Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Back in New York City, Monkey, Monkey, Dad

Yes, it is the title of an

Genesis - Genesis Archive 1967-1975 - Back in N.Y.C.old Genesis song

And yes, Jeff Buckley
Jeff Buckley - Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk - Back In N.Y.C. covered it

(using an eight track recorder in his shot gun shack in Tennessee). But in my case, it just means I am... back in New York City. And completely wiped out.

Today, Wednesday, my day off, I am wasting on pointless internet surfing - oh - and watching the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice for what has to be the fiftieth time. At least.

Tomorrow is Thursday which is always a "big day" -as I have to teach three classes and, oh, you know... act like a grown up. (Sort of). But tomorrow is a "big day" for another reason - namely, that my 8:15am class is going to be observed by a "senior" member of the department at Panic Hire U. Keep in mind that the peope who run Panic have given me absolutely NO support this semester - not a single phone call or email is ever returned - ever - even if I threaten to harm myself or others if I don't get a response. But boy, I tell you. When it came time for ME to perform like a trained monkey and invite a total stranger into MY classroom to make me AND all my students itchy and uncomfortable? Three freaked out voice mails from my observer in less than 24 hours. She demands that I call her back RIGHT! AWAY! and then hangs up without leaving a phone number. Then she leaves an epic voice mail explaining all the documents she requires of me before the big day - and exclaims once more that she CANNOT! IMAGINE! why I have not returned her call. Does she leave me a PHONE NUMBER? Oh my heavens, no. That would be way too helpful. People at Panic, reader, while seemingly unaware of their own existence or the existence of each other - or me - are united in their determination to make my job completely suck.

Guess what? I have gathered the stupid documents and I have placed them, all neat-like, into a special file folder with her name typed on it... an it'll be sitting on a desk I reserve for her tomorrow morning at 8am. Because I am a monkey.

My monkey-like agility will prove useful when I arrive at MPHC tonight at 6:30 to climb with Bibi and Sri. After we climb (I have to be honest here - I'll probably belay and praise others more than I will climb. I ain't feelin' it), we are meeting Pax for dinner. I am sure we'll drink too much, eat too much, and stay out far too late... and then tomorrow I'll be hung over and disheveled when I show up for my 8:15 monkey dance.

My dad called this morning at 11:30 and told me he had mortared a row of rocks into place. He and 'cita are leaving tomorrow for an overnight visit to a B&B in Highlands. They'll be back on Friday night, and then my brother will arrive to spend two days with my dad. Presumably, my sister will get down there the following weekend. I mentioned to Dad that I'd like to come back in about a month, and he said we'd talk about it in a few weeks. I could hear lightning and thunder in the background - and wind chimes - so I let him go so he could dash back outside and cover the remaining bags of mortar mix with a tarp.

Obviously, I want to get back down there as soon as I can and as soon as he wants me to. He told me Monday afternoon that he still finds it hard to believe that he is really sooo sick that he might not live to see his 67th birthday on November 15th. In fact, he said he fully intends to live that long - and further believes that his unwillingness to die is the reason he has done as well as he has so far. Here is a picture I took of him this weekend. It fairly well depicts his attitude. (My dad is awesome, in case that needs s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g o-u-t.


mohanalakshmi said...

He is so sweet... what a great photo of him!

And I am cracking up at your Panic U people; your tone is so great, you've got to share it with others. Honestly, give me a short story with this woman. Hilarious.

I miss writing with you and talking over Indian food. Can't believe you were as close as Morocco and I didn't see you!

Doha is quiet but I guess that's good for writing.


Maggie said...

Have they given you any materials yet? have they paid you yet? You should put a note regarding such matters in that monkey folder on her desk.

Geez, I can't believe how ridiculously incompetent they are...

Nina said...

They gave me the materials - but only one copy. So I am a photocopying and copyright breaking fool. Ugh. Also, I had my observation, which went terribly - and my post observation conference, too. That went well. My observer's opinion is that I am a "surprisingly lucid and strikingly charismatic" teacher - but that my students are "unmotivated". I'll take it -- even if my being lucid is a "surprise". Also, we joked a bit about murdering the unmotivated students, and that was fun, especially when you consider that the students are only slightly less responsible than the people who hired me. So, onward.