Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fine, then. Happy jolly.

When nobody thinks it's a good idea to get a Christmas tree, you may have to get the damn thing yourself. Which I did. I picked it out, flirted with the cute tree guy while he tied it ineptly to my tiny car with ten thousand feet of string, and then drove veeeery slowly home. I hauled it off the car, into the elevator, down the hall and through the apartment. I got Snorri out of it, put it in the stand, took off the netting, got Snorri out of it, wrapped it in lights, covered it in ornaments and got Snorri out of it. I may have broken a sweat but was well pleased with my efforts. Then n.o.c. came home and said, "Wow! That's wonderful! I'm so glad we got a tree!"

We? I don't know what you're smoking, but I seem to be the one covered in sap. And you're damn right it's wonderful, fool. I don't truck with less. Merry Christmas.

The tree:

Cosmo from P-town:

From Edgecomb Potters:

From Vermont (and a tribute to n.o.c.'s perfect cribbage score):

And one Pete painted while he was in Iraq, dreaming of snow:

And the Snorracle, worn slap out from attacking the tree:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Tonight I begin a baking extravaganza. I'm making these and these and these and these and these. Oh, and this. Lest you think my list a bit too too, rest assured that I'm also pulling out the Bisquick to make sausage cheese balls. Oh, don't even play. You know sausage cheese balls are good shit.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I'm covering for an art class. The students are making sock monkeys, most bizarrely. The teacher, who is apparently far more kind than I, lets the students to listen to the radio. So here I am, critiquing the size of sock monkey hat pom-poms and listening to sh*tbeatsforfourteenyearolds fm. I can't even f*cking tell which voices are digitally altered - can anyone be that nasal? How do they breathe?

All the students are whining along, heads bouncing to the mind-numbingly repetitive beat.

Yes, dear, those button eyes are just the thing for your sock monkey. Look how expressive!

What am I doing?

Monday, December 7, 2009

When life hands you unidentifiable citrus

If the phrase "time out of mind" applies to the contents of your refrigerator, perhaps it's a good occasion to examine your life.

OR, maybe it's time to cut this baby open and see how fermented lime(?) tastes in your holiday cocktail! Cheers!

In similar spirit, The Snorracle perseveres, despite our interfering.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Things goodish.

n.o.c. is driving; I am not.

Though I feel slightly nauseated after drinking a vat of diet coke, I am pleased to have resisted the chicken tenders, which are never a good idea.

Snorri does not seem to miss his testicles. He wears the cone of shame in a weary, resigned sort of way, but he still cuddles and snores and plays cutely with all manner of battable objects. My conscience is unassuaged, but I feel slightly less monstrous.

It snowed on Saturday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

mea culpa

Look. It's been a long time. A really, really long time. Long enough to justify deleting me from your blog roll. If you did, I understand. If you're still here, thank you. I'm sorry. You deserve better. You look nice in that outfit. I love what you've done with your hair.

I'd planned a lengthy post to explain my absence, chronicling all the things that have kept me from writing, but that would be boring as f*ck, and you don't come here for excuses. You come because you're supposed to be doing something productive, perhaps working or cooking or caring for your rabbit, but you want (nay - need!) to f*ck off for just a Few. More. Minutes. I understand. To that end, I will now provide you with some random, time-wasting information. And then I will be back. Soon. I swear it.

  1. I've started taking cod liver oil because I have vague notions about Omega-3s and vitamin D, and surely anything so utterly repulsive must have enormous health benefits. Seriously, it tastes like walrus smegma and lemon pledge.
  2. I took Snorri to get neutered this morning because I am a traitorous, self-centered asshole. I cried into his little furry neck until he pushed me away because I was embarrassing him in front of the cute vet assistant he was trying to cruise.
  3. I have discovered that a messy desk and a harried expression are the best defences. I hide behind reams of unsorted papers, teetering stacks of books and a menagerie of unwashed coffee cups. I rumple my clothes and apply mascara to only one eye. I run down the hallways carrying impossibly large armfuls of books and papers, leaving a trail of crumpled parchment and uncapped pens in my wake. No one can possibly ask me to do anything else.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

For what you wish, be careful.

Sometimes I wish I could catch a good, solid cold. You know, nothing too terrible, but something just bad enough to keep me on the couch for a few days, swaddled in blankets and cradled by pillows. So I was excited when I felt a little tickle in my throat last Friday. By Sunday, I had the full-bodied whoop of a lunger and a worsening sniffle. By Monday morning, I looked and felt terrible and was actually sent home from work.

Now, in my imaginary world, this should be cause for pajamaed celebration. You know, break out the hot chocolate and movies - it's time to recuperate! Unfortunately, my imaginary world generally fails to consider the crucial and unpleasant details of my real one.

1) Feeling like shit, well, it feels like shit.

2) Damned Protestant Work Ethic. Despite my dreams to the contrary, I can't bear the thought of skivving off, so I dragged myself to work every morning this week. And every morning, they promptly sent my pale, clammy, shaking, hacking (and on one occasion weeping) ass straight back home. "Stay in bed," they said. "Go away, death!" they yelled. "Why are you here again?" they implored. "I just don't know," I moaned. I don't understand myself at all.

3) My poor Snorri has had diarrhea since Saturday. We're talking five to six fetid puddles of ick a day. There was even one instance of projectile vomit. We've finally achieved a firm turd, but, let me tell you, it was a long time coming.

4) I have about four functioning neurons. Seriously - if it weren't for spell check, #3 would contain the word "puttle."

And I'm spent. Off to stare at a napkin for a few hours, and then I've got to get some sleep before I dash off to work in the morning, scarlet snot rag on my chest.

By the by - thanks for the kind comments on my new 'do. I cropped my face because I have an irrational belief that this sort of measure will prevent work-place discovery. And enhabiten, your home is absolutely lovely - congratulations.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Price of Beauty

So, I saw Olga on Monday. Remember her? This time, she decided that winter was the perfect occasion for going truly short - she pressed the comb to the hair just above my shoulders and announced her intentions.

Olga: Here. And we add copper.
Me: I don't know.
Olga: Yes. Will be perfect.
Me: Copper sounds fine, but n.o.c. hates short hair, remember?
Olga: So, you have fabulous hair during day, at night you wear long wig. Yes.
Me: But...

But it was too late. Olga had decided, and she'd apparently decided on something much shorter than she originally suggested:

I love it. It's sleek and shiny and feels like an honest-to-god "style." I'm like a grownup or whatever. I check myself out in windows. Students fawn over me. I get compliments all the time.

Not, however, from n.o.c. While it wasn't as short as he'd feared, he told me last night that the cut was fine, but "it just makes you look average."

This was basically the most terrible thing anyone's ever said to me, so I killed him. Snorri loves the hair, and we're very happy together. Just the two of us, coiffed and adorable.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Joke's on you.

Last Thursday:

Suckaroo, motherf*ckahs! No cash, no nice radio, only a used litter box:

And a little Snorri for your evening:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And I'm rambling.

Once upon a time, I began my mornings around 3:30 or 4. I'd have a vat of coffee with Splenda (this is why I no longer use artificial sweetener) and translate like a motherf*cker until 9, when I'd head off to class. Each week I had five classes of my own (each met three times), three classes and three sections of the class I TA-ed, research for my advisor, and daily exercise. I always made time to exercise. I didn't make time to have friends, but I did stalk a very cute coffee guy at the Tuesday farmers' market, and I pretended that I knew the patrons who sat at my favorite cafe. I'd cook a small dinner in the evenings, work for a few more hours, and then I'd head to bed around ten, though I made sure to read one short story before sleep, just so I wouldn't lose all sense of propriety.

While I don't reminisce fondly about this particular interlude, I do frequently marvel at my former self. So driven! So regimented! So diligent!

I was just coming off this schedule when I met n.o.c., and six hours of sleep seemed like the ultimate frivolity - a selfish and slothful waste of time. Then we spent a solid month sunning ourselves and sleeping when the mood struck, and - *SHAZAM!* - that driven, regimented, diligent person decided that she was done with that shit, threw her book bag in the trash and cracked a beer. Last I heard, she was tanned like luggage and slinging cocktails in a seedy South American bar on a dangerous but beautiful stretch of beach.

Lately, I've been sleeping a lot - going to bed around 9:30, getting up around 6:30. I love it. In fact, it feels so good that I wonder if I might be happy just sleeping my life away. When I think I've finally gotten my nap out, I find that I can easily sleep for several more hours. I don't feel badly about this, although I do suspect that I'm being judged by some past me. I also feel a little duddish and phlegmatic when I come across someone like this, who is inhumanly productive and probably sleeps less on purpose so that she can do more. But, I was never into computers - or anything profitable, for that matter - so there's really no sense in comparing apples to wildly successful, techy oranges.

At the moment, I spend most of my time reading, writing, cooking, and sleeping. I'm basically a literate cat with culinary ambitions. And I think that's fine. I think. For now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The one where I talk about poop.

Last weekish, n.o.c. and I were having a lovely evening. We'd just finished dinner, so I went off to read, while goodhusband n.o.c. worked on cleaning up the kitchen. Snorri (a.k.a. The Snorracle of Smallfry, a.k.a. Snorrious Maglorious Bloodeagle Ford (not mine), a.k.a. ooooooohhhhiloveyouiloveyouiloveyou (mine)) was off doing what he does best - conquering cat trees, manhandling bottle caps, destroying feathered playthings, what have you. Or so we thought.

As n.o.c. prepped the coffee maker (he's the shit), he noticed the Snorrster scooting across the floor on his arse. Not having read 2,935 books on cat rearing (punny!), n.o.c. thought our little guy was just being a clown. I, however, realized that something, um, fouler was afoot. Sure enough, Snorri had managed to embed two hockey pucks of poo into his very fluffy and once pristine buttfur and then decided to drag ass across the apartment in hopes of scraping them off. To his credit, there was a poo circle (something like a crop circle) around my chair, so he had tried to attract my attention before embarking on his apartment-wide shit-smearing adventure.

Anyhoo, we eventually put everything to rights, and Snorri endured the blow dryer with aplomb (and a considerably less furry, but poop-free, rear end). We chalked the incident up to youth and abundant, Pantaloon-like leg fur.

But last night, after a delicious dinner of Cornish game hens (Snorri enjoyed Iams kitten chow and the smallest sliver of crispy skin), we settled into bed and Snorri frolicked off to take his evening constitutional. After I heard him exit the box, I immediately went to dispose of his deposit, because I am fastidious. Most unfortunately, Snorri had once again managed to - I don't even know how to describe it - it was like when you were little and you fell asleep with chewing gum in your mouth and it ended up in your hair... except, in this case, the chewing gum is multiple nuggets of poo and your mouth is a little feline ass sphincter and your hair is white fur. Too graphic? I just don't know anymore.

I tell you this neither because I'm weary of kvetching about work (never!) nor because I want to ruin your dinner - I just don't know how to proceed. Is the issue mechanical? Gastrointestinal? (I took in a sample yesterday.) Maniacal? What is he doing? Why is this happening? Help!

As long as I'm asking you for help with animals, please keep another furry friend of ours, M., in your thoughts - clap for her, give her the care bear stare, pray to St. Francis, smudge sage, whatever. Sweet little M. is having a rough go of things and could use whatever you've got. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I feel guilty when I don't post. It's not guilt of the Southern Methodist, do-you-know-that-you-know-that-you-know variety, but, still, it niggles. If let it go on for too long, it's bound to spin into:

Shame (I have let you down. You came to me for amusement, and I failed you.)

Inadequacy (I am not clever enough to warrant your attention.)

Self-loathing (I'm a sham. I have never been funny.)

So, it's best if I just blog on the regular. I feel better, regardless of whether you do or not. (Though I really hope you do. And that's the baldest emotion you're going to get for a while.)

Lately, though, I haven't felt compelled to write much. It's not that nothing's going on, it's just that I'm consumed with a weird apathetic hatred that makes me boring and dangerous. Like a wildly venomous slug. I'm also really fucking tired, but who the fuck isn't, so that doesn't seem like a topic of conversation. But I persevere:
  • Ninth graders think that circumcision is a rare and barbaric Jewish ritual. I have disabused them of this notion and given them permission to ask the men in their lives whether or not they are possessed of a foreskin. Consider yourselves warned.
  • Snorri enjoys having a perch for his rear end when he takes a poo, so he often lets his turds fall just over the rim of his litter box. I find this endearing and amusing, and so does n.o.c., except that he practically vomits whenever he smells kitten shit. This does not bode well for the prospect of actual human offspring, since I am sure as shit (punny!) not changing all the rancid diapers.
  • During last week's professional day, the dean of faculty began the morning by taking to the loudspeaker and commanding all teachers to leave their offices and march in the hallway. She then called out those who did not participate with enough vigor: "Ms. Lemplekins! I see you on the monitor! Get those knees up! You're only seventy-five!" She also sang the school song and a hymn.
  • My dear, sweet, slightly insane mother would not stop cleaning last weekend, and now I'm convinced that she has the hantavirus. And it will be All. My. Fault.
That's the best I can do for today. I must off to work on my drinking problem and decide how best to be subversive and hateful without expending excessive energy or getting fired.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to The Rog

I hope you're as happy as a rat eating shit from a broke fruit jar on a cheetoh.  May your year be fine as frog's fur, may difficulties pass as quickly as greasy string from a cow's ass, and may you have enough happiness that if you turned that happiness into gasoline and put it in a piss ant's motorbike, he'd make it a billion times around a BB. Much love. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

be careful, little hands, what you google

I was trying to come up with a good metaphor for my persistent presence in someone's life, so I googled "untreatable std".  Here's a tip, children.  Clear your google browser before showing anyone anything on your computer. 

Take that! And that!

When I'm having a shit day, I sometimes like to see just how unpleasant I can make it. And that's what I'm doing today - poking the bruise that is my life. 

To examine this day properly, we really need to begin with midnight last night, since that's when n.o.c. and I decided to stop at a Taco Bell because we were seeing double and nothing sharpens the senses like questionable meat coated in chemical hot sauce.  Then I slept for five hours. Now, somehow, I'm at work, and I loathe everyone actively.  I'm wearing pants that make me unhappy and ugly shoes.  I am unprepared for my classes, but instead of preparing, I obsessively refresh my blog roll and  I have other, non-work things that need doing, but completing them would be too satisfying, so I perseverate over their magnitude.  It's a beautiful fall day, but I will not be coddled by sunlight.  Instead of walking up the hill for a salad, I sit at my desk with bad posture and eat a white bread bagel smothered with cream cheese. My tongue has a wax coating and my stomach churns.  I am despised by my body. 

Friday, October 2, 2009


Today is such a f*cking shit smear.  Forget anything kind I've ever said about humans and get over my bullsh*t stance on not complaining. Here's why:

1) Two weeks ago, a three-hour and ten minute meeting to "brainstorm" about "process".  Then a fourteen-hour day, largely spent talking with parents about why little Susie is a "modest scholar." 

2) Then an eighty-hour week, sixty-four of which were spent in the woods with little idiots, talking about feelings and getting bitten by spiders.  EIGHT spider bites.  SIXTEEN tiny fang marks. 

3) This week, in addition to attending three after-school meetings and completing interim report cards (which is surely a punishment from the fifth circle of hell), I have been informed that the classes I was hired to make academically rigorous are now too hard, even though they are the same as they were last year.

4) Now, even though I have made it absolutely clear that talking about feelings is my least favorite thing, I have been "asked" to be a group leader for the "Difficult Discussions" program - a bullsh*t enterprise that trains students to be "issues facilitators."  I'm retching.  AND they meet at night.  For HOURS. 

F*ck it. I'll just scrap everything and teach the students how to macrame while singing kumbaya, since that is clearly where all this is headed. 

He likes the finer things.

Snorri watches us breakfast while he lounges in a little something from Tiffany's. What?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

You've got to do what you should

I am not a big U2 fan.  Oh, sure, I'll sing along with their old songs if one happens to come on the radio, but I don't own their albums or hanker for their music. Despite my ambivalence, I went to a U2 concert on Tuesday night, because sometimes people get deported and can't go to concerts like they planned.  But I digress. 

The concert was good fun, and the stage resembled a giant, be-nippled space spider, which, of course, is always awesome. Now, I have a vague notion that Bono is a celebrity do-gooder, but I don't really know much about his work, so I'll refrain from expressing an opinion on the topic. (Look at me!  Being the change I'd like to see!)  Nonetheless, I was touched by the concert's emphasis on human rights - Aung San Suu Kyi and Desmond Tutu, both featured, always appeal to my nobler instincts, particularly when I overhear f*cktards confirming to one another that Desmond Tutu is, definitely, that Mandello guy from Africa or wherever. 

Sometimes I feel like a turd for not being involved in a cause.  I give money, I help no-longer-homeless Rick, I'm kind (believe it or not), and I try to teach these dependably lackluster teenagers something about the responsibility that comes with their privilege, but it often seems a piss-poor effort.  Perhaps I should be tireless and inspired - comforting the needy, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry...

Here's the problem.  I am not made of the prerequisite stern and noble stuff. I am, in fact, absolutely overcome by the even smallest glipses of the magnitude of the world's vast f*ckedness.   A couple illustrative examples:

1) There's a very old and toothless gentleman who sells succulents at the Sunday farmers' market. His are not your run-of-the-mill, plastic-potted, withered-at-the-tips succulents; they are works of art - plump, glistening plants nestled in gnarly tree trunks, raunchy old tires bedizened with lush, curling tendrils, fat cacti with leaves so perfect, I imagine that the wizened little man spent his Saturday night carefully polishing each one.  He brings his creations to the market in an old black truck, and then he sits on the tailgate and waits. Now, he's not cheap (I wanted one of his pieces but had neither the money nor the direct sunlight), but I've never seen anyone buy one of his designs.  Never.  Few people even stop to look.  He doesn't seem troubled by this, he just watches and works his gums, and then he carefully packs up his wares with his thin, weathered arms and prepares for the next market.  Something about this just kills me.  Seriously, I'm a little weepy just thinking about it. 

2) Benches all over Baltimore are emblazoned with the slogan, "Baltimore - The Greatest City in America!"  These benches are usually broken, occupied by homeless folk, surrounded by refuse, and/or in front of dilapidated rows of falling-down houses.  At first, I thought the benches might be ironic - perhaps the work of some politically minded artist or a group dedicated to raising public awareness. But, no. This slogan was coined by our current mayor in what I can only imagine was a fit of idiotic and delusional optimism.  What a f*cking numbnut. Baltimore may be many things - charming, gritty, dangerous, friendly, dirty, enduring, and maybe even resilient, but The Greatest City in America!?  I think not.  Now every time I see a bench, I seethe over the money some shit-for-brains spent on a wildly hyperbolic branding campaign instead of on, oh, I don't know, comforting the needy, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry...

So, I'm going to keep on in my own small way - writing checks, making sandwiches for Rick, teaching John Rawls, crying over the succulent man, shaking my fist at preposterous benches, and applauding those whose capabilities are more sturdy than mine. 

Monday, September 28, 2009

A few faves...

1) "I'm about a quart low on Chablis!" -- Elderly math teacher at recent hellish retreat

2) "How?" -- Over-privileged student's response when asked to close window blinds.

3) "non-shalantly" -- Clever student writing about her actions

4) "Oh, she's quite a trollop." -- Elderly math teacher describing a lascivious student

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009


After endless waiting and wild anticipation (thank you for your patience and understanding), we finally set out to get Snorri. The day dawned auspicious:

After a quick and beautiful drive to Old Virginny, we arrived at the cattery to find Snorri waiting for us at the door, and we got to meet all of his kinfolk - five generations of NFCs. I wish I'd taken pictures of his father and grandfather. They were huge. Lift-with-your-legs enormous. We realized that we'd never actually seen a Norwegian Forest Cat, much less hefted a twenty-pounder personally. Google image searches are not substitutes for actual experiences, children. Be ye warned.

And then Snorri was ours. I won't bore you with the emotional chowchow of it all; let's just say that we've already referred to ourselves as "mom" and "dad" on more than one occasion. I know.

I'd read that cats and car trips make uneasy bedfellows, and it's true that Snorri didn't immediately love his cat carrier.

But, after about fifteen minutes of pitiful mewling, the little guy snugged down and was a total badass.

Eventually, however, the humans could stand it no longer. Breaking every rule of cat training and car safety, we freed the Snorrster from his prison. At first, he did some 'splorin'.

But it wasn't long before Snorri showed his true colors. This cat is a fiend for the snuggle.

Do you know how to tell if a cat is relaxed? Look closely. This is drool.

So, Snorri is pretty much the most awesome cat ever, and, one day, he'll be a wild and fearsome Viking marauder. Just not right now. He's got to get his snuggle on.

Huzzah! Huzzah!


Monday, September 21, 2009

I must have done a very dastardly deed.

I am being forced to attend a three-day bonding retreat with ninth graders, the same wee folk who were earlier in raptures over awkward interchanges between ScarJo and a mortified-looking Colin Firth.  (I believe I may have mentioned this previously and promised not to complain about it.  I lied.)

Well, I just received the packing list, and... Well... F*ck.  More articulate griping to follow.



Sleeping bag (to put on bed)



Bathing suit (we are not going swimming, but some people feel more comfortable having a swimsuit for the shower)

Towels and washcloth


Blue jeans, etc., and bring two changes of clothes

Light jacket



Sneakers or shoes (two pairs suggested in case one pair gets wet)


Flip flops for shower


Day pack (book bag) for ropes course.

            Inside put:

rain gear

large water bottle



            moistened wipes

insect repellant


Forbidden items:

            Cell phones

            Candy, food, drinks (they will be provided)

Surely, I don't deserve this

Had another fantastic weekend in Vermont - the air was crisp, the leaves were changing, and the local cheeses were so delicious that you might as well apply them directly to my ass and call it a day. We even had a quick and easy drive back and were able to get to bed by a decent hour. 

But now.  Now!  I'm subbing for an English class, which means that I'm watching Girl With A Pearl Earring, and if I have to watch ScarJo mouth breathe and emote for one more minute I may get physically ill.  How? How??? How did she get paid to do this? Snorri could do a more convincing job, though, I admit, he is a remarkably talented kitty, so it may not be a fair comparison.

Friday, September 18, 2009

This makes it all better

"Most of my married friends now have children, the rewards of which appear to be exclusively intangible and, like the mysteries of some gnostic sect, incommunicable to outsiders. In fact it seems from the outside as if these people have joined a dubious cult: they claim to be much happier and more fulfilled than ever before, even though they live in conditions of appalling filth and degradation, deprived of the most basic freedoms and dignity, and owe unquestioning obedience to a capricious and demented master."

HA!  Brilliant!  (Sorry, mom.)

From Tim Kreider's Opinion piece in the NYT Happiness series

And then...

I was informed that some toothless wonder has been running wild with my credit card in every Best Buy and Rite Aid in Bumblef*ck, GA.  Thankfully, the small-town South is light on consumer opportunities. 

So I went to bed at 8:45.  Game over. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A message from above

So, I recently left a three-hour meeting that lasted for three hours and ten minutes because people are so wildly f*cking incompetent. If you can't exhaust your supply of inane drivel in three hours, then you may need to rethink your action steps and then circle back, mmmmmkay?

Then, on the drive home, the check engine light came on in my brand-new-to-me car, which, by the by, is about as uncomplicated as a lawn mower, precisely because I don't have the inclination to think about shit like cars. But, here we are, me and my mechanic, developing a relationship.

Now I'm sitting at the bar across from my mechanic's having a pomegranate martini . I have 18 minutes of juice left on my computer and no power cord. I have just read the first entry in the City Paper's recent "Best of Baltimore" series, which reveals the number one reason to live in B'more - You're already prepared for the collapse of society. It's like tantra, practically. You're so disgusting you're almost clean! Things are so terrible they're almost great! You don't need to get used to a world that's f*cked - you're already intimately acquainted with one! Congratulations! Yay!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Hopkins student kills intruder with samurai sword, police say

Two laptops, PlayStation had been stolen from off-campus house Monday

By Liz F. Kay |

7:35 AM EDT, September 15, 2009

A Johns Hopkins University student armed with a samurai sword killed a man who broke into the garage of his off-campus residence early Tuesday, a Baltimore police spokesman said.

According to preliminary reports, a resident of the 300 block of E. University Parkway called police about a suspicious person, department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. An off-duty officer responded about 1:20 a.m. to the area with university security, according to Guglielmi. They heard shouts and screams from a neighboring house and found the suspected burglar suffering from a nearly severed hand and lacerations to his upper body, he said.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

The student told police that he heard a commotion in the house and went downstairs armed with a samurai sword, Guglielmi said. He saw the side door to the garage had been pried open and found a man inside, who lunged at the student.

Detectives were still interviewing the student and his three roommates Tuesday morning, Guglielmi said. Burglars had already stolen two laptops and a Sony PlayStation from the student's home Monday, according to Guglielmi.

Dennis O'Shea, a spokesman for Johns Hopkins, said all four residents of the house are undergraduate students at the university.

The suspected burglar, whose name was not released pending notification of next of kin, had prior convictions for breaking and entering and had just been released Saturday from a Baltimore County facility, Guglielmi said.

Monday, September 14, 2009

This Monday deserves my ire.

We had a lovely weekend in Vermont. Started our drive home a bit later than we should have, but the day was beautiful and the company swell. This happens. Stopped for gas and a sandwich in Connecticut and got trapped in conversation with a yokel. When I told him where we'd spent our weekend, he said, "Vermont? All they do there is make maple syrup and f*ck their cousins." I told him that I was from Georgia, so I felt right at home.

Then, in our sleepiness, we went the wrong way on the 87 and ended up in a part of New York that makes Baltimore look like Disney World. Say what you will about my city, but I've never seen a gaggle of ginormous, suited men selling drugs openly from a limo parked in the middle of the street. But maybe I don't get out enough.

So, we got home after one, and we had to get up before six. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this, but n.o.c. and I are not terribly hearty people. Still, we managed.

And I actually thought I was doing fairly well, until about five minutes ago when I had nearly finished with a half-hour lecture on Daoism. One of my students raised her hand and asked, "Aren't we supposed to be talking about Mozi?" Yes, Liza. Yes, we are. That's what's on the schedule, and that's what I said at the beginning of the lecture - hell, that's even what I wrote on the board - but here I am, yammering away about Laozi and the Daodejing.

Luckily, I have an 75-minute faculty meeting to look forward to this afternoon, so I'll have plenty of time to reflect on my failures. And put the finishing touches on meeting BINGO.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Just look at the size of those paws!!! He's going to be the most fearsome marauder in the world!!! Picture it - "Snorri, the neighbor's small human child is annoying! Destroy him!!! Then ransack the silver!!!" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I'm leaving the office soon. I swear.

Mwahahaha! Success is mine!

Though most civilized bloggers have known since time immemorial that one can post scathing and derisive blog entries while seemingly typing Very Important Emails, I've only just caught on. Hey - I may be slow, but I'm fun to watch.

I've also just realized that most of the seniors I teach were born in - wait for it - 1992. I just... I mean... 1992? They're basically diploid cells, and yet here they are, walking and talking and looking for all the world like nearly formed humans. I discovered this because I was trying to reference David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, and they just stared at me blankly (which, by the by, was not nearly as disconcerting as the time I asked them to imagine how upsetting it would be to see a solar eclipse if you didn't know what one was. Let's just say it was reeeeeaaalllllly easy for them to imagine.). They do, however, remember 9/11, but they had a very different perspective on the world then, primarily because they were about three feet tall and in the FOURTH GRADE. I simply find it unthinkable that I'm old enough to be so much older than anyone else.

On another subject entirely, we're thinking of creating meeting BINGO cards - the winner gets a bottle of bourbon and a tee-shirt that says "Your teacher is a drunk". We believe that meetings will be more tolerable if "paradigm shift," "social identifier," and "an incoherent, impassioned speech that ends with 'I LOVE these girls!'" are actually steps toward a tangible goal and not merely a million little deaths.

this is a test

Perhaps I can still blog with impunity while at work.  We shall see. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Piss Poor Performance

I've been a terrible blogger. A real shit. You deserve so much better, and I swear I'll shape the f*ck up. In the meanwhile, a few things that have given me happy in the past few days:

1) The Rog: "Hey darlin'. Sorry I missed your call. I was at Jim Shaw's with Mickey Mouse and Nut Bush. Hope everything's alright."

2) Poor, pitiful, mouth-breathing, bless-her-idiot-heart student: "So, like, is Judaism like, um, what the Jewish do?"

3) We. Get. Snorri. On. The. 26th. We're going to smother that little f*cker with love whether he likes it or not.

More tomorrow. Thank you for your continued, entirely undeserved support.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm done with that shit.

No more complaining. Absolutely none. I'm just describing. Giving you a vision of my reality. It's what I do.
  • I am wearing a large Icy Hot patch around my neck in hopes that I will again, at some sweet spot in the future, be able to look to the right. I smell refreshingly decrepit. On my hobble to the CVS, I came across a very colorful person yelling "Max that shit out, Judas" to a doormat.
  • Today I asked a student named Anneke to tell me something interesting about herself. She told me her name was just like Hanukkah, but without the H, though she did concede that she had no idea how Hanukkah was spelled.
  • I learned in Diversity Training that being left handed in a right-handed world is really similar to struggling through generations of persecution and oppression. Neat-o.
  • I have made my peace with the Keurig. I am enamored of the german chocolate K-cups, one mini moo and no sugar.
  • Come late September, I will be spending three days away from n.o.c. and my pristine apartment, climbing ropes courses and participating in "bonding activities" with dear, sweetsome ninth graders.
See? Nary a complaint. Like a true Southern woman, I will suffer uncomplainingly. Then I will hack someone to pieces and fry them like chicken.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

UUUUUUUUnnnnnnnnnggggghhhh. (Fade to soft weeping sounds in background.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Captivity Log: Day One

I thought I might tell you about how I spent my first working hour of the year listening to drug-addled, lily pulitzer-clad crones demand that I wear a gold cardboard crown on the first day of school, but I decided that was just too pathetic. I considered whining about how I endured an hour-long presentation on Outlook calendars, but, really, who needs to relive that inanity? I almost wrote about how we were forced to make lists of words that described our motivations for teaching, but my chosen words - ignorance, privilege and revenge - don't really show me in my best light.

So, I'll just tell you this: vodka and pomegranate juice. It's all you really need to know.

Note: I have other things in the works, but I'm not yet blogging about them. Hubris will bite you in the ass. Every time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Last Ding-Dong of Doom


I cannot sleep. Maybe I'll fall asleep at the beginning of the night, or maybe I'll fall asleep at its rosy-fingered end, but there will be vast stretches of wakefulness. I like to use these extra hours of consciousness to re-examine embarrassing things that I've done. I also like to think of all the ways that next year could potentially go to pot. Either way, it's time well spent.


We just bought another car. This means that we are a two-car household. This shames me deeply. Although there is a tiny part of me that emits small squeals of delight, since I will now be able to leave work any old time I want. The car serves at the pleasure of the me.


Work. Starts. Tomorrow. If I weren't so tired, I'd cry.

Friday, August 21, 2009

To blog

I never kept a journal. Oh, I started many, but I always felt foolish after a page or so. I didn't know what to say or how to get things started, and I felt like I was ripping off Anne Frank, but, you know, without horrific life events to lend poignancy to my daily musings. I've come across a few of these abandoned logs, and I'm often nauseated by the overwhelming banality of my entries:

Dear Diary,

J is totally not into me; I think he likes C. God, I hate them. He probably doesn't like me because I'm fat. I need a pair of Gap jeans. I've gotta go, but more later, for sure.



Then I cringe over those entries where I tried to be all deep and shit.

Dear Diary,

Today I knew how the trees feel when they lose their leaves - suddenly naked, but unashamed.

Peace and Light,


Fuuuuuuuck. Terrible shit, fo shizzle.

But after blogging a bit, I've realized the real reason I never succeeded in keeping a journal - you're just f*cking talking to yourself. No one's going to compliment you on being witty or funny. No one's going to tell you that they feel the same way. No one's going to yell at you to get the f*ck over yourself. I don't need to hear any more from me about me; I talk to myself all the f*cking time, and I clearly don't know shit from shine-ola. I need to hear from you, and I love hearing from you. And that, dear readers, is what keeps me coming back to I Have Happy. Thanks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

addendum to Singing Opera

6) And sometimes I just enjoy a good fit of the sullens. Back the f*ck off.

Singing Opera *

Sometimes life is staggeringly depressing. It seems so swift and pitiful, and I wonder whether the only things I'll remember at its end are those times when I was truly mean. I reflect on how I probably peaked at 25 and how pathetic it is that I'm relieved to see people older than I am doing impressive things - writing novels, finishing PhDs, publishing cookbooks - because then it seems like I'm still young enough to do something surprising, which, of course, most folks thought I'd do back when I was 25.

Thinking this way makes me a tool. Seriously, sometimes I'm so overcome by my own fruitlessness, I cry in the shower. What a loser. I'm blaming this particular bout of boring, self-indulgent, ridiculous ennui on a few things:

1) My second year of teaching. I generally stop doing dissatisfying things after one year. Something about motion feeling like progress.

2) n.o.c.'s heinous work life. When he's really exhausted and downtrodden, he starts thinking about could haves and should haves. This kind of talk generally makes me insane, but it is contagious.

3) Hormones. Bastards.

4) The end of the summer. This is somehow different from the beginning of the school year - it's melancholy and overextended and worn out by its own energy. I'm ready for a bit of crispness in the air, if you don't mind.

5) Various and sundry projects and aspirations that make me fear potential goods will be thwarted by lack of ambition. (See that? I'm even depressed by all the good things I have going on in my life! Could I be more pathetic?)

Anyway, I'm putting on my big girl panties and getting the f*ck on with it. Just wanted to hug it out, and I'm the only one here.

*When one participates in boring, self-indulgent, ridiculous ennui, The Rog says that they're "Singing Opera." You know, "Me, me, me, me, me!"

When you go to Georgia

There are things you should do. First, start out with a beer at the airport. Prime the pump, if you will.

Then arrange to be greeted at the airport with a cooler-full of homemade buttermilk-and-tabasco fried chicken. I shit you not.

Since most things you consume while in Georgia tend toward the fatty, start your mornings with fresh figs - nothing gets you going better!

Sloth (it's a verb now) by the pool with your bellyfull of figs and drink gin and tonics. Instead of fretting about the inevitable ill effects of your sun exposure, end the day at the best seafood shack in Georgia - Jim Shaw's.

There are some dishes you must try:

Hushpuppies. This is a hushpuppie (Technically, I suppose it's about half a hushpuppie. Delayed gratification is not among my strong suits.):

These are what grits look like... Or is it, "This is what grits looks like"? I believe public opinion is divided. Nonetheless:

Fried pickles, odd but good:

Blackend oysters - soooo delicious:

Fried crab claws:

The next day, get yourself some peaches. Procure them here, since this, um, enthusiastic stand is conveniently adjacent to the gas station:

Eat peaches and drink gin and tonics. Inexplicably, your hunger will return. Eat ribs (cooked for 18 hours) and mac and cheese.

When you return home, step on the scale with trepidation. Be pleasantly surprised to discover that you gained nary a pound. Know that it's from all the limes in the gin and tonics - cuts the fat, you know.