Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just in case you thought I'd gone off the deep end...

...I came close...

You know, I often tell myself how lucky I am to have a kid as healthy and delightful and sweet as Daniel. Most of the time, I believe it. But days like yesterday when he boycotted not only naptime but solid food (resulting in many, many cranky wakings last night to nurse, undoubtedly from hunger) -- yes, those days it's really hard to appreciate him. Yesterday, when Stu got home from work, I dumped Daniel in his lap and said "If you don't take him right now, I'm going to haul off and hit someone or something." And I meant it. Then I went and took a shower and felt a teeny weeny bit better. Oblivious to my exasperation, Daniel spent an hour happily playing with his daddy, cooing adorably and looking at books.

Thankfully, today was better. Not by leaps and bounds, but he ate and slept enough to keep me from wanting to slam my head against the wall. This afternoon I taught piano lessons for three hours, and that usually puts me in a good mood, even when my students are flaky, so life is good again.

I also received a few sympathetic phone calls and emails after yesterday's post. You guys really helped cheer me up, so thank you for letting me indulge in a little whining.

I've never understood people that don't ever complain. I think if I didn't vent about something on a near-daily basis, I would just spontaneously combust or something.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Little Lonely

To say we had a full house last week is a bit of an understatement, though we managed not to get in each other's way too much. (It helped that the weather was gorgeous - 50 degrees and sunny - so we could take lots of walks outside.) But then everyone left on Saturday morning, and while the peace and quiet was welcome, I still had a small feeling of emptiness that I always get after a holiday with visitors. Actually, I got over that pretty quickly when we cleaned up the house and reclaimed the computer room and realized we could go from point A to point B without tripping over someone's suitcase/pillow/coffee mug/laptop.

Now it's cold and wet outside, and it's just Me and The Boy at home all day. I'm trying to figure out how to write about how I feel without getting all whiny (or "whingy," as the Brits say). My recital's done. My prelims are almost done; I have oral exams to go, but because finding a 2-hour block of time that 5 busy professors are all available is nigh impossible, orals won't be happening until finals week in mid-December. I have a lecture recital to think about, but I need a few uninterrupted hours in the library before I can really get started. As hard as it is juggling the "mom" thing and the "graduate student" thing, at least the latter gives me some direction in life and distraction from housework, which I find frankly unstimulating. But like I said, I don't have much going on school-wise at the moment.

It doesn't help that Daniel's naptime consists solely of two or three 30-minute catnaps per day. He should probably be sleeping two or three times that long, but there's nothing to be done about it. People, I've tried. I even talked to his doctor, who very sympathetically told me her son was the same way, and basically said to be patient, eventually he'll take longer naps. I've given up on the fantasy that I'll get an hour or two of naptime, at least for a while. Yesterday I spent the entirety of Daniel's morning nap on hold with the health clinic trying to re-schedule a doctor's appointment. Oh well. At least he goes to bed early.

The worst thing about this full-time mom gig is that I am starting to really miss my friends. The first few months after Daniel was born, I had plenty of visitors. Family came to town to visit and help out, and there were lots of people who wanted to drop by and see the baby. When he was just a blob in the car seat, it was easy to meet friends for lunch or coffee. Daniel took easily to the bottle, so as long as I had enough milk pumped, I occasionally went out in the evenings as well. Around the beginning of summer time, the newness wore off, and people didn't drop by as much, but that was all right, because I could spend time outside. I would plop him down in the shade and work in the garden or hang up laundry, or we'd walk around the neighborhood with him in the sling.

And now? I haven't been out past 7p.m. since I went to a book-signing at the end of September. Daniel's been refusing to take a bottle for several months, and while this is generally fine with me (I loathe pumping with the firey passion of a thousand suns), it means I have to be around at bedtime. It's just as well, since I'm toast by 9:00 and no one calls me anyway, with the single exception of my friend Rob, whom I haven't actually seen in ages, but at least he's good about checking in every couple weeks. Before Daniel was born, I had plenty of friends, mostly on campus, with whom I'd go out for lunch or coffee or music concerts or, occasionally, beers at happy hour (pre-pregnancy, of course!) I'm not particularly outgoing, but I am a fairly social person, so this has been a major adjustment for me. I suppose this is largely because I don't know many other moms around here. Once a grad student has a kid, she might as well drop off the face of the planet, so there goes my social network.

Oh, dear. I think I crossed that line. This post was not meant to turn into a Pity Party for Suze, because I'm genuinely content about most things. While Daniel's nap habits are frustrating, he's a delightful, playful child and I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to stay at home with him rather than sticking him in daycare full-time. (Note: I'm not judging anyone who uses daycare; it's just not right for us at this time.)

Before y'all jump in and once again tell me how I need to find Mother's Day Out (like where? some random church? "Hey, I don't attend here or jive with your mission or anything but could you PLEASE take my kid off my hands for a couple hours so I can have some peace?") or a playgroup ("Hey, I don't know any of you guys, but I would like nothing better than to discuss breastfeeding and baby poop for the next 90 minutes!") or begin some complex sleep-training method that won't work, let me stop you right there. All I needed right now was to unload a little, and I've done that, and now I better attend to the wailing child who woke up twenty minutes after going to sleep.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving chez Madtown Mama:

Number of people staying in our house: 7 (the three of us, my two parents, one brother, and a friend who recently moved to Minnesota)

Size of our house: 900 sq ft

Number of objects broken by baby Daniel: 0

Number of objects broken by other people: 2 (my dad broke a bowl and my brother broke a mug)

Number of coffee spills on our living room rug: 2 (mom, Joe - who managed to combine spilling coffee and breaking a mug in one fell swoop)

(I'm thinking I should have gotten suction cup bowls and sippy cups for the whole family, not just little Daniel.)

Dinner: turkey roasted in beer sauce, cranberry salad, orange-coconut sweet rolls, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, vegetarian dressing, pumpkin pie, 3-buck Chuck (Daniel had his usual purréed carrots and peas with yogurt)

*Edited to add: There has been some discussion of 3-buck Chuck and Trader Joe's...for those who want to know more, click here.)

Number of roasting pans purchased at the last minute when the realization was made that the turkey breast was way bigger than any available baking dishes: one (thank goodness for Ace Hardware!)

Number of dollars spent at various grocery stores and co-ops in Madison: don't ask

Number of objects forgotten by overnight guests: relatively few - just a couple pairs of gloves, a glasses case, and two small cans of juice in the fridge

Number of loads of laundry done yesterday afternoon after everyone left: at least four

A good time was had by all!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hoot! Hoot!

I just got an email from the graduate secretary that I PASSED both written portions of my prelims! That's a big relief. No more bitching and moaning from Suze for a while, I promise!

Wanna see some cute pictures of my kid? OK, here you go:



Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Luuuurve the Memes

Steph tagged me, for this, so here we go. Cause I know you want to know more about ME ME ME!!


1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
It was too ungodly early to think anything.

2. How much cash do you have on you?
About $25

3. What’s a word that rhymes with “DOOR?”
snore

4. Favorite planet?
Hee hee, Uranus

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
My cell phone is terribly unreliable about actually recording people that have called. I know this because there will be messages on voicemail from numbers that don't show up on the missed call list. So #4 is some unidentified number, but it's surely more than 4 calls ago.

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Meh

7. What shirt are you wearing?
A boring Land's End t-shirt and a huge flannel shirt I think I bought in high school. grunge was "in" then.

8. Do you “label” yourself?
I think progressive feminist eco-freak would be a fair assessment...don't you?

9. Name the brand of your shoes you’re currently wearing?
Not wearing shoes, but the ones I last had on were some trail shoes I bought at a hunting store a few years ago.

10. Bright or Dark Room?
Somewhere in between.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
She rocks.

12. What does your watch look like?
Cheap-o digital thing with a velcro - yes, velcro! - band from ShopKo

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping. Baby boy didn't get me up until 2:30! (And then 3:30, then 4:30, then 4:45...)

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
"Checked baggage is for chumps." From my brother, who just flew in to Madison today!

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?
Meh.

16. What’s a word that you say a lot?
Can we go with a phrase? How about: "No, Daniel. Don't put your fingers in the VCR/heating vent/Daddy's beer/poop bucket/trash can..."

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?
Hubbo, probably.

18. Last furry thing you touched?
The scarf I'm making that looks like cat barf, or shag carpet from the 70s, depending on the light.



19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
3-buck Chuck from Trader Joe's a couple nights ago, Pranqster beer to celebrate being done with phase 2 of prelims last night, and Essence of Life every morning (homemade latte...mmm...)

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
Hello? Stone age much? We're all digital, all the time.

21. Favorite age you have been so far?
Life is pretty good now, so I'll go with 27.

22. Your worst enemy?
I don't think I have enemies. Can't come up with anything clever here.

23. What is your current desktop picture?
Some random cute picture of my kid.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
“If you guys are going to watch football all afternoon, I'm going to go mess around on the computer."

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
The money, fo sho. I'm afraid of heights, and then we wouldn't have to buy powerball tickets anymore.

26. Do you like someone?
I'm not harboring any secret crushes...oh, except for the latest Mr. Darcy. Yum.

27. The last song you listened to?
My little bro just barraged us with a bunch of 80s hits on his iPod...I think the last one was "Roam where you want to" by the B52s.

28. What time of day were you born?
mid-afternoon? Not sure. I was there, but my memory's a little fuzzy.

29. What’s your favorite number?
This is a really stupid question, so I'll pretend it asked for my favorite smell instead, which is currently lavender.

30. Where did you live in 1987?
small KY town.

31. Are you jealous of anyone?
I'm jealous of a lot of people for a lot of things, all of them petty: Musicians who are better than I am, musicians with decent jobs, people who are able to get out of the house without lugging a squirming child with them, people who get a full night's sleep on a regular basis, people who have dishwashers, people who can stay out after 7pm...ugh, this is depressing. Still, I don't harbor any resentment towards anyone. I just get wistful every once in a while.

32. Is anyone jealous of you?
Yeah, tons of people tell me how much they wish they could spend all day changing diapers and washing dishes.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
At the UW School of Music. I was making copies for my piano class when the second tower fell.

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Curse.

35. Do you consider yourself kind?
I suppose.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
On my fleshy tuckus.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?
Oh, I forgot to put this on my "jealous" list. I have always regretted that I never learned another language fluently, though I've dabbled in German, French and Italian, all of which I can read fairly decently. I really want to speak Spanish, though.

38. Would you move for the person you loved?
Yeah, I would.

39. Are you touchy feely?
Not particularly. I'm acquainted with a certain singer who tends to pet people and it's very annoying.

40. What’s your life motto?
I've never thought about it before. How about "Look out for #2"? With a 9mo, this comes in handy more than you'd think...

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
My wedding ring, my kid, and clothes that rarely match.

42. What’s your favorite town/city?
In the US: Portland, OR. In Europe: Salzburg, Austria.

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
Brunch at Lazy Jane's Cafe on Madison's east side after we picked up my brother from the airport. I had an omelet with artichokes, asiago cheese and whole roasted garlic cloves (MMMMMM).

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Not that long ago. I have a good friend in Minnesota with whom I like to correspond the old-fashioned way.

45. Can you change the oil on a car?
I could on a previous car, but they make 'em so compact now it's impossible to get to the filter without a professional car jack and special tools.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
The first serious crush I had...last I heard he dropped out of college and couldn't even get promoted past busboy at TGI Friday's. Maybe he's doing better now, but I really don't care.

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
I think the earliest specific historical anecdote is that some ancestor of mine crossed a border into then-Prussia in the bottom of a hay wagon.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
My doctoral recital a couple weeks ago. I tried posting a picture, but Blogger - unsurprisingly - started spewing chunks when I hit the "upload" button. It was a simple, black two-piece dress with sheer sleeves and purty earrings. I also fixed my hair, a rarity.

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
My back's a little sore, probably from baby-holding and not doing enough stretching. It's not a big deal.

50. Have you been burned by love?
Yeah, but I'm over it.

I'm not going to tag people because I don't want to leave anyone out, so if you want to do this, leave a comment (me? begging for comments? Naaaaaw!) so I can go read it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Slam Dunk

I had the second part of prelims this afternoon, and it went VERY well. Woohoo! Methinks I ought to celebrate tonight by not cooking dinner. Have a good weekend, everyone.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thanks!

Just wanted to say a quick thank you to the folks who left encouraging comments and emails about my crap-o-rific test on Monday. I feel better. Besides, it's hard to dwell on it when I've got a 9mo to take care of. (His favorite thing lately is playing "peek-a-boo" behind the crib; he thinks if he's behind the bars of the crib, I can't see him.)

Also, there are two more parts to the exam, so perhaps I have a chance to make it up. Friday I answer questions from my major professor and my harpsichord teacher. (Of course, my harpsichord teacher hasn't told me what his question is, and I had to leave a phone message at his house to get him to tell me whether or not he was planning to give me a question in the first place...those of you who know him will understand how very typical this is, and that I'm not even that annoyed with him...) The last part of prelims is an oral exam, where my entire committee fires questions at me for 2 hours. Strangely, I'm not worried about that. I'm pretty good on my feet.

Andre mentioned in the comments from my last post that the questions like I had on Monday's exam are designed to make you feel like you're an idiot and unprepared, and he's totally right. My teacher hates this approach and calls those "penis" questions. (See why I'm not worried about whatever she's going to ask me on Friday?) I think prelims should be an opportunity for a student to demonstrate and articulate comprehension of broad musical topics (using specific examples, of course.) I also think that the test should be geared to the specific student because it is simply ridiculous to expect someone to know everything all at one time. I was expecting questions from the courses I had, including a seminar on the music of the First World War, a seminar that was taught by the very professor who made up my test. Instead I was given 10 essay questions that gave me very little opportunity to demonstrate what I know. Several were taken from courses I didn't take, and there were none pertaining to that seminar. They weren't entirely specific, but specific enough to be problematic, and nearly every one of them side-stepped the biggest topics in music history.

(If you're not trained in music, the rest of this post may bore you a little, but I"m going ahead with it because the Danimal is taking an early nap and ranting sounds more appealing than washing the breakfast dishes! So here goes...)

One of the questions that I stumbled through was this: "Discuss the history of the piano up to 1780, including repertoire and social setting." Now, you would think I, as a pianist, could answer this based on my own experience, but as it happens, most of the important piano repertoire was written after 1780. I'm pretty sure what they were looking for was a description of empfindsamkeit in the works of C.P.E. Bach and the rise of the middle class, but I was hard-pressed to come up with specific examples. Of course this topic isn't trivial to the Classic period, but by far the biggest topics from this era are the development of the opera, the symphony, the string quartet, the piano sonata. That's what I prepared for, and it was all for naught. Boogers!

Were I to make up such a test for myself, I would ask questions like:

-Discuss the development of sonata form. Pick a genre and/or style period and be sure to use specific examples.

-Pick a century and discuss the development of opera in that time period, using specific examples.

-Discuss the breakdown of tonality in the late 19th and early 20th century.

-Discuss the role of popular music in World War One. You may focus on a particular geographical area.

See? Those questions leave things pretty open-ended, allowing a person to demonstrate knowledge, ability to describe large topics succinctly, and it would still be pretty obvious whether or not she knows her stuff.

In fact, the question I answered the best was; "Discuss the music of the medieval Mass. You may choose to discuss monophony, polyphony, or both."

This post has turned out to be much longer than I intended...and Daniel's awake and grabbing at the mouse, so I'll stop now. At the very least, I know this will all be over soon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Brutal

That's the only word I can think of to describe the test I took yesterday, the first of three parts of prelims. In fact, I'm not totally confident that I passed. I had to write essays on my choice of 4 questions, one of which was supposed to be substantially longer than the others. My long essay was good, fortunately, but two of the others were not and the fourth sucked. I'll spare you the ranting and raving I subjected my poor husband to last night, but I will say this: despite studying my ass off for two weeks (not to mention paying dearly for babysitting so I could read uninterrupted for a couple hours every morning) and feeling pretty well prepared, the questions I was presented with threw me for a loop. They were not what I was expecting, and I don't believe they were fair. I just hope that my one good essay and my academic record (which is stellar, actually) pull me through.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Eye-candy Friday: I'm a cheater...

...because if you read my knitting blog (and by all means, don't feel obligated!), you've already seen these, so forgive me for phoning this one in. (I probably wouldn't have even bothered to post, but I'm reviewing Mozart quartets, and it's just impossible to feel too stressed when you're listening to those.)

This is Daniel in the backyard a couple days ago in a new hat I just made for him. Ironically, the hat was made to be extra-warm, yet we were outside because the weather was unusually warm and sunny for November.



Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Some amusing things I've run across...

In Donald J. Grout's History of Western Music:

-Ives's borrowing of well-known songs and hymns for material in his own work does so "for their power to add punch to the message." Add punch? Musical quotations in Ives's music is a hugely important compositional idiom, a basis for the "Americanism" in his writing. Grout makes it sound like he tossed in a few familiar tunes like one would sprinkle herbs in soup.

-He uses the word "hillbilly" twice in his paragraph-long synopsis of the origin of country music. Really? Hillbilly? Is that a musical term?

In Robert P. Morgan's Twentieth-Century Music:

-Evidently, Harry Partch was a hobo for six years. That's right, a hobo. And he used some hobo writings in compositions after his hobo period.

-Finally, this:
Those two men are Ernst Bloch and his pupil Roger Sessions, two composers of the Twentieth Century. This picture appears in the book with no explanation as to why these two guys appear to be digging a grave with pickaxes.

Post-Election Post

I am pleased about a lot of the outcomes from yesterday:

1. Pennsylvania wiped Santorum off the Senate floor. (Loyal readers of Dan Savage will appreciate this; if you don't know what I'm talking about, google "Santorum" and "Dan Savage." WARNING: This is not for the faint of heart or children under the age of 18.)

2. The U.S. House of Representatives now has a Democratic majority.

3. The U.S. Senate may also have a majority. Come ooooooooooon, Virginia and Montana!

4. South Dakota defeated the misogynist, bass-ackwards near-ban on abortion.

5. Arizona defeated the gay marriage ban.

6. My own state of Wisconsin still has a Democratic governor.

7. So does Kansas.

8. John Gard lost his race (he's a nasty WI conservative who wants to ban birth control pills and labor unions, for starters.)

Unfortunately, these victories are tempered somewhat by the fact that Wisconsin also voted to reinstate the death penalty and passed the gay marriage ban amendment with a 59% majority. I'm so ashamed by these things. Wisconsin had the country's oldest moratorium on the death penalty. Why did they bring it up for this election? Probably to increase Republican turn-out; I don't really know. I believe the death penalty is barbaric and wrong, but even if I didn't, I wouldn't support this amendment. It's no secret that our justice system is deeply flawed and that there are people on death row who don't belong there, or who didn't get adequate legal defense because they were too poor, too black, or both. We shouldn't even be considering the death penalty when it's so far away from being meted out "fairly."

And then there's the gay marriage ban. Gay marriage already wasn't legal here, but Wisconsin voters decided to pass the first constitutional amendment in history that takes rights away from people. Not only are same-sex marriages and civil unions banned, but so are domestic partner benefits, the legal right to make medical decisions, and other rights that married heteros have. I refuse to understand the reasoning behind this. Homophobia doesn't even explain it satisfactorily enough for me. You've got a problem with gays and lesbians? Fine, that's something you need to work out on a personal level. But what's the point of taking civil rights away from them? Tell me, how exactly does legal gay marriage hurt your family? Will your marriage crumble because a couple of dudes tie the knot? Do you think gay marriage will make more people gay? Straight people are the ones having gay babies, after all. This amendment is heinous and bigoted, but it isn't going to change the fact that gays and lesbians WILL have relationships, WILL have families, and WILL otherwise be engaged, productive members of society. You can't make them disappear.

Finally, I've got a couple things to say to the Democratic party:

It's about damn time. Now don't screw this up.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

Go vote today, y'all. This one's a biggie.

If you live in Wisconsin, you have the special occasion to vote on two asinine constitutional amendments: one to ban gay marriage and civil unions, and another to bring back the death penalty in this state. I'll be voting a big, fat NO on both of those.

And if you decide not to vote? Shame on you. You have no right to bitch about the way this country is run.

That's all I'm gonna say about that. Between studying for prelims and scooting around after Daniel, I haven't had much energy left to think about the election, and I'm kinda grateful for that. I just hope there's a better outcome this time around.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Gonna bore you for a minute...

...but my head is swimming with all the music history I've been reading for the past several days and I've just got to say that I hate this book on Twentieth-Century music by Robert Morgan. Grout's even worse. As a pianist, a collaborative pianist, I play a variety of repertoire. Even though I don't play solo piano music much anymore, I know a lot of it from past recitals, repertoire classes, and my own teaching experience. As a collaborative musician, I've done many songs with voice, instrumental sonatas, concertos (where I play a reduction of the orchestra part), and a handful of chamber pieces (all trios, come to think of it). With a few exceptions, I have found that these types of pieces are largely ignored in general history texts. Enough with the operas and symphonies already. Grout, for example, doesn't even mention that Poulenc wrote songs, even though mélodies are among his most important output, and he's considered one of the most important French song composers of the Twentieth Century. It's a crying shame, in part because it means I have to study twice as hard, since the "important" (scoff, scoff) repertoire is mostly in genres I'm less familiar with, and in part because from reading these texts, you'd think that the more people involved in the performance of a piece, the more important it is.

My second complaint is that Morgan, especially, doesn't give much context for the pieces he discusses. He blathers on about key relationships and atonality or whatever theoretical innovation is presented in a piece, but gives little or no information from a political or cultural standpoint, which I think is just as, if not more, important. In any case, the latter is easier to remember and write about than, say, "Uh, Stravinsky starts off the Symphony of Psalms in such-and-such tonality and then there's a fugal section in movement X..." Puh. Leeeeeze.

Obviously, I'm in a bit of a tizzy because I have a big exam in three parts, and the hardest part - the music history part - is a week from tomorrow. (Whimper.) Would it be so bad if my musicology prof told me which questions would be on it so I could study more specific material? (Whine.) Of course, that'll never happen. (Sigh.)

Done with my rant. Back to hitting the books. (Literally).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

BLOGGER IS DRIVING ME INSANE!!

First, BLAHger wouldn't upload a photo, despite trying all morning. Then, BLAHger ate a whole post I put up this morning. And now, stupid %*(#ing BLAHger won't publish the photo it finally, finally uploaded. What's up, BLAHger?

Growl.

True Multi-tasking



What I'm getting accomplished here:

1. Knitting. Can't tell you what; it's a secret (to be revealed around Christmastime)!
2. Reading the second-most boring book about music history ever written: Twentieth-Century Music by Robert P. Morgan. (The top prize goes to Mr. Grout
3. Listening to works of music to accompany #2 on one of my new favorite websites: Naxos Music Library (I would link it, except you have to be a subscriber or go through the library website as a current student). There are thousands of recordings archived here, not just classical, but pop, jazz, Chinese and other genres. It's great for studying repertoire I'm working on, comparing multiple recordings, and now - preparing for prelims.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Eye-candy Friday: the last flowers of fall


These poor little scraggly mums are reaching for what's left of the sun.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Give a Little

Somewhere in Kansas there's a young, pregnant single mother who could use some help. Read about her story and how you can help out here. Afrindie Mum is throwing her an online baby shower. I don't know this woman personally (her blog name is alley), and I don't know that much about her situation, but it sounds difficult. I do know this much: she has two kids, she left an abusive husband, she lives in Kansas, she works nights to try and pay off some debt, she's expecting a baby in February, she's under pressure to place the baby with adoptive parents but she wants to keep him/her. I feel compelled to contribute, maybe because she's in Kansas, a state that is dear to me (despite its politics), maybe because her baby is due in February, which would be exactly a year after my little Daniel was born. Or maybe it's just because I think those of us who have a little more are morally obligated to give a little to those who have a little less. Anyway, I'm not going to do online begging on behalf of someone I've never met, but if this story touches your heart just a little bit, go click that link in the beginning of this post for more details. And then, if you like, give a little.

Prelim hell

Our little boy is evidently still adjusting to the end of Daylight Savings time. He woke up rarin' to go at 5 a.m., zonked out for a nap at 7:45 and here it is just after nine and he is still sleeping.

I have my preliminary exams in just under two weeks, so posting will be spotty. Were it not for this freakishly long nap, you wouldn't even be hearing from me this morning, but I had a whole hour to study medieval music history (tropes! conductus! Léonin! organum! organum purum!! aaaaaaaaand let's hear it for the Magnus liber usualis!!!) and I'm treating myself to some computer time as long as I can't get in there to get the dirty laundry.

Anyway, I finally heard from my minor professor yesterday, and it looks like the test will be, if unpleasant, manageable. It appears I will survive this after all.