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1. Yes, I am still pregnant.  41 weeks, 2 days to be exact.  This makes people uncomfortable for some reason.  People who are not me.  I’m largely unphased by the length of time this kid chooses to incubate.

2. The doctor’s office pisses me off.  Their blatant use of lies, privilege, and fear mongering is disgusting.  That’s the only part of being pregnant this long that I don’t like: fighting with the damn doctor’s office every 3 days.  Last week I just ignored them entirely and hid out like a fugitive.

3. I’m hungry.  Why haven’t I eaten breakfast yet?  Ah yes, because I’m lazy.  Check.

4. I really wanted to experience that ‘nesting’ feeling I hear so much about.  My OCD was shitting golden kittens in excitement about the prospect of unbridled energy devoted to cleaning and organizing like a lunatic.  No. Such. Luck.  Thanks a lot, Universe.

5. That Boy’s job wants to cut his pay by 33-66%.  Uh, yea, that much.  I’m … overjoyed.  Right.  Suffice it to say he’s already looking for something else el pronto.  Not to mention, the hours at this job suck in the worst way.

6. I’m beginning to believe this child is never coming out.  Ever.  I think this kind of irrational thinking is also what happens to serial killers when you leave them in solitary confinement too long.  The crazies just start to creep in when you aren’t looking and before you know it you’re convinced the all kinds of crazy things are up.

7. Did you know they made a pack of Starbursts that only have the red flavors in it?  Uh, yea.  I just heard.  I could dance in the streets about it.  Pink and yellow Starbursts, I have no time for your shenanigans!  Out you go!

8. I’m supposed to work next weekend (3-5 Feb) at a state tournament.  Why? Because I was supposed to have this kid already.  I’m not sure how this is going to play out in the near future.  Shit.  I need to find someone to cover for me.  Good thing I have an assistant … wait … an assistant who already told me he won’t work that weekend.  Double shit.  Uh oh, spaghettio.

9. I got this cool double layer plastic tumbler thing for Christmas from my brother.  Have you seen them?  It doesn’t condensate, had a twist on lid that looks like a fountain pop cup, and a hard plastic use-it-forever straw.  I’m kind of in love with it.  It makes me wish we had a freezer upstairs.  The trek to the basement for ice cubes is generally unappealing to me always.

10. Believe it or not, the constant check-up phone calls, emails, and facey spacey messages have begun to diminish.  I attribute this to either a: people forgetting that I’m possibly still pregnant or b: me scaring them into not bugging with my shitty snark responses over the last couple weeks.  I know B worked on my dad who is now afraid to call me for an update lest he “upset me” which I think is code for “have to listen to me bitch about how I’m not answering anymore damn questions”.  Either way: bonus for me.




I’m a nerd.  Check.

I asked for a cross cut paper shredder for Christmas.  Yea, that kind of super special nerd.  I am in love with this black beauty and its 10 sheet capacity … be still, fluttering heart.

My office hides hundreds of pounds of filed away paper.  Some of it’s useful.  Some of it’s necessary.  A lot of it is related to my nerdy job.  The rest, though, has just been hanging out because I didn’t have a proper way to dispose of it.  We used to pretend that That Boy would use this identifying and private information to stoke the garage wood stove, but … well, he didn’t.  It just kept adding up.

Today is a big day.

The piles have been transformed into heaps of colorful confetti, hiding away years of memories I don’t want to have anymore.  Most of it is completely benign … old electric bills here, financial aid documents from a degree completed almost 5 years ago, old car registrations and since renewed driver’s licenses.  Some, though, is more emotionally charged.

Among the mess are three year’s worth of paper trail for That Boy’s workman’s compensation claim, an injury that changed and challenged everything about our lives, our livelihoods, and our relationship.  Then there’s the pile of credit card statements, a dusty history of my fall into Consumer Debt Hell … a  battle since won that completely turned topsy turvy the way I handle money, consumption, and the place my intense need to simplify probably comes from.

It’s all in tiny pieces now, headed for a new life as compost.  I feel 100 pounds lighter already.

Goodbye.  Good riddance.




1. We had pizza for dinner tonight.  I made my lovely family a terrific thin crust that they all thought was pretty tasty.  Thinking myself a badass, I also thought I’d try to make GLUTEN free pizza crust from scratch (because the only ‘mix’ I had on hand was my ridiculously over priced but amazing bread mix).  Yea.  About that.  So … take a box of graham crackers and subtract all forms of sweetener.  Then leave them out on the cupboard for a week to get stale.  Slather with pizza toppings and toast the snot out of them in the oven.  They will resemble dust in texture and … well, burnt dust in taste.  Yum.

2.  Some days, I fricking hate being GLUTEN free.  Knowing that I can’t cheat only makes it worse.  F this jazz.

3. I do not hate ice cream.  The local walk up ice cream place (which is far less ‘local’ than I would prefer … stupid living in the country) reopened so we headed down there after dinner tonight.  MmmmmmicecreamIloveyou.  My mother suggested we make it out summer goal to eat everyone of their 24 flavors, excluding the crap “kid ice cream” (superman, cotton candy, etc).  I think this is an admirable cause to take on … except the part where I can’t eat the ones that have cake in them.

4. I want someone to come clean my house so I don’t have to do it.  Mostly, the basement.  And by clean, I mean haul away the crap I already know no longer needs to live here.  Applications and interviews available through the comments section.  Compensation negotiable (by which I mean, largely nonexistant … unless I can pay you in crappy GF pizza).

5. I got a very sweet email today.  It kind of made my day.  The end.

6.  My desk is a disaster.  I am fearful the Department of Desk Safety may come knocking and take my lovely french colonial desk (and by lovely, I mean you can’t even tell it’s partly particle board) to live with a foster family that will love it enough to not pile unending crap on top of it.

7.  I had the shortest employment stint I’ve ever had this week.  I mentioned before that I was offered a job with the US Census.  After 2 days of training (well, one day of training and one day of them pretending we didn’t spend all day screwing off with the fingerprint pad) I was told my job was contingent on me upholding their departmental non-disclosure agreement.  The one that stands in direct conflict with the state law I swore to uphold years ago when I was granted a medic license (Fun fact: I once took 27 credit hours in one semester so I could finish my medical training at the community college while trying to finish my bachelors degree programs at the university.  Indeed, I was a crazy person.).  Yea.  Abdicate my previous responsibility (and sworn personal integrity) for some schmuck job that only lasts 4 weeks?  Not happening, US Census, so sorry.

8.  Other opportunities to fill in the income gap created by giving the Dept of Commerce the proverbial finger have already started appearing.  I couldn’t ask for them to be so speedy.  I’m just here for the ride.

9.  I dropped off my graduate school applications today.  I couldn’t mail them.  Mostly because they were due today and I finished them  yesterday … and because leaving those beauties in the mailbox instead of personally watching them arrive at the admissions office was terrifying me.  Please cross your fingers or knock on wood or cast some awesome sacrifice to your heathen deity for a speedy acceptance letter to arrive in my mailbox.  I will worry myself into a hot mess of heartburn and pacing regardless.

10. It’s still 74 degrees here, even after 10pm.  Please don’t let this be a sign of some bizarrely hot summer where I spend an entire 3 months melting profusely all over town.  We do not air condition our house.  We barely heat it, let alone cool it.  I hate that.  Well, I hate it when it’s hot.  I don’t hate it when the electric bill comes.

11.  Speaking of electric bills, we have hot water again!  The water heater died on Monday, and the replacement arrived today (3 days ahead of schedule! yes!).  I am not so stoked about the hit our savings account took to make that happen, but I am pretty elated that the new water heater uses something like 1/100th of the energy the old one did (that math is completely made up, but I swear, it’s a LOT less energy).  That Boy spent the day installing it.  If I can’t find him later, I think I’ll check the basement.  He’s more than likely sitting there staring at this new machine, drooling and mumbling, “Ooooooh, prettttty.“.

12.  Sometimes, I wish water tasted less like water.

Anything wacky going on in your neck of the woods?  Having a fabulous week?  Tell me about it in the comments.


This post is linked to Jen’s 7 Quick Take Fridays over at Conversion Diary.  You should go check it out.

Hi there.  I’m Em.

(if you’re a regular reader, you’re probably concerned that this is about to turn into the bloggy version of an AA meeting …)

If you’re stumbling here from The Ultimate Blog Party 2010, welcome welcome welcome!  I’d love for you to pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee (or your favorite Irish whiskey … an an Oberon …), and hang out in my little corner of the ever growing blogosphere with me.  But … no one likes to party with a stranger, especially a creepy stranger, so let’s talk facts first.

I’m a 20something.  I started saying 20something when I could no longer say “early 20s”.  I have a whole bunch of quarter life angst about that whole aging thing, and so you’ll have to bear with the non-specifics.  I live in community with my adorable husband (a term that even after the forever we’ve been together makes me both ridiculously joyful and squeamish), my mother, my little brother and little brother’s girlfriend.  We all live in one big old farmhouse like the sandal wearing hippie I am (and they really aren’t …).

Em is not my real name, and I refer to the husband (Ah! Twice in two sentences!) as That Boy … just so you don’t get confused.  That Boy and I have been together just over 9.5 years. The looming decade anniversary makes me nervous … more nervous than 30 … maybe.  We don’t have small people yet, but we wouldn’t necessarily mind some showing up soon (That Boy would not admit to saying that outloud, I’m positive).

I work with high school kids for a living.  They entertain the snot out of me.  I wear sandals from snowmelt to snowfall.  I’m a big fan of sustainable living, recycling (because it saves money and the planet), and real food.  I’m one of those coupon clipping frugal girls, and I spend a lot of the summer pretending to be a farmer.  You should be stoked for all the inane pictures of my little green garden that are coming this summer … brace yourself.  I really like ice cream and complaining about things I don’t like on the internet.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and occasionally a little too lazy to do anything about it.

Average Radical started as a place for me to tell the world stories about the (sometimes bizarre, sometimes hilarious) goings on of my life, rant about what’s wrong with the world, and occasionally complain about my on again off again relationship with GLUTEN (booooo).  It’s become a sweet place for me to love on people, talk religion, share the occasional dollar stretching trick or recipe, and trash talk the infamous Britt about our ongoing head to head Battle of the Scales.

I kind of like it here.

I’m hoping you do too.  I’m giddy as a school girl when people hang out and comment, so if you’re digging what you’re reading, I’d love for you to party with me anytime.  I’m game if you are.

Now, back to that Oberon …



Did you know the UBP involved prizes?!  I totally didn’t at first.  Yea, I’m that brilliant sometimes.  Anywho, you can check out the full list of prizes on 5 Minutes for Mom.  Not that I think I’m the luckiest girl in the world, but if I were to go about picking winners, I’d love the Toshiba laptop (um, duh, who wouldn’t?!), the NIV 90 Day Bible, the Jillian Michaels Get Fit Pack (oooooh The Shred, how you scare me), or any of the retail store/Amazon gift cards.  Heck, I’d love to win just about anything (I’m not a contest winner historically), but mostly, I’m just happy to party along with the UBP’10.  Thanks again for stopping by!

So, Wednesday came and went without That Boy hearing anything for the potential employer that called on Monday.  Sad face.  That of course creates a case of the “maybes”.  Maybe the guy was sick.  Maybe he forgot to call.  Maybe the store was really busy and he didn’t get around to calling.  Maybe the process of deciding who to call is taking longer than usual.

Maybe … Maybe … Maybe …

Or, maybe not …


Today, while trying to get home from a quick run to the grocery for produce (of which we had … basically none.  boo.), my phone rang.  I missed the call.  I was busy loading apples into my trunk and trying not to go homicidal on the masses of crazy people who apparently descend on the market everyday at 430pm.  I don’t generally shop in that time frame, so I really had no idea how many non-menu planning shop-by-the-seat-of-your-frenzied-post-work-pants people would be there.  That’s an entirely other story, however.  I hopped into the car and called my voicemail.

Hello, this call is regarding an offer of employment.  Please call me back at your earliest convenience.



Months and months ago, I took a qualifying exam thing (ok, I won’t make it sound cooler than it was … all 27 ridiculous questions of it …) for a job with the US Census.  It was on a whim.  I went with my brother because he didn’t want to go alone.  I have another job, if you recall, but it goes in seasons along with the academic calendar (and this is not one of the busy ones) so I knew I’d have some free time in the spring.  Really, I didn’t expect them to call.  Ok, I did, but I didn’t really want them to.  Kind of.  It’s a long story about the sordid characters I met at this exam.

And then they offered me $13.50 an hour.

And my broke (not really broke … just income-impaired) self could not tell them no.


Sometimes, we ask for things.

Sometimes, we get them.

Sometimes, we don’t.

Sometimes, we get exactly what we asked for wrapped in an entirely different package than we thought it would be.  I cannot everyday say thank you for providence and ignore the opportunities presented to me.  I still pray everyday (for his sake) that That Boy finds the perfect (even the imperfect for now …) new job to support our family.  It would seem like it isn’t quite his time.

It’s mine.

You ask … and sometimes, when you’re not paying attention, you receive.

Fine, indeed.


For more Finer Things Friday, please go read Amy.  Right now.

1. I have a MILLION things to tell you, but I don’t want to write/publish all those posts on one day and then leave you with nothing to read for weeks.  Then I’m not sure if I care about when the posts go up, so long as they go up.  Eh.  I’ll write it when the muse speaks, or at least try to while the laundry tries to interrupt.

2. I haven’t had a soda since February 17th.  I don’t know how many days that is, but it’s a lot.  I still kind of miss it a little, but not terribly.  I’m thinking this Lenten sacrifice may become a permanent one, which makes me think I need to think of another Lenten sacrifice for Holy Week.  Hmm.  What are you doing?  Inspire me.

3. I have, however, been eating way more GLUTEN than I should.  Ugh.  I fell off the wagon again, and I can soooooo feel it.  Must. Stop. Eating. GLUTEN. Right. Now.  Boo.

4. I’ve been putting in resumes all over town lately.  There have been a number of openings posted that are in fields that I’m passionate about.  I don’t think I should ignore them.  I don’t care if I get them or not.  I looooooove my current job.  I don’t know what I’ll do about that if one of these other jobs materializes.  I’m still really conflicted about that.

5. Today is “find out about a second interview” day for That Boy.  My naturally inclined to be ridiculously anxious self is all nerves about it.  I really wish they’d call already so he knew one way or the other.  Fingers crossed, please.

6. We have no menu this week.  Ahhhhhh!  The horror!  So far, no one has died, but I think I may have a stroke soon.  I really should just write something down, but the pantry inventory isn’t done which makes my perfectionist self think writing the menu is somehow impossible.  Ugh.

7. My brother is going to church with me this week.  He doesn’t have much choice.  He needs to see some classical concert thing for this class he has at college.  That concert is at 3pm on Sunday at a Catholic church downtown.  He doesn’t want to go alone, and ergo thinks I should go with him.  I still want to go to my church Sunday, even if I go to this concert with him, but the driving all over creation (here to church to here to get him to the church downtown for the concert blah blah blah) is not so appealing to my frugal sensibilities.  Alas, he’s going to church with me so we can go straight to the concert afterward.  Ha.  This will be hilarious, me thinks.

8. I feel bad that I haven’t updated you on the Biggest Loser Challenge (Round Deux).  There isn’t much to update.  I don’t lose weight when I eat GLUTEN so I don’t pay attention to the scale.  I have until Memorial Day to kick Britt’s ass, which I think is still completely attainable.  Now that the snow is gone, I’ve been walk/jogging with the dogs every night after dinner.  She has not.  (how’s that for trash talk?) I win.  Ha.

9. Did I mention I’m really super disgustingly anxious today?  I mute the NPR streaming on my desktop every time the phone rings so I can tell if That Boy is talking to the interview people or not.  Damn he talks on the phone a lot … to who, I have no idea.  I’m a nerd, yes, an anxious ball of nerves pretending not to be nerd.


Want some more numerically delineated bloggin’?  Check out 7 Quick Takes Friday at Conversion Diary.

1. I have fallen off the gluten free wagon again.  Ugh.  My body is really mad at me for it.  You would think I would learn this lesson by now.  GLUTEN = bad news bears for this girl’s health and wellbeing.  “But!”, my brain screams, “GLUTEN is soooooo tasty”.  Le sigh.  Yes, brain, gluten filled foods are delicious, but they do terrible things to my guts, mental acuity, energy level, and all around happiness with life.  Awful terrible no good very bad things.  I will spare you the specifics.  I need to get this GLUTEN thing under control again.  The primary problem? Laziness.  Some nights I don’t feel like making special food because no one else in my house is intolerant.  Then, once I cave on dinner it’s a slippy slope of gluten since I’ve already “screwed up the day” (like there’s a GLUTEN-meter somewhere keeping track …).  Boooooo.  Must. Stop. Eating. Cookies.

2. I recently started looking for a second job.  One surely isn’t enough apparently.  Ok, it is.  We make it ok, but the lovely That Boy isn’t working (still … after he was released to return to work post-accident recovery um, a million years ago … ok, less than that, but it’s starting to feel that way).  We don’t have to be a 2 income household, but you’ll recall I work for more warm fuzzy feelings than dollar bills so we’re really a 1/2 income family at this point.  If we want more room in our budget to give and pay off debt and travel and continue to provide care for my elderly car (which I adore, for the record) , we need more income.

3. A highlight from the job searching … I recently applied for two different jobs with the county health department.  One of them was a stretch for me to ‘qualify’ for based on licensure and experience (I’m a firm believer in applying above and below your qualifications and seeing what sticks …).  The other I was woefully overqualifed for.  The job posting closed at 5pm on Friday last week.  At 523pm, I had not one, but TWO pretty pre-written rejection letters in my inbox.  Nicely done, municipality!  Way to be on top of rejecting people before you’ve probably read any of their resume or cover letter.  Haha.  Sweet.

4. I love peanut butter M&Ms.  Too much.  They’re full of dyes and chemicals and high fructose corn syrup (probably …).  My mouth thinks they’re also full of sunshine and smiles.

5. I want to have the spring cleaning bug this week that I had last week.  Last week it was cold and still snowing and not yet time for throwing open windows so one can spring clean, but damn if I wasn’t itchin’ to do just that.  This week, the sun is shining and the temperatures are climbing above freezing, but I’m less than interested in cleaning anything.  My brain seems to have this artificial timeframe for getting this cleaning done, and my body does not want to follow along.

6. Katie (from Kitchen Stewardship, a rockin’ cool blogger who you should be reading …) reminded me today that we’ve reached the halfway point of Lent.  Yes!  I haven’t had a drop of soda the entire time.  Double yes!  I have also not died without Diet Coke, which I was entirely convinced would immediately happen sometime around Day 2 or 3.  Triple yes!  It’s not all fun and successes, though.  As Katie points out, Lent isn’t just about sacrifice, but increased prayer and reflection. The prayer and meditation goals I set for Lent?  Yea … about that … I was johnny on it for weeks 1 and 2, but then … well … ok, I need to get back on the horse and try again.  Maybe I should combine the goals I’m not meeting in various parts of my life?  I don’t think the Book of Common Prayer has any words about not eating gluten, though … boo.

7. I’m trying to think of ways I can secretly turn up the thermostat without That Boy noticing because I’m freakin’ freezing tonight.  My coldy cold fingers keep misspelling words and making me backspace like a crazy person.  I am, of course, wearing only a tshirt, and as such would be an idiot to actually turn up the furnace to compensate for my lazy disregard for finding a sweater.  A girl can dream …

Anything awesome or terrible or otherwise random going on in your life?  Tell me about it!


I’m a nerd.  Check.

I have a nerdy job.  Check.

The people I work with at my job are nerds.  Check.

Seriously, it’s like nerd-palooza.

This weekend was a work travel weekend.  I was gone Thursday through Saturday.  I ate garbage while I was gone (lots more than necessary for sure).  I didn’t sleep much.  My mind went 1,928 miles per hour at all times trying to keep up with the activities and the children and the logistics of traveling with a herd of high school kids and one (and 2 half) grown ups.  It was crazy.

I loved it.

For real.  I always love it.  There are moments that aren’t that rad.  There are terse conversations with 16 year olds about how they will be doing what I want them to do.  There are times I have to repeat myself 18 times to get something done.  There are hustled moments and stress and the most intense belly laughter on the planet.  There are smiles and pouting faces (which I care much less about than they would think …) and conversations that change outlooks and futures.

Repeat: I love it.

This weekend, the children and I hung out on the floor in a hallway between rounds flipping through a college coursebook and trying to play “Let’s Plan Em’s Future” by picking graduate school programs.  I cannot choose a program.  There are too many options (and not all of them are that cool), too many offerings, too many disgruntled conversations that include other grown ups saying things like “Well, what program has the most employability?” or “Where are the most likely salary increases going to be?”


I don’t give two shits about the paycheck.  I don’t care if there are 187 jobs available after I graduate or 2.  I have a job.  A job that I adore.  A job that pays pittance in cash but millions in satisfaction.  I am indeed a grown up, though, so my mind circles the practical aspects as I flip pages just as much as the passionate ones.

The kids’ first question: “Which one would be the most fun?” Next: “Which is most interesting?”

They know how to plan a life.  Cynical old crustypants people would likely call them immature or underdeveloped in their analysis of which graduate school is best for their been-in-school-way-too-long coach.  They don’t focus on paychecks or pension plans.  They want to love what they do.

So do I.

And I thank them for reminding me of that.


Past Tense