Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So the days float through my eyes but still the days seem the same

Yesterday's post was crazy long.  This will be brief.  I'll try to catch up with some minor characters since my last meltdown.

Joy --- a co-worker at the Old Job, whom I once described as unattractive.  She resurfaced and intimated an interest in me.  I ended up having a fling with her despite myself.  Couldn't even call it dating briefly.  Just a contact born of... I don't know what, boredom and curiosity?  I was pretty apathetic about it and she came on very needy.  I kind of just let it die.  I guess I was the jerk with this one.

Ms. N --- the unattainable perfect gorgeous Ivy League-educated ex-co-worker of my dreams.  When last heard of had quit Prestigius to become a governess.  Is no longer living in Deviltown.  Has moved to Angeltown, where she belongs.  Bless her.

Hot Waitress T --- the bar waitress with whom I went through teaching school and became fairly close with for a while.  She has just had a baby but there is as far as I know no man in her life.  I have very little information other than that.

Maddening Angel -- the causus scribendi of this blog, the flighty flirty chick that started as sexual tension fodder and became a sort of sister figure to me over time.  After switching jobs and cities a few times, she moved back and is now living, again, in Deviltown.  She also has a kid.  Never married.  The father is still around and doing fatherly duties, but is not with her.

Epalg is still working toward her doctorate in the northeast.

74 and Zaftig --- my old high school friend (making our relationship over a quarter-century long) and his wife.  They have recently started inviting me over for drinks and dinner quite a lot, so I've grown closer to both of them and their sweet, funny (but, sadly, also quite spoiled) kids, which is great.

K --- Maddening Angel's old neighbor and friend.  I very rarely see her.

Deep Blue and Cyan --- old high school friend and his wife.  Have now had kid number two.  All these new babies.  It's almost as if the human species is motivated by an intense urge to continue its existence through procreation.

Oh, and I've been jumping through hoops for the last three months trying to buy the house I've been renting since this post.   And that story is also one rife with aggravation and deception, just like my work situation last year!  And so best saved for another time, if at all.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Time slips away and leaves you with nothing

Today I had lunch with old pal Muffin (of this post, 4th paragraph).  She's had a bit of tsuris this year, mostly in the form of breast cancer.  She got a double mastectomy and is getting some replacement boobs put in.  She jokes about going bigger, having been all her life the width of a clothes line and nothing in the chestal regions.  I subscribe to the philosophy that any more than a handful is a waste.  Hopefully, the cancer's been fully excised and she'd well recovered.  For a while there she was looking pretty skeletal.

As we were walking across the street from the diner to where her car was getting its mandated state inspection ("Texas: because it shouldn't be easy for poor people to drive"), I stepped down from the curb where it slanted into a gutter and my ankle kind of went out from under me and I fell.  I didn't just stumble, I went all the way down to the concrete.  I scraped my hand and knee and was otherwise fine, but man!  Falling down for no particular reason, that's the province of the under-six and over-sixty crowd!  I'm not such a spring chicken any more, and let's face it, I was never particularly robust even in my prime.

After lunch, I met up with Palfrey, the Friar's wife, who is also a teacher, and a co-worker of hers, for a coffee (I had juice, being a non-coffee drinker all my life) and then we all three went to the teacher's store.  They were there to buy rule posters and bulletin boards and cute stuff like that that teachers typically get.  Prestigius, though, generally doesn't allow teachers to decorate their rooms on the principle that things on the walls should reflect a student-centered approach.  Officially, the only things on the walls should be kid-made, but in the higher grades, the teachers tend to put up signs, like steps to editing and revising a paper, anyway.  However, even these tend to be simple print jobs and not the kind of pastel-colored cutesy stuff that is sold in stores.

I was at the teacher's store to buy pencils bearing the legend "I'm a Super Third Grader."  Why?  Because, after five years teaching kindergarten at Prestigius and many years in Early Childhood before that, I am starting as the third grade language arts teacher in August.  Hooray!  And gulp!  Because --- no reason for false modesty --- back in the kinder room I was a superstar, adored by the little kids (though I am feared by infants), consistently and strongly requested by incoming parents, praised by former parents, and well-liked by the solid, friendly K team as well as admin.  It's true that planning was never my strong suit, to say the least, but I've always been a natural pre-K and K teacher.  I followed a loose plan or I went through a whole week by deciding what to do on the spot hour by hour.  I just did whatever felt right and obvious, and it worked.  And over the years a gathered a bit of knowledge --- not much, but enough to get by --- about how five- to six-year-olds develop math, reading, and writing skills.

Third grade is not like Early Childhood.  There's a standardized test kids which need to not just pass but do very well on (it's Prestigius; there are certain expectations).  I know almost nothing about how third graders process text or what their vocabulary level ought to be or what kids of words they typically can or can't spell.  I also won't be self-contained, so I can't really wing it the way I'm used to.  So this could be either New and Exciting, or a Slow Crash and Burn.  Well, no reason it can't be both, I suppose. 

I'm doing this for a variety of reasons.  One, I was getting bored.  I was great at Kinder and I loved it, but sometimes it felt like going through the motions.  That's not good; teachers should not be bored at work. I needed a new challenge; I wanted to extend my horizons and be surprised professionally again.  (Not that K kids didn't surprise me, but I don't mean that way.)  And our (now ex-)admissions director, Max, told me that if I ever left Prestigius, I'd have a lot stronger resume if it had a bit more variety to show that I could adapt to whatever a new employer might need.

By the way, this is turning into a very long post, so I won't go into it here, but the process of me becoming a third grade teacher was such a convoluted and aggravating journey it deserves a post of its own someday, perhaps.  It involves, as so many aggravating things do, inconsistent policies and preferential treatment of certain employees by admin.

Anyway.  More on the job later.  After that outing, I putzed around until late evening when I met the Friar at the Hangout.  Plus ça change...  He's trying to get a music festival going and he was supposed to meet some twenty-something billionaire backers through our friend Pureneck (a woman who works in PR for local companies), but they didn't show up.  So we sat around drinking and playing video games.  Because accomplishment makes our stomachs hurt.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Too sharp, too flat; it's fate and that's that

The less said about the lacuna, the better.

Today is my mother's birthday.  For her birthday, she got to drive me to my first colonoscopy. I'm about ten years too young for this to be on the slate, but there it is.  Apparently I have some occult blood in my stool sample.  Form an orderly queue, ladies.  The gut doctor knew me from Prestigius, where his kids used to go.  Now a parent from Prestigius has seen my colon.  I hope he admired my shapely buttocks while he was down there.

Anyway, the result is zero polyps.  Not even an internal hemorrhoid.  So what caused the suspect blood?  The ass doc did not know.  "Maybe a false positive in the lab," he offered.  Unlikely.  More likely my aperture has some miniscule tears or whatnot.  You know, from all the brutal ass pounding I've endured over the years.  The gay, gay ass pounding.

I actually found that drinking the laxative, which most people find literally gut-wrenching and nauseating, was not too bad.  Ice cold and chugged like a frat douche downs a Pabst, it didn't bother me much.  Lemme tell you, though, it makes your butt pee.

After my procedure they told me to rest for thirty minutes, and for the rest of the day not to drive and not to sign any legal documents.  I did both.  (Fuck you, The Man!  I don't need your advice about heavy machinery!)  I felt perfectly fine.  They put me out with propofol, the stuff that Michael Jackson OD'd on.  I can see why he dug it.  It's extremely fast acting and gives a pleasant buzz in the head for about ten seconds before it lays you the hell out.

Later I took my mother out to lunch at a Thai restaurant.  Say, eating Thai food after fasting for two days and drinking a gallon of laxative isn't the best idea!

...I need a good quality haircut by a stylish professional, one that costs money and is worth it, not my usual Supercuts schlub look.  I'd like to ask my friends for recommendations, but they're all bald.

...Look at the state of this place.  I bet I have to clear up a few dead links.

Wow, obviously I'm in fine fettle here on the day of my return, all gossipy and jokey and shit.  Boy, will that change.  Soon it's going to be endless cynical grousing, self-pity, and one-line posts about music no one cares about again.

Also, probably more about teaching and less about gastrointestinal activity.