The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Nuf said.

On a brighter note, Griz has taken to lap cuddles the last few weeks, whenever I have time to sit on the deck steps with him. He is still afraid if I'm standing up, but with me down on his level, he is braver and braver as the months go on.


When the gods want to punish you, they answer your prayers... Especially if you weren't specific enough with your requests.

To be clear, this is the long version of an email I cut way down and just sent to N*ncy and J*ss and El*ine. If you are not afraid of Maudlin Vitriole, forge on, brave reader.

I stopped by B*M today (that's of course what yest's FB thing was about) to talk to the mgr and introduce myself and the good news is he is going thru apps on Thursday and as I left he said he would be calling me for an interview (he positively lit up re my books experience, etc.)

woo hoo!! right?


The bad news: it is part-time regardless of what their stinking website said (don't EVEN get me started at how absolutely incensed I am becoming with each passing liar-liar-pants-on-fire job posting) AND you're limited to two 4-hr shifts for each of the first THREE weeks of training and after that THE NUMBER OF HOURS YOU GET DEPENDS ON HOW MANY FUCKING B*M MEMBERSHIPS AND MAGAZINES AND OTHER PROMOTIONAL ITEMS (none of which are actual books) YOU SELL. Those who do well of course get more hours. Those who do not can count on their 8 hrs/wk and possibly not more.

I basically suck at the whole hawking-wares thing, even if it is stuff I really am into (like perhaps, say, the books themselves) - plus of course it is Really Quite Hilarious to think that 24 hours' work in the first three weeks is anywhere close to sufficient.

Bottom line, at the risk of sounding like it's preemptive sour grapes, is I really don't want it - I'll go to the interview most likely but despite the pull of being back in books, I'd rather work part-time at Panera or somewhere where I don't have to stress about how much I'm selling, and where I have a more real chance of more hours than that. There is the option of, if they offer, taking it until I find other stuff (a prospect which in itself feels shitty because dishonest), so I guess we'll see how desperate I'm feeling that day, if it comes. Plus, given the fact that if I end up settling for a P/T job I'll certainly be looking for a second, I think two jobs is stressful enough in the first place without one of them being somewhere that adds more than the average new-job stress (like for example where I have to pull sales pitches out of my ass to convince customers to buy a stupid B*M membership) on top of that. But of course, we'll see... Never say never - altho I really really want to say never. Really really loudly. And some other stuff. Some of which I've already said here and doubtless will continue to include...

I had an inkling it was a mistake to get my hopes up on that... (or on anything job-wise in this fucking place, actually). Pretty good outlook over here at the library, my home away from home. On to other job applications… What is that dictum about "if something looks too good to be true it probably is"? Honestly that applies to pretty much everything in this town for me - except it often would read like this "if something looks kind of passably OK it probably is too good to be true." (Of course all adventures involving choir or clay are exempt from this trend.)

Which brings me to mention… Some people have accused me of being a pessimist over the years. (I know, seriously?! Me?!) But I always come back to the conclusion that actually I'm an ultra-optimist who is constantly disappointed and my hopes, being "ultra" themselves, naturally seem ultra-dark when they get dashed.

And so fresh rage towards Clems*n is born. I __did__ find out, upon returning home, that I have been SERIOUSLY underestimating my gifts for cursing and invectives. Really, who isn't happy to find out they have hidden additional talents at the age of 50?

I am hereby going to stop thinking anything is going to be the least bit promising until I'm signed on somewhere and it proves to be so. OK well at least that is the plan.

So there. Pity Party hereby adjourned.


Just shoot me now

And not just b/c of job stuff.

For some reason we find our heroine (ha) in the middle of a spate of animal stories and other tearjerkers movie- and book-wise.

Maybe my subconscious wants me to be upset about stuff that is more worthy and kind of healthy to be upset about rather than just about the job hunt crap.

Anyway have hankies handy if you dare to read "War Horse" (altho mostly if you're someone like me who - for example - erupted into 30 minutes of sobs years ago at the accident scene in "The Horse Whisperer"or can't watch the teensiest snippet of footage, even muted, of Ruffian's last race). And yet here I am getting the DVD at the library today - partly to see how good the adaptation is (Incurable critic!) but partly b/c of the aforementioned subconscious directive.

To be clear, it's not all melodrama and "Black Beauty"-cruel-hackney-cabby scenes, much of this stuff is tear-jerky in an uplifting way. Witness last night's "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," which was an engaging watch and still got me even tho parts of it could have been better. One part that could not have been better was the wondrous (as always) Glen Hansard and his song during the closing credits. I'll include it for you here so that you can have something much more enriching and worthwhile than anything else I could possibly share about my life at the moment.


OK I thought that was my new favorite but really it's this one

altho it could just be that this one is more suited to what my head and heart need/feel today...

The Poet with His Face in His Hands

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn't need anymore of that sound.

So if you're going to do it and can't
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can't
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.

Mary Oliver scores again...

Where do I live? If I had no address, as many people
do not, I could nevertheless say that I lived in the
same town as the lilies of the field, and the still
Spring, and all through the neighborhood now there are
strong men tending flowers.
Beauty without purpose is beauty without virtue. But
all beautiful things, inherently, have this function -
to excite the viewers toward sublime thought. Glory
to the world, that good teacher.
Among the swans there is none called the least, or
the greatest.
I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in
singing, especially when singing is not necessarily
As for the body, it is solid and strong and curious
and full of detail; it wants to polish itself; it
wants to love another body; it is the only vessel in
the world that can hold, in a a mix of power and
sweetness: words, song, gesture, passion, ideas,
ingenuity, devotion, merriment, vanity, and virtue.
Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.
~ Mary Oliver ~

Train of Thought #90

I'm in a final and I'm sick to my stomach. I have had weird things to eat today and all of them a while ago so probably it's upset from the Advil that is swimming in there right now with a little swig of Diet Dr. Pepper.

I started this Dr. Pepper yesterday during my first 202 final. When I walked in one of my students asked if it was Dr. Pepper. I said yes and she said she can't drink Dr. Pepper. I asked why and she said, "Well, this might be too much information but it makes me poop a lot."

Who says you don't learn anything when you're on the teaching end of the college dynamic?

Which college dynamic I am none too sad about exiting. It might be partly spring fever, partly panic/denial, but I know it's mostly Authentic Contented Anticipation of not doing this any more. And those who know me best and how things have been for me here can judge whether they think that's sour grapes or not. I say it's not.

Of course I'm probably not the most objective person to ask. But even if it were sour grapes there's no disputing how miserable I've been here and how much my mindset and life have been transformed already this semester just with having that change on the horizon, not yet as a done deal.

Still, I am trying to temper the enthusiasm - partly so that I actually get some fricking jobhunt stuff done and partly because I'm sure there will be some hard times. The next job might not be great either (altho it would have to be pretty bad to do worse so I think it can't help but be somewhat better, even just by virtue of not entailing any homework), and I'm sure there will be days where I'm feeling bittersweet about this professional identity that I'm closing the door on, and of course since it's pretty much a given that I'm not going to be making as much money there will be hard times that are just hard b/c times are hard.

It's kind of weird that aside from age, I'm kind of in a time warp where someone has dumped me back in May 1993 when I quit the Ph.D. One thing that's cool about that concept is that that means all the time I spent teaching at Aub*rn (and, OK, here) has been bonus (considering that I was quite sure back then that I had pretty much put the nails in the coffin on any academic career [and was OK with that, mind you]) and now I'm no worse off than I was then. Another thing that's cool about it is that I have all those many years of proof that I can live pretty well without teaching.

I suppose one potentially un-cool thing about it is if anyone looks at this situation and considers the last 20 years as wasted time (b/c of being back in the same spot), but I don't choose to do that. At least where teaching at Aub*rn (and, OK, here) is concerned I actually feel like I kind of cheated something, for lack of a better word. I mean as I said I was pretty convinced I would never be able to teach at the college level with my Master's, and yet I found myself right back in there despite that, and of course scored 3 trips to Paris (albeit stressful busy trips but of course not regretted in the least and if nothing else they certainly were the highpoint of the Clems*n era - not exactly worth all the pain and stress and work that I've dealt with here, but at least they help offset those bits).

As long as I'm getting all philosophical I should also count all my Aub*rn and Clems*n friends, SC hiking and paddling forays, continued clay play, having the chance to Sing again with a capital "S" and possibly even Sam & Lucy among my Good Life Things that happened if not because of then at least in conjunction with this job I wasn't supposed ever to be able to do again after May '93. And of course the Really Cool students here and there, and probably many other things I'm neglecting to mention.

So HA! Not sure who that's aimed at, Life, Academia, what... but still HA!

Other cool thing especially with today's slightly panicked mindset job-wise is that I made it thru then (even more impressive, if I'm allowed to take credit for living thru such things: despite the first couple years' entailing a marriage, Mom's death, and a divorce). Consequently there is every possibility (is that guarded enough for you? today my outlook isn't letting me wax completely optimistic, alas, but still) that I will make it thru again.

I started to say something like "... without too much difficulty" but I decided not to jinx things.

Every. Possibility.


mitraillette #8413

This was going to be a recap/update of where things are right now in my head, job sitch, etc. but (a) I don't have time and (b) I feel like it's going to end up much more list-y than that so I'll have to give you a coherent update with actual paragraphs and development later.
  • I am at M*e Joe's having a Stella Artois, creating a lead sheet for a song we're to do in She Sings. I found a new music notation site/program that was free: Musescore. I have used Noteflight before this but since I don't have internet at home currently I couldn't work on this piece that way. Finally had the brainstorm the other day of looking for something that would work offline for not much money and lo and behold Musescore raised its head above the other google hits... so we'll see. In a lot of ways I like it better than Noteflight but all of these things have their fun things and their little things that aren't that intuitive after all... depending on your brain. Anyway that's what I'm doing.
  • I'm listening to Dar Williams, whom I love; I had forgot how much of her stuff I had in my iTunes - made a CD/playlist the other day for Elaine and happened to think to put some DW on it which reminded me how tremendous she is.
  • Home in a few to feed kittehs and get ready for She Sings rehearsal at 17h30. 
  • Only two more Mondays til I'm done teaching college FR - hopefully for good. This doesn't count the Monday of finals week, which I am trying to block out b/c I'm due to get a tooth crowned temporarily (I don't know the date of the permanent crown installation or I would block it out as well.:) 
  • Incidentally Tuesday of that same week I am going to The H*nd Center, on a referral about my wrist, which you don't know about b/c I haven't written in forever. Rest assured that (in my completely non-expert opinion but still it's my wrist, so...) it is not something serious, just in need of attention while I still have insurance (I plan to continue having insurance but just in case I have to go with P/T jobs for a while or something -- far far far worst case scenario job-wise).
  • I lost 16 pounds so far on my eat better/ move more campaign. Amazing, right? I mean it's quite mind-blowing, imagine that simply eating better and less, and moving more has brought such concrete results and relatively quickly ( been at it about 6 wks - it was aided by mini-bronchitis I had over spring break when I had no appetite for 2-3 days).
  • The real mind-blow is that I am capable - at last - of maintaining the mindset necessary for such things like taking care of myself - after 4.75 years in this godforsaken place. 
  • Add to that the fact that I'm reading way more, writing in my journal Really Quite Regularly for the first time since moving here also, actually writing letters again (this is starting small but still, it's happening), create-ing a fair amount (of course I've been doing pottery here for about 2 years but recently it's become more consistent and my attention more engaged so that I can actually think about improvements, new ideas, etc., whereas until now it's been somewhat of a crap-shoot - rarely near the quality of my clay work in Aub*rn and when I did get close to it, completely inconsistent) whether clay, yarn, food, etc.
  • I honestly think it's my subconscious anticipating not-teaching-anymore, extracting energy from the future situation where I actually have time and attention span/interest to do all the stuff again that really makes me happy. I liken it to being in a really smoggy city and then driving into the country and feeling better and better as the air improves even tho you're still in the outskirts and not really There yet. Not the most perfect analogy but close. Of course aided by this semester which has been my easiest since arriving here. Various elements just happened to align. Nice last chapter actually - nice not to be ENTIRELY INDESCRIBABLY MISERABLE -like- pretty much every semester until now.
  • Also, ostensibly, good for having time and energy for jobhunting. nyernt nyernt. That has yet to happen much - not sure if it's denial or confidence making me feel like something will pan out regardless. Of course I do realize I need now with these few weeks between me and the end of my Clems•n U. life that I need to at least start putting applications in, etc. 
Guess this ended up a mindset update after all and none-too-complete, for which I'm sorry but I have to run.