Thursday, March 29, 2007

Not another one

I'm devastated by this news.

This is a club that doesn't need any new members.

Please perform whatever prayers, ritual sacrifices, or acts of barter with the cruel universe that you have available to you, so that no more of us have to endure the sorrow and the single parenting.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Scenes from the breakfast table

Scene I:
"Mama, I want to wear my windbreaker today."

[Absently, as I am reading the back of the cereal box] "Mmmmmmm."

"It helps me break wind."


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Near Miss

I narrowly escaped the quintessential suburban death today: I ducked around the double-parked Cheet-Os truck in my mad dash to escape the discount big-box store, and was nearly pancaked by a guy in an Escalade who was yapping on his cell phone.

They say you can tell a lot about a culture by its death rituals. I don't suppose this is what they had in mind.

Anyway, my bags of cheap, non-biodegrable, Chinese-produced consumer goods and I are all fine, thanks for asking.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Am I nuts?

Two new classes for fall; will I never learn? The third prep is the survey course I teach pretty much every term, which I revamped this semester and am reasonably happy with...although I'm not pleased with how I timed the various student assignments this term at ALL (too late, too close together, too overlapping, too....)

But then, next spring...sabbatical; the most beautiful word in the English language, I think.

Labels: ,

Friday, March 16, 2007

Signs of spring

1. The beautiful pink cherrytree blossoms lining every street.
2. Daffodils. Everywhere.
3. The guy in the pick-up truck flirting with me on the freeway. For a good 10 miles.
4. Opening the sunroof (hell yeah, it's chilly...)
5. The cute picnic table/bench combo (child-size) that I "liberated" from my neighbors' trash pile (thanks to my sister's help)
6. My tax refund!
7. New capris I can't wait to wear.

Movie note: I just watched "Sarah Silverman; Jesus is Magic." I don't know what to think, except that my husband would have loved her irreverence. There's something troubling about the way she uses her cultural and aesthetic privilege (she's gorgeous) to say such awful things. Maybe it's funny; maybe I'm too old; maybe it's so "ironic" that it is lost on my earnest liberal self.

I do like it when she says, "I don't care if you think I'm a racist; I just want you to think I'm thin."

Recommended for the musical numbers. Maybe I would've found her self-described "edgy" racist material more amusing if I had seen anyone in the audience, laughing, who wasn't white.

Labels: ,

Monday, March 12, 2007

What not to watch

At least, not when you've been ill with fever, chills, sore throat, hacking cough, and intermittent waves of nausea and dizziness for four days; nor when you've been despondent over your untimely widowhood and the great injustice of your spouse's demise; nor when you are spiking female hormones enough for an entire agrarian village; nor when you are in one of your inevitable "the world is sad" fits of existential despair over the extinction of species, the impending disaster of climate change, the rampant cruelty our own species inflicts on itself, the criminal idiocy of our current foreign policy, and your inability to afford a car with a smaller carbon imprint: Paradise Lost; a documentary on the horrific events under Jim Jones and the People's Temple, in Guyana.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

True Confessions

I think I may have hit rock bottom today. This is what I had for breakfast. In my car. Listening to NPR.

How can I ever forgive myself?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Saddest Six Words in the English Language

"NO, Mama! I don't WANT any kissing!"

Sigh. How quickly they grow up.

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 2, 2007

You need to know

Hi Babe,
How is it, where you are? Things here are the same: lonely, with days of despair punctuated by states of less-then-complete-misery.

I'm failing where your family is concerned. You could have seen that coming, I know, and if you were here you would tell me that there is only so much I can do to stay connected to them, and that they are not warm or loving people [look at your childhood!], and that I need to not take it so personally, for me or for our daughter's sake. But it still gets to me that none of them are willing or able to reach out to us. I have seen your Dad maybe three times since you left; I want to hope that it's because he finds being around us too painful, but I don't really believe it. I know he misses you constantly, and you know better than I that work is his way of coping.

Yesterday your daughter brought home "family pictures" she drew during after-school-care. She was very excited: "Look Mama, I painted our family!" she said. "I drawed you and me and Papa! We are a family!" You need to know, in case you don't, in fact, spend a lot of time peering in through the clouds, the roof, or whatever else the floor of heaven is made of, that you are very much a part of her life. We read and talk about the books you read with her; we look at the pictures of our outings together; we imagine the fun we would have if you were here. I've been reading and hearing a lot about this book. It makes me so damn angry, and frustrated, that you are not here to visit tide pools, catch bugs, grow tomatoes, learn to swim, go camping, and sit quietly on the couch with us. I hate it for you, for her, and for me. We were robbed of something unspeakably precious. But I want you to know that you remain utterly precious to me, and, young as she is, to your daughter. (Last night we were discussing how boys have penises and girls have 'chinas out of which the baby emerges [at this point our discussion of female genitalia is pretty much entirely conducted with reference to childbirth, given our friends' recent wave of procreation]. She found it extraodinarily funny that her papa "had penises." I was forced to tell her that you had only one, like most of the other men she knows. Hey, I'm doing the best I can, here.

I love you as much as I ever did; maybe even more, since I never have any reason to think of all the ways in which you annoyed me (and me you). I miss you more, not less. And how did you manage to find us a tax preparer who must be in the service of the Russian Mafia? Nice move, Babe.

Love always,
Your wife

I'm just sayin'

As someone with the incredible good luck to have landed a tenure-line job, at a school with reasonable teaching and publication expectations, mostly terrific students, and completely amazing colleagues, I want only to support any steps taken to help others achieve the same.

And yet...

I wonder if IHE needs to rethink the "find jobs related to..." sidebar in cases like this. Okay, maybe someone looking to move from a job in prison affairs to student affairs?

I'm just sayin', is all.