My Beautiful Wickedness

Random bits of thinking
January 10, 2008, 12:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
  • I’ve decided to learn some html. It’s an easy and useful language and I like the ability to do a little more complex things with the appearance of my text. Besides, I have an old ghost that I’d almost forgotten about that needs busting. Those of you that read TCP know what I’m talking about. For the rest, the short story is that many women my age have had lamentably bad expereiences with the early gen of CS people that we’ve later proven to be nothing ore than sexism. But every once in a while, I get engaged in self-doubt and learning something new is a good way to get over that.
  • Being a responsible adult is very time-consuming. I feel like I have been on the phone with various health insurance providers, healthcare personnel, and college administrators all morning long getting the answer to what should have been a simple question.
  • Orthodontia is covered at 50%, with a $2000 lifetime max of coverage. Better than nothing, but I am thinking that maybe I’ll have to work stock-shift at Target for a while or take on some freelance editing or something…or ghostwrite some student papers bwahhahhaaaaa (yeah, right…come to the dark side, Luke)
  • I am petrified of having my colleagues over to the house for a casual chili supper. I’ve been cleaning pretty much continuously when I haven’t been on the phone and I’m convinced that the house will not be clean enough by Saturday afternoon. I have made elaborate lists about what foods to acquire, trying to anticipate their every need. I worry that I won’t have enough seating. I worry that no one will come. I am totally wrecked with anxiety, even though I know it’s craziness. I think the downstairs of the house is grossly ugly (we did all the upper, private rooms first, which are great) and I have limited hostessing skills at the best of times. I feel like my lack of decorating taste (rather, I decorate like I come from the working class — family photos in multi-photo frames, no huge ceramic platters hung on the walls under art lights…) reveals something too private about me that I do my best to cover up at school. Yes, that is exactly it. Having people over makes me feel exposed in a way that meeting them at school does not.
  • Organizing an international conference would be easier if I actually knew what I was doing. Or if my college had things like an events planning department that could help a little. But no, it’s all on me. For my great salary bump of $250. No, I did not drop a zero. The up side is that the papers look fabulous and I think it’s going to be a killah event.
  • The key to reduce, reuse, recycle is reduce. Showing restraint and forethought at the point of purchase is going to be my thing this year, as I am a crazy hoarder of stuff like empty margarine dishes (because they can be reused like Tupperware, except of course that how many of the darn things do you actually need? I swear, today I’ve recycled at least 5 dozen plastic containers that have been cluttering up my cupboards…) Anyway, I am all about being a responsible steward of the bounty that God directs my way, but I really do need to keep passing along the good rather than clutching it to me in fear that it’s all going to run out.
  • My classes start on Monday. I have yet to turn my attention to redoing the syllabi, although one of the classes is a repeat from last semester and the other a repeat from last spring.
  • Yes, only two classes this time out. A total of 27 students so far. I have high hopes for completing the mss by the end of this summer.
  • But first, I’m going to freak about having people over a little more. What was I thinking? I hate this kind of stuff! I know, it was part of carrying through on my New Year’s intention to quit fighting my life…I’m in Albany, it’s never going to be warmer or different or whatever, but I’m here and I’ve just got to figure out how to be happy here, as it is increasingly likely that I’m here for the professional duration and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It may take a little effort and willingness to change to make it a good thing, though.
  • Most of my cleaning problems can be solved with a big black garbage bag labeled “Goodwill,” a broom, and a bottle of pine cleaner.

    9 Comments so far
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    I’ve decided to learn some html. It’s an easy and useful language and I like the ability to do a little more complex things with the appearance of my text.

    I highly suggest learning CSS instead (yes that will entail learning some basic HTML as well). It’s actually even easier than HTML and much more versatile. Plus that which you style with CSS will be and remain far more standards complaint than that which you style with HTML alone.

    Comment by dolphin

    Hmmm….ok, I’ll look into that. One of the things that I’m interested in the stuff that I will eventually want to design is universal accessibility. Is CSS good in that respect?

    Comment by bridgett

    Bridgett, you have a Ph.D. in history. Even as an Americanist, you have at least one foreign language. HTML is nothing next to that. It will take you perhaps a month to master in your spare time.

    Comment by nm


    On the accessibility side, CSS is much easier on text-to-speech reader programs for the visually-impaired. It doesn’t “break” as easily as table-based layout does, and while all major browsers (ie, firefox, safari, opera, camino, etc.) support CSS, if someone is using a random browser that does (say for instance on an older cellphone) the content will be completely readable and clear with the stylesheet missing.

    The site that got me interested in CSS several years ago was The CSS Zen Garden, which I highly recommend you check out if you haven’t seen it.

    Comment by dolphin

    I really do understand what you are saying about the party, the concern about self-revelation, and the issue of class.

    If it helps at all just let me say that you are one of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever met, you are married to one of the best guys I’ve ever known, and even though I’ve yet to meet her I am sure your daughter is everything I’d expect with the two of you for parents. If the home you have made isn’t good enough for any of those people then let them know where they can go and what they can do with the horse they rode in on.

    Comment by Gerald

    “my New Year’s intention to quit fighting my life”

    That makes two of us. We’re here. We’re staying. I need to quit hiding in the house and go find something useful to do. My goal this year is to make a friend. That may not sound like much, but to me it’s a huge undertaking.

    Comment by listie

    Hurray for you — you’re getting off the blocks at lightning speed compared to us. We’ve been here since Fall of 2002! I give myself a pass for the year that John was in Mississippi, because the whole single parent thing was grueling, but otherwise…it’s just been a cross between a tantrum (I want my Iowa back!) and allowing myself to be used at work (scared that I wouldn’t make tenure so I did a lot of things that I shouldn’t have taken on) and being socially ill-equipped to figure out how grown-ups (not college students, not grad students, but people who had a fifteen year head start on the job and house and social life thing) interact. It’s been easier to just turn inward, which cumulatively has made it harder to learn to turn outward again.

    Baby steps. Other people do it and so can we.

    Comment by bridgett

    And awwww, Gerald. That’s sweet of you to say.

    Comment by bridgett

    That phrase up above “In your spare time,” as applied to Bridgett cracks me up. No, seriously.


    I was there the last time she had spare time. It was ’83 or 84
    That was it.


    Comment by imfunny2

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