Saturday, January 31, 2015

I will admit it. I'm taking a break.

So, I went and checked my FB account, and I found this story





Who the FUCK sets a six-year-old's hair on fire???  And fucking WHY???

Whoever did that needs to be caught, impaled on a short stake, and his pubes set on fire. 


Very first student paper of the semester...wasn't the paper assigned.  It wasn't a definition essay, but a weird amalgam of a policy proposal (which I don't teach) and a causal argument (which is what paper 2 is).  Yes, it's possible to reword parts of it to work, but as the paper stands right now...

It's clear that this particular student did not listen to a damn word, nor did they read the fucking chapter.

And I'm still chest-congestion blocked from going and pouring a drink.


random ramblings

So.  Wednesday, the imp told us he'd gotten a green day (minimum level of good behavior that we'll accept).  Thursday morning, Odysseus found that the imp's clothespin was on yellow, not green. 

The imp had lied.  For the lie, he got spanked.  A yellow day only gets TV privileges revoked.  Had he chosen to tell the truth, that would have been all that happened; as it was, he'd gotten a yellow day on Thursday, so he didn't get to watch TV that day, either.  He hasn't lied since, and usually won't for about two or three months. 

I will not raise a politician.

The pixie had a good week, this last week.  We took her to Walmart's salon, this past week, and she's been delighted about having her bangs trimmed and shaped.  The beautician did a brilliant job--the pixie's hair is unevenly curly, and you'd never know that looking at the job she did.  And she handled a squirmy little four year old who'd never been to a salon incredibly well.  Yep--the pixie is four years old, and had never had anyone but Mommy or Granny (my mom) trim her bangs before, and has never had her hair so much as trimmed in the back.  And she has no split/dead ends. 

Her hair is naturally curly enough that when it's dry, it comes to her waist, but when it's wet, it's all the way down to her butt.  We keep it long to keep it semi-manageable. 

We hit Sam's Club, today.  I made the mistake of noting the clearance things on the end caps--and got three boxes of soup.  Marie Calendar's makes an awesome chicken chili, and the boxes (6 cans) were nearly $9 normally, but were marked down to $5.  I also noticed that Frank's Red Hot sauce was marked down from $5/2 bottles to $3.  And the imp and I are almost out of hot sauce anyway, so...yeah. 

We ended up with a cart so full that I had a hard time maneuvering it around corners.

Last night, the cats decided to be downright adorable.  Cricket walked a circle on the imp's lap, then snuggled down to sleep curled up as tight as the big kitty would go (she's about 14 inches tall at the shoulders, with most of that leg length, and about the same in the length of her body--the tail adds another 12 inches--but isn't more than about 10 lbs).  Shadow (who weighs in at about 12 lbs despite being two inches shorter than Cricket at the shoulder and in length) snuggled as close as she could get to the pixie, and wound up curled around her hip, half behind her, and half beside her.  And both kitties and both children were still and quiet watching Transformers for about two hours after dinner.

I think I may have lost my dog for sister's beagle and my mom's Scotty dog (my dog's mother) are both about at the end of their normal lifespans for healthy dogs of their breeds, and neither dog is healthy.  And my mom and my sister have fallen in love with my dog...who is still put out at us for having taken her to my mother's because of the shitty neighbor.  By the time we're able to afford to sell our current house and find someplace out in the country, our dog will have been my mom and sister's house dog (something she wasn't willing to be for us) for a few years.  Possibly even the only dog. 

I suppose it's for the best...the Scotty was so hyper, and is so hyper, that the kids are as scared of her as they love her. 

I just picked up my first set of papers from my classes, yesterday.  I've got my 8:00 class's papers organized, and I'm ready to start grading after I put the kids to bed tonight.  I  need to do 12 papers per night from tonight through Tuesday night, so that I can get them handed back on Wednesday.  I've picked back up with being a teaching assistant, grading a colleague's student work to save his eyes, and he's assigned a paper for them to turn in on Sunday night/Monday morning, so his stuff will be off my plate until Wednesday.

Writing is going.  Slowly, but it is going.  I think I won't manage this one until I've got time this summer, since my plate is a bit more full this semester. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015


What do you want to bet this will get swept under the rug, just like exposure to Agent Orange got swept under the rug for years?  I'm acquainted with people who still deny that there were negative effects to Vietnam vets from Agent Orange exposure (as well as those who say that if the effects aren't exaggerated, then the soldiers deserved it--needless to say, I don't voluntarily associate with those kinds). 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Office hours.

This semester, I have two classes: one at 8:00, and one at 9:00.  I've scheduled office hours from 10-11:30 on MW, and 10-12 on Friday.  Odysseus has a 10:00, an 11:00, and a 12:00--but only on MW.  Friday, he only has one class, and it's inane, and the instructor doesn't respect herself or her students. 

So.  Mondays and Wednesdays, I'll be driving myself in, then running over to pick up the pixie.  It's going to take a lot of time before I get confident enough to park in the heavily used lots, but there's another, smaller lot within easy walking distance of the library that isn't used so heavily.  And the pixie's school is about three minutes away from campus. 

Right now, I'm sitting in  office hours.  And hoping my battery holds out, because I totally forgot my power cord.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Beat flat.

I spent yesterday looking for a lost Roku remote.  I cleared the coffee table, sifted through the stuff on Odysseus's desk, and cleared flat surfaces in the kitchen where it might have been set down.  No joy.  I'll give it a couple more days, then I'm going to order a replacement.

But I think I did too much, yesterday, and am still exhausted (and feel like crap) this morning.

Thank God for freewrite days.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

...damn it.

We just took three big boxes of toys out of the imp's room.  They were not put away in the places that he has for them, so he loses them for a couple of days.  If he doesn't care enough about his toys to put them where they go, then he doesn't care enough to keep them...yes, there was a tantrum.  No, I don't particularly care. 

He can have them back, box by box, but he can lose them again, just as he did tonight, if he doesn't put them away, or puts them in the wrong place, like he did tonight. And yes, he was warned.  I warned him that this would start happening, starting last night.  He was warned three times tonight.  And it did not one damn bit of good.

I hate being a hard-ass about this, but this is the attitude that loses him his scissors, his markers, his pencils, and his crayons at school. 

Maybe I should have been harder on him sooner.  I don't know. 

random ramblings

We had a conference with the imp's kindergarten teacher, this past week.  The imp is doing incredibly well with the academic aspects of kindergarten (what was first grade when I was small); however, he's very weak in the maturity needed to actually succeed at school.  He's not very good about working independently--tends to drift off in daydreams when he's not got someone standing right over him--but I think that's as much because he doesn't see the point.  I think if he has a clear goal that he wants to work toward, things will clear up. 

We have a plan for that.  Now, we just have to put it into action.

The pixie has caught another cold.  She was sick from late September through the first part of Christmas break.  I'm betting she's going to be sick from now until Spring Break at the earliest.  She's having so much fun in preschool, though, that I honestly think it's worth it.  She's asked for every day classes next year with pre-K-4.  I've started tweaking the budget to allow for that.

The kids tried getting up at 6:30 this morning.  If they'd been quiet, I might have tolerated it, but since they were screeching at each other (and I was too tired to be able to tell if it was joyful or angry, and too tired to care), I made them go back to bed.  Yes, there were tears and tantrums.  No, that wasn't tolerated.  They woke me up again around 8:00.  And since I'd had a bad night anyway, I was really, really unhappy with them when I got up.

So, last night, I was relaxing in my recliner, with the footrest up, and I feel a warm weight settle in between my ankles.  I assumed it was Shadow, because it settled and dozed off, instead of spazzing around on my lap.  I was wrong--it was Cricket.  She's almost never snuggly, so I ended up staying up about an hour longer than I'd planned. 

I discovered, when I got up to go to bed, that Shadow had ensconced herself between Odysseus's knee and the back of the couch, and was curled up and snoring.

So, I made it in last week for my classes.  I've got an 8:00 and a 9:00, both Comp II.  Wednesday, we went over thesis statements, and Friday development.  I discovered I can't lecture long, and can't write up on the board for long; when I try to combine the two, I run out of breath really fast.  But I got the point across both days, and got to watch the lights coming on like nobody's business. 

Which is why I'm still doing this.

I've actually got two writing projects going on at once--Detritus, which is finally picking up on the writing pace (the plot pace is much slower than I usually write), and a collection of short stories I've tentatively titled Normalcy Bias.  Most of the stories are set in our world, but with a small twist that takes them just slightly out of the norm.  One of the stories is about a veteran who buys a new house and land, and discovers that his place is home to a group of gremlins; another story is that of an amoral dragon who decides to clean up a neighborhood.  When I get stuck on Detritus, I pick up with one of my many short story ideas, and write that.  Usually, after the random story is written, I'm good to go with the novel. 

We had our scanner--which was mainly used to scan in the cover art created by my friend--die on us last month.  We just got the replacement delivered, so all I'm waiting for now for Fire and Forge (and for "Bar Tabs") is the cover art. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

FFOT: ugh

Catching a cold (including post nasal drip and the accompanying cough) right on the heels of pneumonia can seriously fuck off. 

I am so fucking tired of this shit it's not even funny.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I managed it.

I taught both of my classes today.  Didn't stick around for office hours because I desperately needed to lay down* but I made it through classes. 

I'm tired, but I did it.

*Apparently, I looked like I was feeling bad enough that one of my students, when I was making the rounds helping them with their thesis statements, grabbed me and made me sit down before she was willing to accept help.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I suppose...

There's one good effect to having been so sick for most of the month: because my appetite's been limited since I got sick (as in: I haven't been able to eat more than half a ham and cheese, or half a 15oz can of soup), I've lost about fifteen pounds. 

Granted, when I'm up and doing, trying to keep up with the kids and the house, I can't make it on that kind of a diet.  But currently, that's what it takes for me to be able to lose weight. 

Holding it stable once it's down I can do.  It's just getting it down there in the first place that I haven't been able to do since I had the imp and developed the thyroid issue to start with. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

More than ready to get back to normal, thanks.

So, I figured that since I'm done with the antibiotics, I'd be done with the queasy when faced with something hot or bitter, and I could have coffee. 


I'd also have thought I'd be closer to being back on my feet at this point.  Again, nope.  I'm still pretty useless.  I'll get a little bit of energy, get up to do something, have a coughing spell, run out of oxygen, and the energy and everything I thought I was starting to recover goes poof. 

I need to get back on my feet.  I need to stop being useless.  I need to be able to get back to work, both at my job and at home. 

I have had an absolute gut full of this being sick shit.  I want it to go away.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

random ramblings

I haven't had much contact with the kids this past couple of weeks.  I've honestly been too sick to do much more than lay in the bed and read.  I've finally started improving to the point where I can shuffle around and do a few things, but I'm still pretty damn sick.  Still coughing my lungs up every so often.  I have today and tomorrow left in the antibiotics, and then I'm done.  Hopefully, things will pick up from there. 

My boss has been spectacular.  She not only told me off for trying to keep up with my classes when I was down with pneumonia but took them on for me on Friday to get a physical roll taken.  She's sent me a list of who was absent on Friday that I can add those who haven't done anything on BB to. 

Shadow has been a rather constant companion.  She's stayed with me since I went to bed two weeks ago, curled up somewhere near my knees or feet.  Cricket has come and gone, but is much less of a restful nursemaid: she tends to walk up on me and knead dough on my sternum...which hurts and makes it hard to breathe. 

So far, I've got no time in classroom this semester.  I've barely been able to get the class functional, and get stuff posted.  I'm recovering, and hoping that it'll be enough by Wednesday, when classes start back up after MLK day.

Since I'm feeling better, and since the other half and the kids are visiting the in-laws (which means quiet time), I'm going to try spending the afternoon that I can keep sitting up writing.

Friday, January 16, 2015

FFOT: pneumonia

Pneumonia can fuck right the fuck off with knobs and cheese.  I swear, I have never in my life been so sick as I have been for the past two weeks.  I'm getting better, but it's slow going, and I still get tired really easy...which can also fuck the fuck off, since there's shit that needs done, and it takes teamwork to get it done!

I am so ready to have this all the way behind me.

What's made your week(s) blow?  Sound off in the comments.

Good deal.

This one definitely deserved his place on the Better Dead List...and the state of Oklahoma agreed. 

Too bad the puss writing the news story had to moralize about executions for half the story.  Irrelevant and unnecessary, and kinda took away from the message of "Rape a baby to death, and die."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A "White People Thing?" Really?

And here I thought showering more than every few days was a hygeine thing.  Or perhaps a consideration thing, considering that most people don't want to smell you coming before you enter a room.  Nor have somebody who's just worked out sit all whiffy next to them at a board meeting, or working next to them at work.

She says "ethnics" just don't shower as much...I really think that more speaks on their culture of lack of consideration for others than it does anything else.

Monday, January 12, 2015


I sorta overdid things, yesterday.  I felt a lot better, so I sat up and completely built my class sites.  Everything needed for the semester, rather than only what was needed for now.  Took about five hours.

I paid for that.  And Odysseus paid, too--not what I'd intended at all

It started around supper time: I started hacking up gunk every few minutes.  Could not control it.  At all.  And it continued all night, bringing me out of sleep ever half hour to an hour. 

It did the same to Odysseus. 

I feel really, really bad about that. 

I've taken a lot of care, today.  I've not done more than I absolutely had to, and I slept a lot.  I feel a lot better now than I did when I woke up, and that usually isn't the case. 

I'm going to take it easy tomorrow, too, and spend as much time sleeping as I can get away with.  I've been taking antibiotics for about four days, now, so I should start recovering quicker soon. 

I hope.

As things stand, I'm not sure if I'll be going in Wednesday, either.  I shall see how I feel tomorrow, and perhaps post a lecture.

I'm also going to hope Odysseus gets more sleep tonight.  Because this past week has been really, really hard on him, and I hate that, and hate that I've been the entire cause of it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Random ramblings

So, the imp and pixie have had a full week back in school.  The imp's handwriting has improved a whole lot, and he'd buckled down, behaved himself all week, and earned a new Hot Wheels toy.  He's already got a math grade recorded for quarter 3, and it's very good.

The pixie is incredibly happy about classes starting back up.  I didn't realize she'd missed everything so much. still sick.  I can tell I'm on the road to recovery, but I'm still really, really sick.  At least the fever broke this morning.  I've had three solid days of antibiotics, with seven more to go.  I'm hoping that's all I'll need.

Shadow, our black cat, has been my constant companion since Tuesday afternoon.  She's very much a little nurturer, and snuggling a person in a bed just makes it so much better, in her opinion.

Cricket has come back a few times to check on me and let me know she hasn't forgotten me, but the one time she got snuggly, she started eating my hair.

Classes for the university start tomorrow, and I'm not going to make it.  I've got the course site for my 8:00 class mostly set up, but still need to finish the 9:00 (discussion board and assignments tabs still need set up).  I did notice, when I was setting the assignments up, that they've added a plagiarism checker to their assignments way in hell was I not going to enable that.  

As for writing...well, I did some while I was waiting for pickup after my x-ray on Thursday, but that's just about it, and it's on a short story I'm playing with until I get time and energy to type up what I've got written on Detritus.

Friday, January 9, 2015


It sucks.  But I've got antibiotics, so I should be better soon. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I would so much rather have a stomach bug.

This respiratory crud is kicking my ass.  I rattle when I breathe, and can't go for long without a coughing fit, most of nothing. 

At this point, I've called the doc's office and set up an appointment.  And I'm hoping it's a bacterial infection, rather than a virus that's just going to have to run its course, and could take up to another week.

I don't have another week.  Classes start Monday, and I can't get into my class site to set it up.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Had a blog post planned for yesterday.  Never got around to it because I'm absolutely miserably sick, and have been since I woke up Sunday. 

I'm not usually the first one in the house to get sick.  And it doesn't usually disturb my sleep, but it sure as hell is this time. 

So content is going to be thinner than I'd planned until I get better, especially since I've got to work on getting my class site unlocked, and get my docs updated and loaded into my site.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


I am beginning to be of the opinion that people use psychological and/or medical diagnoses to excuse their own behavior, rather than choosing to work to better themselves. 

My mother is an example of this.  Yes, she has fibro.  Yes, she has something that mimics COPD.  Yes, she's clinically depressed, and Medicaid won't pay for treatment.  But y'know, she does do that which truly matters to her: despite the fibro, she keeps her house neat (for the most part) and keeps the kitchen clean.  Yes, she's got some help paid for by Medicaid, but she does everything but the vacuuming and the dusting herself (the things that bother her breathing).  Because she cares about a clean house.

What she isn't doing is looking for a better home, one that would get my sister out of the attic where she breathes in mouse leavings mixed with fiberglass, which triggered some nasty asthma. 

What she isn't doing is moving away from a place where she's convinced that my male genetic donor spread rumors (true) and ruined her reputation (false--she did that herself, by acting ashamed).

She blames her depression for that.  She also blames needing to stay to help her younger sisters, and that she can't afford better (which is bullshit--she makes more than I do). 

My father was another example.  He survived an abusive perpetuate the abuse upon his own children.  He chose his actions, despite knowing that what he was doing was wrong.  I know he knew it was wrong, because he worked so hard to be perceived as a saint by everyone not living in his house.  He chose to be an utter bastard. 

I was diagnosed in high school as a borderline sociopath.  I made the choice to be better, partially because I knew I was broken and didn't want to be, partially because I knew it was in my own best interest not to act on my natural inclinations. 

I have been diagnosed with low thyroid, which limits what I can get done because I out of energy.  I still do the critical tasks, like making sure the kitchen is clean, my kids are clean and fed, and the kids' laundry is clean.  I prioritize things by their importance: my kids are important, a clean kitchen is important; a clean living room, or hall, or master bedroom is far lower on the list of priorities.  I do not use the thyroid as an excuse.  I work around it, and I am planning on discussing raising my dosage with my doctor at my annual appointment in July.  And, for the moment, I'm taking an herbal-based thyroid supplement that works in short bursts to make sure I have the energy to get the important stuff done.   I am trying to solve the problem, not use it as an excuse to be lazy.

I chose to work to be better than what I am.  Just as my mom chooses not to let her constant pain and exhaustion limit her taking care of her house, but chooses to let her depression limit where and how she lives. 

Those who choose to take a diagnosis and use it as an excuse...yeah, I'm beginning to have less and less sympathy for them. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

random ramblings

So, we took the imp up to his grandparents for a two-night stay.  He took his bike because they spoil him by moving the cars out of the two-car garage, and putting a heater in there so he can ride comfortably. 

The pixie was very quiet, yesterday.  Didn't wake us up.  We finally woke up at around 9:30, and found her playing in her brother's room, building a castle with blocks.  I begin to think we need to get her her own set...

Monday starts the next semester for the kids.  I'm hoping to see the same improvement out of the imp as we've seen between first and second quarter between second and third.  He went from a low C average to a high C average.  I'm hoping to see that nudge upwards a bit more.  I'm really hoping his teacher will deem him ready for first grade. 

The pixie is just missing her friends and teachers something fierce.  I dread what summer will be like.  For both kids, honestly.

My mom got the pixie a huge, wide-brimmed, semi-floppy hat with feathers all over the brim for Christmas.  There are pink feathers scattered through the house, and the pixie is in a constant fight with Shadow about whose the hat really is.  It's sort of comical to see a slightly pudgy black cat trying to make off with a hat that's three times her size, and to see the pixie running after her to take it back.  Maybe it'll teach the pixie to keep her toys put up, and her bedroom door closed...

We've had to change the cats' food, recently.  The healthy metabolism that we'd been feeding the cats (which got Shadow playing right after eating, but didn't keep the weight off despite her not eating but a third of what Cricket--who's never totally still--ate) vanished from the stores.  We switched to an indoor formula Purina One, which claims to include the greens that the cats would be eating were they outdoor cats...and Shadow's been a little more active, her fur is silkier and healthier, and Cricket has calmed down just a little.  Hairballs have been going down rather than coming up, too, for both cats. 

Semester for Odysseus and me starts on the 12th.  We have a week where the kids will be in school, and we aren't, so I'll have three half-days where I don't have a pixie underfoot, and we can get some more furniture-moving and some Insect Growth Inhibitor put down.  So far, Odysseus says he's got Tuesday/Thursday free.  I do, too--I teach at 8:00 and 9:00 on MWF, and plan to hold office hours until 11:30 on Monday and Wednesday, and until noon on Friday when I'm not needed to pick the pixie up from preschool.  He says he's planning to try to keep TTh free for a once or twice a month jaunt to the local shooting range. 

I think I have an idea for writing that stubborn book that's not wanting to come, despite not letting anything else out, either: since the Rolling Stones album I want is out of stock on Amazon, I'll look for a used copy at the local music stores.  Failing that, I'll get the memory upgrade on my laptop done so I can find a playlist on Amazon.  Or at least listen to the music I have on Amazon Prime, which the laptop won't play without an updated Adobe Flash (which is what was crashing everything).

So, at least I now have a plan...

Friday, January 2, 2015

Just one of those things...

I've had several acquaintances with chronic health issues.  Some have been my students, some are my friends.  One or two have been friends who are college students. 

Out of all of them, only one has blamed the health issues (rather minor, all things considered) for having to drop out of college.  All things considered, yes, hypertension combined with Chrohns and type II diabetes isn't a fun set of conditions to deal with, but they can be controlled.

All it takes is a willingness make the choice to grow the fuck up and do what must be done to control the chronic issues.  And no, the individual (whom I dearly love) isn't willing to do that.  His wife tries to help by serving food that won't exacerbate his conditions, but he'd rather go get fast food that drives up his blood sugar and irritates his digestion, but tastes "good" (even though he isn't willing to even try the things his wife makes). 

It isn't his health responsible for making him drop out: it's a severe lack of maturity and drive, combined with a probable fear that even if he does get his degree, nothing's going to change for him and his family.  And then, he'd count himself a failure.

This is one of those things I can't do anything about.  I'm not stressed over it, but I'm still shaking my head in absolute bewilderment at the way my friend is approaching and handling things.  I see what he could do to be able to get what he wants.  I see his path.  Why in the world is he unable to? 


I'm suffering from a bit of not-quite-apathy, but certainly disinterest in the local, national, and world-wide events as reported by the headlines on the various news sites my computer will load. 

Especially anything having to do with politics and/or the legislation of morality. 

The libertarian in me is depressed...and worst of all, I know I'm helpless where any of it's concerned. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015


I honestly didn't think about it, this year.  Too busy chasing kids and cleaning, over the past few days. 

Alright, fine.  Let me see...

I resolve to...
  • stop worrying about things I can't do anything about. 
  • stop worrying about the alcoholism running through my family.  I don't like feeling intoxicated, so that likely won't be a problem for me.  
  • stop worrying about my weight.  It's stabilized at a higher number than I would like, and doesn't really go down even when I'm starving myself.  I'm going to try talking to my doctor about a slightly higher dose of thyroid meds, which is the reason my weight has gone up.
  • keep pecking at the clutter.  The house is better than it was at this time last year, and with continued effort, will continue to improve.  
  • get the deck torn down, and the back yard fence repaired/extended. Planning on that during any February/March warm spells.
  • get a few raised garden beds put together, one for chilis and jalapenos, one for tomatoes, onions, potatoes, etc.  Oh, and one for herbs in a sunny corner in the front. (March/April)
  • take the kids out to the back yard to play more during good weather in the spring and summer, no matter how much I actually hate being outside.  It's worse on Odysseus because he has terrible allergies.  

I think that's all, but that's enough to be getting on with.  I'd resolve to stop hating the mess around holidays, but I never set myself up for automatic failure. 

Time to go check on my black-eyed peas...which I need to make more often, despite being the only one in the house that likes them.