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.