#WeekendCoffeeShare: Horror Movies and Grading

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com

If we were having coffee, we’d be curled up on the couch this morning. I’m a bit groggy, as we stayed up into the wee hours of the morning watching horror films and hanging out. I’m not quite on my second cup yet–but I will be!

We started things out last night by going to the theater to see the remake of It. We were able to catch the 5:30 showing, before everything was super-crowded, but the theater was still pretty full. There were lots of teenage girls, funnily enough, so the high-pitched screams abounded during the showing. Overall, the remake was a much stronger adaptation of the source material than the made-for-TV version. There were some pretty big changes, of course–most obviously the updating of the time-frame and total split between the first time the group encounters It and the second time they do. Bill Skarsgard was scary as fuck–unsurprising, given that his performance was easily the best part of Hemlock Grove. Now I’m ready to see the second part!

After we made our way home, we watched Hush, which turned out to be a pretty impressive take on the home invasion genre. Because the film follows a deaf woman who decides to fight back against a man trying to kill her, the sound effects and music did really interesting work. Dialogue was fairly sparse, which made the sound effects and music even more noticeable than usual in a film–and the film does it pretty well.

At some point, night started to turn into morning, so we decided to tuck-in for the evening.

******

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that sooner or later I’m also going to need to dig into that big pile of essays on the coffee table. The first papers for the lion’s share of my classes were due this week, so I have about 80 papers to grade over the next week. I’ve mostly finished grading journals at this point–there were about 80 of those as well, but they are a pain in the ass to take back-and-forth, so those were graded in my office.

*****

If we were having coffee, I would ask what you are up to today. ❤

#WeekendCoffeeShare: A Short One

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com

If we were having coffee, you would hear the laughing sounds of kids at play mixed with the booms of video game sound effects, as the Little Jedi’s bestie and his older sister are here for the weekend. It’s nice to have the house full of laughter and fun on this long weekend, which was a sorely needed one for us at this point. It feels a bit like I can catch my breath for a few moments for the first time since perhaps June or July, when things began a quick trajectory toward the end of the summer semester, interviewing and then preparing for a full-time fall semester, and getting Little Jedi ready for and back into the school routine.

And we are really and truly settled into this semester’s routine finally, though I’m still working out some things in relation to the office. I’ve still got to get things hung up in my office (thanks for all those brilliant ideas!), but I’ve moved in my academic books and a few happies (like my tin Edgar Allan Poe lunchbox and my ceramic frog prince) and office supplies, so the office is functional at least, and it is beginning to also be comfortable. My students have their first essays due this coming week and the next, so we’re moving toward completion of the first quarter or so of our semester together. We’ve mostly been having good, productive conversations in the classroom, though of course every class has some days when things just feel a bit off-kilter.

******

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am looking forward to Halloween season. It’s been one of my favorite times of year for a long while, and it’s inching ever closer. This year we’ll be doing our usual adult-oriented party, though I’m not sure what else the month has in store. I’ve found myself pulling up the Halloween sections at Michael’s and Target and Lowe’s, combing through pages of decorations…And of course browsing Pinterest for ideas!

*****

And now, friends, I turn it over to you. Perhaps I haven’t done quite enough listening lately, so I would listen to you and what’s going on in your world.

If We Were Having Coffee: Movies, Balance, and Weathering Storms

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com

If we were having coffee, we’d be piled on my couch watching Moana. I’ve managed not to see it yet, and since Disney is apparently pulling their movies from Netflix soon, I figure I’ll catch it while I can. I’ve heard a lot of great things about it. Next up (at some point in the near future) are The Jungle Book and Pete’s Dragon. I really do have an affinity for kids’ movies. It’s something I picked up from my mom, and since I spent so many years in school analyzing kids’ books and media, I still very much enjoy reading and watching them.

It’s a shame I can’t manage my child to sit down and watch them. 😂 He would rather watching a superhero movie, and I have a bit of superhero fatigue lately. So many of the movies are overlong and overwrought, and there are just so many of them! I remember enjoying the older Superman movies when I was young and even quite a few of the Batman films. I also quite enjoyed the Christopher Nolan trilogy in the early 2000s, but the earlier Marvel films didn’t appeal to me quite as much. These days I’m feeling much the same about both Marvel and DC, with perhaps the exception of Deadpool, and I’m holding out home for Wonder Woman, since I didn’t get to see the first film when it was in theaters but heard a lot of good things.

We have managed to watch a few really good movies together lately, though. We’ve been going to the Ghibli Fest movies throughout most of the year–My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service so far, and we plan to see Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle this fall. We’ve seen both of those before, but it’ll be really cool to see them on the big screen. We also watched Kubo and the Two Strings and The Secret Life of Pets here at home, both of which were wonderfully weird. I didn’t love the new Ghostbusters (although I really wanted to, y’all!), but the kiddo quite liked it.

******

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m working on balance this weekend. I’m working to balance writing time with the work week, which has suddenly gotten longer and more taxing. I’m enjoying being full-time, and I’m going to get to contribute to some things that I wasn’t able to as an adjunct instructor, but I’m there quite a lot more than I was before, obviously. I’m starting to settle in, but some days I come home incredibly exhausted. As an introvert who has a lot of social anxiety, teaching is a demanding job. One night this week I went to sleep around 8:00, before we’d even read bedtime stories. (Yes, we still read aloud even though Little Jedi is 8!)

But I’ve got a lot of ideas for pieces that I want to write, and I used to manage to make more time for writing. I’ve just got to figure out a new system since the hours I’m keeping are different these days.

I’m trying to decide how I’m going to revamp this little blog, too. I still have my parttimemonster.com blog space, and I’m contemplating a way to use both sites, possibly making this one specifically a weekend coffee share site and the other a pop culture and sociopolitical space. I’ve missed flexing my writing muscles, but these days the coffee share seems like a totally separate kind of post. It’s going to take me some time to puzzle through this and make changes if I decide to.

*****

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that our house was struck by lightning last week–there was a big set of thunderstorms that worked their way through, and lightning struck the chimney of our house. I wasn’t home, but Sam and the pup were both here–Sam says it felt like a big baseball bat hit the house. We were quite lucky, as only our router was destroyed (and the cable company was responsible for that) and the TV in our bedroom was shorted out. We knew we couldn’t replace it immediately–it’s pretty low on the list of priorities, honestly–but our neighbor just got a new one, and she was kind enough to offer us her old one. Sometimes blessings come when you least expect them.

This weekend we’re just waiting and watching. We’re in a part of New Orleans that isn’t prone to flooding, but much of the city has already had problems with flooding in the last few weeks. I’ve been watching the brunt of the storm start to hit Texas (and gosh, what a storm–stay safe people, and let us know how we can help), and we’re prepared for any effects that we start to feel over the next few days.

*****

And what about you? What might you say if we were having coffee? Drop your link here, and we’ll all stop by for coffee with you!

#WeekendCoffeeShare: In Which I Am Brief

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com

If we were having coffee, I would tell you hello and welcome you in. We’d have a quick chat, then we might head out for the morning. It’s Museum Month here, and today we’re off to visit the World War II Museum and gad about town a bit.

The week has been a busy one…It’s the first week of the semester, and it’s my first week as a full-time employee at the college, so the semester is quite different than semesters past. I’ve mostly gotten moved into my new office–all the things are there, but I have to find a way to hang some things on the concrete walls (ideas?) so that it doesn’t look quite so bare. I’m also beginning to learn the names of my students, though it’s taking me quite a while because there are about 125 of them. They’re pretty swell though, and we had some good conversations this week about writing and the current socio-political situation.

*****

If we were having coffee, I would apologize for this week’s short entry and tell you that you’ll be seeing more here in the next few weeks, both coffee share and other posts, as I start to get my footing underneath me at the new job and move forward with some blog plans. ❤

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Flooding, Facebook, and First Days

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com

If we were having coffee, I would first apologize profusely for my absence last weekend! I honestly forgot what day it was until sometime late Sunday afternoon, at which point it was far too late to write and publish a link-up. That’s honestly never happened before–well, the forgetting to post part, not so much the forgetting what day it is part, because that’s definitely happened before. But in all fairness, the last few weeks have been a doozy.

I keep making plans that get knocked down a bit as things change. I finished the summer semester in a whirlwind of grading and interviewing, and I found out about the job that next week. I wanted to spend my small break between summer semester ending and work on the fall semester beginning as a jump-start on some writing, but…Last week was bound up in working on syllabi for the semester, because (as always) I decided at the last moment that I wanted to change around the assignments for my courses.

And then large portions of the city flooded as we went into last weekend, and all thoughts of other things went out the window. We are fortunate in that we are in one of the more elevated portions of the city, so we only had a bit of flooding–the water was up to the edge of the sidewalk at its highest point. But much of the city was underwater there for a while, with some areas flooding as much as they did during Katrina. And even though the water has receded, there are still warnings and things are still in an upheaval, as we’re still getting some rain each day and now the Sewage & Water Board have admitted that 8 of the pumps weren’t working during the storm. Oy.

So, needless to say, last week’s plans for writing went out the window. I didn’t manage the coffee post and certainly not any other writing, but I’m here now!

*****

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I deactivated my Facebook account yesterday.

If you know me and how much I social media, that’s probably a shock. For those of you who aren’t aware, though…Facebook and I have been good buddies for a while. I use it to keep up with old friends–being an extreme introvert (and a busy person), the social interaction there is easier for to manage on a consistent basis than phone calls or coffee dates. I also use it to procrastinate, though. I spend time and energy writing Facebook posts that may be entertaining and thought provoking–or even just silly–and that time and energy could be better spent writing something that I post here or as a guest on another site.

The bigger issue, though, bigger even than how much time I spend crafting posts that could be netting my own site views instead of adding to Facebook’s views, is the relationship that has developed between Facebook and my life outside of it. They bleed into one another, and not always in good ways. For one thing, if I’m in a manic or irritated mood, I am much quicker to engage in debate on FB and far less nice when I do so. I have little patience, and I’ve both said some unpleasant things and had lots of unpleasant things said to me–and of course when that happens, my mood plummets. I’ve noticed myself feeling keyed up during arguments with others online and spending far too much time and energy in those debates. When it comes down to it, they’re not productive (mind you, I am not saying that I don’t think dialogue on social media can affect change; I think it can, but there is a point at which the debate becomes counter-productive), and they are stressful.

So I spent the last few days blasting out my contact info to friends who I want to keep in touch with, and I started getting rid of the account by increments. I changed all my linked accounts, and then I deleted the app from my phone. (I subsequently tried to check it on my phone about 3 times in an hour, but hey, who’s counting?) Yesterday I officially deactivated the account. And although I did spend part of the afternoon looking at Twitter and Instagram, I get an entirely different feeling from them (because I have cultivated happy feeds) and spend far less time on them than I ever did on Facebook.

Now if I can just keep it that way…

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the Little Jedi and I both start school this week. I spent all of this week in a flurry of activity preparing for that, so I haven’t written much, but hopefully I can get myself back to some sort of regular schedule once we both get settled in. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were full of faculty meetings for me, Thursday was mostly spent helping students with registration, and yesterday we carted school supplies up the 3 flights of stairs to the kiddo’s classroom and my office things up the flight of stairs to my new office.

The coming week will be full of things for us to do as we fall into the routine for a new semester. I’m teaching more classes than I’ve ever taught before, but for the first time I am a full-time instructor with my own office in which to work. Little Jedi is going into the 3rd grade, and it looks as though his classes are going to change quite a bit. With Sam working mostly from home now, all of our routines are changed from the way they looked last year, so it will be an adjustment!

*****

If we were having coffee, I would ask how you are, what you have been up to! And I’d promise to answer comments this weekend and to pop by for coffee and a chat with you, as I’ve felt terrible about missing you guys the last few weeks! ❤

#WeekendCoffeeShare: In Which I Am Late, and I Have News to Share

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com

If we were having coffee, I would apologize for missing you yesterday. I just couldn’t get myself together to finish the posting in time, unfortunately–But I’m here now! I’ll leave the link-up open until Monday afternoon so that everyone has a bit longer to add their posts to the linky. 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would also tell you that I have big news! My interviews went really well, and I accepted a full-time teaching position at the college where I’ve been an adjunct for the past year. It’s really exciting for me, and it came at just the right time. I’ve been feeling really discouraged for the past few months, especially in regards to my career and finances. Leaving grad school a few years ago before I totally finished my PhD was the right decision for me, but it also threw me into a tailspin. It’s taken me a while to recover, and I’ve had a series of part time jobs that have been fun and that have also been good learning opportunities, but that haven’t been ideal as far as advancing my career or keeping us financially stable. I’ll be able to do both of those things now, and it’s a major relief.

*****

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve spent the past week hanging out with the Little Jedi and Doing Nothing quite a lot. Since this was our last full week together before he heads back to his dad’s and then back to school when he is home again, we wanted to spend the week together. And we did–he had a friend over and visited a friend for a day or so, and the rest of the time we spent together just playing games, watching movies, and being together. All things considered (since I had the second interview this week and found out about getting the position), it was a nice way to spend a week. Sometimes I find myself disappointed that he doesn’t want to *do* more–I offered to take him to a movie or the library or the aquarium, all of which he said no to–but if he’s happy just hanging out, then I suppose I am, too.

*****

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m almost out of steam, so I would like to see what is up with you! ❤

#WeekendCoffeeShare: In Which I Am a Wee Lazy

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com

If we were having coffee, I would invite you in and say hello. I’m probably still yawning and stretching, and the coffee might not actually be made. Perhaps we’ll walk just down the street to Congregation, the little coffee place on the corner, or perhaps we’ll just stay in here where it’s cool and I’ll hop up to make some coffee. Today I’m being a wee extraordinarily lazy, because this week has been a doozy. (Does anyone actually say doozy anymore?–Besides me, I mean.)

I would tell you that this week I finished up the summer semester, grading essays and averaging grades and getting everything in juuust before they were due. I generally try to finish things up at least a day or two in advance, but this time I had lots of trouble getting that done. Little Jedi is back from his dad’s house for the last 2 weeks of July, so I’ve been trying to spend time with him. I also had an interview for full-time teaching that took place halfway through the week, and the preparation and nervousness from that took up quite a bit of my time. (Side note: Not sure if I’ll have the job yet, but I do know that I have a second interview!) And there’s been a fair amount of family stuff going on that has made me both anxious and angry…Things that I’m not ready to talk about here (and may or may not ever be) but that have drained me of energy in all kinds of ways.

*****

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Little Jedi and I only get this week and next week together out of the whole year. It’s weird, but it’s true. He spends a lot of time with his dad’s family and with my parents–and that’s well and good in the sense that he has lots of people to care about him, but it makes life a little lot more complicated. It’s difficult to plan anything as a family, and it’s frustrating because the other parts of his family don’t really recognize that. During much of the year he is in school, obviously, and during the summer he spends 2 weeks of each month with his dad. Throughout most of the year he’s with his dad every other weekend, and during his Mardi Gras break and spring break he was gone to visit grandparents this year. Sometimes it feels as though he needs his own social calendar, and Sam and I get railroaded into having almost no family time.

So we’ve spent this week mostly hanging out at home, because that’s what he’s wanted to do. We’ve played video games and read and watched YouTube, and he’s had some time to play with his friend and for them to have a sleepover (or two!). On tomorrow, we’re going to the theater to see Kiki’s Delivery Service, and next week I think we’re going to make our way to the aquarium and insectarium and library. In short, we’re going to enjoy our city and one another, because we don’t actually get a lot of free time together to do that.

*****

If we were having coffee, I would ask what you have going on, what your week has been like. So link up your posts below, and don’t forget to use the #weekendcoffeeshare tag on Facebook, Twitter, and here on WordPress!

#WeekendCoffeeShare: In Which I Am Behind on Literally Everything

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com

If we were having coffee, I would first apologize for being late…Oops! Generally, I am an on-time sort of person, but today I only had about a million things to do before getting the coffee share going. I definitely meant to work on all of this yesterday, but yesterday turned out to be a Bad Writing Day. I think we all have those days…When the words just won’t show up, no matter how long you look at the blinking cursor or the empty page, and nothing seems to happen quite the way you want it.

Aside from the Bad Writing Day this week, though, the week was a really good one. I finished teaching my summer class, and there are only the final essays to grade in the coming week. Sam was able to work from home this week, so we were able to spend quite a lot of time together, which was far scarcer with his last job.

And on Wednesday night, I was able to attend a book-event for Roxane Gay’s Hunger with my dearest friend, something I’ve been looking forward to for a few months now. She’s one of my favorite current feminist writers, and it was really fantastic to be able to listen to her talk about her writing, pop culture, and her own personal story. She was first interviewed by a local writer on-stage, and afterward the audience was given a chance to ask questions. I had a hundred questions, of course, but I was much too anxious to stand and ask any of them. The questions from other attendees were wonderful though, and led to fun tangents about Lena Dunham, Batman, and avocados (cue collective gasps of horror when Roxane Gay mentioned they were her favorite food, then laughter when the room full of people realized how many other people had the same pearl-clutching reaction to this in a night that included frank conversation about body image, rape, and misogyny.)

I’d read the book before attending, mostly because I saw a copy in the library and couldn’t resist picking it up before attending the event. But now have my own personalized copy of Hunger, and it’s pretty much my favorite possession at this moment.

*****

If we were having coffee, I would try to fill you in on the months that we haven’t talked as much as we once did. The break from grinding out the coffee share each week was a good one, and it was good for me to step away for a little while. I’ve been able to redirect my attention, which had been waning, and now I feel really great about diving back into the community. But of course lots has happened since February!

I would tell you that I chopped quite a lot of my hair off and re-added my pink streak a few weeks ago. I cut about 8 inches of hair, and it was amazing how much lighter I felt—both literally and metaphorically. I have tended to hide behind my hair for quite a long time, and now it’s far too short to hide me. The pink has faded, and the cut is a bit shaggy (oy, short hair takes so much maintenance), so I need to take myself back to the salon. But I think I’m keeping this cut for a while.

In the months that we haven’t talked regularly, I’ve also been super-delighted to welcome a new wee addition to our family, a new little niece. She’s a beautiful little creature, and we’ve been over a few times to visit since she was born. Little Jedi doesn’t particularly like to hold her (she’s wiggly, mom!), but he loves to sit next to her and chatter and to just watch her. The kiddo hasn’t been around a lot of babies, but he does quite love them. I, of course, find all of this amusing and adorable.

We’ve also taken the kiddos to lots of things–well maybe not Baby Fett yet, though I have high hopes that she and her parents will be joining us for things in the future–but Little Jedi and my dearest friends’ kiddos have spent a lot of time hanging out together. We took them to Star Wars Day at the aquarium and free comic book day at our local shop, and they were together so much during Little Jedi’s part of the summer here that they just “switched” houses from day-to-day at one point. It’s difficult to express just how wonderful it is to live in the same city as my childhood friend, to have our children hang out together the way we once did.

*****

If we were having coffee, I would ask how your week has been and what you might get up to in the coming week. I’d remind you to add your link below and to use the #weekendcoffeeshare tag on Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress so we can all find each other! ❤

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare: In Which I am Back Again

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com

If we were having coffee, I would welcome you back.

I would tell you that I’m glad to have the coffee share returning to Part-Time Monster. It was nice to have a break, and Emily at Nerd in the Brain has been a fantastic host for the last few months. I have missed the community, though. It’s been quite a while since we last had coffee together, and only about half a million things have happened since then…And few of them were the writing that I’d intended to do. I’ve been quiet of late, both because I’ve had trouble motivating myself to write and because I’ve just had so many other things going on that it’s been difficult to find the energy to write. But I’m back now, and the coffee share is returning home, and I’m learning to be tougher on myself so that I can meet my writing goals.

I’ve also been trying some new types of writing and new activities–some with more success than others. I recently read Lynda Barry’s Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor, and I’ve also got a few other creativity-oriented books on my TBR list. Barry’s book was really fascinating from a visual and a cognitive perspective: her book looks like a composition notebook, and in it she has collected notes, syllabi, lesson plans, and drawings from her classes. I’ve been using some of her exercises to help me begin to journal again, hoping that handwriting and coloring and drawing will facilitate my creativity and put some fun back into the idea of writing every day, which is a habit I am trying desperately to get back to. I’ve also created a FB group of some friends and former classmates who want to work on being more productive, and we have weekly check-ins with one another and often commiserate. It helps, especially now that I’m several years out of grad school, which was a very productive time for me from a writing perspective because I was constantly surrounded by discussions about writing–what it means, how to do it better, how to teach it, etc.

*****

If we were having coffee, you’d probably hear a fair amount of whinging from me. Life has gotten a bit complicated, what with the kiddo gone quite a bit of the summer and attempting to juggle his schedule and my own schedule plus Sam’s schedule, too. And if that weren’t enough, there’s my ever-present battle with my allergies. Despite taking a nasal spray and an antihistamine daily, I’m *still* sniffling, and the sniffling/sneezing gets my asthma going.  Despite my whinging, though, life is actually pretty swell. It’s looking up, and finally I can start seeing my way through some of the obstacles I’ve encountered over the last few years in my writing and personal lives.

******

And if we were having coffee, I’d stop now and listen to you, dear hearts, you who I have missed so much recent. Welcome back–we’ll be here next week. Same Bat-time, same Bat-station.

#WeekendCoffeeShare: It’s Moving!

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com

If we were having coffee, I’d advise you to sit a little bit away so as not to catch any of my flu germs–because yes, unfortunately, the flu has finally made its way to our house. I’m a bit of a sneezy, coughy, runny-nosed mess right now, so perhaps it’s best that we’re sharing our coffee virtually.

I would also tell you, over our virtual coffee, that you’re about to see some major changes where the weekend coffee share is concerned, because it’s getting a new home. Starting next week, the weekend coffee share will be hosted at Nerd in the Brain, and Emily will be taking over the week-to-week operations of the link-up.

It’s taken me a long time to make this decision and to commit to it. I’ve hung onto the link-up for a while now, though writing each week has taken a great deal of energy. The community is a vibrant and close-knit one, with far more readers and commenters than I imagined would be a part of this when I started the link-up in 2014. So part of me really wanted to hang on to this part of my little corner of the internet, this thing that I’ve built. But another part of me knows that it’s time to make a shift. My posts have become less compelling conversation than chatter about my week, and over the past few months I’ve become more and more lax about doing the things that keep the coffee share community close–answering comments and reading, commenting on, and sharing everyone else’s posts. In large part, this is because when I didn’t calculate how the coffee share would fit in with the content I wanted to run when I switched my blog over, and in large part, this is also because I’ve done this each week for a little more than 2 years now, and the routine has become overwhelming.

Of course, moving the weekend coffee share link up doesn’t mean that I won’t ever be writing coffee share posts anymore…It just means that I’m taking a bit of a backseat and becoming a participant rather than the sole person in charge of making and running the link-up. Emily has agreed to do that, and I think that she will do a fantastic job. Emily currently runs Three Things Thursday, another weekly link-up, and she also runs hosts challenges and give-aways at Nerd in the Brain so the link-up is in safe hands.  And I’ll be popping in and out, adding my own posts to the list on the weeks that I write one and blissfully free to read and share posts that you guys write.

The content here, at Part-Time Monster, is going to get louder and more political. In the face of DT’s presidency and the massive sociocultural and sociopolitical problems that we are facing, I can’t stay silent. Feminist Fridays will resume this week. You’ll also see me talking more about mental health, focusing on my ongoing problems with anxiety and depression. And you’ll also see me talking about books, films, and comics–because not only does art tell us things about our society, but art is good for us in times like these. Art is not just frivolity, though it certainly can be frivolous.

And so…This is goodbye but not goodbye. I’ll be here, talking about all sorts of stuff, and I’ll sometimes jump into the coffee share as a participant, but this is my last week hosting the coffee share. Starting 2/18, look for the weekend coffee share on Nerd in the Brain!  🙂

*****