Friday, December 31, 2004

Home Again Home Again

Happy New Year's Eve!

Got home last night, opened the christmas present that arrived after we left for Pittsburgh last week, and caught up on all my magazines. And played with the new present, of course. Heh heh.

Seeing the family was nice... in that way of visiting family. In other words, I didn't get to spend enough time with some people and had to spend way too much time with others. My father didn't really do a flip out until the last night we were there, and it wasn't nearly as nasty as some I've witnessed. We did clear out all our stuff from the dining room in case he decided that we were "too fucking retarded and irresponsible" to have things. He has been known to break or throw away things that were left where he thought they didn't belong when he gets in one of his moods. Love the man, try to ignore the mental illness, I guess.

Speaking of mental illness, we visited Grandma and Sam. Grandma is our adopted grandma who lived across the street from us when I was a little girl. Lacking grandparents of our own, we latched on to her. She and Sam dated for years, waiting out the deaths of their parents, before marrying in 1980something. For the last ten years, Grandma has been doing the downhill slide of Alzheimers. She was still fairly functional and conversational until about five years ago. I remember taking her to a Dervish concert in Pittsburgh in the Spring of 1999, right before I moved out West, and she was extremely lucid.

Not so anymore. The woman we knew and loved is gone. She talks like a small child and becomes easily confused, leading to tears. It's hard to know what she recognizes and what she doesn't. Like a child, she'll whine for a cookie, but halfway through eating it, she'll forget she has it in her hand. But god help you if you try to take it away... Sam refuses to put her in a care facility, but the daily struggle is eating him up, too. He told us that if we ever suspected a loved one had Alzheimer's, to shoot them or yourself, because the alternatives just were too ugly to live with. I wish I lived closer so I could visit more often. I know my mother gets over there as often as she can, but with her schedule, that's not as often as they need. So I'll do what I have been doing and send them a card as often as I remember. I just wish I was better at remembering that sort of thing.

I didn't intend to be depressing. Our visit with them was fun. Sam has some fantastic stories to tell and loves an audience. He's a bit eccentric - collects clocks and watches and comic book memorabilia. My mother got him a Batmobile for christmas and he went nuts over it. He got Jay to take a watch, a weather station, six or seven CD's, and an old set of vinyl records of Beethoven's 5th from the 50s. When I was little, Sam used to be into stamp collecting, Matchbox cars, and Wonder Woman. One year I drew him a picture of Wonder Woman and cut it out to look like a stamp. He can be ornery, a cranky old man, but he's just a big sweetheart underneath that. I'm only recently discovering that. He had me fooled for many years.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Happy Holidays... and I'm off

Leaving on a jet plane... but I'll be back on the 30th. Going to spend xmas with the family in Pittsburgh. No doubt I will have lots of interesting stories to post about if Jay and I survive. Mwah ha ha ha ha.

Otherwise been in a bit of a funk lately. Not in the mood to sit down in front of the computer and write at all. Probably just backlash from NaNo. I have been on a reading binge lately though. Mmmmm. Booooooks. Goooood. Reality baaaaad.

10 more working days until I have no job again. Interviewed with Sylvan Learning Center and will also be subbing next term. Job security is something I would like to experience before I die. Just saying.

Alrighty - bed time. Must rise absurdly early for tomorrow's flight. That, and Jay is whining "Come to bed, come to be-e-e-d" at me from the other room. Good thing you're cute, sweetie. Good thing.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Just as I suspected...

I got the offer for the spring term contract... teaching 1 reading class (that I am currently teaching), 1 MORE class (a life studies/guided instruction time for 9th graders with problems), and 1 Utah Studies class. Considering that I have not had the training for the counseling portion of MORE, and that I am not FROM UTAH (thank god), I think I'm going to have to turn it down. (This would drop my take home pay to about $900/month for an assload of work, just for reference.)

Because really... 3 preps (preparations for class), all in classes that I'm not qualified to teach, with some of the most difficult students in the school... I don't think there is enough money in the district to make that worth my time and effort. But here's where the little paycheck idiosyncrisies actually come in handy: I still get paid through the end of February. While it's not enough to make my monthly expenses, it's close enough so that if I don't find a job right away, I won't be TOTALLY screwed. Just partially.

So I'm cruising the district websites, keeping my fingers crossed, and updating my resume for Sylvan Learning Center. If worse comes to worst, I'll be subbing, working up in Park City, and tutoring in the Spring. And that's not THAT horrible, right?

And we might not even be here in the Fall anyway. Right, hon? (no pressure. heh heh.)

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Still Sick

All that nice head congestion is sliding down into my lungs... where it will no doubt stick around for the next 2 weeks. As long as I'm healthy by the time my flight back to Pittsburgh rolls around, I'll deal with it.

I probably should have taken more than one day off of school, but this was midterm week and I had to get a pile of grading done and entered into the computers anyway. Plus, getting a sub is like dumpster diving. Pure trash with a few pristine, plastic wrapped goodies hidden in the mix. First sub I had was not only late to class, she spent most of the time on her cell phone (according to the students), and didn't do half of what I left for her to do. Plus, she left no notes as to absences or what they had done. Second sub was a gem. Kids liked him, work was done, note left, etc. Unfortunately, he wasn't available for this past week. So I got self-righteous sub.

Self-righteous sub left me a note telling me that I might want to think about mixing up the groups because they were noisy. (Um, hello? Group work with junior high students is always noisy... doesn't mean they're not working.) Also left a mini-lecture about one of my students and how she needs encouragement. "I noticed that J. was engrossed in her book, so I took some time to visit with her. She wants to be a teacher and likes to read and write. I urged her to work on short stories."

Now, on the surface, there's nothing really wrong with what he wrote. I'm aware of J's issues, and the fact that she reportedly has ADHD. However, she also knows better than to read in my class, and she will also tell you anything if she thinks it means you will let her read instead of doing the work she is supposed to be doing. I've seen her writing before and encouraged her the best I could. (It wasn't easy to find something nice to say, but I did.) And that's great that the sub took a few minutes to talk to her, but COME ON. You saw them for 85 minutes. But you, Mr. Self-Righteous, are the one going to save them and open up new possibilities in their lives, etc? The words "Piss Off" come to mind.

The final act of idiocy came when the teacher who uses the room in the afternoon came in and found him at her desk, eating the unsalted, roasted almonds from Trader Joe's that she just brought back from a trip to California (because we do not have Trader Joe's in Utah). As his final act, he said, "Oh, I guess these are your nuts I'm eating," and tosses another handful into his mouth. Note the lack of apology or embarrassment. Anyway.

And, yes, I won NaNo for the second year in a row. The writing is no doubt horrific, but at least it is there.

With that thought, I am going to go lay down and hope I don't cough up a lung. (Sniff. And I wanted to go skiing this weekend. Sniff.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Fallout

Not as bad as anticipated. I will have to take one more expensive exam before they will concede that I can teach French. Good thing we teachers get paid so well, eh? My account was only $6 overdrawn when I deposited my paycheck this afternoon. Argh.

I will also be able to get the license processed with an anthropology endorsement - since that was my major in college - and the additional endorsements should be easier to add.

I'm still pissed though. And worse, I'm sick. My head feels like a weird mix of hollow and filled with snot. Throbbing headache. Can't get warm. I'm taking tomorrow off as a sick day - already arranged for a sub.

Still must write 2800 words to finish NaNo... "I will win if it kills me" is what I posted on the site the other day. I just didn't think that the fates would take me up on it. Bleh.

Monday, November 29, 2004


Oh yes, just when it couldn't get any better... Eighteen weeks (that's about 5 months, oh yes it is) after I submitted my application for licensure, the thing came back rejected. Evidently, it took that long to realize that I don't have a major in French and that they were not going to count all my French classes from Dartmouth. FABULOUS. So pleased I am.


Perhaps it's my fault, but even so, they could have pointed out the problem in the 6-8 weeks the dirty liars CLAIM that the processing takes. Then I could have resolved the issue before the school year started, but NO.

Somehow, I don't think I'll be teaching in the Spring.

Somehow, I think I might be okay with that.

What bullshit.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Desk Sores

That's what my elbows have right now. It's a combination of dry skin and too much time in front of the computer. However, it's all for a good cause.

I'm raised my NaNo wordcount from 21,628 to 40,099 since Thursday morning. For the mathematically challenged among us, that would be about 18,500 words in 3 days. And since I called in to work due to wicked snow conditions on I-80, I still have all afternoon and evening to work on it. Mwah hah ha ha ha. Less than 10K to go!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

No, she really did fall down the stairs, officer.

So, obviously, I love my baby sisters. And they're kind of goofy, so they make for good stories. heh heh. Karlyn called me the other day to make sure I was still alive and stuff, since I've been less than frequent in my postings lately. As usual, she had me laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. Or, I would have been laughing that hard, but I threw out my back that night and I wasn't really able to get the proper range of motion. Sigh. (Much better now - I can even sit up without dying.)

Things you have to understand about Karlyn: she looks so sweet and angelic, she's totally the mommy type (I think that's her official title as RA in her dorm), and she's a bit of a klutz. When she was just a wee little bitty slip of a girl, she managed to drop our butter dish on the floor, shattering it to bits. Very sad day. Then she dropped the stopper to the civil war era water jug we kept in the fridge. The jug itself followed only a few days later. I think it tooks weeks for me and Robby (our brother) to forgive her. I mean, it was our favorite jug. She was just our poopy little sister at the time. Cute, but poopy, and clumsy to boot.

All the women in the family have the unfortunate habit of crashing around without watching where we're going, and so we always have strange, unexplainable bruises on our arms and legs. Embarassing, really. Now that I'm in the classroom, I've got permanent deskbruises on my thighs. Damn desks. Damn crowded classroom.

But I digress.

So Karlyn's boyfriend John is a large guy, as I've mentioned before. We were shopping last christmas and she picked up a sweater that was so big... I asked if he was really that big and I think she said something about it maybe not being large enough. In any case, the boy is big, but harmless as a puppy.

They were leaving a party (I'm guessing in a frat basement) and just as they were almost at the top of the stairs, Karlyn slipped and fell backwards, landing on her bum, then knocking her head and sliding all the way to the bottom of the stairs, where she collapsed in a pile of giggles. (Because we crazy sisters tend to laugh hysterically when hurt.) Strangely (or maybe because of her blood/alcohol ratio) she wasn't really damaged beyond a few new bruises. Big John panicked and ran down the stairs after her, attracting the attention of several of the frat brothers... who thought he was beating her. Hah.

Then she went on to tell me about another "partied-too-much" incident where she felt sick and decided to lay on the nice, cold tile floor, preparing to worship the porceline god. John needed to brush his teeth, so he's standing at the sink in his boxer shorts, brushing his teeth while Karlyn moans by his feet on the floor. A friend ducks his head in for a moment... Karlyn says in retrospect it probably did look like John had just finished beating her. Poor maligned boy.

That's what he gets for taking up with my beautiful, accident-prone baby sister.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

I must say...

It's really hard to keep up the NaNo word count and post regularly to the blog.

Especially with further distractions of work, gym, other work, friends I haven't seen for 4 years dropping by for an evening on their way through town.... (Hi Aaron - was good to see you! evenifyoudiddelaymywritingthat muchmore)

I need coffee.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Little, Purple, Tinnitus-inducing

That's right. After this week's downhill slide resulted in bouncing along the bottom of rock bottom, I've taken up with the drugs again. Everything has become so overwhelming... I know when I can't just laugh at the stupid stuff that there's a problem.

My prescription ran out in August, but I hadn't filled it since January anyway. I still have three fourths of the last one remaining, so at least I can see if that's going to make life easier to face. And fortunately, I have an appointment with my doctor next month anyway, so I can talk to her about renewing that prescription when I get my other done.

Dammit dammit dammit. I thought I was past this. Will I ever be past this?

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Who loves you, baby?

Did I mention that Jay got us tickets to see David Sedaris last night at Kingsbury Hall? Well, he did. It was fucking hilarious... How the hell does he do it? One nasal-voiced, gay ex-pat comes on stage and reads a few stories... to a sold-out venue. God, I would LOVE to have his job. Brilliant.

(Quite the liberal crowd, too. The local public radio guy who introduced Sedaris mentioned that our new county mayor - shockingly, a Democrat - was in the audience... and the theater gave him a standing ovation. Ah, Utah. Reddest state in the Union. Which I find sort of ironic considering that Republicans are supposed to be the anti-communists, but they share the color... whatever. I will never (want to) understand politics.)

(Okay, I'm talking all in asides... definitely a sign that I need to go to bed. Night!)

8000 and counting...

Going okay on the NaNo front. I've been trying to keep up with the minimum 1667 words per day during the week. I hope to make up some ground over the weekend, but since I have to work at my second job, those hopes are not that high.

Are you who I think you are?

Does anyone know how those online people search databases gather their information? I was trying to look up a few people I've lost touch with and I found most of them... but I can't tell how old the data is and whether it's worth paying $10.00 to get the whole sh'bang. I have my doubts. For example, I entered my own name and came up with Arizona as my state of residence. . . . . I haven't lived in Arizona since May of 2001. There are NO listings that put me in Utah.

Since I have registered my car in Utah, paid my taxes in Utah, and have voted every year since moving here, I'm highly suspicious that the other people's information is likewise sadly incomplete. Granted, I don't have a land line, only a cell. BUT, I did have a land line for the first year I lived here. So... I'm guessing that the info is perhaps gathered from driver's license registration? I still have my Arizona license... no motivation to change when the thing doesn't expire until March of 2036. Yep. Love the AZ licenses. Note that the incidental fact that I am legally required to change to a Utah license after 60 (or is it 90?) days of residence has not provided an ounce of motivation to stand in line at the DMV. (That's Department of Motor Vehicles to the non-Americans in the audience - you lucky bastards (<---count that as my election commentary))

Monday, November 01, 2004

NaNo NOW... and never a dull moment

Kicking off NaNo here. Hopefully this will get me back in the habit of daily writing, if not daily blogging. Ahem.

So I've had my first two shifts up at the new job in Park City. Very interesting crowd there. One girl... let's call her Snow White... is probably about 3 inches taller than I am, and about 60 pounds lighter. Scary thin. "No ass" thin. Knobby-knees thin. You get the idea. During the course of the 5 hours shift I worked with her, SW drank a liter of regular Coke, ate three candy bars, and told me how much she loves the cinnamon chimichaungas at this Mexican place nearby... stuffed with cheesecake instead of the usual meat and rice and beans... a few calories in that, you think? So, needless to say, I was a bit puzzled as to how she pulled that off.

Well, you know how I said to call her Snow White. Yep. She likes the powder, and I don't mean the cold white stuff that falls from the sky.

The other girl, we'll call her Speedy. Totally hyper, not so good at following through on stuff... Yep. A meth-addict. The third woman that I've met is not an addict, unless you count cigarettes. She takes 45 second smoke breaks... because it's too cold for her to stay out longer than that. Takes her 8 hours to smoke one cigarette. She's quite entertaining, even if she does pump the heat up to 75 degrees (that's Fahrenheit) so I'm melting in my sweaters.

Too funny. Almost worth the 90 minute round-trip commute.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Some day I will be able to have only ONE job.

However, that day has evidently not yet come. I also got to "reregister" for insurance benefits. They've reorganized them this year and the upshot of it is that I don't get benefits as a .67 fulltime employee. Or rather, I do, but what I would have to pay for them is more than I pay for the insurance I bought on my own last year. Unamused here.

So my friend Cody called me up a little while ago about coming to work for him back in Park City part time and on-call at one of the condo/resort front desks. We worked together at the Hirsch until I quit, and he got the manager's position at this other place. Well anyway. Long story short, I said yes, was planning on changing my mind because of the commute, then got the real story on what I'm being paid (or not being paid) as a teacher, and realized that I needed to take him up on the offer.


I looked for something closer to home, but the job market is grim right now. Unless you are a cook, a housekeeper, or are looking for full time work. I think I need to look more seriously into tutoring.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Flames of Rage

So. Every time I think that there couldn't be another way to dick me around with the whole teaching thing, I'm proven wrong. I got my second paycheck today and it is the same as the first. Okay, that sounds normal, you say. But no. See, the first paycheck was supposed to be for 2.5 weeks. This one was supposed to be for the whole month. But what they do instead of actually paying me for the time worked, they divide my total contract by 12 months and pay me like that.

Why this is a problem: I'm only hired for 5 months. So I won't see that huge fucking chunk of the money they owe me until FEBRUARY!! Six weeks after my contract ends. This is FUCKED UP.

What it means: instead of making $2000/month as I should be, my paychecks are for $1675/month. Yes, that means that I will be getting roughly a double paycheck at the end and according to the payroll lady, THERE IS NO WAY AROUND THIS CLUSTER FUCK. To put this in perspective, that $325 extra is my rent payment.

So unamused. Verging on bitter even.

This isn't funny anymore.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Naked, Screaming, and Dripping Wet

I think that's a line from a Bill Cosby routine, but I might be misquoting. Nonetheless, it seemed an appropriate intro for the next Kerri and Karlyn story. Heh heh.

So, as I mentioned before, K2 and K3 did pretty much everything together because Kerri didn't like to be alone and Karlyn didn't mind the company. When they were much younger - like 9 and 6 - they even used to shower together in my parents' shower-only bathroom downstairs. (The master bedroom is in the basement)

One Saturday afternoon, my mother and I heard an absolutely bloodcurdling scream echo up the stairs to the kitchen. It was followed by a different howl and then a second shriek from the first screamer. As we rushed down the stairs, Kerri raced out the bathroom door naked, screaming, and dripping wet. We snagged a towel from the linen closet to wrap around her and pushed into the bathroom. Karlyn was still in the shower, now cursing to herself. (Interesting vocab for a 9 year old, by the way) Further investigation revealed a steady stream of blood oozing down one leg.

It appears that Kerri had been frightened by a spider dropping over the shower curtain and into the shower stall. Naturally - for a 6 year old girl - she screamed. All would have been well except at that very moment Karlyn was using one of my dad's half-abandoned disposable razors to shave her legs for the first time. When Kerri screamed, Karlyn flinched, taking a chunk of skin out of her leg. Oops. Kerri, seeing the blood, screamed again, semi-convinced that she'd just killed her sister and still freaked out by the spider.

Damn... I don't think I can do that story justice. Just thinking about Kerri doing her little "Aaaaahhhhh!" dance and scream makes me laugh so hard the tears come to my eyes. And Karlyn being so...chagrined as being caught with the razor. Oh dear.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Whoosh Whoosh Whoosh and I love my dad, but I don't love my dad

That's the sound of my days flying by. I'm still a little puzzled as to how it can be the 21st of October when I'm still spinning from September. NaNo's rushing up at me, and this year, instead of being on unemployment from my seasonal job at the resort, I'm working the most time and labor intensive position I've ever had. Of course, last year I finished in only 20 writing days... so maybe I'll be able to make it again this year using all 30.

I talked to myKarlyn over the weekend. I've asked for her confirmation and clarification on the "peneth" thing, so hopefully she'll find a few minutes to leave a comment in the next week or so. She was getting ready to go out with her boyfriend to celebrate their 2nd year anniversary as a disgustingly cute couple. No, they're not disgusting. Well, I guess they might be. I've never actually met John... I've seen the pictures though, and DAMN that boy is big. Linebacker big, not "too many Biggie Size Fries" big. And he looks like a taller, younger version of my dad. Creepy. Personally, I've never been attracted to men who look like my father. But maybe that's just me, eh? To be honest, I used to be attracted to men with my father's "alcoholic in denial" tendencies, but I figured out after a while that that's simply no fun. Aaaaaaaand, while we're being honest, I guess Jay has that "responsible sciencey guy who needs to control everything in his life" thing going on, similar to my dad. But since those are a combination of my dad's most attractive and least offensive (to me) qualities, I think that's okay.

On a scarier note, I think I might be becoming my dad. I've gone to bed every night this week at 9:30pm and gotten up around 6am, to leave the house before 7am. I never believed my dad when he said that he used to be a night person before he had to work a regular job. Now I think I might be getting the picture. And the picture is dark. Oh dark hundred hours, that is. Sigh.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Back to Bellybuttons

Have I written about this already? Does it matter? I didn't think so.

The motivation for this post came from Jay's new obsession with Dooce's blog. Like any freshly speared blog addict, he combed through the archives as I haven't taken the time to do...and he found a picture with a caption revealing that Dooce's belly button is named Fred. Fred the bellybutton. Yep, my Karlyn, sorry to break it to you, but your naming of my bellybutton was evidently not as original as we might have thought.

You see, we three K sisters (Kate, Karlyn, and Kerri) have this belly button bonding thing going on.

I think it started as a result of Kerri's thumb-sucking, belly-button-fingering childhood. Right thumb always in mouth, index finger hooked over her little button nose, left index finger in a belly button. Note I said a belly button, NOT her bellybutton. She wasn't at all picky.

Now Kerri always slept with Karlyn until... well, until she was old enough to want privacy... like 10 or 11? (Feel free to correct me, K2 or K3.) And I don't blame her a bit - Karlyn has had a double bed for as long as I can remember and she is just the snuggliest person to sleep with. So very often, the belly button Kerri had her finger in belonged to Karlyn. Belly buttons became a central facet of our lives in the late 1980s. So I suppose it only seemed proper that they be named. And have personalities assigned. (Don't ask me, I only tell the stories.)

Karlyn's belly button is Billy. He's Karlyn's gay fashion consultant. Perhaps that's a stereotype, but I'd say he's done a fabulous job. Kar is way more stylin' than I am.

My belly button, as I alluded to above, is Fred. Though he is not above exchanging a belly kiss hello with Billy, he is definitely "not into that sort of thing". Mainly I refer to him as "the pudgy bald guy".

Kerri's belly button is Peneth... pronounced "Pea-neth" with a lisp. I couldn't begin to assign a gender. I wish I could explain Peneth, but I think my brain shuts down everytime the younger Ks have tried to clarify. Or else they've only giggled and rolled their eyes at my confusion. It could be the second option. Sometimes that 8 and 10.5 year age gap really hits hard. Sometimes we barely feel it.

Happily, all the buttons will be reunited at Christmas this year. I just hope it doesn't snow like it did last year over the holiday. Jay will sulk for weeks if he misses another winter storm...

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Laziness abounds

Bit of a nothing week. School had its ups and downs - mostly in the form of students not making up work they needed to make up. Drives me nuts. One student failed a quiz (4 out of 16 pts) and I told him he could retake it as a multiple choice quiz ONLINE. Has he done so? Nope. He has a learning disability that makes it very hard for him to write his thoughts out longhand. So the second quiz I gave, I told him he could take it directly off the computer if he wanted, and that if he wanted, he could have an extra day to study. He accepted the extra day but has yet to take the quiz. Three weeks have passed, he's lost his chance. I just want to shake his smug little face right off his fat little shoulders. It's like he's using his status as learning disabled as an excuse not to do any work. Gah.

Also, on the day I gave a quiz, 6 students were absent. I almost postponed the quiz because getting these kids to make stuff up is near impossible. However, I thought that would set a poor precedent... they have to learn to take responsibility. As much as I'd prefer that they not fail, I'm not doing them any favors by enabling them to do crappy work and not be punished for it.

*putting on my stern teacher face*

Grrr. Do your work!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Mulling over the options


I'm getting a little fed up with Utah. Maybe it's just that it's an election year, maybe it's that I'm getting a close up look at the education issues, maybe it's that 62% of people polled in Utah think that banning same sex marriages AND anything other non-marriage relationship that formerly held marriage-like rights (read common-law marriage) is a GOOD IDEA!! WTF, people? How totally short-sighted can you be? How narrow-minded?


Jay has another year here to finish with the PhD. I could stick around for that without too much trouble, I guess. Maybe I'm a little irked still at the "but how do you know?" and "I don't want to get married" discussions of the past few years. I understand that he's got his hands full with not only the PhD work, but his commitment to the educational outreach required by his fellowship and volunteer work with the upcoming science center, AND other little departmental duties. However, just because I understand, doesn't mean I feel good about being stuffed into a holding pattern for the last few years. (I don't think this should be news to you, sweetie.) (Yes, Jay reads the site fairly regularly.)

So I've been thinking about getting out and away from here. There's a language teaching assistantship organized through the French Embassy which places between 1000-2000 foreigners in French schools to act as language assistants in their native language. The pay is minimal - about 800 Euros a month take home pay - but should be enough to live on, if frugally. The assistantship is open to people ages 20-30 who have had at least 3 semesters of college French and who have a working knowledge of French language and culture. I'm not even sure what my chances of getting it would be. It's a seven month posting and would start next October 1st. Application deadline is December 1st, 2004.

One way or another I need to decide soon so I can start getting the materials together... like recommendation letters.

I keep swinging back and forth on the subject. Last night I was totally excited about it. Today, much less so...


Saturday, October 02, 2004

Writing and Painting and Reading, Oh My!

This whole "not working on the weekends" thing is really nice. I had forgotten how nice. Yesterday I didn't leave the house, because I truly needed a day to veg out and putter around.

I revised two chapters of Retribution and finished a critique for a member of Silver Griffin crit circle that was long overdue. I also reregistered for NaNo and posted a few things there after donating my $25 to keep the show on the road, so to speak.

THEN, I painted another shelf of the bookcase I've been working on for months (added more shrubberies and a man playing frisbee with a dog) and finished the right side panel with a field of grass and wildflowers. Just two more shelves to go and then I will post pictures. My next project with be something small and quickly finshable: napkin rings.

I also got to catch up with all the blogs I read AND the newspapers and magazines in the house, as well as a few more chapters of the Diana Gabaldon book I'm reading (just reread Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, and Voyager. Now working on Drums of Autumn). One of my students recommended Greenrider but I can't remember the author's name. I suspect that will be the next item of fiction for me.

Today, I'll be going hiking with Jay as soon as he gets home. We bargained up/down for an 8 mile hike today... we'll see if it doesn't turn out to be more like 6. (I hope.)

Friday, October 01, 2004

NaNoWriMo boards open this evening

Yep - it's that time again. The National Novel Writing Month is November, but the boards should be reopening tonight for all the pre-writing splendor.

I can't wait. hee hee.

Just call me Moby

I was just looking at more of the recent pictures that Jay has of the both of us. I must stop having my picture taken while standing next to the boy. Jeez. He's so fricking skinny that I look enormous next to him. (All right, all right, he's not skinny, he just has no fat over his many muscles or bonyass hips. The wiener.) And he's tan and olivey where I'm kind of golden and pale so I look completely pasty in comparison.

Hmmm, let's see... yes. That makes me a big, white whale. Fabulous, neh?

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The things you can learn

Truly amazing the little details that come up at Parent-Teacher conferences. The trend in Utah is for kids to come with their parents to these meetings, though in practice, you see about half of the parents with their kids and half on their own.

So what did I learn?

Good things: most of the parents said that their child likes my class, a few mentioned how happy they were that I had alternate resources online for the kids to look up, only one of them accused me of giving a bad grade to their kid just because I didn't like them. (Actually, they hadn't handed in the last two homework assignments, taken the last quiz, or participated in any activities... THAT's why they have a D-... not JUST because I don't like him...)

Interesting things: One girl who sits in the back of the room and never seems to be paying attention is actually deaf in one ear... not sure why she didn't mention that BEFORE when I asked anyone with special seating needs to see me the first week of school...

Funny things: Four of the students who did come with their parents took the time to reassure me that I was doing a good job and not to worry about the obnoxious people in the class.

So I'll be heading back to school in an hour for the second night of P-T conferences. I only hope it's as interesting as yesterday.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Alright, okay, sorry if I offend you with my cursing. But honestly, better you than my students, right?

I got up for work today at 5:30am. Drove 45 minutes up to Park City. Was 2 minutes early. Turns out, my schedule was changed and I'm not working Sunday mornings anymore, I'm working Sunday nights. WHICH I told Douglas (aka: the worst manager I know) I couldn't do because of school. I simply cannot work until 11pm, get home at midnight, and then get up at 6am the next morning and go to school. My body and mind catagorically refuse.

That said, I will be going back this evening because by not going I will only be screwing over my coworker who doesn't deserve to be screwed again. BUT, I will be tendering my resignation at the same time. Tonight will be my last shift. What that means is that I won't work the last 5 shifts I was scheduled for before the hotel closes October 17th. Financially, that only means about $225 in take home pay. Considering the cost of gas and the time committment required, it hardly seems worth it anyway. So fuck it.

Speaking of being screwed over... I also got the revised health insurance form from the school district. Turns out, as a .67 Full Time Employee (FTE), my monthly contribution comes to $103. WTF?!?! If I were a full time employee (aka: I taught 6 classes instead of 4) my monthly contribution would be $14. Someone 'splain that to me? I have a personal insurance plan right now that is almost identical to the one I would be getting through work and I pay $72/month. Hmmm. Which should I keep, I wonder? Fuckers.

To end on a non-bitter note... I put up some new pictures from the wedding, the garden, and the recent visit. You can view them here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Temperature down, Mood up

Ah. Cooling down finally. We don't need to run two fans and two swamp coolers to make the room habitable. I cna even wear - gasp - a sweater. Which is a good thing, because most of my teacher-like wardrobe involves a sweater of some kind. It's also nice because the kids seem a little more lively and a lot less cranky now that it's not 95 F in the room.

Stress-level is dropping in regard to the Reading Fundamentals class. Turns out I was mostly doing the right stuff, just needed to add a few things and tweak the rest. I'm optimistic.

I am glad I checked my online schedule - the one I post for my kids, that is. I scheduled a quiz for tomorrow. But I haven't written the quiz yet. Oops. I did write the practice quiz and worksheets, so all I need to do is tweak those and I'll be all set. But that could have been ugly.

We also recently benefitted from Jay's advisor's peach tree harvest. The man doesn't like peaches, so he lets the grad students help themselves every year. We made 3 dozen peach and walnut muffins and a big peach cobbler. Yum.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Laughed so hard....

Jay sent me this picture today. I laughed so hard I cried. I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. I laughed so, so hard.

Because it is so, so terribly true.

And now you know.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

And yet strangely...

There's nothing that can't be resolved with a concession to order Chinese food. Sesame chicken is just the thing tonight. Yum.
I am irked

# of times I have been polite or accommodating when I really wanted to scream in the lst two weeks: *insert obscenely high number here*

# of times I have actually gotten something that I wanted in the last week: Um, less than five but more than two.

When I call to see if you want to go out to dinner at your favorite restaurant, the wrong answer is: "It's Wednesday. It's frisbee night."

Especially when the excuse of "I need exercise" has worn a little thin considering the whole "been training for a marathon" thing, eh?

So I put it to you, (all my five readers). When you have seen precious little of your live-in girlfriend for the last three weeks and she calls to see if you're coming home and if you would like to go out for dinner, does "It's Wednesday. It's frisbee night." translate as "I want to sleep on the couch tonight-With no blankets-And no pillows-And I never want to have my girlfriend ever do nice, friendly things to my naked body ever, ever again" or is that just my imagination?

Especially when you said as she left that morning, "I slept really well," and she answers, "I, sadly, did not at all." And when you know that she's not a morning person, and yet has gotten up at 6:30am or earlier for 8 out of the last nine days? And that she has been sick for the last five days? And...and... well, you get the idea.

So, hypothetically, what do you think?
Weather is here, wish you were beautiful?

Our newlyweds came in yesterday. Didn't bother to call to let us know when they would be in, of course. Nor to let us know about dinner plans. Or anything like that. No. Jay finally called them, only to find out that they were on Main Street. Uh, yeah, that's a five minute drive from our place.

Not that I should complain. I shut myself up in the computer room and did 3 hours worth of work for school. I now have a teacher website and a membership at DiscoveryWeb for online quizzes and puzzle generation. So exciting.

The headcold has receded, so now I'm only bitter about being perpetually broke despite the fact that I'm working harder for more hours than I ever have before. Yeah, funny how that should be troublesome.

But now I have a two day break from the classroom (and really a 4 day break including the weekend...) to go to a district conference for new teachers. So hopefully I will get some good information at the conference and will figure out what the heck I'm supposed to be doing with my reading classes. The French classes, I can figure out on my own. I'm just stumbling a little with classroom management in the one section because there are so many talky-talky spastic kids all in the first section. The second section is my dream class. But that first class... oy.

Monday, September 13, 2004


Sinus headache, much sneezing, keeping Kleenex in business.

Hating principal, wanting to strangle kids, achey though not feverish.

Maybe private schools would be better? Other teachers reporting similar issues this year. Losing my shit.

Getting buried under weight of bullshit. Ready to tell more people to fuck off. Must remember not to swear in classroom.

Back later. Must sleep. And medicate.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

flatlining.... wait, no, there's a blip!

Hmm. I signed on to write another post and my mind has gone completely blank. I'm pretty sure I had something to say when I opened the field, but it's absolutely gone. Gah. Give me a minute.


Oh, so yesterday afternoon I came home after one of the most useless faculty meetings you can imagine, at which many people were pissed off and very little was accomplished outside of the pissing off. I'd left the house at 7am and I got home around 4pm. During this time, I'd eaten 3 cookies and had a bottle of water. I ran out of water right before the staff meeting and the school is uncomfortably warm in the afternoon, so dehydration had sucked the last of the moisture from my eyeballs which have been burning since Wednesday night. So I was, shall we say, a wee bit cranky when I got home. I don't remember what Jay said as I came in. I only remember saying "Fuck off" and diving onto the bed. Don't remember anything else until two hours later when the boy was rubbing my back in an attempt to wake me up for the Meteorology department picnic.

I must say that the latest crop of grad students is both more diverse and more lively than previous years. There was not only frisbee flying around, but croquet (for the tired people), and volleyball. I, of course, played none of the above, though I put in observation time at croquet and volleyball. I just scoped out a nice patch of grass and nibbled on baby toes. Baby Alex has a very cute giggle and is easily amused. Good qualities in an ankle-biter.

The eyes are still burning this morning...or uh, I guess it's afternoon now, eh? I think I have eyedrops around here somewhere. Perhaps I should go find those before I scrape my corneas on my sandpaper eyelids. Just maybe.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

On music

Last night we went to the Dave Matthews Band concert with our visiting Newlywed friends. God bless 'em. So, considering that I have to get up around 6am every weekday morning in order to be showered, dressed, and at school by 7:15, I wasn't psyched about the whole idea of a wednesday concert. Add to that the fact that I've always considered DMB to be background music; it was an outdoor concert so everyone was smoking; it was DMB so not everyone who was smoking was smoking legal plant matter; I'm very sensitive to pot smoke; our seats were not that great (way off to the side); and the happy duo are about as lively as two wet blankets.... Well, all I could think at the end of the night was "I could have been sleeping."

Yes, this makes me a horrible ingrate, but there you have it. Jay and I had fun for the first two and a half hours--because we are all about fun--but the last hour finished me off. Today my eyes are burning, my throat is sore, and I'm exhausted.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm writing this at work? Yep. I'll be here until 11pm - should get home by midnight if all goes well. Thank god tomorrow is Friday.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

So tired

Friday yet?



Monday, September 06, 2004

Hi, my name is Kate, and I'll be your therapist this week

So, Jay won with the estimate of 12 minutes until the first sniping between our newlywed friends. I'll call them "Jeremy" and "Alison"

However, there are obviously some deeper issues going on between Jeremy and Alison, and Jay and I feel compelled to try to help. Part of the problem is that Alison is young. She's only 21 and Jeremy is 29. She feels really insecure because she's never gone to college, she's never had to do anything for herself--parents spoiled her and her sister, and she's also gained a lot of weight in the last year and a half since they got engaged. They just got married. They should be happy, lovey, supportive of each other. The words "I hate you" shouldn't be a staple of their daily exchanges. I would think, anyway.

The thing is, Alison is so blatently unhappy that is hurts to watch. Jeremy doesn't make it any better because he just picks on her and puts her down even harder than she's already doing to herself. Example-- Alison: "I'm so stupid and flaky." Jeremy: "Yeah, pretty much." Now that's just ugly.

So the plan is for Jay and I to split them up tomorrow when they get back from Park City. I get to talk to Alison about possibly seeking help for what to me is an obvious dark depression, while Jay gets to discuss "How to support your significant other" with Jeremy. Jeremy keeps telling her that her problems are all in her head. The nice thing about that is that I can agree with him while introducing more productive concepts like "chemical imbalance" and "have your doctor check your thyroid function".

All Jay and I know is that we can't stand to be around them like this. Their misery is contagious. Alison has no self-confidence, and as a woman who dealt with a wicked smackdown of depression myself last year, I can't not try to help her.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Day off!

My first real day off since coming back from vacation. No school, no hotel. Thank god. Of course, I need to spend significant amounts of that time cleaning our filthy apartment. Especially since we are expecting house guests tomorrow.

Oh yes, did I not mention that yet? The NJ honeymooners are coming to visit us for their post-nuptial travels. Fortunately, we have devised ways to get them out of our tiny apartment. Sunday, I've arranged for them to stay up at the Inn for two nights in the penthouse for the discount rate of $79/night. Not bad, considering the room usually goes for $250/night, eh? Tuesday they're coming back to our place, and Wednesday night we're all going to the Dave Matthews concert - the tickets were Jay's best man gift. So we figure that on Thursday, or maybe Friday, we'd kick them out again with a few maps and some suggestions of places to visit in southern Utah. They're allowed to return the following Tuesday, and then they fly home on Wednesday.

Did I mention that we have a bet as to how soon after their arrival they will start bickering? And that neither of our guesses are more than 20 minutes? Oh yes. Should be interesting.

But now to clean.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Ça me fait mal

Ouch, does it hurt. I assigned a short writing exercise to my students last friday. They had to write a short paragraph of at least five sentences describing their summer. Not a hard assignment, I thought. I just wanted to see how their writing skills were, since the English teacher gave me the grim news about their reading scores... more than half are below grade level.

What did I discover? Three of 50 students understood the concepts of spelling, punctuation, and paragraphs. The rest of them? Well, some just gave me five sentences numbered 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Some had spelling so poor that I had to guess at their meaning. Others were barely recognizable as English.

This is depressing.

I'm going to start a program with a parent volunteer so the volunteer can work one-on-one with all the students on basic reading skills and speed reading exercises while I focus on the group as a whole.

I do not understand how these kids made it out of elementary school with such a lack of reading skills. Pretty sick if you asked me.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Oh, and about the nose thing

The doctor left much to be desired. After a ten minute exam in which he sprayed a noxious, numbing agent up my nose and stabbed me in the deviated septum with his metal lifter thingy, he raced through an explanation of a septoplasty and turbinate reduction and escorted me to scheduling. Yeah. "This is what's wrong with you, let's schedule your surgery. It won't actually affect the shape of your nose though. No time for questions, and I shall escape while you are sneezing and wiping your eyes."

Needless to say, I shall be seeking a second opinion. If I'm going to submit to the S-word, I sure as hell am going to get a straighter nose out of the deal. But the current diagnoses is "deviated septum and polyp-like scar tissue in the turbinates". Anyone know of any good ENT specialists in the Salt Lake area? I have a list from Internet searches, but I'd love some personal recommendations.

How talking about education quickly leads to ranting

Seriously, how the heck did it get to be almost September? (Sonofabitch. Did I just write "heck"? Must get out of Utah soon.) Anyway. My car registration expires in three days, but I need brake work, an emissions inspection, and a safety inspection before I can reregister. With money that I don't have, of course.

I recently discovered that teachers don't get paid until the end of the month. And that the paycheck represents work done the previous month. Yeah. So at the end of September, I will be paid for 2 and a half weeks of work from August. I won't get paid for all my September work until the end of October. How did I miss this little loop hole of teacherfuckingovership? Seriously. If I hear one more anti-educator rant in the papers or other media, I will flip the fuck out. People think they can do better? Come on in. I'd love to see it. I mean, naturally, there's some wackos in any field, but for the most part, the teachers I work with put everything they've got into their jobs, only to be smacked down over and over again. Smacked down by the students, by the parents, by the administration, by the legislature, by the federal government. You want to improve education in this country? Support your teachers, don't demonize them. Sure, test them, ensure their competency in their subject. Heck, test the kids if that's going to make you feel good about our educational system. But for godsake, put your damn money where your mouth is.

There's a huge disconnect in this country between the "management" and the workers, no matter what your industry. I have to wonder if this wasn't the way of things in Rome at the beginning of the end. One of my apocolyptic-minded relatives predicted the end of US dominance (and perhaps the end of the US entirely) in the next 50 years. I'm finding it harder to argue against that.

Yes, I'm feeling cynical today.

Friday, August 27, 2004

still hanging in there

Actually, I'm having a fabulous time with the students, I'm just experiencing technical difficulties. First, I have NO IDEA where to start with the reading classes. So far what we've done has been more organizational than curriculum focused. But, considering these kids are 12 and 13 years old (ie: TOTAL SPASTICS!!) organization is much needed.

The French is going a bit better, since I actually know how to teach that and stuff... but my first period has some girls with... massive attitudes. ohmigad, I can't imagine talking to anyone, much less and adult, the way these girls talk. Ack. I gave them a short 7 question survey on the first day. One question asked "Why do you think people study foreign languages?" One response: "I don't know. Ask THEM." I kid you not.

And then the district still hasn't decided if I exist or not. According to the computers in their office, I'm in the system. According to the computers at the school, I have no students, I'm not assigned, I'm not on file, or I'm invalid, depending on which system I try to access. But I refuse to stress about it. The Librarian..oops...Media Specialist and the Asst. Principal are both making twice daily phone calls to the district on my behalf, so I figure it will be fixed by Monday. Until then, I'll just keep up my daily visits to their offices to check status. At least I'm getting to know the Librarian well.

Tomorrow I have to stick around all day, despite only teaching 4 classes (instead of the normal 6), because we have meetings in the afternoon. Hopefully I will be able to get some idea of where I should be starting off with these reading classes. Then I get to try to keep a straight face through the foreign language department meeting... some of the other teachers... I won't get into it now, but oy. AND THEN, after all this lovely time at school, I'll finally be going to the Otolaryngologist to see about starting to get my useless nose fixed. My breathing quality is at an all-time pathetic low and it's seriously pissing me off.

Alrighty. I must go to bed or I'll never make it through the day. Even though I have no idea what I'm going to do with the darn reading classes tomorrow. Ack.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

The nightmares have started

Last night I dreamt about the first day of school. All I can say is that it is pretty much guaranteed to go better in real life. I still don't know what I'll be teaching in terms of the reading classes. French is no problem. I really feel quite comfortable with that subject, but reading... maybe it would help if there was actually a course description, hmmm.

I'm going to scan the state Core curriculum online and see if I can figure out what I'm supposed to be teaching since no one else seems to be able to give me a straight answer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Telegraph: Got the Job

Got home Sunday night, started working 8am Monday morning. First day of school is the 23rd. Am exhausted. Seminars yesterday 8-3. Work at the Inn 3:30-11. Got home 12am. Got up 6:45am. Losing brain function. Parent "Back to School" night starts at 6:30pm tonight. Worried won't be able to form sentences. Must shower. Maybe nap. Definitely eat. Also drink. Dehydrated.

Will update later when coherence regained.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Blog on Hold

Until the 16th... silly wedding to attend back East. On Friday the 13th no less.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Pick me! Pick me!

Interview went well, really well, I thought. I had to resist the urge at the end to jump up and shout "pick me! pick me!"

Principal and Assistant Principal seem like great people. I got a really positive vibe off both of them. And not only would I get to teach French, I would also get to teach Reading. Only my two favorite subjects in the world.

Sorry, I'm giddy with hope. Please please please please please. Pick me!

Added 3 new pictures to the new photo album link. I went through Jay's collection, and trust me, you're not missing much else. He took a lot of pictures from the South Sister hike, and while that's interesting for him, to me it looks like a bunch of snow and sky and rock. Notsointerestingeh?

Tomorrow is my interview. I'm trying not to stress about it.

I'll let you know how I do with that.

Hmmm... maybe that's the reason my tummy hurts. Stress-related ickiness?

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Last minute chance

Got another call today about a job interview!! With one of the junior high schools in Granite District. It's for a position that's only mornings, and only until January, though it could last all year, but I don't care. I want it! I want it bad.

Interview is on Friday.

It would just be so nice to be in a school, teaching, instead of scrambling around trying to fill time with something sort of related to what I want to be doing.

I really want this to happen.
Wasting Time with Random Comments

As I expected, the images seem to have repaired themselves with no invention on my part. Where do they go when they disappear? Is there some sort of vacation spot in the Web for "broken" images?

I took down my previous chapters from the critique circle and posted summaries instead. Sure, it's a private board, but I really would like a serious shot at selling the books someday (like, after they're finished) and posting that many chapters just seems like a bad idea.

I'm working on yet another wedding present. Jay's next door neighbor from childhood is getting hitched in New Jersey on Friday the 13th. Jay's been tagged for best man duty, so he heads out this Friday to supervise the bachelor party on Saturday. I'll be joining him on Sunday and we'll be hanging with his family for the week. The wedding's on the north shore, nice and informal (aka: shoes optional) so hopefully it will be a good time. In any case, it's always nice to have a change of scenery.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

My Images are Broken

And I don't know why. I'm hoping that they will miraculously fix themselves like they did last time.

In unrelated news, I still have no teaching job. But I did hear from my long lost, crazy English roommate Pamela. Hey Pamela! We lived together for 8 weeks when I first arrived at the Grand Canyon, and I must say that none of my 4 subsequent, wait there were 5... (Meriel, Rachel, Stephen, Regina, and Aaron) could hold a candle to her. How can you not adore someone who hangs South Park memorabilia on the wall and can imitate all the voices with eerie accuracy? Not to mention the fact that she drove in the mother of all storms to meet me in Oxford in October of 2000 during my last foray onto British soil. Got to love that girl. And now she's going to be a policeofficer... frightening thought that.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

A story about Karma

Karma will get you every time, and she's a bitch. Perhaps you think you're beyond her reach. But allow me to tell you a little story that might change your mind. Or, at the very least, make you smile at the cosmic justice of the situation.

First, I must say that while someone was very definitely harmed in the making of this story, no one has died, and I was in no way responsible for the incident of karmic kickback.

So, this "gentleman", and I use the term loosely, called the hotel last week and wanted to speak to our General Manager (GM). Our GM wouldn't take the call, because he didn't recognize the name. So the Guy leaves a voicemail message after asking me about our standard rates. GM calls me back a few hours later, tells me to give this guy 50% off on the suite he wants. Okay. Whatever. Guy calls back to confirm the reservation and give me his info. No worries. He calls back half an hour later to see about an early check in. I said I wasn't sure because the room was occupied the night before, but we would have it ready as soon as possible. Guy tells me to let the GM know to get the room cleaned early. Ha ha. Okay, I'll tell GM to be quick about it, strip that bed quick like a bunny, GM! Right.

Anyway, Guy checks in, I go home, don't hear anything more from him. However, the other staff were not so fortunate. He bullies GM into giving him two 2-4-1 vouchers so he can eat cheaper at our restaurant both nights. Now, the voucher also says that a 20% gratuity is added to original bill automatically. But fine print (it's not that fine, BTW) is for peons, right?

Guy is a pain in the ass, very demanding, but writes in a $14 tip. Now, if he thought the tip was not included, let me just say that $14 was a less than appropriate tip considering his bill. But anyway. He comes in the next night, evidently having read the fine print at last. Wait for it. He demands his money back. That's right. He tipped "by mistake" and wants his money back. The cheap ass tip that he left, he wants back. Hah!

I'd like to present the facts that he drives a high-end Mercedes and owns an expensive mountain bike. With me? Yes. He spends lots of money on toys, but on service and vacation? Cheap bastard.

Anyway, he was even more of a pain in the ass the second night, but I won't get into details, because they're too depressing. Oh heck, well, they involve him eating all his food and then claiming that he didn't like it so they better take that off the bill as well. (They didn't.)

So I go into work yesterday and learn of the divine intervention. It seems that our executive chef (EC) was driving up the steep hill on the way to work. Coming down the hill, he notices a biker coming down really fast. Too fast. The front of the bike is already shaky. But he might have made it okay... except for the big SUV also coming down the hill. EC doesn't know whether the rider freaked out or whether the wind pressure from the passing car did it, but the bike veered off the road into the gravel ditch. Bike and rider flew about ten feet in the air before landing, hard, and rolling another 30 yards or so. EC uses some creative language, pulls a Uey, and rushes over to the guy, already dialing 911 as he runs.

And, ohmigoodness, who could it be? Yep. Our favorite Guy. Broke his collar bone visibly in two places, compound fracture in his arm. We find out later that he broke his back in not one, but EIGHT places.

Want to know the best part? Guy argues with the EMT's, complaining about the expense of an ambulance. Tried to bargain them down to $500. When they refused, he tried to convince our EC to drive him in his car...

So, yes, I have met Scrooge, and he lives in Salt Lake City.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Oh, but she did... and she was

Alien Posing as Human: "Um, yes, I uh, well, you see, I'm looking at this... Here I see in the... You know what this is? In the paper. Your... for your restaurant. What does it mean?

Me: What does what mean, Ma'am?

APaH: The ad. The coupon. In the paper. The Tribune, I mean. What does it mean?

Me: I'm sorry, which advertisement are you looking at? We have several running right now.

APaH: The one for the restaurant. It says Two Dash Four Dash One. What is that supposed to mean?

Me: Oh, you must be looking at the early bird special. It's two for one entrees.

APsH But what does that mean?!?!

Me: Uh... it means that when you purchase one entree, you get one for free. In other words, you get two for the price of one...

APaH: Oh, well, that's very confusing the way it's written here.

Me: ....(I could come up with no appropriate response at the time.)

APaH: So we but dinner for one person, and you give us one dinner free?

Me: Well, not the whole dinner, just the entree.

APaH: What's an entree?

This kind of questioning continued for another five minutes. They made reservations for dinner tonight.... I warned the restaurant on my way out this afternoon. Oy. Can't wait to hear about them tomorrow.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

At least be consistent, people

Okay, after reading about and listening to various morons politicians and asshat fools other conservative Americans declare that really, it's because marriage is a "sacred union" that homosexual marriage should be declared constitutionally illegal. And not because they're narrow-minded bigots...oh nooooo, how could you possibly say such a thing.

Now, excuse me, but. Since when has marriage been this sacred union? Oh, but traditionally, it has been, they assert. On what planet, I must ask. Traditionally marriage has been more about politics and economics than any sacred bond. So what makes that any more sacred than a business merger? You're not trying to outlaw marriages of convenience, why worry about same-sex marriages?

Second. What about atheists and others who don't buy into the whole God thing? Should they not be allowed to marry because their union would not be "sacred"? Because it would not be guided by the loving hand of god? What the @*&! ever! And I can hear the rebuttal already (because I talk to crazy religious people all the time and actually enjoy it...see previous posts.) Maybe those people are afraid to let god into their lives, but that doesn't mean that he isn't keeping watch over them. Again I say, as my brother used to so eloquently say to our mother, put down the pipe. Step away from the baggy and put down the pipe. Now.

I'm not saying that these people can't hold on to their ignorant little opinions. They can believe whatever they like in the privacy of their own shrines to prejudice and intolerance. But when they take an issue to the national level and try to amend the mother@&*!ing United States Constitution, they better come up with a better reason than the whole "sacred union" protection whine. If they ain't trying to ban atheists and gold diggers from getting married, then there's no call to discriminate against the homosexuals.

And don't get me started on Utah politics. Gah.
Still Waiting

I still haven't heard anything back from the private school interview. They said they'd be in contact "soon", but that's a rather subjective term. My instincts tell me that I didn't get the position, and I have to admit that I'm not really surprised. Or all that disappointed. It would have been a good experience, but a frustrating one in the end, I think.

Of course, maybe they loved me and are just trying to think of the proper way to say that.... Right.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Roach update

By the way... Jay's taken a few more blasts at the little buggers. We did stop to purchase one of those long-handled lighter thingies though, so no more worry about blisters. Plus, Jay's hand doesn't need to be as close to the actual flame.

Their numbers seem to be way down. Haven't seen anymore around our front door at night, and haven't seen any inside for three or four days.

I'm just going to enjoy the reprieve and not question the reasons or duration.
Fingers Crossed

I just had a job interview today for a teaching position with a brand new private school. I think it went well, but it's so hard to know. I have to believe that if they don't offer me the job, that it was just not meant to be.

I don't even know how I feel about teaching at this school... Not that I'll turn down the opportunity to teach if they want me. Ack. I hate the post-interview wait.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

The showdown

So, as I mentioned, Jay won big against the cockroach invaders last night. A few weeks ago, he surveyed the swarming masses circling our humble abode and remarked to me, "I wish I had a blow torch." I considered this comment for a few moments before replying. "Hmmm. How about hairspray and a lighter?"

Well, last night, Jay decided to act on this brilliant suggestion. The carnage was impressive. With young'ns being 1 point each, adults being 5, and breeding females being 20 points, Jay calculates a score of 1020 for the evening. He may have to rest tonight, because he gave himself enormous blisters by striking the safety lighter over and over again.

Watch out little roachies... your days are numbered.
Jay 20, Cockroaches 3

Details in the morning...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Like Sunscreen

That's pretty much what my iced tea tasted like. Whenever I do my laundry, I always go into the little trendy restaurant that's attached to the laundromat. I don't actually eat lunch there, because I couldn't afford it even if I wanted what they were offering. I usually get lemonade or coffee and sometimes a scone or lemonbar.

Today I wanted some caffiene because this blasted heat is giving me migraines and a good dose of caffiene is generally the quickest way to head one off. Well, I decided at the last minute that it was too hot for coffee, and as the girl was about to pour into my mug, I asked if I could switch that order to iced tea instead. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask what KIND of iced tea they were serving. Turns out it was peach. Peach-flavored tea tastes just like sunscreen. I think it has to do with the way it smells.

I drank it all, of course. Because it was hot. Because I needed the caffiene, as mentioned. And because I invested $1.50 in the damn thing, and I don't have money to throw around right now. Anyway, sunscreeny-tasting or not, it did get rid of the headache. So I guess I should complain. But I will anyway.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Ch-ch-check it out!

New Photo Album link
Note to self:

When arriving at the trailhead of the really steep trail, and realizing that you have left your hiking poles behind, the appropriate reaction is to find a less-steep trail, not to think, "Enh, I bet I can do it without the poles."

Let's just say I only fell three times on the way down, and that was something of a miracle.

Also... roadtrip pictures coming soon!

Friday, July 02, 2004

Details III

What, even my vacation summaries are turning into trilogies!?!?

Anyway. After we left Annie's house, we drove south to San Francisco. Oakland, actually. We stayed with one of Jay's meteorology contacts at his fabulous house (complete with a deck view of the downtown SF and the Bay). Thanks, John!

The first day in town, we just drove across the Bay Bridge and walked around Union Square and China Town, enjoying the sunshine and people-watching. Jay made stir-fry and we washed it down with one of John's numerous bottles of wine. (John does weather forecast consulting for several wineries, and receives multiple cases of wine each season.) After that, we headed into the neighborhood's "main street" to walk around, grab coffee (for me) and fruit smoothie (for Jay), and see the movie Super Size Me. Gah. Grossness. Granted, the movie is definitely biased and with only one person doing the experiment, it's impossible to call it scientific. Nonetheless, I don't think I could ever set foot in a McDonald's or any other fast food chain after seeing the film.

Day two in the Bay Area, we drove back into town to go to the Exploratorium. That's one of the most jam-packed science centers I have been to, and I've been to my fair share. They actually make exhibits in-house to be sent to other science centers, so some of the things looked familiar. After watching the movie, I noticed how many people were choosing the less-healthy options at the snack bar. (Jay and I packed our own lunches.) After 4 hours, even we were burnt out on the place, and we headed out to be touristy and get pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Drove not-so-aimlessly until we finally stumbled upon Baker Beach. Definitely could tell we were in San Francisco... Upon walking down to the beach we saw kids, tourists, a few surfers/swimmers. A little further on we ran into a trio of fishermen casting into the surf. Continuing down to the far end where the big rocks close to the Bridge were, where we wanted to take pictures, we ran into the nudist section. There must have been about a dozen naked people sunbathing, most of them men, several of them quite large. And for all you pervs, I mean that they were overweight. I tried not to notice the rest. Now nudity is all well and good, but it's just startling to glace over and see, as Jay so eloquently puts it, a "sac shot". Pink and shiny. Definitely the salon-going type, because it was waxed cleaner than... nevermind. This is going straight to the gutter. (Where my mind usually resides, of course.)

John treated the two of us to dinner at à côte, a trendy little Pyrenees tapas-style restaurant. Great food, dim-lighting. Would have almost felt guilty about letting him pay, except the next morning he had a 3 hour consulting session with some lawyers, and he makes $275/hour doing that stuff, so...

Next day we went back across the Bridge while John was fleecing the lawyers and walked from the Ferry Building down to Fisherman's Wharf. I happen to think Fisherman's wharf is entertaining, just for the people-watching possibilities, if not for the kitsch-value. Jay, evidently, didn't feel the same and was bitchy about the whole enterprise. And frankly, the boy has major sulking talents. He's lucky I didn't feed him to the sea lions. We also slipped into the Ferry Building and bought some more fresh fruit at the Organic Farmer's Market. I miss California produce already. Sigh.

We left the Bay Area that afternoon and drove up to Tahoe in horrendous stop-and-go traffic that didn't let up until we were on rte 50. I-80 sucks until you get east of Salt Lake City. I've always suspected it, and now I know for sure. I've driven most of it, so I feel like I can say that with authority. We did manage to find a nice campsite, at the Fallen Leaf Campground near Emerald Bay, despite getting in about 2 hours later than we expected.

Had a nice, lazy morning. Well, I did. Jay got up early and went for a 5 mile run by the Fallen Leaf lake. But he is clearly a masochist, so what can I say? Together we went for a much nicer, more civilized hike up to Eagle Lake. Tahoe's a beautiful area, but there are so many freaking PEOPLE there, I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed a longer stay.

But then again, anything would have been better than the miserable drive across Nevada. I-80 sucks. Wait, I said that already. But it's true. I-80 really really really sucks. It was hot and windy and my allergies were kaing my eyes tear up constantly. We were shooting for the Roby Mountains, but decided around Winnemucca that we would get in too late to set up camp and that my allergies weren't going to allow it to be a happy experience for me.

So we found a nice little motel in Elko, Nevada and crashed for the night. We enjoyed the novelty of cable TV and I enjoyed the respite granted by air-conditioning. Jay tracked down real* beer and some Benedryl, and I think we were a lot happier than we would have been if we'd pushed the camping issue.

*real beer, as in, not the 3.2% stuff we can get here in Utah.

Morning is a bit of a blur, but it involved bad hotel coffee, several bananas, and the first half of Sleepless in Seattle, before we packed everything up and drove off into the sunrise. Jay let me sleep through most of the drive. (So, okay, he's good for something besides sulking.) I didn't wake up until the stench of the Great Salt Lake hit my nostrils.

And that brings us back up to date, I think.

It was a wonderful trip, and if I had the chance to do it all again, I'd jump on it. Honestly, probably the best vacation either of us has had in a long time, and except for gas prices, was undoubtedly one of the cheapest.

One other positive result: I see gas for $1.95/gal here and I go "Sweet, under $2!" instead of "ohmigawd, what happened to $1.59/gal? Sigh."

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Details II

So, let's see. Where were we?

After we packed up and left Humbug Mountain on the Oregon coast, we drove down into California and Redwood National and State Parks. On the way in, we managed to find a cell phone signal to call in Happy Father's day to our respective dads. Very crowded campground, and the site host who was "helping" the Park Service employee at the gates seemed to be missing her entire short term memory. But we found a spot and set up camp. I think that's the night we had fresh corn on the cob and veggie couscous for dinner. I know we had a big breakfast in the morning: whole grain pancakes and scrambled eggs. Good thing, because all we managed for lunch was Clif bars and fruit.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. After packing up the car, but before leaving the park, we drove out to the beach area and hiked back into Fern Canyon. Very cool place. Straight out of Jurassic Park or something. It's a fairly narrow canyon with a nice, pebbly creekbed to walk along, and the park service has laid boards across the creek in places, so you don't have to get your shoes wet unless you want to. Not that I mind getting wet feet, but it's nice that they've made it accessible to people who otherwise couldn't handle a rougher terrain. (We saw lots of wobbly older people making their way in.) The walls go up about 30-40 feet and are completely covered it bright green ferns. For variety, there's the occasional fallen redwood leaning against the walls, with exposed roots flashing the creek.

Fern Canyon was only a short 1 mile loop, so we decided to go up to the ridge so Jay could get a few more pictures of the redwoods. We found this one least I think it was all one tree...that had five or six giant trunks with a very sheltered gap in the middle, raised up maybe three or four feet from the ground and padded with fallen needles. Not a bad place to curl up for a nap, should one be so inclined. We continued up to the ridge, took a few more pictures, ate a quick snack, and ran back down to ogle the ferns.

Spent another half hour or so on the beach itself, sitting on an enormous piece of driftwood and watching a couple of harbor seals playing in the surf. We're going to be on the Jersey shore in August for a friend's wedding, and Jay was joking that it would just like this, only with Skeeball and fewer trees. Hah.

Made it down to the Santa Rosa area (north of San Francisco, for those not versed in California geography) in record time to make dinner for my friend AnnLoomis who I hadn't seen since February 2000 -- far, far too long. And it is now definitely HER turn to visit me, the wench. She had a softball game to go to that night, so Jay and I took advantage of her nice, hot shower and crashed early in her nice, firm guestroom bed.

The next day we spent at Point Reyes (National Recreation Area? or is it a National Wildlife Refuge?) on the coast. Very windy out there, but absolutely beautiful. Down on Drake's Beach, Jay entertained himself by throwing frisbee alone (into the wind - better than a boomerang) because I am not permitted to throw disk near the ocean due to my "trick" throw. In otherwords, half the time it goes where I intended, the other half it flies 90 degrees off to the right. It's a talent, what can I say?

We cruised through Petaluma and the Whole Foods store on the way back to Annie's. Jay was utterly mesmerized by the variety of fresh produce, and I have to admit, I was pretty damn impressed myself. I've never really wanted to live in California, but I think I could be persuaded just on the basis of access to fresh food.

Ann took us out to dinner that night at Dempsey's, a brew pub that features items grown in their own organic garden... something that you would not find in Utah. Food was supergood, conversation was equally entertaining, and we walked off our excesses around downtown Petaluma, which is a charming (and expensive) place with tons of well-cared-for Victorian homes.

And on that note, I'm going to drag my butt to the gym. I got used to the daily exercise on the trip, and I think I might as well keep up the habit.

More later.

Monday, June 28, 2004


Why not begin at the beginning, eh?

We left Salt Lake at 8:45am on Wednesday the 16th and drove all the way to Bend, Oregon. That's about 690 miles, thank you very much. We camped out at Cinder Hill campground at East Lake in the Newberry (or is it Newbury?) mountains south of Bend. I like to think of the first campground as Ducky Camp, or Site with a tree shaped like a butt. I think Jay had something more reverential in mind. But anyway. The lakes are smaller versions of Crater Lake -- formed by a volcano that collapsed in on itself. But in the Newburys they formed 2 lakes because of a giant obsidian flow. Pretty cool. Anyway, we did some hiking, and then cruised through the High Desert Museum to learn all about raptors, porcupines, and otters.

I wasn't feeling too great because of allergies (and because we left the coffee in the freezer at home...) so we drive back into Bend to hit the Wild Oats grocery store for coffee (hot and ready), coffee (ground for French press), fruit, wine, beer, and toothpicks (the teatree oil kind).

Second night we spent in the Cascades near South Sister at the Elk Lake campground. (Creative namers, eh? The Three Sisters mountains are North Sister, Middle Sister, and South Sister.) I seem to recall that dinner was pasta with red sauce and a nice Merlot. We camp out in style. Yeah, baby. Campsite: Camp Cleanest Pit Toilet in the World. Seriously.

In the morning we woke up earlier than we planned (Jay misread the clock as 6:15 instead of 5:15) and didn't realize the goof until we checked the time at the South Sister trailhead and saw that it was only 7:25. Not being a morning person, I figured that we must have eaten our oatmeal faster than I imagined possible. Only after he finished his hike did Jay clue me in... Anyway, since I am not a crazy person (at least not in this way), I spent the day reading near the lake, while Jay trudged through slushy snow to the summit of South Sister.

Because he'd spent roughly six or seven hours hiking, he actually let me drive for the rest of the day and we made the coast in time to find a campground and set up before dark. I dub this site "Camp Circus Monkeys" after the large youth group who occupied most of the other sites in the loop.

We didn't waste much time packing up in the morning, though both of us had been so tired the night before that we left the back of the Subaru wide open all night long... Anyway. We headed south down the Oregon coast, stopping at a few view points, and taking a nice detour out to Cape Arago to play on the beach and ogle the sea lions through my cheap binoculars. Highly entertaining. If Jay posts the pictures, I'll link to them later.

We picked up some fresh and tasty bay scallops and halibut from a local market and had a seafood marinara with Alaskan Amber ale. Yum-meee. That was at the campground at the base of Humbug Mountain, which is a cool name in and of itself. However, I think this would also have to be "Camp where we saw a couple doggies whose owners do not walk them enough". These two dogs were practically quivering every time Jay and I threw the frisbee around in the central field, and their owners were clearly not capable of more than a plodding walk. And I'm not saying that being slow is an issue... UNLESS you have energetic dogs. Then being slow and unable to run your doggy is just cruel. Cruel, I tell you.

Okay, enough for now. I'll come back with more later.

Sunday, June 27, 2004


Back from the road trip. Much tanner, a bit leaner, and ever so slightly car sick. My eyes were watering from allergies a lot of the time, so I only drove about 300 miles out of 2700. Being a passenger in a hot car always makes me nauseous.

But it was a lovely trip, and I'll post more details after I get settled.

Thursday, June 10, 2004


Tuesday night, Jay and I went for a nice ~6 mile hike up Millcreek Canyon. Took the Elbow Fork trail up and the Pipeline coming back down. It was awesome. Had a few difficulties on the breathing front - pollen is still my enemy - but other than that it was spifferiffic. I even ran part of it...the gradual downhill parts, of course.

Now, I have lost control of the muscles around my knees and ankles. Walking down stairs is a cross between fantastic comedy and pig-squeeling pain. (Ow, oh, eek, ohmigad, ow, oh, noooooo! Damn.) Mind you, I still feel pretty good. I just can't walk for crap. Speaking of which, sitting down and standing back up are almost as funny as walking down stairs. Oy.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Communication is not dead

I've been known to complain that the art of listening is dead and that no one actually communicates anymore. As I think one of my friends said (and since it was a much more clever remark than they were typically capable of, I suspect they were quoting someone else), "Most people don't really listen, they just wait for their turn to talk."

Well, I had an honest to God (pun intended) conversation with one of my coworkers yesterday. He is Mormon and I am...not. He also teaches junior high level sunday school, so I think he's used to fielding questions about his beliefs and putting them into comprehensible words. We have, on other occasions, discussed politics (he still thinks that voting for Bush is a good idea...sigh), family, and religion without coming to blows. So when he remarked on an article in the NYTimes about gay marriage, I thought I might finally get an answer to my ongoing question about "what the heck is the big deal?" that didn't rely on base prejudice.

So I asked. And he tried to explain as best he could why he believes that it isn't what people should be doing. What was utterly facinating to both of us was that we were in absolute agreement on so many points, but still managed to come to opposite conclusions. The discussion went on for about 2 hours, so it's hard for me to sum up, but the highlights were:

1. God (or whatever you want to call him/her/it) is benevolent, not vengeful or punishing. Thus, religion should focus on the "pros" and not the "antis".

2. Family is one of the primary "gates" to real happiness. (Though what constitutes family remains a point of contention and probably results in our differing opinions.)

3. Our other greatest contention was over the "nature" of homosexuality. He tried to compare it to alcholism or other addictions. (Something that is a constant struggle, but which can and should be controlled.) I think of it more like being left or right-handed. (You can force a left-handed child to write with their right, but it's not natural and sometimes really messes them up.)

We realized that we weren't going to agree fairly early on, but just listening and responding to the other person's views kept us going. It's just too bad that having someone clearly and logically explain his/her views without becoming angry or beligerent when the listener respectfully disagrees has become such a novelty.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Stop and Go

I just finished my first lesson in driving a standard transmission. I'm happy to report that all of us survived: me, Jay, and the car. We didn't leave the parking lot yet--thank goodness for all involved, especially those innocent bystander types--but I definitely got the hang of stopping and starting and 1st and 2nd gears. Reverse proved to be a bit much, and there wasn't enough room in the parking lot to really try out the upper gears. I'm getting there, though.

I still have 10 days before we leave.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Ho hum

Why can't I be like normal wackos and feel depressed in the winter? Summer just seems to kick my ass and it makes NO SENSE. I've been feeling so bleh that I considered maybe going back on the meds again... I'll wait until after we get back from our trip though, because maybe it's just me being in a rut. And being broke. And having not heard from any of the school districts yet.

I've been off the Wellbutrin since January and have been doing really well. I'm just noticing that I'm not getting my usual endorphin high at the gym the last few times I've gone. And I'm getting angry over the slightest little annoyance. And I'm spending more time in front of the computer, but actually writing less. To me, those are warning signs. I'll monitor it and if I don't see improvement by the end of this month, I think I will go back on the drugs.


Sunday, May 30, 2004


I haven't been writing much anywhere lately. But I think being stuck with my writing is just a symptom of feeling stuck in other aspects of my life. Lately I've been feeling twitchy again, like I want to pack up and move on and start again somewhere else.

I don't think this is what I really want, but it feels good to think about it. Car packed to the gills, speedometer up around 80 MPH, open highway, changing scenery, possibilities ahead... I miss that.

I keep thinking about what I have now though, and what I've been working toward for the past two years. As soon as my test scores come back, I'll be able to get my teaching certification and a "real" career option. I've finally finished a submitable version of my first book, and have worked out the next two books in the trilogy...even if I am stalled out halfway through book two...sigh.

What don't I have here that would make things better? A real network of friends, I think is a biggy. There's a few people I hang out with, but almost everyone I know, I know through Jay. One of my friends from my Master's program seems to have vanished... the other one I just keep playing phone (or email) tag with.

Maybe it would be better if I didn't feel so trapped out here -- if I weren't too broke to spring for a plane ticket outta town two or three times a year. I haven't gotten out of Salt Lake since Christmas...five months now. It's starting to make me a little crazy, I think.

We are planning a road trip in June up through Idaho, over to the Oregon coast, and then down to San Francisco to visit friends. I'm hoping that will settle my edginess. But for now, I'm starting to lose it.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Just buzzing through

It's late and I really should be writing something more productive than a blog entry. So I just want to say that I saw Pink Martini live in concert with the Utah Symphony last night and they ROCKED. Awesome musicians. Clearly having so much fun doing what they were doing that it was pure joy to watch them perform.

That's all. Nothing more to see here, nothing more to see.

Thursday, May 20, 2004


Okay, I can still access the template to write new posts, but I can't seem to pull up the blog itself. I just get a 404 error. Nice going, Google.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

When did it become cool?

I've noticed a disturbing trend in the past few years. I think it started with Beefy Boy -- was it for Chef Boyardee? -- he'd smear his face with sauce and say "Mmmmm, Beefy." Gross.

Now we seem to be moving out of the gross out trend and into an even less attractive quality: rudeness. The milk ads piss me off everytime, and even if I wasn't already lactose intolerant, these ads would be enough to make me stop drinking it for good. The latest in the series is a kid who goes into the store to buy chocolate milk. At the cooler, he looks around furtively before using a quarter to scratch through the UPC symbol. At the register, the woman tries to scan the milk, but cant't get a reading because of the scratch, so she runs it past the scanner repeatedly before finally calling for a price check. Now, the point is that the stupid numbnuts customer gets someone else to shake up his chocolate milk. Mmmm, yum. He's so clever and isn't that milk yummy.

Little shit. Shake your own damn milk. It's not that hard to do.

The thing is, these ads and others like them are meant to be funny. But I can't help but see them as a giant insult to my intelligence, and to the intelligence of the shmuckity actors who get paid to be in them. That's our "anything for a buck" American culture at its finest, I suppose.


Friday, May 14, 2004

Another One Bites the Dust

Or rather, another two. Checked up on some of my links only to find site abandoned by their creators... The blogging neighborhood keeps changing as new people move in and old people move on.

On an unrelated subject... today is my LAST DAY of student teaching. Thank god. Teaching in someone else's classroom with kids who have become used to that teacher's rules and procedures is difficult even under the best of circumstances. And this second half of teaching with the new teacher at the new school has been the best of circumstances. But still, thank god it's over.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Quit Changing Things Already

Looks like Blogger has changed the template set up yet again. Probably an improvement, but we'll see.

However, I am less pleased with the change to my "permanent" email account. They eliminated the choices of version 3, which I used, and version 4, which I didn't. Now version 5 is the only option, and there are no explanations about the change, nor were any announcements made. I logged in on Saturday and it was the same old interface I knew and could work with. I logged in Sunday - BANG - everything changed... many useful features missing.

Don't get me wrong. I love change. I change my underwear everyday, in fact. I've changed addresses no less than 6 times in the last 6 years. I've changed jobs almost as frequently. And boyfriends? Well, not that frequently... nor do I want to change now, in case you are reading, Jaylove...

What I don't like are changes that I have no control over -- ones that I am given no choice about. So dammit, consult me before messing with my methods of communication. Grrrr.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Two Critics

So, as part of the online writer's community Forward Motion and also as a high school teacher, I've had to balance my two critics. Inner critics, I mean. On one side there is the sharp-clawed, impatient, catty critic. On the other is the calm, patient, tactful critic. I try to keep the first on a tight leash. Especially in the classroom.

However, with critiques, I find that I'm unable to be tactful unless I first let all the snotty, potentially damaging comments out first. So my first pass through a work to be critted has been known to have notes like "Are you completely stupid?" "Do you think I am competely stupid?" "Fucking A, heard of grammar?". You know... all the stuff you say to yourself when you read something in need of serious help... or a good bonfire. But presumably, the person who has posted their work for crit knows that it's not perfect, so you don't actually want to rub their face in it. (There are exceptions.)

Obviously, the catty comments are the easiest, floating so close to the surface as they are... Meow meow meow meow hsssssss. So it usually turns into a scenario of my responsible, tactful critic beating the living shit out of the evil kitty who then sinks its claws into the teacher's ankle and purrs while teacher tries to comment nicely.

No wonder I'm getting burnt out in the critting arena. I figure I have a good six months before I need another hiatus.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Just hook me to the IV

I have a problem. I live in the desert (okay, I think we're technically two steps up from a desert here... tundra? steppe? I dunno.) and I am unable to remember to drink enough damn water during the day. I wake up in the middle of the night, gasping like a fish out of water. Myah, myah, myah... This, despite the humidifier, too.

It's highly annoying. Yeah, no d'uh. (junior high flashback woowoowoowoo.) Dehydration makes me sleepy, and a wee bit slow, not to mention loop dee loopy. So I think I'll make drinking water my goal for the week.

Yep, aim high, people.

Glug glug glug...

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Am I THAT Age?

Seems like all my friends are getting married and having babies... when did I get to be THAT age?

In any case, congrats to Steve and Anna and the ridiculously adorable Ian Patrick. I hope the fact that he was born on 4-20 will not be an indication of future trouble. hah hah.

I can almost understand my friend Kathryn's "I want a baby" obsession. I mean, I want a baby. Several, even. Just not this year.

Monday, April 19, 2004


Neglecting the blog. Ironically, it's because I have too much time on my hands.

How does that work?

Well, since Jay is out of town, I have fewer reasons not to spend my entire day in front of the computer click-clacking away. So I have been forcing myself to come up with reasons to not spend the entire day in front of the computer. Been doing pretty well, in fact. Except for having to spend several hours working on prep stuff for this week's lesson planning...

Since thursday, I have:

  • Been to the gym 3 times
  • Been to the grocery store 4 times... (should have made a list) but at least I walked twice!
  • Watched 3 movies (I Capture the Castle, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the first four episodes of season 2 of Sex and the City)
  • Realized that Sex and the City is sometimes too painful to watch.
  • Finished (except for the overlay border on the lid) painting the tea box for my friends who "eloped" a month or so ago.
  • Refilled the humidifer
  • Realized that the reason I couldn't get warm was because the heat was turned off
  • Turned on the heat
  • Made salad
  • Ate salad and leftover burritos...
  • to make up for eating cold cereal and popsicles for dinner the night before.
  • Went to brunch with a friend
  • Bought four new French books
  • Put together extensive lists of irregular French verbs
  • Compiled four pages of anonymous French poems/nursery rhymes

Not such a bad list. I could even add "washed the dishes" and "took out the trash", but then you might think I didn't do those things on a regular basis or something... *innocent look*