Thursday, August 31, 2006

travel products site

I've always wanted to use this site. Maybe someone else will find it handy.

that's the kicker.

I had a wonderful morning. It’s cool at our house because the north wind breezes through our windows and I actually had to sit with a blanket this morning. I love that! I had a cup of coffee, a blanket and Daphne. Normally I also have a book, but I was too weary of reading for that. I never would have thought that I would get sick of reading. Well, I guess it isn’t really sick of reading – if Diana Wynne Jones published a new novel I wouldn’t stop reading it. I’ve almost had it with Victorian novels and collections of critical essays. My History of the English Language book is very interesting though. I’ll probably bore you to death with information (that I think is neat!) that I learn from it.

In fact, if you would, please comment on this blog and tell me what your favorite current kick is. I can probably guess some: Mom’s is quilting, Audi’s is budgeting, Dad’s is architecture of various sorts, Andy’s is a tug-of-war between fauna and music, Melanie’s and Coach Duke’s are deals of any sort – especially garage sales. . . but if I’m wrong please correct me. I love to be corrected because I may in turn correct you. Ha. And I love to know new things about people. (I wrote directions on how to comment on an earlier blog... I know you can figure it out.)

Well it seems that our lovely free home is going to be sold. We were hoping it would happen because it will benefit our benefactors (the Wilkins) but I'm sad to be leaving. I love where we live! And it isn't coming at the best of times, since this semester is going to be difficult for me and Andy is occupied with figuring out our future plans. Ah well, it has been an incredible blessing.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Beautiful day

It's strange how greatly my mood is affected by the weather. Last night was our first cool night so we happily opened the windows and slept soundly.

I found out that someone else had bought my "I love Matt" book and that student took it back, so I'm going to take it back. I opened it to read my chapter and Marybeth, the previous owner, had sporadically highlighted all through the book in bright blue and green. She highlighted so much that I can tell that she had no conscious thought as she was highlighting -- she was just scribbling across the page out of boredom. Some pages are completely blue. I'm sure she didn't learn a thing. The professor encouraged us to take notes while we read and I held up my textbook as an example of how to highlight. Needless to say, I got a lot of laughs.

Although today is going to be long, I see enormous potential. I've already worked out, I remembered to put on deodorant, I packed my lunch and my boss hasn't spoken to me yet. It's a nice morning.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

this day requires two blogs

It’s time for you to see yet another level of my snobbishness.
I peeked into one of my Rhetoric textbooks to find large bubbly graffiti written with a black pen and blue highlighter. “Marybeth loves Matt” is written on the outside of the pages. “Marybeth St. John + Matt,” “I love MATT!!!,” Joe’s cell phone number, and a grocery list that includes magazines, salad, and flip-flops – are found within the pages of my textbook. I can’t help but think how Marybeth got her hands on a graduate level rhetoric book. Well, I could keep from thinking these things, probably, but I don’t stop myself. I also wonder how long this girl with the obtrusive handwriting stayed in school. I hope she married Matt, had his babies, and bought new flip-flops.

Recently Andy and I discussed writing in books. I write in books; he does not. Apparently, texts are sacred to Andy. I enjoy making notes. IN PENCIL! If I didn’t make notes, I wouldn’t write insightful papers because I can’t remember what I thought from one page to the next. Those notes are there for me the next time I read waiting for me to make new connections from my old ones. This habit is helpful and makes sense. A grocery list in a textbook is a desecration! This book cost me at least thirty bucks and I plan on keeping it for reference. Marybeth, who wrote “Marybeth’s” and “Mary B’s” on the cover didn’t keep it so why was she so obsessed with marking her territory? I nicely write my name on the top right corner of the first page. If you are like Marybeth, please do not tell me because I won’t be able to love you completely. I probably couldn’t even look you in the face. That’s how far my snobbishness goes.

weekend synopsis

I spent this weekend in Dallas at the Women of Faith conference because my Mema nicely bought me tickets to join her and the rest of the women on my mom’s side of the family. I really enjoyed the big-city food, the time with my family, and the swimming pool at the hotel. Since the conference was the focal point of the weekend, I am going to talk about that.

My favorite speaker was Marilyn Meberg and the most impacting thing she said (something I’d heard several times, but I’m dense and it takes awhile to move me) was “Jesus did not come to make bad people good – he came to give dead people life.”
The most important thing that I realized this weekend, in response to the conference and my sister’s and mother’s church, is that I’ve been complacent since I made major changes to my life (when I became active in my relationship with God at 19 and then again when I was married at 21.) My regular habit is to go through my days thinking about what needs to be completed, scheduled, turned in, fixed, cleaned up… that I tend to react to my surroundings rather than making conscious decisions to be loving, serving, and thoughtful. So I'm working on that.

Poor Andy had to eat Wal-mart brand lasanga and McDonald's cheeseburgers. But he survived and he even mowed the lawn. He's at home today fixing our water pump, which died again today. Texas Tech is no longer an option for our next school. We're still looking at the two schools in OK and a few others in other states. His GRE exam date is Sept. 16th, so please pray for him that he'd pace the exam well and that he'd be able to remember what he has memorized.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's so amazing...

. . . when complete strangers are rude to you. It stops you in your tracks and when you've recovered from the shock, you review the scene in your mind a few times to see if you missed something. Then you think rude thoughts about the stranger. You call him names. All because your pride was hurt by someone you don't know. Why should you care if a stranger is rude to you? But really, it's a little funny. I don't know why it's funny. But at least I'm laughing and not chasing the twerp down. He should've been spanked more as a child -- and I don't even believe in spanking.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


That's what I feel like today. Except, lackeys are supposed to be male, but who actually knows that unless they check their definitions?

I had a stare down with a lady today. It was the wierdest thing. I'm not sure why we were having a stare down, but I felt the general aggression and frustration. I must be an extremely frustrating person. Sorry people.

My "vacation" went by like a flash! I spent one day reading "Eats, shoots & leaves" my friend Kay Manry lent me. It was hilarious and I highly recommend it. I, however, do not agree with the author that the internet should be proper. The whole fun of these blogs is that complete idiots (and moderate idiots like me) can be authors! We can write, spell and punctuate however we please. But, of course, the whole point of writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar is communication. And you can't communicate if people don't know what you're saying.

So - I could talk to Audrey about ice and Mom would think we were talking about frozen water when in fact we could be talking about expensive hubcaps, diamonds, or methamphetamines.
Ex. "I gotta keep my boo iced." = "If I want to keep my girlfriend, I have to give her expensive things -- like diamonds."

What I'm trying to say: While writing on the internet gives us A LOT of freedom and A LOT of potential readers, if you don't punctuate or spell properly (or use common definitions for things!) than people aren't going to understand what you're trying to write, so what then, would be the point? The point would be to limit your audience.

I hope I've a wide range of readers - from my preteen sister-in-law to my seventy-something Mema. And I'm not writing this as an online journal. I keep a journal at home where none of you can read. I'm writing this so that friends and family can be a little closer to Andy and me. So that you, if you want, can know what we're doing and know what we're like on a day-to-day basis. I hope you feel lucky.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Actually Arnold, it is a tumor.

Once again Andy and I have confirmation that something is defective in Daphne.
The growth on her cute face is a tumor, but it's a button tumor (histiocytoma) instead of the MCT I was worried about which means that it's benign and probably won't cause her much pain. The vet thinks it'll decrease on it's own, but if it doesn't they'll have to remove it.
She and I took a really long nap together today. (She sleeps on the floor next to me)
It's great to finally be out of summer school. I don't want to start the fall semester, but at least it's probably my last semester in school ever. EVER. probably... that's scary.

Apparently Andy is now down to three schools (don't get your hopes up peeps, I'm not, b/c it can all change). They are OSU, OU, and Texas Tech. I'm going to go home to eat some chili and a homegrown watermelon. Have a great weekend everyone. Next week is my "study for the master's exam" vacation so I won't post as frequently.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

sugar high = myriad of topics

Hello. I'm having a great day and I thought I'd share it with you since you're so often subject to my crumbly grumbly moods.

I just had a doughnut. yum! beats carrots, but I have only one cheat left... (Oprah's bootcamp, you know) so I thought I'd save it for when I'm in Dallas. (HintHintFamily)
The school gym is closing for two weeks so I hope I can keep up my pace on Pilates videos and loops around the track. I bet if I cried in front of a local gym they'd let me in. I could tell them that I just ate a doughnut and those buff girls will gasp, take my hand, and lead me to the elliptical, while drying my eyes with their little white towels. I wonder why everyone carries those little towels around patting their little faces. I wear my sweat like a badge - I'm proud of it because it says, hey, look what I did!

Andy and I have only one more disc of Season One of LOST left... Walt was just kidnapped - I should've known that the Others meant him! (Hurley, Walt, and Sun are my favorites.) I can't wait to see the finale and then season two. I think I'll have to wait until the entire season three comes out before I can watch it because I can't take the suspense. But then, it would be fun to talk to others about them as they come out... and Audi offered to tape them for me... so we'll see. Justin, I still plan on checking out 24 but I don't know when yet. That may be next semester.

I made a new friend at school, a happy high school teacher named Jason who offered to get me his friend's notes for the Master's Exam. I can't wait to get my hands on those puppies.

Speaking of puppies, I saw a boxer in the road today. A beautiful flashy fawn male with clipped ears. If I hadn't had a cheescake in the back (for my classmates) I would've picked him up. Andy saw one yesterday on his way home that he passed by too. It's hard to know if they are petsb/c they don't usually have collars and since we're still at the Wilkin's home it's not like we could keep another dog... but I bet I could find it a good home and give it some love.

Aldo, the much anticipated future playmate for Daphne, will join our little family sometime after we move. Shopping for a pup is difficult because you see so many and you have to check out their temperaments and health before you carry them away and yet you want to take all of them because they are so cute. I'm hoping for a more assertive dog than Daphne, and we also have to live somewhere where they offer pup training classes b/c I bet more assertive dogs are harder to train. Daphne was a breeze. She still won't calm down around new places, new people, or other dogs, but otherwise she's a great dog. ha. No REALLY she is a good dog. Perhaps I'll put her in classes too.

I'm actually getting excited about teaching. My report on The House of the Scorpion went well today and I was so hyped up about it that I knew I would be able to energize my students. I wonder if I'll get a job. I hoping that a job will be waiting for me in January. If not then hopefully I can offer my services as a tutor for somebody.

Andy is a little bummed lately, he's afraid of the GRE and is playing the worst-case-senario game in his head again. If you pray, please do so for Andy that he'd be encouraged.
Daphne has a growth on her face (gross!) so I'm taking her to the vet today. I'm hoping it's not a tumor b/c Boxers are the breed with the highest mass cell tumor rate. But then, she's pretty young to develop one and only four percent of MCTs develop on the face and neck.

What a strange grouping of topics! Have a good weekend eh-ver-body.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I found several blogspheres today that belonged to frustrated teachers. It's a wonderful asset for me because almost all of them talk about dealing with obnoxious students, domineering principles, and parents who object to the novels they teach (I'm sure that will happen to me every semester). I'm writing a paper tonight to persuade the other people in my class (almost all are already teachers) to include "The House of the Scorpion" either in their classroom library or, preferably, in their lessons plans. One blogger talked about dealing with a mother of a student who objected to this novel because she thought it was "trash." The teacher decided to avoid confrontation and assigned the student a different novel but the student had to do a lot of work on her own since the rest of the class was studying "Scorpion." That's absolutely ridiculous to me. I am glad that some parents take an interest in their children's education, but seriously, the teachers were hired to teach! If a parent objects all the time I think they should just stick their kids in homeschool. Then they can control their kids as much as they want.

Now I'm not saying that I think children should read novels with adult themes. It's okay to censor -- everyone censors. But this is a CHILDREN'S novel. and it won three prestigious awards! and it definitely qualifies for capital L literature. And I will teach it if I teach anywhere from 6th to 10th grade. I have no idea what I'll do when I'm questioned, rebuked, and censored.

On this same frustrated note... on my way to work I passed a lady who is known for her comments in class. It makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one who has been subjected to her wrath. Feeling that way is probably not a good thing, but it's true. So -- In my creative writing class where I had to write the first three chapters or so of my novel, this lady tells the entire class that my story is "vulgar" and since my story happens to be a memoir, I too am "vulgar." OOOOOOOOkay. Warning - I'm about to say something mean. I remember that day she wore bright fushia everything - even pantyhose and lipstick. I think that's vulgar.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

goodbye blue monday

For those of you who don't know, we did buy my mother-in-law's car.
It's a diesel Jetta and I am enjoying it (now that I know how to drive it - it's a manual)! It has a lot of pep and it is very very cute. And of course, it gets absolutely fantastic gas mileage.
Oh, and it is blue, a blue that I actually like.
It's an awesome car and I'm thankful to own it. It's much more awesome than say, Captain Kirk.

Monday, August 07, 2006

funny morning

Thanks to Nellie for sending this to me and thereby giving me a laugh that's always sorely needed on a monday morning.

It's titled "what would you do with eight treadmills?"

Thursday, August 03, 2006

detox stress

I think I need to go to a stress detox center. A few years ago I had a stress test done and I was tremendously off scale. So off scale in fact that it predicted that I'd have heart problems.
They were wrong. I'm obviously still alive.

I missed a lot of work today b/c I had to get two new tires for my car. I sat in Wal-Mart for at least two hours. That's stressful. Oh my. People are bonkers.

And I'm wondering about buying my mother-in-law's car. [Andy is in Oklahoma checking it out, getting his teeth cleaned, and having an interview with a prof. from OU.] Whenever I make a big purchase I can't sleep. Two days before I bought Andy a spotting scope (not for a gun but for birds) I couldn't sleep and it made me a wreck for a week.

Please no one say Let Go and Let God. As wise as that may be it doesn't work for me because I'm not afraid of the outcome. Life just brings stress and we have to learn to deal with it. (I am NOT saying that prayer doesn't help, it does. I just don't like cliche statements.)
So I'm going to go home in about thirty minutes and I'm going to have some chocolate milk and I'm going to watch a movie. Then I'm going to bed. Yes, Andy, before dark.

I thought I might sleep with my shotgun beside me and the bullets in my pillow case but I decided (just now) that it would be silly.
Please pray that I won't have scary thoughts or dreams while Andy is gone.

Discovery of the Day: Stephen King is actually a GOOD writer. I had no idea. I hope that the people who have heard me gripe about what I coined "literary crap" are amused b/c I'm agreeing with the masses. The book "Different Seasons" has the novellas that the movies, "Shawshank Redemption," "Apt Pupil," and "Stand by Me" were based on. They might be worth your pennies (I bought mine for 76 cents) or checking out of your local public library. ;)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

the great puzzle

"I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!" -Alice in Wonderland

What other great puzzles are there?
Other people are more of a puzzle for me than I am.
God is a puzzle, or even the question of God is a puzzle.
Hmm... I'm glad that I don't feel like I have to know everything.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

forgetful me

So I left my keys in my Pa's car.

So I didn't realize it until I was leaving for church the next day. (Andy had already left)

So I braved the Chevette.

It was terrifying. I stalled probably seven times trying to get onto Hwy7, then I had people pass me eventhough I was going 55 (as fast as I dare go in that little car). It was burning hot and there is no AC and I actually try to look nice for church - the Chevette wouldn't let me.
Then I came up to a red traffic light that is on an incline so I panicked and turned on another road to turn around and wait for the light to turn green before I dared the hill.
Little did I notice that I had only put myself on another hill. It took me at least ten times to get up that and I had to wait until there were no cars coming and the light was green before I could disregard the stop sign and swerve onto the road.
I prayed non stop that I wouldn't encounter another red light. I didn't. I thanked God.