Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
This slipping by of days.
And now, suddenly, I find myself at the end of the week, debating whether to head home tomorrow or Sunday, calculating how to get my work for this semester polished off in as timely a way as I can.
The dog, who can now only get up onto my bed if I lift all 38 pounds of her, wakes up momentarily in the blanket nest she worked ten minutes to build, looks at mea s if wondering what I'm still doing up, buries her head back in her gathered paws. "Why didn't you call her Frankendog on the blog?" my parents asked on the way home from dinner at the BBQ restaurant. The slits and sutures on her back make it look as though we had some kind of serious implant put into our dog. Like an upgrade, something that would let her regenerate her rear legs' muscle strength so that stair-climbing and bed-jumping would be easier.
For a being who's had my hand in her mouth three times today (administering an antibiotic that must taste fouler than foul), she's still mighty affectionate.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Back home now.
After I bought new tires for my old car, after I went out buying firewood and starter logs, I swung by the vet's office to see whether the dog was ready to come home. When one of the assistants brought her out to the waiting room, I was startled to see what they'd had to do to her this time around:
Our poor deaf puppy grows cysts and lumps and lipomas; this time, she was supposed to have a big dangly one removed from her chest, and instead she had two flat hard ones removed from her back. She might be too aged now to go under anesthetic again to have the chest lipoma removed, so she may just dangle it around for the long haul.
Now she sleeps soundly on the floor.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The pace is different here.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The final count.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Then we took the piano apart.
After dinner, once I'd arrived at my parents' house this evening, I tried out my old upright piano, just to see how many of its keys are out of tune. Only one was ferociously bad, bad enough that my father and I had the same impulse: open that thing up and see if we can figure out how to tune it. Within about fifteen minutes, we (by which I mean: his mechanical know-how and my ear) had gotten it close enough for me to serenade them before we all headed upstairs to bed. It's good to be the daughter.
(Oh yeah: it occurs to me that I should clarify that I'm not playing hooky from school. One of the best things about my employer is that we get a full week for Thanksgiving. I will fight hard if we ever start hearing about changes to this aspect of our calendar, because the week usually comes just in time, and goodness knows December is hard enough as it is.)
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Day in the life.
On the job means in the bed with a book, at the photocopier with a different book, on a table with the first book and with the photocopies and reading aloud and posing questions and making people laugh every once in awhile, in a chair in an auditorium trying to suppress a cough during a fellowship presentation, in a chair at the coffeeshop eating lunch forgetting about a meeting, in the office sending e-mails fielding questions taking phone calls counting submitted essays discussing cabinets locked and otherwise for a new building filing progress reports that threaten failure of my course if work is not submitted on time, at the piano learning how to count rhythms aloud while sight-reading, in the office thinking about a meeting, at the table for the meeting, in the living room reading a student thesis draft and a grad school proposal and a junior faculty research survey. And then contemplating bed, with another book. And blowing my stuffy nose and popping my ears all the long while.
As some of you know, one of my (and, if you know this, one of your) friends is very, and mysteriously, ill. This afternoon, he was due to go into hospital. Please keep your thoughts and/or prayers with him and his wee lovely family. They need us right now.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My sunset view.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Spotted while coming and going.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Back of a stop sign, Utica, New York.
Sometimes, I don't know, either. I just bring it so that you can see it, too.
There were lovelier things today, but we're in the dark season here, and no one wants to startle a baby with a flash. And so what was lovely goes down in words only--the wide-faced wide-mouthed grins, the curling and cuddling, the pancakes and cider mill runs and bookstore jaunts, the crying and the various pains and the meanders.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The thing I like best about this plant, he says as we walk to the car, I carrying the baby, he carrying his coffee, she following with the diaper bag and the car keys, is the way it catches the water. They all do it, but this one does it the best.
Later, we sling the baby and I carry her through the mall, her sleeping face buried under my arm, her left arm stuck straight up to clutch my shirt. Look, look, little children say to their mothers at the Gap. Look at the baby.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Paled and shadowed.
The rainfall late this morning was only the beginning: this week was the one when--in addition to the true and humbling greatness of Tuesday night--all the shit everywhere hit any fan it could find. Two-thirds of the way through the semester, we find ourselves confronting the Big Questions, the ones that make my head and heart hurt. Is it possible to teach civility? do we tackle racism or sexism first? Can we tackle either on its own? Is it possible to tame the irrational and horrifying parts of human nature through strenuous exercise of reason? Are we allowed to pretend that we don't know there are great panting chasms on every side of where we tread--just so that we can get through a week? Will anything ever get better, truly better?
By the time I came home for dinner, I realized that the last place I wanted to be was alone in my own mess in the apartment, and so I headed next door to perch in my flaming-sworded friend's living room for a little while. It wasn't long before I was ready to eat my soup, practice my reading, and head off to perform my latest prose-piece-in-development for an audience of friends and fans. I am pleased beyond anything that working on it this week has allowed me to remember a detail I love from my childhood and that I return to every once in awhile: my father once told me that on a paisley tie, it's important that the paisleys touch--so that none of them will get lonely. Everything my father touched like that came to life then, and still does now.
Tonight I sit in my new desk chair: finally, the right kind of chair, for here in my home. It's time: the real work needs to get going now.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Only later would she realize just how almost hallucinatorily strange the week had been.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
On my way to the office today, I passed a neighbor-colleague's house just as he was packing his children into the car for school. He was telling them a story, and his voice drifted down the driveway: "Yes we can! Yes we can!"
Moments later, I saw a turkey vulture with its wings fully outstretched. It perched in the very top of a leafless tree. Another vulture sat beside it, as if waiting. The vulture with its wings out seemed not to move. I peered into the sun, watching for any sign of life. The outstretched wings did not even tremble. The huddled vulture sat still. I imagined the last sweep of air, the last swoop toward the tree, and then a branch through the breastbone, an impalement. I did not take a picture.
But hours later, both birds were gone.
Everywhere here today, people were giddy, exhausted, quietly gleeful. The world runs on as it did yesterday, only more so.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Tonight, Indiana is still uncalled, even though one candidate has conceded and the other has begun to take charge with sobriety and grace. Things might just turn out okay.
Yes, we did. And yes, we will.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
When I took the EARS picture last night, I was leaving Lowe's with a pile of bird-feeding materials in my backseat. This afternoon, I took a break from grading to hang up said bird-feeding materials, so that when I sit at my red desk in the living room, this feeder is one focus of my attention. That tail you see belongs to one of the many tufted titmice that are apparently ecstatic to have had a whole new food source materialize in their neighborhood. Of course, I now realize that I may need to re-hang the feeder so that it's perpendicular to the window--or else I'll always catch this kind of glimpse--a feeder, with a tail hanging off the corner.
The moral of today's story: own your own drill, and learn how to use it.
After dark, the cows started to shout and call in the nearby pasture.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
I am happy to say that a particular job-related project, on which I have been stalling in even more disturbingly childish fashion than I want to admit, is finally underway now and not nearly as grueling or awful as I made it out to be. Thus, things seem to be as ever they were.
But I am, in fact, a child--at least where signage is concerned. While I waited at the stoplight, as I headed home with my new birdfeeders and hanging hardware, I had time to snap a shot of my favorite sign burnout of late:
I think that it needs an exclamation point. EARS!