Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Fresh Prince Was a Bogus Premise.

I've been thinking about this for a week or so now.


I had to go back and watch the whole thing over. Very little context is given, but my inner book critic is telling me that his mom just got sick of him and kicked him out, passing his wall-tagging ass off  on some richy-rich relatives. She wasn't concerned for his safety. What mother sends their child from Philadelphia (at the age of like... 16? is that how old he was supposed to be?) to fucking Bel-Air? 

I'm with Affleck on this one.

I get it. It's supposed to be your classic fish-out-of-water plot premise that somehow managed to last for a few years and is still etched into the hearts and minds of my fellow children of the 90's. It was ground-breaking, I guess. What other tv shows before it had shown a wealthy family of black people taking in a hoodie from off the streets of Philly, and were shown in a positive light? Sure, the whole family had that Uncle Tom-esque generic Oreo feeling about them, but at least on the surface they were good people. At the same time, you had other odd barriers being broken by Urkle on Family Matters (ever seen a Blerd before? I didn't think so) and having both shows being marketed to youth to show (hopefully) equality across the board. 

What I have the problem with is  the titular character in the first place. Maybe it's because I'm not a mother, but really, who just sends their kid off to the West coast? Just... sends him! "I begged and pleaded..." WTF? Moving sucks. Mom, why? Why did you send your Fresh Prince to Bel Air? You make no sense. Your logic is flawed. 

To make peace with this, I like to think that maybe she had bigger dreams to chase so she sent her kid off. But why wait so long? He was clearly able to take care of himself, yet she didn't toss him out on the streets. She made sure he was taken care of, and well. Maybe she couldn't take care of him herself, but there we are getting back into dangerous stereotype territory. Maybe she was just sick of him. We can just go with that.

This bothers me more than it should. I am annoyed and sometimes even kept awake at night over the success and resulting lasting fame this thoroughly mediocre and ridiculous show basis has been given. I for one don't lament it's cancellation nor its star's slow decline into Scientology. But it's still annoying.

Funk and Bond Girls

5 years ago today, something very bad happened to my family. I don't want to talk about it. In fact, I never talk about it. Let's move on.

Today I woke up in a bit of a funk. Maybe it's memories, subconsciously weighing on my brain and ringing my eardrums like triangles. Maybe it's low blood sugar. Maybe it's too much sleep. It's actually probably all three.

I'm shaking and my head feels like it's about 5 lbs heavier than it should be. I feel a manic cycle starting. Or ending. Or something. I feel frenzied, like my nerves are dancing relentlessly through my body and not staying put where they belong. Wandering around at all hours. Just generally being dicks.

I can't decide. I've started two new knitting projects today (hexapuffs and some handspun mitts). Pictures will come up later. I'm too hot. The A/C is on as are all the fans in the house. I have a tank top on. I don't like how my arms feel naked. Therefore, I put on a long-sleeved shirt over my tank. But it's open-buttoned and only half sleeved. Were I not writing right now, I would go upstairs and put on yet another shirt over the others. It makes too much sense to just wear one layer.

There is a Bond film in which some babe is all painted gold. Don't fuss at me for not knowing anything more specific than that- I've never seen a Bond film, nor have I had the desire to. At any rate, she complained of her body temperature going up during filming due to the gold paint trapping her heat against her body. Even though she was mostly naked, she was boiling in her own skin. Mythbusters did their take on it and determined it to be a valid claim.

I think that the same can be said of contacts. I sleep with mine in regularly, and it seems that the longer I have them in, the worse my head feels. Not just pressure on the eyes or sinuses or even brain pain, but just an overwhelming feeling of crappiness. After Basic Training, I once kept the same pair of contacts in for a year and 3 months straight. No, really. I didn't take them out to wash them, sanitize them, wiggle them around, they never popped out, nothing. At just about the one year mark, I started to have what I call "brain zaps." Kind of that sudden rush of vertigo and rushing sound in your ears that is related to pre-syncope. It happened to me several times a day. My only explanation was that my contacts were making me feel like shit.

So maybe I need to go take my contacts out. I feel awful today regardless, but I'd like something to lessen the suffering. Things need to slow up a little, I think.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hallelujah, AK3, and a long drive home

First, I'd like to acknowledge that today was good. Sort of. Okay, it was okay. I woke up at 7, intending to have a full day before work, but ended up going back to sleep at 8 or so until 12 noon. Sigh. I WILL bring those goddamn books back to the library tomorrow. Probably.

Work wasn't terrible. I got a little bit of a blow hearing that I would only have one class next quarter with ITT. It'll be Mondays. I  guess the curriculum is changing (thank god) so they can't have certain classes until the curriculum is set. I hope it's better than it is now; it's incredibly discontinuous and nonsensical as-is.

Also, I've been farting up a damn storm today. Last night we had tacos and I consumed the better part of a can of black beans. This is in addition to the hearty veggie-filled breakfast I had and the immense amount of pizza I consumed for lunch. I mean, my ass is fucking sonorous tonight. No one really talks much about their farts, which I find to be a shame. I am super proud of mine, especially when they frighten a nearby animal or even startle me. And I know that it's coming...

There are too many versions of "Hallelujah" out there. I prefer the Rufus Wainwright version, but the Jeff Buckley one keeps coming on my Pandora. Don't get me started on KD Lang's-- it's awful. AWFUL. You heard me. Also, I've been thinking a little about Alkaline Trio lately. A lot of the more influential men in my life have had a deep love for the band, and I've always thought them to be badass and hardcore and all like FUCK YOU MAN IMMA ROCK AND ROLLER but... They aren't. I don't want to call them pussies by any means, but I can't make peace with those who give bands like Fall Out Boy shit for being what they are, but then claim that Alkaline Trio is the best, most hardcore fucking band ever. Just my opinion. Also, "Help Me" sounds like "Lovefool" by the Cardigans. It kills me.

Apparently the drive home doesn't take as long as I thought it did. I only spend 20 minutes on the interstate, as it turns out. Tonight I was late in getting home because I was inspired by Heather and her love, David, who sometimes stops to get a pregnant Heather a "midnight milkshake." Andy and I have been crazy short on money, cash or otherwise, but today I found some change and thought it might be nice to stop and get a midnight milkshake. *Shrug* that's all I've got. That's about as sweet as I get.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's work(ing) again.

I'm trying really hard to get into "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman. I'm on page 63, and it's really really odd for me not to just devour any book that is put in front of me.  I've been trying for 3 days now, and it's just not grabbing me. What's this business with the man getting sucked into that chick's vagina? I mean... really. And the dead wife? Suddenly I'm like on a Nordic ship or something? Tell me it will even out and make sense because right now, I'm about to give up.

Today I cleaned Steven's house for the first time. It's so nice to move about in a fully air-conditioned house. Frank kept trying to eat (no, really, BITING) the vacuum cleaner. Aside from that, there were no hangups or anything. We are also boarding Frank and Herma this weekend since Steven will be camping. I really really wanted to go, as I haven't been properly camping since that awful week in Florida the month I turned 20. Ugh. But really, I love camping. However, I have to work.

Speaking of work, the adjuncts got a nice nasty email from the new Dean, who my students are calling "The Trunchbull," but I am starting to refer to as "Umbridge." One, no letting class out early. Like I do that anyway. Any of my students will tell you that I am super strict, down to the second, about what time I let them go. Second, no talking about suicide, death, or drugs in class. : / I'm pretty sure I can avoid the subjects, as I'm really just doing composition, but it's still kind of annoying being told what I can and cannot do. Three, even though classes are only 11 weeks, I am expected to keep my students for the full 3 hours during week 12 (finals week). I had something in the back of my mind trying to stretch out the time, but I really cannot guarantee that they will stay the whole time. They are adults, for fuck's sake. If they feel like they are done, they are done. And as it's the last "class" of the semester, they ARE done. Finally, something about failure advising. This one gets my goat more than the rest combined.

I need to tell a handful of students that they are failing and advise them as to what to do about it. I'm getting fussed at constantly about not doing this and not documenting it in our system. Guys. What can I do? How do I tell a student he/she is failing if I never see them? Call them? Leave a message since none are answering? Email? Fuck if I know. What it really bothering me here I think is that no one told me that this was something I needed to do. Apparently it was a mid-term thing, and we are going into week 9 now I think. How can I do what I'm supposed to do if I don't know that I am supposed to do it?

Things are starting to look a little up. I sincerely look forward to Radford starting. I will be so busy this semester, but I think it's for the best. It's less time for me to sit around and feel sorry for myself. I'm quite curious about how many classes I will be getting at ITT. If I get something similar to this quarter, September-December will look as such:

M: (RU) 11am-4pm (ITT) 6-10:30
T: (RU) 5-6:15 pm
W: (RU) 11am-4pm
R: Steven 10-12 (RU) 5-6:15 pm
F: (RU) 11-4 (ITT) 6-10:30
Sa: (ITT) 9am-1pm
Su: Dead.

It's worth it though. I work best when I am obligated and busy. I haven't missed a day at ITT because I know how important it is that I be there. There have been days that I could have called in; should have called in. See also: my fucked up face from eczema. I'm going to make sure all my shit is in order for Radford. Last semester I was plagued with a terrible classroom (fucking trailers) and electronics that were constantly out of order. This semester, I'm going to make sure all of my stuff is up on D2L early and that my students are sure of every single thing that's going on. I will answer my emails as best I can. I will probably stay in my office hours longer than I advertise. I will grade things as soon as they come across my desk. I am going to do all these things because I must, and I want to.

That's all I've got now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thank you for working

I'm pretty tired. Yesterday, as I mentioned, was unusually productive. Today was a different story.

I woke up at 7 am, then went back to sleep at 9 or so, slept until 2:30. I think I fell asleep at 1 or so last night. Today, I am struggling.

Not a whole lot got done. I wanted to lay out in the sun and hopefully dry up some of my sucking eczema wounds, but it was overcast all day. After it finally rained, Amelia and I went outside to play fetch. She had been whining all night even after being taken out, and I couldn't figure out why. Turns out she needed to pee (as dogs tend to do...). I asked Andy to join us:

She is still kind of... special... when it comes to playing fetch. She would much rather chew on the ball until she has consumed more than half of it and I finally notice that she's going to be pooping rubber soon. She will bring it back eventually, but you have to really whistle like hell at her. As the video indicates, Ein was outside with us but he chose not to participate. Amy tends to beat up on Ein, so he stays well clear of her.

Of course Amy ended up losing the damn ball.

I ventured over to the crabapple tree, whose fruit are turning a glorious crimson, to sample the crop. At this point, they actually taste kind of good. A little starchy, but good for a tiny, slightly sweet snack.

The grapes are also starting to turn colours. The green is giving way to purple, but they are a little hard to get to right now because of the weeds and such. I was out there barefoot, so I'll probably end up with hookworm or something.

Two more tomatoes were ready to slip off the vine today. I think another watermelon is starting to succumb to rot of some sort. Sigh. I know this is my first year with a proper garden, but I can't help but be disappointed in my crop.

I peeled Andy's turnips for his eventual lunch time snacks. That was a lot more tedious than I had imagined. I don't much care for turnips. I'm rambling.

I got a round-robin moleskine from the Pen Fetish Crafters group on ravelry today. Despite filling up a while page, I wrote basically nothing. That might be a good summary of my life. My pen isn't drying as quickly as I thought it would, so I can't go to the next page yet. 

That's really been my day. Tomorrow, I start cleaning Steven's house and I will be boarding his dogs this weekend too. Frank, the aggressive corgi, is a bit of a worry. Herma on the other hand isn't so much. She's a fun dog.

I'm rambling more. My sentences are getting short and my eyes are starting to blur. I had all this stuff to say an hour ago, but blogspot was down, so I couldn't write. I'm not a fan of copying and pasting. Urgh. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's not just me.

Right now, I've got Pandora coming from my phone, as opposed to my computer. Bijou keeps trying to shove her kitten nose all up in the speaker like she's going to find Ben Gibbard in there or something. She probably won't.

I didn't fall asleep last night until... okay this morning until 5 am. I slept until 11, which is kind of a miracle. Even more surprising, I've gotten some things done.

My first big watermelon split, so I had to pick it. :(

Is there something I can really even do about this? One watermelon succumbed to blossom rot, which I am now actively combating on each new fruit that comes up. But I've never really thought about the bastards splitting out there on their own. Was it heat? I think it might have been. I wiggled my other watermelons around a little (there's 4-5 out there now, getting to be bigger than softballs) in hopes that they wouldn't meet the same fate. In any case, this baby was chopped up and put in the fridge.

Sigh. My poor tomatoes.

I really wouldn't pick them until they were big and completely ripe and all, but the fuckers keep falling off the plants. No, I don't have cages or picks or anything. I'm a poor garden planner. The red ones were blanched to remove the skins, seeded, then chopped and put in the freezer so that when the time comes, I can make tomato sauce. We shall see.

My greens aren't as green as they should be.

Let's skip the leftmost thing right now. The green tomatoes are in a bag with a ripening banana in hopes that they can be salvaged and turned into decent sauce as well. Let me tell you about those cucumbers. They are about 4" in diameter and 6" long. However, the weeds have taken over the garden so much that they didn't really get a whole lot of green-making sun. :( I picked them in fear they would go to waste.

Let's talk about this.

That motherfucker was a cantaloupe. A CANTALOUPE. Yes, I planted cantaloupes, but none of them sprouted. I swear to you, this bastard, it's friend from a month ago, and another one that is still out there, were/are all growing on a cucumber vine. I SWEAR. Anyway, curiosity was getting the best of me, so I severed him from his mates and sliced him in half. Viola. I didn't really get much in the way of flesh from this nor the watermelon, because I'm impatient and in hindsight, the mutant cantaloupe should have been left on the vine until it turned tan. Of course I saved the seeds.

This might make Andy angry.

I was tired of looking at those goddamn turnips. You can't see it well here, but for the most part the tops were turning brown and dying off. They weren't going to grow any more than they already had. I sat outside on the phone with my sister, enjoying the satisfying feeling of ripping these little bastards out of the ground. The biggest one this year probably only got up to 2" in diameter. Sad. Most didn't grow past wimpy little roots, but Andy has been consuming them with good humor. For the record, I don't care for turnips.

My sister hasn't been feeling too well, either. I talked to he on the phone for about half an hour and tried to cheer her up. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. But it was nice to talk about just really nothing at all, without feeling like one of us needed to say something to the other, like I was calling her out of obligation or something. We didn't get along well when we were kids: two of the three fist fights I've been in in my life were with her. Two years apart, we were incredibly different. Funny how time changes things, right?

At any rate, I'm trying to focus more on the things and people around me. True, I goddamn near had a heat stroke outside weeding my garden (long sleeved shirt, not much water, overcast, wasn't thinking... at all) but now that I am back inside, my vegetation is all chopped, peeled, seeded, etc... I'm relaxing a little more. I used to be a compulsive planner. Not so much anymore. I think I need to reach another equilibrium point in which I can plan things but be flexible at the same time.

And laundry needs to get done. I shall do that.

Monday, August 8, 2011

So Much for the Afterglow

Andy is mad at me right now, I think. My birthday was pretty awesome, but since then I've been feeling down. I just now got home from a decidedly lackluster evening of attempting to educate completely apathetic adults. I would have killed for a clove cigarette (sorry- cigarillo) but none of the package stores are open when I'm driving home, so I settled for Camel Bold Crush things when I stopped for gas-- I was on empty.

And I'm on empty in my brain as well. Terrible segue. I got home, didn't say much, snagged my laptop and promptly headed to the back porch to type. It's actually quite nice- about 78 degrees (according to my car at least), overcast enough to make the barely waxing moonlight filter lightly on my computer just so that I can see what I am doing.

What am I doing? Meh. I had this whole idea planned out about trying to explain how I feel about birthdays, and my ideas about getting older, family, obligations, friends, life...

I had a good birthday. I usually don't. The subject of how shitty my birthdays usually are is a subject I have covered far too many times. I don't feel like it anymore. The past few have been good though. The addition of Andy in my life seems to have a lot to do with it. But I digress again. Saturday was very nice. Very calm, no annoyances, just friends and family eating and chatting and such. I like that. My brain was clear for one nice day, a clarity that lasted for most of Sunday as well. Then 27 set in.

27 has been my "lucky number" for as long as I can remember. It has a lot of significance to me; too many to mention here. It should have been an age I was looking forward too, right? Meh again. Then comes 28, 9, 30. I don't fear or abhor getting older. I guess I just wanted to feel happy and clear like I did  for most of the day on the 6th. And yeah, it's only bee a day and a half. Today just was a bad... something. It's not like I didn't sleep well. In fact, I sleep too well. By too well, I mean too much. Too long. Like my body wanted to compensate for that year that had suddenly been tacked onto my life.

Rolling this almost spent cigarette around in my hand, I'm just losing sense of direction. My husband is confused and disapproving, my dogs are confused as to why I am sitting out here and not in there with them, and even I am at a loss. I'm tired. I could sleep. But I won't.

Maybe here is a good place to state something about cigarettes and me. I seem to buy a pack a year, and it lasts me that whole year. It's not a coincidence that the pack in question is bought in late summer. I probably have about 2-3 dozen lighters around the house, packed up, shoved away, stowing in the nooks and crannies to convince myself that I have them in case I want to light a candle in and given part of the house and have a lighter within reach. Really though, it's because I stop to buy cigarettes and I need one right then and there, so I buy a lighter at the same time. So there's that.

Am I having a down day? Probably. Will I feel better tomorrow? Meh once again. I might. My car smells REALLY bad, so I'd like to at least clean it out. That's a project I can look forward to, right? Perhaps in another mood on a different day, I would joke about how the only thing in my car is everything I've ever owned. It's quite disgusting. But then, so is my mood when I am like this. I lose all will to take care of myself and don't want to be bothered. I hope to whoever that it won't get worse with age, but I know it will. It has. One day I'll wake up covered in bed sores and cat hair, my own hair shaven off because it's gotten to be too much to take care of anymore, and think: "You said you'd stop this. But you haven't."

It's that sneaky hate spiral. We all have ups and downs, but my downs are just getting worse and worse. The ups aren't as gratifying as they used to be. I crave companionship then push it away. I desire the ability to cry and show some semblance of human (non-cunty) emotion, but just... can't. I'm no different from anyone else. I know other people feel this way every day, and some don't even have the happiness to look forward to. Who am I to sit and whine about this? I'm Shaylin. Hi.

I'm not glowing. I'm fading. I am not a vibrant, intelligent, intuitive young woman anymore. I was once. I, I, I. Maybe I should start focusing on something else.

I think (I GAHHH IIII*) that might be my new goal for this week. Epiphany!

*As an English teacher, I say it's okay to use "I" in moderation, but all of my damn blog posts have "I" in them at least a few dozen times. IIIIIIII! I is not a bad word. You're the schmuck who's reading this shit anyway. Right?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fuck my body

And not in the literal sense.

The pompholyx is taking over my entire body. I'd put up pictures, but I'm not sure I'm ready to share them yet. They are quite disgusting. I don't know why I keep taking said pictures, but I've got a camera-roll's worth of them on my phone.

Andy got paid today, so we could go grocery shopping. Groceries consisted of milk, bread, and about 20 packages of ramen. It's a good thing that Andy and I both like ramen. And frozen pizza. Does anyone else remember when Totino's pizza were $.98? Those bastards are $1.25 now. Too expensive for us these days. However, Mr. P's makes an acceptable 98 cent pizza, which we stock up on every time we get paid.

Unfortunately, we're overdrafted about $150. I had to go to the Dr. today because my fucking arms and face and neck, chest, legs, tummy, etc are itching like motherfuckers and becoming a bit of a concern. That's $40. $40 to have my nurse practitioner tell me she didn't know what it was so she would treat it like contact dermatitis (allergies basically) and prescribed some bastard ass pills I have to take 6 times a day for the first 4 days, then on some crazy fucking cycle adding up to 48 pills over 12 days. Also, some cream that is supposed to help with the itching.. oh and cost $40 more. Awesome. Plus I needed a refill on my zoloft, bringing our grand total for the day (including groceries) to roughly $175.

Andy's paycheck is mostly gone, then. I get paid tomorrow, but we have a mortgage payment to take care of before we get paid again, so we'll have about $200 for bills until 2 weeks from now. Too bad our bills due within the next 14 days are roughly $600-700. Hoo boy. Creative problem solving at it's best. What can go? What can we be late on? How long are the grace periods for each individual biller? I would start selling body parts/organs but I'm tainted with ebola aids apparently, so who wants that?

On a slightly brighter note, I might have a cleaning lady gig coming my way. I am excellent at cleaning other people's homes. Need someone to clean up for you? Fuck yeah, I'll do it! At this point I would accept payment in the form of food. Need your laundry done? That'll cost you a couple of potatoes. Dishes? No problem. Give me some cheese. Nothing fancy either really, just the yellow kind would do. Fuck, even American processed cheese product would work.

Andy's job opportunity seems to be slipping away. I'm at the point where I feel like I am drowning. He was told when he had his interview 2 weeks ago that they would call him last week. They didn't call. he called them, the guy he interviewed with specifically said he would call Andy on Monday (the 1st) and set up a follow-up interview. Andy heard nothing until he called them AGAIN today and the guy on the phone said some other governing body set up the second interviews and he should hear something next week.

For fuck's sake.

Edited to add: the 6-a-day meds I am on have the following side effects:

"Difficulty sleeping; feeling of a whirling motion; increased appetite; increased sweating; indigestion; mood changes; nervousness."

That's like every day of my life. Maybe my body naturally produces it and I'm a medical miracle.