Tuesday, September 25, 2007
You know, working full time and going to school full time and finalizing last minute wedding details leaves very little time for anything else. My short-term memory stopped working about a week ago, but on the plus side, everyone is being extra nice to me. These are the lives we've chosen, I suppose.

The big news around town is that a writing professor at the local mega-state University won a MacArthur. I don't know this person, but Paul had two classes with him in college and grad school, and it's just a pleasant shock to everyone. And it seems like these awards usually go to people in bigger, more visible cities, so it's especially encouraging that everyone at the Mac-Found recognizes talent in smaller cities like Kalamazoo. It's also encouraging when writers and humanities people in general get something like this. Imagine being handed a check for half a mil, no strings attached, all for doing a good job at what you love to do anyway. I just can't.

Thursday, September 20, 2007
Hmm...I wrote something on Sunday, but it does not appear to be here any longer. Though these days, it's entirely possible that I dreamt it. It's also possible that I am just remembering wrong. But I thought I did. Oh well. Never mind.

I thought I wrote about how ironic it was to me that on Rosh Hashanah, I had to sit through a seminar on diversity. And no one mentioned that it was a Jewish holiday. I am finding more and more that when people say "diversity," they really mean "black people present." Sometimes it's "black and gay people present," but usually it's just black. Occasionally Latino. But never Jewish. Apparently, we are not diverse, even though every non-Jew I've ever met thinks eating smoked fish for breakfast is the strangest fucking thing they've ever heard.

In any case, the school year is off to a fairly good start, with the exception of two of my students getting into car accidents. Already! Sometimes I think I'm just cursed and I should just work shifts at a factory or something. I had one girl call me today to tell me that she got rear-ended, on her way to class, no less, by someone going 55 mph, and now has a wicked case of whiplash. I hate hearing that. Though, the conversation was actually hysterical because whatever pain meds they have her on makes her loopy and giggly. But it's bad.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
So yeah, obviously time is getting away from me these days. I guess the best thing I can say is that the days go by quickly because I'm never in any one place for very long. But it's alright.

Since my time for lunch is usually limited (either in my car or up in Grand Rapids between classes), I've been packing a sandwich every day. Last week, I decided that if I had to have such a hectic schedule this semester, I was going to at least get myself something good to put in my sandwiches. So I've been buying smoked salmon and cream cheese, and putting that on rye bread for lunch, and let me tell you, I really look forward to those sandwiches! Paul doesn't like smoked salmon, and he wrinkles his nose when he sees it in the fridge, but Jinx (the cat) and I think it's very tasty! And it's a nice treat in the middle of the day, which is much appreciated. Unfortunately, though, I'm out of smoked salmon, so it will have to be just plain old turkey tomorrow. I might have to stop at the store before the end of the week.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Paul and I went to apply for our marriage license today, and it was a little more fun than it should have been. I mean fun in a silly way, not fun in a look-at-us-we're-getting-married way. Silly.

We went to the county clerk's office, where one applies for marriage licenses, files for divorce, gets or files any kind of vital records like birth or death certificates, gets or files any kind of land records like deeds or liens, signs up to become a notary public (which for the longest time I thought was nota republic, like a kind of government, because I can be stunningly stupid sometimes*), and also gets concealed weapons permits. Oddly, or perhaps deliberately, the same counter in the office handles marriage licenses and concealed weapons permits. We saw this on the way in, and Paul thought he might apply for a concealed weapons permit when we were done with our marriage license business.

So then we were filling out the form, and I have to admit, I do feel a little twinge of coolness whenever I have to write in my city and state of birth, because I always get to write "New York, NY." Okay, yeah, in New York that's no big deal, but people around here always notice. And of course, when we handed our application to the lady behind the counter and she looked it over to make sure everything was filled in, she got to the part where we had to write our birthplaces and she said something like, "Ooooh, New York." It ups my external ethos points around here, and while I try not to milk it too much, I kind of get a small kick out of having to write it. So maybe that wasn't silly-fun, but it was enjoyable.

But before she read over our application, we turned it over and there was all of this official legal mumbo jumbo. Paul thought we should read it, so we did, and holy hell, they really need to update some of the language on there. Apparently, you cannot get married in the state of Michigan if you are an "idiot" or "imbecile." (Their words, not mine.) I've come across a lot of idiots in the world, but how does one discern if a person is fit for the institution of marriage based on his or her degree of idiocy? So we had a good laugh at that. Also, the state does not require blood or medical exams before obtaining a marriage license, but you can't get married here if you have an untreated case of syphilis or gonorrhea. Again, how would they know? Thankfully, I have never had either disease, but it just seems that if I did, I wouldn't go around admitting it. And finally, there was a whole list of people that a man could not marry: his mother (!), his sister (!!), his aunt (back to one !), his grandmother (!!!), his first cousin (just wrong), a few other women of close relation, and a man. As I really have no problem with gay marriage, I didn't think that last one was funny, but the rest of the list was, especially when read out loud in rapid succession.

And then we had to raise our right hands and swear to the lady that everything we wrote on the application was true to the best of our knowledge. I don't know why, but this made me laugh. It's not like we had our left hands on our hearts or a bible or each other or anything like that. And it's not like she was a judge or something. And honestly, I wasn't expecting it at all, so it just struck me as funny. Hysterical, even. I'm still laughing about it.

So anyway, yeah, we get our marriage license on Monday. Pretty exciting.

* Sometimes I just don't hear things right. Like, every time I hear the word "meteorologist," my brain really hears "meaty urologist." Yeah, I don't get it either.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007
School starts tomorrow. Yay. (Note the sarcasm!)

Monday, September 3, 2007
Me and my teeny little super cousin. I neglected to mention that one of the most fun parts of going home a few weeks ago was getting to see my new baby cousin Alex. I drove down to Princeton, which is where my cousin Stephanie and her husband David and now their son live. Alex was born on Memorial Day, and even though he wasn't early, he was super tiny: only 6 pounds! But he's healthy and happy and just so adorable. Now, at three months old, he's still little, maybe 11 pounds or so, but still completely healthy (and happy, and adorable). When I talked to Paul on the phone from their house, I tried to tell him how small Alex was, and Paul kept saying yeah, yeah, babies are small. But then when he saw the photos, he really believed me! Take this one, for example. Look how big I look compared to him! (For reference, I am also a small person, but still.)

So yeah, Alex is small. Even now, he's not much bigger than a newborn, but he has all the smiles and coos and responses of a three-month-old. And the more I thought about it, the more I decided that Alex looks like a television newborn. You know: when a woman gives birh on a tv show, the tv doctors give the woman her tv baby seconds after it's born, and it's all clean and wide-eyed and smiley. This is, of course, in contrast to real life, where newborns are covered in amniotic goo, shut-eyed, and more or less non-responsive. So perhaps there is some acting in young Alex's future? He could play the newborn baby on all kinds of comedies, dramas, heck, even soaps. Though if I know my cousin Steph, she will probably want to keep him home with her for as long as she can. Can't say that I blame her! He sure is fun.

Oh, and today is Steph's birthday! She was born on Labor Day, and her son was born on Memorial Day. There's a short story in there somewhere. Happy birthday, Steph!

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