brown. Thus, I will get highlights soon.
28. EYE COLOR? Well, I would say bluish-grey, but these days, they just seem RED.
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Too lazy. Glasses.
30. FAVORITE FOOD? Yellow tail sashimi, port and chocolate, homemade mac and cheese, sweet potato fries, strawberry-rhubarb pie . . . Shall I go on?
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Both! Or Happy Movies with Scary Endings? But mostly I love happy endings. I'm a sap.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Get Smart--on the airplane, and it cut off before the ending, which I will assume was happy.
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Tan and green T-Shirt from the 1994 International Women's Day, says "Women and War"
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer.
35. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Port and Chocolate. Or pie.
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Maybe GoodEnoughCousin? But no pressure.
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND. No pressure.
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? City of Thieves by David Benioff
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I don't have a mouse pad, so I'll leave Outside Voice's answer, which was cool: A blurry collage from Fight Club that says In Tyler We Trust and Use Soap
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Washington Week
42. FAVORITE SOUND. Rain, thunder, ocean, my family laughing
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles!
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME??? Not sure. Maybe Austria?
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Sweet Home Alabama.
47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Anyone who's game!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Not only was my return from London smooth, but I had something totally new happen to me. My plane was supposed to leave Heathrow at 10:25am. We pushed back from the gate at 10:13, and we were WHEELS UP by 10:29. Wot?! We were at the gate in SF early. Unreal.
But my last trip (during which most of the flights were delayed and/or missed, and one plane had a lightning strike just off the wing) made me say, "I miss my kids. Maybe I don't like to travel. This sucks."
It was so wonderful to be able to enjoy this trip--to not have residual anxiety from stressful flights, etc. It's so much harder to be away from the children when that extra anxiety is there. This time, I missed them, but I was able to enjoy the work and the trip, especially my walk around London. I'm hoping that the next trip--which won't happen for a while--will be as smooth.
For now, I'm thrilled to be back in the family fold, and the family is glad to have me.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
It was all wonderful, and I was thinking how much fun it would be if my husband were here so we could catch dinner and a show together. Someday . . .
So I think it's not that I take issue with cities, it's that I get uncomfortable when it's nighttime in a city, and I don't know where I am, and I'm walking alone. Understandable, I suppose.
But standing on the bridge, looking down at the Thames, watching the boats is amazing and makes me think of the history of the place.
What a day!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
- Pate can be good-ish, at least when it's from a great charcuterie.
- Creme fraiche is pretty good with the proper kind of cake.
- One should not take trains into London at 8:00pm on a Saturday night.
- One should not plan to walk anywhere from Hatton Cross at night.
- One hears Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' a lot in the UK.
- One should bring a lot of good movies to watch on the laptop because British TV options, esp. late at night, can really suck.
Tomorrow, I will probably learn more lessons as I explore Covent Gardens.
Friday, November 14, 2008
And I have to say, I just love Wales. Granted, this is only my second visit and I haven't seen a LOT of it, but it's a beautiful place, and I love listening to the language, which many people speak. It's a bilingual nation; everything (signs, menus, etc.) is in both English and Welsh. I do not speak Welsh, so I find myself in social situations during which I have no idea what people are saying, but that is an interesting experience in itself, disorienting in a good way (partly because one knows it's temporary). And the language sounds beautiful (even though on paper it looks absolutely impenetrable!).
Today, as I waited for the taxi that would take me from campus back to my hotel (it was raining and dark, so I didn't want to walk), I felt sad that I would not be back on campus for a while. Tomorrow, after I get an amazing lunch at my favorite charcuterie, I will take the train back to London. It is nice to feel a bit sad about leaving since during my previous visit, I had so much anxiety about being so far away from my children that I was unsettled and didn't thoroughly enjoy the trip. In fact, I felt very apprehensive about future trips. This trip, however, has been much different. I have missed the family but have not been in the grip of anxiety. I have enjoyed myself and the experiences in ways that allow me to look forward to (rather than dreading) the next visit. I imagine this feeling will persist as long as there are no severe hang ups on my journey back to the States.
Now, I just need to decide how I will spend Sunday in London (thanks for the suggestions!), and I'm sure I will start to get more and more excited about the reunion with my family, especially my amazing and adorable kids, at the airport. Shall we take bets on whether or not I will weep? If you'd like to improve your odds, I can tell you that last week I wept at my son's parent-teacher conference (because of my pride that he got high marks for how hard he works in kindergarten). I wept as I imagined his earnest little self cutting, drawing, and carefully writing letters as he holds his pencil gripped in his fist. It was very embarrassing.
Now it's time for me to enjoy my hotel room dinner, during my last evening in Wales. Perhaps I should be out on the town, but I don't want to spend more money, and I don't feel like going out alone on a cold night to a pub. But I have some leftover cheese, apples, and chutney purchased earlier in the week, and this afternoon I knicked some leftover bread from todays' lunch buffet. Add to that my Spanish wine and my dark chocolate? A feast.
P.S. Here is a clip of children singing the National Anthem of Wales (and the Welsh word for Wales is Cymru--pronounced sort of like "COOM-ree"), followed by the English translation.
The National Anthem in English
"Land of My Fathers"
The land of my fathers, the land of my choice,
The land in which poets and minstrels rejoice;
The land whose stern warriors were true to the core,
While bleeding for freedom of yore.
Wales! Wales! fav'rite land of Wales!
While sea her wall, may naught befall
To mar the old language of Wales.
Old mountainous Cambria, the Eden of bards,
Each hill and each valley, excite my regards;
To the ears of her patriots how charming still seems
The music that flows in her streams.
My country tho' crushed by a hostile array,
The language of Cambria lives out to this day;
The muse has eluded the traitors' foul knives,
The harp of my country survives
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Times like this, it's hard to feel like a good enough mommy.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
- There was no storm with gale force winds at my hometown airport.
- There was no loss of power at my hometown airport.
- My first flight did not get canceled because of weather.
- I did not have to ask my husband to drive me to SF to catch a connection the next morning.
- I did not get re-booked onto a flight that went through Chicago. (Thus, I did not miss a connection in Chicago).
- My aircraft did not get struck by lightening.
- I did not have to walk through a tunnel at Heathrow that smelled like pee.
- My B & B room is not dingy, depressing, or unsafe.
- The breakfast area at my B & B is not in a hot basement with no windows.
- Because I have my computer, a few DVDs, and access to Netflix, I am not stuck with late night British TV when the jet lag kicks in.
Now, I'm in my B & B room, enjoying fresh air though my OPEN window that looks out over a small garden, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi. I think I'll make some tea before heading out to check out the local eateries.
Too bad it's Sunday and the British Library (which is only two blocks away!) is closed (I think). Tomorrow morning, I take a train to PhD town, but do any of you, dear readers, have tips for what I should do next Sunday when I have a full day in London? I'm thinking maybe the British Museum or possibly the house of a famous writer.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Years ago, I had a friend who said that preparing to go on a trip is like preparing to die. She had a point, except for the film and toiletries.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
- Take the Boy to school.
- Take the Girl to school.
- Volunteer at the Boy's school.
- Write this blog post.
- Find passport.
- Find power adapter for UK electrical outlets.
- Pay bills.
- Pick Boy up from school.
- Eat lunch with the Boy.
- Pick Girl up from school.
- Drop kids off at my mom's.
- Go to my actual office at my place of employment to upload info for online course for next semester (after locating FTP disk).
- Turn in book orders for spring (which are overdue).
- Go to travel agent to pick up train tix.
- Come home and clean (if there is time)
- Get kids.
- Make dinner, do bath, etc.
- Watch election returns!
No wonder I never get anything done.