Wednesday, February 02, 2011

everyone's talking about the weather, but it's not because there's nothing else to talk about; it's more that the weather itself is pretty unusual. a foot or two to the north, the west, and the south, thundersnow, snowmageddon, this kind of stuff is unusual even in the midwest. of course we are so far south, and so far east, that it barely pushed us around, but it has been snowing for several days, these enormous flakes that go mostly sideways and never really land, or, if they do, never really pile up. and it is pretty cold out there, at least for here.

i was thinking about how important blogging is to me, but i realize that i have very few genuine readers and i'm not climbing up the popularity charts. there's so much i don't say, because i don't want to; i fiercely protect the privacy of my wife and kids, who don't especially want me blabbing anything, and yet they are just about my whole life so if you really wanted to know how's it going or what i do all day, that would just about cover it. and then there's work; if i were brutally honest about that, everybody would be reading this maybe, but i would be using my blogging skills to find another job, since brutal honesty would clear me out of my protective bubble that i use to enjoy the place and the teaching, day in, day out. it's actually enjoyable, i'm in a time i'd call grammargeddon, i'm making or overseeing six or seven grammar exams throughout the program, so it's pretty busy. people cheat like fish. they don't know grammar. they have trouble reading. we fly through our book. they can't believe we don't slow down and walk them through everything.

the snow blows sideways everywhere, and gets up into the door handles of the van which means we load children through the back or the front sometimes, and that's not good, but kia says more doorhandles are in the mail and the whole thing is a big recall disaster with busted doors all over winter country. the kids actually like it but the problem is, they have to crawl over so much junk to get in and out that all kinds of stuff is endangered, kinds of food that are balanced precariously on jumper cables, old cans of soda that could spill and cause spontaneous generation. in chicago, where people abandoned their cars on lakeshore drive, where the airport's been closed for days and where they had a high of minus nine, i imagine i would have survived, but i'd have trouble abandoning a car, don't know what i'd do without it. abandogeddon, i guess....the end of the world as we know it.

so, i don't tell you about the boys, i don't tell you about work; i don't tell you university gossip although i can tell you, whether you shoe the horse or shovel after it, a one-horse town pretty much has the same smell all over it, and a plentiful supply to keep us all shoveling for years to come; the latest is about some ag guy who got way up into one of the highest posts, second only to the chancellor, and then apparently seemed to just lose it and bail on the job; i of course have no idea, never even met the guy, small town that it is, and can only say that the official story made very little sense. let's also say that down where i am, a million things to do and no time to do it, i blog to let off steam, to keep the creative juices from gasping their last breath, whereas up there, plenty of time but lots of pressure, you have to keep a lid on it so tight, you like to pop just about anytime. and that's how i am now; it's time for bed; i sleep late and wake early, practice music and do dishes & laundry, try to recharge my cell phone for simplicity's sake, if i didn't have one it would be cellphonageddon. bottom line: when the smell of horse looms over one's life, like a pitchfork in a moralistic grant wood painting, then the fantasies that slip out one's side window when the snowplow salt truck comes the other way, crowds you into the shoulder, that's what you're going to hear about. i actually think about my writing a little, this happens when i swim, which i do at noon regularly, or at least as often as possible, but my shoulders have been hurting from a rollerskating accident about a month ago, and you're not going to hear about the long slow road of having it ache but basically put itself back together again, right before i teach four hours in a row or all hell breaks loose and eases up around nine or ten at night; sometimes the clocktower is bonging way up directly above the pool, but i don't hear it, deep in the bowels of the building where the pool's own machinery drowns out the sound. it's clocktowageddon, because if i don't make it there by noon, it's about all over in terms of getting enough exercise to make the whole thing worthwhile, but, the fact is, with the snow blowing around the way it is, the whole town all blizzarded up and trying to keep the power on, and contain the heat, a little ache is the least of my worries, and jammed-up van doors, that's just security, barely even worth writing about. it'll be van-doorageddon, the end of the world as we know it, if that last door freezes up, and i need a 'stention cord and a hairdryer, just to get started in the morning.


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