Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trying to Schedule Some Breathing Time

I'm hoping for one day next weekend when I don't have to work on ANYTHING. No lecture prep for teaching, no unpacking, no computer classes, nothing that requires more energy than the remote control and/or turning the pages of a book and/or burrowing into my bed like a frightened weasel would entail.

So get ready, Scott. Your cable days are numbered. When I take that day off, you will be forced into cold turkey: No "Ice Road Truckers" or "Man vs. Wild" or "Pawn Stars" or "Colony" or any of those other shows you've recently discovered. I knew cable would try to steal our souls and eat them like a shovel-full of mice gnawing on two little packets of stale Quaker Oats.

Yesterday I turned the big five-oh. A week before that I weekended with 7 girlfriends from my undergrad days. Lots to write about. When I can. And if I can stay away from the TV. Curse you, Animal Planet.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


My sister took this photo just before a nasty storm in Indiana tonight. I love the sky when it gets scary.

Monday, August 17, 2009

System Overload

We're still in the Cardboard Stonehenge phase of unpacking. Our house is more unsightly and awkward than eating a drippy plate of spaghetti on a first date.

Scott is making a valiant crack at un-cluster----ing it, but there's a long way to go. For instance, since this house is half the size of our Phoenix house, we had to tell the movers to put most of the 180 boxes into the garage. We've brought maybe a third of our belongings into the actual house and still we have to do bird calls to find one another. (Gomer Pyle: "Hootie hoot!")

Today was my first day of teaching orientation. Even though I've taught at this Big Giant University before, for 9 years, there is much new evil technology to learn. Becoming equipped to use a computer in the classroom in various multi-media acrobatics is something my brain takes to very slowly. But the guy teaching the course on it today shot instructions out of his mouth so hard and fast, he was like a frat boy doing his first projectile vomiting. All in technobabble.

His teaching style was a fireworks display, but I need to be treated like a tired old basset hound. Just put one Milkbone biscuit on the plate and let me look at it, smell it, walk away from it, come back, and lie down for a nap before I consider eating it.

The other thing I'm trying to do: come up with a syllabus for each of two classes I've never taught before. "Winging it" is an understatement here. When you have to go look up a word in the description of the class you're going to teach, it's evident that you will be a quarter of an inch in front of your students. And they're gaining speed.

My brain is riding a carousel, and it's going faster and faster and is doing its best to fling me off into the big bowl of the cotton candy stand. I will be pink-sugar-coated and left to turn into a river of sugar-sap by the 2 staples of midwest weather: humidity and rain.

But now my family is two hours away instead of a long flight away. I'm glad to be home.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Adjustment Period Begins

We got to our rental house last night, having never seen it before. A friend of ours, who also happens to have introduced us, and so is the hub of this Scott and Candy airline, came to look it over for us, and deemed it acceptable.

Which it was, except for the air conditioner not working when we got here, and the amazing layers of filth the former residents left. OK, not like featured-on-Oprah dirty, but very annoyingly dirty, everywhere. We cleaned the bejeezus out of our house in Phoenix when we left. Four people, including Scott and I and 2 friends, spent 7 hours cleaning. Mopping, washing baseboards, turning the place inside out with various cleaning products. It glimmered.

Then we get here to squalor. The bar has been set so low for cleaning that when we leave this rental house in a year, we will not be cleaning ONE SPECK. In fact, we may throw a mud-wrestling and corn-shucking and pudding-puking party the night before, and leave the remains on the carpet.

In other areas of moving glitches, our truck full of stuff is two days late. This would not be a problem if only we hadn't lined up 4 moving guys to unload the truck when it gets here. We've rescheduled them twice, and now have lost them, and if this were Phoenix we could drive our pick-up down to the Home Depot any morning of the week and pick up some illegals who are milling around outside looking for work. But it is not Phoenix.

I start teaching at the Big Giant University again a week from Monday. Next week is some tech training for how to teach from an e-book, which terrifies me. It will hurt. I just know it will. I would rather use something I'm more savvy with. Like flash cards.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

THAT Kind Of Exhaustion

Maybe you know it? That kind where you get ready to move, and you sort and purge and make 40,000 phone calls and stay up late over and over again, especially the night before the movers come (tonight) and you get down to that "Don't look at it! Just throw it in a box!" mentality and you have no earthly idea what it is you just taped inside that cardboard container, (it could be shoes or china cups or clinky bottles of perfume or a stray mongoose or lizard) but you just keep writing "Fragile" on it because YOU are fragile from all the pressure and the hurry and the goodbyes and the excitement and the sadness and the lack of sleep and the muscle aches and the "cricks" in your neck.

That kind. The exhaustion that makes you think that even though your next step after the movers leave is to drive across the country, that little task looks easy in comparison.

This is our last night in our beloved house. We're moving to the Midwest. Closer to our families.

And as last evenings in a house go, this one was superb. Our best friends came over and for dinner we had an unforgettable last-minute combo: Pizza Hut pizza, and a bottle of Dom Perignon. We toasted. We gave them all the goodies from our freezer. They went home. We swam in the pool under a full moon, then kept packing until our heads were numb with sleep.

Taking my numb skull to bed now. No Scott, that ain't you. You are the boy I'm going on the adventure with.