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master o farts

Things got quiet around here because a lot of stuff was going on. Things like my son turning 8, and a cousin’s baby shower, and me getting my Master’s. Also, I made cupcakes.

I couldn’t sleep last Friday night for whatever reason, so I puttered about making the cupcakes for the baby’s rollerskating party the next day and scanning pictures from when he was born. I wish someone could tell me how this:


becomes this:


Which isn’t to say, “How does this innocent baby become a red-eyed, knife-wielding psychopath who is shameless enough to wear a Steelers jersey on the day that said team loses to the Oakland fucking Raiders?” But rather, “How does that tiny squirt become this young guy?”

On Sunday, I went to a baby shower with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and grandmother-in-law that was very…Pittsburgh. It was in a fire hall (aka “fahr hawl” aka the event area of a VFW). The buffet featured fried chicken and rigatoni, which are staples of showers, weddings, and really any large gathering of people in Pittsburgh. And someone brought their Virgin Mary statue.


Mary just chilled in the middle of the table and I didn’t even think to ask why she was there, but apparently this particular Virgin Mary cries. So. I guess she was the entertainment.

Anyway, we went to my grandmother’s afterward and had a family birthday party for the baby. One of his favorite gifts was a “real” tie. He has several of the kid versions that zip up, but wanted the real deal.


Yesterday, I gave my final presentation and though I’m not officially certified yet (weirdly enough, certifying graduate degrees is part of my job so I’ll be certifying myself), I am done with my Master’s degree.

It was kind of anti-climactic, but my relief and joy is palpable. With the presentation successfully put to bed, I posted to Twitter and Facebook that I was done. The amount of heartfelt congratulations that I received made me cry a little, because everyone was so truly happy for me.

Calculating from the first day that I took a class until yesterday, I’ve been working toward this for 1,199 days. I honestly can’t believe that I made it. Around 10 a.m. this morning, right after I finished my informational exit interview, I suddenly felt very tired, as though I had been walking for many miles, or perhaps the abbreviated nights of sleep and weekends suddenly caught up with me.

I’m so glad that this accomplishment and celebrating another year of my son’s life comes at the end of a rather tumultuous year. After many months of mucking about, feeling broke and ineffective and unlucky, suddenly change seems possible. New year, new joys, new heartbreaks, new careers, new anything.

After we picked up the baby from school yesterday, we went home and I changed into sweatpants while the husband gave the baby his first lesson in tying a tie.


I made some macaroni and cheese and while the husband went to play basketball with some friends, the baby and I cuddled on the couch and watched the Food Network. We went to bed early, no reports to write, no research to conduct, no deadlines to meet. Just accomplishment and a moment to breathe.

9 comments to master o farts

  • awww.

    and one more time–congratulations! you will spend time for a while twitching and fretting that you were supposed to be doing something that you know you are forgetting. when really, you aren’t! the stress relief is a weird animal.

    also, you kill me with the fried chicken and rigatonis. soooooo wePA. i am married to a wePA man and the ubiquitous steelers jersey at all events, the serving of fried chicken, rigatoni and cookies at everything totally weirded me out for a long while. i told them over and over–people from my neck of the woods just don’t eat or serve anything like you folks do. it is just different. and that is ok!

  • I know I’m not a fancy virgin mary statue who cries, but I hope my congratulations brightens your day just the same. Congratulations! Truly awesome, my friend.

  • Oh…and I just got the joke of your post title. Ha! Perhaps I shouldn’t have dropped out of grad school.

  • Mary

    I think Joe had that exact menu at his bachelor party — I came home after our festivities and found a fridge full of fried chicken and rigatonis.

    I also love how it’s never just rigatoni, it’s rigatonis.

  • After all the hard work you did you deserve a nap! And as many cupcakes as you can eat. Congratulations again, I’m so happy for you.

  • lazza

    big congrats. i had to explain to my new zealand hubby’s family what a fahr hahl wedding was and why i was slightly annoyed at the suggestion my mother made that we should have one. we settled on a community center wedding with some italian pasta amid the good stuff and a cookie table next to the cake. i had to draw the line at having iron city on the bar. yech.

  • Lisa

    I’ve been following your blog since you started the Master’s (way back on Live Journal!). It went fast for me! haha… Seriously, though. It’s a major major accomplishment. Graduate school is hard enough when that’s the only thing on your plate. But with a family and a job, well…..let’s just say YOU ROCK! Enjoy yourself this holiday season. BTW..the pic of your husband helping your son tie his tie is precious!

  • A few things:

    The fried chicken makes me lonely for SW Ohio – I lived there for five years and when I’ve gone to Pittsburgh I’ve felt totally at home so I guess that makes sense.

    I felt the same way after I finished journalism school last year. Weird. It is a big deal – congratulations.

    Finally – that Virgin Mary shot made me think of every time I worked Bingo at church. She wasn’t there, but she would have fit right in.

  • Erin

    Congrats on finishing your MAPW. Such an accomplishment!

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