Tuesday, August 29, 2006

First Days

What I wore on Monday: beige suit, black tank, chunky choker necklace.
I never wear jewelry. Effectiveness? Unknown.
The first class was Intermediate Nonfiction. I'm pretty excited about it because we're using The New Yorker as our exclusive text. Though I hope to be critical of the magazine, mostly I'm just excited to teach what I read every week anyway. The class went OK but I let them go a bit early because I thought we'd be in the computer lab and we weren't until Wednesday so my "go research what you don't know" assignment had to be a take-home one. The students were pretty quiet which was a bit disappointing since I thought I was pretty "on" but who knows.
I used Middlebrow's Science Fiction defamiliarization post in both the Int. Nonfiction and in Intro CRWR. I said "make the stone STONY" with the exact right amount of inflection.
To Intro (which are both on Tues & Thurs) I wore the outfit Egg's mom bought me from J Crew. Vest, long-sleeved wrinkly shirt, brown, above-the-knee skirt. With cowboy boots. Very fun class. I had them go and find something in the building that they didn't know what it was and come back and write an exquisite corpse about it. Students in this section, which is downtown, were great. I teach one more section of it this afternoon--I hope these main campus students are as fun.
I'm already beat but I attribute that to the newness of everything and the commuting between campuses. And the threat of weekly faculty meetings. I think the classes, once they get going, should be great.

Other news includes: more bats. We're moving. (Not really. Called a bat catcher. This will cost mucho dinero).
Electrical work--also mucho dinero.
But, we will have a bit of extra money--if nothing goes wrong this time--because we think, according to mucho paperwork, that we've sold the house. We close on the 19th but they want to rent from us from Thursday on. Sad and good news. I miss that house so much. Plus, there were no bats there.

Food front: Still grim. We've eaten at Big Bob's Pizza--weird sausage; Tokyo Grill Sushi--slow service, weird mayo in many of the rolls, fish a bit warm; the BOB--downtown building supposedly full of restaurants but each time we go we end up at the Bobarino. I had very bad sandwish of blackened (with thyme & cayenne) ahi, mango slaw, and some aioli that I couldn't discern. Yuck. There's an Indian food place that Zoe and Egg loved but I thought was mediocre. I'm being difficult but still. I like to eat out and I'm being thwarted. A place called Rose's had OK food but the food was made better by the location: upon Reed's Lake. We'll try this Tapas place next. And a place called Leo's.

Number of new acquaintances: 42
Number of new friends: 0.
Number of Bats: 2 or 4 depending if the bats left the first night or hid until the next night.
Number of Service techs called to fix house: 3 (plumber, electrician, bat catcher.
Number of Restaurants eaten at: 14.
# of restaurants loved: 0.
Number of sisters visited: 1.
Number of times said sister will have visited by Labor Day: 2.
Number of times Zo has climbed the very steep, very hardwooded stairs: 1,000,000
Number of essays or poems written: 0
Number of poems due by Sept. 1: 1

I have office hours now in my very swanky LEEDS building office. Since no one will visit today, perhaps I'll get some work done.....

Saturday, August 19, 2006


We had one. Around 4:30 am Cleo starts randomly barking. I tell her to be quiet because I haven't slept in over 23 years. But Erik tells me to be quiet because he hears something. He jumps up, turns on the lights. I say Oh please shut the light off and let me go to sleep. Then I hear a screech. I'm not sure why he's dragging his fingernails down the chalkboard but then I realize we have no chalkboard. There's something in the house, he says. And then, I hear a swoosh and a "goddamn, it's a bat."
Both Erik and I are afraid of bats. When he was 8 and lived in Denver, a bat flew in his and his sister's bedroom and, the funny though I'm sure apocryphal story goes that his mom rushed in, saw the bat, and pressed her kids to the floor to make a mad dash out of the room. I'm sure the story is not true, but if it is, I don't blame her.
And, when my sisters were camping with my grandpa, he got bit by a bat. He swatted it down and killed it and it DID have rabies. He had shots in the stomach for years.
So we're fucking afraid. Even Cleo, who unearthed the beast, was afraid. Only Box the cat was fearless--jumping up in the air to catch the thing as Erik made me walk behind him, holding up a blanket, as we shoed him toward the outdoors. Actually, I only know what Box was doing from Erik's rendition because I held the blanket up in front of my head the whole time. I didn't see this bat. But I heard it. It was big, as Erik said. As an eagle (later, it was downgraded to falcon-sized). Finally, we (by we I mean Erik and my walking blanket) got the bat to the backroom. I stood holding the blanket against the entrance of the kitchen while Erik went outside to open the backdoors. But they were locked. So he came in and crawled Army-style to the door and opened it. We turned on the fan and the light and out he went. So we think. We spent the next hour making sure there was no more bat.
We'll spend the next six weeks making sure he doesn't get back in. We dan't find a whole in a screen or a gap in the wall anywhere. He may have been here for a long time.
My neighbor Beth was sanguine--well, at least you won't have any mosquitoes for awhile. Indeed.

Friday, August 11, 2006

We're Here

Leaving was even harder than I expected. If there wasn't a train and we weren't already on it, I couldn't have done it. But once the truck comes, the stuff's packed, the car's packed, the dog and cat are in the car, what else can you do but let the wheels roll.
No rooms in Cheyenne. Mind you check when Sturgis is if you're traveliing East through Marlboro Country.
But, we're here.
Slightly traumatized. VERY nice neighbors. Perhaps too nice. They visit often. Kendall & Lt. (perhaps Capt by now) came and de-loaded the truck. Erik's mom and dad have been here watching Zo and mowing down all the greenery that grows even out of the gutter. We went to the lake yesterday. Big lake.
I might survive. Might not.
I feel very "observed" for some reason. Neighbors and bosses and orientation all serve to make me feel very suburband and attended to.
Sorry to be so long in between posts but I had nothing but sad to say. Now, at least, things are new and strange. And therefore, writable, I suppose.