This post brought to you by the letter F

FUCK. That’s pretty much what sums up the last two days. As if miscarrying a child and having a sick kid at home wasn’t punishment enough, my thumb drive decided to erase all my files and DIE. And let me tell you what an idiot I am: no backup. That’s right. So I lost: pictures from about a year of random net collecting, documents integral to the teaching of my online course, and some fiction that I ADORED. It was on our laptop at home but I just moved it to the thumb drive so I could format said laptop. I think this is a true Fuck my life moment.

I keep thinking of stuff I need to list that will need to be recreated and each time I remember a new one, I say fuck. It’s the word of the day. I hate feeling like this, especially since it’s my own goddam fault.  I tell you what; I get into this mode and I just don’t give a shit anymore and I want to yell and cry and be all boisterous and out of control, which is SO not like me. But I must get hold of myself. I’m a grown-ass woman who can handle situations like this, for they are bound to happen. I could not do anything about the miscarriage. One in five women. That’s the stat. The files? I should have known better. Some of it was fanfiction. I was keeping it secret so there was no backup. I mean, no self-respecting writer tells people that she wastes her time on that drivel. But I did. And I liked it. And it was not that bad. But now it’s gone.

One of the files was this story I wrote – well, 8 single spaced pages – about two people named Constance and Aurelio. And it was good. And every time I reread it, I was amazed at what I had produced because the voices were so genuine and not like what I normally write.  And I knew if I could just keep it up, it would have turned into something. Now I know some famous writer said that it helps to write something then destroy it, then recreate it. Maybe it’ll be better. But the fact is: I worked hard on that and I don’t want to do it again. Same goes for the online class files. THOSE I want back. That work and effort? Took a long time. And I am PISSED that I have to struggle through that again.

It’s lame to say I’d like to just cry about it but I don’t do that at work. Ever.

With that, I leave you. I hope everyone is having a much better day/week than I am. I really do.

Some days just suck

Since readership appears to be down, you may or may not have seen me promise you big good or bad news today. Well, just about the only good news I got today was that there as no co-pay for an ultrasound.

Wind the clocks back a week and a half. I had taken a home pregnancy test and it was positive. And then, the bleeding. There wasn’t a lot, by the standards the nurses on the phone explained to me. But it went on for about 4-5 days. On the second day, I mentally prepared myself for the worst. If it was a misarriage, I came to terms with it. Afterall, there was nothing I could do about it. Those things are out of your control.

Then the bleeding stopped. And I still “felt” pregnant: tired, headaches. And today, I went in for an ultrasound. Well, it proved negative and in fact, what they did see was a small fibroid on one of my ovaries. Gee, swell. But the upside in all this is that my new doctor – the one who, coincidentally, delivered Elliot – is compeltely awesome. He was supportive and kind and understanding, which is everything a woman who mascarried a child could hope for.

So I am alright, thanks for asking. Though, today is all kinds of bogged down with trouble; Elliot has an ear infection so right after my appointment, I took him to the pediatrician. We’re staying home today, watching cartoons, chillin’ on the couch. Later, I have to go to the lab for more conclusive bloodwork but I can handle it. It’s just another one of those things life throws at you and you just keep on plugging along.

With that, I am going to shove another dose of Tylenol down Elliot’s gullet and see if he’ll take a nap. What fun this day shall bring!

Bellyaches, knee-slappers

If you’ll notice, I added a new link to my Del. icio. us linkage. I don’t know if I am just in the right kind of mood lately but I have been actually laughing. I know this sounds pretty dumb but when it comes to comedy, I am either really picky or I laugh at very random things that – for the most part – other people do not find amusing. For example, I thought American Psycho was abso-fucking-lutely hilarious. “Feed me a stray cat.”  “Don’t just stare at it, eat it!” I mean, come on, that’s funny stuff. And Bale chasing after a girl with a chainsaw – and wearing nothing but socks – is classic humor. To me. This may be a sign that I am insane in the membrane but this is what amuses me.

Last night, we watched Role Models, which – truthfully – is not normally the kind of comedy movie I go for. But I cracked my ass up.  Something about the interaction between the kids and adults, crude though it may have been, made me feel really happy. The dork LARP stuff was also killer. I know people who do that stuff, yo. I think maybe it all does depend on my mood. I have watched Dumb and Dumber and laughed not one bit. But there have been times I did find it funny. “Kick his ass, Sea Bass!”. I think maybe some of it has to do with taking the lines and making them your own, making them a joke between you and your friends. For example, my friend, Annie, and I have a joke about an episode of Friends where Phoebe asks what their favorite thing about trees is. Joey says they’re green and Monica says… something else but Phoebe answers, “Ooh, no I’m sorry, we were looking for leafy. Leeaaaffyyy.” And Annie and I Facebook this to each other ALL THE TIME. Because it is still funny.

But so getting back to Texts From Last Night. Here are a few of the ones I find most amusing, even though slightly crude in nature:

(305): your profile still reads that you like women…interesting? I think there is some photography and video that will show otherwise

(212): dude wtf did we explode in my microwave last night?
(1-212): idk but i think it had a face

(418): I have nothing to say, just wanted ur phone to vibrate

(213): whats up tonight?
(408): Ice cream, wine, and teabags… Not the earl grey kind

(734): hey call me
(810): can’t. in the shower.
(734): … and this is probably why your phone does not work half the time.

(920): Is this a definitive no? All is forlorn? Such is fine, but i’m drunk and a sucker for concrete answers

(337): i think he might wanna be bffs again, but idk cause we’re friends again but we haven’t been bff since like a year. i don’t know what to think…
(985): wow. what a nail bitter. i need popcorn for this. brb

(717): You can spell. I can kill people with no remorse. We all have our skills.

Too too funny! In the past, I have said my all-time favorite comedies were Captain Ron and (if it counts) Eddie Izzard’s Dress to Kill. But I am learning to branch out. I want to laugh more.

What makes you laugh like nothing else?

Monday, slippin’ through my hands

My day blew by me in a haze of tiny tasks and people needing help in random ways and finding new fandoms (Tim and Kon-El) and snacking and drinking two liters of water and twittering and… and… it’s almost time to go home. Thank the gods.

Since I am soon to be reading about three books at once, I made some bookmarks this morning:

bookmarks

Not the best quality but what do you expect out of my phone? L-R: Arsenal (Red Arrow), Nightwing (Robin I) and you all know Remy (Gambit). I made a Robin one too but I wasn’t done when I took the pic. Simple project: print on 5×7 photo paper using mosaic maker (I did the thin vertical frames), then use packing tape to “laminate”. I think you may officially stamp GEEK on my forehead.

*******

The weekend was pretty good for us. Ash played some magic, I mowed the lawn, we watched the NFL draft, and then we had people over Saturday night to play video games. On Sunday, my friend, V, came over to hang out and play with little E, which was pretty fun. We wore him out real good. Soon as he was in bed, I reveled in the silence. That boy is all laughs and shrieks these days. And though they bring me immense joy, they are also very headache-inducing. Also, he is in constant motion. I mean, moving everywhere, at great speeds. He uses said speed to vault onto the couches, chairs, the coffee table. It’s a little ridiculous. I am surprised he hasn’t busted his head open yet at the rate he’s going. But I can’t complain: he’s a whole lot of fun and the sheer adoration I have for him grows every day – it sometimes scares me how much I love that kid.

On this week’s agenda: hit up the library, finish reloading our laptop, save money, read, read, read, grade papers/projects, read some more and blog about something real for once!

Me, lately

In a nutshell (by the way, I kid of hate that phrase) here’s what I have been up to.

Viewing:

  • Real World/Road Rules challenge. I admit it: I love these kind of crossover/reality/challenge casts. But can we please get MJ off that show? He’s like Matthew McConaughey but not *quite* as annoying. They’re both kind of dirty hippie style.
  • The Spirit. Um, Dear Frank Miller, I loved Sin City. I loved 300. I ABSOLUTELY love All Star Batman and Robin but for the love of God, this movie was awful. If I had been reading the comic, I think I would have been more forgiving. Props to the line, however about Robin. Eva Mendes’ char is threatening some guy for his comp password, which happens to be Robin. And her reply? “As in, the boy sidekick? With the tight derriere?” Lol. It’s true though.
  • Rewatched Eddie Izzard’s Dress to Kill for the umpteenth time but I NEVER get tired of those jokes. If you like random sort of comedy that somehow all comes together in the end AND appeals to relatively educated people, Eddie is for you. Also, if you like transvestites. No, wait, I guess you don’t have to but he is always wearing make-up. And heels. I heart Eddie.

Reading:

  • The 10 Cent Plague. I just started this one but it’s all about this comic scare in the 60s when adults thought that comics were ruining the youth of America. I already knew about Wertham’s denouncement of Batman and his claims of the apparent homosexuality between he and Boy Wonder, Robin. But I am very interested to see what the rest of this book will uncover.
  • Sometimes I make lists. I just started reading this blog, thanks to my friend, Brenna. This blogger has a very unique voice and doesn’t hold back much, which I admire.
  • Fantastic Fangirls. This is a blog that is right up my alley: girls talking about comics. They are very thorough and they know their stuff.
  • Sporcle has some really awesome time wasting quizzes, some of which are fairly difficult.

Contemplating:

  • Money. Budgeting it out. Always a source of stress for me
  • Projects. I might start this if I can justify the funds. How cute, right?
  • The end of May. I think my mom is coming to visit
  • A blog contest – STILL
  • By next Wednesday, I may or may not have something to reveal to you all.

With that, I leave you to your own devices now. Go, seek! And have a good Friday.

I can has motivation?

The light buzzed to life and I squinted, splashed a bit of water on my face. The shower steamed as I began my morning. My brain began kicking and I had some really good thoughts about this project I am working on. I felt conscious of my plan and aware of what needs to be done. I was excited and nearly brimming with excitement to start my day. So what then, you ask, killed this all for me? I don’t know. I got into my office and ate my pineapple yogurt and a handful of Wheat Thins (which, by the way, are apparently very popular. I learned this by using them as a status update and got numerous responses.) and opened my email and Firefox.

First, I checked my normal sites: Facebook, Twitter, DC message boards, Hotmail, and my blog. I opened Word. I opened Blackboard. This took up about 20 – 25 minutes and then I was there, at the edge of the cliff, needing to jump, and I couldn’t. There are about fifty OTHER things I would rather be doing right now: eating, sleeping, sunbathing, reading comics, writing, shopping, playing dinosaurs with Elliot – hell, I’d rather be getting teeth pulled over the excruciating reality of being on the cusp of a lot of work that I so very much do NOT want to do. And really, THAT’S the most painful part: the build-up, the part right before the work. The actual work isn’t so bad, once I’m on a roll and going with it.

So I am jumping and doing it. Do it to it. Gotta accomplish something in the next 25 minutes. It’s my goal. And then I shall reward myself with comics and a Diet Dr. Pepper. What do you reward yourself with?

Summer school

You know that Alice Cooper song – School’s Out? That’s how I am getting to feel here, since the semester is *almost* done. With that said, I am excited about the second half of the summer session because, as always, I get to teach ENC 1101, which is the basic freshman comp class where they get to write relatively creative papers. I am pumped because this time, they are going to write about superheroes.

Now, I am trying to flesh out this idea but mainly, I want to talk about the nature of superheroes and villains and then their moral codes, or at least their modus operandi. I will be making a powerpoint in which we discuss different heores and villains and what they’re after. For example, the main reason Lex Luthor does anything is to acquire land. When you boil it all down, that’s his ultimate goal. Similarly, we all know what Batman’s main purpose is but one of his key features is that he never uses guns. These will all play into part of their assignment in which they must explore their alter-ego hero or villain and justify their purpose. I want to do character sheets in which they really flesh out their personas.

Furthermore, I really want to show movie clips to try and integrate some of the aspects of heroes/villains and also, the iconography we put onto such figures in popular culture. If you have any ideas about this, I would be utterly grateful! I am pumped about this paper because I think they’re going to love it a whole lot. The guys will love it because um, comics, bad guys, and maybe some hot girls in tight outfits. Some of the girls might be turned off but eh, I’ll show ‘em some Nightwing prancing about in his awesome outfit and they might jump on board as well.

nightwing

Recollections to move forward

During the summer between 8th grade and high school, I went to this little place in Canada named Cobden with a friend of mine. We stayed in a cabin on a lake and swam, hiked, met some boys, and hung out with her grandparents. On her grandparents’ coffee table was a book with a title like “1000 Things to be Happy About.” Since there was only one bathroom, my friend, her brother and I would go there in the mornings to shower and while I waited for one of them to finish, I read through this little book.

Ever since then, I have had this notion to publish a similar text in which I pinpointed a bunch of things of this sort and then, when I came across one that prompted a specific memory, I would launch into a brief vignette, in memoir fashion. I don’t know if I will ever finish this, but last night I was feeling pretty down and while writing in my journal, I started a list of things I was thankful for/took a small amount of joy from.

This began when I looked down at my hardwood floors and decided that I really love them. Then this list:

  • The day of the month when my issue of Martha Stewart Living arrives
  • Episodes of Friends coming on just when you felt like watching it
  • Big glasses of water
  • The little purple flowers that are growing in my yard
  • Elliot’s giggling when he’s getting into trouble
  • Pedicures
  • New pens/books to write in
  • When the house is neat and tidy
  • Drinking my vitamins each morning from a small mason jar
  • Blasting the radio in my car on the drive home.
  • Real World/Road Rules Challenge, on Mtv
  • Buying comics on Wednesdays
  • This fangirl drawing. Note: Nightwing’s boxers = OMGCUTE.
  • That time right before sunset (yes, dusk, I know) when everything is bathed in a warm orange

That’s only a brief list of course. Over the years, I have accumulated so many scraps of paper, partial text documents, and random journal pages with bullet points that I could put into this if I ever got motivated enough. For now, I just use these as little reminders to be happy, not sulk, and enjoy life while I can. I find lately that it goes much too quickly to waste time on being depressed.

THE book meme

In lieu of anything boring about my weekend (which actually wasn’t THAT boring) I’m going to do the meme that’s been floating around recently.

1. What author do you own the most books by?

Hmm, I guess I’d have to say, based on numbers alone, Barbara Park (YA), Bill Bryson, and JK Rowling. She kind of gets it by default, you know?

2. What book do you own the most copies of?

I somehow have three copies of Catcher in the Rye. I have my mom’s copy from like, 1960 and then the plain white covered one, and then someone lent me their other copy and I never gave it back. But fair enough, they kept my copy of The Sun Also Rises.

3. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

This is a tough one b/c I am pretty sure I have no secrets and secondly, are we just talking novels here? I’m NOT going to say Mr. Darcy because honestly? I haven’t read that crap in years. I’ll go with Batman, why not?

4. What book have you read more than any other?

You’ll see a theme here but I have read Catcher in the Rye more than any other. Though, Bailey White’s Mama Makes up Her Mind comes in a close second.

5. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

That’s kind of hard to remember but I know at that time I really loved The Boxcar Children.

6. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

This is hard because if a book is really awful, I try not to read it. I guess I will say Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. I wanted to like it SO much but the main character was so unjustified in all her thoughts and really ended up being such a whiny baby.

7. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

I really loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It was quaint but well-written with an awesome array of characters.

8. If you could tell everyone reading this to read one book, what would it be?

One book? Only one? I would tell them to read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, because I think that kind of writing doesn’t get enough recognition. It’s just such a nice read and you learn a ton along the way.

9. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Not in terms of following it but in terms of subject matter, I had a hard time with The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I was unable to cope with the subject matter.

10. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

French, only because I have read more.

11. Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?

I do enjoy me some Milton but I am going to have to with Chaucer on this one.

12. Austen or Eliot?

Eliot, I don’t really like all that Austen crap. No offense, I swear.

13. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

I sort of feel like I should know more about Shakespeare, even though I have read it all in the past. I have put it all out of my brain now.

14. What is your favorite novel?

I would say Catcher but it’s not really anymore. Probably…Star Girl. It may be young adult but I simply love it.

15. Play?

Ooh, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Edward Albee is brilliant.

16. Poem?

Mostly anything by Billy Collins.

17. Essay?

Hmm, I like anything Gore Vidal has ever written.

18. Short Story?

It’s not fair to make me choose – I love me some short stories and there are a million good ones out there. I like some by smaller authors in my department but you wouldn’t knwo them anyway.

19. Non Fiction

I like anything by Bryson and anyone who teaches you a ton along the way. I’ll read ANY non-fiction.

20. Graphic Novel?

Is it too cliche to say Watchmen? I don’t know if it’s my FAVORITE. I really loved Azzarello’s Joker, if nothing else than for the scene at the end where he asks Batman why he leaves his mouth exposed and there’s this closeup of Bruce’s scowl and he says, “To mock you.” Ahh yeah.

21. Science Fiction?

Man I just don’t really read a lot of Sci-fi. Now Fantasy, I do read.

22. Who is your favorite writer?

Me? No. How about either Jerry Spinelli or Bailey White.

23. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

I don’t know – to each his own so maybe what I think  isn’t really true. I think some of the bestseller people who are always up there might be slightly overrates.

24. What are you reading right now?

I am working my way through The Commoner, a couple Batman TPBs, and soon, I’ll be working on this book about the philosophy of comics.

25. Best Memoir?

Without a doubt, the memoir of Virginia Hill, Bugsy Seigel’s girl.

26. Best History?

Hmm, tough one. I can’t think of any right now.

27. Best Mystery or Noir?

Um, I don’t think I have read anything I can put into this category.

So there you have it. Feel free to do this one on your blog and Happy Monday!

Of Zur-En-Arhh

What’s your job like? Are you busy all day? Are there down times when you can browse the web or read a book? Do people need you constantly or is it hit or miss? Mine is definitely up and down as the semester comes and goes, waxes and wanes. Beginning in August, the Fall semester is usually crazy for at least a month as students get accustomed to FSU and college life. Since I work in the English department and *most* freshmen have to take at least one of our basic courses, I see a lot of students. And a lot of issues arise. I am slammed, usually unable to even take lunch in those first two weeks of the semester. By about late September/ early October, it’s leveled off and I can relax a little. Though things come up all day like canceled classes and sundry other tasks that are part of my job. My position is sort of a catch-all.

Spring semester is more chill but no less full of tasks, especially since I am on a few committees and we have meetings and projects. Now, as the semester ends, I am heading into the Big Lull called Summer B Session. We only offer 3 English courses (as opposed to something like 150-200). I have a few small things to do, like email the 40-50 incoming grad students about completing their employment paperwork and getting books sent off to them. But for the most part, it is very quiet in my office. A little too quiet. I admit, I go a wee bit crazy during this time. Once I reach the end of the internet and get sick of whatever books I have gotten from the library (in the summer of ’07, I read 6 James Bond novels in about two weeks) I start to lose my mind.

In the recent Batman series, R.I.P, we learn that when children have to go through a traumatic time, they sometimes create an alternate self or reality to make sense of their current situation. In Batman’s case – and it’s far more complicated then what I am about to say – but he created the Batman of Zur-en-Arhh, which helped him deal with the death of his parents. He reverts to this when poisoned by the Black Glove and it almost functions like a backup operating system on a computer. Now, I am not comparing my extreme boredom to something as horrifying as becoming an orphan. What I am trying to connect is the state of mind I prepare myself for when this very slow period of the summer comes around. Nine hours in an office with little to do might be one person’s dream job but for me, I seriously think I lose a little sanity.

Things I could do during this time:

  • Write the Great American Novel :)
  • Organize
  • Apply for online jobs
  • Work an online job
  • Read

And yet, I do these only sparingly and allow my brain to rot and fall into this void-like place. I usually leave in the afternoon feeling numb, eyes glassy and extremely exhausted. But don’t get me wrong: I do love my job for the most part. In fact, there are so many pluses to this position it’s not even funny. They offer great benefits, I can pretty much up and leave when I need to (like for a sick kiddo) and I like the people in the department (for the most part.) It’s also very comfortable. I get an office with a window and web browsing isn’t limited. Right now, I am listening to music and it’s not bothering anyone. Really, if I got paid more, this would be a dream job. And the summer thing could be the one big downfall.

But I plan on hitting up the library when the students have finally filtered out to their respective homes and jobs and vacations and look into all the suggestions you guys sent me (all four of you!). I am thinking about starting a new, different blog soon and focus on something specific. It might give me something to do that is on a polar opposite. Change things up a little. If I do, I’ll let you know.

Happy Friday you guys.