Monday, April 26, 2010

Sidewalk of Dreams

Sidewalk, I can walk on you for miles. You start at my doorstep and stretch out to every corner of this little town. Every house that I pass has the porch-light turned on, and the telltale blue flicker of a television playing out its stories behind each set of curtains.

I wonder why I don't watch more television, then I realize it's because I spend my free time sitting in front of a computer screen. It's all the same then; everywhere I look, we're watching screens. When I've got a moment to spare, I'll check my cellphone for messages: another little screen, but this one fits in my pocket.

Consequently I use my cellphone as a type of 'soft' flashlight when I go stumbling through the house at night, not wanting to turn on any lights since there's always a person sleeping on the couch. Don't want to wake them. And always a different person each night, which strikes me as another novelty of this place.

Another novelty is the communal coffee pot. I've timed myself to wake up fifteen minutes after my wife's father, so I can descend on the fruits of the coffee pot with none of the involved work (little that there may be: pour in water, coffee grounds, push button-- but whatever). "Gentle Opportunist" is the name I used to give myself, proudly beaming. That is, until I stumble in to find that the coffee has, in fact, been made but none is left for me. And then I feel insulted, snuffed, as it were, by fate, and/or my housemates. How dare they.... ?

What does it mean that we look into screens all day for work, recreation, and utility? What would be the response if I traveled a hundred years into the past to visit an ancestor; and he asked what we did all day in the future, and I answered, "We look at screens! It's awesome!"?

These sidewalks, they remain largely unused from what I've seen. But at least they're handicap accessible.

it is what it is

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ghetto Marquee

Came into school early today to get some work done, namely hiding behind a computer screen and devising cruel technical demonstrations for my students. *diabolic laughter*

Also going to a town hall meeting in an hour to hear about what Ohio law-makers are planning to do about human trafficking and sex slavery both locally and internationally. Should be an informative and productive event. Our pastor is one of the speakers tonight. I'm curious to hear him talk. I'm guessing a public forum would be a bit of a jump from standing in front of his congregation.

Anyway.... gonna go find something to eat. Chalk this class planning session as a moderate success and try again tomorrow.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Letters to the Void

I find myself less inclined to write about my feelings these days. Funny how that works: the things for which I've been pining get shuffled back into my life and my response is to shut down the transmitter and retreat to the most furtive and dark basements to mull over events there.

Anyway, I couldn't grasp these feelings even if I wanted to; they're slippery little fishies, a flash of glittering silver scales in the sun. Running with that metaphor, here's one that leaped clean out of the water and into the boat. It flopped around for a moment then just lay there, mouth gasping for air, bug-eyed and alien. What the hell am I looking at here?

This one walked right off the paper. Couldn't stop it if I wanted to; a creeping construct of literary refuse. Thankfully I have friends who are more than willing to dispatch these idle notions before they can do damage. I watched in maddened glee as they were struck down, one after another, burned by fire, hacked apart by a variety of cutting implements, and refuted by clever puns.

here comes the three-hole-punch!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sitting on Stone Steps

Word to the wise: skipping meals and sleep combined with downing coffee all night long makes everything look edible. Why does the very act of typing this give me a weird deja vu fit? Odd.

Also, in unrelated news, my computer is working again. Came home to find it functioning good and proper. Amazing. I was on the cusp of reloading the OS.

Apparently I won some small victory in the ongoing psychological war against the machines... for now. Stop texting while you drive, dummies. I can't fight them on my own.

So get this; today for class we critiqued my students' projects. And about an hour into class the network fails. All but one computer, off in the corner: this girl's account magically stayed active. She was my lifeline. I rerouted some resources (i.e. fancy way of saying unplugged; replugged stuff) to her Mac, and behold! ... it worked for about fifteen minutes. Then that stopped working. More rerouting ensued.

To stall for time, I announced some greater force was at work here, undermining our every effort to have class. My students suggested it was God, and leered, hungry to see which direction I would goad the conversation. My reply was stern, haunted: "This isn't the work of God. There's a real malice behind these IT failures. Some dark force is responsible... EVIL!" (cue laughter from students)

I played this game with them throughout the evening, every time something went wrong, (yes, even mouse failure) I masked my total lack of control over the situation with some joking. 'Look at this hand; not that hand. Ooooooh shiny quarter.'

So a pretty rough night, but good. On the brighter side, I'd imagine teaching a drawing class would be boring as hell compared to this circus.

love this job