Friday, May 20, 2005

Why can't anything be simple?

We have had an incredibly exhilarating week. Do not let anything in the next few paragraphs make you forget that we are incredibly happy about the way things are working out. We are new homeowners and we are travelling to Russia next week to meet our future son.

Now for the whining.

The plan for the week was as follows:

  • Sunday -- graduation.
  • Monday -- pack moving truck.
  • Tuesday -- closing on sale of old house, drive moving truck to New Hampshire.
  • Wednesday -- do some errands.
  • Thursday -- final walkthrough of new house, simultaneous homestudy.
  • Friday -- close on new house, move in.

Some of these things (namely those on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday) happened. But the old house did not close on Tuesday. Then (after repeated reassurances and a few lies from a number of sources), it did not close on Wednesday or Thursday. We did not have final word until late Thursday. After much nailbiting, it closed this morning, and we were able to close on the new house just afterwards. But wait -- the paperwork never actually came through! Technically we are inhabiting a house owned by someone else. Not as if the former/current owner cares -- he has already been paid. But we have a moving truck in the driveway of a house we live in but don't yet legally own.

So why do I have the time to blog? Because I was tasked with handling adoption paperwork, but have been forgetting paperwork at whichever house I am not currently at. I need to have our visa applications overnighted by 5pm in order to have permission to enter Russia. I am at my parents' house because I forgot our visa applications here. I am waiting here because I forgot our passports (which need to be shipped to the Russian consulate) at the new house. My father is enroute with the passports and photos.

After eighteen moths of waiting and waiting, we got nine days notice to travel. Plane tickets have been purchased. Obnoxiously expensive hotel room booked for one night. Will work on finding a better option for the other days. Must get visa within next few days.

But we get to meet him! And then we will go back in a few short (!?!) weeks to adopt him. And all is good. All is very good.

For those who asked, the cat is recovering well from her motion sickness. She will be staying with my parents for a couple of weeks as we have doors open for moving boxes in and as we travel to Russia. She really seems to like it here. She likes the neighbors. She likes my dad. She likes the fluffy rugs. She likes the cozy nook on the desk. She may not want to move back in with us when the time comes.....

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

First New Hampshire post

We just arrived at my parents' house. Other than one vomiting incident, the trip was uneventful. More words and pictures soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Love thee Notre Dame

Notre Dame, our Mother
Tender, strong and true
Proudly in the heavens,
Gleams thy gold and blue.
Glory's mantle cloaks thee
Golden is thy fame,
And our hearts forever,
Praise thee, Notre Dame.
And our hearts forever,
Love thee, Notre Dame.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Not a linker or a thinker, but a reader

My name is reprehriestless warillever and I am a reader. I read books, I read newspapers, I read magazines, and I read blogs. I also read cereal boxes, beer cans, grocery receipts, and road signs. I will read any words that come in front of my eyes. And I remember everything that I read.

Unfortunately this affinity for reading has not resulted in a talent for writing. Although I am proficient at academic prose, I have yet to find my voice in this less formal medium.

The greatest challenge is that this blog has no direction. I am not trying to prove anything. I have no news to tell, no axe to grind, and no position to defend. For good or for bad, it is neither a personal diary nor a political soapbox. It is not angry, prayerful, or even insightful. Consider it a semi-daily reflection on the world around me.

I hope that my friends are getting to know me in ways that they never would have. For the strangers, I hope that I have given you a window into a world you hadn't seen before.

My in-laws just arrived. I'll be back to you soon!

Upstaged by a monster

Grover has been updating his photo blog. He went to Grand Rapids with us on Wednesday, and wanted to let you all know about it.

Show off.

Flickr RSS2 feed Atom

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I love Indiana

County Line Landfill
Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
...for the landforms!

Isn't this the cheerist little landfill you have ever seen? It is the only hill between South Bend and Indianapolis, and it sure is cute. If it weren't for the overpowering smell of garbage, it would be a perfect picnic spot.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I love South Bend

Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
...and so does this hydrant!

We are busy packing and enertaining guests this week, so I will not be posting much. I do have a series of duck stalking pictures that I will post soon, though.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Interview (Part 3 of 5)

If you could take a trip anywhere, where would you go?

I would drop everything at a moment's notice to meet our children in Russia. I have a packing list prepared for each person and could be ready in minutes flat.

That's kinda the answer to another question, though.

I have several adventures in mind, including a hike of the entire Appalachian Trail and the Western Way in Ireland. I'm also a big fan of car trips -- some of my greatest memories are from a cross-country trip with my husband the summer after we graduated from college. We'd like to drive through the Canadian Maritimes and accross the southern part of the US.

The only fru-fru coice on my list? Going to Pasadena, California for the Rose Bowl Parade. I wouldn't even have to see the game, although I might be convinced to go if say it was the BCS championship and Notre Dame was playing.....

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Interview (Part 2 of 5)

What scares you most about moving to the East Coast?

Moving itself! Moving stinks. We'll spend days packing all of our stuff into boxes, attempting to do so in an organized fashion so that nothing gets lost. We'll have everything boxed up, labeled well, and lugged out to the moving truck. As we leave, we will do one last run-through of the house. Someone will notice that no one emptied the lower drawer in the bathroom. There will be no boxes left, and that stuff will be tossed into a garbage bag, and that bag will be thrown behind the passenger's seat of the car. It will be weeks before that bag makes it into the new house. By that time, I will have bought myself three new scrunchies to sleep in, because we have no idea where they got packed.

Even though the East Coast is home, there will be some culture shock. That is worrisome. But we'll deal.


Originally uploaded by warillever.

Interview (Part 1 of 5)

What excites me most about moving to the East Coast?

Meeting my new niece. She is only eleven days old and even over the phone I can tell that she is a character. I want to see my oldest sister, the person who basically raised me, with her daughter. I want to drink tea with my mother, and hang out in the garage with my brothers.

I want to see landforms. I want to go for a walk where the scenery changes when I round a bend. I want to go for a run where my legs burn from going uphill for 20 minutes. I want a bikeride where I don't have to pedal because gravity carries me down the hill. I want to go up to my ankles in a rapidly rushing stream. I want to go to teh top of a hill and look out over miles and miles of trees.

Getting a decent cup of coffee that doesn't cost $3.

Having a meal with family that doesn't take three weeks to plan. Going to baptisms and first communions and birthday parties without killing half of my vacation allotment.

Working on our new house. Planning a garden from scratch. Setting up the home library. Decorating the kiddos' rooms.

Being home.

The Good Stuff

A friend recently noted in her online journal that she is "poised on the edge of events that I think I've been waiting my entire life to experience." Her post is anxious, but full of life. She is excited to be at the place she is in life, on the cusp of major change, but ready for it. I really respect her for being so excited, so "overwhelmed by emotion" by all of the stuff going on around her.

In short, I think that she gets it. That she understands what is worth worrying about. She is looking for (and may have found) the GOOD STUFF.

The GOOD STUFF, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, are those things that really matter, like

the sight of her holdin’ my baby girl.
The way she adored that string of pearls,
I gave her the day that our youngest boy, earl,
Married his high school love.
An’ it’s a new tee-shirt saying: ’I’m a grandpa’.
Bein’ right there as our time got small,
An’ holdin’ her hand, when the good lord called her up,
Yeah, man, that’s the good stuff.
These are, of course, lyrics from a country song. The Good Stuff by Kenny Chesney. The song is about a newlywed in the middle of his first major fight with his wife. He goes to a bar, asks for the "good stuff," and the elderly barkeeper explains that a bar is not the place to find "the good stuff;" that is at home.

I am convinced that the secret of life is fully explicated in country music lyrics.

We are always on the cusp of something. The trick is to remember what is worth worrying about.

What a boring life!

I am not complaining. In fact, I am joyous about this. There is no horror, no comedy, no drama. Just a set of tasks with deadlines. I can handle that!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

This says a lot

Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
This is a tagmap of the pictures I have in this Flickr account. Telling.

Smart Cat

Learned Cat
Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.

Cute Couple

Cute Couple
Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.

The Odd Threesome

The Odd Threesome
Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.

I love myself!

This is darned entertaining -- check out the "I love myself" version of this page.

And you can make your own Malkovich Mediator.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Study types

Barely Legal is blogging about the people you meet during exams. Working in a library and being a perpetual student myself, I see these people everyday. Most of those here are Braggarts, but I meet my share of Possums too.

Braggrats are those who pride themselves on working the hardest, and need to tell everyone about it. Like this conversation:

Braggart A: "I'm exhausted, I've been here for eight hours."

Braggart B: "Really? I've been here for ten and I'm just getting started."

Braggart A: "Well, I just finished my Tax outline. It's 60 pages long."

Braggart B: "60? Is that all? Mine is 75, and I finished a week ago. But I'm sure you'll still pass."

Braggart B has won. He is the new Alpha of the bragging nerds. Braggart A must retreat back to his cubicle to see if he can lengthen that tax outline at all.

Possums are the real sneaky ones. They claim to be clueless, but they really have it nailed.
In reality, she is fully confident in her ability to succeed on her exams. Her "playing dumb" is just a smokescreen to hide the many hours she spends perfecting her outlines and memorizing the UCC. Of course, the following semester, when she learns that she got a 3.7, she acts genuinely surprised, as if it were some fluke.

At the end of the day, I like to have The Possum around. She is sort of like a stripper: She makes you feel better about yourself, even though you know she is lying.
In reality, they are probably just fishing for a compliment or for a copy of your notes. Or they are really uncreative when it comes to pick-up lines....

Not yet a saint

...but Pope John Paul II will have a school named after him.

St. Peter and All Hallows elementary schools in Sacramento will merge next year. Students at both schools were asked what they want the new school to be named. They chose John Paul II Elementary School. [read the article here. via Curt Jester]

The Rome Depot

Click the pic for Curt Jester's "Ultimate in Rome Improvement"

On the power of art

Chiesa has an article about "what really happened at the conclave." What hit me was the power of Michelangelo's frescoes. How does it feel to have the weight of choosing the sucessor to St. Peter while looking straight at "The Judgement?"

The Pope's right hand

The Pope's right hand...... woman? Didn't the press say that this guy was anti-woman? According to this article, Pope Benedict's chief advisor is Ingrid Stampa. Their relationship is compared to Karen Hughes' with President Bush.

HT: Zadok the Roman

Where are you, Refman?

I wrote a post about washing my underwear.
I scheduled your life without asking.
And you did not comment at all.

I am beginning to think that you don't care.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

I have not abandonded you

...but I have had little time for blogging over the past week. It looks like this week will be just as busy.

Despite my most valiant efforts, the image search essay is still not done, and we have yet to start formal planning for the presentation on Friday. Ialso still have to revise, reformat, and polish an essay on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, as well as get permission to use images in it, if I can figure out where those images actually came from.

I am down to 4.5 days of work, and am expected to accomplish as much as I normally do in a month.

Additionally, it is still not clear whether or not our house will actually be sold when we need it to be. This means lots of frantic phone calls with real estate agents, mortgage people, insurance people, utilities, and others. And we need to buy a washing machine in the next 15 days. Oh. And packing. And lots of silly ceremonies. And a ton of visiting family.

This is not a stressed post; in fact I think that we are handling quite well. The post is just to explain why you haven't seen me around the blogosphere very much.

And I have a plan.
  • hand wash "necessaries"
  • cook for the week (no shopping required)
    • two nights pork-n-rice
    • two nights salmon casserole
    • one night leftover Chinese food (cook more rice)
  • proof-read image retrieval essay & submit
  • clean house for appraisal
    • clean bathrooms
    • swiffer all wood floors
    • dust
    • tidy study
    • mop tile floors
  • go to work
  • reformat citations in FASD article
  • write my section of lesson plan
  • go to work
  • revise FASD article
  • update dated sections of FASD article
  • make up props for lesson plan
  • go to work early for farewell lunch
Last day of work!!!!!
  • rehearse lesson plan (depending on partner's sechedule)
  • revise lesson plan as needed
  • go to work
  • further revisions to lesson plan
Last day of school!!!!!
I apologize for the excruciatingly boring post, but I figure that if I tell y'all about it, then I'll have to do it as stated. Procrastination would then be failing y'all. If you see me online, question my progress, because I need to get all of this done in the non-work hours of the next 6 days.

Then I can enjoy my one remaining week in the 'Bend.