Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The ban on MySpace cleared out the crowd.

Ah, Election Day.

The leaves have peaked around here, and the weather's nice. It took me three seconds to vote. Now, I'm at the public library where there is a book sale, and I wonder what it must be like to be the author whose books have been pulled from the shelves, branded with a bold "WITHDRAWN" stamp, and shoved onto the "Reduced! Unmarked books only 10 cents!" table. I bought one Newbery Award winner. How'd that make it on the table? And a ton of audio cassette recordings. Famous speeches, Charles Kuralt essays, a Garrison Keillor broadcast, and a Studs Turkel series because I know that he just died and I don't have a clue who he was. I'm a sucker. I know.

Anyway, I'm getting ready to multitask -- enter grades and catch up on Nerdfighteria while I sit here with the public library computer lab crew: the match.com dude, the solitaire guy, the YouTube lady. We're pretty cool, all of us.

Tomorrow, I'm going to see John and Hank Green. And that's all that matters.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Decision-making and the art of lawncare.

Last weekend, after a week at school that made me actually love my job, I decided that it was time to start looking for a place closer to school. After all, if I'm going to be keeping my teaching post for at least two years, I should be looking for a more reasonable dwelling with a commute time of fewer than 45 minutes each way. Thusly began the hunt.

It was frustrating -- not because I wasn't coming up with any information. I was. My word-of-mouth and school-wide email inquiries were turning up results faster than I could sort through them. But I was frustrated because this week had me chained to my desk until well after dark, long after the hour it is advisable to track down uncharted rental property. Plus, I was just too tired to do the sifting.

Thank goodness for this week. No, it didn't make me love my job quite as well as last week did, but it did give me some time to think. I still haven't followed up on any of those leads. Freeish-time is only now peeking around the corner. Who knows? Maybe I'll go apartment hunting. Maybe I won't. Yes, being closer to school would be nice, but maybe I'm just conning myself with all those glittering pros on my pro-con list. With gas prices going down and with home getting more homey by the minute, I'm not sure if sleeping with a shotgun beside my bed is really what I want right now.

Here's what I've decided:

The grass is no greener anywhere else than it is where I stand at any given moment. I should tend it and cultivate it. I should water it and be grateful for it. I should choose to see the tender shoots of green beside my feet, instead of tromping them down. And if anyone else's lawn looks more lush and velvety green than my own, it is because that person chose to make it that way, and if that same lawn doesn't stay that way after the previous owner leaves and I set up camp, it is because that person took his or her attitude with him or her, I've brought mine along, and it's the same attitude that kept my little patch of grass brown and brittle before. And I can't forget that every place goes through seasons. Nowhere -- short of Narnia -- is grass really perpetually green. But it is almost always certain to come back if I wait long enough.

If I live here or if I live there, life is life. Good or bad. I can choose to run, or I can choose to change myself. Running seems easier, but it's only temporary.