Friday, December 30, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 14

More sleepy sleep. Yaaaaay! Thank goodness. I wore baby girl out at the mall yesterday. Went to Cherry Creek to play on the breakfast food. It creeps me out to see huge sausages lying around on the ground, but I get over it for my girl. (In the link, that is not a photo of my's just a photo I found, as a point of reference to those who do not know of the giant breakfast food.)

Today I am spending the entire day at home with my girl. Well, we might go somewhere, but if we do, we will have to take the bus. Papa took the car to go pawn shopping in Colorado Springs. He and his friend Bam do this every so often--apparently the pawn shops down there have different stuff than up here in Denver.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Time Passes<<<<<<<<<<<<<

We didn't go anywhere. I'm still waiting for papa go come home with the car, so I can go to Costco. Gotta get snacks for tomorrow night. We do not go out for the new year festivities. We do not even capitalize the new year festivities. We stay home and play games. With Steve.

Anyway, I'm sittin' here, feeling weird, because I just located a couple of friends from college, with whom I haven't spoken in a long time. Well, one of them a long time, and the other a loooooong, long time. And it's got me all nostalgic and weird, because I knew them in college, and that was a very weird and exciting time for me. I've changed a lot since then, hopefully for the better. Some things for the worse, I guess.

I guess that weird feeling is called "regret," which is really a wasted emotion, if you think about it. There is absolutely nothing I can do about the past; I can't fix it, change it, or otherwise modify it. It is what it is. I can just hope that these folks will correspond with me, at least just to say "hey." The other probably will, but one of them?

I'm not so sure.

Day 14 grade: A- (for the weirdness)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 13

Lots of sleep. Sleep, sleep, sleepy sleep. Love it. Got a lot of it last night, which was warranted. Little Monkey slept through the night. Hoo-ray. She need to repeat this habit, nightly. No more of this 3am business!

I'm all paranoid, now.

So, today I had some "me" time. I went to see Harry Potter. Yay! It's awesome. If you've read the books, I bet you will enjoy it. They had to leave out a LOT of details, of course, but I don't think they detracted from the story. Fabulous time.

I'm now off to the library to pick up a DVD that I'm borrowing: WalMart: The High Cost of Low Prices. Ought to be interesting. It's only 3:38pm right now, but today is shaping up nicely.

Two movies in two days. It's been a good vacation. Oh, and I got a soap order last night, too. Made some money, saw a movie. Yep. Good day.

.............Time Passes..............

Stayed at home the rest of the day. The little dog dug a hole under the fence and ran away. Had to go get him in the car. Watched that WalMart movie. It's fabulous. I recommend it to everyone who even slightly thinks that they don't like WalMart, but they can't put their finger on why. The movie will tell you why.

Day 13 Grade: A

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 12

Today's blog starts in bed. At 3am. Approximately. Yes, once again, cutie woke up. This time, however, she climbed into bed with us and fell asleep. I, however, did not fall asleep immediately, because she was sleeping on the edge of the bed, on Papa's side.

This was disconcerting for me, and any mom out there will understand why: even though she was with her Papa, there was always the danger that he would fall asleep, lose his grip, and she would fall out of bed. And our bed is higher-up.

Papa finally put her in the middle of the bed, between us, and right at that moment, I fell back asleep, knowing she wasn't going to fall.

We all woke up around 8am after that, and our day was a plain day, until 2:30. Before 2:30, I read the paper, played with Cutie, shopped for groceries. Then Papa joined me, and we went to the bank, washed the car, and went to the post office.

And then we went to the movies.

Okay, I wanted to see Harry Potter. I've read all the books and seen all the movies, and love it all. The Man was going along begrudgingly. He wanted to see a movie, but thinks the Harry Potter series is for kids. Anyway, when we got to the theater, it turns out that the online movie times that I checked were inaccurate. There was no showing of Harry Potter at 2:30. Luckily, there was another movie showing at 2:30:

King Kong.

Oh, how I love that Peter Jackson. I didn't know just how much I would love this movie. I have not seen any version of King Kong, not the original and not the one from the '70s. My man has seen both several times, so he knew what to expect. I knew a bit of the story, so I knew a bit of what to expect. I will not spoil anything for you, but I'll tell you this:

I'm aerobically worn out after seeing it.

Day 12 grade: A+

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 11

Well, finally, cutie slept through the night, so today was a better day all around. We just stayed home and did little projects. I moved the microwave oven to a different spot. Did some dishes. Helped cutie with her train set.


That's about it. Huh.

Day 11 grade: A

Sleepytime update

I kept the monkey up until 10:30pm, to ensure her fatigue. I was also thinking that, if her sleep is no longer at the 11-hour stretch it used to be, then when she wakes it will still be at a (relatively) reasonable hour.

She came and got me out of bed at 8am. This means she probably woke up around 7:45am. Which means she slept for 9 and 1/4 hours.

Which means we need to remember this, when putting her to bed, so she doesn't wake up at 3am.

Any. More.

Monday, December 26, 2005

I finally understand.

My parents made a relatively big deal of Christmas. They always gave us gifts that they knew we would like, and I remember them sitting on the couch, drinking whatever they drank in the mornings, watching us play. Dad would sometimes play with us, if the toy required assembly, etc. They would sit and watch us, at some ungodly hour of the morning, as we played with our new toys.

As a kid, I always thought that adults got the shaft. They would just sit around, watching us, and they didn't get anything from Santa. I didn't understand how they could be so happy.

Today, I do.

Today, I assembled a train set for my daughter. It was not difficult, as it was manufactured by Fisher-Price. It has tracks that include a hill, a windmill and a factory, and two engines and 4 cars. Okay, here's the cool thing: the main, larger engine is battery-powered, and there is a remote switch that controls it. After about 10 minutes, my daughter is now making the train start and stop around the track. Every time she makes it stop, she says, "huh?" even though she is the one who made it stop, and she knows it.

Oh, and now she has just figured out the manual switch on the tracks, to make the train go up the hill, instead of under it. Smart girl.

And just a minute ago, I was standing there with her Papa, smiling down at her as she played with her new toy, and I was completely overjoyed.

I think parents give gifts at Christmas so that they can see pure, unadulterated joy in their children's eyes.

Vacation Log: Day 10

Aaaaaaaand she woke up around 3:30am, again. Aaaaand the dog was barking outside at that hour. I asked TM to bring the dog in before someone called the cops. So he did, and she cried in her condo for about 20 minutes. So, he put her back outside and she was happy. I cannot win. Right after the dog was put back out is when LM climbed into bed with us. We spent some time quietly with her in our bed, but she did not fall asleep. I do remember asking her if she had a diaper, and she said, "Yes!" So Papa changed it and put her back in her bed, but she came back to our room about 1/2 hour later. We tried to get her to sleep. Didn't work. Put her back in her bed. Didn't work. So I got up with her, and I got dressed. I was going shopping early today, anyway.

So I took the cutie with me. There we were, outside the doors of Target at 6:55am, and she was jumping up and down, having fun. We shopped at Target and at Linens 'N' Things, and after that I thought she would be hungry, so we went to a diner for some breakfast. She was NOT hungry, and pretty much tormented me the whole time I was eating.

Got home. I tried to put her to bed, because she was obviously tired, but she would have none of it. So I got Papa to watch her so I could finish my shopping. He did, and I did. When I came back, I got LM something to eat. She was very tired, but adamantly refused to go to bed. I desperately wanted her to go to bed, so that I could nap, which is something I never do. I could hardly see straight. Nonetheless, I read the paper, read a magazine, read books to LM, and waited.

At about 1pm, I heard her calling me from her room. I looked in there, and she was on her changing table. This is a pretty clear indicator that she needs a diaper change. So I did--and while I did, she STARTED FALLING ASLEEP. Right there. Her eyes would droop, and fly back open, droop, back open. So I picked her up and put her in bed. Of course, she started throwing a fit again, but this time she didn't have the energy to fight longer than 10 seconds. She was out.

And so was I. I took a solid 1 and 1/2 hour nap today. It was awesome. I still feel a little groggy, but at least I can get through the day in some productive fashion.

To wit: I assembled LM's train set! It is cool! It has a wireless switch that makes the train go and stop, and it has a feature where, when the train drives past the windmill or the factory, the gears work the mill/factory so that things spin, whir, move, etc. and you have to flip the switch for the train to move on. It's really cool.

So now we are just hanging out at home. We're keeping her up until 10pm tonight, so if she gets up after 8 hours, it will still be a somewhat reasonable time to rise. At least for me it will be reasonable. We've got to get her on her regular schedule. No more of this 3am nonsense! Except, everytime it happens, she has a diaper. So it's not like she just wakes up--I think she wakes because she is uncomfortable, and then simply decides to stay up.

Grade for day 10: B- (because of the horrible "no sleep at all" feelings)

Vacation Log: Day 9

Today was Christmas day.

I let The Man sleep in. I got up at the same time as Little Monkey, and we just hung out. She played with her toys (still very excited about her trains), and I read the entire Sunday paper. This is a treat for me--usually I don't have the time for it. I made us some breakfast/lunch (we got up late), and after the paper was finished, I got dressed, got cutie dressed, and we went to the park.

Yes, the park. On December 25. It was well over 60 degrees outside. Lovely, lovely day. For the first 1/2 hour, we had the park to ourselves. Most folks were spending time with family, I guessed. It was a great time--we spent about an hour there, basking in the sun, sliding on the slide, and LM spent a lot of time on the swing. Some days she loves it, some days she hates it. Like most of us.

We went home and had some dinner. It was around 4pm, and I suggested that we try again with the Christmas lights; we knew LM would want to see them. So we got in the car much earlier than yesterday, and went straight for the retirement community where they do up the lights.

Well, LM fell asleep AGAIN. This time, we were undaunted. We woke her up when we got there. She woke right up, and was happy to walk around with us. And walk around, we did. She was enthralled by the displays, and walked right up to some of them and sat on the ground, mesmerized. It was very cute. I think we went there more for us than for her; it was so much fun for us to see her so happy, because of pretty lights.

We got home, and we ate again. I made sure LM had a full tummy, so that she would sleep well. She had her bath, and I put her to bed, and she fell asleep quickly.

And so did I.

Grade for Day 9: A

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 8

I wish I could say that today was uneventful, and hardly worth writing about. That's how it started out. I spent almost the entire day in my jammies. I played with Little Monkey and her new toys. I fed her. We hung out. The Man slept in, and after he had eaten, he took care of LM so that I could soak in the tub, which I did. After that, I read my book in bed. In my jammies. I got up in the late afternoon to prepare some dinner.

After dinner, we drove around town to look at the lights. We wanted to get over to Windsor Gardens, a retirement community, where the holiday light displays are always spectacular. By the time we got there, LM was sound asleep in her carseat.

So, we got home, and put her to bed.

I started feeling depressed, because I miss my mom and dad, and I suppose I was feeling this way because it's Christmas. So I was crying when I went to bed.

I got about 3 hours of sleep and then I woke up because TM was helping LM with a diaper. She was awake. Of course. She fell asleep at 7pm. So now she's awake, and won't fall back asleep. I stayed up, reading my book, to make sure she didn't get out of bed and start wandering the house. After two hours of this, when TM came upstairs to go to bed, the Big Dog started whining. When she does this in the middle of the night, I have unfortunately learned from experience, it means she has diarrhea. So, I was letting the dogs out to pee, one of them on a leash because he digs holes under the fence and runs away, when Big Dog rushed up to me to pet her.

And she smelled like, you guessed it, Dog Diarrhea.

I couldn't handle this new development. Her entire butt was covered in diarrhea, and the stench almost made me vomit. She is my dog, however, so I got an old towel, wet it with hot water, and went outside to wash the dog's ass. It was much more extensive than I originally thought, so I put the towel down outside and left the dog outside, too. It's not that cold, and she's shaggy. One night shouldn't hurt her. And when I think about that stench filling up my house, I don't feel bad about it. I'll deal with her tomorrow. Or, uh, later today.

After coming in from my 3am dog grooming exercises, LM was still going strong. So I decided to fight fire with fire, and started making

Mac and Cheese.

Oh, yes. Not even my little cutie can resist the soporific effects of a full stomach. So she danced around the kitchen while I made her a meal (don't know what to call it, it was 3am), and she happily ate a whole plate of it. I wiped off her face and hands, got her into bed with some juice, and read her a story, just like our regular routine. (Well, usually she takes a bath before bedtime, but it still felt like it.) When I read her story, I used my best "fall asleep" voice.

It's now 3:58am. I'll check on her in a few minutes to see if my ruse was effective. In the meantime, Al Franken awaits.

Grade for Day 8: B-

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 7

What a great day!

I still had cleaning to do, but got up relatively early to do some of it. Cleaned the bathroom thoroughly, cleaned the hardwood floors, cleaned off a ledge that collects weird, unassociated items. The Man went for groceries that he didn't get yesterday, and I started cooking.

We made shrimp with linguine in cream sauce, a prime rib roast, salad, glazed carrots, roasted vegetables (eggplant, peppers, oninos, and jalapeños), (purchased) rolls, and had chocolate cake, pumpkin pie, and apple pie choices for dessert. I made the cake--the other pies were brought by our guests.

And you should have seen the children. My Little Monkey was never so happy with a toy! She received both a Thomas and a Percy train, where you push down on the driver, and they they shoot across the room. Excellent. She just walked around all night, with those trains in her hands, and as I knew she would, she took them to bed with her. She enjoyed other toys she received, too, but none as much as the trains.

Getting her to go to sleep was another matter entirely. She was overtired and worked up at the same time. She had her trains there with her, but just kept crying and crying, because I said it was time for bed. It took her almost an hour to calm down--I had to call in Papa as a reinforcement. She then woke up at 3am with a huge pee diaper, which I changed, but she kept calling me back in for various reasons--she didn't fall back asleep until 4:30am. I employed the previous tactic of Papa, and it worked again. Of course, I'd given her some warm milk by that point.

As a result, I am very sleepy still, but I had to get up because my aunt is stopping by this morning to drop off a gift for Little Monkey. I'm going to be in my jammies, because I can. And, because I received new jammies as a gift from The Man. So I'm wearing 'em, all day today.

Day 7 grade: A

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 6

What a party we had last night! Champagne...dirty dancing on the tables....strip


Okay, that didn't happen. But the party was very fun for a couple of parents who never get out. The food was great, and we did have some wine, and The Man had a bit of beer, too. Games were played and a movie was watched, and the worst thing that happened was the kitty swiped Little Monkey's arm as she was walking by. A few tears, but she was otherwise okay.

It was really fun. And a really late night. LM went straight to bed when we got home, although she still insisted on a story. I went to bed right after that, and woke up tired at 8am.

Today was slow-moving, yet still full, while I did laundry, stripped the beds and put on new sheets, cleaned the heinous, threatening-to-take-over-the-whole-kitchen pile of CRAP that's been there the entire year. I am not even exaggerating. I found my Valentine's day card in the pile. It was time to clean it. Shit, we've had a busy year, if I can't find time to clean The Pile until the winter holidays. Damn.

I suppose selling soap and writing a book and teaching at the university and teaching full time will do that to a person.

In any case, I'm very tired, and I'm considering taking a bath. I should get to bed early, so I can get up early for tomorrow. We have The Man's family coming over tomorrow, for Christmas festivities. They'll be here at 3pm. Still a lot to do.

Day 6 grade: B-

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 5

This day is shaping up to be much better than yesterday. After a mostly sleepless night, however, it didn't feel very productive. I still got the cards sent out, and wrapped packages and mailed them, and bought a couple more gifts, and called back my friend Sherri.

I also went to the grocery store, got some stuff that was on sale, went out to the car, got a call from The Man, who told me we were out of juice, so I had to go back in and do it all again. Which I did.

Then I gassed up the car.

And now I'm sitting here while LM eats her dinner, before we go up to Boulder for a cocktail party. Yay!

I'll be too tired to post later, so I'll grade today right now: A-

Vacation Log: Day 4--nighttime.

Last night was a "doozy." (Whatever that word actually means.) LM got up at 4am, yelling for "Maaaaaaa maaaaaaa!" Papa went in instead and changed her diaper. He gave her a little something to drink, and then put her back to bed. Then he came back to bed.

***5 minutes later***

Patpatpatpatpatpatpat. We both heard her. "Little Monkey?"

Right next to our faces: "Hello. How are you?" And she climed up into bed with us. That would have been fine, and we made a valiant effort to both ignore and snuggle her, but she was having none of it, and stayed awake. (As an aside: The softest, gentlest, most loving touch I have ever felt is my daughter caressing my face at 4am.) We tried it for a little while, but then I put her back to bed, with some warm milk. This worked for a longer while, and then more shouting: "Maaaaaa maaaaa!"

I guess Papa had had enough, because he got up and went to her room. And then I heard the funniest nighttime conversation, ever:

Papa: *stern* Do you have a diaper?
LM: No!
Papa: *stern* Then it's time for na-nights.

And that was it! Granted, it was probably close to 6am by this time, but at least she stayed in bed and fell asleep.

On to today's activities, which include:

  • delivering a soap order
  • mailing more cards
  • wrapping, packing, and mailing gifts
  • shopping for gifts
  • cleaning the house
  • going to a party!
Yay! I'll recap the day for you later.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 4

Today was supposed to be better.

Today was supposed to be fun.

Instead, I made an insensitive comment.

And now, all I can do is try to be kind, and hope everything turns out okay.

Day 4 grade: F-

Vacation Log: Day 3

'Twas Monday, and the slithy toebs
did gire and gimble in the wabe...

....wait a minute.

'Twas Monday, and I got up early. (That's better.) I had to go to Auraria Campus to finish my grades, and return all the finals in a box. 80% of the students won't pick up their hard copy of their final, and I'll have to throw them away at the end of the semester, when I drop off the new finals. Whatever.

I got to Auraria to an almost-empty parking lot, as classes were out. I wheeled my Geek Box into the building and got up to the office. Triple-checked my grades, one last time. Entered them in pen, then pencil, and signed in pen. Done and done.

After that, I drove to the bank to deposit some money. I thought that 11th street would take me across town. I was wrong. HOWEVER! Did you know that some of the most GORGEOUS homes in Denver are in the block surrounding 11th and Humboldt! Seriously. Absolutely incredible. I could almost see the original owners wandering around in their Victorian attire, bemoaning the fact that Denver was developing up all around them.

Finally got to the bank. Then went to a different bank after that. (Don't ask.) Then went home. And in 30 minutes, I:

1. Made Little Monkey her lunch.
2. Pulled, packed and addressed a package of soap for an order.
3. Went looking for our vagabond dog.

After which I took off for Lunch With Becky. I hadn't seen Becky in literally months, because she is doing her Master's degree in social work, and has no time to even think. Her classes are out for the semester now, though, and we met for lunch, which was lovely. She's engaged! It was a lovely lunch.

This was all before noon. Rather busy for a "vacation" day. So, when I got home I sat in the living room, reading the paper, while LM climbed all over me. We read books and played with toys and I read the paper when I could. I lounged around pretty much all day, except for when I did some cleaning in the kitchen.

I guess I thought I was being rather lazy, because I decided to go to Bikram yoga class that evening. Thank god it was only a 1 hour class. I almost died. It was good to sweat, though.

Took a shower. Got LM into bed. Did some online marketing. (Gotta sell that ebook:

Finally got to bed around 10pm. Slept very snuggly after all that Bikram.

Grade for Day 3: A-

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 2

Yummy. I got about 9 hours of sleep last night. I was awakened by doggy whining. They are so pent-up--literally, because it's so cold outside. Poor doggies. Quiet, doggies. Quiet! Oh, all right, I'll get up.

I got online and began checking my email, sorting old email, etc. Did some Yahoo IM-ing with a friend. Wondered if he wanted to go out with us for pancakes. The Man and Little Monkey were still sleeping at this point, but pancakes on Sunday morning is a pretty good bet. While I was still talking to my friend, LM woke up. And so did The Man. So I made the appointment for pancakes at 10:30.

Our pancake place is very popular, so we had to wait for a little while--about 15 minutes, I'd say. Not too bad. LM polished off all of her eggs, and most of her bacon, and hardly any pancakes. This is strange for her, to ignore pancakes. I did not ignore mine.

After breakfast/brunch, I took The Man home, and I took LM with me to Costco. I wanted to get a couple more gifts for The Man, which I did. I also got 3 books for LM, for when she is older: Wizardology, Dragonology, and Egyptology. They are so cool! I've started building up her library, for when she discovers the wonders of reading. She's getting there--she likes to read the books to us after we've read them to her. She usually gets one or two words correct per page. She's going through the motions.

I just shuffled The Man off to Bikram yoga. He's never been to it, but I predict he will like it, because it's very macho. I'm betting he will love it, and then I will be in the poorhouse.

So I'm just sitting here, blogging, while LM eats popcorn. I plan on taking a soaking bath later, during which I will read the book I checked out from the library. It's been another great vacation day, full of nothingness.

Grade for Vacation Day 2: A

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Vacation Log: Day 1

*inhale* fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

*exhale* haaaaaaaaaaaah.


Finally, I am on vacation. This first semester almost killed me this year. I am somehow grateful for being a teacher right now--not everyone gets the vacation we do.

Of course, not everyone fears death after working for 17 weeks.

Aaaaaaaaanyhooo, it's vacation. Here's my daily log:

7am: Wake up. I went to bed at 9:30pm, so this represents the BEST SLEEP EVER. It was awesome.

7:30am: Little Monkey wakes up. We eat a cinnamon roll for breakfast.

8am: I go downstairs with LM. She watches Thomas the Train and then Elmo, and I write and address all of our holiday cards.

10am: I wake up The Man to watch LM, and then I take off.

10:30-1:30: Amy's Time. I went to the post office, for starters. Some woman in front of me didn't know how to use the self-serve kiosk, and got pissy. I think my cheerful mood pissed her off even more. I was delighted by the stamps that I purchased from the kiosk--they were all Santa ornaments. Yay!

After the post office, I treated myself to a trip to the library. I owed them money (fines! fines! I am a terrible human being), and paid it off. I picked up a DVD that The Man had on hold, and then I perused the (gasp!) fiction section. I checked out two novels from Dan Patterson. That should hold me for the duration.

Next, I went to Cherry Creek mall. This could have been a mistake, but I was coming off a good night's sleep, and I was by myself, so there was no worry. It was crowded and a bit ridiculous, but I did alright. I bought an external hard drive for The Man's computer, and after that, upgraded our cell phones. Check it out here.
1:30-9:30 Made myself some lunch, talked to my mother, read the paper and some magazines, etc. Around 7:30pm we had popcorn and hot cocoa for dinner. Then it was bathtime for Little Monkey. Then bedtime for Little Monkey.

And then bedtime for Mama.

Day 1 grade: A-

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Interpret my dream

Some dreams are difficult to figure out. They are filled with best friends who really arent, houses you live in which you really don't, and strange situations involving dragons and pop tarts.

This morning's dream, however, is a little easier to figure:

I dreamed that my colleagues and I were in staff development. The assistant principal kicked me in the stomach, in front of everyone. She then proceeded to get angry with ME when I protested.


Saturday, December 03, 2005


I just joined a new Yahoo group. I'm a member of, oh, about 53 groups, but I only post regularly on a few of them. Obviously. Otherwise, I wouldn't have time to eat and sleep.

This new group came about because another, larger group exploded. Lots of dysfunctional shit going on there. Anyway, the new group is going strong, has about 70o messages in its first day, and is full of great people.

If you are a writer and a mother, and want to join this wonderful group, you won't regret it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Which book are you?

This is a really fun internet quiz:

You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the
Blue Pyramid.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Friends and family

We've had a whirlwind of activity since last Monday night. So much that I haven't had the chance or the energy to blog. Like I've got either of those on any given day, anyway.

And as much as I enjoy having time off over the holidays, I'd love to have more time to just do nothing. I didn't get much time for that. We were really on the go, entertaining, etc.

It's tiring.

Thanksgiving itself was actually a great, relaxing day, which is odd. It was the most relaxing day of any of them.

Now it's back to work for me. I'm applying for a new job. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 18, 2005


So I was checking the web stats of my website: Olde Crone's Bewitching Bath Soap. I can see how visitors get to my site, and one person got there via Google!

This surprises me, because when I would input "how to make soap" on Google, my site wouldn't even register. Well, maybe it did, but I didn't have the time to find out how far down the list of thousands it was. So I looked at this guy's search criteria, and it was:


Hmm. So I went to Google and did this search, just to see where mine hits. I couldn't believe it.

Number 15. I was only on the second page! This is incredible progress! This means that people are linking to my site! This means that people will see my book and buy it!


Start making soap now!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Always Use a Tablecloth

I sit at the kitchen table to do most of my work on the computer. I don't have an actual office in our house, and until I do, I sit here, so I can watch my daughter while she plays.

Sometimes I watch her while she eats and I work. It's nice because we are both at the table together. Just a few minutes ago, when she was finished, she pushed her plate away, saying, "All done," as she does for every meal.

And in doing so, knocked over my glass of water, which was sitting behind my computer.

Which brings me back to my headline. Okay, then.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Free day!

Yaaay! Today is a free day! I got to sleep in until 6:45am!


Time to make soap!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

All natural handmade soap

Yep. That's what I make. All natural, handmade soap. In an effort to boost my online sales, I've been joining more and more online groups, and have been participating in them. Gotta get some exposure.

Then I thought, "Blog about it, goofball. Google will pick up on it."

Perhaps. Therefore, I offer this blog as an unabashed attempt at self-promotion:

My handmade soaps are incredible. Soft, fluffy lather will leave your skin moisturized and smooth. My ebook about soap making will show you how to make your own soap, if you choose. Purchase it now, so you can make soaps for holiday gifts. If you prefer to purchase handmade soaps, you can do so here.

Okay, I'm done. :)

Time for beginnings

Lots of things are happening right now. My website got up and running, and it's doing fine. I've had 4 sales, which pleases me.

The happiest part of it all is that my ebook is finally finished! I have written and published a book! It was so exciting to have it finished, that I sent out an email to my newsletter list for my soap. Within one hour, someone had purchased my book!


I am now officially an author/publisher. Time to get that website up and running, too, I guess.

The more I get things moving, the more I want them to keep moving. I keep moving and moving in the publishing direction. It's getting less and less scary, and more and more exciting. Of course, I called my parents to tell them I sold a book, and the first thing out of my dad's mouth was, "Now, don't think you are going to make $10,000 and quit your job with this." He went on to temper his comments with something about him being a "cautious" person. Um...wonder where my fear of entrepreneurism comes from? Of course, I told him that I sold one book, and that I was being realistic about the whole thing. He got more relaxed about it and more congratulatory as the conversation went on, but still, the first thing out of his mouth was the message, "Don't get excited, because you certainly won't succeed."

*shakes head*

I'm glad I didn't talk to my mother right then. She's far worse than he is, when it comes to doomsday predictions.

In any case, I'm not letting their fear become my fear. The fear is still there, but it gets smaller and smaller each day, as I conquer it slowly. I really enjoy what I'm doing. I wish I could do it full time.

Someday soon, Dad.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My website is up and running!

Yaaay! Tell all your friends!

All-natural handmade soaps! The best gift for the holidays is a handmade gift, you know. It just doesn't have to be handmade by you, does it? :)

Check out the site and lemme know what you think. Oh, and buy something while you're at it. I've got a family to feed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Today is my wedding anniversary. We've been married for 9 years, and together for 12.


Thank you.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

My Big Ideas

Why are my blogs always full of lists and quizzes? I feel the need to put my ideas down on paper, or else I'll lose them, somehow.

Okay, let's see:

1. Publishing company. I will publish
  • my own stuff
  • my friend's stuff that I think will sell
  • other folks' stuff that I think will sell
2. The company will eventually have the following divisions:
  • Educational literature
  • Romance fiction
  • Mainstream fiction
  • Calendars
  • How-To Nonfiction
  • For Adults Only (we gotta make money somehow)
3. I will offer a small advance, with a larger cut for royalties than most give. I won't pull a book from print after only a few months; I'll leave it in print as long as it is selling.

4.The "for adults only" division will publish both books and ebooks. The paper books will have a cover that is essentially the same for all of them. I'm not divulging that idea here, but it's a good one. Anyway, that will help save on set-up costs for the books when they are printed, if they all have essentially the same cover.

5. I don't know how I'm going to pay for the calendar artwork. The same as books, I suppose. I'll work that out later. Probably a percentage per calendar sold, with non-exclusive rights to publish the artwork.

Anybody wanna tell me what you think about these plans? Will they work? Will they not? What questions do you have? This will help me to solidify my vision.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Had an idea today...

....while having lunch. S. and I were lunching in the real world, and discussing work, of course. Decompressing, if you will. I thought out loud about how well we co-teach, which is a rare thing for general education and special education teachers. I thought, "We should make a video of our teaching, and sell that along with a book someday. That would really make some money." Because we co-teach like nobody else I've known. I also thought, if we couldn't do that, we could secretly audio-record some classes that we teach, and I could transcribe them into my book. A video would be better, though. We are often very subtle.

The video could have a voice-over, as well. A little documentary thingy. I could create it on my lappy, what with iMovie and all.

Dammit. How many F***ing projects can a person have going on?


I ain't doin' it.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Your moment of Math.

Okay, children. It's time to take a quiz. Please clear your desks of all extraneous things (iPods, cell phones, Cliff notes), and focus only on your own work. This quiz should not be difficult, because I am very sarcastic.

1. My yearly raise is now in effect. I received my paycheck, and calculated my take-home raise. The percentage that I figured out was:

a. 10% of my salary--a lovely amount.
b. 1% of my salary--an insult.
c. 1/3 of 1% of my salary--the equivalent of leaving a penny tip at a restaurant. Well, 1/3 of one penny, I guess.

2. My monthly salary raise:

a. Won't cover gasoline expenses for one week.
b. Won't cover one dinner out.
c. Won't cover one jumbo package of diapers.
d. All of the above.

3. My daily salary raise:

a. Won't buy a ghetto cup of coffee at 7-11.
b. Certainly won't buy one Einstein's bagel.
c. Absolutely won't buy one cup of Starbucks coffee.
d. All of the above.

4. I work as a freelance teacher at a local university. I can earn my monthly pay raise from my district by working how long at the university?:

a. 5 hours
b. 1 hour
c. 10 minutes
d. 10 freaking minutes!

5. I also make and sell soap. This is a blue-collar type of employment, because I sell my wares at a local farmer's market. I've got to set up the tent, set up the tables, be outside in the elements, etc. I do this once per week, for about 5 hours total. Today was a crappy day at the market, as well. Breaking down my crappy income for today into an hourly wage, how many hours did I have to work today, to equal my raise for the entire month at my teaching job?:

a. 3 hours
b. 2 hours
c. 1 hour
d. 1 freaking hour

6. On a good day at the market, an average day, how long would I have to work to equal my monthly pay raise at the school district?:

a. 2 hours
b. 1 hour
c. 30 minutes
d. 22.8 minutes

7. Judging from all this math, your estimation of my time spent at my various, part-time, freelance and self-employed enterprises, is:

a. it's time well-spent
b. it's time needed to be spent
c. it's about time the school district treated teachers with some goddamned respect
d. all of the above

8. You are now wondering:

a. why anyone would ever become a teacher
b. how anyone continues to teach, what with the crappy salary and all
c. why I am still a teacher
d. all of the above

There, now. How did you do? Of course, the answers are:

  1. c. No, I am not kidding.
  2. d. Again, I'm not kidding.
  3. d. Still not kidding.
  4. d. Hmm. I wonder which job is more fulfilling?
  5. d. And today was a crappy day.
  6. d. Yeah. Selling soap. I shit you not.
  7. d. That's my estimation as well.
  8. d. That's what I'm wondering, as well.

It's become very clear to me that I must become self-employed all the way, in order to make a living in which I can spend some time with my family, and not work so many jobs. It's becoming less and less scary to me to "go it alone." My freelance stuff right now is doing very well. It's not enough to pay all the bills, but my credit card debt is decreasing, month by month. After the market, I sometimes purchase food and literally feed my family with that money. It's very satisfying.

Oh, and something else that pisses me off is this: The idea that, because I'm a teacher and I am supposed to feel so very good about my job, that the salary doesn't matter. It infuriates me when I'm told, in not so many words, that because my job is so fulfulling, that it makes up for a lack of salary. Excuse me? When did my employer become my parent? My family and friends give me love and I feel fulfilled; they show me love, and I feel valued.

My employer is supposed to show that I'm valued by giving me money.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Aaaaand it's begun.

I applied for a freelance writing job yesterday. It appeared small, but recurring, so it has the potential to pay quite a bit over the long haul.

In related news, I got the statement for my "business" credit card today. Yikes.

I will be soliciting for many more writing jobs, I think. Jesus H. Jones. I owe some serious money. Of course, the credit card company always offers me a "payment holiday," because every so often I throw on an extra hundred in payment. Those bastards. I don't use the "payment holiday" because I know it means an "interest festival" of proportions I'd rather not consider. So screw them, I'm making another large payment tomorrow.

And soliciting for more writing jobs. Know of any?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Busy, Busy....who isnt?

Yeah, I'm busy. So what? I bet you're busy, too. Do you even have time to read this? No, you don't. You should be doing any myriad of things besides this.

But here you are. As I am.

I listed my money-making ventures the other night, and realized that I am desperately overworked. I really don't have time to do much of anything anymore. Sundays I'm a wreck. Mondays I work two jobs, so on Tuesday I'm a wreck. I "start" my work again on Wednesdays, taking Tuesdays "off."

That's in quotes, because on these days, I'm also working my regular, 7-3 job.

I just wonder when it's going to stop. I get tired, and then I get stupid.

Sometimes I'm so tired, I cant even fin

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Apparently, I didn't get the job.

Oh, well. I guess I'll just have to make my fortune some other way, and give these folks a lot of heat while I'm at it. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pastafarianism is where it's at.

I was made aware of a WONDERFUL letter a man has written to the Kansas School Board, regarding their adoption of "intelligent design" as a curriculum requirement in science. As "intelligent design" has no factual data to support it whatsoever, it is very difficult for scientists to accept it as a scientific theory.

The wonderful letter, therefore, asks the Kansas School Board to consider an alternate theory. According to their own words, they should also offer his ideas as scientific theory. In fact, his theory goes beyond intelligent design in that it has scientific data (i.e. a graph).

Check it out. Wear depends. Oh, and support public schools remaining public by shooting down any whiff of intelligent design. Please.

Read the letter here.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I wonder what has happened.

I used to be an artist.

I used to wear all black, all the time. Seriously. I wore it because it was easy. I didn't want to worry about fashion or "matching" or anything like that. There was a point in my life when I could do 3 loads of laundry, and it would ALL be black.

Wearing black does not make one an artist.

It was a part of me, though. A person's style is a part of who they are. I didn't want to worry about my clothes because I was too busy being an artist. I went to poetry readings. I stayed up in all-night diners writing poetry. I created masks and wrote plays. I performed in "open stage night" at the local university theatre. I spelled "theatre" with an -re.

What the hell happened? I woke up one day and had an art room full of unused stuff. I woke up and barely saw myself in the mirror, because I was up at 5am to get ready for work, and the sun wasn't up yet. I woke up one day, and had nothing more to say. I had no poetry, no plays, no ideas.

I don't think I've ever felt as depressed as I did on that day.

And now everything is affecting me badly. I watch the news and see mothers protesting the war because their sons died there. I listen to Ben Folds sing about how he took his girlfriend to the abortion clinic. I sit around at work, hating the stupid part of the work I have to do, and loving the "with kids" part. I sit around and think about how it just isn't worth it to waste your life doing what you hate.

But what do I love?

Do I love art? Do I love creation? Or do I love forming words and phrases into thoughts? What do I want to do all day?

All of the answers come back to my daughter. The art room stopped when she got busier. She is growing older, and is demanding more and more time. I feel compelled to teach her how to be a good person. This compulsion tells me that I am a good mother; I have no problem with this. However, all the things I used to love, the things that took up so much of my time, have fallen wayside, because I want to spend time with her.

The dilemma, then, is this: How can I teach her to be a fabulous, intelligent, deep-thinking person if I'm not behaving that way? I can't do all the things that (I thought) made me the person that I am, because I'm spending time with my child. How can I reconcile this?

And do you know, this started four years before she was born? That's because I started graduate school. That's when all the art stuff went out the window. I had absolutely no time for it. And right after I graduated, I became pregnant. And then she was born. And that was it.

Since I went back to work, which was 2 years ago, I've been consumed with making money. I need to make more money so I can be with my family. To make more money, I have decided that I need to be self-employed. Trading my time for dollars isn't working; there aren't enough dollars in the coffer. If I am self-employed, there is no limit to the dollars, if I pursue it intelligently.

The risk is much greater, however. At which point I have to ask myself: which is the greater risk, losing oneself and being a horrible example for my daughter, or taking that risk and showing my daughter what great things can happen if a person takes risks? I've been thinking far, far too small, lately. Far, far too small.

It doesn't matter what kind of person I was. What matters is that I now behave as the person I want my daughter to admire.

I'm working on it.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Where's That Other Shoe?

I was dreading going to work today. 'Twas the first day back for us teachers. I was dreading the meeting I was supposed to have. I was dreading looking people in the eye, people whom I have no respect for whatsoever.

Turns out, I needn't have dreaded it. Actually, I'm in awe. Our administrators actually respected our time today, by scheduling only a couple of meetings. Tomorrow, they are respecting it even more, by meeting with all teachers in groups, in 1-hour increments. If we aren't a part of the group, then we needn't meet. We will have the rest of the day to plan. What a concept!

Furthermore, they didn't try to sideswipe us with something on the first day back. The past three years, I've been ambushed by some thing or another, which always turned out to be some way to crap on me. Not this time.

Oh, and I talked to the principal about a touchy subject, and he didn't freak out, either.

Where's that other shoe?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Just go there with me, ok?

Okay, here we go:

If we invert the perceived power structure in our school district, and teachers become the highest eschelon of employee (as far as perception and delivery of services is concerned), then the following things will have to be accomplished:

  • re-train administrators (pricipals and assistant principals, to serve teachers. They should make eye contact with every single teacher in their building, every single day, and make sure those teachers' needs are being met. They need to make sure they listen to the teachers, and make sure they are happy. The administrators should do everything in their power to avoid asking teachers to do extra duty. They should do it themselves, to free the teachers to do their jobs. If subs are in short supply, the administrator should teach that day, instead of asking the teachers to do it on their planning periods.
  • re-train upper administrators, so that they serve building administrators. The building administrators will balk at their training, because currently they are accountable to upper administrators. They have to answer to them about test scores, curriculum, etc. Remove this from their duties. Building administrators are too busy serving teachers to compile data and fret over curriculum. The upper administrators need to do that job, or make sure it gets done. They need to serve the building administrators, instead of the other way around.
  • re-train the super higher-ups to serve the upper administrators. The higher-ups should serve the uppers by providing them with what they need to do their job. These are the people who get things done, but don't necessarily do it themselves. They instruct others to make things happen, toward the benefit of the upper administrators.
  • The highest ups, the Gurus, need to answer to all of these people, of course. They need to gather the experts to think of solutions for problems, and implement them. They need to listen to all sides of all stories, and make decisions that will support teachers.
It's all about support of teachers, because teachers are the people with the direct contact with the students. Teachers are the people with direct contact with parents, with the public. If we support the teachers as they should be supported, then great lessons and fabulous learning will follow. Increased test scores will follow.

How can we support teachers?

  • Pay them by merit. The current system that is being implemented is a nice first step, but it is not enough. This school district needs to be the first district in the nation to pay a teacher $100,000 on merit. If that happens, people will start lining up to work for us. We will then be able to choose among a vast talent pool, hand-picking the best teachers for our district. This will result in even better instruction, better experts from which to choose for staff development, etc.
  • Provide them the support that current higher-ups enjoy. This may take the form of a copy service, for starters. Office assistants may need to be re-trained to serve teachers, as well. They can make phone calls to parents, arrange meetings, organize their calendars for such meetings, etc. Certain positions in the district that now seem superfluous could be turned into office assistant jobs for teachers. These folks might also be able to provide the copy service. Hmm.
  • Provide teachers with a say in who their administrator is, and let them have a say in evaluating that administrator's performance.
  • Provide small, random motivational gifts to teachers, to show our appreciation of them.
  • Re-institute the Teacher of the Year idea, with teachers nominating each other, and have an awards ceremony every year, with very real prizes. The prizes and ceremony, etc. will be donated. The ceremony should be black-tie. The ceremony itself could be a fund-raiser for the district. Red carpet, paparazzi, everything.
I'm running out of steam for ideas. You comment now, and add to the list. Make it long and detailed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Why not dream big?

I have been wondering lately why my dreams, I mean real dreams, have been so small. I have had daydreams that were nowhere rooted in reality at all, but since I applied for The Job, I've been dreaming bigger and bigger. Real dreams. About my actual life.

Why not? Why would I think, for one minute, that I was restrained from achieving whatever I wanted? And I'm not talking about abstract concepts of "success," either. I'm talking about:
  • Owning a million-dollar (or more) home. That I had built. To my specifications. With a blue tiled pool. Surrounded by a forest.
  • Owning a nice car.
  • Running my own successful business. Having too much business to handle, so that I have to hire someone.
  • Making so much money, I don't even have to think about whether or not I have enough.
  • Taking yearly vacations to the Atlantis resort on Paraside Island, in the Bahamas.
  • Or perhaps to Edinburgh.
  • Having a home office that looks like this (click "view in room")
  • Buying you this for a birthday gift.
  • Or perhaps this.
  • Or, maybe even this. Just for kicks. Just because I can. Just because I want to.
  • I would dress like this.
  • I would eat the best food.
  • I would drink the best drinks.
My life, in a nutshell, would be the best it's ever been.
So, Postiving Thinking Helps To Create The Reality People, am I being specific enough?

I suppose it would be, if I changed all the "woulds" to "is." Hmm.

Apparently, He's Evil, Too

Tom Cruise Kills Oprah.

Film at eleven. Or whenever your computer loads the thing. It takes a while, but it's worth it, I think.

But I am unnaturally obsessed with knocking Tom Cruise down to size.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Getting to me.

I know most of the known world only gets one week of vacation per year, if that, but teachers really look forward to their summers. We are loathe to give them up.

Recently, I've asked myself why, oh, why did I give this one up?

My work has taken over my summer, and I don't like it anymore. Well, I never really liked it, but now I find it rather annoying. I have to prepare curriculum for the class I'm teaching on Mondays and Wednesdays, and it takes a lot of time. I also have to attend and teach said class, which runs 5 hours at a shot. That's a lot of work.

And then there's the soap. Now, that is a bit more "enjoyable," but it is still done for money, and I sell it at a farmer's market, so that wipes me out. It's supposed to be cloudy tomorrow, though, so maybe it won't be too bad. If it's another 100 degree day, I may collapse.

Speaking of which, I think I should go load the trunk of my car, so I don't have to do it in the morning. When I load it in the morning, I inevitably forget something. Also, I'm not "running out" of soap per se, but "running low" might be a better description. I need to make more soap. That's a good sign, but doesn't bode well for my relaxation.

I've utterly given up my summer! My class ends Aug. 1, but after that I still have to finish grades, etc. Hmmph. That will leave me about 1 week before I have to go "back to work."


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Fabulous day.

You must ask my friend E. about her new bracelet. It was purchased at a hip, chic, unique store on South Gaylord Street in Denver. It's beaded and bangly, and makes a very satisfying rattle. It was one of the highlights of our day.

I NEVER get to have days like today, and it wasn't even a day, it was about 3.5 hours. E. came down from Boulder, and we had lunch at a fabulous pastry-and-tea shop called Devil's Food. Our Arnold Palmers were refreshing, our salads were the perfect size, and the Flourless Hazelnut Chocolate Cake was too big, but we each finished ours. We should have shared.

After that, we strolled Gaylord street, stopping in the aforementioned chic shop where E. found her bracelet. After that, we found a stencil shop. I had no idea there were so many stencils in the world. Some people live for trompe l'oeil, apparently. The stencils were amazing. I fell in love with some very elegant fairies. Maybe for another day, though. Busy, busy.

By that time I was thirsty, so we stopped into a soda shop where I bought a bottle of Stewart's Orange Creme soda. We sat on the couch and chatted, recovering from the heat. Divine.

It was just so nice to stroll along, and have no appointments, no worries whatsoever. Absolutely stellar.

I can't wait until August 2, when I'm meeting my friend L. By that time, I'll be finished with teaching, and on vacation for REAL. That's gonna be another fun time.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Out of the comfort zone

A wise person once said, "How do you know what great things you may be able to do, if you don't try something that seems impossible?"

Who said that? Well, I did. I said it to myself, just the other day. I'm sure someone else has said something similar, at some point. I'm sure that someone was famous. I probably read it on a greeting card, once.

In any case, I was saying this to myself to keep from vomiting. My viscera were rumbling because I had done something that was decidedly out of my comfort zone.

A little history:

For those of you who have been reading this blog from the beginning, it will come as no surprise to know that I have been unhappy with my current financial and career position as of late. I'm actually happy with the actions my career entails, but because I am paid so very little, not even enough to support my family, I've become decidedly unhappy with that, and have been taking steps to change it. So far, so good. I started writing my book, which is a good one, and will help teachers. I teach at the University part-time, for extra money and fodder for my book. I make and sell soap for pocket money.

And then it happened: my school district hired a lawyer to be the new superintendent.

I thought about it, and thought about it, and it came to me the other day: This is just the thing that we disillusioned, disenfranchised teachers have been talking about. Two of the candidates had education backgrounds, and strong credentials. Who did the school board pick? The dude with no education experience whatsoever. Just another example of how education backgrounds aren't valued in our society.

And then I thought some more. With our last superintendent, I emailed him with reports of my personal anguish regarding my financial situation. I thought to myself, "Self, email him. Let him know what he's in for."

Okay. So I did. In my email, fully expecting no response whatsoever, I nominated myself as Chief Academic Officer for our school district. This is the job that is immediate advisor to the superintendent. One of two Head Honchos. I wrote an email to him, nominating myself for this position. The email I wrote was sincere and straightforward, asking that I be considered for the job, and outlined my credentials and personality traits that make me a good candidate.

Now, I did this to prove a point. My point, in my head, was this: If they can hire someone with no education experience whatsoever to run a school district, then they damn well better hire an educator for Chief Academic Officer. And if they rejected me, as I fully expected them to, they had better have a reason better than "lack of experience."

So I sent the email, fully expecting no response whatsoever. The new superintendent had been at work for all of, oh, say, 3 days. I guessed at what his email address would be, knowing the format for our district emails. I sent it off, and thought to myself, "Good job, self. Now, get back to all that work you do."

Which I did. For exactly 33 minutes. Which is when my email rang.

Yep. It was the superintendent. I blinked. I couldn't believe it. He actually read my email. Furthermore, he actually seemed to take it seriously. He informed me that the job had been posted online with a job description, and if I was still interested, he HOPED I would apply.

He hoped? Hoped I would apply? Did that mean he actually read my email? Did that mean he actually thought my argument had merit, counsel?

At this point, I realized what I'd gotten myself into. If he took it seriously, which he must have if he wrote me back, then that meant I would have to take it seriously.

So I thought and thought. And thought some more.

And that's when I thought about my comfort zone, and why it might be a good idea to push out of it. How great people have always taken some sort of risk. How I hate hypocrisy, and how I should carry through with this, if I started it. I also thought about the transfer process last spring, and how disheartening it was to have thoughtless jerks dismiss me out-of-hand and not even read my resumé, because they saw I taught Special Education. I thought that, maybe, with the transfer process, I was shooting too low.

So I did it. I applied for the job, for real, online. My cover letter was the email I sent to the dude initially, with modifications outlining my agenda.

Who knew I have an agenda?

Apparently, I do. And apparently, after thinking and thinking about this, I've realized something about myself:

I would be INCREDIBLE at that job.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I'm NOT the only one!

Please note my previous post, "Am I The Only One?" Apparently, I'm not.

Thank you to the people who created the above site. Thank you for validating me.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Annual Haircut

In about an hour I'll be going in to have my "annual" haircut. That's what my stylist calls it, anyway. I don't have my hair cut often. She does a really good job of styling it, so that I can go ages without having it cut. A couple of years ago, I donated my long-ass hair to the cancer wig people. I'm thinking I should do that every 5 years or so.

But I digress.

Every time I go in to have my hair cut, I swear to myself that I'm going to put aside some money so I can have it done more often. I never seem able to do this. Is it a subconscious, self-hatred thing? Do I simply care so little about my appearance that I won't go in for a haircut?

No. I don't hate myself. I just don't have any money, and it's hard to justify the expense, when I could just let it grow out. Haircuts are really a luxury, when you think about it. So, I don't go in very often.

Except she's got me almost hooked on the waxing.

Yes, gentlemen, it's true. Some women are just into pain. My eyebrows look amazing after she's done with them; they look much better than I could do with a tweezer. And the pain is far less than tweezing, because it's over all at once.

Of course, there are other health-and-beauty related things that I could get hooked on, if I had the expendable cash. Chiropractor visits. Colonics.

Okay, I won't digress there.

Blogs are bad, mmmmkaaay?

No, not really, they're not.

But they really are.

Have you read some of the schlock that's floating around cyberspace? I mean, shit, even that last sentence I wrote blows. Totally clichéd. I have a couple of blogs I read, but it's hard to find good ones, sometimes.

Sometimes I surf Blogger, just to see what's out there. BO-RING. It's much more fun to search craigslist.

What's even more fun is reading the ads on craigslist. The personal ads. The funniest ones (to me) are the "gay men seeking gay men" ads. Allow me to share:


Okay, I can't share. Those ads are really profane. Oh, and many of them have photographs. Oh, yes. Photographs of penises. Penii. And buttocks.

So that's much more interesting to read than boring-ass blogs. Like this one. Go on. Go find yoruself some "fun in the afternoon." That guy's from Boulder.

too freaking busy to blog

I guess you'd better call or email me.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Don't Be Surprised

...when you try to get in touch with me and have found I've moved to Iowa.

The past few weeks, days even, have been terrible in Denver. Two people were found dead today, outside a community rec center. Possible homicide-suicide, they say.

Yesterday, a woman was killed by some asshat who shot at her boyfriend. Boyfriend is still in the hospital, in critical condition. Some bystander got shot in the arm. Oh, did I mention this happened inside a mall?

The day before that, two people were executed, pumped full of bullets, while sitting in their car on the street, presumably near where they live. The reason? The man was going to testify as a witness in court, is the speculation.

Horrible car accidents: every day. Asshats pulling out in front of me, causing me to drive using defensive maneuvers. People dying on the road. Every. Single. Day.

I sure hope my book sells like wildfire, because I need to get the hell out of here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Old South Pearl Street Farmer's Market

The following is the text of an email I sent out today. Hooray for me!

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend the official debut of:

Olde Crone's Bewitching Bath Soap


Old South Pearl Street Farmer's Market
Sundays 9am-1pm
In the 1500 S. block of Pearl Street in Denver

I can't wait to see you there!

I will be offering:

Oatmeal Honey Soap (ugly bar discount: $3.00 each)
Lavender Calendula Baby Soap
Patchouli Rosewood Soap
Ancient Times Superspa Soap (with Dead Sea Mud)
Ladies' Lovely Complexion Soap
Clear Skin Support Soap
Wake Up! soap (a fresh, citrus scent)
Bare Bones, No-Nonsense Soap (no fragrance, herbs, or additives; just soap)

aaaaand announcing:

Olde Crone's Solid Lotion

This lotion comes in a solid form, in a push-up tube. It is similar to a tube for lip balm, only much bigger. The lotion melts when applied to the skin; the tube helps to keep things neat. This fantastic, all-natural lotion contains shea butter, cocoa butter, hempseed oil, and beeswax. Shea butter is a true wonder of the world: use it to heal cracked, dry skin on heels, elbows, around fingernails, etc. Use it on your bald head. Use it on your hands. Shea butter is truly amazing. It is reputed to help heal scar tissue, help prevent wrinkles, helps to soften the skin.... it will heal a broken heart! It will increase your bra size! It will get you backstage passes to Blue Oyster Cult! Is there anything shea butter can't do?*

Please come on down (and bring several friends) to the
Old South Pearl Street Farmer's Market
this Sunday, June 26, and see me.
Mention this email, and I'll attempt to sell you some soap!
What a deal!


The Olde Crone

* Answer: Yes. There is plenty that shea butter can't do. I make no cosmetic claims whatsoever. The statements above are somewhat fabricated, and are meant to entertain and keep you reading. But you knew that.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Am I The Only One?

Am I the only person who is completely disgusted by the display of Tom Cruise's "love" for actress Kate Holmes?

I don't generally "follow" celebrity gossip. I have been known to purchase the occaisonal gossip rag, when I'm too tired to read for real, and just want to look at pretty people carrying their groceries to their cars. However, this "love affair" between Tom Cruise, age 803, and Kate Holmes, age 12, has me disgusted.

She is marrying a guy who has had two failed marriages. She is marrying a guy who, in theory, could be her father. He's 18 years older than her. She's converting to, of all things, Scientology! He's jumping up and down on Oprah about her. She's closer in age to his children than to him. And have I mentioned the age difference?

Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick.

The large age difference shouldn't bother me. But when an international celebrity with two failed marriages, who is a staunch supporter of an international "religious" cult, in his 40s, starts jumping up and down about how he's in "love" with someone so much younger than he is, I think, "Your very public midlife crisis is disgusting to me. People are dying in Iraq, and you think it's a big deal to propose marriage to this woman in Paris. I refuse to pay attention to you anymore."

And I will start ignoring him immediately after this post is over. Which it almost is.

*makes disgusted face*

Eeeeeeeewwwww, Tom Cruise. You need to knock this shit off. It was gross to watch PDA in 8th grade, and it's still gross. Real love doesn't need an international audience to prove itself.

What are you trying to prove?

Okay, I'm done.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


If at all possible, I would advise against taking an educational psychology class.

Good lord.

Of course, I'm teaching such a class in July, and I'm preparing for it right now. If I make a good impression, do a good job, the university may ask me back for this class. At that point, preparing for it and teaching it are much less work. They pay me well, so it's worth it to put forth my best effort.

But, man. This reading is intense. If anybody has insomnia, I have a recommendation.

Friday, June 10, 2005

How Not to Do Business

Surreal experiences are not foreign to me of a Friday morning. After all, I am a public school teacher, and for some reason Fridays are the most difficult day of the week.

But I digress. I digress far and wide, because this is SUMMER, and I should not be talking about school.

I'm back.

Okay, here's the scenario: Yesterday I got a phone call about my new soap business, "Olde Crone's Bewitching Bath Soap." The person left a message specifically asking for my business. This intrigued me, because I have not been advertising as such, so I was thinking this person was referred by my group of friends who have purchased my soap.

Silly, silly me.

You see, last week I went downtown and procured my state and local business licenses. I now have to collect sales tax on my purchases, etc. etc. No big deal. I should have seen the influx of phone calls coming.

The phone call mentioned above was from a woman who works for a merchant credit processing company. She was soliciting me to set up a merchant account, so that I could receive credit cards as payment for my business. While I feel this is a good idea, I'm not really ready to sit down and pursue it, yet. However, the woman yesterday was quite pleasant and seemed to know her business very well. Unfortunately, I was on the road at the time, so I asked her to email me about a potential meeting with her next week. I have yet to receive that email, but that's no big deal; I bet she'll call me back.

Okay, fast-forward to this morning. My phone rings yet again, saying, "Private Number," on the display. At that point, I figured it was another credit company, and I was right.

*deep breath* Now, the details I am about to impart to you are a bit shocking, so brace yourselves. Refer to the title of this entry to assist the bracing:

The woman began with her spiel, and immediately I asked her, "Can you send me the details in an email, so I can read it at my leisure?"

She responded, "Oh, well, I don't know how to use the email, so I prefer to talk to you about it over the phone."

At which point, I blinked. Twice. I then shook my head a little bit to clear it, and responded, professionally and calmly, "Well, if you don't know how to use email, then I don't think I want to do business with your company." I thought this was fair; the year is 2005, after all, and I should be able to do business via email, if that is my preference, ESPECIALLY since she was soliciting me.

After I made this statement, she said, "Oh." AND THEN SHE HUNG UP ON ME AS I WAS SPEAKING.

*closes eyes, shakes head again*

Which proves that my instincts were correct about that business.

p.s. She called back immediately afterward. I declined the call to send it to voice mail. She didn't leave a message. I presume she was going to give me some bullshit about how we got "disconnected." *snort!* Yeah, right.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What Teachers Do In The Summer

We work.

Oh, yeah, yeah, I can hear you right-wing, conservative ass-monkeys right now: You get paid in the summer for doing nothing! What are you talking about? You don't work!

Bullshit, we don't.

I don't know one teacher who is happy with her salary and simply lounges around in the summer. It has nothing whatsoever to do with our "nature," either. It is simply an economic necessity.

For instance, consider, oh, I don't This summer, I have already:
  • started a soap business
  • acquired business licenses for said business
  • begun work on the class I'm teaching in July
  • done research for the book I'm writing.
That's just in one week of summer "vacation." Not a lot of lounging around with a cocktail. I'd love to do that, but I can't. I have to earn more money.

And those of you who think we "get paid in the summer for doing nothing," can suck it. We get paid a SALARY. Think of it as one tiny pile of money, evenly divided by 12. We are then given one of those extra-tiny piles each month. Therefore, we are getting paid in the summer for work we already did.


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Adverse Affects of Teaching

I suppose simply reading my blog from a few weeks ago would tell you (you know, the one in which it was snowing out, on May 1, and I was out of my mind), but teaching is an exhausting and incredibly stressful job. Even on the last day of school this past Friday, as I was checking out and heading home for the summer, there was drama. Some woman had brought her kid to school (he was in my class, by the way...and had NOT been to school for over a WEEK), marched up the stairs to the lockers without checking in at the office, and when she found his locker empty, began DUMPING OUT ALL THE GARBAGE CANS ON THE SECOND FLOOR. You see, his personal books were gone. So, she thought it was acceptable to dump all the garbage on the floor, searching for the books. She then attempted to take similar books from the school library, because that would be "fair." Yeah. I got the hell out of there and let the principal deal with it; there's a reason they pay them the big bucks. That crazy woman was the reason.

So anyway, any stress-related ailments that I have been experiencing usually go away during the first week of summer vacation. Not this time. Right now, I am experiencing the following:
  • I have a horrible rash of acne on my chin
  • Back pain
  • Can't sleep
  • Asthma attacks
  • My 3rd period in 6 weeks
  • Fatigue (no wonder on this one...I can't sleep)
Granted, school just ended 4 days ago. But this kind of stress-related crap has got to stop. I've got a lot of work to do this summer. I suppose this stuff won't stop me from gardening, writing curriculum and writing my book; I'll just be ugly and coughing while I participate in those activities. I would just like to experience some normal health, for once.

Monday, May 23, 2005

2:30am. Time to get up.

I can't go into details, but I was awakened at 2:30am, and I've been up since.

No, it was not for any type of sexy reason.

Anyway, I was too awake to fall back asleep, so I stayed up. I made coffee at 4:15am. Had some bread with butter and some coffee. Fired up the lappy and did some ebay work, and other internet stuff. Paid a bill.

And all of a sudden, I realized that THE SUN WAS COMING UP. It wasn't even 5am, and I could see it getting lighter outside. And then I heard the birds.


How the hell do I sleep through that shit on a daily basis? Those birds are loud as hell! Tweet tweet fucking tweet. Man!

That's just my cranky, no-sleep talking. They actually sounded rather nice. Just startling how loud they were. It was also nice to feel cool air in the house. It's been so damned hot, and there I was, sitting in the cool air, listening to cheeping birds.

It was ok, I guess. I suppose there are worse ways to spend the 4am hour.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sappy-Ass Shit

Man, I have become such a weepy fool.

The other day, I was so stressed out because of my superiors. I can't go into the details, because I might be filing a grievance because of it.

So I'm totally stressed out, and I want to get out of this situation, but feel helpless because the last time I tried to transfer the fools didn't even read my resumé. I felt trapped, disgusted, and hopeless.

And I'm sitting in my office, working on "writing up" some information about incidents that have happened. I'm doing this during lunch time. My best friend at work, S, is sitting with me, eating his cereal.

All of a sudden, he gets up and says, "Well, I'm going upstairs."

"No! Where are you going? Don't go!" I call after him.

"Well, I've asked you three questions, and you aren't answering me, and I don't even think you knew that I asked questions. You're just really into that stuff you're writing, and I don't see how I'm helping..."

"No! Please, don't go! You're helping just by being here..." and I motion with my hand for him to close the door, because all of a sudden, I'm crying.

S, being someone who actually cares about his friends, came back in and shut the door.

I just broke down. "Just having you in here is helping. I've been so lonely this year. I feel helpless and alone because of the shit that's happening. And you're my best friend here at work, and I hardly get to see you anymore, and..."

And I couldn't finish. I just cried.

And S. comforted me in the best possible way a person could. He said, "You're my best friend at work, too."

And up until that moment, I didn't know that. Because S. is everybody's friend. Everybody loves him. He makes everybody laugh. He gets along with everybody. He makes friends faster than anyone I've ever known.

But I didn't know I was his best friend at work, until that moment. I feel both proud and ashamed; I'm proud to be his friend, and also ashamed that I didn't know how he felt.

Furthermore, I'm ashamed to be posting such sappy-ass shit on my blog. What kind of fucking pity-party is this, anyway? I feel like everybody's lame-ass, charity case friend.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Best I Can Do

The best I can do to stand this job is to torment others.

Like right now, for instance. My kiddos have extra time to complete an assignment, and they've been doing anything but work. So then they have "needs," (i.e. how to spell something, wanting to get out of class, needing not to work, but to do anything else) and want me to call on them.

So I sit here, with a big smile on my face, not calling on them.

They start to complain: "Miss, my arm hurts! ... Miss, aren't you going to call on me?"

Um............ no.

Saturday, April 30, 2005


Yeah, I bought one. I love this thing more than life itself.

I cut my fingernails so they wouldn't click on the keyboard.

I loaded new software onto it, sitting next to it the whole time, reading the manual.

I ate dinner while surfing the net.

I love this thing!

Lappy Haiku:

I love my lappy.
It gives me intense pleasure
Not unlike a man.

Ha! I think that's pretty good. See? See how the lappy influences me? Poetry practially writes itself on this thing!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

4 weeks, 4 fires

Yes, you read that right. We have had not one week go by of the past month that someone hasn't set a fire in our school.

Welcome to public schools, everyone! This is what no discipline or follow-through will get you!

After today's fire, a bunch of adults were huddled around the main office assistant's desk, looking at her computer screen. If I didn't know better, I would have thought they were watching internet porn, they were so interested. Of course, they were looking at the playback of the fire incident. Yes, the children are so stupid that they will set a fire while on camera.

But I digress. While watching the video to see who the perp was, the assistant principal said, plain as day, in front of the office staff and several teachers, "It's the teachers' fault."

What the hell?

I hope this tells you a little something about what it's like to work in public schools. We as teachers wonder why the public at large has no respect for us? Well, why should we wonder? The administration of our building doesn't have any respect for us. The administration thinks that it is the teachers' fault that a child set a fire in the bathroom. How the hell did she come to that conclusion?

Well, the same way she comes to all conclusions; she doesn't want someone to blame her, so she blames the teachers, because we are easy targets. However, in this case, everyone is going to think she's a nutjob if she continues with her stance.

I know that she is afraid that someone is going to blame her. She won't hear it from me, but you all will hear this:

The administration has made their bed, and now they have to sleep in it.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, has been done to deter criminal behavior from the students, all year long. Students caught smoking pot on school grounds? They're here, in school. Maybe they were suspended for a couple of days. That's it. No ticket. No arrest. Nothing.

Oh, hey! Wanna set the school on fire? Go right ahead! We'll send you home for a couple of days, " think about what you did." While we're at it, why don't we give our puppies at home a treat when they shit on the carpet? Yeah, that'll teach 'em.

Which brings me back to the fires. Yes, 4 fires have been set in the past 4 weeks. Have the children been ticketed for arson? No, they have not. Have they been arrested? No, they have not. Have they received any consequences that show them that their pyromaniac tendencies won't be tolerated? No, they have not.

And here we sit. We, the teachers, are being blamed for a student setting a fire in a student lavatory.

Anybody wanna take bets on how long it will take before they get the whole school to burn down?

In stead

I was just typing a note to myself, and I used the term , " my stead."

So pretentious.

Monday, April 11, 2005

new t-shirts

Steve and I are going to have new t-shirts made. They will say:

"Suck it" means "yes."

How would we use such a t-shirt? A-like so:

Student: Mr. McGee, will you miss us over the summer?
Teacher: Suck it.

You see how easy? Now you try.

--groovygrrl, queen of fashion


It's time for the annual "Transferring of the Teachers." This is different from the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, because bulls don't have to do interviews.

The list came up on Friday. All of the teaching jobs that are available in the district were listed. I wonder which group of teachers was pissed off the most, you might ask? I'll answer: it appears that elementary level teachers are leaving their posts in droves. Of course, there are more elementary schools than middle or high schools, but damn! It sure looked like a lot of postings to me.

So I scribby-scrolled through the lists, and chose the jobs I wanted. You may recall that a) my health is suffering and b) "I can't take this crap much longer," has entered my vocabulary a bit too often, therefore c) I need to transfer. I got really picky, though. I applied for three jobs:
  1. Language Arts teacher: Online High School
  2. Language Arts teacher: CEC
  3. Language Arts teacher, IB program: High School
Please note the first one: that's the one I really want. It is so different, so removed from teaching in a classroom as I know it, that I believe I will be energized and renewed by it. That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it. And the more I think about it, the more benefits I see to teaching online:
  • no sarcasm
  • no cussing me out
  • no setting the garbage can on fire
  • no throwing spitwads, etc.
  • no whining that I would be able to hear
  • flexible scheduling
  • snow day? no problem! I can still teach my class. Therefore, fewer sick days used up.
  • wanna go to lunch? no problem! I can still teach my class.
  • wanna blog? send email? chat? no problem!
  • wanna sit and read a book that you want to teach? yes! do it! that's required!
I really, really, really want that job, but I'm trying not to want it too much, to avoid disappointment. Of course, I do want it too much, as evidenced by me using 3 "reallys."

The other jobs would be good, too. The CEC job would be good because it's college prep, and because the location is right along the Light Rail, so I wouldn't have to drive to work. Yay! Furthermore, the job description mentioned something about paying for mileage, which means I might be able to wring a bus pass out of them. Hmmm.

The third job would still be in a traditional high school, but it is in the International Baccalaureate (sp?) program, which translates into AP classes with a lot of rigor. Rrrrowwr.

So, here I sit, waiting for phone calls from principals for interviews. After 13 years of teaching, I still have that pang of worry, "Will they like me? Do they think I'm qualified?" Jesus H. Of course I'm qualified. If they don't like me, so what? They can suck it.

That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.

--groovygrrl, queen of job interviews

Monday, March 07, 2005

I may have figured it out.

The reason teaching is so difficult nowadays.

Today, during a class in which I am the extra teacher, the students were behaving like complete twits. In this case, the definition of "complete twit, " is "someone who spits gum in another person's hair."

This alone may be reason enough to quit teaching: I wouldn't have to deal with people spitting in other people's hair. But I digress.

I ask you this: Which is worse, the person who did the spitting, or the person who was spit upon, but refuses to tell me who did it? This is when I think I figured out the problem. Students nowadays have no self-respect.

If they did, they would immediately draw attention to the idiot who was destroying their work environment, and ask that the offender be removed. Don't tell me that you didn't do that in school. I know I did. If you were gutless back then too, then I guess I'm not talking to you.

I'm talking to those of you who would, in the same situation, at age 13, spin around and yell, "Knock it off, dipwad! Stop spitting gum in my hair! What kind of animal are you?" and then tell the teacher. No, that doesn't happen today. Today, the kids say, in a very transparent manner, "I don't know who did it, miss," as they cast their eyes to the left.

Bullshit you don't know. You know. They all know. But they won't say who did it. Why? Either they have no respect for me (abot 50% of them), and enjoy watching the spectacle of a ruined work period, or they have no respect for themselves ( the other 50%) and won't tell me who it is. Is it out of fear? Do they really fear retribution from a moron?

I don't care anymore. I don't care if they are afraid. The person spitting gum in their hair is a goddamned idiot, and so are they if they're too gutless to protest.

Idiot cowards.

That's why teaching in public schools is so hard nowadays. The students have no self-respect. They have no respect for their own education, as well. They have no idea that people around the world don't have the oppportunity to go to school, like they do. They don't care about people around the world. Why should they?

They don't even care that they have gum in their hair.

--groovygrrl, queen of quitting teaching

Friday, March 04, 2005

Proof That I'm Working Too Hard

This never happens to me.

I woke up this morning to the sound of my alarm clock. I thought to myself, "What the hell? Why did I set my alarm on a Saturday?" I got up, turned it off, used the toilet, and went back to bed.
It's a great pleasure to be able to sleep in on Saturdays. My daughter doesn't get up until long after I'm awake, so I usually have some time to myself. I slept in for a while, and woke up again, this time to no alarm, of course. I heard the dogs whining to go out, and I thought to myself, "Gotta let the dogs out." I thought about what I would make for breakfast. "Waffles. I think I'll have waffles this morning. Ooh! And we have bacon, too! That'll be nice."
I then began to plan my morning in my head. I would make some breakfast. I would read the paper. I would play with my girl. Then, all of a sudden, I heard her voice. "Is she awake already?" I thought. I rolled over and turned on the monitor. Yep, there she was, talking to her toys. What a sweetie.
Streeeetch! I raised my arms up and had a good stretch. I then reached up and scratched my head. "Hmm, " I thought to myself, "My hair needs washing. I thought I was going to wash it on

Holy shit!

And, yes, you guessed it, today is NOT Saturday, but Friday. I was supposed to be at school 45 minutes previous to this. My students were already sitting in class, and I was at home, in bed.

Um......yeah, I think I'm working a little too hard, when I wake up and honestly believe that it's Saturday, when it's not.

Good lord.

--groovygrrl, queen of tardiness for no good reason

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

What I've got on my desk

The items on my desk include:

  • a butter knife
  • a purple marker
  • a black ink pen
  • my school keys
  • an empty water bottle
  • a bottle of hand lotion
  • a package of pencils
  • a package of pens
  • a baggie of chocolate-covered almonds
  • a pad of paper
  • a pad of sticky notes
  • my asthma inhaler
  • two random sheets of paper
  • a small pot of mints
  • a paper-clip container
  • some antibacterial hand gel
  • some cologne I confiscated from a dork
  • a heart-shaped Altoid tin, empty
  • two photos: my baby, and my whole family
  • my phone
  • my computer, keyboard, and mouse.
I am so damned bored.

--groovygrrl, queen of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz