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Quick Hit: DAMN

I decide to step away, and I kind of fall off a cliff, huh?

There really hasn’t been much to report lately , but here are the highlights:

•  I’m eyebrow deep in research for my independent study thesis (I’m planning an independent, democratic high school with a mission focused on meaningful academic rigor, citizenship, and social justice) and in grading (really, REALLY bad) analysis papers from my students.

• The weather broke (at least, for the moment).  It’s been above 60° for the last few days, and tomorrow’s supposed to hit 70°, but it’s going back into the 50’s for the later part of next week.

•  The Chilis are planning a trip to DC in two weeks.  I was really, really hoping to get to Florida so we could try to see Gerry again, but that fell through (the time when Mr. Chili should have been planning the trip coincided with the time we were planning and celebrating Father Chili’s memorial service).  I’m hoping to plan at least an hour or two to spend with Gerry this summer; I miss him too much.

That’s about it.  Research and grading, trying to emerge from the fog and funk of winter, and planning a trip.  What have YOU been up to?

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Nearly Wordless Wednesday

So much bad news today.

There was another shooting at Fort Hood:

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Five Justices of the Supreme Court just did more to undermine our democracy than perhaps any other agent in the history of our nation.

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I’m not sure which I mourn more.

 

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Ten Things Tuesday

Hey, Chili!  Whatcha been up to?!

1.  I’m finishing up the second half of the semester with a composition and two critical thinking classes.  We’re working on some in-depth issue analysis papers, and the going has been a little slow.  I may drop the last paper for my comp class; I can justify the research they’re doing for this paper to count as the “research” paper they’re supposed to do to close up the semester.

2.  I’m working on a proposal for an independent, democratic, social justice oriented high school for the independent study for my post-grad certificate.  I’m neck-deep in reading research and case studies and trying to figure out how to sift through that giant pile of data to make sense for what I’m trying to do.

3.  I’m recovering from having the whole of the Chili family (minus two from England) here for almost a week for Father Chili’s memorial service.  The week went off exceedingly well, all things considered, but the disruption of routine was pretty significant.  After the last of the family returned to their respective time zones, I felt like I needed a day or two to spend on my couch in my pajamas, but alas; life beckons.

4.  We’re trying to plan a vacation (MAN, but we need a vacation!).  We were hoping to go to Florida for the week the girls have off this month, but it’s looking more and more like we’re going to be aiming at DC, instead.  I’m both thrilled (I LOVE DC and would never pass up an opportunity to spend time there) and deeply disappointed (I was hoping to be able to wrap my arms around Gerry again).

5.  We’re taking care of Mother Chili.  Well, to be fair, my husband is taking care of her, and I’m taking care of him while he takes care of her.  In this past week alone, he’s solved a computer crisis, fixed her loom (I was there to see that; Mother was in a state because it wasn’t doing something it should have been, and spent the whole time hovering over Mr. Chili, backseat driving, while he tried to get to the bottom of it.  Of course, she neglected to tell him, until about a half hour into this sideshow, that just before the thing stopped working it made a “big CLUNK” and a piece shot out from underneath it.  Oy!) AND fix the literal kitchen sink (which was NASTY; he sent me pictures.  Blech!).

6.  I’m reading – a PAPER book!  Punk handed me a YA novel that she’d just finished and said, “OHMYGOD, MOM!  READ this!” so I’m reading it.  It’s called The Vanishing Game, and it’s compelling enough that I’m still reading it.  Under that, I have the girls’ copy of Divergent, which I’m hoping to finish before we go to see the film.

7.  I’m trying, room by room, to do a full-on spring cleaning.  I managed to get the upstairs bathroom taken apart, scrubbed down, and put back together (though that was before everyone came to visit for Dad’s memorial, so you can’t really tell now).  I’m hoping to tackle the great room next.

8.  I’ve been taking good care of my car lately.  I bought her new floor mats (cheapies from Target, but still) and gave the interior an OCD-worthy cleaning on Sunday; I vacuumed the crap out of the carpets (literally and figuratively), I wiped down every surface, I emptied the trash and went through all the stuff in the door pockets and the trunk, and I spritzed everything with pretty stinkies.  She got an oil change and a new emergency brake this morning (yeah, yeah; I’m never going to live that down; even the new guy at the garage knows the story).

9.  I’m having some really interesting and challenging conversations with (and for) friends on Facebook.  My friend Rick introduced me to one of HIS friends, and he’s been an absolute joy to connect with; we’ve been trading articles (my favorite so far has been this one) and discussing issues about education, equality, and agency for weeks now.  I’ve also been my brother’s wingman in conversations about the correct use of grammar and style in comments, and how we DO have the right to discount (or dismiss) the opinions of those who can’t be bothered to express themselves in a coherent and reasonably articulate way.

10.  I’ve been jonesing in the worst way for spring.  We woke up yesterday to two inches of heavy, slushy snow (that I wasn’t expecting) and, on my way home from the gym yesterday morning, I witnessed snow, rain, AND ice on my windshield at the stop light.  WTF?!  It’s nice today – sunny and mild (that is, if you can see your way to calling 50° “mild” which, at this stage in the game, I can), and it’s supposed to stay like this for the next few days.  I’ve been fantasizing about breaking out the cute spring clothes, about planning a garden (Mr. Chili is all excited about growing our veggies hydroponically this year) and about my rhubarb, irises, hostas, and lilies coming back up.  We’re still WEEKS away from any of those things, but I’m calling a win any day that it doesn’t hurt to breathe the air.

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Easing Back

So, I’ve said a bunch of times that I’m going to quit the post a day habit, but until now I never followed through.   I’ve been finding lately, though, that feeling obliged to put up something every day is starting to stress me out, so I’m making it stick this time; I’m not giving up the blog, but I am going to give up my every day routine.

Check in now and then, wouldja?  Let me know you’re still reading.

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Quick Hit: Goodbye, Daddy

Father Chili’s memorial service was perfectly lovely.  I am certain that he would be pleased.

There was music (including a REALLY long and complex piece by Brahams; about a third of the way into it, I leaned in to Bean and said “WOW!  Come for the funeral; stay for the concert!  That choir has some stamina!”), all the “children” – Dad’s youngest children are Mr. Chili and Bruder, and they’ll be 52 this May – and most of the grandchildren spoke, and everyone made it through their pieces with aplomb.  Lovely things were said by Dad’s friends and colleagues, and we all left with happy memories of a man who lived a really good and admirable life.

It was an entirely satisfying ritual, and while I didn’t feel I needed it, I’m glad we did it.

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Quick Hit: Busy

Father Chili’s memorial service is tomorrow.  As a consequence, all but two of the extended family are here (the English Sister’s husband and elder son couldn’t make it).  As a consequence of THAT, I’m busy and distracted and don’t have a lot of time to write.  I’ll try to do better later; I want to tell you about what I’m thinking about the passing of Fred Phelps and what I’m doing with my independent study.

In the meantime, there’s this:we not me

 

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Quick Hit: Home Again

Mr. Chili returns from Texas today; he’s managed to get on an earlier flight than he was originally booked for, so he’ll be home around three rather than around 6.  I’ve missed him, and I’m eager to have him back where he belongs.

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Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Hell, yeah.

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Ten Things Tuesday

Ten random things.

1.  I ran into my old boss at the hair salon today.  I was NOT expecting to see her again – ever, really; she moved out of state a while ago – and so was unprepared to be face-to-face with her like that.  I’m shocked and disturbed by how much the encounter shook me; I really thought I was over all the trauma and pain of that part of my life, but even though I was pleasant and polite, seeing her again dredged all of the painful and ugly right back up.  Blah.

2.  I went to Central City to pick up Father Chili’s ashes this afternoon.  His memorial service is this Saturday.

3.  Because of #2, the entirety of the Chili family is descending over the next few days.  Half of the California Sister’s family arrives tonight; my British sister-in-law and younger nephew arrive tomorrow, and Bruder comes on Thursday.  Nephew and Bruder are staying at our house, and I’ve got things pretty much settled for their arrival; I only have a few fussy, last-minute things to do between now and when they get here.

4.  Mr. Chili is in Texas (or, as we say in this house, Tex-ASS) until Thursday (in fact, he may arrive home in time to pick Bruder up from the bus station; we’ll see how that goes).  Here’s the thing; I am NOT a clingy wife.  I don’t call my husband 8 times a day or text him every hour or stalk him on Linkdin.  In fact, there are times when we go all workday without ever speaking at all.  I’m keenly aware, however, of when he’s not in his office at L.U. right down the street; whenever he’s away, I’m uncomfortably conscious that he’s gone.  It’s weird and I don’t like it, but I have no idea what to do about it.

5.  Did I tell you that I’ve been getting my cat stoned every night for a week or so now?  About a year ago, Toeses developed a nasty habit of walking around at all hours, talking loudly.  Poor old chap is deaf as a post, so he can’t hear himself and, as a consequence, has gotten louder as he’s aged.  We put up with it for as long as we could, but we started feeling like the parents of newborns again; he’d wake us every hour or so all night long.  I finally took him to the vet, where he was diagnosed with a thyroid condition (which we’re treating with food) and a touch of dementia (which we’re treating with sedatives).  Half a pill right before bedtime, and the beastie sleeps straight through to 5:30.  It’s bliss.

6.  I’ve begun work on my independent study project for my CAGS.  I’m putting together a proposal for a model school, and I have some good sources to work on.  I’ll likely post my work to the teacher blog when I’ve got enough to make posting worthwhile.  Watch that space.

7.  It feels very much like this.  The 10-day forecast doesn’t have us getting much about 35°.  I’m so done.

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8.  I brought my girls to a Ready for Hilary event at a friend’s house this evening.  We realized, on the way over, that Punk is going to be able to vote in the 2016 presidential elections (she’ll miss these mid-terms, and she’s pissed about that).  I was pleased that both girls wanted to go, and I’m eager to see what happens going forward.

9.  I’m watching Dexter while I’m on the elliptical.  Wow, but that’s a good show.  The ending of Season 2 had me guessing to the very end; it was all I could do to keep my promise to myself to ONLY watch while exercising (so I went to the gym twice yesterday to get another episode in!).

10.  On the other side of all that exercise, I discovered Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups.  Uh, huh; they’re trouble, all right…

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

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Monday Meme

Another question:

Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

My first answer is, of course, I’m worried about doing the right things.  The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that I rarely worry about doing the right things; I always seem to have a really good feel for what the right things are, so I don’t tend to spend a lot of energy agonizing over my choices.

There are, however, a lot of things I worry about doing right; I think that people who really care about the work they do should worry about whether they’re doing it right.  I worry about my parenting all the time.  I worry about my classes and whether or not they’re sufficient (sufficiently challenging, sufficiently rigorous, sufficiently paced).  I worry about my friendships; am I spending enough time/paying enough attention?  I tend to not “worry” about my marriage, though that is something that I nurture literally every day.

So, on balance, I guess I do worry more about doing things right than about doing the right things.  What about you?

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