Tuesday, November 20, 2012

We Continue to Exist

Not only have we been absurdly busy, but our camera has been intermittently broken; so, forgive me for not updating the "world" on the happenings of the McClain Clan.

For example: The Fourth of the July--yeah, we had that here too. It was normal; well, except Collin had to do sparklers one-handed. 

Oh, and family (almost all of you) has visited. Collin summarily displayed his typical personality on all accounts. 

Here's the gist of updates: I got hired at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD right about the same time that we enrolled Collin in Fredericksburg Academy. This is not an ideal situation, because the days I teach, I commute an insane amount. Okay, insane doesn't even come close to describing it. But, we are managing it. Oh, and teaching freshmen and "remedial" freshmen. Oy. It's a lot of work. I like it, but it's a lot, lot, lot of work. The boy loves his school, and to me, that makes the whole thing worth it, commute and all. 

Perhaps the most important (fun) thing that happened in the past few months was the Maryland Ren Faire. Whoa, Nellie was this a HUGE Renaissance Faire. The park is built to accommodate it, and it was a beautiful day. Collin rode a pony; get this, for free! The pony rides were free! Maybe this is normal everywhere, but I'm used to paying extra for everything at a place like this. I'm surprised when they don't charge for toilet paper at the port-a-potties. So, when it was free pony rides, I couldn't throw him on that beast fast enough. Apparently, there is a 3 ride limit for the day. Whatever. Once was enough for him, but he had a great time. 

Other than that, the dog is still doing great. She has her moments of "STOP ACTING LIKE A PUPPY!"But, she's actually pretty wonderful. She lives up to her "Great Dane" reputation most of the time. She's fiercely loyal to us already; she's incredibly lazy (most of the time--unless she's spazzing out and attempting to eat the entire house, literally). She's also giant. When I finally got around to uploading the miscellaneous broken pictures from the camera, it was like looking at a different dog. I don't realize how huge she is until I see how much she's grown. Sure, every man, woman and child that sees her says, "whoa, is that a horse?" or, "what kind of dog is that? It's huge!" but, to me, she's just goofy ol' Daphne. It's remarkable when I see how little she was. 

This is a ridiculous picture of Bryon, but an adorable picture of Daphne. When we first got her, she looked like this. 

Now, she is this big. Turnabout is fair play in this house, so I present you with an equally unflattering picture of me (note the absurd hat--my head was cold). But, you get the idea of how damn tall she is. Fear not, we were playing tag; she wasn't about to eat me. 

Or, for a closer look, the look I think is more impressive, she has a giant head. Oh, and she has an equally giant tongue. 

I found this picture towards the end of the memory card (where Bryon was testing the camera) and thought, why is there a picture of the family room? Then I looked closer and couldn't stop giggling. Too cute, right? Big girl. 

Overall, she has become a happy part of the family. While poor Eddie was never, ever allowed on the furniture, except for our bed, Daphne has flat-out rejected that rule. She's too big to argue with about that, so she has adopted her own spot on the couches (namely, as close as she can get to me without crushing my lungs). She's been known to sit on my lap, or across my legs. Danes prefer to be touching you at all times. It's charming until they have a bad dream and insist on sharing a Queen bed with two people. Anyway, they are cute when they are sharing a big couch with the family. 

Nothing too exciting has happened (thankfully) since the "incident" involving a bowl. Bryon is still working a lot, and now I'm working and, we balance our schedules. I just finished submitting all my doctoral applications. The whole process was probably the most disheartening thing I've ever done. Not a single person I dealt with gave me an encouraging word, or suggested that I had the slightest chance of getting into any school, anywhere on the planet. Apparently, getting into a doctoral program in literature is like getting a spot on the space shuttle. Who knew? Nothing makes you feel like a failure quite like applying to something for which everyone tells you that you have no shot at. Suddenly, all your major accomplishments, which formerly felt so illustrious, feel totally shoddy and shallow. Anyway, I applied to three schools and if I'm lucky, I'll get into one. One. We'll see. Cross your fingers for me. My goal is to be called Dr McClain before Bryon is called General McClain. I want to screw with the protocol office when we get to that point. I've decided that I will pitch a fit if they address us as General and Mrs. Great life goal, right? Don't worry, I came up with something much more eloquent for my admissions essays!  

So, forgive the randomness of the shots, but here's our life, more or less, over the last few months.