Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yep, We Still Got Plenty o' Stoopid Left

Candy's students have not disappointed her in the category of painfully moronic this semester. And it's only been 3 days!

Just one example: On the student information sheet, one bright young lad wrote that he is a "sophmore" and that he wishes to someday become an "astronaught."

Please. Can we PLEASE just have ONE spelling test at the front gate of each university and then take all the worthless, lazy, illiterate students and feature them on a reality show where they take turns getting onto a shiny red toboggan that plummets into a volcano? Huh? Is that asking too much? I would give them little fish crackers to lure them in.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My Peaceful Silence Has Been Attacked

Yeah, remember my one and only New Year's Resolution? More silence in my life? In order to, like, regroup and destress and hear myself think?

The universe threw in a monkeywrench.

First, know this: I love TV. I'm not just fond of it. I love it. And pitifully, I can find SO much to watch on just plain old network TV that cable is out of the question. I've got what's called "Basic" cable, which, in this wretched town means you get:

1. Clearer reception on local channels
2. The NASA channel

Thus, no big temptation.

But on January 2, I was trying to enter "04" into my remote control. I accidentally entered "40." Which normally would give me nothing but snow and static.
And there, before my very eyes, was Animal Planet. Out of nowhere. But not just Animal Planet, which, by the way, is one of my favorite things on the planet. (I've sampled it at my parents' house.) But there were suddenly 35 new cable channels on my TV. I started to freak out. Where had they come from? I immediately called the local cable company to nonchalantly ask them if they were doing one of those sneaky promotions where they give you a free taste of expensive cable to get you hooked like a meth-whore.

They weren't. And they wanted to know my address. I hung up and hid in my den of illegal cable.

At that moment, I had no idea what a meerkat was.

Enter "Meerkat Manor." My life tilted.

It seems that scientists at Cambridge University have been studying the lives and habits of a group of meerkats they've dubbed The Whiskers. What else could they be called? For ten years there have been dozens of cameras jammed into the sand of the Kalahari Desert to watch every move this tribe of meerkats makes. Every tiny nuance of their social and familial habits. And if you don't think meerkats have nuances, well, I feel sorry for the likes of you. The meerkitties have been given names like Flower and Zaphod and Shakespeare and Tosca and Mitch. There are cameras deep inside the intricate tunnels of their burrows, where you can watch itty bitty meerkat babies stumble adorably in the dark.

And God help me, when Shakespeare, the good-natured "teenage" boy of the tribe was bitten twice by a vicious puff adder (once on the face, once on the hind leg) I fell apart. The sight of him limping away, in pain and near death, sliced me open to the core. I wanted to ram my head through the TV screen and snatch him from the horrors of the Kalahari. I will show that puff adder what for. There will be puff adder hors d'oeuvres for The Whiskers. Puff adder on a Ritz. Or tiny puff adder pies the size of nickels. And if there is any puff adder left, I'll take a melon baller to him and won't those little spheres of adder be fun to roll around in the burrows. He will think twice before he sinks his curly fangs into Shakespeare again.

Friday, January 05, 2007

2007 Has Begun with a Whimper

And it is a whimper of self-discovery for Candy. I've come to understand, more pointedly, exactly how crucial it is for me to have some time completely alone every day.

Starting on December 24th, I travelled. Not on an island holiday or a cozy ski-lodge with hot-and-cold running hot chocolate. Oh, wait.

No. It was 8 solid days of thick time slots alternating between:

1. being with family
2. being in the car going toward more family

My uber-tastic fiance did the driving, thank God.

And this is not one of those stories about how my/his godawful codependent family chewed the elastic out of my last nerve so that my mental underpants collapsed into a heap around my mental ankles. Both families are downright groovy.

This was our second Christmas together. Last year when I took the fiance home to the bowels of Indiana for his initial presentation to my clan, all 28 of my family members were, per my instruction, waiting inside the door of my parents' condo, wearing hideously genuine-looking Billy Bob teeth. It was my own little slice of hazing for the man I hoped could make the cut. A man whose face I could not read when he looked up from taking off his winter boots to get his first glance at my people. He slowly scanned the crowd that had circled around him. 28 people, some with video cameras, all wearing rotting, yellow, oversized, putrid fake teeth. A combo of "Deliverence" and "Meet the Fokkers."

I asked him what he had been thinking when he saw them. Before he caught on, he said he'd felt sorry for the first poor bastard with the wretched teeth, then perplexed by the second, thinking it may have had to do with being in Indiana, where perhaps dentists do not reside.

When I was married before, a slight tension gathered in my family when we posed for the annual group photo. My then-spouse was definitely on his way out of my family. It took years to come to completion because sometimes you try so hard to make something work that you sacrifice every last bit of who you are. But I digress. Anyway, somehow, with no purposeful arranging, he ended up on the far end of the picture, so later on when we had to lop him off the photo prints, he was in the ideal spot. After the careful surgeries on the photos, there I was, standing on the end, with a mysterious sweater-clad severed arm resting across my shoulders. With no connecting body.

Imagine my happiness when the real love of my life landed smack dab in the middle of the picture last year. And this year. He is not loppable. I will have him and his arm with me forever.

After the 8 days of travel, we settled into my house for 2 days of solitude, which included watching his new DVDs of the first season of "Jonny Quest." It is important not to tax your mind in the newborn hours of a fresh year.

Rest. Recover. Regroup.