If You're Feeling Sinister

I have a few things I'd like to blog about, but for right now, it'll just be a general update. So, things that are new (in bullet form):
  • Chris and I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and thought it was fun and enjoyable. Neither of us understand any lackluster response to it.
  • We also saw a movie called The Fall in an old theater in Ann Arbor. It featured good performances by Lee Pace (of Pushing Daisies fame) and a little girl and was stunning visually, but it wasn't anything really fantastic. It was directed by the man who made The Cell.
  • I have a copy of the sequel to The Mysterious Benedict Society, which is illustrated by Diana Sudyka--an artist who lives in Chicago and has a Carson Ellis-designed tattoo. I've told myself I have to finish at least one of the books I am currently reading before I can start this one (Middlemarch, Quicksilver, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle). Sigh. More about Middlemarch later. I also purchased another book in the 33 1/3 series (I have read Colin Meloy's book on the Replacement's Let It Be, which was excellent). This one is for Belle & Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister and is written by Scott Plagenhoef, who is the Editor-in-Chief of Pitchfork. I am excited about it, but again, I won't be reading it until one of the current reads is down for the count.
  • I have the new Death Cab for Cutie album Narrow Stairs, which is very good, though I haven't listened to it enough yet to give a full impression.
  • I am waiting for the postman to deliver a new Decemberists shirt as well as John Moen's solo album, Perhapst.
  • I have a couple of pairs of new jeans (this is pretty eventful since I'm very picky about clothes, particularly pants).
  • I have an interview with Grand Rapids Community College this week. I'm trying not to think about it so much so that I won't be disappointed when I don't get a job there
Now, for things in non-bullet form. I still have about 150 pages left in Middlemarch. The thing about this novel is I've been reading it in spurts. I'll be really interested and want to read it all the time, then I'll hit a plateau and not pick it up for a week or more. And every time I get interested, I think I'm making progress, yet still have hundreds of pages to go. So, I'm enjoying it, but also can't wait to be done with it so I can get to the next book on the large stack.

I have spent a good deal of this month substitute teaching for the Lansing School District. The good thing is, I now have money in my bank account, the bad news is, it has been awful. I started out doing all grade levels, but I was nearly crippled by standing all day at elementary schools, so I limited myself to only high schools. Lansing is apparently very poor and this is reflected in their schools. Apparently several schools in the district are magnet schools, but I have not noticed this having any good effect on the school or its student body. I understand that students aren't going to behave very well when there is a substitute teacher, but it's been a tad ridiculous. Perhaps I was raised in a school district that was an exception rather than the rule, but things that occur in the schools I've been in simply would not be tolerated in my almae matres. And no one at these schools seems to be interested in doing anything about discipline. To get a sense of the type of educational facility I'm dealing with, all the doors in these buildings are locked and remain that way throughout the whole day. The faculty bathrooms are locked, but can be opened with a classroom key (which no one told me), the students bathrooms are not locked, but do not have locks on their stalls. One school has a chain and padlock on the door to the third floor that thankfully was not in use during the day, though it would not surprise me if it were--one of the afternoons that I went to the school, the front door to the building was locked and did not have any kind of buzzer or indication of where an open door might be found. Sometimes, I would get a key to the classroom, and therefore the bathrooms, sometimes not, at which point I was pretty much shit-out-of-luck. They don't really give me any information when I come to the school and I don't really have any authority to wield in the classroom. Many times the students would not stop talking and doing whatever they wanted for the entire class, including my introduction and instructions. So, anyway, the school year is over this week and I don't have any gigs currently lined up, so it looks like its over. Hurray!!! But, I still need a job. Boo!!

Another aspect of substitute teaching is that it has made me very miserable. Now, technically the job isn't that bad. I basically sit around all day and get $75 for doing it. But, because of the problems mentioned above, I don't feel comfortable during any of these days. Feeling comfortable is very important to me. Because of this, and some unknown element, ever since I began this job (April 29th), I have experienced the worst depression of my life. Never have I been so constantly and consistently miserable. What usually lasts for a couple of hours and then goes away, not to show its face for at least a couple of days, if not a couple of weeks, has stuck around, lifting for very short periods of time (maybe one day, maybe a couple of hours). Now, I haven't been doing that well for quite some time now (at the risk of ruining my reputation, my libido has been almost non-existent for almost a year, which is very unnerving and depressing), but it's been particularly bad as of late. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

But...here's to better days ahead, and more blog entries in the near future.