Monday, October 30, 2006

"Under Pressure"

I'm currently neck-deep in my Midpoint Portfolio, the biggest steaming pile I've yet to encounter in the whole compost heap that is the Master's of Education program, but I thought I'd pause to relate an amusing anecdote from my life to you, the faithful reader.

I woke this morning at a decent time, which is roughly ten minutes before I usually wake up. I stretched and began the blind grope-search for my glasses on the nightstand where I always leave them. They weren't there. I checked on the floor, as sometimes I accidentally knock them off when I toss or turn during the throes of the night. Not there, either. I began searching the other nightstand, where I know I never keep the glasses. They weren't there. I was starting to get a little panicky; not because I really need my glasses to get from my room to the bathroom, but because these are my glasses we're talking about here. Sure, it's just a pair of glasses now, but what next? My wallet? My keys? My cellphone? My guitar?

This was clearly an issue that needed resolving, and fast.

So I sat up in bed, intent upon continuing my all-important search. Time be damned, I needed to find my glasses.

It was at this point that I noticed I could read the alarm clock from my sitting position in the middle of the bed, albeit with a bit of fuzziness to everything.

Hmm, that's odd, I thought to myself. I can't usually see the alarm clock when I first wake up without my glasses.

That's when I realized I hadn't taken out my contacts the night before.

The mystery of the missing glasses was then easily solved: they'd never left the bathroom counter, their resting place during the day while the contact lenses do all the work. So I took out the contacts and tossed them in the trash (something I'd have done Tuesday night anyway, what with the beginning of the new month and all) and wore my glasses all day.

Of course, my glasses have a slightly weaker prescription than my contacts, so things have been a bit blurry all day and I've got a bit of a headache...

And now, of course, I've been staring at a computer screen all night. You gotta admit, there's just something not right with my head.


Song of the Moment: Elliott Smith, "Coming Up Roses"

Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Shuffle Through The Aches And Pains"

I got a lot accomplished this weekend. At least, it feels like I did. Really I just got a couple of very big things figured out, so even if I didn't do much I at least did things that were important.

For starters, Michelle and I have found a bed and breakfast at which to do the wedding thingie. That was a load off. Tonight we're having a discussion with Wendy and Tim about the feasibility of Michelle and me taking over the apartment after they get a house.

I also watched several episodes of Seinfeld as part of my preparation to have dinner with Michelle's parents next Saturday. See, her father has a very specific pop culture frame of reference, and if I don't share this frame of reference I'll be in serious trouble (mostly of the "this guy is too damn stupid to marry my daughter" variety, I think). So Michelle and Chad sat me down and showed me several key episodes of the show. I think I get it now.

I'm currently working on artifacts for my Midpoint Portfolio. I have to say, I absolutely hate education classes. I hate this portfolio. It's all pretty damn pointless and stupid, and if I had any way to stop it all, I would. Possibly it would involve explosives. Or maybe just a big stick to hit things with. That'd probably work.

Halloween is Tuesday, and I'm trying to figure out what to go as that wouldn't cost much money. So far, very little (in fact, nothing) has come to mind. I suppose I could go as a Goth, but where would I find that much eyeliner and black clothing? And how do they actually fix their hair?


Song of the Moment: My Morning Jacket, "Wordless Chorus (Live)"

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"He Gets Wise In His Own Eyes"

Had a busy week. Tuesday saw the midterm for my Reading and Language Development class. My group did well, scoring an A with no trouble (and getting finished first to boot). Thursday featured a guest lecture from one of the clinical psychologists from our school. She talked about multicultural education, and later commented that I was the best student she'd ever had in a class.

Friday I went with Michelle and got a new cellphone. Very shiny. We then went to hang out with Lauren. Saturday, I went and saw The Prestige with Lauren and her brother; then Michelle, Lauren, and I hung out that night and watched Labyrinth. Yes, that's right: two movies that featured David Bowie. I kept expecting him to say something like, "hey, listen to what I'm talking about. I'm Ziggy Stardust, bitch!" or "y'know, Diamond Dogs wasn't that bad of an album." He must have been doing so much cocaine during Labyrinth...

Today I went to church and then helped Wendy strike set. Michelle came over for a bit and had dinner with us, but then she had to go so she could attend the Frank Black concert up in DC. Her text message earlier this evening indicated that she was enjoying herself.

Anyway, it's another busy week coming up. Dunno how I'll find enough hours in the day to do everything I need or want to do, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.


Song of the Moment: My Morning Jacket, "Take My Breath Away" (yes, that "Take My Breath Away." I think they've got a warped sense of humor)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

"A Kiss To Build A Dream On"

Another busy week has rushed past me, and I've barely had time to catch my breath. Helping Wendy work on the set on Monday, class on Tuesday and Wednesday, and just more work than anyone really wants anything to do with the rest of the week.

Michelle's been sick again this weekend. She thinks it's my fault, but I keep trying to tell her that allergies are not contagious. And that's what I've had, I'm sure: allergies. My symptoms responded to allergy medicine, hers did not. I think that speaks for itself.

Last night, we went and saw Wendy's latest show, The Girls of the Garden Club. I swear, the 1970s living room set looks exactly like so many of my friends' houses back in Oklahoma. The wood paneling, the garrish wallpaper, the gross carpet's like stepping back in time to a decade that we just wish would go away. The show itself was pretty good. There were some decent gags and fairly solid acting, though there were quite a few dropped cues and some stumbled lines that there shouldn't have been. I'm sure next week's run will be even stronger. Might have to go back and watch it again.

The latest evidence that Michelle and I are becoming adults and actually getting married: we got a joint cellphone plan last night. Actually, we just added a line to her existing plan, but that means I'm on hers instead of my parents' (which is how it was back in Oklahoma) or on my roommates' (which is how it's been here until now). We also checked to see how much it would cost to add each other to car insurance; looks like we'll just put her car on my insurance instead of the other way around, 'cause it's significantly cheaper. We've also started discussing things like health insurance (should we try to get one of us on the other's health insurance? Or should we each maintain our own separate policies?) and the purchase of cars and houses. It's made me feel a little too much like an adult; I think I may have to spend part of the afternoon playing videogames just to balance things out.

In other news, my computer mouse--the wireless optical mouse I bought about three years ago--has crapped out on me all the sudden. It was working fine Friday afternoon, but Friday evening the optical laser wouldn't work right and kept turning off. I could get a few seconds of use out of it each time before I had to hit the button on the bottom of the mouse to reconnect the mouse and (hopefully) get the laser going again. Rather than continue fighting the mouse, Michelle just loaned me her trackball. It's starting to grow on me. I don't usually like trackballs, for some reason, but it works pretty well. Just takes some practice, I guess.


Song of the Moment: Glen Phillips, "Greer Zoller (Live)"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Great A'Tuin"

If someone wanted to make me this cake at some point in the near future--say, for my wedding--I think it's entirely possible I would call that person my new best friend.


Song of the Moment: Roger McGuinn, "Up to Me"

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Say Yes"

The three-day weekend turned out great, aside from me getting kinda sick. I think it's just allergies, and truth be told I already feel a lot better than I did Sunday or Monday. It's mostly head congestion, sinus pressure, and way more mucous than I thought you could fit in the human nostril, but that's just the way of things. It's mostly just had me kinda run down and achey, but I'm recovering and made it through a full day of school and class tonight without dying.

Meg and Bob's wedding on Sunday was really nice. It was a simple, understated affair that featured readings from Carl Sandberg and Bob singing a song slightly out-of-key but with true and heartfelt emotion, so that was cool. The reception was a barbeque/charcoal affair, featuring hamburgers and hotdogs and the like. And an open bar. I myself didn't take advantage of said open bar, as I was the driver and had to get us home, but most everyone at our table at the reception (Michelle, Ken and his wife Rebecca, and Wendy and Tim) took advantage of free booze that was liberally doled out.

I also got engaged.

So yeah, funny story: Michelle and I are sitting there on the porch of the building where they did the reception, chatting and enjoying the beautiful night. We're not really talking about anything of importance; in fact, I don't really remember what we were talking about at all. There's a pause, then she looks over at me and says, "So, wanna get married?" To which I stammer, "What? Like, right now?" She seriously meant within the next week or two, but we're actually gonna wait until April. But I said yes, we both broke out in huge grins and started giggling, then we went back inside and joined our friends. It was simple, quick, and felt right.

Then the car got stuck in some mud and it took a truck, a rope, and four guys pushing to get it out of said mud. So much for the power of the SUV.

But yeah, I'm engaged. It's sort of a weird feeling, in a way. I mean, I'm basically a kid in a lot of respects, but this feels like it's what we should be doing, and who am I to stand in the way of that? Plus, Michelle said I could be a house husband after she gets her CPA and starts her own business, so that's cool. I like the idea of getting to stay home and keep house and have time to write and stuff. Plus she said I could pursue my PhD. The woman knows the way to my heart, that's for sure.

Anyway, we've got a tentative date set for April. We're looking into locations now, trying to figure out how we want to do it all. We're thinking something very simple; an elopement, really, except our family will be there. It's a strictly family affair, but we're going to have a big party/open house thing in July and try to get as many of our friends to come out and visit us as possible. We'll see just how many people we can cram into this apartment. It'll be keen.


Song of the Moment: Mark Knopfler, "Prarie Wedding"

Saturday, October 07, 2006

"A Memory From Your Lonesome Past"

The weeks fly by but seem to drag at the same time. So busy. Class every Tuesday and Thursday nights, ceaseless working during the day, and weekends that aren't ever nearly long enough.

The classes are progressing okay. We had a debate Thursday night about inclusions (keeping students with LD in the general education classroom), and I totally rocked the debate. "Pwned," as they say in the vernacular.

I got the Martin and the Fender both restrung this afternoon. They sound so nice now. This means that all four (!) guitars I own are tuned up and with (reasonably) new strings (the Epiphone was changed like three or four months ago, but it rarely gets played so the strings are still good).

The temperature dropped down into the forties yesterday, which was fine by me. I like cold weather, you'll remember, and I'm happy to finally see the back of summer...though it's always possible the temperature will climb back up during the week and render me a sweaty, miserable mess. The one downside to the weather change has been that my seasonal allergies seem to be kicking in: I'm stopped up, I have junk in my throat, and I've a bit of a headache. Hopefully all this will pass soon enough.

Current events on Capital Hill do nothing but fill me with rage. The whole Foley case especially really upsets me, in large part because he's trying the Mel Gibson defense: "It was alcohol what made me do it, honest!" he seems to cry. Yeah, he's blaming alcoholism for his sending sexually explicit emails to young teenage pageboys. Folks, pay attention: alcohol doesn't make you do things you wouldn't do otherwise. It may relax your inhibitions, but it does not change the sort of things you think, say, or would be willing to do. It just makes you slightly more likely to think, say, or do them. I don't care if he was drunk off his ass every single time he sent one of those emails, he is still culpable.

Our society lets too many people off the hook because they refuse to take responsibility for their actions. People used to say "the Devil made me do it" or "I was possessed by an evil spirit." Do we believe that some evil spirit inhabited someone's body and made them kill a person? No. But we do something very similiar each time we deny a person's responsibility for his or her actions. "Oh, he couldn't help it, he's alcoholic." Saying that not only negates the guy's responsibility for whatever stupid-ass crap he pulled, it denies his agency and his choice.

Okay, clearly I'm full of too much rage about this. I've a wedding to go to tomorrow (Meg and Bob! Hurray!), so that should be fun. Plus, the reception will be serving barbeque, and I dig me some barbeque.


Song of the Moment: Thom Yorke, "Atoms for Peace"

Sunday, October 01, 2006

"Talk Is Cheap Almost All The Time"

God, what a week it's been. Class on Tuesday and Thursday nights, Back-to-School Night on Wednesday...I've barely had a day to breathe. But I managed to get the comic updated on time every night, so that's a good sign. Just wish I had a little more breathing space.

Spent most of yesterday sitting in Wal-Mart, waiting for them to change my oil and rotate/balance my tires. Took them 4 1/2 hours. Good thing I didn't have any pressing engagements.

Spent this afternoon helping Wendy build set, and this evening hanging out with Michelle and trying to focus on getting stuff accomplished for one of my classes (which didn't go as well as I'd have liked, but hey, what can you do?).

Next week should be slightly less hectic. No Back-to-School Night, so Wednesday is free at least. Next Sunday is Meg and Bob's wedding, so we'll all be in attendance at that. I'm sure I'll be forced to wear a shirt with a collar. I might even have to tuck it it, something I didn't even do for Back-to-School night. We'll see.

If the weather should maintain it's recent trend, I'd be a happy man indeed. Mid-60s is perfect weather, as far as I'm concerned.


Song of the Moment: They Might be Giants, "We Want a Rock"