Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slacker Grade

Apparently I worked my ass off to graduate with honors for nothing. Slacking in the Washington State History class got me a 3.8

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer School

I did it - I finished the Washington State History class without going totally insane! The amazing campus at UW Seattle had a lot to do with it. C'mon, is this not completely gorgeous?!?

This is another iPhone photo that I took with one of my new photo aps. They are Old Camera, Hipstamatic and Tilt Shift Generator. I read about them on ONE of your blogs but now I can't remember whose it was so let me know if it was you so I can give you props! Any ap that can make even me look like I know what I'm doing while taking pictures is sheer genius - and for less than two bucks!

No I'm not being paid for my endorsement of these aps, I just happen to think they rock and would like to share that with y'all.

The class was very interesting and I really liked the professor. Being a lecture class it wasn't exactly exciting, but his dry sense of humor and powerpoint slides that ADDED to the information instead of simply REPEATING it kept the lectures from being sleep-inducing.

We read a book that I highly recommend for anyone who likes the outdoors, history, or sailing. It's called "The Northwest Coast: Or, Three Years' Residence in Washington Territory" by James G. Swan. He was a Bostonian who bailed on the East Coast (and his family but that was pretty common at the time) in favor of exploring the Pacific Northwest in 1849. Despite being over one hundred and fifty years old, it is a fun, exciting, and informative read. It's fascinating to see the difference in attitudes back in the day. For instance, he and his fellow explorers started a forest fire while celebrating the fourth of July and he nonchalantly adds that it continued to burn until the rains started in November. And by that I mean that it was almost an afterthought on his part to even mention the months long fire!

What's more, this actually happened TWICE!

We also read some of Capt.George Vancouver (snore) and the Hudson's Bay Co. employee George Simpson (double snore). Their writing hasn't held up nearly as well as Swan's.

Another good book I can recommend is "Native Seattle: Stories from the Crossing-Over Place" by Coll Thrush. I literally couldn't put it down. VERY unusual for a book I've been assigned to read!

All in all it was a good class. I wasn't *quite* as type-A about my papers or getting to class every single day - after all I just need this class for my teaching endorsement and the grade isn't going towards my graduation GPA since I already GRADUATED (woot!) but I'm glad I took it.

I'm also glad it's over. Heh.

Now I am done with (my) school until the beginning of October when grad school starts. On Thursday I am driving to Vegas with the kids and Grandmother (god help us all) for our annual road trip. Then Marvelous Mom and I will be driving to Berkeley to move Scientist Genius Brother out of his apartment so he can jet to Melbourne, Australia *sob* to do his post-doctoral work. After that it's back to school prep with Thing 2 practicing with the marching band, Daughter practicing with the dance team, Thing 1 getting ready for student government work, the fair, and the parade that will have TWO of my offspring in it.

I'm tired just thinking about it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

In Which I Hop on the Bandwagon

Hey y'all! I've been neglecting my blog shamelessly and it's pretty much pure laziness. When the sun comes out, the LAST thing I want to do is sit inside and write. So I thought I'd do what I've seen OTHER bloggers do and re-post something from a year(ish) ago.

This is a doozy cause it's from when Motherinlaw was visiting last year and I was very very frustrated with her. Heh.

I promise to post something involving me actually engaging my brain soon. Pinky-swear.

* * * * * * * * *

Crazy Making

Ninety-nine percent of the time being in a bi-cultural marriage (Fancy! I didn't know that's what I was in until Marvelous Mom's church ladies asked me to come and speak to their group on the subject!) is a total non-issue for Husband and I. He was 16 when he jumped into a pool without checking for water first and moved to the states with only the clothes on his back so he has assimilated (BORG!) into American culture seamlessly.

We only fight about normal things like the fact that he never listens to anything I say so I have to tell him things forty-eleven times before they sink into his thick skull and the fact that he still hasn't re-caulked the fucking BATHTUB even though it started to mold WEEKS ago!!!

Sorry - got a little worked up there...

My point is that the fact that he was born and raised in Iran and I was born and raised in the US has never been an issue for us.

Except when his mother visits.

Intellectually I know that Iran is a rabidly patriarchal society (unlike the U.S. which is only common cold-ly patriarchal) and that Motherinlaw is a product of seventy some odd years of that culture. However, knowing that does absolutely NOTHING to offset the unbelievable frustration with her behavior, most of which is the product of her culture. The rest of it is age related. I know because Grandmother acts the exact same way. It's uncanny sometimes.

When a woman lives in a rabidly patriarchal society, she learns to get her way by being passive-aggressive, manipulative and emotional. At least that is what Motherinlaw does to get her way. I think my deduction that it is a result of her cultural heritage is pretty spot on because when first your father, then your husband and then your oldest son can do whatever they deem best for your life regardless of your own wishes and desires then you HAVE to be a sneaky bitch.

This is not to say that Motherinlaw's husband was a tyrant - he peeled her tomatoes for her for fucks sake, or that her oldest son who just happens to be Husband's brother is not trying to do what she wants, she is just physically and mentally incapable of being straight with him. She tells him she is just fine staying here another two months - because that's what she thinks he wants to hear - and then when he is not around she makes my poor sisterinlaw's life a living hell. (Lucky for me it is their turn to have her staying at their house, I got the first tour of duty this year.)

She really isn't a nasty person, or even bitchy, this is just how she deals with unexpected circumstances that have postponed her planned return to Iran. I totally understand that she wants to go home but I also am frustrated that she won't be straight with her sons about what she wants and flat out refuses to make the last leg of the trip - from Europe to Tehran - by herself because she is afraid of getting lost in the airport in Tehran. The city she lives in. Surrounded by people who speak the same language she does. With signs posted in the same language she reads. It's calculated helplessness and it's driving me around the fucking bend!!!

The end result of all these shenanigans is that Husband will be taking her back to Iran on July 31st and returning on August 9th. It is safer for him to take her because he is not a U.S. citizen like his brother, but given the precarious political situation there right now I'm still very nervous about him making the trip. Not to mention that he wasn't originally going to be the one to take her home so he has to rearrange his entire life to do so.

I am trying very hard to keep my BIG FAT MOUTH shut about everything and not lash out at husband because I'm frustrated with his mom. I *know* it's cultural, I *know* she's an old lady and isn't going to change anytime soon and I *know* I don't understand but it's still driving me bonkers! So y'all get to read my rant instead. Lucky you!

But if husband gets thrown in an Iranian jail I will show Motherinlaw what a strong, straight-talking, direct woman looks like! ;)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day

We had a fabulous holiday weekend! On Friday night I dropped daughter off at the marina in Seattle where Marvelous Mom and Stepdan park (moor? float?) their sailboat. She sailed to Poulsbo with them while Husband and the Things and I drove over on Saturday.

I have to note that this is the first time in two years that Husband has joined us on an overnight vacation other than going to Chelan with his brother and family. I was THRILLED that he said, "Screw work, I'm coming too!"

I had a few hours in Poulsbo with my guys before the sailors arrived. Aren't they handsome fellows?

Me and my boys - they're both taller than me, yikes!

And here comes Daughter and Stepdan in the dingy to motor us out to the sailboat that was anchored in Liberty Bay.

And this is just too cool for words. There is a teeny-tiny aquarium on the waterfront in Poulsbo and their resident Giant Pacific Octopus was eating a crab. Apparently they crack the crab's shell with their beak, suck all the guts and stuff out, and then drop the empty shell. That crab that you can see in the middle of the suckers is bigger than my hand!

It was a lovely weekend and I'm bummed to be back. (Mostly because I have 24 hours to write my mid-term essay.)

I hope y'all had a fun and safe fourth too!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Joke For Oregonians

So the class I'm taking this summer (five days a week for one month - I think I can, I think I can, I think I can) is Washington State History. I need this class to get my endorsement to teach high school social studies and history but didn't get it out of the way before graduation. Now I get to pay an obscene amount of money for a class that doesn't even go towards a degree. Somebody shoot me.

The professor told a joke the other day and it was funny enough that I actually remembered it. This in and of itself is quite a feat, I can only remember one other joke from when the twins were in kindergarten...

What do you call a cow with no legs?

Ground beef!

God y'all, I can hear you groaning thru my computer!

Anyhow, this joke is actually FUNNY. I promise. And if it's not then blame my professor, it's his damn joke anyway.

A Californian, an Oregonian, and a Texan were sitting around a campfire.

The Texan pulled out a bottle of whiskey, drank it, threw the bottle up in the air, pulled out his pistol and shot the bottle before it hit the ground.

"There's plenty more back home where that came from."

The Californian pulled out a bottle of wine, drank it, threw the bottle up in the air, pulled out his pistol and shot the bottle before it hit the ground.

"There's plenty more back home where that came from."

The Oregonian pulled out a bottle of microbrew, drank it down, pulled out his pistol and shot the Californian.

"There's plenty more back home where that came from but I have to recycle this bottle."