Thursday, August 21, 2008

RBOC, highlights and lowlights edition

First, the lowlights:

  • The flash has stopped working on my Canon Rebel XT, and all the fixes in the help forums aren't helping. I don't use the flash much, but it's frustrating nonetheless. I really don't need to be spending money fixing an otherwise great camera right now.
  • It's getting hotter here. The weekend and early this week was beautiful. Now we're firmly back in the 90s, which makes bicycle commuting considerably less fun.
  • The new dog has just begun to smell like wet dog. Ick. Obi also chewed up my favorite, best pair of Ann Taylor slacks. They were sitting in a pile of clothes to go to the cleaner's, so it's partly my fault for leaving them on the floor, but damn, I'm pissed. Neither the local Ann Taylor factory stores or anyone online is carrying them in the same color and in my size. Grrrrrr.
  • Last week Obi, right in front of me, pulled the only bell pepper from my bell pepper plant. It was about halfway to being ripe.
  • We seem to have cultivated in Lucas an addiction to Pixar films, particularly Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc., though he also appreciates the Toy Story movies and, with parental assistance, The Incredibles. Lucas largely ignores branding, however, when it comes to movies. He calls the Muppet movies "froggy" (because of Kermit), Babe is "piggy," and Finding Nemo is "fishies." He also enjoys watching Superman cartoons from the 1940s, episodes of the Johnny Cash Show, and a particular Bruce Springsteen concert DVD. I still worry sometimes that he watches too much TV, but Mommy needs her sanity, you know? Plus he's playing outside, and inside he spends time with puzzles, Play-doh, glue, crayons, pens, watercolors, books, and Tinkertoys. I think we've struck a balance that works for both him and us.

Now, the highlights:
  • The dog's behavior is improving, albeit sloooooowly. And he's amazing with Lucas. Obi occasionally knocks the boy down as he runs crazily around the house or yard, but for the most part they play well together. And while Obi will sometimes nip at, gnaw on, or jump up on Mr. Trillwing and me, he never does so with Lucas. Still, I see puppy kindergarten in his future. Words Obi knows: Obi, treat, sit, muzzle. Obi's instincts tell him to be underfoot, nip, fetch, and get soaked by the hose. Methinks he has some herding dog and Labrador retriever in him.
  • In the garden, I'm having lots of luck with eggplants and teeny tiny cherry tomatoes. And while last summer I planted three tomato plants and grew zero tomatoes--just a lot of stems and leaves, this summer the bigger tomato plants have finally started fruiting. On the three plants right now I have about 20 tomatoes. Yay!
  • I just noticed yesterday that I have some baby watermelons, ranging in size from half an inch to about 3 inches across. Last summer I had one watermelon and it split before it was mature.
  • The two kinds of small-leaf basil I planted have been terrific. I planted them in the raised bed right outside the back door so that I can easily pull off a few leaves when I need them. Now only if I could get the eggplant and basil to hang around long enough for the tomatoes! (I'll try to remember to post garden photos soon.)
  • I'm hoping to find some broccoli to grow during the fall/winter. The gardening maven in the local paper says it's time to plant broccoli starts, and she's always right on in her advice for this region.
  • I'm taking Lucas down to see my parents for several days. Mom and Dad are kind enough to watch him for two full days while I attend a couple of work-related workshops elsewhere in Southern California.
  • At work I'm collaborating with two of my favorite colleagues on a short course (12 hours total) for some visiting Japanese science faculty who want to learn more about incorporating interactivity in their teaching. It's been a blast. There's the possibility of us going to Japan in 2009 to collaborate with another Japanese university on the same subject, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to make the trip--our little family needs a lot of care and feeding right now.
  • Had lunch with Fantastic Mentor today--always a pleasant experience.
  • I booked a whirlwind trip to Vermont in October to visit a good friend and colleague and collaborate with other colleague-friends in an extended weekend retreat. I'm very much looking forward to the trip--I only wish I could stay longer.
  • Lucas is a joy. He's such a fabulous kid. And he's so lucky to have Mr. Trillwing as a father. They're an amazing pair. They spend a full weekday together every week--the other days Lucas is at daycare--and I'm so happy they have this time together.
  • Not sure if this is going to be a high- or lowlight, but we're going to have potty training bootcamp over Labor Day weekend, just before Lucas's third birthday.

In other news, I started therapy again for the first time in years. The last time I had therapy of more than three sessions was in early 2001, so it was time to check in my with mental health. I feel less engaged with the world and less organized than I used to be, and I want to figure out why. (We already know I have dysthymia, which we're treating pretty successfully with antidepressants.) I met with the new therapist yesterday and I like her. She's pretty funny, too.

The problem I run into with therapists, I think, is that compared to many of their patients, I'm very high functioning. For example, yesterday I told New Therapist everything I'm up to these day--working full time, teaching museum studies in the fall, being a parent, blogging hither and yon, gardening, dealing with the chaos of an overgrown puppy. She was impressed rather than concerned. But I'm not as organized or on top of things as I used to be. She pointed out that kids can be really draining, but even during Lucas's early months I was more organized and engaged than I am today. I did laugh when she said, "I know I'm not supposed to argue with my patients. I went to therapy school, so I know I'm just supposed to take notes and say 'uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.' But you're doing amazing things."

I'm hoping therapy won't just be about getting me to lower my expectations for myself. I'd really like to get my shit together and reengage with all aspects of my life.

What's up with you these days?


Laura said...

Yay for the trip in October--it will be good to see you! You are up to a lot. I have the same experience with therapy. Every time I've been, it's been short and by the end, the therapist is like, "You've got it good; you don't need to be here." Well, not in so many words, but you know. The last therapist I had was called Tiffany. I really liked her even though I thought with a name like Tiffany, I might be in trouble.

I, too, am soo not on top of things, especially around my house. I look at the piles piling up and think, I should organize that, but I never do. I think it's a combination of working a little every day at home--on papers, talks, etc.--and then after that, completely vegging out. Where I used to tidy up a little. Mr. Geeky is in the same mode, so the house, not so good.

ClizBiz said...

It's so interesting to me - the reality of how we perceive our lives v. how things look on the outside. I am always impressed by the zillion amazing things that you are involved with - just starting with being Mrs. Fang and mommy to Lucas! Sheesh! I hope New Therapist can provide some help wherever you feel it is necessary. Just remember to cut yourself some slack - you got a lot going on.

Great job on the garden! I am also growing eggplants, cherry tomatoes and loads of other stuff. It is extremely satisfying and keeps lots of veggies on my plate.

Debra said...

You're having better luck with your garden than I am... but my tomatoes are rockin!

My dog Katy pulled up an orange tree 3 times, walked it to the same spot in the yard and dropped it there. I finally took her cue and planted it where she wanted. Last winter we ate oranges from that tree for 2 months. (she has a sense..)

Personally, I've been fightin anxiety and a bit of depression all spring and summer. I crashed after BlogHer, but was wise enough to get me to a therapist. He seems to be helping some. I'm not on top of things, panic quickly, cry too easily. However after a couple bad reactions to drugs, I need to see a specialist to consider what to do (ie. antidepressants. Last one, at less than minimum dosage left me reeling and confused and trapped in my house for a week).

So shall we try for a Farmer's Market this fall (with apple cider?)