Feb. 5th, 2015


Feb. 5th, 2015 09:46 pm
What is it about the apartment upstairs? Am I doomed to having to overhear people's private couples fights for my whole life? Ugh. I don't know if it's better or worse that this one doesn't sound like it's alcohol-fueled, as the old ones inevitably were. I should probably have vaguebooked this, sigh.

There, instead, I've posted in LJ, because there's another layer of almost-no-one-who-reads-this-knows-my-address-or-neighbors.

By the way, 2015 sucks so far:

1. My mom fell right before Xmas, which I may have posted about. She is recovering slowly, with a walker. She has a torn shoulder tendon (we think) which is inoperable and possibly won't ever fully be repaired, and a fractured hip, which the ER Xray did not reveal.

2. I fell, myself, a couple of weeks later, twisting my knee, and hobbled around on a cane for ages. Sucked.

3. I missed jury duty by accident last week and emailed the court in a panic, expecting to get a new date ages away. Instead, I got one the next Monday, which was bad timing in terms of school stuff. The original date would have been bad, and maybe worse, because I was scheduled to be administering a computerized test.

4. At least I didn't get picked for a jury, though the other teacher FROM MY SAME SCHOOL who was there on the same day did.

5. The next morning (this past Tuesday) I went downstairs to find my car booted for accumulated tickets, which are like an extra payment on top of my (admittedly insanely cheap) rent BECAUSE THERE IS NO FUCKING PARKING IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, and plus right after I fell, I got quite a few tickets. The price of releasing the boot pretty much eviscerated the backpay settlement we got for our belatedly settled contract. And also I had to wait for a cop to come remove it because the stupid code didn't work and was therefore two hours late to work.

6. Tonight my battery died and I had to wait for Triple A, and then I had to buy a new car battery.

I am really glad we have a three day weekend. I need it. Although I should probably spend quite a lot of it cleaning my apartment and doing laundry.


Random better things:

• my cat Devlin is still and always awesome;

•I make very, very good computer slide shows (that is, PowerPoints*), these days using Google Slides;

•I got to riff on Nat Turner and primary source political cartoons today -- as part of my one-a-day Black History Month slideshow of people none of my students have heard of before... the original list of people is pretty much unchanged from when I started this back in February of 2012;

•also a Slides presentation on the importance of agricultural changes and "new rice" in the Song dynasty, that was weirdly fun;

•I have rediscovered the joys of gin and tonics, which I used to occasionally drink in company with my grandmother -- they were her favorite cocktail. I'm using Bombay Sapphire gin, which I've always been intrigued by for the Indian allusion and the blue bottle. I think my grandma's favorite was Tanqueray.

*I know these are outdated, Google Slides or whatever, and that even Prezis are past their sell-by date, but I still haven't mastered Prezis, and I am sure when I do that I will be into them ages and ages past their popularity. And honestly, a Slides presentation is still more effective to introduce readings or mini-lectures than NOT having visuals.

A Meme!!!

Feb. 5th, 2015 10:21 pm
From [personal profile] mistersmearcase and [personal profile] villagecharm

Nine things you do every day
1. drink some variety of orange-cut pekoe black tea... English or Irish breakfast tea. With half-and-half.
2. feed, pet, get covered in orange cat hair by my cat Devlin
3. ignore making the bed
4. mess around on the internet -- FB, the Guardian, Wikipedia, Goodreads, YouTube, Ancestry.com
5. doodle
6. wear my glasses from opening my eyes to turning off the light at bedtime
7. read
8. write
9. either teach or think about lessons I want to teach

Eight things that annoy you
1. edubabble spouted by administrators at any level
2. ads -- which since I don't have a functioning TV are these days mostly internet ads and particularly, Facebook ads
3. a new teacher at my site who is creepy and has asinine politics with kneejerk ignorant self-deluding racism* who has for some reason chosen to KEEP TALKING TO ME
4. my own inertia, sometimes
5. laundry, cleaning, dishes
6. the lack of off street parking in my area
7. my utterly terrible, tiny, awful kitchen
8. when books in series are not all available as ebooks, but just some random selection of them

Seven fears/phobias (not sure I have seven... also, hella depressing topic)
1. bad health; specifically the complications that progress with diabetes
2. trying to keep up with fast-moving crowds, e.g. demonstrations, these days
3. dementia, which an uncle has... though his seems to be vascular dementia
4. cockroaches and most chitinous beetles, UGH
5. ants
6. unemployment
7. an impoverished old age

Six songs that you’re addicted to
1. "Beeswing" as performed by either Richard Thompson or Christy Moore
2. "Landslide" as performed by pretty much anyone
3. "Roobaroo" from one of my favorite Bollywood movies Rang de Basanti
4. "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba
5. "50 Thousand Deep" by Blue Scholars
6. Right now, "Highwayman" but not the Phil Ochs (or god forbid the Loreena McKennitt) version adding music to the Alfred Noyes poem, but instead an original song and collaboration between Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson. I do love the Phil Ochs song, though.

Five things you can’t live without
1. my family
2. friends, whether in person or via the internets
3. books
4. tea
5. my cat

Four memories you won’t forget

1. being present and witnessing my older niece's entire birth, and cutting her umbilical cord
2. finding out I had won a French prize my Senior year of high school which meant I would be flying to Paris and taking classes at the Alliance Française and living at a nun-run hostel on the Île St. Louis (and then escaping the classes to go to a revolutionary youth peace camp in Germany with revolutionary marxist youth from all over Europe)
3. meeting a young(er than me, by a good 12 years) Air Force linguist at a bar and deciding to go out with him, despite the many and highly obvious reasons this was fairly ridiculous.
4. coming back from Spring Break to teaching, my fifth year of teaching (2003) and being greeted by the principal, the vice-principal, and four teachers in a row with queries about my arrest at an anti-war sit-in in Richmond, at the Chevron HQ, a photo of which I had not known had featured on the front page of the Oakland Tribune

Three words you can’t go a day without
1. "Turn to page..."
2. "Hey, baby" -- to Devlin, my cat.
3. "ludicrous" possibly not DAILY, but fairly frequently, at school -- it used to make my Oakland students howl, in the early 'aughts. Because, Ludakris

Two things you wish you could do
1. go swimming at the Richmond Natatorium (salt water pool!) more regularly
2. recommit to learning Hindi... and/or FIND A DAMN CLASS in the language. That doesn't cost $5,000

One person you trust:

I trust a lot of people. It's hard to reduce this one to one person. I trust everyone in my family. Hmm. Of non-family people, I trust [profile] amarama


*I am trying to think of an example of this. It was obvious the first time he buttonholed me in my classroom after school, condescending to me because he has a masters in some insanely stupid field of history... oh yeah, the history of the Olympics, and then talking confidingly to me about "these kids, you know, they come from broken homes and drugs and just can't handle higher levels of thought; they're ignorant of any kind of current events and have no capacity to analyze what's going on, and they don't care" -- after which I shot down every fucking word he said and talked about students I'd taught in West Oakland and their extremely on point political understanding. He's kind of been trying to backpedal and I guess curry favor with me since, and I wish he'd stop and just hate me and avoid me.



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