Sunday, December 30, 2007

Vacation Log: Day 9

Yesterday was busy and fun. Well, sort of.

I went shopping. I was exchanging some clothes--1 piece didn't fit, 1 piece was the wrong color but otherwise I liked it, and two things were just not me.

I met Jeepy Girl for lunch, with my cutie. It was nice to visit with her.

I took cutie home, got the mail, brought in the soaping oils from the garage that had frozen solid, and then planned to go out again. I had gift cards to spend, dangit!

Spent the gift cards. Note to all: Colorado Mills is HUGE. Don't plan on going to they gym--you'll get in your workout.

Today I plan on making soap (finally!), and maybe start sewing. For the etsy shop. Remember?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Vacation Log: Day 7

I have accomplished nothing today, except making bread. It's rising right now.

Today will be full of laundry. I woke up with a breakout on my nose--inflamed, red, weird stuff. After a few hours, it spread to my right cheek. I decided it was due to the new sheets that I hadn't washed before using them.

Yes, I am a genius.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Vacation Log: Day 6


Yesterday was a little bit busy. We went shopping in the morning, for batteries and paper products, mostly. And don't think the paper products were wrapping paper, as I am still overloaded with christmas stuff. I don't need to buy any more--I have extra. No, we were out of basic paper products--toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues.Batteries were essential as well, as the cutie received several toys that needed them.

We came home and had lunch together, which was a bit surreal. We normally sit around the dinner table for the evening meal. It was nice. After lunch, Jeepy Girl came over with my last gift for dh. She stayed for about an hour, visiting.

After that, I went to the bank.

When I got home, we packed up and went across town to nephew J's birthday party. It was held at one of those indoor amusement places. My favorite thing was the go-karts. Too, too fun.

Today, I packed and mailed soap orders, went to the grocery store, cooked brunch for my family, baked apple dumplings, and now I'm blogging. I am going to work on my new book that I've been writing, and see if I can't put a dent in it. I also plan on taking a bath at some point, and shoveling snow. Again. It's snowing again, and has been since before the sun came up. It's a stay-at-home day today.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Vacation Log: Day 4

Happy Christmas! Denver got a white Christmas this year! I am up at 6:50am, and was greeted with such a lovely sight: a blanket of 2-3 inches of snow! It's still dark outside, so I'm sitting here in the kitchen, the tree lights are on, I'm going to light the oil lamps, make some coffee, and then sit on the couch and continue reading Harry Potter year 7.

It is already a great day. I wish the same for all of you.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Vacation Log: Day 3

Did you know that Clorox wipes are good for cleaning the bathroom floor? On your hands and knees?

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Vacation Log: Day 2

Today is cleaning day. So was yesterday. I only got one section of the kitchen clean, though. It's the counter where we pile all the crap. I said to my husband, "Maybe if we keep it completely empty, then it'll stay that way."

He also thought that was a good idea. I don't know where we will put our piles and piles of mail, though. And our holiday cards from last year. And old birthday cards from two years ago. Oh, and how about 4 decks of cards, lids to bottles that don't exist, a pile of receipts, paper bags, and old birthday cake candles?


Today we will continue with the cleaning. Today is "big cleaning" day. Although, yesterday was quite cathartic--I obviously filled a trash bag full of stuff. I am tired of all of the stupid crap we own. We own stupid crap! And sometimes can't throw it away! I hate that! We aren't "hoarders" as such. I've seen photos on the internet of people like that, and let me tell you, they have a problem. A big problem. Our hoarding goes in cycles of , "But we could use this!" to, "Get this shit out of my house!"

I think I just need to have people over more often. The house would be cleaner, more often, and I wouldn't have so much stinkin' crap!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Vacation log: day 1


No snow days to start the vacation this year, but I'll take it anyway. I haven't accomplished much yet today, except getting a banner and business card made for my new etsy shop! No! It doesn't have anything in it! You're right!

But it will.

"Oh, why, Amy, WHY are you doing something else? Why must you take on yet another business responsibility?"

Um...because it's fun? Yes, people, I have found some fun. I was sewing away, sewing all sorts of gifts for the holidays, when I stopped and realized: I'm having fun. Another fun thing for me is purchasing fabric. I don't necessarily have anything to make with it--I just want to look at it and feel it and have it.

And now I've discovered things to make with it, and I'm so excited! This will be another way to make a little bit of money, and to have some FUN.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sensible and Decent--lost from our vocabulary

I support the WGA strike. I suppose many might think that their opinions don't have much to do with the outcome of this strike, but I beg to differ. And as a blogger, you know you'll hear about my differ. And my begging. Oh, you'll hear it.

The Internet is a big part of the reason for the strike. The clever writers have taken to the Internet to prove their point, and I think it is a brilliant move. The corporations that run most of the media (television, radio, news) are saying one thing to their shareholders, and another thing to the writers. Their lie is obvious, and we know this because of the wonders of the Internet.

Writers should be paid a fair wage for their work. The residuals off of Internet downloads and streaming video should be shared with the people who wrote them. Just as a writer receives a royalty of some sort on every book sold, when an episode of a television show is shown in streaming video, the writer should receive some of the money that comes in from advertising that show. I suppose the book example isn't as germane as a music industry example: every time a song is played on the radio, the writer of that song is paid a royalty. WGA writers should be paid for their work being displayed on the Internet.

"If they get paid, we get paid," is a slogan I saw on one or more of the picketer's signs. This is sensible and decent. There is no reason they should not be paid for work that is, essentially, published again and again when it is viewed on the Internet.

I chuckled to myself when I thought of a media outlet that regularly pays this way--erotic ebooks. The most popular site, last time I checked, offered 38.5% of the list price of each book as an author royalty. I don't know how much they pay up front, if anything, but I do know that this site sells about 90,000 books per month. At an average price of around $4 per ebook. These are electronic sales, which incur no printing, warehousing, or shipping costs. They are selling ideas, just like the WGA writers, and the profit margins are much higher than for print books. This is the exact reason the media corporations want to get into the digital media arena. These are the very reasons they give for wanting to do it--lowest overhead costs possible. Highest profit possible. Why not share, if your overhead is so low?

On a personal note, and on a much smaller scale, I pay royalties every month. I am an independent author and publisher, and each month I tally the sales and send off the royalties. I worked out an agreement with my photographer and my web guy, and I stick to it. I will continue to uphold our agreeement, because I am a decent human being.

If an independent publisher like the erotica site can see clear to pay writers a residual on electronic sales, and still make a fine living, then why can't the huge corporations? They are talking about their Internet sales being in the billions of dollars.

They simply don't want to pay the writers. They just don't want to. It is indecent.

Furthermore, it's not sensible. Because of this Internet campaign, the members of the public who might use the Internet for their entertainment are being given all the information they need to make their decisions about whom to support. The clever, clever writers are using the medium in question to show the public the truth. I cannot imagine how difficult their lives are right now, since they don't have income for their families during this time.

They might start writing some erotica, as freelancers, to pay the bills. I hear the royalties are sensible. And decent.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Seen on a bumper sticker

if you slay monsters.

Day 23

It's just getting worse. At least I have prescription cough suppressant, but if I miss taking it every three hours, the cough overtakes me all of a sudden, ruining my life.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Day 18

I am on the 18th day of being ill. I still cough so hard I see stars, have shooting pains in my muscles, and often pee my pants.

So I went to the doctor at the behest of my husband and good friend. "Go to the doctor! What if it's serious? This shouldn't be hanging on this long!" Etc. Etc.

My reply, for the past week, has been, "What is the doctor going to tell me? Nothing! 'It's a virus, it will work itself out, there's nothing to be done." But I made an appointment anyway.

Can you guess what the doctor said?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rampant Consumerism

Because I am insane, I went shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. My friend Jeepy Girl, the person who always lures me into a good adventure, has a budget for the holidays, as do I. We decided to look at the ads, and see what struck our fancy.

It turns out that Target had the deals, at 6am. But first, I had to drive to Jeepy Girl's place. Guess what kind of car she drives?

There she is, the Jeepy Girl. This would be at 5:45am.

We drove to Target, and parked as close as we could (read: not in the Target parking lot, that's for damn sure). The line was long, but as it was 5:51, we weren't worried:

Please note that I took this photo standing on the sidewalk along Bowles Avenue. The actual store is about 200 feet to the left of that sign. Those people are at the end of the parking lot, snaking around to the intersection. Also please note the tire tracks of some fiend who had to have a parking spot close-up. Come on, people! Let's not be cranky!

To stave off crankiness, one very slick entrepreneur was walking up and down the line. His name is Isaac the Breakfast Burrito Boy. He also offered hot chocolate. I love that he took the meaning of Black Friday and twisted it to his advantage... can be witnessed right here. That woman informed us that the burritos were delicious. Good job, Isaac!

The line started to move and we all walked in. I am sure you have heard stories about attacks and mad scrambling and people being trampled on Black Friday. Let me tell you this: we walked in, and there were folks standing outside the doors, waiting for the line to go in first. That's shopping in the suburbs, yo.

Apparently, this is also shopping in the suburbs. Really bad hair bleaching choices. This is not the best shot of the crowd around the electronics department...

...but that one is. You will notice that beautiful plaid at the bottom of the screen is Jeepy Girl's hat. It was that crowded. I just put my camera up in the air and clicked. Luckily, we found the items JG was looking for, and paid for them. I also bought myself some meds for my cough. It was completely empty in the drugstore department, if you can imagine.

After battling the crowds, we got a Starbucks coffee:

And waited in the car for Office Max to open at 7:00am. This shot is from about 6:45am:

Starbucks coffee helps, when shopping before the dawn. As you can see, Jeepy Girl was interested in getting a new camera at Office Max, which she did. We went from Office Max to Kohl's which opened at 4am that day. Um...what? I can wrap my brain around 6am, because I've been known to show up at work at that time, but 4am? That would have meant me getting out of bed at 3am. Thank goodness Jeepy Girl wasn't interested in that.

At Kohl's we found JG some awesome sheets, and I found a couple of presents for my Cutie Girl. Here's one of them:

Hello Kitty earmuffs, with matching gloves! Shhh...don't tell.

Hunger struck right about at that time, but we were waiting in the insane lines at Kohl's. They had plenty of people working the checkout lanes, but they were just inundated with crazy-ass shoppers. Like us. The wait wasn't too bad in the end--about 20 minutes. I've experienced worse.

We swung by the video game store in search of Guitar Hero III, but had no luck. That meant one thing: breakfast. At Gunther Toodys!

Now people, check out that plate. This was a Friday, so they still had their weekday Big Bopper breakfast special going on: $3.99 for that whole plate of yummy goodness! Two eggs, 4 pieces of bacon, hash browns, and toast. *drools* It was delicious! We only had to wait 15 minutes for our table, and not even that long for our food. We ate every bite, having been up since 4:40am. Well, that's when I woke up on my own, anyway.

We traveled on, in Jeepy Girl's Jeep Liberty, to JoAnn's. This is a fabric and craft store, and since a person might call me Crafty Girl, their deals were exciting to me. I try to sew gifts if I can, because this is more cost-effective. I refuse to go into debt for the holidays. If folks don't like my handmade gifts, they have yet to tell me about it.

So we went in, and there were no carts available. This was not a good sign. Shop, shop, shop for fleece, on sale. Shop for zippers. For thread. For fusible interfacing. We then plunked all of our stuff down on a display of stacked tables, and rested. I found us a cart (grabbed it from someone who had just checked out), and put our stuff in there. We made good use of our time calling Montana Steve, who would be driving through on Saturday and wanted us to organize a lunch.

Still waiting. We had taken a number for the cutting table, but were still two decades away. What else is there to do when made to wait in JoAnn's? Of course, we strolled the aisles, letting our fatigue-addled brains think of ways to engage in petty vandalism. For instance, should we take the mini-Sharpie with the cute keyring...

...and write profanities on the entire stack of mini-chalkboards?

Maybe not. That's actually destructive, and while it would be funny, since we were surrounded by blue-haired old ladies and really cranky suburbanites, we just couldn't bring ourselves to break the law. So instead of petty vandalism, we did quasi-vandalism:

Because what says "whore" better than a red boa? I'd like to know. Hey, that's what JoAnn's GETS when they make us wait more than an hour to get our fabric cut.

After JoAnn's we spent an uneventful 15 minutes in Cost Plus, but our heart was no longer in it. We had exhausted our punchy sense of humor and were looking forward to a nap. It was time to say good-bye to the Day of Rampant Consumerism. We stayed within our budgets, laughed more than should be allowed, and grubbed on some serious breakfast. That's the way you do Black Friday, people.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Kiss My Ass, Scammer

Found in my email box:

Please Sir, with due respect to your personality and a big thanks to your help for humanity. I wish to beg for your help on this soapmaking. I have learned the work but not yet expert. For God's sake I kindly need your help, just a guideline for making a hard soap. this where my problem occur and how to increase the volume to making my profit. I like this work and I dont want to be roaming about looking for government work. Sir, I know that my request is unusual but kindly help me with a teaching note which can guide me. Thanks. from Nigeria.

My blog response:

Dear "Jeremiah Clement,"

You want to learn how to make soap? Buy my book.

Most sincerely,

The Author

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Crud

I've got it. I got it from my husband. He swears he got it when he went to the gym.

I hang out in a petri dish of adolescent germs all day, every day, and I catch The Crud from him?




*pees a little*

Monday, November 12, 2007

Loving the handmade

Love the handmade stuff? Lust after hand-knit and felted goods? Ache for handmade soap? Drool over funky, one-of-a-kind earrings?

You are in luck. This feature on etsy allows you to slowly (or quickly) scroll through the items that are most newly listed. You can sit there, eating your bowl of soup, as the internet's largest online craft fair walks across the screen, for your pleasure.


It's the economy

I actually came back around the block to get a shot of this sign. And this is a "sign o' the times" if there ever was one.

Somebody had to sell her Hugh. Poor Hugh. Unwanted. For sale.

I hope he brought in a lot!

That Time of the Year

Part of the reason that I do NaBloWriMo in October is because November is too busy. Even though the farmer's markets have ended, the Holiday-gift-giving season is upon us in earnest, and people want their soap!

This is why it's taken me two weeks to blog. That, and Kitt's prodding. Thank you, Kitt. I've taken a page out of her book, and started taking my camera with me. It proved fruitful the other day.

However, as I am on the couch, comfy, and having some coffee, I'll have to post that photo later.


I have needed this day off for a long, long time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I did it!



I'm the Queen of the World!!!! of blogging.


So fun!

Our little cutie had TWO costumes this year, as I do better makeup than papa. Papa had to get the cutie ready for school, so he slapped on the kitty headband and clipped on the tail, and off she went.

Tonight, I did her makeup like you see above. Imagine that as a 4-year-old.

Real photos to be posted soon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Can't focus

I can't focus on anything today. I went shopping, and forgot the hot dogs. I also forgot the cash I was supposed to take out of the bank and bring home.

As mentioned yesterday, this past weekend kicked my ass. I only mention it again as my ass still feels kicked. My arms and legs are sore, as well.

Why? Because I loaded and unloaded my vehicle 8 times in a 24 hour period.

NaBloWriMo is almost done! Only two more days, and I won't feel the obligation to post each day. Why do I do it, then?

I have no idea right now. Can't focus.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I think I'm gettin' old. I can't do this anymore!

I worked Saturday night, from about 5:30pm to midnight, then drove home. I got to bed around 1am, then got up at 6:30am to prepare for the farmer's market today.

This was brutal! I am in a fog--I didn't really nap, but eventually found the strength to turn on Law and Order: Criminal Intent and watch a few episodes. I love any Law and Order show.

What? You want highlights of the Witches' Ball? Okay. Aside from my annoying greeting line, "Are you having a ball???!" the night was mostly hysterical. The Magickal Marketplace is one crowded room, let me tell you. I'm so glad I brought my friend Ann with me--she helped make the time fly. We wore matching witch hats: mine was green, and hers was black.

The guy sitting right behind us, and I mean 12 INCHES AWAY, wore no underwear, which was perfectly clear every time he bent over or sat down, which was 90% of his activity. Luckily, possessing common sense, we faced the other way as much as possible.

This did not prevent us from seeing ass. One guy was walking around in what looked like a brown diaper with suspenders. After averting our eyes, with much difficulty, to his footwear, we realized he was supposed to be a Roman Centurion. Another guy was naked from the waist up, with a pan flute around his neck, wearing a speedo and fishnet tights with huge holes. I did not notice him at first--Ann told me about him. And then a kick to the shin made me turn my head, and he WAS STANDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY TABLE WITH HIS ASS RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF MY FACE OH HOLY MOTHER OF STARBUCKS!

Ann had warned me.

Another favorite outfit was the woman dressed as a "ho" while her man was dressed as a "pimp." As a woman, I object to this sort of Halloween costumery. Ann and I both objected to the fact that this woman was 6 feet tall before wearing heels, wore a "dress" that had a zipper in the front from the bottom to the top, worn unzipped to well past her cleavage, and with a skirt "length" that did NOT reach past her vajayjay. How did we know this? Did I mention she was 6 feet tall before the heels? Standing right in front of us, as we were sitting? Did you hear me say "vajayjay?" Yes, you heard right.

There were some stellar fairy wings and butterfly wings and witch hats and such. Super-creepy wings that looked like they were made out of flesh. People dressed as walking trees. Most of the costumes were awesome.

And the people themselves? So friendly and social. This was unlike the farmer's market for me, which is often filled with The Grouchy, as it is relatively early on a Sunday morning. The folks laughed and joked with us, and we all had A BALL!

Then I had to get up at 6:30 this morning and be all "congenial" and "affable" and "such." It was difficult! But I did it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Witchy Wonderland

Tonight I am vending at The Witches' Ball. I wanted to attend the ball for fun last year, but it didn't fit into our busy schedule. Last year I had left my email with the organizer of the event. She contacted me, asking if I wanted to apply for this year, which I did. And I got in!

It's not the largest vending opportunity that I've had, but the rent is very reasonable, and a friend of mine is vending with me, so we can also enjoy the festivities. There will be food, and music, and tarot card reading, and all the other vendors. Folks will be decked out in Halloween costumes, and it promises to be a rocking good time.

I have been preparing for this weekend for the past week. Luckily, we had a break for Wednesday through Friday, so I had the time to sit for hours on end, making lip balms and sugar scrub and facial cleansing oil, and soap. And soap!

I've left the easiest work for today. I have to pack a soap order for Sunday morning (yes, back-to-back vending! Super!, and then assemble the stuff in the car. No problem!

There may be time for relaxing! What's up with that???

Friday, October 26, 2007

My perfect day

Someone sent me this meme. She triple-dog dared me to do it.


My perfect day starts with me getting out of bed when I wake up naturally. No alarm clock. I make a perfect pot of coffee, and take my cup down to my lovely, fully-finished basement, where my office awaits. I sit down and start work at my publishing business, on the computer. The cat box is perfectly clean.

I work until I'm hungry. My perfect husband gets our perfect daughter ready for school. It's a public school, so nothing is really perfect--except right now, when I'm dreaming! She has a perfect teacher who meets all her academic needs.

I eat when I'm hungry and drink when I'm thirsty, and I make about $2,000 per day at the computer. All of my work is computer and internet-based.

Around 2pm, I'm done working and I'll go to the gym to work out, or take the dogs to the park. I'll come home and get dinner started. My perfect husband will have picked up our daughter from school, and she will do her homework at the table while we prepare dinner.

We will eat dinner as a family.

After dinner, we will play with our daughter, or do simple family chores around the house. Television might be involved.

I will help get my daughter get ready for bed, and read Harry Potter to her until she falls asleep. Then, I will hang out on the computer, or read, or watch tv, or take a long bath, or DO WHATEVER I WANT until it is time for bed.

Then I will fall asleep, happy in the knowledge that I had a perfect day.


Do I seem easy to please, or what?

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I have plenty of time. This is what I'm telling myself, because it's a beautiful day, and tomorrow the weather is going to change. So I should take advantage of the beautiful day by getting out of the house. Playing. Soaking some sun into my bones.

Homework. Business work. It all beckons.

I suppose I'll do some business work, then run an errand and won't come back for a while.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I just love the pictures.

Enjoy the freedom!

Fully here

Well, maybe 80%.

I got a full night of sleep, and already my day has been productive! I can't believe the lazy foos I live with--it's 11am and they are still asleep! The shame of it.

I thought about sharing my to-do list with you, but I think that would be boring. Instead, I'll share that I am so happy I could spit. I've needed a day off from school for so long, I thought this day would never come. And now that it's here, I don't quite know what to do with myself.

Enter to-do list.

Not on my to-do list is calling friend Steve at work. I shall do that now, and report back later. Maybe.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Barely here

I have to go to sleep. We have three days off and I'm going to make the best of them. I have two shows this weekend (Witches' Ball and the farmer's market), and I have to prepare.


And I have so much to do. I have learned, though, that when I feel most desperate is at night, when I'm tired. In the morning, if I can get some good sleep, I'll be able to work near-miracles.

In addition to that, I think I'll go to the library tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Two days

We have parent-teacher conferences today and tomorrow. Well, we HAD them today, and we will have them tomorrow. Two days of working from 7am-8pm. This is what it takes to have Wednesday-Friday off this week. They call it "Fall Break." As hard as they make us work for it, they should call it "Fall Down and Try Not To Break Your Face When You Do."

Sunday's post was pre-action on Sunday. 3am posts count, though! That was a rough night, but I still got up early to pack the car and go to the farmer's market. I thought it would be fun--folks strolling through the snow, with their kidlets wrapped up in blankets on a sled. Laughing and joking, and, "I love snow! Don't you love snow?"

This snow came in sideways, and stayed that way for quite a few hours. We got about 5 inches in just a few hours, which isn't the worst, but it was below 30 degrees with winds strong enough to blow my tent around. I didn't set up my stuff--I just backed my car under my tent and "sold" out of the back of the car. "Sold" is in "quotes" because I only "sold" one bar of soap. At 9:45 my gloves rebelled on me when I took one off, and the lining slid out with my hand, and I couldn't get it back in there. DAMMIT!

So I took off--went to Costco, went to Sunflower Market, then went home. Hung out in my jammies all day. It was great!

But now we are broke. This weekend will definitely be better--weather in the 60s, and two shows!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

How fast can you move?

I bet you'll find out how fast you can move when, all of a sudden, unannounced and without warning, your child vomits in bed. Your bed. Where she fell asleep with you, waiting up for papa.

It's fast movement.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Can't ditch two weeks in a row.

I'm going to vend tomorrow! Someone, please come and take a picture of me, shivering under my snow-covered tent. It ought to be hilarious. But I feel bad ditching two weeks in a row. And I need the money. Perhaps someone will take pity on me while I'm out there, shivering.

And adventure! That's how I'm approaching it. We'll see who comes out--will they tromp through in their boots, dragging their kids in a sled behind? Will they scurry through with their dogs, barely looking at me? Will they bring me hot cocoa and chat and call me crazy?

Yes, they will.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Making up for the ditcher

Apparently, ditching the market last weekend was the correct thing to do. I think I've received 7 soap orders in the past two days! It's awesome!

Today was a banner day for the mail, as well. Isn't it so cool when you get real mail in the mail? I throw away so much mail, it's insane. I shred much of it, as well. Today, however, I got some new labels for lip balm, AND a new coat. I haven't even tried it on, yet. Blog first, enjoy coat second.

This week has been so very stressful, my weekend posts may not be exciting. I might talk about jammies. Or tea drinking. Or perhaps the pleasures of lazing about. We can dream, right?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Almost missed it!

I was at work at 5:40am today, and didn't get home until 5:30pm. Most days are NOT like that for me, but every once in a while it has to happen.

So I almost forgot to blog! I got my homework done, ran my errand for school tomorrow........

Such a short post. Hardly even counts.

....but it does.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You won't believe it.

So last night, my heart started to race. It wouldn't stop. It felt like my entire torso was vibrating from the inside.

And it wouldn't stop.

So I don't eff with heart problems, right? I took an aspirin and tried to fall back asleep.

Didn't work, as right when I fell asleep, the dog barked. More adrenaline. More shaking. It felt like I was awake all night, but I know I wasn't, because I woke up. If I woke up, I had to have slept at some point.

Was this an anxiety attack? A precursor to a heart attack? I didn't know. But this morning I didn't feel it, so I went to work.

Then I felt it again, around 10am. Vibrating inside. I called the doctor and made an appointment. After lunch, the weirdness went away. Low blood sugar from my meds?

Went to the appointment, and guess what?

My blood pressure is superb.

My pulse is perfect.

The doctor doesn't know what it is, but does not suspect low blood sugar, as she says that's "very rare." I don't know if I believe her, but whatever. I just don't want this shit to happen again.

Anybody else think it's time for me to find another job? Anybody believe now that public schools systematically work teachers to death?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nature uplifts me.

I'm sitting on my back patio, doin' my Internet stuff, when all of a sudden I think to myself, "gawd, I'm happy." The breeze is cool, and the air is crisp and clean, and there are still some leaves left on my little trees. It's getting a little too cold to sit out here, and I can hear construction trucks and a jet in the distance, but it's still very, very good.

I sold three books today--that helps me to feel happy. I also enjoy thinking about the time when I will leave my job and become self-employed. I'll be able to sit out on my patio with a crocheted afghan around my legs, any ol' time I want.

Being at home with my family is what I want. I also want some sleep. I can accomplish a tremendous amount of stuff on a full night of sleep.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What will do it?

Last night, at about 8pm, I might have had a small anxiety attack. My heart began to race, I couldn't breathe very well, I got a bad headache all of a sudden, and I couldn't seem to wrap my brain around anything.

I asked my husband, "Don't most heart attacks happen on Monday morning?"

He said, "uh...yep. They do. Why?"

I said, "What about Sunday night?"

So I took some ibuprofen and went to bed, trying to think of other things. The other things generally involve me visualizing how my life will be when I am self-employed. And then I drift off to sleep, calm, peaceful.

Today at work, I didn't have a heart attack. But work is bad for me right now. Very, very bad.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


At 7am this morning, it was 38 degrees and raining. I had to call the game, so to speak.

It's hard for me to decide NOT to go to the farmer's market and vend my wares. We need the money--we live on it, using it for gasoline, groceries, and toilet paper.

But it started raining yesterday, and it was cold. And the weather forecast showed it to be cold during the market time, and raining the entire time, as well. So I sent a pre-emptive email.

At 6am, when my biological clock wakes me, whether I want to or not, I got up and checked outside. It was raining, and I could see my breath. Forget it! Who's going to go to the market on a day like today? If I was a customer and not a vendor, I know that I wouldn't go to the market today. And the people who would go are the hard-core folks who would be hoping for vegetables.

No, ma'am. No, thank you. Cold, rain, and wind--forget it! Y'all will have to buy your soap next week.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm going on record.

I hate Ikea.

It is not my style. And, I don't like looking at it. I imagine the stuff is uncomfortable and it probably would make me itch.

I was looking at this site called Renovation Voyeur, thinking that I would enjoy seeing people's before and after photos of their renovations. No such luck--all of the renovations listed so far (not that many) have dark wood floors, stark white walls, and angular everything. It all looks very sterile and sharp corners, and ugh. Ugh!

I had to stop looking!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Out on the town.

Papa took the cutie to her cousin's house for a sleepover! So we went out to eat. I had high hopes for the restaurant, but it was just okay. Nothing too impressive. DH really preferred my oxtails to his steak. I liked the oxtails, but the rice had strange spices in it, and the corn garnish was just meh. The fried plantain garnish was great, though.

We decided to go somewhere else for dessert and coffee. We ended up at an Italian place, with 1960's groovy Italian jazz playing in the background, and ultra-modern decor. The waiter seemed less than thrilled to be serving "two for dessert." The coffee was absolute shit, but the desserts were good.

It's a lovely evening. And now I'm home, on the couch, in my jammies, watching the Colorado Rockies play the Arizona Diamondbacks. Go Rockies!

I'll be in bed soon.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A blast!

I am socializing all over the place. Last night, bunco. Tonight, not so much. Tomorrow, out on a "date" with my "husband." What is going on with me?

In the midst of all this, I cannot seem to muster the strength to make soap. I need to, desperately. I guess it will have to wait until Saturday. That works out, because I do the markets on Sunday, anyway. I need to get into that groove. So very tired.

Along with everything else in my life, I have to take a class. It's ridiculous, because we are mandated to take it or lose our teaching positions at our school. Not our jobs, mind you, but just our positions. There is a part of me that wants to refuse, because then they must place me at a non-ELA school. There are very few schools with a non-ELA designation in DPS. I wonder what would happen if we all refused?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


It's bunco night!

I was invited about two weeks ago. Apparently, this is all the rage with the suburban housewives. The game is not difficult, and the point of the evening is to have an evening, I guess. We will bring appetizers to share. We will socialize.

This is going to be the best night of my life so far this school year. (That's just since August 20.)

I had such a great time at the art museum the other day, it made me want MORE socializing! More fun with friends!

I've gone insane!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Blood Pressure

So I went to school, and was mad right off the bat. Just mad about being there, mad about all the stuff I have to do, mad that I have to deal with the crazy kids that belong to everyone else...I'm just sick of it.

We got the announcement that our teacher's association has reached a tentative agreement with the district for our salary. Get this--to get the extra .4% (read that percentage carefully--it's "point four percent" or "four-tenths of one percent"), we have to work extra days! That's right--they'll give us more money if we work more days.

Um....that's not a raise?

So anyway, our school nurse is a nurse practitioner, which I think means that she can write prescriptions and do most anything a general doctor can do. I asked her if she would check my blood pressure, and she agreed immediately, and I mean right that second. She got the blood pressure cuff and did it right then. The upper number was more than 20 points higher than it normally is! I knew my job was affecting my health.

She told me she would come take my blood pressure again, at some other point in the day and she wouldn't tell me when. She thought it would be better then, and she was right--she came right in when I was teaching class! I sat down and she took my blood pressure--the kids were very interested. Those numbers were much better--the top number was 20 points lower than in the morning, and the bottom number was 2 points lower.

So, I'm most relaxed when I'm with kids, and full of MURDEROUS RAGE when I'm not. Oh, and they are going to pay us a few more peanuts, but only if we work more. That's not a raaaaaaaise!

I've gotta figure how I can chill out.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Failure is not an option


Yes, I'm still here, it's 9pm, but I'm still here. Jeez, take one night off and the pressure starts. The pressure!

Self-imposed, okay, because I started this challenge. I get it.

There is more pressure, though. When I get fatigued, things get ugly in my head. And I am often fatigued. More and more, every day. DH took the cutie out this evening, so I could have some tv time. TV time! You read that right.

And now, now I'm all full of worry. I'm worried that I won't have enough time for anything that I have to do. Worried that my fatigue is making me forget things. Worried that my homework won't get done. And GODDAMNIT why must I take that class, anyway?

I keep asking people at work, "What if we all just said no?" I mean, really. What if hundreds of people just said they wouldn't do it. Shit, we are down 1.5 teachers in my department, still! On October 8! How are they going to replace me, I ask you?

This job certainty, job "security" doesn't make me feel secure. It makes me feel sicker and sicker, every day. Taking days off for my health are becoming more and more of a reality.

And just now I thought that I have to reschedule with the acupuncturist on Friday, because otherwise I'll be late. Dammit!

Sunday, October 07, 2007


It was a sucky day at the farmer's market. Didn't make much money. Far below average. It was cold, but not rainy, but that silver lining is VERY THIN.

Went to Costco. Bought a huge bag of M & M's. It made me feel better.

I am finally able to sit and relax. And I have no idea what to do with myself.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Everything Should Taste Like Bacon

DAM, that's good art.

Some quotes from our excursion to the Denver Museum of Art:

L: "Do you suppose they put those kickrails there because someone brained themselves on the diagonal wall?"


A: "This artist's quote is: "A stripe is as valid as a goddamn flower.""


E: "Do you suppose those parts get stuck, and some guy has to come out here with a pole and unhook them?"
A: "Yeah. *affects hillbillly accent* Hey, Cletus! It's your turn to unhook Oblique Lines Down Number 3! (Cletus) Goddamn, that sculpture is gonna ruin mah day!"


A: "What the hell is this? Digital clocks inside shiny discs? *reads sign* 80 different people in Denver set the speed for each of the 80 different things. I still don't get it. This means nothing to me."

E: "Nobody had ever done it, and he got a grant."


J: "I want to walk on that ledge."

L: "Me, too."

A: "Terrifying."

E: "Too slippery."


A: *whispers to J* "It looks like a big penis."


E: *pouts*

A: "What happened?"

E: "I dropped my butter." *picks it up, inspects it for dirt*

L: "Don't even think about it! We'll get a new one!"


Friday, October 05, 2007

Chugga chugga, chugga chugga, woo woo!

Hop on the Amy train!

Today was a little disjointed--hubby is a bit ill, and has been under the weather for a few days. Last night he asked me if I could take a 1/2 day off, to help him out. He watches our daughter, you see, so I need to stay home for him to have a day off.

I agreed to it, as I need a break from work, anyway. So I got up this morning, checked my email, started getting dressed...

...and realized that today is the first day of our enrichment classes for the kids! Gaaaaaaah! Of course, that class is the last class of the day! I can't take the last 1/2 off!

But I already did. I called it in last night. So, when I got to school I had to check to make sure they got my sub request, start making plans for period 6 and 7, and find someone to sub for period 8. I called the speech therapist and left a message, hoping she could push back our appointment, so I could still teach the new class. Yes, I am crazy, but it's the fun class, for the love of bob! I can't miss the first day!

During my first class, the speech therapist called me back, saying she could reschedule for later. Hooray! So I scrambled like crazy to plan for the afternoon, finished teaching my two classes at the same time ("independent work day"), made my copies, and went home around 9:45am.

I hung out for about an hour, got the cutie ready, and we went to the soap supply warehouse to get the stuff I've needed for over a week. We then drove home, had some lunch, and I did some internet work. I convinced hubby to watch the cutie for 1.5 hours while I went back to school to teach.

I taught. At the bell, I bolted home. I picked up the cutie, drove her to speech therapy, then went to Starbucks while she was there. She finished the therapy, and we drove home. Finally. And I've just finished making my family some dinner.

Tonight, I'll make soap.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


4 Jobs I’ve Held
  1. Wafflehouse Waitress. Okay, it wasn't exactly a wafflehouse, it was/is a diner. But I love the Bill Hicks joke that he tells. He's sittin' in a wafflehouse, reading his book. The waitress comes up and says, "Whatcha readin' for?" Not, "Whatcha readin'?" "Whatcha readin' for?" At which point Bill Hicks thinks for just a second and says, "I suppose it's because I don't want to be a fucking wafflehouse waitress!"
  2. Golf caddy. This was for the Amana V.I.P. in or around 1987. I didn't get paid, it was just for "prestige." I caddied for one day for some guy who was a soap opera star whose name I can't remember.
  3. Radio DJ. Again, unpaid, but sooooooooo much fun. Did you know an FCC license is for life? I earned mine working one shift per week for 89.7fm, KRUI, Iowa City.
  4. Public school teacher. For the past 15 fucking years.

4 Films I Could Watch Over and Over

  1. Harry Potter (all of them)
  2. French Kiss
  3. Hellboy
  4. LOTR

4 TV Shows I Watch

  1. The Closer
  2. Deadwood
  3. I don't watch...
  4. ...much tv.

4 Places I’ve Lived

  1. Amana, Iowa My hometown.
  2. Iowa City, Iowa My college hometown. 5 years. I often miss it.
  3. Houston, Texas Two years of living in a shithole. That place literally smells like shit--it's in the air! I never miss it.
  4. Denver, Colorado Since 1994. I wish we could afford a nicer neighborhood. Someday...

4 Favorite Foods

  1. French Onion soup My recipe, originally from Juila Child.
  2. Pumpkin pie My grandma's recipe. Nobody else's.
  3. Stuffed sweet red peppers My husband's recipe. Nobody else's.
  4. Roasted chicken Anybody's recipe, as long as it is succulent.

4 Websites I Visit Everyday

  1. Gmail
  2. Perez Hilton
  3. Olde Crone's Bewitching Bath Soap
  4. Normal Bob Smith
4 Favorite Colors
  1. Indigo blue
  2. royal purple
  3. fairy dust iridescent purply-pink
  4. pumpkin

4 Places I Would Love to Be Right Now

  1. NYC
  2. In My New House (ha!)
  3. Iowa City
  4. In my finished basement (ha!)

4 Names I Love But Would/Could Not Use for my Children

  1. Xuxa
  2. Salma
  3. Margo
  4. Sadie

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


It is so insane to me, the amount of work I'm being asked to do each day. There is no way to get everything done. I know, I know. All I do is bitch about how much work I have to do.

But it took me two days to produce all of the documentation for 8 meetings. They are even pre-filled forms, mostly. I had to type in my name and phone number, etc. But the system that produces these forms is new to all of us this year, and I keep getting interrupted. There is always some kid who needs behavior assisstance, a teacher who needs help with a particular student's needs, an administrator who wants me to do something. And I've got to finish paperwork from two previous meetings. And identify the 8 or so GT kids in the 6th grade.

At least I get paid for the last part.

More and more I feel ridiculous doing what I do. I feel like it's not really me.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Am I missing something?

I just got an email with the subject line, "your resume." The email says, "Your resume came through to me," but then, in the last line, asks for me to, "reply...and attach the most current version of your resume." have it?

This is not a place with a job, but a place that helps folks find jobs. Not interested!

Something different

I want to do something different.

I received a lovely rejection letter in the mail yesterday. I had applied for a job, and they thought that my experience and qualifications were "impressive," but were not a good fit for the job.

Well, I guess that's that.

Giving up is not an option. I have to do something different. This job does not fulfill my needs. My needs include filling my bank account, so there you go. I've gotta get out of here.

Self-employment is a big leap, and I'm about killing myself trying to go about it the risk-free way. That way includes having several on-the-side self-employment ventures. When one of those pays off big, then I can quit. But not until then. I remember corresponding with an author, mentioning that quitting my job wasn't an option right now. He said, "When you hate it enough, you'll quit." I worry that my endurance threshold is too high.

If I lived in a big house in a lovely neighborhood, I might take out a loan against the equity and live on that while building the business. But my option right now is to build a business while working full-time. It's exhausting!

I might die before I can enjoy the lifestyle that self-employment affords.

Monday, October 01, 2007


I know there are plenty of people out there who work hard. I know there are plenty of folks who work jobs that are more physically demanding than mine.

But I was forced to admit today that I am tired. Bone tired. I fall asleep each night within 60 seconds of hitting the pillow. And I am also at the point where I wonder each night if that will be my last.

I don't WANT to die. I just WONDER if I will. That's how tired I am.

I made the mistake of telling this to someone at school today. He became very worried about me, saying things like, "Lying there in bed, worrying about dying? How can that be good for you?"

"It's just wondering," I told him. "I'm not worried about it. I just wonder if this will be the night that I expire."

This is not the first time I've felt this way. And I know that I am being overworked.

Anybody got a high-paying, low-stress job out there?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

NaBloWriMo is on!

Head on over to NaBloWriMo if you want to join us. We're gonna blog once per day during the month of October. Hooray! It's National Blog Writing Month! Because I say so!

Now go sign up.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What I saw

I was driving to my acupuncture appointment today, and was stopped in traffic at a red light. Over to my right was the local funeral home. Some folks were milling about outside it, looking around, as if to find the correct door.

One of these people was a positively anorexic woman, wearing all black of course, with these wedge shoes. They were Goth shoes. On the patent leather of the wedge? White bones.

It completely creeped me out. I don't think that too many things are "inappropriate," as such. Patent leather shoes with bones on them, for a funeral?



Saturday, August 25, 2007

Truth In Advertising

Last weekend, my husband and I worked together, vending our wares at a festival called Western Welcome Week. 80,000 people or so show up to this thing. We vend at the farmer's market that is on a connected street to the festival, so the market could glom on to the success.

This was the biggest single craft fair that I have ever seen. Not too much direct competition for our stuff, but overall, a lot of competition. Our day ended up being less than an average take for a farmer's market day. We will remember this for next year.

Looking for the silver lining, I remembered that I was given some promotional material by a young girl. I accept all promotional material that is handed to me, so that I can examine it to see if I can get ideas for my own promotional material. Let's look at this particular specimen, shall we?

You can see that I have obscured the town. Look at the cover, here. You can see that this is 8.5 x 11 paper, in a blue color, with the title "(town) SMALL BUSSINESS." IN ALL CAPS. Okay, and so I asked myself, "Are they targeting small businesses? Is this a directory of small businesses? No, it says 'business,' singular. Furthermore, business doesn't have a double-ess after the u. WTF?" Naturally, I decided to open it up and satisfy my curiosity.

Um....okaaaaay. I have obscured the name of the company, and its address. Wouldn't you think it would be more effective on an advertisement of any kind to have your serivces made very clear throughout the entire ad? Is this an ad for a restaurant? A custom shoe shop? No, $15.00 isn't very much for shoes anymore, and who "PRE-- PAY"s anyway? Okay, okay. I'll tell you. The ad is for "cleaners." What do they clean? Why do they insist that I pre-- pay? Oh, and do I get the dollar off only when I pre-- pay, or only when I bring in the flyer, or both?

Yes, I can surmise that it is an ad for clothes cleaners. My point? These ads are shit. I can't wait to turn the page.

Hmmm. No more cleaners, here, as evidenced by the font change, and the fact that it says "nails" at the top. I'm not going to get uppity and wonder what kind of nails. I get it. Again, I can bring in the flyer for a discount. (Anybody else annoyed by the alternate spelling of "flier?") This is a good marketing tactic--people will hold on to your flyer if they must bring it in later, thereby putting your business in front of their faces for longer. I'll give you that.

What I won't give you are props for your misspelling of "company." Nor for the misspelling of "suite" in your address. Nor for the glaring typo, "sullset," where it should be the two words "full set." Nor the fact that you are putting this "speacial" ad out in front of everyone, claiming that your companie is "American." Don't claim me, lady. And for the love of Pete, will someone please tell me what the hell "doabetic " foot care is? This nail companie has a very low opinion of their target market if they think we will overlook these glaring errors. I couldn't. I couldn't look away. It's like a train wreck. Let's keep going.

Wow. That particular chemical that you don't use must really be bad. Were you exposed to it, and it damaged your kindneys? What were your sysptoms? What are sysptoms? I find your ad confusing. I might just break down. On my nails.

Moving on:

Wow. Great color on this one. Big font size. Random word "reference" at an angle. Hmm. What kind of reference? Do you want me to refer you to someone? Well, I can't, because why are you going to shop and "do transportation" while cleaning the house? Oh, now that I've said that, I realize that you are offering to do MY shopping and transport yourself while doing it. I get it now.

Except that I'm still not going to hire you because you are the same woman who is supposed to be doing my nails at your companie. You are obviously overworked to the point that you can't be bothered to spell check your flyer. For your companie. You can, however, make words go slant-wise on the page. Nice touch. Try touching the "spell check" button as well. It just takes a second.

Within this 8.5 x 11 flyer, there is an actual flier. It is a tri-fold brochure for the nail companie. Apparently, we didn't have enough eye damage from the big booklet. Luckily, most of the text in this brochure is spelled correctly. I am especially excited about the reflexology message that I get with my pedicure. What exactly is this message? "Relax, bitch, while I clip your toenails?" Or perhaps, "Lady, you have got to pay me now. I've got a house to clean and then go shopping. Thanks for visiting my nail companie." Maybe the message is, "Take care of your kindneys!"

My ghetto camera doesn't do this justice, so you are going to have to squint. But believe me, it's there. Yes, we know this is a classy companie, because they have a dollar sign ($) in between the beginning of their companie name and the end.

This is possibly the worst example of print advertising that I have ever had the pleasure to experience. The only redeeming factor, in my opinion, is the fact that these folks went face-to-face, handing them out. That takes balls.

Especially when the ad might cause blindness.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Best. Spam. Evar.

Spam in my Yahoo mail (which I no longer use, for obvious reasons), reproduced below. Hilarious, since I already have plenty of education:

Re: Uni Diploma = more earning power

Just call this number: X XXX XXX XXXX

admix aiken quo agony young.addend ... haifa fallow halma spurge tumult.
adverb acorn.lambda omen blink ice papery.
your impact blare.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I got some press today, in the form of a great review from a customer, on her blog. She featured my business in her review of the Louisville Downtown Street Faire.

Thanks so much, Manisha!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Debating quasi-fiction: what is a memoir?

James Frey pissed off Oprah.

This much we know. The whole situation made me wonder, however, how much does the general reading public know about literature? In general, I mean.

Memoir: (noun) 1. A historical account or biography written from personal knowledge or special sources; an autobiography or a written account of one's memory of certain events or people. 2. an essay on a learned subject; the proceedings or transactions of a learned society. (Oxford American Dictionaries)

The emphasis there is obviously mine, and of course it is meant to prove a point. James Frey pissed off Oprah because his memoir was fictionalized. What scholars of literature may learn at university includes a discussion on fiction vs. nonfiction, and lots and lots of semantics. It seems to me that James Frey pissed off Oprah because Oprah's definition (or perhaps her fans' definition) of memoir is very much the first part of the first definition--she wanted the account to be historically accurate. Please note, however, that accuracy is not included in the definition. And good writers embellish to make good writing--all the time!

Nan Talese felt she was ambushed
on Oprah's show, and this is the reason I bring this up today. She was told the show would be about James Frey only minutes before the show aired. She was told there was a change in the show's plan. For live television. They had a last-minute change in their entire show that all the producers had been working on for so long.

It made great television, and Talese was used toward that end. Her vigor in defending herself, and publishers by proxy, shows her anger toward Oprah and the whole situation. Good journalism means you must use the element of surprise, I guess.

It just seems to me that Oprah was upset because she'd defended Frey, and felt she'd been made to look like a fool. Frey and Talese both were made to look like fools on her show. The audience clearly thought memoir=absolute truth. The general viewing (and presumably, Oprah-book-reading) public thought the same, as well, judging by the response the show got. There was a lot of press around this issue. The publisher was ordered by a judge to give folks their money back!

That seems to me, in America, very extreme. A scholar of literature myself, I don't have a problem with a memoir being fictionalized. Memoirs are entertainment--competing with other forms of entertainment, such as bike riding, seeing a movie, or drinking oneself into a stupor. A memoir isn't a "how-to" nonfiction book, designed to instruct the reader. A memoir is a collection of memories. All of our memories are colored by our emotions at the time. I hate certain songs on the radio because they were on the radio when my first serious boyfriend broke up with me. This doesn't mean the music is bad. I might write it that way, however, and that is my right. I might also fictionalize parts of the story to make it more engaging to read, rather than, "He broke up with me. I cried for a week."

I digress. I think this whole situation is made very sticky by the fact that Oprah herself is also in the entertainment business. Ripping Frey a new one on her show was sure to be good television. Having unprepared reactions from Nan Talese would also make good television. But this situation was borne from a simple misunderstanding of literature, in my opinion. Talese didn't get to say much of what she wanted to say on that show, as she felt "ambushed."

I think this whole thing is an example of folks going along with the crowd. In this case, I wonder if Oprah felt compelled to go along with it, because so many folks in the viewing public were upset. Let's remember---many of those folks are not literature scholars! It seems to me that Oprah was trying to put a scholarly bent on things when she called up Larry King and tried to defend Frey. I just don't think the public, in general, was academically prepared to hear it.

And that's okay. We are not all scholars of literature.

I love that Oprah gets people to read. Are they reading other things, though? Or just what she recommends? Getting to be an author on her show is The Show--like being put in the major league of baseball. It's the big win. Instant best-seller, right there, overnight. Not many authors at all get that chance, and it is random chance. It's one woman, controlling what goes on her show, and what influences the minds of millions. I suppose she felt a responsibility to all those folks who expressed their outrage at being duped.

And perhaps Nan Talese feels a responsibility to tell her side of the truth. She is telling her memoir. We must all decide if it is fiction, or not.

Caveat emptor, people.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We love this guy.

My husband and I both love good food, and both love to dream about traveling. I say "dream about" because we don't have the money for actual travel.

In any case, a great show to watch is Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, on the Travel Channel. He travels all over the world, showcasing the people and their food. Bourdain's sardonic wit matches mine very often, and he is a truth-teller, which I appreciate. In the show he is often smoking, and just as often drinking/hung over. Great TV.

He is also a fabulous essayist. The Nasty Bits is a compilation of articles and such. I cannot comment on his fiction[see 7-10], as I have not yet read it. If it's anything like his essays, I'm putting them on my hold list at the library.

So congratulations to him and to his crew, as they were nominated for an Emmy Award for one of their episodes--Beirut. They were nominated under the "news" category--when in Beirut, a conflict broke out, so the film crew shot the whole episode about the conflict instead of the food, as they couldn't do their cook's tour anyway.

Good job, folks! I hope you win it!

Teeny bit o' fun.

I was thinking of putting some art on my walls. Then I found this blogthing. Coincidence?

Who Should Paint You: Andy Warhol

You've got an interested edge that would be reflected in any portrait
You don't need any fancy paint techniques to stand out from the crowd!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Prairie Home Companion

One more.

This is funny because of the stage manager's reactions, not so much for the bad jokes.

Haven't y'all seen this movie yet? If you enjoy Garrison Keillor, you'll like it.

A Prairie Home Companion - Whoop I Ti Yi Yo

Friend Steve moved to Montana a year ago. Well--about a year ago.

I've not stopped pining for him. We taught the children every day together, for about 4 years straight.

Thankfully, we both embrace "technology" in the form of instant messenger systems, and keep in touch. He is trying to convince me to move up to Billings and teach with him. He called me cowgirl when he was saying this.

Therefore, this one's for Steve. That was a long intro just for a youtube video.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Absinthe for sleep aid

So I'm watching the Price is Right, which is good and correct for me to do, as I am on vacation.

A commercial comes on, for Lunesta. In this commercial, there is a gorgeous green butterfly, hovering over the faces of these folks who are sound asleep, all with a little smile on their faces.

It looks at first glance, though, like a green fairy. Which makes me think--did the advertisers mean for me to think about absinthe?

Thursday, May 31, 2007


The difference between having a good boss and a bad boss is the difference, at the end of the school year, between feeling worn out and burnt out.

The past few years, I have felt burnt out at this time. Absolutely finished. Murderous, even, when I saw children on the street. Or the principal.

Now, I feel worn out. Like my job was difficult, but now it's done. I think that's more appropriate.

We are getting ready to leave for a week--traveling to Iowa. When we get back, it will be a whirlwind of activity again. So I'm going to focus on doing a lot of sitting, and iced-tea drinking, and visiting, while watching the children run through the sprinkler.

p.s. the giraffe is the result of a google search for "children in sprinkler." ???

Thursday, May 24, 2007


One of our neighbors has a landscaping business. My husband enlisted him to fix our lawn mower. In exchange, the dude wanted the use of our rototiller. Cool trade. No problem.

He also offered to buzz the weeds in our large flower beds, as they were taking over. Sure. No problem.






Sunday, May 06, 2007

Check out the competition

I think, more often than not, people go through their lives with some level of depression. I mean, it's the rare person who is happy ALL THE TIME. Every single minute? Even when a toe is stubbed? Very rare.

So I've been tired and feeling mildly depressed, nothing that a good night of sleep won't fix, but it's annoyed me just the same. When I feel like this, I usually take action, somehow. Tidy up the bills. Create an email list for marketing. Go online and do some marketing.

I was doing this, talking on some Yahoo groups, when I discovered The Competition. You see, I've written and published an ebook, and I place ads sometimes on the Yahoo groups where I participate. On one of these groups, I saw an ad for someone else's ebooks. Hmm. Okay. I clicked the link, thinking that I was going to see something similar to what I have on my website.

It is a handmade site, obviously. The propaganda is FULL of typos, which made me think, "Why would I want to buy your book? You obviously don't care about clarity or editing." Furthermore, just in the text on the website, the writing was clunky and just not attractive. The whole experience left me feeling like, "Hey, my site is great. Glad I went with a web guy, instead of doing it myself."

Then I went to her purchasing page. You see, I still thought I might purchase one of her books, for research, to see what my book is missing. Until I saw the prices. $19.95 for a soap making ebook? It went on and on. The same price for a lotion-making book. Etc. Etc.

Holy crap! There is NO WAY that I was going to spend that much money on my competition, when she can't even write good marketing text on her website, obviously doesn't know publishing basics or ignores publishing basics, and the whole thing just looked so "handmade" and "homegrown" that I suddenly felt a whole lot better about myself and my efforts.

I suppose it's not the nicest thing, to bash the competition like this. Therefore, I won't give you the link to her site. I will let you know that I feel so much more confident in all my writing and publishing efforts, my depression has completely lifted.

Perhaps the coffee helps.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Please tell me that you remember high school talent shows.

Please tell me. No? Then watch the video.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Because I need some fun

...then you do, too. Enjoy.

Subtle differences

The differences between being self-employed and being an employee are quite obvious:
  1. No guaranteed paycheck vs paid each month
  2. Commuting to work vs walking to your office
  3. Having an office/room/cubicle vs having whatever you choose to have as an office
  4. Being clean and well-presented every day vs jammies
  5. Doing what you are told vs doing what you choose
  6. Being paid what they allow vs making as much money as you can
However. Comma.

Some very Very VERY good benefits are much more subtle. One of them presented themselves to me today. This benefit is becoming more and more of a motivator for me to be self-employed. It used to be the money potential only.

Now, it is this:

7. Being forced to suck up other people's SHIT because you HAVE to get along with them to get the work done vs choosing who the FUCK I will deal with.


Okay. I feel better.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

For my brother...

...whose birthday is next week. He had a fantastic collection of Transformers when he was a kid.


I recommend going back and reading through every single one of your blog posts sometime. I guarantee, it will be enlightening.

Going back through mine (I'll save you the time, don't worry), I found out that I have been "working" on a book for two years. Two years! And no nearer to publication. That's just unacceptable.

My idea to get us out of debt through online publishing has been in the works for over one year. There has been some progress with this, and I plan on doing more. I just have to make a little money to get things rolling with that. So that's good. Actual progress, there.

I can't believe how cranky I was two years ago. I can't believe my husband is still with me. I was really unpleasant. Things are better, now. I'm not as cranky.

I also can't believe how much I was working. I still work a lot, but I will never do three jobs at once like I was before. Self-employed at three jobs? Maybe. Employed elsewhere at three jobs? No.

The coffee tastes really good this morning. I'm still hopeful. This year is going to be a busy one for soap, but it will be good. If I'm in at the third market I applied to, we will be full-time soapers this summer. If DH can help me, then we'll be fine.

Summer is decidedly not here yet, as evidenced by the SNOW outside. I hope this is the last wintry hurrah, but I'm not as desperate about the cold as I was in the winter. We've had a few warm days, and I let the warmth sink into my bones, so I'm okay with this, for now.

I think I'll go make some scones. Happy weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What can I do to protect my hip?

I was perusing a web site, and saw an ad with that headline. "What can I do to protect my hip?" There was a photo of an attractive woman with grey hair and a mild expression on her face.

I failed to read the rest of the ad, I found the question so appealing.

How To Protect Your Hip

  1. Wear iron pants.
  2. Hire an entourage of bodyguards to walk with you wherever you go, on your weak hip's side.
  3. Wear those padded shorts for linebackers.
  4. Massage it lovingly.
  5. Get one of your attractive bodyguards to massage it for you.
  6. Oh, yeah, that's the stuff.
  7. Move to an area with no hills.
  8. Avoid dancefloors.
  9. Wear a low-slung, spiked leather belt.
  10. Never get out of your comfy chair. (No! Not the comfy chair!)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Biscuits, Fairies, and Scientology

The Adventures of Ann and Amy

The Musical

The title of this post started a while ago, when I shared with friend Steve that I was having a morning of fun with our mutual friend Ann. We were planning on having breakfast at Lucile's, and then going to the metaphysical faire. When Steve signed off from his instant message, he said, "Enjoy your biscuits and fairies." So there you have it.

The day started with Ann buying a Starbucks coffee, while I got some cash. I asked her why she was buying a Starbucks, when the breakfast place had good coffee. She replied that she wanted, "Sugary, syrupy goodness," and would have nothing less. I have to support that.

Being a former restaurant server, I worried that her coffee would get cold in the car, as I knew that restaurants did not allow outside food and beverages. When we got there, she brought in her coffee, like there was no issue at all. I didn't notice this until we sat at our patio table, when our server said, "I'm going to ignore the Starbucks coffee. Would you like some beignets? A half-order, perhaps?" Ann readily agreed.

I had never had beignets, so I went along for the ride, and as you can imagine, it was a good ride. Yummah! Our farmer's eggs and Hank's eggs were delicious, and the portions were very large, so we couldn't finish them. I did finish my biscuit, though. I know my priorities in life.

Afterward, we turned the corner, hitting the curb, and went on our way to the metaphysical faire. I had been to it several times, but Ann had never been there. I had never attended so early in the day, so I didn't know if there would be a line.

There was. But it wasn't long.

When we first entered the building, still in line, we were greeted with songs about medicine eagle feather woman, sung in a lovely fashion by two older women in prom gowns. That was how the faire started.

We made the circuit around the whole thing. Around the edges of both rooms we found the readers--psychic readers, palm readers, tarot readers, etc. There were also massage therapists, reflexologists, and Chanty McGee. We chose not to visit him this time.

We found the person who would give Ann her reading, signed up, then walked off to find the folks from the Inner Connection Institute, who do free aura cleansings and chakra balancing. We had this done, and it was awesome. Those are great folks, and they offer this service for free. It was very refreshing. I felt happy afterward.

This may explain the insane giggling fits later.

Anyway, after the aura cleansing, we went for our readings. Ann to hers, and mine to a new guy. He taped the session, so I could listen to it again, which was very cool. Instead of a regular tarot reading, he led me through a guided meditation, in which I could find the answers to the questions I had, by myself.

We found ourselves wandering around the vendors after that. Prayer flags, ugly jewelry, some cool jewelry, some cool art pieces, and t-shirts that "felt hempy."

"Hmm. These t-shirts feel hempy. They are hempy!" Ann exclaimed, after looking at the tag.

"Hempy?" I asked.

"It says it right there."

We walked on, perusing things that will clear your personal environment of bad energy, lots of cool rocks and mineral thingys, and came upon the Grand Court Jester of the faire.

Dressed in a colorful jester's hat, colorful clothes, and perched precariously upon a high stool, she chanted, "Chakra photos! Get your chakra photos here! Chakras!" and such.

I shit you not.

We walked on toward some books and tarot cards, distracted by the belly dancers in full costume, who were walking around freely. We saw a dude playing a didgeridoo, only the end of it was placed RIGHT AT some dude's head. Ann and I both agreed that would freak us out.

Of course, a visit to the metaphysical faire isn't complete without being accosted by scientologists. Even though it is clearly posted at the entrance, "No proselytizing," they set up shop selling Dianetics books. Apparently this is okay, but pushing scientology is not. So anyway, we were accosted by them, asking us if we wanted a free "stress test." Um, sure.

So we sat down. Dude handed me what looked like two skinny soup cans with no labels, attached to which were roach clips and wires, leading to this electronic thing with a dial and a meter. He asked me to, "Think about different situations in your life." I found this bizarre, but did as asked. At one point, the needle on the meter moved.

"Mmmmm," dude said, nodding and giving me a knowing look. What he knew was a mystery to me, but it appeared that he pitied me somehow. "What were you thinking about, just then when the needle moved?"

"I have no idea," I said, truthfully. I was shocked by the bizarre nature of this "stress test."

"What about your relationships?" he pressed. I thought about it. The needle didn't move.

"They're fine, " I said.

"Hmm," he said, "Lemme try something, " and turned the dial on the machine.

"He's trying to make the needle move by adjusting the machine. This is total bullshit," I thought, but stayed there to fuck with him.

He then asked, "Are you married?"

"Yes." No needle movement.

"Do you have children?" he asked, and the needle moved.

"Mmmmmmm," he said, with that look of, "Man, are you fucked up," on his face.

"I imagine most mothers carry some stress about their children. She doesn't stress me out," I said. At this point I saw Ann, standing in the thoroughfare. I placed the soup cans on the table. "I'm leaving now," I said with a smile.

"But wait, let me show you this book," he said, rather quickly.

"No, thanks," I said. It was Dianetics.

"Have you heard of it?" he asked.

"Yes," I said.

"Have you read it?" he asked, with a glimmer of hope in his scientologist eyeballs.

"No, I haven't. And I'm not going to. Goodbye," I said, and joined Ann.

She told me that the woman who was giving her the stress test tried to tell her that Dianetics wasn't about scientology.

"What?" I asked.

"Oh, yeah. She was showing me the book, and on the back it has a quote from John Travolta. And then I saw another quote from Tom Cruise, and then I said, 'This is scientology!' and she said, 'noitisn't!' just like that. And I said, 'yes it is!' and she said, 'no it isn't. It's about a way to manage the stress in your life' but then I cut her off and said, 'yes, it is scientology!' and walked off."

At this point we were away from the stress testers, and I suggested we go back to them, and see if they ask us for a stress test again, and we would sit down, and when they asked us if we had stress, I would say, "Yeah, amnesia stresses me out."

And then the giggling started.

Then Ann suggested we sit down again, and when he asked me about what stresses me out, she could lean over, right in my face, and say, "I think it's time to go! Aren't you done yet???" and I could answer, "My friends," to the guy.

And then the giggling was laughter. Very loud laughter. A passserby remarked that she wanted some of what I was drinking. I assured her it was just Coke.

We decided later that we could sit down with the scientologists, and when they asked us what stresses us out, we could say, "People who lie about shit not being scientology when IT CLEARLY IS YOU IDIOTS IN THE DIANETICS SHIRTS! WHAT KIND OF FREAKS ARE YOU??" Insane laughter again.

By this time we were sitting down, waiting for Ann's massage appointment. We saw the woman before here, sitting in the massage chair, and you know how they have that cut out in the face pillow, so your face is open to the air? The dude put a hairnet over the face pillow, and Ann remarked, "My face is going to have net lines."

I said to her, "You've got more important things to worry about. Heed my words, you'd better not open your eyes while you're there. Because if you do, this is what you're gonna see," and I stuck my face right in her face, threatening to squat in front of the massage chair, waiting to pounce.

Insane laughter.

It was a great, great day. The joke now would be for Ann to say, "No it wasn't!"

"Yes, it was!"

"No it wasn't!"