Wednesday, July 30, 2008 

Pregnancy Diary

Sometimes I can't breathe unless I lie down and stretch my body out as long as it'll go. I wonder how this is going to affect me at work. Can you see me stretched out on my desk in a classroom of 8th graders? How long would it take them to find the duct tape?

Yesterday I realized that I haven't seen my vagina in a couple of weeks. Something tells me I should say goodbye to my feet soon.

My boobs are hot. And I don't mean "Hey baby nice rack" hot. I mean they're actually warm to the touch. WTF?

My big, soft, comfortable t-shirts that I used to wear around the house? Too tight. Nothing depresses a woman like putting on her husband's shirt and having it stop at the belly.

My closet used to have two sections-- clothes I could wear now, and clothes I would be able to wear again if I'd skip about six cheeseburgers. Things just got more complicated. Now there are four sections: clothes that fit two weeks ago but are too small now; clothes that fit now but will be too small in two weeks; maternity clothes that I can wear to work; maternity clothes that I can't wear to work.

My shoe size has changed suddenly. I normally wear a 10, which is bad enough. Ladies, next time you're in the shoe store, just try to find your favorite pair of shoes in a 10. Feel my pain. This weekend I was shoe shopping, and tried on a 10. It was like I was putting on a kid's shoe. My foot wouldn't even go in. No, my feet were not swollen; they just seem to be more...spread out. Wider. I have read that this is from the softening of ligaments or tendons or whatever holds things in place. I have also read that this can be permanent in some women. Let's hope not, because right now my feet are not feet so much as they are boat paddles. You could mount them on the bottom of a plane and make a smooth water landing.

My nipples are suddenly...well...different.

Pepcid is mannah from Heaven. Mannah. From. Heaven.

And so are flip flops, but you can't wear flip flops to work.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008 

Fixer uppin

Today I got caught in a flash flood. I went to Hattiesburg to pick up some paint, and as soon as I got on the road the bottom fell out. It was so bad that I had to pull over for half an hour, and lightning struck within about 100 yards of me at least three times in less than two minutes. It was the worst storm I've been caught by in a long time. Before I left on this journey, I was about to take a nap. My eyelids felt like they weighed a ton even though it was only 3:00, but the person who's painting our nursery called and said she'd start tomorrow if I got the paint today. On the way back home, I was turned around and sent another direction 3 times when I encountered flooded streets. The cops were turning cars around in two of the places, and I opted out of the third one on my own because it looked too deep. A trip that should've taken me about thirty minutes took over two hours. And to top it off, I think I got overcharged for the paint. Way overcharged. It should've been twenty something dollars a gallon, and it was forty something.

Two weeks from now, our back patio is going to be rescreened. Before then, the wood will be sealed and the outdoor trim on the house will be repainted. Oh, and the hot tub is leaving. That guy bought it. I ended up taking half of what I originally asked him because it wasn't heating up properly. It doesn't matter to me what he paid for it; I'm just glad it's going to be gone. The little money I got for it will get me a nice new patio table with some chairs, I think. Or maybe it won't pay for all of it, but it'll help. I have no idea what patio furniture costs. If the price of that paint is any indication, I might have to stop while we can still afford groceries.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 

Baby Naming 101

I was aware that there is a segment of the population who prefers to scar their children for life with ridiculous names. There's no better reason to start paying close attention to baby names than if you've got one on the way, and since becoming pregnant I've been doing just that. When I first started paying attention to what other people were naming their children, I immediately noticed that there are more of these "unique" names out there than I previously believed. Now, six months later, I've come to the conclusion that it's not just a segment of people doing this-- the vast majority of new parents are going for these names that are, well, bad. It's completely tolerable when you hear a "unique" baby name here and there, but it's another when 98% of the baby names you hear are of the "unique" variety, and if I hear one more person announce the impending arrival of a kid whose name is a completely random arrangement of letters, my brain might short-circuit.

I know it's not polite to make fun of other people's kids' names, and the fact that so many people are using names that I consider to be bad almost guarantees that I'll offend someone with this post. But it's my blog and I'll be a bitch if I want to. It's not my fault you named your kid Teutonia, umkay? And by the way, Teutonia's gonna get on crystal meth and steal your identity by the time she's 19, and you have no one to blame but yourself, because hard drugs will be the only way for her to deal with the never ending playground torture that a kid named Teutonia will inevitably be subjected to.

There's a difference between a bad baby name and a f*cktardian (or really, really, inexcusably bad) baby name. Let me explain.

First, a word about names of the plain old "bad" sort. There are certain rules to follow and mistakes you know to avoid, and when you fail to follow these rules, you risk choosing a bad baby name. For example, you want to pay attention to the initials to make sure you're not going to have a little F.A.T. or a P.I.G. or a N.U.T. or a D.I.K. This is common sense.

Another bad baby name characteristic, in my opinion, is having the last letter sound of the first name be the same letter as the first one in the middle name or the last name-- especially if the letter in question is a soft consonant, such as "L" or "S." Will Lewis, for example, or "Willis Smith." Say one of those out loud. It sucks, doesn't it? It's a bad baby name.

Bad baby name characteristic number three-- the first name is the same as the last name. William McWilliams. Now, William is a perfectly respectable name, as is McWilliams. But William McWilliams is going to grow up to be a car salesman or a radio personality. Robert Robertson is going to be the assistant manager at the local Save Rite-- not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you. I just think you should give your kid options.

There are many more examples of bad baby name characteristics, but I think you get my point.

Now let's talk about baby names of the f*cktardian variety. These are just really, really bad baby names. Just as there are rules that can prevent bad baby names, there are rules that can prevent reallllly bad (f*cktardian) baby names.

F*cktardian naming characteristic #1-- Using a last name as a first name. Smithington. Brooks. Kennedy.

F*cktardian naming characteristic #2-- giving your kid a random word for a name because you think it's pretty. I like words more than your average person. I am an appreciator of language. I have fallen in love with certain words, had affairs with them, and then left them for newly discovered ones. So I get it. I get hearing a word and wanting to use it in every sentence. But you must remember that your love affair with a word will not last forever. Your child's name, however, is forever. Examples of this f*cktardian naming characteristic include Poppy, Kevlar, or Maximo.

F.N.C. #3-- Bad spelling. The spellings of English words and names have evolved over hundreds of years, and had countless influences from other languages, cultures, etc. There's history there. A name is spelled a certain way for a reason, so have some respect for the language and don't go throwing in random letters because you think it looks cool. Cole is spelled C-O-L-E. Not C-H-O-L-E. Congratulations, your kid is gonna be called C-hole. Just as Cole is Cole, Alexander is Alexander. NOT Alecksander, or worse yet-- Aleckzander. That's just silly, and I don't know what else can be said about it.

F*cktardian Naming Characteristic #4-- Place names, especially for girls. Little Savannah is going to grow up to smell like stripper poles and broken dreams. Welcome to the stage, Savannah!

F*cktardian Naming Characteristic #5-- Your child's name should not require punctuation. This means no apostrophes, dashes, or umlauts. If your kid's name is Caitlyn, just spell it that way. You don't need the two dots over the a or the i. Besides, nobody's ever gonna use it. Ever. And she'll probably be relieved to be called "Katie." Apostrophes are worse. If you want your kid to be called "Lil' Terrance," just put Terrance on the birth certificate. We can see that he's little. Lil' is not an appropriate first name. The apostrophe doesn't help.

Last but not least, FNC #6-- Putting "Mc" or "Mac" in front of the name. MacKenzie. MacKayla. McKenna. Unless it's a family name (more on that in a minute) this isn't cool. Mc and Mac mean "son of." Would you name your kid Kenzie? No. So why would you name her "son of Kenzie"?? Mc is not a fix all. Would you use McKracker? I think not.

So my advice on baby names is to stick close to the safe zones. Safe zones include family names as well as names that have stood the test of time. A tiny bit of creativity is fine. Just do us a favor and follow the rules. Bend 'em. Just don't, you know, rip the rules off the wall so you can add your own punctuation and spelling or rearrange the letters however you want.

Saturday, July 26, 2008 

Money pits

The shithead we hired to do some work outside our house left on Tuesday or Wednesday and said he'd be back that afternoon or the following morning to put another coat of paint on the new back door and hang the screen door again. Haven't seen him since. Tim left him a message yesterday, and he didn't call back. I'm going to call him Monday morning and tell him I'm going back to work this week and won't be around to wait on him, so he needs to come get it done. I'm starting to wonder if he's going to come back at all. That'd be the cherry on the shit sundae that was my week.

I found another guy to re-screen the back patio--- for less than half the price quoted by the shithead, by the way. He also knew someone who might want to buy the hot tub, and said he'd be by yesterday or today to look at it. I filled it up, then today I realized that it's not working properly. I don't know what's wrong with it, but the pump doesn't seem to be doing what it's supposed to do, and the filter won't come on. Neither will the light. Fantastic. If I can't get it fixed super fast, I'm screwed. The guy is going to start re-screening the patio soon, and the hot tub has to be moved out before then-- sold or not. He's going to remove a couple of the 2x4's next to the doorway to make room for it, and even get us some guys to do the moving. I was envisioning it being loaded onto a trailer and hauled out of here by a happy buyer. Now I'm starting to envision it setting behind the shop and quickly becoming yet another haven for snakes and other unwelcome critters of the venomous and/or creepy variety. (I mean, where do you dispose of a non-working hot tub??) Either way, it's coming out of my patio in the next week or two. This is the only time I'll have someone to deconstruct and reconstruct the room it's in and help us move it out.

Speaking of things that are costing us money, the dogs have destroyed two more collars this week. I don't know if the previous collar chewings have received any blog coverage, so lemme sum it up for you: The electric collars that shock them when they try to leave the yard cost about $75 each. Every once in a while, one will fall off. (Actually, we once caught Daisy in the act of chewing Bear's off.) Sometimes we rescue the receiver; sometimes they eat it before we have a chance. They've eaten 3 or 4, and all we can do is go to Lowe's immediately and fork over another $75 for a replacement, which started getting old somewhere around collar replacement number TWO.

Earlier this week, Bear's collar somehow came off. The strange thing is that it was cut in two places-- one on either side of the receiver. The cuts were each within an inch of the receiver, and it didn't look frayed at all. Very strange. It looked like someone used a pocket knife to remove it. Why anyone would want to do that is beyond me. Also, I don't know how anyone could get close to Bear without being mauled. He's not aggressive, but he wants to play and he can easily knock an average person to the ground trying to play. They probably wouldn't get that close because at 80+ pounds he looks scary and makes a lot of noise when people come into the yard-- and there's another reason I don't think anyone could've pulled this off-- I would've heard, unless I wasn't home. Anyway, we were able to save the receiver, and were planning to put it on a spare collar we have in the house. In the meantime, we just put Daisy's collar on Bear, because Daisy is scared to cross the line with or without the collar. That was yesterday morning. I was going to fix Bear's old collar and put it on Daisy today, but before I got around to it I noticed that Bear didn't have a collar on. Again. I walked all over the yard, but found no trace of the receiver.

So let's review. Two collars in two days. One receiver rescued, one lost. That's $75 and one hell of a mystery. (Not to mention the headache or the whatthefuck factor.)

I'm not buying another collar. I refuse. Tim can go fork it over if he wants. I'm sick of dealing with them, and I don't care what happens to them. Every time I even go out there to feed them, I inevitably pull the hell out of every ligament in my baby-incubator trying to dodge them when they jump up on me and bite me.

Work starts Friday. The kids will be there next Thursday. My spawn will be here in three months. In other words, I have more things to worry about than a couple of money pit mutts.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 

Random Thought Whenever

AT&T sucks. Long story. They just suck. We're going to either Cellular South or Alltel. I nearly went postal today in the AT&T store because I couldn't believe the horseshit the little hair-gel wearing fuckshit behind the counter was telling me.

I got my hair cut today. It's shorter than it has been in years, and I'm diggin it. Feels goooooooooooood!

Our animals are all crazy. Tim bought a giant tub to use as a water bowl for Bear and Daisy, since they liked to tump over the plastic bucket we were using so they could chew on it. Nevermind that they nearly dehydrated themselves. Anyway, every time Tim empties out the giant tub and refills it with cold water, Daisy jumps in it.



On the way in the house after not going postal at the AT&T store, Tim spotted this thing:


It was under the carport, near the back door, and it was wandering around slowly like it was sick or confused or something. Tim thought it was a mouse at first, but I'm pretty sure it's a mole. I grabbed Pookie and dropped him right in front of it, hoping he would, you know, resolve the problem. He sniffed it, turned his head towards me as if to say, "So what?" and then walked away from it.

I can understand the dog standing in her drinking water. But a cat who won't kill a rodent-- even one that's wiggling around in such a tempting fashion? That just ain't right.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 

The Second Anniversary of Mr. Contrary and Mrs. Confused

Today is my wedding anniversary. Two years. Tim says it doesn't feel like a day more than ten. He's sweeter than cake, isn't he?

He didn't dig the gift I got him, which stung because I agonized over it a little. I know he wanted something unique rather than something I got at the mall, and I tried to think of something but I couldn't. The traditional gift for year two is cotton. COTTON. What can I do with that? In the last minute, I realized he's been fussing about wanting a cell phone for a year now, so I decided to buy him a pimp cell phone. When I gave it to him he seemed semi into it, but then he insisted that I tell him how much it cost. Once I let that out of the bag, he wasn't into it at all. He said it was too nice, that a cell phone to him is like a tool, not an accessory. I know that "too nice" is man talk for "too expensive," so now we're going back to the AT&T store together on Thursday to trade it for another less nice expensive phone.

This is the same man who begged me to get him something cool this year. When I asked him what he would like, he went on and on about how he'd rather me take my time and find something really good than just get him something for the sake of having it before the date of our anniversary. I thought men were supposed to be simple, readable creatures? Straight-forward, uncomplicated, and capable of living on nothing but sandwiches and blowjobs, right? Right. Except when they want a really cool, well thought out that isn't too nice. This sort of reminds me of Tim's habit of requesting more vegetables at dinner, then proclaiming his absolute disgust of green beans when they're put on his plate. Excuse me while I bash my head into a wall.

He got me a pair of Ray Bans, which is what I got him last year. I like 'em, and I didn't argue or pretend to think they were too nice. You're not gonna hear ME arguing when someone tries to give me something. In fact, I think I want a new cell phone. A nice one. Maybe even pimpin'. And definitely expensive.

Saturday, July 19, 2008 


Yesterday I called my OB's office to ask some questions about the gestational diabetes test. First of all, nobody picked up the phone for about ten minutes, and by nobody I mean no answer whatsoever. Not even a machine or a "push this number for that" dealio. It just rang and rang. That really communicates that they care, ya know?

When I finally got someone on the phone, I told her I was concerned that my GD test wasn't scheduled until Week 29, which seems like a long time to wait to test someone who is high risk for several reasons. At first she tried to blow me off completely, and I finally told her that I know it's supposed to be done between weeks 25 and 28. She said Week 29 was fine. I pointed out that I'm high risk for GD and said I was surprised they would put it off so long. I just wanted them to move it up. Why not??

We went back and forth for a few minutes, the gist of it being that she didn't want to deal with me and I wanted my concerns to be heard, then she finally got frustrated with me and said, "Dr. Drake's been doing this for 30 years, hon. I'm pretty sure he knows what he's doing. He's sharp as a tack." I said, "I'm not questioning his professional--- nevermind. I'll just talk to him in person at my next appointment," and hung up.

What a stupid bitch! These medical ass hats want you to keep your mouth shut and ask no questions, apparently. Sorry, but I'm not a fucking sheep. I'm going to educate myself on what's happening with my body and/or my baby, and I'm going to ask questions when I don't understand the logic behind a decision. If he's got 30 years of experience and is so damn sharp, I'm sure he can offer a better explanation than "Because I said so."

Rant over.

Friday, July 18, 2008 

Obama is a Dumbass

Is it just me, or does getting rid of our nuclear weapons seem like a BAD idea? I mean, if nobody else had them, sure, whatever. But do you really want to be without nuclear weapons when countries like N. Korea and Iran have (or will soon have) plenty of them and have proven that they'll only be without such weapons when we pry them from their cold, dead fingers?? I'm not sure which is it, but this guy is either A) an incredibly idealistic, naive little boy, or B) willing to say anything to appeal to the incredibly idealistic, naive little voters. Either way, if this sumumabitch gets elected, let's just hope the President really doesn't have as much power as he thinks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 

How Tim Stole Frog's Dinner

Nothing gives you that cold-in-the-stomach feeling like having your husband look at you and say, "I need to tell you something, but I need you to NOT freak out." How do you not freak out immediately? You've been primed to freak out. Even if the news isn't really that freakout worthy, you're now on a one way street to Freakoutville.

Turns out Tim killed four snakes in the yard while weed eating yesterday. Yeah, that's borderline freakout worthy. Then he said they were babies, and they were all in the same place, which strongly suggests that a bunch of them just hatched out. Even better is the fact that they were found less than 6 feet from my back door, up against the patio. Granted, that particular area hadn't been weed-eated (weed ate?) in a while, so the grass was tall, but still. This is my territory, and snakes are not welcome. Not unless they come waving white flags and wearing nametags that identify them as non-venomous species. Then I might let them hang out. But if you're a snake, you catch me off guard, and I don't know what you are, I'm gonna hedge my bets and hack your head off with the nearest garden tool.

Tim went on to say that they were really small, and dark brown with darker "notches" or lines down the back. He thought they might've been baby rattlesnakes. They wouldn't have rattlers at that age, so who knows? I certainly wouldn't know a rattlesnake if I saw it, unless it rattled at me, of course. There are no rattlers in North Mississippi, or at least I've never heard of anyone encountering one, and I was shocked when I moved down here and was told there are quite a few here. I always thought of them strictly as a desert animal, I guess.

Tim hacked the baby snakes up with a hoe. So that we could try to figure out what kind of snakes they were, he went and got a couple of the bodies out of the grass and laid them up on the carport. While he was out there looking for the dead snakes, he saw a frog up against the house with half a snake hanging out of its mouth. So make that five snakes.

Anyway, here's a pic of two different ones. The one with the quarter by it is the smaller of the two he was able to find in the dark.

And here's another one. This is the best shot I could get to show the shape of the head and the markings on the back.


After checking Mississippi State's kickass snake identifying tool and comparing the pics of these snakes to pictures of adults of various species, we are convinced that they are probably Garter snakes, but may be Brown snakes. Either way, they're not bad to have around.

So yeah. We hacked up half a dozen Garter snakes. Not cool. But whattaya do? There's a nest of baby snakes six feet from your door, and they catch you off guard with their creepy slithering bodies and their pointy little snake tongues and shit. As I already pointed out to one acquaintance of mine who criticized us a little bit for hacking them up before figuring out what they were, I do believe a bite from a venomous snake would bring a sad end to our hopes of having a healthy baby here three months from now. So, yeah, sorry for hacking up a bunch of snakes that are not only harmless but probably good to have around, but still. Suck it, haters.

The whole thing reminded me of what one of my coworkers told me at the end of last school year. A garter snake made its way into our hallway and was captured (okay, actually it was whacked in the head with a stapler by the kind of kid who lives for such moments) right across from my classroom door. The coworker swore that it was there because I'm pregnant, and snakes are drawn to pregnant women. She said that her husband killed four snakes over the course of several months right outside their house while she was pregnant. So of course I couldn't wait to get to our professional development today, so I could tell her about last night's snake adventure.

In other news, my summer is pretty much over. I had the week of professional development last week, have three days this week, and might have to go for two days next week. I'm not sure about next week yet. One source said I'm supposed to be there. Another said I don't. I'll find out tomorrow. The year officially starts for teachers on August 1, and the kids show up on August 7. That's okay, though. I know it'll only be days until I hear those sweet, sweet words, "The school year is almost over."

Sunday, July 13, 2008 

Thoughts on the Movie “Juno”: A Pregnant Girl’s Review

Did you see the movie "Juno"? I did, and it was really cute, but I feel like it minimized the pain and suffering of pregnancy and focused too much on how cool and with-it the teenage protagonist was, and how miniscule the effect of the pregnancy was on her life once it was over. She was very flippant about her whole dilemma, as were her parents. The only time she really complained about the discomforts of pregnancy was in one scene where she ends a quick rant about her changing body by screaming, “I’m a planet!” Then she goes on to squirt the baby out and walk away from it seemingly unscarred.

That's not good for teenage girls to be watching.

Let's show 'em the truth. I don’t mean the truth of pregnancy as Hollywood has shown it in the past, where the girl pukes a few times but then gets a cute pooch and has the baby thirty minutes later in the movie, but the real truth. Let's make a movie about a girl who walks through the house with her hands over her boobs because they're so sore and swollen she's afraid of bumping them into things as she moves through a room.

Let’s show her screwed up sex drive—it either disappears completely or goes out of control so that she’s having orgasms in her sleep, which is only a problem if your boyfriend or husband is NOT a light sleeper who likes to wait until you’re having a vulnerable moment to make fun of the weird things you did in your sleep last night.

Make her sneeze and piss herself just enough that she needs to change, but can’t, because she’s at work and it’s only 8:30 a.m. And don’t make it funny. This ain’t no comedy.

Show that popped out belly button. That shit is scary looking, I don’t care how cute you are.

Or how about this one, one of my favorites-- diarrhea, then constipation. For days. Show her on the toilet with tears streaming down her face. Let these hump-happy teenagers hear her praying to God to please, please help her shit.

She puts the remote control into the microwave and turns it on. How’s that for baby brain?? Those cute clothes? History, sister. She has no waist now. Hell, she can’t see her feet—feet which, by the way, are a size bigger when they’re not swollen.

All this is only the beginning—just wait until it comes out. I can only speculate about this part right now, but I think an honest movie would have to involve a perineal tear. A violent one requiring a large number of stitches. Give it sound effects, and let her feel it. Then let’s watch it heal. Make it itch. I imagine few things can suck worse than trying not to tear itchy stitches out of your taint while walking around the house trying to calm a squealing newborn—except perhaps trying not to tear itchy stitches out of your taint while walking around the house trying to calm a squealing newborn who is sucking on your nipple, which has scabbed over from the BLISTERS.

Perhaps people’s horror stories are starting to get to me. But still, if I was going to make a movie about a teenage pregnancy, it would involve ALL of the above, and it’d be shelved under horror, and there wouldn’t be any dramatic increases in pregnancy rates at local high schools within 5 years of its release, you can bet on that.

Just doing my part to guide America's youth.

Friday, July 11, 2008 

Pranks and Cankles

Today was the last day of the workshop. It was a half-day and I got back to Hattiesburg at about 4:30. I got to know some of my colleagues a lot better this week, and we had some fun. The highlight of the trip was when Mr. L carved "USM" into some freshly poured concrete on the Ole Miss campus, a rebellious move that pretty much made him my hero. Unfortunately, when we returned the next morning, the workers had already covered it up with a layer of fresh concrete, which was funnier than the original prank in some ways. No sense of humor whatsoever, I tell ya!

I am glad to be able to put my feet up and avoid junk food. My ankles have been as big around as my calves the last 3 or 4 nights, despite my efforts to avoid sodas and salty foods. I guess when I return to work, I am just going to have cankles all the time. Maybe I can put my feet up on a chair a few minutes a day, but it won't be easy. And there's more than three months of this to go. Sheesh. I thought swelling of the ankles wasn't supposed to happen until the last month or two.

I could tell you about our visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, being squished in the back seat of an under-air-conditioned van like a sardine for a realllllllly long time, or how I ended up paying $23 for a lunch that should've cost me $12 because someone in our group skipped out on paying their part of the bill, but I'm not in the mood. All I want to do is sit on my ass with my feet in an elevated position, right after I chew an entire roll of Rolaids.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 

Awake Against My Will

When I arrived here Sunday night, I was whatcha call toe-down-tired. I had driven to Oxford from Petal, then five minutes after I got here I turned around and went straight back to Senatobia (about 40 mins from here), spent about 2 hours visiting a friend there, and then came back to Oxford. I fell asleep that night after midnight, and got about 4 hours of sleep.

So yesterday sucked, and I thought I'd really be able to sleep last night. No such luck. After going out to dinner with the posse, I got back to the hotel around 9, went to bed around 10:30, and fell asleep around midnight. Another five hour night.

Surely tonight would be the night. When the posse headed back to downtown, I asked to be let off at the hotel. That was at 6:15. At 8:30, I was in bed. And that's where I have been for the last two and a half hours, but I'm still awake. Against my will.

WHAT THE CRAP!? I'm TIRED! I want to SLEEEEEP! I'm in a nice cool room with a nice clean bed with every kind of pillow one could want. The Unborn was kicking me a little bit earlier, but he's calmed down since then, and there's no reason I shouldn't be in dreamland right now. At this point it's probably going to be even harder to fall asleep, because now I've gotten pissed about being awake.

Insomnia is a whore from hell. F*CK!


Insert Clever Title Here

The conference is going okay so far, with one day down and four to go. The history people decided to take a field trip to the MLK Museum in Memphis on Thursday, and our group hopped on board, so really there are only three days to go. I don't consider visiting a museum to be much work, although I am supposed to be learning something about rhetoric while I'm there.

Last night we went to eat in town, then stopped at Square Books before coming back to the hotel. My colleagues saw someone semi-famous in the book store. I didn't recognize her, although the voice was familiar, but she apparently played one of the girlfriends in Bio Dome, among other roles. Of the three movies my coworkers listed, Bio Dome was the only one I had seen. You know, because it's such a fantastic film. Them's the kind of movie stars we have around here, although I think we can claim Morgan Freeman. Having him on our roster brings some balance, what with Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney also being on the list.

We also had a little fun in the restaurant. Mr. L and Ms. J walked in first to check it out while the rest of us stood around on the sidewalk, lollygagging. Now, Mr. L is a white guy, and Ms. J is a black lady, and apparently the town of Oxford is not prepared for interracial couples, because according to them a needle slid off a record somewhere and everyone stopped and stared at them when they entered the restaurant together. So we discussed that loudly at our table and had a few good laughs at the Oxfordites' expense.

I like Mr. L because he hates Ole Miss. And he makes fart jokes, but mostly because he rags on Ole Miss nonstop.

The workshop itself is a bit bland. There are 10 people in my group including the leader. Two are from Petal, School District of Dreams. Another is from a suburb of Pittsburg where a large portion of the students aspire to go to ivy league schools. How bout that? She's just a Delta girl though, so she isn't too haughty about having won the teacher job lottery.

Yesterday the class-- or whatever you want to call it-- started out kinda slow. I just thought someone in that room needed to get laid or something, because everyone was so reserved and prim and proper. Imagine all the pretense that is associated with English people, then pack that into a small classroom and divide it among 8 teachers. I say 8 and not 10 because my colleague and myself are exempt, of course. It was a tad uptight. Lots of smug in the air. But thank God they must've put something in the food because everyone returned from lunch a little more relaxed.

My primary complaint is not having to read test questions and analyze them, having to pretend that I've read most of the books in a long list of classics, or even that the lady next to me will not SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY. I can deal with all that, but my feet and ankles are starting to swell when I sit for too long, so I'm starting to get uncomfortable. I hate getting up and leaving the room during these things, but I've had to do that a lot, despite the well-spaced frequent stretch breaks.

More later. I have to put on makeup and go meet the posse.

Saturday, July 05, 2008 

Off Again

Finally, my laundry is caught up and my house is clean. How is it that no matter how clean your house is when you leave, it's dirty when you return? Maybe it's just all the laundry. A week's worth of dirty clothes for two people, all at once, and something about being packed into a hot suitcase in the belly of a plane for a whole day really accentuates the stank factor. What a pain.

All my freshly folded clothes are going straight back into a suitcase tomorrow morning, because I'm going to Oxford for a whole stinkin' week. I'm going to this. It's a whole week. Did I mention that already?

It'll be worth it, though, because it means I get to teach a brighter, hopefully more motivated bunch of pupils this year. And they are giving each of us our own room in a hotel that will probably feel like The Ritz after the lodging experience I had in San Francisco. I'll be an hour's drive from my folks, and a friend of mine who lives in Senatobia is giving me a whole car load of baby stuff, so I'll be going to visit her. So that'll take about three hours total and I'll spend the rest of the week wanting to come back home. That is if I'm not busy doing homework or choking down some required reading. Ahh, but this is what it means to be a lifelong learner, and that's a good thing, right?

In other news, my son is still kicking my ass from the inside, and I have the worst indigestion in the history of womankind.

That is all.

Friday, July 04, 2008 

I'm a Winner!

I won this gas grill in a grocery store drawing, if ya can believe that!


Happy fourth.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 

We Made It.

We made it back to Memphis with no major delays, took a three hour nap at my mom's, ate our first good meal in over a week, and then came on to Hattiesburg. We got home at about 1:30 a.m., and I've never been so glad to see a place as I was to see my house, my bed, and most importantly, the Black Ness Monster.


He's having some abandonment issues. We left him outside for a week and a friend of mine came by to feed and water both of them. I knew Millay would be fine because she stays outside all the time, but Pookie is a tenderfoot, a sensitive soul, a vagina. My friend said when she came by yesterday morning, he was throwing a fit and begging to be let inside, then didn't want to let her leave after she started petting him. He's been all over me since we got home.

Today has been hell. First of all, I left the dogs' collars out in the yard the other day when I nearly killed myself, and Tim ran over both of them with the lawn mower. These are the electronic shocking collars that cost $70 each, so that little blunder cost us about $150. He cut the mower off when he realized what had happened, and once he had finished informing me of how stupid I was, went back out to continue mowing only to discover that the mower would not start. So he went to get the truck so he could haul the mower to the shop, only to discover that the truck wouldn't crank. Fabulous! So now we've got busted dog collars, a broken lawn mower, and a broken truck. I told Tim to come back in the house and quit working before he put us in the poor house.

I need a vacation.

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