Monday, December 22, 2008

Freezing Monday

Our furnace died over the weekend. It's been dying over the past few weeks, but we (I) didn't have time to call a repairperson to come and fix it. But it died a final death Saturday afternoon. We didn't want to bother anyone on a weekend, so we just bundled up and endured the coldness. It's around 50 degrees in the house, and it was down to 12 degrees outside last night. It's cold.

I left two messages for a repair person this morning, but no one has called me back yet. Hmpf.

I'm officially on winter break now, but I still have to grade finals and papers today. Grades must be posted by tonight. We used to have until after the new year, but they changed that this year. Hmpf.

Once I'm finished grading, I don't think I'll know what to do with myself. The past several months have been filled with prepping and free time at all. I have a huge stack of books that I want to make my way through. I'm also picking up some side work for an insurance broker, filling in for his assistant who's on maternity leave. Thankfully, that's just a few hours a week, and I can work from home.

The furnace people just called. I guess I should make the house look presentable!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Free time? What's that?

I have the day off today. I wasn't supposed to. A colleague and I were supposed to go to a workshop today, so I cancelled my classes at one college. Last night, they cancelled the workshop because of snow. I'm disappointed about that, but...I have a day off. Free time! And I have no idea what to do with myself!

I'm teaching 8 classes this semester (6 at one school, 2 at another). It is insane. Really. I have no time to do anything anymore. I teach back to back classes Monday through Thursday, 8am-5pm. Fridays are an "easy" day, with classes from 8:30-11:10. I am exhausted. They're all writing/literature classes, so I've been up late every night grading papers and commenting on drafts. It's too much. I'm looking forward to next semester, when I'll only have 4 classes at one college.

I haven't been reading anything aside from student papers, which is...depressing. I just don't have the time. I did place a rather large order a few weeks ago -- the new Stephen King, new Toni Morrison, and new Sarah Vowell.

Mary Karr came to campus for a reading last week. She taught a master class in the afternoon, discussing a writer's obligation to their audience. Then, I had the honor of going out to dinner with her with other folks from the department. She is an amazing woman. Completely unapologetic, not afraid to say exactly what she wants. She gave a fantastic reading that night, reading from Cherry, and her most recent book of poetry.

I think I might take a nap now. I haven't had a nap in months!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Blahs

I know, I know. It's been awhile. And every time I write, I say that I'm going to post more frequently...but it never happens.


Well. I was going to say that I'm busy (teaching 6 classes), but everyone is busy. I was also going to say that I haven't been feeling well lately, but that's no excuse.

Okay, so I have no excuse.

This semester has been a busy one, and there are moments when I can't wait until December 18th when it will all be over. But that's over two months away, so for now I'm just keeping my head down and doing what I have to do.

I did manage to find time to have some fun last weekend at the Dodge Poetry Festival. I met Lucille Clifton, whom I want to adopt as my grandmother. I also met Chris Abani, whose poetry blew me away, and Sharon Olds, who read a series of new poems inspired by Neruda's Odes. My favorite was "Ode to the Douchebag."

20 minutes later...
I just met with a student, and now I only have 15 minutes before my next class. So...until next time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I should probably avoid writing when very tired. I'm yawning every minute or so, my eyes are watery and barely open, and I could fall asleep in, oh, about a second. But here I am. Because apparently I have something to say.

It's only the 5th day of the semester, and already I'm bone tired, ready for it all to be over. Don't get me wrong, I love every second (mostly) of my job. But I am tired.

I'm also a bit frustrated that I'm not reading anything of interest right now. Nothing has really struck my fancy in months, it seems. I'm re-reading The Reader, which I loved when I read it years ago, but it's boring me this time around. I don't know if it's because I'm so tired, or what. But it's getting really annoying.

A friend and I are thinking about starting a face-to-face book club, which is exciting. I have to admit, I miss taking literature classes. I miss sitting around with a bunch of folks, dissecting literature. I mean, I still do it to some extent in my classes, but it's not the same. I try not to offer my own thoughts/opinions so that the students are encouraged to think for themselves. Hopefully, the book club will be a good outlet for me. I've already started making a list of potential books (at the top, A Prayer for Owen Meany, which I love).

One thing I'm very excited about is the upcoming Dodge Poetry Festival. Any poetry lovers who are in the NJ/NY/PA area must go. I'm super excited about Lucille Clifton, Charles Simic, Sharon Olds, Billy Collins, and my colleague BJ Ward. Check out the website -- there are many more fantastic poets that I haven't listed here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The post where the blog totally jumps the shark...

Classes start tomorrow. I'm already overwhelmed. More on that later.

OK. I'm not pregnant, and probably won't be any time soon, but I know what I want to name my first son. Forget the family name I had picked out forever (Charlie Bennett). I'm going with the best, most super cool baby name (for a boy. Or a girl, if that's how you roll).


Yes, Leroy.

Yes, I'm serious.

In other news, I've had "Kiss Me Deadly" by Lita Ford stuck in my head FOR DAYS.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Day at the Races...

After a two month hiatus, we were finally back at the races yesterday. The car is still for sale, but we brought it out to Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA) for a special race. A race for the children. It was a benefit for the Kasey Kahne Foundation. Kasey Kahne, Dave Blaney, and my boy Tony Stewart were all there to race. I'd been looking forward to this race for almost a year (since I attended last year's race...which didn't have Tony or Blaney). We didn't qualify, but that was OK. We just don't have the money or equipment to race with these guys. But we gave it a shot.

I crawled into bed at 3am, and I'm beat. So here are photos from the day. I promise, a real post soon.

Kasey Kahne on the track

Tony Stewart on the track

Turn 2 from the bridge (crosses over the track)
Kasey Kahne
Tony Stewart

Turn 3 from the bridge

Tony signing autographs (no, I didn't get one)

My only complaint about the day was that they allowed spectators (folks not associated with a car) into the pits during the races. Most of them congregated around the Nascar drivers' cars, and created a HUGE safety hazard because they were standing in the pit lane, where cars were coming and going. While Tony and Kasey were in their cars waiting to be pushed out onto the track, people were gawking, standing right by their car to take pictures of them in the cockpit. During the driver's meeting, there were people giggling and taking photos of the three (Kahne, Stewart, and Blaney) of them. I can completely understand the excitement of seeing your favorite driver up close, but they're there to race. Take pictures and stuff during autograph sessions or after the race. But when they're trying to focus and get ready to go out on the track, leave them alone.

OK, now I'm going to take a nap.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ummmm....hi.'d think after not posting for two months I'd have something interesting to say. Oh? What's that? Where have I been? Ummmm...nowhere. Really. Just teaching and stuff. Nothing exciting. I haven't been online much recently because I've either been teaching (or doing class-related stuff) or reading (re-read the Twilight series and read the final book, Breaking Dawn which was horrible). See? Nothing exciting.

And because I have nothing exciting to write about, here's a meme via Andi:

1. My uncle once: let me drive the tractor around the field. In circles.

2. Never in my life: have I tried smoking.

3. When I was five: I already knew how to read.

4. High school was: painful.

5. I will never forget: the feeling of walking barefoot in my grandmother's garden growing up.

6. Once I met: Paula Cole at Lilith Fair.

7. There’s this girl I know: who doesn't think she's loved.

8. Once, at a bar: one of my bestest friends played "Mandy" by Barry Manilow on the jukebox just for me.

9. By noon, I’m usually: ready to go back to bed!

10. Last night: I watched the Olympics.

11. If only I had: money! I'd be able to help my friends and family.

12. Next time I go to church: will be for a wedding or funeral.

13. What worries me most: losing my family.

14. When I turn my head left I see: the wall.

15. When I turn my head right I see: the husband sitting in the comfy chair.

16. You know I’m lying when: my face turns purple.

17. What I miss most about the 80s is: lately, Garbage Pail Kids.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: Ophelia.

19. By this time next year: I might be a mom.

20. A better name for me would be: I'm pretty happy with my name.

21. I have a hard time understanding: why people can't be nice to each other anymore. No one even says "Thank you" or "excuse me" anymore.

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: get my Phd. Or MFA

23. You know I like you if: I cook for you.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: My parents.

25. Take my advice, never: put strawberries in Coke. Not good.

26. My ideal breakfast is: coffee and a cheese danish.

27. A song I love but do not have is: Hmmm...I can't think of anything. I think I have all of the songs I love already.

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: get some pizza from Nicolosi's and a hot dog from Toby's.

29. Why won’t people: just get along!

30. If you spend a night at my house: you'll have to be ok with cats breathing on you all night.

31. I’d stop my wedding for: I don't know. I didn't stop mine!

32. The world could do without: mean people.

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than:eat beets.

34. My favourite blonde(s) is/are: my niece.

35. Paper clips are more useful than: beets.

36. If I do anything well it’s: cook!

37. And by the way: I'm having soy chik'n sammies with tater tots and baked beans for dinner. Lazy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Beep beep click click whirr....

As part of my desire to be more environmentally responsible, I decided to ride my bike to vote and go to the library today. [OK, and in the process get some exercise]. I am painfully out of shape, but I survived the [paltry] 4/14 miles. Idiot that I am, though, I didn't take any water with me. Won't make that mistake again.

We have access to a lot of things within a mile or so of where I live, but it's all cut down the middle by a highway that just isn't pedestrian/biker friendly. The post office is in the middle of the highway [think of it like a big island in between the westbound and eastbound lanes] which just pisses me off because it's just inaccessible by anything other than car. But, when I can, I'll ride my bike to run my errands instead of taking the car.

I was perusing the bike laws today and discovered that I'm required to have an "audible signal" which can be heard up to 100 feet away. This news made me tingle. I get to get a horn! Or a bell. I'll have to try them out to see what is best. I'll do this when I get back from vacation. I was also scolded by my husband because I didn't wear my I'll start to do that, too.

[I think] we decided to leave for Maine early Thursday morning. There's just too much to do before we go. What concerns me, though, is that we suck at getting up early. Heeding the 5am [or 4am] alarm is not going to go well, me thinks. But I'm excited about getting away. It's only for a few days, but I'm hopeful that we'll still be able to relax. At the very least, we'll just gorge ourselves on lobster!

I got a voicemail from the Dept. Chair today, telling me that another class opened up this summer. If it doesn't conflict with the class I'm already teaching, I'll take it. I need the money, and frankly, I miss the work. The session starts June 24th -- I'll start prepping for it next week.

My garden is doing well [so far]. Everything has been planted -- it's just a matter of weeding, watering, and waiting for the harvest. There are some things I'll plant soon for a fall/winter harvest. I'll post photos when it gets more interesting.

I've finished some great books recently [most of them about living simply, without modern technology...hence my desire to stay away from the computer]. It's been nice to get away from the computer and it's tendency to suck time out of me. But I do want to write about a couple great books I just finished, so...when I get back.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What did you do today?

I've been off for a little over a week, and every day my husband asks me, "What did you do today?" Well. Not as much as I planned on doing. But it's not my fault -- the weather has been horrible (cold, rainy) for gardening. I've done a ton of reading, though -- expect a full report in a day or so.

I've been obsessed with asparagus lately. You know, the green stalks that make your pee smell when consumed. It's asparagus season around here...and I can't find any. Yes, I can find the stuff trucked across the country from California, but nothing local. I've inquired at farm stands, but no luck. I've only managed to find some local lettuce. But everything at the local farmer's market (note: there's another one that I haven't tried yet) is non-local. Yeah, that makes sense.

Inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (I re-read it last week...seriously, everyone needs to read it...NOW) I've been trying to eat seasonally and grow as much as I can. I've started a garden at my parents' (they have more land and sun), but the weather has been so weird that I haven't even put in the tomatoes, peppers, squash, etc. I'm worried that we won't harvest much before fall.

I just have these grand visions of living off the land. My grandparents did it. They had a huge garden, raised chickens and cows (which they butchered and ate...I didn't realize this until a few years ago...yes, I'm a little slow) and only had to go grocery shopping once a month or so for items they couldn't produce on their own. I wish I'd paid more attention to how they did it. I was so young, though, and didn't think about a time when they'd be gone and I'd want to know how the heck to grow and preserve things.

Hmmm...wonder if there's a canning/preserving class somewhere...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday Musings...

Lots to write about...

My Exam went well. The questions were what I expected, but I was instructed to answer four, not the typical three. I typed for three hours straight (time allotted). I'm not 100% happy with my responses, but I can fill in any holes at my defense, which will be on Thursday or Friday. I'm 99.9% I passed, though. But anything can happen.

It feels weird to be finished, and I'm not sure what I want to do next. I'm thinking about getting an MFA, but I have to talk to some folks about that to see if it makes sense.

Yesterday, Chad, Dad, and I headed to Dover, DE for my ride-along (won at the URC Banquet in December). After signing in, guests, drivers, and riders were piled into vans and driven around the track for a tour. Everything was a lot smaller than it looks on tv. We then headed to the pit area, where they had about 10 former Nascar cars for the rider & drivers.

The only safety equipment we were given was a helmet -- basic, no visor. That made me a little nervous. Yes, I realize that I'd only be in the car for four laps, but anything can happen. I was assigned to my boy Kasey Kahne's (no, I didn't request it) former car. I got in, and one of the officials helped me get strapped in. Here's where I really started to get nervous.

The official, who reminded me of Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite, DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO STRAP ME IN. Seriously. He fiddled around with it, and another official kept coming over to correct him. Not good.

Then, my driver arrived. Now, this is going to sound mean, but...he wasn't what I expected. None of the instructors were, really. They didn't seem like "real" race car drivers. Not that I'm sure what that means. Certainly, none of them were cute. (I'm a sucker for a man in a firesuit). Anyway...

My driver was....a bit older than I expected. He needed help getting his left leg in the car. His hands were shaking as he buckled in. I don't know if it was a joke, or real. But it made me nervous. What if he had a heart attack when we were on the track? Anyway, he was very nice and said that he wasn't out to scare people like some other drivers, and if I got nervous to tap him on the shoulder, and he'd slow down. The max we'd do was about 120mph, which didn't sound that bad.

When we pulled out onto the track, I was terrified. The turns are banked 24 degrees, and it was just...weird. Too fast, for sure. So I tapped him on the shoulder, and he slowed down. After about a 1/2 lap, I got used to it, and motioned for him to speed up again. It was scary but a blast at the same time. I wish we could have stayed out there longer.

On the way home, I asked Dad if I could use his car for Billy Pauch's driving school. He said no -- he'd tried it once, and even he was afraid of being in a sprint car. Chad laughed. I wish I would have tried driving when I was younger, but I doubt my dad would let me. Chad would divorce me for sure, if I decided I wanted to be a driver. Stupid boys.

I should mow my lawn today, but I don't feel like getting the mower out, getting gas for it, etc. Instead, I'm going to grade research papers. I give finals on Monday and Tuesday, and then I'm off until June 24th.

We're going to my favorite Thai restaurant for dinner tonight. Then we're going to see the Kids in the Hall. Should be fun...

Friday, May 2, 2008


I have another hour and fifteen minutes to study before I have to shower and leave for my exam. I've been cramming, trying to memorize lines of poems. I know the material, but having to cite specific poems, lines, etc without any materials in front of me terrifies me. But it is what it is, and I'll have the defense to redeem any mistakes.

So, I'm just trying to stay calm and confident. Trying, not succeeding so far.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008


If I didn't need to focus tonight, I'd take a Xanax. I'm in freak-out mode.

I spoke to my niece earlier, and she asked me if I could come over "for a couples" and play. I told her that I'd love to, but I have to work. She was persistent, asking if I had to work tonight, tomorrow morning, and so on, and I ended up in tears. I would love to just play, and not worry about grading, failing students, or my Exam.

Let me vent for a moment. Here are the things giving me angst:
1. My Exam. All I have to do is study (memorize around 15 poems), and just take the test on Friday. And then defend it sometime next week. I'm terrified of failing.
2. Grading. For some reason, students expect A's, but aren't willing to put forth the effort. And they get angry with me when I give them the grade they earned.
3. Grass. My lawn is at least ankle high. Today is the last sunny day (per the forecast) for about a week. But I don't have time to mow today.
4. I am in physical pain, and I'm going to have to suck it up and call a doctor soon. 10 minute break is up.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Because I'm insanely busy this week with very important things (end of semester grading, my MA Exam), my husband decided to block certain websites so that I don't get distracted. Sites like MySpace, LiveJournal, Etsy, Ebay, various celebrity gossip sites, racing websites, and so on. They're only unblocked from 9pm-midnight.

It's driving me crazy. Most of my work (writing, prepping, etc) is done on the computer. When I need to relax for a few minutes, or whatever, I look at these sites. They help me (I think) de-stress a little. I like seeing what my friends have posted on their blogs or MySpace pages. I've only been on the computer for an hour this morning, and it's already driving me insane that I have a message waiting for me on MySpace, and I can't read it until 9pm tonight.


I've also been saying for over a year now that I want to simplify, move away from so much technology and time-sucking websites.

So...we'll see.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

But not today...

It's time for another half-ass blog...there's just not enough time in the day.

* One of my students may have a serious illness. They kept apologizing to me for missing class and for not being focused. All they can think about is the possible diagnosis and what that will mean for them and their children. I told her not to worry about class, and to do whatever she needs to do. I just feel so sorry for her, and it sucks that there's nothing I can do aside from accept a few late assignments.

*Sunday -- went to dinner with Chad's friends at a Thai restaurant (my 3rd Thai dinner in a week). When we got there, we found that it was (sort of) closed for a birthday party for the owner. They invited us in, though, and we feasted on a fantastic Thai buffet. Most of the foods weren't things normally on the menu, so I got to try a few new things...for free! It was just a surreal experience, and we all felt a little uncomfortable. I guess we're not used to such hospitality. So...happy birthday, Wallace!

*Garden -- I've been spending some time at my parents' working in the garden. I don't really have the time to spare, really, but I have to get stuff planted. I'm going down for a couple of hours soon to put in some more veggies. It's really relaxing, and I can't wait until everything starts growing.

Other than that, I'm just grading, prepping for final lessons, panicking that I haven't taught my students anything, studying for my exam (May 2nd), writing (reviews for Estella), and...trying to stay sane.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday night blahs...

I'm too tired and crabby for a real post, so here are some random things:

  • Friday -- Had my usual exam meeting with Dr. E. Dazzled her with my brilliant insights (yes, that's what she called them) on Plath.
    Afterward, I went to my parents' to scope out the garden. Had S'mores with Mom, Dad, and Jamie. Really good times, and I was happy. It was so nice to just relax. I really adore my parents.
  • Racing -- Last night did not go as planned. Does it ever, though? Didn't qualify in the heat, so had to go to the B. Had a great run, finished 2nd. I was happy that we qualified simply because it meant we'd go home with more than $50 in tow money. In the feature, however, our friend spun, and Jamie, who was behind him, had nowhere to go. Of course, it happened right in front of us -- good because we could at least see right away that Jamie was OK, but bad because...well, it pretty much sucks seeing your car getting wrecked no matter where it happens. We just seem to have the crappiest luck, and it's so frustrating. But I know that Jamie will get a win or two this season. I mean, we have to get a break eventually, right?
  • Garden -- My parents have tilled up a huge plot for our garden. I'm really excited. For the past couple of years, I've tried to garden here, but my yard is so shady, and the soil is horrible. I tried container gardening, but I just didn't get the yields I wanted. But this year, I'm doing most of my gardening at my parents'. I have big, big plans involving tons of organic veggies...I can't wait to get started! I really just want to simplify my life, and get to a point where I grow my own food. I've written about all this before -- grand plans of living off the land, sewing my own clothes, etc -- but I've never followed through. I have to start taking baby steps, though...right?

OK. I'm going to try to do something productive before I go to bed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Maybe I should call my Avon representative...

I'm really tired. I've been getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night (well, mostly), but I'm exhausted.

I should be on campus right now, parked in an adjunct cubicle (if one is available. There are about 100 adjuncts at my college, and 2 adjunct cubicles), but I had laundry to do. I'm also supposed to catch our stray cat, Herbie, and take her (I named her before I realized she was a girl) to the vet to get fixed. But vets give me such anxiety (every animal I take ends up dead soon after) that I keep putting it off. Ugh.

My MA Exam is set for May 2nd. The defense will take place sometime the following week. I've had a difficult time staying focused -- too much grading and prep work to do for school, and my dad has been having some medical issues. I really need to buckle down and just get my reading done. There just isn't enough time. And I've been so tired that I can't focus on my reading. Not good.

If I ever become rich, I'm going to hire a personal masseuse or chiropractor. I carry all of my stress in my neck, and it's painful. Also, it usually leads to a migraine. Ugh.

Hmmmm....pretty negative post so far. OK, something positive then. My father is clearing a bit of land for a garden this year. In the past, I've always had to garden half-ass (containers, mostly) here since most of my yard is too shady. But my parents have a great spot that will get sun most of the day. I'd love to get to a point where we're essentially living off of mainly what we grow (for those of you interested in such things, read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver). In the end, I really just want to be a farmer, working the land (see Melanie Safka's song "Someday I'll be a farmer).

I'd better start reviewing my notes for class today...and work on grading the stack of papers that has overtaken my dining room table...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Has it really been a month?

Life knocked me off my platforms
So I pulled out my first pair of boots

Bought on the street at Astor Place

Before New York was run by suits

And I suited up for the long walk
Back to myself
Closer to the ground now

With sorrow
And stealth

-- Ani DiFranco

Has it really been over a month since I've written? Did anyone miss me?

Today is the last day of my spring break. I'm not ready to return to classes. [Though I am semi-excited about teaching my one class a lesson for calling my class "too feminist."] I've been sick for the past week, and I haven't done a thing aside from rest, really. Which is good. But I have a super long to-do list that I haven't addressed at all. I haven't even really read anything, aside from a little bit of Exam reading. Ugh.

Other than the sickness, life is good. OK, well, weird, really. Hence the Ani quote above. But I think things are looking up. I think. We'll see.

Racing season starts soon. Same car, new number.
I can't wait.

OK. Time to be a good housewife and get dinner ready.

Monday, February 18, 2008

No excitement here...

Sorry for being silent last week. I had a migraine...all week. Yes, that's right. I had a migraine for 6 days. I couldn't focus or read, and I wanted to chop my head off. Nothing worked -- prescription migraine meds, Excedrin, hot baths, cold compresses, chiropractor visit -- nothing. I ended up canceling classes on Thursday because I just couldn't deal, and I felt so nauseous. I think it's gone now. But it could just be teasing me.

Had an uneventful weekend. We stayed home, and I just chilled in my comfy chair. I managed to read a little of the new Stephen King on Saturday. I went grocery shopping yesterday...I know, very exciting.

I don't have school today, thankfully. I'm going to get caught up on grading and prepping. Good times.

TBR Challenge -- 1 and 2 Finished

I'm a bit late in blogging about these...

#1: The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Finished: 1/7/08
Rating: B

I'm a big fan of Hawthorne's work -- I count The Scarlet Letter as one of my favorite books of all time. I adore his short stories and include them in my classes whenever I can. But for some reason, even though I had visited the real life house in Salem (highly recommend to anyone who visits there...I love Salem), I ignored this novel for years. Hence, adding it to my TBR Challenge list.

It was...OK. It didn't hold my attention in some chapters, and I was confused by some of the supernatural elements. But there were some sections that were just spectacular. The classic Hawthorne elements are there -- the past haunting the present, witchcraft, guilt, families suffering because of the deeds of their ancestors, etc. If you're new to Hawthorne, check out The Scarlet Letter first.

#2: The 158-Pound Marriage by John Irving
Finished: 1/21/08
Rating: D

I adore John Irving. I re-read A Prayer for Owen Meany every year (yes, I'm weird). I love The Cider House Rules and The World According to Garp. So I thought I'd love this one, too. Nope. Not at all.

The sex and swinging in the novel didn't bother me, though it was a bit much at times. I just didn't get the point. I think Irving was examining love, marriage, sex, relationships, etc...but I don't know what the point was. It was a struggle to finish the book, really. It was just a klunker.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday already?

I'm not ready for it to be Monday. Especially a Monday that starts off with a migraine and a clogged toilet. Seriously, what did I do to deserve this?

As usual, I have no time for a real post. I have to prep for my class this afternoon (yes, I'm a slacker) and grade papers for tomorrow. Because of the migraine, my eyes are killing me, so the last thing I want to do is look at a computer screen or read papers.

Had an OK weekend. Had yummy Thai food on Saturday, spent time with my parents on Sunday, started the new Stephen King novel...good times.

Back to work...

Friday, February 8, 2008

That's why we build a wall...

I've been sitting here for about fifteen minutes, munching on cashews and peanuts, staring at this blank box, wondering what to write. I'm not sure I have anything to say today. When my students say that same thing in response to a write assignment, I suggest that they freewrite or brainstorm (clusters are my favorite). Maybe I should do the same.

Maybe the problem isn't that I have nothing to say, but rather I don't know what to say. My little brain has been very active all week, thoughts mixing and twisting with the tide as I teach, eat, watch tv, grade, etc. There's a lot going on. I just don't know what to say about it.

Our trip to Ithaca last weekend to see Ani was a good time. She just blows me away every time I see her. We had second row seats -- I don't know how I got so lucky. I'm not so sure I belong at concerts anymore, though. I get so easily annoyed by the people dancing and singing around me. I didn't pay to hear the drunk girl in the "Ani for President" shirt sing painfully off-key in my ear. It just pissed me off. I guess I'm just getting old.

Anais Mitchell opened for Ani. It was my first time seeing/hearing her, and I just fell in love with her voice. When she stepped onstage, I realized that she was the girl I almost ran over while trying to make an illegal right turn on red in front of the theater before the show.

Since one of her songs has been in my head all week, I'll leave you with this...

Friday, February 1, 2008

I feel...

Well, today didn't turn out (so far) like I expected it to. Which is good and bad.

My advisor woke me up at 8am (yes, I'm slacker). She called to cancel our appointment for this afternoon. We're having some weather (ice, rain) and she wasn't going to campus today. This was a good thing. I wasn't prepared or in the mood to meet today.

The bad thing is that due to the weather Chad and I decided not to leave for Ithaca tonight. From what I can tell, the roads we were due to travel are pretty crappy. And I don't feel like dying. So as much as I was looking forward to chilling in Ithaca tonight, I think we made the right choice. We'll get up early (always difficult for us) and hit the road.

I haven't done anything productive at all today. I've just been putting cd's on my iPod (currently The Sundays, whom I haven't listened to in years). I really should take advantage of this found time to get caught up on my Plath reading...and grading...and prepping...

You is weird. There are moments I want to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. I have everything (well, almost...I still need to get published) I ever wanted. I'm teaching where I always wanted to, working with folks that I admire. Every time the Dept Chair calls me his colleague, or tells people that I'm a "phenomenal professor" (which I suspect he does only when I'm around), it makes me giggle. I mean, I used to be his student. And now I'm a colleague.

I just wish I could get rid of that little voice who wonders if I truly deserve all of this.

OK. I'm going to get to work. Title of the new poem I'm working on: "Mourning Bacon."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Am I that old?

My Comp II class is reading "Greasy Lake" by T.C. Boyle for Wednesday. Part of their journal assignment is to listen to Bruce Springsteen's "Spirit in the Night" and compare it to the story.

At the end of class today, one student asked me who Bruce Springsteen was. And I laughed. Then, I heard a chorus of "Yeah, who is that?" from several other students. I stopped laughing when I realized they were serious.

How can they not know who Bruce Springsteen is?

Can I go back to bed now?

I've had a nasty cold for the past week or so. The first few days were bearable -- just a very sore throat and head congestion. The sore throat is gone, and the congestion is now in my chest. And it hurts like hell, especially when I cough. I just want to go back to bed.

Thankfully, I only have to teach one class today. We're going over two stories ("A Rose for Emily" by Faulkner and "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Gilman) that always generate a lot of discussion, so hopefully I'll just have to guide them to make sure they hit all of the important stuff. I can endure an hour and twenty minutes.

[I just saw a commercial on NBC -- they're bringing Knight Rider back??]

I still can't rest when I come home, though. I have to stop at the grocery store after school. When I come home, I have to prep for tomorrow (two different classes), and make dinner (new falafel recipe). Ugh.

Had an OK weekend. Went to our friend's annual Burns Supper on Saturday. Within 15 minutes of arriving, I wanted to leave because I was surrounded by women who were either pregnant or just had a baby. While I was happy for (most of) them, it just drove me insane. We've been trying to decide for a while (years) when it would be a good time to have a baby. It seems that everyone else just does it without much thought. I know I'm generalizing here, and I'm sure they do think about it, but...fuck. Why is it so difficult for us to just do it?

Ugh. I'd better get back to work...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

But I'm not ready yet!

Today is my first day back at school. I only have one class (2-3:20pm), so it's not that bad. But I'm not ready to go back! I want another week to lounge around in my sweatpants & comfy Pufnstuf t shirt.

I really should just take a shower and go to campus now so that I have time to make copies and such. Yup, that's what I should do.

More later...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

All is quiet...

Had a quiet New Year's Eve. I spent the day trying to finish 8 novels so that I could meet my goal of 50 books for the year (I fell short by 6). When the husband came home, we ate too much and watched tv (mostly the South Park marathon). Even though we stocked up at the liquor store, we each only had 1 drink. I just wasn't in the mood.

So, of course I've made the obligatory resolutions for 2008...

1. Read at least 60 books by midnight on 12/31/08. (Feel free to comment with suggestions)
2. Graduate in May with my M.A.
3. Grade assignments within 2 days of receipt.
4. Have a spine, and stick to my policies (especially late policy) on syllabus.
5. Write (or revise) every day.
6. Submit poems for publication at least once a month.
7. Spend less time on the computer or watching tv.
8. Spend less!
9. Be more positive (this will be difficult)
10. Lose weight (is there anyone who doesn't have this on their list?)

I think that's enough to work on. Husband and I also made a list together that mainly deals with our new eating habits. We eat out too often (I'm too lazy to cook when he gets home late), and we want to move toward a more vegetarian (or maybe pescetarian) lifestyle.

Off to watch The Biggest Loser...