Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Random Musings and Lighting at The Electric Brew

Hello! It is Wednesday, almost the start of Memorial Day weekend, and I am waiting for Steve to arrive home. The kitties and I are hanging out on the porch listening to the birds and watching the warm day pass by.

Although I was initially disappointed that several teaching gigs dried up this late spring and summer, I now realize that it was a disguised blessing. I have not had time off for a long time, and I am still earning some income filling in for absent instructors, tutoring, and visiting classrooms. Also, our MV book has spiked a bit in sales, so that is good. Karen and I are working on other writing projects, and will be presenting programs at Gen Con this summer. I have also put my name in to sub (percussion) with the LaPorte County Community Symphony. We will see what happens. Steve continues to catalog and teach online classes. He is writing more, and I am so proud of Steve for pursuing writing. He is such a good writer, and his work needs to be out there.

Since January or February, I have been writing poems like a maniac! I cannot stop, nor do I want to! The poetry group, WordPlay, founded by John Homan, has been a godsend. The group meets once a month at a charming coffee house called The Electric Brew. This event inspires me to write more often, and the writers are creative and kind. I am so happy to call them friends.

There is something interesting about the lighting in The Electric Brew. There is a light that tends to flicker on and off during the poetry reading. I wonder who is saying hello?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Adventures at the BMV

This version of the blog was written in hard copy while riding the stationery bike at Planet Fitness. (I burned 107 calories.) Yesterday, I accidentally tossed my driver's license into the trash. (I was cleaning the equipment after working out.)Today, I jokingly told the worker at the Indiana BMV(Bureau of Motor Vehicles) that I must have subconsciously hated my license photograph so I threw it away. The BMV lady (BMVL) didn't even crack a smile. I might as well have been talking to Siri, or Betty, my mean GPS. At least they had more personality. I will say in her defense that BMVL called me over before I sat down. I asked BMVL how her day was going. She ignored me. She just kept with the script. Lady, just treat me like a person! I'm not a number!

I had to take my mug shot three times. It felt like a damn mug shot. Why don't I wear stripes and carry a number? Teeth covered. Chin down. Ears out. Face straight. The license photograph is the antithesis of a selfie. I used to enjoy going to the BMV to get my photo taken. Now I dread it, thanks to the ass (or the commune of stinky asses) who decided to not allow people to smile. We are not all criminals; stop treating us like we are! It is as bad as going to the pharmacy to buy cold medicine. A couple of bad people ruined it for everyone. Talk about punishing the class for the sins of a few.

Oh, dear readers, it gets better from here. BMVL checks my information. Yes, I am an organ donor. She doesn't mention anything until my weight. She glances over me accusingly and says that my weight needed to be changed. Bitch, I thought. You are fat shaming me at the BMV and you have NO business shaming anyone. Look in the mirror. I gave her another number. It's still not the real one, but it's none of her business--or the government's business--what I weigh. I will write her supervisor in a letter. Don't question a woman about her weight on her license!!!! Also, weight fluctuates.

This experience lit a fire within myself. I am angry with myself for allowing myself to not be in the ideal shape, so I am going to change that.
I am hereby turning my pissivity into positivity.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Swan Song Thursday

It’s Thursday.
Not just any Thursday; I deem this day as Swan Song Thursday.

Tuesday was my last day teaching composition and tonight was my last night teaching speech.
I found out on Tuesday night; the two classes I was supposed to teach next week were taken away because someone deemed my four degrees, six years of teaching experience, and writing credentials unworthy of teaching 100-level undergraduate composition and speech classes. What was acceptable last week is now considered null and void.

So, I packed up the cubicle farm and after 9:00 p.m., I called it a day. I really would have liked a true swan song—at least a month’s notice to fulfill my last teaching assignments. Instead, I get bitten and the proverbial rug is pulled out from under my feet.

And then I remember, swans can be mean.
Not the people I worked with and worked for—I love my academic family. It’s not my supervisors who caused this or necessarily the main office. It’s the cold, calculated swans who believe in numbers and dollars and cents and bureaucracy. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

But, swans are unpredictable.
And so is the life of an expendable adjunct.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April Snow Globe

April Snow Globe

"Sometimes it snows in April." - Prince

Since April first,
this month has been
like a snowstorm;
and I have been
in a snow globe
of sorts;
I am looking
at the sky
waiting again
for the
clouds to form;
and the universe
to shake
the snow globe
once again;
and only
when I paused,
and took my eyes
off the sky,
did the snow globe
shake again.



It has been a challenging month; I will write more in detail in a future post. For now, I will rest.

Saturday, April 02, 2016


(Java and Moshi, March 2016)

(Moshi, April 2016)

sleeps sadly
dreaming of Java.

Today will be our first entire day without Java. Even though Java was a quiet cat, the house is so quiet without her. It's going to take a while to heal from yesterday. It is weird not seeing Java perched on her favorite Doctor Who blanket on the sofa, or on the bed near me. Miss Moshi, the second oldest cat, is missing Java, too. She was clinging to Steve this morning and she is now curled up next to me in bed as I write. I have learned over the years that animals grieve, too. I wish I could take the hurt away from sweet Moshi. All we can do is give her extra love and affection. We will watch for depression. The other cats seem a little confused, but are not exhibiting visible signs of grief.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Java Sigety: October 1, 1998- April 1, 2016

deafening silence
of an empty

carrier haunted
us as we

drove home
from the vet.

Our Lady Princess Java was put to sleep today after a long hard battle with kidney disease, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and cancer. She was breathing hard this week, and we took her in today for x-rays. We were afraid of the results, and our dread was soon confirmed. We decided to do the most loving peaceful thing for her-- let her go. There were many days we weren't sure that she would come home with us, but we were a little taken off-guard that today was the day.

Steve and I adopted Java seventeen-and-a-half years ago from our friend's friend. We were only a couple years into our marriage, and we were living in a small apartment in South Bend, IN. She took a liking to our resident boy cat, Jack. Java is now with him in Heaven. Java's passing is an end of an era--she has been with us in our twenties, thirties, and mid-forties. We are grateful to have had her with us for so long.

How odd it is that today there were storms while Java was at the vet, and on our way home the sun came out while the rain abated. I think it was Java's way of telling us that she is okay, no longer in pain, and is with Jack. We love her and we will see her again someday, but wow, does it hurt.

We love you, Java. RIP, our catnip kitten.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday Morning and Shiny Object Squirrel Cell Phone Monday

Saturday, March 19,2016

Good morning. It is after 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Besides Oscar and Marimba Mari Mittens (the two youngest felines), I am the only being awake in the house. Sakura and Steve are currently snoring in sync (I am not joking), and Moshi has most likely taken my place on the bed.

Java has now awakened from her spot on the couch and is hobbling towards the kitchen, most likely looking for the water bowl. Soon after, I hear her drinking in the kitchen.

Anyway, I started to share with you what happened on Monday, but I was dealing with anxiety and juggling job deadlines. As the old adage goes, late is better than never. I will give you the shortened version.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Oh, my goodness did ADHD rear its ugly head today! Ugh!

First of all, I never thought I would be this attached to my cell phone. Prior to 2015, I did not think I would have a smartphone. Now, I do not know how Steve and I managed without them. If I ever had to choose between the smartphone and the stove, the stove would have to go. (I did not even pause.) Thanks to the microwave and the slow cooker, we would still survive. Who knew I was going to spend my Monday evening retracing my steps.

I worked at BMC all day today. After leaving the library (I tutor on the third floor), I trekked back to my desk in the cubicle farm, scooped up my belongings, and descended down the stairs. I looked forward to relaxing on the couch and watching the telly this evening. I nonchalantly searched for my cell phone to call Steve to tell him that I was running late and would be home soon. No cell phone. I searched all over the building, and after calling Steve frantically from the office phone, I eventually drove home. Fortunately, Steve was able to trace my phone from his. He remotely locked up my phone and then he traced where my cell phone was located. It was somewhere at BMC.

Steve drove me to BMC. I introduced Steve to Tom, the security officer. (Tom was instrumental in locating the cell phone.) I searched all over in the women's bathrooms, the student lounge, my desk (again), the drawers in my cubicle, and the library (again). Annoyed and anxious, I even went dumpster diving into the recycle and trash bins on the three floors. Yup, that's me-- keepin' it classy. I felt like a junkie searching for lost drugs--instead, it was a lost phone.

Finally, Steve was able to call my cell phone and make it ring (loudly) for five minutes. The sound was coming from my cubicle! Tom the Security Officer crawled underneath the dark desk and located the cell phone, which fell behind the desk onto the floor. I called him my hero. My colleagues were helpful, and also cracking up at me. So, Steve and I drove home and all was well, except my adrenaline was high from the anxiety of misplacing the cell phone.

I decided that I need a magenta-colored phone case. I also need a brightly-colored lanyard to tether the stupid cell phone around my neck, or around my wrist, so I will not have to dive into a trash bin anytime soon.