Behind Every Great Woman

What ever happened with My Man’s summer work, anyway? You might ask.

He got a job working for an attorney named Joel Waltzer, who heads up pretty much the only authentic environmental firm in town (for those of y’all unawares as I would have been, most “environmental” lawyers work for BP, or some such bullshit. They have to be savvy to environmental laws too, y’know. So they can get away with breaking them.)

Not only is Joel apparently righteous, he’s also purty darned smart. And eager to share whatever he knows, and interested in My Man’s thoughts. Sounds incredibly ideal so far. He’s already had the opportunity to sit in a room with all the BP lawyers and class action lawyers involved with the spill, and watch while his employer gave ’em hell. Hip, hip, hooray!

Of course, the side of righteousness never has enough money, so Joel doesn’t know exactly how much he will be able to afford to pay My Man. Lucky for us, My Man’s dad is a lawyer too, with always plenty of long distance work available. So he’ll be splitting his time between the two.

The Washington Post just did an article about the Pointe-Au-Chien, the tribe My Man is working with. The haven’t filed any lawsuit yet, the article’s just about how fucked they are. Definitely take the time to look at the photo gallery. It’s pretty interesting to me how much the photos look like western bush Alaska.

He got to go down there last week. It’s a very tiny village, and he met almost everyone in the photos. The old woman leaning over the rail is the one who took he and Joel out in a boat to see an oiled area.

When they went down they stayed the night. And that, not coincidentally, is when I had my meltdown. You ladies who’s hubby’s are gone for significant periods of time, holy crap, how the fuck do you survive? I was counting up my hours in a row and feeling sorry for myself, but you’re way past hours.

I guess it’s just more evidence of the fact that what appears to be the end of one’s rope, and the real end of one’s rope are some incredible distance apart.

8 thoughts on “Behind Every Great Woman

  1. hey dude.

    d is right now packing for a 2 month trip to the himalaya. i’m more worried about s’s heart being broken at this point, since i’ve done the whole solo parenting gig before (yeah, it’ll still suck to be the ONLY, but i do know i can do it). s is big into papi right now, though, which is why i’m worried.

    as far as advice for staying-away-from-the-frazzle-end of the rope i offer:

    –limit what you do. don’t have high cooking/cleaning/excursion expectations for yourself. eat easy food, do easy things that are mostly fun for everyone and don’t start any craft/writing/blog projects

    –babysitter? even if you’re home, hiring some kid to come over and interact with yours might give you just enough respite (and, isn’t school almost out?). my friend alana fulfilled this role for me last year. she’d come over and take the kid for a spin in the stroller and then we’d visit. i could scrub the toilet and do the dishes while they were out and feel better about myself

    –the dvd? (i actually don’t use this, but d does and it seems to work well) and, in the same vein, go to the mall with the stroller. yes, i know, yuck. but it’s got a/c and it’s free and you can stretch your legs w/o having to run after littlies. and, if it’s over a weekend, you can go to church. they have a nursery. you can drop your kid off to play w/ other kids and make pointless crafts while you go zone out in the sanctuary. if you can find a uu church that’ll probably be more digestable (and they have a social hour afterwards) and if not, well, if you were desperate you could just bring earplugs. or find one w/ a good choir and you can sing along. seriously, 45 minutes just might do it and the nice thing is that it wears s out in time for nap. i am totally not joking about the church thing, we go to the uu one, i love it, the lead minister is a 50ish dyke and the social hour is awesome and they have organic coffee. seems like it would be a good way to meet people and uu sort of screens out the politically undesirables (to a point, of course)

    –library activities and other places w/ kids+adults so you can get some adult conversation

    –at the end of a long day, when you know they’re tired, put ’em to bed and period. end of story. if the crying (which is probably just a result of being overtired) gets to ya, or makes you feel guilty, and you’re confident they can’t hurt themselves, put some earplugs in. seriously. the key to flying solo is doing whatever it takes to not get burnt out.

    that’s all i got!

    1. good tips. she already watches plenty of dvds. i do the many public kid activities. every day. church, eh? d had mentioned you were going to a unitarian church, i could get into that, if there were one w/in walking distance. but, no dice. ;) there is a catholic church on the corner with beautiful bells on the hour, but every time i’ve gone to any regular church i just get in a rage. such a waste of a lot of everyone’s time with pure bullshit retoric, when they could be preaching about real life ideas on how to be a better person. errgh. babysitter seems so expensive. and, are you suggesting (1st) that i quit blogging?!?!? what, and lose my mind altogether?

      1. there aren’t any 10-12 year olds you could pay, very cheaply, to be a mama’s helper? that’s just a thought, tho’ i’ve never tried it. i know it would work w/ my niece…

        re: projects, for me, i’m super-focusy. so if i sit down to write or project if s’s sweet self interrupts and breaks my concentration…well i turn in to evil mama. not bitch mama. worse. so once d leaves i’m not going to do those things while s is awake. i’ll just do stupid shit, like putting away the dishes. if you’re different more power to ya–i just know that nothing makes me lose my shit more than being interrupted :P

      2. well, i don’t know any 10-12 yo girls. they have what they call Mother’s Helpers here, babysitters who hang out with your kids while you do something else, in the home. they charge $5-8/hour. reg babysitting is $10-12.
        i had a 10 yo girl in cordova i traded pottery lessons for babysitting while i worked in my studio. it was okay, but when mama is still in the other room, and only a 10 yo is there to creatively distract, it doesn’t work as well as one might hope…
        i just googles unitarian churches in NO, and guess what? there IS a uu church w/in walking distance! about a mile away. i might just check it out next sunday! we’ll see if i can muster the courage. so, they don’t talk about god much, right?

      3. ummmmmmmmmm. they do talk about god sometimes. it depends on the day/minister/congregation but it’s a general god. try out the nursery…the trick is going to be if the toddler will let you leave her there. they’re all different, the one here is nice (i think esp. so since the lead minister is a super-dyke) but the one @ home can be boring (it’s small, too). they may have a play group, or other activities during the week and usually political/environment caucuses. maybe they’ll be radikal, and maybe not, but it’s worth a shot, ‘specially on a sunday when it’s all YOU cuz the dude’s at work.

        i had an idea that’s probably just plain bad but maybe you could *babysit* a 9-10 year old. get paid to have a little more distraction for your kiddos! i mean, technically they’re too young to leave home alone.

  2. oh yeah, and i forgot the other key to flying solo: payback

    i got to go on 2 trips by myself this year. a quick 3-day job interview to Alaska (so, not that relaxing, but still it was lovely to sit on a plane w/o a wiggler in my lap) and a fabulous 6-day trip to nicaragua for a conference. i did work stuff, bunked w/ a grad student i didn’t know beforehand (making a new friend), ate good food late at night, stayed at a 4-star hotel all by myself and played in the waves unencumbered. it was f’in awesome. i missed s, of course, but i knew he was in good hands. it was lovely. i guess since you’re still a milk factory that wouldn’t work, but maybe it would. you and the babe could come visit me, for example.

  3. ah sweet CJ, you’ll be right mate! (on the other hand, I friggin hate it when folks say that to me on the darker side of the fella’s two weeks away!).

    I hold a couple rules close to my heart while he’s away (and sometimes when he’s here too!)…

    *the kids are in bed by 7 and I knock off – no cleaning, no cooking, no nothing except folding clothes cos that can’t be done with them around.
    *our routine is our routine, and if people don’t like it, tough capooty. It’s a little flexible, but unless the person wanting me to throw it completely out is willing to help me for 3days after to get them back in the swing, then nope.
    *My mantra: People Weaker than Me have done Tougher than this.

    My fella’s grandmother used to live on the nullabor while his grandfather worked on what was called the ‘Transline’. It basicaly meant that he was one of those pioneer type blokes that built the phone lines and communications lines from one side of australia to the other. He used to be away for sometimes 6-8months at a time. And there was no roster, no letters and ironically no phone (cos he hadn’t built it yet!). One of his children was 7 months old when he met it. And she did that for a couple years. I just remind myself of that when ever I’m having a damsel in distress moment and usually it snaps me out of it! Oh, they had five children too!

  4. While you’re north visiting A, you might as well swing east to visit Maine. :)

    As for churches, I found the UU church way too liberal for my tastes… I found that I liked the United Church of Christ. It’s a bit more formal which allows for plenty of time for quiet reflection. UU required more engagement/paying attention to other attendees. The UCC sermons have been interesting, too…

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