Friday, June 29, 2007

It Had a Lot of Flavor, But It Was All Pea.

Usually I totally understand Dan’s crushes. Natalie Maines: Yes. Ashley Judd: Obviously.

“Sporty Spice is off the list now,” he told me last night, “but Baby Spice is totally on it.”

And I think that’s a good edit.

But I do not understand his fascination with the host of Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi. Padma seems smart and nice. She seems to have a discerning palate and contributes nicely to "Judges Table." Overall, I think she does a swell job of hosting the second-best reality show on television.

But, she’s not hot. She’s actually kind of emaciated, I think; her wardrobe is questionable, and in some shots, her face looks somehow just not quite right.

“Look,” I said emphatically, as we watched this week’s show, “she looks kind of like a reptile right now.”

“Yeah,” Dan replied without a pause. “A hot reptile who I’d like to have sex with.”

Excellent. I guess there are some things we don’t need to understand about one another for our marriage to continue.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Latest

The latest obsession is knights. He reads about knights, dresses up like a knight, pretends every ordinary household object is a medieval weapon, rides the armrest of the couch to practice jousting, and requests that we both “get angry and spring to action!!”

Yesterday, when I picked him up from school, he was running around the playground with a bucket on his head while brandishing a shovel. This behavior was tricky to explain. Actually, I sort of feigned ignorance.

Photo credit: Dobby

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Vacation Report

So, Santa Fe rocks. On the morning of our second day, I told Dan I’d like to live there someday, and he looked at me like I was insane.

Because, of course, everybody knows that Minnesota is The Promised Land and should you desire to be closer to God, all it takes is a dip in one of our 10,000 pristine lakes. Or a quick trip to the State Fair.

But then, that evening we sipped cocktails on the patio of a partner’s sprawling adobe sanctuary on the mesa, where we gazed at the sun setting behind the Sangre de Cristos mountains, and he was singing a different tune.

The next day we conquered the rapids on the Taos Racecourse, which was way fun. On the way to the rafting drop-off point, the guide asked us why we’d all gotten together for the weekend.

Someone said, “To gain weight and be drunk.”

That’s mostly true. I also think it was provide an incentive to keep them working so goddam hard.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Under a Sky of Azure

Dan and I are headed to Santa Fe tomorrow. He has some work to do, and I’ll be devoting myself to lounging. Lounging and also digging the chilled-out Southwestern Vibe.

There will be some river rafting, a Wild West night, and a bit of gallery hopping. Plus a book club meeting on Death Comes for the Archbishop, which isn’t as bad as I feared.

Instead of joining us in The Land of Enchantment, Shef will run his grandparents ragged at the cabin in Wisconsin. I’ll miss him a little; although I won’t miss his defiant streak:

“We had a rough morning,” he explained to me on the way to school, after the worst was over.

“Um hmm,” I said. “And why was that?”

“Because,” he said nodding, “I was not cooperating with you.”

I’ll be cooperating with myself until Sunday.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Status Report

This summer, so far, has been too busy. There has been party-planning, house-cleaning, sitting in the f’ing Department of Motor Vehicles and attempting unsuccessfully to be seen in the urgent care clinic.

Tomorrow, I do have a few jobs to do; but I plan to carve out a chunk of time to devote to watching Entourage. I’ve never seen it and I’ve been told it’s entertaining.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

And My First Summer Reading Book Will Be...

Death Comes For the Archbishop by Willa Cather.

Yeah. I know.

It's just that I couldn't see any way out of the Book Club meeting at Dan's law firm retreat next weekend, seeing as I'm an English teacher and all.

I'll let you know how it is. I'm sure I'll like it at least as much as I liked My Antonia.

Which was not at all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Year Is Over

It was a year of ups and downs, all of which were more manageable because of my teaching pals, Rachel and Tim, whose rooms conveniently flank mine and who cheerfully tolerate my mercurial disposition and all-too-frequent use of the f-word.

Today, Tim came into Rach’s room, where I was wiling away the moments until the goodbye luncheon, to hand over her summer viewing assignments. She’s teaching a couple of sections of Art of Film next year, and I guess she should be familiar with the ins and outs of the western, film noir, and screwball comedy.

“This one,” Tim said, holding up Bringing Up Baby, “I show out of spite.”

We laughed.

“I mean, the kids hate it, but it’s kind of funny,” he continued. “Katharine Hepburn is kind of annoying, but Cary Grant? Seriously. Even I think he’s hot.”

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's Going to Be a Great Summer

Shef: I’m going to need some new sunglasses.

Me: Aren’t they still in your kayak?

Shef: No.

Me: Where are they?

Shef: They’re in the deep water.

Me: They fell in the water?

Shef: Yes.

Me: While you were kayaking?

Shef: Yes.

Me: It was an accident?

Shef: No.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Ginger, Get the Popcorn

I said adios to two classes today. They took their final exams and will be swiftly on their way to junior year. Some shook hands or hugged. Others just gave a shout or wave from the door. Some slunk out without acknowledging the end. Dylan, who had an unfortunate plagiarism episode a week-and-a-half ago after a year of small steps forward and the slow and painful realization that "fuck" is not an appropriate word for the classroom, wrote me a heartfelt note in the back of his Blue Book: “I want you know I love you as a teacher,” he said. “I have a ton of respect for you as a person and as a teacher. I’m sorry I cheated, and I’ll never do it again.”

Good enough for me.

Monday, June 4, 2007

It's Big Block of Cheese Day

I’m not sure what to say as I’m coming down the homestretch. I’m actually going to miss most some of these sophs. They’re cute and kind of earnest. We’ve gotten along for the most part. Still, there’s a lot to grade, and a lot of it is half-assed and crappy. The sophs, it seems, are readier for summer than their teacher, who becomes depressed when sitting idle, but remains happily distracted from her woes while trucking along at a breakneck pace.

In this trying time I’ve reverted to Aaron Sorkin. Dan and Rachel have been aiding and abetting my addiction. At home, we’ve been watching Sports Night, a show on which the two lead characters are named Dan and Casey. Dan and Casey! Like us, only I’m an initial KC who prefers to be pronounced as a real Casey.

And at home and abroad (at Rach’s house), I’ve been re-living season one of The West Wing, a show I loved so much I thought my heart would burst if I wasn’t home on Wednesdays at eight o’clock from 1999-2004.

I’ll let you know if anything exciting happens between now and Friday.

There’s bound to be at least one thing, I suppose.