n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Sunday, January 04, 2009

And So It Begins

Me and HeraldoHello Friends and Frienemies alike,

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2009; when I was a kid, I thought I'd be dead (or in a nursing home) I'd be so damn old by that year. I couldn't really imagine myself past thirty, because every child knows thirty actually means senior citizen. Anyhow... on to business.

My Psychic Powers
If you're interested, I encourage you to call me, come on over, and get your 2009 Tarot reading for the new year. JW had hers while she was here and it was quite excellent, I must say. Plus, I bought myself a Tarot book and plan to sneakily read it in between all my other books (I'm still hatcheting away at Moby Dick at about 10 pages/month, and Summer in Baden-Baden at about 15 pages/month [and that book I owe back], and have started both Log of the S.S. The Mrs Unguentine and Kafka on the Shore). So, pretty soon, I will have completely tapped into the mysteries and energy of the universe and will be able to discuss the paths with all. As I said, Happy New Year!

Teaching (feel free to skip this section if incessant rambling about teaching annoys you)
If all five of you hadn't noticed, I've mostly banned myself off the blog these days because I'm in an absolute dithering panic over class planning. I'm one of those people who is both a) a procrastinator, and b) a freak who feels most comfortable having a very solid idea what projects and readings, exactly, I'm going to be doing with my students. This time the two (a/b) collided, and fusion surely can't be too far off.

A solid idea of what is to happen is easy enough to achieve when I'm teaching a class I've taught before, because then the planning becomes figuring out what new readings I'd like, and how to deviate from an already well-established game plan. But with the new class I'm teaching, there's not even a game plan to deviate from, so I've been reading the course reader and trying to coax a class out of its subject tendencies and rhetorical strategies. You know, like looking at the slab of marble and trying to discern what's inside.

All slow going, and classes start this Monday. I am doing a bit better in that I know what my office number is (but don't have a key), have passwords to the servers (but am overwhelmed by the fact that there appears to be at least four, each with different purposes), have my faculty number which ought to let me photocopy (as soon as I get it translated into an ID), and can get into my school email account (which has no spam filter and thus had 150 messages waiting for me after being set up for a mere three days; I believe it will be bypassed for my professional gmail). But I also know which classrooms I'm in and can access the account that gives me my students' names. My late evening class appears to have a bunch of crazy non-European names; I'm excited. It also looks like I'm going to have mostly men, which will be a swap from the last course I taught, which only had one guy in it.

I love all the intricacies of who. Who will be in the classes, why are they studying there, how will we get along, and will they learn?

I did my traditional resolutions; it's one of my favorite parts of the New Years celebration - the opportunity to try something new, to start over even though technically nothing has changed but an abstract number. This year I came up with ten resolutions, and I will keep all but two to myself (for the sake of my pride, and the fact that only NM and JW get to know them all):
Write more letters.
Volunteer at least a bit.
So far, I'm par on course for the new year, and really happy and excited about this one. I think I'm going to get moving, moving moving finally... I think the bell has been rung and I'm back on the mat with a glitter in my eye, spinach in my gut, and bloody bulging meathooks lobbing their way through the air.

They ain't kidding when they say "when it rains, it pours" because I had friends from one moment to the other throughout the entire holidays... It was fabulous, and overwhelming. I felt a bit doofy, like I've forgotten how to communicate, or even how to have something intelligent to say (which I might not), and I also was at a loss as to what to do.

i.e. Thanks, Washington!

I brag constantly about how beautiful you are and then when someone comes through to take a peak and decide whether I'm making it all up, you snow and rain and snow and ice up and I can't take her hiking or happily to the beach. The roads were so crappy I couldn't even muster the energy to go up to the mountains and partake in some winter sports, not to mention that I still still still have those back problems and it effects how much I invest myself in activity, ug. But, WA - you didn't show your good side either!

Regardless, I had a wonderful time with my friends, and here's a list of the best parts to remind myself during the upcoming three months of winter, darkness and toil:
1) Working in the coffeeshop, quietly on either end.

2) Singing about dogs.

3) Simultaneous reading and show-watching, in the same room, so peacefully.

4) Walking in the dog park.

5) Drunk-dialing on NYs, everyone we both know whom we could think of at the time.

6) Walking around the harbor, through the seagull-eaten bobbers.

7) Santa stockings (at first I wrote stalkings, but it looked off).

8) Watching N be diplomatic with my dad.

9) Hearing about healthy, passionate love. (I guess it is possible!)

10) The voices, especially the laughs, listening to them.
But I must ask for three things in the new year from my friends: come visit more frequently, but space it out just a tiny bit so I can fully, fully luxuriate, and come visit in the sun. I also wish that N hadn't been so sad; I mean, it wasn't her fault and she worked so hard to hide it and be chipper for the parties, but it was frustrating to see a friend so... well... sad and hurt, I guess... and not be able to do anything about it. We all deserve better!

For those many of you I didn't get to see, including family: balleyhoo and kisses!

Is still adorable. He's very much a teenager - happiest at the dogpark, impatient with my studies, bitey (that will have to stop), playful, loves everyone, jealous, and sleeping behind me on his dog bed, with his paws up in the air and his belly surrendered. JW took the picture at the top of this entry, and I really like it - it cracks me up.

Later taters.

*Oh, and I know it's a horrible addendum but: Please Stop. This is hardly a glowing recommendation:
"Earlier, US Vice-President Dick Cheney defended the Israeli ground assault."
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