25 January 2009

Grinding On

As I reported a few weeks ago, I'm all set to defend my dissertation in late April. I've been more focused in the past month than I have been over the past year and a half. But it's still not enough. I just can't seem to get enough done. And on top of everything I hate my topic and I'm fairly certain I picked an utterly unimportant subject area. Nothing makes sense any more and everything I'm writing seems elementary. Or, at the very least, it would make a good undergrad paper.

I have re-adjusted my timeline many times over the past year. I MUST have the two analysis chapters in draft form by the end of this month. The introduction and conclusion must be finished by mid-February. That gives me a precious month and a half to edit and get everything formatted. ARGH!

In home improvement news, Nate and I decided to have the living room and dining room re-textured. The texture in those two rooms didn't match the rest of the house and we found a plaster specialist to help us out. As the new plaster dried, we noticed that it was bubbling and cracking in numerous areas. Not cool. So, now the guy has to come over again this week to repair it. That means that Benny and I have to make ourselves scarce for an entire day.

The brother-in-law experiment has hit a few bumps in the road. Matt still doesn't have his car. It was auctioned two weeks ago. So he's still borrowing our car, although I asked him to look into alternative forms of transportation. I meant public transportation like the bus or walking. Instead, he has developed a relationship with a girl who lets him borrow her car. To say the least, it's been a little awkward around here the past week or so.

And with those updates, I'll continue to grind on with this freaking dissertation. I'm hoping that everything else works itself out. The good news for the day: Benny is 18 months old today! A year and a half!

20 January 2009

Where Were You Today

when Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of our country? No matter your political beliefs, I hope that everyone can agree that it was an amazing day, filled with excitement and hope.

Where was I? In the car, driving across the no-man's-land that is known as eastern Colorado. My Bear was in the backseat reading his books about monkeys drumming. My radio refused to pick up any station other than the one playing Bill O'Reilly. It wasn't the most ideal outlet on which to hear history, but I heard it. And it was amazing. I will remember this moment forever. And I will tell my children about the day when the country regained hope.

Happy Tuesday! (Thanks Mike Bockoven for the fantastic illustration below!)

10 January 2009

The Light ... I See It!

I have tentatively scheduled my dissertation oral defense date for April 20. That means I have a LOT to do over the next three months. Mucho mucho. But, I am very excited to get this set up and have an end date in sight. I can't express how glad I will be when this whole process is OVER! It's been much more difficult to stay focused than I ever dreamt.

Stay tuned for news of my progress. And stress. And anxiety. And jubilation!

06 January 2009


It's a virtue, as I've been told. And something I'm not very good. Benny has certainly helped me with this problem, but I still have work to do.

I bring the concept because my patience is being tested.

As you know, faithful reader, my brother-in-law moved in about a month ago. He's down and out - he lost his job, lost his car (it was repossessed about two weeks ago), doesn't know anyone in Denver, and lives in our basement. That's not necessarily the recipe for a bright and happy life. So, I feel for the kid. I can't imagine that I'd be doing too well in his position.

At the same time, he's living in our home. The home where I spend most of my days with Benny. It's been harder than I imagined to share this sacred space with him. He's a good kid, but his current situation puts us all in a difficult position. He borrows our cars because he doesn't have transportation (if it were up to me he'd be taking the bus).

Conversely, he does look after Benny a few afternoons a week so I can sneak off and write my dissertation (or my blog, whatever). And Benny absolutely adores him. He even points to him and says "Matt."

I'm a little conflicted about the situation. I'm trying to use it to figure out how to voice my frustrations without becoming passive/aggressive. No luck there. Yet. I'm working on it - along with my issues with patience. As always, I'll keep you posted!