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Long day at school. I cannot rationalize with a sixth-grader. Some days they are funny and behaved. Love them dearly, but not today. Good teachers can have bad days, right?More broken computers at school to fix also. Jillian leaves for Columbus tomorrow (early!). I wish I could go with her. I want to see Ohio. I want to go back to school too. Hiding in academia. Wanting to study and speak and write for a life. I think of too many things: wedding, money, moving, grad schools, war. Too much stress. Thank god for Jillian. She makes my life heaven.
She flew away this morning. I am ridiculous for feeling terrible. Only three days. When we started out - cross-country relationship - planes were the thing. I fly there. We get a couple days. I fly home. We both cry on the phone. Now we live together, and this is the first time apart. The plane simply reminds me of how awful it used to be. Tonight will seem better. Keep myself busy. Relax and unwind. Call her. Just pray that she's safe. Unlike her, I am terrified of planes. Deep down, though, I know that it's all irrational fear.
Isn't McCarthyism less about a witch hunt and more about using the heightened fears of the public to get what you want? Essentially, McCarthy was a power-hungry slob who (for a brief time) held the country in suspense with his Red Scare. His methods were so ruthless and ultimately reckless that he failed in his quest. I present to you that we are in a renewed age of McCarthyism. A witch hunt, yes, but more so a snow job on the American public as to what's really going on. Exacerbate our fears and then tell us you'll protect us. Assholes.
Sitting up late. No school tomorrow. Jillian's in Ohio. Haven't had a night like tonight since the February. No responsibilities or alarms. Hate it. Wish I still smoked sometimes. Watched more anti-corporate propaganda this evening. My inability to reconcile my left wing politics with my bleak view of proletariat power clouds my thinking. I finally switched from a documentary about environmentalists vs. McDonald's to the Florida State/Clemson game on ESPN. Maybe Homer Simpson has it right: "Can't win; don't try." I wish it were that simple. Once it's in there, it's staying. I can't abandon principals for comfort.... Can I?
Jillian's back! Columbus turned out to be great, like she had hoped. Pending admission to the university, I think we're both looking forward to heading to Ohio. I'm very tired from last night's TACA gala at Neiman Marcus. I got big-timed by two different rich people. Look, assholes, I'm a volunteer trying to help your cause. Don't look at me like I just keyed your overpriced luxury car. I must mention, too, that there were a couple of patrons that lauded the volunteers' presence and were extremely nice. In fact, one couple charged $62,000 on their card. A single charge!
Jesus, I'm so tired! Worked Cowboys game from 8am to 4pm. Standing the whole time. Bobbi and I scooped gelato to fundraise for KDog. Feels very philanthropic but I'll never do it again. Last night Jillian and I went to another shower. Got a lot of wine (drank a lot too) and food. I drank too much: 1. was still drunk when I awoke at 7am; 2. got loopy and made love late into night. Don't regret either, although I was a tore up piece of shit all day today. My god, I don't want to go to school tomorrow.
Yum. Cake. Free samples are the best part of getting married. Went with basic white with chambourd. Still very tired and wishing I could recover from the weekend. Have so much to get done this week and little time. Going to Houston on Friday to get Jillian's dress and take care of Leann, who's having a root canal. ArtSpirit wants me to write a stage adaptation of Karen's AIDS in Africa article. Bobbi's directing. Still need to get rewrites of script to GZTC for December show. Am way to far behind (let alone on wedding stuff). Tomorrow needs more concentration!
Sixth graders make me insane. Too young to care. Too old to act polite. Hormones will destroy you at that age. Felt powerless today. Every word from their mouths, another year off my life. Overall, school's been great for me. I love teaching, and aside from some bad days, this was a wise choice of careers. Getting to teach at Lakehill was very lucky I'm realizing. If we move to Ohio, I don't know that it will be as easy for me to find work in private school. Better gear up for a possible move back to marketing and fundraising.
Parent/Teacher conferences today. (Woke up with blue balls. Not Jillian's doing. Just testosterone. She's really beautiful). Only 9 10-minute meetings today. And free lunch. Should get plenty done. Last night, attended reading by the author of an anti-corporate book. Fascinating. How do we overcome corporate control of society? They have media and politics and money. (Can't win, don't try)?? Have begun taking typing tests every day. Can't seem to break 60 wpm consistently. Days are long (often dull), but much happier than ever. I embrace my relative insignificance in teaching. No income goals to make. No Board appease. I'm content.
So late on logging words. It's already the 15th. Bear with me the next couple of days. Called in sick to school yesterday. Got a lot done with wedding planning. Felt slightly guilty, but I don't take "mental health" days enough. My kids are wearing me out and it's only week eight. Will feel much better when wedding is done. I function better without long-term responsibilities floating about my head. We went to Houston this weekend for Jillian's dress-fitting and to see the parents-in-law. I usually have a great time with them although weekend trips are (continued on next day...)
about my maximum time I can spend in another person's home – no matter how nice they are. Can I interrupt this thought for a little bit to talk about current events? Fuck this president. This administration for doing what they're doing to our country. I can't fathom why everyone seems in such support of a new war. Against whom? Iraq? Even if they are out to get us (which I don't claim to be a far-fetched idea), pre-emptive strikes are entirely opposite to the American ideal of justice. Innocent until guilty, right? Look, I'm not vouching for Hussein's goodness. (continued...)
I'm upset that we have a terrible economy, high unemployment, white-collar crime run amok, and massive environmental issues to deal with. Four things. So far, Bush has dealt with zero of them. There are four things on your To Do list, W, and you've not even begun any of them. It's not about liberal vs. conservative, though. The enemy here is our collective ignorance as a country. We've all become trusting of the media and suckers for PR and advertising whores. We don't allow anybody but corporately owned media outlets to tell us what's happening. It frightens me at times.
I'm done with my ranting for a while. The drive home from Houston with Jillian was perfect. I still love her immensely. She continually amazes me. We both struggle with our spirituality. There's got to be something there. I define it as Jesus, but what does that mean? She defines it more loosely, so it's harder for her I think. But she's less constrained by conventional thinking. As I drove, she read aloud passages of the Bible as we together searched for a scripture to read at the wedding. Some luck, but we spent too much time fascinated by Lamentations.
Felt great to play hookey. Haven't ever done that. Jillian and I are tired of invitations. Went hunting for paper products today -- no luck. Were both tired and cranky after only 90 minutes of it. Jillery's been down for a few days anyway. Hates her job. Her boss. Stressed with few emotional outlets. Really wish I was better at helping. But we're both busy with dancing, writing, moving, wedding, working. It's tiresome, to say the least. Can't wait to go to Hot Springs on January 5. No more wedding. No more moving. No more holidays! Just relaxation. Thank god.
Back in action at Lakehill. Pat kept bothering me about computer issues. She's so frail and has to climb two flights to get me. Wish she'd learn to use email. Afraid she'll blow away or snap in half. More frightened, though, that she'll never learn how to use her computer. Why did she get the only flatscreen in the building?! Am nervous about photography students tomorrow. Don't have a damn thing ready and Kaye is asking me if I'm prepared. No! What the hell am I going to teach these kids. It's "activity" period. Can't give a lecture. Maybe photoshop?
Finally cleaned my car out last night. Total mess. Hurt my back something fierce too. I'm getting old. It's finally showing. Got new issue of Adbusters. First, I agree with some of their stuff. Second, I love the art and design in the magazine. But I'm frustrated with how to deal with these issues. By reading Adbusters I've slotted myself as a liberal, pacifist tree-hugger. Just as a reader of the Washington Times or AndrewSullivan.com would be slotted as a hard-core right-winger. Our messages are cheapened. There must be a way to create bridges. We can't possibly disagree that much.
Jillian's seemed a bit distant this week. Not worried, just noticing. Both of us are stressed, but she seems reluctant to reciprocate any loving gestures I make to her. It's slightly frustrating since I can't really say that she's being difficult about it. I'm just physically needy this week, and she's not. Whaaaa. I'll get over it.... Mother's birthday today. Called to say hello. My 3rd graders were so cute. They sang, unprompted, "Happy Birthday" to my mom. Very sweet. Sadly, they wanted to keep singing. I quickly put a halt to that. Went to be at 9:30. Too tired.
Another big Happy Hour. Even bigger crowd this time. Had two margaritas and a beer and most of Ms. Dinger's cheap red wine that she wouldn't drink because the creepy man who knew her name bought it for her. The rain was torrential. Jillian and I spent an evening playing Trivial Pursuit (with pizza and wine) at Caryn's place. She and Jeff are already talking openly about marriage-related things. It's only a matter of time. We're in panic time about our invitations, but Jillian got the paper ordered, so that's a little pressure taken off. Can't wait until it's over!
Got to see Paul Taylor's new piece (Dream Girls) at Eisemann Center in Richardson. Such a pretty building – so strange it's in Richardson. Taylor was there in person. A curtain call with his dancers. Always exciting to see a stage legend. Went out for drinks with Jillian's friend Tracy and Aussie hubby Heath. Talking politics: Heath made the best point I've heard in a while: Americans are the most paranoid people in the world. Our media keeps us in a panic and frenzy. Enough with the sniper! No more child kidnappings! Shark attacks were overhyped! Please leave us in peace.
Finally started working (some) on the AIDS in Africa piece. Mostly sat and read Karen's article and highlighted quotes. Getting a little nervous about how to do this piece. Crossed fingers! Jillian and I argued at dinner. She cried. Got mad. She's frustrated and stressed about work and everything else. I can't ever figure out what she wants from me: hug? psychology? emotional support? It always confuses me, and I don't treat her weaker moments correctly. Not her fault or mine. I'm just glad we both have the patience to wait it out and see what's really bothering each other.
Good day back. Got lots accomplished. Even played some. Need to keep tighter to budget, though! Talked to Kevin: painful just how far away we are politically. We have certain agreements (guns, "entitlement", free speech, etc.). But he's hard Right, and I've become hard Left. Both have thick skulls and huge egos. Becoming more tentative about politicizing with Keb. Love to argue, but am I just afraid to anger a friend. Or am I afraid my logic is weak? Probably the former. Also don't feel I can do any good up against Keb. Don't believe he'll ever change his thinking.
Keep putting off writing the AIDS script. Victoria from ArtSpirit suggested calling the production "‘Tsimi' Night, Holy Night," including a huge, medical journal-style subtitle. Fuck that shit. How about we write the play first? Then we name it. Going to have to fight through game 4 of giants/angels tomorrow. Maybe go to Starbucks with the laptop. Got to get started now! Not sure why they picked me to write an AIDS in Africa script. Maybe I just copy the stories down that already exist and worry about order later. Oh my god Livan Hernandez is melting down! C'mon Giants! Dammit.
Forgot my damn wallet and phone. Had to drive home during lunch (thank god it was Wednesday and I could get away). Worked for a while on the AIDS project (while watching the giants win). Have some great ideas about how to do it, but I fear obstacles tomorrow night. I am very much not in the ladies' mindset . Ultimate goal: survive this week. Get moved in. Feel better about myself. Have NOT been giving my all this week. Lacking energy, motivation, good moods, and breathing room in my sinuses. Monday is a new home and a happier day.
The AIDS/Africa meeting started out on the wrong foot. Thought Karen was going to strangle me. Thought I was going to strangle her. She didn't like my political bent on the subject. By the end of the evening, though, I knew where she was coming from. Sadly, only one week to write this damned thing. Found out too that Karen's Pulitzers were both for photojournalism at the Morning News. Explains why I'm having to write this piece… (Ideas for later: multimedia piece using actual speeches juxtaposed with audio clips and photos that contradict or supplement the monologues. Too didactic maybe?)
Still packing away. Can't wait to get out of this old apartment and move in. Jillian and I talk often about how important it is to love your home. Our new place in Oak Cliff will be easy to love, too. A non-corporate apartment. Only 5 neighbors. Hardwood floors, crown moldings, 9-foot ceilings. I cannot wait. But we're both so busy tomorrow all day that we have to wait until Sunday to do it. Jimbo is getting his stuff out of here tomorrow. God bless Jim, but I'm anxious to have our own place. I just can't do roommates anymore.
Oh God. Jimbo was up at 6am packing and moving out his stuff with Casey and Dave and Keith. Can he not wait? I wanted to scream. What a long day. Open House for me. Two performances for Jillian. We had counseling with Diana this morning – which I have come to enjoy doing. We all learn so much about each other, and mostly it gives me so much confidence in our upcoming marriage. I think we actually have our shit together. Went out late to watch "Punch Drunk Love." Good movie. Very upsetting though. Mass-consumption culture is depressing to me.
Fingers, feet, head, back, eyes hurt. Took all day. Moving still isn't done yet. Through all the physical pain, I'm happy. Happy to have a new home. One that's all ours – at last! A home in a neighborhood, not a complex. A home away from roommates. Out of the suburbs. Jillian and I can barely contain our excitement (but being totally exhausted helps). Sadly, I have lost my cell phone. Our land line isn't connected until tomorrow. Desperate to call in sick to Lakehill. But I have no phone or internet. Damn. I'm so underconnected right now and it's annoying.
Wish I could have taken the day off. Actually, it really wasn't bad. Kids were great. Things are fine at school. The new apartment is shaping up nicely. Jillian took a much-needed day off and cleaned things up a bit around the place. We've almost got all of the boxes emptied out. Surprisingly, we have plenty of space in our new home. It's amazing how much room Jimbo took up. Simone's still a bit nervous, but she's finally starting to unwind. For a cat, she has an amazingly calm disposition. More good news: the rabbit ears get great local reception!
Oh Jesus I hate my 6th graders. Particularly Alex Nash. Made the mistake of snapping at him and then letting him argue back. Couldn't stop the descent into chaos after that. He's like a cat: he has no correlation between crime and punishment. Get onto him about something and he looks at you and whines like he doesn't understand that he's just been humming loudly during a quiz. Disruptions aren't the problem, though. I can deal with disruptions. It's his infectious attitude. His hatred of class is bleeding onto the other students – making it tougher to control the other boys.
Field trip with the yearbook staff was great. Sometimes I feel like a fun guy but terrible teacher. Was just as bored on the tour of the plant as the kids were. Helped them waste time so they didn't have to be back for 7th period. Ate at Mariano's; let them cuss and talk smack about other faculty (only I went to the bathroom during that conversation). Can't help but feel like this is part of adolescence. They should be allowed to enjoy these things. I'd be a hypocrite if I curbed that. Maybe, though, I'm just being too soft.
Halloween Carnival was cold and long. Kids were cute, but they get violent at games that involve throwing. This evening (this is much bigger than it sounds), we bought a couch – a love seat, really. We didn't have one yet, and it was perfect: cheap, comfortable and looks great. I love our home together. I love building it up. We got a front doormat, too, with an über-pretentious Chinese glyph on it ("tranquility," I think) and wine racks. Sadly, Jillian she goes to Houston this weekend for dress-fitting. Need to get some writing done, though. So maybe it'll be good.
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