Tag Archives: ack!

Who do I think I am, Indiana Jones?


Just a brief thought from the Department of Doubting Oneself:

WHAT ON EARTH MAKES ME THINK THAT I CAN GET A Ph.D IN ANYTHING? Am I on drugs? Do you know how long that will take, and how much work it is? Not to mention that they don’t just hand out Ph.Ds willy nilly, like candy. They are for smart people; not people who occasionally still listen to hair metal and have an abiding appreciation for reality television. There’s a difference between authentically being smart and simply having a head full of useless facts. That can only take one so far. The final round of Jeopardy, maybe. The halls of academia? Archaeological dig sites? Doubtful. The idea that I could ever become an expert on anything (except, maybe, The Beatles) is ludicrous. I, advising people what to make of ancient artifacts? It’s a laugh. That’s the sort of job for a grownup; someone who actually knows what s/he is talking about. I can’t even remember to put the trash out at the curb half the time. How am I going to cram all those facts into my head AND get them to stick AND figure out how to apply them to actual situations?

Besides all this there is then the question of whether all this education will actually be used for something. Really, is some university going to offer a position to a by-then-40-something greenhorn? If one does it is going to require a move, possibly one of a considerable distance. There is certainly no use for an archaeologist in Dinkytown, Oklahoma. Do I really want to uproot the family? Will the family even agree to be uprooted? I told R. that I’d be open to moving for a job if I really ever do graduate but I am not sure he took me seriously. Do I really want to embark on a career path that may turn out to be utterly useless? I know that education is good for you whether or not you actually use it in terms of career, but couldn’t the argument also be made that it’s selfish of me to take 8(?) years’ worth of time away from my family and incur quite a lot of expense just for a lark? I could stay home and read my Archaeology magazine subscription if all I’m looking to do is entertain myself.

So. Anyone who thinks that this freak-out has been brought to you courtesy of the fact that I now have a date set to take the ACT test, raise your hand.

Edited to add: For those who aren’t clear on the situation, I am starting from square one with this whole education thing. I have not been to college a day in my life. I think if I’d at least started and had a couple years under my belt it wouldn’t seem so daunting but I am looking at going from being a high school graduate who never even took an admission test to becoming a PhD. Starting at age 36. It is looking like a LONG haul from where I’m standing.




So. It appears we will be driving to California this summer.

That’s right. Two adults. Three children. One mini-van. Three days. And somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500 miles.

Gonna be seein’ a whoooole lotta this pretty soon…..

This all came about rather suddenly. For one reason or another we did not seriously begin trying to find plane tickets to book until this weekend. And, as usually happens for these summer trips, prices had started to climb while availability plummeted. That’s when Robert came up with this idea. He always drives to California for his part of the trip. The kids and I leave first and he motors out to join us around halfway through.

This time, though, we will all leave together and make the drive. Home to Albuquerque, Albuquerque to Flagstaff (with a side trip to the Grand Canyon) and Flagstaff to Atascadero. Then the kids and I will fly home on one-way tickets. Easy peasy, right?

Somehow, I doubt it. You know, considering it’s us.

I’m also, for the record, unconvinced that this will end up being any cheaper than just buying the slightly-more-expensive-than-last-week plane tickets. I plan to keep a record of our expenses. I’d like to say it will be strictly for my own personal edification and that I won’t gloat if I end up being correct, but I’m not making any promises.

On that pesky other hand, there are also some perks to doing it this way. Instead of leaving around the 23rd, we won’t leave until the 30th, a.k.a. payday. Very helpful. We also won’t need a rental car for the first two weeks we are there.

Since we will be leaving later that also pushes our return further into August. I was originally looking at something like the 3rd to come home. Now it’ll be more like the 8th…..which, serendipitously enough, happens to be the day after The Sun Kings have a run of three shows in a row. My early plan is for us to fly out of San Jose or San Francisco on the 8th, but to go up a couple days prior and go to a couple of (or maybe all three!) shows before flying home. This also gives me a little more wiggle room with their July shows rather than my feeling I “have to” go to one show or another because it’s one of only a few chances I have.

And with that the preparations begin. I need to take my van to a Honda dealership for some minor repairs, and it absolutely must be detailed and have the carpets shampooed before I’ll consider spending three days in it. We have our route basically mapped out and even our dining selections made (thank you, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives). I’ll even start collecting our clothing and other items to take and putting them in a central location as I find them. Oh, and somewhere in there I have to work VBS at church for a week and also make a nice birthday for my sometimes-overlooked middle child.

Yes, June will be an interesting month, not the least of reasons being that I will be trapped in a motor vehicle with my entire family for a minimum total of 24 hours. I plan to blog about my captivity via iPhone. Will we make it out alive? It’s anyone’s guess. Tune in later this month to find out.

Coldhearted Snake


I’m a reasonable person. I like animals. I like nature. I like both best when they remember their place; their place being, namely, not inside my house. It has become apparent that not only are my wishes not being considered, they are being flagrantly flouted and thrown back in my face.

Now, I know snakes serve a purpose in the environment, and I respect that. I adopt a “live and let live” approach to snakes. I have no desire to seek them out and harm them; nor do I believe in hurting them simply because they had the bad luck to wander across my path. However, I’m a bit irritated about the entire encounter. There was really, truly no need for homeboy to roll up on us like that. We have nothing in the house for him to eat. His fortunes are much more promising in the great outdoors. And yet, there he was, in defiance of nature and everything I have ever hoped or desired for my place of residence.

Also, the dude was a bit of an ingrate. We saved him from Grace, who apparently thought he was some hep new cat toy (Super-Squirmy Scaly String™). Despite this olive branch he still had the nerve to go all bad-ass and draw back like he was going to strike me when I got too close. I was like, “Ooooh, I’m so scared. What are you going to do, flick me to death with your microscopic tongue? Dial it down a notch, chief.”

Anyway, one broom and one dustpan later and Mr. Hissy has moved on. But I honestly don’t know if I can adequately express how disturbing I find this. You see, this isn’t the first snake we’ve found in our house. It’s not even the first snake we’ve found in our house this spring. This guy was #2. The first one had the decency to be deceased when we found it (probably thanks to one of the Mighty Feline Hunters, or possibly it took one look at our garbage dump of a house and killed itself in despair). I’m really worried that this is going to become some kind of pattern. Maybe they’ll start coming up out of the plumbing next. Wouldn’t that be charming?

My other theory is that tonight’s snake was a relative of snake #1, come to avenge his death. In which case I guess we can count on seeing him again someday. It’s a shame I don’t speak Parseltongue; perhaps I could’ve discerned a faint Schwarzenegger-esque hiss of “I’ll be back!” as I flung the contents of the dustpan into the stratosphere.