Sunday, September 26, 2010

How to Accomplish Some Academic Writing

How to write a 400-500 word abstract supposing one would like to present at an academic conference.

Before motherhood and maternity leave:

1. Go to office.

2. Piddle for a while: get a coffee, chat with neighbours, check mail, read e-mail and internet forums.

3. Open blank word document.

4. Stare at said document.

5. Surf internet again. There's this big world out there, and you need to know what's going on in it. Barring that, there's always YouTube.

6. Bang out 500 words at a rate of roughly 3 buzzwords per minute.

7. Show said 500 words to your neighbours who will offer helpful ideas like "you could put another buzzword there" and "are you sure 'intertextualize' is a word?" and "wanna grab a beer instead of write this abstract?"

8. Hit save button. Assume it is good enough.

9. Call it a day and go for the afore mentioned beer.

How to accomplish this same task during maternity leave:

1. Attempt to write during nap time.

2. Discover that it is impossible to simultaneously worry about the 700 lbs of laundry that have piled up, because no matter how hard you try, you just can't manage it without help that, because of your employment status, you cannot afford.

3. Give up, start laundry, discover that darling child has woken up and is hungry and messy.

4. Try again. Fail miserably, because how could anyone manage to write anything intelligent when the kitchen is this messy?

5. Remember that the above is why you used to go to the office to work, and why you miss having an office desperately.

6. Mention to Darling Husband the difficulty of trying to write while being a mommy. Have him offer, from the goodness of his heart, to baby wrangle for a couple of hours while you go write for a while.

7. Provide sexual favour to afore mentioned spouse for spending 2 hours doing what you do every day.

8. When the appointed day arrives, remind your spouse that he said he do this. Do not accept, even for a minute, his claim of forgetfulness.

9. Leave baby with husband, trying very hard to ignore mom-guilt and pile of dirty laundry. Pile of dirty laundry won't get substantially worse whilst you are gone.

10. Go to café. Set up laptop, pretend decaf is just as good as the real stuff.

11. Write like a crazy person.

12. Realize you aren't 100% sure if the buzzwords you used to use are still buzzwords or are now just lame.

13. Pee. Decaf may not be all of that, but your bladder ain't what she used to be.

14. Try to ignore all of the interesting strangers at the café.

15. Relish being in public without people criticizing your parenting or commenting on the handsomeness of your baby boy, who oddly is dressed in a pink dress.

16. Realize that your 2 hours are nearly at an end, and speed home with 350 passable words, and remain unconvinced by decaf.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Non-Mom Uses for Mom Products

While it is tempting to make a joke of this and say that the best non-mom use of a nursing pad is as an on-the-fly young boy's yarmulke, in all seriousness, I've found some great uses for stuff I didn't even have in my life before the Bug.

1. Diapers: disposable diapers absorb vast quantities of liquid. They are awesome for wiping up spills. Recently, I used some ones the Bug had outgrown to get the standing water out of my dishwasher which crapped out on us mid-cycle. My mother-in-law who is a painter uses outgrown disposable diapers

Traditional and pre-fold cloth diapers are awesome for dusting and washing windows. Just be sure to clean them first.

2. Wipes: OMG! these things are awesome. They can be used to clean almost anything, they remove make up gently, are gentler on hands than hand sanitizer, wipe up messes, and make passable kleenex. If there is a "fur baby" in your life, wipes can be used to clean dirty paws, face smudge, and messes that the furry little bastard may make. Hint: get the "gentle" or otherwise marked unscented option... firstly, it is better for baby's delicate skin, secondly if you use it on your face, you won't smell like whatever some chemist thinks a baby bum should smell like.

3. The boxes diapers come in are fantastic boxes. They have handles, they are sturdy. I'm totally waiting until after we've finished moving to even consider switching to cloth.

4. Diaper rash cream: it works by almost anything that makes you red or itchy. Just don't use the Boudreax's Butt Paste... it is great on baby bums, but it smells like bacon. Trust me, you don't want to smell like that all day because of a mosquito bites.

I'm going to continue looking for new uses for these things. I'm all about frugal, and I'm all about having fewer stacks of crap and not having a 500 lb diaper bag.