4/30: in the air

Incredible sweetness. So many things blooming, including honeysuckle.

4/29: goat not gotten

Well, not publically at least. Someone at work did something that was in part a purposeful jab at me. There would have been no way for me to respond that would have been good. So I kept quiet. I did talk it through/out with Chris, and my blood did get a little hot, but in public I've stayed silent and in my heart I'm moving on. And that's a small victory.

4/28: pancake tradition

As part of my pay at school, I get some free meals in the student cafeteria. Tonight one of my suite-mates and I went to the cafeteria's traditional pancake dinner--pancakes are always on the menu for the dinner before the first day of final exams. It's been months since I've had pancakes (let alone pancakes for dinner), and I really enjoyed them.

4/27: last day...

...of classes. I enjoy teaching, but by the end of the semester everyone is ragged, and we all need a break before beginning again. Now it's on to exams and grading.

4/26: anagrams

They crack me up. Sometimes (okay, most times) I use a computer program to generate them, but here are some I came up with on my own for the Wordsworthian phrase, primal sympathy:

math may pry slip
lips may pry math
sap my play mirth
my harp, play mist
pity sharply, mam
pity harms amply
prim myth as play (myth as prim play)
slip my path, Mary
happy slimy tram

Not a festival of sense, I know. But a festival of nonsense is more than welcome sometimes!

4/25: pleasant punctuation

I've been doing this-and-that today--as (seemingly) always, working on my task list. But I don't feel rushed about it, and I've paused every now and then to read a bit more of 2666. I'm really enjoying it, though I haven't a clue what its trajectory will be.

4/24: sonnets

For extra credit my students can memorize and then recite one of the Shakespearean sonnets we've been studying. Since the extra credit deadline is Monday, today in office hours I had a number of students come by to do their recitations. It's quite a treat to be an audience-of-one for a sonnet!

4/23: a long(er) sleep

Not only did I get to turn in early last night, but I didn't have to get up (literally) at the crack of dawn today. I was able to set my alarm for 7 and linger in bed until 7:30. Listening to the birds as I gradually woke up felt sweet (and a little indulgent).

4/22: an early night

I was productive & planned enough at the office today that I didn't need to bring work home to do this evening. And so I'm going to call it a night early (very early, shockingly early!) and retreat to my pajamas and bed. It's a good thing that the day allowed for both the productive time at work & the early turn-in time at home.

4/21: mystery moss

In our yard there's a kind of moss (if "moss" is even the right way to describe it) that comes to smell like honey in the spring. I've been impatient for it to reach that point this season, and now it finally has. Soon the bees will be all over it, and I can't wait to see that.

4/20: enforced leisure

When 6 p.m. came around, my office suite-mate and I were still at work so we decided to go get some pizza for dinner. The service at the restaurant ended up being incredibly slow, which meant that we couldn't rush (and there was no point getting impatient). Some other people from work were seated not too far from us, which meant that we couldn't talk openly or loudly about work-related politics. So we talked about other things and didn't watch the clock. And by the end of the meal we definitely felt more relaxed and less stressed than at the outset.

4/19: a good time for all

I took my tea out on the porch this afternoon along with my book and the cats. The cats had a good time smelling the spring air, and I had a good time starting 2666.

4/18: kind comment

I ran a seminar/discussion at a Humanities reading retreat for Arkansas doctors today. I think it went alright; it was the first time I had done something like that for an audience of that sort, and I didn't know what to expect. At the end, one of the participants came up to me to say that in the 18 years she's been attending the retreat, my session was the one she's enjoyed the most. Of course, I'm glad that she had a good experience. And on top of that I'm grateful that she took a minute to tell me.

4/17: first rose

The rose bushes on the side of the house have been getting buds, and the first bud opened into a rose today. I do love that the rose season in Arkansas is so long: from late April through October. Hurray for the start of the 2009 season!

4/16: unexpected muffins

I'm at home today, getting ready for a conference. When I opened the door this morning to take a letter down to the mailbox I discovered a box of muffins waiting for me on my doorstep! My brother had over-nighted them to me, and UPS must have dropped them off early without my noticing. An unexpected pick-me-up, and tasty, too--I'm eating one now!

4/15: new view

One of my Etymology students told me today that the class has changed the way she thinks about--and even looks at--words. That's the hope for the class, but one can never be certain that the hope will be (or has been) realized. It's nice for someone to take the time to let me know.

4/14: pleasure at an idea

Today in my Myth class we talked about the ways in which Ovid's version of the Ceres & Proserpina story differs from the version found in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. At a couple of points in our discussion one of the students smiled very broadly as certain ideas dawned upon him. I was glad for that!

4/13: a mini-anthology

One of my students and I had been emailing about poets lately. I recommended Frank Bidart's poems to him, and he mentioned Thom Gunn's poems to me. Today he gave me photocopies of some of Gunn's poems so I could read them at my leisure. An unexpected gift.

4/12: fresh

I found myself with more citrus than I could manage. Lest it go to waste, I juiced it. Now I have a pitcher of fresh-squeezed grapefruit-and-tangerine juice (which is not just good; it's fantastic).

4/11: walking to the dogwoods

This may be the last weekend for the dogwoods' glory this spring, so I walked through the woods and visited them.

4/10: day of no drama

Last Friday was particularly drama-ridden at work. This Friday was quiet. I'm grateful.

4/9: a new shipment

I ordered some postcard prints of some of my more recent photos, and they arrived today. I get a kind of guilty pleasure out of admiring my pictures as things in the world, separate from me, that will travel through the mail and--with any luck--make their recipients smile.

4/8: late-breaking good thing

Today I was at work for 13 hours (and intently working for 12 1/2 of them). That's obviously not a very good thing on its own--but as I was leaving the office I saw that there is a large and lush corona around the spring moon tonight. I wouldn't have seen its loveliness if I hadn't been working late.

4/7: family via email

I remember posting it as a good thing once that I had contact with both my brother and my sister in one day. And it was a good thing. But today topped it: I received an email from my brother, my sister, and my father.

4/6: mixed genres

My brother called last night, but I didn't get to talk with him much because I was in the middle of doing some work for classes that couldn't be put off. So I spent some of my lunchtime today listening to his podcasts instead.

He has a site called Mixed Genres--a phrase that was used with some frequency in my family as we were growing up. When we were young, "mixed genres" wasn't usually considered a good thing--my parents would invoke the phrase as a way to describe aesthetic confusion. But as we got into high school and college, and as post-modernism became more prevalent, the idea of mixing genres (of creating aesthetic confusion of sorts) seemed kind of fun and we would joke about the term. My brother's podcasts put a different spin on the idea: he juxtaposes various performances and events he's recently attended in order to see what underlying threads-of-thought might be running through them.

In any case, I enjoyed spending some time with my brother's mixed-genre comments today.

4/5: same wind

After we filled out our tax forms this morning and took a walk along the ridge after lunch, Chris got into his truck to head back to Nebraska for the rest of the semester. It was windy as we walked and then packed his truck; he remarked that it's the same wind that's blowing in Nebraska and all along his route. Later this afternoon the cats and I sat on the porch as I drank my tea, and the wind roared around us. The same wind that's surrounding Chris as he's driving north.

4/4: another one-a-day plan

In addition to posting my one good thing per day I'm trying to do one bureaucratic task per day. I'm not sure that I'll ever finish all my tasks at that rate, but it is helping me stay a little bit saner. And if I happen to do more than one of the tasks on my master list in a day, it feels like I'm actually getting ahead. Today's bureaucratic task was doing the paperwork to get reimbursed for some fairly hefty teaching & professional expenses. It's like a double good thing: I get something off my list, and at the end of the week I'll get some extra money in my pocket.

4/3: good book-ends

The middle part of my day was not so great (and that is truly an understatement). But this morning on the way to work I noticed the crimson clover growing along the roadside, and on campus the azaleas and weeping cherry trees were blooming. This evening at home I opened an envelope in the mail pile and found inside a photograph of some angel figurines; their sweetness and serenity are certainly appreciated.

4/2: further "adventures" averted

I've written a few times about my dental adventures, and I thought they were finally at an end in January. But I've been having some pain and soreness in my jaw lately, and I've been dreading having it checked out--mostly because I didn't want to be told that I have a whole new procedure ahead of me. Today I went for my check-up and cleaning, so I had to tell the dentist about the situation. And--blissfully--he made a fairly quick adjustment to my crown, and maybe that'll do the trick. It feels better already. Wouldn't it be great if the problem were that easily solved?

4/1: christmas continues

At Christmastime, my brother was in the midst of settling into a new home and a new job in a new-to-him part of the country, so he put gift-buying on hold until things had calmed down somewhat. Now we're the beneficiaries of his delayed gift-giving. In March (when I was visiting Chris in Nebraska) he sent us some pistachio and rose-water cupcakes as a present, and today I returned home to find an opera (Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten) on DVD from him. I think I like having Christmas pop up at unexpected times during the year.