Thursday, November 30, 2006

Celebrating the End of NaBloPoMo... My 100 Things

Well, folks, I did it. I'm not sure how I did it, but I did. Is anyone still awake out there?

I figured that an appropriate way to end the month would be by posting another project I've been working on all month: my 100 things list. Yeah, I know, everyone else did these a couple years ago, but I've always been a little behind. So here goes...

100 Things

1. I was named after someone my mom worked with at a bank.
2. I am the youngest of four girls.
3. I am also the youngest child of two youngest children and the youngest grandchild on both sides of the family.
4. I have cousins with children older than me.
5. My first pet was a hamster named Sassy.
6. My parents now have a Jack Russell terrier named Sassy.
7. On my 21st birthday, I was supposed to play in the pep band for Jud Heathcote’s last game at Michigan State. It was an exhibition game between Spartan players from his 19 years as head coach.
8. My boyfriend got the night off from work, so he convinced me to go out to dinner with him instead.
9. He asked me to marry him that night.
10. I broke up with him 19 months later.
11. I haven’t dated anyone I would consider a “boyfriend” every since.
12. I still wish I’d gone to the basketball game.
13. When I started college I was a voice performance major.
14. After one semester I was no longer a voice performance major.
15. I had a total of 15 roommates while I was in college… but it’s not as bad as it sounds.
16. My cat is often mistaken for a Russian Blue, but he’s as mixed-breed as they come.
17. He was born on my parents’ farm, but got sick and we didn’t think he’d survive the winter, so I took him with me when I moved out.
18. Now he weighs 16 pounds.
19. I have attended a total of four universities and one community college.
20. I have a bachelors degree, added an endorsement to my teaching certificate, and (almost) a masters degree.
21. I look like a female version of my dad.
22. I have one niece and four nephews.
23. I am also a great-aunt. My grandnephew is almost four and my grandniece is two months old.
24. I enjoy seeing the startled look on people’s faces when I tell them I am a great-aunt.
25. I then explain that my niece is only four years younger than me.
26. She came to live with us for six months at a time when I was in sixth and eighth grade and she was in first and third.
27. I hated having a younger “sister.”
28. We recently started talking regularly via instant messenger.
29. Her mom (my sister) is retired from the Air Force, which is why she came to live with us.
30. I still think it’s a little wrong that my niece is married with children before me.
31. I have seen every episode of Friends. Everything in life can be related to an episode of Friends.
32. Freshman year of high school, my best friend stole algebra assignments from my locker and turned them in with her name on them.
33. We are still friends today. I was even in her wedding.
34. That’s how forgiving I can be.
35. That’s the only wedding I have ever been in.
36. Unless you count my sister’s where I was mistress of ceremonies.
37. I bought my own home just before my 30th birthday with just a little down payment help from my parents.
38. People look at me in disbelief when I tell them the home projects I have done myself, particularly the electrical work.
39. I’ve bought materials for several more projects, like a new faucet for the bathroom sink, but haven’t gotten around to doing them yet.
40. My Jeep has a manual transmission, as did my last car. I special order them because I prefer them.
41. I will be really sad the day I have to buy a car with an automatic transmission, but I know it will happen someday.
42. I’ve never broken a bone.
43. I loved my job as a high school teacher.
44. I don’t really love my job as a middle school teacher.
45. When I expressed my opinions and made a joke regarding this on MySpace (on my own time and my home computer), my employer brought tenure charges against me in an attempt to have me dismissed.
46. They were unsuccessful.
47. Working in the middle school did help me figure out what I wanted to get my master’s degree in, though.
48. I will be done with my master’s degree next month.
49. By working half to full time on it, it only took me 19 months to complete.
50. My dog was born the day before I closed on my house.
51. She was my 30th birthday present to myself.
52. She is the poster child for separation anxiety.
53. As a child I wanted to be a writer.
54. As a 12 year old, I used to write stories about people with multiple personality disorder and murder mysteries.
55. I gave up the dream of writing for a long time, but now I think I will be able to do it one day.
56. My favorite authors are Jennifer Weiner, John Saul, Scott Westerfeld, and Alex Flinn.
57. I met Alex Flinn in October. She gave me advice for getting published.
58. I reread all the Little House books every year or two.
59. I also love all the Harry Potter books.
60. But my all time favorite book is Summer Sisters by Judy Blume.
61. One of my best friends is my ex-fiancé’s sister.
62. We didn’t become close friends until the last few months of the engagement.
63. Her kids still call me their aunt.
64. We go shopping together on the day after Thanksgiving almost every year.
65. Even though I would really like to, I don’t think I will ever get married.
66. But I refuse to let that stand in the way of my having a child.
67. My family is already aware of this, but I’m not sure how my employer is going to take it.
68. I staunchly believe in a woman’s right to choose.
69. I also think that my state should have the death penalty… and use it liberally.
70. I used to have an unnatural affection for the movie Gone with the Wind… or anything to do with it.
71. My first plane ride ever was from Detroit to London when I was fifteen.
72. I never got airsick before I flew to Connecticut this summer.
73. One of my best friends lives in Connecticut.
74. While I was visiting her I went to New York City for the first time ever.
75. I can’t wait to go back.
76. I’ve never been in a car accident.
77. I did have a car that was totaled once, though.
78. My sister was driving it at the time.
79. It was her second accident in 10 days, but neither was her fault.
80. I also spun my Jeep around in the middle of an interstate highway last year. Luckily there were no cars coming and I didn’t hit any barriers. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t even a scratch on my Jeep.
81. My first celebrity crush was Rick Springfield.
82. My current celebrity crush is John Cusack.
83. I like to watch his movies and imagine myself as his romantic counterpart.
84. One of my favorites is Serendipity.
85. My favorite current TV show is Grey’s Anatomy.
86. I’m addicted to minesweeper and spider solitaire.
87. I can’t say that I will never shop at Best Buy again, but if I do I won’t be happy about it.
88. I have a scar on my lip from stitches when I was three years old.
89. My babysitter’s daughter and I were playing catch with a sharp object.
90. One of my favorite movies is Bridget Jones’ Diary.
91. I like to watch it because I adore British accents and it gives me hope that I may actually find the right person one day.
92. Part of me would really like to live in England, but I’m not sure what I would do for a living there.
93. It would also be hard to move so far from my family.
94. Ice cream is the best stuff on earth.
95. Bad grammar is my biggest pet peeve.
96. I positively detest getting up early in the morning. I need to find a job where I don’t have to be at work until 10:00 or so.
97. I owe many thousands of dollars in student loans. The tax deduction is nice and I suspect I will die before they are all paid off.
98. I have an irrational fear of drowning. I think I drowned in a past life.
99. I was 13 years old before I learned to swim.
100. I still can’t put my face underwater.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Obligatory Post

Man, this daily posting stuff has got to go. One day to go.

The most exciting part of my day was getting two bags full of books for half price at a Scholastic book fair. I know... riveting.

Oh, and it rained so hard this evening that the safety switch kicked my Christmas lights off. I had to go out and reset the outlet. I really need to get a life.

Tomorrow is a practicum day. Only two of those left plus my final analysis before it will be done. It will be really nice to be able to call in sick to work and just stay home and sleep in again. Though I have been out of my classroom ten days this year, I haven't had a single one of those days to sleep and goof off. I didn't even get to have my compensation day to myself. I actually looking forward to my dentist appointment scheduled for January because I won't have to spend the rest of the day at one of my schools.

We've had several days of Indian summer here in Michigan. It's been great, but it's nearly over. The temperature is going to start dropping overnight and by Friday we have a winter storm warning. Unfortunately, the major accumulation will be during the day, so a snow day isn't likely. But I suppose there will be plenty of time for those come January.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Is it Friday yet?

I think that last week's three day work week ruined me. Not only do I still have three days of work left this week, but I have class on Saturday. The good news is that I don't have anything due this Saturday (except the make up stuff I have to do from the week I skipped... I mean the week I was sick). I also only have three more meetings of that class and I will be Done. And yes, I did capitalize that Done on purpose. Not just done for the semester, but Done with my degree. And if I didn't work in the profession I do (which requires me to take two classes every five years), I'd be Done for good as well. I have absolutely no desire to get a Ph.D.

So here it is, not even 7:00 on a Tuesday night and I am exhausted. I have actually considered setting the DVD recorder and going to bed. I don't think I'm going to do that just yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if I make it there by 8:30 or so. I have a handful of papers to grade and I really should do a little work on my research proposal (but probably won't).

Now that I think about it, I think it's some lady stabbing me in the arm with a needle today that's making me so tired. What's worse is that I paid her to do it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

There Goes That Idea

I stopped at Walmart on the way home tonight with the sole purpose of getting those last few things I need to complete my outdoor Christmas lights. However, they were out of everything I needed. So much for that.

But I did finish putting out what lights I have. All I will have to do tomorrow (or whenever I am able to get what I need) is put out the spiral trees. It was a little rainy, but otherwise a very nice day, particularly for late November.

And though I swore that I wouldn't actually turn on the lights until December, one look around the neighborhood made me feel a little left out, so on they went. I'm such a sheep.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Back to the Grind

I don't wanna go.

Having four days off from work seems like such a nice break until you are at the last day of it. Then the cold, hard reality sets in. I have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow. I have to get some planning done. Those tests need to be graded. And when I get home there will be grad school work to do.

On the plus side, only four more days of NaBloPoMo. Then I can go back to being my little slacker self. I still hope to post more often than I had been (at least a couple times a week), but not every day. I do think it has been good for me, though. I've accepted that not all my posts need to be long ones. In fact, I really need to post more often so that my posts are more focused on one topic rather than a long recap every two weeks (or more). But it will be good to not have to post about the most mundane of day. I'm sure my readers (both of them) will appreciate it, too!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Beautiful Day


A November day in the 50s. A clear day for driving home from the folks'. I even managed to start putting up a few of the Christmas lights before it got too dark.

Now I am preparing for an evening on the couch in my PJs. I already turned down an invite to go listen to a local band and have some drinks because I want one of my nights this weekend be be spent at home. Plus, I've got an appointment with Bridget Jones' Diary.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Dodged a Bullet There, I Did

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving weekend is being able to spend time with my best friend Sue. Sue and I got to be friends about ten years ago when I was still engaged to her brother, G. G. is now married and has a child, and I try to be happy for him, but I know that parts of me can't help but wonder what my life would have been if we had stayed together. After today's information, I'm pretty sure I know...

G. and his wife W. are incredibly selfish. That's really nothing new, but Sue filled me in on some stories that demonstrate this:

  • For their mother's birthday, Sue and her siblings arranged to have a group photo taken of all the grandkids (a total of ten from four families). This was a fiasco orchestrated primarily by W. to allow her to benefit the most. Everything from where the photo would be taken to what clothes the kids would wear was decided by her.
  • Sue and G.'s brother D. helped G. to finish the basement in their house. In fact, D. pretty much did the job by himself with little help from G. But when D. needed help on a little project... G. just couldn't spare the time to help.
  • G. bought a farm near his parents as an investment. He borrowed the down payment from his parents, then his parents fixed up the house. G. sold the house for a nice profit, but hasn't paid his parents back for the down payment. He still owns the farmland and wants his brother J. to lease it to farm next year, but G. wants an exhorbitant price for the rent of the land. J.'s wife is against paying to rent the land, so they think that G.'s parents will end up farming it.
  • G. borrowed D.'s pickup for some errand. It had a full tank of gas when he picked it up, but an empty one when he returned it. Considering that they only live 15 minutes away from each other, no one is really sure why he used so much gas, let alone why he didn't have the common decency to refill the tank before he returned it.
  • Last winter, Sue and her husband, Dave had a few months left on their lease when they bought a new Yukon. So they had both the new Yukon, the old Suburban, and Dave's Buick. They allowed G. and W. to borrow the Buick to use if an occasion arose where they needed two cars (G. and W. have only one car and she is a stay-at-home mom). It turned out that G. drove the Buick to work every day all winter and made no effort to keep it clean. They even drove it out to his parent's house (about a two hour drive) for a family dinner one time. They then had the gall to talk about how much better their Honda is than American cars at this same family dinner. Turned out they were using the Buick whenever possible and saving their own car. When Dave got his car back, it had 10,000 more miles on it (in only about four months) and needed $1,000 in repairs.

In other words, I may still be single, but at least I'm not living with a selfish little user. Or more likely... divorced from a selfish little user.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Somehow I managed to get out of bed at 7:30 this morning and get ready to go, despite not getting to bed until almost 1:00. It was quite the miracle in fact, as I had set my alarm for 7:30 P.M. instead of 7:30 A.M. I guess my body knew it had to get up, even if it didn't want to.

Didn't get on the road until nearly 10:00, but Copper and I still arrived at my sister's house in plenty of time for dinner. It was a gorgeous day (in the mid 50s) so it was a nice drive. Copper always gets a little anxious on those long drives, simply because she isn't used to sitting still so long.

Dinner was yummy, as was the pie we had for dessert later. We watched the dog show and then the movie Babe was on. We don't waste our time with watching the Lions.

Back to Mom and Dad's. Had to go out searching for Copper twice due to fear that she had taken off across the countryside, but luckily found her. Plotted shopping strategy with my friend "Sue." We decided that we didn't need to join the insanely early crowd, but would go out a little later in the morning.

And now I'm off to bed. Hope your Thanksgiving was as full of fun, family, and good food as mine was.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Time Out

Just got in from a night out with the girls. Heather is home for the holiday, so we went out to dinner and then for drinks. A good time, but I was a good girl as I must hit the road around 9 a.m. to head for my sister's house.

Hopefully I will have fun Thanksgiving tales to share tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Me Speakum Good English

I know that my rants regarding MySpace and the stupid people on it are nothing new, but I think this one absolutely takes the cake.

A month or two ago, I got so annoyed with all the random (and often stupid) guys sending me messages that I finally posted the following on my page:

Look at that little box over on the side. The one that says "Here for." Mine says "Friends." It does not say "Casual Sex" or "Web Cam Shows." Nor does it say "Marriage to man from the other side of the world so he can get his green card." So, if you're thinking about contacting me to see if I want to hook up with you, I can assure you that I don't. I have a little more respect for myself than that.

And here's another thing: I'm an intelligent, highly educated person. I'm not saying that I won't be friends with someone who is not as intelligent or educated as I am, but there are a few things that will turn me off immediately. Take a look at your profile or the message you are considering sending me. Does it include poor grammar (i.e. "I seen" or "he don't")? Have you used numerous commas (,,,,,) instead of just three periods (...) for your elipses? I don't even accept that crap from kids, so why would I think it was acceptable in an adult?

Luckily, that has curbed the messages some. I still get one every now and then, but I promptly delete and ignore them.

Oh, but this one... this one had me rolling with laughter.

[charlie] send me your hotmail maiby we can speak because I,M college professor like your are

Okay, so the sender of this message is so obviously not a native English speaker, so I feel a little bad making fun of him... but he was warned.

First of all... when did I claim to be a college professor? I don't reveal my profession on MySpace at all, and I certainly don't claim to be a college professor. Grad student, yes, professor, no. Second, my hotmail? I don't have a hotmail... I think you mean e-mail, buddy. And third... even if you aren't a native English speaker, I hate to think what college would employ you as a professor of anything when your writing skills are that bad. I know that foreign college professors (and GAs) are sometimes difficult to understand when they speak, but they typically have a better grasp of written English than most native speakers.

At any rate, I don't think I'll delete this one right away... it's affording me with too much entertainment.

Monday, November 20, 2006

They're At It Again...

It may be only November 20, but the calendar in our staff bathroom reads June 8... the last day of school.

I think it took until March before someone did that last year.

I can almost guarantee that it was an eighth grade teacher that did it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Good Day

Nothing exciting, just a good day.

Slept until 12:30 (after getting up for a few minutes at 8:00 to let Copper out). Putzed around the house and played computer games. Chatted with a couple friends online for a few minutes.

I was a little productive. I did manage to get my laundry done and vacuum the house. I made a good dinner. I also got my test and study guide written for my social studies class as well as putting those test questions into Jeopardy form for a review session on Tuesday.

That was about it. Hopefully I'll have some more substance tomorrow.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Ever have a friend that you just don't know how to help?

I do.

She's one of my best friends and I love her dearly, but I'm just at a loss. It's getting to the point that I never call her because I know it's just going to be another conversation about the same thing.

She has this ex-boyfriend. She's still in love with him. Why, I don't understand at all because he's an incredible asshole to her. She even knows he's an incredible asshole to her, but she thinks she's done some mysterious, unknown thing wrong that has caused him to be an asshole to her. I can't seem to make her understand that, no matter how much he loved her (or claimed to love her) at one point, it is possible that he's just an asshole and she hasn't done anything to make him that way.

All I can do is listen and be sympathetic. Luckily, she knows that I'm not a person who knows all the right things to say when someone is in pain, so she doesn't expect anything more than that from me. But I still feel horrible for her and I wish there was some way I could make her see that, not only is it not her fault that he treats her like he does, but she's never going to be happy until she simply moves on with her life. I know it's not easy, but that's what she's got to do. And I know it's easier said than done, but we've all been there and have had to do it at some point.

And I can't help but be a little selfish. She'll never know I feel this way, but I do. I called her today on my way home from class. I'd had a pretty good day... got my work done for class, found out I got a 4.0 on my midterm, bought my cap and gown for graduation... and wanted to share. But instead we had a 35 minute conversation about the jerk. Just like every other conversation we have.

I hate what he's done to her. And what she's done to herself. I want my friend back.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Meme

I usually save these for MySpace, but I read this one over at American Family and enjoyed it, so I thought I'd make it today's post.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I'm 32... why does my chin keep breaking out?

2. How much cash do you have on you?
$22... I couldn't even pay the lunch ladies today because they couldn't break a $20 bill and the other $2 wouldn't cover it. They still let me eat, though.

3. Whats a word that rhymes with “DOOR?”

4. Favorite planet?
Pluto... oh, wait, that's not a planet anymore... but it always will be in my book.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
The one I use.

7. What shirt are you wearing?
Navy blue sweatshirt from one of my many colleges.

8. Do you “label” yourself?
I'm a band nerd... once a band nerd, always a band nerd.

9. Name the brand of your shoes youre currently wearing.
No shoes currently, but I wore my new Sketchers today.

10. Bright or Dark Room?
Depends on the purpose.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
I thoroughly enjoy her rants on parenting and such.

12. What does your watch look like?
I haven't worn a watch in years.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Um... sleeping... that's what most working adults were doing.

14. What did the last text message you received on your cell say?
"Tigers game rocked! what r u up to?"

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?
A mile or so away, but I rarely go there.

16. What's a word that you say a lot?

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?
One of my students... he thinks he's married to me... I'm creeped out on so many levels.

18. Last furry thing you touched?
Coal, as he is currently sitting behind me in the desk chair.

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
Drugs? Does Tylenol count?

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
Film? It's been years since I used my 35mm camera.

21. Favorite age you have been so far?
I thoroughly enjoyed 26 and 27... 28 was okay... by 29 everything had gone to hell in a handbasket.

22. Your worst enemy?
Well, considering that I am no longer in high school, I'd have to say no one.

23. What is your current desktop picture?
I still have the Gateway box on this one, but at work I have a pic of Copper and Coal sleeping on the couch.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"See you Thursday" to my Mom who happened to be at the mall in the town where I work today.

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
Most definitely the million bucks... no contest.

26. Do you like someone?
I like lots of people, you'd just never know it.

27. The last song you listened to?
"Take This" by Staind in the car.

28. What time of day were you born?
11:08 p.m.

29. Whats your favorite number?
who cares?

30. Where did you live in 1987?
With my Mom and Dad in Freeport, MI.

31. Are you jealous of anyone?
People who seem to easily find successful relationships.

32. Is anyone jealous of you?
Possibly, but I don't know about it.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
At work on my conference hour. See this post...

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
I don't remember the last time a vending machine stole my money.

35. Do you consider yourself kind?
Not even a little.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
I have one on my lower back, but think I may get another on my shoulder soon.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?
Deutsch... that's German to you. I took two years in college, but remember very little.

38. Would you move for the person you loved?
Absolutely. I'd even move for someone I don't even like if he could get me a job in West Michigan.

39. Are you touchy feely?
Not even a little. Please don't hug me.

40. What's your life motto?
The things that scare us are usually the most worthwhile.

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times.
Lip gloss, cell phone, underwear.

42. Whats your favorite town/city?
Grand Rapids... I'd move there in a heartbeat if I could find a job.

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
My perscription yesterday.

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Good question... too long ago at any rate.

45. Can you change the oil on a car?
I could, but why would I when the nice people at the dealership will do it for me?

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
He and his wife have a little girl. That's the last major thing I guess.

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
Somebody came from England in the early 1800s, but what's really cool is the cousin who was a Union soldier in the Civil War and was married to two women at once.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
Probably a wedding I went to in August. I wore my favorite polka-dotted sundress.

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
My stomach... It's nearly dinner time.

50. Have you been burned by love?
*hysterical laughter* When have I NOT been burned by love?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

30 Days

Well, actually, I'm down to about 29 days and 21 hours.

Yessiree, one month from today I will be done with grad school. Four sweet weeks from Saturday is my final exam for research methods. My research proposal is due the week before that, and my final analysis of my practicum is due by the 13th of December.

I sure hate to wish my life away, but it can't come nearly soon enough.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Okay, minor rant ahead.

I had an appointment with my gynecologist yesterday. You know the one... the ultra-fun yearly one. Of course, I have those about three times a year, but I digress.

While I was waiting to be called back, a family came in and sat across from me. Yes, a family. There was a mom, four girls ranging in age from about 10 to late teens or early twenties, and a young boy about two years old. The mom was a woman who looked to be in her fifties, although I am a terrible judge of age. I, at first, assumed that the boy belonged to one of the girls. It eventually became clear that the mother of the girls was also the mother of the boy. Oh, and did I mention that they STUNK? I mean bad. We are talking cigarette smoke mixed with we haven't showered in a week BO. I was so grateful to finally be called back so that I could get away from the stench.

So I have two questions.

First, how do people go through life smelling like that? I can't even stand the smell of myself after a gym workout or an hour of mowing the lawn. How can people not realize that they stink?

Second, I can understand bringing a support person with you to a doctor's appointment... a mother or a sister, for example. But who brings their entire family (multiple sisters and/or grown daughters) to the doctor with them? I don't know who actually had the appointment, but it seems a little strange to me.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Good Reason for a Lawsuit

I am not a litigious person. I am so much of a non-litigious person that I agreed to a settlement with my employer so that I could go back to work on time, even though I most definitely had an excellent civil rights infringement lawsuit (stupid me... ).

But sometimes people just need to have their asses sued. Here's an example.

Got that? These people only found out there was a basement under their house because some neighbor told them that everyone in their neighborhood had basements dug back in the '50s. A massive tornado had gone through north of town killing many people, so it was done as a precaution.

When the previous owners found their basement was leaking, rather than have it fixed, they cemented over the stairway, put a board and carpet over it, and put the house up for sale, never disclosing that the house even had a basement, let alone a leaky one.

You bet I'd be suing. And I've gotta believe that this family has had multiple attorneys calling them offering to represent them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Blogger Issues

Is Blogger really going down during NaBloPoMo?

Say it isn't so.

Winter Prep

There's just something about cleaning up the last of the leaves. It's sad, but you know it has to be done before the ground gets covered in snow. And, while it's not in the immediate forecast, that could be any time now. Last year at this time we were only a week away from a very heavy snowfall. Heavy enough that my 9 year old nephew from North Carolina was able to build his very first snowman on Thanksgiving Day.

Makes me shiver just thinking about it.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Another Exciting Night

Yup, pretty thrilling. Watching Desperate Housewives as I get my practicum journal caught up. The excitement is killing me. Oh well, at least I'm getting caught up on something.

When I decided not to go to class yesterday, the trade off was that I would spend three solid hours working on my research proposal. Yeah, that didn't happen. I have done no work on that proposal and the second draft is due Saturday. Eh, I'm not concerned... I always get things done.

Instead I've spent the day watching TV, cleaning the house, and doing other miscellaneous tasks around the house. Boy oh boy, the fun never stops.

But it's Sunday, which means I got to sleep in and didn't have to work, and I wouldn't trade that for the world.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

'Tis the Season... Already?

I was a bad girl today. I didn't go to my grad class this afternoon. Instead I went shopping.

I made my list of places I needed to stop and what I needed to get at each of them (yes, I am that anal). I had some special deals and extra percent off coupons for several of them, and a few things I just needed. I came home with two pairs of shoes (one running, one everyday) and a shirt, a rechargeable vacuum (for the repeated messes Copper leaves in the back room when she... ahem... snacks from the cat litter box), a new bra and pair of panties from Victoria's Secret (had a coupon, so the panties were free and the bra $10 off), my new Hallmark ornaments for the year, two lotions from Bath and Body Works (one free), miscellaneous grocery type items from Walmart, and John Mayer's new CD. Just for good measure, I ran the Jeep through the car wash and stopped for some dinner at KFC.

But here's the thing... it's two weeks before Thanksgiving and the crowds in the stores already look like two weeks before Christmas. Maybe this is the year that everyone is getting their shopping done early and the stores will be empty by then. Personally, I'm not a big Christmas shopper. My family only exchanges little cutesy gifts due to the fact that we all work for a living and buy stuff ourselves whenever we want it. Also, all the neices and nephews live far away, so they just get gift cards. And since I don't have a boyfriend, it removes the need to purchase anything for him. I still have a Christmas savings account, so I have a few hundred dollars stashed away, but I have a feeling most of that is going to pay for the new tires I just put on the Jeep.

Of course, I really rather put that money toward a new flat-panel TV... or a new kitchen. See? This is why my family doesn't really exchange gifts... we want too big of things!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Eight Days Down...

Three to go.

For my master's degree I am required to do a 90-hour practicum. The practicum is a point of contention for most of us because only the school librarians are required to do one, not public or academic library people (it's a state requirement for our teacher certification). However, all the people in the school library program are already certified teachers, and most of us are working full-time as classroom teachers. Some are even already working as media specialists already. So, the idea that we have to spend time outside of our paying positions doing work that we already know how to do can be a hard pill to swallow. Some people even have to take unpaid time off in order to get their hours in. I've been lucky in that, between personal days and well-scheduled doctor's appointments, I've been able to get in all but 3 days (two of which I've already taken... one more next month). For those days I've feigned illness and just hoped that the wrong people didn't see me outside of my home.

Don't get me wrong, the practicum is a valuable experience. I have learned quite a bit and have enjoyed getting to do "hands on" librarian stuff. It's really given me a taste of what it will be like when I have a media center of my own, and I can't wait.

But could I have done the job well without the practicum? Definitely. So much of the job is organization and common sense. Other parts the practicum can't prepare me for anyway because who know if the library I will eventually run will use the exact same systems and procedures as the one I am in now?

At any rate, as I mentioned yesterday, I used my compensation day today to get in another day at my practicum site. This makes eight, which, put together with my hours from the MAME conference a couple weeks ago, means I only have three days left. I have enjoyed the experience, but I've felt like I've been working two jobs for the last couple of months. It will be nice to go back to only working one.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


It's my own fault, but I'm still sad.

After two days of conferences, tomorrow is our compensation day. Which means that everyone else gets to sleep in. But not me.

No, I decided way back in August that on that day I would be going to my practicum site to get in some hours without having to take a day off work. Seemed like a good idea at the time. But now, as I am headed to bed I am cursing myself for having to get up at the same time as every other day while all the people I work with are still snoozing soundly.

And no, I will not stop whining.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Risk Taking

I didn't think about it until I had already left for work, so there wasn't much I could do about it, but I still had a feeling of dread much of the day.

I've been giving Copper a little more freedom lately. Instead of being shut into just the kitchen all day I am letting her have the entire back of the house. We are now halfway through the second week and, other than some minor destruction the first day, she's been fine.

However, today I would be gone for at least 13 hours. I had made arrangements for my neighbor to come over and let her out this afternoon, but I was still worried that her displeasure with my being gone so long would manifest itself in tearing up the (new) carpet in the back room.

So, it was with great trepidation that I peeked into the back room when I got home, only to find... nothing. She was a good girl all day. What a relief.

Another long day tomorrow. Here's hoping it won't be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Gratuitous Post

Yeah, so, I really don't have anything witty to say today. Or anything not-so-witty. Damn. Starting to rue the day that I agreed to do this daily post thing. Such is life.

Tomorrow and Thursday I have conferences. That should provide some fodder. Each year we have a contest for memorable quote of the year. I'd share them, but with my luck, somehow "they" would figure out who I am through them and I'd be in trouble all over again. And no, I'm not paranoid... they really are out to get me.

Quote for the day from my seventh graders in reference to the election process: "So, what's to stop someone from just taking a bunch of little slips of paper in with them and voting for one person as much as they want?"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Senators and Governors and Proposals, OH MY!

Tomorrow is Election Day, and if your state is anything like mine, you'll be as glad to see it be over as I will be.

Living in the state ranked 49th in the nation for economic growth is not easy in an election year. We have been barraged with TV ads, mailings, and phone calls. We have an incumbent Democratic governor who is taking a lot of heat for the mess our state is in, despite the fact that she was handed a mess four years ago. Then there is her Republican challenger. He's a rich businessman who thinks he knows how to run a state because he's done a decent job running daddy's company. Yeah, those are the same.

It's a similar race for Senate. An incumbent Democratic female being challenged by a Republican blowhard.

Now, I really don't hate Republicans. I just think that the particular breed that Michigan grows are morons.

We also have an assortment of proposals. One that is attracting a lot of attention is one that will eliminate Affirmative Action in certain programs. I am leaning toward voting yes, except that there are some questions I have about its effect on some programs for women's health. Guess I better make up my mind in the next 18 hours or so.

Yeah, dull, I know... I'm working on my 100 things list. Hopefully I'll get to post it in the next week or so.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Indian Summer

Despite the frantic need to grade book reports all day today, I have yet to grade even one. But it was such a nice day that I felt I had to take advantage of it and get some outdoor projects done. So that's what I did.

I assembled the wheelbarrow that I bought sometime last year. I don't remember when. It's also kind of funny that I've had the wheelbarrow for over a year and have yet to need it. But I assembled it anyway to get it out of my garage. I have far too much junk in my garage. Maybe next summer I will use it on the multitude of projects I have planned for my first summer of freedom since I bought the house.

Then I took my flower pots (now empty of plants, but not potting soil) and dumped all the soil into the low areas along my back fence. Hopefully that will help contain the beagle.

Next was packing the patio furniture away into the shed. It makes me sad to look out the window and see the bare deck now. I also moved a few miscellaneous items from the garage to the shed.

Finally I got the lawn vacuum out and picked up the leaves that have fallen since I mowed last week. I could have picked up more, but I was too lazy to go back to the shed and get my longer power cord. I couldn't reach the entire yard with the one I had. But I decided that enough was enough anyway.

So now it's time to attack those book reports with gusto. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

An Open Letter to MySpace

Dear MySpace,

You're really starting to tick me off. First you get me all addicted with your access to cool music and friends past and present. You get me all giddy when an e-mail pops up saying I have a new message or comment. And then you start to screw with me.

Prior to today I have been unable to log in for three days. Every time I try you tell me that an error has occured and it has been forwarded to your technical group. A lot of good that does me.

Today I got a ray of hope. You actually let me log in. For a few minutes. And then I started getting the stupid error message again.

So, I would like to know why you have chosen to screw around with my account repeatedly. It appears that other people are able to access their accounts and send me messages and the like, so why me? Can't you please pick on someone else for a while so I can get back to feeding my addiction? It would be greatly appreciated.

Charlie the Beagle Mom

Friday, November 03, 2006

Running on Empty

One of my classes started whining about when they might get their book reports back today. Then I described what the next 48 hours of my life was going to look like and they stopped.
  • I stayed after school to grade my social studies tests and put grades in the computer so that I could leave for the weekend with grades for three out of five classes completed.
  • When I came home I started my grad school work (reading one chapter from the world's most boring textbook and making an outline of my research proposal, which is due tomorrow).
  • At 9:00 I am chaperoning the first three hours of a lock-in at my practicum site (which I now think I may skip because I am so tired).
  • At midnight I will come home a sleep a few hours.
  • I plan to get up around 6:00 a.m. to complete any grad school work not yet done, then I need to go to the local lab to have blood drawn for some screenings (which I have to fast 12 hours before, by the way).
  • At 11:00 I will drive to Detroit for class, where I will be for three hours.
  • I will arrive home about 6:00 p.m. and at that point I will start grading their book reports.
  • Grades are due at noon on Monday, so I guarantee they will be returned that day.

It's going to be a long weekend. At least I hope it will be.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wake-Up Call

After work today I was doing a little end of the day organization: writing tomorrow's agenda on the board, grading a few little assignments, putting grades in the computer, figuring out what needed to go home with me. Among the papers I still need to grade are projects my computer classes completed earlier this week using Microsoft Publisher.

I really should get to those, I thought.

And then it dawned on me. The marking period ends tomorrow. Grades are due on Monday. But most frightening of all... tomorrow is the last day with my current computer classes. I get two whole new groups on Monday. If I'm going to be able to give the current kids back their projects and tell them their grades, it has to be tomorrow.

So those projects are my priority for tonight. That, in itself, is not really a big deal because they won't take all that long to grade. What is more startling is that we are already one-quarter of the way through the school year! How did that happen? It seems like just yesterday that I was being (unfairly) put on leave, but it actually was six whole months ago. Where has the time gone?

I sure hate to wish my life away, but considering that next summer I will actually be free to do whatever the hell I want, let's hope the next seven months go as fast as the last six have. Or, if I can't have that, at least let the next seven weeks (until grad school is done and it will be winter break) pass quickly enough for me to keep my sanity.

Two days down, twenty-eight to go.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blond vs. Blonde

Did you know there is a difference? I didn't until today.

My students were reading silently when one of then asked, "Ms. C? I thought that blond had an 'e' on the end?"

I thought for a second before replying, "I've seen it both ways, but I don't think there's a difference. Keep reading and I'll look it up."

So I got out the dictionary and here's what I found: The word "blond" refers to the color, whether it is of hair, wood, or whatever. "Blonde," however, refers only to a woman or a girl with blond hair. A man with blond hair is a blond (without the "e"), though. It even said that some consider the word "blonde" to be a sexist term and have dropped the "e" in all usages.

So, I am a blonde because I have blond hair. Guess it's true that you learn something new every day.

How's that for day one of NaBloPoMo?