<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d11307560\x26blogName\x3dTradeWind+Travels:+Life+on+the+17%C2%B0+Pa...\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://gogoshire.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_GB\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://gogoshire.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d245113127206344438', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

07 July 2006


Those 3 letters best express my general state of being today.

I'm sorry I haven't been updating with any regularity, but life has changed dramatically the past few months, and I just haven't had time. I don't think I'll be updating with regularity again until the summer is over, but the blog was becoming an obituary column, with just the reports of dead friends, so I wanted to write something different.

Here are some updates on my life in general in no particular order of importance:

1) My teaching stint at Andover College is over - thank God. I had two 8-week classes. One was fine, but the other was a nightmare. Never before in all my years of teaching have I encountered such hostility and aggressiveness from my students. I had a student follow me out to my car in the parking lot and yell at me! Anyway, it's over. I survived. I don't think I'd teach there again, though I've been asked.

2) I'm teaching a delightful speech class at SMCC. I have 9 really fantastic students. I'm really enjoying myself with that class.

3) Raf has moved into a new villa on St. Kitts and is ready for guests, so get your tickets. Of course, I still haven't been down to visit, and it doesn't look I will be visiting before September. The villa sounds beautiful. It's in Frigates Bay on the corner of Atlantic View and Sea Breeze Drive. Sounds nice, huh? She says we can sleep several people (10, if we're creative). There's a huge veranda for me and a big, fenced-in yard for the dogs, too! From the solarium, she can see the Atlantic to the left and the Caribbean to the right. There's a nice area for me to have a big garden. Sounds lovely. Hope to get there ONE DAY!!!!

4)Time Warner Cable. The bane of my existence. Remember in January how I told you that TWC wasn't charging me for international calls, so I called to complain about my low phone bill, and the customer service rep said that if the calls didn't show up I wouldn't be charged? Remember how I figured calling R's cell phone must be covered under my $39.95 unlimited national calling b/c the cell phone calls weren't showing up under international billing, and also when she visited this blog from her computer (same company that does cell phone), the ISP was showing up as Florida? Remember how I told you that the TWC rep said that the calls won't aggregate - if they're not showing up, they won't? Well, she was wrong - Poorly trained or misinformed or new or something. Whatever the reason, she gave me incorrect information. Now I'm looking at a huge bill because the cell phone calls apparently DO aggregate, I was told for the first time last week. They are now showing up, and TWC sent me the whopping bill I feared that prompted me to call them in the first place in January. Yep. Half a year later, I'm getting billed. I find this very unfair, as I acted on the info that their rep gave me. She said to me in January, "Don't worry." So I didn't. I've talked to some really nice people in the last couple weeks from TWC, and one said that he'd have the issue resolved by the end of last week, but I haven't heard back from him. Now that the big holiday weekend is over, I called again today and I'm waiting to hear back. They just have to make this right. I would have exclusively used Skype over the past 6 months if the rep had told me that cell phone calls are aggregated. I would have changed my behavior. I'm not irresponsible, and I don't live beyond my means. Now I'm looking at a huge bill.

This is why I'm not visiting St. Kitts as planned next week. I was supposed to meet R in PR while she's there for a conference, and then we'd go back to St. Kitts together for a few days, and then I'd come back here, but now I can't buy a ticket for hundreds of dollars and then spend hundreds more to board the dogs if I don't know what's happening with this stupid bill. Even if they drop it, all the cheap flights are gone. I'm hoping TWC will make this disappear. My friends here all agree that that is probably what will happen, but you know me - I'm stressing out big time. It's there fault, and the guy last week said that the January rep shouldn't have told me that incorrect information. He apologized for her, but now I'm waiting to see just how sorry they are. I'm afraid I'm going to have to hire a lawyer, another expense I can't really swing right now.

5)Haven't found a quote yet for the international move. Ugh.

6)Haven't heard back yet from the vet on the dogs' 2nd rabies titre tests. Ugh.
I can't really move forward with anything (securing storage, picking a mover, buying boxes, selling the Jeep, etc) until I KNOW FOR SURE that the dogs are all set. If they need another rabies test, then I'm not able to go anywhere for another 3 months, which means I'll stay and teach for the fall semester (not at Andover, though!) b/c I'll need income to afford living here. The vet was supposed to let me know on Monday, but I called yesterday, and they still hadn't heard back from the lab in Kansas. They said they hope to tell me today or NEXT WEEK.

7)I'm working on going vegan. I know, I know. You probably think I'm nuts. That's ok. I'll never be 100% vegan, but I'm working on cutting dairy out of my life as much as possible. My reasons are nutritional and ethical. Pizza and milk chocolate will be the two things I'll have a tough time quitting. Did you know that wool and honey and white sugar and pearls and coral are not vegan? Yep. Any product that comes from an animal is not considered vegan. I don't know how far I can go with that. At a certain point, it gets crazy, trying to live harm free. So if I moved back to Alaska, and I didn't wear wool in the winter (or fur, obviously), I'm restricted to petroleum-based materials. They harm animals, too, because oil fields displace animals. I think I'll focus on being a dietary vegan as much as I can.

It's tricky, and I've come to the conclusion that I'm just going to make the sacrifices that feel right to me, and if my heart is in the right place, I should be ok.

Interestingly enough, I've realized that this is some weird form of hedonism. The end goal is for me to feel ok about the way in which I'm treading upon this earth. Hedonism is about feeling good, right? Pleasure is the greatest good. Epicureansim, a form of hedonism, says that the greatest good is to seek pleasure in order to attain a state of tranquility and freedom from fear as well as an absence of pain. Eating meat always has made me feel bad and guilty, so I've always known that I need to avoid that, but the dairy thing is something different. It never occurred to me until recently what horrible lives dairy animals live. Since I realized this back in AK, I started buying cage-free eggs and small dairy farm milk, but I'm learning more now, like that even these small, family-owned farms don't put the non-producing cows out to pasture. They can't afford to keep them alive. Cows can live a really long time. Dairy cows are destined to become beef. Ergo, taking my self out of the demand-supply equation for dairy, I'm not sending cows to the slaughteryard. I'm not likely saving any either, but I have less guilt. So it's all about me, basically.

8)I'm really grossed out by everything in the news. Aren't you? Nothing new there.

9) This Portland summer has been pretty rainy and crappy. This week has been ok, but overall, we've had way too much rain. I was really hoping to do a bunch of neat outdoor stuff, but it hasn't happened yet.

10)I'm working on a career change. The Andover experience cut me to the core. I didn't go to graduate school to take that kind of abuse. I could go work at Burger King for that kind of treatment. So I'm looking into two different fields: naturopathic medicine/nutrition and marine biology/ecology/geology/whatever.

I've spent the summer reading, reading, reading. I've looked at degree programs in each of these fields, and I've found syllabi on the web, and I've interlibrary loaned over 50 texts. I'm just reading like crazy. R is worried that I'll become another boring scientist. Turns out, she only has like 5 scientist friends (Hans, Julie and Stacy are 3 of them) b/c she finds most scientists dullsville. I promised I'll never be dullsville, and that I'll continue reading literature and watching film and writing, writing, writing. If I start to sound dull, please let me know! Here's the deal - I never went for my PhD in lit. If I had, everything might be different, but I didn't, so I'm relegated to teaching mostly comp, which I'm not that interested in. At SMCC, I get lots of lit classes, but they don't pay enough to make a good living on, plus, I don't want to stay in Maine forever without a good paying job (with bennies). At this point, I'm not real interested in going for my PhD in lit anyway, so I'm opting toward a career change. I'll keep you posted on that. So far, though, the reading is delightful.

11) I've been a bad friend lately, so sorry. I've been horrible about calling people, emailing people, visiting people (that's you I'm talking about, Aunt Annie!). Sorry everyone. I know. I'm lame-O. What can I say? I'm very self-involved right now.

12) Writing. My friend Ellen and I have a writing group. Sort of. Mostly we take her darling baby, Lazlo, to the beach and watch him do cute stuff like crawl on the sand and laugh when the waves roll over him. We are talking about writing, though, and that's good. I'm starting to work on a play I had shelved 3 years ago back in Fairbanks after the writing group there gave it a poor review. I know what I need to do to fix it now, so that's the one really exciting thing in life right now.

13) Hurricanes. I'm terrified. I just want you to know. I'm so afraid that on the day we fly down with the dogs, the island will be hit, and our plane will be washed into the sea and never recovered. There. I've said it. Once we're there, I'm not as worried. R's villa is up on a hill, and it's an evacuation point for other faculty members, so people will stay with her when there's a hurricane. The house has survived SEVERAL with little damage over the years.

Ok. I was hoping that in the time it took to write this, TWC would have called me back, but alas - they have not. I'm wasting a perfectly good (and rare) day of sunshine waiting by the phone, but I need a resolution. If all works out as I hope, I'll have plenty of days of sunshine ahead of me soon enough.


Post a Comment

<< Home