Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oh, what the heck...

Yes, I already posted today, and therefore finished the NaBloPoMo thing in style. Yay, Me!!!

Sitting at home, waiting for AAA

Or rather, a tow truck summoned by my magical AAA+ membership. And a jump start.

The damn car wouldn't start today. The battery is not dead, it just stubbornly will not start. Grind away... no start.

I would have just taken the bus, except I need my car later, and I had just missed the bus.

I am not happy about this. I need to be at work today. My boss had to put out the new laser cutter lists, and he said that the line stretched all of the way back to the 2nd lab, which is, oh.... about 60 or so feet. Update! I measured. It was 90 feet long. The first person in line got here at 2:00 am.

I spent almost 10 minutes on hold with AAA, five minutes on other calls, and have waited over 30 minutes for them to get here. This was after 10 minutes of sitting in the car, willing it to start every few minutes.Update again: The magic AAA guy got to the house at 9:10, and had the car started by 9:14. I got to work just fine.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

One more day...

NaBloPoMo ends tomorrow. Barring any unfortunate disasters, I will have made it through the entire month, posting at least once a day. I may stay up until just after midnight, to make my post for tomorrow, just in case I am prevented from posting on the last day.

I hope I win one of the fantabulous prizes!!!!

Somewhat on the ragged edge...

I am coming down with a cold. It is very cold here today, and the last thing I want to do is drag my son out to religious ed. I want to stay at home.

Last night, my son talked me into watching a movie with him. We ended up using the computer in my room to play Christmas Vacation. He camped out on the floor, while I tried valiantly to stay awake. Finally, at 9, I made him get a shower and get to bed. I dozed off, and when I woke up at 10, he was still reading in bed. After I turned off his lights, he put the book down. I crawled under my covers, and didn't move until just about 6am, at which point I rolled over, and went back to sleep.

And now, I am tired again. There is something going around at work. It's called "The End of the Semester." Symptoms include headache, nausea, heartburn, fatigue, distraction, and irritibility when asked the same question by three people in less than three minutes (sorry, folks, I'm trying my best). I'm not the only person who has come down with this malady. The students are in panic mode, a feeling I remember all too well from my many years in undergrad and graduate school. You haven't lived panic until you have a three-year-old child who decides to eat nearly an entire bag of hershey's kisses, while you're in the shower, the day before your oral final in the toughest class in grad school. I was awake all night waiting for more puke, and for my mom to get there to pick him up and take him home - but I got 100% on that final. I ROCKED! And the chocolate was locked up for many years after...

The only cure to this will be the three weeks that we are closed for the semester break, with a big emphasis on the 5 vacation days I am going to use (I think we get the 25th and 26th..., and of course, the 1st).

I just have to make it through the next two and a half weeks...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Is 8:00 pm to early to go to bed?

I am very tired, and I have a cough. I am going to be a lazy bum and go to bed very early tonight. I only hope I don't wake up at 4:00 am again...

Nasty Clouds

Looking pretty bad outside right now... Very dark clouds just rolled in...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Lightning? Thunder? November? Iowa?

Yep, it's lightning and thundering.

And if I start to think that's weird, last year on November 12th*, we had a tornado outbreak that killed someone and nearly wiped a couple of towns off of the map (I was out of town, and had a hyperventilating moment myself, when it looked like the area of town where I live had been hit, but it turned out to be a mistake on the news). My lab monitors could see it from the lab, though.

So, it's not unheard of...

* Holy crap - there's a Wikipedia entry for it?

Ahhh!!!! Monday!!!!! Ahh!!!!!!!!!

I swear, today was so busy that it flashed by so fast that I barely felt the fact that I only had two hours of sleep.

Rather, two and a half.

I stayed up until midnight last night, hoping that I would be tired enough to go straight to sleep, and rest all night long.


Instead, I tossed and turned until nearly four, got up and went to the bathroom, then actually slept until the alarm went off at 6:30, right in the middle of this crazy dream I was having about work. Nightmare, actually.

When I got to work, it was apparent that the nightmare was real. The only times I sat down today were when I was emailing my boss summaries of the various things-that-went-wrong that I was working to fix, or if I was searching for a part online, or emailing my awesome lab monitors who are the reason I am going to be able to sleep tonight and the rest of the semester.

When I got home from work, I was going to take a quick nap before starting dinner. Instead, I emailed info to parents about our camp out, and then called my mom to see how she was doing. I just finished dinner, and realized that I had better post now, because when I get home later, I am going to fall into bed and not wake up until morning.

That's the plan, anyway.

This is one Monday that I am glad to see end.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I don't want it to be 10 o'clock on Sunday night...

Yep, I'm whining again. I just spent the last hour and a half addressing Christmas cards, and writing our holiday letter (first one ever, because we finally have stuff to talk about, and didn't get to spend much time with our family this year).

I keep thinking that if I left out that letter, I could get these cards in the mail by Wednesday, at the latest. I am writing the letter, though. I enjoy every one I get from family and friends, and I feel dumb just signing a card and sending it on.

I have to watch that the perfectionist monster inside of me doesn't take this too far. She already quit cleaning the closet, because she spent too long sorting old mail.

I thought I had conquered that personality quirk, but apparently it is resurging.

I have to go empty the dishwasher now, or I won't be able to sleep.

And I don't want this weekend to be over yet.

Same Sunday as the last

I feel like I am repeating the same Sunday, over and over again, every week.

I made menus, shopped for groceries, and finally got around to watching the episode of Battlestar Galactica from the 17th. I sorted through boxes in my room. I cleaned the bathroom.

Just about the same things I do every Sunday, lately.

Can't really think of anything I'd like to do differently today, though. I am all out of ideas. Just another boring person.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I took a nap this afternoon, because I didn't sleep well the last two nights at mom and dad's house. I meant to sleep for an hour, and instead, I slept for 2 and a half, and wasted an afternoon.

Now, I won't be able to sleep tonight.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Day after Thanksgiving

I have lots of things to do today. And I did not sleep well last night at all. I couldn't get warm. Right now my head hurts from lack of sleep.

I have to go up to the station to work on mom and dad's office computer. This computer decided awhile ago to forget quite a bit of what it knew about how my mom had the user account set up. This ought to be interesting. A wipe and reinstall isn't practical for several reasons, the main one being that the program they use to manage the shop has a one-time license, on a floppy. If you have to reinstall, you have to have them mail another floppy. Which is dumb. The other reason is that I really don't want to spend six hours today at the shop. Unfortunately, I think it is going to have to be done sooner rather than later. Windows. Yuck.

And that's just the start of it.

Lots of stuff going on today.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I can't believe how much I ate.

A phrase I am sure many, many Americans are saying today, as they look around at the remains of the Thanksgiving Feast.

My mom made us go around the table to say what we were thankful for. My sister, M, said, "Mashed potatoes and gravy." She's nineteen, and utterly serious about it (her favorite food ever!). My son said, "The Nintendo Wii." Which he doesn't have yet, and won't for awhile. I said, "Well, I was going to say my son, but since he thinks the Wii is more important than family..." Just kidding! I grabbed, him, hugged him, and said I was thankful for all of my family, but most of all for my son. My parents also said they were thankful for family.

And really, they are the thing in this world that I am most thankful for. No, everything is not perfect, but they have always been there for me.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Something you don't want to hear on Thanksgiving Day...

Found out this morning that my niece's birthday party is at my parents' house, tomorrow night. I have no gift yet, as her birthday isn't until December. I panicked, thinking I would have to fight the crowds tomorrow, day after Thanksgiving crowds.

Luckily, Wal-mart in Fort Dodge is actually open today. As much as I hate Wal-mart, they are saving my ass from being the bad aunt who forgets to buy birthday presents. Of course, I only found out this morning that the party was tomorrow, but still...

Pumpkin pie is in the oven now, and when it is done, I am hauling ass to Fort Dodge (about a 30 minute drive, just about as long as it takes me to get from my house to our Wal-mart in Ames...).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Today was a long day. I am watching a movie with my dad and my son, and all is fairly right in the world. My son is introducing my dad to Battlestar Galactica, via the miniseries, and my dad has not yet fallen asleep. Which means he must like it. :)

In any case, we have a long day tomorrow. The guys are going to put up the outside Christmas lights, while mom and I prepare Thanksgiving dinner, and decorate the house for Christmas (the Tour of Homes). Should be a lot of fun!

Due to sickness, just a few of us will be getting together this year. My sister and her family have the stomach flu, and my other sister and her family are at her husband's mom's house. Small, quiet, Thanksgiving dinner.

And believe it or not, I wish it were otherwise.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Have you ever had the feeling that you've forgotten something?

Of course you have. We've all done it.

Now, imagine that you just got off of work, and waited 20 minutes for your son after school, and you have another errand to run, then are planning on calling your sister, and making a huge dinner.

Now, imagine that you've suddenly been reminded by your son that he has a band concert tonight.

Big. Screeching. Halt.

So, in less than 30 minutes, we have to leave. Thank goodness I found chicken nuggents and french fries in the freezer. They'll be ready shortly.

And thanks to FlyLady, I have clean dress clothes for both of us in our closets. No running around hunting for something to wear. It's clean, and in two minutes, my son's dress shirt will be ironed, and ready to wear. I also had time to write this post. :)

I just wish I had looked at the calendar this morning... Oh well, that's my project for December...

Monday, November 20, 2006

I think I would be in a better mood tonight...

if only I could get a nap in before my meeting.

I am exhausted. Sleepy. Been like that all weekend, and all today. I was going to make a nice dinner tonight, but instead, my son is having mac-n-cheese, and I am going to take a nap.

And after my meeting, I am going to go buy new pillows for my bed, because I think that may be part of my problem.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Tree is Up!

Now I can focus on having fun, instead of worrying all week about how long it would take to put the tree up.

Looks good, too!


I have a lot to do today. My list takes up two pages. The list is a Master List, however, as it lists everything I want to do to the apartment, not just what I want to do this weekend. I got one thing, nearly two, crossed off of my list yesterday before I went to my sister's house.

I've already started the laundry. I want to invent something that will do laundry for me as it gets dirty. As in, you get undressed at night, throw your clothes into a machine that sorts it via RFID tags, washes it appropriately, dries it if it can be dried, and pops it out neatly folded or on a hanger as needed. Then, when you wake up in the morning, you'd be able to put away the clothes, and throw your p.j.s in the machine, and have a continuous supply of clean clothes. You'd never have to worry about if your favorite jeans are clean.

Yes, I am that lazy.

And it would have to be cheap, so that people without a lot of money could afford it, too. That's the problem with good, time-saving devices. The people who don't have a lot of money, and who probably need it the most, never get access to the machines that would save them time and money.

Okay, enough of the time-wasting writing about laundry. I've got a few minutes left on my washing machines. I'm going to go dust the house.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fun afternoon!

I ended up going to my sister's house this afternoon. I helped her bring her Christmas decorations up from the basement, while my son played with my nephew. When her husband got home, we went to Hobby Lobby, so she could get a new Christmas tree (a pre-lit one).

When we got it back to her house, we set up the tree, plugged it in, and started trimming the tree. When we had finished, it was gorgeous, and we had spent much less time than if we had needed to put lights on it ourselves.

I want a pre-lit tree now, :).

I decided that I am going to try to get ours set up tomorrow, even though I normally wait until after Thanksgiving. I have never set up the tree this early, but I think that I am in need of a little more Christmas cheer this year. I have quite a bit of work I want to get done on the apartment before I start decorating for the holidays, so I may not get to the tree tomorrow. I am going to try, though.

I really like the tree I bought last year, though, and am not going to replace it anytime soon. Although some of those decorations have to go...

Our Lovely Tree

Off to a slow start...

Last night, after we got home from the LAN party, I had a terrible time trying to get to sleep. I was wide awake all of a sudden, which makes no sense, since I was nodding off at the party while I was talking to people (sorry, about that!).

When I cawled into bed, I couldn't get warm, despite my sheet, quilt, and the throw I put on top of the quilt. I had the heat on, but I just couldn't get warm enough to sleep for a long time. I think it was about 2:30 when I finally felt comfortable.

This morning, the phone rang at 9:30. It was a my mom, asking if I had just gotten up (yep), and if I could call our Target store to see if they had any boxes of a particular type of icicle light that she needed to decorate the house. The store in Fort Dodge did not get any. Turns out, when I called our store, they didn't have any either. They told me which stores in the area did have some, but they didn't have enough in stock to gaurantee that I would be able to get enough boxes by the time I got there.

After I finished all of that, I contemplated getting ready for the day. I don't have anything to do this weekend. I will probably clean out the closet (an ongoing project), and do laundry. But all I want to do right now is sit around in my p.j.s, enjoying the luxury of a day with no resposibilities outside of the home.

It's cold outside, and the thought of curling up on the couch with a good book is almost irresistable...

I'm sure I'll be bored by noon...

Friday, November 17, 2006

I'll bet you all thought I wouldn't make it...

It was close. We just got home, got the computers inside, and things squared away. The LAN party tonight was really fun! The kids enjoyed themselves, ate lots of pizza and snacks. No one wanted to leave, but at 11:10, I made them start to clean up the scout room.

I would have posted earlier, and in fact started to post, but the wireless network from Cafe Diem was flaky, even on the sidewalk just steps away from the door. i could have gone in and used it long enough to post, but that would've been too desperate.

In any case, here is a post. Enjoy! I'll talk to you more tomorrow...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Today was good.

I'd say it was head and shoulders above just about every day I have had for the last couple of weeks. :)

Priceless Campus Moment...

As I was leaving work, the marching band was practicing on the field
outside of my building. It always gives me a lift, and I try to see if
I can recognize the song in the few short minutes it takes to walk to
my car.

Today, I was having a problem figuring it out right away. It had a catchy melody, and sounded like it was from a musical. Then it hit me. What would Brian Boytano do?

They were playing a medley of songs from "The South Park Movie"!

I am going to be so sad when it is no longer marching band season...

Up too late...

Can't sleep.

I went shopping this evening, while my son was in religious ed. I bought myself a new scarf, hat and gloves, since I was still wearing my navy blue scarf with my black pea coat, and my mittens had gone AWOL. Very cute! Nice and warm, too. :)

I bought my Christmas cards, stationary, and two strands of beaded garland for the tree. The garland is very nice, dark red "cranberry" beads, with wooden buttons in sage and ivory. I am going to sand it down a bit, as it looks too perfect right now. I want to make it fit in more with my current bead garland.

I am going to try to write a Christmas letter this year. I love to get holiday letters from old friends, and I always feel like a grinch for sending a card with just signatures. We'll see how this goes.

Okay, I have to at least try to get some sleep tonight. It's getting cold in here, too.

'Night all!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I can tell how my day is going to go

by the number of red lights I hit on the way to work.

This morning I hit every one.

My back started to hurt around 2:30, and it hasn't stopped. I ate my lunch huddled in the back storage room, reading Trainwrecks, because it helps put my life into perspective.

Things could actually be worse. I could be married to an alcoholic who beats me while telling me that he loves me. I could have five kids instead of one, and be the type of SAHM (stay at home mom) who makes my own feminine supplies, and breastfeeds her kids until they are seven (eeeewwwww). I could be the mommyblogger who flips out when someone tells her something that finally makes her face the facts that exploiting your kids for donations is wrong.

Instead, I am me.

My trainwrecks have more to do with uncooperative equipment at work. Things that have worked fine all semester, that suddenly decide to die in rather dramatic ways.

I could go on about all of that, but to tell you the truth, it is boring and frustrating. I ate my lunch sitting in the back room today. Not fun. I just hope it doesn't become a pattern. It's cold and uncomfortable back there, after all.

A couple of years ago, the only way I got through that "end of the sememster" was to watch A Christmas Story every single night. I may have to start doing that again...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

You win some, you lose some...

So yesterday, I had a multitude of problems to deal with. I was pretty busy until around nearly 4:00, but I managed to fix everything, even if I did go to lunch an hour and a half late. In the old days, I would have just skipped lunch, and ended up in a foul mood, feeling sorry for myself.

FlyLady calls this "Stinkin' Thinkin'."

Today, I was busy from the moment I stepped in the door, until around 3:30, when I finally got the wide scanner to stitch and calibrate. Again, most problems were solved, with only one that remains a puzzle (but I think that one is hardware related).

Again, I made sure that I left the building for lunch, because it is a way to keep myself on track. I used to think that I needed to be the workaholic who never eats, sleeps, or has a life. Now I know how destructive those ideas were, and how they made me a grouch who wasn't eating right, sleeping right, or having any fun whatsoever.

I am trying really hard not to slip back into that...

I have been feeling sorry for myself lately, again. The busiest time of the year is right around the corner, and has been, for the last few years, a nightmare for me. I started dreading it the moment the Christmas decorations arrived in stores. This morning, my boss and I met to come up with a plan for the last three weeks of the semester. We offer 24-hour labs during part of that, and we decided to cut back the number of days of this to HALF of what we had been doing.


Yes, I'll still work extra hours, but for only five days instead of ten. That is a more comfortable level. Less stress. Whew. More of a chance to actually enjoy the holidays.

So, the "feeling-sorry-for-poor-little-me" is over. I am going to pull myself out of my funk, break my iron-clad rule of no-Christmas-decorating-before-Thanksgiving, and start getting ready for the holidays.

Because for once, I might actually enjoy them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another busy Monday

I am brain fried right now. I have stuff to do tonight that is not going to be done well. I am sneezy and achy, and would like nothing more than to go to sleep and wake up in twelve hours. Not an option, so I am muddling through.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday evening...

My son is doing his homework at the kitchen table. He is being very careful to make certain that he does ALL of it, and that it gets in the right folder, so he has it when he needs it tomorrow.

I am in my room, reading weird crap on the internets, and running to the bathroom every five minutes or so. In another 20 minutes or so, I will probably be down about 20 pounds. TMI, yes, I know. But such is life... I am not feeling all that particularly bad, so I am assuming this is from something I ate.

Gross thing that happened today at the grocery store: I picked up a jar of green olives, and while I was testing the top seal, I noticed it had MOLD inside of it!!!!! Yeeuuuucccckkkkk! I put it on the shelf at eye level, and carefully picked out another, non-moldy jar.

I hate going grocery shopping on a Sunday late afternoon. Lots of college kids, and people who have forgotten some crucial piece of the dinner puzzle. The only reason I was there that late was because I was on my way back from trying to rescue the lens to laser cutter 2 (looks like it is really messed up this time - black melted area in the center), and it took longer than I had expected.

At least it is cold enough out that the guys wearing violently sexist t-shirts now have them covered up. I have often wished for a camera phone, and their mothers' phone numbers... Not even funny guys...

In any case, Sunday was a boring follow-up to yesterday. But then, there is no easy way to top yesterday's news! Seven months until my next niece or nephew is born!!!

Boring Sunday

... waiting to see if the 10 yards of black satin or taffeta or whatever synthetic it is survives it's trip through the wash and dryer (low heat).

This material was stiff enough that when I slid the cardboard bolt out of it, it held it's shape and was stiff enough that it didn't drape over my arm. Yikes. I had a heck of a time shoving it into the washing machine. It wasn't that there was too much material, just that it is really stiff. I was hoping that washing it would help, but it was still pretty stiff when I pulled it out of the wash.

I am hoping that it will get softer after a trip through the dryer. As it is right now, it's pretty unuseable. This was an impluse buy that I should have left at the store.

In about seven minutes I'll know if it is useable...

Update: It's useable, but I don't like it. It's cheap looking, and just not good. Luckily it came from the $1/yard table at Wal-mart, so I am not out much. Maybe I'll find a use for it, or give it to someone who needs it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Oh. My. God!!!!!!!!

When my two-year-old nephew sat down to open his gifts, we knew that it was going to be interesting. He opened one gift, then ran to the kitchen, and was herded back to his mother. We couldn't keep him on task.

He opened the second gift, and discovered a Cars coloring book, and immediately wanted to color. There was a t-shirt in with the coloring book, and my sister kept trying to get him to hold it up. Finally, he sat on her lap and held up the shirt. My mom read it aloud to us:

"I'm the big brother!"

and started screaming! A second later, as it sunk in, we all were! I'm going to be an aunt again!!!! K thinks it's a girl this time, because she is sicker, and craving different foods. I just hope that mom and baby are healthy throughout.

And we may have to reschedule that canoeing trip in June... :)

Blue Skies Cold

Ice on the ground where the snow melted yesterday...

Busy day today. I am waiting for clothes to dry, and cleaning house. My nephew's birthday party is this afternoon! Yay! When I called last night, I could hear him saying something in the background. Kim said he had been saying "Nemo cake!!!" constantly since they picked it up from the store. :)

Even though it is cold out, it looks beautiful. Snow on the rooftops and grassy areas. Very pretty! We broke down and turned on the heat last night, because even though it read 75°F on the thermostat, it was not even close to that in the bedrooms. My nephew apparently did not care for the snow too much yesterday. My sister put a bit in his hand, and he did not know what to think.

The twelve-year-old played out in the snow for about an hour last night. Big snowman, then hacked it apart with a plastic sword. Yeah. You can't tell he's a boy or anything...

Anyway, I can't wait to see my family! Nemo cake!!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ya know what?

There are a lot of people out here on the Internets who are just plain Cray. Ze.

That's okay, because it is very entertaining to see the Cray-ze in action.

Pre-Internets, Tubes-thingy, you had to hide your Cray-ze if you wanted to be an acceptable part of society. Now-a-days, you can let it all hang out, and end up a YouTube Celeb with just one Cray-ze dance video, or doing something stoopid. Or whatever.

I happen to love that type of Cray-ze. It makes me feel almost normal.

I didn't know anything about some of the Cray-ze until I've been reading recently. Do you know that there are places on the Internets where people actually ask if it is okay if you did cocaine during the first month of your pregnancy? And people respond with "Oh, it shouldn't matter, 'cause the baby's all protected and shit." Or "I did crack and meth, and had three miscarriages when I was 12, 12, and 13, and then two babies born at low birth weight, and I did crack and meth all throo and they turned out fine." WTF????

People like this exist in our world folks. And they reproduce.


I am off in search of more Cray-ze. Too addictive...

This post brought to you by Smirnoff Ice Raspberry, because it's so much more civilized than Rolling Rock...


Did not have to help with popcorn after all!!!

Busy Day, and it SNOWED!

My back is aching, as are my legs and arms. I worked really hard today at work, and was looking forward to putting my feet up, and dozing off on the couch while waiting for BattleStar Galactica to start.

And then I remembered that we promised to help unload and sort popcorn tonight. I am not sure what time we need to be there. One kid sold over $400 worth of popcorn, and two more sold about $140 (mine included). Big orders. And my back already hurts. :(

Oh well...

The big news is: We got our first snow of the season! Huge fluffy flakes. Okay, it can stop being winter now...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Me? Run out of things to say?

You're kidding, right?

But seriously, folks...

I could make this into a post about the new mint chocolate M&Ms that I am eating while typing this really easily. I could go on and on about their minty goodness, the pretty red, green, and white candy shells... sigh... yummy...

However, the fact that I am actually getting traffic from this NaBloPoMo thing means that I feel I must raise the level of quality in my posts.

So, let's examine a perfectly normal Geek Girl post:

Tonight after work I:
1. Emptied the dishwasher
2. Made Garlic Lime Chicken, with wild rice and green beans for dinner.
3. Made a horrible mess
4. Ate dinner. Yum!
5. Cleaned up dinner mess.
6. Ate mint chocolate M&Ms while checking email and writing a blog post about mint chocolate M&Ms.
7. Got sick from eating too many mint chocolate M&Ms.
8. We're going to the library.

This, folks, is my life. And I should probably add laundry to that list, since I always need to do laundry...

Back to the minty goodness...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Smell of burning leaves...

It reminds me of autumn, back when I still lived at home with my parents.

I can smell it through my open windows now. Today was gorgeous, so all of the windows are wide open.

Unfortunately, I have asthma now, and a cold. This means the windows are going to get closed, because I just can't take it anymore.

McDonalds was not such a great idea after all...

On a whim, I decided that a double cheeseburger and fries would be mighty tasty for lunch today.

One of the two has decided to rebel in my stomach.

Not a good afternoon in store for me...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I have one grooouuunnded kid...

Common theme in the comments sections during conferences this evening:

"Good student, intelligent, gets along well with others, problem with late work, and work not getting turned in."


Every single day, I ask the moment he gets home: "Do you have any homework?" Yes. "Get started on it right away." I always ask if homework is done. I almost always get a "yes!" and if not, he sits down and does it.

So where is this homework black hole?

Partial culprit: His locker.

We are going to work on this. We cleaned it out immediately following the conference. We bought folders that will fit in his binder. We are buying other items when I have time to get to the dreaded Wal-Mart, because Target didn't have what we needed.

Limited TV will be the ongoing mantra...

Election Day so far...

I voted over my lunch hour. I arrived at my polling place, and was greeted by a very nice lady who handed me my voter check-in form. I had to write in my name, address, date of birth, and sign it. I was directed to the appropriate line, where I was checked in by another sweet older lady, and then asked if I wanted the paper or electronic ballot.

Obviously, I chose paper. They only had one electronic voting machine, and four booth for paper ballots. I ended up having a wait about five or so minutes for an empty booth, even though I was the only one waiting. Finally, the very enthusiastic guy who shouts the name of the next person shouted mine (he had politely asked how it was pronounced).

I filled out my ballot very carefully. I finished, and popped over to the scantron machine, and fed my ballot into the machine. The count went up by one, so it was accepted. Yippee!!!

I always feel so productive when I vote!

Tonight, after parent-teacher conferences, I am going to curl up on the couch with popcorn, and something alcoholic, and watch our election coverage. I may watch FoxNews for a change, just to watch the anchors sweat.

Is it rigged? I dunno. I just want this country to get whipped back into shape by a responsible congress. There's a dang good chance the Dems are getting the majority in the House, and that's according to republicans, too (although the republicans are downplaying this by saying that it will be a weak victory - the dems will win by only 15-25 seats, according to them. Only.). It would be nice if we won the Senate also, but that's too close to call.

I think the years of keeping my Democratic party affiliations a secret from my family are starting to get to me. I want to just shout out "OMFG, Take back the Goverment!!!!"

BTW, HBO's Hacking the Vote ended up on YouTube. The footage from Ohio is heartbreaking. All of those determined citizens, of both parties, standing in the November rain for up to seven hours to exercise their right to vote. Mothers with their children, the elderly. One voting machine for 3000 registered voters... How many minutes in an hour, how many hours were they opened... 900 minutes. If they were opened for 15 hours, that's 900 minutes total opened. Simple math...

Eek! Gotta go! I'll add that link to the documentary when I get back.

If you are an American citizen - Vote!

TG for Ricola...

Found the last three Ricola Honey and Herb throat drops in my purse. Sore throat again.

I did not let it keep me from voting, though! (even though they forgot to give me my "I Voted!" sticker... :( ). I was voter #318 at a little after noon.

Ahh..... honey and herb....

Monday, November 06, 2006

8:52 pm

(Dumb political telemarketers just called again... going on about that one time, when someone's husband's hired hand treated their animals badly, and even though the hired guy was fired immediately, we are going to bring it up again and again, even though it happened 20 years ago, because we can't find any other dirt on her... /end rant)

We had an interesting evening. A youth group that I volunteer with took a tour of the county jail facilities. It was very interesting. The kids learned how the cops process the jail inmates, and we saw a taser, and this riot shield that had built-in shock capabilities.

We did not, however, get to get our fingerprints and mugshots taken. Unfortunately, that area was in use as we arrived, and the guy had looked pretty embarrassed as we filed past. Maybe it will deter him from a repeat offense.

The most disturbing thing that we heard though, was how many of the homeless and poor commit small crimes in order to find a place to stay for the winter, or to get their medical needs taken care of.

And then the tour got cut short when the guy in charge got an urgent phone call. Probably for the best, as I am sure we did not want to be around when whatever that call was about showed up...

Big toss up as to which hurts worse:

Getting blood drawn, and the attending aftermath of achy arm, or taking off the industrial strength band-aid aftewards.

Two nice, even areas with very little skin left surrounding my ouchy needle mark.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Political Phone Spam

Can I sue the Republicans for telemarketing calls? I mean, the whole point on being on the National Do Not Call list is to avoid having my weekend afternoon naps interrupted. The only exceptions are supposed to be those companies with whom you have a prior affiliation. I have never registered as a Republican. I will not register as a Republican. So why do I have all of these Republican candidates, and Laura Bush calling me?

If there were real people on the other end, this could have been entertaining. Unfortunately, they were prerecorded. Too bad, as I wanted to ask a few questions.

I also wanted to tell them that calling registered Democrats was a waste of time. Call the independents. Same for Democrats calling Republicans, in most years except this and the next election year. Awful lot of Republicans saying they are undecided in the polls...

Long and short of it is this: my mind is made up. Was made up long ago. This isn't to say that I won't listen politely when the message is polite and logical. I just prefer to draw my own conclusions.

You should do the same.

It's Nov. 5, and we all know what that means...

Christmas is just a few short weeks away!!!

And if you somehow managed to forget that, just walk into any store, and you will be pushed, kicking and screaming, into the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks, and I got all excited, thinking about party planning (not to mention the food). I found the cutest paper plates on sale - except I am not having a Thanksgiving party, so I didn't buy them. I will go to Thanksgiving parties, but because I don't have a big enough place, I won't be hosting any. That I am aware of right now. So this means that the handy-dandy FlyLady Holiday Control Journal sections on planning for your big holiday party can be crossed off. Cause I'm not having one.

So, I am focusing on holiday planning in the sense that I am checking my gift-wrapping supplies, and thinking about what weekends I have free, and when I can start my holiday baking. I had to stop myself from buying Christmas tree decorations yesterday, even though I found a bunch that I loved. I will wait until they go on sale, because honestly, there are more than six weeks until Christmas. They will go on sale. Anticipation will make it more fun.

I honestly wish they would wait until after Thanksgiving to put out all of the Christmas decorations. It would make it more fun. By the time Christmas rolls around, I just get sick of seeing it everywhere. January 1st rolls around, and the only thought in my head, is "Happy New Year! Let's take the Christmas Tree down!"

To Do List

1. Sort Laundry
2. Clean out kitchen drawers
3. Make breakfast (and eat)
4. Clean toilet
5. Clean tub
6. Start Laundry
7. Dust
8. Vacuum
9. Clean ceiling fan
10. Sweep and mop kitchen and bathroom floors

I think ten "To-Do's" on Sunday are more than enough.

update: I cleaned the stove instead of the last five things on my list. Plus I had to go into work to fix something that ended up being not fixable. Now I am relaxing with a Smirnoff Raspberry.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Battlestar Galactica was excellent again last night. Lots of emotional conflict... We find out that the remaining five cylon models are a subject not spoken among the seven models we've seen to date. We also meet the Hybrids, which are for all intents and purposes, the Baystars.

It will be very interesting to see what happens next...

I feel pretty stupid this morning

I thought about removing that last post about a million times last night. But I kept it, because I think what I have been feeling is fairly common for women my age, at one point or another.

"This too shall pass."

I am going to go make a big breakfast, and get to work (I tossed and cleaned for 30 minutes last night before bed, and it made me feel tons better!).

Friday, November 03, 2006

Not good enough

I have been struggling with this feeling lately.

For years and years and years, I have been okay with my life. I never once felt like I was less than anyone else. Sure, I may have had the odd moment when I wanted something I knew I could not afford, but for the most part, I have been happy with what I have.

Lately though, it seems like I just can't be content with what I have. I see other women, and wonder why I can't be prettier, thinner, more confident. That little green monster called Envy is starting to make me not content with what I have, is making me feel bad about myself for not having a new car, not owning a house, not having the 2.5 kids, or the million women friends in town to have coffee with. I don't watch much TV anymore, because I can't stand to see everything I don't have.

I have been trying to remind myself of what I DO have: I have everything I need, even if I don't have everything I want. We have a roof over our heads, a car that still has a few good miles in it, lots of family, clothes to wear, enough to eat, and enough for a few extras. I have casual friends, several good friends to email, and a hobby that makes me feel good about myself while spending time with great people. I get to help students in a positive manner, even if it sometimes feels like I am talking to myself. I have a son whom I love so much it scares me.

I am lucky beyond all reason to have what I have.

But that doesn't change what I see in some people's faces. These people do not know me. They see the older car, they hear we live in an apartment and not our own home, they see an empty ring finger on my left hand, and that friendly conversation with another school parent is pretty much over until the next open house or parents night forces us all together.

This never used to bother me.

But right now, on a Friday night, with another empty weekend ahead of me, I want to fold up. Instead, I am going to watch Battlestar Galactica in 7 minutes, and finalize my weekend plans, all of which include laundry, cleaning, and throwing away everything I hate. I am going to have fun with this!

I am going to have my iPod Shuffle (the original, purchased two years ago for my birthday) glued to my ears, and will listen to music non-stop while tearing apart the apartment. I will force myself into a better mood. When the cleaning is done, I am going to make myself a new court gown. It is going to have tons of hand detailing, with the goal to keep myself so busy that I don't have time to feel sorry for myself, and will have something gorgeous to wear next year to the faire.

This is a temporary state, and I am not going to let envy destroy me.

Two things that aren't fair:

1. Getting a migraine on a Friday.


2. Getting heartburn right as you are making a big yummy pot of chili. Making, not having already eaten.

So not fair...

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I'm on my way home from work, listening to the radio, when Bon Jovi's Dead or Alive comes on the radio. At first, I'm singing along, rockin' out, and then about 20 seconds in I realize that this isn't Bon Jovi...


It's some pretentious fucking remake that made me physically ill. It's almost, but not quite, Bon Jovi. It's Cheap Knock-off Bon Jovi. It's a bastardization of everything that hair bands stand for. Sellin' out to the Man! It's like some crappy cover band in high school that the girls screamed over (not you, Travis and Chad (and Andy?), because you guys actually did rock, and were worth screaming over, and you were CUTE! and could actually SING!).

So now that I feel incredibly old, because someone thought they could improve on Bon Jovi, I am going to watch the rest of VH1's 100 Best 80's songs tonight.

But, for the Love of God, if someone tries to remake "Doctor Feelgood" I'll just go buy my spot in the fucking retirement home right now...

Just when I had congratulated myself on avoiding dwelling on a certain anniversary...

This is in my inbox this morning:

Ceremony honors '91 victims

T. Anne Cleary, 1935-91. Dwight Nicholson, 1947-91. Christoph Goertz, 1944-91. Robert Smith, 1946-91. Chin Lin-hua, 1964-91.

On Nov. 1, 1991, the UI campus was rocked with a tragedy so inexplicable and horrendous that, 15 years later, many close to these victims still find it difficult to talk about the acts and their devastating consequences.

But friends and colleagues of those killed in a string of shootings in Van Allen Hall and Jessup Hall 15 years ago nonetheless spoke before a crowd of more than 50 Wednesday afternoon on the T. Anne Cleary Walkway.

They honored the lives and achievements of the three slain UI faculty members (Goertz, Nicholson, and Smith), a slain UI researcher (Chin), a slain UI administrator (Cleary), and one wounded student, Miya Rodolfo-Sioson, now paralyzed from the neck down, who were shot by Gang Lu, a disgruntled former graduate student, on that infamous November day.

On that Friday, I was sitting in the Physics Library, working behind the desk, and reading a textbook. I heard sharp metallic sounds, like someone hitting something metal with a hammer. I sat for a moment, and then went into the hall to see what was going on. A professor, Dr. Onel, was standing out in the hall, coffee cup forgotten, and spilling coffee on the ground. He told me there had been a shooting, and to get back in the library and lock the doors.

That was the moment my life changed.

I could go on about all of the little details of that late afternoon and evening. How we waited in the library, how we could see through the old entrance, the police, the room, how we huddled out in the sleet and snow later, waiting to hear who it was. How I had to leave all of my books on the desk, and grabbed only my purse, my coat and keys. How I cried when certain friends finally appeared out of the building. How I had to give a statement, how alone I felt.

But what I really want to do, is what I did yesterday: Think about it for a moment, then put it back in its box. Something terrible happened. But all of life is a series of good and terrible. I prefer to dwell on the good.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NaBloPoMo Post #1

Hey folks! It's November 1st, and this is the very first post I am making during NaBloPoMo! I am sure that I will be posting more than once today, but this is just to let people know that even though I am not yet listed on the NaBloPoMo web site, I am indeed participating.

So, get ready for even more inane posts, as I struggle to come up with something more meaningful than how I couldn't find my toenail clippers a minute ago, or how the laundry didn't get done because I was lazy on Sunday afternoon, or how my son ate peanut butter toast for dinner tonight, because that is what he wanted ("It reminds me of my childhood..." he said. ???)

I am going to eat my leftovers, then go see my nephew!!!

Go NaBloPoMo!!!