Monday, September 29, 2008


So today, a student who I had in the first semester comp course a couple of semester ago, who is in my second semester class this time, came by all happy because he had made such a good grade on an essay which he ROCKED. It was so nice to see the energy and light on his face. And honestly, he really worked hard to get that good grade and it SHOWED. It was the best of all 75 papers I graded this week, and the best reading of that particular story I've seen, probably ever. I was waaaay impressed, and said paper will join my stack of "examples of students who rock" for future classes. They probably won't believe it was a real student, it's written so well.

And it just really was cool to see how happy he was, how much he enjoyed the paper and doing well, and how he could very well be someone who, if in a class with a prof who didn't "get" him, wouldn't do as well. On the whole, in the past, he has tended to over write his essays and he really worked hard to fix that. I was soooo happy to see him. So that feels great.

Then I got stuff done that I've been trying to do for weeks. Cleared out about half of my inbox for email (something really hard to catch up on, too). Picked up kids and we went for a ride and then had a good dinner and now they're vegging out with Winnie the Pooh while I look to see what movies are shooting in Shreveport.

Apparently, the horrible traffic we got stuck in was the result of a movie that's filming here with Edward Norton called Leaves of Grass. It makes me wonder if it has anything at all to do with the Walt Whitman poem, but given the car and traffic issue, I suspect it doesn't. But it was still super cool! We saw this car on the bridge and it was literally on its back end, standing straight in the air. I thought "holy crap how did someone manage to do that?!" Well, apparently, it was the movie set! Cool. It makes sitting in that ridiculous traffic jam a little bit less of a pain in the butt. We got to daydream about buying and restoring these really cool industrial loft-style buildings that are near the freeway. They're these cool brick buildings and they'd make really cool places, but they'd cost TWO arms and two legs. But it's a nice daydream. We also drove past the other movie shooting here, accidentally, on the way home. It's a Bruce Willis directed (I don't know if he's acting in it) movie, and it's really fun to see those things. Shreveport doesn't have a million of those like some big cities and so I find it very interesting when it happens. It's not that I'm starstruck (although I think I once saw Jack Black at Target... and didn't say hi because I just thought "Hey, that dude looks just like Jack Black".... never entered my mind it might BE him). But it's just kind of fun.

And I had the chance to possibly have our house used in a location filming for the movie Queen Sized about a year ago. It was in the middle of a crazy time in our lives and I didn't pursue the "note on the door" scouting us. But I kind of wish I had! Maybe we'll get another chance one day.

Anyway. This has turned into a fangirl rant and I gotta get over it. Maia wants to know "what I'm doin?" Writing, sweetie. And now, hugging you. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the 80s strike back?

So I decided, without any regrets, to not go to the (gasp cough) 20 high school reunion that was this past summer. Today, though, I was dragged by one of those clever damned "" banners back into the 80s.

I found out that there was a website for the '88 reunion and spent a bit of time today lurking there. I saw a few people's pictures who I remember, but for the most part, the person who was in charge of the reunion and I didn't really know each other. I remember her, and I think I may have had a class with her, but very few of the pictures on the site had "my group" in it. But that's okay.

cute kid. wonder who she is?On looking at the pictures from the yearbook that they have posted on the page, I am actually pretty pleased with my hair. It really could have been embarrassing-- after all, it was the late 80s and the bigger the better. I think I went for nicely timeless. Cute little bob and restrained makeup. And gigantic hoop earrings, but hey that's my inner gypsy. Aussie Sprunch spray and the reek of cigarettes still brings me back to the girls' bathroom at lunchtime.

I dunno. I may decide to go to the next one, just because I think I'm lookin' pretty good. OOOH, and on a "ha ha ha ha" note, two people who were NOT nice to me during my high school years had pictures up there and they are NOT looking good for the 20 years. Hee hee. I know that's mean, but they were the type of person who made my life a living hell just for the fun of it and therefore, I feel good about feeling glad they aren't perfect. And not nearly as cool as me. Mwah hahahahahaha. I know I know. I should be nicer. But so should they have been. Karma and all. I'm willing to bet my karma for being glad they don't look great doesn't even come close to the way they treated me.

Anyhoo. Nostalgia-- it will strike when you aren't expecting it. Be warned.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sixteen Candles Bunny

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

100 Things About Me

I think I'm going to do this one post at a time for a while. Maybe I won't really do 100. I've done this list before on other blogs, but I am trying to think of content that might be interesting without being too damned controversial. :)


Today's thing about me:

I am totally and irrefutably addicted. To pistachios. I have a real problem with it, actually. I need a 12 step program because I get the damned shells all over the place, and they get stuck in my teeth, but when I don't have the big giant 5 pound bad of them from Sam's, I get all jittery and think about them all the time.

I know. It's kind of weird. But they're SO tasty!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

In The Pink

I've been wearing a lot of pink lately. Today's outift is a light pink skirt with these really cute scalloped ribbons all down it and a choclate brown t-shirt with pink and white turtle doves kissing under a heart.

Chalk all this pink up, perhaps, to the mood I was in when I went shopping for my "Fall wardrobe" or chalk it up to an optimistic feeling that comes and goes... but nevertheless, I'm enjoying my rosy wardrobe. There have certainly been many black outfits in my life at times but I have some light and bright pinks that just make me happy right now. One of my co-workers, the newhire from last year who teaches Milton, noted an all pink outfit early in the semester and said it "worked." I tell those who ask that I buy a lot of my clothes at this wonderful Goodwill "smart shoppe" in town (it's truly smart in that the shoppe ends in that extra pe, you know). So not only are they cute clothes, they cost me a fraction of the original price (and some of them end up coming with the original tags on them, like the skirt I'm wearing today!) But in spite of the compliments, I don't think other folks have ventured into my little fashion secret hideout. I like it because it's thrifty, yes, but I also like the "reuse, recycle" element of it. :) So. 100 bucks bought me enough new clothes just before the semester started (about three weeks ago) to have still new stuff sprinkling the daily look. Super awesome, in my humble book.

I sort of like to imagine I feel like Molly Ringwald's character in (you guessed it) Pretty in Pink. Stylishly unusual--not the creamy rich girl who was dressed so blah 80s that you just didn't think it looked all that good. Interesting. Kind of vintage. Redheads aren't supposed to wear pink for some reason but I think it looks really good. Yes, it might make someone with Molly's very pale skin (mine is ruddier, I think) look a little TOO pink, but I still am all for it.

Some of it is because Maia looks so adorable in it. Watching her makes me realize many things about myself. She truly looks very much like me, and she will behave, often, like me too. So it's a self esteem boost because she really is quite pretty and lovable. A reflection of oneself like that can be so much better than a real mirror, I think.

Anyway. Time to go wake up the little inspirations. They're in the bedroom, sprawled and snoring like a couple of long haul truckers. But still-- they look cute in pink. (Or blue, for Sean. It's not a boy girl thing, really. It's just the colors that look really good with their coloring!!) :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

For Better For Worse comic

I really miss this comic that the writers has retired from writing-- For Better or For Worse. I used to read it every day, and now that she's just re-running old strips, I just don't read it. I know it's still technically "there" I just don't care to read it. The thing I used to like about it was the way the characters aged and changed with time-- not a lot of comics do that. And now that it's all a rerun of the 70s I'm just not that interested, even though technically they're mostly new strips to me. But I do miss it. I find myself with a second or two and think that I ought to do something on line, and where I would have had a small laugh or even just a smile reading that FBFW, now I am at a loss. I know there are other comics out there, but it still ins't the same. Pooh. Silly people--finding more important things to do than amuse me.

Ah, I hear the pitter patter of a baby up from naptime.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Moving Day

So I'm dusting off the old, anonymous blog and moving things that I want to keep to this one. I'm not going to write in the old one anymore, I think. I had it set up for a long time that I could write things that I didn't want to share with the entire world there, but frankly, that's tiresome. If I can't share it, then I probably shouldn't put it in writing anyway. That probably means it's not my best me-- the one that I should be promoting. There are some things that one shouldn't write about, probably.

I know that last year, when I was feeling a little depressed and crabby, the blog writing definitely seemed to encourage the bad mood. I know that the day I was "undiplomatic" and said some things I shouldn't have that the blog was part of it. I was not thinking about it, and let my crabbiness and a mood that I really don't feel all the time get the best of me. So. That's that.

I'm trying to rename my library widget and post it here but right now the mylibrary folks have the "rename" function disabled. I wish they'd undo that, because I did pay for a lifetime membership and would like my little library to move to this blog.

Today, Andrew is doing his "Reserve" duty thing. He's an active duty Reservist. So that means he does a regular 40 hour week most of the time but then, once a month, he also hangs out up there on the weekend. It's kind of a drag for me because weekends are the hardest time to be on my own with the kiddos. We have a lot of things to do today, including a birthday party for one of his co-worker types' kids. I like these folks, and they're kind of new to town, so I'd like to encourage a friendship there. But things have just been so busy that I haven't had much time to devote to that. It used to be easier-- just go hang out with a group of likeminded people on Friday night at the Church of Flats, and zippo. Sigh.

Okay, before this gets entirely too maudlin (apparently, that's my current mood) I'll just drink some coffee and go grade the papers I'm supposed to be working on this weekend. Ack! I'm out of coffee!! Who drank all my coffee??!!! Surely, it wasn't me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

News? Anyone? Anyone?

I don't watch much TV news. Mostly, when I'm watching TV it's usually kids' programing or something I've DVRd and really like (Eureka, True Blood, etc.) So I've taken to reading the Google News feed to keep up with "big events." Just so I know if the news is reporting, you know, random zombi attacks or something.

So is it just me or has the news been really, really tedious and irritating lately? I think this is something that happens to me during election years. I HATE the horserace mentality of elections, and I think that most people who want to be elected probably should be therefore disqualified (have it be by lottery, or something equally random. I know it sounds crazy, but the ego and craziness of most elected officials really gets to me).

But today, looking at stories about Tom Cruise's cradle robbed wife, Ophrah's book pick, bank bailouts, hurricane bailouts, greenhouse woes, China's crappy milk, I just want to not read any more. I just am generally pissed at all of it. And none of it makes me want to read more. Bleh. Meh.


Weekend Updates: Friday edition

Whew. This was a CRAZY week. We got power back on Monday and everything has rushed by in a blur since then. Teaching this semester is four classes and that's a pretty full load. I have papers to grade or else my students will get crabby that I keep them too long. (75 papers is a lot!!) So I'll get to that when Andrew is at work doing the AF Reserve thing this weekend and babies are playing in the yard. I really really am enjoying my students this semester. I have more English majors than I usually have and that makes for some fun discussions that I don't always have to lead-- one of them even came up with my "Bartleby the Scrivener" = Office Space argument on his own this week. I was so excited!!

I also showed this video in class. They loved it, and it made so much sense to them. Told them things they ought to know, but if I blabber about it for a whole class, they hear "wah wah wah wah" a la Charlie Brown's teacher all day. So. I am a big fan of this guy:

It's nice and temperate here in the swampland now. Low 80s during the day generally, low humidity, cool at night. It's my favorite time of the year for many reasons. We moved here almost two years ago during the first real cold snap of the year. And I like cool weather. We can light a fire in the fireplace and sit in our nice living room and read while the kiddos play. And they're getting, at three, to that independent play phase where they get into fewer scrapes that we have to monitor.

Speaking of those little monkeys, they are really in to The Nightmare Before Christmas right now. Sean will throw his arms out, all future drama kid-like, and sing "I, Jack, The Pumpkin King".... I love that little movie. :) Goth kids in training. I thought at first it might be too scary, but it's not, apparently. They got mommy's goth gene (which, granted, is recessive, but still there). They'll be the first ever goth jocks at their school.

Now, to go get another teeny tiny bit of vino. It is the weekend after all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stuff & Nonsense

When babies get up, mama gets up. 5:30, and Sean is up. Poor little monkey has a boo boo and it's keeping him awake. Maia is still snoring away, sprawled in reckless trust on the bed. Andrew is getting ready for work & I'm half ready.

It's been such an odd semester so far. My new hair, and tendency to wear makeup every day instead of randomly has apparently attracted a lot of attention. I guess last Spring, when I wasn't feeling wonderful, I wasn't taking as much interest in my appearance as I am used to doing when I work. I mean, I don't wear makeup all the time; I don't really think I need to. But usually, when I work, I go the extra 30 minutes. And I'm getting all kinds of compliments. It may have to do with the 10 or so pounds I lost over the summer from the flu, also. Anyway. It's kind of fun. I had mostly resigned myself to not being the "Hot Mom" since I was older as a mom, but I've gotten compliments from random men here and there and it's kind of fun, as long as the compliments are harmless.

So then. Lots of things to think about and do. Not everything is blog-worthy nowadays, though. I guess I'm falling out of the habit a bit. I can see by the sparse commenters that folks are out of the habit of checking in, too. That's okay-- and I'm not fishing for comments. I know some people will pop in here and there and that's fine.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Ode To Dental Receptionists

Here is something I just will never understand:

A 'TUDE from a receptionist at a medical office (in this case a dentist).

First of all, you're a minimum wage, usually non-specialist person. You probably don't even have a 2 year "technical assistant" degree. I'm not trying to be overly snobby about this, it's just the fact of the matter that if you are a specialist that can't be replaced by a trained monkey, perhaps you deserve to be snotty. If you're a glorified phone bank, you shouldn't think you're blessed and important. You're not smarter than me, nor more special, so your 'tude only serves to alienate and piss me off.

So I call, because I've chipped a tooth, and it's kinda sharp and I'd really like to get it cared for before it gets worse and I end up with a gaping hole and possibly pain. I explain that I would be a new patient but I do understand that my emergency is not a major one. I neither "bleed" nor "lead" in the triage world. But I am forming my first impressions here. I have called this office because the other one I called kept sending me to voice mail, not something that makes me warm and fuzzy about how I'll be treated as a regular patient, there, either. I'm shopping around. There are lots of dentists in my neighborhood, many of whom probably need a new car. That is what I have, essentially, in dental care in my mouth, by the way, which needs to be cared for. I have put it off. I've been a bad patient. So I do need some expedited care, yes, but I still deserve to be treated with courtesy. Customer service is SERVICE to a customer. A receptionist is a customer service agent.

Newsflash, lady: Your patients pay your salary, essentially. It's not that you're doing me a big, massive favor. I'm going to pay for my services. A lot of money, eventually. I'm trying to get in sooner, rather than later, but I actually don't expect miracles completely (although if you could perform one and get me in immediately, I'd probably worship you.) And I am NOT an idiot, although your tone seems to imply you think I am one. Simply because I cannot bend my life to fit the one tiny slot you have available this week.

The chick on the phone had to snottily explain to me, when I told her that the only time she had available I actually had to WORK (shocking that I should have a committment to my job, I know) that she "had to have a chair available to put me in."

Really? I'm new here, yes, but I thought perhaps you could perform the dental care while I floated on a sea of contentment awash in gentle waves of light. Cocooned in light and goodness and forever peaceful. I'm shocked that you actually need a place to put my ass, but now, because you were bitchy and unhelpful, that ass is going to be in some OTHER dentist's chair. And that receptionist was actually a human being, who didn't have a GOD complex. And I imagine she understands that new patients keep her in paychecks, too.

By the way. We do have power back at home. And yes, I have chipped a tooth. But I should survive it. It's just, as the post above shows, rather annoying.

Monday, September 15, 2008


So this weekend, we have been without power for most of the time. Hurricane Ike has done his damage, and mostly it was mild, in my hometown. Yes, there are a few houses with trees in their living rooms, but most of the damage wasn't too bad. It could have been much worse. The wind was howling like crazy, but we didn't get too much rain or other weather.

But we lost power Saturday afternoon, were without it all day Sunday til about 6. Then we had an hour and a half of glorious normality and it was gone again. This morning's call to the power company has them saying "Well, we hope to have everyone restored by THURSDAY." Um. Thursday. Really?! That's your reasonable response??!! ARRRRRRRRGH!

I'm hopeful that by the time I go home tonight, I will actually have power. Pray, or whatever it is you do, for us, please! I am not really very happy about the prospect of that many days power-free. There will be a generator purchase in our near future, but it may be sooner rather than later. You wouldn't think, living this far from the coast, that we'd be in this much chaos, but yes. We are. And it stinks.

But it could be worse, so I'm trying to keep perspective on that. Many, many bad things happen in the universe and me not being able to get my coffee at home this morning was not that much of a crisis.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Adventures in Home-Repair

So our rental property is all set to go. We have tenants-- a sweet couple who don't have excellent credit but who are trying. They have three cute kids and love the house and I think they have paid the same rent for a real craphole in a bad neighborhood and so are thrilled to be getting something much nicer in a better neighborhood. In other words-- they know what is out there and they know how much we ROCK. I really really wish we had thought to take "before" pictures. The place was such a mess-- dark, smelled musty and old-lady, with ugly 30 year old curtains that fell apart when I moved them that had been stapled to the walls to keep them tight, ugly ORANGE carpet in one room, blue dingy nicotine stained wood paneling in one bedroom, three layers of wallpaper from various periods peeling but stapled (seriously) to the walls in the hallway/foyer. Lamps that looked stripped, as though if you tried to change the bulb you'd get a shock. Etc, etc.

isn't it cool?We finished up the last little things last week. I put up wallpaper, we had our handyman refinish the wood floors. Yes, when the tenants tried to move in a fridge, the movers scratched the floor a little (figures). I put up "lace curtain Irish" pretty curtains. We put up the pretty little part glass, part nice plastic chandeliers you can see in the picture-- from Lowe's, not super expensive but soooo pretty.....

It just rocks. Seriously. I love this little house. If I were living there, I would probably make some of the rooms bright, bold colors, and we did this place in white, mostly, but I still really love it. One of the things that I feel good about is fixing up a historic house from a sad state of disrepair. And when we get the roof done, that will be even more so because while the roof isn't yet leaking, it's not long til it will be and that would just trash this "diamond in the rough" home.

cinder-maiaSo I'll shut up about it and post some pictures. The first is the view down the Living Room/Dining room area. You can't really see the big awesome china built-ins. But that's allright. The other picture is Maia. While I was doing the last bits of cleanup (vacuuming, picking up shreds of the ancient wallpaper from the closets) she wanted so much to help. I put her to scrubbing up the bits of white paint that someone (Andrew, maybe?) tracked over the fresh wood shiny stuff. (It didn't work. And the place is NOT perfect. But still.) Our little Cindermaia, hard at work.

I just have to finish off saying that I truly hope the local authorities don't freak out so much about this incoming Hurricane if it isn't truly coming this way. It looks like it's going to Houston (where my sister just moved, funnily enough...) so we do not need to cancel everything here in our little town. I JUST got my syllabuses re-organized, please!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


.......distracted. Happy.

A little red wine. A little buzz. A few hours of casual, pointless TV and babies being angels. Pistachios, to which I am a complete addict. (Is there a 12 step program for them?)

Babies ready for bed. Hubby getting drinks (kool aid) and diapers ready. Me, ostensibly checking email. For what reason? Not really that big of a deal. Never get anything but spam, anyway.

A moment. Or two. And then... back.

Morning Musing

I know I've been lazy about blogging lately. Anyone who has done this for a while knows that you go in waves of writing-- sometimes, you're just on every single thought for a blog. Then, you just figure-- who really wants to hear about Sean's ear infection (fine) Maia's learning her ABCs and potty training, my teaching, Andrew's daily grind and Real Estate Tycoon biz?

My mom does, but I talk to her all the time. (Cell phones and driving. It's a skill.)

But I am trying hard to reduce things in my life that do not specifically add to it. Blogging is not one thing I plan to really reduce that much; it's my little journal to myself, where a few people from the world also pop in now and then to see what's up.

Anyway; back to school again today after a week off (almost). Baby waking, time to go.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gustav Fizzles

For us, at least. We had rain, yes, but honestly a regular thunderstorm about two months ago did more damage around here, flooding several houses down the street from us (literally down-- downhill and in a bad spot, apparently). There were some downed tree branches, and I did see a fairly large tree branch downed a few blocks away but it didn't look like it damaged the house. So we're all good. We had two days of class cancelled for it, though.

I spent those days working on restoring the rental property. We have a tenant that wants to move in on Sat, so we need to get 'er' done.

The property is a Craftsman style bungalow house and it's really quite pretty. There are so many nice features that I'm excited to rent it to someone. I would live there, myself, if we didn't have an awesome place already. Today, I put up wallpaper. It was work, and for a few minutes of several crooked corners in the walls, I was cursing a bit. But I got it done. It looks really nice.

What's weird to me is to grow up as poor as I was, and now be "the landlord." Checking people's credit (which, by the way, we mostly gave up on. The folks we're renting to admitted to not having great credit, but they're such a sweet little group of family/cute kiddos that we just want to give them a break. And we have this dream of making up some really nice places that are affordable for people who otherwise wouldn't get a nice house. It's kind of cool, but a source of much cognitive dissonance for me sometimes.

Now, tomorrow, back to school. I am going to meet with my new class, which I was just assigned a week into the semester, for the first time. The professor who was going to teach it has had to take a semester off, so they asked me to take it and I am happy about it. I love teaching survey courses. :) I'm already ON it. :) But the day off delayed us again and I had to delete one new reading. Ah well. So it goes.

Anyway. I'm TI-IRED. And I have wallpaper glue all over me.