Tag Archives: Flirting

Flashback Friday: Help Desk

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[Today’s installment from the past includes my momentary brush with NPR fame, a continued online flirtation with a visiting writer, and concern about my feet. If I had a time machine, I probably wouldn’t go back go to early 2006.]

 

12 April 2006

The iMac carcass is on my bedroom floor begging to be buried or turned into an aquarium, so during the computer help segment on WMUB, the local NPR station, I emailed the experts and asked if it was possible to stuff a Mac Mini into my old purple iMac case. Only the email was funny. And they laughed, which pleased me. Though perhaps my email wasn’t funny. Maybe they were laughing at me because the color of my computer matters more than Gigs or USB ports or processing speed. One of the techs said, “Why doesn’t she just buy a new iMac or Mac Mini?” and Cleve Callison, the host, said, “Well, she admits here that she is emotionally attached to her computer. And she really likes purple.” They didn’t have any answers for me and got distracted by “invisible desktops” but I got a certain amount of pleasure out of having made three guys laugh on the air.

Though I think the PC guy was snickering if you want to know the truth.

Belle and  I had dinner tonight and she asked what I’d heard from “our boy.” I had no idea who ‘our boy’ was at first, but she meant the visiting writer with the suckable lips from last month. Mr. Top 25. My phantom baby’s daddy. I haven’t heard from him because I haven’t written him since I was in Ireland. I’m trying to think of some new clever line of conversation to zip off to him. I’m just not very good at being a girl. I email him and he emails me right back, but his emails lack “hooks” and so then I go silent. I wish they would have taught useful flirting skills even middle aged women could use back when I was in Home Ec or Girl Scouts. Because in all honesty, I’ve never had to make tea sandwiches or start a campfire. It turns out you can live a big hunk of your life without having to do either or those things. But flirting? Well, I could use those skills, even at this late date.

So far I have: “Hi! How are you?!” but beyond that, zip.

Today, a student asked me what anal beads were. It was an innocent question, though I’m unsure why anything with that adjective in front of it would seem like something within a writing instructor’s field of expertise. Of twelve students, three are writing about sex and one is writing about comic books (which is sort of the same thing). Maybe the ‘laid back & open’ tenet of my teaching philosophy needs to be revisited if they are going to mistake me for Susie Bright. I just shook my head and let one of the other students do the answering.

Beyond that, today I have been obsessed with my own feet. It was warm enough to wear sandals. (Teva flip flops–a little piece of $17 heaven.) But the thing is, my feet didn’t look like mine. All day I’d look down and feel like I’d checked my feet in for a pair of bowling shoes and then, somehow, when I went to get my feet back they had been swapped for someone else’s less attractive, more worn feet. Forget the iMac. How do you rectify THAT?

Flashback Friday: Planning Ahead, Missing Out

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[This is a blog entry from the Girl Scout vault from early 2006. In case it seems I have an inconstant heart where Z is concerned,  he was home in Zimbabwe, not being my boyfriend.]

On any given day my lesson plans look something like this:

  • Discuss “Shrek” & intertextuality.
  • Do that bird exercise.
  • Have them write about that one article.

Right there, in a nut shell, is why I decided higher education was the place for me. If I taught in a high school, the administration would expect detailed, week-at-a-glance type lesson plans that spelled out exactly what I planned to do as well as the objective of the exercise. They want these, one assumes, so if you get hit by a garbage truck on the way to school, your class can continue without interruption.

I’ve never really wanted to be thought of as “easily replaceable,” so my lesson plans tend to be more along the lines of Post-It Notes stuck to the back of a recycled “Hello Kitty” folder. If I’m road kill, I want my students to flounder for a few weeks in memory of me.

I’m not a bad teacher–in fact, I think and annual reviews argue that I’m actually a good teacher. I know what I’m going to do. I know what the objective of the lesson is. But if I had to write it out, weeks in advance, it would no longer seem interesting or viable to me, so I’d have to think up a whole new set of things to do so I wouldn’t get bored. It’s more efficient in the long run to do Post-It Note planning on the drive to work.

Which brings me to my current dilemma.

Last week, a co-worker, poet, and friend, [that for our purposes I will now refer to as Belle, as in “the belle of Worcester, Mass” asked if I wanted to go with her to Ireland for Spring Break. She’s going to see her boyfriend. It’s a love story with a thirty-year interruption that I am particularly fond of, and Ireland has been a sort of surrogate boyfriend of mine over the last several years. In fact, the relationship is currently monogamous. Since I was just there in November for a week’s writing workshop with Hugo Hamilton, going again seems a bit extravagant. Also, I’m not sure if Belle really invited me or if I whined so much about going that she felt compelled to agree that I could tag along. Also, I’m not sure it’s ever a good idea to spend that much time with someone you are fond of but don’t know ALL that well. Also, I was raised with my mother’s axiom of “fish and company smell after three days.” So I’ve been torn. Mostly, I’ve been leaning towards doing the right thing–saving for a house I’ll never buy–and skipping the trip.

But then today another co-worker who just went to Dublin brought me a copy of Hugo Hamilton’s new memoir, which won’t be available in the U.S. until September, and I read the first two pages and I started longing for Ireland. Aching. Why would I NOT go to Ireland with Belle when I’ll have free lodging, will get to explore the southern bits of the country, a place I haven’t yet been. I rushed back to my office and checked Cheaptickets.com for the fare she’d mentioned to me. It wasn’t there. It had gone up $130, which pretty much pushed it out the range of do-able.

What a non-planning dumbass I am.

She stopped by and we talked about the trip I wouldn’t be taking. The things I could have done. (It turns out there’s more to do in Waterford than just the crystal factory tour.) We stretched ourselves over my Irish road map and speculated about places I could have seen.

She distracted me from my One True Love though by asking what the deal was Friday with the visiting writer, my two-day crush.

What deal?

He was flirting with you, she said.

He was? I knew I was flirting with _him_, but he was flirting with me?

Seemed like it to me, she said. He was mostly talking to you all night. He kept saying that thing about having you come down and taking you up in the chopper. I think he was flirting.

Here was me thinking my co-workers were embarrassed for me last week, flirting so pathetically with the famous writer, the author of one of the best 25 books of 2005. Here was me not knowing he was maybe flirting back. Oh, how I wished I’d have shaved my legs. Maybe I would have been bolder. Maybe, at the very least, I would have gone to Comfort Inn and pelted his windows with tiny chunks of Hoosier limestone.

There really is not any Hoosier limestone here. I said that to be poetic. I apologize.

It’s hard to live your life with no foresight. It gives you the opportunity to be spontaneous (there’s no plan to stick to), but without a plan sometimes you forget what your goals are. Fares go up, you miss a trip. Legs aren’t shaved, you miss, well, out.