23 August 2008

A Semblance of Something

(This might be a little long, feel free to skim, but don't miss the Freya story at the end, it's a good one.)

in General

Outside the cicadas buzz, inside the carpet needs to be vacuumed, laundry needs to be done, dishes fill the sink. But after a week (a summer?) of noise, I finally feel as though things are settling down - and that's a good thing.

Classes begin on Monday, and at least for the weekend we have a car (that story in a minute). Steve's headed out this afternoon to find himself some gainful employment, but since everything's so cheap here, I'm still working and my school is paying me to learn, he's in the rather enviable position of not having to rush, and not having to take work he doesn't want. If only I could keep him on as a househusband, he's much better at it than I ever was...


So far so good. Columbia is a smallish city of about 95,000 people, most of them related in one way or another to the University. The campus takes up a huge portion of the downtown, and then spills out into shops and restaurants, very few of which I have tried, but many of which I intend to.

Our apartment is nice, not too big, but not too small, with a wide open space for living/dining/etc which feels a little empty since we gave our couch to Tracey before the move. It's on the list, but it's beneath the washer and dryer, so we may be couchless for a few more weeks/months. The girl's bunkbed is all set up and even though there's no room for their toys, that's not a bad thing.

The complex where the apartment is has a pool (which we haven't checked out yet) and two slightly dilapidated jungle gyms. It is about one to two miles from everything, which means that once the car disappears, we'll still be able to get where we need to go most of the time.


Matilda started first grade on Thursday (much earlier than she would have in MA) and so far she seems to really like it. The school is called Lee Expressive Arts Elementary, and when she heard she was going to art school she more or less flipped. Her class seems nice, her teacher young and energetic, just right for a first grade teacher I think. And on Tuesdays they will all walk downtown and take a yoga class, how cool is that?

My school hasn't quite gotten started yet, but all this week I was in training for working in the writing center, which I think will be great. The director of the center is relaxed, focused and very supportive, she knows exactly what she wants the center to be and seems to have a clear idea of how to make that happen, which is great.

I can't find an exact number, but the total enrollment at the University of Missouri-Columbia is somewhere between 28,000 and 30,000 students, about 25% of which are graduate students. It's huge. But the total number of new English MA students? 6. A much more manageable number, and since we'll all be working in the writing center, we actually got to spend a little bit of time together this week which was nice, and then last night there were two English Department welcome parties, one with faculty, one without, at which I met a lot of people whose names I don't remember, but who were all lovely.

I'm very excited for classes to start and will let you all know how that goes when it does.

what Happened With The Car

So we had planned to drive from Pittsfield to Columbia in our lovely little blue car which I loved. And then, about five days before we were going to leave, we were heading down to Barrington for a goodbye party when this dumb kid in a Volvo stopped at his stop sign and then drove right into the side of our car.

We were all going pretty slow, and no one was hurt, but the poor car was totaled and of course we had to deal with all of the insurance crap and not having a car for our last week in Pittsfield and then buying plane tickets and more or less completely revamping our travel plans. Stupid kid. His insurance paid for a rental car once the girls and I got to the airport in St. Louis which was great and it's been good to have this week, but it has to go back Monday and then we'll see what happens. It was just such bad timing, you know? Ugh.

the Freya Story

So the other night after a long day of going to Walmart (did I mention that there are no less than three Walmarts and not much else in the way of Places to Buy Stuff We Need?) we arrived home and heated up some leftover spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Freya is not a fan of spaghetti sauce, but she'll sometimes try it. But not immediately after waking up from what was apparently the least restful nap ever - judging by her extraordinary level of crankiness.

She threw a fit, saying she couldn't eat it and so on, until finally everyone else was done and she settled down enough to eat a few noodles with the least amount of sauce contamination.

But they were not clean. She got sauce on the middle finger of her left hand. This could have been a catastrophe, but Freya handled the situation calmly and with authority. She held up her middle finger to Steve and simply said, "Daddy, suck it."

Of course he lost it, there was just no way he could help her while rolling on the floor laughing so he sent her to me and she flipped me off and told me to suck it, too.

Then neither of us could help her and I think she eventually had to just suck it herself.

one More Thing

Now that I have managed to lose all of my readers by not posting for weeks and weeks and then posting lame shit when I finally managed to drag myself onto blogger and type something, I'm ready to start actually blogging again. My unplanned break has been good, and I'm ready to be back.

There is one thing though, I am totally terrified of the mere idea of looking at my Google Reader, and I think the only way I can manage it might be to go in real quick-like and hit the "Mark All As Read" button with my eyes squeezed shut. I'm sorry to do this to you all, but I can't see another way. If I wait until I have time to read all of the things I've been neglecting, I'll never make it back to blogging at all. The point is, if I missed something huge, or amazing, or really funny, please tell me, okay? Cause I have missed you all, and I'm glad to be back.


Annika said...

Mark All Read is the best google feature if you ask me. But I must ask that you stop by and tell me what to do with my hair.

nova said...

You've been missed. I can't wait to hear more about your program. I'm weirdly / obsessively interested... maybe because I wish I were going to grad school to get an MA in English.

That Freya story was AWESOME, you do not lie!

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

Hi!! It sounds like everything is awesome! (Except for that car crash part.)

The Freya story is SO funny!!

I'll be glad to hear from you again. And Mark All As Read guilt free. I have to do it if I'm just on vacation for a few days.

Which I'll be actually, til Thurs. So don't think I'm not reading - I just can't easily comment from my Blackberry.

Krista said...

That's the funniest story ever! Can't wait until my little one starts talking and saying hilarious things as well (if he's anything like his dad they will be awesome!)
Bummer on the car, but look at it this way, until you find a replacement you'll be getting some good exercise! ;)

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

Glad you're back! Nothing too new here...except the new baby! :)

Anonymous said...

Freya is hysterical - I can just picture it.

Sorry to hear about the car - though hopefully cars will be cheaper too.

Thalia's Child said...

Freya totally cracks me up.

It's good to see you back. I don't know if you were around to find out, but I'm a princess now (Medieval recreation), so my blogging has been sucking HUGE lately. So has my commenting.

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

I'm sorry to hear about your car, what a pain. So glad nobody was hurt.

I hope you'll enjoy MO, you'll have to check out Village Wine & Cheese and Shakespeare's pizza...those are two of my favorite places.

And the Freya story is fabulous!

Jen said...

I'm so glad that everything is going well! Except for the whole car thing, that sucks. Freya continues to rock out loud. My husband would like to thank you for sharing that story. I've told him to "suck it" about 100 times now.

Momma Magpie said...

LOVED the post, and I'm glad you're back. I'm trying to get that way too. I've missed you!

I also LOVED the Freya story. Those kiddos, they say and do the darndest things.