Thursday, March 31, 2005
1) 2-mile walk -- This particular route is mostly uphill, so my ass and thighs hurt right about now.
2) Wrangled hair, applied makeup (was successful with eyeliner), and dressed in my cutest casual.
3) Lunch with the girls. We had fun. Lesa brought Ben, and Kandice brought Joshua. We're supposed to go see Lesa's new'ish house next week.
4) Came home and right after I walked in, this lady who called yesterday about wanting to buy the desk we advertised in the paper called again. She said she had come earlier in the day and I wasn't home (as if I should've been). I distinctly told her yesterday that I would be out from around 12-2 and that she should definitely call first. She didn't.
5) Sat around.
6) Aforementioned lady and her husband showed up. She said I gave them the wrong address. I didn't. She wasn't wearing her glasses and read it wrong, so she'd been over at the neighbor's house lookin' for a desk for sale. She finally bought the damn thing and I got them back on their way. It wouldn't have been so bad if she wasn't mildly rude about the whole thing.
7) Finished Andrea Dworkin's book: Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant. This chick could possibly be nutty with a capital NUT, but I'd still like to read Woman Hating and Pornography.
8) Shower. I always use all of the hot water.
9) Dinner....one of my killer turkey sandwiches.
10) American Idol...Jessica got the boot!! WTF???
11) Sat on the porch with mom. The weather is gorgeous, and it's so peaceful outside.
12) Here I am, trying to decide what book to read next. It's a toss-up between a re-read of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or The Second Sex. Similar, right?
On TV: National Lampoon's Vacation...classic
In the CD player that I fell asleep with last night: David Gray...White Ladder
In ma head: I'm one size away from my skinny jeans and my calves are killer. Rock on.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
First strike: The new bachelor is Charlie O'Connell...toothy-grinned, mouth-breathing brother of Jerry O'Connell (Jerry Maguire). Charlie has acted, although I would be hard-pressed to come up with an example for you, and even then I think "acting" would be a bit of a stretch. Admittedly, he's tall, roguishly handsome, with a butt-chin to make you cry, "Ohhh, Mama, he's ever so dreamy." But, that's where it ends. As in the tradition of the O'Connell brothers he should simply stand and turn...never speaking...never trying to be funny.
Strike two: THERE ARE NO RULES!! Which is just another way to make the women look stupid, unfortunately for womankind, they rise to the occasion like a moth to a bug-zapper. The show began with the women being beckoned to the door of their hotel room in pajamas. They had a few minutes to get decent and they had to meet Charlie-boy with no makeup (THE HORROR!), and some took it quite literally that they were dragged out of bed. They showed up in pj's, negligées, bikinis, and I'm really surprised there weren't some pasties thrown like ninja stars. Each woman had two minutes of "speed dating" with Sir Charles and there was no shortage of grabbing, grinding, boob flopping, tattoo showing (one just about showed her cooch!), and lap sitting.
Next came the group dates, and the women had to pick which girls went on what date. Obvious recipe for disaster. The claws came out, the furr flew, insert cliche here, and Carlos ate it up. He gaves roses to the most dispicable and underhanded of hooch-mamas. Because he cane give roses in the middle of dates now. NO RULES I said! Oh the drama, Mama!
Third strike: One woman broke down into a fit of sobs at the club after being completely appauled by Charl-o doing a body shot off of one of her competitors. She left. It wasn't the place for her! She's a nice girl, and this clubbing thing was her ten years ago!!!!...And then she came back for the final ceremony and begged for a rose. Meanwhile, the bikini model that dropped her dress in an attempt to speed Charlie into her undies proclaimed, "I've been praying for you to make the right decision. I know I felt a real connection, and I would be honored if you felt the same way. I think I'm falling in love with you." *fucking sob* Ooohh, Mama!
I am constantly amazed at what these women will do for a flower from a loser and a marriage proposal that is destined for the crapper. The one redeeming moment of the show: when one of the lovelies admitted that she came on the show for "the experience" and elaborated on the fact that she meant TV exposure. Finally!!! Someone's tellin' the truth! And yes, she got a rose, and she'll be staying.
I need another shower.
And no, I won't be watching next week!
Note: The Bachelor replaced my real reality show of choice tonight....SuperNanny! Now that's good TV. ;o)
Reading: Heartbreak: A Political Memoir, by Andrea Dworkin
the total opposite: Faking It, by Jennifer Crusie
CD of choice: Eve to Adam.
TV: Everybody Loves Raymond
Head: Don't wanna go to work tomorrow.
Monday, March 28, 2005
I'm finishing up Cold Mountain today. If I hear about one more gooey gunshot wound or oozing war injury I'm gonna throw up. I swear. Part of the appeal of this book, for me, is the talk of pickled beans, packets of lard that are good for traveling, house building, chicken houses, corn cribs, telling time by the position of the sun. It reminds me of an adult version of Litte House in the Big Woods. I just like hearing about the roughing it stuff. Also why I really enjoyed Pioneer House on PBS. Looking forward to the ending because I've heard so many people mention it. Surely there's a twist or an oddity coming.
Access Hollywood is on TV right now....I turned it on and left it on what it landed on (this show annoys me). They're interviewing The Backstreet Boys...who are now playing small clubs and visiting local radio stations and preparing to release their first album in 5 years. When Nick Carter was asked if they expected the success of previous albums and would they be happy with that result he answered, "Of course we would be happy with that, but the music has changed. Now we have to deal the cards we're dealt." Ahhh, signs of greatness to come, I'm sure. *gag*
The latest Jennifer Weiner snippet that I love:
"Lu, you have to sleep!"
She curled up on a pillow and stuck her butt in the air. But it was not to be. "WAKE UP MOMMY!" she said, springing straight into the air. And jumping on me again.
At two thirty I plunked her back in the crib. She screamed for a few minutes, then gave up and slept until seven thirty. Adam caught the early shift. At eight thirty he brought her into the bedroom.
"What can I do to help you?"
"Get her dressed," I moaned.
"Then put her in her stroller."
"Then tape a note to her jacket saying FREE TO A GOOD HOME, and wheel her onto the sidewalk. Someone'll want her."
10 ENTIRELY RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME
1. Cheesecake is one of my favorite foods, and it should have its own food group.
2. I only wear light, airy scents…like Cool Water and Caress Berry Fusion body spray.
3. My pot of bamboo and my hanging basket of strawberries are tied for favorite plant.
4. My car is horrendously dirty inside. I blame it on the fact that I’m a teacher, and my mere being seems to conjure piles of paper.
5. I’m something of an adrenaline junkie and I wish I was pierced again. It makes it harder to have a stud in your face when you have a responsible, grown-up job.
6. I’m filling out my FAFSA…barf.
7. I have a magnetic poetry frame which contains a pic of one of my favorite high schools classes I taught in NC. Right now it says: Love is show/Me am crazy/Run far.
8. I have a lemon meringue pie candle and a “passionate” candle burning right now.
9. I collect postcards from exotic locaions…like Connecticut.
10. I need a pedicure in the worst way. Just call me “Lizard Feet.”
9 WAYS TO WIN MY HEART
1. Be interested in what I have to say.
2. Broaden my horizons.
4. Touch me often and in loving, tender ways.
5. Cook for me or with me.
6. Let me shower you with affection
7. Open doors…especially car doors
9. Love my family (including the dogs)
8 THINGS I CARRY/WEAR EVERYDAY
1. Silver jewelry…always my claddagh ring
2. A book
5. Eclipse gum
6. a terrycloth covered ponytail holder…prevents breakage (the hair is never down past 3:00)
7. my library card
8. Burt’s Bees lip balm (it tingles!)
7 THINGS THAT ANNOY ME
1. fakey people
2. the toilet paper coming off the roll in the wrong direction
3. drivers who don’t blink
4. objectification of women
5. closed-minded people
6 PLACES I'VE VISITED
1. North Carolina
2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
6. every museum in the Dallas/Ft Worth area
5 THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE
2. Build a house (urban loft style...but out in the middle of nowhere)
3. Buy a motorcycle
4. Get two Masters degrees
4 THINGS I'M AFRAID OF
2. Being alone
3. Dying because of some preventable health issue
4. Getting my heart stomped on and dissected with a rusty pocket knife (metaphor, people)
3 THINGS I DO EVERYDAY
2. Work out
3. Play with the pups
2 THINGS I'M TRYING NOT TO DO NOW
1. Eat crap and be slothful
2. Feel like it’s my fault
1 PERSON I WANT TO SEE NOW
1. Amanda and Crystal H. for a good ole girls’ night...so I cheated...sue me!
Sunday, March 27, 2005
The church in which I was baptized has grown by leaps and bounds since I started going there at the age of 13...during the thick of my on-fire-for-Jesus'ness. I remember the comfort I felt being in that beautiful building, surrounded by people who started out strangers but eventually became like a second family to me. I loved all the hugs, the conversations, and the feeling of community. Now, the church still has the same pastor (love him), and, like I said, it's grown to be at least 500 people per Sunday. Not a lot if you're from a larger city, but this is a little "country" church out in the middle of nothing. They're building a new sanctuary that basically looks like a gym on the outside...corrugated metal, etc. I didn't recognize 90% of the people, no hugs, no spark.
The Easter presentation is always a "character sermon." Roger dresses up as some character from the Bible and delivers his message in the first-person. It's usually interesting but today it left me cold. There was an Easter Cantata. Also left me cold. I left upset that I felt completely unmoved by any of the goings-on. I didn't feel that sense of wonder and awe and community that usually comes from my church...even if I haven't been in ages!
At one point during the character sermon--the character's name has just left me--lists off all these bad parts of his POV (he was the puppet master behind the crucifixion..Clack, help!) and says, "Yes, I'm what, today, you would call your liberals." OH MY HEAVENS!! Let's step outside!!!!
I consider myself a pretty progressive thinker, and I'm also a Christian. I know down deep that I'm right with God and that I'm not a bad person if I don't agree to the letter, so it irked me to feel attacked in my own place of worship. That started the questions rolling in my head:
- Can someone as un-conservative as I am in many ways find rest and complete acceptance in a Baptist church?
- Is this church the right place for me?
- Is church in general the right place for me?
- Is this organized religion too static?
These are really important questions that have been creeping up for a while. I'm not scared of the questions or finding the answers, but it really hits hard that I'm not experiencing that same sensation of awe that I did when I was younger. I feel the awe at other times....traveling, seeing people and places, being with my family, scholarly work, teaching. I've always felt like God had a plan for my life, and I know He's with me every day, but I don't know that my spiritual needs are best served in that traditionally accepted environment. I feel more blessed reading my Bible alone and thinking and contemplating and pondering than in a room full of other Christians.
So, it looks like Sojourness and I have more in common all the time. I'm a capital QUESTIONING in Questioning Believer. I'm gonna start looking at some new churches, and if that doesn't help some new denominations....or maybe a non-denomination.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Also, I added my lil mood meter. I saw these on Heather's (Knit-Lit's) blog and thought they were adorable. So a big shout out to her! :o)
More posting tomorrow. I just finished watching Frida for the gazillionth time and I'm off to ponder and sleep. Salma Hayek is a goddess.
In the CD player: Sarah McLachlan...Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
Reading: Cold Mountain
Friday, March 25, 2005
Actually, the title is kind of a lie. This happened a week or two ago, and I've been forgetting to post about it.
A state representative from Texas wants to make a new TX law....*drum roll*.....to fine school districts if their cheerleaders dance provocatively. YEP! You heard me....they actually want to make a law that can judge whether or not cheerleaders are dancin' too sexified and fine the school. How freakin' crrrrrazy is that?? Some people have wayyy too much time on their hands. As a former cheerleader/mascot (I did all the dances in a big furry suit) there is the occasional hip-thrust, but we got our butts raked over the coals by the sponsor and principal if we were too sexy. I don't know what cheerleaders this cat is watchin' that he thinks are toeing the line of obscene.
P.S. I'm getting an $1,100 tax return and I had a wicked workout this morning. WOOT!!
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
We went through our color lesson...blah blah. My eyes really did look lovely, but I can get the same look from the cheap Wally World makeups instead of having to order and wait and go through the hassle for three times the price from a Mary Kay consultant.
Part of this follow-up was the woman telling us a little about Mary Kay in case we wanted to get involved in the company. She went through the ways you make money with them, yadda yadda, and finally, she's a director so she's over lots of consultants. She's a former pastor's wife, sweet lady, but the way she pitches selling Mary Kay is just a little too Robert Tilton (if you're not familiar...scuzzy Dallas televangelist that got sent to prison) for me.
In the weekly "goal meetings" where you giggle and squeal with other consultants over how much you've made that week, or cry and shiver in the corner if you haven't done well...her group does a little devotional. That's cool! God is great...and how often does he get to make an appearance in the workplace, right? But the more she talked the ickier I felt. She started going on about how she became a consultant to get a car. Now she's got the car, she's workin' on car #2, and she's "chasing carrots" as she says to win prizes from the company...blah blah. And Jesus wanted her to do it. Jesus said yes, she could do it, so she did and she's successful and has cars running out her heiney, and she wants other women to ask Jesus, and if he says yes, they should join Mary Kay and sell makeup and chase carrots and buy cars and all your DREAMS WILL COME TRUE!!! She's teaching women every week to reach for their dreams and love theirs husbands and children and all that through Jesus, and SELL MAKEUP!
Now, I'm torn. I'm a Christian...yes o'yes I am. I'm also a feminist. I'm a Christian feminist who loooooves me some makeup. Now, I'm also realistic enough to know that makeup makes a lot of false claims, especially when it comes to reviving, renewing, rejuvenating, and decreasing those pesky wrinkles. Utne ran an article in the March/April issue about how cosmetic companies flat-out lie about most of their products (they're mostly water and paste), and I'm sure Mary Kay is no different. Did I mention, when I went to the Microderm Abrasion class that my face broke out? I'm horribly allergic to dog hair, and I looked exactly like I'd rubbed Dash (our weenie dog) all over my face after I used one of hte products. Welts, itchiness, redness, grossness. According to Utne, olive oil is one of the best moisturizers and it won't clog your pores. I would've been better off staying home and rubbing olive oil on my face than going to a class and abrasing my microderms. But I digress....cosmetic companies make a big business of lying, and here's lil miss consultant telling me that she and Jesus will fulfill all my wildest dreams by peddling makeup to the masses.
Isn't something wrong here?
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
So, as Mom and I were approaching home there was a girl on a bike that came up from behind us and, right in front of us, CUT ACROSS OUR DRIVEWAY ON HER BIKE!!!!! *snarl, spit, kick*
I gathered myself, but I was pissy...like I said, and said, "Uh, little girl, could you NOT drive through our driveway??!!!!" She mumbled yes and kept riding. I just really don't want the kids falling and knocking themselves out on our property or, worse, scratching the Jeep or my Accord. Plus, I'm territorial. Stay out of my damn driveway!!!!!
Monday, March 21, 2005
Last night I had a dream that I was in Spain at the home of Toby Keith and Penelope Cruz....AAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! Oh, sorry, that part was much scarier than the shark, in my opinion. I was frolicking around their very large mansion which happened to have a great pool and water parkish type area. It was also right on another channel that ran out into the ocean. You could stand in their living room at the windows and see sea animals swimming through. The first thing I saw was a cute, squeaky dolphin. And then came big daddy. A huuuuuge, long, fat, slippery shark. He shot up out of the water only feet from where I was standing at the window, opened his huge toothy mouth, and went back under and away. Several more sharks swam through before I woke up...none quite as scary as the first one, but it was a dark, ominous feeling nonetheless.
I woke up, went to the bathroom, and I was still really sleepy, so I came back to bed and turned on the TV. Wanna know what was on TBS?? DEEP BLUE SEA!!!! Eeek! If you're not familiar, it's about a science lab out on the ocean where they're doing research into curing neurological diseases. They enlarge the brains of sharks, inundate them with some sort of protein, extract the proteins, and add them to human brain cells to stimulate activity in dying cells. The sharks end up supa-smart and flood the compound, trapping the team of scientists, and begin stalking them and killing them one by one. It's one of those cheesy movies that I can't help but watch every time it comes on.
So, after I was lucid enough to use the 'puter, I looked up "sharks" on a dream interpretation site, and here's what it had to say:
To see a shark in your dream, represents a person whom you see as greedy and unscrupulous. This person goes after what what he or she wants with no regards to the well-being and sensitivity of others. The shark may also be an aspect of your own personality which exhibit these qualities. Alternatively, you may be going through a difficult, painful, or unpleasant emotional period. The shark symbolizes feelings of anger, hostility, and fierceness. You may be an emotional threat to yourself or to others.
On to movies! Since I mentioned that Deep Blue Sea is one of those movies that I always watch on TV no matter how many times I've seen it, I thought I'd list some more. And feel free to share your own...
- Resident Evil
- The Exorcist (since I finally watched it for the first time in 2004)
- Alien 1 or 2
- Bring it On
- You've Got Mail (even though I own it)
- Miss Congeniality
- Undercover Brother
- Deuce Bigalow (bring on the sequel!)
- Ever After (also own)
.....and a number of other teen movies and horror flicks. I just hope I don't dream about another shark tonight. I've had enough for a few months.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
In addition to the mad writing, I've been working out a lot (although I did eat way too many carbs this week), visited with Rachel, talked to some friends that I needed to get in touch with, and I have tentative plans for Chinese with one of my good friends from high school this coming week (Lesa). I cleaned the house from top to bottom on Thursday, I grocery shopped with Mom last night, and today we went to see Hitch (review at Projectile Reviews). Mom and I kept turning to each other during the movie and saying, "There are no men like that." I think even the men in the audience would've agreed.
When were were shopping last night I saw one of the students from my night class. She asked me, almost exactly one week before our class meets, on Spring Break, mind you, "Hey, Miss Miller, what are we doing Thursday?"
My reply: "Rachel, darlin', I don't even know my own name right now, so you'll just have to be surprised on Thursday." She could relate.
On TV: Runaway Bride
CD: Rascal Flatts....the first one
Reading: In Her Shoes, by Jennifer Weiner
In my head: It's under lock and key.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Thursday, March 17, 2005
...while I wouldn't go so far as to call Foer a writing genius, he is good at what he does...the only problem is that he is screaming this on every page he writes. His style is one that is so obviously telling the reader, "Hey look at how clever I am! Aren't I so funny and brilliant...I'm great", and personally that's a turn-off.
Foer reminds me of John Updike....buttloads of pretension. No thanks! The NYTimes can lick my niblets this time cuz I think they're wrongggg.
Got dressed, stumbled out the door, and I went down to the interesting (a.k.a.--raggedy)end of Greenville to apply for a part-time kennel worker position at a vet's office. Already filled! Great! Oh well, at least I found out who to call in order to roll my 401K over into an IRA. Just call me Finance Girl--leaping file folders in a single bound!!
I returned The Nanny Diaries to the library. It was "eh." Sloppish writing, somewhat icky dialogue in spots, but affecting enough that I wanted to slap the snot (SNOT) out of the characters. It's about an uber-rich couple in NYC and the AS(S)inine things they ask of their nanny. That's one job I could not handle without tranquilizers and vodka shots.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
In my humble opinion, it's too soon for novels about 9/11. First, there's a distinct scummy marketing factor. I was really irked when all the country songs hit the airwaves asking "Have We Forgotten?" (slap) and 1,400 non-fiction titles appeared within days. I haven't seen Fahrenheit 9/11, so I can't really comment on that whole situation. The 9/11 plots are just a marketable hook to rope people into buying their book. Of course, the authors want you to buy the books, the publishing houses want you to buy the books, and it all comes across the me as opportunistic and kinda icky.
I don't think enough time has passed for us to really see a meaningful, sincere evaluation of the event. It will be much more interesting to look back in 50 years and see what kind of shift took place in the arts as a result of 9/11. Big world events always have some effect on the direction of the arts, but at this point its too much instant gratification...and I fear....sentimental schlock.
Oh, and on another note, Jonathan Safran Foer is one of the authors publishing this year about 9/11. He seems to be the NY Times' golden child/"it" boy. I think he has a contract that says he has to be mentioned at least once a week or something. I got a wild hair today and checked out his much-buzzed-about book Everything is Illuminated. Honestly, it doesn't sound that interesting to me, but we're gonna see what JSF is bringin'.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Disclaimer: I laughed so hard I almost blew out my sphincter. Beware.
- How to Remove Chewing Gum from Your Bush
- How to Remove an Infected Cyst from a Loved-One
- How to Make Two Small Hats Out of a Brassiere
- How to Make a Brassiere Out of Two Small Hats
- How to Have Really Nice Lymph Glands
- How to Act Laid-Back During a Grease Fire
- How to Spot a Creep from Across the Street
- How to Dance with a Swedish Person
- How to Induce a Clergyman to Grad You by the Nuts
- How to Milk a Dog While It's Sleeping
- How to Get Through College Without Books
- How to Make a Small Salad Out of Your Work Pants
- How to Lure a Weasel into a Cardboard Box
- How to Filet a Panda
- How to Get a Tan with a Blow Torch
- How to Make an Oil Lamp Out of Your Genitals
- How to Style Your Hair with a Bullwhip
- How to Convert an Old Leather Chair into Twelve Pairs of Shoes
- How to Achieve Multiple Orgasms with a Pair of Tweezers
- How to Kill a Rat with a Paperclip
- How to Lease Out the Space Inside Your Nose
- How to Spot Truly Vicious People in Church
- How to Become a Total Fuckin' Greaseball
I finally put in the links over on the right side of hte page....Fellow Bloggers and The Literary Life. If I've forgotten anyone don't hold it against me yet....it was an off-the-cuff project, and I'm really sleepy at the moment. Work in progress.
I was supposed to have a Mary Kay follow-up appointment tomorrow at 11:00, but I called and cancelled. I don't feel like being duped into buying expensive makeup when I can go get my Mary Kate & Ashley cream shadow for 3 dollars at any given Wal-Mart. No one knows the difference, and it makes my eyes look like diamonds and sapphires. Not really, but it sounds delightful, doesn't it?
I made the best hamburgers for dinner. They weren't any different than any other hamburgers, but I was really craving them, so they were excellent. I ate two (small patties)...the second was only meat, cheese, and lettuce (low-carb ya know). After I finished I sat looking at my plate and said to Mom, "Wow, that was good. I wish I'd taken time to chew it."
The fitness/weight loss regime continues. Been working out more than I'd really care to and eating right most of the time (except my Carby Fridays). So far my jeans are looser, my clothes look better overall, my ring is floppy, and bones keep popping up all over. Today I was talkin' to my friend Jeff as he drove himself to a meeting, and he asked, out of the blue, "So, how's the collarbone doing?" Oh Lord, I've created a monster.
I've been having problems settling on a book to read. Of course this happens on SPRING BREAK!! When I have all the time to read and write I can neither read nor write. Today I read at least 6 months' worth of Jennifer Weiner's blog (all through her pregnancy), and that got me feeling writerly, but now it's late and I'm too sleepy. The great American novel will have to wait until tomorrow to be born. And, I think I've decided I'm reading In Her Shoes (the last of Weiner's offerings...what will I do when they're all read?), and I'm reading A History of the Wife, by Marilyn Yalom. Wives got the short end of the stick in Greek and Roman times (and others, but I'm not getting into it now).
Returning my new Nikes with which I've been unable to bond
Popping into the office to see Rachel and Debbie
Going to my book discussion group. They read West With the Night, but I skipped this one.
On TV: Will & Grace (not paying attention)
CD of choice: Kelly Clarkson....Breakaway
Monday, March 14, 2005
Rosie O'Donnell has a blog. Mmmmhmmm.
And yes, it's just as pretentious as the title. Boo-freakin'-hoo for Rosie. I read over approximately half a post before I threw up into my baseball cap and promptly closed the window. She's got some kind of e.e. cummings vibe going.
so judith newman writes a shitty article about me for vanity fair
she feels – I imagine - guilty for doing so –
as it sucked totally - full of nothing
so as the trial ends and we await
judge gammermans decision
her need to apologize gets the better of her
she e mails me
Some of you might remember Wil Wheaton from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He played Wesley Crusher (and my pre-teen bod would've loved him to do some crushin'....grrr). Now that he's been spotted at Hooters (hiss) and asked, "Didn't you used to be an actor?" he's started a blog to talk about the fact that he's still an actor even though no one knows it.
So far, from what I've read (which was little, given the vomiting into the cap), I much prefer my friends' blogs. Much more interesting.
On TV: The Today Show (sing it Kelly Clarkson!)
In the CD player: still Eva Cassidy
Reading: A History of the Wife, by Marilyn Yalom
Friday, March 11, 2005
I have a few students this semester who make my life a little more interesting than I would normally choose for myself. The one I'd like to talk about today, we'll call Mitch. Mitch is a recovering drug addict and just happens to be bipolar. Mitch is a nice guy overall, if a little creepy and normally unable to control his inner dialogue (it usually spews forth in the midst of my lectures when he's bored and ready to go home). The other students in the relatively small class are typically as annoyed with Mitch as I am, and it's my job to keep some semblance of order and civility, and I've done a damn fine job, if I do say so myself. I feel horrible for saying it, but 98% of me feels empathy for Mitch's plight, and the other 2% wants to cackle like a banshee when he does something way over the top. Damnit...I guess I'm human after all....although I like to think the teacher in me is able to overcome the laugh reflex (never let 'em see you giggle and NEVER EVER snort).
Last night, the final class meeting before Spring Break, I allowed Mitch and several other students to make up or retake quizzes for various reasons. Mitch missed a vocab. quiz because he chose to go to math tutoring one night during our weekly required lab time (irked me, but I still let him make it up). The quiz consisted of 40 vocabulary matching questions. Remember, he's had 3 weeks to study since he missed taking the quiz on the allotted night. I didn't think this particular exercise would be too much for Mitch because he's kept up with the other assignments better than I originally thought he might, and he's passing the course overall.
Here's how it went:
4pm - begin quiz in classroom with 2 other students and myself.
5pm - suggested that he take a seat in the adjacent classroom where he would have quiet space to work because our lab was starting.
5:30pm - he comes back into the room, sits in his usual place and I ask if he's ready to turn it in. He responds, "No, why?" I say, "Well, because you came back in and you do have to turn it in when you finish." He says, with a vexed look on his face, "These words aren't dictionarized right."
.....blank stare from me and the other students.....
I attempt a translation off the cuff...."You mean they aren't written the way they were on your vocab. list?"...."Yeah," he says. I explain that they're transcribed exactly as they were on the original list. "Oh, OK," he sighs. Our scheduled lab time is still ticking away, class is loud, we're discussing, etc., Mitch is getting distracted, so I suggest that he might take his place in his quiet classroom again, to which he nods and walks out in agreement.
15 more minutes pass
5:45 - I go across the hall, while the lab is working on something else, to check on Mitch's progress. He's on #14 and complains that the reading class next door is too loud for him to concentrate (and lemme tell you, they bug the shit out of me, too). I suggest an alternative plan of action. "Would you like to go down to the other end of the hall to work? You're welcome to if they're bothering you." I get the nod of approval.
5:46 - I return to my lab and we discuss their journal entries.
6:00 - I release class early as a special Spring Break gift to them, since we're normally the last ones to vacate the building on a regular class night. Mitch continues to work elsewhere.
6:01 - Two of my other students begin work on additional makeup quizzes and tests.
6:02 - Mitch enters the room and takes his normal place. I don't even ask what number he's on.
6:10 - Mitch gets up from his normal seat and moves to the opposite side of the room. Students taking tests look at him and resume work.
6:30 - Mitch gets up and returns to his normal seat to continue working.
6:35 - Moves again.
6:40 - Moves back.
6: 45 - Other two students complete work and leave me alone with Mitch with "Good luck" written in their sympathetic gazes and nods.
6:50 - I ask about Mitch's progress only to find out that he's completed TWO more matches in the last hour.
6:55 - I suggest that we call it a night, he can study some more over Spring Break, and he gets another hour to finish when we come back. It comes out in this exchange that he didn't study at all for this quiz. GRRRRRRRRRRR!
What the hell do I do with him???? I drove home with my sunroof open so the steam could escape from the top of my head with as little damage to the ceiling upholstery as possible.
You might be wondering a) Why didn't you make him turn it in quicker? b) Why didn't you question him more to get to the root of the probem.
My answers: a) He didn't have his bifocals with him b) he could easily make up the missed lab activities and this was sort of a "make up" night anyway c) it's like having Ozzie Ozbourne in class if Ozzie were a lot younger, quicker, and more hostile at times.
Found here: http://www.beatrice.com/archives/001222.html
Here's a snippet of Wolitzer's thoughts on chick lit:
But the shame I want to write about here isn't sexual. It isn't graphic in any way, and yet I feel a deep unease. For I am a secret lover of chick lit. I know, I'm supposed to curl my mouth into a sneer whenever the term "chick lit" is mentioned. After all, I'm a so-called "literary" novelist, and like all such novelists I'm routinely asked to list my favorite books or influences. The names "Virginia Woolf" and "Thomas Mann" tend to spring to my lips. These are not lies; I love these writers. Yet those "other" writers--those fluffier, sunnier, pinker ones—are my guilty pleasure. Though all of them are marginally different from each other, their book covers are often pink of hue. For the sake of expedience, I will herein refer to them as the Pink Ladies.
Jennifer Weiner responded by coining Wolitzer and her "literary" sisters the "Gray Ladies." In her thoughtful essay, also for beatrice.com, she discusses the "formula" that more literary novels follow. Interesting comments.
Found here: http://www.beatrice.com/archives/001240.html#more
This fits right in with my ongoing thoughts about the worth of chick lit and how it meshes into the larger framework of literature. Read the articles and lemme know whatcha think, folks.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
First off, American Idol is an effin' effin' scam!!! Constantine the long-haired-weirdo/looks-like-a-drunk did NOT get sent home!!! He sang a Police song! No one should be allowed to sing vintage Sting and he's a good of example! Instead, my lovely Nikko....Mr. "Let's Get it On" and "Georgia" got sent home. I would like to protest. Bo and the Federov kid are still in it, so I have some hope for the human race.
Next, I went shopping this morning. I need some new shoes for my almost-daily workouts, so I picked up some Nikes (can't remember which type). I haven't decided if I'm keeping them or not. We're not bonding so far. When I was browsing I also found some really cute, funky, hippy'ish sandals to replace my old "Jesus" sandals. My Jesus sandals have almost completely lost their soles, so I figured it was time to put them out to pasture.
As I was browsing the clothes at Belk, I kept having a flashback to Bet Me. At one point Cal tells Min (a plus-size woman), "You dress like you hate your body." *I* dress like I hate my body. I'm all about navy blue t-shirts, so I decided, as I looked around at all the Easter-eggish colors to try and branch out. I picked up a striped Bill Blass button up....3/4 length sleeves, and the colors really are flattering on me. 4 shades of light blues/turquoises and 4 shades of limey green. Works with my baby blues. Also picked up a pair of cropped workout pants....also a lightish turquoiseish blue. I'm gonna die in the TX heat if I try to workout in sweats after April. So yeah, it's a first step at integrating color. I wore the shirt to the library board meeting today and got tons o'compliments.
Which leads me to the library board meeting. Actually, it's the Historical Society that is doing everything. We had a speaker to answer questions from the North Texas Library Association, and she was quite helpful. The bad news is, it looks like we're going to have to start out an independent library and make the NTLS thing a goal for down the road. Right now the town has some 1,200 citizens, and we would have to have a yearly expenditure of $10,000 running the library to be a part of NTLS and get extra funding. $10,000 is a lot to ask for such a small town, so maybe sometime in the future. I'm saving up my would-otherwise-donate books to give to the library. We're trying to start out with at least 7000 volumes. I'm sure there will be lots of fundraiser talk in the near future.
After the library jazz I came home, got in my comfortables, grades quizzes (barf), and tried to decide on my next book to read. I'm also having stirrings of a novel in my head. Will report on that later. I finally decided, around 9pm tonight, that I would read Babylon Revisited...short stories from F. Scott Fitzgerald. I got the book (in excellent condition!) from the UBS for $2.98 several years ago. I think it's paid its dues on the TBR.
My fuckin' laptop is acting all wonky again. The screen is still cracked because I haven't worked up the balls to try and scam a new screen out of Circuit City. Now, for some unknown reason, it's getting too hot and cutting off in the middle of important activities!! Like playing Outburst, playing SIMS2, and sometimes when I'm just messing around like right now. This is a problem. It had been doing well with this particular lap desk because it's a really hard, flat surface, with lots of ventilation, but for some reason it's decide to act a-bitch. Hmmphf.
I'm off to bed. For once I'm actually sleepy at a decent hour. Thanks to all of you who've been such active commenters on previous posts! I really enjoy hearing what you all have to say. :o)
On TV: nada
Listening to: silence
In my head: Mr. Bean. Go figure.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
"Wendell!" said Adam. "Calm down!
"We continued walking. The big dog was still heading our way. Wendell started growling even louder.
"Wendell!" said Adam. "Take it easy!"
The big dog got even closer. Wendell was growling and quivering and obviously dying to see if the big dog wanted to take it outside.
"WENDELL!" yelled Adam. "INCREASE THE PEACE!"
So I, of course, cracked up. And Wendell stopped growling -- probably because he was so startled by Adam yelling and me laughing. The big dog sailed serenely by, and we continued on our way.
Note: I'm bored at work with another hour to go until my next class.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Around 8 months ago I saw the inside of my first Playboy Magazine. Or I should say I saw the inside of my friend's Playboy for the first time. You hear about it from birth as it's a huge part of our culture (could someone bump Hef off for me, please?), and everyone knows that men just read the articles. I thought I'd see what all the hoopla was about. What is the big attraction??
The particular issue I viewed was the 50th Anniversary edition. LOTS of naked chicks....50 years' worth, in fact. As I sat looking at Playboy in broad daylight I felt an unmistakable, undeniable sense of sadness and disgust flow over me. 50 YEARS worth of this bullshit. 50 years' worth of airbrushed, not-even-close-to-normal women for men to ogle. 50 years' worth of eye-candy. 50 years' worth of disturbing fantasy. It's the same feeling I get when I pass Hooters or a strip club. Objectification. Unreality. It turned my stomach, and I started to examine, microscope in hand, my feelings about pornography (print and film) and how it affects our attitudes and expectations. I started to dwell on how pornography had hurt me personally. As a woman, pornography is a personal insult to me.
Porn, in most cases (there are always a few exceptions), can easily make a woman feel like crap. Raise your hand if your husband, boyfriend, best friend, lust object is into porn. If they are then you've probably felt its wrath at some point. Even if your signif other includes you in his viewing you start to question yourself...."am I not enough for him, why is this necessary, what does this do for him, if he says it doesn't do anything for him why continue to take part in it, does he think this is most women, does he think I should fit this mold, does he think that turns me on?" And a million other needling, pinching, itching questions.
The typical bodies showcased in porn aren't realistic representations of women, and the situations and execution sure aren't what most women want. Most women are not 24-inch-waisted, DD-wearing, sinuous "baby-dolls" that want to be slam-fucked on the hood of a car. Sorry guys...it's true.
Boys grow up passing the silicone valley on newsstands, filching Daddy's Playboy and Hustler from the back of the closet, and watching those bobbing boobies float through the lines on scrambled HBO. What are they learning?? What are they absorbing about real women? About real sexuality? Nothing. They're absorbing a fantasy and translating it to real life. Women want this in bed. Women look and sound like this during sex. I should perform like this to have a fulfilling sexual encounter.
Given, not all men are that dense. Not all men expect a Playmate's body and Jenna Jameson's performance, but as a culture it soaks in, and it's sad, and it's hurful to those of us on the receiving end. Some of us like it slow, some of us like it fast, some of us like to be touched, some of us like to be fucked WITH a kiss. Some of us are rail-thin, some of us are lumpy, some of us are flat, and some of us are fat.
"You're just jealous." How many times have we heard that? You're just jealous of those bodies. You're just jealous of that crazy sex-life.
The fact that any man would think us jealous because we have a negative opinion of porn and its effects on women and relationships just proves the point further. We shouldn't be jealous. We are not jealous. You think we're jealous because we don't match that ideal. We don't feel like we have anything to be jealous of. Apparently you think we have something to be jealous of.
That's the biggest, scariest, most hurtful crock of all. At that point we realize that you're just as aware as we are that we're not the ideal and you think we have something to be ashamed of.
And Val, I'm totally flattered that you thought of the main character and me in any sort of relation. I really liked Min, and I can only hope my Cal will wander along with donuts. In the meantime I'm off to buy some black lace-up heels with floppy red flowers on them....or the clear ones with the cherries. I love the cover now. ;o)
Thank you, Val!!! Many happy blessings on your head! And recommend more stuff!!!!
Sunday, March 06, 2005
1) Woke up at 8am and went grocery shopping with Mom. Filled the house up with healthy stuff since we were pretty much out of everything...including bread and eggs.
2) Dropped some magazines off at the psychiatric hospital where Mom used to work.
3) Bought a hanging basket of strawberries for the front porch.
4) Came home and worked out.
5) Cleaned my gawd-awful room.
6) Read my latest issue of Utne cover to cover. I freakin' love this magazine, and April, you need this issue. All sorts of religion stuff that I think you'd enjoy.
7) Chatted with our neighbor, Mary Lynn. I'm now invited to join the town's library planning committee. Yes, my little town is getting a library, and I'm TICKLED about it.
8) Prepared salmon, shrimp, and salad for dinner. Yum in the tum.
9) Showered and read The Beauty Myth (not simultaneously). I should finish it tomorrow. I'm on the violence section now, and it's gettin' juicy again.
Posts on the way:
More Beauty Myth stuff, obviously
The promised porn post (goes with the Beauty Myth stuff)
Pics of my dogs
My favorite words
Further discussion of some interesting stuff in Utne
A recipe for the best crab dip on the planet
Lyrics to the song Thoughtless. It's been stuck in my head for about 2 weeks.
MP3: Nickel Creek....Reasons Why
In my head: Hoping I don't have a repeat of last night's dream. Last night I dreamed about a guy that showed up to my lunch book group last month, and he was stalking me in the dream. It sucked.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Dinner was a smashing success (Applebee's). I had a riblet basket and a "triple chocolate overboard." Oh my heavens! It was chocolate cake with hot chocolate sauce in the middle and dark and white chocolate drizzled over the top. I may be sick in the morning, but I sure enjoyed it while in the process of licking the plate clean.
For now I'm off to lay down. I don't know that I'll sleep any time soon, but I'll at least turn off the light and give it a try.
On TV: something on mute
MP3: Graham Colton...."This Time"
In my head: too-personal thoughts that could only be revealed if there was an instrument of torture involved
Friday, March 04, 2005
I got home just in time to field a phone call from my friend Sherrie. She's a trip. She was working gate duty at a baseball game at the high school where I taught in NC. She was thrilled to be there, lemme tell ya. Also arrived home just in time to watch Ellen...one of the handful of shows I actually try to watch nowadays. What's more fun than watching her dance every day? Seriously! It just makes ya smile...even my pups wiggle a little extra when Ellen comes on.
Tonight: Hunan chicken at Yen Jing or something saucy at Applebee's. And I will find the biggest piece of cheesecake available in the Greenville, TX area. God bless "Carb Fridays" in this household.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
As you all know, I'm obsessed with Jennifer Weiner. It's a total girl-crush at this point. Val has me turned on to Jennifer Crusie (even though I'm still on page four, I have very high hopes for the snarkiness). I started thinking...always dangerous. There's got to be SOMETHING to this chick lit. thing. Something societal...something tied in to women's mass culture. SOMETHING THAT'S NOT EXPENDABLE! Is chick lit. just a mass of today's pot boilers....are these our "damned scribbling women?" I don't think so. Of course some are schlock....but that's the case in any genre. There's good sci-fi and there's expendable sci-fi....there are the winners of women's studies and then there's Elizabeth Wurtzel (hiss)....there's good literary fiction and there are the losers (Sup, Jonathan Franzen!). I want to analyze whatever differentiates the notable from the forgettable.
Also, I'm not totally down with the "chick lit" label. That definitely adds to the idea that it's expendable and worthless. Although, it does serve the purpose, as we all know, of signaling the subgenre....typically books about 20-30somethings dealing with career/relationship/family/identity issues.
I have QUESTIONS! Questions, questions. Things that need to be worked out and that will likely only be worked out by reading reading reading. I dropped $15 on a trade copy of In Her Shoes (Weiner) on the way to work this morning. God help me. I don't have a lot of dough lately, but I had to have it for my research....and the library didn't have it! Extra validation!
What thoughts have you? Are you a reader of it? Are you a snob about it? Is it worthwhile, worthless?? Shaaare!
I have to go teach another class in 10 minutes. DAMMIT!
There also seems to be quite a bit more sexual harrassment occuring this (almost said semester) season. First Simon wanted to be the Latin chick's microphone, and last night Paula got sloppy after the dark man with the glasses did his rendition of "Let's Get it On." Hornballs.
The one Dallasite went home tonight, and I can't say that it was a bad decision to send her packing. Celena Rae (Ray?) sounded strained with every note during her last performance. Bye-bye Celena....even though you look like Martina McBride.
Bo Bice...make me proud, brother!!
**********End of American Idol Post***************
In other news, I went to my daytime book discussion group today (Books Sandwiched In...we bring our lunch). Joe and Hazel (80-year-olds) weren't there, but Sammy (my cousin the retired postman), Nancy (40'ish-never-married-YMCA-morning-worker), and Carol (slightly-stuffy-intelligent-well-traveled-older-local-newspaper-writer) showed up. It seems to be the pattern that I've just finished some oddly titled book whenever I go to "report" at these meetings. Today I discussed The Sex Lives of Cannibals, and I actually coaxed a guffaw out of Carol. I think that's gonna be the highlight of my week. As I recall it was the diapers on the reef that really threw her over the edge. I freakin' love this book. You all have to go get it. It'll be a napkin by the time I mail it to all of you blog readers.
I've been swearing off library books until I whittle down my own stacks, but at Valerie's recommendation I picked up Bet Me, by Jennifer Crusie, today. I don't know what's going on with me and this chick lit/romancey jag. Sooooo very unlike me. I'm slightly terrified by the image of high heels and cherries on the cover of this one (that's just too much!), but I'm trusting you, Val.
Jennifer Weiner is still a goddess. I spent the better part of my evening reading her blog entries from as far back as 2002. I'm determined to work my way through her blog in its entirity 1) because it's educational if you're a wanna-be writer 2) it's fookin' hilarious. Her dog's name is Wendell. What's not to LOVE!! *Note: Dash (our one-eyed weenie dog) got himself buried so thoroughly under a blanket tonight that all you could see was the black tippy tip of his nose. There are pictures coming.
I don't have anything more intelligent than this in me tonight. Sorry my lovelies. Maybe the porn post will come tomorrow (no pun intended). And it appears that I'm bound and determined to push parentheses to the apex of their possibilities. And my collar bones are protruding nicely due to the aforementioned diet/exercise regime. It's all about the small pleasures in life.
On TV: Nothing! I turned the mofo off!
MP3: Bruce Hornsby....That's Just the Way It Is
Reading: The Beauty Myth....didn't make much of a dent today
In my head: gray matter...I assume
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
I've been trying to think of something comment-worthy, but I'm lacking. I have a small notebook that I use for lesson plans and keeping track of attendance, and last Thursday I got bored while my students were taking a quiz and started writing down possible blog entries. Some of them include:
The Sex Lives of Cannibals, by J. Maarten Troost
Weird Students (they abound this semester)
The appeal of shoes to fat women (being hippy with a lot of shoes)
Why pornography is hurtful to women.
But do I feel like thinking enough to post about any of these juicy things right now? Not so much. My eyes feel like little blue ticking bombs...ready to explode and make a huge mess at any second. I think I finally fell asleep around 1am....had a lame sex dream...and the alarm went off at 7:00. I snoozed until 7:18, got ready, and here I am. I almost forgot the jump drive with all my quizzes for today which would've been a bloomin' disaster.
My first class took a homonym quiz, and they were so spread out that I didn't have to worry about cheating. I sat on a table in the back of the room and read The Beauty Myth. Don't ask me if I believe the rumors about Harold Bloom groping her back in the day. I don't care (although I don't really like Harold, so I would tend to say yes, he did grope her).
This morning's reading addressed women's mass culture and I found the part about women's magazines particularly interesting. Wolf claims, and I agree, that women's magazines have a tendency to perpetuate the "beauty myth" and make women feel even shittier about their wardrobe, makeup, and sexual prowess than they already do. I was a Cosmo reader for a couple of years, and while the magazine operates under the guise that it's trying to pump up women's independence and self-esteem (the monthly Fun Fearless Female, for example), it's a catch-22. They're still trying to sell cosmetics and clothes, and the cover still has a scantily clad, airbrushed model or other celeb on the cover every month (same pose, same general feel....can we say Stepford Wives?), and it's all a big beating over the head with the beauty myth. "You've gotta be feminine and gorgeous and fit to be worthwhile and for things to happen to you." Read the chapter and you'll know more about that quote.
I started reading Bust instead of Cosmo. It focuses more on herbal, do-it-yourself makeup and skin fixes, actual fearless females that do graffiti art, are mystics and witches, that started their own 'zine which later became what we now lovingly call Bust. Does it still fall into the beauty myth?? I dunno....still struggling with that. There's fashion, there's makeup, but there's a hell of a lot more substance, too. Book reviews, music, "odd-girl-out" celebs. I guess I don't feel like I'm being beat over the head with the same old shit when I'm reading Bust. I don't feel like I'm being pushed toward a stereotype when I'm reading Bust. I'm not expected to be the girl next door OR the ugly, man-hating feminist ogre.
Anyway, still struggling with my thoughts on the beauty myth and how/if/why I'm a part of it. That was actually a half-way decent post for a "eyes-as-bombs" day. Whoda thunk!
On TV: There isn't one, thank God.
CD player: Evanescence Live
In my head: my wild curly hair that's grown inward and begun to seize my brain