Monday, May 31, 2010

This is fascinating

And it explains a little bit about human behavior to me.

It comes from a Metafilter posting, which I surfed over to after it was linked on a blog called "Not Martha."

The problem that was raised was: a couple has a New York City apartment. A vague friend-from-the-past of the wife wants to come and stay with them (because hotels are expensive) while she's there for a work-related thing. The problem is, the husband doesn't know her at all, and the wife admits she doesn't like her very much. But the man - the one writing the question - is put off by someone posing such an intrusive question. And a commenter suggested this:

"In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it's OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an answer. This is Ask Culture.

In Guess Culture, you avoid putting a request into words unless you're pretty sure the answer will be yes. Guess Culture depends on a tight net of shared expectations. A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won't even have to make the request directly; you'll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept.

All kinds of problems spring up around the edges. If you're a Guess Culture person -- and you obviously are -- then unwelcome requests from Ask Culture people seem presumptuous and out of line, and you're likely to feel angry, uncomfortable, and manipulated.

If you're an Ask Culture person, Guess Culture behavior can seem incomprehensible, inconsistent, and rife with passive aggression."

Other commenters point out that NEITHER CULTURE IS WRONG. They are simply different.

But it makes a lot of sense to me. I grew up in a "guess" family - where you can kind of gauge ahead of time what is a reasonable and an unreasonable request, and you simply don't make unreasonable requests. In part, because you don't want to put the other person in the unpleasant position of having to say "no" to you, in part (for me at least) because rejection is uncomfortable enough that you prefer to avoid it when it seems likely.

It is not really passive-aggressive. It might seem that way to some people but it's really simply not asking for the moon because you know there's no way you will get it. Oh, you might want it, you might long for it, you might try to plan a way where you could slowly get bits and pieces of what you want - or have some alternative way of getting what you want.

But I think the bigger revelation for me is the idea of "ask" culture - for years, I felt frustrated and somewhat manipulated by people asking me for stuff that (it seemed to me) it should be obvious to them I couldn't give: either I didn't have the authority for it, or I didn't have the time, or really, they were making a request of an acquaintance that would be the sort of request that would be considered an imposition to be asked of a near and dear family member.

And I always felt like, when someone asked me for something, they were automatically expecting a "yes." Apparently, that's not true with "ask" culture - they ask IN CASE the answer is yes. Maybe they even expect a no. Or maybe enough "ask" culture people have learned that "guess" culture people are often really quite uncomfortable with saying "no," so they try asking them, figuring it stacks the odds in their favor.

Some of the other commenters (both on metafilter and on Not Martha) remark that being a Guesser is "difficult." Yes, it is. It's difficult in the way being an introvert is difficult: it doesn't quite fit the "norms" of American society, and yet, it seems presumptuous to me to tell someone who works in that mindset that they are "wrong" and "need to change."

 This is apparently a common thought: Jonathan Chait (I have no idea who the man is, but I kind of think he's a bit of an ass for directly declaring that being a "Guesser" is "wrong." Been to Japan, Jonathan?)  Yes, it's more challenging, and sometimes you find yourself frustrated, but I wouldn't call it "wrong." No more than being an extrovert vs. being an introvert is "wrong," or being someone who's more comfortable discussing things face-to-face (as I am) rather than over the phone is "wrong."

I do think the idea of "ask" versus "guess" though gives some valuable insight - first, for me, that it's really not that horribly terrible for me to say "no" to someone's request if I either can't fulfill it - or even if I don't WANT to (and it's not part of my job or something.) But on the other hand, I think it would be helpful for "askers" to realize that some people don't LIKE asking for stuff - they don't like seeming to push themselves forward. And that that is all right too.

Actually, the "ask" vs. "guess" idea makes some of the friction I have been dealing with with a certain colleague make a lot more sense.

People frustrate me (part x of n)

So, when I was up visiting my parents over my break, my brother and sister in law came to be part of the little family reunion (the short summing up: crazy-making relative didn't make my mom and me so crazy, but I suspect the waiter at the restaurant where we ate one night was tempted to spit in the person's food because of all the picky crazy requests they were making of him).

They stayed a little longer, after everyone else had left. And while my dad was napping (he gets bad allergies and headaches as a result), they took my mom and me aside and said they wanted our advice on a matter.

I can't really say what it is here, even in the relative privacy of the blog, without feeling I'd be revealing something very uncomfortable for my sister-in-law, but suffice it to say that my crazy-making relatives have nothing on her crazy-making relatives. My crazy-making relatives are merely a bit fussbudget-y; hers is actually doing something while, not technically against the law, is both going to skirt a US law and is going to be - how do I say it delicately - untrue to a vow this person took, which, while technically legally severed, still seems on some level to be binding to me.

One of the upshots of this action is that my sister in law is now wondering if this relative feels like her branch (my sister in law's) of the family was a "mistake." And I can see how that's very unsettling and upsetting to her. She essentially has little family left (save for a brother and sister in law of hers) other than ours where she feels comfortable any more. (My brother and sister in law are going to consult an uncle who is a lawyer and has been active in some immigration see if he can do anything. But I may already have said too much).

Anyway, it's a really uncomfortable situation, and, while I know it's not good to be too judgmental, it feels really slimy what one person in particular is doing. And my sister-in-law, and her brother and sister-in-law, kind of feel like they have to sit by and watch it happen without being able to really do or say anything. (My brother is in favor of saying something, but would not do it without my sister-in-law's agreement).

They told my dad later, and I think he may have given them some useful advice. I hope it works out for her. My sister-in-law is such a great person and it really sucks that her family is imploding in the way that it is, and that she is having to deal with the fall-out.

My mom said to me, quietly, after they had left, "It might sound a little conceited for me to say this, but I'm really glad C. (my sister-in-law) has us, since her family is having such problems." But I think it's true. I know once my sister-in-law commented that she liked coming to visit my family because my mother didn't expect her to cook or do housework while she was there. (She doesn't expect it of me, either, though I offer).  And I think my family is calmer and quieter, by and large, than her family is.

We were talking in my Sunday School class yesterday. Someone brought up the issue of sin and the consequences of it, and how when people sin it brings them pain eventually. And I observed that sometimes the worse pain is visited on more-or-less innocent bystanders to the situation, thinking of my brother and sister-in-law. And I wonder if the person involved realizes that they are inflicting pain on other family members and does not care, because they are "following their bliss" (or so they think), or if they are just blind to the fact that their actions have impact on other people.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

surprise reunion

Well, without my really knowing it, my parents agreed to host the little family reunion this year. Everyone is arriving shortly after I get up there for my visit.

I guess the one saving grace is that my parents' place is small enough that they are putting everyone up in hotels. So at least I get to sleep in "my" bed (instead of being handed a sleeping bag and pointed to the living room floor or something). But still. As I've said before, there's one relative (well, actually, two, but I don't think the second one is going to make it this year) in my extended family who makes me kind of crazy. (And also makes my mom kind of crazy, so at least we have some solidarity of suffering. And actually, this person also makes my "cool" aunt kind of crazy - so three of the adult women there will all be trying to avoid this person)

So I'm not exactly thrilled, I have to admit. Yes, I know, it's selfish of me, but to have traveled 16 hours just to be told "Surprise! You're going to have to be social with people you haven't seen in 2 years!" doesn't really make me that happy. Plus the whole my-schedule-is-not-my-own thing - where I can't just go and read a book or pull out my crocheting or go shopping - where I have to sit and talk and listen to this particular person's opinions on EVERYTHING. Augh.

The good news is that they're only staying a couple days, after that they are going back home (and as I said, it looks like the nights will be free - though all of these people are night owls so I don't expect them to leave the house before 11 pm. I may just have to declare myself "tired" and go to bed if it gets too late and they aren't shutting up.)

But yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my family. I just don't love having to interact with all of them when I'm still tired from the end of the semester and from traveling.

Monday, May 17, 2010

navel-gazy memories

I know that Proust was supposedly triggered by the smell of madelines (a type of small cake).

For me, one of the strange memory triggers I have is Ralph Vaughn Williams, "The Lark Ascending." Not that i have specific memories of hearing it played somewhere, it's just that the piece is so evocative that it reminds me perfectly of a moment from my past. It's playing right now on the Internet station I listen to.

When I was in high school (I went to a private high school, so the teachers could develop courses that involved their interests, rather than the strict curriculum), I took a class called Natural History. It was actually more like a very basic-level ecology class: we did field sampling, and did some trapping experiments (mice), things like that. I remember one day - I think the teacher got permission to get us out of class? Or maybe had us show up to school an hour early? I don't remember but I do remember we went out looking for birds - it was a bright clear spring day, a little bit of wind, and we went out into the wild area back behind the campus (the school had been well-endowed in the past, and had bought up a lot of the land around it before that land got built up - we were actually on the cross-country course, but it was huge and untended and not the season for cross-country, so we were alone. And we climbed up onto the biggest hill there, and looked down on the rest of the field. I remember the wind ruffling my hair about (I had just decided to start growing it long at that point). And it just was one of those moments of peace. One of those moments where I felt like, "This is what I want to be doing with my life" - both being out in the field doing research, and also, maybe, teaching, like my teacher was teaching us now.

And every time I hear that piece, it reminds me of that moment. And it makes me take a little bit of a deep breath, and remind myself that even in the midst of e-mails about "I got a C in your class. Is that really the grade you intended to give me?" and other things, there's still some germ of that old enjoyment, that old sense of "this is what I'm supposed to be doing" there.

Oh, I don't get out nearly enough - and anyway, the climate I'm in now is frequently too hot and humid for fieldwork to be fun - and teaching gets you less respect than I envisioned it would (I had a very "Mr. Chips" view of what being a teacher would be like, I guess). But still, I guess I can't really think of another job that would be better.

Another thing: I'm working on the tail end of some research right now. It involves working with a microscope in my office (they are resurfacing floors elsewhere in the building, and I need computer access because I'm using some image-analysis software). My office smells like the preservative used on these samples. So now I feel like a "real" scientist...the whole preservative smell also reminds me of my days in Natural History and my days in Plant Systematics and classes like that.

(And you know? Damn, but I miss being a student - just having that single focus of studying and learning. Living in a small apartment where I didn't have to do yardwork or even much housework, and I could devote nearly all my time to just learning stuff. It's not quite the same when you're doing it as an autodidact adult and trying to learn from books or something - I actually miss going to lecture and taking notes, and going to lab and trying to draw stuff from the specimens.

I think I also miss that I had relatively little "responsibility" - I didn't have people requiring stuff of me the way I now do. It's to the point where I cringe when my office phone rings because I expect it will either be a disgruntled student, a frantic student, or an administrator wanting me to do something for them.

I think maybe what I'll do in retirement? Find a place that lets me go back to school and just learn stuff. Take the geology classes I wanted to take but never had time to. Take calculus again. Take stuff like Ichthyology that I never had time to take in school.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

God forgive me...

...but every time I see Susan Estrich interviewed somewhere, I half expect her to break into a chorus of either "Hello, Dolly" or "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I'm not happy right now. Part of it is two things that happened to me over the past couple days that leave me feeling invalidated, but part of it is my irritation at myself for letting them get to me.

Thing the first (and the worse one): I had a student who earned a D come by my office. He as much as implied I was unfair and subjective in my grading: he asked, "Did I do something that offended you, so you would grade me down?"

You have to understand, grading objectively is one of my goals. I go to great lengths to do so. I cover up names on papers, I read things through multiple times, I use grading rubrics - all in an effort to be FAIR.

I asked him, "Why do you feel that way?" Not argumentatively, but curious: I tried to be fair. He claimed he had had other people read his papers and they wound up getting better grades than he did. I explained that maybe there were things I looked for that his classmates didn't point out, and that might be the problem. I also invited him to bring the papers he was concerned about in to me and let me look at them again and go over with them with him (not an easy thing for me to do: I have far too much of my regular work this week). He still hasn't come back (after asking me Monday afternoon).

But it bothers me, and it gives me a nagging fear I may have to deal with a grade appeal in the future. And it really does bother me that someone might feel that I could let my personal feelings about them (and honestly, I barely know this guy - he never spoke up in class, he was never a "problem" like a couple of the other guys. Maybe he interpreted my benign neglect - while I was sparring with the guys in the back row to get them to stop goofing off - as my being offended with him.)

Or maybe I'm way over thinking this, and he was just trying it as a gambit to get a higher grade ("maybe making her feel guilty will work.")

2. I have a - I guess colleague is the right word, although strictly speaking they're not that - who is needing to play the My Problem is Bigger Than Yours Roulette game.

I'm not even allowed, apparently, to mention that I am tired, unless I am facing the same problems and more that this person is facing. I'm not allowed to be crabby about stuff unless I have bigger troubles than they do.

And I hate that stinkin' game. Both because it makes me feel like they're saying "don't look at her problems, don't give her any sympathy, because I deserve MORE" and also "you should feel very very guilty for even feeling at all bad because I have it so much worse than you."

And that's just not helpful or kind or productive, I think.

And it's stuff like this - and like I said, I'm annoyed at myself for being petty enough to let it get to me - that drive me to the daydreams about my Tiny House out in the woods - I've talked about this before, how I like to read the Tiny House blog and read about small houses and living off the land and being off the grid and all of that, and a big part of it I think is that I get so dang frustrated with other people, that I think about how nice it would be to have a tiny house somewhere, with its own well and greywater/septic system, and solar panels and batteries for electricity, and all of that, and be off the grid as much as a person can be, and even try growing or hunting most of my own food. And I think a lot of it is that, when I get feeling like I do right now, that I have a really deep desire to give a Johnny-Cash-style one-finger salute to the rest of the world, and go off to my cabin, and slam the door on the world, and just hole up with my books and my embroidery and all of that and let the world go hang.

And I feel that way both about political events - if I'm off the grid, they can't find me to enroll me in some bobdang "wellness" program that is ostensibly aimed at lowering healthcare costs but is really just people nannying at me, or I don't have to listen to what's happening in Greece and wonder if it will happen here in a few years, and I don't have to deal with demanding or rude or self-centered people.

And while I realize, intellectually, that it probably wouldn't be healthy for me to be all by myself with no human contact, emotionally, being able to run away and just live off the land, just depend on my own self for everything, is a powerful fantasy.

An issue of pride

This is something I wonder about, and something that worries me a little.

I had a relative. He could, technically, have gone on disability, because of an injury he suffered on the job. But he resisted for many years, because, "A man should be able to support his family." He did what work he could, and filled in when he couldn't work by doing things like raising rabbits. (And his wife had an extensive garden). And I had other relatives who were pretty desperately poor, and yet hated taking the "government handouts" and only did so (as a relative of mine who was blind and had limited mobility because of having suffered two badly broken legs when younger) when there was no other option.

So I worry when I hear whispers about things like landscapers in Michigan choosing to collect unemployment rather than work.

And I was concerned earlier this spring when I read news stories about college students going on food stamps - not so they could eat, but so they could eat a higher quality of food. (I will say: I do have some students who probably have a valid reason for going on food stamps, if they are on them. I teach in an "underserved" area where we've had chronic poverty - well, pretty much since this place was settled by Europeans). But it irritates me to think of kids buying duck breast and arugula on the taxpayer's dime, because hamburger and Ramen is too downmarket for them.

(I ate a lot of rice and beans as a college student. They're cheap, they're fairly nutritious, they're filling. I also figured out that the local farmers market would sell small quantities of vegetables usually for a better price than the small overpriced grocery I had to shop at - because I didn't have a car. Because I felt it was to expensive to have to pay to park a car where I lived.)

There really is something (or maybe, WAS) to having pride. I've read stories of churches having to figure out really 'sensitive' ways of getting food help to families who needed it - because they'd be prone to turn down what they saw as "charity." And as I said, my relative's claim that "A man should be able to support his family" was something that was just sort of instilled in me growing up - that you, as much as you could, pulled your own weight. If times were tough, you managed. Government help was an absolute last resort.

If someone had suggested to me as a college student that I could "eat better" by obtaining food stamps (I have no idea if I would have been eligible; the idea never occurred to me), I would have had two reactions:

1. "No. That money needs to be saved for people who really need it, like the people in Appalachia who have nothing."

2. "What are you saying? That I can't budget and take care of myself?"

For the first three years of my college education, I depended on money my grandparents had left me. I kind of hated it; I felt like every "frivolous" purchase was taking money that was designated for my education - and I also worried, if I did something like bought a big stack of books, "Might I not regret this later, if the money runs out?"

Fortunately, it did not. But when I started as a teaching assistant, and I got paid, it was a giant relief. I remember how good it felt that first month, to go pick up my paycheck (they had an odd little quirk: even if you wanted direct deposit, your very first paycheck had to be picked up in person), deposit it, and then know that the bills I had to pay would be paid with money I earned my own self.

I still feel that way: sort of a mixture of pride and gratitude, when I write out the check every month for the electricity or the water or whatever, knowing that I am supporting myself, that it is my work that keeps a roof over my head and food on my table. Sure, I gripe about bills as much as the next person, but to me, it's a tremendous relief to know I have enough money to pay them, and that money is money I earned.

So I worry: is the encouragement - they actually talked about it as "removing the stigma" - of college students going on food stamps a problem? I mean, on the one hand, too much stigma can be a problem: as in some of my relatives who didn't take advantage of some of the Medicaid services they could have until they got really sick. But totally removing the stigma - making people feel that it's perfectly ok to suck at the government teat - and in fact, make it seem like you're a chump if you work (as in the case of the landscapers in Michigan: apparently they get more by staying on unemployment than they would earn if they worked). I know there are some folks who believe this is all a ploy to get everyone dependent on the government. (But if everyone is being paid by the government, where will the money to do that come from?)

(And if someone makes more on unemployment than they can earn in a day, something's wrong and the laws need to change: maybe there be a gradual step-down of benefits as a person gets back on their feet. But I've often heard that people won't take entry level jobs because it's actually financially "better" for them to stay on welfare or unemployment. That needs to change, somehow.)

I don't know. Does it seem to anyone else that the old idea of "pride," and being self-supporting is slowly going away, replaced by more of a "what can I get for myself, and how I get it be damned" mentality?

Monday, May 10, 2010

They don't believe me.

It kind of amazes me, you know? I guess I was really compulsive as a student, because when the prof happened to say, just off-hand, in class, "This is an important topic" I'd circle it in my notebook and write a note to myself that "prof says this is important" - meaning, study it extra hard because it will be on a future exam.

And that was just an offhand comment in the middle of lecture.

With some of my students, not only did I give them a sheet listing the important topics, but I told them, "Specifically study THIS TOPIC, you have not been tested on it before, it will make up a big part of the final exam."

So what questions do I have people skipping?

The topic I told them specifically to study.

Also: it alarms me how many of these students are confusing acid and alkaline. I thought I went to great lengths to explain and to show the differences. (Interestingly: this is the class I teach that's a cognate for another major. OUR majors all got the acid/alkaline thing right; it's the other department's majors that are screwing it up. And thank God, no, it isn't Chemistry that my class is a cognate for. In fact, basic chemistry is a prereq for this class so I really wonder what they're learning before they get to me).

I don't know. The general "narrative" we get in education is that when people royally screw the pooch on a test, it's somehow OUR fault. That we didn't teach 'em "good enough." Or that we failed to rap the topic, or have it all animate-y on the screen, or ask them how they FEEL about it. But I think when you're 20 years old, your prof goes over acid and alkaline, it's in the book, and there's a big honking statement on the review sheet that you'll need to know it, and you're one of five people (in a class of 20) that don't, it's not the prof's fault.

I just hope those kids don't wind up in jobs where they have to clean up spills, or anything.

But it really makes me wonder: was I just such a bizarre, atypical student, or have people gotten lazier and less-prepared in the past 20 years?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Kicking the can down the road

That's a commonly used metaphor for what's happening with some of the government entitlements and such right now: instead of addressing the problem that we really don't have the money to cover them, we write "IOUs" and pass them on down the line.

(And by "we," I mean "the people we put in office." Well, maybe not all of them, but obviously a majority of them are doing it.)

Our children (and by "our," I actually mean "your") will be paying for it. And I'd think most parents would find that upsetting.

Another metaphor - and what made me think of it: throwing your trash in your neighbor's yard means you don't have to look at it any more.

Yeah, I'm going to probably have to have a chat with my neighbors to the north. Their adult son was visiting yesterday (that was the one difference from a typical day) and then today, when I went out to look at my back garden, I found three crumpled-up pop cans.

And while, in the grand scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal for me to pick them up and put them in the trash, I should not have to.

I shouldn't have to deal with trash someone else generated, but because they weren't responsible enough to put it in their own trash can, they figured it was easier (and probably more fun) to lob it over the neighbor lady's fence.

And okay, it's true: my garden is a lot "wilder" looking than the typical garden on my street. But it's still my garden. It's not the municipal landfill, it's not a trash can.

I know I get overly bugged by things like this, but really, it's the whole "broken windows" mentality: if you let small crappy things go, they escalate and become big crappy things. The litter problem in my town is absolutely monumental - I've griped before about how a couple times a year, an army of volunteers goes out and picks up trash, and sometimes between times we get trusties from a minimum-security corrections facility - and still the town looks like crap.

And I don't know. Perhaps I'm too good at seeing the metaphor in things, but it seems that litter is metaphorical for a lot of stuff in our society: someone doesn't want to take responsibility for their stuff, so they - figuratively speaking - throw it out their car window, where they become everyone else's problem. And then other people see that happening, and they say "Screw taking care of MY problems, I'm gonna do what HE just did!" and they chuck their problems out into public. And we get "too big to fail," and people wondering where their bailout is, and we get laws that wind up nannying at the responsible people (I heard a news report - I don't know all the details - but apparently a schoolkid was given detention for having candy in her lunch. Because she violated the 'zero tolerance for junk food' policy. OKAY. I hope that school has solved ALL the problems in re: students failing, bullying, stuff being stolen out of lockers, vandalism - because going after a kid for sugar is excessive.)

And also, it breeds resentment - just as I felt towards my neighbors' kid as I picked up those pop cans and walked over to my trash can with them, muttering irritatedly under my breath all the while.

It's a small thing, but small things build up. The straw that broke the camel's back didn't break it because the camel was weak or because the straw was so heavy, but because it was one straw too many on an already giant load. And I suspect that's how a lot of Americans feel right now, in terms of taxation, new laws, and just stuff like TSA inspections at the airport: things seem to becoming increasingly miserable, and no one can reasonably explain why it should have to be that way.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

As goes Greece?

I've been reading about/watching the news about the attempted "austerity" measures in Greece, and how apparently at least some of the people are rioting to try to stop them.

It's fascinating, in a horrible way. And it makes me wonder: was Greece just monumentally mismanaged, or is it the canary in the coal mine for the rest of Europe. I know the native-born birth-rates in many European countries have been falling - to the point where some countries have been dusting off France's post WWII offer of paying couples for each child (regardless, apparently, of their income status). It's because there's a real fear that (a) there will be insufficient taxpayers in the upcoming generation and (b) the country's culture will change as the native population shrinks, and the immigrant population (Turks in Germany; Albanians in Italy) swells.

And I wonder: Could France be next? Could those 6-weeks of vacation be doomed, as people begin to realize that the tax gravy train doesn't keep chugging along? (And France, with their history of highway-closing strikes - it could get ugly).

The thing that strikes me: it seems that the US government lately is wanting to push us in the direction where Europe is (or was, a few years ago): cradle to grave services. Cushy public-sector jobs. Unions having great power. I wonder if anyone in Washington is looking at Greece and going, "Wait, no....this might not be a smart direction to go in."

(Greece has a 21% VAT, if I remember correctly, and they're talking about raising it to 23%. Can you IMAGINE? A 20% tax on all goods? Horrifying. Maybe their income taxes are lower than ours - I HOPE - but I can't see paying 20% or more additional on everything I buy and use. I suspect if the government here tried to suddenly impose a 20% VAT, the riots in Greece would look puny by comparison).

I don't know. I guess, technically, I am a public-sector employee. As a professor at a state college, I am paid - in part, at least - by taxpayer dollars. And so I admit talk of "austerity measures" makes me nervous. I wouldn't have a problem with minimum retirement age being raised - heck, I plan to work until I'm 70 or older, provided my health holds out. And not-getting-pay-raises is pretty much a fact of life here. But I'd get worried if there were extreme cuts - like, talk of eliminating departments, or closing the smaller schools (mine is one of those). I don't know. I guess the thing that frustrates me is that I don't know how bad things could possibly get - sometimes I feel like I should be, I don't know, doing night classes training to be a phlebotomist or something just in case, so I have another career to "fall back on."

Do you know how much it sucks feeling like you might want to look into a second career to 'fall back on' at 40? Especially after spending the first nearly-30 years of your life prepping for the career you have now? But I suspect the policy-of-interfering that Washington has had of late (things being "too big to fail" and such) is just making things worse, and sometimes I fear things are going to get REALLY worse before they get better.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

oh boy

super super nauseated today. Thanks a lot, stupid hormones. I guess on your way "out" (perimenopause) you're going to do the equivalent of the former Clinton staffers stealing the Ws off the computer keyboards before Bush's guys came in.

Not funny.