Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Coffee

Walking to the coffee shop this week I passed 2 people sitting on the sidewalk.  One guy said to the other, "I used to be a major heroin addict.  And I have schizophrenia."

I felt sad but also happy that the man was no longer addicted to heroin.  Then I got to the coffee shop and 2 men were talking about health care.  One guy said, "You know with Obamacare, they're going to take all the services and the medications away from the elderly.  They don't care about the elderly because they're going to die soon anyway."
    The other guy said, "That's how things are now with Obamacare."

I found this conversation quite troubling, but I moved back to my work.  I've learned that there's no reasoning with people who hate Obamacare.

A few hours later, I had the worst experience of ALL. I'll tell you about it thusly.  A young dad was in the coffee shop with his 3 kids.  The littlest kid was a meager toddler.  As they waited for their order, the dad continuously threw the meager toddler high into the air and then caught him again amidst screams of laughter.  I've neglected to tell you this, but there's nothing that bothers me more than someone throwing a child into the air above a concrete floor.  Every time he threw the meager toddler, my whole body clenched up and I squinted my eyes nearly shut and I gritted my teeth together in order to avoid screaming and begging for him to PLEASE STOP!  PLEASE STOP!  I am still thinking about trembling when I think about the horrific scene that unfolded before my eyes.

The coffee shop life is a good one overall,  but as you can now see, it's not without its peculiar set of troubles and tribulations. Yesterday I decided to work at home.  I had some quiet music on and no one around.  Today I'll stay home too I think. I'm next to a sunny window with all my papers and books scattered about me. Husbandman thinks I can finish chapter 4 by my deadline, Monday night.  I have my doubts.  Let's kick it into gear my friends. Let's kick it into gear.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Dome

People, we're under a heat dome right now. Heat is super hard on your heart, so just stay inside and keep hydrated. No heart attacks on my watch, my friends.  Avoid the heat dome and watch some movies.  We are glued to BloodLine on Netflix right now. If you want to feel great about the dynamics in your family, check out BloodLine. These people are just a hot mess.  But it's a good show, so see it if you want to.

On a good note, #1 Son returns this very evening.  He told me he really liked Prague.  I need to get there one of these days. He also liked Barcelona, another place I'd like to check out.  I'm going to keep #1 Son in plain sight, well within my line of vision, for at least a few weeks because this past month has been tough on everyone.  Welcome home, #1!

Right now I'm in Husbandman's office.  This is a place I love to work.  I wish I were a college professor with a cool office with a window that looks out onto a gorgeous college campus.  I could teach my special brand of mathematics to the people here. Let's explore the geoboards people. We can make a store or a pretend pizza shop.  Also, let's go out and measure some leaves.  Sorry, Husbandman, but your office is now mine.  Squatter's Rights.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The History

History in the Making: There's a corpse flower on campus and it's about to bloom.  I went by to check on it today. On the way over, I caught another Pokemon. I have 3 now. Once I got to the greenhouse, I found the corpse flower. Then I stood around with some people staring at it.  The IUBiologist thinks it will bloom on Sunday.

I'm trying to decide if I like to drink black coffee.  I think I do.

Not super productive today, but I did see the corpse flower and I caught Spearow.  I told an acquaintance that I felt self-conscious walking around looking for the Pokemon and she said, "What?  You're doing the  greatest thing ever.  It's the others who should feel ridiculous, simply walking around, totally out of it, not catching Pokemon." I guess she has a point when you think about it.

It's hideously humid, so I'm boycotting nature for the next few days.  Down with NATURE.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Advice Column

Some stuff has been on my nerves lately, but I'm just moving into gear a little more quickly, focusing on the next right action. I suggest you do the same. Here's a bulleted list of probably proven ways to keep an upbeat attitude.

  •  This morning, a nurse called me to tell me that I have high cholesterol.  So I'm not freaking out about that, I'm just having some oatmeal for breakfast. Whole grains, People. 
  • Tomorrow I have a phone conference with my editor.  I'm not freaking out about that, I'm just writing a list of stuff to talk about. Embrace the symbiotic relationship of the writer and the editor, People.  
  • Our district has a new math program and everyone except me went to the workshops explaining it, but I'm not freaking out about that.  I'm remembering that I know how to read a teacher's manual and I can figure it out later.  It's summer right now, People.  Do summer and don't freak. 

To recap:  Whole grains.  Embrace symbiosis.  Do summer.  Keep these 3 probably proven tips in mind as you go through your day today and all will be swell most likely.  Unless it's not. And that might be okay too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Best Book

Just finished reading, and crying about, Rain Reign, by Ann M. Martin.  In my opinion, Rain Reign is the best book in the universe.   I spent the last 30 pages crying away in public, at the coffee shop.  No one even noticed and I didn't even care. Thank you coffee shop patrons for not intervening as I convulsed over the best book on the table in front of me.

Everyone in this place looks pretty cheerful, but who knows? The woman who is the daughter of a Rosie the Riveter is here as usual.  She is working on a crossword.  She brings her own mug from home every day for her coffee.  It's a white ceramic mug with a peacock feather pattern. I hope she's well.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Caps

 Everywhere I look I see men wearing ball caps.  I wonder why.  Husbandman doesn't wear a ball cap and frankly I'm very pleased about that.  It's not that I don't like the baseball cap look.  It's just I'd like to see a wider range in society's headgear. Enough with the constant caps.  Would it kill you people to put on a fedora or a cowboy hat?    Patti Smith made mention of her watch cap several times in her memoir, which as you recall was an important book for me.  I wondered several times about watch caps while I read.  I didn't know until now that a watch cap is a knit cap similar to those worn by seamen while on watch.

At this moment, I'm feeling annoyed.  Not just about hats.  About life in general. During my lunch break, I had a tense phone call with my dad about racism in America.  I know better than to talk to my dad about this, but I did it again and now I'm in a bad mood.  If one person could walk in to this coffee shop with an interesting hat, I swear I would pull out of it and write for the rest of the afternoon in a spirit of good cheer. I love my dad and I need to remember to change topics before tension rises.  Maybe I'll ask my dad whether he would prefer a fedora or a cowboy hat next time a topic from the news comes up in our chats.  He's not much of a hat guy, but a focus on a neutral topic could be a game changer for both of us.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Veeps

I wonder who the veeps are going to be?

I keep wondering about this.  I wish one of the veeps could be Elizabeth Warren, but I doubt it will happen.

Here's a story my mom told me recently.  I'll share this story and then I'll get to work.  I'm here in Husbandman's office and there's nothing to stop me except for the everyday anxieties and concerns that we're all having these days.

I asked my mom via email if she had been on any vacations.  Come to find out, her family went to Maine once to visit her aunt.  Her aunt was pregnant and was upset that there weren't doctors in her small town.  My grandmother said, "I saw a sign for a doctor when we were driving in."
   "That doctor is a veterinarian, Marion," said my great aunt.
    "What do you care what his nationality is?" replied my Nana.

I think this story is quite comical and I hope you do too. But if you don't, no worries.  Just move along with your day and don't think about it any more.  Here's something else.  We talked with #1 Son yesterday.  He's heading from Zurich to Vienna today.  We also texted with 20 Something.  She's picking blueberries in Pennsylvania.  Everyone's moving around except me.  I'm in the chair.  Not the electric chair.  A comfy office chair.  Here I go. Opening the door on Chapter 4.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016


My Backyard
Look, I shouldn't be blogging right now,  but this is kind of important.  There's a new site called  You can take a daily trivia quiz on this site.  I take the quiz every day and so does my dad and then we compare our scores.  My dad usually gets better scores than I do because he is super good at trivia, but I usually get a better score than the world's average because I know a thing or two myself.  Yesterday I messed up with the Greeks.  I'm really bad with my Greeks.  Dad told me, "Remember the time line... Socrates, Plato, Aristotle."  This is exactly what I needed.  From now on, I'll think of SPA when I am asked about the Greeks.  This is going to help.  I'm ashamed to admit that I only got 69% today on the quiz.  Tomorrow's another day, my friends.  I'll be right back in the game.

Monday, July 04, 2016

The Chapter

The deadline for chapter 3 was missed by 4 days, but today I did finish the chapter at last.  Woo Hoo. Walking through the parking lot of the coffee shop at the end of the day, I pumped my fists repeatedly, as if I were a Golden State Warrior.  Now I'm calming down and worrying a bit about chapter 4.  Let's think about that tomorrow.

On a very sad note, we watched the very sad documentary Project Nim last night.  Go ahead and see it if you want, but poor Nim had such a tough time. His story will be with me for awhile. I thought about Nim a lot today.  Husbandman added to my sadness considerably when he suggested that perhaps Hairy, our tarantula, feels as Nim did---lonely and abandoned.  I actually think Hairy's quite content and I challenge anyone to prove me otherwise.  A chimpanzee is not at all like a tarantula and the documentary we watched last night should have made that clear to all viewers.  Let me tell you something my friends.  If you ever feel like doing research on chimpanzees, just don't do it.  Just leave the chimpanzees to their own devices.    They're not bothering you, so please don't bother them.  Project Nim is on HBO. It's a startling documentary that you should probably go ahead and see if you feel like it and if you care about other species on our planet. Which I do, as you all know.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

The Syllabus

As you can see I'm being creative this summer.  Along with writing every day, I'm creating and coloring some pleasant little drawings. I'm inspired by Lynda Barry's book, Syllabus. Lynda suggests I think of my writer's notebook as a place, not as a thing.  I love Lynda Barry very much.

You might want to go see Genius with Colin Firth.  It's about Max Perkins, the most famous editor in the land.  He edited Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Wolfe.  Wolfe is the center of the film and I'm embarrassed to tell you that this English major has never read the books of Thomas Wolfe.  Let's right that wrong one of these days, shall we?  Maybe Look Homeward Angel will be my next book club choice.  My book club peeps always pick the longest books that I can never finish.  This will be my chance to turn the tables on them.  Tit for Tat so to speak. At any rate, the movie is a good one and supports the writing I'm doing about Teacher As Editor. I'm hoping Colin Firth can do the back cover blurb for my book when it comes out in late 2017.   If you have some extra time, you should see GENIUS if you feel like it.

ps  #1 Son has instagrammed some fine pictures from Cologne, Berlin and Paris.  We even face timed once. All is swell.  Everyone please calm down.

The Crawfish

A few crawfish are coming to live in Room 200.  Not sure what to do about that.  They've donated their lives for science education.  I...