Tuesday, July 31, 2007 

Bureaucratic Kudzu

It must've been about two months ago that I first heard someone use the term "bureaucratic kudzu." As soon as they said that, I knew exactly what they were talking about.


It was brought here because someone with good intentions thought it would be of use, but now it's just a giant pain in the ass. It only needs to get one little root in the ground before it can consume everything in its path. You'll trip and fall if you try to walk through it, because it is one giant, unnavigable tangle, and there's basically no way to kill it off once it gets a foothold.

Bureaucratic kudzu is the perfect way to describe lots of things. Insurance companies are especially skilled at growing kudzu on and along pathways that should be straight and pleasant. They didn't bring it in to stop erosion, though. They brought it in just to trip you up and wear you out.

School districts have their own bureaucratic kudzu, and I've been wading through some of it today. So far, navigating this particular sea of kudzu has been easier than expected. At least it's there because of good intentions, even if it does slow me down. There's even a guide to walk me through it, so I haven't even fallen on my face yet. I didn't have that benefit with my previous job. It was every teacher for herself up there, where kudzu is second only to cotton.

So far, I like my new employer. There has been lots of training and preparation, and the people seem genuinely willing, ready, and able to offer support to the teachers. The proof will be in the pudding, if I can offer one more cliché, but I'm almost as hopeful as I would be if I hadn't already experienced a year of insolence, abuse, checks that are still in the mail, and flying desks.

Here we go, folks!

Monday, July 30, 2007 

Cleanin out my closet

After writing the previous post, I stepped outside to find that it was raining harder than I thought, so I abandoned my spur of the moment plan to go work on my room. To get to my room from the parking lot, I have to walk a distance across a big yard. The school has one of those weird setups. I didn't feel like hauling a cardboard box and a mini fridge across that big yard in the rain, so I stayed here and cleaned out a closet. There were a couple of skeletons in there. Turns out TH kept all the painfully corny notes I wrote him in our first year of togetherness, way back when every joyful or painful moment seemed like a defining one.

I hate cleaning out drawers and closets, because you invariably come across tons of crap that you're not sure what to do with. That's why it was shoved into a closet or drawer in the first place-- because it was in the way, but whoever did the shoving didn't think it could be trashed. A bill of sale from a camper that TH bought in 2001-- to trash, or not to trash? The camper was stolen, after all, and some part of me thought the bill of sale might come in handy if it's ever found. We gave up hope on that long ago, but I dread that moment when having the bill of sale is suddenly extremely important and I have to tell TH that I chunked it just days ago, and in that moment I will look and feel like the biggest idiot on the planet.

So what's my solution, you ask? Well I'm going to set it out on the computer desk so that he has to make the call, of course. I don't know why I'm going to the trouble. If he decides it can be thrown away and then that moment comes after all, he'll conveniently forget the lengths I went to to make sure it could be thrown away, and probably even deny that I ever brought it to his attention. Men have selective hearing and memories, you know. He'll probably select this particular blog post to remember as an example of how I fuss about him. He shouldn't take it too seriously. Nobody else does. Hell, nobody even reads this thing anymore. It's just my lonely voice echoing in the neverending hallways of the internet. Hello hello hello hello hello hello

See? Nothingness.

All of Hillbilly Mom's talk about new computers has fanned the flame of my computer envy. I've been trying to fight off a longing for a new laptop for about six months now, but I'm starting to lose the battle. I don't know exactly what I want, but I want it to be fast enough to play video without any hiccups, because I like to download things to show my young'uns. I'll try not to start researching just yet, because once I figure out exactly what I want, there will be no stopping me. And after all the recent costs of exploding pipes and flooded hallways, TH probably won't be too keen on the idea of a semi frivolous purchase any time in the near future.

Tomorrow I will post a pic of the pipe the guy tried to seal with electrical tape, just for shts and giggles.


Why the Insurance Company Hates My Guts

Kung fu Kitty woke me up this morning at 5:30 demanding to be fed. After that, I barely managed to snooze a little off and on until 9:00. My ENT appointment was at 11:20.

The doc said I definitely have eustachian tube dysfunction, inverted/retracted (?) ear drums, and chronic inflammation inside my nose, but that the cause of it is uncertain. So he did an allergy test, and I'll know the results in 3 to 4 WEEKS. If I have a bunch of allergies, I'll have shots. If that doesn't do it, they'll do a CAT scan.

In other words, this was the sixth doctor's visit since this sh*t started, and I still haven't been offered a definitive solution. The saga continues.

I should be working on my classroom right now, but I'm too lazy to go deal with it. I have to be at work at 8 tomorrow morning. Maybe we'll get out early enough for me to go work on it then.

On second thought, if I stay here I'll just be washing dishes and cleaning the house. I think I'll head over there after all.

Sunday, July 29, 2007 

Must Have Down Time

My parents finally arrived around 10:30 Friday night, after taking an accidental detour somewhere near Jackson and ending up in some town I'd never heard of before. Saturday morning around 11:00, everyone else showed up, including my sister and her crew. We had a really good time. The weather was good. It was hotter than Hades, but at least it didn't rain. The catfish was good and everyone had fun.

I'm covered in poison ivy-- turns out those mini forests didn't go down without a fight. It took a couple of days for me to realize it was poison ivy, but even though it's been on me for almost a week it's just now really starting to be a big pain. My left arm is covered, and there's a quarter sized spot on the front of my neck. I look like a leper. Getting all hot and sweaty outside yesterday didn't do anything to make the oozing sores feel better.

My sister and her husband and their kids spent the night last night and they just left about an hour ago. It's impossible for them to take any kind of road trip without getting lost. One time on their way back toward Memphis from Pensacola, they ended up in Atlanta. Today on their way back toward Memphis from here, they almost went to Meridian. They could seriously benefit from a navigation system.

Pookie learned that he doesn't like people as much as he thought-- he eventually got to the point where he would start hissing if a kid came within 10 feet of him. He's never hissed at anything before in his life, so the kids really brought out his inner cat.

My sister taught him to play pool. He has a little plastic ball that belongs in one of his cat toys, and Sister put it on the pool table. Pookie would line it up with one of the pockets, then knock it in, then try to pull it out. When she sat it back on the table again, he'd push it to another pocket and knock it in. If I can get it on video, we might be able to create a good You Tube video.

Our house was impeccably clean before anyone arrived. Now? Not so much. I'll get it cleaned again once I have a long nap. Of all the stuff that happened, I really should be able to write a better blog post than this but I'm too itchy and tired. Screw it. I'm going back to bed.

Friday, July 27, 2007 


My folks are on the way down. My mother got off work at 3, but they didn't manage to leave their driveway until 5:45. Next time they say something about my sister and her crew not being able to leave on time, I'm gonna pull this outta my sleeve. Speaking of my sister and her crew, they're spending tonight at his sister's house in Jackson tonight and driving the rest of the way down here in the morning. At least that's the plan.

The house is clean. The catfish is thawing. The lawn is being mowed as we speak. If the weather holds off, a good time is almost guaranteed.

Monday is the last free week day I'll have. The school district will own my soul for the next 188. Of course I'm spending my last free day at the doctor's office. He'll probably at least do an MRI or something before recommending surgery, but I'm hoping that if he says I have to have that done, it can wait until December. The surgery is supposed to take about six days of recovery-- or at least that's what I think he said in passing last time I was there. The point is that I would have to miss a full week of work. Starting a new job and then taking a full week off is not my idea of a good start. Especially when there are 150 chirren who are only going to be wilder than ever if they have a sub for that long.

I'm going to pull weeds out of the flowerbeds while I think of something besides having my nose operated on.

Thursday, July 26, 2007 

Well THAT was awkward!

Around 3:00, I realized I had nothing to eat for lunch so I decided to go get a poboy from Peter's Poboys. A while back I had a kickass soft shell crab sandwich there, and for some reason I suddenly had to have one.

A young guy (early 20's) walked in the door directly ahead of me, and the Vietnamese employer came out of the back to take his order. When he was given his total, the guy said he'd left his money in his truck, and ran out to get it. The worker and I both stood there for a few minutes, waiting. The clerk clicked a pen, stared at the ceiling, and clicked the pen some more. I noticed that the soft shell crab poboy had been marked off the menu with a Sharpie, and I asked if they still had it. He shook his head and went back to clicking his pen and looking at the ceiling. I pretended to look at the menu.

The young guy still hadn't come back in. I looked out the window, but didn't see him. After a couple more minutes, I walked over to the door and looked out, and didn't see the guy anywhere. I went back to the counter and stood there another minute or so, then finally said, "I think he may have left." The worker said, "What?" I said, "I think that guy left. I didn't see him out there." The guy said, "Oh, he's gone. He left." I said, "I thought he was going to get his money?" "Well that's what he said, but then he drove off, so I guess he didn't have any money on him." I laughed and said, "Well I thought we were waiting for him!" He said, "No, I been waiting for YOU!" "Oh...sorry!"

He could've said something. I guess he thought I saw the guy drive off, and that I was just having a really, really, really, really, really hard time making up my mind what kind of poboy I wanted.

That oyster poboy didn't taste very good sprinkled with shame.


Pookie's Peanuts

Pookie's back from the vet. They called at 10:30 this morning to say that he was waking up from the anesthesia and everything was fine, but they kept him until after 4:00 anyway. I was expecting to have a sleepy Pookie today, but as you can see he's as fiesty as ever.
(Pretend you don't see my jacked up feet and swollen ankles, please.)

He's playing in the living room right now, and he's been doing his usual crazy antics. But when he tried to jump up onto the computer desk, it was kinda sad. He didn't make it, and then he lifted his leg and started licking the area formerly known as his nuts, so it must've caused him some pain down there.

Other than that, you'd never guess he just had surgery.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007 

Sticky Notes

1. Lil' Bush might be the lamest, unfunniest show ever to appear on Comedy Central, ever.

2. I have solved one of life's great pains in the ass. Can't find a pen? When companies order pens with their logos printed on them, the printing company inevitably messes some up. You can buy these misprinted rejects for cheap. I just got a box of 400 perfectly good blue and black ink pens, 50 pencils, and 25 highlighters on Ebay for under $14. "I don't have a pen" will not be an excuse in Meanie's class this year.


Got Skillz?

Today was eight hours of hell. It was mucho boringo, except for a very weird thing that happened to me. It was very weird, but I'm scared to blog about it in much detail.

The first thing that was discussed this morning was teacher blogs. Nobody explicitly said that teachers should not blog or that there was any inherent danger in it, but it was quite clear from the discussion that the blogosphere is filled with many a teacher. As you can imagine, it got me thinking about who may be watching. And that is why I'm afraid to tell you the details of the weirdness that occurred today.

Let's just say it involved another female whose interests in me seemed to reach beyond the realm of what might be considered professional. And she expressed this interest in a way that educators might describe as...tactile, or perhaps, kinesthetic.

Hang on. I think I need to go vomit.

Okay I'm back.

The first two days of this week were pretty helpful. Today was helpful, but aside from the molestation that I had to endure, it was so boring that it was hard to stay tuned in. The company that presented this workshop is one that works in districts across the nation. They said they are working with Memphis City Schools, schools in Arkansas, and some small towns in Missouri, including Cape Girardeau. So I suspect Hillbilly Mom may have had to suffer through the same workshop at some point, since they provide such practical guidance for educators across the continent. She would no doubt have the vocabulary to say so, if she so chose.

At the end of last week, after I went to my classroom and met up with some other teachers who tried to scare me, I was lacking confidence about the upcoming school year. Now that I've had some workshops to knock the rust off my Mad Teacher Skillz, I'm feeling much more capable. At the moment, I'm quite confident that I can walk in and take charge and make it happen. That's what it's all about.

Well, that and dodging airborne desks. I should probably brush up on my desk dodging skills.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 

The Mundane Details of My Mundane Day

Today was more of the same, except the lady who acted like such a dumbass yesterday must have taken her medication this morning, because she was much more reasonable.

On Sunday night I only had about three or four hours of sleep, but I made it through Monday fine. By last night, I was dragging, but I still couldn't fall asleep until after midnight. Today was rough. I had my standard cup of coffee this morning, and I kept waiting for the caffeine to hit me, but it never did. For the entire morning I felt like I had just opened my eyes for the first time. It was miserable. I couldn't focus on what we were doing, I wasn't comprehending anything that was going on, and it was basically several hours of wondering when it would end. When you're that tired, everything kinda hurts. The chair gets uncomfortable, you're suddenly wearing the most uncomfortable pair of shoes ever made, and everyone around you seems to be going on and on and on and you can't see the importance of anything except sleep.

After lunch I felt much better. I had sushi for the first time in months. We had over an hour for our break, and TH said he didn't want to come to that end of town to meet me, so I splurged on something I wanted.

The plumbing issues are resolved, or at least they seem to be. Since there have been several times in the past when we thought it was resolved only to find another lake in the living room, we're still a little skeptical, but it's definitely supposed to be fixed.

TH called the former employer of the scam artist today, and they basically told him that they weren't responsible for what the guy did and that they're sorry he got screwed but it's not their problem. He told them he was trying to do the right thing by giving them the information and the chance to make it right or work something out, but that if they wanted to ignore it, we'll get a lawyer involved. They had no answer for that, so it's on to the next step.

It's just a matter of finding a lawyer who deals with these kinds of cases. Tomorrow he's supposed to talk to a girl he works with whose husband is an attorney. We have been dealing with this for more than two years and I can't wait til those jackasses have to make this right. I can't see any possible way for us to lose. They are clearly liable.

I have another mundane day tomorrow, and I don't want to spend another morning yawning and hating the world.

Monday, July 23, 2007 

Guilt by association? Let's hope not.

Started work today. It was a training seminar thing about dealing with kids living in poverty. I basically spent the entire day trying to make sure the Superintendent, who happens to be a black female, didn't associate my name or face with a person at my table who was the biggest racist I've met in a long time. She was the kind of racist that doesn't even know she's racist. The "Why can't they just..." brand. The "We need to teach them that their ways are wrong" brand.

And she didn't know when to just shut up. It was painful.

Sunday, July 22, 2007 

The Mini Forests are Gone

It took me all of yesterday and today, but I have conquered the mini forests in the back yard. First, I used the weed eater to get rid of most of the grass and hopefully scare away any snakes that may have been lurking there. Then, I used a saw to get rid of the many mini trees whose little trunks were too thick for the weed eater. Some of them were really big! One tree was so surrounded that you couldn't even tell where the mini forest ended and the main tree began. After that, I got the push mower, and got the rest of the grass and weeds, then I made one more pass with the saw to get some things I left behind yesterday. There are still a few places that I need to hit with the weed eater again, but it's 100% better and TH is off tomorrow so I'm hoping he'll tie up the loose ends.

The yard looks fabulous now. I'm so proud. After I finished, the birds were hopping around in the freshly cut grass under the trees. I've noticed we've got more birds lately. They're mostly Mockingbirds, but a Hummer or two has finally started frequenting the feeder I hung on the front porch. Perhaps they finally decided to take up residence here now that Sweet Tea isn't out there to chase them. Pookie doesn't seem to have much interest, and Millay has been spending more and more time indoors as her tolerance for him increases.

Tomorrow is my first day of work, and I have to go through Wednesday. On Thursday I have to take Pookie to the vet at 8 a.m., so I think I'll pull weeds out of the flower beds while he's there being de-balled. I don't want my family knowing how lazy I am, and weeds in the flower beds are a dead giveaway. I'm extra motivated right now because if I could just get rid of those weeds, the yard would be almost perfect. It would be looking better than it has ever looked before, for sure. And I think we can maintain it now that it's up to standard.




The Devil Does St. Louis

Trapped in the Arch

About 200 people were trapped inside the 630-foot Gateway Arch for about two hours after an apparent power outage, authorities said.

The Devil must be making his rounds in Missouri this weekend!

Saturday, July 21, 2007 

A solution named sue

Okay, so you know I've been dealing with these stupid plumbers. Every few days the main guy, John, tells me that the other guy, Joe, is going to be at my house the very next day. And every day they have a reason they weren't there. The rain, the high number of jobs they have, a broken van, an injured worker-- I've heard all of those and more. Occasionally, someone shows up, fails to make any progress, and says they'll have to do this or that or return later with this tool or that one.

So Monday I called him and told him it needs to get done this week because I have to return to work next Monday. He responded with, "Oh, it ain't gonna be next week-- it's gonna be tomorrow for sure!" Right. So the next day, he said someone would be here Wednesday. Wednesday, he said someone would be here Thursday. I got a little short with him on the phone on Wednesday. I'm tired of this horse crap. TIRED. I want this finished. It has been the theme of my life the last many months, and I want it out of the way before I go back to work. I don't want to have to deal with these jackasses anymore. On Monday I will have brand new jackasses to deal with. It's time for this particular jackass to realize his turn is up and move aside. Anyway, in keeping with tradition, Thursday he said someone would be here Friday.

Yesterday was Friday. TH was at work at the hospital, and I was arranging desks on the other side of town. I had my cell phone on and it showed that it had a signal inside the classroom. They usually call my cell, so I figured I'd just run home when they called. IF they called. I wasn't exactly holding my breath.

My room is near the main door to the building. Around 3:00, I was sitting next to the old teacher (while she showed me yet another form that I'm not going to remember) when the main doors flew open violently. We looked up, and there stood TH, huffing and puffing and obviously in a hurry.

Last time someone practically broke down a door to come tell me something, it was because my cousin had been in an awful wreck. So my first thought was that someone had died or been in a wreck or something. I should have known that any and all chaos in our life right now must be plumber related. He said the plumber was at the house and was on the clock and there was nobody there to let him in. My cell phone didn't ring when TH tried to call.

So I hauled butt home, only to find that the plumber hadn't even tried to call me because he was working outside and didn't need me. TH had called the plumbers from work on his break and found out they were at the house and freaked out thinking they were sitting in a truck in the driveway getting paid for nothing. In his defense, that doesn't seem to be out of the realm of possibility with these fellas.

Anyway, after digging a hole in my yard and doing a bunch of other crap (including giving us a $2,000 bill for the sewer work they already did) the guy decided we need to replace 60 feet of 2" pipe across the front yard. He says this trouble is because of something the first plumber did. The one who REALLY ripped us off. He said if we decide to sue that guy's company, he'll vouch that it's his fault and testify or whatever.

He's liable for all this. He's in jail right now, but we're seriously considering suing his employer. Very seriously considering it. We have a case, we can prove our case, and I'm sure we could recoup all this money. There have been several times in the past when I/we had grounds to sue someone, but neither of us ever has because we're not greedy people and nothing has ever really been so huge that we felt it was worth the trouble. In this case, I think it might be worth it.

Who could blame us??

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Thursday, July 19, 2007 

...Please don't let it rain on the 28th, please don't let it rain on the 28th, please don't let it....

Last year on the 4th of July we had a family get together/cookout here at our place. My folks came down and we made a day of it. It was sort of a way for my family and TH's family to meet before our wedding. This 4th we didn't do that because everyone had just returned from vacations and seemed tired. We're doing it next weekend.

I've got 15 pounds of catfish filets, and we're going to fry them in the giant outdoor pot thingie that TH fries turkeys in at Thanksgiving. We've never done it this way, but how much different can it be to fry fish in a pot outside in peanut oil than it is to fry it on the stovetop in Lake Crisco?

It was supposed to be everyone from both sides, but so far my mother is the only one from my side who has confirmed that she's coming. My dad is undecided because he would have to miss work, and I think my sister and her clan are holding out to find out if my mother is going to pay for the gas or whatever costs are associated with coming down. So best case scenario from my side is that my mom, sister, bro in law, and the kids show up.

Today we had lunch with TH's sisters, and found out that his niece and her roommate aren't coming. They're going to a beauty pageant. I know. Hey, if you're crazy enough to take a beauty pageant over a fish fry, then you probably belong at the beauty pageant with the other nuts. I'm not sure if Big Strong Cowboy Nephew is coming or not. He's in love with a girl, and if she can't come he might not want to. I think we'll invite her. Why not? She's been around for about a year, and was at our family Christmas thingie.

I wish I had a great story to tell, but I don't. I'm just longing for catfish. It will be the last hurrah of summer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 

The Inefficiency Floorplan

I went and checked out my classroom. It's small. Too small. I can't even figure out how to arrange things so it works. Instead of single desks, I have those tables that seat two students per table. It's not ideal at all for hyperactive middle schoolers. What about tests? Who decided to buy these tables instead of desks, and what were they smoking that day?

I have 14 of those tables, and can't figure out how to arrange them so that I can move between them and students can move to the pencil sharpener without bumping into other people's backs. It's really cramped. If I can't move between each desk, that's a problem. Being able to move around the room is a major part of keeping them on task. It's also important to be able to kneel down at a kid's desk to help or provide input or directions while he/she is working on something.

At Webewild High, I had a humongous room. It was filled with old rickety desks and I couldn't get my hands on a file cabinet, a book shelf, or a teacher's desk that didn't fall apart when I looked at it the wrong way. Now I have 3 huge book shelves, 2 file cabinets, and a sturdy desk-- and nowhere to put any of it.

Schools. I swear.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 

Won't You Be My Assistant?

I'm trying to come up with a list of people who achieved something great in their lifetime or just have a really interesting story that would appeal to middle schoolers. I'm especially interested in people who had to overcome obstacles such as poverty, physical ailments, racial injustice etc., but that's not a requirement. It's also not a requirement that the person be a saint, although I'm staying away from most musicians and I did exclude Yogi Berra from the list once I learned he dropped out of school in 8th grade. This is for something I'm doing with 8th graders, after all.

I need about 100-150 people on this list. Here's what I've got so far.

Albert Einstein
Ben Carson
Hunter "Patch" Adams
Elizabeth Blackwell
George Washington Carver
Orville & Wilbur Wright
Thomas Edison
Hank Aaron
Jackie Chan
Jessie Owens
Lance Armstrong
Lisa Leslie
Michael Jordan
Mickey Mantle
Muhammad Ali
Roberto Clementé
Tiger Woods
Venus Williams
Wilma Rudolph
Anne Frank
Dr. Seuss
Helen Keller
Langston Hughes
Mark Twain
Maya Angelou
Stephen King
Jimmy Carter
Oprah Winfrey
Winston Churchill
Bill Gates
Milton S. Hershey
Walt Disney
Abraham Lincoln
Deborah Sampson
Eleanor Roosevelt
Harriet Tubman
James Reeb
Medgar Wiley Evers
Nelson Mandela
Rosa Parks
Sojourner Truth
Susan B. Anthony
Mary McLeod Bethune
Phyllis Wheatley
Gwendolyn Brooks
Shel Silverstein
Sir William Wallace
Thurgood Marshall
Charles M. Schulz
Bob Dylan
Christopher Reeve
Frida Kahlo
Harry Houdini
John Lennon
Will Smith

That's only 57 or 58. There are more out there, but my brain is starting to shrivel. Suggestions?


In the News

There's not much new happening in the world of Meanie. I have been going through a period of... well, I don't know what the word is. I've heard it described before as "taking a personal inventory." I think the 12 step drunks call it that. Anyway, that's what I'm doing lately. Don't ask why. I guess there are just some things about myself-- personal habits-- that I want to change. It's not like it'll miraculously happen on its own, or like anyone's gonna do it for me. I need more self discipline and restraint. Know where I can get any of that? Self discipline, that is, not restraints. I'm pretty sure the kink shop on East Hardy has restraints for sale.

Well, since I'm sure you don't want to hear about my internal struggles at self improvement, I've rounded up a few stories from the news. Some have been floating around for a few days, but I think they're still worth another look.

This is by far the most disturbing story I have ever, ever seen. Not for the squeamish--

Two Year Old Gets Sodomized by Family Pit Bull. (video)
Yeah. Apparently, the parents were in another room, and the pit bull jumped on the kid and..uh...sodomized him. Successfully. Kid starts screaming, mother runs in and starts swinging at the dog. Dog freaks out and runs out of the house--- with boy still attached. He's undergone surgery to repair "extensive damage."

Here's one that falls under my favorite category-- the kids are all right, but the parents could use a good ass whoopin'.

Parents Neglect Starved Babies to Feed Video Game Addiction
Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing "Dungeons & Dragons" series, to give their children proper care.
"They had food; they just chose not to give it to their kids because they were too busy playing video games," Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal

There's food in the house, and you can't pull yourself away from the computer for 20 minutes to give it to the kids? Good grief-- at least throw 'em a cracker or something! These people need to be locked up for a while in a place where there are no computers, video games, children, or food.

Judge Finds No Probable Cause to Charge Cop Who Pulled Gun on Student
In a ruling issued today, Circuit Judge Ashley Hines found no probable cause to charge Greenwood Police Officer Casey Wiggins with simple assault relating to an incident last year where he pulled his gun twice on an unarmed teenager at Greenwood High School.

Despite the judge's ruling that the cop can't be criminally charged, the student is still suing everyone in sight, of course.

I may have blogged about this when it first happened. FYI, Greenwood is just a few miles down the road from where I taught last year. It's just as notorious for being out of control as the school where I worked. I can only imagine how out of control the students were when this incident took place, and have no problems whatsoever believing that the student assaulted the police officer. My only gripe is that the cop never should've been dragged through the mud for DOING HIS FREAKIN JOB. The student assaulted a police officer. The police officer pulled a gun. What was he supposed to do? Curl up in the fetal position and take an ass whoopin'?

But hey, this is the delta we're talking about, and you've got a white cop dealing with a black student. There was NO way for this police officer to do his job in this case without being called a racist. No way. What happened to him after this incident was absolutely inevitable. Welcome to Mississippi.

Prison Tries to Unravel Invasion of Mystery Troops
Military officials said 25 heavily armed parachutists who landed in a cornfield on the grounds of a Colorado prison last week were on a training mission but landed about 3 miles off target...Guards who stopped the men and asked for identification were presented with documents that identified them only as Defense Department employees...."We don't know who they were and I'm not sure we'll ever know who they were," she said. "Everyone acted appropriately."

Mystery government men dropping out of the sky? And I just thought I was paranoid before. Someone pass the aluminum foil, please.

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Monday, July 16, 2007 


My ear hurts and my plumbing is still jacked up. In other words, nothing has changed in the last 8 months.


Insomnia. I hate it.

My old foe Insomnia has revisited me again lately. Yesterday my ear started hurting again, and I had another of those headaches to comes along with the earache. It made me kinda grumpy and tired, and at 10:30 I could've gone to sleep. TH wanted to go walking, and I know I need to get back in the habit again so I forced myself to get up and go. We got finished around 12:30, and after showering we got to bed around 2:00.

I laid there until 4ish a.m. listening to TH snore, and words can not express to you how much that sucked. Perhaps the only thing worse than not being able to fall asleep is being reminded every .5 seconds that the person next to you has managed it just fine.

I was tossing and turning, and also having to go pee every 30 minutes because I ate watermelon yesterday, and every time I moved TH would wake up long enough to sigh a deep sigh of frustration in my general direction. At 4:30 a.m., I grabbed my pillows and headed to the other bedroom. Last time I looked at the clock, it was after 5:00 a.m.

Exercising at night is probably at least part of the problem, but it's too hot to do it during the day. It's also usually raining during the day. We are supposed to be able to join the YMCA for free. It's a perk of TH's job. I think I'm going to look into that today or tomorrow. I need a nice air conditioned place to exercise. The treadmill in our living room? That doesn't count. It's ugly, so I've got it folded up against the wall. Besides, the belt slips, and I'm pretty sure it's lying to me about how far I've walked.

Damn lying exercise machines! They're in cahoots with the bathroom scale.

Saturday, July 14, 2007 


Today I accidentally bought a giant bag of grapefruit that I thought were oranges. They were in the big box labeled "oranges," and they're small grapefruit, so they look like oranges. I was gonna make orange smoothies as a healthy way to satisfy my insatiable sweet tooth. Grapefruit smoothies? Not as appealing. What am I gonna do with 5 lbs of grapefruit?

I guess I'll just have a really healthy bladder for a while. And a sour look on my face.

On a less bummed out note, while in the Devil's Playground, I noticed that school supplies are on the shelves in mass quantities, and the "back to school" signs are going up! Won't be long now...


Who's the coolest wife EVER??


I got TH a pair of mirrored Ray Ban Aviators for our anniversary. Aren't they cheesetastic?? He's lookin' cooler than Johnny Knoxville in his new shades.


I rock.

Friday, July 13, 2007 


TH gave me my present early. He went and bought it today, and was so pleased with himself that he wanted me to open it right away. It's a Citizen watch and a matching bracelet. It's kinda fancy. It's really pretty. I don't have many pretty things like that, so I really like it. The only piece of jewelry I wear is my wedding ring, and I occasionally wear a necklace. I hope the watch doesn't look stupid on me. Same for the bracelet.

I haven't bought his gift yet, but I know what I'm getting, and he's gonna love it because it's awesommmmme.

Tonight we went to Cold Stone Creamery and got ice cream. It was gud. But now my blood sugar is crashing and I'm ready for a nap.

Thursday, July 12, 2007 

Stop and smell the...armadillo corpse?

My car is in the shop having some body work. Remember when I backed into TH's truck and banged the hell out of it--like 7 months ago? It's just now getting fixed.

We normally drive my car to the walking track when we go, because TH says he doesn't want us to get sweat on his purty leather seats in his fancy car. Since my car's out of commission, we took the truck the other night.

It's been parked under the carport by the shop, and when we got out there we smelled a horrid stench. A stomach turning, gut wrenching, foul smell from the armpit of hell. Get my drift yet? Since we don't drive it much these days, we feared something had made its way into the truck and died, but once we drove off the smell disappeared. When we pulled it back under the shop, we could smell it again.

Last night we were out there again, and the smell was worse. TH grabbed a flash light and started looking for the source of the stink. Well, the water cut-off thingie is out there by the shop, and there's this hole in the ground next to it with some kind of pipe sticking out of it. We don't really know what it's for. It had occurred to me that something might be in that hole, but I hadn't said anything before because frankly I didn't really want to find whatever was causing the stink. Seeing how determined TH was to find the stink, I decided to point it out as a possibility. He approached the hole, leaned over it, and peered down. A fraction of a second later, he recoiled in horror and covered his nose-- "It's a damn armadillo!"


It apparently crawled down in there head first and couldn't get out. Now it's stinking to the heavens. I tried taking a picture of it today but I couldn't get directly over it because the smell is so fierce. It's probably just gonna hafta rot, because neither of us has the stomach to dig it out.

Armadillos: Yet another thing we didn't have in north Mississippi.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 

Not so subtle clue

If someone were planning to buy me a gift at some point in the near future, and that person didn't already have an idea of what to get, I would want them to know that my heart has been longing for THIS for quite some time.

You know, if they were wondering what I'd like.


I am now officially pissed the ***k off!

Lately it has been raining every afternoon. It's gonna do it again today, I'm sure. Last night around 6:00, the plumber called and said he was behind because of the rain and was gonna put us off until "in the morning." I asked him, "Can I count on him to be here before noon tomorrow?" and he said yes.

It's 1:04 p.m.

I'm just gonna venture a guess here as to what's gonna happen today. I'll sit here and wait for him, as usual. At 3:00, it'll start raining, and then he'll claim that the rain is holding him back. If that does happen again today, I'm calling him on it. It doesn't start raining until late afternoon! The work day starts in the morning, and if you work all day, you should be able to get a lot done before 3:00 or 4:00! Besides, they were out here last week-- the work on this job has already been started. It's not like we're on some list of people he needs to get to-- they left in the middle of the job!

Last night, I got down on my knees and hand-washed my husband's scrubs in the bath tub. If I had any patience left for these f*ckers, it was rinsed down the tub drain with the suds.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 

Meanie Vents

Today started with such hope. I hoped to work in the flower bed and/or mow the mini forests with the push mower. I hoped that while I was doing that, TH would be finishing the back yard with the giant riding mower (I did the front yard yesterday). I hoped the plumber would come back as promised to finish the job he began a full week ago.

TH sorta refused to do much today. He said he deserved to lie around because he works hard. I suppose we all need a lazy day here and there, but he just had one yesterday, and we have crap to do. Lots of crap to do. I know I'm a hypocrite for being frustrated with him about it, because there are many, many times that I'm too lazy to get off my butt and make things happen. But lately, the to-do list has really started to pile up, due in part to the fact that we're unable to do any laundry at the house or do any yard work because of the daily rain showers. I had hope for catching up on some things today.

A week or so ago, I fertilized fewer than half the shrubs and plants, and they've been due for a few weeks now. It's harder than it sounds, because you have to push back the mulch-- preferably without causing it to slide off the bed and into the grass which is freakin' impossible, by the way-- and then pull back the black sheet between the dirt and the mulch to reach the soil below the plant. You have to pull the black sheet back pretty far, because you can't put the fertilizer right by the plant's stem. It's hard to accomplish this without completely destroying how things look.

Anyway, we have probably 30 or 40 plants, and I got to approximately number 10 before the inevitable happened. I had just thought to myself that it was fairly likely, and I was right. Think about it. I'm pulling back a few inches of nice, cooling mulch as well as a tight layer of sheeting from the cool, moist soil. Oh, and this is under the shade of the bushes, where it's cool compared to the rest of the yard. It doesn't take a genius, or even a science teacher, or even a very smart person to know what kinds of things like those conditions.

Yep, I uncovered a snake. It was a tiny little green and black thing, and probably harmless, but that didn't keep me from screaming and jumping over a row of bushes while having a mild heart attack. I wasn't nearly as afraid of snakes when I lived in north Mississippi as I am down here. They have freakin' rattlesnakes here, and fire ants that can ruin your day no, your week MONTH.

After the snake, I did a few of the small plants on the edge of the bed where I was fairly certain there were no reptiles waiting to bite me, but I was a little burned out on the whole job of fertilizing the plants after the snake, to be honest. Screw plants. And snakes. Besides, the job is a two person job. You need one person to hold the sheet back while you dig in and fertilize, because you can't hold it back yourself without sending mulch everywhere or fumbling and dropping the cup of fertilizer all in one spot.

So fertilizing the remaining 30 plants is pretty high on the list of things to do, and it's a job that will take some time and energy.

The mowing of the back yard is another. Those mini forests still haven't been touched, and frankly, it's really beginning to piss me the **** off. I am clearing those damn mini forests tomorrow, come hell or high water! (Or snakes!) And I'm mowing the back yard. And if the plumber is upset that I'm not accessible to him while he works, he can suck it. He was supposed to be here today -- oh no, wait, yesterday SUNDAY to finish. I sat around and waited, only for him to not show up, then call in the late afternoon to FINALLY inform me that the rain has caused him to get behind. I have crap to do too, and it would be nice if he would handle his crap in a way that it didn't make me get behind on my crap.


Don't even let me get started on the laundry. I would take a picture of the pile of dirty laundry in our bedroom and post it, but I'm too embarrassed. It's that bad. It's almost as tall as I am, and it's spilled out onto most of the dressing room floor and there's more in the bedroom. Actually, there's more in all of the bedrooms, the laundry room, and even the living room. And both of the beds currently have dirty sheets, and that's not going to change because I don't have any clean ones to replace them with. Every day I expect to be able to get started on it, but every day the plumber puts us off until a tomorrow that never comes.

I hate housework. Having to do it on a daily basis sucks bad enough. Having it pile up so that there's a monumental amount of it just setting there staring at me? Makes me want to vomit.

Monday, July 09, 2007 

It Ain't My Fault

Remember the school district I said was a long drive from here that offered me a job? The principal is the one who called and asked me what I had been wearing at my interview, because she wasn't sure she had the right person. Yeah, those nutsos. (One of the posts I wrote about it is here.)

If you recall, I never officially accepted the position but their central office called and told me I had been recommended anyway. The principal offered me the job, told me to let her know if I wanted it, and the very next day I got a call from someone at the superintendent's office saying she was writing my contract and needed to verify how long I've been teaching. I wanted some time to pursue another job, so I told her I wouldn't be able to come sign the contract for two weeks. She said, "There's nothing to sign. The job is yours." That made no sense to me. Teachers work under contract. There most certainly is something to sign.

I never really wanted this position, especially once I met the principal. When they were the first to offer me a job, I put them on the back burner while I stirred the other pots. Comprende?

When I finally secured the job that I did want (which also happens to not be 75 miles away), I tried to call the principal of the other school to tell her I had accepted a position elsewhere. I left two messages to tell the principal that I needed to speak with her about the position. She never called back. I tried calling the personnel lady at the central office, but she didn't call back either.

After a couple of weeks had passed, I assumed they had probably given the job to someone else--- and if they didn't? Tough. My butt is covered. If hers is feeling particularly exposed, she might try to return a phone call.

Welllllllll...............today I received a letter from their central office. It congratulated me on my new position with their district, and informed me that I was required to attend a new teacher orientation session a couple of weeks from now.

I immediately sat down and wrote a letter explaining that I had attempted to contact them several times, and that I had accepted another position, and I faxed it to them right away.

I wonder if I'll hear anything back. Someone's gonna be pissed when they realize it's July 10 and they've got an empty position that they thought was filled. I never signed a contract, but I did sign a letter of intent when I applied for the job. Still, it's not binding. My biggest concern is that they're going to try to say I was committed. I'm worried about that because the lady said, "There's nothing to sign" when I mentioned the contract. How can there be nothing to sign? They're notoriously incompetent. I hope they're not also shady enough to try to wreck my reputation or claim I signed something.

Ah well. I'm sure I'm being silly. Considering the number of incompetent people I have encountered at various district offices across this state, I'm sure this happens all the time. It's one more example to support my theory that the problems with the educational system in this state really lie with the administrators and their supporting staff-- not the teachers.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007 

The past, the present, and the stuff in between

The party I went to last night was fabulous. I don't know if it was really a good party, or if it just seemed that way to me because it's the only socialization I've had in a while-- unless you count standing in a bar where the band is so loud you can't hear yourself think. TH and I did that recently. Fun, fun!!!

Anyway, it was cool because all of the people I know from Hattiesburg were there. People I hadn't seen in a long time. People who I thought had left town or something.

Some of you long time readers may recall a friend of mine who had a blog called Hattiesblog. I think she uses TC as her screen name. It was her party. She got married yesterday. Actually, they got married a week ago by a JP at the jailhouse, but had a fake ceremony yesterday with their families. (How's that for an awesome wedding story? It involves a jail and a touch of deception-- I love it!)

Our anniversary is two weeks from today. I don't know why I'm excited about it. I already know that The Husband will be at work, and I'll be preparing to start work the very next day, so it's very unlikely that we'll be able to acknowledge the day in any way other than passing each other in the hallway and saying "Happy anniversary." We'll probably manage to celebrate in some way at some point. It's not the celebration that excites me, though. It's the idea that we've reached some kind of mile marker. I guess our upcoming anniversary combined with the experience of seeing so many old friends last night has me looking back on where I've been over the last few years. I realize that I'm happier now than I was five years ago or one year ago, and life feels....complete.

Almost. We still gotta reproduce at some point, but other than that, it feels complete. Way more complete than it felt when I was living alone in Hattiesburg and drinking retarded amounts of alcohol every day, or when I was in my mother's basement, or even when I lived in the cabin in the woods.

Maybe it's kinda pathetic that I'm 28 and I can just now say this, but for the first time I actually feel like I'm where I've been trying to go all this time. Everything in life has always been geared towards getting to something else. Getting out of my parents' house and into college. Getting out of college. Getting some kind of career going. I've always been trying to get to some unknown place, and that place has always been just over the horizon-- just out of sight-- just far enough away that I could barely touch it with my fingertips, but not quite grab a hold of it and pull myself the rest of the way there.

I'm here, and it's nice.

Saturday, July 07, 2007 

I'm on Meth

Methylprednisolone, that is.

It's a steroid that's hopefully going to prevent me from having to have surgery. The list of the side effects of this stuff is a mile long. Check it out--



My only complaint is that no matter how tired I get, I can't seem to fall asleep.


Even ninjas need their rest

Pookie the ninja kitty gets filled wif da spirit.

Oh Lawd!!

Actually, it's just him sleeping on the couch.


He got a couple of vaccinations yesterday, and has been a little on the sleepy side today. Poor thing. He doesn't even know they're gonna cut his balls off in exactly three weeks. Shhh...don't tell him.

So, do you want a plumber update, or are you as tired of hearing about it as I am of dealing with it?

The good news is that our septic tank has officially been bypassed, and we are now hooked in with the city sewer, so I can officially shit on the jackasses that made it so difficult. The bad news is that whatever is causing the flooding still hasn't been resolved, even though the plumber worked on it for over three hours today.

He took a clean out cover off the side of the house right under my kitchen window, and stuck something up in there that was supposed to push a bunch of pressurized air in. It sounded like a generator. He did that for over an hour. It didn't work. So then he stuck some long line up in there and had a machine wiggling it around. That didn't work either. He can't find the clog, and the camera that he normally uses for those types of jobs has been loaned to a guy who is, conveniently, off this weekend. He says he'll try to get it back as soon as possible, and will return either tomorrow or Monday to (hopefully) finish the job.

A friend of mine got hitched this morning. It was one of those family-only weddings, kinda like I wish I had done, if only to save myself the humiliation of nobody showing up. They're having a party tonight with all their friends, and I'm going. This means I must rest, because even though I'm much better, I am still feeling a bit like a congested pirate. A sleepy, congested pirate.



Friday, July 06, 2007 

Plumbing in Progress

Today I have been trying to stay around the house because the plumber was out there working all day. His wife came out here to bring him lunch, and she pulled a lawn chair out of her van and sat in my yard watching him work all day long. It was kind of fun to watch-- I mean, he dug an eight foot hole and then jumped down into it. Still, not really that interesting.

The giant holes in my yard have now been filled in, and there are big ruts from the backhoe. A small price to pay at this point, I'd say. We still can't do laundry, because he's got to come back in the morning to poke something down that line to make sure it's clear. It might work now, but then again it might also flood the hall, and I'm just not in the mood to deal with that again.

I gotta go to the laundromat because TH doesn't have any clean scrubs, and I don't have any clean towels since he used them to sop up the last flood. I was hoping I could do laundry in my own house tonight, but no such luck.

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Thursday, July 05, 2007 

I always knew I was a deviant

This morning my throat was back to feeling horrible again. I tried to speak to TH in the kitchen this morning, and nearly choked just from trying to talk. It's like something in there is sticking to something else, and everything's really raw and tender. It hurts to cough, but I can't stop. In the meantime, my head and my ear still hurt.

The ENT doctor said I have a crooked septum. I believe this is synonymous with a deviated septum. It bends into my right nostril, which is somehow causing something to happen to my eustachian tube, and the pressure is all jacked up. He also said my ear drums are retracted because of this-- at least that's what I think he said-- and he said to hold my nose and blow to push them back where they're supposed to be. Then he stuck a long metal tube up my nose and sucked out a bunch of snot. That felt kinda good once it was over. I need one of those long sucky tubes at the house. After the sucky tube, they did a hearing test, and the good news is that my hearing is perfect.

I'm kinda confused about precisely what is happening, to be honest. He really did explain things, but for some reason I couldn't keep it straight. He was saying a lot of things at once. All I really know is that the thing between my two nostrils is crooked, and it's bending in and partially blocking my right nostril, and that's the beginning of the problem. He said I have some swelling in there, and he gave me a bunch of steroids. If it's not better in 3 weeks, he's going to do a CAT scan to make sure he's got the right diagnosis, then he's going to do surgery to straighten my nose, which should relieve my ear problems.

This is weird, because my nose isn't noticably crooked. It's kinda small, and I always thought that was why I couldn't breathe through my nose easily. So if my septum has always been jacked up, why is it just now bothering me? No answers on that.

I just read that this problem can be caused by excessive nose picking, or cocaine use.

Now I'm gonna go do some blow and maybe dig for gold, pinky finger style.



Best Laid Plans

I forgot to say a thing or two when I posted earlier today. There were tons of loud fans going (more on that in a minute), and TH was fussing (for the same reason the fans were going).

Forgotten point of bitchery #1:

TH and I will celebrate our first wedding anniversary on July 22. We deliberately timed our wedding so that we would always be able to take a trip on our anniversary. I won't work in the summers, and at the time he was employed by Wrong Aid, who discouraged them from taking their vacations in summer, or, you know, EVER. He now works for a large hospital, and while they discourage them from taking breaks in summer he's probably never gonna have much problem finding someone who wants the OT to cover him if they give him crap about it.

This year he can't get July 22nd off, but he managed to get the entire work week of the 23rd. Since we waited too long to book the cabin in the mountains I'd been dreaming of and we blew way more than planned in Florida, we've been planning to stay near home that week. We discussed possibly taking a trip to some motorsports park in Alabama, or maybe going deep sea fishing in the gulf, or making some other little quick trip to something nearby. Mostly I just want to hang around, eat our anniversary cake, and be spoiled. Who knows-- I might even get the hot tub running just for that week so we can sit naked outside in the water. To sum it up, we were looking forward to a week of nothing but carefree naked togetherness. And cake.

Then today I got a letter. My first day of work is the 23rd, and I have new teacher orientation three days that week. Goodbye, cake. Goodbye, hot tub. Goodbye, carefree naked togetherness. Hello, early mornings. Hello, boring meetings.

Forgotten point of bitchery #2:

The plumber came today. He pulled up in a big Mr. Rooter van, pulling a backhoe on a trailer. He had called to let us know he was on his way, so TH had jumped in the shower and woke me up and told me to get ready. When I got out of the shower, I heard the guy knocking. TH was still standing in the bathroom in his underwear for some reason, so the guy had to stand there for five minutes while we cussed and scrambled for shirts and pants.

He got started digging right away. We are paying $125 per hour for this, plus the cost of the machinery and parts. When I got back from my doctor appointment, the guy was sitting in his truck talking on a phone. TH assured me we were not being billed for the time. I'm sorry, but I don't think they're watching it that closely. It's not like they're not just gonna pull a number out of their ass when they're done anyway. The guy claims he's cutting TH a break because he knew him in high school. Like I said, I'll believe it when I see it. That "I'm giving you a break" line is probably nothing more than the equivalent of a touch of petroleum jelly on the old corn hole. It might hurt slightly less, but you're still getting screwed.

God I'm graphic today with the snot sucking and the corn hole talk, huh?

Okay, so anyway while I was at the doctor, the plumber told TH to run the washing machine for some reason-- presumably to see if things were draining properly. Instead of staying inside to make sure it didn't back up, TH stood out there with the guy, watching the hole in the ground. When he came back in, the house was flooded big time. It got up in the walls this time, got into the closets, all the way down the hallway, into the living room. Hence the fans and the fussing.

So the plumber works a while, then it starts raining. The guy came and said he couldn't keep working today because it's raining, and if the hole that's out there fills up with water the city won't be able to inspect it, or something. So he'll be back tomorrow. And I'm just gonna take a wild guess and say we're probably gonna be charged for the equipment for an extra day.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007 

Holiday Sugar High Movie Review

Argh! Me throat feels all better, matey! Well, mostly better. It still hurts, but at least I can turn my big red pirate head.

Today I ate a large vanilla milkshake from Sonic and felt completely justified in doing so. My mom taught me it's okay to indulge when you don't feel good. She took me for a milkshake every month on the way home from the orthodontist after I had my braces tightened. Every month for five years. Now that I think about it, that could help explain what happened to my slender body and athletic ability...

Happy fourth, by the way. We watched movies all day (my three sentence review of Pans Labyrinth coming up shortly) and ate leftovers even though we were really craving some grilled burgers and hot dogs. Our new neighbors had a party. We haven't met them yet and weren't invited, but fortunately all of their guests parked in our yard, so at least we felt included in some way. (I hate neighbors. We really, really must get to work on saving for that 100 acres in the country.) We briefly considered using the computer to print up fake parking tickets, but decided to pass because it rained. Later we'll probably sit on the porch and watch the other rednecks shoot off fireworks. They never miss an opportunity to set off fireworks, and we never miss an opportunity to watch from the porch.

My ENT appt. is tomorrow at 2:00. Can you tell I'm looking forward to it? I'm ready to get on the path to wellness and decent hearing.

Here it is-- my three sentence review of Pans Labyrinth.

From this exciting children's movie, we can learn two lessons. First, there are such things as fairies and..uh..fauns, and if you wake in the middle of the night, one might be standing at the foot of your bed waiting to sacrifice your baby brother. Second, if you don't obey, your step-dad will shoot you-- but you'll get to go live in a kingdom in the sky, and no, it's not even the same place where Spot went last summer.

That's not really a review, I guess. I didn't care much for it. It took me a while to get into it, but I wasn't really in the mood to watch it when we did. Until the point where the little girl disobeyed the creepy faun and ate the grapes, I really wanted to leave the room to play on the computer, and I was just sticking it out for TH's sake. After that part, I wanted to see what was going to happen to her. Certain parts of the movie were somewhat predictable. The mandrake root's connection to the baby, the mother going into labor at the exact moment the doctor gets killed, etc.

I didn't expect to see so much gore, and while I can sometimes suspend disbelief long enough to visit a fairyland or whatever, I'm much more comfortable when I can imagine that what's happening in the movie is somewhat possible. I dunno. It was all right, if you're into that sort of thing. It would've been better in the theatre. I'm so moody that I can honestly say I might have enjoyed it on a different day, time of the month, under different circumstances, whatever.

I'm too busy thinking about what I'm going to do with my young 'uns. Will they be easier than my last bunch? Harder? Crazier? Smarter? Will there be a desk thrower among them? Summer will be over before you know it, and Hillbilly Mom and I will be telling you all sorts of fabulous teacher stories.

When I was a kid, I used to wish I was a bald eagle. They can fly, they're gorgeous, they're tough, and it's illegal to kill them so I figured I'd be pretty safe. Of all the animals, I still think I'd choose to be this one over any other. I'm glad this bird is the symbol of my country, and not something gay, like a turkey. I hear we came close to choosing the turkey. Ahh the majestic...turkey?


Tuesday, July 03, 2007 

The Crotchety Pirate

Argh! My throat is so sore and swollen that I can barely turn my head.

This morning for breakfast I had a serving of ouch with a side of somebody shoot me. My voice was barely there, and when it was there it alternated between something very high pitched and annoying, and a scratchy pirate's voice. A pirate who has been smoking two packs a day for forty years.

I got up at 11:30-- only because TH said the plumber would be here 2 hours later and someone had to be both home and conscious.

I've been lying on the couch all day, dozing off and waking up in front of the tv with Pookie asleep on his back between my knees. He's so cute when he sleeps like that-- he even puts his paws behind his head so he looks like a little man relaxing on a hammock. Anyway, the plumber JUST came by at 3:30, and he didn't even do anything. He said he still had to pick up a permit, and that the next step is for the city to come out and mark the yard to map where gas lines, etc. are located. That should be done by the end of the week, and then they will actually begin working.

The only good thing that's come out of us having to wait so long is that we ended up getting hooked up with a guy that went to high school with TH, and he claims that we're getting a cheaper rate. Instead of giving us a flat quote, they're going to charge us by the hour for labor, and charge us for the rental of the backhoe. In theory, it should be less. We shall see.

I hurt. The couch is calling.

Monday, July 02, 2007 

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

It's been a week now since I finished the third round of antibiotics that I've had for my ear problems. Well, I call it an ear problem. The doctor said my ears look fine and that I have sinusitis, but my ears are the only things that hurt. Also, I don't have any snot or goo, which I thought came along with sinusitis. Perhaps Nurse Cazzie can set me straight if I'm wrong about that. In the meantime, I promise not to mention snot or goo again.

Anyway, this last antibiotic (and the steroid) was supposed to knock it out once and for all, and I'm sicker than ever before. My ear has continued to hurt off and on, and I've had headaches every. single. day. They're getting worse, and so is my ear. Then yesterday morning I woke up with a sore throat. Through all of this, my throat hadn't hurt before. I thought maybe I slept with my mouth open or whatever, but it got worse as the day went on, and by last night it was so bad that I had to take a left over Tylenol 3 just to fall asleep. Even that didn't stop the pain. This morning I woke up at 7:00, and it was even worse. My throat has not hurt like this in years. I was also freezing and sweating at the same time, and felt like I had not had a drink of water in a month.

The crappy thermometer said my temp was 94.1 (possibly because I had just drank a bunch of cold water) and I couldn't find the good thermometer. Later, the crappy thermometer said my temp was 99.5, which I still don't trust even though it seems much more likely than 94.1.

I went back to bed and finally fell asleep again after an hour or so, and TH woke me up at 10:30 as he was getting ready to leave for work. We had loads of laundry waiting to be done, and his scrubs were the most urgent because they have to dry outside on the line and it's supposed to rain later today. He kept waking me up and telling me to hurry up and get started.

He left for work and I fell back asleep and stayed that way until noon. When I woke up that time, my throat was still unbearably sore, but at least my fever was gone. I loaded our giant piles of laundry into the car and headed to the coin operated hell known as the laundromat. (No plumber yet, by the way.)

While I was there, my right ear suddenly went wacko. It sounded like someone was pouring water into a bucket right by my ear, and I turned around to see what was going on. There was nothing there. Then it made that high-pitched ringing sound for a few seconds, and then suddenly I was almost completely deaf in that ear. It freaked me out, but what could I do? I figured it would return to normal eventually. When I was about 8 years old, the exact same thing happened to me once when I had an ear infection, except it was in both ears and it lasted for a couple of weeks. At first, I was calm, but one day I got it in my head that it might never go back to normal. I almost went crazy because I thought I was going to be deaf for the rest of my life. I have an older cousin who is deaf, and everyone always thought she was retarded because of the way she spoke. I was afraid that was going to happen to me, but my hearing eventually returned to normal that time, so I figured it would eventually return this time.

It didn't last long. Within an hour, I could hear again. There is some wacky junk happening inside my head, I tell ya.

Before I went to the laundromat I left a message with the last doctor I saw about this, and her nurse called me back and said I have an appointment with the Ear, Nose, Throat doctor Thursday at 2:00. He'd better offer a solution. My patience, like my hearing, is fading fast.

Sunday, July 01, 2007 

Our Luck

Not much is happening this weekend. TH and I decided to take my motorcycle back to the shop yesterday, because when we got it back we noticed that both the headlight and the tail light were not working. They were both working when we dropped it off, and since they're both suddenly broken, TH thinks the mechanic disturbed some of the wiring.

TH rode the bike to the shop, which is about 4 miles from here, and I followed in the car. As soon as he pulled into the driveway of the shop, the motorcycle sputtered and died. The shop was also closed. After we put some gas in it, TH tried to ride it home. The clutch handle fell apart about a mile from our house, in the middle of a busy intersection. We had to leave it on the side of the road and go get the truck and trailer. Fortunately, there is an empty field next to the intersection and they've been preparing it for some kind of development, so there was a place to park the truck and we were able to load the bike onto the trailer without getting run over. Still a pain in the ass though, and now my bike is truly broken again. The painful part of it is that the same exact bike can be had for pretty cheap-- and in much better condition.

We watched Cocaine Cowboys last night. It was interesting, but long. Tonight I guess we'll watch Breach if we don't go to a fireworks show.

Speaking of fireworks, The Husband brought me flowers for no reason today.

The plumbers are supposed to be here either tomorrow morning or Tuesday. Who wants to bet they don't show up? They'd only be the eleventy thousandth ones to do that, you know, and I'm realllllly tired of the laundromat.

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