Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Course Reading Wednesday

Cease to do evil
Learn to do good,
search for justice,
help the opressed,
be just to the orphan,
plead for the widow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


This was the first I've ever felt since we moved here 4 years ago. Eeeep! (and Wheee!)

Monday, October 29, 2007


We still haven't been paid. Let me repeat that: No one at the school where I work has been paid for over a week (unless there's a secret cadre of elites I'm not aware of, rolling around in secret rooms full of money as I type). There's even some indication that there might not be a regular payroll until December 3rd (just in time for mom's birthday!).

So, my question is, how much longer to we keep on keepin' on? At what point does "I'm still here for the students" become "I'm giving the students a false sense of stability by staying"?

I feel irresponsible talking about this in so pubic a forum, but at what point does stiff-upper-lipping cease being useful and start being harmful? At what point can we just shut the doors and start mourning?

*Just to be clear: it's been a week since payday came and went. It's been more than four weeks since we were last paid.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


We carved pumpkins today. Hurrah!

Mine's the one with the big, goofy grin. I like it. I think it looks genuinely amused, for a pumpkin.

In other news, Go Sox!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Words Fail Me

Something smells funny in here.

Well, have you run the.... sinky... thing lately?

Sinky thing?

The... the trash.... exploder.

Trash exploder?

Yeah. Rararararararar. Exploder!


Rararararararar. Trash.



Friday, October 26, 2007


Lately I've been having trouble making it in to work on time. Even though it's just a thirty minute walk, even though I don't have to be there until ten. Lately I keep hitting the snooze button til 9:15, and then I lie in bed for another ten or fifteen minutes, stretching my fingers and toes and staring out the window, listening to the Writer's Almanac on NPR.

There are two busses I can take on these late-sleeper mornings: the J and the 22. The 22 drops me off in the heart of the Mission, 2 blocks up a busy, grouchy, pee-smelling street from where I work. Last week, I spent the entire 10-minute ride trying not to listen to the mind-numbingly vile coversation. I don't really like the 22 right now. The other bus, the J (really an above ground train) drops me three blocks away from work, four blocks if I opt for the scenic route, as I did this morning. It's worth the extra five minutes.

(photo taken on my new pink cell phone)

The train drops me in the upper corner of Dolores Park. Most mornings it and the city are encased in a mochi-skin of fog, and some days there's a great dane gallumphing around in the mist, looking for all the world like some mythic beastie.

It's been a rough month here at work. Our paychecks are a week late as of today, with no word on when we can expect them. Students are still waiting for their financial aid awards. Everyone is tense, pinched and anxious and fragile. And there's so much work to be done.

Anyway. It's my lunch break now. I'm off to sit in the park.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I realize that, in spite of the whole post-every-day kick I've been on, I been kinda light, content-wise, of late. But am I about to remedy that? Nooooooooo. Instead, here's a bunch of better stuff for you to read:

The Fart Party (Cartoons!)

The Comics Curmudgeon (Blog about cartoons!)

Dykes to Watch Out For (Cartoonist's Blog!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You know you have a tendancy to overthink things when...

Your fist thought, after buying a new pink cell phone to replace the old, black one is, "Am I over-conforming to gender norms?"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Shakespeare on the Bus

- Damn. Tanya. Someone should have killed her ass years ago.

- Uh-huh.

- Killed her in a trashcan.

- Killed her in an outhouse.

(general laughter)

- Shit. You married?

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I'm not so thoroughly modern as to have photos uploaded already, so you'll just have to take my word for it that Brian's open studio went swimmingly. The art was lovely and the crowds gushed gushingly.

And it was great to just hang in the studio all day, chatting with friends and meeting people and just spending time with Brian's work. But today, now, sitting on the couch with books, and tea, getting ready to watch Buffy and toddle off to bed, I'm remembering how nice it is not to be busy, not to have deadlines looming, how nice it is to just be us.

Humph. Too bad I have to work tomorrow.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

In other news

Happy belated coming out day, Albus Dumbledore!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Open Studio

For those of you in San Francisco:

This weekend (October 20 & 21), from 11am-6pm, Brian will
be opening up his studio as part of ArtSpan's citywide Open Studios (which you can read all about here).

For those of you not familiar with Brian's work, he sculpts these big wood panels into a sort of collage-y melange of different carving styles (I've put an image of one of 'em to the left over there). I'm really not up to describing them (and they're the sort of thing that you really should see in person), but if you want to get an idea of what I'm talking about, you can visit his website.

Anyway, his studio's at 2221 15th St. (between Noe and Castro). It's in
the basement -- the door is on the right side of the garage. There'll be
free food & drinks! Art! Artists! It'll be rad.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions or would like more
explicit directions.

Hope to see y'all there,


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Poetry Thursday

from Unforseen

by Micah Ballard

From the burial
grounds of Old Metairie
& hallways thru pyramids

with unnumbered bones
to the 3 St. Louises
& live oaks of Cypress Grove

onward we carry
whatever has traced our
way. So might the soil

turn over -- Apparitions
come forth, this path
hath only one following

one way to get away.
East of these walls
& never to be returned

let it be said
the oath has been told
sold for the taking. Not

again will these vaults
faces hide, never
to end their dens

which do not stop
but drop to that final place
where all is erased.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Course Reading Wednesdays

His trail glows clear -- like a track of fire.
Invisible and silent -- the spoor
Of the polluted man.
The smell of his mother's womb clings to his heels
And sweats from his instep.
Plain as the blood-slashed route of a wounded stag
In the noses of the hounds.

Monday, October 15, 2007

21 Pet Peeves

Or, when every day at work is a crappy day, should crappy be considered the new 'okay'?

1. People not saying "hi" back.
2. Machines breaking for no apparent reason.
3. The phrase "please advise."
4. Lactose intolerance.
5. Intractable schedules.
6. Klingon foreheads.
7. Expired warranties.
8. Bank fees.
9. Stern answering machine greetings.
10. Free-floating anxiety
11. Ambiguous instructions.
12. Quotation marks used for emphasis (ex: please "do not" destroy the English language).
13. Global Dimming.
14. That orange juice is not available on tap in my office.
15. Hard and fast deadlines on 24 hours notice.
16. That hating Mondays was co-opted years ago by a cartoon cat.
17. Being 'not really sick'-sick.
18. Un proofread 'open letters'
19. People who say 'please' like it's an insult.
20. Stupid hair.
21. Lists in lieu of real blog entries.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


The cat really wants on my lap right now. Sorry, blog-o-sphere, but you're competing with 20 pounds of pure cute. I may have to sign off rather quickly.

So, how is it Sunday night already? As a matter of fact, how is it October? 2007?? And omigosh, I'm 30? When did that happen?*

Oh, I'm feeling chronologically misplaced tonight. I'm listening to a CD that I listened to a lot when I was about, I dunno, 20? I'd just dropped out of out of college, was living at home, and kept having dreams that my teeth were falling out. I wore a lot of black and had a stuffed crow named Great Aunt Ponsomby. And I was taking classes at the Museum School. That was fun.

Wait, what? I'm 30?

* April. It happened in April. I'm a little slow.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Oh, it feels so good to be home, unscheduled and barefoot. Went to the farmers market this morning (after a brief stop off at work), now I'm home with books and tea until it's time to shop for my friend Chris' birthday dinner tonight. I can't wait to give him his present (stylish and an in-joke -- the perfect gift!).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oooh, I'm cold.

Brr! It's the rainy season all of a sudden!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


What a day. I probably shouldn't go into detail for fear of being dooced, but here I am, sitting at a desk awash with papers, wondering how it got to be 7:30 and what ever happened to that lunch break I meant to take.

Course Reading Wednesday Thursday!

But your mother heard the lowing of our horned herds, and springing to her feet, gave a great cry to waken them from sleep. And they, too, rubbing the bloom of soft sleep from their eyes, rose up lightly and straight -- a lovely sight to see: all as one, the old women and the young and the unmarried girls. First they let their hair fall loose, down over their shoulders, and those whose straps had slipped fastened their skins of fawn with writhing snakes that licked thier cheeks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Auuugh! Forgot to blog!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Despite (or perhaps because of) all the various options open to us in San Francisco this weekend, Hope and I headed down to Fort Funston on Sunday for walkies on the beach with her dog.

The beach is bordered by steep cliffs, popular with hang gliders and red-tailed hawks. Sand streaches on for miles, bounded by shining sea and veiny rock, frolicky dogs and their sea-contemplative humans as far as the eye can see.

Halfway through our walk, we joined a cluster of dog walkers and baby toters who had stopped to peer at the cliff face above them. A man and his dog were clinging to a ledge more than three quarters up, the dog having apparently fallen from the path above. Now both were struggling against the sandy rock, the man pushing and the dog scrabbling, every inch of progress sending tumbles of pebble and rock down the side of the cliff.

Watching the man and his dog struggling in the hot sun, unable to do anything except watch and pray, I said to Hope, "I bet he's never felt more alone in his life."

Hope squinted up. "Or maybe he's never felt more alive."

And we watched until the man and his pushed their way to the very top and, the path beneath their feet again, bounded away.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I has tablet

Brian's encouraged me to get a drawing tablet, so that I can doodle directly on to the computer. It's taking some getting used to, but here's my first doodling attempt:

21 for 21

In honor of Tricia's Get it Down: 31 for 21, Twenty-one Things (That You Might not Already Know) About Me:

1. I'm absolutely addicted to web sites that present first hand accounts of paranormal encounters.

2. I don't believe in ghosts (but I'm scared to pieces at the prospect of seeing one).

3. When I'm having trouble falling asleep, daydreaming about the toast I'm going to have for breakfast puts me right out (anything to get closer to the toast!).

4. I never kill bugs intentionally.

5. Well, mosquitos get one warning 'shoo' before I smack 'em.

6. Luckily, there are hardly any mosquitoes in San Francisco.

7. I can't spell 'mosquitoes' for the life of me.

8. I can't spell the name 'Michael' either. The 'a' and 'e' always confuse me.

9. I had a crush on a boy named Michael Fuller in fifth grade. Said crush manifested itself in constant bickering.

10. I think he liked me, too.

11. For years, I believed that I'd reached my peak in 5th grade, and that I'd never be as confident, funny, or full of potential again.

12. It's a gloomy twelve year old that believes her best years are behind her.

13. And an even gloomier twenty-one year old.

14. 'Twelve' is one of my favorite words.

15. I have reoccurring dreams that take place in a library.

16. Or sometimes a church.

17. Or sometimes the blocks surrounding my childhood home.

18. The geography of my dream worlds is fairly consistent -- If I dream of a down stairway or a pathway this week, it'll be there next week when I need it.

19. I love dreaming. I'll sleep til noon if my dreams are good.

20. I always feel guilty when I sleep in. Said guilt manifests itself in grouchiness.

21. I drempt this morning that I was hiding out in the belfry of a gothic cathederal (sanctuary!!). I slept til 10:30.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Holding Pattern

Busy all day, with no time for the bloggin'. So, while I get my act together (something that's gonna take more than the five minutes I have before the day's over), here's this tidbit from Good Advice for Young Trendy People of All Ages, a book I picked up at Manic D Press' booth at the Castro Street Fair today:

"I am in favor of making one's life an open book. If everybody knows you are considering going out with So-and-so, they can give you the dirt. The other option is to misstep alone and suffer silently. If everybody knows you just smoked crack, they may excuse you from the consequesnces of your behaviour. We're all supposed to be understanding now, but you have to give us a chance to understand something first. So do tell.

However, when personal information becomes a weapon, as it is on the East Coast and perhaps Japan, the social construct is not correct. The best reaction is to form a noise band and just scream and scream (check out Sick of It All, Masonna, the Boredoms). I mean it, go see them.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Belinda's the Decider

It's a good tired. Last night, Hope, Jason & went to see the the Go Gos at the Independant (pics to come). Then today, Hope and I drove down to a nature reserve outside Palo Alto where we saw a Kingfisher, some hawks, egrets, and a funny little bird with a yellow spotted belly. It's Hope's birthday tonight, and we're grilling portabellos, monkfish, veggies and cheese, alongside figs on rosemary skewers. Soon we'll be sleepy and full, bundled against the October night air with red wine and grilled figs in our bellies.

Friday, October 05, 2007

It's Time to Go

I've been having trouble leaving work this week. I've wrapped up the things I could conceivably get done today, and I'm ready to go, but I just can't seem to get up from my desk and GO. There's just too much unfinished business, too much that needs doing. Plus I took a very late lunch, and so I don't feel like it's the end of the day -- how can I be leaving if I just ate an hour ago?

I really wish I was leaving for a weekend in the woods (though that would interfere with my post-every-day schedule). It's just that I need space, and quiet, and maybe a little dose of sanity. Birdies chirpin' wouldn't hurt, either.

If you need a laugh

Go check out this post over on Tricia's blog. It totally turned my frown upside-down, and then proceeded to laugh me half off my chair.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Vegetal and Unfiltered

This has been one of those days where I keep having to stop and deconstruct my emotions. In a meeting, I'll find myself angry and defensive, only to find, when I try to put into words what I'm feeling, that there is no there there, that what ever I'm feeling has sprung into being independent of any external stimulus. I keep rolling my emotions around against my tongue as if I were tasting wine: an over-judgemental mouthfeel up front, with a tannic guilt-ridden open mindedness lingering on the palate.

But maybe it does spring from somewhere. There's such a tension on campus these days. In today's staff meeting a free-floating accusation that some people aren't pulling their weight hovered over the room alongside all our overstuffed workloads, pushing everyone's brows down until we all looked angry.

Plus my office smells funny.

Look! I made newness.

As you may have noticed, I updated the template a bit. It's basically one of the Blogger default templates, with a different pattern in the backgroud that I found on Squidfingers. I've never really played with Blogger templates before. It's fun!

I hope I didn't infringe anything.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Course Reading Wednesdays

Ok, if I'm going to be posting every day in October, I need some built-in multitasker slacker time. So: a new Wednesday tradition, in which I post a sample passage from the reading I've foisted on my poor students for today's class:

(From Basic Teachings of the Buddha: A New Translation and Compilation, with a Guide to Reading the Texts, by Glenn Wallis

Parayana Suta; Samyuttankiaya:

The Buddha spoke as follows:

I will teach the destination and the path leading to the destination. Listen to what I say. What is the destination? The eradication of infatuation, the eradication of hostility, and the eradication of delusion are what is called the destination. And what is the path leading to the destination? Present-moment awareness directed toward the body. This awareness is what is called the path leading to the destination.

In this way, I have taught you the destination and the path leading to the destination. That which should be done out of compassion by a caring teacher who desires the welfare of his students, I have done for you.

There are secluded places. Meditate, do not be negligent! Don't have regrets later! This is my instruction to you.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Toons for Tuesday

According to an online personality test I took some years ago, my ideal career is "cartoon artist." I don't know if that's the case (I lean more towards ballerina astronaut), but I do enjoy the doodling.

Brian's encouraging me to start posting my drawings up here. I have a few projects that I've been working on (like Ovid's Metamophoses, narrated by an octopus!), but as I haven't yet gotten around to scanning 'em, here's a little MS Paint self-portrait I did on my lunch break today.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Dreams of (Georgia Maeby) Green

My friend Tricia was the first of my college-friends-who-I'm-still-in-touch-with to have a baby (with my former pseudo arch-nemesis Cait coming in at a close second). It's not too surprising, then, that her daughter Georgia has lodged herself fairly deeply inside my subconscious.

Since Georgia was born last December, she's been the star of a series of (mostly half-remembered) dreams. They spring from all sorts of semi-concious desires, from my frustration in having not yet met li'l G (unless you count prenatal hellos directed at her mother's belly), to my own ambivilant half-formed desires for a wee one of my own.

More often than not, the dreams just consist of sitting and playing with G, or hanging out with a toddler her and Tricia in a future playground someplace. Here are the exceptions:

1. I'm working on an photo-illustrated version of 'Snow White,' with Georgia in the title role (she's a shoo-in for the part. Seriously, check out that complexion). I engage in a long internal debate over whether Prince Charming should have Down's Syndrome, like Georgia, or not. Strangely, in dream state, I don't seem to notice that G's a bit young for princes (Edit: or princesses!) of any stripe.

2. I'm catsitting for a friend when I realize all of a sudden that it's not cats I'm watching, but Georgia. Soon after, I give birth to my own baby, identical to Georgia in every way, excepting the fact that she can play the trombone.

Not Good at the Busy

Oh, I am just not good* at being busy. This semester I'm working full time in addition to teaching a class -- that's 43 hours out of the week that I have to be someplace and be working, never mind the unstructured class prep hours I need to work on top of that.

Now, technically, there are enough hours in the day to get everything done. But my brain just can't stay in work mode long enough to make it happen. I keep napping on Saturdays, or sinking into a novel for just a minute, only to look up and realize hours have passed.

This morning, walking to work, I kept looking longingly into coffee shops, at people sitting in the corner with a notebook and their coffee, at teachers reading stacks of papers and hipsters with their dork-glasses and laptops. O, for an unstructured day!

*I started this post a few minutes ago, was called away, and came back to an entry that said "Oh, I am just not god". What an awesome excuse for not getting stuff done. Thanks, id!