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in the hoosegow

Thursday, May 31, 2007

so why am i blogging?

Note: updated
This is one of those days when I have several pressing tasks to accomplish. I must:

1. finish off my serials review and submit it. Nearly done, but not needs the finishing touches.
Done and submitted and celebrated with chocolate in Jane's office.

2. buy stamps. Since the price went up, I have my checkbook to buy more at the campus postal outpost. They do not take cards. How 19th century.
Done, but not without discussion of womanly ills with the postmistress.

3. buy flood insurance.
Done! Took a lot less time than figuring out if my house is in the new floodplain.

4. talk to another librarian about how she wants us to purchase books for her library. I've got a lot of $$ to spend in a short timeframe.
Oops, still haven't called my li-berrian friend.

5. reschedule dentist? I am waiting to hear how they want to proceed, given the new information that my tooth is killing me.
Done. They are squeezing me in a little early so my dentist can take off for parts unknown.

And Bonus 6. Made a cute handout for the aforementioned Jane to take to a parent & family orientation tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

summer dread

I'm sitting here trying hard not to write something negative and self-involved, but that's the headspace I'm in right now. I'm House, so locked in his own way of thinking and doing things that he drives away his entire staff. There was a question up on wake up tiger asking how things would be different if people could see inside us. I think we might have more compassion for one another when we could see how messed up our bodies are and how stress makes things Not Work Correctly. I spent a little extra time walking around the park this morning but really I wanted to stay home from work and lie on the couch. Instead, I'm here punching out emails to people and trying to decide how much I want to piss off my faculty (not much, it turns out) and thinking that I should go look for some books that other teachers would like me to bring over for the summer program I'm teaching with.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

thoughts and stuff

I guess the idea is that on Memorial Day, you go to the cemetery and commune with your dead, right? I spent a lot of time during college communing with all sorts of dead--our college was across the street from a large, old cemetery. Mostly I spent time hanging with my great grandma (after she died, of course, because for part of college she was alive and kicking). It was a restful place. I haven't found a good cemetery here in H-town. I'm sure there are some, but I haven't been looking for them very hard. Perhaps living alone and having a yard and a porch has replaced some of my need for a quiet place to be solitary. There wasn't much of that going on in college...
(random note: isn't it weird that sometimes the Shins sound like Billy Bragg?)

This Memorial Day found me bailing out on plans with friends to ride out the stormy weather with the latest Dick Francis novel and a movie. I do a lot of my best planning, dreaming and reflection while immersed in a book, almost as if when one part of my mind is engaged, other parts are free to roam. It's similar to the effect running and walking has on my brain. I've needed a lot of extra time to think lately. My life is changing significantly and some stressors have gotten me down, while others are getting me excited. There's so much good and bad swirling around all of the time that it's a wonder I don't get dizzy and fall down more often.

Whatever you did yesterday, I hope you saved a little time for reflection.

they will come

This soggy Memorial Day weekend provided an answer to the question, "If you have it, will they come?" Saturday dawned cloudy and threatening and there was a good hour or two of rain in the late morning/early afternoon. I ignored it, continued to ready the house and cook for our bbq at 3 and told anyone who called to come on over. And they did. We spent most of the afternoon and evening under the cover of the porch roof, barbecuing, drinking, smack-talking and playing Apples to Apples. The doggies were in splashy dog heaven, even getting a dropped bratwurst to split amongst themselves.

Oddly, the ongoing discussion topic of the day was the difference between rednecks, white trash, and hillbillies. The house dictionary was consulted but decided to be out of date. Since I don't have internet access, a quick check of the OED was considered but discarded.

Friday, May 25, 2007

friday fun

I drove up to the school where my summer program is housed. It only took me about 20 minutes. I was ecstatic. I was less then ecstatic to see that the library's non-fiction collection is tiny, outdated and aimed at lower level readers (below 4th grade, mainly). The librarian is cute as a button and very helpful and excited about possibly getting some new non-fiction books.

I wore jeans to work today. That's not something I'd normally do. Partly because I like wearing different clothes away from work to help delineate work from pleasure, partly because I only have one pair of jeans that fit so I don't want to wear them out, and partly because it is generally Frowned Upon and I got enough of the "are you wearing that out of the house?" looks from my mom during the teen years. Actually, I started early with the funky clothes so I probably got that look for most of my pre-college life. Actually actually, it would have continued through college but I was living in the dorms.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

yes, it's another one of those

"Why My Friends Are Great" posts. Annoying, aren't they?

One of my friends who is also a colleague (why haven't they invented a word for that yet?) brought home a brochure from a museum in Philly. The front of the brochure says, "Disturbingly Informative", which I think would be a great name for a book, blog, or website. It could also be my tagline. The museum is the College of Physicians of Philadelphia Mutter Museum (mutter with umlauts--I don't know how to make those on the computer because I am barely computer literate), stocked with medical specimens galore. According to the brochure, there is an exhibit of over 2000 objects removed from people's throats. I can't wait to go visit Philly now, just to see this museum.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

but was it really free

Most of my work team (one of us was out of town) attended a free showing of Waitress last night. It stars Nathan Fillion and Keri Russell. We went to see it for Nathan Fillion, of Firefly/Serenity fame. We all enjoyed it but some of us were less than thrilled to see him in a decidedly unheroic role. He plays a cheating dog. A smart, sweet, cheating dog, but dog nonetheless. The PIG would have hated the film because it featured pie. Lots and lots of pie. And Matlock. I'm not going to give away any more of the story, but I do recommend the film.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


So my belly is feeling much better today, in part because I dragged myself out for a jog before the rain started, in part because I didn't eat anything fried for an entire 24 hour period. Huzzah!

I was checking in with myspace to see what was up with my pals over there. Whenever my friends number drops, I am obsessed until I figure out who it is who's left me in the dust. This time I was pretty sure I knew who it would be. It was an old friend, the sister of a formerly close friend who dropped me several months ago. I was just waiting for the day when she'd no longer be there and lo, today was the day. Believe me, I understand the sister loyalty thing, but I more appreciate another mutual friend who kept me on because, as he put it, "we're cool."

So there's that. I'm sitting in my office eating a salad containing the very first tomatoes of the season that I grew my very own self and thinking about how great it is that the woman who's been friends with me since the day I moved to H-town can call me a b*tch and make me laugh at the same time.

Monday, May 21, 2007

onions are bloomin'

...in my belly! Saturday night I partook of a bloomin' onion and last night I had 59 Diner onion rings (and a mint chocolate chip shake) and today I am very sad in the belly region.

However, while we were eating the onion, we came up with a great plan to revolutionize politics. Change the rules so that presidents must be between 25 and 35 years old when elected. This assures that their brains are mature enough to perform critical thinking and that they haven't become old enough to settle. Well, they have have settled, but they're not anchored. Oh yeah, and we'd also like to ban campaigning.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

good thing i wasn't at the airport

I had my very first mammogram today. If you're a dude or haven't had one yet, the technician first tapes tiny metal beads to your nipples and then proceeds to squeeze your melons betwixt plates of glass. So relieved that the procedure was over, I rushed to dress and head out to the reception area.

A bit later, the PIG and I were headed to my house when I started digging under my shirt. He probably thought I was having some sort of itch fest, as I am prone to allergic hives and the like, but then he made out from my mumbling that I had tape on my nipples. He laughed as I pulled two pieces of tape from beneath my shirt, metal beads still affixed.

Friday, May 18, 2007

when dessert is good, but not quite enough

I begged the PIG to take me out for dessert last night. I was feeling down and in need of a treat. It certainly filled the void for a bit, but now I am back to my usual spot in the dumps (which reminds me of the Three Investigators and their secret hideout in the junkyard). Grump grump.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

off to a slow start

My friends' first official court date (for the hearing, as opposed to other pre-hearing hoo ha) was today. They are in the midst of gaining primary custody of their daughter. Unfortunately a court date means little in family court, as the normal procedure is to completely overbook the judge's slate and reschedule all the cases that aren't heard. So we cut out of there after less than an hour. I'm back at work, waiting for my peeps to be ready to head out for lunch and catching up on the morning's events.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Okay, friends, so let me say it again: if you don't trumpet out the fact that it's your birthday, or that it's coming up, I will probably forget. It's not because I don't love you. I am merely forgetful. I have some folks' birthdays written into my calendar, but since I don't always check it, it's not a surefire method. I am deeply sorry, but that's the way it is.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

work and non-work

It's currently intersession here at H-town U. That's the time between semesters, aka "sessions". I guess "intersemester" is too cumbersome a word. Historically, this is the time when we catch up on all sorts of jobs and projects, take a breather, and spend desk hours bored beyond belief. The Powers That Be have decided that one person is plenty to cover the desk (thank you!) so most of my hours are "on call". This means I check in at the desk, make sure the person assigned is there and doesn't need a break or help, and then crawl back to my office. So I am whizzing through some jobs and generally trying to make sure as little as possible slips through the proverbial cracks when I am gone next month.

Yesterday afternoon we jetted over to the school where we volunteer, my pal and I, to pull weeds and get as sweaty and dirty as possible in under two hours. The weed-pulling party had started a few hours before, so the kids and parents and other volunteers had already made good progress. We tried mightily to finish all of our tasks, but pulling up grass with one's hands and balancing on a slippery rock while trying to pull plants away from the pond side of the plant mass is tough work. Tough, dirty work. My pal said that she was starting a new trend, a reverse French manicure! I was sporting my new gloves so my hands got wet but stayed fairly clean. Best $12 I ever spent.

Monday, May 14, 2007

2 outta 3

Why is it that all aspects of one's life can never be good at the same time? Work, fine. Personal life, pretty darned great. Family? Oh dear lord.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


My birthday ipod was delivered with a nice selection of music, but it was the PIG's selection, not mine. I begged him to load it up with some of my favorite cds and I am now listening to Tom Waits, "$29.00".

Me: If I ever leave you, it'll be for Tom Waits.

PIG: If I ever leave you, it'll be for Tom Waits!

Friday, May 11, 2007


What on earth was I thinking? Get up early, skip work, put on a farmer outfit and ride around in a giant rooster? Ridunculous! Except that it was so much fun, yelling out "Meet Ricky the Rooster! Get close but not too close--he hasn't had his lunch yet!" Etc. etc. It was all fun & games until the high school kids closed in and started asking if we had any biscuits...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

a movie one must see repeatedly

Stolen from another blog, of which I am a part:

"The Alamo Drafthouse on South Mason is going to be showing “Strange Brew” FOR FREE on Saturday, May 19 at 8 PM. "

They're showing it outside, to bring bugspray and something to sit on.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

bsg and outreach

I forgot to mention that I finished Battle Star Galactica, Season 2, over the weekend. As friend Jenica mentioned, there was an even bigger cliffhanger than at the end of Season 1. And now I am sad because (I assume, I don't have cable) Season 3 is still going on, so it'll be a while before I can netflix it.

Boo! Hiss!

In other news, our second day of middle school madness is over. I gave two tours and most folks gave 3 and some of the groups had to skip us, so we probably saw about 150 kids today. Like most of my outreach programs, it was massively chaotic, with tour guides having to run away to do "real work" presentations and handle a huge delivery of chairs and others filling in for them at the last minute. Each time this happens, I think again how lucky I am to work with folks who are SO flexible and willing to give their time. Of course the rewards are pretty great...

Update: just realized there is a season 2.5. I thought season 2 was awfully short. Am anticipating and even greater cliffhanger!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


If you ever get to Trinidad and/or Tobago, I heartily recommend you immediately pick up a bottle of Spees. They are an addictive and tasty treat, made from "split peas, salt, spices, vegetable oil", according to the label. There are two options: pepper and no pepper. "Pepper" is spicy and mmmm good.

I have a small bottle on my desk, a little over half gone, and I am already sad about the day when I finish it.

Monday, May 07, 2007


What do you say when a friend asks you to wrangle chickens? Yes please. In retrospect, I'm assuming she meant "chirrens", but I am a wrangler of whatever you need wrangling. I can't wait to find out what my costume will be!

Friday, May 04, 2007

you can call me "rev"

I'm busy making plans with my co-teachers and I just signed up for my "don't let bad things happen to kids in your care" training, so I guess this summer program is really happening. I'm excited and slightly terrified!

When signing up for the training, I had to choose my title. I was tempted to put Reverend, because I am one, but I decided that would be too confusing for all involved.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

911 calls, sirens and emergency rooms, oh my!

The PIG had a crazy bad allergic reaction to ant bites tonight that required some medical attention. I know I am a morbid and strange person, but I had to stop myself from actively enjoying being in the ambulance. At that point I was fairly sure he was going to be fine, but I still felt guilty. I am the luckiest person--I was able to call friends to help me figure out what to do (before it was clear I needed to call 911), to take care of the dogs and to pick us up from the hospital and to watch over the PIG while I ran home to pet and feed Miss Kittypants.

I am realizing that I need to take a first aid course again. It's been 14 years since my last training and I don't remember a dang thing, nor do I have the right emergency medicine at hand.

I can hear him snoring in the next room. I never thought I'd be grateful to hear that sound, but I am tonight.

antm, coming to a close

This America's Next Top Model cycle has been a bit different from previous cycles. The models have all done fairly well for most of the show. No one has completely crashed and burned, had an illness, or created all that much drama. Sure, Jael's friend died and there was the "we all hate Renee" campaign, but the drama, such as it is, has been low key. I've been rooting for Renee all along, but I think Natasha is giving her a run for her money. I'm still not sure about Jaslene. Clearly they will be the top three--Dionne has already hung around past her prime--but the top two? Still not sure, and I'm not sure I care. The lack of drama and excitement has made me finally start to lose interest in the show. I find myself wondering when season 4 of Project Runway will start....

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

the bad

You know when you're running errands and have on a sweatshirt, baggy pants and your hair is kind of rucked up? No? Are you some kind of evil robot? Anyway, that's what I looked like last night when I ran into the former GE. The very last time I saw my college bf in person was at a very low point in my life--I'd just quit my PhD program, I was still rocked by the general awfulness and cheating that the guy in my life had visited upon me, and I was wearing something baggy and stained. Why do things happen that way? Why couldn't I have run into him today, when I'm wearing my cute new top and my hair is semi-under control?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

death and dying

My student worker and I were talking about a dead guy the other day. He had died in his dorm room and wasn't discovered for a week. While folks had explained away the smell (sewer problem), we wondered how his friends and family hadn't realized he'd been missing from class, social activities, not answering the phone, etc. We, we felt sure, would be missed immediately!

Hmm. A story about him appeared in yesterday's school paper and it turns out, this guy was a gem. Very kind, always helping out, devoted to his church, friends and family. Sounds like someone who'd be missed, right? And he was, but it just took a little while for all of the pieces to come together, mostly because he was an international student. His parents and fiancee couldn't rush over to his room to check on him and, well, it's the end of the semester so his school friends just figured he was busy.

Makes you pause.

While I'm fairly social at work, most of the calls I receive are from the PIG. I get together with friends but no one group on a consistent basis. I'm basically a loner. My sisters are probably my closest friends but because they're far away, they wouldn't notice if I didn't respond to an email right away. My old BF used to say, "everyone dies alone" and while it feels better to deny it, it's mostly true.

Sorry to be so maudlin, but spring always seems to bring that side out of me. I'm reminded that the beautiful flowers and animals I see around me are only here because other lives have passed. It's good to remember that.