Dec 29

i do need to be writing the dissertation. i also need to be analyzing data for another project. i’m doing neither. nope. oh? what did i do yesterday? i woke up feeling like crap because of the inversion. ? the inversion?

the inversion. you can learn more too about this crap (that plagues other cities too).

because of the inversion i felt icky. because i felt icky, i met with stats mentor for a wee bit, dropped off a finally found x-mas gift, then went shopping. *nod* yeah. spending all my savings is my plan to fill the empty hole of a soul i seem to have, especially when i feel icky because of the inversion. *nod* yes, pollution does kill. or make one feel icky.

so, i didn’t do anything.

today? oh yeah. locating references for a wee little grant i submitted after i found all the references (i had a program, i lost the reg # for it so i couldn’t transfer it, and i’ve been lost since. i’m working on a spreadsheet solution). then i updated my vita. then i finished a cover letter for a job! yes, an actual job application. i finally found something that i’d rather work on my dissertation over.. cover letters. *nod* cover letters are a pain. and really, after updating the vita, it felt like the dissertation. state it. state it again. oh yeah, and then state it again. oh, and re-state what you just stated. *ugh*.. it’s nice to remind myself that i’ve found joy in this area of employment recently because finding permanent employment in this area is going to not be joyful. *sigh*

oh, and i’ve also been commenting on blogs. here are a couple of particularly notable ones:
on the blog of a friend who has become particularly well known because of his work. it’s about the bio of the person featured in the post.

Non-topic curiosity question. It’s common to put if someone has a family in bios. Question: does this give the person more credibility, even if family status has nothing to do with the topic? If so, if someone is single with no family, does a PhD, especially one in the topic area being covered, make up for the lost credibility earned by family status?

my friend has yet to respond, and if any of you have an answer, i’d love to hear it!

and this comment on a blog i really don’t belong on, that again doesn’t address the true content, but the one bit of content i have personal experience with. this one is nicer, and more personal. the writer briefly talked about how those who are agnostic don’t always have it easy.

for me, at least, the big “f” Faith, it isn’t easy. i spent years struggling to find it. i was raised academic (4 parents with phd’s, working at a university). at 11 i was “born again”.. then i tried the episcopal church during college, then wiccan, buddhist, unitarian universalist (10 years), then Mormon!, presbyterian, and i’ve settled into the episcopal church with buddhist and wiccan spiritual influences and mormon practicality influences.

i love being episcopalian. i feel at home in the rituals. it’s the church my father was raised in, and is buried in the graveyard of one. i love the liberal politics. i love discovering God.

but still, it isn’t easy. my practical, leaning towards scientific, brain has to accept the thing that isn’t researchable (i’m on the cusp of a phd in education) as the foundation of my life. and my self that struggles with dark moments has to be able to find the arms of He who can’t be seen to wrap myself in on lonely dark moment filled nights. finally, my enculturated towards violence self has to find forgiveness for people i’d rather lash out at because that is what Christ has challenged me to do. it’s not easy, no. this is one place where i do fit in, but it’s not easy. (i have to admit, though, that i don’t fit in culturally to church communities due to my being 38 (nearly 39), single and childless.) the challenges, at least for me, that God has put before me, go against my inclinations and sometimes i’d just rather that He would have left me alone.

but, even though i’ve been off doing something other than writing my dissertation, never fear, i’ll get back to it. i’m enjoying it, except getting the feedback. i’m working on a section of my lit review that needs to be incorporated into new drafts of the research phases. i’m having to read literature and then write it up. part of it is enjoyable (look! i was right! look! i’m doing something EMERGENT methodologically! look, see? i CAN use a critical theory lens without citing all sorts of work already in critical theory! and even better? quantitative IS NOT JUST POSITIVIST OR POST-POSITIVIST! whoo hoo!), but it’s extending this already to extended process. oh, and really, i need a vacation. i need to go swim in salt water, or not-salt water as long as it’s not chlorinated too. i need to be out of wireless or cell phone range for a long time. i need to eat food made by people who speak arabic, or hebrew, or even greek or british or spanish. i need to eat that food in one of the countries that one of those languages is the state language. i need to walk along streets with signs that don’t make sense to me. i need to smell strange smells. i need to experience the gift of a smile from someone who i can’t communicate with outside the sharing of a smile. i need the excitement of preparing for a trip like that, of taking my passport from the safe, of worrying about flying for so long, of landing and going through immigration and customs. *sigh*.. yeah, i’m tired and i need a break where i don’t have to think about dissertations, cover letters, and a sister-friend’s impending death. i need a break where i cat litter is not in the forefront of my mind, and getting shlomo to use said litter is not something i can control for awhile. yeah. yeah. *nod* uh huh.

Oct 31

dear us government,
you suck. cutting unesco funding because the organization allowed palestine in? you say it is getting in the way of the peace process? you are throwing a temper tantrum because you aren’t getting your way. oh and mr. obama, you suck even worse. there’s a picture of you sitting next to edward said at a fundraiser for deheishe refugee camp, and this is the policy of you set? i am disgusted beyond words. this would be a lot easier to take if this weren’t someone who has your background. get some (nads that would be). more importantly, stop thinking with aipac in your pants and start thinking like someone who really believes in justice and peace.


on a completely different topic.. what did your pets dress up as for halloween? mine?

  • max dressed up as jesus, for he is the alpha (and omega) of this clowder of cats.
  • shlomo put on a long coat, a shtreimel, and a wig with payot underneath because he really thinks his name sounds like a sweet old chasidic man.
  • ava pearl made herself a clam costume because she is such a beautiful pearly-girly.

they really are smart little animals, aren’t they?

Jul 2

this is my great grandmother, and my grandmother. my auntie s posted it on f@ceb00k this morning. hmm.. okay, so, my mother is an only child, but on my dad’s side i’m lucky that the little girl in that picture met and fell in love with al and they decided to have 3 kids and not just one, and that one of those kids not only loves family, but is kind of a geek in that she really enjoys that particular social media. when i saw the picture i just thought one gleeful thought: “BABA!!!” baba is what we grandkids called mary draper elizabeth robertshaw. that’s what she wanted, and all through my life i never doubted once that she loved me. when i grew up and got moody i got moody with her.. i wish that hadn’t happened, because looking back at pictures of her, pictures taken after i was born, and a few that i took, i can see the love in her eyes. particularly the pictures i took of her i can see the love she had for me. i was a lucky girl that baba was my grandmother. i hate to say this, but it seems that it’s just now, 8 years after her death, that i’m really beginning to miss her. i only wish i’d had the foresight i have now to ask her questions about her life, and for some of her wisdom.. but i didn’t, and at least i have pictures of her, and at least i have an aunt who has pictures of her before any of us ever existed so i can see how her face changed as her wisdom grew greater than short body of hers ever did (if you have ever seen me in person i can tell you that i got my build from the drapers, i don’t know which side of the drapers, but i am built just like baba).

this picture i took on thursday? i think.. it was a windy day and after dinner we went kite flying! i hadn’t flown a kite in years, and it was fun. i actually got really selfish and wouldn’t let little k fly this kite when i was flying it. i was being a little-kiddy flying that kite. this picture, though, i took when a was flying it. i am not a photographer, but i love looking at good photos, and i gotta admit, this is a good photo. i can’t believe my fruity phone took it. stupendous. after we were done flying the kite a gave me a tour of the new playground. it’s one cool playground and really i think it’s meant more for adults than kids. i need to go back soon, maybe even later today.. but right now i’m exhausted from staying out late visiting with friends, watching fireworks, and shooting them off.

and finally bilal. this seems to be this goofy, dorky, cat’s thing these days.. to jump up on to the back of my home office chair and sit on my shoulder for a few minutes. it’s quite endearing, though sometimes his claws do hurt a little bit. i’ll tell ya, he endears himself to me more and more each day in his dorky, goofy, sweet ways. i don’t know how i found such a cat, but i’m glad i did. maybe his purpose in my life is to remind me of the joy in being the dork i am, and to embrace my goofyness and sweetness more often.

May 17

see that one with the white face and pink nose? he really is the sweetest, goofyest, and dorkyest cat i’ve ever owned met, and i’ve met a lot of cats in my lifetime. daily i’m grateful bilal chose me back in september.

Apr 13

i came out of my wednesday meeting, which usually goes long.. around 8pm, and after going up to the uni at 11.30 considering sandals, it was snowing. and not just pittering, it was snowing hard, really hard. i had no protection from it besides my light sweater i’d worn in the morning.. it was above freezing but accumulating fast on everything not the road. drove up to the p’s, got disoriented from the snow coming at my window, it was that bad.

went to visit my dear friends the p’s.. who today became mr. & mrs. p, phd or dr & mrs. p, phd (so as not to confuse the md).

came home to be greeted by shlomo and old bitty kitty, but no bilal.. weird. walked into my room, heard bilal’s pathetic meows. didn’t know where they were coming from – i thought under the bed and that he was sick, then i heard the sound of something sliding down the awning outside my bedroom window, and no more bilal mows. discovered the screen popped out at the bottom. heard bilal outside. ran outside, doing a call and response.. lal ran under the house. tried as i might, couldn’t get lal out from under the house. i was scared, thought he was hurt. ran next door to the landlord, panicked, “i need to get under the house, where you have that roof thing, my cat fell and is under there.” came back, got bilal, landlord not needed. landlord will fix the screen over the weekend. i have it pinned down. lal seems okay, only damage seems to be a cut lip, and a completely panicked and terrified bilal owner. he does seem a bit weirded out by his adventure, but that could actually be that he’s weirded out by being so dirty. i’m glad he’s safe with me now.

if i have time, i’ll post pictures. but i’m tired right now.

Mar 1

i don’t have much to say. it’s been a bit crazy of a day jumping from thing to thing. so instead i’ll bring you some photos.

first photos from the lovely snow storm on friday/friday night.
a photo of the outside of my apartment (it is in the top floor of a lovely old house). the window on the left is my bedroom. outside of it is a view of the mountains. hanging from the window is a peace dove.

the amazing jcp shoveled all this snow. not only is she an amazing seamstress, but she’s also an amazing snow shoveler.

the tunnel sidewalk outside jcp’s house. there’s a lot of snow on either side of it.

now some non-snow photos.

i did something stupid. i bought another expensive water bottle. the reason? because the image on it amused me. even though i spent too much money, it still amuses me.

kinda fuzzy pile o’ cats from this afternoon. that would be – left to right – old bitty ava, baby fucker shlomo, and young fucker bilal. yes, i actually love my cats, despite these nick names.

and some disturbing money politics.

i got this from vickie’s website. it’s about how much the american cancer society donates to research on childhood cancer. here are some interesting facts about childhood cancer. a couple on funding to note are:

  • There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
  • The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
  • The American Cancer spends less than 70 cents of each 100 dollars raised on childhood cancer.
Jan 18

i was finally able to download ALL the photos and videos from my ipod. there were lots. so please forgive the videos the next couple of days.

here’s one of dad at cape hatteras.. it’s just a short one.

6 seconds of dad at Cape Hatteras from Brooke R. on Vimeo.

and then my cat bilal, the 21st century cat.

Bilal, the 21st century kitten. from Brooke R. on Vimeo.

Jan 16

because i don’t have much else to say.

see this:

it’s a little box of milk from logan’s local dairy – gossner’s. yes, i love little milk boxes, i love them because they are perfect servings, can be thrown in my backpack, and are $.35/ea. (oh and yes, i do know they aren’t super duper environmentally friendly, but i deal with that guilt too). see that little straw on the back of the milk box?

it’s become a cat toy. each one. i can no longer drink my milk in peace when one or both of the young creatures are around because they get all up in my face until i give it up. bilal has even been known to growl to keep shlomo away so that he can play with the straw.

i know, i know, a dull post. but things are rather dull around here. nothing interesting happening at all, and because i’m on a news blackout, i don’t have anything thoughtful to say about anything really. sorry.

Jan 4

i decided not to turn this space into a cat blog, thus, i started a blog for the cats.. the adventures of lomo and lal. ava and max will be making appearances at times, but due to their antics, it’ll be mostly about the kittens.

Jan 1

all you need to know is this.

his name is shlomo. yes, shlomo.

and he has a pink collar. yes, pink. and he is a HE.

and no, we cannot forget.


btw, this morning, bilal bit my boob as a way to entice me to play with him. *rolling eyes* sweet, laid back, goofy.. but smart? i think not.

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