assortment of things

Last day of February. How did this happen.

Thing One:  We are beginning the process of de-Christmas-fying our apartment. Yes, we realize tomorrow is the first of March. Yes, we realize Christmas was over 2 months ago. But, more importantly, Jason realizes how much I love Christmas and all things wintery. It seems to make perfectly good sense that Winter = Christmas and so why shouldn't that lovely tree and twinkling lights stay around for the 3-month winter period? Good sense, I say.

Thing Two:  Following an argument to its logical end needs to be done more often. Seriously, folks.

Thing Three:  I am participating in Goodreads Reading Challenge this year. Honestly, I'm mostly doing it out of curiosity to see how many books I leisurely read in a given year rather than pushing myself to read more. I have a very modest goal of 75 books. I promise I will not include non-chapter/picture books. We will see how that goes.

Thing Four:  I am starting to get desires for a vacation. We have zero plans so far. This will not do. I still wish to relive my childhood memories of Disney World [especially since Jason has little to no memories of his Disney experiences], but I doubt this will be the year for that. So I will set my sights on something more probable. Maybe some place woodsy. Hmm...

Thing Five:  Yes, Jesus loved and served everyone. I just find it hard to believe that His love was manifested in sugarcoating sin and that He served by participating in the sin of others. No, love is not condemnation and hate. But, on the other hand, love does not always mean feelings of acceptance and happiness. It just doesn't. God is Love. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. So, in a way, Love is Truth. The argument seems to inevitably come down to "Jesus is Love. What is love?" I think an equally valid question is, "Jesus is Truth. What is truth?" Everything is not relative. There are absolutes.

Thing Six:  Tomorrow, there will be a Big Birthday Bash Brunch for Jason's parents. They will be served food [which will hopefully be edible]. They will wear party hats. They will eat cake. They will open cards and/or gifts. They may or may not play a round of Pin the Tail on the Grandparents. Fun will be had. It is a requirement. FUN WILL BE HAD. No exceptions. End of story.

Thing Seven:  There is an obese pigeon on our patio.

To March!

Post-party pass-out.


unrelated to cats

A very exhausting winter semester is over. I think I'd like to teach the same class again, because it would be much more enjoyable without having to prepare everything from scratch again. This spring semester I don't have to teach anything, since I'm on a fellowship to just do research. Hopefully with so much time to devote to my research I can make a large amount of progress. I think I've had my fill of grad school. I'm ready to be done with it and get a real job. Goal for 2014 (if I didn't already say this): finish dissertation research. Ideally, finish dissertation as well, but I'll take finishing enough research that I can write the thing and graduate in spring 2015. There, now that it's out there I have to do it. Then I can go get a job.

Oddly enough, I think I prefer teaching to research. I thought that teaching would be boring, especially teaching the same thing more than once. Actually, I like trying to help people understand stuff, so teaching is interesting for me. I also like figuring out the best way to explain things, refining how I teach each topic each time I teach the same class. I'd like to see how well I could teach a class on the 7th or 8th try. I think by then I'd be really good. At any rate, hopefully I'll be able to find a place where I can do some research, but my main focus is on teaching. I like learning new things, especially new math. It's really interesting. I just don't enjoy so much the constant feelings of you-must-produce-new-research-right-now-at-this-very-moment. Maybe it gets easier over time, but at this point, it's not really my thing. I'd prefer research to be the enjoyable thing I do on the side to keep my brain stimulated while I teach.

This all got me thinking about the future. I tried to picture my life in 5 years and here's what I came up with. I imagine in 5 years or so we'll be all settled into a real house with a real yard somewhere in semi-rural Pennsylvania, maybe a dog running around the yard and a few little munchkins running around the house. I'll be a professor at some nice little school and I'll get to spend plenty of time with my little family at home.

In my head, when I tried to picture my life in 5 years, it was much more descriptive than that. Apparently on paper I'm just really fact/list based. Trying to get complex thoughts and feelings onto a page is not really easy for me. For example, this paragraph is also starting to sound like a list to me. But I do have thoughts. And feelings. Even though I'm a dude. I don't think I'm even out of touch with them. I just don't describe them well. Anyway. The future looks pretty good to me, even if I can't quite capture in words what I see there.

with our hands lifted high


the big moment

With another February comes another Super Bowl. And with another Super Bowl comes another unofficial anniversary. The anniversary of I Like a Boy.

It was a very weird moment. It seems like a forever ago, even though it has only been... what? Seven years? I had never, up to that point, ever allowed myself to admit in my head or even think that I truly liked a boy. This sounds less weird when you realize that, for me, this admission of liking someone simultaneously declared, "I will marry him one day."

I know there are many reasons [large and small, ridiculous and sensible] why I never let myself acknowledge liking someone, but chief among them was just the common sense factor of, "I can't see myself marrying him, so I cannot, must not, really like him like him. Don't be a dumb girl." [One of my biggest social motivators is to not be a "dumb girl." And in order not to offend the world of females, I will not go into more details about what qualifies as Dumb Girl-isms.] So, that was really my measuring stick for evaluating fellows, and no one, up to that point, had yet passed the test.

Until Jason.

There were two key moments that February 4, 2007. First, Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl. And second, I realized a boy had unknowingly satisfied all of my criteria for the "I like a boy and will marry him one day" test. Unfortunately, due to the second moment, I completely missed the first moment. Long-term, though, I suppose it was worth it.

I am glad that my way of approaching relationships did not scare Jason off from the get-go. I am glad we were already such good friends. I am glad all of our late night/early morning AIM chats had occurred, even at the expense of my sleep. I am glad he seemed to not only be able to take but also seemed to enjoy my incessant poking and picking and needling and pestering. And mostly, I am glad he did not think it ridiculous that admitting to myself that I liked him meant that I wanted to marry him. Instead, he decided it was a grand idea, and he married me.

I'm lucky to have found a man who wasn't afraid of my all-in-or-nothing approach to "dating." The very night we admitted to each other that we liked each other, I asked him how many kids he wanted to have. Marriage was a foregone conclusion. I liked that. I never had any doubts. I never had any anxiety. It just was to be.

So, here we are, four score and seven years later [minus four score]. It is February yet again, and yet again, Peyton Manning will be playing in the Big Game. I wish so badly for him to win, if only so the Seahawks lose [sorry, Seattle has just come across to me as an annoyingly cocky/arrogant team]. But, win or lose for the Broncos, it doesn't really matter. I still have Jason, the only man I have ever truly liked, and the only one man enough to put his pants on two legs at a time.

Cheers, love.

Best pals.