In Her Shell
because I've been moving! We are homeowners! And Internet piraters! Once things settle down, I will be back and will share some pictures. But I'm happy. It's nice.
Adventures Of Cranky McGram-Gram
Some friends took us to see a show at the Bowery Ballroom last night. We got there early and hung out in the hip, red-lit basement bar, knocking back Jack and Gingers and signing a petition for Oxfam. When they opened the doors about 9:00 we went upstairs and staked out some prime real estate front and center, just a few yards from the stage. The first opening band was pretty tight, even if their music wasn't totally interesting, then after about twenty minutes of setup the second opening band went on and they were better and rocked well. I was bopping and swaying along noncommittally, surveying the scene, trying not to be too judgey, and thinking wistfully about my time as a city dweller, how I could have made it different or better, what I miss about it and why I left. By the time 11:00 rolled around and roadies were setting up for the headliner, I was sitting on the floor thinking, this has been nice, but it's crowded, my back hurts and I'm ready to go home. Even the good-smelling, funny gay man who helped us stake out our territory when people started trying to push closer to the front couldn't lighten my mood. About three songs in I was angrily elbowing the chick next to me who just wanted to sing along and dance around, but she wanted to do it in my area, and I had to pee, and it was too hot, and I realized that I am old and there is a reason I stopped going to see bands in the city.
There's Something In My Navel (An Ongoing Series*)
Reading about Coaster Punchman's paint job
in his new house reminded me about a theory that I heard once and immediately adopted as my own: that the least stressful jobs are the ones that have the shortest time between work and result. Painting, for instance, or carpentry--you can labor, then look at a thing and say "I did that." Teaching isn't like that. Even if students do well on a writing assignment or do something cool with their lives, you can't know that it was your effort that impacted them. Sometimes, years after you have a kid in class, he might come back to visit and say "Thanks, you really helped me." If you are really lucky one of them will say it at the end of the school year. Not that teaching doesn't have its satisfactions, but the wait time between throwing the pebble in and hearing it plink is long. Ergo, stress.
Which is why I'm happy for CP and excited about tackling my own house soon. Working in the abstract is fun and all but it just encourages types like me to go further and further inside our own heads, where we impress ourselves with theories like this one, and words like ergo.*Part One can be found here, another self-referential post, but I also refer to it here, somewhat less offensively
. I even worried about this in my very first post.
People I Still Hate
My last landlord, Mimi. What a spiteful, controlling, vindictive jerk. That $100 she held out of my security deposit (only mine, by the way, not my roommates') for "cleaning the oven" (a common area), "cleaning the carpet under the Singer sewing machine" (after we paid to have the carpets professionally cleaned, per our lease) and "cleaning the master bathroom" (which I admittedly didn't keep spotless but scrubbed when I moved out) was total bullshit. She was totally unhelpful, annoying, and interfering while we lived there, made us pay for stuff that she should have paid for and repeatedly addressed us as "Now, girls..." Even though it's been almost two years, I still 'grr' when I think about it.
I guess that's it. I don't really carry that much hate around in my heart.
Possible Topics For A Blog Post
No one I know can seem to get over their age. From the time I was, I don't know, ten, I've shared the 'I can't believe we're...' conversation with my friends. It shouldn't be that surprising--after a year goes by, we call ourselves by another number. There's this weird perception of what someone that age is 'supposed' to be and do, but yet as we reach each successive milestone and 'don't feel' it, wouldn't we catch on that there isn't a 'way' to feel? I guess we all know enough people who seem to have their shit together that it keeps the dream alive.
When I was in high school we wrote each other notes, obsessively. The kids don't do that anymore. They don't pass notes, in class or the halls, because they text. They are never out of contact with their friends. Ever. That must change friendship.
My brother irritated me today by leaving unsolicited suggestions on my voicemail about what to buy my sister-in-law for Christmas. Our ideas about gift-giving are totally different and I need to get over it.
Last week a student told a hilarious story in class about convincing another child to pee in a litter box while they were pretending to be animals.