Wednesday, November 30, 2005


With more than 4 hours to spare.

I don't know why I do this to myself. Just because I can write 23K in three days sure as hell doesn't mean I should.

I'm going home.
Last Chance...

...for me to bore you with NaNo stuff.

I have a killer headache from too many hours in front of the screen, but I am so gonna finish this sucker.

Time: 9:09am
Count: 42,088 words
Goal: 50,000 words.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Color Me Bitter

Of all the nights for a blackout, it just had to be this one.

I'm back at school.

Time: 7:09pm
Count: 38,762

*insert many expletives here*

I can't write all day... I do have two classes to teach, but I intend to get as much done today as I possible can.

Starting: 34,124
Goal: 50,000 words

Updates in comments.

Monday, November 28, 2005

All Very Entertaining

The holidays were interesting down in Jersey, as was expected. The holiday itself featured Aunt Ethel, Jay's great aunt, a woman without a scrap of tact or liberal sentiment in her body. But liquor? Oh, there's liquor in them thar veins. She really deserves an entry all to herself, so I'll just save that for later.

We ended up renting a car down in White River Junction because my poor car is a bit sporadic with the heating thing, and we were just about frozen by the time we got down there. Likewise on the drive home from WRJ on the way back Saturday afternoon. Rented a beauty of a Passat - leather interior, sunroof, sport drive, etc. - and cheaper than usual because of some holiday deal - definitely worth it.

There was knitting (by me), playing of the black keys (by Jay's dad), soup cooking (by Jay's sister), antipasta eating (by all), and much laughter and insults (again, by all). And of course, because my laptop battery is deader than dead, I didn't write a word for the four days we were gone. This is going to be interesting. I've got a little over 19K to go. In three days. Not as bad as last year... I'm sure I'll finish. I hope.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Time Out

This week is Thanksgiving break - one whole week! What this really means is that I need to get cracking on that NaNo project. I'm only at 20K right now, which means I need to write 30K in 11 days. Doable, very doable.

But I'm banning myself from the blog world until the end is in sight. Also, we're heading to New Jersey for Turkey Day... so things will be more quiet than usual around here.

Check back after the 28th.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Relief is in sight... but I'm not quite coherent yet

Next week we have the whole week off for Thanksgiving break. Thank god. My students are all sick and look like they haven't sleep in months. I certainly can think of a few things to do with my days when I don't have to be here at the college.

I could catch up on my NaNo writing. So far I'm at about 15,000 words. Seeing as today is the halfway mark, I'd prefer to be at 25,000 words, but I'm not out of the running yet. Last year I had to write the last 29,000 words in three days, and I managed. Somehow. If need be, I can do it again.

I could speed knit my second sweater. I started it this past weekend and I'd like to have it done in time to wear for the holiday. We shall see. It would probably be easier if I would just follow the pattern, but I just can't do that. No. I look at it and say, well, sure, that's cute. But it could be so much better if...

ohmigod. I just had a flashback to my high school art teacher, Mr. Schenefelt. He would stand next to us while we were working, just watching for a while, asking a few questions maybe. Then he would say, "That's not bad, but it would be so much better if you..." and then he would lop off a clay arm, or punch a hole in the side of a vase or splash some strange color on the side of a sculpture. We hated it and thought it was hilarious anyway.

One of the guys who was also taking the film studies class.. or television production.. or something like that... (Yes, I went to a high school with a primo arts program.) produced a short clip called "Art wiiiiith.... MISTER SCHENEFELT!!!!" The actors were all puppets. Two students puppets are very ernestly working away on two clay figurative sculptures when the Mr. Schenefelt puppet comes up behind them. He speaks his trademark phrase, and the camera zeros in on his face. Then the puppet throws its hands in the air and the camera pans upward. Chunks of clay fly through the air and you can hear the student puppets sputtering and Mr. Schenefelt humming to himself. Camera pans back down. Two lumps, barely recognizable as figures remain. One student puppet faints. The other covers its face and sobs. Mr. Schenefelt pats him on the shoulder and says, "There, much better, don't you agree?" and then bops off screen happy as can be.

I still laugh thinking about it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Good Stuff

Some of the recent comments reminded me that I've only been writing about the crappy stuff lately. Mostly, I think, it's because this crap stuff is so shocking to me. I mean, my students' issues, the general idiocy of institutional politics and regulations, and my tangle with the law are not what I've become accustomed to.

So, some of the good things:

  • 70% of my meals cooked by Jay, often with leftover privileges granted.

  • Both time and money enough to indulge in my reading and knitting habits. Seriously - since September I've knitted 8 1/2 scarves, 2 hats, and a sweater. Read upwards of two dozen books, plus listened to a handful of books on tape.

  • A ridiculously nice sex life. (perhaps too much info, but you'll live.)

  • Parents who only scarred me for life in interesting ways, and not in ways that left me crippled in any sense.

  • Siblings who understand what it is like to deal with our parents.

  • Internet access, my link to the outside world.

  • My 3rd year of NaNo, progressing in a respectible manner, if a few thousand words behind schedule.

So while I may mention the outrages and headbanging idiot bits more often, things are pretty damn good in my life, and I do count my blessings daily.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Such a Criminal

So, I admit it. I was slack about getting my vehicle registration changed over to Vermont. And, yes, my Utah registration expired in August - the month we moved here. However, first time registration needs to be done in person, and here this involves no less than 2 hours of driving round trip to get to the DMV (department of motor vehicles). There is a "mobile unit" that stops once a week in a nearby town, but not on a day I can make it.

This weekend I drove down to Windsor, Vermont to visit my old roomie, and on the way home, I encountered Officer Vigilent. Man berates me for no less than 30 minutes, accuses me of having no insurance because the card I had in the car expired a few days prior (new card was waiting on the table when I finally did get home...), and forces me to park my car in a nearby parking lot, and tells me that I better not try to sneak away until I register the car. When I asked how I was supposed to register the car if I couldn't take it to the DMV, he barked, "Do it online!"

Well, hate to break it to you, Officer Ass, but as a new resident of Vermont, I cannot register online. See, there's this little clause about "visual verification" of the VIN (vehicle identification number). And the DMV employees... they don't usually have psychic powers. Else why would they be at the DMV?

I ended up calling my friend on the last juice of my cell phone. (And I told him before he left that I thought my cell phone was dead.) She picked me up and helped me find a car rental place that was open on Sunday, and I rented a car and drove home.

So yesterday, I printed out and completed all the forms, grabbed the title from the filing cabinet, took the correct insurance card, and went back down to Windsor, returned the damn car, took a taxi back to the parking lot, and drove to the state capital. Nearly had a heart attack every time I saw a state trooper. Now that's just great, eh? What a brilliant reaction to have ingrained at the sight of someone who is supposed to "protect and serve".

Of course, to accomplish all this, I had to cancel my afternoon class yesterday. I left home around 9:30am and didn't return until 4:30pm. But he sure taught me a lesson, didn't he? I don't mind paying the citation. I earned it. But to make my life a living hell for committing a crime of lazy paperwork? Holy shit. So wrong.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Yesterday = worst afternoon in a long time

Details later, after I get it all resolved.

"WELL WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?" Imagine an extremely militaryesque patrolman asking me this question over and over while also telling me that I better not dare try to drive that vehicle anywhere, and you'd have a grasp of why yesterday sucked.

Suffice to say... Utah registration expired + visiting a friend in Windsor + ultra-hardcore State Trooper = misery and stress.

Oh, Vermont, how you continue to disappoint.

Friday, November 04, 2005


I hate evaulation time. Department chairs have to observe the part time faculty. Always makes me so nervous, I'm sure I sound like a raving idiot. That is, more so than usual.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Killing me

My student mentioned in the alcohol debacle below will be finishing out this term and then leaving the college, but his own decision. I can't blame him.

Another student recently lost both her jobs as a result of a car accident (long story) and since her mother was just laid off as well, they are facing eviction.

Yet another broke down in my office, apologizing for his jerky behavior this last week... he's stressed out because two different girls on campus are claiming to be pregnant with his kid.

Holy Jesus.

I'm stressed out just hearing these things. No wonder so many of these students don't make it to graduation.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Heads up

If you start out writing words of one or two syllables, often without bothering to check your subject-verb agreement (commercials is), and largely without regard to punctuation, and then you throw out a paragraph full of words like "sophistication" and "deregulation" complete with perfect semicolon use... better believe I'm going to Google that sucker.

We call this plagiarism. This will get you kicked out of school. See: Academic Honesty, chapter 2.