What are we talking about today?

I used to have theme days. I've stopped doing that for now. My husband died in February and I'm trying to find a new normal. You'll probably read some sad stuff here for a while, mixed in with my usual ranting about bicycles and buses and books. I like 'B' words.

10 May 2015


Yesterday morning I had a work event to go to, so I rolled out of bed and strolled past my neglected homework on the way out the door. Because why wouldn't my work have two events during the final weekend of my semester when I'm trying to write two papers and pass this thing? (I'm not really blaming my boss. He had no say in the timing of either of these events. And I knew that this was exactly what I was signing up for when I decided to work for a nonprofit.)

The group on a mid-ride stop.
Image grabbed from
Senator Ellis' twitter feed
(he's the gent in the middle
with the colourful jersey).
So the event was a 10-mile bike ride with some legislative interns, which is always fun, even for me who hates group rides. (It makes me nervous to bike alongside that many people, but I can deal.) After getting them all biked up and ridden around and our equipment put away, I had a couple of office-y things to do before I locked the doors and rolled off...

... to the Farmers Market. Yep, I had errands to run after the ride. All told, here's what I did:

  • Got stopped at an intersection because of a pro-legalisation march in the middle of town
  • Bought eggs at the Farmers Market
  • Picked up a book at the library
  • Rode through the Capitol grounds while the pro-legalisation group was demonstrating (they were not handing out samples, I'm afraid)
  • Stopped by the rummage sale at church
  • Figured out how to watch a video on UK's Channel 4 even though I'm in the US (with a lot of help from my friends) (and I still haven't had time to watch it, but it's on my to-do list)
  • Went grocery shopping
  • Finished one of my grad papers, even though I had to stay up to 4:30 AM to do it

Pic taken with my allegedly smart
phone. I got really lucky with the
dancing marijuana leaf.
I gotta tell y'all, I really underestimated the value of having someone in my house who was willing to do a lot of this stuff for me. It's been a while since I've had to do everything for myself. But! One paper to go, and I am DONE with this grad school thing. And there's nothing not to like about that. I'm looking forward to spending a Saturday soon just laying around with books and cups of tea and possibly some bon-bons.

09 May 2015

In More Ways Than One

This is the graphic I usually use when
I write about being a non-trad. I've
used it for so long I can't remember
where I got it.
Many, many times in the course of the last five years, I've talked about the fun involved in being a non-traditional student. That mostly went away when I started grad school, since going to grad school in your mid-30s is not that unusual, but it's not like I've forgotten that a good chunk of my friends and acquaintances in Austin are 12-15 years younger than I. (I've tried to forget. I don't actually like thinking about the differences between us. But the differences come up sometimes.)

So it's been on my mind the past couple of months that not only did I do college weird, but I also made it weird for others. I don't know why I didn't think about this before now. I probably should have figured it out, given the number of questions about long-term relationships that I used to field on a daily basis, or the time one of my classmates said during a TV-centered conversation, "You watch Friends? But that's our parents' show!" and I had to lie down.

But obviously Peak Weird (God, please let this be the peak!) for my college friends was reached a couple of months ago, when the post-college whirl of engagements and weddings was interrupted by the news that one of their classmates had lost a spouse. When so many of my young friends are still undecided about whether a long-term commitment to one person is even something they're interested in, this happens.

And I would be remiss if I didn't give my UT friends all the credit and kudos in the world, because the outpouring of support and kindness I've received from them is just as real and heartfelt and thoughtful and appreciated as it has been from every other group of friends I've managed to collect. Some of them came to the funeral. Some sent cards. One of them took the time to find just the right poem that she thought would lift my spirits (it did). All of them have sent text messages or Facebook messages or phone calls that have brightened my day and reminded me of just how blessed I have been in this chapter of my life, the chapter called "college," the one I'm finally leaving behind after this weekend.

But the point is, you're not supposed to be summoned to a classmate's spouse's funeral a couple years after graduating college. That's just not the way it's meant to be... and yet it happens. And while I would rather have not been non-traditional in this particular sense, had I been given the choice, I don't think I'd trade all the other senses of the word for anything.

01 May 2015

It's Bike Month!

Want one of these? Find it here. 
What does that mean for me? Not a freaking thing, because I'm surrounded by boxes and still have three papers due before we call this semester done.

But I'll at least ride my bike to work with a slightly bigger smile than usual, because MOVE OVER, EVERYBODY, THIS IS MY MONTH! Or something.

Also, it's Bike to Eat Week in Austin! And there's nothing not to like about that.

27 April 2015

"Packing is for leaving. To stay you have to un!"

Denise (my sister, for those not keeping score at home) mentioned this brilliant quote from M*A*S*H season 1, episode 3 while we were unpacking this weekend. There's a lot of un in our future. And that's after getting rid of a lot of stuff prior to the move. How do people manage to collect so much stuff, especially people who spend as much time at home as we do?

(I added "green living" as a tag on this post, mostly to emphasize how much it's not. :/)

Our books & DVDs right now. I may never see them again.

22 April 2015

Time (Or: Please Send Chocolate)

This doesn't have anything to
do with my post, unless it's me
burning the candles at both
ends. All the candles.
So, just in case anyone was wondering: final semester of grad school + legislative session + moving is just a bad combination, even if you don't add in being really sad. (Although, obviously, I do.) Throw in friends coming to town (yay!) and going to the theatre twice in three days (stress relief, obvs) and you just have a recipe for disaster.

I'm beginning to understand why some people turn to substances for help with coping. (I'm not doing that; no need to stage an intervention. Yet.)

I'm posting this during a 10-minute break in class. Time to head back. See you after I graduate.

05 April 2015


So today was both the most depressing and also the most joyous Easter I can remember.

Source: osmar01 on
Let's start with the easy one. When Chadwick & I went looking for a church a few years ago, high on my "must-have" list was that the worship service had to be joy-filled. I was tired (and still am) of churches that have a joyless, lifeless worship service that may as well be a funeral. If that's your cup of tea, great, but it's not mine.

We were successful at finding a church that's filled with joy, by the way, and today the church was especially so, and for that I am thankful.

But it was also very sad today. Sundays have just been hard for the past six weeks, and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. I've been warned that holidays will be extra-hard, but honestly? We've never been holiday people. It's not like today was our anniversary. It was just sad, like every other Sunday has been, and I only take special note because, as I said, it was the most depressing Easter I can remember.

Also, I made these for the Easter brunch at church, and they were a huge hit. You should make some. (The person I was sitting with for breakfast, when I described the steps: "But how did you get them to stay rolled up?" Me: "I don't know.")

He is risen, indeed.

22 March 2015

Final Portfolio #GradSchoolProblems

I'm working on my final portfolio for my grad program, which is technically now late, just like everything else I'm supposed to have turned in over the last four weeks. Well, longer than that, I guess, because I got behind when I went to Indiana for my grandmother's funeral in early February.

I'm literally only carrying on with this right now because my options are to be done in two months or be done in nine months. Send positive vibes, cookies, chocolate, caffeine, prayers, etc.



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