Saturday, March 31, 2007

Nostalgic goings-on

Look, I'm blogging again - with energy. Three days in a row. I haven't done this for months - not since I was snowed under by teaching-related issues. This is because, despite the stack of papers that I have not graded, I am feeling free. Three more classes. Tuesday's class features presentations, so I don't have to do anything but listen - and take in the lengthy papers I will need to grade for that class. For Wednesday night, I can rely on prep from last year. Thursday night is a repeat of Wednesday, plus a film. I am so nearly home-free, I can taste it. And the Tuesday night class is going out for dinner together after their presentations. Since this has been a strangely intense class for everyone, including me - full of conflicts, emotions - it will be really nice for us to wind down as a group. They are so pumped about going out to dinner with me and each other, it's hilarious.

And last night, I stayed home!! I have not had a night in for three whole weeks. It's sick. I've mentioned before that my schedule is so ridiculous that I generally only have Sunday nights at home. And the last couple of weeks, I've had stuff to do on Sunday nights. Gah. So last night, staying home with A and her girlfriend T and the three dogs felt nothing short of miraculous.

The three of us had a little taco kit party. Sometime over the winter, we discovered that the Old El Paso Taco Kit was a highlight of each of our childhoods. Ah yes - with the iceberg lettuce, the winter tomatoes. Good times. For me, the taco kit dinner was really in full swing circa 1985-86, when my mother had me prepare dinner a couple of nights a week. This was one of my standbys.

We did it up with veggie ground round last night. Making more of a mess with each bite, with the taco shell breaking, the cold cheddar rubbery and half-melted into the "meat" - what an embodied memory that was. It has been at least seventeen years since I've had that experience - since I became vegetarian.

Then, we pulled out the laptop and sat there for an hour watching the intros to the TV shows we used to watch in the taco kit days. If you have not yet discovered that YouTube has the opening songs to most every show you can think of (and you don't have cable and access to reruns, so these things are distant memories), you're in for a treat. CheersCosbyShowMattHoustonKnightRiderNewhartDegrassiJuniorHighGoldenGirlsDallas...Then we reached back even further, to the early 80s, before we'd really graduated to adult shows. Jeremy Bear, The Green Forest, Today's Special, and Polka Dot Door. Good god, that was fun/disturbing. Dredging up all manner of crazy memories of place...the brown velour loveseat I sat on to watch Hammy in the TV room at 232 Rideau Terrace...etc., etc.

Since I seem to be charging down memory lane at the moment, you may expect a memory or two to be exorcised here, in this space, soon.

Bonus photo of Mr. K, who is currently sleeping like this, with the stuffed mallard duck clutched between his paws:

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Recipe Blogging: Wild Mushroom Risotto

Ah, Friday Recipe Blogging , I hardly knew you...Once upon a time, late last summer and into the early fall, I tried to follow Medieval Woman's lead and post a recipe every Friday...then I was sucked into the black hole of my breakup and my teaching insanity.

But Medieval Woman (check out her new place!) asked me a few weeks ago to post my recipe for mushroom risotto, after I mentioned rather immodestly that I had made the best one ever. And I figure I might as well do that, since this constitutes about my favourite meal. Anything with mushrooms, and lots of them, is pretty much it for me.


Now, this recipe is from a healthy eating cookbook, A New Way to Cook, by Sally Schneider (which is a really good book). Therefore, it's pretty modest on the old butter and cheese, etc. I am not so modest. I definitely put more butter and olive oil in this than she calls for, and maybe more parmesan. And I used probably 1/4 cup of mascarpone cheese, instead of her 1 1/2 tablespoons of sour cream. Also, more fresh mushrooms. Plus, cause I'm vegetarian, I use veggie broth instead of chicken. Do all of this, and yours too will be the best one ever! Here's the basic recipe, though:

1/2 ounce dried mushrooms, preferably porcini
1 cup boiling water
3 cups unsalted homemade chicken broth or canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 fresh sage leaves, chopped, or 1/4 tsp rubbed dried sage
1 cup Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, or Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 pound fresh wild mushrooms
1 1/2 tbsp regular or reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 ounces fresh white truffle, or more (optional)

In a small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in the boiling water for 30 minutes.

Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid, rinse, and drain well. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. Set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over high heat; lower the heat and keep at a simmer.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil over low heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and sage, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent, about 4 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to moderate, and cook, stirring, until the shallots are golden. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains look chalky with a white dot in the centre of each, about 5 minutes (Do not allow the rice to brown.)

Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed by the rice, about 3 minutes. Stir in the fresh mushrooms, the reserved chopped dried mushrooms, and 1/2 cup of the simmering broth. Pour in the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, taking care to leave any sediment behind. Cook at a gentle simmer, stirring frequently, until almost all the liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes. Continue adding broth in this fashion, 1/2 cup at a time, until the rice is tender yet still firm in the centre and risotto is creamy but not soupy.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and pepper to taste [and salt! - ed.]. Serve immediately. Serve with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano for sprinkling, and shave the white truffle, if using, directly onto the risotto at the table.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Okay. So I'm pissed. Here's the deal.

Earlier this week, when I took my bus ride to Dream Uni City, I ran into one of my students. I sat with her, and we chatted the whole way. Among many other things (god, students are motormouths), she was telling me about the Disability Services Office and what they've provided for her, as someone with a learning disability. When she arrived at the university three years ago, she was given a computer and a software program that costs thousands of dollars. She was telling me that Dream Uni is known to have one of the best disability services programs out there. I wasn't surprised - I've gotten the sense they're pretty active and effective. So that was fine.

Then yesterday, another student came to to see me in my office. Pretty much as soon as she opened her mouth, she melted down. Pregnant with her third child and having a very difficult pregnancy, with little help from her partner at home, and overly conscientious (she's the type who hands in assignments three weeks early), she's not faring well with the end-of-year crunch that is at its most intense this week. One of the things she told me was that she is having a conflict with the Disability Services Office, so she's worried about writing her exam for me there.

The story with her is that she's visually impaired. She has very, very low vision, and various accommodations are made for her, as they should be, around this issue. The conflict arose when she asked the Disability Services Office to reimburse her $125 toward the cost of the special glasses she needs. They said no, that's not a disability-related educational expense. Even though they'd paid the entire cost of her glasses in her first year of her degree, three years ago. And even though she CAN'T READ WITHOUT THOSE GLASSES! So, how is this not an educational expense??? She can't get an education without the glasses, plain and simple. And they made it clear to her that should she appeal the decision, she would be making their lives difficult at a busy time of year.

This seems fucked to me. They are willing to spend thousands of dollars per student with a learning disability, but not to give this one student $125 every three years?

But that's not the worst of it. She's graduating this spring. When she went to folks (at the convocation office, I guess) to ask them if she could have a guide (after all, the graducation ceremony is going to be spanning locations she's not familiar with), they said, "There'll be people around you can ask for help." Putting the burden on the person with the disability to "ask" on what is supposed to be a special day for her. Finally she got someone to be her guide (the departmental secretary), but she has been told, now, that she will not be allowed to take part in the procession of graduating students because it will ruin the uniformity of the look!

I CANNOT get over this. It is simply shocking discrimination, so shocking that I know a sharply worded threatening letter that includes the words "violation of the Human Rights Code" would rectify the situation immediately and get the person who told her this in some hot water.

When she was telling me this, I was outraged, and told her I would write a letter. She, overwhelmed and tired of it all, did the classic thing, shaking her head "no, no, no", and saying she just wants it to be done. Of course I won't write a letter and advocate for her against her wishes, but I'm just itching to have something done about this. Gah.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Creepy colonization and irrational jealousy

Last fall I posted about my ex, JZ. How she had switched the area of her research and ended up doing a PhD on stuff that majorly overlapped with my own research area - an area that I'd been working on for years...Y'all confirmed that it was a little freaky.

I couldn't be in touch with her over the job search season, because I knew we were competing for the same jobs and I couldn't handle it - my oogliness about her colonizing my area really won out for a few months. But we have been back in touch recently, a little.

Yesterday, she sent me an email with the subject line "Ha".

Why "ha"? Because she was telling me that she'd just applied for my job. I mean my current job, at Dream Uni. They are hiring more contractually limited FT people for next year, while they await some TT positions being thrown their way. This is the job I would have stayed in, had I not gotten my TT, or had I turned down the TT (as I considered doing because I love it here so much).

I felt sick to my stomach upon reading this. The thought of her getting that job...moving into my office...teaching some of my students from this year, with whom I have such a bond. It makes me want to retch.

This is more acute because, as I have mentioned here before, a tenure line will probably open up in my general area in the not too distant future - perhaps the fall of 2008, if they're lucky. I would be very interested in applying for it and coming back here, of course. And even my Chair has mentioned this as a possibility. The thought of JZ getting in here, charming them all to death, and being positioned to just slide right into that job from the contract makes me want to poke my eyes out.

A, the friend I live with, is really bothered by this email. My first thought was that I was really overreacting, that of course I couldn't stop her from applying for this job, since she doesn't have anything lined up. But A pointed out that JZ knows how much I love this job - I have told her so - and knows how much I don't want to go to Very Bad Uni City. And so the non-creepy thing to do would be to simply check in with me before she sent off the application, just to see how I felt about it. To send me an email titled "Ha", saying "hee hee, look what I've done" is pretty grotesque.

Friday, March 23, 2007


For those of you who aren't familiar with the above acronym, it's for Thank God it's Friday AND There Are Only Two More Weeks of Classes Left.

Yeah. Cause yesterday I melted into heaving tears in my office over an article I was reading to teach next Tuesday. I closed my door and just cried. Cause it spoke so keenly to the situation I'm facing with teaching right now that I. just. couldn't. take. it. Oy.

But that passed. A student brought me cupcakes. I left Uni City. And now I'm home, and it's really, truly spring. That in itself signals joy.

And I took Mr. K for an exhilarating run late this morning...We ran to these two connected parks that straddle a valley. So there are tall, steep hills on either side. I let him off the leash when we got to the first park and he careened madly down the hill, joy personified. He ran and ran, in weaving figure eights, up and down the hills and the length of the park. Up the other side, and then back down again. Watching dogs run in the early spring sun will cure what ails ya, every time.

And I'm going to the ballet tonight. As we know, dance connects me very concretely to joy.

And I am visiting Medieval Woman tomorrow, and the Dutchman, and we shall eat and drink wine and chat for hours. Now, that is some serious joy, too.

But most of all, I can count the days until classes end - thirteen, for me. Six classes altogether - and only four at the Emotion Pit, since the other two are at the Boring Place, Satellite Campus. And though I have a great deal of ambivalence about leaving these students, I know that my mental health demands that this teaching year end. I'll get my life back, my brain back. And that will bring joy, too.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Consulting with students

Yesterday evening I had the consultation with students that I mentioned the other day. I had a small but great group - my best students, really (surprise, surprise). In one sense, it's really too bad that it was only these people, because there's a kind of split in the program and I think it's important to hear from the other folks. But I have to admit, these are the thoughtful, brilliant ones, the ones with whom communication teaches me things. So I prefer talking with them. And it made it much easier to manage the session, about which I was strangely worried.

So it was lovely and gave me lots to think about in terms of designing courses and curriculum at my next job, and thinking of an emphasis for the program.

It also got me thinking, though, about student consultation in general. About why it doesn't happen more often, at the departmental level. I can already anticipate some of the objections - students don't have a sense of what's important in terms of planning and executing their degrees, they don't understand the importance of certain requirements, they're just going to be trying to reduce their workload, etc., etc.

But what I found is that a lot of them are really committed to learning, and really invested in getting the most out of the program. For instance, a lot of what I heard yesterday was about perceived gaps in the program - areas they'd like to learn more about, that they really feel should be much better represented in the department's offerings and emphases. Their comments are right on - I agree (and I know my Chair does, too). There are some crucial areas underrepresented (one of which I could fill, ironically, if I were to stay on here).

Another thing we talked about was assessment strategies, assignment design. I heard about what works for them, what doesn't. It wasn't about not wanting to work - they talked about assignments they've loved, have gotten a lot from. But I did get to hear about the way pressures sometimes interfere with the learning process - like when they have 5 long papers due in two weeks in March. So they were constructive - they thought about other ways to design assessment that increased their ability to learn from and enjoy their assignments.

I think consulting with students can actually be really valuable, and it kind of puzzles me that it doesn't happen more often. Of course there are course evaluations. But at this university, for instance, nobody has to see them except the instructor! So much for using them to systematically reflect on the program. And of course, here there are three student reps on the program committee, who come to department meetings. But their presence isn't for these kinds of reasons at all.

Since the session, I've been thinking about ways to get student input, to build that in to the program at my new job. I think of things like sessions with graduating students (like exit interviews!) as one possible scneario. I also think that this might need to be built into the program at the level of mission or mandate - so that perhaps the first thing I will need to do at that new job is to develop exactly that kind of document. Anyway, I'd be really interested in hearing from folks about their thoughts on student consultation, and any models they might have for it from their own departments or histories.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Yay, Thursday

I like Thursdays. My teaching week is over (well, not really, but my prep is over - the class I teach tonight at Satellite Campus is the same one as last night). I feel as if I can breathe again - the earlier part of the week is so intense, and has been even more so in the last few weeks. Also, this week feels less insane than last, when I felt as I was going to have a bit of a nervous breakdown. Though things still feel like a lot to manage emotionally (still haven't figured out how to blog about this...maybe I never will). It is probably good that there are only three more weeks of classes, since I am finding it so emotionally exhausting. On the other hand, whoa, do I ever not want to say goodbye to a lot of these students! Jesus - I thought last year was bad in terms of grief at leaving the students...but it has nothing on this year!

Stuff I'm thinking about:

- One of the things I need to work on today (when I get kicked out of my office by my annoying officemate at 2pm) is designing a kind of visioning session. As I've mentioned, when I start my TT job, I'm going to be coordinating and building a program from very little. This is exciting. I have lots of ideas about curriculum and structure, lots I want to develop. I've also had some really good chats with some of the students here, over the course of the year, about the program here at Dream Uni. They have lots of constructive criticism about curriculum, ideas about how to make it a better program, and ideas about what they've loved, what has worked. Since this uni seems to turn out really well-trained students in my field, I am kind of using the department/them as a model and inspriration. So I have organized this informal session for this coming Sunday evening, at which I'm going to pick their brains about their ideas. Just to hear what they respond to, and don't, in terms of curriculum and pedagogy. A lot them have indicated that they're looking forward to an opportunity to have this conversation, so that's good - I hope I get a sizable turnout. It also feels nerve-racking, though - like throwing a party and worrying that nobody will come (which is compounded by the fact that I'm actually paying to book the space to hold this session in - and that I'm coming in from Home City on my weekend). When they don't have to come to things with me (i.e. class), how many actually will? I've bribed them with the promise of good snacks - my secret weapon is to import loukoumades (Greek honey balls) from Home City!

- I am officially addicted to tea, I realize. I've been a pretty serious tea drinker for a while, but have realized that it's started to get a bit out of control lately, espcially when I'm at the uni! I have a kettle in my office, and I make cup after cup. I start to feel as if I have to ration my tea intake! It's all bound up with comfort...I strongly associate tea with comfort, and I want lots of that lately...But in the grand scheme of things, tea is a pretty innocuous vice, of course.

- Speaking of hot beverages, I am having a love-in with Tim Hortons lately. (For those of you who don't know what it is: it's a highly, highly, highly popular and freaking ubiquitous Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain...really bound up with Canadian identity, with eyebrow-raising nationalism, in was started by a hockey player, for chrissake! And they have started colonizing the US now - in western New York, eastern PA.) I have been getting a twelve-grain bagel, toasted, with butter, for my breakfast often when I am in Uni City. I have changed the route I take from the place I stay to get to the bus stop to campus, so that I can stop by there. I don't know what is going on with me, but for some reason this is just a ridiculously delicious thing. I hit the roof with excitement over it. I make sure I am sitting down to fully savour it. It's a little bit of that elusive joy! And so is getting my tea from them instead of in my office - in fact, it's my Thursday afternoon treat once I get turfed from my office and am wandering around campus. I'm all about Timmy's these days.

- It's supposed to snow again tomorrow. Boo. Just when we thought spring was here. Sigh...

- I'm going to visit Medieval Woman soon! Yay!

I had nothing really of substance here, did I? Sometimes I find it comforting just to check in here, at the old blog. Off I go to start thinking about this visioning discussion on Sunday night...and to have a tea at Tim's.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Oh, this crazy, failing system

Damn. Damndamndamndamn.
There’s really something wrong with this system.

In the fall term, I blogged about this student. She’d written the worst essay I’ve ever seen. Because I’d looked at it before and sent it back with extensive comments for revision, and she went back and really did try to rewrite it, I didn’t fail it. I marginally passed it. (‘D for effort’.) Maybe I shouldn’t have done this, but I did.

But what I now see is how this maybe-I-shouldn’t-pass-her-but-I-will has contributed to the problem for her.

She got 29% on her December exam. Who gets 29% on a TAKE-HOME exam?? I dunno. She did.

This term (this is a year-long course), she had to write an annotated bibliography prior to her research paper. She came in and talked to me well before the bibliography was due, looking for guidance. She is a really earnest, hard-working student. I enthusiastically approved her topic. It was a word. She was theorizing a one-word concept. Not a particularly hard word. Like, say, a pretty ordinary word that also has theoretical applications. Let’s call it “possibility”. A word like possibility. Not hard to understand the basic meaning of that word, right, and to then do a basic essay on how that word is marshalled conceptually by theorists? Well, she handed me in a bibliography that made no sense. I couldn’t tell what sense she was making of this word-concept – or whether she even understood the word. I tried to point her in the right direction, asking her to clarify her use of “possibility” and offering a host of other suggestions for her project (which was also deeply flawed because she was using all sorts of resources that had no discernible connection to possibility).

Today she came to see me with a draft of the essay. Oh my god. Ohmigod. I don’t know. I am stuck in the face of such a disaster. I talked her through some things, including, again, what does the word-concept possibility mean???? But it is clear to me that this is a lost cause. She has such a deep lack of understanding of the most basic material, of the most basic words – which means, as I noted before, that the whole course has gone over her head – that nothing I can do or say at this point is really going to help.

So what the hell? How did she get into university? Or, how has she not been identified as learning-disabled (which I can only guess is what the problem is)? How does she continue to make it through and make it through and make it through, so that I am the one, in the end, who is going to shut down the possibility of her getting an Honours degree. (If she doesn’t get at least a 60 in this required course, she can’t do an Honours.) It really feels as if there is something wrong with this picture.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Early spring weekend perspective

It's a sunny Sunday afternoon. I've put on Yo La Tengo's Summer Sun. The dog's lying in a sunbeam. I'm just back from brunch with two friends I don't get to see enough. I can hear the melting snow outside. That metallic rush of water running in sewers, and the sound of drips pouring off roofs: those are honestly some of the most hopeful sounds I know. I had to unzip my coat when I was out - I think this will be the last day for the down monstrosity. Thank god - I have reached that point in the winter at which I come to loathe my winter gear.

This weekend has put the craziness-I-can't-blog-about onto the backburner. Some highlights:

- I made the best ever wild mushroom risotto on Friday night. Goddamn, it was good. Ex-GF came over for dinner and stayed the night. Again, sexless - and this time I didn't have as much confusion about it. It is what it is. We are good to each other, we love each other, we miss each other. We can give our best to one another, in a way we couldn't much of the time, in our relationship. I feel as if this is just cultivating our friendship, which GF remarked the other night is perhaps the best way for us to be together. We won't have sleepovers forever, of course - but right now they're a way to indulge what actually feels like a giddy re-meeting as good friends.

- I needed to go for an 80-minute run yesterday. The sidewalks and parks were still a litle iffy, with icy slush making them dangerous in parts. So by default I chose a route nearby that would, I thought, probably allow me to evade the iciness, as well as to avoid traffic lights and crossings for a good deal of the run. But I was grumbling about it. It took me onto a piece of terrain in Home City that I think is overrated and weird. The couple of times I've cycled out there, I've thought it the most barren, depressing place. So I ran to it, and ran it still grumbling to myself. God, I thought - this is awful post-apocalyptic stuff...get me out of here...why did I ever think this would be a good idea?? But then, but then...I came to the end of the trail. And looked to my right. The white-yellow, late afternoon sun was glowing palely behind thin cloud. Home City's skyline - that homely sight - glowed softly through the few trees. All of a sudden I knew why I'd run this godforsaken was that one glimpse of this place. The city looked lonely, ghostly, so beautiful. Like home. I looked at it for a long time, and carried it back with me.

- I went out dancing last night. For me, there is nothing better - nothing - for putting things into perspective.

- My brunch this morning was with two dear friends from The Activity. I don't see them much anymore, though we try. They are each older than I am - one in her late forties, the other mid-fifties - and have long been role models. Not for anything career-related. Just for being-in-the-world. I love the way we are together, the three of us. It feels unique. And one is going to come and visit me shortly after I move to the new job - she'll be my first visitor there. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have set the tone for my life there.

So, as I know I've said before on this blog - thank god for weekends. I felt crushed by last week and didn't imagine how I could emerge from that feeling.

Now I'm going to sit in the sun and do the last of the grading I have to do, and even start tackling my writing again.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Teaching stuff

I have so much to write about. I have, like, a case of logorrhoea in my emails to friends. Everything being triggered right at the moment, and pouring right out. Most of it around teaching - and the way it connects to other patterns and situations in my life. I actually think I'm going to go back to therapy so I can deal with my relationship to teaching.

But anyway. All that to say that there is so much to write about, but I don't know how to do it, here. I just don't. Part of me wants to. But part of it is specific to my discipline, and I don't want to talk too openly about that here. And that's what it all comes down to - my relationship to this history of my own knowledge-production in the discipline I teach in.

Also - and this is probably the biggest part - I don't know how to blog it without sounding completely batty. It's funny that I care about this. But I guess the stuff around teaching has made me feel incredibly vulnerable, and I don't think I can risk being perceived as completely loopy - even by people I don't know, for the most part - when I feel so opened up.

I will say this, as a note of pride, and something that I can provisionally separate out from the rest of the teaching sludge: Yesterday we had a little conference highlighting research in our interdisciplinary area, from across the university. I didn't present - I feel as if I've been over-exposed around here, and it felt totally gauche to expose myself yet again - but there were some contributions from two of my students. This is the first time students have ever been included n this day alongside faculty. I think this is so important - to validate the knowledge they're producing, intervene in dichotomies that position them as passive in relation to their professors.

Anyway, one of my two students has won an external award for which I was her nominator. She is an absolutely extraordinary thinker and creative writer. We announced that award, and then I introduced her and another of my students, who shared a slot in which they read some creative work - poetry - and wove it into theoretical work. The amount of talent some of my students have floors me. I wept listening to them. I wonder how it is that I'm teaching them, sometimes - I have so much to learn from them. I have never, I don't think, felt so humbled by students. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to encounter these people, and to meet them in this environment of intellectual collaboration...

Monday, March 05, 2007


On Saturday night, I went over to ex-GF's for dinner. We were supposed to go to friends' party together, but I couldn't muster up the energy, being strangely hung over from the night before. Instead, I stayed over. We went to bed at 9:30 and had a great sleep - possibly because of the comfort of sleeping beside each other again.

But oh, the weirdness! Sleeping in that bed, in that apartment I lived in for almost four years. Everything so familiar, and yet tinged with novelty or strangeness. Revisiting a routine in the morning - she bringing me tea and the Sunday Styles section in bed.

I turned down her proposal of sex in the morning, which she understood and half-expected. I thought that would just be too confusing - and goodness knows that I'm full enough of emotional shit as it is, right about now.

But I do find that it's lovely to be spending time together. And although I'm somewhat chagrined at the way she keeps suggesting that maybe we made a mistake - after all, although I recognized problems and she was simply echoing concerns I'd had and tried to articulate to her before, it was she who really initiated this breakup at this time - I have to admit that sometimes I wonder if she's right. If I were staying here, I wonder if we'd be trying again.

I also recognize, though, that in at least some ways this lovely dynamic between us exists because we aren't together. Nothing is weighted in the same way. For example, I can take her teasing now, and even tease back - my inability to handle what I felt was mean interaction was a major tension between us. So it feels as if I can just enjoy everything that is wonderful about her, with none of the baggage.

I wonder how long, and how smoothly, that can last, though. For example, I suggested to yesterday morning that she come over to my place next Friday night, since I don't have any plans. What for? So we can keep on having sexless sleepover parties? What kind of relationship is that? I do have to be careful where and how I tread...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Hungover Saturday

I've been wanting to blog but unable to because of the missing 2/@ key on my latop. A tried to fix it, but to no avail. Then I went out and bought a keyboard, but it didn't have a USB thingie. Good grief. Now I'm trying again, having returned that first keyboard and come home with another. Now I'll be able to comment on your blogs again, too.

Sigh. I was so anxious to get this keyboard happening, so I could compose a post about the emotional toll teaching is taking on me. But today, I am very hung over. No deep thoughts for me. I went for drinks with my friend Rob last night. Only had four drinks over the course of four hours, but they wrecked me. I don't get it. Perhaps I just haven't slept enough. At any rate, do I ever feel like shite today.

So, though I have an urgent pile of grading, some stuff to read for teaching, and a paper to respond to for a colleague, I've done nearly nada today. Made a grilled cheese sandwich for the therapeutic grease factor. Wrote an email to MW, walked the dog, sat around in my bed. Took a trip to the neighbourhood mall with A so I could exchange the keyboard and we could do some other errands. Including buying candy, for which I was seriously jonesing. The candy I bought turned out to be stale and gross - I threw it away. At the mall, went to Winners - where I seem to buy nearly all my clothes - and came away with three things. (I NEVER leave that store without buying at least one thing.) Didn't try them on, and when I got home, found out that two of them look so bad they are laughable. It's that kind of day.

I have to go to a party toninght - one I don't think I can get out of. The thought of all the alcohol there, and the noise, is a bad one. I am having dinner at ex-GF's first, and we are going to this party together. Though these are more "my" friends, ones I introduced her to, they're people she knows well now, too. It's going to be odd walking into this party together. I don't relish the way that will set tongues a-wagging, gossip churning.


Hey, haven't announced the newest member of our household, at A's. She had been noticing how incredibly depressed her dog, Charlie, was during the 3-4 days a week that my guy, Mr. K ,is not here, while I'm in Uni City. So she indulged a little fantasy she's had for a long time and got a little Pomeranian at a local rescue - he'd been rescued from a kill pound in the Midwest. While I was in France, she brought him home. He's a tiny, 12-pound, ornery guy. Like a growling cat. He seems to get along well with Mr. K, in particular - though Mr. K was scared of him when they first met yesterday. Which was hilarious, given that Mr. K is 5 times his size and weight. So it's a veritable zoo around here now, because the place is actually relatively small. Dogs tripping over each other - and us tripping over the dogs. I have to admit, when I'm feeling the way I'm feeling today, this isn't exactly what I want life to look like. But in general, it's fine. Here's the new little Pom, Boo:

Anyway, I'll get it together to write something of more substance soon.