Thursday, October 05, 2006

Christ Has Something to Tell Me*

Discover yourself message HOPE brings presented own time. Watch motion picture. Receive precious Read story Story bad things about Why Learn about: Reality Hell Religions Compared Bible: About Creation amp Evolution CONTACT follower friendly discreet personal DO YOU HAVE WEB PAGE SHARE THIS WITH
will. please when act more. NEXT: Are enough get Answer SURE answer extremely important question View video online min. Discover yourself message HOPE brings presented own time. Watch motion picture. Receive precious Read story Story bad things about Why Learn about: Reality Hell Religions Compared Bible: About Creation amp Evolution
amp Evolution CONTACT follower friendly discreet personal DO YOU HAVE WEB PAGE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR VISITORS available various special link directly URL: Webmaster courtesy graphics code further has been help tens thousands people.
more. NEXT: Are enough get Answer SURE answer extremely important question View video online min. Discover yourself message HOPE brings presented own time. Watch motion picture. Receive precious Read story Story bad things about Why Learn about: Reality Hell Religions Compared Bible: About Creation amp Evolution CONTACT follower friendly discreet personal DO YOU HAVE WEB PAGE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR VISITORS available various special link directly URL: Webmaster courtesy
required. As come better will. please when act more. NEXT: Are enough get Answer SURE answer extremely important question View video online min. Discover yourself message HOPE brings presented own time. Watch motion picture. Receive precious Read story Story bad things about Why Learn about: Reality Hell Religions Compared Bible: About Creation amp Evolution CONTACT follower friendly discreet personal DO YOU HAVE WEB PAGE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR VISITORS available various special link directly URL: Webmaster courtesy graphics
important question View video online min. Discover yourself message HOPE brings presented own time. Watch motion picture. Receive precious Read story Story bad things about Why Learn about: Reality Hell Religions Compared Bible: About Creation amp Evolution CONTACT follower friendly discreet personal DO YOU HAVE WEB PAGE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR VISITORS available various special link directly URL: Webmaster courtesy graphics code further has been help tens thousands people. In midst their busy lives full
live with heaven. must accept His gift cannot earned. Believe your savior whom access Father. Your faith required. As come better will. please when act more. NEXT: Are enough get Answer SURE answer extremely important question View video online min. Discover yourself message HOPE brings presented own time. Watch motion picture. Receive precious Read story Story bad

*but it's apparently in code.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another Job

I interviewed with the art supervisor of the district last week. Then the principal's secretary called me and I interviewed with him and his "associate principal." They're both younger than me, btw.

The school's not in white suburban central, which is good, but it's undergoing renovation, which isn't so good. They need someone right away, but I haven't heard anything in the last few days.

Then, this week, I got another call. The art supervisor from my most recent job called me to tell me of an opening that might happen in October, and asked me to come in and interview with her. We talked for an hour and a half. Turns out the current teacher's letting the kids have all the power. Not good, but also sometimes easy to let happen.

So I've got two opportunities here. To be honest, part of me's kinda mad. I'd already made peace with the fact that I'm no longer a teacher in a public school. Now, apparently the universe has other plans for me, or it's all some big cosmic bait and switch to pull my attention away from the plans I'd made outside the public school arena.

But I'm trying to be positive here. I'll get a pay raise, and it'll be a new school and a totally different experience.

Also, two of my friends have recently announced that they're expecting. One of whom tried over and over, so that's good. Another of whom I'm proud to know. And her husband too.

Congratulations seem to be in order a lot today.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I quit my job in June. Then I changed my mind, but there wasn't another available. Then I had a plan to find a sponsor, like a Nascar driver, to find a corporation to pay me to teach art. That didn't pan out (yet), but I'm scheduled to teach some classes at an arts and crafts store.

Yesterday a school district called. They need an Art teacher for a high school. In the middle of September. Which almost never happens.

So I have an interview tomorrow. I'm trying to stay detached, but it's hard not to make imaginary plans in my head of what I'm going to do if I get the job. Especially since I'll get a substantial pay increase.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Melleners!

Happy Birthday Melleners!

Why don't you mosey on over to my favorite music blog and wish her many happy returns? You don't have to mention I sent you, just pretend you knew already.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How Creative Can Stacking Paper Be?

That's currently my life. Stacking sheets of paper. I'm creating sculptures out of binder clips, I'm so bored. Thankfully the people where I work are very nice. But I'm a temp and I'm trying not to get attached.

I was all ready for last Friday to be my last day, but they decided they need me one more week. They let me check files out and stack them at home so that I can do my other job too. Which has taken me more than a month to go through the application process, and I'm still not sure when I'll start, if ever.

I'm tired. I came up with an idea for Illustration Friday's topic for "safe." It's not exactly PC, but I think it's apropos. Go to Distilled if you'd like to see it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Lute Riley Honda Sucks

I took my car with the ailing a/c to the dealership in Dallas. They told me it was the condenser, and it would cost $440, but that they wanted to give me a deal and so they'd take $100 off to make it $340. I arranged my appointment, and thought no more of it.

The day of the appointment arrived. I drove to the dealershipo at about 6:45 in the morning and arranged for their free shuttle to take me to work and pick me up again.

While at work, the service guy called me. He said they'd definitely found the problem, which made me feel relief. I'd already replaced the compressor at about $900 and the a/c electrical panel for $350. He told me that the service normally runs $540, but that with the $100 of that I'd be getting a great deal at $440.

I said, "That's not what you said before. That quote's gone up $100 since Saturday."

He insisted that he'd said no such thing, and that it wasn't possible that he would make a mistake like that. I told him to make the repairs anyway, and finished my work and waited for the shuttle.

At the dealership I pointed out to the service guy that he'd not said anything near $500. He said he remembered, but that he'd go talk to his manager and see if he could do anything else for me. My car wasn't yet ready, so I waited in the waiting room.

The service guy came back, and gave me the dealership line of all dealership lines, "My manager was standing right next to me, and he heard me quote you the higher price."

I pressed him some more, but he didn't budge. I ended up having to pay $420. But, oh joy, I got a coupon for a free oil change.

So Lute Riley lies. Get your quotes in writing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Let's ban everything from air travel

I never really understood the term "clockwatcher" until this week. I've been temping at a bank, doing what's called "stacking files." I'm taking mortgage files and taking everything out and putting it back in the correct order. I keep it consistent with a series of slipsheets with headings and check boxes on them. Asleep yet?

At work today my two co-workers were talking about the terrorists that the British apprehended. One of them is afraid to fly. The other one wants to know why the airlines couldn't anticipate this threat and ban liquids sooner. Then the first one said that she doesn't know why Homeland Security can't keep us secure.

I'll tell you why. Hindsight only works one way. I can't express very well at the moment how I feel about all the panic, but here's a passage from The Liquid World by William Saletan at Slate.

"That's the bottom line: We die. In a liquid world, you can't seal off evil. All you can do is fight liquid with liquid. You have to absorb the tragedy, flowing around and through it. You need the strength of a river, not a rock. You need resilience. You can't be untouchable, but you can be undefeated."

. . .

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Job

I have a temporary job. In Dallas. At a mortgage place. Stacking files.

In case you couldn't tell, I'm SUPER excited. I get to drive through rush hour traffic tomorrow while everyone's taking their kids to school. Then I get to stay there until 5:30. That's gonna be weird. I can't remember the last time I worked hours like that.

School hours were 7:30-3:30. Mostly. Let's see if I don't end up murdering someone at the end of the three week period.

Actually, I'd just like to kill whoever made the decision to make the employees of this place take a drug test. Nothing makes you feel like a criminal quite like handing someone else a cup of your urine.

Monday, August 07, 2006

My Life Plan

I'm jobless. I quit my job and now am unemployed. School for the actual teachers starts tomorrow, and it's the first time in eight years that I won't be there.

I expected to be really sad about it, but other than feeling a faint urge to go to school anyway, I'm not sad.

Instead, I'm planning on being my own boss. I've been writing a business plan and it's going really well. I'm spending a lot of time on the internet doing research on businesses, marketing and selling and social networking.

I found this site called dandelife that I'm having a great time playing with. It's like a blog but it incorporates all your titles into a timeline, and you can add tags too. It's fun, go look.

Boys, again, are dumb

My roommate notices very little. We have, in fact, had long conversations about the things he doesn't notice. He says it's because they're ultimately not important. Not my position, but sometimes arguing about it takes too much effort.

We were in the car and passed a pretty crepe myrtle. I mentioned how I like them, but not the bright pink ones. I told him that I was pretty sure I knew the answer, but did he notice that the crepe myrtle in our backyard had bloomed, and was of the fuschia persuasion.

He said something similar to "There's a crepe myrtle in the backyard?"and then I pointed out that the crepe myrtle occupies the side of the driveway that he pulls his car into. He said no, he hadn't noticed the color. Just then we pulled into the driveway and I pointed at the shrub and the blossoms overhanging the fence.

He looked up at the side of the garage and said, "What happened to the fixtures on the wall? Why aren't there any lightbulbs up there?"

I started to laugh, hysterically, and it took a moment for me to catch my breath and reply. "Bear," I said, "you're the one who removed the lightbulbs for me, so I could buy new ones."

"Oh." he said. "When did I do that?"

Apparently, there have been deeds. . .

. . . and I should be telling you of them.

Okay, so the other night I was getting ready for bed. I was in my room taking my clothes off, and just as I had taken off my bra, in flies a gigantic black bug.

At first I thought it was a wasp, so I backed away from it, but then, clutching my unhooked bra to my chest, I noticed that it wasn't flying like one and that it looked an awful lot like a cockroach.

I searched around desperately for something to fling over myself to make the short, but very visible, trip into the kitchen to get the flyswatter, and finally found a t-shirt.

I saw the bug on the floor about to go under my bed, and pushed Calvin The Giant-Fly-Eater toward it, but the loser turned up his nose. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the flyswatter, but the bug had disappeared. I used the flyswatter and a flashlight to search, but no go.

This made me not want to sleep in my room. I've woken up with a cockroach on my pillow before, and I didn't want that to happen again. Reluctantly, I decided to get over it and sleep in my bed despite my fear.

I woke the next morning to my lovely kittens, called The Brothers Dim by some, mauling the laundry basket. They'd found the wonderfully un-cockroachy beetle, and I captured it and put it outside.

Enough deed for you, o' pushy one?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

To Remind Chris and the Diva

It's been a while, but here are the things I wrote down that I must remind you:

Read Lamb by Christopher Moore

Next time that you're in Paris, go to Shakespeare & Co, the book store.


A very sad article in the New York Times about the ubiquity of amateur drawing in times past. You might need to register to read it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

France Photos

So I've been experimenting with my photos in Photoshop. I know that it's slightly cheesy, but I love me some filtered goodness. I also have a program called Thumbs Plus, which I can't recommend highly enough. It's the first program I ever used to organize and rename photos.

I've used Picasa also, and it's okay, but Thumbs Plus uses your current directory structure and I find it easier to locate and add things. It's not free, but totally worth the price.

Here's some of my experiments:

This porch in Arles really got our attention. Though it was so hot that I thought my eyes were going to boil out of my head.
I increased the saturation by at least 50, then used median to blur and then the watercolor filter.

This scene from the cliff at Les Baux captured the countryside perfectly. I used the same filters/effects here. I find that using the watercolor filter by itself makes for a much duller picture.

This is the cloister from the insane asylum in St. Remy where van Gogh lived for a while.
I used Thumbs Plus for this one. It's got a filter called Drawing, and it looks similar to the Photoshop filter called Photocopy.

Friday, July 14, 2006

New, New Me

Okay, so you can edit the date if you press the little button. No, I'm not simple. Just a bit focused on my annoyances.

I like this other photo better.


I love Matisse. He's great with line, great with color, and he kept on creating until he died. So did Georgia O'Keeffe, but then she went blind.

Matisse's grave is in Nice, near the Matisse Museum. We went to the museum, and then tried to follow the signs to his grave but almost didn't find the actual stone. You have to go through the crypts, past the other crypts on the same level, and then go down the stairs. It's a beautiful spot, almost as peaceful as Monet's garden.

Anyway, photos.

Matisse's grave

Monet's garden

New Me

Trying to add a photo to my profile. Did you know that you can't edit the date on your posts anymore? Not happy about that.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


On a quest for blogs of drawings, for some reason I ended up at Escape Blog, a travel blog which has this hilarious entry dealing with the attitudes a newly married woman should have for sex.

It also has descriptions of all kinds of traditions in other cultures. I'm going to go read some more.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More Shots of France

I went to France two years ago, and spent a few days in Paris. That trip was go-go-go, and I thought this one might be a little more relaxed. It was. A little.

Anyway, my sister and I had a really good time, except for one hotel problem which I'll address later.

We got lost(ish) in the Louvre looking for something that's actually in the Orsay.

This sculpture's actually on one of the outside walls of the Louvre. If you've got Google Earth (which I recommend highly as a fabulous time-eater), then you can see the wall and the Pyramid from above.

This photo's from a market in a small town in Provence. LOVED the markets! I wish that I knew how to set one up in my town. It's just bougie enough to love and support one.

Take a close look at the photo, and you can see the test tubes they were using to package the spices. I didn't buy any of those, but I did get some wonderful roasted almonds and some strawberries.

In two years or so, we'll be going back to Europe. I don't know where yet, because my niece gets to choose, and she doesn't know what she wants to see mostly because she doesn't know what's out there. Probably Spain or Italy.

Where's the best place you ever took a vacation? Got any photos to share?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Back from France

My sister Jenny and I have been back from France for a week. It's been a short week.

We had some great times, some not so great times, and I took more than 400 photos. That's nothing compared to someone I know who took more than 700 photos, but hopefully I'll get copies of those. I finally finished numbering and renaming all the photos. That's slightly tedious, but I'll bet not as much as loading all of them onto the internet.

Here's a small sample of what we did/saw:

The Arc de Triomphe

Notre Dame de Paris

The Eiffel Tower

More to come later.

Monday, June 26, 2006

In the Airport

A woman with blond hair barely confined by a kerchief looks at you. You look back, thinking how pretty she is.

She says, "Can I read you a poem?"

You say, "Okay."

Your sister says, "My sister really likes poetry."

And then you say, "That has to be the strangest thing anyone's ever asked me in an airport."

She reads to the both of you a wonderful poem by Mary Oliver.

When she is done, you think that you've never had such an experience before, and wish that more days could have a moment like this one.

You tell her your name, and she says, "I'm Abby. I read that in this book and I just had to share it with someone."

You and your sister spend some time talking with Abby and then she leaves to catch her flight to New York. You realize that few things in your life will equal the oddity and beauty of being read a poem by a stranger in an airport.

12/10/2011 EDITED to change link, the old link stopped working so I added one to Wikipedia instead.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Painting my suitcase cont.

Here are the rest of the photos. I've detailed the sea monster, added some texture to the continent and water and then aged it all.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Painting my suitcase

My sister bought me a wonderful set of luggage right before I went to Italy in 2002. A carry-on, a small case with wheels and a large case with wheels. Only problem is, it's the same color as everyone else's luggage. So I decided to paint it.

I love old maps, so I'm painting a map of Europe on it. I'm going to include a compass rose and a sea monster. Here's the progress so far.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Going on Vacation

So, I'm leaving on Friday for France. My sister Jenny and I will be visiting Paris, the lovely French countryside and also the Riviera. I'm pretty excited about it.

I'm traveling with my teacher from college. I've been on three other trips with her over the past six years, and I've enjoyed every one. This one will be my second to Paris. I'm going to need to go to Italy again. Really loved that one best, even though it was the hottest. I think it was about 100 degrees in Pompeii on the day we went.

This sign greeted us on the way to our hotel from the train station in Paris in 2004:

Wow, doesn't it just make you want to go in and get some pancakes! To be fair, though, I didn't have any bad food while in Paris. And I'm a very picky eater.

I'm going to try to blog and draw but we'll see how that goes.

Anybody want a souvenir? Maybe a kebab?

Friday, June 02, 2006

I Bought an iPod

Jumping on the bandwagon, that's me.

But, I just have to say. . .


Thursday, June 01, 2006

My Mother was a Selfish Bitch

One of the best things that my mother ever did for me was be a selfish bitch. Sometimes I really hated her. Especially when she sat on the couch and directed me and my siblings efforts to clean the living room.

But I realize now that she probably did it sometimes because she was trying to teach us self-reliance and independence. Other times she just wanted to sit on her ass and not clean up after us. My mother taught me to cook on the stove at nine. I started doing my own laundry and eleven. Not because she had a job, but because she was trying to give us ourselves and diminish some of her own domestic workload. (I understand this impulse, as living with any man seems to increase a woman's work.)

The reason I bring this up is because of a kid in one of my classes named Jake. He's got a blended family. Dad, stepmom, stepbrother and two brothers live together, and then his mom in another house. (Not sure if she re-married or not.) Recently he gave me trouble in art class. He disregards my suggestions, even when they're not really suggestions.

When told to add a background to a drawing of a wooden figure, he added a primitive looking goal post and wouldn't put any more details. His excuse was "But, I don't know what to do."

On his papier mache project, he refused to add more layers because, "we're moving and I'm going to have to throw it away anyway." When I was sick and had a substitute near the end of the project, some of the newspaper additions that he'd taped on fell off. Instead of retaping them, he pulled them all the way off and like that'd be enough.

I mentioned Jake's name to his teacher, and she told me about an incident that happened this year. Jake's dad and stepmom planned a vacation in another state. Jake decided that he didn't like the destination and refuse to go. His parents let him stay at his mother's house instead of going on the trip with the rest of the family.

I don't know about you, but I would have tied his ass to the car. Why did his parent's let him make the choice? What happened to the parents, in Calvin and Hobbes' words, as "Supreme Dictators for Life?" There's no way that my parents, particularly my mom, would have let me get away with that.

I worry about this kid. Jake's got no independence, no self-esteem, and every task's just an opportunity to argue with someone about why he doesn't need to do it.

Sure my mom was a selfish bitch. But I'm a better person because of it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Matt Roush Rocks

I used to get TV Guide every week. My favorite part of that was always Matt Roush's column, because he recognizes quality shows but doesn't always pick the shows that are the critic's darlings, and thus sometimes unwatchable.

At the end of a review of the season finales of both Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls, he had this to say:

"(Finally, I had meant to address the series finale of 7th Heaven in this space as well. But I couldn’t make it through five minutes without feeling like I was gagging on a curdled vanilla smoothie.)"

Jury Duty

I didn't go to school today. About a month ago, a letter came to my parent's house for me. I was being called for municipal jury duty. They called me for municipal jury duty a few years ago. I didn't go, but I guess I don't have a warrant or a fine or anything, because they had me captive today and no one said anything.

I woke up early and called the number on the letter. According to it, sometimes they settle the cases before the jury arrives and then you don't even have to drive to the courthouse. The recorded message did not give me the desired outcome, so I finished getting ready and left.

Unlike jury duty for the county, which takes place in the courthouse in the county seat about 20 miles away from my house, this one was an easy drive and I didn't have to search four blocks four a parking space. I got a good spot under a tree and went up the steps.

The bailiffs searched my purse and ran me through a metal detector, and then let me go sit in the courtroom for about an hour. I've sat in industrial furniture more comfortable than the pews in that room. I read my book and waited. I tend to keep to myself in situations like that. I'm a really shy person, at least initially, and so I didn't talk to anyone.

After the bailiff gave us a 10 minute warning, the attorneys came into the courtroom. A short woman with dark hair and an interesting interpretation of a suit, and this hot guy in a great suit. The good-looking guy had almost a shaved head. He was pretty enough to carry off the stupid little soul patch.

So I thought, "Ooh, hot lawyer, dresses well," and tried to get a look at his ring finger for the next ten minutes. When not concentrating on my book, that was.

Then came the judge, and she sat down and introduced the parties at the attorney tables, and then the prosecutor got up to start the voir dire. She asked people about their experiences with speeding tickets and we got to hear some pretty funny stories from some of the people. She also asked about any ill will that we as potential jurors might feel toward the police.

She almost ignored me and the other two people with me on the far side of the courtroom, which didn't distress me at all. Then she noticed that she was pressed for time and the judge got ready to give us a break before the seating of the jury. Right before she let us go, the judge asked us if we would hold it against someone for representing themselves.

I paused for just a second to process, and then thought, "Oh, he's hot but stupid. Too bad."

After the break the judge called six jurors, and dismissed the rest of us. I wouldn't have minded being chosen, if only to see if the defendant did have a fool for a client.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I've been offline for almost a week. Apparently the power company decided to turn off the power. My computer objected, and then, pouting over the mistreatment, refused to turn back on.

It's back now, thanks to my wonderful brother Brad and one of my friends who supplied the parts. Needed a new power supply.

I've got a couple of drawings to post over at Distilled in a bit, but for now you can see a Photoshop experiment inspired by Drawn!.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Letter To My Niece

Here's an excerpt from the first letter that I wrote to my niece. The first one had only text, the second had images too. I'll post something from the second one soon.

Dear Niece,
Hi. How are you?
It’s Saturday, and I’ve done all my errands for the day. It’s very humid out, and it
started to sprinkle on my car as I left the pharmacy for home. It’s been a long time since I just put my hand out to feel the rain, so I rolled down the window and stuck my hand out. The rain wasn’t cold, but I didn’t keep my hand out long. Just long enough to feel a few drops and wonder if the people in the other cars noticed and thought it strange.

It's more boring than I remembered. Going to have to work on that bit. I read through it a couple of times to make sure that there wasn't something better to post, and there wasn't.

To see the image that I sent to my nephew, go to my other blog, Distilled.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Letters to the Niece and Nephew

I was thinking the other day how much I used to love to go get the mail. When I was little definitely, and then later on when I had pen pals. I had a pen pal in England at one time, and another in Trinidad. I lost touch with the British one when she got married and the other one because I/we just stopped writing.

I want my niece and nephew to like getting the mail, so I decided that I'm going to write them letters and cards, and try to include some drawings and things too.

So far, I've written one letter to my niece. She's fourteen, so I can just write to her. The nephew's only one though, so I thought I might put more drawings than writing.

It's been more difficult than I thought it would be, but I'm working on it. I'm about to send the second letter to the niece and the first one to the nephew. I've drawn some pictures for him and put a description on the back. I told my sister, and she said she likes the idea.

I'll post excerpts at Distilled soon.


Our school has something called behavior charts. When a student shows problems with behavior, meetings happen, parents and experts get consulted, and sometimes the committee decides to give the student a behavior chart.

The chart usually targets no more than three behaviors. For example, one student's headings might read: respects teacher/classmates, remains in own area, follows directions. Then the teacher writes some kind of symbol to indicate compliance or non-compliance, such as stars and x's.

One of my students with no boundaries at home forgot his chart when he came to class. One of the goals of the chart is to guide students to being responsible by remembering to carry it with them. As the student had not brought his chart on a previous day, I wrote x's on his chart for non-compliance.

The next morning, he came into my room with his chart. He held it out at me, and said "Here," with a very smug look on his face. I glanced down and saw that his mother had written something on it. "Did you give Damien all x's just for not bringing his chart to class? If so, call me."

I looked at Damien, handed his chart back and said "Thank you." He left. He came back five minutes later and held out a pink post-it. "Here's my mom's number so you can call her." And then he smiled at me, with that look that little brothers and sisters give you when they've tattled on you. I took the post-it.

I was furious. It seemed that this mother had told her son that I would be in trouble for doing this to her son, and I wasn't going to have it. I waited a day to call her.

When I did, I explained that he'd forgotten the chart on a previous occasion. She simply said, "That's what I needed to know." and we hung up. I felt puzzled, wondering why she'd not yelled at me or otherwise made me responsible for her son's problems, as so often happens.

I'm positive that this hasn't ended, but I couldn't tell you where it will go from here.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Google Maps

I was reading on TV Tattle about people making maps of the locations on their favorite TV shows. There's a compendium at Google Maps Mania.

You can see where Jack Bauer's been, what's going on with the Amazing Race, and even the locations from Seinfeld. Pretty cool. Some people really have lots of time on their hands. I'm not one to judge, mostly 'cuz I might do something like this too.

I am a TV geek who creates her own TV watching grid at the start of each season.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Surprise in the Waiting Room

I went to the dentist today. As I leaned down in his waiting room to tie my shoes, (sometimes I leave the house with them untied and tie them later) I noticed a pink spot on the tongue of my Nikes. I thought "That's weird, they didn't have a spot on them yesterday."

I moved my fingers further down to tighten the laces and saw something between the laces and the tongue. Something beige. With red string connected to it. I looked a little closer, and saw a burlap mouse, a cat toy. So I picked a rather damp burlap mouse out of my shoe, and having nowhere else to put it, dropped it in my purse.

I thought about asking the receptionist for a paper towel, to keep the water out of my purse, but didn't want to explain why I had a wet cat toy in my hand.

The kittens must have dropped it in my shoe last night, after they gave it a bath in the water bowl. I don't understand why they drop it into things. I've seen them drop it into the water bowl and my roommates Docs.

Sometimes I wonder if they have brains at all, especially when they run to meet their torturer when he gets home from work, so that he can put them into cardboard boxes and shake them, or pin them on the ground with one hand and pretend punch them with the other.

Boys mystify me. It's like no matter how old they get, affection = pretend hitting.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Twisted and Cool

Morbid Tendencies.

There's a Bunny of the Month Club. Scroll down to see the $5 level.

I've linked to this before. It still rocks.


I'm at a crossroads in my life, or so I feel. I'm ready to move into a new field, I've been working on some writing (editing my NaNovel from last year) and drawing. I've not been posting as much here lately because I don't feel the same urge that I used to. I'm thinking that might come back, but maybe not.

Work frustrates me, for the aforementioned in-school suspension, the expectation that I must spend my supposed free time with students and not get paid extra.* The fact that anyone who reads this will think that I sound mercenary for wanting to be paid extra at all. Don't I do my job for the love of it? Well, the mortgage got to get paid, so no, not really, and mostly neither do you.

I'm tired of telling people that I teach and getting the "oh, that must be a tough job, I admire you so much, you're really honorable" which doesn't mean what they say. Most of them really mean, "What on earth would possess you to touch snotty, spit-covered little kids for less than an administrative assistant makes. Though the admin's case could be made that her job resembles mine quite a lot.

*Follow this link to something I had to say about this in 2004.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mercy and the Flying Saucer

My sister Chloe had her birthday last Sunday, on the 15th. I asked her how she wanted to celebrate it, and she said dinner but didn't get back to me before the day. Then last week she e-mailed Jenny and I and some of our other girl friends to have a girl's night out.

Jenny responded and recommended a wine bar/restaurant called Mercy, and the rest of us agreed, so Chloe made a reservation for last night at 6:45. We were all late, but Jenny and I and our friend Lynne by only five minutes.

Mercy's not bad. The waiter paid just the right amount of attention, he recommended good stuff, and they let us sit before all the party arrived. It's in a big complex of a bunch of other restaurants in North Dallas, just over the border of the semi-wet and wet counties. Thus, close to the liquor stores on Beltline and the Dallas North Tollway.

I had a French Canadian beer called Fin du Monde. Very nice, with a sweet taste and without the bitter aftertaste of one of my other beers of choice, Shiner Bock. The pork chop with apricot glaze didn't have much flavor, but the bruschetta appetizer did, and my sisters loved the Tuna Tartar. Don't order the lackluster cheesecake if you ever go, but the Pannacotta instead. It more than completed my meal, even though I only had the bit left after Jenny ate what she wanted.

We thought we'd check out a bar for a bit, so we walked to this one around the corner from Mercy. It was crowded and smoky and the people stared rudely, like we'd tried to crash their party. We got in the car and headed across the street to the Flying Saucer, a more comfortable pub without the meat market vibe.

They had a band, so Chloe paid the cover and we went in to discover no free tables. The Flying Saucer has a couple of couches in a back room called the O' Love, and the rest of the furniture consists of long picnic tables and benches. We had three choices. Sit with a couple, two girls or two boys. We picked the table with two boys, naturally, and then stood while someone worked up the nerve to ask the boys if we could sit.

It ended up being me, the least likely to ask strangers for a favor. Turns out the two boys didn't mind, and had come to the bar to kill some time. They chatted with us amiably, though the youngest of us had ten years on them. Twenty-three year old boys, out for a night and beset by six over-thirties. All of us look pretty damn good and Lynne bought them two rounds so it might not have traumatized them.

All in all a successful night, no one threw up and no one got arrested, though being old we did go home before midnight.

Friday, January 20, 2006

In School Suspension

I don't think it's legal. None of the other teachers at my school seem to care, they're just giving up their time. If it happened at a secondary school, the teacher giving up her conference period would get paid.

My principal seems to think that since she called it voluntary that means it is voluntary.

The other day the school office manager made a beeline for me. "We have a student in the ISS room, and one of the coaches told me that they think that it's your turn."
She and my friend the kindergarten teacher could tell from my face that I wasn't happy. I thought I should have left to go get lunch. But I went, because I'm good at saying no.

It's not a tough duty, that's not what I'm saying. It's easy, but on the Texas Education Agency website, it says that:

Each classroom teacher is entitled to at least 450 minutes within each 2-week period for instructional preparation, including parent-teacher conferences, evaluating students’ work, and planning. The planning and preparation period may not be less than 45 minutes within the instructional day. During the planning and preparation period, a classroom teacher may not be required to participate in any other activity.

and further down:

Each classroom teacher or full-time librarian is entitled to at least a 30 minute lunch period free from all duties and responsibilities connected with the instruction and supervision of students. A classroom teacher or school librarian who is otherwise entitled to a duty free lunch may be required to supervise students during lunch because of personnel shortage, extreme economic conditions, or an unavoidable or unforeseen circumstance for ONE day in any school week.

So I'm supposed to give up my conference period and my lunch, and then on the off chance that someone might be in the ISS room, I'm supposed to go to it and check.

This system works so well that the other day a first grader sat in the room during the school day with SEVEN different adults and not one of them thought to allow him to get his lunch. He didn't eat. His parents were furious.

My problem here is that if I say I'm not taking a turn, then the other willing people will think that I'm the bad teacher who doesn't care about the kids. This attitude pervades elementary schools.

The principal says that she thinks that the old practice of having the kid stay with the principal all day works too much like a reward. I suspect that she's just tired of having these kids around her all the time. Of course the coaches, my nemeses, have not complained other than to say 75 minutes seems unfair compared to the classroom teacher's 55.

I guess I'm not supposed to complain that she's taking away all my breaks and my lunch time too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sunday at Brad's

My brother Brad loves video games. He plays them on his computer. He plays them on his Game Boy. He plays them on his PS2, his Game Cube, his X-Box, strike that, his modded X-Box and on his new DS2.

On Sundays after we go see a movie, sometimes some of his friends hang out at his house to play games, and occasionally I go too. This weekend we saw Match Point. Not bad. I'm always impressed when I can't guess what will happen at the end of a movie.

This Sunday three of his friends came over, and me and my sister Jenny. Well, not Jenny, it's actually her house and Brad lives there. When I got to the house, they were sitting in the backyard around the table. (It's been in the mid-60's and 70's for a while now. I'm enjoying it, but it's not good for the fires.)

Brad, Jenny, and Brad's married friends had their DS2's out and were yelling wildly at each other while they played Mario Kart. Apparently it's like a wireless network. A few "fuck, who inked me?" 's later, and we went inside. Then our other friend James fired up his DS2. Now everyone but me sat playing Mario Kart on these tiny little screens, screaming things at one another. A post-millenium circle jerk.*

I sat and read a book. Jenny let me play a couple of races. Then I read some more of the book.

Jenny doesn't purchase video games, she played on my brother's 2nd DS2. Big dork bought a second one to supplement his Christmas gift from my father. Granted, he bought it on sale, but still. I have seen the future of geek, and I'm not impressed.

*Thanks, Chloe!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Two Good Merry Christmases

I know these are late, but I found them recently.
Here's one from Ashley Wood's blog, Merry Christmas from Ashley.

Then, an Ornery Boy comic, Merry Christmas.

Cats and Toilet Paper

After I accidentally locked Calvin in my bathroom yesterday, he ate Gwen's prescription/hypoallergenic food with pancreatitis medicine sprinkled on it. He stayed in there from 7ish until probably 1:00pm enjoying himself.

He destroyed four rolls of toilet paper, ripped open the prescription food bag, dug about two inches of dirt out of a plant and then got dirty pawprints all over the sink and floor.

I'm pretty sure that he also climbed my shower curtain and dragged my clean towels all over the bathroom floor. I've never seen a kitten that acted more like a destructive puppy. And, he follows me around the house, but doesn't follow.

He hears me moving, tries to anticipate where I'm going, and then runs there as fast as he can so he can beat me. That puts him under my feet most times, especially today when I turned a way he didn't expect.

You might think this might cause me to dislike him, and normally I would. But, he's just too dumb to dislike.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Happy New Year!

Last week I needed to spend some money. I have a flex account with my benefits, and I had about $400 left. My father insists that it's not really my money, but I felt strongly that I should spend as much as possible, so I made some appointments.

I went to the doctor, the gynecologist, the dentist and the optometrist. I'm pretty sure that I spent all of that money, regardless of where it originated. I got some prescriptions, a sonic cleaning with laser scan, and a pair of really cool glasses.

I had no idea how crappy everything looked until I wore my glasses on the way home from the optometrist. I figure it's not too bad, getting glasses in my mid thirties. My brother's had them since elementary school, and my sisters almost the same.

I also got to hear from a few people that, medically speaking, I'm rather boring. That's nice to hear.