Monthly Archives: April 2007

Leather Jacket Teaser

I have black leather motorcycle jacket that I rarely wear. No, I don’t, and never have had, a motorcycle. The jacket is a relic of my 1990s crewcut-tattoo-metal phase. Which isn’t to say I don’t still relish each of those elements, but about the time I hit 40, wearing the jacket, which looks pretty much like this one, started to seem, well, unseemly, and not in a cool way. More like in a middle-aged, slightly jowly, spinster English teacher in a black leather jacket way. So I put the jacket away.

During grad school, I sometimes fantasized about having the jacket painted, adding a design that would re-irony-ize my wearing of it. For a while, I thought of having some Day-of-the-Dead skeleton art added. Then I thought about some sort of scary-empowering female mythological image, like the morrigan or the fates or a gorgon. Then when I started knitting, I found some nifty knitting-themed, motorcycle-gang tattoo type art and thought I might like something similar.

But I did none of these things to my leather jacket because having a leather jacket painted costs A LOT of money (as it should — it’s art and skill combined) and I did not have lots of money and furthermore, it’s not like I needed a painted leather jacket. And then I became a Quaker, and I really, really didn’t need an expensive, painted leather jacket. Not plain, not necessary, too fashion-focused and just generally not a spiritually sound idea. And there the issue sat, or rather hung in my hall closet, until this spring.

One of my students here at BVU is a phenomenal artist. Well, many of them are excellent artists, but this particular student started taking commissions and handing out business cards to faculty/staff and students. And, she’s taken two creative writing classes with me and has a similar taste for slightly morbid wackiness. And, while she had never painted a leather jacket, she was willing to research techniques and supplies, work with me on art, and do the work for a fraction of the price that professionals charge. So I get my jacket (and it’s SO COOL — I’ve seen several steps completed) and she gets a new skill and pics for her artist portfolio and an enthusiastic customer wearing a REALLY NEAT jacket and handing out her business cards. And as for Quakerly values, what’s better than using my time and money and leather to help a student/artist grow?*

And so where are the images of this masterpiece, in anticipation of which you’ve read this far? Well, I should have the jacket in hand on Friday or Monday, so pics soon. Oh, and I drew up the concept (in stick figures — the artist improved it about a bazillion percent) and it incorporates every single idea listed in paragraph two.

*Imagine me looking saintly and not stroking my leather jacket.**

**and, all silliness aside, I had her write a contract and gave her advice
that will help her in future contract negotiations for her work

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Pretty darn cute!

Okay, I’m still too busy to do a real post, but even in these dark and troubled times, how can this pic not cheer you up? Miss Violet with her beloved gym sock (click to embiggen):


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This just in…


President Bush
said on Thursday that mass shootings are a reminder that people must be
willing to raise a red flag about others’ disturbing behavior.”

You mean behavior like stealing an election and lying to start an unjust and unwinnable war? Or just little things, like shooting fellow hunters in the face? Or maybe he means politically motivated firings?

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April Showers…

… bring April grading.

As the need to post to the blog simply adds to my guilt for all the essays I’m NOT grading while I grade other essays, eat, and sleep (in between grading other essays)*, I’m shutting down for a month. Look for more Oats come late May.

*9/10 of the time, I adore being an English teacher. Around the end of the second semester, though, I wonder why I didn’t become a science teacher.** They seem to spend April and May chatting while they feed Scan-tron forms into the reader.

**besides my lack of ability with math. And science.

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As if medical school isn’t tough enough…

So. Today I go to my general practitioner for my
annual exam — pap, pelvic, etc. The nurse tells me that a male med
student from U. of Iowa is in town shadowing my doctor and do I mind if
he attends the exam? Well, being the born teacher that I am, I say yes.

Of course we’re chatting as the doctor does the exam. Around about the
time she starts on the pelvic, I ask the med student if he got his
undergrad at BVU here in town, where I teach. No, he says, but the
doctor mentions that his mother is a student there. Well, now I know
exactly who he is, because we have very few non-traditional students.

“So, your mother’s reading a paper on Friday at our Scholars’ Day event,” I say to him.

“Yes,” he says.

“And you’ll be going to hear her and then attend the banquet,” I say.

“Yes”….(now he sounds worried).

“Well, I’ll see you at both events,” I tell him. “I’m your mother’s faculty sponsor!”

Poor kid. He has to have dinner with his mother’s professor…and he
already knows all about my IUD, my breast surgery, has seen the tattoo on my thigh….
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Roll Call

Well, seeing as how I’ve added yet another animal* to my family, I thought I’d provide a pictorial roll call of the creatures currently residing at Chez Schaechterle. Here, in order of adoption, are my companion poop-machines, er, I mean companion animals:

(click pics to embiggen)

ZEKE — Quaker parrot, microwave-popcorn-is-ready alarm, and lord of the household***


ASTRID — Grumpy kitty princess. Notice her good taste in napping on a Calvin & Hobbes collection***


SQUINT–Rubenesque orange kitty. Loves to play in water. Motto: “Death to plastic juice bottle rings!”***
(the extra pic of Squinty is there just for my buddy Jennfire)




RICKY — Beagle/Husky mix. Terror of the local duck population and rabbit chaser extraordinaire. Lovely manners and a true beagle nose***


VIOLET– Havanese mix. Giving Ricky a run for his money (or bunny) in the rabbit chasing department. Has a minimum daily requirement of belly rubs***


ALFIE — Andean alpaca. Loves carrots, alfalfa, and CSI Miami***

SPIKE — Cuban boa constrictor. Currently working on his M.S. in rodentology via the University of Phoenix***

LEGS — Tarantula Hawk Wasp. In case, you know, I ever get a tarantula and need to keep it in line***


And so that’s my current count of household pets. And really, when you add up all the food I buy and meals I serve and pet hair I vacuum up and poops I deal with, it’s still less work than taking care of one man.

*The italics represent the bemused voices of my siblings. “That crazy Inez,” they’re thinking. “If she dies in a bizarre gardening accident,** I’m not taking in her damn menagerie.”

**Ha, joke’s on them. I loathe gardening. Now a bizarre knitting-Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVD-Peanut Butter M&M accident — that’s possible.

***It’s possible that some pictures are of animals that do not, in the strictest sense,**** live here. But really, it’s only a matter of time, right?

****The strictest sense being, well, the truth.

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