Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sell the car???

I just got off the phone with my mom and I want to crawl in a hole and hide. I have been told about all the various ways my plan to move is needlessly stupid and expensive. Ugh. Why do I call them then? Well, in some ways it is better to call preemptively rather than get any more annoying phone messages left on the machine. I think I need a drink.

(Also, it is hot and sweaty here. Just thought I should fit that into my litany of complaining. That is all.)

So, my mom thinks it is stupid for me to fly the cats across the country, and expensive. And yes, it is. But really, I don't want to be trapped in a car with screaming terrified cats for five or six days. I'd rather hold that down to about a day. And, as I have mentioned before, almost all cheap motels these days have bedframes that cats can run and hide under, and no door to the bathroom that I can lock them up in, which means if you let them out of the carriers at night, you have a very stressful 30 or 40 minutes every morning of chasing down the cats and dismantling furniture to get at the cats and then cramming them into the carriers, and then you go drive 8 or 10 hours. Meh. I do not want to do that.

But driving across the country without cats sounds like a fun little road trip, right? My mom thinks it is the Stupidest Idea Ever. She thinks I should just sell the old car here (it is a 2002 car, but not that much miles on it) and buy a new car in The Hot Place. Really? Uhhhhh! That sounds so tiring! I would have to deal with the hassle of figuring out how much the car was worth and who to sell it to and how I was to get the money (I assume tons of crazy paper work too, with switching over the title and all?) and then still dealing with a rental car and another plane trip and then shopping for a new car on the other end. Gah!

But then, now that she has worn me down and made me want to take a cold bath and hide under the covers with an alcoholic fruity drink (ok, this is also partly due to the heat), I am looking at the amount of work to plan out 5 or 6 days of driving and mapping and being bored by all that empty countryside which will also probably be very hot and unforgiving and eating crappy fast food and sleeping in crappy motels where the window unit smells like mold, and I don't want to do that either. Really I think it is just that I am tired and everything in the world seems horrible and overwhelming right now. But as long as I am avoiding making any decisions I might as well put it to you for a vote: sell the car or drive it across the country?

Really if you could find me a bright purple car the choice would be obvious. Or, you know, something like this.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Choosing anthologies???

What about choosing anthologies, you may ask. Pffft if I know. I haven't been working at a place that allowed me to choose my own textbooks. Tell me everything you know about anthologies and how to choose them. Pleeze!

As you might guess, I got my teaching schedule. It consists of freshman comp, and the other freshman comp (surprise! it is a community college, after all). They break up the emphasis of the required comp stuff differently than I am used to, which will take a little adjustment. Basically,  one class is like both of our comp classes here in Postdoc City (sob), where they go over writing essays and then do a long research project. So my old 101 experience is actually their remedial class. You should be ashamed of yourselves, Postdoc City School! Then the other comp class is "advanced" rhetoric and argument and is based around literature. Holy flying metonymy Batman! I have been so used to not teaching lit and re-vamping my focus to be all Writing Across the Disciplines and don't-bother-trying-to-justify-literature,-just-give-the-authorities-what-they-want, that I am completely confused by the idea that I would teach literature in a comp class. Hmm.

Soooo...books. I should probably have them for the class, no? I was forwarded some of the course description stuff from accreditation and it lists some anthologies that instructors tend to use. I think there might be a copy shop where I could make my own collection and have students pick it up, but let's hold off on that idea until I have actually been there, and know where it is and how that whole process works (Side note: how do you order textbooks for your class, anyway? Please inform.)

Looking back at those suggested books, should I play it safe and use one of those? Choose a different one I like better? How do I figure out if I like one anthology better than another? And how should I get hold of a sample copy? I see that Postdoc City U's library, being stupid and underfunded in all things, also does not have any of these textbooks. I would order my own from the publishing rep but ... how fast would it get here? I think I would have to send it to The Hot Place instead ... I am all over and back and forth and then driving all around the country in the next few weeks, so I don't think ordering the desk copy would actually help me get hold of it in any way. Huh.

In sum: tell me about anthology/textbooks, especially the argument or argument/research based freshman comp textbooks or the "intro to literature"/literature in the freshman comp class type anthologies. What do you like? Not like? Any things I should watch out for? What do you think a good anthology/textbook needs or should do? What does it not need to do? I think I will make a separate post later all about "apparatuses" and "ancillary materials" and why would you want an anthology at all in the first place, but let's just start from "so you've decided to use an anthology in your freshman comp class": what does it need to do?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why is the summer not over already?

The sad truth of it is that I am probably happier and better at managing my life when I am over-scheduled than when I am under-scheduled.

My lease isn't up until the end of next month. My new lease doesn't start for weeks. I have been chipping away at the massive amount of planning required to move my cats and all my stuff (did you know that many airlines have an animal limit on how many animals can go in the cabin? And that the number is not two?? argh.) and yet I still have plenty of time. Time to freak out. Time to not be able to sleep. Time to have my stomach go all crazy on me.

My books are all packed --- except for the ones I am in various stages of reading right now, which is not an inconsiderable number --- and all my winter and teaching type clothes are packed up too. I think all the clothing except my schlobby summer Ts and shorts are packed up. So are the decorations. Most of the files, and the desk still needs organizing and packing up. As does most of the kitchen, but I'm using that stuff, you know?

Even if I were to make all the nerve-wracking decisions I needed to at once, it would only take about a day, leaving me far too much time and no ability to concentrate. I have no desire to watch movies or tv, and can only manage about 20 minutes on a book or magazine.

So I have been exploring my new town via the internet and doing lots of online window shopping. (Also, walks. Today's walk was almost disastrously cut short by a summer rainstorm. All this water falling down and lightning warnings has put a cramp in my tourist-style goodbye to Postdoc City. But I have also been too anxious to really get into traveling and vacationing.)

I even, dog help me, made pinterest boards. Now, I am not spending all my money wildly and indiscriminately, just making various idea books and wishlists. I am trying to figure out how to reconcile several clashing styles and about a million loud bright colors into one cohesive style. It is supposed to be cohesive throughout the whole house, right? Eh. I was also tagging many shiny things just because they were shiny, at one moment, and at another was tagging everything cat related because I can't find an acceptable looking cat tower type thingy. Why do they all have to be covered in ugly dingy carpet?

I know that many of you do not approve of my obsessive decorating-worrying (really, just a symptom of how I tend to approach everything anxiously and obsessively) so I won't say any more about it, just note that one of the benefits of pinterest-ing things is that it seems to work certain rooms and ideas out of my system and make me stop wanting the things that I pin, which is good. The other benefit is that I am so scattered and anxious and emailing back and forth with annoying family members and the leasing office and the chair of the new department, and then waiting for a response which will dictate the next phase of arguing and/or worrying, and that random internet shopping and pinning fits very well in the level of attention that I can currently muster.

Maybe I will compile a post of the weirdest and ugliest things I have found while interneting. Though it is a bit more work to post up a bunch of pics on the blog than it is to pin them. We shall see tomorrow night, when my ability to contemplate this whole moving debacle is exhausted again.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ok, I'm all ready!

He got in the box! I'm all done!

I can just mail off the cats, right?

Isn't he cute???? He's gonna be so pissed when he figures out what all the boxes mean.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The new job

First of all, awwww! Thank you for all the wonderful comments! Although I can't keep all those de-lurking "anonymous"s straight ---- you need to pass out numbers or nicknames among yourselves or something.

But whether or not you have a specific name or actual identity outside of the internets, I am touched and pleased by all your happiness and well wishes. Ah 'preciate yew, as they say around here.

But I won't be here for much longer! I get to move back out Westward, towards my parents and family, which is great ... and into a place that I'm not sure had all that many applicants. It's ... well, a small community that is a whole like like this place where I am here, it seems. Lotsa meth, tea partiers and inbred jokes. And secession attempts. And I'm not saying that in disgust or to denigrate the area, just to say that these issues are there. Just like they are here. And besides, it should be clear by now that I am on the side of the underdogs and always appreciative of the shitbirds, if not willing to actually live like them.

But anyways, this place, it seems like it has a lot of nice things going for it while still being a bit rural and economically depressed, which is probably describing a whole lot of America these days. I am hoping that it will be a pleasant place to live even though it is pretty hot. In fact, it is already very hot, more hot than I expected, and I am a teensy bit worried about that. Like already hit 113 hot. I am thinking of naming it The Hot Place, if I don't come up with a better name on the blog.

But there is some good stuff at The Hot Place ---- it has a job for me, (which is awesome) and it has a few things like some roads and some big open stretches of hot seeping asphalt and piles of dirt and lizards and lumps of crap that had tried to be farms and some buildings. Some of these buildings even have stuff inside them, like a community college. So that's where I'm going to go work. In fact I have already started my preparation by watching episodes of Community.

I can take Senior Chang as my pedagogical model, right? Because that's awesome and totally the whole reason I took the job. I better be allowed to, because I watched a few episodes of Breaking Bad and I'm really not sure I can model myself after that kind of academic:

On the bright side, writing a teaching philosophy and end-of-the-year statement of accomplishments will be so much more entertaining for myself if I am compare-and-contrasting these two models and writing in the voice of these shows. Excellent. I'm set on my self evaluations already.

Now, you might be asking, hey, when are you moving? Well, I don't know. What are you teaching? Well, I don't know that either. When do you have to turn in your book orders, and when do they want to you to show up for orientation? Dude, I respond to your hypothetical questions, I don't know!!!! Why do you have to be so annoying? They are not telling me anything yet. I guess they are all busy with actual stuff and are not sitting around with nothing to do, like me. I have to get on that, along with all sorts of annoying calling-people-and-figuring-out-a-new-place-to-live stuff. I hate doing that.

And how, you might ask, but much more tentatively since I just about took your head off there a paragraph ago, do you plan to move your stuff and your cats and your car? Well, I haven't quite figured out a plan exactly yet,

but I have some preliminary ideas.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Announcement

Push play here and keep reading.




















Some people have actually had the insanity to offer me a permanent job.  And I said hells to the yes, bitches.

Signed, sealed and delivered even.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pollen argh

I have felt so yecccch the past few days. Itchy eyes, drippy nose like a faucet, lassitude, bleah. And I have been taking my clairitin religiously too! It feels like my days when I don't remember to take it, which makes me worried if I do inadvertently skip a day.

There is a massive bush, tree, hedge of evil, whatever you might call it, blooming right next to my front door.  I think that either my AC filters need cleaning or there is just so much pollen coming off these suckers that it is getting in here anyway. I have to run the windshield wipers for a few minutes every time I get in the car because the whole front is solid yellow. Grumble grumble grumble.

I think I might actually feel better when I leave the house (I have been following the general rule to stay inside, away from the allergens, when I feel this crappy), as long as I go to one of the big box superstores surrounded by a moat of concrete. Campus, with its oasis of lovely hundred-year-old trees, is no better than home. Of course, this defeats the purpose of being out here this summer ---- all the lovely hiking and nature-experiencing I would theoretically like to do. And today has cooled off to a lovely 80 degrees, which is totally doable outside. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is for lightning, so I have another reason not to go outside. I wish there was rain forecast too, as it might wash the pollen out of the air a bit, but alas, that does not seem to be in the works.

To make things even worse, I went and bought sodas and didn't even think to bring back chips and salsa! What was I thinking? I guess I could sit around and snack on this fresh fruit and salad, but where's the fun in that? Meh. Sniffle. Meh.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Random cat and flea question

My cats are indoor-only cats. But I did have that situation where they picked up fleas that one summer --- I think the front door doesn't fit quite as tightly sealed as I'd like. I put them on the flea treatment (and had the joys of cleaning and cleaning and cleaning until I got rid of the damn fleas) and kept them on it for a very long time (probably over a year), and eventually just stopped going back and buying more, since the vet-prescription stuff is expensive.

Their annual vet visit is coming up again soon --- should I put them back on the flea treatment, considering it is now summer and all? Or just not do anything about it right now? Suggestions, advice?

Also, I am contemplating how to clean my damn fuzzy blankets, the ones the cats love to lie on. I don't feel like running them through the laundry yet again. I may have to vacuum them *and* run them through the laundry though, they are so hairy. Tell me the best way to deal with silly cats and their shedding!