Thursday, February 14, 2008

Where's my pencil....?

On account of, 'cause I'm going to school and I already got homework and stuff! Well -- sort of. My friend Kevin-the-Intrepid (incredible guy who worked last summer in Alaska and sent back fanTAB pictures) discovered a Creative Writing class being taught through MATC - the mightyfine local technical college. He was thinking about signing up, to improve his (may I say considerable ) song-writing abilities, and I, who fancies myself a Writer, have always said "I'm going to take some classes, find writers' groups, go on a Writing Retreat to the Himalya for a year..." No, wait. I didn't ever really say that bit about the Himalya. Nevermind.

Anyway, we discussed taking the class together, and upon checking, Kevin discovered a) that it started yesterday (Tuesday); and b) that they only had one space left -- HOWEVER, we could both go if we liked because someone might drop out. (They did -- Kevin!) Anyway, we arranged to meet for the first class.

"What kind of class is this, Dale-Harriet?" Well, NOT a for-credit type of thing. Our first clue was that it's being taught in a the Madison Senior Center. "Adult Enrichment!" says my brain to me. (It should know - I taught Calligraphy as an Adult Enrichment course at MATC for years.) Now, one automatically makes some suppositions at this point:

1. It's possible every single some of the persons in the class may be, shall we say, doddering, ancient, superannuated, crotchety retirees.
2. There may be an emphasis on ancient history earlier times, by way of nostalgia.
3. There is a SLIGHT possibility that I (and a pretty good possibility that Kevin) may not have a great deal in common with our classmates. (Suffice it to say, Kevin is a recent college graduate, and he's a colleague from the Museum. Cut out that thinking, I am NOT a cougar.)
4. The material may not be appropriate for either a songwriter or a writer of children's fairy tales, fantasy foolishness or memoirs of faeries.

However, we were game to find out, and so we met at the Senior Center at the appointed time and went. The teacher is a nice elderly lady (to keep this in perspective, realize that I am saying she's "elderly" and I just turned 65). She seemed a bit rattled that there were two of us and only one space left in the class, but she gave us both applications anyway. As it was snowing (!), the class was down some four or five people anyway, but included four of the above-mentioned retirees (not counting myself); a friendly woman who cheerfully admitted, during her self-introduction, that she "once wrote something on a piece of paper in second grade about a horse named 'Blackie'"; an interesting woman in perhaps her 30s who described herself as a speaker; and three college girls of Russian or European background - and Kevin and myself. (He perked up a bit when the college girls came in; he was beginning to feel like someone's great-grandson.)

Long story short, as they say, we weren't in very far before Kevin realized that, in fact, there would be little here to benefit him (which solved the problem of the "extra person") and I became Highly Dubious myself. But I have decided to stick it out, because a) I really need a disciplined situation in which I'm forced to write; b) I'm very curious to see how the dynamic of the group will be; and -- oh heck, I'll just say it: I think I'm the most interesting person in there, and I have a strong suspicion that I am NOT, and anticipate learning more about these other folks. So by next Tuesday I must have, in "500 words or less", a story about a time when my writing either brought me praise or got me in trouble.

Actually the LAST session is cited as being about marketing, which is the information I most sorely need, but I have enough Fascination with the Grotesque to see how this all falls out.

And now, some oddments: This is a mural on State Street downtown, which caught both my eye and my fancy. It makes me think of the Harlem Renaissance, for some reason, and shows State Street facing the Capitol. I think a lot of college towns have some version of our State Street, but not can equal it. It's about 10 blocks long, I think, and runs from Library Mall on campus straight up to the Capitol It ties together the two halves of Madison's heart, Academia on one end, Government on the other, and it is this very configuration which is the generally-agreed-upon thing that gives Madison its unique and exciting personality. Madison is described (with considerable pride) by its residents as "63 Miles Surrounded by Reality." It's very liberal here - and we (Mr Dearling and I) think it a capital place to live. (Get it? Clever, non? "Capital" with an A) Oh I sometimes crack myself up. Nevermind.

Next - Lovely Daughter raised an interesting point, and I'd like to know your thoughts. She said that I should reply to comments IN the Comments, rather than by e-mail, so that both sides of the conversation can be seen. I'm happy to do that - what are y'all thinking about that? Better than answering by e-mail?

And....I saw a commercial on teevee for lipstick earlier. I haven't worn lipstick since giving up my Sinful Scarlet after high school (we hippies didn't paint our faces with those chemical artificial horrendous waxy substances). But the selling point of this particular lipstick was the claim that it "plumps your lips up by 30%". Am I missing something here? Girls want swollen lips ?? "None for me, thanks, I'm aging."

WE broke the ALL-TIME DEPTH OF SNOW record here in Madison!! Seems that the deepest snow in recorded history was something like 78.3" of snow; we have officially passed 79" of snow. (That low rumble you hear is the people who DON'T love it, cussing and swearing as they get out their shovels again.) For my part? I am LOVING it. This is what winter used to be like.....(say it with me) when I was a girl ! NOTE: now that I know how to do italics easily, I don't want to forget. Nevermind. At least I didn't say "incidentally...."

Lastly - today we went to a very nice Senior Center (where senior citizens such as MYSELF live)in Lake Mills, and told Winter Stories; it's our Museum Outreach bit that we get to do. It was particularly nice, and we were given two gliding rockers right in front of the fireplace. I DID knit until everyone was there, and it was with reluctance that I set it aside - somehow one wants to knit, when one is sitting in a rocking chair in front of a fire. Sue me.

When we were finished, we thought we'd ride around and check out "downtown" Lake Mills. And what to my wond'ring eyes should appear? A YARN SHOP!

Nothing for it, Mr Dearling pulled over with no coaching on my part, and we went over, past two signs saying "OPEN". But we couldn't see anyone inside and the door, for all of our efforts, seemed to be locked. Clever name, though: Gosh-Yarn-It!

As long as we were there, we went to a charming little cafe three doors down for an early supper. NOTE: we LOVE little Main Street cafes in small towns around about, and this one, Cafe on the Park (across the street from the Square in the middle of town) did not disappoint. After enjoying our meal, we thought we might check the LYS once more en route to the car, and the proprietress was just bringing in the OPEN sign; however, she invited us in. Seems there HAD been a class scheduled for the evening, but her furnace had gone out so she'd cancelled (a little chill wouldn't deter the Hog-and-Bloggers and companions at the Sow's Ear, I'm sure, but she explained that it's a fairly new shop and she thought it for the best).

It's a very nice little shop, with jewelry and such, and YARN, and ...what? What's that? Awww gee, it seems to have followed me home, can I keep it? (Yes, yes, I know - I'm not supposed to be buying any more yarn until I've finished all the toques because if I do the temptation to just -- you know, cast on something will be - compelling) but honestly, there were ONLY three skeins of this stuff, it's 100% Lana Merino Virgin Wool *Superwash*. I ask you, could YOU have walked away? I think not!

Besides that, it's such a riot of colors, and I can hardly WAIT to see how it works up; I'm not good at anticipating such a thing, I have to actually knit it up to see how it'll work. If this isn't a pair of fingerless mitts and perhaps a scarf or cap to match, then my name isn't Heloise P. Hornswoggle.



Deb said...

I think if you show the 1st 500 words of THIS essay to your class mates, it just might qualify as a "time your writing got you in trouble" and your homework is done!!

MollyBeees said...

Hee Hee! I saw an ad for that plumpy lip stuff too! $15 bucks or something crazy. When I commented on it to Mr. Bee he offered to just right hook me right in the mouth for free. What a guy!

Anonymous said...

I started wearing make-up again last week after a 20+ year hiatus. The image I had been seeing in the mirror wasn't making me happy, so I thought I would try the painted woman route. We'll see how long it lasts -- I am very lazy.

Personally I prefer it that a blogger replies to comments by e-mail because, once I have commented on a blog, I never go back to read later comments. It's hard enough to keep up with new posts, let alone all the comments to them.

CathyCate said...

Fascinating yarn, I too would have bought it (except not this month or next because I'm temporarily abstaining and donating the money to charity, which is curiously freeing to this yarnaholic packrat retail therapist!!) just to see how it would knit up. And re the comments: I think if a question or point is raised of general interest, I shoot for answering both by email and as a comment (because I as a commenter don't generally go back and look at that same post). But if it's a personal question, or a "you go, girl!" kind of thing, no need to answer in the comments. I admit, when I first started reading blogs, I thought some bloggers were rude never to acknowledge certain comments/questions, and now I realize they likely were responding by email.