that happened

Upon arriving to campus this morning, while scouring the lot for a place to park, I realize I left my flash drive and school keys at home on the couch.  My flash drive contains all of my lecture notes, research, presentations, everything I need for class.  It’s a 30 minute drive home and class starts in 10 minutes.  There’s no way I can go back now.  First up on the day’s agenda is Mythology. We’re supposed to talk about Maori mythology for the first part of class, then we’ll begin a film.

—Except that now, I don’t have any of the notes I need for the first 30 minutes of class.  I’m screwed.

Ok, no worries. I’ll just start the film immediately rather than lecturing first. The movie’s too long to watch in a single class period anyway, so we’ll postpone the lecture and talk about the myths on Thursday after we finish the movie early. Cool. Disaster averted.

—Except that I have a Philosophy exam to give after that at 1:00pm and the exam is written on my flash drive. I don’t have time to drive home and get it and get back for class.  I can’t write a new exam in the 30 minute break between classes.  I’m so screwed.

I know! I’ll have The Man get on his computer, use my flash drive, and email me the exam file. That way he doesn’t have to drive all the way to campus, I get my exam, and everything’s fine. Awesome!  I am a problem solving machine!!

—Except that I now realize, I grabbed the wrong movie to show my 11am class. We’re talking about Maori mythology (Polynesian islands) and I grabbed The Secret of Kells, which IS a film we’ll watch in class but not for another 3 weeks.  And, since we are smack in the middle of our Far Eastern readings, I can’t exactly screen Kells early; it would make absolutely no sense.  I’m seriously screwed.

Ok, no worries.  We won’t watch the movie today. I’ll just talk about the Maori myths and set up the film for Thursday’s class.

—Except I don’t have my flash drive so I don’t have any of my lecture notes and I didn’t read through the myths before class since I planned on watching a movie and printing off my lecture notes. In fact, I haven’t read these myths since last summer, the last time I taught this class. I now have literally 2 minutes before class begins, so I don’t have time to call The Man and talk him through the process of finding the document that contains my lecture notes. I am SO SERIOUSLY screwed.

Ok, no worries?  I guess I’m making up a lecture about Maori mythology completely on the fly, with 30 seconds to figure out what the hell to do.  Here I go. 


I managed to string together some ideas about the myths for about an hour before I let my class go early.  Afterward, The Man helpfully emailed my Philosophy exam, which I have printed and ready for my next class.  Plus, I now have Starbucks and pumpkin bread in front of me.  Hopefully this means the rest of the day will go more smoothly.

I SO SERIOUSLY need spring break.


Ladies, gird your loins, cause this shiz is about to get real.

A friend of mine already commented on the following ridiculousness here:

I know right?!  I couldn’t believe it either.  How in the world this stuff continues to infect our lives is seriously beyond me.  Thankfully, articulatethelimb offers a sane and intelligent response to this rancid idiocy.  There’s not too much for me to add to her commentary, which does fantastic job deconstructing the ideas line by line.   Still, her words inspired me to create an image that captured the righteous spirit of her rant in a way that could be shared quickly and effectively.  And so my friends, I offer you my version:

photo credit: supershiksa

Feel free to ‘like’ and ‘re-pin’ this on Pinterest here.  Don’t let that old narrative permeate our lives or define our standards.  Let’s make this the new standard.  Come on, ladies, let ’em hear you roar.

Think back to a time in your life when you just dominated. Call it a “win at life” moment, if you will.  That time you felt as if you owned the world, that the stars were aligned just for you and nothing could touch you.  Let that feeling creep back in for a moment, allow your confidence to grow, relish the taste, the thrill of assurance that things were going to work out and nothing, NOTHING would ever change that.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s how they felt, too.

Until they ended up my local thrift store.

For $ .99.

With a 50% off sticker proudly displayed on the back.

The following is an actual conversation I had with one of my students:

Student: I need to change the topic of my project.

Me: Why?

S: My niece is coming home from ICU and we need to get the house ready so I won’t have as much time as I thought to work on my project. It’s the first time she’s been home since she was born in February.

M: Well, I can understand that. Congratulations, by the way.

S: Oh, I don’t care about her. I hate babies.

M: (stunned silence)

M: (more stunned silence)

M: (completely incapable of generating any kind of response)

S: Uh…I mean, I bought her some books. Hopefully that means she’ll have a brain in her head. Unlike most people.

Irony much?

I wait tables. For this reason, I can tell you: there is a whole lot of Stupid in the world.  Yes, we have a soup and salad meal – it’s the item on the menu called Soup and Salad. No, Moss Point Gumbo does not contain moss. Yes, Walt’s Champagne Chicken Salad comes with chicken.  It’s terribly frustrating, but at least I comfort myself knowing that my encounters with Stupid are as temporary as the time it takes to consume a 14oz prime rib and a side of mashed potatoes. (Surprisingly, this is a lot faster than is probably healthy.)

Unfortunately, a dear friend has struggled lately with a Stupid that lives a bit too close to home. This is a special breed of Stupid, a Stupid that masquerades as a part time grandparent offering ridiculously offensive advice to my friend’s impressionable children. Take, for example, this token of wisdom spoken by the adult family member, who should have known better, to a grieving 7 year old, whose maternal grandmother had recently and suddenly passed : “Don’t be sad or miss her! When you miss her, that’s the devil talking to you.” The poor child laid awake and cried all night, convinced the devil was talking to her because she missed her grandma.  The next week, after mom and dad set the wayward caretaker straight, she changed her approach, choosing to give the girl half a sandwich for lunch while her older sister enjoyed two halves. Why? “Because you’re a bit heavy and you need to be on a diet.” The perfectly healthy little girl would not take her towel off during swim lessons later that day because she was embarrassed by her “fat”. And remember, she’s only 7.

How is it possible that this breed of Stupid has survived without close, careful supervision? What manner of miracle protected this person from the onslaught of daily threats like forgetting to breath in and out or walking into oncoming traffic? And not only has she merely survived, but she has somehow achieved the title “Grandparent.” Her actions are neither grand nor parental! What kind of justice explains her vitality while others, more caring and competent, suffer and fail?

I may not know the answers to those questions but I do know this: I am baking cookies. I am taking them to that little girl and her momma. We will eat them all and we will cry about her grandma.

The mythologically challenged may not understand the title reference so for their sake, a quick introduction: Set, this is everybody…everybody, this is Set.  Set is an Egyptian trickster god who, in addition to killing his brother by convincing him to lay down inside a coffin-like box (did you not see that coming, Osirus?), decided not to wait until “the appropriate time” to be born and instead CUT HIMSELF OUT of his mother’s womb just to prove a point. Yeah. That’s hard core. It’s also exactly the way bad things tend to happen in my life, not when I could appropriately handle said badness but precisely when it would cause the most physical and emotional damage.

Within the last several months, many Set-like events have begun to pile up. Here are some of the most memorable, in no particular order:

-Within a month of returning home from an amazing vacation, the windows of my car started randomly falling into their doors, one after another, compromising the security of my vehicle and costing me nearly $900 to repair.

-Two weeks later, my speedometer broke.

-Several months later, my driver’s side door began sticking. Have to shoulder slam the door to open it from the inside.

-A week later, the door handle on the sticking door broke off in my hand while trying to exit the vehicle. Had to climb out the passenger side. It’s still broken.

-Feeling productive one afternoon, I sharpened all my household knives and scissors. A few days later, my mother sent me a surprise Christmas package. I sliced a two inch gash in my index finger trying to open the package with my newly sharpened scissors.

-A series of plumbing issues in my house finally culminated one morning before work in a flood of dirty, stinky sewer water overflowing out of every toilet, sink and tub. Turns out an unidentifiable animal had somehow managed to crawl into the pipes and died, causing all manner of nastiness to back up onto my new carpet.

-My original iPod broke two weeks before the aforementioned vacation. I bought a new one just for the trip…and lost it on the plane ride home a mere month after purchasing it.

-Oh, and the foundation of my house may be shifting. It’s creating an odd ridge in the middle of the living room and potentially compromising the integrity of the structure…no big deal.

Some of those are just silly annoyances. Some are fairly serious. All I could do without. There are others, more private and menacing, that compete for my attention and I wish for thicker skin. Anything to keep all this shit from cutting its way in. There are times when I feel I may just concede and lay down in that temptingly comfortable-looking box built just for me.

Where’s Isis when you need her?

Another semester, another finals week limps to its death. As if exams, late work, and upwardly mobile deadlines weren’t enough to slough through, the curriculum at my community college requires its students to craft a researched, argument essay as the final assignment.  Adding insult to injury is the fact that their topic must be of “global importance”.  Typically, the freshman perspective on topics like gay rights or abortion trigger my snark response. The following excerpt, however, utterly floored me:

“Pro-Life advocates believe in personal responsibility and self control. The mother should only have protected sex. If she was not raped or taken advantage of by a male relative then it is the girl’s fault. Even if she was a victim of rape or incest, with the proper medical help she can get the sperm extracted from her body and would prevent unwanted pregnancy. It is the female’s responsibility that her sex partner uses protection every time. Or she can go the safe route and not have sex until marriage.”

That’s right, ladies. It’s YOUR job to make sure he wraps it up.  And if you forget? Well, doctors have new-fangled sperm extractors with testosterone seeking drones that will locate and safely escort each and every one of the approximately 100 million swimmers now circulating your fallopian tubes.

And in case you’re wondering, no. The student did not cite his sources.

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