Friday, June 30, 2006

thanks for the anger

ha. I like that post title.

Thanks to those of you who contributed to the list of sayings about anger.

But, and this might make you mad, I think I'm gonna go with something more along the lines of being fooled. That is, after all, what makes teachers so mad most of the time when it comes to plagiarism.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

anger help, please

I'm trying to come up with a nifty title for my article on plagiarism and anger, and I'm coming up short. Help me think of all the sayings we have about anger. Here are the ones I've come up with:

blowing a gasket
hit the roof
boiling over
my blood is boiling
(hmmm...all three of these have to do with heat)
reading him the riot act

Can you think of any that have anything to do with writing or reading? Other than that last one, which doesn't really work...

why that thought experiment wasn't really fair

Most of my friends are married or in long-term relationships. Most. Not all. So when a coupled friend tries to play that game with me, they ultimately fail. They fail most obviously because, well, they can't think of very many people over 35 who are single and not freaks. And, as Hillary put it this morning, she's not gonna play this game because when she can't name anyone, it just makes me feel bad.

Me: Yes, but it also makes me right.

And I still have friends, how?

They also fail when they tell me not to fall prey to the constructed need for coupledom. They fail because that's like someone with millions of dollars saying money doesn't matter.

So I apologize to my friends for starting this. I've still got a year and four months to go before doomsday, so until then I shall celebrate my singlehood.

Hillary, this morning on the phone: I guess I should call Shirley.

Me: What, so you have friends other than me?

H: I need backups for when you're dead.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Chicopee Falls makes its primetime debut

Okay, so maybe it wasn't a debut, since I was, after all, watching a rerun of Grey's Anatomy. But still. George was wearing a red t-shirt from Chicopee Falls, and really, how many Chicopee Falls are there in the country?

This makes me feel a) famous, just a teeny bit; and b) the need to get meself a red Chicopee Falls t-shirt when I go to Massachusetts next month. Celebrate the land of kielbasa!

Monday, June 26, 2006

today's thought experiment

On the phone this afternoon with Hillary, who's just come back from the funeral of her husband's coworker. Hillary describes the big to-do, the religion, the pastor trying to convert the masses, etc.

Me: When I'm dead, have a party.
H: Well, yeah, we'll all be celebrating that you've finally gotten what you've wanted since you could speak.
Me: Yeah, if you had a nickel for every time I said I'd shoot myself....
H: It'll be too bad that it wasn't by gunshot.
Me: If I'm still single when I'm 35, I'm shooting myself.
H groans.
Me: No, really. How many people do you know who are 35 and single?
She names Mike somebody.
Me: Yes, but is he normal?
H: He's funny. We make sure he's at every party we go to.
Me: But he's got issues, doesn't he?
H: Well, he does wash his car a lot.
Me: Tonight that's your job. Think of one person over 35 who's still single and not got major issues and I won't shoot myself.
H says something to the effect of wanting to shoot me herself.
Me: Hey, I was supposed to be dead if I was 30 and single. You're lucky I'm still here.
H: Make sure you share that line with your therapist. 'You're lucky I'm still here.'

boss blog

Okay, so sometimes I can be kinda bossy. This fine characteristic of mine has been driven home to me a number of times in the last few weeks, so I'm working on reforming my ways.

Before: Close the window shade.
After: Could you please close the window shade? Thank you.

Before: Here, cut the bread.
After: Would you mind cutting the bread? Here's a knife. Thank you. (see, I even give out weapons now)

Before: Nan, I'll see you at the park tomorrow.
After: Nan, would you like to join Belly and me for a trip to the park tomorrow? Thank you.

Before: Sit.
After: Annabelle, please sit. Thank you kindly.

Where before I was slightly annoying with my bossy ways, now I'm gonna drive all my friends to nausea with my pleases and thank yous.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please visit again.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

my mother knows what Birkenstocks are...

...because, my friends, she watches QVC.

Clearly, if this is the title of a post, I ain't got much to say these days.

Today I'm alternating working on a teaching portfolio with taking walks because the weather is absolutely PERFECT out there.

All that shit I'm always writing about knowing thyself? My life is one big catch-22. If I were to teach in the summer, I'd be miserable because I'd have no time to myself and no time to recharge. Yet because I'm not teaching, I get way too deep into my own internal issues when I'm alone for too long and then I become miserable. This is why this academic life is so good for me: alternating time with and without people. But summers are hard sometimes. I get a bit sick of myself.

Okay, perhaps that last line is one I shouldn't necessarily include in the statements about my teaching. tee hee.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

the bricks, they've been hitting me a lot lately

1. The cold I caught while in Florida hit me on Saturday with a vengeance. I couldn't drink beer for two days.

2. Nostalgia for the 90s. Reading back through old journals today made me cry. I was so young, so impressionable, so thin. Not the healthiest physchologically, but still.

3. My absolute inability to stay home for more than one day without getting all sad and nostalgic. See number 2, above.

4. How very much I'm liking the article I'm working on. I read it over today for the first time in almost two weeks, and shee-it, it's coming along.

5. How much we change without even realizing it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

home sweet home

I guess when I go to Massachusetts next month, I can't really say I'm going "home." Home is here, where my girl is and where my friends are and where my work is. It's incredibly good to be home.

Remember that novel I was so excited about reading--The Girls by Lori Lansens--the one that's told from the perspectives of conjoined twins? What a disappointment. Things happen in the novel that are simply physically impossible given the nature of their conjoinment, and I'm just not able to suspend my disbelief in order to keep reading. So it's off to the bookstore I go today to get new fun stuff to read.

My cold is mostly gone, this one being much shorter lived than the last one. NyQuil is a godsend. I slept 12 hours Monday night.

The Tricksters won our game on Monday night. I ran the bases at least 3 1/2 times--this on the one night of the season when I can barely breathe. Luckily, none of that running involved more than one base at a time or I might've collapsed.

Belly loves her new toy named Sprout. She's been such a good girl since I got home. My sweet, sweet Booda.

Back to the writing life tomorrow. I need one more day of doing nothing, just me and my girl.

Monday, June 19, 2006

cursed, I tell you

I'm suffering my second summer cold in two months. I'm at the Orlando airport and I want to curl up in a ball and take my NyQuil and go to sleep, but alas, I cannot.

The AP reading was really a lot of fun, a lot more fun than I would've guessed it'd be. Tuesday was my worst day--the first full day of reading--but after that I became an automaton and time flew by. I made some fantastic new friends, and I'm looking forward to keeping in touch with them. In fact, when I go to Massachusetts in July, I'll see my new friend Holly. She teaches at Smith. What a gig.

I think I'll go to one of the Disney stores to see if I can get me a new Grumpy shirt. My other one's getting a bit threadbare.

My brain has melted and is currently dripping through the nasal passage. Shoot me now.

Friday, June 16, 2006

how you know you're a complete and total dork

Friday night. Daytona Beach. A bunch of English teachers sitting in a hotel ballroom listening to a speaker talking about all of her grammar pet peeves. Thinking that, because we're English teachers, we're gonna agree with generalizations like, "nobody reads anymore." Ugh.


A funny from today: "Anytime Jesus shows up in an essay, it can't be a good thing."

Oh, and the shirt I bought today--everyone was completely envious of it because it so beautifully reflects the stuff we've been reading all week. So I'm not gonna be the only one wearing it.

I miss my Booda very very much. I bought her a new toy today. That toy's name: Sprout.

note to self

Sprout is a really really good dog name.

Sprouty Sprouty poo.

And there'll never be another dog with the same name.

My name is Sprout. I want to come out.

I bought a flamingo t-shirt in Florida. Yes, indeedy. All in honor of my weeklong affair with the plastic pink flamingos. Love them.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

funners in the sunners

Met a great group of women tonight at dinner and we hooted and hollered all night long over free beers and cheese. One of the women teaches at Smith in Northampton, and I told her I'm from Chicopee and she told me she gets her hair done in Chicopee. Made me feel all at home and shit.

And then. And then. And then.

I think my writing skills might be suffering a bit this week. All for the love of pink flamingos.

Tuesday's grading was rough, but today was much better. The day went pretty quickly. Tomorrow's officially hump day. I wonder if we'll get a special present. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

the beach, the glorious beach

When I was a kid, sometimes half the family would take a day trip to the beach in Connecticut. I always had fun, but I have to say I never really saw the allure of the beach. It was a bit rocky, the water was always freezing cold, even in the middle of August, and when I emerged from that cold water, my legs were always covered in seaweed.

In my twenties I went to Rehoboth Beach and began to understand why people liked the beach so much. The water was so warm. And the sand, the sand didn't hurt.

Well, here I am in Florida for the first time and I'm once again reminded of the allure of the ocean. I ACTUALLY PUT ON A BATHING SUIT AND WENT IN THE WATER AFTER TODAY'S READING. Yes, that sentence deserves all caps. Alberto has made the weather this week a bit erratic, the waves ginormous. So I can't really say I went swimming after today's work because there was no time to actually SWIM in between dodging and riding the waves.

I won't say anything about the actual essays I'm reading except that I've developed a newfound appreciation for plastic pink flamingos.

I is pooped.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

let the teaching nightmares begin

Okay, well, that's not quite accurate, since last night was the third night in a row that I dreamt the agony of having one hour left to write my syllabus for my grad course. The books I'd ordered flashed in front of my eyes, and I hadn't yet thought about their sequence. Um, hello. It's June 11.

And my girl knows I'm leaving her. Sadders.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

lest you forget me while I'm gone

Originally uploaded by aerobil.

Tomorrow I'm off. When I get back, I'm getting a new vet for Belly. More on that later. Grrrrr.

Friday, June 09, 2006

if you're angry and you know it, clap your hands

Been away from the blog for a few days cuz I ain't got nothing to say except that I've been struggling with anger.

Anger and plagiarism, that is. An article. On that subject.

It's a beast right now, which means I am the proud owner of two beasts, one black, one red.

On Wednesday I took a vacation day. I took Belly up to Comlara Park/Evergreen Lake and she was SUCH A GOOD GIRL she nearly broke my heart. I know I probably say that a lot, that I express too much surprise when she's so good, but damn, she was a handful up until she was 3. But now she's my good good girl. She ran off leash, poked around in the woods for scurrying things, went swim-swim-swimmin', and always checked back in with me when she got too far ahead. We came home and both took naps. Then I spent the afternoon reading To Kill a Mockingbird, which I haven't read since high school. My motives for picking it up were less than pure: I had nothing in the house on the queue (great Scrabble word) and I was waiting for Amazon to deliver my copy of Lori Lansens' The Girls, a novel told from the perspectives of conjoined twins. Something I could very easily become mildly obsessed with. So I picked up the Mockingbird and haven't put it down since, even though my Amazon package arrived the next day.

Question of the weekend as I pack for Florida: will I have enough clean underwear to last me 9 days?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tricksters kick some major ass

So much so, in fact, that the game ended after 35 minutes. Hey, we were just getting started.

Final score: Tricksters 19, Opponents 1.

Um. Yeah.

I made the first run of the evening, which made me feel all important and shit. I missed the only play that came to me at second base because I had backed up too far for a very large man who then hit it pretty wimpily toward me and I had to run forward quite a bit to get it. Phooey on that.

And I was scolded by the umpire for swearing. But it was swearing as an exclamation of wonder, not of anger. Bill, our pitcher, made an amazing grab, and I yelled, "Shit, Bill!"

Nice girls don't swear.

We all went out for beers after to celebrate what Jeff pointed out was a run scored every two minutes. More if you don't count the time we were actually in the field.

Two games next Monday that I'll miss because I'll be in sunny Florida. Shee-it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

utter confusion

This morning, at my office at school, I worked for 3 hours on my article. One of the things I did was pull off a very very large scab, and by that I mean that I painfully cut about 5 pages of really good methdological critique from my draft because I had to admit to myself that it no longer really mattered to my argument.

Not that I could actually articulate my argument even if I tried.

Every day I get myself more confused.

And I try to tell myself that this confusion is a good thing because it means that what I'm writing is complicated and important. Doesn't it?

This is just painful at times.

whine whine whine

Sunday, June 04, 2006

oh how that girl loves her Uncle Paul

Look at me, up and blogging at 8am.

Uncle Paul's in town, stopping by on his way to his fabulous new job in Reno, Nevada. According to Mapquest, he's still got 26 hours, 44 minutes until he reaches his destination.

Last night Belly and I were sitting outside on the porch when Uncle Paul showed up. I hadn't told Belly he was coming, so it was a complete surprise when he showed up in front of our house. Belly went nuts. Wiggling her butt like a puppy, so so happy to see her beloved Uncle Paul.

In a few minutes, we'll be off for a yummy breakfast, and then he'll be on the road again. We had a lovely visit, sitting on the porch on a PERFECT summer night, drinking beers and talking about his new job and the new life that awaits him.

Belly's been trying to convince him to stay, which isn't fair because he'd really love to take her running, but alas, he must hit the road.

A fine summer weekend, indeed.

Friday, June 02, 2006

"the miserable daily effort"

Yesterday Julie gave me a copy of an essay by Vivian Gornick called "What Feminism Means to Me." When she gave it to me I was in my office at school surrounded by books and papers and notes. She told me it was an essay about the ways that some women avoid work. "Clearly you're not one of them," she said. "Ah, the writer at work. I'll let you get back to it."

Me: No. Sit for a minute.

Julie: I can't. I've gotta run, but I wanted to give you this.

In the essay, Gornick writes about her hard-earned insight that "it wasn't 'work' that would save me, it was the miserable daily effort."

For me the daily effort, while often miserable, is indeed what saves me. It's the routine and at the same time the break in routine when I get lots done and come upon a terrific insight. Doesn't happen every day, but it happens enough. And then I think back to the self of just a week earlier and wonder how I could have been so naive. I'll think that about this self in a week, too.

Gornick continues:

"From the Greeks to Chekhov to Elizabeth Cady Stanton: everyone who had ever cared to investigate the nature of human loneliness had seen that only one's own working mind breaks the solitude of the self.

A hard truth to look directly into. Too hard. And that is why we yearn for love, and for community. Both laudable things to want in a life--but not to yearn for. The yearning is a killer. The yearning makes one sentimental. Sentimentality makes one romanticize."

The yearning is a killer. Um. Yeah.

Sometimes I wish I were less smart, less aware, more willing to settle. In my heart of hearts I know that it's far, far worse to be lonely in a bad relationship than it is to be lonely by myself, but that knowledge doesn't sit and stay and talk and have a beer with me. Nor does it listen.

Footnote: It's been almost a full month since classes ended. I'm so damn predictable.