Wednesday, December 7, 2011

taciturnicity - wordless wednesday

taciturnicity - the trait of being uncommunicative; 
not volunteering anything more than necessary

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

rufescent - confrontation and the avoidance thereof

This is a rant, not a brag.  I have a doctorate, and have worked professionally in my field for 10-1/2 years.  I've held positions with four different clinics in varied settings, and have broad experiences and several relative specialties.  My patients' comments are positive, and I am a competent public speaker.  But, confront me personally about something I don't think is a problem, and I blush.  A serious blush.  I don't know directly what it looks like, but it feels like this:

... but with a plastered-on, cool-as peaches facial expression.  It seems like an admission of weakness.  It drives me UP THE WALL because I am positive that the people I'm speaking to view it as a sign of embarrassment or guilt when it's actually a sign of carefully hidden fury in a situation where I am otherwise powerless. 

Am I the only 30-something blusher around?
How do you react when you're confronted?

rufescent - color of blood; shade resembling such a color

Monday, December 5, 2011

plebian - ruminations on a $1 pizza

I have a soft spot for frozen pizzas.  Perhaps it's just the cardboardy crust and plastic-like cheese, perhaps it's comfort food memories from when my mom was in grad school and I was a busy high schooler with limited culinary ability.  Regardless of the cause, I still love cheap pizzas.  The REALLY cheap frozen pizzas.  Specifically, these:

The problem is the cognitive dissonance with craving these, and having a family diet that involves primarily whole/unprocessed foods with a lot of vegetables - we don't keep boxed foods like this in the house.

Enter the working lunch: 

These puppies don't have the same crisp crust as the larger versions, but they do have caraway (a necessary part of any good frozen pizza topping in my opinion), and they can be microwaved.  So that's my dirty little secret.  At home, I've learned to tolerate broccoli with a smile, and snip up spinach to go into nearly everything we cook.  At work, I scarf pizza bites, salami cheese and full-sugar cola.

plebian - unrefined or coarse in nature or manner; common or vulgar.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

prioritization - the cure for the overcommitted

Why is it that as our sunlit days grow shorter, our list of obligations grows longer? Most working women I know - particularly those with children - have had friends and relatives at some point say faux-sarcastically, "and what do you do with all your free time?" I can't even claim the worst of the lot, as I have had the lovely mixed blessing of a stay-at home husband for the past 1-1/2 years, who is a good cook and even does the dishes. However, Daisy leader he is not.

Working moms, in particular, seem to be prone to overcommitment. In addition to the expected workday obligations, we add career growth (like state or national organization commitments, research or writing projects), volunteer work with our children's organizations, and the typical home management tasks. Does anybody else remember the 1970s commercial for Enjoli? Our moms thought that their hard-won civil liberties meant that they had to have and do it all, be everything to everyone, and thirty odd years later we're still trying to live up to those self-imposed expectations.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

obsolescence - weekend kids' library bag review

In our library bag this week:  Otis - written and illustrated by Loren Long

magnanimity - THAT guy

My family moved to a new town last year.  As our girls are of an age to start wondering about some philosophical questions, we decided to get them enrolled in a religious education class system at the UU nearby.  We're slow joiners, and after nearly 15 years of sleeping in on Sundays it has been a hard transition to give up some of that lazy morning in favor of being part of a progressive community.

But the girls and I decided to volunteer for the annual holiday decorating morning today.  When we arrived, we quickly became acquainted with THAT Guy. 

anomia - Um, um, what's that danged word ...

The first time I found myself saying that, just weeks after I had announced my first pregnancy at work, the response from the female staff members surrounding me was a knowing nod and comments of, "uh huh - baby brain."

Baby Brain.  "What an insulting suggestion," I thought.  There I was, barely in my second trimester, halfway done with my doctorate, and well into the establishment of my career.  As if something as simple as pregnancy would be able to rob me of those achievements.

Years later, struggling to conceal a mid first trimester belly under my looser suits, I was asked by a doctoral student in the class I was teaching whether I was pregnant.  Because I had been having trouble finding words that week in lecture.  By then, I had read of a small-scale study that confirmed that pregnant women were more likely to have poor spatial memory than their non-pregnant peers, and accepted it with resignation.

As several more years have passed and there are no longer any diapers in my house, I have lost the handy excuse for the occasional memory lapses.  "No more room in the brain after remembering pending bills, work projects, patients' needs, Daisy Scouts cookie sales, state board meeting, startup business law, and family health problems to remember where the darned car keys are" just doesn't have the same sharp ring as, "Meh.  Baby Brain".  At least these days my cell phone has the "Fetchit" program for the 20-odd times I lose it each month.  Too bad my vocabulary doesn't have that preinstalled as well.

anomia - the inability to name objects or to recognize the written or spoken names of objects.