Sunday, November 25, 2007

it's up to you to clarify

Sitting here on a Saturday night. It's quarter to one. I am -- and have been all weekend -- avoiding work that I need to do for classes this week. I've managed to read three chapters and prepare a reading-study guide for each, but that's just for one class.

I have two more classes to prep for.

And emails to write to friends.

And responses to comments on both blogs.

But all week I find myself messing around on the computer, ordering movies on pay-per-view, perving on porn, eating, and taking endless cat-naps.

I just can't get my mind to focus on much of anything for more than a half hour. And now the vacation time is almost over.



(the title of this post is the fortune in the cookie I had yesterday after a dinner of sesame chicken and fried rice)

(photo taken by me at the bronx zoo july 2007)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

i got the music in me

Things are still pretty crazy, but still in a good way. My thanksgiving break will be filled with work, but things are over for the semester as of Dec. 18. I think I may need to collapse physically for a day or two, but after that, I'll dig in to the MFD.

Still trying to walk when I can. When I get to GCT and hop on the train, I have to put something on the Zen that will bring me down from the walk and accompanying walk-music. Lately, that has been the soundtrack from Legends of the Fall.

I'm not much for soundtracks that are just a compilation of songs (except for the City of Angels, which I listen to often as well). I tend to like soundtracks from epic movies, composed speficially for the movie, like Last of the Mohicans, Titanic, and Secret Garden instead.

This is incredible (even if it was before Brad Pitt could act); just listen:



And speaking of music, I was listening to Muddy Waters (this one) the other day and discovered that he did the first version of I Just Want to Make Love to You, one I'd (very) naively thought was originally Foghat. But you just can't do better than Waters, can you:




Speaking of old blues, I picked up some John Lee Hooker too, at the library of all places, and I'm really diggin' it. Here's Hooker and Santana (another fave) doing Chill Out:



Anyway, rugrat made a cake today for her bf's 21st birthday. She also made him breakfast in "bed," pancakes, eggs, and bagel. Somehow, I wound up baking the actual cake (although she frosted it) while she made breakfast, and washing all the damned dishes as they took off to see Vivica A. Fox at the Beacon, courtesy of the bf's mother. The woman can't pay the rent, but she outdoes the rugrat's efforts at a 21st celebration with broadway tickets. Go figure. Oh well, at least they had fun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

for goodness sakes, look at those cakes

I would wonder if anyone ever drops by here anymore, except that the stats counter keeps going up. But hey, no worries. I can't seem to find the time to drop by myself anymore. Apparently once the semester begins, it is all teaching, all the time, 24/7, till finals week. But we are on the home stretch now. After this week, we have four weeks left in the semester. And yes, I'm counting down. And I will fucking party like it's 1999 when the semester is over, yeehaw!

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These students still amaze me. Talk about resilience. This week, one that started out as a challenge at the beginning of the semester, has had quite a turn around. And I learned this week that he saw his dad kill his mom when he was three. Dad went to jail, he went into the foster system. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Wasn't long before he was dealing drugs on the street. How amazing that he is giving college a try. And doing remarkably well. He has some emotional growing to do, but I truly think he will succeed.

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The faculty development workshops continue to give me such great ideas, and last Friday's was no exception. I decided I couldn't wait till next semester to implement this change, so I worked on something new over the weekend for two of the four courses.

I had my observation yesterday. I was completely stressed and panicked over it for about a whole week. I won't know how I did until the other professor writes up her notes and meets with me. But the eval is one of the major pieces through which the decision is made to renew contracts or not (the other pieces being student evals, service to the college, and ongoing professional development -- like these workshops).

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The doc made a decision to keep me on the anti-coagulant for a couple more months. I need regular blood tests to be sure the med is at the right level in my blood. About a month ago, the level was too high, so we adjusted the meds a bit. Just lately, I'd been thinking my body was finally getting used to the meds as I wasn't bruising or bleeding so badly with every bump or scrape. But saturday's blood test revealed that the med level was too low in my blood, so now we have to adjust it again. But I figure it could be lots worse, so I just take 'em like I'm told to.

The doc told me to take a multi-vitamin supplement to help with the blood loss each month. It's been pretty bad, especially when you consider I was menopausal before this. I settled on Centrum silver, which has extra iron and a few other extras, and which also has a chewable form. Most multi-vitamins are freakin' horse pills and I hate taking horse pills.

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I'm trying to keep up my walking. Last week I made it to GCT once (according to mapquest, it's 2.37 miles from my work), and the halfway point three times. It's hard to do the whole walk with my work schedule, so I at least aim for halfway. The halfway point gives me 35 minutes of brisk walking.

My leg muscles have decided to protest the sudden change from heels to flats. Maybe I should have made the change slowly, lol. Walking has been a bit of a bitch, with the muscle protesting from lower calf to about mid-thigh, especially my left leg. But I push myself anyway.

I had created a few playlists for my Zen before I started this job, but I hadn't used any of them yet. Last night, I clicked into one of them. Since a lot of you have been doin' the music thing, here's last night's playlist:

--Surrender, Cheap Trick
--Hello There, Cheap Trick
--For Goodness Sakes, Look at Those Cakes, James Brown
--Persuasion, Santana (very hard to keep up with)
--Don't Be Cruel, Cheap Trick (yep, the old Elvis tune)
--Oh Caroline, Cheap Trick
--Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, James Brown
--Everybody's Everything, Santana
--Jingo, Santana
--Get Up Offa That Thing, James Brown
--Everything's Coming Our Way, Santana
--Way of the World, Cheap Trick
--Same Old Song and Dance, Aerosmith
--S.O.S., Aerosmith
--California Man, Cheap Trick
--Sayin' it and Doin' it, James Brown
--Se a Cabo, Santana

There's just something about strutting down a NYC street to this:



Or this:

Monday, November 05, 2007

what not to wear when your waist is size 14 and the rest of you is size 12

Because really, you know they just don't make clothes that are bigger in the waist and smaller in the hips. Except maternity clothes, that is. And I'm not goin' there.

I can buy trousers that fit my waist and I swim in them just below the tummy. Which only makes me look larger, really. Or that fit my hips, and then I can't get the waistband fastened. So I've gone and done a big Stacy and Clinton no-no: elastic waist pants. No sweats, or anything where the elastic shows, it's hidden elastic. But elastic nonetheless. I have them in about five colors. Like this:



And then, there are jackets. Those suit jackets that either nip in at the waist -- in which case I'd have to buy it so big that my shoulders would swim -- or fit like a box. So what do you do? Cardigans. Yep, you resort to this:



And when you stand in front of the mirror and suddenly realize that those toned upper arms are no longer toned, and in fact sag disgustingly, you buy sweaters and blouses with sleeves that go down to your elbows, so that when you turn your back to the class to write on the chalkboard, the bottom part of your upper arms don't sprout wings that flap in the breeze and threaten to fly you away:



And I've already mentioned the shoes. No more heels for work. Can't stand or walk in them 12 hours a day. So despite the fact that heels elongate my legs as Stacy and Clinton would say (unfortunately, my height is in my torso), and despite the fact that size 9W flats make my feet look like boats, these shoes are fast becoming my favorites:



With these inside, the shoes are actually very comfortable:



I even decided fuck hat hair, I'm not standing out there waiting for a train without a hat. So yesterday, I bought this (in the chocolate, of course, dahling):



Which, as you have no doubt figured out already, pretty much makes me a middle-aged, frumpy, schoolteacher. Not a bit of fashion sense left in me anymore. 'Cause it's all about comfort now. To which Stacy and Clinton would say, 'buy for your biggest part and then get them tailored,' and 'style can be comfortable.' To which I would reply, in the words of Tom Cruise, who I have always disliked, from that one movie: 'show me the money.'

Friday, November 02, 2007

welcome to friday-ville

So, as I write, rugrat is stuck at a corner in ardsley with a flat tire. She called me frantic about a half hour ago, in tears. She'd pulled off of the main road onto a side road to get out of traffic,

but

unfortunately,

she pulled into

a dead end road

with no fucking street sign.

And you know triple AAA, they don't go out without at least the intersection street names, and they prefer an address.

Eventually she calmed down, and it occurred to her to check the maps in our car (we have detailed ones for the county) and figured out what side street she was probably on.

So now she waits.

She's not my baby any more, is she?

I think I might cry.

UPDATE: As of 10:30, the AAA truck still has not made an appearance. They have called her and told her they cannot find her. She has been instructed to go to the edge of the highway to wait and watch for them. Her cell phone battery is almost dead. And I can't seem to concentrate enough to get any work done at the office.

Further update: 12:15. Her cell is dead, I can't reach her, and the AAA local station said they drove up and down the road looking for her and couldn't find her. They basically gave up, but no one called me to let me know. I called the local police to discover that local residents had taken the time to report a strange car parked on their street that didn't belong there, and it matched the description of our car. They were dealing with something else in the area and couldn't spare an officer to check on the car. Funny how not a single one of those residents bothered to see if the single young woman attached to the car needed assistance. But the cops gave me the street name and I called it in to AAA. At this point, she's been on the street alone for four freakin' hours.

Final update: 12:30. She called me from school. Seems she got tired of waiting for AAA and went walking toward the village. One block away around a curve in the road she found a gas station, asked if they fixed tires, and drove the car one block to the station to get it fixed (you can't see the station from the corner of the highway she stood at). Resourceful girl, she is. I'm just very glad that this happened during the day. At night, she would have been all kinds of unsafe where she was.