Sunday, August 31, 2008

watching and waiting

My people down in Louisiana have battened down the hatches, gased up the vehicles, bought the TP, beer and milk and are bracing for the next "big one"!

I, on the other hand, am constantly checking my and hourly updates, or I am on my cell phone keeping close tabs on my little huddled masses.

Gustav looks primed to affect my family more directly than either Katrina or Rita did three years ago.

And it's more than a little nerve-wracking not knowing how this thing is going to turn out.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

stalling for time and trying to thwart physics

I'm supposed to be doing a ton of severely neglected house chores: The laundry (par usual) has piled up to mountainous proportions, the bathrooms are disgustingly fuzzy and slimey (yuck!), every floor in my house is debris-strewn and crunchy and in serious need of a vacuuming, etc. etc. etc. ...

Oh, and did I mention ETC.!

And the source of my inactivity comes from my desire to just read blogs and drink coffee.

Physical Law (part 1):
A body at rest, tends to remain at rest.

*sigh* I am such slug -- an end-of-the-summer-school's-about-to-start slug.

And I still have loads of things to do.

Perhaps that's why I'm in this "idle" mode: Once I get moving, I won't be able to stop because there's absolutely no end in sight.

Physical Law (part 2):
A body in motion, tends to remain in motion.

*sigh* I'd just really rather remain resting a little while longer!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

reality check

OK. I know the last post was over the top. But I was emotionally feeling "over the top" ... or "under the bus" or "through the wringer" or whichever wretchedly appropriate prepositional phrase you (or I!) can come up with.

To make a short story long ...

I've been reading a lot of fluffy-plotted steamy romance novels this summer because, well, I guess for lack of a better reason, because I've been unwilling to literally experience anything deep or meaningful or unpleasant or life-altering or even uplifting. I simply haven't had it in me to want to do any real thinking.

So romance novels it is!

Well, I started to feel a smidge guilty over letting so many of my letter-decoding synapses go all catatonic and then rigor mortis on me so I decided I needed to jump into some "real" reading. So I grabbed Pos's copy of The Grapes of Wrath.

I thought, "Hey, Steinbeck, he's brilliant! He's all literary and poetic and acclaimed and stuff. Surely I'll be able to coax some of my brain cells back from the dead!!"

Boy was I wrong. I slipped from brain dead status to crippling depression overnight. I couldn't get past the horror of deprivation and misery and abject poverty and railing against forces bigger than you and all the kind of things that can keep a person up at night.

Pos did warn me. He did say it was a tough read -- said it wasn't a good book for me. And boy was he right. So I stopped reading

but unfortunately, what that man wrote managed into get lodged in my head anyway.

[Flash forward several nights later, pre-post rant]

Me: Pos, can you please put these receipts in Quicken?
Pos: Sure, I have a couple to put in myself.
Me: Hey, did you manage to log today's haircut expense?
Pos: [looking at his laptop screen; ominously silent] Uh, no!
Me: I told you about it on the phone this afternoon, just before going to pick up a few things for dinner tonight. You said you got it.
Pos: [voice taking on a particularly dreadful edge; his response, more of a snarl] I don't have our Quicken information on my work computer. What makes you think I would have any idea about our numbers?!
Me: [heat rising to my cheeks; begin to seethe] Well, what is the balance?
Pos: [pregnant, obscenely ample pause] Not enough!
Me: Fine!!

[All the while, I'm in a full blown panic!]

*Funny how money always has a way of doing that to me.*

“Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!!” I mentally moan to myself. “How am I going to scrape us along until payday? School is fastly approaching and there is SO much I have to get. Shoes are needed for the boys. The girl needs new bras. Everyone’s socks have holes in them; quite a desperate fleece situation, really. And the boys need bigger undies!” I can’t even bring myself to look in the frig and take a most dismal inventory of our sparse rations.

My mind races with lists and lists of expenditures and comes completely short of indentifying enough income to match the need. I feel like I’m in a freakin’ Steinbeck novel and we’re about to load up the minivan with our meager, dusty possessions and head west for some seriously hard apple-picking times!


But then I remember, I’m not all that and we’re not all leaving and things really aren’t that bad. I just need to have more patience. And more resilience. And I especially need to have more faith in the overall choices we make for our family.

In the meantime, my dreams about winning it big with the Lottery take on an exceptionally intense luster and gleam in my furtive imagination. And I find myself drifting off into blissfully extravagant daydreams involving an unlimited expense account, a beautifully appointed flat in Paris and all the new underwear my children could ever want!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

hating now

tired, insolvent, frustrated, and angry ...

quite a deadly combination.

I have an irrational hostility towards the the here and now ...

especially towards myself.

I feel livid

and hopeless

and terribly, terribly sad.

I can't even begin to layer letters

structure words

orchestrate sentences

to describe how I feel

right now.


I feel like a waste.

An angry waste of space

with time to kill.

Monday, August 11, 2008

back in the saddle

Ugh! It's painfully early (for me!) and I'm up and stumbling out the door.

I start teaching summer school today -- 8:30 - 12:15; with two soon-to-be 3rd graders, two soon-to-be 1st graders and two soon-to-be 6th graders. My "fancy" repertoire will run the gamut from basic letter recognition and printing to double-digit adding and subtracting to pesky pre-writing practices and traditional grammar drills.

If these poor kids feel as brain dead as I do ... this is going to be a LONG three weeks!

Monday, August 4, 2008

edit request

OK, I need everybody to jump into your "way back machines" now and try to remember having to write when writing simply didn't come naturally to you or when you were really getting your pre-adolescent wordsmith wheels underneath ya.

I'm trying to come up with a writing checklist of sorts for a couple of summer school students of mine (boys; about to enter 6th grade, very reluctant writers) and I'd dearly love to give them some guidance without 1) forgetting something important, or 2) trying to over do it by including way too much information (which, unfortunately, is my tendency).

So please, please, please, tap into your 70's era schooldays memory banks and help me slodge through these nerve-wracking checklist tweaks.


Content how well did I write?
□ Did I remember to write only what I was told to write about?
□ Did I organize my ideas and information carefully … ?
• by listing the events from beginning to end [OR]
• by listing the facts from least important to most important [OR]
• by coming up with a set of questions then trying to answer those questions with good research [OR]
• by coming up with a main idea and then using good supporting details and descriptions to explain that idea
□ Did I select useful words that would help my readers understand what I’m trying to say, AND capture their interest AND hopefully create images in their minds?
□ Did I use plenty of well-researched information? [from other books, encyclopedias, magazines, the internet, etc.]
□ Did I check to make sure all my facts are correct?

Formathow does my writing look?
□ Did I choose a good title?
□ Did I include my name and the date?
□ Did I number each page?

Mechanicshow well did I follow the rules of writing?
□ Are all my paragraphs indented?
□ Did I capitalize words correctly?
□ Are all my words spelled correctly?
□ Did I make sure each sentence was complete and made sense?
□ Did I make sure every sentence had the same verb tense?
□ Did I use correct ending punctuation as well as all other punctuation?
□ Did I use quotation marks correctly when including someone else’s words?
□ Did I include a proper bibliography if I borrowed someone else’s work?

For any and all assistance, my appreciation knows no bounds!

attitude adjustment

I'm over my grouse ... thank goodness!

It's amazing what beautiful, no humidity, high 70's summer weather can do for one's disposition ...

plus a lovely long walk in said beautiful weather.

I just need to somehow get my head screwed on straight, start to buckle down and finally get ready for the next three weeks of teaching summer school.

I just hope the weather holds ...

it may be the only thing keeping me from going crazy!

ta-ta for now ;)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

bloggedy blog blog blah!

I have less than motivation, less than enthusiasm, less than gumption
to get up and go.

It must be the dog-days of summer now ...
so I'll simply say, "bow-wow-wow".

Regardless of my mental state,
I have summer school to plan and prep for --
call previous year's teachers; look over potential materials; make a sensible schedule,

but I don't want to.
I want to mope around
and feel lazy,
and feel useless,
and feel stupid
because that's how I feel right now.

but I want to be energized,
successful ...

but right now,
I'm none of those things ...
and maybe
(I'm guessing here)
that my funk may stem from
that more than likely
I've never been one of those wonderful things
and most likely
never will ...

compost, man
I'm feeling like a pile of compost ...