Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Here We Go!

I am fairly good with denial, especially when the end of August rolls around.  I can easily convince myself that everything is fine and that we are really still enjoying the fruits of July right up to the very last second.  This changes nothing, of course.  It is the end of August and that can only mean one thing:  School is ready to start.  Summer vacation is over.

Let's take a look at my last official day of not-working in the Wednesday Night Bullet Point Format and see how it went:

*I got up early because I wanted to make sure I didn't miss a minute of the resting and relaxing.

*And all the stuff I need to get done before going back to the grueling grind of the work-a-day life.

*This week's grueling grind will consist of one day attending Teacher Workshops followed by a four day weekend.  

*It's not the actual grinding part.  It's the principle of the thing.  It's a place I have to be and not one I chose.

*The state of Maine requires that we register our vehicles every year and pay our excise taxes like good citizens.

*I never remember to do this online, but that is OK.  Town Hall is literally ten minutes away.

*I got there a little after 8:00 and was out the door within minutes.  Not such a big deal except for the part where you have to pay them lots of money.

*This year I put the stickers on right there in the parking lot instead of waiting to get home.

*I thought it might be nice to avoid attracting the attention of law enforcement, getting pulled over, having my car towed away, being charged with a class E misdemeanor then spending the next 8 months fighting an epic battle with the state over an old (paid) traffic ticket and a clerical error at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

*I tried it that way last year and found it less than enjoyable.  Also kind of stressful and expensive.  

*Fighting the good fight and clearing your name sounds like a grand old time, but it really only works like that in the movies...

*I won't rest easy until I awaken tomorrow to a new day, but I think it is safe to tentatively state that I have avoided taunting Johnny Law today.

*My driving record is clean.  Spotless, in fact.  Even that old ticket is gone.  

*Which doesn't necessarily mean anything I've learned...

*I finally bought eggs today.

*I have been putting off buying eggs because that is what I do when I need to make sure I have something to scramble and put between bagels slices.  

*Commuter breakfast.  

*I don't need a commuter breakfast in July.  

*It is not really July.  It is August 31st.  I need eggs now.

*Forgot to buy bagels.  

*More from Friday's appointment at the vet:  The Very Complicated Kitty is fat.  He was losing weight and then I changed his snack food and he started stealing his brother's food because he really liked the snacks.

*He's gained back all his girth.  He's a mutant beast who startled the vet tech when he jumped off the table with a big KA-THUMP!

*The vet tech laughed and cried, "KA-THUMP!!!"  Silly vet tech.

*Back to the other snack food.  

*The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty will be getting his claws cut in spite of the meltdown he had over this procedure.

*He needs to have his grungy teeth cleaned.

*They administer the dopey juice for that.

*Even if they didn't they would for him because he is not a fan of having his teeth cleaned.

*I'm told that they will complete the aborted claw clipping operation while he is grooving to the imaginary tunes playing in his drug addled head after dental work.

*I don't see how that could possibly go wrong.

*Regarding the missing cable for the camera:  It is still unaccounted for.

*Made the last Farmer's Market trip today.

*I shall miss my weekly Visit With The Vegetables.  

*I could still go on Saturday, but it's just not the same as going on a Wednesday.  

*It is fun to go during the work hours.

*Next Wednesday I will be working during the work hours.  

*The vet's office only does dental work on Wednesdays.  

*Might need to take a day off for that...

*Meanwhile, I have some fresh tomatoes and basil.

*Lots of basil because it keeps really well in a jar of fresh water on the counter.

*Seriously.  Like...weeks!  I can't grow the stuff in a pot, but it will live forever in a little jar of water.

*Smells so nice!

*Reading pace is soon to be slowing.  I've read a lot this summer.  Now I'll be working and won't be able to read as much.

*Picked up Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile (Book 2).

*Not as good as the first, but it's a series so what are you gonna do?  I have to see where this is going.

*And it is going to a very strange place, let me tell you.  

*That is saying something given that it is a Zombie Apocalypse book!

*It was already sort of strange to begin with.

*Unshapely Things (Connor Grey, Book 1) didn't do much for me at first.  It was OK...I just wasn't into it.

*But, again, it's a series.  I am helpless with series.  I just can't move on without knowing!!!

*Once I finished Unquiet Dreams (Connor Grey, Book 2) I was kind of hooked.

*Unfallen Dead (Connor Grey, Book 3) has pretty much sealed the deal.  

*I won't say that this is great literature and there are places where I might have offered some editorial direction were I asked.

*But I really enjoy the character.  Who doesn't love a druid?

*Even a broken one who has to come to terms with the weakening of his powers and the need to find his way in the human world without them.

*Good stuff. 

*I have other books I want to read but will need to pace myself, I suppose.

*Because it isn't really August anymore.  It is dark out now and that means that night is upon me.

*Night being upon me signals the end of the last day of summer vacation.

And, with that, I think we need to part ways for now.  I probably should get some clothing ready for tomorrow and see if I can remember how to set my alarm clock.  I should also figure out a manner of dealing with the lack of bagels and how I shall support my scrambled eggs come commute time.  It is going to be a grueling one day work week and will take some prep time.

Here we go...


Monday, August 29, 2011

On Thursday...

Thursday was a big day here at the Sheepish Household.  After several days of stomach trouble and not going to school to set up my classroom, I finally managed to drag myself 45 minutes southward and did my duty as an educator.  It had to be done.  Time is really running out.  School opens for teacher workshops on September 1st and the kidlets are going to be wandering in shortly thereafter.  It was a hot, muggy and rainy day, certainly not one I wanted to spend moving furniture and putting up posters that are just going to slither to the floor in a matter of hours anyway.  But I did it because time wasn't on my side anymore

Friday was going to be a much cooler kind of day, but that wasn't going to work for classroom prep.  I finally made the appointment with the vet and Da Boyz really needed to be seen for their annual shots and overall pokings/proddings.  I couldn't go to school after seeing the vet.  Once the guys realized that they weren't going to be seeing The Cat Whisperer whom they adore in a way that embarrasses me to no end, it was a tiring thing.  To be fair, they did pretty well.  And I learned that clipping a cat's claws is the most important thing to their survival and that only very, very bad pet owners do not clip their cat's claws.  Of course, this rule is suspended when Absurdly Gi-normous Kitties refuse to allow claw clipping and create a fuss that leaves the entire exam room coated in orange fur.  Then it is suddenly not so important and hardly worth the trauma.  In fact, there are cats who go their whole lives without claw clipping and do not die even if it is a beneficial service.  For the record, the Very Complicated Kitty was quite brave about having his claws clipped and duly praised for his good behavior.  This did nothing to encourage the AGK whatsoever.

Yes, Friday was busy and certainly not a day for classroom set up.  It was a day for recovery and napping off the whole morning.

And Saturday?  Hardly a day for going to school!  For one thing, I don't have a key card and I hate setting off those pesky alarms.  For another, I had a busy day ahead of me.  There was gassing up the car.  And checking the flashlights.  And ensuring that I had an adequate supply of snack foods.  And tucking away a little bit of cash just in case.  Once that was done, there was a Doctor Who marathon and that was going to take up what little time I had left after obsessively checking the weather reports and wondering how my friends and family were faring.

Much too much going on for anything remotely resembling "school work."

Sunday, much like Saturday, is not a day for going to school.  There is the issue with the aforementioned key card and the police showing up with guns drawn upon hapless teachers/intruders.  That is not the way to spend the latter half of the weekend.  However, even without that little problem, I still wouldn't have gone to school because there was the matter of Armageddon Minor.

Hurricane Irene settled herself down into a nice little tropical storm by the time it reached my door and I suppose it would have been easy to think it wasn't going to amount to much.  I guess that I maybe even did start to think that the worst was past by afternoon.  Then the power went out and the trees started to experiment with gravity and it all suddenly seemed a little more important.  Hence, I could not go to school on Sunday either.  I am not as young as I used to be and cannot dodge trees or falling power lines with any degree of grace.

Thankfully, I live on the coast and in an area that didn't flood.  We lost our power for 24 hours and that was annoying, but hardly what others had to bear.  And are still enduring.  No, I was fortunate to be where I was if I had to get any of this hurricane stuff.  Since I am currently watching television, using the interwebs and drinking an icy cold soda from the fridge, I'd say I'm a pretty lucky girl even if I did have to make coffee over a can of Sterno this morning like a hobo.

I have big plans for tomorrow and Wednesday, too.  I need to find my camera cord so I can someday upload pictures again.  That would be a nice thing to be able to do.  Especially if you just spent your morning cooking like a hobo because who doesn't want to record that for posterity????

So, as you can plainly see, I didn't have a whole lotta choice when it came to getting in to school.  I went on Thursday.  That was the day.  And next Thursday?  I'm going back again, only this time I'll be on the payroll and without anything resembling free will.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Feeling Shaky

Oh, yeah...I'm fairly frantic at the moment.  Too much stuff on the to-do list and not nearly enough time to get it all done.  That said, I don't really feel like doing too much so it kind of works out if I don't think about it.

Thinking too much leads to guilt and lying awake in the wee hours of the morning wondering if it would be considered weird to get up and paint the living room.  I do, however, feel like posting some Wednesday Night Bullet Points and we don't even have wait for me to feel thought-induced guilt!

*I was supposed to go to school on Monday.

*Not to teach.  It isn't time for that yet.  But, I do need to put up a few posters and find where I put all the pencils during the end-of-year packing.

*I find that pencils are useful in a classroom situation.  Especially at the beginning when no one has their computer yet.

*I did not go to school on Monday.  I felt kind of weird.  A little shaky and achy.

*There was always Tuesday, after all!

*Yesterday was Tuesday and I was up with the birdies in order to get ready for school prep!

*My intentions were good and I even made it out the door and into the car.

*I was three miles from home when I realized that this was not going to work out.

*Not at all.

*Not in any way, shape or form.

*Spent the day with...digestive issues.

*The kind that make you whimper and rail against an unjust universe that causes the room to spin.

*Headache, too.

*Two days down and still no classroom set up.

*I have a rocking recliner that I never get to sit in because it is Cat Claimed For All Eternity.

*And it was not a good idea to sit there yesterday because things were already shaky and a rocking chair is not a good idea under those circumstances.

*I noticed it rocking rather hard at one point during the afternoon.

*Cats must have launched off that thing something fierce, I thought.

*Shortly thereafter, my Google Facebook widget came alive with reassurances.

*Mostly from family in Virginia who wanted us to know that they had survived the earthquake.

*"Thank heavens there was no earthquake here" I cried, "because I don't need to feel any more shaky!"

*Note: it took five hours and three more local Facebook posts for me to connect the violently rocking recliner to the phenomenon.

*This should give you some indication of how poorly I was feeling.

*Really just a jiggle and nothing to worry about, but you'd think I'd be more on top of earthquake activity.  I tend to get excited about that sort of thing...

*I stayed home today, too.  Feeling much better, though.

*Just needed to sleep some before going off to move furniture.

*I made soup today from home canned beef and veggies.

*Very good and made my sad tummy happy again.

*Shook in a few gentle spices and grated some Parmesan cheese over the whole thing and it all worked out well.

*Didn't make it to the Farmer's Market today.  No Weekly Visit With The Vegetables.  :(

*Today marked the Annual Sewing On Of Teddy's Noggin.

*It's a yearly event precipitated by my teddy bear's head falling off and causing me to have an horrific Godfather-like moment upon waking.

*You the horse's head in the movie?

*Creepy to be in bed with a headless bear.

*His head falls off regularly now.  I am a somewhat aggressive cuddler...

*School tomorrow.  Pencils located and furniture arranged.

*At least that is the plan.

*Weather permitting.

*BTW: Who wants to be in charge of keeping me from seeing Contagion?

*I think we all know that my viewing this movie is a bad idea.  It will not end well.

*Me in the manse...duct tape on all the windows...clouds of disinfectant obscuring the view...

*You'll be able to hear me shrieking at you to get your potentially infected self away, though.  I'm certain of it.

*You might want to take shifts.  Two or three man teams of people blocking my door and that of local movie theaters.  I think that should do it.

*I finished Day by Day Armageddon.

*Loved it!  I thought the sequel was a little spendy to download, at least until the next payday rolls around.

*Filled the time with The Dying of the Light: End (Volume 1).

*Also surprisingly good.  I was a little incensed by some of the decisions made by the government at the end, but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do come The Apocalypse.

*At least they didn't nuke everything.  That never goes well...

*Then I had more time to kill so I downloaded a couple of freebies.

*The Strange Case of Finley Jayne is a blatant attempt at getting people to buy The Girl in the Steel Corset (The Steampunk Chronicles).

*Let's just be clear about that.  I am no fool!  

*Furthermore, I do not like books published by that company which rhymes with Shmarlequin.

*Huggy, kissy, stupid stuff, I say!!!

*So don't expect me to say that I liked Finley Jayne.  I won't say it!!!  You can't make me!!!  Not even if you shake me really hard!!


*i kind of did like it...don't tell.

*Soul Identity was another free download from my provider of choice and a really good deal considering it was a full length novel.  

*I don't know as I'm truly invested enough to get the next one in the series, but time will tell.  It was a pretty good book, though.

*Now I'm re-reading some old favorites and working through my choices for the next series of downloads.

*I'll get back to you when I decide.

*I need to get myself together now.  I have to try some dinner.

*Maybe more soup.  I don't feel shaky so I think the soup was the best choice.

*And feed the cats who don't care if I am rocking, rolling, shaking and hurling.  They want to be fed on time.

*This has been made clear to me over the past few days.

*Plus I need to go find something to wear tomorrow that is suitable for the locating of pencils and other educational supplies.

*Let's hope the rainy weather doesn't make for a shaky trip to school!

It hasn't been the week I was planning, that is for sure.  I guess I figured I'd put off getting to school because this is what I do every year, but I honestly thought it would be more of an avoidance thing instead of a stomach bug with a side of Miniature Leftover Earthquake Shakes.  Let's hope that things start to look a little more like the plan tomorrow.

Because Friday is spoken for and will not be a school organization day.  We are all going to the vet.  Which is going to be the very definition of shaky!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WNBP: Cackle-Worthy

Here at the manse, we are continuing to try and make some use of the last few days of summer vacation.  At least, I like to think that is what I am doing.   There is also a very strong possibility that I am fooling myself and spending far more time dithering away the hours than I am willing to admit.

Here's your Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  Either way, I can say that I got that done.  Truth be told, everything I put on the "completed" side of the to-do list makes me giggle just a little bit.

*Every Wednesday morning, I go through the same internal debate regarding the need to perform The Weekly Visit With The Vegetables.

*There is a very loud voice in my brain that seems to be of the opinion we are really all set with the veggies.

*I've overcome this voice each week and made it over to the farmer's market.

*I've only got a couple more trips left in this summer and I want to make the most of it.

*To date, I've canned:

*7 pints of potatoes

*3 half pints of homemade relish (that's plenty for one gal's winter hot dog consumption, I swear it!)

*4 pints of wax beans

*7 pints of green beans

*3 pints of salsa (probably not enough but I'm bored with it already...)

*3 pints of carrots

*And will do more of them tomorrow.

*I can in small batches because I have the attention span of a toddler.

*And a limited desire to eat vegetables.

*Although I must admit I've done better with that since I've been putting up my own.

*Sometimes I go look at all those pretty glass jars all lined up and waiting for me to rediscover them in winter and I begin to giggle.

*It's more of a cackle, really.

*Kind of disturbing if you want the truth...

*Upgrading my cable subscription meant getting all sorts of nifty new benefits.

*And the return of some stuff I lost in the digital transition years.

*I've spent part of today catching up with Dr. Who.  (Doctor Who: Series Six, Part 1)

*I knew there was a brand new Doctor, but it took me a while to accept him.

*I'm getting better with it now...

*Law And Order: UK confuses me a little bit. (Law & Order UK: Season One)

*Keep expecting The Doctor to show up.

*Freema Agyeman is one of the lawyers...

*And I'm told there is going to be more in the way of Dr. Who confusion coming up in the new season.

*Dr. Who on Law And Order...that makes me giggle, too!

*As I was checking the All Heck Has Broken Loose And The End Of The World Is Nigh Supply Shelves today, I realized that I somehow managed to stockpile over 70 cans of cat food.

*I don't know how to feel about that.

*On one hand, it really does smack of Crazy Cat Lady With Conspiracy Theory Issues.

*On the other hand, I don't have to go out in a snowstorm to get cat food the next time school is cancelled and I forget to go to the store.

*I heard that giggle/cackle again while I was staring into the supply closet.

*I am a little worried about me.

*Did I mention that I read Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family)?

*I can't remember if I told you that.  I read it.  

*A while ago, actually...

*It was OK.  Not my favorite, but good.

*But I looooooved Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel!

*So funny!  And you get to read about people who are calling each other rather vile names but it's OK because they are saying it in British!

*And New Zealand-ish.  Which is not Australian-ish and you want to be clear on that beforehand.

*Insults in British are very cultured and classy so it's OK to call people names.

*At least to my ears...

*Very good tale and a nice slice of Victorian alternate history.

*At last, I felt ready to tackle The Magician King: A Novel.

*I read it in two days.  Devoured it.

*Better than the first one.  (The Magicians: A Novel)

*But you don't want to read the sequel without having read the original.  

*Even I had moments of "Wait...what? Who is that?  Why are they here?  Do I already know them?"

*And I just finished The Magicians!

*Can't imagine how confusing it would have been without a primer.

*Then, just for fun, I read The Magnificent 12: The Call.

*It was a "between paychecks freebie download."   I gave it a shot.

*Freebies don't always work out so well.

*It's awesome!  It's straight up kiddie lit.  Middle grade for sure.

*But beyond funny and really very sharply written.  

*The marketing strategy worked.  I'll no doubt spring for the sequel!

*I like kid's books.  I teach kids.  I think it's good to know what's available for them.

*Plus I like YA literature and am thrilled to have an excuse to keep reading it as an adult.

*Makes me giggle, but not cackle because that is disrespectful to the printed word.

*Now I'm reading Day by Day Armageddon.

*I like it, but I happen to enjoy the genre.  I can understand how others might find it a little slow.

*Day by day journal entries detailing the end of the world as we know it.

*These are your nice, well-behaved zombies who conform to tradition.

*They shamble, never run and fall down decently when someone scores a head shot.

*I appreciate it when the undead respect the rules.

*Again, I do not laugh.  Nor giggle.  Nor cackle.

*Don't want to attract any undue, undead attention...

*I'm giggling on the inside.

And so goes another Wednesday as we count down the last of the summery ones.  Only two more left before I'm back to adding school-related bullet points to the post.  Those are often some of the funnier ones and I'm certain that they will make me giggle.

For now, though, I find the sight of my well-stocked supply cabinet and afternoon naps far more cackle-worthy...


Monday, August 15, 2011

We Shall Overcome

I have a longstanding love/hate relationship with the cable company.  On one hand, they have managed to create some of the most frustrating and irritating moments in my life.  On the other...they provide me with TV.  I love TV.  TV is good.

For the most part, my love of TV is enough to keep me from doing things that might be considered rash or ill advised.  Like chasing cable trucks with loaded weaponry after being made to wait four days six hours and twenty eight minutes for a service technician.

Still, one has to take a stand at certain points and I took mine when the digital switch came about.  I had a digital television.  I had standard cable.  I did not have a digital cable box, however.  Hence, I went to the cable company's website to see about this new and exciting development in the life of TV.  There, I discovered they were trying to pull a fast one!  Oh, they are cunning devils over there at the cable company!

They were trying to make it look all complicated and trick people into scheduling one of those service calls that make me want to chase the trucks!  I happened to know that this wasn't necessary and that one could "self-install" a digital box quite easily.  They were most certainly not fooling me.  I was smarter than that and I would punish them for this slight upon my intelligence!

I would not get a digital cable box.  I would sit happily in my living room with my standard old cable.  It was just fine, thank you very much.  It even had a few high def. channels.  Sure, I lost a lot of stations when the transition took place, but I could live with that.  I was Striking A Blow For The Little Guy and Withholding Money From The Evil Corporation!

That would get them, for sure.  Because it was less money to not get the box and keep my old cable subscription.  It was (and try not to gasp aloud on this one, folks)...SEVEN WHOLE DOLLARS CHEAPER PER MONTH!

Frankly, I am nothing short of an inspiration to protesters for social betterment everywhere.  If only I'd been around to advise Gandhi and the like...

Last Friday, however, I got to thinking.  It had been quite a while since I began this campaign of terror.  Why, some of the people now working at the cable company probably weren't even born when I first launched my protest, right?  Perhaps it was time to let them off the hook.  Just a little bit.

I had to go over to the local office anyway.  I sort of took the protest too far and forgot to pay the cable bill.  The big, evil conglomerate might have taken the loss of my seven dollars per month stoically, but they were a little less calm when I neglected them altogether.  I needed to scoot over there and drop off a check before my scanty cable services disappeared.

I'm a mighty force for change and a beacon of hope in this world, but I don't think I deserve to live without Nickelodeon...

I left the cable offices with my bill paid in full and a gi-normous box of cable-y goodness under my arm. I even sprung for the DVR.  Having suffered to make my point for so long, I felt that giving the cable company a taste of what they could have had all these years was perfectly acceptable.  I'm certain they are now regretting their lack of clarity when it came to digital cable boxes and the installation thereof.

I expect any day now to receive a certified letter from The President Of All Things Cable filled to the brim with apologies and heartfelt thanks for the second chance.  I shall receive it graciously and not indulge myself in petty I-told-you-so's.

Meanwhile, I am quite pleased to be joining you all in the 21st century.  The new cable box is magical.  It can turn back time, allow me to go to bed at a reasonable hour without missing good programming and freeze itself in order that I might use the restroom as needed.  It's really very accommodating.  I am falling in love with TV all over again now that the long protest is over.

Of course, it was probably poor judgement to do this right before the start of the new school year.  I'll have to leave my shiny new cable box behind in a very short while.  Looks like I'll be using that DVR a lot more in the near future...


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WNBP: A Very Rainy Wednesday

My August-Induced Lethargy continues unabated.  Today the whole situation was made worse by the addition of pittery-pattery raindrops that inspired nothing but napping.  This is not helping me in my quest to finish up as much as humanly possible before the school bells tolls.

I shall rouse myself enough to do a few bullet points for you, though.  Because it is Wednesday and I like to think of myself as the sort of gal who honors tradition no matter what the weather.

*I have to start thinking about getting up earlier.  It takes me a while to reset the internal clocks.

*I spent all of July getting up stoopid early.  Couldn't seem to get the hang of vacation.

*Now I'm really quite settled into the vacation routine.

*Just in time to begin the process of retraining my brain back to school time...

*Almost didn't make it to the Farmer's Market this morning.  Too rainy.

*Too gray.

*Too much like a Sleep In Until Christmas kind of day.

*I got up.  I put on shoes.  I bought some green beans.

*I feel better for having done it.

*Frankly, I was kind of happy to be out of the house since staying home meant continuing with unknitting that inch of sock that I made by mistake.

*The Farmer's Market is right next to the discount store I frequent.

*I wanted to go there because the last time I went they had that organic, grain-free cat food approved by my vet for .99 cents a can.

*It's, like, a buck thirty at the grocery store.

*I snagged twenty cans last time to put in the Just In Case We Are Trapped And Unable to Shop Cupboard.

*AKA the End Of The World Is Nigh Supply.

*First rule of stockpiling:  Determine Need.

*Cats need to be fed.  If you do not feed them things they like, they shred your curtains in a highly passive aggressive fashion.

*They also tend to eye your toes alarmingly when they think you are asleep.

*The cat food was still on sale.  But now it was down to two for a dollar.

*That's .50 cents a can!!!

*Second rule of stockpiling:  Determine Storage Potential.

*There is nothing to be gained by buying a bunch of stuff that is expiring as you make the drive home.

*Cans were checked, expiration dates reviewed.

*Everything intact.  Many, many moons before I have to start force feeding the felines multiple servings.

*I bought another forty cans of cat food.

*And then shut down not one, but two check-out lanes as the cashiers and I discussed the joys of cat ownership and the lengths to which we will go in order to ensure the health and happiness of our little fur babies.

*We compared vets, health complications and diets.  I learned a little something about the healing benefits of kitty acupuncture.

*Yes.  Other customers are, as we speak, complaining about me over the dinner table to anyone who will listen.

*For the record, I did not initiate this conversation.  I just bought forty cans of cat food.

*I'll probably be going back for more once payday rolls around...

*Query:  When did I become a person old enough that the movies of my youth are now ready to be "remade?"

*Probably right around the time I became the sort of person who giggles over cat food sales...

*I finished The Magicians: A Novel.

*Haven't gotten The Magician King: A Novel yet, though.  It came out yesterday or the day before that or something along those lines but I'm not quite ready.

*I needed something different so I decided to pick up Twilight Eyes.

*I like Dean Koontz.  Except for when I don't.

*This was an odd book and a little hard to get into at first.  Frankly, I found the main character to be kind of unlikeable.  A little whiny....although heaven knows he had good reason to be.  Still, I didn't connect.

*In the second half of the book, he suddenly seemed to grow up.  It was almost as if I was reading another novel entirely.  I liked him ever so much more in spite of the fact that little time had passed book-wise.

*Turns out, there was a very good reason for that.  Sometimes it's worth reading the afterword.

*You get to find out all about how the original novel changed and was expanded upon.

*And Mr. Koontz is very funny.  Especially when discussing his overwhelming desire to shoot television executives in the foot.

*Something we've all contemplated at one point or another...

*The following video is not being presented as an example of the World's Lamest Flash Mob.

*It might make Honorable Mention...but not the actual lamest.

*Frankly, you have to give them props for making the most of a limited budget and a dire situation.

*Plus it was raining.

*And let's face it.  If more people were adopting cats at the moment, this sort of thing wouldn't be necessary now would it?

I wasn't there, of course.  I was home putting away cat food and napping in time to the raindrops.  Which isn't such a bad way to spend a Wednesday, especially when you've got a nice, warm, well-fed cat or two to share the sofa.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Time To Get It Together!!!

July was really a long month, when you think about it.  I mean that in the actual sense of the word as opposed to that feeling that a month is going on forever and ever with no end in sight.  July was truly a respectable length as months go.  It had 31 days and everything.  It even came with an extra Friday/Payday in it and that is kind of a nice thing to happen during the summer vacation.

(My district holds back a certain amount of my wages in order that I might receive equal paychecks year-round.  Hence, I do still draw checks during the vacations rather than have to figure out a way to not spend my money all willy-nilly without adult supervision.)

In spite of being a month that anyone would be proud to know and with enough days in it to merit bragging, I still managed to put off a great deal.  I've mentioned it before and will probably continue to mention it right up until next summer when it's time to do it all over again.  And, as I always do, I swore to myself that August was not going to be a month of messing around.  This time, by God, I was going to catch up!

Of course, the first week of August required a little bit of rest.  That much was my due.  My parent's 50th anniversary party came at the end of the previous month and, for reasons that don't entirely make sense, I found myself kind of anxious about the whole affair.  Basically, I managed to lie awake night after night worrying that no one was going to come and that I would go down in the history books as The Worst Daughter To Ever Walk The Planet And How Dare She Show Her Face What With Her Utter Lack Of Parental Appreciation!!!

Seriously.  A literal month of tossing and turning.  With that refrain playing over and over in my head. It was great for staying up and knitting, though.  Except for the part where I knit a forty five inch foot on a sock because who can pay attention with unfounded angst going on like that?

So, as you can plainly see, a week of lounging about for the first week of August was something I needed.  It was therapeutically necessary.  Any doctor would have said the same.  Not mine as she was on vacation at the time, but any other.  I'm certain of this.  And I used my time well, thank you very much.  I used it to plan what I was going to do starting the second week in August because the time has come to stop fooling around.  This may be summer vacation, but there are things I put off, darn it.  Things that have resulted in my living in squalor and with possible smells in my near future should I hesitate any longer!

Let's get it on, housework!  Let's do this thing!!!  The insomnia is gone and I'm rested up somethin' fierce!

I overslept this morning.  But I rallied!  I managed to drag out a bag of trash and get the shower curtain liner changed before lunch rolled around.  Once I hit my stride, there was little to stop me.  I took a moment to survey my domain and determine what weighty task would next be crossed off my list!

Then I spent the rest of the day playing computer games...


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

WNBP: August Is The Cruelest Month

August is here and, from this educator's perspective, it has arrived far too soon.  This is the month that truly marks the end of summer vacation.  While I still have plenty of days left, I can no longer avoid checking my school email and it is highly likely that someone is going to want me at a meeting at some point over the next couple of weeks.  I also have to start reviewing those lessons I tucked away in June for future reference to see if I can remember why on earth I thought they were such a grand idea for the kids.  Then there is that dreaded trip into the classroom to put it all together and finally admit that it is really and truly over.

I miss July.  July is the month where I get to avoid thinking about all that stuff.  However, since there is nothing I can do about it at the moment, I will go ahead with the Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  Bullet points are ever so festive and distracting, after all!

*The weather has taken a truly delightful turn.  So cool and pleasant!  Such a nice change from the heatwave!

*Of course it is also a reminder of the autumn temperatures to come, but I think this is a sacrifice I am willing to make after what this summer put me through.

*Guess who shouldn't have complained about not making much progress on the sock?

*That'd be me.  

*Knit the foot an inch too long and now must rip back lest I have socks that don't feel exactly the same.

*Socks must feel exactly the same.  Must.  

*I go crazy if they don't.

*Guess I was making more progress than I thought...

*Left the stupid, non-conforming sock at home today so I could go do my weekly Visit With The Vegetables.

*I am making salsa tomorrow.

*I have already peeled and chopped the 'maters because that is the job that makes me want to leap out the window.

*Messy.  Pulpy.  Slimy.

*Don't feel like making salsa after that.

*But, if it's already done, then I am simply giddy about the making of the salsa!

*I have enough for three pints which seems like very little product for all that tomato goo on my counters but I enjoyed having homemade salsa last winter so I'm going for it.

*I like it in scrambled eggs.

*I also liked my homemade relish but I don't need to make that again because I already did it.

*No reason for mentioning that.  I just felt like telling someone that I made relish again this year.

*I have mixed feelings about not taking any of the celebratory cupcakes home after my parents' anniversary party.

*We had leftovers.  They were good cupcakes.  

*I miss those cupcakes.  

*But I think I did the right thing in leaving them behind.

*Sometimes I hear them crying out for me, but that might just be a cupcake delusion.

*My parents took the cake top home so no comments about stealing confections from them!!!

*God...the more I say, "cupcakes" the worse the compulsion gets!!!

*Need to think about something else.  Like the awesome fresh onions I picked up today.  

*And the summer squash I got last week but didn't eat.

*Should eat that instead of cupcakes.

*Would be nice to not have to buy an entire new wardrobe for school this year...

*The phone just rang.  Was hoping it was the doctor's office since I am out of meds and she is on vacation this week.

*Need that prescription.  They are working on getting it together for me.

*Has to be on paper.  Can't be called in per order of the government.

*I guess I should have thought about people taking vacations in August.

*Isn't everyone thinking about work right now????

*Not the doc's office.  Just someone who wanted to hang up on me.

*With few days left as a full-time reader, I am doing my best to put away the pages.

*Finished The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart.

*Bad people come to a bad end.

*That is as it should be even if you maybe found yourself cheering for them a little bit over the course of the novel.

*Quiet cheering that no one else could hear because, well...they are VERY BAD PEOPLE!

*And they are not alone, it seems.

*Johannes Cabal the Necromancer is not very nice either.

*Yet, every once in a while you see this little glimmer of hope for him and you get all excited.

*He never seems to be able to stay the course for long.

*Apparently, I was firmly entrenched in some sort of anti-hero thing for a while there.  Besides, the poor guy has issues and maybe even a good reason for why he is how he be.

*Johannes Cabal the Detective was unavoidable.

*In spite all the character flaws, once can't help but love this guy.  I'm a sucker for a witty cad, it would seem...

*Now I'm reading The Magicians: A Novel.

*Here's a book where you can almost literally see the author waving to you gaily from the corner of the page as he shouts, "Hi!  I blatantly ripped off Harry Potter and the Narnia books and have no guilt about that whatsoever!  Enjoy!!!"

*And you know what?

*I DO enjoy!  It was a best seller for a reason and this adult version of YA novels works brilliantly.

*No.  There is no Hogwarts.  And I've yet to see the appearance of a magical wardrobe.  It's not that much of a carbon copy.

*But the influences are clear and the book is all the better for that being put right out there.

*Am hoping to read The Magician King: A Novel before the curtain closes on this summer vacation 'o mine!

Yes, it is time for me to start cranking through a lot of the stuff I wanted to get finished this summer.  It is going to go faster from this point on, if past years are any indication.  I honestly don't know how that happens but it does.

Part of the cruel plan, I think...


Monday, August 01, 2011

A Long Time

It's been a Long Time since I've finished a knitting project.  It's not that I'm not knitting...I am.  I've been stitching away whilst riding the little exercise bike in the mornings, but it isn't really getting me any closer to a pair of socks, it seems.

The bike rides seem to be taking a Long Time, though!

Now that August is here, I can't help but start thinking about how Long the school year is and how short the rest of my vacation looks by comparison.  It is time to start thinking about lessons and the floor plan for the classroom so I don't end up doing it all ten minutes before the kids get there.  Again...

I had a dentist appointment on Friday morning and that seemed to take a very, very Long Time.  In truth, it wasn't any longer than any other dentist appointment, but they always seem endless.  Of course, it is worse when they find a cavity and there is less time between saying, "good-bye" to the dentist and, "hello again." I suppose I should be grateful for the six month reprieve.

I left my dentist appointment to meet up with my sister-in-law and great niece.  Since my niece and her family moved out of state, it is a Long Time between visits with the kids and I was giddy to have the opportunity to spend some time with at least one of the young 'uns.  Furthermore, I always love visiting with my Bonus Sister.  However, my arrival at her house heralded the beginning of two very Long Days there.  Busy days fraught with phone calls and shopping and measuring and chopping and more dragging of tables than is really necessary in anyone's life.  Those two days were about three hundred hours in total and that is a very, very Long Time indeed.

I don't always do well with things that take A Very Long Time.  Frankly, I think we have all gotten a little impatient nowadays and A Very Long Time just isn't something that is really appealing anymore.

Some people are still pretty good at it though.  It's rare, but a truly amazing and wonderful thing to behold should you be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of skillful time wrangling.

I wasn't able to be there the first time two hands came together to grasp a silver handle and celebrate that first day of the that first year.  This, I suppose, is one of the drawbacks to not having been born yet.  There wasn't much to be done about it at the time.

However, I was privileged to be present on Saturday when those hands touched that same silver fifty years later.  A Long Time isn't so bad, really.  In fact, it is sometimes something to be celebrated.

Happy Anniversary, Mommy and Daddy Sheep!!!