Monday, March 02, 2009 


Well, the move is underway. If you have been accessing this site at, you will need to start using, although will work, I think.

I'm talking to a chick about designing some background/headers for the new place. Until then, it's just another default Blogger template.

It's not perfect, and probably won't even come close for a while since I am getting to know the "new" Blogger. I'm used to making changes to my blog by going directly into the HTML myself. The new Blogger makes it easier to add things and move them around on the page, but I haven't figured out how to change the sizes of certain features. (My blogroll is freakin' huge right now and takes up way too much space in the sidebar for this very reason.) I'll figure it out. Until then, keep reading. That is, unless it's gotten too mundane for you.

I still love you, Anonymous, even though you cut me deep. How's that shit sandwich taste?



Yeah, it's got a Hemi.

And that's all it's got.

In December of '05, Tim bought a 2005 Dodge Magnum brand new, but not before doing tons of research. He checked out every available source of information on every imaginable detail of the vehicles he was interested in. He wanted something semi badass that would perform but get decent gas mileage. It had to look cool, it had to be American, and it had to be big. Dodge claimed that the Magnum had 340 horsepower and 390 lb ft. of torque, which is impressive when you consider that it was also supposed to get 25 mpg hwy and 17 city. It also came with a 7 year 70,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, according to the dealer. The base price was about $30,000, but you couldn't find a "base" model. Everything on the dealers' lots had the bells and whistles: navigation system, leather, etc., and they were priced somewhere in the neighborhood of $34,000, if memory serves.

Tim hemmed and hawed so long that by the time he settled on the Magnum, it was the end of the model year. He started shopping at dealers in Mississippi and Louisiana, but most of them wouldn't come off the price of a 2005 even though the 2006's were setting on the lot already. He finally found a dealer in West Point, MS who had the exact car he wanted and agreed to sell it for $28,000. They made a deal over the phone and Tim drove to West Point the next day to pick it up.

In the first year alone, the car was in the shop two or three times. There has never been a major problem, but tons of smaller ones. The navigation system stopped working, the transmission started puking fluid, the air conditioner quit, and it turned out that the tires were defective; they wore out at 8,000 miles. The nav system, transmission problem, and a/c were all covered under warranty, and we were invited to join a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of the tires. On top of that, the car got nowhere near the promised gas mileage, and we would know because Tim tracks it obsessively and calculates the mpg at every fill up. The best he has ever gotten was 20 mpg, and that was on the highway under perfect conditions. It was after a drive from here to Memphis with the cruise control set. Forget the mileage in the city-- it's as low as 12 sometimes, but usually averages around 16. It's hit 17 a few times.

Last week, the speedometer quit working. We also noticed that the back windows were slow to roll up, which makes no friggin' sense because they've probably not been rolled down a dozen times total. Tim took it to the dealer and dropped it off, thinking it should still be under warranty. The dealer he bought it from told him the warranty was good for 7 years of 70k miles. Turns out that too was a lie; the warranty was only for 3 years or 30k miles. It has 31k miles on it, and turned 3 years old in December. The dealer also told us it would be $752 to replace the speedometer, $300+ to fix the window motors, and that it needed a tuneup-- to the tune of another $400. The total was almost $1600 for shit that A) should've been covered by warranty and B) shouldn't have been broken in the first damn place.

When Tim first called the dealer, they told him it would be a week before they could even look at the car. Then after they called with the prognosis, the asshole literally laughed at him when he said it should be under warranty. Tim said, "So you think that shit's funny? Park my car and don't turn a wrench on it. I'm coming to get it." The dude said fine and hung up.

What a bunch of fuckshits! No wonder Chrysler is going under! When someone comes to you to spend $30,000, you can't lie to them about what they're getting and what they can expect of it, then tell them to fuck off when they show up with a problem. You NEVER hear about these sorts of problems with Toyota or Honda or other foreign cars.

As a last resort, Tim called a Chrysler complaint line. At first, the guy told him there was nothing he could do since the car wasn't under warranty. Tim asked him if he thought it was okay that he's had all these problems with the car, discovered that he's been lied to multiple times, and that he was now being told to piss off. The guy said that wasn't his judgment call to make. If it had been me on the phone, I would've told him my thoughts on Chrysler going under.

The guy finally said he'd call the dealer and see what he could do. We expected another response of the "fuck off" variety, but the dealer called back and said that if we paid up front for the repairs of the windows and the speedometer, Chrysler would send us a check for $1,000. We told them to go ahead and do the repairs, but my fear is that this too is another lie. We'll see if the check comes in the mail, but I'm skeptical.

Either way, we're done with Chrysler. And if they go under, it's because they earned it. Good riddance. Next time we buy a car, we won't sacrifice quality for loyalty.

Friday, February 27, 2009 

Today is the First Day of the Next Seven Years

Tim is off work on weekends now, so I have been leaving him with Charlie while I run and get groceries on Saturday mornings. Saturday shopping sucks. The stores are packed, the roads are packed, and the stuff that was on sale for the week has been picked over by then. Plus I feel like I have to hurry because Tim's at home alone with the baby, and no matter how much they love them or how badly they want to help, there's not a man on earth whose butthole does not tighten a bit at the prospect of being left alone with a baby. I decided to go to Mal Wart instead of the grocery store this week because we needed some things that only the Devil's Playground has, like a replacement for the full length mirror that I broke yesterday. This morning while Charlie was napping, I showered and got dressed, made a grocery list, and got everything ready to go so that I could put him in the car and go to Mal Wart as soon as he woke up.

Well, when he woke up, his diaper weighed at least 10 pounds. While I had his feet over his head and was wiping his butt, he pissed on himself. And by "on himself" I mean he sprayed himself in the face, hair, and all over his clothes before I could get a wipey over his winky. I know that I should know better by now and always have Mr. Winky covered, but it's hard to keep it covered while I'm cleaning up poop. He's squirming and I'm trying to keep him from completely covering himself in butt mud. I have to hold his ankles with one hand (to keep him from smearing his socks in it) and wipe with the other, and that doesn't leave any hands for putting the cloth back on Mr. Winky when he squirms this way or that and it falls off. So instead of covering Mr. Winky, I just started trying to make the process as quick as possible.

I wasn't quick enough this time. Not only did he spray himself, but pee puddled under him and there was no way to clean everything up without taking him off the changing table. I grabbed a blanket, spread it out in the floor as well as I could, and moved him down there to clean him up and redress him. Then I cleaned up the changing table and wiped the piss off the furniture and the walls. (I can just imagine what that room must smell like to outside visitors. Between the diaper filled garbage can and the pissed-on walls, it's probably rancid, and I'm just immune to it.)

I got him dressed, announced to him that we were going to the store, and scooped him up out of the floor, still determined to make it to Mal Wart before lunch hour wanderers poured into the streets. Then I realized that his hair was wet, and it wasn't sweat. Shit. I can't take my child to Wal Mart with piss in his hair, even though I briefly considered it. Then I considered trying to wash only his hair in the sink, but that didn't make much sense considering that it was bath day anyway. So I went and changed into a t-shirt and started some bath water.

During his bath, he peed again, but this time he skillfully sprayed yours truly. It hit me in the front of the neck and ran down my chest, into my shirt, and onto my bra. Fantastic.

Half an hour later, Charlie was clean and dressed, I was clean and dressed, and we were ready to go. But by then it was meal time. You don't take a hungry baby anywhere unless you're a glutton for punishment. So I prepared a bottle and we sat down on the couch to eat. When he finished, he burped right away, and I said, "Great, NOW we're leaving!" I put him on my shoulder and carried him to the car seat. When I sat him down, his face, arms, and shirt were covered in spit up, and he had a shit eating grin on his face. I looked down, and sure enough-- the entire front of my shirt was soaked with thick white soymilk spit up. YUM! Screw changing him again, I thought. I just wiped him down and quickly changed my shirt-- for the third time today.

We headed to Wal Mart, and he was perfect the entire time. He likes going to the store because the lights and the signs that hang from the ceiling give him something interesting to look at. As we were being checked out by a young black girl who talked to herself and yawned forty times in the three minutes it took her to check our groceries, Charlie spewed again. I was able to contain it with a little blanket, but that made the fourth castastrophic and/or inconvenient digestive mishap of our day, and it was only noon. Bad luck from the broken mirror?

He seems to feel okay. He has perfected The Squeal, and has been wreaking havoc on my eardrums with it all afternoon.

Mommy's ready for naptime.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 

Random Thought Whenever

In case you didn't read it in the comments section of the last post, I'm thinking maybe I'll keep the name DeadpanAnn and just change the subheading. A few good ideas have been offered, but now I am feeling very uncreative for wanting to steal HM's "Mommy has a headache," and am trying to let it inspire something original.

Last Thursday, my mom, sister, nephew, and niece arrived for a visit. My bro-in-law came down the next night. It was a full house, and mommy really did have a headache. It's too bad you're not supposed to beat children. Some of them need it. But then, so do some adults. Don't get me wrong-- I was glad to see all of them. It gets lonely down here at the bottom of the continent. But damn. I guess I've gotten used to the peace and quiet, and peace and quiet are a distant memory with a hyperactive 10 year old boy in the house. I cooked a meal the first night we were here, but threatened to serve Nyquil the second night. I'm trying not to be too judgmental. My little redhead is going to be hell on wheels, I'm sure. I just hope I parent him well. Parent is not only a noun, but also a verb, you know.

Speaking of kids and their stubborn ways, Charlie's hard earned tooth never really came all the way out. It peeked through the skin, just barely, and then stopped. Now he seems to have another one working its way up. It's another bottom tooth, and I think I can see it just under the skin. He's running a low fever and is generally impossible to please, which is unlike Charlie. He's usually quite happy, so it really throws me when he is cranky for days on end.

The illness that Tim and I have had for nearly a month seems to be losing its grip. We have both coughed until our ribs hurt, and I had nausea from all the drainage AND my head has come pretty close to exploding a time or two. It's been getting better the last two days, although I am still coughing a little. I could've used some of that sweet, sweet Histinex that HM is always jonesing for talking about, but my state employee insurance had ended and my new coverage hadn't kicked in yet, so I didn't dare go to the doctor.

Mrs. C, not to be confused with Aunt C, gave me a call yesterday. Mrs. C is the lady who was supposed to babysit Charlie while I went back to work. She was having some major health concerns and told me at the last minute that she couldn't keep him, which gave me the excuse I needed to stay home with him and quit my job. Anyway, last time I talked to her she was afraid that she was about to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer because a CT had shown a giant mass on her lady balls. She had surgery and it turned out to be some rare kind of tumor, but not cancerous. She said she's going to start working again in a couple of weeks and wanted to know what my current situation is. I suppose Asshole License Stealer Principal would laugh if I asked for my job back, so I told her I'm staying home at least for a couple of years, probably longer.

My license is going to expire before I go back to work, so I've got to get my renewal stuff in line. Since I don't have a master's degree, I'm required to have something like 10 CEU's or 6 college hours since the date my license was last renewed. I have taken 3 college hours-- that History of Education class a couple years ago, so I'm just going to take another class to make it 6, then I'll be covered. Hopefully I can get my master's before I go back to work. They'll have to pay me more, renewing my license will be easier, and I'll be qualified to teach at a junior college, should I ever get my chance.

Screw an education degree. It's an easier degree to get than an English degree, but I'm sorry, that shit is boring. I think I want an M.A. in English. If I had that degree, I'm pretty sure I could pick up a summer class or a night class at one of the local junior colleges, and possibly weasel my way into a full time position from there. Those jobs are cake. A friend of mine has been teaching juco since she was like 27, and I can't believe how much easier it is than teaching K-12. It's my dream job, and I want to be able to find one before I completely burn out on the whole teaching thing. It's coming. I like teaching, but I already know I can't do it for 20 years, so I need to have a backup plan. Juco would be a nice one.

I'm going to take a nap before the infant Tylenol wears off and Half Squat starts raising hell.

Monday, February 23, 2009 


A couple of years ago, the new-fangled edition of Blogger was introduced, and I desperately clung to my old Blogger account so I wouldn't have to deal with the changes. Change is not always good, you know. Recently I have attempted to make several adjustments to the look and feel of my blog, only to find that said adjustments were impossible to make to the old version of Blogger. Apparently, if you want to make adjustments, you must first make change.

In April of 2005, I started this here project from my mother's basement. I was going through some major life changes myself at the time. Having recently graduated from college and been fired from my first full time job-- in that order-- I decided to put my English degree to some use and start teaching. In the four years since then, DeadpanAnn has chronicled my life's journey, which has involved lots of changes. I have gone from unemployed basement blogger/wannabe teacher to employed non-basement blogger/actual teacher, from single to married, from childlessness to motherhood, from Nesbit to Yazoo Shitty to Hattiesburg, from teaching "at risk" kids to teaching "smarty pants" kids, from wanting to teach to teaching to being a stay at home mom. You get the picture.

At one point I had a remarkable number of loyal readers, but I was always a little nervous about who might be reading. Then one day I checked StatCounter and saw that someone at the Mississippi Dept of Ed was frequenting the blog, and that was the beginning of the end. I moved several times, and only a few of you managed to keep track. I became increasingly cautious, and the content of my posts became increasingly boring. I stopped caring as much, and the frequency of my posts as well as the quality of the writing has gone downhill. These days I'm sometimes embarrassed of what I've written when I go back and read a post that was never proofread before it was posted. It's moments like that when I consider shutting it down. I used to obsess over making sure my punctuation and grammar were perfect, that I had made the best word choice, and that the overall flow of a post was clear. Maybe a few years of reading 8th graders' essays has conditioned me to overlook more. Whatever it is, it bothers me, and I want it to change. Writing is the only thing I can do well, and here I am sucking at it.

Recently I've been struggling to respark the old flame, but I'm just not feeling it. I think part of my problem is that I'm no longer the bitch I used to be. I'm just not an angry basement blogger anymore, nor am I a teacher blogger at present. I'm more like a mommy blogger right now, and that's okay.

I considered giving it up, but I think the real end of blogging for me is still a ways off in the future. I enjoy writing about the things that happen in my life, however boring or interesting they may be during any given period. At some point, probably around the time I return to the classroom, things will take a turn back to Interestingville and the number of readers will increase again. Until then, a few of you will get some enjoyment out of whatever I do write, and I'll be grateful for the comments, however sparse.

So instead of hanging it up, I'm just going to accept the change and create a new blog. It will have the same address, but a new look, and I am considering a new name as well. The problem is that I can't think of an appropriate name. If you have any suggestions...

I have no idea when I'll do this. I've started to do it several times. Each time, I either changed my mind about the name and/or look I want, or just ran out of time to work on it and ended up scrapping it. I don't have the time to spend hours in front of the computer like I used to, so I need to have most of my ideas in order before I start.

Tomorrow I'll give you a fresh post. Until then, I'll be brainstorming for blog names and hoping you have some suggestions that will inspire me.

Sunday, February 22, 2009 

This one's for Hillbilly Mom


How's that for justice??

And here's something just for fun...


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