Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hey, parents of older kids...

Is selective hearing and memory a common ailment in small children?  Both kids know damn well they don't go into the back room...yet they were both playing back there and throwing used kitty litter into the kittens' water bowl this morning when I caught them.  Both kids know that they're not to grab the critters by the neck...yet both have done so, multiple times per critter, since they got up from their naps at 3:00 (and it's just gone ten 'til five, here).  Both kids know damn well that they're not to stand on the couch...yet I've had to spank both of them twice today alone for that. 

And yes, they know they've done something wrong: both, when caught, run away from where they were caught as fast as they can, as if they think separating themselves from the scene of the incident means they'll not get punished for breaking the rules.

They really don't have many: don't hit/kick/push/bite each other, or the animals; don't pick up the animals by the necks; don't throw screaming temper tantrums; don't stand and/or run on the furniture; don't throw food.  Basically, the rules boil down to don't do things that will hurt them, their sibling, or their pets, don't act like a nasty little turd, and don't make messes on purpose.  The only spanking offenses are don't hurt yourself or your sibling, or the fourth offense on anything else within a waking period (morning to nap, or nap to bedtime).

Is this normal?  Is it normal for kids to earn several spankings on the same offense within the space of about an hour?

What am I doing wrong?


I still carry a lot of bitterness from when I was growing up.  A lot of my psychological problems are directly attributable to one parent or the other, either through commission or omission.

My mother, once she got full, physical custody (the state kept the legal fiction that it had custody) and my male genetic donor had slipped up to the point that all he had left were supervised visits, retreated into her bedroom and locked the door, not coming out except to eat or use the bathroom. 

I was thirteen.  My sister was ten.  She didn't reappear for two years, when my sister attempted to kill herself by taking an entire box of Benedryl. 

I'd had issues my first year of high school: namely, I'd been in the middle of a failed relationship between my best friend and his girlfriend.  I'd gotten so bad where my nerves were concerned that I lost about thirty or forty pounds (and I only weighed about 115 to begin with). 

No Mom. 

My second year of high school, I busted up my knee in PE.  Oh, the incident wasn't so bad, but I'd been tripping and falling for years, and the damage had accumulated to the point where I needed surgery.  Mom shuttled me around, and was there for the surgery itself, but the only reason she was around for my recovery was because it was during Christmas time, and it would have looked bad to the rest of the family.

Well, that, and my sister had just gotten home from her hospitalization after she'd tried to kill herself just before Thanksgiving. 

Yeah, I still resent the two year disappearance.  I resented when she disappeared, but I adapted, took responsibility (as best I could) for making sure the house kept running.  When she reappeared, she stepped back into the parental role she'd relinquished.

That did not work.  I'd spent two years as an adult.  I was not going to step back into the role of a child, especially not at fifteen, and absolutely not with an adult who'd proved that she wasn't trustworthy, nor worthy of respect.

I've mostly moved past that bitterness.  It was eighteen years ago, for me.  Every so often, something happens to remind me of it, but I refuse to dwell on it.  Like my friend, the Mojave Rat says, I try my damnedest to live in the now, and to not live in that awful time in my life with the rage and bitterness.

My mother, on the other hand, still dwells on every bad decision she ever made.  Especially the decision to marry my male genetic donor, and have two children with him.  And she can't go an hour without mentioning it, or how sorry she is that it happened.

Thing is, by doing that, she's standing in my sister's path to recovery, and not letting her move past her problems.  She's forcibly keeping my sister in the time when we were harmed. 

By doing that, she's keeping her youngest child as a helpless child, despite the fact that it was more than twenty years ago that the abuse happened, and my sister is now thirty. 

My mother's behavior eighteen years ago isn't worthy of any continuing bitterness.  Her behavior today most certainly is.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

An encouraging sign...

I've been putting the pixie on the potty chair before bath time every night.  Tonight, I poured some warm water over her while I was running the bath.  The potty needed the dust rinsed out, so I figured it couldn't hurt, and might help. 

She didn't go then, but after playing in the water for half an hour, she said, "Get out, go pee-pee?" 

And it took a few minutes, but she did.  A lot.  And got praised.  A lot.  And got peanut butter chips and white chocolate chips.  Tomorrow, she gets to pick out a new toy. 

She'll be 22 months old on Thursday. 

Random ramblings

The pixie is talking more and more, and her speech is coming clearer and clearer.  Same with the imp.  In a way, I'm kind of sorry--the imp, in particular, has a smart mouth, and now that he can articulate what he's thinking (and I can understand it), it gets him into trouble.  A lot.

The imp is doing pretty well on his quarter dose of Zyrtec (2.5 mg, where an adult dose is 10 mg).  When he doesn't get it, he turns into a mean little jerk.  I'm pretty sure he has at least hay fever.

I found out last night that Cricket (the black and white kitten) either is sick, or just doesn't like the pixie.  She hopped up on the pixie's toddler bed and piddled on her comforter, last night. 

Pup is doing really well in house training.  Yeah, she has accidents, but she's still only two months old, and doesn't really have full control over her bodily functions.

I had sent a short story off to a publisher for consideration in January.  I got word that it was rejected earlier this month, and am considering extending and self-publishing it.  Odysseus has some good ideas for an extended plot line, and I'm getting more and more interested.  I don't think it'll be a long novel, but it'll definitely be pushing the novel mark. 

But, like everything else, it's going to need to wait until Thanksgiving Break at the earliest, more likely Christmas Break.  My stupids are sapping my creativity by sucking down all the mental energy I have to not drop a nuclear snark-bomb on their whiny asses. 

Don't get me wrong--not all of my students are in that category.  I have a few that are strong writers, and a few others who are willing to try to find a solution to their problems ("When I try to do X, this goes wrong at this  point...what's happening, and how can I fix it?  Is there a work around that I might not know about?") instead of wailing "I can't doooo iiiitttt!!!  Do it for me, and give me full credit!"

Unfortunately, for a disproportionately small minority (about a dozen out of forty-six students), they take up a majority of my time, energy, patience, and strength. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

"What's indent?"

I think TinCan Assassin was right, when he suggested I was possibly allergic to stupid.  I got the above question in my email this morning, and I wound up sick.  Again. 

Stubborn, and too smart for her own good...

The pup loves Veggie Straws.  The kids do, too.  They also love to drop them to the critters.  And the puppy will not stay out from under the kids.  So, I shut the baby gate.  Problem is that it's loose enough that it can be pushed open without much trouble--and the pup has figured out that all she has to do is bump it good with her nose.  And then charge to the kids and eat whatever they've thrown on the floor. 

I have to block the gate shut with a basket full of laundry.  And she still tries to either squeeze between it and the wall (over the top of a box of canned cat food sitting on its end), or shoulder the obstacle out of the way.

That pup is a better problem solver than your average college student.

FFOT: miscellaneous

  • Getting up to walk a puppy at four a.m. can fuck off.  With cheez.  
  •  Not being able to get to sleep before midnight, for whatever reason, when I know I'm going to be getting up at 4:00, 6:30, and for the last time at 7:00 can take a flying leap off the purple people-eater from my nightmare between 6:30 and 7:00, and swan dive into an indigo fuck off.
  •  Students who can't read a schedule of due dates, assignment sheets, or step-by-step instructions with pictures to fucking do something fucking right the first fucking time can fuck off--but they probably won't know how, and would want someone to do it for them.  
  • Politicians and politics.  And people who are fervent true believers in a particular political ideology to the point that they're still campaigning for Toad Akin can fuck right the fucking fuckety fuck off.
  • Cancer.  Cancer can fuck off and die.  
  • Obamacare, its authors, and each and every fucktard fuckstick that fucking voted for it, as well as that traitorous fuck on the fucking Supreme Fucking Court can fuck off so hard that their ancestors and  descendants to the eighteenth generation can feel violated.  You fucking cockbiting fuckbaits just fucking insured that we won't fucking find a fucking cure for any-fucking-thing, much less fucking cancer.  
  • Entitlement spending, and the proponents thereof, can fuck off with a copy of Dave Ramsey's collected works on how money works, how to create and maintain a budget, and how to get out (and stay out) of debt turned sideways, folded until it's all corners, and jammed up their collective ass, just like they've done with the debt to the rest of us.
  • Meetings, bureaucrats, paperwork, and stupid hoops to make the bosses feel like their job is more important than the workers' jobs can fuck off.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Suspicion confirmed.

I forgot to give the imp his dose of Zyrtec this morning.  He was a complete and total butt-head all morning, then he had a dose of Benedryl (which calmed him down, for the most part), which wore off about 4:00 (and was re-applied at about 7:00).

I'm pretty sure he has pollen allergies of some type.  The pixie has been showing signs of such, too--not cranky and mean, but whiny and prone to tears at the least little thing.

I won't be forgetting the imp's Zyrtec in the morning. It's too bad the pixie is still too little for it. 

Top five favorite books

1. Jane Eyre  (free download, your choice of format, right side of top row)

I think I was twelve when I first read this book.  I can't really detail why it's one of my favorites, but it is, and has been since I read it the first time.  I tend to re-read it every three or four years.

2. Dune

I was about thirteen when I first got my hands on this book.  It opened my eyes to human nature, political expedience, the economics of limited resources, and I keep getting new ideas from it every time I re-read it (usually at least once per year, if not more often).  The really interesting thing is how closely it parallels the British Imperial occupation of the Middle East, and the oil-based economy (and its weaknesses).

3. The Little White Horse

No real deep messages, in this book.  It's a quiet, classic children's book, involving children learning to do the right thing, no matter how scary or difficult.   When I'm the most frazzled, I re-read this book for sheer comfort.  I've always liked it better than any other children's book (save, perhaps, The Hobbit).

4. 1984 (free to read online)

I read 1984 for the first time when I was about fourteen years old.  My family were under the control of the state, since my sister and I were in the legal custody of the state, but in my mom's physical care.  If anyone ever doubted that the government has designs of totalitarian control over the lives of its citizens, they need to live for a few years with the terror of child illfare services threatening to put them in foster care if they so much as sneezed wrong, or forgot to ask permission to take a shit.

Needless to say, this book combined with the circumstances of my life formed my absolute hatred of politics, politicians, propaganda, and being controlled. 

5. Robert Heinlein's Future History series, especially the stories regarding the Howard Families

I've said before that I never had healthy models of how to be an adult.  Heinlein's stories gave me the healthiest models I had, and except for the promiscuity, I've tried to model my own behavior on his very human characters.

Chime in.  What are your favorite books, and why?

Some gatekeeper.

Traditional publishers consider themselves the "gatekeepers" for quality reading material.  They claim to make sure that no low-quality writing makes it past them.  Which says nothing for low-quality ideas, like the ones articulated in this article, about celebrity writers who are contracted to write absolute dreck, but don't deliver.

Honestly, I find it kind of funny that Penguin had authors contracted to write books like "a book to help teenagers cope with depression" (like Judy Blume hadn't already done that, and done it better) without specifics, and then got miffed when the authors didn't deliver.  Or, "collections of journalism" which I assume means it's already written and published work, but not yet collected and bound together (like anyone's reading "journalism" anyway--ask the major newspapers who are losing readership because of such "journalism").  I find it funny that this publisher has paid advances for work that isn't even done yet, and are shocked that it's not getting done, now that the money's already been paid out and spent.

In other realities, we have authors with more than one book written that they can't find agents or publishers for, despite the writing being fairly high-quality, simply because the ideas are fresh and unlike everything else being published (and therefore, a risk). 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

World's saddest little squeaky toy...

The pup is back in her crate, right now.  She's still insecure enough with us out of the room that, if she's awake, she screams and cries until she falls asleep.  And right now...she's crying.

I just put the imp to bed, and if I hadn't shut her in her crate in the back room while I was out of the room with the imp, she'd have been screaming and crying in the living room, and would have woke the pixie. 

Only, now I can't take her out of her crate in the back room until she quiets down, or she'll get the erroneous idea that all she has to do is cry loud enough, for long enough. 

She sounds, for all the world, like someone's bouncing their foot on a rubber squeaky duck. 

Correct punctuation is extremely important.

Already looking forward to bedtime...

The pixie woke from her nap early, and has been horribly fussy for the past two hours.  She also woke the imp a bit early, and he's been an absolute butt-head.  They just will not stop harassing each other.  They're also climbing on the furniture, falling off, bumping various body parts, and squalling. 

It's not too much longer before it's time for the kids' supper.  After supper is bath time, then a little while to play, then time for The Lion King.  After that, it's time for the pixie to go to bed, and the imp goes an hour later. 

I'm about at the end of my patience.  And I've had the imp home from Grandma and Grandpa's house for less than 24 hours. 

And exactly how is this a good thing?

I understand that helping others is good.  However, getting more and more people signed up for food stamps is neither helping others, nor is it charity.  It is enabling laziness, rewarding bad decisions, and putting a gun to someone's head to lift money out of their wallets to hand to someone who doesn't want to work. 

And it's something that the nation cannot afford.  Not with near-20% real unemployment numbers.  Not with median incomes having fallen, which, in turn, lowers the amount of taxes brought in.  Not with entitlements taking up about 62% of the budget.

I don't know how to fix this.  I don't even know if it can be fixed.  I fear, not for myself, but for my children's futures, and my grandchildren's, and my great-grandchildren's. 

Thank you, Mr. President.  You have, indeed, had a hand in building that, though you haven't done it alone.  And unless we can figure out how to reverse a hundred-year trend in our elected public servants' actions, you will have laid the last finishing touches upon a mausoleum for the American Dream.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


If you're black and don't vote, now, you're betraying your people* and don't deserve to be black.  In fact, Emanuel Cleaver wants blacks who don't vote (presumably for the same skin color) to give their color back.

Wait...what?   I am embarrassed that this racist, mouth-breathing, race-baiting jackass is from Missouri.  Maybe there needs to be literacy/civic literacy tests instituted to be allowed to vote and/or run for office. 

*Huh.  I thought we all were the same people: Americans. 

A peaceful day...

Since we have a new puppy, someone had to stay home with her while the rest of the family visited my in-laws. 

Guess who's staying home.

I'm in the house by myself with two kittens, a puppy, and (apparently) a noisy horde of mice (one of which I saw this morning--a fat, dark gray specimen darted out from under the vacuum to hide in the closet).  No television on.  Just music.

Yes, I need to get up off my butt and go get to work in the kitchen.  Yes, I need to get the laundry going. 

I'm going to enjoy the peace and (mostly) quiet for a little while longer, and finish my cup of coffee.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just receieved in my junk mail box...

"Welcome Todd Akin back to SW MO!!"

...Sure.  With about a ton of fresh leavings from the bull pasture.

Finally caught up

Blogs are graded.  Colleague's stuff is done.  Revisions I've already had turned in are graded.  I may or may not have more to grade tomorrow--students never think that when I say revisions are due by such-and-such a day, that they can, y'know, revise their work for a better grade.  Or, they don't think an F on a paper is a reason to do any further work on it. 

So, for the time being, my grading is caught up with.  Now, it's time to work on the housework that I'm behind on.  Again. 

Yet more proof that a good number of parents are selfish.

I had three students who wrote their evaluation arguments over whether to home school, or send their kids to private or public school.  One student came to the decision that home schooling had its advantages for those who had the time to do it, but that they didn't have the time or patience to make sure their kids got a good education.  The other two made their decisions based on cost--that their families would have to make too many lifestyle sacrifices to put their kids in private school, no matter how much better it was, so their kids would be going to public school.

Wow, guys.  Way to go in putting your kids first.  I don't have the time and patience, either, but I will be making the time necessary for my kids' needs.  It's what a parent--a real parent--does.  And, with an attitude like that (don't have the time and patience for their kids), I'd be willing to bet they won't have the time or patience for parent-teacher meetings, or for school functions. 

As for the costs...did those idiots do the research into the private school options?  Yeah, the secular day school costs like double your college, maybe they should drop college while their kid's in school, and they've got half their tuition right there (and it's not like they're exactly suited to higher education anyway, so no losses on that front).  I'm sure dropping their cell phone plan, cable, and cutting eating out down to once a month could net the rest.  But, while that school does have the best academics, bar none, in the local organized private schools, it turns out students that set their sights way too high for their age and experience, and who give up at the first hint of adversity (nobody listens to my ideas--waaaahhhhh!!!).

However, that's not the only private school in the area.  There are three different Christian schools, each of which are better than the biggest public school district, each of which costs a lot less, and turns out better, more resilient students.  I think they cost less than the college's tuition, too.  And they'll make sure the kids are better prepared for college than my students are. 

I'm honestly a little sickened by the attitudes I saw in those three papers.  What the hell happened to parents doing without necessities to make sure their kids had enough?  These cretins are unwilling to do without luxuries that they complain about not being able to afford

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Grading blogs...

I've just finished grading my Comp I blogs, and I'm taking a short break before I get far into my Comp II blogs.  I'd gotten about a week behind (we're going into week 6 of the semester, week 5's blogs were due on Friday, and I hadn't graded week 4's, yet).

I should be finished in about two hours, or so. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Good to know...

We live a few blocks away from a local school.  They were holding a tournament of some type, today, and the loudspeaker was going all day, complete with lots and lots of loud cheers. 

And every time I'd take the puppy outside, she'd mess around in the yard, hustle for the door, then squat and do her business on the carpet pretty much as soon as she was inside. 

The back yard is much quieter.  She had not problems squatting to piddle in the midst of her explorations, and we were outside for about half an hour, running around on the leash with no poop.  Hopefully, that means she didn't need to.  If she poops on the floor, I think I may cry. 

Random ramblings

We had visitors, day before yesterday.  The imp's godfather, his wife, and their seven month old son.  The baby played on the floor, and the kids figured out that the baby couldn't crawl forward, yet.  So, they set about showing him, and he finally managed a forward gear.

The pixie hasn't stopped talking about it since.  "Baby play wif beadball!" 

The imp then adds, "Aw, so cute!"

I wound up holding the puppy the whole time.  She'd have loved the little crawler just as much as the kids--mostly because he couldn't climb up on the furniture to get away from being licked to death and gnawed on.

Speaking of which, the pixie screeches "puppy!" in the same tones that some people reserve for the word "snake"--when the pup is awake.  If she catches the pup asleep, she'll lay down on the floor next to her, and pet her and love on her. 

I'm still working my way through outlining The Last Pendragon.  Still considering cutting some of the stories out of The Godshead.  Can't do a whole lot of work on either, between my two classes, and the classes I help a colleague with.  Too many students, and more than half of them are of the "I can't dooo it!  It's too haaard!" helpless variety--really saps my time and energy. 

Honestly, if The Godshead makes me even close to what I make from my part-time professor paycheck, I'm quitting.  I love teaching, but I can't stand trying to teach those who give up at the first hint of something they've never encountered before.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's been a long damn day...

I had a doctor's appointment this morning.  Then, it was off to Sam's Club, and then home, where we fed the kids, dosed them both with Benedryl (pixie was complaining that her nose was hot, and her mouth & throat hurt; imp was complaining of a headache), and got them down for a nap.  Got some stuff done for my classes, then Odysseus was leaving for work, and the kids were back up. 

I think this is one of the first chances I've had today to relax.

I love my kids, but when they get to feeling bad, they pretty much demand 100% of my attention.  Each. 

I'm glad they're both asleep, now. 

Sheer awesome.

I was walking the puppy, earlier, and heard some idiot (though with very good taste) blaring his stereo.  I looked around, and noticed that the only vehicle nearby was a motorcycle.  One of the big touring bikes, complete with stereo.

The song blaring loud enough to scare the puppy as the bike drifted past? 

FFOT: another list

  • Ragweed.  Ragweed can definitely FTFO.  
  • Kids' allergies when they're under six, and there aren't really a lot of options for treatment.
  • Getting up every three hours to walk the dog, no matter how cute she is.
  • Webinars useless to actually teaching can FTFO.
  • And, like Ricki, Speshul Snowflakes.  Mine are their own computer problem.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Possibly allergies?

The imp has been a right little pain in the ass, lately.  Mean to his sister, the kittens, and really rough with the puppy.

When he got up this morning, I noticed that he had the heel of his hand pressed into the spot just beneath his eyebrow, just above the orbit of his eye, like he had a sinus headache.  He looks like a little minature Odysseus, and Odysseus has horrible allergies.  So, I wonder...I wonder if the imp is also suffering from the same vicious hay fever, and taking it out on everything around him. 

I'm giving both of them a dose of Benedryl tonight, to see if the meanness is because of a sinus headache that the Tylenol and Ibuprofen aren't touching.  (Pixie has about half a dozen mosquito bites that the external cream ain't doing anything for--and she's whiney about it.)

Mornings suck.

I've been up since 7:00, when the pixie decided it was time to get up.  Imp was up by 7:15.  Pup needed out about that time.  It's been hectic, since.  I've been able to sit and write a sentence or two about once every half-hour, or so, between corralling kids and getting the pup out before she piddles on the floor...

I've just finished my first cup of coffee, one that I poured about 7:30.  I have more in the pot, but haven't had a chance to go get more. 

I love the kids and pets, but I wish they hit top speed a little later in the day.  You know, after I've had a chance to wake up and get at least one cup of coffee down, and maybe something to eat. 

At least my papers are graded (except the one that tried to turn in the first draft that was due Monday today--that one has a big fat zero that isn't going to be changed).  The rest should take me about two or three hours, tops, instead of 20 minutes per student. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Done with papers...

I'll have blogs and class discussion to grade tomorrow, then my colleague's stuff the next morning, then blogs on Saturday.  Hopefully, I'll have a bunch of revisions on Monday, or there will be some people very unhappy with their grades.

This is, without a doubt, the bunch with the weakest work ethic I've had for a while. 

You know you're courting burnout...

...when you're tempted to either give a student an A just to get them to STFU and go away, or tell them that all the problems they're having in your class are caused by the fact that they're too stupid to breathe, so they should either stop breathing, since they're obviously doing it wrong, or drop your class.

I want that hour back.

So...I sat through the PowerPoint presentation plus verbal presentation over "collegiality." 

It was worse than useless.  It was useless, was having technical problems that kept kicking people out, and started from a false premise (that students are the customer, and professors are in a customer service business).

Students are not customers.  They are product.*  We who stand in front of a classroom, either physical or digital, are not in the customer service business.  We professors are in the business of improving the product. 

We are not supposed to make the "customer" happy.  We are supposed to offer good value--knowledge--for a set cost. 

If anyone needs to be trained in customer service on campus it's the student services department, the campus activities board, the financial aid department, and, perhaps, administration.

Leave me the fuck alone.  I have papers to grade.

*Unless they're paying for their own education out of pocket--a rare occurence, considering that most college is paid for by government grants and loans, scholarships, or parents.  The ones paying are the customers.  Most students don't pay for their own education.  Therefore, most students aren't customers, and all are product.

Out-of-touch politicians.

I ran across a news story about the Obama campaign hyperventilating about Romney saying that he won't worry about the 47% that will vote for whoever will give them the biggest share of the slops trough.  Jim Messina (warning: story at the link has a giant picture of the drooling, weak-chinned, watery-eyed moron--don't click on it while you're eating), the great zero's campaign manager, somehow interpreted that to mean that Romney felt “disgust and disdain for half of our fellow Americans.”

Romney's actual words were
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.

“That, that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax, so our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.”
I see no disgust.  I see frustration.  I see concern for the country, for those who pay taxes, and for future generations to come that will still be paying for what the government uses to pay off these lazy, entitled fuckers that whine about how they can't find a job concomitant with their overinflated opinion of their skills, ability, and worth. 

I will admit that I am one of the 49% that will get back far more in tax refund next spring than I have paid in for the last five years.  I'll accept the money, and I will use it to help afford to care for my family in an economy that the great zero has ruined.  Groceries have nearly doubled.  My family's health insurance now carries a $10 grand deductible per person so that we can cut the premium by $100/month, and keep it lower than our six-month payment on our car insurance, much less our now-paid-off mortgage.  Gas is half again higher than it was four years ago. 

But my paycheck isn't rising.  Odysseus's paycheck is also pretty static. 

Thanks, President Obama.  You did, indeed, build that.  You have fucked the useful part of this nation over so hard that it's bleeding, and crying for you to stop.

Romney isn't voicing disgust.  If you want to see disgust, listen to any of the 51% of the population that pays taxes, or the 53% that refuses to rely on government help. 

Despite how tight things are, I refuse to apply for food stamps (and I'm pretty sure that we're probably eligible for the maximum amount), or for Medicaid for the kids.  I have been in the 47%, and I see what they're like.  I take responsibility for myself.  I take responsibility for my family.

And, believe me, I do voice my disgust, loudly and in public, for those who refuse to do the same.  Because if I can get out, anyone can.  All it takes is determination, self-respect instead of a sense of entitlement, a willingness to do what's necessary, and a refusal to disdain any work that carries a paycheck.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

By demand...

I have proof that I can conceal a  full-size 1911 with a 5" barrel:


I suppose it's not hard to hide a large-frame auto with a *mumble mumble* bra size.

My breasts offer great concealment.

I can carry a full-sized 1911 on my left hip, set for cross draw on the outside of my waistband, wear an oversized tee-shirt, and no one sees the gun for the drape of the shirt. 

What is racism?

I barely notice student skin color.  It simply doesn't matter to me, not like their behavior, attitude, presentation of themselves, and literacy levels do.  Needless to say, I was a little startled when, in my first semester teaching after completing my master's degree, I was accused of being racist when one of my students who turned in a paper that didn't quite make the page count minimum--with the text all in bold--and got a D. 

I leaned forward, folded my hands on my desk and thought as fast as I could.  Then, I asked him, "Who's the racist?  The teacher that holds you to the same standards as everyone else, or the teacher that has different standards just for you, standards that are maybe just a little bit easier?"

That shut him up for a little while.  And then he made the startling realization that all of his teachers in elementary and high school were racist. 

Standards that are different according to race constitute one form of racism.

A couple of years later, I started tutoring the football players.  One of the guys was literally one of the biggest men I'd ever met.  Probably about six foot ten, and nearly as broadly muscled as he was tall.  Had gorgeous, beautifully maintained dreads tied back out of his face, and skin the same color as my favorite Colombian Supremo coffee without cream.  Very handsome--but he had an awful attitude, and almost the whole time I sat across a table from him, he tried to intimidate me. 

Needless to say, that didn't work.  And he got confused.  He asked me why I wasn't scared of him, so I told him to look under the table. 

At that time, I had to use a cane through the winter.  My knee started hurting in about September or October, and got really iffy in how well it worked--thus, the cane.  And my favorite was a solid bar of hickory, with a knob on the end for a grip. 

The knob end of that cane was resting between his feet on the floor under the table.  I wasn't afraid of him partially because I just wasn't, and partially because I was prepared to put him in a world of pain if he actually did more than just act like an ass. 

He said I was the first white woman he'd ever met that wasn't afraid of him on some level.  I told him it was more than likely less his skin color and more his attitude.  Told him I thought he was quite the bit of eye candy, and to ignore idiots that couldn't see him for who he was.

And that kid's attitude did a complete one-eighty.  The coaches even asked me what I did to work such a change in that kid (no, I didn't admit to threatening blunt-force emasculation). 

Being afraid of someone because he's big and black is the same old form of racism that the activists whine about.  It's a lot rarer than it used to be, but it still happens among the ignorant.

A couple weeks after that, I was on the elevator with a couple of football players, both of whom had been in my composition classes.  The three of us were joking around, and one of the two said something--I forget what, now, but I remember that it had nothing to do with race--and the other half-jokingly called him racist (and yes, the other student was black).  I pointed out that racism was also bringing up race when it had no application to the subject under discussion. 

So, if I disagree with pretty much every one of the President's policies, and am called a racist because I disagree with him at all...who's the racist?  I guaran-damn-tee you it isn't me.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Finally done with one set of papers...

I finished the first set of papers for my Comp II class.  The last paper was the absolute best--the student actually got and installed the basic, beginner Linux system, and wrote his review over it. 

Now, I get to go see if my colleague needs help, and do what I can there.  Then, blogs that I didn't get to while I was grading papers (probably will do that this evening).  And finally, the first set of papers for my other class are due at midnight, tonight.

I've got a cup of coffee at my elbow, a Scotty puppy with a rawhide twist curled up on a lap quilt by my feet, it's a bright, sunny day, and the kids are both down for the moment. 

Things could be worse.

Training on not being an asshole

So...I have to sit through an hour-long webinar on Wednesday, on collegiality.  I have a diversity one coming up soon, and the sexual harassment one isn't a webinar this semester, so I can't (won't) attend--taking care of my kids and making sure the new puppy doesn't crap on the carpet is far more important than learning how to piss people off by insulting whatever they've got in their pants.  The other seminar, the one that might actually be useful (about privacy laws and regulations) is also on campus.  And it's still not important enough to leave my kids for. 

I think it's insulting that every employee, on or off campus, is required to attend these.  I guess the administration are a bunch of racist, sexually harassing assholes that don't know how to keep their pie-holes shut about students' private, personal information, who indulge in the fantasy that nobody can possibly be a better, more responsible person than they are. telling the admin pukes that can't seem to let teachers be about the business of teaching to go fuck themselves sexual harassment, or anti-collegiality?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Oh, God help us...

I've got a student writing their evaluation argument paper arguing that Obama has been a good, effective president. 

Where's the fucking duct tape?  I cannot, will not, grade them on their stupidity and their opinions.  But my head may explode in the process of being fair.

So cute!

The kids are both down for a nap, and the puppy is wide awake.  She's romping around the floor, wrestling with things...a page of newspaper that she drug off of the couch here, my size six women's Nike sneaker over there, and now, an old, felt Easter basket that the kids use to carry more than three small toys.  Growling and shaking her head.  Crawling all over whatever she's wrestling with. 

Everything she's chosen to play with is quite a bit bigger than she is.  It's so cute it's disgusting.


I feel like crap.  I'm trying to finish grading with alternating cold chills and bouts of hot and cold sweats with nausea, so there won't be much blogging today. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I really wish I'd not given in with regards to having a television...

There's very little on suitable for toddlers, especially not on Saturdays.  Beyond that, I'm getting really damn tired of The Muppet Show, The Lion King, and various DVDs of Thomas and Friends. 

Hell, I'm getting tired of the TV being on at all.  Because it's on all the time

I have to admit, I'd rather watch The Muppet Show (which is currently playing for the pixie), no matter how tired of it I am, than grade papers.  It's making it impossible to focus on what I'm supposed to be doing...

Random ramblings

Nothing's funnier than watching the imp run around the living room with a tiny black puppy on his heels.

The pixie is still kind of scared of the puppy--she's not used to creatures that chase her back, jump up on her, and lick her. 

For the most part, the kids have been pretty well behaved, this week.  There've only been a few bickering fights, but the pixie has been cranky and whiney.  I think she's been having teething issues bleeding into earaches. 

The pup has worn herself out, playing for about an hour after her seven o'clock walk, mostly chasing the imp.  She's curled up in the little corner between the end of the couch and the angled diaper box full of printer paper that blocks off the computer and cords. 

I haven't gotten any writing done for the past few days.  Between fighting random wireless card failures, dealing with cranky kids, working with housetraining a new puppy, and grading awful papers, I haven't had the time, energy, or headspace to be able to write.

I've managed to get three papers graded.  Seventeen to go.  And then another thirteen to seventeen from my Freshman Comp I class coming in on Monday. 

Yeah...I don't think I'm going to be able to get my blogs graded until next Friday or so.  Just in time to get the next bunch of blogs coming due.

I know, I know...this is what I signed up for.  But like I said earlier: I teach for free.  They pay me to grade.  I love the teaching, the sharing of knowledge, but I hate, hate, hate the grading. 

Friday, September 14, 2012


So far, so good with the housebreaking.  She's had three accidents since we brought her home with us yesterday.  Pixie is a little scared of the pup--she doesn't play like the kittens, and her version of affection is a lot different--but pup and imp have been chasing each other around the living room all day, except for naptimes. 

She's already spoiled--the vet gave us a free bag of the supposedly super-high quality puppy food, but the pup doesn't seem to like it.  At all.  She seems to like the Purina One puppy food a lot better, and likes the canned dog food the best (of course). 

I'm sure the kittens are still young enough to learn to be friends.  So far, Cricket's terrified of the pup, and Shadow has hissed and slapped at her a couple of times--probably trying to get her bluff in early.  Pup doesn't seem to really care about the kittens one way or the other (unless they're running away from her). 

So far, so good.  

FFOT: the week's issues

I'm a little busy for a proper send-off--so far, I've gotten about two or three papers graded, and of those, the best has been a B that required quite a bit of feedback.  The worst?  An F.  The poor student wrote the paper by the rules of African-American Vernacular English (otherwise known as Ebonics), instead of American Standard English.  So that student's teachers can fuck the fucking fuckety fuck off--with the standard cricket bat coated in broken glass with a nice battery acid lubricant--for serving them so very poorly because they're black and obviously won't be able to learn any better, so why bother?  Fuck that shit--I could tell by the ideas behind the paper that the student's intelligence was well above average. 

Islamofacism can fuck off with a napalm coated ICBM jammed into its collective prostate.  Kill our ambassadors, will you...

And finally, our state department can fuck off so hard that eighteen generations of the descendants of the ones who were FUCKING fully FUCKING aware that there were fucking security breaches fucking endangering our fucking diplomatic staff.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New addition

We brought our little Scotty puppy home today.  She's currently sleeping with her head propped on Odysseus's foot.  I don't think housebreaking her will bee too difficult--she's really smart, and very attentive to what we want her to do.  I think she's decided that we're the alpha dogs, without much effort on our part to convince her.

The kittens, naturally, aren't too pleased.  I think they're a little scared of her. 

Papers handed in

Looks like I've got a total  of nineteen papers.  I'd have twenty, but one little twerp (to whom I did not give an extension) turned hers in this morning, at just before eight o'clock, when it was due at midnight.  I'm not inclined to take it.

Pray for my sanity. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bring. It.

So...perceived insults to Mohammed sparked the terror attacks that murdered four more of our civilians yesterday, on the eleventh anniversary of the one of the biggest, most public attacks on American soil.  We need to bomb every fucking building in every fucking village in Libya to rubble too small to house a mouse.  Then, we need to do it again in Cairo, where they're attempting a repeat performance, and any other place where the fucking sand lice are rioting.

At the very least, we need to withdraw every soldier we have over there, withdraw every single dollar of foreign aid, develop our own damn resources, airdrop the fuckers at Gitmo over the Middle East without the benefit of a parachute, and tell them if they protest too loudly, they're going to end up suck-starting an Abrams.  

If they're so easily riled up, let me have a try.  I can defend myself a whole lot better than some state department apologist pussy put in place by the current bowing, ass-kissing, cock-sucking Wookie jockey infesting the White House.

Let me see...Mohammed takes it up the ass from pigs and donkeys while fellating camels to keep quiet the orgasmic moans. 

Bring.  It.  You ragheaded fundamentalist pig fornicating snotwads.  I will hand it back, 124 grains of copper-coated lead at 2,350 feet per second, multiple times. 

The next time someone tries telling me Islam is a religion of peace, I will laugh in their face, then spit at their feet.  Then, I'll scrape the sole of my shoe over their shin.  If they take offense to that, I can tell them exactly what kind of gun oil I use, and tell them I'll be pleased if they want to make something of it.

Urgh... grading.

I hate this part of teaching.  I teach for free--the paycheck is for the grading that goes with it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

They have got to be kidding.

How the f#$&ety F#$& is a peanut butter sandwich racist???


It's been eleven years, now.  I've written about that day quite a bit

My conclusions remain the same: I do not remember the murder of three thousand American citizens with grief.  I remember it with rage. 

What do I call all of the "collateral damage" in the Middle East, in all of the conflicts that the United States hasn't had the testicular fortitude to pursue a victory in?  A decent start.

We won in Japan because we showed a willingness to cause substantial damage and loss of life before we started rebuilding.  We didn't arbitrarily declare a victory we hadn't earned, we bombed the fuck out of those who were ramming planes into our ships

We've pretty much lost any chance at victory in the Middle East.  All we have succeeded at is keeping them (mostly) occupied on their own soil, instead of ours.  Our "leaders" assumed that the governments and people we've been fighting have a quality that they don't: that of being civilized.  Housebroken. 

I will repeat: I do not care that the people over there are supposedly innocent.  Innocent people do not dance in the streets when a nation on the other side of the world from them are viciously attacked without warning.  I do not care that they're supposedly helpless, unarmed.  They outnumber those that are in charge and armed by more than enough to take out the governments.  I do not care that they're fed propaganda, and are ignorant and uneducated.  It is more than possible to realize that, and take steps to fucking change it. 

These people may be homo sapiens...if barely, by their behavior, but they've never left the ninth century. 

They need to be bombed back into the ninth century.  They need to be bombed into complete and unconditional surrender.  Then they need to be drug, kicking and screaming, into the twenty-first century, with their religion re-examined the way Christianity has been examined and re-examined throughout the reformation and enlightenment.  They need to be brought into the human race, not permitted to exist as mere advanced monkeys with nothing more than a tribal culture.

Then, maybe, I can remember September 11, 2001, with the grief it deserves, rather than the icy cold rage of the unresolved act of war that it remains.

Now, that's racist.

Holding someone to different expectations because of the color of their skin is racist.  The current administration is preparing to tell schools that they can't punish too many minority kids for bad behavior.  That's holding minority kids to a different standard than everybody else. 

That's telling minority kids that they're dumber, less civilized, than white kids--simply put, they're being told that they're inferior, based on the color of their skin--and that they can't be held accountable for their behavior.  That's not just racist, but nastily, obviously racist. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Here's another "Hell, yeah" moment

“Think about this, a 31, 32-year-old-law student who has been a student for life, gets up there in front of a national audience and tells the American people, ‘I want America to pay for my contraceptives.’ You’re kidding me. Go get a job. Go get a job, Sandra Fluke.”--Rep. Joe Walsh

Amen, Representative Walsh.  I've paid for my own contraceptives--and my own prenatal care, and one of two births (insurance covered the other, since it was early)--out of my own pocket.  I've paid out of pocket for my insurance and my medical care since I was nineteen years old. 

She's not much younger than I am: I turned 33 this year. I do not understand how someone can be content to remain a child* for their entire life.

She is a failure.  I bet her parents are downright proud of their daughter. 

*A child is someone who expects others to take care of them.  In those younger than about 18, they have the right to.  Those older than that, and not mentally or physically defective, but continue to expect to be cared for should lose their right to vote.

Mild flu

I'm guessing that's what the pixie had/has.  She's feeling better, but I got sick yesterday, and that's what it feels like. 

On the plus side, my grading is nearly done for the next couple days, at least.  I've still got the weekend's blogs, but that won't take too long--maybe two or three hours this evening, barring a massive Blackboard slowdown (again).  I'll have some discussion board grading due, Tuesday midnight, that I'll be grading Wednesday morning while I collect papers emailed to me.  Thursday and Friday I'll be grading papers. 

Pray for my sanity and patience (or send positive thoughts, if you're not the praying type).  Given the quality of work I've seen so far, I'm going to need all the help I can get.

So much for fair play...

I blog as Heroditus Huxley because I'm afraid that, if I were to blog under my real name, I'd lose my job.  Not one of my colleagues agrees with my political opinions, and not one of them is the "agree to disagree" type.  They even use the threat of bad grades to coerce their students into either changing their opinions or keeping their mouths shut. 

My university isn't unique in this.  And my university is far from the worst: the university where I got my Master's degree was a lot worse.

I'm young enough that I wasn't even a gleam in my mother's eye when the takeover began.  I've never even considered the way it used to be, other than the quality and quantity of knowledge I've missed out on.  This article by Vic Rubenfeld gave me a lot of food for thought.

Is there any way possible to take back our education system from within the system the left hijacked?  I don't know, but I strongly doubt it.  Not with the tenure system in place.  And I don't see tenure being abolished any time soon.  They need it too much, both because there's no other way they'd be able to brainwash and train most of a generation to be good Democrat voters, and because there's little chance that liberal professors could actually survive outside the hot-house environment of academia. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lies, big lies, and statistics.

I've heard that the official unemployment rate is about 8.1%. 

Bull.  Shit.  And anyone who pays attention knows it's bullshit.  They've massaged that number to only show those who are unemployed and still looking for work; those who've given up aren't counted. 

The real number is a bit more than double the official statistic: 19%.  That's about one in five out of work. 

Thank you, Mr. President.  You did, indeed, build that.  You didn't inherit an economy this weak.  That took a lot of very hard work, on your part, between golfing trips.  Congratulations.

Well, I know now what not to do...

If I ever inherit a safe deposit box that I find contains gold double-eagles, no way am I going to send them to the mint to be authenticated.  No way am I going to permit the government to confiscate property that belongs to me, especially not with the justification that it's actually "government property."  Not while the government has forgotten that it is the property of the American people. 

Granted, if the mint had simply authenticated the coins, they'd've been worth $80 million or more; in sheer metal value, they would have only been worth a bit less than $18.5 thousand, at current prices.

Still.  I'd rather have the smaller value, than have my property stolen from me by a government that has lost its legitimacy.*

*A legitimate government has the trust and confidence of its citizens.  Go ahead and ask everyone around you if they trust their federal government, or hell, even their city government. 

Sick pixie

She's got some kind of virus--she ate a lot less than usual, yesterday, and was a lot fussier than usual.  She finally started whining, and came and climbed into my lap, and I noticed she felt a little warm. 

She was running a fever of about 102.5.  I dosed her with Tylenol, then Ibuprofen, when the Tylenol didn't do the job, and spent the evening rocking her.  She did not have a restful night, either, and woke up with the fever back full-force. 

Once we got that under control, she started being her normal, playful, silly self, and ate about half a cup of Walmart's popcorn chicken from the deli. 

Odysseus and I are flat exhausted. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I think I have made a slight miscalculation.

I introduced the imp to Cute Overload.  He loves pretty much any kind of animal or bug or reptile--you name it, and he'll find something about it he thinks is cute.

In introducing him to a website where everything is cute, I think I may have created a monster.  One that's going to demand to look at the animals on the laptop pretty much every time he turns up at my elbow.  Every ten minutes.  For the entire time he's awake during the day. 

Oh, boy.

Our kittens have discovered the cut-out in the wall where the hoses run from the hookups and drain in the hall bath to the washing machine in the back room.  I'm going to have to find a way to block it to the point they can't pull or push whatever I put up out of their way.

That's not going to be easy.  At four months old, they're 2/3 to 3/4 the size my adult cat was in her prime.  And they're stronger and smarter than she ever was, too. 

At least the dog we're going to be bringing home next Friday isn't going to be able to go through that little hole halfway up the wall...

Random ramblings

This is the third night that the pixie has spent in the toddler bed, instead of the crib.  She's been such a good, big girl. 

Both kids have been little rays of sunshine, recently.  Very affectionate, cheerful, and happy.  Lots of happy play together, and lots of shrieking giggles.  The pixie has taken to greeting anyone in a room she runs into with a huge smile (complete with dimples) and a "Hi!" 

The imp now runs up and flings his arms around me, and chirps, "Hug you, Mama.  I love you, Mama!" 

And, of course, Mama melts into her socks.  So does Daddy, when imp does that to Daddy.  So does anyone else in the imp's life. 

The imp will be four years old, next month.  He's about four inches shy of four feet tall, already.  He's currently in size 10 shoes.  Still only weighs about 32 pounds--he's a beanpole.  A very strong one.  He can carry a gallon of milk for a short way.  With a five pound bag of apples in the other hand. 

The pixie will be two in December.  She just had a growth spurt.  In about a week, she shot up about two inches, outgrew some of her favorite outfits, and had to have a larger size of shoes.  She's now in size 7--which seems to be a half-size smaller than boys' size 7.  She can still wear her brother's size 6 sneakers comfortably. 

I'm working my way through The Last Pendragon.  It's going to take a while.  I've already added a few bits to the early part of the book--the problem isn't ideas, but time.  And the first paper is coming in next Wednesday, so my time is going to be even more limited.

As for The Godshead, I'm strongly considering cutting a few of the stories out.  If I do that, I'll be posting them on a webpage for the book (series, really--I've got other ideas set in that world).  Honestly, it was tons of fun to write, and I'm betting that, instead of the book I've got 26,000 words written on, it'll be another book in that series.  In fact, I'm almost sure of it.  I've got a character snarking in my head about everything I've been doing, lately, and nagging me about starting to plan out his book. 

That's something I may be able to do--outlining a book that isn't written yet doesn't take nearly as long as outlining one that is as I'm revising and rewriting. 

But not in the next two or three weeks.  My Comp II students have a paper coming due next Wednesday, and my Comp I students have a paper coming due the next Monday. 

I have my colleague's grading to do today, and my classes' blogs.  And grocery shopping.  And housework.  And in a couple of weeks, I'm going to have to add diversity training, collegiality training, and other progressivist bullshit training in order to keep my job to what the university must assume is an otherwise empty schedule. 

May every twit involved in foisting this onto everybody on campus be afflicted with explosive diarrhea, and regurgitating toilets at their home.  Fucking idiots.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Yet another congresscritter talking out his ass.

Did you hear South Carolina Representative James Clyburn (D) said that Republicans and Conservatives think "there‘s something wrong with feeding people when they’re hungry"? 

I see absolutely nothing wrong with feeding people when they're hungry...provided that it isn't their own choices that they're feeling the consequences of.  And as long as those feeding the hungry are doing it voluntarily and with their own money (something Democrats don't like), rather than having the government rob me to do it, when I need that money to feed my kids. 

Honestly, were entitlement programs (read: welfare and foodstamps) abolished tomorrow...I'd be volunteering the day after for a local church's soup kitchen, for the times when Odysseus can watch the kids.  As it is, with government taking money from me against my will to hand to those who won't work (as opposed to those who can't--and who should be cared for by their family, or by their local faith-based institution of their choice), I refuse to enable those who choose to buy a new iPhone instead of buying basic food staples, and a basic cook book. 

FFOT: a list

  • Speshul snowflakes that whine, "I don't know hoooowwww!  I can't dooo it!  You have to help me!" while really meaning that they want their teachers to do whatever for them (and yes, there is an easily discernible difference between students who genuinely don't understand what I'm asking, and the ones that pretend they don't).  
  • Barack Obama.  Because the one job on the national stage that should not be landed because of affirmative action is the job of President.  It's now going to be very difficult for any other black man or woman to go for that job, because they're going to be assumed to be a failure no matter how competent and brilliant they are.  Thank you for that, you fucking mouth-breathing moron.  You may be smarter than Joe Biden, but then again, so is a pile of pig shit.  
  • Parents who don't bother to raise their own children, and then gawp at me for my choices to work at home: "Oh, I couldn't possibly do that!  I'd go crazy in a week!"  Wow...way to admit in front of your kids that you can't stand do realize that it's entirely your fault that your kids are whiny, badly-behaved, spoiled-rotten little shits, right?
  • Family that makes you feel like shit because you don't live like they think you should.
  • People who get a new pet, go into raptures for a couple weeks over how wonderful the new pet is, then do an abrupt 180 after the "new" wears off.  
  • Last, but not least, people who do nothing to try to better their circumstances, either because it's "too hard," or because "people around here don't like me, so nothing I can do will change anything" or because of any external excuse they can think up (racism, sexism, ageism, etc.). 
If something's gotten on your last nerve this week, vent in the comments.  That's what this series of posts is here for.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thanks, and welcome

Thanks, Tom, for hitting that nice, blue follower button, over there.  Have a seat, and put your feet up.    I've got some good Scotch, bourbon, some honey whiskey, Irish whiskey, tea, coffee, lemonade, milk, orange juice, or water. 

I also have oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, were you so inclined.

Well, at least these cats aren't useless...

Our beloved cat who we laid to rest a couple of months ago, only caught her first mouse about two years ago.  It was trapped in the bathtub, and Odysseus had to literally drop her on top of it before she figured out what she was supposed to do.

Her count never passed double-digits.

One of our current two kittens, both of whom are about four months old, has already made her first kill.  How do I know?  I found the tail in the litter box--still bloody at one end, and covered in fine, gray fur--this morning, and a few patches of skin/fur on the floor in the back room they sleep in.  Didn't find anything else, and believe me, I looked.


Apparently, a squirt bottle is an effective training tool for toddlers as well as kittens.  It's working to train the kittens to stay down off of the tables and counters, and away from the people food; out of desperation, I tried it out on the imp while he was smacking the air around his sister's head, making her cry.

Oh.  My.  God.  You'd have thought I'd taken a strap to his butt (which I never have, never will, and would kill someone for trying).  Now, all it takes is a shake, and he's got his hands tucked under his butt, squealing, "No!  No!  Don't squirt me!  Mama, don't squirt me!"

I think that's going to be reserved for when the nose-in-the-corner doesn't work (which is rare).

They grow so fast...

Yesterday, I caught the pixie trying to climb out of her crib after her nap.  When I went over and dropped the rail to pick her up, she got about halfway out on her own.  So, fearing that sooner that I'd like, I'd hear the thud of a little body hitting the floor, then a wail as she realized that she'd fallen, I moved the toddler bed that the imp is refusing to sleep in into the pixie's room.  And she slept in it.  Peacefully.  All night.

She's about eight months younger than the imp was when he switched from the crib to the toddler bed.  And, unlike the imp, who cried when he saw the open side of the bed (before I put up a safety fence that's intended to act as a half-rail for a twin sized bed), she absolutely bawled when I put the safety fence on the bed.  Then she ran over, started tugging on it, saying "Take it off!"  Poor little thing was absolutely heartbroken that her new big girl bed got turned into what she saw as a baby bed.

She's been a very good girl--didn't get out of bed once. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Revision is an important part of writing.

I've started revising The Last Pendragon while I let The Godshead lie fallow for a while.  As I'm reading the draft I have, I'm outlining it, and including important information (like characters' physical looks, which it seems I didn't really do much description of), hoping to be able to better find and fix plot holes that way. 

Honestly, this stage takes as much time (for me) as the initial drafting does.  I keep thinking I've written something I didn't, and having to go back and double check.  I have a frightening memory for what I read, and for what I write, and what I meant to write, but never did.  It would probably take me a couple of years to actually forget enough to not have those issues. 

I suppose it would have helped had I written an outline of where I wanted to go with the story, first, but I didn't.  Rather, I did, but the story didn't want to go that way, and didn't want to keep the pace I'd set. 

No matter.  It's giving me something to focus on besides my stupids.

Little to no inflation...yeah, right.

Tell that to the people that just bought a bag of generic Cap'n Crunch for a dollar more than they paid for it less than a year ago. 

My students...they need professional help.

I checked my campus email last night.  I've had nine students drop, so far.  I hope to God more do.  And I hope the one that emailed me last night does.  Why?

She listed a Google+ account as her blog.  Google+ is trying to set those up to be a social networking page, kind of like Facebook--which I explicitly said don't count as blogs.  And I told her that.  So, she just emailed me last night, whining, "I don't understandddd...why doesn't it count????"

I explained it.  Again.  Then went to her Google+ page, and found out that I couldn't see it even if I were willing to let it count (which I'm not), and took a screen shot of it.  Then I put a link to the class example blog, and told her that was what a blog page was supposed to look like.

Then, she emailed me back, asking "Where's Blogger?"

Umm...what?  Does she really expect me to send her a link to something that she should be able to find on her own?  I mean, Blogger is linked in the textbook, and in the first announcement.  It's also linked in several of her classmates' blogs.  Not to mention this: she can type to email me with her helplessness, so she can type her fucking inane stupidity into a fucking search engine.

Somebody better catch a rich old man so that she doesn't have to make her way in the real world.  Otherwise, I'm sure that I and every other taxpayer in the country are going to be supporting her worthless ass while she whines about not being sure why her nose hurts and her phone is broken when she walks into a crosswalk post while checking her Facebook (or whatever has replaced such) on her brand new iPhone. 

I knew it was bad...

Seeing things laid out this starkly makes me want to curl up into a bitty little ball and hide.

I'm strongly considering a house in the woods with enough flat, cleared land for a large truck garden full of corn, green beans, okra, tomatoes, and peppers, enough room for a barn full of rabbits and goats, or maybe a small milk cow or two.  And enough land to hunt game.  And a well.  Maybe a small, steep, spring-fed river. 

I don't want much, do I?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

An illustration of what I've been saying...

The main racism I've seen perpetrated by whites recently (barring the one church that made an ass of their pastor) has been instances like I mentioned yesterday, where expectations of what black students/workers are capable of are far lower than expectations for white, and allowances are made for their "lower capabilities." 

That does not mean that violent racism is dead--it isn't.  It's just the former victims are most often the current perpetrators.  Sometimes the racism is because the victim's skin is darker than the perpetrator's; others, it's because a white person is "infringing" on territory that the perpetrator has claimed.

Like this case, where a white man dating a black woman got the snot beat out of him

Personally, I hope the individuals involved in the assault get caught by the girlfriend after she's been drinking, and is mad about what they did.  And I hope she's got a bunch of friends. 

Why?  Because the justice meted out by an angry woman is far more fitting than the justice meted out by our criminal justice system.

Well, no shit.

Finally, the federal government made a decision that makes sense: Sheriff Joe Arpaio is not going to be charged with criminal behavior.  

Well, duh.  They're not charging him with anything, because he hasn't done anything to be charged for.  He has done nothing wrong. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Interesting point of fact.

Some of the most rabidly evangelical fanatics I've ever encountered have been atheists.

Distinction without a difference

“None of us knew these men were cops – period.”

So fucking what, douchenozzle?  You still killed both of them in cold blood.  That's still murder.  You still deserve the fucking needle that you fucking dodged.

I hope that, when the case is adjudicated--again--he gets what he deserved to have gotten in the first place.

I salute his courage.

Tom Holland has balls the size of mountains, made of solid steel, to have actually started researching Islam, and then to have published his findings that it was likely a religion created by the Caliphate to control the peasants.

He may not have the self-preservation instinct of a lemming, but by God, he's got courage.   

Now, that's racist.

And disgusting.  I mean, really--defining pass rates for NCLB by race?  As in: this many Asians, this many whites, this many Hispanics and this many blacks must pass for the school district to be graded acceptable by state guidelines. 

And the expected pass rate for blacks is lower than for whites

So, they expect less out of blacks and minorities than they do out of whites and Asians.  It's a soft form of racism, I'll admit, but expecting less out of a child means that the child will live down to the expectations.  They get, on an unconscious level (if they're lucky), that their teachers don't believe they're capable of a higher level of work, so they don't try to push past their current limits. Setting the bar so low teaches the kids that they're not worth the effort, that they shouldn't try.

Honestly, that's the most disgusting form of racism there is.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Helpless and stupid

Had a student email me earlier.  The student's email made it clear that they couldn't tell the difference between the blogging assignment, and the paper they're supposed to write. 

Another student apparently thought that copy/pasting a funny email into a blog post fulfilled the assignment requirements (that one got a zero). 

Other students have been yelping at me that I need to make things easier for them to do their work--set up a discussion board thread where they have to post their blog topics so that they can skim and decide whose blog is worth commenting on (something they can do for themselves, just by setting up a blog roll). 

I think this is, perhaps, the dumbest, most helpless, biggest bunch of speshull snowflakes I've had in a few years.

Oh, God, save me from your followers.

Did you know that I am apparently a bad Christian?  No, I don't sit on my butt and wait for God to hand me everything--but that's not being a good Christian; that's being lazy.  No, I don't assume that God has a path for me, and sit back and wait for that to be made clear--that's not being a good Christian; that's being lazy.  No, I don't assume everything in my life is a blessing that doesn't belong to me, so I don't do anything with it--that's not being a good Christian; that's burying my talents instead of investing them.

I don't believe God wants us to passively sit back and accept life as it happens.  I think He expects us to do what we can with what we have.

I also have a hard time believing that He would be happy with followers that do nothing with their lives but exist, pray formal prayers four or five times a day, read their Bible, and turn their nose up at those who aren't as "devout."  I have a hard time believing that He would be happy with followers that nag others to shoe-horn into a one-size-fits-all relationship with Him.  I have a hard time believing that He is happy with followers who define people by their weaknesses and/or "sins."

I am absolutely certain that He dislikes those who think they're better than others because of the nature of their relationship with God.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Some done, a lot more left to do.

I've gotten the discussion board threads graded.  My colleague got his own posts done, so that's off my plate.  What's left now is blogs.  Three blog posts times seventeen students for Comp I, and two times twenty-two for Comp II. 

Before I can do that, though, I've got to get the grade sheets organized.  And printed.

Random ramblings

The imp and the pixie have started playing together more and more, instead of constantly fighting.  They created their own little version of Marco Polo--only, their shout-out is "didur" (diaper).  They play it in one of their bedrooms in the dark, hiding around furniture from each other.  One yells it, and the other says it very softly, then they giggle, trade ends of the room at a dead run, and then switch who yells.

The imp has started randomly telling me "I love you!!!"  Usually, he uses third person with the full nouns ("[Imp] loves Mama!").  Using pronouns and first person is a huge step for him.  Not to mention melts Mama and Daddy right into their socks. 

Last night, after their bath, both kids were on the couch watching The Lion King.  The pixie was sitting in the corner of the couch with the imp beside her.  Then, the imp flopped down on his stomach, not quite across her lap, but close.  She leaned forward, and wrapped one arm around his chest, and the other around his back, with her cheek laying right between his shoulders, then goes "Aw...kiss [imp]." 

He went "Aw!" sat up, and wrapped one arm around her.  And they sat there, snuggling, until it was time for the pixie to go to bed.

Of course, Mommy nearly imploded from the cuteness. 

I've kind of given up on writing new work while I'm teaching.  Unless I'm absolutely inspired to the point that the story completely takes over, I just can't do it.  The little idiots ahem, students sap my energy and creativity worse than anything else.  So, I'm going to focus on editing and rewriting what's done, but there are a few things I need to do/get before I can do that. 

First off, we need to get a new toner cartridge for our printer...the first completed draft of The Godshead nearly used it up.  It's 196 pages, single spaced (with an extra space between paragraphs), in 11 pt font.  I'm considering cutting a couple of the short stories out of the collection to be expanded and published separately, or to be put on a different site for free, to drum up interest in the book.  I don't know, though.

I've been reading over it, and revising it a little--adding a bit here and there to connect more of the stories to the plot a little better, moving one of the stories forward in the collection to improve the pacing, improving wording here and there--and once I'm done with this draft...I'll print it, set it aside for another month, then go over it again.

I also need to print The Last Pendragon to read and revise it.  I'm going to have to make notes as I go to make sure there's no huge, gaping plot holes.  The Godshead is only a novel by the loosest definition, since it's comprised of a set of short stories that (mostly) fit into an overarching plot.  The Last Pendragon is a novel in the classic definition.  Plot holes...yeah, they'd need (mostly) fixed before I let anyone else see it.  Right now, it's still a first draft.  No one sees my first drafts. 

I've got about four more novel concepts that need outlined and then fleshed out.  The outlining I can do over the semester, but the writing takes more time and energy than I'm likely to have.  Too bad my students seem to be a particularly helpless bunch this semester--that tends to kill first draft creativity. 

And helpless they are.  I don't particularly blame them for their blogging problem--none of them have any experience blogging, and Blogger has made it harder with their new dashboard.  This semester, maybe half of my students in both classes combined have chosen to use Blogger.  The other half are using WordPress--two-thirds of my 102 students are using WordPress.  And having problems.  And I don't know anything about WordPress, so I signed up for an account so that I can help at least a little. 

Starting Monday, I'm going to be posting a couple of posts on each of my class example blogs,  and maybe adding various news outlets to the sidebars to help students know where to look for stories. 

Today and tomorrow, I've got a butt-ton of grading to do.  I have discussion board threads and blogs for my classes, and a daily post for my colleague's American Literature class.  I'll probably be a little light on the blogging until I get that done.