Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dear Google:

When I try to search for more information on the poet who wrote the cool dandelion poem I have as my blog quote, Jessica Jordan Nudel, I do NOT "mean to search for" pictures of any celebrity nude. I do not want porn, or adult naked sites. I want to read about a poet. Dammit.


Love always,


p.s. you're still my favorite search engine. But lay off the porn, wouldya?

Vile Vile Venting Post

I have been in such a crabby mood this past week because of my neckache. I hurt it last week just a "tweak." I had hoped it would be okay, and then, late Monday-ish, it developed into full on can't move whiplash style pain. It's still not better, completely. And I'm still feeling rather crabby about it, to tell you the Goddess' only truth.

People have suggested "go to a chiropractor" or "get some drugs" etc. I appreciate the suggestions, but mostly, they are things for a future. There's just no way that I'd get in, as a first time client, to a new chiro in time to fix this. And as for drugs, unless it's something that wouldn't knock me out (which would probably mean wasn't effective enough!) I can't do it. I have to be mom to two three year olds. And my hubby, while a wonderful guy, can't do that all by himself so I can lie in bed for a couple of days (as much as I'd like to do so).

So. I'm stuck waiting it out, trying my best to not re-injure it, and whining a LOT. And frankly, Andrew was in a pissy mood earlier today, too, and we just had a crabby day around here.

So dang it. I hope the Psych from last night, which is saved on my DVR, is good and puts us in a better mood. The house is all clean and he's on his way back from getting some dinner things (and fixing my flat tire-- another reason for the crabbiness today was a nice little flat tire).

Here's hoping today is the first day of a better week to come.

Friday, January 30, 2009


When I was an undergrad long, long ago, I was a featured poet at a poetry reading sponsored by the UWF English club. I read with (I think four) other poets. I think I read three or four poems, mostly love poems. One of them was something like this (I'm trying to remember it--I'm paraphrasing it wrong. There was more art to it... another stanza, I think, so I'm NOT doing it justice).

Long ago,
our love
sat up once, sighed,
and died.
And nobody noticed
until summer came
and it started
to smell.

It got quite a laugh at the event, but it was true, too. Kind of Dorothy Parker wit-like. (I don't claim to be as GOOD as Dot, but I tried.)

It had a little bit more to it. It was written in response to the high school boyfriend tormenting me that I never wrote any "happy" poems. So I wrote a funny one, making fun of him. :) Revenge.

Anyway. Today, I spent the afternoon working on the Black Literature Read in I'm sponsoring/organizing on my campus. I had auditions and got three great students to read during what should be the busiest time, a time on our campus called "Common Hour" when all students have no classes so they can be on campus for events like this one.

I made a cool flyer with the students on it, and posted about fifty of them around campus. I happened to run into one of the students by the elevator where I had just posted his picture. He was looking at it, thinking "Hmmmm. I know that guy."

Last week, someone I don't know who, took down a bunch of my flyers. They had to go out of their way to do so. It annoys me. If you're no into the idea, don't come to the event, but don't ruin it for everyone else!

But I still have the flyer from long ago and far away with my little old name on it. It meant a lot to me, even though, at this date, it's the only reading of my own work I've done. (Someday. When I grow extra hours in the day).

I think it's going to be fun. A bunch of students are really excited, and I hope it works. Since minority American lit is one of my many, many specialties (the "many" is an exaggeration) I figure I'm the main person who is going to organize this kind of thing around here.

It would be awesome to have more things like this, though. We have student events like "foam parties" but I don't think there are enough cultural ones-- there just never are, and it really does take up a lot of time & energy & thought.

So that's been my thing this week. How are you doing?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

25 Random Things

  1. I rarely do these meme things anymore, but what the hey.
  2. I played the clarinet for so long I still have a funny scar on my inner lip from the embouchure.
  3. I have a weird prejudice against old movies-- but then, when I watch them, I usually like them, so I'm clearly irrational.
  4. In college, I slept almost every day in an American History class. Got an "A" anyway, though. I think of this sometimes when students nap in MY class. Karma.
  5. I read Little Women about a bazillion times. And once in FRENCH.
  6. I like stupid puns. The stupider, the better.
  7. It's "EYEgore"
  8. I would like to learn more about yoga. And do it more often.
  9. I ADORE Italian food. Lasagna, especially.
  10. Lloyd Dobler. Nuff said.
  11. I still want to learn to play another cooler musical instrument. And wear a beret and join a band.
  12. I love to shop at Goodwill for cool clothes that cost less than five bucks.
  13. My kids are awesome.
  14. I cry at movies, all the time. I'm a big old sap and not ashamed of it.
  15. When I was about 15, I went all hysterical & screamy at a Rick Springfield concert w/ my friend Kathy. Group hypnosis? Ganja in the air? I can't explain it. It wasn't even that good of a concert!
  16. I once won a dance contest at a bar w/ what they called my Matrix move. It was a bellydancing camel roll + margarita. I wish I could have seen it.
  17. I am a drag queen trapped in a woman's body. You figure it out.
  18. I love the following movies irrationally: Tank Girl, Night of the Comet, Always, Day After Tomorrow.
  19. I am a master procrastinator. I keep meaning to stop, but I'll do it later.
  20. I am a really great baker. Scones, cakes, pies. Mmmmm. Pumpkin. Sweet potato.
  21. I do all the voices when I read to others. I think I'm quite talented, but it's probably just hubris.
  22. I love the smell of Purell.
  23. I really like having fresh flowers in my house, but I like to buy them for myself.
  24. Garnet red is my favorite color.
  25. I hate skiing. And I'm not at all good at it. Two words: ski lodge. Two more words: hot chocolate laced with liquor. (Okay. I can't count. Sue me.)

I'm not tagging anyone. If you feel like doing this and you add me to your tag, I'll read it and be happy to learn more about you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Professorial Doors

Long ago and far away when I began my own career as a student, with my long curly hippy hair & my lace sweater as prized items of my identity, I remember checking out the doors of professors in my college. There was the younger male prof, the specialist in Great Classics like The Iliad and The Odyssey who had a Far Side cartoon in which someone taunted him about getting his "Silverback" status (read, in Ivory Tower-ness as Asst Prof turns Full Prof, most likely). Other profs have had inspirational messages; one had a very very long diagrammed sentence from Faulkner on her door. A linguistics prof who tried hard to start slang words (she wanted Pepto as a phrase-- as in "That's so Pepto"-- i.e., nauseating. I don't think it caught on.) It has always seemed to me that the interesting profs have stuff on their door.

My door, then, has to have stuff on it. I have a couple of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons that say magical things to me. A cool picture with Spacebabe of the Tiptree awards that also lists my office hours. Myself as a South Park character. Me & a friend in our Halloween teaching outfits. A Dorothy Parker poem. An ee cummings poem. A picture of a little boy raising his arms, with a Superman cape on, that really looks like (but isn't) Sean. A Hello Kitty dressed as Dorothy sticker. My Black Lit Read-In poster. Stuff that defines something about me.

I've walked past and seen students perusing my door. Yesterday, a fellow professor commented on several items as though this were the first time he'd seen them (which is possible, and not a big deal-- he doesn't have an office near me so must have been visiting someone nearby).

What does your office door say about you when you're not there? I hope mine says: funny, irreverent, serious about poetry & feminism, not afraid to be herself, admires originality & creativity, needs coffee, Dreams Big. Likes Pop Culture. Possibly a witch. Definitely here on MWF from 10-11. Which means I get to leave in t-minus 2 minutes. Hoo rah! The weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting Stuff Done

Which I am only sporadically doing. How in the world did I used to get so much stuff accomplished in one day? I remember back in the day I could do SOOO much and be done by 5 to head to Flats & have a beverage. Nowadays, I find so much of my time just seems gone by the time I even wonder what time it is.

I guess that's just the complaint of the "old folk."

Remember when summer lasted three years and you couldn't wait til you finally turned some magic number (maybe 16?) when everything would be different?

I do. But it never really was. I'm not nearly as melancholy as this sounds, but still.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ode to Joy

Weekend weekend weekend weekend weekend weekend weekend weeeeeeekend.....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dandelion Tattoo Idea

I've kind of always wanted a tattoo. I basically decided not to do it though because it was so trendy, & so many people were getting them and I am a contrary beast at best. What the crowd is doing, I don'a wanna.

But I think, in spite of that, I may have finally figured out what I want in such a way as to make it something I actually really really want to do. Even with my contrary-ness.

A version of one of these pictures. I like the one with the birds better, I think, but I want hearts instead of birds.
option one

By the way, it would totally be in simple black, and it would be on my left shoulder blade back. This second one is white on black, too, so it would be reverse of this color.
option 2

OR maybe more like my header image, which was created by this cool digital artist. I like how clear that image is. But I dig the "seeds becoming hearts" transition, too.

Dandelions have always been really important to me. When I created my first blog so many years ago, I was disappointed in myself for not calling it what this blog is now called. Daydreams & Dandelions had long been my title for my "Journal" or "Poetry Book" or autobiography or something. By the time I realized everyone had cooler blog names than mine, I was kind of committed to the one I had. So. Then, when I was ready to change that, I had forgotten about meaning to create the Dandelion one. SO. When I abandoned the second poor anonymous blog you can't get at anymore, and picked this public one, I picked that name.

Why dandelions? They're weeds. They're hard to kill but pretty. They grow almost anywhere. People can't help but like them, in spite of themselves. They make wishes come true. They are french for "Lion's Teeth" which is cool & empowering.

And there's a lot about those things above that are very much ME. Once, on a trip to Key West, during the "not getting one" phase of my tattoo life, my BFF was going to do it. Get her tattoo. And the place we stopped was, annoyingly for her but good for me since I was still on the fence, closed. So she didn't and I didn't and here we are, 9 years later.

Ready J? Summer '09? You think? If there are no reasons to not, this time, I think we oughta try to go for it this time. I mean, I'm turning 40 this year.

Triple dog dare?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Six Words

Asked him to dance. Still floating.


My chest is sore from the bench press lifty weight thing I did yesterday. I only did 20 pounds five times (I could maybe have done more but not having a spotter did not want to risk it.) So I'm glad, actually, I didn't do more. (A little) sore is good, because it means I worked it, but I still want to whine about it.

"Why, back in my day, sonny, we were fit and in shape. We didn't complain about lifting weights and exercise; we had to pull a plow. We were like young bull"....

And now, back to your regularly scheduled day.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I just downloaded a screamingly ridiculous number of MP3s from Amazon (I get it there because it's not Rights Managed like Ipod... I know, they're changing, but it annoys me when I can't play the music on anything but my Ipod-- but I digress.)

I was doing fine, just about done, when I discovered the "Menergy" mixes. They are mixes apparently done by some DJ for gay clubs or something. What makes me say that? The cover art + music= duh. But it has some AWESOME stuff for working out cardio elliptical step aerobics stuff.look at that chest hair!

Now, when Andrew gets that Discover bill, he's going to say "You spent WHAT on digital music?!" and I'm gonna totally have to have already lost at least 10 pounds or else I'm in big trouble.

I'm just annoyed, now, because my little Ipod Nano thingy can't hold them all. Bastiges!! I have another Ipod but the nano is for the workout thing. Pffffhhht. Piffle. Losers.

But I at least have to get this Boom Boom Boom mix on there. It's not exactly this Youtube, but very, very close. Sigh. I am in cardio bliss. Now I just have to go find some workout clothes that fit.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

This weekend, Andrew has "drill" so he's supposed to work. But he's still feeling terrible. He's in charge of getting together the breakfast we've been feeding the folks who have drill, though, and we went & bought it all yesterday. So this morning it was either me getting up at the crack of dawn and taking it to the workplace or him. When Andrew got up at 6, then, Sean got woken up. He wanted his dad. And he's been up since then.

I don't fancy waking up at 6 am on my last "free" Saturday, but we're up. Sean's watching Peter Pan & Maia is still asleep & I am here, reading news headlines & drinking coffee. I'm gonna be tired later. :)

Anyway. I'm having fun on Facebook lately. When I first did it last year, it was totally because students kept asking me for a contact there. And I didn't really use it much. I played the "Heroes" app for a while, and then I actually unchecked my membership for several months. But I've expanded it to include real friends (not just students) and I've also posted my Women Writers website there (if you're on Facebook, go "fan" us if you haven't already.) Spending too much time there, really. But I've always been prone to procrastinating on the Internet.

So now, I'm off to see if I've been poked.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tasers & Law Enforcement

I come, as some of you know, from a place of not-privledge. A place where cops were sometimes called out to handle "domestic disturbances" nearby. Family & friends were involved in these events. This means that one could suspect that all of the people I know would have a bad attitude about police. If you come into contact, on the wrong side of the law too often, you can feel a little oppressed.

But it's not true, though. My family was always respectful of the crazyhard job, the danger, that good cops face every day. And the fact that sometimes they are hurt the most when you would think people would be grateful for the help. I've known many good, good cops. And my husband has always been more of the cop type than the bad boy type.

I say all of the above because I'm collecting my thoughts on several recent incidents. The New Year's death of a young man in Oakland as the cop fired, point blank, into his lung as he lay, facedown, on the ground (some say the cop thought he held his taser as though that explains what happened). I say, SO What if he did? Why was he tasing a man that was cooperating? I've seen the grainy cell phone video... it doesn't look right to me. Then there's the young man in New Orleans who was killed, also on New Year's eve. He was sitting in someone's car. If it was a drug bust, possibly, but the sheer volume of bullets fired into a running man's BACK just seems amazingly wrong.

I don't think Tasers should be allowed to be routinely used especially on people who are not fighting, who are subdued already. If the first incident was indeed an accident, the overuse of tasers caused the death of a young man who, according to witnesses, was pleading with his friends for cooperation. The second incident just sounds like execution, period. Even if the guy was a drug buyer, he didn't deserve to be shot in the back like that.

I know that the police have to sometimes act on sparse information. They have to protect themselves from those who would do them harm. But both of these cases seem sooooo wrong. I know I don't know everything, but what I feel about the violence now erupting in Oakland and the outrage that people feel towards the policeman who killed two fathers of two young children, who took lives on the New Year, with what looks to me like very little justification.

Well. I feel heartbroken. And angry. And I feel like something needs to happen to stop these kinds of "accidents". I just don't know what.

Paranoia on Line Avenue

I am suspicious--
of the woman wearing
a white
leopard and zebra
spandex print pantsuit
and a wrinkled white oxford shirt

She is peering at the sushi
(probably a cover)
seeming a little bit stoned, or maybe

I've been here, breathing in the smell of
fried chicken and Chinese eggrolls
holding a sweet tea, for what seems like

She is probably a spy
making sure that
(like me)
do not late
in the hallowed aisles of this
fancy grocery store
at 3:17 AM.

I'm quite sure of it
when she looks at me and
doesn't recognize me. Squints.
Picks up some California Rolls and
a bottle of saki.

Kaw Jan '09

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Today will be spent...

...working on the Women Writers January issue. Lots of work to do there. I need to email a bunch of people and get to editing the stuff I do have. I think it may go a little later than my initial plan but with such a loose schedule for the next few months, I think I can get it done anyway. I will actually have free time! Yay!

Andrew's home sick today. Poor thing. He's kind of a wimp when it comes to tummy ailments, and is back in bed after trying to get up. I have the baby monitor on to hear him in case of an urgent need. I hope he just sleeps. :)

Yesterday, while the kiddos & daddy were watching TV, I worked on some scrapbooking. I love doing that and I'm about a year behind on pictures. But it really makes me feel a little crazy all the digital photos I have on my hard drive. I need to find a quick & easy way to back those up. I would be devestated if I lost all of those. I'm thinking an external hard drive would be a good idea.

Here's one of the "spreads" I did yesterday:
cute kid

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Spring Semester Cutbacks

Let me start with this: I absolutely love to teach. I would do it for (and do sometimes) FREE. (Good thing, too because with the following news, it's close).

Here in the Swampland, budget cuts have hit an already not so fab system and made cutbacks roll around to the lowest common denominator. Andrew, luckily, pays the bills so my news is not devastating for our family. And it will give me time for other plans of a freelance nature.

Yesterday, I learned that instead of the FULL load of 4 classes (approximately 100 students, 100 freshman comp papers every two weeks-ish) I am only teaching TWO. It's wonderful news for me.

I had not wanted that heavy of a load; it sort of happened, I think, by accident, but I was "on the hook" for it and could only get off of that hook by looking like a jerk, so I was going to suck it up. Last semester I had the same workload and I had NOT A SECOND of free time for three months. Things got put off. Many things. So now, this Spring Semester, I will be "Done" for my day of "needing to be on campus" work by 11 am. (That doesn't mean done with work, and I'll still have papers to grade and work to do, but not so damn much).

This means that I will definitely meet my goal of exercise, and other things I won't enumerate here. It's awesome. I'm relieved.

It will be fun to teach such a small amount of students (only 50), what being an adjunct is SUPPOSED to look like. (Part time work is what it's considered.) And "I love to teach" will be once again my mantra, not "I've just gotta get this done, get through this heavy load til the next one".

SO that's the meaning of my strange Facebook status yesterday. Vaycay semester. And me a lean, mean, aerobically fit, fighting machine again. I'll see you suckas in the gym. I'll be the one rockin to this on my I-pod*:

**FYI: in no way is an enjoyment of this song an endorsement of the naughty behaviors depicted within. It's just funny. And I like workin' out to it cause it seems so contrary to being IN the gym. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Writing a new tech writing syllabus. New text, new stuff. It's challenging and I just don't wanna do it. I've been, instead, playing on facebook all day. Whee!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Holidays, for me, are officially over today but my working vacation is still a few more days (a week, I guess). I ought to take down the Christmas tree today (we'll see). Kiddos are back in school, with not too much fighting the system this morning. I have soooo much work to do this week-- publishing my magazine, writing my new syllabus (at this time I only have one to do but may end up with two). I need to get a new perm, get my eyes looked at so I can get new contact lens prescription (by the way-- I think optometrists have a racket-- my eyes haven't changed substantially in 20 years but I need a new prescription every year? Humbug.) School starts back for us on the 13th, and I have a full load of classes, and will be pretty busy.

While I don't DO New Year's resolutions, what I am doing is planning one of the more typical things people do at this time of the year. This is not really inspired by the New Year. It's inspired by me getting on a scale when we were at Grandma's house.... something I rarely do. Ugh! Really? So, then= weight loss, fitness plan. I had so little time with my odd schedule last semester to work out, but I believe that this semester I have a little more free time in the day. My plan is to lose 20 pounds by my big conference, which is the PCA/ACA one in New Orleans, by April 1. To accomplish this I'll need at least two vigorous workouts a week, and a sort of diet. Mostly, just not drinking a glass & 1/2 of wine a night for a few weeks will accomplish an amazing amount. It's not that wine has so many calories (which it does, enough) but that after a glass of it, cheesecake et al sounds like a good idea.

Anyway. I hope to get all my work done properly this week. We'll see. In the meantime, here's a nice picture. Grandma has a lovely player piano, and the kids LOVE it. This visit, they actually did more than just bang on it. They tried to finger-play songs, and followed along with the machine. I have cool video, and this is a still from one of those videos. Please to enjoy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Why Recycling is Evil

Guess what family spent the day at the ER (6 hours of it at least)? Because Sean found Grandma's recycling bin in the back yard and dropped a big glass something on his right big toe, trying hard to cut it deeply?

It might just have been us.

He's fine. He actually ended up not needing stitches, (he could have had them, but not NEEDED them) and since the stitching up would have really traumatized him, we opted for the skin super glue & a pat on the back. I know. For six hours, you ought to at least get ONE stitch.

For three year olds with an exceptional amount of energy, they were REALLY, really good. But it still sucked major something or other. And so, I blame the environmental movement. If that darn glass thingy had been in a landfill, where it belongs, it would not have cut my precious baby's toe. Phffffth. Al Gore would have gotten much quicker ER service, too. So there.