Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Desk Jockey

I need a desk.

Not my desk-at-work desk, but an honest to goodness desk just for me, unlike that dust and clutter collection we call a desk in our basement which is often occupied by the children or the husband.

If I had a desk, I'd be a published author and an acclaimed professor. Or something. I'd be doing better work than can be turned out sitting in my bed, hunched over my laptop, shoulders bunched into a hard little knot, forehead creased in concentration.

I'm just sayin'. I need a desk.

In other news, the thesis is due on Friday. Why aren't I screaming? Good question.

In still other news, spring break starts on Friday. (oh, that's why.) I have to spend my break writing a paper and putting together a presentation, however. *sigh* Still. It's... something? I'll get to sleep in a bit and that IS something.

My sons and my husband have this week off, and I try very hard not to begrudge their sleeping little heads as I make my way to the shower. It's all good though. My job and class end May 1st, and they have to go to school and work for another month. Suckers!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Writing, Reading, Creativity Galore

Today was perfect.

I read some of my work with my friend, who read her poetry, and it was so much fun. I forgot how much I enjoy performing. Maybe I'll try out for another play sometime soon -- four years ago I played Abigail Williams in The Crucible at the local Playhouse, and it was so. much. fun. So maybe now that the master's is (almost) over...

Which reminds me, one of the professors there told my friend and I that she would love to "direct" us, should we decide to take this to the "next level." I'm not sure what she meant... but it was very flattering.

I came home with full intentions to attend the wine and cheese meet and greet at 6 p.m., but I crashed. I literally sat down, turned on the TV and fell asleep for 2 hours.

I don't know, it was just a good day

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cream or Sugar?

The smell of coffee is so strong on the floor at work today. It smells more like they're brewing it in the center than the tiny kitchenette over in the very far corner.

And the smell is mom and dad. My parents were here for a couple of days; they leave today while I'm at work, which is unsettling. I won't be there to see them off and wave as their lights grow smaller in the rain.

My husband and I never got into the habit of drinking of coffee — he's a natural morning person, and I cling to Diet Coke until my eyes adjust. Mom and dad are both avid coffee drinkers, opening with several cups and winding down with a few de-caffs before bed. The smell of coffee is encouraging; it's home.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Family Ties

I think mom and dad are coming for a visit this Wednesday. They live about 8 hours away, but dad is a professor and is on spring break. He and mom are spending the week with my brother and his wife and my sister and her husband and all of their kids in our hometown-- but are going to drive to see us (just 1 1/2 hours away) for a night or two. I can't wait. I absolutely LOVE my parents. Ha, that sounds sarcastic, but it's not. They're the best friends I've got, two people in the world who still love me unconditionally and will always be there for me. I don't like to think about the fact that they are getting a little up in years.

Anyway. I have to finish my thesis this week. Just sit down and write another 40 pages or so (haha, no problem), get ready for and enjoy mom and dad's company, and prepare for a reading of my work this Friday at the university.

Bah, humbug. I'd rather have nothing but mom and dad going on.

I'm thinking of my boys this morning and sent up some prayers. If you're inclined to do so, please join me in praying for Jay and Brad.

<3

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Not hot for teacher

Caught the Pitt game yesterday at UD's arena. It was amazing! Of course if you weren't a Pitt fan, didn't matter who you normally rooted for, you were rooting against them in that game. No one wants the #1 seed to move on, unless it's their team.

And they sure did keep things interesting.

With Ohio State out of the game on Sunday, there's a good chance we can get some cheap tickets for round II. Here's hoping.

In other news, yesterday was a tough day. Both of my kids had incidents at school, one that was absolutely NOT my older son's fault, and the other was probably 50/50 with the younger son. It's hard. I teach them to respect their teachers, but sometimes behind closed doors, my husband and I just shake our heads. It's small things, like this woman had "alot" on their spelling list... no space. And she gave the wrong definition for a word, and it's just. Wow. My husband and I are both in education-- he's an assistant principal and phys ed teacher, and I was an English teacher (though not in the game now), and 99.99% we back our teachers. But when they're blatantly cruel to our child and can't spell words correctly, it's tough.

Anyway, my younger son's run-in with the teacher is the 50/50 deal. My older son's run in with another child's fist was NOT his fault. He filled out the report at school. If it happens again, I'm calling the police. Period. Hopefully, this kid gets suspended for a few days.

At this point, I just want it to be June already.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What he said

I just turned in a story on a gamelan master. A Javanese gamelan master. I guess if I had to list the positives about this job, aside from the way it's helping my fiction, the great hours, and (win) it pays for my schooling-- I'd also say it allows me to learn about things I would otherwise never have learned in a million years.

Anyway, this story reminded me that when it comes to art, we're sort of all cut from the same cloth — music, painting, writing. How many times have you heard or said yourself, "I started writing when I was in elementary school," or "I knew I wanted to write when I was ten," etc.

Well, when this man was 7 he was at a concert in Java (it's a place and a drink people, keep up), and the guy playing the hanging gongs fell asleep. Or maybe he passed out, because according to this guy their concerts go from 8 or 9 at night to 4 in the morning. Yeah. So, the conductor remembers seeing this boy hanging around at their practices, etc. and he just calls him out of the crowd and up on the stage to play the sleeping man's gongs.

And he does! I asked him how he was able to play without any real training, and he smiled (this guy was all laughing and smiles and broken English) and said "I just did what the person next to me did."

ha!

So, I'll just write like Stephen King. Deal?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Did you wear your green today?

We revert, obviously.

When I was in elementary school, you wore green on St. Patrick's Day. The truth is, I've always been a little cluttered as a person, even back then. I'd forget things. And when you forgot St. Patrick's Day and didn't wear green, the whole day was torture: people pinching and teasing, and I would just feel "off" from everyone else.

Last night, I reminded my 12-year-old to wear green today, lay out a shirt, so he wouldn't forget. His look was indulgent as he said, "Mom... that's so old school," and shook his head.

Yet, when I entered work this morning, wearing my green shirt and green heart necklace, I'm immediately greeted with a cheery, "You remembered your green!" From a lady old enough to be my mother wearing a sparkly green scarf and clover earrings. Another coworker, a man around my age, is sporting a clover-filled bow-tie. I'm so glad I remembered my green-- or I'd have heard about it all day.

Someone a few cubicles over just said, "Top o' the mornin' to ya!"

I'm just sayin'.

p.s. a man in a cubicle behind me just said, "Last night I dreamed I had a huge cat. I mean, it was taller than me." He then said, "Fortunately..." and I missed the rest. I really wish the lady in the cubicle diagonal to mine hadn't picked that moment to cough... So... Fortunately... I was even huger?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The best laid plans

Well, I didn't do anything, but the commenting problem I mentioned in my previous post went away, which has me expecting it to return when it feels like it.

So. On top of trying to get into a writing regimen, I've been trying to get into an exercise routine. I actually squirmed typing that. Happy thoughts and passing ideas probably do not qualify as "trying." I'm the kind of girl that loves to make lists but really gets no great satisfaction out of crossing off the things written there-- I just love the lists. And I think it's that way with the writing and exercising. I LOVE the idea of both, and I do both, but sporadically. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to write on a set schedule, which, if I'm honest, makes me feel like I'm not a writer-- and I'm not getting any thinner, either.

hmm... I'm trying to think of a hopeful way to end this entry. As it stands it's pretty depressing.

So I give you this: (a list!)

1. I will write at least one hour a day this week, not counting the writing I do for work. (baby steps)

2. I will go to the gym 3 times this week.

3. Because it made me giggle:


HELP!

I've been commenting on your blogs.... and it's NOT SHOWING UP. It's very frustrating because in some cases, they were pretty long comments, darn it.

Before when I commented, there was a box with a word I had to type to identify myself as a non-computer, but that's gone. Now when I go to post, there's a drop box asking which account I'm using, and I pick google, because it's the only one I'm using, and click post, and then... NOTHING. The comment is gone and it does not show up on your blogs! What the heck?

Anyone know anything about this?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beth

I am hurting for someone today. I forget, do something mundane, then remember her pain and it's like a punch to my stomach. I lose my air.

I'd give almost anything to give her what she wants. I wish I could be there with her.

I hurt, I'd give, I wish. How helpless we truly are.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Those Who Teach, Can

I miss teaching.

I've pretty much done it all in the realm of education; I've taught preschool, elementary, jr. high (oh, never again), high school, and college. The truth is, middle school excepted, I enjoyed every age: the innocence of elementary, the trembling, unsteady coming-into-their-own of 9th graders, and the uncertain eagerness of the college freshman. It's the last that's stolen my professional heart.

I've fallen in love with college freshmen. I can't teach any other grade and love it as much, not possible. For one, there's an autonomy to the university classroom that's just not there anywhere else. No principals or teachers in the next room over just one paper-thin wall away-- It's you and the kids.

And some of them are brilliant. Oh, sure you get a few slackers, but most of them are paying to be here (or their parents are), and they want to succeed. I won't even hesitate to admit that some of my students were superior writers, and I encouraged them every way I knew how, only asking for one mention in the "dedicated to" portion of their sure-to-be bestsellers. ^_~

It's been about a year since I was in the college classroom-- I took a year off to do an assistantship to pay for my last year of grad school, backward, I know. Usually the adjunct position pays for grad school, but this time, I'm doing a journalism assistantship, getting a glimpse at writing for a living. (It's not pretty folks! Run, RUN WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME!) But that's another post.

I miss telling my "kids" to pull out a proverbial carpet square because I'm going to read to them. I miss hearing their amazing counterpoints to my devil's advocate, the way they change my mind right along with their own sometimes.

I miss it. The hum, the thrill the light. I'm trying to get back into it, and though I'm actually more qualified than I was before, the job market has closed up, and I find myself unsure.

Like an unsteady, eager (though possibly frighteningly unprepared?) college freshman.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Table for Two, Please

I love seeing people on their first date. They're easy to spot-- the nervous fidgeting, the darting looks down to the menu and up at the person across from them. They give off an energy, sometimes forcing others within the zone of their awkwardness to feel it as well.

One of my favorite things about being married, you know after the love and sex bit-- is the end of first dates. We go to a restaurant and the silence is okay, the conversation is easy, and we can re-dip in the appetizer. It's a little like wearing pajamas to the store.

I'm going out tonight and I'm looking forward to being able to pick at his plate and have him finish my inevitable leftovers.