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Location: Upstate, South Carolina, United States

I think that the Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch," summarizes me rather nicely. Or, if you prefer, X. dell says I'm a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance...that also works!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Beautiful Weekend

I had a great weekend. I realized this time that we ARE a family unit in every major sense of the word (me, Alex, the kids). Alex acts as their father, and the kids treat him as a spare dad too. I had these visions when I had children that we'd be able to do activities like a family and have some sort of cohesion, but that only happened briefly with Ariana, and then when I became pregnant with Jared, it all fell apart. The children never had mealtime together, and activities were not usually fun due to either dad being absent or dad and mom squabbling. Then we did the single mom thing...sure, the three of us did some fun stuff, but again, it wasn't the whole two-parent plus kids setup I had dreamed of both times when I was pregnant.

Well, now we're a family. Alex doesn't care about what people think just like me. I could SO get a chiquita banana sticker on his nose! We went to see Wallace and Gromit: Attack of the Wererabbit with Ariana and Jared on Saturday (it was fantastic by the way), and all four of us acted like we took stupid pills. That means, of course, that all four of us had a wonderful time. We danced around in the car and sang to MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This"--the version on the Shark Tales bonus cd--and then walked single file, Jared-Ari-Me-Alex, hands on each other's shoulders chanting, hup two three four! hup two three four! and marching from the parking lot into the theatre. Ari baked dessert for us in her Easy Bake Oven. Alex played with the kids on the PS2 while I fixed dinner. We went shopping together and laughed and joked while doing so. Alex bathed Jared and cleaned up after dinner; I did laundry and helped Ari with her Easy Bake cake (and that's only AFTER Alex had creatively used a knife to open up the little oven and insert the light bulb we had bought for it that day). When it was time for bed, Alex read to them as I folded laundry, and I could hear his voice clearly. At peace, I was. Like Yoda, I just sounded.

I have always wanted this situation. I really, really have. I know it's hard on me AND the kids to only have it on weekends, and I know that somewhere of course they would have wanted/preferred this situation with their father, but at least we have it now regardless.

So, to further illustrate my daughter's insane perceptions for a seven year old, let me tell you what happened at lunch on Saturday. We were at Laura's Favorite Place (IE, Panera bread) and I mentioned a troubling dream I had the night before. All I said was, in a neutral voice, "I had an unpleasant dream last night. (Alex's boss), of all people, came to tell me that I wasn't treating you like you deserve, and he listed off all the ways I wasn't being great to you," I told Alex. Ariana listened intently, and then watched Alex immediately pat my right hand and state, "Kira, listen to me, you TOTALLY deserve this relationship and me! Completely!" He looked very concerned, and he was obviously certain that he had interpreted the dream correctly. Then ARIANA added in her two cents' worth! I shit you not...my little girl then mirrored Alex's look of concern and patted my left hand and said....no really, this is it, word for word, and Alex can back me up...

"Mommy! Listen to me! Alex loves you very, very much and NOTHING will EVER change that, ok?"

Holy cow! I actually started laughing at that point because my daughter's obvservation had bowled me over. I see she has an option of being a good therapist one day if she wanted it! I guess maybe they were both right in some sense. I keep wondering when this will all go away. When it's good, it doesn't stay this good, right? But it has. For a while. Amazing.

All right, this time change is sending me for a loop. I think I will nap before grading. Man, I HATE grading. Have I mentioned that yet?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I am an Aes Sedai

Isn't my daughter gorgeous? (You can click to make it bigger)

I'm crap at lying. I can't do it. Everybody would know if I lied...my body language will show it alone. However, I CAN evade. I'm the most evasive woman ever if I don't want to reveal information. It's a skill, really. I feel like I'm the finest of the Aes Sedai from Jordan's Wheel of Time series. They aren't allowed to lie; they ARE allowed to evade, and so the words out of their mouths are not often the straight truth.

An example of this behavior reared its head today when I was at an awards presentation for my daughter. Ariana received this award called the "Terrific Kid" award at her school. One child from each grade is selected. The word terrific is supposed to stand for: thoughtful, enthusiastic, respectful, responsible, inclusive, friendly, inquisitive, capable. She had no idea that we'd be there today, nor that she was getting the award. The ex and I received letters in the mail about it and told to RSVP (note: I had to force my ex to RSVP. He complained. He wanted me to do it. Well, the farthest I'll go is to tell you that if you don't, you can't show up! I think he called). I was upset at first because I have class at that time.However, my boss is great and she said to cancel class so I could attend. Yay! After watching this little ceremony, I had breakfast with the ex and an excited Ariana. We discussed future dates for him to have the kids. I stated that next Friday would be great because I had plans. "What plans?" he growled jealously.

I've had issues lately with the ex being very jealous of Alex, and it's made me uncomfortable. I didn't want to say, well on Friday I drive down two hours, fetch Alex, drive back. He stays the night. Then we go with Angie and Amanda to the Clemson/Duke game. Then I need Sunday free because I drive him home. We were having a lovely morning, and I had no desire to remove the focus from my daughter.

"Oh, going to the Clemson/Duke football game," I replied.

"With whom?" he said, looking at me suspiciously.

"Angie and Amanda!"

Note: there is no lie in that sentence. I just neglected the part wherein I also was taking Alex. Well, he assumed that the three of us were going on another Drunkfest 2005 escapade, so he grinned and then babbled about how great it was that I have friends to hang out with and how fantastic it is that I socialize more nowadays. Well, yes, I couldn't disagree with that one, dear ex! We discussed the tailgating aspect, and then the topic was switched. Whew!


Tonight's wine review: Smoking Loon Merlot 2003, a California wine. It's my first taste of this wine, and I have to say I really am enjoying it. There's a berry flavor to it with a very faint hint of oak. Maybe vanilla oak? I dunno. I'm just adjusting to this "orienting my tastebuds and focusing" type of deal with wine. I was raised with occasional fine wines on my palate, and it's sort of like learning a language: the earlier, the easier it is from thenceforth. So, I KNOW I can learn. I just need to train *coughs* and drink more wine *coughs again* Anyway, it's a cheap bottle of wine really at approx. $8, and I rather like it. I seem to be very fond of merlot and shiraz these days. I love the rhone wines too, but that's a similar grape, so no surprise there. That is, the French label by region, not grape varietal, so if I say I like rhone wines, it can mean either white or red wines from that region (they have both). I mean reds, and the usual grape in the northern rhone region is the syrah for the reds, which is the same thing as a shiraz. I love that spicy quality the rhones and the aussie shiraz has! Mmmmm Rhones like hermitage or cotie rotie or chateauneuf du pape. Although technically, a chateauneuf du pape would be from southern rhone so there might be some grenache or mourvedre grapes in there with the syrah. YUM!

I don't drink alcohol that tastes like shit. What's the point?


So, wanna see the letter Ariana's teacher wrote to her for the award she received?

I chose Ariana Newton as Terrific Kid!

I look out over my classroom, and I spy a tossled-haired, brown-eyed child with an eager look on her face. Ariana is very interested in learning something new. And she always has important facts to bring to her classmates. She is kind and considerate. She's very smart but doesn't want to brag about it; she only wants to help others. She always thinks the best of others, too. Ariana makes a great "Terrific Kid!" She makes a great role model for her peers!

(then the teacher signed it)

Yeah, that's MY BABY! *struts to and fro proudly* OH yeah, OH YEAH! MY DAUGHTER!


I dropped by to see Jared in his classroom for a moment before I left the school since I was already there. He wanted to know why I was at school. I told him that I came to see Ariana receive an award. Jared's response?

"Where's MY award?"

HAHAHA! I told him, well, maybe next time, honey...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


So, this is me at like 21 or so. Yes, it's chain mail...I'm a geek, and I thought it was COOL to have something vaguely like Red Sonja. And of course that's a sword. Anyway! I've never been a horridly modest person. I usually walk around my apartment nude unless the weather is too chilly to permit it. So, when I was around the age you see right there in that picture, I was walking around my apartment off of Duke University's West Campus in the nude. I needed to fetch my book off of the end table in the living room. So, there I was, walking into the living room and boom! I turned and realized I had left the blinds open.

The sliding glass door faced the parking lot.

A guy around my age had pulled up into the parking lot. He was gripping the wheel with a vice-like clamp, whites of his knuckles visible from inside my place. Jaw dropped, he stared straight into my apartment as if all his prayers had been answered. Laughing, I grabbed a blanket and my book, wrapping the cloth around me as I backed up--slowly, because I just couldn't stop enjoying his priceless facial expression--back out of view of the sliding glass doors.

Once out of his sight, I scampered back to my bedroom and pulled back my drapes a bit so I could see what the guy was doing. Yup, still staring. I laughed, put my book down, started to read it and wondered...had he left now? Peeking back out, what did I see?

Yeah. Still staring.

I laughed more and settled back into my book, shaking my head. I still wonder how long it took him to realize that the naked lady wasn't coming back!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Another Monday

Well, it's the start of another week, and once again all I can think is, "How long 'til Friday?" Fridays are my benchmark to reach. On Fridays, I get to see Alex. Then life is good until I leave on Sunday.

News of the century: it appears the ex has indeed managed to get his law license back. Now I just need to find out when he starts up work again...and I'm DYING to find out if they are making him stay dry on alcohol as well as drugs for two years like they typically do in such cases! I'm almost scared what would happen if he went completely sober. He's already managed some emotional growth of note when he stopped the drugs. He's reduced the drinking to very little when the kids are around, but he still gets drunk over half the time because when he's alone, that's what he's been doing. Just this last week he has started some behavior that has surprised me, too. Well, in that he is acting towards me like he used to before all the problems started in 2000. One problem: we're not married now, and I have no idea what to do when he starts calling me flattering names and being affectionate towards me. I don't want to hurt him. I really, really don't. Sure, I hurt a heck of a lot during the breakup, but once the pot was taken away from him he was able to feel pain too. There's enough OUCH going on here without more added. I don't get it! WHY is he so nice now? WHY is he being this way? He could have had me at any time before Jan. of 2002 when I cracked for the final time. Why wait until after a divorce and years later to behave "right?" It's the great question that shall remain unanswered. I know I shouldn't feel guilty that he still seems to love me. I mean, I can't control his emotions. But for some reason, I DO feel guilty. Why? Is it that guilt is just so easy for me to feel? He needs to meet a nice woman who will be good to my kids. Now that he'll be employed, I'm sure he can find somebody. Then, after he falls in love again, life would be good...right?

Oh well.

It's cold, so I had cheese grits this am. I never wanted to try grits. They were forced on me a decade ago by my former boss when I had moved to SC, and I decided I liked 'em. But, I only like them if a) they have cheese or LOTS of butter in them and b) they are WARM. Cold grits = nasty.

When I was at the kids' museum the other weekend with Alex and children, there was a weight and height mechanism. Yay, I'm 5'2", which is just how high I knew I was. Then I stared at the weight. See, I'm obsessive/compulsive, so I don't own a scale. When I owned one, I weighed myself about 23 times a day (and no, I'm not exaggerating). What do I weigh after I pee? What do I weigh after dinner? After I wake up? After I wake up and THEN pee? How about after exercise? Before bed? In the middle of the night? Oh man, it was awful. So I got rid of the scale. Nasty piece of shit.

Well, that means that the last time I weighed myself was when I weighed something decent, honestly. I knew I was popping out of my pants, but wow, 17 lbs heavier than I should be? I couldn't have guessed that. I think that since my weight gain tends to go to T&A, it just doesn't LOOK like 17 lbs more, you know? There's only one way around it: diet and/or exercise. You know what? I am not ready to do that with motivation yet. I know that I'm not. I can feel the shrug of oh well when I think of restricting my food intake at all. I haven't reached that point yet...you know the one...when you say, I'm NOT happy with myself and so I AM going to change! Period! Yup. Not there. Instead, I'm at the point of, "Somebody wave a magic wand. I don't want this here." Nobody's offered yet. Aw, shit.

Still, on some level it is bothering me. I wonder what will happen next? It's hard to take weight loss seriously when your boyfriend tells you 30 times a day that your body is perfect and sexy. It'd definitely only be for ME if I tried to lose weight. But...self control? What's that? I think I know what will happen: mom will remark to me how fat I am repeatedly when I see her next, and that will guilt me into trying to lose weight. I don't think I'll see them until New Year's, so that's how long I have left to be here, I guess.

On a side note, Alex studies regularly and doesn't procrastinate. He actually does his work methodically and is very studious. What's that like? I admire him so much for being that way, but wow, I was never that dedicated as a student (he has to take the GMATs tomorrow for USC's business school, so he's been steadily plugging away at books and computer programs with problems from the GMAT on them).

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Student Evaluation Time

Amazingly, I received my spring evaluations back. Well, for four of my six classes. I didn't want them. I hate looking at evaluations because one well-placed crap comment can kill me for days. Therefore, I decided not to look at them when I pulled them out of my mailbox.

But...there they were.

I twitched in my car as they sat on my passenger seat. Should I look? No! No! No! Well, ok...

I can't believe it. I looked over the comment sheets, and the ONLY negative feedback I received was that I needed to grade papers faster (duh! I knew that!). Out of the 65 or so papers, I saw that only ONE person stated that he didn't want to have me as an instructor again...and he gave me excellent ratings on like 95% of the scores, so go figure (I'm assuming he or she knows I only teach English and hates English classes).

Most amusing comment? "Strengths...her attire and that she is a smart ass."

HAHA! My attire! That'd be Amanda-like shirts, I suppose! And me? A smart ass? Well, of course.

It's like today in the Writing Center. I kept having students making the more entertaining types of errors: "Homicides KILL more people every year than suicides do? Oh my god! I had NO idea murder killed people! I thought people and accidents and disease killed people, not homicide! Amazing!" etc. I can't control my mouth. It just comes out that way. Fortunately, smartass is an "in" quality!

My hands actually shook as I reviewed them. I still can't believe the lack of negative feedback. Are they all in the remaining two classes? I suppose it has to be, right? I mean, there HAVE to be folks who hated me. NO teacher can please everybody. Hell, no PERSON can please everybody.

I love this comment, as the student wrote exactly what I'd LOVE for all my students to feel: "Kira is always available for her students and does not make you feel beneath her. She is strict, but this only encourages a student to do her best. By far, this has been one of the best classes I've taken." That was for an Eng 101 class. I'm taking that evaluation to bed with me tonight. Sorry, Alex. I'm just going to cheat on you this once.

And then, one student proved that my smartass self rubbed off. When asked, "What changes would enable you to benefit more from this course?" he or she responded, "$1,000,000." HAHAHAHA!

Here's an honest answer to the same question: "I need to study more." What??? You mean...you are taking personal responsibility? WOW! I was stunned.

So, if I get the other two sets back, I'm not looking. The negative comment(s) must be hiding in those. I'm happy believing these four sets are all there is. So there!


Today I needed to draw up a quick map of England to describe to the geographically ignorant American students where Wales was in relation to Scotland and England. We have read Henry IV part 1, and rebellions are taking place in both Scotland and Wales in that play of Shakespeare's. Some of them didn't know where these places were located (sad, but that's another issue).

I don't know how, but my diagram ended up looking like a giant penis with the testicles shifted, leaning over to make Wales. They thought it was GREAT and just kept laughing. So, I deadpanned, "Ok, so Wales is the testicles of England, and Scotland? Yeah, Scotland is the head. Got it?" More laughter. They begged me to leave it up for the next class. Nope, I erased that sucker. But it left no doubt in my mind: I am not an artist. I can't draw for squat!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Magic of Lean Cuisine

Lean Cuisine frozen (crap) meals were on sale for $2 apiece at Publix this week. I bought two. I figured if I ate one of those things for a meal, I'd lose five pounds. That means two meals at 5 lbs a pop = 10 lbs lost. Surely we don't eat these things for nutrition or flavor, so I feel CERTAIN that's how they work! Abracadabra! Shazam! Gotta love that whole magic of Lean Cuisine!

Although since I don't own a scale, I doubt I'll ever be able to figure out that I lost my 10 lbs...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


No, this post has nothing to do with weasels, but I know Ency would love to see WEASELS up in lights, so there we go! I need to send that guy some cookies. I keep meaning to send him off a batch. He's at my alma mater...yes, I talked up DUKE to him and he headed on over there! Hof, don't choke. No, I didn't lead him down the path of evil. Believe it or not, Duke's a great school. Yes, Hof. REALLY. No I swear. I'm not shitting you...YES HOF I SAID IT IS TRUE!!! Oh stop it, Tarheel! :)

This post should make no sense. I'm in the middle of a mild anxiety attack, and I'm trying to self-medicate myself with a glass of wine. Basically, I used to get these suckers all the time before I went on zoloft, and then they happily disappeared for a year when I was on the zoloft. Bonus! Afterwards, they decided to hide most of the time, and for that I was grateful. I'm still grateful. These attacks are rare. Basically, my heart races and I have a feeling of impending doom. Usually, whatever horrid is to happen in my mind has nothing to do with what would likely happen. Today I'm fretting about everything that I can get my hands on, and most of it is oriented towards money. I'm just glad my anxiety attacks aren't as bad as A*'s! I'm not crying, sobbing, nor asking my children to fetch kleenex, so I'm ok, right? RIGHT? Bah. My heart is still racing, feeling like it will leap out of my chest. I would like more wine (even though I know I shouldn't use alcohol as medication, but hey I have no health insurance, so...). I can't have more wine because I have kids. What if Ari had an asthma attack, full blown, tonight? Yeah, exactly! I have to be able to think clearly and drive if the case required it. Sigh. So I let my heart palpitate.

Oh, I can't remember if I mentioned it, but Ariana has been placed on the all A honor roll! She still cracks me up. Her 100's are in: math, science, social studies. ONE HUNDRED. SHEESH! Then she gets barely A's in reading and language arts (reading comprehension and spelling, basically). Her weaker points are my strong points...ahhh, a real Mueller, she is! (that's my family...they are all math and science folks except me)

Ariana also made me laugh last night. She turned to me, solemnly, and stated: Mom, why is it "amen?" Shouldn't it be "awomen?" HAHAHAHA! God I love my kids. They so rock!

I think this teacher at work has a crush on me. I might be wrong. I don't know if any of you have this problem, but basically I can't pick up that a guy is interested until he sits on my lap nude and screams out FUCK ME! Then I get the hint. Sometimes. If he repeats the "FUCK ME!" line at least three times. Anyway, he's younger than me by a few years and a newbie at Premiere Tech. He's always smiling at me, running after me, asking me about this or that, and flirting a bit. See, it's the flirting that would be a clue to most folks, but seeing as how I am the biggest flirt in the world and it means nothing, I have no clue if flirting means anything to others.

Basically, here's a list of what I'll flirt with:

(but never ever roaches!)
(but not anything under 18...jailbait is not appealing)
(no rats though)

Do we get the idea? Yeah, I have a problem. I'm just lucky that Alex LOOOOOVES me just the way I am! I have had problems in the past of a man being enchanted with my flirty side, only to become insanely jealous if we then end up going out and I even give eye contact to a male (females? yeah, then he just says, can I watch?). Alex, on the other hand, GRINS when I do my saucy act. He thinks I am fantastic just the way I am, and he KNOWS he is the only man in my life. So, I can tease about whatever with whomever, and he just smiles and thinks to himself, she's mine! Aren't I lucky? But no, it's me who is lucky. I like being a flirt. Jealousy sucks.

And the topic shifts again. I had a friend in college named Sarah (yes, Joe, THAT Sarah) who was soooo jealous of me it drove me nuts. "He likes you better! Our friends favor you! You're dating (the ex), so why is that guy wanting down YOUR pants? Why not MINE?" etc. Drove me freakin' nuts. Ever known a gal like that? Brrrr. Jealousy is a nasty emotion. It's not like any real human is devoid of it; it's more like a DECENT person who LOVES his or her friends and significant other will curb it as appropriate. My friend Lee is a great example of this issue. I've known her since she was 17 and I was 13. We have been totally fantastic friends for decades now, and whenever anybody is great to me, her response is, "Of course they are. You rock!" And whenever a guy hits on me, her response is, "Of course he's smart enough to see that...you rock!" And whenever something GOOD happens to me, she grins as wide as she can and says, "THANK GOD, 'cause if anybody deserves that, it's YOU!" Now that's a friend. I have friends who aren't jealous of me and a man who appreciates my flirty side without being jealous too. LIFE IS GOOD!

So there's no reason to have the heart palpitations, right? Kids are healthy. Bills are (barely) paid. Boyfriend is so perfect he needs to be cloned (did I mention the 6 longstem red roses waiting for me, plus two gifts for the kids when we arrived last weekend? AND that he fetched a chocolate cream cheese muffin and hot cocoa for me both Sat. and Sun. before I woke up, PLUS a Sunday paper for me on Sunday????).

Life is good, so SHUT IT, heart!

Monday, October 17, 2005

My Children, Theologians

We're back now, and the trip to and from Columbia is getting to be old hat for me. Even the kids seem to not really blink about the trip, as it only takes two hours. The weekend was terrific! We had a great time at Edventure, the children's museum there. I had one perfect moment of peace as the kids and Alex played with plastic boats on this water obstacle course outside. The sun beat down through my hair as I watched Alex and Ari race boats and Jared run here and there pulling levers. The kids were beyond excited, and Alex was acting like a complete father to them. The weather was perfect, and so was my family.

Anyway, on the way down, my children found a little booklet left around the rest stop by...well, I guess they THINK they are Christian. I have a different concept of what that religious belief entails, I suppose. I have some damned misguided opinion that being Christian means being Christ-like and loving people and showing compassion. So, I rolled my eyes when my daughter picked it up. It had a picture of a green-faced man on the cover and the word SCREAM! was written in bold with an exclaimation point on it. Since it was laid out in cartoon format, the kids were excited. Bonus! Free reading material! I didn't see the harm in them reading it. In fact, I was very interested in hearing their feedback on the contents.

Here's the three main points that they discussed:

1) Jared decided that the man had a green face because he ate too much broccoli. I could not convince him otherwise. I think he is going to use this as an excuse to not eat broccoli from now on.

2) Jared also decided--after seeing how much of the contents discussed how everybody was going to hell except for those who followed this very specific path--how firemen should get some sort of bonus to be able to handle hell. After all, they had the fire equipment, right?

3) Ariana's comment, however, made me double check once again when she was born. Yes, I'm certain it was December 3, 1997. I was there, after all. But here was her comment right after she finished it, a scowl on her face. "It didn't work." WHAT didn't work, I asked? "They're trying to SCARE you into believing in God. It didn't work. That's not how you are supposed to do it." Well. Um. Yeah. Um. Seven year old, thanks. Good point.

Then Jared started fussing that he wanted to have the cartoon booklet because he wanted to see the scream part. The back part of the car then quickly reminded me I had two children, not two theologians, as they fussed over who got to keep the booklet.


So, yes, I'm behind on the grading still. My house is a mess. I still have girl scout meetings to balance along with time with Alex too. I need more hours in the day. I really don't want to eliminate sleep. I've done that before, and believe me, it's not the happiest solution. Even if I CAN function without sleep, having that nice long rest at night rejuvenates me. So, I'm petitioning for an extra two hours to each day. I'll use one for sleep and one to do work. Additionally, I would like to make the request that in those two extra hours, the kids BOTH sleep through BOTH of them so the extra awake hour is useful and productive. Please sign my petition and pass on to the deity of your convictions. Believe me, you can use two extra hours too. Parents note: your children, if under 18, would also be mandated to sleep during those two hours as well. Thanks!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

This Busy Weekend

Wow, the excitement burns! What a busy weekend!

First of all, Amanda and Angie are heading to Savannah this weekend. They will have a decadent, well-deserved break. If they don't eat something delicious in my honor, I'll be highly offended ;)

Secondly, I shall be heading to Columbia with the munchkins to visit Alex. The kids are WAY too excited. I'm amazed at how completely they've accepted Alex as the Bonus Dad. Even Jared, who usually prefers men neuter themselves and then jump off the balcony than get anywhere near HIS mom, loves Alex and has asked me like ten times since yesterday, "Can we see Alex NOW? Why do we have to wait?"

And thirdly, and MOST importantly....SC and his Redhead are getting married this weekend!!!! WOOOHOO! I know they'll have a great marriage and life together because SC has given EVERY indication that he knows exactly how to handle a Redhead! And believe me, that's a special talent. I think only younger men can truly do it right.


Ok, so the "I really like your brother, and I respect his TV" comment that Alex made a month ago has become the family joke. I told Ariana that Alex bought a TV for his apartment last weekend. She asked me how big it was. I said, "Well, it's only 20 inches because money is tight and he just wanted something that'd work for now." She shook her head and said solemnly, "That is NOT a TV to respect. How is he taking it?"

I swear, she doesn't act seven years old...haha!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

More News From No Social Filter Woman

Yeah, this one made even ME realize...oh shit, what did I say...and start laughing while my head was burried underneath my grading book.

So, we have this projector in the classroom. I was trying to figure out how we'd reach it when the kids did their speeches if they needed it for power point. I'm a midget, and this sucker was UP HIGH. One of the students pointed out that there should be a remote for the projector. I nodded and hunted for it because this idea made perfect sense to me.

Well, when I found it, this student from the front row asked for the remote to see how it worked. I agreed. He couldn't stop playing with the thing. I tried to start lecturing, and he wouldn't put the sucker down. He kept reducing the picture size gleefully. I told him to give me the remote. He did not want to give up the remote. It reminded me of a man asked to give up his penis. I suppose that's why I said what I said...well...uh....*coughs*

Me: Give me the remote

Him: Awww but I want it!

Me: Give me the remote

Him: Wait, wait! I can make it bigger!

Me: Oh god, I've heard THAT one before! HOW like a man!

Yes, the class lost it.

Yes, even for ME that one was a little awful...haha!

Oh well. At least nobody falls asleep in my classes.

On Being Grumpy

I realized after Alex and I talked on the phone last night quite a few things.

1) I was grumpy as shit without any reason related to him before I even came home. I'm cramping badly and fairly stressed about a dozen situations, and so even without Alex in the picture, I'm grumpy.

2) We were supposed to talk much earlier but couldn't because of a situation with his boss that, naturally, took priority.

3) Despite the fact that my brain knew Alex couldn't help the situation, I was determined to be pissed at him.

Ok, so with that set up, Alex would be screwed, right? I'm still not sure he did it, but he diffused my grumpy ass in about ten min. I was determined to be pouty and snappish, and it lasted less than ten minutes. Alex should be proud of himself. He truly knows how to deal with me like NO man has EVER done in my ENTIRE life, brothers and father included.

But the whole situation had me brooding and pondering for a while...what is it about being grumpy that makes us want to then make everything grumpy around us?

I mean, REALLY. What was the POINT of me trying to be snappish to Alex over something he couldn't help? Why did, on some level, I WANT a fight? Was that my way of releasing the Grumpy Monster? A new fishing program? Fuss and release instead of catch and release?

I can tell you honestly that I never want to fight again, yet why do I set up a situation that means the chances of fighting just increased 90%?

Oh come on, I can't be the ONLY person who has looked to her behavior and realized that she's responsible for trying to make a situation worse. So, WHY do we do it that way?


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A True Friend

A true friend sends you a copy of Firefly episodes on DVD AND sends you a new vibrator, just to say I love you.

I've decided that's my new definition of a great friend (Thanks Terry! Haha!).

Monday, October 10, 2005


Last night when I came back, tired and dehydrated (but believe me, Alex looks happily worse), I tried to scan my usual blogs to see what I missed. Sandra posted something that reminded me that I have been wanting to rant about my children's school and Halloween.

Halloween is all about rotting your teeth out and eating so much candy that you become sick. That's the point of it. Yes, yes, yes, I know ALL about the history of Halloween. I can tell you more about Samhain and the veil of the two worlds and the land of the dead than you would ever care to know. I know the folk tales and background to saying trick or treat, and all the religious significance the holiday has to pagans. I can talk about All Saints' Day and why the Christians decided to place that holiday on November first...oh yeah, we can go on for hours on this one.

I don't give a fuck. It's still about CANDY, and LOTS OF IT, eating until you PUKE.

Do we understand?

Now, my daughter and son go to the same school this year. Jared is in a preschool (K-4) program at the school, and Ariana is in second grade. This year we received the word from On High: NO CANDY.

Yes, that's right. No candy. We aren't allowed to bring in candy in any way, shape, or form for Halloween or any other activity the kids have. The kids get a Halloween party, a Christmas party, and an Easter party. They are only allowed to have treats and prizes. No candy. Nothing sweet. No cakes, no cookies, no lollipops, no candy corn, no airheads or pop rocks or sweet tarts or chocolates or or or or anything! Why, you ask? Yes, well, *I* asked. I was told that the school wanted to encourage healthier eating choices in the staff and students, and so therefore candy was to no longer be allowed for school functions during school hours. They DID--bless their noble hearts--allow an exception for the Fall Festival that took place the other week, but only because it took place on a Saturday and outside the school proper.

Now, I DO understand why the school does not have a soda machine for the children. Heck, we're talking K-4 through fifth graders here. I don't want my child to have free access to soda if she or he can scrounge up the change. The school already doesn't allow soda to be brought in the lunchbags of children, too. Ok, well, I think that it's not exactly crack or heroin, so if a parent wants to give his or her child a soda, that's the family's business, but whatever. My kids don't get sodas except when we go out for a special occasion treat (movies or out to eat generally), so that one didn't affect us, even though I DO believe that's a parental decision to make and not a school one.

But candy? You are telling me I can't give my three pound, two ounce daughter candy if I want? That she can't have some candy three times a year at the parties? What the hell? No, my daughter is not really less than four pounds, but shoot, she's not even hit 50 pounds yet and she's like 4 foot 3 inches tall. She's skinny. My child wears slims because regular pants fall off of her. Hell, sometimes the slims fall off of her tiny waist too. She eats good, well-balanced meals and as a reward, she can have....*GASP* I am a CRAP MOM...CANDY!!!! Her pediatrician has told me that although Ari is a picky eater, she eats from every food group in a nice, balanced way, and so the doctor is happy with her health status that way. But I can't, as a parent, choose to give my child candy on HALLOWEEN?

Defiant bitch that I am, my child has received a tiny starburst fruit chew or a smarties pack EVERY SINGLE DAY in her lunch since they told me that I, as parent, can't decide what my child eats. Her teacher looks the other way because her teacher thinks the policy is retarded too.

No candy for Halloween! It was bad enough when I was told that I was a Crap Mom also if I let my children eat cookie dough due to the salmonella threat. HAH! Got you BASTARDS THERE TOO! I BUY DAVIDSON'S PASTEURIZED EGGS! My daughter and son can eat all the godforsaken cookie dough they want without food poisoning in their eggs, so BACK OFF!

Like my kids won't be allowed to enjoy the pleasures of cookie dough *grumbles*

Please, school system. Don't take away any more of my kids' childhood. It's bad enough that we ask them to grow up so fast. Don't make it worse.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Just Checking In!

Hey guys! I don't even really have time to check emails or respond to them on this break because even when I'm not busy with Alex *cough*, I am grading my backlog of papers. I should be back to reading your blogs and emails and such when I head back Sunday evening.

These papers truly suck. It's been a few years since I had to teach English 155, and I forgot how Eng 155 at Premiere Tech seems to scrounge up the worst writers and place them in one convenient location.

They had to write a process analysis essay. That's a "how to do this" essay, or alternatively, "how something becomes something else."

Samples of butchered sentences I am attempting to grade will follow.

On a paper about "how to dye hair a different color," this sentence appeared:

Skin completion is a key factor in choosing the right color.

Now, far be it for me to point this out to my student, but...I believe skin COMPLETION is the key factor to LIVING, let alone what type of hair color would look best on you.

Or on this paper about "how to clean a bathroom," this sentence appeared:

However, in the bathroom, the toilet, sink, shower, and floor all have different ways of cleaning.

I just want to know, folks...how do I get toilets, sinks, showers, and floors that DO the cleaning???? I've never had those. Is it something you can buy if you have extra money? "Look, Toilet, I want you clean the bathroom because you're best at it. But Sink, I really believe you're best at kitchens, so you can start there."

Ok, somebody translate this one for me because I just can't figure it out:

If this example is not satisfied with this option, then highlights are not a bad alternative.

Yes, please hand me that crack when you're done with it, student! I can use some!

I had the same girl with the hair dye paper tell me that now I did not have to make an appointment at the saloon since I could dye my hair at home. At the SALOON? Hell, if I could get my hair done in a SALOON, I'd never consider at-home hair products again!

When I grade papers, I often am reminded of The Princess Bride. That is, "I do not think that word means what you think it means..."

Anyway, except for grading hell, I'm having a great time with Alex! Seeya later!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Goin' to Columbia

Yes, my friends, this afternoon I leave to head to Columbia to visit the wonderful Alex. I am SO looking forward to it. Usually in a relationship, I spoil the man to the best of my ability, but I've had little spoiling in return. With Alex, I am totally spoiled rotten in return, so I am bouncing in anticipation of some serious pampering here!

Of course, every woman has a different definition of pampering. Alex takes it to an extreme. My sister told him once, "You plan on making the bar SO HIGH that no other man can EVER fill it, and so she'll stick with you forever. That's what you're doing. Right?" To which Alex replied, solemnly, "You have seen through my evil plan."

He is, after all, the man who has strewn rosepetals across my bed...who remembered a year and a half later that I wanted blue satin sheets for my bed when I moved into my apartment and then BOUGHT them for me to wait for me on my doorstep...and who does sweet things like tumble out of bed before me, walk down to the little cafe that is in the business school building he goes to at USC, and bring me back a croissant and hot chocolate. I get nightly massages, and I don't EVER have to ask! WOOOHOO!

I can't afford a spa. Therefore, I go to Chez Alex for spa treatment.

I keep wondering, though, if I'll ever need all four of Alex's Training Slots. Hof has told us, the females in blogland, all about how men can only learn FOUR (4) things, and if you try to teach them five (5), one of the others will then lapse back to normal. He admonishes us to choose carefully and wisely.

So far I've only used one though. ONE!

I had to teach him to close the shower curtain when he came out of the shower rather than leave it open. Training consisted of: "hey Alex, could you close the curtain whenever you get out of the shower? It makes the curtain dry faster and less water stay on it, which then means I don't have to clean it as often." "Ok."

I can't teach him not to snore. He has a deviated septum. Sooner or later, he has to have surgery for that sucker.

Three whole slots. What do I do to fill them???? He does housework, puts his dirty clothes in the hamper, leaves the toliet seat down, cleans up any mess he makes, puts the toothpaste cap back on, gives me attention without smothering me, and buys me chocolates and/or roses for no reason. What possible behavior item IS there to fix on him? Gah! Oh well. I can always save the three slots for later, right?

Monday, October 03, 2005

For Old HorsetailSnake!

For an English teacher, my spelling lacks. For an average American, my spelling is just fine, but English teachers are always held to a higher standard (damnit!). However, I have decided upon my new approach to my mediocre spelling: I'm going to invent my own words like Shakespeare, and I'm going to invent my own spelling and state that it's the "Americanized" version.

See, dictionaries didn't really come around until the early 1700's. Before that, a man like Shakespeare could make up words and spell his name however he wanted, and nobody complained. No court fees for a name change. No complaints from his parents about how he was ungrateful for wanting to be called something other than his given name. Beautiful! What a paradise for the crap speller!

But then the dictionaries came. We used to have all Brit spellings, but then after the American revolution, Noah Webster popped up with this thought in 1789: "Culture, habits, and language, as well as government should be national. America should have her own distinct from the rest of the world...." So yeah, it was on purpose that we have different spellings for the same word in American English. For instance, all that U dropping we have going off (honor and favor for honour and favour) was deliberate. Theater for theatre? Yeah, we'll invert TWO LETTERS! LOOK AT US! WE ARE SPECIAL!

Or maybe that's speshul. See, we TRIED to change some words but they didn't take:

wurd = word
reezon = reason
tung = tongue
iz = is

Yeah, so here's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it: I'm not incorrectly spelling a word except ON PURPOSE! DOWN WITH TYRANNY! UP WITH AMERICAN ENGLISH!


Note To Those Visiting America

If you, as a non-American, are ever visiting here and you decide to cook, please understand that the cup is an actual form of measurement.

If the soup mix says, heat 2/3rds of a cup of water and then mix with the soup, that is 2/3rds of an 8 ounce cup. It does NOT mean 2/3rds of whatever cup you happen to want to use. Guess what? A teaspoon is also a precise form of measurement. It does not mean find a random spoon that you've used for tea and use that. We don't use the metric system here because we are stubborn. Sorry about that.

This public service announcement has come too late for SOME non-natives *coughs*. Not mentioning any names *coughs*. Hopefully, though, it helps the rest of you!

How'd He Do That?

How'd he do that? A friend send me this picture, and I'm still in awe.

Additionally, here's a picture...no comment....


Sunday, October 02, 2005


Tonight I needed you like no other night, but there was no choice but for me to be strong and do it on my own. I can do this. I have always done it on my own. It's just that...I have grown accustomed to stumbling now and having you catch me. Before, I caught myself. Your arms are so much nicer than mine. I love you more than words can possibly explain...the faith I have in humanity, in me, in life, is all due to you...and I cannot thank you enough...

Saturday, October 01, 2005


So, how does one sign off an email to a person one has never met but one REALLY likes?

Sincerely--for formal or business letters

Best Wishes--for Christmas cards

Blessed be--only works for Wiccans

Big Boobie Bye Bye--well, that'd work for my son or April's son

Bye!--not caring enough

Take care!--I do this one, but only for a first email to somebody. Maybe the first two. After that, I feel like I know 'em a little better than that sort of sign off indicates

I can't say "Love, Kira" because people think you're wack when you sign something that affectionate and you've never met 'em. I have tried Luv, Wuv, Hugs and Kisses, and all variants, but they feel wierd on me. Sort of like putting on a pair of tidy whities and putting a dress on over them to head out to shop.

I need to make up a new sign off that imparts the following: "HEY! I really like you tons, and if we were to hang out in person, I know we'd love each other and be the best of friends. I think we're heading to be fantastic net buddies, and I adore you! You so rock! Damn, I'm lucky you are writing back to me!"

But how does one condense all of that into a sign-off?

I dunno.

Let's say it's "Terrifically Shazam!" Yeah, that's it! From now on, I'm signing some of my emails with "Terrifically Shazam!" as a way to say all of what I listed above. There, finished!


Yeah, drinking a glass of shiraz right now. It's been a rough day. Remember how I'll talk about things that piss me off or upset me, but if it REALLY bothers me, I have a hard time discussing the issue at hand? Yeah, it's one of those. I can sort of give you the parameters though: the ex. An encounter that lasted an hour. Him, totally sober, admitting with tears in his eyes that HE was the COMPLETE AND TOTAL REASON why our marriage collapsed...and then admitting that despite the fact that I just cursed him out over lighting up a cigarette near his asthmatic daughter, he didn't care and wanted me there again.

Then it was followed up by Ariana apparently not liking this idea and rubbing in his face that she was looking forward to me and Alex getting married and having a baby.

Gotta give him credit, his response wasn't as bad as I thought it would be: "I would hate if that were true because I like Alex, and I don't want to have to kill him."

We don't need to go into the rest of the details. Since I still have kids, I can have my glass and then I have to stop. Damnit. I can assure you that when he gets the kids on Monday, Monday night I'll be drunkety drunk drunk. Not TOO drunk since I don't want a hangover as I have to teach on Tuesday, but damn, I'll be straddling that border area.