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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

writing prompts

will be done here

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fridays are the Loneliest Numbers

BrawlerNot really, but why not say it.

So, this weekend I've got plans to set up the Writing Prompt blog (open for name suggestions)... actually, I was planning on doing it today, but I always end up dog-tired on Friday and all my glamorous plans of doing my grading and prep work after working out, then pursuing creative matters at least until 5pm always tend to go by the wayside as I feel my eyelids get heavier and heavier, and the light in the studio seems less and less sustaining (I need two windows instead of one, even if it meant it would be colder in here). ((That reminds me... the sun is now coming up when I drive to classes in the morning, and it makes the world a truly beautiful place... a little dawn instead of dark.))

Not to mention that today I stuffed myself with a pita-wrap from the Pita Pit upon finishing/escaping my workout. Speaking of which, today marks the first month of re-animation. My goal was to workout 12 times (3x a week) and lose 10lbs. I did the former and about 7lbs... regardless, I'm pretty sure that my thighs are looking a little more toned and that the belly bulge, while still overwhelming, is slightly less inclined to slide downwards upon my hip and push off every pair of pants I have. (Contrary to my expectations, I have found that the bigger the belly bulge, the more likely the pants will fall down and demonstrate crack. Gravity + bulge = too much, just too damn much for the belt.) So... tonier thighs and less bulge are a definite start.

I know that, for all you out there who have already been in the beneficent habit of exercising, my explorations in the world of lifting a finger (while not fishing or thrashing on a dance floor or some other form of fun tricky-exercise, tricky in that it tricks you into exercising without you realizing it) is somewhat less endlessly fascinating than it is to me, which is in a Jeopardy meets Boot Camp meets Surrealism kind of way. Ah well! Anyhow... I've been trying to pay attention to "Resting Heart Rate," "Regular Heart Rate," "Weight-loss Heart Rate," "Cardio Heart-Rate," "Metabolism-changing Heart Rate" and "Maximum do not exceed under penalty of death Heart Rate." I never knew that you actually had to be gasping somewhat in order to be doing the kind of exercise that changes your metabolism--i.e. has long-term effects and not just the short-term ones.

All of a sudden, things become clear... why, in my life, I've been in-shape and out-of-shape, but the only time I lost a significant amount of weight and kept it mostly off was during the Elizabeth-debacle, when I lost my vision (went blurry... doctor said extreme emotion can do that), couldn't focus (sat still longer than 5 minutes and would be bawling), and had to finish my Master's thesis, teach a class, and take two classes, one of which was the exact replica of what Hell will look like for me if Christianity proves more exact than I suspect. Not only did I stop eating, which no doubt can effect some weight loss, but in order to write all my papers and grade and such, I found that the only thing that would focus my vision and my head was to alternate 15 minutes academic work and 15 minutes jumping up and down, thrashing to music, running in circles, punching a punching bag, walking maniacally through the park (at least 3x a day they neighborhood park saw me pass through).

And so I loss 40lbs in a 1.5 months... not recommended, I'm sure, but I could have sworn that after this my metabolism had changed radically because I eventually went back to eating the same as I did before, but didn't really gain back much weight until I entered my current nearly-supine lifestyle. So, now I get it... it wasn't just the oxytocin, loss of appetite, and a little exercising, but the manic, gasping state of the exercising.

Don't think I can even come close to doing that again... you have to be crazy to do that kind of shit. And I don't plan on falling in love in that way again. Heh.

So, I've been experimenting each day with just how high I can get my heartrate without the process making me really, really want to stop going to the gym, and also without passing out, but trying to maintain at least 50 minutes of sweaty-exercise without stop. Today was pretty damn hard (Fridays are), but I did okay... 15 minutes of "gaspy exercise." And thus... rewarding myself by stuffing my face with a Pita. Sigh.

Teaching seems to be going okay... I have two extremely different classes despite the fact that they are technically the same class, with the same reading and prep. But one is a 8am class and the other is a 5pm class. The advantage to the 5pm class is that I have a wider range of student ages--from 17 to 50-something--and so they have more experience, diversity, and are more interesting in general. The disadvantage, and one I didn't fully expect, is that the evening class people are waaaay more tired (tend to work full time as well as going to school) and hard to stir up and get jiving and moving. The morning class is truly lively... not at all difficult to get talking... in fact, hard to squash the talking sometimes (we're two days behind the other class, mainly because they talk more and ask more questions). They are crappier writers though... turn less work in and such. It's hard to decide which I like more; it's very helpful when the students have energy, but it's also very helpful for grading if they are clever thinkers. Interesting dilemma.

But other than one criticism setback that tested my sensitivity levels... an older woman student coming to me in my office hours to tell me, several times, that she "doesn't usually hate her classes [or her teachers, she said once]," so she felt she ought to have a conversation with me, which mainly consisted of her telling me that everything I did was confusing, overly taxing, messy, and very unclear--the reading, lectures, assignments, grading grids, etc etc. This whole conversation made me want to go home and curl up under some blankets and contemplate any other possible escape route... perhaps a job where I care less so don't get hurt as much, or perhaps life as a beach bum, or perhaps a job that pays me more so the criticisms don't come with that sting of handing a pile of dung to the garbage collector... anyhow, all pretty unlikely and I got over it, and now simply gaze at this student with the internal lazy-eyelid glare when I see her. Her loss. ...but other than that, the quarter is going pretty well.

This is what Herald does all dayHerald is doing well too, I think. He's also on a new diet, which he doesn't like much, but he's gotten chunky. He paid me back for the food augmentation yesterday though with a punch to the eye. See said picture above. I told my students and friends various stories ranging from "an academic dispute" to "someone insulted President Obama's speech," but the truth is that he was upside down (which is how he spends most of his days) and I went up and pinched his puppyhocks and whoops, didn't get out of the way.

I am rather enjoying the disreputable look it has given me.

Speaking of Obama's State of the Union speech, you might have noted that I've left off on politics here mostly, which is not because I don't care or pay attention but because it seems like all I hear is bad news lately... and I was ready for a little good news when we voted Obama in. Anyhow, I liked the State of the Union speech, the tongue-lashing delivered to various miscreants sat with me better than if Obama'd gotten up there and simply said what he "saw for the future" while ignoring the logjam. I know he's gotten criticism for it--mainly for not setting a specific agenda forward in place of chastising, but honestly, I think he's already made his goals clear, and so now he needs to get the Congress, and the American people moving.

I feel a little disappointed that in his first year, Obama hasn't done some of the things he said he would do, but I still feel that one year is not so much time, especially considering the crapstorm he walked into.

I was intrigued, I must admit, to hear him recapitulate his goal of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" within the year, which is long time overdue, and also to look into student loans--forgiving them after 20 years, or 10 years if you are in public service. Does working at a community college for little pay count as public service? If not, I'm going to go find out what public service is. But I've been feeling pretty desperate to find some solution to the student loan dilemma, although I must admit I was willing to accept merely reinstating the interest rate cap that Bush, Jr. removed, so I can consolidate and set up an economically feasible plan for payback.

But I'm also still feeling a little despondent over the health bill (probably) failure, which I take as a serious indictment of government corruption by corporate interests. The pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, hospital-supply companies, and higher-paid medical members are going to be difficult if not impossible, I guess, to conquer. No doubt because we have the golly, gosher, best damn medical service in the world! For those who can afford any.

I guess it's too much to expect a practical, basic plan if not an elaborate, excellent plan.

Anyheww, I best be off, but one of these days I should describe the gym people of this town and others can tell me if they're normal. But I think (heh) I am going to go home... Wolf Moon tonight, maybe a day for the hot tub.

Monday, January 25, 2010

No, I'm not sure why

HedgiraffehogFor some reason, I'm just doing this little creatures prosthetic project. No, it doesn't really make sense and I suspect I will lose interest and return to the spider project soon, as well as writing, I hope.

P.S. Still exercising... despite the mental setbacks induced by a wildly insane and lying scale that made me think I was really rockin' the bod when I was really only just doing better. Sigh. But 10/12 for this month, no misses.

P.P.S. Planning on starting a "Writing Prompt a Week" blog with NM and others I can connive into joining. The rules will be: everyone participating provides a sweet writing prompt in rotation, then each writer'll be responsible for finishing a response to the prompt by the end of the week. Whether you post your response on the blog, email it to the writing group, or instead post a quote is up to each writer, but some form of evidential nod of the head is imperative.

P.P.P.S. I need someone to start giving me novel deadlines please. I'm such a sucker for deadlines, it's pathetic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Scaled-Back Healthcare Reform = What Exactly? Anything?

In place of former bad-word rant that was here, I will just say: grrrrrrrr.

My mom predicted that this country will never have health reform, and damn, she looked sad. Not to mention, she's in the healthcare field and her profession just had a huge reduction in Medicare paybacks just because they were looking to reform healthcare. Considering that she has a private clinic where every dollar counts, it would be difficult (she said possibly impossible) to stay in business which such extreme cutbacks, but still, she was in favor of health reform, including Lieberman's bulldozed public option plan. There you go, man.

heebie-jeebie weather

HeraldinoI have to say it's been extremely bizarre weather this year. Yesterday I saw a woman walking down the street wearing a short-sleeved shirt, and today I got out of the gym with wet hair and wearing only a sweatshirt over my t-shirt and was perfectly warm. I'm normally totally bundled up until June, so I'm a little nonplussed and concerned. Is the world trying to lure me into a false sense of complacency and pleasure? If so, it seems to have succeeded not only with me, but with the plants as well... since they appear to be coming out of their dens in what I hope isn't an extremely premature fashion.

A little strangeness and I wouldn't wonder... but it's been like this for about 1.5 weeks, and before that it was medium with rain. Oh, and there are really high winds around. It almost feels balmy to me. And creepy too.

I've become quite good at creeping myself out on hikes with Herald... usually I take him to medium-populated trails, but if I'm in a rush, I just take him for an hour up Blanchard Mt., which is right behind the house. This trail has less people on it, especially during the weekday, and so can be good for an excellent creepout, especially when the day is preternaturally warm and quiet but for some high winds along the treetips. Everything looks strange too... the ferns are too green, and the trees are too smug, and the birds too quiet.

And well, yesterday I took Herald there, and normally he races ahead of me, sniffing at everything, bounding into the bushes after squirrels and birds and scents, and if I catch up with him, he bounds back and practically pushes me out of the way so he can get back ahead. But yesterday he kept so close to me I kept treading on his toes, and he kept stopping in front of me (so as to ensure I would come to a complete screeching halt) and looking back like we were being followed or watched. Except he wasn't barking, which he normally does if we're being followed. I started to feel weird, my kind of "floating above it" distressed anxious feeling (I've been anxious lately anyway, for no good reason except I don't seem to ever get anywhere). Being psychic, this seemed to bother Herald even more, and he kept getting closer and closer to me, so that I had to start pushing him away from me because the trail was a narrow one. But then he'd be right back again, stopping and sniffing the air behind us.

I started wondering, in my usual morbid way, whether people get a strange feeling on the day they die--the creeps, or something at least creeping, an inexplicable nervousness so subtle or particular to the day of dying that nobody has ever discussed the feeling because they wondered, and then they were dead and couldn't come back and say, "You know, I felt this strange thing..." I remembered both reading and watching I Heard the Owl Call My Name, and how much it made me jump at bird sounds for years after watching it... listening to them for a particular tone, a specific message in nature that's there if your ears are open. So perhaps this sensation could be something like that, and maybe that's what I was feeling but I would never know until it was perhaps impossible to know, so I looked up into the fast-moaning tree tips and tried to think about what I wanted to think about if it was my last day, but it was a sad kind of feeling... like I have never been enough yet.

Then that got me angry because this is supposed to be the Year of J. I'm such a moody little cuss, it's hard to stay focused on positivity. I've been feeling a renewal of artistic pressure and anxiety... it's been awhile since I've made something, and I get the feeling that I really need to write something new, perhaps make a chapbook or something, although I'm not entirely positive how fiction writers go about making chapbooks versus just short stories... but also that I absolutely must finish some pieces and send them out. I did recently, actually, send one out... and it's the first time I've sent something out into the complete unknown. I walked around saying "well, I've finally submitted," enjoying the duplicity of that word.

Okay, so I promised myself I wouldn't mention it, because it could be a weird fluky thing and I don't want to get my hopes up, but it looks like I lost 13 pounds from Jan 1 - Jan 15. Probably more a statement on how out-of-shape and chubby I've gotten than on anything else, but it felt good. For a bit. Then I felt depressed by how the thought of a dumb weight loss doesn't match up to the accomplishments I really want. I think I need to take some money this summer, rent a cabin, and lock myself in for writing without internet or anything.

Oh, and I'm procrastinating right now because I have 40-odd papers to comment on by tomorrow evening. Yeah, exactly when I need to procrastinate.

Not much else going on... I went dancing with a friend this past weekend, and did a little bit of work although not writing work, and it's hard to say why I'm doing it...


my friend who saw it seemed a little bit like "um, why?", which she always is, I guess, but sometimes you just want some jubilee when you're working on nonsense. But dancing was fun... although I was totally far-too achy the next day, I believe as a result of having combined working out, hiking with H, and dancing with SP all on one day. Just a tad beyond my normal dealio. The hottub was nice the next day though. Um, I guess that's it... all I can rationalize with all those stuffin' papers waiting.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

favorite student quote of the week

from a reading journal on an essay about semiotics:
Dogs are very good lickers. This sentence has a dual meaning because one, L (L the dog from the practice paragraph) decided it is appropriate to lick my feet. She knows that I would not argue with this. Two, she is a symbolic licking machine.
The previous paragraph was about how dogs are good semiotic readers in that they observe phenomena, interpret it syntagmatically, and find the excellent kitty poo to eat based on their observations.

P.S. I know it's wicked to post so long a student quote, but I will accept the wickedness because I think the quote is so hilarious I had to share it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

new year stats

5 of 12 workouts for the month
up to 55 mins cardio (elliptical, thighs-of-steel-maker, stairmaster)
20 mins yoga
20 mins weights
35 mins Atwood
30 mins Run, Lola, Run
40 mins Tijuana Sound Machine
180 mins various playlists
2 new sports bras
0 weigh-ins (none of your business anyways :)
2 embarrassing moments in gym
51 students
24 letters of introduction read
27 letters of introduction to go
2 other piles waiting
0 other piles read
2 embarrassing moments in class
4 irritations
0 major rants
0 sleepers
1 student-who-appears-to-want-to-talk-too-much
many students-who-appear-to-want-to-talk-too-little-or-not-work-in-groups
4 good hikes with H
3 mornings with supreme spooning cuddles with H
5 times I've mentioned how much I need to give H a bath
1 times I've dreamt about how much I need to give H a bath
0 baths I've given H
2 intense dreams
4 times I've dreamt of writing or teaching
0 pages written
0 art projects worked on
1 artistic favor completed
1 date
0 serious flirtations
8 jars of sauerkraut completed
7 crying sessions
8-9 good laughs
1 bout of hysterical laughing (because H was making the craziest cat-arches while jumping straight up every time I touched him on this particular place on his back... it was friggin hilarious)
0 movies seen in the theater
1 new TV series I've taken to Netflixing (The United States of Tara now joins Six Feet Under, Season Three)
1 movie I've managed to sit through at home (Slumdog Millionaire)
8 major procrastinations
2 times I've done my dishes
2 chocolate bars eaten (damn you, Xmas, and your insuperable ability to thwart dietary changes)
3 rounds of ice cream eaten
1 salad eaten
1 dinner with a friend at a nice restaurant
2 coffees out
15 times I've enjoyed irritating my mother
1.5 trashy books I've read
1 library fine
0 excellent books in my pile that I've read
16 adorable pictures of my friends and goddaughter that I've seen
1 picture taken (pathetic!)
11 days I've spent time in my studio
2 new strategies
2 new art-project ideas

Monday, January 11, 2010

temporary setbacks

The hardest part about dating for the past five years is how much I cry afterwards. What a baby I am, but even if I feel a zing or whatnot, I always am just sad-lonely after dates because.

I wrote at first that it's because I want the tingle and eye-to-eye understanding, because I haven't felt it for over five years, but I dreamt last night about this idea, and realized in the dream that I had lied... Because I have felt that tingle or connection... not frequently but certainly with b and s and k and well, others. It's not about that. It's about a) trusting that feeling again, which I don't, and b) the fact that the last person who was a romantic interest not a friend or family who said "I love you" to me was ec, and she said it -- much like Rosario said it, although she at least meant it -- as a manipulation. Even with my friends I'm so conscious and aware when I say that phrase... I note that many of my friends are as well. I stumble over it. They say it hurriedly but each word pronounced and felt. And I don't say it if I don't mean it.

Anyhow, I think I must cry after dates, even good or okay dates in part because I'm a girrrrrl, but I haven't felt mutual love+zing in ever so long, and the last times I thought I had at least part of it, I got dumped, called in, received text messages, told about "selfish phases," emailed that let me know past flirtation is irreconcilable with friendship, etc. I wonder if those folks out there who have a relationship with love know how much it's worth. But sometimes love seems exotic.

These are some of the brainruts. They are especially prominent after dates and when I'm driving.

Today, as if to make me aware, I went to the gym and really got a good workout today, but discovered upon disrobing for the shower that I had started my period and bled through my shorts and nobody said a word. Maybe the others in the gym didn't notice, but maybe they did and said nothing. Either way, I wasn't actually embarrassed.

Not embarrassed, I said to myself.

Some part of me just noted it, laughed silently, and went about its business.

What I tell myself about the brainruts and why they make me cry: the mind rebels against the incorrect, hoping that one day it will be corrected... maybe this is the only way I might know I still don't have any story right.

Anyhow, I went on two nice walks last weekend, and a dinner visit. Rocks upended, water plants growing, trying to pause to listen, dogs playing in the mud, stories about wrong decisions, catching up, tasty spices and a cuddle, meeting up accidentally with co-workers, regrouping, telling stories about people you went to school with, biting your tongue when you don't care... art projects that are cool but outside your interest, wondering when you'll get started on an art project, hoping that was a muscle making its way out, an early spring but winter not over.

Tomorrow: more school.

Friday, January 08, 2010

one week into the Year of J

Well, I've actually managed three days of working out at the gym... trying to find a program that works for me. I want one that simultaneously gives me cardio and also makes my muscles all achey but not too achey afterwards, which I reckon must be a very fine line, and one I've never been super-skilled at finding. So far I'm adjusting both notches slowly up. Today was 15 minutes stretching-yoga, 22.5 minutes on elliptical, 22.5 minutes on the exercise bike, 5 minutes on the stairmaster, and 20 minutes on the weights. I think I'm going to try swapping the bike and elliptical and reducing the bike while increasing the elliptical.

How's that for excitement? Anyhow, figuring out the optimum resistance and program is, I guess, one of the more interesting aspects of a chore I feel mostly bores me although I know it plays a part in the ultimate indecipherable nature of happiness and existence (which I wish I didn't have to deal with, particularly the reality and concept of death as I figure out the nature of "right now," but somehow the small gets caught up with the large and there I am in the gym, figuring my bike-height at 6 and sensing also how incredibly strange this particular participation is; and listening to an Atwood apocalypse story doesn't help with the irreality of hr, hr, hr, making my body over.) Anyhow and regardless, I have so far been listening 1/2 to high-energy music, and 1/2 to Atwood's book Oryx and Crake on audio, which I have already listened to, but I find I don't remember super well after two years. The problem with the audio book so far is that my mind wanders and then I have to catch up and feel embarrassed about what I missed. But with the music, I start getting irritated at the pace, so I think I just have to train my earballs.

There's a pretty sweet view at the Y though - the gym is on the 3rd story, and it looks out over the tops of the buildings towards the bay so you can see the water and nearby islands on a clear day. The rest of the time (90%), you can watch the occupants in the buildings and make up imaginary conversations for them.

Oh, and I think there should be a "fat people showering only" period during each hour, when people who have bellies that are wider than their hips have the shower-rooms to themselves. Oh, and I think the Y should rip out 3/4 of the mirrors they have in the ladies locker rooms. It's. Just. So. Depressing. And no, it doesn't motivate me. It mortifies me. And just look up the latin roots within that word. But in terms of my happiness schedule, I always feel pretty smugly happy and spry as soon as I hit the streets down below on my way to my studio.

I am having difficulty being diligent in my studio in the afternoon however. I went home on Wednesday, and today I think I'll probably go home to instead of getting a head start on the work that I need to do. So, I'm going to have to figure out a way to make all that diligence stuff seem a naked slip-n-slide on a summer day. Something to get a running start on.

My students seem okay. I have the same division between mostly-youngsters but a handful of older men (and one older woman), which makes me nervous, but so far the older men seem like they'll not begrudge me their wisdom and experience and might help out the youngsters as well. I've got a couple of smilers and head-nodders, which is important, and I also have a couple who seem sharp and able to talk. However, my evening class looks like it's going to be a hard one to get talking. A quiet group, with a couple of nodder-offers in the back. I wish I had the funds to bring a big keg of coffee to that class, because they all seem way sleepier than my 8am class. Both are full, though, and that is going to mean a nightmare of grading. I'm going to have to streamline streamline streamline.

And today the brolaw and sister took off... to an apparently icy snowfield of craziness in Europe. I'm crossing my fingers that their travels go without a hitch... no long waits in the airport or anything. And their visit was pretty darn awesome. No fights with either of them (I think my sis and I are both well skilled in each other's buttons, both purposefully and accidentally) and the only minor argument over whether America has places that contend with the youngness and rude and nasty hooligans that apparently Edinburgh has shocked my sister with. She says there are crazy-young pack of boys (anywhere between 8-16) that roam around and chase women, senior citizens, or nonburly men, throwing snowballs & iceballs at them, and screaming profanities falling within the extreme edges of crassness. She told me how last time she met a pack, she had to scare them off with a high-heeled shoe and the expressed willingness to drive its tip into their craniums. So, our argument was over whether America has similar packs anywhere, with my sis's perspective being that even our gang-kids back up and show respect for the Mothers and Grandmothers.

I dunno. It certainly sounds peculiar to me. And I don't think I've ever heard it suggested that the British can be ruder than Americans, and I rather like the flip on the criticism. I've been reading Elizabeth George mystery novels, and though I like her characterization most of the time, I've just about had it up to here with her crappy-ass American comments and people. Not only are they stupid, rude, vengeful, oblivious, and loud, they are also inexplicably inconsistent. I get the feeling that somewhere an American, specifically an American man, did George wrong, and never will she forgive it, and so she'll bumble around inaccurately representing the foibles of most Americans in her otherwise well-written mysteries. Ah, so banal and easy. Anyhow, that was off topic. The topic being that A) Ali and Peter don't really seem to like Scotland other some of the scenery and people outside of the city where they live, which they rarely get to leave because Ali has to work so damn hard, and B) as far as arguments go, that one was benign.

So, I'll be very sad to see them go, although I'll be less distracted and will hopefully develop a rhythm with my school- and writing- work again. But both of them say I need to send my novel-shit to them and they won't judge. Sounds enticing albeit scary.

Not much else going on... So bye.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Day 4 in the Year of J---------

New Year

So, in support of my singular New Year's Resolution of achieving happiness, I've decided to name this year "The Year of J-----", for all those out there who needed a handle for where we're at.

For Reference and Comparison, Here's My Catalogue of Ships:

2009: The I Was Stood Up But Have a Studio so Neener-Neener Year
2008: The Second In-Between Year
2007: The Artistic Book Projects Year
2006: The Meeting-the-Best/Sloughing-the-Worst Year
2005: The Art School is Way Better than Utter Despair Year
2004: The Year of Illusion and Disillusion
2003: The Year of Community
2002: The Year of Returning
2001: The Year of Spanish
2000: The Year of Farms and Buses
1999: The Year of Brats, Babies and Escape
1998: The First In-Between Year
1997: The Year of Freak-outs and First Love
1996: The Year I First Left the Country
1995: The Year of Boredom
1994: The Year of Venturing and Friendship
1993: The Year I Learned about Geographically-Related Cultural Difference
1992: The Year of Commercial Fishing
1991: The High School Sucks Year
1990: The High School is Way Better than Junior High (!) Year
1989: The Year of The Perm
1988: The Year I Gave Up Pretending to be a Boy
1987: The Awkward Urban-to-Rural Move Year
1986: The Year of the Divorce
1985: The Year of Three Moves
1984: The Year My Father Let the World Down
1983: The Year of Private School
1982: The Year of the Evil Teacher
1981: The Year I Learned to Walk Again
1980: The Year I Became a Sister
1979: The Year All the 'Neighbors' Met Me
1978: The Year of the Kitty
1977: The Year I Must've Fallen in Love with Words
1976: The Year of my Beginning
I know, I know, this year's title is a somewhat anomalous... and could also be known as the Year of Happiness, but I prefer the Year of J------ because it reminds me to be utterly self-focused, self-centered, selfish, and to stop worrying about what others think. Paradoxically, I would like to believe this philosophy will eventually have payoffs for everyone, however.

For instance, today I had my first 6am-wakeup class, and I chose to cuddle with my dog, feed him well, and take a shower before leaving because all of those make me happy... Herald was pleased too (and no doubt my students who didn't have to look at my greasy hair).

After class, I went and signed up at the local Y and spent an hour in the gym working out, not because I made some easily-neglected "Fitness" resolution, but because I think it will make me happier to feel more inside my body (lately I feel like I walk around with heavy plastic pillows strapped to my 'actual' body, which is more awkward-feeling than lowering of the self-esteem although it does the latter as well). However, I also think this'll work out for others because it'll potentially mean that I stop whining about how none of my clothes fit me any more (even my boobs seek multiple escape paths).

After working out, I went to my studio, feeling highly pleased with myself, and ate a very moderate lunch (including baby carrots!) and read my mystery book. The reading the mystery book part made me very happy, and it will later result directly in my mother's happiness because as soon as I am finished, she gets her Christmas gift back so she herself can read it.

See! My Happiness = Everyone Else's Happiness! Why have I been missing this all these years?!

And now I am writing on my blog, because I've told myself that it will make me happier to be writing again, particularly journaling, or public journaling as it turns out, because I like to blather on about nothing in particular, and although my life is boring, I need to find a more conscious way to interact with it (to be happy), and blathering helps with that. Also, as my readership has dropped from a steady 8 loyal 'fans' to a small set of 3 super-troopers, it means I'm at little risk for revealing private things that then make the gossip circuit. For a while, this conundrum has messed with my ability to blog... the feeling like sometimes when I put something out here, it becomes an uncomfortable topic of conversation out there, whether on the phone or otherwise. I do, afterall, tend to vent my spleen here, and reveal scandalously lascivious behaviors better belonging to a porno... no, actually not that last part, which isn't really my cup of tea, but I do vent, and I do wish, for some reason, to say incredibly private things in ways that don't reveal me, which I finally admitted to myself is impossible.

Anyhow. Class went fine today. Mostly a bunch of youngsters, about half Running Start, and a couple of older chaps returning to school. I'm more curious about my evening class, truth be told. They're always the weirder classes, although my last afternoon class (about 90% Running Start) ended on a truly uplifting note that I'm still feeling good about.

And one little trick that I've been finding quite helpful in the filling-in of the brain-ruts (NM recently told me the psychological term for 'brain-ruts' since she is also trying to pry herself out of them, but I can't remember it because I like the term brain-ruts better), just to end on. Well, basically, I've been imagining every person or circumstance that has hurt me as a rodent. I get to imagine the particular type of rodent (I have a household hamster, rat, gerbil, chipmunk, and vole as well as the irregular rodent passersby) each person/memory is represented by, and then I imagine that there's this tiny little cage that I secret in various parts of my body. I have to move it around... it's part of the process. And when the brain-ruts are getting too strong, I encourage their characters (the rodents) into the cage so that they might not run rampant among my arteries and organs, along the inside of my skin, prancing and chewing on brain matter, shredding of the lungs, i.e. making ruts in my body. And just to make sure I dont' get too mean spirited about imagining and caging the rodents, I see the cage as a portal into another green universe, so that placing the rodents there is best for us all. They just don't belong in my body, is all.

And I know it's totally silly and childish, but it works better than many of the different methods I've sought for making my mind a healthy place.

Okay, okay, okay. I'm off.