Monday, November 17, 2008

La ironía

This event I'm about to narrate happened last week, the night of the day of my last post, but I still think it's funny and so I'm going to share it anyway.

We had yet another event to celebrate here in the sótano last week: my friend La Rusa's divorce was finalized, finally. She's been trying to two long years to sever her life from that of her shiftless, cheating, alcoholic, paranoid-schiz now-ex-husband, and he's been fighting her on it all the way. Normally I'm a proponent of marriage, but not when it mires the involved parties in misery. Now she's free to move on with her life and find someone who treats her right, appreciates her mind and spirit and loves her completely (she's a catch). As my suegro observes, "There are things in life worse than death, and things in marriage worse than divorce".

Anyway, having been at her side these last two years of heartache and bank-breaking legal battle, I thought we should celebrate the occasion and so on Wednesday we went out to happy hour at a nice tapas bar down the hill. We ate too much and laughed like adolescent girls for a couple of hours, but afterward we both had to head back up to our offices in the sótano to attend to piles of ungraded exams. On the way back we ran into a colleague leaving the building, and she asked what we were so happy about. I told her we'd been out celebrating. She asked what the occasion was, and La Rusa laughed and said, "her anniversary and my divorce".

How's that for opposite ends of the celebratory spectrum?

Funny thing is, I don't feel like one is all that far removed from the other, at least in our cases. We were celebrating shared life with a wonderful man, and her now wide-open opportunity to find one for herself, more wisely this time. Call me cursi, but in their own ways, each situation is pinned to the hope of life-long companionship with someone who'll help us become better people, rather than damning our progress.

Lola is grateful for her marriage, and wishes her friends the same happiness.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tres años

Today is my third wedding anniversary. I can't believe it's been that long. Then again, I've gotten to the point that some days I feel like we've always been together, that my life before my husband is vague and somehow less significant. I know that isn't true, because I had 29 years of mostly good and certainly jam-packed life before 12 November 2005. Sometimes I forget that he wasn't around for all of that, and I half-expect him to remember things that happened before we met.

Of course, this doesn't change our present geography. He's off in Mexico working at his new job, and I'm here in Colorado doing mine. I just finished teaching for the day, and am settling down for a day of extracting tokens from a corpus of spoken English. I suppose that's a sign that we're used to this marriage thing-- it's a special day, but it's still a day like any other in that we still have work to do and can't slow down except for a moment to say "I love you, and it's been a great three years so far".

Lola occasionally resents these reminders of responsible adulthood.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I don't know where to draw the line between all this excitement-- I passed my MA exams AND Obama won. Today, at least, I've lost that cynical smirk that always lurks beneath my grin (a friend noted my "sonrisota" this morning). I got a lump in my throat last night listening to McCain's beautiful, inspired concession speech and his call to back Obama, his own pledge to do so, and his plea that we unite as a nation. Though, I was extremely disappointed by his sore loser supporters who actually _booed_ when he mentioned Obama's name. I can't believe he had to shush them! What jerks! In contrast, nobody booed when Obama acknowledged McCain's graciousness and his status as a great hero and as someone who will continue to help this nation progress.

If McCain put a lump in my throat, Obama made me tear up. I don't think his message of hope and progress and unity and personal responsibility is just rhetoric. I honestly believe that he can help us move forward. Naïve? Perhaps. For today, at least, I'm going to ride this feeling of hope and a bright future, along with most of the rest of the world.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So, I know it may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I PASSED MY ORAL EXAMS THIS AFTERNOON and now the only things standing between me and those two blessed letters M and A after my name are five more weeks of classes, two half-written term projects and a cakewalk French-translation exam. The biggest, most stress-inducing portion is behind me, and I passed. I did it. I am not an idiot, and that has been verified by by three very bright and highly overqualified professors of mine, one of whom is one of the most influential minds in the field. All of this busting my ass, lack of sleep, and further ruination of my eyesight over the last two and a half years has been validated. I learned stuff, I can analyze it and articulate my analysis. I'm not knocking other kinds of work, but to anyone who thinks that life in academia is cushy or that we don't appreciate the meaning of hard work, you haven't been here. This is at least as hard as any other job, and the climb up the ladder is at least as grueling.

Forgive my narcissism when I say I'm smart and proud of my big accomplishment. Today I feel justified in telling the world.

Magister Lola is comtemplating how to celebrate.