Tuesday, October 31, 2006

too old for myspace, too young for...?

i'm right in the midst of my favorite english 101 unit, which is the one about the internet. it's going well so far, and, as expected, my students' homework is the most well-written stuff they've produced all quarter. it's like they have the skills, they just abandon them or put up a self-sabotaging block when the word "essay" is involved. i love to get to take a little glimpse into their lives, and in this assignment they have the option to talk about their myspace page. apparently all the hip young folks ask each other "what's your myspace?" when they meet. i've been asked this, and i will maintain to this day that if you're over 25, you're too damn old for myspace. i feel so antique with my plain wrap blogspot blog. i just refuse to join the myspace melee and cave to all the hype. like i really need one more thing to distract me from living life. it's bad enough we have satellite cable television, for christ's sake. talk about a time suck. anyhow, back to the kids. it's amazing how incredibly insightful and inventive they are when they're writing about something that has personal meaning. i think the whole world of online communication and community building sites like myspace are utterly fascinating. i think the impact of the internet on identity is also fascinating. i think i'm far less fascinating online than perhaps i once was, when i actually had a readership (tap, tap. "is this thing on?") and before i pulled down the comments feature. in any event, i am who i am, and who i am is too old for myspace. that much i know for sure.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

from the archives of before the age of blogs, or: how sometimes it's uncanny how things or, better, people, never change

Tuesday, October 31, 1995

[...]I'm just frustrated that there are all these useless promises he'll make. "Oh, I'll see you Monday or Tuesday" "I'll call you" etc. etc. And nothing comes of it. It's not even that I want to see him so that we can have sex, but that I want to talk to him. [...] Maybe [things happening unexpectedly] should be my aim in life. To not expect, or plan, or look. I guess deep down that is what I believe, only I never act on it. [...] Things are not quite going as I wanted. [...][H]e's all weird, he won't talk to me, and of course since we're [at the coffeehouse] we can't talk about talking about it. [...] I'm feeling alone-ish [...]. I'm so frustrated [with] my relationship with [him]--I mean, I literally want to scream. [...] As far as I can see, tonight would be a good opportunity for us to be together, and it's not clicking. It's just pissing me off. [...] How do I play it cool when things upset me? I'm impatient, really. I know that there's plenty of time for us to spend together, but I'm stuck in the immediate. Like Veruca Salt in
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory--"Daddy, I want an Oompa Loompa, and I want it NOW!!!" Well, I want to be with [him] and I want it to be NOW!!! I hate things being secretive, I hate that we don't--oh, whatever. I'm spiraling, and I need to reign this in and stop being upset. There isn't really anything worth being upset at. I can't just mellow out and be fine because I'm insecure and impatient. I mean, what I want to do is to write him a note and explain to him what's up, but I'm scared that that'll bug him and just stress him out more and make him decide that he doesn't want to be involved with me. [...] Who the hell knows?!?!


Friday, October 27, 2006

paris hilton has left the building

housemate l.q.t. and i have just returned home from a one night mini-vacation where the name of the game was sky's the limit indulgence and frivolous pampering. we pulled a little 36 hour thelma and louise getaway (well, minus the gun play and brad pitt's bare ass) and took ourselves southward to laguna beach to kick it heiress-style in a spa-resort hotel type joint where we made full use of the facilities. we swilled fruity cocktails and watched sandcastles being built with a sunset backdrop, we wrote tipsy love notes on hotel stationery to take home to our respective boys, we dined like swells at the hotel restaurant, we jacuzzied and chatted with some other like-minded guests, we slept on beds ten thousand times comfier than ours at home to the accompanying sound of the pounding surf, we awoke to a room service breakfast, and then we spa'd ourselves silly with massages and all the trimmings. good lord, it was fun to play the pampered socialite for a day!

of course, now we're home, and back to the usual clutter and normalities. i'm trying in vain to pretend i don't have the most unbearable stack of essays to grade waiting for me downstairs on the dining room table, and, as i survey my very lived-in and slightly messy domain, i can only shake my head slowly side to side and, with the last vestiges of my princess persona draining from my being, sigh and say: "it's too bad we had to let the maid go."

ladies and gentlemen: paris hilton has left the building.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"for the night has been unkind"

there comes a time in a girl's life when she needs a little sarah mclachlan. yes, i'm outing myself as a sarah fan. (like it was a big secret; i am after all a woman of the 90s with a penchant for sappy lez-friendly songbirds with pianos and guitars and lyrics that "speak to me" about life experiences. yeah, i went to lilith fair. twice.) so sue me. it's one of those days.


I will be the answer at the end of the line
I will be there for you while you take the time
In the burning of uncertainty, I will be your solid ground
I will hold the balance if you can't look down

If it takes my whole life
I won't break, I won't bend
It'll all be worth it
Worth it in the end
'Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
When the stars have all gone out
You'll still be burning so bright

Cast me gently into morning
For the night has been unkind
Take me to a place so holy
That I can wash this from my mind
The memory of choosing not to fight

If it takes my whole life
I won't break, I won't bend
It'll all be worth it
Worth it in the end
'Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
When the stars have all burned out
You'll still be burning so bright

Cast me gently into morning
For the night has been unkind

--Sarah McLachlan


Sunday, October 22, 2006

i'm the interesting one?

at the university where i teach, they require freshmen to take a class i long ago dubbed "how to go to college" where essentially they put the newbies through busy-work paces of learning the ins and outs of the campus and the basics of college knowledge and know-how. one of the tasks is for them to each interview a professor; so far this quarter i've been hit up for this a couple of times, and, i'll admit, i do rather enjoy the process. i like it because i get the chance to chat more with my students, and since they are great young people, i really like talking with them about things other than topic sentences and mla style citation. i also like sharing a bit about my experience with being a lazy and unfocused student in my younger years, which somehow makes my current status as part time faculty member seem all the more hard-earned. last week one of my interviewers tipped her hat to that very issue, noting "and look where you are now!" a couple of times to boot. what i found the most curious, however, was that both she and the other student who questioned me remarked that i was particularly interesting.

wha-a-a-t? me? interesting?

what's interesting about that is that for the past little while i've felt anything but interesting. in fact, i've felt downright dull and the very definition of uninteresting. i've done nothing of note of late. it's all very routine, get up get going get home get to bed kind of stuff. i've somehow lost sight of the fact that i've got a rather interesting job that i love, that the campus library shelves now boast my thesis in all its bound glory, that once upon a time in the not so distant past i was being urged heartily by my three thesis panel members to pursue a book deal to turn said thesis into a novel that would have bestseller and top dollar potential, that i am at the midpoint of my stint in a professional cooking class, that i take photographs, that i write and have been published and even have a regular publishing platform over at LAist that i've been ignoring of late, or that i've had all sorts of adventures and encounters and experiences that have colored my life in all sorts of marvelous shades.

so even though i'm in a bit of a down cycle in terms of energy and creative output and social action, i'm still me, for crying out loud! and even though i opt most evenings to turn in early after soothing my paper-grading weary soul with some mind-numbing television watching, i'm still the same gal as before, only now i'm adjusting to a full course load of classes and all the work that goes with that.

it's funny how it took comments from my own students--all of whom on the whole i consider to be rather interesting themselves--to remember who i am.

and apparently, i'm interesting. good to know.


Monday, October 16, 2006

project runway mini-spoiler

my office is in the art building on campus, so i have all manner and variety of artistically inclined folks passing by my door all the time. today i overheard this:

girl #1: "so, like, do you think jeffrey cheated?"
girl #2: "no. i really don't think he would do that."
girl #1: "yeah, me either."

i wanted to jump up out of my super-squealy old institutional-issue chair and pop into their conversation to tell them not to worry; despite the tears and the use of the word "unfortunately" by tim gunn on the finale promo teaser, jeffrey does indeed show at olympus fashion week.

how do i know?

easy. go to olympusfashionweek.com and click on "project runway."

i spy jeffrey's work!

mystery solved. and a bit of a spoiler, for those who like the drama.

of course, the big mystery remains: who will win?

my money's on... crap. i still haven't decided. i guess i'll have to tune in on wednesday, like the rest of america.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

but, baby, in the meantime...

and from under an enormous pile of english 101 rough drafts on the subject of violence in the media emerged...


whew. of course now i'm under a slightly smaller pile of english 101 revised drafts and english 102 rough drafts that require my attention. naturally, i'd prefer to give my attention to other things. like all the lovely little programs recorded on my direct tv recorder thingy. or to making tiramisu, which i did yesterday morning. or to combing antique shops and adventuring forth to find chinese food with my mamacita, like i did today. or to strategizing getting some mirror glass to fit inside the darlingest shabby chic-esque frame i got today. or to a delicious omakase sushi dinner with foxy. or to the best afternoon ever spent with my darling boy. or to realize that the dates occur on the same days of the week they did in 1995, which, if you know me, has particularly resonant meaning. or to basically anything but working on those dang essays.

i'm having a lot of anxiety lately about my job. i think it's that i've not yet settled into the post-master's role of legit instructor. that's why when the students preface comments or queries with "professor?" i look around to see who they're talking to. i mean, i can't even bring myself to dress like a real professor; what prof wears flip flops and jeans and cheap jewelry from stores like forever 21 that they buy there because they're too irresponsible to care for real jewelry? i'm the kind of prof that hops up on the desk and runs the discussion from my perch there. i crack jokes, i allow for the occasional curse word from my students, i make broad pop culture references. and, as it so happens, not only do i estabish a good rapport with my students, but i also teach them how to write better, and with an understanding of the task's vital aspects. and yet i wake myself up out of horrible nightmares about all the possible worst-case classroom scenarios my dreamlife can put on parade behind my resting eyelids. i'm terrified that it will somehow become established that i'm a fraud or something.

of course, i get in the class and i'm seriously in charge. i'm like charles in charge. i treat everyone with respect, i'm firm with my policies, i grade fairly, i am approachable, i don't have assignments that have secretive components that trick the students, i make learning as fun as humanly possible. and i feel great up there--no panic, no fear, no qualms. i just need to get the outsides to match the insides. i think it will come with time.

but, baby, in the meantime... i've got plenty to do, and plenty of distractions.

right now i'm going to stuff cotton in my ears so i don't have to hear the residual sound of some neighbors god awful fiesta music. holy bleeding ears, batman! i'm going to have to crank up the volume on the ol' tv. this is no time to concentrate on essay grading!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

i'm bringing busy back

between teaching three classes (one of which being one i've not taught before), cooking school, direct tv with dvr honeymooning, the darling boy, adventures with friends, the gym, sitting in traffic, and sleeping, i believe i am singlehandedly responsible for bringing busy back. i'm like the one armed paper-grader or something. it gives me great consolation to know, however, that at just about any given time of day there's an episode of at least one show in the law & order franchise for me to watch.


Site Meter