Sunday, September 28, 2008

The idea of a bath

You know, I don't really enjoy taking bubble baths. I enjoy a shower more. But I really like the idea of bubble baths - the hedonistic pleasure of soaking in warmth, unable to accomplish anything much beyond rendering one's skin pruny. I love the scents of bath products, the colors of the gels, and the density of the perfumed foam floating on the surface of the water.

Usually, I approach the tub with an open mind, filling it with hot water and bath salts. Sometimes, I try a bath bomb - sandy scented spheres that fizz in contact with the water and release their aromas on the steam to float about the room. Other times, I am content with a generous squeeze of bubbling bath gel.

I slip in, wincing at the heat of the water, gingerly lowering myself into the scalding liquid. I savor the first few minutes of complete warmth, as I am usually cold. Settling into a quiescent recumbent posture to calm the waves that lap at my thighs, I let the water settle all about me. I scoop ambrosial bubbles to mound upon my breasts. And then? Nothing. Boredom.

I've tried reading in the tub, but I've ruined more books that way than I care to divulge. Washing, of course, ruins the bubbles, and really isn't the point of a bubble bath. Music in the background will either lull me to sleep or make me want to dance. The bath isn't conducive to either of these activities. A glass of wine? Snoozefest. But still, the idea remains.

Maybe someday I'll find the secret to enjoying a bath. For now, it's just a fragrant waste of time.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life, Uncovered

Ok, so follow along:

* irritability and mild depression suddenly descend,
* concurrent ingestion of sweet & salty foodstuffs increases,
* disdain for my spouse multiplies exponentially with every breath he takes,
* overnight (and I mean literally overnight) five-pound weight gain, and
* major intense case of accelerated sex drive... (yeah, TMI, but still germane)

I am an idiot. PMS. Duh.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

You'll want some cheese with this w(h)ine...

So recently, I've started to feel a little blue, a little melancholy, a little down. I've had the urge to shut myself off a bit, to close people out, to retreat into my shell, not unlike the astrological crab that represents me. It's a defense mechanism, this withdrawal, to use that hard shell while I recover from my wounds.

It's no one person that's hurt me, it's no single event. It's nothing I can pinpoint, except a vague feeling of dissatisfaction with almost every aspect of my life. My job is major-league stressful, even though I love my students. The WCM is a nagging thorn in my side, for whom I can do nothing right. My house is a wreck and I hate cleaning. I've been rushed off my feet every day for the last three weeks, spending hours after school just keeping current with grading, yet I'm still responsible for everything at home, from Miss Peanut's homework, to scrubbing the toilets.

I need a break. I want to rest. I can't take all of this whirling about any more. I want somebody to do something for me for a change, without asking for or expecting recompense, instead of having to take care of all and sundry.

That's not likely, given who I married and the nature of my employment. So, I'm just going to cocoon a while, pull back and watch the world go by for a bit, until I feel like myself again.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Because my mind is working in fits and starts these days - divided among school, family, friends, and hobbies, and not necessarily in that order - I offer you these bits and pieces of cognitive detritus. Do with them what you will.

So far, I've heard loads of funnies in the hallways of my high school. One girl was chatting cattily with a friend about another girl when I happened to be within earshot, and I overheard the truly priceless description of "she thinks she's Queen Shit on Turd Island." Well, that was worth a giggle - and not a detention - that day.

Another student's parting shot as he sailed out of school for the day was "I'm OUT, like titties at a strip club."


Cake has gone stale in my house. I baked one on Wednesday night, because I was trying out a cupcake recipe for a new colleague's birthday (more on that later) and only needed to make 6 cupcakes. I poured the rest of the batter in a smallish square pan (8x8, if you must know) and baked it. After I was done working cupcake magic, I frosted the cake (chocolate! even!) thickly with the rest of the (chocolate! again!) frosting. Nobody, including me, has touched it.

There is a half-gallon of ice cream - Edy's Loaded Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup - that has been in the fridge for 2 weeks, similarly untouched.

The WCM bought a tub of scrumptious coconut macaroons at Trader Joe's a week ago, and aside from the obligatory one-macaroon sample - necessary to declare them scrumptious - they are still sitting in their clear plastic tub on the counter.

WTF? I am perplexed, yet not particularly hungry. Maybe that's why I'm sitting at a new record low weight for me. It makes me nervous and more than a little insecure, body-image-wise. But, hey - I know that if I'm too nervous about it, I certainly know how to make the number on the scale move UP.


My legs hurt - pleasantly so, though - from some fairly athletic and bendy canoodling I was doing the other day. Ha ha! I canoodled! I am smug with my canoodling! And also yoga.


Those cupcakes I was talking about? Deeeeelicious. This is what I did - I baked 6 chocolate cupcakes. Then, I popped them out of the silicone liners. After that, I cut the tops off ("Off with their heads!" - I am a French teacher, after all). Following that, I cut the bottoms off and replaced them in the silicone muffin cups. I put four of the lovely middles into my mouth in the freezer. I then softened a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream and layered some over each of the cupcake bottoms. I replaced the tops and froze these mini ice-cream cakes until they were solid. Once they were solid, I frosted them, and put them back into the freezer. They were yummy. Very yummy. And appreciated by my whole department. All 6 of us.


And that's all I have to show for my last 2 weeks of toil and travail. Perhaps y'all did better.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

In which I dabble in political thinking - Part One

I'm not a politically-minded person. I have my issues and they figure heavily into how I vote. That's pretty much how I've always been. There are those people who can effortlessly keep track of candidates' voting records, their attendance at the Capitol, and their - sometimes waffling - opinions in all things. I can't. I'm not that left-brained. I'm certainly left-leaning, though.

The current political choice in front of me makes me want to scream in abject frustration. I really don't care for any of my choices, and, like Oliver Twist, want to line up a the ballot asking plaintively "Please, sir, may I have some more?" I'm just not enamored of any of them.

Here is what I want in a candidate - someone who is honest and genuine; someone that I consider to be more intelligent than I am; someone with some governmental experience; someone who supports teachers and education; someone who acts with the best interests of America's children in mind; someone who won't tell me what I can or can't do with my own body; someone who will keep my nation from being attacked, and also won't go attacking other nations without direct provocation; someone with a viable plan to pull us out of the recession that Republicans swear we're not in; someone who won't cave to the interests of Big Business and the Wealthy while the middle class and the poor suffer; and someone who will protect our natural resources and wildlife, preserving the beauty in every sector of the vastly differing landscape of this enormous country. Did you follow all of that? I want a lot, I know.

McCain, someone I feel great respect for as a person and a true American Hero, is not who I want governing my country. He's spent nearly 27 years inside the Washington Beltway, yet still wants to call himself a Maverick. Eighty-eight percent of his votes have been in agreement with the current administration. He's voted for the No Child Left Behind testing program, yet has also voted to undercut the proposed funding for this program. He has voted against funding teacher training and other programs aimed at bettering instruction for our children. In a move that blew my mind, he also voted against funding the Head Start program, one that benefits poor children nation-wide. That move, to me, seems at odds with his staunchly pro-life voting record. I would think that someone who cared so much about unborn children would care equally about them once they're born. I guess not, since he also voted against legislation that would expand funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Plan. He did, however, vote for legislation that would ensure an unborn fetus for medical care, but NOT THE MOTHER of that fetus. Apparently, to McCain, once you're born, you're on your own.

McCain's Anti-Choice voting record is extensive. Not only does he oppose a woman's right to choose, he has voted against legislation that would provide information on contraception, in favor of abstinence only programs. He has stated his opposition to Roe v. Wade numerous times, and has voted against legislation aimed at keeping Family Planning Clinics in operation.* He cosponsored the Federal Abortion Ban, a bill aimed at criminalizing some abortion services without regard to the health of the mother. Read the information for yourself. It's a matter of public record, and it's waaaaay to lengthy for me to go into here.

McCain's military service was distinguished and his conduct admirable. Just looking at the list of some of the medals on his uniform will tell you that - Purple Heart, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross. They don't hand those babies out in a box of crackerjacks, let me tell you. I'll grant you, he might know what he's talking about when it comes to keeping our nation safe. I can't help that I've opposed the Iraq war since it was being discussed in the news as a possibility. I can't help, also, being lukewarm toward a candidate that voted time and time again against setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

As for the budget plan, two different sets of experts have reviewed both McCain's and Obama's plans, and have pronounced them both inadequate. However, they said that McCain's plan would be more costly to the middle class - hey, that's me! McCain also declared that anyone making $5 million or less to be middle class. Five million? Really? Damn! I know that inflation's a bitch, but come on! That's just a warped perspective, fiscally speaking. I can't see how that kind of thinking's going to pull us out of this putative recession. And just how many houses do you own, Senator McCain? Seven? Wow.

And now for something positive: McCain has an outstanding record on environmental issues. He has voted consistently to protect and preserve our natural resources. His running mate, however... well, that's a different rant for a different day.

All in all, John McCain is the kind of man that I'd love to sit down with over a cup of coffee. However, I wouldn't want him in charge of my body or my bank account. Luckily, I'm not deciding to marry the man - I'm deciding not to vote for him, instead.


*For those of you thinking that Family Planning Clinic is a euphemism for Abortion Clinic, you're incorrect. I went to a Family Planning Clinic for years when I was in college and grad school, because the cost of going to a proper gynecologist without extensive health insurance is outrageous, as are the prescription costs of the pill. Without those clinics, I'd have had to rely on condoms or abstinence, which, given the fact that I was married for 4 of those 6 years, is unrealistic. I got regular check-ups, pap smears, and birth control, and that's it.

Monday, September 01, 2008

I scream for ice cream

I've just been told to stop fellating my ice cream cone.

I can't help it, though! Ice cream is such a sensual treat for the mouth - creamy, unctuous, smooth - that I just enjoy it a shade too much. I can't help it that my eyes slowly close in ecstasy when I lick the ice cream from base to tip. Flattening my tongue and laving it around the base - better to stop the drips, see - leaves it covered in sweetness. When I close my lips around the tip of my cone, I get a mouthful of delicious cream. What a reward!

Man, I love me some ice cream.

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