Monday, February 28, 2005

Another One On The Way

God no, I'm not talking children! I'm taking snowstorms, another nor'easter, specifically. I have heard forecasts for everything from 6 to 16 inches of snow expected overnight and into tomorrow. The early part of winter was fairly dry, but we seem to be having storms on a weekly basis lately. This morning I heard reports that the snow could be starting as early as 3pm. It's getting close to 5 now and nothing's falling yet. Latest I've heard is that the heavy snow will start around 8 or 9 tonight, which is perfect because that means I can get the girl to her girl scouts meeting and go to the laundromat while she's there and then get us and the clean laundry home safe and dry before the snow starts to fall.

Composure and Bukkake

Bukkakeru is a legitimate vocabulary word in Japanese and doesn't automatically have the pornographic connotations it has acquired in English. The word was brought up in class today with innocuous intentions and then reacted to by other people in the room. And of course there was one student who had no idea what it meant and who was good naturedly insisting that since I'm the teacher I ought to provide the definition. All I could do was shake my head in refusal and laugh my ass off. I believe I also turned beet red somewhere along the way once I started considering how the hell I would offer up that definition in a classroom appropriate fashion. Thank god the other students in class convinced the one who wasn't in the know to wait until after class for that particular bit of knowledge. I think I'm a fairly open and approachable teacher, but there are some topics I'm just not going to touch upon. It was certainly one of the funnier classroom moments I've had in a while.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Almost Belated Birthday Wishes

Whoops! We had such a nice time celebrating together in reality that I almost forgot to wish my boyfriend a very happy birthday here on the blog. Our paths would never have crossed if it weren't for our compulsions to ramble and muse here "in public". (Yeah, that's what I'm saying, we met through our blogs.)
Happy Birthday Sweetie! I'm so glad we got to celebrate this one together. You rock my world!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Things I Never Thought I'd Have to Say in Class

"L! Stop poking yourself in the eye with that penis!"
The penis in question is small, pink, made of plastic and attached to the end of a ball point pen, She got it at the on campus Sex Fair she worked at last week. The pens are kind of funny, especially when someone starts absent mindedly chewing on it, but there's nowhere to stash the cap while you're using it. To write with, I mean, of course.

Navel Gazing

I don't blog as much as I used to and lately the only thing I seem to want to write about is the fact that I'm going to be 40 in just about a week. Let's all hope it gets here soon so I can get over it already.
It's a big turning point though. I am now old enough to have given birth at a not ridiculously young age to basically every student I teach. It's not my goal to have them consider me one of them. I've been teaching long enough to know that the ability to claim some authority is a necessity in running a class, even at the college level. You can't do that if you're everyone's buddy.
I do think it's time to change some of my attitudes, though. It's time to stop chasing numbers whether they signify age or what shows up on my bathroom scale every morning. I went back to Weight Watchers last month and just went to two meetings. It wasn't as much fun going alone compared to when I used to go with my dad and my niece. I picked up some good ideas while I was there. It's always a good place to learn lessons and attitudes you can apply in all kinds of ways in your life.
Anyway, while I was out walking today, without my hat so my ears were aching from the cold, I was also thinking. One thing I thought was that I don't write as much now because I don't walk as often as I used to since it's so cold outside and also because I have lost (temporarily, I hope) custody of my dog in this whole breakup of the marriage thing. Another thing I thought is to change my attitude toward the whole "diet and exercise" thing. It's not only about numbers. I have to internally change the way I regard all the external things. I have to move because there's joy in it and it makes me feel good. I have to cook and eat because I love both those things and it makes me happy when I take the time and thought to do them both well.
On my way home today there was an ambulance in the driveway of a house on my street. I saw them bringing out a person who lives there on a stretcher. I don't even know if it was a man or a women, but it was a person of extremely large size. The son, a young man who is also of an extremely large size, was standing in the driveway watching the EMTs take his parent away. When the ambulance pulled away, it had it's lights flashing, but no siren and it was moving slowly. I don't know if was because the occupant wasn't in a life threatening situation or because it was already too late.
I know there is a balance between being obsessed about your body for vanity's sake and taking good care of yourself. I grew up as a fat kid. My parents used to tell me they worried I'd end up weighing 300 pounds because I never knew when to stop eating. I'm almost 40 years old and it's still kind of an issue for me, but not really. I thought writing about it might bring me to some kind of epiphany, but it hasn't. I think I might need to get older for that to happen. I worry about things less the older I get. That's one thing I like about it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


I'm sitting here indulging in a little junk tv (American Idol) with my girl and I'm pretty sure that I just saw Darius Rucker, the guy who gets called Hootie because he's the lead singer of Hootie and The Blowfish, dressed as a cowboy in a very kitschy Burger King commercial. He's looking like he's been eating a few too many burgers. Despite all their pop success and subsequent slamming by hipper than thou types, I always thought he had a nice voice.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Still Winter

I know some places can start to consider late February early spring, but New Hampshire just isn't one of those places. I haven't seen or heard the official amounts yet, but it looks to me like we got at least 7 or 8 inches of snow here today. And that's what my back and shoulders also seem to be saying since I had to go out and shovel twice today. The first time was so I could go to work, which ended up being one class to which less than half the enrolled students showed up. When I got back to my office at noon there were a couple of emails in my inbox letting me know that operations had been curtailed for the rest of the day. I packed up my stuff and was back at the faculty/staff parking lot by 12:20 and the place was already pretty well emptied out. I relaxed at home for the afternoon because that's what snow days are for, but around 5 I went out again to shovel off the stairs, a pathway to the other door and the heating oil fill cap and also to clear out the end of the driveway that gets barricaded in by a wall of snow pushed there by the city plows.
I roasted a chicken yesterday with onion, garlic, lemon and rosemary and for dinner we had that, green peas and mashed potatoes. It's a nice dinner. I think I'm going to keep the warm and cozy relaxing at home theme going by taking a nice hot bath. I'm going to have to get up earlier than usual tomorrow to scrape the ice that is bound to be stuck to on all my car windows thanks to the "wintry mix" forecast for tonight.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Shoelaces, again

I thought I had the shoelace problem under control, but obviously I need to go back and spend some more time here. This was witnessed today as I was at the grocery store on this bright, cold morning. A heavily bearded gentleman in the checkout line one register over from me called over as I bent down to tie my shoe, yet again. "You need to double tie those!" he said with a smile, "That's the third time I've seen you bend down to tie them in here." I smiled and shook my head and said, "I know. They're always untied." Then I laughed in the car all the way home.

Friday, February 18, 2005

What's for Dinner?

Sometimes I really need to make a concerted effort to free myself from the assumption that I am supposed to be acting as The Wife or The Mom in situations where I don't necessarily need to fill either of those roles. The whole role of Wife I created in my mind is heavily tied into some crazy retro image of domestic servant/perky hostess-- someone who always knows what's for dinner and makes sure it's cooked and on the table at the proper time.
I enjoy cooking and turning out a good meal when I have the time and the inclination, but when I have work to do that pays well and involves a deadline, I need to realize it's okay for it to be nearly 5 o'clock and for me to not have a clue at all about what dinner will be. Especially not after I just got home from the day job and ate a couple of valentine chocolates and a plain toasted multigrain waffle.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

See? Middle Aged

I am going to die at 85. When are you? Click here to find out!

via Mia

Are We There Yet?

I wish I would just hurry up and turn 40 already so I can get over it and get on with other more important things. My birthday is in two weeks and a day. And, as usual these past several years, I spend the weeks leading up to it obsessing over my appearance. It's not so much about whether or not I look older. This time it's about whether or not I look well put together. I realize no one can look 25 forever and trying to do that can lead to some very ugly consequences. Basically, I want to be more or less like my mother, who absolutely always looks attractive and appropriate for every occasion. It takes some thought and some effort and I'm not saying I'm giving up my jeans and tshirt ways. I just want the things I wear to be flattering. And that doesn't really have anything to do with age.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Shoes and Nothing

I'm not sure why, but I don't seem to have much to say on here lately. Maybe I'm too busy trying to have a life rather than write about one. I try to spend less time online these days. Too many hours of my day are spent starting at a screen. Could be I'm just lazy. That is always a distinct possiblity. Or it could be that I'm too busy ordering shoes from I really can't help it though. Kind of cute shoes that'll work great with pants and jeans for under $19 with free one-day shipping. I mean, really, how could I resist?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Mysteries of the Grammys

I have a few questions after turning off the Grammys to get a good night's sleep.
1. Why did Jennifer Lopez decide to wear that dress?
2. Why does Melissa Etheridge have a shaved head?
3. Since when does Scott Weiland look like the identical twin of Johnny Rotten?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Valentine's Day

I've never blogged about Valentine's Day before. That was because I never really got to celebrate it and it was easier to just ignore the topic than admit to having any thoughts or feelings on the matter.
As you may or may not know, I spent 12 years of my adult life living in Japan and in Japan the holiday is about women giving chocolate to men. Period. I always thought that sucked and I always felt cheated. Men do not give valentines to women. People do not give valentines to family members. I don't even think that many wives give valentines to their husbands. Basically single women have to give chocolate to the men they are fond of and they have to give obligatory chocolate (giri chocho) to the guys they work with. This is supposedly paid back on March 14, which is White Day. The only White Day gift I ever recall getting was a pair of underpants from a student I taught at Berlitz who gave them to me as kind of a joke. And they weren't white.
Valentine's Day was fun in elementary school. We had parties with cupcakes, Necco sweethearts and valentine cards. I don't remember celebrating the day much after that, although I always got cards and sometimes candy from my parents. My ex never celebrated Valentine's Day with me, not even when my brother in law tried to coach him by explaining that it was important in this culture and therefore probably important to me. Maybe he just didn't want to fake expressing an emotion he didn't feel anymore , but the ex claimed that since he was Japanese it wasn't part of his culture to express himself that way. I suppose Valentine's Day last year was sort of the final straw. I started to admit to myself that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life with someone who couldn't be bothered to let me know that he loved me. Who couldn't be bothered because in all probability he didn't feel it. I got tired of pretending it didn't matter to me.
So, that brings us to this year. My life is completely different now. It's completely different because my life is my own now and I have someone I love with all my heart who loves me right back. I had written the whole thing off, to be honest. I knew the whole love thing was an illusion and a dream and something I wasn't ever going to find for real, so I should just stop hoping. But the way life has unfolded over the past year or so has been so incredible and has restored my faith in so many things. I'm not naive enough to think that it's all clear skies, puppies and butterflies from here on out, but I do believe that sometimes you really do get what you need.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Dizzy Donor

I gave blood at the blood drive on campus today. I made sure I drank a lot of water this morning and was able to bleed successfully and not get kicked out for being a slow bleeder like last time. They even had the room all decorated for Valentine's Day, which was pretty cute and a nice contrast to the huge flakes of snow falling outside. Only thing is now I feel sort of dizzy and a little bit sick. ughhhhh.

Judging A Book By Its Cover

I mentioned my recent, unsatisfying Barnes and Noble retail experience in class this morning to illustrate a grammar point. It turns out that one of my students works at that particular store and knows the Emo Boy I wrote about a couple of posts ago. I know they say it's not right to make snap judgments about people, but I couldn't help feel a little bit satisfied to hear that Emo Boy is indeed kind of emo, pretentious and a philosophy major.


The weather forecasters had a busy day yesterday predicting a major Nor'Easter moving in overnight that would leave us with 12 to 20 inches of snow throughout the day today. My girl's school, along with a lot of other schools, even went ahead and took the rare pre-emptive move of cancelling today's classes last night.
So I'm finding it kind of funny to wake up this morning and see absolutely no new snow on the ground and a light drizzle falling. The snow's still supposed to get here later, but right now it's just a gray, rainy day.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Pretentious Emo Boy, This Is For You or Why I Buy Books Online

I stopped by the local Barnes and Noble this afternoon while I was running some errands and browsed the messy shelves while listening to Pretentious Emo Book Boy in his dyed black hair and studded belt talk to some other clerk about how classical music makes children smarter and how he can't stand this, that and the other thing. As I was looking over one of the table displays I spotted a book I thought would make a great birthday present for my niece, who is about to turn 13. But the copy of the book out on the table was kind of tattered. I searched the shelves myself where I figured that type of book would be located, but had no luck finding it. Then I went over to the little help island in the middle of the store. There was a woman there taking an order over the phone who ignored me completely. Then there was Emo Boy who came over to look up something on the computer, told me he couldn't help me now and then walked away.
I decided this was nonsense, especially when I looked over and saw Emo Boy had found whatever he needed to find but still had no apparent intention of assisting me. I put the tattered book back on the table, walked past Emo Boy and out the door. That kind of crap is exactly why I mostly order from Amazon now.

Monday, February 07, 2005

A Solution?

Regular readers here know that I have shoelace issues. Even when I wear shoes with laces that are nowhere near my feet or the ground (my snow boots, for example), the laces come untied. Often. Everyone one who knows me knows about me and my laces. Mention it to either one of my parents, the people who taught me how to tie my shoes, by the way, and they will tell you my shoes have been untied my whole life. Bolt, my former and very possibly soon to resurrect itself, band wrote a song and named it Shoelace in my honor. The shoes come untied so often that if I notice it within a minute or two of reaching my destination, I won't bother to kneel down and retie because that's just one more time I'll have to tie the damn things again.
So, you see, I have a thing with my shoelaces. However, I think the explanation and a solution are now at hand. This is a development of positively gargantuan proportions to me. Will I still be me with laces that stay tied? I think the answer is yes.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

In Memory

My sister Kate died 11 years ago today. It doesn't seem like it's been that long. I miss her humor, her charm, her flair and her sweetness. I still think about her everyday. I'm sorry she couldn't stay with us longer. She missed some good times and some people who really wish they could have met her. It was very hard for her to make her way through life. I never understood why that was, but I came to understand that was the truth, for whatever reason.
I lit a yahrzeit memorial candle for her today. It's the first time I've done that or even known it was something you can do at home and not just in temple. I didn't leave it burning for 24 hours because I can't leave an unattended candle burning in the house when I'm not here. It was kind of nice to walk by and see it and be reminded of her.

Careful, Cupid

I know Valentine's Day is coming right up, but be careful out there. This love stuff might be more dangerous than you think.

Friday, February 04, 2005


I went to the supermarket today to do the weekly grocery haul. I feel like eating well tonight, so to go along with the baked beef stew, crusty bread and salad on the menu, I decided to pick up a bottle of wine as well. A little wine with dinner on a Friday night is a wonderful thing.
I had already swiped my card through the machine and was putting it away in my wallet when the woman at the register said, "I'm going to need to see some id, dear." I kind of smiled to myself because in less than a month I'll be forty. At this point, I consider getting carded a supreme compliment. What was even better was when the lady checked the birthdate on my license she said, "No way!" She said it twice actually. And then she said something about having lucky genes. Now I feel like it's a lucky Friday.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Shiru Hito Zo Shiru (Those Who Know, Know)

I went out to the Barley Pub for a couple of beers with a friend who is heading back to Japan to teach there for a couple of years. He has lived there before, so he has some idea of what he's getting into. He summed it all up just about as well as I've heard anyone sum it up before. He said, "It's a great place. It's a wondful place! It just sucks the life out of you."

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Where's My Head?

You want to know how preoccupied I am with all kinds of life shit that involves my needing to pay actual attention? It wasn't until this evening that I even realized that all my favorite, regular atrology sites must have their new February forecasts up. I'm usually poking around for that stuf by the last week of the previous month.

Heat Wave!

We're having a regular old heat wave here in northern New England these days. I believe the temperature reached a downright balmy 40 degrees today. After that week or so of single digit temperatures that sting your nose and ears within moments of stepping outside, 40 seems practically tropical. Not only did I leave my hat at home today, by mid-afternoon I didn't even feel the need to wear mittens! I just checked the university's weather stats site and found there was a 40 degree range in temperature today. That's cool!
I think I'm finally really starting to acclimate to the winters here. I find myself thinking that it's only really bad for a week or two in January and anytime the temperature cracks 20 degress isn't all that cold. Hmm, I guess it is possible to get over those four winterless years I spent in Hawaii after all.