Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things You May or May Not Care to Know

I don't feel like I have time for a decent blog post lately. I should really remedy that, but instead I'll just give you seeds of what I could go off on, but don't have the writing energy in which to fully invest myself:

I'm leaving town tomorrow. To this place to see my sister and her loverlies that just keep growing. I can hardly wait. And yet my homebody self can't help but feel the slightest itch of anxiety over what I'll miss on the home front.

One of my two favorite weekends out of the year (and weekends, as you probably know, are already up there on my happiness list) is coming. General Conference for my religion of choice is a time of renewal, a time of strengthening. I can hardly wait.

It might be my own short/chubby/shapeless gams, but I've found myself attracted the male variety's legs lately. Specifically long calves and good knees. Weird? Perhaps. But I'm appreciatin' over here.

The air that stagnates before a storm system moves in is absolutely disgusting.

Preparing for vacations can be overwhelming and yet so worth it.

What is it with people and cell phones in inappropriate places? I read today that during a LIVE theater performance, a cell phone went off in the midst of an intense scene and Hugh Jackman had to break character to ask the person if they were going to pick it up. Seriously?

What kind of styling product do you think Conan O'Brien uses? That thing on his head has some serious volume. I'm just saying.

And I'm spent. Peace out blogosphere.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nice Neighbors

do not fry up a large vat of something smelling much like this:

and then let that stench float into the neighboring apartments. I'm gagging here!

In honor of my neighbor's olfactory cruelty, I'm posting some Robert Frost.

Mending Wall

SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
He is all pine and I am apple-orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down!" I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

And to this I add: impermeable walls, doors, and windows make good neighbors!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I started this last night

So far I'm equally in love with Gwenni and Strachan's exquisite prose. I'm trying to save the best of it for my upcoming flight to North Carolina (to visit one of my favorite families). Nothing's worse than not loving the book you brought on the plane.

Up next...

Rarely do I go wrong with a Pulitzer winner and I heard her interview with Diane Rehm--can't wait!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Things I'm Not OK With

The roommate and I took ourselves to Subway last night for dinner. Night one of parent teacher conferences were over for me, our favorite sandwich was the Wednesday special, the kitchen (READ: bomb site of many dirty dishes) reflected our busy week, and cooking just wasn't in our cards. Subway was a welcomed easy meal. Until we witnessed the following scene in line behind us:

BMW Mom: Choose some chips, guys.
9 Year Old Daughter: I want these.
BMW Mom: Those? That kind is greasy and fatty and bad for you. You should get this baked kind like Mommy.
Daughter: I like this kind.
BMW Mom opens her bag of baked chips. Tells kids to open their chips.
BMW Mom: Oh my gosh! I feel like I haven't eaten in a year! Why am I so hungry? (Starts eating.)
BMW Mom takes 9 YEAR OLD Daughter over and compares calorie counts between baked and fried potato chips.
BMW Mom: See honey, that's like three times as much fat and calories as what I'm having.
Daughter looks crushed.
BMW Mom (not phased, still chomping on her chips, stepping up to the counter): Okay, what do you guys want to order? Oh, I'm so hungry!
Daughter (heartbroken): Ummm, I think I want a flatbread sandwich.
7 Year Old Son: I want pepperoni, bacon and cheese.
BMW Mom: Okay, flatbread turkey, I want turkey on 9 grain wheat, he wants a kids sandwich with, well you heard him.
They proceed through the line.
Subway Employee: What do you want on these?
Daughter (terrified): I'll just have that.
BMW Mom: Don't you want some yummy tomatoes or healthy cucumbers?
Daughter (still terrified): No, that's...that's okay.
They finish building their sandwiches, pay and leave.

Roommate: Could you please explain to me why, exactly, that woman gets to have kids and I do not?

I'm sorry, but does anybody see something wrong with this? I'm okay if you teach your kids to listen to their bodies. I'm okay if you expose your kids to healthy foods. I'm okay if you encourage healthy family activities. I'm even okay if you try and subtley, secretly do something about your child's weight. But teaching your 9-year-old daughter to count calories? What the hell is wrong with you, lady? She's nine! She's not even fat. What the hell? And we wonder what is the matter with girls' screwed up body images these days. Am I alone here?

P.S. BMW Mom, if you're reading. Eat a friggin' cheeseburger once in a while. It won't kill you. I promise!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Can You Feel It?

Autumn is making her slow and quiet approach. The air feels different, the leaves on the mountain trees are haloed with new vibrancy. I love this time of year. What follows it, however, will never be my cup of tea.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Never a Dull Day

Lately I've been wondering if I'd rather be stuck in a cubicle answering complaint phone calls about the Kinoki Foot Pad sham than deal with what's been going on around here. I think I'm cursed this year. Perhaps the insanely good view of park and the city and everything west of me is too good to be true.

Two weeks ago a bird of an unusual size (okay, it was a magpie, but a magpie with an insane bladder capacity) flew in through my classroom window. It scared me and I squeeled like a girl. My squeeling provoked a defecation debacle of epic proportions. Thankfully my office door shuts and I could watch out the window as the bird finally figured out how to EXIT through its unwelcomed entrance. Even more blessed: the kids were all gone.

Last week, running a bit behind, I began sprinting to catch the elevator up to my room. Acceleration was apparently a bad idea: the same calf muscle that had been a sore, tight ball for weeks made a wretched popping noise, gave out on me, then swelled with an unbearable ache. My google diagnosis leads me to believe it is a slight tear on the calf muscle. It is feeling much better now. The "injury" did allow me to move from the stair-stepper at the gym (Personal Trainer Toothpick Heidi's idea) to the bike while it heals.

Yesterday, only 15 minutes into first period, and a student went into a full seizure. It was both frightening and heart-crushing. Being the one person in the room who supposedly knows what to do made me acknowledge my adult-ness in new ways.

Today there was a fire alarm during first period. While lining up classes down on the field, a fight broke out. It was the scary kind of fight. The kind of fight where lanky math teachers trying to do the right thing fall victim. The kind of fight that's been going on long before the school year, a rivalry between impoverished boys of different colors that never seems to end.

I can't help but wonder what is coming next. Am I being prepared for something even worse?

I'd like to call this one "Irony".

Monday, September 7, 2009

I ♥ Words

I believe we're all sensitive to certain things. Mathematicians think up equations, artists notice color, parents recognize potential danger anywhere near their children. I'm an English teacher and I notice words. Not only do I notice words, I revel in them. I find words to be splendid beings unto themselves--little existences of meaning and purpose. The truth is, I have words I love, words I like to use over and over again because they please me endlessly. And I have words that make my body crinkle with discomfort. (For example, I will never like the word "crotch". Ever.) Words, their connotations and connections, are loaded with emotion.

Some of my favorites (off the top of my head):


The list goes on. What is it that you notice? What are your favorite words?