ladynox25: (Default)
The most important family event of the year, of course, was the March 11 earthquake & tsunami, that thankfully spared our loved ones in Yokohama.

Work-wise, I started the year teaching OChem labs at UTTyler. John was teaching Special Ed at GW Carver ES. Around March he got the word that his position would be eliminated due to budget cuts and tendered his resignation. In late April-early May I got the word that my contract would not be renewed. So, at the beginning of June, we were both without work and with a 2 year-old to support. Not good. Immediately we started pounding the electronic pavement, and the first weekend of August I flew to Charleston for a face-to-face interview that turned into a job offer. For a job that started orientation 6 days later!

Three weeks later, I was teaching at Ashley Hall, where Joanna was enrolled, our stuff had finally shown up at our new apartment, and John was about to start teaching Special Ed at North Charleston HS. Talk about a whirlwind! Since then, life has been nothing but busy.

Joanna has grown so much this year, especially developmentally. She is so articulate for a 2 1/2 year-old. Her teachers love her, and vice-versa. She can be exhausting and aggravating, and her tantrums are, well, tantrums, but most of the time she tries to act like a "big girl". I couldn't be prouder of her, especially after the last road trip we went on. We were originally supposed to drive 2 days from Charleston back to TX for Christmas, and then back home. We ended up taking a detour by way of Boston when we heard that John's grandmother's health is fading. So, instead of 4 days on the road, we ended up spending 7!

On that last note, it is pretty evident that Baba will probably not last too much longer, and I am very glad we got a chance to see her, and she got a chance to see Joanna.

My four New Year's Resolutions:

1) Help John through what is probably going to be Baba's last year
2) Stay at AH more than one year, so that I can (finally!) spend a year perfecting a course, rather than running full-pace to catch up
3) Potty train Joanna
4) Try to conceive Baby #2
ladynox25: (Default)
If I (and [profile] hoya99, and the kidlet) were to happen to be in the D.C. area sometime around the 26th or 27th of July, would there be an interest in a DFS to meet the little one and confab? It would have to be something on the smallish side since we would be coming off of a lot of family meet-and-greet stuff, but I can't imagine being in the vicinity and not trying to hook up somehow.

Would anyone wish to take this on?
ladynox25: (Default)
Joanna was remarkably calm during the trip over. She slept through the first, 45 minute flight. She did get antsy about two-thirds of the way through the second, 13 1/2 hr flight, but that was because she had to sit in the same seat from so long.

The first day here she was okay at first, but had several small meltdowns towards the end of the day (understandable given how unfamiliar everything is + the jetlag). The night was rough--she woke up at 2:30 am and cried on and off until almost 5. However, she seems to have adjusted now and is delighting her grandparents and great-grandmother.

I've finally found time to write poetry for the first time since she was born:

hungry baby at
the breast--NOM NOM NOM--dozes,
dreams--and sweet peace reigns
ladynox25: (Default)
...that we will be in Japan for two weeks come Friday.

Very excited about it all. This will be the first sushi I've eaten since becoming pregnant. Hoshii, dammit!

Very stressed with the preparations. Trying to pack three people's worth of stuff (one of whom is a baby and seems to have more stuff than the other two of us put together) into two carryon roll-aboards, a backpack, and a diaper bag. Plus there will be her safety seat.

Happy holidays to all and sundry. Catch y'all on the flipside.
ladynox25: (Default)
So I left Shreveport Friday noonish for DC. I was a little worried about the weather going into Dulles--and also for [livejournal.com profile] hoya99 who was driving down from PA *through* that mess. Fortunately, he knows how to drive in snow, left early, and made it to DC safe and sound. Likewise, my flight had no trouble landing, fortunately, although we did sit on the tarmac for about an hour afterward (actually longer than we had spent in the air) waiting for the plane docked at our arrival gate to be deiced. But, hey, one hour is better than ten. So my sweetie and I were finally reunited, after a 3 1/2 month absence (longer, btw, than we've ever spent apart before) and it was good.

We made it to the hotel around 9-10 pm EDT and woke up around 9 am the following morning. One good thing about vacations, you get to sleep in! The snow was beginning to melt, although it was still a little icy, and quite cold. I wish I had brought a hat! We left the hotel for Georgetown University, my sweetie's alma mater, and he amused himself by trying to walk me to death around campus. *grin* It is a beautiful campus, I must say, and we were fortunate enough to be able to go inside Gaston Hall, located within Healy Hall. Gaston is usually locked up, but that day a string quartet was rehearsing for an evening performance of Schubert and we were able to wonder around to the strains of beautiful music. I did not take pictures, alas. It was quite gorgeous. We had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] hoya99's friend Nick, who is quite a character. I like him already. Afterward, the three of us prowled GU some more before Nick had to leave. My sweetie and I went back to the hotel and enjoyed a soak in the jacuzzi (wonderful for tired feet) before turning in.

Sunday we left the hotel, this time for a walk around Georgetown proper, before heading to the luncheon that [livejournal.com profile] belle_canto had kindly arranged for us. Also present were [livejournal.com profile] mauzybroadway, [livejournal.com profile] silmaril, and Kate. It was very good to see them all. We enjoyed good food and good fun, ending up at a local Borders for some post-luncheon browsing. After parting, [livejournal.com profile] hoya99 showed me a few more Georgetown sights, before we headed back to the hotel.

Monday, now Monday was an adventure. My flight schedule was for a departure from Dulles at 12:30ish, with a connection through Detroit, arriving in Shreveport sometime between 5-6 pm. So far, so good; my sweetie dropped me off in good time and I made it through security and to the gate with margin to spare. Only the flight coming into Dulles from Detroit (that was going to turn around and take me to Detroit) was a half-hour late. No problem, right? Turns out that the next flight to anywhere that had a connecting flight to Shreveport that had a seat went through Cincinnati and didn't take off until 5:15.

O-kay. I called my sweetie, who was already heading home to PA, and he wanted to turn around and join me at the airport. I told him to go ahead and head home, which he concurred with. My flight to Cincinnati was fortunately on-time and uneventful. However, upon arriving, I found out that my connecting flight to Shreveport was late leaving Albany. Originally scheduled to leave Cincinnati at 8:50, it did not leave until 9:50.

O-kay. At this point I was getting seriously worried about my chances of making it home in one piece that night, or even at all, and also of my chances of making it into work the next morning. I have one specific task that has to be done at 8 am and if I wasn't there it wouldn't happen (and that would be BAD). Anyway. I did manage to sleep about an hour on the plane, despite the four people seated a few rows ahead of me. They were seated all the way across one row of the little plane, two on one side of the aisle and two on the other, and they obviously knew each other because they were talking. A lot. With each other. And the steward. Who, instead of reminding them that it was a late flight and that people were probably trying to sleep, and they should talk quietly, spent most of his time chatting with them in an equally loud voice.

Whatever. By the time I hit the ground at Shreveport, (at 11 pm, not 5-6 pm!) I was exhausted. At least my checked bag made it, although given the amount of time the delay had cost, they bloody well should have been able to move it from one plane to the other, and if it hadn't been there I would have been royally pissed. As it was, I booked it out of the airport to my car only to find out that the battery was dead. I know I turned everything off when I parked, I always do and I always double check myself. My only conclusion was that perhaps I had not closed a door completely and the dome light had been left on.

So now I pull out my trusty cellphone (which I had recharged in Cincinnati) and my trusty AAA membership card, and called for a jump. 75 minutes was the first estimate, followed by 30. While I was waiting, an airport police lady came by and said she would jump me. It took her three attempts, since first she left to get her cables, then a portable unit (I had parked next to a light which kept her from getting her car close to my engine), then some long cables when the portable unit didn't work.

Finally, the long cables worked. This despite the fact that the woman has no idea how to jump a car safely. She insisted on putting the black clamp on my battery's negative pole, despite my telling her that it needed to be on the chassis and even pointing out the directions on her portable unit. She merely replied that she'd jumped hundreds of cars in this way. I suppose she will continue to do so until she explodes one; I'm just thankful it wasn't mine. The way my luck was going I needed a break. After my car jumped, I called AAA and canceled the call--the promised help had never showed.

So to sum up, I arrived in Shreveport some 5-6 hours behind schedule. Waiting for the jump cost somewhere around another half an hour, minimum, then there was the hour-long drive back to Kilgore. I don't think that, if I had not slept on the plane, I could have done it safely, tired as I was. As it was, I was still struggling the last 5 miles or so, despite playing music to keep me awake. Well, I did get home safely, at 12:30 am, tumbled into bed, and woke up at 7:10 to go to work.

I should mention here that I kept a remarkably patient and even upbeat attitude despite all the frustration. Used to be this sort of thing would really make me flip out. Now, especially when I know that yelling will do no good, I can even laugh while I'm going through it. Also, I burned more minutes on my cellphone that trip than all the previous year, calling my sweetie and my parents, keeping them up with what was happening.

Update

Aug. 21st, 2006 07:18 pm
ladynox25: (Default)
I think I've gotten into the very bad habit of thinking that my life is not important.

First, I got into the habit of not writing about things that are important to me because I thought it would hurt some people I care about if I talked about it here where they could see it. Then I got into the habit of being too busy to write. Then, after I stopped being busy, I would forget what I meant to write down or I convinced myself that it was one of those "you had to be there" things. Then, I got into the habit of thinking that no one cared anyway. And finally, I just figured that even if something was important to me, it wasn't important to write about. That's a damn seriously slippery slope, there.

So I hung around and read other people's journals, and commented, and posted quizzes and kept on posting poetry, more out of habit than anything else. I haven't even posted any pictures from my trip to Japan. Talk about lethargy! So now I guess I'm at a crossroads. I can drop out, leave LJ for good. Goodness knows, the staff here haven't exactly impressed me. And it does take time out of my day to go through my friends' page every day and at least skim the entries. But, OTOH, this is, in large part, my lifeline to the outside world. It is where I keep up with my friends--my true friends. So, instead of dropping out, maybe I should recommit. Post more often, who cares if it's about little shit, just so long as I post.

What do y'all think?

Another idea I've had is to start posting bits of fiction here, in lieu of my monthly poetry offering. Y'see, in the past few months, I've started writing little vignettes, short stories, fairy tales, call them what you will. They might be interesting, they might not. They are certainly rough. I've never thought that I could write well, and so I never really tried, but [profile] hoya99 encouraged me to see what I might come up with and so I have a few things now that I didn't have before.

Finally, a (not so) little update on the 411 of my life lately, for those still there after my long silence )
ladynox25: (rain)
Even though I've finished my daily log of my trip with [profile] hoya99, I wanted to wrap up with some thoughts, images, occurences, etc. that didn't seem to fit in my previous narratives but which shouldn't be left out.

Read more... )
ladynox25: (rain)
Read more... )

[1] Technically, it's Alsatian, for those who care about such things.
[2] The red light district in Tokyo during the Edo period.

To be continued...
ladynox25: (rain)
Read more... )
[1] We got off the train at Kamakura, the town, but not at Kamakura, the train stop, which confused me a bit, but of course they have more than one stop in that town. *grin* Silly me.
[2] Is "bodhisattvas" the proper plural of bodhisattva?
[3] A Shinto shrine in the middle of a Buddhist temple complex! Like finding a Jewish Tabernacle in the middle of the National Cathedral!
[4] I had changed some, but not all, at the airport.

To be continued...
ladynox25: (rain)
Read more... )

[1] I know I'm an early riser, but 5 am is still super-early for me.
[2] Which was almost full, and starting to set.
[3] We saw an older gentleman with a goofy look on his face escorting a younger lady with, as [profile] hoya99 said, a "professional" look about her, go into one. Which caused us much amusement.
[4] Freshwater eel, filleted and lightly grilled in sauce, served over rice.

To be continued...
ladynox25: (rain)
Read more... )

[1] The Landmark Tower being the tallest building in Japan.
[2] Netsuke are the little carved figurines that were tied to belt sashes to weight them down. The old ones are often carved out of ivory; modern ones are usually porcelain or bone. The ones that I've started collecting are some deep reddish-brown wood that is quite lovely and the animals are exquisitely detailed. I love them!
[3] I also have a tiger, who is washing his rear paw, a lovely little dragon, a snake with his head perched on his tail, that looks for all the world like a reptilian version of Rodin's The Thinker, and cute little ox.[5]
[4] Where else in Chinatown?! *grin*
[5] Why yes, I *am* trying to collect all the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, thankyewverymuch. After which, all the animals of the Western Zodiac. After which, who knows? *grin*

To be continued...
ladynox25: (rain)
Read more... )

[1] Such as suits of armor, swords, china (pottery), dolls, etc.
[2] The toilet was an engineering marvel, as was the washer/dryer unit and the entire shower/tub combination.
[3] Neat as in taking up small spaces in order to fit more in.[7]
[4] It was early in the season for them, but this one was in full bloom.
[5] Said building being one of the off limits ones, alas.
[6] Local to [profile] hoya99's parents' place.
[7] The washer/dryer unit, in particular.

To be continued...
ladynox25: (rain)
I went, I saw, I ate, I took pictures, I came back. That could be a good summary of my vacation. Of course there was much more to it than that. So where to begin?

Read more... )

To be continued...

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