Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall "Break"

What is the sound of one fall breaking?
If you spend even, say, two hours, or perhaps, say ten, grading, then is it really a "break" or is it, as one colleague claimed, just an opportunity to catch up and, if so, then is it a "break"? Well, is it?
If, for example, you spend the first half-hour of said break trying to decide if you should turn the furnace on, then is it really a "fall" break or have you somehow, rapidly and inexplicably, fallen down a slippery slope that would more appropriately be deemed "winter"? Or, perhaps, is there another season between fall and winter, fwinter, and is that what we should be calling this weather that vacillates, schizophrenically, between hail and sunshine? (and wind, let's not forget the wind, lest it punish us by blowing more, and more hard. Harder.)
What, then, are the approved activities for this fwinter non-break? Grading, sure, that's one. Watching shows (any & all) on Hulu, two. Drinking wine, three (but only for today, because then, lo, the crazy October challenge begins and all fun is banned. Banned!). Hiking with dog? Maybe, if it stops hailing! Four. All indoor exercises, that's five.
I need at least ten things that aren't grading. Movies? Check. Reading? Maybe. But it might be for class. Okay, TV, that's never for class (unless I call it "research"). Dog outings, yes. Trips to Park City? Depends on the weather. Eating out? What with this challenge, let's just say no. Shoving my face with approved food items? Yes. Working out just so I can drink chocolate milk? Hell yes.
Hey, if you are only allowed one vice (chocolate milk....okay, coffee...that's two. And working out, three), you are damned sure going to work it. Or I am. Yes, I mean, I AM.
Now I just have to come up with three fitness goals for the month.
One bright spot? When it strikes midnight on Halloween, I'm going to eat some candy. I get to define "some."
Fall break? What?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Son's First Day of School

This picture is just too good not to post. It shows Son on his first day of school. Can you see his attitude oozing from every pore? It's saying "Mom and Dad, don't embarrass me. Just don't. Stop!" I will always remember his first day of school this way. He looks so handsome in his new shirt. And he hates me.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Update: Son's Stats

Reading: 2 books in 3 days
Eating: so far today, oatmeal, bagel, sausage, eggs & toast. He just asked for a cheeseburger.
Anatomy: at 6 am this morning, "Mom! Look! I have a six-pack. I have a six-pack!"
Education: "Chipmunks are educational!"
Guitar: picked up guitar, just now, to practice "Greensleeves"
Song lyrics: "I'm bankrupting my family with haircuts and polishing my nails." (just for the record, I think the last manicure I got was before my sister's wedding...uh, 5 years ago? How long ago was that?)
Vocabulary: glance, levitating, exasperated (though he doesn't really understand the last one)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blog as Secret Facebook

I feel I should quit revealing my private life on FB, so that leaves my blog, which I'm coming to think of as a more private facebook, not because it is somewhat anonymous, but because if I post on FB, say, that I ate donuts for breakfast or drank wine AND jack daniels last night, my exercise friends will scold me.
Or, if I post some liberal screed my conservative friends will berate me.
Or if I decry Dan Brown's latest book as the death of the American Novel, someone, no doubt, will find me out as the snob I am. (As if all my diatribes against vampire novels haven't outed me already...)
In short, I think I will have to revert to "professional" FB, which sounds boring, but is probably what it is for anyway.
Which means I'll have to post my after finding-of-Son-and-friend, in the car with the windows rolled up, swearing screed here:
"Get the BLEEP in the BLEEPing car right BLEEPing now!!!! Where the BLEEP were you? You stay in the BLEEPing front yard! If I ever BLEEPing find you BLEEPing in the BLEEPing alley, I'll BLEEPing kill you. Do you BLEEPing understand? Do you?"
Or something like that.
It's not pretty. But as I told Son last night, love isn't pretty. Nor is parenting.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Overheard from the back seat

"Smell this book. Doesn't it smell good? It smells like the used bookstore. I love the smell of books!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I am Unfriending You

Dear Person Who is My Facebook Friend, But Whom I Don't Really Know and with Whom, it has now become painfully clear, I Have Nothing in Common,

I don't know why we're friends. It's not that I don't like you, because clearly I did like you, at one time, maybe more than 20 years ago. Or maybe I never really liked you and never really knew you, but somehow found you again after lo these many years, and then somehow felt guilty that I didn't know you or that I was judging the now-you based on the old-you and so I accepted your friend request, or I saw you on a friend's page and thought "Hey, that who's it. I should send a friend request." Because we all know that more friends are better, right? If I have a lot of friends that somehow makes me a good person, better, say, than those other people who have less friends.
But now, now it has become clear that not only do I not really know you, I don't think, actually, that I DO like you. In fact, I think I dislike you. Not, as you might suspect, because you leave snarky and judgmental comments on my supposedly humorous political posts. Not, as you might fear, because I am a censoring communist that wants to take away your guns and your right to talk about your guns. Not, as you might posit, because I don't want to hear the voice of dissent.
No, actually, it's because I'm tired. Tired of the political climate in which the only way people can disagree is to call each other names like Nazis or communists. Tired of a culture in which the President wanting to talk to schoolchildren is suspect. Tired of people who say they believe in the Constitution when they don't, actually, know what it says.
Yes, I have to say. Some of the people who disagree with me ARE stupid and racist. I just didn't know that you were one of them.
Now, I realize, Facebook really should just be a place where I update everyone on what I'm eating and my workout routine.
For all these reasons and more, oh so much more, I am unfriending you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Go Clijsters!

I used to admire, and sometimes like, the Williams sisters. I was rooting for Kim Clijsters anyway, mostly because I love a comeback (especially by a mom). But, as one commenter at the New York Times said, this incident proves why Serena is an impossible person to root for. Venus has always been the classier sister, and I feel sad that Serena had to fall this way. I admire her tennis skills, but I have lost my respect for her.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Little from Column A, A Little from Column B

The answer to yesterday's question is : Yes. It is both lack of sleep and reality that have caused me stress.
Today I ran, fast, and then I went to Crossfit. Then I worked with the grade school students and then I taught my students. Actually, I lectured, then I yelled (they hadn't done the reading).
Now I'm getting ready for bed.
But it seems Obama's speech was positive. Son's teacher taught his class the sign for "responsibility" and they had a talk about what that meant. I think I should ask her to have that talk with my students.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Lack of Sleep? Or Reality?

Now that two weeks of school are over and done, and the third about to begin, I must confess I feel a bit sick, sort of a nauseous-anxiety-dread. Also, I must confess that the last two nights I have slept very little, both nights because of, perhaps, too much food + red wine, and also, last night at least, because crazy Gus kept whining/coughing.
So what is causing my nausea-anxiety-dread? Is it simply a lack of sleep? Will I wake up tomorrow thinking that the world is peachy keen and that all one needs in life is a balance of waking and sleeping time?
Or...or, dear readers, is the confluence of lack of sleep mixing noxiously with Obama education-speeching hysteria & Glenn-Beck Day declaring insanity?
What I'm saying, beloved ones, is maybe it's NOT just a lack of sleep but a too large dose of reality? I mean, people are hysterical. Mayors are declaring Glenn Beck Day (maybe it's just the one, but that is one too many).
Oh, on this Labor Day, I am a downer.
I will get some rest and check back in with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Teaching the Night/Novel Class

Good evening. I will now, in so many words, tell you all about the kinds of novels I hope you're NOT writing. That is, the novel about (of course!) vampires, the novel about a world that seems suspiciously like the world of Harry Potter/Stephen King/Shannon Hale/Twilight/The Lord of the Rings/all the science fiction books you've ever read.
You want to write witty banter? Hurrah! You like Kilgore Trout? Even better! Your favorite novel is Lolita? Huzzah! (Okay, yes, there are at least three readers in the class. Out of 28).
Yes, we all want to marry Mr. Darcy. But he doesn't exist. So now what?
No, that doesn't mean we move to Mars and write about unicorns. Absolutely not.
What? Your novel is about a teenage girl who kills with her mind? You are dismissed.
Please do not talk about Twilight. Or werewolves. Zombies are acceptable.
Yes, I like Luna Lovegood too.
What? You can't name a novel you like? Only a movie? I will close my eyes and make you disappear.
What? Does the novel have to be made up? You mean, fiction? Is a novel fiction? Is that really your question?
Excuse me. Class is now over.