Wednesday, October 29, 2014

One more block; the engine talks

Today at work, I gave the kids a reading quiz that I wrote (two adapted Aesop's fables, plus the questions), oversaw their partnered reading and looked at a few reading reaction pages (problem and solution), then went over homework.  An hour and  half goes by fast; what I just wrote out really doesn't seem like it would take all that time, but it does.

In adapting the fables, by the way, I took the one about the milkmaid and reworked it so that it was about a young man dreaming of using his money to buy a fine new tractor and lording it over his neighbors and spilling the milk as he acted out his fancies, rather than a girl tossing her head at suitors.  The original is (David Brent voice) a bit sexist, innit?

***

I literally had no idea the World Series was going on until I saw the CNN headline about the winner just now.

***

Saw The Vikings (1958), surely one of the worst major motion pictures ever made by Hollywood. From the bad acting, to the atrocious dialogue, to the off-kilter casting (Ernest Borgnine as the Viking Chief! Haw!), to the movie's bafflingly propagandistic association with a Germanic, proto-fascist people at the expense of our Good Old Ally England.

Among many of the unintentionally funny scenes: Monk makes sign of cross. Kirk Douglas says "Take your magic elsewhere, holy man" before pushing him to the ground.  Ha!  I don't know why that's funny, but it is.  That's funnier than a rotating chair.

I am still watching "The Walking Dead."  It is preposterous and thrilling!

I have also watched every episode available on Netflix of "Comic Book Men," a "reality" show about Kevin Smith's comic book shop in Red Bank, NJ.  It is staged and pretty goofy, but I am enough of a nerd to binge-watch it with at least one eye open.  Speaking of unintentionally funny, Jason Mewes (Jay, of Jay and Silent Bob fame) attempting a believable reaction shot to anything is hilarious.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I 'd ask you what you want but I don't think you'd know what I mean

LD is super overworked at her job, which is a mass of backbiting and undercutting, apparently.  I really don't want her to lose her value there, because frankly she was lucky to get that job (at a place she'd worked years before) because of the three-year gap in her resume.  She makes twice what I do, and with three kids she needs it.  When a kid is sick, she racks up yet another unwanted absence.

So when she texted me that Crab was sick, I drove up there after work.  She left me with Crab lying on the couch watching TV.  I walked over to her kids' school and picked up the other two; I'm on the list, this having happened before.  They watched a lot of cartoons (Garfield!  Phineas and Ferb! Some French series of shorts about a shark who loves a clueless mermaid and protects her from the hyena who wants to eat her!) while I graded some papers.  I made them two corn dogs, two breads with Nutella, and two pears.  Also Popsicles, after they took their various medicines (diuretic for Crab's stomach, antibiotic for Cake's ear infection, reading log time for KJr's lectophobia).  They eat huge amounts.  They are pretty big.  Wait til they're teenagers!

[Her kids are big because LD is tall.  LD is five foot eleven; I am five foot five or so on a good day.  We are both fine with this reversal of typical gender body dimorphism.  Some people aren't.  Her kids love to point it out.  Crab told her recently that daddies shouldn't be shorter than mommies.  They can be the same size, but not shorter.  On a similar note, apparently one of the topics covered on LD's last talk with Zaftig was battles with weight, and the perils of a woman weighing more than her partner.  LD doesn't talk about her weight to Zaftig because she doesn't want to hurt her feelings --- LD and I weigh approximately the same.]

After a couple solid hours of work, LD drove all the way down to my place, where she fed the dogs (she has been around enough that, unbelievable as it may seem, Dog II --- who has lunged snarling at my landlord, my neighbor, and my brother when he came to stay for a week once --- allows her to pet him and even enter the house without me, although he does run around crazily, barking and jumping on her).  Then she drove way back up to Mannontown to her house, where we all (including the kids!) had dinner of salmon and pasta.  So domestic.  Then the kids were driven reluctantly to bed.  We cleaned up, I tried with mixed success to pay LD's bills online, and then we absconded to the couch for some adult time.  We also watched some of "The Office" (UK), which I love.

LD and I butt heads occasionally on her willingness to let kids in her bed.  I think as a third grade boy, KJr is getting too old to share his mother's bed.  In particular I dislike the demanding way he asks her to go to bed, as if he were a partner in the bedtime process and not a child.  She would be happy to have her children sleep with her every day until they go to college.  It's not such a big thing to argue over, but I wish it didn't gnaw at me.  I certainly don't want to create rivalries before their time or have petty jealousy about her kid, for Pete's sake.

I got home around half past midnight.  I'd been gone from home since about 7 a.m.  This was only possible because of the thousands of dollars I put into having a six-foot fence built around my yard and a dog door put in the back.  These improvements have really changed how I structure my day!  My schedule used to be tied to getting home to let dogs out.

Monday, October 27, 2014

My insides shake like a leaf on a tree

At work, I am stressed about

(1) A few type-A parents who are going to the Vice-Head and saying my manner intimidates their children (which no one believes or sees --- and we don't have doors in our classrooms).
(2) Falling behind in my communication, including the irritating Creature Swap project we're doing at the behest of our unhelpful Technology teacher.
(3) Falling behind in the work the kids are getting done.
(4) Conference aftershocks --- parents wanting feedback on stuff they were told about last week.

I am used to being the star and success coming easily.  This third grade thing is kind of rough.

***

So that call and text from Zaftig yesterday to LD was her saying she wanted to have dinner.  74 was going to watch all the kids.  So that's what happened, and it ran long.  I started to panic a bit for no rational reason.  The thought of Zaftig and LD socializing still sends me into flashbacks about  February, because of Zaftig's two-faced, controlling role in causing it.  I'm slowly, slowly, getting better, at least I hope.  I recovered, and we texted and had a quick talk afterwards. I learned

(1) Kraut is calling around to Deviltown and Swampland friends, including Zaftig and the loathsome Ugly Joe, complaining about me being around his kids.
[He knows this because the kids tell him.  After one session on Skype or phone where they babbled merrily about how I am funny, and draw well, and give them gum, etc, LD said, "Daddy isn't such a big fan of Chance, so maybe he doesn't want to hear about that.  Naturally, the next conversation, Crab started it off with, "Why aren't you a big fan of Chance, Daddy?  I think he is funny!  He..."  Kraut replied, "Well, it's a long story, Crab," and then proceeded to question Crab about my interactions with them, though he did not mention me at all when he spoke to LD..  LD had to say to the kids, "I know he is your daddy, and you can talk to him about anything, including Chance if you want, but you should just know it makes him sad."]
(2) Zaftig apparently told him I was a professional and didn't want to be their dad and he should come over here and spend time with them himself to solve the problem.
(3) 74 was stressed or pissed off or something and very cold, just barely civil, to LD and, her kids reported, yelled at them; Crab was screaming in the dark when LD got there, apparently
(4) Zaftig, wonder of wonders, apologized for "making this harder on you than it had to be" (can it be?  was this actual self-reflection?).

I have nothing but bad feeling for both Zaftig and 74 at this point.  They'd have to bend over backwards to get me to attempt to recreate our past bond.  I've stuck out enough olive branches and had them ignored over the past year.  Their smug nasty controlling crap is just too much.  I don't care if I ever speak socially to them again.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Reboot

Let's try this again.

The last reboot started, sadly, just before the Bad Times, which I won't go into now, if ever.  Let's just say there has been enough drama and enough tears for ten lifetimes.

These are better times, although still shaky and stressful.  There's still much that is up in the air and much that depends on external forces, which isn't a condition I gladly tolerate.  There are ups and downs.  But it isn't the nadir of hopelessness it was back in February.  Indeed, when LD and I say that word --- February -- it is shorthand for "the most horrible either of us have ever felt."

So.  Today.

I met LD and her three kids, Cake, Crab, and KJr, at the grocery store, where we shopped individually and together.  I then met them at her place.  Yes, she no longer lives in Europa. She lives here, in Mannontown.  So there's that.

The idea was that I should stay with the kids while she went to the office to catch up on work, but she lacked the energy for that.  So I watched the two biggies for just a bit while she went to go retrieve Cake from a birthday party.  Then we took them to the park and LD and I walked around and talked about us and other, less weighty matters, while the kids played on the equipment. I did a little work on her laptop, and then the five of us had spaghetti with meat sauce that she made.  We watched a bit of "Malcolm In the Middle" --- that show is funny and clever!  I never knew it was a notch above other sitcoms.  Then I helped clean up some of the mess and washed dishes.  It was all very domestic.

After the kids were asleep, LD and I had some much-needed adult time together, which was interrupted by a call and text from Zaftig, whose relationship with LD has been cooled and slightly awkward since LD and I got together.  (And Zaftig and 74's relationship with me?  Well, the first time I spoke to 74, my friend of 27 years, was last month when we met for a drink, and it ended in rather strained though civil argument, and no contact since; and I have literally not spoken to Zaftig since February.  Oh, except for professionally.  You see, I am their daughter Nora's teacher!  Ha ha!  It is awkward!)

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Need a place to hide out of anger, out of love

Bad craziness.  Told LD that "it was all lies."  She replied, offended, that she had never lied to me.  I said that she had implied that we had a chance, even while she knew all along she was going back to be a couple in Europa.  Lies of omission and implication.

But forget all the emo bullshit.  All you really need to know is that of all my pals, no one --- not Friar who knows I'm going through hell, not 74 and Zaftig who are holding a Super Bowl party --- called or texted to see how I was doing.

Mood: abandoned/suicidal

Saturday, February 01, 2014

How many times can it escalate till it elevates to a place I can't breathe?

Hysterical.  Called brother and unloaded on him.  Called Friar.  Even asked if I could go to his house just so I wouldn't be along.  I've never had a problem with being alone before.  He was out doing errands with kids.  I sucked it up and pulled it together and went to the library to get a backlog of grading done.  Stayed at the library until closing.

While I was there, a high school girl came up and asked me to help with a math problem from a test she was doing online.  It had to do with finding the original amount if you know what the percentage is.  I showed her how to set up the equation and then divide by both sides.  Later on she came up again and asked me about a problem involving two cars of different speeds and how often they pass each other on a track. I didn't really have any idea to solve that one.  I'm a teacher and I have a master's degree.  Ha ha!  I'm such a fraud.

***

Texting with LD didn't go very well.  I compared her to a happy prisoner, brainwashed into thinking she needed to comfort her captor.  She agreed with the assessment but said she wasn't very happy about it.  I said she didn't owe him anything other than a relationship with his children, but that she was deluded into believing she owes him a wife.  She didn't argue that either.  Then I asked her to stop texting for a bit because it was devolving into accusation and resentment and was killing me.  I sent her a short email, though, saying that I'd be there if she really needed me.

Worked out.  Took a sedative.  Started drinking.  Got a call from T-Bone and Courtney to go eat dinner, but I was at the library when they asked, and anyway I had plans with the Friar already set.  Went out to dinner with the Friar, then drinking at Sports Bar and then the Hangout, where we played a little video trivia and such.

Friar took me home, but I don't have clear memories of it.

Mood: hysterical/suicidal

Friday, January 31, 2014

I'm gonna try to nullify my life

Had to go to work.  Forced myself to keep it together on the drive in.  Brought a rag in the car to dry my eyes.  Was mostly okay through the day.  I'm generally unpredictably sullen or happy go lucky and not very personable in either case, so no one much noticed my depression (though Ms. Yule did).

Got home.  Worked out.  Agony inside, like heroin withdrawal.  Texted LD a bit.  Some accusatory and defensive, some simply loving and saying I'd be there for her.  Took a tranquilizer and drank.  Friar picked me up to go out drinking at Hangout.  He had been in contact with 74 and picked up him as well.  I mostly ignored 74 though was civil.  Sedated and drunk enough to laugh at times.

Want to die.

Mood: suicidal/sedated