a little bit more about me

My name is Beth and I accidentally have found myself living in Arizona but I'm originally from Tennessee. My education is in history and anthropology, which means that I know a little about a lot of things and can hold my own at a cocktail party in mixed company. I work in museums, doing all sorts of things ranging from researching and writing exhibits to cataloguing absolute wickety wak. I love comedy, baking, photography, my daughter, dogs, and above all else, napping.*

* 2013 edit: Oh yeah, and my new son too.

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    Still blaming mommy brain 

    Do I get to still blame mommy brain for the following, even though my youngest is about to turn 2? Here is my morning:

    1. Ahhh. It’s amazing I have free time. I am SO organized and can just sit here and enjoy my coffee.
    2. Oh. Right. I haven’t made the kids’ lunches yet. Or mine.
    3. Ah. Wow. Even after throwing together lunches, I’m still doing fine on time! And I did the dishes!
    4. Dawdler Toddler, sit down at the table to eat or you will OMG YOU ARE DRIPPING SMOOTHIE ALL OVER EVERYTHING. Let’s go change you!
    5. Got him changed after a 10 minute wrestling battle. Whew! I’ve got to clean the table, too.
    6. Okay, let’s go to the truck. Still doing uh, okay, I guess on time.
    7. Why are you crying? You need a blanket? Fine. Sigh.
    8. Oh, it’s good Preschooler asked for a blanket, forcing me to return to the house so I could discover I was about to drive off WITH THE FRONT DOOR OF THE HOUSE WIDE OPEN.
    9. Okay, good. Blankets & cuddlies & lunches all packed & loaded in the truck, let’s GO.
    10. Oh. I need gas.
    11. Finally. At school. Should only take 20 minutes to walk both of them in since they’re soooooooo slow.
    12. Ah. I finally get to go to work.
    13. OMG. I never got myself dressed. I’m still in sweats. Back home.
    14. Oh! Good thing I came back. There’s my coffee I never got to drink. That might help.

    I hope.


    Monkey of the day

    I am rendered speechless.


    Getting slapped around by irony

    Another academic jobs cycle has all but come to a close. After submitting to all available openings in his field, My Better Half scored exactly zero interviews - so far, anyway. We haven't extinguished all hope just yet because some places are still reviewing applications, but let's face it, chances are not good. So we were looking for silver linings yesterday while My Better Half was sorting through the mail. I said "At least we're not going to be moving to North Dakota?" as he unfolded a newspaper clipping that his dad had sent in the mail.

    This article, in fact:


    Oh the irony!

    PS - I don't care, I'm *still* not moving to North Dakota. I'm sure it's lovely and all, but it is not for me.


    Today's monkey of the day

    This series of portraits is SO awesome. What's that got to do with monkeys, you ask? Why, it's portraits *of* monkeys of course!



    Let's Make Everything Harder for Parents, Shall We? (Part 2)

    When last I wrote about figuring out how to get Dawdler Preschooler into a preschool, as in a "real" preschool, not the "preschool" room at her daycare, which is where she currently is, we were practically driven to drink by demystifying all the horribly disorganized information provided by the district. We have finally made a *little* progress, so an update. Spoiler: it's still nearly impossible to get through the red tape of getting information.

    Whenever we call to ask a question about something that's unclear from the crazy disorganized and inconsistent information that is scattered across the district website, individual school websites, and the state department of education website, we get asked "Have you checked the website?"UGH.

    We have narrowed it down to 3 preschools that have certified early childhood education teachers AND an after-school program. Y'know, for those of us who don't consider 7:40-11:40 a HALF DAY and have to keep working past 11:40. But when we try to schedule tours of each, we were told "Since the curriculum is the same at every district preschool, you have to choose one to tour." Uh, so entirely dismissing the critical point that the individual teachers and their levels of experience and commitment making all the difference in the world? Eh, any teacher will do as long as they follow the provided curriculum and lesson plans, I guess. (Sarcasm, in case that's not crystal clear).

    Even better though: one of those 3 options gives families a choice between a "traditional" preschool and a Montessori environment. So, maybe we should schedule our one and only tour at that one? "Okay, that's fine. You'll schedule your preschool tour with us, and then let me give you the number of this ENTIRELY DIFFERENT DEPARTMENT to schedule a SEPARATE TOUR of the Montessori class environment." Oh, lovely. Two different people to call. And they can't coordinate tours on the same day because WHY WOULD YOU?

    But wait. So once we schedule our SEPARATE tours of the preschool and Montessori at the same school and want to talk with and observe the after- or before-school care (depending on if she goes to morning or afternoon preschool), that is scheduled, can you guess? By a third, entirely distinct department, here let me give you the number to schedule a tour with OMG, just STOP.

    We'll just save ourselves a crap load of time and headache and logistical nightmares and decide here and now to unschool? Let's just roll with that. I might as well put all this time & energy of tracking district contacts down and returning messages and waiting on people to schedule tours into planning out her K-12 curriculum.


    Sort of.