a reason for coffee…

I have a question for you all, assuming that there are still readers lurking about…! lol =) As you may remember from 2014, I spent a GREAT deal of time wasting my time on fruitless coffee-dates with men who turned out to be in a class of their own… and not necessarily of the good variety. I met no axe-murderers, felons, or other deeply unsavory characters, but DID meet enough men to realize that there is no man in CT for me, save The Lineman, which is a sad and cautionary tale for another day, preferably while laying on a beach drinking cold beer, but I digress.

So I am off men, as I seem to have a penchant for loving truly and completely only those who I cannot have for the long haul. If things ever DO work out with The Lineman, I will be thrilled beyond words, but I will not go looking for something to distract me for the interim and prefer to have it be him or none. No worries, this was a happy-making decision for yours truly. =)

At any rate, I had a point back there a ways… OH YES! I am swimming, or rather doing water rehab every morning at the pool, and I was surprised at how many people take advantage of the early morning hours to work the kinks out of their broken backs, shoulders, and knees. We are a youngish bunch, and rather vocal, so the routine has become a source of interaction as well as breath-stealing pain for me. Of course (you know me by now…) I met someone who is interesting, non-threatening, and despite meeting me in my swimwear, seems to have no sexual or otherwise nefarious intentions towards my person, nor did he swim screaming from the sight. He is clever, pleasant, none too hard on the eyes, and well-spoken. He also is tall and has a goatee in the manner of the loves of my deep past, so while I am HONESTLY not going anywhere with this, he has captured enough of my interest that I speak to him as well, even in more than​ monosyllabic words. =)

You may remember that I am shy on friends of my own age-group, being fairly new to the area and in college with children, so meeting someone who does not make me want to slap them is a rarity, be they of the male or female persuasion. So… kind reader, is a goatee enough of a reason to put on actual clothes and have a conversation with this one on dry land? I would get a coffee out of the deal, which of course has me pondering the idea. BUT… how early is too early to let a man know you truly only want to be friends? Nothing else has ever even been suggested, but with my track record and advancing age, I will take no chances to get caught up in any kind of insanity with a new and grueling semester on the​ horizon​. ​Am I making too much of this? How can you tell when a coffee is just a coffee? And can a woman ever really be just friends with a man anyway? I had been seriously debating buying a cheap gold band to wear​ and telling​ the world I am a widow​, but that seems too much like tempting the Fates, and I have done​ that often enough to know​ the disastrous results that follow.

In other news, I am only down 3 pounds, but my shirts are fitting slightly looser in areas, so I am trying to stay away from the scale and focusing on the buoyant​ feeling inside of me after working out, as limited as it may be. Keep me in your thoughts, you all, and with any luck, I will be snowshoeing​ in smaller ski pants come the new year!!

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hello, wednesday…

It does not escape me that I am an English major, one who has found a passion for the structured intricacies​ of form and function rules of our ever-adapting language, yet I insist on NOT capitalizing the titles of posts. Is this a quirk, an unconscious play on words, or simply a middle finger thrown at the thesis board committee? Probably a mix of the three, as we have already established I am rather a complex creature… =)

At any rate, I find another week half gone, January melting away faster than the disappearing snow from the filthy shrubs lining my Little House in the Big Wood. I was tempted to set aside my schoolwork today and chat here by an unexpected visit from an old bloggity friend. I realized last night that I miss the interaction with you all, the ones who have been around for the long haul, and the new ones who have such insight to share with yours truly.

However, as previously discussed, I am metamorphosizing at an alarming rate, and my wants and needs develop and shift seemingly with the wind. Of course, there is more to it that that… I am becoming something more, something new, improved, and focused. As it is with everyone, I must decide what I want, what I need, and where this space fits into my increasingly busy days. I can tell you that I am here to stay, even when it seems I have disappeared. =)

So what has this student been up to as of late? I am taking 5 upper-level courses this semester, with EDU designators, finally signifying my first steps toward licensure​ in my chosen field. I am also enjoying my Chaucer class, much to my amazement and delight​. It is frightfully hard, and my professor is so brilliant​ my head hurts after a convo with her, but after only 3 lectures I have already learned SO MUCH! While I am not going to take my grad degree in Medieval Literature, this does prepare me well for my Senior Seminar, as well as meeting ALL upper-level​ requirements for both school and state. So I was able to make a truly smart choice when registering, for a change. Feels good to be a bit in control, even if it is only the illusion of control and nothing like the real thing… I wonder how I will fit back into the “real” world once my degrees are done, and “all” I have​ to do is work, and not plan every decision 9 months ahead? ​My sweet Paul, 21 months into our relationship (how the HELL has it been so long already??!!), still does not “get” my need to constantly do so much ahead of time. His work as a lineman consists basically of putting out fires all day. Something​ breaks, he fixes it. Something blows up, he replaces it. Tornado blows away lines, he strings new. Drunk driver rams pole​ at midnight, his crew is there to dig a spot to plunk down a new one. All this while dealing with enough voltage to literally disintegrate anyone foolish enough to not be completely aware​ of their surroundings every moment of the obligatory 20-hour​ shifts… in other words, he REACTS. It suits him; he is great under pressure, calm in an emergency. But planning ahead? Not so much. Where he has spent the last 20 years trying to not burst into flames, I have spent the last 3 laying foundations for professional exams 2 years out. Ridiculous, no? How will I ever learn to live in the present again? I am hoping with enough homework-free weekends and cold beer, I will adjust just fine.

And here I am once again, not saying anything of real import, but blathering on in true Tish-fashion. But as you all know me so well, I am hoping you would not have it any other way. Namaste, peeps. Glad to be back, and glad that you decided to stick around. =)

just a pile of random shit…

It is too hot here to spend much time contemplating real bloody topics, so I am resorting to a list. Aforementioned heat melted brain to the degree that one cannot come up with 10 items that go together in any meaningful way, so I thought I would just toss out some random thoughts, Tish style. =)

  1. If one is looking to change careers with teaching being the end game, consider your state’s liberal arts university. Small class sizes, writing intensive courses and LAC requirements mean one comes away with a more personalized and marketable degree, as well as being hugely prepared for the Graduate level work one will need to complete. The real bonus, though, is that you will have 10 or so PhD holding professors who personally know you and your work ethic… no small thing in a small state!
  2. Paul and I were at the Cape recently, and we decided to “rough it” rather than spending the $600 to do the activities we would have enjoyed, had the coffers been full. Opted to kayak with the seals rather than take the crowded boat ride, and had a peaceful and magical time. Ate the free B&B breakfast, and light lunch of sandwiches/snacks, deciding to go out for one real meal a day… seafood, since it is what they are known for. Saved a bundle and had better seafood than if we had to budget for 3 full meals out. We also got up crazy early so we could park for free at the best beaches and skip the crowds.Hottest part of the day was spent in the outdoor shower then napping in our spacious room, as half the cost of a crappy hotel room, and we were literally .4 miles from the boat launch and beach. We set a budget and found ways to have exactly what we wanted without compromising our wallets. Think you cannot afford to get away for a few days? Ping me for more recommendations! =)
  3. I have read 8 young adult books in as many days… and am now even more grateful for Thoreau than before, if possible. While there were a few glimmers of hope, I now know  why our kids cannot spell or comprehend a complex thought. Just saying.
  4. I am experiencing a weird phenomena, shifted my calories back to heavy lunch and light dinner, added my pervious health shake, and cut out pretty much all crap in the hopes of resetting my system after a long bout of sickness and meds. Have gained 1 1/2 pounds in a week. GRR….!!!!! This very limited exercise is literally KILLING me, and need to do SOMETHING that will not hurt knee that I can do at home!
  5. Kohl’s Cash dollars earned always, and I do mean ALWAYS are valid starting the day after a sale ends. I get it and all, but every time?! How about changing it up once a year, just to keep us on our toes?! Of course, cannot complain too much buck during the sale, I managed to grab two $35 pillows for a mere $#.05 each, by using my coupon and card. Love/Hate relationship defined.
  6. Michael Phelps, golden boy extraordinaire, acts like the lovable dufus he is at any and all moments, appropriate or not. He is revered, and we understand that “boys will be boys.” Gabby Douglas stands still during the pledge, hand not on heart, but silent and respectful anyway. We filleted her and will be serving her over toast in the atrium for brunch tomorrow. Bad Un-American. Other than skin color and gender, can anyone provide a VALID reason for America’s disgust for this girl, and the excuses we make for that boy?
  7. Am officially caught up on Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and House of Cards on Nexfilx, leaving me with only The West Wing to enjoy while I am melting to death in the evenings… I suppose this is a good thing with Uni starting back up in 2 weeks, but still, am sad. And a little relieved that nothing new has caught my eye to the extent that i will be tempted to blow off Italian to sneak-watch while kiddo is being good and working on assignments in her room… I would never live that down.
  8. Ever wonder why, 2 years later, you “accidentally” unfriended someone on Facebook? Go ahead, click them back into your life, no really, it will be fine. Not a chance of 13, 899 posts irrelevant to you showing up on your feed 12 seconds later. Sigh.

Well, that’s all I have today, peeps. Heading out to bring the kiddo to DR, grab some groceries, library for a bit. WAY too hot to enjoy outside time; friends tried the lake for an hour yesterday, srsly ONE HOUR, and came away with second degree sunburns, the lot of them. AFTER applying spf 60 liberally. My plan is to pretend we are star-nosed moles and eat watermelon on the couch with shades drawn all afternoon, watching scary movies and sipping frozen-to-slushy watered down Gatorade. Hope you all make it thru the insane weather this week, I do hear relief is on it’s way, and am reminded that I will be longing for such balmy temps come February. Love to you all! =)

flannery will get you everywhere, my dear…

Seriously. Flan-cakes has got her shit together in an epic way, and the more I think of her (and Sylvia Plath and Zora Neal and Sandra Cisneros and…), the more I realize how epic these women were. I mean, earth-shatteringly human and flawed, yet in possession of a sense of self that I am only now coming into. To get back to my girl Flan, today one quote of hers is especially buzzing in my ear, in the lilt I imagine her to speak in, being a southern lady of a certain time. “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” Sigh, irk??!! =) =) The heart of a writer and the deep seated need to converse thru words not uttered but typed is something we can fight against, ignore for a time, but when we are frazzled and unsure of what to do, we have no option but to go back to what our soul knows… that damnably elusive written word.

I also have another of her profound utterances whispering at me, have for days now, and facing it is giving me a bit of stress… “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” As I sit here with my voter registration confirmation letter staring up at me from next to my coffee cup, I am realizing the veracity of that statement, and that as elections creep up, perhaps we need to think about this more than ever before.

As a Veteran, I have complex emotions concerning liberty, faith, duty, honor, and our government in general. But as I watch the fiasco surrounding the candidates swell to ridiculous proportions, I wonder if we can face the truth here, that our country is in serious trouble, our particular brand of democracy is no longer working, and that we are at the brink of damage and division so great that I honestly do not know if we, the general public,   will, or even CAN, get past it and create something worth fighting for. I do not know if we can agree on what is worth fighting for, and even if we can agree, can weight hard enough to win? And who the bloody hell are we fighting anyway? Not people, but ideas and feelings. Pain, hatred, fear, hunger, guilt, jealousy… all the worst of humanity rolled up into one ticking package… and I fear for us all.

So anyway… what wordsmith is your muse, who gets the words flowing in you, who inspires you to become the best version of you there is? Happily awaiting your responses, peeps… talk soon. =)

in search of subject matter…

Managed to sleep last night, take THAT 6 million degree day followed by torrential rain, drunk and rowdy neighbors, and bouts of allergen-fueled sneeze-fests!

Had an absolute gorgeously quiet, memory lane strolling kind of day. Talked to an old Army buddy, made some soup, reminisced for hours, and worked on summer art history course. Peaceful and drizzly, calm and collected, self-soothing kind of day… the best kind of day when a wickedly busy week is looming ahead.

Yours truly will never be a rocket scientist apparently, for besides my dismal grasp of Calculus, I also seem to have lost my critical thinking skills and powers of deduction. Example, Art History course, thinking “Ooh, I love the Impressionists!” Erm, yeah… not. As I read, outlined, and flash carded my way through the introduction and Chapters 1-2, I realized that the key word in the class title is “History,” and that there are WAY more cave paintings, ruins, and frescos than anyone could ever imagine, all hoping to be cataloged and memorized for a spot on my CUMULATIVE final, and hopefully even a permanent place in my brain. I hate to disappoint, but there is too much literary analysis, psychology, music, and sex in my head for any of this to permanently stick. So much for the easy “A” that I anticipated… sigh.

On a lighter note, I didn’t let it bother me, and think that while this experience will reveal itself to be a giant waste of my time and resources (that I should be spending on Mojitos, 30second dance party, and sex ’cause come on, it’s almost summer, dammit), I will at least slightly enjoy the class. A familiar “face” popped up in the online forum we utilize, and this person and I had several classes worth of friendly banter and respectful debate in the past. WOOT! I think that from a sociological perspective, I should have a good time, as studying context will illuminate the relationship to subject matter that the artists were trying to explore with their available resources and technology.

Speaking of subject matter, Paul is still around, hanging on in what seems to be happiness and desire rather than out of duty… YAY! =) We are over a year now, and things are going strong. He has a critter at his house at present, of the small, furry, and uninvited type, so I have been avoiding his house like the Pope would a brothel. This means more driving for him, and him purchasing all manner of scary-to-contemplate things with which to rid his house of the terrifying beast and ensuring he can wake once again in the morning in his own bed, curled against a certain satin clad scholar of a certain age. I have to admit, while I am a homebody only truly comfortable in my own sleep space, I do miss being in his place, so foreign and male…

I am totally babbling, and the point of this post has completely escaped me… I guess this means bedtime. Goodnight, peeps. Will get back in a few days with something of substance to share, with any luck. Until then, listen to some happy-making tunes, dance in your undies, and have a lovely!

what i’m up to…

Hey there peeps, how’s it ? =) January has, surprisingly, been a delight this year and we have had only a total of 1 inch of snow this season ! What a relief after getting storms 4-11 days a week last year at this time…

Gearing up for the coming term, I spent a drizzly day curled up on the sofa, surrounded by books and getting a head start on my first SOC paper. Yes, classes do not start until Jan 22. Yes, I already have 3 assignments completed for 2 classes. Yes, I have no life. And onward…

I decided to limit my course load this semester to the minimum allowable full time credits, which is 12, and equals a mere 4 classes. A gasp is heard, and all wonder what she will do with her scads of free time… but they are all upper level,  writing-in-the-major classes, so this is not as much of a break as one would expect. I am also working 2 days a week, have Isobel 3 days a week, and Paul is here in the middle of it all. So busy is still synonymous with my life, but perhaps to a more manageable degree for these next 4 months. =)

My days will be filled with the following classes, all taken to fulfill a specific requirement, and I do feel a small sense of accomplishment in that fact. I do so despise the gen-ed’s, and am riotously happy that with the exception of 3 years of another language, I am done with all those pedantic, regurgitation type scenarios. However, I am sure by midterm time, I will be crying for rote memorization rather than a 10 page analysis, but I digress…

  1. Social Inequality… examining around 20 themes, this course has a broad worldview that appeals to me.
  2. Humanities thru The Arts… required HUM course, but much more interesting than the usual fare, this textbook had me from the intro. LOVING the perception keys we must do, and first paper coming along without a hitch; a minor miracle for one who’s arts experience is limited to tipsy trips to The Met.
  3. Women’s Experience in Literature… rather than a course focused in the Americas, this survey covers 400 years and all the continents, creating quite a narrative of the women who helped shape our world. Cool beans !
  4. Nutrition… not the most challenging, but since it is my 3rd and final science course, I did not feel the need to go too hard core. Since I am quite well-versed in nutrition already, as well as vitamin therapy, homeopathy and alternative medicine as well as having a solid grasp of metabolic function and biology, I think I will maintain my GPA with this one. It was this or Genetics or Micro, so it was a no brainer, really.

And that wraps it up. As I said, they are writing intensive and the first 3 transfer to UConn as 3rd year courses, so I am sure there will be work aplenty to keep me up at night. However, during the long cold (?) winter ahead, I see many comfortable evenings curled up  next to Paul on this couch, telly flickering scenes of animal documentaries, and think it sounds pretty great.

What are you plans for the months ahead ? I know our Punky-Girl is about to move on to bigger and better things, and believe Ralph will finally be recognized globally as the comedic genius he so clearly is. Then there is Alice’s baby bunny who will make her debut, and CB is doing the school thing as well… any more news I need to catch up on ? Talk to you soon peeps, have a lovely !

perceptions…

We see, we perceive, we learn, we grow. Our perceptions shift, our viewpoints are not stagnant, we ebb and flow.

One could say that to perceive with intent, and with insight is to be sensitive. The ability to be sensitive to those around us, to the world around us, is something that we must cultivate in ourselves, and others. To enrich not only our own lives, but all the lives we touch. The ability to exchange not just information, but feelings, and even empathy is what is going to allow human existence to continue, and to flourish…

The simplest way to arouse such sensitivity to ourselves and the entire human condition is exposure to that which challenges and stretches your brain. What better way to accomplish this task but thru repeated exposure to the arts, in their infinite forms? Poetry and prose,  sculpture and painting, architecture… photography, theater, music, cinema and dance… the list goes on in tendrils that spread across millions of ideas and creations… there is something for everyone, it is an all-inclusive club in which we already belong, we only have to choose to be present, and to see…

As this new year dawns with possibility, I consider the narcissism, divisiveness, and hatred that contenders for the political parties are encouraging among us. Sure, there is a candidate among them who is not flinging dirt and misery, but the entire debacle is a sham, and we should be intelligent enough to see thru it as the diversionary tactic it has become. How can we focus on giving people what they need when we cannot even look at those around us with sensitivity, and depth of thought for their arguments?

I believe with all my heart that exploration of the arts, and critical thinking with a keen eye will not only allow us to understand ourselves better, but everyone we come across. The human condition includes all colors, identities, orientations… by supporting arts education and programs, we can truly begin to see the commonalities that exist between every human being, regardless of social, economic or employment status.

I sit here as thousands of generations of women have before me, doing my daily work, and am aware of small pain. The age old moon-cramps course thru me, crashing against my inner shores in waves of dull ache. Perceive, compose, type; my thoughts condense and patterns emerge, and I can see how my own viewpoints have slightly shifted even from just 12 months past.

My wish for you today in this new year, this huge slate stretched out before us, unmarked and gleaming? Go look, listen, examine, discover something that makes your heart sing. A new song, perhaps, or a book you have not had the time to delve into. A peek at a sculpture or a painting at a local gallery… no need for fancy, or expensive. Hell, there are even some fantastic examples of art spray painted under bridges across our country. Just take a moment to see, and look, and consider your reaction. Then share that with someone, that small new part of yourself you just discovered. Perhaps with a friend, or loved one, or even with the stranger sitting next to you on your bus ride home. Just some small comment, doesn’t have to be in depth dialog, just throw it out there, and see what the universe decides to do with your effort. Namaste, my peeps… have a day full of discovery and possibility. If you feel like commenting, let me know what lights your fire in regards to the arts. =)

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