Monday, January 29, 2007

Don't You Hate It When...

You throw your bedding in the washer when you get home from work and then forget about it until you go in to go to bed and remember it's still in the washer?

Yeah, me too.

Guess I'll be up for a while longer.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

There Are No Words... But I'll Try

Today was the baby shower.

Let me tell ya... it was surreal.

First of all, apparently A. and C. have never met each other's relatives outside of their immediate familes. Not altogether surprising when you consider that I don't even remember the last time I saw C. (it's been at least three years). But the look on A.'s face was priceless while she tried to piece together who was related to whom. Afterall, she was introduced to two of C.'s aunts today, both sisters with his mother, but not with eachother (that would be myself and Amy's* dad's other daughter). I almost laughed when A. said, "I see the resemblance," to Amy's stepmom (she only introduced herself as C.'s Grandma).

But even when you get past the tangled family tree (divorce, remarriage, and half-siblings will do that to you), it was still strange.

One event that struck me was when one of A.'s aunts said, "Congratulations," as she hugged A. I know... what else do you say when someone is expecting a baby? I guess there's something to be said for making the best of a bad situation, but it just seems out of place. "Congratulations on making your life more difficult." "Congratulations on your upcoming application to the welfare system."

Oh, and then there's my nephew. What a gem he is turning out to be. First... looks like the typical teenage boy with the baggy jeans sliding halfway down his ass. Second... so immature. I think his girlfriend has him beat on maturity level. As my mom cracked, "I wonder if she realizes that she's got two kids to raise now?" One classic moment included C. asking if the punch was spiked, to which I reminded him that, not only was it a baby shower, but that he is not yet of age. His reply was that his dad (also a gem) had told him when he turned 18 that he was close enough. Another was when something was said about how he didn't yet have a Playstation 3, but that would be his next toy. My sister told him he'd better get a better job if he wanted one. I mentioned that perhaps his priorities would be adjusted real soon.

I know that some of my snarkiness (term stolen from Pigs) comes from my own desire/inability to have a child, but somehow I feel that, even if I didn't want one of my own, I would still be able to see the idiocy in this situation. But then, if all the stupid and immature people stopped breeding, that would take away all my job security. Can't have that.

*as always... not her real name.

Added note: After I first posted this, I realized that readers might be lacking vital information. Such as the fact that my nephew's new probation officer forced him to move out of the girlfriend's house because she is only 16. He can move back in when she turns 17 in July (if you do the math, that means she got pregnant about a month before she turned 16). In the meantime, he is living with my mom and dad as they live only a couple miles away. He goes to work in morning, then to A.'s house until about 10:00 p.m., then back to Mom and Dad's to sleep. Hey, at least he does have a job. And he's almost done with his G.E.D.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

It's Official...

Finally, that is.

My degree posted to my transcript today. It only took over a month after the semester ended.

So I am officially a master. A master of what, you might ask? A Master of Library and Information Science.

Impressive, no?


Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Was Hoping This Would Be the Year Without One

On the way home from work today, I made a stop at a funeral home.

This time it wasn't a car accident, and it wasn't a current student, but it still makes me question so many things about the universe.

N. just graduated this past spring. On Sunday, she was out at a local sledding hill with some friends and family. She and her aunt slid down the hill on a tire innertube, it made an unexpected turn, and they hit a tree. Her aunt was not injured. N. sustained a spinal cord injury which steadily shut down her body. She died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. There was really nothing they could do for her.

N. and her twin sister T. were both in my class when they were freshmen four years ago. I remember both of them as being such nice, pleasant girls, good students, and active in music and sports.

I just don't understand why such a promising young woman is taken away when she's barely had a chance to get started in life. But I really can't imagine what life is going to be like now for T. Having a twin must be such a huge part of who she is... and now that twin is gone.

As I left the funeral home this afternoon, after having said goodbye to T. and their mother, another thought occured to me. Imagine how surreal it must be for T. to see someone who looks exactly like herself lying in the casket. On one hand, she must be somewhat used to having a mirror image, but that scene is the stuff of nightmares.

There are no answers. Only questions. And tears.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Caught Ya!

I've known this scene existed, but I've never been able to capture it. Ah, another advantage of the snow day.

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Everybody's Doing It

You can thank Girlfiend and Pigs for this one. Just call it a little snow day celebration (finally!).

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Oh, and it's absolutely accurate... so weird.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

The University Strikes Back

Sorry, but I've got to gripe.

As you know, one of the classes I took during my final semester of grad school was a practicum. The practicum is a requirement of the state of Michigan for the endorsement I added to my teacher certification. The practicum was always a pass/fail course. Until the semester I took it.

When I found this out on the first day of class, my immediate reaction was, "Crap! Now I'm going to have to put in more than minimal effort so that I can get an A." Well, as things turned out, it wasn't really all that hard to get an A for the practicum, and it is unlikely that I would have done work of any lesser quality had it still been a pass/fail course.

Fast forward to December when our instructor sends an e-mail relating the technical difficulties she is having with posting grades. She was able to get three people's grades' posted, but not the other eight of us. And, of course, the university department that she needed to help her with this issue would not be open again until January 2.

Finally, late last week, the issue was resolved. The problem was with the changeover from a pass/fail course to a graded course. The eight of us that she was not able to post grades for had registered for the class before it became a graded course, so the system would only accept pass/fail grades for us, which is why it wouldn't let her put in letter grades.

The good news is I finally have a grade for the class on my transcript and now they will be able to process my degree, post it on my transcript, and send me my diploma.

The bad news is that it says just "S" (pass) instead of the A that I earned. I feel kind of robbed.

I contacted my instructor to see if it is possible to change the S to an A, and she tried her best. She even got the director of the program on the case, but the university is adamant. I registered for a pass/fail course, so those are my only options for grades in it.

It's really not that big of a deal. It really doesn't affect much. There is the fact that, if I had the A I earned, it would have raised my GPA ever so slightly (3.95 to 3.96). But that's not a huge deal. It just seems that, if they knew they were going to change the practicum to a graded course, shouldn't it have been done before registration started? I'm just sayin'.


Thursday, January 04, 2007


Today I picked up the receiver for the digital cable I've decided to upgrade to. I came home, hooked it up, and low and behold... not only do I have all the channels I'm paying for, but also about twenty channels of HBO and Cinemax that I'm not.

I'm sure it's just a promo thing. They'll leave them on for a few days or a week before they turn them off, thinking that I'll get hooked and pay to have them back. Which is not going to happen. But in the meantime, I intend to enjoy them.

So if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know what happened.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I got an invitation to a baby shower today. I knew it was coming. I really should go, but it would require a trip to Mom and Dad's in a few weeks. But that's not the real reason I don't know if I want to go.

The shower is for my 19 year old nephew and his girlfriend.

That's right. A child whose diapers I used to change and who I babysat on a regular basis is having a baby before me.

It seemed weird when my neice started having children, but at least she is only four years younger than me. I was 13 when C. was born.

Yeah, I look at the positives of my situation over his. C. is a high school drop out who has served time in jail for forging checks from his mother's account. He is currently living with said girlfriend at her parents' house. I have no idea what his employment status is. He and his girlfriend are not going to have an easy time in life.

Whereas I have two degrees, a well-paying job, a nice car, my own home, and the world's best cat and dog. And yet, I lack the things that would really make life complete... no relationship... no children.

Honestly, I could live without the relationship. I've done it this long and I can see no reason why I couldn't be fairly happy without a man in my life. But the kids... I ache to have a child. I know the stigma of unwed motherhood is long past (and without a doubt gone from my own family), but I just don't know how it might be in my chosen profession. I know that my employer can't legally penalize me for having a child if I'm not married, but I also know the sneaky, back-stabbing administration that I work under. I can see them making life difficult for me.

And, while probably a third to half of my students were born outside a marriage (particularly considering the community) and won't see any issue with it, there are numerous "high and mighty" families as well that are likely to throw a fit. Again, I can't be legally penalized, but I could see it getting messy.

Oh, and I seem to be lacking a key ingredient. Of course, that can be purchased, but dealing with a teenager one day will likely be difficult enough. Dealing with a teenager who has no clue who Daddy is will probably be that much worse.

No answers here. As for the shower, I suppose if all else fails, I can always order a gift online and have it shipped.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2007! To start the new year, I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of our family. He is as yet unnamed (and likely to remain so as I rarely name inanimate objects), but please welcome our new television!

That's right, baby... 42" plasma. I had been looking at a 37" LCD, but the 42" was only $100 more, and, when compared side-by-side, I could see that it had a little sharper picture. And no, I didn't win the lottery or become otherwise independently wealthy... 18 months with no interest makes the dream possible.

Alright, I'm off to watch the Rose Bowl. Seeing as I hate those arrogant little bastards from Ann Arbor, the chant of the evening is "Go USC!"

PS--The fine gentlemen of ABC Sports wish you all the best for 2007.