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Archive for June, 2010

Folks, it’s official:  I have lost my mind. 

More to the point, I have registered to take the GRE.  After having been out of school 20 years.  So yeah, I’m not exactly up to snuff on all things academic anymore. 

At first I wasn’t terribly worried, seeing as how there will be a verbal section and an essay section, both of which I felt like I could handle without too much difficulty.  So I took an online practice test, and there were a lot of words on there that I had no idea what they meant.  I took the same test twice and only improved my score by about 10% the second time around.  And then I took a practice test on math — which in academic doublespeak is also known as “Qualitative” — and bombed so horribly I began to wonder if 2+ 2 did actually = 4, or if I had just imagined it. 

I’ve gone from “not terribly worried” to “full-on freak out.”  I went from 0 to 60 in about four seconds.  What can I say, it’s a gift. 

What’s the big deal? you might be wondering.  Just do the studying and review.  Well, yes, that sort of goes without saying, but the complicating factor here is that the test date I applied for is TWO WEEKS FROM NOW. 

What the hell was I thinking? 

To combat this particular bit of folly on my part, I have purchased a study guide.  I have become one with the study guide.  And will continue to be in said state for the next two weeks.  So if you don’t hear from me, it’s because I am attempting to absorb all the ink from the pages into my skin. 

Please pray for me. 

— Mox

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I would like to know why all the retirees in my neighborhood wait until the hottest day of the year (so far) to embark upon outside projects. 

No kidding.  This morning was rife with ladders being hauled out and set up, lawnmowers being cranked, gutter guard being installed.  Of all the more balmy days we’ve had here, these guys pick today to start home improvement projects?  Really? 

This is how I know that we ladies are the smarter of the two sexes.  I watered my pots and then I stayed indoors all day.  I  had the shutters and shades pulled to keep the house cool, and I got into my air-conditioned car and drove myself to my air-conditioned office, and that is the sum total of my activity today, as it relates to the hot weather. 

These guys make no sense to me. 

— Mox

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1.  The World Cup

2.  Amanda Bynes’ “retirement”

3.  Any actress who comes out as bisexual

4.  Housewives — Real or Desperate

5.  American Idol

6.  This new batch of vampire literature that’s making the rounds nowadays

7.  Any version of the iPhone

8.  Justin Bieber

9.  The stuff that passes for “news” these days

10.  Most political emails I receive, even if I happen to agree with the message

— Mox

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The end.

So I had a nice long talk today with my boss about The End. 

Long and short of it, the end is beginning.  It’s only just now that he’s realized it. 

I have been obsessing about The End for a year or so now, freaking out and wondering what to do about it, since I am without options.  At least, I am without options in the field I am currently working.  And frankly, not too awful enthused about staying in it, anyway. 

So what to do?  I dunno.

This is what happens when you are past the age of 40 and don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. 

— Mox

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Is it my imagination, or didn’t Vacation Bible School last a whole week back when I was a kid? 

Oh, recessionary economy, you have claimed another life. 

Spawn went to two VBS’s last week, one at our church and one at the church of a friend.  The friend’s church’s VBS lasted three days, our church’s VBS lasted four. 

Truth be told, I feel a little gypped. 

Back in the 70’s VBS was a week-long affair, and homemade to boot.  You didn’t have these Christian publishing companies packaging a VBS and selling it to churches like you do today.  The preacher and a bunch of moms all got together and made up the entire curriculum, pressed some of the teenagers in the youth group into service, and voila… Vacation Bible School.  We all learned the books of the Bible (in order), made countless God’s Eye crafts, and had cookies and lemonade for nourishment. 

VBS is a whole different ballgame nowadays.  The churches all shop the same catalog, and it seems like everybody does the same three or four themes.  The curriculum comes prepackaged, with a logo and collateral pieces, instructions, and music.  Even snacktime is regimented. 

What I want to know is, what’s wrong with the old way of doing it? 

Oh, I know I sound like an old fart when I say that the old days were better, but I think truly they were, at least when it comes to VBS.  We didn’t all have matching tee shirts and logoed stuff when it was all over with, but we did do a little presentation to the church on Sunday morning, singing the songs we learned and participating a bit more fully in the liturgy that day.  And we had fun.  Lots of fun. 

Of course I might feel a bit differently if Spawn were at all amenable to the experience, but the fact of the matter is, I have  a Very Difficult Kid.  I forced the kid to go to the VBS at our church because, heck, these are the kids we’re going to be affiliated with for the forseeable future.  I’d like for the kid to have a better experience with youth group than I did growing up.  I never fit in with the youth group in my childhood church, mostly because the majority of the kids there lived in town and hung out together anyway.  We didn’t have any common experiences to bond us together.  The youth program at our church is a more cohesive group, more economically diverse, and for the most part everyone in the group goes to the same school.  Everybody knows one another and everybody has gone through the same experiences. 

I am trying to encourage my little chickadee to flutter away from the nest and learn to fly with the other chickadees in the flock.  But these types of things are torture to my sensitive bird.  So I have to put up with sullenness and complaints of being “booooored” and all that other stuff, over something that should be, by all rights, fun. 

It’s not easy being Spawn’s mother sometimes.  A lot of the time. 

Maybe in retrospect three and four day VBSs aren’t such a bad idea. 

— Mox

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Folks, don’t ever think that there isn’t some mystery left in a marriage that has existed for a number of years.  Mystery abounds in mine. 

On the top of the list of things that mystify me about my husband is his propensity to ignore really important (as I see it) stuff.  Things that obviously need attention will languish. 

We live in an old house.  An old house has its’ quirks and things that don’t quite make sense, but an old house also has charm.  Our old house is solid, well-built, and I love it.  But as with any old house, there are things that need fixed.  The list of things that need fixed is as long as my arm, possibly longer, and with an old house anything that needs fixed isn’t cheap.  Windows are not standard size, for one thing.  Guttering tends to be a challenge of funky turns and odd rooflines.  Don’t even get me started on the plumbing. 

Still, the old stuff that needs fixed or replaced is more solid that the new stuff that we had installed when we added on ten years ago.  There is a chasm between building practices that are 60 years apart. 

But the old part of the house, that’s where we’ve turned our attention here lately.  We had the old, rusty, broken basement windows replaced this spring, once we learned that any number of critters could access our house via the loose piece of sheet metal that replaced a broken window pane.  That, of course, had been in place for far longer than we have owned the house.  Funny how things suddenly come to your attention after a number of years. 

The ice storm we had a couple of years ago really did a number on the roof and gutters.  We did the best we could at the time, getting things straightened out, but the long and the short of it is, we need a new roof. 

And here is the mystery for you:  my husband is ignoring it.  Why why why? 

We finally had the gutters replaced yesterday.  While the gutter guy was doing his thing, he discovered rotten areas on the roof.  Rotten!  areas! on! the! roof!  WTH?  And my husband is ignoring the roof?  This makes no sense to me. 

There is a place in the guest bedroom where the plaster is starting to come down, and I am convinced we have a leak in the roof somewhere.  My husband says he’s gone up in the attic and checked it out, but I’m not sure I believe him.  I think sometimes he tells me things just to shut me up.

Largely the issue is, as always, money.  We don’t have a bajillion dollars to be sinking into home improvements.  But I don’t see the sense in letting something this important fall by the wayside, because… we kinda need a roof over our heads.  Literally. 

Relationship experts will tell you that a little bit of mystery is good for a marriage.  I don’t think they’re talking about this kind of mystery. 

— Mox

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One of the more charming aspects of being a parent to a 9-year-old is the fantastical world you get to inhabit as a result.  Of course the flip side of that is sometimes you don’t know what the hell is going on, but eh.  You go with it. 

Spawn’s latest obsession is something called Planet X. 

Apparently Planet X is a mirror-like world to the world we currently inhabit.  Every day is opposite day.  Day is night, night is day.  There is no school.  Ice cream is for breakfast, and breakfast is for supper.  Pancakes, anyone? 

Following through with this thread of logic, in this world I am also impossibly rich, incredibly fit, tanned, and on top of things. 

If you’re looking for me, please try Planet X. 

— Mox

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