28 March 2009

School starts up Monday.

I'm not ready. I'm trying to get changes made in my syllabi, read a few plays to freshen them in my mind, feel ready to be back in the office again.

steve's feeling better, my cough is going away, but i'm still itchy. we see his maxilofacial (sp?) surgeon on Tuesday afternoon, and then after that, i see the doctor for allergy tests.

i have just been a ridiculous flake this week . . . neither one of us has felt up to lawn maintenance or housekeeping, so my visions of spring cleaning haven't yet materialized.

i need to be writing more. i'm ashamed i've been putting it off so often anymore. sigh.

i'm hoping the three weeks at my parents' house this june/july will give me time to write, but we'll see. i always seem to come up with an excuse.

27 March 2009

I need to be doing something constructive.

I just got off the phone with my mother, in West Virginia. I was SOOOO too tipsy to be talking to her. Drunk and in Oregon, talking to my mom in West Virginia. Like she doesn't know. I am so sure she's sitting at home with my dad right now saying, "I know she was drinking, Bill."


A recent ATC.

OMG. So a fellow mail artist decided to host an ATC swap for artwork that features "Regular People with Irregular Arms." This is one of my contributions--though weirder than I first intended. The photo is just a copy of a vintage "tattooed lady" photo, but in this scan, she looks like a transvestite. Definitely could be a man with breasts. So there's that, and then I gave her egg-beater arms, because I have a lot of weird rubber stamps I never use.

I'll have to dig up one of the other cards . . . it's a little girl with toilet brushes for arms. That's a kid even I could love.

Another reason to love Oregon.

I am sitting here, right now, with several of my windows open. OPEN. The fruit trees in my yard are blossomed, lettuce is sprouting, camellias are in bloom, and down the street, forsythia bushes have been open for weeks. Daffodils are already on their way out . . . they've been around since the end of February.

I'm fielding emails from disgruntled students, getting some last-minute syllabus revisions together, and working on watching far too many episodes of CSI. I caught up on the end of the first season of In Treatment last night, as now that Steve seems to be on the mend, I've been feeling awful. Not the least of my issues is that I am ITCHY ALL OVER.

I don't know if it's a seasonal allergy or something silly like hair product or dryer sheets, but there are no hives or rashes, just itchy-ness. ugh! coughing, and itchy. not a great combo.

26 March 2009

The World's Greatest Students.

I think I had both of them in class in Winter 2009. For the final exam in my writing classes, the students were asked to read an essay and then write a summary & response paper on that essay.

Two classes received a Joe Wenderoth essay to read, about the unflinching humanity on display in a townie strip club the author has frequented. Two classes received a David Sedaris essay, "This Old House."

Both were pulled from the Best American Essays 2008 anthology . . . and I tried to pick essays that were engaging as well as carrying a fairly approachable thesis/purpose.

However, one student took that Wenderoth essay and wrote a response that floored me. I love it. I might have read it with my mouth hanging open.

The other student was in a Sedaris class, but the humor, intelligence and drive of this student astounds me.

This is why I teach community college--I have the tiniest part in sending phenomenal minds into the world, ones that are taking a nontraditional route, but who teach me reciprocally as I teach them.

I LOVE teaching some days, and some days I just love being continually, intellectually challenged by educationally hungry, ridiculously unique, endlessly fascinating people.

I'm just glad all of it happens at the same place, and that I earn a paycheck for it.

25 March 2009

Sometimes I wonder . . .

about Dave Baker. and why would I do that? He creeps into my brain sometimes when I'm not expecting such things, and it makes me unsettled. I haven't spoken to him since long before I moved away from Pittsburgh.

I wonder if he still lives in Crafton, in that little apartment less than five miles from my house in Carnegie. I wonder if that couple lives upstairs, with the aging transvestite that asked him for money sometimes for groceries. I wonder if he remembers making me toast at the kitchen table his brother built.

I wonder if he sleeps in that little twin bed in his front room and thinks about what would happen if I knocked on his door.

I wonder if he knows I don't live five miles away anymore.


I wonder if he's still a pompous, half-retarded loser who's shorter than I am, who tints his hair and lies about his age.



Yeah, I'm back.

So I've stepped away for a while . . . busy with work, and with married life, of all things. The dear hubs has been sick with something we finally know is Ludwig's Angina, which is gross. Just google it.

It's a form of sepsis that one can rarely get inside the meaty interior space under the tongue. People can die from it, and I've gone from hysterical to pissed off to laughing it off in denial to hysterical again. No one really knew that's what it was, so he'd been having it return every time his antibiotics would run out. Over a month now, and we're still a week away from the CONSULTATION with the doctor that will hopefully fix things.

He had an infected, impacted tooth. We spent an official buttload of money getting the root canal by a specialist in Eugene. Problem was, he'd had a really shitty root canal done on the tooth behind that one a few years ago. The infection was cleaned out of the newer root canal, but decided to go hang out in the dead, vacant root of the bad-root-canal tooth, soon taking over his lower jaw space and part of the bone, too.

Awesome. COULD HAVE DIED. I keep saying that in my head, and it makes me almost faint. I can't imagine him being dead, me being a widow . . . OMG.

Anyhow, now we need some special guy to pull that tooth, as no one really wants to touch it. Even our high-priced, high-falutin' endodontist didn't want to try to re-do the root canal on that baby. It has to come out, so everything can heal. So, he's still full of infection, and antibiotics are keeping the swelling and pain to a dull roar until the tooth can be extracted.

This is not my sole reason for silence, but it's part of the reason.

Thankfully, the break between terms is only a week--i don't have too much time to throw pity parties before getting back to work.