My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Loose Ends


Summer for this researcher means one thing: new student applications. Which means, looking for wealthy parents who might be good donors. This year, I got more than just the first two pages of the application. I got the whole thing, including the essay portion. Lord, there have been some really, really bad sentences that I wish I could share but I consider that not only an invasion of these pathetic high schooler’s privacy but a violation of confidentiality. So, you’ll just have to trust me when I say I don’t know what the hell they’re teaching in high school English these days (and I do not mean just in the public schools, either), but it ain’t grammar and logical thinking. I think it’s Inflated Ego and Misplaced Self Esteem. Mmm.

Today, I opened a student folder and found a little notation from someone in the admissions office. The kid’s father is a marriage and family therapist. Someone wrote next to this “his parents are divorced – ha ha.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a bit rude. Whoever wrote this may not have realized that this comment would have remained in the student’s file forever – until I took out a Sharpie and blacked it out. Obnoxious. It’s one thing to think it (I mean, goodness knows I think rude things all the time) but it’s quite another to WRITE IT DOWN. I can’t tell you how many ill-advised comments about donors I’ve seen written up in contact reports – this guy’s an asshole, that guy’s an alcoholic. Please. Keep it to yourself.

A quick update on life before I move on:

Bowie (yeah, yeah, bear with me). I ended the Bowie Fest with Ziggy Stardust on my birthday (because despite evidence to the contrary, I do actually have a slight bit of taste and refinement. But only a bit. Don’t ask me what CDs I bought with a birthday B&N gift card. Two words precede the name of the bands.). In between, I listened to a lot of minor and forgettable CDs like “Buddha of Suburbia” and “Black Tie/White Noise.” Stuff like that. Mainly because it was all the rest of the acceptable Bowie that I owned on CD, though I can’t for the life of me remember when or where I purchased them. The ‘90’s are a blur. Which is probably for the best. There was also “Diamond Dogs,” which rules pretty hard, "Lodger" and "Scary Monsters". Albums I enjoy but don’t have on CD include “Pin Ups” and “Young Americans.” I hope to eventually rectify this.

Reading to dogs. This went pretty well, all told. Dusty got super shy and I had to coax the words out of her mouth. Our dog, Sprite, was a nice white shaggy Lhasa Apso mix. Sprite is a rescue dog – she’d been found on the side of the highway a couple of years ago in very bad shape. Once rehabilitated, her talents came to light and she was trained as a therapy dog. And now she gets to hear (I hope) Dusty read a story about Buzby the cat for the next couple weeks. Perhaps next time, she’ll actually read whole passages out loud to Sprite. I had to restrain myself from coming one of those pushy moms who expects their child to perform (in front of a dog and his handler!) and just let Dusty be shy, be herself, and let it be okay. That’s amazingly hard to do even though I was the shyest kid in Shyster Town. So, I get it. And yet, I act like an asshole sometimes. Until I stop myself.

The dentist. I had to go for a cleaning this morning. I dread the dentist. Not so much for the pain and agony of the scraper, the saliva sucker, or the polisher. Not even the very sharp and hurty x-ray films that were continuously shoved in my mouth for about an hour and a half (or perhaps it just felt like that). I’ve never had a cavity. Yes, you read that correctly. No cavities, ma! I’ve had oral surgery (not fun) and two wisdom teeth removed (ditto), and seven teeth removed for braces (goes without saying – ditto), so I know dental pain. No, what I really hate (or I should say, who I hate) is the dental hygienist. My god, the woman can talk. And talk. And talk. She’s eons younger than me. Single. No kids. Youngest (read: spoiled) child in her family (and I know this because she talks all the time) but has this condescending manner about her. And she knows everything about me because not only is she my dental hygienist but she’s also my husband’s. He saw her last week and must have mentioned our guests because the first thing she asked me was, “So, did you have a good time with your writer friend?” What? My what? Finally I figured out what she was talking about but, jeez, really, girly it’s none of your business. And, how do you remember all that? She’s really no better than a gossipy nail technician. It kind of creeps me out to think she’s thinking about my family (and lord doesn’t she know all about the children) when she’s not at work. Ech.

So, what was I really going to talk about? Now I don’t remember. Oh, my favorite summer shows, two of which feature the same chef, Gordon Ramsey. The shows? Hell’s Kitchen (FOX) and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (BBC America). Man, talk about your fun viewing. Maybe I’ll save that for tomorrow. Red’s suddenly kind of stinky and needs some immediate attention. Y’all take it easy.


6:38 p.m. ::
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