Saturday, June 30, 2007 


The Husband was off today. Today was also my deadline for turning in some (more) paperwork at the district office. Tax forms and crap. Insurance. You know the drill.

Number One Reason to be a Teacher--- FREE HEALTH INSURANCE. You even get free life insurance, for whatever that's worth. The lady in the office started explaining the details of the policy to me today, and I told her I wouldn't be the one who needed the info if, God forbid, the policy ever had to be paid out. I don't even want to know about my life insurance. It forces me to think about the fact that I might not get my one wish in that area--- a fast, painless death at the age of 95. And what do I need with life insurance? So TH can ride a new motorcycle to my funeral? WTF??

Anyway, teachers only have to pay for dental. Since I don't have to pay for the health insurance, I can afford the kickass dental plan. That's why teachers have such great teeth.

You know you've officially aged past cool and straight into lame when you're excited about your dental plan.

TH and I rented movies tonight. We got Snatch, Pans Labyrinth, Breach, Trainspotting, and Cocaine Cowboys. So far we've only watched Snatch. I know it's old, but I hadn't seen it. TH had seen it before. He's also seen Trainspotting. I think everyone saw that. Everyone except me.

We ate at a Chinese buffet before we went into the video store, and both of us were stricken with painful, pressing gas at the exact same moment. TH couldn't even bend down to look at the movies on the lower shelves for fear of ripping one, and we had to make our decisions quickly so we could leave the store and..uhh..release some pressure.

It was a long ride home-- with the car windows down. Damn mushroom pork.

So many minor blog worthy things have happened to me recently, but none of them really seem to be connected, so I can't seem to put together good posts about them. My blog mojo is on vacation. (I have appealed to Going Like Sixty for three free blog topic ideas. I stole the idea from Diva.)

For example, I split my pants at my sister's house a few nights ago. My ass hung out all night, and it was hilarious. Oh, and TH and I had a little screaming match a few days ago, after which I jumped into my car and sped off angrily-- straight into the waiting arms of Officer B. of the Petal Police Department. Not only is it $135, but because the cops in the Delta write tickets to white people like the cops in other parts of the country write them to black people, this is also my 3rd ticket in 2 years.

Nationwide's gonna eat my lunch.

Now I remember why I haven't blogged about this stuff. It's stressing me out. I think I'm gonna get naked and lie in the tub until my skin wrinkles.

Friday, June 29, 2007 

Teetering Tom

On my way up Hwy 49 on Tuesday, I saw a shocking sight that I can't believe I didn't blog about until now.

West 4th Street in Hattiesburg crosses over Hwy 49 right next to the University of Southern Mississippi. There's a bridge there that you have to go under if you're on 49. It stands out because it's painted with the Southern Miss logo. On West 4th, there's a sidewalk type area for pedestrians to cross (it's near the football stadium) and there's plenty of railing there between the street and the sidewalk, and then between the sidewalk and the edge of the bridge.

When I drove under that bridge Tuesday, there were two kids leaning on the railing, overlooking traffic. They looked like they were about 10 years old, and I think both of them were girls. There was a third kid-- a boy about the same age-- who had crawled over the railing, and was balanced on what I can only assume was a tiny ledge on the bridge. I'm having a hard time giving you the visual, but I can't find a picture of this bridge anywhere online. He was standing on a little ledge with his back and the palms of his hands flat against the bridge. I don't know how he got down there without falling. Also, the top of the bridge was as high as he was tall, so once he got down to that little ledge I don't know how he could've gotten back up over the side and back onto 4th St.

His position was a precarious one, to put it mildly.

When I saw him, my mouth quite literally fell open and I gasped in horror as I reached for my cell phone. When I got through to Hattiesburg P.D.'s dispatch, they said the police were already on the way.

Since I was out of town, I have no idea if there was anything in the news or the paper, but I can't find anything. I'm sure there would've been something if he'd fallen. Still, it's kind of a small town, you know, and I think a kid teetering over a major highway might've gotten some attention, especially since tons of people had to see him as they passed under the bridge while holding their breath and reaching for cell phones.

I'm dying to know the story, and I've put out an all points bulletin to a few acquaintances in local law enforcement. Hopefully one of them will fill me in soon. And maybe then they'll fix that ticket I got in Petal.

Oh, I didn't tell you about the ticket? I will tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 

Painful Childhood Memory

I'm at my parents' house. Yesterday I wanted to come up here, so I did. Because I can. I don't have any children, you know.

Last night I stayed at my sister's. The kids were in bed when I got there, but my sister and I stayed up until 4 a.m., which felt absolutely ridiculous even as we were doing it. At 10 p.m. I was begging her to stay up late with me, and at 3 a.m. I was begging her to let me go to sleep. I slept on the top bunk of Ryan's bed. At first I was a little freaked out because there was a ceiling fan blade two feet from my face, but I was too tired to worry about that for long. I woke up this morning at 9 to Ryan standing on the bottom bunk and beating my legs and screaming that he wanted me to get up and play a video game with him.

I had a bunk bed in my room for a while when I was a kid, and used to sleep on the top bunk. There was a ceiling fan that hung near the bed. We only had a window unit air conditioner at the time, and it was in my sister's bedroom at the end of the hall, so I always had a box fan in the floor and the ceiling fan on high. Late one night, I woke up suddenly and sat straight up in the bed. The ceiling fan whacked me in the side of the head, and knocked me off the bed. I fell and landed on the box fan, which whacked me on the ass a few times before it either stopped running or I rolled off of it. I was half asleep when this happened, so it was like I sat up, got knocked in the head, and next thing I knew I was being beaten on the ass by something. After the shock wore off, I started wailing for my mother.

She gave me some Benadryl and put me back in bed, head injury and all.

I forgive her though, because tonight she cooked me some fried chicken, home made mashed potatoes, green beans from her garden, and strawberry shortcake, and it was gud!

Monday, June 25, 2007 

Even Steven vs. the Indian Curse

Today must have been the most unproductive day in the history of me and TH. The only way we could have been lazier is if we had been unconscious, which we were for a considerable portion of the afternoon. We were so unproductive today that TH still hasn't gotten dressed. At 3:00, he decided to try to make it through the entire day without putting on any clothes. He watched ESPN in his underwear all day.

I did manage to get dressed, but only after sleeping until noon, and only because I had to go sign the next year of my life over to a government organization that doesn't have my best interests in mind. When I got home, I changed into my sweat pants and did nothing for the rest of the day.

Yesterday I sold Sweet Tea's belongings. God rest her sweet little dog soul. The other day when I was mowing the lawn I noticed that her grave was sinking and was surrounded by weeds. Then I noticed that her crate was under the carport collecting dirt, and it sorta depressed me. We had one of those huge crates, a wireless containment system, and a remotely controlled training collar just setting here rotting away. I put an ad on a website that is frequented by local people, and sold it the same day for $150. All together, we paid about $500 for those three items, but I said in the ad that I would take $150 if someone wanted all 3 items. Otherwise it would've added up to more like $200. A lady from a town just north of here bought all three.

TH said I should've asked for more, but I say it's $150 we didn't have before, and it means were Even Steven after the great oven fiasco. Well, we can't undo the cost of the new oven, but we did recoup the cost of the $100 exploding oven, and we were going to have to have a new oven anyway, so I guess that makes us Even Steven.

Maybe our house isn't on an Indian burial ground after all.

Oh, I know our luck could be worse. But it seems like some unlikely, off the wall things tend to happen to us. He's been a victim of this phenomenon all his life-- I just married into it. TH peed on an Indian burial mound once when he was a kid, and we think that's where this all got started.

There's a town on Hwy 49 between Jackson and Yazoo Shitty. It's called Pocahontas. You know, because apparently there were lots of Indians there long ago before Whitey, you know, killed them. Being creative rednecks, they decided to name the town Pocahontas. Yazoo City, (which is Choctaw for F*ck this is boring) was already taken.

Anyway, there are several burial mounds there, and one is right on the highway. It's actually between the north and south lanes, and they've built a little parking area there. When TH was a kid, his parents stopped there one day for something. TH had to pee, so he ran around to the back of the big hill to relieve himself. While he was standing there with his weiner in his hand, an old man suddenly yelled at him, "Boy! Don't you know what yer doin'! This is an Engine burial mound!" Once the startled young'un wiped the pee off his pants leg, he ashamedly made his way back to the family car and rode off into a future of really, really bad luck.

We need to figure out how to get those Indians to forgive him.

Sunday, June 24, 2007 


Tomorrow I get to go sign my committment letter, which will mean I'm BOUND until the board meets and officially binds me. Oh, all this bondage is gettin' me excited., Not in a "Tie me up and spank me, Mr. Slave!" kinda way, but in a "I've been worrying about this since July of 2006 and it's working out just fine so maybe now I can stop taking anxiety medication" kinda way.

It stormed here today. Yesterday I got lots of yard work done, but it's still not finished. The push mower died, so I didn't get to mow what's left of those mini forests under the trees out back. I noticed that TH didn't do it even though I cut down all those branches to make it easier for him. I'm sure I could've made it run again but it was getting close to dark and I'd already been working for a long time, so I just put it up. Now that it's wet outside, I'm sure the mini forests won't be dealt with until the next time we mow. And even then, we'll probably drag the yard work out over three days and wind up not finishing something.

This rain is tempting me to go take a nap, but instead I think I'm gonna go cook up a little something on my fancy flat top stove. (And for your information, Diva, it will NOT be fish!)

Friday, June 22, 2007 

I hope I get an intestinal parasite

Today was not as jam packed with adventure as yesterday, but I did manage to get a sunburn. I'm lily white, so that's not very hard.

This morning I went out onto the front porch and noticed that my sweet olives, my favorite of all my plants, were looking a little parched. Then I noticed that most of the loropetlums and gardenias were looking a little parched as well. I hadn't checked them recently because there have been a couple of good storms and I assumed everyone got a drink.

So I decided to give everyone a good soak. While I was at it, I pulled a bunch of grasses and weeds that were growing in the beds. I got down on my hands and knees and pulled and pulled and pulled. That is hard work, and I never thought I would enjoy it, but for some reason it is very satisfying. It makes me feel good. Well, except when I grab something with stickers on it. After the weeds were gone I gave all of the bushes a good long soak with the water hose. This sounds like a job that would take about fifteen minutes, but there are about 40 plants so it really takes close to an hour if you are thorough, and I was very thorough today because I was concerned about the health of our pretty new landscaping.

After everything had been watered and weeded, I decided that I needed to spray Round-Up on the weeds that are growing through the cracks in the driveway. We have a fairly long driveway, two carports (one is attached to the house, the other to the shop), a turn-around, and a garage. So there's a lot of concrete out there, it's about 25 years old, and it's got more crack than the city of Memphis. It has really started to look worse in the last year or two, but what can you do about it? I can't imagine how many thousands of dollars it would take to rebuild all of that. Maybe there is some way of repairing it and sealing it or something. Anyway, I sprayed all the concrete busting weeds. By the time that was done, I had been outside working for about 3 hours. It was the hottest part of the day, so I decided to take a break.

The one task I was supposed to accomplish today was finishing the lawn that TH started mowing yesterday. TH got most of the yard done yesterday on the gigantic riding mower, but someone has to get out the weed eater and the push mower and do the fun parts. I fully intended to go back out there and get back to work once it cooled off a bit, but I didn't. I was clean and showered, and the sunburn I got this morning was feeling a little bit tender. Plus, since the stupid plumber called yesterday and said it's gonna be ANOTHER two weeks before they can fix our problems, I'm still making trips to the laundromat, which means I'm not exactly eager to dirty up another set of clothes on a second round of yard work. The stuff I wore this morning was icky, and I didn't want to put it back on.

So tomorrow I'll be doing yard work again.

What I did today is a classic example of my tendency to set out to do one thing, and end up doing something completely different.

After I got cleaned up, I was hawngry. Not hungry, but hawngry, and there wasn't anything in the house that I could eat without spending at least an hour cooking. Since I wasn't in the mood for yet another bowl of Cheerios, I went to a Mexican place down the road. They are renowned for sucking, but I figured it would be cheap and fast. So I went and ate tamales and a side of beans, drank some sweet tea (I'm livin' on the edge-- I usually get unsweet. Either way, at least it didn't have soap in it for once), and watched the landing of the space shuttle, Atlantis. For some reason, that was much more interesting to watch over a plate of tamales at the Mexican restaurant than it would've been on my couch.

After lunch, I felt fat and lazy even though I didn't eat much. Their tamales are tiny and I only ate two. I guess it was the knowledge that I'd just broken the vows that TH and I took a few weeks ago to not give in and eat junk food, but for some reason I felt I had earned it. You know, because I actually worked this morning. This is where I'm at right now, people. I've become a fat, lazy, good for nothing fatass who thinks she deserves a tamale for watering the plants. I felt bad about it, so in true fatass form, I took a nap.

A long one.

Then I spent about two hours not folding the giant pile of laundry in my bedroom floor, and at midnight I'm going to meet TH at a bar downtown where we are going to see an obnoxiously loud punk band that he likes. He's going straight there from work, but he said he would only go if I went with him because he didn't want to look like the creepy old dude in the bar. In scrubs.

I gotta go find my ear plugs.

Thursday, June 21, 2007 

How to Burn $730 Fast

Well, we only actually burned $100, in the literal sense of the word. This story is a tad bit longish, but it involves a small explosion and a guy with a huge facial scar.

When I went to wake TH this morning, he asked if I would fix him some breakfast while he took a shower. I was in a good mood, and I bounced down the hallway to the kitchen, almost eager to dive head first into some domestic, wifely chore. Funny how that comes and goes.

Our stove is an electric one with the coils. It was here when TH bought this house, and we knew that one of the burners didn't work. Since then, the other three have become unreliable. Most of the time I can get at least one of them to come on, even if I have to jiggle it and grit my teeth. It usually clicks on right as I'm on the verge of declaring that we simply must buy a new stove immediately. This morning, the bastard wouldn't work at all. Oh, it finally worked, but in the time I spent jiggling and gritting and cussing, I could've prepared Thanksgiving dinner for a family of twelve.

When TH was getting out of the shower, I was just getting a burner to heat up. I was also just hanging up from a phone call I decided to make about an ad I'd seen for a used stove. It sounded like a young girl, she said the oven was only 2 years old, was the same type as the one I already had, worked fine, she was replacing it because her husband was remodeling their house and she got a fancy new flat top stove. They wanted $150 for the old one. I figured $150 was less than I would end up spending on dental bills if I didn't get rid of our old one, because at the rate that I was grinding my teeth away I would need dentures within 3 years.

When TH came in for his breakfast, I told him I wanted us to go look at the stove before we did any of the other two dozen things on our agenda for today. Perhaps sensing that future breakfasts were at stake, he agreed. Reluctantly.

While TH examined the stove, I stood there and listened to the girl go on and on about her fancy new flat top stove. I made fun of her enthusiasm on the way home. Her enthusiasm for flat top stoves, and her neon green house. I had no sooner finished mocking the poor girl when I felt the cold chill of karma creeping up behind me. Do you ever just know you're going to pay for something you did wrong?

We ended up buying the stove for $100. We brought it home, pulled the other one out, and started the process of fitting the new one into the space between the two counters. It was a tight fit. Real tight. It measured the same width as the one we'd just taken out, so we couldn't understand why it wouldn't go in. It would fit between the counters, get almost all the way to the back, then stop, so about 4 or 5 inches of it were sticking out past the front of the counters and there was that much space between the back of the stove and the wall. It looked retarded, and I insisted that if he couldn't make it fit, he had to take it out and put the old one back in.

We didn't realize that the 220 plug on our wall was installed too high, and that the back of the new stove had a metal panel that was pressing into the huge plug instead of slipping over it like it was supposed to. So when we tried to force it, we pinched something electrical on the back of the stove, and there was a small explosion.

Those seem to happen when I'm around lawn mowers or other large appliances.

The loud pop scared us, but what really scared us were the sparks and the smoke. As this tragedy unfolded, we couldn't see what was happening behind the stove. All we could see was smoke and flame, and the flame went out of sight as quickly as it appeared, so we didn't know if the stove was on fire or what. TH went into panic mode and started pulling the oven out from the wall as fast as he could, in an effort to keep the fire from spreading to the actual house. While he was doing that, I ran to the cabinet and grabbed a fire extinguisher. TH got it pulled away from the wall, and we realized that there wasn't a fire. Just lots of smoke, a busted oven, and some frayed nerves. There were burn marks on the back of the oven, and it smelled like burned plastic. After more measuring and looking and checking and discussing, we realized what had happened. Well, kinda. We still don't know exactly what blew up, but we know it's because we pushed something against something else, and that it wouldn't have been a problem if the 220 outlet had been installed correctly.

Sooooooo at this point there are two stoves in our kitchen, and neither of them works. We've spent $100, wasted about an hour and a half, we still need a freakin' stove, and this was supposed to be a quick job that we would get out of the way before we got to the important things we had to do today. Oh, and now instead of one appliance to throw away, we've got two. Unfortunately, we don't have a giant sinkhole like Hillbilly Mom has out behind her mansion, and we live in the city limits so we have to pay to have this kind of stuff hauled off. I think it's $25 per appliance.

As I surveyed my smoke filled kitchen, I suddenly felt like a complete bitch for trying to take charge and make something happen, and I started apologizing. At that point I didn't even care anymore. I was ready to just stick the old crappy stove back into the space and march forward into a future where having nubs for teeth would be my punishment. TH, being the sweet husband that he is, insisted that it wasn't my fault. Shortly after that, we were in the truck and headed for the appliance store.

We decided we'd rather spend our money at a locally owned business than give it to the corporate sh*theads at Sears, Lowe's, or Home Depot, so we went to an appliance place here in town. The lady who was working there knows TH because he's bought other items from them, but she wasn't very friendly. That was disheartening. We've just watched $100 go up in smoke, we're still willing to spend more than necessary just to support a local business, and the bitch can't muster up a smile? That just rubbed me the wrong way. Luckily for her, I was already too tired to put up my usual anti bitch fortress and demand that TH take our money elsewhere. We found a stove we wanted, and when she told us that Delivery Dude Denny could not only deliver it today, but he could also move our ill-placed 220 outlet to accommodate the new stove for only $25 extra, that sealed the deal.

It's a fancy flat top stove. The irony burns, doesn't it? (I know. I'm full of puns today.)

TH wrote a check for $520, bringing the day's total to $620, not counting the $50 we're going to have to pay to have the old ones hauled off. (So make that $670.) We went home to wait for the arrival of Delivery Dude Denny. He showed up an hour or two later, and immediately announced that the $25 extra we'd paid only covered his labor and not the kit he had to use. The kit was another $10. By the time he got done charging us for cords and parts and whatever else, we had paid him $60 total, bringing this project's total cost to $730.

I don't think he was screwing us. I mean, he did have a scary facial scar (actually, it looked like someone had tried to kill him with an axe) but he worked on that outlet for a long time, took the time to show me all kinds of things on the stove that he didn't have to show me, and he really loved Pookie. He spent about ten minutes playing with him before he left, and he had the biggest smile on his face. How can you not trust a guy who appreciates a spunky kitten?

I'm about to go cook dinner. In my fancy flat top stove. Suck it, lowly coiled-stove users!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 

Motorcycles, Neighbors, and Petty Concerns

Surely at some point in the history of my several blogs I have told the story of the time I wrecked TH's motorcycle. Not his Harley-- thank God-- but his old crappy Honda. We were dating, and had only been together for about six months. Anyway, to make a long story short, I turned it over and screwed up a bunch of stuff on it. And I'll never live it down.

Ever since then, I've been bugging him to get it fixed for me. The point was for me to learn how to ride. He didn't get it fixed right away because the repairs were going to cost more than the bike was worth, and according to TH's reasoning, it's better to let something set and rot than to risk spending more than you could get for it on Ebay to get it back running. Well, about two months ago he finally decided to deal with it. He did what he could do here, then finally loaded it up and took it to the pros at A & B Cycles.

We just got it back today. It has rebuilt carbs and a new clutch. When we got it home, TH let me ride it in the yard, but I wasn't allowed to shift out of 1st. Shifting is what I was doing when I wrecked it the first time, so I can never shift again, you see. I rode it around the yard for half an hour or so. After a while, I guess he decided I wasn't going to eat dirt again, because he gave me permission to shift. I had fun. I'm pretty sure I can learn to ride, and I asked TH if I could have a HD Sportster when I get good at it. He's talked about buying me one before. It's cheap, for a Harley. A good starter bike. This is the 2007 Sportster--

And this is my current bike--


And this is The Husband's bike--


Anyway, I don't have nearly the passion for bikes as he does, but I did have fun riding, and hope that one day I can actually leave the yard. As I weaved between a couple of pine trees in the back yard, I was reminded of Hillbilly Mom's #1 son and the $300 car.

We have new neighbors. Oh, the rednecks across the street haven't gone anywhere. They're more settled than ever with their shiney new John Deere basketball goal. I swear, if you looked up "redneck" in the dictionary, it would have their family photo with a cross reference to "white trash." To each his own. I'm learning to ignore them, but every time I get to the point that I'm barely noticing them, they come up with something you just can't ignore. Like a John Deere basketball goal. Really. Did they have to get one with a John Deere logo on the backboard? I mean, I'm guessing if you're a big John Deere fan, you're not real likely to be headed for the NBA anyway, so why not just get your standard Wal Mart basketball goal?

Our new neighbors are next door. The black military guy that lived there moved out, and a "For Sale" sign appeared in the yard. It's been for sale for about two months, and today we saw a young couple pull up in a truck and go inside. We didn't notice them moving in, but they're apparently already moved in, because they were still there tonight when we came back from walking. Not that I'm being a nosey neighbor or anything.

Have I mentioned lately how glad I'll be to get back to work? Maybe then the tiny stuff won't bother me as bad. I'll have disrespectful kids, clueless parents, ridiculous administrators, impossible policies, and incompetent coworkers to be annoyed with. And maybe, just maybe my grammar will stop getting sh*ttier by the minute.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 

At my window, sad and smoldering

Today I felt like a gut with the sh*t slung out of it, to borrow one of TH's late mother's favorite descriptive phrases.

You probably recall that I have been battling a recurring ear or sinus problem, and that my most recent visit to the doc prompted her to shoot me up with some 'roids and put me on a two week course of a very strong antibiotic. I only have a few days left to take the medicine, and I'm still having symptoms. Headaches every day, pain in my right ear, and not always feeling great in general.

Maybe the next few days will bring sudden improvement. I don't want to go to a specialist. Mostly, I don't want to find out that there is something wrong inside of my head-- besides the things that I already know are wrong inside my head, that is.

It stormed here today. I fell asleep around 3:00, and woke up half an hour later to one of the loudest claps of thunder I've ever heard. The lightning was kickin' too. I'm skeered of lightning, so I got up and left the bedroom. I don't like being near windows when the lightning's kickin'.

Did I ever tell the story of why I avoid windows at all costs during thunderstorms?

When I was in college, I lived in a really big old house in downtown Hattiesburg. One weekend, my roommates were all gone, and I was at my computer, which was situated directly in front of a window in my bedroom. It was storming a little, but it didn't worry me. Suddenly, lightning struck something on the side of our house, directly outside my bedroom window. It literally struck within feet of me. It was so bright and so loud and so horrifying that I actually fell out of my chair. I don't remember falling out of it, but I guess I jumped back in horror, because I somehow ended up in the floor. It shocked me and scared me so bad that my skin was tingling-- like my nerves were going ENOUGH ALREADY! -- and it took me a minute or so to get a grip. I noticed a burning smell, and for a second I thought the house was on fire. Then I noticed that the cable modem that was attached to my computer was smoking. I swear it was smoking. Every time I tell this story, when I get to that part, people look at me like I'm spinnin' a tale, but I'm telling you it was smoking, and I could smell it burning.

The modem turned out to be one of several things in the house that got fried. One of my roommates had a brand new laptop, and it got fried. The poor guy had just bought it to replace another one that had been stolen from the USM library mere hours after he got it, and it was fried within a week. Some kind of pump under our house was fried as well, along with a stereo and a few other things.

Ever since that happened, I have been unable to shake the fear that the lightning might come through the window and fry me. Although I might be crunchy and taste good with ketchup, I don't think any of us wants to see me fry.

Anyway, that is the story of why I am scared to be near windows during thunderstorms. I hope you enjoyed it. The storm has passed, and I'm going back to bed.

Monday, June 18, 2007 

Plague of the Many Mini Forests

This morning I went and mailed off some things related to the hoop jumping I'm doing, and didn't do much for the rest of the day. It stormed here briefly, and then rained steadily for a few hours after that. It was good napping weather, but I couldn't even nap because I had such a bad headache.

I spent a couple of hours looking at the state curriculum and reading about classroom management, because I want to be in control on day one. My first year would've been a lot easier if I'd walked in with confidence, but I didn't. This year, I definitely will. Even if I don't feel confident, I'll totally fake it. As I read, I suddenly started getting a little nervous. I had forgotten how much there is to manage. With only one year under my belt, I'm still not sure exactly how I want to do certain things. I know I'm supposed to be consistent and appear to know what I'm doing, because the little boogers can smell fear. That's hard because you never know how well something is going to work until you try it, and sometimes you have to change things around.

Anyway, after my headache finally subsided, I went outside to cut down some branches off some trees. In our back yard there are about 10 or 12 pines, and TH never mows around them when he does the yard. I can only assume this is because some of the branches are so low that he can't get under there on the gigantic lawn mower, so he just gets as close as he can, tells himself he'll come back through with the push mower or the weed eater, and then never does. It is a lot of work to drag that push mower all over the yard, and our weed eater is an uncooperative pain in the butt.

The areas directly beneath the trees have been neglected for so long now that there are little mini forests growing under them. It looked horrible. A few had bushes and things growing under them that were so big I had to saw through mini trunks to get rid of them. I cut down all of the mini forests and cut away all the limbs that were hanging low enough to smack TH in the head when he's mowing. Now he can get right up around every tree when he mows, and we won't have a dozen mini forests in our back yard. Eventually I am going to put mulch around all of the trees, and we won't have to worry about mowing right up next to them and running over roots with the mower and all that stuff. TH is anal about his mower blade. Then again, TH is anal about so many things...

It occurred to me that there might be a specific time of year or a specific method you're supposed to use when you cut branches from a tree, so it's possible that I've just killed all of ours. The forestry people say you're supposed to cut low branches though, and I don't think they'd lead me astray. I guess if all our trees die we won't have anything to mow around. TH has always said he wants a parking lot for a yard. He seriously considered buying a house that had just that-- the entire front yard was covered in black top. It went all the way from the street to the front door. It wasn't a small yard, either. Six acres, and not a blade of grass in sight, except in the back yard. It was a very weird place way out in the country. Gotta love South Mississippi.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 

Teacher fever

I am so flippin PUMPED about my new job. WoohooOooooo!!!!!! I still haven't signed a contract, but only because there are a few hoops that I'm required to jump through. Trust me, I'm jumping my little heart out, and it will be resolved by the end of this week.

Tonight I was in Wal Mart (I'm there almost every day now, it seems) and I saw a magazine that had an article in it that I thought would be acceptable spare-time reading material for the young 'uns, so I picked it up. It was this article in Ebony magazine, and the cashier looked at me like I was breaking some kind of law when she got to it in my long string of things for her to ring up. It's above their heads, but they'll read it anyway because it's in Ebony. I confiscated many an issue of Ebony last year.

After going to Wal Mart, I had to go to Office Depot to get a new ink cartridge for my ink guzzling all-in-one printer contra0-----------------------p[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[

Damn cat.

...printer contraption, that is. While I was there, I started getting the fever. The teacher fever. It makes me want to buy things that I might possibly be able to use in my classroom. All year long last year, I picked up little things here and there for my young 'uns. Things to reward them with, books for them to read, crossword puzzles, things for them to do when their work was done or they finished a test early, etc. If I had a spare dollar in my pocket, I could barely walk through a place without looking for such goodies. They were essential during the school year, but TH had to shake me real hard in Books-a-Million this past September when I was loading up on things for students that I didn't even have or know if I would ever have again. Now I can buy goodies again without fear of being shaken.

When I got home from Office Depot and Wal Mart, I got online and ordered a subscription to the Jackson magazine. TH likes to read the paper anyway, and I can find articles to use for extra credit assignments and what not. You can never have too many news articles in a jr. high English class.

Teacher Fever probably only happens to us whippersnappers who haven't been at it that long. It'll start to fade by October when I realize how much stuff I HAVE to buy. Hopefully this district will provide me with the basics. Or at least a copier.

Saturday, June 16, 2007 

Fish Theory

If you read my recent post "The Nastiest Thing That Has Ever Happened to Me," you know that I recently had a close encounter of the fishy kind.

My dad has a theory. The little invisifish were being chased by the flying fish, and needed somewhere to hide. The opening in the back of my loose bathing suit looked like something they could hide in, and they swam in there, then couldn't get out.

Makes sense. It doesn't make me feel any less nauseated, but it does make sense.

My sister and her crew passed through Hattiesburg today on their way home. The niece left her Leapster in Uncle T's car, and she was wigging out without it. I returned the Leapster when we met for lunch.

Nobody ordered the fish.

Friday, June 15, 2007 

Pass the birth control pills, please

TH is at Jubilee Jam in Jackson. He wanted me to go with him, but I just couldn't get excited about it. I was snoozing when he tried to talk me into getting up and going with him, and at that moment my pillow was the only true love I could think about. The only semi decent band tonight is the Black Crowes. Under different circumstances, I might've been in the mood, but I just came home from a very tiring vacation and I wanted to stay home. Home, sweet home. Where there are no loud children and my biggest concern at the moment is whether I should watch tv or play on the computer.

I have to say, in all honesty, that spending a week with my niece and nephew has truly given me a new perspective on having kids. Since we got married, I have been feeling sorta eager to reproduce. One week with them has shown me how good we have it right now. They're not bad kids, and I'm not saying I don't want kids. I'm just saying...damn they're a lot of work! Right now, I can take a nap in the middle of the day if it's raining outside and the conditions are perfect for napping. I can get up and go to Jubilee Jam if I feel like it. If I decide I want sushi for lunch tomorrow, guess what? I'm going to go get sushi, and I'm not going to have to prepare any other meals because someone else prefers chicken nuggets over raw fish. If I need to go to Wal Mart or the grocery store, I don't have to load anyone into the car, buckle any car booster seats, fill any cups with chocolate milk, or hunt down anyone's shoes before I can go. I can have sex on the couch. I can have loud sex. I can make the bed squeak and bang into the wall at 2:00 p.m. and it's okay.

This past week has taught me that I want to spend another year or so taking naps in the middle of the day, sitting in the bath tub watching my skin wrinkle, going where I want when I want, and having middle of the day bed squeaking sex before we crank out a chicken-nugget-eating-sex-interrupting-sushi-hater that never shuts up.

This morning I went to get Pookie at the vet, where he was boarded while we were gone. Poor thing had to spend four days in a little cage, and I'm sure nobody played with him. He was very glad to get home. He spent the entire day running around like a little madman, and now he's curled up asleep between my feet.

Tomorrow there will be plenty of unpleasant chores, including a trip to the laundromat. The plumber will begin working on both our little problem and our big problem next week, thank God. The little problem is the clogged pipe that is causing the water to back up into the house. The big problem, which seems smaller now that the little problem has become so big, is that we're not hooked up to the city sewer. The only reason I say the sewer is the big problem is because it's likely to be the more expensive one.

They still haven't given us a price on any of this, because the primary concern was whether or not they could even get the legal stuff out of the way so they could work in our city. The only guy who had the permit (or bond or whatever it is) to work here quit recently. We are hoping they don't try to gauge us on the charge, but it's a possibility. They are a big company though, so I'm hoping that's less likely to happen. If it does, I can probably find a corporate number to call and complain to someone.

Now that I'm a working woman, at least we have the comfort of knowing we can quickly build our savings back up if this gets really expensive. I'm very excited about my new job, and I know it brings TH some comfort. He is one of those guys who always feels like the bottom could fall out at any moment even though the bank account balance goes up every month. I think it's because he grew up in true poverty. Regardless, I'm happy about it too because now not only do I not feel worthless, but we can quickly pay off my car and a few other little things that I brought into the marriage. You know, like $35,000 in student loan debt. Little things like that.

I'm also going to have some good blogging material.

Thursday, June 14, 2007 

The nastiest thing that has ever happened to me

TH and I came back home late this afternoon. I wanted to have at least one more swim in the ocean before we left, so my sister, TH, and I went to the beach this morning around 11:00. The wind was blowing and the waves were a little higher than they have been. The water was still clear too. No jellyfish.

Unfortunately, jellyfish are not the only peril of the sea, as we were about to find out.

We spent a couple of hours playing in the waves, alternating who got to use the two boogie boards. At one point, a big wave came over me and TH. My sister was about 10 feet away. When we came up, both of us immediately felt something slapping into us in the water. We were a little disoriented from the wave, and both of us thought someone had thrown a handful of rocks or shells at us. We started looking around and saw that a school of flying fish was passing between us, and some of them were smacking into us! It was bizarre! Immediately after I realized what they were, I also noticed that there were about a zillion of these tiny little translucent fish around us. They were about an inch long, and you wouldn't even be able to spot them if they weren't moving in schools of thousands. One alone would be nearly invisible. They looked similar to this one, except smaller and creepier.

I have seen all sorts of little fish out there in the past, and I figured the flying fish might've been there to eat these little invisi-fish. We saw several groups of flying fish while we were out deep sea fishing on Tuesday, and my brother in law even caught one. Those are somewhat creepy too, but the ones that practically attacked us in the surf were different from the ones we saw out in the deeper water.

Anyway, we stayed out in the water for about an hour after we encountered the fish. When we got back to the condo, TH was the first to get in the shower. I had worn a pair of shorts over my bathing suit when I was swimming, and I didn't want to get the bed wet while I waited for him to come out of the bathroom. I dropped my shorts on the floor and then took off my bathing suit and sat on the edge of the bed. (Try not to picture me naked. I will not be held responsible for any psychological trauma that might result.) I noticed something on my leg that looked like a piece of grass or seaweed stuck to my skin. When I pulled it off, I realized that it was about 3 of those little fish we had seen. They were dead, and they were stuck to my skin. As if that's not gross enough, when I stood up to go drop them into the toilet, I realized that there were dozens, maybe hundreds more stuck to my skin in various places, but mostly where my shorts had been in contact with my waist. That's right. Handfuls of tiny, dead fish were squished to my skin.

Oh, I suppose there are worse things than realizing that you are covered in dead fish. Maybe like realizing you are covered in dead fish, you are screaming and attracting attention while naked and there's someone in the shower so you can't do the first thing that comes to mind, which is GET THEM OFF! I freaked a little the f*ck out. My sister was right outside the bedroom door, and she came in when I started squealing. When she saw me pulling handfuls of fish off my body, she freaked out too. The two of us went screaming down the hallway towards the other bathroom and about .05 seconds later we were taking a shower together for the first time since before we had pubes. We were pushing and shoving to get under the water, and the entire time this was going on my sister was gagging and trying not to puke, and I was going back and forth between choking back the urge to blow chunks and laughing unconfreakintrollably.

After I finally got out of the shower, I found that the pockets in the shorts I had worn were filled with the little fish. There were lots of them on the floor where I had taken my shorts off, and there was a trail of them down the hallway where I had run naked and screaming. My sister only had 1 on her, and TH didn't see any. I expected him to have a few too, because he was wearing swim trunks and my shorts seemed to be what trapped them.

It was, without doubt, the most f*cked up repugnant thing that has ever happened to me. Ever. In fact, I am getting a little creeped out thinking about it.

The ocean can kiss my ass.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 

Quick Update

TH and I arrived in Florida yesterday with a car load of wound up young 'uns, and when they finally bounced out of our backseat and into the arms of their not-so-eager-to-reunite parents, it was not a moment too soon. If I had heard Are we there yet one more time, I think someone would have found himself riding on the hood, and there was a vein in the side of TH's head that looked perilously close to its breaking point.

We all went to the beach yesterday, except TH, who broke his toe hours before we came down here. The water was especially clean and jellyfish free, and it was the first time in years that I was free to swim without fear of being stung or nearly drowning myself while trying to get a wad of seaweed out of some crevice.

Today we went deep sea fishing.

There's more to tell, but I can't concentrate because TH is looking over my shoulder, so I gotta wrap this up.

Yesterday I found out I got the other job that I wanted. I'm going to go sign the contract when I get home. No long drives.

Peace out bitches.

Sunday, June 10, 2007 

Laundromat gringos

Nothing beats the heat like sitting in a giant room with fifty running clothes dryers and as many Mexicans for half an hour. That's exactly what I just got done doing.

The other day when the hallway flooded, I had managed to do four loads of laundry before it backed up. So today I figured I should be able to get one measley load done without a problem, right? Wrong! I just wanted to make sure everything would be clean before we leave tomorrow morning, but I ended up flooding the hallway again. My entire floor is going to have to be replaced, and I hope TH knows this is going to require filing a claim with our homeowner's insurance. Judging by the fact that the ceiling fans on our front porch are still broken from Katrina because he didn't bother calling the insurance company back and pointing out that they didn't pay for them with the claim check, I have a feeling he won't want to file a claim for this either. Anyway, since I had a full load of soapy clothes, plus a huge load of dirty towels that had been used to sop up Lake Disaster for the third day in a row, I had no choice-- I had to go to the laundromat.

When we got there, it was like a scene from a western movie when an outsider walks into the bar. The music stops and everyone looks at the intruder. Yep. We're white, and we're at the laundromat. Get back to la ropa. Vamanos! I didn't say that, but if it had been a movie I might've. You know, if it was a bad movie. And it was also stupid. And a little racist.

Let's move on.

My one and only memory of using a laundromat is not a pleasant one. From what I remembered from my first experience, most of the washers were broken, half of them would steal your quarters, and the one I found that would actually work was so filthy that nothing seemed clean when it came out. Nothing says rainwater fresh like washing your underwear in the same tub that has been forced to choke down a million jizz and sh*t stains from random people's bedsheets.

This place wasn't bad. I mean, it wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. The washers were all working, and nothing smelled bad or had more than the standard quarter inch of scuzz caked on it. A nice Mexican dude gave me his chair, and I later surrendered it to a pregnant lady, so I spent most of the time leaning on the wall, which was sticky for some reason that I don't want to know. (I was hoping it had something to do with the nine thousand half empty cans of Raspberry Fanta that were lined up along the window sills.) Thankfully the dryer here still works, so I only had to wash them there. We brought the stuff back here and it's drying now.

The kids were pretty good right up to the last minute, when their Leapsters ceased to entertain them and they started asking for change for the video game. Actually, it wasn't even a video game. It was one of those rip off machines that has the hook dangling that you're supposed to use to fish out a stuffed animal, so needless to say I was a little reluctant to keep giving them quarters for it. The young one was supremely disappointed that she didn't get a toy from that thing, and I was lucky that the clothes finished washing right about the time she started gearing up to go apesh*t. I tossed my wet panties back into the basket, rounded up the young 'uns, and got the hell out of there.

We rewarded ourselves with Sonic ice cream cones on the way home.

Saturday, June 09, 2007 

Minding Mice at a Crossroads

My sister, brother-in-law, and the kids got here around 2:00 today. I was shocked, because they normally turn a 4 hour trip into at least 6 hours, but today they made it in less than 5. This was the first time they'd even seen where I live, so we all hung out for about an hour before they hit the road again. They're in Perdido Key now, and the rest of us will meet up with them Monday.

So TH is at work and I've had the kids since about 3:00. I've learned a lot.

1. A cute five year old can get you out of a ticket.
2. Getting pulled over provides a wonderful opportunity to discuss what the cops might have done if we hadn't had our seatbelt buckling ceremony in the driveway before we left.
3. They should require proof of age to sell Mountain Dew Code Red. That shit is like crack to an eight year old. Crystal Light is your friend. Your calm, mellow, sugar-free friend.
4. No matter how you try to maintain order, the following things are guaranteed to happen: The red drink will get spilled on the coffee table and the carpet; The kitchen floor will be sticky for reasons unknown; The cats will go into hiding and develop an intense phobia of the sound of children's voices; Someone will set a wet cup on the pool table; There will be a half-eaten bologna sandwich thrown into the refrigerator without even being wrapped up; Realizing after you arrive at McDonald's that someone made it out of the house barefoot will remind you where you came from; At some point, chocolate milk will fly through the air.

I'm not very bad at this kid handling thing. I only promised my sister that I would keep them alive-- beyond that, there were no guarantees. I've managed to keep them entertained, fed, and happy. We even got through bath time, tooth-brushing time, medicine time, story time, and bedtime without much hassle. I did have to threaten to crack their skulls if they called me in there to referee one more showdown over who was hogging the covers. The red pillow in the center of the bed is a wall. If one of you crosses the wall, both of you get spanked, starting with the person who calls me in here. Any questions?

I only threatened spanking after the fourth trip in there, so don't call any hotlines on me. Children under 10 understand the concept of spank a little better than they understand the concept of peace treaty, and it was starting to look like the Gaza Strip in there.

Friday, June 08, 2007 

Wanted: Handyman. Or an Ark. Whichever.

We thought we had resolved the issue of the potentially massively expensive house repair. First, TH called a plumber, who said the worsening leak in our hallway is due to the gray water pipe being clogged up. He dug around the end of the pipe and made some space for the water to flow out, charged us $180, and left.

It didn't fix the problem.

So TH called an air conditioner repairman, thinking perhaps the water is coming from the air conditioner "sweating." The AC guy said the pipe that takes away the "sweat" is clogged with algae. He blew some air down into it with some kind of machine, poured some bleach into it, put an anti-algae tablet of some sort into the system, and said the problem should be fixed. That was yesterday, and after he left there wasn't any more water coming out, so we thought we had gotten lucky. The plumber had charged $180, and it only cost $50 to have the AC guy come out, so $230 was a welcome grand total compared to what we were expecting.

We were relieved. Then tonight, it flooded again. Big time. I had just finished cleaning the house, which took hours, and I was ready to sit down on the couch, fold a bunch of laundry, and watch tv. As I walked past the AC unit in the hallway, I heard a gurgling noise, and looked down to see that there was a puddle of water. I quickly pulled the carpet back and started throwing towels down. I had washed every towel in the house because that's how many it took to clean up the last disaster, and tonight when I was throwing them down on the new mess, they were still warm from the dryer.

Just before the flood, I had the AC kickin' pretty hard, because I had been cleaning and had worked up a sweat. But I had also done a lot of laundry. So the question remains: Is it the AC, the gray water backing up from the washer, both, or neither?

Not only does the carpet have to be replaced, but now water has gotten under the wood floors where the wood meets the carpet. The wood is swelling, and I'm sure it will warp. Now that's going to have to be replaced too-- if we EVER find out what the hell is causing this and get it fixed. It's getting ridiculous. Very f*cking ridiculous.


And the juggling act begins

Today's to-do list included returning some things to Wal Mart, buying some new things at Wal Mart (cheap shorts and t-shirts for vacation), cleaning the house, paying some bills, and re-mopping the kitchen floor, even though I just did it yesterday. Some mud miraculously appeared overnight. I'm sure it couldn't have had anything to do with the fact that my husband was outside digging a hole with a shovel just an hour or so before it appeared.

The list did not include going to the doctor, but that is exactly what I ended up doing. Remember the ear infection I had in February? Remember how it went away, then came back....twice? Well, I'm on #3 right now, and have been for several weeks. I have still been having intense headaches, pain in my ear, in my throat, sinus pressure, and dizzy spells when I lie down. On May 11, I went to the doctor for the third time for this problem. He gave me a Z-pack and it seemed to go away, but four days after I finished the medicine, it started coming back. I have been treating the pain with Tylenol, which helps, and I was hoping that it would resolve itself. Then on Wednesday it hurt worse than usual, and the Tylenol stopped working. Since we're going out of town Monday, I thought I should get to the doctor before then. I don't want it to ruin my vacation.

This time I went to the same place I've been going, but saw a different doctor. This lady took it more seriously since it has been recurring over such a long period of time. She said that my ears were "not that bad," but she gave me a shot of some steroid, ordered x-rays of my sinuses to see if there's a "wad of infection buried deep inside of there," and gave me a two week course of a stronger antibiotic. The x-rays revealed that my sinuses are free of any "wads of infection," and she said that if I have any symptoms after taking this antibiotic, or if it comes back soon thereafter, to get my butt to an Ear Nose & Throat guy asap. I am hoping this will knock it out. I don't feel like seeing any more doctors anytime soon.

That steroid shot hurt like hell. I've never really been afraid of needles, but when I first see the needle, I do have a fleeting moment of Oh my God that's going into my flesh in about five seconds and there's nothing I can do about it. That moment was slightly more intense today when I saw the needle, because it was really big and long, and unlike when they're just drawing blood, I knew this one was going to squirt some burning medicine into me. You always know it's gonna suck when the nurse says, "Ready? Here goes!" right before she jabs it into you. A little less build-up would suit me just fine.

After dropping my rx at the employee pharmacy at TH's work, I finished most of my to-do list. I still haven't gotten to the cleaning part, and I think I'm going to spend a couple of hours doing nothing before I get to that.

How about a job update?

The lady who asked what I was wearing called back and offered me a job. She told me to call her back yesterday and give her my decision. I called back, but couldn't get her. Then today someone from the central office called and said that I had been recommended and they were writing my contract right then. I told them that I am leaving town and won't be able to come sign it for at least two weeks. Hey! I've been jacked around more than a little! I'm just doing what I have to do! Handling this with 101% honesty doesn't work. Besides, since I never called and accepted the position, I don't think this is unfair.

Then I hung up and called the other two schools who are stalling me, and told them both that I am being pressured to sign a contract at another district, but would rather work at their school. Yeah, I told both of them that-- and it's true that I would rather work for either of them over the one that has already offered me a job. If either of them offers me a job, I'll go sign the same day. I don't care which one, I just hope one of them works out so I don't have to go to the place that's already offered. One said that they'll know something Monday (last week they said they'd know something today), and the other one, who originally said it was going to take two weeks, said, "No, honey, it's not going to be 2 weeks. I will know on Monday. Call me Monday afternoon if you haven't heard from him."

Monday it is, then. Honey.

Thursday, June 07, 2007 

Lines composed over a bucket of ice cream

Today was my doctor appointment, and I was eager to see how much weight I have lost since starting my new diet and walking more often. I gained two pounds.

I pretty much hate the world right now.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007 

Plugging Leaks

Cross your fingers, people. I think I've got a job. My name's not on the dotted line yet, but I think it will be.

This is great, especially since we think we're about to have a massively expensive home repair. Remember when I wrote about the mysterious water leaking into the hallway from under the wall? We couldn't find the source, but thought it either had something to do with the new plumbing for the sewer system, or the air conditioner unit. Last night it happened again, and when I pulled the now completely and totally ruined carpet back, there was more water than before. I had to pull carpet up in the hallway and in the office. When I got down to the foundation, I noticed that it had a crack that basically went around the entire area where the water was coming from, as if the crack were a circle drawn around the still elusive source of the water, which is behind a wall.

Last night, TH did some research, and thinks he has figured it out. Apparently, when a foundation settles, as ours clearly has, it can potentially bust the pipes that are coming up into the house through the concrete of the foundation. It makes perfect sense. The bad news is that they have to bust up the foundation around that area, replace the pipe, pour new concrete, and then you have to hire someone else to come in and do something else to the foundation to make sure it's even. At least that's my understanding of the process.

It sounds impossibly expensive, doesn't it? So yeah, it'll be good if I can get my name on a dotted line soon. That seems to be on the brink of happening. I'll know more later today. This is the first time I've been able to breathe a hopeful little sigh of relief in six weeks. Let's hope it's not a false alarm.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 

The bleach, the bitch, and the beach

Sometimes when I start working on some household chore, I get carried away and end up doing something I didn't set out to do. Like tear down wallpaper, or sweep (and bleach) the entire carport and driveway. I just completed the latter, and worked up quite a sweat. I only meant to sweep out the laundry room. But the carport I swept the stuff out onto was so dirty that I knew the junk would get tracked back in. Next thing I knew, I was sweeping the entire thing. And bleaching it, and rinsing it off.

That must be how meth-heads feel when they get high and take things apart, or clean for hours. Except I'm not a meth head, and the urge to clean only lasts about two hours with me, then I'm back to my lazy ways.

A few days ago, I started wiping down the kitchen counters, and ended up hanging a 61" window blind on the window above the sink. TH left the window uncovered for years, which was okay because it just looks into the kitchen. The neighbors across the street could see in, and when I moved in I bought some fabric at Wal Mart and made a crappy curtain for it. Why didn't I just buy the blinds then? Because TH was convinced that the right size did not exist. (He always thinks that the little obstacles we encounter--whether it be a leaky faucet, or a funny sized window-- are one of a kind, insurmountable walls of disappointment that we should just learn to live with when they're really just little annoyances that everyone has to deal with, and there's a warehouse of solutions somewhere that we just have to hunt down, ie the housewares section at Wal Mart.)

Forgive the digression. It's a miracle they're actually hung and not leaning against the wall. It's also a miracle that I didn't tear anything up in the process, like the day I tried to hang blinds in the laundry room. Painful memories. Too bad I deleted my old blog, or else I'd link to the post about that.

I have job interviews every day for the rest of this week. That also means I'm released from my church obligation.

My appointment with the colon doctor had to be moved up to tomorrow, because next week I am going to be HERE---


I'm looking forward to the beach, but moving the appointment up means that I will be weighed before my full month is up, which means I probably haven't reached my goal. The last two days have not been very good for my weight loss efforts, because we had a big meal at my sister-in-law's house, and I suspended the rules for that one meal. I ate chicken spaghetti and cake. Then last night, I made spaghetti for us. I had the stuff for it, and I was too tired to go shopping for anything else. As long as I've lost some weight, I'll be happy.

This will be the first time TH has come on a family vacation, even though he has been invited every year since we've been together. He's "not a beach person," as he tells me every two hours despite the fact that the only beach he's ever seen is the one in Biloxi, which doesn't really count. The barrier islands prevent waves, which makes the water less ocean-like, and the beach less beach-like. There's sand, and there's salt water, but it's not really a beach. You have to take a ferry out to the other side of the islands to get to a real beach. I'm not sure which he's dreading more-- being forced to give the beach a try, or being with my family for three days.

We can't stay the full week. The kids will be here Saturday, we'll go down to Florida on Monday morning, and we'll come back Thursday, I think. Maybe it's Wednesday. I'm not sure. The plans to spend our anniversary in a secluded cabin near a river have been washed away by the rising tide of TH's work obligations. Some bitcha$$ jerkoff coworker of his has requested every holiday and every other day he wants off for the next six years, and the spineless manager is letting that fly. The guy happens to want off on our anniversary, and since he claimed it in 1978, TH can't have it. In fact, he can't have any extra days that entire week. So our only trip this year will be to spend 3 days in a condo with my parents, sister, brother in law, and their offspring, sleeping ten feet away from the children, next door to my parents, and, most importantly, not having sex.


Oh well. I guess if you have to not have sex somewhere, that's the place. I love the beach.

Monday, June 04, 2007 

Go Postal

Today was the first day of the VBS at church. As I said before, I got cornered into volunteering. Four separate people approached me and asked me to help, so I said I would. I was supposed to be working with 5th grade boys, but I was only supposed to be the helper. There is a male college student who has the lessons and everything under control.

Well, I dragged my ass out of bed at 6:50 this morning and got there at 8:00. Then I sat in the church for thirty minutes talking to a few girls. The lady in charge (who happens to be a 24 year old elementary teacher who works in the best district in the freakin' state even though she can't possibly have more than one or two years of experience, but hey, no animocity there or anything) gave me a book with the lessons in it, and then I met the guy who was in charge of our group.

Only a few kids showed up for our class, so I got moved to work with the girls. There were fourteen girls, and five adults in the room. A teacher, a 21 year old assistant, me, and two teenagers. Nobody knew where the kids were supposed to be at any given time, where things were happening, etc. It was a headache. A poorly planned clusterf*ck of a headache.

The girls were good, and it mostly evened out by the end of the day. I could tell they had fun and I think it will be much smoother tomorrow. It's basically just a series of fun things for them to do. They have crafts, games, snacks, etc., and the last thirty minutes is the lesson, which isn't so much a lesson as it is some kind of game that requires them to look at a Bible verse. I am supposed to be teaching that tomorrow because the real teacher can't be there and the backup girl backed out. They slung a book at me and said good luck, basically. I was looking at the lesson, and it didn't make any sense. I don't even know if this book is what I'm supposed to be using. It outlines what you're supposed to do, but keeps saying, "See p. 14 of Some Other Manual," or, "Use Item #4 from the Fun Pack." I asked if they had the items that it was referring to. Nobody knows anything about that. I have no idea what I am going to do. Wing it, I guess.

I'm usually pretty good at winging it, but in this case it would be much easier if I had even been to church a few times in the last 15 years.

I don't even want to go tomorrow. Why did I say I would do this? I wanted to go to church for the first time in many years, and now, a mere two weeks later, I'm already frustrated with the whole scene. They wonder why people are scared to go, and why people stop going. If anyone knew what they were doing, this would be fine. I think it's important for kids to have things to do during the summer, and I'm not too lazy to help make it happen. I just think the people in charge need to make sure the people helping have what they need.

The fact that I only had a few hours of sleep going into it didn't help any. When I got home, I ate lunch and then I lost consciousness took a nap. For four hours. When I woke up, I couldn't believe how late it was. I was covered in sweat and my face was burning up, and I think that's the only reason I woke up when I did.

Right before I fell asleep, the phone rang. It was a principal from a school far, far away from here. They want to interview me again. I got interviewed the first time sort of by accident. I didn't realize how far away the school is. I'm not even sure exactly how far away it is, but I think it's about 70 miles. I'm driving up there later this week, so I'll find out exactly how far it is then.

We have an empty trailer setting on a bunch of land near there though, and TH says if all else fails and I get no other offers, I should take the job and we'll make the trailer livable and I can crash there when I need to. I don't like the idea. Of course, if I don't get a job this year, that'll likely be it for the teaching thing, so there's a part of me that thinks it'd be worth it for a year. The other part of me remembers how exhausted I felt after working all day and then driving a mere 42 miles home to my cabin in the woods outside Yazoo Shitty. That drive was a bitch. And as far as living in the trailer goes? NO thank you. It's not that I'm too good for a trailer, mind you. It's that I'm too good for a trailer that's been empty for two years, is filthy, and has been broken into and cleaned out by people who make the guys in that movie Deliverance look like a bunch of Rhodes scholars who also happen to live less than a mile away. It's also next door to TH's meth head cousins.

Besides, if I wanted to live alone in miserable conditions while working my ass off for peanuts, I could've stayed where I was before we tied the knot.

Someone closer better call, or I'm getting a job at the post office. The local post office.

Sunday, June 03, 2007 

Lazy Post

--Ever since we went to church, some mystery person has knocked on our front door on four separate occasions. We never answer. Their timing is incredibly bad, if you know what I be saying. They're 2 for 4 so far.

--At first I felt guilty for not answering the door, but I changed my mind. Why should I feel guilty? Call first! I don't like people knocking on my door unannounced unless they are bringing money, and even then, why not just call first?? Even if I'm not busy, I might not come to the door. I don't always wear a bra around the house, FYI, and I'm not coming to the door with my girls bouncin'.

--As I've shared in previous posts, I have been trying to lose weight for some time now. Recently, I started to see subtle signs of progress. My love handles are shrinking, for one, and my waist is slightly smaller.

--Today at TH's sister's house, she said I look like I've lost some weight. I was thrilled.

--So thrilled that I ate a piece of cake. And some fruit salad.

--I'll be walking 3 miles tonight.

--I have to go back to the colon doctor sometime around June 13-ish. That will be the next time I'll be weighed, which will be one month after the last time I was weighed. My goal is to see a smaller number on June 13. I think 10 pounds is a reasonable goal.

--The older I get, the less I talk when I'm around people. I find that I sound smarter and smarter.

--Sometimes when I say things, they come out the wrong way, or I don't emphasize what I'm really trying to emphasize, and I'm frequently misunderstood. This creates conflict.

--Who wants conflict? Especially when it's just because you were misunderstood.

--Blogging has made me a lazy writer. I used to make sure everything was spelled correctly and that there were no grammatical errors. This came easily to me because errors were like vinegar being sprayed into my eyes. They jumped out at me, and stung. I couldn't resist changing them. Now I don't cringe nearly as hard when I see one.

--I think a year of looking at 7th grade level writing (which was 2nd grade level writing where I worked) has made me less sensitive to shiddy writing. Taken the edge off my grammar nazi-ism, so to speak.

--The way things are going, I may never again look at 7th graders' writing. But that is depressing, and I've decided not to be depressed or anxious about it anymore.

--My eyes were opened to what I'm dealing with when the principal called and asked me what I wore to my interview. That was so tacky. I won't let my self-esteem slip down one single notch for someone like that. Not one notch.

--My eyes were opened further when TH put his arms around me and told me he was proud of me, and that I didn't deserve anyone's pity because I'm not pitiful.

--If he knew what enormous power he has, his head would be the size of the Hindenburg. (I mean before it burst into flames and crashed to the ground.)

--Must walk. Must walk. Must walk...

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Pookie is a jerk

Me, up at 7:00 a.m.? Yeah.

And that's nothing compared to the night before last. TH and I hit the sack slightly earlier than usual because he had to cover another person's shift, which required him to get up at 6:00 a.m. That sucks considering that he got home at 1:00 a.m. and is used to sleeping way past 6:00.

After about two hours of Pookie stop! and dammit, Pookie! TH got up and went to the extra bedroom. I have no idea what was wrong with him-- or what is wrong with him, I should say, because he normally lies down between us and goes to sleep. (The cat, that is, not The Husband.) Even if I want to sleep ungodly hours, he stays there patiently. If he does decide he's ready to get up, he just gets up and goes about his business.

At 4:30 that morning I realized that Millay (aka Satan) was in the house. I realized this because she stood in the doorway and stared at me with her gleaming red eyes, communicating telepathically that she wanted to be let outside. When I went to the door, I noticed that the cats' food bowl was empty, so I filled it. A few minutes later, Pookie returned to the bedroom, curled up next to me, and slept peacefully like God intended for cute little kittens to do.

I thought the problem was that he had been hungry the entire night, so last night I made sure he was well fed before bedtime. I even gave him the rare can of wet food to make sure his belly would be good and full. He didn't bother me most of the night, but he has been up since about 6:00. He didn't leave the bedroom like he normally does. Instead, he got behind the closet door and found something that would make a most annoying scratching sound when he rattled it against the wooden door. Then he got into a basket of magazines and made some more rattling noises, got up on my pillow and made bird sounds, climbed into the box springs under the mattress and scratched at that for a while...the list could go on, but to sum it up, he annoyed the piss out of me. So much so that I gave up sleeping and took up cursing. It's Sunday morning, not even 8:00 yet, and I've dropped 3 f-bombs so far. (I'm halfway through my first cup of coffee, so in a few minutes I should be less bitter about the lack of sleep.)

I don't know what the problem is, but I hope he goes back to being an ideal kitty soon. Two possible causes of this insane behavior:

1. We have left him alone more than usual the last couple of days. He's quite needy-- for a cat. (TH says he is Sweet Tea reincarnated.)
2. Before we left for the movies two nights ago, I put some Frontline on him. I have a friend whose cat hallucinates and freaks out and generally acts like a rabid monkey on LSD when she puts that stuff on him. Maybe Pookie is allergic too.

I suppose those of you who have chirren don't have any sympathy for my cat woes, do you? I don't blame you. It's not a real problem as problems go. One day maybe there will be a snotty nosed kid who looks like me standing in the hallway at 6:00 a.m. demanding my attention. And maybe I won't throw a magazine at him and go back to sleep.



Friday, June 01, 2007 

Do I have "worthless" stamped on me somewhere?

Yesterday I made some kickass chicken fajitas. I even made guacamole. That part kinda sucked, but everything else was really delicious.

We have had earth-shaking gas all day.

Next Saturday my parents, my sister, bro in law, and their kids are heading to Perdido Key. We're going to meet them there that Monday or Tuesday and spend two days there. Since they have to come through here on their way, I told my sister to bring the kids and leave them here that Saturday, and they can spend a few days with us and then we'll bring them down with us when we come. Of course she jumped on the chance to have some child-free vacation time, so Ryan and Olivia will be here next Saturday.

Have I mentioned that I'm also going to be working with 5th grade boys every day this week? I might be kinda tired of kids ten days from now.

Speaking of things that wear on ya, I still STILL STILL haven't received any good news on the job front. This morning we woke to the sound of someone leaving a message on the machine. I couldn't understand 95% of what the lady said, and she didn't even tell me who she was. All I caught was "position you applied for," so I called back immediately. When she answered, I realized it was an Assistant Principal at one of the dozen or so schools that interviewed me last week. The conversation went exactly as follows:

Local High School, can I help you?
Yes, this is Mean Teacher. I think I just missed a phone call from you.
Yes! Good morning! How are you?
I'm great, thanks!
Are you still looking for a job?
Yes, I am.
Okay, fabulous! You were the blonde headed lady in the navy jacket and the pink shirt, right?
Well, I have blonde hair, but I was wearing a black jacket and a white shirt.
Oh. Okay. Well I'll call you next Monday then.
Okay. Thanks.

Yeah. Thanks. Can you BELIEVE that shit? Can you? Can you imagine a high school principal who calls candidates for teaching positions and asks them to refresh her memory on what they were wearing, then ends the conversation when she realizes she's got the wrong one? Tell me if you can, because I for one CAN NOT.

I was so enraged by that phone call that it almost ruined my day. I couldn't believe it. She actually called me to tell me she'd call me Monday? I don't think so.

Here's the kicker-- I mentioned in an earlier post that I ran into my niece there when I went to my interview. She was just coming out of an interview. She has blonde hair, and I know she was wearing a navy jacket, and I think she was wearing a light pink shirt.

Oh, the agony of defeat. I'm dying, people. DYING I TELL YOU! I'm tired of being lied to by these people. Two schools interviewed me more than 2 months ago, and neither one even bothered to give me the courtesy of a "we hired someone else" call-- even though they said they would, and even though I called them weeks later and left messages asking to be called back.

I cheered up after a depression-induced two hour nap, which I took less than two hours after I woke up the first time. Then tonight TH and I went to the movies and saw Knocked Up. It was funnay, and I recommend it if you're in the mood to laugh.

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