Thursday, October 31, 2013

I knew it.

My colleagues are so fucking out of touch that they think Hemmingway is a developmentally appropriate read for third graders.  That's eight and nine year olds.  Never mind the (stated lack of) complexity of the vocabulary and sentence structure--what about the themes and imagery? 

Yep, according to the thcientific meathurements of the newly-invented "Lexiles," Mr. Popper's Penguins is more complex than To Kill a Mockingbird, and F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night is appropriate for a fifth grader in the complexity of sentence structure and vocabulary.  Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory--a violent celebration of anti-Christianity and Communism--is deemed appropriate for a third grader.

And my colleagues?  They say "Wouldn't it be wonderful if our elementary students read The Sun Also Rises?"

People wonder why I hold public schools in general and Common Core in specific in such contempt.  By their measures, the only thing complex enough for a high school reading level is a product and consumer safety manual (but then again, that's probably the aim of the program.  Damn them.). 

Catholic school.  It's the only thing outside of home schooling that I'll accept.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

For the married/"in a relationship" ladies...

1. If you are in a relationship, and you think it's too good to happen to you, and you start acting in ways to end it on your terms, he isn't the problem, you are; stop going to therapy*.

2. If you constantly shit-test your relationship to make sure your significant other is going to stay with you, and get mad when he doesn't put up with your shit, he's not the problem, you are; stop going to therapy.

3.  If you think that you're beautiful just the way you are, looking like Jabba the Hutt on your mobility scooter at twenty five (and without trying to change that), and are mad because there isn't a single man on the face of the earth willing to look at you without shuddering, they aren't the problem, you are; stop going to therapy.

4.  If you look at your marriage, realize you're not the absolute number one priority in his estimation and decide you're not happy, he isn't the problem, you are; stop going to therapy, and don't even think about divorce.

5.  If you look at your high-powered career and your life, realize it's not making you happy, and neither is your husband, he isn't the problem, you and your choices are; stop going to therapy. 

6.  If you realize that any of the above apply to you, realize that you wanted kids and now it's too late to have them, and are angry and resentful, your overall problem is radical feminism and the "you need therapy" culture that it spawned.  Take an early retirement and sign up to be a foster parent.

*Most modern therapy situations tell women that they're wonderful and perfect just the way they are, and men suck, and they shouldn't have to deal with those nasty creatures.  Which is very bad for a relationship.

Here's a good one...

Language warning: this is not the radio edit.

Thanks, and welcome...

Moe doesn't seem to have a blog, but welcome anyway.  Put your feet up and have something to drink.  I've got coffee, tea (hot or not), whiskey, hard cider, or cocoa. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Looks like it'd be something like $170 to fix my sewing machine.  The guy said the table by itself was worth more than we paid for it, at least, even if the table does really need refinished.

Now, to find an early Singer sewing machine that actually works...

Thanks and welcome

Thanks to PioneerPreppy for hitting that follower button.  There's a fresh pot of coffee just now finished and still hot--help yourself.  Or, if you'd prefer, we have tea.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Perspectives of a wife and mother

There's a Tennyson poem, The Princess, that has a stanza that I've never failed to react to:
Man for the field and woman for the hearth:
Man for the sword and for the needle she:
Man with the head and woman with the heart:
Man to command and woman to obey;
All else confusion.  --Tennyson, The Princess, Canto V
I first came across this when I was nineteen or twenty years old--in a later British literature class taught by a radical (though not man-hating) feminist.  So, of course, I was horribly offended by the implications that I wasn't fully as capable as any man.

As I have grown up, graduated college (and grad school), married, and had children, my reactions to it have...changed.  I don't read that stanza and automatically think "BULLSHIT!"  Not any more.  Not when I am half the size of most men, maybe a third of the physical strength (especially upper body), and prone, despite my best efforts, of going with my gut rather than my logic.

Yes, I am fully as intelligent as any man I have ever met (and smarter than some, even if I have less formal education than others).  I am as good a shot.  I am a better teacher than most of the men in the English department where I work.

Yet...yet.  Yet, I'd rather not have to worry about scheduling my classes around what's in my husband's and children's best interests, wondering if splitting my time and attention--even if for as little time as I do--isn't doing them a disservice.  I'd rather have all of my time, attention, and energy focused on my home, my children, and my husband (with writing and publishing being an exception to that).

I do handle the household budgeting, but I'm not the final decision maker on any of it. Odysseus is the one in charge--and that's the way I like it.  I am his back up.  I am in charge of the kids, and he is my backup on that.

The funny thing is that, were it not for spending all of my time in the campus library (I teach in the fourth floor classroom, and hold my office hours either there or in the coffee shop), my colleagues--feminists, all--would try to convince me that I'm wrong for feeling this way, for being happy in this, and would do their best to apply peer pressure to bring me back into line.*  And the funny thing about that is that these women pat themselves on the back in self-congratulation for being such advocates for women's free rejoin the work force, since that's the only choice which fits their agenda.

But having that as the only acceptable choice is equal to giving women no choice whatsoever...the very thing they claim to fight against.

Judging by the numbers of college educated women with a masters' degree or higher leaving the work force to care for their families, I am not alone in my preferences.  Nor am I alone in having the intestinal fortitude to tell feminism to go fly a kite.

However, I, and those like me who've chosen to focus their energy on their family, tend to be in their late twenties, at the youngest.  We're adults.  We've learned that those who tell us what we should be doing don't necessarily have our best interests in mind.

I think that the way this poem is taught--just this excerpt--by the people that teach it--radical feminists--is doing all young women a severe disservice.  It's really the root of all the depression and unhappiness in middle-class women: that feeling that they're in the wrong place, and that they're wrong to want to be in the place women are designed--by God, or simply by biological evolution, whichever you'd prefer to blame. 

*Peer pressure has never worked on me, and frequently makes the peers that try uncomfortable when it only makes me laugh in their faces.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Random ramblings

We took the imp to a nearby activity, today.  Someone about an hour away from us is obviously a model train enthusiast for whom the little model trains are no longer fulfilling the need.  In any case, they run little diesel powered copies of steam engines around a two mile narrow-gauge track.  Last weekend and this weekend, they'd decorated the track along Halloween themes. 

I don't think the imp cared about the decorations.  He rode, slack-faced in awe, and was quiet for the rest of the morning.  The pixie was very excited, and chirped about each and every "spooky" thing she saw. 

After that, we topped an already-wonderful day by taking the kids to Grandma and Grandpa's (and left the imp there for a couple of nights, which just makes things even better, by his books).

And, while we were gone, one of the cats managed to knock over the smaller trash can (for candy papers and the like, so that the kids don't go all the way into the kitchen when told to throw something away).  I'm pretty sure there was nothing in it that they were after (the catnip tea bag is in the bottom of the big trash), and that they were only playing.

I'm still pretty sure that, despite the dropping temperatures, the dog is not interested in being an indoor dog except for at night.  Or when the pixie doesn't eat all of her chicken nuggets.

I'm picking up papers from my Comp I students on Monday.  They're a couple of days ahead of where I thought they'd be, and are about to start their last paper.  My Comp II students are researching for their papers, which will be due not long before Thanksgiving.   Semester ends, for me, on December 6.  Really not long, now. 

I finished the first draft of Highway to Tartarus.  I'm currently working on revising.  There are a total of thirty-six stories, and I'm done with the first three (and, obviously, did nothing on it today).  Editing and revising never takes as long as the initial writing, so...close.  Very close. 

Friday, October 25, 2013


Yesterday, I got slammed with a headache around three or four.  Combination of sinus and I forgot to drink any fucking water

You might think it's difficult to forget to drink.  Normally, you'd be right, but...there are extenuating circumstances stretching back to Wednesday. 

Odysseus had some outdoor chores to do, so I put jackets on the kids to take them outside to wear some of their excess energy off.  The imp promptly flung a basketball into the pixie's face, knocking her over, and getting sent in the house and to his room.  Big fail there--he was only out for about five minutes.

And the imp wasn't the only one getting into mischief: Odysseus got out the ladder and fixed the gutter.  Then, he fixed himself.  The ladder went out from under him, and he hit the ground. 

I was still in the back yard, at that point.  The pixie was still wanting to play outside. 

So, I hear a yell and a thud, and run up front to find Odysseus sitting cross legged on the ground at the corner of the porch. 

He's okay.  Separated his shoulder a bit, but that's all, thank God. 

But he's in a sling, and I spent yesterday busy taking care of him and the house. 

Until I got hit with that headache (which still hasn't gone away).  At which point I went back to our room and laid down...and finished the book I'm working on.

And, to compound my stupidity in forgetting to drink any water yesterday, I didn't realize it until after I'd put the kids to bed. 

FFOT: The "Affordable" Care Act

I read, Wednesday, yesterday, and today, that millions of people are being dropped from their insurance because of the rules of the "Affordable" Care Act, and that those companies are expecting people to sign back up with them in the exchanges (that don't work).  Those companies can fuck the fucking fuck off.  How many of those were dropped for "insufficient" coverage, and how many of those would have rather kept their plans and paid the punitive punishment taxes?

There's also the factor that the fucking website doesn't fucking work.  The fucking fucks in charge of this abortion crossed with ass-rape with a sandpaper condom of a law decided, in their infinite wisdom, to hire the same company that Canada filed charges against for failing to create a working website within the budget proposed in the timeline proposed.  And they decided to hire that company without researching them, or even putting it to a bidding process!

So, yeah: the "Affordable" Care Act, and all of its authors, signatories, and supporters, can fuck the fucking fuck off.  And the signatories and authors can shove all six feet of the bill printed off up their individual asses. 

So, what's bothering you this week?  Sound off in the comments.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

...and done.

I had the next to last story chapter in Highway refusing to come in more than dribs and drabs.  For a week.  I'd planned on having this done by last week, but that didn't happen because of that damned story.  And I'm not happy with it, but that's what the editing process is for. 

One story chapter left.  And that one is mostly going to be setting up the next book.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oh, honey, just...don't.

As I was leaving campus today, I saw a cheerful looking, chubby girl wearing a hooded scarf.  However, the scarf's hood  For that matter, so did the ends of the scarf.

Then I realized what I was seeing: the hood?  had ears.  The ends of the scarf were paw-shaped pockets.  The whole ensemble resembled a bear.

My only thought was, "Oh, honey.  Please don't let your inner furry come out to play in public."

Supper's taken care of, for tonight.

All before I had my coffee, too. 

Five small potatoes, scrubbed, sliced, and laid against the sides and bottom of the crock pot, a few handsfull of baby carrots on top of that, and a two and a half pound chuck roast on top of that.  Cooking that all day on low will put dinner around half past five.  And I won't have to stop whatever I'm doing later to figure out what to fix, then fix it.

And all before my coffee, too. 

Coffee's done, now, though.  I've got to finish getting ready for work, so I'll take it with me.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I have class tomorrow!!  And more to the point, two office hours!!  Quiet time, without brawling, bawling, screaming, misbehaving children!!

I am just about ready to run for the hills.  Especially after the imp dumped his supper on the floor, then started crying that he was hungry.*

At the moment, both kids have been bathed, one has been fed, and I have The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in the DVD player to wind them down a bit.  If it ends too far ahead of bedtime, I'll start it over and play another "chapter" or two.

And I?  I will have the headphones plugged into my laptop, listening to music, while trying to ignore them.

I do love them.  I do.

In one of his books, Heinlein said something about how a mother's illusions about the superior intelligence, beauty, charm, etc., of her own children are sometimes the only things keeping her from strangling them. 

For me?  It's not the illusions, it's how very much I love them (it's also what makes the behavior they've displayed all day so unacceptable--I love them too much to permit them to act this way without consequences).

It certainly doesn't help with the frustration.

*Little shit had had that bowl of food in front of him for forty minutes, and ate less than half of it before he dumped it on the floor.  I'm of the opinion that he can stay hungry for a little while.

I love Sam's Club.

It's been a bit too hectic around here to blog much (or write much) lately.  We barely made it to Sam's Club when the kids' chocolate milk ran out. 

I'm very glad we did.  I spotted orange, reduced price stickers in the meat case when I was headed for the toothbrushes.  They'd taken their chuck roast that was a day before the sell-by date, and dropped the price by $0.75 per pound.  I grabbed a six and a half pound package.

There were two roasts in the package.  I'm going to cook the smaller one for us...and take the larger one to my mother.  She loves chuck roasts, and I hate visiting towards the end of the month because she stresses about what to feed us when they've run out of money.

(Personally, I wouldn't mind stew, or tacos, or something simple and cheap, but that's not the way she works.)

Honestly, one of the main reasons I love Sam's Club is that, with their prices, that store grants us the ability to help others without breaking ourselves.

Now, if only my aunt would realize that she cannot afford to be picky about what she's willing to eat when she's not buying her own food...

Monday, October 21, 2013


Who the hell thought nobody would notice replacing Cartoon Network with Game Show Network???  And who the fuck even watches the Game Show Network???

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Late post, I know.

I've been pretty busy, this evening.  Trying to keep the kids' behavior under at least a semblance of control* meant I couldn't do anything outside of the living room. 

And the dishes needed done.  And the winter clothes needed brought out.  And the clean clothes needed put away, and the dirty ones gathered. 

I got...a lot, but by no means all, done.  Dishes are done.  Winter clothes are down to two boxes to unload (even if I did get the summer clothes boxed up), and some of mine have been put away.  I ended up quitting for the night about an hour and a half after I got the kids to bed, so that I'd have a chance to wind down.

The sad thing?  The kids' most recent favorite song for me to sing has been "Amazing Grace."  I sing the first three verses, and the last one. 

I spent the time singing to them while tucking them in mentally going over my "to do" list for the evening...and couldn't get that track in my head to stop going for even long enough to get the kids to bed with my full attention.

*I say a semblance of control because the imp has needed more outdoor time than we've been able to give him, lately.  He's been flighty, hyper, and prone to flopping about like a landed fish on the couch--for fun--and fighting with his sister.  Tonight, he decided to climb on top of his shelves (about knee-high to me, and fourteen inches deep), and found out why we don't let him do that when one of the two-shelf units tipped over on him. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

experiments and expedients...

So, I went to get the barbecue sauce out of the fridge for my experiment in pork loin roast seasoning, and realized...I didn't have enough milk.  I needed half a cup for the green bean casserole, and a cup and a half for the biscuits. 

I cup.  I used it, plus a little bit of dried milk and water in my biscuit recipe (see here), and made a dozen and a half big biscuits. 

What to do about the green bean casserole? 


I had a can of Three Cheese Progresso Recipe Starter, and used a half a cup of that and a bit of water in place of the milk. 

I thought it was really good.  Not as good as what I usually do (add a quarter cup of Alfredo sauce to the usual recipe), but good nonetheless.

As for the pork was three and a half pounds, with about a quarter cup of smokey mesquite seasoning rubbed on all four sides, cooked for about two and a half hours on high in my crock pot*, then about half a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce poured thickly over the top of the pork loin, and cooked for another hour. 

Out of a three and a half pound pork loin, I have maybe three quarters of a pound left.  And that fed four adults (with both the guys going back for seconds, and one helping of thirds). 

Odysseus says he likes it a lot better than what I usually do.

So, I guess I have a new recipe.

Mesquite Barbecue Pork Roast

at least 3 lb pork loin roast
1/4 c or more Smokey Mesquite seasoning
1/2 (regular sized) bottle barbecue sauce

Coat roast in seasoning.  Place in crock pot, fat side up, and turn on high for two hours.  Thickly cover top of roast and replace lid for one more hour.  Serve hot.

*My crock pot cooks beef at two hours per pound, chicken and pork at one hour per pound, on high.  Low is double the time, and makes meat too tender to cut--awesome for pulled pork or chicken, though.

Random ramblings

The imp had a couple of nights with his grandparents, this past week.  Tuesday and Wednesday nights.  Odysseus and the pixie went to get him on Thursday, while I went to my dentist's appointment.  The pixie stayed with Grandma and Grandpa on Thursday night, and I got to snuggle my imp.  They went to get the pixie yesterday morning, after I was dropped off at work.

And after Odysseus left for work, and the imp got up from his nap, I hear (in giggles), "No, no, no!  [Pixie] stop!  Momma, [Pixie] won't stop loving on me!" 

Cuteness incarnate.  The pixie is powerfully affectionate almost all of the time, and the like a cat.  Powerfully affectionate when he wants to be, and very much not when he doesn't want to be.  He usually wants to be when it's the most inconvenient (i.e., I'm cooking, or grading, or writing, or trying to eat or use the toilet).

The pixie has had a few accidents in potty training.  She's disgusted by them.  They don't happen very often--mostly when she's wearing pants that she thinks she can't get down without help.

Lesson learned.  She's going to be getting a half a dozen more pairs of sweats.

Last night, after I got the kids to bed, Cricket started playing "The floor is lava"--with the anticipated results.  She jumped from the pixie's little chalkboard desk over to the bookcase (with the very cluttered top).  Something slid, and hit the wall with a loud bang.  And I heard the pixie: "What was dat?  Bad kitties?"

So, Cricket spent her evening shut into the utility room. 

Shadow lived up to her name and vanished until I fed them just before Odysseus got home from work. 

The dog (who we named Merida--after the princess in Brave--or Merry for short), got to fart around in the kitchen for a couple of hours.  She ended up sleeping sprawled on her back in the exact center of the kitchen when I went in to check on her.  I got her back to her bed with very little trouble. 

I'm pretty sure she'd rather be outdoors full time.  She doesn't really like being in the house.  The only reason she likes being inside is because we are, and even when she's in the room with us, she's trying to get us to go outside with her.

I made a fresh pot of coffee, this morning.  Nirvana.  The kitchen sink is still being a pain in the ass--draining slow enough that running water and using the sprayer to clean up the coffee grinder and the filter basket lid floods the sink.  I'm thinking we're going to take the trap out from under the sink, and dump some of the Drano crystals directly down the drain.  Because whatever's clogging the sink is at least fifteen feet down the pipe from the floor.  Possibly farther.

We're having guinea pigs guests over for lunch, today.  I've coated a pork loin roast in smokey mesquite seasoning and put it in the crock pot, and I'm going to add most of a bottle of barbecue sauce when it's an hour from done.  I'll make a double-batch of my biscuits to go with it, and probably do a green bean casserole to go with. 

So, yesterday, I had my Comp I students brainstorming in groups while I wandered around and lent a hand wherever it was needed (not as many places as you'd think).  And then, about fifteen minutes before the end of class...I found several arranging next semester's schedule around being in one of my two Comp II classes. 

I am...flattered.

I've got eighteen hundred words written  of the next to last story chapter in Highway to Tartarus.  I've got all of the story's high points in my head, but it's been coming out at the rate of a couple hundred words per day.  I'm assuming it'll pick up if we can get stuff fixed, and I can get the house cleaned up.

Friday, October 18, 2013

FFOT: fall break and me...

Because I didn't have classes to teach on Monday, I completely forgot that today was Friday.  So I can FTFO for forgetting the FFOT.

What's bugging you?  Sound off in the comments.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I'm trying to write, but I'm having a bit of a problem tonight.  I know the story, but can't find the words.  I have a case of static between the ears.  I've struggled bloody day to get three hundred words down.

I give up for the night.  Maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow.

Huh. Weird.

I just saw a photo that someone took of their Chihuahua.  It was looking directly into the camera, and looked, for all the world, like a bug-eyed, deformed deer, between the head and muzzle shape, and the coloring.

Has anyone else noticed something like that?


...all my troubles seemed so far away.

At least, that's how the song goes.  Not so in real life.  I picked up papers yesterday from my Comp II class, and didn't get them all.  I'm thinking, since I moved the due date up, I'll accept them through the original due date. Also, yesterday, my younger sister had a procedure done to bust up kidney stones.  I'd been worrying about that since I'd heard about it a week ago, but turns out there was no reason to worry (not that that stopped me). 

I wound up making myself sick. 

Today, I have my second dentist's appointment.  They'll finish the cleaning, and further assess and plan the repairs (need at least two fillings replaced, and a few more added). 

Other than that...I'll have the day kinda to myself.  Odysseus took the imp to Grandma and Grandpa on Tuesday, and will be taking the pixie to visit today.  He'll leave her there, and bring the imp home sometime this afternoon. 

I plan to spend the day doing housework that I can't do when the kids are fighting with each other.  And writing. 

Hope everyone else has a good day. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Shitty night.


So, I come in from walking the dog (who didn't, by the way).  And there's the pixie, standing with her feet as wide apart as she could get them, with a lump in the back of her pants.  She looks up at me, "Mommy, I gotta go poop!"

I drag the dog back to her crate (dangerous stuff in the kitchen that I don't want her into, and I can't put up, at present--like a sewing machine that needs to go to the repairman), and holler at the pixie to wait, that I'll be right there.

If I'd been half a second longer, there would have been a good-sized turd dumped out of her panties onto the floor.  As it was...I only had to clean up her, her panties, and her potty chair.  But there was a lot smeared everywhere.

I still haven't cleaned up the panties. 

This comes after a long, long day of very bad behavior, on both kids' parts.  Lots of screaming, fighting, begging for stuff they see on TV (or anything else they can think of), lots of the imp telling the pixie what to say, or the pixie telling the imp what to do...and the imp shoving the pixie down when she was heading for the bathroom, and making the mess I was going to have to clean up even worse than it had been.  

I do believe that I shall have yet another drink* tonight, after the kids go to bed.  And it's not going to be a small one.

*Yes, I said another.  I woke up with a severe back cramp that wouldn't go away...until I had that drink.  Before the drink, I could barely move.  Afterwards, I was still sore, but not in agony. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dinner plans...on hold.

I had been planning to do a corned beef brisket in the crock pot today.  Maybe some boiled and buttered potatoes. 

Not happening.  Not today.  The damn sink drain is acting up again.  Everything else is fine, except the sink.  And the last time this happened, Odysseus took the drain pipes apart, and ran the drain snake down through it from the floor level without finding the clog.  The plumber ran a longer one--25'--all the way out to the end without finding it.  He said it wasn't acting like a vent problem, but we can't figure out what it is.

I doubt it's something at the sewer end, because everything else drains fine--showers/bathtubs, toilets, washing machine, and bathroom sinks.  Just not the kitchen sink.

So.  No crock pot roast tonight.

Leftover chili isn't bad, though.  I'll probably put mine over the top of a baked potato, with cheese and sour cream. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Random ramblings

We got the imp a Thomas Take 'n' Play set for his birthday.  He's been playing with his trains almost non-stop all week.  We took the kids to visit my mother on Thursday, because Odysseus had the day off (and what she'd ordered for the imp had come in).  Mom had ordered him Barf and Belch, the green, two-headed dragon from How to Train Your Dragon.  He's been playing with that non-stop since he got it Thursday afternoon, and begging to watch Riders of Berk

He has been a pretty happy boy all week.

Last night, after her bath, the pixie was running around in nothing but her panties (couldn't catch the little twerp to get her dressed--she's fast).  She suddenly stops, squeals "Momma, I gotta poop!" then runs into the bathroom and gets herself on the potty.  I set down my laptop and follow her, and by the time I get in there (less than fifteen seconds later)...she's already done. 

Two months after we start the potty training in earnest with her, she's got it, for the most part.  Yes, there are still accidents, and yes, she still sleeps in a pull up.  Other than that, though...she's good. 

She's also starting to transition from needing me to rock her at naptime and bedtime to "Tuck me in and sing, p'ease."

The cats are...cats.  They delight in finding strange places to sleep, like curled up in the pixie's high chair, or with their legs and tails tucked under them like furry sausages, right in the middle of the floor.  Last night, the imp requested fruit snacks, and I told him to go get a couple of bags.  He scoots to the edge of the couch to jump off, and Shadow hops up, and starts snuggling into him.  Pushes him back to the back of the couch, and climbs in his lap.  He goes, "Aww...Momma, I got a Shadow.  Get me some fruit snacks, please?" 

I'll give you two guesses.

The dog...would be an outdoor only dog, at this point, were it not for living in town.  I am getting absolutely sick of the dog crap in her sleeping crate.

I don't have any grading to worry about this weekend.  I handed papers back to my Comp I class yesterday, and my Comp II class turns their next one in on Wednesday.  (Actually, I have one paper to grade--one of my students has a serious illness, and has fallen behind.  I told her to turn her work in as she completes it, since she's been hospitalized twice, and looks like death warmed over most of the time.)

I finally figured out that next to last story...and the last one.  I'm going to write them today, and edit the book over the next few days.  I should be able to finish it (including extras) by the middle of next week, since I have Monday off for Fall Break (no classes Monday or Tuesday). 

Friday, October 11, 2013

When I grow up...

...I want to be just like Diana Trent.  Only without the whole self-avowed atheist/feminist thing.

FFOT: Bonehead English

I'm actually in a decently good mood for being as tired as I am.  My Comp II class really far ahead of where I thought they would be at this point.  They're about a week ahead, which means that they'll have an extra week on their research paper. 

The Comp II class has an average grade on the first draft of the papers of about 95%.  They're really good this semester.

The Comp I class, on the other hand...the average grade is an 89%.  Most of the class gets 90/100 or higher; however...I have one student who came from Bonehead English.  Their average paper grade is around a 60%.  The student has been very ill-served, and I know why.

The Bonehead English director tells his instructors to not give students poor grades.  We wouldn't, after all, want the poor dears to get discouraged and drop out!  We can't possibly make it clear to them that they have a lot of work to do to come up to par for university level writing! 

The director of Bonehead English for my university can fuck off.  With the failing papers of his past students folded until they're all corners, and shoved up his ass sideways. 

(Why don't the rest of you sound off?  What messed up your week?)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I'm insulted.

Truly, I am. 

For shits and giggles, I went to one of the calculators (don't remember which one, now) for the "Affordable" Care Act to find out how much more my family would be paying for more health insurance than we need, and if we qualified for a subsidies. 

We do not qualify for a subsidy.  Nor do we qualify for one of their plans.

No, we're only qualified for Medicaid.

Fuck that shit.  Been there, done that, got the worst quality of medical care you can imagine.  I'll keep paying my doctor myself, thanks. 

Because when they're paid more than just a fraction of their cost, their level of giving a shit about you goes up, because you're not just sucking down their resources.

What's really ironic is that I was told, at nineteen, that I didn't qualify for Medicaid, unless I got pregnant or went on disability.  I am not currently pregnant, and my husband and I both work, that qualifies us. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Something you don't expect to hear from your kids' doctor:  "Wow.  He's really going to have problems when he goes to school.  He's too smart."

Yeah, duh.  It's why we're sending him to Catholic school, despite the price tag, next year. 

Weird, but nice.

I woke up this morning with the same sinus headache that slapped into me yesterday.  Staggered into the kitchen, to pour coffee, and found that I had two good swallows left. 

Damn it.

I couldn't stand the thought of something cold to drink, with my sinuses in the state they're in.  So I took TinCan Assassin's advice. 

About a week ago, he sent us some of the products he's selling: AdvoCare Spark.  I can honestly say that the stuff works.  Mix it in about eight ounces of water, and drink.  It has the same effect as a 16 oz Monster Rehab, or a couple of Mountain Dews, or a 16 oz mug of coffee the way I make it.*  Good product.

He likes it hot.  Suggested I try it that way this morning if my headache was still hanging on.  So, I did. 

I'm awake.  My headache has eased as much as drinking something hot usually does.  And it was like drinking hot fruit punch, with a bit of a nutty undertone that it doesn't have cold.  Overall, not bad.  It doesn't have the soothing effect coffee has on me (yes, I know coffee is a weird comfort drink--but it's still my comfort drink), but it wakes me up just fine. 

But I'm still gonna get a cup of coffee from the university coffee shop when I get there. 

*Coffee gets ground very fine just before it's made.  3/4 c of fine ground coffee per 10 of 12 cup pot worth of water.  Most people add water to my coffee (or a ton of creamer) before they can drink it.  And I drink a 16 oz mug of that every morning to wake up.  Sometimes, it takes two cups.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


If the whole "furlough" of "non-essential" federal employees hasn't been bad enough, there's tons worse: scenic view pull-offs in South Dakota have been blocked off with orange safety cones to prevent people from pulling over to take pictures (not that that would actually stop someone really determined), and people have been evicted from their homes because they're technically vacation homes set up on federal land. 

So.  The "chief executive" who is the park department's highest point in the chain of command has shown how petty he is.  Now, let me show y'all a little bit more:

Intimidation tactics on full display.  More here.  Because we all know that those Vietnam vets are just explosions waiting to happen, and if they can just trigger one attack...

More petty, meanness on display here.  We must do what the Spoiled Brat wants!  The shutdown is hurting the children!

How about doing his damnedest to scare the shit out of Grandma by threatening to let her starve and freeze on the streets?

The worst, I think, is here.  This page was the Amber Alerts page.  You know, the page where the alerts issued by states were displayed, permitting people all over the country to potentially recognize a kidnapping victim, and get help. 

So.  Petty, mean, and evil.  What more do we need to know about the "leader" of our nation?

Monday, October 7, 2013


A white Chevy pickup with a tow bar in back and light bar across the top pulled up in the middle of the street next to our car, last night.  Driver got out, and started eyeballing it.  Passenger got out and pointed to the bottom corner of the windshield.  I brought Odysseus's attention to it, and he stepped out onto our porch, and asked what the hell was going on.  Driver of the pickup--a man in his late 40's--started up our front walk, holding out some papers.  Odysseus put his hand on his gun and backed up, and told the guy to stay back.  And then to get the hell off the property and away from the car.

Then, when the truck pulled on down the street, Odysseus called the local PD to report suspicious behavior. 

...and the truck pulls back up from the other direction.  Numbnuts went around the block.  Goes to our neighbor's house and talks to him for a bit, then heads back towards our car. 

At which point, the local cops pull up behind him, and he freaks out, then bugs out. 

Now, I'm not sure whether that was a legitimate repo guy looking for a car, and mistook ours for the one he was looking for (easy to do at TEN FUCKING THIRTY AT FUCKING NIGHT), or was a thief looking for a payday.  It doesn't matter, because we've owned that car since '04, and have had it paid off since '07.  Anybody towing it is stealing it, whether it's a mistake on their part, or not.

Either way, I spent a bad night with a fuckton of nightmares, and Odysseus had a short night after being unable to get to sleep until nearly two this morning.

And if I see that truck, and that individual messing around our vehicles again, he's not going to be real happy.  Nobody is, looking down the barrel of a handgun. 

Seen on the way into work...

There's a Baptist church, a small one, along the route I take to work.  It caters to the college students, since it's just behind the dorms.  They have, out in front of the church, a moveable type billboard.  Usually, they try (and fail) to be clever.  Occasionally they post a real gem: "Forbidden fruits make for interesting jams" was one of my favorites.

Their most recent message, however, is so far off that it's hilarious: "Bring your spiritual marshmallows!  Our pastor is on fire!"

Okay...what?  Who the fuck would see someone on fire, and think "Hmm...I want to roast some marshmallows!" 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Five years ago, today... imp was bornEight weeks early.  He was seventeen and a half inches long and three pounds, thirteen ounces at birth.  And was born before the reflex that permitted him to swallow was fully developed.  He spent five weeks in the Neo-Natal ICU (NICU), most of the time under a UV lamp to combat jaundice. 

The nurses loved him, because even then, he was a happy baby.  Yes, he slept a lot, but he was alert and wanted to play with them every time he was awake. 

He grew, and he learned to eat without having to have it pumped into his stomach, and he came home with us.  It was an insanely busy time, but it was so much fun.

He is an intensely private little boy.  I didn't see him learn to crawl--from four months old, he liked to have me put him in his crib and leave the room so that he could play.  He learned to crawl, on his elbows and knees with his belly just barely up off the floor, there.  And then, he'd crawl into his room and shut the door.  He'd knock when he was ready to come out, and he'd scream, scramble over, and slam the door in my face when I'd check on him before that.  He learned to pull up and cruise in his room, on his own.  Same with walking.  Same with riding a tricycle. 

(He's not willing to make mistakes in front of me, Daddy, Grandma, or Grandpa.  Hence, why we're willing to pay the local Catholic school system to teach him how to read and do basic math.  We'll revisit the homeschooling topic after that.)

Today, that same imp, that teeny-tiny boy in the incubator, is a bit over 45 inches tall, and 36.4 pounds, by our scale.  He was late starting to talk, but dear Lord, has he made up for lost time! 

He turned five at 5:56 a.m. this morning.  Woke up at seven.  And is currently watching Thomas the Tank Engine, eating sausage links, and will open his present soon. 

I'll see about posting pictures if we can get a good one with the stuffed monkey he got in the hospital, the one featured in some of the pictures I linked to.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Random ramblings

I slapped a half of a six pound pork loin into the crock pot, topped by dry onion soup mix, this morning.  It was done by about a quarter till one, and we had that and baked potatoes for lunch (I put mine on a sandwich so that I could work on helping a colleague...and then my computer locked up for an hour).  Tasty stuff.  The other half of the six pound pork loin is in the deep freeze for later.

The pixie has been acting like she's not feeling very good, lately.  She conked out briefly on the way home from Sam's Club before lunch, isn't eating as much breakfast as she usually does, and is whinier than usual.  I don't know what's wrong--but I'm pretty sure she's okay, since she's not running a fever.  It may just be the sleepy side of the growth spurt kicking in.  She'll take that little bit of weight she's put on (a whole two pounds), and stretch it out.

The imp is losing weight.  He eats five chicken nuggets, a slice of cheese, and a serving of green beans (dipped in BBQ sauce), or a Chef Boyardee cup with a solid pinch of shredded cheddar in it, or two slices of bread with peanut butter, folded in half, for most meals...drinks a lot of OJ and chocolate milk, eats three sausage links for breakfast.  So I know it's not that he's not getting enough to eat (especially since he never complains of being hungry).  I can't get him to eat different foods, or more volume of the same to increase his caloric intake.  I've tried.  He also loves lentils and rice with ranch dressing and hot sauce, but doesn't like it when I make it with bacon instead of olive oil.  I don't know why he's losing weight, except for his habit of going anywhere at a dead run, and never being still (not even when he's sleeping).  He's only about six pounds heavier than the pixie, at the moment. 

The dog has had a miserable day, today.  It's not gotten out of the low fifties, has been breezy...and rainy.  So, the dog, who wishes desperately to be an outdoor dog, has been inside all day.  Sad dog...

The cats, on the other hand, have been taking advantage of the weather by curling up into a tight ball together...and sleeping. 

My new sewing machine needs some repairs.  Turns out that some of the mechanism in the bobbin compartment that deals with switching back and forth between winding the bobbin and sewing is broken.  We have a sewing machine repair place that specializes in Singer sewing machines in town; however, it is a 1968 model.  I do hope that doesn't matter.

Writing is...stalled.  The imp is turning five tomorrow--and he's come a very long way in those five years--and I'd been trying to get caught up on everything so that his birthday can be his day, not "I'm sorry, son; Mom's busy grading."  Too bad we can't do what I'd considered: taking him to the zoo is out of the question because it's going to be cool tomorrow (wind chill of 37 degrees, early on), and windy.  And the pixie is prone to earaches with those conditions.

However, even stalled, it's still going well.  I've got a good chunk of the next to last story written out long-hand; all I need to do is get it typed and finished.  Then, all I have to do is write the denouement.  And edit, proofread, and rewrite. 

Which, honestly, should be done by the end of Fall Break.  My students have been really moving a lot faster than I'd anticipated, when I'd planned out the semester. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

New toy

No, I didn't get a gun.  I got something else I've been wanting for a while. 

Back in June, before I got our bedroom cleaned out and mostly decluttered, our neighbor had a sewing machine in her yard sale.  One with a sewing cabinet.  A Singer, an older model like what we used in Home Economics in high school. 

I wanted it.  I had no place to put it. 

So, I didn't get it.  But it didn't sell. 

Since then, I have decluttered the bedroom to the point where I could probably put a students' desk back there for writing.  Even with an extra bookcase brought into the equation.  It's actually a really good feeling to have accomplished that much.  

The neighbor is having another yard sale this weekend.  Guess what was out there?  Yep.  That sewing machine.  She cut the price on it from $50 to $25. 

I have a place for it, now.  So, Andrew and I went to go get it. 

It's a 1968 Singer model 636.  In a desk-sized sewing cabinet, with all of the original accessories, accessories box, and in working order. 

It's going in the bedroom, and can double as a desk, once I get a chair for it.

My next project will be to make some flannel nightgowns for the pixie.  She has one.  And has almost outgrown it.  And I can't find any that aren't branded, expensive, lightweight, and did I mention too expensive to buy for a little girl who's likely to outgrow it long before she wears it out?

FFOT: political grandstanding.

Exactly what world do the idiots in charge live in that they think a government shutdown is going to make a nation already angry as fuck about the "Affordable" Care Act accept the shit sandwich we've been served with a smile and humble gratitude?  Where the fuck do they fucking think they live, fucking France?  Not even close, motherfuckers.  Yes, you have sheep, terrified and brainless, living in the cities with you.  However.  You fuckers have fucking forgotten flyover country.

Take, for instance, your fucking cowardly, petty, and nasty decision to not just close national parks, but to close off monuments that are open air parks with no guards.  Especially the WWII memorial.  How much did it cost to rent barriers and put them up around that memorial, then staff it with guards, huh?  And why the fuck did you do it?  To make us feel the government shutdown?

And your timing was shit, and did you no fucking good whatsoever.  Those WWII vets you were trying to punish for the nation calling their representatives about your horrible laws?  Yeah, they weren't called The Greatest Generation for nothing, and you fuckstick dick-riders are fucking nothing compared to the Germans and Japanese.  Your little grandstanding there just fucking pissed the rest of us off.

And it's the same with the fucking privately owned, funded, and run national monuments that you've fucking taken fucking ownership of for the duration of the "emergency."  That heritage farm?  Yeah, NOT YOURS.

Most of the nation (except for those who've lost their jobs because you fuckwits are too fucking stupid to fucking realize that you are not a fucking ruling class and we, the people are not fucking serfs) are FUCKING THANKFUL for the fucking government shutdown.  It fucking means you can't do anything else to fucking ass-rape the fucking nation with a god-damned fucking sandpaper fucking condom. 


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Who'd have thought?

I had a dentist's appointment, this morning--the first check-up in a very long time (last cleaning was in '99 or '00).  I need a significant cleaning, antibacterial mouthwash for really bad gingivitis, and will need a few new fillings, and a few old fillings replaced. 

And apparently, the dentist's office will hand out electric toothbrushes with serious orthodontic work--which, apparently, mine qualifies as.  The hygienist characterized cleaning half of my teeth as "aggressive cleaning"---because the worst of it was below the gum line.

Overall, worse than I hoped (where my wallet was concerned), but not nearly as bad as I feared (where my teeth are concerned).  Although, I have decided that dentists should not have anything resembling a Dremmel tool for cleaning teeth.  No, it didn't really hurt my teeth (for the most part), but the high-pitched whine transmitted through my jaw sure did hurt my ears. 

Want to know what I'd be doing if I worked for the government?

Right now?  Nothing.  Because the two halves of the party are not willing to stick to their Constitutionally assigned responsibilities, and refuse to ditch the ass-raping of the American people that they encoded into law with the "Affordable" Care Act. 

I sort of work for my state's government, in teaching at a state college, but I haven't heard of any universities being shut down because of a government furlough...possibly because it's one of the few enterprises that's making money (even if it's being spent as fast as it comes in, in most cases). 

If I worked for, say, the Park Service, I'd be starting to get scared, right about now.  And I'd be hustling to look for a part-time job or two, and a way to get into a public sector job. 

Were I a man, and living in the area I'm living in, I'd go around and offer to winterize yards, rake leaves, and plant bulbs for spring flowers for $50/yard, with $20 followups as the leaves fall, and over the winter to shovel snow. 

If I were in the same straights as, say, TinCan Assassin, and his adorable wife, I'd probably be baking pies, cobblers, cookies, and cornbread (honey and jalapeno cheese), and selling them at the local farmers' market.  In pans, and in single servings with condiments (honey, butter, jellies) in individual packets (easily and cheaply purchased at Sam's Club). 

And, if I found that that replaced my income, I'd tell my former job to go fuck itself when the government got its head out of its ass, and tried to tell me to come back. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I'm finished grading my Comp II class!  I'll be picking up Comp I papers as of Friday, so I have a couple of days off from one part-time job.


About four and a half years ago, I wrote this post.  Re-read it this morning.  It got me to thinking. 

What do you do when you achieve the American Dream?  When you've got everything you've ever really wanted, and thought you could achieve?

You could sit and stagnate.  You could let yourself become miserable, because even though you achieved what you thought you could, you didn't get the level of job recognition/compensation you thought you would. 

Or, you could do what I did.  Decide that since you achieved the likely possible dream, it was time to go for the more unlikely dream.  Mine was being a published writer. 

No, being a writer isn't easy.  It takes a long time to actually write a book.  Longer to edit.  And it takes longer still if your attention and mental energy is diverted by your day job.  But it is possible, even if it's unlikely, and it's possible to self-publish without breaking the bank like it used to.

I'm a published writer.  And I'm happy, because I have a lot of different story ideas, ideas that are workable, writable, publishable, which lets me set small goals within that dream of being a writer.  My next goal is to finish and publish Highway to Tartarus by Thanksgiving.

What's yours?  Big or small doesn't matter.  It only matters that you have something you're aiming for.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A bit late, but...

I put a cherry cobbler in the oven a bit ago.  Trying to see if I can't get my mother-in-law's recipe to come out right.  It's certainly easier than my recipe if I can.  If I can't...well, I suppose my recipe works well enough.

If I can get it to work, I'll post it.  If I can't...I'll post mine.

Unless y'all want both...

Think I'll have to try that...

One of our local fast-food places sent out flyers advertising crinkle-cut sweet  potato fries.

Waiting on coffee...

I've got today off from work.  Since I got half of my Comp II papers graded during office hours yesterday, I'm pretty sure I can finish the job during office hours tomorrow.  So, no office work today. 

The story chapter I was working on--the one I thought was the next to last one--demanded to be split up.  So, I have another story chapter finished, and two or three to go. 

I put together a pot of coffee--beans in the grinder, water in the reservoir--and set it off just before I made the kids their breakfast.  Imp requested three sausage links, and the pixie wanted pancakes and sausage.  I got her four of the two-inch mini pancakes and one sausage link, arranged it on her plate, and she squeals, "Momma, you made me a butterfly!"   

The coffee should be ready to drink in a few minutes.  I use a permanent filter, so a bit of finely ground coffee powder gets through while it's making.  If I don't wait a few minutes for that to settle, I'm drinking coffee plus silt.  Not the best sensation in the world.

Odysseus had a difficult time getting to sleep last night.  I'm going to let him sleep until nine or so this morning, then take the kids out into the back yard after he gets up so that he can study for the test he needs to take by tomorrow. 

Other than that, my plans for the day involve housework.  Lots and lots of housework.  My weekend chores didn't get done, between trying to unclog the sink and visiting my mother.  Yesterday's chores didn't get done, either, because I'd worked on catching up on dishes (and I've still got a little bit to go).  So, I have laundry to put away, bathrooms to clean, bedrooms to clean, and the rest of the kitchen to clean and straighten (including finding a place for Odysseus's new tool, which won't fit in the tool box).

Coffee's ready.  I'll stop rambling, now.