Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Tuesday morning stuff

* Maybe what I need to do is start a new project. Wind off the yellow yarn and begin the sockyarn sweater I want to do. Or start a Treehugger stuffie. Or even a Moondancer - I'd have to get some kind of orange for that part of her hair, but I have everything else I'd need. (I rewatched the Moondancer episode this weekend. I maintain a bit baffled by how deeply she was hurt by Twilight's avoiding her party - I mean, if I had given a party as a kid and NO ONE came, that would be grounds for me to become a friendless loner, but if the one girl I looked up to in some way didn't, my reaction would be more, "She thinks she's too important for my party, fine, forget about her.") But still, there is something sweet and sad about Moondancer. I read somewhere a commentator who said that children like "sad" characters like Eeyore or Puddleglum because (a) they can relate, having some kind of sadness in their own lives and (b) some of them (and I remember this about me) like to fantasize about being able to cheer up the character or at least be their friend.

And no, I never really gave a party as a kid. But I remember not-being-invited (and being told so) to my share of birthday parties. (Who was it that suggested that girls fight dirtier than boys? I think that's kind of true in some cases - the whispering campaigns, the rumors, the exclusion. It wasn't enough not to invite some girls to their birthday parties, the mean girls also had to TELL them they weren't invited and talk about how fun the party was going to be without them.)

* Anyway, I need to start a new project as a gauge - are these doldrums just the typical late-summer, allergies are bad, it's too hot thing, or is something bigger going on? If a new project fails to capture my interest that suggests something is going on (the dreaded "not enjoying things you used to enjoy") and maybe I need to talk to my doctor.

* I submitted my early-alert reports yesterday. They're due Wednesday but as I give my first exam (in any class) that day, and won't have it graded until after these are due. And this is one of those things. I opined on Twitter (perhaps a bit unfairly) that this is how higher ed sometimes reminds me a bit of a Vonnegut story (or, now I think of it, a Heller novel): there are things you're told to do that are kind of pointless given your particular situation, but you do them anyway, because fighting against them or not doing them and having to deal with the fallout takes more energy than you have.

I sent out a bunch of reports with the "there is no grounds for a grade at this point, first exam is on xxx"

On the other hand, maybe if enough faculty did that, the deadline for the first of these things would get pushed back a little bit. (We are asked to do these every month. I will refrain from talking too much about the Devonian days when I was in college and students were expected to keep track of their own grades, and the only time you got a note about them, it was VERY bad news, as in, you were failing out. I get the idea is to PREVENT people from failing out, but.....it must be woeful for people with the 100+ person lectures to have to do these; I have 100 students TOTAL and it takes long enough)

* Part of this distress of these past few weeks could be that I'm just finally sort of losing my idealism about higher ed, or more likely, I see what it's become(ing) and find some of the trends distressing. A cynic is just a deeply wounded romantic.

Maybe I'll find a new normal and adjust. I hope so. (And I dislike the phrase "New normal")

* One thing that's making me wonder if this IS all allergies, though: I'm still reading Moby-Dick. I am up to somewhere around chapter 51 but find it is going very slowly and I have to stop to re-read things as my comprehension has tanked - generally, lower cognitive function is a symptom of bad allergies for me. ("Brain fuzz"). So hopefully, if we DO get some of the long-awaited rain tonight, I'll feel some better tomorrow.

* I did go to the restaurant-supply house on Saturday. No good replacement dutch oven (everything like that was in huge sizes) but I did buy a small cast-iron fry pan with the thought that I could maybe use it for puffy pancakes in the oven or something (some of my other frypans are not oven friendly).

I did try the vinegar and baking soda trick. It got some of the stuff out but not all. And then I tried boiling water in the pan.  I also tried scrubbing until my wrists hurt. At this point I've decided it's probably not worth trying to get the residue off, and just replace the thing. So maybe some time this week I take a trip to the Kopper Kettle here in town and see what they have. (The pan I am ditching is a nearly-30-year-old Revere ware, and not the good kind either, it was from after how they changed how they made it, so it's no great loss). Alternate plan is to limp along with saucepans and my big enamelware thing until Christmas, but the idea of asking for a replacement dutch oven for Christmas makes me too sad so I will probably just buy one.

* I did manage to wring a chuckle out of myself this morning. Someone had posted a ginormous replica of Elsa's ice-castle from Frozen that was for sale at Costco or somewhere. And I remarked that I needed one in life size, and on the side of a remote mountain (and with a sewing room and a library - it already has a grand piano in it). And it would be my Fortress of Solitude.

Which I typed first as Fortress of Solidude.

I imagine a Fortress of Solidude would have more sports-themed decor and probably a beer fridge. (Sadly, I can't think of a "lady" equivalent of "Solidude." But yeah, sometimes I really want somewhere extremely remote from everyone and everything else where I can go and that has everything I need....)


purlewe said...

Have you tried... barman's friend OR boiling tomato sauce in the pan? I only ask b'c I always keep limping along with a crummy pan and sometimes boil tomato sauce for spaghetti and it surprisingly usually does the trick. But everyone swears by barman's friend.. which I have never used.

Lynne said...

Someone told me once (haven't tried but how can it hurt?) to put dishwasher soap in it. I guess you'd need the gel stuff, not the powder? And leave it overnight.

Gabriel Conroy said...

"And no, I never really gave a party as a kid. But I remember not-being-invited (and being told so) to my share of birthday parties."

That reminds me of a time in Kindergarten when I had a birthday party and the teacher allowed me to pass out invitations in class. Which she really, really shouldn't have done unless I was going to invite everybody. In retrospect, it must've been humiliating for the non-invited students. They sat on the floor, I had the invitations in my hand, I'd tell the teacher the name, and she'd give the invitation to them. There was no subtlety about not making people feel bad for not being invited.

Well anyway, there were two Jason's, and I was only going to invite one of them. But when I said "Jason," the teacher gave the invitation to the wrong one. (The non-invited Jason was kind of a discipline problem--the kind who probably was going to have a rough life throughout his school career because of attention problems or acting out) and was sitting in the corner for some infraction.) The "Jason" the teacher gave the invitation to became my best friend and the other one didn't exactly become my non-friend, but he must have been disappointed.

I've always felt guilty about that whole thing (inviting some and not others, and not inviting one person who was probably not going to get a lot of invitations for other parties, either), even though I was probably too young to know any better.