Thursday, September 12, 2002

Yesterday, I was starting to go to the bathroom and once again, at an institution primarily made up of adults, I found myself looking at a toilet that some damn morons had peed all over. All over and all around. This really really upsets me (dare I say, "pisses me off"?). Every time this happens, I want to shout obscenities and write a letter to the editor of the school paper or shoot off an email to the entire school. But I have to be reasonably good.

I did start thinking, "People who do this should be forced to wear a &%^)$#! diaper. And publicly!" Then I decided this was a good idea for an essay. So last night, I started to write. Nothing really organized, but that recommendation and a couple other things. Mostly ramblings to get me started. Got about 250 words. With a bit of grace, I'll do some prewriting and maybe flesh out a bit of a plan today, and if all goes really well, I'll write a real draft.

Would like to write some poetry. Lately every time I have an idea for something, I never get to it. Want also to write a couple of humorous songs. Have an idea about one tentatively titled, "It's not you, It's me" with the speaker using that common phrase to break up with someone, but twisting it around. Maybe a line like, "How were you to know I prefer women with hair?" or "I should have told you that bitching doesn't turn me on." Where is that dang guitar?

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

There is just not enough time for the cup of coffee in front of me and the Keith Jarrett tape behind me. Well, there is, but I seem to have spent too much of it goofing off. You'd think I'd learn my lesson by now, especially when I'm trying to encourage my own students to avoid things that get in the way of a good, working writing process. Oh well.

Yesterday, I gave up on Merton. Well, sort of. A couple days ago, I was reading the book I had and I realized that despite how wonderfully it edifies me, I wasn't getting anything in, and worse, I didn't really care. I spent all that time and energy on the book and I just gave up. Finally, I turned it in. I did check out another book by Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action, and I read the introduction and the first essay. I hope that I can be a bit more consistent with reading. Reading Merton gives me a strong sense that a kind of solitary, contemplative life is possible even for a guy with five kids and all the other "things" in my life that would seem to pull it apart. I suppose this is where that concept of time comes in. I may have much to do, but I do have more time than I take advantage of.

Of course, I sometimes don't have the energy. Or the will power. I had it, to some degree, in college. And even after college, I could write with some consistency. But lately, I find myself writing and talking about writing (and reading, damn it!) than actually doing it. This has got to stop.

More later. I have to go to class.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Well, I went to two doctors yesterday. One was a sleep specialist. I'll be doing one of those damn sleep studies soon and probably have to wear a freakin' machine on my head. But I am trying to be positive about it. Certainly there is something in all this to write about. An essay? A story? Don't know. I have a lot of anger about this (What else is new?, and much of it is at myself, but I still have some for the medical community in general.

The other visit was to my regular doctor. We seem to agree that I feel better than I did a couple weeks ago and that the sleep study is going to be a good thing. Then I had the blood test. The woman who does this is very good. One hardly feels the prick of the needle. I sat in the chair and looked at a painting on the wall. It was a lake scene. There was a house with a large porch going all the way to the lake. Closer to the viewer was a little bench. Why it was at a lake I don't know, but I don't suppose it matters. I thought about how nice it would be to sit on that bench and look at the water, listening to its soft sounds and to the insects and creatures all around. All this, I think, helped me relax as the nurse drew my blood. I told her that everyone should look at that picture when getting blood, and she replied that most people don't care about paintings when that needle goes in. Oh well.

Classes seem to be going fine. I'm keeping up okay and I really like my students. They seem more energized than ever before. I wonder if that is because I took the summer off and come back much more refreshed (in some senses). Anyway, we have not had any major assignments, so I don't know how well I will keep up. I seem to do some things to reduce my work each semester and then add a couple more. Oh well, I need to get to the library.