fearlesstemp: (summer of george!)
.i. friday night lights!

Tomorrow at 10PM, NBC will be airing Friday Night Lights instead of a repeat of Studio 60. I love Friday Night Lights the way I love popcorn, chocolate, and Diet Pepsi: even though I know that I could theoretically live without them, I would hate a reality in which I was forced to do so. To make a FNL-less reality less likely, more people need to watch!

It's an awesome show. All the critics are blabbering about it, which is great, but also makes me a little nervous because I think sometimes people think critical darling = medicinal TV (good for you, but boring/blah/bossy). FNL is SO NOT THAT. It is just plain awesome. It is both high-quality and tremendously satisfying. I mean, people have dramatic arguments and make out in the rain! And there are rousing fourth-quarter comebacks! And Kyle Chandler looking ridiculously good! And there are several attractive male football players whose portrayers are totally in their twenties so it's not that skeevy!

Check it out!

.ii. public speaking phobia

I recently reconnected with a woman I met through Literacy Volunteers, who had a recurance of cancer in the time since I last saw her, and understandably hasn't been feeling well. When we went out to lunch a couple of weeks ago, I told her to let me know if there was anything, anything I could do.

LiteracyBuddy: Well, actually . . .

FearlessTemp: Name it. Whatever you need - company, someone to pick up groceries, fun novels. Just let me know.

LB: Okay. I was supposed to speak at the Literacy Volunteers event in November, and I'm really not feeling up to it. Would you be willing to fill in?

Outer FT: Of course! No problem!

Inner FT: Dammit.

Which brings us to this weekend, three days before the event, and how is the speech coming? I loathe it! Has my paralyzing fear of public speaking gone away, even after a year of teaching? Not at all! Can I stop thinking about poor LB and how paltry my concerns are in comparison to hers? Of course not! Does this lead to increased self-loathing? Naturally! Will I stop this Q&A pattern? Immediately!

All I want to do is watch TV and eat fudgesicles! Why can't doing that produce a heartfelt, witty speech?

And even if the speech is witty and heartfelt, will anyone notice if I look like I took a can of shoe polish and combed it through my hair? I dyed my hair on Thursday for the first time ever, and had the hair stylist color match it, and I don't doubt that she did, but. It's dark. It's probably no darker than it was last week, and just looks different to me because the gray is gone, but I have this worry, now, that it looks obviously dyed, and I've always heard that dyeing your hair darker is a bad choice (I always think of Elizabeth Taylor in her perfume commercials before she went white), but maybe that's just for the over-sixty set? I don't think I look over sixty. In fact, the person in the next chair at the salon thought I was 18 or 19. That's what happens when you never leave the house! No sun damage.

(In all honesty, it's more that I've worn SPF 15 moisturizer or makeup on my face for the last five years, and also that my face is chubby - chubby faces show fewer wrinkles. It's one of the few benefits we get.)

.iii. pollage

[Poll #856164]

.iv. it

Over the weekend, I gave up three hours of my life I'll never get back to an ABC Family re-airing of the mini-series It, based on the Stephen King novel,which totally scarred me when it first came out. I mean, there was a killer clown with razor-sharp teeth! And a kid getting sucked into a pipe! And Richard Thomas a.k.a. John Boy from the Waltons wearing a ponytail! It was extremely scarring. And I totally screamed a few times when watching it this past Saturday (I'm a pretty big scaredy cat).

Watching it now, I was blown away by how much TV has improved in the last sixteen years. The special effects, sure, but everything else - the dialogue, the pacing, the characterization was just so cheesy and badly done, in my opinion. John Ritter was solid, as was Annette O'Toole - I was totally invested in spoiler for the ending! )

I bet the book is good, but am too much of a scaredy cat to try it.

.v. boots!

Boots, my Nana's missing cat, has returned! Unfortunately, he's in bad shape and his chances of recovery from his time in the wild are iffy (he was severely dehydrated and had gone into kidney failure by the time he was found). If anyone can spare some good thoughts for Mr. Boots, they would be v. much appreciated.
fearlesstemp: (mr. smith with book)
If you only see one Heath Ledger movie this January, I wholeheartedly suggest you get yourself to a theater and check out Casanova. I am being serious! I saw Brokeback Mountain and yes, it was a marvelous movie, but not as marvelous as the short story – and I swear I'm not one of those obnoxious "but the book is better!" people about everything. Jim Gaffigan has a really funny routine on this topic that culminates with the line, "Yeah, you know what I liked about the movie? No reading." And that's kind of the problem I had with Brokeback Mountain – the story is just so beautifully written that I'm not sure any movie could have captured the feeling I got from the way Anne Proulx's words fit together. The acting was phenomenal, the cinematography marvelous, and it was certainly faithful to the story but, in the end, just not as good as the short story was for me. It's the reading!

Casanova, on the other hand! Casanova was MARVELOUS. I went to see it on Saturday with some friends and didn't have the highest expectations, knowing it had gotten middling reviews and all that (it's rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, so you can take my endorsement with a grain of salt), and the magic of lowered expectations may be the reason I found it to be the more awesome of the two Heath Ledger movies I saw in the past ten days. You know how sometimes, rarely, at the end of a movie, you find yourself turning to your friend and saying, "Well, I loved that movie!" That's the kind of movie Casanova was for me.

I mean, bear in mind: Ten minutes before the movie ended, someone in the theater exclaimed, "Well, that's RIDICULOUS," and I have to say, if you're the kind of person who cannot handle ridiculousness in a movie, then this movie may not be for you. But if you value ridiculousness, the good kind of ridiculousness, then I think you should check this movie out. And if you're wondering about good/bad ridiculousness: Good ridiculousness is Bringing Up Baby. Bad ridiculousness (a.k.a. guilty pleasure ridiculousness) is the TV movie I caught ten minutes of earlier today (starring Jay Thomas and a veritable smorgasbord of 90s TV talent – Amy Jo Johnson, Michelle Williams, Mario Lopez, Neve Campbell's abusive boyfriend from Party of 5). Personally, I enjoy ridiculousness in all its forms. Much like chocolate, I enjoy it in all its permutations.

It was just a very fun, funny, satisfying movie, with swordfights and mistaken identities and cross-dressing and jokes about the Pope and really pretty scenery. It's also one of those rare movies where the ending comes and it's just right. I loved it.

The other highlight of my weekend happened on Saturday, with my regular weekend tutoring session with R. We have fifteen minutes of reading at the end of our sessions, and recently we've been switching between auto magazines and Dr. Suess books (he really likes Dr. Suess – then again, who doesn't?). Anyway, I grabbed Green Eggs and Ham from the kids' section, and he opened it for the first time and proceeded to READ almost ALL of Green Eggs and Ham BY HIMSELF. The only reason he stopped before the end was the library closing down around us. I know this does not sound like much, but for someone who a year ago put up a months-long struggle over learning the word "put," it's a pretty exciting thing! I was so excited, he was so excited - it was a pretty great moment.

I put this here to mark the date for my personal records and, yes, to brag a little bit. I will be honest. But it isn't a completely selfish bragging event: I will be benevolent with my bragging and tell all of you that it was a truly awesome feeling for both R. and yours truly, and one any of you (who has time in your schedule) could experience for yourselves by becoming a Literacy Volunteer. You, too, could have your very own illiterate factory worker who looks like Santa Claus!

I should probably finish my work. I will hate myself tomorrow for being up this late. Oh well.
fearlesstemp: (mr. smith with book)
The Man is totally trying to keep me down. Was busted AGAIN by local powers that be for a driving-related-incident, bringing my total infractions up to five. It was my first speeding ticket - my driving record really speaks to my versatility.

We have:

-The time I ran a red light (benevolent cop gave me a seat belt violation instead);

-The time I made an illegal left out of the Hollywood Video parking lot, just like my former manager had EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and the ONE TIME I did it, I got pulled over (still bitter - the only slight mention of it happening I can find is at the tail end of this entry);

-The time I parked in an area marked "No Parking Between 9AM and NOON on Fridays" at 9:05AM on a Friday (more info on this buried at the end of this entry; and

-The time I parked on the street outside my aunt's house and got ticketed based on an UNFAIR, UNPOSTED LAW (still really bitter about that one, read a smidge more about it here).

I am not a particularly tough person and I am pretty proud of the fact that none of these events made me cry. All of them made me curse a lot. In fact, I kind of wonder if half the reason the local PD gave me a ticket instead of a warning yesterday morning was the volume at which I yelled, "FUUUUUUUUCK!" upon seeing his lights go on as I blew by him.

So anyway. Got a ticket. It sucks. It sucked a little more than usual because I got it while driving from one volunteer event to another volunteer event - I somehow feel like I should have been golden on this trip, covered by something like diplomatic immunity. Volunteer immunity. I seriously believe the amount I helped the community at the Literacy Volunteers' table at farmer's market (you know, by standing around listlessly with a cup of coffee in one hand and a cheese danish in another) TOTALLY makes up for the amount I may have endangered the community by completely ignoring traffic laws. Who cares if I sold more books to myself than I did to the farmer's market patrons? This fact is especially damning when I reveal that I only purchased two books at a dollar a piece. But hey! I GOT UP EARLY to attend the event!

I say it comes out even.

Also at aforementioned LV farmer's market table was my buddy G., with whom I've been in sporadic contact since we went through training together. We occasionally get together for lunch or ice cream to commiserate over how tempting it is some days to throw down your supplies and start screaming, "for the love of God, it's PUT! P-U-T IS PUT! NOT PLASTIC! NOT PAINT! NOT PLEASE! PUT! PUT! AS IN, PUT AN END TO MY MISERY AND LEARN THIS GODDAMNED WORD!"

Anyway, she's very nice, but her student has stopped meeting with her (this happens a lot, especially with Basic Literacy people), and she keeps trying to horn in on my tutoring sessions with R. She's all, "I know you're busy with school - I can tell by your e-mails - and I just think it would take some of the load off of you if I started meeting with him."

Her kind gesture has, of course, completely derailed me. Every time I contemplate her offer, I have the following reactions:

(1) Paranoia.

Oh my God, I SUCK! Literacy Volunteers Headquarters must be buzzing with how much I suck! Has R. complained? Does G. think I suck? If she comes to one of my sessions and sees how crappy my worksheets are, she will KNOW that I suck.

(2) Guilt.

Oh my God. I am too busy. I'm not doing a good job. I'm not dedicated. R. is going to rot in a gutter because I didn't spend enough mental energy organizing things! He'll never learn to properly blend! It's ALL BE MY FAULT!

(3) Possessiveness.

R. is my student! MINE MINE MINE! He looks like Santa Claus and we get along! And what if he likes G. better?

(4) More Guilt.

Oh, I shouldn't let my fear of losing R. as a student hold him back from a good opportunity. I should let him know and decide.

(5) Anxiety.

But what if he thinks I'm trying to get rid of him? I'm not!

(6) Anger.

Stupid G., making a kind gesture that surfaces all of my neuroses!

(7) Avoidance.

I'm tired of thinking about this.

At this point, I start thinking about Harry Potter or Diet Pepsi or that new cheesy Lifetime series, Beach Girls.

She brought it up again on Saturday, and I responded in my usual way ("Wow! That's so nice of you! We'll see!"). Post-farmer's market, and also post-speeding ticket, I met with R. and broached the topic a second time. He did not bite, and so I guess he's stuck with me for a while longer.

I would type up my other weekend activities, but it is late and I must sleep.
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
There are 86 million, but I will limit myself to the following for the moment:


2. Obtain money order, because I have totally caved to parental pressure and have decided to send in money for the MOST UNFAIR TICKET EVER instead of showing up in court Tuesday night (the night before I leave the country) to Fight the Man. Briefly: Ticket was issued three weeks ago when I parked overnight on the street in front of my aunt's house. There were no signs restricting parking, nor was there snow falling to justify a snow emergency, nor was I on a busy city street where parking is an issue. This was a suburban development just like the one I live in, where I park my car on the street every night! But I got a ticket for illegally parking overnight. I called the town and was informed that the parking restrictions are posted every November in the town's weekly newspaper and that they're posted at the entrance to town. I drove in at night! Am I supposed to wear infa-red goggles to see such things? AM I, YOUR HONOR?

I was all prepared to make that argument but my mother was stressing out so much about me being there for HOURS and NOT HAVING TIME TO ADEQUATELY PACK and ETC. that I finally caved and wrote a strongly worded letter to enclose with my ticket and check.


3. Create lesson plans for R. to work on with his girlfriend while I'm away. This may not happen because I am the WORST LITERACY VOLUNTEER EVER and I completely forgot to do this over the weekend, and now will have to frantically throw something together tomorrow afternoon, sometime after getting the money order but before I meet with him for our last session pre-my-vacay.

Note: The literacy stuff has been going very well. I got some very nice feedback from his girlfriend and would like to take a moment to encourage people to take part in this - it's been a really rewarding experience for me, and the time commitment (once you get past the training) really isn't that bad. Basically, I have two hours of lessons, two hours of lesson planning, and two hours of driving time per week, max. That's six hours, and I know that a lot of people are so busy that cramming those six hours just isn't possible and would negatively influence their quality of life (and I totally get that), but if you have those six hours and it sounds like something that appeals to you, it's a great experience.

Here's a link to find a program in your area: http://www.literacyvolunteers.org/locator/

4. Take my grandfather to the dentist, which should be interesting since my father has just informed me that my grandfather is not aware of this appointment, and may not want to go. Awesome! So that's my morning tomorrow, wrestling him into the dentist's chair.

5. LAUNDRY. And, secondary to this, MAKE FINAL CLOTHES CUT for trip. I do not need 30 outfits for a two-week trip.

6. PACK. Right now I'm bringing three pairs of shoes and three different jackets/coats. I feel I cannot narrow this down further or I will die of hypothermia or improper-shoe-itis.

7. Figure out if brother's VCR is programmable since two other VCRs have died cruel, sudden deaths. CANNOT MISS AMERICAN DREAMS.

8. Return book to library that has been missing since last November! What a glorious day it was when I found you, Bandits by Elmore Leonard. I have spent the last two months cursing myself for giving in to Library Euphoria, the malady I fall victim to when I realize that the nice people at the desk will let me just walk out of the building with ANY BOOK I WANT for FREE (plus any late fines that have accrued since our last visit). I start picking up books I have never wanted to read in the past and probably never will, but oh! I really liked Out of Sight! And this book was made into a movie too, with Bruce Willis, who I loved in Moonlighting! Why not pick it up? And then I lose it and get a threatening letter from the library telling me I owe them $28.00 if I don't bring the book back, and oh! CURSE YOU, LIBRARY EUPHORIA!

But now I have the book back and only face the late fines which will, most likely, total as much or more than the book's price.

9. Frantically order what should be comfort reads from Amazon.com so as to have something to read on the plane that will take my mind off of my SOUL CRUSHING FEAR OF FLYING. I was planning on bringing the biography of John Adams but - though I love John Adams - methinks some Georgette Heyer may be more easily processed while experiencing SOUL CRUSHING FEAR.

Ah, I so love that I am ordering these mere days before my departure! One must always create new things to stress over.

10. See Item 1. To bed!
fearlesstemp: (mr. smith with book)
Wednesday I met with my fellow literacy volunteers. We had to share our tutoring experiences and participate in lame group exercises. It was boring, but not excruciatingly so, even if I take into account the presence of Writer Girl, a decent enough individual who happens to annoy me. Three reasons:

1. She often introduces her insights on life and tutoring with the phrase, "Well, as a professional writer," which, though true, does not need to be stated on a weekly basis. I am going to start answering any questions posed to me with the phrase, "Well, as a professional temp."

2. When we had to take part in an exercise that involved discussing problems we have had with writing, she actually raised her hand and said that she might not be able to take part, being a Professional Writer and all.

3. Envy. I want to be a Professional Writer who annoyingly opens every sentence with the phrase, "Well, as a professional writer," dammit!

On Wednesday we had to share our "wow" tutoring moments. I talked about how in our last session, R read a sentence and I was so excited I clapped. She went on at length about how her "wow" moment had more to do with her eyes being opened to someone else's suffering and, as an extension of that, a deeper understanding of humanity. Everyone nodded sagely about How Wise That Is. I wanted to fling a pen at her head.

After a ridiculous group exercise that involved pinning behavior to potential learning disabilities, during which I totally made a stupid mistake that made me wonder whether I needed a tutor, the meeting broke up and I trotted out to my little blue car, determined to go home and study. I went home and watched TV for two hours instead, and then frantically skimmed the vocabulary section of my GRE prep book before falling into an exhausted, lovely sleep.

Woke up the next morning to the music of my mother hollering about charging my cell phone. I hollered back that I would charge it, and to please chill out because I'm not an idiot child. And then I went downstairs and realized that I couldn't charge my phone because my charger was in my purse, and I left my purse under the table at literacy volunteers headquarters the night before. AWESOME.

Hauled butt to the meeting location, a church in a bad part of town, and discovered my purse there (thank God). Realized had forgotten to eat breakfast and so I went to the corner store and bought granola bars and a Diet Pepsi (breakfast of champions). Spent the entire time I was being rung up doing my best not to stare at the packets next to the register that had names like "HORNY GOAT POWDER [Sexual Stimulant]" in huge, bold lettering.

(Did not purchase any.)

I finally hit the road and got ready to drive two and a half hours because for some unknown reason, the GREs were not given in my area for the entire month of November. Had to drive down to Wappingers Falls to take the test. Wappingers Falls is, in my opinion, one of the most awesome municipality names in New York State, right up there with Hicksville (it does exist).

Signs spotted on the Thruway:

-AIRCRAFT USED IN SPEED ENFORCEMENT, which made me imagine mega-helicopters hovering over the highways with huge supermagnets dangling from their undercarriage, ready to lift offending vehicles off of the highway the same way I did little plastic fish from my perch on the couch when I was a little kid (I loved that magnetic fishing set); and

-IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, DIAL 911 (FREE CELL PHONE CALL), which made me picture someone sitting off on the side of the road, smoke billowing under the hood of the car, perhaps pinned behind the wheel, staring at a cell phone and saying to him or herself, "But those overages just KILLED me last month."

I had a lot of time to think about these things because I don't have a CD player, and I couldn't find a good station for a good chunk of time on my drive down.

Mapquest directions in hand, I got predictably lost after getting off the highway and ended up at this run-down tiny grocery store/post office/deli where the people inside appeared to have been untouched by the last thirty years. It was bizarre. I went back outside to the parking lot and decided to call the testing location for directions, and after only getting a pre-recorded message, I responded in a mature, adult manner by hollering "GODDAMMIT!" in the middle of the parking lot. I also stomped my foot.

I was appropriately mortified when I realized there was someone standing ten feet away who had heard me, an older guy who looked like a local. I apologized and he kind of smiled, said, "You swearing at anyone in particular, or just the world in general?" and then gave me directions when he heard my predicament.

Thank you, kindly run-down tiny grocery store/post office/deli parking lot man!

The testing center was in this run-down building next to the loading dock for Home Depot, next door to a building that had huge signs advertising manicures and exotic fish sales. I really hope it was legit. Either way, there was testing, which involved having my picture taken (left house with wet hair and no makeup! Horrible!) and being brutally bored for three hours. But I finished, accepted my scores, did okay and left there feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders!

A weight I promptly replaced with more credit card debt, as I felt the need to reward myself with frivolous purchases like The Office Christmas Special and a polka-dot bag for my tutoring stuff, which I so almost shoplifted because I'd been carrying it around with the handle looped around my wrist, and I was halfway through the store's doors when I realized I hadn't paid for it.

But did not shoplift! Am still law-abiding member of society, with GRE scores to boot! And I would write more but I've suddenly made that turn from late night wired to truck hit me exhausted, and so I'm off to bed.
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
I am at peak performance here. A few notes from the last couple of days.

-Monday I had another tutoring session with R., which went very well. I also spoke to his supervisor on my lunch break, which went as well as it could have given the circumstances – everywhere I eat lunch feels compelled to pump their establishments full of easy listening or classic rock music at top volume, which makes it challenging to have any kind of conversation. Add in a bunch of fellow lunch eaters and questionable cell phone reception, and you've got a recipe for fun!

The conversation actually went fine. She assured me they had realistic expectations, etc etc. "As I said to D., thirty sight words or so," she said.

Which kind of makes me want to kill D., the local literacy volunteer organizer, because when I talked to her last week and asked if she'd spoken to the company about expectations, she was all vague and brushed me off. She said, "Why don't you just call her?"

I was sitting on a park bench in sub-freezing temperatures at the time (the place where I'd been having lunch had awful reception for my phone, so I had to abandon my salad half-eaten to go outside and call her back), and it took everything in me not to snarl, "I don't know, maybe because you get paid for things like that?"

Okay, so it didn't take everything in me not to do that – I'm a wimp. I would never do anything like that. Also, you know, I signed up for this, etc etc. But I signed up for tutoring! Not navigating the dangerous waters of a strange company's HR office and employment policies!

And so I just said, "Sure! Fine! I'll get right on that!"

Tutoring itself went fabulous, which was good because last week was a tough one – he seemed to have forgotten everything we'd worked on. But this week, it all came back and more. He knew the "ch" sound. It was thrilling.

-File under Nightmares Do Come True: Yesterday I got into work, got my Mets Mug o' H2O, and settled in to check my e-mail (how I start every day). Was in the middle of typing in the web address for my e-mail when the phone rang and I answered, quite naturally, "Aolmail – dot – aol – dot - com." Five seconds of confused silence later I realized what I'd done and said, in my best I'm A Professional, No Really Voice, "I'm sorry, please excuse me. All Irish Law Firm, can I help you?"

I wanted to die.

-I almost cried in Target when they did not have The Office Christmas Special in stock. But then I bought popcorn and read an awesome story and felt better, which was good, because at my next stop (WalMart Supercenter; I was all about the big box stores last night), I had the following conversation with my mother, the one, the only, Peg of the Cautionary Tale.

Self: So, you want me to get you Turkey Tetrazinni?

Mom Unit: If they -- wait. It's dark out.

Self: …Yes.

MU: Don't go. Just come home. I'll have noodles with butter. There are crazy people out there! Remember, that girl --

Self: Mom, it's fine! There are a ton of people around, I'll be just fine.

MU: Be careful.

Self: Hmm, I was planning on wandering around aimlessly with my eyes closed, fists full of money, to the darkest areas of the parking lot, but if you –


Self: I'll be careful!

MU: Don't get kidnapped!

Self: Right right, don't get kidnapped and bring home Turkey Tetrazinni.

So a few minutes later, when I was walking through the dark parking lot, remembering all of the scary stock footage I've seen of girls getting snatched from parking lots, and a big green SUV came to a sudden stop right next to me, I kind of had a heart attack.

Self: AAAH!

Michelle: Jess?

S: Oh! Hi! Michelle! And Meg! Hi!

Michelle and Meg: Hi! You all right?

S: Fine, fine, just, you know, thought you were a scary kidnapper.

MaM: . . . oh.

S: My mother – I was on the – never mind. Long story. Walk in together?

And we did. Meg had little Abigail with her, so I got to coo and poke at her little covered-in-winterwear-belly, and talk like an idiot. All that good stuff. We did the high-pitched-girltalk thing, argued over who had lost weight ("You!" "No, you!"), when most likely none of us had, and then parted ways in produce because I had to get to my next destination pretty quickly.

-Speaking of: My next destination was my grandfather's nursing home, where I came upon him already snoozing. The woman at the desk told me to wake him up, and he seemed happy that I did. It kind of blows my mind that anyone would be happy to be woken up, but I suppose this is one circumstance where even I would be glad.

We talked about exciting nursing home happenings (he's changed lunch tables, and the other day got sick at breakfast. "I flashed the hash," he said, and then, just to make sure I understood, added, "That means I vomited."), his recent doctor's appointment ("I am bigoted against the Jews," he said, in a reflective, kind of apologetic way. "Not that I'd ever admit it. But I liked him."), and Thanksgiving ("Where am I going, again?").

The last two times I've visited he's complimented my alabaster skin and dark hair, which was nice, but sufficiently romance-novel-sounding to feel kind of weird. I know he didn't mean it that way; he's just one of those people who won't say in three words what he can say in seven. This time, no such compliments. But he did, as always, call me Curlyhead.

-This morning I slept until exactly five minutes before I'm supposed to leave the house if I want to be on time for work. The awesome ending to this would be to reveal that I got here showered, well-coiffed, snazzily dressed, and on-time. There is no awesome ending. I didn't get to shower, threw some gel in my hair, put on a default easy outfit (complete with clunky clogs), and arrived fifteen minutes late. Note: I usually arrive ten minutes late. So to be just five minutes later after sleeping a half hour late? Not too bad!

And yes, you did that math right – I do get up a half hour before I'm supposed to leave for work. No, I can't get ready for work in a half hour. Yes, that is a problem.

Because of the oversleeping, all day I've felt kind of disconnected from the world. This has done wonders for my work performance. Ten bucks says I'm asked not to come back at the end of the day. I won't come back tomorrow, at the very least: it is the day of THE DREADED GREs. They warrant all caps.

It's a good thing I don't have a three-hour pointless literacy volunteers meeting tonight! Oh wait, I do. Oh well. I will do well or I will do poorly. All I can do is ride the rest of it out.

And possibly sneak glances at my GRE prep book during the meeting.


Nov. 2nd, 2004 11:38 am
fearlesstemp: (mr. smith and saunders)
Voted! I recommend it as an experience. It's very satisfying to click those levers into place and hear the mechanic CLANK of your vote registering, and know that when you look at the final tally (whenever the final tally is done), you will be able to think, "Well, if not for me, it would have been XX,XXX,XX7 for my guy instead of XX,XXX,XX8! Go me!"

Provided, of course, that the machine doesn't get pushed into the Hudson (as one of them did in my little home city in the 1930s, which led to an era of chaos and fun in which there were two people claiming to be the righteous head of the City Council. Upstate New York: Old School Election Fraud, Shameless and Stylish).

I actually got up early to vote, which is a big deal.

Other events I have happily gotten up early for:

-NSYNC tickets, and
-I'm blanking on a third.

That is how dedicated I am to Kerry! I got up early! Maybe they could use that as a last-minute campaign slogan, or headline for tomorrow's local newspaper should there not be a clear winner. "KERRY GETS JESS UP EARLY! See A3 for details."

My polling place was pretty quiet and I didn't have a line at all when I went in at 7:45 or so. I love the little old ladies manning the tables on election day. I want to be one of them someday.

One more election note: Last night I was driving home and thought to myself, "You know, self, what's important is that we keep discourse civil. Don't try to browbeat people into thinking the way you would want them to think. What's important is that there's an open, respectful discourse, and that we respect other people's rights to make their own choices, even if they are different from our own. Perhaps especially if they are different from our own."

Cut to: Two hours later, my mom on the phone with my aunt Maureen, a very sensible, smart, non-Republican who is, nonetheless --

Mom: -- voting for Bush.

Self: WHAT?!

Mom: (to me) She is! (into the phone) Maureen! I just don't understand!


I got a hold of myself after a minute or two, and didn't yell at my aunt at all, really. But I couldn't help a couple of, "But. But. I just don't UNDERSTAND" comments getting through.

In non-election news: Tonight I have my second tutoring session with R. for Literacy Volunteers. I meant to type up a post about my first session, but last week was too busy. I went all nerdy last night, drawing up a detailed lesson plan and cards and handouts and stuff that I'm sure I'll finish using in the first twelve minutes of the session (as happened last week). I was lucky that R. really liked one of the exercises I'd done and we were able to work on that for the rest of the lesson.

He's a nice guy, early fifties, worked his whole life, clearly smart. And he's a complete non-reader. I'd seen his testing and after I'd talked to him for a few minutes, I thought for sure there'd been a mistake. But there hadn't been. I'm kind of nervous because even though I've done the requisite training, part of me is all adljag!! and afraid I won't be able to help him the way he needs to be helped. Especially considering the fact that his job is on the line.

But no pressure or anything! Geez Louise.

Anyway. I have to go do some work. In closing: Go vote! It does a civic spirit good.


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February 2009

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