Her Green Figs

The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.

26 August 2006

What's Left? Locusts?

Somebody tried to break into my house the other night. I wasn't there of course, but when I came by the next day, the pane of glass next to the deadbolt in the back door had been punched out (though, since I have double-keyed deadbolts, they still couldn't get in). However, they pried the latch off the shed door (lock is untouched) and cleaned it out. All my lawn and power tools are gone, so are both my bikes, and all sorts of little tools and lots of little stuff. It could have been MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH worse! We will be considering this, at most, an annoyance.

I have finished my first week of classes. They're going to be good. One student even came up to me after class to say how much she enjoyed Friday's class and shook my hand. Wow. The grading is going to be a bear though--100 of everything all at the same time.

I have to teach this awful library class too. I wish I could get out of that. It's going to be horrible. I don't want even to think about it, much less outline it and make the slides and plan the lecture and, yeah... I just don't want to do it.

23 August 2006

Home Early

I'm home early. Pint night was good though. First time a witty Scotsman has asked me to go home with him in awhile. Bought me a drink too. Though EK bought the three others I had. BB/MGBF kissed me right there across the bar too and asked me on a roadtrip (buying trip) for next week. I would really enjoy that. And he might even let me drive his car. I'd really enjoy that too.

It is way too early in the evening for me to feel this drunk. Sick drunk. Bad drunk. Sour drunk. Bleugh.

13 August 2006

Come on Baby Light My... FIRED?

I got fired on Thursday. Officially, I was "let go" because the funding ran out, but I know that's not true. However, I also know that I didn't do anything terrible enough to have gotten me fired either. I was completely blindsighted by the whole thing. In fact, my boss asked me in the morning if I would meet with the architect of our new space to discuss carpeting and paint sometime next week. In the afternoon, he asked me to leave. Terribly terribly mysterious.

Anyway, good riddance. I hated that job. I liked the paycheck and the benefits, but I hated the job.

So, what to do now? I have 20 some weeks of unemployment insurance payments coming to me, and that will be nice. I'm most inclined not to seek another position until that time is up. After all, I've earned that money and I don't really enjoy having a job anyway. I guess I'll call tomorrow and figure out what those checks are going to look like. Luckily, I also have my requisite 3 months salary sitting in my money market account (I think) and CDs maturing every 3 months for a couple of years, starting in December. I'd be quite content except that I just bought (haven't even made the first payment yet) and am trying to renovate this huge old house. Anyone who has undertaken such a project knows just how you seem to leak money from everywhere once you start working on a house. Renovating makes me feel poorer more quickly than just about anything else.

My horoscope for Thursday, the day of firing said, "You're more sensitive than usual right now, so keep to yourself. Try to write something yourself." I also wrote a friend about wanting to sit in a hammock with a stack of books and a bottle of gin instead of working an icky job. I think there may be something to the answering of wishes.

KM gave herself royal blue highlights last week and it made me so jealous I could have screamed. I have said, since I was a small child, that I would look fantastic with Cookie Monster colored hair. Several years ago I announced to everyone that, if I had to do chemo, I would first give myself the blue hair I'd always wanted and enjoy it until it fell out. I was a little disappointed when I didn't need chemo. So, last week I ordered clip-in hair extensions so I could be as cool as KM in a small way. Course I can't do that. I also can't just order one set of extensions. At the moment, I'm wearing purple ones and they're fabulous. Since I now don't have a respectable job to be respectable for, why not go on and do it for real!? I could take this chance to dress my nose piercing properly. I won't do this, of course. I actually like my nose piercing with just about any sort of style. On the right person it just looks "interesting" even if you can't agree to "pretty", instead of "punk." I miss dressing punk. Doesn't look so cute on a fat girl though.

That's something else I could do with my 20 weeks of half-pay for no work.

But wouldn't it be so incredibly amazing if I could come out of that 20 weeks with an agent, or (dare I say) even a book contract? I don't need to write the whole thing. I need to write a fantastic 3 chapters. I can write a fantastic 3 chapters. It's just a matter of deciding WHICH 3 chapters. I have material for at least 6 books in my head right now.

BB/MGBH ditched me Thursday night, when I really needed him, because he did not make me the priority I thought I should be, and I decided that I wasn't willing to involve myself deeply with him until I was a higher priority. Therefore, we're "just friends" again. This is probably better.

OH! Went to Pint Night on Wednesday and BB/MGBH and EK spent good time telling me about how I absolutely HAD to come later this month because HeartThrob's band is booked. Neither of them thinks he's a good match for me, EK really dislikes him, and here they were encouraging me to go see him. I am intrigued. And I'll definitely be there.

09 August 2006

2 Memes

The Book Meme

One book that changed my life:
I don't care if it's a trendy cliche--"He's Just Not That Into You"

One book I have read more than once:
I read "Moby-Dick" every Passover. Not that I'm even Jewish.

One book I would want on a desert island:
I could amuse myself for YEARS with the OED (the one with the magnifier)

One book that made me laugh:
"A Short History of a Small Place"

One book that made me cry:

One book I wish had never been written:
None. I just don't read such things.

One book I am currently reading:
"Dirty South" because I have a raging crush on Nick Travers, and possibly his writer, Ace Atkins.

One book I have been meaning to read:
Oh. So. Many. I am working through all of Michael Malone's work gradually.


The Five Things Meme

Five things in my freezer:
1. Hot Italian sausage (for collards)
2. Lime popsicles (for tequila shots)
3. Phyllo
4. Vegetable stock (made largely from pumpkin, I think)
5. Shredded cheddar--it makes everything better

Five things in my closet:
1. My lilac silk Ralph Lauren suit.
2. My horse race hats
3. My nylon-stringed guitar
4. My taupe silk honest-to-god Chanel scarf that my grandmother gave me
5. Lots of very pretty underthings I never ever seem to wear

Five things in my car:
1. Rehearsal CDs
2. A dozen pecans
3. Two wrought-iron fireplace tool sets
4. A cheap paperback dictionary
5. My golf shoes

Five things in my purse:
1. A paintbrush
2. Emergency anti-vertigo pills
3. My PDA
4. Matches
5. Whatever Michael Malone book I'm reading

Five people I tag:
1. Yeah, I don't really do that.

08 August 2006

The Styrofoam Ceiling

I had a very disorganized and comfortable day yesterday, and I got a lot accomplished. I drove way the heck out to the edge of town to pick up the power cable I accidentally left behind on Thursday, then I drove all the way back to my new house, realized I needed more adhesive, so drove most of the way back to the edge of town to go to a different hardware store. I got fireplace tool sets at a VERY DEEP DISCOUNT. I certainly never would have spent $150 each on them. I would spend $20. Now I'll have a set for each of the three fireplaces I anticipate using (LR, DR, MBR--wish it could be music room too, but that flue is collapsed).

What a good thing that I picked up double-sided foam tape on a lark there in the adhesives section. As it turns out, I should eschew the adhesive and just use the tape.

Most of yesterday, I hung the new ceiling tiles I bought to cover up the disaster that was my MBR ceiling. They are imitation tin tiles (you know, all embossed and a common retrofit to a significant minority of all English pubs? Instead of tin, they're made from recycled styrofoam egg cartons. Tin ceilings are not exactly appropriate for my house, but they are a more acceptable evil than are the cracked, textured, half-repaired nonsense that are my current ceilings. These styrofoam tiles paint up with latex and then stick to the existing ceiling. This has worked pretty well in the MBR, which ceiling was poorly covered up with luan and drywall screws. And? Stained the color of tupelo honey. It reminded me of a ski lodge, if the lodge were more like an ice fishing shack, and if the builders of the lodge shack had been mentally deficient in more than one way. If I hadn't run short of egg carton ceiling tiles, my ceiling would now be a restful shade of lilac. The part that IS restful lilac is lovely. I still don't like tin ceilings in my house, but it's so much better!

I, cheeky lass, emailed the company that supplied the tiles to ask if they wouldn't discount my purchase of 300 more tiles (arranged end-to-end they would reach... 500 feet)and they gave me a small face-saving one. I'm grateful, nevertheless. To re-ceiling 5 rooms, I'll spend what on supplies what it would cost to drywall one. I can deal with fancy ceilings at a cost savings like that.

When I'm not hanging ceilings at my new house, I'm teaching myself to play my piano. I can almost play a dumbed-down version of part of a Rachmaninoff concerto now. I can't play anything that doesn't have the names of the left hand notes written in (otherwise, I have to keep translating them into treble staves so I know where to put my fingers).

The conference was a success, I think. I felt good about it and some people had some wonderful things to say and there were no disasters, but I've been too exhausted and afraid to open my email yet and see if there are lasting repercussions.

BB/MGBF is not taking calls or returning text messages. I am disappointed.

GothGirl told me last night, in the middle of saying something else, that I looked really good, that I had a new sparkle, and asked what it was. We had a longish conversation about my need for a boyfriend and the qualities of a suitable candidate. It was somewhat satisfying. We also ordered super-nachos and lemon icebox pie by delivery and THAT was VERY satisfying.

I really really really want to get into my house. I need to get the plumbers in to do the bathroom/water heater/washer/dryer/kitchen rough-in so I can move in. Really need to do that. Yup. Really do. Hoping EK will come up with a brilliant solution to my bathroom design woes though...

02 August 2006

Why I Love My Town

I moved "home" a year and a half ago, for many reasons. Largely, I'm very glad I'm here, and it's been quite awhile since I really felt this much at home anywhere. Today, I got to show off my town to a friend from elsewhere, and it's the first time I've really done that since I've been back.

This morning, I picked up a friend and former colleague of mine from Washington. He is the keynote speaker in the conference I'm throwing tomorrow. He's brainy and thoughtful and well-read and an accomplished critical thinker, so more challenging and more rewarding than other people who might have visited.

We went to the cool University-area coffee house and chatted. I saw one person I know. Next we drove around a little of downtown Columbia then met my boss for a tour of the SC State House. Our VIP host was a jerk and an idiot. Also? an attorney, of course. I skipped most of the tour to answer phone calls about the conference. Next, we went to Piggie Park which was a successful choice. Then my guest and I toured the Robert Mills House which I enjoyed a lot more than I expected, though I'm so jaded about museum work now. Everything about this tour was so very small town or small, well, just small. Good, though.

I dropped off my guest at his hotel (running into a former student of mine in the lobby) and came home to take off my shoes and check email. Email yielded a major disaster, and that was fun, but GothGirl called too and we had a nice chat.

I picked up my guest and we went to the Pub where I was loudly and eagerly greeted by BB/MGBF. Seeing him makes me happy. I don't feel that way very often and it's a real treat. He embraced me and held on long and deep and strong and I wouldn't at all have minded staying there forever.

Had dinner with my systems colleague and his wife. They are great people. I would like for them to be good friends of mine. They're so very couply though. I'm not so keen on that. Not until I'm part of a couple again anyway. Even then, maybe, though! I am having a good time being single with my single friends who aren't using each other as temporary substitutes for a relationship. I haven't seen that sort of behavior in quite awhile.

I hope tomorrow goes well. Even more, though? I hope it goes comfortably. I want to feel good about it even if it's not everything I wish it would be, since I'm sure that I wish it would be more than other people would imagine possible.

After tomorrow? I'd like to take a short roadtrip with BB/MGBF and be comfortably silent and safe and happy with him. I don't care what we do. I don't care if we do anything. But I would like to be with him.

I would also like to hang my new ceiling, which arrived today, because, after that, I can buy a new mattress and set up my new bed. However, I'd prefer to do that AFTER I spend some time with BB/MGBF.

01 August 2006

Lookit My Dead Bat!

It was stuck to my window screen. Poor bat. Its final flight involved me flicking it with a popsicle stick and it sailing gently downward into an azalea bush. Poor bat.