Wanted: 2RBIs, 2 home runs, or 1 grand slam

I’m not picky. Whatever’ll get us to Game 5. Thanks. Ah, balls. Next year, Rox. I’ll be rooting for you come spring training.

This weekend I harvested about 5 pounds of pecans from our yards (one tree each in front and back). At first I started gathering them idly, then it became an obsession. You should have seen me: I was like a demented easter egg hunter, treading softly in the overgrown grass, feeling for the nuts through the soles of my Vans. Now then, what do I do with all of these pecans?

This afternoon, we met up with the M family, as well as my dad, sister, her husband, their three kids, and a little girl from dad’s neighborhood at the Wildflower Center for “Goblins in the Garden.” It was fairly lame, but since we’re not taking Harry trick-or-treating this year (or next year, if we can get away with it), it was a fun way to celebrate Halloween without winding up with eleventy tons of candy AND we got to dress him up in his costume. He was a Biscuit Brother, but every time you asked him whether he was Dusty or Buford, he’d change his answer. I’m gonna go with Buford, because he’s the cuter one.

After that, we went to dinner at Threadgill’s (bleargh), where Harry showed off his mad “reading” skillz (the kid LOVES to read out letters, even though he doesn’t know what the words mean, obviously). It was so interesting to see him alongside Tracey’s son, Jonathan, who is 6 months older than Harry. J is VERY physical, will climb any and every climbable item within a 50-foot radius, doesn’t seem to have many words, and is just a wild man. Tracey is VERY good with him — I was very impressed with how patient she was with her little Tasmanian devil). And then there’s Harry, who is also a bundle of id (these boys are 2, after all), but he’s incredibly talkative, loves to sing and “read,” and rather than climb all over everything, he likes to look at bright colors, push buttons, and look at the bubbles in the jukebox machine. It was very interesting to see these two very different personalities alongside each other. I wonder how these differences will manifest themselves in the future?

I’m knitting a cardigan for myself and am rejoining Weight Watchers on Friday. More blogfodder!

Flying solo

Matt left early this morning to visit his paternal relatives in Rhode Island. It’s his grandmother’s 93rd (?) birthday, and he feels that perhaps his chances to visit her may be dwindling. So, he left for four days, with my blessings, to go eat lobster and surround himself with a whole host of people with his surname.

I have been feeling a bit glum and lonely today — I didn’t think that I’d miss him that much, especially after we just spent four days together in Seattle with no three-foot-high, “upupupupupupupupupupup!” preschooligan shenanigans. But I felt and feel his absence acutely, and did so the minute I came home from dropping off Harrison at Nana’s.

Harry and I have a busy weekend ahead of us: tonight we’re going out for dinner, maybe Thai (I dunno about that one; Harry is uber-picky and I need bland foods right now) or maybe something a little more playground-centric (a la Central Market). Tomorrow morning, breakfast tacos (hopefully en masse with other preschooligans and their mamas) at Torchy’s (my new addiction), then the sprinklers at Town Lake Park, then a meeting at Starbucks (unavoidable and definitely dreaded) about an essay and my other contributions to a book project-turned-albatross. Then lunch with Kyle at Phil’s/Amy’s, naptime, then a trip to Maker Faire with Molly. Then dinner and the arrival of the sitter (much trepidation on my part despite my adoration for sitter in question; all stemming from anxiety about possible anxiety on H’s part with Mommy abandoning him the day after Daddy left before the sun rose) so that Mariah and I can go bask in the awesomeness that is Anthony Bourdain (how tempted I have been to unload those tix for double what I paid in order to finance my latest knitting endeavor!).

Sunday is a trip to my folks’ place in Schertz and a visit to the SA Zoo, where they have “weel fah-mingos,” H’s latest animal-related obsession. Monday is school, then dinner at friends’. So, yes, we will stay busy, but the bed for the next few nights will feel very large and cold, and the creaky-creepy nighttime noises will sound that much louder. But, I will take this time to read ahead for my classes, get caught up on my knitting and movies, and generally, be at peace with my aloneness after the boy has gone to bed.


So, we got back from Seattle on Sunday night to learn that the shower and bathtub (two different bathrooms) were backing up and that my mother-in-law had been unable to bathe and was rapidly unraveling as a result. Poor thing! Plumber came on Monday, did some snaking and some other stuff, and now we are moving smoothly. That night, I stayed up laaaaate to grade papers, then was so delirious that I was convinced that the plumber was coming back to rob us. After all, he’d seen my laptop! and our two cheap TVs! and … my books! We are targets! I hid my laptop in my dresser and my purse in the closet when I finally went to bed, then lay in the dark, twitching at every creak and rustle. (I should also mention that I barely slept on Sunday night as well, due to jetlag — yes, totally lame to get jetlag going from PST to CST, but I somehow managed to do it.)

Finished grading last night — of my 20 students, 2 got Ds and 3 got Fs. I have second- and third-guessed myself on these grades, but every time I attempt to reconsider, I see all the glaring flaws all over again and can’t bring myself to change the grades. I know there will be tears in my office over these grades, and I am facing some really hard truths about my teaching. There is absolutely no reason why a full quarter of my students should be turning in below-average work. Obviously, mistakes have been made on both sides of the gradebook; it’s now up to me to do some re-tooling, pedagogically, and evaluate how I communicate expectations and ensure that I’m properly equipping my students with the tools they need to write successful papers in a lower-division undergraduate rhetoric course. (You might hear some eye-rolling in that last sentence.)

I am really behind on the reading for my Thursday-night class, called Rhetoric and Identification. I didn’t read any of the material for last week, as we were in Seattle, and now I realize that everything we’re reading from here on out is based in the Freud I didn’t read last week. Also, I have to revise my second paper for the class, which was handed back without a grade with the edict, “more, more, MORE!” Gah.

You can’t get blood from a turnip, is all I’m saying. But somehow, I will find that “MORE!” Who needs a life when you’ve got Kenneth Burke, Sigmund Freud, and Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen to keep you company? I’m sure Matt won’t mind another night alone in the bed while I toil in the livingroom.


Back from four days in Seattle. Arrived home to potentially Major Plumbing Disaster. Don’t vacations always work that way? More later.

My new campaign

First, it was Team Save the Twins. Now it’s Film Threat’s Salute to the Fifty Best Breasts in Movie History, all under the guise of celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Also, Austinist is concerned with saving boobs.

Yes, breast cancer starts in the breasts. But it’s not about saving boobies, people. It’s about combating disease that takes lives. Can we please respect and acknowledge that fact, rather than using it as YET ANOTHER excuse to objectify women? After all, what good are boobs if they’re attached to a dead person?


New post

New post on passive-aggressive visual rhetoric at viz.

Some people just don’t get it

I recently joined Sparkpeople, which I really love. It’s got all the perks of Weight Watchers with the benefit of being freeee! (If you join, be sure to say that harrysmum72 referred you; we both will get entered in a drawing for a $222 Amazon.com gift certificate!)

Anyhoo, a woman on the Austin “team” (for some reason, they break you into teams according to the biographical information you give them when you join up) posted to the message boards that she’s created a team for the Race for the Cure next month. The name of her team? “Save the Twins.”

Fuck me. Can I break her, please?

Poking my head in

… and splitting infinitives, sort of.

Things have been rather busy ’round these parts. Last week saw a confluence, a conflagration, an aggregation, a veritable tsunami of deadlines. But I also somehow found a way to go see Interpol with the hubster and good friend Amber on Wednesday night. It was fun, especially since they played a bunch of songs that I sort of know and like (as opposed to the new stuff, which I haven’t heard and which Amber reports is not good).

On Friday, I presented a paper called “Sweet Subversion: Resistance and the Power to Name in Waitress,” as part of the American Studies grad conference. Our panel, called “Performance and the Public Feminine,” was covered in the u’s craptacular rag, and the reporter, who called me Sunday afternoon with some followup questions, completely neglected to mention the title of my paper or the nature of my work. Instead, she opted to define me as a nearly incompetent wife and mother who can’t get her work done without “help from friends and classmates.” Whatever that means. What really chaps me is that she asked me about what I took away from the conference and I said that I’d left feeling really excited about my work. Of course, that didn’t show up inthe article.

Carly wrote a letter to the editor about it; the headline pretty much reflects what we imagine is the general attitude about our uppity feminist selves. Sigh. Chalk one up for the patriarchy, I guess.

Quickly, before I go bolt a Lean Cuisine before class: birthday dinner at Chez Zee on Saturday was lovely, although handicapped by a toddler. Got the new Imperial Teen and Caramba! Went shopping and dropped a bundle on new clothes on Sunday. Yadda yadda. Spanish test and paper due tomorrow; not sweating test because she gave us the questions in a handout. And yet I’m learning.

Hasta luego.