Taking Stock Volume 2
Making : Nico’s baby book. That is not true- I started the thing like 5 years ago. Almost seven years after the fact, it’s still not done. I know. I am a bad mom.
Drinking : an Old Style. I have convinced myself that my beer tastes are too fancy for Natty Light or Budweiser. But my undying love for Old Style suggests otherwise.
Reading : I just finished The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball, which I absolutely love. It’s brilliant and beautiful and essential reading for anyone who has an itch to start a farm. The thing that I was most suprised about it is that I am still the same as a 37 year old mom as I was a 12 year old girl in that horses dying had me ugly cry blubbering. I also started reading the English Patient (as part of my Booker Man reading challenge). I am also listening to White Trash by Nancy Eisenberg.Something that I didn’t know, mostly because I didn’t know much about him, but Andrew Jackson was kind of a son of a bitch. Think Trump before Trump.
Wanting : I wish there was a book or a blog devoted entirely to city gardening. It would explore the different ways people grow stuff in their homes in big cities, in garden plots, on balconies, on decks and rooftops. Seriously. If you guys don’t watch yourselves, I am going write one.
Looking : At farm Instagrams (would that be Farmstagrams?) This is always a bad idea and makes me question most of my life choices. Some of my favorites: Modern Farmer, Dishing Up Dirt, and Kreeky Tree Farm. I am trying to remember that I have made some choices in order to maximize occupational stability and that at the end of the day, farming is probably not as stable as I think it is (based on my cursory reads of a few farm blogs and instagram). It doesn’t stop me from wanting 20 acres in the upper midwest.
Waiting : I ordered a camp stove. A CAMP STOVE. I have been wanting one for a while, and had convinced myself that I needed a JetBoil, because I am fancy AF. But I realized that the huge sell for a JetBoil is if you are into coffee, which I am not. So, if you wanted to have hot food and having coffee isn’t a requirement, than you don’t necessarily have to have a JetBoil.
Wondering : So, one of the reasons why I want land for a farm is that I want rows on rows on rows of produce *I* want: strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, kale, zuchinni, potatoes. I want to walk outside and pull strawberries off a plant and be able to taste the sunshine on them. In any case, I remember thinking last year that I ought to just get some strawberry plants and shut up about it and if I did that, I would have strawberry plants before I knew it. Well I didn’t. So here we are, a year later, no legitimate strawberry plants. This year, I went ahead and bought some strawberry root plants. It took me a couple of weeks to get them into the ground- and when I did, they were very dry. I am not sure they are going to root- but thought I would give it a try. I salvaged a large tupper ware container from the recycle bin and put some of the baby mostly dead rootballs in there. I also put some greens seeds in too- thinking that by the time the strawberry plants needed the space, the salad greens would be done. I am also planning to put the rest of the strawberries in the garden plot I have. The only problem with that, is that you’re not supposed to grow strawberries in places where tomatoes have been grown a lot (due to a the risk of fungal infections in the soil that kill strawberry plants). But I do what I want, so they are going in the ground. Still, I am wondering how this strawberry experiment will work.
Listening : Springsteen’s Live from Dublin album. When it first came out, I wasn’t really a fan- mostly because I have a taste in music that ranges from poor to plebian (much like my taste in beer- I acknowledge). In any case, I stumbled on “When the Saints Go Marching In,” which is so lovely and mellow:
Buying : I gave up my garden plot in our old neighborhood. It was just too hard to get over there after we moved to Rogers Park last year. In the year we’ve been here, I had gotten a little discouraged because it didn’t look like I would get to the one closest to our place. The other close place (walkable from our place) had a fee that was very high. I was so discouraged, I tossed $60+ in leftover seeds from last year’s Territorial order into the garbage. So, in a one off shot in the dark, I sent a note to the organizer for the closer garden to see if there was any movement on the waitlist. BAZINGA!! When she told me I was in, I put my foot on the pedal. The plot is small (4′ by 8′)- but I am so stoked about it. I placed a Territorial order and got supplied for up for gardening. The news has also encouraged me to redouble my efforts at deck container gardening, which have been dismal in the past.
Questioning : my love of the West Wing. I am on my third watch. I like it because it isn’t violent (for the most part) and the language isn’t bad, so I can have it on on the background when I am grading or cleaning or whatever, and I don’t have to worry about what Nico might see or hear. Also, I am a liberal- and West Wing makes us liberals feel a certain kind of way. Before it was a thing to pile onto Aaron Sorkin for being somewhat obtuse, I sorta had a problem with the way his women characters are written. As others have said, they are so one-dimensional. I think that thing that bothers me most about them, is that when they make mistakes, the mistakes are the result of poor judgement or being emotional (anything CJ or the First Lady does), but when men (read: Sam, Charlie, or Josh) make mistakes they are the result of miscalculation or over confidence. So I have been rewatching the West Wing and thinking about what would the same kind of show look like that did a decent job of character development of women? What would that show look like if it wasn’t centered around a group of white, heteronormative dudes working out their father issues against the backdrop of national policy and legislative stuff? In fact- wouldn’t it be great to have a show that was about the presidency of 45 where the staff are all women and POC? You have a couple of token white guys, but the rest are LGBT loving women and POC, who have to deal with a complete imbecile as their boss? It would be sorta like a mash up of West Wing, Scandal, Veep, and the Office, minus the endearing aspects of Michael Scott boss.
Wearing : a three-quarter sleeve ringer softball-style shirt with Cubbies on the chest. Its really comfortable. Somehow the sleeves are the perfect length. I don’t understand why work clothes can’t be this comfortable.
Noticing : that I seem to have positional vertigo. A new occurrence, it is mostly just when I go to lay down (on a bed to sleep or on a bench to bench). I went to the doctor and she didn’t seem too concerned. She did refer me to a “neuro-oto” specialist, which I expected her to do. But then she threw in, “We can also get a brain MRI, just to be safe.” A brain MRI. A brain MRI. Simultaneously intrigued and horrified.
Admiring : A couple of new additions to my gallery wall. It is remarkable how much better hanging stuff on walls is with Command strips. In the good old days, it always seemed like I lost interest and patience before getting picture frames “secured” to walls with nails in something resembling a gallery wall.
Feeling : Good about this quarter. I am teaching one class (an Intro class). This is a new experience for me, since I have never taught it. I am stretching my legs and putting my back into this class, because it is SO FUN. Seriously, if you can’t find something to like in Introduction to Sociology, we should talk about why your life is so sad. Also, I am just really excited about being able to do lots of different kinds of activities. In my stats classes, we mostly just do lecture, exercises, and big course projects. But Intro? Videos!! Response papers!! Discussions!! Games!! According to a post at IHE, the quality of Intro professor is incredibly important for undergraduates deciding to major. Challenge accepted.
Helping : Ahead of my in-laws visiting this week, Dave and I have been in uber power cleaning mode. I had some teeth pulled on Tuesday and had *geniusly* requested the following couple of days off (assuming tooth extraction was going to be a total shitshow). I lost track of what week it was, so I ended up being home recovering from the oral surgery and cleaning the house. Luckily, Nico has started stepping up his helping game. It’s not bad. Not bad at all.
Starting : I have started in on item #36: Training as a judoka for one year. Nico is pretty excited about it. I think he really likes being in a position to explain things and be a leader/coach. My father-in-law (also a judoka) has informed me that he will show me a power taotoshi that will crush any opponent’s will to live.
So far, its really fun. I hadn’t appreciated how hard of a workout it can be. I mean, I have done some pretty tough Starting Strength volume workouts that made me hate my life. But judo is pretty sneaky.
Embracing : Running. Meh. The idea was to transition my training into something that would support quickness and cardio needs a little better than weightlifting. So I thought, “Oh, I should start running again.” I am working through a C25K cycle (can you call them cycles?). It’s not awful. I did 1.5 weeks before the teeth debacle, so I will be back on it this week. I like the format of C25K largely because it is similar to judo, where you have balls out activity for 4 minutes, and then recover for a bit, and then back on it. So we will see.