Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Penn: So I guess there should be a mother/son dance at the wedding since you're doing the father/daughter dance?
Me: Yeah, probably.
Penn: I think my mom would like that.
Me: So what will you dance to?
Penn: I don't know. The DJ sent me a list of songs people use often but they're all really cheesy and terrible. And I don't want to dance to a love song with my mom.
Me: Well, the song I'm dancing to with my dad is probably intended to be a love song.*
Penn: But it's not too cheesy, and parts of it could be about a daughter.
Me: Do you have any songs you remember dancing to with your mom when you were little? Or songs she sang to you?
Penn: No, not really.
Me: Or a song that is particularly meaningful or symbolic to you?
Penn: I guess we could dance to Little Drummer Boy.

He wasn't kidding! He was being completely sincere. "Come, they told me, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum." How would you possibly dance to that? Oh, I love Penn. A couple of nights later we were back on the subject again, and this time he said, "I was thinking that we could dance to Bohemian Rhapsody since it stars with 'Mama,' but then I realized the next words are 'Just killed a man.' So that won't work."

I suppose the first step of this decision-making process should be to teach Penn what constitutes a good song for partner dancing, huh?

*The Way You Look Tonight, the Michael Buble version. Oddly enough, that was the first song that popped into my head when I was thinking about dancing with my dad at the wedding (we used to dance to it sometimes when I was little). I figured we'd do the Frank Sinatra standard, but I hadn't run the idea by him yet. Then couple of months ago he text messaged me out of the blue and said he thought the Michael Buble song would be perfect, and so that's that!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just the Latest

I taught my first fall semester class yesterday. I'm teaching 23 students and the prof who teaches the other section of the exact same course only has 6. I'm trying not to be too bitter about that, but seriously, someone should have capped the classes differently if they knew that only 30 students needed to take the course (and someone DID know that, because it's a class for new majors and they know how many majors are in our department). If 25 students are allowed into each class, of course they're going to fill up the one at noon instead of the one at nine in the morning. Having said that, I think it's all going to work out okay. I carpool with the person who teaches the morning class so that will give me three hours in my office each morning to do whatever prep needs to be done for the day, and I'm determined to do any grading on Tuesday/Thursday afternoons. I don't mind if two entire days each week get eaten up by teaching provided that the other 3 work days can be devoted to dissertation work. I really do enjoy teaching and am glad to be back in the classroom this year after two years of office/research assistant work. Some of the students looked like deer in the headlights when I passed out the syllabus, but I tried to make it clear to them that it contains all of their assignments, in detail, for the entire semester, so it looks more intense than it actually is. I hope this semester goes well and I have good kids. I really don't have time for student drama this semester on top of everything else I'm trying to finish.

I had another wedding dream last night. In the dream we were at the hotel post-wedding ceremony and were getting ready to do our "grand entrance" into the ballroom. The wedding coordinator had already sent the bridal party into the room when I noticed Penn was missing. I was asking everyone, "Where's my husband?" and at first no one could find him. Everyone was like, "He's probably in the bathroom," and I was like, "Typical. He always picks the least convenient time to do that." I peeked into the ballroom and saw everyone standing up waiting expectantly for us. The DJ was killing time by playing that "How Bizarre" song that was popular when I was in high school, and I was like, "Oh god, this is humiliating." Finally Penn strolled back into the corridor where I was waiting, but he wasn't wearing his tux anymore. Instead he was wearing his tuxedo pants with this brown and blue striped polo shirt that he wears at least once a week (unless I hide it in the bottom of the drawer). The shirt was all wrinkled; he basically looked as schlumpy as Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. I was like, "What in the world?! Why did you change clothes?" and he said, "Why does it matter? The wedding is over." I said, "No it's not! We still have to do our first dance and do the toasts and cut the cake. And while that happens I'm going to be wearing this sparkling wedding dress and you're going to be wearing THAT?!" He was like, "I don't see why it matters," and I was like, "Think of the pictures! They'll look ridiculous!" and he said, "Fine, I'll change back into the tux," and I said, "No, it's too late, everyone is waiting for us in there," and he was like, "No, I'm putting the tie back on," and I was like, "Never mind, we have to go in there like this. I can't believe you did that!" Then I woke up, thankfully, because the dream was really stressing me out. I told Penn about it as he was getting dressed for work and he admitted that he can actually see himself doing exactly that. It really was very in character. I'm pretty sure he won't actually be removing his tux entirely to change into a comfy shirt, but I'm willing to bet that the tie and jacket stay on only through our first dance. And that's okay.
Speaking of which, Nicole and I are making the men go to a dance lesson with us in a couple of weeks. She and her fiance are getting married next month so this is our last chance to follow through on the threat we've been making for months to force them to go to the free dance lesson we got a coupon for at the bridal show. I was going to just tell Penn our outing was a surprise, but that would actually be a terrible surprise for him and I don't want to be mean. Instead, we've promised the guys that we can go for wings and beer first. It won't placate them entirely, but it's a decent compromise.
Also, I'm going to the store today to start putting things on our wedding registry. Penn registered for some tools (maybe not the norm, but I think the point of the registry is to request items for your home and tools will definitely help us with the home upkeep). He told me, however, that he does not care at all whatsoever about dishes, towels, bedding, or kitchen gear. He also said he trusts me and I have good taste, so I can just go and pick out whatever I want. I was told "no pastels" and "no flowers unless they're in manly colors," and other than that I can have my pick. I realize we won't get everything off our registry--or even half of it--but I'm looking forward to picking out some things in a "This is stuff I'd like to have someday" sort of way. It will at least give me some idea of the general direction in which I'm going with kitchen/bathroom/bedroom.
In short, despite the anxiety dreams there are some very fun parts to wedding planning. I wish there was a fun part to dissertation writing. I'd be making much faster progress if that were the case.
The dog is begging to go out, so I guess I'm going for a walk in the 90 degree heat. Fall can't get here fast enough.