Friday, January 31, 2014

FFOT: Sick kids

Whatever is bothering my kids can go fuck itself with a rusty chainsaw.  Both kids are sick, now--the imp has a painful lower belly, and told me "Momma, my butt threw up.  I don't feel good.  I don't want supper."

There.  Is.  Nothing.  I.  Can.  Do.  Not a damned thing I can possibly do to make my kids feel better.  And that can fuck right the fuck off while it fucks itself with a two-pronged Sybian, studded with broken glass, and set on high. 


I have a sick pixie.  She's all congested, has a sore throat, and had a vomit incident this morning (though I think that's because she drank too much water too fast, and swallowed too much air with it).  She's lying on the couch, munching dry honey nut Cheerios. 

The imp managed, somehow, to sleep through the pixie's squawking that she was up, at seven.  He seems to be a happy boy, this morning. 

I'm not a very happy mommy, though.  I have a sick kid, and she's near impossible to keep settled so she can rest and get better faster.  I'm probably going to need to give her Benedryl at nap time and bedtime tonight, judging by the sound of her trying to breathe through the congestion, so that will help.  I've been trying to avoid giving her Tylenol or Ibuprofen, because she has a little fever that should probably be permitted to run its course to help her recover. 

I also have forty-seven papers to grade before Tuesday.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Missed the boat

So, I've gotten a few papers graded, but had to stop.  I ended up nearly screaming in frustration because I had two students in the first six write a proposal essay rather than a definition essay, as they were assigned, and as we went over and over and over in class. 

I'll do more later, but right now, I'm tired.

Office hours...and papers to grade

I've picked up the first set of papers.  So far, so good--I've been catching up on some other things, so I only have the first two done, but at least both were well done.

And I have two more hours to tear through as many as I can.

A good cause.

A very good friend of mine has a friend who just lost his son to violence.  The cops haven't found the murderer.  Go here and read (and follow his links).  If you can, help. 

No parent should have to bury a child.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

speaking as someone who has been there...

This idea that people who commit suicide are victims is bullshit.  I understand that they're in black despair, but they are still capable of making that choice not to.  Not to make the most cowardly and selfish choice to put their families through the pain of losing them. 

I just read an article that I will not link because it is such bullshit that claims that one doesn't commit cancer, or a heart attack, and so one doesn't commit suicide because that is also a death caused by an illness.


It is not the same. 

Yes, depression is horrid.  I know.  I have been there.  I have held the knife in my hands, with the blade set on my wrist.  I chose not to.  I chose to live.  I chose not to be a selfish coward. 

Committing suicide is not an involuntary action.

It is a choice.  A stupid, selfish, cowardly act.  It is not simply a death caused by disease  Depression alone won't kill you--if you die, it's because it was the result of a choice.  One that's only justifiable in a very few circumstances.*

*Chronic pain that isn't treatable under our current draconian prohibition laws is one.  Coming back from war crippled and in constant, high-grade pain from wounds sustained is another.   Last, but not least, terminal illness is also justifiable.  Nothing else. 

Gonna be busy, today

I have my early chores mostly done (take care of dog, take care of pixie breakfast), but I have a huge, long list of stuff I still have to do--tomorrow is my long day.

I'm hoping to get more decluttering done in the living room, and get it straightened up a lot more, especially around my corner of it. 

I have to get the kitchen cleaned up--again.  I cleared the table off a bit over a week ago, and it's collecting more stuff.  Same with my counters.  I do not know how it happens: one minute, everything is organized and straightened, and the next, I can't see my flat surfaces.  I swear it happens as soon as I turn my back.  While most of the living room mess is caused by my children, the kitchen isn't a play room, and I don't know how it happens in there.

While I'm working on this, Odysseus will be working on his accounting degree: he's got classes today.  After he's done with class, I really want to go out for lunch with my husband and daughter.  We also really need to hit Sam's Club.

Last, but not least--we found a Honda Passport that we need to take to the mechanic, and see if it's worth buying.  We have an appointment to do that at 2:30.  I'm going to try to find someone to watch the pixie while we do that.  If I can't find someone...well, then it's just going to be Odysseus going.

I think tomorrow's class and office hours will be a relief.    

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Little angry, today...

I walked into the bottom floor of the library, then took the elevator up to the circulation desk for my classroom key, just like I always do.  I turned to go up the last floor to my classroom, and came face to print with a whiteboard sign stand, just inside the front doors, and this is where the spitting mad came in.

The sign?  Written yesterday.  Had the footprints of the American chicken all over it,* and wished all viewers "Happy Vietnam Peace Day." 


Did I read that right?

Sure did. 

There is a holiday celebrating our defeat. 


*The hippie peace symbol.

Monday, January 27, 2014


A very close friend posted something to her Facebook page last night, something that prompted my sluggish brain to start thinking about it: "Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for."

As I said, it got me thinking. 

If you don't desire what you don't have, you have no goals.  Nothing to work toward.  Yes, sometimes wanting what you don't have can be destructive; however, without that desire for more, you have no reason to do more than the minimum to live.

I understand that there is a subset of young men that decide to do just that--the absolute minimum--and I understand their reluctance to work to earn more.  I understand totally: marriage is a dangerous gamble that can wipe out a life's work rewards, and the harder you work, the more the government takes to support those who believe it's their life's calling to be a deadbeat.  I know a lot of that bunch are fairly content with their lives, and many work just enough to fund their next trip. 

I cannot imagine it being anything other than an incredibly lonely existence.  Almost pointless, too. 

So, set yourself goals: real, attainable ones.  My goal is to get through this semester.  And to support Odysseus through college.  Those are short-term goals, I'll grant you (though the one with Odysseus being back in classes is sort of long term, and sort of the first part of a longer term goals), but with two kids, short-term is all I can do right now. 

But it still gives me something to work towards. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014


I'm tired of the weather shifts--today was around sixty, then the wind shifted direction and picked up, and the temperature plummeted.  Tomorrow's high will be around forty degrees cooler.  My hands are killing me.

I'm tired of the kids' antics.  The imp threw three or four temper tantrums today--all before lunch.  Then, after lunch, I sent him out to play.  TinCan Assassin's Progeny came over to play, and the imp threw two more loud, screaming, squalling tempter tantrums.  After the second, I put him to bed. 

Eventually, he got up and went back which point he threw another one when I called him over to ask what he wanted for supper.

The pixie has had an excuse for her behavior, today: she's been irritable because her ears hurt most of the day, and she's three years old.  The imp?  As far as I excuse.  Just really terrible behavior. 

And I'm really, really tired of it.

Here's hoping it's allergies, and that the Allegra works for him.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

random ramblings

Every time TinCan Assassin shows up over here by himself, he gets mobbed by imp and pixie, who then immediately ask, "Where's [Progeny]?"

You would swear that these three kids grew up together.

The pixie spent Thursday night with her grandma and grandpa.  Early Thursday morning, she'd told me that her ears hurt, so I packed some Benedryl and ibuprofen in her backpack...which she insisted on putting on her back and carrying around for an hour before it was actually time to leave. 

The imp...has been a small monster for the past three days.  I think he needs some outside time, which I'm planning for him to get tomorrow (assuming the wind doesn't make fifty-six degrees feel like fifteen). 

Last night, there was a house fire not far from us, judging by the sudden onset of sirens around midnight or so, and then the smell of smoke permeating the area.  It disturbed the pixie's sleep...and mine...and, oddly enough, Shadow's.  Our little black cat has been nervous and twitchy all day since she's been let out of the back room.

Cricket is her normal self, but then again, if she'd been upset at midnight, she'd probably forgotten by seven-thirty when I let them out.  She isn't the brightest bulb in the box.

The dog is happy, happy dog, today.  Last night, she got one hell of a treat for supper: instead of dry kibble, she got eight pizza rolls.  See, I'd fixed them and cut them up for my imp's supper...then promptly dropped them on the floor.  I got him a second batch prepped right quick (hard not to, when he started crying like his little heart was broken about Mommy dropping his supper on the floor), then looked at the mess.  Sixteen bites, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni thickly covered about eighteen inches by eighteen inches of floor.  It would have been a stone bitch to clean up, and I have a bit of a hang-up about throwing away food.

So, I went and got the dog, and let her clean it up.

Happy puppy.

Happy puppy today, too: the weather is nice enough that she's out in her pen until dark.  Or maybe until her dinner time.

Next week is going to be interesting--Tuesday will be the first workshop day for my spring classes.  Thursday will see the first paper due.  I have one student that I think I'm going to have to keep an eye on: the student acts like they've been bullied by English teachers to the point that any attempt at instruction is taken as a personal attack.  This student has decided on a topic for the first paper that not only doesn't fulfill assignment guidelines for the first paper (but does for the second), but is a fairly complex topic that their skills don't suggest that they'll be capable of.  If the paper turns out to be good (effects of drilling for natural gas on human and animal health), then I'm going to have to check every damn line in the paper to make sure it's not plagiarized.

As for my writing...well, I'm still at it.  I really want to finish my book, since I'm so close to having a draft done, but...yeah.  Life.  I have ordered a new power cord for my laptop, so I shouldn't have a repeat of Thursday's disaster.  All it will take is time.

Friday, January 24, 2014

FFOT: static, messed-up power cords, office space

So, yesterday was cold.  Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.  Cold enough that I decided to wear insulated leggings (my nylon ones were all I could find) under my flannel jeans.  Did you know that causes massive static, just sitting still?  Not fun.  Static can fuck off.

I keep a spare power cord in my bag of holding for office days.  My laptop gives me two and a half or three hours of battery time...and I used most of that while my kids were writing their papers.  So, I plug it in after I get settled in for office hours...and discover that the power cord has developed a break somewhere between the transformer and the end that plugs into the laptop.  So, yesterday's office hours were really unproductive, and that can fuck the fuck off.  Four hours that I could have been writing wasted. 

Speaking of office hours...last semester, I held my office hours in my classroom.  It was decently comfortable, and I had a padded seat and a desk.  This semester, there's a class directly after mine in my classroom.  Which means I had to hunt for someplace where I could settle and focus to do work.  I tried the adjunct office but it made me jittery and jumpy like you wouldn't believe.  In four hours, I was able to write less than a thousand words.  And I should have managed six thousand or more. Yesterday's attempt in an out-of-the-way nook of the library would have been much better, but...yeah.  I'm paying for the seating today with an awful backache.  A lack of office space where I feel comfortable can fuck the fucking fuck off.

What's messed you up this week?  Tell it to fuck off in the comments.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cold damn day

It's currently seven degrees.  It's not supposed to get warmer than sixteen, today.  And I'm going to be on campus from a bit after nine until a bit after five, holding office hours during the afternoon. 

I hate office hours when it's cold.  Because pretty much every building on campus is frigid.  And I don't have the room to pack even a small blanket.

Screw dressing up for class today--I'm wearing flannel lined jeans, and a fleece shirt over a tee-shirt.  And combat boots. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Yet another one for the better dead list.

I do not have the words to express how disgusted and enraged I am.  Ronald Mazza needs to die.  Horribly.  Preferably with a colon shredded by shattered glass glued to a baseball bat.

Oh, noes!

Someone was spotted walking onto campus in a dark gray fleece jacket, and dark gray sweats, with a fedora.  I guess he (I assume) was carrying an umbrella on a dry day, because somebody lost rectal continence, and called the campus rent-a-cops to report a "suspicious" person between two of the residence hall apartment buildings (prime pathway for somebody who lives in one of the apartments just off campus to take in heading to class).

Or maybe the cranially incontinent witness simply thought that the individual might be armed because they were wearing a fedora.  Indiana Jones, y'know.

Hopefully, the individual in question was the first one inconvenienced when they locked down the dorms.

Quick workers

I didn't used to have a textbook.  Before I started teaching online, everything the students learned was from lecture.  Most of the textbooks I reviewed* were dreck, and expensive dreck.  Eight to twelve hundred pages, with very little text, and huge, glossy pictures.  Lots of bullet points.  No real explanation of what went into a paper, nor how to go about putting one together. 

Yes, I am talking about composition textbooks. 

For the spring semester after I had the imp (Spring '09), I expanded my lecture note outlines into a textbook, complete with explanations of what goes into a paper, and how to draft one.  My textbooks explain about how to determine what purpose a paper serves, and how to stay focused on the topic, and how to stay organized.  My textbooks explain what goes into a well-developed paragraph, and how to structure it. 

I've come to find out that, while no textbook is better than a bad one, one that's designed to do exactly what students need is better than the best lecture, because then, the teacher can focus on teaching students to apply the knowledge. 

And what brought me to this conclusion is this: today, my average class managed to power through the thesis statement and organization of their papers, then asked to move on to development.  They have all read the material in my textbook that covers paper construction, so needed help, not explanations, in applying it to their own ideas.

Thursday will consist of a freewrite day (where they write their papers during class time, either in class with my help, or with having emailed me that that's what they were going to be doing, at a place of their choice, during class time).  Thursday will be easy, if long--I won't have any lecture, but I will still have to hold my minimum office hours.

*Composition textbooks out there for sale are truly awful and useless, with one notable exception: They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing is an awesome resource that I can't recommend highly enough for high school and college writers.  I've got a copy that I'm planning to use to teach my kids how to write persuasively when they get older.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dr. King would be disgusted.

Not only has culture moved in the opposite direction from what he'd hoped to see (actually judging people by the color of their skin), but the socialists have claimed him as a patron saint.  

He wasn't a socialist.  He believed it was the responsibility of each individual to help their neighbors, not the responsibility of the government to put a gun in each of our faces, and take money from some to give to others. 

Classes have been canceled on campus, today.  Government offices are closed (though, that isn't a bad thing), banks are closed. 

From what I've read of his writings, Dr. King was a man who saw every person he met as equal before God, no matter their color or socioeconomic status.  He did judge people not by the color of their skin nor yet by their income or their politics, but by their actions and their beliefs.  What we have is a culture that doesn't just judge people by the color of their skin (elevating black above white in the name of making things "fair" by reversing what was "unfair" rather than just changing what was "unfair"), but by their politics.  What we have today in his "honor" would disgust him, if I'm judging him right.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


We just got back from visiting my mother, a little bit ago.  I called to let her know we'd gotten home safely...and she told me that she was about to get her hair blown back by the aunt on whose property she lives.  Turns out, she'd told that aunt's pastor not to worry about fixing the house, right now, that she and my sister are in the process of paring possessions down to be able to move (though, where they're planning to go, I have no clue--they have the world's fattest beagle, and a skittish, abused puppy-mill mommy Scotty dog, as well as a cat).  And she had not told my aunt this, yet.  Needless to say, when the pastor mentioned it, it pissed my aunt off something fierce (my mother has lived there since '88 or so, and my aunt hates change of any type). 

The house is a wreck.  The siding along the west side rotted all the way off, the insulation had molded and had to be ripped out, and a flooding washing machine had destroyed the drywall inside.  The siding on the south side of the house is in the process of rotting off, and if my sister happens to stumble against the window in her room, I have no doubt that the window will literally fall out of the house, and dump my sister two stories down onto the ground. 

It's got one bedroom downstairs, and the attic is half finished, lengthwise--exposing fiberglass insulation to whoever happens to be upstairs.  I think it's around 400 square feet of living space.

And my aunt expects nothing to ever change until both houses fall in on everyone. 

I think my mother and sister need to stop hemorrhaging money out to pay for an aunt who needs to be placed in a home for those unable to take care of themselves, and get their butts moved yesterday.  It would be best for everyone.  Even the aunt who's bringing the drama-llama down to scream at my mother.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

random ramblings

My kids have a new best friend: TinCan Assassin's Progeny.  She's two years older than my imp (and four older than my pixie), but you'd swear they'd always been friends.  There has been much cuteness around here, what with three littles running around.  Yes, much mischief, but that's just kids.

Like today, the pixie got hollered at for getting smack in the way in the kitchen.  She breaks into wails and tears, and goes running into the living room, right to her new "best, best friend" for hugs and comfort.  Talk about cute!

Progeny has also been terrifically helpful in keeping the kids out from under foot while I'm cleaning.  Usually, I have one or the other kid coming running into wherever I happen to be, asking for help, for hugs, or for something they can do which will help me clean wherever I'm at.  Usually, I have to rack my brains for something they can do, and I can work quicker without helpers than I can with them.*  However, for the past two days, TinCan Assassin's Progeny has been keeping them occupied and happy, and I have gotten an unprecedented amount of housework** done. 

The weather has been nice enough lately that the dog has spent almost all day, almost every day, outside.  That makes for a very, very happy dog.

The cats have freaked right the fuck out over the past couple of days.  Not only have I disarranged their hiding places (cleaning and throwing out trash and clutter), but I brought in new people.  Shadow hides, and waits to see if they hurt Cricket.  If they don't the first time they come, she comes out to peek at them and watch to see if they're okay with Cricket.  It isn't until after a couple of visits watching that Shadow is willing to come out of hiding. 

She's almost willing.  She was fine taking my chair at the table (under the tablecloth, and under the table) right next to one of the new people, today.

I've got another full week before I get the first round of papers in.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to have one average class, and the other will be a bit above average.  In the meantime, I'm going to see if I can't get a room in the library to use for office hours.  And see if I can't get finished with Pendragon Resurgent.

Speaking of, I managed to get a thousand words written on Thursday, despite being jumpy to the point of not being able to focus on anything.

We'll have to see what next Thursday's office hours bring.

*There are exceptions: the imp is a wonderful book wrangler, the pixie actually sees messes, even if she doesn't know what to do with them, and needs step by step instructions on how to pick stuff up, and the imp vacuumed the hall, on Wednesday.

**Unprecedented since I've had children.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Busier than I thought I'd be...

Progeny was awesome.  She kept the kids off in their rooms playing with her (and not fighting) all afternoon.  I got the dishes done, the laundry done, the table nearly completely unloaded*--which was a day-long job--and a dinner fixed for everybody that was ready at about too dark for TinCan Assassin and his other half to transfer their stuff from the trailer to their new apartment.**

Tomorrow, I'm borrowing Progeny again while they finish that I can work towards finishing the work on the table, and in the laundry room (and, incidentally, they don't have to worry about dropping an appliance on her).

*The table was stacked more than two feet deep under...stuff.  Some stuff went in the trash.  Some was repaired as I went (books that needed packing tape wrapped around their spines) and handed to the nearest small child to take and put away.  The rest will likely go back on the table, once I have it cleaned, and have a vinyl tablecloth put on it to protect the surface.

**Half of a house, really.  They've got the bottom half, and someone else is renting the top.

Overheard in the bathroom:

Pixie: "I a naked princess!  I a naked princess!  No, [imp], I a naked princess!"


I can so fuck the fuckety fuck off.  I forgot it was Friday.  Who or what would you like to tell off, and why?  Let us know in no uncertain terms in the comments.

Today is going to be busy.

Odysseus will be helping TinCan Assassin and his wife get the lease signed, get all of the utilities switched over to their name, going to class, helping them unload their stuff, and then going to work this evening.  I'm going to be childminding, and catching up on stuff I didn't get done yesterday because I had a hell of a long day with two and a half hours, followed by pretty much five hours sitting in an office that was on a busy hall, with my back either to a door or to a big, empty room, which had me jumpy and nervy pretty much the whole time. 

I'm definitely going to see if I can't beg office space off of the library. 

And I'm going to be ready for bed by the time I get there tonight.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

So far, so good...

I haven't seen hide nor hair of another adjunct in the three and a half hours I've been sitting in the office.  I will, however, hold that thought.

Our department secretary notified me that I can talk to the library secretary, explain that I teach in the library, and ask if there's anywhere I can reserve to hold office hours.  If one of my colleagues that I happen to detest happens to show up, I may well do that. 

Hell, I may do it anyway.  The English building is halfway across campus from the library (which doesn't count, since the library is pretty much dead center of the campus, right between Admin and science/math).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Slow start, productive day

Odysseus had class this morning, and the pixie is having issues with earaches, so I had a lap limpet all morning.  Which, in turn, meant that everything got a late start.

But, after that, we managed to talk to a potential landlord for TinCan Assassin and his family...and get everything set for them to rent a place as soon as they get here.

After that?  The usual: housecleaning, trying to get the dishwasher leveled, building casseroles for the freezer for Thursdays when I'm working until dinner time...discovering that I don't have enough cheese to build all of the ones I'd planned...replacing the washer's drain hose.

So, yeah.  Productive.

I am coming to hate children's programming.

It's all I ever get to watch.  I'd love to have a good documentary on, right about now.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First day of classes for me...

Odysseus had class yesterday morning.  I have two on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and will have four office hours on Thursdays. 

So far, so good--about half  of my Comp I students signed up for my Comp II class, between the two sections of class I'm teaching.  One of them told me, as she was coming in, that she really missed my class.  Kinda sucks that I only teach Comp I and II, because this semester is the last semester she'll have this class.

So, one down, one to go. 

Monday, January 13, 2014


TinCan Assassin is moving up to my little area of SW Missouri!  I can't wait!


It's still three days before the full moon, and the kids are already going bonkers.  The pixie is whiny, and the imp is breaking rules, then telling us he knows he's not supposed to do that (run in the house, tell the pixie what to say, etc.), and doesn't know why he feels compelled to break the rules. 

I really can't wait until their bedtime.  Their behavior has been noxious all day.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Holy crap, this thing sucks!

Our Bissell upright bagless vacuum (like this one, only green) bit the dust right before Christmas.  It had a detachable canister for cleaning up messes in tight corners that the vacuum couldn't reach.  I thought it was a good vacuum, before the motor burned out.  I thought it got the carpets clean enough. 

Boy, was I wrong. 

We bought a new vacuum, last week--this one--and Odysseus and I got it put together this afternoon, right before the kids went to bed for their naps.  I went ahead and vacuumed the kids' rooms, which hadn't been vacuumed since just before Christmas.

You'd think that the kids' rooms hadn't been vacuumed in a year, judging by how much the new vacuum picked up.

Same with the hall. 

I've had to empty the dirt cup twice already, and tap the dirt out of the washable filter.  And I still have the living room and our bedroom to go. 

All done.

Learned something interesting from tearing out the carpet halfway up the bathroom: there are three distinct patterns of linoleum flooring in there.  There's the new one they put in in front of the toilet and tub, the older one they covered up, and a third one under the closet area (which used to be a laundry area. 

And, not too long after finishing the cleanup, the pixie sharted, and ended up smearing it all over herself, her potty chair seat, and the front of her potty chair in the process of getting her undies off.  So, I finish cleaning the stale poop that had soaked into the carpet and pad off of the floor, and have to turn right around and clean up fresh poop.

Someday, my time will not be spent cleaning poop up from places where it's not supposed to be...

Half done

Odysseus is done with the tear-out and salvage; now it's my turn.  I'm going to clean the linoleum, the toilet, the front of the vanity, and the baseboard a few times with Clorox wipes. 

As soon as Odysseus gets out of the shower, since I apparently can't trust the imp out of my sight.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Well, crap.

The imp took a four hour nap.  Didn't wake up until I went to wake him up for supper.  Ate well, and was a cheerful little boy all evening.  Even went and cleaned his room without whining. 

I opened the box that our vacuum came in...and discovered that I can't get it put together with helpers, and can't try to without, as long as they're up.  And when they're not...I can't make too much noise without them waking up, and trying to come in to help (no, I haven't tried this evening--that's something I learned through long experience, and why I've developed ninja silence while doing housework during naptimes and evenings after bedtime). 

So the floor didn't get vacuumed, today.  Maybe Monday.  Tomorrow's going to be busy enough already.

Everything else got done, so I'm not too disappointed.


I've already got the dishes done.  I finished one load of laundry, and Odysseus started the other.  The kids are down for their naps right now, but right after that, they'll be helping me get the living room, hall, and their rooms picked up for vacuuming, as well as getting their clothes put away. 

I can't believe I've gotten all of that done today already.  Because there were a lot of dishes, and a lot of laundry. 

...and done.

My classes are set up.  Finally.  Now, I can go start a load of laundry, and fix myself something to eat.

Random ramblings

Well, the kids are both in an "eat constantly" stage of a growth spurt.  I have seen my daughter much on Goldfish crackers all morning, then demand chicken (2 nuggets) corn and green beans for lunch, munch on more Goldfish before her nap, ask for chocolate milk and chocolate animal crackers after her nap, then eat a whole serving of Easy Mac for supper.  The imp is about the same, but in slightly greater amounts.  

Soon, their food intake will taper off, and they'll sleep more--mostly in the form of longer naps.  Maybe an earlier bedtime.

I can't wait for that part.

Right now, though, the pixie is eating.  She had a sausage link and four mini-pancakes for breakfast--after having munched on Goldfish for who knows how long before she woke me up--and is currently eating Club Crackers.  She's on her eighth one, so far.  Yes, I know they're empty calories, but she also ate a couple of Gummy Vites* with her breakfast.

Tomorrow's going to be a busy day.  It's going to be the last day Odysseus and I can work on getting the hall bathroom cleaned up and sanitized before the craziness of semester starts.  We're still not sure if we're going to try to salvage part of the carpet for when we turn the back half of the bathroom into a walk-in closet. 

So, I guess today's going to be busy, too--first on my list is laundry, and second is dishes.  The kids will be helping me in their rooms, the hall, and the living room so that I can vacuum,** sometime this afternoon.  Before that, though, Odysseus will be going to meet his parents halfway between here and their house to pick up the imp, who'd spent a couple of nights with his grandparents.  Y'know, catch up before we tear into the bathroom tomorrow.  Monday will involve deep cleaning that bathroom, so I can't really do it then.

Cricket just caught a mouse.  She mauled it to the point where it was stunned and still, even when she backed off, before I ever saw it.  Pretty thing--all sleek and brownish-gray.  If they'd stay outside, I'd have absolutely no issue with them.  As it is, I'm glad these cats of ours aren't useless.  They're both awesome mousers.  Often, the only evidence I find is a partially digested one inside a turd in the litter box, or a bloody stump of a tail on the floor, on the top of the freezer, or in the litter box.  Both Cricket and Shadow are flat murder on mice.

Honestly, I kinda wish they'd leave them alone for a while--mice eat roaches, which we're still having minor problems with.  They die off, and then reappear a couple of weeks later.  Smaller waves, but still.  I can tell the boric acid/powdered sugar mixture is working, but slowly. 

And we lost a whole batch of peanut butter cookies, because I didn't notice that the ZipLock bag they were in had a small split up near the zip.  And the roaches got into them. 

I'm ready for those nasty things to be gone entirely.

I've been scrambling to get my classes ready.  One is done, and the other is just data entry to make sure they've got what they need to go on with.  However, that did include writing a new chapter for the textbook...then going back and re-doing all of the screen capture illustrations. 

So, between holidays, house problems, sick kids, and getting class stuff ready to go, I have had zero time or energy to work on Pendragon Resurgent, much less that story for the little girl.  However, where that's concerned, I will again have a long block of office hours (four hours on Thursday, since that is literally the only time I can) where I'm not watching the kids every week, which happens to be perfect for writing.  Especially since I won't have papers coming in until the end of January. 

*Gummy Vites are the only children's vitamins I've found for a reasonable price that don't have artificial color in them--something the imp seems to be very sensitive to.  As in, if he has it, specifically red food coloring, he gets meaner than a little snake, and tends to have accidents in his pants.

**Our vacuum died just before Christmas.  We've just gotten a new (cheap) one--another Bissell, because our old one did so well before it got clogged and its motor died.  I can't justify a more expensive one when I can't guarantee that it wouldn't go the same route with a toy or sock in its guts.

Friday, January 10, 2014

For your FFOT reading pleasure...

I know I mostly lacked the energy to really build up a good rant, but if you're missing ranty goodness, go here.


I am going to fucking kill our fucking distance/internet enhanced learning platform wonks.  We were notified that they were upgrading over break.  Okay, fine.  Go the fuck to it.  Maybe it'll stabilize the fucking thing a bit.

No, the upgrade isn't the problem.  Last semester, I had a large number of my students ask me to add a chapter on how to do in the course site what they needed to do in the course site, and asked for screen capture illustrations. 

Fair enough.  And easy enough to do.  It took me about three hours yesterday to get that done, mostly because the platform was being so fucking slow it makes a game buffering look like lightning.  Took me ten minutes to work it into the textbook, and another half an hour to post it into one of my two class sites.

Then, this morning, I got an email, telling us that the fucking idiots running the platform didn't fucking notice that the fucking piece of shit didn't upgrade in its appearance within each individual course, and oops, sorry, but we've got it fixed now.

Now.  After I'd done a dozen screen caps of what it looked like before.  And yes, I'm going to have to go back in and re-do every screen capture of what things are supposed to look like every step of the way.  Why? 

Because the fucking fuckers at the fucking internet class platform offices can't fucking get off their fucking huge fucking egos, much less their even larger fucking asses, and do their fucking job right the first fucking time. 


We have temps in the fifties, and there's a thunderstorm brewing outside. 

It's January 10.  Three months early.

WTF?  After highs in the single digits on Monday, I'm feeling like I'm getting whiplash.

FFOT: tired.

It's been a rough week, and I don't have the energy--or the desire--to bitch about it, especially when some of it still needs fixed (carpet torn up, etc.).

Have at it.  How has your week been?

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Classes start back up on Monday!  Course sites are made available to students on Saturday!  Mine aren't finished!!!

(Though, I do have one close to it, and once I get that, the other is data entry)

I know, I know: I shouldn't have procrastinated.  But, to be perfectly honest, with everything going on, I just clean forgot--several times--that it was coming up so dang quickly.

One of these days...

...that dog of mine is going to get her nose laid open. 

She has a new prank she likes to play on the cat.  I don't know how, but she's figured out how to walk silently across the linoleum floor in the kitchen.  And she likes to sneak up on Shadow, our black cat. 

The dog has quit knocking the cat's face into the water bowl when she gets a drink, for the most part.  No, now she sneaks up on the cat when she's standing in the middle of the kitchen with her tail in the air, indecisive about what to do next, and pokes a cold, wet dog nose right up against the exposed asshole.  Cat flings herself straight up into the air, and  vanishes.

One of these days, though, she's gonna turn around and beat the hell out of the dog.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Y'know, when I first heard that radical feminists defined all heterosexual sex as rape, I thought it was an oversimplification of a more complex position. 

Apparently not

I'm assuming that this a case of chicken/egg: did that particular woman become a radical evangelical feminist lesbian because she had really, really bad consensual sex with a whole bunch of dirt bags that cared not a whit about her (possible), or is that the only kind of man she can possibly attract because she's a radical, militant, evangelical feminist (also possible)? 

Either case, saying that women's bodies are designed for childbirth, but never for sex (which is a whole lot more fun, btw), and that penetration causes far more damage than giving birth, illustrates both that she's never had really good sex with a man who loves her and cares about how it goes for her, and that she's never had a child.

This is the kind of person who deserves either pity or mockery.  Or perhaps both at once. 

via Captain Capitalism

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The cherry topper on the shit sundae

The toilet clogged, then ran, and overflowed.  And by the time I noticed that the toilet was running...we had an inch of water standing, besides that which had soaked into the carpet the previous owner had put in, three feet from the tub and toilet.


Frustrations mount.

The Subaru overheated on the test drive.  Was blowing steam by the time it got fifteen minutes into the drive.  Odysseus didn't even get it to our mechanic for a check over--he barely managed to get it limped into our driveway.  So, that car is off our list of potentials.

The second option, a CR-V about eighty miles from us (but close to my in-laws and their mechanic), has been sold.  The Subaru that that dealer had gotten in today is the same age and similar mileage as the one that's still sitting in our driveway, waiting on a tow truck, and is similarly overpriced.

And, to add insult to injury, our dishwasher is spitting foam onto the floor.  I'm not sure what's going on there, but I've canceled the cycle. 

I'm about ready to run away screaming and tearing my hair out.

I cannot wait for this day to be over.

Monday, January 6, 2014


We've been looking for a Subaru hatchback to replace the family car that shat itself on us...and nearly every one in this area is way around $2,000 over fair market in KBB.

It's nine in the morning.

Current temps are five below zero, with a wind chill of nineteen below. 

We are in SW MO, forty minutes north of Arkansas.  Normal temps for this time of year are about thirty degrees higher.

I begin to think that our next family vehicle needs to be a giant SUV to help global warming along.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

This is SW MO, not Northern KS.

Our projected low tonight is -6.  Our high tomorrow is 9 degrees. We have projected wind chills in the -20 range, tonight through tomorrow morning early.

Where's the fucking global warming????

Sucks when your kids get sick.

Last night, my imp woke up screaming and crying around eleven.  He said his throat hurt, then screeched and stretched his head up on his neck as far as it would go--a sign of heartburn, I thought.  I got him up, and got him an antacid, while he was still screeching and crying on his daddy's lap...and he starts gagging.  I got him over the nearly empty trash just in time for him to have a major vomit episode. 

This is not the first time since he got past his acid reflux as a much smaller child, but it seems like he's still terrified while it's going on.  It is, quite frankly, heartbreaking to have your child crying hysterically between heaves because they're sick and scared.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

random ramblings

So, we (or rather, Santa, since we told the kids we couldn't afford them) got the kids each an InnoTab 3 for Christmas.  The cartridge that came with them were fun for a while, but they quickly got bored.  We got them each a new cartridge* (and got a battery pack for the imp and a pair of sturdier headphones for the pixie), and ended up with the perfect car toy: they'll play with them forever, and best of all, they're quiet and not fighting. 

We tested it on the disastrous trip up to my mother's that revealed the issue that we'd likely had for a while, now.  Our mechanic says that there's likely been some sort of stop leak used before, possibly more than once.

The pixie is exactly between sizes: 3T is slightly too small--too short in sleeves and pants legs--and 4T is still a little too big.  4T dresses work fine, and so do sweats and stretchy leggings; however, jeans are another matter. 

The imp...has slowed down on his growth by a lot.  I'm honestly thinking it's more because I can't get him to eat enough to fuel his growth and his high-energy playtime.  I've tried adding sweets (he won't eat them), and chips, but no dice: it seems that every time I add more to his diet, he ramps up the energy in his playtime and burns it right off.  But he is starting to outgrow his size 5 clothes--everything is just on the verge of being too short.

Shadow the cat has taken to acting as Odysseus's fuzzy alarm clock, lately.  Both cats have determined that our bedroom door can be knocked open by a determined effort (the idiots that put the door in used nails to fasten the latch plate to the door facing...which split the entire door facing...and caused the plate to go poof).  Cricket will pound on the door until it falls open, but Shadow's a lot quieter: she raises up on her haunches, puts her front feet as high as she can, and then put weight on the front feet.  Door comes open, and she goes and hops up on the bed and starts demanding pets.

The dog has gone stupid-spastic: every time she sees a squirrel, she charges.  She's got that super-long leash, now, so she gets some real momentum built up by the time she hits the end of it.  I've learned to toss the leash out onto the porch and shut the storm door so that I don't end up either flat on my face on the porch, or with a sore shoulder from jerking her up. 

School starts back up a week from Monday.  I need to go back in and add the basic how-to chapter on using Blackboard back into the textbook.  I'm irritated that I have to do that, but they claim they can't figure out the system and how it works...while playing with their iPhones to do research on their papers (they love that I let them do that--say it makes writing a lot easier when they can just turn aside during the work times and look something up right then, before they forget it.  And mostly, they don't abuse the privilege).

I'm back to working on Pendragon Resurgent.  I'm having to reread it to get back into the character's head so that I can write.  It's slow going--mostly because I read a bit, then toss it aside in disgust.  I'm going to have to start over, and start editing and revising as I go, I guess. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

FFOT: another list

Our car needing the head gasket replaced can fuck the fucking fuck off.  Even if we can sell it to someone whose dad is a mechanic, that was the family car--the Civic is nowhere near as easy to get the kids into and out of.

Whatever made my imp sick enough to throw up before his nap yesterday can definitely fuck the fuck off.  Miserable, crying boy is not happy-making for anybody, much less his mommy. 

The constantly-changing weather forecast.  We're in a weird area for weather, and the National Weather Service can't make up its tiny mind about what's likely to happen for us this weekend.

I think that's pretty much it.  Sound off about whatever's pissing you off in the comments.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

...and I am now certain that my mother's house is cursed.

Why is that?  Well, a few months ago, we had a problem with the radiator pissing itself, and needing replaced.  After a visit to my mother's house.  Yesterday, we had to limp the car home because it was overheating again.  We took it to the mechanics today, and found out that the head gasket needs replaced.  It'll cost $1,700-$1,900.  The car is worth $1,800 at most--it's a '93 Lexus. 

All of the problems we've had with the Lexus in the three years we've owned it have started at my mother's house. 

Her place has to be cursed.

Long day yesterday, but good.

We visited my mother for their Christmas visit, yesterday (the kids were both down sick on Odysseus's last day off).  We could not avoid my relatives, unfortunately.  I tried. 

The kids kinda made out like bandits...for which I wanted to slap all of my aunts stupid.  Not one of those people have enough to spend what they spent on the kids*.  At all.  My mother was only a tiny bit better.

I was much happier with what Odysseus and I were given: four big freezer bags full to the brim with cookies, and another with home-made brown and serve rolls.  A basket full of apples, with a brick of sharp, white cheddar, and a gift pack of crackers and two types of summer sausage.  Stuff either cheap, or home-made. 

Best about it is that it's over, and I don't have to see these people again until next Christmas.

*Yes, I do begrudge gifts given when the giver is using money I paid in as taxes, thank you very much.  Especially when I hear a constant litany of complaints about how the government isn't taking enough from me to give to them, when they have a higher income than I do.