I was going to open with a commentary about the weather, complete with Summer vs. Fall analogies that involved prisons and eternal realms. Then I realized that I talk about the weather a lot. In fact, I’ve often thought I could have an entire blog where I do nothing but comment on what it’s like outside. (The fact that I never actually go outside, but am only complaining about what I’m reading on Weather.com’s Austin page, would lend a great ironic twist.) Anyway, so I started wondering what it says about me that this subject is of such fascination to me. I tried to tell myself that there’s just a lot to say since I live in a climate that’s inhospitable to human life, but then it occurred to me: Maybe I’m just really boring.
We have a decision about book writing! Thank you for all your great advice last week. Here’s the plan: I’ll do what I can in my snippets of free time over the next couple of months (which may not be much with the holidays coming up). Then, in the new year, I’ll take a few weeks off from blogging and direct all my energy toward the book. Hopefully I’ll be at a point where I can finish the draft during this time. Either way, after the break I’ll return to blogging as usual.
What I like about this plan is that it gives me a deadline. My agent’s strategy is to wait to have formal talks with publishers until the book is done, so that I have as much time as I need to make the book great. I like that path, but the downside is that I have no deadline, which means that I tend to waste a ton of time with overanalysis and procrastination. If I do most of my writing during a blogging break with a definite, pre-set end time, that’ll give me the “deadline” I’ve been wanting. But before I can start on any of this, there’s something else our family needs to get out of the way…
Would you believe me if I told you that my husband is studying for another major exam? As it turns out, when I was saying all that stuff like, “WHOO-HOO, WE’RE DONE WITH EXAMS FOREVER!!!”, what I should have said was, “WHOO-HOO, WE’RE DONE WITH EXAMS FOR A VERY SHORT TIME, ENTIRELY UNLIKE FOREVER!!!” This one is some legal board certification something or other. I knew it was coming down the pike and agree that it’s a good use of time. I think that I was just choosing to forget about it as a self-preservation technique to get us through the CPA exam.
I knew I should have just accepted this fate way back when my husband moved into his current office space and told me about a new friend he met. He and the attorney down the hall immediately hit it off (this is the guy I’ve been cooking for), and it turns out that this guy has even more certifications than my husband! He’s a lawyer with an LLM (like a Master’s in law), an MBA, a CPA, a CLU (some sort of life insurance designation), a mortgage broker, a real estate broker, an escrow officer at a fee office he runs, a notary public, is board certified in two (almost three) types of law, and is working towards becoming a certified locksmith.
So when my husband muses at the water cooler, “I’m a lawyer, an MBA, and a CPA…but is that really enough?” he has found the ONE other person on the face of the planet who would answer, “No, it’s really not.”
My husband remarked the other day that I’m like the Bear Grylls of homeschooling. We watch Man vs. Wild with our son sometimes, and, interestingly, that made my husband think, “This is just like Jen!” I puzzled over that for a while. Is it because I almost die every time I undertake this activity? Or it was a reference to my cool nerves under pressure? Perhaps something about biting the heads off of live fishes? (Though, in my defense, that only happened once.) He later explained with great amusement that he perceives my style to be effective, yet somewhat randomly cobbled together. If our homeschooling friends who plan out beautiful, elaborate lesson plans a year in advance are the luxury car campers of the home education world, I’m the survivalist who’s dumped into the situation and manages to make it work by doing things that might be startling to the car camper types.
The funniest part about all this was the contrast of his view of the situation vs. mine. Because I have been approaching this endeavor with much more forethought and preparation than anything else I do in life, I figured that I was more like the Martha Stewart of homeschooling. After all, I think about what I’m going to do the night before, and even write it down! I make photocopies of worksheets, for goodness’ sake — what more could a person possibly do? But he sees my haphazard collection of curricula; notices the fact that I have no idea what the State of Texas says my children should be doing at this age; he hears me mutter as I thumb through the teacher’s manual, “Boring, boring, boring” before I run over to the kitchen cabinet and improvise my own lesson with some Tupperware and measuring cups; and he thinks: Bear Grylls all the way.
I would like to ask all the classy people to skip the following take, and move on to #7.
If I ever mysteriously disappear, you should know why. If this blog ever goes without updates for months, the National Catholic Register editors can’t find me anywhere, people call my husband’s office and they haven’t seen him either, it will be because of the Bad Lip Reading channel on Youtube.
I realize that this is not within everyone’s humor strikezone. My husband and I, however, are falling over in some mix of awe and hysterical laughter at this thing. It brought our entire evening to a standstill when we first discovered it; we couldn’t do anything other than watch these videos and marvel at their genius. After we got over that initial painful HOW DID WE NOT THINK OF THIS FIRST?! moment, we moved on to behold the artistic offerings of the Bad Lip Reading crew. We were crying laughing at the Rick Perry video (which I should note is kind of PG-13, in case any classy people did not follow my directive from take #5). I have had the song from their Ludacris takeoff running through my head for three days. I’m currently trying to decide whether or not to devote 100% of my free time to watching Bad Lip Reading videos, so if I ever disappear, that’s why.
We just got our tickets to the benefit dinner for the John Paul II Life Center, where Fr. Jonathan Morris will be speaking. Fr. Morris has always struck me as a super sharp, insightful guy, so I can’t wait to see him speak. And the John Paul II Life Center is just fantastic. They provide pro-life medical services to pregnant women, including women in crisis pregnancies. If you’re in central Texas, come out and support this great cause!