Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I beat the Game this Round

Last Tuesday night the slight night wind blew some branches against our phone line. The line didn't fall down, but it did drop by several inches. And Wednesday our Internet (DSL) didn't work, which I noticed in the morning. All day long I reset wires, unplugged and replugged, and to no avail. I even offered desperate, bargaining prayers. But then Internet never worked. I did not, however, look outside my back window at my phone line. Nor did I ever try and use the phone. That afternoon, as I had stayed up late the night before reading a book (vampire fiction no less, by Robin McKinley. Yikes, I even liked it. [although it was very different from the rest of her books, and very...adult.]), I managed to finagle a nap for myself. Lydia was playing on my bed, and fell asleep, Elisheva was asleep for her normal afternoon nap, and I crashed on the couch.

I even brought the phone over, in case a well meaning sister called me, so I wouldn't have to move from my spot of repose. But the phone never rang. I should have known the fates of the world would never let me get through a nap without the phone ringing without something being wrong with the phone.

It was not until after my nap, when I awoke with a massive hunger inside me for red meat, that I realized how cut off from the world I truly was. You must know something about me. I am always on the verge of anemia. Both pregnancies I have been anemic during, and with Elisheva it was bad enough that I often could not muster the energy to cook, or clean. Oh, sure, that's my excuse sometimes now, but back then, it was real. I would sit there, and think, 'I really should get up. And cook. Or do dishes. Or just get up, and stand there.' And my body would not respond. I think that part of anemia must include your brain synapses becoming detached from your nerve system. Even when I am not pregnant, I will often be anemic, although not nearly as bad. Every time I go to give blood, I have them check my iron level first thing, because about half the time I cannot muster enough iron to count as not anemic. Even when I pass, after having intentionally gorged on raisins (blecky), spinach and red meat for days beforehand, I still only measure right on the line - one degree lower, and I would, yet again, be anemic.

So I awoke from my nap, and went into the kitchen to find something to make for dinner. And nothing I had planned sounded appealing. I knew I needed to eat red meat for dinner. And all we had were some frozen steaks (gifts from Avram's parents). Not even Venison was red meat enough for me (we have lots of venison - also gifts from the same source.) So I thawed the three steaks. By this time, I was reeling around the kitchen, dreaming of nice, rare steak. But we had no potatoes, for a side. And steaks need potatoes. And the girls were still asleep. And Avram wouldn't arrive home until after six - way past any time the potatoes would need to be started.

I pulled out cookbooks, trying to think of alternative food. I sat around, and dreamed of steak. And then I looked up Golden Corral, the steak buffet, in the phonebook. By now my mind reduced to a little anemic lump, sending out only one message - "Need Iron now, need iron now." I did find three in the greater Columbus area, but I didn't know where they were, and I could not consult Google maps. And I wanted to make sure they served steak on weeknights. So I at last resorted to the phone. Where I discovered that, although I could hear the dial tone, it was covered with a loud layer of crackly static.

My pea sized brain had a moment of inspiration, and I knew why the Internet had not worked all day long. But this did not solve any problems. Turns out G.I. Joe was wrong - knowing isn't half the battle.

At six fifteen, the girls had barely woken up, Avram arrived home, to find all of us staring hopefully out the window at him, waiting for him to fix our troubles.

After diagnosing the phone problem with me (already the dial tone was mostly gone, and static reigned supreme), Avram, the good husband that he is, rounded up the girls, and we got in the car, on a search for the Golden Corral. We drove down the street we knew it was one (we just didn't know how far we'd have to drive). After twenty minutes, we hit a stopped train, and a policman redirecting traffic away, so we did a detour that eventually, after I had lost hope in the Universe, to the Golden Corral, which did in fact serve steak, and all was well.

Except our phone, which didn't get fixed until Friday night. Which means that I was very cut off from the world, and my family thought I hated them. I think the Forces that be were retaliating for my Game of Life post. It was too insidious.

I got them once and for all, though. Avram sent in a proposal for the 2010 Sperry Symposium, a scriptural conference that BYU does every October. For last year's schedule they only had profesors and CES, so I have been sadly sure that Avram would not be accepted. On Thursday, we got a letter from BYU - a physical letter, even, so it bypassed our lack of Internet, and Avram was preliminarily accepted! He needs to write the paper now, and send it by the beginning of October this year, and as long as the paper is fine, then he'll be a presenter at the Sperry Symposium, and his paper will possibly even be included in the book they publish from the Symposium. I'm so proud of Avram - this is the biggest LDS Scriptural Conference, and a very important one for him to present in from a Scholarly LDS perspective. And along with getting the Ph.d. degree itself, there are important other things that a potential Professor needs to do to be marketable. Among them are presenting at conferences. Another is being published. And another is teaching.

Then, yesterday Avram found out that he has funding for Fall of this year. He'll be teaching a class, the Bible as Literature. And his colleague got funding as well, as a research assistant. And Avram anticipates he will be able to teach the Mythology class, or something else, the rest of the year as well. We are so grateful. And my imaginary ulcer I was getting from all the worry can relax now.

So, I believe for this round at least, despite my slow beginning, I have beat the Universe and Mean & Nasty Fates.


  1. Wow! Congratulations to Avram! What happy, lovely news! So glad things have worked out. And the Sperry Symposium? That's just awesome. (we listen to them on the drive to church quite often, I guess they have them online for download.)

    And what a fun adventure with your anemia/lack of Internet and phone. I'm glad you survived that. I'm trying to remember if I've ever had steak. (seriously) (isn't that weird?) (I'm pretty sure I have, but only a bite of my dad's or maybe Greg's once in a restaurant) (I'm not that big on red meat) (maybe partly because I'm not anemic).

  2. Glad things are working out. Congrats to Avram on getting support. When you are in our neighborhood, you should come for dinner. This is an official invitation. I can even serve red meat.

  3. Congratulations to Avram and you both. That must be a huge relief!

  4. Wahoo! Steak and Sperry in the same post--not many accomplish that in their battles against the Universe and Mean & Nasty Fates.

    And your family knows you don't hate them now. That, in fact, you were desperately missing them.

    All is well with the world.

  5. Hey, I didn't know about the funding--How cool. Now he gets to teach as well as have the money. That's great.

  6. Congratulations to both of you! I was praying for both of you.