i am not your dear

Oh, sorry everyone  SORRY, I was busy finishing  my MA and also finding a much better job that required a move to a much smaller town and a much larger apartment.  But where were we?  Yoga Farts?  Ok then.


So, here’s the deal.  When you exist in this world as a Human with Body Issues, your social media and internet preferences all tend to respond similarly to the same things, which means for the past week I have had to encounter the iridescent-makeup-clad face of some comedian named Nicole Arbor, a.k.a.  Human Test of my Belief in the Virtue of All Things Canadian (L.M. Montgomery!  Dave and Graham!  Kate Beaton! Kids in the Hall!) over and over again with a headline informing me how much she sucks and how hurtful everything she says is.  I skimmed articles, both thoughtful and reactionary, and then I watched the video.  Here is my reaction:

Like when I watched this movie!

I don’t know what else I can say to this knock-off Jenna Marbles.  She doesn’t care to know me because I am fat and also I guess I smell like sausage so she’s going to yell at me for… my health?  Wow, sounds like she’s got a cool life.  Anyway, if she cares to be disdainful to me as a result of my avoirdupois,  then she is going to have to get in very long line of people who I don’t care about, starting with certain poorly-comb-overed presidential candidates and anyone who uses the word “artisenal”  unironically.  In six minutes, she came up with nothing I haven’t heard in nearly 30 years, since the first time a kid called me fat in kindergarten.  Nothing I hadn’t heard in my Jr. high days, when I threw away my lunches (sorry, mom) instead of committing the sin of eating in front of my classmates.  Nothing I literally haven’t heard my whole life.  I’m sure what she said was hurtful to many, but I have been inured to it for years.

And, I’m done.  I am done trying to impress or change the minds of people who will willfully discount my humanity for the sole reason of my pants size.  I have been done for a while, but this just reinforces that belief.  Those people have chosen not to know me, so they don’t get to know me.  They don’t get to request that I become more appealing to look upon before they will get to know the awesome stuff about me.  Because here is what I know about myself: I am cool.  I am funny.  I KNOW this because this weekend, I spent time with the three COOLEST AND FUNNIEST women I know, and they think I am cool and funny and tell me this constantly.  My size isn’t something they “look past”  or something they like me “in spite of.”   They rarely comment on my “health”  partially because, being adults, they know it isn’t any of their business and partially because they have seen me lift heavy objects over my head like the Hulk.   So they get to know me because they know that I am a person, full-stop.

People like Nicole Arbour (EXTRA U IS CANADIAN) don’t see me as a person, so:

Welcome to myne fielde.

Wellcome to myne fielde.




even really, really, really good-looking people

I didn’t go into teaching because it was easy. Some days, the kids are angels and you get through four sections of talking about sentence fragments and run-on sentences and the theme of Man Vs. Nature and Man Vs. Self in Gary Paulson’s Hatchet without a hitch, and other days one twelve year old secretly gathers all the dead bugs in the windowsill by his desk and throws them on the head of another twelve year old and your class descends into several circles of Dante’s Inferno until you get things under control.  This is why I took up yoga.

I can expound upon the health benefits of yoga and quietly point out that I haven’t had an ear infection since last May, which is when I first took up yoga, but the main thing is this:  yoga chills me the hell out.  It chills me out in a healthy way, especially since my other tried-and-true stress reliever (drinking gin while playing Civilization) tends to be antisocial and a shade megalomaniac (though screaming “SUCK A D, NAPOLEON!  It’s 850 AD, you’re still using horsemen, while MY WORDS ARE BACKED BY NUCLEAR WEAPONS!!” with a buzz on is the true American dream).  Yoga gets me out of the house.  Yoga makes me move my body and work through my stress and insecurities in a healthy way.  And much like middle school itself, everyone is too busy looking at themselves to worry about what fool thing I am doing.

And sure, I stick out a little bit.  We can pretend there isn’t a type people have in mind when you say the word “yoga class,” and someone who looks like me is not that type.  But even in classes where all the girls look like supermodels and all the boys look like Adonises, there is one fundamental truth:  All bodies stink.  For example, tonight, in class, it was evidently clear – as it often becomes very rapidly and evidently clear in a packed and humidified room set at 105°-  that someone hadn’t really had a chance to freshen up their antiperspirant between work and the studio.  Through a few clever self-checks during downdog, I was able to eliminate myself as a suspect.  And once I really got moving, I had other things to think about besides the fact that the room smelled like a crowded computer lab full of seventh grade boys (who maybe are wearing the same school uniform shirts too many days in a row and need a talk with the gym teacher about their post-gym shower methods? I’m just saying).  Plus, I like the teacher on Mondays because she picks good music.   I can ignore a little potent B.O. and the occasional, teeny-tiny squeaky-fart that, yes, also happens when you have a room full of young men and women who perhaps eat more cruiciferous vegetables than they really need to and then spend an hour to 90 minutes twisting their internal organs as they try to perfect a prayer-twist.  Even in a moment of weakness, I may admit to having pooted one out ONE TIME during core work MONTHS AGO, when the teacher cranked up some Prince and I’d had a big salad for lunch.  People stink.  People fart.  Even the exceptionally pretty.

Of course, nothing prepared me for what happened during corpse pose today.  Just as the teacher was telling us to relax, and I was feeling that great comedown from a good workout, when I’ve put my whole body into it and my mind can only really formulate the words “Yes” over and over again until my internal monologue sounds like the last lines of a Joyce novel, and I’m starting to think that maybe, just maybe, everything in my life is going to work out for the best, the young man sitting next to me let out a great, floor-rattling fart.  You could have mistaken it for a truck passing by on the street below, but it was definitely human, and organic, and loud, and it moved the floor beneath us, and then came the smell.  He said nothing, I said nothing, the girl on the other side of him said nothing.  I closed my eyes and bit my lower-lip and tried not to giggle — not then, not when the teacher came by, as she does at the end of every class, to fan us with a towel and fanned him just a few seconds longer than normal, not when we sat up and recognized the teacher in all of us and bowed with a Namaste, not when I went to the locker room.  Not until I was safely in my car and I could laugh, and laugh, and laugh some more, until tears and sweat commingled and stung my eyes and I had to pull out my towel and wipe my face again.


The last day of teaching before a vacation: In GIF format

You start the day optimistic, and perhaps a little giddy and goofy. After all, it’s a short week for you, too:

As the day goes on, your students are starting to drive you a little crazy, so you ramp it up a little bit:

But by lunch, you start to find that you’re running out of steam:

And more and more frequently throughout the day, you find yourself having to remind students that this is still a school day and you’re still the one in charge:

By the time the last hour of the day rolls around, you’ve pretty much hit your breaking point:

And, for however brief a moment, your feelings about young people have taken a sharp turn towards the negative:

And your annoyance is really starting to show:

King Bitchface Baratheon, First of his Name.

But every day comes to an end, even this one:

And as you embark on your break, remember one rule of teacher vacations:



It always has seemed lucky to me that I was born at the end of May.  Spring tends to come a little later to this part of the country, but it is in it’s apex at this time, with summer fast approaching.  Everything feels a little like a celebration — the end of school, the beginning of summer, the blooming of my favorite flowers (irises, lilacs, lilies of the valley).  Winter may stretch into late April — as it certainly did this year (my parents got 17-inches of snow three days before Easter), but by my birthday, the days are long and sunny and the air is fresh and warm.  I suppose if I was prone to springtime allergies, I would feel differently, but I love this time of year. I give thanks to the infinite wisdom of my parents for deciding to bring me into the world in late spring.

I’ve been telling friends and acquaintances in the past few days that my 30s are much more pleasant a decade than my 20s were.  It’s hard to explain, but I’ve never been more comfortable with myself than I have been since turning 30.  It’s not that life is any easier or better, it’s not that I make loads of money or know how to manage my time better.  There’s just some undefined thing about being in my 30s, something that makes me more comfortable in my skin than I ever was before.

Well, happy second-sweet 16.

the long silences bother me too, but they aren’t intentional

Since Game of Thrones is still a few weeks away from airing, my Sunday nights tend to end on watching the weirdly contentious “Girls” each week.  Last night was a funny episode — Hannah (finally) gets a real job, but one working in the advertisement section of a prestigious magazine on behalf of a major retailer (it’s given the obnoxious name of the “advertorial department” which is deeply upsetting to me, even as someone who loves a fine portmanteau).  She finds out rapidly that 1) There are a lot of perks for working in a corporate environment, beyond just health care and a somewhat liveable wage, 2) she’s actually quite good at this job, which is geared towards her certain brand of observational quirkiness and kind of tempting after the major career setback she just faced 3) She could really get stuck in this job and lose all her creative energy to do anything else.  The last is a realization that almost drives her to quit and definitely drives her to cry at her desk.  And here’s what hit home at the end of the episode — when she’s decided to keep the job anyway and try to maintain the balance of paying her bills and continuing to write — she goes home at the end of the day, full of plans and hopes, telling her boyfriend that “I am going to write three hours a night when I get home everyday!” and then conks out on the couch, because she’s drained.

Anyway, that’s almost my excuse, too.  Get home from work, make dinner, suddenly it’s almost 9 and the night is toast becauseI have to be up at 5:30 anyway, so why not watch some HGTV, do the chores I have to do, and fall asleep saying “Soon, I’ll settle into a schedule where I can…” insert creative outlet here.  But that IS what happens, and it’s hard to break out of it.

Normally I’d issue a self-challenge here, but I’m just so drained today and I want to get up early to hit the gym, so, peace out.

Christmas Card

I’m terrible at Christmas cards.  Every year, I receive them, and promise that the next year, I’ll spend a day getting them written and addressed in return, but I never get as many out as I could – or send none out at all.  This year, I gave exactly one Christmas card, and that’s because no postage was required for\it.  It was the one I dropped in my landlord’s office, along with the January rent.

I occasionally get ambitious ideas, and think about sending out one of those Christmas letters, going over my year in review.  Of course, that’s just like a blog post that you print out on special paper and send to your extended family, and before I left home, I couldn’t print anything out because my printer refused to print, even in black and white, unless I bought more magenta ink.  And that is a ridiculous demand when I just want to print in black and white.  So we’re at an impasse, ol’ printy and I, and I’ll reconsider when I return.

Meanwhile, my job is to entertain Miss Liberty.  She’s been kind of full of P and V since I got to the lakehouse, and yesterday she 1) Ate cat poop 2) Pulled a flaming box out of a fire my dad had going outside and ran around the yard with it and 3) Vomited up cat poop.  In an effort to prevent this disgusting cycle from recurring, Mom has erected a wall of things that two fat cats can get over, but Liberty cannot.  This does not prevent her from trying, however.  Plus, while Hermes has no interest in golden retrievers, Girl Friday is exultant that she has someone new to push around.  She hunts Libby down, growling at her until Libby starts barking and jumping and chasing after her, only to swipe her little black paw at her with a spit. Friday also took to hiding in a box, waiting for Libby to pass, and then jumping out at her

We went for a long walk to the campground The roads are unplowed, of course, because the campground is closed, so we had to tromp through drifts at some places.  At one point, along the trail between the two lake roads, I paused to take in the silence.  I mean, silent silence.  There was no sound but my breathing, Libby’s panting, and the jangle of her collar.  I’m so used to so much ambient noise –traffic near my apartment, the various bumps and voices of my neighbors, the sound of snow plows and shovels and sirens – that it was a rare thing to be in a place of such undisturbed peace.

We tramped the rest of the way to the campground and back – three miles in the snow, all told.  The pictures I took and shared on Instagram will have to be my Christmas card this year.



Technically, this is after the walk. What a tired pup.


Merry Christmas!


And Many Happy Voyages in 2014!