Keem Street

Ah, one step closer to world domination. (pictured with helpful Zach, aka Mr. Toffamy). This street was spotted in Cairns, an Australian city close to the Great Barrier Reef. I feel like there must be some sort of Great Gurgle/Great Barrier Reef wordplay in there someplace, but I can’t quite find it.


While walking home from a baseball game last night, a group of us spontaneously, soberly and (mostly) non-ironically burst into two full verses of “This Land is My Land”.

You see, it’s the little things that let you know you are hanging out with the right crowd.

It is unfathomable to me that in 3 weeks I will be a Master of Science. Even less believable is that I’ll be completely finished with the seemingly infinite number of things I have to do before that can happen. And truly beyond comprehension is that I have NO CLUE what I will be doing with myself the day after graduation. I have no choice but to save the bulk of that freakout for later but trust me, it is on its way and it will be a doozy.

In the meantime, I’m having a great time at my second student teaching placement, enjoying the company of a Fun New Guy, and further discovering the joys of warmer weather and my rooftop deck. In addition, I’m eating Indiana Jones M&Ms with teensy fedoras and skulls and such printed on them.
Life is fun.

Apologies for the extended hiatus – I am currently in the final stretch of a 10 day beach vacation with 18 of my relatives. Depending on who you are and what your family is like (or what you know about my family) you are either rolling your eyes in disgust at my awesome fortune or cringing in sympathetic agony. Actually, my family is a pretty cool group of people –  generally speaking they are intelligent, witty, friendly game-players who like to eat chocolate and stay up too late. Therefore, despite the crammed quarters and not ever being alone ever ever for 6 days straight – horrid for a loner such as I  – I’m feeling fairly relaxed.

Sadly, I lost about half of my vacation to a throat and ear infection, for which I’m still on antibiotics. I had to go to a disturbing local doctor to get them and I’m still sort of flabbergasted by what happened there (more on that later – can you even stand the wait?!).  But right now I’m just sleepy and warm, listening to the waves of the Gulf crash outside my window, satisfied with my belly full of shrimps, and looking forward to one last morning in the sun before returning to the drudgery and snow of home.

And somehow it is suddenly mid-March. How the hell did that happen? Everything continues to be getting better and better on both the work and personal fronts. Daylight Saving Time is playing havoc with my poor confused and sleep-deprived brain, but I think that sunny warmish days will help the adjustment in no time. I’ve gotten to see a number of well-missed out-of-town friends in the last few weeks. The better weather is facilitating a growing love for my new neighborhood.  Tomorrow I get to go see the G-pantsses and next week I hit the Alabama beaches. I’m finding myself walking around humming and whistling again, all of which indicates I am getting back to Keemness after a short hiatus of intense crabbypants. Good Gurgle to you all.

Work is still sucking out my soul so I don’t have much to write in the way of real life, but my weekend was filled to the brim with escapism in the form of movies, highlighted by the Oscars Sunday night. I went to the AMC Theaters’ Best Picture movie marathon on Saturday and found myself not very invested in any of the films that were up this year. Yeah, I guess No Country for Old Men was as good enough as any so I’m not bitter about the win, but I wasn’t particularly blown away (no pun intended) either. Time may prove it to be a deserved, Oh They Got it Right That Year film or not. Looking at this list, it’s sort of a crap shoot.

I like lists and I like movies and I like checking things off lists, especially if they are movies. So here are all the Best Picture winners and, inspired by that library girl, those in bold are the ones I’ve seen.

1927/28: Wings
1928/29: The Broadway Melody
1929/30: All Quiet on the Western Front
1930/3: Cimarron
1931/32: Grand Hotel
1932/33: Cavalcade
1934: It Happened One Night
1936: The Great Ziegfeld
1937: The Life of Emile Zola
1938: You Can’t Take It with You
1939: Gone with the Wind
1940: Rebecca
1941: How Green Was My Valley
1942: Mrs. Miniver
1943: Casablanca
1944: Going My Way
1945: The Lost Weekend
1946: The Best Years of Our Lives
1947: Gentleman’s Agreement
1948: Hamlet
1949: All the King’s Men
1950: All about Eve
1951: An American in Paris
1952: The Greatest Show on Earth
1953: From Here to Eternity
1954: On the Waterfront
1955: Marty
1956: Around the World in 80 Days
1957: The Bridge on the River Kwai
1958: Gigi
1959: Ben-Hur
1960: The Apartment
1961: West Side Story
1962: Lawrence of Arabia
1963: Tom Jones
1964: My Fair Lady
1965: The Sound of Music
1966: A Man for All Seasons
1967: In the Heat of the Night
1968: Oliver!
1969: Midnight Cowboy
1970: Patton
1971: The French Connection
1972: The Godfather
1973: The Sting
1974: The Godfather Part II
1975: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1976: Rocky
1977: Annie Hall
1978: The Deer Hunter
1979:Kramer vs. Kramer
1980: Ordinary People
1981: Chariots of Fire
1982: Gandhi
1983: Terms of Endearment
1984: Amadeus
1985: Out of Africa
1986 : Platoon
1987: The Last Emperor
1988: Rain Man
1989: Driving Miss Daisy
1990: Dances With Wolves
1991: The Silence of the Lambs
1992: Unforgiven
1993: Schindler’s List
1994: Forrest Gump
1995: Braveheart
1996:The English Patient
1997: Titanic
1998: Shakespeare in Love
1999: American Beauty
2000: Gladiator
2001: A Beautiful Mind
2002: Chicago
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004: Million Dollar Baby
2005: Crash
2006: The Departed
2007: No Country for Old Men

Things are slowly looking up at work, at home and on the social front. I think the glimmer of the promise of the end of winter is helping my mood considerably. Also helping: about 40% of my 400 students now say hi to me in the hallways. And a teacher I don’t even know came up and told me she appreciates all the work I’ve done in the library so far. And also today at lunch a 7th grade boy asked, “We get to come see you for class in the library today, right?” and another student and I bonded over Inkheart, with him telling me that the second part of the trilogy is the best and that I’ll “be really surprised at what happens”. Aw. His classmate then came up to me after class to tell me that when a friend tell you that a movie is good, that is a subjective statement (our topic for the day: opinions, objectiveness and bias) and that liking the 2nd and 3rd Pirates of the Carribbean movies just because you liked Johnny Depp in the first one is an example of bias.

My heart, she soars.

Happy Year of the Rat! I’ve decided that since it is a new year I will turn over a new attitudinal leaf and try to keep a sense of humor about the increasingly ridiculous experiences I’m having at work right now.

Yesterday was actually a GREAT day. I got to go to a day long conference aaaalllll about the best children and YA books published in the last year. It was a 7 hour long book talk and even though I didn’t really know anybody (librarians are a pretty cliquey bunch, aren’t we?) I had a great time. The frosting on the day was that I got to meet El for a jaunty downtown lunch AND I got to take the train to and from the event. I forgot how much I love commuting by CTA and I honestly feel like a big part of the reason I’ve been feeling disconnected from the city and not settled in was that I hadn’t yet ridden the rails.

So yesterday was a good day, despite the sloppy, sleety, dirty-slush covering snowstorm all day. Stupidly, I wore super thin dress pants and my moccasiniest suede sneakers to tromp the 3/4ths of a mile to the train station and back. I got home with pruney feet and ruined shoes, but still: a good day.

Here’s hoping for more of the same…

I just found out that the Superbowl is this weekend.

You know where I’ll be: Rooting for my favorite starting line-up.

P.S. I found my iPod!

P.P.S. I changed my mind – I do hate going there every morning.

When last we saw our intrepid heroine, she was barreling toward a new life in pursuit of finishing up her last chapter and starting a new one. What adventures will she encounter? What perilous situations will she get into next? Where will she go? Who will she meet? What monsters will she face and defeat? Tune in here to find out!

Ok. I’m here still. Actually I’m not here still…it’s probably more accurate to say I’m here NOW. I’m in a new place, physically, mentally, emotionally.  I am still adjusting to my new routine and new space. My student teaching gig has crazy hours that require me to get to bed no later than 10pm in order to be marginally functional  which leaves me without my prime blogging hours, hence the lack of posts of late. But I’ll adjust soon and the gooey contents of my head will once again be served up for your consumption.  In the meantime, here’s the quick lowdown on the Life of Keem:

The Move: Was Awful. Well, the actual move was fine – my furniture was delivered in a timely fashion and nothing was really broken. However, the aftermath was pretty messy, with a lot of very annoying incidents that required about 100 times more time and energy than they really should have.   This was exhasuing and crankifying and since I didn’t want the Great Gurgle to become an endless whiney tirade, I chose to not document the day to day drama. I’m just glad it is basically over now. The only casualties (besides my mind): bedsprings, vacuum cleaner, plants (left behind and now replaced) and my Ipod, waterbottle and hairbrush (all MIA and being mourned).

The Apartment: Very small but livable, with plenty of storage. There were a lot of things that were a mess when I moved in because the place was sitting empty for about 3 months but most are  fine now and I’m about 85% unpacked and settled in.

The Cat: Magellan is actually pretty ill and is now on 3 different pills each day and one injection per week, all administered by me.  The stress of the move and my new schedule is not helping at all, but I’m optimistic.

The Job: I’m finishing up my second week of student teaching and the best thing I can say about it at this point is that I don’t hate going there every morning. I don’t think I have any sort of proper perspective to talk about it yet, except to say that at the very least I am certain I will learn something. So that is good.

Now time for bed.  Well, the rest of Ace of Cakes, then to bed.