Twitter / atb20

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

who? me? work?

i just got off the phone with mil and said, "well, i should get back to the grind." funny since i wasn't "grinding" before, and as is clear by this post, i am not "grinding" now. the problem with a hectic work month is that the minute the hectic is over you want to just chill for a while, and that means "not work." problem is they are paying me to be here to work, and meanwhile i'm quite defiantly not working. since i arrived, i made two work calls, dropped off the laptop borrowed for last night's class, checked a budget, got frustrated, checked, checked, checked incremental degrees (very good post about the february doldrums), sent two non-work-related emails, checked mbajackass's blog, sent a work-related email, moved money (and not the good way), looked for a new obgyn, hours later made an appointment with a new obgyn, checked a little pregnant and sweet juniper, got call from mil, and now here i am. something's gotta change...
other thoughts i've had lately revolve around procreation. while my clock has settled down a bit (thank goodness!), i'm still puzzled by this whole parenthood thing. i monopolized a large chunk of cat and metsfan's sunday peppering them with questions about how the f-ck people afford to be parents in nyc? (for those not in the know, the lovely couple is about a month away from becoming lovely parents, at which point i'll have to discontinue use of terms like "f-ck") unfortunately, our conclusion was that most of them chuck family life in favor of ungodly sums of money and let the nanny raise the kid. this is reinforced by the sight of numerous racially mismatched "mothers" and kids on the sidewalks of the upper west side when i went to see my doctor yesterday. now, maybe i'm odd, and i really can't find a rational reason for this belief, but i am staunchly opposed to the idea of a nanny... at least in my life. the truth is, mil will have to be a doctor for many years before we could ever consider affording a nanny, but my revulsion to the idea goes much deeper. despite the fact that i really do want to work outside the home, i also really want to be a daily part of my child's life. i want to be the mother, and i don't want there to be any confusion about that. for some reason daycare seems more pallatable. as metsfan pointed out, it's more like school. there's no confusion... it's clearly not home, so that's clearly not my mother (or father). i'm curious as to what other people think about this issue (or if you have thoughts on the issue at all). i think this is one of the reasons i peruse so many parenting blogs. i wonder how other people are making it work, yet it it seems like many of the people i read about seem to have the luxury of more cashflow and/or a cushy, work-from-home gig. our little group all agreed that it would be great if the world was set-up so that we could each work out of the home part-time and care for our children part-time thus removing the necessity of choosing one over the other. for me, family trumps work every time.

Monday, February 27, 2006

wish i was here

"One Tree Hill" Antioch, California
Originally uploaded by Todd F.

i love new york. i think that's clear, but sometimes i see photos like this and i remember how nice s p a c e is. space to stretch your legs, space to be alone without the wail of sirens or the screech of breaks, space to create, space to allow life to slow down... i feel so mentally cluttered these days that i've forgotten what space feels like. hopefully, utah should remedy that... if only temporarily.
anyway. i'm tired and ready to head home, so i'll leave you with two of sad bits of news that are taking up space in my dusty attic of a brain:
- don knotts died.
- south dakota has banned abortions.

Friday, February 24, 2006

admitting ineptitude

i generally think of myself as a relatively intelligent person, but that perception is being shaken this afternoon. i have been asked to proof a 40-page grant on placebo effects in the brain. never before has my head hurt so much. i am seeing these words like "anti-nociceptive systems" and "carfentinil binding," and my little brain seems to work up a sweat just to pronounce them. am i alone here? do other educated people quiver like this when they're taken out of their realm of expertise? i've found myself taking 5-minute breaks after reading each page of this stuff. (hence the frequent posting today.)
here's another question i have... is it okay to have loud conversations in the gym? i ask because yesterday my new issue of jane exhorted me to go work out. there i was, happy as a clam, reading about facial exfoliators i can't afford and grooving to lady day, and this bear of a woman charges toward the elliptical machine next to mine, deep in conversation with a diminuative, metrosexual type. thing is, she was talking in her outdoor voice. more specifically, her barroom voice -- the one used to talk over hoardes of drunken college kids and a blaring jukebox. and our building gym is a quiet place... it's six o'clock and the three of us in there are exhausted from a long day of listening to other people's crap. at first i thought perhaps she's just walking in with this guy and the conversation will stop once they both begin to work out... i was wrong. the guy she was talking to just stood there, listening to her yap, for a half an hour... i'm not sure what the other people were thinking, but my thoughts were, "who the f--- does this woman think she is?"; "if she didn't look like she could kick my ass, i would totally give her a dirty look"; and "who the hell is the random guy who's standing next to her just listening to her rant about her co-workers for a half an hour?" needless to say, i said none of these things, though next time i might just try that dirty look.

this is for you, mj

puerto rico
Originally uploaded by atb20.

from my trip to PR (with the folks) a couple of years ago...

billie's words

i'd just like to dream of a cottage by a stream with my man
where a few flowers grew and perhaps a kid or two like my man.

oh, my man, i love him so, he'll never know...
when he takes me in his arms, the world is right all right.

even when we disagree, i can't help but think of how lucky i am to have him. yeah, i wish the mcats and med school were over and done with. yeah, i wish we had more of an income and more time to play, but really, it's my life, and i wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Originally uploaded by atb20.

things have been mad around here... "here" being both in my head and in this office where i type (4 grants due in the space of a week!). thankfully, i have been offered a reprieve. my folks are taking me skiing (sans mcat studier) in a couple of weeks. i'd almost forgotten what the out of doors looked like... i am now marking the days on my calendar.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Sunday, February 19, 2006


the traffic light is on the fritz again. if you don't hear from me for a while, please check the local mental hopistals.

honk, honk

honk honk
Originally uploaded by atb20.

so, i want to make a confession. i haven't done any homework all weekend. and i've got absolutely no desire to start now. i'm not in the mood to do much of anything except lounge on the couch... eat chocolate... maybe knit a couple of little goodies... i'm actually dying to show them off, but since they're going to one of my few loyal readers, i will wait until they've been presented in person before i present them in blog.
this lovely sunday morning began with the soothing sounds of horns from the street below. thanks to a spastic traffic light, i was forced to endure hours of incessant honking. i was actually yelling through my closed window eighteen floors up because by 1pm the cicadadic rhythm of the taxi horns had actually taken my sanity. i think my neighbors were concerned. it was at this point i decided to leave home to run some errands. thank goodness. i returned home after the light was fixed and what little sanity i possess had returned.

Friday, February 17, 2006

the cult of celebrity-ish

as i cave in to a few moments of entertainment tonight, i want to make something clear: a woman who is a professional wrestler cum "dancer with the stars" is NOT a celebrity. equally, a woman who was in "america's top model" and engaged to a "brady" is NOT a celebrity either.

puppy love

so. i'm still here. and despite my hectic schedule i still seem to suffer from occasional bouts of wanting stuff. yesterday i was reading a book about psychodynamic developmental theory, and it was all about how special the mother-infant bond is. while reading it, all i wanted was a little baby milmoosk in my arms exhibiting gaze recognition and secure attachment. i had to remind myself repeatedly that it would not be good to start my job search looking 6 months pregnant. repeatedly. this incessant ticking of the old biological clock is starting to get louder, and mil is getting frightened. though i know that there's a part of him that is excited as i am, he seems better able to separate a want from a need and an intelligent idea from a stupid one. these are things i seem unable to do at the moment. fortunately, the two jobs, two classes, and the internship seem to keep time moving pretty quickly. one moment it's monday and i'm dreading the week ahead... a few moments later its friday afternoon and i can't believe how much crap i didn't get done.

i've started a little campaign this past week thanks to dutch and my own need to have something to look forward to... i'm going to start bargaining for a puppy for my birthday (in june). see, i have this little rule: since mil hates izzy (though i'm convinced at some level he loves her dearly), and i can be retardedly impulsive when it comes to pets (case-in-point: rose-breasted cockatoo with a 4-digit price tag purchased 3 days after my $50 lovebird died), it is up to mil to make the next pet purchase. the way i figure it, there are several things working in my favor: (a) puppies are cute, (b) mil really wants a dog, too, (c) mil will likely have a lot of time off over the summer to puppy-raise, (d) i will be going to a normal work schedule starting next fall, (e) and mil will still be working insane hours, so i will be lonely, and (f) puppies are damn cute. sounds good, right? work with me here, folks!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

a little science

central park in winter
Originally uploaded by atb20.

perhaps i should just stop reading. that might be good. then i might not be so worried about the direction in which our country creeps a little more every day. i could maintain a steady diet of fox news and remain blissfully unaware that children are dying in darfur and diplomacy is losing what little foothold it had in the middle east. i could think that all muslims are bad and good teenagers never have sex. it would be so much easier.

unfortunately, it's difficult to unlearn how to read. i'd have to give up dan brown along with the new york times, and chances are i'd still occasionally flip past bbc world news and accidentally get real news. not to mention what would happen to my job... i don't think they hire too many illiterate research assistants.

so today i learned that nasa is editing their press release about a white dwarf star so as not to frighten people about the eventual demise of our sun -- hundreds of billions of years from now. that's a wee bit disconcerting, but what was even more so was that kansas school board removed the big bang from their science curriculum in 1999, and i don't remember hearing so much as a peep about it! it's these little things that get buried in the 5th page of the newspaper that scare me... its the little things that change a country, not the big things. and i think bush et al. are happy to have us duke it out over roe v. wade while they surreptitiously change educational curricula and fund abstinence only "education." so far it seems to be working...

btw, happy valentine's day!

Monday, February 13, 2006


trees in winter
Originally uploaded by atb20.

so, i did end up venturing out yesterday -- hell, anything not to write a paper, right? well, it started out innocently enough. brunch with the folks in their new apartment (they're to thank for the tree top photo). i could do that and easily make it back for some quality homework time before mil returned from mcat class. alas, my parents taunted me with the prospect of sledding in the freshly fallen snow, and who am i to resist the awesome power of sledding in the country -- even if it involves a treacherous drive to the suburbs on a day when the mayor staunchly warned against any automobile travel. but, seriously, sledding vs. homework. not much of a contest. needless to say it was long past twilight when i returned home to set to work... and by then mil was home with hopes of catching up on some west wing. clearly, this was not meant to be. the only question i have is this: how did i ever make it through college?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

gun control is wrong

just plain wrong. thanks for the link, ms. doodlebug.

snowy sunday

i woke up this morning with a flash of inspiration... i thought i had the perfect name for my blog... but that might mean throwing off my three loyal readers... so, i've tucked away the perfect name for the moment and made some fun banners for this one. besides, if i have a new blog name, i might have to have a new blog, and i'm not ready for that.
what have i been up to for the last several days, you ask. well, interestingly enough, i've been working and going to school. i know, this is a great departure from my usual pattern of working and, um, going to school. honestly, i don't know why anyone reads this blog. mil has given it up entirely. when i ask him if he's read it, he says, "no, honey, but if you want me to, i will." that's the sign of a budding literary career, isn't it? fortunately, i never had that as a goal.

so, this weekend we're getting our first blizzard of the winter. it's a beautiful whiteout complete with icy window sills and blustery winds. fortunately, i've got no reason to leave the apartment. yesterday, i didn't leave home till 8pm when i had to find my way down to the lower east side for mbajackass's birthday festivities. mil and i had many broken engagements to make up for, and leave it to us to pick the one event that involved a blizzardy trek to rivington st. it was all worth it to hear the slightly shocked sound of mj's voice over the cell phone, "you're coming? really?" granted we lasted all of a half an hour before shuttling off for home, but at least i could say i left the house. who knows if that'll happen today.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

happy tea

Originally uploaded by dan nation.

there's a little afghan restaurant on 9th ave and 53rd st that's tucked away between a take out place and a newstand. no larger than the newstand, the restaurant barely fits five tiny tables, but they make the most savory "spinach" (sooo much more than spinach) and the bolani kachaloo are enough to cause small skirmishes at the table. that said, the best thing about ariana is the "happy tea" -- a spicy, cardamon-y concoction that wakes you up out of the consumption coma (induced by the several orders of bolani kachaloo required to keep the peace) and the giggly smirk you get from wali, the lone waiter, when you order it. it's been far too long since i've had my happy tea, but i have high hopes that with the return of mbajackass we'll be seeing much more of wali and that tasty tea.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

sinking a little lower

so, what started out as a journey toward self-improvement has turned me toward a life of smut... a few weeks ago, mil and i re-discovered they gym. we were looking forward to a healthier semester replete with regular physical activity. it was to be a beautiful thing. then i remembered the table full of trashy magazines that welcomes you to our local fitness center. ok!, hello, us weekly, star, people... months worth of brad and angelina, jen and vince, tom and katie, charlie and denise, and, of course, paris and her fiance of the month... for years i was able to resist, looking down on the poor wretches who slavishly followed the ups and downs of people they've never met. now... now i'm one of them. i even found myself watching "extra" last night waiting to find out what angelina had to say about marrying brad. save me...

Friday, February 03, 2006


there are certain things that my propriety keeps me from discussing with the world of the web, but let's just say that there's nothing like a good husband to take away the stresses of the day... i found myself singing the lyrics of a snappy junior brown song last night: i make the most of what i got at home and forget what i left behind. i'm halfway gone, but my better half's coming home.

i know a lot of folks are driven to succeed... whether it be money, power, academic achievement... i think that's cool, but i've come to realize that i'm just not one of those people. i'm happy to work, but i'm happier to play, and if it's going to stress me out or exhaust me, i'd rather not do it at all. not much of a good capitalist upbringing, i guess.

nevertheless, i've discovered a bit about myself by going through this internship thing. i have a psychodynamic therapist as my supervisor, and, as such, she requires me to do a lot of self-examination as part of my work with my clients. one of the things i've realized is that i've always been in a rather driven environment. by comparison, i've always been a bit of a slacker, happy in the middle type. i don't need to be in the top of my class or be in the most clubs to feel good about myself, so i always thought i was kind of a free spirit. turns out, when you're not at an ivy league university or a snooty prep school, there are a lot of people who take things a lot easier. huh... my supervisor seems to think of me as a bit of a neurotic, achiever type, which is really funny because i just never knew i could be thought of that way. i guess it's always good to take a peak at yourself through somebody else's eyes and realize you're not quite as normal as you thought you were.

that said, when i'm surrounded by these masochistic young folk who are gunning for a phd, i feel like i'm judged for "just" getting a masters. i find myself explaining... you see, i'm older, and i like to make money every once in a while... and you know, someday, i might just go back to school and get that phd in social work... really. i feel like somehow i have to prove i'm smart. one professor i work for seems to be surprised whenever i can figure something out on my own, or type up a powerpoint slide in a couple of minutes... like somehow because i'm just a lowly masters student i don't have the brainpower of those goal-oriented phd students (born in the 80s, no less). then again, i spend about half my week with smart kids who are special ed-ing their way through junior high and very intelligent adults who never got through high school. by comparison, i guess i seem like the masochistic, over-achiever. go figure.