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Posts from — May 2011

Home is where the… wife feels professionally fulfilled?

After two weeks of interpreting at conferences in Cancun, I finally flew back on a basically empty plane last Friday. (Click image for larger view.)

I think there were maybe 20 of us on that flight, which makes me wonder how JetBlue is able to afford the fuel and the salaries on flights that open. It was just as well that there was no one around, though, I was kind of “in a mood”.

George and Justin (our Aussie houseguest turned house-sitter who came to us via CouchSurfing) picked me up for a night on the town before heading home. I was kind of quiet and cranky on the drive to Merritt Island, and I didn’t really know what was wrong with me… until I saw the sign for exit 49, the first on 528 for Merritt Island.

I kind of lost it when I realized we really were approaching the suburbs. After many tears, much talk, and a bit of tea and perspective, I (we?) came to a lot of realizations.

I’m not entirely happy in the suburbs. (There’s a shocker!) While I don’t mean to be ungrateful (George is an amazing husband, we have a lovely and spacious home that allows us to have guests whenever we like, etc.), for me, quality of life outweighs material goods. Spending two weeks in Cancun near my family, in a location right in the middle of the action, with weather ever more delicious than the weather here, the food I grew up on, and a steady flow of work, I was kind of dreading coming back. My mom and I even made silly excuses for reasons why I should change my ticket — the only thing that kept me from going through with it was missing G.

I guess I had never realized how important interpreting actually is to me. I love using all of my mental resources every second I’m live. I love that giddy feeling of knowing exactly what term to use before the speaker even says it. I love having to cram and learn new vocabulary for each event: today I am an expert in rheumatology, tomorrow I will be an expert in medical devices, and the day after, an IT expert. I get to wear all those different hats, I get to be a specialist in a field for a day. Maybe this is why actors love their craft so much. This is my craft; this is what I have consciously prepared myself for my entire adult life, and unconsciously my entire life, period. All of those different countries I lived in, all of those cultures I had to learn and understand, all of the inside jokes I had to decipher? It all makes sense, it was all worth it, if what I’m doing with my time is interpreting.

It’s strange — I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a housewife or a stay-at-home mom, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using the skills I’ve acquired to teach or to translate documents from my desk at home. It’s just not, for lack of a better term, my bliss. Interpreting is.

The conclusion we’ve reached is that there will be a lot of changes this year. And while I’m not ready to talk about the specifics and there will be a lot of work to be done to get to those changes, I think I feel a lot better being aware of exactly how I feel… and feeling supported and like it’s OK that I’m not happy being a mediocre version of myself.

May 25, 2011   3 Comments

Absence makes the pet peeves grow fonder

Back story: I have this horrible habit of taking off my shoes right before collapsing into bed at the end of the night. While this might not seem all that bad, it is when you take into consideration that I do it on George’s side of the bed (hey, his is closer to the door!) and then I crawl over to my side… and did I mention that if I just walked an additional 10 steps I could put the shoes away in the closet myself? Every so often, when George has to get up to pee in the middle of the night, I’ll hear a PG-rated expletive as he stumbles into/over a pair.

“Cleaning our room” usually consists of George picking shoes up from his side of the bed and under his side of the bed, none of which ever belong to him, and organizing them on the shoe rack… and then looking at me from over the top of his glasses, like a granny, and shaking his head a little, using only his eyes to ask, “Is this REALLY THAT DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO REMEMBER?”

Apparently, it is.

Anyway, short story long, he had to leave for Florida today a bit ahead of schedule to be at KSC for Endeavour’s final launch. We’re huge babies and kind of hate being apart, so I’ve been all sigh-y and pouty this evening. Before finally heading off to bed after studying tomorrow’s material a bit, I decided to check my email. I had a message from George’s cell phone sent before he fell asleep…

“I put two shoes on the floor next to my side of the bed just so I could trip over them in the middle of the night and think of you.”

That is what true love is all about, y’all.

May 16, 2011   5 Comments

The Picasso of Dance

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

Happy Birthday, Martha Graham.

May 11, 2011   4 Comments

We are family… I’ve got some of my sisters and hub-by!

Over the course of the next two weeks, I get to see a lot of this:

and this:

I’m kiiiiiiind of a happy camper.

There will also be plenty of this:

Mommy food!

And this, but hopefully less disdainful:

At least until he abandons me a few days before I go back (boo!).

I think that when I am not actually IN Cancun, I forget how much I miss it and how much it hurts to be away. Kind of like when you start getting used to a splinter under your skin, the pain is just there but dulled by familiarity and you don’t realize how uncomfortable it was until you pull it out and feel that total relief.

*Sigh* And here I thought I’d never consider Cancun “home”.

May 7, 2011   5 Comments

Me-owwww! (And I don’t mean the kitties.)

A couple of nights ago, some neighborhood hoodlum cats* attacked a couple of baby birds; baby birds so tiny that they hadn’t even learned to fly yet. I’m sorry, did I say “birds”? I meant “grackles”. Please, excuse me for living (more on that in a second). I felt so sick to my stomach when I found the first panicked bird with all of its feathers missing on its head and little kitty bites on its wing, that I had George help me make a little bed for it in a shoe box with some bird seed I had and a tiny jar lid for a water dish. We found the second one, made it a similar home, and decided to see how they fared (with rather low expectations, to be honest) overnight.

The next morning, little gracklies were chirping up a storm and trying to get the heeeeeeck out of those boxes. I made some phone calls, (correctly) assuming that our vet wouldn’t take them in and help them. I was finally told about the Florida Wildlife Refuge in Melbourne, looked up their address (since they don’t answer their phone) and decided to drive out there. May I just mention that it’s like a 40 minute drive one way? And that my car is in terrible shape? And that gas is kind of expensive right now? However, I love animals, figured this was their best shot at survival, and may or may not have felt a little responsible**.

After making it all the way out to the refuge, waiting for 20 minutes for someone to stop ignoring me once I filled out their drop off form, a lady finally saunters out. I had never really understood the word “saunter” until I saw her do it. It was like she was a self-assured sheriff in an old western town. I was kind of waiting for her to chew and aim for an imaginary spittoon.

“Ya filled out the form?”

I nod.

“Did your cats attack ‘em?”

I shrug. “There’s lots of neighborhood cats.” Don’t interrogate me, lady, I brought ‘em, didn’t I?!

“Yanno it’s ilegal for cats to roam, right? EE-LEEEEGAL!”

I nod again. I’m not going to argue with you, lady!

“Why’d you write ‘birds’?” She sighs, like I’m the most ignorant person she’s ever met. “Ugh. They’re grackles!” Well, OK, then. Grackles. Got it.

“You FED THEM?! WHAT DID YOU FEED THEM?” Panic in her voice.

“Um… bird seed?”

“Bird seed? What kind of bird seed? I thought you said it happened at night. Where’d you get bird seed?”

“I had it…”

“What on earth’d you have bird seed for?!” Demanding, suspicious.

Obviously, I had bird seed to lure poor unsuspecting birds to my yard so I could sic my cats on them and watch in entertainment and delight as they pounced on them and left them for dead, after which I would rescue them and bring them here, because that is the ONLY logical explanation! “Um… I like to grab pine cones, cover them in peanut butter and dip them in bird seeds for the birds?”

“Hm. Well. Cats roaming is ILLEGAL. You tell your neighbors. We’ll send someone out there to patrol. These here birds’ll be just fine.”

“OK… have a nice day.” You CRAZY person.

Why do the weirdest people live in Florida?!

* Identities concealed to protect the Princess innocent.
** For nothing, of course, since it was clearly not my kitty who attacked them… /shifty eyes

May 4, 2011   4 Comments