Saturday, January 08, 2011

although fourteen degrees, above, is not really all that cold in the big picture, to us here in southern illinois it seems very cold, and gives me an excuse to stay home and not even go out in it. of course someone has to run the kids around, as they have play dates and stuff to do, but today my wife did that and i got to stay home, run the exercise machine, and have vegemite toast and grapefruit juice. in addition i sewed pillows, sorted out old mail and wrote an article; this one was called in a perfect world and was about student acquisition of present perfect as in structures like i have lived in carbondale for sixteen years. of course if you say that sentence over and over again, enough, you learn it just fine, but i never tell my students that, and instead let them suffer and keep coming back around for more teaching, until finally they get it the hard way, and some of them of course have been here sixteen years also.

yesterday i wrote negotiate with the elephant, which is about a different topic, namely technology, but the elephant can in fact be anything, including an overweight problem that has been dogging me for years. 222- is that obese? for a guy like me, maybe or maybe not, but it could be less, or fewer, and that's why i get on that exercise bike and count the rotations. this is in a pretty corner of our addition; it's open, and has windows, and nice posters and all, and i kind of fill the place up with sweat and suffering as i count my way up through two thousand and up to four. it's kind of like riding a bicycle for a couple of hours but i don't have to fill up the tires with air, and i see the same scenery, it doesn't change much unless the starlings take to flying around the back yard.

on break as we are, we saw the news right away about the shooting in tucson, but i agree with the guy who said the place was pretty darn polarized for a place that lets anyone carry guns, and i got sick of even thinking about it. the most bizarre news really was the earthquake in kokomo, but that was what, a couple of weeks ago and i let it get by me without comment, though it lodged in my brain and even now i'm saying, kokomo? what's up with that? san francisco had one, and we all know that probably happens all the time. want something to get jittery about? dead fish, dead birds, plopping down out of the sky and landing on stuff? at one point i felt like saying i agree with those folks who said the world was ending for sure, but then i decided against it. maybe it is, of course, but what would be the point talking about it? might as well write my articles, quick.

then my wife points out to me an expression that folks say around here, hadn't ought to, and i'd never heard it, or at least never thought about it, and this surprised her, that there was any kind of dialectical thing that i was unfamiliar with. but, sure enough, it was real, and, sure enough, as far as i could remember, i'd never run across it, even once. northerners think it's southern, but southerners deny that it is, so i conclude that it's mountain english, though i lived in pittsburgh for a while and never heard it there, as far as i know.

with such little time left on break, i should get to some of my goals, although i've done ok on some of them. i've restored a lot of my own writing; i've set up a site for my stories; i've made myself a private e-mail, which, if i get it together, i'll use more often for private stuff. but i've yet to finish paper copies of my two sets of stories- wal-mart stories, and pile of leaves, stories of a rake. what i really want to do is market these on kindle & e-books, but i have a ways to go in that direction. and what i'd like to do beyond that is market esl stuff there in the same way; this might take a while, but would be well worth it. and in fact i have plays, and some other stuff that i could get up on the e-market. but it's break. first goal: get some rest. kick the cat out of the bed, roll over, & go back to sleep. make popcorn & actually watch a movie with the boys. i've done some of this stuff, including going roller skating and getting injured, but i still have a bit more to do; i'm not done yet. my wife asked if i'd gotten cabin fever yet, but i haven't: most of the year, i'm too busy to do anything but be exhausted in this house, and now, finally, construction is done, the house is big & pretty, and i can live in it for a change. i don't care much for what's on tv, or the news, or even the weather report; what's the difference? the days roll past, the kids get bigger, literally beneath my eyes, and i, for once, can open the mail.

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