spectating participant

April 27, 2006

laundry is piled up with my superwoman cape in it

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 10:03 pm

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this or at least I feel like I’ve said it a million times, but maybe those were all to myself as the clock ticks 1:23AM, 1:54AM, 2:38AM, 3:02AM, 3:59AM… At some point several months ago, I made the conscious choice that I would be able to juggle 21 credits (now its only 18), graduate, find a job, plan a wedding, continue getting paid to clean the house, buy a house, publish and print weekly and monthly PTA newsletters, move by the end of June, and still be a mom. I’m thinking that I was obviously delirious or just in serious denial.

I think the past year of mental smooth sailing has broken the rational side of my brain. My stress levels have soared far beyond what I’ve been able to tolerate in the past. In fact, I recall that most of 2004 was just like this but with the sharp internal twisting of emotional insecurity. At least I know that life will be fine, I know that things will get better, and I know that I have someone who will take a minute (or 60) and listen to me, hug me, kiss me, and simply reassure me that I’m doing alright.

Yet, even with the emotional security in place, I’m still feeling the strain of stress. My health has been fading a bit in stomach cramps and general aches and pains. I’ve not been able to sleep and have watched many nights tick by on the wall (we’ve an projector clock). I’ve not made a real meal in months and have missed so many meals that my body feels like eating is actually a bad thing now. My ability to concentrate has vanished, my attention span can’t focus on a 1 minute period long enough to remember what I was in the process of doing.

Sigh, things are really pressing down on me and I’ve decided to vent a bit and hope that helps somewhat. I figure it I outline some things that I’ve been working on, just seeing the progress will be a positive boost to keep going.

Wedding — progress: location selected. equipment rental quotes solicited. invitation style “selected” but I think I’ve changed my mind again. Invitations need to be out now, now, now. Dress needs some serious work to get started, but when?

School — I’m so getting slammed! first major project competed and turned in. one more midterm due tuesday. two more major projects in the works (as in, I’ll eventually work on them). all TA tasks are done other than give and grade the practical exam and proctor the final exam. Attending classes is getting harder and harder, sigh.

Job — I’ve got a good resume prepared and I’m happy with it. I went to two nonprofit job fairs and only have one real contact. Job interview tomorrow morning for mpt.

House — doing lots of research on houses, current houses and what they’ve gone for lately in order to offer a good price that we’d both accept. going to see some houses this weekend. we’re considering a condo in columbia just to keep prices low-low and stay within close commuting to build money and investments instead of stretching thin on a house. This buy/don’t buy/what to buy dilemma is nonstop and wearing me out.

Motherhood — I’m afraid that Alex thinks that I’ve forgotten her. I feel like we’ve not spent any time together in ages and ages. I’m working to fix that from here on out.

PTA Communications Chair — why, oh, why did I volunteer to do this? it’s going well, the email list is getting more and more use, but it is taking more effort than it should.

Graduation — I needed to buy the outfit today but forgot (did I mention my lack of ability to focus) and will need to go buy stuff tomorrow. Bought a plane ticket for mom to come out and stay a few days to help with wedding stuff.

Cleaning — I finally had to quit - there goes the extra money for the house.

Overall — umm, i should really be falling apart and I’m really not. Stressing the fuck out, yes, but not falling apart. I find that to be a great thing, I’ll get to see my psychiatrist for the 6 month appointment and honestly say I’m doing fine even if life is really difficult right now, I’m still doing fine. — ooh, sudden thought that says that being able to deal with all this stress means that I just might be ready to drop all meds, ha!

April 26, 2006

holy houses, batman

Filed under: family, life — suzanne henderson @ 3:14 pm

Okay, so looking for a house went from several months of causal browsing to “whoa nelly!” I’m finding plenty of things to consider and visit and see what will happen with what I’m willing to offer. However, the first house we saw (well first and only so far — it was on sunday) was a big eye opener and a bit freaky in making us wonder what we’re getting into. But, I think I’ve gotten over that shock, we’ve made some concessions and we’re ready to get down to business.

However, I run into the issue of feeling bad for making the agent show us places. Now — this sounds absolutely ridiculous when I think about it, but I can’t help feeling guilty. And then I have to wonder what messed up childhood mentality has lead me to feel guilty for taking advantage of the service someone will be paid for providing. I guess there is that fear that we won’t buy a house, but that doesn’t feel very likely at the moment , maybe it is because I know the commission won’t be impressive based on what we can afford, but that shouldn’t really matter either. Sigh, I need to get over this because we’ve got a lot of houses coming up that need checking out and I just can’t be feeling bad every time I make a request to see one.

April 20, 2006

on mastering essay discourse

Filed under: school, life — suzanne henderson @ 3:47 pm

I had a midterm paper that was turned in late — I’m sure I mentioned it. I agonized over this paper trying to get the mental ball rolling and get in the game of getting it finished. I turned in a good paper even though I thought that I could have certainly done more and taken all the ideas another step further to really dig into the subject matter.

In class, we were going over our midterms — a continuation from Tuesday’s discussion that I missed thanks to the broken down car. She asked me to read an “exemplary ” answer that I’d written to the class. This ‘answer’ was a 5 page essay and I really hate reading aloud. Then, within the first couple paragraphs, she interrupts to expand on the very discourse of essay writing, the fact that a paper is a discourse and a form of communication and speaking. She goes on to say that I’ve clearly mastered the art of essay writing discourse in how I’ve pulled together my thoughts and brought in outside dialogue and evidence to support my position. Then, I was allowed to go back to reading…

Now, I struggled with this paper. I agonized over this paper. I had a hard time getting this paper into words and paragraphs. So, I must say that I was absolutely ecstatic, in the most understated way since people were clearly watching me, about this very high form of praise. To be commended on mastering discourse in a class that is ALL about discourse really felt great. Plus, it meant that this paper was as good as I wanted it to be.

I’m so excited that I’ll ignore Rob’s comment that mastering “essay discourse” is really just mastering “bs” since that is all writing essays is really about. Man — I applied a lot of theoretical concepts to make my point and filled the paper with very little ‘bs’. Also, I got a good ego boost in hearing that one of my in-class essay answers was read aloud on Tuesday and my peers thought I did a great job there too.

I really need this kind of encouragement to help prop up the weight school has been pressing down on me.

April 18, 2006

car repair, round one

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 4:33 pm

So, I’ve made some comments about possible pending car problems just based on the age of my car, its miles, and my experience that things like to break when I can least afford them. And, being a good little car and wanting to perform up to expectations, it broke on me today.

Driving North on 95, I hear a snap/pop/crack sound and off goes my power steering. I get off the highway and realize my car has instantly overheated. So, there my car sat on the side of the road. Luckily I was neat Laurel (216 and 95) and Chris was able to run over and see if it was a broken belt and hopefully try to fix it. No such luck, seems that the belt tensioner went instead of the belt and it’d need to be towed somewhere to be fixed.

So, I am now less $60 for a tow and an estimate of $175 for the repair and going on 4 hours of waiting for the repair to be completed. It could be worse, I’m sure, and at least this is a reasonable unexpected bill (versus something like $400). But, I feel the need to mark this down as incident one — just as I’d decided to go ahead and bring my car back into Maryland too.

April 14, 2006

heavy metal

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 3:55 pm

I’ve mentioned that Chris is selling some stuff. Well, in reality he is selling tons of stuff, literally, tons and tons. Yeah, this is indeed the true weight of money happening here. Now, what amazes me more are the numbers of people interested in such stuff. Wow! The number of responses from balt-wash, just a random, generic list posting is pretty impressive. Of course, the response Chris is getting from his metal working lists is outstanding and almost overwhelming. Where are we going to park these people?

This feels like it’ll be one giant cluster fuck the day of the sale and I’m not sure what to expect. But, I can expect that some very big machines will go away - far, far away. And that we’ll have a little more for housing and emergency funds. I can’t wait for this to be done. But, this will really just be the first sale — it’ll allow him to get to the other half of stuff that is crammed behind the stuff that will be sold first. sigh. I am so happy that this stuff is going away.

April 13, 2006

drifting through old writings

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 12:09 pm

I’ve been feeling small pangs of guilt about blogging elsewhere. Somewhere I can celebrate financial nudity in the in the shelter of disassociation. But, I feel bad for creating and caching posts for future distribution to those who’ve settled into the personal finance niche while leaving my digital identity out in the cold with minimal entries that barely make the good-enough requirement. So, took a stroll through the April posts in the past few years and have pulled out a few interesting memories:

April 11, 2002 - Driving from Milwaukee to Baltimore for a weeked.

Sometimes I come up with the craziest ideas. While sitting on channel, I had the wonderful idea that I should drive to Baltimore for the PDF planning meeting (to be held this Saturday). Now, nevermind the fact that I am going to be in Baltimore next weekend for the 420 protests and the 420 party. No, that didn’t matter to me when I started enlisting the help of fellow burner, another driver, my good buddy Magorn.

April 15, 2003 - Making sushi for the first time

This was my first time to ever make sushi. It was fun and easy. I’ll now be making sushi at home more than I’ll be going out to eat it (woohoo, budget cut). Rob commented that all his daily nutrition needs better come from rice and eel since that’s all I’ll be cooking from now on.

April 13, 2004 - The ongoing east-coast dissapointment

Night doesn’t come here anymore. Black silhouettes of trees border the sky outside my window. Yellowed grey splashed across the sky pretending sanctuary from the sun. Damp fog hanging out of reach, unable to pull it back and find the few stars that remain. City lights have pierced the charcoal sea of silence that used to drown the trees and houses. The cuts bleed yellow and white, pushing the stars back beyond visibility. The rain left the air too crisp and bitter against my skin with it’s chilled grasp. Once, I’ve retreated under the covers, cuddled into night, and hidden in the blackness that only my pillow can provide, I’ll appreciate the wisps of wet whispers brush my cheek and ear, even if they brush me without the shimmer of starlight. How I miss the night, the nocturnal soundtrack and settled assurance that everything will rest, renew and be ready for dawn’s beckoning of life.

April 11, 2006

today’s acomplishments

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 4:23 pm

- scheduled orthodontist appointment for alex (got the reminder post card March 2nd)
- schedule dentist appointment for alex (got the reminder post card (got the reminder post card March 7th)
- started on the midterm that is a week or two overdue (5 pages done, maybe 2-3 more to go)

The problem with midterms like this is that I start reading all sorts of cool information that leads to one thing and another and another. Soon, I’ve amassed a great amount of information on a neat topic that probably doesn’t truly fit in with what I’m supposed to be writing about. So, I decide that what I learned is just way too cool to just ignore, so I construct some elaborate way to tie it all in together and get all of the information included. This turns the entire paper into a much longer project than it should have been originally. Maybe i’ll eventually learn to not do this. Or maybe, even better, I’ll just graduate and won’t have to worry about it at all.

April 8, 2006

child free week

Filed under: school, family — suzanne henderson @ 7:31 pm

So, the girl child with fading red hair has flown off to Oklahoma. I’m a little disappointed that the flame red and yellow-orange locks have faded down to a strawberry blonde dye job gone awry. I know how much my mom loves surprises, of all sorts, and that would be one that she’d get instantly. But, her hair looks pretty normal, just a week or so after dying, in spite of the comments from airport security.

I have a week of childless obligations, which really works out to almost no obligations, that should spent being wild and crazy. Instead, I’ll probably just be catching up on school work, getting ahead on school work, and lingering longer on campus after class. I wish that it would be some wild and crazy times, but I think the Thursday night Beer and then the Friday night to see the Orb was enough to last for a couple months. Also, I’m feeling pretty motivated for cracking down on projects and the ideas are flowing. Pretty soon, all the papers will be turned in and all of the projects will be complete, and I’ll be handed a degree as I walk back into the professional world. I’ll ignore the nagging fear that BA will get me very little and just continue to pretend that there is a wealth of employers lining up outside my door waiting to top each other’s salary and benefit packages — cause, thats just what nonprofits do, didn’t ya know?

April 5, 2006

lost papers

Filed under: school, life — suzanne henderson @ 5:26 pm

sigh. i lost a couple papers. luckily, I’d recently printed out a copy to edit one and it didn’t take too long to reconstruct. unfortunately, the other one did not have any current print outs and I’m back at the drawing board. sigh. I’m so overwhelmed by school work, I don’t know how to get moving on it. and, if I don’t get up and get moving around the house, I’m not going to get paid this week. Hopefully M&M will actually get around to paying me this week. I’ve lost out on a month’s worth of ING deposits and I think the spring savings sale is about to end. sigh.

April 3, 2006

inflation and fourth grade field trips

Filed under: family — suzanne henderson @ 8:00 am

Alex is going on a field trip this month and the fee is $33.00. Now, perhaps it is just me or my lack of growing up on the east coast, but $33 seems like a pretty steep fee for a field trip. I recall paying $5 for field trips and maybe $10-20 for something really special, like the class field trip to Six Flags. The school is trying to soften the shock of the price by reminding parents that this is the only field trip they are going on this year. For me, I’d be happier spending $11 for 3 different field trips than $33 on one. I’d find a lot more value in multiple opportunities to extend learning beyond the classroom than hoping to cram all the field trip benefits in one single opportunity.

April 2, 2006

throwing weight around

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 12:09 pm

This weekend is the mass diet plan for the stuff in the warehouse. Of course, that just means that it is going to be drug over to the workshop until the giant sale (or the first of two sales) where real progress will (hopefully) be made. There are some pretty big machines appearing down at the workshop and luckily one massive drill press going away today.

The overall mass of these items are amazing; thousands and thousands of pounds for one machine that just looks like a mini-borg ship assimilating all available space. I totally understand why Chris calculates all sales and distribution by weight and not price. He doesn’t say “I sold $500 worth of stuff”. Instead, it is a comment of “I sold 500 pounds worth of stuff.” Now, I’m not sure which is better — guess it just depends on the point of view. It is more important to rake in as much cash from everything or more important to lose some weight? It is a balance between the two but the weight issue is certainly pulling the scale down a little bit more.

April 1, 2006

pain for play

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 12:52 pm

Thursday evening, over a couple beers at [Brewer’s Art] in Baltimore, a brief thought slipped in and out of a conversation — a Friday night show in Washington. Being so slammed with everything, I just jokingly considered it oh so briefly. Then, post beers, I headed to his house to burn a few DVDs worth of music. I’ve been seriously hurting for music since losing everything I had early last year, if not the year before. Friday, once I got done with chores, it was great to have some music to pull through and got me thinking more about the show that evening.

My stress level has been soaring and the evening out for beer and socializing did wonders for morale. I then rationalized that going out Friday night would kick up that boost to making life manageable. Rationalization won out with the commitment that a friend would pick me up. It was a good show and I was just so happy to be out dancing for a change. And getting to hang out with my friend before he (maybe) runs off to seattle or somewhere is always a good thing. I’ll sure miss him if he leaves but I totally understand the desire to not stay around Baltimore.

So, I’m motivated to work on my homework and bound to the chair because my knee has really flared up thanks to all the dancing. It is so sad to feel joint aches and pains at such a young age. But, my knee has been steadily getting worse and I knew that walking was gonna be difficult today. But, how could I resist the chance to dance to music I like?