Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Off to AWP/NYC

Bright and early tomorrow I will be whisked away to NYC with Hightouchmegastore. There we will see Otterbutt and other great friends from Grad School. I have plans to meet up with a friend from High School and TommyZ from Grad School #1. I am excited to eat, drink and be merry! It turns out that it is warmer in NYC then it is here. Yeah!
But first I had to empty the camera. I found these gems. Enjoy.

Son likes his water!

The New Year's Day Soup I made on the 3rd or so. It was delicious! A yellow curry noodle soup. But don't eat those red peppers! They are dangerous! At least according to Middlebrow.

A few weeks ago, Son lost his top two front teeth when he collided with Gus the Wonder dog in the living room. There was lots of blood and crying but afterwards he said, "It didn't hurt." They were loose anyway. No sign of the replacements, though.
Also, he loves this black cherry soda. And I do too!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Yes, yes, and Yes!

Apparently I am not the only one who goes full-scale anxiety attack before a big, fun trip. Witness the title of High Touch Mega Store's latest post: to which my title replies, Yes! Last night when I was lamenting the strength of the headache coming on, MB said, "You're just like Hightouch!" And??
So, instead of going to bed and getting a good night's sleep, I cracked open a beer (is that on the vegan diet? Yes, but not on the skinny bitch diet. They say it makes my ass fat. So be it.) and started addressing envelopes. What? you may ask. What does this have to do with preparing and packing for NYC?
Well. It is just one of the many things I feel need to be done before I can depart with a clear conscience. Why? Well, I have been meaning to send out my wonderful stories and essays that have been languishing on my laptop and no where else. Now, when I send out the last two stories, I will have stories and essays languishing at reviews all over the country. What an accomplishment!
Also, I have a few friends whose babies I have not yet sent gifts to. Those may have to wait until after NYC. I also need to do laundry so that I can pack. Also, I need to think and rethink several key outfits. Also, I need to figure out how I'm going to workout in NYC so that I don't gain ten pounds, maybe only five. I also need to choose a book to take and decide which magazines I'm going to buy. This will be done at the airport with Hightouch so that we can double our magazine buying power.
I hope, desperately, that there is a trashy romantic comedy for me to watch on the plane. Oh, I also need to load up my ipod. Right? Yes!!
Also I need to make sure to love up on Son, indulge him ridiculously, feed him sweets so that he remembers me and misses me. Also, if I die in a plane crash, I don't want him to only remember how I scream at him, "Go to sleep!" at approximately 10:14 each evening. Last night he did a little sleepwalking, then fell back to sleep in our bed and it endeared him to me greatly.
I probably have some "grading" to do and other "school" related things to tick off the ole list but honestly, that's not what I worry about. What do I worry about?
It's like that scene from "Sex in the City" when Carrie and Burger are fighting about scrunchies and she asks that women in line in front of her what borough she's from and the woman gets all excited because she's from Texas or something. That's me. I'm the woman from Texas in a scrunchie standing in front of a petite little Carrie who's all fashioned out. Except she'll be saying, "Oh, look. That poor woman is from Utah. I can tell by her tights/dress/hair/lack of fashion."
But, on the other hand, I get to eat like a pig and spot famous writers. I promise to keep a log of famous people sightings (on panels that I plan to attend do not count.) And people from past. I think they'll be there in droves.
They better be! I can't wait to see them!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I've been tagged by HTMS to declare what I love. It seems a good antidote to the last post, where I seemed to be a very bitter and hateful person. I'm not! I swear.
And just to prove it, I'll say what I love.

  1. This might be stealing, just a bit, from Hightouch, but I love all forms of escapist entertainment: movies, books, magazines, TV shows, the internets, videos on YouTube, crossword puzzles, etc, etc, etc. Over Christmas break I worried that I loved these things more than my actual life. That if I could live in a movie theater and not come out, I would. It's easier than being me, pretending I'm someone else for just a little while. Maybe it's because for awhile I can not worry or think, but just absorb. Some of my favorite escapes: American Idol, mysteries, People magazine (or any gossip rag, really, including Extra!), half-hour comedies, recently "Dexter," music videos on YouTube and others. I can't wait until our trip to New York where I can read magazines for four hours on the airplane and not feel guilty that I'm not working on all the things I should be working on right now.
  2. I love the outdoors. I like the quiet and I like taking Gus for trail runs. I like hiking with Son once we get past the initial half-hour of complaining. I like camping. I like having limited meal options and how the food tastes so much better because I'm eating it outside. I love cooking Tofu Pups over an open fire. I love drinking wine beneath the stars and eating dark chocolate. I love waking up first and making coffee. I like not showering for days and how good a hot breakfast tastes when we stop in a diner on the way home. I love hot chocolate. I love snuggling in my sleeping bag when I know it's cold outside.
  3. I love writing. I haven't had one of those out of body writing experiences lately, but I've had them enough to keep writing. It's like a writer's high. I stop thinking about what I'm writing and I'm in the moment. Afterwards I look at what I wrote and think, where did that come from? Actually, it's been awhile since I've felt that way, but I feel it's an experience I can have again. I have to remember sometimes that the experience is out there. I just have to give myself time to get there. I was talking to my students about writing and explaining this to them. I'm not sure if they believed me, but I told them it's the one thing I know. That if you write what you know you're going to write, it's not going to be good. But if you let go what you think you're going to write and just write, then you'll get somewhere. And if after two years, you have one story you still think is good, you're lucky. I read a story I wrote two years ago and when I was done I thought, "That's a good story." It doesn't happen very often. So I thought I'd enjoy the moment.
Thanks Hightouch for tagging me. I tag ErinAlice, Theorris, SusanSinclair, Otterbutt, and Academom. It's good to remember what we love. I'm looking forward to summer. Remember sunshine and warmth?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Am I Wrong?

Am I wrong to want to walk into class tomorrow and write on the board in big black letters: I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK!?
Now first, is this true? The answer has to be yes. Having just read their discussion posts which were supposed to be rhetorical analyses but finding instead knee jerk diatribes about the content of the essay (which was about Hispanic-Americans and assimilation), I would have to say, yes, that I don't really want to hear their opinions about the essay so much as what the essay actually said. Not what they think it said, or what their personal experiences with the subject matter of the essay have led them to believe, but what the essay actually said.
Luckily tomorrow we will be talking about a selection from Everything Bad is Good For You, and not the essay about assimilation. I hope I never have to teach that essay again, because I will yell at them. I will. Yell.

Another diatribe in my head that I thought about blogging about was
You know you're not exercising if:
While walking on the treadmill you are talking on your cell phone. Please!! Save me from these people!
You can bench press 300 pounds but you can't see your knees because of your belly (yes, chubby guy with huge arms, I'm talking to you!)
After interacting with the exercise machine, you are not sweating.
After five minutes on the stationary bike, you stop to eat a granola bar and read a magazine.

See? At heart I am really a very mean person. Maybe it is because today is Tuesday, but it feels like Monday. Or maybe it's because I had to read a bunch of student posts. One was so nonsensical that I just stopped reading it. I had to. For my own sanity.
And then I had to watch "American Idol" to remember that the world is really full of idiots. And also that life is funny, just not always intentionally.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Do Nothing Day

Perhaps you did not know it, but today has been Do Nothing Day. I believe we observe this day in preparation for an extra day off school. You know, we have the extra day, so we thought we'd waste it by staying indoors, drinking tea, possibly going to the store for chips (but don't over exert yourself!), and maybe reading magazines. Maybe you try to send stuff out but realize that all literary magazines have stopped reading, because they don't want to be bothered by your crap. Maybe you selected a delicious vegan salad recipe to take to dinner tomorrow night, trying hard to be a good guest by not expecting to be able to eat anything they might be serving. (Note to self: don't forget bread and wine!). Maybe you convince Son to veganize his menu for Son's Turn to Choose Dinner without him really knowing it (score one for Mom!). Maybe you think about ways to remove all the dairy products from the Valentine bags of M&Ms (they come in bags of just green! What?) that have already appeared on shelves (is it just me or are they trying to accelerate time?) Maybe you watch your psychotic dog chasing light and shadows around the room. Maybe you let Son do some "magic" tricks for you.
Sigh. Maybe you look forward to Sunday night, because there will be a new "Masterpiece" on, Northanger Abbey, I think. I'm almost done with the book.
Maybe you spent hours and hours on the internet without really reading or doing anything. (But maybe you listened to some music that you don't really like, but for reasons unknown (American Idol?) are now stuck in your head, incompletely.)
I hope that you were able to embrace your sloth. If you'll please excuse me, I have nothing to do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fashion Challenged

Those of you who know me know that I'm fashion challenged. I recently bought a dress (at TJ Maxx thank you very much) for the much anticipated trip to NYC.
The problem? The dress (a fetching sweater dress in peacock (really? peacock?) by BCBGMaxAzria (any relation of Hank? I love Hank! Oh wait, that's different. Never mind.) the price tag said $240 (really? $240? did anyone pay that much for one?) ) is peacock, a beautiful blue.
Here's my question: what color tights do I wear? Black? I was watching that terrible Dateline Going for the Gold and this woman (the interviewer) was wearing a white dress with brown tights and I thought, will that be me? Will I look that bad? And the problem is, I would. I would look that bad. And not know.
Save me from my fashion challenged fate.
Oh. And I was thinking of wearing my new black boots? Yes? This will be okay?
And while you're at it, could you buy me a new coat? (one to wear with dresses. Yes, that's right, I don't have one). Because I'm fashion challenged.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I've arranged my schedule this semester so that I get to write some mornings. It would be nice if it were every morning, but no. In any case, I wrote 2,000 words this morning. I won't say on what or why or how very very mediocre my writing is, but I am glad just to have sat my butt down and written something.
I also prepared a story to send to a contest.
My plan is to prepare for class on Sunday night so that I may sit down on Monday and Wednesday and (I hope) Friday mornings and write, write, write. Evenings are for grading, reading, etc.
I have a story that I'm stalled on that I hope to work on, and now this new project. It's fun, in any case, so I hope to keep up the fun-ness.
May I just say, also, how much I love Persuasion? It's my favorite Jane Austen novel and I liked the new Masterpiece version last night. (Mostly because it featured Adam, from my favorite MI-5). It was too short (how can you pack all that into 90 minutes?), but it was a good adaptation.
I did not watch The Golden Globe newscast. I just looked at the list this morning. I guess I have to see "There Will Be Blood" now. And "Longford" which I'd never even heard of, but I do love Samantha Morton. And I'm glad Jeremy Piven won. He's my favorite. And Tina Fey. Tina Fey! And "Mad Men" which I've not seen, but I promise to get it on DVD. And "Atonement" no surprise there. But "Diving Bell and the Butterfly" which I listened to on tape (really, analog) and have wanted to see anyway.
That's my Monday update. School seems to be going well. And I exercised 6 out of 7 days last week. I think I lost all the sugar cookie weight.
Happy week!

Monday, January 07, 2008

1 Down, 59 to go

Not that I'm counting. Actually, last night that feeling of dread I sometimes get at the start of a semester (what if they don't like me? what if, as son has written, I actually am an "ediet"? What if I forget to put on my skirt and walk in wearing just tights and boots?) was entirely absent. I was actually 100% dread free.
This may be explained by the fact that I didn't have to teach until afternoon. So I got up and wrote. Can you imagine such a thing? Writing! And I took Son to school and I came home and did some other stuff and went to Costco and then ate a big salad and a Boca burger. Boca!
And my classes were good. Mostly, I believe, because I concocted a little activity that forced them to interact and also to practice some skills that we will be "honing" in class. We hone. That's what we do.
And then I went swimming and then I took the bus home and ate like a piggy. Oink!
Tired yet?
Also: I'm mostly excited about my trip to NYC with HighTouch and OtterButt (well, not so much with Otterbutt as I hope I get to see her repeatedly! alot! daily! hourly!) at the end of January. But I will be traveling with Hightouch and I hope we remember to buy excessive amounts of magazines like last year. So I already have something to look forward to.
And I'm looking forward to my fiction class tomorrow, which I must prep for. So farewell, for now.
Also, could someone tell me why I gave up drinking for January? (that is, all the parts of January that are not in NYC) Because I could really use a drink right now. Oh. That's why?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I'm Not a Politics Junkie But...

I love to listen to coverage of elections. I don't really love the build up, but I like the results and the overstated speeches. I think it has more to do with my love of award shows than any love of politics. Election nights are the award shows of politics.
I'm happy that Obama and Edwards and Hillary are the top three. I agree with Hillary about a lot of things, but I don't really trust her. And Obama has almost no experience. But he has charisma.
Can I just say I hate Romney? I hate him. Why? Too slick, too much money. I love that he outspent Huckabee 20 to 1 and still lost. Ha! Plus Huckabee is a runner, so he's got that goin' for him.
I must finish my syllabus, but that doesn't mean I won't sit here by the radio listening to all the pundits doing what they do best. I will. But while I try to figure stuff out, which might not be productive.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


  1. Go to bed earlier. (sleep is good!)
  2. Exercise more. (Swimming, Running, Yoga)
  3. Worry less.
  4. Ski this winter.
  5. Be nicer.
  6. Be more patient.
  7. Write more.
  8. Read more.
  9. Watch less TV.
  10. See more movies in the theater. (this one seems doable!)