Friday, February 25, 2005
zzt zzzt
I put my ketchup in the microwave tonight. There. I just had to get that off my chest before staffing a religious retreat this weekend. Whew.

If you don't like cold ketchup either, just stick the ketchup in the microwave for about 9 seconds, or until you hear the zzt zzt sound. Acually, if you hear the zzt zzt sound, you have gone about 1.5 seconds too far. So rewind and try again.
Bend at the knee. Please.
Yesterday, I substituted at the high school. There was this group of girls wearing short plaid skirts. SHORT. Very short. One of them remarked how her dad asked her if her skirt was too short when she had left the house. She said, no, because it was mid thigh. Now I understand people who are tall with long legs have trouble finding appropriate clothes. And I am not saying that this girl looked bad or anything. She was fit and looked ok, it was just not school appropriate. Especially when she dropped something and she bent over without bending her knees so that anyone sitting right behind her could see her underwear.

Now was that the look she was going for?
Thursday, February 24, 2005
between FoodTV and Oprah, I shall be fit!
It was on my to do list to write a post about how much I miss the Food Network. I love the food network. I love Rachael Ray and her knife and her honey and I love Tyler Florence and How to Boil Water and that woman from Georgia with the accent. I love the cute Italian girl too with the name I dont remember. I love their food. And I miss my them because I don't have cable.

I miss the Food Network most on the weekends, when Cooking School puts my favorite shows back to back to back for hours and hours of enjoyment. Now, I only get ice skating, football, baskeball, and race cars. I have replaced my favorite shows in the world with things that, in my opinion, are not only second rate, they are about 7th rate, after a movie I have watched 6 times, the radio, my cds, dog's barking, and silence.

Granted, March Madness is just around the corner, so maybe I will try to get into it this year. My brother would be happy. But I am so uneducated that I dont even know if those are on cable or Alicia tv.

Anyway, the point is... I miss my food tv. Fastforward to my crazy idea to go workout in the free fitness center the apartment gods provide. Yes, it was my first visit. It was something I thought I should get done in the first two months of living here. So I went. I turned on the tv and who was there? Paula Deen! Yes! The one from Georgia! That has two sons and makes yummy food and talks really nice!

So now I need to look up the food network schedule and put some workouts on my calendar.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Stargirl and The Burn Journals
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli was a treat to read. The main character is a boy and the book focuses on how his relationship with the self-proclaimed Stargirl changes from a distant fascination to a girlfriend. Stargirl was home schooled until she arrives and must adjust to the judgmental teenagers at her school. She is different and first she is shunned but it later revered. This book was a fun read and could easily be paired with Maniac Magee or The Chocolate War. They all deal with conformity and memorable characters.

The Burn Journals was a fabulous book. It is written about the healing process that Brent Runyon faces after he tries to commit suicide by lighting himself on fire. It covers the actual event and Brent's stays in hospitals. I really enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. I kept waiting for some big Hollywood breakdown, but since this story was real life (it is autobiographical) it wasn't as dramatic as the movies make these things. Slowly, Runyon heals, both mentally and physically.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005

This all started with a big ice storm. Then some regular super glue and some hot glue. Then time passes. Today I decided to conquer my fears and try again. I put Advanced Formula Gel Instand Krazy Glue on the door and the hinges. Then I attatched them and secrured them with regular clothespins. But that didn't have the grip that this job required. So I covered the ends with Duck Tape. Sucess.
Posted by Hello

A closeup of the duck tape wrapped clothespins. Posted by Hello

This is where I covered the entire thing with duck tape. Posted by Hello

It worked! Look how nice it looks! So it closes. But will it open?? Posted by Hello

Well if the automatic button opener doesn't work, I can always pry it open with my ice scraper. Posted by Hello

I'd like to thank the wax paper, duck tape, scissors, clothes pins, and ice scraper, without which none of this could have happened.  Posted by Hello
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Gmail as to do list?
In college, in classes where I was bored, I would write out my to do list on a sheet of notebook paper. I would then put a star (I had perfected doing the star outline --not the star with just five lines that cross eachother-- in high school in my Literary Magazine course. Perfected it to such a degree that they gave me my name on a star as a gift at our christmas party. ) to the left of the item on the list and then I would color in the star when I had done the item. It was a nice list because I liked stars and I could easily see what I had not done by the absence of color on the corresponding star.

Fastforward a couple years. I read this about using Gmail as a Journal and then this about using Gmail for taking notes and then this about using Gmail to catalog information. I decided to try out my own Gmail as a to do list.

Based on many of their ideas, but with only using filters and labels, none of the So I gave my self a gmail invitation and set up my to do list email.


Why I like this:
  1. When I am signed into my Gmail to-do list I am not signed into my Gmail regular email, which, in theory, makes me more productive.
  2. Stars are colored in when I complete my to do list!!!!
  3. No more writing out to do lists manually and wasting paper.
  4. Stars! Colored in! In yellow! The happy color!
  5. My to do list is not washed away in a jeans pocket. It is viewable from any computer.
  6. By looking at all the starred mail, I can see how productive I have been.
  7. Stars!
Why I am not going to like this:
  1. Logging in and out of Gmail all day. I think there is a way to prevent this. But I dont know about that and it might bring my productivity down.
  2. I dont know about keeping up with all of the labels. If this does work, and I still only have 20 emails, a year from now I will want to look at February's to do list and unless I delete February from 2005, all of February, any year comes up. Deleting could get tedious. But not too bad because you can select a whole group and then remove the label.
  3. If I get tired and bored of it.

Saturday, February 19, 2005
Raising Hands
I have some teacher certification school homework due tomorrow at 10pm. I was reading in my book about how students prefer passive lerning, when I thought about how I was as a student.

I was not a eager talker, but if I had something to say I wanted to say it. I usually knew the right answer. If a teacher asked a question and I knew the answer, I wouldn't always raise my hand, even if I was sure I had the right answer. I liked to raise my hand seldomly enough so that it almost assured me that if my hand was raised, I would be called on. I didn't really enjoy being the person to always raise my hand. I wanted the effort of a raised hand be rewarded immediately.

And the thing is, it worked. 90% of the time I raised my hand, I was called on and I answered the right answer. Maybe the teacher thought I only raised my hand when I knew the answer. But if I did that, then I would have raised my hand 5x the amount of times and I would have only gotten called on a smaller percentage of the times I raised my hands. More work. Less reward. Mayber the teachers were on to me and knew I was just being lazy.

It is amazing to think about a teacher and a classroom of students and all the things going on in their heads and the things that they know about what is going on in one another's heads.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Does this purchase count?
Last night, I was feeling pretty good with $12 in my wallet and then I got a $100 check from the apartment locating service. And a nice letter asking me to remember them when my lease comes up for renewal. Heck, yeah I will remember you. Didn't you accompany the beg letter with a check for three digits?

Anyway, I felt rich! As I was driving to the Stampin' Up! party that I was invited to last night, I daydreamed about what I should buy. Buy! I could go shopping! I could buy a couch that would solve all of my back issues and my can't-possibly-have-more-than-two- people-over-if-they-all-want-to-sit-upright issues. Ok, so $100 wouldn't buy a whole couch, but it would be a start.

I arrived at the Stampin' Up! party and got a little giddy looking at all of the stamps and paper and supplies. How fun! And I left the Stampin' Up! party owing the consultant 60% of my new $100.

But that is still a net gain of about $40, right? Maybe. Maybe not if you look to my slight problem of paying my rent check with an account that had been closed for a year and a half. Oops. The funniest part was the official letter from the apartment people (folded in half and slid in my door, giving me the impression that I had been invited somewhere cool or I had a secret admirer or something) that said that I had insufficient funds. Insufficient. This was way past insufficient, people. Insufficient is when you write a check for $400 and you only have $350 in your account. My check was more than hot, past on fire. There was not even any ash left in that account.

Back to my finances. The net gain of $40 turned into a net loss of $10 when you count the $50 fee for having a worthless check pay my rent. So do I have a right to spend the $12 in my wallet or is it really just $2?

But on the other hand, I didn't get a speeding ticket today. That probably saved me about $150. And I didn't get in a wreck, or get sick and have to go to the doctor or get medicine. So really, I AM RICH!
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Just call me Rachael Ray / 14
Yes, that is a mathematical equation, not an either/or/and situation.

It is thursday and I have 12 dollars in my wallet. I started out the week with a twenty dollar bill and a hope. A hope that I could make it through the week. And I have only spent 8 dollars. I bought two pieces of pizza on Sunday night and then I went to the grocery store for eggs, milk, and cheese nips. Someone must have smuggled some pizza rolls into my basket, because I ended up with that too. But the total was just $6.26 and I spent the $.26 from change in my purse so that doesn't really count. I am so proud. If I still have $2.00 left at the end of the week, I am SO going to Pier One and getting a flower to put in my vase on my shelves.
I need to be checking job postings every day now. Teachers will be signing contracts and hopefully not signing contracts and opening up a job for me. It happens from March to summertime. I was looking on the various websites today and saw my first posting for a job for the 05-06 school year. It was in Killeen. They think they will have 10 openings for HS English teaches. Wowzers. Too bad I don't really want to move to Killeen.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
My Inspiration Project from last year.

This is a screen shot of a project I did last year using this cool software called Inspiration. I had to download the trial software again so that I could read my document. It is really cool software that makes it easy to make crazy looking projects like this one. My project shows how a student could research their birthday. You know, finding out who shares their birthday, what films were popular, the headlines, etc. It was a cool project and I hope I find a way to preserve it before my trial subscription runs out. Posted by Hello
Lessons from Maury
Hear the results of the paternity test BEFORE you propose. No matter how much she promises you are the father.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Blog details
Jacki left me a message and then mentioned my blog today. Wow. Its like Christmas or something! How exciting!

Instead of doing pilates or working on homework or going to the bank today, I worked on this blog and added some things to the sidebar. I put pictures of the books I am reading right now. These are books I am reading for future reference in teaching and librarianship. I had to read So Super Starry for a review that I am writing for the school district. This Thursday there will be a secondary librarians meeting at our library and we *may* have time for booktalks to share the books everyone has read. So Super Starry was a good book, an easy read. It took me a while to get into it, but I think that was because I was forced into reading it. Whenever someone tells me I have to read a book for a purpose, it ruins it for me. But overall, I liked the book. It is funny and has a good, "be yourself" sort of message.

I am really looking forward to Stargirl because I love Jerry Spinelli. Well, I have only read one other book by him but I LOVE Maniac Magee. Love it. So I am looking forward to Stargirl.

And I am also looking forward to The Burn Journals, although I know it will be a tough read and I am not sure I can do it. It is about a boy who wants to commit suicide so he lights himself on fire but then chickens out and so he doesn't die but he is severely burned. The book is about the healing of him, physically and mentally. I heard a lot about this book from the listservs I subscribe to and also it is one of the books on the Tayshas list for 05-06. I didn't know about the Tayshas (rhymes with "Hey Laws") list until moving here. It is a book list for Texas Young Adults. At the library conference I went to yesterday one of the small sessions had many many booktalks over these Tayshas books. They looked very interesting.

So that is what I am reading. Some quality young adult literature. I am probably reading some other stuff, but I doubt it is quality enough to share.

my flowers are blooming! Posted by Hello
Monday, February 14, 2005
Insert Roses Here
If I had kept my batteries charged, I would certainly insert a picture of my wonderful roses right here. Because thats what I got in the mail: flowers. I walked in the door after 5 and saw a note from my best friend, Fed Ex. I thought, how awesome, my printer came a month ahead of schedule! So I went to the apartment office and waited to pick my package up. But the box was longer and thinner than expected and labeled ProFlowers. Good thing I didn't wait till tomorrow to pick up the package. I got flowers. In the mail. Not via a delivery person. That is a first. Thanks mom and dad.

I spent my single awareness day surrounded by librarians, most female, and most years older than me. So I guess the good news is that many people really will be graduating in the next 10 years and job prospects really are good. Haha. Ok. The library conference was very good. It is rather odd, getting pumped up about a job that I cannot have for 2 years, but I know that what I learn about being a good librarian will help me to be a good teacher.

In other news, I got a credit card bill on Saturday that is making my pull back the reins on my finances. So I bought a newspaper and got $20 cash last night. I have enough food in the house to get me through the week except for some eggs and maybe lunchmeat. But I am making a game out of it and seeing how far I can get. Last night I spent $2 so I still have $18 left. I can make it!!!!
Friday, February 11, 2005
Curiosity killed the cat... and my eggroll.

Ok, so apparently they weren't kidding when they said not to cook in the toaster oven. And I don't think then putting it in the microwave helped either. Posted by Hello
Thursday, February 10, 2005
why my mouth is burned and my hot chocolate has spit in it.

I have control issues. When I get a hot drink (coffee-ish drink, tea, hot chocolate) I want the last sip to be hot. Well warmer than warm, at least. If the last sip is lukewarm or (say it ain't so) cold, I just will quit drinking and be forced to throw it away. So, as a result, when I make a drink at home like tea or hot chocolate, I make it really hot. Like sometimes it is still boiling when I put in into my mug. And then I (stupidly) take a sip. I wonder what I think has happened to the drink to make it palatable in the five seconds from the pot to the mug that has made it not burning hot. But still, I take a sip. And inevitably burn my mouth. And today it was so hot that I had to either burn my throat and swallow or spit it back into the mug. I chose the latter. Posted by Hello
So I subbed half a day for second graders. This is the youngest group I have ever subbed for. They were sooo cute, but they were also sort of babies. Tattletelling babies. This kid came up and complained to me about this other kid making fun of him because he couldn't say some word and blah blah blah. I was currently managing a reading group and needed to pay attention to him so I just told the student to just go on with life. Then he came back and I almost laughed at him with his petty complaints. It was just too funny.

When they asked me how old I was, I asked them how old they thought I was. Then they asked what year I was born. They started guessing at that too, and someone said 1964. And I said, wait a minute. How old would I be if I was born in 1964. I then asked them how we would figure that out. And we did. I wrote 2005-1964 on the board and then we had to go into the wicked world of borrowing. This got even worse when they asked what year my mom was born. Later we were doing this book on Abraham Lincoln so I said we should figure out how old he would be. For some reason the borrowing got really hard then. I don't know why. The students said they had never done the whole borrowing from a zero thing and now looking back on it I think I was doing it wrong. I got the right answer (the little brats got out some calculators and were screaming out the answer) but it took me a minute to figure out how to do it the correct way. I just sort of wrote out what the final product would be without going through the thought out way of borrowing. If they were watching me I'm sure they would be mixed up, but they were paying too much attention to their calculators and shouting out the answers to be listening.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Tag: You are IT!
I refuse to get Facebook. First, because I can't. Silly how graduating makes you "not a student" anymore. I could get an alumnae email which would enable me to get a facebook account, but.. Second, I would get addicted like all of those other people out there. And the thing is, I already have too many things to be addicted to. Like And now thanks to there are so many other links on the internet to explore. Have I done anything productive today? No, but I am in the process of reading this Salon article that is pointing me to so many more fabulous places.
As a librarian. (future librarian, whatever.) this new way of organizing information is just facinating. Just imagine if Melvil had thought of something like this instead of his hierarchical system.

I always wanted to be the first fundamental theorem of Calculus

Congratulations! You are the First Fundamental Theorem of Calculus

The big guns! Most people go over you in high school calculus but fail to see your intrinsic beauty, but you know you're great.

Which Fundamental Theorem of Mathematics Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

library secrets
Working in a library, I learn all of the secrets that they know. Today, for about an hour I worked on the due date gun. I now know how to load one and how it works and how to fix it when it jams. Ok, so maybe this isnt so much of a secret. Price guns work in a similar fashion, if not exactly the same.

But I also know the secrets of making a book beep as it goes out of the library illegally. There. Now you think I'm special.

But with special secrets comes a price to pay. My price: Due Date Ink on my favorite pants.

Sunday, February 06, 2005
Siphon my gasoline. I dare you.
A story that I wrote but never posted. This happened on my drive from Kansas to Texas.

A big ol' ice storm hit on Wednesday. I was planning on leaving town on Thursday. I HAD to be in town Saturday by 9am to start classes, and I was signing the least on Friday morning. So I did have a little bit of wiggle room, but not much. Anyway, the ice storm hit on Wednesday.

My car was sitting on the driveway. The wind came across the car towards the drivers side, so the worst, thickest ice was on that side. I needed to get into the car and move the car into the garage so 1) the car would magically melt and 2) I could load the car without being in the bitter cold. How to get the ice off of the car, though? The traditional ice scraper was not up for this job. I ended up using a combination of boiling water, a knife, and a rolling pin. I was never able to open the driver's side door, but I did open the passenger door and slide over. I started the car, slid a little bit on the driveway, but eventually got it into the garage. I worked and worked until all the doors were open. I used a hair dryer on an extension cord. I got the doors and the trunk open, packed two boxes, and went to bed.

The next morning I wake up and the doors are once again frozen shut. What had happened when I used the hair dryer, it had melted the ice so that it could slide into the grooves as water. Then it froze again, deeper and more difficult than it had ever been. One by one I got the doors open again. I was trying to leave by 11. By 11 I had only gotten 2 doors and the trunk open. That was frustrating.

I also had to work on the gas door because it was frozen shut and the tank was on empty (one of the reasons that I couldnt put the defrost on in the car and wait for it to do its job. I would have run out of gas on the driveway. So I am using the butter knife (not a sharp one, I am not that dangerous) and something as a mallet to pick at the gas door. I feel like an artist at this point, sculpting. I get it to where I can slightly open in and I pry it open the rest of the way and hear a pop. Yep, that was one of the hinges on the gasoline door. Oh, well, I forge on.

It takes me a while to finish the car and then I load and leave. The back windshield was completely clear. The front was covered just on the passenger corner and on the windshield wipers (NOT SMART!!!). I go get gasoline where this kind gentleman offers to scrape off part of the back drivers side window. I drive on. It is sort of misting. The mist is dirt-mist and turns to dirt-ice once it makes contact with the cold windshield. So I use my windshield wipers to clean it. Except they are still covered in snow and do NOTHING. So I use the fluid, which also freezes on contact and makes it worse. It doesn't freeze clear, either. It freezes light brown. A mixture of washer fluid, water, and dirt. Fantastic.

I am driving down 35, hoping I can see as I move into different positions seeing thorugh little one inch by two inch openings. The entire drive, I am thinking of how dangerous this is, but it might be even worse to stop on the side of the road and have another driver hit me. My washer fluid helps the situation a little. Until it stops working. Then I stop at the first gas station and buy more (2 dollars for a huge bottle.. what a deal!!!) and fill it (this was a first for me and I get a gold star for accomplishing it when it was dirty and icky and my fingers were half frozen because it was, after all, about 18 degrees outside.)

I go into my car and try the magic of fresh washer fluid. Ha! It doesnt work. I ask my cleaning- his-windshield-neighbor and he tells me that probably the line is frozen. Lucky me. I throw some of the window wash on the windshield and clean it with a paper towel. I continue on my way and stop in about 30 miles to clean it again, hoping that I dont have to do that all night. Luckily the line defrosts and I can use it again about an hour and a half after it quit.

I stop for gas just inside the Texas border. I forget about my precarious gas door that has to be lined up just right and so have to stop again because, yes, it is open. I finally arrived at my roommate's apt. later that night with a fabulous story!
But you thought it was over, right. No! The next day I drove to Austin in my couldn't-get-any-more-dirty car. D_I_S_G_U_S_T_I_N_G! So dirty I am sure people were looking at me funny. Anyway, I went to wash it at a local gas station. Yea! A clean car! I was looking out of my side view mirror admiring my new clean car when I noticed the gas gauge door had fallen off. I am worse off than I thought I was. Someone who thought they had a dirty car was now in the car wash and there was another one waiting to go. I went and asked the kind sir to please let me retrieve my gas door before he washed his car. So I wait and walk through the car wash and pick up my door. I called the dealership to see what it would involve to get it fixed. Well it involves quite a bit. They have to get a new one, even though my door is perfectly fine, well, fine except for that it is not attatched to the car and a few little bits have broken off.

So I go to Walmart for some super glue. Super glue solves everything, right? I buy the superglue and try to repair it. NOT SUCCESSFULLY. I end up glueing my winter gloves to the door, but with my amazing strength I pull them away. Anyway, it didnt work because the glue was too thin.

HOT GLUE! Hot glue should work. But, living in an apartment, and not owning a 100 ft extension cord, I dont know how I will get a hot glue gun to my car. So I go up to church one day and use it there. Except it was totally clogged and we spent about 1/2 hour taking apart the glue gun and pulling out the clogging glue. The glue gun was never quite the same, but it worked. It looked really ghetto when I was done with it, but it was serviceable.

For a few days, anyway. After that, the door wasn't lining up right. It was sticking out more on the side that wasn't even supposed to open. And the side that was supposed to open wouldn't. I would pull the little gasoline door opener button in my car, hear a click, and see that nothing had happened. So then I grab a knife and pry the door open. (Which, ironically, is what got me into this trouble in the first place.) When I get it open, it looks fine, but one of the hot glue gunned hinges is no longer in tact. But the other one is still holding up and I can close the door, barely. I have no faith in my handy work, anymore.

Duck Tape! Duck Tape! Why didn't I think of that in the first place? I buy some duck tape. It didn't work. Because I never got around to trying it. It is still sitting in my laundry room, waiting to solve all of my problems. But, I got some advice to try some super glue GEL (who knew!) and then clamp it in place for it to dry for an extended amount of time. So that is the next step. Just waiting for some dry weather and the inclination to solve this problem. Or to see it fail once more.


I currently have 17 real simple magazines on my shelf. And one on the way to me in the mail. Clearly, there is something wrong with me.  Posted by Hello
Saturday, February 05, 2005

It is amazing how a trip to IKEA, a backbreaking trip into my apartment, puting some screws in, and arranging my stuff can all make me SO HAPPY!!! Posted by Hello
Friday, February 04, 2005
Righty Tighty Lefty Loosey
1. Thanks to IKEA, my apartment is much more "apartment" and a lot less "temporary storage facility". Thats because I don't have to be rich, just smart. I now have a desk and a cool shelving unit. I put them all together today. The hard part, of course, was bringing the dense boxes out of the car. I thought I was going to break, they were so heavy. But it was a nice workout.

2. The library is fun. I enjoy working with the librarians and meeting some of the other teachers. I like the students and helping them. I don't always feel like I am doing a lot, but I know just the act of being there is doing and learning a lot. But when I actually get to do something small like showing someone where a book is, it feels fantastic.

3. Today I went in search of a library in Austin that was actually open. They have this lack of money thing that means the lirbaries are not open 7 days a week. They take turns being closed. Today about half of the libraries were closed. Apparently today is not a very popular day for library outings.

4. I am scared about finding a job. What else is new. So I pray and hope and pray some more. And when I get that job I pray I will be ready.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005
When people I do not know are sending me emails telling me to add my personal information (address, email, etc.) to their nifty address keeping up with site, THIS HAS GONE ONE STEP TOO FAR, PEOPLE!

I hereby refuse to go along with it. I just can't. Whatever happened to the pen and paper address book?

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