Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Facebook Phenomenon

I joined Facebook a few months back. If memory serves, I was invited to join by a friend who used to live in Atlanta, but I don't remember clearly -- it could have been that I was in a frenzy of googling old friends and trying to find people I'd gone to school with.

Having lived around the world and gone to so many different schools (I counted once -- not including preschool, I went to 7 different schools for elementary, middle and high school, in 5 different countries, and then of course there's college and law school), there are so, so many people that I've known and been close friends with that I not only never see, I don't even know what country they're in or if they're still alive. It makes for great reunions, but the last big India reunion I wasn't able to go to, and I don't think my school in Israel even has reunions outside of Israel. Which provides a great excuse to go to Israel, but there are so many other claimants on my pocketbook at the moment that I don't see that happening any time soon.

Anyway, so Facebook is a great way to search for people and reconnect with old friends. I've reestablished contact with some friends from college and high school and middle school, and it's been great to catch up with them and see how their lives are going.

But Facebook is also fascinating for the sheer multitude of opportunities it provides to "interact" in cyberspace with people on a regular basis. There are all of these applications that allow you to do things like send each other greeting cards and write on each others' "walls" and rate your friends' hotness and "poke" them and start cyber-snowball fights and send them imaginary gifts and drinks and rate your compatibility on everything from taste in movies to who you were in a past life. You can join groups and networks revolving around TV shows, politics, knitting, where you go or went to school, and about every other thing you can think of. Essentially, you can have an entire, active social life without ever leaving your computer.

And of course, as with all social interactions, patterns emerge, only because they are all chronicled and cataloged in each person's profile, they are much easier to see and assess.

There are the people who are obviously concerned with having as many Facebook friends as they can possibly collect. I got a "friend" request from a guy one time and I saw on his profile that he went to the University of Virginia, but his name didn't sound familiar. So before confirming the request, I sent him a message asking who he was and if we had known each other in school. He replied that he didn't know me, but that he saw that I went to Virginia and liked collecting as many friends as he could. And sure enough, I checked his profile, and he's got over 1000 "friends." Where does he find the time?

Then there are people who are really into the cyber-interaction, and they make great use of the various games and "compare your scores on this quiz with Justin" and "start a pie-fight with LaShonda" and "give Dexter a Vampire Hug" and on and on. I think those might be the people who have jobs that they either don't like or that allow them alot of time to fuck around online, because while that stuff can be fun, it's also incredibly time-consuming. And also, addictive. To the point where if you couldn't be online every day, or almost every day, it would be really depressing, like you couldn't get your fix.

And I also wonder how fulfilling it is, ultimately. From a psychological perspective, it's kind of like collecting. I've never been a collector of dolls or stamps or spoons from the fifty states or refrigerator magnets or anything, because it always struck me as an enterprise that could never be satisfying. In addition to the fact that you've got all of this stuff sitting around your house or filling up you're drawers, you're never done. No matter what you've got, there's always more to get. If you can look at your profile and you can see exactly what how many friends you have compared to other people, and who's got a higher "hotness" ranking, and who's got lots of people sending them cards and gifts and wanting to get in pie-fights, it's like having your coolness graded, and your grade posted on the board for all to see. You've given your social standing a number that can always be improved.

I don't mean this as a criticism of Facebook or its fans at all -- I'm guilty of all of this stuff as well. I'll spend hours on the "how many cities have you visited" application, as if not being able to remember the name of one more little Indian town that I've visited will make or break me. I've wasted time playing the Never-ending Movie Quiz, trying to get my world-wide ranking up. And I search for people I know and look for new friends, because I feel like my paltry 12 makes me look like a loser.

Geez, didn't high school end 20 years ago?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm a Western Medicine girl

You know that cold of Zeke's that I've mentioned from time to time? Well, it turns out it's a sinus infection. Yesterday was the third time I've taken him to the doctor because of a stuffy nose, but now he's developed a hacking cough as well, and instead of clear mucus, last week he sneezed and blew a big river of green goo down his face. So the doc put him on antibiotics and albuterol (for his coughing), and last night he slept much better than he has for the last few nights because he wasn't waking himself up coughing every few minutes. It's so hard seeing him suffer -- last night he was so in need of mommy-love that he cried if I tried to put him down at all, and even when I held him he would sort of moan softly -- he was obviously really uncomfortable. Poor little pooper.

So finally getting some drugs for him was a huge relief. Last year the FDA came out with this decision/ruling/recommendation/whatever that over-the-counter cold medications, even those ostensibly developed for children, were verboten for babies under the age of 2. So up to now, the doctors have been telling me to put saline drops in his nose and put a humidifier in his room (both of which I did) and that he would just have to suffer through it until his body worked it out. I found these namby-pamby recommendations to be hugely unsatisfying, because one of my family's mottos is "better living through chemistry." If you've got a problem, Big Pharma has a solution. My mother has even taken this theory global -- she knows exactly what drugs can be purchased over-the-counter in which countries, so if you're going on a trip, she's likely to put in an order for Australian allergy medicine or Mexican ambien or Romanian headache pills. Her medicine cabinet is a wonder to behold, and I love and respect her for it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mommas, now don't let your babies grow up to be unbelievable assholes

The following is based on a true story. I've changed the details not out of concern for the perpetrator, who is a wretched hag and is entitled to no discretion from me, but out of concern for others whose feelings I don't want to hurt.

Imagine, if you will, that you've been going to charm school, and that you're sitting for your final exam in Etiquette 201: How To Act Like A Human Being When Someone Does Something Nice For You. When the teacher says, "you may open your test booklets," this is one of the questions you must answer:

You have a relative who is
a bit frenetic and crazy, but she's a warm, caring, lovely human being. She contacts a clothing designer and commissions a scarf for you. She does this for purely altruistic motives, i.e., she wants to do something nice for you. The designer makes the piece and sends it to you. When you receive the package, you open it and you hate it. You hate everything about it, it's something you would never wear, and you think it's awful. Which of the following actions would you take?

A. Thank the relative graciously and then put the scarf away and never wear it except for when the relative is in town

B. Thank the relative for her generosity, but let her know that the scarf isn't really your style, so that next time she wants to buy you something, she'll know what you like

C. Call the designer and rant and rave on the phone about how you much you HATE the scarf, you would not and could not EVER wear something like this because it's the UGLIEST thing you've ever seen, and bitch and complain to the designer about how your relative is an idiot who obviously pays no attention to what you wear or like because if she did, she would never have bought you such an ugly piece of shit. Then send the scarf back.

Now, if I were the teacher, the only acceptable response would be "A." I can't tell you how many ugly pairs of earrings, matching shirt and pants sets in bizarre prints with sharks on them, etc. I have received and have had to wear, gritting my teeth while smiling the whole time, because some beloved family member bought them for me as a gift. Someone with an incredibly deft and gentle touch might be able to get away with "B," but quite frankly, I'm not sure that person exists, and I still think it represents crass behavior. But a student answering "B" wouldn't fail the class -- they just wouldn't have made the dean's list. At least they said "thank you" and tried to be somewhat nice about it.

But "Bridget", if she were a student in our imaginary charm school class, would have failed -- in fact, I would have made her sit in the corner with a giant dunce cap on her head -- because apparently, she is of the mindset that "C" represents acceptable behavior.

Now, let's delve into this a little bit, because as outright shocking as her behavior is when you first hear or read about it (I think my brain got a bit of whiplash when my mother told me the story), it's like an onion -- there are layers and layers of pathology represented in this one incident. It's not just Emily Post rolling over in her grave, it's Sigmund Freud leaning forward with interest, saying, "tell me about your mother...."

First, there's the utter lack of grace in Bridget's entire reaction. Would it have been so hard, so awful, to simply say "thank you, you're so thoughtful," and then put the scarf in a drawer and not worry about it? I mean, really, how taxing would that have been? What is she going to tell her relative when she sees her? How will she explain that she no longer has the scarf because she was so offended by its existence that she not only won't wear it, she had to banish it from her presence by returning it. Bridget clearly is one of those people who pumps herself up by letting others know that they don't measure up to her levels of taste or sophistication. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't seem to recognize that she possesses neither.

Then there's the utter lack of discretion demonstrated. She was indiscreet in ranting and raving about her relative to the designer, who might very well have let the relative know that the scarf had been returned. I know for a fact that this won't happen, but why would she take that risk? Because she secretly wants it to get back to the relative, but she doesn't want to be the one to actually deliver the news? So she's cruel and a pussy?

Incidentally, this is not the first time Bridget has exhibited a remarkable lack of discretion. At a wedding a few months ago, Bridget complained to my mother -- MY MOTHER -- about me and Jason because when we were in her home town last year, we went to dinner with Bridget and her husband, and she bitched that we split the bill even though Jason ate more than anyone else. Which is true, except that we split the bill because Jason and I had water with dinner, whereas she had 2 mixed drinks, so it evened everything out, price-wise. And why would she say something like that to my mother, in any event? Fucking bitch.

Anyway, in addition to being graceless and classless and indiscreet, she's also just flat out mean. She called the designer who made the scarf to tell her how much she hated it. Setting aside the fact that this was a custom design based upon the relative's specifications, and not something the designer came up with, what possible reason would you have to berate someone over something they created? It's not like she ever has to order or wear the designer's clothes if she doesn't like them.

I've only met Bridget that one time we went to dinner, and I have to say that at the time, I thought she was OK. A bit flinty, but not the fiend she's revealed herself to be. And if I see her again, I'm not going to get in her face or yell or anything like that. But I will ask her about her behavior, both to see her squirm and also because I'm genuinely curious to hear what she has to say in her defense.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Trading success for fleeting mommy time

I bagged on the sleep training. Well, more accurately, I bagged on the results of the sleep training, because by the third night, Zeke rolled over and went to sleep without any fussing as soon as I put him down.

But I was miserable. I discovered that I don't give a shit about my kid being sleep-trained at three months old. What I want is to still have that time every night when we sit in the rocker and he snuggles into my arms and relaxes against my body and goes to sleep.

Not all aspects of caring for such a young baby are loads of fun. He's smiling and cooing and responding to me now, so we'll play on the floor and he'll giggle and grin and it's awesome. But other times he'll fuss and I won't know why, and it's stressful. And it's exhausting to be so utterly needed by another human being. When my husband is needy and it gets on my nerves, I can tell him to sack up and quit bugging me. But my son needs me for every aspect of his life, and no matter what mood I'm in, no matter how tired I am, I have to tend to him and I have to be sweet and loving and protective, because to take out my tiredness or grumpiness on him would be monstrously unfair. And most of the time, I'm in a good mood and it's fine, but sometimes I'm not in a good mood, and I just have to get over it.

But bedtime is always my favorite. I never mind bedtime. Because before bedtime, he has a bath, so when we settle into the rocker, he's all sweet-smelling and gorgeous. And he's wearing cute little footie pajamas and looking so little and adorable and perfect. And he fits against me just so -- we always arrange ourselves the same way. He lies with his head in the crook of my left arm, resting his face against my chest with his legs draped over my lap. I'll brace his back with my left hand, and cradle his butt with my right. He lets his right arm drop under my arm and sometimes he'll rub my back with his hand. His left hand, always, always, is either resting on my boob or he reaches up into my shirt and nestles his hand right into my cleavage (the men in this family are all breast men, and I guess Zeke is no different). And I rock in the chair and pat his butt and rub his back and kiss his forehead, and he melts into me in a way that makes me miss it even as it's happening, if that makes any sense. Because I know that it is such a short time in his life (i.e., now) that he will be this small and this vulnerable and this willing to surrender himself to me so completely, and I don't want to waste any of it. All too soon it'll be pouting and wiggling out of my arms when I try to snuggle him and "nooo, mommy, I can do it myself."

So the sleep-training theorists and proponents can all go piss up a rope for the time being. I know I'll need them eventually, but for now, I'm going to baby my baby while he lets me, and take as much time in the rocker as I can get away with.

Friday, January 25, 2008

New look

As you can see, the blog looks different. I was looking through posts and decided that I was tired of the dark template. It felt very heavy to me. The switch has messed up the font size on some old posts, so if you're going through archives and find some posts that look like the fine print in a used car contract, that's why.

Please don't call social services -- we're actually very good parents.

I know the "dance" Jason is having Zeke do is a bit on the crass side, but it cracks my ass up every time. And Zeke seems to be having fun...

adventures in getting out and about

Yesterday I had my meeting with one of the University of Hawaii law school deans to talk about teaching an education law course. The meeting went very well, and there's a decent chance it could happen. It would be a new course, so it has to go through the proposal and approval process by the curriculum committee. Over the next couple of weeks I'll develop the proposal and the syllabus, the dean and I will tweak it, and then she will present it to the committee. Everybody keep your fingers crossed for me.

Of course, given that I was going out into Hawaiian society, the outing wasn't completely without incident or dilemma. First I had to figure out what to wear. This may sound frivolous, but as I have written in the past, Hawaiians are casual to an extent that I really have a hard time getting used to. Like the wedding we went to where Jason and I were the most dressed up people there -- and Jason wasn't even wearing a tie -- and the bride's parents wore jean shorts. Or Jason's company holiday party, which was held at a country club but people showed up in jeans and ratty t-shirts and baseball caps. So I was at a bit of a loss yesterday. On the mainland, I would have worn a suit or some similarly appropriate business outfit, because that's what people do when they're conducting business. But no one wears suits here. I didn't want to show up in jeans and flip-flops, though I suspected that's what the dean would be wearing, but what if she wasn't? What if she was dressed business casual? I couldn't show up looking like a schlub.

Finally I went to Old Navy, bought a nice skirt and blouse, and wore them with some gorgeous high heeled sandals I have.

When I got to the meeting, the dean was wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt, velour track pants, and canvas ked-type slippers.


I also had another typical Wendy experience with island bureaucracy. There's a big parking lot behind the law school where I went to park. I pulled up at the little attendant's booth to make sure I was in the right place.

"Is this where I go to park for the law school?"

"Yes, ma'am. It's $3."

I rummaged around in my purse and discovered I only had a dollar and some change. "Do I pay in advance?" I figured I could find an ATM and get cash before coming back to the car.

"Yes, ma'am."

"I don't have cash. Do you take debit cards?"

"No, ma'am. Cash only."

I shrugged, "OK. Is there an ATM nearby where I can go to get some cash?"

"Yes, ma'am, there's a bank machine in the Century Building. I'll show you where it is on the map."

He pulled out a map and showed me a building that looked like it's in the middle of the crowded campus with very little parking around.

"Great. Where do I park to go there?"

"There's a visitor's lot. " He paused. "But it costs $3 to park there."

I plastered a smile onto my face and tried to keep my head from exploding.

"Well, since I don't have $3, that puts me in a bit of a bind, doesn't it?"

"I guess so, ma'am." He seemed confused, but soldiered on. "But that's where you have to park to go to the Century Building, and you have to pay to park. It's $3."

My fingers hurt from gripping the steering wheel so hard in an effort to avoid tearing out my hair. "Right, I understand. But like I said, I don't have any cash, so if I have to pay to park, that's not really an option, is it?

"No, ma'am, I guess not."

"No. Ok, is there a gas station nearby? They usually have cash machines."

"There's a Jiffy Lube about a block away on Beretania Street."

"Hmmm. I'm not sure the Jiffy Lube will have a cash machine because they usually aren't attached to convenience stores where people spend money on random things."

"Yeah, I guess not."


He was quiet for a couple of seconds, and then the light bulb came on.

"There's also a bank right there where the Jiffy Lube is. You could get cash there."

"Yes, I could. What a great idea. That would be perfect. I'll go to the bank and be back in a few minutes."

"OK, ma'am, see you then."

"OK, thank you so much. Bye."


Monday, January 21, 2008

Sleep training

Last night we started "teaching" Zeke how to fall asleep on his own, in his crib, without being rocked to sleep with a bottle or pacifier in his mouth and then transferred to the crib after he had fallen asleep. The training involves putting him in his crib when he's drowsy but still awake, so that he learns to associate being in the crib with falling asleep by himself. Otherwise, he falls asleep all cozy in my arms, but then wakes up in the crib, having no memory of being moved. So suddenly, instead of rocking in his mommy's arms, he's alone, in a different place, with no rocking and no mommy, and he doesn't know what to do. This way, he learns to fall asleep in the crib, and when he wakes up during the night, he looks around, sees that nothing has changed, and goes back to sleep without incident.

The first night was, to say the least, a bit rough. We went in to check on him at increasing intervals -- first after 3 minutes, then after 5 minutes, then after 7 minutes, and then after 10 minutes. He cried as if he were being tortured. At one point, Jason went in to pat his belly and see that he was OK (i.e., extremely pissed off, but otherwise fine), and Zeke grabbed Jason's finger in a death grip and held it to his chest as if it were a lifeline. So pitiful. We felt evil and were sure that our child would regard us coldly and with disdain from that point on. After 25 minutes, right before the end of the first 10 minute interval, he stopped crying and went to sleep, and slept well after that, only waking up once during the night to eat. When I went in this morning to get him up for the day, he was awake and gurgling to himself, and when he saw me, he gave me a big grin. Obviously, this kid doesn't hold grudges.

Tonight was remarkable. I gave him his pre-bed bottle and rocked him a little bit, and as soon as his eyes started to droop I kissed him goodnight and put him in his crib. He looked a little confused, and a few minutes later started whimpering, but it was a lackluster whimper, as if he felt like he needed to put up a little bit of a fight even though he didn't really want to. Jason and I went in and checked on him after 5 minutes, and he was crying, but without much enthusiasm. Three minutes later he was asleep. Is this kid awesome or what?

The iPod gods smile on me

Two good things happened this weekend. First, Michele and David had another baby -- a beautiful little boy named Gavin. Welcome, little monkey! Second, I experienced a nice bit of luck that was almost poetic.

Saturday night, Jason's company had its annual Christmas/New Year's party. Yes, I know, I know -- a little late, n'est ce pas? The party line is that they hold it late so as not to conflict with all of the myriad Christmas parties and family activities filling our schedules in December. Whatever. I think they just want a cheaper rate at the Honolulu Country Club, which, for a country club, is already a bit low rent, in my humble opinion.

Yes, I know, I know, I'm a snob.

Anyway. The big draw of the evening is a door prize competition. To win a prize, you had to guess its value, and whoever came closest without going over won. The nonsensical part was that each "price" included not only the cost of the item, but also an arbitrary additional value representing the cost of obtaining the item and transporting it to the country club, plus another arbitrary 5-10% increase or reduction of the total value. So it was kind of like the Hawaiian version of The Price is Right, i.e., similar to the game show, but without making any kind of logical sense.

I know, I know, I'm a haole bitch.

Anyway, there were 11 or 12 prizes altogether, and they were pretty sweet -- a bunch of LCD TVs (a 50 inch, a 40 inch, a 32 inch and a 20 inch), some vacation packages (including a trip for 2 to Las Vegas), and some other electronics, like a Wii, a PS3, and an 80-gig Classic iPod. Each couple received 10 bidding opportunities to be distributed among the various products however they wished. We put in guesses for the Vegas trip, an inter-island trip, the PS3, the 32-inch TV and the iPod.

When it came time to announce the winners, we had the correct guess on two of the items -- the Vegas trip and the iPod. Unfortunately, there was another person with the same winning bid for the Vegas trip, and the tie was settled by drawing one of the two names out of a bag, which we lost. But we got the iPod. Woohoo!

And here's why it's poetic. Back in July, for Jason's birthday I had his van outfitted with a new iPod compatible stereo and new speakers. The problem was, he was using an old iPod mini that wasn't compatible with the newer stereo, so I gave him my newer iPod and took his older one. Then a couple of months ago, his van was broken into and his wallet and (my) iPod were stolen. He was really bummed, so to make him feel better, I went out and bought him a new 80-gig Classic iPod and surprised him with it. He was chuffed. Meanwhile, I was still using the shitty old iPod mini, while secretly coveting his sleek black Classic with its video capability and general bitchin-ness. So on Saturday night, it was awesome to be rewarded by the iPod gods with a new Classic of my own. Sometimes what goes around really does come around.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's my policy to not do things I don't have to do

Yesterday was the last day of our lease on our old place. We scrubbed the place out this past weekend, and yesterday I went to drop off the keys. The property manager seemed very confused to see me there.

Her: Do you have a final inspection scheduled?

Me: No, nobody contacted me about one.

Her: Did you fill out a notice to vacate?

Me: No, the lease says no notice is required.

This seemed to confuse her even more.

Her: It's our policy to have people fill them out.

Me: Well, I didn't know that, and the lease doesn't require it, so I didn't.

Her: Would you be willing to fill one out now with your forwarding address and contact information?

Me: Sure.

She gave me a form which was attached to a multi-page document full of tiny print with detailed instructions on exactly how to clean out the apartment before vacating it and providing a schedule of charges in the event you haven't done a sufficient job. Like, "failure to treat for fleas and ticks if you have a pet -- $125"; "dirt on the counters -- $25." The list was extensive and totally unenforceable, in my humble legal opinion. The notice to vacate form had a series of boxes to initial indicating you had received the instructions and fee schedule such that, presumably, you agreed to be bound by them.

I filled out the form with my new address and phone number, but didn't initial any of the boxes, and I handed the form back to her and started to leave.

Her: Wait a minute! You need to initial these boxes.

Me: No, I'm not going to. I didn't receive any of this information before today, and in any event, it's not in the lease, so I didn't agree to it and it's not enforceable against me.

Her: But I'm giving you the documents today, so you can initial that you received them.

Me: No. Today is too late. I didn't receive them in advance.

Her: But you're getting them now.

Me: Look. If I initial these boxes, then that could be interpreted as some kind of acknowledgment on my part that I received the documents in advance and that I agreed to comply with all this stuff. And I didn't get it in advance -- I got it today, after I had already moved out. It's too late. I'm not initialling.

All of this may seem very tough on my part (my mother called me a "pistol"), but it was made infinitely easier by the fact that when we moved in, they gave us a special promotional deal in which we paid no security deposit, so they have nothing of mine that they can use as leverage. If they ask me for money, I'll tell them that I'll rewrite their leases and forms for whatever amount they're seeking, and we can walk away even.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Zeke so far

The kid has his own music video.

(Special credit goes to Fred and his artdada blog for turning me on to Animoto and giving me the idea)

Monday, January 07, 2008

I continue to be amazed at my status as "luckiest beeyotch on the planet"

Remember last year's New Year's Eve? When Jason surprised me by awarding me the Spouse of the Year trophy that he had schemed with our friends to make and engrave for me? Well, he's outdone himself. Because apparently, pretty much since the bestowing of the Spouse of the Year award -- i.e., for the last year -- he has been planning a birthday surprise for me for my birthday next month involving the rental of a massive beach house and the visit of our closest friends. The planning has involved hoarding money so I wouldn't know about it and hiding it in socks and ski parkas and attics, faking bike rides and surf outings to meeting with realtors, and having everyone in on it, from my parents to my friends, for six freaking months, without me finding out.* He seriously showed up to pay the realtor with a sock full of money, because it was impossible to open a secret bank account without having statements sent to the house, such that I'd find out about it. Anyway, circumstances have prevented everyone from being able to make it, but Mindy and Chris and their brood are coming, which is so awesome. My mom might come out for a bit as well. And we've got a beach house on the North Shore for a week, and we might take a trip to another island (I'd love to see the sunrise on Haleakala Crater on Maui), and and and... I'm so touched and surprised and blessed with the sweetest husband on earth. Seriously. I have no idea how I worked it, since I'm kind of grumpy and depressive and demanding, but I guess, to quote that song from The Sound of Music, somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.

*As I have pointed out to a couple of people (including Jason), the big reveal cleared up a few mysteries, including a period of a couple of months last year when Jason was constantly taking cash out of the ATM but never seemed to have any cash on him. We'd be out and we'd stop and get a soda or something and I'd ask him for money and would berate him for not having any cash when he had just taken $150 out of the account 3 days before. He'd claim he had to buy tools, or lunch, or whatever, but I suspected either a gambling problem or a plot by him to hoard money so he could leave me if he felt like it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

hair today, gone tomorrow

Jason and I have been insanely lazy about cutting our hair since we got married. He hasn't cut his for about 3 1/2 years and basically, neither had I, so we both had long scraggly manes that desperately needed to be chopped. I went in last week and got about 7 inches cut off, so now it's a manageable long bob, about 2 inches below my chin. Jason went in yesterday and got a whole new 'do. He looks awesome. Rrowr.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

You get extra points if you run them down and they're haoles

Jason is getting a Hawaiian driver's license because he lost his Georgia license when his wallet was stolen. Today he went in to take the written test. He said the questions on the test were ridiculous. One of them asked what to do if you are approaching an intersection with a green light, but there are pedestrians in the intersection. Choices included -- and I swear I am not making this up -- "Speed up to try to cross the intersection before they do" and "Cross the intersection as close to them as possible to try to frighten them." Another asked about merging onto a busy highway. Choices included "drive as close to cars in other lanes as possible to intimidate them into yielding the right of way." Jason got 100% on his test, but apparently many people in the room were having major problems. Oy.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Back to work

I'm officially done with maternity leave. I haven't worked in 2 1/2 months, though I feel as if I've done nothing but work, albeit a different kind. But Zeke starts full-time daycare tomorrow, and I'm back on the clock. It feels weird. I also may have a new second job. I wrote to the University of Hawaii Law School's academic dean and asked if they were interested in having me create and teach an education law seminar, and they are. I'm meeting with her later this month to talk about it. Kinda cool.