Tuesday, December 25, 2012

There's a reason they put repeat as an option on itunes


"There's a still in the street outside your window" --Brandon Flowers

Dear You,

The first time I hear this song, we are sitting in a booth in a place called Joe Mama's eating brunch. And I say, "I love this song. What is this song?" And I love it more when you listen so closely and try to hear the lyrics for me. I write what we can make out on an Equal packet and put it in the zipper pocket of my purse, and when we get home--okay a day after we get home--I remember and say, "oh, man, that song!"

I search the lyrics. A really awful, tacky rap song comes up first. I clarify my search with the one word you were able to hear that I hadn't heard in that noisy diner on a Pittsburgh corner on a Sunday morning, and it is the magic one that leads me to the song which I buy immediately. And then listen to obsessively for the next hour. You grin, and I say, "Sometimes, I am..."  You finish, "Obsessive Compulsive?" and you laugh. I laugh too, but I'm nodding and saying, "I really am..." 

I make no apology. I rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, kiss and repeat.

I love this song. Obsessively and without end-- for now.

You, I love for always.

Love, Me

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hustle-bustle writing

Last night, I dreamed about writing. I was writing and working on things, but stuck and struggling. Still, it was an oddly positive feeling, like at least I was trying. Also, John Green was there in a library that was haunted, which was pretty cool too.

I have to write a devotional for my college, and I'm really blocked. This is why I HATE having a subject matter given to me with deadlines. (Kinda like I do to my students all semester long, wut?)

It has to be a Christmas kind of devotional. I was thinking of using Isaiah 9:6 because I love that song, and it's a little off the Christmas Scripture's normally beaten path, though still very much about the first coming of Jesus.

For some reason, I keep thinking of Robert Frost's poem, "Stopping By Woods on  Snowy Evening." It feels very Christmas-y to me, what with the snow and harness bells, even if it does have a bit of darkness to it.

This is why I'm not in journalism. That and I never took any courses on journalism. And also because I wrote for publication that one year and hated it-- the deadlines... the bustle... the bylines. Okay, it wasn't all bad.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I remember cooking... once...


It bothers me that at age 40 I still don't know which cut of beef makes the best pot roast. These questions that can so easily be answered-- by Google, by my mother-- that I can't seem to find the answers that sometimes keep me awake at night, like I haven't earned the right to the answer.

I'm a good cook. I don't even think that's debatable, but because I don't cook often, it feels like it is. There's an unwinding that happens as I walk from my school to my car and begin the drive toward home that I can't seem to turn off. And it's not that I'm physically tired, it's more of an unwinding of mind and spirit, a release of duty that is nearly impossible to reverse. I am often the last person to return home, and this usually has me asking, as I go through the mail on the table, "What's for dinner?" to the nearest male. The answer is usually a sigh, a moan, a suggestion to eat out, or an actual answer if you're my self sufficient youngest son. He waits for no man, that one. He likes cooking and being in charge of when he eats and what he eats. Also, he's good at it, and he shares.

That doesn't mean I never cook, but I've taken to crockpot dinners and quickie stove-top meals, not the fried chicken of my youth. My mother used to buy a chicken-- an entire chicken-- remove the insides, cut the thing up, create a flour coating and fry the pieces in Brady-mom Wesson. 
I think of this, I consider the effect such a meal might have on my family, and I remain solidly unmotivated.

Maybe I will make a cheesecake from scratch over Christmas break. I used to do this all of the time when I was a stay-at-home mom. I cooked pot roasts, homemade biscuits, casseroles, stir-fry, even an occasional stew. I guess I need to recharge, to coil that creative energy back up and ladle it out over carved turkey or hand-mashed potatoes.

But not before I write. Darn it. I've got to write this break. Write now, cook later. My kids seem willing to forgive this transgression in favor of McDonalds or Cousin Vinny's Pizza a couple of nights a week.

You there, the one about to comment on what a dreadful mother I am? No need. I'm well aware. Thank God, they're healthy and not overweight. They are getting soft though... maybe they could pick up jogging or sit ups or something... or sit and think about doing those things like their mom. 

I diverge. I divulge. I wish I cooked more often and varied. I wish I exercised with my kids, so we could all tone up. Well, they'll tone up, I'll lose 45 more pounds. Yep, that seems like a good plan.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

We've all got shame music. This is mine.


It makes me run. Not just my legs, though they’re sure to fly over green grass or cracked sidewalks— but inside, my blood moves more quickly in my veins through  my body and back around to my twisty straw of a heart.
Let’s just say you know the lyrics are crap. Like, maybe they handed a four year old a marker and a piece of paper? But then. Music, friends, music is something else altogether. It has this quality that lives and breathes on its own. I don’t care what they’re saying as long as they break down for the verse and build back up toward the chorus (right before they drop the bottom out)  All I think is, “something’s gotta give now…”  I struggle with sitting still and those curly pixie straws I call veins are rushing and pushing the music straight to my twisty turny heart again.

I want to dance, I want to montage to it— type on an old typewriter, fold clothes, dance across the room with a dust rag in my hand, exercise, eat healthy, have all of the things I should be doing squished into 3 minutes of rushing, pumping, nonsensical improvement.
I… can’t stop listening to this song. I’ve always been the repeat queen, and this is my current obsession, this one thing.
I’ve lost all street cred. 


This is really the pre-dance before the big dance

Stop being so stuffy and dance with me, Baby! The papers are graded!

Granted, I collect three more tomorrow, present a short workshop on APA, and I will have to regrade revisions next week, but for now? I'm the freest free bird that's ever flown free.

Now dance.





Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mostly this is for Jaimes...

This made me laugh more than it should have.





Saturday, December 1, 2012

Why Facebook Sometimes Stresses Me Out

Okay, this article, linked below, is why I never, ever friend students unless they've crossed over into friendland after the course, and I mean friendland IRL, which cannot happen during the course, and only happens after the course as a matter of, well, course. Except for Jaimes. And Bekah. And JaronandLauraandTim. But all others and since that first year, no more friending. And also, I defriended all of those people except Jaimes on Facebook. And other Laura, because she is so smart and interesting.

And this is why I never, ever facebook friend someone from work. Seriously, I used to, and I got rid of them all too, and then made it a point not to friend ANYone from my current place of employment, even though they ALL friend each other. I just say, "Oh, I only use that for family" and triple-double checked that I'd made the page private, seen only by "friends."

High school friends, you're next. I mean, c'mon. We're not interacting, we're visually stalking each other. Period.

But yeah. We are a little different with family than we are with friends, even if it's not drastic BIG differences. And it's stressful trying to remember that and keep it all straight and still interact.

This is why I love tumblr-- it's fresh and I started over and only one person IRL reads it and sees what I repost or write there.

Article here.