Happy Friday, all

Yeah, it's -7 degrees around here so we're housebound today. Tomorrow I'm taking Lex to go do his favorite thing: candlepin bowling. I don't know if candlepin is just a New England thing — I'd never heard of it before moving here, but to be honest, I never followed much along the bowling circuit — but it's great for little kids. We're going with his little friend Aaron, my mom, and Grandma Sherry. A couple other children might come along, too. Should be fun. Let's hope the weather warms up at least a little bit.

ok, my mood has improved

Part of what had me lagging was the fact that I've had this client's press release hanging over my head. I'd already done all the research and just had to write the thing, but I had SO much information I wasn't sure where to start. Happily, right before I fell asleep last night, the headline came to me. Viola, I just finished writing it (ahead of schedule, natch) and have sent it along for comments. Very nice.

training log 1/27

Couldn't settle down after my run-in with the Masshole (see below), so I went for a run. Did wonders for my mile time, which is down to about 12 minutes/per. And that's on a hilly road route! Three miles today. Did about 40 minutes of Wii step-aerobics yesterday. I am LOVING Wii Fit — it's perfect for inclement weather days. Highly recommended.

Massholes part 372

Yeah, I still hate it here. More today than even my usual level of hatred, which falls somewhere between incendiary and global meltdown. Here's what happened half an hour ago…

I was driving home with the boys on the street that connects the main drag with my street. It's a narrow road, and full of potholes, yet that didn't stop some jerk-off from parking his black Bronco near the curb.

As I was preparing to go around the parked Bronco, imagine my surprise when it pulled out in front of me. All of its windows were tinted so I didn't even know someone was inside, and of course they didn't have on any lights or even use a turn indicator.

At this point in my story, you need to know that my New Year's Resolution was to take Monstro's advice and yell at the people who need yellin' at. I did the vehicular version: I laid on the horn, long and loud.

Imagine my surprise when 1) the Bronco slammed on its brakes and 2) the driver got out of his car and 3) it was a cop.

Effing A. This can't be good.

So the cop, an older model, walks up to my van and I roll down my window, reasonably certain that he's not going to kick the shit out of me, but not certain of that, because lots of people get beaten up by the cops in Western Massachusetts.

“You have no business passing me here,” he said in a loud, angry voice.

“Your windows are tinted, your lights weren't on, you didn't use your blinker,” I said in a voice that wasn't quite as loud but matched his for anger. “I didn't even know you were in the car until you pulled out in front of me.

“It's a 30 mph zone here,” he said.

“I know that!” I said.

“You shouldn't pass anyone,” he said.

“You didn't use your blinker!” I said.

“Stay behind me,” he commanded.

Then he got back in his car and started driving. I waited until he was about 30 feet ahead of me until I started to drive, but at that point, he had stopped. I wondered what the hell he was going to do now, but it turns out he was just going to turn into the copy shop. He turned on his blinker this time, but then realized he couldn't pull in to the driveway because a person with a cane was in the way, so he pulled ahead to the next driveway and pulled in there.

“That made me angry,” my four-year-old said from the backseat.

“Me too,” I said. “It makes me angry when the people who are supposed to enforce the laws can't be bothered to follow them.”

I am a professor

Adjunct status be damned, as of last night I consider myself to be a full-fledged professor. Why? Because even though I had no access to the internal network (where all of my class resources are located), and no access to a copy machine (to copy the resources I'd brought with me), and no dinner in my belly, and no agreement as to which classroom was actually hosting my class, I still managed to fill three hours of course time. Phenomenal. Of course, I probably seemed like a bit of a dingbat at times, and we'll see if everybody shows up again next week, but I'm considering it a win.

words, phrases, books

Note: I started writing this months and months ago, and it's not done yet, but I don't have anything else to share today, so here it is.

Three words and a phrase I've pondered of late are revolution, to come to pass, redact, and confound:

Revolution because it's a thing, plus the way you get to the thing (revolution itself only occurs from a revolution, or turning-around, of thought).

To come to pass because it's both to come and to come about.

Redact because it's both to put in writing and to obscure or remove text from a document prior to publication or release. (Has anyone referred to the past eight years as the Redactive Presidency? Dibs.)

And confound because it means everything from mixed up to damned, and its archaic def. is to bring to ruination.

Heavy stuff. What are these words called, anyway? They're not exactly oxymorons, are they? (rhetorical question)

I want to know their rhetorical classification, because it is this rhetorical classification as well as the examples' individual meanings that weave through my three favorite books, all of which I was lucky enough to read this year: The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, Infinite Jest, and Finnegans Wake by my boyfriend, James Joyce.

In all of these works, everything has happened, and yet everything has yet to happen. People must turn and be met by others who themselves are turning, before revolution can happen. Everything's written down, but often reads like soft-focus through a Vaseline-smeared lens (that sounds dirty but I don't mean it to). They're topsy-turvy ideas (and definitions behind the words that symbolize the ideas), and yet what makes better story than opposites attracting? Better drama than A and Z locked in a room?

To that dramatic end, each book's characters also share their occupation of intimate physical spaces: dorm rooms, hospital rooms, halfway-house common areas, all the way into the golden (?) lobes of one's own mind.

(Perhaps part of my frustration (ed note: frustration being yet another definition of confound) with Gravity's Rainbow was the vastness of the roaming involved. Too vast for Slothrop's own good. GR embodies the “to come to pass” ideal, though.)

Minimalization is something that, my three favorites all share, even the one that's more than a thousand pages, with 70+

pages of footnotes.

And yet it makes my heart swell to read, as I read in my new issue of American Theatre magazine, that Beckett's Waiting for Godot is being staged in the front yard of a house flooded out by Hurricane Katrina.

my Wii is worried about me

Maybe it's because I incorrectly entered the weight of my clothes the first time I used Wii Fit. Regardless, when I hopped aboard yesterday, it told me I had lost more than four pounds in two days.

“You've already reached your goal!” Wii told me. Then it expressed concern at my rapid weight loss. Does this mean I have to buy it a Valentine's Day card?