Monday, July 30, 2007

Moving Out Tomorrow

I wish I could skip class tonight. It's going to cut four hours out of a day that's already too short.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Grassy Spot by the Beer Garden

Today I took my sister and two of her friends to Warped Tour. For them that meant nine awesome hours of watching and meeting some of their favorite bands. For me it meant sitting in the shade in a patch of grass by the beer garden, reading and watching teenagers walk by wearing dangerously oversexy clothes and lots of black eyeliner. For nine hours. And I sat in gum and got hit on a couple of times and changed position about a thousand times to soothe my aching back and my poor bruised butt and I observed that crowd surfing looks like a pretty uncomfortable hobby. By about the middle of the day, I wanted desperately just to be alone for a few minutes, but there were people everywhere. And since even burying my nose in a book and refusing to hold up my end of a conversation was failing to ensure me a little bubble of solitude, I went to the bathroom. There was miraculously no one in any of the stalls, so I stayed there for a while. I sat on a public toilet for longer than necessary, and it was fantastic. In fact, it would've been the highlight of my day if it hadn't been for all of the teenage gratitude thrown my way on the drive home. Because that's actually why I do these things.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Feeling Much Lighter Now, Maybe Too Light

I was feeling pretty good today, after collecting 40 bucks for a bunch of old books and ditching a Jeep-load of stuff at the local Goodwill. But apparently today is one of those days when realizing that I've accidentally given the good Cub Foods box with the handles (the one that would be great for tossing in odds and ends on the day of the move) to Goodwill along with the books the used bookstore wouldn't buy, can send me into a spiral of desperate guilt. And that's weird. Don't you think it's weird that even just for a moment, I entertained the idea of driving the fifteen minutes back to Goodwill to see if I could get my box back? Can you picture that? "Oh, you're welcome to one-sixteenth of my belongings, I don't miss those, but you weren't supposed to get the Cub Foods box." So what I'm wondering is whether this special neurosis has been brought on by the stress of moving, or if I'm actually just that crazy.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Freakin' Potter: Aftermath

So I didn't leave work until 2:35 this morning. And there was much rejoicing at the Harry Potter party, especially when I announced winners to the contests, and that was fun. But also, especially when I went outside at a quarter to midnight to help control the huge crowd stuck out there, there was a fair amount of frustration. And yelling. At me. And I yelled back at the really rude people, and honestly that was pretty fun too. Because I don't understand why anyone would go to the midnight release of anything and then get mad because they have to wait in line.

I also picked up Eric's copy of the book last night, and when I got home I felt like after all that excitement I should sit down and start reading it, even though I've only seen the movies and read the first book (and that only in chunks, to my little sister about seven years ago). So I read the first sentence, just to try and capture a little of the feeling being had by all those people who came out of the store whooping and grinning with their books in hand.

It's a good sentence for releasing bated breath, I think. And my final impression of all this is I'm glad I got to observe that kind of excitement, but I'd probably pass on doing it again anytime soon.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Freakin' Potter

Tonight, for those of you who live under rocks and are therefore unaware, is the release of the last Harry Potter book. I'm working the Midnight Magic Party at the bookstore, which means I'll be there until tomorrow sometime. Probably 1:30 in the morning. And mixed in with the wow-isn't-that-a-drag, I'm a little excited. Because just think of all the jubilation that will be in the air in that packed-to-capacity bookstore. Also, I'm dressed up as Hermione Granger, which means I curled my hair and put on khakis and a hoodie. And I think I got close enough for the likeness to be noted by a room full of Harry Potter fans:

Books for Africa

I'm excited about this charity. I found out about it from a big box outside the campus bookstore where I teach, and just now I learned that it's a local organization. We're definitely going to drop some of our old textbooks in that box next week (much better than just recycling them, like we originally planned), and I think I'll look into volunteering in their warehouse.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Good Things


Adolescent ducks, with a watchful mama
following close behind.

Duck butts.

Our old boat.

Loons, actually this close to the boat.






A Headache Resurrected

I woke up this morning feeling pretty great. And then I exercised like my doctor told me to, and that headache from yesterday? The one on my face? The one that makes it hard to see clearly? It came back. I think it's a lie that exercise is good for you.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Like I Said

We got home from the cabin (more on that later, I promise) this afternoon, and as predicted, reality kicked me directly in the balls. I had two hours to shower and get dressed, type a bunch of stuff for my class, and leave for school to sit in on some make-up tests. I didn't get all the typing done before I had to leave, so I was forced to finish it in the window between make-up tests and class, and I actually managed to be late twice in an hour and a half. Before leaving the house I was so frustrated I felt like I had an electrical current running through me. Class went well, but I have a headache now that extends down the back of my neck and across my face. So there is food and a couch and something mindless, maybe the book I'm reading or a familiar movie, in my immediate future. Until tomorrow, with its class planning and test typing and ad posting and packing and maybe a Goodwill run.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Weekend? What's That?

I've been wound tight lately, constantly ready to spin the slightest mishap into an epic disaster or personal insult. A few days ago, I spent half an hour at work physically dizzy with repressed irritation.

But we're getting out of town tonight, going to a cabin on a lake where there will be boats and breeze and more than a few square feet of grass and maybe a good friend and his dog and birds calling and ice cream and a bonfire and stars visible above us at night. I have to do a few hours of teacherly work while I'm there, but otherwise I can just be.

Until Monday, when real life starts again. Real life on steroids, in fact, because the reality that we move in two and a half weeks and haven't sold or packed a thing is just now settling on us.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Moving Rant #1

Reserving a moving truck should be easy. You should make one phone call to the company, tell them what size truck you need and the length of time you need it, and in an urban area with dozens of branches of their company, they should be able to meet those needs.

You should not have to make an abstract "reservation" for which they cannot guarantee that you will be able to pick up the truck within a certain radius of your home, and for which they cannot specify the length of time you will be allowed to keep the truck. Then, they certainly should not text-message you, when you specified that you prefer a phone call, with a more concrete reservation at a near enough location, but that requires you to return the truck at 7 A.M. on the day you have to move into your new apartment.

But they did. So you try again.

This time, you arrange a workable reservation, for a truck larger than you need, a little more expensive than the first, and farther away, but for 24 hours, which is the really important part. But you should not, then, feel the need to call the location where you will pick up the truck to confirm your reservation, and having done so, be told, "I don't have that available that day." So obviously you have to, although you shouldn't, call the original people who made the reservation--the central reservationists if you will--and ask them what gives. Then you shouldn't have to wait on hold while the central reservationists call the pick-up location and ask them, in turn, what gives. And then you shouldn't have to be told, in a way that should inspire confidence but at this point doesn't, that they "don't know what his issue is over there, but we'll work it out. You have the truck, and if that changes we'll call you."

There are just so many more important, theoretically more challenging things in life than moving trucks. So why, three hours later, do I have a headache and no energy left for anything else?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


My recent silence here, if you've wondered at all, can be partly attributed to my discovery that, thanks to my writing on a wonderful little website, I'm extremely easy to find in a Google search. And not just me, but this. Here. This blog. And as most of my teacher-friends will probably confirm, the idea of being findable on the internet can be an uncomfortable one. I hate limiting myself here, but I think any writing about my teaching experiences will now cease. That's a no-brainer, because smearing my reactions to teaching all over the internet is both unwise and unprofessional. But I'm also conflicted about the purely personal things I usually write about here. I'm friendly with my students, but I like to maintain at least a thin shroud of mystery around myself. I might tell them what I did over the weekend, but they don't need intimate knowledge of all my human weaknesses.

So I'll mull these things over, and maybe this blog will become more superficial for a while. I'll try not to stop writing entirely.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Last night, I walked into class better prepared, more confident, and less self-conscious. I was full of energy and authority and self-assurance, and that person from last week who apologized with her body language and her eyes and her tone of voice for being the teacher, boring and in charge, was gone. The students responded to me and I enjoyed being there. And now I remember how I "got through" all those other semesters of teaching. I did it by liking what I was doing, and by liking who I was while I did it.