Wednesday, December 30, 2009


As a bit of a grammar Nazi-- I have to be, I get the hard usage questions every day when I'm teaching-- this, for some reason, had me howling: (it's the son's answer)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Let it snow!

When the windows are yellowed with light and warmth, and the snow falls quietly, that's heaven to me.

My legs and arms are sore from the Wii Fit Plus I received from Mike. I absolutely love that toy. So much fun and I'm finally climbing back onto the wagon, leaving behind a road littered with Christmas cookies and Reese's peanut butter cups. I think tomorrow is definitely a turkey chili day.

If you're thinking of taking the diet plunge too, I swear by my Wii Fit Plus and this website. Spark People is 100% free and has user donated recipes and a calorie and nutrient tracker (just plug in the foods you've eaten that day and it does the work to let you know, breaking down into fat grams, protein, calories, etc.).

Anyway, I'm turning over a new leaf. And not necessarily because it's a new year but more because there are events coming up, and I don't want to be so... big. Healthy is key.

We're getting 2-4" of snow tonight, which is fine by me. I plan to workout and write this week.

Oh, and get my curriculum together for next Monday... but. There's time. Let is snow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Push your old numbers and let your house ring until I wake your ghost

I've been baking all day-- peanut butter blossoms and my famous soft sugar cookies. I'm tired. I got into mom and dad's jacuzzi tub and nearly fell asleep, this song playing on repeat on my headphones. Heaven.

I'm home, or the home that Wisconsin became when my parents moved here. Wherever my mother closes her eyes at night will always be home for me. I was raised (and still live) in Ohio, and I love the flat lands, the four seasons, the hills of Cincinnati. I plan to incorporate Ohio into my WIP, a chance to pay homage to the heartland.

Last night I dreamed about you-- yes you. It'd been forever, and our dream selves celebrated the unexpected reunion.

"You never come anymore," I whispered, leaning into your shoulder.

"It's not for lack of trying," you answered, glancing at the white drifts and falling flakes. "It's always easier to reach you here. You're closer here, you know."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nothing's Fair in the Fifth Grade

I took my 10 year old to school today. He will be 11 in one week, but for now he is only 10, standing behind a table, his precious paper concotions and his dignity for sale at 25 cents a pop.
Why is it so hard to let them fall? My son's fifth grade does a "merchandise mart" project every year, where the students come up with a money plan, a product (which they have to make), then set up and sell them to the other kids at school. My son did orogami-- paper cranes-- and I hope he's doing well. There were projects there that I couldn't have done, and while I suppose it's possible a fifth grader made them, my money is on the kid's parents.

It's hard to think he might be sitting there, all of the kids passing his table up... I'm sure they're not. His cranes are neat, and we used foil paper, and...

If he comes home happy, a triumph. If not, a lesson learned? Like, don't wait to tell your mom about the major project the night before it's due?

I'd have used one of his for the pic, but our camera died this morning. >:[

Monday, December 7, 2009

Keeping Score

I'm grading papers tonight, and I refuse to go to bed until they are done. I had plans, oh, yes, I had plans to grade over the weekend, but I began reading. And the reading was just too good to put down.

So. Luckily, I have tomorrow off, and the grading shall be finished before I lay mine head upon mine pillow. Or, you know, it'll be mostly done... at least 3/4 of the way.

As of now? Laura 8, Papers 27.

Oh, they're winning now, but just wait. I feel my second wind coming on...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

That's Just the Way It Is

She's prone to inward romantic fits, seizures of the heart that keep her from walking a straight line. In the evenings she is homework and warmth, sitting at tables and laughing with these delightful creatures part her, part him. She marvels at the mixture, the rightness of it in their sense of humor.

She puts off the things she knows she should do and dances around deadlines, all wispy hops and skippy jumps until she is faced with the brick wall they are. Then she stays up all night, drinking diet coke and giving them all the benefit of the doubt, waking to feel relief and a bit of guilt.

She sees in their eyes that they do not care, but that doesn't mean she doesn't get to.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Finds

I bought my students some chocolates since I'm asking them to do a load of surveys for the writing school here in the English dep., and I keep wanting to snag some for myself. It's Dove milk chocolate, for Pete's sake. What was I thinking? As this article clearly outlines, it *is* an addiction because the cocoa hits our brain in much the same way crack does.

But let's not talk about my addictions. Let's talk about yours. Or, you know, the possibility of others...? Like, say, the tendency to over-read? C'mon we've all been there, late at night, candle in trembling hand-- er, lamp still on -- reading the latest book we've just got to finish before we can allow ourselves to sleep. However, in searching for an answer, the one I found seems to encourage reading... huh.

For those of you who tried NaNo and failed, I hear you. I knew it was folly during the month of November, so many family things (even in the beginning of the month because of my birthday) and the one school I was teaching at is on quarters, so they finished up the last week of November, but I went for it anyway. There's little consolation, but Megan Rebekah has an entry dedicated to letting NaNo down easy.

And life goes on. Next week, I sleep, I bake, I clean, I write.

Do you consider your reading habit an addiction? If so, is it possible some addictions are "good" for you?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

the minutiae

The clock is ticking! I can hear it when I'm reading, writing, grading, cooking, cleaning. Lately, I can hear it when I sleep. It's high time I stopped hitting snooze.

Then again. Sometimes I think it's the ticking that matters, not the impending alarm; it's laughing with my kids over dinner, sitting with Mike during a game -- those little moments, those ticks. They're what it's really all about.

But it doesn't stop the quickening of my pulse when the hour is late, the house is quiet, and my WIP is calling me.

Caffeine is my friend. It talks to me in jagged, tangy tones and keeps me company throughout the day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Not so much a rant -- more of a ramble.

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly.
~Owl City

I am an adventurer, all long brown hair and a wool hip-length sweater I got from the Salvation Army that sports coffee stains. I brought my classes to the library today. For once in my life, I'm ahead. I collected their final papers, then came up with a homework exercise that sorta utilizes Chapter 8 of their books, "Writing about Visuals." We're at the University of Dayton library looking at what must surely be the largest collection of manger scenes in the country, nay the world, and my industrial little students are going to write about them. Of course there are also some paintings on the top floor they can use, but why go up 7 floors, when the assignment can be completed from the first?

The paintings, by the way, are perfect. They are of Mary and the nativity, and there's even one of Noah. They are wavy lines and clear ovals and glitter. Yes, glitter. They are purple and hot pink. They are rockstar paintings of religious happenings, and I love them.

Of course the real work of art is found in the stacks. I wonder if this feeling will ever go away? I frequent libraries, yet I just can't get over that there is a place with so many words just there for the taking.

I usually gravitate to the second floor here, because my name is on the shelves along with Tolstoy and King. My thesis is here, bound in hardback, looking like it actually belongs.

But back to my adventuring. For one, this is the fourth computer I've tried to get on. I've been on every floor, save the 4th, and while on the 7th, a random group of people with artifacts for the collection asked me to take their picture. They'd just finished a radio show in the same room.

I'll miss this place, these books. Maybe I'll be back in the fall. There is certainly a lot of history here at UD, and some of it is mine.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Clear and Cold

Several of the goodies I'd ordered on Black Friday arrived today. A shiny, hot pink bag of freebies from Bath and Body Works has me longing for a hot bath, but alas. It's late, and I should just close this laptop and roll over.

Reading On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction for my book club meeting this Saturday. It's good, but a little... what's the word? Academic. Yeah, that's it. But, you know, well done academic.

Trying to decide if I'm going over the river and through the woods this Christmas to mom's. It's just such a long drive and a big chunk of our vacation. And yet, how hollow those weeks would be without my sisters and my parents.

They're forecasting flurries. I could pretend to be upset and grumble about the cold, but I'm just too excited for pretense.

Bring on the snow, my breath visible in the air. I'm ready for the clarity of cold.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bad Poetry Monday

I'm tempted to troll xanga and pull something about suicide, roses, and cutting, but that would probably be wrong. So I scoured my own old xanga, and the results were just as hilarious.

However, reading over my old stomping grounds reminded me that I used to be passionate about writing, even the little blogs I slapped down daily. I'm going to quit trying so hard and write like I used to here, when the moment feels right, when the words are forcing their lettered little legs out of my mouth.

Like this dramatic little bit:

I'm porcelain, I'm breakable
Whenever I'm with you
I'm china patterned delicate
Floral white and blue.

Even the shade of your words,
[Every syllable matters]
Can make me smile and laugh,
Or leave me broken, shattered.
~Copyright me
~I miss the codes and lyrics here~
--back they come--

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bad Poetry Monday

I chose this for the title. Honestly, you could probably argue the body of the poem is good, but that title was enough to set me giggling because I am, apparently, a 12-year-old boy.

"To a Young Ass
its mother being tethered near it"

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I actually studied Coleridge, was finishing that grad class about a year ago. We did not happen on this little gem.

Anyway. There are so many things I'd love to rant about but, one -- it's not Rant Wednesday, and two, it's about some problems I'm having with students, and that would be completely unethical. So. It's end of the quarter, and I'm pushing through.

Happy soon-to-be Thanksgiving!

Here's the body of the poem for those interested:

Poor little foal of an oppress├Ęd race!
I love the languid patience of thy face:
And oft with gentle hand I give thee bread,
And clap thy ragged coat, and pat thy head.
But what thy dulled spirits hath dismayed,
That never thou dost sport along the glade?
And (most unlike the nature of things young)
That earthward still thy moveless head is hung?
Do thy prophetic fears anticipate,
Meek Child of Misery! thy future fate?
The starving meal, and all the thousand aches
"Which patient Merit of the Unworthy takes"?
Or is thy sad heart thrilled with filial pain
To see thy wretched mother's shortened chain?
And truly, very piteous is her lot --
Chained to a log within a narrow spot,
Where the close-eaten grass is scarcely seen,
While sweet around her waves the tempting green!

Poor Ass! they master should have learnt to show
Pity -- best taught by fellowship of Woe!
For much I fear me that He lives like thee,
Half famished in a land of Luxury!
How askingly its footsteps hither bend!
It seems to say, "And have I then one friend?"
Innocent foal! thou poor despised forlorn!
I hail thee Brother -- spite of the fool's scorn!
And fain would take thee with me, in the Dell
Of Peace and mild Equality to dwell,
Where Toil shall call the charmer Health his bride,
And Laughter tickle Plenty's ribless side!
How thou wouldst toss thy heels in gamesome play,
And frisk about, as lamb or kitten gay!
Yea! and more musically sweet to me
Thy dissonant harsh bray of joy would be,
Than warbled melodies that soothe to rest
The aching of pale Fashion's vacant breast!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Finds: Writing

I got exactly four hours of sleep last night-- the quarter ends next week for one of the colleges at which I teach, while the other is on semester and will go to Dec. 11. Needless to say, I'm grading like a madwoman, as the college expects final grades to be turned in before noon on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Apparently, we lowly adjunct profs don't deserve a Thanksgiving.

Who's bitter?

But enough about my non-bitterness. On to the websites:

For agents, you can't beat Nathan Bransford. Other agents have blogs with occasional interesting material, but he makes his blog about writers, writing, and the business of publishing. Good stuff.

For the actual, sitting-down-to-write motivational stuff, there's Write or Die by Dr. Wicked. Great for NaNoWriMo or just vomiting that first draft up onto paper. I also like this site, though it gets a little too syrupy-let's-hold-hands toward the end. Still, good for when you're feeling like giving up or have recently experienced a harsh rejection or review.

And, even if you're not that into writing, I think you might enjoy the snark and smooth voice of THE INTERN. She gives great advice with wit and verve.

And that wraps it up. My favorite sites, now saved for posterity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Rant

First, this is for me. Anyone who happens by, lovely, pull up a chair. But I've been blogging for, what, 8 years now? And I need an outlet.

It's therapeutic, that's what it is.

Since it is late and I still have a few papers to grade tonight in order to make my goal for Friday, I'll keep it short and sweet.

Today's rant is brought to you by my son, Brad, who, in his divine wisdom decided I didn't need to view the programs I set to Tivo, and further, that his choice in Nick at Night was far more important than Glee or Eastwick.

GAH. He was grounded anyway! But I was watching Star Trek with Jay and Mike, and Brad wasn't interested and headed up to my bedroom where he canceled my programs so he could watch. (it only lets you record the channel it's on-- our downstairs lets you watch and record on another channel)

I love Glee, and I was REALLY looking forward to tonight's episode. Honestly, Eastwick isn't that great, but it's pretty good, has potential. Strong female leads and magic, two things I like, especially together.

My room is officially off limits to the boys as of tonight. I am Mean Mommy for the duration of the November sweeps!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blog the First

So I know hardly anyone reads this -- *waves to the two of you* -- and I find I never have anything to say, so...

I'm going to write toward some themes. Some ideas I have so far: Poetry Mondays (especially bad/cheesy poetry or really good found poetry, or my own stuff), Rant Wednesdays, and Things You Should Know/See/Read Fridays.

Because I like having a blog and I, like many of my students, lack direction. Often, if you fix the focus, you fix the essay, short story, novel, or blog.

So. We'll see. Tomorrow is Rant Wednesday. :D (I have a feeling the ranting will be the easiest day...)

Also, I'm over here now.