Sunday, August 29, 2004

sing sha la la la la la la la

Odd experience du jour: polishing up my trigonometry skills while waiting for my clothes to dry in the Mexican laundromat (rife with frenetic children who climb on top of the washing machines, as well as muscular men decked out in gold chains and wearing wife beaters who swagger to and fro holding hampers...macho laundry).

Had a lovely weekend with some wonderful old (young) friends. We wandered through botanical gardens and whatnot in San Diego, inspected the restaurant menus at snooty ethnic venues for the hipster kids (this one restaurant owner came outside and, after some idle chitchat, told Joel to "party on, Garth"...not Wayne, Garth...I liked that), got lost in a mall, and saw what had to be the world's most beautiful sunset on a beach in Carlsbad. Why in all freak didn't I bring my camera, that's wot I'd like to know?! The universe has a conspiracy going only manages to be paradisically scenic on days when I don't have film. Err. Anyway. I had fun. I feel infinitely more single, now, though. Being around happy, well-adjusted couples does that to me.

Maybe I should ask out one of the hott guys who wander around local strip malls wearing capris (I kid you not, that's the latest fad in SoCal...dudes wearing man-capris which show off their hairy calves).

School prep goes well. I'm really in awe of one of my co-teachers. She worked as a lawyer for some decades, and then as a canon lawyer for the local diocese, then quit because all she really wanted to do was teach high school. She's amazingly smart, exudes competence, and yet, is incredibly humble. I continually marvel at the virtue of humility, especially as regards intellectual accomplishments. In contrast, when I know the answer to a question, it's all I can do to refrain from bolting out of my seat and running a victory lap around the room. And possibly singing a little victory song, which might involve it being my birthday, or my possession of a bitchin' camaro.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

go shortie, it's your birthday

W0000t!!! DSL!!! Hellz yeah. Party at my house!!!*

Quite. In other news, I have more paperwork to file than a monkey has internal parasites. So, I'm off to make my lesson plans...and my year plans...and my syllabi...and my letters to students...and my letters to parents...and my grading system...and my discipline plan. Also, I accidentally missed a two hour meeting today (rather a blissful happenstance, actually, though I should probably not put it to the principal that way).

* if, by "party", you mean sit around and stare at her mucking about on the internet at blinding speeds

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

she's a

I'm decorating my classroom this week. I've decided that my high school physics students will really dig an "apple" motif (y'know, apples, Newton, physics? get it?). Dammit, now I'm a lady in a floral print skirt who staples decorative borders to bulletin boards. Where did I go wrong?!??!?

On the other hand, these physics lab look intensely fun (more so for me, since I don't have to be the one to tabulate the data). Apparently the local bowling alley will lend us bowling balls for some of our motion demonstrations. Also, we have a brand new, unused *rocket* in the physics supply cabinet. I'm annexing it in the name of edumacation.

The electricity labs look a bit intimidating, inasmuch as I've never done anything in the way of making motors or circuit breakers or anything in the past. Oh well. If the kids get electrocuted, more fool them for trusting me.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

he said: let me let you let me down again...she said: no

The lyric above is from a little ditty called "When Angels Play Their Drum Machines," which Charlie sent me a few weeks ago on one of his inimitable mix cds. It is now my favorite song evah. Or at least, it will be, until I play it over and over again to the point of aural surfeit. I have poor self-control, that way.

I went to the beach today, and, while wandering around the tourist-y parts of Oceanside, found what had to be the world's worst comic book store. Poor selection (with a heavy emphasis on the "girls who have the super power of...big boobs!" genre), disorganized layout, and, worst of all, every single graphic novel was shrink wrapped in plastic. Blah. So much for browsing through a comic book store on a Saturday afternoon.

A quick plug for a neat project: St. Anthony Padua Institute. Looks to be a center for Catholic liberal arts education in the San Francisco Bay Area (kind of like TAC, only without the cultural isolation and narrow focus on St. Thomas/St. Aristotle).

Friday, August 20, 2004

So, here I am. I'm only on a 56k connection right now, but they claim to be installing DSL any day the low low price of one quart of my blood, sweat, and tears per month, with an additional fee/penalty of my first born child if I cancel my contract before the year is up.

My apartment is now tastefully furnished with a combination of random stuff which came with the place, and some stuff from Ikea which I picked out myself. This is an excerpt from my trip to Ikea:

me: "Excuse me, young man, could you help me somehow wedge this bookcase kit, which is three feet wider than my car, into my car, or perhaps chop it in half and put it in the trunk? Or something?"

surly Ikea employee: *SNARL*

me: "Right then. I'll just wrestle with this thing in the hot sun, while immaculately groomed San Diego residents glare at my general feebleness, and lack of tanned musculature."

The apartment is quite habitable, at this point. I enjoy the space, and the ocean breeze, and the fact that I can hear goats bleating when I open my window in the morning. My next door neighbors are completely invisible. In all seriousness, their mysterious nature has begun to creep me out. I'm afraid they'll turn out to be the kind of neighbors who, after many years, are discovered to be serial killers, and then I'll be the one on TV saying "they always seemed so quiet...always kept to themselves."

I should really be writing lesson plans. Nitenite.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Thoughts on driving down the I-5...watching two big rigs pass each other is frustrating. The process is inexorably certain, but painfully slow. Sort of like the mating dance of tortoises.

Let's see. I'm not homeless anymore. I have my very own apartment only five miles from where I'll be working, a swinging bachelorette pad complete with fugly carpeting and sans air conditioning. Actually, it's rather nice...very spacious, very cheap, has a little patio area where I can grow herbs and barbeque and such, bedroom, living room, kitchenette, etc. No roommates to leave hair in the sink or have noisy late night trysts with five drunken frat boys. I'll probably die of loneliness, of course, but hey, that's the life of TEH WORKING GURL for you.

My landlady is awesome. A perfect caricature of landlady-ness; a leathery crone, with shockingly bright red lipstick, dark beetling brows, and a voice which sounds like she's been chain smoking since the age of 12. She's very nice, and I'm sure we'll get along fabulously, just as long as I don't smuggle in any pets, manufacture drugs on the premises, or buy an electric space heater (strictly verboten).

I'm not going to have the interweb for a while, or at least not until I can convince someone to hook it up (why is it so hard to get broadband providers to take your money? why?). Call me on the telephone if you simply must know my latest thoughts on whether to buy a futon or an air mattress, whether I need a spice rack, and so forth.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

I'm in the middle of tossing my worldly possessions (such as a my winter wardrobe, which I will not be using much in San Diego, about nine full boxes of books, weighing, in aggregate, over six hundred pounds [I made that up, actually], and a mysterious collection of temporary tattoos) into the car. My access to the interweb for the next week will be sporadic at best, so just sit tight. And, umm, pray that I find a place to live, sooner rather than later.

Though it might be fun to be known as "the homeless hippie teacher"...

Monday, August 02, 2004

I really like teaching. Although I bitch about the evil children non-stop, still, for every stinker, there are several cool, intelligent, individualistic kids who go through my class. Kids who make me wonder "Gee, why couldn't I have been that smart, collected, and independent at the age of 11?" Kids like R., an awesome 12 year old girl who can kick anyone's ass and who wants to be a professional sports announcer, or J., an 11 year old boy who dyed his hair pink and programs robots to break dance.

I especially love the geeks who go through my class. The socially awkward kids who, if you're patient, will wax eloquent about their oddball interests and obsessions. I already know that they are in for a painful adolescence, what with teenage society being cruel to shy, self-conscious introverts, and all.

One unpleasant aspect to teaching: having a parent come in, look at the intricate Flash movie/piece of Javascript coding/whatever that their kid worked on all week and is sodamnproudof, say "hmm" and wander away. What asshats. Somewhere, in the kid ownership manual, there is a section which CLEARLY STATES that you are morally obligated to be enthusiastic about all objects hand-crafted by your kid. This includes coding projects as well as finger paintings and small ceramic pots.