Jul. 1st, 2009 01:39 pm
bronwynrh: (Eskimo Kiss)
I want to be a stay-at-home mom for a year. Here I sit, trying to pull words out of the air and cringing at the thought of how many more words I need to find and how many forms I need to complete in the next two months, all in the name of begging the NIH to give us $6m pretty please. All for a project that, thanks to the FDA, will take at least three more years - at least! - to come to fruition.

That's a long time to be waiting for the big payoff while my children grow without me. That's a lot of missed milestones, giggles, tickles, songs.

I'd rather be nesting - our house still doesn't feel like home for me, it's a mess and the project list is overwhelming. I'd rather be holed up in my craft room, sewing and knitting and learning how to create all the things that are dancing in my head. I'd rather be playing with the boys. I'd rather be hanging with my mom.

There's never enough time or energy left for the things I want to do - the things that will make me a better mom, a better wife, a happier me.

Mom often tells me to enjoy what I have and stop wishing for what I can't. I try, but always wind up right back here with the pit in my stomach, clenched jaw and stinging eyes. I'm 32 years old, unfulfilled, and feel my time slipping away, wasted on treading water and bare maintenance.
bronwynrh: (hello)
Goodness me. This has become an all-mommy all-the-time journal.

I had occasion the other day to dig through my archives, on the hunt for migraines-tagged entries for someone who inquired about them. What I found were, well, great things. I used to be quick and witty, insightful and fun. They were fun for me to read, anyway. YMMV

I miss it, you know, having a brain. I miss the feeling of having only stresses of my own making. They were my migraines, my battles with the bacteria, my encounters with The Wall and Joey and the kid who thought a fire extinguisher was the answer to a flaming jar of ethanol. Everything was simple, even when the computer ate my prelim. exam and my committee failed me.

I ate when I wanted to - or didn't, depending on the migraine prophylactic du mois! - I slept when I wanted to. I could spend a whole Sunday in my bathrobe, reading the paper and sipping coffee in bed. Oh, the hedonism!

This isn't a complaint, mind you, not really. This is merely an observation of how struck I am by the changes in my life.

For the first time, I don't have time to myself - or, rather, what time I have comes at a premium and is relegated to the off-hours of the day - but I am finally making use of that time to be creative and to produce. What's that old line about not appreciating something until it's gone? Waste not, want not? Now that I have no time, I'm using what time I can scrape together and maybe, just maybe, tomorrow I'll have something to show for it.

Ok, a finished afghan for Jeff or a quilt for Samuel is (or will be) nice, but taking what I've made and putting it out there for somebody else to judge and (I hope) pay for... well that's a whole other ball of wax. Will I crash and burn, or is this going to be the start of something big? Another major change in my life? My ticket out of the workaday world?

My mind is swimming with ideas and I'm anxious to have that first validation. That first hint that maybe I can do this after all.

After tomorrow's sale I'm giving myself permission to go back to working on my projects for the family. Jeff's afghan and Samuel's bedroom will come first, then Samuel's quilt and baby clothes, my cross-stitch projects (I miss them terribly) and - oh! so many ideas for other projects. I absolutely must finish what I've started. What's amazing to me is the thought that I may actually do it. There's a job, a house, four pets, a husband and (last but really first) a baby to care for, but somehow I'm managing to get in front of that sewing machine, to take the needle in hand.

Maybe this sudden push to pursue my creative dreams is my way of reaching back to grab some of that hedonism I took for granted, of holding onto my Self.

How's that for a good old-fashioned self-absorbed journal entry? No baby talk! Wow!
bronwynrh: (Default)
Six things that have made me happy lately...

1. My beautiful baby boy is happy and (gulp!) crawling!

2. My wonderful husband knows how to make me smile when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

3. I love my new itty bitty coffee pot because I can make my own coffee in the morning and save some $$

4. I've found my creative outlet in needles, thread, fabric and yarn, and just may be able to fund my hobby through sales :)

5. My above-mentioned beautiful baby boy is cared for by people who love him and he never has to go to daycare.

6. In spite of my frustrations, I'm very good at my job and the bosses know it. Now to see how they choose to show me the love money...

bronwynrh: (compass)

In slandering and reviling you persist,
Calling me infidel and atheist:
My errors I will not deny, but yet
Does foul abuse become a moralist?

/This is good stuff!
bronwynrh: (wet)
Some meme-y goodness.
Here's 20 random facts you may or may not already know about me.
G'head. Tag some of your friends.

1. Before I was 6 years old, I'd lived in 7 cities - three in the US and four overseas.
2. I used to play the flute and the piano. I can barely play now, but I can still read music.
3. I hate to practice things I'm not good at.
4. Like [ profile] adaon, I've never broken a bone or had stitches.
5. I love to look over the edge at great heights, but I'm afraid to walk on a balance beam.
6. I can curl my tongue AND whistle :)
7. The only reason I didn't skip kindergarten is because I didn't know how to skip.
8. A man once offered to take me to King Fahd. My parents were offered gold and sheep in exchange.
9. When I was small, my invisible friends were a monkey mouse AND a monkey. *see comments*
10. I'm happiest when I'm on a boat - even if it's just a kayak - or when I'm swimming in the ocean.
11. I am a good cook.
12. My career aspirations, in chronological order: cheerleader, astronaut, architect, archaeologist, pediatrician. I landed on microbiologist, but often wish I'd stopped at archaeologist.
13. I helped one of my best friends deliver her first child.
14. I changed his first diaper.
15. I have never ridden a roller coaster without panicking
16. I love to climb, so long as I don't have to come back down.
17. The only job I've held outside the ivory tower was at Victoria's Secret.
18. I talk to my experiments.
19. I tried to run away from home once, but had to come back because I lived in a fenced compound guarded by men with guns and I didn't think I could swim to Bahrain.
20. I dream in color.

Holy moly, that was not easy!
Ok, I'm going to tag [ profile] carrie, [ profile] dawnk22 and [ profile] rhubelerosko because they're among the newest additions to my friends list.

Hey, saves me the trouble of reading archives, right?
No obligation, ladies. Really.


Apr. 14th, 2005 03:29 pm
bronwynrh: (Default)
In honor of my inching just *that much* closer to 30, I'm taking the day off tomorrow.

I plan to sleep well past 6:30 tomorrow morning. Beyond that, I have no big plans. You guys may want to send in your tax returns, if you haven't already :)

I hope to get out of the house and I hope to get out of town, at least a little ways.
I plan to bake a bundt cake. Chocolate, with chocolate icing.
Because I am me.

If I'd been thinking clearly, I'd have picked up some pork chops at the store last week for my traditional childhood birthday dinner - pork chops and noodles with cream of mushroom gravy. When we lived overseas, we got our pork in flash-frozen format from the "white meat" store on the compound. So not only was it a special tradition, it was subversive. Then the gubmint forced the company to shut it down and Bronwyn's birthday tradition was quashed. Sadness.

Last week I spotted a reflection of myself in the glass panel of a door. I thought I looked my age and wasn't sure how I felt about it. I don't think I care all that much, except when I remember that when mom was my age, I was five already. Damn, I think, I'd better get on the ball.

Cart. Horse.
No, wait.
Horse. Cart.

So here's to another year gone by, goals not yet met. And here's to another year to pursue those goals and to enjoy and explore the wonder that is my love. Happy birthday, me.
bronwynrh: (Default)
Back on March 20, I said something about how I hated to hear people spout ignorant crap as if it were fact and then launch themselves into foolhardy diatribes. My advice to those people was this:

Stop. Think. THEN speak.

Better yet. . . Stop. LEARN. Think. Speak.

This has not changed one bit, and the people I told you about yesterday are prima facie examples of why this is legitimate advice.

The couple in the parking lot judged my mother by the car she drove. My mom had seen them in the store, had seen other people in the store and had thought little of the differences between them. Why? Because she believes in the rights of everyone to be and do unto themselves. Not so this couple, apparently. All was pleasantness inside, but once they saw her next to her vehicle, they judged her and decided to berate her.

What were the results of this encounter?

The worst result is that stereotypes were reinforced. The two children who witnessed this learned from their parents that it is ok to judge someone by their appearances alone.

I find that absolutely tragic.

Also tragic? These are the same people who have been promoting peace, discourse and freedom in our community. In a single moment they completely invalidated themselves.

The same lesson stands true for the woman with the shoes and her ideas about status, jobs and charity. The laundry list of assumptions she made regarding my father (indeed, any person working at a nursery) is pretty exhausting. She also has some pretty nauseating ideas about charity.

Again, though, we are brought back to a case of assumptions. This woman came into a situation blinded by all sorts of preconceptions that were wrong. She wasn't just wrong about my father, either. She would have been wrong about pretty much everybody working at this nursery - she just happened to pick my dad for her "charity", and this choice in particular is what makes the story most funny because, outside of the owners, he is the one of the least likely to need any charity.

All of these people subscribe to ideologies - left-leaning or right-leaning - and they have been completely blinded by them. They have become blinded to the point that they are hurtful and their behavior defeats any good intentions they may ever have.

That is the biggest tragedy of all.
bronwynrh: (Default)
I've been thinking all day.

All. Damn. Day.

And I'm not done yet.

Not only do I have to summarize my work (managed to get that part done), but I have to synthesize it into a model, articulate it well and oh yeah articulate my future directions.

I know I can do this, I just have to wrap my brain around some tricky problems that its been reluctant to be wrapped around so far. Erg.

In the meantime, over at UE, there has been some discussion about the Columbia disaster. Some of the folks over there have expressed that they feel rather untouched by the loss of the shuttle. Some feel a little sympathy, but little else. Others don't understand what the big deal is, since people die in tragic ways every day. I responded a couple of times, and thought I would copy one of my responses here. . .

I think I feel it closely because I'm a scientist. Although I am 15-20 years younger than the astronauts who died on Saturday, I feel the same passion for learning, science and the pursuit of knowledge that drove several of them. It's the same passion that drives many at NASA and most members of the scientific profession.

I guess I feel a kinship with them. I would love nothing more than to peer through a window and look back at my planet far behind me. Not everybody is built for it, however, and my body may not let me. But don't be surprised if someday you find out that Dr. Bronwyn E. Ramey is working for NASA. As it turns out, my specialty, biofilms, is a field of particular interest to NASA for a vast number of reasons, so I am extremely hirable over there! But I digress.

The point is, there are a lot of people who feel a kinship, some just an innate one, with the space program even if they don't follow it day to day. Others simply don't. I suppose there's no reason to feel badly if you fall in the latter category.

The death of a mother in a car accident, like the death of my cousin or the death of my friend - these were all tragic losses of life, and are incalculable because the lives lost were filled with POTENTIAL, they had not yet been fully realized, nor were they killed while completing a mission for their nation.

Harsh as it sounds, the loss of Columbia and the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon are tragic and both incalculable AND calculable in both human and economic and scientific terms. Not only were lives lost (and the emotional familial things that go along), but so was important data, cargo, materiel, and sheer intellectual capacity. These people WERE on a mission. That's what makes the difference.

It doesn't make the loss more sad or more tragic. The difference simply makes the Columbia disaster newsworthy. (emphasis added)

Back to the grindstone. . . . model model model model model. . .


One last thought. I was going to title this Everything Matters, then I changed it to Everything Matters to Me and I realized that this is probably why I have such a hard time coming down on one side or the other in many arguments. If I can't minimize the needs of one side in order to favor another, how can I ever make a decision easily? No wonder I'm a registered Independent. Heh.
bronwynrh: (Default)
Space Shuttle Columbia carried seven people who proved yet again that the principles of courage, adventure and scientific inquiry transcend the limitations of borders and politics and geography.

The crew included six Americans, Cmdr. Dr. Laurel Clark, Lt. Col. Michael Anderson, Cmdr. Col. Rick Husband, Pilot Cmdr. William McCool and Pilot Capt. David Brown, and Dr. Kapana Chawla, who was also the first Indian-born woman astronaut. Also on board, the first Israeli astronaut, Col. Ilan Ramon.

I know you guys know this already, because you've been seeing the news. I just wanted to write their names down for myself. And I wanted to point out the fact that the nation of India and the nation of Israel have both suffered terrible losses today. Indeed, the world has suffered a terrible loss when a great cooperation such as this, which was such a successful mission, right up to the very end, ends in such disaster.


Sep. 26th, 2002 03:01 pm
bronwynrh: (Default)
Ever feel like you're talking to wall?

And then the wall goes and does something it wasn't told to do?

And then your boss looks at you and asks you why the wall did what it did, as if you told it to do what it did, and not what it should have done?

Yeah. That's where I am today.

bronwynrh: (Default)
You know what? Dave and I discussed this matter a little further this afternoon and I think we figured it out. . .

First. . . we don't need "Remember 9/11" ceremonies, flags and signs to remind us what happened a year ago today. It is burned into our minds and we'll never forget it.

Second. . . all the media coverage and ceremonies and tributes throughout the country are an ingenuous attempt by their sponsors and celebrants to say to the victims and their families, "we all feel your pain".
The truth is, we don't.
The truth is, we can't.

We saw it happen on TV, our favorite medium for the suspension of disbelief - only this time, we were (and perhaps still are) struggling to force our brains to understand that this time, it was real. But because we were not there, because we did not lose a spouse, parent, sibling or friend, we don't have that pit of emptiness that characterizes true grief, at least not in connection with 9/11.

Most of us did not know any of the victims personally, nor are we victims' relatives. At most, we know of friends of friends or parents of acquaintances.

We simply can not understand nor even conceive the depth of grief experienced by our countrymen who were more directly affected than ourselves. And I feel it is disingenuous of me to proclaim otherwise.

I hope that makes sense. I don't know why, but I want my New York friends to understand why I will not be participating in the commemorative events to mark the 9/11 anniversary.

---I also posted this at UE, but thought I would share it with my non-UE crowd, as well.

bronwynrh: (Default)
It's amazing the things I manage to accomplish when I don't turn on my TV.

Two days ago, I came home and made a barely decent meal of macncheese and grilled zucchini. I then watched my new exercise video as I ate. . . yes, yes I know that's not how you're supposed to exercise, but it's a new tape and I wanted to see what was in store.

So I then turned OFF the television, washed my dishes and then actually did the work out with the tape (thank you Dave for the great little TV-vcr) while my cat watched and tried her best to get stepped on.

Ok, so I'm being a pretty good girl so far, right? Well then my domestic goddess rose to the fore. . . I chopped and seared and readied my crock pot (a kitchen miracle if you ask me - thank you, Aunt Sharyn and Uncle Phil) for a dee-licious stew that I was going to get started in the morning. And while I was at it with the kitchen gadgets, I even set up my bread maker to make cinnamon raisin bread that would fill my house with baking-bread-scent as I woke in the morning.

Well, this is where I get demoted to demigoddess. Yesterday morning, I overslept and couldn't work out. I got the stew started, but was unsure how much broth to add, so I had to guess. And I opened my bread maker to find a loaf that hadn't risen - it was a flat-top. Disappointed, I tried a slice, but just couldn't see myself eating it, much less sharing it with my lab mates. *sigh* All I could do was cross my fingers that the stew would turn out ok.

When I returned from work and opened my front door, the most heavenly scent met me there. *yum*

Of course, it was delicious and I felt very proud and VERY thankful to not be eating tuna fish or macaroni and cheese. Now I just hope I can continue to enjoy it for three more meals.

The hazards of living alone - you have to eat a LOT of leftovers.
I haven't yet mentioned today's anniversary, but only because we're all painfully aware of what today's date is and we all remember vividly what we witnessed and what our fellows suffered on this day last year.

I can think of nothing to say that wouldn't be trite or superfluous, so I'll just say this:

Take care of and respect yourself and the people around you.

That's all any of us can do.


bronwynrh: (Default)

February 2012

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