Thursday, October 22, 2009

A glimpse into one woman’s never-ending mental checklist

By Kim Evans

for The Herald-Times,

October 22, 2009

The Oct. 26 issue of Time Magazine features a poll that reveals the staggering but not surprising result that while women now comprise 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, they report feeling less happy than they did in 1972.

From my perspective, the root of the unhappiness is this: in our climb to prominence in the working world, most women have not given up their role as homemaker; they’ve merely added professional work on top of it.

By my calculation, that’s two full-time jobs.

Men try to help with housework. I know they do. But I’m convinced their brains are not wired to multi-task like ours are. Allow me to introduce the Never-Ending Mental Checklist. Mine looks something like this:

Don’t forget to make sure the gecko’s water dish is full; you don’t want it to die of dehydration and make your daughter sad; help the 13-year old dog down the stairs, encourage her to go outside to do her business WHILE fixing breakfast and packing lunch for your daughter AND making sure she has all her homework, permission slips, and school materials packed and ready to go, KEEPING IN MIND the bills that need to be paid and the bank run that MUST BE DONE before the automated mortgage payment overdraws the checking account WHILE confirming with your mother that yes, it would be WONDERFUL if she could visit with your daughter after school, but FIRST let me check the calendar to make sure there aren’t scheduling conflicts because there MIGHT be a soccer make-up game tonight, or there might be horseback riding, or a school event, and there’s ALWAYS the required amount of time each evening for homework with extra help on math because no one in our family truly GETS this Everyday Math stuff, so not only do I need to help my daughter, I need to teach it to MYSELF first lest I show her the wrong way, causing her to do poorly on her ISTEP test and – HELLO – the cat just knocked the brownies on the floor and OH YEAH I wanted to print out a piece of writing for class today AND will I have time to take a shower before I go; I want to be fresh because I’d better drum up more freelance work, so gear up to sell, sell, sell, THEN later that evening, Dear Husband agrees to cook dinner while you write your newspaper column but you feel compelled to remind him to butter BOTH sides of the bread before he grills the sandwiches AND you are fully aware that soup and sandwiches are the last meal in the fridge before another grocery run is needed and WOW that new Kroger is humongous and where did I put those coupons THEN consider one more time HOW you can fit some exercise into your schedule and think SERIOUSLY are you really going to have time to MAKE all those Christmas gifts and WOW what a beautiful Fall evening it finally is, when are we going to find time to take a family hike, much less get our pumpkins and where DID the days go when we rode a hay wagon to the pumpkin patch and took photos of our little girl like your friend just posted on her Facebook page, which reminds you to update your status so your friends don’t think you’ve withered away, but haven’t you done just that?

Calgon, take me back to 1972. (Did I just say that?)

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Exceeding Expectations" Exhibit

An exhibit celebrating outstanding alumni of the Visual Communications program at Ivy Tech Community College, Columbus.

Sept 20th - Dec 31st

Columbus Learning Center

Columbus, Indiana

- Graphic Design

- Photography

- Illustration

4555 Central Avenue

Columbus, Indiana 47203


Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

I'm excited to say that some of my graphic design work is represented in this gallery show. I'm honored to be included. There is an opening reception next week that I am planning to attend. What should I wear? It's all about me, right? (Note: the figure in the promo photo is not me.)

Here is one of my pieces on display:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

When car shopping, don’t rule out the potential for serendipity

Community Column for Herald-Times, Bloomington, IN
October 8, 2009

About a year ago, my husband and I realized we needed to replace our 1995 Ford Contour. With an odometer reading of 120,000, she was running poorly, requiring us to purchase the expensive grade gasoline, and she only gave us 22 miles per gallon.

We had special memories in our Contour. She was the car in which we brought our newborn daughter home from the hospital. She was the car whose rear passenger window became plastered with sparkly dolphin stickers placed by little hands. She was the car we drove on family vacations to the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

It was hard to part with our Contour. But a decade had passed, and it was time to let her go.

We began thinking about what kind of car we wanted: economically-priced, fuel efficient, yet not hybrid (out of our price range), with plenty of room for our family of three. And safety was important. This could be the car our daughter would learn to drive in about six years. (Where did the time go?)

After many hours of online research, we decided our first choice was a used Toyota Corolla.

Next was the task of finding our perfect Corolla out there somewhere, our vehicular soul-mate. I intended to conduct this car search as efficiently as possible without letting it take over my life. I entered the car-shopping zone, that hyper-alert state where one’s eyes are drawn like magnets to every car ad in the newspaper and every car lot in town. I was on a mission.

I searched for local deals. Nothing was quite right. I turned to the classified ads and didn’t see any prospects at first.

Then one day I saw an ad that looked promising. Model year 2006: Check. Reasonably-low miles: Check. The type of transmission we preferred: Check. In our price range: Check. Sunroof: Bonus! CD player: Bonus! I called the number listed and scheduled a test drive that evening.

When we arrived at the owner’s house, I noticed he looked familiar. I thought for a moment. Could he possibly be someone we knew? As it turned out, the answer was yes. He was an old friend of my parents, and was actually a guest at our wedding 15 years ago!

We drove the car — loved it. Everything felt right, even the color. When we returned, our friend even volunteered to drop the price by $300. Sold!

Things don’t usually happen this smoothly for me. Really.

The serendipity continued. With the deal done, we chatted for a while, and the topic of music came up. Our friend mentioned to my husband that he knew a guy who was looking for a new bass player for his band.

My husband, who had been thinking about playing in a band again, wrote down the guy’s phone number and scheduled an audition later that week. He was asked to join on the spot.

So the end of this story finds us with a beautiful dark blue fuel-efficient car in our driveway, my husband playing bass in a band called Lazy Piranha and our Contour sold at our neighborhood yard sale to a couple who were happy to buy her.

And whenever anyone asks me where we bought our Corolla, I tell them we purchased it from a family friend.