I was way too tired to post last night, so here’s …

I was way too tired to post last night, so here’s a middle of the day post.

I made the most outstanding discovery on Sunday. I was walking around, freezing my butt off, when I decided it was too cold to continue. So I went in this “store” that was open on Sundays. Turns out you can get books from this “store” for free if they give you give them a lot of personal information and they give you a card. I got a library card on Sunday. Who would have known. I haven’t had a library card in years. In fact I don’t remember the last time I was in a public library. This one is very small but they have the latest best sellers and it’s cute and quaint. I’ll take pictures this weekend and post them. So I checked out two books. One I needed for my class and one is just to read. I’ll let you know how they are.

On another note, I have had to find a hobby to keep myself busy. I have LOTS of free time here in Iowa with not much to do. So I have started crocheting again. My mother taught me to do it in when I was in 6th grade. That winter we missed almost two months of school and I was bored, so she sat me down and taught me the basics. It’s not hard and I managed to teach myself the rest. I haven’t crocheted in years. In fact, it took a couple of days to really get used
to it again. So now I am making scarves for all my friends. I have made 7.5 scarves since I have been here. Two of them I mailed out last week and the other 5 were mailed yesterday to both sides of the country. It’s been kind of fun. I crochet while I am watching TV and it doesn’t feel like I am wasting my time. I have one more to finish and yarn for about 20 more so I have enough to keep me busy until it gets to0 warm to make scarves and then I’ll have to move on to something else. Here is a picture of the scarves I finished so far.

It’s time for my weekly update. Weight Lost this …

It’s time for my weekly update.

Weight Lost this week: 2.5 pounds
Total Weight Lost: 25 pounds
Total Exercise: about 6 or so miles. It’s too cold to be outside for long.
Classes Taught: 4
Total Students: 18 total. 11 in one class, 7 in the other
Days in Iowa: 14
Average Temperature this week: about 5 degrees…it’s been VERY cold

That’s about it for my update.

I apologize for last night’s rant. I don’t do that often on my blog but I just felt like I had to say something. The one thing I forgot to mention in my post is that Ted Haggard makes a brief appearance at the end of the movie. How did these people not know he was gay. He screams HOMOSEXUAL, and screams it with all caps. Just my opinion.

I also did a word cloud this weekend and am finally posting it. You guys can see what I am always talking about by how big the words are. If you want to do your own go here. It’s pretty cool. It scans your blog and then captures the words that are most common.

Life in Iowa is okay. Had a very lonely weekend. It’s weird not having a car in a place like this. Even weirder is that there’s no place to go even if I did have a car. There’s Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware, The Dollar General Store, and the video store, which I don’t know the name for. There are a number of restaurants in town but I don’t know if I feel comfortable yet, going there by myself. I’m trying right now to figure out which bar in town would be best to watch the Super Bowl. Not that I’m really interested in football, but it would be nice to be out of the house for a while and it would give me something to do. I’ll let you know what I decide, although I have a feeling I’ll be at home with my own six pack watching.

I have decided not to apply for the tenure-track position here in Iowa where I am teaching. I was hired as a one semester guest lecturer while they interview for the “real” position. Since I have been here I realize that I don’t think the school is a good fit for me. Especially since the position is a scenery/lighting position. I can do scenery, but lighting is my speciality and I would much rather have a job that I can concentrate on teaching lighting. So the good news is I’ll only be in Iowa for a few short months. The bad news is that I have to find a job at the end of the summer.

I bought my ticket to San Diego tonight. I’ll be flying there on February 22, and returning on February 26. There is a memorial service for my friend who died on February 25 that I want to attend. It’s being student produced and is a way for my friends who are still at school to celebrate C.P.’s life in their art. From what I have heard about it so far, it sounds like a wonderful tribute and the school administrators are behind them 100%.

That’s it from my neck of the woods.

I saw the scariest movie ever tonight. I was curl…

I saw the scariest movie ever tonight. I was curled up in my chair waiting for someone to say BOO! Unfortunately, that never happened, and as I continued to watch I became more and more concerned that what I was seeing was real. The movie…

Jesus Camp.

It’s a documentary about indoctrinating children to evangelical views of religion, specifically Christianity. They follow a series of children as they attend church, then religious camp and then go to Washington to protest abortion. I have no problem with religion. I have no problem with Christianity. On a good day, I think I might believe myself. What I don’t believe is that children should be taught to hate and fear most of the general population. They are taught that if you are not a tongue speaking, bouncing up and down, feel the Lord sort of Christian than you are going to hell. In fact there is a whole scene about “dead” Christians who just sit in church, sing the songs, and don’t really “feel” the spirit of the Lord.

As I said, I don’t have a problem with religion. I don’t even mind that they are conservative. It’s just the hatred they feel toward me and my kind. It’s the hatred they have for people of other faiths. It’s the hatred they have for people that don’t think as they do. It’s the hatred they feel for anything different than they are. I don’t pretend to know a lot about other faiths and I barely know much about Christianity, but if I have to worship a hateful vengeful god then I think I’ll take my chances with not believing. What happened to the teachings of Christ. What happened to “love thy neighbor?” What happened to “do onto others as you would have them do onto you?” What happened to John 3:16? That’s about all the scripture I can quote but according to several churches I’ve attended it’s enough. All it takes is a belief to be “saved.” There was no talking of having to “feel” the spirit.

Can you tell I’m a little angry? It just makes me mad, how fucked up these kids are going to be. Especially the gay ones. And I believe that it’s impossible that none of them are gay. They are being taught to hate themselves and everyone like them. No small child should have to carry the weight of abortion, or war. They should be out enjoying life. Trying to make the most of the gifts God has given them. Learning to love each other as well as their neighbor, as well as the Muslims down the street and the Jews on the next block. They swear these children to promises they are too young to understand let alone swear to.


I feel better now. Sorry about the venting. I’ll say a little prayer for them tonight in hopes they’ll come to understanding that a world of love and respect is far better than a world of hate and fear. If nothing else it’ll make me feel better.

I braved the cold today and walked to the movies. …

I braved the cold today and walked to the movies. The theatre in town only shows three movies and I have already seen two of them so I didn’t have a lot of choices. I might add that it only cost $4.00 to see a matinee here. In fact my soda cost the same price as the movie did. As I said I have already seen two of the movies, so my choice today was Epic Movie. Trust me I wasn’t expecting a great movie. More than anything I was looking to escape for a couple of hours and get out of the house.

So I bought my ticket and headed to the counter to buy a Diet Pepsi. Yeah, Diet Coke would be better but what’s a girl to do. I’m standing in line being annoyed by the group of nine year olds in front of me. I think it must have been there first time out because they certainly didn’t know how to act in a public place. They were punching each other, bumping into each other including me, totally ignoring their father’s pleas for them to behave. I might add here that if I had ever acted like they were, I would have been put in the car and driven home immediately where I probably would have been in trouble for a week. When the “gang” was finally served I started to step toward the counter but was completely swamped with them stepping on my toes and pushing me out of the way as they continued horsing around. None of this seem to bother the father as he completely ignored them. I had to wait another couple of minutes before I could begin talking to the guy at the counter….who was quite cute I might add. I got my Diet Pepsi and headed into the theatre.

I grabbed my seat and was shocked to realize the average age was about 10. Before the movie even started I knew that it was not the type of movie for such a young age. In fact most 13 year olds wouldn’t get the humor and it was inappropriate for them at that. The movie started and of course it was sophomoric humor with lots of tit jokes and sex jokes. Exactly what I was expecting. Not one person in the theatre laughed. At all. During the whole movie. I wanted to laugh out loud a number of times but was embarrassed that such a young audience was watching and that I would be judged by their parents for laughing. In fact the whole movie was pretty much ruined by the audience. As I sit here and write this I can hear everyone saying that I should have just laughed and enjoyed myself, but I just couldn’t. I felt like I was watching porn with little kids and that someone was just waiting for me to give credence to the movie so that I could be escorted from the theatre.

I basically sat there the whole time wondering what kind of parent would bring their young children to such a movie. As I said, there weren’t a whole lot of choices, but there’s always the video store up the street. And I am sure there are hundreds of movies there, that would have been more appropriate.

But then again, maybe that’s why I’m not a parent.

I did a kind of stupid thing this week. Something…

I did a kind of stupid thing this week. Something that explains why I haven’t posted much this week. When I got to Iowa, I realized how small my little town is, and that the chances of meeting anyone is going to be impossible. So I posted ads on a couple of websites. Unfortunately, I responded to a couple of the ads from my maddoginthecity email address. I thought nothing about it. One particular person and I had been emailing back and forth when he admitted that he had discovered my blog. Uh. Oh. Looking back on it it was probably not a good idea to use that email address, but I didn’t want to use my real one because it consists of my real name. I like being anonymous on here. I like feeling like I can talk about what I want without any real consequences. Now I feel like I can’t. I feel as if anything I say might get back to people who now know me. Did I mention this particular guy works at the same college I work at. So now I can’t tell you about the people I work with, the students in my class, nor the projects I am working on. When you live in a town of 9,000 people that doesn’t leave much else to talk about. So I am in a quandary. Do I just continue to post and not worry about this person? Do I edit my posts for the next 4 months? Do I stop posting until I leave Iowa? What to do, what to do? I wasn’t even sure I should talk about this here, but you guys out there have a large collective amount of experience in the blog world. So give me some advice. What should I do?

Of course in the meantime, I won’t answer anymore ads with my Maddog address. I’ll come up with some anonymous address to use to try and maintain some anonymity until I am ready to tell these people who I am.

I’ve seen this on a couple of blogs that I read to…

I’ve seen this on a couple of blogs that I read today, and it’s kind of fun. However, I don’t know if I should be embarrassed or proud. I owe 925.60. Damn, that’s a lot of money. I guess my past is a little more checkered than I remember.

How much money do you owe?

Here’s how it works: You don’t have to confess your answers, just the amount of your fine. (Not per incident!) Tally up your score and post it on your blog with the title… ”My Fine Is…”

Smoked pot — $10
Did acid — $5
Ever had sex at church — $25
Woke up in the morning and did not know the person who was next to you — $40
Had sex with someone on MySpace — $25
Had sex for money — $100
Vandalized something — $20
Had sex on your parents’ bed — $10
Beat up someone — $20
Been jumped — $10
Crossed dressed — $10
Given money to stripper — $25
Been in love with a stripper — $20
Kissed some one who’s name you didn’t know — $0.10
Hit on some one of the same sex while at work — $15
Ever drive drunk — $20
Ever got drunk at work, or went to work while still drunk — $50
Used toys while having sex — $30
Got drunk, passed out and don’t remember the night before — $20
Went skinny dipping — $5
Had sex in a pool — $20
Kissed someone of the same sex — $10
Had sex with someone of the same sex — $20
Cheated on your significant other — $10
Masturbated — $10
Cheated on your significant other with their relative or close friend — $20
Done oral — $5
Got oral — $5
Done/got oral in a car while it was moving — $25
Stole something — $10
Had sex with someone in jail — $25
Made a nasty home video — $15
Had a threesome — $50
Had sex in the wild — $20
Been in the same room while someone was having sex — $25
Stole something worth over more than a hundred dollars — $20
Had sex with someone 10 years older — $20
Had sex with someone under 21 and you are over 27 — $25
Been in love with two people or more at the same time — $50
Said you love someone but didn’t mean it — $25
Went streaking — $5
Went streaking in broad daylight — $15
Been arrested — $5
Spent time in jail — $15
Peed in the pool — $0.50
Played spin the bottle — $5
Done something you regret — $20
Had sex with your best friend — $20
Had sex with someone you work with at work — $25
Had anal sex — $80
Lied to your mate — $5
Lied to your mate about the sex being good — $25

It’s time for my Monday update, althought there is…

It’s time for my Monday update, althought there is not a lot to report.

Weekly Weight Loss: 0 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 22.0 pounds
Excerise: Not a lot. School gym isn’t open yet, and it’s been too cold to be outside.
Syllabi Completed: 2

Don’t know what’s up with the weight this week. I have been extremely dilligent in my efforts and yet I didn’t lose a single pound. How can that be? I may have to get more desperate in my efforts if something doesn’t happen this week.

I’m settling into Iowa and my schedule. Was at school all afternoon. Got my copy code, my email, office keys, etc. Now all I need is students. I get those tomorrow, at 8 a.m. sharp. I’m not exactly sure who thought up my schedule, but theatre classes should NEVER be taught at 8 a.m. Who can be creative when they’re not awake yet. In fact, how do they expect me to teach a class when I WON’T be awake yet. It’s a real problem. Anyone have any ideas?

Not much else going on. I’ll be going to San Diego in February for a memorial service for my friend C.P. The date hasn’t been set yet, but I’ll keep you guys posted.

It’s been a nice day today. Woke up to snow this …

It’s been a nice day today. Woke up to snow this morning. Actually started last night but we got several more inches from the time I went to bed and the time I woke up. It was so bright and white. After three years in San Diego it’s nice to actually get to experience winter. I haven’t minded the cold weather or the snow yet although it’s fun to tell people about how cold it is and all the snow we’ve had. They think I’m miserable but I’m actually having a good time.

Got the syllabi finished today. Well sort of. I have about 30 minutes left on the first one, which will be done before I go to bed tonight. The second one actually went pretty fast. I had a good idea of what I was doing before I started it. I just needed to get it down on paper and figure out the time line, points, and due dates. It actually looks good, and if I have good students I think they’ll learn a lot without being too bored. Of course I guess some of that pressures on my shoulders so I’ll have to stay ahead as well.

Continuing with the house that I am staying in. The construction of the house is really weird. The walls are about 3/4″ thick. They are not framed the way most houses are. In fact I can’t figure out how they are framed at all. But if you do any inspecting you can tell they are in fact quite thin.

Another really strange thing about the house is that it has a full basement with a washer and dryer down there. Makes sense right? But in the third bedroom, in the closet, is the hook-up for another washer and dryer. I guess you could have a second set if you wanted? Or if you were too lazy to walk downstairs you could have them upstairs. Don’t know what the deal is but I think it’s strange.

Also downstairs, in the unheated basement is a pink rumpus room with a built in bar. I don’t know how else to describe it but here it is.

And the icing on the cake. When I first toured the house and was shown the basement, there was a toilet sitting in the middle of the floor. It looked as though it were left over from some renovation and had never been disposed of. It’s not hidden from view, in a bathroom, or even sitting next to the wall. It’s just out in the middle of the floor. And then when I went downstairs to turn up the hot water heater, I discovered that the toilet is functional. Huh? It makes no sense at all. I guess if you were having a party downstairs in the rumpus room, you could just use the toilet downstairs, if you didn’t want or need privacy. Or perhaps as my friend
F.M. suggested it was for the kids I kidnap from Missouri and keep prisoner in my basement. I
know that’s not funny, but I can’t figure it out. Anyone have any ideas?

Today has been the best day I have had all week. …

Today has been the best day I have had all week. I actually managed to get some work done. I slept late, got up had breakfast, which is new for me, and then watched some T.V. I put my laundry away and then decided to go the movies. In my little Iowan town I only get 3 choices and today’s choice was Blood Diamond. It was actually very good and Leonardo DiCaprio was the best I’ve seen him. Unfortunately, the movie was quite violent and I almost left in the first five minutes because I was not in the mood for it. I stuck it out and it turned out to be quite good.

Here’s the best part. I got home from the movies at 6:30 and have been working on my syllabus for the past 6 hours. It’s almost finished. I have two empty class days, but I think if I rework a couple of slots I can fill the days with things I already have planned. All in all the class should be quite interesting and I hope will be fun for the students as well as me. Tomorrow I have to get the syllabus done for my other class and then I’ll almost be ready to start to work on Tuesday.

I’ve rented a three bedroom house in my VERY small town in Iowa that continues to be a source of strange and humorous things. First it was supposed to come furnished. However, my idea of furnished and the realtor’s idea of furnished are very different. When I got to the house, it had a chair, an end table, a double bed frame with a mildewed mattress and a dresser. I pointed out that the mildewed mattress wouldn’t work at all, and they agreed to get me another one. I went off to get things I needed and when I returned I had a kitchen table with three chairs and a twin bed. I haven’t slept on a twin bed since college. I don’t fit. I’ve almost fallen out of the bed several times now, as I roll over. I have to be very careful while I am asleep. I have been promised a double bed by the end of next week. Cross your fingers that the realtor thinks it’s as important as I do.

I’m witnessing my first snow fall tonight. We’ve had snow here all week, but it was on the ground when I got here. It started snowing here this evening and it’s been snowing all night. There are several different forecast for how much snow we are supposed to get. One guy said 4-6 inches, weather.com says 1-2, and another guy said 5-7. I don’t really care, I just think it’s cool that it’s snowing, although it means I’ll shovel snow for the first time tomorrow in 12 years. Sounds like fun to me.

I have had the worst time focusing today. I have …

I have had the worst time focusing today. I have tons of work to do to get ready for my classes and I just can’t seem to force myself to sit down and do it. I did get up early today and drive to Des Moines to return my rental car. It’s a long story but I had to return the car that brought me to Iowa and pick up a local car that I could return in my VERY small town.

I got home around 1:30 and had a Subway sandwich for lunch. There are actually two locations of Subway here. The towns not big enough for two of anything. I considered taking a nap after the sandwich and thought better of it. I haven’t been sleeping well and a nap only makes it worse. So I decided to check and see if there were any websites to meet boys in Iowa. There are a lot if you are looking for sex. And it’s not that sex wouldn’t be nice, but it’s not what I need right now. I did post a couple of ads and a few people answered tonight. Of course they were all in the bigger cities and were looking for sex. We’ll see what happens over the next couple of days.

What I really needed to do was start my syllabus. My class starts in 4 days and I haven’t even started planning for it. That’s not exactly true. I have it all worked out in my head, but I need to put it on paper and plan when I’ll do things, in what order and how fast I’ll move. It’s a lot to do in only a couple of days which means that I have to be seriously focused on Saturday and Sunday.

I am still getting calls about my friend C.P. Many people from San Diego are calling to see how I am doing and how I am dealing with the news. I talked to L.P. tonight, another teacher at school. We had a great conversation and talked a lot about C.P. We talked about the anger we felt over his killing himself, the sadness, and the grief. Toward the end of the conversation we were laughing at some of the things he often did. His funeral is on Sunday (I can’t go) but the school is having a memorial service for him on February 4th. I plan to travel west for that. I was saying that it really needs to be a celebration of his life and not a sad affair. We ended the conversation there.

After I hung up the phone I sat in the parking lot of Subway and cried. C.P. died on Monday and the news was passed along on Tuesday. Last night writing my blog entry was the first time I cried. Today was the second. It just comes from nowhere, lasts about 4 or 5 minutes and then passes. I felt silly, sitting there crying but I felt like I needed it. I eventually dried my eyes and went and got my roast beef sandwich.

I came home and have been in a fog ever since. I am going to bed now. Perhaps I’ll be able to sleep tonight and will be able to get work done tomorrow.