Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back Home

We are back from Hawaii, and I will have a few pictures and more details soon.

The best part about getting home from Hawaii? The kids are on Hawaii time, and so they slept until 9:00am for the first time in their lives--two days in a row.

The worst part of getting home from Hawaii? We're not in Hawaii anymore.

Oh, and also, now it's time to face all of the chores/crap that have been waiting for us at home. Today, I'm starting to get my finances in order a la Suze Orman style. Despite the fact that she drives me bonkers, she gave some good basic advice in a recent issue of Oprah (the de-cluttering issue). So I went to Staples and bought a shredder, a fire-proof safe, and a file box*, and now it's time to sort, shred, and organize.

*And I bought a couple of pretty notebooks because, I mean really, I just can't resist pretty school supplies.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Just Checking In: Hawaii Edition

I, GEW, am currently in Hawaii, and, upon return to California early next week, will provide photos and highlights. For now, I will just say that we are having a wonderful time and have done lots of great swimming and kayaking. However, I'm afraid that the current score reads as follows:

Man-O-Wars*: 2
GEW : 0

If they go after the kids, I am going to kick some Portuguese Man-O-War ass.

*Or should it be Mans-O-War?

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Recently, a friend of mine started a blog called A Year of Thanks, in which she offers a daily post about things for which she is grateful. She wrote a post on children a week or so ago, and the day after the post, the kids and I took a walk to the bay on an incredibly beautiful Saturday. I couldn't help but think about how much gratitude I feel for my children and the circumstances of my life. I am so grateful that I have two wonderful, healthy kids and that I have a great husband and great extended family and that we get to live in such a beautiful place. I have no idea how I got such a good ticket in this world, but I am profoundly grateful.

Some pictures two Saturdays ago--a walk to the coffeshop and bay:

Some pictures of last Saturday--playing in the dunes after kayaking across the bay:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What To Do When Struggling to Write Text for the Dissertation: Ideas #1 and #2

I'm sure that many of you have strategies for what to do when it's difficult to face the current piece of academic writing. I thought I'd start making a list.

Here are two things that I'm doing today that seem to be helping me get into the groove and make progress despite my fear of the page:
  1. re-read existing text and do some minor line editing
  2. find, pull, and type quotations that are relevant to this piece/chapter
I'm sure I'll figure out more of these (and I'm sure I'll remember more of them that I've used in the past), but feel free to share your own ideas about how to get your mojo flowing once your butt is in the chair*.

*I did not including "blogging," which is clearly what I just stopped working in order to do. But since this isn't a list about procrastination, I didn't include it. Now, back to my regularly schedule writing work.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No, I Cannot Bump up Your Grade

I have been meaning to write one post about how much gratitude I have for my life and another post about how my kids to the scissors took their hair, but I haven't had time.

In the meantime, I will offer you the full text of a e-mail message that I received yesterday from a student:

Mrs. GEW, is there any way that i can persuade you to bump my grade up to a passing letter? I know that I was not the hardest working student in class or the smartest, but i did try very hard, and i just couldnt write very effective papers. Is there anything that i can do? I was sooo close to passing english!

It's nice when they make it so easy.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why Jacob is so Much better than Edward

I mean really. I just don't get it.

Let me start by admitting (again) that I have read the Twilight books. I have written about my first impressions here, and I think I also wrote more about how much the gender dynamics of the books drive me crazy, but I'm not sure when I did that.

Anyway, a couple of nights ago, hubs and I watched New Moon. And I just need to say it: Jacob is hot, and Edward is not. I love vampire stories. I do. But in Twilight? I'm with the wolves. Here are some main reasons I like Jacob, and think Bella is nuts for choosing Edward:

  1. He is not only hot, but he is also warm (108 degrees, to be exact). Edward is cold as stone.
  2. He has beautiful muscles. Edward is a bit spindly.
  3. He is beautifully brown. Edward is extremely pasty (of course) and looks as if he's been rolled in flour.
  4. His heart beats. Edward's, well, doesn't.
  5. His kind protects humans. Edward's kind does not (even though Edward is an exception).
  6. He's got that American west vibe. Edward has a metrosexual European vibe (no offense to metrosexual Europeans).
  7. Most importantly? He has a sense of humor, and he and Bella actually hang out and do stuff together. Edward just seems intensely forelorn and moon-y (like Bella), and all he and Bella do is argue about who is more worthless and whether or not they can be together. Bella definitely needs to lighten up and have some fun, and Jacob is the guy for that.
The only reason I was able to make it through the fourth book is that the first half is told from Jacob's point of view.

I think Bella should have ditched Edward and gone to live with Jacob at La Push.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Let's see, where was I?

The dissertation has been ignored for several months.

So, I am now dusting off my notebook, settling in with Factual Fictions: The Origins of the Novel by Lennard J. Davis (a bit outdated, but still helpful), and I will go from there.

I hope to get a lot of reading done and write 15-20 pages in the next two weeks (despite having to arrange for the Girl's birthday activities and prepare for a family trip to Hawaii).

Wait. Who's laughing? I hear someone laughing. I think it's jc . . .

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Meet Snowball

Yes, the newest member of our menagerie is an actual, warm-blooded mammal! And one of the cutest ever, in fact. Also, she seems to have figured out her familial duties, which are to give love and snuggles to the Girl.

And then there is this picture taken by the Girl (who is getting a camera--in addition to this kitten--for her birthday):

Gotta go now. I have a kitten in my lap, and it's time for Buffy, port, and chocolate.

Oh, how I love summer break. Let me count the ways . . .