Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving recap

My dear, sweet mother, wearing the souvenir my sister brought her from her trip to New Orleans in May:

All was quiet on the western front; no drama to speak of & a generally mellow time was had by all. My grandpa C. (mom's dad) didn't come, supposedly due to his gout acting up. (It wouldn't act up if he laid off the hooch but that's another story for another day.) It was the 1st T-day since my grandma C.'s passing in April so I can understand if he was sad; we all noticed the empty feeling. For me it was helping my mom set the table in the kitchen for the buffet (we've always done it this way; you take what you want & eat in the dining room) & noticing the absence of g-ma's homemade apple pie. She may have been pretty well handicapped in her last few years but she still made the best apple pie.

It was Vid & I's first T-day as a married couple. Actually, it was his first one with my family since when we were engaged last year but he wasn't able to come since we were living in the Midwest & I came home for my 10th high school reunion over T-day weekend. He ate more than his share of turkey (he eats meat every so often but not at home; I'm a total veggie) & slept like a log that night, as did the dog, who got the rare table scrap from my mom & sister because of his cuteness factor.

I can hardly believe Christmas is less than a month away! We will be putting up our small, fake tree next weekend; other than that, I'm not going crazy with holiday decorations. We are going to a performance of Handel's "The Messiah" in a few weeks & I'm going to try to get tickets to the Boston Ballet's "Nutcracker". I will also be taking my husband to Lasalette Shrine to see the lights & to midnight Mass so he can attempt to sing along to the Christmas carols beforehand. My Hindu hubby is more into the season than I am; kind of sad really. Maybe I'll get back into it when we have children & Santa becomes "real" again.

Ahhhh, Maine...

We started our vacation in Ogunquit where we had visited when we first got married back in February as our "mini-moon". Here's a photo from the beach off the Marginal Way:

While we were there we went shopping @ the Kittery Outlets & got some great deals. Then we went to L.L. Bean in Freeport on our way to Bar Harbor. Vid got new snow boots; I must say I was rather disappointed in their teeny tiny plus size department. They did, however, have a super cool gingerbread lighthouse:

The place we stayed @ in Bar Harbor was gorgeous! Check out the view from our room:

Bar Harbor is on Mount Desert Island where the majority of Acadia National Park is. Because it was so late in the season some of the roads in the park were closed to vehicles due to icy conditions (not a good thing on the side of a mountain!). Still, there are a series of carriage roads which are now used as hiking trails; they are "paved" with small pieces of shales that have been shattered. We walked on a few of them; some of them have hand-hewn bridges over them that are driven over. Here's the view on one of them:

Acadia is a gorgeous combination of mountains and water:

The sunsets are spectacular:

It was a bit on the chilly side but sunny the whole time we were on vacation. However, the weather turned crappy just in time for our 6 hour drive home; traffic in Boston was insane but we got home in one piece. Every time we go to Maine we want to go back; someday, when we win the lottery, I want a house on lake there...

Friday, November 21, 2008


The hubby is loading up the car & I'm about to wash dishes from breakfast. After that we drop our doggy off @ my parents, stop @ the bank & off we go! I'll post pics when we get back on Wednesday. Maine: here we come!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The US government is not the model of efficiancy

Oh looky-loo what came in the mail! Our appointment with immigration has finally been set 8 months after we filed & gave them several checks worth thousands of dollars! And they wonder why we have so many people who bypass doing it the right way.

December 16 @ 2pm in the afternoon it is! Needless to say, my baseline neurotic husband is even more neurotic than usual. He is convinced they are going to deport him despite the fact he has never been out of status. I told him when they look @ our taxes they'll know we didn't marry for money so it must be love. Well, that & the fact we were both nerdy grad students when we met. I could totally use this to my advantage this next month, telling him if he doesn't do "X" I'll tell the Feds he married me for a green card. He does not find this amusing but I do. Hehehe...

But seriously, I hope everything goes well. We've got the support of family & friends so God forbid anything goes awry we will fight it. He's also let his work know so they can help if need be too. So hopefully his temporary green card turns into a permanent one just in time for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When I grow up...

I'm just counting the hours, nay, the seconds, until our vacation in Maine. I still fantasize about getting a new job but I am lucky enough to live in the state with the highest unemployment rate in the country, RI. The more I think about it the more I realize I need to go back to school if I have any chance of doing something professionally that will give me a decent paycheck. So I sent in my application for a second Bachelor's degree & now just need to get official transcripts from my graduate school.

Even if they let me into the college along with all my student loan debt, I have to apply separately to the nursing school after a semester of at least a 3.0 (never mind I graduated with a 3.6 the first time around) & even then there may not be space for me right away. But I'd rather wait & see than not try at all & guarantee myself misery @ my current job. And once I'm in I'm done in 1 1/2 to 2 years with a guarantee of doubling what I make now.

I found out last week there's another employee in my agency who has applied to a similar program for a second Bachelor's degree @ another school. I found this out from a student nurse, actually. It's funny, because at my job we have student nurses come in every week as part of their practicum & I'd say easily half of them are on their second degrees. One of them even had an MA & went back in her 40s. So I guess I'm not all that unique or weird, which is a nice feeling to have.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Presenting our Routan baby!

You've probably seen the obnoxious Vokswagen commercials with Brooke Shields talking about people having babies for a Routan. Well, there actually is a Routan baby maker! I uploaded a recent photo of Vid & one of myself. Here are the results:

My dear, sweet husband exclaimed "He's so cute!" upon seeing this. He kept looking @ the computer screen & smiling. I can only imagine what he will be like when we have a real child. Well, after he passes out from the sight of blood at the birth, of course.

Of course, I did this on the day my period arrived & had to tell him we weren't pregnant this cycle. I think he was more disappointed than I was to be honest; it was only our second month of trying & I know it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to conceive for a healthy couple. I think his disappointment is partly due to him being brought up as an Indian male where your manhood is closely tied to your ability to produce children, preferably males. Although Vid talks about having a daughter (he has a name picked out for a girl, not a boy) as much as he does about having a son.

But also, he is very much excited to become a dad for the experience of showing the world to a new being. I've seen the way he interacts with my friends' kids; he's a big guy with a deep voice but they love him. He also has a child-like wonderment about him. Sometimes, honestly, this trait annoys me. I tell him he's 5 at least a few times a week. And going grocery shopping with him means being asked "Can I please, please have this?" over & over again while I watch a mother with a toddler being asked the same question down the aisle. However, I have no doubt he will be a great dad when the time comes, hopefully in the near future.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My 101 things

1 I was born on my mother's 23rd birthday.

2 But I was 2 weeks late.

3 And arrived by emergency c-section.

4 I was clinically dead when I was born.

5 They found out I had a congenital heart defect known as ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) but couldn't figure out where I got it from at the time.

6 They figured out where I got the ASD from when my dad, who had never had so much as a cavity in his life, was rushed into open heart surgery when I was 17 to repair a tiny ASD that got aggravated from a still unknown cause.

7 My ASD was treated as an infant.

8 My first memory is of dumping hot chicken soup on my head.

9 My mom says I was about 18 months old at the time.

10 I got a cock-a-poo puppy for my 3rd birthday.

11We named her Sparky.

12 My sister Sharon was born when I was 4.

13 I remember sitting in the waiting room on the sticky plastic chairs in my sun dress while she was delivered by c-section.

14 Then I started pre-school.

15 And I hated the fact the teachers wouldn't let me play trucks with the boys.

16 I then went to a Catholic school for kindergarten through second grade.

17 There was a kid in my 2nd grade class who I now understand was probably mentally ill.

18 He jumped out the classroom window one day.

19 We were on the 3rd floor.

20 He was uninjured, but didn't come back to school after that.

21 We moved into the house my parents still live in when I was in 3rd grade.

22 I started going to public school at this point.

23 At this point I started getting bored in school.

24 My mom bought me a set of encyclopedias piece by piece at the grocery store each week.

25 I read them all by the end of the school year.

26 In 4th grade they tested me for the gifted program.

27 I scored exceptionally high in everything but math so they didn't let me in.

28 I would continue to be bored throughout elementary school and beyond.

29 I also continued to stink at math.

30 I got my period the summer between 4th and 5th grade.

31 We were on vacation at the time.

32 They didn't even teach us about getting our period in sex ed until the next year.

33 5th & 6th grade were nothing great & nothing terrible.

34 I was put in the "excelerated" class when I went to junior high.

35 I tied for the highest score on the state wide geography test.

36 But I missed representing our state at the National Geographic Geography Bee by 1 question.

37 I was in the school play when I was in 7th grade.

38 I started questioning my sexuality then.

39 Now, I don't feel the need to label myself in such a way.

40 I learned how to play the flute in junior high.

41 I still have the flute but I don't really play it much.

42 I became a vegetarian when I turned 14.

43 I picked up bassoon & upright bass in high school.

44 I also joined the speech & debate club.

45 That's where I met my best friend.

46He's married with 1 child & another on the way.

47 We don't get together much since he lives 1 1/2 hours away but we talk on the phone or IM all the time.

48He keeps me sane to this day.

49 I went to the national speech & debate tournament my sophomore, junior & senior years of high school.

50 I lost my virginity along the way.

51 I wasn't super popular but I also wasn't the butt of everyone's jokes.

52I was, however, fat.

53 And I started binging & purging for a few months.

54 My mom took me to a therapist who referred me to a nutritionist.

55 The nutritionist didn't get that I wouldn't eat meat.

56 So I stopped going.

57 And I'm still fat, but don't binge & purge.

58 I was in some plays in high school too.

59 I was also an extra in "The Amistad".

60 I decided I wanted to go to college far away.

61 I went to school in Montana for a year.

62 It got too expensive.

63 And I took Japanese.

64 That was a mistake.

65 I sucked it up & came back to RI.

66 I worked at JC Penney full time for a year.

67 I hated every minute of it.

68 Sparky died at this time

69 It was the first time I saw my dad cry.

70 I was 20.

71 I went back to the state college.

72 I found 2 profs who mentored me.

73 We are friends now.

74 They encouraged me to study abroad.

75 I wrote for a grant & won.

76 I spent a semester in Ghana.

77 I traveled around West Africa on my own.

78 I got malaria.

79 That's when 9/11 happened.

80 It was both scary & weird to come back to the US & see all the hatred & fear after 6 months.

81 I went to grad school in Indiana.

82 I went back to Africa a few times.

83 Once I roomed with a fellow grad student from Michigan.

84 We became very close.

85 She died in a car accident in Nigeria while on a Fullbright 2 years later.

86 That was also the year my uncle was killed by the cops.

87 We're still waiting for it to go to trial.

88 I have memorial tattoos for both of them.

89 I have 7 tattoos so far.

90 I plan on getting more.

91 I slowly got sick of being a poor grad student.

92 I slowly grew sick of grad school politics.

93 I decided to Masters out.

94 Little did I know a Masters in my field means nothing.

95 I got married around this time to the gentlest man I know

96 We've got a Pekingese dog named Romeo

96 Now we're trying to start a family

97 I am both excited & scared to have such responsibility

98. I'm also still figuring out what I want to do with my life

99. Nursing school?

100. My husband has the patience of a saint.

101. That's a good thing; I'm still not fully grown up.