Sunday, November 30, 2014

On Ferguson

Living where I do, here at the edge of the South / edge of the Midwest / sort of almost Texas, in what is indisputably a Red State, but nonetheless very close to a college town, though also a working class town, it's -- how do I phrase this? -- an odd experience.

Very nearly the first thing that happened after I moved here, back in 2004, was Arkansas voters passing an amendment against LGBT marriage being recognized in the state.  I remember my shock at how vehement my students -- my little baby freshmen -- were on the topic.  I remember saying in my freshmen class that there was nothing wrong with being gay, and having the class rise up in shouting and mocking fury to rebuke me.

"Yes, there is!"

"Oh, yes, there is!"  

The smug glee in their eyes as they realized they were all united against me.

Just ten years ago.

Now some of my students* -- as I'm discovering more from Facebook than from anything any of them are saying in class -- are united in their conviction that Mike Brown is a thug, that he deserved to be shot by Darren Wilson, that the black people who are protesting are looters, criminals, and probably need to get jobs.

This depresses me as much as my students back in 2004, I have to say.

Here's hoping that in 2024 I can look back on this post, as I look back on my students of 2004, and think about how much the world has changed.

*By no means all of my students.  This is a big difference from 2004, when 75% of Arkansas voted for that stupid, evil, vile amendment.  I'd say only 30 or 40% of my students, if that, are Wilson supporters.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Little Rascal!

New baby over at the Geebies!

Go here for pics!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Raising the Young Artist: New Post at Grounded Parents

I've got a new post up at Grounded Parents.

Advice (such as I have) on the care and feeding of the young artist.  This one comes to you, by the way, via the young artist herself, who suggested it.  "You know what you could write about next," she said, "you could write about what's it's like to be a parent and a writer, and to have an artist for a kid. And the thing with the burritos.  Write about that."

So here it is: Make Her a Damn Burrito.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Annual Winter Argument in the delagar Household Has Commenced

You get all kinds of advice, y'all, on how to have a happy marriage (Huffington Post says there are Thirteen Secrets to a Happy Marriage; WebMD says just two -- Be Nice and Don't Nitpick).

I am here to tell you there is one and only one true bone of contention in the Long Term Relationship.

It's the thermostat.

Y'all need to find someone whose blood runs at the same speed as your own.

Seriously, don't even mess with this one.  You can negotiate a way to get the dishes done.  You can figure out how to pay the bills.  Children or no children, well, that's serious too, I agree, and probably a deal-breaker, but you'll handle it.

On the other hand: this morning I woke up and he had the thermostat at 74.

Seventy-four, people!

"What the shit, Dr. Skull!" I shouted.

He re-adjusted his headphones and turned the volume up on his fretless bass.  (This is what I mean by negotiation, y'all.  He loves to get up at three a.m. and play his guitars.  His electric guitars.  Loudly.  We found a way around the problem.  Through it is true that a new problem -- for me, at least -- ensued.)

"Take off the earphones!  I know you can see me talking!"

"Are you making coffee, Boo-boo?" he shouted over the music.  "Will you make some for me?"

"It's 80 degrees in here!" I shouted back.  "Why did you put the heat so high!"

"I wrote a new song!  Do you want to hear it?"

I stomped off to put the heat on 55.  Which is where it should be.  People aren't meant to be baking in the middle of winter! (Of course I'd also like the house to be at about 55 in the middle of summer, but that's another argument.)

I also made him some coffee, because I'm a good wife.

About an hour later, he came wandering out from his Man Cave, looking disgruntled.  "It's freezing in here.  What did you put the heat on?"

"Wear your slippers," I said sweetly.  "It's the middle of winter."

Thursday, November 06, 2014


My kid has finally cussed in school.

At least it was the GD word and not the f-word.

Which, you know, being as she is my kid....

It was also Latin class, and not some more dangerous class, so she didn't get in serious trouble.

While we're here, I will share a little story about my kid I ran across in my journal, while hunting for some information I needed (we are signing up for a new insurance plan [THANKS, OBAMA!] and I needed the exact date I started working at the university, which, you know, who remembers that?).

This is from when the kid was tiny, about three and a half or maybe four.  We had just moved to the Fort, and I was not yet actually working at the university -- it's about six weeks before I started -- so I had lots of time to hang with her, taking walks and such:

The kid and I walked down to cemetery the other night, so I could read headstones, one of my favorite hobbies. 
She had many questions (not the least of which was probably why have you brought me here?), wanting to know if people were still dead here, if they had turned to fossils or whether they might be rotting, and whether Grandpa Marvin was buried here. She also wanted to know what would happen if I died.
“We would bury you here,” she said, “and then draw some words in stone and put it by your grave, and Daddy and I would come to visit, and Daddy would say, there’s my wife.”
“And how would you feel?” I asked.
“I would be very sad. You shouldn’t die.”
“I’ll do my best.”
“You should live forever, like me.”
“I’ll live as long as I can,” I told her, which was what Charlotte said to Wilbur, so it satisfied her.

Monday, November 03, 2014

New Grounded Parents Post

My new post is up at Grounded Parents.

It's about the kid's troubled experience reading Merchant of Venice, among other texts.

Go here to read it: This Jew Bleeds: Your Kid and Problematic Reading Assignments