Nice kitty, bad me

So late last night when I was on my way to bed, I was walking through the living room with the lights out. We live in a NYC apt, so you can imagine it’s not a huge place. I was walking through the narrow space between coffee table and couch, when WHAM! my foot hit my cat, Feisty, the bombay. And boy, is she strong! Sometimes when one trips over a cat, the cat moves and skitters away, and the human regains her balance. But not this time. No, this time the cat didn’t budge, and the human, me, fell down. I fell forward, landing partly on the coffee table, partly on the futon, and partly on the floor. Wow. That kitty didn’t move when my foot walked into her! What a little linebacker.

My knee is all scratched up:

But wow, you should see the other side of the fight! That coffee table didn’t walk away unscathed:

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What I did for a while today

First, I babysat two adorable kids, the ones I mentioned before for a few hours. I’m getting much better at putting baby to sleep, and baby goes down without much crying now. I hold him and dance a little while singing, until he is sleepy enough to rest his head on my bosom. Then I put him in the crib, and he goes right to sleep without any tears. It’s so nice! But he still cries when he wakes up to find me instead of his momma – he’s right at the age where separation anxiety begins.

Then, I played World of Warcraft. Thought I’d share some pictures:

Giliane meets Shattrath City’s guards

Paris Hilton is made fun of in WoW

I don’t like summer weather

Apparently it’s 94 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside. I was thinking of going to campus today, to stop in and visit the undergrads who are working in the lab; one of whom is new this week. Yesterday I helped set up this apparatus, which they were probably going to try out today, and I would be interested to stop by and see how it’s working. I did tell them though, that I wasn’t sure what time I’d be in, since I had a commitment this morning and I didn’t know what time it would end. They are leaving for the day at 3:30, which means I should have left already, and if I leave now, I would only be visiting them for about 15-20 minutes before they leave for the day. I don’t have anything pressing to do on campus, but I could visit my office and organize my papers and folders, which I’ve been meaning to do. I have readings, but I can do those here too. But it’s so damn hot out, I can barely bring myself to go outside! I’m still feeling kind of down and lethargic. If the weather were cooler, a nice trip outside would probably do me good, but as it is, I’m more likely to feel yucky and come back tired and sweaty, which won’t make me feel any better. Also, there’s a severe weather advisory that the pollution is really high and the air is stagnant, and that anyone with breathing problems should limit time outside. I don’t have asthma or anything, but I’m not in the best of physical shape, and that just doesn’t sound like fun.

I wasn’t sure what to do because my conscience says “go to campus” and the rest of me says “stay home.” So I spoke to Husband, and he said “Stay home.” Guess who is going to watch the finale of Law & Order now?

(p.s. Just writing this post makes me feel like crap about myself – I’m speaking the truth, because, why not? It’s an anonymous blog anyhow. But I write these words and I feel like a lazy, lazy academic, who doesn’t belong at this university in this graduate program. Of course, my first paper, on which I’m going to be first author, was just accepted, and I’m only finishing my first year of grad school now, so I don’t really think I’m a poor grad student. From what I can tell, most people regard me as a really good researcher for my stage in the career path. But I feel like I shouldn’t be lazy like this, like I should want it everyday and if I don’t want it I should still go because it’s my job. But instead, I’m staying home. Maybe I’ll browse web of science and see if there are any new papers relating to my work. That would be somewhat productive… For any of my readers, do you feel like this or act like this sometimes? I really don’t know if it’s normal or if I’m lethargic and listless because of depression, or if it’s something else.)

Infidel

I first spotted the book Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in the bookstore a few weeks ago, and it caught my attention. I’ve always loved memoirs, and this one seemed particularly poignant to me, as it touches upon subjects that I care deeply about: acceptance of different religions and the ability to look at all religions with a critical eye, and exposure of the harsh treatment of women at the hands of such religions.

Recently, my favorite e-zine, The Humanist Network News, featured a review of the book, which makes me only more excited to read it. To get a taste of what the book is about, here is the beginning of the review:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a remarkable woman. Still in her 30s, born in Somalia, she has lived in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Netherlands and the United States. Multilingual (Somali, Arabic, Swahili, Amharic, Dutch and English), she is an accomplished writer, speaker, and politician.

Raised and educated as a devout Muslim, she has come to be one of Islam’s most severe critics, particularly with regard to Quranic theory and practice regarding women’s subjugation. Herself a victim of female genital mutilation, discrimination and forced marriage, she has become the most prominent voice for voiceless Muslim women.

I hope to read this book in the future. Have any of you read it? If so, what did you think? If not, does it appeal to you?

I’m Hermione!

I wanted to be Dumbledore, but I was pretty close on him too. I did this test after seeing it at Propter Doc.

You scored as Hermione Granger, You are Hermione. You are academic, intelligent, and reasonable. On top of this, you are highly concerned with justice, scorn the small-minded prejudices of others and work hard to defend the under dog. Many times you may find that your heart and mind are constantly at war with each other.

Hermione Granger
84%
Albus Dumbledore
72%
Neville Longbottom
72%
Remus Lupin
63%
Harry Potter
59%
Bellatrix Lestrange
56%
Luna Lovegood
50%
Draco Malfoy
47%
Severus Snape
41%
Oliver Wood
41%
Percy Weasley
38%
Sirius Black
34%
Lord Voldemort
28%
Ron Weasley
28%

Harry Potter Character Combatibility Test
created with QuizFarm.com

Sigh

Wow, I think it’s been a week or so since my last post. We’ve been back from the camping trip since Sunday, but to be honest, I’ve been feeling a bit down. I sleep all the time. On Sunday, I napped in the evening after arriving home, got up for a few hours, and went back to bed. I think I slept another 10 hours. Then, Monday night, I started napping at like 7 or 8 pm, and pretty much didn’t get up until 10 am the next day – aside from the move to the bedroom. I don’t know why I’m sleeping so much, but I do feel quite down, so maybe it’s depression. I saw my therapist yesterday, and I hadn’t seen her in a few weeks, so that was good, but it was weird, I couldn’t really talk about how I was feeling. It was like, I just didn’t know. Me? What’s up with me? Well, hard to say. I spoke about my mom, my husband, my cats, and the people I babysit for, but me? I didn’t know what to say.

I started crying at the airport on Thursday, when we left for the trip. We weren’t checking any luggage and we were dead broke ($13 was all we had) so I hadn’t bought any travel size sunscreen. I brought this container of spray sunscreen that I’ve been using, and they took away my sunscreen. I know I haven’t mentioned it on this blog yet, but I had skin cancer last summer; it was removed so at the moment I don’t technically have skin cancer, but I have to get checked every 6 months and there’s something like a 50% chance of getting it again some place else on my body, so I’m really careful about sunscreen and the sun, and I’m really sensitive about being outdoors.

I lasted about 5 minutes after he took away my sunscreen, walking with Husband and feeling embarrassed about how I had reacted, and then we got in line to spend our $13 on breakfast at the McDonald’s, and I just started crying. It just came out. So there I was, crying pretty hard, telling Husband between sobs how I hate these stupid liquid rules, how America is so scared and how getting my sunscreen taken away just reminds me of how ridiculously fucked up our response to the fear of terrorism is, and I don’t want anything at McDonald’s anyway because their food is greasy and gross, and after we pay we agree that I should have an apple pie, so little crying me and my husband ask the cashier to add an apple pie, and she says, “What’s wrong? Don’t cry.” The woman probably thought I was crying over the apple pie.

I’m getting all too used to crying in public, to having the tears stream down my face and just continuing on like nothings happening. Telling people, “No, you can’t help,” and just carrying on like I’m not crying, trying to distract myself. It’s really weird, probably mostly because it’s so socially abnormal to be crying really hard and not try to hide it, but to ask people just to pretend it’s not happening. Yeah, that’s my life.

Weekend Away

Tomorrow my husband and I are leaving to go on a trip for the weekend.  We will be going camping, which really isn’t our thing so much, but with fun people, so hopefully we’ll have lots of fun anyhow!  I’m packing lots of sunscreen…..and towels.  Because a towel will get you very far, no matter where in the galaxy you are. 😉 

(And yes, the inscription on my life guide book is: Don’t panic.)