Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dog Sitting, Falling Back, and Winning the World Series

What a weekend, folks! Friday was an exciting treat as the Cardinals beat the Tigers 4-2 to win the 2006 World Series. This was a spectucular occurence for several reasons. One, the Cardinals are my adopted home team, since Baltimore isn't my home anymore. Two, the Cardinals' woes at the end of the season (and, really, throughout the season) made them less than favorites to win any of the playoff rounds they were in, let alone the whole enchilada. Three, the clinching game occurred on exactly the same night that I usually find myself at happy hour in a den of Cardinal supporters, so it was extra sweet--way better than watching it at home, but not as good as being there in person.

In addition, Friday, the Powder Puff team had organized at little shindig at a local pizza joint. Coach B was unable to attend, but I stopped by. They bought a cake, which was nice, and the festivities broke up after not too long (mostly because, it seemed, many folks wanted to go watch the ball game). So, gratitude to the Gold Team. They were, and are, awesome.

Saturday, Monkey and I watched a debacle at Faurot, as the Tigers bumbled their way to a 26-10 loss to Oklahoma. A beautiful day to watch a football game, but the game was awful.

And last night, of course was the dog party, which went off without a hitch, really. We even snuck out for an hour to visit Osculator and Ms. T's Halloween party (sans costumes). Plus, this morning, we "fell back" and returned to Central Standard Time. It's good to be back.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Ballad of the Gutted Calendar

I was doing some planning this morning, deciding how much of The Scarlet Letter should be read by when, when I realized that November is so close that if you stand still for a second, you can smell cranberries and sauerkraut. No wonder I haven't seen a turkey for two weeks. Always trust the animal world. They know a thing or two.

I know that this happens every damn year. You're paddling around in a canoe with a pair of shorts on one minute, you look down at the sun shining on your bare, brown toes and--just like that--you're freezing your personal parts off in the middle of the wettest, grayest day the Lord has ever cast down upon you (since last October, anyway). Yet, each time it happens, we are taken completely by surprise. Such forgetful creatures, we humans. At least I am, anyway.

Monkey brought pictures back from Montana. I'll post a few if I have the patience. Sometimes this Blogger thing is about as frustrating as a whistle pig under your house. (It's still there as far as can be discerned.)

This weekend, Monkey and I will be watching Ripken and Ms. London Belle and Grandma Sophie (Uncle Joe's 'rents' dog). A three dog night on Saturday, whether we like it or not. Craziness, people, plumb craziness.

In baseball news, the story of the day is "will they or won't they?" They didn't last night, and the odds are not great that they will tonight. I, and millions others, hope they do. Go, Cards!

I believe that is all.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Don't Rain on My Parade (With a Special Appearance by Robyn Hitchcock)

It's Homecoming Weekend here in the Land of the Tigers. The forecast calls for rain later, but the current parade is going off without a drop of interference. I'm not there, but I can hear it from here. Sounds drummy.

I'll be taking in the game later today, hoping to stay dry and to watch Los Tigres end a 14 year losing streak to the Kansas State Wildcats. The odds are pretty good, considering we have a better team this year than they do; however, over the course of the last 14 years, we have had a better team than they at least three times, and we still lost. So, you know, that's why they play the games, and all those other sports cliches.

My classes are currently waist deep in Romanticism, and this week will be treated to EA Poe's "Ligeia." If you've never read it, I suggest it. I'll try to link to it over under the Currently Teaching links. Anyhoo, I thought a good supplemental/introductory text would be Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians' tune "My Wife and My Dead Wife." I looked online for a copy of the song, but the best I could do was to find a copy of an out of print re-issue for 45 bucks. I asked my musical guru at school, the Rev. Wayne Coomers, but he didn't have it (he did offer to find a downloadable copy and to burn it--I wish him luck). After discussing with the Rev, I went to see Capt. Morgan and Coach B--they might have been helpful. They had nothing. But, it got them and me to reminiscing about Mr. Hitchcock. The boys had seen him open for REM (a moment of silence) in 89. I had seen the same tour, but with Throwing Muses, instead. We lamented the loss of both REM and Robyn Hitchcock (and the Muses, a little bit), realizing we had heard nothing from Hitchcock for quite some time. What if, we posited, he had been dead for 15 years and no one had noticed. For some reason, we found this morbidly hilarious.

O, the wonderful ways in which we entertain ourselves.

The Monkey is in Missoula, hoping to see a bear. I am hoping exactly the opposite. As you probably suspect, Monkey v. Bear=Bear Wins!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Autumn and Much Before (Well, Actually, Mostly During)

Pumpkinfest! It's here again, Faithful Reader(s). This Saturday, the Monk and I headed down to the quiet hamlet of Hartsburg to attend the 15th Annual Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival, a veritable rite of Autumn here in central MO. And, as usual, it did not disappoint. We had a beautiful day to leisurely and dustily drive a back route into H-burg on River Road, a dirt and gravel swath that made it's way past corn and soybean fields, hay and tractor sheds, and, for a quarter mile, the sleepy banks of the MO. While there, we enjoyed some homegrown ribeye and a tasty funnel cake, and we ran into a couple of my students working the traffic for the sheriff's dept. A wonderful day, to say the least. We also picked up some take-home delicacies: apple butter, horseradish, and jalapeno jelly!

Friday night was the usual happy hour, followed by dinner with Osculator and Ms. T. Happy hour conversations ranged from baseball to self-gratification, so, as stated before, the usual. Dinner was fun, and has left me scrambling to find an "I (HEART) Fran Tarkenton" T-shirt. You know, just because.

This past week, back home, most of my family had birthdays. My mom, my uncle, my grandfather, and my oldest nephew. My brother's comes in eleven days, so October is a busy birthday month in the author's clan. I also found out, from one of my students, that October 5 is the most common birthday in the US. It's nine months, roughly, from New Year's Eve/Day. You do the figuring as to why that might be a popular dios de concepcion.

Also, as mentioned before, the Gold Team romped to a clear victory, 28-6, over the Purple squad during this past Homecoming Week. It's good to go out a winner. The post-game, adults-only celebration wended its way through Columbia, visiting bars and homes alike, and led to the author's carrying himself home on foot from Lou's Palace.

Finally, moving forward in time, Sunday found Monkey and I in St. Louis, where we visited the Botanical Gardens and treated ourselves to the Chihuilly (I don't know if I spelled that right) installation of giant colored glass. It was quite a sight, all that pretty glass incorporated into all that flora. Quite a weekend, I must say!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Deep, Deep, Deep in the Weeds

Brother and Sisters! It's been so long, too long, since last we spoke. I have been crazy preoccupied with school, school, and, mostly, school. I have had some opportunity to enjoy myself since that wonderful weekend in KC.

Monkey and I took a trip to Portland, OR for the wedding of our good former CoMo friend QP. It was a great party and a fun weekend, which we spent with many of QP's relatives (Mom, Dad, Bro, cousins, aunts, know, relatives). The flight out of KCI was nasty rough, provoking an anxiety attack out of me. I didn't know what was happening, I was tingly numb and sweating and nauseated. Monkey looked at me and said, "You're having a panic attack." I looked at her and said, "Oh, yeah." Then I just stared straight ahead and focused on my breathing. By the time we were over Wyoming, I felt a little better.

Mostly, I have been preoccupied with keeping things together at school, in the face of much adversity. My fill-in partner teachers have been swell, and, except for one gigantic asshole of a kiddo, my studentials have been great, but it is still a stressful situation. Partner Teacher thinks she may return at the start of second quarter, which is less than two weeks away. We shall see.

I'm sure I am leaving out a bunch, the Gold Team's rousing victory, the celebratory debauchery that evening, the Octoberfest...but I will update you later. Not nearly a month later, but later. I might even include some pics (but not of the debauchery). For now, on this eve of Chicken Nugget Day, I must put the shoulder to the wheel and get some work done.