Saturday, November 30, 2002

Oh, and Catherine also bought me a pair of earrings. Actually, exchanged. The pair she gave me for our anniversary had defective posts, so we took them back and got a similar pair, except with wire instead of posts. Look at me, I'm a girl!

Did a little Christmas shopping, had dinner and then went out for coffee. When we came out of the Bakehouse, the lights were all on around the square, and it was snowing.

I fell in love all over again this evening, for like the millionth time this week.

6:37 PM

My new wedding ring:

This is my third ring. We started out with sterling silver rings, etched with a floral pattern. I liked them a lot, but when we decided to "officially" get married, we figured we'd better exchange rings. So, we upgraded to something more like a wedding band: silver bands w/matching inlay patterns (lapis lazuli on my hand, malachite on Catherine's). Neither of us are comfortable with the idea of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on something like a ring, so they weren't the most expensive things on the market, but we liked them. Catherine's now looks like it was left on the train tracks, though, I'm not sure how it got so beat up. Mine still looks pretty good (probably because I forget to wear it half the time), but it's too big. We can't revert back to the first rings we exchanged, because they're too small, and Catherine wears the one I originally had on her right hand. Hers sits in the jewelry box, doing nothing, going nowhere.

So, supposedly we got new rings for our tenth anniversary, but that was a month ago, and we just got around to picking some out today. I'm a little embarrassed because they didn't cost very much (and when I say "not very much," I mean NOT VERY MUCH), but as the woman behind the counter said, it's what you like, not what you spend. We're both happy, and that's what really matters. This is the most *feminine* piece of jewelry I've ever owned, but I think it's pretty, so that's okay.

Catherine's has a garnet, and is quite different from mine. She doesn't want me to put it on the web because her hand is all scratched up. But this picture will show everyone why:

6:13 PM

too cold too cold too cold

Friday, November 29, 2002

The Good Body. Mr. Gaston's book has been kicking around the floor of my office for a few weeks now. I don't know what to do with it. Keep it because it's--sort of--about hockey? Take it the used bookstore and trade it for something else? Use it to start a new stack of books to send to California? I'm not quite sure where it fits in.

It's not a fantastic read. In fact, I drifted through the last twenty pages in a "who cares?" sort of fashion. By far the best part of the narrative are the "fake" bits: the main character is writing a novel, and the passages that are supposed to represent his work are priceless. They're also the truest part of the book in strictly hockey-related terms.

The main character of the book is Bobby Bonaduce, a slightly successful enforcer (he's only slightly successful at his work because he never makes it out of the minors). He's forced out of hockey by his own body--he is diagnosed with MS and can no longer play professionally. This leads him to apply to graduate school (he cheats to get in, and I find that part of the book hard to believe, because there's no way a bunch of creative writing profs. have never read Ploughshares). He gets accepted, and tries to put his life back together, mostly by trying to reconcile w/his estranged wife and son.

The story isn't all that compelling. What is interesting is watching a man become more and more confused by his body. It no longer performs, it no longer functions. Everyone around him assumes he's a lush because he's slowly disintegrating into a slurring, sloppy pile of flesh, but he doesn't see their accusations because he's too caught up in trying to make everything work out.

I haven't quite figured out why this book is still in my possession or still on my mind. Maybe because lately I've been feeling a real push-pull going on with my own body.

The feminist me, the recovered bulimic me, the most of me, couldn't care less what my body looks like. I don't own a full-length mirror, or a scale. When I do start worrying about my weight, it's always just a diversion, a coping mechanism to keep me from stressing out about something much more important. Catherine likes my body the way it is, and that's good enough for me.

The athlete me, the smaller but apparently more stubborn part of me, is horrified by my body. It caught a glimpse of itself in the hotel mirror last night, and instantly thought, "No wonder you never get any ice time, you're so out of shape." The athlete wants to be fitter, leaner, trimmer, a triad of impossible goals right now.

I guess I more or less like looking female. Okay, yes, I weigh more than I should according to the BMI charts. But if I lose that weight, who will I look like? Not me. I already can't recognize myself in the mirror. I'll look like some guy, and Catherine didn't marry some guy, she married some girl. All I need to do is increase the workouts, decrease the caloric intake, and my body will change. And the athlete in me will be very pleased. But the most of me will not be very happy at all.

Bobby Bonaduce and I have a lot in common as it turns out. Aesthetics aside, we both spend a lot of time worrying about how our bodies (refuse to) function instead of how they look. If I could change one thing about my body, and only one thing, it would be to replace some of the broken parts with parts that work. I wouldn't change my weight, or my height, or the color of my constantly thinning hair, or even my chest size (although breast reduction surgery is soooo tantalizing). No, I'd whack out a joint or two and put in new ones. I'd slice out a couple of ligaments and replace them. Get rid of the problem vertebra. Replace the ulna in my right arm. Hell, replace the entire arm and hand, what could it hurt? And if I was getting new body parts, I'd commission a new reproductive system, one that didn't cripple me on a regular basis. Could I improve my eyesight and fix my hearing? Cool.

It's distressing to watch your body fail. It's not supposed to do that, at least not yet. So, I can relate to Mr. Bonaduce's confusion and frustration. And maybe that's why the book is still sitting on the floor next to my desk. That, and I keep meaning to type out the first passage of Bondauce's hockey novel:

"Oscar Devries, immigrant baby, was given his first pair of skates at age four weeks. Outside their sod hovel the prairie winter wind howled like a she-devil as Father laced Baby Oscar's skates tight. So tight that blood began beading up at the lace-holes. But little Oscar didn't cry. He cried only when they removed the skates and he kept crying until they laced them back on, tighter. They taped popsicle sticks on for shin pads and stuffed his little rig into a thimble. Helmet? No helmet, Oscar thrashed his head until they gave up trying to put one on him, he wouldn't be a fancylad. And fuck the mouthguard too: he already had no teeth. They noticed he had come into the world with several facial scars.

Oscar's first game he played naked, save for his bleeding skates. His foul temper kept him warm and red and his skin unfrozen. He went goalless but, using his adult-size stick, he sent six players to the Winnipeg Regional Hospital."

Well...maybe you had to be there.

9:13 PM

Tonight we had to decide whether to go to the town festival of lights (turning on the lights around the square) or go to a volleyball game. Those are the kinds of decisions I like to have in my life.

The lights were pretty as we drove through downtown on our way home from the game.

8:04 PM

Wow. That was exhausting. There might be more chaotic versions of Thanksgiving available for consumption, but I doubt it. Put a dozen adults, a newborn baby, an active three year old child, and an 9-week old kitten in the same small house, and you've pretty much got a combustible recipe.

It's kind of nice spending the day with someone else's family. You don't have to take their dysfunctionality personally because they're not your relatives. It also became very clear this year that we could behave however we wanted to--apparently being liked is not a prerequisite to being invited for dinner. Thankfully, not mine.

Northern Indiana is hella cold--such a bitter landscape. Real Willa Cather territory, and so different from where we live. The winds just slices across the flatness and into your flesh. By way of contrast, witness me sitting here cooling down, all sweaty from running in tights and a long-sleeve t-shirt when I probably should have worn shorts.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Mmm...yesterday was a good day. The kind of day you'd like to remember.

Catherine got off work early, so we just hung out together all afternoon. Went out for coffee and dessert, then spent a couple of hours at Borders. And yes, I had to go back to the grocery store to get corn starch since I got the wrong kind of pie filling.

Lazy evening at home reading, watching basketball, drinking champagne, and playing with the cats. I think S. was right the first time--Luna is starting to grow on me.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

I was right. I'm on my way to the grocery store RIGHT NOW.
4:07 PM

  • Grocery store
  • Petsmart
  • Library
  • Try key at 902
  • Pick up sketches
  • Get yourself a cup of coffee
  • Gym?
  • Check:

    • Oil
    • Washer fluid
    • Antifreeze

  • Pack lock de-icer
  • Empty back seat, trunk
  • Haircut
  • Buy card for C.
  • Find letter to David
  • Post office (David, SLG)
  • Cash machine

8:08 AM

C: You know I love you, don't you?
S: Yeah.
C: So I can stop telling you?
S: Yeah.! You tricked me!

My wife amuses me.

She sent a list with me to the grocery store this morning. Some things on it were very detailed. For instance, she didn't just write down "oatmeal," she wrote down the namebrand and the flavor, as if I hadn't noticed what kind of oatmeal she's eaten every morning for the past two years.

But then I get to the part where she wants me to buy stuff to make a pie, and it says "pie filling." Give me some help here! I'm standing in the canned fruit aisle looking at all the variations of cherries, blueberries, blackberries, etc., and I have no freaking idea which ones could go in a pie. And she writes down "whipping cream." Can I get a small carton? Do I need two? Should it be heavy whipping cream? I have no idea.

So, she got her oatmeal, and she got some pie filling and whipping cream, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be making another trip to the store this evening to correct my mistakes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Of course, no traditional holiday festivities can compete with the fun of filling up Sean's tennis ball/soda-can cannon with ants and setting off the lighter fluid to see what happens.
11:45 PM

This one is for Catherine.

Thanksgiving was the best holiday when I was kid. We usually got the first snow of the year on Thanksgiving in Tonasket (except that year we got the first snow on Halloween), so even if it wasn't already a holiday, the day always seemed marked as something special. I'm sure my parents didn't always like the snow, especially when we had to drive to Grandma's for dinner, but it always gave us something fun to do outside the house. One of the best things we did (and this is why cousins are important--you can get away with more if your cousin is involved because your parents won't punish them like they might punish you) was build a giant--a super giant--snow man right in the middle of the driveway so no one could get their cars out after dinner. It was all ratty looking because the larger we made the snow balls, the heavier they were, and the deeper they crushed into the snow cover, so by the end, they were picking up all the orchard leaves off the ground as well as the snow and dirt.

Okay, a few of the snowball fights went awry, but generally, we all got along together. Cousins are a thousand times better than siblings, if you ask me. I'd rather eat at the kids' table with them than the adult table with any one else. Especially with Sean, wouldn't you say? It's hard to fight when Sean is around. But I like(d) all my cousins, and hey, they were all sober in those days.

Also good about Thanksgiving: we usually got fed twice. Thanksgiving Day was usually at home, then we'd do the real dinner on Saturday, usually at Rosella's, but sometimes at our house or Grandma's. That meant two turkey dinners in the space of three days. Well, I shouldn't say, but no one liked it when it was at Grandma's because her cooking wasn't so good. That's kind of funny because she taught Aunt Rosie and my mom how to cook, and they both cook just fine (and in an identical fashion), so I'm not sure how that horse went down the wrong trail. Now my feminist sensibilities are all offended: Hey, that means the women in the family had to cook two full dinners (and do the dishes afterward!), but I didn't care back then. I just wanted to eat and play.

So, there you go. Not every moment of my childhood was totally traumatic. Doesn't that make you feel better?

11:40 A<

As I was locking up the labs last night, the one student who always stays until the very last minute stopped me and told me there was something he forgot to write down on his student evaluation. I must have looked a little bleak, because he instantly said, "No, it's good! It's a good thing!" He said he appreciated the way I grade and my grading scale. I wasn't sure what he meant, but he went on to say, "I know a lot of people complain, but I like the way you grade. If I get an A from you, I know I deserved it. You don't just hand them out like a lot of teachers do." So, that made me feel a little better (but I wish he had written it on the evaluation to balance out all those complaints about how I grade too hard). The funny things is, as we continued to talk, I heard myself justifying myself over and over, explaining why I grade so hard. How stupid is that? He says he likes it, and I still end up trying to defend myself. Dork.

I have 5 students in one class and 7 in another who haven't shown up in the last ten weeks, but they also haven't dropped the course. I'm going to be handing out a lot of Fs this semester.

Monday, November 25, 2002

This Letter to the Editor, from my hometown paper, just cracked me up. I shouldn't make fun of people, but who the hell is Jesus THE Christ? and what was he doing sleeping around with Mary Magdalene?

Dear Gary:

I knew there would come a time what with the modern Internet and what we have been taught for the past 2000 years about belief in Jesus THE Christ on examples of art and beauty as we have come to accept it.

There is now a "modern" presentation making the rounds of e-mail entitled "PENCIL SKETCHES by Linda, Jesus laughing," that depicts several drawings of Jesus THE Christ in the accompaniment of little kids and two women, accompanied by some kind of pressing measure where people should rejoice and praise Jesus. This is all well and good, but those "pencil sketches" are identical to the sketches found in the Glastonbury Abbey Museum in Glastonbury Abbey in England that date back to 1061 A.D.

These older sketches depict the sons and daughters of Jesus that He fathered with Mary Magdalene and Martha, his wives; one of these sons, Josephus, is in the bloodline of the ancient King David of old and modern day British Princes Harry and William.

People copying and forwarding these "sketches by Linda" as opposed to what is on presentation in the above referenced museum, are doing true Christianity no good, even though their hearts may be in the right place. It is unfortunate that our Lord Jesus has been made and portrayed into something less than He was to represent us by this plagiarism.


Don Thomson - Member
American Academy of Religion
Moses Lake, Washington
7:55 PM

Lately I've become really interested in public bathroom fixtures. Well, that sounds crazy, even I can tell that. But really, it's interesting to note how they do/do not function. I first noticed this at the rink. In the past three years, the rink managers have gone through no fewer than 6 types of paper towel dispensers--punctuated by long passages of time without paper towel dispensers, meaning the roll of paper towels sits on the sink counter and gets wet. And I wondered: is it difficult to find a model of towel dispenser that will hold up to continued used by rink rats? Apparently so, because the towel dispenser is always jammed or broken. We are now back to the utilitarian white-metal-box-with-a-crank-handle model, featured in grade schools everywhere.

Now, here in our brand new building at Ivy Tech, we are on our third permutation of paper towel dispenser in one restroom and fourth permutation in the other restroom. Paper towel dispensers must not be very hardy. Also, this morning I noticed they're also trying a type of nozzle for the soap dispensers. The first model definitely didn't work--the dispenser closest to the door has been broken since day two.

Stay tuned for more breaking news in the world of public bathroom fixtures.

1:16 PM

However, as everybody knows, "the next time I get depressed" will be tomorrow, so it's not like I will have forgotten about the librarian by then.

I would like to thank the person who invented honey mustard. Maybe not as useful as rumble strips and Dremels, but pretty damn good, anyway.

11:41 AM

The next time I get depressed, someone should remind me about people like the librarian of the Bucyrus High School. That may cheer me up.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Bad news first, get it out of the way?

The bad news is: my wife married a fucking idiot. I don't know what in the hell ever possessed her to give me a second look. She should have ran away as quickly as she could the moment she met me.

The good news: the $270 mistake I made in my checkbook in *September* works out in our favor. I won't have to sell a kidney after all to feed us on Thanksgiving. Even more important, that drum set can gather dust in my office for another month.

Why the fuck can't I balance a check book? I am SO CAREFUL. I write everything down, I save all my receipts, I save all my debit and ATM slips. I use MSMoney to reconcile my account faithfully every month when my bank statement arrives. Yet still, I screw it up EVERY SINGLE MONTH. Catherine *never* balances her checkbook, and to the best of my knowledge, has never been overdrawn. How fair it that?


This exam is closed book, closed note. No outside resources are allowed. Anyone caught cheating will be automatically expelled from Susan's life.

Multiple Choice (5 points each).

1. Susan is:

a) Angry
b) Hurt
c) Disappointed
d) Surprised
e) All of the above

2. Susan should have:

a) Known better
b) Not cared one way or the other
c) Learned her lesson last time
d) Both a) and c)

True or False (2 points each).

3. ___ Susan is over-reacting.

4. ___ Susan is tired of pretending she doesn't care.

5. ___ Susan is accustomed to lying to protect herself.

Essay (20 points).

In your own words, outline a solution to Susan's dilemma. Be specific! A complete answer will cite relevant examples to support your argument.

Extra Credit (6 points).

List three good reasons why Susan should care about any of this at all.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

I know K. and A. are being trained to go kill people in foreign lands. But you know what? They're polite, they take notes in class, and they turn their work in on time. If I have to give a kid access to heavy artillery to cultivate those traits, so be it.
11:52 AM

Catherine found a piece of mica in her shoe this morning. Last night, we discovered the bedding around our pillows was covered with flecks of mica.

Jack and Luna fought all morning while I was trying to sleep. Luna has finally discovered the back porch and tries to get out there all the time, which means Jack can't ever get away from her. But he keeps trying, by escaping out the back door to the porch, and out into the yard. I spend half my time at home trying to keep the two separated, and this morning I ended up yelling at both of them, sending them both cowering into corners, which is not good. I ended up late to class because I spent 5 minutes trying to escape out the door without catching the feet of one or both monsters in the doorway as they both tried to dash outside.

I would like to make it very clear that when I say "no more pets," I mean NO MORE PETS. And I don't mean no more pets "for now," I mean no more pets EVER.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

This morning as I was walking through the kitchen, I saw a piece of onion peel on the floor. I figured Catherine had dropped it last night whilst chopping onions and didn't pick it up. That would be really unusual for her, but quite typical of me, evidenced by the fact that I still didn't pick it up this morning.

When I saw it again this evening, it struck me as a kind of odd color for onion, so I picked it up. It was a piece of mica from our rock/mineral collection--apparently Luna picked it up from the shelf when she was playing there and brought it into the kitchen.

Yesterday, Catherine took a sea shell out of her mouth.

7:12 PM

I must be feeling better about life in general:

  1. I looked in the mirror this afternoon and thought to myself, "You know, you're not hideously ugly," which counts as an astoundingly positive thought in my book.
  2. I actually updated my main web page (even if it was just a reading list)
  3. I actually updated the fee structure on my architecture page (after neglecting to do so for two months)
  4. I spent forty-five minutes practicing my snap shot and backhand shot in the basement this evening--forty-five minutes give or take the twenty I spent pretending my hockey stick was a bass guitar

That's enough for now.

7:09 PM

I like my Flinstone vitamins so much that sometimes I take an extra one at night for dessert.
1:04 PM

What happens to people who can't pass an introductory class at a tech college? I mean....really, I worry about them. Three students got up in the middle of class yesterday and went to the registrar to drop because I confirmed w/them that the were currently failing. And I'm sitting here correcting a very easy exam, and so far only one person is passing. What kind of future will these people have? If you can't pass a course at a lower-tier college, what can you do? I'm afraid some of the students I come across won't even be able to hold down a job in the fast food industry. Then what will they do? What role will they fill in society?

Once or twice a week, the same student comes to our office to talk to T. about her schoolwork. I can't help but overhear, and after every session, I remark to T. how glad I am I'm not teaching her class, because that one student would drive me to suicide. She has no ability to function in the world. Her social skills are minimal, her critical thinking skills are (still) non-existence, her hygiene is poor, her financial situation is terrible, and she has nothing to fall back on. Yet, she's not going to make it here. She's not going to pass her classes. Where will she go? I really want to know.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

People are nice.

I sent an e-mail to a complete stranger asking for a favor, and she's doing it for me. Nice world we live in, huh?

6:15 PM

Technical problems aside, I'm pleased.

I'm also pleased with the answer from my captain. It's reassuring to find out I'm not the only one struggling w/the team. I got some positive feedback, but more importantly, she's stepping up and trying to work out some team issues (not just my own personal issues) and I appreciate that. I wasn't very good at that when I was a captain.

So, it might get worse for the team before it gets better, but at least I know I wasn't imagining things, and that someone else is going to help me out instead of just letting me quit the team.

5:38 PM

Well, one major technical problem. But I'll be damned if I can figure out how to fix it.


7:49 PM

Because I was not rostered for the game Saturday afternoon (I take evil pleasure in knowing my team lost), we spent Saturday at the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championship at the Hoosierdome. Much better than playing hockey, as it turns out. I even managed to pick the winning band (Lassiter High School, Marietta, GA). Marching band is one of those events I can watch w/out ever regretting that I didn't pursue it further when I was younger. Sure, when I was really young, I wanted to be in the drum & bugle corps. like my brother, but then I discovered that marching band sucks. Never even joined the Husky Marching Band.

Anyway, the competition was fantastic. A surprising number of Indiana bands (and Lawrence Central came in 2nd with its "Spring" routine). Well, it's not something that can be described in text, it's all visual and aural and surprisingly interesting. Nothing like the Marching Hundred kind of marching band. And once again I'm prompted to say: American critics suck! Blast! was brilliant, and this weekend just solidified my position on that statement.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Well, talking to Beth the past couple of weeks has helped. Of course, since my e-mail is freaking down again, I can't write and tell her what happened last night. I'm not going to make any decisions until I find out if she's coming back in January. If she's not, I'm not. Called The Frank this morning and put my name on the adult league waiting list, and the woman sounded like I would definitely have a team in the next couple weeks. That may be enough for me right now.

My dad will be really disappointed. *Really* disappointed, and that just kills me. But I can't keep doing this every two or three days. One of these days I'm going be so upset after practice I'm going to wreck the car somewhere between Indy and Bloomington, and I'm not going to be able to tell afterward if it was accidental or intentional. And that's just stupid, because it's just a game. A stupid, stupid game.

But I hate to disappoint my dad.

11:16 AM

Last night, at 8:30, a student was assaulted and robbed outside Catherine's building. Two men wearing ski masks and carrying knives grabbed the student from behind as he was heading toward class. They beat him up some, and cut him a little.

It seems like you should be able to go to class without worrying about getting jumped.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

The most effective way to learn Spanish:

1. Oversleep, thus assuring you are pressed for time when you pack up the digital camera to take to work.
2. Forget to do your Descriptive Geometry, so the three hours you have to work on the BRI specifications shrinks to two while you do the assignment that's due today.
3. Forget the keys to the house, cutting the two hours to an hour and a half because you have to run home and grab the keys from your desk.
4. Neglect to look at anything else in your possession, until you are standing in the middle of a cold empty house with a digital camera in your hand.
5. Now is a good time notice that you packed the Spanish language camera manual instead of the English one.
6. Spend ten minutes trying to track down the reason for the flashing red light.
7. Congratulate yourself on expanding your Spanish vocabulary as you manage to eliminate said flashing red light.

For the record, today I learned that the flashing red light is a Simbolo de "Fecha no ajustada." Of course, the Fecha menu, found on page 22, "permite ajustar la fecha y la hora." Everyone will be glad to know that my digital photos now have the proper time/date stamp on them.

3:04 PM

So, not so much of an over-reaction after all.

This morning's paper reports that a woman was assaulted on the rail-to-trail on Sunday evening while she was out jogging. On the "safe" part of the trail, too, the part that runs by houses and relatively public. I guess that puts an end to my solitary runs there for awhile. I probably shouldn't be running by myself at Thomson Park, either, but I can't spend the rest of my life worrying about getting attacked every time I go out.

In the meantime, I guess I can drive across town and run on the Y's trail, although it also goes through the woods. I could run at Bryan Park, but that's *so* public I'll never do it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Wow, my parents are high tech. I took that picture of Luna about 10 minutes ago, e-mailed it my parents about three minutes ago, and my dad has already printed out a copy of it on photo paper for my mom. Now *that's* progress.
7:50 PM

Can I change my mind about my future career?

Well, the internship will still happen, I have an appt. with one of the principals at T/B/P on Monday. I think I will try to put O/M/S off, just in case. That feels a little inconsiderate, but I don't know what else to do.

What I am really stressed over is the project manual (manuals! plural!) for BRI. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy didn't I say no? I am totally not qualified for this work. Totally. Totally.

On the plus side, I can write off the digital camera I just bought, because it's going to be put to use documenting the BRI houses. I ended up with a Nikon Coolpix because of the price, it was on sale. I almost didn't buy it because one of the reviews I read said it would appeal to "feminine sensibilities." Forget that. I'm all about value.

So far I've taken exactly two pictures, one of Jack's spine (he won't turn around) and one of Luna (that looks pretty good). I'm waiting for the battery to recharge. Tomorrow morning is to be spent photographing every inch of the BRI house on W. 6th.

7:48 PM

I am optimistically cautious about my future career.

Looks like the internship is on for next semester. I haven't firmed it up yet. Kirk thinks I should work for T/B/P, so I'm waiting for one of the principals to get back to me to say yes or no. It doesn't matter so much, though, because an associate at O/M/S has already told me they have an internship available, I just need to send them the parameters. So, I'll give T/B/P until tomorrow to get back to me, and if I don't hear from them, I'll move forward with O/M/S.

T/B/P would be better, they're a smaller, local firm, and do a wide variety of projects, so I'd probably get a lot of good training. On the other hand, O/M/S is larger and has an office in Indy, and I'd probably have a better chance w/future placements if I went there.

Anyway, 8-10 hours a week, in exchange for having my student loans deferred. Works for me.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Yeah, and no one sent me a "Happy One Year Without Coke Anniversary" present, either. What's up with that?
8:35 PM
6:09 PM

Test: Advanced CAD, solid modeling

Desc. Geo. 11a,f,h due

AdCAD - Assgn. 9, Lab 4 due
Quiz Arch. Des. c. 31, 32,33
Lecture c. 34

Quiz Const. Mat.- Insulation/Windows/Doors
--Assgn. 6 due
Lecture Straw, rammed earth const.

Lecture c. 35

AutoCAD - Isometric Drawing
Lecture c. 26

Test: Desc. Geo.
AutoCAD - Obtaining Info

Quiz Arch Des. c. 34,35,36
Lecture c. 11

Friday, November 08, 2002

La luna nueva continues to wreak havoc in our household. Had one last go around over her yesterday, and it should serve as a reminder to me: I am not the only person in the world, I am not the most important person in the world, and I need to stop making everyone around me miserable just because I feel sorry for myself.

I was so tired and headachy on Thursday, I just couldn't stand the kitten. It kept doing kitten things--running up the leg of my longjohns, trying to get in my dinner plate, chewing on my papers, making Jack angry, etc., and my temper kept getting shorter and shorter. Every time Jack hissed, I hissed, too. And Catherine was frantically trying to keep it away from me, w/no luck. We were both practically in tears by the time I shut myself in the bedroom.

But I got some sleep, and although my headache persists, I felt a lot better when I got up on Friday. Jack and Luna seemed to be getting along--more or less--and I spent a lot of time just playing and petting Jack so he would remember that he's my favorite boy. Luna slept a lot, which enhances her cuteness. I like her a lot better when she's not moving.

Checked my e-mail just before I went to practice, and there was a note from C. saying that she'd called the kitten place and told them we need to return Luna because it wasn't working out, Jack was too stressed by her (which is shorthand for "Susan is too stressed by her.")

But that's not what I wanted. I didn't mean for Catherine to give Luna back. I was just tired, I just had a headache, I was just too damn self-involved to see how my bad mood was having an impact on everyone around me. And I called Catherine at work to tell her that she couldn't take the kitten away now, it would be too much like losing yet another pet.

I had just been watching Luna sleep and thinking how much she looked like the black kitten I had when I was a baby who died when she was sleeping (my mom told me I handled it too much and that's why it probably died), and hoping I wasn't jinxed and that this one wasn't going to die on me.

Anyway, I called C. and told her no, you can't give away the kitten, I would feel really, really bad, and then I had to go and start crying of all stupid things. C. kept saying, "I was just trying to make it better for you, and now I've made it worse," so I cried some more. How can a kitten fuck up my life so badly? Ah...more importantly, how can *I* fuck up my life so badly?

So, I spent the evening beating the hell out of a hockey puck because I made Catherine feel like she had to get rid of her kitten to make me happy, and Catherine spent the evening at home feeling bad that she hadn't asked me first before trying to give the kitten back.

The woman who gave the kitten to us probably thinks we're crazy: We want it, no we don't, yes we do, no we don't, yes we do!

So, anyway, here we still have a kitten. This morning was the first vet appt. for the Lunatic, and she didn't really enjoy it. They trimmed her claws for some reason (we didn't ask them to do it) and we heard her screaming the entire time. Mad kitty. And while we were sitting there waiting for the vet to come in, I realized it was the room where we took Lucy that one Sunday that I thought she was dying. At which point I was suddenly crying because I missed Lucy all over again and why do I have to be here at all?

And yes, I got queasy when the vet opened Luna's mouth and forced her to take worm meds, and I had to walk away when the vet was giving her the shots. And I can't help thinking: "I don't want to do this all over again, I can't do this all over again. I'm not ready, I don't want a kitten, I don't want to be here."

But here she sits, watching me type, half sleepy, half alert, and she's very cute, and she's here to stay. La Luna, the new ruling force in our household.

2:47 PM


Thursday, November 07, 2002

Reality check. Sometimes I forget I'm teaching students that live in a whole 'nother world than the one I inhabit.

From thirty paces, I checked the two women off in my mind as lesbians. At 25 paces, I thought, "No, not lesbians, just very hard, straight women." At ten paces, I could listen to their conversation. One of the woman was saying to the other, "Jail isn't nothing. Being in jail didn't scare me *at all*. Jail's nothing."

Nursing students? Office adminstration students? I don't know.

I have one student that I really like, but we having nothing in common. I don't know if we could sustain a conversation outside of the school environment. She's got three kids, a boyfriend who can't seem to watch the kids while she's doing her homework, inadequate HUD housing ("critters" run into her house through the 1" gap under the front door, the breeze coming through her poorly insulated window casings can move papers), no education, and she calls me "Sweetie." One by one, the borderline students have been dropping out. The woman who told me the first day of school she just wanted to get an education in case something happened to her husband some day is gone. The kind of Goth girl from the Chicagoland area is gone. Nameless boys in baseball caps? Gone. I desperately want this student that I like to make it.

But what the hell does "make it" mean? What do I want her to have? Better housing, that's a given, but what else? Should she aspire to be like me, an over-educated, middle class, culturally bland, middle-aged, underpaid, depressed, self-indulgent, gender-confused, white girl? I want her to stick with it, but I can't quite decide what I think that's going to get her in the end.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Clearly, I am insane. I really, really need to learn how to say NO. I meant to say no, I really did, but I just can't ever do it. So, I just agreed to produce specification manuals and renovation drawings for the three houses BRI has been working on. I guess I should be flattered they asked me to do it, it means they like the work I've already done for them, but Steve would like them in four weeks. I did have enough sense to not promise to meet his deadline. I mentioned January 1 might be more reasonable, but even that seems like it may kill me, so why did I say yes?

I said yes because he offered me $1750.00 per manual. That's a lot of $$$$. That's more than I take home for a month of full-time teaching. I'll have to cough up some of it for taxes, but if I'm smart and don't let them pay me until January, I can wait awhile on that.

Still, I'm a complete idiot, because I don't even know how to write a spec manual. That in and of itself is truly terrible, because I'm teaching a class on the subject this semester. I don't know why I didn't just say no.

I really want a Coke, but today marks my one year anniversary of No Coke, so I guess I shouldn't end my abstinence streak on such a remarkable day.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

One of my students surfed the web the entire time I was lecturing in my afternoon class today. At one point I looked over and saw him running something through Google. A little later, I glanced over and thought, "Huh, that page has the same color scheme as my architectural consulting page."

When I was done talking and asked if anyone had any questions, he raised his hand and said, "Yeah, is it true you speak five other languages?" It *was* my architectural consulting page he was looking at, he was sitting there looking at my CV. I felt compelled to explain--with the entire class listening--that being able to read, write, and translate wasn't the same as fluency, but yes, I spoke Russian w/out problems, and did fairly okay w/German and French. And I joked, saying really, I spoke Korean like a grade schooler, more or less.

"Yeah, I read an article you wrote on Korean unification," he said. It turns out he spent the entire class period running my name through Google instead of listening to me explain about polylines. Well, his loss, he won't be able to do this week's homework.

The real problem? I came home and ran my full name through Google, and it's mostly okay, but the fifth hit brings up [erasure].

Damn you, Google.

7:14 PM

Overheard in our living room last night:

"I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but my life has completely jumped the shark."
"Oh, it's just temporary. Luckily, you're not a sitcom so you can't get cancelled."

And in other self-involved news, I find it totally disturbing that my life is a U2 song. Totally, fucking disturbing.