Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Almost Over and....???

Last night, the bog near our house had that Keatsian autumnal look - all misty and spiritual. I had a nice poetic moment of gazing at the bog while the kids stood there very quietly - so peaceful and poetic. That was just moments before I had to pull Mazy away from eating a fresh load of her favorite appetizer - goose poop. With bogs comes geese, and with geese comes...well.

But the end is drawing near. Emma's birthday decorations went up today (from Emma, "My birthday is more of a season than only one day...") True, since we have different birthday events planned from the 23 through the 30. Since she was born the last week of August, it must mean summer is ending. Yikes.

Because I've either been in school or taught school most of my life, September is my secret new year. Forget dull January when I'm working off debt and extra pounds. September always seems like a new beginning. And while the winter seems endless, summer seems about a week long.

I had really, really high expectations for the summer.Out of the three kids' rooms, I got one sort of cleared out, one done, and the other, Philip's, still looks like a DMZ.(He's not too worried - that's him up there during his last beach visit) I don't have my photographs organized, the yard is still spooky looking, and the book I was finishing in June is still languishing on a flash drive.

What I did get done was a revision of an MG, lots of new ideas for stories, one area of the basement cleared, and most of my fall curriculum written. And we found a new, more deserted beach a little south of here. That pales compared to my list, but with the start of the secret new year, I'll just roll them over there. (I'm sort of swiping that from the cell phone company - if they can roll over minutes, I can roll over ambitions since they both represent time in a wobbly way)

I can't be the only sitting here missing summer already and thinking time is speeding up. Did you have plans bigger than two months would allow? What did you get done and what's still waiting?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Was it Confuscius who said, "She who attempts to do three rooms at once will only do one room at a time despite many lists"?

Maybe that was a Russian aphorism, but I am here to say: IT IS VERY TRUE. And because there is stuff all over the place in this house and it's weird, crazy hot and swampishly humid outside, I need to avoid both my writing work and the housework. So I've been keeping a new list: one of words that are new to me but not new to the under 18 set. 

For those of you who are YA writers, take heed. The majority of these were lifted from sentences of the teens who infest my living room. In no particular order, here are the ones I've culled:

TwitLit - a "dumb" book that has no depth - taken from the mind numbing supeficiality of Tweets

Bacne - the appearance of zits on the back and/or shoulders

AFK - Away From Keyboard - as when asked any question as in, "Philip, what is the capital of Delaware?" It is answered, "IDK AFK" because the actual BOOKS are in the other room and he's already on the couch

Butter - a term that has nothing to do with what we once spread on toast; this now means that something is wonderful or the best

In this sentence, the bolded words all mean the same thing: That idiot is such a tool and his friend is like totally 404 (as in the message error 404 for vacant page)

How was the movie? Great, it was intense and riveting (Mom) Same sentence in teen: It was H (for hardcore)

Mouse Potato - replacing the Couch Potato of my generation who sat in awe of cable movies playing on the living room tv, this is a person who engages in much of the same nothingness in front of a computer screen

Swipe Out - when a debit card funded by a 'rent has been ground down to zero dollars

See if you can figure this out: I saw Erin chillaxing and she looked fly. She got new rides.

Answer Key: Erin was not stressed, she looked good and she had new sneakers on. It took me a bit to get rides meant shoes and not boyfriends who drove.

Maybe I was being a wanksta which I'm pretty sure is the dorky version of gangsta, as in a person who is trying to be all cool and fly but is in fact, a mom or a teacher (or in my case, both...)

Then there is this strange one: "So just because I asked for ONE belly piercing, Mom, you don't have to get all salty on me, ok?"

Say what? Am I the only one who thought of old, grizzled sailors cursing into their beers while sitting in seedy, dockside bars? Apparently, salty here only means difficult.

Then there is Christopher, back from his college summer, explaining to me that the girl I thought was lovely at the freshman orientation had, in fact, a tramp stamp visible above her thong. Ok, I thought, do I want to know? I couldn't resist; the rhyme forced me to press onward and ask. A tramp stamp is a tattoo (a tat in teen) right above the rump. I could have gone right on living without ever having known that little nugget.

Also in college, there is the dreaded, rushed paper called a Wikidemia which is writing solely researched on that a student submits hoping/praying that the professor will not check sources

College kids also run off to check their vitals, which means they run to the nearest electronic device to check their Facebook page (myspace has gone the so yesterday route of "emo" and voice mail), their texts and emails.

In the car today, Emma said breezily that she couldn't wait to see her bra back at school. After much confusion and a sense of surrealness that I had lost track of time, my children, and the motions of the planets, Emma explained that a brah is the female equivalent of a bro, or a best friend. 

Right. Got it. Or rather, I'm down with it.