Life in Omaha (in Scottsdale)

daily existence away from chicago

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Ciela and the Cubs

Back from Arizona and what I thought would be an easy week. An incorrect assumption.

We had a pretty stressful time of it in AZ. Ciela, while generally a good natured baby, would only take so much car travel. Eventually the constant meandering around Phoenix and its suburbs took its toll and screaming commenced. Add to that evening ritual of trying to constrict the typical restaurant meal into a condensed, speed-eating experience before she started whining to go to bed. Even the enjoyable elements were a tricky bit of logistics. We had to find a place for Judy to change clothes. We had to figure out something for lunch for all three of us--its not as if Ciela will eat a polish and have a beer at the stadium. Everyone needs sunscreen and a hat. The diaper bag has to be stocked--how many toys for a nine-inning game? We managed to get through 6 1/2 I believe. Hiking seemed like a good option. We've done that plenty of times in NE. But after packing camera, sunscreen, diaper bag, baby bjorn, maps, water, power bar, Judy forget asthma inhaler. Hike subsequently cut short before death from suffocation.

More on Phoenix and Tucson to come...


Ciela and the Cubs
Originally uploaded by shermans.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I'm stumped

I cannot figure out why or when my Flickr images will screw up the sidebar. It seems almost random. Ah, whadda you care, anyway.

DSC_0042.JPG

DSC_0042.JPG

Back in the cute business


Back in the cute business
Originally uploaded by shermans.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Definitely Flickr

So why when I now post pictures does my sidebar become my bottom bar?

Stupid blog.

Stupid, stupid blog.

Ah, HA!

So its Flickr that's screwing up my blog. If I take out the pictures, LiO is okay.

But that's never happened before. What went goofy between the last time and this time?

Well, hell

Something's gone wrong again.

Usually, I screw the blog up by trying to add a feature. This time, pfft, the sidebar just stopped working. I hate this, because now I've been poking around for the last twenty minutes trying to figure out what the hell I did wrong, and everything looks fine in the template.

Anybody know what's happening to my blog.

Stupid blog.

Stupid, stupid blog

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Getting-to-know-you meme

Found at New Kid on the Hallway, when I should be grading sonnets.

1. IF YOU COULD BUILD A SECOND HOUSE ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
Rome.

2. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTICLES OF CLOTHING?
My cycling jersey (thanks B.) and my hiking boots.

3. THE LAST CDs YOU BOUGHT?
Another installment of the In Radio series.

4. WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING?
Usually at 6:30 unless Ciela wakes us up earlier. Mondays it 5:45 to get her to day care.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE KITCHEN APPLIANCE?
Dishwasher. God i love the dishwasher. Thanks mom and dad.

6. IF YOU COULD PLAY AN INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Well, if you argue that I can play guitar, the other instrument would be the trumpet. But I would argue that I can't really play the guitar, so I say "guitar."

7. FAVORITE COLOR?
Green

8. WHICH VEHICLE DO YOU PREFER, SPORTS CAR, MOTORCYCLE, OR SUV?
Bicycle.

9. DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE AFTERLIFE?
I try not to think of metaphysics--its dangerous to look to another world. That's part of the reason this one's so fucked up.

10. FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK?
The Encyclopedia (yes, I was a nerd)

11. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON?
Fall

12. IF YOU HAVE A TATTOO, WHAT IS IT?
Still unblemished.

13. IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Ability to pause time.

14. CAN YOU JUGGLE?
Yep. Even can go behind the back and under the leg. Two in one hand. In a circle.

15. ONE PERSON/PEOPLE FROM YOUR PAST YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND TALK TO?
Great grandfather on my mother's side.

16. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED?
Nothing but dust--and hopefully not much at that.

17. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DAY?
Hiking with Judy in Positano--(or seeing Ciela for the first time, its a toss up)

18. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SUSHI OR HAMBURGER?
Sushi

19. FROM THE PEOPLE WHO NORMALLY READ YOUR BLOG, WHO IS THE MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND FIRST?
Nobody ever responds

20. ON WHICH BLOG DID YOU FIND THIS MEME?
New Kid on the Hallway

21. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER?
Status

23. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEAL?
Dinner

24. DESCRIBE YOUR PJS.
Pair of white pants I bought in junior high at a club med in the Dominican Republic. And a random t-shirt. Right now, a Sierra Club/Lewis and Clark shirt I received for working at an event.

25. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BREAKFAST?
Pancakes, two eggs, hash browns orange juice and a cuppacino.

26. DO YOU LIKE YOUR JOB?
Yes.

27. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB?
Novelist/public intellectual.

28. WHAT AGE DO YOU PLAN TO RETIRE?
Will that even be possible any more? 65.

29. WHERE DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER?
In college, but neither of us can remember the specific date or event.

30. SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO THAT YOU HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE.
Score a real goal in a real, outdoor soccer match.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Et al.: All aboard the disclaimer train

If we are going to keep seeing syllabi as a contract between teachers and students, perhaps I need to start including somehting similar to Dorcasina's Maifesto.

My favorite part:
I have been informed, each time completely inaccurately, that I do not like a particular student merely because of the student's age, sex, hair color, town of origin, computer font, politics, food preferences, diagnosed disability, or choice of eau de parfum. (I have also been told that a student disliked me for each of the above reasons). In neither case was it true. If I don't like you, it's probably because you are a) dumb, b) belligerent, c) rude, d) unkind, or e) arrogant. If you are certain none of these applies, then I guarantee that the reason is a)

Life continues in Omaha

Those of you still reading regularly, and it turns out to be quite few in numbers, checking out my last round of stats, will note that the entries have trailed off a bit. We are right in the middle of the semester, and I'm finding time to blog increasingly sporadic. Even now, I should be grading tests and sonnets, but feel a duty to those loyal readers still out there.

And truth be told, I haven't a lot worth commenting about. Most of my energies are taken up with an issue that, as of yet, is not generally public knowledge. And while very few people are reading this, there's enough of a public presence that I'd just as soon keep things quiet for a while longer. So while there are lots of things happening, not much is making the blog.

And pictures...well, Ciela has been ill with a skin problem for the last couple of weeks, and it would just be cruel to subject people to those pictures. She had a face only a mother could love (and a daddy, too). She's back in the pink, so we'll get some photos up shortly.

The correlate to all this is that when matters of personal upheaval occur, we retreat from wider issues. I've barely seen copies of _The Nation_ or listened much to the radio or read the paper. Most of my energies are devoted to the domestic front.

The Supreme Court halted juvenille executions. That was good, but then I read the blood-thirsty letters in the World-Herald that call for the heads of 16 and 17 year old kids. Judging from the anger these people have at the court, one would think the Supremes had unlocked the gates on a maximum security prison. The letter-writers (and some columnists as well--professionals who ought to know better) rant about people paying a debt, consequences and the perversion of justice. As if these young men (and were there any juvenille women on Death Row?) would be out on the streets terrorizing the community this coming weekend. They are still in jail, still serving very long sentences (effectively life in many cases). Nothing but death will satisfy.

Congress pushes forth a bill that makes it more difficult to declare bankruptcy. This wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't receive four or five credit card offers a month. If I didn't tear down offers of easy credit approval posted in my classrooms. If I didn't regularly encounter offers for easy credit on tv, radio and newspapers. Credit is a great thing, and should be extended to as many people as possible. I certainly don't want to cast my lot with the Potters against the Baileys. But if we are going to have a society floated on credit, we need to account for the fact that people will fail. The bill making the rounds at the capitol seems solely designed to squeeze more money out for the large credit card providers, who all to easily lure people into deep debt and then feign shock that they cannot fulfill their obligations. I don't want to neglect personal responsiblity, but in the mounting debt problem in our hyper-consumerist society, some of the responsibility must be borne by the lenders.

Monday, March 07, 2005

To Do Monday

Meet with Dean--cancelled
Read Autobiography of Ex-Coloured Man
Grade second drafts of Sonnets
Prepare Creative Writing class
Copy tax forms (refund this year, whoo hoo)
Give Blood
email Karl
Review screenplay draft for students' Thoreau Project (which I may star in, god help us)

The weekend

We had exceptionally nice weather in Omaha this weekend. We even spilled over into the 70s on Sunday. The change in weather did us all some good, and let us get outside for a change. I managed to put in a short ride (lack of stamina, not lack of time). 12 miles and saw one farm cat. Judy got in a run, and all three of us went on a short hike on Sunday as part of Haley's funeral. We hiked in the bottom lands of the Neale Woods Preserve, along the Missouri River. The land is basically in the Missouri channel, but reclaimed via dredging and just general movement. Its full of dead snags, reeds, creeks and mud. We didn't stay long because the winds were very volitale and we say one dead tree actually blow over. Howling wind, snapping branches and then a falling tree are not all that condusive to thoughtful preambulation.

While heading out to Neale Woods, we saw that the state has laid out the bike trail from Neale Woods all the way to Boyer Chute. This means nothing to people outside of Omaha, but for me, its great news. It means a bike trail that begins a few blocks from our house and the travels uninterruptedly for maybe 10-12 miles, winding through farmland and along the Missouri River. The have one short 2 mile link to make and it will be complete, but even without that, there's a lightly traveled road that links both parts of the trail. The weather's turned cold again, but as soon as it warms up (and as soon as I'm in a bit better shape) I intend to give it a test run.

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