Saturday, May 26, 2012


For a while, I thought I’d be writing: I only graded today. Or, as a variation: in this household, only I graded today. And if that work commitment had stayed with me every waking minute of the day, maybe I could have written: I graded only today.

I’d fallen behind a little with my set goals and still, I thought I'd catch up: the day dawned rainy and wet – none of it offering temptation to be outdoors.

But, in the middle of the night, the cat threw up.

Now, I know cats do this, but I’m not able to brush it off as a non event and especially not in the middle of the night and especially not when said cat is on our bed and I’m woken up by Ed scrambling with a muffled few words that wake me solid (“he’s making those ‘about to throw up’ sounds”). I heave Isis off the bed as Ed tries to catch whatever flies out.

You should have been there. A terrified Isis, flying in mid air across pillows, Ed holding out Wired magazine just in case – all very dramatic.

So now in the morning I am tired again, and behind in my goals, and it’s storming. I cancel the pleasantness of a market morning with my daughter and settle in for a day of grading.

But with a very quick break for a glance outside -- at the exploding peonies, the cowering mouse (Isis, chipmunks, where are you when I need you??)...



... and a terrifically anticipated break for more coffee at Paul’s. Except, as we motorbike over, we see that Paul’s is closed for the afternoon. Sigh. I'm back home, back with the exams.

And here, what's notable is that Ed is equally indoors and Ed is a distraction.

First, there is in the matter of gussying up the computer we got for my mom off of Craigslist. What pages should be bookmarked, what photo to use for her skype symbol, what desktop design, on and on – one issue more fun than the previous one. We attack all of them.

Tick tock.

Then there is the article in the paper about the guys in North Carolina who resell used china and silver so that people may match up their sets. That whole story set me back a good hour. Ed is curious how you match old pieces. By the time we figured it all out (and get through reading a handful of the hundreds of comments trailing the story), it is almost evening. 

And just as I am promised quiet, and peace, and I dare go up to the bedroom for a change of grading scene (very important to do if you grade one exam after the next), Ed turns on Hulu and deliberately, deliberately runs the last episodes of The Middle – a show he knows I can never resist.

I tell him I am now officially a half day behind my self imposed schedule, thank you very much. 

He promises to get a pizza so I don’t have to cook.

It is a good day. Elements of fun improve the mood and therefore the grading ambitions for ... the next day.