Saturday, April 25, 2009


In the past, if you've been reading a while, you may have heard me wax rhapsodic over Pilates. I've enthused about the Wii fit, as well. I may even have penned a sonnet or two about walking, though it was more on the ability to do so than on any enjoyment received from such.

Just recently, I've started running, as I want to do that 5 K. I can promise you, I believe, to never wax lyrical about the joys of running. Quite frankly, it's almost more than I can manage to get one foot in front of the other in a synchronized fashion and propel myself forwards into motion. I can just about run a quarter of a mile all at once now. While shamefully proud of this rather negligible accomplishment, I will tell you that the joy is only in the accomplishing it and not in the actually doing it.

Frankly, I have always thought that the process of doing something - for a hobby, mind you, not professionally - was far more important than the end result. For me, I have always found more enjoyment in the creation of a scrapbook page than I ever have in regarding the finished page itself. The crocheting is more fun than smoothing the finished afghan on my lap, and the reading of the book, getting lost in the words and the story, are far more delectable than merely finishing the requisite number of pages.

I am struggling, therefore, with running. I want to like it, as it's a very healthy habit that I'd like to be able to adopt. Many of my friends are running now, and I'd like, literally, to keep up with them. However, for the life of me, I can find no joy in doing it.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 23, 2009


You know, sometimes I really wonder why certain people became teachers. They whine, bitch, moan, complain, kvetch, and kvell so damned much about every little stinking thing - the students included - that you don't half think they'd have made far better use of their lives doing something like, oh, selling insurance or cleaning the streets or scooping poop in public dog parks.

See, there was this faculty meeting after school today. It was unusually long, as there've been a lot of issues raised recently regarding our governor's controversial wage cut for all state employees. People are understandably grumpy about it - after all, who in their right mind ever welcomes a ten percent reduction in salary? Yeah, that's right: nobody. However, there was one complete castrating bitch strident harridan today that just had to pipe up about the plight of the teacher. You know, how we don't receive paid holidays, take work home all the time, and are generally unappreciated.

Ok, so sure, she has a point. However, there are some perks - at least for me, personally - that make up for those things.
  • One, I don't ever have to work on my birthday. It's during the summer. I have a whole summer free - sure, I don't get paid for it (although it seems like it, since I elect to spread my salary over the 12 months instead of taking it only during the 10 months of the year that I'm in the classroom), but then nobody can compel me to set foot into my classroom on that day.
  • Two, I get to exercise my creativity on a daily basis. I'm not stuck in a cubicle, chained to a computer, slogging through reports and figures. I tried the cubicle-farm wage slave thing and didn't like it. The soul-deadening experience was not an experience I want to repeat.
  • Three, I actually get paid to do something I love. During my very first teaching job, where I didn't have direct-deposit and had to pick up an actual paycheck every week, I routinely forgot about payday. The school secretary would chase me down to give me my money. It was, and still remains, somewhat of a bonus to me - I get paid to come to school every day.

All of this doesn't mean that I don't actually work, because I do. I work hard. It just means that I love what I do. This colleague of mine, well, let me just tell you that this is her second career. She started in industry and has come to teaching through the alternative route to certification. I think it's time for a reminder to smack her upside the head: if, once you've been teaching for a couple of years, you find yourself lamenting the downsides of the classroom and longing for the cubicle, just remember - you're not tied to the profession. If you don't love it, then do us ALL a giant favor and GET THE FUCK OUT ALREADY!!!! Quit your goddamn bitching, STFU, and get on with your life. Nobody wants to hear it, I promise you! You are obviously not cut out for teaching and should do something a little more personally financially rewarding for you.

Thus endeth my rant. Thank you for listening.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hot and Delicious

Did you ever have a day when you got exactly what you wanted and needed at exactly the moment you both wanted and needed it?

I had that day today. It was a Professional Day, which meant no students in the school so teachers could get their grades in the computers. After a morning of hard graft grading papers, I stumbled down to the Work Husband's classroom nearly incoherent with hunger, and stood in front of him, wild-haired and dead-eyed, mumbling "Food. Me. You. Now."

Bless him, he chuckled at me and took me to lunch at the diner down the road. A quick glance at the menu inspired me to order the Cheesesteak Wrap. Now, if you're not from around Philly, you're not going to know the glory of a cheesesteak. This is a sandwich made from very thinly sliced beef that's been thrown on a grill and shredded by two metal spatulas until it resembles a pile of brown rags. This is then slathered in cheese and cushioned on a soft long Italian roll. I prefer mine with fried onions, American cheese, and thick lashings of ketchup. This was what I had today, but in a wrap, not a roll.

People, it was hot, juicy, meaty, thick, salty, greasy, and delicious. It was everything I needed in that exact moment, and completely satisfied me in a way that very few things have ever managed to do. Gawd. I'm shaking right now just remembering it. Mmmmmmmm...

So, fortified by both the food and the convivial conversation - the Work Husband is not the Work Husband merely for his looks alone, you see - I was able to very nearly finish my work today. All in all, it was a very nice way to come back to school.

Labels: ,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

There is no internet in Europe

I just got back from chaperoning a 10-day school trip to London and France. A colleague and I took 14 students with us and pretty much had a ball. Sorry I've been incommunicado, but, as the title says, there's no internet in Europe.

Well, there is internet in Europe, but none that I could easily access. So, instead, I saved it all up and wrote it down in an actual pen-and-paper type diary. Can you believe that?! How retro!

I'll give you the highs and lows here, briefly. First, the low:

We had to send a student home from the trip for misbehaving. Trust me when I tell you that his misbehavior was repeated, flagrant, and over the top. I feel bad for his parents.

Then, the highs:

Oh. My. GOD!!! LONDON!!! I went back to the Motherland! I saw all the sights - how touristy! - and even ate fish and chips. I rode the tube, peered through the gate at Buckingham Palace, and thrilled at hearing the bells chime at Westminster Abbey. From there, I took 11 of the kids on a bus trip to Windsor Castle while the other chaperone took the other 4 into London to Camden Market. Windsor was where Incident Number 1 took place with that student I talked about above.

And then we went to Canterbury - on Easter Sunday - where we visited Canterbury Cathedral and ate Hot Cross Buns. The bus then took us to the white cliffs of Dover, where we boarded the ferry bound for Calais.

Hopping off in Calais, we made our way to Rouen and snapped photos of the uber-Gothic cathedral there before partaking of a truly international dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese at a Chilean restaurant in France. That was a true WTF moment on the trip. That night, a group of students and I ventured out and walked around Rouen as it got dark - surprisingly, we had a pretty good time just goofing around, and wound up at Quick, which is like a French Burger King. My students were thrilled as anything to order their hamburgeurs et frites in French, and they were really cute! Then, Incident Number 2 took place.

The next day, we got on the bus again and made our way to Caen where we stopped at the Peace Memorial. That was a sobering event, but not nearly as heart-stopping as what followed: visiting the American cemetary and Omaha Beach. It's absolutely staggering to stand at the corner of the cemetary and see all the white grave markers stretching far beyond the reach of your vision. Somehow, all of the kids and I ended up on the beach at the same time. After dipping my fingers into the English Channel and taking 16 pictures of the group assembled in front of the water (one with every camera). We boarded the bus, yet again, for the tiniest town in France, where we were to stay for two nights. Let's just say that the hotel was lacking, the town was dead, and there were no communal meeting facilities for our students. This was NOT a good combination. It led to Incident Number 3, from which there was no coming back. It was decided that our Troublemaker would go home when we got to Paris, as we had to give his mother time to buy a ticket for him.

The next day, we visited Mont Saint Michel, which was awesome!! I got to be our tour leader, since our guide had some bad knees and couldn't climb the bazillion steps up to the top to buy the tickets to the Abbey there. It was amazing - the view is spectacular - and the architecture is just gorgeous! From there, we went to St. Malo, which is a really cute little town in Brittany. We had galettes and crepes, learned about the history of the town, and bought a bunch of souvenirs. Then, holy crap, we headed back to the hotel for the worst meal in the history of France. The kids, though, rose to the occasion, and we had the most hilarious conversation ever around the table. Afterwards, I wandered Plancoet (the town) with a bunch of students. During the evening before, we'd found a condom dispenser outside a pharmacy - which they'd found uproariously funny. It was decided that a packet was to be purchased with pooled euros, and that the condom fairy was going to pay a visit to some of our party that evening. The strawberry condom apparently made its rounds under the doors of our rooms that evening, until it was discreetly left in a bedside drawer.

Then, finally, we were headed to Paris, but not before we made a stop at Chartres to see the amazing cathedral there. Lunch there was also the best meal we'd had in France. One of my kids, H, ordered escargots and salade nicoise for lunch. She loved the escargots. I'm so proud! Another, A, ordered one of the specials of the day - rabbit leg and tagliatelle - and declared it to be the best thing he'd ever eaten. We arrived in Paris that evening and ate at a Moroccan restaurant. From there, I took our group on the metro to Notre Dame and then for a wander around the Latin Quarter. We encountered possibly the most polite Parisian waiter in the 2000+ year history of the city. Sixteen people ordered fancy coffee drinks, pastries, desserts, and crepes in a Parisian Brasserie, and this man was nothing but pleasant and congenial.

After arising the next day at four fucking a.m. to take Troublemaker to the airport, I had a bus tour followed by a walking tour of Paris. Pictures, pictures, pictures!!! All of the kids were exhausted by the time we were finished, and we decided that we'd just have ourselves a little dance party in the hotel cafeteria. A bunch of the kids came with me to the mall next to the hotel, where, after a little dress shopping (I got a dress and one of the other girls got a skirt outfit), we went to Auchan for some party supplies. We got different kinds of chips, crackers, cheese, candy, a baguette, and some sparkling cider for variety. We got into our pajamas, slapped our iPods into portable speakers, and played card games until we were too sleepy to continue. We bonded. Awwwwww.

Friday was the Louvre in the morning, then shopping in the afternoon. I had a group of kids that I affectionately called my Ducklings following me around the Louvre, as they have really strict rules about the under 18 crowd. We saw the main highlights, but then walked to a cafe and had a delicious lunch. We walked through Les Halles, where we saw a bunch of people lounging on the grass and came across a group of old men playing boules, which is pretty typical in a French park. I took pictures, but one of my kids got video of it. We did some shopping, finished our souvenir buying, found a bakery (one of our kids hadn't had an authentic pain au chocolat since arriving in France), got some bread and pastries, and wandered back to the park. Once there, the other group found us, and we all had a nice flop on the grass. We met the rest of the tour group at the Centre Pompidou, and then made our way to dinner. After that, we went up the Eiffel Tower and saw the city from the birds-eye perspective. After that, we got on a Batobus and had a tour of Paris by Night from the river Seine.

After a 3.5 hour nap, we got up and headed for the airport. Then home. And here I am.

I wanna go back!!!!!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Typical - I say it's slow these days and all of a sudden, I've got loads of backed-up writing pouring out of my brain... Standard creative writing disclaimer...


He needs me, and he hates that he needs me. I represent his weakness, his craving for closeness and comfort, his pent-up desire, and his neglected wants. I am his shame and satisfaction clothed in flesh. He alternately turns to me and spurns me, as his shame waxes and wanes. I can read it in his eyes when he comes to me, in the stance of his naked body as he stands still and waits for me to approach.

I know that he thinks of his wife when he closes his eyes. When he feels my touch, I know he wishes it were her fingers trailing along his skin, her lips teasing his nipple, her teeth gently nipping his thigh. My body becomes hers when seen in his mind's eye, and he resists touching me intimately, confining his hands to safe areas where there are no obvious differences - my sides, the flat of my back, the swell of my calf. He comes to me because she won't give him what I willingly surrender.

Even though his touch is neutral, I still receive pleasure in his embrace. It's a twisted pleasure, though, more mental than physical, though the physical is intense. It's a triumphant fist in the air ever time he throws his head back in ecstasy. It's fireworks exploding on the Fourth of July when he groans my name. I celebrate the fact that I can produce that euphoria, that I can bring him to that peak, as my own husband finds little use for my talents.

For my husband, I am a figure, a symbol. I am a wife and mother, no longer a lover. Our trysting days are long past. The tender explorations of our courtship have been long since relegated to memory. I am the drudge that cooks and cleans. I hang his laundry and do his shopping, my womanhood sacrificed on the altar of his comfort. He wastes no affection on me. Weeks will pass without a kiss, the merest sign of matrimonial contentment, let alone anything greater. Sex requires too much time and exertion more fruitfully spent on other activities.

And so we close our eyes, my lover and I, each yearning for the ones who vowed before God and Man to have, hold, and love us until death do us part to do exactly that. We close our eyes and have each other in the way that lets us both stay in those marriages. Sweet kisses temper the bitter truth that a marriage can last longer than the love that inspired it.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Perhaps the last bit of creative writing you'll see from me

So, I've been fiddling about with this creative writing for a while now. It comes in fits and starts - more fits recently - and this whole "bien aime" business has gotten a bit stale. So, I'm fictionally saying goodbye to him. I had this strange epiphany about it at Target the other day when I was trailing Miss Peanut around the dollar section, watching her select bits of cheap tat on which to spend her allowance and thought that, you know? it was really time to be done with this.


Crying doesn’t help. It doesn’t take away the humiliation, the feelings of failure and inadequacy, or the helplessness you feel at being unable to smile. Crying doesn’t remove that nagging ridicule gleefully dancing a malicious flamenco on your psyche with its pointy stiletto heels. Crying resolves nothing, fixes nothing, and helps no one.

Finger-pointing is equally unproductive. After all, I am the only person in the room. I am the guilty one: guilty of prolonging the affair long past its viability; of placing more value on it than it deserved; and of assuming too much about my place in his life. Granted, I didn’t act alone, but there is no one but me who can take the blame for my actions.

I was the one that initiated our trysts. I was the aggressor. I sought him out when I felt lonely, and hinted, intimated, slowly seduced him into my arms. If he had qualms, I crushed them. I inveigled and invited, drawing him to me with promises of pleasure. What he needed to hear from me, I willingly told him, though, in my heart, I didn’t always mean it. I schemed for this man. I had to have him. And, for a short while, I did have him.

I loved sliding my arms up his back while I kissed him, feeling my neck stretch as I tipped my head back for his lips to join with mine. Feeling so small, so tiny, next to his tall strength was a gift I’ve never before had. I would breathe in his scent – spicy, fresh, male – as I dropped kisses on his chest and feel intoxicated by it. The softness of his lips as they twisted with mine made me shiver with need, and the silken swipe of his tongue anywhere was enough to raise gooseflesh.

Later, pulling groans from him as I used my mouth to tease his proud member or sheathing him inside me to ride astride, I would feel triumphant, powerful. He filled me completely, with not a fraction to spare. Pushing, grinding, swirling my hips produced twin moans from us both. His strained exhortation to slow down would drive me to use my hand to gently massage my own proud flesh so that we could finish together. Rocking slowly, incrementally, I teased myself with him, loving the friction and his sheer size, waiting for the moment when I felt the wildfire begin to coalesce at my knees. Streaking its way towards the point where my hand would be working, it bathed my whole body in its fulminating warmth. Stars exploded behind my eyes as I collapsed, helpless, on his chest where his final shout still reverberated.

But no more do we meet. No more do we talk. All communication is ended, and I am bereft. Our orbits, which once intersected, are now completely separate. Part of me feels discarded, left behind, destroyed. The greater part of me, though, feels resigned and calm, even. That is the part of me that believes that I can move on from this. That I can learn from it. That someday, I will no longer be sad that this part of my life is over, but will instead smile because it happened.

Labels: , ,