Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Never Reading Again

David and I did something yesterday that I never thought we would do- we got cable. We didn't get the big, fancy HD cable, or even the moderately fancy 80 channel cable. Instead, we got the poor man's 10 channel, $11 a month cable. Whene I ordered it from Time Warner two weeks ago the lady on the phone said, "Basic cable? You realize that if we come out again in a month to upgrade your cable we'll have to charge you a second installation fee." I guess this sort of thing happens a lot. I told her basic was fine. Our channels include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, TBS, PBS, and CBC. Oh, and we also get the TV guide channel. I can only assume we get this channel to show us all the great TV we're missing and convince us to call immediately for a cable upgrade.

After the cable man left, I decided that some brain rotting veg time was in order. I mean, I'm out of college and don't have a job. Why do I ever need to read again? Well, in addition to all the channels already mentioned, I found that our signal picks up some free channels that have already switched over to HD. Most interesting is the Discovery Health channel. I'm sure the channel's mission statement says that it is trying to promote interest in all the wonders of medicine. However, if one watches this channel for, oh say, three hours straight, one will find that this channel is dedicated to incurable medical maladies, pregnancy complications, and obscure diseases. This channel is like the perfect storm of entertainment for any hypochondriac, and like any other horrific and compelling situation, I COULD NOT LOOK AWAY. In one show I got to see a baby born with a head shaped like a three leaf clover, a woman almost die of hemorrhaging after giving birth, and a baby born addicted to crack. Shortly after, I determined that I'm never having children. And yes, all these situations were terrible, and I don't want to make light of it. I cried, cringed, and almost puked during this show. I turned the channel a couple of times telling myself that I could NEVER AGAIN watch this channel. And yet.... I always found myself stopping on it again. Tomorrow, Discovery Health is running a show about a man who grows a tree bark like substance on his body. They call him Treeman. And I will not watch... maybe. No, I have to stop watching, seriously. I already asked David if he thought I had blood clots near my ankles yesterday. I asked because I did not rationally put together that wearing heels all day sometimes causes people's ankles to hurt.

So as you can see, cable is already making me dumber, but if you need more evidence, here it is. We were watching the news last night and a smoking cessation commercial came on. It featured a tortoise and hare reminding people that they should slowly and patiently try to quit smoking. As the turtle was flopping around in the weird way that turtles walk, I turned to David and said, "It's really sad about turtles." He asked what I was talking about. I went on to explain that turtles were like the handicapped of the animal kingdom. They walk around really slowly because the shape of their body prevents them from walking like a normal animal. "Yeah, but they have a big shell to protect them," he said. I reminded David that the shell is what makes them slower and they wouldn't need that big shell for protection if they could walk and run like normal, able bodied animals. All he responded with is " 'It's really sad about turtles' ...that's one for the books." I'm glad I didn't tell him that I thought the commercial would have been much funnier had the turtle been smoking a cigarette.

The main reason we got cable was to watch the news. At least that was the reason we agreed upon. In actuality the reasons are I get bored during the day and I really, really want to watch college football. I'm so excited about watching football tomorrow. Oh, and I'm kidding about never reading. I just took a break from reading Moby Dick to read David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day. I don't know why, but I can't read more than 10 pages of Moby Dick without falling asleep. It's really funny and well written (maybe that's an understatement) but it puts me to sleep. So I'll be able to tell you what I think of it when I finish in about a year or two.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Toga, Toga, Toga!

David is going to show his Latin club students how to make togas today, so last night we practiced making him a toga. We had so much fun!! His students will be making their togas out of old bedsheets, but we bought about 15 feet of material to make a deluxe toga for David. After all, the magister should look like he knows what he's doing. After cutting the material into a semi-circle shape, I used hemming tape to put some reddish-purple stripes on the toga and on a white T-shirt to imitate a tunica laticlavia and toga praetexta. Doesn't he look senatorial?

I think David is going for the Augustus pose here, but I always pictured him as more of a Hadrain kind of guy.

Note Hadrian's cute beard and curly hair.

I have to admit that the toga isn't entirely accurate, and that bothers me a little more than it should, as David told me last night. But we had fun and I can always do more work to it later. David wants me to make a stola and palla for myself next. Then we can go to Halloween and costume parties as Romans! Plus, we live on a block with three fraternity houses, so we'll always be ready to crash toga parties as well.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rainy, Rainy, Rainy Day

We finally have the internet. I thought the guy was supposed to come yesterday, but it was actually today. I don't have pictures of Potsdam to post yet because I've been kind of lazy lately. I'm still getting used to the fact that I have nothing to do but vacuum a little and make dinner. Actually, it might surprise some of you to know that I am still employed by Cincinnati State. The writing center has retained me as an online writing tutor. Any students who are taking online English classes have access to online tutoring. I have one class to tutor, which means students who want help will send me an attachment of their paper and I'll comment on it and send it back to them. I can tutor these papers in my pajamas with a cup of coffee on the desk if I want. This will be very little work-- like about 1/50th of what I did all last year, so I think I can handle it. Anyway, Ill be sure to take some pictures of Potsdam as soon as we get some dry weather, which might be next June. Haha. No, it'll be sooner than that, I promise.

I'm listening to Pandora now after going without for more than a week. All I have to say is that I was listening to a lot of depressing music last semester. Here's a sample of my stations: Elliott Smith, Cat Power, Amalgamated Sons of Rest, and the like. No wonder I was so bummed out, or maybe the music was just reflection of the mood I was already in. Now I want some good happy music to listen to, but that is sometimes a tall order with inde music. And speaking of happy, I've certainly noticed a change in my mood, and David has been saying things like "Gee, you're in a good mood" about three times a day. I'm still crawling out into the sunshine to be sure, but I'm so much happier. The constant headache behind my eyeballs has gone away, my right thumb has stopped twitching uncontrollably, I've eased up on clenching my teeth at night (evidenced by the fact that my mouth hurts less in the morning) and the throbbing tension in my neck and shoulder blades is loosening. I'm still afraid I have two or three terminal illnesses, but I never expected all my stress issues to go away overnight.

We miss all our pals in Cincinnati and Lafayette. If we didn't get a chance to say goodbye in person it is because the move was rather hectic and hurried because of several unforeseen, uncontrollable, and tragic circumstances. We don't have any friends here yet, but I suppose that will come, although it may come a little more slowly since the town is small, but I'm not really worried about it for now.

I've made dinner for the past four nights. That matches how many times I made dinner the entire time we lived in Cincinnati. So, I'm pretty much feeling like Donna Stone on the "Donna Reed Show" right now, a show I always secretly admired and despised for the laughable perfection of the Stone family matriarch. Oh, how I love Donna Reed in all her roles, but that is an entire blog post in itself.

I'm also reading non-composition material again. Thanks be to God. Now I'm off to buy flavored coffee, two avocados, and some cans of soup.