Thursday, October 30, 2014

we're heading out in a bit to go to the closing thingie (i always want to say closing ceremony. it should be a ceremony.) for our house. which means that yes, this whole stressful road is coming to an end and by tonight, we should have the keys to our very own, very first, very new house. and like all major milestone-type moments of my life, i am a mixture of excitement and nerves and nausea. i kind of want to jump up and down but mostly just want to throw up. add to that the hormones of pregnancy, and i also want to do a whole lot of crying. oh well.

speaking of pregnancy, i had an appointment this morning where the doctor literally sat in the office and burst out laughing at the rate i gained weight in the past few weeks. (suffice it to say, i gained a bit more than i was supposed to.) i'm chalking it up to stress and stuff making me want sugary/salty carbs instead of literally everything else. protein is just very unappealing to me lately, and i'm not sure why. french fries and donuts, though? yes, please. with thirds. starting from monday, though, and i am back to healthy eating.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

things don't always go the way we planned

november is coming up. and with it, nanowrimo. now, i had every intention of letting the month pass by completely unacknowledged. this wasn't going to be one of those years where i question on here whether or not i have the time/will/motivation to write a novel a few hundred times and then inevitably write the fifty thousand words, if not finish the novel, come november. no, this was going to be a year where i shamefully acted like nanowrimo didn't exist, made sure not to draw anyone's attention to it, and then just didn't write anything ever again.

but then i saw the winner t-shirts.

there are dragons on them this year. dragons. i love dragons. i have always loved dragons. if you put dragons on the nanowrimo winner's shirt then i will take that as a sign from god that i should do nanowrimo this year. and so, i signed up and donated today (with a couple days to spare), and suddenly find myself staring down the mouth of the month with absolutely no novel idea except for, i really liked my characters last year and maybe this year i'll rewrite what i have of that novel and actually finish it.

i have a dissertation that i am supposed to be working on. i am *fingers crossed* closing on a new house tuesday (as in day after freaking tomorrow) and then moving in. and unpacking. and cleaning up the apartment i have lived in for the past three and a half years. i am trying to decide on how to decorate the nursery and then i need to actually decorate it. along with the rest of the house. i have so much school work to do it's terrifying. and now i am writing a novel in a month. and i know myself. this will jump to the top of my priority list and at the end of the month, it will be the only thing i have accomplished.

(side note: i finally got around to updating the word count in my sidebar (mostly), and can we all just agree that writing a million words this year is just never going to happen? major fail on my part. i mean, maybe if i was a more dedicated student then i might have made a bigger dent in this. maybe if i wasn't pregnant and moving and really bad at doing things i say i am going to do for myself then i could have reached the goal. maybe if i wasn't so bent on being one hundred percent available for people one hundred percent of the time just in case they need my help... but a million words is a lot more than i thought it was going to be and so much harder than i expected. if you care, my reading goal looks like it is heading in the same direction. is this what growing up feels like?)

*We Are One - Simba

Saturday, October 25, 2014

i'm halfway in

according to my pregnancy app, today marks the halfway point in my pregnancy. and can you believe that? because i cannot. i am already halfway done being pregnant, and i don't really feel like i was ever pregnant at all? (according to the ultrasound technician yesterday, though, my due date may actually be three days earlier than what was originally predicted which not only means that i have already maybe passed the halfway point in my pregnancy completely unknowingly, but also that my "new" due date is my nephew's birthday. i mean, march thirteenth was close to both my nephew and my husband, but close was okay. close wasn't on their birthday. and i kinda of grew to like three-thirteen. it's a nice number. so for all intents and purposes, i am sticking with my original due date. and yes i know that this is all a bunch of guesswork anyway and most babies are not even born on their predicted due date and saying that the due date is one day will not automatically make it that day and i do not care.)

but anyway, halfway point. my app tells me that there are one hundred and thirty nine days to go, which i guess must mean that i have been pregnant for one hundred and thirty nine days, and seriously, how did that happen? i thankfully have had a really easy pregnancy up to this point, which i am so grateful for, but i kind of wish that half of the pregnancy did not slip away practically unnoticed. i mean, i'm told i'm supposed to cherish this time or something. (i'm also told that it goes by really fast, but this fast? maybe once i get into my third trimester and start getting really big and pregnant i'll eat these words.)

but on to other news. yesterday started my twentieth week, and week twenty is when my doctor schedules the anatomy ultrasound. so yesterday, along with seeing grainy grey-scale pictures of spines and hearts and arms and legs and finding out that the baby weighs approximately 13 oz at the moment, i was able to find out the sex of the baby. (and by "i" i obviously mean "we" because my husband was there, too.) and we are having a... drum roll please... boy!

(the general consensus of those polled seems to be that everyone was kind of expecting a boy but still kind of hoping for a girl and we are all extremely happy about the whole boy thing and that he is healthy and growing normally and has all his limbs and organs and other weird acronyms that the technician was saying and i was promptly forgetting the names of.)

this also means that our name list has been significantly shortened and thank god for that. we had, early on, narrowed the boy names down to the top three, which had changed a bit in the beginning, but was a pretty stable list for the past couple of months. girl names were the ones giving us issues. so now i can take a deep breath and say, yeah we have our shortlist of names. and three names is few enough that i feel i can wait and see which one the baby looks like before actually choosing.

*Halfway Gone - Lifehouse

Monday, October 20, 2014

choosing a baby name is so hard, you guys. i mean, aside from the fact that i get sick of a name about ten minutes after deciding i really like it, it has to be an arabic slash islamic name that can also be said easily in english and/or is also an english name. if it sounds too english-y then it has to be easily said in arabic. it can't immediately bring to mind someone that i know, because it just feels weird when i say, "hmm what about (insert name here)" and all i can think about is the girl from my fifth grade class with her mouth stained blue from warheads. with practically every single name i start to like, someone will come along and say, "you mean like (insert insult or ugly word here that sounds kinda like the name)?" and the name is immediately ruined, because now it just seems like i'm naming my child demon. and my husband and i don't exactly have the same taste in names. and i have to like the meaning. and have i mentioned the fact that i get sick of names really, really fast? ugh.

this is why we need diversity in books and movies. if i grew up falling in love with characters that had names i could name my children, i would not be having this issue right now. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

there's something about sitting in front of a computer screen in the early AMs when the rest of the household is asleep that is both lonely and that comfortable kind of solitary at the same time. it is familiar, but familiar in the way that every person you used to be is.

it makes me miss friends and MSN messenger and trying to stay quiet so my parents won't know i'm still awake.

it is a quiet, tired feeling and a time of blooming possibilities.

everything is different at times like this. the internet is different, the shadows on the wall, the howling of the wind, all of it. but at the same time, everything is exactly the same.

i feel like the sad character in a book or movie who goes back at the end of the story to the bar or the house or the school or wherever and sits alone with the memories of times when those places were not so empty, nowhere near as lonesome.

i feel like i should be having a written conversation about tv shows, or harry potter fanfiction, or life and hopes and dreams. i should be expressing myself in navy comic sans, size ten, bold. (that was my MSN messenger font. always.)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

this has got to stop

it's that time of year again when i pretend that i don't just talk about myself day in and day out. yup, blog action day. i had kinda sorta forgotten about blog action day this year, but the topic is inequality, and i was planning on writing something about this anyway, so, killing two birds with one stone or what have you.

the inequality i want to discuss is directly related to the patriarchy, violence against women, and rape culture, and can be addressed with a little thing called feminism. i am not going to go into a long rant about this (because i would go on forever and there is actually a specific story i want to discuss today), but i will say that if you claim to not be a feminist, you are one of three things: lying, misunderstanding the meaning of feminism (which is understandable in this world of media misinformation), or an asshole.

i don't know how many of you know anita sarkeesian, but i think i posted about her on my blog before and she's the creator of the video series tropes vs. women. anyway, she was supposed to speak yesterday morning at Utah State University's Center for Women and Gender. a few days before the event, though, several people at the university began getting threats. a utah state student claimed to have "a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs" and threatened to massacre sarkeesian and anyone who showed up for her talk. his threatening email states "feminism has ruined my life and i will have my revenge." it also said that the author "will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America." sarkeesian asked if weapons would be allowed at the talk, and she was told that, according to utah state law regarding the carrying of firearms, if the person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to bring it to the event.

so to recap, the authorities told sarkeesian, who has had multiple death threats because of her line of work (which in and of itself is ridiculous), that despite the fact that there was a credible threat to both her and countless other people (mainly women), a threat which specifically referenced a mass male-on-female attack from the past (the montreal massacre), they wouldn't take the necessary steps to protect these women because it would infringe on people's right to carry weapons. um... what?

we are living in a world where high school football players can videotape themselves raping a drugged classmate, but then she's the bad guy for "ruining their promising football careers." a world where a student kills a girl in his class because she said no when he asked her to prom (she was going with her steady boyfriend, but that shouldn't make a difference) and all the media can talk about is how great of a kid he was and how hard this must be on his parents. uh, the kid brought a knife to school because he knew she would say no, he felt entitled enough to end her life, and it's him and his parents we should be feeling sorry for? how does that make any sense? we are living in a world where the reaction to emma watson calling on men to support feminism was death threats and threats to leak nude photos. a world where women are paid less to do the same job and then fired if they ask for a raise because they are "too aggressive."

but go ahead and listen to the condescending people who tell you that feminism is no longer needed. there's no inequality around here.

(if you're interested, you can find my previous blog action day posts here, here, here, here, and here.)

*Elephant - Damien Rice

Monday, October 13, 2014

i swear that you've got me all wrong

first of all, i don't know how anyone expects me to get anything done with this weather. like, seriously, there are freaking dementors wandering around outside and you want me to do research? or make bank calls? or harass real estate agents? or grade stuff? or do dishes? or clean out my closet? yeah, okay. this weather clearly calls for hiding out at hogwarts in a book and snacking on junk all day long. (except i am actually really hungry for real food, but we don't have any food in the house because i've been at my parents house for so long - it;s my first day back. and i also don't feel like cooking. i just want cheese enchiladas to appear in front of me with a side of rice and beans. i would be perfectly happy with a bagel with lox and cream cheese, too. oh, and i did laundry, so i guess it's the day for getting some stuff done.)

this brings us to my second point (well, let's pretend it does): my adviser has some tragically misguided ideas about me, and i don't know how to tell him that he's wrong. see, all of his other students are at his office constantly asking him for help and getting his opinion and showing him their results and whatever else one does with an academic adviser, i'm sure. i'm obviously not doing that.

when he talked to my third committee member, he told her that i am a really hardworking and independent student. i thought he was just saying that so that she'd work with me. it turns out that, no, he actually thinks that i have been sitting at home working on my dissertation instead of actively partaking in self-sabotage and procrastination. it would be funny if it wasn't so sad. see, i used to be that type of student that he thinks i am. i used to set myself deadlines and get my stuff done when it needed to be done. i used to work by myself and show up after a long absence with a completed project worthy of publication. (not my words. i'm surprisingly not that arrogant.) but now? now i have all but given up on my work. i have zero motivation and even less self-discipline. i am so over school but don't have the guts (or the ego) to let anyone else know and just drop out. or take a break. or something.

my adviser set up a research group of sorts for all of his students and anyone else who wanted to join. he subtly hinted that maybe i should present my work this week. (i think he just wants to know how far i am and doesn't want to come out and just ask me.) he actually thinks i have work done, you guys. i don't know how to break it to him that i've tried, i really have, and i just can't bring myself to do anything on this stupid project. it's part laziness, part procrastination, part being burned out, and part spite (because i am passive-aggressive and stupid and just realized this recently but i think i am stubbornly refusing to do any work on this to spite the people who are so invested in it. idiotic, i know.)

i might have to come up with some mysterious illness wednesday night. and then maybe in the next two weeks i can throw something together to give a presentation about? maybe? hopefully?

(i also just read a fanfiction piece about james and sirius right after sirius fell through the veil, and now i'm sad. and hungry. this weather, man.)

*As Lovers Go - Dashboard Confessionals

Friday, October 10, 2014

so for some really strange and really stupid reason, my brain thinks that youtube is more productive than blogging. or maybe that blogging is a bigger way to procrastinate than youtube. or maybe it's just lazy and is using productivity and procrastination as excuses because i do it so often. whatever the reason, i've been telling myself that i want to blog since early this afternoon and just could not get myself to actually do it. (i did manage to get everything graded that needed to be, so... yay me for that.)

anyway, i totally felt the baby move today which is incredible and everything, but also really weird and creepy. i mean, there is a miniature human being just sitting inside of me moving. and i can feel it. super weird. i remember when my older sister was pregnant with her first son and she said that she could feel him scratching her. (not like in an ow this hurts but in an i can feel fingers moving along my insides.). and just whaaaaaat. that has haunted me for the past six years. whenever i thought of pregnancy i would think tiny fingers scratching me from the inside and um NOPE. but this wasn't a scratching or even a real kick or punch or anything (apparently it's still early for that?) and i was fully able to appreciate the amazingness of it right along with the weird.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

time for me to do it

this morning was so productive, you guys. so. productive. and now, when i still have a few things left to do, i just... stopped. my motivation and productivity and whatever else just came crashing down around me and i just spent the last almost hour trying to find a new chrome extension for tumblr because xkit stopped working and i'm not handling it very well. an hour that i was supposed to spend grading the papers that i didn't grade on tuesday so that i could grade them wednesday and then didn't grade on wednesday because i am the laziest, most procrastination-inclined waste of academic space there is. i just... school. ugh.

this morning, though, i was a real functioning adult. i was overachieving. egg salad sandwiches instead of cereal and milk for breakfast. buffalo and ranch chicken wraps instead of pb&j sandwiches for lunch. (my parents are out of town, so i'm pretending once again to be head of the household slash homemaker, and i think this is what i was made for. once cricket starts school, i can totally see myself turning into that overly obnoxious pta mom that bakes homemade cookies for every event, never misses a single excuse to show up at the school, volunteers for literally everything, is crafty in the showiest way possible, and makes sure that every other mom hates me for making them feel like they probably don't love their kid as much as i do. i mean, i am basically that person already. god help us all. (although i can just as easily see myself going to extremes in the exact opposite way as well, like total slacker mom gives her kids a bag of chocolate chips for lunch and shows up to every event in the same hoodie and other moms both feel sorry for me and are slightly scared of me. it will be interesting to see which way i go.))

but back to my productivity.

after making sure the kids got on the bus and dropping the sister off at work and stopping at the apartment to check on the bunny and pick up my vitamins (because yesterday i was still a forgetful wannabe adult), i went to the bank and had an important adult bank meeting. and then i scanned and sent out all the important documents to everyone i was supposed to. and i made a bunch of important phone calls. (have i mentioned on here that i hate the house-buying-getting-a-loan process from the very core of my being? yes? well, there it is again.) and then i went to CVS and got important things i needed and nutterbutters which i probably did not need (but they were on sale! so still adulty!) and came home to pack the care package i have been meaning to seal up for weeks now but never got around to. and this was all before ten:thirty in the morning. and then i got on the computer to grade the papers and suddenly... i am me again.

i have tried to bribe myself with nutterbutters, but it has been going like this:

responsible me (rm): you can't eat any cookies until you grade at least half of the papers.
me-me (mm): i can, though.
rm: okay, yes, technically you can. but don't.
mm: *slowly reaches for cookies*
rm: don't do it.
mm: *picks up cookie*
rm: you can't eat that cookie until you at least start grading the papers
mm: *eats cookie*
rm: okay, that was just to remind you of how good they are so that you can start grading. motivation. and energy or something. but you can't eat any more until you at least finish grading two papers.
mm: i can, though.

and so then i wrote a blog post that probably could have been a lot shorter. just... ugh. school.

*On My Own - Whitney Houston