Sunday, August 27, 2006


My parents were here this weekend and we had a great time but I am now exhausted. Now, in no particular order, are pictures of our weekend.

Saturday at the beach. Don't they look cute!

This is what most of my "dolphin" pictures looked like. They don't like to pose!

My parents on the dolphin boat.

The boat ride was pretty windy on the way back!

This was the best picture I got of the dolphins. But we had a ton of fun!

We also went to all you can eat seafood buffet and stuffed ourselves. It was a great weekend. Unfortunately my parents left today and Wes also left for 4 days. So now I'm all by myself. Bt I had a great time and I'm happy about that.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Today my parents are coming to visit. I should have them fly in more often, because I've already gotten more done today than I've done all week (ok, not really, but almost). I got up, finished vacuuming my house, went to the gym, translated some Russian, cleaned out the car and I'm about to get ready to go pick them up. I am so excited.

I also finished a book I was reading, called Don't let's go to the dog's tonight by Alexandra Fuller. At first I had a hard time getting into it because the first couple of chapters are not in chronological order, but after I figured that out, the book was great. It is the true story of Fuller's childhood in war-torn Africa and it is a wonderful book. I would highly recommend it. I know she also has at least one other book out and I'm going to look for it.

That's about it and I need to paint my toenails. Hope everyone is doing well. And remember, You R capatavatingg.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Just what I needed, or I am capatavatingg

Wes was supposed to be home from work on Saturday by 4:00p. As 4:00p came and went, I became desperate to do something, anything, to get out of the house. So I decided we were skipping church on Sunday to do some hiking (next to the beach) and swimming (at the beach). Saturday night, after Wes got home (a little after 4:30p) we were going to play Diablo all night to get our fix. We were playing and his phone rang. We got real tense because we were afraid it was work, but it wasn't. It was our friend Les, who we know from TX, who also now lives here. It was his birthday and he wanted to know if we wanted to go out with him, his girl and some friends. Go out! On a Saturday night!!! Hell yes!!! I had never met his girlfriend, Marie. She is wonderful and perfect for him. Les is also Charley's best friend, so things could have been a little weird. But Les, (after drinking a little) declared that he knew we all loved Charley but that Wes and I made a much better couple. Also, Charley wasn't good enough for me anyway. So it was all good. After dinner we went to a bar and then to a dive bar with kareoke, for my husband, who was the only person there who likes kareoke. But we had a good time. And the one song Wes sang sounded really good. We had been there more than an hour when Wes and the rest of the guys went up to the bar to get something to drink. Right after they left our table, this guy, who had to be older than my dad, walked up, told me I was beautiful and he had been watching me all night and gave me this:

Other than the fact that I'm captivating, I'm not sure what it says. But it did cheer me up. And we had a great night.

Sunday was good too. We just hung out and played Diablo, took a nap, that sort of stuff. My parents are coming to visit this week and I'm very excited about that. I also think I am going to look for a part time job to get me out of the house more often. I'll let you know how that goes. I'm not ignoring anyone either, I really have been busy and I'll try to return calls and e-mails today. Hope you all have a capatavatingg week.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Here we go again (or: haven't we been here before? Why do we keep coming back?)

Depression is such an odd thing. Once you realize you have it and that it is a problem and that it will keep coming back (at least in my case) it becomes a struggle of intellect over emotion. And it's discouraging, especially since I'm supposed to be smart, to know that even though things are good (not the best, but waaaaaaay better than they could be), I can't make myself feel that way. And when you don't feel that way, your emotions begin to sway your intellect into believing that things aren't good. And then all of a sudden you can't get out of bed because when you woke up you were having a bad dream so therefore the entire day will be bad but if you don't get up you will never start working on your dissertation proposal and then you will have to quit school and work a crappy job you hate and if you don't get up the house won't get cleaned and the groceries won't be bought and Wes will leave you because you're a bad wife and then you'll be a divorced woman in her late thirties working a crappy job that you hate and life will never get any better so you might as well just die and then the fear of failure is so great that you still can't get out of bed and you just stay there and cry instead. That's what I'm fighting. But my parents will be here next week. Hopefully that will help cheer me up. And I'll clean because my parents will be here next week. Being in a clean house always cheers me up. And I'm going to write out a game plan for the writing of the proposal and then start using my daily lists because when everything is sooooo overwhelming that getting out of bed feels like it takes more energy than you have, breaking your tasks into little lists actually helps get them done. One at a time. That's all you have to do. One. At. A. Time. And I'm still going swimming. And that helps too. Although I'm sore from yesterday (and cramping like a mofo) so I'm not going today. I will go tomorrow. I promise. I will also go get groceries tomorrow and to the bank and to get my prescription filled tomorrow. Tomorrow I will begin normal schedules again. This will help me slowly crawl out of this hole. I hate this hole. I hate this hole because it's dark and damp and cold down here and no one can get to me, sometimes not even myself. I hate this hole because it's familiar and feels safe, because I've been here before, many, many times. But I will crawl out. I don't have a choice. It's either the hole or life and I choose life.

Cute quote from Allison (age 6): In a very concerned voice "How did that lady know we were going swimming?", after the woman who rang up our swim goggles and fins told us to have a good time swimming.

I will end on a happy note. My wonderful friends, Rene and Ryo, called to let me know there are going to be parents. They have been trying for several months and are very excited. I can't think of anyone who deserves to have kids more and they will make the best, most loving parents ever. Congratulations!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006


I wanted to post a photos of my various bruises and scrapes, but I can't figure out how to turn off the flash on my camera, so they all turn out pasty-white. So I'll just tell you (yeah, not quite as amusing). I have a one inch by two inch bruise on my upper right thigh. No, I don't know where it came from. I think I may have hit the bedframe one day while cleaning. I have a perfectly round bruise on the center of my left thigh. Again, no idea how I got it. I have three scrapes on my left knee. Got those cleaning last Friday. Both my knees are completely bruised. Got those at the park on Saturday night. My left elbow is scratched. Got that yesterday when I slipped on the stairs and fell down four of them on my butt. No bruises on my butt, but I also pulled my right shoulder while trying to regain my balance. It's a good thing I didn't bruise my butt, because right now, it's the only think that doesn't hurt.

On to the advisor. Ok, I was a bit frustrated when I posted. Yes, I was thinking about quitting but more because I have a family to think about than because I want to. I don't want to quit. I love what I do. My advisor is new and I'm her first student. She told me a while back that she will be very hard on me because the job market is so competative that I have to be in top form to get a job. Having said that, she could work on her people skills. She is one of the best lecturers I've ever seen and she knows her stuff. But, I can tell she is working on her skills because she sent me an encouraging e-mail and we are going to talk on the phone. I didn't expect this part to be easy and I know I am easily discouraged because of other things going on in my life. I feel isolated from the academic world and I miss my friends and the library. While there are a large number of things I can get on-line, that still doesn't replace an actual campus library. Therefore, this week, I will be visiting several local universities and their libraries. I'm also frustrated because of the Sean situation. He has a different advisor than me (one who is equally, if not more so, brilliant). But if you recall the prelim debacle, where he didn't start his answers until the night before they were due. And then, they gave him a week to rewrite one of his answers and he still passed. Yeah, that frustration. Well, Sean's advisor hasn't even seen his proposal but he already has a defense date. And, his advisor is chair of an endowment and Sean received funding for research next spring. So while he's on a fully paid research trip in Europe, I'll be scraping the change together from the bottom of my couch to get to the Hoover institute and then sleeping on friends' of a friends' couches while I do research there. Frustration.

Finally, I don't think I'm cut out for kids. I know that right now my depression is kind of bad, but still, they drive me crazy. I was already so pissed off by eight this morning that I thought I was going to lose it. They don't listen to anything you say, even if you're answering a question that they've already asked 5 times and you've already answered it 5 times. And all they do is pick at each other. I think next times one of them tattles, (and they will) I'm just going to encourage them to beat the crap out of each other and then ask them if that was fun. Last night (when daddy and I were trying to get some love) they knocked on the bedroom door twice. They had already gotten their bedtime stories and kisses. Once was because Allison rolled over and accidentally hit Victor in the stomach and the other time was because they missed mom. We can't do anything about that so why are you knocking on our door?!? Then, this morning, they were both up before seven. And you could tell they needed more sleep because they were fighting right away. I just shut my bedroom door. Then, when I did go in there, they were playing with a game that had been taken away from them last night and put up in the closet. Meaning, they climbed up the cheap Wal-mart shelves in their bedroom to get them. When I asked if they remembered that they were told last night that they couldn't play with that game, they said no. Until I suggested calling daddy to ask him if he remembered. Oh, yeah, I remember now. Um-hm. Not a good way to start a very long day. I can't believe I'm pissed off at two kids because they didn't let me get any sleep.

Finally, since I think we should end on a humorous note: Andrea was right. Wes does think about her during sex. How do I know this? Because he told me he thinks I'm so hot he has to think of ugly girls to last longer. Nope, no bitterness here. Also, a few weeks ago, as we were going to bed, Wes's nose itched and he commented that someone must be thinking about him. I responded that maybe Andrea and her husband were having sex. He laughed so hard he almost fell out of the bed.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I'm ok

I'm not ignoring people (although, yes, I didn't call people because I didn't want my negativity to rub off on people). It's just that we have the kids this weekend. So I will return calls and e-mails after Tues. when they go home. Meanwhile, I'm ok, I'm not dropping out of the program. I'm just frustrated, but I'll get through it. Thanks for all the encouragement and love.

Friday, August 11, 2006


I'm seriously thinking about quitting school. My advisor is driving me crazy and since my chances of actually finding an academic job after I get my Ph.D are less than 1 in 5, why am I doing this to myself. She hates the second draft too. No, I'm not sure why. Apparently because I do know the answers to the questions I'm raising in my proposal. Yeah, those would be the questions I want to answer in my dissertation but apparently I'm already supposed to know the entire history of what I'm doing my research on. No, I don't know how that is possible or why a dissertation would even be necessary if we already knew it, but evidently, that's what I'm expected to know. She doesn't think I can get a good enough proposal before the end of the semester. Grant proposals are due in October and you have to be dissertation status to apply for them. That means, I couldn't apply for grants for next year. I'm not willing to wait two years to do my research trip. I'm married and 32 and I have other things I need to do in life besides waiting on this bitch to decide what the hell she wants. I'm frustrated beyond words and I can't stop crying. I just don't know what to do. I just don't think I can do this anymore.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Take two

I just e-mailed my advisor the second (and much better) draft of my dissertation proposal. Well, minus a few sections I haven't got to yet, but since I totally rewrote the proposal (I deleted the entire first draft) I wanted to make sure I was headed in the right direction and not have to start completely over again. I think this one was much better and I pray to God that she does too. Hopefully we can now schedule a defense date and I can buy plane tickets before they'll cost me an arm and a leg (because I hear it's very hard to do research in the archives without arms, and Russia really isn't disability friendly).

Other than that, the place is a mess and we're getting the kids this weekend. Tomorrow I will be doing a lot of cleaning. Today, I will be relaxing, e-mailing people, playing diablo and catching up on my magazine reading and maybe, if I have time, even start a real, non-history related book. Hey, my husband won't be home until 10:00p, so I have plenty of time. I'm going to go to the gym too. How much you want to bet I take a nap and get nothing done?

I hope everyone is well, and enjoying whatever break they have before the next semester starts.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

These glasses fit nice

Yesterday was my husband's birthday. My grandma was nice enough to send him twenty dollars. We're broke, so I used it to get a hair cut. He really likes it though, so I guess it still counts as a buying him a present. Right? They actually let him off of work early yesterday, so we went out to dinner at an Indian place across the street. It was sooooo good and pretty affordable. An appetizer, two ice teas, two entrees and bread for less than thirty dollars. And enough left-overs for another meal for both of us. Today, my husband has duty, which means he won't be home until tomorrow. I'm going to bake his cake tonight (since I wasn't expecting him home early yesterday). Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. It will be great!!!

Since my husband is not here today, it was time to tackle the rewrite of the proposal. I have three and a half pages now and they are 100% better than the last try. That's what I hate: my advisor is always right. I'll add another couple of pages on Monday and then e-mail them to her so she can give me feed-back and see that I'm not a total idiot. Although, if she still hates it, I'm going to be in trouble. I don't think she will though. I'm using that e-mail she sent me, so if anything else, the structure will be better.

I think that's about it. Oh wait, no it's not. I had my free hour with a personal trainer at the gym on Friday. First, I weigh less than I expected, but that doesn't actually make me happy because most of my clothes still don't fit. Second, I have more fat than I need and less muscle. So she showed me some exercises to help reduce the one while gaining the other. Then I did a few. Very few. Today, I'm not dying or anything, but I've rediscovered some muscles I haven't seen in a while. Next week I'll start in earnest and hopefully I'll soon be able to fit back into some of my clothes.

Ok, now that's it. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I can't lift the rose colored glasses

I went swimming yesterday. I got a gym membership, I got stressed out by my advisor so I thought I'd go swimming. It felt great. I love the way I feel physically and emotionally in the water. I swam for about 35 minutes, which was 1/2 a mile. I haven't swam since January and I loved every minute of it. Except I need a new suit because the ass on mine is sagging. Today, I can't lift my arms. Ok, that's an slight fib: I can lift them, it just hurts a little itty bit. I wonder if I go back today if I'll be able to swim as much as I did yesterday? I'll let you know because I plan on going every day I can. And with my husband's work schedule, that's six days a week. I'm going to look smoking hot really quick!!!

As far as my dissertation proposal goes: I've done this dance with my advisor before. So instead of immediately starting on what I thought she wanted, I sent her an e-mail reiterating what I thought she wanted. That was a smart move because she sent me a detailed e-mail letting me know EXACTLY what she wants. I should be able to do it in about 2 weeks, maybe a little longer, but still in enough time to defend in early September. The hardest part: I have to defend WHY my dissertation will be ground-breaking and necessary for the history of the USSR. Because I'm interested in it is not considered a good enough answer (although I don't know why not!). So thank you for all the encouragement and cheering up. I also received an e-mail from a student I had last spring semester. She just wanted to let me know that she thought I was a great TA and how much she enjoyed my classes. Isn't that special!!!

Anyway, I should get to the proposal. But now, I think it will go much quicker and easier. I'm also more balanced in my approach (spending time doing other things) which also helps. Hope you all have a great day.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My life is crap

So my advisor hates my proposal and doesn't think it'll pass in time. Except, I think she has my dissertation proposal confused with grant proposals, which it is not. And the ironic thing, all the parts I based on Sarah's proposal (Sarah, the genius) she hates. Yet when I tried to get guidance, I got none. I'm going to go cry some more.

Moving on

Hi everyone!!! Today has been a busy day. I got up, cleaned the kitchen, my bedroom, the bathroom, sent e-mails, read blogs, folded clothes, took out the recycling, paid the rent and got a gym membership. I am now exhausted. I'm very excited about the gym membership. It's practically across the street (less than a 10 minute walk) and has a pool. I get to meet with a personal trainer once for free and I'm doing that on Friday. Yeah!!! I get to swim again. And maybe pilates. Who knows? The possibilities are endless. I needed a pick me up. I e-mailed my dissertation proposal to my advisor yesterday and she will get back to me by the end of the week with comments. I know I said I was going to read a book for fun after I e-mailed her, but now I'm all paranoid that my proposal sucks and that I should really keep working on it. I think I'll compromise and organize the stuff I have, while still working on my Russian translations. That's what I'm going to do this afternoon, mostly cuz' it's already too late to take a nap.