Monday, January 12, 2009
I'm going through a period of adjustment - in a good way. I've scaled back my schedule so that I only teach two days a week. This frees up the rest of my time to write, work on my thesis, work on another big project I've undertaken and to finally clean my house. This is really nice. I almost don't even know what to do with myself because for so long I've been going and going and going like a maniac and now I don't really have to do that. Of course I'm not the kind of person to sit around on my ass all day (except when I'm writing), so I've gotten myself involved in all sorts of exciting things now that I can.

I thought that this year we would be moving. I knew this would be the year that I would get out of South Florida once and for all and that I would finally get to move to a city with real trees and seasons and possibly, if I were very lucky, a Trader Joes. Last week I learned that this would not be the case. I'm not moving out of South Florida. It seems the Universe wants me here. It's like a jail sentence and I haven't finished serving my time. But I don't want to think of it that way. I have a lot of really good friends here. While we don't have a Trader Joes we do have IKEA. I can walk on the beach in January and we have fresh produce in winter. In fact, I actually really like the winter down here a lot, so I can't complain right now. Give me until about May before I really start bitching. I hate our summers. Damned hurricane season. But there are really good things about living in South Florida. At least I don't have to change the name of my blog. This title definitely wouldn't work in San Francisco.

Another good thing about the new developments is that Husband and I will be able to travel a lot more, so we can visit other climates. We can see our distant families more. I made Husband promise to take me to Maine for a week this summer because, as some of you might remember, that is my lifelong dream. I've wanted to go to Maine for years. I really need to see a place with that many lobsters and blueberries (my two favorite foods). So, it's a good thing that we're not moving. Everything is going to be ok.

In other news, something is not ok at all.

I have a cold sore.

How the hell did I get a cold sore????? This sucks. I don't know where this damned thing came from. I honestly don't. I haven't had a cold sore since 2003. That's almost six years.

I feel like a pariah; contaminated and dirty. When I have a cold sore I feel like other people look at me and imagine me sucking some dirty dick in an alley for five dollars. I know when people see the sore they imagine that I have sores all over my crotch too and that they make moral judgments about me. The truth is, I don't have sores anywhere else. I am not a two bit street walker. I've had cold sores since I was little and luckily I never had them with much frequency. But eww, I just feel so gross. And yes, I'm taking lysine and Zovirax for it and it seems to be going away very quickly. thank the blessed Lord.

The cold sore made me lips swell up and I took a look at myself, a little squinty so I blurred out the oozing sore, and I thought I looked pretty good with unusually plumped up lips. I could almost be Angelina Jolie. Almost. If only I could get my lips to swell a little without a crusty yellow scab and leaking blisters, then I'd be set.

I'm dreading teaching tomorrow with this thing on my face. I've got a difficult crop of students this semester. I haven't bonded with them just yet and I have a couple of smart asses who are dead set on trying to get to me and fluster me as I teach. Last week they told me that I reminded them of Tina Fey as the math teacher in "Mean Girls." Now I love Tina Fey. You have no idea how I love Tina Fey. I think she's brilliant and gorgeous and she's one of my writing idols. So I could take this as a compliment. The students didn't mean it as a compliment though. They meant it as that I was goofy, nerdy and spazzy. But hey, she won two Golden Globes last night for being goofy, nerdy and spazzy so I think I'll just take it as a compliment anyway. I don't even want to imagine what they're going to say about my cold sore. Pray for me readers.

Oh, and they also wanted me to tell them what it was like in the 80s. Way to make someone feel old as hell.

But don't worry. Give me a month and I'll either win them over or scare the crap out of them so they behave. I'm guessing I'll win them over.

37 comments:

Miss Kitty said...

You'll win them over...even if it';s a forced win. Heh-heh-heh. [evil professor laugh]

Maybe I missed this, but are they high schoolers, or college kids? I feel for you with the difficult ones--I have a 3rd-timer in one of my lit classes this term, a guy who's generally been a doofus and has failed my class 2x already. But he keeps taking it again...always with me. [sigh]

Best of luck, WL. Kick their little Twinkie asses.

MtnMama said...

I can see now that one of the reasons your writing resonates with me is that we are both willing to subject ourselves to being crazy busy - and both of us seem to be living in places that don't fit, which doesn't help.

Or it's just that your writing is so good.

If some little punk asked me what the 80s were like I'd be tempted to tell them I can't remember because of the drugs. But that doesn't work for everyone....

Christi Lee said...

Somewhere in this post I can see the use of that time machine if your neighbor gets it up and running... Nothing like prime footage of your students pooping in the tub in the "90's" to scare the crap out of them.Or I am just scary.

CC said...

Oh, just do like David Sedaris when his students questioned his teaching abilities. I quote:

" 'I'm the one that's paid to be here.' Right then and there I knew that I could explain away everything."

It might work.

Missicat said...

I would definitely take comparison to Tina Fey as a compliment!
Someone asked you what the 80s were like? As if it were sooo long ago? Tell them you only occasionally left the cave because of the dinosaurs...

Sauntering Soul said...

You'll definitely win them over, cold sore and all.

jm-kaye said...

Tell them the 80's were AWESOME and MTV played ACTUAL MUSIC and they'll never see anything so awesome in their lifetimes, never, never, NEVER. Then laugh diabolicaly.

oh, and stress can bring on a cold sore. Try to relax.

LegalMist said...

Oh I would love to have my students ask me to tell them about the '80's. I'd start by quoting Grandpa Simpson's old-timer tales -- especially the one where he goes on about how when he was young he "wore an onion on my belt, 'cause that was the style at the time...."

Then I'd make stuff up about how it used to snow every winter in South Florida in the '80's, but with global warming, well, not so much...

Then I'd make more stuff up about how I owned a Maserati in high school but traded it in for a 1967 VW Bus because I was rebelling against the Reagan Republican revolution, and that my school was allowed to serve ketchup as a "vegetable" at lunch (oh, wait, that one was true... well maybe if you throw in one true fact, they'll believe the rest!).

They'll either believe you (sad, but I'd call that a win anyway), or laugh (and hopefully you'll win them over) or look at you like you're completely nuts, which might at least scare them into behaving. :)

Michelle said...

You should move to Minnesota! We have trader Joe's AND Ikea.
We also have definite seasons. Winter is brutal and our high tomorrow is around negative 12. See everything you are looking for!
We even have wide lawns and narrow minds!

another Michelle said...

You're teaching English to the little darlings, right? Explain all the dirty stuff in Shakespeare. That'll make 'em pay attention.

Anonymous said...

You called me today but didn't leave a message? Maybe you just wanted to tell me how much S. Florida sucks because you know that I'd agree.

Drink some red wine for your coldsore. And dab some of the wine on the sores. And save a little bit in a glass (so the water evaporates) and dab with it a few times per day. Freeze-dried red wine would be better, but wine concentrate will still help.

Dayna said...

I think the 80's was an AWESOME decade too.

WL I feel you pain. I start school tomorrow too, but as a student not a teacher.

Jess said...

You wouldn't be so old if you knew what it was like in the eighties! At least that's what I keep telling myself.

What subject do you teach?

traca said...

Abreva is the greatest thing. It will get rid of your thing in no time. I always get one a year when the weather dries out.

Jo said...

I'll join you in the giant, oozy cold sore department this week, after several years without one. Ughhh. I feel like a leper.

Renee in Seattle said...

Screw winning them over, scare the crap out of them!! Age has to have some benefits.....

Anonymous said...

Some info on cold sores.

They are caused by a virus (usually HPV1, sometimes HPV2), they will never go away for the rest of your life (or, until they actually find a cure) and pop up sporadically. They're not that big of a deal, just try not to spread it to other people. The virus is usually pretty easily spread when you have an outbreak. Estimates on the number of people who have HPV range from 40-80% worldwide (so lots of other people have it, not just you). It is considered an STD, but it's not nearly as bad as HPV2.

The more you know?

Albany Jane said...

I also want to go to Maine to chow down on lobsters some day. The closest I've been was when I got a delivery of 12 live lobsters from people on their way through Maine to Chicago through Albany. Oh, that was a great night! But still, I'd like to make a pig of myself in public, on the shores of Maine one day.

Pat said...

Sorry about the cold sore.

Actually, you'd be much happier living near a Wegman's than a Trader Joe's.

Wegmans.com

stephanie said...

Anon 4:43 is completely wrong. The virus that causes cold sores on your lips is NOT an STD. Herpes type 1 = cold sores etc. Herpes type 2 = the STD one, or genital herpes. Cold sores are common enough anyway, so don't worry about people mistakenly thinking it's an STD!

Anyway, I happen to be in high school...so what was it really like in the 80s?

kerry said...

I hope your cold sore goes away soon. I agree with the commenters that say to scare the dickens out of those difficult students!

Anonymous said...

Maine rocks. I love it and have spent a lot of time there. Go to Bangor and see Stephen King's house - just because his fence is so weird. Shop in Freeport. AND, of course, Bah Habah (Bar Harbour).

~Maureen~

Mattie said...

At the first tingle of a cold sore, get an ice cube or a washcloth full of ice and freeze the spot where it's tingling. It won't stop it from coming out, but it won't be as big or last as long.

I usually get a cold sore when one the following two things happen:

Stress
Too much Sun

You can also buy an over the counter (that used to be prescription) Abreva. It's the only OTC medication approved by the FDA to get rid of cold sores. And it works.

IMHO, your trip back home definitely could be filed under the Stress requirement for a cold sore.

Anonymous said...

I write to Trader Joes all the time asking them to come down here. Join me! Go on the website and ask them to come to S. FL. They say they listen. I never thought IKEA would make it and look it did!

Last Minute Lyn said...

Glad your staying and I do miss Trader Joes but, I don't miss snow ice and freezing.

Lauren said...

Forget Maine!
Come to Nova Scotia - not much farther and far prettier! (No offence, readers from Maine.) Because the US economy is tanking and there is nowhere to export to, we have lobster right now for $5.00/lb, or with the exchange about $4.00 US...
Great hospitality here and your dollar will also go about 20% farther.
Not to mention the blueberries...
I am from Halifax, the capital city.. google it.. and seriously consider a visit!
Lauren (long time reader, infrequent commenter)

MamaD4 said...

I have a cold sore right now too and it is HIDEOUS! I usually get them in the corner of my lip, so I can feign having had a stroke and sort of hide them, but this one is right smack-dab in the center of my upper lip. And just as you say, I imagine everyone staring at it in horror. Horror! It just came yesterday, so now it is entering the crustaceous period of bleeding, scabbing and ooooozing.

Did that make you feel a little better? Or possibly worse. Sorry. I'm just so happy not to be alone!

Anonymous said...

HPV 1 can be an STD. I found this out in my 20s, when I had a horrid outbreak, er, below the waist (combined with a yeast infection - yikes!). The doctor said that I might have given it to myself or I could have gotten it from my (also virginal) BF.

Both HPV1 and 2 can be found above or below the waist, so be careful out there folks. I had a few outbreaks after my first, but nothing in the past 10 years.

BoB said...

So many people I know are slowing down this semester. I'm looking forward to not teaching, only having one class, and actually doing some research.

Good luck on your thesis and do your best with the kids. My experience with teaching was that even though it took way too much time, there was at least one kid a section who made it worthwhile.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Word of warning about Maine - wait until the end of summer to go if you want to stick your feet in the ocean! I was up at the beginning of July, last year, and the ocean was 58 degrees! In southern Maine. Thank god the hotel had a heated pool! God it is beautiful up there, we had a blast, plan on going back again this summer!

Audry said...

I was just spending some time catching up on your blog. I was reading about your sister and "Brad", and I just got a bad feeling. I think I may know “Brad”. Mommy bailed him out? Was this in the spring? I know he told you he was from New England, but did he ever mention Arizona? Does he really look like you described him? The things that you wrote, The plans, The buying a house (it falling through that way. Lost check.). Always planning to fly off, but the change of plans. Playing off like he had money, But "I use cash". A similar thing happened to my friend’s sister this summer. It was so sad. “Robert” was her first boyfriend. He scammed her so badly, that he tricked her into giving her Mom a forged check, and her Mom ended up in jail. It’s just so strange how they sound so alike. “Robert” was extradited back to Arizona on warrants. But who knows what is happening with that. Everyone always seems too embarrassed to press charges against him. He can’t keep getting away with this.

PLEASE let us know what happens with "Brad". if they are the same person, it would he funny.

Wide Lawns said...

Audry, he was definitely from New England and not Arizona. Yes, he really looked as I described him. Sadly, I think it's not the same person but just that there are a lot of bad people out there who behave this way.

jm-kaye said...

Yes, unfortunately these guys are a pretty common species. I encountered my own version of "Brad" and "Robert" a few years ago in Southern California. The whole thing ended with me declaring bankruptcy, but I was lucky to avoid getting sued. Moral of the story: If it smells like bullshit, it is.

Green said...

I look forward to your visit to the Bay Area. Please let me know when to expect you, so I can get out my red carpet.

KT said...

Oh, you'll win them over. Tina Fey did, right?

If you move to just north of LA, we have a Trader Joe's...but the lawns are narrow and the minds are wide, so I don't know what you'd do about that.

Pat's idea is a good one, too -- Wegmans RULES. Wide lawns and narrow minds certainly abound in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, that's for sure.

Kate said...

I wish people wouldn't pass judgment on others for something so banal as a cold sore. It's not like you chose it.

Corrinne said...

yes. posting way late again. Is this bad blog etiquette? I really don't know? If it is PLEASE tell me.

I live in New Hampshire, not far from Maine at all. It. is. Beautiful. Also, VT and NH this time of the year is gorgeous, but not a good time to go to the Ocean. And warning, the ocean in Maine gets to about 60 something degrees, IF that. It is really cold. But breathtaking. If you ever come up this way I'll tell you all the neat places to go.

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